After the Storm

I don't own these characters; I just like to spend time with them. No other profit to be had than that.

Author's note: I wrote this with a ton of assistance from LillyJack and I want to thank her immensely for all her work on this.

Also this story is set about 7 years in but it is not completely true to canon.

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And I took you by the hand
And we stood tall,
And remembered our own land,
What we lived for.

And there will come a time,
you'll see, with no more tears.
And love will not break your heart,
but dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill and see
what you find there,
With grace in your heart
and flowers in your hair. (Excerpt from After the Storm – Artist: Mumford and Sons)

Sighing deeply, Kitty looked around the drab hotel room she was in, as the porter brought in the last of her luggage, setting it on the carpeted floor by the bed. When he had placed the last bag down, she gave him a brief mechanical smile, placed some coins in his eagerly outstretched hand and thanked him as he took his leave.

As the door closed behind him, she sadly and weakly sat down on the side of the small bed. The trip had been brutally long and she was drained, emotionally as well as physically.

Though she hadn't eaten much since the day before, hunger wasn't an issue. The morning sickness, which came frequently at noon and night, as well as morning, was still plaguing her and she saw no reason to pay for a meal her body would not allow her to keep.

Absently, she rubbed her slightly swollen abdomen as she slowly rose from the bed and crossed to the lone window. Apparently it was a busy day in Boston, if the traffic and noise on the street below was any indication. Of course she realized that a normal day in any big city would seem hectic in comparison to Dodge.

Dodge, just the thought of that dusty little cow town brought such an intense array of emotions, that she had to force her self to think of something else, anything else. But she knew that was going to be a difficult task for a long while, as she was carrying the baby of the Dodge City Marshal. The Marshal that had rejected her and his child.

Sitting back down on the bed, the grief, anger and pain washed over her yet again, threatening to drown her in its wake. A storm had come into her life that she hadn't expected and hadn't been prepared for. The only thing she could do now was hold on and weather it the best she could.

But she would never forget the look on Matt's face, when she had told him about the baby. He had essentially accused her of cheating on him. "Do you actually expect me to believe that kid is mine?" he sneered. "I mean how many other cowboys warmed your sheets all those times I was out of town?"

Kitty had been stunned and unbearably hurt. For seven years, since the first time she had met him, Kitty had never even entertained the thought of taking another man upstairs with her. She loved Matt beyond reason, and she thought she had made that clear to him in more ways than one. But the venomous look he gave her left no doubt in her mind that he didn't believe that.

Though utterly destroyed at his reaction, she was also angry at his insinuation that she would try to trap him with someone else's child. "How dare you?" she had fairly yelled at him. "Matt, you know I love you. I could never do anything like that to you."

But he ignored her protests as he grabbed his hat and stomped out of her room and her life, never to come back. She had struggled on for a few weeks but in her heart she knew it was over. Matt even refused to come to the saloon when there was need for the law, sending Chester or anyone else he could find as often as possible.

It even seemed to her that those in Dodge, which she thought of as family, were siding with Matt. Only Sam had remained the same towards her. But it wasn't Sam's love that she wanted or needed.

However the dye had been cast, and finally one wretched, rainy Saturday morning Kitty boarded the train heading east with only Sam in attendance to see her off. Looking out the rain fogged window as Dodge slowly faded in the distance, she knew her world would never be the same.

Now here she was in Boston. A place totally alien to her raising in New Orleans and the life she had made for herself in Dodge. Musing on it, she supposed that's why she chose it as a place to run to. No one would think to look for her there, not that anyone would actually bother to look.

Rising yet again, she crossed over to the plain white wash basin across from the bed and studied her reflection in the oval mirror above it. She saw a worn-out and miserably unhappy woman staring back at her, and she knew at least for the time being there was nothing she would be able to do about that.

Taking a deep breath, she fingered her hair back into place and checked her makeup. She still wasn't hungry, but she knew she had to eat for the baby's sake, if not for her own.

A touch more color, a last look at her haunted image in the mirror, and she turned and left the room, making her way down stairs and out onto the busy street.

Walking along the crowded sidewalk, watching the other busy pedestrians and looking into the various shop windows, she realized Boston was going to take some getting used to. At one millinery shop along the street in which she walked, she stopped to admire a rather elaborate hat, until she noticed the price. Obviously Boston prices were going to take some getting used to as well.

Finding a small café, Kitty wandered in and was shown to a small linen clad table, in the back of the crowded room. After ordering a small salad, she sat uncomfortably back and studied the other diners around her, most appeared to be businessmen by the cut of their clothes and style of their hair.

Thinking of business, she had some decisions she needed to make in that regard. Though she had placed the Long Branch up for sale before she left, it hadn't sold yet. She had been very fortunate the last few years, in some other investments she had made, but that would only go so far.

She would need to either find a job, or, as she did in Dodge, buy into a business to insure that she could adequately provide for her self and her child. She would also require permanent lodging as well.

Mentally she made a short list of things she would need to accomplish before the baby came, find a home, find a source of income, find a doctor, and find a reason to keep going.

Shaking her head, trying to clear it and keep the useless tears at bay, she looked down for a moment, before raising her head and squaring her shoulders. What ever problems lay ahead for her, she would face them, and work through them alone. She had no choice. Matt Dillon had left her no choice.

TBC