Disclaimers: Boys not mine; I just borrow them from time to time when the muse moves me.

Special Thanks to my Beta Queen, Zoe, without whom I'd be doomed to a life of grammatical inaccuracy. Also God bless my beta Ari, who has the kindness and tenacity to ensure that what you read is worthy. Last, but most certainly not least, for my beautiful friend, Heather, whose incredible command of the English language allows her to provide me with individually needed words at a moment's notice.

Thank you to wolfpup for giving my work a great home.

Warnings: Minor Character Death (not Blair or Jim), H/C, Angst, Smarm, Some violence, and usually a bit of colorful language.

Spoilers: None to my knowledge.


Sam Mallory

She's gone.

They're all gone.

My mother left me when I was just a boy. At times, I can barely remember her, no matter how hard I try.

It was my Guide.

My Guide taught me about my senses.

It is because of him that I can close my eyes and almost picture her. The planes of her face, the vastness of her loving blue eyes. I can even see the wave of her blonde curls as they fall down her back.

She was beautiful. She smelled like lilacs. You know when they come up in the spring.

It is because of his strength that I can remember her laugh. The lilt to her voice when she whispered comfort to my baby brother. The way she seemed to read my mind and anticipate all of my needs.

Just like someone else I know.

He anticipates my needs. Hell, sometimes he knows my needs before I do.

Last night, he handed me the aspirin before I even knew I had a headache.

It's not just plain aspirin, either. No, that would never do for his Sentinel. At least that's what he says. He only gives me St. Joseph's Sentinel Safe baby aspirin.

He knows all these things about me.

Things that I don't even know, or more likely, things that I would absolutely never admit, not even to him. Hell, not even to myself.

The loss is almost too much.

I can nearly touch it when I stretch out my hand, but my fingertips brush up against soft wrinkled skin instead. Her skin.

She's gone.

I know I said that already, but I can hardly believe it.

I just need it to stop. The pain. The leaving.

Some days, I wish I could cry. Days like today. He can cry, but I have no tears.

They were never allowed. Not at home, not at school, not in the military, not at the station. Check your emotions.

I have anger. Check.

I have grief. Check.

I even have denial. Check.

But today, I look upon Sally's peaceful face; the surrogate mother who gave me everything and asked for nothing.

I have no tears.

Sometimes, I wonder, late at night in the quiet.

Will I have tears for him?

The End