|The Judgement Card
Author: Ren Kayashima PM
It's been a year since Dave found out he had a daughter. Things seem to have fallen into a normal rhythm, but can more trouble stir things up? Will Dave and Rori ever have a normal life? Part 4 of the Tarot Series.Rated: Fiction T - English - Family/Mystery - D. Rossi - Chapters: 20 - Words: 54,533 - Reviews: 106 - Favs: 15 - Follows: 21 - Updated: 07-24-12 - Published: 06-19-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7097380
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Author: Ren Kayashima
Genre: Family/ Mystery
Disclaimer: Alas my top secret mission to steal the rights to Criminal Minds failed. At the last minute my repel line broke and I was arrested for trespassing on ABC grounds. If you would like to help me with bail money…
November 1, 2011
Dave sat in a quiet graveyard. Five days after Carolyn's death. Five days after Rori walked out of his house bitter and angry. The week had not been kind to him and now he just wanted to reminisce and mope about on his own. He flicked at some thick blades of grass from the red blanket he had set out, his face somber as he remembered the life he had with Carolyn. He quickly found his thoughts drifting to the son he never knew, the life he could have had with James and Carolyn.
"We had a good run," Carolyn's voice popped up in Dave's head and he felt himself smile. He knew Carolyn well enough to know exactly how she would respond. "It'll do you no good to think about what might have been."
"You're probably right," Dave said. He took a timid sip of the wine he had brought with him. It had been bottled the same year he and Carolyn had married. How was that for nostalgia?
Dave turned to find Rori standing off to the side. She wore a long knit sweater and held a bouquet of colorful flowers in one hand and her violin case in the other. She tried to blow some stray hairs out of her face but wasn't successful. She resorted to lifting her hand that clutched her violin case and pushing it out of the way with the back of her hand. She looked around the empty graveyard.
Dave leaned back slightly to see Kyle slowly making his way over to the gravesite. The agent shifted uncomfortably and let out a tired sigh. "What are you doing here?" he asked.
"Don't sound so surprised," Rori answered sardonically. "Carolyn asked me to come and play a song for her." She blew her bangs out of her face when they shifted again.
Dave sat up a little straighter, a little perplexed at his daughter's answer. Carolyn had asked Rori to come? "What?"
"When I had dinner with her in her hotel room," Rori answered. She crouched down and placed the flowers to the side of Carolyn gravestone. "We talked about my partnership with Kaoru and how we compose music. After that, she asked that I come and play a song for her, something nice to honor her passing. I agreed, but told her I would wait a couple days to do it. I didn't think you would be here, and so I thought Kyle and I would come." She kneeled on the soft grass and started unpacking her violin. Kyle stopped behind her and waved to Dave meekly before stuffing his hands in his deep pockets.
Rori started plucking the strings carefully as she twisted the knobs at the head of the violin. She had one ear bent towards the instrument to work on making sure the tune was perfect. The teen paused when she saw the flat tombstone for James David Rossi.
"Another brother?" she asked. She looked at Dave with a raised eyebrow. "1979, which would make him thirty-two. A much older brother."
"He only lived six hours," Dave said wincing at the memory of losing his first child. Carolyn hadn't left their bedroom for three weeks after James died. She couldn't even go to the funeral. It was too much for the mother. "He was born with deformed lungs and kidney failure. The doctors couldn't do anything, but we cherished every moment we had with him. He was a precious child."
Rori frowned before she looked at her violin. She wasn't quite sure how to respond. Infant death wasn't something you could smile about. She quickly searched her brain for something, anything to say. She looked at her dad. "He would have been a heartbreaker," she said. "He had good genes." She started to hum "Heartbreaker" by Pat Benetar. "I'll play a song for him, too. He should be remembered."
Dave sighed and set his wine down on the edge of Carolyn's tombstone. "You didn't have to come," he said quietly. Even as he said it, he knew that he didn't believe the words. He found it comforting to have his two kids there with him, even if one kid didn't share his blood. They were family, and he could use the company.
"Of course we did," Kyle said. He walked over to James' grave and sat down. He crossed his legs and brushed off the loose grass off the flat stone. He leaned back on his hands and shrugged. "We're a family, aren't we?"
"A pretty fracked up family," Rori muttered with a snicker. "But, I wouldn't change it. It's got too many perks." She tweaked the last knob and plucked the E string carefully.
"You're like a stepdad to me," Kyle stated. He laughed lightly. "A stepdad I actually like." His smile grew and he looked at James' headstone. "Now I have a brother… sort of."
Rori grinned as she pulled out her bow. She stood up slowly and looked around once more to make sure there weren't any other people around. She rested a fist on her hip and her bow was pointed out. "Look, just because we didn't know Carolyn as long or as well as you did, Dad, doesn't mean we can't be here for you. You're hurting, and she was a special person. I could tell that much from one dinner."
Dave met Rori's gaze as she looked down at him, determined to make her point clear. Her violin was propped up on her shoulder, her chin resting carefully on the black chin rest attached to the polished wood. She smiled at Dave, encouraging him to smile back. He paused slightly when he thought back to the short argument he had with his daughter the night Carolyn died. Rori had stayed with Kenta for a couple nights and she returned home without a word. The two of them had yet to mend the bridges they had burned. Not that they really had time to talk. Rori finished her midterms only to jump into prep for her finals. Apparently, some group members had yet to complete essential prep for the final project. With seven weeks left of the semester, Dave was sure she was overreacting as an excuse to avoid further discussion, but he could have been wrong. It had been a while since he had attended college courses.
"What are you going to play?" Dave asked.
"Amazing Grace for Carolyn," Rori answered. "I was thinking something more jovial for James. Pirates of the Caribbean seems like something he would enjoy. I mean I enjoy it and we have one parent in common."
Dave shook his head in amusement. "Thank you," he whispered. He ran a hand over his beard and closed his eyes as Rori began to play her new song. She let her fingers jump and float across the finger board and metal strings. He let himself relax slowly as he remembered Carolyn.
As Rori finished the song, Dave brushed away a tear. He hugged his knees carefully and looked at Kyle. He turned as Rori danced her way around the blanket. She propped the violin up on her shoulder again.
"Thank you, so much," Dave said.
"That's what family is for," Rori answered. "I'm sorry I walked out on you. It was wrong."
Dave sighed and looked at Carolyn's name. "I'm sorry I didn't tell you about Carolyn. I'm sorry I didn't trust you."
"Hallelujah," Kyle muttered. "I can stop sleeping on Davis' couch. At least he won't punch me in the face."
Rori burst out laughing. "You could have come home, you know."
"No, you mad is worse than Davis' fashion advice." Kyle muttered.
Dave smiled. He was surrounded by family, and there were smiles. He couldn't ask for more.
Author's Note: Well this is the last chapter of this story and what a ride it's been. This story has taken so long to complete, but I like it. It's so angsty, but maybe I needed to write this story. It's made me so excited for the next part of the adventure. Thank you so much for sticking with it.
Don't forget to review.