Title: Wait For Me
Characters/Pairings: Elwood
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 680
Warnings: None in particular.
Disclaimer: Standard disclaimers apply.
Notes: Written for the LJ comm writers-choice, #261 "Sorry"

It was silent on the hill, except for the whistling wind tugging at his clothes. The sun hid behind big gray clouds, as if to leave him alone for the moment. It cast a dim shadow over the barren land, where far and wide nothing was to be seen. Nothing except the grave he knelt in front. His sister's grave.

The earth beneath his palms was still dampish and loose, having been dug up only recently. It heightened the sense of unease and parting, as it was still fresh like the wound on his heart. He could not entirely wrap his mind around the fact that she was dead, although he had seen the gaping hole in her chest, the blood on the walls, had held her in his arms and told her he would find a way to save her. Although he already felt a bone-deep loneliness encompass him, weighing him down. (She was not there with him any longer, he was all alone.)

Her death had all been his fault, he knew and there was no way he could tell her how sorry he was for everything that had happened. If he had not joined Kinqro's gang for money, if he had just opted for a cleaner way to pay for her medication, maybe none of this would have happened. But it was already too late for ifs.

Had he been anyone else, he might have blamed his sister's heart disease for forcing him down the wrong path, might have been glad he was free of the obligation of caring for her. Had he been anyone other than John Elwood Shepherd, he might have.

But Elwood loved his sister. She had been the only family he had. His gentle and trusting older sister, not one to be discouraged or troubled by her disease even though she was weak. She had been the sunshine in his life, always cheerful even when she was in pain. Always believing in him until the bitter end. He had disgusted himself every time he had to lie to her about his job and where he got his money from. It had been all for her sake and there had been no need for her to know about the dirty means he earned it through.

He could put all of that behind him now. There was no sister he could care for anymore and Kinqro had been dealt with. (Gamma, a Powder Hunter he had just met that day, had seen to that.) Elwood was free now. And without a home to go back to.

The situation was not entirely hopeless though. There was Gamma. And there were the Rings of the Dead. If Elwood could gather twelve of them, he would be given Zombie Powder, a substance said to be able to resurrect the dead. Gamma seemed to have leads on their whereabouts, so Elwood would just follow him.

Those rings were his only source of hope now. With them he could bring his sister back to life. That goal helped him overlook the feeling of guilt and remorse clutching his insides. He wasn't conscious of the fact that by resurrecting his dead sister, he could erase that burdening knowledge of being responsible for her death. (A selfish reason.)

Whatever it was, he was brimming with determination and would not stray from his path. It was everything he had left to live for, he did not need any reason for doing what he had set his mind to.

Getting up from his knees, he put his woollen cap atop of her simple cross. It was his favorite, so he would come back to pick it up again. When Zombie Powder was in his possession.

Slowly the shadows over her grave retreated with the clouds in the sky, rays of sunlight spilling over Elwood's dark brown hair, as he spoke his temporary parting words. "I'm going now, sis. But just you wait. I'll definately bring you back, no matter what."

They could be a family again, but this time without heart failures and lies.