a/n: Before you read this one shot, please realize that I am not a religious person. So my interpretation of the afterlife has no connection whatsoever to any religion. This is just a story, this is just how I am making things in my story. I do not intend for my story to strike up some sort of religious debate. I'm sorry to anyone I may offend in my interpretation of the afterlife. It is just a story, please try and enjoy it for what it is. Thank you. Okay, now that that's all said and done, please enjoy this one shot! I haven't posted anything in a while, so I hope you like what I have been working on. I have some more one shots coming soon, which I will try and post as soon as I can. Like I have mentioned previously, I'm in college...which means I have no free time, ever. Thanks for understanding. Okay, long author's note over! Enjoy the oneshot! Please review...they make me smile! :)
Disclaimer: I do not own Covert Affairs! Sorry! :(
The first thing August Anderson noticed when he opened his eyes was that he could see the world around him. Which struck him as odd, since he spent the majority of his life blind. Then again, considering where awoke, his regained sight was the least shocking thing he would deal with today.
The afterlife was a very strange place.
It was full of unanswered questions and undeniable truths. Full of haunting spirits and weary ghosts, and not to mention the lives upon lives upon lives trying to find their way out. It was parallel to Earth in its own way, in some sense; it was the world that could have been. There were rivers, deserts, mountains, and forests. There was the anger that easily corrupted, the pride at which humankind had accomplished, and the shame at what the world had wasted.
Many spirits had been human, which made sense, and emotions ran free here in the afterlife.
However, there were not just humans that existed here. There were also animal spirits, plant spirits, earth spirits, and even star spirits. Mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters. Creators. Fate. Destiny. There was also beauty here, a kind of beauty that would've taken his breath away...Well, if he had any breath left to take.
But he could no longer breathe, for he was dead.
He was lying in a field surrounded by evergreen trees and wildflowers as snow began to settle around him. His limbs were sprawled out and eyes were closed. He seemed drawn to this place. While he had explored most of the wondrous place they called the afterlife, he couldn't help but return to this meadow. He felt a great sense of belonging, like this was where he needed to be. Whenever he left, he would feel a natural pull—almost magnetic—to return to his meadow. Maybe it was the snow...But it felt like home.
His mind wandered aimlessly. It did this often, for all he had left was his thoughts and an intense longing for her, a longing for a movement or disturbance in the cosmos to set him free, but no. He was imprisoned in a state of limbo, almost, as he waited for time to pass him by. He waited for a sign that time was actually moving. They don't have clocks in the afterlife.
Auggie waited. And waited.
Not only was this world different, but time was incredibly altered as well…or at least it felt that way. Sometimes, seconds ticked by excruciatingly slow. Other times, they slipped by unbelievably fast. It was never constant, which was confusing and frustrating. He had no clock or calendar to tell him how long he'd been waiting. Decades and moments were all the same. Frankly, words like years or centuries didn't exist anymore.
Eternity felt like a billion moments and memories pieced together. Or...Was it? Maybe a moment was simply made of eternities. Honestly, the whole thought process behind it puzzled him and he ended up sitting there in the snow with a headache. He would never know. His simple human spirit had no access to such knowledge. But that did not stop him from trying to understand.
Auggie could explore the past, and that was something he did often. He relived pieces of his life, saw the delight, happiness, pleasure, and the small victories he had achieved. He was able to watch the life he was not able to see for himself at the time. Oftentimes, this made the wait a little more bearable. And sometimes, it did the complete opposite. He watched regret claw its way into his life. He saw sorrow and tears. He saw pain and blood. He saw her.
It was strange at times...To witness himself. He could watch himself as a child or as an old man. He could look at his face in the mirror even when his blind, human body was not able too at the time. It was bizarre to watch himself grow from a child into an older man, for his fit 30-year-old body had returned to him in his death. Auggie opened his eyes and examined his arm. It was strong. It disturbed him...The fact that his body was now perfect. That he felt healthy and strong. That he could see his body and his surroundings. That he could look in the mirror and see the face staring back at him. It didn't feel right. He sat up, running his hand through the snow, feeling the coldness creep through his veins. The sky was cloudy and a new breed of silence, the loud kind, hung in the air.
Auggie could also observe the present, if he so desired. He would find a pool of water and gaze into it. From there, the rippling mirror would show him what he wished to see.
He liked to watch his grandchildren from time to time. His nieces and nephews. His two daughters, of course.
She was even more beautiful than he could have ever imagined, even in her older age.
He found himself watching her more often than he'd like to admit. He watched her live her life without him. It hurt. She was so quiet and reserved after he left, so much unlike the woman he'd grown to love. But he still loved her, and all he could do was wait.
He missed her so much.
So he lived mostly in the past where he talked to his friends and actually smiled. He drifted through the afterlife, lost in his memories and thoughts. He would sometimes take a peek at the mortal world. Many things had changed in the world of the living. He spoke with other spirits. He traveled. He wanted to see as much as he could.
He'd reunited with his parents every once and a while. And his four older brothers. It was nice to see that his father was no longer the controlling, uptight figure he was on Earth. His brothers still loved to tease their baby brother, however. He told them stories of his life and apologized for anything and everything he had ever said or done. They waved him off and explained that they were proud of him. Auggie hadn't noticed until this point that it was possible to cry in the afterlife. With his mother in his embrace and his father's arm around his shoulders, Auggie realized that he was very happy here.
Sometimes, he met up with his family so they could watch his daughters. Auggie enjoyed the grins that stretched across his parent's lips as they watched their granddaughters and their great-grandchildren play in the snow.
It still wasn't complete though. Annie wasn't by his side. She wasn't here with him.
No, he didn't want her to die just so she would be there with him. He wanted her live out her life, just as they had planned to do together. Because of her absence, he was often lost in his past, longing for her like he'd never longer for her before. He let his emotions and memories carry him when he closed his eyes and relived every second of it all.
Auggie stood in his meadow and began to shuffle through the white blanket that covered the clearing of wildflowers. The snow crunched beneath his every step. He approached a nearby stream, flowing clear and delicate. He kneeled and dipped a hand in. It felt empty. Most things felt empty without her at his side.
When had he realized that she was his everything? When had he understood that she was the love of his life?
There were just too many moments, too many eternities. His eyes slid shut and they came to him.
"Someone's a little cheeky this morning. Too bad, I was going to get you a souvenir."
"Yeah! A St. Bernard! Stuffed, of course. They kind of remind me of you."
"Great, I remind you of Cujo. It's the slobbering, isn't it?"
"Yeah, that and they're cute, dependable, and when you're feeling low they bring you booze."
"Annie, your presence has been requested immediately."
He rolled his eyes, "Well, however you want to interpret the words "requested" and "immediately."
She crossed her arms over her chest and gave him a pointed look, "You're not worried about me are you, Auggie?"
He shrugged, "I worry about a lot of things: global warming, the Cubs playoff hopes, the state of my old Corvette, but you? Never."
"You should have told me you were such a dork when you proposed. I might have said no."
"Whatever you say, dear." And with that, he kissed the tip of her nose.
He was standing close to Jai then, tapping his foot nervously. Jai fidgeted next to him and elbowed Auggie in the side. He knew at that moment she was walking down the aisle. Only now, in the afterlife, could Auggie see how beautiful she looked. So beautiful.
All eyes were on her.
It snowed on their wedding day.
Suddenly, the memory changed and Annie was yelling at him. He snapped back with a witty remark. They were constantly fighting about who knows what—
No, wait, the memory changed. They were on their honeymoon in the south of France. They were lying in bed, naked, wrapped in each other's arms.
"I love you, Annie," He could hear himself confess.
She smiled, "I love you more."
He was holding Catie in his arms. His first child. His first daughter. She was wrapped up in a white, fluffy blanket. A small patch of light blond hair on her little head. Her blue eyes sparkled, the color of rain.
From the afterlife, Auggie can see how clearly she looks like Annie, something he never could notice before.
"They're perfect," Annie smiled. She watched as their two daughters hurled snowballs at each other. Their laughter filling the air.
"They are. They really are."
Ally was waddling up to him, a toothy grin on her face.
"I drew a picture of you, Daddy! I know you can't see it, but Mommy says I did a good job."
"I know things between us have never been easy, but we have the rest of our lives to try and make it perfect," She was saying, taking his hands into hers. His heart was pounding and he tried the very hardest not to let the warm blush creep onto his cheeks.
And his heart was still pounding because he was trying to propose to her, but the words refused to escape his lips.
"Look, we've had so many amazing times together and I truly believe we were meant for each other!" The words fell clumsily from his mouth and she just laughed and kissed him.
They were meant for each other.
So...Why were they apart?
Auggie eyes opened and he was back in the afterlife, kneeling beside the stream. The water flowed between his fingers gracefully. His chest ached once more. He wanted the pain. The pain of the memories, of reliving it all with her because she wasn't here now. He wanted her.
It took death for him to fully realize the pure suffering of missing her, the hollow pain that filled him when he thought of her and when he didn't think of her. He'd watch over her, of course, it wasn't nearly the same. He wanted to see her in person, not as a reflection in the water. He couldn't really see her and he certainly could not feel her. But His spirit could never return to the mortal realm again.
He still had the memories though.
He still had each contour of her face memorized in his fingertips.
He still had the smell of her skin when he held her close.
He still had her gentle laugh echoing in his ears.
He still had her kiss on his lips, the taste of her on his tongue.
He waited as he had for moments or eternities and the snow surrounded him.
Auggie moved his hand in the stream once more, but it strangely didn't feel empty anymore. For once, it felt like it was changing, like there was life running through it. Like it was filling him and moving time and shifting the very stars. Everything began to fall into place around him.
There was a white light that came from behind him, from the snow-blanketed field.
And then there was warmth.
He turned, but was forced to hide his eyes behind his arm. It was so bright. The light faded and he blinked.
"...Auggie?" A quiet and unsure voice called out to him.
She'd died? She'd actually died?
She had come to him, after moments and eternities of waiting. It was like a dream and Annie must've been thinking the same thing.
Auggie stood there wordlessly and looked at her, at his best friend and wife and mother of his children...The love of his life. He knew he could spend the rest of his existence looking at her, and he would be happy. Just to see her with his own eyes.
She examined her surroundings, letting the snow land on her hands, "You know I hate the cold."
Then, she ran to him. Her body had been restored to when he first met her, all those years ago. Her blond hair swayed behind her as she moved. He ran to her too. And then was in his arms, laughing and crying as he spun her around. He held her face in his hands. As he saw her.
She was here. She was beautiful. He could see her. Finally.
The afterlife was a very strange place. It had made him forget time and let his memories consume him. And he could have sworn that he remembered her perfectly...
But her eyes were brighter than before. Her touch on his skin was stronger than ever. And her lips were even sweeter than before. He tasted them now when he bent down to kiss her. She wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled. They fell, into the cold embrace of the snow, surrounded by love. When she pulled away, her hand found his and nothing had ever felt so right.
Nothing in the mortal world or the afterlife.
"I missed you so much," He said simply and he watched her smile before kissing her once more, "I love you, Annie."
"I love you more."
Their love lasted not a moment, but for eternity.