Gar's much too familiar with cemeteries. This one, in particular.
He doesn't always make it on the day she died. He doesn't have the kind of life where that really works. But he comes when he can. Mostly alone, but sometimes with Vic, who understands, or Cliff when he's around. Dayton wouldn't ever come. Sometimes it made Gar mad, but mostly he understood.
Today, Questor's waiting back at the car; he'd gone out to the graves first, while Gar stood back and tried to think what he was going to say. He doesn't know what Questor needed to say to the dead, just that he looked even older than usual when he'd come back. Maybe it would be healthier if they shared their grief, or something. But Gar's grateful for the privacy anyway.
The grave on the left is older, a little more worn-looking, but the name is still clear: Rita Farr.
"Hi, Mom," Gar says softly, but he can't keep his eyes from moving to the right. "You got company now, huh?"
He hadn't been able to be there when the marker was put up--his schedule again. For a wonder, Questor'd never said a word about having to attend alone. But Gar knows the stone, he picked it out, and the inscription on it.
Steve Dayton. Beloved Husband and Father.
Gar knows it's true. Knows his stepfather knew it too, even if they'd both been lousy at showing it.
It doesn't matter. Not anymore. Any more than it matters that she died saving lives, and he died trying to take them. They're past that now, past all madness and all pain.
Gar wishes he could say the same.
He reaches out to touch Rita's headstone lightly, and summons up a smile through long practice. "You'll look after him now, okay, Mom? Really needs someone for that; he gets in *so* much trouble when you leave him alone--" His voice breaks on the last word.
It's a moment before he can go on, and his voice isn't light anymore when he does. "He missed you a lot, you know. He never got over you--you better tell her that, Dayton, that you loved her so much you never even looked at anybody else. So I guess you're happy now, right? Because you can be with her.
"But I miss you too--"
He can't stop the tears, then, or the sudden stab of grief that accompanies them. "It isn't *fair*. Why'd you have to--" He hears his voice rising to a wail, chokes it off. He's done enough of that.
"Sorry," he murmurs, when he can trust his voice again. "I'm handling it. Really. Been doing just fine on my own all this time, right?"
He straightens his shoulders, glances between the graves. "That's the other thing I wanted to tell you. You don't have to worry about me. I'm gonna be okay. I've got friends, and I've got a job back at the Tower--okay, it doesn't pay, but it's not like I need the money now, and I think it's important. I'm going to stop screwing up. I'm going to do good. And I'm going to make you proud."
There's no change in the silence, of course. There never is. But he feels better for saying it. And he hopes that somewhere, they do too.
"I guess that's all. And--I love you. Always.