NOTES: My first Dead Zone fic, just trying to get a feel for Johnny so it's kind of short.

The idea seemed like a good one at the time. Deep down he knew it was the right one. Walt had taken care of J.J. as if he was his own son from the beginning. The least he could do was offer Sarah and Walt's baby a place to call home without Sarah having to struggle. Despite the irony of it all. Here he was setting himself up to help Sarah raise Hope.

There was one big difference. There was no chance of Walt's return six years from now. Death was permanent. Unlike comas.

Not knowing what was going to happen with the investigation, he figured it was wise to get them into his house where no one could take their things. He hoped it wouldn't come to that. He might have had qualms about Walt at the beginning - no more than the other man had for Johnny and rightfully so psychic aside.

One thing he knew though was that Walt Bannerman was above reproach. A more straightforward and honest man Johnny couldn't recall knowing. Walt would have given a suspect the shirt off his back if it was asked of him.

He typed an email to Bruce, smiling at the sounds of J.J. tearing through the house in the background.

Maybe inviting them to move in had been too sudden. He hadn't really thought it through. It had been impulsive, seeing Sarah struggle to do so many things. Things he doubted she'd ever had to do for herself. Before Walt, they'd been so young and she'd had him or her parents.

And yet, he enjoyed the fact he wasn't alone anymore. This house was made to have people in it not to be inhabited by a lone person. He'd made his way to Sarah's part of the house more than once, listening for the sounds of Hope's crying. Even if they weren't really his in all ways, they could be a family here.

That sound was the one thing that reminded him of why he'd done this. Gossip aside. He knew people would talk. They'd talk regardless. People knew Sarah and Johnny had been involved. Any time they spent together after Walt's death would be under suspicion.

Had they been having an affair?

He heard movement in the kitchen, knew by the sounds that Sarah was fixing a bottle. There were times he wished, selfishly perhaps, that Hope was his. That their one time together could have taken fruit. He could have seen his child from the beginning of the pregnancy on.

He had missed so much. Catching glimpses in visions here and there wasn't good enough. He wanted it all, wanted the six years he missed returned to him. Tenfold. He'd earned it. He knew it didn't work that way, though. There was no getting them back.

The only thing he could do was look forward, step through the door that had just opened, rather than glance back at the one that'd already closed.

He finished his email and sent it off. It was strange, too, having this type of relationship with Bruce. Distance separating them. He'd been a fixture in Johnny's life. He realized now that he'd taken that for granted.

"Need help," he asked, making his way to the kitchen.

"Just some company while I get the bottles for the day ready."

"Company I can do."

She smiled. Her smile. The one that used to stop his heart and make him want to fall to his knees, grateful she was his. It still did even though they were no longer kids. He wasn't sure where her place in his life was through this door. He knew, though, that it would always been an important one. No matter the title she might hold.

The End