AN: Hello all and welcome to my new little fic for our favorite couple. This is primarily a fluffy piece starting one year after Ruth sailed away on that little barge. It's a bit different in that it's primarily going to be letters to Harry; at least at first; so I'm hoping you like it. The title is a play on the song by The All-American rejects called "Drive Away" which gave me the idea for this bit when I heard it on my iPod
I am working on the ending of Bet U Wish U Had Me Back which will hopefully be completed sometime this week. It should bring a happy ending to the story though I have outlined a non-happy one too if enough people are interested in reading it.
It's late as he approaches the front door. Another long day of fighting terrorists and politicians bent on changing the landscape of the current world. As such, he's probably not thinking straight as he spots the parcel sitting on his front step.
Wearily bending down, he picks up the box and stares at it a moment. It's small; no bigger than a shoe box; and is wrapped in an indescript brown paper. A familiar shipping companies label adorns the front of the box, his name and address carefully typed into the fields. He frowns as he turns it over, but sees nothing more than the tape holding the paper closed.
As it's late and he's tired, he's probably not thinking straight as he tucks the box under his arm and unlocks the door. Stepping over the post lying on the parapet floor, he shuts and locks the door before setting the alarm. Than with his coat still on, he makes his way into the sitting room and settles into his chair, his back creaking as he leans against the cushion.
Glancing at the departure location, he notes that it had come from Bordeaux in France and frowns. As far as he can recall, he knows no one in Bordeaux, let alone France. Finger sliding under the tape, he carefully unwraps the parcel. Inside he finds the expected box. Pausing only a moment, he lifts the lid with only the slightest of trepidation.
Inside he finds a simple, letter sized envelope resting on top of another, smaller box. But the anxiety is gone as he recognizes the small script across the front of the envelope.
Ruth, he thinks as he picks it up with only the slightest of shaking visible in his hand.
'Read me first'.
Only for a moment does he think of ignoring her request and going straight to the other package. Pulling the letter free, he breathes deeply a moment, the faint scent accompanying it one he'd never forget, before unfolding the paper.
Fingers trembling, he reads.
This is perhaps the hardest letter I've ever written. For months, I've agonized over if a letter was the right course of action; what to say, how to say it, and even if it would be safe to do so. I'm no more decided now than I was then, but I need to tell you some things and this was the only feasible way at the time.
I want you to know not a day goes by that I don't think of you. Most days, I hope you're happy; that you've managed to move on with your life. Others I somewhat selfishly wish that you're not. That you feel the same ache deep inside from what we almost achieved. Because if you're happy and have moved on, there will never be a chance for us. And somewhat naively I hold onto the thought that there will be. Yet, even more than that dream, I want you happy. And if you've found some semblance of happiness with someone else, embrace it and know that it's alright. Your happiness is what I want most.
Don't think that I'm not happy. Most days I am. I won't lie to you and say it's been easy. We both know the difficulties facing someone forging a new life based on lies. At least not with any planning or resources at their disposal. But so far, everything has been manageable. That morning I left was one of the most difficult I've faced so far; watching you stand on that cold dock as the barge sailed away. I wanted to make him turn back; to throw my arms around your neck and never let go. But I couldn't. Not when you're meant to be there still, a pillar in the face of evil.
The barge let me off in Calais; close enough that I could still see England in the distance and yet know that I could not go back. Not then. And not yet. I didn't stay long even though I wanted to. It was too dangerous, too likely that someone we know would spot me. I found a bus heading southwest and spent that first night in Totes. Those first two months, I kept moving from village to town to city, carefully make sure I wasn't followed. Eventually I settled in Bordeaux, where I spent the next ten months.
Which is perhaps the most important reason that I am writing this letter to you. I'd never thought to settle so soon after leaving England. I thought at first I'd part in my own Grand Tour; not the capitals as we talked of that lone dinner we shared; but their sister cities. When I arrived in Bordeaux, my plan was to see the sites and move on, but at that point, it was obvious I couldn't. There is no easy way to tell you this; not by letter at least; and not after so many months have passed. But you need to know. I want you to know.
On June 29th our daughter was born. I didn't know when I left that I was pregnant; how could I when our one night together had happened not a week before. Nor did I realize it as I moved from village to village as my primary thoughts were just keeping myself safe. It was only after those two months that I realized. And made the decision that I couldn't keep traveling; that my first thought had to be the health of our child.
I named her Aubrie Skylar; something I hope you'll be alright with. She was three days late, this daughter of ours. Right from the start she was stubborn like her father and late like her mother. And I loved her so much. She was seven pounds, two ounces with the finest of blonde hair covering her head and the palest blue eyes. She was so tiny; bigger than I had thought obviously; but tiny compared to myself and the world. And totally dependent on me. The first she rested her little hands against me, I knew that no matter what, I needed to protect her.
By the time you receive this package, we'll have moved on. It's what has taken so long for me to send this. Brie is now three months old and thriving. She's just started smiling; something I'd read to not expect until at least four months; but she can. And she's a talker. Not only to me but to everything that moves past her. Soon I think she'll be rolling over if the tiny pushups she's doing are anything to go by. By all accounts, she is healthy and happy.
I wish you could see her; hold her. But it's not safe. If I know you as well as I think I did, you're even now contemplating abandoning everything to come and seek us. Whether out of only a sense of duty or because of love. Please - don't. It's an awful thing I'm doing taking this chance away from you; and if you never forgive me, so be it; but Brie's safety must come first.
As I said, we're both happy and we're together. I tell her about you every night. At least as much as I can as we never had the chance to really know the other. I also tell her how much you love her. So be it if it's a lie but I won't have our daughter growing up thinking her father doesn't want her or love her. I don't believe it to be a lie though; not if you're the man I thought you were. She's still too young for me to have to come up with a reason that you're not here.
And should I be wrong and you don't want to be her father, we'll be okay. All I ask is that you keep the box I've sent safe until I can return to retrieve it. It's not our daughter; I can't give you that; but I have sent the important non-biological bits of her. Her real birth certificate as I've managed to acquire a valid looking fake as well as the identity bracelet she wore in hospital and a lock of her hair. I've also sent along the originals of her sonograms as I'm afraid of forgetting them somewhere in our travels. The rest of the box is most of the pictures I've of her from the day of her birth.
I miss you every day and wish things could have turned out differently.
Please be safe.
AN: So...more? If so, leave a review and I'll put up another letter.