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[Please do not fold, spindle, or mutilate. Thank you. Shatterpath]
Author's Notes: This is a trilogy of drabbles that I wrote for the "You Can't Go Home Again" challenge at Thursday100 on lj. There are Serena stories, set right after her firing in "Ain't No Love". Just thought that I would share them. A little on the melancholy side, but given the subject matter, not surprising. Hope that you enjoy.
Sometimes going home isnít the problem. Itís what you find there, and what you donít.
Her breath came out in a cloud, shivering molecules of air expelled unwillingly into the frigid night. The flakes of snow tumbled earthward, layers of white covering the world.
The lights of the house were on, a golden stream spilling outward. She stood in the shadows, rooted like a statue to the solid pavement.
There was a time when she would have flown up the stairs, tears staining her cheeks, and thrown herself at their feet with her tale of woe.
Tonight, Serena simply sighed, the brittle crunch of ice the only sound as she turned and walked away from the illusory warmth of that window.
II. Aeternum Vale
Home isnít just a place, but a feeling of belonging.
Serena walked somberly into the empty courtroom.
Pulling back her old prosecutorís chair, she sat down, feeling the cold wood through the thin material of her skirt. She closed her eyes and saw Jack, hair more salt now than pepper, smelled the faint whiff of cologne, and gasoline from his bike as he sat down beside her.
The back slates of the chair seemed to push into her spine, push her up, out of its hard comfort. It no longer fit her.
Standing, she wiped away a stray tear, then turned and walked out, her clicking heels a farewell dirge.
III. All That You Leave Behind
Funny how a life can fit in a few cardboard boxes.
The last of the boxes sat waiting in the middle of the room. Her life relegated to a few squares of brown cardboard. The rasping scream of the packing tape sealed more than the boxes.
Tomorrow they would be in Montgomery, in a tranquil white farmhouse, red tin roof glowing warmly under the shade of old oaks. Not here in this city of glass and concrete.
Sheíd like to think that she would miss it, but she couldnít.
ďWe can always come back, you know?Ē The beautiful woman in the doorway reassured softly.
ďNo, we canít,Ē Serena stated with a sad smile, slipping her hand into her partnerís and gently closing the door behind them.
Sometimes home just isnít home anymore.