Disclaimer: Well this is my first Codename Kids Next Door fanfic ever. The idea had been bouncing around in my skull for several months and I finally just now decided to write it. Just know I'm really trying to keep Father in character, but if I'm not please tell me and I'll try to fix it! Also I do hope you all enjoy this story! As to be expected I own nothing except for the plotbunny, and any and all additional characters.

Please don't forget to read and review! ^_^

Broken

Chapter 1

Loss and Gain

This day could not possibly get any worse…

That was all that Father could think as he looked upon the towering building that currently loomed over him… this was one of those extremely rare days that he had absolutely no intent of bothering the Kids Next Door. He had his own problems to deal with today… right now he was currently dealing with the worst migraine he'd ever had, his insides were trembling so much that he was visibly shaking, and if one was to look deep into his amber gold eyes one would notice that they were actually quite bloodshot... But this is all to be expected; after all…

how would any individual react to getting a phone call, saying their father just passed away?…

It had finally happened; the old man was gone… out of Fathers life forever. But that in itself was not what was bothering Father. Well not entirely… it was actually a combination of two things that had gotten him to this particularly worked up state. The first and foremost being his father's death… but it didn't bother him quite in the way that one would normally expect… what bothered him was what he was feeling because of this tragedy.

he felt absolutely nothing…

Now that was really eating at him. All his life he had strived desperately to gain his father's approval; he'd done everything the old man had wanted! He had been an obedient and good son! He'd sacrificed his own childhood and happiness searching for that bitter old man's approval and he never even got so much as a smile in return. His father had always loved his older brother so much more, even when Monty had rose up against him! Still… Grandfather would have forgiven his elder son in a heartbeat if he'd asked for it. While Father knew that if he had tried that, there would not have been such a forgiveness. He would have been disowned immediately and his father would have never even so much as given him a second thought. It made Fathers blood boil the more he thought about it. Even nowadays he'd never stopped trying to get his father's approval… his love… hell he was the one who paid for Grandfather's retirement home and all of his medical bills! His idiot brother couldn't even begin to scrape the surface of what he'd given to their father.

And yet it was for these reasons that he was so confused about what he was feeling. He had an idea about what it was he should be feeling… Sad, unhappy, maybe even shed a tear or two? …or maybe he would feel some sort of anger? Heaven forbid he'd gotten angrier for much less…

or would he have felt some kind of relief?

Relief that the man who had made his childhood a living hell and ultimately turned him into the miserable adult he had become was finally gone? …He didn't feel that either, the fact that he felt nothing at all troubled him; even if he did not know why. When he'd received that phone call from his brother he had felt nothing… he just got physically sick for a moment or so…

Now that was only half of Fathers current problem… the other problem was waiting for him inside of the rather intimidating building he was now entering. And this problem had a name… Ezekiel Harth…

One of the very few adults that Father absolutely loathed… Ezekiel Harth was an older man, only a few years younger than his own father. In fact, old man Ezekiel was one of Grandfather's old business acquaintances… and he was every bit as mean and nasty as Grandfather was. The only real difference between the two was that Ezekiel didn't have any powers that he could use to torment others... While Grandfather had never been particularly fond of the man; he had greatly respected him… that alone should state what kind of man Harth was. It was strange, how on the same day of his father's death he had received a phone call from old man Ezekiel telling him to come see him at his office… Not 'requesting' but 'telling' and needless to say it took a whole lot of nerve to even so much as dare to order Father around.

And yet here he was; walking towards the office of one of the people he hated the most. Not mourning the loss of his father, nor worrying about the funeral arrangements… He was leaving that all up to Monty. Now that the old man was finally dead so he could care less about what happened to his body. He was no longer the dutiful, sacrificing son… And he was also dead set against going to whatever funeral service that was going to be held, there was no love at all in his heart… There was no remorse… There was no feeling… who would've thought that a man with such a fiery powers had a soul that was covered in a thick sheet of ice?

Tearing his thoughts away from the events that had taken place earlier in the day Father began to wonder just what in the world that old man Ezekiel wanted. It was no secret that Ezekiel had a particular disliking for him… And it was this particular reason that Father had really come when the old sourpuss had called… If he disliked Father as much as Father disliked him, it must be something pretty important that the old cretin wanted to talk about. Whatever it was, he hoped this meeting would go nice and quick… he had a date with a bottle of Scotch and a box of Rocky Road ice cream this evening… the perfect way for him to deal with this mess. Normally Father very rarely drank… but tonight was going to be an exception… and Rocky Road was his favorite comfort food… of course there was another reason that Father hoped this meeting would go quickly. It was due to the fact that he really did not want to run into a certain someone who he hadn't seen in a very, very long time…

And that someone was named Mariah…

To put it quite frankly, she used to be the only friend he'd ever had. Mariah was Ezekiel's only child, his precious only daughter… She had long mocha brown hair that had gone down to the center of her back, her skin had been pale as ivory, and her eyes were like perfectly cut sapphires. And ironically enough she was the total opposite of her father; she was a sweet kind child and grew up to be a beautiful and loving woman. Father had first met when her when was 12 years old; when Harth had introduced her to Monty, in hopes of perhaps having Monty has his son-in-law one day... Yes everybody loved Monty… But while friendly with Monty, she proceeded to become very close to the much more timid Benedict… Much to the dismay of her father… Prior to meeting Mariah, no one had ever tried to be friendly to Benedict; in fact most people acted like he simply didn't exist… He had been a cowardly boy who had not aided his heroic brother in the assault against his tyrannical father… and in the end when his brother was victorious; it led to him being permanently alienated him from all kids his age. Except for Mariah… She was his only human companion for years. The only person he could talk to, the only person who ever bothered to listen to him. They remained friends all throughout their teenage years and even when they became adults.

Although Mariah had the patience of a saint, even she had her limit…

Over the long years of their friendship, Benedict Uno's heart grew darker and colder. With each passing day, he would find something else that he could become angry at for almost no apparent reason… With each passing year his hatred for children grew stronger and stronger. His once pale blue eyes turned golden with anger and malice and he began showing signs that he had inherited his father's demonic fire ability's and other such unnatural powers.

Again Mariah was the complete opposite; she loved kids and she very rarely got angry… And she had tried her best to stop the hatred that had begun to consume Benedict's life. But that turned out to be impossible… So as a compromise they just simply agreed to disagree… And it worked for a time. Benedict and Mariah were together for several more years… By that time he had long since fallen in love with his best friend… And finally one day he told Mariah that he loved her and asked her to marry him.

That was when things really went awry…

She had thought about it, and while she said that she loved him too… She wanted a family. She wanted to have children of her own; and she wanted him to know what love felt like, real love. Love that a real family could give to him. But unfortunately in this particular case he refused to have children and would not budge on his decision. He hated kids and he did not want any snot nose little brats getting between him and Mariah… He told her that, and he would not change his mind no matter how much she tried to talk him into it.

And that was when she left.

She kissed him and bid him farewell… Saying that if he ever changed his mind that she'd be waiting. And with that she was gone out of Fathers life forever…

Whatever light there had been left inside of Father's soul died that day. That was the day the silhouette first covered his entire bony frame… Why would any sane adult actually want some snot nosed little brats? It tore his black heart apart to know that his best and only friend would choose having some whiny kids over him. He couldn't figure it out…

That had been almost 10 years ago…

Ten long years… and he'd changed a lot over those years. During his seemingly never-ending war with the Kids Next Door, a thought had occurred to him… a thought that eventually turned into a very cold, cruel plot… and to make a very long story short the Delightful Children were the result of this plot. He had to admit, they were ideal children. Perfect in every way… annoying, but perfect… He forced himself to forget about his old friend, she became nothing more than a distant memory to him… and that was the way he hoped she would remain…

But about six months ago Father had gotten the surprise of his life. Mariah called him; right out of the blue! In what felt like an avalanche of emotions, all of the memories he had long buried seemed to come to the surface… He remembered that day; he'd been preparing another of his brilliant schemes to destroy those miserable little Kids Next Door; but when he got that phone call he immediately called it off. Much to the surprise and horror of his Delightful Children… and honestly, much to the surprise of himself as well… He'd spent the rest of that day just catching up with his old friend… they'd even agreed to meet up and have dinner in a few days. Mariah had said that she had something extra important that they needed to talk about. Well over the following days Father had spent virtually all of his time personally making sure that his mansion was spotless. On the day Mariah was actually to come over, he even cooked a lavish dinner for two in his excitement. But the planned evening ultimately ended in complete disaster…

Because Mariah never showed up…

Now that hurt… that hurt bad… and it was humiliating to boot. And as far as Father was concerned this was a sure sign that his old friend was no longer a friend at all, but a traitor. Why else would she get his hopes up so high only to have them come tumbling down as though they were hit with a sledgehammer? He even called her back asking if there was some reason that she couldn't make it… he expected her to call back, hell he prayed that she'd call back, but she never did…

So now here he was just entering the waiting room to old man Ezekiel's office. A large spacious, windowless, room decorated only with a few dying plants, and some disturbingly dark artwork hung upon the walls. There were also some uncomfortable looking chairs and a small coffee table with some old boring magazines stacked upon it. Father approached the secretary at the far side of the room. The woman looked like a re-animated drowned rat… She wore an ugly green dress that looked like it belonged in a museum rather than being worn by a living person. She also had a pair of obnoxiously oversized pink owl-like glasses, and last but not least it appeared that her greying brown hair had been recently dyed, only it had clearly been done incorrectly… leaving her with some patches that were far too dark and others that were completely untouched by the dye altogether.

"Benedict Uno, I have an appointment to speak with Mr. Harth." Father said flatly to this woman… to top off her ridiculous appearance she smelled like some god-awful cologne that had to be ten years past its expiration date…

"Mr. Harth has been expecting you." The woman said in a plain monotone voice as she began to file her nails, not even really looking at Father. "But unfortunately he is still in a meeting at the moment… please take a seat; he should be finished shortly."

Fathers' fiery aura flared angrily for a second; but it calmed down almost instantaneously… and with a defeated sigh he walked over to one of the nearby chairs and slumped down into it. Only to find that the chairs were indeed every bit as uncomfortable as they looked. It wasn't until he went to grab one of the boring magazines off of the coffee table that he realized he wasn't alone in this waiting room…

Sitting directly across from him was a young girl, probably no older than 9. She had long midnight black hair that appeared to go down to her waist; her skin appeared to be oddly pale almost as though she didn't get a lot of sun, her eyes were hidden behind a pair of black sunglasses that looked remarkably similar to the pair that Nigel Uno wore. She wore an ocean blue long-sleeved shirt that appeared to have a black and blue flame design on its elbows, around the collar, and finally a single black and blue flame on its chest. She also wore a pair of loose baggy black pants, and black sneakers. Also in her hair was a particularly beautiful handmade glass barrette in the form of a blue rose. Father took note of that barrette for a rather obvious reason… It looked far more beautiful than any normal kid would be seen wearing; and it looked like it had to be extremely expensive… Fathers' eyes narrowed suspiciously. Harth hated kids just as much, if not more than he did… so what the heck was a kid doing here? The girls head shifted slightly and she appeared to give father a bit of a half-interested sideways glance… but then shrugged and resumed what she had been doing prior to his arrival; drawing in a small sketchbook with a few crayons… perfectly content to ignore the silhouetted adult.

And that was the case for two very long hours…

"Be with you shortly my butt…" Father hissed angrily under his breath. Two hours of waiting around in an uncomfortable chair in a waiting room with his only company being some stupid kid was making him more and more irritable by the second. He was tempted to just get up and leave right then and there-

A small clattering sound brought Fathers attention back to reality. Apparently the girl had dropped one of her crayons and it proceeded to roll across the floor before stopping at his feet…

"Aw crud…" The girl grumbled as she looked over at Father whose eyes narrowed when it became obvious what she was going to ask...

"Could you please hand me that?" The girl asked politely… of course Fathers response was hardly polite back.

"Get it yourself brat!" He growled evilly back at the young girl… at first she just stared back at him a little surprised by his response. But then her expression quickly became extremely angry and she glared icily back at him.

"Who spat in your cereal ya' crank!" She snapped, causing Fathers signature fire to ignite around his body… although this surprisingly did not seem to intimidate this kid.

"What did you say?" He roared evilly. The girl didn't respond; she just took in a deep breath and exhaled slowly… then proceeding to completely tune out the raging adult in front of her and refocused her attention on the fallen crayon that had sparked this entire argument, having apparently decided that she should have just gotten the stupid crayon by herself to start with… she sighed in a somewhat defeated sounding manner.

And she moved her wheelchair forward, grabbed the crayon and rolled back…

Father blinked a few times in pure surprise, the flames of his anger seeming to dissipate almost instantly… he hadn't even noticed that the kid was in a wheelchair; of course he was so distracted it almost wasn't surprising. But just as he was about to say something else to this little brat-

"Mr. Uno!" Harth's secretary called to him, successfully stealing away his attention. "Mr. Harth will see you now."

"Well it's about time!" Father snapped, gladly trying to put as much space as he possibly could between himself and the girl in the wheelchair… simply because he didn't want to make it look like he was picking a fight with a handicapped kid… that would be low even for him.

As Father approached the door to Harth's office he noted the a trio of particularly well dressed individuals currently exiting the room… one was clearly a doctor of sorts, judging by his medical bag and the stethoscope round his neck. The other two Father guessed were possibly lawyers… but he wasn't so sure about that one; they could just be some of Harths business partners for all he knew. Either way, Father could have cared less about who they were… once they were out of the way he entered the office of Ezekiel Harth.

Father immediately noticed that the office was furnished lavishly, with its primary color scheme being red and gold. There, sitting in a large antique wingback chair, behind a large solid oak desk was old man Harth… If he had been standing Harth would have stood roughly the same height as Father. He wore a black suit and black shoes; his skin was pale and very wrinkled, his short hair was powder white but still had remained quite thick in spite of his old age, another thing that had remained virtually unchanged about Ezekiel were his eyes… even now, well past his prime his acid green eyes were haunting.

There was a long uncomfortable silence between the two men… and a shudder ran its way up Fathers spine. Harth had a glare that was chillingly similar to the angry glares his own father would give him. The fact that his father was now dead only added to the discomfort he felt under the older man's stare.

"Ah Benedict Uno… I'd say it's nice to see you; only it isn't..." Ezekiel growled irritably at Father… the old man's voice sounded like fingernails on a blackboard… Father clenched his fist and it took every single drop of his self-control not to launch off a fireball right at the old man's face right then and there.

"If the only reason you called me down here was to insult me Harth I'm leaving right now." Father snarled wickedly. But Ezekiel's eyes flashed dangerously…

"Sit down Benedict… we have to talk." Ezekiel said with a voice so cold that it could freeze blood in the veins… he gestured to a chair that was in front of his desk. Father sat down with a huff; he just wanted this to get this over with as fast as possible. Although he took a quick glance at the varying knick-knacks spread over Ezekiel's desk… just a picture frame that held a picture that Father couldn't see, a nameplate, an intercom that probably went to his secretary's desk, a computer, and oddly enough what looked like a bright purple glass flower… only it looked like it was made incorrectly, with several petals either distorted or missing… that struck Father as sort of odd. Ezekiel could buy whatever he wanted, and he could afford the best. Why would he have a piece of junk like that? Either way it didn't actually matter…

"What do you want old man?" Father growled… Ezekiel took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. Then he set his sights on the silhouetted man before him.

"Before we begin… I saw you arguing with Sasha. What was that about?" Ezekiel inquired darkly. Father honestly looked both surprised and confused.

"Who?"

"The girl in the wheelchair. Why did you yell at her?" Ezekiel questioned… but even Father could tell he was holding back a lot of what he really wanted to say.

"It was just over some stupid crayon." Father said flatly; what the heck this had to do with anything he couldn't even guess… "I didn't know she was in a wheelchair when I yelled at her though... not that it really matters; and I don't get what some snot-nosed little brat in a wheelchair has to do with anything." At this Ezekiel became noticeably angry and he leaned over his desk and got right up in Fathers face… hate coursing through every single wrinkle on his face.

"Sasha is NOT a brat Benedict! Don't you ever say that again!" He seethed, actually causing Father to flinch a little from the old man's booming voice.

"Still what does that kid have to do with anything?" Father snapped back; fire now freely engulfing his form. Ezekiel looked a bit taken aback; obviously he had not counted on actually seeing Fathers near legendary temper. But… his eyes suddenly fell as though he had suddenly become extremely sad.

"I'm afraid that my Granddaughter has a lot to do with why I called you Benedict." He said softly…

It was as though someone stabbed a knife right in Fathers heart…

"Wait… Granddaughter?" Father stuttered his eyes wide with a mix of both shock and horror. "But that would mean she's-"

"Mariah's daughter? Indeed… she's Mariah's only child." Ezekiel said coldly. Although his eyes were trained on Father; almost as though he was studying the younger man's reaction. Father was quiet for a long time… but then it was like a floodgate of anger and rage just broke free and washed over him. The fires of his wrath ignited around his body as he stood up; the flames bathed the entire room in a hellish red light.

"Well isn't that just great! Did you hear about the prank Mariah pulled on me and now you want to pull one on me too? By showing me my ex-girlfriends daughter? I bet she has a nice loving family to now doesn't she? I bet she now has everything she ever wanted!" Father raged. "Did you bring me here to tell me that? Did you bring me here to tell made to my face that I wasn't good enough for your daughter? Is that the real reason you called me here? Well is it?"

"Mariah's dead…" Harth said his voice now cold and distant. A look of bitterness now written across his face. This revelation stopped Father dead in his tracks. An icy cold feeling suddenly began to form inside of his chest.

"What?"

"Mariah's dead Benedict… She died six months ago." Ezekiel continued… But then he fixed his eyes on Father and a hate so powerful burned in his face it honestly looked like he could've killed Father right then and there. "She died... a few nights before she planned to visit you! A drunk driver slammed right into her car and killed her! And my granddaughter was flung through the windshield of the car and now might never walk again!" The old man snarled.

Father sat down very heavily. He hadn't seen this coming… He never even thought that Mariah may have been hurt or something of the sorts and that was why she didn't come. He suddenly felt both very foolish and nauseous all the same time… Even though he had tried to distance himself from the memories of his past, his old friend, he still couldn't believe that she was really... gone…

"What Mariah saw in you Benedict I'll never know… You were never good enough for her. But you were the only man she ever had eyes for. She loved you… While I don't even think you know how to love! Look at you, you're a broken doll! Broken by your father in a fit of rage because you took your mother's life when you were born!" At this Father's head snapped up, and he looked at Ezekiel like he had just grown another head. But Ezekiel looked at him and almost seemed to sneer at the reaction he had now gotten from him, as he doubted that Benedict knew this particular story.

"Oh that's right, you never knew… It's funny because your father would frequently tell me this story if he was drunk enough. I always thought it was odd that I was the one your father would call he needed a ride home after he drank too much… But there's a funny little story with your birth Benedict; something went wrong; and as your father put it, you came out of your mother in a sea of blood… Some vein or something had ruptured when your mother was having you and she died… It tore your father's soul apart. And he always blamed you for it. Just like I blame you for the death of my child… My poor sweet Mariah…" Ezekiel said quickly wiping some forming tears out of his eyes at the mention of his deceased daughter. He didn't need to say what he had just said to Benedict about his mother… But it wasn't a lie, and Ezekiel just wanted to make the other man hurt right now. And since his family was probably still a sore subject for Father, it wasn't hard for him to stab a sharp stick into that open wound…

Father was very quiet… If looks could kill Ezekiel would be dropping dead with multiple daggers in his back. He wanted this nightmare of a meeting to end… He wanted to go home and sit deep in the darkness of his mansion… most of all he just wanted to be alone…

"What do you really want Ezekiel?" Father questioned trying to act like what he had just learned about his parents didn't bother him… No matter how much it really did. Only now Ezekiel remained quiet before he shook his head put his face in his hands.

"No… No… It really wasn't you… You aren't responsible for Mariah death." He mumbled, quietly… So quietly that Father only barely heard him. If he didn't know any better he'd swear that Ezekiel was having a senile moment. That's when the old man looked at him, and he saw something totally different than the man he knew… What he now so was just a tired, broken, sad, lonely old man.

"Mariah's death is not on your head… I only wish it was. Mariah died because of me. I blame myself…" He whispered.

"If I would have let her tell you that you had fathered her child, maybe she'd still be alive today."

Now at this Father really jumped! What did Ezekiel just say? Oh no, no nonononononononononono eleventy-billion times no! There was no way he could have-

"But we always used protection!" Father exclaimed in pure horror. Ezekiel merely shook his head.

"Congratulations Benedict, you now know that condoms are only 97% effective in preventing pregnancy…" Ezekiel said simply watching now as fire once again consumed Father's form.

"I am going to be writing one nasty letter to a condom company about this!" Father roared… Although strangely enough in spite of the situation, this actually got a chuckle out of old man Harth. Who was now waiting for Benedict to calm down before they continued on any further with this meeting. And within another 5 minutes father had cooled down enough to be thinking a little more rationally.

"Okay fine so the brat is mine… I don't want anything to do with her; I hate kids!" He snapped. At this Ezekiel's eyes narrowed. And then he closed his eyes altogether… And his shoulders slumped almost in defeated manner.

"Benedict… There's a reason I called you here. Not only did I need to tell you about Sasha, I need you to take her to live with you for a little while." Ezekiel said, his solemn expression not changing.

"No way! No how! Not happening!" Father protested unintentionally forming fireballs around his tightly clenched fists. "Give me one good reason why I should take this kid in?"

"Because I'm dying? How is that one for you?"

Father gapped like a fish. He had not seen that one coming.

"I don't have long left Benedict… I only have six months left to live, give or take a bit here or there. And now I find myself with quite a big problem; aside from the warm breath of my maker on my back… except for me Sasha doesn't have any family. She's already lost her mother and now I'll be leaving her… She's going to have no one left. That's why I called you."

"Sorry to burst your bubble old man… But I already have Five kids of my own. My Delightful Children. What in the world would I want with a regular kid like her?" Father hissed evilly.

"Delightful Children? You mean those little brats that live in your house… I know all about them and how you 'Delightfulized'them. Quite frankly the thought of it makes me want to puke. And if you must know… I don't intend for you to permanently take care of Sasha. It would only be temporary, until I can find someone better… Her biological father or not you're still a loser and a little whiny brat in your own right. I would only need you to take care of her for the month, so I can finish the arrangement for her to live with someone else."

"Still why should I agreed to this?" Father demanded.

"Because… my daughter cared for you so much… And that girl meant the world to Mariah. Can't you do this one little thing for her sake?" At this something truly unexpected happened… the tiniest, nearly microscopic shred of light left inside of Fathers soul began to burn… reminding him that no matter how many ways he looked at it; Mariah had been his friend… at one point he loved her… he did owe her...

"…Alright… fine. I'll watch the brat for one month and not a day more." Father surrendered. And Ezekiel nodded, pulling out a cigar and a lighter from within his desk.

"That'll make you two even." Harth stated tonelessly, trying in vain to get the lighter to light… But; Father couldn't help but wonder one last thing… and if he didn't ask it now, it would certainly nag at him later on.

"Why did Mariah never try to tell me that she had a kid?" He questioned darkly.

"Because I talked her out of it." Ezekiel stated without any hesitation whatsoever. "When she originally left you, she didn't even know she was pregnant. But when she found out, she wanted to tell you… but I told her that you didn't want children, and if she returned to you with a child it would be like she was forcing you into something you didn't want and you'd only end up resenting her for it." Ezekiel said throwing the clearly dead lighter into a nearby waste bin. "Oh and you should know… Sasha doesn't know that you're her Father. I just told her she'd be staying with a friend of mine until my house has been renovated."

"And… she bought that?" Father questioned darkly. Ezekiel shrugged as he placed the un-lit cigar in his mouth anyway.

"Doubt it, but Sasha's a good girl. She doesn't ask too many questions when she's told to do something. She also doesn't know that I'm dying… and I want to keep it that way." Harth said flatly.

"That's going to be a nasty surprise old man." Father warned.

Not that Harth paid him any mind at all; he just pressed the button on his intercom. "Gertrude, could you please tell Sasha to come in."

"At once sir." The monotone voice of his secretary replied quickly. Within a few seconds the door to the office opened and the girl, Sasha, entered the room; smiling quite warmly at her Grandfather.

"Sasha, this is Father. The man who I said you'd be staying with for a little while." Harth said in an uncharacteristically nice voice, successfully earning him a strange look from Father not only because of his suddenly sweet voice, but also because it was the first time Harth had ever called him by his alias. But Sasha's face only filled with one very readable expression… WTF?

"What? Grandpa that guy's psychotic! I picked that up from talking to him for only 2 minutes!" Sasha protested.

"I am not!" Father snapped back at Sasha flames springing to life all around him once again…

"You're not helping your case Father." Harth said flatly, though emphasizing his name in a warning manner. "And Sasha, don't be rude… oh and would you mind?" Ezekiel said holding out his cigar. At once Sasha brought her hand up and a small ball of bright black and blue flames erupted from her palm and lit her grandfather's cigar for him.

The pipe nearly fell out of Fathers mouth…

Ezekiel puffed the cigar twice before exhaling a long contented sigh. "Ah, that's good." He said before suddenly broke out into a terrible coughing fit.

"Grandpa are you ok?" Sasha asked worriedly; but Harth just held up a hand and after taking in a few long rattling breaths ceased his coughing.

"I'm fine sweetheart, (cough) (cough) now (cough) you behave for Father… and take off your sunglasses, you don't need them when you're inside." The old man stuttered… Sasha paused, but eventually sighed and took off her sunglasses…

revealing her large amber colored eyes…

"Good girl… now go get your things and wait outside." And with that Sasha wheeled her way back out the way she came… Once again leaving the two men alone.

"I take it that any doubts she's your daughter have been successfully resolved?" Ezekiel said in a very contented manner.

"Aw shut up…" Father grunted… feeling that migraine he had from earlier just grow a whole level worse. "Anything else you wanna tell me before I go?"

"Only that she has Physical Therapy every Wednesday… other than that, you're pretty much set." Harth commented waving his hand in a way that indicated Father was dismissed. He stood; his back cracking loudly as he did so… but just as he was ready to leave.

"Oh and Benedict…" Harth said causing Father to cast him a glance from over his shoulder. "If you hurt Sasha… you'll regret it." The old man warned icily.

Father did not respond to this… he just walked out of the office and slammed the door behind now he was just too damn tired to care anymore. Although as he began walking out of this place he determined two very important things.

1) Never tempt fate by saying things can't get any worse…

2) This was going to be one long month…