Seeking Peace

Author: MMW
Disclaimer: Without A Trace belongs to CBS, etc.
Note: This is just a little scene that came to mind - not an actual story.
Rating: FRT - Fan Rated Suitable For Teens(mentions the death of a child)
Feedback: MMW

Seeking Peace

Reaching upward, he could feel the sweat trickling down his back. Ensuring his grip was solid, he pulled upward, already scanning for his next hand and foot hold.

He thought back on this last case and could still hear the voices chasing after him, still see the devastation in the parents eyes when they were too late, still hear the anguished cry of the mother at the sight of their child’s body.

Gritting his teeth he reached upward, seeking another handhold and pushed his pace, trying to out-climb the voices, trying to out-climb the guilt. If they’d only been faster, maybe they could have saved her…

His foot slipped a little as his ill-chosen foothold broke away. He still had a good enough grip that he didn’t slip, didn’t fall, but it was enough of a wake-up that he paused.

Resting his forehead against the rock, he closed his eyes, seeking refuge from the images and sounds that were chasing after him. Slowly he was able to pull away from the memories. Finally, when the voices had faded enough, he once more began his ascent.

The hard climb kept his attention focused on his actions and movements, seeking the hand and footholds he needed. Soon he found himself at his goal – the top.

Standing, he scanned the land around him. A crisp wind blew around him as he surveyed the land below.

Up here he could gain perspective, gain peace. Up here he could escape the voices, the pain… He wasn’t like his teammates, he couldn’t lock away the emotions forever, he needed to release them. Up here he could think about what happened and let it go – let it blow away on the wind.

As he stood facing into the breeze, he allowed the voices to return, allowed the pain to sweep through him, allowed his own tears to fall and build into anger and frustration at having been too late. As he mourned, he could feel the tension that had been building begin to ease, released to the world around him and carried away by the zephyr’s caress.

Sitting, he felt the edge of emotion fade to a more manageable level. As he gazed out at the world before him, he allowed his mind to review the case. From the time they had been called in to the time they found the girl’s body, only thirty-eight hours had passed. They had done everything they could, had pushed themselves, but had been too late. According to the Coroner she had been dead for ten hours when they found her. Even if they’d worked faster or more efficiently, they couldn’t have made it to her that much sooner. That didn’t make the senseless death any easier to understand.

Sitting still for several more minutes, Martin could feel the case fading away.

Content with the peace he found, he stood and stretched in preparation for the climb down.


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