AN: Well, that was fast. For me anyway that was like wicked speedy. Working on the next update for Boys Are Frustrating and at that point they are going to split back onto their own story lines. Only five more chapters to go and this is all wrapped up with a pretty bow!

Chapter Forty

Maternal Return

I felt a panic fill me as I looked at my mother and father face off for the first time in all my memory. They looked complete next to each other, even though my father was clearly not exactly happy to see her. The rest of the party was at a standstill and I could see Emily looking at her sister longingly.

I looked to Dana at my side with clearly panicked eyes, which she shared and then she nodded. Somehow, I understood what she meant because we both moved around our significant others, our father and took our mother back outside to the front of the house away from the party. I heard the chatter break out as soon as we parted.

"Mom, that's not how you show back up." I said angrily as we stopped behind a few cars for privacy.

"Had to rip the band-aid off at some point, Claire." She tried to say professionally.

"That's not a band-aid, that's staples, hundreds of them." Dana came back with.

Our mother finally looked at Dana and her eyes quickly filled with very earnest tears. I could only imagine what it was like, her oldest, her baby, her first daughter. "Dana," She croaked.

Dana held her composure exquisitely. "That's what you named me." She said dryly. If only Dad could hear her now, he'd be so proud.

"You are so grown up." Mom said as tears fell down one cheek.

Dana cracked a little then, but regained herself quickly. "So are you." She retorted.

"I know you must hate me for what I did to you." Mom said with a genuine amount of shame.

Dana turned a shade of red I had only seen on Willa when she got angry and angry she was. "No, I hate you for what you did to my sisters. You literally tore Claire away from her soul mate and damaged Willa and Seth's relationship so bad I'm amazed they actually made it through." She ranted expertly.

Mom was wincing the whole time, almost curled up in pain.

Dana took in a calming breath. "I forgave you for what you did to me, a long time ago, but I don't know if I'll ever forgive you for what you did to our family." She said finally.

Mom gathered herself for a response. "I never expected you, any of you," she paused to look at me longingly. "to forgive me for what I did. But as much as I don't agree with who you chose to be close to, I can't let go of everything again over my pride." She was crying again.

Dana looked to me now, since it was mostly in reference to me and Willa. "Its not going to go back to the way it was. Both of those lives are gone for all of us. But I can try to include you in our lives, and I mean mine and Quil's." I said firmly. She didn't look very happy at my statement. "He makes me feel complete and at home more than anything else in the world and he's never hurt me, not even on accident. He's the best thing I could ever hope for and I want you to be happy for me." I said trying not to tear up.

It was hard telling her all of it because I had wanted to say it for so long but I couldn't because she was too pigheaded to hear it. And all any girl wants is for her mother to be happy because their happy.

Mom put her hands timidly on both mine and Dana's shoulders and looked at us with a teary smile. "You deserve to be that happy and I am happy for you. I just need to get used to it." She said hopefully.

I resisted the urge to yell and scream about the thirteen years she had to get used to it and chose to act like an adult and nodded. "I can do that. But I'm only speaking for myself." I said plainly.

Dana stiffened and Mom looked at her. "I don't want you to think you're not important to me." Mom tried to tell her.

"You're not doing a great job of that." Dana said snidely. Mom looked like she was going to cry again and Dana huffed. "I go to MIT, I have a normal boyfriend that is obsessed with Dr. Who and thinks I could walk on water if I really wanted to. I have a great life and if you want to be apart of it, then you just need to call once or twice a week and not disappear for thirteen years. I am not as complicated as the other two." She ranted. I laughed.

Mom giggled through her tears. "You two turned out so well." She said proudly as she hugged the both of us.

Dana looked so relieved to be hugging our mother and my heart broke a little, remembering she was the one who had all the memories and she had to deal with those missing pieces all these years. When the hug finally broke all of our red eyes were finally cleared. "Good luck with the hellion." Dana said with a clap to Mom's back as she wiped her unshed tears away.

I laughed at that. "Seriously, you're gonna need it." I added.

Quil came walking around the corner, looking very guarded and I quickly eyed my mother who kept her face blank for the most part. "Quil." She said curtly then walked around him. Dana followed her back to the party and gave me a thankful smile.

I waved at Dana as Quil approached me and then I snuggled into his chest. He was so full of tension that when he finally relaxed I almost had all his weight on my shoulders.

"I thought it was gonna go bad." He said with a thick voice.

"No, we were all adults. Imagine that." I said with a snigger.

"I'm very proud." Quil chuckled.

"Is she gonna talk to Willa?" I asked curiously.

"She is right now and Jeff." He answered as he smoothed out my hair. "Seth is pacing with Dana and Wes." He added, knowing I would ask about him too.

"I'm sure you were too." I teased.

"Am I really the best thing that happened to you?" He asked unsure.

I looked up at him with confused eyes, wondering how he could doubt his self-worth. "Yes, it may have been a bumpy road but this is where I belong and where I am happiest and I am that way because of you. Don't forget it." I ordered as I stood on my tip-toes to kiss him.

He wrapped his arms around me and held me tight, half a foot of the ground, for a few minutes and I just hung happily in his arms.

"I'll never let anyone take you away from me again." He murmured from my hair.

"You better not." I threatened with a smile.

He chuckled and set me down and then sat on the hood of Kim's car and pulled me to stand between his legs. "Not to get my hopes up or anything, but are we getting back to normal?" He asked hopefully

"What is normal?" I asked quirking my head.

He laughed and kissed me. And then I really didn't care about what was normal or not.

AN: Review!