On the Porch
By Christine Leigh
Summary: POV vignette. Written for Fandomonium's Voyeur Challenge. Elements listed at the end.
The little ball bounced higher and there was escalating tension in the air. Not to be outdone, the man caught it just in time. Now he and his opponent both relaxed. She could see this. The boy emulated the man, and they were two of a kind now, sitting there cross-legged on the porch. From her spot beneath the elm she took it all in.
This was the second time she'd watched them play jacks. The boy, who was six years old, and his dad had been doing this the most recent time she'd watched them, and it had taken her by surprise that a child in this day and age could be entertained by something so old-fashioned as jacks, but these two were definitely having fun in between their bouts of intense concentration. It had been so long ago that she'd first seen that expression on the man's face, and the memory of those times tugged at her. She often left determined never to come back. So far, however, that had not occurred.
That he was a wonderful, loving father had been evident 30 seconds into her first visit, whereupon she'd watched him flip a pancake like a pro. It had been a Sunday morning, and to watch him maneuvering in the kitchen had seemed like a scene out of an urban fairytale, what with father and son happy, and enjoying preparing a traditional weekend breakfast while waiting for mom to awaken. Indeed, from her viewpoint, it was almost surreal. Initially it had been somewhat overwhelming for her, so she'd closed her eyes and just taken in the scents so long absent -- butter, maple syrup, coffee, cocoa, and something else. She wasn't sure what it was, but it was good. No balm ever was better.
He was handsome, too. Not that this had ever escaped her notice before, but she'd been so preoccupied with an unkind life, that she'd never seen him in full as she did now. He was a beautiful man on so many counts. Certainly the physical, but he had such a heart. That was a true miracle in her eyes. Against the odds, he had prevailed, and she only wished that she could take more credit for that. Her contributions were too few in the overall scheme of his life.
Now there was laughter. They were finished with the jacks, and the boy, William, got up and ran inside. She had never considered the possibility of a grandchild, but had come to love this little boy whom she could not hold. He was so like his father had been at the same age, and she wanted to tell them both that.
She watched Fox move to the hammock and then stretch out, warm and lazy in the afternoon shade. He was heading for a nap, she was fairly certain. She waited, and when he had closed his eyes, she would step up. She didn't always, but some of the time she couldn't resist. Maybe it meant nothing to him, and maybe he had no conscious recollection of her being there. These were things she'd never know, but something propelled her to continue doing this.
After a few minutes his breathing was even. Then she moved to the porch and bent close to Fox's ear, noticing once again that it was her father's. That and the nose, he'd gotten.
Softly, she whispered.
~ End ~
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This story is (c) Copyright 2005 by Christine Leigh. "The X-Files" and its characters are the property of the Fox Network and Ten-Thirteen Productions and are borrowed here without profit or intent for profit.