Title: Give and Take
Author: A. Magiluna Stormwriter
Feedback address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Date in Calendar: 26 November 2004
Dates Written: 22-25 November 2004
Fandom: Poltergeist: the Legacy
Pairing: Alex/Rachel, mention of Alex/Derek
Series: Part of the "Starting Over" series.
Summary: Alex reminesces the events of the year following the destruction of the San Francisco House, good and bad.
Sequel to: The Longest Night .. sort of
Advertisement: Advertisement: Part of the FSAC04
Disclaimer: This story is an original work of amateur fiction, and is written purely for the private entertainment of P:TL fans. This story is no way affiliated with Trilogy, MGM Worldwide Television or the Sci-Fi Channel. The characters are their property, and this story is not meant to infringe upon the copyrights of MGM, Trilogy, or anybody else who owns an interest in "Poltergeist: the Legacy".
Note: As I wrote this, I realized it kind of followed the events in another story I wrote called "The Longest Night." I haven't touched these muses like this in many, many years now. I am so glad I was able to fall back into them so 'easily' again. I have truly missed them. They have counterparts in other fic I've written, but that's different from the originals, you know?
"Give and Take"
by A. Magiluna Stormwriter
The soft knock at the door brought me out of my reverie. Finishing my thought, I set the pen aside and looked up at the door. "Come in."
"Alex? Mom said to come tell you dinner's almost ready."
I smiled warmly, inhaling the tantalizingly familiar scents of turkey and sweet potato pie. "Thanks, Kat. I'll be down in just a few minutes. I need to finish this first." I reached for my pen again and watched Kat tuck hair behind her ear, smiling at the nervous gesture. "Mom getting on your nerves yet?" I asked, knowing the look on her face.
"She's the kitchen nazi again," she grumbled goodnaturedly. "I remember her doing this when Dad and Connor were still alive." She paused a moment, glanced back down the hallway before returning her gaze to me. "I think she wants everything to be perfect because of…everything."
Closing my eyes at the memories, I nodded in agreement. "I know you've probably heard this from your mom before, Kat, but everyone deals with the loss in their own way."
Rolling her eyes in typical teen fashion, she came over and glanced at the book on my desk. "That's not your Legacy journal, is it?"
Grinning at her, I shook my head. "That's right. The Legacy may have me for life, but it doesn't get every part of my life. Derek reminded me of the importance of having a safe place to vent your emotions. Over the years, it has helped more than I can ever explain."
"Katherine Corrigan, you get down here and finish up these cranberries! I'm not kidding!"
As this wafted into the bedroom, we both succumbed to fits of giggles. It broke some of the tension I'd allowed to settle around me. And it was completely in said in that 'harried mother' voice that we'd both had aimed at us for a variety of things.
"Go on, Kat," I teased lightly. "Finish up those cranberries before your mom comes up here and spanks us both."
"Why? You'd like that, Alex," she teased, a darkly amused glimmer in her eyes that reminded me of her mother. I tried not to let my pleased embarrassment show overmuch, but it was a lost cause. "Oh please, I'm not deaf or blind, you know. You and Mom both think I'm still a kid that's easily distracted. But I stay quiet and build up my stores of blackmail material." At Rachel's next bellow, she grinned impishly and rolled her eyes again. "I'll be back to get you for dinner." And then she slipped out of the room.
I chuckled after her, breathing in the smells of the holiday. It brought back so many memories, I couldn't help but be caught up in them. The sensations washed over me, wrapping me in the velvet warmth of reminiscence and nostalgia. I was surrounded by the sensations, the memories of the people who'd been so influential in my life. Despite everything, despite all of the healing I'd done over the years, the past year in particular, I could still feel the raw edges of the wounds of loss. It was something I would be feeling for years to come. I knew the sharpness of the pain would dull, but it would never really leave me. And that certainly wasn't something that Rachel taught me for the first time when we met five years ago.
Shaking off the paralysis of such intense memories, I reached for the journal again. I hadn't lied to Kat earlier. The Legacy wouldn't get anywhere near this particular journal, not if I had any say in the matter. I had given the Legacy nearly half of my life already: body, mind, and soul. Utterly complete submission for so many years. I won't deny that there was a definite part of me that had gotten so involved in the Legacy because of Derek. But it was a culmination of years of growing up at Gramma Rose's knee, learning to deal with the intricacies and responsibilities of the gifts I'd been given at birth. My sister Tanya hadn't been lucky enough inherit the Moreau family gifts. Or if she had, she never really commented on it. I'd always wanted to share this gift with her, help bring us closer together. But it never happened, and we kept drifting apart.
Even after Gramma Rose had passed away, I still didn't get as close to her as I could be. It was her choice to go off again. Find herself, she'd said, after that whole debacle with Daniel Euwara. Because she'd never wanted to learn about our heritage or our gifts, she never got close enough to me or Gramma Rose. And now we were lost to each other without any chance or reprieve or reunion in the near future.
Thankfully, I had my chosen family here in the Legacy. Okay, maybe I didn't include the Legacy membership at large as part of my family. We always lost good people in the battle between Good and Evil, but this past two years seemed to have been rougher than usual. Well, maybe not this past year, but two years ago…
We did good work, I'd always believed that. But at what price? The litany of names and faces swam across my mind: Kristen, Jane Witherspoon and the entire membership of the Boston House, Kristen's father, Father Elias, Gramma Rose, Derek. And countless others.
But I'd always been taught to look at the positive in things. They willingly gave their lives for the greater good. Noble sacrifices to keep the scales tipped in our favor. And they allowed me to give thanks for the life I was still able to live.
Once again, I was brought out of my daydreaming by a softly inquisitive voice. Setting my pen down, I turned toward the door with a gentle smile for Rachel. "Dinner ready?"
"Soon. We're waiting for Nick to get back from picking up Philip."
I blinked in delighted surprise. "Philip's coming? You didn't tell me that."
"We weren't sure at first. There's been a lot of communications issues the past few weeks over this situation. And he's been busy with some research project for the Church. But Nick finally convinced him to take a few days off to come see us." As she spoke, she moved to stand behind me. She glanced at the journals I'd spread out on the desk. "Catching up on a little light reading?" she asked lightly.
I felt my cheeks color slightly at her question. "More like catching up on some writing. I just… I've been feeling…"
Rachel pressed her finger to my lips. "Shh. I know what you've been feeling. I think we all have been feeling the same thing." She let her fingers glide into my hair, carding through the curly strands. "It's only been a year, Alex. I hope you haven't been thinking that you should be over his death already."
I leaned into her touch, feeling appropriately soothed, like she could always do to me. It had been quite a turn of events when I'd realized I loved her. I'd been so wrapped up in my grief over losing Derek that I didn't necessarily see anyone else was grieving for him as well. We'd all lost a valuable family member when Derek had martyred himself to save us and the world from the agents of the Dark Side. I'd given so many years to him, blood, sweat, and tears. I loved him, the only man I would ever give my heart to. And then I'd lost him so brutally after finding out he loved me as well. It had thrown me into a deep depression, and Rachel was there by my side through all of it. And when I finally rose up out of that miasma of pain and loss, Rachel was there, waiting patiently to welcome me back to the world of the living. And then I realized I'd always felt something for her, just never understood or explored exactly what it was.
"Alex? Sweetheart? Did I lose you again?"
I flushed in embarrassment and pulled her down into my lap, holding her close. "Just a little bit." Glancing at the clock on the nightstand, I grinned at her. "So how much time do we have before dinner's really ready?"
"Alex!" she exclaimed, tugging at my hair lightly. "Not with company coming…"
I couldn't help the laughter then. "No time to read something I wrote then?"
"Oh!" She flushed brightly. "I have time for that."
I smirked mischievously. "And just what were you thinking I meant, Rachel Corrigan?" I teased and pulled her closer for a tender kiss. Reaching behind me, I grabbed the leatherbound book and handed it to her. "This is something I've been working on all morning. It's not going into my Legacy journal, but I wanted you to see it."
She looked at me curiously, shifting to settle the journal into her hands for better reading. "This is your private journal, isn't it?" I nodded and her smile softened. "Thank you, sweetheart. I'm honored."
"Just read it. Please?" I asked, and watched her as she read what I'd written.
"Oh, Alex," she murmured, setting the journal on the desk to take my face in her hands. "That was beautiful, sweetheart. Thank you for trusting me with your thoughts. I am so grateful you're a part of my life, and Kat's. I love you."
I blinked back a tear or two at her admission. "I love you, too, Rachel, and I am happier than I thought I could be."
"Mom?" Kat's voice wafted up the stairs. "Nick and Phillip are here!"
We exchanged delighted grins. The whole family was here again, with three exceptions of course. But they were certainly with us in spirit and in memory. Pressing one last kiss to Rachel's lips, I pushed her to her feet and giddily headed downstairs to be reunited with my family.
And on the desk, still left open, was the entry I'd been writing in my journal all morning.
November 25, 2000 – Thanksgiving
It's been quite a year. Gramma Rose taught me to be thankful for everything that came into my life. It all works together to create the tapestry of our lives. Even the things that bring us pain or sorrow. And sometimes it's that very pain and sorrow that blossoms into the best things in our lives.
It's been a little over a year since two of the most important people in my life died: Gramma Rose and Derek. Both of them gave their lives for mine. And others, as well. It's not as if they were doing it solely for me. That's a bit egotistical, isn't it?
It was hideously painful to lose Gramma Rose. I really don't have many memories of my parents, it's just always been Gramma Rose, my sister, and me. Gramma Rose taught me so many things.
And Derek? That lost was certainly a devastating blow to my psyche, particularly coming seemingly so soon on the heels of Gramma Rose's death. Derek has been a part of my life for nearly fifteen years. He picked me out in grad school to help out with the Legacy. He always lamented that I never got my PhD. But once I got started working in the Legacy, I just never had time to finish my degree. Maybe now I can do that. As a tribute to Derek and his love of knowledge.
But I must admit that a part of me is still in mourning for Derek. And part of me always will be. He was the first man I ever truly loved. And he's probably the only one I'll ever love like that. I did so much, pushed myself to so many limits, for him. Not only because I loved him. I also believe in the work we've been doing.
And when he died, I was utterly devastated, thought my world had come to a complete end. It didn't matter that the others were there at first, or that they'd also lost him. I was utterly selfish in my mourning. A part of me wanted to die, to join him. Thankfully, I never seriously tried anything like that. I think a part of me knew that there were other things, other people to live for. They were all there for me in the end, helping me out. I don't know anymore that I ever really hid my feelings for Derek. Or maybe they just know me extremely well.
And then I finally cleared away the fog I'd been shrouded in. And who was there waiting for me when I returned to the world of the living? Rachel was.
I've been thrilled to have her and Kat in my life these past five years. I was leary at first, if only because of the very nature of our lives and work in the Legacy. She was a relative innocent, and her daughter certainly was innocent. I think I wanted to protect them, insulate them from the atrocities we could face. But Rachel showed her inner strength and proved to be a worthy associate in our battles with the Dark Side. Now, I find I am extremely lucky to have her fighting on my side.
But it's more than that. I love Rachel. Completely. Utterly. Passionately. She has become such an integral part of my life. I can't imagine a life without her. I was very honest when I said Derek was the only man I'd ever love. And I think, in all honesty, Rachel is the only woman I'll ever truly love like this. I loved Julia like a sister; we'd been through a lot together. I didn't know Kristen long enough to considering loving her in any way. I love Kat like a daughter. And then there's Rachel. She makes me feel incredibly alive. She gives me a reason to go on living that isn't just my work. She keeps me grounded, keeps me sane. And she loves me. It's a truly incredible feeling to know that love is reciprocated between us.
Derek, wherever you are, please watch over us, keep us safe, and know that we're continuing the fight. And know that Rachel is taking good care of me and my heart. I love you, Derek, but I cannot remain the grieving widow, so to speak. I need to move on with my life, just like you'd tried to tell me a year ago. I just wasn't listening then. I heard you, Derek, and I took your advice. And I couldn't be happier. Stay safe wherever you are, Derek. I love you.
And Rachel, if you ever read this, please know that I love and adore you. You complete me in ways I hadn't expected, but can't live without.
I love you, Rachel, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you.