Author: Pirate Turner
Summary: She can't believe that she sent him away when theirs is a super love that will last forever.
Word Count: 2,608
Date Written: 6 April, 2011
Disclaimer: Katie, Joshua, all other characters mentioned within, and No Ordinary Family are & TM ABC, Disney, and/or any other rightful owners, none of whom are the author; are used without permission; and may not be used without permission. Everything else is & TM the author. The author makes absolutely no profit off of this work of fan fiction, and no copyright infringement is intended.
She stood with the pain of every broken heart in history writhing and crashing through every fiber of her heart, soul, and very being. She couldn't believe this was happening, couldn't believe that she was sending away the only man she had and could ever love, and yet her mind knew that it was the best thing that could happen now, the only recourse she had left to protect herself and her friends who were more of a family to her than her own family had ever been.
Katie stood by the window, her arms wrapped around her small frame, and trembled as she fought down the tears welling in her big, brown eyes. She couldn't believe she was having to send Joshua away, but then again she couldn't believe that he had used his powers not only on Daphne but on herself as well. How many other times had he evoked his telepathy on them? How many other times had he controlled them, forced her to do whatever he wanted or to think or forget whatever he chose?
Could it be that she didn't even really love him, that he had made her think that just as he'd made her forget about his powers? No, she thought, her tears swelling, she wouldn't be hurting like she was now if their love had only been a telepathic trick. She did love him. She had always loved him, and she would always love him. He was the only man for her, and yet she could neither trust him or keep him around.
She had to send him away; it was the only way. Keeping him would only continue to endanger herself and her friends, and with everything he'd already done to them with his telepathy, there was no telling what else he might do. Yet, despite the fact that she knew she was doing the right thing, Katie hurt more than she'd ever hurt before in her life. She felt as though the very soul was being sucked out of her the longer he was gone and the more she came to realize that he wasn't coming back.
And it was her own fault. She felt like Kitty Pryde standing and watching Pete Wisdom sail away from her, like Pocahontas when she finally realized that John Smith wasn't returning. She felt like Batman without Robin, Cyclops mourning Jean Grey's latest death, and Superman having to fly away from Lex because he knew that it was the only right thing for him to do. She was doing the right thing here. There was no doubt about that, and yet there was also no doubt that she had never felt more horrible in her entire life!
Katie bowed her head, her hand pressed flat against the cold pane of the window, and let her tears overtake her. Her best friend's slender, powerful arms wrapped around her from behind, and though Katie felt Stephanie hugging her, she took no comfort in her best friend's touch, in her hero's concern, for the first time in her life. There was nothing left to comfort her, nothing that could make this harsh, cold reality any better or lessen the pain torturing her heart and soul. She felt like Romeo seeing Juliet dead, knew there was nothing she could do, and continued to cry silently, ignoring her oldest friend's attempts to comfort her as her very soul was ripped away.
She couldn't believe this was happening, couldn't believe that the love of her life had really returned or that they now had a baby. She kept thinking that, at any moment, some disaster was going to strike and either Joshua was going to be killed before her eyes or it was going to be revealed, as it had been earlier, that he wasn't her beloved Joshua as well. She sat at the end of the couch, relaxing and recovering after her ordeal of premature pregnancy, and staring at the man she loved.
"What?" he asked after a long moment.
She shook her head. "Nothing."
Joshua knew Katie more than well enough to know that, just as with most other women, "nothing" actually meant that something was bothering her deeply but that it was something to which she was not yet ready to give a voice. He reached out, took her hand, and gently entwined their fingers. "You keep looking at me," he commented softly, with a gentle, reassuring smile, "as though you expect me to disappear."
"No!" Katie blustered. "No, I don't want - Well - "
"Katie," he said and kissed the back of her hand, "I'm not going anywhere ever again unless you want me to go."
She blushed and lowered her eyes, her thoughts whirling. She had wanted so desperately to believe that he had returned to her earlier when the shapeshifter had been playing her, and even though it had never felt right with that supposed Joshua, she had almost let herself be deceived too long. She remembered every little sign that she had noticed in the wrong Joshua, every little misstep and misword, and, most importantly, every touch that hadn't felt quite right. She remembered the tests she had given and slowly raised her eyes back to meet her love's concerned gaze.
"It's not that," she said quickly. "It's just . . . I'm kind of hungry, and I don't really know what I want, so I was thinking of going out and just going and looking at the restaurants and stores and stuff until I find what I want."
"Okay," he said, brushing his lips across her knuckles and inclining his head in a nod. "But you're not going alone. The baby and I will go with you."
The shapeshifter hadn't wanted her to leave either, but then again, Katie realized, if her baby had already been born at that time and she had given the shapeshifter a chance to be alone with her child, the shapeshifter would have snatched the moment up in a heartbeat. When she would have returned, her baby and the pretend Joshua would have been gone. Instead, this Joshua was quick to neither try to forbid her from doing what she wanted or leave her or their child alone. She smiled tremulously.
"Katie - ?" Joshua started, knowing what she was thinking and hating himself and his ex-girlfriend for putting her in such a condition.
She blundered forward before he could finish speaking. "Do you remember the foggy day on the beach when you proposed to me?"
Joshua smiled, and her heart skipped a beat. His smile spread the same timid warmth that she had always seen coming from him when he dared to be happy. He scooted closer to her, closing out the distance that had remained between them. Keeping one hand entwined with hers, he cupped her face with his right hand and gently, loving caressed her soft flesh. His fingers threaded through her soft, brown hair, and Joshua smiled at her, his grin full of happiness also hinting of the sadness he felt that she would still distrust him after all this time. He wished she didn't have to second guess what she saw before her but understood her need to be sure.
"That's not the way it happened," he spoke softly, "and you know that, Katie. I - " But there was no need for him to tell her the truth of how he had proposed to her for Katie knew, in that second, as he gazed into her eyes with love and touched her face, hair, and neck with touches as soft and delicate as a butterfly's wings. She knew that his hands possessed a strength that was more than capable of killing a person, of practically ripping them to shreds, and yet his touch had never been anything but gentle with her.
It had also always completed her, and Katie knew her answer from the way he touched her in that very moment. The first warning she had had with the shapeshifter pretending to be her love was that her touch had not been completely comforting, reassuring, and warm. There had been a tingle there, as well, but it had been a tingle that had set the ends of her hairs on alarm, that had warned her that something wasn't quite right. And yet she had tried her best to dismiss that feeling as being her cautiousness about letting the man who had used his telepathy on her back into her life, world, and heart.
Thank goodness George had learned the truth and warned her for else there was no telling how long she would have let the shapeshifter play her game with her. She might have even managed to kidnap her baby. And yet the shapeshifter was gone, her real, true, beloved Joshua was with her again, and their baby was miraculously healthy. This was really the man she loved! His touch warmed her through to the deepest core of her heart and soul; made her heart quicken and body tremble in delightful, eager expectation with his touch; and finally filled the gaping hole with which she had been suffering since she had so foolishly sent him away.
This was her real Joshua, and she had been a fool to ever send her love away. At the time, she had thought that she was doing the only possible right thing, and yet now she knew how wrong she had been. She should have given him another chance to prove himself. She should have listened to his side. She should have let her heart stay open and listened to it instead of her overworking, overcautious brain. But she hadn't. She'd sent him away, but somehow she had been blessed with his return.
She felt like Cyclops watching Jean Grey emerge from the Phoenix. She had been waiting all this time for her love to return, just like Pocahontas had waited for John Smith, but unlike Pocahontas and John Smith, her beloved Joshua had truly returned to her and she felt every bit as much joy, if not even more, as the Indian Princess would have felt had she been able to be with her right man, her true soul mate. She felt like the heroine of every heroic couple who had ever been forced apart only to make it back to each other and one another's loving, waiting arms after countless trials.
She was whole again, and there was no more doubt left in her that the man before her was not truly her beloved Joshua. "I - I'm sorry," she murmured, and he softly drew his thumb across her quivering lips.
"Hush," he told her, his voice breaking with his own emotional mixture of sorrow, anguish, relief, happiness, and gratitude. "It wasn't your fault. It was mine. I never should have used my telepathy on you, on any of you." He hung his head, his hands dropping from the treasure of her body. "I was only trying to protect you, but I was wrong. I'm sorry."
"Oh, Joshua!" she cried out. Leaning forward, she clasped his head in her hands and lifted his face to look at her. "I know you were only trying to protect us, sweetheart! I should have listened to what you were trying to tell us, but I didn't! It's my fault, and I'm so sorry!"
"Don't," he pleaded and, pressing his fingers gently against her silken cheeks, caught the tears falling down her beautiful face.
"It's okay," she assured him, smiling through the tears that filled and sparkled in her big, brown eyes. "They're tears of happiness."
"I don't want to make you cry," he said quietly.
"You're not," she assured him. "I'm crying, because I'm so happy we're together again!" She threw herself at him and hugged him tightly, wishing with all her heart that she would never have to let go.
His heart thudded beneath her ear as he wrapped his arms gently around her and held her tight, also wishing the same. "I shouldn't have stayed away as long as I did." He hadn't had much choice, he thought to himself, having not yet shared the story with his beloved Katie of where he had been these last few months for he didn't want to worry her. He had been imprisoned, and, with no powers, he'd not been able to break free no matter how many times he had tried. He should have kept trying, though. He should have kept trying and not given up for even a moment until he had either succeeded in breaking loose or they had killed him.
But it didn't matter now, he thought. None of his past mattered any more. All that mattered was that he was back where he belonged, back with the Queen of his heart and soul, with the woman he loved, and she had not only accepted him but still loved him! He wore the biggest smile that had ever graced his face, his heartbeat thundering his joy underneath his lady love's ear.
"Promise me something," Katie murmured.
"What?" he asked.
She leaned up and looked directly into his eyes. "Promise me," she requested with a sternness that her voice never had been able to carry off all that well. "Promise me that you'll never leave me again, that you'll always stay with me, no matter what happens. Even if I'm a fool again and try to make you go away, promise me you'll still stay with me."
He cupped her face in his hands, feeling whole at last, having everything he'd ever wanted and yet never truly dared to believe that he could have in this one wonderful, amazing woman on top of him. "I promise," he said. "I promise I'll never leave you again and that I will always, always love you alone!"
She smiled, her eyes shimmering with more tears of happiness. "I don't know," she admitted softly, "how you can still love me after I sent you away."
"I could say the same about you still somehow loving me after all I did to you and your friends, but I don't want to scare away the only miracle I've ever had in my life again." Katie blushed, realizing that he was calling her that miracle. Joshua leaned his forehead against hers and vowed in a soft, gentle, and loving whisper, as he caressed her sweetly. "But I never stopped loving you, and I never will."
"Ditto," she whispered in response, not taking the time to tell him in more words than that for she was aching to be whole with him again. She kissed him then, and he returned her kiss with equal passion and ever growing love. The lovers didn't understand how, but somehow they continued to love each other with every passing moment, every new second, even, spent together and in each other's loving arms where they belonged. His mouth dipped open beneath hers, and her tongue slid boldly into his sweet contours.
They were home at last, reunited with their soul mates and whole once more, and no matter what happened from that day forward, they would never again part and always, always love each other with all of their being and more than mere words could ever hope to say any way! Knowing that words couldn't say what they wanted, they strove onward, showing each other that day and every day and night thereafter forever just how infinitely much they loved one another alone and always would. They were back together and whole once more at last, and they would stay together, happy, and whole, no matter what other obstacles came their way, forever after!