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Written for choc_fic, based on the prompt, The 4400, Gary Navarro, "It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone. You count on it, you rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive, and then, just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops." - A. Bartlett Giamatti

Title: Shadows Covering the Field
Author: voleuse
Fandom: The 4400
Character: Gary Navarro
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary: Someone mentioned a city she had been in before the war, a room with two candles against a wall.
Notes: Set after 3.06

Someone was shouting outside. Gary pulled the curtain back and watched as a boy sprinted past, his arms outstretched. Down the road, another kid threw a baseball, his arm whirling to follow the wild pitch.

"You should stay away from the window," Alana remarked.

Gary nodded, but he kept watching them play in the street. His hands twitched, responding to phantoms from the past. One of the kids waved his arms, hopped in his spot, farthest away. There was a scuffle, a wild shout, and then the ball was flying, soaring in an arc that would have meant nothing to Gary a year ago, but it took his breath away now.

He turned away before the ball descended, and Alana looked at him, all sympathy. She extended her hands in a silent offer, but he shook his head.

Gary settled into the corner armchair of the room and closed his eyes. He played the moment back in his mind, back and forth. A miss, the ball skidding cruelly past the kid's hands. A catch, the hide stinging on impact, a smile breaking free.

He could reach out, if he wanted, let the truth seep into his mind like echoes. He could piggyback onto the game outside and pretend he played alongside them. Instead, he tamped his powers down and pretended he could predict the future.

A miss. A catch. A miss.

Then Alana asked him what he thought they should do in days to come, and he dragged himself back to the world that was.


A/N: Title and summary adapted from Mark Strand's From the Long Sad Party.

Crossposted to choc_fic.

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