Title: Soul Dancer
Author: Rushlight (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Pairing: Fraser/Ray K.
Author's Notes: This vignette was written for the AU challenge at Red
Ships & Green Ships (http://redshipsgreenships.com/).
Story Notes: A newly trained shaman takes his first solo spirit walk, and
ends up stumbling across the missing pieces of his own soul.
Feedback: Yes, please! Any comments, encouragement, critique,
etc. will be endlessly appreciated. :)
Benton Fraser wasn't the first to stand at the cusp of the world's edge, even though -- at this moment in time -- it might seem that way. He could see the entirety of the world spread out beneath him, the dark shadow of the World Tree lying over it, branches rising up in unabashed supplication to the heavens, roots twisting deep into the ground below. The air was cool and thick with the scents of growing things, and heavy with the promise of rain.
It had taken him years of training to learn how to make the journey, and now that he was here, on his own...there just weren't words to describe it. Only the most experienced of shamans had the ability to walk across the spirit plane on their own, and now he was here. He had done it.
He caught a flicker of movement out of the corner of his eye and turned to see his chosen Spirit Guide slink back into the shadows of the forest behind him. Sleek and moon-pale, muzzle slung low to the ground, the white wolf paced to and fro beneath the shelter of the foliage, watching him intently with its amber eyes.
Feeling adventurous, Ben followed.
The wolf led him deep into the shadow-strewn forest, moving at a pace that Ben found easy to match. The world seemed to shift around him as he walked, offering him snatches of visions from the lives of the people he'd been sworn to protect -- past, present, and future commingling until it formed an intricate web of interconnected threads around him, each one leading back to the source of the life that had spawned it. If he desired, he could choose any thread at random and trace it back to its source, easing out the tangles as he went, picking apart the knots he found there with infinite patience, bringing surcease to the souls that had been charged into his care.
But for now, he passed through the spirit plane as an explorer, not a healer. This was his first lone journey, after all, the first time he'd come here on his own, without the benefit of his teachers. He had no purpose other than to enjoy the novelty of it, and to learn what new secrets the spirits had to teach him.
Still, he supposed it didn't surprise him when his Spirit Guide stopped in front of one of the glowing strands and looked back at him with fathomless eyes. He should never expect to come to the spirit plane for enjoyment alone, not when there were souls that needed healing. Reaching out, he ran his fingers over the strand, feeling the energy of it wash through him. This was a strong one. Dedicated, and pure of heart, but...empty. Lonely.
Tracing the thread back to its source took time and concentration, but Ben was nothing if not a patient man. This was the work he had devoted his life to, after all. Nothing mattered so much as the work, the healing, the giving of himself so that others might be comforted and find the missing pieces of themselves.
His brow furrowed when he finally reached the end of the thread and found it leading to...himself. There had to be some mistake. Glancing back at his Spirit Guide, he saw the wolf gazing at him with solemn eyes.
And then, before him, a vision. The missing piece of his soul. Ben stared as the image coalesced out of the air before him, a shadowy outline of lean limbs and coarse, spiked blond hair that eventually evolved into the form of a man. Pale blue eyes looked at him squarely from out of the mist, and the unknown man...smiled.
Shaken, Ben dropped the thread, but not before he heard the echo of a name cross his mind -- Stanley Raymond Kowalski. What did it mean? What was his Spirit Guide trying to tell him?
The wolf barked, once, then turned tail and disappeared into the foliage, leaving Ben standing alone on the trail. Ben stared after it for a long moment, thinking about souls and healing and how despite his heartfelt dedication to his cause, he really did feel somewhat lonely at times.
Taking a deep breath, he closed his eyes and...
...opened them again, blinking heavily in the thick wood smoke that suffused the interior of his cabin. He was sitting cross-legged on the floor in the middle of the living room, muscles aching from being held in one position for so very long. Around him, the shadows were clinging, the candles he'd lit prior to beginning the spirit journey burned down to almost nothing. Outside the window, the sky was painted dark with the hours just before dawn.
Sitting alone in the darkness, he thought about what his Spirit Guide had revealed to him. How difficult could it be, after all, to hunt down one man in a world full of strangers? He had a name, and a face, which was more than most people had to go on when looking for the missing half of their souls.
Stanley Raymond Kowalski.
Smiling to himself, Ben stood up and went to fix breakfast.
You can find more of Rushlight's fiction here: The Bard's Den - Rushlight's Fan Fiction