|The Things That Bind Us Together
Author: Isabella GL PM
Did you ever wonder what would have happened to Holly and Roger if there had been no rape? No shooting, no trial, no Santo Domingo...no Blake! Without that tortured past, would they still be as drawn to each other? Would they still share that special bond?Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Drama - Holly N. & Roger T. - Chapters: 25 - Words: 41,674 - Reviews: 58 - Favs: 1 - Updated: 10-22-12 - Published: 09-05-12 - id: 8500771
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
When Blake had received that fateful phone call from the adoption agency, she hadn't hesitated to accept their offer to meet her biological parents. If she had thought about it for too long, she probably would have lost her nerve. So there she was, sitting in the back of her favorite coffee shop, minutes before the appointed time when she was supposed to meet Roger Thorpe and Holly Lindsey for the first time. Twisting a strand of curly hair around her index and biting her bottom lip, she wondered if she would recognize them when they finally came in the door, if something inside her would let her know that they were her own flesh and blood.
For the last ten minutes, every time a couple had come inside, her heart had skipped a beat, and she had long abandoned the idea of actually drinking her coffee, which was slowly turning cold at the far end of the table. She glanced at her watch for what seemed like the hundredth time, then raised her eyes when she heard the doorbell ring one more time. The coffee shop was cramped and noisy, but she could make out a flash of red hair through the crowd, and that's when she knew, without a doubt, that her mother had finally found her.
Roger and Holly stood by the door for a moment, their hearts in their throats, looking around for Blake, who had said would be wearing a green T-Shirt and jeans. After a few seconds, Holly suddenly could feel Roger's hand on her arm, and followed his gaze to the other side of the coffee shop. She gasped and slowly crossed over to the young woman she knew to be her daughter.
They faced each other, taken aback by a resemblance neither of them had expected. Holly checked herself before she could reach out and touch her daughter's soft auburn curls that looked so much like her own.
"Blake," she simply said instead, stating the obvious.
"You must be Holly," Blake replied in the same low-pitched voice.
They both took another pose, amazed to hear that even their voices sounded the same. Roger, who had been standing a few feet back, too overwhelmed to speak, finally joined them and shook his daughter's hand.
"Should we be hugging and kissing? What's the protocol in these situations?" Blake jokingly asked, trying to ease the tension.
Roger turned around, ordering two lattes from the barista standing over the counter, then replied: "Whatever makes you comfortable, Blake. You can even get up and walk out right now if you feel like it. Although, we hope you'll stay."
"I want to stay, but there is something that I have to make clear before we say anything else. I love my parents very dearly, and to me, Eliza and Sam Turner will always remain my real parents. I know it sounds harsh, but that's the way it is; they raised me and taught me everything that I know. To be honest, I don't think that I would have agreed to meet you if you would have asked two years ago. I always thought that it would somehow be disrespectful to them, and frankly, I was also pissed at you for giving me up."
She absent-mindedly took a sip of her coffee, and then made a face, remembering that it was cold. "But, as you maybe know, my parents both died a couple of years back, and it changed everything for me. First of all, it taught me what real grief was. It also taught me that life goes by too quickly to hold a grudge, and that you have to appreciate what you have while you have it. So I decided that, if you ever came looking for me, I would meet with you. I'm not sure if you and I can ever become family, but hopefully, we can be friends. What do you think?"
"We'll take anything you might be willing to offer us, Blake. There is absolutely no pressure on our part, seriously," Roger replied.
"I guess you must have questions about us, about your adoption?" Holly asked, leaning against Roger for support.
Blake stared at them both in turn. "Tons of questions! You see, I was really surprised to find out that you were both looking for me. I always imagined that my mother must have been a desperate young woman, all alone and with no one to help her raise her child. I admit that I was shocked when I realized that my biological parents were actually still together- "
Holly winced inwardly at the term "biological" while Roger replied to their daughter: "We're not married. We only reconnected recently through a strange turn of events, and that's when we decided to look for you."
Blake raised an eyebrow in surprise. "Really? I could have sworn that you two were a couple. Anyway, it doesn't matter; I would like to hear about my adoption now, if you don't mind," she said, turning to her mother.
Now, this was the part of the conversation that Holly had been dreading the most. Unlike Roger, she couldn't claim that she hadn't known about her daughter's existence for all these years. Sensing this, Roger took the matter into his own hands, relating the story in its entirety, sparing their daughter no details of Stanley's meddling and recounting all the times that Holly had actually tried to find both of them. Holly stared at him from time to time, amazed at how objective he was being and not daring to interrupt him.
Customers came and went while Roger talked on, and the coffee shop was almost empty by the time that he was finally done.
"Wow," Blake said, leaning back in her chair. "That Stanley guy, or should I call him Grandpa, was a real jerk."
Holly and Roger looked at each other and nodded in agreement.
"You know what the craziest part is, thought? It's almost funny, really," she continued.
"What?" Holly asked, afraid of the answer.
"Most adopted children secretly dream that their real parents will turn out to be these really glamorous people. I never hoped for that, but it turns out that you kind of are anyway."
"Glamorous, us?" Roger asked, tickled by the idea.
"Well, wouldn't you say? Holly, you're this savvy business woman, managing a TV station. And you, Roger, used to be a CIA agent, for crying out loud! And then you went on to become the owner and president of one of the most promising IT company. By the way, I applied at Blue Horizon after graduating, and some stuck-up HR clerk turned me down."
Roger flushed. "What? What's his name?"
Blake smirked and retorted: "I don't remember, and even if I did, I wouldn't tell you, because you'd fire him, and then, who else would be crazy enough to hire him, right?"
Roger blinked before the fact finally dawned on him that Blake was actually pulling his leg. A smile spread across his lips. "Well, I'm certainly glad to you seem comfortable enough to make fun of me already. Feel free to do so again, anytime."
"Speaking of time," Blake said, "I really have to go. Are long will you be staying in San Francisco?"
"For a week, if you want us to," Holly replied.
Blake hesitated for a split second before replying: "I think I'd like that, yes. Now that we got the serious talk out of the way, we'll be able to get to know each other a little bit better."
"Sounds great! Here's our number," Roger said, handing her their hotel card. They watched her leave and then Holly took her daughter's seat so that she could face Roger.
"Oh my god! How surreal was that?" she exclaimed, running both her hands through her hair.
"She looks and sounds so much like you, Holly, that it made me want to cry the whole time." They gazed at each other for a few seconds before Holly answered softly. "She does, doesn't she? This came as a shock. Ethan looks so different from me that I assumed that she would end up looking like you, physically. I can tell though that she takes from you for pretty much everything else."
"You do?" Roger asked, looking pleased.
"Her spunk, her confidence, her energy, it's all you."
"Except for that West Coast laid-back vibe, which she must be taking from the Turners."
"I know, right? I felt totally overdressed when I first saw her," Holly said, looking down at her classic business suit.
Roger suddenly laughed, a huge sense of relief washing over him. "This went so much better that I hoped!"
Holly frowned and finished her second cup of coffee. "She did seem pretty Zen about the whole situation. She looks so grown up, and so well-balanced, that it makes me wonder if she's not hiding her true feelings towards us."
"Maybe, but then again, maybe not. Granted, we might be both a little neurotic at times, but it doesn't follow that she also must be. After all, we're not the ones that raised her."
"You're right. Thank God for the Turners!" Holly said.
"And for Peggy and Ed, while we're at it!" Roger added. They clanked their cups against one another and smiled.
"Let's go get dinner, I'm starving," Roger said.
A few blocks away, Blake was lying on her bed in her apartment, staring at the ceiling. All in all, she reflected, she was happy that she had decided to meet with her parents, even though the meeting had moved her much more that she had anticipated. She had thought that she would come to regard and care for Roger and Holly as some distant uncle and aunt , but she could see now that it wouldn't be that simple.
Holly's face, so much like her own, flashed before her eyes and the memory made her breathe in sharply. There was no denying the bond that existed between them. "So beautiful," Blake whispered, not fully recognizing that she also shared that beauty. She sat down and slowly, one by one, tears started running down her cheeks. Like her mother, she also needed to be alone in order to cry.
A quick note on Blake: This version of Blake is not that different from the one in the real show, except maybe for the fact that she's in a much healthier place emotionally, thanks for her more "stable" upbringing. I liked both Sherry Stringfield and Liz Kiefer for the role, but I always wished that Blake looked more like Holly physically (which is hard to pull on a TV show). So that one if a gift from me to me!