Standard disclaimers apply. I own who I own, I don't own who I don't own, and I'm not making any money either way.

The Joys of Fatherhood
**
The last thing Dick Grayson wanted on his Saturday morning was to find Roy Harper standing on his door step.

The door bell had dragged him out of a sound sleep. Finding sweat pants, Dick tugged them on, kissed his sleeping wife, then prepared to assassinate whoever was on his door step. His feet padded down the carpeted stairs, and he decided he'd turn the heat up on the way back to bed. After he murdered whoever was ringing his door bell.

It wasn't Tim because Tim had a key. If it was Bruce, he was going to slam the door right in his face. If it was Jim Gordon, he'd probably say something smart… then slam the door in his face. If was Kyle Rayner's son, he'd say something smart, punch him, THEN slam the door in his face. Saturday was sleep-day, and everyone in the known universe should be aware of that.

He should have known it would be Roy. Tearing opened the door, he saw his friend standing there, looking forlorn and lost. His eyes were round with emotion and bore dark circles beneath them. His carroty red hair was sticking up at all angles, leaving the tell-tale signs of hands run through it many times. The collar of the brown leather jacket he wore was half up, half down, and his t-shirt was stained yellow with beer.

Without saying a word, Dick stepped aside and gestured Roy in. There were two things that did not conform to the Titan leader's sleep schedule: universal crises and emotional crises.

The door clicked closed and Dick turned the deadbolt, then looked to his friend for an explanation.

"Dick… am I a bad person?" Roy asked suddenly.

Dick ALMOST tossed him out into the street right then and there. "Why would you think you're a bad person, Roy?" he asked with a hint of impatience in his voice.

"You got… beer or something? Like more beer?" he started walking to the kitchen.

"Nope," Dick said casually. He had a feeling this was more than just a self-esteem crisis, so he started being a little more compassionate. Besides, he was UP now. He might as well deal with the problem. "Tim and Bart cleaned me out on Memorial Day."

Roy suddenly looked very bitter. An ironic laugh escaped his lips. "Bart." He threw himself into a kitchen chair and stared at the crack in the table where the spacer went.

"Hey, Bart's finally OK to hang with. All that voodoo-zen stuff finally paid off. That, and he's found some chick to settle down--"

A loud, painful moan escaped Roy's lips. He buried his head in his arms and cried into the table.

Dick rolled his eyes. "What're your problem now?" He'd be serious, but this was a little silly.

"Ok. I'm going to tell you this. It's… horrible. Lian's home, right? She goes out, says she's going shopping or something, I don't know. Whatever it is girls do when they're with other girls. Figured your kid was with her, what trouble could they get into, right? So I go out. You know. Few drinks with the guys. Gillhead's still torqued that Dolphin left him again. Loosen him up, make him feel a little better about himself… totally altruistic. Right?"

"I'm sure it was," Dick answered reassuringly as he filled up a pot of water for coffee. Roy still had a wandering eye, so Dick doubted it was entirely about helping out Garth in the face of his perpetually reoccurring marital troubles. Sometimes, he felt guilty for having the only stable marriage around.

He moved to the coffee maker and dumped in the water, then turned the machine on. While Roy talked, he watched dark coffee drip into the glass pot. It was kind of… entrancing.

"So… I hear giggling in the back booth, and Garth's like… tell 'em to get a room, cause they're making me feel bad. And I'm getting ready to say something smart, especially when the chick's all moaning and stuff, and you can't even SEE her any more, cause the guy's all over her. So I go back there, all-smart like, and I lean on the table, and I'm like… so, you two kids wanna get a room? Only I never get out the room part. Cause they both look up at me."

Roy put his head back on the table and shook it moaned. "I'm a horrible person!"

Dick turned away from the slowly filling pot, waiting for either an explanation, or the punch line of the joke.

"It was LIAN!"

The Titans leader rolled his eyes. "SO? She's a grown up. It's legal for her to drink and everything." Roy hadn't made this big of a deal when she started dating that stupid French speedster and moved the hell to France to be with him.

"AND BART!" Roy finished.

Dick thought about that for a moment. That was weird. "Maybe she needs a support group. You know. Like for people addicted to speedsters." He was trying really hard to make light of the situation.

There was the sound of Roy's forehead bouncing off the table. "NO PUNS! She's dating someone TIMS age, FIRST of all. And SECOND of all, she's dating BART!" He dragged his head up off the table and looked to his friend for support. "I'm a bad person, Dick. That's the only reason why this would happen to me. First she goes off to France. Then she dumps that guy and STAYS there. And now… and now BART? I mean… I gave her enough love, right? And I went to all her little programs in school. And I gave her a life-skill. And she repays me by dating BART?"

Getting mugs out of the cupboard above the coffee maker, Dick sighed. He really couldn't say anything about Roy going nuts right now because he'd gone psycho-dad over the young man in his daughter's life just a couple of month's ago. Personally, Dick wanted to just forget that whole thing ever happened. Roy wasn't really helping with that right now.

"You're not a bad parent," Dick said sympathetically. He handed his friend a cup

"Then how'd I get a bad kid?"

Sitting down across from the archer, Dick rolled his eyes. "Don't take me there. I don't want to go." Sniffing his coffee, he collected his thoughts. "Lian's a good kid. And you're a good dad. It's just… um… they grow up. And…. Sometimes they do stuff we don't want them to, but if they're grown up, then we really can't say who they're going to fall in love with. And… the only thing you can do is try to suck it up and deal and not threaten to disembowel the kid."

Roy put his mug down and glared at Dick critically. "Are we talking about me, or YOU here, bud?"

"Did you threaten to disembowel him?" Dick raised the cup to his lips. Wholesomy caffeinated goodness.

Roy looked away. "Ok, so FINE. I DID. He's like… TEN years older than she is. And he was feeling her up."

Dick choked on is coffee. He coughed furiously, then wiped his mouth on the table cloth. "Dude, I'd have killed him right then and there!"

"I COLDN'T!" Roy hollered with disgust. "That damned little creep sped away!"

Just then, the front door opened. It slammed against the wall, then slammed shut again. "DAD!" Mara screamed up the steps. "DAD!"

"I'm in here! Quit yelling!" And Roy was the one bitching he had a bad kid? If screwing Bart was the worst of the kid's troubles, then Roy was winning the battle. And Lian was twenty-one. She could drink, vote and rent a car. That didn't really leave Roy much room for telling her what to do.

His out of breath daughter threw her coat off, then approached the kitchen. "Dad! Uncle Roy threatened Bart, and now Lian wants to know if she can sleep over here toni--" Seeing Roy at the kitchen table, she stopped. "Oh. It's you. Guess Lian can't stay over here tonight, huh?"

"And where the hell were YOU last night?" Dick asked.

Mara rolled her eyes. "Check the news. You'll see where my ass has been. It's on all three networks and the national news is about to pick it up."

Dick rolled his eyes. "Thank you, Miss Melodrama."

"Why does Lian need to stay HERE?" Roy asked peevishly. "Why doesn't she just stay with BART ALLEN?"

Huffing, Mara ignored the comment and turned on her heals. "Dads," she moaned, them marched up the steps, presumably to bed.

"I bet you she was out with Jordan Rayner all night," Dick said disgustedly. "Then they went and did something early this morning to cover for the fact that they'll NEVER admit they spend time in each other's company, and then Bruce is going to call me and ask why the hell I let his partner run around with a public hero. I have REAL problems here, Roy. Not just your made-up ones over a daughter who's already lost to you." Whoops. Did Dick just say that? "I mean, she's too old. YOU can't go telling her what to do any more."

"What the HELL are you talking about?" Roy asked forcefully, pushing away the empty black mug away from him toward the center of the table. "I come in here, and you're like 'maybe she needs a support group for people addicted to speedsters' like my kid has a PROBLEM or something, and then you're telling me she's LOST to me? Just where the HELL do you get off?" Putting his hands on the edge of the table, he pushed himself back, chair and all, then stood up. "You aren't some perfect parent, so don't go starting on me, Robbie. You're probably a bigger fuck than I am!"

Dick stood up, and the chair fell to the floor. He leaned over the table and gave his friend a deadly look. "There is no way on God's green earth I am a bigger fuck than you are," Dick said darkly.

Roy didn't know when he'd gotten himself in over his head. It had happened slowly, like water filling a room. "Well, my kid's never written a suicide note. My kid's never run away from home. My kid has never tried to electrocute any of her older playmates, and my kid doesn't hang around with your dad, and LIKE IT. That means you screwed up somewhere, Robbie. With BOTH of your kids!"

Before he could stop himself, Dick had reached across the table and punched his friend in the jaw. "Yeah, well, my kid didn't move to FRANCE the second a sweet-talking European speedster picked her up in a bar… WHILE she was doing surveillance! At least my kid can do surveillance without ending up in BED with someone!"

The kitchen table didn't survive Roy dragging himself off the floor and leaping across the table, then pulling Dick down. Of course, Dick didn't go down without a fight. He grabbed Roy's shirt to flip him, ever conscious of the kitchen's breakable contents. He was too conscious, however, because Roy got a hand around his neck and was pulling him down, when a table leg broke and dumped them onto the floor.

"At least…" Roy said, gathering himself together, "she isn't… screwing… a Green Lantern!"

Dick didn't have a chance to respond, or hurt his red-headed teammate, because a bucket worth of water came crashing down upon them. COLD water. "Now if you guys have sufficiently gotten the tribal stuff out of the way, you can start MOPPING UP THE MESS!" Barbara hollered.

"Dick, get up off the floor," she ordered. "Way to teach your son that violence is the answer to everything. ROY, I ought to tell Mara what you said, so she can tear you apart. Lucky for YOU, she escaped out her window after she talked to you, to report back to Lian. Congratulations, you're both IDIOTS."

* * *

Jordan Rayner sat at the red table in the back of the Sun Dollars café, staring at his paper cup, and the mocha collecting around the white lid. He was trying not to notice that the people he was sitting across from were entirely too 'into' each other. It was kind of gross and embarrassing, and he desperately wished he could make out with someone in a booth at Sun Dollars.

Taking another peek, he saw them neglecting their coffees, and staring into each other's eyes.

Another thought popped into his head. There were three of them sitting here—in a café—in Gotham. "Maybe we should have waited for Mara some place else."

Lian turned to him and grinned. "You scared of the Big Bad Bat?"

Jordy looked both ways. "Well… yeah. Isn't everybody?" He still remembered the 'going down the shirt' incident in the Watchtower, and the conversation that happened about a week after that. Well, it hadn't been much of a conversation. He just remembered the Bat saying 'don't ever give me cause to come after you,' and that had been that.

"My dad is TOTALLY afraid of him," Lian answered. Bart nodded. "Maybe the Bat should talk to dad."

Jordy bowed his head, praying Mara would come back soon. They'd gotten into a "thing" last night, and all four of them had blown something up in HIS city. He didn't think it would matter that they had been with Robin. Jordy just figured their lives were as good as over. "He can't kill us in public, right?"

"He isn't going to kill us," Bart said with authority. "He likes me." Batman hadn't killed him the whole time he'd been dating Cassandra, right? And he and Cass had parted on good terms and everything.

They were so dead.

It hadn't even started out that way. He and Mara had gone to a movie, and then were walking around the park (Jordy constantly looking over his shoulder for signs of Bat), when she'd gotten a frantic, upset-type call from Lian. She was looking for some place to stay until her flight back to Europe at the end of the week. Obviously staying with her dad was now not an option, and Bart may be a 'grownup' but Max still had a rule about overnight guests.

Then there were psychopaths in strange costumes, hostages, Bart showing up as back up, then Lian showing up not to save their behinds, but to ask if Bart was mad at her because he hadn't returned after her dad had left the previous night…

A shadow fell upon them. A large shadow. An angry shadow.

Slowly three eyes crept from their coffee (well, Jordan's from his coffee, Lian and Bart from each other). They came to rest on the dark angles of Bruce Wayne's Armani suit.

Was it possible for Batman to be scarier in a business suit than a cape and cowl?

"We'll be having a discussion later," he informed them.

"Robinwaswithusandshewastheonewhoblewstuffup," Bart sputtered before anyone could stop him. Lian grabbed his arm and held on to it tightly when he started vibrating in agitation. So much for Batman being cool with Bart.

When Jordan looked back from Lian and Bart, the Bat and his oversized shadow were gone. He gave a scowl to his older accomplices. They were now extra-dead.

A totally different man was jovially standing at the counter, ordering his coffee. His hands were stuffed into the pockets of his pants. He shifted back and forth on his feet, flirting with the girl behind the counter, who couldn't be older than Jordy. Jordan decided he might like 'Scary Bat' better.

Lian and Bart's hands were locked together. They watched him suspiciously, waiting for him to come back and give them a look of death, or something.

Jordan couldn't be bothered waiting for his demise. He decided to be a little more… proactive than being mushy and in love. He wanted to live long enough to be mushy. Pulling the cell phone out of his pocket, he dialed his favorite number.

"Pizza Palace."

"Mara… how's about a little back up?" he whispered into the phone.

"What's up?" she asked in the 'you know Robin doesn't go out in the daylight' voice.

"I have an angry Bat standing about thirty feet away. Once that third shot of espresso is in that cup, we're all dead-people."

There was a sigh on the other line. "I'm like ten minutes off your location. Let me see if I can do something to help you out though. While I'm thinking of it, tell Lian it's a no-go on my place, her dad's a frothing, raving psychopath. No wonder he gets along with my dad." She hung up.

On the other end of the store, Bruce Wayne's cell phone rang. He looked quickly from the Bat at the counter to his companions. Who were necking again. He shook his head, suddenly unable or unwilling to relay the message. "Get a room."

* * *

Strangely, the Bat left without incident. He glared at them once, but continued talking on his cell phone, coffee in hand. Bruce fumbled with the door, then left. They all breathed a sigh of relief when he'd exited. NO one really wanted to get a 'talking to' from him. Lian was close with Black Canary, who spent an inordinate amount of time with Batman, and Bart had formerly dated Batgirl, but both of them knew that they had done a bad thing by invading his territory last night. Jordy just lived in constant fear for his life.

About seven minutes after the Bat left the building, Mara strolled through the door, her cell phone attached to her ear. "I know. I'll talk to them. Yeah, I'm here." She waved to her compatriots and then held up a finger, letting them know she'd be just another minute. "It was my fault anyways. I know, I know, I know… look, I gotta go. Yeah. I'll be in early tonight." Sitting down next to Jordan she grinned. "Now that's just excessive. No. I'll do it. It's just… excessive." Somehow, both participants sensed the end of the conversation and hung up. Shrugging, Mara put the phone into her coat pocket, a smile still lighting her face.

"Sorry. I get to wax The Car as penance. I'm sure you guys can guess what he'd lecture you about, so just ponder that deeply and consider yourself lectured." She began rooting around in the pockets of her jeans for money.

"So what did your dad say?" Lian asked hopefully.

"Um… I told Jordy to tell you it wasn't going to happen. Your dad was there when I got there. And I'm SO sorry I went. I could have just called and saved myself that. So much for face to face being the best approach." She sighed. She'd been standing under the kitchen window during the Dad-fight. "Anyways… You guys're in trouble. Call Cassandra or something."

Lian's eyes narrowed, and Mara knew she'd said a bad thing. She could have smacked herself, really. You don't call the ex.

"Sorry. It was just a suggestion. What I'm saying is… you guys're screwed. Roy's going to continue being psychotic, probably forever. I wouldn't send Lian back to the Titans Tower if it were the last place on earth to go."

Bart rubbed his forehead. His golden eyes suddenly lit with fear. "FOREVER? He wasn't supposed to be psychotic forever! Lian! He can't be psychotic forever!"

Lian scowled at Mara, then attempted to sooth Bart. "She doesn't know what she's saying. Daddy'll come around. And everything'll be fine. You'll see."

Mara looked at Jordy then rolled her eyes. "Holy Melodrama. It's turning into West Side Story in booth seven."

Bart wrinkled his nose and stuck his tongue out, then made a big show of kissing Lian. His lips touched hers with hesitant flourish, and through the barrage of gagging going on across from them, the couple continued kissing.

Finally finding some crumpled one dollar bills amongst the junk in her pockets, Mara handed a hand full of bills to Jordy. "Can you be a peach and get me a coffee?"

Jordan let out a short laugh. "A PEACH? You want peach syrup in your coffee," he said in mock seriousness.

"No, I want… Look. Something with espresso in it. Ok?" She looked at him harshly, then looked at the still-kissing couple.

Jordy looked at the crumpled bills now in his hand. "Well, that limits it. How's about I get you mocha so you can get the chocolate and be less ornery." He didn't make it out of the chair before she slapped him.

Finally Lian and Bart looked up at them. "Feel free to do this amongst yourselves," Bart said as he leaned in to nibble on Lian's neck.

They both looked at him as if he were insane. "Yeah, RIGHT," came Jordy's quick reply.

Right on the heals of that statement, Mara protested, "We're JUST friends!" She then glared at Jordy. "Three-shot espresso."

Defensively, Jordy left the table and approached the counter. Still, they could see the grin on his face.

"When are you going to just give it up and ask him out," Lian asked.

"We're just—hey! This isn't about me!" Mara shook her head. "So… how long have you two been married, and why doesn't marriage qualify for the re-writing of Max's 'no overnight guests' rule? And why are you a grown man that still has that rule, and why do you still live with Max Mercury?"

Neither Lian or Bart could answer. They both stared at her in shock for a moment, to hung up on the first question to even consider the insolence of the other three.

"How… how did? We didn't…" Lian began fidgeting in her chair.

Mara rolled her eyes. "You've both taken up a sudden fondness of jewelry, which neither of you had before—and those are expensive chains around your necks. I'm guessing that's what the wedding rings are hung on. You should just tell Roy. He'll get over it quicker."

At the counter, Jordan paid the cute little auburn haired girl and waited for the coffee to be done.

"My dad will SO not get over it quicker. And if you tell ANYONE before we're ready to tell them, I'll do something really horrible to you. He doesn't find out until he stops being a jerk to Bart. NO ONE finds out till then."

Mara suspected they'd have a VERY long wait.

Unhappy to be of service, Jordy began walking back to the table with Mara's coffee.


* * *
Bart handed Mara back her cell phone. He hated those things. Why talk to someone on the phone when you could visit? "Well, Tim said Stephanie said that we could sleep on their futon till our flight leaves next week." He still thought Lian should just leave all her stuff there, and he'd speed her back to France, but she was determined to take all the stuff with her that she'd left behind the FIRST time she'd dashed off to Europe with a speedster.

"See? I knew Tim'd come through for ya. Even IF Steph is a spaz." Mara put the phone back in her pocket.

"HAH!" Roy yelled from the door.

Mara and Lian both slunk lower in their seats. It was spastic father time, and they both knew it.

"So… how'd you find us?" Mara asked peevishly. She was still not too happy for the things he'd said when he'd been fighting with her father.

"Triangulated your cell signal," Roy said proudly. "YOU," He said looking at Lian, "are coming home. And that's the end of it."

Lian maintained her calm remarkably well. Mara knew she'd have never been able to do the same. "Daddy, firstly, I'm an adult. Secondly, I'm not going anywhere with someone who was mean to Bart. And thirdly, we're expected at the Drake Residence this evening, so we'll be otherwise detained."

Roy fumed for a second, his cheeks growing red. "LIAN! It's BART! BART!"

She looked at the speedster. "So I've observed. Daddy, I love you, and you're the best dad in the whole entire world, but I love Bart. And he's a good guy. Even YOU have to admit that. And I'd have to think—even my most questionable decision has been tamer than some of the mistakes YOU have made." The Cheshire implication was clear. "And, I don't want to have this discussion in public, OR around Mara and her friend."

Mara thought it was so cool how she could stay so… calm with her dad being so psychotic close by.

* * *

Within the Titans kitchen, two gruff, solitary figures sporting matching bruises sat hunched over tall glasses of dark alcohol. It had been far too long of a week.

"I'm a bad dad," Roy reiterated for the thirty-thousandth time that week. He tipped the bottom up on his drink and finished off the rest of the beer.

"No comment," Dick muttered. They'd made up and were friends again by Tuesday. All it took was Mara's denial that she and Jordan Rayner were in each other's company Saturday morning when Robinson Park went up in flames. It was then that Dick sympathized truly, because he came to the conclusion that daughters were more trouble than they were worth.

"Firstly, what the hell kind of example am I? And secondly, I didn't have to threaten to disembowel him in the coffee shop. That's a great way to make sure your kid never talks to you ever again."

"She'll talk to you. Mara still talks to me. And I threatened to put Jordan through a food—processor too." Dick was doing more staring into his drink than drinking. He was hoping the foam on top would tell him his fortune, like tea leaves, or the imperfections in a crystal ball. So far, the beer was giving him no guidance.

"We're both bad dads," Roy concluded.

Dick shrugged. He didn't feel like a bad dad. "I think we're DADS, and that's what the problem is, period." After careful consideration, THAT was Dick's final answer.

"Well… I don't have to like him. You weren't with the Titans when he was with the group. It was like… AUGGGG. Every second."

"I think that's how the Justice League felt about Wally when he joined up," Dick noted.

"No! You don't understand! This is BART!"

Dick shook his head. He doubted his friend would EVER get the clue.

* * *
Eight years later, France

In their third floor apartment, two people got ready for bed. The man rushed through his routine as only a speedster could, then threw himself onto the wine colored comforter. Grabbing on to the dark wooden headboard, he pulled himself towards the pillows and found a comfortable spot.

His wife exited the bathroom, holding her golden colored robe closed. It came midway down her calfs, but wasn't very warm. Hopefully, she stood at the edge of the bed.

"Sooooo," Bart Allen said as he pulled Lian onto the bed. "You gonna put the call on speaker phone?"

She pushed her thick, black hair out of her eyes. "Yeah, right. Come on. You guys HAVE to cool it with the animosity thing." She wasn't going to call her father and tell him their news just so that Bart could make faces. This was year eight of the Harper-Allen union, and year eight of the Bart Allen-Roy Harper feud, and she wasn't going to perpetuate it any longer. There were a few things more important than her father and her husband acting like little boys.

"HE started it!" Bart chirped.

"ONE of you two has to be grown-up."

"Why does it have to be me?"

Unable to resist, Lian ruffled his hair. "Ok, ok. Fine. Just make sure you're more mature by the time the baby's born."

Bart got giggly then, and started vibrating. "I'mgonnabeadad, I'mgonnabeadad!"

Unable to stop herself, Lian smiled. For some reason, the parts of Bart that annoyed the rest of the human race only made her more attracted to him. "Ok, if it's eleven here, that means it's five o'clock there. Get ready to hear my dad wet himself."

She put the bedroom phone on speaker then dialed. Jordan Rayner answered, and for a second she thought she had the wrong number. "Hello, this is Jordan, and you've reached the Titans Tower. What can I do for you?"

She and Bart both grinned. "Hey! It's Lian Harper. Guess they finally gave you membership?"

"Yup. I only had to move heaven and earth to get taken off of babysitting Young Justice detail." He sounded happy and contented enough.

"So, how's Mara doing?" Lian knew that Jordan and Mara had been married for… two years now. Time really did fly when you were having fun.

"You know her," he replied dryly.

"Yup. I do. It's kind of comforting to know that SOME things never change."

"Social call, or business?" he asked cheerfully.

Bart wrapped his arms around Lian and leaned closer to the phone. "Both! Can we talk to Roy?"

Jordy hesitated. "Wellllll yeah. I guess."

Lian kissed her husband's cheek before responding. "It's good news, I promise."

"You guys're getting hitched, finally? Took you long enough. But I don't think Roy'll think that's good news."

Staring at the phone, Lian tried to hold back her laugh. "Nope, its even better than that!"

There was even MORE hesitation on the other line. "Mmm…. Ok. Fine. I'm redirecting." This was followed up with silence as the call was transferred.

The phone rang at the new extension twice. "Roy's Castle of Love," came a fake-sultry voice.

"DADDY!" Lian gasped with partial disgust. She covered Bart's mouth so he couldn't make a smart remark.

"Hey, baby. What can I do for you?"

"I've got some news for you daddy. You sitting down?"

"…Yesss…"

Lian turned her head and grinned at Bart. "Good. Lay down." Without giving Roy time to fill his own head with strange and terrible scenarios , Lian continued. "Firstly, daddy, I love you very much. Secondly, Bart and I have been married for the last eight years, and we never told anyone. And thirdly, You're going to be a grandfather. Fourthly, congratulations—you're OLD."

Bart held his breath, listening for a reaction on the other end, but there was none. He glared at the white phone, then to Lian. "Maybe we killed him," Bart whispered. Leaning across Lian, he got closer to the phone. "You there, Roy? Didja hear that? I'm gonna be a dad, and you're gonna be a grand-dad, and you're OLD!"

There was still no response.

"Daddy?"

Finally, after what seemed like forever, a sound erupted on the other side. For a moment, it was so loud they couldn't tell what it was. Then they narrowed it down to laughing or crying.

Lian and Bart stared into each other's eyes for a moment, trying to figure out what was happening. As they listened, they could establish that Roy was, indeed, crying.

"Daddy!" This wasn't exactly the reaction she had in mind!

There came a moan and a gasp for air, then Roy cried out, "I'm a terrible father!"


THE END