The Visitor Conclusion

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

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Matt walked into the door of his house, shrugging off his coat as he entered. It had been a long day and he was glad to be home. Smiling to himself, he remembered when he had thought of the jail as his home. But Kitty and Benjamin had changed all of that. Now the jail was just the place where he worked.

And this day he had worked hard. Three bar room fights, one knife fight and he had to see Ben Stone off to prison. That was the hardest.

But thankfully the boy had only garnered two years for his part in his mother's failed attempt at murder and Sara had gotten off with probation. Kitty had already helped Sara find a house and a job in a little town near the prison and Matt knew those two would be alright once they put this all behind them.

"Kitty." He called as he entered and hung up his coat. "I'm home."

Kitty came out of Benjamin's room and placed her finger against her lips. 'Ssshhh," she admonished. "Benjamin just went off to sleep."

Matt nodded as he pulled his beautiful wife into his arms and kissed her. "Good, now you concentrate on me."

Kitty arched an eyebrow at him. "I thought it was your turn to concentrate on me?" she said, with mock seriousness.

"Oh I intend to," he said as he bent down to kiss her again. Just then a book came sailing across the room, narrowly missing his head. Matt looked up in shock as the book hit the wall behind Kitty. "What the…."

"Mother," Kitty mumbled softly, but not so softly that Matt didn't hear her.

Matt looked at her in total confusion. "Huh? What are you talking about? Mother?"

Kitty wasn't sure whether to tell Matt everything or not. Since they had come home, only a few things had happened that she hadn't been able to explain away. Like the door slamming in an empty room and the persistent cold spot in the living room that Matt just knew was a draft from somewhere. She wasn't sure Matt would believe that her mother's ghost had moved in with them.

"Kitty?" Matt asked again.

Kitty quickly came to a decision. Reaching up she pulled him back down for a kiss. A deep, lingering kiss that left him no doubt that right then, she did not want to talk about her mother.

Matt picked her up and headed to the bedroom. "Mrs. Dillon," he grinned. "What ya say we go somewhere where it's nice and quiet and leave the books to mother."

Kitty giggled, "I would love that, Mr. Dillon."

Neither one had looked at the title of the book that had narrowly missed Matt's head. A little tome called 'Great Expectations'..

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Kitty awoke several hours later, not really sure what had pulled her from sleep except a vague feeling of unease. Glancing over at her husband, she saw, in the pale moonlight coming in from the window, that he was fast asleep. What ever had awakened her hadn't bothered him.

Rising, she put on her robe and headed to the kitchen for a glass of water, when she saw a dim light in the hallway, which seemed to travel down to the parlor. Kitty followed the light.

Rounding the corner into the parlor, Kitty stopped at the threshold. There, sitting quietly on the sofa, was her mother. Kitty froze, her heart beating a wild rhythm in her chest. She looked pretty much as Kitty remembered. Just like the last time, before….. "Mother?" she finally managed.

"It is I, Kathleen." She smiled. "I hoped you would come to me, before I had to go."

Kitty looked at her in confusion, "Go?"

"I must return, Chêre', to where I was. But I am so glad I could see you again, and my grandson, oh he is so beautiful."

Kitty smiled at both the mention of her son, and the old familiar name, her mother had used for her so many years ago. Then it struck her, Benjamin had asked her what that name meant a long time ago. "You've been here for a while, haven't you?" she asked, as she completed her entry into the room and moved over to sit by her mother.

The woman nodded as she gazed lovingly at her daughter. "Oui, my darling. I did not intend to stay so long, but I found that my grandson needed me until you and your husband were safe. I could not leave until then."

Kitty looked at her mother with a mixture of love and hurt. "I'm glad you were there for Benjamin, Mother. He's told me how you came to him and comforted him." There were so many things she wanted to say to her mother, so many questions but for the moment, she couldn't think of the words.

"I did not come just for Benjamin," her mother said softly. "I came for you as well. You needed me too, Chêre'."

Kitty stiffened a little at her choice of words. "This wasn't the first time, I needed you." she said with a slight edge to her voice. "Where were you then?"

Her mother looked down for a moment before answering. "I did help you, Kathleen, when I could. But you are right, there were many times I was not allowed to interfere. I could not help you because to do that, would change things. Your life, the one you have now, the one you were meant to have, would not be the same. Do you understand?"

Kitty sat silently considering her words. "You mean some of the choices I made, the ones that brought me to Dodge and brought me together with Matt, I wouldn't have made them if you'd helped me."

Her mother nodded, a silent tear coursed down her cheek. "That is the way of it, Kathleen, my beautiful daughter. You were meant to be here, in this place with this man and that wonderful little boy. I wish I could have made your way easier but I could not. I could not even tell you when I was going to leave you before."

Kitty remembered coming home to find that her mother had died while she was at school and that she was being taken to live with Panacea. She had known that her mother hadn't been feeling well, but she hadn't known that she was dying, and now, after all these years, it still hurt that she hadn't been able to say goodbye.

"Besides, my darling girl," her mother said, "you are a strong woman. You had to be, in order to survive, and if you were not so strong that heroic man who loves you, might not have been so attracted, heh?"

Kitty nodded as a thought struck her. "Mother, back at the saloon, the night the Stones took me, some things happened. And out at the Stone's farm."

Her mother nodded. "It was I." She admitted. "I could not let that 'orrible man touch you like that. Nor that Lou person either. And of course I would not let them hang you. What good is being a ghost, if you can not do such things?"

Kitty smiled and looked down for a moment, when she looked back up her son was coming into the room. "Grand'Mere," he exclaimed as he ran into the room. "I thought you was already gone."

"Were," Kitty corrected him as she noted his use of the French word for Grandmother. "How much have you taught him?" she asked her mother.

"She taught me all kinds of things, Mama?" Benjamin piped up. He stepped in between mother and daughter and looked adoringly at both of them.

Kitty grinned and pulled her son into her arms. "Well I'm glad. Your Grand'Mere' is a wonderful teacher."

"Was," her mother said sadly as she suddenly rose. "I am sorry my darlings, but I must leave now. I have accomplished what I came for."

Kitty's eyes filled with tears as she shook her head. "But.."

"No buts, Kathleen." Her mother said almost sternly. "It is time."

Kitty looked down for a moment but when she looked back up her mother was gone. She looked around when she felt something, almost like a kiss, brushing her cheek. The front parlor window, that Kitty had thought closed, was open now and a sudden, soft breeze, just like a sigh, came through into the room to caress her.

"Goodbye, Grand'Mere'." Benjamin said towards the window, his hand outstretched and waving, before he turned in his mother's arms and clung to her in tears.

Kitty swallowed the lump in her own throat as trembling; she pulled her son tightly to her bosom. "Goodbye, Mother," she whispered quietly. "I love you."

A soft almost indistinct moan, which Kitty felt more than heard, came into the room. "I love you too, my darling Kitty."

FINIS