Reba entered the bedroom a few minutes later. She was dressed in old blue jeans and a loose, black t-shirt. She let her hair loose from the towel. She shook her head as she ran her fingers through her curls. Brock smiled, remembering she would be so relaxed from her shower, at times, that she would be too tired to brush her hair out. He had offered many times to do it for her, and Reba had let him to his surprise. Brock scooted to the end of the bed, throwing his legs over the edge. Reba gave him a soft smile, trying to figure out where to start this uncomfortable conversation. Luckily for her, Brock was already talking.
"Would you like me to brush your hair? I don't mind if you're too tired." Brock took a step towards the bathroom, stopping to wait for her response. He was jumping ahead of himself. She could feel up to brushing her own hair. He felt a little less nervous when Reba smiled at him. Reba nodded her head, watching as he rushed into the bathroom for her purple brush and her spray that helped to detangle her curls. Reba giggled when he returned shaking the bottle at her. She giggled harder when she caught the questioning look on his face. Reba nodded her head before joining him on the bed. She sat Indian style, balancing herself with her hands as Brock sat on the bed. He placed one leg under him as the other one hung off the side. Brock placed the brush next to him before squirting the spray on random spots in Reba's hair. He ran his hands through her hair afterwards, hoping to spread it evenly. Once he wiped his hands on her towel, Brock slowly ran the brush through the shoulder length hair, smiling as her curls bounced back up.
"So, you wanted to talk to me. Do you still..." Reba interupted Brock, knowing exactly what she was going to say. She didn't need to plan it out; she never had to plan out anything when she was talking to Brock. He understood her side. That was when she was willing to tell him what she was feeling and thinking. It was the same way for Brock, too. He knew how to tell her anything. It was their pride and fear that had kept them from doing so the last few years.
"I want to go back to work today. I think it would help me a lot. It can't be healthy staying in this house all day long, can it?" Brock was expecting Reba to pause in order for him to answer, but she didn't. She kept talking and talking, which normally meant she was thinking out loud. She was trying to convince herself and him without fully realizing it. Brock gave an uh-huh noise to show he was listening. Brock continued to brush her hair, enjoying each time the brush would release her hair and the curls would bounce back up.
"I don't think it's healthy. Besides that...I need to catch up on my work. Dolly Majors is there this week, and I'd be completely embarassed if I got passed over twice. You know what I mean, Brock?...It's very important that I go back to work. What do you think? Should I?" Reba finally took a breath, hoping she didn't ramble as long as she had thought. Brock waited a few seconds, wondering if she was really asking him or just catching her breath. He ran the brush through her hair one more time, running into a tangle. He gently held her hair in one hand as he eased the brush through the tangle a couple of times.
"Those are good points, but are you sure your ready to go back? That's a big step." Brock felt Reba pull away from him a little bit, and he realized how much she needed to pace the room right now. He didn't know if he should let her do that, or continue to play with her hair just to keep her sitting down. Reba stretched her legs out, thinking about going back to work. She desperately needed to go back, but Brock was right. Was she really ready to do that?
"Yeah, I think I'm sure. It's important for everyone that I do this." Brock knew the tone Reba was speaking in. She spoke in this tone all the time. She was determined to get back to work, and there wasn't anything anyone could do about it. Brock nodded his head as he ran his fingers through her hair once more. He liked to do this. Reba's hair was soft, and entertained him a little too easily. Brock shook his head, reminding himself to stay focus.
"Ok, then. I guess you're going back to work. When were you hoping to do this?" Reba ran her hands over her legs, waiting a few seconds. She knew Brock got distracted easily when playing with her hair. She had caught him giggling like a little boy many times before when it was longer.
"Uh, I was hoping for this afternoon. I was gonna call my boss this morning, and talk to him about it." Brock nodded his head again, resting his hands in his lap. Reba turned her upper body to look at him. She had a raised eyebrow, and placed her hands on her hips. He never gave up that quick. Did he not like playing with her hair anymore?
"You stopped? Why?" Brock chuckled to himself, shrugging his shoulders to answer Reba. She turned back around, swinging one leg over the side of the bed. She started to stand up when Brock pulled her back to the bed. He now had the raised eyebrow.
"I never said I was finished." It was Reba's turn to chuckle as she returned to Indian style. This was the Brock she remembered. She just hoped he wouldn't bring up the next part of the conversation. She was still confused about what she needed and wanted. Reba knew getting help would be hard, and she would need a lot of it. That was her problem. She didn't know exactly what all she needed to do, and she was never one to easily give up her control and ask for help. Reba sighed as she realized how bored she used to get when Brock would play with her hair. She had nothing to do but think.
"I'm not sure what help I need, Brock. I was hoping to find..uh..Ms. Conner's number. Do you happen to know where that is?" They both sat in silence, trying to think of a place it could be. Brock continued to run his hands slowly through her hair as he thought. That tiny sticky note could be anywhere in this house. Where was the last place he saw it? Didn't his mother have it?
"I think my mother had it last. How she got it is beyond me." Brock finally let his hands fall to his lap, giving Reba the chance to dart to her feet. He pouted as she quickly walked into the bathroom to finish styling her hair. He stalked to the bathroom doorway, leaning heavily on the frame. He watch in amazement as Reba pulled her styling tools and make-up bag out of a larger bag. She never went anywhere without them. Barbra Jean must have packed them for her.
"Ugh! Barbra Jean forgot my eyeliner!" Reba huffed out of the room, hoping to find the blonde bimbo's make-up bag. Brock waited a few minutes before Reba returned. He laughed at the look on her face.
"You want to make a quick run to the store? We can talk on the way there." Reba shook her head, waving her empty hands in the air. It just occured to her that either Cheyenne or Kyra would have some black eyeliner she could borrow. She raised one finger, rushing back out of the room. Brock decided he should leave her to get ready. He wouldn't be able to talk to her much anyway. She was going to start her 'can't-talk-now-I'm-getting-ready' rountine. Brock told her he was going downstairs when she nearly ran him over as she walked back into the bathroom. He let out an astonished snort as she waved her hands for him to go, showing the eyeliner in between her fingers. He chuckled to himself when she said:
"I can't talk now. I'm getting ready." Brock watched her body swing around the bathroom doorway, disappearing into the room. He slowly made his way into the kitchen, not wanting to make any noise that could wake his sleeping family.
An hour had past, and Reba was still upstairs. Brock had started a pot of coffee, and now sat at the kitchen table drinking his second cup. He stared at the yellow square sticky note in his hands. He had found it stuck to the coffee pot. Who thought to put it there, he didn't know. He couldn't picture anyone but Reba doing it, and it couldn't have been her because she would have remembered. He had thought his mother did it, but the kids were all in the kitchen before she left. She wouldn't of had time. Brock shook his head before taking another sip of his coffee. It didn't matter who had put it there. He was just glad they hadn't lost it. Reba needed this small, easy to lose piece of paper. They all relied heavily on these seven numbers, and the person they would be linked to through them. Brock jumped when a small tender hand cupped his shoulder. He looked up to his left, finding Barbra Jean standing there. She smiled sleepily before removing her hand. She sat next to him, covering her steaming mug of coffee with both hands.
"I'm assuming Reba's getting ready for the day." Barbra Jean spoke through a yawn. She gently rubbed her eyes, trying her best to stay awake. If she was planning on getting to work on time today, she would need to leave by six. She glanced at the clock.
"Oh, it's 4:30. I guess I better start getting ready myself. It's gonna be a long day." Brock nodded his head in agreement. Barbra Jean stood up, taking her coffee with her. She yawned big as she started to leave the kitchen. She gave Reba a quick hug when the redhead tried to dart past her. "Mornin', Reba. You're up early." Reba smiled at Barbra Jean as she fixed her clothes. She patted the blonde's shoulder as she left the kitchen to get ready. Reba walked quickly to the coffee pot, pouring herself a generous amount. She stood behind the counter, watching Brock flip the sticky note over and over in his hand. He sipped his coffee, watching her from the corner of his eye. Reba casually made her way to the table, sliding into the chair Barbra Jean was previously in. She sighed, slipping her small trembling fingers through Brock's large steady ones. She eased the note from him, her eyes meeting his as she pulled her hand away from him. They stared deep into the blue of the other person's eyes, wishing the answers to all their problems to be there. Brock gave Reba a slightly encouraging smile, and Reba returned it with a completely hopeful smile of her own.
"Are you really ready to do this, Reba? I don't want you to rush because you're trying to protect or help any of us. We're here for you no matter what." Reba raised her hand, stopping him from talking. Brock took a deep breath as he watched Reba look over the sticky note. She was now flipping it over and over in her hands. Brock took the time to notice Reba. It was the first time in a long time he noticed how truly small and vounable Reba was. Of course, he knew she could take care of herself and was strong, but there was still this innocence little girl quality about her. She rarely let that quality show itself, and it had been years since Brock last saw it. He, who had known her for almost thirty years, had only seen it about five times. Brock took Reba's pale shaking hand into his own tan hand. He rubbed his thumb over the back of her hand, hoping she would look at him. Reba slowly and hesitantly raised her head, her eyes locking with Brock's.
"We'll call her after everyone's left. How about that?" Reba nodded her head, trying to hold back the sad smile. Brock could tell he needed to lighten up the moment, and luckily for both of them Van walked into the room.
"I guess we're not having a nice, warm breakfast." He sighed, moving his eyes from Reba to Brock. He knew both of them could cook, and if he was lucky, one of them would take his hint. Brock patted Reba's hand before standing up.
"I'll make you something to eat, Van. Can you wake everyone else up at five?" Van nodded his head, pouring himself a cup of coffee. Reba stood up, placing her mug on the counter. She watched Brock bring out all the ingredients for one of his famous breakfasts. Van jumped up at the sight of everything he was pulling out. He took two large steps to the counter, standing next to Reba. She giggle at the smile from ear to ear on Van's face. He wrapped an arm around her shoulders, pulling her closer to him.
"He's making my favorite breakfast ever! The only thing that could make this morning any better would be..." He trailed off, looking down at Reba. His smile faded a little, and his eyebrows merged together. He shook it off, looking away from Reba and to the ceiling.
"Ah, forget it... You wouldn't want to do it anyways." Van let out a sigh, trying to hold back his smile. He jerked his head to Reba when she giggled at him again and asked him what he wanted.
"I want one of those pancakes you make with the face on it." Van hoped she would make it for him. He hadn't had one of those since he and Cheyenne had moved out over a year ago. He saw her hesitation and pulled out his best puppy dog eyes. Reba smiled sweetly at him, handing her empty coffee mug to Brock, who had offer to refill it for her.
"Brock's already making waffles and omelets. How much more do you think you can eat?" Brock set her cup next to her, laughing softly at the look on both their faces. He shook his head as Van placed a hand on his chest, acting offended she would even ask that. Reba giggled to herself again, and Brock loved when she giggled. He sighed, shaking himself from his thoughts. He started to mix the eggs, milk, and butter into a bowl.
"Mrs. H...I've been away from you for too, too, long. You've forgotten how much I can eat. Aww, you poor thing. Come here..." Van pulled her to his chest, swallowing her into a hug. He pretended to cry, and when Reba tried to look up at him, he pushed her head back to his chest.
"Don't look at me, Mrs. H..." Reba tried to give Brock a confused look, but she could barely see over Van's arm. It wouldn't have mattered any way. Brock wasn't even looking at them. He was laughing with his eyes on the eggs as he poured them into the pan.
"Van...I can't breathe." Van let go, pulling her to arms length. An offended look was on his face again. He let her go, taking a few steps away from her. He walked back to the table, still looking at her.
"Are you saying I'm turning into Barbra Jean? How could you, Mrs. H?" Van quickly picked up his coffee mug, and left the kitchen with his head held high. Reba and Brock both stared at the empty doorway amazed at Van. They smiled slightly when he re-entered the room, stopping right in front of Reba.
"Seriously...can I have that pancake?" Brock bit his lips, trying to keep from bursting out in laughter. Reba, on the other hand, couldn't hold her's in, and quite frankly didn't want to. She burst out in laughter, nodding her head at Van. He smiled big, pulling her into another hug.
"Thanks, Mrs. H. Now, while ya'll are cooking..." Van looked between the other two people in the room, making sure they would both still be cooking. "I'm gonna go take a shower. I have to leave early if I plan on making it to work on time." Van left the kitchen, being replaced by Barbra Jean. She had only managed to finish half her hair and make-up before she ran out of coffee. She rushed to the pot, pouring the last bit of it into her mug. She stuck her tongue out at Brock and Reba before making her way back upstairs. She stopped just before she left and turned back around to look at Reba.
"Hey, Reebs, can you make me one of those smiley pancakes? I haven't had one of those in forever!" Reba chuckled to herself, nodding her head yes. Barbra Jean quickly left the room, singing 9 to 5. Reba shook her head before walking around the counter to help make breakfast.
Two hours later, everyone was placing their dishes in the sink and rushing out the door. They all had to leave early. Reba and Brock were left at the house with Henry, Elizabeth, and Cheyenne. She had decided to take the day off. Kyra had to leave for her band meeting, and Jake had wanted to go with her. Van had an open house at eight that morning all the way across town. Barbra Jean would only be gone for an hour or so. She had to talk with her boss about leaving Little Rock eariler than they had agreed for. Reba waved goodbye to her family as they all pulled out of the driveway. She already missed them. Maybe she had been missing them for months now, and she hadn't realized it until now. Maybe she was just being too hard on herself. Maybe she was thinking too much. Reba shook her head, closing the front door behind her. She walked to the couch, joining Cheyenne and Elizabeth. Henry and Brock were upstairs, trying to find his bag of clothes.
"Mommy, can we go to the park? I want to show you how high I can swing." Elizabeth's sweet voice brought a smile to Reba's face. It had been a while since she watched her granddaughter play. She missed the little girl. Cheyenne glanced at her mother, noticing the smile on her face. She was going to take Henry and Elizabeth to the park herself, but it might be better to have her mother take them. She could use the quality time with her granddaughter anyways.
"Wouldn't you rather have Grandma take you? I bet she would love to go." Reba's head jerked to Cheyenne. Elizabeth couldn't possibly want to go with her. If she had wanted to, wouldn't she have asked Reba herself? Elizabeth had to be mad that she hadn't spent any time with her for months. She just had to hate Reba for it. Elizabeth looked to Reba, her smile missing a few teeth. She ran to her grandmother's side, placing her tiny smooth hands on Reba's hands.
"Will you, Grandma? Please?" Elizabeth, learning this from both her parents, quickly widened her eyes and placed her hands folded under her chin. Reba giggled as she moved her eyes from Elizabeth to Cheyenne.
"I wonder who taught you that look." Cheyenne raised her hands in the air, shrugging her shoulders. She raised an eyebrow, looking at Elizabeth then her mother.
"I have no clue where she gets it from. I certainly don't do it. I would say Van, but he doesn't do it either. Maybe Dad taught her that." Reba smirked at Cheyenne, ready to point out a few times Cheyenne had pulled this cute face on her, but Brock's voice caused both adults to look over their shoulders.
"What did I teach who?" Henry and Brock were walking into the room from the kitchen, and Elizabeth took this as another chance. She rushed to Henry's side, taking his hand in hers. She looked over her shoulder then back at Henry. She cleared her throat.
"Guess what, Henry. Grandma says she'll take us to the park! Let's get our shoes on, and grab our buckets. We can finish our sandcastle." Elizabeth pulled Henry back into the kitchen, and smiled as she heard her grandpa say:
"You're takin' them to the park? When did you decide this?" Brock stepped closer to the couch, confused at the smile on Cheyenne's face and the smirk on Reba's. He joined his ex-wife and daughter on the couch.
"I didn't. You're granddaughter did. She reminds me so much of someone we know, Brock. I just can't put my finger on it." Reba glanced at Cheyenne through the corner of her eye. Cheyenne chuckled to herself, trying to get off the couch. Brock quickly helped his daughter.
"Maybe it's Van... I don't do that." Cheyenne gave her parents a smug look before waddling towards the kitchen.
"Oh, have fun at the park." She disappeared from the room with a soft laughter as Henry and Elizabeth ran back into the room. They carried their buckets and shovels, ready to take the short walk down the street. Reba sighed before standing up. She met the little seven-year-olds at the door with Brock right behind her.
"Daddy, you going too?" Henry asked as all four of them stepped out of the house. Reba and Elizabeth both turned to stare at him, waiting along with Henry for his answer.
"Yeah, I didn't see why not. I wanted to see the sand castle ya'll made." Henry and Elizabeth's eyes lighted up with joy, and they took off running for the playground. Reba quickly took off after them, yelling for them to wait for her. Neither one of the little kids listened. Brock rushed after his family, awaiting the lecture he'd get from Reba for not telling them to wait like she was.
Elizabeth and Henry ran straight to the swings, dropping their buckets on the ground next to the slide. Reba came to a stop as she noticed the kids playing safely. She looked to Brock as he stopped next to her with a tired smile on his face. Reba rolled her eyes, smacking his chest lightly.
"You mo-ron, why didn't you tell them to stop? They could have gotten hurt or worse!" Reba walked away from him before he could answer. She sat down on the park bench, patting the spot next to her. Brock walked to her, but he didn't sit down. He stood in front of Reba, smiling as she pulled the sticky note out of her pocket. He slowly sat down as Reba sat straight up. She held the note in her hands which rested in her lap. She lifted her head to wave at the kids as they yelled for her attention. Reba tensed when they one by one jumped off the flying swings. Brock laughed softly at her, recieving a death glare. He shrugged his shoulders.
"What? I've seen them do that hundred of times. They've never gone higher than that." Reba turned her attention back to the seven-year-olds. They were more interesting than Brock. She felt his arm around her shoulders, and fell into his embrace.
"I'm ready, Brock. As soon as we get home, I want to call Ms. Conners. It's time I start moving on." Brock sat up, making Reba sit up as well. She turned to see what he was doing. He pulled a small sliver object out of his pocket, handing it over to Reba. She looked at it, confused on what he wanted her to do. He pushed it slightly towards her.
"Call her now. If you want to talk to her alone, I'll entertain the kids. If you need someone by your side, I'll stay right here. You're pick." Reba placed her hand on his cell phone, biting her bottom lip as she waited. Brock lifted his flat hand, hitting the phone into Reba's opened hand. She took a deep breath, closing her hand around the phone. Brock smiled to himself as she flipped it opened, and pressed the seven buttons. She looked at the kids before placing the phone to her ear. This was it. She was going to find her way back to her family. Her grandkids would not grow up to a scared and crazy grandma. She closed her eyes, reaching for Brock's hand. He gripped her hand when he heard the female voice coming from the other end. Reba turned her head to Brock, stuttering into the phone. He nodded his head, showing her she was doing the right thing. Reba smiled, turning her attention to the kids. She released Brock's hand, waving for him to go to them. Brock did as he was told, listening as Reba asked Elaine Conners what she should do. He knew Reba was going to work on whatever she needed to regain her old self. That was her goal, and nothing kept Reba from her goals. Brock picked Henry up, spinning him in a circle before doing the same to Elizabeth. Things would be better. Everyone would be getting back to their lives; Reba would be recieving everything she would need. No matter what anyone would have to do to help her. Brock had Henry sit on his knee, and Elizabeth stand next to him. They all waved and blew kisses when Reba looked at them. She smiled, returning their gestures. Brock and Reba locked eyes, secretly agreeing everyone would make it through this.
AN: well, this is the end. lol.. jk. But I am seriously thinking of making the rest a seqeul. I feel this is getting a little too long. I'm gonna stop it here, and write the rest in a seqeul. It should be titled like this... Sticks and Stones: (then whatever title). What do ya'll think? Oh, how was this part? lol... sorry for the wait.