|Time Out for the Living|
revised 13 January 2008
Depressed after her brother's death, troubled by her dreams, and plagued by mysterious silent phone calls, Natalie has trouble coping with an unexpected day off work.
The story references numerous other episodes, particularly those providing background on Natalie's family, as well as the attack on her in "Only the Lonely".
- "Natalie rinsed and wrung out her hair, then squeezed some snarl-fighting conditioner into her hand. The strong apple scent startled her, and her eyes flew open. It was a new bottle; the old formula had been floral. Shaking her head forcefully, Natalie realized that the smell was the first sensation since leaving bed that she couldn't have supplied by sheer habit; had she sleepwalked through her shower?"
- "She sat still for a long, long time, staring not through her eyes, but behind them, at memories retained and dreams forgotten. She had been someone else, the little girl in the house on Hamilton street. She had been someone else, before her parents had died and Nana had had to take in Natalie and her brother. The wide, safe world had narrowed, thundered and struck, and the child Natalie had changed to survive. But Richie, only Richie, had come through both worlds with her."
- "Even Roger had noticed that she needed to get out more. And he was psychotic."
- also archived on AO3]