In case you've skipped straight to the latest chapter to read the update, be aware that I posted the final two chapters in one go, so you need to skip back one and read that, otherwise you'll be missing out on some fun. Go on, back you go. Shoo. Chop chop. I'll see you back here in a minute!
Well, here we are. The very final chapter. And yes, I know 'prologue' is the wrong word! :-) As the first chapter was an epilogue for the events and character development of the first two installments of 'Home', this is a prologue in that there are a lot of good implications for Lara and Kurtis' futures. Plus, having twoepilogues would just besilly.
"So where are you going?" Lara asked.
The sun was shining, the birds were singing, and she and Kurtis were at the end of her driveway, Kurtis on his bike with the engine purring softly.
"To finish my tour of England that was so rudely interrupted by Cheney," he smiled.
"You're sure you don't want a guide?" Lara asked.
"No," he replied, smiling warmly at her offer. "I think I need some time alone. I have a few things to work through."
"Despite what you might think, you are a good man, Kurtis. The Tip believed you were, it took your life in exchange for Gero's, remember?"
"Blood and poppies, Lara, blood and poppies."
Lara smiled to herself, content to let Kurtis judge himself as he saw fit. He'd work it all out in the end. "Don't be a stranger," she said.
Kurtis blinked, considering contentedly the situation he now found himself in – a traveller who now at least had a home to return to, when he needed it. He looked up to the house behind Lara, grand, old and patient, assuring him that it would be here when he returned.
"You got my number, ok?" Kurtis said by way of farewell. Lara nodded,beaming. "Goodbye, Lara." He leaned forward and placed a chaste kiss on her lips. "See you around."
With that he revved the bike and then took off, rolling down the lane at a leisurely pace, looked after by Lara, both happy that he would return rather than sad that he was leaving.
Still grinning, Lara strolled back towards her house in the warm late summer sun, a soft summer breeze toying with the loose hair framing her face. Reaching the door, she found the postman that had arrived just as she and Kurtis had set out packing away some paperwork before leaving, suggesting that recorded mail had arrived. Greeting Hillary with a nod of her head, she took the post from his hands and began to leaf through it, sorting out her own from the mens'. Sure enough, there was recorded mail, and it was addressed to her, from…Nintendo?
Curious, she turned it over to break the seal, but before she could remove the contents, Bryce whirled in to the room, gasped, and snatched it out of her hands. "Just something I ordered in your name!" he called in explanation, rushing away again. God forbid she should see the legal papers seeking her permission for the game developers to use her image in their new action-adventure. He could forge her signature and she'd never have to know about his little business venture.
"Hmm," Lara said, deciding it was best to leave Bryce to his own devices.
Regarding him slightly curiously, she watched as he disappeared down the corridor, tapping a number into his mobile phone as he went. "Akira?" she heard him say, "It's here."
"See you in a while," Lara said, turning to Hillary, and retreated upstairs to read her post in the sun on her balcony.
Reaching her room, she spotted a gift lying in the centre of her bed. Laughing happily to herself, she picked it up, inhaling its scent as she moved out onto her balcony, twirling the flower in her fingers – a single, blood red poppy.
Ta da!!! Well, I don't know about you, but I'm really happy with that story. Coming in 111 pages in Word (wow) it's the longest and most complicated thing I've ever written. Whew!
Big thanks go out to:
Nintendo: Sorry for borrowing you, but I needed a random Japanese based games developer. And hey, you got advertising right?
La Femme Nikita: Without you - well, I borrowed a lot for this story. :-)
Early Edition: You got Lara and Kurtis out of a tight spot.
All those who have characters appearing as namesakes: You include lecturers, friends, acquaintances.
Takeshi's Castle: I just had to pay tribute to you and the immortal General Lee.
Duran Duran: 'Ordinary World' was playing as I wrote the Jeep scene. It was inspiring.
Tomb Raider:Without you, this story wouldn't even exist. Sorry I didn't let Bryce hand his game concept back to you, but I was geographically restricted. ;-)
Silent Hill: What a boring flight Bryce and Hillary would have had otherwise!
: Hello, World!
Jo: Checkmate would not have occurred without your help.
And last but not least:
All my reviewers: You brightened up my inbox, spurred me on to write faster, gave me invaluable encouragement and feedback, and generally made the last four months very enjoyable! Thankyou!!! Disclaimer: Despite the huge amount of borrowing/outright stealing, I made no profit from this work other than in emotional and creative fulfillment. I have a huge student debt which is about to get bigger and no clothes suitable for a court of law, so if you don't like it, just ask me to change it, don't sue me, ok? This is just profitless fun, and quite frankly you should be flattered that you're in this at all. It means that I like you.
Disclaimer: Despite the huge amount of borrowing/outright stealing, I made no profit from this work other than in emotional and creative fulfillment. I have a huge student debt which is about to get bigger and no clothes suitable for a court of law, so if you don't like it, just ask me to change it, don't sue me, ok? This is just profitless fun, and quite frankly you should be flattered that you're in this at all. It means that I like you.