I do not own Smash or any of its characters.

This is the sequel to "Choosing Between Two Lives" and is set six years after Dustin's birth

Flash back to early that morning:

"I think we should consider "Ivy" Karen said "What?" Derek asked her "Did I hear you correctly, because I thought you just said we should consider Ivy, for the lead?" Tom and Julia were surprised at Karen's suggestion. No one had spoken to or heard from Ivy in over six years; but they decided to remain quiet. This issue was definitely something Karen and Derek as the co-producers of their new play needed to work out on their own. "Yes" you heard me correctly. "She has the voice and edge. Its as if this role was written for her." Karen answered. "In the first place, in six years if she hasn't made it back to Broadway shouldn't that tell you something: and second, I don't give a damn what edge she may bring, I don't want her near my family." He ended "Derek, someone just doesn't lose their talent. The fact that she hasn't been on Broadway you and I both know doesn't mean anything. Don't you think people deserve a second chance?" Karen asked. At this line of questioning Tom and Julia knew Derek's response wasn't going to be good. "Second Chance" He said slowly, intentionally drawing out the words as he spoke "Forgive me if I can't seem to move on from the image of you hooked up to a ventilator, forgive me if I can't seem to let go of the feeling of having to choose between you and Dustin." His voice growing angry "And as for second chances, everyday I wake up next to you and tuck our children in at night; I'm reminded of the second chance I was given and forgive me if I don't want Ivy anywhere near that" "Until you have to make such decisions don't bloody lecture me about second chances." He finished. Karen stood in front of him stunned. Tom and Julia anticipated her to fire back but instead she gathered her things and left.

Watching her leave Derek instantly regretted his words but couldn't help how he felt. Just the mention of Ivy's name brought back so many painful memories. "I've screwed up, haven't I?" He asked the two people with him. "Maybe just a little bit" Tom answered. Julia looked at him with eyes that sent an unspoken message for him to shut up. "Derek, she knows you love her so I think if you apologize and explain to her the painful memories you still have" I'm sure she'll understand Julia told him.

End of Flashback

He hadn't spoken to Karen since the morning meeting so as he opened their front door, he took a deep breath and braced himself for what was in store. As soon as he entered he could smell the aroma of fresh baked pastries. He made his way through the entry hall dumping his messenger bag on a small table. "Hi Dad" he heard coming from the direction of the couch where Dustin was playing his video games. "Hey buddy!" He responded as Dustin hit pause on his game and walked towards him; his floppy brown hair falling loosely over his big green eyes. Once he reached him Dustin stood on his tip toes to give Derek a kiss and whispered "Mom has been baking all afternoon. I don't know what you did but I think your in trouble" Derek couldn't help but laugh because although Dustin was only six, he was observant. "He knew that aside from special occasions, his mother really only baked when she was angry. It was her way to let off steam she had explained to their son once. Kissing his Dustin back Derek thanked him for the warning and told him "your right Son, Dad owes your mom an apology." "Good luck" Dustin sighed with exaggeration as he made his way back to play his game.

Derek smiled and turned away, heading towards the kitchen. He could hear Karen talking to their daughter "Rose sweetheart, look at you, you have more flour on you than in the pan." She softly chastised. He reached the doorway and marveled at the site before him. He could

see their three year old giggling as Karen made a futile attempt to clean her. Rose's dirty blond hair was almost white with flour and her brown eyes the only things visible on her face. "This is fun Mommy" she happily exclaimed as she gave Karen a tight hug and a sloppy kiss. It was times like this Derek pinched himself to make sure his life wasn't a dream. Six years ago he had been so afraid he would never get a chance to experience this; I assumed that was why he reacted the way he did when Karen mentioned Ivy's name. He was lost in thought when a small voice brought him back to reality. "Dadddddy!" Rose squealed a huge grin on her face. "I baked a cookie just for you" "You did? Derek answered "I can't wait, I bet its delicious." he continued as he moved from the doorway over to the counter where they were. He lifted their daughter into his arms and kissed her soft cheek. He then turned to kiss Karen and waited for her reaction. To his surprise, she smiled at him and kissed his lips. "Hey handsome" she said.

"Rose, darling can you go wash up" Derek told the young girl as he lowered her to the ground. "Yup" she gleefully responded as she proceeded to skip out of the kitchen. Once alone Derek walked to Karen had moved over to the stove, her back now facing him. Wrapping his arms around her waist he spoke quietly into her ear "I'm sorry for this morning Love." "I was wrong. You deserve my support no questions asked even though I may not agree" He continued "This is as much your production as it is mine and if Ivy is someone you'd like for us to consider as the lead, then I agree to let her audition." "It's just, even though six years have passed, I still remember it as if it were yesterday. But, your ability to find good in everyone is one of the many qualities I love most about you; and if you are willing to forgive Ivy, then I am willing to make the effort for you." "Are you compromising, Mr. Wills" she said relaxing back into his chest. "Why yes I am Mrs. Wills" Derek said kissing her temple. Without looking at her, Derek knew she had a smirk on her face. "Is an audition something you can live with?" He asked. At this she turned in his arms and facing him said "I believe I can" "Then I'll tell Tom to contact her" Derek said. "Thank you" Karen told him, punctuating her words with a firm kiss.

"Eww..."They heard. Turning to see their son at the doorway with a rather disgusted look on his face; his sister standing next to him giggling. "I'll remind you buddy, one day when you meet a girl you won't be saying Eww" Derek laughed "And you my little angel, what do you find so funny." he said tickling their daughter. "Nothing daddy you and mommy make me happy" she smiled. "Well what do you say that the two of you help me set the table for Mom so we can eat?" he asked the two of them. "Sure" they said in unison. As the three worked together to get the table ready, Karen hoped she wasn't making a mistake by wanting Ivy for their production. The people in front of her meant the world and she wouldn't be able to live with herself if something happened. Her thoughts were interrupted when she heard Dustin and Derek talking. "Dad?" "Yes buddy" "Did you get Mom to forgive you because you kissed her?" Dustin innocently asked "No buddy, if only it were that easy" Derek responded. "I got Mom to forgive me because I admitted I was wrong." "Oh" they young boy stated "You weren't afraid?" he questioned "I was, but you see Dustin, part of being a good man is being able to forget your fear and put your faith in the people you love. You have to respect them. Daddy forgot that this morning but its better now." "I'm glad" Dustin said "Because I don't know how many more things Mom could have baked." he said as he turned to finish putting the last plate on the table. Karen smiled as she watched to two men in her life and she had a feeling things would be ok.