A week later.

As the work began to get more intense, as did the family arguments. Usually they'd be resolved quickly and things would go back to normal, but this time went to more extreme depths. This time, Shaun stopped Anna from interfering, telling her that we'd sort this out. God knows how this row started, and Allah knows how or when it was going to end.

"So you're blaming me?" asked Uncle Bill, his voice dripping with sarcasm,"Oh, so now it's my fault? The one who raised you, fed you, kept you aliv-"

"-Yeah, but you didn't do a good job at it all! Desmond, run! Desmond, climb! Desmond, get up from your ass and do something!"

"-I don't know why you're complaining!" I said, "I thought you two'd patched things up, and here you are- Shouting for no reason!"

"Oh, come on, Sarah, it's not for no reason," hissed Desmond, " You know that."

I frowned but before I could say anything, Uncle Bill cut in,

"Don't get her involved in this, Desmond," he snapped, "She's done noth-"

"-Oh-ho, really? She's caused us all this trouble-"

"-WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU SAYING, DESMOND?" I yelled, "First, you were all like 'Oh, you can't help it, Sparky, it's not your fault those bastards wanna kill you so bad', and now you're like, 'oh yes, is all your fault for being kidnapped and fucking tortured'!"

"Yeah, but if you hadn't gone to look in the garden then-"

"-Oh, just shut up, will ya? Your argument is pointless and you know it. You just want to take your anger out on someone, and that someone is me!"

Desmond scowled, then he stormed out of the front door. A few seconds later, the sound of the ignition of a car was heard. My angry gaze returned to Uncle Bill.

"Also, I take it what you told me the other day wasn't all of the info you could give me?" I said.

"What are you talking about?" he asked, folding his arms, tapping his foot impatiently.
"I'm talking about when you told me about stuff I didn't know about the mission and my dad. I take it there's more information that you've been loving keeping away from me."

Uncle Bill let out an impatient sigh,
"Fine. Right. You know when you were unconscious for a while, a few months back?"

"Yeah? What about it?" I sensed I wasn't going to like what I was going to be told.

"Well...it wasn't a week you were out. Neither was it two weeks."

"What?! So instead of being comatose for a week, I was for about a bloody month or so? That's why I missed everything about Connor? About the Ones that Came Before, Juno and Minerva? Why the hell haven't you told me this? Why weren't you and the others honest?!"

"Because we knew you'd be like this."

"No. You were wrong in thinking that!"

"I wa-"

"-YES YOU WERE."

We glared at the other for a few moments.

"Why can't you just admit that you were wrong, for once?!" I yelled."Why can't you just admit anything?! You stupid old man! Heck, you're just as bad as those Templars!"

"That's enough out of you!" snapped Uncle Bill. I could just see in his eyes what he was going to do next yet I didn't move out of the way or retaliate; he raised his arm and I cowered back, squeezing shut my eyes, preparing for the sharp burst of pain.

Smack.

I felt my temple and my cheek throb painfully as I stared at my Uncle through shocked and confused eyes. He just stared back, no emotion in his face whatsoever. I looked away at the ground, not sure what just happened.

He'd struck me. He'd hurt me intentionally...

Rebecca looked at the situation, seeming to be shocked herself. She rose from her seat but Shaun came over to the scene first,

"Bill," he said flatly, "I think...I think it's best if you leave the room for a moment, okay?"
"Yes," replied Uncle Bill. He turned and left.

Shaun crouched down, looking at the red mark on my face,
"Are you all right?"
I shook my head, swallowing a lump in my throat. I reached out, and hugged the other Brit.

"I...I don't understand, Shaun," I whimpered. He sighed,

"Yeah, know what's it's like. Trust me."

I whimpered again.

He pulled away from the hug,

"You'll be okay. You're a brave girl, eh?" He patted my head.

I gave him a minuscule smile, "I'm not a three year old, Big Brit."

"Yeah, sometimes I wonder about that."

"Careful there, mate."

He helped me up, as the normal mood began to set again.

"He's already done this to Desmond," he explained, "He accused him of the same."

"Yeah, well he would, wouldn't he?" I frowned.


Desmond came back about ten minutes later. He seemed calmer; more relaxed.

"I'm back," he called from the door.

"Hey, Des," called Kirsty and Damien in unison from the kitchen. Desmond entered the living room,

"Sorry," he apologized, "I...shouldn't have lost it..."

He stared at my face for a moment, "Hey, why is your face red? Did ya walk into a door or something?"

I stayed quiet, giving him a fake smile. Shaun (who had froze on the stairs when Desmond asked this question), placed his hand on Desmond's shoulder, and muttered something to him.

Desmond's pupils grew smaller, but his face remained impassive.
"Dad? Can I speak to you for a sec, please?"

Uncle Bill rose from his seat, and followed Desmond to the guest bedroom. I tried to concentrate on what they were saying:
"Did you hit Sarah?" Desmond's voice.

There was a silence.
"You did, didn't you?! Why the hell would you do that? She's just a kid, for fuck's sake!"

"She smart-mouthed me." Really?!

"That's no excuse."

I was surprised he didn't say 'She smart-mouths everyone.'
"Look, Desmond, she accused me of-"

"-Being no better than those Templars? Yeah. She would, wouldn't she?"

"What are you implying, Desmond?"

"I'm implying that I was right. But that's still no excuse to hit a fucking kid. You haven't changed one bit, have you?"

"I was-"

"-Annoyed? Angry? Dad, whatever emotion you were feeling, it's still no excuse to hit a small girl like her. You of all people know what's she's been through, and then you add to it by abusing her? And think. What would James say if he was still alive and found out that you hit her as a punishment?"

"I regret it, Desmond,"

"Then why didn't you stop yourself?"
There was more silence.

"Just don't do it again, okay? Or I'll do something about it." Desmond's voice was cold and threatening.
The door opened and both men stepped out of it. I stared at them, inspecting them carefully. Both of them had straight faces.

Shaun and Becca caught each other's eye, made a look on their faces that kids have when someone's getting badly told off by a teacher. That sort of bit-lip, 'oh my Goodness, they're getting their asses kicked' kinda look.

"Get your coat, Sparks," said Desmond, "I'll take you to my bar for a bit, so things can cool down, okay?"
I nodded, hopping up from my seat.


At the bar.

Desmond stared at my face, and frowned,

"It's bruising," he said.

"Hey! Desmond!" called a drunken voice, "Stop fussing ova that girl and pour me 'nother drink, now would be good!"

A drunk guy just after lunch. His life must suck, I thought.
"Hey, my cousin's more important than your fucking drink," snarled Desmond, "So I suggest you shut up, before I shove my foot up you ass so hard you go flying halfway across fucking America!"

"All 'ight, all 'ight. Keep ya head on...shit..."

Desmond murmured curse words, before standing up, "I'll get you some ice so it won't swell, okay?"

"Desmond, it was just a whack around the head, it won't s-"

"-just in case, Sarah."

I frowned,
"Fine."

He smirked, and ruffled my hair, before disappearing.

"I'm not a dog!" I called.

"If you're not a dog, then why d'ya let me call you 'Sparky'?"

I scowled,
"Asshole!"

A minute later, I felt the cold chill of ice on my face.

"I don't know what he was thinking," said Desmond. His face slowly formed into a scowl.

"Desmond," I complained,"Please. Just forget about it, mate."

"I can't, Sarah. He's supposed to be your carer, and there he is, hitting you-"

"-It was just once-"

"-That's not the point."

"Desmond." I put my hand on his arm, "Look. Please stop talking like that. You sound like my dad and frankly, it's giving me the creeps. You're my big-brother cousin-person. So stop it..."

Desmond sighed, "Yeah...sorry."