Memorial Day 2013. I like the concept for this one…Not sure how well that concept translated into actual words, but I hope you enjoy it.
Disclaimer: I do not own Morgan or Greg
Spoilers: Skin in the Game
Dedication: To all the men and women who died in service to their country.
Morgan knelt before s polished white rock. Softly she set a bundle of flowers on the ground in front of the stone. She knew somebody had already been there because there was a small American flag planted in the ground in front of the white stone. For a while she sat there silently wanting to say something but unsure what to say.
"Jamie's doing well," she said finally, "She and twins moved up to San Francisco to be closer to her parents about the time I move back here. The twins are getting so big. Tommy is doing little league in the fall, and Lisa is doing ballet. You'd be so proud of them. They miss you though, especially Tommy."
"I actually got an email from Jamie the other day," Morgan continued, "she said she met someone. He's nice guy, good with the kids. No criminal history either. I ran a background check just to make sure, but he seems like a good man for her. She still misses you. She'll always love you, but she has to move on with her life. I know that's what you would want her to do."
"I miss you too," she told him, her conversational tone faltering as a lump grew in her throat, "I remember when we were growing up; every Memorial Day we would come here and help put flag on the soldier's graves. We understood what they sacrificed. We understood what it meant, but it seemed so distant. It didn't seem like something that would happen to us. Then you enlisted. Suddenly it was my best friend fighting overseas, and my best friend coming home in a flag draped casket."
Morgan fell silent again, but this time it was because she sensed that someone was watching her. She knew she was not alone in the graveyard, but most of the people were focused on the marble headstones. She had been a little skittish lately, but glancing back over her shoulder, she realized that someone was watching her. Greg stood a few rows behind her watching from underneath the shade of an old oak tree. Their eyes met, and she beckoned him over.
"Why are you here?" she asked him as she stood up. She was not angry, but she did not understand why he had followed her.
"You didn't tell anyone where you were going," he explained, "and I'm just worried about you after what happened—"
"I'm okay," she told him, "we got the guy."
"But there are other ones like him out there," he said, "and I already almost lost you once this month. I just wanted to make sure you were safe." He paused, and she just looked at him. "You're going to tell me I'm being stupid."
"No," she said looking at him for a moment before shifting her gaze to the headstone, "It's sweet. It actually reminds me of Brandon."
Greg looked at the stone too. The name written Brandon H. Nelson was written in large letters at the top. Below that was an inscription that read: In memory of a loving father, husband, son, and proud U.S. Marine. "Was he a friend of yours?" Greg asked, realizing that it was probably a stupid question, but Morgan did not seem to mind.
"Yeah," she replied, "He was my best friend. We grew up together here in Vegas. We were in the same fourth grade class, and we hung out a lot that summer. Then we stayed close. When my parents got divorced it was rough on me, but he was my rock and helped me deal with all of that. He was different than the others: caring, compassionate. Do you know a lot of middle school boy who would have let someone cry on their shoulder?"
"No," Greg admitted. There were not many boys like that. Even he had not been that kind of guy when he was in middle school.
"I ended moving to LA my mom, but Brandon supported me and told me he'd write every week," Morgan said with a small smile, "most people would say that, and then they'd write once or twice before life interfered. Brandon wrote me every week for the four years we were in high school. We talked on the phone a lot too. My senior year I didn't have anyone to go to prom with. He drove the four hours from Vegas to LA so that I didn't have to go alone."
"Were you-?" Greg asked, the rest of the question implied.
"No," Morgan said shaking her head, "He was more like the brother I never had. He actually married his high school sweetheart, Jamie, not that long after we graduated. She's good woman. She and I grew close while he was deployed, and I helped her out sometimes for babysitting their twins."
"How old are they?" Greg asked.
"Nearly five now," Morgan said, "They were born just before Brandon deployed."
"That must have been hard," he said, thinking both of Brandon's deployment and his death.
"It was," she said nodding, "It nearly tore Jamie apart. I think if she hadn't had the kids to take care of it might have destroyed her. Of course the kids were too young to really understand. They slept the whole car ride to Vegas for the funeral. Jamie just stared blankly out the window."
"You drove them?" Greg asked, and Morgan nodded. "I thought you hadn't been back to Vegas since you and your mom moved to LA."
"It was only that once, but dad didn't know I was here. I didn't want him too," she admitted, "It's funny actually. Brandon was the reason I moved back to Vegas. I almost didn't take the job here, but he always told me that if I didn't patch things up with my dad, I was going to regret it one day. So I figured this was as good an opportunity as ever."
"I'm glad you moved back here," Greg said quietly.
"Me too," she agreed, "I just wish Brandon was still here. I miss him so much."
"He's still with you," Greg said, knowing Morgan would understand what he meant.
"I think you're right about that," Morgan said nodding, "I feel like he's watching out for me, especially given," she paused, "recent events."
Instinctively Greg reached out for Morgan's hand. He did not say anything, but he thought back to that sleepless night he had spent while Morgan was missing. In the end they had only found her because of a lucky break, and if they had arrived even a minute or two later, Morgan would probably be dead. He shivered at the thought.
"I guess it makes sense," she said, "he always looked out for me when he was alive. He always looked out for everyone. That's why he joined the service. He said he needed to do his part to protect the United States so that the world would be a safer place for future generations."
"He meant a lot to you," Greg observed, perhaps unnecessarily.
"Yeah, he did," she agreed, "He meant a lot to a lot of people."
"I would have liked to meet him," Greg said.
"I think you two would have gotten along well," Morgan said with a small smile. The pair was silent for a long while, but finally Morgan shook her head. "This is exactly what you told me not to do," she remarked, and Greg knew instinctively that she was not talking to him. "You told me not come here because you're not here, just this marble headstone, but I never did listen very well. You know that."
Morgan slipped her hand free of Greg's and knelt on the ground again. "I miss you," she said, "I miss you everyday, and I'll never forget everything you did for me." She leaned forward and kissed the stone. Then she stood up. Her words seemed incredibly insufficient, but she did not know what else to say. She felt as if she could talk forever and never feel as though she had said enough.
"How about we go get drink somewhere in Brandon's honor?" Greg asked her, "I'll buy, and we can talk some more."
Morgan considered for a moment, but Greg's suggestion felt right. It felt almost like something Brandon would have suggested. He had always believed in remembering the good times not dwelling on the bad ones. "I would like that," she told him with a nod.
"Okay," Greg said. He hesitated for a moment. "Do you mind if I take a minute here?" he asked.
"Of course not," she said, "I'll wait over there." She gestured to the oak tree Greg had been standing under. He nodded. She squeezed his hand, and then retreated to under the oak tree.
Greg reached out and put his hand on the stone. "Thank you," he said quietly, "for your service and your sacrifice." He glanced over his shoulder at Morgan. "I'll look out for her. I promise."
Hope you liked it. Please review.