A/N: I haven't updated this in so long. I've missed it. Hope you guys have too!
Meggie thought it would be hard to slip back into her old routine and house. But what she kept forgetting was her bond with Mo, and it was as simple as that. Both father and daughter's love for each other was so strong that it could withhold every threat that came against it. It was almost like a rubber band, they would stretch away as the threat hit, but would always come back together, stronger then ever, and just the same.
They still had a lot of issues to work through, that including her half brother Raine, and the one issue that Meggie hadn't told her father yet. She couldn't tell him without telling Dustfinger first. And just the very idea of that made her have to sit down, or sometimes stick her head between her knees. One time Brandon found her like that.
"What are you doing?" his brows were scrunched up in confusion as he took in his older sister's state.
"I'm um... well, it helps when you feel dizzy." The idea was running circles around in her head, then falling all the way down to her stomach and running circles in there, too.
"Oh!" The young boy nodded as if it made perfect sense, before mimicking her actions.
"I suppose if you don't feel dizzy it would make you start to feel it," Meggie warned him, but he just shrugged and continued to sit there with her. She never mentioned it, but it wasn't her position that made her feel better but her brother sitting there with her.
She hadn't even seen Dustfinger since, well, their last encounter. If she could call it that. It had been a week now, and Meggie hadn't even seen anyone besides Mo and Brandon. She knew that Dustfinger was well aware of what had gone down. He'd been inches from her the other day.
"How are you doing, Mo?"
"I'm as good as I can be."
"And how...how are the children?"
"You mean how is my daughter." Mo's voice was slightly cold, and Meggie pressed her ear eagerly against the door as she waited for Dustfinger's response. Not so much as what he would say, but what he wouldn't say. She could always hear it, as if it was secretly meant just for her.
"Yes. How is Meggie?" The way his voice dropped on her name sent shivers through her, and she licked her lips before swallowing nervously.
"She's...she's different. She's still the same, but she's not. And for some reason I don't think it has anything to do with what's happened."
There was a heavy silence.
Mo was too clever for his own good. He always had been, especially when it came to his daughter.
"What do you mean?" Dustfinger's voice was careful.
"Something's going on with her. Now, I'm not the biggest fan of your relationship, but I do trust you with her. Perhaps you could talk to her. I think...it would be good for her." Meggie's heart stopped, and she felt a cold fist clench her heart in unforgiving hands as she waited.
"I don't know if that's a good idea."
"What went wrong between you two? Can't it be forgiven? Meggie was right. We were wrong."
"The way it was done. I suppose it couldn't have been helped. But I'm not sure.. I love your daughter, Mo. More then I've ever loved anything, or anyone in my life. You must understand that, and I want her to understand that. But I think time needs to fix things. I would want her to know... that time can never take away how I feel. But it needs to take away all the wrongs."
He knew she would be listening. Meggie stepped back, as if his words physically had shoved her.
"I don't know how long she can wait, Dustfinger," Mo's voice was so quiet that Meggie had to strain her ears to hear.
"I think she is stronger then you think." Dustfinger's voice was equally as quiet.
It had been torture, to be so close to him, to hear his voice, to even smell his scent. It had been torture to hold back, to turn away from him. It had been near impossible to not say anything, because words were her foundation, were everything to her, and it had hurt her so badly to not be able to use them that night, to not be able to fix what was so broken between them.
So Meggie concentrated on things she could fix.
"Father, I want to see Raine. And I know he wants to see me. And i know you need time, but he is my brother." Her voice was definite, her gaze firm and steady as she looked at Mo. His face paled slightly, but other than that, it was void of emotions.
"Meggie, I know my opinion on that seems unfair to you. But I just got you back. I can't lose you again."
Meggie stumbled over to him, almost tripping over her own feet.
"What we were doing, was all for you dad! For our family, for us. Now that I'm back, now that everything's been exposed, you don't need to fear about losing me. I'm where I want to be. I want to be with you and with Brandon. But Raine also needs me. He only has his father. And as much as his dad will try to understand, he won't. You don't get it either. I know you are both hurting, and that links us all together...but...Raine and I? Our mother abandoned us both. We both connect over that. I need him as much as he needs me." By now, Meggie had her father's clenched fists in her hands, almost shaking him, as if trying to send her thoughts into him through that action.
"I need you too," Mo whispered. Meggie let go of his hands and threw her arms around her father's broad shoulders, pulling herself into his embrace. He cupped her, closing his eyes as he did so.
"You have me. I need you too dad. I will always need you." She whispered. He just pressed her to him harder in response.
"You have to tell him, you know." Meggie sighed. As well as the connection she had with Raine about her mother, he, along with his father, knew about her pregnancy. He was staring at her sternly now, as if he he was seconds away from scolding her.
Which, he had been.
"Our mother messed everything so badly up for us...don't let yourself do that. You are having a child, Meggie. There's no running away from that, no living in denial until it pops out-"
Meggie shot him a dark look, but he continued.
"-you can pretend only until it starts being noticeable. Which, won't be long."
"Well, at least I'll have till then," Meggie said weakly. This time it was Raine who gave her a dark look.
"You can't do that to Dustfinger, it's not fair on him. And it's not fair on you. You can't be alone in this, Meggie."
She looked up at him hopefully through dark lashes, her eyes looking suspiciously wet.
"I have you but, don't I?"
Raine wrapped an arm around her shoulder, pulling her close to him.
"You do," he agreed, "to an extent. But I won't be holding your hair back when you start puking." He playfully flicked her nose.
"I'm scared Raine," Meggie admitted, looking down and letting her hair fall across her face, hiding it. Sometimes she hated being such an open book, you could always hear how she felt through her tone, and could see it written clearly on her face. Raine grabbed her face and lifted it, so she was forced to look at him.
"I know you are Megs. But you're not alone. I'm here for you. Your father will be. And Dustfinger will be, or else I'll make him be. You're not alone, you'll never be alone."Meggie had never felt such gratitude towards him, his words did little, it was his tone and his determined expression that backed up what he was saying-that showed her that he meant it.
"I'm not glad about what's happened, but I'm really glad I have you," Meggie admitted quietly. Raine's answering smile was sad.
"Always the good in the bad, hey?" He nudged her shoulder. Meggie's expression became somber.
"How's your dad, Raine?" He quickly looked away from her.
"The way you acted just then, tells me that it is definitely not fine." She was met with silence.
"Raine, it's me. What's going on?" She whispered, putting a hand on his shoulder and squeezing. Raine finally met her gaze, eyes unreadable.
"It's nothing I can't handle."
"You don't have to handle it alone, remember." She told him.
"Dad just...he was consumed by getting the truth out. And now that it's out, it's like he has nothing to focus on. So to fill the void he drinks. I'm not enough to make him happy." As much as Raine obviously tried to hide it with a shrug of his shoulder and a smile, Meggie could hear the defeat that seeped heavily through his words, could see the sadness the danced around his eyes even though he tried to blink it away.
"Is he...is he a mean drunk?" Meggie finally responded. Raine took a sharp breath, his body stiffening. It didn't take a good reader like herself to know why.
Raine was, well, he was scared.
"He hurts you then." It was said very simply, but Meggie felt anything but simple about this fact. It wasn't even an accusation, she could read the answer all over him. She couldn't even picture Mo ever turning to alcohol, could never picture him shouting mean and horrid things to her, and could definitely not picture him ever raising a hand to her, even threatening her with violence, let alone delivering it. She could not understand what Raine was going through, but her heart cried out to him all the same, wanting to, wanting to help, wanting to take him away from it.
"Come stay with us." She blurted out.
"I can't leave him." Raine's response was immediate. He hadn't even thought about it.
"I can't just leave you." Meggie argued.
"I'm fine. We're fine." Raine said and took her hands, squeezing them.
"Please don't tell anyone. I told you because well... I didn't even mean to. But I couldn't deny it. Not to you. You're too important to me to lie to. Plus you need to know." Meggie felt oddly touched at his confession. She hadn't thought she was that important to him. But his last sentence wrapped around her coldly, sending a shiver down her spine.
"Why do I need to know?" His eyes loomed into hers, his expression very, very serious.
"He hates her with a passion I didn't know was still in him. And he often talks about how much you look like her. And I think he's starting to hate you too. And that scares me because I don't know if he would do anything to you because of it. Which is why you can't be around him. And which is why you need to go now, as it's fast approaching to the time he's meant to be back."
Meggie's heart was pounding against her chest so hard that she couldn't breathe. She felt the sweat on her palms, the movements of her shoulders as they tried to fight against the shakes that were coursing through her.
"I can't go. Raine-"
"Go now, Meggie. I love you. Just remember, you're not alone. I'll come to you. Now go." He delivered a swift kiss on her forehead, and then before she could utter a goodbye, or another protest, he climbed his steps, opened the front door, and disappeared inside.
A/N: Dustfinger will be in the next chapter. Promise.