Kyle paced around the basement as Michael fixed a wooden chair from the dining room that has split due to age. Kyle walked back and forth, shaking his head.
"What if dad doesn't want to stay? What if he wants me to go back to Florida? I'll go back for my stuff but I don't want to stay."
Michael tightened the clamps he had on the chair. "Relax. It will be OK."
Baby bounded down the basement stairs followed by Michaela and Samuel. Michael raised his voice and pointed to the stairs "Michaela and Sam, get upstairs. This does not involve you two so go do something."
As Fiona passed Michaela and Samuel on the basement stairs, she gave them a smile and said "Living room is the best place to eavesdrop."
Fiona entered the basement and sat next to Baby. She took hold of her daughters hand and held it tight. "Be strong and stand your ground. If you get scared, just remember you are fighting for love. That's the most honorable of all fights. Its what your father and I fought for and we won. You will too."
Sam came down the stairs and sat on the bottom step. "Kyle, we need to talk. We need to figure out where we are going. Mike wants us to stay. I am sure Baby wants you to stay. What do you want to do?"
"I'm staying." Kyle said simply.
Sam took a sip of his beer. "Where you going to live, where are you going to work? You just decide spur of the moment because you fell in love with some girl."
Fiona yelled "Excuse me Sam? My daughter is not just 'some girl'."
"I'm sorry. I didn't mean it like that. I mean he just met her and he's willing to uproot his whole life and move from Florida to Pennsylvania. Kyle, you haven't even know her a week."
Kyle sighed. "I know I haven't known her long, but these days with Baby have been the happiest days I've had since Mom died and I want to hold onto that. I can't go back to Florida. It hurts to much."
Michael could sense Sam's trepidation. "Sam, if he wants to stay, we can help him find a place and get a job. Baby said he's a mechanic. Kyle can work anywhere with that skill. We'll take care of him." Continuing to work on the chair, Michael mumbled "Wish you would stay too."
"I just can't give you my blessing to do this. You are eighteen and you can do what you want, but I don't approve. We have a life in Florida and that's where we should be."
Baby, who had been quiet up until this point, added her opinion. "You know, we don't need your approval. I don't really care how any of you feel about this. This is my decision and Kyle's decision. If we make a go of this and fail, then that's our failure. All I know is that I want to be with Kyle and he wants to be with me."
"You guys are kids. You change moods like the wind. I don't want him to move up here and you guys break up a week later. If you break up, then your family sides with you and he's stuck here until the lease on his apartment runs out. I was ok with you two being romantic on the way up because he provided distraction for you, but now we are back to reality. Kyle should come back home where he belongs. Sorry little girl." Sam said, his voice getting louder.
Baby stood her ground. "He belongs with me. Its only been a few days but I need him."
Sam interrupted her "You are eighteen. You don't know what you need."
Kyle yelled at Sam. "I know I need Baby. When I'm not with her, I can't breathe. I worry incessantly over her even when she's in the next room! I just want to be with her, holding her in my arms or at least holding her hand.
Baby smiled and ran into Kyle's arms, attaching herself to his waist. "We aren't separating. Mom and Dad separated when they were younger and it took them forever to find one another again. I don't want to lose him like that."
Michael looked up at the ceiling and said "Baby, you guys go upstairs. You made your point."
Once the children were out of the basement, Fiona offered her opinion. "Sam, Baby is not a girl who goes into a relationship lightly. She never does anything lightly. Her last boyfriend was a sorry sack of potatoes that she stayed with even though all they did was fight. She'd still be with him today if he didn't hit her. She tries to fix everything until it all completely falls apart. I know she will work at the relationship."
Michael who was listening to everything but saying nothing, finally spoke. "Sam, he's eighteen. He's going to do what he wants. If you don't let him, he'll resent you for the rest of your life. I have to support Baby no matter what she decides. The most I can do is offer my opinion and hope she takes it. I know we did a good job raising her and she has a good head on her shoulders. Sometimes love happens when you are older, sometimes younger. You can't stand in the way of it."
"So are you for this or against it?" asked Sam.
Without hesitation Michael said "I am for it. I don't to see them separate and have to go through that agony of being insanely in love but not have the other person there with you. I never want them to go through that. You were there each time I lost Fiona and just by looking at them i can tell they would be just as tortured if not more." By the end of his speech Michael's voice was loud and booming. Sam forgot how forceful he was when he made a point.
The room was quiet. Fiona walked over to Sam and sat down next to him. She put her head on his shoulder. "Sam, we want you to stay too. There is plenty of room here for you. Michael has missed you. Heck, I even have missed you."
"Now you are starting to scare me. I can't believe you actually missed me!" Sam said, running his hands through his hair. "I don't exactly fit in with your new life here. You guys have Carter and his family."
Michael smiled. "You are the only person who I let in my fridge and take a beer. Everyday since we left Miami I wanted to call you and tell you how we were or tell you stuff the kids did. Carter is my friend and business partner but he's not my brother. You have always had my back even when we couldn't communicate with you. I know its hard to pick up and leave but I need you."
The room was quiet again. Michael said "I'll take everyone out to dinner. I'll go get the kids together. At least join us for dinner."
Michael left the basement but Fiona stayed behind. "Sam, I really hope you stay. Michael needs you more than he lets on. He was always happy to have me back with him, but he missed you terribly. At least stay the weekend and then go back to Florida. I do want you to do me a favor though. Could you please bring me back my snowglobes? "
Sam nodded. " I can bring them back up for you and. I can bring Kyle his clothes too. I heard mikes argument for them and he's right. Everyone is right. I'm just a stubborn ol' mule. Now I just have to figure what I want."
"Come to dinner and we can have beers and reminisce. I miss you. Michael misses you." Fiona said.
"Well, if Mike is buying, then I guess I will join you." Sam said with a smile.
Fiona leapt to her feet and pulled Sam up. "Come on old man, we can make Michael our designated driver."
"Just one thing. Out in public, we are Rob and Cassandra. No one except Carter knows who we are and we told him just to call us Rob and Cassandra no matter what." Fiona advised.
"Got sister. Let's go see if we can drink your husband into poverty." Sam said, eliciting a laugh from Fiona.
Dinner was enjoyable. Sam, Fiona and Michael regaled Carter and the kids with tales from a life long ago. At the end of dinner Carter pulled Sam aside and asked "So where are you going to live? There's some nice little houses not far from here or some bigger ones outside of town."
Sam shrugged. "Not sure. I don't know if I am even staying. "
"You have to stay. This is the happiest and most relaxed I've ever seen Rob and Cassandra. You are good for them." Carter could tell that something else was bothering Sam. "If you need a job, we could always use a cook or bartender. I have a friend who has a garage who will give Kyle a job and I'm sure he could get you one too."
Sam thanked Carter and said he'd think about his offer. When the weekend was up, Sam said goodbye to Michael, Fiona and the children. He gave Kyle a hug and told him he'd be back in a week. Arriving back in Florida, Sam began to pack up Kyle's clothes and things he thought he'd want to have with him. Sitting alone in the house he realized something. The time he spent in Pennsylvania was the happiest he too had been since Elsa passed away. A week later, Sam found himself on the road again heading back to Pennsylvania. He walked up to the front door and walked into the house. He found Michael and Fiona in the kitchen doing dishes. Sam opened up the fridge and grabbed a beer. Michael grabbed a bottle opener and handed it to Sam. Michael and Fiona looked at one another with wide, questioning eyes.
Sam took a sip and said "Soooo...you guys got enough room in this house for me until I can find myself a place near here?"
Both Michael and Fiona screamed in happiness, which surprised Sam a bit. Michael gave Sam a hug and said "You won't regret staying up here Sam. I promise."
As they ended their hug Sam said "I regret letting you leave Miami all those years ago, you think you are getting rid of me that easily?"
Fiona's eyes lit up. "Where are my snow globes? You said you would bring them!"
"About the snow globes, um, they kinda had an accident and fell while I was driving. They kind of broke all over the inside of my truck."
"Sam Axe! I am going to kill you!" screamed Fiona as she lunged towards Sam.
Sam put his hands up defensively. "I'm just teasing! I left the box in the living room. I may be old, but I'm not senile enough to not keep your snow globes safe!"
Fiona playfully swatted Sam with her dishtowel. Michael smiled. This was always the life he had imagined. Kids in the house, he and Fiona happily married, and Sam by their side. It may have taken him longer than planned but everything was perfect.
A/N~Hope you enjoyed! Ending this here for now as I am working on some other things. I appreciate all the love! Now...what else do I have up my sleeve? (I also have to finish Proposal and my M-Rated piece too that I'm working on!)