DISCLAIMER: All herein belong to CBS and its affiliates, not me. Not profit was made, no disrespect intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is completely unbeta’d. I rarely post something without having it read and re-read, but I felt the need to this time. Any mistakes are mine. This is intended to be a companion piece to, Like This Insubstantial Pageant Faded, which is from Emily’s point of view, sort of. This is from JJ’s.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
When Jennifer was only eight, she woke in those hours of the night that hold the remnants of nightmares in their grasp, eyes staring wildly into the darkness of her bedroom, familiar shapes lost in distorted images of monsters. She peered cautiously out of her window, the layer of dust on the blinds leaving a film on her fingers as she pulled them apart. The circle of brown dirt where the driveway curved around the side of the house was gone. So were the rust spotted remnants of a dilapidated wheelbarrow, now the humpbacked shape of a whale, rising up out of the white sea surrounding it.
Stealing out the front door, she stood on the snow spattered porch, her small feet enveloped in Cabbage Patch slippers, her ankles thin and bare to the damp chill of the air. The world was so quiet, the fresh blanket of snow like an enclosing vacuum in space, a vast, white black hole from which no sound escaped. Stepping off the porch onto the lawn, the snow seemed to fly up from the ground, like the quick puff of flour that rose into the air from the scarred wooden countertop as her aunt flipped the doughy loaf. Flakes settled into the gold of her hair, shimmering lights among the platinum strands.
She may as well have been alone on the surface of the moon. The memory of that night stayed with her as she grew older, an oasis of silence in a world that seemed intent on drowning out her thoughts, tapping down her needs.
Ten years passed, but she still remembered the way the snow fell. She'd drive out into the rolling countryside of Pennsylvania and park her car along the edge of the road, acres of wide fields stretching out toward the horizon on either side, and lean against the hood. She could hear the sweeping silence, rushing over her in an avalanche of emptiness. The flakes tumbled, shuffling and swaying to an elaborate choreography, huddling together for warmth on the cold scrabble of the ground.
If she closed her eyes, she could almost hear the tune that lead them in their languid waltz; a vague, elusive memory of sound. Dried stalks of last years' corn poked up through the thickening layer of white, like the jagged pieces of Budweiser bottles that covered the high school parking lot, scattered shards that dotted the abandoned landscape as it disappeared into the low gray clouds at the edge of the field, where the world ended.
Another ten years later, Jennifer Jareau laid back against the cushiony softness of a pillow, in an apartment looking out over a white marble city, one arm bent, her hand tucked behind her head. The sheet and blanket scarcely covered her chest, revealing bare shoulders of honeyed skin, adorned here and there with a smattering of freckles, starry constellations against the creamy white of her flesh. Her hair was tousled, bright strands crowning her head like a wind-blown tiara of platinum and gold.
Outside the windows and glass doors of the apartment, the snow was falling. She watched the flakes tumble down, the height of the building giving the illusion that they were nestled in the same grayish white clouds from which the trillions of icy slivers were descending. The faint whisper of a breeze sent them twirling through the air. She recognized the dance, although with the ambient noise of the city, she could barely hear the tune.
Lying next to her, hair almost black against the pillows, Emily slept. JJ reached out and ran a hand along the slender, sloping curve of Emily's arm, the skin warm and satiny beneath her fingers. The touch roused her and dark eyes fluttered open to meet hers, their gaze questioning and solemn.
"Wake up and watch the snow with me," JJ whispered, loathe to break the silence that lingered in the dark of the bedroom, just beyond where the gathered light of the city fell across the hardwood floor.
Emily sighed a sleepy sigh and turned, burying her face along JJ's side, her breath tickling the skin. After a moment, she raised her head and tucked it into the curve of JJ's shoulder, her arm falling with glorious weight across her stomach, her drowsy stare focused on the wide glass doors and the swirl of snow beyond.
JJ felt the warmth of Emily's body next to hers, the softness of curves pressing into her own, the silk of skin against skin. The hum of the heater was the only sound as the quickly falling layer of snow muffled the rush of traffic and the usual dim roar of the metropolis that lay sprawled beneath it. JJ felt the same sense of wonder she had felt all those years ago, standing alone amid the tumbling flakes, the world dropping away at the edge of the snow line. Only this time, she wasn't alone. This time, Emily was part of the wonder. And that, she found, made all the difference.
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