Title: End of the Beginning

Author: Me, aka JainaSolo15, aka Jaina Solo2, aka Jaina

Disclaimer: Anne McCaffrey owns all things Talented. I own nothing and am making absolutely no money off of this.

Summary: Peter Reidinger loses the person who defined his life.

Peter Reidinger had received the urgent 'path less than five minutes before. In his haste he had simply 'ported himself straight from his Tower couch and into the waiting pod. It had been decades since he had regained the ability to move and walk on his own, without using telekinesis. He had spent more of his life with full use of his body than without and yet, at moments like these, he still reverted to using telekinesis.

All of these thoughts and a thousand more whirled through Peter's mind as he called on the Tower's powerful generators. He achieved gestalt quickly and was on Earth at the Jerhattan teleportation pad within the blink of an eye.

Peter 'ported himself out of the pod and stood disoriented for a moment in the harsh midday sunlight.

"Rhyssa," he called out both verbally and telepathically, feeling for a very familiar mind that he had always equated with strength, safety and support.

"Peter," her mental reply was weaker than he had ever heard it before and it frightened him in a way that nothing had in years.

"I'm here, Rhyssa," he 'pathed back, trying to keep his distress from his mental tone. "Where are you? I'm coming."

He felt her struggle to form a reply and then he heard another voice in his mind.

"Peter," Tirla's mental voice was brisk, "We're at the Center." Tirla's mental voice trailed off a little. "Hurry, Peter. She's been waiting for you."

Peter didn't need anymore encouragement. Swiftly he 'ported himself into the living room of Ryhssa's Center home. He took the stairs up to the second floor, three at a time. He stopped in the doorway to her bedroom.

Sascha, Tirla, Dave, Eoin, Chester and Amiriyah were gathered around her bed. All but Dave looked up as he entered.

"Rhyssa," he whispered, the word falling off of his lips almost reverently. He walked slowly to her bedside and knelt down next to her.

"Peter. You made it." Her voice sounded weaker than her mental tone.

Peter reached out to take her hand in his. Immediately their mental link strengthened. She smiled at him and he was at a loss for words. What could he say?

Rhyssa seemed to understand. She turned to look at Dave on the other side of her bed. "I need a moment alone with Peter, Love," she whispered.

Dave nodded. Peter could see the difficulty that he was having to leave Rhyssa even for a moment. Dave leaned over and pressed a gentle kiss to her lips before he stood.

"All right, you heard the woman. Everyone out." He spoke, his voice too stilted to even attempt to convey good cheer.

There was total silence both mental and verbal as everyone but Peter filed out.

Rhyssa squeezed his hand. "I'm so glad you came, Peter dear."

He shrugged, suddenly feeling like an awkward fourteen year old again.

"I would have come sooner, if I'd known." He tried to keep his voice steady.

"I know."

They sat in silence for a moment.

Peter broke it first. "Thank you," he whispered softly.

She raised a grey streaked eyebrow at him.

"Thank you for taking me in; giving me a family again; making me feel as if I was special…" He met her eyes. "You believed that I could do anything, if I set my mind to it and you gave me the stars." He could feel the tear falling down his cheek.

"Oh Peter," her voice was tender. "I couldn't have loved you more or been more proud of you," she 'pathed, her voice too weak. "You brought so much joy into my life."

"I'm going to miss you so much," he choked around the words, barely getting them out.

There weren't words to convey what he was feeling so he tried to put it all into his 'path.

"Oh, Peter," Rhyssa Owen-Lehardt smiled and died in his arms.