Characters: Isaac Mendez, Simone Deveaux, Iris Deveaux-Mendez
Summary: The faintest light is still hope.
The sluggish sunset bathed the frozen rooftop in a soft golden light. The skyline was almost familiar to the tired eyes that observed the falling snow in silence. Twenty years. Half a lifetime since the world exploded, and life turned into a twisted joke of a comic book dystopia. Things would have moved much more quickly if they hadn't insisted on burning everything. Dragging people out into the streets like a medieval witch hunt, and murdering them in front of jeering onlookers.
Dark silhouettes contrasted sharply against grayish clouds. A siren echoed in the distance. A shiver ran through the still forms standing in silent vigil, and two familiar hands sought one another.
He had seen so many horrors. Everything that had transpired, every tormented scream that echoed unheeded through the night. He had seen every frail and broken body discarded on the floor, every torturous tear that fell to the ground in maddening hopelessness.
He knew it all as if he had been there and felt the warmth go cold. There was nothing happy left in this world. Everything had passed away, replaced by cruel tyranny and bitter hearts. Breath misted and faded in the chill air, as he took a step forward, gripping the ledge of the roof.
"Its beautiful." Her voice sounded as tired as he felt.
He looked up from the bit of golden metal that shone on his hand to the dark skinned woman standing next to him. She was a vision of ethereal beauty. Flawless and fragile and ageless in the snow that floated gently over her. Lines from pain, worry, and the horrors of this world formed near her eyes, and a few gray strands shone brightly through her tightly bundled dark hair.
She was too perfect to belong in this world. Too perfect to be standing beside him, thin silver band around a slim finger proclaiming the end of a lifetime of chasing and competing and reaching after an impossible goal.
She smiled softly, crinkling her cheeks. "I forgot what it looked like up here."
He turned his gaze back to the marred horizon, sulking. "Its not like it used to be."
A hand appeared on his shoulder. "There's still hope for this world."
He closed his eyes momentarily, a thousand images flashed just out of site. A thousand deaths. A thousand tears. "I can't see it."
"Then you're not looking correctly."
He gave her a faint, hopeless smile.
"I don't see any other way to look anymore."
"I know there is good in this world." She insisted softly. "That's hope."
"There's you, isn't there?" She said softly. "And Iris."
"And Mom, too."
He turned slightly to see the young woman standing a little ways behind them. Her long black hair fell in waves to her chest, partially obscuring the red sweater and black vinyl jacket. Her skin was smooth and nearly her mother's complexion.
She smiled softly. "Things are getting better, Dad. They are. All the pain. All the fighting. It's over."
Simone...his wife smiled reassuringly at him, squeezing his hand gently. Iris walked up to the two of them, placing her hand on their joined ones, and offering her own smile.
His lips twitched up slightly into heir own smile, before turning his gaze over the city once again. The city he had watched through her greatest tragedy. Who had welcomed him as a child and given him everything he ever had.
There was so much pain. So many hardships ahead for this town. The fighting wasn't over.
But the battle wasn't lost.
He nodded softly, as a gust of chill air blew snowflakes across his face.
He looked over at Simone.
She smiled. "Things are already better."
"More than some."
Iris leaned up between the two of them. "Soo...Dad, can we go shopping now?"
He glanced over, narrowing his eyes. "What for?"
Simone squeezed his hand. "For our son."