A/N: Sorry for not updating sooner. We just got my dad's old house sorted out and then he died, which was a bit of a shock. But I hope you like this, because I'm not really sure of what I wrote.
Henrik heard a knock at his office door. "Enter," he called. A man came in, about forty-five years old, with light brown hair and strikingly bright blue eyes.
"Isak Nilsson," he smiled, holding out his hand. Henrik took it, and he suddenly felt very nervous. It occurred to him that, along with his sister, he also had a brother-in-law and two nieces. The prospect of a family was something he'd forgotten a long, long time ago.
His brother-in-law wore an open smile, as if he'd just found something he'd been searching for. Isak had that soft look about him. He wore the kind of clothes that made him come across as a modern man with modern values. "So you're the famous Henrik," he grinned. It was immediately office that Isak's English was far better than that of his wife, who struggled to keep speaking it when she was distracted. His accent was not as thick, and he seemed more at ease with it.
"Yes, I'm Henrik," he gave a tiny smile. "Forgive me," he added when he realised he wasn't really showing his happiness very well. "This is a shock to the system, as I'm sure you understand, and it's taking a little while to fully understand what happens next."
"Henrik," Isak sighed, sitting in the chair opposite Hanssen. "Melissa moved us all over here to find you, and I welcome you with open arms if you make my wife happy. And I'm sure you could use the company. As far as I know, you have very little family left, correct?"
"That is correct," he answered, acutely aware of his over-polite tone and rigidity.
"Well, if you want to, you're part of our family now. I've always supported Melissa in trying to find you. Between you and me, I've always been curious as to what you'd be like," he gave a chuckle.
Henrik noticed now that he was taking a liking to Isak. He was laid-back, inviting and he seemed to have a sense of humour. He was good enough for his little sister. Wow. He never thought he'd be thinking those words to himself. He never believed he would be able to approve or disapprove of his sister's choice of partner.
"May I ask you a question?" Henrik asked politely.
"Fire away, my friend," Isak smiled.
"What did Melissa and Erika fall out over?" he asked his brother-in-law. "I wrote to Erika and she said that Melissa was living in Stockholm with Evelina. She mentioned nothing of the UK, you or Siri," he explained.
"Melissa started to resist Erika," Isak sighed. "The woman was paranoid about me. She thought I was going to ruin Melissa's life, and I was too relaxed, all the rest of it. She would avoid the question if she was asked about you, your father or why Melissa was adopted and you ignored. Melissa got tired of it. She moved to Stockholm with Evelina, and we lived separately only for a few months until she found some trace of you to find. I don't think they've spoke since we left Sweden," he finished
"And are you happy here?"
"Very," Isak smiled. "We both have jobs, we have a lovely home and two beautiful daughters. We have plenty of everything we need, and now we've tracked you down, we have all the family we ever wanted. If you want to be a part of it, of course. Nobody is going to force you."
"What do you do for a living?" Henrik enquired, genuinely interested.
Isak looked a little uncomfortable at this, and he knew he'd touched a nerve. "This is what started Erika off. Because I wasn't high-ranking or well-paid when we lived in Sweden. I was only a very junior welder. Then we moved here, and in the last six years, I've shot up. Welder, fabricator, mechanical engineer, car mechanic. It all overlapped. Now I'm Engineering Manager and I earn more than enough to provide for my family. But Melissa wishes to work herself, and I have no issues with that," he said.
"And what do you want from me? Do you want me as part of Melissa's life? Do you want me in your life, and your daughters'?" Hanssen continued, and this was beginning to feel like an interrogation. He just wanted to know where he stood. He wanted to know if he was welcome. He was so used to being rejected and let down by his family that he began to doubt what they wanted.
"Come with me," Isak ordered him. Henrik just stared at him, wondering what he was doing. But he eventually stood up and followed him back up to Darwin. From the main ward, he could see his nieces. One was only small, one was in her early teens, but both were very pretty. Beautiful, even. "What do you see?"
"I see a family," Henrik answered simply. "A happy family," he added thoughtfully. "I don't want to disrupt that. I don't want to upset the balance you have, or confuse your children."
"It's not just any family, Henrik," Isak contradicted him. "It's your family. Evelina knows about you, and she is fourteen. She's old enough to understand. She's even helped look for you. Siri is very young still, but she knows we are looking for someone important."
"He's right," a female voice said. Henrik turned to his left and found the petite figure of Jac Naylor at his side yet again. "I've been able to hear them for the past half an hour. The oldest one is all excited, and the youngest's been giggling. They want to know you." He felt her small hand on his arm, and she continued, "Go in and talk to them, at least. You're never going to know if you never even try. That was my mistake. Don't you make the same one."
He looked down into her eyes and saw rare, raw sincerity. And he knew she was right. He couldn't throw the chance away like that. It wasn't fair on Melissa, for a start. All those years of unending effort could not go to waste just because he was frightened.
Isak opened the door and gestured for Hanssen to walk through it. Jac nodded, but he felt is feet rooted to the floor. He couldn't move. So Jac did what only Jac would dare do – she pushed him gently forward so he could walk again. The first thing he saw was Melissa's smile, and he knew he was doing the right thing here.
Immediately, the oldest girl stood up, her thick brown curls flying away behind her. Hanssen held out his hand for her to shake, but she pushed it away. A moment of dread hit him as he wondered if his oldest niece was angry at him for his years and years of absence in her life. He wouldn't be able to blame her. She wasn't to know what an utter mess his family turned into the second they lost his mother.
He noticed she, like him, was really quite tall, and slimly built. Her eyes were like his, too. Deep and dark against her quite pale skin. There would be no doubt there were related.
That dread left when she pulled him into a hug. A hug so tight he didn't think the tall, skinny fourteen-year-old was capable of such force. What surprised him more was that he actually responded, his arms wrapped tight around her, just glad he was being accepted by her. He knew Melissa and Isak accepted him already. He had worried about Evelina in particular. Teenagers were temperamental at the best of times, even more so when they had their little world, their personal universe, messed with.
"I'm Evelina," she said quietly into his ear. "Thank God we've found you."
He held on to her tightly, and realised he was wanted here. They'd spent years looking for him and he'd never known it. He'd sat here and tried to forget while Melissa had done the complete opposite. "I'm Henrik," he whispered back. "Thank God you found me."
Hope you like it!
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