A/N: This is the end. For real this time. If Cammy seems a little more...verbose than her age would suggest, it's because she's Bobby's neice, Lauren's daughter and uh...my character who needs to be verbose so I can get my point across. Anyway, I hope you all enjoyed Jack and Lauren as much as I enjoyed writing them. I have a new story in the works and all I will say right now is that it's centered around a seventeen/eighteen year old Cammy. Also, a familiar face returns to her life. One that she never really expected to see. Stay tuned! And enjoy the epilogue/ segue into the Cammy story.
DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT OWN THE CHARACTERS OF FOUR BROTHERS!
Chapter Eleven: Lips of an Angel (EPILOGUE)
Bobby sat on the couch, watching the Red Wings get their asses handed to them by the Oilers. He was polishing off the warm remnants of his third beer when Camryn skipped into the living room, holding tight to her favourite stuffed animal. There was a smile on the corners of his lips when he saw that it was the bear Jack had bought upon learning he would be a father. The moment he thought of his lost brother, the smile was chased away by the pain and sadness of the memory. Being an ever observant six year old, Camryn hopped into his lap and wrapped her long skinny arms around his neck before placing a soft kiss on his scruffy cheek. He wrapped his strong arms protectively around her waist and looked down at her. She smiled, her blue eyes sparkling with the inherited mischief of Jack Mercer.
"Don't be sad Uncle Bobby. Mommy says the only reason the Red Wings loose so much is because they lost Stevie Y," she stated matter of factly, hoping it would cheer him up.
He chuckled and turned her to face the TV. "Your mommy is a smart woman. But that's not why I'm sad."
"Then why? Mommy says nothing makes you sad. She says that sometimes you're a heartless bast-"
"Mommy's not always right," Bobby said loudly, cutting her off. "I was actually just thinking about your daddy."
"Oh," she whispered, looking down at the bear. "I wish I'd met him."
"You did meet him Cammy. But you were young and don't remember," Bobby explained, staring hard at the hockey game.
"Did my daddy love me?" she inquired.
"More than anything Cammy. More than anything," he replied, looking back down at her. He was heartbroken to see tears streaking her cheeks. "What's with the tears Cam?"
"If he loved me so much, why did he leave us? Was I a bad baby?"
Bobby turned her in his lap so she faced him. "Of course not. Your dad did not leave you by choice. He was…taken from us all. By a VERY bad man who got what he deserved. Don't ever let anyone tell you that you did something wrong, do you hear me?"
She nodded, rubbing her eyes and clutching tightly to the bear. "I wish I could tell him that I miss him, even though I didn't ever know him."
"I bet he already knows."
"Is Daddy an angel?" she asked, looking up at the sky through the window. "Is that how he knows?"
"I think it's safe to say he's looking down and not up," Bobby replied, stroking her hair.
Camryn nodded, as if to say that she was satisfied for the moment. Without a word, she hopped down off Bobby's lap and skipped out of the living room, singing a song only she knew the words to. Shortly after he abrupt departure, Lauren entered the room carrying an overflowing laundry basket. She glanced over at the TV to catch the score of the game and groaned. The outburst drew Bobby's attention to her, which made him both chuckle and shake his head. With a groan she dropped the basket on the floor and flopped onto the couch with him. She snuggled up against him, allowing him to rub her tense shoulders and still watch the all-important game.
"They're crap without Yzerman," she stated bluntly, rubbing her temples. "Do you have any darks for the wash?"
"Uh yeah on the floor in my room somewhere. Do you want me to go get them for you?"
She shook her head. "I'll grab them on my way to the shower. Did Cammy go outside to play?"
"Yep," he replied. "She was uh, she was asking about Jack."
Lauren turned to face him, ending her back rub. "What did you tell her?"
He shrugged, staring at his empty beer bottle. "Nothing emotionally damaging. She asked me if he was an angel, so I said yes," he confessed, looking up at her. "Aw come on. Don't look at me like that. She's six years old. Are you going to lie to her forever?"
"Well I'm not going to tell her that he father was murdered because his idiot brother didn't know when to quit," she snapped.
"Fuck off Lauren. That's bullshit and you know it. I have felt like a piece of shit since Jack died. I wake up and blame myself every damn day. So just fuck off. I'm not as much of a heartless bastard as you think. I do actually care that my brother was killed before his daughter got a chance to see how much of an amazing dad he would have been," he huffed, violently snatching up his empties and stomping into the kitchen.
Lauren sighed, following him. "Bobby I- you're right. I'm sorry. It's just hard because…I don't know how to tell her. What should I do?"
"Well, she is your child, that's for sure. She knows what happened to Jack. I mean, not literally, but she knows that he's dead. I think you should take her to his gravestone," he suggested.
"And what would that accomplish?"
"I don't know. But it's better than lying to her every time she asks what happened to him. Just take her there and show her that he didn't leave her because she did something wrong. Let her talk to him."
"Because he can hear her," she muttered.
"Maybe he can. Jesus Lauren, just because you're too scared to go there yourself doesn't mean Cammy is. She six years old, so it's about time she knows," he barked. "I'm going for a drive. Would you like me to take her myself, since you can't deal with it?"
"We'll all go, jerkass," she said, a hint of a smirk on her face. "Then we'll see what Cammy has to say."
The trio stood in front of Jack's gravestone, staring down at the cold grey marble. Camryn stood between them, holding tightly to Lauren with one hand while the other gripped her bear. She looked up first at Lauren, then at Bobby and slowly realized where they were. Bobby's jaw was clenched tight, while Lauren's eyes shone bright with tears. Camryn broke her hold with Lauren and walked up the stone. Her thin fingers traced the deep engraving of Jack's name and dates of birth and death, all the while mouthing the words. The adults watched in fascination as she set the bear on the ground and tried to embrace the tombstone. When she realized that she just didn't have the arm span, she settled for kneeling in the soggy spring earth and pressing her open palm against the flawless surface. And that's how they stood, mother crying silent tears as her child finally learned the fate of her father, while uncle watched with blank eyes. Finally, after a full twenty minutes of silence, Camryn turned to face them, the tears in her wide blue eyes catching the warmth of the sun.
"I never will know daddy will I?" she asked softly, picking stray weeds from the ground. "This is…he's dead."
Lauren nodded, walking up to her and kneeling next to her. "He is. But that doesn't mean you won't ever know him. The older you get, the more you'll learn about him."
"But I'll never know him as more than stories you or Uncle Bobby tell me. He'll never be my daddy," she said, snatching her bear from the ground. "Only a memory."
Bobby joined them know, placing his hand on her shoulder. "He'll always be your daddy honey. He'll always be with you, protecting you. If you ever feel lost or need to feel near him, come here and talk to him. He might not always answer, but at least you'll know he's always here to listen."
Lauren looked up at Bobby with a newfound respect peeking through loads of gratitude. "Uncle Bobby is right Cammy. Daddy will always be right here when you need him most."
Camryn pondered this knowledge for a moment before turning back to the gravestone. "Can you hear me daddy? It's me Cammy and I just wanted to tell you that I love you."
With those words, she stood up, hugging her bear tight to her body. She marched toward the car, not bothering to wait for Bobby or Lauren. All was suddenly right in her world. The warmth she felt spread through her like a hot cup of chocolate on a cold rainy day and she smiled. Lauren looked over at Bobby, reaching for his hand. He grasped her hand, squeezing it as they rose off the ground. She planted a kiss on his cheek and pulled him into a hug, whispering her thanks into his ear. He chuckled as they made their way to the car and joined Camryn. His chuckle grew into a full-blown bellow of laughter when they found her, hands planted on her hips, tapping her foot with impatience. Lauren frowned, looking over at him.
"Hey don't blame me. She gets all this from you and the Fairy," he said in weak defence.
As Camryn climbed into the back seat, she placed a soft hand on Lauren's upper arm. "Can we come back and see daddy next week?"
"Honey, we can come and see him any time you need," Lauren replied, buckling her seatbelt.
Camryn sighed with deep content. "Good. Daddy and I have a lot of catching up to do."