A/N: Hello again. Welcome to the second chapter of Aftermath. I wasn't going to do one originally but I decided to go ahead and do some more thanks to the first reviewer of the story – thank you Stephanddaph for your kind words.
Note: Last chapter ended with Daphne calling her father. I am skipping the part where Jim visits Chris and confronts Roy at Global Tech since those events happened in the episode. This chapter is what I imagine Stephanie doing after telling Katie and Jim about Joshua. So while Jim is whaling on Joshua, Stephanie is visiting Chris and Daphne at the hospital.
Thank you for reading, please enjoy.
Disclaimer: I own nothing and make no profit from this story.
Aftermath, Chapter 2
After the Global Tech incident was over Stephanie went to the hospital to visit Chris and Daphne. She arrived just as Chris was being discharged. Daphne approached her as Chris was signing the last form.
"Hey Mom, what's going on?" Stephanie waited until Chris came over to answer.
"Chris, your dad's been arrested for breaking into Global Tech facilities and assaulting one of the lab techs there." She refrained from telling him it was her lab tech because she didn't want him to feel any guiltier than he already did. "Thank you for telling Jim where your dad was going, he managed to get there before anyone got seriously hurt." Chris couldn't meet her gaze and instead stared at the floor.
"Mrs. Powell . . . I'm sorry. I know I'm not responsible for my dad's actions but if I had never stolen that stuff from your house in the first place, none of this would have happened."
Stephanie smiled and put a finger under his chin to get him to look at her.
"Yes, that's true. But you're the only one who got hurt here and I'm guessing it's not the first time either." Chris couldn't meet her gaze with that statement. "If none of this had happened, you wouldn't be free of him."
Chris glanced at her and gave a small half-smile, nodding his head.
"Now, it's getting late. Is your mother coming to pick you up?" Chris went pale. He'd forgotten to call her.
"Um, no, I . . . forgot to call. She doesn't know about any of this . . ." He was definitely kicking himself for that one. But Stephanie didn't miss a beat.
"Okay then, why don't you have Daphne take you to your house to pick up a few things and you can stay with us for tonight and we'll call your mother tomorrow?"
"Really, Mrs. Powell, it's fine. I can just stay at my house-"
"Don't be ridiculous. You have a head injury and should have someone around to check on you."
Daphne smiled at the exchange between her mother and Chris. Her dad will probably flip when he finds out her boyfriend is spending the night.
"Are you sure that's okay?" Chris didn't want to be a burden to anyone, especially not the Powells. He'd already caused them enough trouble.
"Yes, I'm sure. Daphne why don't you go get your car and take Chris to his house? I'll head home, get dinner started, and update your father."
"Will do Mom." Daphne smiled and hugged her mother, grateful for how she was handling the situation. She had every right to be angry with Chris for stealing that serum, but instead she chose to help him in his hour of need. "C'mon Chris, let's go." She grabbed his hand and led him out the door, walking slowly for his sake.
Stephanie was so proud of her daughter. She could tell by just looking at Chris how much Daphne affected him – he was at ease, as if the burden he was carrying was lighter with her around. And Stephanie knew Chris adored her daughter, would do anything for her – he'd protected her from that mugger despite having a gun pointed at him.
Stephanie was grateful for her daughter's abilities too and even more grateful that her daughter was using them to help. If not for Daphne's telepathy, she probably would have looked at Chris the same way everyone else does – as a stereotypical bad boy. Stephanie just shook her head, smiled a knowing smile, and followed the teens out the door.
By the time Daphne and Chris made it back to her house dinner was almost ready.
'Wow, you're mom's fast."
Daphne just laughed and took his bag to the guest room. Dinner was delicious but quiet. Chris tried to help with the dishes but Stephanie banished him to the living room with Daphne to rest. JJ got to help his mother do the dishes instead.
Chris and Daphne didn't watch much TV; they just talked and enjoyed each other's company for a little while. But soon the events of the day caught up with Chris and he was too tired to keep his eyes open. Daphne walked him to his room and bid him good night then went to her own room for the evening.
Jim stood outside Chris' door for a little while just in case he needed help. When Stephanie finished up the dishes and caught Jim standing there she just laughed.
"There's no need to play guard dog tonight honey, I'm sure he's out of commission for a little while."
"I'm not –" Jim realized his wife was having a go at him and smiled. "Okay dear, let's go to bed then." Stephanie didn't miss the sarcasm in Jim's voice. She just giggled and told him she'd be to bed in a minute, she wanted to check on Chris first.
She knocked softly on the door, after receiving no answer she opened it and realized Chris was already fast asleep, all curled up under the blankets. The small lamp on the bedside table was still on with a glass of water and a couple of pain pills sitting next to it. Next to the glass she also spotted a small photograph of Chris and Daphne smiling brightly - it made her smile. She turned to Chris and pulled his covers up a little more and brushed hair out of his face. Then she turned off the lamp and left quietly.
The next morning Stephanie called the school on Chris' behalf, letting them know he wouldn't be there and that Daphne would be picking up his homework. They sounded surprised that someone was calling in for him, apparently Roy never did.
The family was eating breakfast at the table when Chris finally woke and made his way out of the bedroom and into the dining room. Daphne dropped her spoon at the sight; it landed in her cereal bowl and splashed milk everywhere.
His hair was disheveled and he was rubbing sleep out of his eyes. All he wore was a pair of sweatpants and a wife beater. Given that he always wore jackets, Daphne had never really gotten a good look before and she definitely liked what she saw.
'He's adorable when he's sleepy. Hot too.'
At Jim's not-so-subtle cough Daphne resumed eating her cereal, blushing furiously. JJ snickered and Daphne glared at him. Jim turned to greet Chris.
"Good morning, are you hungry? We have cereal, eggs, bacon, pancakes, whatever you want."
"No thanks. Do you have orange juice?"
"In the fridge. How are you feeling?"
"Fine I guess, a little sore, but my head doesn't hurt as bad." Chris poured himself a glass and sat at the table. It took him a while to wake up in the mornings, so he liked to sit and wait for the drowsiness to go away.
"What time is it?"
"It's about 7:15."
"What?" Chris' head shot up and he regretted it instantly, a wave of pain reverberating around his skill. He winced and rubbed his temple. Stephanie got up to put her dishes in the sink and she patted his arm as she passed.
"It's okay Chris. I called the school to let them know you wouldn't be there today. Daphne will pick up your homework. You just need to stay here and rest for today at least. When Daphne gets home you can call your mom and have her come pick you up."
Chris was definitely not used to this – being taken care of, having people care. Sure, his mom cared but he hadn't lived with her in two years plus she had her hands full with his younger brother.
"Uh, are you sure that's okay? Me staying here by myself? How can you trust me so easily – I just stole something from your house a few days ago?"
Jim met him with a sharp stare and answered his question.
"Simple. Daphne trusts you and we trust her judgment. Anything you do reflects on her." Jim got up, taking his plate with him. As he walked around Chris he placed a hand on his shoulder and whispered in his ear.
"And if you ever steal from this house again, a concussion will be the least of your worries." Chris only nodded, suddenly very interested in his glass. Jim patted his shoulder and took his plate to the sink.
"Thank you guys. For everything." He spoke softly, but everyone caught it.
After breakfast was cleared up Stephanie and Jim left for work and JJ headed out to Daphne's car. Before Daphne could follow him out the door Chris grabbed her from behind and held her tightly in his arms. He kissed the top of her head and whispered in her ear.
"Your family's amazing, Daph. Thank you."
Daphne turned around and kissed him, wrapping her arms around his neck. She pulled away and looked into his eyes.
"You're amazing too. I love you, get some rest and I'll see you when I get home." Daphne kissed him again and left for school.
"I love you too."