This was purely an impulsive piece of writing, a little something I'd penned down when I was unwell and a notebook happened to be the only thing within easy reach. Never thought I'd be doing a brief HR fic, but here I am! :D This might be anything from 3 – 5 chapters long. Anyhooo, there's two things I want the readers to note before they read the fic! First of all, this fic is in no way connected to The Hell Within, though the central characters are the same. It is in no way an epilogue of what is to come (in Hell Within). Secondly, I hope you guys can try to imagine Grace being prettier in this one (google Ginnie Watson, she is pretty!). I dunno why they didn't model her on Ms. Watson. Madison Paige wouldn't have stood a chance then! xD
I have no idea how this fic will proceed, just posted this on instinct. Please review it so that I can write the rest! :D And oh, if you're an unregistered reader, I'll reply to your reviews on my profile.
Grace looked around the room in astonishment. "Where did this come from?" There were balloons tied to the bed-post and a teddy bear for Shaun kept on the side table. He smiled and gave her the card he had received. It read :
I hope you are feeling better. Great to have you back in action soon. Be good and look after mum and dad.
"That is very nice of him," Grace said and gently folded the card. "You should thank him when you get to meet him." "Already did, mom." He could see that she was confused. "He was here some time ago. You were talking to the doctor outside."
Grace felt a pang of disappointment. She would have loved to meet her son's rescuer. "Well," she shrugged, "I guess I missed him." Shaun was an exact contrast and excited. "Can we go see dad now?" Grace bent to kiss his forehead. "Right away, my baby."
Norman Jayden quietly contemplated the vial of Triptocaine he was holding. He had a choice to make, between sanity and chaos, freedom and dependence. Living and dying. The decision was not too difficult to make. He walked into the first cubicle he saw and dropped the vial into the toilet bowl, pressing down the flush.
The vial swirled and spun in weak rebellion against the whirlpool before getting swallowed by the deluge. He looked at the mirror in the bathroom. The reflection was sickly pale, with dead eyes. But that would change. Some day, some time he would resemble the son his father would have been proud of.
The door swung open and a technician peeped in. "Mr. Jayden! You're on in five." The door shut as hurriedly as it had opened. Norman gave himself a final look in the mirror. Then, he walked away.
Ethan Mars did not know what to say to the officer who unlocked the door. His mind was abuzz with questions but his tongue had momentarily forgotten to curl. He remained just as speechless when Shaun spotted him from a distance and ran into his arms.
Ethan held him close to his chest. There was so much to say, so much to express. Grace stood and watched the reunion from afar. Ethan looked up and their eyes met. "I-"She struggled for words. Nothing could justify what she had done. "Ethan, I am so sorry…"
But when he smiled at her and held out his hand, she knew he had forgiven her. Grace squeezed it hesitantly. Shaun was ecstatic. "Let's go home!" he said, elatedly. Ethan lovingly ruffled his hair. "Yes… let's."
Grace dropped a note at Charlene's desk for Norman before catching up with father and son on the way out. Shaun walked out with his head held high. He was walking between Ethan and Grace who shielded him from the rain and protected him from the traffic.
He felt safe. For the first time in a very, very long time, they felt like a family again.
The congratulatory messages kept pouring in. Thank you, Norman replied to every one of them. His fingers ached from the typing and his jaws from smiling. He was a national hero. Didn't do too badly, did you?
The messages he received varied from hero-worship (You're my God, Jayden!), adulation (You've done the nation a great service) to unhealthy adoration (Norman did not even read the entire text before deleting it).
He left his phone to vibrate at his bed-side while he took a shower. Where are they getting my number from?
Ethan was not in the frame of mind to admire Grace's house. But he definitely marveled at its sheer cleanliness. "It's looking better than I last remember it," he said, mostly because he had nothing else to say. Grace smiled gently. "It's been a long time since you came, Ethan."
He was not going to argue with that.
"So… do you want to eat right away or wait a while?" Grace asked.
Ethan stopped to ponder over the offer. He wasn't really hungry. "Not right now, thanks." "Hey, dad!" Shaun leaned perilously over the barrister.
"Come on over!"
"Be with you soon!" Ethan volleyed back. He waited for Shaun to run off, to his room, before turning back to Grace. She stared back. Both waited for the other to say something first.
Ethan broke the silence. "I won't be a nuisance. I'll be leaving the moment Shaun's in bed." "You're not a nuisance," Grace said, quietly. "Besides, it would take you forever to get back. Stay the night."
She disappeared into the kitchen. Ethan went after her.
"You-you want me to stay here?"
"You're really okay with that?"
"If I wasn't, Ethan, you wouldn't have made it past the front door."
Silence. There was absolute silence behind her. Grace barely plucked the courage to look behind. Ethan just stood there, his eyes fixed on her. "You're not a nuisance," she repeated, with finality.
"It's all my fault."
"Why do you-"
"I went to the cops! That's why they came after you!"
Grace said it all in quick succession, barely completing each word. It was something she had to say, had to unload off her mind and tongue. She had expected him to be hurt, angry or something in between. But nothing in the world prepared her for his answer.
She gripped the counter behind her, daring to look up slightly. Only slightly.
"It came up during the interrogation."
She nodded. "I'm sorry."
That was all she could say, but meant it. Thankfully, Ethan knew that. There was so much more they could have said to each other at that moment. Words of apology, regret and comfort.
But they chose not to. It would probably have been a repetition of what had been said after Jason had gone. Not that it had helped save their marriage.
Ethan left the kitchen first, for Shaun's room. Grace followed a few minutes later. The rest of the evening went on as if nothing had happened…
Author's note : That's it for now, folks! But I would LOVE some feedback. :)