Hello everyone. This story is set just after the ending of Firewing; we never got to see how Marina reacted to the news of Shade's death. I hope you enjoy it.

DISCLAIMER: I do not own the Silverwing trilogy. The characters and the novels belong to Kenneth Oppel.

Gone

"He's not coming back, isn't he?"

Marina gazed forlornly at her son, wings drooping, eyes masked in a veil of sadness. As soon as she had seen Griffin returning with Luna she had known, almost instinctively, that Shade was gone forever.

Gone. Just like that.

Griffin hesitated, as if not knowing what to say. He opened his mouth to say something, and then fell quiet. The young Silverwing managed a nod and gazed mournfully up at his mother.

Marina tried not to let her conflicting emotions show. She felt…so many things at once. She was angry at Shade that he had left her without even saying a simple goodbye; grateful to her mate that he had brought her son back to her; miserable at the thought that he was gone forever.

"He…he died for me, mum," said Griffin, beginning to shake. "I…I was dead and…and he gave his life to me and…and…Luna." A sob tore at the young bat's throat.

Marina shook her head and tried to shake away the emotions that were raging inside of her. I can't let Griffin see me like this, she thought, trying to quell her own trembling. He's already been through so much and now…now we're reunited. Together.

"He returned you to me," whispered Marina. "And for that I will be eternally grateful."

"But it's all my fault, isn't it?" said Griffin softly. "If I had been a bit more careful then he would be here with me now and we'd all be a family again and…and…"
"Griffin, listen to me," murmured Marina. "It isn't your fault. It's no ones fault."

"Well if I hadn't thought up that stupid idea about fire in the first place none of this would have happened," grumbled Griffin bitterly.

Marina embraced her son and pulled him closer to her chest. She could feel the beating of his heart, the warmth of his body…she sighed in contentment and managed to escape her warring emotions for a moment. "You're alive. I didn't lose both of you. That's what matters. Now go along, my son. You have a big day ahead of you tomorrow. You're going to tell your stories to the Echo Chamber with Luna. You should be excited."

"But do I deserve it?" he muttered.

"Of course you do. Please…do it for me." She gazed into his eyes and forced a weak laugh. Griffin managed a nod and shot away to talk with Luna.

The Elders and the other mothers of Tree Haven all crowded around her, murmuring words of comfort, but their voices didn't reach the ears of Marina. Silently she pushed past the crowd and flew out into the night.


Marina gazed at the full moon that hung majestically in the sky. She was far away from Tree Haven. She needed time to herself, to deal with her conflicting emotions. Thoughts swirled through her mind, making her dizzy. Why did you leave me? How could you leave me?
Shade was gone forever. It was as though a chunk of her heart had been ripped out of her chest. How could she live with only half a heart? I can't, she realized. I can't live with only half a heart. It's physically impossible. No one has heard of a living bat with a heart torn in two.

Sighing, Marina tore her gaze away from the moon and stared up at the heavens. Was Shade up there now, watching over her and Griffin? Was he saying, 'don't be sad, Marina. It was my time. We'll be reunited some day, you'll see…'

"Oh yes," the Brightwing cried to no one in particular. "Easy for you to say! You're probably in some perfect paradise and eating all the bugs you want! Just why…why did you have to go so quickly? You couldn't even say goodbye! You…you…" Trembling with sorrow and grief, Marina closed her eyes and tried to control her shaking.

It happened so quickly Marina wasn't even sure if it had happened at all. One moment she was trembling uncontrollably; the next she felt a sudden surge of love sweep through her veins. It washed away all the sadness and rage she had felt towards her dead mate. For a split second she closed her eyes and savored the lovely feeling – it was as though Shade was apart of her again - as if his spirit had now merged with hers. She imagined that he was not gone forever, but simply closer to her than ever before.

As the feeling slipped away Marina opened her eyes. A look of grief still shadowed her countenance, but there was also a look of contentment. With a soft smile the bat unfolded her wings, dropped from her branch and flew towards the night sky.

Did you like it? Please review. Have a nice day,

~Sparrow