Disclaimer:      Doesn't   everyone   know   the   drill   by   now?      No   one   belongs   to   me   though   I   would   love   to   own   Belladonna   and   Marius.      No   profit   is   being   made   though   I   truly   believe   that   anyone   who   writes   Belle   not   insane   should   receive   a   rather   large   pay   check   considering   that   it   would   mean   they   are   writing   better   than   Marvel   is.      Please   don't   sue   me!         Really   what   would   be   the   point?      It   would   just   put   another   dumb   case   in   our   already   overcrowded   legal   system.


"I should be in dere wid you," Belladonna whispered as her fingers grazed the cold, wet stone.

It was raining. Raining hard.

She never was one to brood, she had always examined the situation before her, nodded, and allowed it to pass as time healed her wounds, but she doubted that could ever work for this. Nor was she ever one to blame herself for something that she had no control over but after all that had happened she wondered if she could ever truly be herself again.

But this was not about her.

"I should be in dere wid you," she whispered again, this time tracing the name that was engraved into the stone as if it were Braille and she was blind. "But I'm out here, leadin' de guild, your guild."

She removed her hand from the wall of the family mausoleum, staring at the name engraved there.

Marius Bordeaux.

It wasn't alone though she had singled it out. It was accompanied by many names; the family crypt was quite large. Names of Bordeaux's from many generations dwelt beside Marius's, names of people she didn't even knew existed and then, by those she had never met, like her mother's.

"I need you, papa. I want you back but even if dat were possible..." her voice trailed off as she lowered her eyes to the muddy ground and the soaked flowers that had been planted with respect along the walls. She had seen them before, when she had visited when she was a child they had been there, small white flowers with petals shaped like hearts. It was only yesterday she found out that they had been her mother's favorite flower when she was alive and it didn't take a genius to figure who had planted them. "It wouldn' be fair to you."

She fidgeted a little as she took a deep breath, her clothes rustling due to her shifting. "It's been hard, papa. De house is so big and wid no one in it..." She stopped, changing her train of thought, "But..." Belladonna never was one to cry and she wasn't going to start now. "De guild is doin' okay. De thieves all under check just like how it's always been when you led." Belle smiled. "We in a time of peace, papa. Everyone is happy, de thieves are not a threat to us, not yet, Jean-Luc has more important things to do dan start wars wid me now. It not like in de old days when you were growin' up, de children don' believe de thieves will come at night and kill dem. No one is dyin'..." She stopped again.

She lifted her eyes to the rain slicked walls again.

Marius Bordeaux.

"Papa..." it came out in a whimper. "Why'd it have to be you?"

It still felt like it had all happened yesterday. She had come home that day but to her it wasn't her home, not exactly. She couldn't remember it. She had put down her coat and walked into the living room where Tante Mattie met her. Something inside had told her to respect the woman and listen to her though she couldn't remember why. Tante Mattie had started to say something but then instead took her by the arm and brought her into a secluded room. It had been well furnished, there had been a bed in the center of the room but at the moment she couldn't quite see it, too many people were crowded around.

"They're doctors, Belle." The tired healer had told her. "They are trying to keep your father's body alive but his soul has already moved on."

Belle's eyes had narrowed. She didn't like to be spoken to in riddles. "What are you saying?"

"Your father is dead. He's died of a heart attack."

It had shaken her to her foundation then, the loss of a father she truly didn't know. She had no memories of him but her heart had clenched when those words passed her ears. She had loved him... for some reason.

But now it was different.

"Why couldn' have been anyone but you?"

Candra had been killed and with her all the memory blocks that had held everything back disappeared.

It was very different now.

Belladonna now remembered why she loved her father and why she missed him.

She had thought having her memories would make this all easier, but it only made it worse.

"I miss you, papa. I could've handled anythin' else but dis." The rain grew a bit heavier but it went unnoticed. The world could have been set ablaze and Belladonna wouldn't have noticed. She was talking to her father.

"You were always dere when I needed you. You were de one dat got me through Remy leavin'. You de one dat kept me from gettin' my gun out when he left," It felt like a bull had charged into the back of her legs; all of a sudden she couldn't support her own weight and fell to her knees, settling in the mud below. "Who's goin' to get me through dis? Who's goin' to help me through dis loss?"

Belladonna had never been one to cry, especially about things she had no control over but she hadn't been feeling like herself today.

The tears struggled out of her blue eyes and slid down her cheeks. Damn tears, she thought, let it rain. No one can tell the difference between tears and rain drops.

"Papa..." she choked out, brushing her wet, blonde hair out of her face. "How can I get over losin' you? I don' got anyone to help me."

She hung her head, she didn't have the strength to hold her head up anymore. Actually, she didn't think she had the strength for much anymore. "You were always de one to help. Now's de time I need you de most and you're not here."

Belladonna shook her head, her body was racked with sobs as the stone angel of the mausoleum towered above her, his decaying sword drawn, ready to protect the family from some supernatural evil. "Everyone's dead, papa. You were de last one. Now I'm alone."

Amongst the shadows and the stones and the trees planted in the graveyard, she finally allowed the tears to freely flow. "Papa..." was all she could choke out. The rain pounded against her back... the water dripped down her neck, sliding down her spine. The water felt uncannily warm against her skin, almost comforting.

She looked up at the sky, letting the rain wash over her, not fighting it anymore, not fighting anything anymore and simply closed her eyes.

The rain washed away her tears. A slight breeze blew across the cemetery and seemingly wrapped around her shoulders for a moment.

"Papa," she whispered, a smile slowly beginning to form across her face. Nothing would ever end her sadness, but something inside told her it would be okay, everything would be okay. "I love you."

She reached over to the rose that she had dropped and placed it at the foot of the mausoleum door. Rising to her feet she wiped her eyes, one hand reached out for her father's name, tracing it.

"Good night, papa." Belladonna turned and stalked back through the tombstones, pausing once, glancing back. "Happy Father's Day," she called out, the warm breeze blew again. With that she continued on, she really needed her sleep.

This story has be read times since 17 July 1999.

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