Life Will Go On

Summary: After Erica's death, Camille tries to cope and to help Zack do the same. Lora gets to know her son better, and tries to bring him closer to her family. Meanwhile, a new case fuels a disagreement between the two women.

Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters from For the People, yadda yadda yadda, I really don't see why this is necessary, but whatever.

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Camille Paris hung her coat in the closet, and went over to the couch, where her fifteen-year-old nephew, Zack, was sitting with his head in his hands. They'd just come back from the funeral for Erica, Zack's mother and Camille's big sister, and they hadn't spoken a word to each other all morning.

Camille put a hand comfortingly on Zack's shoulder, but he shrugged it off and went into his room. Camille sighed. He's shutting me out again, she thought. She had, over the years, gotten used to, but she hadn't expected it now. They had gotten so close while Erica was in the hospital, or at least Camille had thought so. Is this how it's going to be for the next two years? Camille couldn't help wondering. And then, she thought, what about after Zack goes to college? Without Erica, is he just going to forget about me completely? Is it really only a matter of time before I lose him, too?

Her thoughts were interrupted by a knock at the door. "Come in!" Camille called, suddenly feeling to weary to even open the door.

The door opened to reveal her ex-husband, Michael. He came in, the worry lines across his handsome face deepening when he saw her, standing next to the couch, looking exhausted.

"Hi," she said, forcing a smile.

"How are you doing?" he asked gently.

Camille sighed. "Okay, I guess."

Michael arched an eyebrow. "Okay, you guess? Meaning...?"

"Meaning, I'm horrible and I don't want to admit it." she conceded.

"Thought so." he said before crossing the room to give her a hug. "How's Zack?"

"I wouldn't know. He won't talk to me."

"Maybe you should give him space for a while?" Michael suggested. "Just for a little while. Give you both a chance to breathe."

"But what if I can't breathe?" Camille asked suddenly. "Michael, I just lost my big sister. How am I supposed to deal with that?"

"Slowly." Michael told her after a short pause. "You just try getting through each day, no matter how much it hurts. Don't think about after that. Don't think too far ahead. Just try to cope with the present. You've lived without Erica before, all those times she's diasappeared. Sure, it hurts more now, but you can't stop living, Camille."

She noticed he didn't say that it would hurt less with time. She was grateful for that omission; the cliche was practically all she'd heard all day, and she didn't believe it.

He pulled her to him, comforting her. They moved toward the couch, and then, when they were both sitting down, and Camille felt like she couldn't hold back any longer, she leaned against him, and cried.

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A/N: I know that chapter sucked, but I was doing it in a hurry. I promise, future chapters will be longer and less fluffy.
Please, review. I'm working on a bunch of fics, and the ones that get the most reviews also get the most attention.