Author Topic: Chapter 2: Fathers. (18+)  (Read 880 times)

Ginny Finnegan

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Re: Chapter 2: Fathers. (18+)
« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2017, 01:00:47 PM »
Life moved so fast, Ginny thought as she sat in her parents’ backyard.  She felt like it was a mere week ago that she'd traveled to another world to find her brother, only to discover that he'd been...well happy was a strong word, but content.  He had built a life for himself and she thought her efforts, all the struggle and sacrifice to bring him home was all for nothing.  

But, there he stood at the grill, beer in one hand, spatula in the other cooking their dinner.  His beautiful daughter sat in her lap, bouncing on her knee saying “Gingin!” over and over again.  Every time that sweet little blue eyed angel said that name she felt butterflies.  She’d always wanted to be mother, and splitting duties between herself, Keirra, and Kara seemed a pretty fair trade.  Not that she trusted either of them to as good a job as SHE could (because obviously, she was the best.  How could you possibly think otherwise?  You’re a terrible person!)  She might have been a touch competitive.

Michelle sat down next to her, a quick peck planted on her cheek.  The short-haired blonde was a completely unexpected development.   She’d heard that was how it was supposed to be, or so she’d been told several times.  She most appreciated the way a comedian put it:  “If you are a good person– genuinely good– and you are of service in this world and you have a life that is yours and that you like and that matters and it matters to you and you don’t need anybody, when you don’t need anybody, someone will come and **** that up with their love.”

Consider her ****ed.   Michelle was all she could ever ask.  Smart, independent, kind, funny, confident...and it didn’t hurt that she looked like she walked out of a country music video.  All tan skin, curves, and that short, sassy bob of a haircut, and a smile that brought the blood straight to Ginny’s face and set her heart a-beatin’.  

The blonde leaned in, flashing those pearly whites at Nasya.  “Hey, there, Sugarlump!”  she said in a sweet playful voice that had the little tyke grinning.  “You havin’ some girl-time with your Gingin?”  

Nasya leaned forward and big smile on her face.  “GINginnnnnnn….”  She said playfully, a delighted light to her little face as she flung herself at her aunt.

“NASNAS!”  Ginny said, mimicking her excited tone, snuggling Nasya’s face widlly. “Marmarmarmarmaaaaar!”  SHe said making little animal noises that made the kid shriek with laughter.

Bill walked out of the sliding glass door, a bottle in his hand as he stepped into the yard.  “Lllllladies.”  he said with mock flirtation in his voice.

“Heya, Mr. F.”  Michelle beamed up at him.  “Saw the ride.   VERY nice.”

Bill sipped his bottle and exhaled with self-satisfied whisper.  “Ahhhh.  Thank youuuuuu.”  He grinned.

“So, when do I get to take her out for a spin?”  she asked with a cheeky little smirk.

“Oh, you think you could handle her?”  He shot back at her with a grin.

Michelle laughed derisively.  “Oh-hoho...that a challenge Mr. F?  I could put that little lady through her paces and then some. Maybe test out how well the boys slapped ‘er together, so maybe the big girl can do it *right*”. She smirked at him.  

“Damn.  You don't lack for confidence, do ya?” Bill responded.

“My daddy taught me all about cars.  By the time I was twelve, I could take that beauty apart n’ put her back together ‘fore you could spit.”

Bill chuckled.  “Rrrrreally?  Maybe I shoulda had YOU buildin’ her with me instead of Ger.”

“Heard that!”  Gerry announced from his station at the grill.  

“Nah, you were great, kid!”  He called over his shoulder and  shaking his head while grimacing comically at Michelle, bringing a snicker from the girl.  

“Keep trash talkin’, old timer.  See how hard you're laughing when I spank ya on the field later.” Gerry said, grinning at his father over his shoulder.  

Ginny smiled up at her dad.  Growing up in Clute wasn’t the safest feeling for anyone who fell out of the norm, let alone the lesbian daughter of a steel worker.   But Bill never made her feel ashamed or afraid to confide in him.  He was supportive the whole way through, doing everything he could to learn about this new aspect of who his girl was and how to best avoid accidentally saying something that might inadvertently hurt her feelings.  Bill was proud of his daughter, no matter who she was or who she loved.

He lowered himself with a groan to sit beside her.  Ginny glanced over with a raised eyebrow.  “Was that an old-man noise I just heard.”

Bill gave her a wry look and nodded.  “It was.” He said.  “Gonna be a lot more of those, going on.  First it was the color….”He pointed to his hair.  “Then it was the physique…”  He patted his belly.   “Now it’s the ol’ knees.  Lots a’ groanin’ on the way, kiddo.”  

“”Well, if you like, I can look into a walker?”  Ginny prodded him in the side with her elbow.

“Agh...get your bony elbows offa me, wise-ass.”  Bill laughed laying an arm across the table behind her giving her fiery red hair a gentle, little tousle on it’s way down to the table.

Ginny grinned, repositioning Nasya to be more comfortable, leaning down and pressing her lips to the little one’s head.  Nasya letting out a little high pitched happy “eeeeeee” sound while her hands reached up and clutched her aunt’s face.  Those cool blue eyes looked up at her.  “Lub Gin Gin!”  she managed.  The kid was still working her way to complete sentences, but she “lub”ed everyone.  

Ginny chuckled and feigned a surprised gasp.   “You DO?”  

Nasya nodded happily.  “Well, then…” Her aunt started.  “I guess that means a certain little girl...is in need...OF SNUGGLEMONSTER!”  She said rubbing her face all over the girl’s head, neck and shoulders.  “SnuggleSnuggleSnuggleSnuggleSnuggle!” she said in her monster voice, another squeal leaving the little girl.  

Bill watched the two of them, happy and content.  The slender form of Kara slid in on the other side of him. “What's the haps, padre?”   She asked with a smile, leaning into the old man.  

Kara had surprised Ginny in the past year.  She hadn't thought much of the brunette beauty when they first reconnected.   But the love and dedication she'd shown Gerry and Nasya had completely won her over.  The pair even managed to spend a few nights out, just girling it up.  Kara had even taken her our dancing and had gotten the bashful redhead drunk enough to sing karaoke.  Not an easy feat.  And she barely even made fun of her!  

Bill wrapped his other arm around Kara grinning.  “I am currently sitting in my backyard with the 4-way tie for runners up for most beautiful woman in the world.”  He said with a smirk, giving her a squeeze.  

The sliding door opened, Rose slipping out with a glass serving dish full of what looked like pizza.  “And there’s our winner.”  He said, raising to his feet.  “‘Scuse me ladies.”  he said, sneaking off.  

“Pizza dip’s ready!”  Rose called out to the crowd as she moved over to the table.

“SHE’S A LADY! ” Bill belted out some Tom Jones in his best over-the-top singing voice, wrapping his arms around Rose from behind.  The older woman jumped with a little yelp, not expecting him.  “WHOA WHOA WHOA, SHE’S A LADY!”

“Bill!”  She laughed.  “You ASS!”  she said, shaking her head, playfully putting an elbow to his ribs as she made her way over to the table, Bill still clinging and dancing with her.

“She's got style, she's got grace, She's a winner!”  He bellowed our, Rose finally setting the dish down.  Bill spun her around, one hand taking her’s and the other wrapping around her waist.  “Talkin' about that little lady!”

He sang, and spun her again, dipping her as he sang.  “...and the lady is miiiiiiine.”  He Rose laughed up at him, her arms wrapped around his neck, beaming up at her husband, who kissed her and brought her back up to vertical.

Michelle put her fingers to her lips and wolf-whistled at them.  “Ow ow!”  She hollared at them.  As Ginny clapped, Nasya joined in, just happy to be clapping.  

“Yaaaay, Ga and Poppy!” She said encouragingly to the little one.  

“Aaaaaaay!   Oppy!” Nasya said, clapping up a storm.
[img:7e20880b4a]http://i.imgur.com/NAkCJP3.png[/img:7e20880b4a]

Rose Finnegan

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Re: Chapter 2: Fathers. (18+)
« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2017, 03:50:03 PM »
Rose sat on the porch swing watching the game of touch-football the girls, Gerry and Bill had going.  Nasya clung to her grandmother, snoozing away while she hummed Rainbow Connection softly in her ear.  

She watched Bill, slowed a bit by age, but still with that fire that had sent her head over heels so many years ago.  Rose was a big believer in fate.  Looking back, it was hard not to, with everything that had to go exactly right for them to meet.  

Poor Bill, she thought.  Nobody seemed to let the poor man in on the fact that he was in his 60’s and not a young buck anymore.  Gerry went long for a pass and Bill managed to hit him right in the numbers with the throw.  Gerry made to run for a touchdown when Ginny full-body blind-sided  him, bringing him down right on his backside.

Rose chuckled, a empathetic,yet amused expression on her face.  Kara rushed over and helped Ginny to her feet.  She then turned to Gerry and offered her hand, removing it right when he went to grab it.  “YEAH!  Bringin’ that trash in MY house?!  WHAT?!”  She lunged threateningly at him.  Gerry lay on the ground, staring up at the sky as Kara high fived Ginny.

“You’re paying for that later.”  He called out to Kara.  

“Psh, I’ll just have Gin take you out again.”  She smirked over her shoulder.

He groaned and got to his feet. “ Like a tiny truck…” he muttered to himself.

Rose watched the two most important men in her life huddle up, listening to them plan.  “Okay.”  Bill began.  “When did we lose control of this game?  Get your head on straight, man!”

“I’m trying!”  Gerry protested.

“You just got taken out by 110lb girl, man!  Sack up, John Wayne!”  Bill teased him.

God, did Gerry remind her of his father.  They had the same laugh, same eyes, same silly sense of humor.  The day he’d disappeared was the most difficult of her life.  No parent should ever have to endure such a thing.  But there he was.  Her baby.  

Her 6 foot, two inch strapping baby boy, she thought with a chuckle to herself.  And he’d brought her a beautiful little grandbaby.  Nothing could make up for the years they lost, but as reunions went...this was pleasant.  It hadn’t been an easy thing, him coming back.  She only ever confided in Bill, but it had taken a long time for to accept the reality of it, a brave face put on for everyone else's benefit.  Those doubts were long ago left behind now.   She had her second chance.

“Dad?”  She heard Ginny's voice, something in it sounding off.  Rose looked up her heart dropping as Bill clutched his chest, a pained look on his face.

“Dad!”  Gerry cried out.

Bill hit the ground.

And then everything went numb.
[img:9050819cb3]http://i.imgur.com/2Q8ul9B.jpg[/img:9050819cb3]

Gerard Finnegan

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Re: Chapter 2: Fathers. (18+)
« Reply #17 on: April 06, 2017, 10:20:09 AM »
Bill sat up in his hospital bed as Gerry entered, concern upon his face.  The old man smiled up at him almost looking embarrassed.  

“Dad?”  He greeted him.

“Hey, Ger.” Bill said a bit weakly.  A flood of relief ran through him, his father looking hardly worse for wear.  

“Hey…” Gerry said, stepping into the room. “God, you scared the **** out of me, pop.”  He said, taking a seat.

“YOU?!” Bill chuckled.  “You should try it from my seat, kid.”

Gerry clasped his father’s hand, bringing it to his lips. Bill covered his son’s hands with his free one.  “It's alright, kid.  Doc says I just had a bit of dizzy spell is all.” He said reassuringly.  “Guess I just wasn't getting enough water.” He said with that little laugh of his.

Gerry held tight to him, a smile forced upon his lips.  “Good.  Cuz, I kinda need you to stick around.   We've got a lot of stuff to make up for, right?”

Bill smiled to his son.  “I'm not going anywhere.” He assured him.

And Gerry believed it. He believed it was safe.  He believed it right up until the sound of the sirens brought him back to reality.

That pleasant fiction shattered as the EMTs ran into the backyard and went to work on the unconscious Bill.

No.  

Now nothing felt safe.  Now, everything was falling apart.
[i:df9d511a7f]To these memories I will hold
With your blessing I will go
To turn at last to paths that lead home[/i:df9d511a7f]

[img:df9d511a7f]http://i.imgur.com/ntv4pgF.jpg[/img:df9d511a7f]

Gerard Finnegan

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Re: Chapter 2: Fathers. (18+)
« Reply #18 on: April 08, 2017, 12:25:39 PM »
Everything was a blur after the EMT’s arrived.  Gerry could scarcely remember the trip to the hospital, nor where the time had gone.  It was all just images.  His father falling, the screams, the crying.  When the adults started panicking it set Nasya off.  Vaguely, Gerry remembered screaming for someone to call 911 while he attempted to wake his father up.  

The family sat in the waiting room, his mother with a numb, lost look on her face while Ginny sat, wrapped in Michelle’s arms.  Kara sat with a blissfully unaware Nasya with much the same look on her face as Rose.  Gerry paced the waiting room back and forth, back and forth, just fidgeting anxiously.

It wasn’t fair.  He’d just gotten his father back and now he might be taken away.  The whirlwind of emotions were almost too much to handle.  He was angry, but had nobody to be angry AT, so it just sat there, simmering and bubbling inside with nowhere to go.  A few of the stages of grief apparently wanted a free-for-all today.

Finally, the doors opened and the doctor stepped out.  She didn’t need to be told who the family was.  The huge muscle-bound man rushing toward her gave that one way.  “Mr Finnegan?”  She asked, the rest of the family perking up.

“Yes.”  Gerry said, the words that followed, pouring out of him in like an unkinked garden hose.  “What’s going on? Is-is my dad alright?   Is he gonna be okay?  Please tell me he’ll be okay.”

The doctor spoke softly and calmly.  “Mr. Finnegan, your father has had a massive heart attack.”  Before he could say anything she spoke.  “Now, we have him stabilized, but I have to tell you, it was severe and we’re not exactly certain how much damage was done.”

Gerry stared at her for a long moment.  “I don’t understand...is...is he going to be okay?”

The doctor shook her head.  “We just don’t know at this time.  These things are very tricky, and I don’t want to give you or your family false hope.  Your father was out a long time before receiving treatment.  Usually, the prognosis in the event of such a long period of time is not good.”  

That confusion mingled with that helpless anger.  “How can you not know?  You’re a doctor!  You have to know!  How in the hell can’t you tell me he’s going to be okay?!”

“Mr. Finnegan...I’m sorry.”  she said shaking her head.

“That’s my father!”  he said, his voice raising enough that people looked over.  “You can’t even give me a maybe?!”

He felt a pair of hands touch his back and his mother’s voice, speaking softly.  “Gerry…”

That did it.  That flipped a switch in him and all that emotion whipping around inside him just boiled over as the tears came.  Rose wrapped her arms around him, broken as she felt, and held her son.  She stroked his hair as he clung to her.

“It’s not ****ing fair…” he managed.  

“I know.”  Rose whispered to him, kissing his cheek.  “I know.”   Rose turned her eyes to the doctor.  “Can we see him?”

The doctor managed a sympathetic smile.  The anger was not something she hadn’t seen before.  She nodded to Rose. “We have him sedated right now, but we can let you in to see him.”  She looked at all the people there for Bill.  “We would prefer if it wasn’t all at once.”  

Rose nodded to her.  “I’m very sorry, Mrs. Finnegan.  We’re doing everything we can for your husband.”

Rose smiled to her and the doctor left.  She pulled back from Gerry, holding his face in her hands.  “I need you to be strong, sweetie.  For me, for your Dad, for all of us.”  she wiped the tears from his eyes.  “Alright?”

Gerry stared at her, those blue eyes wracked with pain as he looked at his mother, and then the others.  He was met with smiles of encouragement and sniffed, getting ahold of himself.  Those eyes returned to Rose and he nodded.
[i:df9d511a7f]To these memories I will hold
With your blessing I will go
To turn at last to paths that lead home[/i:df9d511a7f]

[img:df9d511a7f]http://i.imgur.com/ntv4pgF.jpg[/img:df9d511a7f]

Rose Finnegan

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Re: Chapter 2: Fathers. (18+)
« Reply #19 on: April 12, 2017, 02:18:53 AM »
Rose stood over her husband, brushing the hair back from his forehead as he lay in the hospital bed.  Tears rolled down her cheeks as she watched him, tubes hooked up to him, breathing only with a respirator.  God, he’d never looked so helpless.  He was always a pillar of strength, seeming almost invincible.  He was her hero and here he lay, barely clinging to life.

For the moment they were alone, just the two of them and she stroked his hair.  “You had no right.”  she said in a weak voice.  “You had no right trying to sneak away on me like that.  You know that?”  

Bill lay there, unconscious.  “Bill?”  she said pleadingly.  “Please…”  She sniffed, those same brown eyes shutting tight.  “Please, I need you to come back.  I need you to wake up and tell me everything’s going to be okay.”

Her fist clenched around the sleeve of his hospital gown, the tears overtaking her.  A strained, high pitched whimper escaped her as she struggled not to sob.  “Please?  Please, baby.”  She stroked his face gently.  “Please wake up...come back to me.”

She let that despair wash over her for a moment, but then decided she would control it.  Her eyes opened again as she watched him lying there.  “Until that day...I was lost.   You know that?”  She said.

“I was afraid that I wasn’t worth a damn to anyone.”  She told him.  “And then...then you walk in that door...with your smile...and all your light...and-”  She suppressed those feelings from overcoming her again.  “God...Bill...you had me.  You had me before you even said a word.  I knew I was your’s.  I knew.”  She clutched his limp hand tightly.  “Baby...My life didn’t start...until you came into it.”  Rose said to him.  “And I don’t-”

She winced again squeezing his hand for support.  “I don’t know...what I am without you…”  That was it.  She couldn’t fight anymore, she just brought his hand to her lips and sobbed.
[img:9050819cb3]http://i.imgur.com/2Q8ul9B.jpg[/img:9050819cb3]

Gerard Finnegan

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Re: Chapter 2: Fathers. (18+)
« Reply #20 on: April 19, 2017, 01:07:20 PM »
Gerry opened the door, Kara at his side.  The instant she saw Bill, hooked up to machines, not even breathing for himself, she was a mess.  She turned away and wrapped her arms around her boyfriend, clinging tight to him.

Gerry stared down at the old man, a distant, numb look in his eye as his arm drifted up and comfortingly rested at her back.  Part of him half expected Bill to get up and just go “Ah!  I’m just messin’ with ya!”  But it remained a pleasant daydream.  

He watched his father’s chest rise with a hiss of that respirator, feeling so lost in that moment.  Just days ago, he’d been riding around with the old man, listening to him wax nostalgic about the good old day.  It didn’t seem possible that the same man was lying here, barely clinging to life.

Kara finally pulled back from him, those blue eyes streaked red and wet with tears.  She took a fistful of his shirt, trying to get her composure.  Bill was every bit her father as well.  Her eyes shut as Gerry put one of those big hands upon her cheek,  his thumb wiping away a tear.  A sad smile worked its way to her lips.   Gerry kissed her forehead softly before she turned to face Bill.

The pair of them moved up beside him, Kara slipping her fingers in his limp, unconscious hand and squeezing.  “Hey, old man.”  She said in a shaky voice.

Gerry slipped around to the other side of the bed, taking the other hand.  He couldn’t find the words to even consider speaking.  Just stood there, staring.

“Look at you, ya lazy bum.  Sleepin’ on the job.”  Kara smiled through gathering tears.  “You know, if you wanted to ruin our inevitable victory, you COULD have just used the Grandbaby as an excuse.”  

She was trying so hard to keep positive, but that facade just crumbled, her head lowering with a weary sigh.

Gerry stared down at him.  “You can’t go.”  He said simply.  “Not now.  Not when I just got you back.”  

“I need you back, Pop.  Mom needs you back.   Gin needs you back.  Nas needs you back…” he said, barely holding it together.

“I need you back.”  Kara added.  “I lost one father, I can’t lose the only one who ever mattered to me.  So, you NEED to come back, you hear me?  For all of us…”
[i:df9d511a7f]To these memories I will hold
With your blessing I will go
To turn at last to paths that lead home[/i:df9d511a7f]

[img:df9d511a7f]http://i.imgur.com/ntv4pgF.jpg[/img:df9d511a7f]

Ginny Finnegan

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Re: Chapter 2: Fathers. (18+)
« Reply #21 on: April 23, 2017, 06:01:09 PM »
2006

Ginny was on pins and needles the entire car ride home.  Her first year in college had been quite the awakening for the red haired 19 year old.  Most of it was spent with the radio off, but more than once she needed the distraction.  That first year on her own had been a bit of an awakening for her.  

Clute was not exactly a place that was very open toward those who were “different.”  Being around people who were open and proud was a change she welcomed and was embraced wholeheartedly.  She was a lesbian.  She knew who she was and she was unashamed.  That much, she was confident in.

However, it was never something that came up at home.  Never a topic they discussed.  Her parents were good people, but that nervousness was still there.  What if they didn’t accept her?  What if they tried to change her?  What if they were disappointed in her?  People could tell her that she didn’t NEED anyone who didn’t accept her in her life, but she adored her parents.  The idea of cutting them out, or being cast out from them would kill her.

The car slowed to a stop in the driveway of her childhood home.  Bill’s truck parked outside like always.  As comforting as the sight of that old house was, she still couldn’t help but feel a sense of impending dread.  

She took a deep breath and stepped out of the car, tugging her hoodie straight around her shoulders and walking toward the door.  Blue eyes remained on the knob for a moment before finally reaching out and wrapping her fingers around it.

As she entered the house, she heard music playing in the kitchen.  “Come A Little Bit Closer” by Jay and the Americans.  The dread in her mind was replaced as a smile grew on her face as Bill danced toward an unseen Rose.  

“And I knew, yes I knew I should run, but then I heard her say-ay….”  Bill disappeared and then Rose spun out into view, her face lit up with laughter.  

“Come a little bit closer, you’re my kinda man...so big n’ so strong!”  He sang as Rose was spun  back into his arms.  “Come a little bit closer, I’m all alone...and the night is so long!”

Ginny leaned against the door watching her parents dancing, Bill singing the song in his terrible singing voice.  She couldn’t help but giggle a little bit.  Bill’s eyes lit up at the sight of her.

“Gin!”  He exclaimed and danced her way reaching out his hand to the nervous redhead.  “Come on!”

She reached out and took his hand, easily lead into the dance.  Bill twirled her around, Ginny’s natural grace making her a perfect dancing partner.  Every last bit of worry and fear seemed to melt away as they maneuvered around the kitchen, Rose watching with that amused little smirk she so often had.  No.  There was nothing fear from these people.  Bill Finnegan loved his daughter.  

She rose up from the final dip, a smile covering her whole face.  Bill placed a kiss to her forehead.  “How’s my college girl doin’?”  he asked.  “Gettin’ all that fancy book learnin’ down?”

She nodded with a chuckle. “Yeah...yeah, totally.”  

Bill Finnegan was a perceptive man.  Something in her tone, in her bearing gave away a sense of unease.  His brow quirked, curious.  “What’s up, kiddo?  You look...off.  Everything okay over there?  You’re not dropping out are you?”

I, uh...” She stared at him a moment before a little laugh escaped her. “No no, not dropping out.”

He looked relieved.  “Oh, good.  You gotta go become a millionaire so we can mooch off you the rest of our lives.”  he deadpanned.

Ginny snickered.  “Oh yeah.  My life’s ambition.  You two leeches are getting kicked to the curb while I’m lounging on the beach in Cabo, soon as I make my millions.”

“Even me?”  Rose said with mock indignation.

“Nah, you’re cool.  But this bum…” Ginny said, hooking a thumb Bill and making an “eesh” face.

Bill laughed.  “So...what’s up?”

Ginny’s grin faltered.  “We, uh...I need to talk to you guys.”

The family gathered at the table, Bill leaning forward on his elbows.  “So...what’s up, kid?”

Ginny swallowed hard, her arms wrapping protectively around herself.  “Um...I’m...I’m probably going to fumble and screw this up so...if you...if you guys could just wait until I’m done…”

Bill and Rose exchanged concerned glances, unsure of what this was.

“As far back as I can remember...I always knew I was a little bit...um...different.”  She began.  “All my friends were kind of...into one thing and I never really...uh...fell in line.”  She squinted, trying to find the right words.  She was silent a long moment.  “God...I don’t know why this is so difficult.”  She chuckled, a hint of anguish in her eyes.

Bill reached out and took her hand, giving a tight squeeze.  The look on his face saying “Just say it.”

Ginny’s breath caught in her throat, her eyes darting back and forth between the two of them.  “Mom...Dad...I-”  She blinked, looking away.  “I’m gay.”

She’d said it.  The words hanging in the air over the dinner table for what seemed like an hour in her mind.  The reality was it was a matter of seconds.  A smile spread across Bill’s face.  

“Good for you, kid.”  he said giving her hand a squeeze.  

Ginny looked to him a long moment, her brow creasing.  “That’s it?  That’s all you’re going to say?”

Bill laughed.  “Well, what do you want me to say?”

“Uh...I don’t know!  Yell at me?  Look surprised?!”
Rose smiled comfortingly to her.  “Oh, sweetie.  We...pretty much had our suspicions.”  She nodded.

“What?!”  Ginny exclaimed.

Bill nodded.  “We’ve known for a while.  It’s why we never brought up boys or pushed you toward...any of that.”

Suddenly, some things started to make sense.  “It doesn’t bother you?”  She asked her parents.

“Kid…”Bill said, still clinging to that hand.  “You’re our daughter.  We love you with all our hearts.  We don’t care what you are or who you love, we’re always, *always* so very proud of you.”

Any time that man told her he was proud of her stirred something inside.  Something that brought tears forming  on her eyes.  That big, strong hand of his gave her’s a squeeze.  In a moment, she would be clinging to him, and then her mother.  
__
Present Day

Ginny sat in the chair beside his bed.  She’d taken the late shift, sitting with him in case he woke up.  The sounds of the respirator and machines going quietly around her.  Eventually, she’d drifted off to sleep, her hand in her father’s, clinging to him as she had back then.  Just being near him made her feel at home.  Made her feel a little safer.

She had cried all her tears hours ago.  Now, she just wanted her privacy with him.  She was awoken as her head drifted off too far to one side, sniffing loudly as she woke with a start.  

Big blue eyes opened and turned to the old man, a smile making its way to her face.  “Daddy.”  She just said quietly, her fingers tightening around that hand.

And then Bill squeezed back.
[img:7e20880b4a]http://i.imgur.com/NAkCJP3.png[/img:7e20880b4a]

Bill Finnegan

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Re: Chapter 2: Fathers. (18+)
« Reply #22 on: April 28, 2017, 11:48:26 AM »
December 31st, 1979- 11:50 PM

Bill sat beside the beautiful girl their bare feet in the sand.  

“So, me and Dave are walking this girl we’d BOTH dated home...to her new boyfriend’s-”

Rose gave him a sympathetic laugh.  “Like some kind of Ex-Boyfriend honor guard?”

Bill chuckled and nodded.  “Perfect, yes!”  He beamed over at her as she snickered lightly.   “And Dave’s stolen a glass from the last bar we hit up, right?  Katie walks inside says goodnight and thank you.  Takes off.  So it’s just the two of us there and he’s looking all depressed, y’know?”

Those warm, intelligent brown eyes stared up at him as she brought the bottle of wine up to her lips taking a sip, a warm expression on her face.

“Dave turns to me, says ‘Billy...the ONE good thing to come out of tonight was THIS glass.’”  He continued the tale, laughing.  “And a drunk guy bumps him...and the glass crashes to the ground.”

Rose’s face lit up as she laughed.  “Oh-ho-ho no!”

Bill chuckled and nodded.  “Dave just nods.  Says ‘Yep.’ and wanders off into the night.”

He smiled brightly as she passed the bottle to him.  Rose stared at him a moment, her eyes searching him appraisingly.  “You have a pretty smile.”

Bill’s eyes crinkled as he grinned to her.  “And you...are just plain pretty.”

She put on a theatrical pout.  “I’m plain?”

For a moment there was a hint of panic on his face before he saw a little smirk forming on the brunette’s lips.  “You’re messin’ with me, aren’t ya?”

Rose giggled and leaned against him, her head upon his chest.  Bills heart raced at the nearness of her, the scent of her hair hitting his nostrils.  “Tell me something about yourself, Bill.”

He glanced down at her, slipping an arm around her.  “Something about me…”  He considered.  “I have double jointed fingers.”  He said  bringing his other hand up and bending his fingers backwards.  

She squinted at his fingers.  “Oooooh...weird…” She giggled, burying her face into his chest.  Rose peered up at him, a little grin on her face.  “Something real, jack-ass.”

Bill looked like he just got it.  “Real! Oh!  Okay.  Um…” he narrowed his eyes staring off.  “I was married.”

Rose’s brows rose as if to ask “Really?”

“We split up in 77.  Haven’t really been in a relationship since.”  Bill continued, taking a swig off the bottle and offering it to her.

Rose, took the bottle and upturned it, taking a drink.  “I was with a guy for 3 years.  Thought we were going to get married...until I walked in on him screwing another woman.”

Bill’s brow furrowed staring at her.  “Oh my God.”

Rose nodded, looking away.  “Guess I just wasn’t enough for him.”

Bill touched her chin and brought her gaze up to him.  “Any man that you are not enough for...is a complete and utter moron.  And he didn’t deserve you.”

Rose stared up at him as the crowd began to count down to the new year.  “Bill?”  she said quietly.  

Five.

“Yeah?”

Four.

“You ever do something you know might be stupid, but did it anyway?”

Three.

“All the time.”

Two.

“Here’s to stupid.”

One.

Rose brought her hand to his cheek and pulled him down to her,  their lips meeting softly as she melted into the kiss.  Behind them the party erupted into cheers as 1980 began.  Bill and Rose just clung to each other, melting into their kiss.  Blissful, comfortable.  All right in the world.
~~
Present Day

The world was fuzzy at first.  All light and sound.  Slowly his senses came into focus and the world made sense again.  That same face, those same eyes stared down at him, tears running down her cheeks.  

“Hey, there, pretty lady.”  he said weakly.  “Why do you look so sad?”

Her body wracked with tearful laugh.  “I’m not sad.”

She leaned down, kissing his face over and over again, until she reached his lips, clinging tightly to her husband.  Gerry, Kara and Ginny, Nasya in her arms stood behind Rose, holding tight to each other.  He would learn the story of what happened later.  But for now this was all that mattered.
[img:823c10f5c3]http://i.imgur.com/wLZOVmV.jpg[/img:823c10f5c3]

Gerard Finnegan

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Re: Chapter 2: Fathers. (18+)
« Reply #23 on: May 03, 2017, 05:52:06 PM »
Everything was bliss again, now that Bill was awake.  The family was all gathered around him each taking turns talking and laughing with him.  His throat was still raw from the tube and he was extremely weak, but he was alive.

The relief that poured over Gerry was palpable, he stood there with Nasya in his arms watching the old man smiling as Ginny was regaling the family with some story about a highschool friend crashing over and pointing out Bill’s monkey-print boxers.  The friend has pointed out “Hey, Mr F, I can see your monkeys.”  Which, apparently Bill mistook for his testicles and panicked.

Gerry grinned as the old man blushed.  Bill looked over to him and the little bundle in his arms.  “Hey, kid.  Why don’t you bring that ol’ blue eyes over here?  Let Pop hold her for a bit.”

He smirked to his father and looked to Nasya.  “I dunno...what do you think, kid?  Wanna go see Pop?”

“Poppy!” was her excited response reaching out for her grandfather.  Gerry carried her over and passed her off.  Bill grunted as he took her.

“Ugh...man.  Hey there, my little sunshine…” Bill said gently to her.

“Poppyyyyyyy!”  Nasya said happily as she was hugged.  

“You know what, kid?”  Bill said.  “I dreamed of you.  When I was asleep.  I dreamed you were a big girl and we were sitting there, just talking and laughing.  And you know what?”  he asked her with raised brows.

“You were the most perfect, beautiful girl in the whooooole world.” he said with a firm nod, getting a little giggle out of the toddler.

Gerry leaned against the wall, contentedly smiling as the doctor entered the room.  “Well, looks like a very popular somebody’s breaking our occupancy rules.” she grinned to them.

Bill smirked.  “Sorry, Doc.  I’m a bit of a scofflaw.”

The Doctor offered a tight smile in return, that Gerry, frankly didn’t like.  He especially didn’t like the look on her face when she turned to him.  “Mr. Finnegan...if I could have a word?”

Gerry and Rose shared a look before he stepped out into the hall.  He stared at her a long moment.  “What’s wrong.”

“I know now is a delicate time for you and your family, but I must be honest with you.”  she said.

He felt a tightness in his chest.  “What’s wrong?  He’s...he’s awake, he’s talking, he’s laughing…”

The doctor nodded patiently.  “I understand.  But, Mr. Finnegan-”

“Gerry.” he interjected.  MISTER Finnegan was in the room holding court.

“Gerry.  Your father’s heart attack was very severe.  There was a lot of damage-”

“But he’s going to be fine, right?  He’s pulling through.”  Gerry nodded as if it could make her change her mind.

“Gerry, I have to be honest about his odds.  His organ function is weakened and I’m afraid it’s only going to get worse.”  

His heart dropped into his stomach like a lead weight.  “How long?”  He choked out.  

“It’s difficult to say with these things.  It could be weeks...it could be months.  We just don’t know at this point.”  she informed him gently.  “But, I recommend you and your mother get his affairs in order sooner rather than later.”

Gerry just stood there, silent as the grave, his entire body gone cold.  All the hope he’d found was ripped out from under his feet.  

“I’m very sorry, Gerry.  I understand that this comes as a blow.”  She said, reaching out and gripping his shoulder before turning and leaving him there.

Gerry turned, confusion in his eyes as he looked on his happy family.  Bill was smiling, talking to the little girl in his lap, blissfully unaware that he was going to die.  He couldn’t take this from them.  He wouldn’t.  He simply put on a smile and walked back into the room.
[i:df9d511a7f]To these memories I will hold
With your blessing I will go
To turn at last to paths that lead home[/i:df9d511a7f]

[img:df9d511a7f]http://i.imgur.com/ntv4pgF.jpg[/img:df9d511a7f]

Gerard Finnegan

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Re: Chapter 2: Fathers. (18+)
« Reply #24 on: May 12, 2017, 11:07:54 AM »
Bill was released to the family after Gerry signed him out with the understanding that he be monitored for the remainder of his time.  It was a momentous occasion for everyone.  The old man had difficulty walking and breathing was difficult, but he was alive.  It gave everyone hope...except for Gerry.

Gerry who knew the truth.  Gerry would hadn’t given up just yet on finding a way to save his father.

The family was gathered in the living room, as old VHS tapes played footage from a camcorder.

A much younger, and very much healthy Bill was on the screen playing a little touch football in the yard.  Gerry, ten years old, short and scrawny had the nerf football in his arms running for a touchdown until Bill scooped him up with a playful battle cry.  

Bill watched a smile on his face and Nasya in his arms.  “Don’t think I could manage that one now, eh, Ger?”

It took a moment for Gerry to snap out of his head, eyes turning to his father.  For a moment he stared.  A smile formed on his lips then.  “Dare you to try, old man.”

Bill laughed, a fit of coughing interrupting the moment.  “Might take a rain check for now.”

Kara sat at the old man’s feet and smirked, leaning her head against his knee.  On the screen, a tiny Kara came running out of nowhere and jumped off the picnic table, arms wrapping around Bill’s neck, screaming.  “YOU’RE GOIN’ DOWN, OLD MAN!”

She grinned up at him.  “Rain check on that one, too there, gramps?

The smile faded from Gerry’s face as attention was placed elsewhere.  He stared at his father as he chuckled in response to Kara.  “Yeah, rain check on piggy back rides for now.”  he said.  “But watch it with that ‘gramps’ talk, wise-a-”  He started but glanced down to Nasya.  “Butt.  Wise butt.”

Kara snickered and tapped his knee with her temple before settling back in against him.

Rose stepped up behind Bill and wrapped her arms around his shoulders, placing a little kiss at his cheek.  “Don’t worry.  You’ll be back up and around in no time, and we’ll all be struggling to catch up.”  She came around and slipped in at her husband’s side, one of those big arms of his wrapping around her.

“Where was I in all this?”  Ginny asked, sat in front of one of the chairs, leaning back against Michelle’s legs.

“Gin?”  A younger Rose said on the screen.  The camera panned over to a tiny redheaded girl sat in a lawn chair reading a book.  “Don’t you want to go play with the others?”

Those big blue eyes took one look at the chaos with Gerry, Bill and Kara and then gave her mother and the camera SUCH a look.

It got a laugh out of everyone.  Everyone but Gerry.  Overwhelmed, he stepped away, abruptly heading up the stairs.  Everybody glanced after him, exchanging concerned looks.

Gerry pulled open the sliding door to the backyard, stepping out into warm summer night.  Blue eyes squeezed shut as he took a deep breath, trying to slow his heart and make it not feel like he might break down.  The little german shepard mix puppy, Baby trotted out after him, sitting at his foot and staring up at her owner.  Gerry reached down and pet the little one.  

The yard was much the same as it had been in that video.  The grill was new, the fence had been redone, but everything, picnic table included were still the same.  Amazing how much time could change some things, while leaving others intact, he thought.  Behind him, the door slid open, his fists clenching.  

“I’m alright.”  He said, trying to sound casual, but not turning around.  “Just needed some fresh air.”

“Well, that’s bull.”  Ginny’s voice responded.

He turned back to see her, clad in a t-shirt and a denim jacket, her arms crossed.  “Ger.   What the hell is going on?”  She asked him stepping forward.  “Since Dad woke up, you’ve been walking around like someone kicked Baby.  Why aren’t you happier?”

Gerry stared at his sister a long moment.  “It’s...it’s just been a really tough time.”

Her eyes flicked back and forth as he brow furrowed.  “Uh....yeah.   For all of us, dude.  But we have something to celebrate now, Gerry.  Why aren’t you celebrating with us?  Dad is HOME.  He’s strong, he’s going to get better.”

No.  He wasn’t.  Gerry was SO close to saying it.  Instead he just stood there and cast his eyes down for a moment.  Finally, he looked up to Ginny and forced a smile.  “You’re right.  I’m sorry.  I just...I needed some fresh air.”

Ginny walked up and wrapped her arms around her brother’s waist, resting her head against his chest.  Gerry’s arms enveloped the tiny redhead, giving her a tight squeeze.  “You always come after me, don’t you?”

“Always have, always will.”  She smiled to herself.  She turned her eyes up to him.  “Would prefer it if I didn’t HAVE to, so maybe someone could stop wandering off?”

Gerry chuckled and leaned down kissing her forehead.  “I’ll do what I can.”

His sister poked his chest.  “You better.  Now, come on.”  She said, heading back for the house.  

“I’ll be right in.  Just give me a minute, kay?”

She nodded, about to head in when her brow creased with concern.  “You sure you’re alright, Ger?”

He swallowed and nodded, doing his level best not to break.  “Yeah.  Just gonna make sure Baby goes.”  He said lifting his chin toward the yard.

Ginny looked unsure, but nodded, heading back inside.  A shuddering breath left the troubled man as he walked over to the picnic table, taking a seat, shadowed by Baby.  His eyes turned down to the dog and scratched her big fluffy neck.  How long could he keep this up?  How long before it just ate him alive?
[i:df9d511a7f]To these memories I will hold
With your blessing I will go
To turn at last to paths that lead home[/i:df9d511a7f]

[img:df9d511a7f]http://i.imgur.com/ntv4pgF.jpg[/img:df9d511a7f]

Bill Finnegan

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Re: Chapter 2: Fathers. (18+)
« Reply #25 on: May 24, 2017, 05:02:23 PM »
Weeks passed and Bill settled into things.  Despite his chagrin towards his new diet, he was happy to be home, he was alive.  It was a second chance in a world that didn’t often give second chances.  But he couldn’t help but notice one simple fact:  He wasn’t getting better.  He only felt weaker, more tired all the time, yet, when he tried, sleep came with difficulty.  Random pains crept into his body every now and again.  Some nights he would just feel sick to his stomach for seemingly no reason.  

He woke up early today, slipping quietly out of bed while Rose slept.  The old man stepped out onto the patio in back, breathing in the cool morning air.    It was a bit difficult to get the air in, but he managed.  For 31 years, he’d called this place home.  He’d raised his children here, loved and lost so much over the years.  So much of his life was spent in this yard, and suddenly it occurred to him that the time had not nearly been enough.  He wanted more.  

The door slid open behind him, and Bill expected to see his wife...instead he found the hulking form of Gerry.  A flannel shirt and a faded navy blue ballcap on his head and a blue eyed, raven haired slumbering girl in his arms.  A smile spread across his son’s handsome face.  “Heya, Pop.”

Bill smirked back at him.  “Ger!  What are you doin’ out here so early?”

He stepped over leaning down and kissing the top of his dad’s head.  “Nas didn’t sleep at all last night, so I took her out for a ride.  Finally got her to sleep, so I figured I’d come by, see how you were.”

Bill eyed him a moment.  Gerry had been...off ever since the heart attack.  His smiles and laughter seemed to be more forced than natural.  There were times he’d catch his son staring off with a sadness in those usually cheerful eyes.  

“I’m…” Bill started, but then paused.  “I don’t know, to be honest.”

That look came across Gerry’s face again as he sat.

“I’m having trouble breathing...last night I couldn’t sleep because every time I closed my eyes, I get dizzy and want to puke...I don’t know.  It’s not good.”  He frowned down at the grass.

Gerry was silent.  He just held that kid in his arms, looking like a lost puppy.  Bill reached out his arms.  “Lemme see the munchkin.”  

Gerry carefully handed Nasya over to the old man.  Bill was an expert with her, positing the girl on his shoulder without even causing the slightest stir.  The two sat there a long moment in the morning sun.

“I’m not getting better.”  Bill said simply.  He turned his eyes to his son.  “Am I?”

It was a hunch, but Bill believed Gerry knew more than he let on.  His son turned to him an expression of fear and remorse upon his face.  “No.”

“When did they tell you?”  Bill asked him, not even a hint of accusation in his tone.

“The day you woke up.”  Gerry said, guilt ridden.  “Everyone was so happy...I just...I couldn’t take that from you.”


Bill’s heart just broke for him, reaching out and clasping his shoulder.  “Kid...God.   You shouldn’t have to carry that weight.  Does anyone else know?”

Gerry shook his head.  “It just...never seemed like the right time.”

Bill nodded.  He imagined that, put in the same place, he’d probably make the same choice.  Despite the years apart, Gerry still took after him more than he could imagine.  “How long do I have.”

Gerry turned to him, thinking.  “The doc wasn’t sure.  Said maybe weeks...maybe months.”

“Way things are going...probably the latter.”  Bill said, suddenly feeling like he was living on borrowed time.  

“Dad…” Gerry whispered, tears forming in his eyes.  “I am so sorry.”

Bill gave him a squeeze on that muscular shoulder.  “It’s not your fault, Gerry.  It’s nobody’s fault.  I had a good life.  I mean...look at all I’ve got.  I’ve got the most amazing wife, I’ve got a daughter who’s finally living for herself.  I’ve got this beautiful little munchkin here….I’ve got Kara, who I could not be prouder to call my daughter….And I got you, kid.”

A smile formed through the sadness on Bill’s face, watching Gerry’s.  “I’ve had a damn good life.   Just...wish I had more time.”

“Is there anything I can do?”  Gerry asked him, looking hopeless.

Bill sniffed out a laugh and grinned.  “Not unless you’ve got some kind of crazy cure-all in that magic-land you came from.”

Suddenly, a look of realization came over Gerry’s face, his lips parting slightly.  He put a hand to his forehead as if he’d been a fool.   “Son of a bitch…”  Gerry muttered.  

Bill quirked an eyebrow at his son.  “You...you alright.”

Gerry suddenly looked VERY excited.  “Dad...I need to make a call.”
[img:823c10f5c3]http://i.imgur.com/wLZOVmV.jpg[/img:823c10f5c3]

Gerard Finnegan

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Re: Chapter 2: Fathers. (18+)
« Reply #26 on: June 01, 2017, 01:52:47 PM »
Keirra’s phone rang, the caller ID showing it was him.  Gerry rarely called unless it was an emergency or to set up their arrangements for Nasya's time with her...and it was nowhere near time for that.

Yeah, they'd definitely had drifted apart in the whole staying friends department, not that she blamed him. She definitely had her hands full herself. Her phone rang and it was all the way across the room, 'Gangster's Paradise' ringing out. Her brow furrowed lightly and she reached out as if she could suddenly develop a super stretch ability. Sighing when it didn't work, she looked to the white wolf in the room. "Please...?" Zimushka looked at her, not at all amused, and sighed lightly, bringing the phone to her. "Thank you, Fuzzbutt," she made a kissy face and answered the phone after a moment of confusion. "Gerry? Nasya okay? What's going on?" It...was never happy news when these kinds of calls happened.

Gerry paced in his parents' yard, Bill staring at his son suspiciously.  He'd just gotten really fired up about something...but didn't tell the sick man what.  Finally she answered.  "Ko...I need-there's...I need a favor."  He said, stumbling over his words.

He sounded breathless, almost panicky.  She knew that tone.  It happened when he got really worked up.  

Keirra at this point was...about seven-plus months pregnant, and completely undesirable in her own eyes. Still, she couldn't help but smirk when he spoke, "What kind of favor?~" she asked. "Hand stuff? Mouth stuff? Soul trade? First born son? I'm working on that one right now~ Do I need a shovel? Drugs? You need drugs?" At this point she was just teasing him, not catching on to the seriousness.

His voice gave way to a LOT of barely checked pain, then.  "It's...It's my dad."  He managed.  "He's...he's not doing so well..."

Keirra had finally wiped Zim's spit off the phone, reaching down with her hand to swipe her last toenail with red polish. Her brow furrowed, "What's wrong with Pops?" she asked, sliding off the couch now and moving to head up the stairs--awkwardly given the fact that her nails were wet.

A long silenced followed.  "A few weeks ago he had a massive heart attack.  Doctor's say there was too much damage...and...they say he's not going to live much longer.  I guess his organs are shutting down slowly.  It's...it's really bad."  Gerry's voice dropped a bit quieter, crackin just a smidge toward the end.

"I need Martyr, Ko."  He said.  "I need her blood.  If it can heal you through everything we went through...it can save him."  He said.  "It's got to."

Ko's icy eyes stared ahead and she paused on the last step, her hand resting on that swollen belly. She widened that gaze and opened her mouth to speak, closed it, and lowered her head some. "Gerry..." she whispered softly. "Martyr..." Chewing on her cheek, "She disappeared a while back, I... I don't know where she is..."

It felt as if his heart had plummeted into his stomach like a meteor.  It was a desperate hope to begin with...but now it was just obliterated.  Keirra could hear Bill on the other end, distance.  "Ger?  Kid?  You...you alright?"  But the only thing out of her ex husband was just breathing.  Stressed, shaky breathing.

Gerry nodded to his father, forcing a smile, and turning his back.  "He's going to die..."  He whispered, almost to himself, as if just realizing it, the last shred of hope dissipating into the air.

Turning on the step, she chewed her lip lightly. She sat down on the top step and went silent. Her lip was traded for the end of her thumbnail, and she let out a sigh. "No he's not..." she whispered softly. "Get him here, I'll figure it out... Need me to open a portal?"

"Ko...it's...what can we even do?"  he asked, that voice usually so alive and chipper just broken.  

"There are others," she answered him. "I'll take him to the village.. We'll figure something out, Gerry. I promise."

A smile slowly spread across his face.  "I need to tell my family...I don't want my mom waking up to find us just gone.  But...Keirra..."

"Thank you."  He sighed   She could hear the tears forming even in his voice.  "Thank you, so much."

There was a smile in return, though his was unseen. "Of course," she said sincerely, "any time," and she meant it. "Go tell your family, get him back to your place.. I'll open a portal there."



OOC:  Thanks to Keirra Owens' player for participating in this storyline
[i:df9d511a7f]To these memories I will hold
With your blessing I will go
To turn at last to paths that lead home[/i:df9d511a7f]

[img:df9d511a7f]http://i.imgur.com/ntv4pgF.jpg[/img:df9d511a7f]

Gerard Finnegan

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Re: Chapter 2: Fathers. (18+)
« Reply #27 on: June 05, 2017, 03:41:07 PM »
One thing Gerry never thought about, but was now grateful for?  An elevator.  He was pretty sure Bill couldn't handle the walk up the stairs to his and Ginny's place.  Rose stood by her husband's side, clinging to him.  
 
"I'm a little jealous."  she said sweetly, looking up at him.  "You getting to go see a whole new world."  
 
Gerry hadn't told them the whole truth of why they were going.  If they all knew that Bill was basically living on borrowed time, there was no way in hell he could get his mom to let him go.  Maybe, he thought, one day he would tell her the whole story.  He smiled to his mother.  "I promise.  Next time, I'll take you all."
 
Bill gave her a squeeze.  "Yeah.  Consider this a bit of a boy's vacation."  He nodded to her.  "Besides.  What kind of trouble could we possibly get into?"
 
Rose smiled up at him and pulled him into a kiss.  "Uh huh.  You just be careful, mister."
 
With a ding, the doors opened and they made their way into the apartment.  Keirra had arrived at one point or another. She'd managed to change into a stretchy pair of yoga pants, and a long t-shirt. She hadn't really given any details just yet either. Played it off like she was grumpy and pregnant. Took every opportunity to hold her kid, and pet that dog that she gifted to Gerry. The portal for now, was closed. The energy of it would go away at some point, and she'd have to recharge the stone. For now, though, it was still going strong. She'd taken some time to tell Zver where she was going.  There'd be no secrets between the two of them.
 
Kara's interaction with Ko, up to this point was minimal.  There was obviously a bit weirdness there.  But she understood and appreciated Keirra's place in her boyfriend's life.  Plus, she'd made Nasya.  How bad could she really be?  
 
A smile crossed her lips as Gerry and the Parents entered the room.  Her arms wrapped around her boyfriend as she leaned up to plant a kiss on his lips.  
 
"Everything cool?"  Gerry whispered to her.  Kara gave him a look.  Keirra was an...acquired taste.  Never one to much filter...anything.  But the tall brunette beauty was making a go of it.  
 
"Yeah.  We're good."  She said a little smirk gracing her features.
 
Gerry gave her another squeeze and set his eyes on Ko,  a smile spreading across his face."Heya Ko."  He said, moving over to her.
 
Keirra was fat and sassy, sank into the couch cushion with a baby propped up on one leg, and the puppy's head resting on the other. "Hey Big Guy," she answered back with a soft smile. The hand that wasn't around Nasya's back reached out. "Help my fat ass get up.."
 
He reached out, one of those big meathooks of his wrapping around her hand and pulled her to her feet.  His arms encircled her, pulling her close.  "Thank you."  he whispered.
 
"Ngh," a grunting little noise left her as he hoisted her up. She kept a firm hand holding Nasya, and was easily pulled into that hug. "Always," she answered back, resting her head on his chest. She loved Gerry. Maybe not in the way that she was supposed to.  
 
The people in that room took incredible care of Nasya, though.  Ginny was a total mama bear.  Even with Ko, she had a bit of a protective streak.  That child wanted for nothing.  Especially from the man they were all there for.  Bill stepped in, Gerry still the absolute spitting image of him.
 
 The first time they'd met, Bill had immediately wrapped her up in a big hug, welcoming her right into the family in the way that only he could.  The man even appreciated her frank and unfiltered way of dealing with people.  He set those eyes, the same as his son's, upon Keirra and big grin splitting his lips.  "Jeeeesus...lookit you, kiddo.  You look great."
 
That blonde hair was pulled back into a ponytail, but a few strands hung over a single icy eye that moved to Bill. "Hey, Pops," she answered, pulling away from Gerry to give him a hug. "You mispronounced fat," she teased him.
 
It was hard to miss that his usual tight squeeze of a hug missed a lot of its strength.  "Psh...last time I saw ya, you were skin n' bones.   I think ya look absolutely beautiful."  He told her with a bright smile.
 
Keirra tried, tried not to frown. Her eyes looking up to him, and her hand rubbed his back. She was going to fix this, if it was the last thing she did. Worst comes to worst, she could owe Zver's psycho friend a favor... She didn't want it to come to that, though. Gerry would probably never stop worrying about Ko if he met that stab-happy bitch. ...Ko loved her.
 
Rose, ever the sweetheart, nodded.  "Motherhood definitely suits you, Keirra."  She nodded happily.
 
"And when did you go blonde?"  Bill asked her.
 
"You're too sweet, pops," she smiled, trying to play it cool. "Thanks, Ma." Keirra had warmed right up to Gerry's parents. Probably because she never had any of her own, and they'd always been good to her--if not slightly concerned. Within reason, of course.  Though, that was the thing about them.  Incredibly warm people, the Finnegans.  It wasn't hard to see where Gerry got it from.  
 
Rose stepped in giving her a warm hug and a kiss on the cheek.  "How far along are you now, sweetie?"  she asked
 
Returning the hug, and the kiss, her eyes went to the ceiling. "Um..." she bit her lip. "Middle of July, I think, is when I'm due," Ko answered. "I got my girl," gesturing to Nasya. "And soon I'll have a boy." Keirra was warming up to the idea of a boy at this point.
 
"Getting down to the wire, then!"  She said, brightly.  "Let's hope you don't end up with a giant like this one."  she muttered hooking a thumb to Gerry.  "13 lbs."  She said with a shudder.
 
Gerry made a face.  "Oh, I was not."
 
"Uh.  Yeah.  You were.  I was there, sweetheart.  Your giant head got stuck and they had to use the forceps.  Practically needed to get the jaws of life..."  Rose mumbled distantly.
 
A snort came from Kara, which earned her a narrow-eyed stare from Gerry.   "What?"  the brown-haired beauty said defensively.  "Your head IS huge."
 
That...well that made her go a bit pale. "I'll die." It was true. Nasya in all her little glory had taken Ko out of this world for a small period of time. If she had a Gerry-sized baby? She didn't even want to think about it. It was the banter that made her snicker, "I guess that's why his head is shaped so funny..."
 
Gerry reached up and touched his head self consciously, which just made Kara laugh harder, Ginny trying not to as she looked away.
 
Bill patted his son on the shoulder.  "It's okay kid.  It looks distinguished."
 
Ko held the baby out to Rose so that she could take over.   Rose took Nasya in her arms.  "Ga!"  the little one said excitedly, her little attempt at saying grandma reduced to 2 letter word, reaching out and smushing Rose's cheeks to a delighted chuckle. "I'mma come back for your cooking soon, Ma," Keirra promised with a grin. "But for right now, I promised these boys a drive around Rhydin..." Eyes moved to Gerry, "You ready to go, Buckethead?"
 
 Gerry smiled at them and turned to Ko.  "One second."  He nodded.
 
Gerry stepped up to his mother and the baby, leaning down and kissing her on her pudgy little cheek.  "Daddy loves you, baby.  You be good."  
 
He turned his gaze upon Rose.  He couldn't tell her everything just yet, but in his mind he swore to her that he would save Bill.  Rose looked up and reached a hand up, touching her son's face.  "Come back."
 
Gerry nodded.  "I promise."
 
Bill stepped up.said his goodbyes to Ginny, Kara, and his mother, reaching out for Nasya and
 
"Alright, quit huggin' the munchkin."  He grumbled.  
 
"Poppyyyyyyyy!"  Nasya called out, her traditional battle cry upon seeing the old man.  Bill scooped her up and put his forehead to her's.  
 
"Poppy's gonna miss you, munchkin."  He said to her with a warm smile.  "You keep being your perfect little self, okay?"  Nasya just made a happy little "eeeeeeee" sound before he handed her back off to Rose.
 
Ginny's turn was next, giving Gerry a good squeeze.  "Seriously, don't make me come after you two."  She grinned to herself.
 
"Least you know where to find me this time."  Gerry chuckled.
 
Bill smiled down to his wife, when they returned, he would be his old self again for her...for everyone in that room.  "You be careful, you hear me?"  She told him.  
"I make no guarantees."  Bill smirked.
 
"Mmhmm."  She narrowed her eyes, but softened, reaching out and pulling him into a kiss.  Finally they parted.
 
Finally, Gerry stepped up to a concerned looking Kara.  The man she loved was disappearing again, but this time with his ex-wife.  The thought alone filled her with dread.  The last time he left was supposed to be forever.  She'd gotten a second chance then, and the thought of losing him anyway was almost too much to bear.  
 
A forced smile came to her lips as Gerry cupped cheek, looking her right in those beautiful pools of blue.  "I'm coming back.  We're going to make everything okay again."  He whispered.  
 
Kara wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him hard.  Her fists gripping his shirt tightly.  "I love you."

"I love you, too."  He said quietly, giving one last kiss.
 
Bill nudged his son out of the way.  "One side, Junior, one side."  He said, stepping up to Kara.  She looked at him with a stern expression, poking him in the chest.  "I want a full report.  Tell me all about it when you get back, got it?"
 
A smile crossed the old man's lips.  "All the sordid details.  Got it."
 
The pair of them finally wrapped each other in a tight embrace before he joined Gerry, turning to face Keirra.
 
"We're ready."
 
Softening slightly when they said their goodbyes, she smiled and moved over to give her daughter a kiss on the cheek. "See you soon, Mini Me," she promised the kid and pulled the stone out of her pocket. It was a gift from a friend. One that helped her track down Gerry in the first place. She opened the portal and it flickered lightly. Soon, the shadow stretched out over the wall. "I'll protect him," said the shortstack before waving them on through. "Come on. Let's get this show on the road. Bye everyone," she called out. She'd let them step through before she went after them.
 
Bill paused a moment at the portal, a moment.  A current of fear running through him as he stood before the gateway to another world.  Then, slowly, a grin spread across his face.  He glanced back at Rose, looking like a kid.  With a deep breath, he stepped on through.
 
Keirra would wait for Gerry to go through, then she'd follow after them both. She took a final glance to Rose, and then determination was heavy on that face. Pops wasn't dying. Not today, not any time soon. Once they were all through, the portal would fix closed behind them.
[i:df9d511a7f]To these memories I will hold
With your blessing I will go
To turn at last to paths that lead home[/i:df9d511a7f]

[img:df9d511a7f]http://i.imgur.com/ntv4pgF.jpg[/img:df9d511a7f]

Gerard Finnegan

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Re: Chapter 2: Fathers. (18+)
« Reply #28 on: July 10, 2017, 05:49:16 PM »
Back.   He was back.   The world he knew faded away and Rhydin was once again around him.   He could feel the difference in the air.  An electricity that wasn't there back home.  When they got to the otherside, they were outside the large house Keirra lived in now. It was nothing like the cramped camper she'd grown used to living in. No, the place was huge. Made a hell of a difference when one befriended a rich nighteater, it seemed. Zimuska, a massive white wolf pawed at the window upon seeing Ko appear and let out a howl.

Bill blinked as they arrived, the room that had been around them replaced with something else.  For a moment he almost looked afraid...but a grin slowly spread across the old man's face.  "Whoa...that was a helluva thing..."  Bill chuckled.

A grin cracked open on the rogue's face, "You ain't seen nothing yet, Pops."

"Daaamn, Ko.  You upgraded."  He  turned to her with a lopsided grin.  

A smirk found her face, "Yeah, I do aight," she teased him. "I'll give you the tour later, but we should get this show on the road," she snickered and another portal was opened.

Bill gaped at the portal, same as the first time.  This sort of magic was completely foreign to him.  Even after seeing it once, it still blew his mind.  "...how do you do that?"  he whispered.
 
"I don't," she shook her head, holding up the rock. "This does," Keirra informed him. "It's just something someone made for me using their powers," she smiled. "It's good to know people."

Gerry gave her shoulder a squeeze as he passed.  "Yeah.  Yeah it is."  With a smile he stepped into the portal and out to the other side.    Bill followed, stepping up to the threshold, glancing her way with that child-like glee in his aged face.  With a little chuckle he stepped on through.
 
As they all went through, Keirra looked surprised to see where they were at. "This isn't right..." she muttered, nose twitching lightly as she sniffed the air. "Smells good, though..." A frown, "Man, this thing don't work right when I'm hungry..."

Bill looked between the two of them.  "Well...I mean...we're already here..."  He gestured to the counter.  "It would be rude to just show up and not get food...right?"

Gerry shot him a look.  "Dad.  You're coming off a massive heart attack..."

"...so?  what?  Am I gonna get MORE terminally ill?  If I'm going out, I'm going out with a cheeseburger in me!"

"I had a heart attack," Keirra shook her head. She had, that was a thing that had happened. "I'll be damned if it stops me from eating cheeseburgers," clearly on Bill's side here.

Gerry sighed and looked to the preggers rogue.  "Alright, alright...we're gonna cure you anyway..."  He said.  "Just...sit.  Relax, alright, dad?"  

As Bill sat, Gerry got in line with Keirra.  A gaze cast her way.  "You look good.  Gettin' excited?"  He asked, nodding to her belly.

"Last one killed me," she snickered, eyes to the menu. "So, I guess more afraid than anything..."

"Yeah, but you're persistent.  Like a vulgar energizer bunny."  he grinned, eyeing the menu himself.  
"Yeah, I guess," she said with a scoff.

"How's...Zeever was it?"  

Those eyes trailed over to him for a moment, when he brought up Zver. She frowned and looked down at her feet--or belly, rather--for a moment. Things with Zver had been...rocky to say the least. What with the demonic possession and her trying to ruin his life. She went quiet for a moment before, "Good."

His brows knit together, looking her over.  "That sounds like the least 'good' good I've ever heard.  Y'all okay?"  

Keirra looked way up to him, "You..." she dropped her eyes again, "...you know better than anyone how hard I can be to live with," Ko told him.

Gerry considered that a moment before nodding.  "True.  Though, I know how you can be when you dedicate yourself to something.  "  He glanced down to her.  "When you really put your heart into things."

"Yeah, but," Keirra stepped forward, they were next in line. "I always seem to **** it up somehow," she whispered.

"You didn't with me."  He reminded her, finalizing what he wanted in his head.

He stepped up to the cashier and ordered for himself and his father.  The appearance and personality weren't the only things they shared.  They each held an affinity for plain food.  No condiments on anything for either of the Finnegan boys.

"Yeah well," she shook her head. "We both know how it would've ended." Keirra swallowed hard and then stepped up to the counter, "I'll have a cheeseburger with everything but mustard. If you put a drop of mustard on it, I'll puke all over the floor and have this baby in your kitchen.. Oh, and...fries with honey mustard sauce, annnd a caffiene free diet coke," she groaned.

She certainly had a way with words.  That was something he'd always appreciated about her.  The self-loathing wasn't great, but the sense of humor and lack of a filter, he'd always found endearing.
 
"You still talk to any of the Caravan?"  He asked, plunking down the cash to pay for their food.  It was the least he could do for her helping him out.
 
"Not really," Keirra shook her head and shrugged. "I see Saila every now and again, but that's mostly just through Hex. Other than that? Haven't really seen any of them in forever," she shrugged. "Put those days behind me." She moved over to wait for their order. "Thanks," she said, never one to protest a free meal.

Gerry nodded, walking with her.   "Honestly, I think that's a good thing.  That group...they never seemed like a great thing for you."

"They were family," she said with a nod. "...but I'll admit that I'm happier now."
 
That brought that warm, genuine smile to his face.  "Good. You deserve to be happy."

Keirra was silent then, up until the food came. She lit up and grabbed a tray, "Foooood~" she chimed softly, stepping aside to let him take the other tray.

The pair of them found Bill talking to a confused looking, horned man trying to just enjoy his food.  "You know, I used to read my kids a story about this guy who was kinda like you.  He lived in a place where it was always winter.  Good book."

Bill could be dropped into a world where they didn't even communicate verbally and wind up striking up a conversation with someone.

"Dad. Food."  Gerry interrupted stealing his father away much to the strangers relief

"Oh.  Gotta go!  Kid brought me food!  Take er easy!"  Bill slid in beside his son and Keirra.

"Yeah, let's mow down," though she wasn't at all mortified by Bill's actions. Hell, she found them funny. This was someone that never had a filter. She slid into a seat and plopped down, happy to take the weight off of her legs.

Bill looked at that burger almost lustily.  It had been weeks since he was allowed anywhere near red meat.  He took one big bite and groaned.  "Shooooo goood..."

Keirra took a couple bites, and then started laughing so hard she nearly choked. She coughed and took a drink of her coke with a shake of her head. "Ngh..."

Bill beamed over the table to her.  "Okay...so...what's the story here.  This...cure-all thing ya got.   I just pop a pill or somethin' and bam!  I'm all better?"

"Something like that," she said with a smirk. "It's a little more complicated, I guess, but... If I tell you, you might try to back out," she teased him, catching her breath.

He chomped away at that burger, brows furrowed.  "Thatsh Ominoush..."

Ko took another bite and her eyes slid to Gerry. "You remember the one time we went to that taco stand at 2 in the morning after Karaoke?"

Gerry's eyes met Ko's a grin spreading across his face.  "Totally!  Great night."  He said, bringing the burger up to take a bite.  "As I recall...I had to piggy-back you home."

"Yeah, and..." Ko laughed and pointed, taking a sip to calm herself. "You almost fell and killed us both! I think I drank as much you did that night!"

He laughed and shook his head.  It had been a long time since he'd drank like that.  "God...that seems like a lifetime ago."  He said.  "Remember when you, me and Katja went for a joyride in that car?"

Bill gave his son SUCH a look.

"Oh god, that bitch almost made me pee myself that night!" she cackled and shook her head.

Gerry just ignored it and laughed.  "It was this old 67 Challenger, Pop.  First time I'd ever driven.  You'd have loved it."

Bill rose an eyebrow at his son.  "I take it the car wasn't in one piece when you were done with it..."

Gerry glanced to Ko for confirmation...he was pretty sure it was, in fact not.

Keirra shrugged lightly and popped a fry into her mouth, "Yeah that thing got trashed, but... The owner was a dick," she amended it.

Bill snorted.  "Well, if the owner was a dick..."

A grin spread across her face, and she nodded. "Total dick."

Gerry laughed and looked back to her.  "Dad n' me have been restoring his old 70 Challenger the past few months.  Got her up and running not too long ago."

"next time you visit, we'll go joyriding."  Bill promised her.  "long as you don't wreck the damn thing."
 
"Hey, you talk to your son!" she yelped at him. "He's the wrecker, I happen to be a great driver." Playing a montage of all the cars she'd wrecked in her head.

Gerry MIGHT have gotten a bit defensive.   "Alright!  It was my first time driving!  Cut me some slack!  I'm a good driver now!"

"Oh yeah, and I'm a virgin!" she teased him.

Bill smirked.  "He drives kinda like an old lady."  He said, confidentially to Ko.

"Because I have your Granddaughter in the car, ya jerk!"
[i:df9d511a7f]To these memories I will hold
With your blessing I will go
To turn at last to paths that lead home[/i:df9d511a7f]

[img:df9d511a7f]http://i.imgur.com/ntv4pgF.jpg[/img:df9d511a7f]

Gerard Finnegan

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Re: Chapter 2: Fathers. (18+)
« Reply #29 on: February 11, 2019, 01:05:14 AM »
The trio piled into a car and hit the road.  The ride remained mostly silent until they pulled into spot on the outskirts of a wooded area.  Keirra went off to negotiate the terms, leaving the them on their own for the time being.  It was strange, being back.  So much was tied to this place, so many memories.  Fate had taken him in so many different directions throughout his life.  He'd been a kid in suburban Texas, lived the life of a pirate, became a successful business owner and became a father.  He hadn't been prepared for any of it, but if there was something to be said for Gerard Finnegan, it was that he adapted well.  It was almost funny... He'd fought like hell to return to Rhy'din to no avail, and now all he wanted to get his dad healthy and get home.  Gerry glanced in the rearview, catching sight of Bill.  

The old man looked so much like him.  The same tall, broad build.  Those same easy, friendly blue eyes.  That same wry grin.  He always seemed so alive.  So energetic.  Now, though...he seemed tired.  Bill's skin was a pallid shade of white, his eyelids heavy beneath his brow.

"Pop?"  He asked, taking the old man's attention, a shadow of concern passing his face.  "You alright?"

Bill blinked as if snapping awake.  He looked to Gerry in the reflection nodded, a distant smile on his face.  "Yeah.  Yeah, just...kinda tired."

"Well, stay awake, alright?  Hate for you to miss this."  Gerry tried a smile on, masking the fear with something, anything else.

Bill grinned and gave him a thumbs up. "You got it, kid."

The weakened old man looked around them.  It didn't look much different than home.  It was like going to another developed country and expecting a complete culture shock only to find a Burger King.  Not that he was disappointed, just surprised.  Still...he was on another world.  Another...dimension,he supposed it could be called.  

"Amazing..."  he muttered.

"What's that?"  Gerry asked.

"Look at us, Ger."  Bill said, gesturing around them.  "This is like some kinda sci-fi stuff.  Never dreamed I'd do something like this."  

Gerry grinned, thinking about it.  It had been such a part of his life, he'd rarely even considered how it might seem to someone else.  "Yeah...yeah, I guess it is pretty amazing."

"You miss it?"  He asked his son.

Gerry turned, glancing back.

"This place."  Bill clarified.

Gerry thought a moment.  All those good and bad times rushing back.  His connection to Rhy'din was filled with conflict.  The highest highs...and the lowest lows.  "I miss Ko.  And my business and some of my friends...but...there's a lot of pain for me here.  It wasn't the easiest life."

"No.  I suppose not.  But..." Bill smirked.  "What is?"

"Being a billionaire and waited on hand and foot?"  Gerry submitted immediately.

"Ooh."  Bill nodded slowly.  "Yeah, that IS pretty cushy."

"Bet your ass."  Gerry nodded, overly sincere,  a smirk forming..  

"I can't imagine how much it must have hurt.  Leaving here.  Leaving her."  Bill said.  "Almost your whole life was in this place.  Everything you had, everything you built..."

Gerry's eyes lowered.  That had been the hard part.  The life he'd had was hard earned and he was infinitely proud of it.  He loved his wife, his daughter, his friends.  Having all but one of those blessings taken away left him devastated for a long time.  It took the love of a good woman and his family to bring him back from the edge.  Letting go of Rhy'din wasn't an easy thing to do, but it was necessary.  This time when he went back home to Clute...it would be his choice.

""That said..." Bill reached out, gripping his son's shoulder weakly.  "I wouldn't trade the time I've had with you for anything.  Seeing the man you became...meeting you all over again...it's been the greatest joy of my life.  I-"

Gerry's brows knit together as he glanced back, reaching to his shoulder and taking his father's hand in his.  "Hey.  Don't start that.  Don't start that goodbye tone.  We're going to have more times together.  We're going to get you healthy and we're gonna go home.  Just stay awake, alright?"

"Just...Shut up and let me talk, willya?"  Bill said, sounding a little more drowsy.  "The day you came back into our lives...it was... like somebody gave me back a piece of my heart.  I haven't felt like that since...God.  I don't even remember.  You came into this world so happy...so sweet.  Every second with you was perfect, Ger...I'd never loved something more.  I held you in my arms and I looked on at this...this piece of me.  My boy...  My amazing son..."

"Dad..."  Gerry whispered, peering into the old man's familiar but tired eyes.

"And then you were gone..."  Bill began to sound more and more distant, weaker.  "I didn't...I didn't know.   Where you went...what happened.  Just...just shut off for a long time.  Wasn't fair.  To Gin...your mom.  Shoulda...shoulda done better. "

"Dad.   Why are you telling me this?"  Gerry said, worry creeping into his voice.

Bill's breathing became uneven.  "You gotta...you gotta cherish it.  Every....second.  Family, Ger...it's...you gotta..."

"Dad?"  Gerry turned around.

"Never...let go."  Bill stared ahead his brows knitting together as if he just realized something.  "Oh.  Oh my."


Bill froze a moment staring off at nothing.  And then his head lolled back as he fell into unconsciousness.  Gerry's heart dropped.

"Dad!"  He threw open his door and moved to the rear of the car.  He crouched over his father, shaking him, but Bill was not responding.  He wasn't even breathing  "Dad?!   DAD!  Wake up!  Oh, come on, not now, not now!"  

Gerry looked around in a panic, lost and helpless.  "Dad, please!"

He wrapped his father in his arms, holding him close, tears streaming down his face.  He held him tight, as if he cold hold him tight enough to keep him from leaving.  "HELP!"  Gerry screamed.  "SOMEBODY HELP!"

Bill lay there, barely breathing.  Gerry just cried out again and again to a vast nothing, helpless as his father lay dying in his arms.  
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The tranquil sounds of the lake filled his ears, mingling with Otis Redding singing "Sittin' On The Dock Of The Bay".  The scent of pine heavy in the air.  It was a perfect spring day at the lakehouse.  One of many in the three years since that night.  Gerry sat on a lawn chair upon the pier, his eyes closed, just drinking in everything the place had to offer.  Slowly, blue eyes slid open, the greens, browns and blues reflecting in the imperfect mirror of the water.  This place was perfect.  He wasn't sure he believed in a heaven, but if it did exist, the lakehouse wasn't too far off.

He glanced down and moved the gold band around his left ring finger with his thumb, a smile spreading across his lips.  There was no question about it.  He belonged with Kara.  Years and distance had parted them for far too long, but eventually, everything worked out how it was supposed to.  Their wedding had been simple.  Just a few friends and family.  They'd even tied the knot on this very pier, followed immediately by a party crashed by every damn person with a boat along the lake.  

"There's Daddy."  He heard his wife's voice say in the distance.  "Hiding out on the pier again."  

Gerry glanced back.  "Not hiding!"

Kara smirked to him, kneeling over the raven haired, blue eyed four year old  Nasya.  Her hair in braids courtesy of her aunt Ginny.  The girl giggled and ran down the steps, leaving behind her very pregnant stepmother with a warm smile on her face.  Their baby boy, William Daniel Finnegan would be there in less than a month.  He couldn't wait, and neither could Nasya.  Gerry stood up and opened his arms to the girl, wrapping her in a hug and spinning her around.  "Heeeey, little munchkin."

"Daddyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy" she squealed, opening her arms like she was flying.  Gerry planted a big kiss on the girl's cheek as he carried her to the chair, taking a seat with her in his lap.

"Daddy?"  she asked.

"Yes, m'dear?"

"How come you sit out here all the time?"  she asked.

"I think you know why.  I think we've had this conversation before."  He teased her, the little girl giggling again.  "I think you just like to hear it."

Guilty.  She rested her head against his chest.

"Your Poppy."  Gerry said.  "Whenever we came out here as kids, we'd wake up and every day, he'd be here.  Right in this spot.  I'd wander down and we'd sit, just the two of us listening to music and fishing.  This was his favorite song."

"Do you like it?"  Nasya asked him, trying to decide if she did as well.

"I love it."  Gerry nodded.  The little one curled up into him.  

"Me too."  She decided.

"Yeah."  A voice said from behind them.  "Nothin' quite like it."

Bill set his chair down beside his son, very much alive.  His skin had long ago taken back its color, those eyes once again filled with energy.  He had two beers in his hand and handed one off to Gerry.  Life didn't often grant second chances, much less thirds or fourths...but Bill Finnegan was a lucky man.

Rose came up behind him, wrapping her arms around her husband's shoulders and placing a kiss upon the top of his head.  Bill shut his eyes, hand clasping around her forearm, a smile on his face.  

"Otis?  Again?"  She asked.  "Aren't you guys tired of this song?"

"No."  Gerry, Bill, and Nasya said it at once, a grin passed between father and son.  

Rose rolled her eyes playfully and gave Bill one last squeeze.  "Don't stay down here too long.  Dinner's almost ready."

"Thanks, hon."  Bill said to his wife and pulled her down into a lingering kiss.  Gerry smiled, watching his parents just be unabashedly still in love.  For a moment, he worried that the past three years had been a dream.  That he would wake up in a second in the back of the that car and his father would be gone.  The bliss of the intervening years nothing more than a brilliant fantasy.  But it wasn't.  Rose held onto Bill's hand until she had to let go, walking toward the lakehouse where Ginny and Michelle stood upon porch, a diamond ring adorning the redhead's hand.  Ginny leaned back into the blonde's arms, a happy little smile on her lips.  She cocked her head back, stealing a kiss of Michelle before settling back in.

Yeah, Gerry thought.  This was good.

Nasya curled up in his arms and stared out at the shimmering waters of the lake with those brilliant blue eyes, latched onto her father.  "Daddy?"  She muttered, slightly muffled by his shirt.

"Yeah, baby girl?"  Gerry said.

"I like it here."  She finished.

Gerry looked over to Bill, the old man smiling back at him, holding his bottle toward him.  He eyed his father a long moment, just thinking about everything that had brought them here, and how easily it had almost fallen apart.

"Yeah, Munchkin."  He said, tapping the neck of his bottle to Bill's.  "Me too."

Gerry sat there with his father and his daughter, the three of them warm, safe, and content.  Yes, like his father, Gerard Finnegan was a lucky man.



(OOC Note:  This story has been begging to get finished for years.  I'm sorry I took so long to find and write this ending.  I hope it's as satisfying for you guys as it has been for me.  Thanks for reading and for your patience.)
[i:df9d511a7f]To these memories I will hold
With your blessing I will go
To turn at last to paths that lead home[/i:df9d511a7f]

[img:df9d511a7f]http://i.imgur.com/ntv4pgF.jpg[/img:df9d511a7f]