The Lone Wanderer, hero of the capitol wasteland, was no longer at home in said place. It had started soon after their unexpected trip up to Mothership Zeta, the alien spaceship that had suddenly come into orbit, kidnapped them, and she had later cleared of non-human life. After and adventure like that, little seemed interesting to the Wanderer, not even the common incursions that the Brotherhood of Steel took them on, incursions against the super mutants or the Enclave, and helping the dwellers of 101 establish themselves as a community didn't help against the feeling of not belonging to the wasteland.
It was their nature, they supposed, and Three Dog was inclined to agree, to always be on the move, from the moment they had been born; escaping the pens, the cots, exploring the vault, then later on leaving it and finding every single location of interest in the waste, from the car tunnel to the Republic of Dave, from Raven Rock to Riley's Rangers Compound, with Dogmeat as the only true companion, the only one that never judged them, the one that wouldn't abandon them. Well, by now it was Dogmeat the second, age and all that.
It had been nine years since the Lone Wanderer had left Vault 101, and the Brotherhood was now expanding. Perhaps it was time the Wanderer left with them, or alone, and honor their title. Yeah, they would do that, do some arrangements and leave. The Commonwealth would be a good place to go to next, since it was relatively near to the Capitol. It would still take a few weeks to get there though, even if they took the power armor with them, counting sleeping breaks, meals, random attacks, and so on.
Dogmeat would be up for the task, no doubt, as were they.
The day after their decision the Lone Wanderer went to the citadel to talk to the Elder of the Brotherhood, to give a last farewell to those that had helped them honor their father and to ensure that no member of the Brotherhood would attack them, and to get a promise that no matter how much time passed, the east coast chapters of the Brotherhood of Steal would remain defenders rather than hoarder, protectors of the people and not of the technology.
"It is a shame you are leaving, the Brotherhood will always be different without you to help us," Both the Elder and the head of The Lyon's Pride had told them when given the notice, "And hey, if you ever want to come back, I'm sure the Pride will let you stay with us, hell, I'm sure some of us would say yes if you ask us to go with you," Had added Sarah Lyons.
"I'm sure you would, Sentinel Lyons," the Wanderer had answered, patting the Sentinel on her armored shoulders and smiling at her, "But the Brotherhood needs you here Sarah, and when you lot come for me in the Comonwealth I'll be sure to check in, but the Lone Wanderer is a title I earned, it's just going to be Dogmeat and me on the road."
They had parted shortly after that, despite Sarah's attempts at getting them to stay a while longer. Sarah had been nice enough to replace their armor with one of the Pride, though, and seeing as they had allied with the Brotherhood due to them, it was a honor to carry the emblem, and it broke direct ties with the fascist that had taken over after Lyons retires.
Next they had gone to Galaxy news, ignoring Three Dog's protege and speaking to the voice of the Wasteland himself, telling him that they were going to spread the good fight a bit further. Naturally the man had taken the news gracefully if not joyfully because of their spreading the good fight, saying a farewell piece on the radio the day after, and wishing them luck and prosperity in their next journey.
Megaton was the next target, with three people wishing them a safe travel and prosper future. The Sheriff had once again thanked her for the help with the bomb, the pipe repairs and the supplies, and been grateful enough to gift them his hat, a battered leather thing that nonetheless they had taken. It would be great for when the sun got too much, and if nothing else, it would be amusing to see a T-60d with a leather hat on.
Lucy west had, uselessly if not thoughtfully, given out a rifle as a thanks for finding her brother, complete with a number of clips, which she would put to good use in one of their modified rifles. Moira was the one they visited last, their first friend in the wasteland was the one they would be saddest to let go, but in a way they would be helping the quirky woman.
"Moira, think you can repair my stuff one last time?" Said the Wanderer after they embraced the owner of Craterside Supply, her friend, and ocasional lover when things got too boring in Megaton, happily getting to work on the armory given to her. At least until she properly processed what the Wanderer said.
"What do you mean the last time? Did they let you back in to the Vault?" Moira asked, because as far as she knew the only reason she wouldn't be seeing the former vault dweller was because they had once again been accepted into the vault, that or they were taking the Mothership for a ride, and Moira was sure she would be brought along if that was the case.
"No, I'll actually be leaving Amata a message, so she doesn't miss me," answered the 101 reject, helping the quirky woman disassemble the sturdy plasma weapons, (Moira was better with cartridge weapons, but nonetheless one of the best repairers in the wasteland) "I'm going to the commonwealth, see what it has to offer, honor the title Three Dog gave me, you know? And this is a chance to expand the reach of your survival guide, I could take a hundred copies with me, help it become a coastal thing rather than just the capitol."
The two stayed up that night, doing little else than chatting with one another about the past, ignoring the future until the sun came up, at which point the Wanderer bid goodbye to their friend, giving her a last kiss and grabbing an empty holotape to leave on the panel of vault 101.
"Amata, if you are hearing this then I was right and your guards brought you my last words to you. I am leaving the wasteland, leaving you and the vault as nothing but memories, I'm going North, I think you Vault People call it Massachusetts, we wastelanders prefer the term Commonwealth. It's a long treck, but it will be worth it, a last journey as the Capitol Wasteland's Lone Wanderer. I hope that you are doing as well as I am, but I can't really say I'm wishing a friend well, can I? If you had left with me that first time, or kept the door open to me as a trader, then I could claim otherwise, but hey, we still have eighteen years of friendship behind us, huh? I told the sheriff of megaton to keep my house open to you and your men, if you ever need or want to set up shop outside the Vault. This is the Lone Wanderer, signing off."
And that would be the last words of the Lone Wanderer in the Capitol Wasteland, as they left Washington behind them, walking towards a new adventure.
Nate was dead. Shaun was gone.
Codsworth didn't help, delusional as he was about the two of them relaxing in the vault. In a way that was true, Nate would not be leaving it, and Shaun would feel as if no time had passed from when he went to sleep. She had dragged the still intact couch and sat in front of Shaun's crib, staring at for as long as it took Cods to cook something to eat, then she would fall asleep, and repeat it all in the morning.
Sometimes, during the past week, she would look down to her lap, where one hand gripped the pistol she had found. She had thought about it, more often than she was willing to admit. But Nate wouldn't want that, not after he had kicked his own PTSD and survivor's guilt out and kept being the wonderful man she had married and fallen in love with. As it was, the only weapon she used was the baton she had taken off a corpse, and even that was to whack the roaches as they came close.
She needed help.
Preston Garvey had taken the form of her savior, with a radio transmission asking for help against raiders trapping them in the Museum of Freedom. She had helped them, helping herself in turn as she defeated the raiders, climbed into the power armor and killed the deathclaw that came out of the sewers.
Then she had offered Sanctuary for them to settle into, and helped turn it back into a home again, receiving more and more settlers as the days passed. She was named the General of the Minutemen, something she had no doubt Nate would envy, were he standing by her side, as he had wanted to be an officer back when he was still posted in the frontlines.
One day, she would start searching for Shaun, but while she knew that he was with competent people that could at least protect him, these people needed her more than Shaun did, as much as it hurt her to admit it.
It was still so hard to believe that she was the oldest human on Earth, and ghouls didn't really count as human any more, they were a subspecies. Over two hundred years ago she had signed her family into the Vault-tec Shelter, not knowing that it had the representative's timing that would save her and her family. She had seen the bombs fall, no doubt being thrown by Commie bastards in retaliation for some imaginary slight on the America's part. The light and the shockwave had been horrible, even standing as far away as she was from the epicenter. The poor people that had worked and lived near the crater had probably died instantly. Lucky them.
One day, she would be ready to face her son.