A/N: Okay, so I've had this completed more or less for the last couple of weeks on my computer (I actually finished it a couple of days after Chapter 12), but I wanted to over the old chapters and do some editing because some of my chapters were written when I was around 12 or 13, and my writing was absolutely unbearable to read. I haven't changed the plot, just improved the vocabulary and style - I did add in one scene in Chapter 7, where I gave Isadora another flashback before she finds out about her relationship with Klaus (nothing major, just some cuteness). I also changed it around a little so that it's implied that Isadora was living with her brothers and the Baudelaire sisters before her disappearance, and that Klaus was the only one who had moved out of the house, which is explained in this chapter as well.
So this is the last real chapter, but there WILL be an Epilogue, which I've outlined and should have posted early this weekend or early next weekend, just to tie some things up and give the story an overall feel-good ending. Enjoy! (Oh, and sorry about the length, I went a little crazy)
Summary: Four years ago, Isadora Quagmire disappeared without a trace, clue or any evidence at all to help find her. Without any help from lazy police officers, the Quagmires and Baudelaires try to find her but slowly adapt to life without her their treasured friend. So what will they say when she shows up unscathed, unbruised but with a forgotten memory? T just in case.
Disclaimer: I own it all! I own everything!(please, please note the sarcasm) Yes I was joking. I don't own A Series of Unfortunate Events, Lemony Snicket, a.k.a Daniel Handler, does. I only own Cassandra, Nancy and Samantha and any other characters I decide to spontaneously add in.
Chapter 13: Contriving Conclusion
Klaus was not left alone for very long after he watched Fiona and Jim take Isadora away. He struggled for a couple of minutes with his restraints, but eventually gave up as he could feel the rope tearing into his skin, causing it to go numb from the pain; he was also sure that he was bleeding. Just when he was starting to think that he was going to be stuck in that room for hours, Fiona came barging in once again.
"I have a surprise for you, my dear," she said in absolute glee. "Jim, bring them in!"
Klaus' heart sank as he realized just who "them" most likely were. Sure enough, Klaus saw Quigley, Duncan and Sunny get pushed through the door, their arms bound behind their back. Jim finally walked in behind them, holding a gun that was pressed against Violet's head. Klaus inhaled sharply at the sight of his sister in such a compromising position.
"Jim, hand me the girl," said Fiona. "You can take care of those two oafs over there." Jim did as she was told and proceeded to walk over to where the Quagmire brothers were standing, holding each of them with one hand by the scruff of their collar. Fiona pulled Violet over, making sure that the gun remained pressed against her temple. Klaus made eye contact with his sister – on the outside, she looked calm, but he knew by the expression in her eyes that she was terrified.
"You see, my dear," began Fiona, "I was quite fortunate to stumble upon these lovely specimens after having disposed of your little girlfriend." Klaus tensed at the word 'disposed'. "Since threatening to kill Miss Quagmire has not quite convinced you to accept my offer, I've decided to add a little extra incentive. You either agree to marry me, or I kill your sister. Right here, right now."
"Klaus," Violet warned him. "Don't do it, Klaus. Even if you agree to what she does, she's still going to kill us. There's no way she's going to let us all escape this situation alive. She won't kill me, Klaus, I'm her bargaining tool."
Fiona pressed the gun harder against Violet's temple. "You speak another word, and I'll shoot a hole in your foot, you hear me?"
"I'm not letting you die like this, Vi," Klaus said. "We've been through way too much together or me to just let you die at the hands of this psychopath. We have survived every curveball that has been thrown our way, and we will survive this as well."
There was the sound of scuffling as Quigley tried to escape from Jim's grasp - his captor pulled him backwards roughly and pinned him against the floor so that his face was crushed against the cement. He stared at Duncan warningly, communicating to him that the same would happen to him if he tried to do the same.
Violet shuddered. Quigley was still struggling, trying like a madman to get to his fiancé. "Violet!" he struggled. "Violet, just do what she wants! Please!"
Fiona laughed at the exchange. "Oh, love can make people do crazy things, can't it, sweetheart?" It was Klaus' turn to shudder. All of a sudden, Fiona's eyes narrowed in his direction. "I have been rather patient with you, Klaus. I have been forgiving and open-minded about this whole ordeal. However, I have now reached the point where my patience has run out. In a moment, I will begin counting to ten. If I reach the end of my count, I will pull the trigger. This will continue with every other person in this room who you care about – even Miss Quagmire."
The whole room became tense. Even Quigley had stopped struggling against Jim's firm hold; a sort of strangled cry escaped his lips, a mixture of fear, desperation and helplessness. Klaus had resumed trying to break free from his restraints, while Violet remained deathly still, and Fiona stood next to her beaming victoriously, aware that everyone was now listening to her quite intently.
Duncan was about to sink to his knees to try and calm down his brother, when he realized that the only person in the room who had been quiet since they had entered the room was Sunny – Duncan would have attributed this to shock and fear for any other person, but he knew well that it was uncharacteristic of Sunny Baudelaire to remain quiet for more than thirty seconds, even in a life-threatening situation.
Her silence could only mean one thing - Sunny had a plan.
Sunny had been pulled into the room along with Quigley and Duncan by Jim, but while they were currently being restrained, Sunny had been completely ignored and shoved into a corner. This was obviously because Fiona did not consider her to be much of a threat due to her age, and therefore figured that she would stand still and watch the adults sort everything out for themselves.
Oh, how wrong she was.
While the others were trying desperately to talk Violet out of her situation, Sunny had been working on the binds that were trying her hands together. She had noticed when Fiona had tied her up that she had not put anywhere near as much pressure and tightness to her binds as she had to the others.
She was wringing her hands and forcing the rope, her heart jumping every time she felt her binds become looser and looser. As Quigley began to make a commotion, Sunny took the opportunity to yank both hands as far apart as possible in the opposite direction, forcing the rope with all of her might until she felt it slacken to the point where she was able to slide her hands out of the binds.
Success!, she thought to herself, tucking the rope into the back pocket of her jeans – she kept her arms behind her back to as not to alarm Fiona if she decided to turn around.
She had a perfect view of the scene. She had been shoved into a corner near the entrance to the room. In front of her to her left stood Violet and Fiona, and to the right were Jim and the Quagmire brothers. She had the clearest view of her brother, who was bound to the chair directly in front of her.
That's when Sunny spotted it – another chair. Not more than three feet in front of her. It greatly resembled the chair that she had seen Jim drag Isadora away in – whether or not this was a different chair or whether Jim had brought it back was unknown to her. All she knew that was with proper timing, she could knock out Fiona and save her sister's life.
The only problem was that she ran the risk of Fiona pulling the trigger in shock, instantly killing Violet. It was a pretty big problem.
"I have been rather patient with you, Klaus. I have been forgiving and open-minded about this whole ordeal. However, I have now reached the point where my patience has run out. In a moment, I will begin counting to ten. If I reach the end of my count, I will pull the trigger. This will continue with every other person in this room who you care about – even Miss Quagmire."
Sunny felt panic seize her - she was running short on time. Too short on time. Quigley let out another cry as Duncan tried to reach down to comfort him. Jim, taking this as a sign of aggression, forced Duncan downwards so that he was contorted in the same way as his brother. There was no way that the Quagmire brothers were going to save Violet, and Klaus' inability to move made it impossible for him to do anything. That left Sunny with the responsibility to save them all.
She steadied her breathing and tried her best to think clearly. She needed a way to get Fiona to lower the gun. She stared at her brother hard, but he was too focused on Violet to notice her.
Sunny cast another look at the chair in the corner – she took a step forward, making sure to be absolutely quiet so that nobody would realize that she was moving. Only Klaus noticed her, but he made sure not to stare at her too long so that Fiona would not grow suspicious. Sunny quietly took out one of her hands from behind her back and held it briefly in front of her to show Klaus that she was no longer bound. She also jabbed her head in the direction of the chair, and then again in Fiona's direction.
Klaus didn't look at her directly, but he crinkled his nose to indicate that he had seen her and understood what she was planning to do. It was a signal that they had developed as children when they didn't want adults to know something.
"Ten", Fiona said suddenly, and a panicked look appeared on Klaus' face. Sunny inched forward once more.
"Nine." Quigley cried out once more, and Sunny felt a pang in her chest. As much as she teased him, she had no doubt that Quigley adored her sister in every way that was humanely possible. He was going to make a good husband; she was going to make sure of that.
"Fiona," Klaus begged. "Don't do this – we can discuss this, please!"
"Seven, Six." She began to count more quickly. Sunny picked up the pace and wrapped her hands around each side of the chair, making sure to not make a single noise. Everyone was too focused on Violet and Fiona to look at what she was doing, but one loud clatter on her part could end it for them all.
"Five." Sunny lifted the chair up over her head, angling her body carefully so that she was facing Fiona's back directly. She was less than teen feet away from her. Klaus kept his eyes away from hers, but she knew that he was watching her out of the corner of his eye. Sunny could feel the weight of her chair almost causing her knees to buckle, but she focused all of her energy on keeping it steady above her head.
"Four." Sunny took one large step forward, placing her foot delicately on the ground – she was close enough to Fiona that the risk of her hearing Sunny was even greater, but far enough that she was out of Jim's peripheral view. All she needed was for Fiona to lower the gun, even just for a moment, so that she could hit her without risking Violet's life. She stared at Klaus desperately, trying to communicate to him her dilemma.
He somehow seemed to understand the problem. "Fiona, put down the gun, and I promise that we will talk this out like rational human beings. Just bring the gun away from my sister's head."
Fiona shook her head. "I'm sorry, Klaus, but this gun stays where it is until you promise to marry me, so that way we can dispose of that Quagmire whore appropriately and finally live the life we have always deserved with our daughter." She paused before continuing. "Three, two - "
"I'll marry you!" Klaus yelled desperately. "I'll marry you – I promise. We'll get married and start a life together. I promise. We'll get rid of Isadora and we'll raise Samantha together."
Fiona smiled, and then did exactly what Klaus was hoping she would do - she slowly began to lower the gun from Violet's temple, letting her hand fall loosely at her side. "Oh, Klaus! I -"
She never got to finish her sentence as Sunny closed the distance between them, jumping forward and bringing the chair that she had been holding down so that it hit Fiona square on the head. The older woman hit the floor with a large thud, knocked instantly unconscious.
Isadora was walking through a park.
She could feel the cold against her skin and the could see the light layer of snow that layered the grass in front of her.. She had on what appeared to be a jacket, but it was nowhere near warm enough to protect her from the harsh weather that surrounded her. She wrapped her arms around herself, shivering as a gust of wind passed.
"Are you cold?" She heard someone ask from next to her. She turned to look at her companion, who was none other than Klaus Baudelaire. He looked extremely young, no older than fifteen or sixteen years old.
"I'm fine," she insisted, her chattering teeth blowing her cover.
"You're cold," he said; it wasn't a question this time.
Isadora shook her head. "Klaus, I'm fine. Really." He began to take off his coat. "I'm fine! I swear. You don't have to." Her friend ignored her and instead wrapped his coat around her shoulders, his touch lingering slightly. She sighed. "Thank you."
He smiled at her. "You're welcome. Besides, I couldn't possibly let you catch a cold – your brothers would kill me. I'd rather face a snowstorm than be on their bad sides." Isadora laughed, and Klaus stared at her with concern. "Are you okay? Are you warm enough now?"
Isadora stared at him, and proceeded to reach out her hand so as to intertwine her fingers with his. A blush instantly crept into her cheeks, and she felt her face grow hot. Klaus looked a little surprised, but he didn't pull away. Instead, she felt his hand hold onto hers even tighter.
"I'm perfect now," she sighed, inching over so that she could learn against him for the rest of the walk.
The scene changed. She was no longer outside during winter, but inside what appeared to be the home that Quigley and Violet presently shared. The room she was in consisted of a small bed, a large desk, and an even larger bookshelf. There was no doubt in her mind that this was Klaus' room. For some odd reason, she was lying on her stomach on the carpeted floors, two poetry books opened in front of her.
"Aha!" She heard Klaus' voice exclaim from where the bookshelves were. "I found it!" He bounded towards her, lowering himself on the ground and handing her the book that he had in his hand. "The complete works of John Keats. Mint condition."
Isadora grabbed it out of his hand. "I can't believe you actually have this, Klaus! He's no Walt Whitman, but I've wanted a collection like this for ages."
"Which is exactly why I'm giving it to you."
She raised her eyebrows at him. "Excuse me?"
"Consider it a sixteenth birthday present."
"But my birthday isn't for months!"
"Then it's an early birthday present," he mumbled, his face turning red. Isadora was ecstatic – she threw her arms around him, thanking him ecstatically. Klaus wrapped his arms around her, holding her tightly. They both remained in that position for a few moments; she felt Klaus pull away slightly so that they were facing each other.
"Izzie," he whispered, lifting a hand to touch her face gently. She inhaled sharply, and he pulled his hand away. "I'm sorry," he mumbled, attempting to get up, slightly flustered. "I'm sorry – I shouldn't have done that. I know all you wanted was to come over to take a look at some of my books. I'm sorry."
As he attempted to stand up, Isadora grabbed him by his shirt and pulled him downwards, pressing her lips against his. He was still for a second or two, but she quickly felt him respond, one hand resting at the small of her back as the other reached upwards to cup his face. They broke their kiss after what felt like an eternity, both of them panting and red in the face.
"I've been waiting to do that for years," she confessed to him, to which he nodded.
"So have I," he said breathlessly, pulling her against him once again.
The scene changed again. She was seated in Quigley and Violet's dining room, although at this time it was just the Baudelaire home. Klaus was seated next to her; her two brothers were seated across from her, while Violet and Sunny were at either end of the table.
Looking at the faces of those around her, she could tell that she was around sixteen years old – Sunny looked no older than four or five.
"All I'm saying," Violet began, "Is that I think it would be a huge waste of both space an money if you guys decided to buy your own place."
"But our apartment right now is way too small," answered Quigley. "Violet, we need to move. We're constantly at each other's throats. If we don't move somewhere bigger, someone's going to end up dead."Duncan mumbled something from next to him, and Quigley scowled at him.
"What I meant," Violet said, "Is that there's no point for you guys to go out and buy such a big place, when we have so many extra bedrooms right here."
Quigley raised his eyebrows at her. "Are you asking us to move in?"
Violet shrugged. "You're over here all the time, anyways. And, you know, we would really enjoy your company" Violet looked down at her meal as she said this, embarrassed by something. She and Quigley had not begun dating yet.
She looked over at Klaus, who was trying this hardest to hide his grin. She didn't blame him – the thought of them living under the same roof also brought a smile to her face. They could be around each other all the time – it would require a great deal of sneaking around, but it was something that they had been doing for months already.
Isadora saw him lower his hand under the table, and felt his warm touch as he slid his hand over so that it was in hers. She looked at him questioningly – they had never done anything mildly affectionate around their siblings, in fear that someone would notice them. He shrugged slightly, and Isadora decided not to dispute the idea. Besides, she enjoyed the warmth of his hand so much that she was having a hard time not bursting into a wide grin right then and there.
It was moving day now. Sunny was running around the front yard, while the rest of the Quagmires and Baudelaires busied themselves with moving boxes into their now joint home. Isadora reached in to bring in a box, almost buckling under the weight when she realized how heavy it really was; luckily, Klaus had been right next to her, and had grabbed it from her before she could topple over.
"Thanks," she muttered. "Guess I should have taken your suggestion for labeling my things after all, huh?"
He laughed, maneuvering the box under his arm and waiting as she took a box of her own, a much lighter one this time. They both way their inside the house, chatting as they made their way upstairs to where Isadora's future room would be.
Isadora entered her room, depositing the box among the others that littered the room. She sighed at the mess.
Hearing a large thud, she turned around only to see that Klaus had dropped the box, thrown the door closed and ran over to go, pressing her up against the wall as he kissed her.
She pulled away. "Klaus, Violet…my brothers - "
"Violet and Quigley are busy flirting, and Duncan just installed the XBOX in the living room, so we probably won't seem him for days. And I don't see Sunny being any sort of threat, so I think that we have all of our bases covered." He leaned in once again, but she was still hesitant. "Izzie, don't worry. Do you see that window over there?" He pointed, and she nodded. "If you climb out that window, the ledge that it leads you onto also extends to my room. It's the perfect escape route."
"And I'm guessing that's why you insisted I take this room instead of the one down the hall?" He nodded sheepishly. "Ah, you sneak you." Klaus leaned in once again; she didn't back away this time.
Klaus kissed that special spot on her neck which he knew she couldn't resist. "We're going to get caught," she breathed.
"No, we're not. Don't worry about it, Izzie. They don't suspect anything – Violet's actually starting to think I'm gay because I refuse to let her set me up with anyone."He kissed her again, gently this time. He paused, pressing his forehead against hers, staring directly at her. "Isadora," he began, nervously. Klaus had almost never spoken her full name since adopting the nickname "Izzie" for her when they had first been reunited a couple of years before. "I love you."
Isadora's heart skipped a beat – no one had ever spoken those words to her outside her parents, and, at rare times, her brothers. She reached out and touched his face gently. "I love you too, Baudelaire." He smiled, leaning in to nuzzle her neck. Isadora sighed. "I'm really going to like this whole living together arrangement."
The scene shifted one more time. Isadora was at Klaus' apartment and it was a couple years later, when she was around twenty-one. Isadora recognized it as the morning before she had disappeared.
. They were both sitting at this small, dining room table, two breakfast plates in front of him. Klaus was talking, but she wasn't listening, staring straight ahead instead. She was worried about something.
"Izzie!" he said loudly, snapping her back to reality. "Are you okay?"
She nodded, and forced a smile. Klaus looked at her, knowing her well enough to know that she was lying, but he didn't press the matter. He resumed his previous conversation, keeping an eye on her. As she continued to speak, he saw tears start to form in her eyes.
"Izzie," he said again. "You can't fool me. I know that something's wrong. You've been acting strange ever since you came out of the bathroom." Her hands flew to her stomach when she mentioned that, remembering the positive pregnancy test that she had just taken moments before. Klaus was really staring at her now, obviously wanting an answer from her. "Izzie, please, you can tell me anything."
She opened and closed her mouth several times. "I-I-"
She couldn't do it. Pushing her chair out, she ran away from him and into the bathroom, where she barely reached the toilet in time to throw up. Isadora wasn't sure if this was a result of morning sickness or of pure nerves. Probably a little bit of both.
She heard Klaus knock on the door. "Izzie?"
"I'm okay," she shouted. "I'm just feeling a little sick, that's all."
Isadora could practically hear the concerned look on his face. "I'm going to go get you something from the pharmacy down the street, okay? You stay in there and I'll be right back."
Before she could protest, Isadora heard the sound of the door opening and closing as Klaus rushed to get her something. Isadora felt slightly guilty – she didn't quite understand why the idea of telling Klaus about her pregnancy made her so nauseous. It wasn't as if he thought that he would get angry or decide to leave her. There was also no doubt in her mind that he was going to be an amazing father.
It was the fact that they would be unable to keep putting off telling their siblings. With the baby on the way, they would need to know immediately. Sighing, Isadora steadied herself and exited the bathroom. Instead of making her way into the living room, she realized that Klaus had left his study door open.
Knowing that their anniversary was coming up, Isadora wondered whether or not Klaus had hidden her present in his study. Every time Christmas, her birthday or their anniversary rolled around, she searched all f the rooms in his apartment up and down, but never found anything. She had only searched his office briefly in the past, since he always seemed to catch her whenever she went looking in that particular room.
But he was gone for at least another five minutes or so. Curious, she made her way inside cautiously, making sure not to move anything. She cast a glance around the room, feeling as if there was something different about it, even though she knew that it looked the same as every other time she had been in here. Her eyes ran over the desk in the corner where his laptop was placed, the leather couch that was placed against the wall (which she had numerous memories of fooling around on), and the numerous bookshelves that lined the walls, similar to those that were in his bedroom and living room.
Her eyes settled on the cabinet that Klaus kept in the corner for storage, and she then noticed what was different about the room. The top drawer of the cabinet, which was the most private part of Klaus' apartment and was always locked, was now open. Isadora felt her heart beat loudly. Hoping that Klaus would still be awhile longer, she walked over to the cabinet and opened the drawer, peering inside.
Klaus had already told her what he kept in there – souvenirs and mementos of his life before the fire at his home, photos of him with his siblings and his parents, old mail and letters that held some sort of significance for him. Every evidence of his relationship with Isadora was also kept in there, because he was paranoid that if he kept them in an unlocked area that eventually either one of her brothers or one of his sisters would come across them. Isadora was not as paranoid; she kept everything in a box under her bed.
Isadora recognized many photos that they had taken together, as well as letters that she had written to him over the years. She strained her eyes to try and see something that may be some sort of gift that her boyfriend was planning to give her, and her eyes finally settled on a small box in the corner.
A box just small enough to hold a ring.
She picked up the tiny box and held it in her hand, her heart beating wildly as she stared at it. She opened it slowly, catching just a glimpse of what appeared to be a diamond before slamming it shut right away. A note fell out and she quickly inserted it back into the box, fighting the urge to read it and catch a better look at the ring.
She placed the box gingerly where she had found it, closing the drawer and locking it. She had just exited the study as she heard Klaus entering the apartment, a plastic bag in his hand.
He looked surprised when he saw her standing in the hallway. "Izzie, maybe you should sit down or something-"
"It was just a momentary thing. I'm fine," she reassured him, leaning over to kiss him quickly on the lips. "Especially now that I know that I have a super thoughtful boyfriend who is willing to do whatever he can to take care of me." He wouldn't be her boyfriend very long, she thought, but her fiancé.
He smiled, and lifted up the bag for her to see. "I bought you some tea and some medicine which, according to the very friendly pharmacist, can cure absolutely every kind of nausea."
Isadora made a mental note to ask Klaus for that when she began having morning sickness. "You're too cute, you know that?"
He grinned. "I know."
Isadora laughed and kissed him again, this time with much vigor. Klaus let the bag fall to the ground and encircled her with his arms. "I have work later," she whispered in his ear, but he ignored her, kissing her neck.
"That's not for another hour. We can get a lot done in an hour."
She laughed. "I have something really important to tell you when I get back, okay?"
He nodded, and leaned forward so as to kiss her again. Isadora didn't resist him any further, and instead decided that she would figure out later what she was going to do about telling about the baby, and how they would possible let their siblings know about this relationship that they had been hiding for so long.
Isadora was vaguely aware of the fact that she had a meeting to attend in a little more than an hour, but she was much more focused on the moment, this moment in time in which she knew that she couldn't possibly be more happy. She was with her boyfriend who wanted to marry her, and she was carrying his baby. It didn't get more perfect than this, she realized. .
Isadora's eyes fluttered open.
Her head was throbbing, both from the blow to the head that she had received from Fiona and from the vivid dreams that she had experienced during her unconscious state.
No, not dreams, she realized. Memories.
The visions in her dreams were not the only things that were coming back to her – she suddenly felt her head being flooded with different facts – her real birthday, Quigley's favorite flavor of ice cream, the name of Duncan's first girlfriend…As her head filled up with all of the knowledge of all of these different things, it started to throb even harder, causing her to cry out in pain.
Bringing her hands up to her head, she began to rub her temples. She then paused, realizing that she was no longer bound to her chair.
She wasn't even sitting on a chair anymore – she was instead sprawled out on the floor in the room that she had been held captive in earlier. Ignoring her throbbing head, Isadora tried to stand up, making her way to the door.
It was locked, not surprisingly enough. She hadn't exactly thought that she would be that lucky. Sighing, she slid down the door, once again returning to the massaging of her temples.
Her thoughts immediately turned to her daughter, who was somewhere in this building, being taken care of by a perfect stranger. She knew that her daughter was probably calling out of her, most likely crying in frustration and anger. She then thought about Klaus, who was locked up down the hall, who was unfortunately the object of affection of a maniac who had gone to extreme measures in the past to be with him. She felt a familiar tugging in her heart as she thought about his wellbeing, a feeling that she had not felt in a long time – a feeling that had prominent in her dreams, her old memories.
The room froze as Fiona was knocked unconscious, everyone unsure of what to do next. Jim loosened his grip on the Quagmire brothers in shock, but they were both so stunned that they did not take the opportunity to escape, and instead gaped at Fiona's unconscious body.
Violet stood stunned, staring at the body of the woman who had just moments before been holding a gun against her head, ready to end her life in a matter of seconds. Noticing the gun that Fiona had dropped to the ground a couple of feet ahead of her, she lunged at it, picking it up off the floor before Jim, who had been eyeing it, was able to.
She lifted the gun, and held it level in the direction of Jim's head. "Get your hands off my fiancé."
Jim did as he was told. He released both the Quagmire brothers and lifted his hands in the air, all the while keeping his eyes focused on the gun in Violet's hands.
"Sunny," ordered her sister. "Go untie the Quagmires, then use their binds to tie Jim up. Make sure you tie both his hands and his feet. I'm going to go untie Klaus and use his binds to tie up Fiona." Sunny nodded, and obeyed her sisters' orders. Violet watched as Sunny untied both Quigley and Duncan, and waited until they had successfully tied Jim's hands behind his back before lowering the gun.
Quigley ran towards her, hugging her with all the force that he could muster. Neither of them said anything, but she could understand exactly what he was thinking. I'll never let myself get that close to losing you ever again.
She broke free from his embrace, making her way towards her brother to untie him. Sunny ran to join her, and within a minute they had managed to free him of the binds at his feet and his hands. As soon as he was free, the Baudelaire sisters dove at him, hugging him for a good minute before breaking free from each other.
"Are you okay?" Violet asked. He nodded, pulling his arms behind his back. Violet reached out and grabbed them in order to look at them, gasping at the sight. His wrists were bruised and caked with blood, the evidence of his attempts to escape.
Violet turned around, realizing that Quigley and Duncan had deliberately remained on their side of the room. As she realized why that was, she rolled her eyes. "Are you guys kidding me? I just had a gun pointed to my head, and you're both immature enough to give my brother the silent treatment because he slept with your sister?"
Sunny shook her head. "Not cool, guys."
Violet opened her mouth to criticize them, but Klaus stopped her. "Violet, it's fine. I understand. It's my fault – I shouldn't have kept such a big secret from you guys for such a long time. If it helps, I didn't know that Izzie was pregnant when she disappeared. Samantha was just as much as a shock to me as it was to you guys."
"You knocked up our sister," Duncan said to him. "Nothing helps that. I never took you to be the kind of guy who has a one night stand with one of his friends and then doesn't step up to take responsibility for his actions when he finds out that he got her pregnant!" Quigley nodded vigorously from beside him.
Both Klaus and Sunny snorted. Violet shot them a look. "What's so funny?"
"One night stand?" said Klaus incredulously. "Is that what you thought was going on?" Quigley and Duncan stared at him without saying a word, confirming that that was indeed what they had been thinking. He turned to look at Sunny. "Care to elaborate? I really can't deal with this right now."
"Klaus and Isadora had a relationship," said Sunny, emphasizing the last word as if it was a foreign concept to them. "They were a couple."
Quigley scoffed. "What are you talking about?"
"We've been dating since I was fifteen," clarified Klaus. "When we started out, we kept our relationship a secret because we didn't want to make a big deal about it in case we broke up. The secrets just snowballed until, before we knew it, five years had passed. I found out a couple of months ago, the day I went to pick up Sunny from school, that Sunny had found out about us right before Isadora had disappeared, but that she hadn't told me because she thought it would upset me."
The three of them stood there, stunned. Violet spoke first. "Since you were fifteen?" Klaus nodded. "God, that's even longer than Quigley and I have been together."
"Look," said Sunny. "I know that this is a lot of information to take in, but we really need to tie that crazy bitch up before she does any more damage than she already has."
"Sunny," hissed her sister. "Language."
Sunny gave her a look. "Is that really what we should be discussing right now?" Violet glared at her, and Sunny grabbed Klaus' binds up from off the floor, handing them to her brother. "I thought you would get a personal satisfaction from doing it yourself."
As Klaus tied Fiona up, Sunny rummaged through her pockets, a victorious look on her face when she pulled out a set of keys. "Might be useful."
Klaus made sure that the binds were tight enough that they almost caught off her blood circulation. He turned to look in the corner, where Jim was bound to the chair that Sunny had hit Fiona over the head with. "What do we do with him?"
"Just leave him here," said Violet. "We'll lock the door behind us, so even if he breaks through his binds he'll still be stuck inside the room."
They all agreed with Violet's suggestion. Sunny even winked at his scowling face as she shut the door behind her and turned the key.
Isadora heard footsteps coming from down the hall.
Knowing that Fiona was coming for her, she darted across the room, pressing herself against the wall across the room, her heart bearing faster and faster as the footsteps drew nearer. She heard the sound of scuffling as what sounded like a group of people stopped outside the door of her room, as well as the sound of a key opening.
She drew in a deep breath and closed her eyes, anticipating whatever cruel form of torture that Fiona was planning to throw her way. The figures entered the room, and broke into a run, barreling into her full force, almost knocking her over.
She opened her eyes, only to realize that she was being hugged ferociously by both of her brothers and by the Baudelaire sisters. "Oh, thank God," she breathed. "I was so scared that you were Fiona. Thank God." They broke free for her, all of them with beaming smiles on their faces.
"You're okay!" beamed Quigley. "We were so worried that something awful had happened to you – we checked all of the rooms, and we were starting to think that Fiona had brought you somewhere that we'd near be able to find."
As her brothers and the Baudelaire sisters reiterated their gratefulness at her condition, Isadora realized that Klaus was the only one who had not run up to hug her. Instead, he had hung back, feeling that his close presence would be too awkward for her to handle.
She ignored what the others were staying, and locked her eyes with his. He had a pained expression on his face, his restraint to run up and hug her taking its toll on him. She stared at him long and hard, but he remained silent. "Klaus," she finally said, firmly.
Everyone became silent in that moment, turning around to see his reaction. Klaus stared back at her, unable to answer.
"Klaus," she repeated. "Klaus, I remember." Not quite knowing how to answer such a vague statement, he still remained silent, a part of him telling himself that he had misheard her. Isadora shook off her brothers and Violet, her eyes still held firmly on Klaus. She slowly made her way towards him, carefully and slowly.
"I remember," she choked, "that the first time I realized I liked you was when we were walking through the park and you lent me your coat, even though I knew that you hate the cold. The first time we kissed was when you gave me your book on John Keats – you were so nervous that you pulled away at first." She was merely a foot away from him now. "The first time that you told me that you loved me was the day that I moved in." She was right in front of him now; she wrapped her arms around him, and he did the same, burying his head into her hair. Isadora continued her voice slightly shaky. "We first made love on my eighteenth birthday – we both pretended that we were sick and went to a hotel room. You were so worried about disappointing you sister – I thought it was adorable, and it possibly made me love you even more."
"That's why she ditched us," Duncan hissed. "I can't believe she ditched us for that!" Quigley made a strangled noise, most likely having conjured up some disturbing mental image.
Sunny raised her eyebrows at Duncan. "You remember that? It was over six years ago. You freak."
Violet glared at both of them. "If you don't shut up I'm going to lock you in the room down the hall with Jim and Fiona." The three of them fell quiet.
Isadora laughed slightly, bringing her hand up to touch Klaus face. He closed his eyes at the feel of her warm touch – it was something that he had not felt in way too long. "The New Years before I disappeared, we wanted to finally be able to kiss at midnight. We wanted to pretend we were drunk so that we could fool our siblings, but we ended up drinking too much and going back to your apartment later. We weren't thinking or paying attention, and we slipped up." She stared long and hard at him. "I found out about Sami the day I was taken away – I wanted to tell you so badly, Klaus, but I was so scared about being pregnant that I decided I was going to wait until the end of the day until I told you. I was so worried about telling our siblings and dealing with the responsibility, but I was also excited because I knew that you were going to make an excellent father. "
Klaus tightened his grip on her, and Isadora pressed her forehead to his. Klaus wanted nothing more than to kiss her, but he knew that she needed to finish what she had to say first. "The morning that I disappeared – when you took off to go to the pharmacy to get me medicine," she continued. "I was snooping around your office because I was sure that you were hiding something from me. I knew that our anniversary was coming up, so I thought that maybe you were hiding your present from me. You left your secret cabinet open, and I looked through it."
Realization dawned on Klaus' face. "I found your engagement ring, but I didn't read the note because I wanted at least that to be a surprise. The whole way to the office I was practicing how I was going to say yes – I think I eventually settled on the perfect one; I just hope you don't mind that I forgot it." Both of them smiled.
Klaus couldn't control himself any longer. Ignoring the fact that they had an audience, he leaned over and kissed her. She responded back enthusiastically, running her fingers through his hair, just like she used to.
Klaus poured every single emotion that he had been feeling the last four years into that kiss – longing, sadness, despair, and frustration. He lost all concept of time, not being able to focus on anything but the feel of her skin, the sensation of her fingers through his hair, the feel of her lips against his. Every part of him longed for her – had missed her.
They finally broke apart, and Klaus rested his head against hers. "God, I missed you, Izzie. I missed you so much."
Her eyes brimmed with tears, the emotions of the last few minutes becoming too overwhelming for her to suppress. "I missed you too. I knew this whole time that I was missing something, but I just didn't know what it was. But now I know that it was you."
Violet cleared her throat, and the two broke apart suddenly. "I'm sorry to do this , I was quite content leaving you two to continue your reunion, but your brothers look like they're about to vomit."
She wasn't lying. They were both staring at Klaus and Isadora with a look that didn't make it clear if they were going to throw up or if they were going to tackle their sister's boyfriend. Klaus took a step back just in case.
"As grossly romantic as that just was," said Sunny, "I have to say that it was quite touching." Violet looked at her, surprised. "What? You're not the only girl in this family – I have feelings too."
Isadora kissed him again. "Don't worry, they'll get used to the idea eventually. Hopefully by the time the wedding rolls around." Klaus smiled at her, kissing her once more. Violet beamed at the two of them, giddiness evident on her face.
Even Sunny allowed herself a small smile. "I call maid of honor!"
Violet groaned. "You can't just do that, Sunny! That's not how it works!"
Sunny looked at he seriously. "I 'called it', Violet. You can't tamper with that – it's sacred." Violet rolled her eyes. "By the way, I think your fiancé just started twitching."
"I hope you don't mind, Klaus," Quigley said, "But I think we're going to have to give it a least a couple of months before we could start seeing each other on a regular basis, okay?"
Duncan scowled. "This is just great. Now I'm the only who's single." He turned to Sunny. "Well, almost."
Sunny snorted. "Speak for yourself, Quagmire. I have a boyfriend." The whole room turned to look at her in shock.
"What are you talking about?" asked Violet. "Why don't I know about this? What boyfriend?"
"Mark," she answered.
Violet blinked. "Who's Mark?"
"The guy who I dumped John for."
Violet turned to Quigley. "We're going to have to start spending more time at the house, aren't we?" Quigley didn't answer her, as he was still twitching.
Klaus laughed, unfazed by his sister's secret dating life. He pulled Isadora close to him; all of a sudden, she became tense and turned to look at him, panic in her eyes. "You guys don't have Sami, do you? You didn't find her when you were searching for me in the other rooms?" Klaus paled, remembering that his daughter was most likely locked up somewhere in the building. The serene mood of the room started to fade away. "Oh god! She could be anywhere! How are we going to find her?"
"I can help with that," declared a strong male voice from behind them.
The six of them whirled around, only to be met the sight of Jim, who was holding a calm and gleeful Samantha in his arms. Violet put a protective arm on Sunny's shoulder, as did Klaus with Isadora. The Quagmire brothers took a reflexive step backwards.
He put his hand out, stopping them before they could do anything. "Don't panic. I'm not going to hurt any of you." He took a step forward, placing Samantha into a tense Isadora's arm, who hugged her daughter tightly, thankful that their separation was finally over.
As Isadora took a hold of her daughter, Jim took a couple of steps back, keeping his hands out in front of him to show them that he meant no harm.
"What do you want?" hissed Violet. "And how did you get out of your binds?"
"Ingrid, the girl who was taking care of your niece, she's my wife. She came to look for me and let me out – don't worry, Fiona is still knocked out and tied up. Neither of us has really been working for Fiona all of this time. I don't know if you knew her name, Isadora, but you first met her four years ago when Fiona first brought you here. Ingrid took pity on you and decided to let you go – by then your memories had all been erased, but Fiona had been planning to kill you. Ingrid figured that someone would find you and bring you to your family; it's just unfortunate that it took all of these years for that to happen. When she found out that Fiona had finally narrowed down your location and was planning to put her old plan once again into action, she referred me to Fiona so that she would have someone deeper inside Fiona's crazy schemes."
He turned to Violet. "I'm sorry for panicking you with the whole gun situation – I had actually unloaded the gun when Fiona wasn't looking. If she shot you, nothing would have happened, I made sure of that." He then faced the Quagmire brothers. "I don't even think I need to explain what I did to you guys. I hope that there are no lasting scars." Neither of them said anything, unsure of whether or not this guy was to be trusted yet.
"And Fiona?" asked Klaus. "What will happen to her?"
"It'll be taken care of," he assured him, failing to elaborate. As much as Klaus despised Fiona, it still sent chills down his spine. "You are welcome to leave whenever you want – the only threat in this building was Fiona." Klaus noted that he used the past tense as he referred to her. "Take care of yourselves, orphans." They all watched as he strode out of the room, closing the door behind him.
"We should go now," said Violet, voicing all of their wishes.
"Do you really think it's smart to just let him go off like that? How do we know he isn't going to come and murder us in our sleep or something?"
"I really don't care," she answered him. "I just want to get out of here, immediately."
"Amen, sister," said Sunny.
Klaus reached over and planted a kiss on his daughter's forehead. She smiled and reached for him, and Isadora obliged happily. Klaus held onto her tightly, never wanting to let her go. He had only known her for a couple of months, but he could not imagine loving her more than he did right at this moment. "You hear that, Sami? We get to go home."
Isadora smiled at the exchange. "We're going to be okay," Klaus told her, wrapping his free arm around her waist and pulling her close towards him.
And for the first time in almost four years, he actually believed it.