Title: The More Things Change
Disclaimer: See Part 1
Aftermath Part 2 of 2: What goes around, comes around
"When we tell Bay and Chance about the trip…"
"Carl hasn't agreed to give them the time off."
"He will. Anyway, I think we should give them babysitting coupons from all of their friends. We may even be able to convince their parents to put in a couple to keep the kids so they can go on away on their anniversary like they've been doing." Terri looked up at Stiles and winked, "We could do that too…"
Stiles laughed right before kissing his wife. "Six kids? In this house? You're going to have to make that worth my while."
Terri leaned up and kissed Stiles. "I think I can manage that."
Stiles grabbed Terri's hand and headed upstairs. They were barely inside their room when Stiles' phone rang.
Terri kissed Stiles as he reached for his phone. "Don't answer it."
Stiles opened one eye and looked at the caller ID. "Carl. I better answer it."
Terri groaned and let him go. She decided to get ready for bed and check on Patrick when it became apparent the conversation would take a while.
Nearly an hour later, Stiles flopped on the bed next to Terri and smiled, happy that she waited up. "Okay, it's done. Chance and Bailey have next weekend off, two tickets to Andros and a suite booked at Le Grande Bleu. They leave Friday at 8:00 PM ."
Terri smiled broadly. "I think this will be good for them. Why did Carl actually call?"
Stiles hesitated for a moment before telling Terri about the rest of his conversation with Carl. "Callan's coming back."
Terri sat up, frowning. "What?"
"Carl just told me that Callan's taking Holland 's old job. He'll be back next month."
"Carl thought it was time, but it's also a favor for Liz and Carson. After the scare with Carson's heart attack, they really wanted their family back together. Now that Bailey's pregnant, the timing just seemed right."
"And you're okay with seeing him again?"
"I don't think I'll ever like the guy, but I won't have to see him very often so it shouldn't too big a deal. Are you okay with seeing him again?"
"I don't know." Terri felt like she had forgiven Matt, at least to the point where her memories of how he manipulated her didn't affect her marriage. Although they had barely spoken at the hospital after Carson's attack a few month's earlier, Terri had survived being in the same room with him for hours at a time. But now that she would have to work with him again, she wasn't sure that she wouldn't have the urge to punch him.
"Does he know you have his old job?"
"Indirectly, he'll be working for you, right? How's that going to work?"
"It'll work." Stiles took a deep breath before revealing the rest of his news. "I interviewed him a few weeks ago."
Terri got up and glared at her husband. "You what? Why didn't you tell me?"
"I didn't want to upset you. When Liz called to tell us what she and Carson wanted, you were still sick all the time and under a lot of stress with work. I didn't want to say anything until I knew more."
Terri wasn't happy that Stiles kept this from her. She had been very sick the first few months of her pregnancy and he was right, hearing anything about Matt wouldn't have been the best thing for her then.
"A few days after Carson got home, Liz came to see me at the office and asked how I would feel about Matt coming back to Langley . I wanted to tell her that I thought he should stay in Germany and rot, but the look on her face… anyway, I told her I was sure about us, but I didn't think I could work with him again."
Terri had a hard time imaging Stiles and Matt working together again even after three and 1/2 years, but she kept her thoughts to herself.
"Carl talked to the people Callan's been working with and looked at his work. Once he was satisfied, he set up the interview. He told me he would consider whatever I told him before he made his decision."
"So you talked to Matt?"
"Yeah, I called him and we talked about the job. Then we talked about you and me. I told him we're happy and he said he is glad. Then he apologized. I…"
Terri looked at Stiles incredulously and then interrupted him. "He apologized? What did he say, 'Sorry I convinced your amnesiac wife that she wanted me? Sorry that I let you think I was sleeping with her? Sorry that I was a jerk and let my ego get in the way of a mission, nearly costing you your life?"
Stiles half smiled. "Yeah, something like that. He did some soul searching; Carl sent him to counseling too. It seems he had some middle child issues. Apparently, everybody loved his older brother and he always resented the attention Eric got. Then Eric died and became 'Saint Eric.' Helping to put Quinn away and coming back here was supposed to be Callan's chance to prove that he was as good as if not better than his brother was. I got in the way.
"I had the job he wanted, the girl he wanted and, just like the rest of the family, I reminded him of Eric. The fact that his mother sort of adopted me didn't help. He said he was jealous and lost sight of some things and he was sorry you and I were hurt. He sounded sincere."
Terri knew how much everyone loved Eric. She also knew that Matt was jealous of his family's relationship with Stiles, but she didn't think any of that was a valid reason to do what he did, but again, she decided to keep her mouth shut. Stiles had come a long way since Matt left and if he was okay, she didn't want to dredge up the past. "What did you tell Carl?"
"I told him I think I can deal with it. I told him that as long as we didn't have to look at him everyday, we could manage."
Terri handed Stiles the remote. "Okay. I'm tired. I'm going to sleep."
Stiles caught Terri's arm as she was turning away from him. "Oh no you don't."
"Terri, Liz said something to me that I'll never forget. The day Bay and Chance gave us that cruise, when I was still letting the whole thing drive me crazy, she sat me down and told me, 'Matt can't hurt you anymore.' What she said made sense then, and it makes sense now. Honey, he screwed up his life and we almost let him screw up ours, but we're okay. We've been okay. We'll keep being okay.
His coming back has more to do with Liz and Carson wanting their family together—all of their family. Terri, I love you and I'm not worried about us. Please don't let him get to you."
At the same time Stiles finished talking, Terri felt the baby move. She paused for a moment and looked at her husband then sighed, "I just never thought about how I would feel if I had to see him again."
Stiles pulled Terri to him and bent his head until their foreheads touched. "Honey, you'll be fine. You probably won't see him that much anyway. And if he gets out of line," Stiles kissed her quickly then smiled before continuing, "You have my permission to punch him."
Terri laughed as she kissed him back. "Thank you and just so you know, I am very happy with our life and you're right, we're okay. Our marriage is strong, we have a beautiful son and…" Terri took Stiles' hand so he could feel their daughter moving and smiled. "…this little one seems to agree with you; we'll keep being okay."
Thanks for reading; I hope you've enjoyed it!