AN: Reposting of chapter 3 of the Path To (revelations) into its own story since it has been unanimously been voted into continuation. Chapter 2 is new.

Beginning Steps to the Final Drop Off

"Miss Barrett, you can't just-" Max said chasing after the small brunette who had caught him off guard, wondering why she had been let past the gate after he'd explicitly told them, 'Mr. C was to have no visitors.'

Sonny had leapt to his feet in the living room hearing her name, but paused to groan in discomfort, clutching his wound and still doing so as she flung open the doors and said only one word, "Emily."

"Brenda," he compassionately began seeing the red rimmed eyes, her face scrubbed clean of makeup, her hair gathered up in a ponytail. It probably hadn't been washed in days; she wouldn't have had time for much else aside from the flight, which he knew took over half a day. She had been overseas in Tokyo for the past month and a half, as always watched from afar, a vain attempt to ensure her safety.

"No," she demanded, "Emily." Her head shook in horror, "She was just a baby. A baby," she repeated the word. Things like that just couldn't be true.

"I know," he took a step closer to her and she took a step back, "leave Max," he ordered.

"You sure Mr. C?" he questioned as he viewed the woman who was suddenly shooting him a dirty look for just existing.

"Now," Sonny commanded.

He didn't need to be told more than twice, he quickly shut the doors.

"Brenda," he tried her name again.

Her head shook and the base of her palms pressed into her eyes as she walked away, trying to block out and stop everything.

"Bren," his voice softened even further.

Her Sonny, he drew her in every time, she turned with glassy eyes, "A baby," she repeated.

"I know," he reached out to comfort her.

She jerked back again, taking a moment to deal with the initial shock; she started shaking her head at him, studying him, "You killed her." Her head shook more and she waved a hand around, "this killed her."

"Brenda," he began again, "no one knew what An-"

"No," her head violently shook, loosening the ponytail. "You knew. Everything. Everyone. This life," she waved the hand again, "was it worth Emily?"

"Brenda if I-"

"What Sonny?" she demanded, "What would you have done?"

He began to open his mouth.

"She was a baby Sonny!" the palms went back up and she turned to walk a few steps again. She turned back, "A little girl who lost her mom. The little girl who was so screwed up over her family that she started doing drugs. Do you remember what she looked like in that hospital bed? She was just a baby."

"If I could do anything to make this better Brenda-"

"No, you wouldn't. So don't promise you would. You got out. You could have stayed out, but you didn't."

"Bren-" didn't she get it? What reason had he had to stay out when she was gone?

"Its," her hands lifted in defeat as she sucked in a breath, "where did it go Sonny?"

He didn't dare move.

"First Stone, then Jason, Lily," her head shook, she hadn't truly wished death on Lily, certainly not her baby. "Karen, AJ," her head shook more. "It's all gone." They'd been so young. It wasn't supposed to of…

"I never thought it could get worse than Stone," she gasped for air, "but it just keeps getting worse. What's left?" She just looked at him for a second before shrugging her shoulders, "Why Sonny? I just don't understand why?"

He took the sudden crumpling of her form as a chance to swoop in, his hands went around her waist, holding her tightly ignoring his own pain, which he could barely even feel over hers, it was radiating out from her.

She barely struggled as he pulled her flush to him. "When's it supposed to get better? There's barely anything…" her voice tapered off as her cries became more pitiful.

"There was so much," she shook in his arms, "and now it's all gone."

She started to pitch forward and he was in no condition to hold them both up, so he did his best to ease them to the floor. Cradling her between his legs, her head resting on his chest, her hands clutching his shoulders.

A myriad of murmurs from him in response to hers, that he, 'knew,' it would 'be okay,' it wasn't 'all gone,' until she finally fell asleep in his arms.

He just held her feeling more drained than he had after giving blood to his brother and being shot barely a day before and within hours of each other. More drained and more alive than he had felt in ages. His heart pounded as hers settled into a steady rhythm. "I kept you safe," he whispered into the top of her head before placing a kiss into the dark locks. "I kept you safe," he repeated before allowing his own head to rest upon hers, feeling its familiar comfort.

Kate's eyes which had long since gone empty, briefly closed and she turned from her position on the top landing and walked back down the hallway.


"How long has she been here?" Jason's firm voice questioned as he opened the parlor doors to see Sonny with Brenda in his arms.

Sonny looked up stunned.

"How long has she been here?" Jason repeated.

"Uh Stone Cold, not acting very-" Spinelli began, but quickly shut up by the death glare his protector shot him.

"How long?" Jason repeated.

"Uh-" Sonny tried to focus.

"Maybe a little less than an hour, I called you when I realized she-" Max shut up when he realized Jason's anger had increased.

"What the hell were you thinking?" Jason threatened, ignoring everyone, but Sonny.

"Uh do you think you might be overreact-" Spinelli once more shut up.

"She was upset Jason," Sonny defended.

"Then you call me or you call Robin," he explained as he moved to forcibly remove Brenda from Sonny's hold.

He could feel her slipping from him, the last hair on his cheek, the scent of it, the last feel of her skin against his, the warmth leaving his body.

"What's going on down here?" Kate asked moving down the stairs.

"Have you been here this whole time?" Jason asked with Brenda gently stirring in his arms over the noise and movement, but not enough to wake.

"I haven't left the house since we brought Sonny home," she offered, not wanting to admit to anything.

"The entire time Brenda's been here?"

"Is she alright?" Kate made a disdainful, yet slightly curious face, trying to play off what she already knew.

"She's fine," Sonny offered with a groan as he stood. "She's upset over Emily. She fell asleep."

"She can't just fall asleep Sonny," Jason ordered, "not here, not with you."

"Am I missing something? And if anyone should be playing jealous girlfriend, shouldn't it be me?" Kate questioned.

"Actually Stone Cold does get to play the role of jealous ex-husband despite it conflicting with his-"

Jason shot another look at Spinelli, "Enough." He turned to Max, "Brenda was here with Sonny and Kate checking up on him."

"Uh yes sir," Max said with more respect than normal, suddenly afraid of the normally easy going Jason, if that was the story he was to tell, he would tell it.

He turned to leave with Brenda in his arms.

"Should I have someone follow you with Brenda's car?" Max questioned, despite not wanting to.

Jason suddenly froze and cursed his sudden forgetfulness, "No," he shook his head. "I can't risk carrying her out," his eyes closed in pain at having to wake her.

"I feel as if we are missing the critical goblet of power in the 8th lev-"

Jason turned again, blue eyes nearly going black.

"Is there any knowledge you wish to impart on the Jackal?"

"Yes," Jason said with a focused look, "be quiet."

The addition of those sharp words finally caused Brenda to stir again.

"Hey Brenda, I'm going to put you down, think you can stand?"

"Do you have to?" she mumbled and buried her face into the gray shirt.

"Yea come on," Jason nodded and went to tilt her out of his arms, "just for a few minutes. I just need you to walk to the car."

She grumbled sliding to her feet. She blinked when confronted with Spinelli.

"Hey, hello there Sleeping Beauty, no no. Snow White. Pasithea. Persephone, torn between-"

"Spinelli," Sonny snapped, seeing Brenda struggling to comprehend what was going on, though he instantly regretted that move because it hit her all over again seeing him.

She took a step back to escape reality, but hit Jason's chest instead. She turned, her eyes flooded again seeing him, "Oh god Jason," the staggering loss hit her again, especially seeing it echo in his eyes.

"Come on, we need to get you out of here," he said placing a hand gently on her shoulder.

"I can't go back there," her head shook, the ponytail having been lost during her nap by a gentle tug of Sonny's fingers. "I can't be in that house. It's like a mausoleum."

"You don't have to go back there. Come on, I'll take you home. I'll have Robin call, make sure they know you're alright."

She gently nodded her agreement.

"Where are your car keys?"

She went to pat down her pockets.

"Still in the car," Max provided.

"Take her car back to Harbor View," Jason ordered Spinelli, "I'll meet you there."

"Sweet the-" he once more quickly shut his mouth about the car that would make even the Blonde One envious. "Hey do you think I can-"

"To the apartment Spinelli. No stopping except for lights," Jason quickly shut his young friend's mouth.

"As you say Stone Cold," he replied with a loss of his smile.

"I'll talk to you later Sonny," was Jason's curt farewell as he ushered Brenda out of the house.

Now you see there are options following this. If you like it, it can be continued into a short story involving some very Q-ness emerging and being found, but then there would be AJ-ness and well. I've only got an AJ reader or two. So yay or nay with more of this?