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Thread: A Collection of UA One Shots (mostly Sheridan/Luis)

  1. #9

    Thumbs up Re: A Collection of UA One Shots (mostly Sheridan/Luis)

    Great story! I really enjoy your writing. Have you considered doing a sequel to White Horse? I would love to see this story play out some more (other than in my imagination - lol).
    Thank you for all of your stories. I am reading and enjoying them all!

  2. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
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    489

    Post Re: A Collection of UA One Shots (mostly Sheridan/Luis)

    Well, wow right back at ya, Kenwood.

    Thank you so much for your kind words, and to answer your question (re: sequel to White Horse), yes!

    I've definitely considered a sequel to that story, lol. My overactive imagination is to blame for its very existence. I mean, seriously, I was writing a Theresa(Ethan)-centered short story, and my crazy brain spun off a whole back-story for Sheridan and Luis, who each only had very brief cameos in that story (Pretty Things).

    There will definitely be more to come in that saga. I have to explain how they ended up together, don't I? It seems pretty impossible in these last two stories, but it happens. Sophie proves that.

    Thanks so much for your feedback. You can't see me, but I'm wearing this huge grin. You and Lynne and Bree, Pam, the others have basically made my day. I'm so glad you're enjoying my stories.

    Keep checking my updates thread. I try to post there whenever I add new stories/chapters.

    Hopefully I'll have something new for you soon.

    Shae

  3. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Posts
    489

    Post Re: A Collection of UA One Shots (mostly Sheridan/Luis)

    Title: And So It Goes (sequel to White Horse)
    Rating: PG, but only because there are allusions to a previous relationship between two people not married to each other (could that be worded any more awkwardly, lol)
    Warnings: angst; otherwise, see above
    Characters/Pairings: Sheridan/Luis, Sheridan/other friendship, Luis/Fancy, background Theresa/Ethan, Pilar, mentions of Fox and Julian, Little Ethan, and Jane
    Word Count: 2,779
    Summary: For a brief time, they leave Harmony, she and Marty.





    And So It Goes




    For a brief time, they leave Harmony, she and Marty.

    They visit some of her favorite old European haunts.

    Marty loves the Parisian markets, the museums filled with culture and beauty, the churches that are older than anything he has ever imagined before. He always grips the edges of the gondolas in anticipation of a new adventure each time they float through the city of Venice, and he frequently wears the melted evidence of her weakness as a disciplinarian (although the gelato is as much a treat for her as it is for him) as they tour the Italian countryside. He reads to the baby just starting to thicken her middle beneath the glorious Costa Marbella sunsets, his strong, clear voice at once childish and mature beyond its years, impish as it teases and filled with the weight of responsibility (he’s the man of the house, after all), the arrow through her heart that reminds her everyday of one thing: their star might have burnt out all-too-quickly, but the beauty, the brilliance of hers and Luis’s coming together will live on, in their son, in both of their children.

    Sheridan holds that knowledge close to her heart, seeks comfort in its truth, but the dawning of each morning is painful in its unforgiving lack of sentiment, and her pillow is dampened with tears.



    ~*~



    Eventually, the novelty of a new adventure each day starts to wear off, and Sheridan can no longer deny what has been staring her in the face for the last several weeks: despite the postcards to and from his cousins, the frequent phone calls from his father, the late-night bedtime stories traveling across an ocean via the magic of internet and the web-cam equipped laptop Sheridan had gifted Pilar with before their departure, Marty misses Harmony (she does too).

    It doesn’t take long to pack up their things, leave behind the nomadic lifestyle they’d adopted when Sheridan had retreated to the other side of the world to lick her wounds and set her head on straight.

    In fact, it takes longer going through customs in Boston, but it’s a welcome delay.

    Her head may be on straight and her backbone unbending under her convictions, but her heart has betrayed her before, and Sheridan can’t help but breathe a sigh of relief when she sees Ethan’s dark blond head bobbing along the sea of weary travelers, can’t help but sag into his hug when he coasts to their sides (Marty tucked sleepily beneath her arm) and takes her carry-on from her shoulder.

    “Aunt Sheridan,” he breathes into her temple, before holding her at arms’ length and taking her in, from the blonde hair that has grown to curl around her jaw to the unmistakable swell of her belly. He briefly meets her eyes with his own, then pulls her back into a soul-crushing hug, a hug she hadn’t realized she’d needed until she finds her nose buried into the collar of his soft shirt. They both pretend she isn’t crying when he squeezes her tight and reaches down to ruffle Marty’s hair, and she loves him all the more for it. “Hey buddy,” he greets his quasi-cousin with a fond smile. “Good to see you.”

    At her (stubborn) insistence, Sheridan tiredly pulls the smallest of their bags behind her while Ethan walks ahead of her, Marty’s arms loosely draped across his shoulders (he’s too big to be carried really, but, after hours upon hours of traveling, he’s dead on his feet, much like she is, and she doesn’t have the heart to reprimand him for taking advantage of Ethan’s natural generosity). It feels good to have someone fuss over them, and she allows Ethan to settle them inside his car before he goes back to retrieve the rest of their luggage without much complaint, a fact she knows Ethan wants to tease her about because that’s not her, but he doesn’t because his concern far outweighs any amusement he might feel, and she feels her eyelids start to drift well before he has even disappeared from her view.

    They cross the state line into Maine before Sheridan stirs again, barely surfaces enough to hear Ethan exchanging soft love words and whispered worry to Theresa through the cell phone tucked between his ear and his shoulder. Feeling his eyes on her, she doesn’t have to feign sleep long before it drags her back under again, into its comforting cocoon.

    She dreams Luis is there, at the cottage, when their journey home finally ends, and he carries her inside in his strong arms and tucks her into the warmth of the bed where they forged a bond unbreaking, but it is only that, only a dream, a very powerful dream.

    She wakes the next morning to find herself alone, Marty tucked and snuggled into his own bed, and she worries if she has made the right decision—coming home—if mere dreams have such lasting, devastating effects.

    His scent haunts her senses as she pulls the sash of her robe tight around her, and confronts her new life.



    ~*~




    Time continues to pass, the seasons change in a cascade of falling burnt orange, red, and earthy brown leaves. Wickedly winking jack-o-lanterns disappear from family porches to be replaced with more civilized pumpkins and Thanksgiving decorations, and Marty’s Zorro costume is tucked away somewhere with the costumes that preceded it (the ones Sheridan outfitted him with, not Beth) in favor of the soft suede material draped over Marty’s skinny shoulders and brightly colored feather that proudly juts from the woven headband he keeps admiring in the mirror.

    “Marty,” Sheridan admonishes as her son twists and squirms, generally refusing to stay still. His moccasin-clad feet dangle in front of him from his sink-side perch, and her rounded belly is pressed between them. “Be still,” she raises an eyebrow at him as she carefully paints his face (he’d wanted war paint; in the end, they’d compromised).

    Reluctantly, Marty complies, but his chatter doesn’t cease. His eyes are bright with happiness as he raves over the play that will take place in just a few short hours, and he presses his palms to the baby within her womb that seems to share her brother’s enthusiasm (in this, she is every bit Luis’s daughter, just as Marty is undeniably his son, and the thought brings a bittersweet smile to Sheridan’s lips). “I’m so glad I’m an Indian this year instead of a boring Pilgrim.”

    “Marty,” Sheridan scolds through her laughter. Her son simply shrugs, his grin open and infectious, and she is forced to concede the Indian costume is much cooler. That isn’t to say she doesn’t think Jane looks darling in her skirts and petticoat and big (Theresa) smile when Pilar arrives to pick up Marty less than an hour later, Little Ethan waiting patiently in the car.

    The children tease each other with affectionate familiarity while Pilar mothers Sheridan and pleads with her to come with them, making promises she cannot possibly keep. Finally, she presses a kiss to Sheridan’s forehead, passes her fingertips briefly over her distended abdomen, and says her goodbyes.

    Marty has just made his grand entrance on stage when Sheridan quietly slips into a seat in the back row.

    She leaves before the harsh lights and Luis’s searching dark eyes have time to find her.



    ~*~



    Marty spends Thanksgiving with Fancy and Luis, his cousins, and his grandmother while Sheridan whiles away the day in the Mansion with Julian and Fox.

    It’s a pitiful little affair, each of them bearing their own heartbreaks, but it’s a trade-off she’ll gladly make to have her son with her for Christmas. Still, she can’t help but feel relieved when one of them (she’s not sure which) makes a flimsy excuse about some unexpected, important business with Crane Industries. With a piece of pumpkin pie cradled protectively in her hands, she tucks her chin to her chest and walks herself home.

    The air is cold and crisp, Winter lying in wait just around the winding corner. Just a few leaves cling stubbornly to the near-naked trees, and the cottage light beckons with its warm glow.

    It isn’t until Sheridan draws closer that she notices the car parked in the driveway, and she feels her heart do a disbelieving somersault within her chest.

    Josh wipes his hands roughly on the legs of his jeans and stands up. He offers her a tentative smile as he takes the plate from her hands so that she can rescue her keys from her purse, “Hi.”

    Sheridan hasn’t seen him in months, not since she told him the truth, simple and unvarnished, and broke his heart in her efforts to let him down gently, and she can’t hide her own surprise when she answers him, in a voice equally as soft as his, “Hi.” She sees nothing but gentle kindness in his blue eyes, no ghosts of pain or anger, no righteous indignation, and she shakes her head slightly at him as she wonders what has brought him here, back to her doorstep. Her mouth opens on a question that’s left unspoken, because she realizes he’s speaking, and the least she owes him is her undivided attention.

    “I’ve missed you and Marty, and I know, maybe it’s not meant for me to be a father to that little boy when he already has one or a husband to you when your heart belongs to someone else, but I could be your friend,” Josh pauses to rub his hand over his face. “We could be friends.”

    He’s looking at her expectantly, and Sheridan feels like she’s been given a gift, her heart warm with affection for this man, this good man, and she can’t help but wonder what if, what if I’d let myself love him, not Luis? Her throat feels tight, Josh’s dear face swims before her teary blue eyes, and her daughter starts up an impassioned tap dance on her bladder, but she smiles and he smiles back at her. “I think I’d like that.”

    Josh follows her inside the cottage.

    They share the pie and watch It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown until Sheridan falls asleep.

    Josh covers her with a blanket, kisses her forehead with regret, and lets himself out.



    ~*~



    Marty goes caroling with Theresa, Ethan, and the kids on Christmas Eve, and Sheridan uses the opportunity she’s given to put the finishing touches on the rest of his presents.

    She’s sitting in front of the Christmas tree, under the glow of rainbow twinkle lights, surrounded by mountains of cheerful holiday-themed wrapping paper and too-many presents when there’s a knock at the door. Thinking it’s Josh (he and his friendship have been heaven-sent this last month), she calls, “Come on in. It’s open.” She returns to the task at hand, placing one protective hand on her abdomen and stretching the other one out toward the Clue board game. She groans at the difficulties her little one has presented her with more and more in the last few weeks and pants softly in her struggle until a hand reaches out in assistance, and she mutters her thanks before it occurs to her: the fingers are too long, the skin too dark, the touch electric instead of comforting. She blinks in the face of Luis’s unrelenting stare, finally finds her voice when the silence stretches past the point of comfort, “Luis, I thought…what are you doing here?”

    Luis drags his dark eyes away from her swollen belly, meets her questioning blue eyes, and glances away, apologies on his lips.

    Sheridan draws in a sharp breath at the stark pain she sees in his dark eyes (blink and it’s gone), and the gray that peppers his temples, and looks for the man she loved(loves) inside the shell of the man standing before her. She looks but can’t find him. If he’s there at all, he’s well-hidden, behind fortress and key, and she’s too tired lately, of the struggle of ordinary days, to look any further. She drops her gaze, and for the first time, notices the shiny red bicycle he’s propped just inside the door. “Luis,” she breathes out. “It’s beautiful.”

    His eyes are deep and dark and they reflect the pink and blue and green of the twinkle lights back at her. “Do you think Marty will like it?”

    There he is, Sheridan thinks, with a lump forming in her throat and her heart beginning to thrum erratically beneath her ribcage. She soothes the baby kicking restlessly against her taut belly with gentle hands, and manages, “I think he’ll love it.”

    “You don’t think it’s too girly?” Luis asks, unsure.

    The lump in her throat dissolves with her laugh, and Sheridan shakes her head at him as he eases himself to the floor across from her. “Pink would be girly. There’s nothing wrong with red. Marty likes red.”

    Luis chuckles at himself, at her, and raises an eyebrow at the board game now just beyond his reach. “Clue?”

    As if letting him in on a safeguarded secret, Sheridan simply says by way of explanation, “I think we got ourselves a future detective on our hands.” His soft, proud smile clenches at her heart, and she’s at a loss, words temporarily leaving her as she looks down at her hands resting on her belly, their daughter. She looks up again when he speaks.

    “So. A girl, huh?” Luis’s dark eyes peruse the presents scattered around the room, and he turns back to face her, makes an offhand comment that inexplicably steals her breath. “Hardly seems fair for big brother to get all the presents, no pink anywhere.”

    She doesn’t tell him the truth, doesn’t admit the fears that wake her up in the night, the fears that keep her from filling the nursery with pink and making it a little girl’s dream. Josh thinks she’s silly, but Sheridan can’t help but fear Fancy’s reality will somehow bridge her guilty nightmares and steal this baby she wants so badly from her womb. She doesn’t tell him that haunting truth, but she does tell him another one. “Her big debut’s still a couple of months away. Somehow, I think she’ll be okay. I think she’d appreciate it more next Christmas anyway.”

    “Still,” Luis pushes himself up, drifts over the bicycle where he reaches inside the small basket on its front. “It technically is her first Christmas.” He crosses back to Sheridan, crouches down in front of her. “And I think,” he stretches out an unsteady arm to her, “she should have a present. Her first Christmas present.”

    Tears fill Sheridan’s eyes as she takes the gift from him, a tiny, impossibly soft stuffed lamb wearing a pink ribbon around its neck. On impulse, she grabs his hand, clasps it tightly within her own when he moves to pull it away, and places it low on her belly. “Hear that, Sweetheart? You’ve got a present, a present from your…” she falters, the word daddy lodging cruelly in her throat, and her daughter chooses that moment to kick against their hands, and her wet eyes fly up to look into Luis’s much-loved face. Her tears spring free when he carefully pulls his hand from hers, moves it from her abdomen, and sinks back on his heels.

    “Uncle Luis,” he rasps, the pain in his eyes naked and there for her and the entire world to see. “Sheridan, I…” he trails off when another voice interrupts, Josh’s voice.

    “Sheridan, I’m sorry I’m so late. Oh. I’m sorry,” Josh apologizes, his feet stalling in their descent of the steps as soon as he spots Luis. He catches of a glimpse of the tears slipping down Sheridan’s face in the reflection of the Christmas lights and takes a few cautious, worried steps forward. “Sheridan? Is everything okay?”

    No, Sheridan wants to cry, but the word swells inside her tight throat and will not escape.

    Luis doesn’t give her any further opportunity to reply, straightening and answering Josh himself. Without taking his eyes off of Sheridan, he murmurs, “It will be. Take care of yourself, okay?”

    Sheridan nods wordlessly.

    Luis pauses in front of Josh on his way out, and sizes him up with one hand on the bicycle’s handle bar. “She’s terrible at wrapping presents, always has been.” He gives Sheridan one last tender smile then considers Josh again.

    Josh, for his part, doesn’t even flinch.

    Luis nods his approval and lingers at the door only briefly before taking his leave and going home to his wife, home to Fancy. “I think you better give her a hand.”





    Feedback is much loved and appreciated!

    A special thanks to Kenwood for inspiring me to kick my butt into gear and get this story written.

    I hope you enjoyed it.

    Thanks for reading!!!

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