******
Farewells: Conclusion
******

The large pillar candle in the center of the kitchen table cast flickering shadows around the room, fighting a valiant one-flame battle against the darkness of a late Spring night. The dim light reflected back from four pairs of eyes as the Turtles faced each other across the table. Each of the brothers had a smaller candle and a fireplace match in front of him, both unlit -- waiting for the right moment.

The farewell they'd come up with came from no established religion -- or, at least, from no religion they were aware of. Like them, like the sensei they mourned, the ritual was one-of-a-kind.

Leonardo started first, picking up the match. He looked to each of his brothers, then said quietly;

"He watched over us." Leo held the long wooden match out to the candle flame until it came to life with a sputtering hiss. Then, carefully and lovingly, he transferred the flame to the candle in front of him. The room grew incrementally brighter.

As Leo blew out his match, Michaelangelo picked his up and held it to the center candle. Then, lifing the fragment of fire towards himself, he said "He lifted our hearts."

Donatello went next; he thought for a long moment before igniting his match. "He made us one family."

Raphael's eyes met each of his brothers' in turn. Then, as he added his candle's light to the brightening room, he added the words that explained all they wanted to say.

"He loved us."

The single flame, joined by the four others, beat back the darkness in the room.

And in the newfound brightness, four sons said their last goodbyes to the father that had given them life.


** `Cause I never thought I'd lose
** I only thought I'd win
** I never dreamed I'd feel
** This fire beneath my skin
** I can't believe you love me
** I never thought you'd come
** I guess I misjudged love
** Between a father and his sons


******
THE END
(but please keep reading.
There's a tiny little author's note at the bottom.)
******



**************************************************** THE LAST SONG *********************************************************
****************************************************************************************************************************

** Yesterday you came to lift me up
** As light as straw and brittle as a bird
** Today I weigh less than a shadow on the wall
** Just one more whisper of a voice unheard

** Tomorrow leave the windows open
** As fear grows please hold me in your arms
** Won't you help me if you can to shake this anger
** I need your gentle hands to keep me calm

** `Cause I never thought I'd lose
** I only thought I'd win
** I never dreamed I'd feel
** This fire beneath my skin
** I can't believe you love me
** I never thought you'd come
** I guess I misjudged love
** Between a father and his son

** Things we never said come together
** The hidden truth no longer haunting me
** Tonight we touched on the things that were never spoken
** That kind of understanding sets me free

** `Cause I never thought I'd lose
** I only thought I'd win
** I never dreamed I'd feel
** This fire beneath my skin
** I can't believe you love me
** I never thought you'd come
** I guess I misjudged love
** Between a father and his son


*****************************************************************************************************************************

Okay, peeps, I need your help!! (Skybright is suddenly surrounded by a flock of sugary marshmallow chickens . . . .) No; no, that's not what I meant at all . . . .

I'm really interested in continuing stories from the "Closed Doors and Open Windows" universe, but am in need of inspiration. Anyone have something they'd like to see in a future story? Any ideas you've always wanted a "future-fic" to explore? Send 'em along to me at

skybright_daye@hotmail.com

Any little plot bunnies you can spare will be very appreciated (and, if used, credited)! Thanx for reading . . .and Write On! -- Skybright Daye