This is my story for the "Rainbow Challenge" for the Chit Chat on Author's Corner Forum. Ladies, THANK YOU! :) Although this one was one of the more difficult ones to write...

My sentence: He looked down at snow white face swaddled in her pink blanket, wondering how he would help this tiny human to grow up happily.

My pairing: Emily Prentiss/Derek Morgan

I wrote it for dustytiger. I hope you enjoy! (And I hope you don't mind that I added a "the" between "at" and "snow". I think that was missing and it was the only word that really made sense at that spot. If you had planned for another word that totally would have changed the meaning of the sentence and, thus, the story please let me know and I will give it another go :))

That was the hardest prompt I have EVER received, girl! Because I don't dare to write romance between the characters. So... it's heavy friendship instead. My additional inspiration was the Song "Angel" by Sarah McLachlan, which explains the general mood.

- A Darker Shade of Life -

"We seem to be making it a habit to meet on Chicago cemeteries."

Emily's try at lightheartedness went mostly unnoticed by Derek. How could he possibly register anything remotely positive right now? He had just buried one of his sisters and her husband.

While his mother had chosen to put some distance between her youngest daughter's headstone and her own broken heart and retreat to relatives that had come together at the edge of the lawn closer to the fleet of cars his other sister had found solace in the arms of her long-time boyfriend.

Derek, on the other hand, couldn't seem to move a step. He hadn't taken his eyes off the engraved words in front of him since the priest had motioned for the coffins to be lowered into the ground that had only shortly before been freed from the leaves that were a sure sign of the beautiful fall the city was about to experience.

Emily watched as he brought his hand up to swipe it across his head. She knew that he was still trying to make sense of the fact that Sarah would no longer be there when he came home to see his mother and sisters any more. From now on there would only be his mom and Desiree.

And Abby.


"Where's Abby?"

It was the first time that he lifted is eyes to look around the cemetery and really see the few people that were left close by and had now gathered into a small group.

"Umm, I have her right here. I took her from your sister... err, Desiree, I mean... she..." Emily let out a sigh as she shifted the baby in her arms so that Derek could see her face. "She passed her to me when Carl came up to her."

She didn't even need to ask if Derek wanted to hold the infant. Instead, he reached forward and carefully lifted her out of Emily's arms and into his own. He gazed at her face and took in every crinkle and listened carefully to every breath the little bundle took. After what felt like an eternity he lifted his hand to tuck the baby blanket just a little tighter around his niece's body.

"I bet you didn't sign up for a life without your parents, huh, little lady?" He tried to make it sound at least a bit cheerful but failed miserably. Instead, he grimaced when yet more tears escaped his eyes.

He felt a hand on his shoulder and turned slightly to see Emily still standing there with him. She was by his side just like she had been ever since he had learned that his baby sister had never made it home from their anniversary dinner. Instead, she and her husband had been hit by a truck straight on. They hadn't stood a chance.

And left was Abby, their four months old daughter that was perfect in every shape and form.

"How much is this going to affect her once she's older? And how is she going to make it through the next months and years without mommy and daddy close by?"

Emily slowly rubbed her hand across his back and peeked down at the little girl snuggly wrapped in the blanket and cradled in her best friend's arms.

"She's a Morgan, how could she not?"

Derek breathed out what sounded like a sigh and a sob all in one and bit down on his lower lip.

"Derek, there's nothing that this family hasn't handled before and come out stronger than ever on the other side. I have no doubt that while this is the worst way to tear at a family's heart... you will do what is right for each and every one of you. Especially Abby. I don't doubt that for a second."

Emily took a deep breath as she was trying to control her own emotions that had threatened to overwhelm her ever since Derek had told her what had happened about five days ago. In the years that she had known Derek she had also learned more and more what it meant to have a family. A group of loved ones that was loyal and loving not only by blood but also by genuine love. When she had found out about Sarah her heart had broken for both Derek and his mother and sister.

And for Abby. Because the little girl had lost more in one second than most people would have to until very late in their lives.

"No matter what happens, Derek," Emily added as she laid her other hand down on his niece's head softly, "nothing is ever going to break the strength and closeness that define your family. And you never ever have to doubt that I will be there with you every step of the way."

Derek swallowed the next bout of tears and lightly covered Emily's hand that was still resting on Abby with his own.

He looked down at the snow white face swaddled in her pink blanket, wondering how he would help this tiny human to grow up happily.

But he knew that Emily was right.

Nothing was going to get in the way of making Abby's life a happy one.

I had this story finished when I realized that there's no way that a Morgan baby would ever be snow white... Sorry! I have been going over the sentence for weeks now but apparently didn't notice the elephant anyways...

Still, I hope you enjoyed it :)