Respite by Raine Wynd
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Author's Notes:
Disclaimer and Notes: Well, they’ve never been mine and never will be, but I like to play with them anyway.

In the pale light of Indian summer, the cabin looked picturesque, postcard-like, framed by the oak trees he remembered planting the spring he built the structure so many years and faded dreams ago. It didn’t surprise him that the structure was still standing; he’d had centuries of practice, and he’d made sure it would still be here a hundred years after he’d built it. To do anything less was, by now, less a point of pride than a force of habit. He knew all too well that such a habit had its consequences. Here, though, was one area that it didn’t matter how precise he’d been.

Some part of his brain was contemplating the value of adding some modern conveniences even as he stepped over the threshold and dropped his bag on the floor. He could see that there were minor repairs to be made; it was clear that the cabin had been used by other people since he’d last been there. By some sheer chance, though, the repairs looked minor, as if in this part of the world, courtesy was still common. There was even wood stacked near the fireplace, and the dust bunnies didn’t look like they were competing with cobwebs for space.

His eyes caught sight of the picture on the mantel. He’d nearly forgotten he’d taken it, stolen precious time to go into to town to get the roll developed, to buy a frame for that one out of all the rest. Had it really been eight years ago?

As if he were a moth attracted to a flame, he walked over and picked it up. He’d caught her in mid-laugh, sitting at the table, a plate of half-eaten eggs before her. She’d been so serious that day; introducing her to photography had been a way for him to see if she’d lighten up. It had worked, he remembered; Alexa had always been taking pictures after that.

What had he done with all those rolls? he wondered suddenly. Did he even know? He felt like a squirrel sometimes, stashing bits of his past in multiple places, under multiple names, gambling that sometime in the future he’d be back to claim something, anything, everything. He knew he hadn’t developed all of them. Did he even care to see those pictures?

Damn, now not knowing was going to bother him. He’d planned for a nice weekend alone, without the thought of getting roped into whatever crisis Mac was currently having, without anyone expecting him to be anything.

For a moment, he considered going in search of the pictures. Contemplated the cost to his current budget, including the loss of the supplies he’d brought with him to this not-so-remote wilderness, and the fact that it felt like the whole world now knew Methos existed and wanted his sage advice or his head.

Zurich. The rolls were in Zurich, he decided.

And if they weren’t, then he could go chase after them on Monday, damn it.

Or next week.

It wasn’t like they were going to go anywhere, after all. For all he knew, the film wasn’t worth developing anyway.

He knew he was perfectly capable of obsessing over them for the conceivable future. It was, in its own way, the perfect excuse to ignore any sort of responsibility.

Yet something told him that now was not the time to go haring off in some self-absorbed pursuit. That same instinct for self-preservation told him that this would be the last weekend he’d have before he’d have to decide some major course of action that would, invariably, change his future again. Over the years, he’d alternated between running from destiny, embracing it, and simply doing nothing. Today, he felt like procrastinating on what to do when destiny came calling. It was far easier to decide whether or not he was going to go find the last things Alexa had created.

And so Methos let go of the idea of chasing old photographs and bittersweet memories. He knew as well as anyone he didn’t need photographs to remember; photographs could never capture just what Alexa had been to him.

He built a fire for himself, took out a book, and began the process of simply enjoying the moment.

Finis 10.3.2006