Archived here with permission. Thanks, Cj! HTML (and any resulting errors) by Laplor.

Happy Fourth of July!

Disclaimers: The lyrics for the song are from Lisa Loeb's song "Stay" and are indicated by **. This is my first attempt at portraying Tracy and Vachon, so please forgive an inexperienced writer. TPTB own the characters. No copyright infringement intended.

Permission to archive at the ftp site and

Thanks to my irc buddies for betaing for me! All comments welcome! (hint, hint)

You Say . . .

by Cj
© July 1998

Vachon had been riding his motorcycle all night, trying to run away from thoughts of Tracy. It was no use. He stopped at a local park. Cutting the engine, he made his way to a bench. He settled onto it, the chill of the wind having no effect on the chill of his already cold heart. The leaves of the trees around him whispered gently. He looked upward and the light of the full moon shone upon his face.

The park had not changed much since he was last in town. Trees were taller, benches were older, but the overall personality of the park did not change. A drunken couple occupied the park with him. Slurred words, sung off key, reached his ears.

Oh would you (hiccup) like to swing on a star.
Carry (hiccup) moonbeams home in a jar.
And be better off than you are,
or would you rather be . . .

The rest of the words were lost to him as his thoughts drifted to his last conversation with Tracy.


Tracy was talking again as if she hadn't heard him. Vachon just blinked and pretended to listen. He tried to pay attention, he really tried. But she was just smiling and when he would nod every once in a while she would go on talking again. He was admiring the way her eyes twinkled. But she had not heard him. It wasn't the first time that she'd missed something he said, he thought to himself with a little sadness.

"Tracy." He interjected into her monologue.

"Yes?" She paused. Vachon was staring at her.

"Did you hear me?" His exasperation barely held in check.

"Yes, you just said that you were leaving town." She crinkled her nose, "*You're* leaving."

He nodded.


"It's time for me to move on." He folded his arms and prepared himself to face her anger. But the tantrum never came.

"I understand," was all she said.

Tracy thought she understood at the time why he was leaving.

You say I only hear what I want to.
You say I talk so all the time so.

Vachon opened his eyes and returned his thoughts to the present. He walked back to his bike and rode the rest of the night to reach his destination.

Tracy had moved to Chicago and start anew. Daddy was upset that she took the job there, but she felt she needed to grow. Tracy's thoughts turned to Vachon.

After Vachon left town, she wanted to leave as well. She was beginning to feel slightly uncomfortable with her job status and refused to let her life stagnate. After all, Vachon was out of her life for months now. Nothing exciting had happened to her after he left.

She knew that she could never make a name for herself as a detective in Toronto; she'd always be Commissioner Vetter's "little girl". So she jumped at the chance to work elsewhere. It would not pay as much, but the work would be proportionally lighter as well. She headed to work, hoping to start her shift early.

She liked Chicago, especially since she worked the day shift. She thought about the contrast with her life in Toronto. Watching the sun rise at the beginning of the shift instead of at the end made her feel good. She wondered how her friends back in Toronto were doing, and how things were after she had gone. She tried concentrating on times without Vachon, but she found she couldn't.

Her thoughts twisted and turned, betraying her heart at times. She was angry at herself for reading more into their "relationship" than there really had been. The simple truth was that their lifestyles, or rather, her lifestyle and his "deathstyle" were not compatible. He belonged to a community to which she could not gain acceptance into, unless she came across.

And I thought what I felt was simple,
And I thought that I don't belong,
And now that I am leaving,
Now I know that I did something wrong 'cause I missed you.
Yeah, I missed you.

She did miss him. He was always willing to listen to her. Even though he mocked her, it was always in good humour. She could talk for hours on end and he was willing to listen. Well, most of the time, at least he had taken the effort to not look like a trapped rat.

And she did listen to him, too. At least she thought she did. Lately, she thought that she had not listened as carefully as she thought she did. Did she truly understand why he left? He had offered no explanation other than it was time for him to leave. That he needed to "move on." Was that true? Or was he really running away?

And you say I only hear what I want to:
I don't listen hard,
I don't pay attention to the distance that you're running
Or to anyone, anywhere.


Tracy met his eyes squarely, trying to sound nonchalant, "Do have any idea where you'll be headed?"

He shook his head and his tousled hair flowed. She longed to run her hands through it to tame some of the displaced wisps, but she held back the urge.

"When?" She asked, trying her hardest to not sound nosy.

"Tonight, tomorrow night . . .?" He shrugged his shoulders and his leather jacket squeaked. "I don't know yet, but I know it'll be soon." He looked at his hands, flicking imaginary pieces of dirt from underneath his fingernails.

Tracy knew she wouldn't get more out of him. "What about . . ." she bit her lip, but the word came out, ". . . us?"

"Us?" He repeated incredulously. "There is NO us. There never was, and I doubt there ever will be." He was irritated. "There is NO 'us.' "

I don't understand if you really care,
I'm only hearing negative: no, no, no.

She shook her head, trying to clear it. Music often helped. She reached over and turned on the radio. She was proud of this car, the first she had bought on her own. Not even Daddy helped her with it, like her previous vehicle.

So I turned the radio on, I turned the radio up,
And this woman was singing my song:
The lover's in love, and the other's run away,
The lover's crying 'cause the other won't stay.

She cried that night, and vowed never to cry again. She had gone on with her life in Toronto as if nothing were wrong. Nick and Natalie both tried taking her mind off of whatever it was that had been dampening her sunny personality. Nick knew where Vachon had gone, but couldn't tell Tracy that.

She had tried for couple months to locate him. She asked around at the Raven, knowing that her curiosity could have gotten her killed. He used to joke about her detective skills and her cleverness. Except the time she nearly got killed by Ephram Sedrik.

Some of us hover when we weep for the other who was
Dying since the day they were born.
Well, this is not that:
I think that I'm throwing but I'm thrown.
You try to tell me that I'm clever,
But that won't take me anyhow, or anywhere with you.

After a month of fruitless searching, she stopped. Then came the offer from Chicago. She thought about it and three days later accepted it. She was glad, but her happiness was grayed by the sadness that she would never know how Vachon was faring. She started her shift and her new coworkers saw the sadness, but never commented on it because she got the job done . . . well.

You said that I was naive,
And I thought that I was strong.
I thought, "Hey I can leave, I can leave."
But now I know that I was wrong, 'cause I missed you.

Nick had told Vachon where she was. Like a cat, he let himself into her home with practiced ease, arriving after she had left for the day. He searched the rooms for blankets to cover the windows to shelter him from the sun. Once he had taken care of that necessity, he settled himself on the couch to wait for her return.

When Tracy returned home from work she was instantly on guard. Someone was in her home. Vachon had heard her car arrive and he opened the door for her. The sunlight didn't reach him in the shadows of the garage.

"Vachon?!" Shock was written across her face. She walked up to him and punched his shoulder. "Get inside before you burn." She glanced behind herself and closed the garage doors.

They entered the living room and Tracy started her Dinner in the kitchen. She wanted to avoid his company until her nerves settled. He just sat on the couch in silence. For once, Tracy was quiet as well. She was nervous; he could tell by her posture and heartbeat.

"Tracy?" He called out tentatively.

"Yes?" She had finished cooking and brought her food to the coffee table to dine.

"I'm back in Toronto . . ." He volunteered.

"And?" She concentrated on her food, even though it all tasted like chalk. What could he possibly want her to know? She was not going to play this game twice in a lifetime.

He stared at his hands. His palms were so smooth, like she remembered. "I didn't mean to hurt you . . . when I left that night."

She sipped her wine, washing the chalk dust down her throat.


"Is this it then?" Her anger was beginning to bubble to the surface.

You said, 'I caught you 'cause I want you and one day I'll let you go.'**

She never got the chance to finish her thought. He was already gone without a whisper of the wind to tell of his passing.

You try to give away a keeper, or keep me 'cause you know
You're just scared to lose.

"Come back to Toronto?" He asked. His brown eyes captured hers, "Or let me stay here in Chicago with you?"

And you say, "Stay."
You say I only hear what I want to.

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