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The Second Element II: Through A Glass Darkly
By 1

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Epilogue: Her Distinctive Hand

Guybrush lay in bed, not really awake but not really asleep, either. He hadn’t been able to sleep for the last two nights; he was used to it by now. He and Elaine were staying in the Governor’s Mansion on Mêlée, a brief, temporary respite from cleaning up the Caribbean. Elaine, relieved to be getting a break after months of work, slept like a rock. Guybrush didn’t have the same luck, unfortunately. When the knock came at the door downstairs, however, he was glad to be awake.

He jumped up out of bed--only checking as an afterthought to make sure he hadn’t woken Elaine up--and hurried out of the bedroom and down the stairs. He barely remembered, on the way down the stairs, to avoid the spot where the rug had been burned and some sort of rot had gotten into the wood. It wouldn’t have been the first time he’d almost put his foot through it.

The knocking came again, more insistently, just as Guybrush’s bare feet touched the mansion’s carpeted entryway. “I’ll be there in a minute,” he called quietly, though he knew the person on the other side of the door had no chance of hearing him.

He’d just opened the door when the man on the other side started to knock again, nearly hitting Guybrush in the face. “Uh, sorry,” the man stuttered. Then he looked at Guybrush’s pants and had problems not snickering. They were pajama pants--fuzzy, with little bunnies on them.

Guybrush closed the door a little ways and cleared his throat uncomfortably. “Um, do you know...a letter or anything?”

“Oh, yeah, here.” He fished in his pocket and brought out a small piece of yellow paper, folded over once and sealed with a small piece of tape. “One of the ships brought it in a few minutes ago. With some supplies from Lucre.” The pirate cast him an odd, suspicious glance as the letter changed hands. Though Elaine had long ago (though slightly unwillingly) cleared his name and he’d been more than a help in the fight to retake and restore the Caribbean, certain rumors still lingered.

Guybrush nodded quickly. “Yeah, thanks. ‘Bye.” He closed the door before the man could even respond, broke the tape and flipped the letter open. For a moment his stomach tightened with anxiety, but then his eyes fell on the familiar, if slightly scrawling handwriting, and he let out a long sigh of relief. He started to read, slowly, certain now that she was all right.

Dad --

We pulled the raid off--we’ve got Booty Island back. And no, I didn’t get shot at (though there were some skeletons with swords...just kidding!). Grandpa Marley’s busy putting the mansion back together and getting rid of all the weapons & stuff LeChuck put into it. He says to tell Elaine that she owes him a visit one of these days (tell her I said hi, too).

Since Phatt Island’s almost back to normal, we finally sent John to the prison there...we got sick of him escaping and trying to kill me all the time. Just letting you know so you can stop worrying about that.

We’ll probably be here a while...heard you were staying on Mêlée for a few days; I hope this letter gets there before you leave. I probably won’t see you until we launch the second attack on Pinchpenny, so...bye. Just wanted to let you know I was okay so you wouldn’t worry.

Bill says “hi,” by the way.

-- Armena

P.S. My arm is fine, so stop asking.

P.P.S. No, we still haven’t found Largo. Hope you’ve had better luck.

Guybrush had just folded the letter back up when Elaine came up behind him, wrapping her arms around his waist and resting her chin on his shoulder. “Is she okay?”

“She’s fine,” Guybrush answered, turning the letter over in his hands. “At least she says she is.”

“Then she is fine.” She kissed him on the cheek, gently. “This is what she wants, Guybrush. You can’t stop her.”

He sighed. “I know, I just...”

“Besides, if we’re ever going to get the Tri-Island Area back to normal, we’ll need all the help we can get. That includes her.”

“Yeah, but she still could’ve stayed with us.”

Her arms seemed to tighten around his waist for a split second. “But she didn’t. Just...just give her a little space. She’ll be back eventually.”

“I hope so.” He turned around, hugging her tightly. For a moment, he could’ve sworn he felt her flinch away, and he almost felt a compulsion to do the same...but it only lasted a brief instant, and he chalked it up to all the sleep he’d been missing lately.

“Now...” Elaine pulled away from him, dusting off his white tunic and straightening a few rumples. “You need sleep, plunderbunny. Worry about Mena later. We’ve got work to do in the morning.” She started for the stairs, carefully avoiding all the rotting spots in the floor. Guybrush looked at the letter one more time, clutching it tight in his hands, then followed after her.

Elaine returned to bed immediately, but Guybrush lingered just inside the doorway for a few moments. He went over to the desk, opening a drawer literally stuffed full with little letters written on yellow paper. He dropped the latest one in, closed the drawer again, and had just picked up a pen to start a reply--when a pillow thwacked him in the back of the head.

“Sleep, Guybrush!”

He sighed. “Right.” Setting down the pen, Guybrush picked up the pillow and returned it to its rightful place. Elaine’s hand gently squeezed his arm as he climbed back into bed, silently reassuring him that everything was going to be all right. But he still couldn’t sleep.

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