Woooo! I finished a story that wasn't a one shot! Go me :) Thanks for those who stuck with me and read through the whole thing!


"There's more than one answer to these questions, pointing me in a crooked line, and the less I seek my source for some definitive, the closer I am to fine." Indigo Girls - Closer to Fine


Scarlett undressed, kicking her boots off as she returned to her room. What a day, she was still reeling from the news that her mother was a terrorist. How could they even be related and how could she deal with that? How was it that such a staunch anti-terrorist could be spawned from such dark stock? She rubbed her eyes, looking at the clock and mentally calculating the time on the east coast, then placing a call to her father.

"Da? It's me."

"Shana, good to hear your voice. Everything ok?" He picked up on the odd tone of her voice quickly. He was after all, her father.

"I met with Gran today. She is a lovely woman," her voice was neutral for now as she spoke.

"That she is. I'm sorry that you are just getting to meet her," he really did sound apologetic.

There was a long silence, then she spoke again, "I also met Rourke today."

She could hear her father take a deep breath, "Didn't take you long, did it?"

"Why didn't you ever tell us the truth about Mom? We had a right to know!" Now Shana was accusing and upset.

"You didn't need to know Shana," he was firm and calm, "That was her past and you wouldn't have understood back then."

"I don't understand now! How could she do that? She is everything I fight against in the world!" She paced around her room, trying to keep her voice low but struggling with it. She looked in the mirror seeing herself with the cell phone, so much like her mother in so many ways. That used to make her proud. But now...all she felt was disgust.

"Calm down Shana. Please."

She took a deep breath, "I'm calm. As calm as I'm going to get."

"I know this is hard for you. I'm sorry. It just...the longer and longer I went without telling you and the boys, the harder it was to do, for you especially. I know you are involved with the military fighting against terrorists."

"Yeah Da. I am. And it's important to me. And this Rourke guy. He's acting like all terrorists are just fighting for their freedom!"

"Is that what he really said? Or what you heard?" She could hear the frustration in his voice, "Look, there's no love lost between Rourke and I. Especially when it came to your mother. And God knows we disagreed on politics. What I'm saying is: Shana, your mother wasn't a terrorist. She was a member of an army, fighting a war. I disagreed with how the war was going and it isn't safe for a mother to be on the front lines."

"But Da, it was never a war."

"Says who? It was, just some didn't want to admit it. It was different up there than it was down in the Republic. What I'm saying is that not all people who fight against the established government are terrorists. And not all people who organize into an army have valid reasons and should be venerated. You know the world is rarely black and white, and this is one of those things that falls clearly into gray. Make up your own mind Shana."

She rubbed her forehead tiredly. "I don't know what to think Da. It's like everything I know to be true has been flipped around."

"No it hasn't hon, it's just a different point of view. Don't make it more difficult than it has to be."

"Alright. I need to get to sleep. I love you Da." She just wanted to close her eyes and forget this day had happened.

"I love you too Shana, and so did your Ma. Sleep tight."

Shana hung up the phone and suddenly felt very alone there in Ireland. She didn't belong to this world and she shouldn't be consorting with terrorists. She thought of calling Jaye, but instead laid her head down and tried to get some sleep, hoping things looked better in the morning.


Shana awoke the next morning, her soul feeling as refreshed as her body. She got up, showered, had breakfast and decided to take a walk around Belfast. She wanted to get a better feel for the city her mother had grown up in. She began in the city, seeing the dirt and age that was absent from so many American cities. She could smell the diesel cars, the underlying scent of green that was also missing from many American cities.

She passed through areas that looked clean an immaculate, but more poignant were the areas that had been vandalized. "Saoirse", which she knew meant 'freedom', "SS RUC", "Kill all taigs" and many others, all horrible and divisive, in some state of being removed. It was clear though that no matter how quickly they worked to clean it up, it was being replaced just as quickly. She saw the bullet fragments and the devastation caused by different bombs and shootings and was struck by how violent this city could be, and yet the people were still trudging through their day, mostly without fear.

She sat in a pub later that day, ignoring the stares from the 'good ole boys' that were suspicious of some woman coming into their haven. She sipped slowly at a glass of Jameson's, enjoying the smooth feel. She didn't look up as she felt someone sit down next to her and speak, "Enjoying your day?" It was Donnell again.

She turned to eye him suspiciously, "Have you been following me?" She was bothered by the fact he had been doing it, but more so because she hadn't noticed it. She had been too caught up in her own little world that she hadn't been paying enough attention to her surroundings. No excuse for that; she had been trained to be better than that.

He shrugged, "Just making sure you didn't get into any trouble." He caught the incredulous look from her and continued, "Rourke just asked that I keep an eye out."

"Thanks, but I really don't need it." She wasn't sure how she felt about him watching out for her. She wasn't sure how she felt about anything anymore.

"You keep walking around in the neighborhoods you were visiting and you will. Don't be offended, just accept it as a friendly gesture." He shrugged and drank some of his Guinness.

She sighed, "I don't have much choice do I?" Her eyes returned to the whiskey as she raised it to her lips again. "How did you get involved in it?" Her voice was quiet and she didn't look at him.

"Does it matter? I saw injustice and I wanted to fix it. I couldn't do it legally, so I had no other choice."

"But killing people?" She turned to look at him and he met her eyes squarely.

"Somehow I doubt someone who handles a gun like you do is that far from killing herself." His tone was amiable and non-accusatory and she had to admit his words held some truth. "I've made mistakes in my life, but I do think I'm doing a good thing. Can you say the same?"

"Yeah, I can actually." She believed it too, she knew she was doing good by fighting Cobra.

"Then nothing else matters. You can't control the world, only yourself."

She smirked and took another sip of whiskey. "You're pretty wise for your age. Thanks."

He chuckled, "Good lookin' too." He winked at her, "Feeling better?"

She smiled slowly, "I'm getting there." And Shana knew it was true, she knew that no matter the conflict, her mom was following her heart, just like she was and even if her mom was wrong, there was nothing she could do to change it now. All she could do was make peace with her own life and do the best she could. She held up her whiskey glass to heaven and toasted her mom, "I love you Ma." She finished her whiskey and thought that maybe being thirty-five wouldn't be so bad after all.