Like I said, updates are going to be slow but if you're reading this and you somehow haven't read the Christmas fic (which isn't completely canon but is still a lot of fun), go read that! It's called "Christmas Angels" and it's a sequel to "Christmas Party Panic. "
No one spoke at Simon's funeral, except for the man they'd paid to say he would be missed.
Seth had wanted to speak, wanted to think of anything worthwhile to say, but all their energy was focused on keeping their head down and avoiding Connor and Scarlett.
Scarlett Drake seemed more hell-bent on reviving Seth's deadname than paying respects to her dead son, snarking at Seth whenever they were in earshot.
Seth was glad when the funeral was over and the dam could break, and they could finally say what they wanted to say.
Actually, Sadie and Seth both had a whole lot more to say after the funeral, when they were getting drunk in Sadie's kitchen.
"He didn't even come to my wedding," Sadie said, heavily intoxicated at this point. "Asshole."
"Here's to the asshole," Seth agreed, downing another shot.
"He will be missed," Sadie slurred.
They'd loved their older brother, but he had always been a disappointment.
"If he just could have kept his hands clean," Sadie wept at one point during her inebriated spiel, "maybe he'd still be alive."
Seth wouldn't remember much else about that day. They would remember that what-if, though. It would stick in their mind like a splinter.
Why had Simon died? Who or what had pushed him to it?
Morgan had been Seth's escort to and from the funeral but Booker was the person they wanted to talk to when they finally sobered up.
"How are Florian and Maya?"
"They're good, they're sleeping. How are you feeling?"
"Hungover," Seth confessed.
"But I'm fine."
"Are you sure?"
"Yeah. It was good to grieve with Sadie. It got me thinking."
"Mm-hm?" Booker urged them to continue while not so subtly slipping a comforting arm around them.
"I think I need your help."
"Whatever you need, I'm here," Booker promised.
"I want to find out why Simon drove off that bridge."
"Seth… Are you sure that's a good idea?"
"I need closure, Booker. If Simon killed himself I want to understand his reasoning and if Simon was killed I need to find out who did it."
"Love, normally I would fully support you taking justice into your own hands but I think we should maybe take a step back and really think about this."
"Fine," Seth said, "psychoanalyze me."
"I'm not trying to psychoanalyze you and I'm not even saying that I won't help you, of course I'll help you. I just want to make two things clear."
"Okay, what are they?"
"First, you have to understand that if this gets too dangerous then you have to back out. No ifs or buts."
"Okay, deal. I don't want to endanger the kids, anyway.
"Good. Second, you have to accept that there might not be a reason."
"We don't know what happened to Simon. I'll help you try to find an explanation but there might not be one. Not everything happens for a reason."
Seth pulled away from Booker and hugged themself.
"I'm going to check on the kids."
"Okay. Got it. I'm going to go check on the kids."
When Seth disappeared, Booker headed into the kitchen where Morgan was making hot chocolate for herself.
"How was the funeral?"
"Tense. But it was good for Seth to spend time with Sadie afterward."
"How are you feeling?"
"Pretty shitty, actually."
"Yeah, me too. I'm so worried about them. They want justice, Morgan, they want to solve Simon's death. What if there's nothing to solve? What if there's no justice to be had?"
"I wanted someone to blame when Tadashi died. I took it out on Krei and it lead me to who I am now. But if I hadn't had people reeling me back I could have done something really terrible. I could've really hurt myself, and the people I love."
"Seth already promised they'd back out if it got too dangerous, but they're doing that for Maya and Flor, not for themself."
"We just have to…"
Morgan sighed. "We have to be there for Seth while they grieve, and eventually we'll be able to convince them to stay alive for themself instead of just the people they love."
Booker nodded. "But we can't lose ourselves, either. We're all going to take care of ourselves and each other." He knew that Morgan could forget herself when she was distressed, he remembered the City of Monsters.
"Deal. You think we could convince them to go on vacation?" Morgan asked.
Booker laughed sadly. "I wish. I have a feeling there won't be any rest and relaxation here for a while."