And this is the final piece of the puzzle, you lot... I'd like to thank you all so much for all the feedback you've given me, it's been brilliant, and I got far more reviews that I expected! I guess it teaches me that though Cold Case is over, it's got such a lovely and still active fandom...
Epilogue – Five Years Later
The little girl looks up from the tray of brownies as she hears the front door slam behind someone.
"It was the brother, Scotty! I told you it was the brother!" she hears, and her face lighting up, she slides down from the kitchen chair and sprints out of the kitchen, dropping brownie mix and icing across the floor.
Eleanor Lilly Rush, Ellie to her friends, Peanut to her father, barrels down the hallway and launches herself up into Lilly's arms, burying her face in her shoulder, tracking sugary handprints over her pant suit.
"Mommy, Mommy, Mommy! Daddy and I made brownies!" she yells, making her mother-for-all-intents-and-purposes stagger back slightly with the sound so close to her ear.
"That sounds wonderful, hon!" Lilly kisses Ellie on the nose, running her fingers lightly over the girl's unruly blonde curls, "I hope you saved some for me!"
"We might have a few left." Comes from the man leaning against the kitchen doorframe, a pink apron tied around his waist, a weary smile on his face. Ellie beams at her father, wriggling out of her mother's arms. Christina's never appeared again, Lilly doesn't like to think about where she might be, what state she might be in, and Ellie's their daughter now… as far as she knows, she always has been. She goes to kindergarten now, in the week, and other than that, on Saturdays they take it in turns to work, she gets a day with just Mommy one week, a day with just Daddy the next. Today was a day with Daddy, and she had had so much fun, they'd gone to the park, played ball out on the grass in the sunshine, then come home for a baking session, making brownies with fondant icing all over the tops of them, in various different colours. Nearly all her favourite things in one day, she'd gotten a treat again.
"Why don't you go and get Tripod's dinner, Peanut?" Scotty says, smiling down at the girl who he'd come to know as his daughter, although she wasn't truthfully, none of that really mattering. She smiles, one that jolts in his chest slightly because it's so similar to Lilly's, back at him, and she skips off back into the kitchen, humming something to herself. Scotty smiles after her and takes a step gently towards Lilly, placing his hands on either side of her waist.
"Good day, then?"
She takes a step even closer to him, reaching up to absent-mindedly wipe a smudge of flour off his cheek. "Not bad." She half-whispers, and he reaches up to gently tug her hair out of its usual ponytail, watching waves of blonde falling down lightly over her shoulder, watching the slight smile spread across her cheeks. She rests her forehead gently against his, giving a tiny satisfied sigh as she does, leaning slightly into him.
Unable to wait seconds longer, he leans his mouth into hers, both gently and forcefully, bringing them tight together. He catches the slight hitch of her breath as his mouth meets hers, and he can't help a slight smile on his lips as her arms curl around his neck. He thinks for seconds about how her niece brought the two of them together and then he loses himself in her, her eyes closing, his following almost instantly. He feels her mouth open opposite his and their tongues duel gently, the taste of her overwhelming him slightly, as it always does, the slight hint of blueberries.
"Gross." They hear a little voice say and they break apart immediately, turning to the doorway to see Ellie standing there with her hands on her hips, almost laughing at them. "Come on, Mommy, you need to taste one of our brownies!"
Scotty's hand trails almost unnoticed down from her waist and links with hers, fingers threading through each other lightly. He leans down and whispers something in her ear, and Ellie watches as it makes the smile on her Mommy's face widen a little, and her tilt her head up a little, quickly, and kiss her Daddy on the cheek.
She turns around and starts to walk back into the kitchen, and the two of them follow her, hands still joined, leaning close together.
The three of them disappear into the kitchen.
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