Saturday, December 5, 2015

Chapter 94: New Dawn

  Warning: Language

  I give you this one thought to keep--
  I am with you still--I do not sleep
  I am a thousand winds that blow,
  I am the diamond glints on snow,
    I am the sunlight
    on ripened grain, I am the gentle
  Autumn rain.  When you awaken in the
  morning hush, I am the swift, uplifting
  rush of quiet birds in circled flight.
     I am the soft stars that shine
    at night.
  Do not think of me as gone--I am with
     you still in each new dawn.


  Sometimes, life could be a real b*tch.  Colin leaned back against the headboard of his bed, deep in thought.  He felt so many f*cking things all at once, he was almost numb; the events from three weeks ago were really taking their toll on him and the family.  Julia remained in her room all day, she wouldn't f*cking eat or talk to anyone, but her non-stop sobbing could be heard through her door.  Hawk had lived through his f*cking ordeal, barely, and earned some extra wrinkles for his troubles.  Neither he nor Skye f*cking talked very much to anyone, let alone each other.  Sh*t, Rhys was the only one who had emerged virtually unscathed, he was just a little f*cking sore.

   Colin didn't have the first f*cking idea on where to start to fix things, he was way the f*ck out of his comfort zone.  He'd had the great f*cking idea to get in touch with his father, to get his advice on how the h*ll to pull the family back together, only to discover that when he had f*cking destroyed Jack's machine, he had managed to f*cking destroy all of the d*mn modern devices that allowed travel between f*cking worlds, between whens.  A plane or a ship could f*cking take him to Moonlight Falls or any other d*mn town in this world, but a f*cking trip to where the Fae lived was no longer a f*cking option. He was so f*cked.

  A fail safe, Jack had f*cking called it, built into his machine, as a just-in-case; it was meant to destroy travel between other f*cking worlds, it would not have stopped the as*hole Medraut, but it would have slowed him down.

  Colin snorted.  Just in case.  That would have been f*cking helpful to know.

  It effectively meant that Colin's father and grandfather were f*cking stuck where they were, and Colin couldn't f*cking talk to either of them.  Which was f*cked up.  He keenly felt the loss of his dad's wisdom, his dad had always known what the h*ll to do; while Colin was f*cking stuck with his thumb up his a*s and the family was f*cking falling apart around him.   

  Love conquers all.  He could almost hear his dad's voice, how many f*cking times had he heard his father say that?  Not only say it, but f*cking live it; and despite the f*cking miles between them, it was almost like his Dad was f*cking standing right there, beside him.  Emotion clogged his throat, but he f*cking willed it away. 

  Ivory stepped out of the bathroom, a shell of herself; it wasn't the f*cking visible scars that had him concerned, it was the f*cking invisible ones.  She rarely spoke, her eyes remained haunted, and most times she f*cking trailed after him like a d*mn lost little puppy.  She had lost so much f*cking weight the bed barely dipped when she crawled onto it.  She laid her head on his chest, and he could feel her sigh.  He ran his fingers through her hair, it didn't f*cking matter what she was like now, he had her back, and somehow they would f*cking work through the sh*t.


  "I'm old now."  she whispered.  "Really old."

  "Yes you are."  Colin agreed, without thinking about it.

  She hit him, hard.  "What the h*ll Romeo?"

  "Ow, what the f*ck?"  Then he smiled, a real smile.  That was the first f*cking time she had sounded more like his Angel, he didn't know how the f*ck to deal with the shadow Ivory, but this one, his Ivory, he f*cking understood.  He shrugged.  "Hey, I was just agreeing with you, don't get f*cking p*ssed off at me."

  She glared at him.  "You're such an a*shole."

  "F*ck Angel, I thought that would make you happy, me agreeing with you."

  She huffed, and laid her head back on his chest.  "You haven't changed a bit."


  If needling her was what it took to bring her more back to herself, then he could do that, sh*t, some even called him a f*cking expert in the art of irritation.  "Why mess with perfection?" he asked with a straight face.

  "Why mess*stard."  She sputtered. Colin started laughing, he couldn't f*cking help himself.  Her fingers fisted up and she thumped him hard a few times on his chest.  "A*s.  You're just messing with me."  She looked away from him, and sighed again.  "It's just, all these years I have lived in a nightmare I could never wake up from, Raven..."  Ivory shuddered. 

  She tried again to tell him about it, "I just..."her voice broke, "I'm sorry I..."  She shook her head, she just couldn't speak of the horrors she had endured, at least, not yet.  She changed the topic.  "And then there's you, you haven't aged a single day, you deserve someone younger and prettier and not as screwed up as I am...and then there's the kids..."  Her voice trailed off for a moment, "Babies when I saw them last.  Now they're all grown up, with babies of their own, that are all grown up, and I missed all of it!"

  He turned her face to his.  "What sort of f*cking bullsh*t nonsense is that?"  He asked fiercely. "From the f*cking first moment I f*cking laid eyes on you, I have f*cking belonged to you, and only you.  You're like," he paused, searching for a word, "gangrene in my f*cking heart! The only f*cking way to get you the f*ck out, is to f*cking cut my heart out!"

  Ivory was silent for a moment.  "Did you just compare me to gangrene?"

  Colin thought about it.  "H*ll, yes, yes I f*cking did."

  "You're so sweet, I think that is the nicest thing you've ever said to me." She reached up, and kissed him.

   "I'm not sweet."  He grumbled after the kiss ended.  "I have a f*cking image to uphold here. I could compare you to fungus though, if you liked my f*cking gangrene comment so much..."

  "Don't push your luck Romeo."  She smiled at him as she said it, but then frowned slightly.  "I'm messed up."

  "F*ck, aren't we all."  Colin responded.  "This whole family is f*cked up, it's silent as a f*cking graveyard around here, even Bob is f*cking moping, and I didn't even f*cking know robots could mope."

  "Then we need to do something about it."


  Ivory nodded her head.  "Yes, we.  I didn't go through h*ll just to have everything fall apart once I got my family back.  Now, you start with our granddaughter, once she's doing better, I think everyone else will start doing better."

  Colin eyed her suspiciously.  "We?  That sounded like a command just for me, where's this we?"

  Ivory smiled.  "Well, let me show you..."

  An hour later, Colin was standing in front of Julia's bedroom.  He knocked, he could hear the faint sounds of puking, and then the toilet flushing.  He waited a little bit, and then knocked again.  "Go away!"  Colin took that as his invitation to enter.


  "I don't want to talk to you."

  Colin shrugged.  "Good, that'll make this a lot f*cking easier.  Get dressed, we're getting the f*ck out of here."

  "I'm not going anywhere either."  Julia said sullenly.

  "Well, Squirt, you don't have a f*cking choice.  Now get your a*s out of that bed."

  "Don't call me that."  Julia said tiredly.  "I don't want to see you, or talk to you, or anyone else.  I just want to be left alone, just go away.  I want everyone to just go the f*ck away."

  "I can't do that Squirt."

  "So what else is new?" Julia laughed bitterly. "My life is over, I just want to..."

 "...get your a*s up out of that bed, I agree."  Colin said firmly.  "This is the f*cking way it's going to work, either you get the f*ck up, and get your a*s dressed, or I'll haul you out of this f*cking bedroom in your pjs.  Your choice."

  She turned and glared at him.  "That isn't a choice.  You're a d*mn bully, and..."

  Colin started counting, "10, 9, 8..."

  "And I'm not going anywhere with you!  I'm never going to leave this room, I can still feel him in here, his scent is still on the sheets."  Her voice cracked.  "I'm staying right here, where he is."

  "Julia, Rian is gone, and he f*cking wouldn't want you f*cking withering away like a dumba*s.  Last time, are you going willingly, or..."

  Julia turned away.  "I'm not going anywhere with you."

 "Suit yourself."  Colin strode over to the bed, and lifted her up.  She started screaming, and hitting him, he ignored her, and threw her over his shoulder.  The commotion brought the rest of the household over.

  "Dad, what are you doing?"  Skye asked in alarm.

  "We'll be back."  Colin said, and he marched right on by the family, and out the front door.  Ivory could f*cking fill them in, he had his arms full with Julia, who was still howling, kicking, and causing a scene.  Not that Colin cared two f*cks about that, but Julia might, once she pulled her head out of her a*s.

  The beach was just a short walk from the house, maybe half a mile or so, he drew a few odd looks from nearby passersby as he made his way to the Beach with a howling cat slung over his shoulder.  As he got closer to the Ocean, Julia started to settle down, so he plopped her down on a sand dune, and then sat down next to her.

  They sat silently for a long while, and Colin just let her be.  The weather had turned slightly, and a light rain was falling, it suited his mood just fine.  The Squirt could f*cking try the patience of a saint, and he wasn't one of those, but he knew she had f*cking less patience than he did.  He was sure she would cave first and break the silence.

  "I hate you."  She finally said, without any heat.

  "I know."  

  Julia swiped a tear from her eye.  "The last time I was on the beach, it was with Rian."  Her voice cracked.  "I miss him so much Grumpa, the pain of it is unbearable!"

  Colin sighed sadly.  "I know Squirt."

  She laughed bitterly.  "How would you know?  You have your love back, Grandma Ivory is alive, while, while, Rian is dead!"

  Colin scowled at her.  "How would I know?  How the f*ck would I know?"  He sputtered,"Well, d*mn, what about all those f*cking years when I thought she was dead?  Huh?  Sure, she's f*cking alive today, but I don't know for how f*cking long, you may have noticed she f*cking aged a little.

   I've got her back, only to f*cking lose her to death again.  It nearly f*cking killed me the first time!"  Colin was silent for a moment after his outburst.  He sighed heavily, and then said in a calmer tone of voice, "But Squirt, we can't f*cking bury ourselves just to try and f*cking protect us from pain, that's a sh*tty a*s way to live.  Without the f*cking risk of pain, there isn't the joy of love.  And I would f*cking do it all over again, even though it f*cking hurts like h*ll, just because I f*cking love her, and every f*cking day with her is a gift."

  Julia sniffed.  "Grumpa, I'm sorry, I..."  Seeking comfort from him like she had when she was a little girl, she scooted closer to him, and laid her head on his shoulder.  "I don't think I can be as strong as you."

  "That's f*cking nonsense."  Colin said gruffly.  "Look at all you have f*cking overcome, if that's not strength, I don't know what the f*ck is.  Besides, you have someone else to consider now, so you have to be strong for them."

  "Someone else?  What are you talking about Grumpa.  I'm not in the mood for one of your riddles or pranks."

  Colin rolled his eyes.  "What the f*ck? A prank at a time like this?  What kind of guy do you think I am?"

  "An a*s."

  He bumped her shoulder playfully.  "Maybe.  That doesn't change your truth."

  Julia shook her head.  "And what's that?"

  "You're pregnant."  He said bluntly.

  "The h*ll I am."

  "The h*ll you aren't."

  She lifted her head and stared at him.  "Why the h*ll would you say something like that?  I've been sick, yes, but that's because...because...because..."

  "'re pregnant."  Colin finished for her.  "I've been around pregnant women a time or two, you've got all the d*mn signs.  Which means, you need to f*cking take better care of yourself, you've got a baby to look after."

  Julia sat up.  "No f*cking way.  A baby?!  I'm not ready to have a baby, I'm not supposed to be a single mom!" She wailed.

  "Well, marry someone then.  Problem solved."

  "You can't be serious.  I'm never falling in love or getting married again."  She vowed.

  "Sounds lonely."

  "Hmph, if I ever feel lonely, there's ways of taking care of that, without falling in love."

   Colin sighed.  "Sh*t, done that and f*cking been there, it's not all it's cracked up to be, but you're so d*mn bull headed, I doubt anything I f*cking say right now would make a difference."

  Julia stood up, and brushed the sand off of herself.  "Thanks Grumpa.  You really know how to make a girl feel better."  She said sardonically.


  Colin smirked at her as he jumped up onto his feet.  "Well, I do my best."  He slung his arm around her.  "Now," he said conspiratorially, "let's keep that earlier little speech of mine to ourselves, shall we?  I have a f*cking reputation to maintain, can't have people thinking I'm f*cking whipped."

  Julia shook her head.  "You are unbelievable sometimes."

  He nodded his head.  "It's a gift."  He wagged his finger at her.  "No more bullsh*t, right?  Be sad, but don't f*cking act like you're dead.  Besides, if you don't change, your grandmother is going to whoop my a*s, or worse."

  Julia chuckled.  "You are so whipped Grumpa."

  Colin grinned at her.  "Sssh, not so loud!"


  Julia moaned in pleasure at the first bite of the cheeseburger.  Usually she preferred healthier eating, but lately she craved junk food.  Cheeseburgers specifically.

    It was the middle of the night, and she should be sleeping, but she found it hard to sleep.  When she slept, she dreamt, and more often than not, she dreamt of Rian, which always put her in a sour mood when she woke up and remembered that he was gone.

  She took another bite of her cheeseburger.  She was so mad at him.  Mad that he left her.  Mad that he died.  Mad that he didn't tell her everything.  Bella.  Somehow he must have known that she was pregnant, and that almost made it worse.

  Most of all though, she just missed him.

  She heard footsteps and glanced up mid-bite.  "Mmmhph"

  "Hey Princess, midnight snack?"

  She swallowed her bite of food.  "Hi Daddy, yeah, I have a weakness for cheeseburgers, the greasier the better, lately.  Why are you up?"

  "Nightmares."  He didn't elaborate, and Julia didn't ask.  She was just grateful that she hadn't lost her dad too, it had been touch and go for a while.  She tilted her head and looked at him, studying him as he rummaged around in the fridge looking for a midnight snack himself.  He had aged a lot since the confrontation with his mother, and it scared her.  He grabbed a plate of what looked like waffles, and turned towards her.  "Mind if I join you?"

  "No, please do."

  He sat down beside her.  "How are you feeling?"

  Julia shrugged.  "Okay, I guess.  How are you and Mom?"  While her parents were still silent and awkward around each other, at least her dad had finally moved back into their bedroom, and was no longer sleeping on the couch.  Julia took that as a good sign.

  "Dealing."  He smiled briefly.  "I'm giving her some space, I really hurt her, and there's no way I can undo that."

  Julia sighed.  "I can't believe I'm going to give my Dad some advice on his love life, but here goes, sometimes Dad, space is not what we need.  Look at Grumpa, he ignored my desire for more space, and instead kicked me in the a*s by dragging me, literally kicking and screaming, out of the house."  She finished off her cheeseburger.  "It's what I needed, even if I didn't think so at that moment.  Maybe that is what Mom needs."

  "Hmm."  He grunted as he stared at the food in front of him.  "I don't know Julia, I don't think she'd react well to me hauling her out of the house over my shoulder..."

  Julia giggled at that image.  No her mother would be less than pleased if he did that.  "Not exactly what I had in mind. You sleep in the same bed right?"  She nudged him playfully.  "Well, I'd work with that."  She stood up, and grabbed her plate.  "What happens next is between you two.  I don't want to hear about it."  She smiled at him, and he smiled back.  With that said, Julia rinsed her dish off, and then kissed her dad on the cheek.  "I'm going back to bed.  Love ya Daddy."

  "Love you too."


   "So what does this do?"  Julia asked, pointing at some buttons that blinked and glowed.


    Jack answered with a distracted grunt.  He was trying to analyze the chromosomes of this strange seed he had come across one day while hiking.  It was unlike any seed he had ever seen before, it seemed to have replicating abilities, and would turn into whatever it was fed.  It was quite a puzzle, and Jack loved puzzles.  At least it was something to do besides worry over the lack of a reply from Maxine.

  He had never worried if a few months went by without a reply, he knew she was busy, busy like he used to be.  She belonged to Doctor's without Borders, an organization that sent medical personal around the world to help out other less fortunate people, and that kept her plenty occupied, but it had been nearly two years since he had last heard from her.

  They had met in highschool, as Sophmores, she was the new kid, and had been assigned as his lab partner for the year.  She had been nearly as shy as he was, but once they had both figured out their mutual love of science, they had become instant friends. Jack didn't have many friends, most people thought he was slightly odd, and they had no idea what he was talking about.  His family humored him, but Maxine, she had not humored him, but instead, she had actually understood what he was saying, and added to his knowledge of many different subjects.

  They could spend hours discussing the merits of white holes versus black holes, or even how crazy the theory of an Ekpyrotic Universe was.  If Jack had believed that love was real, and not just a biochemical reaction in the brain, he would have said he loved her, but of course it wasn't, so he didn't.

  She was the only girl that he wasn't related to, that he hadn't felt terribly awkward around.

  Though, none of that mattered now, it was all ancient history.  She had wanted to travel, see the world, become a doctor and help others; but he hadn't been able to go with her, his family had needed him.  They had never been officially more than friends, even what happened on Graduation night hadn't changed that, the next morning had come...and he let her go without a word.  Really, what could he have said?  Their lives had been on different trajectories. 

  Jack stared at his computer screen.  Maybe she had finally gotten married.  He had always expected that she would.  Every letter of hers that he had ever read, that had always been in the back of his mind.  He'd had a scare once, not that he would ever begrudge her, her happiness, she deserved to be happy, but when she had written to tell him that she'd had a daughter, he had expected her to announce she was married too.

  He had refused to analyze his feelings when he found out that she wasn't married, and that the father of her baby wasn't involved.  Jack wasn't good with emotions, those were best left to someone more like his sisters.  He would stick with logic, it made more sense.

  A whirring noise snapped him out of his thoughts, he glanced up from his screen to see that Julia had managed to open up his bot tuning station.  "Ahhh!  Julia!  Stop!  What are you doing?!"


   She glanced over her shoulder at him.  "I asked you what those buttons were for, but you ignored me, so I decided to find out."

  Jack sighed.  He felt for his niece, he truly did.  She had been through a lot, but her boredom was going to drive him bonkers.  He didn't know why she had decided to attach herself to him, and ask endless questions about what was this?; and what did that do?.  He only had one rule for her though, not that she ever listened to it.  "What have I told you about touching things?" he grumbled.  "That machine is very delicate, I can't have you pushing buttons willy nilly."

  She walked towards him.  "So it builds robots like Bob?"

  Jack nodded.  "It's more simple, user friendly, that way any one could build a bot, not just me, but it's temperamental, I haven't worked all the bugs out of it yet."

  "So I could..."

  Jack interrupted her.  "No, you can't, no touching remember?  It's not ready.  When it is you'll be the first one I notify."

  "So what were you thinking about?"  Julia asked, curious.  Usually when he ignored her, it was because he was completely involved in whatever project he was working on, except this time, he had just been staring at the screen, motionless.  Bella chose that moment to make her presence known to her mother, and Julia rubbed her tummy.  "There, there, little one."  She whispered softly.


   Jack blushed and stammered.  "Nuh...nuh...nothing."

  "Who is she?"

  He frowned at her, his cheeks still bright red.  "What makes you think I was thinking about a female?"

  Julia chuckled.  "I don't know," she teased him, "those pink cheeks of yours?"

  Flustered, Jack covered his cheeks.  One of the hazards of having so little pigmentation in his skin, was when his sympathetic nervous system kicked in due to the levels of cortisol in his blood, it caused the blood vessels to widen in his face, which increased the blood flow to his skin, which caused him to...blush.  It was disconcerting.  "She is..."  He was going to say not important, but that would be a lie.

  "Well, Uncle Jack, if I were you, I'd call her and ask her out on a date."

  Call Maxine?  Preposterous.  She didn't own a phone.  But maybe he would break with tradition, and write her another letter, even though she hadn't responded yet to his last one.  He noted Julia's interested expression, and decided it was time for a little distraction.  "I need some fresh air, how about we go for a walk on the beach?"  Maybe if he explained the molecular structure of Ocean water again, she would leave him in peace for a while? 


  Her daughter's cries woke her up from a lovely dream.  In her dream, it had been a warm night, with a full moon and a sky filled with shimmering stars.  Rian was holding her close, and they were swaying to the Nat King Cole song, "Unforgettable".  It had been so real too, so real, that it had taken her several moments after waking up to realize she had been dreaming, and then reality had crashed in.  Rian was gone.  That thought still had the power to hurt.


  As she cuddled her daughter, she couldn't help but think of him.  Her emotions ran the gamut, everything to what it would have been like if he had lived, to being p*ssed off all over again at him for not telling her everything he knew.  And then she would feel guilty for being so p*ssed at him. 

  She loved him.  She hated him.  She missed him.  She wished she had never met him.  She was glad she had known him, loved him. 

  A regular see saw of messy emotions.

  Her family tried to help, indeed, sometimes she had to fight them for time alone with Bella, someone was always holding her, but it still wasn't the same.  Rian was supposed to be the one with her.  They would have taken turns getting up in the middle of the night, and they could have shared all of Bella's firsts.  Her first smile.  Her first tooth.  Her first step.  Her first day of school.  Her first boyfriend.  Her first broken heart.

  Her thoughts were driving her mad. 

  Bella started to fuss again, and Julia gently rocked her in her arms.  "Ssshh baby, don't you fret, we can do this."  She looked down into her daughter's tiny face, at her crystaline blue eyes, the same color as Rian's.  Julia choked down a sob, but couldn't stop the tears from falling.  She missed him so much.


   Her grumpa had assured her that it would get better with time, but Julia had her doubts.  How could she move on, when everywhere she looked, she could see him?


 "Okay, now f*cking open your eyes."  Ivory opened her eyes, and stared.  She was speechless.


   "What in the h*ll have you done Romeo?"

  Colin grinned at her.  "I promised you a f*cking house with a black picket fence, now didn't I?  I'm a man of my f*cking word.  So, surprise Angel!  I had this f*cking house built just for you."

  "I don't know what to say." In front of her was the house of her dreams, and it was completely surrounded by an...honest to goodness black picket fence.  And was that a...carousel?  In the front yard?!

  Colin scratched his chin thoughtfully.  "I may have gone a tad overboard."

  Ivory smiled.  "A tad?"

  He shrugged.  "Okay, maybe more than a f*cking tad.  I thought a new house would do all of us f*cking wonders, not just you and me, but the whole d*mn family, no old memories, only new ones."

   Ivory just had to ask.  "Why is there a carousel in the front yard?"

  "You told me once that you wanted to ride the f*cking carousel.  So," he pointed at the carousel, "there it is."

  Ivory shook her head.  "Maybe when I was four!"

  "Come on Angel, let's f*cking go for a ride, you know you want to."

  Ivory eyed him suspiciously.  "I don't trust that glint in your eye."

  Colin feigned innocence.  "What?! D*mn Angel, you're f*cking tough on a guy's ego."


    "What are you cooking up in that devious little mind of yours?"

   Colin winked.  "Well, since you asked."  He leaned in closer to her, and started nuzzling her neck.  "I do have some great f*cking ideas about breaking that carousel in..."


  Notes:  Ivory riding a carousel:

    I really wanted them to ride it together, together, on the same horse, just because I thought it would be cute.  However, you can't do that with the store object.  Pity.  And yes, they have a carousel in front of their house now---for a little while anyway.  I had all this space and I thought, why not?  Who doesn't want a carousel in their front yard, lol

  Also--Colin on the carousel, doesn't he look like he's having fun?!  lol

  Julia is having a tough time saying goodbye.  But hey---Gen 10 has officially been born!!!!  Woot!  It's hard to believe I started this legacy over 3 yrs ago---and I'm finally approaching the finish line.  Approaching, but no where near it yet, lol

  And yes, they moved again---the lot they had was so glitchy it was driving me crazy.  The town was a mess too, so I just saved the main legacy family, and started a new save in Sunlit Tides, which is why (sadly!!!) I had to say goodbye to Alder and Ryder (among many others).  =( 

  Also--Christmas Card--


  Thanks for reading! =)