I've finally done it!

I started Dead Flowers in October of 2003 and now, it is finished.

I have poured myself into this fic. It was my first S.E. Hinton fanfiction and was the first fanfiction I had written in years and inspired me to write more fanfiction. I have worked hard on Dead Flowers and hope that those of you who have taken the time to read it have liked it.

Thank you to everyone who has ever reviewed! Deadly Wisteria, my first review ever. you kept reviewing my fic chapter after chapter for so long. You gave me such great ideas from that first review. Robot In Disguise (used to be Doll Without Eyes) you have also reviewed my fics so much. Y'all two kept me from going crazy from getting no reviews sometimes.

Zevie, I was so happy when I got your review. I have proclaimed my love for your Slashed Tires fic so many times to so many people because it is so great. I love it sooo much. I was so happy that such a wonderful writer had positive things to say about my fanfiction.

Antique Orange, your review made me so happy because I haven't had any new reviewers in so long.

And Jesse, Hallelujah89, Dracori, alyssaloo, kelly, jenny...well, everyone who reviewed Dead Flowers over these months....all of your reviews have meant so much to me. I have been estatic everytime I got a review. Really.

So I dedicate this final chapter to all of my reviewers. Thank you.

Chapter 21: Dum spiro, spero

"I've done enough...Charlie, I'm sorry I couldn't fix things, but I'm too much of a screw-up...You, Mom, Cathy, M&M, Pony, Mark...Mark...y'all would've just been better off if you never met me. I'm sick of screwing up people's lives, Charlie. You dig?"

"Dig what?" Mark found Bryon sitting on the edge of the roof of an abandoned apartment overlooking Buck Merril's building.

"Mark?" Bryon choked, seeing him.


"You can't stop me."

"Not gonna. In fact, I don't think you have the guts to do it. You're a coward, Bryon. You're just gonna sit around and mope. I'm probably gonna have to kill you myself." Mark slipped his hand into his own pocket, drawing a silver gun that glinted in the darkness... "Tulsa's a great place. So easy to get guns. But before you die, Bryon, just for the hell of it, why'd you do it?"

"I don't know Mark..." Bryon said, still and slumped over, looking at the cars go past beneath them. "Don't fucking tell me that!"

"I don't know..."

"Fine! Nevermind! Get fucking ready to die...Say your prayers. See maybe now we'll be even. I'll finally have killed you like you killed me. You wanted to be even, didn't you? Didn't you! WHY THE FUCK DID YOU DO IT!"

"I was messed up. I couldn't take it all. Cathy was crying because M&M was messed up and you were out selling the stuff. M&M got it from those hippies and out their supporting the whole system and you helped fuck up M&M. And Cathy."

"You always did pick Cathy over me."

"That's not all there is Mark. You know, you still don't get...I'm sorry that I did that to you Mark, but you're not sorry at all for fucking up M&M and that makes you scum."

"FUCK!" Mark screamed, pressing his gun against Bryon's forehead, who still just sat there motionless besides his fucking mouth. "You mean like you? Huh? You, YOU calling me scum. Why should I be sorry? Why should I be? FUCK! I'm gonna kill you and I won't be sorry about that either. I'll fucking laugh and I'll be fucking through with you."

"I've wondered what you think sometimes, if you remember us year ago..."

"That was a fucking long time ago."

"We grew up together, sneaking out under Mom's nose, picking up chicks and hustling pool. No one was as tuff as us. Nobody had nothing on us two."

"That's in the past. Before you fucked up. That stuff is gone like your head's about to be, Bryon."

"Mark, you never mooched off of my family. You are my family. You're my best friend and my brother." Bryon pulled the gun out of Mark's dazed hands, raised it to his head....

"Christ!"Mark yelled, attempted in vain to wipe off all the blood on his leg. The top of it had been scraped by the bullet.

"Why?" Bryon asked, shaking, looking up from the gun that lay falledn on the ground from when Mark had knocked it out of his hands just now.

Mark, his thigh skinned a little, leaned on Bryon who could harldy stand after drinking so much that night, and said, "Because you're my brother, Bryon."

There was just enough light coming from the street lamp outside for her to find her slippers. Her wrinkled feet slid into them with familiarity and her arms cozied into her robe. The robe swayed in unison with the slippers, which were moving across the faded carpet towards the other bedroom. Gently, she turned the brazen knob and then leaned against the doorframe and smiled. Mrs. Douglas' had never given up hope, and now both of her boys were fast asleep in their beds where they belonged.


dum spiro, spero-while i breathe, i hope