The Kitten, the Witches and the Bad Wardrobe - Willow & Tara Forever

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 Post subject: Re: Family Confidential - The Final Quarter (September 14th)
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 5:00 am 
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Ms. Moderator Fantastico
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Will's redemption

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:whip Dibs! :whip


Amazing!

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Wow, I didn't expect such a "steamy" update! :drool


:D

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:laugh Equal parts sexy and funny!


You gotta laugh!

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I like that their increased physical intimacy doesn't just dissolve the disagreement they had regarding the pregnancy. I'm wondering if they know about Emily's decision to give birth to and raise the baby already? I guess it could help Willow to know that so she could research the options Emily might still have for her education, college programs for young (single) parents or something like that.


All to come, promise!

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I'm a bit unclear about the timeline, but shouldn't Willow's 50th birthday be just a few days away? I'd expect that at least JJ (maybe Cleo too) and Kayden are planning to visit for a celebration. I'm wondering if Emily is going to tell them about her pregnancy and if she'll tell Robyn via holographic phone or something.


It's a comin'! Emily got pregnant early January so we're definitely very close to that,

Thanks for your feedback!

Finey_McFine

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This made me LOL so hard.


I'm glad!

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While I'm happy for Lily and her auditions at Julliard, I still feel like Willow should have told Tara. I know they weren't really communicating, but she still should have told her and asked her to keep it on the DL. Maybe I'm just paranoid but NYC from Buffalo is a long trip to take with no one knowing where you are. From the time Tara called Willow, until she and Lily actually showed up at the hospital, must have felt like FOREVER to Tara. I don't blame her at all for her reaction when they finally arrived.


I agree, she should absolutely have told Tara!

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Ok, moving on. It's a shame it took something tragic to get the twins speaking again, but sometimes that vicious slap of reality, and possible death, is what it takes to make people realize what they mean to each other. Honestly, I can't believe Lily was that dense as to just figure out they're so different, lol.


She knew they were different she just thought they shared the same dream.

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The Robyn revelation as being the slut puppy...LOL. So funny that Tara is STILL finding empty condom packages in the couch cushions. Every parent's worst nightmare, but hey...at least she used protection!


I think Tara was almost relieved to find it!

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I think now that Willow and Tara are reconnecting, the "situation" will improve...for everyone. It's the only way they will ALL be able to move forward. Teen pregnancy isn't the end unless that person has no support. No matter what Emily decides, she will most definitely have the support of her parents. It'll be a rough start but I think in the end, she'll really grow as a person and claim her individuality.


Hard agree :)

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Until next time...
-JMT


:bigkiss

Thanks for your feedback!

MotherD

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YES,....YES,...OH YES!
Wait,....the ladies already have that covered!!

:D

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Willow “You want to come byte?” “Come a little closer and I’ll show you my finger commands.”
Nerds can SO be sexy!


YUP! :D :D :D

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Excellent and just what I needed.


Yay! :D

Thanks so much for commenting!



Update Directly Below

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 Post subject: Re: Family Confidential - The Final Quarter (September 14th)
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 5:00 am 
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Ms. Moderator Fantastico
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Chapter Ten




Lily’s steps were heavy with frustration as she pounded down the stairs.


“Mom, Emily is puking again,” she called in annoyance as she brushed past Tara and Willow sitting on the couch and fell into a beanbag with an exaggerated sigh.


“Some compassion for your sister please,” Tara said with some side-eye as she squeezed Willow’s hand before letting go to stand and head upstairs.


She went into the bathroom, where Emily was hunched over the toilet with the lid up.


“Oh, koala bear,” Tara comforted as she got onto her knees to rub Emily’s back, wincing as she knew they would punish her later. Emily groaned and retched so Tara dampened a washcloth and patted it against her forehead, “I know, sweetheart. I had this pretty bad with you and your sister.”


Emily's forehead slumped on the rim of the toilet and Tara grimaced whilst trying to move her daughter’s hair away.


“Did it stop?”


“Well, yes,” Tara replied with a slight frown, “When you were born.”


Emily groaned.


“But mine passed after the first trimester,” Willow’s voice came from the doorway, “And a lot of it is genetic.”


Both Emily and Tara jumped but Tara was quick to recover.


“That’s true,” she nodded encouragingly.


Willow held out her arms a bit helplessly.


“I brought ginger snaps.”


Emily took them unsurely. Willow recognized that look of pained reminiscence and guessed that name had been tossed at Emily once or twice in the past.


“I see the mean names haven’t changed since I was in school.”


Tara helped Emily up, and Willow helped Tara up. Tara patted the small of Emily’s back.


“Brush your teeth first, honey.”


Emily picked up her toothbrush and paused. She glanced over at Tara.


“C-Can we talk?”


“Of course,” Tara agreed with a swift nod.


In the doorway, Willow swung back and forth on her toes.


“Can I be in on the conversation?”


Tara’s eyes slowly looked at her daughter.


“If you’re comfortable, Emmy,” she said and even though it made Willow feel like a piece of shit, she kept silent.


She’d speak to Tara later about being made to feel like the junior partner again. This time, at least, she knew she contributed to the environment. But Emily was her daughter too and she deserved to be included.


Emily just nodded silently and turned toward the sink.


Tara stepped out and rotated her knees while she waited for Emily. Emily finished brushing her teeth and wandered into Willow and Tara’s room, where she curled up on the big bed and started to nibble on a ginger snap.


Tara came in on Emily’s side and put an arm around her waist. Willow hesitated, but then came in on the other side and rested her head on the pillow. This was a familiar position with all of their children. Any issue or worry was tackled head-on with a mom sandwich.


Willow could remember the last time she’d had each child in such a configuration.


The club of all family sandwiches when Woofy had died. They all barely fit and were snotting on top of each other but no one cared if a foot was in their face or they had to snuggle into a butt — they needed to be together like that.


JJ, a grown man whose feet fell off the end of the bed, availed during a brief break-up with Cleo in their second year of college during what had come to be known as The Cat Voodoo Incident.


Kayden, when he got his acceptance letter from MIT and realized that he and Dylan would have to break-up.


Robyn, when her application for the Peace Corps was initially rejected.


Lily, when she played a note wrong at her last piano recital.


And Emily, right around twelve weeks ago. For no apparent reason.


Willow glanced at Emily’s stomach, starting to show signs of what was happening inside.


The reason was apparent now.


By the time she realized she was staring, Tara and Emily were already mid-conversation.


“—having this baby in me is the only time I’ve felt strong because I have someone to be strong for.”


Willow blinked several times and looked at her daughter.


“Emily a baby is not an… an emotional crutch, it’s a real living human being. A helpless one at that.”


“She,” Emily said quietly with her chin on her chest.


“What?” Willow asked with a furrowed brow.


Emily’s eyes glanced up with something Willow rarely saw in her: defiance.


“She, not it.”


Willow felt slightly scolded and shrugged her outer shoulder uncomfortably.


“Have you truly considered all of your options?”


Emily nodded slowly.


“I can have an abortion,” she said matter-of-fact but then her eyes clouded over, “A r-real one this time. But I’m too late for the pills so it would be surgical.”


“Do you know what that entails, sweetie?” Tara asked gently.


Emily’s thumbs started spinning around each other.


“The doctor would use a suction thingy and…clean everything out in there.”


“And I would be there to hold your hand,” Tara said with a reassuring gaze.


Emily’s eyebrows rose softly in surprise.


“You could be there?”


Tara nodded evenly.


“I’ve done that for clients before.”


Willow’s eyebrows shot up and Emily’s head turned more toward Tara.


“What was it really like?”


“Quick,” Tara answered honestly.


Emily’s head settled back into the pillows and she stared up at the ceiling.


“I’ve thought about adoption and I think adoption is really great,” she continued, nibbling on the corner of her lip, “But then, the rest of my life, I’d know. And I don’t think I’m strong enough without the thing to be strong for.”


“You are,” Tara said with utter conviction, “You’re strong enough for anything. For any choice you make. You are strong.”


“Like an amazon,” Willow said automatically, but it was hollow.


“Strong like an amazon, right,” Tara smiled and nodded.


Emily crossed her arms over her chest, unconvinced.


“So I have two choices, really. I end the pregnancy or I… have a baby. And…I have no idea how my life would look with either of those choices. Except…”


She stopped and swallowed. Tara patted her arm.


“It’s okay, koala bear. Go ahead.”


Emily’s eyes glanced furtively toward Tara.


“Except I kinda do. I mean, I don’t know what I’d do or where I’d live or how I’d make money but I see her. I see a little girl who calls me M-Mama and runs up to me for a hug and I feel that love, I do.”


“And what does that love feel like?” Tara encouraged.


Tears filled Emily’s eyes.


“Like the greatest gift in the world.”


Tara smiled sadly and nodded quietly. On the other side of the bed, Willow held up a hand helplessly.


“Emmy…” she sighed deeply, “You’re still in high school.”


That same hand was thrown up dramatically.


“I knew we should never have let them skip that year! If you were still a junior this wouldn’t even be a question! You think just because you’re graduating that this is okay?”


“Willow…” Tara warned, though softly.


Willow looked over to her wife with pleading eyes.


“I’m trying, Tara,” she said with a desperate tone in her voice, “I was twenty-five when JJ came to us and if you hadn’t been around there was no way I could have coped. We took time off, we had to restructure our finances—”


“Willow,” Tara said again, more insistently and with a stern look across the bed before looking back at her daughter, “Emily. You do need to think about your future and what it would look like with a child. You will always have a home in this house but you need to know how you would support you both. You and only you know what is the right decision for you but you need to take everything on board to make that decision.”


Emily stared at Tara for a moment as her hand crept over her stomach. She looked back up to the ceiling and nodded. She then sat up.


“I have to finish some homework.”


“Okay, sweetheart,” Tara patted Emily’s back.


Emily stood and took the bag of ginger snaps with her. She looked in Willow’s direction but her eyes were on the floor and her hair was in her face. Considering she came from Willow’s genes, Willow was stunned sometimes by how much she could look like Tara.


“T-Thanks. These helped,” Emily said before turning on her heels and walking out of the room.


The door swung to an almost-shut position behind her and Tara slowly turned her head toward Willow as they remained laying on the bed.


Willow swallowed.


“I’m sorry,” she said and before Tara could comment, either way, she continued, “I just…I feel like everyone has these rose-tinted glasses! And I’m the only one who can see reality.”


“Willow, do you think I want our sixteen-year-old daughter to have a baby?” Tara asked in exasperation, “It’s not our decision.”


Willow’s cheeks flushed with frustration.


“Emily is going to you, talking to you and not me. It’s not fair! I’m always the lesser parent.”


“Because I’m listening to her, Willow,” Tara sighed, “Why would she approach you when all you do is tell her what a horrible situation she’s put us in instead of trying to navigate how she deals with it? Do you want to be a decade in the future and she never speaks to you at all because she blames you for making this choice for her?”


Willow suddenly got quiet.


“I didn’t know you did that.”


Tara frowned. At this point, with thirty years of experience on her back, she was pretty good at deciphering Willow’s conversation jumps, but that one flummoxed her.


“Did what?”


Willow’s eyes glanced around furtively.


“Been with clients who were getting an abortion.”


Tara nodded slowly.


“I support them however I can.”


Willow’s head turned on the pillow.


“Is that why this is so much easier for you?”


Tara laughed, but it was more of a bark.


“This isn’t easy for me,” she said, soft but unrelentingly intense, “I just recognize that it’s harder for Emily.”


Willow’s eyes creased. Tara put a hand on her wife’s cheek and turned on her side. She pressed her forehead to the side of Willow’s head and held her hand tight between them.


Outside, Emily wandered into her bedroom but didn’t do the homework she’d mentioned. She hadn’t been lying, she did need to finish it, but it could wait a few minutes while she was lost in thought.


She had almost laughed when Willow had asked her if she had considered her options. She’d thought of nothing else since those two lines had appeared on the test.


Though any medical procedure felt scary, she thought she could go through an abortion. Her Mom had been in the room for some and she wouldn’t lie or misrepresent if she thought it was horrible. Emily had had her appendix out at age eleven and the pain before had been a lot worse than the pain after. So she wasn’t afraid of the idea of surgery and she wouldn’t even need to be knocked out. It felt very do-able. Practically, at least.


She also knew that while she had visions of a baby, the pregnancy had not advanced far enough for that to be true yet. She wouldn’t be getting rid of a baby, she would be ending her pregnancy before it got to a point where it couldn’t be ended. Before her life was changed forever.


Except that had already happened. Emily knew she didn’t have a baby, that she wasn’t a mother and yet she still felt it and she liked how it felt. She’d never even been able to decide what she might major in during college, but this…this felt like a natural fit. She knew there was a million and one reasons why having a baby right now was the worst possible idea. But every time she touched her stomach, a tingle went through her and landed in her heart. And that felt stronger than all of the doubts being fired at her.


It was funny, she thought, that she’d been considering her options since that very first moment because all along she’d known in her heart what her decision would be.


She was having a baby.



Emily went to Tara first with her decision.


She came home from school when Lily was at drama class so it was just the two of them. Emily used to go to those drama classes too. And music, and dance. She never enjoyed them and she wasn’t very good at them either, but Lily went so she did as well. The few times she’d tried to get out of them, Lily had guilted her into going saying it was for their future but lately, Lily hadn’t even commented when Emily dropped them all. It had been oddly freeing and given Emily lots of time to think about things she actually wanted to do.


When she hung her bookbag up and wandered into the kitchen, Tara only had to take one look at Emily and knew. She’d known for days. Truly, she’d known since the start. Lily and Emily came from Tara’s body and from their very first cry she’d known them as much as one could know another person.


She silently strode across the kitchen and embraced Emily, kissing the top of her head.


Willow knew something was up when she got home from some business and Lily was devouring a pizza right out of the box in the living room. Tara only resorted to take-out on a weekday if absolutely necessary.


She said hello but Lily was engrossed in an old recording of the musical Hamilton and barely waved back.


“That thing came out before she was born but she loves it,” Willow commented as she walked into the kitchen, where Emily was sitting on a stool at the island and Tara was standing the other side, “I swear she went up a whole letter grade in American History just from knowing that thing off by heart.”


The room was silent and Willow slowly dropped her bag off from around her chest and to the floor. She opened her mouth to ask what was up, then closed it and swallowed.


She knew too.


“Oh,” she said and again had to swallow to find some moisture as she looked intently at Emily, “Are you sure?”


Emily just nodded.


“But I have a plan, Momma.”


Willow dragged herself over to the island and sat on another stool. Tara quickly had a cold beer placed in front of her. Willow glanced over furtively but gratefully and took a long swig.


“Okay, then. Tell me about this plan.”


Emily faced Willow and rubbed her palms nervously on her thighs.


“I know I need a way to pay for the baby so I’ve been looking up jobs that I could get. A-And it’s hard because someone will need to take care of the baby while I’m working. So I did some research and if I can get a job at the community college, I’ll have cheaper tuition and access to their daycare.”


Willow nodded slowly.


“What kind of job would you get there?”


Emily shifted in her seat.


“They need admin people or customer-facing roles, probably? I-I asked Marla for a recommendation. She said yes. I learned a lot when Lily and I spent that summer working in Sunnydale.”


“‘Working’ is a generous term for what Lily did, by all accounts,” Willow murmured with a small roll of her eyes, “But you haven’t even graduated high school yet.”


“I will in a couple of weeks,” Emily replied earnestly.


Willow’s cheeks puffed up and she blew out air.


“Even if they do decide to hire a pregnant teen,” she continued with more snark than intended, “How will they feel about you taking time off when the baby is born?”


Emily bounced lightly; still jittery under her mother’s probing.


“Um, that’s the best part. It’s a rolling 90-day contract on/off. They need it at peak times, so the summer months and the first three months of the year. It’s semester by semester.”


Willow’s eyes narrowed.


“That means you don’t get paid for half of the year, possibly more.”


“But she would be entitled to some supports, which I can help with,” Tara cut in and reached across to squeeze Emily’s arm.


Emily smiled gratefully.


“I have a budget,” she said, looking back at Willow with big, wide eyes like when she was a child and wanted to draw down her allowance, “And savings.”


Willow’s brows lifted gently.


“You do?”


Emily nodded quickly; nervously.


“I remembered all the stuff you taught us as kids about saving our allowance.”


Willow opened her mouth, then closed it again and frowned.


“How much is in that account? I don’t remember you ever making a withdrawal.”


Emily bit her lip and looked sheepish.


“Twelve thousand, four hundred, and two dollars.”


“Whoa,” Willow nearly fell off the chair and steadied herself and her gaze, “I did the same thing when I was your age, I saved all my money. It was a godsend when…”


She stopped and swallowed.


“You’ve clearly thought this through,” she nodded and tensed her jaw to say the next words, “Where will you live?”


Tara suddenly straightened up.


“She’ll live here.”


“You’ll pay rent,” Willow cut in, unable to meet Tara’s eye as she said so.


For good reason as Tara’s face looked like thunder.


“Willow, may I have a word?”


“No, Mom, it’s okay,” Emily waved her hands in front of her, “I-I should pay rent. I’ll work it out.”


“This is your home,” Tara insisted, “You won’t pay rent.”


Willow found the bravery to look at Tara, steely.


“Don’t undermine me.”


“Don’t be so unreasonable,” Tara shot back and Emily clutched her stomach.


“Please don’t fight.”


Willow and Tara broke their angry gaze and each took a long breath.


“Mom and I need to talk about some financials,” Willow said, trying to keep the calm in her voice, “But I know we’re both agreed that we want what’s best for you.”


She bit inside her lip and tried to let the angry feeling go.


“What would you study?”


Emily shrunk helplessly.


“I have no idea.”


Before anyone could dwell on that, Lily suddenly burst into the room, waving her phone and jumping around dramatically.


“I got in!”


“Lil, calm down,” Willow said, standing to guide Lily into calmness, “What are you talking about?”


Lily shoved her phone in Willow’s face. She could identify it was an email but Lily was waving it about too fast and too far away to tell what it actually said.


“Julliard!” Lily screeched, running on the spot just to express all of her energy, “I got into Julliard!”


Willow physically stumbled back.


“Oh my god.”


“Oh, sweetheart,” Tara rushed around to pull Lily into a hug.


Lily bounced around hugging people and punching the air and just generally flailing and dancing with complete and utter joy.


She tossed her arms up and jumped forward a whole foot.


“I have to go tell Emmett!”


She ran out of the room and Emily, whom Lily had spun around in all of her excitement, went green and clutched her stomach.


“Oh.”


“Come on,” Tara said and quickly rushed Emily out the door and into the bathroom.


Willow watched her family disappear, leaving her alone in the stool to contemplate their lives.


Her wife, for what felt like the first time ever, was not in the same lane as her. Their relationship had been better than weeks previous but this was still hanging over them and ‘this’ wasn’t going away. It was going to be there for the rest of their lives.


And her daughters were going down paths she hadn’t expected they’d go on and it was hard to see what the ends would be. Was Lily capable of the rigorous demands that Julliard would expect? Was Emily really going to raise a child before ever getting a college degree, barely a high school diploma at that?


Why couldn’t they all have just listened to her and met her reasonable, she thought, expectations?


And it was at that moment Willow realized that she had turned into her mother.

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 Post subject: Re: Family Confidential - The Final Quarter (September 16th)
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:40 am 
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6. Sassy Eggs

Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:01 am
Posts: 391
Dibs! :whip
Quote:
“—having this baby in me is the only time I’ve felt strong because I have someone to be strong for.”


Willow blinked several times and looked at her daughter.


“Emily a baby is not an… an emotional crutch, it’s a real living human being. A helpless one at that.”


“She,” Emily said quietly with her chin on her chest.


“What?” Willow asked with a furrowed brow.


Emily’s eyes glanced up with something Willow rarely saw in her: defiance.


“She, not it.”


Willow felt slightly scolded and shrugged her outer shoulder uncomfortably.

First I think that Willow is absolutely right with her first remark. Second the word baby is a neuter noun and I think it is okay to use the word baby no matter what sex it's going to have.

Quote:
“So I have two choices, really. I end the pregnancy or I… have a baby. And…I have no idea how my life would look with either of those choices. Except…”


She stopped and swallowed. Tara patted her arm.


“It’s okay, koala bear. Go ahead.”


Emily’s eyes glanced furtively toward Tara.


“Except I kinda do. I mean, I don’t know what I’d do or where I’d live or how I’d make money but I see her. I see a little girl who calls me M-Mama and runs up to me for a hug and I feel that love, I do.”


“And what does that love feel like?” Tara encouraged.


Tears filled Emily’s eyes.


“Like the greatest gift in the world.”

Quote:
Emily knew she didn’t have a baby, that she wasn’t a mother and yet she still felt it and she liked how it felt. She’d never even been able to decide what she might major in during college, but this…this felt like a natural fit. She knew there was a million and one reasons why having a baby right now was the worst possible idea. But every time she touched her stomach, a tingle went through her and landed in her heart. And that felt stronger than all of the doubts being fired at her.


It was funny, she thought, that she’d been considering her options since that very first moment because all along she’d known in her heart what her decision would be.


She was having a baby.

Well, Emily obviously has the same caring and nurturing nature as Tara. So I trust she can be a good mother even at her young age (in contrast to her I couldn't imagine Lily having a baby).

I think Willow is totally right to ask for and even critically scrutinize Emily's plans. Now she has decided to keep the baby she has to take responsibility for her and the baby's life. With this decision she kind of chose to prematurely become an adult. She should be able to count on her mothers and the rest of the family as a support network, but the main responsibility is hers.

Quote:
“Where will you live?”


Tara suddenly straightened up.


“She’ll live here.”


“You’ll pay rent,” Willow cut in, unable to meet Tara’s eye as she said so.


For good reason as Tara’s face looked like thunder.


“Willow, may I have a word?”


“No, Mom, it’s okay,” Emily waved her hands in front of her, “I-I should pay rent. I’ll work it out.”


“This is your home,” Tara insisted, “You won’t pay rent.”


Willow found the bravery to look at Tara, steely.


“Don’t undermine me.”


“Don’t be so unreasonable,” Tara shot back and Emily clutched her stomach.


“Please don’t fight.”

Although the end of the chapter could indicate that Willow will regret everything she said and "take it back", in my eyes it's totally justified to let Emily pay some (moderate, affordable for her income) rent. (As could be asked from an adult kid with an own income who is still living in its parents house, either).

Quote:
Before anyone could dwell on that, Lily suddenly burst into the room, waving her phone and jumping around dramatically.


“I got in!”


“Lil, calm down,” Willow said, standing to guide Lily into calmness, “What are you talking about?”


Lily shoved her phone in Willow’s face. She could identify it was an email but Lily was waving it about too fast and too far away to tell what it actually said.


“Julliard!” Lily screeched, running on the spot just to express all of her energy, “I got into Julliard!”


Willow physically stumbled back.


“Oh my god.”


“Oh, sweetheart,” Tara rushed around to pull Lily into a hug.


Lily bounced around hugging people and punching the air and just generally flailing and dancing with complete and utter joy.


She tossed her arms up and jumped forward a whole foot.

:applause Yay, good for Lily! I just hope that the reality of the education in Julliard won't disappoint Lily and that she will be able to fulfil her dreams of becoming an actress (maybe not a big movie star, but a theater actress).

Quote:
And her daughters were going down paths she hadn’t expected they’d go on and it was hard to see what the ends would be. Was Lily capable of the rigorous demands that Julliard would expect? Was Emily really going to raise a child before ever getting a college degree, barely a high school diploma at that?

All understandable worries for a mother in my opinion.

Quote:
Why couldn’t they all have just listened to her and met her reasonable, she thought, expectations?


And it was at that moment Willow realized that she had turned into her mother.

Ouch. I think that Willow is too hard on herself here. Yes, she has distanced herself emotionally a bit from the situation to counteract Tara's reaction which she feels to be too emotional, trying to be the "rational" parent. But I think she is a long way from becoming a cold hearted bitch like Sheila.

I actually kind of hope that her "realization" won't make her totally "cave in" now and defer all decisions concerning Emily and the baby to Tara, choosing the "junior partner" role out of remorse. She still has the right to voice some concerns, demand financial contribution from Emily etc. But she should talk about a compromise between their differing views with Tara before they have another talk with Emily about it. And if Willow became more emotionally available for Emily again with hugs and "I love you"s and promises of supporting her with raising the baby it would be good for herself, Emily and the whole family.


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 Post subject: Re: Family Confidential - The Final Quarter (September 16th)
PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 11:17 pm 
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6. Sassy Eggs

Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:01 am
Posts: 391
When I was rereading the chapter, the following passages had me thinking some more:
Quote:
“Is that why this is so much easier for you?”


Tara laughed, but it was more of a bark.


“This isn’t easy for me,” she said, soft but unrelentingly intense, “I just recognize that it’s harder for Emily.”

Quote:
She’d known for days. Truly, she’d known since the start. Lily and Emily came from Tara’s body and from their very first cry she’d known them as much as one could know another person.

I've formed a theory: Consciously Tara might believe that the situation is as difficult for her as for Willow and that she just copes with it better because she has a closer bond with Emily and more empathy for Emily's feelings and needs. But I think subconsciously it is significantly easier for Tara than for Willow to accept and support Emily' decision to keep the baby because Tara would have made the same decision in Emily's situation. We know that Tara saw herself as a future mother practically since childhood. There is no way she would have gotten an abortion, she probably would have run away so her father couldn't force her to do it.
Whereas Willow would have most certainly chosen to have an abortion as quickly as possible - (even without taking Sheila's influence into account) because back then her education and the need to excel in that was the most important thing in her life. She didn't even imagine being a mother sometime in the future before she fell in love with Tara.

I'm not a mother myself, but I'm pretty sure it's always easier to accept a decision of your kid if you would have made the same decision yourself.


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 Post subject: Re: Family Confidential - The Final Quarter (September 16th)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:00 pm 
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Will's redemption

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Dibs! :whip


Yay!

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First I think that Willow is absolutely right with her first remark


Agree!

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Second the word baby is a neuter noun and I think it is okay to use the word baby no matter what sex it's going to have.


She objected more to 'it' despite the 'it' referring to the word 'baby'.

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Well, Emily obviously has the same caring and nurturing nature as Tara. So I trust she can be a good mother even at her young age (in contrast to her I couldn't imagine Lily having a baby).


Lily having a baby is definitely...unwise!

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I think Willow is totally right to ask for and even critically scrutinize Emily's plans. Now she has decided to keep the baby she has to take responsibility for her and the baby's life. With this decision she kind of chose to prematurely become an adult. She should be able to count on her mothers and the rest of the family as a support network, but the main responsibility is hers.


Without a doubt!

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Although the end of the chapter could indicate that Willow will regret everything she said and "take it back", in my eyes it's totally justified to let Emily pay some (moderate, affordable for her income) rent. (As could be asked from an adult kid with an own income who is still living in its parents house, either).


There are lots of households that do this and it works very well. It's one of those topics that tends to be very divisive!

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:applause Yay, good for Lily! I just hope that the reality of the education in Julliard won't disappoint Lily and that she will be able to fulfil her dreams of becoming an actress (maybe not a big movie star, but a theater actress).


Without a doubt, she has the best shot of it now!

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All understandable worries for a mother in my opinion.


Very valid concerns

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Ouch. I think that Willow is too hard on herself here. Yes, she has distanced herself emotionally a bit from the situation to counteract Tara's reaction which she feels to be too emotional, trying to be the "rational" parent. But I think she is a long way from becoming a cold hearted bitch like Sheila.


Me too. Willow isn't capable of being like Sheila but it's still important to recognize those traits.

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I actually kind of hope that her "realization" won't make her totally "cave in" now and defer all decisions concerning Emily and the baby to Tara, choosing the "junior partner" role out of remorse. She still has the right to voice some concerns, demand financial contribution from Emily etc. But she should talk about a compromise between their differing views with Tara before they have another talk with Emily about it. And if Willow became more emotionally available for Emily again with hugs and "I love you"s and promises of supporting her with raising the baby it would be good for herself, Emily and the whole family.


I want Willow to be an equal participant, always have! :)

Quote:
I've formed a theory: Consciously Tara might believe that the situation is as difficult for her as for Willow and that she just copes with it better because she has a closer bond with Emily and more empathy for Emily's feelings and needs. But I think subconsciously it is significantly easier for Tara than for Willow to accept and support Emily' decision to keep the baby because Tara would have made the same decision in Emily's situation. We know that Tara saw herself as a future mother practically since childhood. There is no way she would have gotten an abortion, she probably would have run away so her father couldn't force her to do it.
Whereas Willow would have most certainly chosen to have an abortion as quickly as possible - (even without taking Sheila's influence into account) because back then her education and the need to excel in that was the most important thing in her life. She didn't even imagine being a mother sometime in the future before she fell in love with Tara.

I'm not a mother myself, but I'm pretty sure it's always easier to accept a decision of your kid if you would have made the same decision yourself.


This is an INCREDIBLE theory and I 1000% sign off on it!

Thanks so much for the feedback!



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 Post subject: Re: Family Confidential - The Final Quarter (September 16th)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:00 pm 
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Chapter Eleven




Willow sat in her armchair, staring blankly ahead through the bay window in the living room.


The sun was setting on the week and she didn’t feel any clearer about anything.


Grandmother, she thought.


I’m going to be a grandmother.


In the end, Emily telling them she was going to keep the baby had been a bit of an anticlimax.


With the news in the same moments of Lily’s acceptance in Julliard, her emotions were pushing and pulling her every which direction. She had decided for sure though, that she would not be the mother to children that her mother was to her. So here she was, looking out the window and wishing there wasn’t a civil war going on inside her soul.


At least she and Tara weren’t fighting anymore. They had different views on how much financial support they would give Emily but they did agree that they would pay for any medical expenses and also that whatever was left in Emily’s college fund after her reduced tuition costs would roll over into a new account for the baby.


The baby, Willow thought.


She definitely didn’t have her head around that yet.


But she was trying to be supportive of Emily’s plan because at least it involved her getting some kind of education. She would make sure her words would say all of the things her heart couldn’t yet.


The doorbell rang and Willow had to shake herself out of her stupor. She stood, stretching her hamstrings, and felt a soft pop on her right knee. She groaned lightly and she didn’t even know if it was in pain or satisfaction. That’s how all of her joints felt lately.


Probably because she’d be fifty in a few days.


With everything else going on, she hadn’t had time to process that at all. Never fear, her body was quick to remind her and did so with every step to the front door.


She figured it would be a neighborhood kid who lost his ball or a charity worker there to pester them into a subscription since Robyn had given every single one in the state their address. Or possibly Lily, having forgotten her keys again — a habit she’d inherited from her Zayde.


Instead there stood a tall man with wavy brown hair and a short, scruffy beard with a backpack over one shoulder.


“Kayden!” Willow exclaimed, throwing her arms around him so quickly her glasses almost flew off. She pushed them back up as she stood back and smiled, “What are you doing here?”


“Happy Birthday!” Kayden laughed easily and leaned in to kiss Willow’s cheek.


Willow held her hands over her heart.


“It’s not until Sunday.”


Kayden shrugged one shoulder and smiled.


“I took a long weekend.”


“K-Kayden?” Emily’s voice came from behind, on the stairs.


Kayden walked in and dropped his bag by the coat rack.


“Hey, little sis,” he greeted warmly, wrapping Emily into a hugged as she walked, dazed down the stairs.


Willow fussed about getting Kayden’s coat from him.


“Your mother’s going to be so happy to see you. Have you eaten? Mom will be home soon and we can have dinner but I can get you a snack.”


“I’m fine, Momma,” Kayden started to dismiss, only for Emily to look at him intently and he nodded, “Uh, can I get a drink? Some uh…Kool-Aid?”


Willow frowned slightly.


“Um, sure,” she agreed, wandering into the kitchen, “We probably have some…somewhere.”


Kayden brought Emily into the living room and closed over the door before sitting beside her on the couch.


“Okay, kiddo,” he said, arching one perfectly sculpted eyebrow, “What the heck is up that you needed me to come out here so quick?”


It took Willow quite a while to make up a pitcher of drink for Kayden but eventually, she found something in-date at the back of the pantry. She stirred it all up and brought it into the living room with two cups under her arm.


“Well, it’s Crystal Light but I didn’t think you’d discriminate.”


She placed them all down on the coffee table and straightened up.


“What’s going on,” she asked when she saw the looks on both of their faces, then put it together, “Oh. You told him.”


Kayden’s mouth was permanently open.


“…wow.”


“Yeah,” Willow swallowed.


“Y-Yeah,” Emily gulped.


“Honeys, I’m home,” Tara’s voice came after the rattle of the key In the door, “Sorry I’m late, I got caught up in a case.”


Kayden had to blink rapidly as he knew he had about three seconds before a screaming hug was going to be directed at him and just about managed to stand before it came through.


“Kayden!” Tara exclaimed, throwing her arms around him and kissing his cheek, “What a surprise!”


She pulled away beaming, then read the room.


“Oh,” she repeated in a softer tone than Willow had, “Okay. Well…this is good.”


Tara reached out and rubbed Emily’s arm.


“Well done, sweetheart. That was very brave. Kayden, are you okay?”


“I mean, yeah,” Kayden shook his head quickly to pull himself back and put an arm around Emily, “I’ll be there however I can. I’ve got you, Emily.”


“We all do,” Tara said with a promising smile.


There was the sudden bang of a palm on the door, then a yell.


“I lost my keys!”


Willow looked pained but Kayden offered to go and answer it.


“And there’s the Julliard girl!”


Lily looked startled for a moment, then her face lit up.


“Kay!” she screeched, jumping up into his arms and pulling back to grin at him. “Did you have a fluffah-nuttah for lunch?”


Kayden gave a wry smile.


“You know a joke doesn’t get more funny just because you keep saying it.”


“Momma, take note,” Lily called out.


The other three came out from the living room. Emily looked a little ashen-faced and Willow scowled.


“How did you turn his diss around on me?”


“Skills,” Lily retorted with a grin, “Can we eat? I’m starving. I worked up an appetite spending the afternoon with Emmett.”


Willow groaned and threw her hands up before marching off to the kitchen with Tara quickly following her.


Lily held her hands up innocently.


“I don’t know what she’s groaning about. All we did was play Dance, Dance Revolution.”


Kayden arched an eyebrow.


“You know what you did.”


Lily flipped her hair.


“What can I say?” she said, rolling her arms and tossing them up dramatically, “I’m a star.”


Kayden put a big hand on Lily’s shoulder and offered a genuine smile.


“Congratulations Lil. You did amazing.”


He put his other hand on Emily’s shoulder.


“You too,” he said sincerely, “What you’re doing is extraordinary.”


He slid around so an arm went under each of them.


“Let’s go eat Mom’s delicious dinner.”


“Momma cooked,” Emily informed them while adjusting her glasses.


Kayden nodded evenly.


“Let’s go eat Momma’s dinner.”


He and Lily laughed.


Kayden walked out with both of his sisters under his arms, making them feel safe; remembering once again that the best thing about being a big brother was having little sisters.


And now, a niece.


Emily closed her eyes as she sat at the table and blended into the conversation but she was distracted by a single thought. It had come from nowhere but now stuck around like a bad smell, lingering and making her feel unsure how to proceed.


Adam. His name was Adam.


She was going to have to plug her nose and ignore it.


That was one complication too much for her.



Kayden and Emily sat in the back yard on a blanket with their sketchbooks, a situation they’d found themselves in many times on nice Spring or Summer day growing up. They liked to sketch the clouds or the ladybugs on the grass or the way Woofy would play with the birds; actually play, never aggressive.


Kayden watched Miss Kitty Fantastico stake out the birdbath and though he was fond of the little thing, he would never get over the loss of that dog. His eyes went over to the spot of his burial with the bone-shaped headstone and said a silent Hebrew honorific for his old pal.


Though he had never officially converted to Judaism, he’d never felt like he’d needed to either. Ira had taught him a lot and Willow had taught him some too and he picked up a lot just from conversations around the table. He would never forget the first time he was asked to say the Shabbat blessing. It had spoken to a place deep inside him and he did everything he could to embrace his family’s culture since then.


He even studied Hebrew in college, which JJ joked was when he officially became The Favorite Grandson, but he never doubted for one second that Ira loved each of them equally. That meant a lot to him from the person who had shown him how to be a man.


“Hey Em, can you pass me the russet pencil?”


Emily passed it over with a sad smile.


“Drawing Woofy?”


Kayden smiled the same way back and nodded.


“He’d love that Momma hasn’t mowed the grass.”


Emily nodded fondly.


“He liked to hide and scare the birds.”


“I swear he learned it from Robyn jumping out at us all the time,” Kayden laughed.


They both continued to sketch thoughtfully.


“So how’s school going?” Kayden asked after some more time passed.


Emily’s lips pursed uncomfortably. Her stomach was starting to stick out but she’d just been thrown a few comments along the lines of ‘putting on the freshman fifteen before you’re even a freshman’.


“Nobody suspects,” she replied quietly, “They would never suspect. One time Lily ate an extra taco at lunch and by fifth period she was dropping out to go on that MTV show but they never suspect that I’m the one who became the disappointment.”


Kayden let his pencil roll away and Miss Kitty started to bat it around.


“Hey…” he said tenderly and enclosed her in a hug from behind, “You made a mistake. And you had your reasons. You’re not a disappointment. You’re my favorite littlest sister ever.”


Emily couldn’t help but smile. She’d always felt her sensitive soul and Kayden’s sensitive soul were linked and him hugging her like this, originally when she was much smaller and would fit right into the crook of his body, always made her feel safe.


“Emily, can I ask who the fa—”


Suddenly there was the sound of screaming from inside the house and Kayden and Emily shared a concerned look. They jumped up and ran into the house, where JJ was picking Willow up off her feet in a hug while Tara looked on with joy to see her baby.


“A boy can’t surprise his Momma for her birthday?”


He put her down and spied Kayden and Emily. His eyes widened and he strode over, holding his hand out for Kayden to shake. He pulled him into a hug.


“Why didn’t you tell me you were coming up too bro?” he asked and lowered his voice with an arched eyebrow, “Kinda stole my thunder.”


“Got a last-minute train,” Kayden nodded and gave the same look back, “What about you?”


“I’ve had a busy week,” JJ defended and had a hint of a smirk on his face, “It ran rings around me.”


It took a moment, then Kayden’s eyes widened.


“No way.”


“Shush, shush,” JJ whispered and cast a furtive look around.


Kayden’s smile lit up his face.


“Finally. How long have you had that thing?”


JJ rolled his eyes.


“Yeah, yeah. Not a word,” he said insistently and released Kayden to shout back, “I’m gonna go check out the fridge.”


“Some things never change,” Willow commented with a shake of her head and Tara lightly tapped her shoulder to let him go.


Cleo arrived through the door while hanging up her cell phone.


“Sorry. Rabbit swallowed a Lego head. Pooped it out. Crisis averted! Hi everyone!”


Willow and Tara went to hug Cleo while Emily looked up curiously.


She remembered having that same worry once when Miss Kitty had a UTI and she’d stayed up all night to make sure the cat took in enough water. The feeling of relief in the morning when there were no more mews of pain had been ecstasy-inducing in Emily.


“I-It must be fun to be relieved something pooped.”


Cleo chuckled good-naturedly.


“Make fun of me all you want.”


Emily frowned and averted her gaze.


“I-I’m not.”


Before Cleo could react, Kayden was wrapping her in a big bear hug.


“Hey, you,” she smiled in surprise, “What are you doing here?”


Kayden just grinned.


“JJ told me.”


Cleo’s eyes widened and she angled them away from the rest of the family.


“Big mouth. We were supposed to tell everyone together.”


“I did help pick out the ring,” Kayden argued and bumped Cleo’s shoulder.


Cleo couldn’t help but grin back.


“In that case, you’re my favorite soon-to-be brother-in-law ever. It's a dream.”


Kayden chuckled but it ended in a sigh. His eyes cast over Cleo’s shoulder and back at her.


“Emily told me that she told you.”


Cleo’s eyes clouded over. Kayden lowered his voice and cocked his head toward the kitchen.


“Does he know?”


Cleo shook her head.


“No idea,” she said with a pained look on her face, “I was literally about to tell him when he proposed. We were standing on the bridge over the pond in Central Park. We were talking all about family. I thought it was the perfect moment and apparently so did he.”


Kayden puffed up his cheeks and blew out some air. He squeezed Cleo’s shoulder.


“Congratulations,” he said sincerely then shot her a wide-eyed look, “This weekend is going to be chaos.”


“What’s new?” Cleo asked with an arched eyebrow, then kicked Kayden’s shoe, “I miss you. Why don’t you come to New York more often?”


“Why don’t you come to Boston?” Kayden countered.


Cleo waggled a finger.


“Because I work night shifts and don’t make your big architect money. Your turn.”


Kayden smiled sheepishly.


“I’m scared of your Mami.”


Cleo’s mouth spread in a grin.


“Fair.”


“Cleo, Kayden, stop chin-wagging and come have lunch,” Willow called from the kitchen.


They walked into the kitchen together, where JJ was giving Emily a big squeeze.


“Does he really not notice the belly?” Kayden murmured to Cleo.


Cleo arched an eyebrow as she walked further in to claim some food before JJ demolished it entirely.


“He knows better than to comment on a woman’s weight.”


Willow was cutting some cheese into cubes to replace the ones JJ was inhaling when she felt a little kiss on her shoulder.


“Isn’t it great?” Tara murmured behind Willow’s ear, “Our boys are home for your birthday.”


Willow smiled sadly and fed Tara a piece of cheese over her shoulder.


“I wish Robbie was here.”


“We’ll holo her,” Tara promised and Willow offered a quick smile of agreement.


“This was all I wanted for my birthday. All my family together.”


Lily arrived home soon after and was equally surprised and happy to see JJ as she had been Kayden.


“Did you bring me some NuNus?” she asked with her arms swung around JJ’s neck.


“No-No,” JJ replied with his tongue stuck between his teeth, “Anyway, I hear you’re going to be able to get all the Brooklyn chocolate you want soon.”


Lily slid her hands down over JJ’s shoulders and looked up at him with big, serious eyes.


“Can I live with you and Cleo?”


JJ’s eyebrows flew up and his eyes started to fly around, looking for help.


“Uhhh…”


Lily flashed her teeth and patted JJ’s chest.


“Jokes,” she said, moving away from in with a little dance, “You’d cramp my style. Besides, me and Emmett are going to find a place after I leave the dorms. Just as soon as I convince him.”


JJ rolled his eyes.


“Good luck with that.”


A mish-mash platter of lunch foods was brought into the dining room and everyone sat around to eat. Almost everyone, anyway, as JJ continued to stand proudly with an ear-splitting grin.


“I have an announcement to make.”


People offered him their general attention but didn’t stop eating. JJ cleared his throat.


“Little attention, please, people. You’re like hungry animals.”


“Oh how the tide has changed,” Willow muttered under her breath.


“Just hush, huh?” JJ retorted with a little bit of that New York City living coming out in his accent.


He grabbed Cleo by the shoulders and forced her to stand as she quickly swallowed a corner of ciabatta and wiped a smidge of butter out of the corner of her mouth.


JJ waited for a beat to enjoy the expectant faces, then threw his hands up.


“Cleo and I are getting hitched!”


“Nice,” Cleo nodded evenly, “Very profound. Definitely worth listening to you mumble your speech under your breath the whole way up here.”


There were suitable cheers and shrieks from the ladies while Kayden threw them both a wink.


“JJ!” Willow said, pushing her chair back to go over and hug them, “Finally!”


“Jacob,” Tara held her hands to her heart as she did the same, “Cleo.”


She held both of their faces with each hand and kissed all over their cheeks. Cleo scrunched her face up with a smile.


“Yep, you’re currently beating my mom in the smother kiss territory.”


“She still has me beat in cat disease knowledge,” Tara replied kindly.


Cleo grimaced.


“That was an awkward family game night.”


She accepted hugs from everybody and couldn’t help but grin wildly as she sneaked glances at JJ.


“But seriously, we need everybody’s help,” she said and before anyone could answer ‘of course’, she blurted, “Because we’re getting married in August!”


“This August?” Willow’s eyes bugged out of her head and she slowly frowned, “But Robbie won’t be there.”


“I’ve already asked Robbie to be my virtual best woman,” JJ said with a proud smile, “She’s very on board. She wants to make an outfit out of rainforest leaves. Don’t worry, I’ll be sending her something.”


“And I’d love for you both to be my bridesmaids,” Cleo nodded keenly at Lily and Emily.


Lily jumped up excitedly and Emily frowned. She looked up at Cleo.


“I’ll be—”


“Beautiful in the dresses we pick out,” Cleo cut her off with a reassuring and meaningful look.


Emily swallowed and mouthed ‘thank you’.


“Why so soon?” Willow asked with a quizzical furrow of her brow, “What’s the rush?”


“I planned our wedding in the same kind of timescale,” Tara pointed out.


“That’s kind of it,” Cleo saw her ‘in’ and jumped on it quickly, “I love your wedding photos. Outside in the park. The flowers and the scenery. The shots are so beautiful. And I love the park we live next to. I go running in it every morning. The thing is, only residents of the neighborhood are allowed access. As you all know from the time Robyn was nearly arrested from trying to scale the fence to get in.”


Willow huffed out a breath and Tara covered her hand and squeezed it.


“So if we want to get married there, we have to be living there,” Cleo continued slowly, “Which we won’t be. After August.”


Everyone was silent.


“Are you moving?” Tara asked the question everyone else forgot to.


Cleo nodded and looked to JJ for support, who wrapped his arm around her shoulder.


“I’ve been given an amazing opportunity with a girl I went to college with. We’re going to take over her Dad’s practice together.”


“Wow, Cleo, that’s fantastic,” Tara gushed proudly.


“Where are you moving to?” Lily asked, “And can I crash on your couch instead of coming back here for summers?”


“Gee, thanks,” Willow replied wryly.


Cleo bit her lower lip.


“We’re moving to Canada,” she revealed with a little bounce up onto her toes, “Toronto, specifically.”


Willow smacked a hand on the table.


“I thought you were going to say Siberia the way you were acting! Toronto is close!”


There was a fresh round of hugs and when Tara hugged JJ she pulled back and held him at arm's length, smiling sadly. JJ’s brow creased.


“Mom, what’s wrong? Aren’t you happy?”


“Thrilled,” Tara replied sincerely and squeezed JJ’s arms, “I’m just sad you won’t be in Manhattan.”


“They got nice hotels there,” JJ replied with a crooked smile, “You don’t need me to live there.”


Tara couldn’t help but smile back.


“I was…” she paused and her eyes creased, “Glad. That you would be around. For Lily, when she moves down for college.”


“Lily will be okay, Mom,” JJ reassured quickly, “Just have a liquid bail fund on hand. I’m sure you have one leftover from Robyn.”


Tara tapped JJ’s arm.


“Oh you,” she shook her head and looked off for a moment, “I just always thought she would have Emily to keep her grounded.”


“Why won’t she have Emily?” JJ frowned, “Did Emily get in somewhere else?”


Tara’s eyes widened and she dropped her hands.


“Oh,” she swallowed and tried to quickly divert the topic, “Toronto is what, less than an hour on the train? I remember when it would take at least four.”


JJ’s face broke out in a smile.


“Close to my fam and better healthcare, what more could I want?”


“At least we have medicare for all now down here,” Tara replied softly, “Someday we’ll catch up with our northern sisters.”


“There is the suggestion of a job?” Willow called over curiously.


JJ suddenly backed up and motioned holding a stick between his legs.


“Well, I’ve been getting into ice-hockey,” he grinned as he batted a pretend puck around, “But I won’t have to worry about it because I’m the new junior sports commentator for the Toronto Raptors! Wait right there!”


He ran out of the room and returned moments later, tossing shirts at everybody.


“Raptors jerseys for everyone!”


Willow and Tara examined their jerseys gratefully while Lily pulled hers into a crop top. Kayden strode over to a beaming JJ and held out his hand.


“Jake, congratulations. I couldn’t be happier for you,” he said as he and JJ shook and pulled each other into a hug, “I’ll go out and get some champagne.”


“Thanks, bro,” JJ replied with a flash of sparkling teeth, “And hey, just because I have a best woman doesn’t mean I won’t also need a best man.”


They shared a smile and parted so Kayden could sneak off to the liquor store.


While he was at the fridge picking out a bottle, he heard a familiar voice.


“Thanks, I appreciate it.”


His ears pricked and he looked over.


“Dylan,” he said without really meaning to.


Dylan turned, his sandy blonde hair falling into his face just like when they were kids.


Like the first time they kissed and it had tickled Kayden’s nose.


Like every time Kayden swept it from his brow just to have an excuse to touch him.


“Kayden!” Dylan replied, his face lighting up as he strode toward Kayden, “My man, it’s been a minute.”


Kayden hoped he wasn’t blushing hearing Dylan say ‘my man’ and if he was, that Dylan didn’t notice.


“I was just changing some cash for the parking meter,” Dylan continued, certainty not indicating that he saw Kayden’s pink cheeks.


Kayden shook himself out of his staring and smiled easily.


“You were always old school. You can use your watch, you know?” he said with a sad fondness, remembering how Dylan would write everything out in a notebook before he posted it just to get the full ‘feel’, “Are you, uh, visiting your Mom?”


A different kind of sadness spread on Dylan’s face.


“Kinda,” he looked down for a moment, “I’m moving back home for a while. While we find an assisted living home. Her MS is getting worse.”


“Dylan,” Kayden reached out and their fingers brushed before Kayden let his arm fall by his side, “I’m so sorry. I had no idea. What about your job? I know how much you love it.”


“It’s one of the perks of being a graphic designer. I can work wherever I want,” Dylan replied with a stiff nod, “I’ve been thinking of coming back east for a while anyway. California just never felt like home.”


Kayden gulped. He looked down and moved the bottle in his hand to the other side.


“My brother just got engaged. We’re celebrating.”


Dylan smiled again, that easy one that always made Kayden feel like he was being cocooned by a cloud; safe from everything.


“That’s amazing. I always loved JJ. He always knew every sports stat. Give him my best.”


“I will,” Kayden nodded evenly, “And well, uh, I’m definitely going to be coming home a lot more often in the next few months. Maybe we could catch a coffee sometime? Or a beer?”


“I’d like that,” Dylan agreed, then his phone beeped in his pocket, “Hey, I gotta go. I’m volunteering at a mentoring program and I’m meeting this kid.”


Kayden started to raise his hand to say goodbye but Dylan looked at him quizzically first.


“Could I ask for your advice? Tell me if it’s too much.”


Kayden shrugged.


“Go ahead.”


Dylan opened his mouth and closed it again as he considered how to word his request.


“In short. This kid, too afraid to come out. Even to himself. Dad is homophobic and I get the impression it’s the biggest barrier. Have to approach very delicately because I think he’d cut and run if he suspected I knew he was gay too,” he paused and it was long, “I know you dealt with…something like this.”


Kayden’s breath went tight in his chest. Dylan noticed right away and waved his hands.


“Kayden, I’m so sorry. I had no right to bring this up with you. I’m sorry.”


He started to back away but Kayden caught his arm.


“Tell him to get away,” he answered softly, “However he can. He’ll find his people. But only when he feels safe enough to find himself.”


Dylan covered Kayden’s hand on his arm.


“Thanks, K.”


Kayden nodded once.


“Anytime, D.”


He didn’t drop his hand until Dylan dropped his.


“I hope you mean that,” Dylan said with a playfully arched eyebrow, “Because I’ll be taking you up on that offer for a drink.”


“Oh, I do,” Kayden smirked and this time he didn’t care if he blushed, “See you around, Dylan.”


Dylan raised his hand and waved as he left the store and broke out into a light jog to get to his mentee. He didn’t want to be late but the guy had punctuality drilled into him as well as every other skill that might benefit him in business.


Of course, he was already at the street corner when Dylan approached but didn’t seem annoyed to be kept waiting. Dylan raised his hand again, this time in greeting.


“Hey, Emmett.”

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 Post subject: Re: Family Confidential - The Final Quarter (September 18th)
PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2020 5:44 pm 
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“In short. This kid, too afraid to come out. Even to himself. Dad is homophobic and I get the impression it’s the biggest barrier. Have to approach very delicately because I think he’d cut and run if he suspected I knew he was gay too,” he paused and it was long, “I know you dealt with…something like this.”....................Of course, he was already at the street corner when Dylan approached but didn’t seem annoyed to be kept waiting. Dylan raised his hand again, this time in greeting. “Hey, Emmett.”
OH NO YOU DIDN'T!!!
Still loving it...
Thanks & Blessings

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 Post subject: Re: Family Confidential - The Final Quarter (September 18th)
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2020 1:39 am 
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Since MotherD didn't call dibs on the last chapter, I do: Dibs! :whip :wink

I'm glad that Emily told Kayden and Cleo about her pregnancy and has their full emotional support. I hope she'll tell JJ about it this weekend too - otherwise he might feel pretty hurt that she apparantly trusts him less than Kayden.

Quote:
Emily closed her eyes as she sat at the table and blended into the conversation but she was distracted by a single thought. It had come from nowhere but now stuck around like a bad smell, lingering and making her feel unsure how to proceed.


Adam. His name was Adam.


She was going to have to plug her nose and ignore it.


That was one complication too much for her.

I can understand that Emily tries to ignore this resurfaced memory. But I think she should tell her mothers about it soon and that they should try to find out the identity of the boy and inform him and his parents about the pregnancy. Emmett should be able to tell them which Adam he invited to his party. By the way, I just realized your sense of humour in naming the father Adam - considering that Emily's middle name is Eve.

Quote:
They walked into the kitchen together, where JJ was giving Emily a big squeeze.


“Does he really not notice the belly?” Kayden murmured to Cleo.


Cleo arched an eyebrow as she walked further in to claim some food before JJ demolished it entirely.


“He knows better than to comment on a woman’s weight.”

:laugh Kayden forgets that he obviously didn't notice or wonder about Emily's belly the day before either and was totally surprised when she told him about the pregnancy.

Quote:
“Isn’t it great?” Tara murmured behind Willow’s ear, “Our boys are home for your birthday.”


Willow smiled sadly and fed Tara a piece of cheese over her shoulder.


“I wish Robbie was here.”


“We’ll holo her,” Tara promised and Willow offered a quick smile of agreement.


“This was all I wanted for my birthday. All my family together.”

I would be really happy for Willow (and the rest of the family, of course) if Robyn would appear for a surprise visit to the birthday, too...

Quote:
JJ waited for a beat to enjoy the expectant faces, then threw his hands up.


“Cleo and I are getting hitched!”


“Nice,” Cleo nodded evenly, “Very profound. Definitely worth listening to you mumble your speech under your breath the whole way up here.”

:lol I love Cleo's humour! I'm very happy about the engagement! :bounce

Quote:
“Dylan,” he said without really meaning to.


Dylan turned, his sandy blonde hair falling into his face just like when they were kids.


Like the first time they kissed and it had tickled Kayden’s nose.


Like every time Kayden swept it from his brow just to have an excuse to touch him.


“Kayden!” Dylan replied, his face lighting up as he strode toward Kayden, “My man, it’s been a minute.”


Kayden hoped he wasn’t blushing hearing Dylan say ‘my man’ and if he was, that Dylan didn’t notice.

Quote:
Dylan smiled again, that easy one that always made Kayden feel like he was being cocooned by a cloud; safe from everything.

Quote:
Dylan covered Kayden’s hand on his arm.


“Thanks, K.”


Kayden nodded once.


“Anytime, D.”


He didn’t drop his hand until Dylan dropped his.


“I hope you mean that,” Dylan said with a playfully arched eyebrow, “Because I’ll be taking you up on that offer for a drink.”


“Oh, I do,” Kayden smirked and this time he didn’t care if he blushed, “See you around, Dylan.”

:flower I really hope that Kayden will get a second chance with his first love and that this time their relationship will last.

Emmett is a closeted gay boy - I definitely didn't see that coming. So there is some heartache on the horizon for poor Lily...


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 Post subject: Re: Family Confidential - The Final Quarter (September 18th)
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2020 4:00 am 
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MotherD

Quote:
OH NO YOU DIDN'T!!!


Oh yes I did :D

Quote:
Still loving it...


Yay!

Quote:
Thanks & Blessings


And to you, always!!

Thanks so much for commenting!

Will's redemption

Quote:
Since MotherD didn't call dibs on the last chapter, I do: Dibs! :whip :wink


Still the queen!

Quote:
I'm glad that Emily told Kayden and Cleo about her pregnancy and has their full emotional support. I hope she'll tell JJ about it this weekend too - otherwise he might feel pretty hurt that she apparantly trusts him less than Kayden.


It will all come out!

Quote:
I can understand that Emily tries to ignore this resurfaced memory. But I think she should tell her mothers about it soon and that they should try to find out the identity of the boy and inform him and his parents about the pregnancy. Emmett should be able to tell them which Adam he invited to his party.


I think she should too. Whether she will or not is another story...

Quote:
By the way, I just realized your sense of humour in naming the father Adam - considering that Emily's middle name is Eve.


:wink

Quote:
:laugh Kayden forgets that he obviously didn't notice or wonder about Emily's belly the day before either and was totally surprised when she told him about the pregnancy.


:laugh I don't think he had too much of a chance.

Quote:
I would be really happy for Willow (and the rest of the family, of course) if Robyn would appear for a surprise visit to the birthday, too...


We would all but alas...

Quote:
:lol I love Cleo's humour! I'm very happy about the engagement! :bounce


Cleo and Tara are actually very similiar (except Cleo has way more of a temper/goes to the sass for strangers whereas Tara reserves it for family) but I wonder why JJ chose her... :wink

Quote:
:flower I really hope that Kayden will get a second chance with his first love and that this time their relationship will last.


Well, you know how I feel about first loves... :wink

Quote:
Emmett is a closeted gay boy - I definitely didn't see that coming. So there is some heartache on the horizon for poor Lily...


I won't make it hurt too much!

Thanks so much for your feedback!



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 Post subject: Re: Family Confidential - The Final Quarter (September 18th)
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2020 4:00 am 
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Chapter Twelve




“Tara…”


Willow felt consciousness seep into her brain with a light tickle below her knee. She giggled sleepily.


“Mmm…Tara, stop…”


The sensation continued and Willow’s leg jerked.


“It tickles,” she mumbled, pursing her lips to hold in the laughter, “Feels good though.”


Suddenly something leaped out from under the blanket.


“Ahh!” Willow screamed, then put her hand over her heart as she watched Miss Kitty shoot out the door, “Ohhh…”


The cat zipped between Tara’s legs, who was standing in the doorway in a short robe, holding two mugs.


“Oh honey,” Tara said in a comforting voice as she came and sat on the end of the mattress, “Is the pussy turning you on?”


Willow blushed as she realized the true perpetrator of her morning tonguing.


She grabbed the cup of coffee offered to her as indignantly as she could without sloshing it.


“How long have you been watching me?”


“Long enough to see the kitty find your sweet spot,” Tara grinned over her mug, “If I knew the back of your knee was so sensitive…”


She reached out and tickled said spot. Willow jerked away again, a ticklish smile tugging at her lips.


“Stop!”


Tara relented.


“I don’t know whether to be offended or not that you thought a spiky cat tongue was mine.”


Willow pulled herself up into a sitting position.


“I can’t deal with any more drama so I’d appreciate you going with ‘not’.”


She took a slow sip of coffee. Tara gently rubbed Willow’s calf.


“Happy Birthday, love.”


Willow smirked to herself. That’s why Tara was wearing her short robe.


“Is it?” she asked, rolling her eyes, “Happy?”


“Yes,” Tara replied insistently, “Our kids are home. We’ll holo with Robyn later. We’re—”


“About to be premature grandmothers,” Willow grumbled behind her mug.


“—going to spend a lovely, relaxed day together,” Tara amended brightly.


Willow perked up.


“Are we?”


Yes,” Tara replied reassuringly, “I’m taking you to breakfast, and then we’re going to do a little walking tour.”


“Of what?” Willow asked with narrowed eyes.


“Surprise,” Tara grinned.


Willow’s lips tugged upward.


“What about the kids?”


“I’ve made them pancakes,” Tara shrugged, “Whenever they wake up.”


Willow chuckled wryly.


“Some things never change.”


Tara’s fingers danced toward Willow’s knee.


“If you want I can…”


“Quit it,” Willow giggled and Tara did, but only to press their lips together.


When they parted, Willow was smiling sadly.


“I don’t feel 50.”


Tara covered Willow’s hand on the bed.


“What do you feel?”


“I dunno,” Willow answered honestly.


Tara smiled understandingly.


“Would a birthday present cheer you up?”


Willow tried to withhold a grin.


“Might do,” she said, lifting her chin, “Depends.”


Tara went over to the closet and brought back something large and flat that still managed to be prettily wrapped. Willow took it with a suspicious look when she felt it to be quite soft and almost like foam.


She ripped open the packaging and revealed a pair of knee pads. She frowned.


“Technically they’re for me,” Tara explained off the confused look.


Willow turned the pads around in her hands.


“Are you also looking to get into hockey?”


Tara arched an eyebrow alluringly.


“Just the tonsil variety.”


“Oh,” Willow replied, then her head shot up with wide eyes, “Oh!”


She bounced excitedly.


“Really? Last time either of us tried that we got stuck down there.”


Tara stretched her deliciously-on-show legs.


“I’ve been limbering up.”


Willow’s eyes followed every stretched, taut muscle.


‘Is that a fact?”


Tara brought herself over Willow’s body.


“It sure is.”


A grin spread across Willow’s face.


“In that case…”


Miss Kitty returned but stopped in the doorway, arched her back ready to attack, then spun around and fled so fast the door whooshed shut.


It was quite a while later when Willow and Tara made their way down the stairs, dressed for the day and holding hands.


It was quiet.


“They’re seriously still not up?” Willow asked, shaking her head, “Only two of them are teenagers.”


Tara tugged Willow’s hand.


“Escape now, roll eyes later.”


“A plan I can get behind,” Willow agreed and happily let Tara bring her out to the car and drive them to their favorite little breakfast nook.


Tara had Eggs Benedict and Willow had hash brows, eggs sunny-side-up, bacon, a sausage patty, and a side of toast.


“Enjoy it, belly,” she said, rubbing her stomach before taking the first bite, “Our 50s metabolism is about to set in.”


Tara held up her glass of orange juice, which Willow clinked with her mimosa. Hell, she wasn’t the designated driver.


“Don’t worry, the hot flashes make the thought of eating nauseating,” Tara said in what tried to be a comforting tone, though her grin gave her away.


“Bring it,” Willow waved her glass around, “I could do with the distraction.”


Tara covered Willow’s hand on the table.


“I wish I could make this…”


Willow arched an eyebrow.


“There’s no making this easier,” she said with a shake of her head.


“No, but,” Tara paused and offered a smile, “Not today, hey?”


“Not today,” Willow nodded in agreement.


She speared a piece of hash brown and popped it into her mouth.


“So where are we going on this walking tour?”



Willow looked around the large, empty room she was standing in.


Up to now, her walk with Tara had been pleasant if completely normal walk around the city. But then Tara had brought her into one of the buildings and Willow was suddenly at a loss as to what they were doing.


“Very…corporate-chic?” she commented on the stone wall and skylight.


She walked up to Tara sheepishly.


“I’m sorry. I’m trying to tap into my inner artist but she’s not answering. I don’t get it. What exactly is this, some kind of installation? If so, they need to advertise better. There’s no one else here.”


Tara chuckled and placed her palms on either side of Willow’s collarbone.


“It’s a restaurant space,” she clarified, “I made some viewings in some open rentals for you to look at and see if you think Bibliosmia might work out here in some more…reasonable locations.”


Willow looked up, touched.


“You did that?”


Tara nodded.


“I know you’ve been pouring over the books and speaking to Marla a lot. You’re really into the idea of a Buffalo Bibliosmia.”


Willow frowned.


“Did she call you and ask you to get me to stop?”


“No,” Tara laughed and tapped Willow’s nose, “She sounded excited by the idea. And so am I.”


Willow’s eyebrows rose softly.


“Really?”


Tara nodded quickly.


“I’d love to see you involved in something like that. You love chatting with the customers when we go out to visit. It would be amazing to have one on our doorstep. You have too much time to think at home. I want to see you busy again with something you truly love.”


Willow swallowed and lifted Tara’s hands, kissing each set of knuckles.


“Tara, that’s amazing. I can’t believe you’ve done all that for me.”


Tara slid her hands onto Willow’s cheeks and pecked her lips.


“Something tells me corporate-chic isn’t doing it for you.”


Willow looked around and threw a hand up.


“It’s not un-nice. But it’s just not…”


Tara smiled and nodded.


“That’s okay. We shall move on.”


She offered her arm. Willow gladly took it.


It was late afternoon by the time they’d seen all six viewings that Tara had arranged and they stopped for some ice-cream. They sat on a park bench together and linked arms.


“Those were all amazing,” Willow said as she spooned a little of Tara’s butter pecan.


Tara looked over with a slightly resigned smile.


“But they’re not the waterfront location.”


They had seen some lovely outfits; vast and intimate, inner views and outer views, every type of wood and marble and stone carved to house a beautiful blueprint to which they could recreate the success of the Sunnydale store, but Willow just didn’t feel that same oomph of the restaurant that had sparked the idea in the first place.


“I just felt the Bibliosmia magic there.”


Tara dragged the little wooden spoon against her tongue.


“I wonder when the current restaurant is leaving”


“June 1st,” Willow answered automatically, then grimaced and looked over apologetically, “I checked into it. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you.”


Tara didn’t seem offended, just curious.


“Did you look into how much it would cost to take over the lease?”


Willow slumped sadly.


“More digits than our phone number,” she grumbled and gave a pained look across the bench, “And owned by the Restaurant Direct Group.”


Tara gave Willow an unsure look. Willow sighed.


“Which is a subsidiary of McFarland Industries.”


Tara’s eyes widened.


“Oh, Willow. That’s Emmett’s—”


Willow held her hands up.


“I know. I know. Too messy. Way too messy,” she conceded, picking her ice-cream back up, “I don’t even know if I want to do it if I can’t do it there.”


Her lips pursed.


“But unless one of the biggest faces of corporate greed decides to be philanthropic and pull a Willy Wonka on me, I don’t think this is happening.”


Tara felt her heart sink. She’d seen how Willow’s eyes had lit up with the idea.


“Please think about the other locations? Or scouting your own?”


Willow looked over and leaned over to peck Tara’s lips.


“I will,” she promised and it wasn’t entirely a lie. She’d do it, she just knew nothing would come from it, “And I love you so much for organizing this for me.”


They finished their ice-cream and started to head back toward the car.


“Now you have a choice,” Tara offered as she started the engine, “Dinner at Vinchenzo’s or send the boys out to pick up and eat at home with them?”


“Eat with them,” Willow answered automatically, “If they’re even up yet. The lazy louts.”


They shared a smile and headed home.


As soon as they opened the front door, they could hear the screaming.


“You knew and you didn’t tell me?!”


They both rushed in and saw JJ poking an accusing finger at Cleo. Kayden was pulling JJ back and Lily was holding up her hands and rolling her eyes.


“What is going on?” Willow demanded.


JJ spun around, irate.


“Your daughter decided this weekend would be a great time to announce that she got knocked up.”


“Jacob!” Tara scolded, eyes flashing with anger.


JJ threw his hands up.


“Stealing my thunder all over this weekend.”


“You’re being an ass right now, JJ,” Lily rolled her eyes again.


“Bro, you’re being really heavy,” Kayden said, trying to keep a calm voice, “Nobody is taking away from your news.”


Tara looked around and realized Emily wasn’t there. She quickly left and went upstairs, where she heard voices.


She pushed the door of the twins’ bedroom open, where Emily was sitting on the floor by her bed with a holograph of Robyn shooting up from her phone.


“Emmy, baby girl. No one hates you. There’s no shame in any choice, including this one.”


Tara silently came over and sat next to Emily, kissing her head.


“Hi Robbie,” she smiled at the flickering image.


“Hi Mom,” Robyn smiled a crooked smile.


Tara rubbed Emily’s arm.


“Your sister is right.”


“Can you say that again?” Robyn prompted with a grin.


“We love you, Emily,” Tara said instead with a reassuring nod.


“JJ is being a jackass because he wants the attention on him every second,” Robyn rolled her eyes and somehow looked just like Lily.


“Robyn,” Tara scolded but not as harshly as she’d scolded JJ.


Robyn shrugged one shoulder.


“He is. He’ll get over it. What are you supposed to do, stop being pregnant for a couple of weeks until he’s ready to pass the baton?! You must have a bump. Hey, show me!”


Emily shyly showed Robyn her stomach. Robyn seemed keen despite the many preventative measures she put in place to make sure she never found herself in such a situation.


“Cool! I’m gonna be an auntie! There’s a little koala cub in there. What’s it like, Emmy?”


Tara watched Emily shyly but noticeably light up as she talked about her pregnancy and she realized how much that everything had been framed negatively when Emily clearly found positives in it. Enough to want it to continue. She hadn’t seen her daughter look so happy in months — longer even than when the pregnancy had become a thing.


She seemed to relish that she finally had something that was just hers.


She was Willow’s daughter, after all.


Lily walked in then, looking bored.


“Kayden took JJ out for a drive. So much testosterone stinking up the house.”


“Robbie, will you say Happy Birthday to your Momma?” Tara requested as the sisters all waved goodbye to each other.


She just about managed to stand and brought the phone with her.


“I can’t wait until these things can walk themselves. Or better yet, me.”


“You’re hilarious, Mom,” Robyn said, deadpan.


Downstairs, Cleo was pouring herself a drink and so Tara nabbed the space by Willow on the couch. She gave her wife a smooch.


“Two old ladies sitting in a tree,” Robyn called out, “B-O-R-I-N-G-ME.”


Willow did not apologize and just looked a little smug.


“Robbie, how are you? Are you safe out there?”


“Pretty uneventful down here. You chain yourself to one tree, you chain yourself to them all,” Robyn replied but sounded chipper, “Sounds like there’s way more going on up there and I’m in the middle of the literal rainforest.”


Willow slowly deflated.


“It’s been…a lot. At least you’ll be home soon. Is there any way you can come home in time for your brother’s wedding?”


Robyn grimaced.


“Yeah, about that…”


Willow arched an eyebrow sharply.


“Robyn…”


“I got an offer to work with indigenous kids and help with leading the cause to further their education,” Robyn explained in an excited rush.


Willow slapped a hand down.


“You need to help with your own education!”


Her eyes filled and she looked away. Robyn’s face scrunched.


“Oh jeez, Momma, don’t cry. It’s not forever! A few extra months tops!”


Tara wrapped an arm around Willow’s shoulders and looked at the image of her daughter.


“We miss you.”


“I miss you guys too,” Robyn replied sincerely, “Hey, is Emmy okay? Because I would not have handled this well if it were me and she’s…”


“Stronger than any of us give her credit for,” Tara finished softly.


Robyn smiled.


Then Willow did too.


“Moms, I gotta go,” Robyn said, blowing a kiss, “Happy Birthday, Momma. Isn’t it comforting that it’s chaotic as usual even without me there?”


Willow chuckled wryly.


“We love you.”


“I love you too,” Robyn called in a sing-song voice, “I’ll send you ethically-grown coffee beans!”


The image disappeared and Willow and Tara looked at each other and moved in for a hug. Tara spotted Cleo hovering and she opened her arms up.


“Come here soon-to-be-daughter-in-law,” she encouraged, “You’re not immune to the mom sandwich.”


Cleo gratefully positioned herself between them. It reminded her of being a little girl and being wrapped around her Mom’s waist while her Mami spooned them both.


Tara kissed Cleo’s head.


“Thanks for supporting Emily.”


“Little sister I never had,” Cleo responded fondly and sighed deeply, “I’m glad it happened to her. There’s no way Lily or Robyn would have handled it as well.”


And that made Willow’s head reel back and gave her a lot to think about.


Eventually, the car arrived back in the driveway and the two boys came back inside. Lily and Emily came downstairs and JJ pulled Emily into a hug.


“I’m sorry. I love you. I will be here for you no matter what.”


Emily’s eyes pricked with tears.


JJ moved over to Willow and pulled her into a hug.


“I’m sorry I got mad on your birthday, maw,” he said tearfully, “I just never expected…”


“None of us did,” Willow replied softly.


“But Emily has made her choice,” Tara added in, “And we’re going to band together as a family to support her.”


“T-Thank you,” Emily smiled at Tara and looked to JJ, “I-I’m sorry I told Cleo and not you.”


JJ waved a hand.


“Forget it, kid. She’s a great ear,” he said sincerely and looked over to his fiancee with that charming look that had attracted her to him in the first place, “And a great—”


“Parents,” Cleo whispered with wide eyes.


JJ seemed to remember where he was and paled.


“—woman. To tell womanly things to.”


“We haven’t spoken to Xander in a while,” Willow said, suddenly remembering him for some reason.


“Speaking of…Em, Robbie is right,” Tara said, “You’re getting a belly. We have to tell everybody else. Including your grandparents.”


Emily felt wobbly and had to sit.


“I-I can’t.”


“Then we will,” Tara said, to an unsure look from Willow, “If that’s how we can help you, that’s how we will help you.”


Lily bounced up on her toes.


“In a couple of weeks Ella will be home from Cornell and Pixie will be back from boarding school. I can tell them.”


“I’ll be chatting with Alex when he’s out of training at Quantico. I’ll let him know,” JJ nodded.


“Liam’s parents should tell him. He’s still a kid,” Kayden pointed out.


Willow held up her hands.


“We’ll tell Buffy and Angel. We’ll tell all of your aunts and uncles,” she resolved, “Should we tell them at your graduation party?”


Cleo arched an eyebrow.


“Is it really ‘party’ news?”


“Tell people ahead of time. Let them digest it,” Tara suggested.


“I’m with Mom,” JJ agreed.


“Me too,” Lily nodded.


Tara looked over to Emily.


“Emmy?”


Emily had to clear her throat.


“Yes,” she said quickly, “Thank you.”


JJ encouraged everybody up and they banded together in a giant hug.


“Rosenberg-Maclay, huh!” he cheered, then smiled, “Sorry, I’m around too many sports teams.”


The resulting laugh broke the tension and they stayed huddled for a few moments before breaking off to discuss dinner menu options.


After dinner, Tara brought Willow out a glass of wine on the porch.


“What a day,” Willow commented as she took a sip, “This is divine. Thank you.”


Tara produced something from behind her back.


“At our age, it’s hard to come up with something new as a gift.”


Willow’s eyebrow arched.


“You mean there’s more than this morning?”


She grinned and took the tissue-wrapped rectangle. She turned it over and unwrapped it. It was a canvas painting of a lake and flowers. It took her a moment to see the swan boats and recognize where it was set.


“This is the gardens in Boston,” she said, touching her heart, “Where we first kissed. Where we got married. It’s beautiful.”


Tara ran her fingers over Willow’s wrist.


“Cleo asked me a few weeks ago what it was like getting married outside. Asked if we worried about the rain and things like that.”


Willow looked at Tara with a wry grin.


“You so knew they were engaged.”


“Not officially,” Tara held her hands up.


“There’s that word again…” Willow arched an eyebrow, “How about we start filling each other in on the ‘unofficiallys’?”


Tara nodded softly.


“Yes. Okay. But it did make me look back on some memories. I hadn’t held a paintbrush since the kids were, well, kids.”


It suddenly dawned on Willow why Tara had said what she’d said about new gifts.


“You did this?” she asked, looking at every detail in a new way, “I love it. I love you.”


She popped a kiss onto Tara’s lips.


“And I love our life,” Tara answered resolutely, “Everything it entails.”


Willow nodded quietly once. They shared a looked and then Willow slid her hand up Tara’s thigh.


“How about we go upstairs and I try on those knee pads for size?”


Tara smirked.


“Well, I can’t very well deny you on your birthday.”


“Oh really?” Willow asked and leaned in alluringly, “In that case…”


She spent several long, long seconds whispering in Tara’s ear. When she pulled away, Tara offered her hand.


“Gladly. But we'll have to be quiet.”


Willow grinned.


“Why start now?”

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 Post subject: Re: Family Confidential - The Final Quarter (September 21st)
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2020 5:57 am 
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6. Sassy Eggs

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Posts: 391
Dibs! :whip
Happy birthday Willow! I'm relieved there was only a little drama on this day.

Quote:
“Tara…”


Willow felt consciousness seep into her brain with a light tickle below her knee. She giggled sleepily.


“Mmm…Tara, stop…”


The sensation continued and Willow’s leg jerked.


“It tickles,” she mumbled, pursing her lips to hold in the laughter, “Feels good though.”


Suddenly something leaped out from under the blanket.


“Ahh!” Willow screamed, then put her hand over her heart as she watched Miss Kitty shoot out the door, “Ohhh…”


The cat zipped between Tara’s legs, who was standing in the doorway in a short robe, holding two mugs.


“Oh honey,” Tara said in a comforting voice as she came and sat on the end of the mattress, “Is the pussy turning you on?”


Willow blushed as she realized the true perpetrator of her morning tonguing.


She grabbed the cup of coffee offered to her as indignantly as she could without sloshing it.


“How long have you been watching me?”


“Long enough to see the kitty find your sweet spot,” Tara grinned over her mug,

:lol
Quote:
“I don’t even know if I want to do it if I can’t do it there.”


Her lips pursed.


“But unless one of the biggest faces of corporate greed decides to be philanthropic and pull a Willy Wonka on me, I don’t think this is happening.”


Tara felt her heart sink. She’d seen how Willow’s eyes had lit up with the idea.


“Please think about the other locations? Or scouting your own?”


Willow looked over and leaned over to peck Tara’s lips.


“I will,” she promised and it wasn’t entirely a lie. She’d do it, she just knew nothing would come from it, “And I love you so much for organizing this for me.”

I'm really curious how you're going to make "Bibliosmia 2" happen. Maybe Emmett's dad could somehow come to the wrong conclusion that Emmett got Emily pregnant (or mistake her for Lily if he doesn't even know that the latter is a twin) and try to "hush the mothers up" by doing them a business favour?

Quote:
As soon as they opened the front door, they could hear the screaming.


“You knew and you didn’t tell me?!”


They both rushed in and saw JJ poking an accusing finger at Cleo. Kayden was pulling JJ back and Lily was holding up her hands and rolling her eyes.


“What is going on?” Willow demanded.


JJ spun around, irate.


“Your daughter decided this weekend would be a great time to announce that she got knocked up.”


“Jacob!” Tara scolded, eyes flashing with anger.


JJ threw his hands up.


“Stealing my thunder all over this weekend.”

I can understand JJs hurt about being told about the preganancy as last one of the "core family". The "she stole my thunder" accusation is pretty self-absorbed, though.

Quote:
“Cool! I’m gonna be an auntie! There’s a little koala cub in there. What’s it like, Emmy?”


Tara watched Emily shyly but noticeably light up as she talked about her pregnancy and she realized how much that everything had been framed negatively when Emily clearly found positives in it. Enough to want it to continue. She hadn’t seen her daughter look so happy in months — longer even than when the pregnancy had become a thing.


She seemed to relish that she finally had something that was just hers.


She was Willow’s daughter, after all.

Funny that Tara sees Willow's personality traits in Emily enjoying becoming a mother in her young age - I still think that's "all Tara" and that teenage Willow would certainly have terminated the pregnancy.

Quote:
“It’s been…a lot. At least you’ll be home soon. Is there any way you can come home in time for your brother’s wedding?”


Robyn grimaced.


“Yeah, about that…”


Willow arched an eyebrow sharply.


“Robyn…”


“I got an offer to work with indigenous kids and help with leading the cause to further their education,” Robyn explained in an excited rush.


Willow slapped a hand down.


“You need to help with your own education!”


Her eyes filled and she looked away. Robyn’s face scrunched.


“Oh jeez, Momma, don’t cry. It’s not forever! A few extra months tops!”


Tara wrapped an arm around Willow’s shoulders and looked at the image of her daughter.


“We miss you.”


“I miss you guys too,” Robyn replied sincerely,

Robyn deciding to stay even longer away from home is truly sad. Does that mean she won't return before the baby is born?

Quote:
“Thanks for supporting Emily.”


“Little sister I never had,” Cleo responded fondly and sighed deeply, “I’m glad it happened to her. There’s no way Lily or Robyn would have handled it as well.”


And that made Willow’s head reel back and gave her a lot to think about.

I'm wondering when they'll be taking Lily to Dr. Wells to talk about birth control? Tara might have overheard that Lily is still a virgin but they can't expect she'll stay that way until she's 19 or 20 like her mothers were.

Quote:
Lily and Emily came downstairs and JJ pulled Emily into a hug.


“I’m sorry. I love you. I will be here for you no matter what.”


Emily’s eyes pricked with tears.


JJ moved over to Willow and pulled her into a hug.


“I’m sorry I got mad on your birthday, maw,” he said tearfully, “I just never expected…”


“None of us did,” Willow replied softly.

I'm glad that JJ overcame the shock pretty quickly and apologized.

Quote:
“I-I’m sorry I told Cleo and not you.”


JJ waved a hand.


“Forget it, kid. She’s a great ear,” he said sincerely and looked over to his fiancee with that charming look that had attracted her to him in the first place, “And a great—”


“Parents,” Cleo whispered with wide eyes.


JJ seemed to remember where he was and paled.


“—woman. To tell womanly things to.”


“We haven’t spoken to Xander in a while,” Willow said, suddenly remembering him for some reason.

:rofl
Quote:
We have to tell everybody else. Including your grandparents.”


Emily felt wobbly and had to sit.


“I-I can’t.”


“Then we will,” Tara said, to an unsure look from Willow, “If that’s how we can help you, that’s how we will help you.”

Quote:
“We’ll tell Buffy and Angel. We’ll tell all of your aunts and uncles,” she resolved, “Should we tell them at your graduation party?”


Cleo arched an eyebrow.


“Is it really ‘party’ news?”


“Tell people ahead of time. Let them digest it,” Tara suggested.


“I’m with Mom,” JJ agreed.


“Me too,” Lily nodded.


Tara looked over to Emily.


“Emmy?”


Emily had to clear her throat.


“Yes,” she said quickly, “Thank you.”


JJ encouraged everybody up and they banded together in a giant hug.


“Rosenberg-Maclay, huh!” he cheered, then smiled, “Sorry, I’m around too many sports teams.”


The resulting laugh broke the tension and they stayed huddled for a few moments before breaking off to discuss dinner menu options.

Go Team Rosenberg-Maclay!
I think it's a good idea that all the members of the extended family will be told the news in Emily's absence so they'll all be able to deal with the shock before they'll meet Emily the next time.
But I expect some of those talks will be tough for Tara and especially Willow - I expect them feeling the subconscious accusation that the lesbian mothers failed to give their daughters proper advice concerning birth control - an accusation Anya might actually voice.

Quote:
“Cleo asked me a few weeks ago what it was like getting married outside. Asked if we worried about the rain and things like that.”


Willow looked at Tara with a wry grin.


“You so knew they were engaged.”


“Not officially,” Tara held her hands up.


“There’s that word again…” Willow arched an eyebrow, “How about we start filling each other in on the ‘unofficiallys’?”


Tara nodded softly.


“Yes. Okay.

Good plan. So obviously Cleo expected that proposal JJ made last week for quite some time already?

Quote:
“How about we go upstairs and I try on those knee pads for size?”


Tara smirked.


“Well, I can’t very well deny you on your birthday.”


“Oh really?” Willow asked and leaned in alluringly, “In that case…”


She spent several long, long seconds whispering in Tara’s ear. When she pulled away, Tara offered her hand.


“Gladly. But we'll have to be quiet.”


Willow grinned.


“Why start now?”

:lol Head phone time for the kids then!


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 Post subject: Re: Family Confidential - The Final Quarter (September 21st)
PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2020 4:13 pm 
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Howdy!

Willow’s reluctance to consider alternate locations for the bookstore could come back to bite her in the end. I hope she keeps her options open because her dream location sounds like bankruptcy to me, lol. I too am curious to see how this plays out.

I had to roll my eyes at JJ’s little temper tantrum, because technically, he stole Willow’s birthday thunder by announcing his engagement on his mother’s special day! What come around goes around, Bro, lol. Robyn was fantastic and the ONLY one, aside from Tara, to be completely supportive thus far. It must be those caring and empathetic “Tara genes.”

Willow needs to get a serious grip over her obsession with the kid’s college plans. All this craziness coming from the person who did exactly ZERO with her “field of choice,” couldn’t find or keep a job until she was nearly arrested for illegal hacking. Making sure Emily is set for a career and has opportunities is a priority, but I would not worry about Robyn at all. She is doing something she has a passion for and regardless if she ever goes to college, she will most definitely make it on her own. She is independent and resourceful, everything a parent could ask for in a young adult child:)

I’m glad they all came together as a team to help Emily with spreading the news. She’s going to need all the help she can get. I just hope she tries to find and notify the baby’s bio father, it’s the right thing to do, even if he rejects the baby. It’s not fair to keep it from him.

-JMT

**On a menopausal side note...hot flashes SUCK. My wife and I used to be expert snugglers! We were stuck together like glue all night, every night...until the hotness began. Now we can’t snuggle for 2 minutes before it’s, “OMG! GET OFF ME!” :rofl : :fit

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 Post subject: Re: Family Confidential - The Final Quarter (September 21st)
PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2020 11:26 am 
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6. Sassy Eggs

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Hi Shelby! :bigwave
I've read your feedback and hope you don't mind me saying that in my opinion you are a bit unfair when you say:
Quote:
Robyn was fantastic and the ONLY one, aside from Tara, to be completely supportive thus far.

Kayden reacted completely supportive to the news of Emily's pregnancy and plans to be "coming home a lot more often in the next few months" (as he told Dylan) to be there for Emily in person.
And we have no reason to believe that Cleo didn't react completely supportive when Emily told her about the news.
JJ did react badly in his shock at first, but came around almost immediately and offered Emily a warm embrace and a promise of being there for her "no matter what".

It's all good and well that Robyn offers supportive words via holograph - but a holograph couldn't hug Emily when she gets sad in a fit of hormones, hold her hand during birth or help her with caring for a newborn baby. If she really wanted to do that, Robyn would have to be home with Emily in person. I actually hope Robyn will realize that and choose coming home on schedule or even earlier if she can instead of lengthening the trip and returning months after Emily's baby is born.


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 Post subject: Re: Family Confidential - The Final Quarter (September 21st)
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 6:00 am 
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Ms. Moderator Fantastico
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Will's redemption

Quote:
Dibs! :whip


Yay!

Quote:
Happy birthday Willow! I'm relieved there was only a little drama on this day.


Me too!

Quote:
I'm really curious how you're going to make "Bibliosmia 2" happen. Maybe Emmett's dad could somehow come to the wrong conclusion that Emmett got Emily pregnant (or mistake her for Lily if he doesn't even know that the latter is a twin) and try to "hush the mothers up" by doing them a business favour?


That's a really great idea! If I hadn't already written the fic I might have stolen it. However, I prefer something a little more...permanent... :wink

Quote:
I can understand JJs hurt about being told about the preganancy as last one of the "core family". The "she stole my thunder" accusation is pretty self-absorbed, though.


Definitely. He got a lot of first-child attention growing up!

Quote:
Funny that Tara sees Willow's personality traits in Emily enjoying becoming a mother in her young age - I still think that's "all Tara" and that teenage Willow would certainly have terminated the pregnancy.


I think both are true!

Quote:
Robyn deciding to stay even longer away from home is truly sad. Does that mean she won't return before the baby is born?


You'll see! She was originally supposed to be home to start college in the fall.

Quote:
I'm wondering when they'll be taking Lily to Dr. Wells to talk about birth control? Tara might have overheard that Lily is still a virgin but they can't expect she'll stay that way until she's 19 or 20 like her mothers were.


It's coming!

Quote:
I'm glad that JJ overcame the shock pretty quickly and apologized.


He's a good guy, if a little sulky

Quote:
Go Team Rosenberg-Maclay!
I think it's a good idea that all the members of the extended family will be told the news in Emily's absence so they'll all be able to deal with the shock before they'll meet Emily the next time.
But I expect some of those talks will be tough for Tara and especially Willow - I expect them feeling the subconscious accusation that the lesbian mothers failed to give their daughters proper advice concerning birth control - an accusation Anya might actually voice.


I like to think everyone would be supportive

Quote:
Good plan. So obviously Cleo expected that proposal JJ made last week for quite some time already?


I think she's been anticipating it for years :laugh

Quote:
:lol Head phone time for the kids then!


Business as usual!

:D

Thanks for the feedback!

Finey_McFine

Quote:
Howdy!


Hi!

Quote:
Willow’s reluctance to consider alternate locations for the bookstore could come back to bite her in the end. I hope she keeps her options open because her dream location sounds like bankruptcy to me, lol. I too am curious to see how this plays out.


Maybe in the real world, but in my world I get to do whatever I want :D

Quote:
I had to roll my eyes at JJ’s little temper tantrum, because technically, he stole Willow’s birthday thunder by announcing his engagement on his mother’s special day! What come around goes around, Bro, lol. Robyn was fantastic and the ONLY one, aside from Tara, to be completely supportive thus far. It must be those caring and empathetic “Tara genes.”


:laugh so true! JJ likes attention, for sure. Robyn has Tara genes, definitely, but I also think everyone is trying their best.

Quote:
Willow needs to get a serious grip over her obsession with the kid’s college plans. All this craziness coming from the person who did exactly ZERO with her “field of choice,” couldn’t find or keep a job until she was nearly arrested for illegal hacking. Making sure Emily is set for a career and has opportunities is a priority, but I would not worry about Robyn at all. She is doing something she has a passion for and regardless if she ever goes to college, she will most definitely make it on her own. She is independent and resourceful, everything a parent could ask for in a young adult child:)


Yep! Willow needs to get this brainwave, seriously!

Quote:
I’m glad they all came together as a team to help Emily with spreading the news. She’s going to need all the help she can get. I just hope she tries to find and notify the baby’s bio father, it’s the right thing to do, even if he rejects the baby. It’s not fair to keep it from him.


It is and Emily is a good person.

Quote:
**On a menopausal side note...hot flashes SUCK. My wife and I used to be expert snugglers! We were stuck together like glue all night, every night...until the hotness began. Now we can’t snuggle for 2 minutes before it’s, “OMG! GET OFF ME!” :rofl : :fit


:lol :ol I'm like that already!

Thanks for your feedback!



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 Post subject: Re: Family Confidential - The Final Quarter (September 21st)
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 6:00 am 
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Ms. Moderator Fantastico
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Chapter Thirteen




“Do you need some help?”


Willow walked further into the kitchen, where Tara was at the counter shaping mini spinach knishes onto a baking sheet.


“Dad’s favorites,” she continued, swinging her arms by her side to force her body into expressing more joy than she felt, “Did you make the—”


Tara pointed a finger to the other side of the island, where there was a tray of capped mushrooms with a seasoned mix of breadcrumbs and cheese.


“…Michelle’s favorite too,” Willow finished lamely, “What about the sun-dried tomato dip Rose loves?”


Tara washed her hands under the faucet, shook them off, and opened the fridge, where she took out a bowl of rosy-gold, creamy dip.


Willow shuffled from one foot to the other uncomfortably. She’d intended to help Tara a lot more with the prep for having all of the grandparents over but the morning had kind of gotten away from her trying to prepare for how the afternoon would go.


“Do you think they’ll know we’re trying to sweeten them up with your delicious cooking?”


The doorbell rang and Willow pushed herself away from the island.


“Let’s hope that’s a resounding ‘no’!”


She turned and headed toward the door, opening it to Rose.


“Hello, Willow,” she greeted, kissing Willow’s cheek as she used her cane to step over the threshold, “I was sorry to miss your birthday. Just because I’m slower these days doesn’t mean my schedule is.”


“It’s okay,” Willow smiled back, “Dad and Michelle weren’t around either. I can’t remember which island they were cruising to this time, but I hear it was appropriately tropical. Can I get you a drink?”


“No thank you,” Rose replied as she was led into the living room, “You didn’t have a party? It was a big one. What about your friends?”


“You know, it’s funny as you get older,” Willow said with a smile, “You prefer one-on-one time.”


Rose reached out and patted Willow’s hand.


Tara came in with a small tray of chips and dip.


“Oh, what a treat,” Rose smiled, “Perhaps I will take that drink after all.”


“Seltzer and lemon?” Willow guessed and Rose nodded.


Rose reached out to hug Tara, who sat next to her to aid the embrace.


“How are you my darling girl?” she asked tenderly, “Something’s not right, I know it. Is everything okay?”


“Yes,” Tara nodded, “Everyone is okay. But it’s been an eventful couple of months. I’m glad you’re here.”


She squeezed Rose’s hand.


“I’m glad I’m here too,” Rose smiled and reached for a chip, “You know I love this. Where are the girls? I was so sorry to miss the boys, especially the announcement. That boy has really made a nice life for himself. Which is no surprise with the parents that raised him.”


Tara leaned in and accepted some parental comfort. It didn’t matter what age you were, sometimes it was all you needed.


“Lily is with Emmett. You know, he’s a nice young boy. Nothing like what I hear of his father,” she paused and sighed, “Emily was doing some homework last I checked. She’s had to…catch up on some work.”


Willow came back with seltzer water for Rose and a beer for herself, which she almost downed in one go. Rose arched an eyebrow.


“You okay there, honey?”


Tara looked up and glanced at Willow with a calming look.


“Just peachy,” Willow replied, wiping her mouth, “What doesn’t say peachy about noon beers?”


Tara stood and went to stand with Willow in support.


Tara put out the rest of the food and when Ira and Michelle arrived, got them both juices. Willow hid her empty beer bottle and hugged her father. Though his hair was thin, his beard was full and it tickled her when they embraced. Michelle’s gray hair was cut short and she was newly tanned from their vacation.


After greeting them, Rose moved to the armchair so Ira and Michelle could sit on the couch, and Willow and Tara stood in front of the fireplace, holding each other’s hand for support.


Ira looked around the room with a grin.


“Well?” he prompted, his mustache twitching mischievously, “When do we start the planning?”


Willow blinked twice.


“I’m sorry?”


“For Jacob’s wedding?” Ira said, rubbing his hands together and grinning over at Michelle, who leaned into him with the same pleased look, “That’s why we’re here, yes? So little time!”


“I have a wonderful florist on call,” Michelle nodded eagerly.


“Oh yes, the woman Michelle takes flower arranging lessons from,” Ira confirmed, gesturing to the bouquet they’d brought with them and Tara had transferred into a vase.


“She said she can supply for the city,” Michelle looked at Willow and Tara hopefully.


“Right,” Willow swallowed and squeezed Tara’s hand a little tighter, “They’re beautiful. But um…”


She looked to Tara helplessly.


“That isn’t why we’ve asked you all here,” Tara picked up the slack, “We have something else to tell you. And it’s going to be a shock.”


Ira and Michelle suddenly frowned, but Rose didn’t.


“Well?” Ira asked with some concern in his voice, “What is it? What’s wrong?”


Tara gulped and exhaled a slow breath.


“Emily is pregnant.”


The room grew silent.


“Is this some kind of joke?” Ira asked eventually, coming close to a chuckle.


Willow shook her head.


“No. This is serious.”


“Do you mean Lily?” Michelle asked gently.


“No, we mean Emily,” Willow snapped, then pressed her feet into the ground to rein herself in, “It’s been a lot for me to take in too.”


“For us both,” Tara continued but tried to keep her voice resolute, “But she’s decided to keep the baby and we support her choice.”


Ira stood up but it looked like he didn’t know which way to go. He eventually threw his hands up.


“Well, this is absurd.”


“Ira…” Michelle tugged on his arm gently.


“You expect me to be happy about this?” Ira blew up, “She’s a child. She can’t have a child!”


“Dad,” Willow took a step forward, “I know this is hard. Believe me, I know.”


“I-I’m sorry Zayde.”


Everyone turned as Emily’s quiet voice came from the doorway. Quiet, but not scared.


“Emmy,” Tara said, walking over to close the door, “Go back upstairs.”


“No,” Ira stood taller and crossed his arms over his chest, “She thinks she’s grown enough to be a parent, she can speak to me herself.”


“Emily, go upstairs,” Willow insisted but Emily walked further in.


She looked right up at Ira.


“I-I’m sorry I disappointed you,” she said, keeping his gaze, “But I’m not sorry that I’m having the baby.”


Ira’s face was set in stone, which he turned toward Willow.


“How could you let this happen?”


“You’re not exactly the paradigm of perfect parenting yourself, Dad,” Willow shot back.


“This is no time to bring that up,” Michelle said in a loud whisper.


Rose watched Emily slip back out the door and used her cane to stand between everybody.


“Everybody needs to calm for a moment.”


“At least I didn’t leave my ten-year-old child with an alcoholic,” Ira spat at Rose, who looked down.


“STOP!” Tara yelled, her face red now, “I know who's acting like a child right now and it certainly isn’t Emily. This is ridiculous.”


Ira picked up his jacket from the arm of the couch.


“Oh, it most certainly is that.”


He stomped toward the door.


“Ira,” Michelle said and followed behind him, “Ira!”


The door slammed and Tara was furious.


In an unusual turn of events, Willow managed to keep a calmer head and put a hand on Rose’s arm.


“I’m so sorry, Rose. He shouldn’t have said that.”


“It’s true,” Rose admitted with a remorseful line in her brow, “And I’ll die regretting it. You start to think about these things more when you get to my age, you see.”


She looked far away and smiled fondly.


“My only solace is knowing Lisa is waiting for me.”


She placed her hand over her heart. Willow cracked a smile.


“Hope you don’t have to fight off some ghost-wife.”


Rose laughed and it cracked some of the tension. Tara didn’t smile, but the wall of fury did drop. Rose took a single step forward.


“May I speak to Emily alone?”


Both Willow and Tara just nodded silently. When Rose was gone, they fell into the couch together, exhausted.


Willow slumped back.


“Well, that went just swell. At least our friends haven't been total assholes about it. Even Anya only made one jab about lesbians and birth control.”


Tara squeezed Willow's hand.


“They'll come around.”


Willow looked at Tara unsurely.


“How do you know?”


Tara turned her head to her wife.


“Because they have to.”


Rose went out to the stairs and stood at the base, looking up. After a second, a quiet voice came from the dining room.


“I’m in here, Nana.”


Rose walked in and smiled at Emily sitting cross-legged with Miss Kitty in her lap, stroking her.


“Well thank god,” she said, coming in, “I think I would have gotten stranded in the middle of those stairs. I would have had to call a rescue mission.”


Emily smiled but it didn’t reach her eyes.


“Can I sit?” Rose asked, gesturing to the free seat opposite Emily, “My old knees aren’t what they used to be.”


Emily nodded quickly.


Rose sat down and scooted in until she was also close enough to pet Miss Kitty too.


“Your mother named her, didn’t she?”


Emily looked up, surprised.


“Kinda. They told me a story of a fish they had in college named Miss Fishy Fantastico and I thought it was cool,” she paused and her brow creased quizzically, “How’d you know?”


Rose scratched between Miss Kitty’s ears and she purred.


“There was a stray when she was young. Feral, wouldn’t let any of us near it. Except for Tara. She had it eating out of the palm of her hand. She called it Miss Kitty Fantastico. We never had the heart to tell her it was a boy.”


Emily continued to pet Miss Kitty with even strokes.


“I-It’s a girl.”


“Oh, I know she is,” Rose nodded as she caught the underside of Miss Kitty’s chin.


Emily’s eyes glanced up, shining with emotion.


“I meant the baby.”


Rose met her gaze and smiled.


“I know,” she whispered softly and reached out to clasp Emily’s hand, “I had a dream a few months back. I didn’t think much of it at first. It was of your grandma Lisa and I have plenty of dreams of her.”


Emily looked confused but didn’t interrupt.


“But this one was different,” Rose continued, “I always remember her how she was but she was older. My age. The age she would be. She was holding a baby. I thought it was Tara. She was fair like Tara was. She kept saying ‘Katie, Katie’ — but like I wasn’t understanding her. Eventually, she just smiled her little crooked smile and placed the baby in my arms and I felt an incredible peace come over me. I woke up in that second before I could even look down.”


She blinked several times.


“I had forgotten about it until your mothers just told me all of this,” she admitted and directed her smile at Emily again, “But when they did I felt that same sense of peace.”


She squeezed Emily’s hand.


“Your grandmother was pregnant quite young too. Not quite as young as you but not far off.”


Emily frowned.


“I thought she was older when she had Mom.”


“She was,” Rose nodded softly.


“Oh,” Emily replied and frowned deeper, “Oh.”


Rose looked sad for a life long gone.


“She would have been a great mother at any age,” she said eventually, looking directly into Emily’s eyes, “And I know you will too.”


Emily’s eyes filled with tears. Emily swiped at them with her sleeve.


“Her name isn’t Katie,” she shook her head, “It’s Kelly.”


Rose smiled and whispered the name to herself.


“That must have been what I was mishearing.”


“Only Lily knows,” Emily said, then clarified, “Her name.”


Rose held a hand over her heart.


“I’m honored.”


Emily leaned into a hug and Miss Kitty jumped off in distaste.


“I love you, Nana.”


Rose kissed Emily’s cheek.


“Everything will be okay, honey.”


Emily sniffled.


“I hope so.”


Rose pulled back to look at her reassuringly.


“I know so.”



Willow drove into the school parking lot and parked as close to the front as she could get.


She hoped this was a quick in-and-out meeting. It was typical; for months she’d had nothing to do but twiddle her thumbs but when she’d finally agreed to do some consulting work for the FBI, the school had called them in for a discussion. Tara had to be in court so Willow had to take it but she would be watching the clock.


These meetings were usually quick. Find out what Lily did, figure out how much it would cost to replace, and write a check. Willow didn’t know why they couldn’t just let her mail it in but she guessed they had to keep up appearances.


She checked in with the secretary and sat her butt in one of the little plastic seats to wait.


Her toe tapped for eight minutes until she was finally called in.


“Mrs. Rosenberg-Maclay.”


“Mr. Kelly,” Willow greeted with a handshake, “Though I’m in here so often I feel like I can call you Joe.”


“Mr. Kelly is fine,” Mr. Kelly replied and sat back into his chair.


“O-kay,” Willow replied, sitting opposite, “Well, whatever she damaged, we’ll pay for it.”


Mr. Kelly’s brow creased.


“I’m sorry?”


“Whatever Lily damaged, we’ll pay for,” Willow clarified, “The school year is almost up, let’s just see it out, hey?”


Mr. Kelly’s lips pursed.


“I didn’t call you in to discuss Lily.”


Willow paled.


“Oh.”


Mr. Kelly nodded.


“It’s come to our attention that Emily is…” he paused, “Well, there’s no delicate way to say it. She’s gotten herself into an unfortunate situ—”


“She’s pregnant,” Willow cut him off.


Mr. Kelly looked like he flinched at the word.


“Yes. We would have appreciated being brought into the loop.”


Willow held a hand up.


“As I said…the school year is nearly up. She won’t be attending here once she has the baby.”


Mr. Kelly’s eyes closed for a moment.


“Well, the issue is the end of the year that you mention. I’m afraid Emily has fallen behind in her grades and unfortunately won’t be eligible to walk with the rest of her graduating class at the end of the month.”


Willow’s mouth dropped open.


“She can’t graduate?!”


“She will still graduate and receive her diploma,” Mr. Kelly clarified, “She just can’t walk with the class.”


Willow’s upper lip twitched.


“So you’re saying…that she can’t walk because of her grades.”


“Correct,” Mr. Kelly nodded.


Willow’s eyes narrowed.


“So what’s the GPA required to walk?”


Mr. Kelly’s mouth opened and closed.


“Unattainable in the time frame, unfortunately.”


Willow arched an eyebrow.


“And you’d have no problem with me seeing the GPAs of all of her class to confirm?”


Mr. Kelly squirmed uncomfortably.


“Well, those are confidential.”


“Mmm,” Willow replied and then her watch beeped, “I have to go. I’ll be touch.”


“Unnecessary—” Mr. Kelly started but Willow looked back over her shoulder and held a finger up.


“I’ll be in touch.”


She hurriedly jogged back to the parking lot but in her haste, she almost bumped into someone.


“Oh, I’m so sorry,” she held her hands up in apology and was surprised to see she recognized the face looking back down, “Dad.”


“Willow,” Ira returned with an obvious dry mouth.


“What are you doing here?” they asked at the same time and both smiled.


“This is my usual walking circuit,” Ira explained, “I enjoy watching the football team practice sometimes.”


“I had to go in for a meeting,” Willow offered her excuse, then swallowed, “They know Emily’s pregnant.”


Ira inhaled and exhaled slowly.


“Oh?”


Willow nodded and crossed her arms over her chest.


“And they’re saying she’s not allowed walk at her graduation.”


Ira arched an eyebrow.


“Excuse me?”


Willow sighed.


“They said her grades slipped, which I know they did but she got them back up. But she still has an above-average GPA so that’s just bullshit. They don’t want anyone to see her.”


Willow almost said ‘dicks’ but remembered who she was talking to at the last second.


Something came over Ira’s face and he pushed his chest up.


“My granddaughter will most certainly walk with the rest of her class.”


“Well, my thoughts exactly!” Willow replied, throwing a hand up but then her watched beeped again and she looked at it with frustration, “But now I’m late for work and…”


Ira held a hand up and stood tall.


“Let me deal with it.”


Willow frowned.


“Dad, um…”


She trailed off unsurely and Ira met her gaze.


“I cannot say where my head is at with this news,” he admitted, “But unfairness to my family I will not stand for. Emily is my granddaughter and I love her more than the world. Who’s the principal at this institution?”


Willow slowly smiled.


“Joe Kelly.”


“Joe Kelly,” Ira nodded once, “We are about to have a word.”



Ira and Willow walked through the front door, laughing together.


“He was freaking out! Not the ROB, not the ROB!” Willow laughed and looked quizzically at her father, “What is the ROB?”


Ira’s mustache twitched.


“Retirees of Buffalo.”


Willow burst into fresh laughter.


“I will have you know we are a very influential group in the community,” Ira said with faux-indignation.


“Clearly!” Willow replied with a grin, “Joe Kelly won’t be denying anyone their graduation walk ever again.”


She stopped and looked up.


“Thank you, Dad.”


At the top of the stairs, Emily appeared. Willow and Ira looked over to her at the same time. Ira took a step forward.


“Emily,” Ira said humbly and offered his hand as she came off the stairs, “I must apologize to you that the first words to you upon hearing your news was not ‘I love you’.”


Emily’s breath caught gently in her throat.


Coming out of the kitchen, Tara eyed the scene and caught Willow’s hand.


“How was work?” she worked quietly.


“Fine. The same,” Willow shrugged one shoulder, “Something to do. At least I can pick and choose the cases I do now.”


Tara’s eyes cast over to Ira and then back to Willow in question.


“He really helped us out today,” Willow said, glancing over and delighting in seeing Ira and Emily hug, “Helped Emily. I’ll explain it all later.”


Tara nodded evenly.


“I won’t let Emily be hurt.”


“Me either,” Willow replied softly.


Tara pressed her fingertips against Willow’s cheeks and pecked her.


“Ira, would you like to stay for dinner?” Tara called over.


Ira smiled softly and squeezed Emily’s shoulder.


“Yes, I would. I’ll set the table.”


“I’ll help, Zayde,” Emily offered and they went off together to do the task.


Lily arrived home about ten minutes before Tara usually served up and unusually, had someone with her.


“Emmett’s staying for dinner, okay?” she said, looking into the kitchen with Emmett beside her.


Willow gasped.


“She’s actually bringing him home.”


“We get to meet him for more than five seconds,” Tara said in the same exaggerated tone.


“This is why,” Lily held up a finger to her mothers and swung her head back at Emmett, “This is why. Let’s go get Taco Bell.”


“Stop, stop,” Willow said, chuckling, “Come in. Your grandfather is here.”


“Oh, geez,” Lily swore under her breath, “I guess you might as well get it all over with in one go.”


Tara lifted her hand to wave from in front of her burner.


“We’re very pleased to have you for dinner. I hope you like chicken and dumplings. I’m still used to cooking for seven so there’s always plenty.”


Emmett nodded keenly.


“Sounds delicious, ma’am.”


Tara smiled.


“No ma’am needed. You two, go wash up and take a seat.”


Willow helped Tara bring all of the food into a dining room and Ira spent a good portion of the dinner grilling Emmett in a way Willow or Tara would never have been forgiven for.


After dinner, Lily told Emmett to go up to her room while she cleared his and her dishes.


“Lily, Emmett is lovely,” Tara complimented when they were alone in the kitchen, “Why did it take you so long to introduce us properly?”


Lily shrugged one shoulder.


“He didn’t want his Dad to give him shit.”


“For having a girlfriend?” Tara asked in confusion.


“For having a girlfriend with two moms,” Lily threw her eyes up to heaven.


Tara shook her head but didn’t comment.


“What changed?”


“I don’t know, to be honest,” Lily answered with another shrug.


Tara came over and wrapped her arm around Lily’s shoulder for a sidelong hug.


“Well I’m glad it did,” she said and exhaled softly while looking at her daughter, “Lily, are you having sex? I have to ask.”


Lily looked at Tara for a long moment and suppressed her usual need for sass or joking.


“No,” she shook her head.


Tara nodded gratefully for an honest answer.


“Promise you’ll be safe when you decide to?”


Lily nodded quickly, cheeks turning unusually pink.


“I’m not stupid, Mom. I promise. And I’m already on birth control.”


Tara paused. That was going to be her next question.


Why she hadn’t demanded it the moment they found out about Emily seemed crazy to her but she'd heard Lily was still a virgin and there was so much else going on. Regardless, it was a failure and she was ashamed Lily had had to do it alone.


She wished Lily had told her she was doing that and wished it was an experience they could have shared. For once, Emily was shouting louder and Tara had lost sight of Lily.


This parenting stuff never got easier.


But she was proud that Lily was being responsible.


“Good girl,” she said eventually and kissed Lily’s forehead, then let her go.


“Keep your door open!” Willow yelled after Lily when she saw her sprinting up the stairs.


“Willow, give her a break,” Tara clucked.


Willow continued into the kitchen and closed her arms around Tara from behind.


“That was delicious. Thank you.”


“You’re welcome,” Tara replied softly, “Tell me about your day? Sounds like it was eventful.”


“It was something,” Willow replied with a sigh, “Like life in general lately. But you know what?”


“What?” Tara asked, rubbing her fingertips over Willow’s knuckles around her stomach.


Willow squeezed Tara a little tighter.


“Every day that ends up like this is a day well spent in my book.”

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 Post subject: Re: Family Confidential - The Final Quarter (September 23rd)
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:43 am 
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Dibs! :whip

Quote:
Ira stood up but it looked like he didn’t know which way to go. He eventually threw his hands up.


“Well, this is absurd.”


“Ira…” Michelle tugged on his arm gently.


“You expect me to be happy about this?” Ira blew up, “She’s a child. She can’t have a child!”


“Dad,” Willow took a step forward, “I know this is hard. Believe me, I know.”

Quote:
Ira’s face was set in stone, which he turned toward Willow.


“How could you let this happen?”


“You’re not exactly the paradigm of perfect parenting yourself, Dad,” Willow shot back.


“This is no time to bring that up,” Michelle said in a loud whisper.


Rose watched Emily slip back out the door and used her cane to stand between everybody.


“Everybody needs to calm for a moment.”


“At least I didn’t leave my ten-year-old child with an alcoholic,” Ira spat at Rose, who looked down.


“STOP!” Tara yelled, her face red now, “I know who's acting like a child right now and it certainly isn’t Emily. This is ridiculous.”


Ira picked up his jacket from the arm of the couch.


“Oh, it most certainly is that.”


He stomped toward the door.


“Ira,” Michelle said and followed behind him, “Ira!”


The door slammed and Tara was furious.

Like Willow and JJ, Ira reacted badly to the news in his shock. But hey, he's human and nobody is perfect (apart from Saint Tara of course :wink ).

Quote:
“Well, that went just swell. At least our friends haven't been total assholes about it. Even Anya only made one jab about lesbians and birth control.”

So the talk with all aunts and uncles - all together or in pairs - already happened "of screen"? Then I guess the cousins are already informed as well?

Quote:
“I-It’s a girl.”


“Oh, I know she is,” Rose nodded as she caught the underside of Miss Kitty’s chin.


Emily’s eyes glanced up, shining with emotion.


“I meant the baby.”


Rose met her gaze and smiled.


“I know,” she whispered softly and reached out to clasp Emily’s hand, “I had a dream a few months back. I didn’t think much of it at first. It was of your grandma Lisa and I have plenty of dreams of her.”


Emily looked confused but didn’t interrupt.


“But this one was different,” Rose continued, “I always remember her how she was but she was older. My age. The age she would be. She was holding a baby. I thought it was Tara. She was fair like Tara was. She kept saying ‘Katie, Katie’ — but like I wasn’t understanding her. Eventually, she just smiled her little crooked smile and placed the baby in my arms and I felt an incredible peace come over me. I woke up in that second before I could even look down.”


She blinked several times.


“I had forgotten about it until your mothers just told me all of this,” she admitted and directed her smile at Emily again, “But when they did I felt that same sense of peace.”

So Rose had a prophetic dream or message from Lisa in heaven? I don't really know what to make of that but good for her and Emily that she could react so totally accepting and supportive.

Quote:
“I had to go in for a meeting,” Willow offered her excuse, then swallowed, “They know Emily’s pregnant.”


Ira inhaled and exhaled slowly.


“Oh?”


Willow nodded and crossed her arms over her chest.


“And they’re saying she’s not allowed walk at her graduation.”


Ira arched an eyebrow.


“Excuse me?”


Willow sighed.


“They said her grades slipped, which I know they did but she got them back up. But she still has an above-average GPA so that’s just bullshit. They don’t want anyone to see her.”


Willow almost said ‘dicks’ but remembered who she was talking to at the last second.


Something came over Ira’s face and he pushed his chest up.


“My granddaughter will most certainly walk with the rest of her class.”


“Well, my thoughts exactly!” Willow replied, throwing a hand up but then her watched beeped again and she looked at it with frustration, “But now I’m late for work and…”


Ira held a hand up and stood tall.


“Let me deal with it.”


Willow frowned.


“Dad, um…”


She trailed off unsurely and Ira met her gaze.


“I cannot say where my head is at with this news,” he admitted, “But unfairness to my family I will not stand for. Emily is my granddaughter and I love her more than the world. Who’s the principal at this institution?”


Willow slowly smiled.


“Joe Kelly.”


“Joe Kelly,” Ira nodded once, “We are about to have a word.”

Good thing that the principal behaved like a cowardly arsehole so Ira was driven into protective "(Grand)Papa Bear" mode!

Quote:
“He was freaking out! Not the ROF, not the ROF!” Willow laughed and looked quizzically at her father, “What is the ROF?”


Ira’s mustache twitched.


“Retirees of Buffalo.”

Shouldn't that be ROB?

Quote:
“Emily,” Ira said humbly and offered his hand as she came off the stairs, “I must apologize to you that the first words to you upon hearing your news was not ‘I love you’.”


Emily’s breath caught gently in her throat.

Quote:
Tara’s eyes cast over to Ira and then back to Willow in question.


“He really helped us out today,” Willow said, glancing over and delighting in seeing Ira and Emily hug, “Helped Emily. I’ll explain it all later.”


Tara nodded evenly.


“I won’t let Emily be hurt.”


“Me either,” Willow replied softly.


Tara pressed her fingertips against Willow’s cheeks and pecked her.


“Ira, would you like to stay for dinner?” Tara called over.


Ira smiled softly and squeezed Emily’s shoulder.


“Yes, I would. I’ll set the table.”


“I’ll help, Zayde,” Emily offered and they went off together to do the task.

Aww, glad that Ira made amends to Emily and is now part of the support group!

Quote:
“Emmett’s staying for dinner, okay?” she said, looking into the kitchen with Emmett beside her.


Willow gasped.


“She’s actually bringing him home.”


“We get to meet him for more than five seconds,” Tara said in the same exaggerated tone.


“This is why,” Lily held up a finger to her mothers and swung her head back at Emmett, “This is why. Let’s go get Taco Bell.”

:lol

Quote:
“Lily, are you having sex? I have to ask.”


Lily looked at Tara for a long moment and suppressed her usual need for sass or joking.

Wow, Lily seems to become more mature...I expected her to answer "Not right now, nope." or something like that when I read the question.

Quote:
“Promise you’ll be safe when you decide to?”


Lily nodded quickly, cheeks turning unusually pink.


“I’m not stupid, Mom. I promise. And I’m already on birth control.”


Tara paused. That was going to be her next question.


Why she hadn’t demanded it the moment they found out about Emily seemed crazy to her but she'd heard Lily was still a virgin and there was so much else going on. Regardless, it was a failure and she was ashamed Lily had had to do it alone.


She wished Lily had told her she was doing that and wished it was an experience they could have shared. For once, Emily was shouting louder and Tara had lost sight of Lily.


This parenting stuff never got easier.


But she was proud that Lily was being responsible.


“Good girl,” she said eventually and kissed Lily’s forehead, then let her go.

Another proof that Lily is more mature and responsible than her parents think - at least when it comes to "big stuff". And proof that despite my earlier jab Tara isn't perfect either, thank god!

Quote:
“Tell me about your day? Sounds like it was eventful.”


“It was something,” Willow replied with a sigh, “Like life in general lately. But you know what?”


“What?” Tara asked, rubbing her fingertips over Willow’s knuckles around her stomach.


Willow squeezed Tara a little tighter.


“Every day that ends up like this is a day well spent in my book.”

:flower Wonderful that they can still say and mean that after 30 years together.


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 Post subject: Re: Family Confidential - The Final Quarter (September 23rd)
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:50 am 
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Ms. Moderator Fantastico
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Quote:
Shouldn't that be ROB?


YUP!

Thank you :blush

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 Post subject: Re: Family Confidential - The Final Quarter (September 23rd)
PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2020 5:00 am 
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Ms. Moderator Fantastico
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Will's redemption

Quote:
Dibs! :whip


:banana

Quote:
Like Willow and JJ, Ira reacted badly to the news in his shock. But hey, he's human and nobody is perfect (apart from Saint Tara of course :wink ).


Tara is most definitely not perfect, she's just imperfect in a more quiet way.

Quote:
So the talk with all aunts and uncles - all together or in pairs - already happened "of screen"? Then I guess the cousins are already informed as well?


Yes, for one simple reason - it would be a nightmare to both read and write the same conversation happening multiple times over. If this was on TV and I could cut away to all of the different reactions it would be one thing but logistically it didn't work in writing.

Quote:
So Rose had a prophetic dream or message from Lisa in heaven? I don't really know what to make of that but good for her and Emily that she could react so totally accepting and supportive.


Rose had a dream. The reader can decide if it was really a message from heaven or just a dream that fits in the scenario. It's not a big plot point and I'm not making a point of anything, it's just a passing moment and not indicitive of anything supernatural.

Quote:
Good thing that the principal behaved like a cowardly arsehole so Ira was driven into protective "(Grand)Papa Bear" mode!


Those Rosenbergs need to be angered into action sometimes!

Quote:
Aww, glad that Ira made amends to Emily and is now part of the support group!


Emily needs all the family she can get!

Quote:
Wow, Lily seems to become more mature...I expected her to answer "Not right now, nope." or something like that when I read the question.


She has her moments :)

Quote:
Another proof that Lily is more mature and responsible than her parents think - at least when it comes to "big stuff". And proof that despite my earlier jab Tara isn't perfect either, thank god!


True and true!

Quote:
:flower Wonderful that they can still say and mean that after 30 years together.


Always :flower

Thanks so much for your feedback!



Update Directly Below

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 Post subject: Re: Family Confidential - The Final Quarter (September 23rd)
PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2020 5:00 am 
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Chapter Fourteen




Willow walked into the FBI building and as ever, sighed a little as she did so.


She walked to the elevator and waved her hand at the sensor in the elevator, letting it pick up the little chip in her wrist that identified her.


She’d only ever agreed to wear one of these things because she had the device that wiped it at her whim.


She may be a techie who found the idea of wearable tech fascinating, but she wasn’t stupid. After seeing the kind of people who’d run for president in her adult life, she trusted her family and nobody else.


Though she may or may not have tried to convince Tara to get the kids chipped so she could track them better after they became wise to her phone and watch scams. Tara had just looked at her unamused, shook her head, and walked away.


Maybe if I’d tracked Emily better I wouldn’t be on the verge of grandmotherdom.


Though it probably wouldn’t have helped since they knew where Lily and Emily were going that night before they went. Willow had tried several times to tease more information on who she’d been with that night to try and track down whoever it was that had gotten her into this position but all Emily would say is ‘he was nice to me’ and ‘this isn’t his problem’.


And all of this chatter going through her brain during the brief ride up to her old floor was exactly why Willow had come back to work, at least on an ad hoc basis. She’d forgotten the mind-numbing boredom of unemployment when she’d opted for early retirement. She thought she’d have enough to do with the TARA system updates and family life and finding new hobbies but those first two things kind of summed up her hobbies.


The doors opened and she stepped out into the hustle and bustle.


Coming out from his Head of Department office, Jesse smiled easily as Willow passed him by.


“Sure we can’t convince you to come back full time? No one can get our intel as fast as you.”


“TARA can,” Willow winked.


“Not the same!” Jesse shook his head.


“I’m only here because I’m bored,” Willow admitted freely, “And I’m not allowed to flicker the lights in my wife’s office anymore.”


Jesse held up his hands.


“What you two get up to at home or in her office is your business.”


Willow looked at him wryly and went to move on but Jesse stopped her.


“Hey,” he asked, lowering his voice, “How’s Em?”


Willow faltered. They hadn’t seen any of their friends since spreading the news of Emily’s pregnancy.


“She’s doing okay.”


Jesse shook his head.


“I don’t know what I would have done if Ella came home in high school…hell, even now…”


“None of us do,” Willow answered quickly, “You’re coming to the graduation party, right?”


Jesse smiled again.


“Looking forward to it,” he said with a resolute nod, “And my baby girl coming home.”


Willow sighed.


“When did we get old?”


“Sneaked up on us,” Jesse shrugged, “Happens to the best of us.”


“Sneaky bandit,” Willow replied and took another step forward, “Send me in some interesting cases today?”


“Had your fill of cocky venture capitalists?” Jesse called after her as he spun on his heels, “I’ll see what I can do.”


Willow walked right past her old robot room and to a consultant’s room down the hall. It only had two screens where her old office had ten but this kind of work didn’t necessitate the need to look at ten things at once. She mostly connected the dots of the work the rest of the crew had gathered but couldn’t quite piece together the way she could.


There was definitely satisfaction in getting to be the one to put the final puzzle piece in place. Not for her soul, but for her mind.


She put her coffee on the desk and signed in with her chip, after which she promptly wiped it.


It took a while for a cart to be sent down with files for Willow to check into. Why they could chip their staff but still used actual, physical files was beyond Willow. But not her circus, not her monkeys. At least not anymore.


She grabbed the first file and took a quick peek through. Credit card records for a COO of a multinational.


“Super interesting, Jess,” she muttered and stretched her fingers to ready them for their journey she was sure would take her to many, many offshore accounts.


With how often she virtually visited The Cayman Islands, she hoped she would visit them for real one day.


She spent her afternoon working through the cases and wondering what Tara was making for dinner.


The last case file was coded red, which Willow knew meant ‘raid imminent’. Tonight, in fact.


Willow arched an eyebrow.


Interesting, at least.


She skimmed the file.


Undeclared taxes.


Not so interesting.


She didn’t even need to find anything, just confirm the findings already there. Her eyes scanned something and she frowned.


Restaurant Direct Group.


Why did she know that name?


It took a second, then her eyes widened and her head shot up.


“Oh shit!”


She grabbed her red pen from her collection of different colored pens and scribbled ‘conflict of interest’ in front of the file. She turned off the computers, put the files back in the cart, and wheeled it out herself, which was a task a runner or mail attendant usually did.


“Here’s your files back, Jess,” she said in a rushed tone, “I’ll, uh, see you at the party.”


Jesse stood politely.


“You won’t be in before then?”


“I hope not,” Willow replied with a single nod.


Jesse chuckled.


“I won’t take that personally. See you later, Will.”


“Bye,” Willow replied and walked down the hallway with her phone in her hand.


She rang Tara. It picked up on the third ring.


“Hey, you.”


Willow melted on the spot.


“Hey, you,” she said softly, then quickly remembered why she’d called, “Are Lily and Emmett there?”


“Yes,” Tara answered, “They’re listening to music.”


“Make sure Emmett stays for dinner,” Willow said insistently as she stepped into the elevator and pressed the button for the lobby, “And make sure their door is open!”


There was a lag on the other end, then Tara spoke, sounding concerned.


“Willow?”


“Just trust me,” Willow said with soft reassurance, “I’ll be home soon. I love you.”


“I love you, too,” Tara answered softly and hung up the call.


Then alone in the elevator, Willow started to dance.


“Oompa, Loompa, doom-pa-dee-do. Woo and woo and hoo and hoo!”



Willow let herself into the house and was pleased to see Lily and Emmett were in the living room playing a very old copy of Hungry, Hungry Hippos with Emily, and seemingly having a gay old time.


She left her bag by the door and went into the kitchen, where Tara was slicing a tomato.


“Ooh, Caprese salad? I’ve been dreaming all day of what delights would end up in my belly tonight and that tops the list. Are you using the nice balsamic with the truffle infused in it?”


Tara put her knife down and looked at Willow sternly.


“Willow, what the hell is going on?”


Willow closed the kitchen door behind her before taking a step forward. She opened her mouth and held out her hands.


“I… can’t tell you.”


Tara didn’t sigh but she didn’t have to; her eyes said it all.


“Willow, do we have to play this game? Just tell me.”


Willow threw her hands up helplessly.


“I can’t. I could be arrested!”


Tara’s eyes clouded.


“What have you done? Were you messing with government buildings again?”


“No!” Willow replied with an indignant scoff, “Look.”


She took another step, then jumped once on the spot in frustration.


“I can’t tell you!”


Tara gripped the island with an annoyed look.


“You will find out though,” Willow tried to be helpful.


Tara frowned.


“That sounds like a threat.”


“It’s not a threat, baby,” Willow came over to stand opposite her wife, on the other side of the island, “It’s a sometimes-we-can’t-tell-each-other-things-because-we-have-government-jobs situation.”


“Those things don’t usually involve our daughter,” Tara arched an eyebrow.


“Lily is fine,” Willow reassured, “Okay? I promise. We may just have an eventful night ahead of us.”


Tara’s eyes widened and Willow clamped her lips.


“I said too much. Can we please just have dinner?


Tara picked up the knife again.


“I don’t appreciate this.”


Willow smiled awkwardly.


“Any chance you could say that while you’re not wielding a pointy object?”


“Just go set the table,” Tara replied curtly.


Willow started to mumble something about it being the kids' job but one look from Tara promptly shut her up.


Tara served up pasta bake with the Caprese salad and called everyone to eat.


“Thanks for inviting me for dinner,” Emmett said as he took his seat, “We don’t do this at home.”


“Y-You don’t do dinner?” Emily asked with a frown.


“Not like this,” Emmett clarified, “They let me do my own thing.”


Willow smiled sympathetically.


“Been there, buddy.”


Tara poured Emmett some lemonade and he smiled. Something that had been ingrained in him was to have a winning smile but he didn’t really have to force it around Lily, or now her family.


“You guys are really cool.”


“Ew, Emmett,” Lily slapped him with the back of her hand, “Those are my parents. You can’t think they’re cool.”


“He can think whatever he likes,” Willow grinned with her chin held high.


“Thank you, Emmett,” Tara added in, handing over a basket, “Would you like some garlic bread?”


He smiled again and took a piece.


After dinner, Lily was quick to push out her chair.


“Can we go upstairs?”


“Sure, sweetie,” Tara replied as she dropped her napkin onto her plate, “Just bring your dishes inside.”


“Keep your door open,” Willow called after her.


Lily rolled her eyes in Emily’s direction.


“You ruined it for everyone.”


“Lily,” Tara scolded.


“She knows I’m kidding,” Lily said, brushing her fingers against Emily’s shoulder, “C’mon Emmett.”


“Thanks for dinner, it was great,” Emmett smiled and followed Lily out to the kitchen with his dishes.


Lily brought him upstairs and shut her bedroom door behind her. Emmett arched an eyebrow.


“Uh, didn’t they say…”


Lily smirked and placed her palm on Emmett’s chest.


“I’ll say the wind did it.”


She lifted herself onto her toes to kiss him and he smiled and took a seat on her bed.


“Can we listen to some tunes?”


“Sure,” Lily smiled, “TARA play some mood music.”


Music started to play and Emmett leaned back on his elbows.


“Is it weird using your Mom’s name like that?”


“No, her name isn’t ‘Tara’, it’s ‘Mom’. The voice scares me sometimes though,” Lily shrugged and fell down onto the bed beside Emmett, “I don’t know why we can’t hang at your house anymore. No one ever bothers us.”


“This place is so chill,” Emmett replied easily.


“You should have seen it when my brothers and big sister lived here,” Lily sighed, then smiled softly tapped the corner of Emmett’s mouth, “You’ve been doing that a lot more lately.”


“Thanks to you,” Emmett said and reached up to caress Lily’s wrist, “I’ve never had a friend like you before. Someone I could really talk to.”


It was true, they had talked a lot. And made out in-between but Emmett never pushed for more. It wasn’t like wannabe-prince Harry who seemed to get off on the idea of being noble; Emmett seemed to enjoy being close to Lily but she didn’t have to push him off her. He actually liked to talk to her, to get to know her. Lily loved that. But she also wanted to see more of the shirtless Emmett she’d first admired on the lacrosse field.


“A friend, huh?” she asked, dancing her fingers up her torso, “Wanna get friendly?”


She kissed him and he let his hand come to rest gently on her cheek.


“Lily—”


Lily moved her hand down to rub Emmett’s hip.


“If my sister being knocked up freaks you out—”


“No, no,” Emmett smiled that easy smile again, “I think Emily is really cool. And really brave. And strong. Stronger than me.”


He seemed surprised that he said that last part. Lily was too or confused at least.


“What do you mean?”


Emmett sat up, bringing Lily with him. He took both of her hands.


“Lily, I have to tell you something.”


Lily arched a soft, expectant eyebrow. Emmett looked deep into her eyes and there was one thing for sure; they were full of love.


“I think I’m—”


Suddenly there was a loud disruption in the form of the latest pop song buzzing from Emmett’s pocket.


He scrambled for it.


“Shit. It’s the house. I better take it.”


You did not ignore a phone call from Jonathan McFarland. Emmett answered quickly, politely, robotically.


Moments later, he jumped off the bed.


“What?!”


Downstairs, Willow was the first to hear the desperate footsteps heading toward them because she was the only one listening out.


“Okay, now I can tell you!” she turned to Tara urgently, “Emmett’s dad was raided for tax evasion!”


Tara’s eyes bugged out of her head.


“What!?”


They heard the front door opening and both of them ran out there. Emily came from the dining room where she’d been doing homework, confused.


Willow ran after Emmett who was trying to jump into his truck.


“Stop, stop, stop, stop!”


“I have to get home!” Emmett said desperately, “My dad, he was arrested!”


“Okay,” Willow replied evenly, hoping he’d take some calmness from her, “I’ll take you.”


“I’m coming,” Lily started to step out in her socks, but Tara pulled her back.


“Lily, no.”


Lily spun around, irate.


“I have to go.”


“It’s a crime scene,” Tara said softly, “You wouldn’t even be allowed.”


Lily spun back around with tears in her eyes and watched Emmett worriedly get into the passenger seat so Willow could get into the driver’s seat. She could have put it on self-drive but she didn’t want to leave the kid alone.


“Where’s your mother, Emmett?” Willow asked gently.


Emmett looked up and gulped.


“With my dad, I think,” he said, his frown deepening, “The housekeeper called me.”


Willow frowned too. She got Emmett to call out his address for the navigation system and tried not to smile when she heard her wife’s voice come back to confirm. How she ever convinced Tara to do that, she’d never know. The world would be a lucky place if she ever dropped the exclusivity section of her license to the FBI and allowed Tara to be the voice everyone interacted with through their daily lives.


It would also be a hell of a lot of work though.


And Willow had a different project to keep her busy in the immediate future.


Hopefully.


She glanced at Emmett.


Best not to think about that right now.


She turned onto the street that led to the McFarland estate but she didn’t get far as it was swarmed with various departments of cop cars. Emmett jumped out of the car before Willow had even slowed down fully.


Willow parked between a couple of sets of cop cars and followed Emmett who was shaking the gates up to the driveway.


“I gotta get in, that’s my Dad!”


“There is no entrance,” the agent beside him said, not without sympathy.


Willow recognized the voice before she could make out the figure with all of the flashing bright lights.


“Jesse.”


Jesse looked up in surprise.


“Willow,” he said, doing a double-take but maintaining professional decorum, “…what are you doing here?”


Willow held a hand toward Emmett, who was now clutching his head in his hands.


“Emmett is Lily’s boyfriend.”


Jesse arched a solitary eyebrow.


“Hence the conflict of interest.”


“I didn’t say anything,” Willow said in a low, important voice, “To anyone.”


“I know,” Jesse nodded evenly; he trusted Willow enough for that, “But you should get out of here. Can the kid stay with you? His parents certainly aren’t coming home tonight.”


“Yeah, sure,” Willow quickly nodded.


“Did they ask about me?”


Both Willow and Jesse turned to Emmett when they heard him speak.


“Did they ask anyone to make sure I was okay?” Emmett asked again, his voice turned hollow.


Jesse’s brow creased.


“Uh…”


Emmett’s face suddenly hardened and it made Willow’s stomach drop because she remembered the look on his face from any time she looked in the mirror as a teenager.


“Come on, Emmett,” Willow put an arm around his shoulders and he didn’t object.


The ride home was silent but Willow knew Emmett needed the space to process.


“You can sleep in one of the boys’ rooms,” Willow said as she brought him back inside, “They’re all made up, you can pick which one.”


“Emmett!” Lily threw herself around him but he didn’t stumble; he stayed solid, “What the hell is going on?!”


“Everybody come into the living room,” Willow said calmly, “I’ll help Mom make some cocoa.”


Willow ushered the kids into the living room and then Tara into the kitchen.


Tara leaned over the island with a heavy sigh.


“Lily has been going bananas. What’s going on?”


She went to the refrigerator and got out the milk, which she poured into a saucepan.


Willow gnawed on the corner of her lip.


“The feds raided their house. It looked like every agency on the books was there. If I were to categorize this using official FBI language I would say they are in double-dog-doo-doo.”


“Oh my god,” Tara said as she found the cocoa powder in the cabinet, “That poor kid. And he has no other family?”


Willow shrugged.


“I have no idea. None around, I guess. I don’t know anything about the case, I had to tag it as a conflict of interest. You’re pretty much as up to speed as me. Well, except—”


Suddenly Lily screeched and Tara looked over her shoulder.


“Can you deal with that?”


Willow nodded and hurried out to calm Lily down.


“We have to do our breathing, panda,” Willow said easily, “Do it with me. In for four. Hold for seven. Out for eight.”


“In for four. Hold for seven. Out for eight,” Emily encouraged.


“In for four. Hold for seven. Out for eight,” Emmett joined in and encasing her in a circle, the three of them got Lily’s breathing regulated.


Once Lily had stopped shaking, she went over to the piano and started to play quietly; an activity that helped her slot everything into place in her mind.


Tara didn’t question it when she brought the trays of hot chocolate in and Lily was playing a jaunty tune in the midst of all of this drama. She actually thought she saw Emmett crack a smile.


When Lily was ready, she came to sit in Emmett’s lap, who held her close.


Willow didn’t comment.


She did explain what was happening and did her best to answer questions, though none of them came from Emmett.


He just sat quietly and listened and drank his hot chocolate. He seemed to be mulling over a lot.


When it was time for bed, Willow walked into their room and kept the door ajar.


“We’re keeping our door open tonight too so I can keep watch.”


Tara shot Willow the quickest of glances.


“I know that look,” Willow said knowingly, “You want to tell me to loosen up but you also don’t want another pregnant daughter.”


“She’s on birth control,” Tara rolled her eyes.


“I want to be doubly sure,” Willow replied indignantly, “Wait…she is?”


Willow looked wounded so Tara was quick to jump in.


“She went by herself. I didn’t know until recently. But it’s something we should have done earlier. We were remiss not to realize just because unplanned pregnancy is never something we’ve had to contend with.”


“They’re 16!” Willow protested.


“And now look what’s happened,” Tara replied with a sigh, “Not that Emily could take the pill anyway, I suppose.”


“Oh right,” Willow replied quietly, “Her heart thing.”


She gnawed on her lip.


“Guess there was no stopping this happening.”


Feeling something close to acceptance for the first time, she changed into her pajamas, then flopped down onto the bed where Tara was already lying.


“Why couldn’t they all be gay?” she held up one hand hopefully, “Even Robyn couldn’t commit fully.”


“Willow,” Tara scolded.


“I’m kidding,” Willow chuckled and arched an eyebrow at Tara, “You do have the gay genes though.”


Tara looked over in confusion at her pile of folded laundry. Willow laughed.


“Not jeans,” she said, looking at Tara adoringly, “Genes. The double-helixy kind.”


Tara’s brow folded.


“What are you talking about?”


Willow held up three fingers, one at a time.


“Lisa-Tara-Robyn,” she counted off, “Three generations of gay. And I have suspicions about your grandmother from the photos I’ve seen.”


“Willow,” Tara scolded again, “Short hair does not make her a lesbian.”


Willow arched an eyebrow.


“I’ve heard Michelle talk about her ‘friend’ Cheryl who was always hanging around the house…”


“My grandfather worked away at the oil rigs,” Tara explained, then rolled her eyes when Willow gave her a look, “Oh, stop it. Anyway, it’s all genetic. We’re born this way.”


Willow blew out some air.


“I’m just saying, Sheila Rosenberg wasn’t heading down to the local dyke bar on a Friday night, that’s for sure.”


Tara smirked on one side.


“Maybe the lady doth protest too much.”


Willow’s face scrunched in distaste.


“I pity the man or woman who next ends up in her clutches.”


They shared a smile and quietly laughed like it was old times and they weren’t facing all of the personal crises they were facing.


Willow suddenly sat up seriously.


“I have to say something and you’re going to think I’m a terrible person.”


Tara turned and gave Willow her full attention.


Willow swallowed deeply.


“I was excited when I saw that the McFarlands were about to be raided.”


Tara frowned slowly.


“Willow, why? I know he’s an asshole but…”


Willow gnawed on her lip again.


“Because it was one of the highest tax evasions I’ve ever seen.”


Tara looked expectant.


“And…?”


“And if he knows what’s good for him, and he does, he’ll sell off as many of his assets as fast as possible before they can be frozen,” Willow said in a rush.


Tara looked slightly helpless.


“Catch me up—” she started, then suddenly all at once, she knew what Willow was trying to tell her, “The waterfront property.”


Willow looked pained at the stunned look on Tara’s face.


“I know, I’m awful!” she proclaimed and threw her hand above her head dramatically, “I’m truly awful, I’m a fiend!”


Tara blinked twice, heavily.


“Well if it’s going to be sold anyway…”


Willow shot up into a standing position.


“Really?”


Tara placed her hand on Willow’s leg.


“Within reason. We couldn’t even afford to rent it before, never mind buy it. It would have to come down considerably.”


Willow’s teeth tapped together as she thought.


“Would it be tacky if I got in touch with the restaurant group and offered cash for a quick sale?”


“If it didn’t involve our daughter’s boyfriend, no,” Tara said softly.


Willow’s eyebrows slowly raised.


“He doesn’t have to know.”


“Tracy.”


Willow and Tara both jumped at the sound of the male voice in the doorway.


“Emmett,” Tara said, holding her hand to her heart.


Emmett took a step forward, though not quite into the room.


“Call Tracy. My Dad’s commercial realtor,” he said with a steely nod, “She hates my Dad as much as I do. She’ll sell it to you as low as she possibly can.”


His face softened then and he stepped back.


“I didn’t mean to eavesdrop. I came to say thanks,” he raised his hand awkwardly, “You’ve made me feel more at home here than my actual home has my entire life.”


Willow and Tara looked at each other, then stood together. They came over and embraced Emmett from either side.


“Don’t think you get out of a mom sandwich just because we’re not your moms,” Willow said, squeezing him tight.


“Things will be okay,” Tara said softly.


Willow patted his back.


“Go and get some sleep,” she encouraged, “And don’t you dare sneak downstairs.”


“I won’t, ma’am,” Emmett replied diligently.


Willow paused and closed the door.


“He’s a really nice kid,” Tara sighed sadly as she got into bed, “Despite his upbringing, it seems.”


Willow sighed deeply as she got under the covers.


“Having some ‘Nam flashbacks myself.”


Tara reached for her hand and squeezed.


Willow squeezed back.


“Did you ever look into seeing Dr. Carter?”


“Emily is already,” Tara answered with a little nod, “You didn’t seem keen and there’s no point if you’re not willing.”


Willow’s eyes closed.


“And now I’m the neglectful parent who doesn’t know what’s going on with her kid.”


Tara rubbed her thumb over Willow’s knuckles.


“I should have told you but you always shut me down when I brought it up. Honestly, Willow, I think some individual therapy might be good here.”


“She’s already—” Willow started then stopped, “Oh. You mean me.”


She nodded slowly.


“I’ll think about it. I know it’s helped us in the past. I can’t really deny that this is happening any longer, I just have this…weird association with my mother. When it’s the two of us it’s fine but when it’s just me…I feel like that little kid again being talked down to in front of her. I know that’s such a horrible cliché and the exact reason I need therapy to work on that, but it just feels like a lot to take on on top of everything else.”


Tara kissed Willow on the forehead.


“When you’re ready.”


“Thank you,” Willow whispered.


“I love you,” Tara whispered back.


“I love you too,” Willow answered as she tucked her head under Tara’s chin, “It’s all I’m hanging onto sometimes.”


“I’ve been there,” Tara comforted.


“It’s not like that,” Willow reassured quickly.


“But it’s still hard,” Tara reasoned.


Willow snuggled tighter.


“Have I said that I love you?”


“It’s always nice to hear,” Tara smiled and Willow felt it against her hair, “Even thirty years later.”


Willow lifted her head onto the pillow and pecked Tara’s lips.


“Hold me?”


She turned and Tara closed her arms around her wife.


“Forever.”

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 Post subject: Re: Family Confidential - The Final Quarter (September 25th)
PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2020 7:24 am 
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6. Sassy Eggs

Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:01 am
Posts: 391
Dibs! :whip
Quote:
She walked to the elevator and waved her hand at the sensor in the elevator, letting it pick up the little chip in her wrist that identified her.


She’d only ever agreed to wear one of these things because she had the device that wiped it at her whim.


She may be a techie who found the idea of wearable tech fascinating, but she wasn’t stupid. After seeing the kind of people who’d run for president in her adult life, she trusted her family and nobody else.

Implanted identity chips - something I wouldn't like to wear in the future. Good thing Willow has a "wiper" for that.
Quote:
Why they could chip their staff but still used actual, physical files was beyond Willow.

That really is weird, considering that we are already working with electronic files in our lawfirm and the judiciary in germany is supposed to do so in the next year or so either.
I expect everything to be digitalized in the year 2035 (not that I'm really looking forward to that... :wink
Quote:
She rang Tara. It picked up on the third ring.


“Hey, you.”


Willow melted on the spot.


“Hey, you,” she said softly, then quickly remembered why she’d called

Awww, great that a simple "Hey, you" from Tara on the phone still has melting ability for Willow! :flower

I wondered why the knowledge about the imminent tax raid of the McFarlands had Willow in such high spirits:
Quote:
Then alone in the elevator, Willow started to dance.


“Oompa, Loompa, doom-pa-dee-do. Woo and woo and hoo and hoo!”


But now I'm happy for them that they will be able to afford buying the waterfront property for "Bibliosmia 2".

I feel really bad for Emmett though.
Quote:
Emmett sat up, bringing Lily with him. He took both of her hands.


“Lily, I have to tell you something.”


Lily arched a soft, expectant eyebrow. Emmett looked deep into her eyes and there was one thing for sure; they were full of love.


“I think I’m—”


Suddenly there was a loud disruption in the form of the latest pop song buzzing from Emmett’s pocket.

Do I assume correctly that he was about to tell Lily that he is gay? If so that took a lot of courage and the news about his parents being arrested couldn't have come at a worse time.

Quote:
Can the kid stay with you? His parents certainly aren’t coming home tonight.”


“Yeah, sure,” Willow quickly nodded.


“Did they ask about me?”


Both Willow and Jesse turned to Emmett when they heard him speak.


“Did they ask anyone to make sure I was okay?” Emmett asked again, his voice turned hollow.


Jesse’s brow creased.


“Uh…”


Emmett’s face suddenly hardened and it made Willow’s stomach drop because she remembered the look on his face from any time she looked in the mirror as a teenager.


“Come on, Emmett,” Willow put an arm around his shoulders and he didn’t object.

Like Tara years ago really understood the abused kid Kayden Willow now can truly understand and relate to the neglected kid Emmett.

Quote:
“Call Tracy. My Dad’s commercial realtor,” he said with a steely nod, “She hates my Dad as much as I do. She’ll sell it to you as low as she possibly can.”


His face softened then and he stepped back.


“I didn’t mean to eavesdrop. I came to say thanks,” he raised his hand awkwardly, “You’ve made me feel more at home here than my actual home has my entire life.”


Willow and Tara looked at each other, then stood together. They came over and embraced Emmett from either side.


“Don’t think you get out of a mom sandwich just because we’re not your moms,” Willow said, squeezing him tight.


“Things will be okay,” Tara said softly.


Willow patted his back.


“Go and get some sleep,” she encouraged, “And don’t you dare sneak downstairs.”


“I won’t, ma’am,” Emmett replied diligently.

Aww, great that Emmett got a mom sandwich too. At least a little balm for the hurt (and justified anger) he feels because his parents didn't even worry how he would be cared for in their absence.
I really hope that Lily and Emmett will stay friends when he comes out. Or will Willow and Tara take Emmett as another foster kid (if his parents actually have to go to jail for their tax evasion)?

Quote:
“Having some ‘Nam flashbacks myself.”

What does " 'Nam" stand for (my quick google-search came up empty)?

Quote:
Honestly, Willow, I think some individual therapy might be good here.”


“She’s already—” Willow started then stopped, “Oh. You mean me.”


She nodded slowly.


“I’ll think about it. I know it’s helped us in the past. I can’t really deny that this is happening any longer, I just have this…weird association with my mother. When it’s the two of us it’s fine but when it’s just me…I feel like that little kid again being talked down to in front of her. I know that’s such a horrible cliché and the exact reason I need therapy to work on that, but it just feels like a lot to take on on top of everything else.”


Tara kissed Willow on the forehead.


“When you’re ready.”


“Thank you,” Willow whispered.


“I love you,” Tara whispered back.


“I love you too,” Willow answered as she tucked her head under Tara’s chin, “It’s all I’m hanging onto sometimes.”

I'm curious if Willow will actually go to a therapist before this story ends. It's probably a silly idea of me but I would like to meet another "original canon"-character in your confidential-verse, maybe Giles or Jenny Calender could become a therapist for Willow?

Quote:
Willow snuggled tighter.


“Have I said that I love you?”


“It’s always nice to hear,” Tara smiled and Willow felt it against her hair, “Even thirty years later.”


Willow lifted her head onto the pillow and pecked Tara’s lips.


“Hold me?”


She turned and Tara closed her arms around her wife.


“Forever.”

Awww, perfect! :flower :bigkiss


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 Post subject: Re: Family Confidential - The Final Quarter (September 25th)
PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2020 5:06 pm 
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20. Not one Much for the Timber
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Well, that was an interesting chapter. I was wondering how you were going to wrangle the waterfront property away from Emmet's father. Great job!

I'm with Will's Redemption on the whole chipped thing, but I do see it coming in the very near future. A very scary Big Brother future indeed. When I think about stuff like this I always refer back to the movie Minority Report. When it came out I saw a whole show about the making of the movie and how they got the best futurist in the world together to consult. They basically said everything in the movie considered "far fetched" was no only doable, but probably within the next 50 years. The movie came out in 2002, 5 years before the iPhone, and the hand motions they do when reviewing provisions...are the same ones we now do when swiping smartphones and tablets. I just watched it again a few weeks ago and some of the stuff now seems dated.

Anyway, I'm hopeful Emmett was going to tell Lily he loved her and his meeting with (can't remember his name) Kayden's ex was to get advice on how to deal with his parents when he tells them the girl he's in love with has two moms. Wishful thinking maybe, but I'm going with it!! I did feel bad for Emmett though. His parents sound like a couple of first-rate douche bags. I can Willow and Tara taking him in, but he probably has other family or he's already 18 and legally on his own. Not sure if this will play out but I'm curious to see if he goes to NYC with Lily or if he even has the ability to attend college at all anymore.

PREVIOUS CHAPTER:

I didn't have a chance to comment on the previous but wanted to say just a few things. Ira's reaction was disappointing. If he acted like that when Willow was young, I can see how he and Sheila totally messed her up. When he said, "How could YOU let this happen?" As if they sent Emily out to get pregnant and it's not like he was ever there for Willow to educate her on proper birth control anyway. Ugh, sorry, he just pissed me off. I didn't expect him to be accepting right away but I sure didn't expect a blow-up. Total drama king...now I know where JJ gets it from, lol. I am glad to see him come around and take care of the jackass school principle. Fuck him, he can't keep Emily from walking, and I'm glad he got called out.

Ok, that is all. Have a great weekend!

-JMT

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"Transform your pain. Release your past. And ... uh ... get over it."
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 Post subject: Re: Family Confidential - The Final Quarter (September 25th)
PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2020 5:20 pm 
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3. Flaming O
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Joined: Sun Apr 02, 2017 8:32 pm
Posts: 75
COPIED: “And they’re saying she’s not allowed walk at her graduation.”
Ira arched an eyebrow.
“Excuse me?”
Willow sighed.
“They said her grades slipped, which I know they did but she got them back up. But she still has an above-average GPA so that’s just bullshit. They don’t want anyone to see her.”
Willow almost said ‘dicks’ but remembered who she was talking to at the last second.
Something came over Ira’s face and he pushed his chest up.
“My granddaughter will most certainly walk with the rest of her class.”

Yay, Zayde! Again, all I can say is that I love reading about this family and PLEASE don't ever stop writing!
Blessings

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[font=][font=]Strength in our arms, Truth on our tongues, Clarity in our hearts[/font][/font]


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 Post subject: Re: Family Confidential - The Final Quarter (September 25th)
PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2020 5:00 am 
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Ms. Moderator Fantastico
Ms. Moderator Fantastico
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Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 1:22 pm
Posts: 4466
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Will's redemption

Quote:
Dibs! :whip


:applause

Quote:
Implanted identity chips - something I wouldn't like to wear in the future. Good thing Willow has a "wiper" for that.


Me either!!

Quote:
That really is weird, considering that we are already working with electronic files in our lawfirm and the judiciary in germany is supposed to do so in the next year or so either.
I expect everything to be digitalized in the year 2035 (not that I'm really looking forward to that... :wink


Yup, things can be very backward when bureaucracy is involved!

Quote:
Awww, great that a simple "Hey, you" from Tara on the phone still has melting ability for Willow! :flower


It's the little things :wtkiss

Quote:
I wondered why the knowledge about the imminent tax raid of the McFarlands had Willow in such high spirits:

But now I'm happy for them that they will be able to afford buying the waterfront property for "Bibliosmia 2".


I told you it'd work out!

Quote:
I feel really bad for Emmett though.


Don't worry, I'm going to take care of Emmett.

Quote:
Do I assume correctly that he was about to tell Lily that he is gay? If so that took a lot of courage and the news about his parents being arrested couldn't have come at a worse time.


The WORST timing!

Quote:
Like Tara years ago really understood the abused kid Kayden Willow now can truly understand and relate to the neglected kid Emmett.


There is definitely an understanding.

Quote:
Aww, great that Emmett got a mom sandwich too. At least a little balm for the hurt (and justified anger) he feels because his parents didn't even worry how he would be cared for in their absence.


Willow and Tara will love on any kid that needs it!

Quote:
I really hope that Lily and Emmett will stay friends when he comes out. Or will Willow and Tara take Emmett as another foster kid (if his parents actually have to go to jail for their tax evasion)?


All revealed here!

Quote:
What does " 'Nam" stand for (my quick google-search came up empty)?


It's short for Vietnam. Basically, a traumatic memory.

Quote:
I'm curious if Willow will actually go to a therapist before this story ends. It's probably a silly idea of me but I would like to meet another "original canon"-character in your confidential-verse, maybe Giles or Jenny Calender could become a therapist for Willow?


So because of the structure of the story, Willow's therapy will be mentioned but not featured. However, I will make this scenario happen for you!

Quote:
Awww, perfect! :flower :bigkiss


:flower

Thanks for your feedback!

Finey_McFine

Quote:
Well, that was an interesting chapter. I was wondering how you were going to wrangle the waterfront property away from Emmet's father. Great job!


Thanks!

Quote:
I'm with Will's Redemption on the whole chipped thing, but I do see it coming in the very near future. A very scary Big Brother future indeed. When I think about stuff like this I always refer back to the movie Minority Report. When it came out I saw a whole show about the making of the movie and how they got the best futurist in the world together to consult. They basically said everything in the movie considered "far fetched" was no only doable, but probably within the next 50 years. The movie came out in 2002, 5 years before the iPhone, and the hand motions they do when reviewing provisions...are the same ones we now do when swiping smartphones and tablets. I just watched it again a few weeks ago and some of the stuff now seems dated.


That is scary! I'm trying to just drop in little notes as a reminder that this is the future but I definitely don't ever want to have to write a future where that is real!

Quote:
Anyway, I'm hopeful Emmett was going to tell Lily he loved her and his meeting with (can't remember his name) Kayden's ex was to get advice on how to deal with his parents when he tells them the girl he's in love with has two moms. Wishful thinking maybe, but I'm going with it!!


There's always hope...

Quote:
I did feel bad for Emmett though. His parents sound like a couple of first-rate douche bags. I can Willow and Tara taking him in, but he probably has other family or he's already 18 and legally on his own. Not sure if this will play out but I'm curious to see if he goes to NYC with Lily or if he even has the ability to attend college at all anymore.


Like I said to W'D, I'm going to take care of Emmett.

Quote:
PREVIOUS CHAPTER:

I didn't have a chance to comment on the previous but wanted to say just a few things. Ira's reaction was disappointing. If he acted like that when Willow was young, I can see how he and Sheila totally messed her up. When he said, "How could YOU let this happen?" As if they sent Emily out to get pregnant and it's not like he was ever there for Willow to educate her on proper birth control anyway. Ugh, sorry, he just pissed me off. I didn't expect him to be accepting right away but I sure didn't expect a blow-up. Total drama king...now I know where JJ gets it from, lol. I am glad to see him come around and take care of the jackass school principle. Fuck him, he can't keep Emily from walking, and I'm glad he got called out.


I actually think with Willow he was quite meek and deferential to Sheila. His blow-up comes from the same place Willow's anger comes from - feeling like he's responsible and it's his fault and he failed again. They're very similar like that. Willow was quite meek until she felt comfortable to find her voice too, and I think we'll find Emily is the same.

Quote:
Ok, that is all. Have a great weekend!

-JMT


Hope yours was swell :bigkiss

Thanks for your feedback!

MotherD

Quote:
Yay, Zayde! Again, all I can say is that I love reading about this family and PLEASE don't ever stop writing!


Thank you! And I never want to stop, I love Willow and Tara so much!

Quote:
Blessings


And to you!

Thanks for your feedback!



Update Directly Below

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 Post subject: Re: Family Confidential - The Final Quarter (September 25th)
PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2020 5:00 am 
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Chapter Fifteen




“Can I play the music while you’re walking up the aisle?”


Lily looked so keen that it broke Cleo’s heart to have to reject her.


“We’re getting married in a park, p-bear. They’ve put a man on Mars but there’s still no easy way to move a piano about a city park.”


“I have a keyboard!” Lily replied eagerly.


Cleo looked for JJ to help, but he was out picking up dinner for everyone after a long day bridesmaid dress shopping. Her maid of honor, her best friend since childhood, would wear anything that was given to her but the same could not be said for one Lily Lisa Rosenberg-Maclay.


“Kayden could play guitar with Robyn on holo,” Emily tried to be helpful.


On the couch, Willow squeezed Tara’s knee and ran her fingers up Tara’s thigh.


“Mom’s not so bad at tickling the ivories herself.”


“Gross,” Lily said, making a gagging motion.


“I thought you were sex-positive,” Tara replied accusingly.


Lily held up her hands.


“I don’t want to hear about what you do or don’t tickle.”


Happy for the reprieve, Cleo spied Miss Kitty playing with Emily on the floor. And it was very much that way around; the cat was weaving in and out between Emily’s legs with her tail twitching curling around Emily’s ankles.


“She really trusts you,” Cleo smiled at seeing the interaction. God knows she saw enough poor little animals being mistreated, “See the way she’s nibbling on your finger like that? It’s affection. You’re like her comfort blanket.”


On the couch, Tara leaned over to whisper in Willow’s ear.


“She must really trust you too,” she said, her eyes creasing with mirth, “Or your knee at least.”


Willow lifted her chin defiantly.


“I’m not even going to dignify that with an answer,” she said, then popped the quickest of kisses on Tara’s neck, “But I wouldn’t say no to a nibble from you later.”


“I can hear you,” Lily replied in a bored tone as she flicked through a bridal magazine, “We can all hear you.”


Probably hearing but choosing to continue their own conversation, Emily was asking about the kind of animals Cleo saw in the practice.


“Lots of lapdogs,” Cleo answered with a steady nod, “The yappy, bitey kind. My fingers have had more holes in them than Swiss cheese. A surprising amount of birds. And snakes. Snakes are kind of my specialty actually. My Mami says I get it from her.”


Emily frowned.


“Is she a snake wrangler?”


Cleo shrugged one shoulder.


“Kinda. She’s her own publicist.”


Emily frowned more but opted not to press more.


“I don’t really mind snakes,” she said, rubbing her palm over Miss Kitty’s belly, “JJ is terrified.”


Cleo chuckled.


“Yep. I learned that when I brought Monty Python home to foster and I woke up thinking I heard the little girl from downstairs screaming,” she rolled her eyes but they were full of warm affection, “So what are you going to do now?”


Cleo brows furrowed together.


“What do you mean?”


Cleo smiled easily.


“Well, Lily’s going to Julliard. What about you?”


Emily’s eyes widened and she looked down her ever-growing belly. She knew Cleo knew, apart from it being obvious because Cleo had been one of the first people she’d told of the pregnancy. Robyn had always been closer to Lily and so Cleo, with their shared love of animals, had been an early confidant of Emily’s.


“Um…”


Cleo waved a hand.


“She won’t be a baby forever. I thought your moms said you were looking into the local community college?”


Emily nodded slowly.


“They have daycare.”


Cleo winked.


“And college courses too.”


Emily blinked.


“Right,” she answered and smiled as Miss Kitty nibbled her finger again, “I…I guess I’ll have to think about it.”


Her whole life plan…the plan…was to follow Lily. And when all of this had happened, all she knew was that she wanted this. But now she had to consider what she and her baby’s future might really be. She’d followed Lily because she was too scared not to but now she was scared at the thought of not being a role model for her child.


The front door opened and JJ shouted out that he had food, so everybody gathered to eat in the dining room.


“You ladies pick out your dresses yet?” JJ asked as he gnawed on a chicken leg, “Because I can’t decide if I want a matching cummerbund or not.”


Everyone looked to Lily, who scooped some mashed potatoes onto her plate.


“It’s not my fault if I have a discerning eye.”


“Is that what they call it?” JJ arched an eyebrow, “Where is that guy of yours anyway? Too afraid to meet the big brother?”


He puffed out his chest and Lily rolled her eyes.


“Family trouble, actually. He moved in with his aunt.”


“Oh,” JJ replied, lowering his chicken remorsefully, “Hey, that sucks. Sorry.”


Lily slowly revealed a dazzling smile.


“No, it’s great!” she said whilst curling her fingers under the chair so she would have the leverage to bounce excitedly, “His aunt lives in Hoboken! We’ll be just a ferry ride away from each other! And best of all his stupid father doesn’t have a stupid business to leave to him anymore so he is freeeeeeeeeeeeeee!”


She did jazz hands to demonstrate suitably.


“Uh, cool, I guess?” JJ scratched his head, “All sounds kinda ‘Dynasty’. So he’s a Carrington and you’re, what…Linda Evans?”


“How do you even know that show?” Willow questioned with a furrowed brow.


“Netflix,” JJ answered in a bright tone while Cleo said the same thing in a pained voice.


“I’m a soon-to-be Julliard fellow, bitch,” Lily replied, rolling her head and Cleo laughed because she knew Lily had learned that from her Mami.


“Okay,” Tara put a calming hand on the table, “I don't know about everybody else, but I would love some chicken.”


Emily lifted her hand shyly.


“I'll take a drumstick.”


“I'm a breast girl myself,” Willow said cheerfully, then added quietly, to Tara, “But, then again, you knew that.”


JJ made a gagging motion. Lily rolled her eyes.


“At least you didn’t hear about the tickling.”


JJ grabbed the nearest tub and looked at it forlornly.


“There isn’t enough gravy to drown me.”


“Oh, quit it,” Willow slapped the back of her hand against his torso, “Actually, you guys…speaking of the tumultuous downturn of McFarland Industries…”


“Willow,” Tara said quietly.


Willow bounced in her seat very like Lily had minutes before.


“C’mon, let’s tell them.”


Tara couldn’t help smile at the infectious energy.


“It’s your baby.”


JJ clutched his chest and his face went white.


“YOU’RE PREGNANT TOO?!”


He clutched Cleo’s shoulders, who was trying not to laugh.


“No!” Willow looked at JJ like he was crazy, “I’m…we’re…opening another store!”


When there wasn’t much reaction, Tara piped up.


“Here in Buffalo,” she clarified, “On the water. It’s a really nice place.”


“What’s that got to do with Emmett’s dad?” Lily cut in, her lip twitching unsurely.


“I bought one of his properties,” Willow clarified.


Lily paused.


“Did you rip him off?”


“Um…” Willow paused unsurely, “Kinda?”


Lily’s face spread out in a slow grin and she leaned over to hold her hand out.


“High-five, Momma! I once heard him refer to you two as my ‘Mykes’. Like Mom-Dy—”


“I can fill in the blanks,” Tara held a silencing hand up.


Willow completed the high five, looking smug.


“It was thanks to Emmett actually. He gave me the name of his realtor. And since technically I’m not supposed to access the FBI databases, that was a huge help!”


Tara gave Willow a look, who just shrugged.


Lily slumped forward a little.


“I miss him. I didn’t even go to prom with someone else, that’s how much I love him.”


Tara reached over and rubbed Lily’s forearm comfortingly. Lily scooted around and allowed herself to accept a cuddle.


After dinner, Tara suggested the girls try on their cap and gowns in preparation for graduation tomorrow. When they came down in their royal blue get-ups, there was an obvious discrepancy.


Lily’s sat on her small frame, flattering her body shape, or at least as flattering as such a garment could be. But Emily’s pooled past her ankles and the arms flailed about aimlessly. It looked like it was made for the school quarterback.


“Koala bear, did you get the wrong ones?” Tara asked with a frown.


Emily lifted the copious material around her middle.


“I don’t think so. Principal Kelly delivered them to me especially.”


Tara and Willow exchanged a look.


“That rat didn’t want to let her walk and now he’s trying to hide her in misappropriated curtains!” Willow exclaimed angrily.


Emily’s eyes creased.


“T-They didn’t want me to walk?” she asked with a quiver in her voice, “B-Because I’m pregnant?”


“Bastard,” Lily scoffed, rolling up her sleeves, “I will fight him for you, Emily. I can take him, have you seen his puny little ankles?”


“Lily,” Tara said in exasperation, then stood and put her arm around Emily, “Come here, ma pépette.”


She led Emily out of the room while they both tried to avoid tripping over the gown.


“That was a dick move,” JJ agreed as he spun a basketball on his finger, “Does he know what year it is? He was an ass even when I went to school there, though. And he does have puny ankles.”


“Right?!” Lily said, throwing her arms up, “They call him AnKelly.”


JJ snorted.


“I made that up.”


“JJ,” Willow said disapprovingly, though a smile tugged on her lips, “Don’t tell your mother.”


Not long after, the neighborhood kids rang the doorbell and asked JJ if he could come out to play basketball. He showed off a little bit with his ball and then helped them all do dunks in the net that still stood in their front yard.


Cleo and Willow glanced out at the same time and smiled.


They were both thinking about how good of a father he would be but neither of them said it.


When Cleo and Lily started looking at more dresses, Willow slipped upstairs to check on Emily. She heard chatter from the twins’ room and hung back at the door so she wouldn’t disturb.


Emily was cuddling into Tara’s side on the bed with the giant gown acting like a throw blanket over them. Tara was patting Emily’s back like she was little again and Emily’s eyes were deep and sad upon being confronted with the discrimination of her principal.


Willow couldn’t make out what they were saying and she thought it was because they were speaking quietly but after a moment she realized it was because they were speaking French.


As children, Tara had spoken some French to all of the children but Emily had been the only one it really stuck with, mostly because Tara would bring her off to little days out when Lily was going through all of her psychological assessments as a youngster. A trip to see ‘Une vie de chat’ in the movie theater had cemented Emily's love for the language and it was like their own little private joke since, except cultured and looked good on college applications.


Willow turned to leave and immediately bumped into Lily.


“Whoops, sorry panda.”


Lily rolled up on her toes.


“Hey, can I get a pass on consequences if I take Emily’s gown and crazy-glue it to AnKelly’s car like a cover?”


Willow desperately wanted to say ‘yes’.


“You’ve been texting Robyn, haven’t you?”


Lily shrugged.


“You’re going off to college, kid,” Willow answered and put her hand on Lily’s shoulder, “You have to learn that there’s consequences to everything.”


Lily sighed dramatically and continued into the room.


“Mom, Cleo wants to know—”


She finally looked over to them but instead of seeing an emotional embrace, she burst out laughing.


“What?” Tara asked with a frown.


Lily pointed above the bed and bent over laughing.


Both Tara and Emily looked up.


“I don’t understand,” Tara replied but was starting to feel Lily’s giggling energy tug at her lips.


“It’s an Oklahoma! Poster,” Emily said, but she too was lost.


Lily eventually pulled herself together long enough to point again.


“That little character in the corner above you is called Ike Skidmore!”


“And…?” Tara prompted.


Lily pursed her lips.


“That makes you…that makes you…” she crouched over, laughing, “Myke and Ike!”


Tara glanced back up at the poster, then back to Lily with a wry smile.


“You’re definitely your mother’s daughter,” she said and turned to grip Emily’s shoulders, “Will we go fix this thing up so you’re the belle of the graduation?”


Emily frowned unsurely.


“Maybe I just shouldn’t go.”


“Sister,” Lily said, dropping onto the other side of the bed so Tara would hold her too, though she’d never admit it, “I’ve watched you go through four years of the highest echelons of dicks in our school pick on you because they thought you were the most likely to take it. And I also watched you take it.”


Emily’s head ducked and Tara frowned uncertainly.


“But these last few months?” Lily continued easily, “You don’t take it anymore. You don’t act any different, you still ignore it, but now you don’t care. I can see it. And guess what? They can see it too.”


Emily looked up and Tara smiled.


“That’s why I haven’t really freaked out about this whole baby thing,” Lily shrugged as she reached across Tara so she and Emily could play with each others’ fingers; something they’d been doing since they were babies.


“Um…” Emily replied skeptically, recalling Lily’s initial reaction.


Lily rolled her eyes.


“Okay, so I had to, like, take a minute,” she admitted and flicked her hair, “But then Julliard worked out for me and you were a big dummy who tried to take those pills…point is, even though there’s no way I could imagine having a baby right now…maybe ever…you? You got through high school on the lowest rung of the ladder. You survived. You got this. And we’ll all be there to help.”


She paused.


“But I want to be the cool aunt who lavishes the kid with money and gifts, not the changing-diaper aunt.”


“You’d need to get a job first,” Tara said wryly.


Lily rolled her eyes and pushed herself up.


“Anyway, you’re coming to graduation. Even if it’s just to see the look on Ank—Principal Kelly’s face when you get your diploma in a gown pulled back so tight he can see your—”


“Belly,” Tara cut in quickly, “Your beautiful belly which is nothing to be ashamed of.”


Emily smiled gratefully at them both.


“Okay,” she smiled softly and it lit up her face.


She rubbed her belly and suddenly her eyes grew wide.


“I think she just kicked.”


Tara’s hand flew to the spot Emily’s was in.


“Hey, baby. You there?”


Suddenly she felt a kick too and the look on her face confirmed it to Emily.


“Willow! Cleo! JJ!” Tara called quickly, “The baby is kicking!”


There was a sudden flurry of activity on the stairs and then everyone was crowding around the small bed to feel Emily’s belly and exchange smiles and sounds of delight. Even Willow, though there was some sadness behind her eyes.


Emily felt a lump form in her throat as she guided hand after hand around where the baby’s little legs were making themselves known.


Truthfully, the reason she’d gotten through the last few months and the shock of the pregnancy itself was by telling the baby ‘it’s you and me’.


But now she knew it was ‘you and me and everyone’.



Lily sat in the huge stadium where she was to graduate, tapping her fingers repeatedly against the armrest. She remembered being at JJ and Kayden’s graduation on the football field at the high school and could remember being able to see them cross the stage.


The people on the stage right now looked like ants. Holo technology was great, but the way gatherings had had to adapt to accommodate them lost something in the process.


At least zoom technology had come on too. They could get a clear picture on a camera even if they could barely see it themselves.


As she sat waiting for the rest of the family to show so they could claim the seats, she felt a hand on her shoulder.


“Finally, Mom,” she started to scoff, then looked back and jumped up with a delighted smile, “Emmett!”


She practically tackled him to the ground but he stood tall and wrapped his arms around her.


“I’ve missed you so much!”


Lily pulled back and smooched him hard.


“It’s only been a couple of weeks you big baby. You look good in those robes, by the way. They’re kinda tight. Did AnKelly give you the wrong ones too?”


Emmett settled his hands on Lily’s waist and smiled at seeing her and listening to her speak, but it faltered a bit.


“I wanna talk to you later, okay?”


Lily leaned in and rested her head on Emmett’s shoulder, looking up at him.


“What’s up?”


“Not now,” Emmett replied softly, tenderly.


Lily brushed her hand down Emmett’s arm and linked their fingers together in a firm hold.


“Emmett. It’s me. Just tell me. Before this place becomes a zoo.”


Emmett gulped.


“Can we go for a walk?”


Lily shook her head softly.


“I have to save my family’s seats.”


Instead, she brought Emmett back to the chairs and sat where she had been before. Emmett sat in beside her. Their hands joined on the armrest in the middle.


Emmett's eyes were full of something Lily hadn’t seen on him except when he was around his father. Regret. Remorse. Pain for not being who he was expected to be.


“Today is not the day to do this. But neither is tomorrow. Or the next. The right day was a long time ago and I’m sorry about that.”


Lily pressed her palm to Emmett’s cheek. On contact, a tear fell from Emmett’s eye. His voice came out in a croak.


“Lily, I’m gay.”


For a moment, the static of moving metal and flapping plastic and growing chatter of voices became nothing to Lily; just an echoing hum that became sharper and sharper until it almost popped in her ears and she could hear clearly again.


“Do you still want to be my friend?” were the first words out of her mouth when her speaking functions returned at the same time as hearing.


Emmett, experiencing his own lack of hearing from the loud thump of his own heart in his ears, took in a sharp breath.


“I’m sorry?”


“Do you still want to be friends?” Lily repeated clearly and squeezed Emmett’s hands tenderly.


Emmett blinked; his eyes heavy with unshed tears.


“More than anything.”


Lily gulped and felt her own eyes fill. She leaned in and rested her forehead on Emmett’s.


“You have to take me to the best gay bars in New York City, okay?”


Emmett allowed the tears to fall.


“Did you know?”


Lily shook her head.


“No,” she admitted and smiled a watery smile, “But apart from my sisters, you’re the best friend I’ve ever had. I don’t need to sleep with you. I just need you in my life.”


Emmett placed a single, soft kiss on Lily’s lips. It was wet with two sets of tears.


Lily laughed as they parted; a release.


“You are a really great kisser though.”


Emmett laughed in the same way and that look drained from his eyes, replaced with something new and vibrant and him and Lily loved that look more than she’d ever loved the idea of being his girlfriend.


“You too, sister,” Emmett wiped his eyes on his sleeve, “I love you, Lily.”


Lily leaned into Emmett’s side and he wrapped an arm around her.


“I love you, Emmett.”


Despite the growing bustle and chaos surrounding them, they sat like that peacefully for several minutes until the rest of the Rosenberg-Maclay clan got there.


Lily took one look at Emily’s gown, held together as best they could with clips and thread and safety pins poking into uncomfortable places, then over to Emmett and slowly smiled.


About forty-five minutes later, Lily sat between Emmett and Emily and knew she was surrounded by a couple of Em’s that she would love for her entire life. She glanced down at Emily’s belly and smiled. A little-Em too. Technically that baby had her DNA also, so she knew it would be gorgeous.


It was a technical error that had them all together; the ‘Maclay’ portion of their surname preceding Emmett’s ‘McFarland’, even though they should have been grouped by the ‘Rosenberg’. Still, Lily wasn’t complaining and as Emily’s name was called, she pushed her encouragingly to go up the stairs to the stage.


The look on AnKelly’s face was every bit as delicious as Lily had envisioned as Emily strode across the stage in the gown she’d swapped with Emmett with her belly round and beautiful and unabashedly on show.


Lily stood up to clap when Emily accepted and there were a few surprising whoops and hollers from other students behind her.


Of course, even rows and rows and rows away, she heard her family and their excited cheering.


She looked over her shoulder and just about made out Robyn on holo, in the aisle beside Kayden, who’d gotten in that morning, and then JJ and Cleo, who had their arms around each other sidelong. Then Willow and Tara wiping tears from their eyes and sharing a look that only they could understand.


Lily got so caught up in it all that she forgot that she was the next to walk until Emmett poked her repeatedly. Still, cool as a cucumber, she strolled up there and had a moment of disbelief when she heard it being announced that she would attend Julliard in the Fall.


As soon as she moved past him, a weight lifted on Principal Kelly’s face. Lily caught it from the corner of her eye and considered flashing the whole stadium just to keep him on his toes but honestly, she had bigger concerns now.


She was going to Julliard with Emmett.


And leaving Emily behind.


This was never the plan.


But it was a pretty solid first lesson in adulting.

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 Post subject: Re: Family Confidential - The Final Quarter (September 28th)
PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2020 9:08 am 
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6. Sassy Eggs

Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:01 am
Posts: 391
Dibs! :whip
Quote:
“I'm a breast girl myself,” Willow said cheerfully, then added quietly, to Tara, “But, then again, you knew that.”


JJ made a gagging motion. Lily rolled her eyes.


“At least you didn’t hear about the tickling.”


JJ grabbed the nearest tub and looked at it forlornly.


“There isn’t enough gravy to drown me.”

:laugh Canon easteregg - one of my favourites!
I love them "torturing" the kids with sex hints. :kdevil

Quote:
“Hey, can I get a pass on consequences if I take Emily’s gown and crazy-glue it to AnKelly’s car like a cover?”


Willow desperately wanted to say ‘yes’.


“You’ve been texting Robyn, haven’t you?”


Lily shrugged.


“You’re going off to college, kid,” Willow answered and put her hand on Lily’s shoulder, “You have to learn that there’s consequences to everything.”

Probably good that Willow fought the impulse to say yes and gave some educational wisdom instead - but I love Lily's idea!

Quote:
Lily pointed above the bed and bent over laughing.


Both Tara and Emily looked up.


“I don’t understand,” Tara replied but was starting to feel Lily’s giggling energy tug at her lips.


“It’s an Oklahoma! Poster,” Emily said, but she too was lost.


Lily eventually pulled herself together long enough to point again.


“That little character in the corner above you is called Ike Skidmore!”


“And…?” Tara prompted.


Lily pursed her lips.


“That makes you…that makes you…” she crouched over, laughing, “Myke and Ike!”


Tara glanced back up at the poster, then back to Lily with a wry smile.

I don't understand this joke... :blush

Quote:
“Sister,” Lily said, dropping onto the other side of the bed so Tara would hold her too, though she’d never admit it, “I’ve watched you go through four years of the highest echelons of dicks in our school pick on you because they thought you were the most likely to take it. And I also watched you take it.”


Emily’s head ducked and Tara frowned uncertainly.


“But these last few months?” Lily continued easily, “You don’t take it anymore. You don’t act any different, you still ignore it, but now you don’t care. I can see it. And guess what? They can see it too.”


Emily looked up and Tara smiled.

I'm glad that Emily gained much needed strength through this pregnancy.

Quote:
She rubbed her belly and suddenly her eyes grew wide.


“I think she just kicked.”


Tara’s hand flew to the spot Emily’s was in.


“Hey, baby. You there?”


Suddenly she felt a kick too and the look on her face confirmed it to Emily.


“Willow! Cleo! JJ!” Tara called quickly, “The baby is kicking!”


There was a sudden flurry of activity on the stairs and then everyone was crowding around the small bed to feel Emily’s belly and exchange smiles and sounds of delight. Even Willow, though there was some sadness behind her eyes.


Emily felt a lump form in her throat as she guided hand after hand around where the baby’s little legs were making themselves known.


Truthfully, the reason she’d gotten through the last few months and the shock of the pregnancy itself was by telling the baby ‘it’s you and me’.


But now she knew it was ‘you and me and everyone’.

Aww! :flower :bigkiss

Quote:
Emmett's eyes were full of something Lily hadn’t seen on him except when he was around his father. Regret. Remorse. Pain for not being who he was expected to be.


“Today is not the day to do this. But neither is tomorrow. Or the next. The right day was a long time ago and I’m sorry about that.”


Lily pressed her palm to Emmett’s cheek. On contact, a tear fell from Emmett’s eye. His voice came out in a croak.


“Lily, I’m gay.”


For a moment, the static of moving metal and flapping plastic and growing chatter of voices became nothing to Lily; just an echoing hum that became sharper and sharper until it almost popped in her ears and she could hear clearly again.


“Do you still want to be my friend?” were the first words out of her mouth when her speaking functions returned at the same time as hearing.


Emmett, experiencing his own lack of hearing from the loud thump of his own heart in his ears, took in a sharp breath.


“I’m sorry?”


“Do you still want to be friends?” Lily repeated clearly and squeezed Emmett’s hands tenderly.


Emmett blinked; his eyes heavy with unshed tears.


“More than anything.”


Lily gulped and felt her own eyes fill. She leaned in and rested her forehead on Emmett’s.


“You have to take me to the best gay bars in New York City, okay?”


Emmett allowed the tears to fall.


“Did you know?”


Lily shook her head.


“No,” she admitted and smiled a watery smile, “But apart from my sisters, you’re the best friend I’ve ever had. I don’t need to sleep with you. I just need you in my life.”


Emmett placed a single, soft kiss on Lily’s lips. It was wet with two sets of tears.


Lily laughed as they parted; a release.


“You are a really great kisser though.”


Emmett laughed in the same way and that look drained from his eyes, replaced with something new and vibrant and him and Lily loved that look more than she’d ever loved the idea of being his girlfriend.


“You too, sister,” Emmett wiped his eyes on his sleeve, “I love you, Lily.”


Lily leaned into Emmett’s side and he wrapped an arm around her.


“I love you, Emmett.”

And I love this outcome of Emmett's first coming out! I'm so glad Lily reacted this way!
Now I imagine their relationship to become like the one Jack and Jen had in "Dawson's Creek" - best friends forever (even soulmates like Jack told Jen before she died in the finale of the series - remebering that scene almost makes me cry!).

Quote:
The look on AnKelly’s face was every bit as delicious as Lily had envisioned as Emily strode across the stage in the gown she’d swapped with Emmett with her belly round and beautiful and unabashedly on show.


Lily stood up to clap when Emily accepted and there were a few surprising whoops and hollers from other students behind her.


Of course, even rows and rows and rows away, she heard her family and their excited cheering.


She looked over her shoulder and just about made out Robyn on holo, in the aisle beside Kayden, who’d gotten in that morning, and then JJ and Cleo, who had their arms around each other sidelong. Then Willow and Tara wiping tears from their eyes and sharing a look that only they could understand.


Lily got so caught up in it all that she forgot that she was the next to walk until Emmett poked her repeatedly. Still, cool as a cucumber, she strolled up there and had a moment of disbelief when she heard it being announced that she would attend Julliard in the Fall.


As soon as she moved past him, a weight lifted on Principal Kelly’s face. Lily caught it from the corner of her eye and considered flashing the whole stadium just to keep him on his toes but honestly, she had bigger concerns now.


She was going to Julliard with Emmett.


And leaving Emily behind.


This was never the plan.


But it was a pretty solid first lesson in adulting.

Congratulations Lily and Emily! I love that they could do the gown swap at the last second to defy the stupid principal.
I trust in you Laragh that you will turn the seperation of the twins into a postive thing for their individual development.


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