DISCLAIMER: Much to my chagrin, I don't own any of these characters. Property of SHED Productions.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: The first sentence and the last five words were given. Helen POV.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Torch Song
By coolbyrne


She imagined her under the slanting shadows of the last sun, feral and primitive. What would this woman look like, Helen wondered, with her long limbs bronzed by the dying rays, the wind whipping through unruly dark locks, her face never looking away; facing the wind, the sun, the fates, unflinchingly. Even in Larkhall, caged, her wildness confined to a 10x8 cell, there was a fire in the prisoner that Helen could not ignore or deny. A fire that blazed furiously or burned like an ember but never disappeared. It scorched or warmed everyone and everything around her. Nothing in half measures for Nikki Wade. Even as she was being consumed by it, Helen had to admire it. Emotions flowed as unflinchingly as her gaze. Tears were something meant to be shed. Laughter was something meant to be spontaneous. Anger was meant to be released. And passion was something meant to be wild.

In the beginning, it startled the private Scot, who had only ever known repression. Children should be seen and not heard was the law of the Stewart household, particularly after her mother died. Too much sadness was a sign of vulnerability. Too much laughter tempted the fates. Rage was a show of weakness. And love was a selection of words whispered in hushed tones or solemn vows. To open oneself so honestly was new ground, each precarious step pulling her further into uncharted territory. It was at once both frightening and exhilarating.

She burned Nikki's image in her mind –her countenance a profile of unwavering rebellion in the face of such repression. She was warmed by Nikki's defiant flame and felt it stoke her own emotions. She could feel the tiny spark grow stronger and blaze across the arid spaces of her heart that had been forbidden to fill, and love no longer spoke quietly.

The End

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