Summary: Keith Gandor faces an eternity without his youngest brother. Major character death, mentioned past pairings and pregnancy.
It wasn't supposed to end, not like this. Never. Not ever.
Keith buries his youngest brother on November 30th, 2003. He doesn't say anything, doesn't cry, even though he wants to. He stands stiff and still as Berga leans heavily on his side, watching as Claire stoops in front of the headstone and on top of the freshly dug earth, as Luck and Dallas's oldest son Scout, now eleven, cries into his mother's stomach, and his younger three sisters watch on, not fully understanding the entire situation, but crying because their brother and mother are doing the same. Keith has already done all of his crying, did it when he watched Luck die in his arms.
It was some kind of sickness, Maiza told them when it first happened, something that affected immortals, and only immortals. It was deadly, he said, killed within a few months. The only way to stop it would be to create something to cure him with. Maiza said that it would only take a few months, so Keith was hopeful at first.
He knew he shouldn't have been.
By the time it was finished, it was already too late. It didn't have any effect on Luck at all when they gave it to him. He died a month and a half after he initially got sick.
"Don't cry, Keith," he'd whispered to him as the tears welled up in his oldest brother's eyes. "Please don't cry, not for me. I'm not worth your tears."
"You are worth everything," Keith told him, the last thing he told him, watching as he smiled his last smile, his golden eyes closing, his body relaxing for the final time. Like he'd gone to sleep in his brother's arms. Except this time he wouldn't wake up.
Berga drinks himself to sleep that night, and Claire carries him back upstairs. They fall asleep together, neither one wanting to leave the other's side, in case one of them failed to rise in the morning. Dallas stays that night too, curled up on the couch with Scout and his sisters. Keith leaves when they're all asleep and travels back to the graveyard, Luck's worn and favorite collection of Edgar Allen Poe's work under his arm, knowing that his wounds will remain fresh and stinging until he does this.
Keith settles down on one knee on the other side of the headstone, buries the book next to him, feeling as the warm tears drip down his cold cheeks onto the ground. When he's done, he rests one dirt-stained hand on the headstone, looking at his brother's name, Luck Orville Gandor carved into the marble.
"Goodbye, Luck. We'll meet again soon."
No matter how many years pass by, Keith still sets a place for him at the table in the morning and in the night.