Title: The Click of the Light & the Start of the Dream

Author: mindy35

Rating: T, sexual situations.

Pairing(s): Yves/Sofia, Yves/Other, Sofia/Other

Summary: Follows the events of "For Lovers Only". Yves and Sofia return to their former lives but can't forget each other or their short-lived affair.

Disclaimer: Characters are the property of Mark and Michael Polish. Lyrics for Jackson Browne's "Sky Blue and Black" and Jason Mraz's "Beautiful Mess" are the property of their owners and publishers and are used without permission. As is the poem by Rumi. Title is borrowed from Arcade Fire's "No Cars Go". No money made. And no infringement intended on any, only deep admiration. Admiration due also to the genuinely beautiful Stana Katic.

A/N: I know I'm late to this party but FLO was released in Australia only recently. This story is the result of my need to process all the *feelings* arising from repeated viewings of this bittersweet film. While I love and admire the movie intensely, there are also some ideas of sacrifice and personal choice that I don't agree with. While it makes for a deeply affective movie ending, it also leaves the heart wanting more from these characters. I've included many (but not all) of my thoughts and feelings regarding FLO in here and as such, this is a very special story for me. I'd love to hear people's responses. Also, I'm not on Twitter or tumblr so feel free to rec this (if so inclined) to people or communities that might be interested. I'd love for this story to reach those who love this film.

PART ONE – THE DARK

"You're the color of the sky
Reflected in each store-front window pane,
You're the whispering and the sighing
Of my tires in the rain,
You're the hidden cost and the thing that's lost
In everything I do.
Yeah, and I'll never stop looking for you
In the sunlight and the shadows
And the faces on the avenue.
That's the way love is…"

i.

She'll think about him when washing the dishes.

Not because washing the dishes is something they did together during their runaway week in France. But because it's exactly the kind of everyday, domestic activity they missed out on doing together. And because of the conversation they had on the Riviera seashore. He told her about his marriage, about the wife waiting at home who was so similar to him. Neither of them liked to wash the dishes. Sofia had never minded it. She'd promised to wash his dishes. In some potential future they barely dared imagine being a real possibility.

Now, when she looks at David's dishes, she can't help thinking in a stealthy internal whisper….Yves' dishes would not look like that. Her husband likes to slather everything in ketchup so his plates are left with dark red streaks that spill over the edges. He likes to leave coffee mugs around the house for her to discover days later. They always develop a bronze crust because he shakes the milk before slopping it in in copious amounts. And there are always undissolved sugar crystals at the bottom of the cup.

Yves has his coffee black. And unsweetened.

And Sofia likes to think that he wouldn't leave his cups all over the house for her to find. She likes to think of him delivering his empty cup into the hot, sudsy water himself. She thinks of him coming up behind her as she stands at the sink, his warmth and smell overtaking her senses. His chest would press against her back. His hands will cup her hips as he presses a kiss to the side of her neck. Sometimes the fantasy will feel so real that she will lose herself in it entirely. Her hands will droop, motionless in the cooling water, her head tipped to one side and eyes closed in make believe bliss.

That's when David will stomp in in his work boots and ask her something idiotic. Or he'll poke her ribs with one finger and laugh, call her a daydreamer. Sofia will say nothing. She will just resume her task, bowing her head like she's in church as she scrubs each item clean. Washing up will become a ritual for her. Occasionally she'll wonder whether she is seeking to scrub herself clean, whether she is attempting to rid her hands of their sins as Lady Macbeth did. But it's not absolution she seeks. It's not a cleansing of her soul she craves. It's just him. Just Yves.

Standing at the sink, washing the dishes will become her favorite time of day. She will start saving it for when her husband is out of the house. She will look forward to that quiet time. Because it's the only time she allows herself to think about Yves without recrimination. Without including in her thoughts all the pain and blame she owns, without reminding herself of all the reasons they chose to walk away from their passion for one another. She will become absurdly possessive of the task. She will not let David do it. She does not even want him to stand at the sink. She will coax him, hoax him, even physically push him away from it if necessary. Just so she can have ten minutes alone with Yves in that dreamlike future they'd sacrificed to reality.

Each day, as she watches the water drain from the sink, Sofia feels the distance between them extending. She mourns the increasing chasm between the mundane present and their euphoric, too brief spell in France. Each day, as she watches the water drain away, she'll feel the decision they made solidifying. It becomes more irrevocable while she only becomes more uncertain that what they did was the right thing, the best thing. Each day, as the water drains away, Sofia will promise not to think of him for the rest of the day. Each day, she'll promise some uncaring universal force that she won't think of him the next.

But each day, she fails. She breaks her promise.

Sofia thinks of Yves. While washing the dishes. While searching the supermarket. While sorting the mail and feeding the cat. She'll think of him on waking. She'll think of him as she falls asleep. Alone, she'll think of him. Lost in crowds, she'll think of him. Driving in her car, she'll think of him. On rainy nights, she'll think of him. On sunny days, she'll think of him. Every interview she conducts finds a way to remind her of him. Every magazine she reads lacks his name in the credits. And every word she writes cannot help but resonate with her longing for him and only him.

Whatever promises she made with her lips, whatever promises she continues to make in her mind, her heart remains inconsolable. Her heart remains his. Missing in action, it will follow wherever he may wander.

TBC...