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Why Is It?  An Answer
By Sentinel Cat
Notes:  This story came about because of the latest of episodes in Crow:Stairway to Heaven.  I've become fixated on the possibilities I see between Detective Daryl Albrecht and Eric Draven, the Crow.  This show is really starting to make me cry, with the emotions between Eric and the two characters, Sarah and Daryl.  Even the child Sarah, has me emotionally hooked. Anyway, if you haven't seen it, do so.  It's worth it.

Disclaimers:  Not quite sure who's produces it, but just know the characters aren't mine.  I take no credit for them.

The apartment was filled with the songs of the dead.  The window broken, it was covered in the remnants of the bloody beaten body as it had been hurled out the window.  Cold air blowing through the loft apartment, the place was filled with an environment of ghosts-mine, and the others who were here before me.

Watching the skyline and the bright city through the window, all I can think about is the past, both the recent and the old.  God, if only I'd been able to make another decision.  I've lost a great many people in my life, but now, it seems, I don't have anybody.  I lost my parents as a child.  Being an orphan, means people used to come in and out of my life, with no thoughts of commitment or permanence.  And now, I lost Shelly.  The one person, who meant more than the world to me.  Before, at least I could communicate with her, now I can't even do that.  Why was I given a chance to crossover, to be with my love, and then be punished because I had to save the living?  There was no other choice I could make!  I couldn't take a chance my new family would die.

Skull Cowboy really pissed me off.  I've dealt with a lot of enigmas since I came back from the dead, but this is really starting to get to me.  Why did he do it?  He knew I couldn't make any other decision than what I did.  Why was I given a chance to see paradise, have it nearly in my grasp, and have it torn from me through no fault of my own?

I heard a knock at the door.  Coming out of this introspective mood I was in, I cautiously answer the door.  I've learned the lesson about taking chances with evil.  You never know who'll be the one to knock at your door.

"It's me, Eric!  Sarah!"

Smiling, I open the door.  Sarah's bright impish grin just exploded her way into my heart.  Sometime ago, she infiltrated that corner of my heart that I had reserved only for family.  Now, she's like a little sister, helping to guide me through this weird situation I find myself in.

"Sarah, what are you doing here at this time of day?  You're supposed to be in school right now."

"Actually, I'm supposed to be on a field trip to the observatory today.  But since mom didn't have the money right now to let me go, I ended up staying home.  Thought I'd pop up here and see what you were doing.  Hope you don't mind?"

As if I could ever mind.  "Sarah, you know better than that!  One of these days, your mother is really going to punish you."

Laughing, all Sarah said was "That'll be the day!  I can usually wrap mom around my little finger.  It helps being an only child." Turning away from her, I walked back over to the window, absent-mindedly picking up the guitar and playing a few chords.  I've had little or no music within me since Shelly died, and since I lost my chance to be with her, there hasn't been any.  It's like I died again.  The only thing that kept me from total insanity was Sarah and Albrecht.

Thinking about Albrecht made me remember.  Our friendship was already on firm hallowed ground.  I'd always wondered how with Shelly, I'd always seemed to know her from somewhere.  It was like I knew and loved her before I'd ever met her.  But with Albrecht, it seems to me that I've also known him before. Where, I just don't know.  But I do know that if I hadn't had him in my life, I'd have long ago given up.  Somehow, he cares about me, a friend,  in spite of the shit I've put him through.  He's seen more weird stuff since he's been with me than he has in his entire life.

And yet, he still calls me friend.  He's not naive and he's not a child like Sarah is, who believes in the best of most people.  Unfortunately, with Sarah, you can't say she's naive.  She's more adult than most adults I know..  But she's still young, and infatuated with idea of magic.  Daryl doesn't have that excuse.  He doesn't want to believe, but has to, on a limited basis, because he's my friend and I'm his partner.  With him, I can talk about anything, even the intimate aspects of my relationship with Shelly.  I don't have to limit myself to what I can speak to Sarah about.  She's just too young for some things.  The only thing, is that Sarah's usually the one to believe the impossible.  After all, she was the first one to believe that I'd come back from the dead.

She's also the reason that I usually get into trouble.  She's gotten me into so much trouble with her suggestions of ways to help me, that I ought to mind my own business.  But somehow, I can never tell her no.  That word just isn't in my vocabulary with her.   Same thing with Daryl. Like taking the cell phone, when here I'm planning to leave for good into the after life with Shelly.  It's not like I'd ever need it there.  And this partnership we've formed.  Just what is it going to entail?  Somehow, it's going to change my life.  Albrecht is going to change my life.

For the better?  I don't know.  I do know that lately, when things have been extremely bad, and when I desperately need a friend, he's there.  When I can't sit still for thinking about Shelly, all I have to do is remember him and it's like I'm not alone anymore.  He and Sarah are now my family.  Waking up to find him so concerned about me on that island, really gave me a rush.  I would no longer have to face my fears by myself, ever again.  No matter how bad it would get, I would have friends to help share my burdens.

Turning from the window, I watched as Sarah came over to the window's steps and sat down.  She pulled out one of those magazines she was always reading. She looked up at me, smiled, and then went silently back to her magazine.  It was funny how she never pushed me unless she believed I needed it.

Coming to sit down beside her, I just gazed at her for a while, making no comments.  Then, silence impossible anymore, I had to ask, "Sarah, okay, I know you didn't just come here to speak with me.  You could be doing a lot of things besides keeping a dead man company.  So what's wrong?  You might as well ask me.  I can see the questions in your eyes."

"Well, uh, Eric, I found this great article in this mysterious true facts magazine.  It talks about the crow and legends that are behind it.  It also talks about the differences between a crow and a raven.  The article says that the crow can sometimes bring the dead back to life, but what about ravens? They're just the largest type of crow, at least that's what this says.  But, well, what I wanted to know was, what kind of crow is your spirit guide.  Is it a regular crow, or a raven.  Also, after this regression thing with the doctor, I've wondered if Black feather was not only your former life, but if he was your ancestor too.  I mean, for one, Draven is derived from a bird name, it can't be any coincidence that he was not only your totem but Black Feather's as well.."

Resignedly, I just shook my head and said, "Sarah, one, I've never been pointed out the difference in either a raven or a crow so I couldn't tell you what kind of bird my Spirit Guide is for all the money in the world.  And two, I'd never have found out about Black Feather if it wasn't for you.  He should never have entered me.  He's supposed to be dead and buried.  And three, why the heck are you asking me this?  I don't know anything.  If I did, I'd be with Shelly right now."

As the hurt look appeared on her face, I was regretted hurting her, but I couldn't have taken back what I said.  I didn't know anything.  Every time, I thought I did, it changes on me.

"I'm sorry, Eric, it's just, I have so many questions, and don't know who else to ask.  It's not like anyone will talk about death to a kid."

"Apology accepted.  I'm going out for a ride in a few minutes.  Why don't you go to the library and see what you can find out about crows.  They probably have the information you want.  At least, about the legends and the facts. You can decide what you think my guide is afterwards.  Anything else, and you can question me all you want later.  I'm just not feeling up to company right now."

Unfortunately, you know your power over me too well.  It won't be long before I'll crave your presence.  Company is the greatest luxury I have, even though there are times, when it's the last thing I want.  Being with friends sometimes keeps the nightmares away.  I might not need her now, but I would later.  There was no getting out of it.  She had me hooked to the teeth."

Sarah gave me a penetrating look, as if she was afraid to leave me alone. Seeing her change her mind, she must have thought there was no use talking to me like this.  "I guess so.  It's probably a good thing since mom's coming home early.  I have to have dinner ready or I'll be grounded for a week. Mom's really strict about that, after all the trouble we've had lately."

"Well, get going, squirt!"  Ruffling her head, I had to smile at the disgruntled expression that appeared on her face.  She didn't like being teased.  You could tell it was one of those things that you just don't do with her and get away from it.

"Okay, already!  I'm gone.  Bye!"  She flashed out the door, faster than I'd believed possible.

With no more company in site, I decided to use the excuse I just gave Sarah. I really needed a long ride on my Harley.  It often helps me think.

Speeding down the interstate, I had to get away for a while.  Leave Shelly and the memories behind if possible.  As I reviewed the memories of my current life, something burst into my mind.  Analyzing it for a few minutes, it occurred to me just what had been bugging me.

It was Daryl!  Specifically, the way we felt about each other.  I remember needing Daryl's touch as I woke up from being shot on that island.  I remember him looking at me when I finally awakened from the terrifying personality of Black Feather.  I very nearly never returned from my trip into my past life. I can see the emotions that were in his eyes.  I knew them.  I'd seen them on my face before.  It was love.  Suddenly, it hit me.  Daryl was in love with me.  I was loved by a man.

He'd  looked at me with desire.  With passion.  As a musician, I'd both seen and written music about it too many times not to be able to recognize it when I see it.  Don't get me wrong, he wasn't blatant about it, but it was definitely there, in his eyes.  I had no idea that he was bisexual.  I assume he's bi.  I mean, I can only guess he is, if his relationship with Cordelia is anything to go by.

I hope I was wrong.  I've only known him for a short time, but somehow, he blew his way into my life, with his caring, kindness, friendship, and the trust he had in me and my abilities.  I don't want to lose a friend because I can't love him in return.  I just hope Cordelia was enough.  It was likely all he'd ever get from me.  I can't love him.  I'm already in love with Shelly.]

Mile after mile rushing by me, I didn't once think of Shelly.  Instead, I thought of Daryl.  For some reason, I couldn't get him out of my mind.  I kept remembering everything that had happened to me, everything I've felt around him, and it made me wonder.

After I'd gotten back to the loft that night, I settled down in the darkness. What was my life coming to?  Why couldn't I think of Shelly?  Why was I only thinking about Daryl?  Just what place does Sarah and Daryl hold in my life? They're family, but I could lose them, oh, so easily. Sarah's too young.  She has to do what her mother tells her to do, and Daryl, well he's in love with me, even if he's not aware of it.  And me?  What was I feeling?  Since I've gone through the emotional ringer lately, I wasn't sure I could even answer. What was I letting myself into?  Just what the hell did life have in store for me?  Can anybody answer?

These questions were still on my mind the next day.  I did a few pull-ups and went out for while on the bike.  When I got home that afternoon, I had a visitor.  It was Daryl Albrecht.  He was looking out the window as I came in. For a moment, he scared me.  I don't like coming home and finding someone in my apartment.  He glanced my way for a minute and then went back to his view of the scenery.  Something was up.  I wasn't sure why he was here, but it couldn't be good.

With that smokey voice of his, he told me, "Eric, I've got some bad news to tell you.  There's been a change today."  Then his body turned toward me and I stared.  Tears were pouring down his face.  He'd been crying for a while.  His eyes were puffed up and red with sadness.  It startled me.  I'd never have believed he was one who could cry.

He had to grin at that.  That's normally what he comes to tell me.  But not this time.  Instead, "I guess I should just tell you.  I went into work today and found out that I was just assigned a new partner."


Amusement finally appearing in his eyes, he laughingly said, "That's almost the exact expression I had when I found out."

"But why?  I thought you worked alone."

"I did, but that was only because I refused to have another partner after my first one died."

"Oh!  I didn't mean..."

"It's okay, Draven.  He was the best friend I could have.  He was both my partner and my friend.  God, I really lost it when he died.  I went on a drinking binge and nearly destroyed myself.  If it hadn't of been for my Captain, I would have given up, and drunk my way to death."

"I'm sorry."

"Why should you be sorry.  I'm the one telling you this."

"I'm sorry for causing all those memories to be released."

Daryl looked at me, then turned away again and leaned his head against the corner of the window.  "There's nothing you can do.  I accepted it long before I'd ever met you, but the memories do overwhelm me every now and then."

For some reason, I was starting to feel sad myself.  And it wasn't from my own loss.  It was because of his.  Is this what it feels like to care about another?  Even with Shelly, our life was almost idyllic.  We never had those times when sadness permeates the relationship.  We were always either cheerful, being together, or making love like there was no beginning.  But this was different.  Daryl's and my relationship was built on death.  We'd both had to come to terms with it, to even be friends.  We faced death every day I was alive on this earth.

And I was starting to worry.  Just what did this mean to our partnership? Standing next to him, I reached up and placed my hand on his shoulder.  The warmth from his body was starting to heat me up.  Since I'd come back from the dead, my body was so cold.  I didn't need to either eat or sleep.  Sometimes, I felt like there was no warmth at all.  It was surprising that I felt the heat coming off of him.

Surprised, I jerked my hand away.  Daryl, startled, swiftly faced me, and quickly asked, "What is it, Eric?"

"Nothing, it's just that....I well...Oh, hell, ever since I returned, I have barely been able to feel anything.  Pain's dispersed, where there's no sharp agonies when I'm hurt.  While I can taste the food, I have no desire to.  I'm never aware of the passing tempeture.  I just can't feel either heat or cold. The only thing that I've been able to feel at all is emotions, and those, I feel in abundance."

"Then why did you jerk away from me like that?"

"Because I felt heat coming off of you.  It's the first time that's happened since I've been back."


"Yeh, surprised me too!"

"Well, sorry about that.  I didn't know I was making you feel anything.  I can leave if you want me too."

Coming nearer again, I reached up and this time, deliberately placed my hand on his shoulder, and held it there for a period of time.  This time I could really feel the subtle nuances of his heat.  Somehow, my body was reacting to his.  I was starting to feel....

Suddenly, I jumped away again, this time I flew to the other end of the apartment.  Daryl just looked in astonishment at me.  He didn't know what was going on.  I couldn't blame him.  I didn't know myself.  But that's not right. I did know.  I just didn't want to admit it to myself.  I was feeling desire.

God, all this time, Shelly was the only one I ever truly wanted.  I loved her with both my mind and body.  Though, I do have to say that it was mainly a mating of our minds.  There were days we'd never made love.  Just being together was enough.  And it was usually me that started it.  Shelly just never had the desires I did.  Maybe it was because I was male.  I don't know. I just...there were days where I never needed her physically.  Truthfully, our relationship was a meeting of minds.  Our bodies were just in the way sometimes.

But this?  Before I met Shelly, I'd had relationships.  I was good at the love and leave em relationships.  But I also never discriminated.  I wasn't one to turn my back away from what my body wanted.  I'd had quite a few affairs with men.  Sometimes it was the musician environment, after all, there were male groupies as well.  Other times, I just met someone I was interested in.  Of course, it wasn't until Shelly that I'd ever fallen in love.

What was I feeling for Daryl?  Why was this happening to me all of a sudden? I love Shelly.  Why am I attracted to another?  God, I really need some answers right now.

Concern in his face, Daryl came over and turned me to him.  Holding my shoulders, her forcefully asked me, "What is going on?  Why are you walking away from me like that?  Am I doing something wrong?"

By this time, I was totally lost.  I didn't know what I was going on or what I was feeling.  Then, it came to me, something I had to know.

"Daryl, how long have you been in your relationship with Cordelia?"

Bringing his hands down, he looked at me.  You could tell he was wondering just what was going on.  "You're asking me that?"

"Yeh.  I mean, it seemed like I'd always known Shelly.  What is it like with her?"

Turning his back to me, he walked over to the window, "You know that partner I told you about?  Well, it seemed I lied to her when I told her that I was having lunch with Cordelia.  This was when I was trying like hell to bring you back from...wherever the hell you were while Black Feather was in your body. Cordelia called while I was out and spoke with my new partner.  Of course, she mentioned that she wondered where I was.  She told Cordelia that the last she knew, I had been headed toward lunch with her.  When I got home last night, Cordelia raised holy hell.  It wasn't the first time I'd lied either about her, or used her in a lie.  She was pissed.  The next thing I know, we're in an argument and I couldn't answer the questions she had.  She knows about you. At least, she knows that you're impersonating Draven.  She had questions raised about you thanks to my new partner, and I couldn't answer."

Silently, I waited.  I knew what was coming.  I didn't want to hear, yet I stood there and listened while Daryl revealed some startling news.

"I couldn't tell her.  I promised myself that I'd never reveal anything about you unless it was a last resort, and only if it would save you.  I couldn't tell Cordelia.  It was like, I couldn't trust her with the truth.  She's an attorney.  There's no way I can either lie to her, or omit the truth and get away with it.  In a heartbeat, she was packing.  She told me that she was going to her mother's house for a while.  I didn't know what to do.  I couldn't even tell her I loved her.  It was like, the words just weren't there."  He'd paused there, having trouble continuing.

Coming over to him, I silently gave him assurance.  It must have worked because he started talking again.  He turned and faced me, the look in his eye revealing.  What I'd seen before was there now.  There was no denying.

"God, Eric!  I really envy you.  Do you know how jealous I get knowing how you feel about Shelly.  I could never hope to have even a fraction of what you two had.  There are days when I want love so bad, I can taste it.  But no one wants to take in this old, battered detective.  When they try, they regret it and leave.  And the damn thing is, is that it's my fault.  If I'd just trusted them, I wouldn't be alone.  But I can't.  I can't trust that person with my secrets.  I just don't trust them."

He was crying again by that point.  Here he'd lost his lover, gotten a new partner that threatened his friend's existence, and couldn't stop thinking about the loss of his former partner.  His day had been hell.  And it didn't help that all my love for Shelly was doing was reminding him of what he didn't have.  No wonder he was like this.  He'd have to have no emotions at all to be able to take it.

Reaching out, I put my arms around him, made him face me, and gave him a big hug.  The warmth of his body energized me.  I felt a charge of...something, catalyzing me.  Daryl was crying even harder.  He couldn't stop.  I could feel the wetness of his tears on my shoulder.  I wasn't much better.  With Daryl's emotions broken loose, so were mine.  For the first time, I really let go.  I let go of everything I'd had to deal with in my life.  Loss, pain, death, love, desire, I was feeling it all.  Where one ended, the other began.  We cried together, coming to terms with our feelings.  As the emotions were poured out of us, it occurred to me, that I wasn't sad anymore.

Instead, I was feeling Daryl.  I could feel his body pressed against mine.  I could feel his body's heat as it warmed my cold blood.  Forgetting about Shelly, all I could think about was this hard, firm, wonderfully masculine body as it rested against mine.  Noticing the change in the circumstances, Daryl raise his head.

We looked into each other's eyes.  Captured by each other, we couldn't turn away.  Daryl couldn't help himself, as love poured out of his eyes.  Passion awakened between us.  I don't know who made the first move, but we were suddenly kissing.  When our lips met, it was like a raging bonfire was burning within me.  I'd been cold and now I was so hot with desire.

I felt his hands as they moved up and down my back.  His hands pulled my shirt away, and slipped under.  Where he touched me, I burned.  I could feel his fingertips as they teased their way up and down.  Not able to stay in one place, his hands slid around me, to my chest.  Pinching my nipples, he squeezed gently.  Gasping, I pulled my mouth away and couldn't stay still.

I had to have him.  My mouth again on his, I was tugging his tie down, pulling his pants apart, ripping his shirt off of him in one move.  He was so hard, his rigid member had me nearly coming with release. It was only a matter of time before we had each other's clothes off.  My black trenchcoat forming a bed on the floor, we moved as one and started the ritual that instinctively burned within our souls.  With Daryl on top of me, I was pressed firmly to the ground.  Our hard staffs were pressing against each other.  I felt it as Daryl pulled away and started kissing his way down my body.  Little nips and sucks had my desire nearly boiling.

Looking down at him, the contrast between our bodies was stunning.  His dark, black presence was a direct opposite to the light body of mine.  Muscles were delineated in his strong arms.  His hands were large, and experienced in what we were doing.  Pectorals were sharply defined.  His whole body was beautiful. A dark, forbidden forest come to life.

Reaching my cock, he looked at me with a question in his eyes.  Silently answering him, I nodded.  Bending down, he took it into his mouth.  Lightly teasing the head, he moved up and down my shaft.  I lost as his mouth brought me pleasure as he used those nips and sucks were again put to good use there.

I couldn't move.  I was paralyzed with passion.  The sudden move of Daryl's mouth cause me to explode with movement.  I couldn't take no more.  I reached down and pulled him up to me again.  His mouth captured by mine, I took control.  I wanted him and couldn't stop this for the world.  We both needed it.  It had been too long for both of us.

Flipping him over, I dominated him with sharp touches, arousing him to ecstasy.  I worked my way to every part of his body, continuing until the only place left was his long, beautiful cock.  I needed him inside me.  Jumping up and racing over to the bathroom, I was quickly back before he'd realized I was gone.  He was dazedly watching me, as I liberally coated his cock with the lotion that had been left in the medicine cabinet.  I took his hands in mine, and coating them, moved them to my ass.  Positioning myself over him, I made it easy.  Sudden understanding in his eyes, he first inserted one finger.

The gentle movement within me, almost made me come right then and there.  I could barely restrain myself, as his fingers search and found my prostate. The little, light touches were causing me to lose myself.  Every time his fingers grazed over it, I was that much nearer to coming.  Feeling I was ready, he inserted another finger.  The movement of both fingers caused me to break out with a gasp of pleasure.  I couldn't take much more.  Ready for a third, he waited while my tight ass adjusted to his penetrating fingers.  When I couldn't take anymore, I reached down, pulled his fingers out, and giving us no time for thought, forcefully sat down on him, pressing his hardness inside me.  After the first painful intrusion, he was all the way in.  Full of him, I looked down.

Daryl was crying again.  I thought for a moment it was tears of pain.  But as he opened his eyes, I could see he was feeling joy.  That intense joy that only comes from feeling the most powerful emotions such as love and passion. Smiling with joy myself, I started moving.

Riding him, I was like a man breaking a new steed in.  Adjusting his movements to mine, his hands held my hips firmly in place.  We rocked against each other, pulling ourselves away from the pain of our lives.  Everytime I rammed myself down, I was filled with him.  Leaning forward, the angle hit my prostate.  I lost it.  I was riding him so hard that I had not desire except to complete this burning.  We were fucking each other to a point of no return. I couldn't take it anymore.  I exploded.  Semen poured out of me, coating Daryl's body in white splotches.  Feeling the sudden squeeze on his cock, he exploded as well.

Still in shock, I fell down, to lay on top of him.  Head turned away, I didn't know what to say.  I was speechless.  For that matter, so was he.  We let the silence of the loft gather, while we waited until we had composure enough to talk.  Although what we were going to say, I don't know.  What can I say?  I loved Shelly.  I still do, but it looked like I was falling in love with Daryl too.

I couldn't feel this way and make passionate love like this, without feeling at least the beginnings of love.  I recognized the feeling.  But this was so much more passionate than it was with Shelly.  I don't know why, but I wanted Daryl a whole lot more than her.

Maybe it was because so much had happened to me.  No matter what I thought, I was a different person.  Our experiences with life are what makes us.  And I'd been through so much change that I wasn't the same man who loved her.  Now, it seemed as if I had someone else to love.

I don't know what this would mean to our future, but at least one of the questions have been answered.  It looked like I wouldn't be alone anymore.

The End