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Me using fan fiction as a means of catharsis again, I'm afraid! But I rather like it so hopefully you will too.

Story Title: What Lay Beyond
Type of story: One-Shot
Main Characters: Raffy, Mason, Beth
BTTB rating: G
Genre: Family
Does story include spoilers: No
Any warnings: Not really
Summary: Raffy receives an unexpected night-time visitor.

Raffy’s first thought when she woke up, the room still dark, was surprise that she’d been able to sleep at all.It wasn’t something she’d done a lot of lately.Not since…since Mason.Not since Justin and Tori had come round to break the news of his death.She loved all her newfound siblings, who had accepted her into their lives when they’d found out about each other those few years ago.But maybe because he’d been closest to her in age, and delighted to be a big brother to someone at last, or maybe just because of the person he was, Mason had increasingly become the first person she’d turned to.And now…now she would never see him again.

  Naturally, it was just as that thought was crossing her mind that she found Mason sitting on the end of her bed.“Hi, Raff,”he greeted her.

  After a moment of being stunned, Raffy decided that the most sensible course of action was to give a yelp of shock, pull her bed covers over her head and pretend this wasn’t happening.The task was made more difficult by the fact she could hear Mason’s voice.“Raff, this would work better if you’d actually look at me…Raff, come on…Oh come on, Raffy, you were really great when I was seeing Beth…”

  “Did someone say my name?”asked a female voice.

  Raffy couldn’t resist it when she heard that.She pulled the covers down off her face and looked over at the door that she was convinced she’d shut before going to sleep.Beth, Mason’s one-time girlfriend who’d been dead even longer than him, was sticking her head round the doorway.

  Mason glared at her.“I told you to wait for me outside!”

  “Sorry,”Beth replied, not sounding very sorry at all,“I was just trying to help.”Mason waved a hand at her in annoyance and she withdrew from sight.

  Raffy looked from the empty space where Beth had been back to Mason.Somehow the situation seemed more normal now.“I never thought I’d see you two together again.”

  Mason nodded.“It was a bit of a shock for me too.”

  “So, it’s not going to turn out you faked getting shot and you’re secretly in witness protection or something?You actually are…”

  “Dead, yeah.”Mason sighed.“It wasn’t what I planned but I’m getting used to it.”

  “They say you were a hero.”

  “Do they?”Mason considered this.“Well, I guess there’s worse ways to be remembered.”

  “Are you going to see the others?”

  “No, this kind of thing’s frowned on.I had enough trouble getting permission to come and see you.And I can’t stay long.”

  Raffy found herself welling up.“Then what’s the point?”

  “The point, well…I guess the point is I get to see you again and give you some last pieces of brotherly advice.And remember, you’re not meant to speak ill of the dead, so you have to be nice.So…you decided what you want to do with your life?”

  Raffy nodded.“I want to be a doctor.Like you and Tori and Alex.”

  “Well, if you do, you’d be great at it.But do it because you want to, not because you think you should. And if you are going to do, then stick at it, don’t be complacent.I wasted a lot of time doing things I didn’t really want to do because I made the wrong choices.”

  “Anything else?”

  “Yeah.Don’t have sex until you’re thirty.Actually, make it thirty-five.”

  Raffy glared at him.“That’s never going to happen.”

  “Okay.Well, if you end up having a child at thirty-five, who’s obviously going to be gorgeous because they’ll have you as a mother, name them Mason and tell them they had this really cool uncle and should be honoured to have his name.”

  Raffy found herself smiling.“Even if it’s a girl?”

  “Absolutely.”

  “Well, how about I tell him or her that they had a really dorky uncle that I felt sorry for?”

  “I’d take that.”

  Raffy faltered.“I wish you could be there for them in person.And me.”

  “Me too.Very much.But even without me, you’re going to be great.Take a dorky brother’s word on that. Now, go to sleep.Got a long life ahead of you.”

  Obediently, Raffy lay down and without moments she was asleep again.Mason looked at her with a mixture of fondness and sadness, and pulled the covers up over her before walking out of the room.

***

Beth was waiting for him outside.She raised a quizzical eyebrow as he approached.“You finished?”

  Mason paused and looked back at the house.“Yeah,”he said at last,“Yeah, I think so.”He let out a deep sigh.“I’m going to miss them.”He took her hand.“But I’m glad I’m here with you.”

  Beth nodded, understanding.“And I really wish you’d had the longer life you deserved.But I’m glad to have you with me.”

  Mason smiled and kissed her softly.“Let’s go then.”

  And together they stepped out to what lay beyond.

 

 

 

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Edited by QUIET ACHIEVER
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