Disclaimer: I don't own the Granted series by Brandy Feltmate...
Author's Note: I got this random idea while reading Bonds...when I was just drifting off into dreamland...anyways...Its a kinda hurt/comfort...which means it's a sad one...Hope you like it anyways. If you haven't read Granted and/Or Bonds do NOT read this...if you do...Warning: Spoilers. I have read Bonds...twice actually XD And I decided instead of him not going with them...he will be moving with them XD Enjoy my pretties ^_^
Title: One Last Visit
Summary: Post Bonds: Moving day: Kristie pays one last visit to the one that always made her smile. One-Shot.
It was moving day for Kristie, Li and Mother. Kristie looked around the room, taking everything in before she went over to her desk to start packing up the final box.
She couldn't believe it. Not even a year has passed since the events dealing with the Granting book, Ashley trying to technically kill her, freeing Li and all during the previous school year. Now, during the summer she had to deal with her mother deciding to move to Toronto, the Gods of Life interfering, her father sticking his nose into their business.
And now they were moving. Kristie could probably bet she was the ONLY teenage that had to deal with something that bizarre. She was sure of it.
Now, she was almost wishing that she could stay and do it all over again. Almost; being the keyword. She was leaving so much behind. Her sister; Heidi, the province she had been born and technically raised in. Deep down, Kristie knew that this move will be a great new start...
Her eyes landed on a small picture that she had on her desk. It had all three of them; Mark, herself and Heidi; they were at the park playing soccer as they were on the local team, uniform's stained with dirt and grass. Their hair disheveled. As she looked at herself Kristie couldn't help but giggle at the stupid grin that she was wearing that day. As she remembered that day her hand gently glided over the picture, swallowing a lump that formed in her throat.
Tears stung her eyes as she thought about all the memories that she would be leaving behind, she laughed a bit when she remembered all the little, stupid things that her and Heidi used to argue about. She laughed about Heidi's first costume making competition. She remembered herself giving her bigger sister a bear hug. Congratulating her.
A small smile formed as her eyes landed on her brother, a brother that she missed so dearly. She let out a slow, trembling breath as she remembered her brother always checking under her bed and in her closet to make sure that their was no monsters before she drifted off into dreamland. Or when he was at her singing competition's clapping and cheering as she sang her heart out.
A part of her knew that Mark was always going to be with them, in heart and in spirit, but she couldn't help but feel that she was leaving him behind. What would happen if she forgot him?
No! She chastised herself for her stupidity. She couldn't forget him. To her; Mark was. IS she corrected herself-her hero. How could one forget their hero?
Mark would've agreed to her and Mother moving to Toronto, Ontario. Where she could start anew. Where she could live her dream of becoming a singer.
Why was it so hard to believe that? Why was it so hard to believe that this was the best thing to happen?
...Because it is. She decided. She needed a new change in scenery. She was still having nightmares about what happened years ago.
Finally making up her mind she looked intently at the picture being held in her trembling hands as she slid her fingers over the picture one last time before tucking it gently into her jean pocket.
She had to go visit Mark's final resting place. One final goodbye before leaving for Toronto, Ontario. If she didn't she would've felt guilty. Picking up the box she taped it up and took it out of the room before laying it on the counter.
Kristie didn't look at her mother's, Li's or her older sisters faces as she headed for the small coat closet as she pulled out her red flip-flops and her cell phone from her purse. She too tucked that into the other pocket as she headed for the door.
"I'll be back in a bit."
"Where are you going Miss Kristie?" Li called to her, entering the small hallway. "Are you alright? Do you wish for me to accompany you?"
"Yeah...I'm fine..." Kristie lied. She wasn't fine. She felt a heavy feeling on her heart for them leaving, she felt like she was leaving Mark; though right at that moment she wasn't going to tell Li that, or anyone else for that matter. Instead, she smiled up at him "No...I'll be back before we have to leave...there's just something I have to do first is all."
With that being said she headed for the apartment stairs. As she made her way down them she took note at how cool it was for an early morning in August. As she took off towards her destination she took out her MP3 and placing the buds in her ears she pressed 'play'.
The song "Temporary Home" by Carrie Underwood began to play. How ironic, she thought to herself as she reached the bus stop. Reaching into her back pocket she took out her bus pass. Showing it to the driver she sat down in the first available seat at the front. Her mind wandering off she stared out the window. Not really paying attention to the scenery that was passing her by. Or the time that passed. To her; that didn't matter.
When the bus finally stopped she got out, thanking the driver. Stepping onto the sidewalk she watched as the bus disappeared from sight before looking across the road. There was a few houses and a couple stores in this small rural part of Edmonton, but this is where her brother was buried. Looking both ways Kristie placed one foot in front of the other as she crossed over.
She hated graveyards. She absolutely hated them. But to be able to be near her brother again always comforted her. As she reached the steel gate she slowly pushed it open.
As she walked on the small path beside the neat rows of tombstones Kristie wrapped her arms protectively around her small frame. She felt as though she was being watched and with what happened between her and Li and the Gods of Life she had a good reason to be.
She took a left, walking a few steps away from the different styles of stones that were used, her eyes darting over the names and epitaphs as she passed.
What seemed like an eternity passed before she reached her destination. Her heart felt like it was tightening as she looked down at the stone:
Markus Christian Stone
A brother and son whose memory will never be forgotten.
"Hey Mark..." Kristie breathed as she traced the neatly engraved 'M' of his name, going down the letter before going to the next letter.
She did this a good few minutes before reaching with her free hand and wiping the tears that rolled freely down her pale skin. "Sorry that I haven't been able to come and visit for awhile. It's been a long...LONG few months."
She licked her lips before she continued. "I hope that it doesn't feel like that I'm neglecting you...or forgetting you...I really wanted to come and visit you...I know that it's no excuse...I should have made the time to visit you...to let you know what had been going on."
She sniffed. Moving closer to the headstone she leaned her head on the cool stone and sighed. "Just to see you again would be the best thing in the world right now..."
That's when everything came pouring out.
She told him about finding the Granting Book...
She told him about what Ashley did in trying to take the Granting Book away...
She told him about Li...
She told him about finally freeing the Granting Spirit...
She told him about the Gods of Life...
...Everything that she could think of she told him...
Once she finished she cleared her throat. "So as you can see I was preoccupied. If I wasn't I would've been here everyday to see you. To talk to you." Her voice wavered slightly.
She looked up at the sky. "I...need to know that you're going to be okay if I leave...I need to know if I'm going to be okay to leave you..."
She knew this sounded selfish, and to her, she was being selfish. She missed her brother dearly...so, why shouldn't she feel a little bit selfish about seeing him? To hear his voice again.
"I..."She started before looking at the headstone helplessly. "I need to know if I'm ready to move on...Please Mark, give me a sign! Let me know that I'm doing the right thing! Any kind of sign at all!"
No answer when she leaned her head against his tombstone she jumped when a pair of arms wrapped gently around her small frame. "It's going to be alright, Miss Kristie."
Her eyes shot open in surprise. Li! He had followed her. Slowly, she lifted her head up to look at his brown, captivating eyes. She was losing a battle that she knew she couldn't win and after a moment of fighting down her emotions she broke down and started crying into his chest.
"Oh, Li!" She sobbed. "I miss him so much! I feel like I'm betraying him by leaving..."
Li rocked back and forth in a comforting manner, before tilting her head up to look at him. He searched her face before speaking. "Miss Kristie. You are not betraying your brother. He would more think that this move would be a great experience."
Kristie's shoulders sagged visibly. "I suppose so.." she whispered. "I...I just wished I could see his smiling face one more time...hear his voice..."
Li reached up and with his free hand and gently with his forefinger and his thumb he wiped the tears that rolled down her cheeks before leaning his chin on her head and continued to rock back and forth.
Neither one spoke a word as they relished in being in each others arms. Kristie's sobs eventually turned into hiccups before disappearing completely, her breathing returning back to normal.
Pulling away Kristie felt her face heat up in embarrassment, sitting up she wiped away the last few stray tears that were on her face. "Thanks...I needed that Li..."
"You're welcome, Miss Kristie."
"Kristie..." He repeated again in a soft whisper. He watched as Kristie stood up wiping off the dirt from her jeans. She held out her hand to him with a small smile on her face.
He smiled back, taking her hand she helped pull him to his feet. They looked back at Mark's tombstone, and idea made its way through Li's mind, a smile spread across his face as he looked back at Kristie.
"I have an idea..." He started before he gestured with his hand for her to turn around. She looked at him with hesitant eyes. He smiled a smile that made her heart melt every time, "just trust me, Miss Kristie."
She sighed and turned around. When he made sure that she wasn't going peek or turn her head he looked back at the tombstone.
Licking his fingertips he drew a green line into the air, as it disappeared from view beautiful flowers; a mix of carnations, roses, sunflowers, lilies, bleeding hearts began to form as if someone was drawing them like they would have on a piece of paper. And in the middle of all this madness, a picture frame formed and in the middle was a picture of her older brother, he smiled widely as he had his thumbs raised and safety vest on, behind him was a lake.
"Miss Kristie you can turn around now." He breathed. Slowly Kristie turned around and as she turned her eyes caught sight of the beautiful flowers and the picture took her breath away she looked back up at Li, her eyes bright with tears of happiness and sadness mixed into one.
Without warning she jumped on him. "Oh, Li! Thank you! Thank you so much!" She reached up and kissed his cheek. When she realized what she did she let go and looked down at the ground, not meeting his gaze.
His hand went up to where she had kissed him and he couldn't help but smile. "You're welcome, Miss Kristie. After what happened with the Gods of Life, after...receiving the memories from using my magic...I know I never met your brother, but he sounded like he was one of a kind."
She swallowed hard as she looked up. "He was..."
"And the best part is." He wrapped his arms around her shoulder. "You will never have to worry about any of these becoming damaged, stolen or withering away. It will always be like this from now on."
A moment of silence passed. Li could tell that Kristie wanted to say something because every few minutes she would open her mouth to speak but would quickly snap it shut. Eventually she did speak.
"You know what Li...?" She asked. Not looking at him in the eye. When he acknowledged her she continued;
"Mark would've liked you..." In that moment the looked at one another, never breaking eye contact. Li stepped forward before wrapping his arms around her shoulder, pulling her in closer before rocking back and forth.
"Thank you Miss Kristie..." He whispered, looking down at his previous master. She pulled away far enough to look up at his brown eyes, the green tint seemed to show more to her than ever before.
She shook her head. "No...it is I who should be thanking you...even though I said I didn't need you...you followed me...you comforted me. You were here with me when I should have known that I did need you...Li?"