A/N: Ok, so I apologize for the wait and I think I'm going to wrap this fic up—I have an idea brewing for another R/T fic (with perhaps a Louis/Ruby sideplot) and it's distracting me too much from this one. Here's my problem , you see—don't worry, a new chapter is coming after this little blog from me—I see Ren coming out as an inevitable obstacle that needs to be present in every Ren/Tawny fic because it's very in-character. I can't for the life of me see Ren as just being ok with the whole thing from the start. However, I don't like the fact that most R/T fics seem to center around that single issue, such as this one has. Also in rereading this fic, I felt it would've been better from the 3rd person, so as to include more of Ren's perspective. SO, here's what I'm saying, I may be writing a new fic, one that is R/T and will deal with the usual Ren coming out issue, but that has a few new twists, hopefully. May include a more thorough portrayal of things I only alluded to here. I have a few things in mind, and have been conversing a little with a reviewer who has some suggested premises that I might run with, not sure yet. Nothing is final. Any recommendations or requests are welcome though. Thanks for reading all of you, I hope you've enjoyed the fic. I wish I'd gotten it to you sooner instead of making you wait so long for a short, final wrap-up, but you know how it is…

Chapter 22

Everything was fine most of the morning, we were talking, laughing, having a good time, but when we turned onto the Stevens' street, Ren got very quiet. She intended to pick up a few things.

She sighed nervously as she pulled up in front of their house.

"Do you want me to come in with you?" I asked.

"No, I should be fine," she wasn't fine. She'd called beforehand though and Eileen promised to be there.

Pushing the door open, she left me sitting there alone inside. She took a few steps before turning around and reopening the door. "Come with me."

I nodded and unbuckled my seatbelt and opened my door.

I took her hand as we approached the front door, she squeezed it tightly, not looking at me.

Taking her key from her pocket, she unlocked the door and we stepped inside.

I don't think anyone heard us enter, but as we approached the kitchen we heard voices, continuing the same argument from the night before.

'How can I be ok with it?' 'She's your daughter, that's how!' 'My daughter would be like…' 'Your daughter is like that'…

And some new bits. 'Well, she's not going to school next year… we could send her to some…correctional facility' 'They don't arrest you for this Steve' 'Yes, but they have places for kids that get mislead like this' 'Stop talking about it like that' 'I never thought Ren would be the one to let me down, honestly' 'She hasn't!' 'I always thought it'd be Louis' 'Gee, thanks dad'.

I squeezed Ren's hand tightly. "Don't listen to him."

She nodded, but I could tell his words had stung. She pulled me into the kitchen behind her. "Good morning."

Eileen rose with a smile, coming over and hugging both of us, Steve didn't acknowledge us at all.

"I came for my things," Ren said, directing the news to her father.

He didn't reply, and after a few moments she let go of my hand and left the room, heading upstairs to pack a bag of a few essentials.

I was tempted to speak up, to say something to him but I was at a loss for words. I knew all the points I wanted to make but for some reason I knew any attempt at articulating them would fall flat. So I just stood there, both Eileen and Louis looking at me with sorry expressions.

I half-smiled back at them, not quite knowing what to do with myself while I waited for Ren. I wasn't sorry and though I suspected Ren still harbored some doubts about her choice, I knew she wouldn't regret it in the long run. I felt bad for her, but I'd have felt worse for her had she kept everything inside—and not just because that left me alone, I'd have been upset about that but I'd have felt sorry for Ren entirely on the ground that she'd have been making a huge mistake.

"Did you have anything to do with this?" Steve suddenly spoke up, holding up a handful of letters. "Did you know that Ren didn't get into college? Not anywhere?"

"I just found out last night. And no I had nothing to do with it," I grumbled, unintentionally. "What could I have done?"

"Really, Steve," Eileen scoffed, before heading around the bar into the kitchen. "Tawny, honey, would you like anything to drink?"

"No, thank you," I answered, smiling.

A few moments later, Ren came trotting down the stairs, a blue duffel bag slung over her shoulder. She stopped at the foot of the stairs, by the front door, waiting for me.

I walked over to her, taking her hand again.

She smiled.

Louis came over to us, looking sad and apologetic. "I can't believe this is happening," he said.

"It was supposed to happen in a few months anyway, Louis,' Ren replied.

"What are you going to do though?"

"I don't know. I'll probably get a job, and reapply for winter term. Or maybe I'll just work for a year, save up some money since I'm going to need it."

Eileen joined us then too, smiling warmly though she was obviously extremely upset. "He'll cool off, you'll be able to come back in no time."

Ren nodded and hugged her mother, but I could tell by the looks on both of their faces that neither of them believed Eileen's words to be true.

When the door closed behind us, I turned to Ren. "Are you going to be ok?"

She slipped her arm around my waist and gave me a gentle kiss on the cheek. "Yeah, I'm going be fine."

The end.