Disclaimer: I do not own Jack Knight nor Sanderson Hawkins. They belong to DC Comics, AOL Time Warner, etc. etc. I'm not making any money off this little piece. Contains indications of slash. Still, not more than PG.

Note: Could follow Dissolution as sort of an AU.

by Smitty

Jack sat on the beach, staring desolately into the ocean. His hand sifted through the sand under him, brushing grains through his fingers and reaching for more, as if searching for something buried underneath. His movements became desperate as the sand dripped from his skin, his jaw setting and tears dripped down his face. His hand clenched in the sand and he turned his gaze from the ocean to the ground.

"Damn you," he growled. "Damn you, I know you're in there. Why won't you..." He closed his eyes. "Why won't you talk to me?"

He ducked his head, his fist closing in the sand. If Sand didn't respond, didn't give him some sign... Then Sand really was gone. Dispersed. Dead.

He had to tell himself that because he knew how impermanent death was in this business. He knew that he couldn't hold Sand's dead body in his arms and cry and that meant he might see his lover again sometime, whole and smiling at him.

But it also meant that he could spend the rest of his life waiting.

He promised himself that if he didn't feel anything, if Sand didn't comfort him by the time the sun dipped below the horizon, then he was dead. That Jack wouldn't wait, wouldn't hope, wouldn't even accept the impossible if Sand was to appear on his doorstep years later. He would move on. He had to. This life had already taken too much from him. He refused to let it take his sanity.

He stayed still for the next hour, watching the sun sparkle light across the water, turning it to sapphires, to emeralds, and finally to diamonds and rubies. He watched the water turn black and the sky go dark.

At the first star, he pulled his cramped hand from the sand and brushed it against his jeans. He stood shakily and brushed off his cuffs, remembering how Sand used to complain about sand in the car after trips to the beach. He took a deep breath and picked up his shoes, repressing the urge to drop to his knees and sob.

That could wait.

He trudged away from the place where he'd been sitting, climbing the short set of wooden stairs to the parking lot and stopped, one hand on the car as he glanced back over the pale expanse of sand between himself and the water.

"Goodbye," he whispered, turning away and getting in the car. He sat in the vehicle for a moment and stared out at the beach, then started the engine and drove away.

Alone, on the beach, the tiny ditch where Jack's hand had rested shifted and began to fill.

The sand swirled over the indentation, closing it as if Jack had never been there.

And then it stilled.


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