Author: Prairie24 PM
Set between seasons 1 and 2. Alice tells Hank and Stevie that she's leaving.Rated: Fiction K - English - Family - Chapters: 2 - Words: 1,079 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 1 - Published: 10-29-09 - Status: Complete - id: 5474909
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Disclaimer: Rin Tin Tin doesn't belong to me.
Saying Goodbye - Chapter 2
Hank made his way slowly up the stairs, not sure what he was going to say to Stevie. The eleven-year-old had been through a lot in his short life, and to Stevie this would seem like another blow. Hesitating at the boy's door, Hank took a deep breath before knocking. After waiting for a response and not getting one, Hank tentatively opened the door. He found Stevie lying face down on his bed, his slim shoulders shaking with sobs. Rinty lay protectively beside the bed.
Hank walked over to Stevie's bed and sat down on the edge, next to his crying nephew. He reached out a hand and rubbed the boy's back in soothing circles as he decided to let Stevie calm down before he tried talking to him. Finally, Stevie's shoulders stopped shaking and he sat up rubbing at his eyes. "Uncle Hank, I don't want her to leave," he hiccupped.
Hank shook his head. "I don't either, Stevie." He reached out and pulled his nephew into his arms and the boy buried his face into his chest. Hank wrapped his arms tightly around him. "But we have to be fair to Alice, too."
Stevie pulled back and wiped at his eyes again. "What do you mean?"
"Well, we want her to be happy. She's happy with George."
Stevie nodded again and sniffled. "I do want her to be happy; it just doesn't seem fair that I have to lose her, too."
Hank sighed. "Stevie, you know you'll never really lose her. She'll come back here to visit, and we can go see her."
"I know, but it won't be the same."
"Well, you still have me; I don't plan on going anywhere." Hank's blue eyes studied his nephew's face, carefully watching his expression.
Stevie finally managed a small smile at his uncle before wrapping his arms around him again in another hug. "I guess I should go talk to Grandma, huh?"
"I think that would be a good idea," Hank replied. He let go of Stevie and followed the boy downstairs. Rinty padded along behind him.
Alice was still sitting at the kitchen table, staring into her now cold cup of coffee. Stevie walked up to her and placed his hand on her shoulder. "Grandma?"
She jumped and looked up at him. "Stevie, are you okay?"
"I'll be okay, Grandma. Uncle Hank and I talked it over, and I want you to marry George. You deserve to be happy, and I'll be fine here with Hank." Stevie glanced up at his uncle, and Hank gave him a reassuring nod. "Hank and I will be happy here."
Alice pulled Stevie into her arms. "Are you sure, Sweetheart? I'm not leaving if you need me." Tears were forming in Alice's eyes.
"I'll always need you, Grandma," Stevie replied, "but I can come visit you and you can visit us. Besides, we can talk on the phone all the time."
"That's right," Alice answered, kissing her grandson's brown hair. She looked up at Hank over Stevie's head to seem him smiling, but a bit misty-eyed. "I'm going to call George and tell him my answer is yes."
"Why don't we all go out to dinner to celebrate?" Hank suggested.
Alice grinned. "That sounds great." She hurried to her bedroom to call her new fiance.
Stevie sighed and looked sorrowfully at his uncle. "I miss her already."
"Me, too, Buddy; me, too."