Disclaimer: I own nothing in relation to the Vampire Academy series - everything belongs to the author, Richelle Mead.

Hey everyone! This is my first Vampire Academy piece so I hope it's in character. It's from Lissa's point of view, at the end of Shadow Kissed after Rose left for Russia. I wrote it a while ago but just now edited and reposted it under my new fanfic account name. The old one deleted it. Enjoy!

Was I being selfish?

I'd like to think not. She was supposed to be my guardian. She was supposed to be my best friend. I can't believe she would chose him over me.

I know I was blind not to see it. Not to see their relationship and how much she cared for him. I get it; I feel the same way about Christian.

But I feel like she could have told me.

She should have told me.

I am - no, was - her best friend.

And she up and left me, just like that.

It's not like I'm alone - far from it. I have Christian, Adrian, and of course the Queen pressuring me to come to the Royal Court to meet the latest Moroi she thinks deserves my attention.

But it's just not the same. We're bonded. She shouldn't be able to abandon me like this.

I know it must feel like this for her - a gaping hole in my heart that may never fill in - and I understand that she has things she needs to do on her own, but I wish she would have told me more.

Doesn't she know how much I'll worry?

I know they say friendship is about trust, but they probably never had to watch their best friend walk away. And I do trust Rose, I know she thinks she's doing the right thing. But how can it be right if I'm not with her? We both know that if she had told me where she was going I would want to follow. She probably doesn't want to have to split her attention between me and Dimitri. She needs to be able to focus on him.

I just can't bear not knowing how my using spirit is affecting her. I can't stop using spirit...not when Adrian and I are so close to figuring it all out. We would know even more if we could see the effects it has on her and how she responds. I don't want to hurt her. I need to know that what we're doing is not having a negative effect on her .

I know she can check up on me; I've actually become ok with having her in my head, but I so wish the bond worked both ways. I wish I could walk her dreams like Adrian and at least talk to her every once in a while. Even a phone call would be nice.

Is that asking too much? How am I suppose to go from seeing her everyday to having no contact at all?

But I know she won't tell me where she is or what she's up to. She probably wouldn't even if she was in trouble.

And knowing Rose she probably already is.

I know she can handle it. I just wish things could have been different.

I'm not looking forward to a life without her. Being at the Court, going to school, even being with Christian won't be the same without Rose as my guardian.

Sure, I'll be assigned two others, others that probably won't be as good as Rose. But I will still be protected. It's not like she abandoned me in the middle of the wilderness. I can take care of myself.

I'm probably just being self centered in my thinking. She's doing what she has to do.

And I need to focus on what I need to do. After graduation it's off to the Royal Court and then hopefully to college.

I'm having trouble thinking beyond that point. I always pictured myself living at Court with Rose, and traveling the world with Rose. I'm trying to be optimistic, but if Dimitri really is Strigoi...

What if I never see her again?

It's almost too much to bear. The thought of losing Rose...

I shake my head to banish the thought. After losing my family I think I'd go insane if I lost my best friend too.

I'm feeling very lightheaded now and my breath is coming in short gasps.

I feel like I need to sit down.

I remember running to the chapel, up to my secret hiding place. Then Christian's face is in front of me. His mouth is moving but I can't hear anything. I'm pretty sure he's asking me if I'm ok.

What a stupid question.

I really don't feel like talking about it but as I open my mouth to tell him just how not ok I am, no words come out. I just burst into tears.

I'm lucky to have such a good boyfriend. Someone who knows when to push the issue and when I just need to be held. This time it's the latter.

I'm sure I babbled something about Rose leaving but throughout it all Christian just talked to me softly and ran his hand through my hair. Eventually I calmed down enough to speak.

"She left me."

"I know," is his only response.

"She left me," I repeat, wondering how he could be so calm about it.

"It will be ok."

Okay? How will any of this ever be ok? I go from sadness to anger in a second. How can he say that? Doesn't he know what it's like? To feel this pain? He lost family too, how can he be so nonchalant when one of our best friend's gone off to hunt Strigoi?

I'm lucky I didn't have the energy to start a fight with him. Not when he was all I have left.

I will always remember what he said next. I'll remember his warm arms around me, the sound of the rain hitting the small chapel window, and Christian's beautiful voice giving me the strength I need to go on.

"Liss, you know she's coming back."

But did I know that? Hadn't she promised me she would return? Why was I doubting her? In my heart I knew she would come back to me. I wouldn't let it end like this, with her halfway across the world. But my head knew better. There was no guarantee I would see her again or even that she would be alive next week.

"We just need to take it one day at a time," he said, tightening his grip on my hands," Rose is strong; she knows what she's doing out there and she will watch you whenever she can."

He continued talking, mainly because I think he could see his words were having a calming effect on me.

Of course he was right. Rose is the strongest person I know. If anyone can accomplish such a dangerous mission it's her. If it were Christian that were Strigoi, wouldn't I want her to let me go to him?

I really think about this for a minute. Not because I think he has any plans of becoming one of them, but because I'm really trying to see this from her point of view.

After a moment I have my answer.

No, I wouldn't want her to let me go to him. I would want her to help me. No one would should have to face something like this alone.

Christian has stopped talking, probably because he knows I'm no longer listening. I take a deep breath and lean back into his arms, closing my eyes and allowing myself to feel the pain. Burying my emotions has never worked, especially as a spirit user. Better to allow myself to feel it now and hope it doesn't hurt as much tomorrow.

And then the strangest thing happens. Christian kisses my forehead and suddenly I feel a wave of calm wash over me. Almost a white light that's blanketing me in comfort.

I feel like it's really all going to be ok.

In thinking about it logically, I know that she couldn't take me with her; it was an outrageous idea on my part to even ask her to. She doesn't need to burden herself with me. How would we travel? How could she find Dimitri and protect me in a country with one of the highest Strigoi populations? How would I feed? I certainly couldn't feed from her again when she needed all her strength.

As much as I want to be with her I realize my place is here. Here at the academy where I need to finish my education and try to influence the Royal Court to allow Moroi to learn to fight and practice magic. I belong with Christian; I couldn't bear having to leave him without saying good-bye. I doubt the Queen would allow me at Court if I ran away again. Leaving with Rose would have completely changed my destiny, probably for the worse. Maybe it's better this way.

I will make other friends.

It hurts to admit it but it's true. No one could take Rose's place in my heart but I will have other close friends. Maybe not right away, but as the pain lessens I will be able to let others in. Christian and Adrian are a good start.

No matter whether or not I agree with what Rose is doing I need to support her. If our roles were reversed I would want the same of her. I would want her unconditional love, even if she thought I was doing the wrong thing. Isn't that what she did when I started dating Christian? I know she though he was bad news and would hurt me, yet she trusted me enough to let me make my own decision, even though it was hard for her to stand by and watch. What initially appeared to be a bad decision turned out to be a good one. Maybe this situation is the same and I just can't see the good points through the pain.

Another deep breath.

Christian is right. I'll just focus on one day at a time. One meal. One spirit practice session with Adrian. One night with Christian.

Here in his arms I know whatever happens I will be ok.

Eventually the pain will lessen.

This is her choice.

And I can't waste my life waiting for her to come back to me. If I get other guardians then so be it. As long as I have Christian in my life I know I can get through anything.

I sigh, and snuggle into Christian further, knowing there is nothing I can do but keep looking to the future, whatever it may bring.

Worrying will get me nowhere.

I hope if she visits me in my head that she can see how much I love her and that I do accept this decision she is making. I hope she knows that no one can truly fill this void in me that she has left behind.

I will never be the same.


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