Hey, guys. I know we said this story was complete a while back, but we decided that an epilogue was totally necessary. So here is the epilogue that I did today. Now this... completes the story. Thank you all very much for following The Assassin, laughing, and crying with us on Garin's short journey. We appreciate your feedback and reviews, and hope you will follow us for our new adventures to come!
Now... enjoy the epilogue of The Assassin!
Spring was upon The Order and Nadia found herself carefully limping through the thinning snow. A blustery wind was whipping her hair around and she tried to tuck the unruly strands behind her ear, unable to properly hold it back in a braid. Her back was aching, but she had made it clear to Javik and Lea that she really needed to get out of the house, take a breather, and visit a dear lover of hers. The cloak around her shoulders blew roughly as she slowly climbed the hill, surrounded by engraved stones marking the deaths. She eyed the graves nervously, it had been the first time she'd visited The Order's largest graveyard. There were two smaller ones, but this one was most important. It was a memorial site for the finest assassins.
Two months it had taken her to recover from her wound, a simple stab to the back had caused her a great deal of trouble, and her grief had left her feeling rather unable to do anything. She understood, however, that her life had to continue and she wasn't the type to just let it swallow her whole - no. She had a child to think of, not yet born, but getting closer. Nadia again moved the strands out of her eyes, cradling a wrapped bundle in her arms, flowers sticking out of the top of one of them.
"Hoo..." Nadia stopped walking, the hill was steep at that point and it was beginning to hurt to breathe. She reached around and rubbed the sore place where her back had been stabbed, and then lower where it ached from being pregnant. It wasn't fair, having to suffer both things on a day like that. Gathering herself, she clutched her bundle in her arms and began to tread further up the hill. That day... she began to think about it deeply, eyeing each grave as she waddled on. Her argument with Garin had been rather short, and ended somewhat well. She recalled the both of them talking and laughing on their way to Javik's.
He had left her to do bounties. She got restless and took a walk, from that point on it was fuzzy. She remembered the pain, she remembered Javik coming in and telling her the news. Nadia sighed, not wanting to remember how her heart felt. Part of moving on was saying goodbye - right? She hadn't had the opportunity to get out of bed and visit him, her wound got infected. Fevers, the risk of losing her child, all of that had kept her off her feet. But there she was, reaching the top of the hill and finally she saw it.
"Garin..." She sighed wearily and picked up her skirt with her free hand, finding herself hurrying to the site. She got on her knees there, realizing that she'd regret it when it came time to leave.
"H-Hi..." She smiled sadly, laying the bundle down and slowly unwrapping it. First she gently leaned the flowers against the gravestone, making sure they were nice and neat. Once that was done, she laid down a newly sewn pair of gloves in front of the stone as well.
"This is probably silly... but it's cold still and you need glov-gloves..." She stammered, having promised herself she wouldn't cry, she realized then that she wouldn't be able to contain her tears. "I'm mostly better now, it still aches occasionally... but it's not too bad. I was going to bring you some bacon, but I realized that it would be impractical and you would just tell me not to waste good food..." She giggled, her cheeks stinging from the combination of cold and tears.
"I wanted to ask what I should name the baby? I'm... still not certain myself. I've been thinking about it. I probably would have had you name her... or him. We joke sometimes that if it's a boy I should name him after you." She felt her chin quivering, and the lump in her throat ached.
"B-But I didn't think you'd like that... you were a very practical man and I just pictured you scoffing. A strong name... right? Like Lita or Gaius? I thought you'd like the second..."
The wind howled as she sat there in silence. "I mean... i-if it's a boy. Lita is..." She laughed at herself, "Lita is a girl's name."
Somehow she wished there would be an answer, that ghost stories were true and that he'd appear before her sitting upon the stone with his name on it. But those were just legends, and he would not answer. He wasn't coming home.
"I promise I'm not angry with you." She said, shaking, "I wish I had said I love you more... and not just that once. You were a complex man... a very... amazing..." She reached out to touch the grave, gently running her finger along the G.
"What do I do from here?" She pondered, "I can't live with Javik and Lea forever... can I?"
Nadia sighed, "What am I doing?" She began to giggle slightly, "I'd ask for a sign telling me that you can hear me, but how silly! As usual... you are probably thinking that I talk far too much." She adjusted the flowers and the gloves, smiling warmly as she slowly began to stand up, her legs shook and she didn't feel quite like herself.
"I guess I should be going... but maybe I will visit again. I will have to bring you warm gloves in the winter... right?" She stood, finding a little challenging to leave. But then, she knew she had to.
"I'll say it again, because I know you need to hear it from me... only because I know for certain that you thought I'd be angry, but... I love you from the bottom of my heart. So..." She took a step back, "Goodbye."
Nadia blew him a kiss and then began to tread down the hill, not even taking a moment to look back. She knew if she did that she'd crawl back up there and lay down in the dew covered grass.
On her way home from the gravesite, an extremely long walk, Nadia went into labor and hours later found herself curled up on a bed in Lea and Javik's house. The healer was saying things to her, but she couldn't quite grasp anything, it was like an explosion of pain, she thought she was going to die.
"Nadia, you can do this." The healer was trying to be encouraging, but Nadia couldn't possibly fathom what she should or should not be doing. All she really wanted to do was scream.
But she couldn't even do that, she was biting down on something since she'd been biting her lip too much. So instead she just whimpered and cried pitifully.
Then, as quickly as it had begun, it ended. Nadia blinked wearily, her vision was cloudy and her body felt somewhat numb. She could see the ceiling, she could hear the overjoyed voices, and the cry of her newborn.
Exhausted was a good word to describe how Nadia felt. It was late into the night, if not early into the next morning. She slowly turned her head when a bundle was presented to her.
"Nadia... are you with us?" The healer asked softly.
"Nadia?" Lea sounded worried.
Nadia took a soft breath and tried to smile, even though her lips were chapped and extremely sore. "Mm... I'm here."
"Don't scare us so terribly!" Lea chastised her, "I thought we were losing you."
"N...No. I'm so tired." Nadia reached out a hand to touch the bundle. "Who did I make?" Her voice was soft and hoarse.
"A healthy baby girl. I was worried she'd be weak, but she's got a good cry."
Nadia smiled, "I'm happy." She wanted to hold her little daughter, but she felt so tired that she worried she wouldn't be able to support her. However, she began to push herself up, arms shaking with fatigue.
"Nadia, don't push yourself..." The healer gently pushed Nadia back against the pillows, then showed her how to cradle her new daughter properly. "There... Mama and daughter meet for the first time."
Nadia couldn't even fathom how amazing it felt to hold her child for the first time. When she whimpered she immediately grew worried and looked at the healer helplessly. "What am I to do?"
"She's probably hungry." The healer then helped Nadia figure out how to feed her, which at first was an uncomfortable experience, but once they were covered in a warm blanket Nadia found herself less anxious.
"What are you going to name her?" Lea asked, sitting at the edge of the bed.
Nadia still felt rather sleepy, but she had to think of a name. "I want to call her Lita..."
"What a pretty name." Lea smiled, "Welcome to the world, Lita... you are so wonderfully blessed to have landed in Nadia's capable arms."
Nadia laughed softly, "I'm not so terribly capable... I had no idea what to do just now." She sighed, staring fondly down at Lita.
Garin... thank you for sparing me. It was wonderful falling in love with you... I promise to tell Lita stories about how amazing her father was. I know you would have considered her yours.
I miss you, and I love you.
Nadia smiled, "Lita... your Papa was a wonderful man... and I don't know what he would have wished for you to do, but... if you wish to be a seamstress like me, then so be it - but if you wish to be an assassin, like him... I won't stop you. Whatever you choose, I know you will grow up to be a strong, brilliant, woman... and he would be proud of you. I know I already am."
Garin... thank you.