This is my first Blacklist fic. Despite its brevity, I hope you enjoy it. It's been circling in my head for a long time and I finally decided to sit down and write it.
The Biggest Lie Was the Biggest Truth
Red stared at the computer screen. On it, he could see Liz wiping her eyes for probably the twentieth time after Tom stormed out of the home they shared together. Tom still couldn't accept it, that his wife didn't want to adopt a child with him, yet.
While it did cause Red some pain to see Lizzy so distraught, he did not regret making her investigate that adoption agency. He knew it had helped to open her eyes on the subject. She wasn't ready to have a child with Tom, nor did he believe she ever would be. Tom was not good for her and it was only a matter of time before she realized that or discovered the unsavory truth of his past and present.
Honestly, he hoped Tom would save her that pain by simply leaving. At times, he wanted to take the matter into his own hands and force Tom to leave or confess who he really was. But, he didn't want Lizzy to resent him and she surely would if he interfered. He didn't want to cause her any more pain than necessary, and that was the only thing that held him back from doing so many things…
"I wish I could tell you the truth," he whispered to the monitor. And, he wasn't referring to Tom. He was referring to himself.
"Are you my father?"
It was a question that he had expected her to ask from the beginning. He hadn't been surprised. Regardless, he had felt his heart jump into his throat and pound incessantly for several long moments when she did. He had paused and said the most painful lie he have ever uttered: "No."
And, yet, ironically, the words were not a lie. He had been forced to leave Liz. In his line of work and the circumstances he had found himself in at the time, there had been little choice if he wanted her to lead a normal and productive life. He had wanted her to have a happy childhood. And, luckily, she found that with Sam. Regardless of biology or paternity, Sam was her father, because he had been able to give her the life and stability that she needed. Red would never take her away from Sam. He earned the right to be her father, even after his passing…
As much as it hurt over the years to not be there, to hear her call another man "dad," it had been worth it: she had grown up to be a beautiful young woman, someone to be proud of. Because he had let her go, she had become the woman she was today. That was his part in it.
When he saw Lizzy fall to her knees and cry out on his computer, he immediately stood. He couldn't stand to see it anymore. He had to do something…
Walking into the house, he found her in the same spot she had been in when she had dropped to her knees.
"Elizabeth," he said.
Liz snapped her head towards Red and wiped at her cheeks hurriedly to obviously wipe away the evidence of her tears. "Red! What are you doing here?"
"Checking up on you," he answered coolly. He couldn't let her know how much her pain hurt him. She wouldn't understand it.
"Checking up on me?" she questioned. "Why would you do that?"
He unbuttoned his coat, took it off, and placed it on the nearby coatrack, along with his hat. "I told you before that I will never be too far away when you need me."
"And, I need you now?"
He looked around the darkened and silent home. "Where's Tom?" he asked simply.
She grimaced and snapped, "Obviously, you know. You tell me."
Red walked over to her and extended his hand to help her up. "I don't know, honestly. I just assumed there might be some fallout from this recent case." He stared into her eyes and said, "Did you reconsider bringing a child into this household?"
She ignored his hand and stood up on her own. "You obviously knew I would. You haven't fooled me."
"Nor did I think I would," he replied without remorse. After a brief pause, he said, "It's for the best, Lizzie. A child deserves the best possible chances he or she can have and Tom will not provide…"
"Can we just drop that for right now?" she interrupted.
He nodded. "Of course," he conceded. He gestured towards the living room couch and then went to sit down. "Do you mind if I stick around for a little while? I find that I'm a little tired right now and need to rest."
She followed him to the couch and stood over him.
"Maybe we could watch a late night movie and keep each other company. It's better than what you were doing, after all."
She continued to stare at him for a few moments and then asked, "Buttered or plain popcorn?"
"Plain," he answered. He grabbed the remote off the table and started flipping through the channels.
As Lizzy walked away into the kitchen, he frowned. He wished he could truly console her like he really wanted to. He wished he could tell her he cared about her problems and why, but for now, just keeping her company so she wouldn't have to be alone during the hard times would have to be enough.
Sam had filled his spot in her life once when she needed a father. Now, he would fill Sam's unofficially. He could only hope the shoe still fit.
I might turn this into a longer fic if anyone is interested. Comments are appreciated!