Moonridge Auction Drabble for JoAnn


by Night Spring

Daniel set the white baseball down on the grass and studied the plain engraved letters on the simple stone marker. He wondered if Jack had picked it out -- it certainly seemed to match the man, straightforward, yet elegant in its simplicity -- and closed his eyes against the too short years between the dates. Once again he wondered how different all their lives would be if not for this little grave lying amongst so many others in the quiet expanse of the sprawling cemetery, but of course the silent earth gave no answer.

"Happy birthday, Charlie," he whispered.

Jack slowly sipped the ice chilled whiskey, feeling its heat swirl down his throat and sear through his guts, leaving him untouched in the frozen place he'd been ever since this morning, when he looked up from the requisition he'd been filling to check the date -- then slowly forced his hand to write it out. All other years, he hadn't remembered, because who had time for that out on some godforsaken planet somewhere out in the galaxy, trying your goddamn best to get yourself back to Earth in one piece?

"Happy birthday, Charlie," he whispered.

Daniel didn't comment on the empty glass, and Jack didn't ask where he'd been. He simply accepted the tight embrace, and allowed himself to be led to bed. And in the cradling warmth of another living body, a shard of frozen soul thawed into tears, flowing into enfolding silence.

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