Title: The Ones They Left Behind
Author: Angela
Disclaimer: All I own is my Metro...sad, huh?
Summary: This is the journal of Liz's 16-year-old daughter, Claudia. I wrote this right after Alex 'died', so nothing that happened after that happened here. K?

Prologue
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

1:15AM

Today is December 26, 2021. My name is Claudia Valenti and yesterday, I died. Then things got really strange.

The thing about most families is that everybody knows everything about everybody. But in my family, we have secrets. Not just 'skeleton-in-the-closet' kind of secrets. I'm talking about the kind of secrets we don't even tell each other. Potentially dangerous ones that I've been trying to figure out my entire life. And, even while I dig into the part of my family's life I know nothing about (like, the whole 22 years of my mother's life before I was born), a particularly annoying section of my subconscious warns me to never find out.

So, while I've spent most of my life trying to figure out the facts, I am totally aware of the probable ramifications. A basic unraveling of what I now believe to be true. The possible destruction of the people; my family, that those secrets were meant to protect.

The other thing about my family is, we *all* have secrets. Even me. If I thought there was even a tenuous connection between their secrets and mine, I'm not sure I wanted to know. I'm not sure we're ready. I'm almost positive my family wouldn't survive. Something my Aunt Maria once said to me, when I asked too many questions once, keeps vibrating through my skull. "Roswell is a small town, full of even smaller people. They think your business is their business. It's a very hard place to keep a secret, Claudia. A place where secrets have to be guarded with your heart. Even if you have to let your heart break in the process."

**********
Everyone is always telling me how smart my mother is. "It's amazing how your mother turned the Crashdown into a chain, Claudia.", "Oh, Claudia, are you going to go to Harvard like your mother?". I heard Uncle Alex say once, that mom wanted to be the head of molecular biology at Harvard. Yet, she returned home, to Roswell, a "one spaceship town" ;so says Uncle Alex. When Grandma Nancy died, (I was an infant and I don't remember her),we came here so mom could help Grandpa run the restaurant for 'a little while'. My Grandpa Jeff's near-fatal heart attack later that year put him in permanent nursing care and has kept us here longer. Fifteen years longer.

When I asked my mom why she gave up her dream job, she smiled and ran her hand over my face slowly, from the hairline of my chestnut hair, over my solemn brown eyes, and carefully cradled my chin in her hand. "Honey, sometimes, you want something so badly, wish for it so much, that you forget to keep your eyes open for a better dream. Sometimes, I thank God for unanswered prayers."

Mom isn't usually one to quote Dad's cheesy country songs. The part of me, I am frequently told, that is so like her, looked up the lyrics on the internet. It was an old Garth Brooks song about high school boyfriends, and had absolutely nothing to do with giving up your life's dream. The only thing I learned from that experience, is that everytime I asked any of them a question...the answer only left me pondering on five new ones. That led to me not asking them anything. Eavesdropping was a much more effective means of gathering information.

**********

As brilliant a woman as my mother is, I tend to learn more from Aunt Maria, with a little help from Uncle Alex. Because sometimes, conversations with Aunt Maria are all about interpretation, which is where Uncle Alex's Christmas present comes in. Last night, he handed me a beautiful leather-bound book with two words embossed on the cover. "MARIA FILTER". The subject of said book promptly grabbed it from my hands and thumped him upside the head with it. His only response was that I deserved some sort of advantage over the general public.

Then, the Christmas festivities continued and I put the book aside to open another gift. Not for the first time, I noticed how well-balanced my family was. Aunt Maria and Uncle Alex are wonderful comic relief to my serious-minded parents. Of course, then Dad and Uncle Alex simultaneously started into their 'whiskey, rye, and American Pie' song.

**********

At the end of the evening, as I was preparing to lock the glass door of the Crashdown behind Uncle Alex, he called to my little brother, Evan, and Aunt Maria's son, Garin. He made a great show of asking us who was our favorite uncle while slipping $100 bills into our hands, and whispering "you all deserve the truth". As he hugged me goodnight, he unceremoniously picked up my "Maria Filter" and handed it to me with a look that urged me to read it.

As my parents and Aunt Maria retired upstairs to clean up the dinner dishes and wrapping paper, taking a sleepy seven-year-old Evan with them, Garin and I read through the book. We started with words and phrases I had "overheard" and then began at the beginning to read all the way through. It became clearer and clearer that Uncle Alex's joke dictionary was the greatest gift we'd ever received. There were tears in Garin's eyes at one particular definition:

SPACEBOY- AKA the love of Maria's life; Garin's father

That was more than he's learned in sixteen years.

A few things, as par for the course of my eavesdropping investigation, left us with more questions.

CZHECHOSLAVAKIANS- people who aren't from around here

and

STONEWALL- Maria's greatest obstacle

DESTINY- the end of the world as we know it

THE WORST DAY OF OUR LIVES- June 2, 2006; the day they left

**********
Long after everyone else had left for Grandma and Grandpa Valenti's, I read and reread the book. Around the time my eyes were beginning to cross and my rooftop sactuary became a bit too chilly, I stumbled across the dedication page.

This book is dedicated to the ones who left, with love, from the ones you left behind.

A bit cryptic coming from Uncle Alex, but it created what my dad would call a "paper trail". It was a sad sentiment, but one I was sure I had read before. It came to me in one of those sudden moments of clarity that make you feel so stupid for not knowing something all along. I pulled out the three CD's 'THE WHITS' had recorded so far. They each contained the same dedication. As I laid them across my lawn chair, carefully lining them up in a row realization slapped me in the face. The titles..."You Had To Go", "I Understand", "I'll Be Waiting". There was a fourth about to be released, "Right Where You Left Me".To say a chill ran down my spine would be an understatement.

That's when it happened. Garin poked his head over the edge of my roof via the fire escape and I jumped up and tripped over my lawn chair. I vaguely recall the loud clatter of the chair falling and the CD's hitting the rooftop. Then, the sickening thud of my head hitting soon after.

My memory is a little fuzzy after that, but clearing up even as I write this. Garin grabbed my face. I know this because he had blood all over his hands, and there are silver handprints on my cheeks.

Hours later, after we had asked each other hundreds of unanswereable questions, silently cleaned up the mess of broken lawn chair and washed the blood off the roof, Garin had finally gone home. I pulled out this journal and curled onto my extra lawn chair. I saw...scenes in my head. Pictures, feelings, thoughts...of my mother. Sitting in the exact spot, writing, with tears flowing. I couldn't hear her sobbing, although I could clearly make out her red eyes and tear tracks streaking down her face, and the fresh tears dripping off her chin onto the paper. All I did hear was one whisper. One achingly beautiful whisper.

Max.

So, that's my secret. I'm not from around here. I think, maybe...Garin and I are Czhechoslavakians.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Author's note: A big thank you to Moonbeam4747, Transparent Clear, Tabasco Liz, CRAZY 4 MAX, and maxcin for their much appreciated feedback. I had a previous version of this story posted on another board. So, if it sounds familiar, that's why.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Part 1
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

DECEMBER 26, 2021 9:00PM

My very first thought this morning was of Garin. Although Aunt Maria took him on tour with her more often than not, occasionally, he would come to stay with me and mom. For the last two years, Aunt Maria and Uncle Alex have only toured during the summer so that Garin could go to West Roswell High with me. One thing you need to know about Garin is that he is extremely closed off. Not that I blame him.

Number one reason...he's never gone to a conventional school before. There were tutors on the road. For a lot of years, Garin was in a classroom of one.

The second reason? Maria DeLuca is his mother. The woman who requires a personalized dictionary to understand. Don't get me wrong, there are tons of things to love about her. The two biggest ones being that she is my mother's best friend...and my best friend's mother.

Finally, the biggest reason. Garin never knew who his father was. Once, when Garin was hugging Aunt Maria after a concert, an image flashed into his head. All he remembered was spiky hair and a knowing smirk. He decided later that he must have caught his own reflection off of her shiny silver jacket. Now, he's not so sure.

The fact that I never knew who my father was either, didn't bother me as much as it did him. After Uncle Kyle came home with Evan and said he was adopting him, he offered to adopt me to. No, Kyle Valenti is not my father, but he is my dad.

Where Evan came from was anyone's guess. My dad used to drive out to the desert every day before having dinner at the Crashdown. That's back when he was just Sheriff Valenti, or Uncle Kyle. Mom told me he was visiting his family.

Then, one day, he ran into the dining room holding a baby and clutching a letter in his hand. He and my mother rushed into the back room and sent me into the kitchen with Jose. Of course, they had no way to know I was already eavesdropping as often as possible. All I heard was something about there being a pod.

A few months later, Uncle Kyle adopted me and Evan. Now, we're a family, although Mom and I live above the Crashdown while Dad and Evan live in the old Valenti house. Dad just wanted me to have a name to quell some of the rampant small town rumors. Most people assume Kyle is really my father, anyway. It doesn't really bother me, I like being a Valenti. And, if you're going to have a Grandma, Amy Valenti is the way to go! Being Claudia Parker was nice, but being Claudia T. Valenti is great.

Around the same time, Uncle Alex offered to adopt Garin. Another one of Aunt Maria's quirks...Garin has no last name. When he was registering for school, we saw his birth certificate. His legal name is Garin. Aunt Maria says she was caught up in her fame at the time and that was a very famous-kind-of-thing to do, but she got the biggest kick out of the principal calling him 'Mr. Garin'. I made me wonder if Aunt Maria is really guarding her secrets with her heart...or guarding her heart with her secrets.

In the end, Garin became a student at West Roswell High. We're juniors now and Garin has yet to make friends. Not that's he's entirely anti-social. He hangs out at the Crashdown with my friends, but he is mostly following my lead. Garin is practically my shadow. The only time he's ever done something without me was when he went to a basketball game last year. I was surprised and excited that maybe he was coming out of his shell. Until the next day at school.

A basketball player, Jeremy Sohn, had apparently made a wise crack about my ...uh...female developments within ear shot of one p***** off Garin. I found Jeremy waiting at my locker the next morning with a black eye, split lip, and an apology.

**********

Garin told me today, that after I fell last night, I was bleeding really badly and my eyes were rolled up into my head. So, he grabbed my face and felt for a pulse on my throat. He couldn't find it.

With shaking hands, he held my face and looked at my eyes. Then, he says, he saw us sitting at the Crashdown, he saw us reading the 'Maria Filter', walking throught the halls at school, and standing in the middle of the desert, holding hands.

Garin and I, we've never been to the desert together.

What I didn't tell him was that I saw things, too. Lots of images, one of which was him punching Jeremy. As if that wasn't strange enough, I felt all of these emotions flowing through me. Anger, jealousy, fear,...and love. Not the brotherly love I had expected to feel from him. Not exactly. It was protective, but...passionate.

Garin doesn't hang around with me because our mother's are best friends, or he has trouble making friends of his own. He loves me. The most pure, beautiful feeling I've ever felt.

The last scene I remember, we were standing in the desert, but we weren't holding hands. He was kissing me, and it seemed to be the most natural thing in the world.

Right before he snuck out of my room tonight, where I was faking sick to hide the handprints, he handed me a folded up piece up paper he had "found" in my dad's dresser. I didn't ask how he'd gotten it and all he said before he left was that it might help. Then, he quickly crawled through my window.

I unfolded the aged paper carefully. It looked creased, as if it had been read many times, but not like it was particularly old. Once again, I am left with one question almost answered, five new ones to add to my list.

As I ran my hand over the slightly yellowed paper, it started to shimmer in just the slightest way.

Dear Kyle,
He's been in a pod for nine years. It isn't safe for him here. We don't know if this is going to work. He should come out of it as soon as he gets through the granolith. I hope you are still checking everyday, but I have no choice. He will be killed here. His name is Evan Kyle Valenti.

We miss you all. We love you all. There is only enough power to send a pod through, and that is with all four of us pooling together. We are looking for alternative ways home. We are nothing more than figure heads here...brought home to booster moral. If I'm not back when he ...grows up, tell him about us. Everything! And, tell him, I loved him enough to send him home. Just like the four of you loved us enough to send us home.

I have to hurry. Kivar cannot find us here. I wish there was a way to communicate, but this letter can only go through, we hope, because Evan's biosignature will be going through with it. I am out of time.

I love you,
Tess Valenti

**********
In different handwriting below her signature was a P.S.

Maria, I love you.
Michael

Liz,
I Believe...Max

Alex, I can almost hear your song.
Love, Isabel


**********

So, Garin and I found out who our fathers are. We know why my middle name is Tess, why Uncle Alex calls his guitar Isabel, and why Evan looks so much like my dad. I mean, Uncle Kyle.

Until Tomorrow,
Claudia

Part 2
~~~~~~~~~~~~
December 27, 2021

A few days ago, if someone had told me I had a normal life, I would have rolled my eyes and inwardly disagreed. Since then, I've decided that compared to the last two days, it was normal. The thing is, those two days...they alternately feel like a lifetime has passed, or only a moment.

I probably could have spent most of the morning tossing that around in my brain, if only for something *else* to think about, except that I was hungry. After I had carefully checked my face in the mirror for any lingering silver markings, I quietly shuffled to the kitchen, trying not to wake up my mother.

As soon as I heard voices coming from the next room, years of instinct kicked in and I hid behind the door to listen.


"Has she ever been sick before?" Uncle Alex asked.

"No...and...I haven't either, since..."

I could hear the playful envy in Aunt Maria's voice as she asked, "Even when you were pregnant?" My mother must have responded non-verbally because Aunt Maria raised her voice a little in disbelief, "Not even morning sickness? I swear if you weren't my best friend, I would hate you!"

I heard their laughter mingling with Uncle Alex's "Shhhh...she's sleeping."

The next moment was silent until Uncle Alex spoke again, "You know...I never thought about it, but since I...came back, I haven't had so much as post-nasal drip."

I heard the distinct thud of Aunt Maria's head hitting the table as she muttered, "I almost feel left out being the only one in this little club of ours who's never been dead."

There were slight chuckles followed by silence until Uncle Alex softly interrupted it. "Do you think they have..."

"Powers?" Mom whispered, and then grew slightly forceful, "No. Their blood tests were all normal when they were born. They're not...they don't have powers."

The tension quickly built until I could feel it behind the door where I was hiding.

And then Uncle Alex's almost whisper, "I still think you should tell them."

Which was eventually followed with Aunt Maria's simple, "I can't." I could almost feel the pain in the words as they softly left her lips.

Then I heard da...Uncle Kyle's thoughtful tone and realized he was also in the room. "Maybe it's a...uh...you know...a ...female thing."

Suddenly, the heavy feeling left and I could breath again.

"Did Tess or Isabel have PMS?" Mom wondered aloud.

"Oh, yeah," was the simultaneous response from the males inthe room.

What followed was a physical attack by Aunt Maria on her right to defend all females "in any universe" and a lot of "ow's" from the Uncle Alex in the room. That's when I made my entrance.

They thought they had woken me up and looked a little suspicious as to what I had overheard. Of course, I have been playing off that particular look for years. I told them I heard laughing and asked why Uncle Alex was holding the back of his head. My act seemed to convince them enough to proceed into the "how-are-you-feeling-today" type conversations. I said I was fine but made a point to rub at my stomach and put a chocolate flavored Pop-Tart in the toaster. The knowing looks and sympathetic pats from my mom told me I had played my part well.

**********

After I had returned to my room to digest this newest information, as well as my Pop-Tart, I found Garin sitting on my lawn chair and staring off into space. As soon as I walked to the window, he turned to look at me. The glass of the window was cool to my touch as I laid my palm on it, gently nudging it open. When the frame lifted enough for me to crawl through, the breeze tickled across my bare arms. It was almost like every sensation was doubled...or tripled. And as I walked slowly to where Garin sat, still staring ar me, it felt like the heat from his gaze would burn me alive.

Suddenly, he was standing and I was wrapping my arms around his neck. I'm not sure exactly who kissed who, it took me a few seconds to realize his lips were on mine. When the realization finally hit me, I melted into his embrace. What I hadn't known before this moment was that I had been waiting for this since the night he had saved me. Maybe even before that. It was almost as if I had been waiting all my life.

Then, it happened again. I could see us, Garin and I, standing in the desert kissing. We pulled apart in the same instant and just...looked at each other. Neither of us had let go of the other, but only kept standing there, staring.

I have read in books, and seen on T.V., where a couple says they felt like they were the only two people in the world, but I never believed it actually happened. I even remember it being described in a movie once and Aunt Maria scoffed, "be careful what you wish for". But this was like...time slowed down. Or maybe even stopped. The clouds weren't moving across the sky behind Garin's head, and I couldn't hear the birds that had been chirping when I woke up that morning. Nothing...just...Garin. And me. It probably lasted for a fraction of a second, the time it takes a person to blink, but it felt like an eternity.

We were startled out of it by Aunt Maria calling for me inside my bedroom door. Although, by the time either of us had comprehended my name being called, she was looking out the window at us standing in each other's arms.

I would write more, but Garin is on his way up the fire escape. We're going to the desert, the spot we saw while we were kissing. Garin said he recognized a certain rock formation that Aunt Maria has taken him to for picnics. I feel something happening. We both do.





AquariusAnge
Registered User
Posts: 19
(8/27/01 1:59:49 pm)
Reply Part 3
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~~~~~~~~~~~~
Part 3
~~~~~~~~~~~~

December 28, 2021

Never in my life have I seen Aunt Maria speechless...until yesterday. When she spied Garin and I in an embrace through my bedroom window, she lost all expression from her beautiful face. No, that's wrong. It wasn't that she lost all expression, it was more like there were so many flying across her face at once, that I couldn't single one out to identify.

As I stepped away from Garin, and toward her, I noticed the tear. Just this single shimmering drop about to fall from the corner of her eye. Then, she bowed her head and found her voice.

"I guess," she paused to wipe at the solitary unshed tear and faced us again, "this is what you two have been up to."

"Mom, it's..."

Aunt Maria slowly raised her hands up and spoke,
"Garin, stop," and then she smiled. Not the 'oh-how-nice' smile, the Aunt Maria smile. The one Uncle Alex swears reaches clear to the back row during their concerts. "You don't have to explain to me. I remember it all too well. I once saw Liz look at someone the same way Claudia was just looking at you. We've just been worried you two were keeping secrets from us, but now I see the truth written all over your faces."

Garin and I glanced at each other with matching questioning looks. What part of our secret were we exposing? Were the handprints back on my cheeks? Did...

Aunt Maria interrupted our mutual downward spiral into matching anxiety attacks, "It was almost like you two were..."

"Meant for each other." Garin supplied, garnering an astonished look from his mother, and an understanding one from me.

"Yeah." She replied with what sounded more like a sigh than a word. Then, she straightened herself up and backed away from the window. "Carry on...I guess. Just...ya know...um...b..be good...and...oh God, I need to call my mom."

I saw Garin's eyebrow arch out of the corner of my eyes, and I knew without looking that the trademark smirk was in place. We could hear her muttering about buying my mom a newspaper and we promptly erupted into laughter. We both knew the "Maria Filter" definition for newspaper. 'Weapon of mass destruction created by Amy DeLuca. To be used only in extreme emergencies. I.E.-there's a guy in your daughter's bed.'

Thank you, Uncle Alex.

**********

Apparently, Aunt Maria's speechlessness was *very* shortlived. When Garin walked me into the Crashdown for my lunch shift, Evan busted out with "Garin and Claudia sitting in a tree..." Because, and only because, Uncle Kyle would really miss him, I let him live. Garin whispered a quick "pick you up at dark" and slunk back out the door. All men, even ones with special powers, are cowards when it comes to their girlfriend's families.

I made it through my shift by ignoring every member of my family as much as possible, which wasn't easy considering they *ALL* showed up at one point or another. When Grandma Amy sat in my section, I paid another waitress $5.00 to take her order for me. She scowled at me repeatedly and had a very intense conversation with my mom before she left. Then, she handed her a newspaper.

My family may have a lot of secrets, but I think maybe they were insane *WAY* before that.

**********


Garin and I have spent a very large portion of our lives together, especially the last two years. In all those years, I have probably sat next to him in a vehicle hundreds of times, but while we were driving out to the desert together last night, it suddenly felt different. Foreign. It wasn't that I was uncomfortable. In fact, exactly the opposite. It was so comfortable...so incredible, that I don't even think I could describe it. I would say it felt destined...if I believed in destiny, which I never have.

What I feel for Garin is so old and so new at the same time. With all that has happened since Christmas; the answers we have gotten, the secrets we have discovered, and the discoveries we are on the brink of, the best part of it all is that Garin and I have connected on a whole new level. A lot of people may *think* their love is worth dying for, but I know Garin's is, because if I hadn't died that night, I may have never known how he really felt. And now that I know, I would rather he let me die than take it back.

As Garin's shiny new jeep rolled down the dark highway out of Roswell, I clutched his free hand in mine. What would I do if Garin was suddenly taken away from me. How had Mom lived through letting Max leave. The very thought of having Garin leave, or having to leave Garin, renewed my quest for the truth.

I hadn't realized I was crying until Garin pulled the jeep off the road and used our linked hands to pull me toward him. I was suddenly overwhelmed with the hopelessness. Even if we found out all there was to know, it wouldn't really change anything. We might know a little more about our...heritage, but our fathers would still be gone.

Then, I felt the wetness on my shoulder. Garin, who was always so quiet, always so strong, was silently crying into my neck. I couldn't help but wonder about all those times he had seemed so stoic, had kept his thoughts and feelings to himself. For sixteen years, I had never known what went on behind Garin's controlled expression.

Before I had the chance to ask him, he replaced the tears on my cheeks with his lips. They fluttered softly up to my eyelids and down the to the tip of my nose. When they finally found their resting place, my lips responded immediately.

The image hit us so hard this time that we both gasped and struggled to regain our breath.

"Are we getting close?" I asked after I had regained my composure.

"Another mile or so, I think. Are you sure you're ready for this?"

I could feel him peering into the depths of my eyes, searching for any sign of a weakening resolve. "You feel it too, don't you? Garin, I just... I know that after tonight, there won't be any going back. The answer to every question we've ever had...they're out there. I think...no, I know...they're waiting for us. It's time, Garin. It's not a matter of what I want to know, anymore. We have to do this."

He only nodded and turned his attention back to the jeep. I knew I hadn't really needed to tell him any of that, just as he never really needed to ask me if I was ready. Somehow, somewhere on this highway, there stopped being a place where I ended and Garin began.

**********

Parking the jeep and taking our bags out of the back was accomplished in silence. We started toward the towering rock in the distance with only a nod from me and an outstretched hand from Garin. I kept my eyes trained on the rocks as we quickly made our way across the sand.

At one point, we both stopped and a slight shudder went up my spine. This time, Garin nodded and we set down our supplies. We were there, the spot from our visions. The large rock loomed a few feet ahead and the stars brightened in the sky. Whatever answers we would find that night, this is where we would find them.

It seemed as though hours passed before either of us spoke. The desert had us in a special trance and speaking would ruin the illusion. Unfortunatly, we both knew we had no plan beyond this point, and sitting in the middle of nowhere staring at each other all night wasn't going to help us.

"Do you think they knew about us?" Garin finally whispered.

He was gathering together a small pile of things we had brought to start a fire. That was his excuse for not looking at me when he spoke.

"You mean our fathers?" At his nod, I continued, "No, I don't think they did. You and I were born two days apart in March. If you count backwards nine months, it's about the time they left. The letter about Evan said he had been in some kind of pod for nine years. I'm guessing he was...conceived about the same time."

"But, they had to have known it was a possibility, Claudia. Especially after Evan was born."

"I guess...let's think about something else, Garin. Where's your portable CD player and headphones?"

"Uh...in the jeep." He glanced back in the direction we had left it.

"Well, I brought one of your mom's CD's...there's a song on it you should hear."

"Claudia," he had the smirk back, "I've heard them all more than enough times."

"I've heard them all, too. It's just that after I connected the titles and noticed the dedications, I checked out the jackets. All of the lyrics are on them, along with the person who wrote them."

"Mom and Uncle Alex write all their own songs."

"All but one. I checked. One was written by someone named Michael Guerin. Spelled G-U-E-R-I-N. We know your father's name was Michael, so I was thinking..."

"My father wrote it." He started to laugh. "I guess I had his name all along."

I smiled in return. "I could recite it to you. I promise not to sing, though."

At the slow bowing of his head, I stared into the fire and began to say the words. After the first few lines, his beautiful voice joined in.

"On the day I walked away,
All the blue rolled into gray.
Now in the dark, alone I lay,
Should have stopped, but I could never, ever stay.

Somewhere in the night,
Inside my dreams you burn so bright,
And I'm with you there
And everything's all right.
Somewhere in the night,
Before the darkness turns to light,
Let me love you there,
Somewhere in the night.

Second chances, we won't get.
Wouldn't dare to hope, and yet,
Everywhere I turn, I see your silhouette.
It's been so long, but I never will forget.

Somewhere in the night,
In my dreams you burn so bright,
And I'm with you there
And everything's all right.
Somewhere in the night,
Before the darkness turns to light,
Let me see your face,
Feel your warm embrace,
Let me love you there,
Somewhere in the night."

As the last note settled into the still night around us, Garin wrapped a blanket around our shoulders and pulled me to him.

Somewhere in that desert, there were answers that we needed. As I closed my eyes and settled deeper into Garin's arms, I knew that we couldn't find them. They would have to find us.


*(The song, "Somewhere In The Night" is from the soundtrack to the television series 'Quantum Leap'. I don't know how well the words translate, because I can hear the song being sung in my head. It is truly a beautiful song.)