A/N: I wrote this a little while ago, about two years ago now. I had just lost someone close to me and while her death seemed unfair, I knew that it was a natural thing and had to happen. Jack Harper inspired some kind of therapy within me, and I thank Tru Calling for that.
In thanking the show, I would also like to remind myself and others that I do not own Tru Calling and I will not profit from this piece of creativity in any way.
As a bit of a side-note, I'm coming up on 10 years of being a member of this site, and to challenge myself I aim to write at least 41 more stories by the end of the year (to make up 100 fics written in 10 years). I'm starting with posting this one!
She likes this time of day best of all, with the fingers of tangerine spread languidly across the greying twilight sky; the silence that accompanies the still air lingers around her as she walks. She remembers these days most of all. The crisp smell of autumn's reign, though with painful memories, distils within her the greatest meaning of life, and the darkest side of death. She knows that it is those two halves of the same whole — so completely different though they are — that knit together, are entwined so intricately, to make up this world, that both use fate to garner what they need from the earth, so that they in turn can give back to the earth. Life and death, a flipside, a contrast, but both necessary to complete the one puzzle that people everywhere are trying to piece together. So, she asks herself now, if the puzzle is what people try to complete, how can you be both alive and dead at any one time?
The ground is soft under her, the dirt damp from the season's rain, and the surface of every fallen leaf shines with sheets of water pooled over them. They don't crunch under her shoes because they are wet, and she doesn't miss the cold, hard stabs of her feet in the leaves; she's not a child anymore, she can't have those pleasures.
Her arms are tired with the weight of the white roses cradled in her embrace, but she will not stop to rest or put the flowers down until she has reached the place she needs to go. It's not really a long journey.
She hunches inside of her long black coat. With the sun streaking brilliantly in the sky, fading by the minute, the day as it grows towards the fringes of night is becoming colder.
As she walks on the ground becomes firmer and the air returns to its stillness, no longer inhabited by the chill of looming night. Here there is a hill, and she is walking slowly up towards the peak.
She stops when she reaches the end of her journey.
Tru Davies bows her head in the dimming twilight, closes her eyes and offers thoughts up towards the heavens. When she opens her eyes she kneels down, her black pants touching the soft earth, and slowly she lowers the bouquet of roses onto the bed of a marked grave.
She whispers into the dying dusk, "Luc…"
Tru waits in reverence a moment, honouring the memory of the dead, before she straightens and stands with her arms hanging still by her side. Her eyes glaze over — tears are forming at the very edges — and she tilts her head back, her face towards the sky, if only to feel the air take over her and ease her pain. She reminds herself of the good she has done in Luc's name, that his memory is not wasted, and that his death means more than he can ever know. He was buried on a battle cry, a sacred oath to save the lives of those whose time on this earth has not yet reached its toll.
Life over death, Tru knows, must come to pass, just as death will sometimes reign supreme over life. It's the natural order of this world, of this gift, this curse; a balance, two equal parts to make up the same whole.
She is aware of his presence — has been for a while — and doesn't turn to meet his gaze, his knowing blue eyes, those that can always see through her no matter what disguise she throws over herself. He is her counterpart, after all; he knows everything she does. He is the only one in this world Tru cannot hide from.
Tru finally finds the strength within herself to speak, though it is little more than a whisper she manages, "Jack."
He is behind her, close enough to smell the roses freshly laid by Luc's grave. He saves a minute to pay his respects, or at least the little of it that actually counts in this situation, and keeps silent while his head is bowed. Jack then looks to Tru, flashes his eyes over her, and in a brief moment, studies her. She is a vision in black, in mourning, and her dark curls remain still when there is no breeze. Jack cannot see her face — she hasn't turned around to let him see her fully yet — but he knows she hasn't allowed herself the right to cry.
It's been a year. Time has passed and it's been a year since the passing of Luc.
Jack knows that this should be Tru's moment, her moment to remember her once beloved, but he just can't seem to let her take it on her own. No matter how much the two of them want not to believe it, Luc's death was the result of their calls to fate; two parts of the same whole, working separately to fit the pieces of the puzzle together. Life and death. Death had won. Either way, they both knew he would have won.
"Luc didn't deserve this fate," Tru says quietly, fiercely. "He didn't deserve what happened to him."
Jack lowers his eyes to the ground, unable to look at Tru in his moment of defence, for he knows she is right. "Neither did Harrison. But it was a choice, Tru. One or the other."
Tru keeps silent, unwilling to engage in an argument with Jack. Not today, not like this, not here. This is Luc's moment, his day; to tarnish it would be some kind of perversion.
So they stay in silence; Tru standing at the foot of a headstone, and Jack drawn in the shadows behind her. This is the way they stay for a while, both breathing in the crisp air and waiting until the dark of night descends upon them. It isn't long now. The sky is overcome with grey, the soft tangerine fingers of sun disappear as the clouds take their place and the moon rises, just above the horizon. The day is done.
Tru raises her hand and places it softly on the edge of the curve of grey stone, her fingers spreading across the cold surface. She bows her head and silently offers a goodbye.
Watching her, Jack lowers his head when he feels a familiar pain within himself; the pain of knowing what he's done — what he does — hurts Tru in a way that can never be reconciled. It's the pain of a burden, a curse; having to do something that he hates and watching it hurt someone who's been hurt too much in this world already. Jack wishes he could stop, but the world wouldn't work in the same way if he did. It would be ruined, unbalanced. There needs to be a balance for the puzzle to be complete.
So he offers Tru the only condolence he could ever give her. "You should rest in the knowledge that when he died, he died happy. He died loving you, Tru."
The words fall on her, empty. She knows there is feeling behind them, but they offer her nothing. They're just words. "He's dead, Jack. What part of that is okay?"
Tru departs on her words; she turns from the grave and walks stiffly past Jack, their eyes never meeting — could they ever again? — and she leaves him alone in the shadows among the dead.
Jack waits in the darkness, in the shadows, until he knows there is quite a distance between himself and Tru. She had come with flowers for a grave, and all Jack has to offer is a silent sorrow that Luc had to be a part of fate's cruellest hour. For that, Jack is sorry.
But there is still Life, and there will always be Death — there has to be. It doesn't work any other way.