featherxquill: (Miranda Stella Tori paints the world)
[personal profile] featherxquill
I just watched Gideon's Daughter again. Clearly, I'm procrastinating my [livejournal.com profile] hp_lovebirds fic, which I need to write liek whoah, but I was inspired to a Stella ficlet, which I hope you will all enjoy. It's about the events of her life, but not really spoliery.

Title: Rebirth
Characters: Stella Hawthorne, Gideon's Daughter
Rating: G
Summary: She takes pictures now. She never did, when Adam was alive. Didn’t even own a camera.




She takes pictures now. She never did, when Adam was alive. Didn’t even own a camera. It seems important now, to capture life and smiles, the all to brief moments of light in human existence.

She can feel the world now, and it frightens her. There was something about life before; enclosed in her home with her son and her marriage and their love. It wasn’t perfect – nothing ever is, really – but it was a way to live, a microcosm of existence. They reminded each other they were alive. When that broke, she tried for the longest time to hold onto it, to fit the fragments back into the frame, but there was always a piece missing – the most vibrant, the one that made the picture complete.

Once, after he died, she was walking in a field when it started to rain. She remembers stripping off her clothes and running naked through the storm, letting the rain hit her and feeling it all just wash away.

Death and rebirth and making herself anew. She keeps him with her, of course, in the colour of her stockings, the trinkets she wears on her ears. She remembers when he was born, when he started to watch the world. She wore dangling earrings even then, and he’d stare up at her from his crib at the light catching on metal and stretch out his little fingers toward them.

She misses the mornings, the smell of eggs and his feet on the stairs. She can’t bare to cook for herself now, can’t see the point in making all that mess just for one person. She tried, once, in her new kitchen, and all she achieved was tea salty with tears. She hopes that will pass in time, but she doesn’t want to forget.

People ask her what she’s doing with her life now, ask as though they expect that a job would be more fulfilling, as though they think it’s easy to forget. A week after Adam died, some of her friends tried to take her out and cheer her up. She doesn’t understand that, the world's obsession with false happiness. She didn’t want to be cheered; she wanted to grieve for her son. She learned not to care what people thought of things like that – happiness and sadness, life and death. She knew it had to come from within her, the strength to continue, and she turned inward to find it.

She decided to do it for him. She doesn’t fool herself thinking he would have wanted that – he was only a child, after all – but she does it for him anyway, because he brought her so much joy, and to lose that to despair would feel like a betrayal of his memory. So she spends her nights working and her days listening to the world go by, and she tries to take it in as a child would, with wonder, as if it were all happening for the first time.

In a way, she thinks it is. She’s beginning life all over again, like a butterfly testing its wings. But she remembers, and the strength of those memories help her to put one foot in front of the other every day and simply move – breathe and feel and experience life because she needs to, because the world took Adam and she’s not going to let it take her, too.

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January 2012

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