Author's Note: I seem to go for those angsty times with these two and scenarios of how Wash comes back. Have another one. :D
Disclaimer: I own neither the show nor the characters. I don't earn any money with this piece. I just do it for fun.
It's what the colony calls spring when he loses her, when Lucas takes her from him. Admits life blossoming all around, flowers and trees blooming, her life turns to ash. They don't really experience winter, not in this time period, but for the first time Taylor feels cold, frozen, numb as if he's in the middle of an ice storm.
He stumbles through their make-shift camp, the reality of what he witnessed only hours earlier hitting him like a sonic blast, and he's barely aware of the others giving him space. For hours Taylor sits and stares at the fire that offers heat and comfort but not to him, not anymore, not when he remembers Wash's last touch as she gave him his armor, and he involuntarily clenches his fist, the memory of her fingers brushing along his skin haunting him.
If she were here now, she would order him to get it together, be a leader and kick some ass. You can't change the past, sir, but you can damn well try to change the future. Her words and the image of her standing in front of him with her hands on her hips echo in his mind and a grim smile flicks over his lips. He's not going to let her down. Terra Nova is theirs, he will take it back and if it's the last thing he does.
Sometimes he wakes up to sweat-soaked sheets, twisted around him, trapping him, and he blames the hot summer that seems to never end. Then there are those mornings when he's awoken by the ghost of warm lips pressing a gentle kiss to his forehead and phantom fingers running through his hair. It's driving him out of his mind and Taylor knows he's walking a fine line. Shannon senses it too and when they finally start to rebuild the housing units, the former cop adds him to the duty roster without asking.
Directing his despair and sorrow into rebuilding Terra Nova takes off the edge a little bit, just enough to keep him grounded. It doesn't stop Taylor though from looking up or turning around and still expecting Wash to be there. In those moments the loss of her almost breaks him, the pain threatening to overwhelm him but he has to be strong, he tells himself. For her.
Then, one day in mid-summer, they find her tags and his barely patched-up world comes crashing down all over again. That night he dreams of her in vivid detail (his fingers wounding tightly through her hair as he draws her head back and leans in, his lips seeking out hers, her hands clutching at his shoulders) but she dissolves into nothing under his hands once more. It's raining for the first time in months when he wakes up and slowly slips her tags around his neck.
Different shades of yellow, orange and red take the place of green as autumn comes to Terra Nova and Wash's absence weighs heavier on his heart than ever, a sense of melancholy surrounding him. This season had always been her favorite, despite the slightly colder weather and grayer skies. She always took it in stride, watching him with an amused expression when he complained about it. Back then it had been that smile keeping him warm, now all he has left is the memory.
Every day he can sense her presence, sometimes she's a whisper among the falling leaves, then again a shadow among the trees, until he walks around the corner of the Command Center one morning and she's there, standing in front of a Sixers' transporter, head tilted to the side and that knowing twinkle in her eyes.
"Still too cold, sir?"
His hand is surprisingly steady as he reaches up and brushes her hair away from her face before cradling her cheek in his palm, the warmth of her skin seeping into his. "Not anymore, Wash, not anymore."
Who takes the final step he can't say but suddenly she's in his arms, her own wrapping around his waist as he tangles his hands in her dark tresses, and when the familiar scent of apples and earth envelopes him, he knows she is real.
Later that day, when he's standing on the balcony of the Command Center and watches her climbing the stairs, the afternoon sun bathing her in shades of warm gold, Taylor thinks that maybe autumn is starting to become his favorite season as well.
- END -