Challenge: ds_snippets amnesty challenge #2: "Photo"
Summary: A moment out of Burning Down the House.
Length: 276 words
Disclaimer: Alliance/Atlantis own due South. I'm just playing in their sandbox.
Thanks to: My beta slidellra.
Fraser stood in the ruins of his apartment building. He shifted through the ashes, careful to avoid any remaining hot cinders. Dienfenbaker's food dish, discolored by the heat but intact. A broken perfume bottle, the scent of ambergris penetrating the acrid odor of burnt wood, plastic, and paper, the wreckage of people's lives.
Fraser knew that he should be moving, investigating, inquiring after the health and safety of his neighbors. But inside, a childish voice was wailing about his photographs.
He'd had eleven photographs on his mantelpiece. He closed his eyes for a moment to review them. Grandmother Fraser as a young woman in China. Mark, thirteen, on the ice. Grandmother and Grandfather Fraser outside the house he built for her. Mom and Dad posing with the rest of the detachment after they returned from their honeymoon. Himself as a child with Innusiq, Joan, and a team of sled dogs. Dad in his snowshoes. Uncle Tiberius beside his car. Eric running for the high school track team. Grandfather Pinsent in uniform on the streets of Paris. Dad and Buck Frobisher after the arrest of Derek McCormit. Him bundled up against the cold with Mom and Dad on either side.
The twelfth photograph he'd kept in a box under the bed. Her photograph. Victoria.
All lost. All burned. All irreplaceable.
Now that the photographs were gone, how long before the memory of their faces faded?
When he turned to find his father standing beside him, Fraser's first thought was, Oh, thank God. The next Christmas, Fraser unwrapped his present and found the photo of his family that he'd thought long destroyed. He didn't ask any questions.