AN: For the record, this is the ending I've decided to go with for my story. I hope you like it as much as I do. :)
Also, some of you seemed quite upset by the fact that Laurie did not end up recognizing Michael. I estimated baby Bonnie's age to be somewhere around one year old. Babies don't develop the ability to store long-term memories until about two or two-and-a-half years old. It would be physically impossible for Laurie to have remembered her brother.
That does NOT, however, mean that she will never come to terms with the fact that he is her brother. And it doesn't mean that she'll never understand why he did what he did.
That's what sequels are for, folks. :)
It only took a matter of moments for Emory to locate the source of the screaming. She walked quickly around to the front hallway of the house, where the entry to the basement was.
But before she could even approach the door, it burst open, and a haggard Laurie Strode stumbled out into the hallway. Her eyes, wide with terror and shock, locked onto Emory and she let out a cry of relief.
Instantly, she was in Emory's arms, clinging to her like a frightened child. She was talking, but most of her words blurred together in a cacophony of sobs and whimpers. Emory wrapped her arms tightly around the younger woman and started making soothing noises, the kind she had always made to Damien when he was a baby.
She watched the doorway, waiting, comforting Bonnie. When Michael finally appeared at the top of the stairs, bleeding from a wound in his shoulder, knife clasped loosely in his hand, she met his eyes and frowned.
But what she saw there made her anger disappear instantly. She had never seen anyone with such sadness in their eyes. Such desperate loneliness.
"Tell her, Michael," she urged softly. "Tell her who she is."
Laurie gazed up at Emory with wide eyes, her breath coming in jagged gasps. She looked slowly over her shoulder, and as Michael's form came into view, she instantly started flailing, screaming, pleading. Emory wrapped her arms around the girl and held her tightly, comforting her, backing slowly away from Michael.
"Calm down, Laurie… Laurie!" She hissed. The younger girl paused at the urgency in Emory's voice. "He's not going to hurt you."
"You're… you're with him?" She whispered, horrified. Emory sighed. She looked up at Michael.
"Michael," she said softly, "please, tell her."
He moved forward, paused, and dropped down to his knees. His eyes closed briefly, and Emory sucked in an unsteady breath. He had lost a lot of blood. If he fainted now…
But then his eyes were open again, and he slowly pulled the picture out of his pocket. Laurie struggled weakly in Emory's grip, too overwhelmed by shock and betrayal to fight. Michael held the picture out to her, waiting patiently. Emory's heart cried out for him.
"I don't understand," Laurie whimpered. "What do you want from me? I don't understand." Now she was talking to Emory, pleading with her. "Please. I don't want to die."
"Laurie, I promise he's not going to hurt you." She saw the look in Laurie's eyes and added, "I'm not going to hurt you either."
"He killed Lynda," she whimpered.
"I'm sorry," Emory said softly. "I wasn't here to stop him."
Michael held the picture out again. Laurie flinched, but she reached out with a trembling hand and took the photo. While she looked at it, shaking her head in confusion, Emory met Michael's gaze. And she knew that he wasn't going to speak. He wouldn't be able to tell her. He thought she might be better off not knowing. He was giving Emory the choice.
"I don't understand," Laurie whispered, edging slightly back from Michael's intimidating presence.
"That's Michael, in that picture," she said softly. "And the little girl he's holding… that's you."
She was silent for a few moments, absorbing this information.
"I don't have a brother," she whispered, voice trembling. Emory closed her eyes. At that moment, she hated Laurie Strode for the pain she knew the girl was causing Michael.
"You were adopted by Mason and Cynthia Strode when you were two," Emory said through gritted teeth.
"What?" Laurie's voice was less than a whisper now. She was looking dangerously pale. Her eyelids fluttered.
"Michael killed his abusive stepfather and older sister, Laurie." Emory said slowly, "so that you wouldn't have to grow up like he did."
And just like that, like someone had flipped a switch, Laurie's eyes rolled up into the back of her head and she fainted.
Emory caught her before she hit the floor, easing her to the ground. Then she stood up and looked at Michael. He was still on his knees. In slow, jerking movements, he dropped the knife and tilted his head up to her. Never in her life had she seen anyone look so sad and lost.
What now? He was asking her. What do I do now?
Without thinking, Emory moved forward and pulled him tightly against her. He responded reflexively, wrapping his arms around her waist, pressing his face into her abdomen. His breathing was more shallow than normal, but his grip on her was unyielding.
And Emory knew at that moment, as she watched him close his eyes and felt the tension in his body slowly disappear, that she loved him more than anything else in the entire world.
Tears burned in her eyes, and she quickly blinked them away.
"You're going to need stitches." She said in a quiet voice, glancing down at the stab wound in his shoulder. It was deep, and still wept blood, though slowly. She was amazed. How was he still conscious?
He didn't move.
Emory leaned down and brushed her lips over his forehead. She had to tell him. She couldn't not tell him.
"I love you, Michael."
He froze. He stayed like that for what seemed like hours. It couldn't have been more than a few seconds.
Emory waited. Every nerve in her body tingled, her pulse pounded in her ears, her fingers, laced through long golden hair, were trembling. She had known the risk when she said it. She had known that there was always the possibility that he didn't love her. But it didn't matter. All that mattered was that he knew.
In one fluid movement, Michael stood. Emory tilted her head back to meet his gaze as his arms slid around her waist. He pulled her tightly against him, locked eyes with her, and his lips curled into a sly, charming smile.
"I know," he whispered.
She laughed. She couldn't help herself. She threw her head back and laughed. The sound of it echoed throughout the old, drafty house. But she didn't care. Nothing mattered except the delightfully amused look on Michael's face. And that smile. And those lips…
Emory stood on her toes and pressed a playful kiss to those lips. And then she kissed them again. Just because she could.
And then she took his hand and she led him out of that house – and out of the past – forever.