Ginny sat beside her brother on the sofa, a plate of reheated pizza on her lap. Gerry cradled the wriggling Nasya in his arms. As they watched a Fast and Furious movie. Ginny was pretty much scoffing her way through the whole movie.
?Ugh. ?How did you know the car would be there to break our fall??? She said, imitating Michelle Rodriguez. ?THAT?S NOT HOW CARS WORK, YOU DUMB s***?
Gerry snickered. ?In these movies cars are downy soft. How do you not know this??
?It?s dumb! It?s stupid and it?s dumb.? She said, shoving a square slice in her face.
?You?re just jealous you don?t live your life a quarter mile at a time.?
?WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?!? she demanded, throwing up her hands.
They sat in silence for a moment before she glanced over. ?How?s Kara??
?She?s good. After the thing with her dad, she was a little...rough, but she?s better.?
?Good.? Ginny nodded. ?So...do you miss her??
?...Kara? I...literally see her every day at work.?
?Oh. Ko. Yeah. Of course I do.? Gerry glanced down at the baby with the big blue eyes. Eyes that always reminded him of her mother.
Ginny frowned, eyeing her pizza quietly for a moment. ?Are you happy??
Gerry smiled to his sister. ?Yeah...It?s not what I planned, but...given the circumstances? Things worked out pretty well.?
Ginny may not have been the biggest Ko fan, but she knew what the vulgar little rogue meant to her brother. And Kara WAS great for him, she had to admit. And if he was happy, so was she.
Speak of the hellion and she will appear, a black spot of pure shadow appeared on the far wall. It began to expand like a watered down ink stain that only seemed to get darker and darker as it expanded to a large hole able to fit a small person. There was static heavy in the air as it opened up to the blackened void, and out stumbled a familiar little rogue. She was wearing flat-bottomed boots and a pair of jeans with a button-up shirt. She probably looked healthier than Gerry or Ginny alike would've ever seen her. Her hair was brushed and her overall outfit looked nice without looking too unlike her.
Arms raised and flopped as the invasive Russian shook her head. "I'm never gonna get used to that.." she huffed. It took her a moment before she regained her bearings and shook off the dizziness. No, she wasn't drunk. Not even in the slightest, though a wave of nervous nausea did hit her all of a sudden. She'd blame it on the portal, because it was downright disorienting.
Ginny unleashed a horrified shriek and flailed, sending reheated pizza flying in the air as she practically flipped over the armrest of the couch in her panic.
Gerry clutched Nasya protectively at the sudden flurry of activity. He watched that portal cautiously...and then his heart dropped into his stomach. For a long moment he was silent, just staring in wide eyed shock. Over the intervening months he imagined the moment when he saw her again...and here it was and he had nothing. Not a word to say.
Though she really did want to laugh when Ginny went into a panic, she also felt bad for freaking the siblings out. "Sorry... Would've called, but the long distance charges would've been taken out of my ass..." Also she didn't know their phone number and by the grace of borrowed magic, she was here. Suddenly she was in her own panic mode. Her eyes settled on Gerry, and there was emotion, and then to the child in his arms.
He was much as he'd been when she'd last seen him. Still the mountain of muscle with the kind eyes. There were new scars on his face, including one at his temple. Clad in a simple grey t-shirt and jeans, barefoot for the moment. And then there was Nasya. She'd gotten so big. A shock of black hair upon her head and those impossibly blue eyes wide as saucers. She had SO much of KO in her.
She stared at the girl and swallowed hard, eyes watering. She'd expected it wouldn't be easy, hell...there were a million things going on in her head. What if he hates me for not coming after her? What if he gave Nasya up? What if he won't let me see her? What if... There were so many possibilities swimming around her head, and there he was. A shivering breath was caught in her lungs as she visibly paled as if she was going to fall right over.
Gerry slowly got to his feet, towering over her as he always had. Any concerns he might have had about her coming and stealing the baby were gone the second he saw her face. Those blue eyes locked onto her as he slowly stepped forward. His heart pounded beneath his chest with every step. "H....hey." was all he managed. The expression on his face showing that he wished he had something better to say in that moment.
Keirra had no intention of stealing the baby, if only because she still cared for Gerry and wouldn't want her to feel exactly how she felt. She knew what he did for Nasya, Jameson told her everything before she turned him into a human pez-despenser. She took in another breath and he stood up and said that word, it wasn't the best, but it somehow managed to put her mind at ease. Her breath came out in a trembling manner, before she dragged those eyes up to him. Her voice cracked almost violently, "Can I hold her?" she squeaked out. She had totally planned to play this cooler in her head.
This didn't feel like reality. This felt like a dream. Like he would wake up any second and she'd be gone. He blinked, shaking out of his delirium. "Oh...duh..." He laughed quietly. "Of course." He walked up to her and smiled, gently cradling the little life they'd made as he passed her over to Keirra. His eyes stayed on her, still unsure of what to say to the little rogue. A million things popped into his head and died before reaching his lips.
It felt like a dream to her too, and if she hadn't planned to come for a few days, she might've thought so, too. He was passing her over, and Keirra's arms reached to wrap around the child to pull her closer. It took a moment, and she honestly didn't know why she was as emotional as she was, but the tears fell from her eyes as they closed tightly and she barked out a whining, "She's so heavy..."
Ginny slowly rose and peered over the arm of the couch, those wide eyes taking in the scene before her.
Gerry grinned and stepped around to Ko's side, peering down at their daughter. "I know, right?" He chuckled. "She's little, but she's like...dense." A grin upon his lips. "Just a whole lot of awesome packed into a tiny frame."
There was a strange look in her eyes as she got completely overwhelmed. "I'm sorry..." she muttered softly as she moved away from him. "I think I need to sit down." Yeah, she was making herself at home right then and there as she sat down with the kid in her arms, just enjoying her for a moment. She stared down at her, "I never thought I'd see you again," she whispered.
Gerry's gaze shifted to Keirra and the smile faded. The months that had passed between the two of them had been some of the hardest of his life. He let her have her space. Let her just BE with the little blue eyed munchkin, as he called her. Ginny shared a glance with him, the fear and shock on her face giving way to sadness. She never thought she'd see the rogue again...much less her being a mother like this. Ginny had spent the past few months helping raise the girl with her brother. In fact, Nasya was the light of her life.
There WAS a fair bit of protectiveness rising in the skinny redhead...but she reminded herself, this was Nasya's mom. She deserved this moment.
Nasya stared up at Ko, cooing away...such a happy little girl. Those eyes mirror images of her mother's. Her little hands reached up and touched the Rogue's face
Fingers moved to gently touch her cheek, as the other two ceased to exist for a moment. A long one, actually... Keirra could've probably spent the entire night just holding the kid and staring at her. She wouldn't lie, there was the fear that Gerry wouldn't agree to let Keirra take her home on a regular basis, and that fear made her want to book it. Nasya needed her father just as much as she needed her. If there'd been no explanation as to why Gerry left, she might've done just that. Instead, she broke out into a little bit of a giggle as she leaned it and spoke a bit of Russian to the kid. "Hi, little Nasya." They'd probably just be able to recognize the child's name from the foreign language.
Neither of the siblings dared move until Keirra gave them leave to. But hearing his...ex wife talking to their child brought a smile on the tall man's face. Seeing them together again seemed right. Natural. Like something that had been missing for a long time now. There WAS something different in Gerry now. It wasn't something you would notice right away...but it was there. A lot of doofy goofball that had so been a part of Gerry's personality was...not gone, but toned down. Perhaps being a single father had mellowed him out quite a bit. He was less boyish and more adult.
Keirra wasn't all that different. She was healthier now, her organs were all in working order. She sniffled lightly and pulled up, and shook her head. A hand came up to swipe at the tears, "I'm gonna cry all over your face," she warned the kid while scrunching up her nose. She gave the reaching hand a kiss, and looked over at them. She couldn't help but mouth athank you, to Gerry for reasons he'd not yet understand.
His eyes were red and shining with tears when she saw him. A storm of competing emotions swirling within him. Joy, at the reunion. Sorrow...and anger at what they'd lost. And guilt. So much guilt it was damn near crippling.
Say something. Anything, you idiot, he chided himself mentally. Say something and mean it. But the words just did not come.
The rogue would've been lying if she said that she didn't feel the same way. It was easy to feel robbed when you're looking at what you once had right in the face. That's exactly what they were, robbed. What might've been didn't matter much now...did it? That didn't mean they couldn't cry for it. The last thing, the absolute last thing she wanted to do was give the child up, but they needed to talk. She needed Ginny to take her, because there was no way she'd hand her over. Her head fell forwards, "Ginny..." she whispered, staring at the child. "Can you take Nasya and give us a minute?" Was she kicking the redhead out of her own apartment? You bet your ass she was.
Ginny was a MESS. A sniffling, weepy mess. Little gasps as she went to speak, but the words came out as a tiny squeak. She nodded slowly and stepped forward to accept the baby.
The rogue pulled her closer still and then finally relinquished Nasya to Ginny. There was a secret prayer to some god that she didn't really believe in--how could she?--that it wouldn't be the last time she held that kid. Her lips thinned out into a harsh sniffle before she turned her eyes down at her empty hands. Stop crying..
The redhead, with the practiced motherly care, wrapped her niece in her arms and held her shoulder. "c-come on, munchkin...l-let's take a walk." She smiled through her tears down at Keirra, reaching out a moment and taking her hand, a squeeze given to her before she took her leave.
When Ginny took her once empty hand, she squeezed in return and released. She dragged her eyes up to watch the woman carry off the baby, and it seemed that they'd settled their differences with time and distance. Not that she minded even in the slightest.
And now it was just the two of them, and Gerry's smile faded. His hand ran through his hair as he puffed out his cheeks in a cleansing, but worried breath. What would be next? Would she yell? Would she hit him? He didn't know. His voice came out in a low, wavering whisper. "Ko...I..."
He swallowed hard. "I am so sorry."
Those eyes were begging forgiveness as he continued. "I never...never meant to leave you... I just..."
It dawned on her that Gerry didn't know that she knew. How could he? It's not like Jameson could've possibly paid him a visit after she came to see him. She bit into her lip and shook her head as he went on with his apology. A hand came up, and she didn't know what she was going to say to him. "Stop," that was the only word that came out.
He almost winced at that. He perceived it as being far more combative then she had meant it. A verbal beating was, of course going to come. And you deserve it, he told himself. You took that piece of s***'s word for it and didn't even TRY to tell her the truth. In his heart, he knew it was a crock, and nothing he tried would have worked...but rational thought was not on the menu tonight.
That hand came back to rest on her lap as she herself tried to find suitable words for him. "I..." she started, sniffling, swiping at her nose. "I know what you did," she whispered. "I know...why you did it." Keirra's fingers came back to comb her hair back and out of her wet face. "...and thank you.. Thank you for making the right choice."
A wave of relief ran through him when she said that. The weight he'd been carrying since February was finally gone. All he wanted to do now was hug her, but he resisted, not sure if she was ready for that. "I tried so hard. To find another way..."
Fingers pressed against her knees as she sat there awkwardly. She wasn't sure if she was ready for it, either. "There wasn't," she shook her head at him, finally raising her eyes up to look at him. "I hated you, hated you for leaving me, and he got exactly what he wanted.." Keirra said with a weak smile. "But...I figured out the convenience of his escape date, and your disappearance, and... I got answers."
Something about the way she said that chilled him to the bone...and partly made him happy in equal measure. "That son of a bitch..." he said. "He didn't...I mean...did he....hurt you?"
May as well bring it all out into the open. If this was going to work, she didn't want there to be secrets between them. Instead of answering, she leaned forward so that her chest was pressed against her knees, and lifted up her shirt, protecting the naughty bits, but showing him that shredded, scarred up back.
She heard his knuckles crack as he clenched his fists. He wanted to cross over, find him, and beat his face until it was a mushy, red paste. He wanted to carve him up and leave him to be devoured by dogs. He wanted to wipe that piece of human trash from the face of history.
Those knuckles cracking made her wince, "Woah, dude.." she said, sitting up and putting her hand up. "Chill your muscle tits," she shook her head. "Seriously, you don't have to worry about him anymore," she swallowed hard. What was he going to say? Or do? She was on the verge of admitting to murder.
"What happened to him." He asked, his voice low. All he knew in that moment was that Jameson had maimed somebody he loved...and make no mistake, Gerry still loved her. Always would. And that meant he was protective of her.
Keirra sat back and stared up at the ceiling. Her voice was distant, her eyes seemed far off as if she were playing it over and over in her head. "...I... went over for answers... I just wanted to know if he had anything to do with your disappearance..." Keirra's fingers entwined awkwardly with one another as she tried to busy her hands. This is it...he's never going to let me see Nasya, but I can't lie to him... "He told me...everything..." she whispered, voice cracking. "So...I wanted to hurt him.."
Leaning her head further back, she took in a quivering breath. "I tried...to stab him...and he punched me right between the eyes... I was on the ground and he threw me into a table, and kicked me..." Eyes narrowed for a second to get the tears out, "I didn't..." she swallowed hard. "I didn't want to die--and--I could... I can." Maybe she should've started with that. "I picked up the chair and I hit him, and...I kicked him through the glass doors of the balcony..." Eyes continued to stare distantly as she swiped at her face once more. "...he had so many guns, and we just... we kept playing cat and mouse," eyes fell shut now. "I jumped on his back, but...he pulled me off and threw me through a glass table...."
He was already beginning to piece it together, but he didn't feel it appropriate to interrupt. There might have been a small part of him that felt a hint of revulsion at the fact that she'd taken a life...but it was DEEP down. What he felt...was glad. That son of a bitch deserved whatever happened.
This was it, she was coming up on the end of the tale, and she was sure he was going to order her out of the house. "He lifted me up and had me against the wall.. he was choking me. I felt a piece of glass sticking out of my thigh and I shoved it right up through his jaw.." Keirra leaned forwards pressing her forearms on her knees. "I wanna say so bad that it was him or me... That I had to kill him...and in a way, I did....but..." Keirra turned those dead eyes to him and took in a deep breath. "I wanted to... I pulled the glass out of him and stabbed him over and over... I wanted to make sure he'd never come after you or Nasya, I wanted him to pay, and I wanted him dead." Then her hands opened to show the scars on her palms from where she stabbed him over, and over. "I'd do it again..."
Gerry moved over to her, crouching down in front her. He reached out and took those hands in his, looking from them to her. He nodded slowly, silent for a moment.
It was said simply and curtly. "I hope it hurt like hell for him. I hope in his last seconds he was scared as hell. I hope that mother ****er felt as helpless and terrified as I did the night he sent me here. I hope that feeling lasts him for the rest of eternity."
Those eyes softened then. "But most of all...I'm sorry you had to go through that."
When he grabbed her hands, there was that familiar feeling of safety that came with it. She squeezed them back as he offered his words, and there was confusion on her face. He didn't seem to look at her any differently, not in the slightest. She pushed forward and wrapped her arms around his neck.
It was as if they'd had the same idea at the same time. He wrapped his arms around her tiny frame and held her tight. That loving embrace, though the romance between them had set sail, was still as warm and safe as it had always been. A sad smile upturned the corners of his mouth as he held her. "I missed you...so much." He whispered.
The rogue tucked her face between his neck and shoulder and held tight. There was a whimper, and a sniffle that came from her as she burrowed in further. "I'm sorry..." she whispered. "I'm sorry I didn't have more faith in you, I'm sorry I believed that you'd ever leave me like that..." Keirra took in a deep breath and let out a weak, sad laugh, "I missed you too..."
One hand moved upward, comfortingly resting at the back of her head. "It's okay." He said, quietly. "It's gonna be okay. Alright?" The pair of them just held each other there, clinging to one another for dear life. In that moment, he was not willing to let her go for anything. There was still a long road ahead and much left to be said...but for now, this was what they both needed.
Eventually, the two of them managed to get it together enough to actually start to have a more meaningful dialogue. Gerry stood up and cleared his throat, still not believing that she was there in his place. A hand running through his hair, he walked into the kitchen. "You want a drink? I need a drink."
It was easier for Keirra to believe she was there, but there was a shred of her that believed she might be dreaming. It didn't feel like it should be going this well. She didn't know what she expected, but it wasn't this. He's offering her up a drink, and of course she wants vodka...and a cigarette. "Some water would be great," she answered, because she was cutting back, and she didn't want to be drinking around Gerry or Nasya.
He initially balked at her request, shooting her a crooked eyebrow before grabbing a bottle of water from the fridge along with a beer for himself. He looked at her as if she might disappear at any moment as he approached, offering the water bottle to the little rogue. "So...other than exacting vengeance, what's been going on?" He asked, plopping down beside her.
"Thanks.." This was the part that she was dreading. Her lips formed a thin line as she cracked open the bottle and pulled off the top. She took a sip to gather her thoughts. "I... Well, I guess I don't live at camp anymore," she started. "Now I live in a really big house, like... Four times the size of our old apartment.." There was a weak smile on her face for a moment, but it faded. "Gerry... You left. You and Ginny both left. I was so alone, without you without Nasya." Fingers clutched around the bottle. "I didn't get out of bed for two weeks... I swallowed enough pills to kill three elephants," she admitted. "I didn't know what had happened then... but I was angry and hurt.. I started doing drugs, drinking...anything to numb the pain." Was this her defense for moving on?
The mention of their own place brought a smile...but it was pretty quickly removed as she went on. He knew she wasn't doing this to make him feel guilty-or at least hoped she wasn't, but it still brought up that nagging guilt that plagued him the past months. He sat patiently, listening.
Looking at him, she sighed. "I met someone," she admitted, and Keirra hung her head. "I met him before I knew what had happened to you," the rogue whispered. "He knows I wanted to come see you, Nasya, too." There were tears in her eyes as she raised them back up to him. "It was all rough, for a while my heart was failing, and he... He took care of me." Those arms wrapped around her chest after she set the bottle on the table and looked up to him. "I love you, and I'll always hate Jameson for what he took from us, but..." Keirra chewed her lip. "I'm in love."
There was always going to be that jealousy. That pain in his heart, no matter how they'd both moved on. His eyes lowered and he was silent for a long moment. It wasn't fair. None of it was fair. It wasn't supposed to be like this. It was supposed to be THEM. THEM forever. And here they were with other people. Those eyes turned up to her, then. "He treats you well?"
Knees pressed together and she stared down at them watching the fabric wetten with fallen tears before she forced her eyes to his. Nothing about it was fair, she could kill Jameson a hundred more times and it wouldn't undo what he did. She swallowed hard and nodded her head. Zver was sarcastic and spent a lot of his time ****ing with her, but he'd never hurt her. She didn't think he'd ever allow himself to, either. "Yeah, he does.." Her voice a raspy whisper of what it once was.
Gerry nodded slowly, contemplating things. He reached out and put a shaky hand on her shoulder. "I should probably tell you...I've been...uh...seeing someone." He began. "We were just friends up until about...2 weeks ago. Not that...you know...she was satisfied with that." He took in a deep breath and blew it out nervously. "I,um...I held out as long as I could. She was a childhood friend of mine. And we...well...she's kinda had a thing for me for a while. I just sorta felt like...like I was betraying you or...or...**** I still kind of feel that way."
The guilt in his voice was evident. He was in love with Kara. That much he knew. And she was good to him. Appreciated him. They were amazing together. But part of him still felt the freshness of the wound that leaving Keirra had given him. It wasn't easy to get over, and having her here wasn't helping much.
The rogue couldn't say she was surprised, hell... Maybe she was relieved. Made her own news easier, and... Well, Keirra didn't want him to be alone, not after the sacrifices he made. Her hand moved up to take his and she nodded, "I'm glad," she whispered. It was the truth, even though it felt like a kick in the chest.
"Are you? Because...honestly, part of me wants to go beat the s*** out of him." he laughed slightly. "Though...it's overridden by the fact that I'm glad you're happy. That he makes you that way." Gerry smiled to her. "That's all I ever wanted for you. Even if I'm not the one doing it."
The rogue couldn't help but laugh sadly at his honesty, and she hung her head. "I won't pretend like it doesn't hurt," she shook her head. "I..." Trying to gather her thoughts, she pulled his hand from her shoulder and looked at him, cupping his big hand in between both of her smaller ones. "I love you," she told him. "I will always love you, not just because you're you, but because you made a big sacrifice.. One that I'm... I'm not sure I could've made." Keirra swallowed hard. "You deserve to be happy, I want you to love again." Those tears rolled down her cheeks as she gave him a weak smile.
He clasped her hand in return. It was plain on his face. It hurt. But he returned that smile. "And I'll always love you. And....and I honestly don't know if I'll ever be completely over you. Over what we had and just...don't anymore. It's not fair." He shook his head. There was a sorrow to him that was just never there when they were together. The intervening time had done a number on the big goofball. "I want to go back and change things, but even Rhydin I know I can't. I want to go back and find a way to tell you. Tell you I love you and why I had to leave. It's all so unfair..."
He turned those pained blue eyes up to her. "We deserved better."
Gerry sat up, continuing on. "The last few months have been...more difficult than any since I was 11 years old. The only thing that kept me going was Nasya." He said. "That little girl...Keirra..." A smile crossed his lips. "That life we made...I look at her and know I made the right choice. No matter how much it hurts."
Keirra listened, and sat, slowly losing her grip on his hand as she scooted away to perch on the edge of the couch. Gerry was strong for so long. He took care of Nasya even in his loss, he made the hard decision, and Keirra was left wallowing in the unknown. It was her turn to be strong. She got up on her knees and wrapped her arms around him, "I am so proud of you, Gerry... I know how hard it was on me not knowing, but... Having to leave? Having to live on knowing you were robbed... You're right. It's not fair, and I'm sorry... The only comfort I can offer is the fact that Jameson will never come after our little girl again." Giving him a squeeze, she pulled back and cupped either side of his face with her hands, smiling brightly through the tears. "And she's gonna grow up to be more kickass than we ever were."
He reached up and grasped one of her hands, placing a kiss at her knuckle. "God damn right she is." A grin crossed his lips. "She's got quite the cheering section here. My dad is absolutely over the moon for that kid."
The rogue's face fell as she settled back down, "Gerry...about that..." Keirra whispered, going back to chewing on her cheek. Of course there was the fear of rejection.
"I think I know what you're gonna say..." He eyed her for a moment. "And no. You can't clone her."
The rogue barked a laugh at that and reclaimed her hand. "The world couldn't handle that much awesome."
He grinned. "BUT...if you would like to split time with her..." He nodded as if considering...
Those eyes raised up to him, and she chewed her lip nodding her head. "More than anything," she whispered. "I know it's probably not going to be easy having me visit to pick her up, and you probably don't want to see me, but.. I need to be with her."
Gerry offered her a little smirk before continuing on. "Look...Kara loves that kid. She's great with her. And Ginny's been pulling mommy duty like a mother ****er. But now that you can be with her...she needs her mother."
"And why would I ever NOT want to see you? Don't you know who you ARE, Keirra? You're my best friend. The mother of my child." He shook his head, staring. "You gave me the best months of my life. You're always welcome here."
Perking back up, her torso practically slammed into his as he said those words, she littered his cheek with kisses. She wasn't sure what she was expecting, but she wasn't expecting him to say yes right away. Hell, she half expected him to kick her out the second she told him about Jameson. Luckily she wasn't that strong, or she might have squished him with how tight she was holding him.
He was unprepared for that, a guttural grunt leaving him as she slammed into him. He chuckled and hugged her back, kissing the top of her head. "I love you, Ko." he said, the ?but? apparent in his tone. "You just...you need to promise me one thing."
"I love you, too, Gerry." Keirra whispered and slowly pulled off, keeping her arms around him but moving to look him in the eye when he made his request for her word. "Yeah, anything..."
Gerry looked her in the eye, suddenly deadly serious. Those huge, strong hands clasped her shoulders tight. The words didn't come immediately...he almost felt bad just for thinking them, but it had to be said. "You're clean. And...I'm glad. But...it stays that way. At least around her." His head was given a little rueful shake. "I don't mean this to come off insulting or as an accusation...but I know you sometimes get low...get scared or...upset. And I've seen what can happen. But never to her. I need you to promise me...promise WITH me, we will never let that girl get any less than our best."
Gerry eyed her earnestly. "She deserves no less."
Maybe she should've been offended, but she knew. Keirra knew how bad she could be, hell, she nearly killed her body. So instead of seeming insulted, she nodded. "I know," she whispered. Fingers fell away from the hug and she smiled lightly. "If I ever feel like I'm slipping, I'll bring her to you."
The smile returned to his face. "She's so amazing, Ko. You have no idea. That is the happiest kid in the world." And she was. She was surrounded by people who were madly in love with her. Grandparents who doted on her, an aunt who thought the sun rose and set on her ass, and of course Gerry who'd settled into the role of fatherhood incredibly well. It was the thing he was best at. The same love and care and patience that had gotten he and Ko together was put tenfold into the little blue eyed baby girl.
There was light in her eyes as he spoke of their daughter, and she settled back down on the couch. She kept her eyes on him now, because everything was out in the open and it was all okay. As okay as it could've been. There was pain, and guilt, sadness, but... It was better than expected.