Was a long and dark December... from the rooftops, I remember, there was snow... white snow...
Dec. 15- 2:45 am
She is standing on the hilltop, in the center of the fort he had built just for them, up to her ankles in snow. She is barefoot, clad in just her strappy, pale yellow nightgown. She isn't cold.
Maggey has been here before, almost every night the past ten nights. She wants to leave, but she can't. She promised she'd wait, and wait she is doomed to do.
Snow crunches heavily from the hill, acending. Maggey feels the tears needling at her eyes already. Her legs want to run... they fight over which direction they should run in, towards or away, and just end up rooting themselves to the spot. All she can do is clutch her pendant... a locket, a gift on her last birthday. There was a picture in it, a picture of him, smiling his sweetest, broadest smile, along with a four-leaf clover. For luck, he'd said, chuckling and kissing her.
Her luck had always been awful. Everything she'd ever encountered had been a link in a chain of disaster. Except for him. Please, she'd prayed, don't let it touch him, too. He's kind of poor and even a little clumsy, but he's got the sweetest soul and the biggest heart and I... he dosen't deserve...
She can see his eyes first. She always can. Flat, empty eyes. Dark brown, if you can tell past the blood oozing into them.
His face slowly illuminates in the moonlight, bleeding and pale. His coat... the khaki coat she'd got him to replace his beat-up old olive one- was stained in rust and vermillion. Some patches still looked tacky or even wet, especially around the hole in his chest.
His heavy footsteps stain the snow red. He stands before Maggey, his almost seven-foot broken and bloody form shillouetted in the moon before her.
When Dick Gumshoe finally speaks, it's the same nine words he's spoken every night. The same words, in the same hollow tone, his corpse's eyes struggling to shed tears from ducts gone dry.
"...if you loved me... why'd you let me go...?"
Maggey Byrde sat up in a cold sweat and a sharp sob, at first blindly fumbling for 280 pounds worth of warm detective, then remembering herself and settling for the pillow on the left, the one he'd always used and still smelled a little like him. The scent was fading by the night.
'...if you loved me... why'd you let me go...?'
He'd been off duty. He hadn't needed to. He could've stayed with her, minded his own business.
She could have easily stopped him, but she hadn't. She'd forgone her own worries about the situation, her own almost-selfishness she'd noticed she'd developed when it came to him (she'd once been a 100 percent selfless person. She still was exceedingly so, but she couldn't help thinking selfish thoughts now, like how angry she'd be if someone tried to steal her dear, humble detective from her, or, like now, how she'd rather bad things happen to people she didn't know than Dick) and she'd let him go.
She offered to go with him- she had police experience, after all. He said no, just wait here, Maggeypie, I'll break this up and be back in a minute.'
In the end, the selfish thoughts she'd been so angry at herself for, they hadn't been selfish enough. She loved him... but she'd let him go.
December 5th- 3:30 pm
"Maaaaagey. Maaaaaaaaaageypie. Wheeeeeeere's my Maggeypie at?"
The winter wind whistled from outside as Dick Gumshoe stepped in through the door, ducking his head a bit as he did so. He was a big guy... a BIG guy... and had long since learned that most doors were not built with a big, broad, almost seven-foot man in mind. He was very good about remembering to duck, which he always did unless he was in a hurry or particularly excited. (This resulted, usually, in a bump on the head at least or a top-of-Gumshoe's-head shaped divot in the top of the door at worst. He thinks he knocked himself out once, but he can't recall when or if it was...) He was excited now... but at least he kept enough composure to duck.
The apartment... a condo, really... was the home they'd shared for about two years now. They'd been dating for two and a half, and Maggey had insisted he move in with her from about the first time she'd seen his old place- it was drab, and tiny, and dark, and Maggey was positively certain that Gumshoe deserved much better- and if he couldn't AFFORD better, then sir, my place is a lot nicer, and while I could afford it on my police salary I'm having trouble making rent as a waitress, sir, so it would be better... I mean, it would help us both if you would... maybe... move in with me? Please?
He'd spent a couple weeks thinking it over, and he was certain he'd have said 'yes' right away if it wasn't for his somewhat shy and modest nature. (Especially when Maggey was involved.) He finally agreed, on one simple condition- she do her best to stop calling him 'sir'. After all, he was her boyfriend, not her boss. Not anymore, anyway.
They'd lived quite happily together since- he continued his work as a detective, and she took a second waitressing job after she'd lost her first one due to... rather ugly circumstances neither of them discussed much anymore. Gumshoe didn't argue either way- after all, her new job just so happened to be at the coffee shop he'd always frequented. They weren't rich by any means, but they made enough to pay the bills and keep a relatively comfortable living.
Only one thing, in Gumshoe's mind, was lacking. And he was aiming to rectify that now. Well... as soon as he found his girlfriend.
He searched, getting a bit nervous. He'd thought he'd heard something move...
The peculiar cry was accompanied by a loud THUD and an equally loud CRASH, and a startled Gumshoe jumped backward, turning to see two things- the floor lamp, fallen over with the shade bent and bulb broke, and Maggey, laying at his feet in a heap. Moaning a little in pain, she lifted herself up slowly and plucked her glasses off the carpet as he crouched down, face full of concern, reaching out his strong arms to her and gently picking her up.
"Maggeypie, what in the world...?"
She smiled sheepishly, wiping a tiny trickle of blood from under her nose.
"I... wanted to pounce out and surprise you. I... sort of tripped over the lamp, though. Just my luck."
"Are you okay?"
"Nothing hurt but my pride, really... I've gone through lots worse than this. I'll be just fine, Dick."
"Um... okay, then..."
He reaches in his pocket carefully, withdrawing a handkerchief. He pulls it out slowly, as if not wanting to risk exposing anything else he has stowed in there, and gently dabs her nose with it until the tiny ooze of crimson is gone, and gives said nose a little kiss for good measure. She giggles girlishly before clearing her throat, trying to regain some form of composure.
"Anyway. Where have you been all day? I got your note..."
She produces a post-it from her pocket, reading in his familiar sloppy scrawl 'Be Back Later', signed with a little doodle heart.
Gumshoe just smiles broadly.
"Put your coat on, Maggeypie. I want to take you somewhere."
December 5, 7:15 am
It had been snowing steadily for days, and the weather report said it didn't have any signs of stopping. It was perfect... the sort of steady snow enough to close school but not enough to cause accidents.
It was Dick Gumshoe's day off. Normally, he spent them being... very fidgety. He was an extremely dedicated man in all things, but most of all his love life and his professional life. He was dedicated to his job to the point of being what Maggey teasingly reffered to as a 'workaholic'. Gumshoe didn't see anything wrong with it, per se... he truly loved what he did for a living, even if he was no longer sure about his superiors. Prosecutors came and went, and he always worked with them to the very, very best of his ability, but he never felt quite as loyal to any of them as he had to Miles Edgeworth.
He hoped Mr, Edgeworth was having a good life abroad, learning new things and keeping far from people who would say cruel rumors about him.
In any case, he'd thought today, the weather being perfect for it and he finally having the time, he'd set to work on his grand plan. He'd had it in his head for weeks, and it all started here.
Parking his car, he got out and walked up to the top of Violet Hill. He took a moment to appreciate the view- best in town, even from rooftops- before he set to work. He knelt, packed a good amount of snow into a rectangular shape, set it down, made another, set it beside. He repeated this for hours, packing, stacking, shaping. He did it with a song whistling from his lips, Not only was he keeping busy, there was a great purpose to his project. Whenever he grew tired, he stopped, took a drink of good, strong joe from his thermos, and squeezed the object in his coat pocket. It renewed his resolve, and he began again.
It was so early when he began that he was undisturbed by sledding children who would come to the park- by the time he was well underway, they weren't a bother. In fact, some of the children even helped him.
It was mid-afternoon when he finally completed his toil, and he stood back and looked at it approvingly. The kids were amazed... they hadn't seen such a thing, ever, outside of movies.
He left, leaving his snowy masterwork in the care of the city's little ones until he returned. The place was set, and he just needed everything else to fall into place.
Nothing was going to go wrong. Not this time.
December 5, 5:30 pm
It was already just starting to grow dark, the wind blowing out the clouds. It seemed there would be a day's break in the snowfall. As it was, though, the dipping sun dyed the sky pinks and reds and oranges, the clouds a deep purple, these colors shimmering off the thick snow.
Even this early in December, there were Christmas songs playing on the radio. Gumshoe was humming merrily along with 'Santa Claus Is Coming To Town', and Maggey could sense that whatever surprise he was sitting on would likely give him as much joy in giving it as she would in recieving it.
She sat quietly as they drove, just watching him. Marking every feature of his face- his warm brown eyes, his black hair that always stuck out, the strong, broad chin always skritchy and scruffy, even the little pencil he always stuck behind his ear in case he needed to jot something down. That same place he ALWAYS nicked himself shaving.
He wasn't handsome like a movie star, and she doubted hordes of women would swoon at his passing. But in the eyes of Maggey Byrde, he was beautiful- more noble and shining than any knight she'd ever met, by virtue of his heart- so big, she thought, if let loose in literal terms it could crush the whole city.
She loved him so much. She loved him to the point of bursting, but since she couldn't word it in a way that she deemed appropriate... three tiny words alone seemed insignificant to convey the depth of her feelings... she rarely said as much. She kicked herself for that- even if no words were worthy of her feelings, she should say SOMETHING- and yet she just couldn't seem to get them out.
He had the same problem, she thought. There was no lack of affection and warmth between them (perhaps even more than most couples), but the words themselves weren't said nearly enough.
Maybe she should...
"Oh! Maggey. Um... could you tie the end of your scarf around your eyes? I really want you to see this at just the right time."
Her hands trembling a bit, Maggey blindfolds herself and waits while Gumshoe parks, steps around the vehicle, opens her door, and takes her by the hand, his large hand practically enveloping her small, delicate one. His grip is firm, but warm and gentle, and he carefully leads her through the snow. She feels the powder crunch under her feet, the ground beneath her begin to incline- slightly at first, then steeper- enough so that she felt Gumshoe's other hand rest upon her shoulder, ready to catch her if she should slip.
Eventually, the ground flattened out a bit, and they stopped. There was a pause for a moment, a brisk wind whistling, and Maggey felt the soft scarf slowly being unwound from around her eyes. Unfortunately, this act caused her glasses to fall into the snow.
"Whoops! Um... sorry. Here you go..."
Glasses are carefully slipped back onto her nose, giving way to widened eyes and a sharp gasp.
There, atop Violet Hill, awash in the hues of the sunset, was as grand a snow fort as Maggey had ever seen. It was built high, the walls encircling a hilltop bench, and it even had a well packed arched doorway. It was easy to tell that this labor is what had kept Dick Gumshoe occupied since the early hours. Maggey darted her gaze from the sparkling structure to the man who had built it, who stood at her side, scratching the back of his head, smiling sheepishly, almost having the air of a schoolboy waiting for a favorable assessment of his art project.
"Dick, it's... this is amazing! I've never seen such an incredible... did you do this for me?"
"Hoh hoh! Yeah... I mean, it's nothing really. Just a snow fort, but... I thought you might like it. I mean, you were telling me how you used to build them as a kid..."
"Well... yes, but never anything this big! Can we go in it?"
"Yeah. I wanted us to, anyway. Come on in."
Gumshoe let Maggey enter first, then followed, ducking his head under the arch. He cleared the snow off the bench with a sweep of his arm, and they sat. Her small hand held his large one, and her head leaned gently against his broad shoulder. The sun set around them, the snow tinting sherberty oranges and pinks and violets.
Maggey struggled. She knew she should say something... anything... regarding her feelings. She should say them now, of all times... why, why couldn't she get her words in order?
He looked to her, smiling, but there was something under the soft cocoa of his eyes. Some sort of pleading desperation.
If you love me... won't you let me know?
His free hand closed around the object in his pocket. Everything was leading up to this... he wasn't sure if someone like him was even worthy. But as much as he told himself that, he knew he would get no peace until he at least made an effort. Everything in the detective's life came from effort. Even this should be no different.
He didn't get another word out before the quiet was shattered by a sharp, piercing scream.
"NO! GET AWAY... HEEEELLLLPP!"
The two jumped up immediately, and dashed out of their fort and looked down the hill. The young woman was in the parking lot of Violet Hill Park, illuminated by the lot lights. She was backing away in fright from a trio of toughs who leered from the shadows. The detective and the waitress couldn't make out the words of the young men, but their body language was easy enough to read.
Dick Gumshoe's jaw set, his eyes flashing with anger. He abhorred injustice and cruelty- anyone who knew him knew this to be a staple of his nature. It was his day off, he wasn't on duty. He had no obligation to get involved...
"Wait here, Maggey. I'm gonna go down there an' take care of this."
She immediately clutched onto his massive arm. It was a reflexive action. Gumshoe didn't even have his gun with him- he didn't like guns much and he only carried his police-issue handgun when he absolutely had to. He especially didn't like drawing it... well, except maybe now and then to impress kids. The point was, however, he was unarmed. And Maggey knew it.
She hardly could believe her own ears. She normally would never dream of keeping someone from helping others, but her gut... she had a terrible feeling that...
"Maggey, it's alright. That girl needs help. Do me a favor and call the cops. I should be able to hold 'em good 'till they get here, it's just a few punks..."
"Let me go with you. I... I used to be on the force too, you know. I haven't forgotten my training."
"Naw. No sense in us both getting in a tussle. Just call the cops for me. Stay here, Maggeypie. I'll break this up and be back in a minute."
He gave her a wink and a small smile, which gave way to an all-business glare as he dashed down the hill towards the terrified girl.
"HEY! BACK OFF, PAL!"
No sooner did Gumshoe reach the bottom than the fists started flying. They didn't have a chance, really. 3 skinny thugs against one mountain of a justice-fueled lawman who had no gun, but very big fists? Fists that had once punched out one of the city's most notorious gangsters? It was child's play. Gumshoe almost felt sorry for them- too bad they had to try and mug someone in his town.
He straightens his coat, and goes to check on the girl, who fainted just before he'd arrived at the fray. He knelt down to try and rouse her.
Violet Hill Parking Lot, December 5, 7:49 pm
The brain is an amazing thing. Synapes firing off, ideas and thoughts and reactions all being flashed around at once... when you consider this, you have to slow it all down to truly comprehend it. Even in the tiniest fraction of time, the brain acts and reacts. It sends messages to the body, which responds, in contrast, hours later, though truthfully it's simply a margin of a few nanoseconds.
So, to put the following events into perspective, imagine this. A large BANG is heard. This BANG is well known. This is, after all, the brain of a man in law enforcement. Given the distance of the sound and the positioning, a conclusion is reached. A thought is fired off and stays in internal monolouge, reacting in only the widening of the eyes, though it shivers through the entire brain like a peal of a black bell.
I AM GOING TO DIE.
Now, almost in synchrony with the tail end of that thought, one more is fired off. One that sends all of consciousness into mourning, into simultanious joy and lamentation, for what was and what might have been and the fate of someone so very deeply cherished. This thought, echoing even further than the last, cannot be contained even with the sudden explosion of pain engulfing all things. But it cannot finish its escape.
There is no time.
The bullet, fired by not-quite-unconscious punk before passing out for real, rips through clothing, flesh, bone, muscle. Passes through the heart, slightly left of dead center, and out the other side- effectively tearing it asunder.
Dick Gumshoe is dead before he hits the ground, his blood splattering over the white snow, staining and marring its beauty.
Wails are heard not three seconds later. Wails of sirens, joining in their cacophony with the wail of the girl running hysterically down the hill, screaming his name over and over, like a mad requiem.
December 8, 1:30 pm
The snow had finally stopped, the temprature warming to melt some of the thinner patches of snow to unpleasant slush. The clouds blanketed the sky thickly, but showed no intention of precipitation- as if their only purpose was to cast a dismal grey canopy over the city.
The funeral was a varitable 'who's-who' of the city's top citizens, especially among law enforcement circles. Even Miles Edgeworth, perhaps the most notorious and-or celebrated (depending on who you asked) prosecuting attorney the city had ever known, had flown back from Europe to deliver the eulogy. Maya Fey, master of the Kurain Channeling School, was there, as was her cousin and assistant, Pearl (who had grown from a cute and precotious young girl into a pretty and precotious young tween.) It seemed most everyone who had some connection to the biggest cases in the city's recent history was there.
It was only natural, then, that most everyone kept at least one saddened eye peeled. For something like this, even HE had to show his face.
December 8, 1:32 pm - several yards away
"...daddy? Who's the man laying in the box? Are they going to saw him in half?"
"No. He's... he was an old friend of mine. He's..."
"Oh... daddy, don' cry. Don' be sad. It makes me sad, too."
"I can't help it, sweetie. I'm sorry. I shouldn't have... I don't think I should've come here."
"You should'a too. Why don't you go and talk to all those people? They keep lookin' over. Go say 'Hi'."
"No, Trucy. I can't. Not anymore... I want to, but I just... can't."
The exhausted, sad-eyed man looked to the crowd he distanced himself from. Even now, he could not face them. For the same reasons he hadn't answered his phone since... then, for the same reasons he'd gone into near total seclusion, and for the same reasons he'd ignored the sounds he'd heard four days After- the sounds that broke his heart when he heard them in his memory now.
BANG BANG BANG
"Hey, pal! C'mon... please come on out? Maya called me and she was real worried... said you probably hadn't eaten anything and I made you some instant noodles. 'Cuz... Maya's a sweet gal, but she sure's heck can't cook. ... Pal? ... Mr. Wright? ... Phoenix? ... 'Kay then, I'll just leave it out here. Um... call Maya. She's worried sick. ... And so am I."
Phoenix Wright buried his face into his hands, collapsing to his knees in the slushy snow. The little girl, dressed in a small cloak and matching top hat, threw her tiny arms around him, peppering his damp, salty cheeks with tiny kisses and trying everything her little mind could think of to cheer him.
"Daddy... Daddy, look. I think the pretty silver-hair man is gonna say something."
December 8, 1:40 pm - Miles Edgeworth's Eulogy
"I... I find it rather sad and tragic, and not right, that something of this sort is the catalyst to bring us all together once more. I look among us and I see old friends and allies, people I thought to myself that I cherished, even if I never said as much. You all said it to yourselves too, I'd imagine. You there, Maya... and you too, Pearl. Will... Lotta... Larry... even you, Franziska, my own sister. How long has it been?
He would have liked to see this, I think. He was always so... so damndably selfless. If he knew we had all come together once more, I believe he would have smiled."
The man looks down. His suit is not quite black, but an impossibly dark burgandy, a lace-edged cravat ruffled at his throat. Well-combed strands of deep silver hair fall just-so into his face, as to provide an adequate veil for hiding without looking unkempt.
He never has been comfortable with baring his emotions, to one person let alone a crowd.
"...but that's... that's how Dick Gumshoe was. How he operated. Selflessness... and loyalty. I can name only one other as devoted to me in my life as he. I will not mention the other by name, but it is of no offense to him when I say, I believe even he was outdone by this man. This... kind, dedicated mountain of a man."
Head dips down a bit more.
"Why, I'll never know. He said it was a police/prosecution thing, but I never believed that. He always stuck by me, no matter how it reflected on his own reputation. And I... I never thanked him. I was downright cruel sometimes and it didn't stop his devotion one jot. Ah, if only everyone could have friends so impossibly loyal."
He glanced upwards, to the far edge of the throng of mourners, and back. He spied the form of that other man. He could call out until his voice was spent, and he knew that man would never come any closer. So it goes.
"It... may seem cliche', but I would like to read a verse from a poem by Rudyard Kipling. It... it's always made me think of him, really, and while I'm no good at eulogizing, I think this will sum up everything I feel about Dick Gumshoe."
He clears his throat, the afternoon sun breaking through the clouds and making his filled-up eyes shimmer wetly.
"...Though I've beaten you and flayed you, by the livin' God that made you, you're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!"
With those words, he turned sharply, an arm oddly raised to his face, and almost fled the podium. No one called him on it- after all, it was just like Miles Edgeworth to deny anyone the view of his tears.
He did pause, though, to gently squeeze the shoulder of Maggey Byrde, who stood close by the side of Maya Fey. Maya, who seemed to be on the tail end of whispering something to the grieving young woman at the time, The spirit medium nodded at the former prosecutor as he passed by, walking into his own position of solitude far opposite from his old rival's.
Dec. 15, 1:00 am
Back in her dark, lonely apartment, still reeling from the same nightmare, Maggey picks up the phone and dials the number she'd been offered weeks ago. She'd been reluctant to call it- after all, she didn't want to be a bother and what had been offered her had seemed... well, almost like the ultimate bother. But sizing up her situation, she came to the conclusion that this was the only thing she could do. She also considered herself fortunate.
After all, not everyone had this option.
The voice on the other end is sleepy, somewhat irritable, understandably.
"Maya? It's Maggey. I'm sorry it's so early, but the dream... it hasn't stopped."
"Maggey...? Oh... oh. Okay... yeah. Yeah, come out t'morrow and I'll see what I can do, 'kay?"
"I will. And Maya?"
"Thank you so much."
Dec. 16, 2:45 pm - Kurain Village
"Okay, so... I'm not holding you up, am I?"
"Me? Naaaah. Pearly can handle the students for a while, she's... well, you know her. She was as good as I am now back when she was eight."
Maggey nods as she sips her tea. She hadn't known Maya's cousin well, but she knew of her well enough to know that she'd been a child prodigy.
She looked around. The tiny mountain village radiated peace and serenity, and just being here put her at more ease than she'd felt in what seemed like forever. Being in the presence of an old friend helped a great deal, too.
Maya smiles softly, and reaches over and gives the other woman's hand a squeeze.
"Are you ready?"
Maggey Byrde polishes off her tea.
"Yes, I am."
Dec. 16, 3:00 - Channeling Chamber
It was at first a simple matter of not believing her eyes. She'd never actually seen Maya channel a spirit before. She thought it would be like what she'd seen in movies- the medium closes her eyes, goes into a trance, and starts speaking in the spirit's voice. She expected that, and nothing more.
What she didn't expect was to enter a chamber with a young woman and find herself standing before a man. And not any man, either, but...
The back of the hair was Maya's, and the slightly torn purple and white clothes (stretchy for channeling purposes, yet still not able to quite accomodate the size of the man) were hers, too. But everything else...
Maggey reached out, cupped a warm, slightly scruffy cheek in her hand. The flesh beneath her palm quivered. Her eyes flooded.
She could hold back no longer. She wept, clinging to the figure before her. Dick Gumshoe gripped her in return, fiercely, his own eyes streaming tears, his fingers combing through her shortish hair again and again. They were trying to convince themselves that the other was real. The other was here.
It was a bit before Maggey, the first to regain her composure, spoke.
"Dick, it's you... it's really you, and I thought I'd never see you again."
"Me too, Maggeypie... my sweet little Maggiepie. I wish I could've reached you before now. I really do, 'cuz I know you've been mighty low. I know 'cuz I've been by you, every minute. You couldn't see me, 'course, but there I was."
"Dick... I... I'm sorry. I'm so sorry..."
"Huh? What for? Did you leave the lights on back at the house? I told you it wasn't so big'a deal you had to get upset over it..."
Maggey had to chuckle a little. Gumshoe was always Gumshoe.
"No... that I let you go. I had a feeling something was going to happen, and if only I'd tried harder to stop you, you'd..."
"...have probably gone anyway."
Gumshoe's expression fell dead serious (a pun he wouldn't have really appreciated at the moment), pulling away just enough so he could look Maggey in the face properly.
"Someone had to help that girl. I wasn't going to let you do it. I knew the boys weren't gonna get there soon enough, so I did what I had to do, both as a member of the police force and as a person. Now. Maggey Byrde, I want you to stop blaming yourself for what happened to me. I want you to stop, and I want you to do it five minutes ago. You read me, Byrde?"
It was mostly reflex, but partly for old time's sake. Maggey snapped her hand up into a salute, bonking herself in the head in the process.
"Yes, sir! That is, sir, if you take what I say to you next and keep it with you as long as you li... well... forever how long ghosts last."
Reaching up, she pulls him down, their foreheads touching, her voice choking.
"I love you, Dick Gumshoe. I love you more than I have words to say it, which is why I hardly said it, which was stupid. I should've told you every day, no matter how much I didn't think it was enough."
"I... I love you, too, Maggey. I... I always loved you. I was just too shy to say it, and was waiting for you to say it first. Which... I guess was dumb of me, too."
She chuckles tearfully.
"So... I guess we're both dumb?"
"And luckless. But I don't think that mattered much, did it, Maggeypie?"
"No. I wouldn't... I wouldn't have had you any other way."
She rises onto her toes, her lips meeting his. The kiss is the taste of oranges in summer, icicles in winter, apples in autumn and lavendar ice cream in spring. Sweet, melting deliciousness made all the more delectable by sincerety, the sort of kiss that lasts a thousand lifetimes. Or afterlifetimes.
"I know. You have to go now."
"Yes, but... in the park. There's something on the hill. It fell out of my pocket, it's probably under the snow in our fort. There's something I want you to have. I was trying to give it to you that night, but..."
"I'll go look for it, but..."
Maggey suddenly felt a surge of desperation, as if losing him all over again.
"Dick... will you..."
He smiles tiredly, his features becoming less Gumshoeish and more Mayaish.
He faded away, and Maggey, once more, was left weeping. But it was a different sort of weeping this time.
Dec. 17, 9:14 am - Violet Hill
It took a while to find, as the snow fort was almost gone- just a ankle-high circle around a wet park bench. But there it was, muddy and soggy, and Maggey was sitting on that wet park bench turning it over in her hand.
The velvet was green- once forest in shade, now faded a bit to a hue of the coat he always wore, the coat he was buried in. Just holding the box made her remember everything sweet. Just holding the box made her feel so much better. Still, there was a tickle of anticipation as to what sort of thing could be in it.
She finally bit her lip and flipped the lid open.
The ring was gold. The diamond was tiny- very tiny. It must have taken him ages to save up for.
She slips it on her finger, a soft smile upon her lips.