When they did end up finally meeting for the first time, there was no major motion picture moment.

She did not run into her father's arms ad sob brokenly and pretend as if everything relied upon him and his approval. In the same, he did not break down into tears at seeing those gorgeous blue eyes- darker than Kelly's had ever been, flecks of emerald coloring them. Jenny's green.

Jethro did realize almost immediately that her hair was the exact shade of his ex-lover's. Before. In Paris.

There was no resentment or bitterness in the first moment they shared together. He couldn't even claim it was awkward- no.

Only staring.

And then, slowly, so slowly, she let go of the Social Service woman's hand. Peeling away old skin.

Lilly Sheppard took a hesitant step forward- and then another.

In the deep recesses of her subconscious mind, she did wonder if her father would reject her.

Yet, if he had, she may not have felt too much pain. Blue eyes and silver hair were not much to be attatched to- he was only a title to her at that very moment.

Daddy. Father. Dad.

She wanted her mother, her Momma, and would give up this pitiful man in a second if she could have the woman in her life again. The nine year old regretted.

Tugging at her gut, pain, searing pain, bit at her, the stark revelation of her mother's death ever present.

Suddenly, Lilly did not want to think.

Almost as if drugged, aware of those steely blue eyes upon her, studying her, she trudges forward on short, tired legs. And sits down in the chair next to a man she barely knows. She takes his hand, because he offers it. Mommy would want her to be well-mannered.

And she looks at the Social Services woman expectantly.

That is when she finally allows herself to breathe.

This is the final chapter- short, but I felt it was appropriate. The will be an epilogue following. Expect it over Thanksgiving break. :)