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Title: Normal (is what you get used to) or pattern of an (extra)ordinary life
Fandom: Jericho
Author: shirleyann66
Prompt: #286, pattern
Rating/Genre: PG, Het
Pairing: Heather Lisinski/Edward Beck
Notes/Warning: Character Death

Edited to add:
Disclaimer:  i do not own Jericho; no infringement is intended, and this is just for fun, not profit.  I'm just taking them out to play for a little while.

A/N 1: This is being cross-posted to writers_choice, beck_heather</lj>, my personal journal, and possibly JerichoFanfiction.com and to fanfiction.net.

A/N 2:  This is a stand-alone, one shot.  No relation to any story that has gone before, or to the story that's currently in progress.  I saw the challenge, and the killer attack plot bunny came out and got me.   What can I do??


When Heather was a child, her grandmother taught her to knit. The first time Heather looked at a knitting pattern, it was another language, a seemingly random collection of letters and numbers that made no sense. Heather couldn't understand it, and had to take it on faith that the instructions in front of her would make the scarf the picture promised.

Her grandmother solemnly assured her that the instructions really would make sense eventually, and that the scarf really would look the way it was supposed to. But, like life, it was only looking back at what had gone before that revealed the true pattern in all its glory.

But patterns are fragile things, Heather thought. They shift. They change. And then they settle and become routines, until the next change. The next shift.

The first time Heather and Beck made love, it wasn't making love so much as it was making a claim. Beck told her later it was the way she was teasing him as he was chopping wood; the way she looked, smiling in the sun that finally made him pull her into his arms and kiss her. They were as safe as they ever were, outside the limits of Jericho, and they made love in the grass beneath the trees. Afterwards, she traced the dappled shadows on his skin and watched over him as he slept.

And the routine of her life changed, breaking apart and reforming around this new aspect of their relationship. In the days and weeks that followed, she learned the pattern of his muscles, of his skin, of his scars. She learned the pattern of his moods, of his personality, of his thoughts. And each time Beck went out on a mission, he came back a little harder, a little colder, a little more broken. Heather would relearn his patterns and loved him a little more in spite of them – or perhaps because of them. She was fascinated by him, as if he were something exotic that she would never fully know or understand.

They had been together for a year before she truly realized that he had been learning her patterns as intently as she had learned his; that she was as fascinating to him as he was to her.

But they never learned the pattern of making love with each other. Each time was different, and each time was a surprise.

She called him Edward only once, when she recited her wedding vows. He was Beck to her, always Beck, only Beck. Edward belonged to another woman, belonged to the time Before. Before the Attacks. Before the war. Before every day was a true blessing, and every night a true miracle. Beck was embedded in the pattern of her life; Edward was a distant relative who was remembered, but never seen.

When the children finally came, the pattern reformed to include them. The end of the war and Beck's retirement from active duty changed the pattern again.

Moments in a life.

And now, Heather thought, another one. She stood with her children at the grave site, with her friends surrounding her. She was thankful that he had never died in battle (her fear); instead he died of old age and illness (his) – it meant that she had had years with him. Years in which Beck was an intrinsic part of the pattern of her life.

And now, she would need to create a new pattern – one without him.

She gave a half-smile as she listened to the service, her youngest daughter holding her arm, and thought that, like knitting, it was only when you looked back at what had gone before that you saw the true pattern in all its glory.


A/N 3:   This is a little...sad, I guess.  Contemplative.  All I can say is that I've been really missing my mother (1.5 years) and my father (14.75 years) the last couple of days. And this is what came out.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 6th, 2009 08:32 am (UTC)
Jan. 6th, 2009 02:41 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :)
Jan. 7th, 2009 10:31 pm (UTC)
This was made of pretty and bittersweet, and that's a great combo this time of year. I love it :)
Jan. 8th, 2009 01:23 am (UTC)
Thanks! I'm glad you love it. :)

And good to "see" you. I was starting to wonder where you were (and if you've been writing *cough* no pressure *cough*). ;)
Jan. 9th, 2009 02:37 pm (UTC)
I'm still around, lurking slowly. School starts in approximately four days and I went back to work this week so I'm a bit crazy. Chapter seven is almost updated! I've got about a page left to go then drafting and then it'll be up :)
Jan. 10th, 2009 04:42 pm (UTC)
Back to work already? Wow! I'm impressed! :)

And I don't know if I should confess just how pathetically happy the news that chapter 7 is on its way made me - but I squee'd like a little girl. LOL

Looking forward to it...[rubbing hands eagerly]
Apr. 12th, 2009 04:30 am (UTC)
That was fabulous! I'm glad I stopped by for a read -- I'm going to friend you so I can read through some others when I've got more time. ^^
Apr. 12th, 2009 04:23 pm (UTC)
Wow - thanks!! *beams happily* Glad you liked it.

(I friended you back, if that's okay (still not really sure about LJ etiquette :) )).
Apr. 12th, 2009 04:27 pm (UTC)

(It's perfectly fine -- I'm always glad to make new friends!)
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )



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