A/N: I wasn't sure where to cut this chapter off, so there's a lot going on in terms of learning about both Aly and Lindsey (in his childhood.) I hope you enjoy it!
Aside from the three minutes of audio torture for Lindsey, the trip home one of awkward silence. Luckily they didn't have a far ride to go. Even more luckily, Lindsey found a space around out front of the building. "Well, here we are," he announced when they were both out of the car and facing the building.
As they approached the apartment door from the elevator, he saw Welcome Balloons tied to the doorknob and a gift bag with flowers sticking out of it. He wasn't the only one who took notice.
"'Lo-ons!" Aly said, by far the happiest she had been all day. She tried to tilt her head back enough to see Lindsey. "Me?" she asked, meekly.
/I should have thought of that. What would I do without Sam?/ "Of course there for you. Who else would I get them for? Look, there's a gift from my friend, too," Lindsay picked up the gift bag. /It's not the worst thing I'll be going to hell for…" "So you like balloons, huh?" he questioned as they entered the apartment.
Aly nodded then moved her head in different directions to look around her new home. Everything was put-away, clean, organized and not very colorful. Just like her grandfather's office and the rooms in her grandparent's house that were "for show", which she never understood the point of having them so sometimes people would take a quick look. Plus, if she had it her way, all rooms would be red, or orange, and maybe some purple, so they wouldn't all be the same.
Lindsey noticed her looking around and made a different assumption as to why. "This is smaller than what you're used to, I'm sure…" he said looking around the room himself, feeling like the place was somewhat inadequate. He thought those days were long behind him. By the time he was in high school his family was renting a basement apartment, of a multi-family house, by far the nicest place they had lived in in a long while, though that didn't say much, not nearly as nice as Sam's placed looked. He was embarrassed to bring girls and friends over, since they used their basements for parties and such. He then decided to explain the living arrangements, and the probable other differences. "I did live here by myself but now it's just me and you," he answered, ending it with a pat on her shoulder. /Before that I lived with a vampire/
"Yea?" she said as if it was a whole new concept. To her it was.
Lindsey sighed. "I cook, basically everything your family has people do, I do. Except on Saturday's when a cleaning lady does come."
Aly looked away from him, shyly, "I…no…"
"You're not missing out on cleaning. I bet I can teach you how to cook," he offered, trying to save her from going on. It was obvious she disagreed. "I have to figure out how to do different things at work all the time, we'll just get creative, you'll be my little assistant in no time." /Great, start making promises you might not be able to follow through on, or maybe won't have time too. That's going to make her feel good./ Upon seeing how surprised Aly looked by the gesture, as if nobody in her family had ever considered she could somehow at least try something like that, he decided to change the subject before he started asking questions that would anger him again. "Is it too cold for you in here? I always have the AC on high…"
"No." A thumb-up went along with the answer.
"We're good roommates already. So do you want to see your room?" She did. Lindsey put the gifts from Sam on the coffee table and then showed her to her new bedroom.
He didn't think there was enough time to repaint without leaving the room smelling so the original tope walls were left, though Sam insisted on getting pictures of ballerina's and other girl-y pictures. It was quite the girls' bedroom for a two day job. The large canopy bed was right when you open the door, a closet behind the door, toy boxes, toys on shelves he put together, book shelves he put together himself, and a dresser/armoire, a reclining chair and a small TV on a stand made up the rest of the room. He and Sam tried their best to make as many items as possible kid reachable, but now he was thinking how she was going to get around the room, if she could. He walked around to stand in front of her. Once there he began running a strand of her curls around his index finger. "Well, how about I get you out of that thing now, huh?" She liked that idea. Shoes were the first to come off. He bent down in front of her undid the straps, and began to untie her right shoe, when suddenly it made a connection with his chin, and Aly's knee banged into her table.
What followed Lindsey would never forget. The only words to describe Aly's reaction, was a state of absolute panic. She immediately said she was sorry, several times. Lindsey also was pretty sure she also tried to say something about not meaning it, and possibly heard "bad" in the mix, but the more worked up she got, the harder it was for him to understand what she was saying. Forgetting the shoes, he picked her up as fast as he could in an attempt to calm her. He told her "it's okay," almost as many times as she tried to apologize. It had dawned on him that he wasn't actually aware of what had really just happened, but he knew he had to slowly build up to getting that information. As he tried to hush the crying girl in his arms, he could not help but think of his father. One attribute that not even Lindsey could take away from him, despite his faults, was that he was a good caregiver, emotionally, when it came to sick or injured kids. He was more physically affectionate with the girls, because boys had to be little men, but he also had a knack for getting the boys mind off what was ailing or hurting them and focus on sports talk and such. There was no doubt in his mind his father would have settled her already. Lindsey stopped using the hand he was using to stroke her back and hair, as he held her in the other arm, and used it to turn her head up to look at him. "Don't I keep saying to calm down? It's okay," he insisted, resolving to try to reason the situation out with her instead of just hushing it away.
The little girl started to sniffle and open her mouth, but was cut off before she could say anything.
"No. No buts, or anything. Did you mean to do that?" he asked, she immediately shook her head no. "So you have nothing to be sorry for. I am certainly not mad at you for doing something you did not mean to do," he went on to explain. /Honestly, I wouldn't blame you either if you had./ He leaned over to the night stand, still holding her, to get some tissues to wipe her face from all the crying she just did. "Will you tell me if that's happened before?" he asked as he wiped her face. She nodded. "Oh," he frowned. Once he put the tissue down he moved that hand down to her capri pants that went a little past her knee, "can I look?" He was given permission. Upon seeing a bruise clearly forming, and noticing what looked a few older ones, some in that area, a few to the outter side of the knee/leg, he once again repeated "Oh," but this time it was with a lot more sympathy, and guilt. Had it been one of his sisters, or possibly even himself or his brothers given the specific circumstance, Lindsey thought about how his dad would be kissing them. But he did not feel like was appropriate to do given they just met. The resentment towards Kristina and feeling like he was failing her, were the things stopping him from outright feeling sorry for her, perhaps even saying something of the sort, which he had a feeling she wouldn't like. Trying his best to not be awkward, he decided to gently go over said marks on her leg with three finger tips. "You're a tough cookie, aren't ya?" he commented, with his accent unintentionally stronger than usual. "That's what my Gram, ah, Grandma would say," he then added. /Though I'm sure Gram's busy cursing me from her grave for having a child out of wedlock…/ Aly didn't know what a 'tough cookie' meant, but she did know that cookies were awesome, so it must be a good thing by association. Her pleased look encouraged Lindsey to go on. "Uh-huh, that's what she'd say about you; 'that girl, Lindsey, is…"
The four-year-old became confused. "Huh?" she interrupted.
Lindsey was equally confused for a moment. "Who's my grandmother?"
Sure, Lindsey was an educated man, but it had been decades since he was four, so child logic was something he was going to have to put work into relearning. "Oh. Lindsey. Me."
"Oh," she chirped. "No… da-d?"
The smile he gave the little girl on lap was slight, but for the first time all day, it was completely unplanned and genuine. /Hah. Kids./ "Yes. I'm your dad. But Lindsey is the name my parents gave me."
"Ah." The look she gave him clearly indicated if she could have asked him 'why didn't you just say that sooner,' she would have.
With the conversation having gone off track, and Aly no longer having a meltdown, one of the shelves of toys on one of the other walls caught Lindsey's attention, since it had fallen onto the floor. "Hey," he commented, as he headed over to the area, with Aly –and Elmo- on his hip. "That was all in place before. Can it be I'm not as handy as I think I am?" Lindsey had not expected Aly to answer, or have an opinion, really. He was completely unaware by pointing out the broken item had ignited a silent panic in his child. Aly gave him a one-arm shrug as she silently hoped, pleaded with herself, that it really was an accident he made. If not, that could mean it was her fault, and maybe that could lead to him finding out what can happen around her, her mother did when bad/strange things would happen only around her, causing her mom to always say it must be her. If one parent figured that out, Aly's new parent maybe would too, even though her new parent seemed to already like her more than her mother ever did. But still, if he knew, he might not want her in his house anymore, and if he gave her up, where would she go? It was a lot for such a small child to have on her mind. "Are you okay?" Lindsey unknowingly interrupted her worrying to ask, when he noticed she looked in some kind of distress. The little girl gave him a small smile. Saying she was Okay would have been a lie, Aly did not lie. Lying was wrong. But just not saying anything wasn't a lie, she figured. Lindsey chalked it up to stress from the whole situation and decided to occupy her mind again, since that seemed to be the only way to get her to look less than miserable. "Are you hungry?" She wasn't. "You want a drink?" She did. "Well then, let's go get you one!," the new father was back into his trying-to-be-cheerful tone.
Samantha's short-jokes over the weekend lead to Lindsey buying a booster seat for his table, just in case. When they reached the table, he had her in it half way before he stopped himself when he realized he hadn't even seen if she needed it. Plus, he felt bad about having taken her out of one confining chair just to place her in another. "Oops. Can you sit on a regular chair?" He questioned her in a manner Aly often heard grown-ups speak to each other. As she said yes, she hoped even more this new relationship would work out. "Sorry," he went on to apologize. "I did warn you I was new at this parenting-thing." Elmo, however, got the booster seat.
"Ye-ah," she agreed. "S'k-ay."
"Thanks for going easy on me." /Aw. Can she really be this passive or maybe she's a better actress than Kristina could ever dream of being./ The first beverage Lindsey offered her was Ice Tea. She accepted. "You know it might taste different than what you're used to," he advised as he held up and pointed the pitcher, not a store-bought container, in his hand. "I make it myself. Where I grew up most people did. If I do say so myself, mine is better than other homemade ones I've had. Certainly better than the stores. When it's time to make the next one, I'm gonna show you how it's done." That was one promise he did not have a doubt he'd follow through with. He always made time to make his favorite drink, regularly. Unfortunately, when Lindsey went to get a cup, he realized he and Sam had forgotten child-friendly kitchen goods. He had heavy glasses that were rounder the typical "juice" size one was actually a set intended for Scotch/Whisky. Once he set the half-way filled glass on the table, he watched Aly put her tiny right handy on it as she struggled to get her left one to do the same for less than a minute when he felt like he should step in. "May I?" He put his hand on the glass. Permission was granted right away. "First just see if you like it. If you don't like it, tell me."
The small sip and the way the four-year-old swished said tea in her mouth, reminded the lawyer of the way (often pretentious) people would taste wine. It was amusing, but it didn't compare to what followed. "YUM!" The loud, squeaky, declaration was accompanied by wide, happy brown eyes, and a big smile. For the first time, they both gave each other big, genuine, smiles as a result.
"Thanks!" He took the chair next to her before giving her another sip. The tension he had been feeling in increasing amounts since Friday had finally gone down a little. The next time Lindsey raised the glass, Aly began to gulp it down, which caused him to cut her off before, since something told him it wasn't being done from extreme thirst. "Woah. Slow down. No need to turn into a fish, I've got all day, plenty of time," he explained. His choice of words elicited Aly to think of a certain moment with her mother.
Three-year-old Aly was sitting in her chair in her Grandparents large kitchen at the non-formal table, sipping her fruit punch almost rhythmically with the sound of her mother's tapping sandal on the hardwood floor. Kristina let out a sigh. "Are you almost done?" she asked, as she set the drink down, still with punch in it. "Tom?!" She then yelled out to the butler. "Can you take over yet?" The butler answered back he was still fixing an outfit for Kristina's mother, Ann. He did not mention that before Mr. and Mrs. Young went out that afternoon, they instructed Tom to try and get Kristina to spend as much time with her child as he could. Originally he was asked to leave the house too, and he did understand their perspective/effort, but he gave them a list of chores he just "had to" get done; he wanted to be around for his favorite little charge, knowing she was eventually going to need him. After Kristina got her answer, she focused her attention back to her daughter. "I don't have all day to stand here, you know." Even if Aly could have talked at that point, she didn't think she would have known what to say, even though it was far from the first time she'd heard her mother say she didn't have time in one way or another. "Really, I don't have time for this," this time Kristina sounded almost defensive. "I'm going to this event where I'm modeling these pants," she pointed to the crisp white jeans she had on. Aly-then-Angelica groaned, from what she had heard of modeling, it seemed super boring. She had been forced to try once, and didn't even care that her mother assumed she just couldn't do it, couldn't focus that long/ take the direction to look happy or at least miserable, as a result of constant yelling of sounds because she was so very uninterested.
"Can't you try yourself? Doesn't grandma and grandpa pay that woman to try and teach you now?" Kristina huffed regarding the drink. Aly did try for a few seconds, before stopping since she did not want to spill it. For a moment, Kristina softened the look she gave her daughter. "You know, Claudia and Kylie," referring to Kristina's 'best friend', and her child, as she fussed with her long brown and high-lighted blonde hair "model together. We're prettier than both of them." Kristina switched to running a hand through Aly's hair. "Do you know how long it would take them, and even me, to try to get these curls?" She pulled back, but was still next to the table and sighed. "It would be so much better to be like more like Kylie and other kids. I mean, you'll be in school before you know it." As Kristina went on her tone went from wistful to disappointment, yet in her head she was giving 'needed' advice, oblivious to how Aly was getting increasingly upset as she went on. Aly knew where she was going. It's where she always went. "Okay, there's that boy, ah, Billy? But you can't expect to fit in with other school kids just because you have him, as long as you're still fitting in the nursery-crowd better…it won't look good for him, either." Kristina finally noticed Aly was spilling put tears, very upset. "What? I am being honest."
Aly did not kick the table, neither Aly or Kristina's hands were anywhere near the cup, as Aly continued to cry over feeling like a disappointment, Mom's kid-baby. So it was quite a surprise when the cup tipped on its side, spilling bright red punch onto Kristina's 'very important' pants. "What the HELL?!" Kristina screamed. "What am I going to do? How the hell did this happen AGAIN?! Again, with only YOU around no one else will believe it came out of nowhere! Again."
Before Aly could think about her mother's yelling any more, or how Tom came into the room, and insisted to Kristina something must have happened to the table, and then making Aly her favorite Chocolate-Chip cookies to try and cheer her up, a tap on her shoulder pulled her back into the present time. "Hey, Kiddo, where'd you go just now?" Lindsey asked, recognizing the look of someone in deep thought. Uncomfortable hesitation was the result. "You don't have to tell me," he added, as much as he did want to know. "Maybe some other time? Whenever you're comfortable with it." /That is if she can tell me. Nice thinking after the fact, Educated Idiot./
Aly was used to her grandparents always making excuses for her mother or just ignoring things she would say or do. Tom used to tell Aly her mother was wrong about things, when no one else was around, but he had not been doing it that much since Aly started to talk (unknown to her because Tom did not want to chance any repeating going on.) Her father, however, seemed to have no problem bringing up her mother, and doing so in a way that also made Aly feel good about herself. He seemed smart, so perhaps he could be right about Kristina being wrong. Aly figured if she told him what she was thinking about, maybe he would say more nice things to her. Or maybe he would take her mother's side and say "well, careers are important and make people have moods," as her Nana said to her later in the night of that memory. There was only one way for Aly to find out how it would go. After all, this father of hers was even already Okay at understanding her trying to say things. She had to give it a shot. Well, part of it a shot. She was not going to attempt to say anything about the cup spilling. Just the part that she thought he'd want to hear that maybe he'd see as not her fault. "Ma," she said, barely above a whisper. Lindsey's head immediately snapped to look her in the eyes. Aly sighed before going on. "No. …Mo-m…no…" The last word she said Lindsey could not understand.
"Your mom? Your mom no.. what?" he questioned, trying very hard to figure the statement out. Aly tried again but it was babble. /Damn./ "I-I'm sorry…" It was the sincerest apology he had probably ever made. She, his child, was trying to open up to him, and not only did he not understand her, he could not think of a way to help her along. "You wanna try again?" he asked, as he placed both of his hands on her left arm, an attempt at comfort, even though in that moment he felt useless; like he failed her. Again.
"Ma," Aly started again. There was hesitation before she went on, worrying that maybe his patience would soon wear out. But then she had a stroke of luck. The very shiny watch on his wrist had been exposed by his shirt sleeve riding up, caught her attention. "No," she continued, but instead of saying anything after, she patted the watch with her right hand, and repeated "no."
Lindsey's blue eyes moved back and forth from the watch to her face, fascinated watching her at work. /Mom, Kristina, No, Watch? Mom no watch? What did I say before tha-/ Finally, Lindsey was sure he had it, as much as he didn't want it to be true, he kind of did hope what had just played out in front of him was what he saw it as. "Your mom didn't watch you?" he questioned, before going right into his second guess. "Did she say she 'didn't have time for you?'"
Aly was relieved that was finally over with, but all she answered with was a nodded, because she was worn out and was becoming slightly nervous at what his reaction would be, especially when he smiled after her nod.
"The time part, is that what you were trying to tell me?" She nodded again. He smiled more. There would be plenty of time to curse Kristina for not giving him the kid she clearly didn't want sooner, later, on his own time. There was a much bigger issue he decided to focus on. One Sam would certainly be proud of him doing. Plus, it did involve putting Kristina down "Well, that's understandable," he stated in a fairly light, explanatory tone; "It takes a lot of time, it's hard for people to understand clever people, if they're not smart themselves, and You?" he switched over to professional-informative mode, "You're a very clever little thing. Of course someone average would have to spend a lot of time catching up to someone so smart." Sure, the little research he did on the internet about kids over the weekend kept saying "parents should not talk badly about the other parent", but in typical Lindsey-fashion, he was convinced this was exception to the alleged rule. He showed restraint by using the word 'average' instead of the far worse ones he had in his head. "I wasn't even as smart as you when I was four, though I thought I was pretty smart," he added, not bothering at all to conceal how impressed, on an intellectual level of course, he was.
Aly bit her lower lip and slightly blushed at all the nice things said about her. Her grandparents and Tom also said she was smart, pretty and so-on, but she still got sent away, so she was pretty hesitant to fully embrace her current situation. It was a good start, though.
/That face! Adorable…wait, since when do I say adorable?/ Lindsey would eventually learn that was a frequent expression of a pleased Aly. "Why don't we go in the living room? Hang out, relax?" he suggested, partly because he noticed Aly's lower back seemed to be starting to look not at sturdy as when he first sat her down. He made a trip back for the drinks, and set Aly on the sofa, in the corner with a pillow behind her back, which she leaned again, and placed Elmo next to her. Once she looked settled, Lindsey asked her if it would be okay if he went to change.
At first Lindsey started to change in record time, not wanting to leave her alone for long. But when the pile of gifts in his room caught his eye, he paused. Four were wrapped in Christmas paper, and four in Birthday, to represent the holidays they had missed. A children's guitar he went out and bought on his own was one of the items in the pile. "She probably can't use them…" he muttered to himself. /What do I do with them?/ It wasn't like she was expecting them, so he figured he would come up with something at another time. He wanted to get back. Upon his return to the living room, wearing jeans and a white t-shirt, he found Aly crying, sobbing, again. She hadn't been nervous, as she was previously. Just sad. "What happened?" he immediately asked as he sat next to her. "Are you okay?" She shook her head, as tears kept flowing. "What is it? Huh?"
Aly slowly composed herself, as her father's hand stroked her hair, to answer. "B-b-b-" she started to stutter, but her emotions started to flare up again. Re-composing herself, she tried again. "B-b-en. No… B-en!" she finally got out.
Lindsey blinked a few times before responding. "Ben? Who's that?" Without giving it much thought, Lindsey decided to take a risk in an attempt to lighten the mood. As he rubbed his elbow into hers, he teased, "You have a boyfriend?"
Aly immediately stopped crying. "N-oooo," she defended with the utmost seriousness, as if that was just the worst possible thing she could have been accused of. "Eew!"
"Well, I had to check," imitating her seriousness. /It worked. Huh./ "So is this Ben just your friend, who's a boy?"
Aly frowned. "B-ff." She said BFF like their sounds, not by their names. The crying started again.
The first time Lindsey ever heard the term "BFF" (Best Friend Forever), was from Kristina; even though she often would say horrible things about hers. Girls around the office used the term. Sam loved to say as far as most people go, it meant, Best Friend Fornow. Aly, clearly, was not going to move on from her non-boyfriend, boy friend any time soon. "I bet he's missing you right now. Right now." /I wonder how the hell Kristina is going to justify where Aly is when this kid wants to see her?/ "You know, when we get settled here, I can try to contact your friends parents." The crying stopped, and Lindsey had giant, hopeful, doe-eyes locked on him. "Yes, we'll call him. He'll know you didn't leave him and since you guys are best friends, I'm sure he can't wait to see you. Just give it little bit of time, okay?"
"Uh-huh," she agreed immediately.
"But are you sure he's not your boyfriend?" he couldn't help tease. Oh yes, was very sure. "I bet he misses you a lot already. If he's your friend, who's a boy, I'm sure I'll like him too," he surmised. "I bet your mom misses you." Lindsey had no idea why he said that. He didn't believe she did.
"No," Aly replied, believing it even less. To her, it was a fact.
Continuing speaking without thinking, "My mom doesn't miss me," was the next statement Lindsey blurted out. That one shocked him. He never told anyone that. Ever.
Aly gasped and her eyes widened, in empathy. He was nice and probably grew up like other kids, how could he not be missed?
"It's her fault, not mine. Just like it isn't your fault with your mom," he offered up. Then the blurting out facts of his past continued. "She liked having babies. But babies grow into kids, y'know? So when a baby got older, she had another baby, and so on, until it just didn't happen again." It felt strangely liberating to say that. The only times he ever mentioned anything about his mother was the time he actually told his mother off before he moved away and in some conversations with Kelly. As much as he liked Kelly, now and then somehow, for reasons Lindsey did not get, Kelly would suggest giving her another chance, claim she's a better grandmother, Lindsey would say he was far too easy on her and he's letting himself get walked all over. An argument would ensue, and they didn't like arguing. That was a one of the key factors in why their contact was kept to a minimum. Another way Lindsey knew Kelly talking to him resulted in Kelly having to hear stuff from the family. Taking care of a family, working, brought enough issues into life, Kelly was one person Lindsey always got along with his whole life, he did not like adding problems into his life.
"Ooh," A pout and empathy-filled eyes accompanied Aly's attempt at comfort.
Lindsey shook his head. "No, no. Don't you feel sorry for me. I-it's fine, nothing really. It was all along time ago anyway. I shouldn't have said it. You've been through worse. But y'know, you should know that sometimes, people, Mom's, are just not what they should be. It's not you."
She pointed at him. "Da-d?"
"Oh my dad. Sometimes I think he might miss me He… he… we're okay, he wasn't a bad Dad… but he's stuck up for my mom…"
Aly nodded, knowingly, "Na-na, … Po-p-…Po..-p."
/So they do enable Kristina. But does that mean they're good to Aly? That better be the case, at least./ "You like your Grandparents? They're good to you?"
There was hesitation. Up until Friday she would have said yes right away. But they left and then Mom gave her away and she did not know if they were Okay with that. "Uh-huh…." She was obviously confused.
The conversation was getting depressing and Lindsey figured the little girl had had enough of that. Changing courses he told her to 'hold on', as he got up and pulled a picture out of his desk draw and showed her the two adults, kid and newborn around a hospital bed. "That's my brother, your Uncle Kelly, and his wife, your Aunt Amanda. They are definitely going to want to see pictures of you."
"Yeah?" She looked curiously.
Lindsey pointed to the boy, "These are your cousins, that's Luke, he's a little older than you. Five, going to be six." He pointed to the infant, who in the picture hadn't spent 24hrs in the world. "That's Emma. She just born, here. Like two weeks ago."
"I know, tiny right?"
"Yea." She was fascinated by the small pink child. Her fascination, however, could not fend off her sleepiness. A yawn escaped her mouth soon after.
"Aw, you must be so tired after the days you've had. Try and sleep now." Aly was too into the idea of napping. Babies napped. She was four. "C'mon, lay here and do it. Just close your eyes and see what happens." Lindsey moved the pillow that was behind her to the surface of the sofa and laid her down on top, followed by covering her with the throw blanket nearby. Further convincing was not needed as she went out almost immediately.
While Aly slept the time was going to be utilized to investigate just what condition she had and attempt to contact Kristina to inform her she was now his number one target of revenge. A phone call to Sam would be made, too, if she didn't call first since Lindsey figured she's dying to hear from him. But his plans were stalled at first. Sleeping children generally were supposed to give off a look of peace, content. But there he was on the couch, looking at his daughter asleep, and clearly uncomfortable. It was not the first time he'd seen that.
Eight-year old Lindsey tried his best to read his schoolbook. Read. Concentrate. Get his mind off his sister Charlotte who was asleep on the mattress he too was sitting on. Charlotte had the flu, so she got the mattress that was on the floor of the room his family rented. Even asleep she looked miserable. Trying not to look at her, Lindsey glanced up at his brother Jamie and his father throw a football they had found to each other. Lindsey did not understand his father's attitude that he needed to spend time with the family instead of spending every single minute of the day and night attempting to find work. If Lindsey was eight, he would have been looking for work. When Charlotte woke up Lindsey asked their dad to sit with her, and he did, eventually, for a little bit. As long as he could stand it, as he felt helpless watching his child suffer and not being able to help her. When Lindsey went to their Mom she reminded him she was nursing the infant and everyone should be careful not to spread the germs around. She didn't sit with her. Lindsey did. At one point Charlotte told him that if he got sick, not to worry, because she was going to sit with him too, even though he would say No because she was the whole-year-younger Baby Sister. That day never came. Lindsey had gotten fairly sick about two years later, but by that time Charlotte had been gone for two years. She went with her brother sitting with her as he said he would.
The sound of Lindsey's ringing cellphone brought him back out of his own head. Unsurprisingly it was Samantha. He shut the ringer quickly as to not wake Aly up. He would call Sam back in a moment, in his room. It was around when Sam usually took lunch so it was okay to talk. She wasn't at work. Work. Wolfram and Hart. Lindsey had been so caught up with Kristina since they got home, in part because he called in a few favors so the custody papers wouldn't officially be filed until the next day, that he hadn't spent much time thinking about what his job could mean for Aly. "I'm going to pull this off," he whispered to his sleeping daughter. "You're going to be safe and your father is going to get the right people to get you as well as you can be." /At least, finding out the medical terms aside, there should not be any more big surprises./
A/N: Yep, Aly has way more going on than your other 4-year-olds. Up next: Lindsey talks to Sam, does some research on (what he knows) about Aly and tries to contact Kristina. Thank you for reading. Comments and even suggestions in reviews are appreciated and really considered if they can be worked in.