4~2 Happy Trails

I knew it was coming.

Don’t get me wrong. I want my brother to be happy. He deserves it. He’s a great guy and after we lost Mom and Dad, he raised me. I love him. I just had mixed emotions. I was happy for him, but also felt like I was losing him. I kept it to myself, I didn’t want to bring him down.

I actually like Buffy. She’s a cool chick. Even if she is oddly obsessed with martial arts. I didn’t even know about it until she moved in. But she’d devote hours to it.

Roland became Fire Chief. I was pretty proud of him! He even received the key to the city from the Mayor.

Instead of doing a gift party, we had a get together with some people with Roland and Buffy know. I didn’t feel like doing our traditions just yet without Mom and Dad. I don’t think Roland wanted to either. He just would have done it for me.

I met Mason Sackholme at the party. Pretty good-looking guy. He was easy to talk to. Even if he did look at my boobs every so often.

I was kinda of surprised, but Roland invited my former alchemy mentor, Dean Michaels. He taught me well. A cool guy too. I got to know him a bit while he mentored me.

The gypsy lady was there too. Not sure why she was wearing a workout outfit to a winter party….but I talked to her. She was the one who helped my parents find out that the real Ransom Gonzalo is…was. My Dad.

Of course Christmas time meant mistletoe all over the house. Which was great for Ro and Buffy. Me, not so much.

So when they got to sucking face too much, I headed down to the elixir shop. I could work on my alchemy there and also get ingredients I need to take home with me. It comes in handy during the winter time, when I can’t have a garden to grow what I need.

I knew things would change. But I didn’t think they would change drastically.

“Raven…after Buffy and I get married. We’re…we’re moving to Bridgeport.” Roland told me one particularly cold winter’s day.

Bridgeport. Where our Great Grandma Lotta burned to death in a night club. I almost asked him if he was nuts.

“They want me to be their Fire Chief there. And Buffy already found a job on their sports team.” He explained.

I still couldn’t believe it. He was leaving. “We’re going to take Annabelle with us.” He added slowly.

And I was going to be mostly alone. I’d have Killian. But I was going to be in a huge house. By myself. So much space. So empty. I’d be so quiet. So lonely. Alone.

“Okay.” I told him. “I want you to be happy, Roland.”I added. I did mean that.

While they worked on wedding plans. I tried to work on cooking. I burnt musclecakes. I felt like a failure. That was like the one thing the whole family always knows how to make.

The wedding day came. I found myself in Roland’s room. Just looking over his things. He’d be packing some of them up. They’d be gone. Like him, Buffy and Annabelle. I was trying not to get lost in feeling down. It was supposed to be a happy day. And I was happy for him. I just wasn’t looking forward to after the day.

Buffy soon came in and I helped her get ready. She did look pretty. I had to remember that I was gaining a family member. That Roland loves her and she loves him. I didn’t doubt that.

I went outside to check on my big brother. He was really nervous.

“What if I suck at being a husband???” Roland asked me. Actually biting his nails.

I smacked his hand away.

“Ro. Listen to me. You’re going to be a great husband. You’re loving, you’re a good support system, you’re funny….you love her. So stop biting your darn nails and get your crap together.” I told him.

Roland pulled me into a hug “I love you, Raven. Never forget that.”

I was going to try to remember that.

It was time. And it was love. I was kind of jealous. They were blessed. No one had ever looked at me the way they looked at each other.

But the jealously faded and I was happy to be there to see my brother get married. And I was happy that Harmony, Eric and Skye made it to the wedding. I kinda questioned Buffy’s Mom’s outfit…but whatever.

Roland and Buffy decided to keep things simple. They recited traditional wedding vows. It was touching stuff.

When Buffy told me the wedding was going to be outside. During the winter. I told her she was insane. But it actually worked and it was freaking beautiful.

And so Buffy Summers became Buffy Gonzalo. I gained a sister-in-law. I oddly wanted them to pop me out a niece or nephew asap, but from the sounds of their plans, that wasn’t in the cards for a bit.

“Share yourself with me. 
I will never judge you. 
I am here 
and I will stay here 
only to love you.”
I heard Roland whisper to Buffy as us guests started to disperse. That did it. I cried and claimed I had a snowflake in my eye.

They finally came inside and Ro cut the cake.

Everyone started grabbing pieces of it. It did look good.

But we had an open bar and that’s where I headed. I knew I’d snag a leftover piece. Technically, I wasn’t old enough to legally drink. But no one stopped me.I felt I needed it. Once the ceremony ended, the sad feeling came back. They’d be leaving in the morning.

I somehow managed to sleep and woke up when I heard noises. Packing. I went out of my bedroom and found Annabelle. I hugged her goodbye. It was only right she went with Roland and Buffy. She had always been close to my brother. But I was still going to miss her.

Roland Gavin Gonzalo…he. He I was going to miss the most. He was more than a brother. He’s my friend. I knew things would have been very different it wasn’t for him. I was going to miss him so freaking much. But it was his turn to live a life he wanted after taking care of me. I couldn’t hold that against him.

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Before anyone grabs their pitchforks *eyes MU* Roland will be back! There is a purpose for him and Buffy going to Bridgeport lol.

Poem credit –  Kamand Kojouri

4~1 Some Reason To Be Missed

Note From Q ~ This chapter will be from Roland’s POV. Raven is the heir. And….please don’t kill me….

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I sat. Numb. How did this happen? Logically I knew this things could happen. But how does it happen to us? They were gone. Our parents. Our Uncle and Aunt. All due to faulty wiring on the train they were riding in to come back from their vacation. I was told it happened quick – the accident. I hope it did. That no one suffered. I know my Mom and Dad had long full lives. Dad even got a second chance. They died together. With the one they love. Two siblings got to be together at the end. They were gone.

The worse part was telling Raven. At first she looked at me like I was joking with her. Then she burst into tears. I was able to keep her home from school for a week. I wanted longer, but they wouldn’t let me. Thankfully Mom and Dad were smart and put it in the will if anything happened to them, I’d get full and legal custody of Raven. I was thankful. I couldn’t have handled loosing her too. I don’t think she could handle loosing me. I just didn’t know how to help her. She cried, but wouldn’t let me comfort her. She’d lock herself in her room sometimes. I could hear her crying, but it was muffled. Like she was trying to hide it. It killed me. I’m man enough to admit it.

We had a service, but kept it small. Only family and close friends. Their bodies were badly burned. We didn’t view them. None of us needed that to be our last memories of them. We buried them in the Dragon Valley cemetary.

I could have stayed off work longer than I did, but I needed to work. Not for money, we were set. But to keep myself going. Helping people helps me. I took Annabelle with me some days for company. With Raven at school, she was left alone at the house. I guess it was for us both.

I burst french toast one night. I suck at cooking. Guess I take after Dad on that. Raven cried. Not exactly a good thing, but at least she was getting out some of her emotions.

She struggled with her homework. I could tell. I tried to help, but she wouldn’t let me.

Raven kept up with her alchemy. Mr. Michaels kept tutoring her. It was something consistent for her. I thought that was important.

I accidentally walked in on a moment one morning before school. I heard Raven talking to our parents. I got a dirty look for it. I didn’t walk in on purpose but I figured if it helped her, than that’s a good thing.

I was given a dragon egg from a family that raises them. I saved their dragon egg farm. Their big barn caught on fire due to the heaters they use to keep the eggs warm. I didn’t think the sucker would hatch, to be honest.

But it did. I wasn’t scared at all…

Raven latched on to the mongrel and named it Poe.

And some guy latched onto my sister. Brien? Brian? Ben? Whatever his name. I didn’t like him. He was too….a teenage boy with my sister. I remember those days. I’m not that old. But I tried to keep my big brother protectiveness in check. He seemed to make Raven happy.

I really did try to cook. Tried to stick to simple things.

Probably the most embarrassing night of my life. A firefighter caught a stove on fire. And there were witnesses.

“You caught the stove on fire….shouldn’t that be the one thing you know not to do?” Raven asked me.

“…..I don’t know how to cook, okay.” I told her. She ignored me. It made me really miss Mom. She could cook. She could do all the house stuff, even at her age. Thankfully we hired a maid to clean the house.

Eventually I learned how to make “musclecakes” without burning the crap out of them.

The weather changed. And I realized I needed to get out more for myself. I had kind of stopped my life, outside of work and taking care of Raven. I had pushed my relationship with Buffy aside. She forgave me. Somehow.

She tried talking to Raven for me. I thought maybe talking to a female might help her. Especially if she wanted to talk about boys. I left them to that.

I worked on maintaining Dad’s car. He had finished building it right before the trip. It became drive-able. And actually a pretty cool car.

Found out later that Buffy didn’t really get much out of Raven. But at least she tried. And I was happy to have her around.

Raven attended her prom. That boy didn’t show up at the house to pick her up. Doesn’t mean they didn’t meet up at the school.

I stayed home and gave Annabelle her weekly bath.

Annabelle was my pal. My buddy. She helped me get through it all.

So did Buffy. I was pretty sure I found the one for me.

Raven slowly started to be more sociable. I couldn’t hold it against her. We both lost 4 people we love at once. I think we handled it good, all things considered.

Raven started getting sick a few weeks before graduation. I figured she caught something at school.

Not a great time watching your sister. Or anyone barf.

“Roland.” Raven said quietly. She had asked me to talk to her. She looked scared. “I think I’m pregnant.”

“PREGNANT?!!!” I yelled. I didn’t have the best reaction. I admit it. And she ordered me out of her room after that. I was mad. She was too young for a baby. I was going to kill that Brien or whatever his name is!

The next morning we went to the Hospital for a pregnancy test. I wanted it to be a sure answer, either way. Raven was ticked off at me. I apologized, but she was still mad. I deserved it.

I still went in with her. She is my baby sister. I needed to support her. Thank God it turned out she wasn’t pregnant. She had caught a bug from school.

Needless to say we had a very uncomfortable talk about safe sex after that. And got her on birth control. Brian…Ben….I’d make him go on birth control alright…

One day I stopped in Mom and Dad’s room. It hadn’t been touched. We let it sit. It looked like it was ready for them to come right back to it. It was hard going in there. It was all still there. I knew eventually, we’d clean it out. It needed to be done.

Raven’s birthday came. I gave her a gift. A gift certificate for Sabrina’s Elixirs, the local consignment shop that also sells alchemy supplies.

Skye flew in for the night to help us celebrate. She had grown a lot since the funerals. Harmony and Eric couldn’t make it. But it was cool to have Skye there.

Buffy, Mr. Michaels and some chick I don’t know showed up for the party. Some random green chick…

Bear came with Skye, so it was cool to see him too. It was hard to believe my baby sister was going to be an adult though. But I was also relieved. Even though I had custody of her, it still made me nervous at times. Custody can be taken away over one small thing. I didn’t have to worry about that anymore.

I wish our parents could have seen her. She was a mixture of them both. Beautiful.

I was glad there were people to help celebrate her Birthday.

It wasn’t long before she graduated too.

It ended up pouring down rain, but we all stood outside like nut jobs. I gave her another gift. Another certificate for alchemy supplies. Hey, if it was a hit once. Might as well do it again. Stick with what works.

She used them too. She was pretty serious about it.

So serious she became a registered Alchemist at city hall. She chose that as her profession.

She even harvested honest for it. I thought she was freaking nuts.

Raven started working with Killian. We took care of him, of course, but he hadn’t been ridden since Mom was younger. And Harmony and Eric were still off, not in a position to take him. She planned to learn how to ride him.

Raven came up to me one night and told me I should ask Buffy to move in. I was stunned stupid.

“Ro. She makes you happy. You’ve spent almost a year taking care of me and focusing on me since Mom and Dad died….I think she’s the one for you, dude. You should ask her to move in. See how it goes. Like a test run. If it goes great, marry her.” Raven told me.

Well. At least she didn’t hate my girlfriend.

I thought about what Raven said. And I decided it was a good idea. I asked Buffy to move in and she said yes.

I was the happiest I had been in years. She seemed happy too. Raven made a good suggestion.