View Full Version : Fic: On River Road (Shuis, PG, One-Shot)

7.15.13, 6:31 PM
I post most of my stuff on my livejournal (http://okdeanna.livejournal.com), but I thought I'd post a few of my stories here as well.

Title: On River Road
Author: okdeanna (http://okdeanna.livejournal.com)
Rating: PG
Word Count: 3,844
Pairing: Luis/Sheridan
Season: Ten
Timeline: Post Finale (What I think would eventually occur/deserved to occur for Shuis)
A/N: I did not watch the finale of Passions until after I wrote this story. Before that, I hadn’t watched Passions in years so some of what occurs in this story never took place on the show.

Timeline: Sheridan tries her best to ignore the feelings she still has for Luis, but he’s around so much with helping raise Marty, she’s finding it difficult to remember why they ever split up, or why they fought so hard not getting back together…

On River Road

“Watch this, mom! I can take Dad now.”

Sheridan Crane walked out onto the patio and smiled at her son’s antics, laughing when, true to form, he toppled his father onto the ground, wrestling him for control of the baseball they’d been tossing around all afternoon. It wasn’t an unfamiliar scene. It had happened a lot over the last few months, more so than Sheridan had been expecting for sure.

But she wasn’t upset by it. She loved that Marty and Luis were so close. They were so much alike now it almost hurt to see them together. The teenager had grown into a smart, caring young man. His dark eyes and raven black hair left no doubt to whom his father was, a fact that she knew Luis took a lot of pride in. And though she’d never tell him, Sheridan took pride in it, too.

Out of all the men she’d ever known, Luis Lopez-Fitzgerald was the best of them. The only one she regretted not holding on to when she had the chance. Except… she had, had the chance, hadn’t she? It had been her choice to end things between them, not his. It had never been his. Not really. Not until she’d pushed him too far to come back.

Yet, he was here, wasn’t he? After all these years, he was here, spending time with her and their son. It didn’t matter that it wasn’t as a family, because they weren’t really a family. Not the family they should have been, at least.

They were something, though. Friends, if nothing else.

“Do you believe this kid?” Luis asked, pushing himself up off the ground and coming to stand beside her, taking the glass of lemonade she held within her hands. His eyes crinkled at the corners as he took a healthy swallow of her drink, mischief dancing in his caramel eyes as he handed the now empty frosted glass back to her. “Sorry. I was thirsty.”

She shook her head, smiling despite herself. “It’s okay. There’s more inside. I’ll go fix you and Marty a glass of it.” And refill her own, too.

“Not for me, Mom. I’m going to Cole’s house to play his new video game, remember?”

Oh yes, she did remember something about that. “You coming back for supper or you eating over there again?” she asked, turning to lift a brow at him. “I know his mother invited you.”

A sheepish grin, so much like his father’s, met her gaze. “Yeah, I’m eating there. They’re having Lasagna tonight. You know that’s my favorite.”

Yes, she did know that. Except when she cooked it, that is. “Okay, but don’t stay over there too late. It might be summer, but I don’t want you running around outside after dark.”

“I’m almost fifteen, Mom. I’m not a little kid anymore.”

Maybe not, but he was still her kid, and she worried about him when he wasn’t home. She opened her mouth to tell him so when Luis spoke up from beside her.
“You heard your mom, Marty. Home before dark. No arguments.”

The teen grumbled, but thankfully, he agreed without too much protest. “Thanks,” she said once Marty disappeared. “I know you think I’m being too overprotective about some things with him, but…”

“You worry. I get it, Sher. I worry, too.”

She nodded, smiling her thanks, and motioned for him to follow her into the house. “Come on, I’ll get you that glass of lemonade. I don’t want you leaving here dehydrated.”

He laughed, as she knew that he would. “I doubt that I’m dehydrated, Sheridan. But I will take a glass since you’re offering, except… let me fix it, okay? You don’t have to wait on me.”

What if she liked waiting on him? She sighed. “Fine, you fix the lemonade while I check on dinner.” She turned to head for the stove and froze, looking back at him over her shoulder. “You are staying for dinner, aren’t you? I know Marty left, but… I cooked enough for you, too.”

“Of course I’m staying. Where else would I eat? It’s Saturday. I always eat with you two on Saturdays.”

That was true, but tonight was different. Marty wasn’t eating with them as he usually did. And that was a first actually. He’d always been there to diffuse the tension between them before. Making their weekly Saturday dinner more about him than about the family that they might appear to be to others, or that they should have been to her.

She smiled, weakly, and turned back to the stove, grabbing her oven mitts off the counter.
“We’re having lasagna,” she explained, not bothering to look back at him. “I didn’t have the heart to tell Marty that he could eat it here just as well as he could over at Cole’s.”

“Why not?” Luis asked, his voice sounding much closer than it had before. “You went to a lot of trouble to cook the dinner, Sheridan. Least he could do is stick around long enough to eat some of it.”

She shrugged a shoulder, taking the pan out of the oven and reaching up to turn off the knobs. “This is done so… why don’t you get the plates and silverware while I put everything else on the table.” She made the mistake of looking at him, and sucked in a sharp breath as she realized just how close he’d been standing to her. “Don’t look at me like that. Its fine, Luis. Really. Marty doesn’t have to eat here every night.”

“That’s not the point. You cooked the same meal Cole’s mother did. You should have told Marty that. Should’ve made him eat at home with us.”

Sheridan sighed, knowing Luis was right. “It’s just… he likes it over there. I think he even has a crush on Cole’s little sister.” She frowned as Luis reached out and took the pan from her, placing it on the table and coming back to usher her into a chair at the head of it. “W-what are you doing?”

“Something Marty should be here to do,” he muttered irritably. “Now, sit there like a good little girl and let me do the rest, okay?”

She beamed up at him. “Sure thing, Detective. I’ll just sit here and let you wait on me for a change.”

“Good.” He tossed her a wink then went about getting everything she fixed and placing it on the table before going to collect the plates and silverware they would need for the meal. Then, almost as an afterthought, he got a bottle of wine out of the built in chiller, pouring them both a glass and lifting a shoulder when she arched a brow at him. “Wine goes better than lemonade with this.”

It did, but they didn’t usually drink together. In fact, it had been years since they’d spent any real time by themselves, let alone took the time to share a glass of wine with each other. It was strange, especially since they weren’t together now, but it was a little familiar, too.

She remembered the little looks he made as he drank, the way his lips opened over the edge of a glass, the way his eyes sparkled when he enjoyed the taste of the wine. It was all so achingly familiar, and yet, there were differences. Real differences. The kind of differences that told her things would never be the same again, no matter how much she sometimes wished for it to be so.

“Thank you,” she whispered softly, taking the glass of wine he held out to her. “I haven’t experienced this in a while. I forgot what it feels like to be waited on. It’s nice.”

Luis smirked. “Is that your way of saying you miss having your own housekeeper to wait on you hand and foot, Miss Crane?”

“No,” she said chuckling, shaking her head at his jest. “I don’t miss having the Crane mansion staff to do my bidding. I do, however, miss having your mother around so often. She’s the only thing I miss from that time in my life.” Well, not the only thing, but the only one she felt comfortable enough to share with him just now.

She expected his expression to darken, but she didn’t expect him to reach for her hand, giving it a gentle squeeze. “You could call her, you know. She’d love to hear from you. She doesn’t blame you for Antonio leaving town again, at least not anymore. She knows it was his choice and she accepts that now.”

Did she? The last thing Pilar said to her was that she would never forgive her for driving her oldest son away again, and despite Luis’s assertion to the contrary, Sheridan believed her.

“I don’t think she’s ready to hear from me yet. Antonio hasn’t been gone that long.”

“Long enough,” Luis grunted, removing his hand from hers. “The bastard took off before your divorce was even final, Sheridan. I never understood how Mama could blame you for that. He was the one that asked for the separation, and he’s the one that filed for divorce.”

Only because he knew she wasn’t in love with him. “It doesn’t matter now. He’s gone… and your mother was right to blame me. I made it impossible for Antonio to stay. I hurt him, badly, and I… He didn’t deserve that, Luis. He was a good man. A good husband.” After all, it wasn’t his fault she’d been in love with his brother for years. “He’ll make a great father, too, someday.”

Luis blinked, looking away from her. “Was that why he left?” he asked, taking a long, slow sip of his wine. “Because you didn’t want more children?”

What? No. Why would he think…? “It had nothing to do with that. I would love to have more children, Luis, and Antonio knows that. What happened between us was about us, about how much we didn’t fit together. It had nothing to do with either of us not wanting to get pregnant.

It just… wouldn’t have been right. For us to have a child, I mean. We were having problems, had been since he came back and… they didn’t get any better for us. I don’t think we knew how to make them better really.”

Luis shook his head, glancing down at the untouched food on the table before them. “She was jealous of you, you know.” He looked up at her then, a thin sheen of tears in his eyes. “Fancy was. Of you and Marty, of the bond you have and the bond we share over him. She never got over it. It got worse after her miscarriage, too. She actually forbade me from seeing my own son once, can you believe that? Like I’d just not come because she told me that I couldn’t.”

She knew. Fancy had called her on the phone, crying, hysterical, because Luis had walked out on her, possibly for good. She’d blamed Sheridan for that. For destroying her marriage. For not letting go of the man she threw away.

Sheridan didn’t blame Fancy for how she felt. She knew it was deserved. She’d done some horrible things in her past, trying to get Luis back when, as Fancy said, she threw him away to begin with. But things had been so hard back then, confusing and painful and just… too much. Everything had been too much, especially her relationship with Luis.

She regretted everything now, of course. But it was too late to change them. Too late to go back and fix the lies she told herself were truths. “You know what, Luis? Suddenly, I’m not very hungry anymore.” She refused to meet his eyes as she got up from her seat and went back outside, watching as the sun dipped low over the trees and houses lining the small creek bed that ran behind her home.

When she first saw the place, she’d been dazzled by that creek, how serene it seemed, how peaceful the water flowed along its bed. It still dazzled her, but part of her enchantment was now replaced with the sad recognition of stillness, of a stilted movement that went against the very job the water was intended to perform. To flow, to progress, to continue along a path and find its way through the gaps, moving over dirt and rocks, sand and fallen tree limbs. That was as nature intended it. A steady flow of movement, not the unnatural stillness that often seemed to overtake it.

The same stillness that had taken over her life as of late. “You’d think it was peaceful here, wouldn’t you? So quiet and still, absolutely nothing to bother or worry about.”

“Are you saying it’s not?” he asked, coming to stand beside her, as she’d known he would. A rustle of movement let her know he’d placed his hands into his trouser pockets, a jangle of keys the only sound outside a lone bird’s call.
Once, he would’ve reached for her. Turned her around and used his hand to force her to look into his eyes. To tell him what was wrong.
But that was a lifetime ago, and they were very different people now. Both to themselves, and to each other.

Sheridan shook her head, wrapping her arms around her midriff. “It’s noisy sometimes, the quiet. A lot of things can get through when it’s like this, things that shouldn’t be getting through at all anymore.”

“You can talk to me. You know that, don’t you?”

She did. Just as she knew that he knew, she wouldn’t take him up on it. “Thanks, but I’m okay. Just… lonely, I guess. Now that Marty’s getting older, he isn’t home much. Once his homework’s done, he’s out playing with his friends during the week. Same thing on the weekends these days.” She shrugged. “I guess it’s just the way of things now.”

Another rustle of movement and then, two hands reached out, gripping her upper arms and turning her sideways until her gaze landed on his face. Just as he’d done years ago. “It’s been over a year since your divorce. Why haven’t you dated? You say you’re lonely yet… you’ve made no move to change it. Why?”

“Why haven’t you? Dated, I mean. Fancy and you split up a whole year before Antonio and I did. I’ve not seen or heard of you being with anyone since then.”

He looked away, his expression dark, troubled, and then… his eyes were back on her face, his gaze intent and hot with meaning. “I think you know the answer to that, Sheridan. I think you’ve always known it, just as I have.”

She opened her mouth; no sound came out. “What are you saying, Luis? What do you mean?”

He lifted an arm, placing a finger under her chin as he shifted his feet, moving one step closer to where she stood, his t-shirt lightly rubbing against the front of her blouse. “I haven’t dated because I have the woman I want standing right here in front of me.”

Sheridan didn’t breathe. “W-what?”

“You heard me, sweetheart. Don’t start playing dumb now. It’s beneath you.”

He wasn’t joking. He wasn’t playing with her. He meant it. He wanted her, still. “Luis—”

“Tell me I’m wrong, Sheridan. Tell me you don’t want this as much as I do. That you don’t want me like I want you.”

But she did. She just hadn’t expected him to want it, too. “I… This is crazy. What are you doing? What are we doing?”

“Nothing yet,” he smirked. “But if you give me a minute, I’m pretty sure I’ll be kissing you.”

Kissing her? He wanted to kiss her? “Will I be kissing you back?” she asked breathlessly, backing toward the house, freezing when she met with the cool, hard siding next to her open patio doors.

Luis followed her, both hands resting on the wall behind her head. “You tell me,” he answered seriously, his voice dropping as his eyes darkened further, his gaze filling with intent even as it searched hers for permission to continue.

She shivered, awestruck by the dark head that slowly descended toward hers, the soft, familiar lips that brushed along the corners of her mouth, teasingly caressing each end before finally moving to the center, pressing firmly and confidently.

Only their lips touched, and yet she felt him everywhere, all at once. Burning her skin, electrifying her nerves, striking out against every ounce of control she possessed until it shattered between them.

This, this was what she wanted. This was what had been missing. The rightness, the knowledge that this man knew her, knew her better than she knew herself. This was real. This was him, and her, and them. It was what her heart had waited for, longed for, this moment, this kiss, this time and place and man.

So many wasted years of mistakes, wrong turns, and wrong men… and it all led her back to where she started, with him, with a kiss, an embrace, a silent promise that this would not be the end. That it was only just the beginning… again.

“Will you stay?” she asked him softly, watching as he watched her lips move. “Will you stay with me tonight?”

He smiled then, a gentle, genuine uprising of his kiss-bruised lips. “No way would I leave you now, Princess. Not when I know you want me as much as I want you.”

Princess. He hadn’t called her that in a long, long time. “If I’m a princess, does that make you my prince?” she asked, returning his infectious smile.

“Prince. Knight. King. Love. It’s all the same to me.” The humor in his eyes faded behind a mask of seriousness. “This is it, you know. Last time to get it right.”

She knew, and it was the only she’d need. “I know. I feel it, too.”

“Do you hear it, though, Sheridan? Do you hear that sound?”

She cocked her head, listening to the birds and wind and the muted sounds of children playing in the distance, and finally, after a moment or two, she straightened up, looking back at him in wondrous recognition. “Music. There’s music playing somewhere.”

“Yes, and it’s our song. It will always be our song.” Lifting his hands, he framed her face with his palms. “No matter where we are or what we’re doing, that music will always play for us. It will never end. It will never die. Not for me.”

Not for her, either. “I love you. I never stopped loving you.”

“I know that. I never stopped loving you, either, no matter what I said to the contrary.” He gave her a wry smile, and leaned in, touching his forehead to hers. “We both made mistakes, Sheridan. Some big mistakes, but somehow, we’re still right here, aren’t we? We’re still in this thing, we still want it, crave it. I think we always will.”

So did she. “Kiss me again?”

“No. I think this time, you should kiss me.”

And she did. After years of wanting to, of waiting for the chance to, Sheridan kissed Luis, and it was like the first time all over again. Butterflies and melodies and a sense of wholeness she’d never found outside his arms.

It was when his tongue slid past her lips that she knew. This was real. This was happening. This was family, and home, and… forever. This man, this love, was her forever.

The gypsy fortuneteller back in Paris really did have it wrong. She wasn’t destined to be alone. She was destined for this, for him, for them. For love and family and second chances. Second chances she’d do everything in her power to live up to fulfilling, and she knew without a doubt in her mind that Luis would to. Because after everything, after all the pain and heartache and outside lies, he really did love her. He really did want to be with her.

Sheridan broke the kiss, staring up at him with a grin. “Take me inside, Luis. I wanna be with you again.”

“Are you sure?” he questioned quietly, his fingers picking up a strand of her hair. “There’s no rush, you know. I’m not going anywhere. Not this time.”

Neither was she. But she wanted to be with him. It had been so long and she didn’t want to waste another moment of their lives on things that didn’t matter. This—them—that mattered. Everything else, all the talking they’d have to do. All the words that needed said… it could wait. It could all wait.

Reconnecting, loving each other, showing each other how much they loved each other, that was important, that was necessary. That was… everything.
“I’m sure, Luis. I want you.”

He gave a small nod, bending to place his arm beneath her knees and lifted her up, carrying through the open patio doors. “Marty is going to be ecstatic. You know that, don’t you?” he asked, a wide grin splitting his face.” Kid’s been after me for months to do something about you.”

He knew? Their son knew about them? “I don’t… How did he know?”

Luis shrugged. “He’s a smart kid. I guess he just figured it out.”

Somehow she didn’t think that was all there was to it. But as she placed her arms around Luis’s neck and allowed him to lead her into her bedroom and deposit her on her bed, she figured she could find out later. Much, much later.

On River Road, she found home. In its backyard, she found peace, hope, and forgiveness. And now, with Luis in her bed and in her arms, she found herself again. She found the woman she used to be… and the woman she’d now become. Because of him, of Luis, of the way he made her feel when she was in his arms, hearing his pleased sighs and low moans, and feeling his tiny, little breaths against her lips.

She felt special. She felt cherished. She felt loved. After all this time, he still loved her. She had no doubts about that now. She felt the truth in his kiss, in his touch. Saw it in his eyes, eyes that made promises and plans and held the reigns of her future in every glance.

This was what she’d been waiting for. After years of living a lie and pretending she was okay, that she wasn’t slowly dying inside, she didn’t have to pretend anymore. She could just live now. She could just… be happy, be free.
More free than she’d ever been in all the time that she’d known him.

Because the past that once haunted her present was gone for good. In its place, hope for the future, hope for them, for love, for life.

For forever.

Luis was her forever, and now she knew without a doubt that she was his forever, too.

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune—without the words,
And never stops at all