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Michael Pierson & Crew
In Memoriam, Pt 1
Thu Mar 23, 2006 08:58
12.210.110.222

Mom --

Housework is done and the trash is out. There's a pot roast in the fridge when you get hungry. Eat, please? Call me if you need anything.

Love,

Devon



It was staring at him blatantly when he arrived home; more glaring than the empty sink or the pile of folded laundry sitting so demurely on the couch. Michael tiredly rubbed at his face and reread the note, entertaining the thought of stalking over to the asshole’s apartment and kicking the living shit out of him. Mom. Wasn’t it oh so cozy how Devon had infiltrated the family. Michael’s family. Why had the cop chosen the one day that Michael had to close out his sister’s bank account to play Mister Nice Guy.

Christ. It had been Michael running home to throw together a dinner for Isabel during the week Sonnet lay in the hospital, not Devon. His hands had stripped beds, washed dishes, vacuumed the living room – and then running back to his sister’s side to make sure she was still breathing. Repeat ad nauseum for however many days it had been, he’d lost track when sleeping patterns had run haywire.

Somewhere, somehow he’d made the decision to leave. Isabel had made it perfectly clear that Devon was her ‘savior’ now, the way she talked so lovingly of him when Michael could coax her into eating something. His father was shouldering up Ben, as usual, with his uncanny ability to know exactly when to talk and when to listen. To that end, the actor had methodically gone through the clothing his sister had purchased that ill-fated day, keeping a small pile and donating the rest (some with tags still on!) to a homeless shelter Sonnet had been fond of.

She’d held their strange little family together. With her absence, the glue was slowly coming apart. Michael had always been the jerk of the family, up until recently it was a role he relished. Now all he wanted to do was sit down and howl out his grief, but there was no one around offering a shoulder. No, everyone had abandoned lifelong roles to offer sympathy to Devon. The man, rumor had it, had once assaulted his own sister in law. How could Sonnet have loved this man?

Michael asked himself that very question daily, and three times on the day before the funeral. It was time to invade his sister’s domain for a proper burial dress. The family had quietly decided not to cremate her. Unsurprising to her brother, the woman had been an organ donor and the one organ unmarred from the attack -- though unable to keep the rest of her system functioning – had been her heart. It now lay in the body of a seven year old suffering from leukemia. God, he hoped that kid lived forever.

Sonnet’s door was closed. It gave off the air of neglect, even though only three days had passed since her death. He didn't want to open the door. Nudging aside the slab of scarred wood was not going to help anyone move past the grieving process but it had to be done. Isabel was beyond going through the possessions of the dead, and Ben really shouldn't have to. Which left Michael; surprise, surprise. So he stood there, staring, allowing the ghosts of the past to hold sway for a few minutes longer. When nerves were appropriately solidified again, the actor stretched out a hand - fingers pressing reverently against the hewed pine and pushed forward.

Resolutely ignoring the half-made bed, he turned to the closet instead. Easing both doors open, Michael stared blankly at the row of uniforms ranging from a ‘casual’ black to the more impressive dress duds. All of them would have to be returned to the precinct. Well, shit. He didn’t have anything else to do. Ignoring the blatant reminder of Sonnet’s profession, he rifled through her small collection of formal wear, and came up with a lovely emerald dress that she’d probably been saving for Christmas. Ignoring the knot in his stomach, Michael set aside the choice carefully, and then collected the uniforms.

A quick trip to her workplace yielded no sign of Devon, which was good, because the actor knew he’d probably take a swing at the man out of principle. It was hard enough handing over each perfectly pressed suit to one of the sergeants without screaming wildly that life was completely unfair. Michael managed, however, hiding behind the asshole persona. Well, more of his own personality than a fake shield now. An hour later, after suffering through some reluctant shoulder slaps from cops who’d been friends with his sister, he found himself back in her room.

One minute he’d been staring at the bookshelf next to her bed, and suddenly it was early afternoon, his shoulder aching from physical labor. Her closet had been emptied out; a few selections placed carefully on the bed. Her high school cheerleading outfit and pompoms, for example. The trophies she’d won at gymnastics in grade school. The first place archery ribbon from college – everything of that nature had been set aside; including photo albums, her old diary, a pair of rollerblades, medals for rifle competition in the NYPD. Even her books had been gone through, since Michael knew her tastes.

He found her cache of jewelry in the very back of the closet, hidden away in a pair of cowboy boots that had to be Ben’s. A pair of emerald studs to match the dress, and the celtic knotwork ring he’d given to Sonnet on her sweet sixteenth party were taken out of the small box before it was added to the pile on the bed. And then, heart rending itself every time he set another article of clothing into a trash bag, he took two of the large HEFTY bags back to the homeless shelter, knowing she’d approve.

Michael was finished before dinner – everything he’d saved for Ben and Isabel to go through was back inside his sister’s closet. A formal three-piece suit had been hung in his own empty closet for the funeral – a packed suitcase sat at the foot of the bed. There was really only one place he could go to mourn in his own fashion. There was a first-class ticket to London in one of the side compartments, his mother Vivian lived in the suburbs and would welcome him with open arms. She always did when he found time to visit.

As for the cost of the ticket, over a thousand dollars in this peak holiday season, well there had been a tidy sum in his account, apparently put there by one of the relief organizations put together after the quake; yet another good reason for fleeing the US for a while. Sighing, Michael fixed himself a dinner and waited for Isabel to return. She didn’t, forcing him to take the dress, silk stockings, shoes and the earrings over to the funeral home by himself – a place he really didn’t want to go near again. But by ten, he was in bed and asleep.

  • Shadows RisingOfficer Holmes, Thu Mar 16 23:15
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