Winona sits at the island counter and watches Raylan stand over the stove, poking a spatula into a frying pan filled with bacon. Next to her, Shelley sits with her feet up on a chair, a glass of juice in her hand and a book in another.
This thirteen-year-old looks smug, and Winona guesses she ought to, considering what the girl woke up to this morning.
Raylan had explained that it didn't mean they were back together, and Shelley shouldn't go assuming things; that life's more complicated than that, and one night can't fix fifteen years of problems.
But Winona knows he said all those things for her benefit, and not because he believes them.
Winona sighs and watches the back of her ex-husband. It's nearly three days into his stay, and he hasn't called work once. He's barely mentioned it, he's been so focused on Shelley's recovery.
Last night had been an indicator that things hadn't changed that much, though. He'd run off in the dead of night without leaving a note. Very Raylan.
And maybe Winona just needs to accept that; that Raylan is Raylan and there's no changing that. Shelley certainly accepts that, even loves the man for it, but she's supposed to.
Her daughter glances up from her book at Winona, and they have a silent conversation that amounts to:
"This is stupid. You should ask Daddy to move in."
"That's crazy, Shelley. Nothing's changed."
"Maybe things don't need to change."
And then Shelley goes back to her book.
"Breakfast is served," Raylan says as he walks over with plates of eggs and bacon and toast. It smells great, and probably tastes even better.
Winona grins. "Thanks."
He nods and sits on Shelley's other side. "Put the book down and eat your food."
Shelley does and digs in. "Mmmm. Mama doesn't cook like this."
"Hey, I cook," Winona laughs.
"You still make that fried chicken?" Raylan asks, glancing at her.
"Never ever," Shelley says before Winona can answer. "Not since she married Gary the worst."
"Don't call him that," Winona says, more out of habit than anything else. She knows she should care more, but sometimes she feels like Gary deserves Shelley's moniker of "the worst."
Raylan's looking at her now, and she shifts, lifting her chin. "Eat your breakfast, Raylan."
Shelley giggles with a hand on her abdomen, and Raylan reaches out to rub the girl's back gently.
"You called Josh the other night?" he asks casually.
"Last night," Shelley shrugs. "After dinner. Told him what happened."
Winona blinks and looks at Raylan and then Shelley. "I didn't know you called Josh."
"I wanted to talk to him," Shelley says. "Ain't a big deal."
Winona bites her lip. It probably is a big deal. Chances are Boyd and Ava know now, and Raylan's always been careful about what he tells the Crowders about their lives, since they're close to Arlo.
She wonders sometimes, if she had pushed harder way back when to know more about his past…to be a bigger part of his life as a whole and not just his life at that moment, if that would have saved their marriage.
A baby surely hadn't.
"What'd he say?" Winona asks Shelley, turning her attention to the girl.
"Not much," Shelley shrugs. She looks uncomfortable. "He…he says he doesn't think Arlo would do somethin' like that."
Raylan just huffs.
Winona doesn't spare him a glance. Just takes her daughter's hand. "I'm sure he was just surprised, Shelley. He's probably never seen that side of Arlo, and y'all are so young. Sometimes it's hard to imagine those kindsa things happening."
Shelley just shrugs again, looking sullen, and Winona reaches out and brushes her loose red hair away from her eyes. It's messy, and getting long. She wonders briefly if Shelley will decide to keep it long this year instead of getting it cut shorter.
"You listen to your mama," Raylan says finally. "Josh don't know Arlo the way we do."
Winona knows the unspoken words. Arlo would never beat up one of Boyd's babies. Not ever. But he's got no problem crushing Raylan's only child beneath his foot.
"I ain't hungry anymore," Shelley says, and sets her fork down. "I'm gonna go lay down."
"Want me to help you upstairs?" Raylan asks.
She shakes her head and gets to her feet slowly, taking her book, and leaving the room.
Raylan sighs and gets up to clean up Shelley's plate. "Never known her to sulk."
"She's a teenager now," Winona reminds him. "They do that sometimes."
"I guess she is," Raylan mutters, and turns back to her when he's done with the dish. "Feel like I've missed a lot."
Winona sits back and doesn't tell him that he has; that he works too much and that he's missed quite a few birthday parties, not to mention other milestones.
Though he did not dodge the menstrual bullet, because Shelley got that for the first time on his watch, which, if you ask Winona, serves him a little right.
"I like bein' here," Raylan says quietly.
Winona tilts her head at him, knowing that he's trying to convey his feelings and he'll probably fail.
"Maybe I could…I don't know…" He fiddles with the dishtowel he's holding. "Stay longer than a week. Past when my leave is up. I could stay."
Winona sighs softly, and watches him, thinking about how everything fell apart on them and how she'd blamed him for it but really...really it was both of them. Him and his damn job and her and her exacting standards.
Oh, what the hell. It's only her heart and her sanity and lord knows it'll make Shelley happy as hell to have him move in and it ain't like he has a lot of stuff they'll have to find a place for, way he lives.
She gets to her feet and steps over to him, taking the dishtowel and setting it down on the counter before wrapping her arms around him. "Okay, Cowboy. You wanna stay, you can stay."
Raylan's eyes widen, surprised at her response, and then he grins and leans in for a kiss, but she leans back.
"It ain't gonna be perfect," she tells him. "Or easy."
"When was it ever either of those things?" he asks. "Now get back here so I can kiss you."
She rolls her eyes and grins and leans in for that kiss, just as the doorbell rings.
Raylan groans against her lips. "Shit." He pulls away and she heads for the door, knowing he's following slowly behind.
"Tell 'em we don't want any," Raylan says, catching up to her and placing his hands on her hips.
Winona swats at him before swinging open the door. The smile on her face fades when she gets an eyeful of who's on the other side.
Raylan freezes too and then rubs his face.
Boyd Crowder nods to them, Ava and their two children behind him. "Raylan. Winona. I thought we should all talk."