My Days epFic, beginning in December of 2011. I promise I will update it soon. It's an ensemble piece and slightly AU (for example, Daniel is NOT Maggie's son in this!).
Multiple pairings will be featured. Some of them are:
Brady and Madison
Chad and Melanie
Eric and Nicole
Jack and Jennifer
John and Marlena
Victor and Maggie
Will and Sonny
Anyway, read on and review please!
Prologue: Enough Blame to Go Around
"I can't believe it, Dad. I can't believe she is really gone. And it's all my fault." His stomach was twisted up in knots as he sat on the sofa in the house he had grown up in. Tears worked their way down his face. "I never ... I never got to tell her the truth about myself, about who I really am. I will never know if she could have accepted me... And I will never know if she could have forgiven me for telling everyone what I saw ..." He crumpled into a heap of misery as his father gently reached out and pulled him into his arms.
"It's okay. Your mother loved you; she loved you with every piece of her. She once told me that you and the kids were the only things she felt she had ever done right. Sometimes she felt she didn't deserve any of you. She may have messed up a few times - okay, a lot of times - but she loved you. She loved all of you. Don't forget that, Will. Not now, not ever," Lucas Horton said as tears of his own built behind his eyes, threatening to give way.
A single flask of whiskey - the really cheap kind at that - was the last bit of alcohol left that he hadn't consumed in the mansion during his three day binge. He sat in his room, drinking and crying, crying like a child actually, running his hand over his stubbled cheek where he swore he could still feel the imprint of her powerful backhand the last time she had hauled off and slapped him.
He was a man, a strong man, a fierce man, but this ... this had the power to bring anyone to their knees. He had thought that he loved her; he had believed that with every fiber of his being. Now he was realizing that maybe his feelings for her were as sick, obsessive and twisted as everyone else had always said they were. Whichever was true, he did know that without a doubt, she was never coming back. His tainted, twisted brand of affection had finally broken them both. She was dead, she was really dead and for the first time in his life, EJ Dimera felt true overwhelming guilt for everything that he had ever cost her.
"My baby, my baby - my little girl!" She screamed in agony as she clutched a little teddy bear to her chest and rocked herself tearfully back and forth, back and forth. The teddy bear had been her daughter's favorite childhood toy. She remembered how sweet her daughter had been as a child and how later, that childish sweetness and innocence had turned to lifelong scorn - for her mother. She had despised her mother and blamed her for everything that went wrong in her life. Maybe, just maybe she had been right. She had known she had shortcomings but now she wondered if she really was a horrid mother after all. Maybe if she just would have been everything her baby girl had needed and wanted, she would have turned out differently. Then this tragedy might never have happened and she might never have left the world this way.
Her husband tried to console her with a gentle, tender embrace and a soft kiss on the forehead, but nothing was working. Marlena Evans would forever blame herself for her daughter's untimely passing.
She found her husband sitting in the kitchen staring out the window at the dark night sky. Rain was drumming at the windows and the storm seemed eerily appropriate for such a tragic occasion. Tomorrow they would bury a woman much younger than them. Tomorrow they would bury his niece.
"Talk to me, Brady," she said, walking up behind him, placing her small hands on his broad shoulders. "What are you thinking about?"
Her husband abruptly stood and yanked free of her touch like it had burnt him or worse, offended him. He was hurting; she knew he needed distance now but they had spent so much time being apart over the years when they had really needed each other that she didn't want to stay away. She knew he felt guilty for all of this even if it wasn't his fault. He had tried his best to save her. God knew he had.
"It's not your fault, Brady," she said, saying just what she was thinking, just what she was feeling.
"The hell its not," he thundered and his charcoal eyes flew to his bandaged hands. They were now forever a reminder that he had failed his niece.
"Talk to me, let me in," she implored.
"I don't want to talk. I just want to be left alone." Then he stalked out of the kitchen and Hope Brady knew suddenly that she was losing Bo all over again.
"She is your sister," she said as she slowly glided into the chair across from him. He was angrily punching numbers into the computer and avoiding looking at her. He was avoiding feeling and she knew why so intimately herself: feelings hurt.
He didn't look at her, just kept pounding on the keys. "Step-sister," he said. "And don't you mean 'was'. Past tense."
She grimaced. "Come on, don't be like that. She - god, this sounds corny - is still alive in everyone's hearts where it really counts."
He shook his head. "That was worse than corny and she's not in my heart. We didn't even like each other. She made my dad's life miserable for years and years."
"She was still your sister in every way that counted. She's still your family. I know she cared about you. Some people would give anything to have a family, people who are there for you when push comes to shove. Some people have never had that," Madison James said to Brady Black and then slowly rose to her feet and walked out of the room before she could give away anything else.
He sat alone in his too-small apartment. He had long since stopped sobbing, had long since stopped even feeling. He was on autopilot now and kept telling himself that he had to be strong for his family now because that's what was expected of him. To clean up their messes and fix what they broke. But things were too broken now to ever be repaired, let alone be half as good as they once were. He wasn't romanticizing the past. He was just sure that even through all the painful things that had happened, none of them had scarred him worse than losing his daughter. But Roman Brady would cut off his own feelings to make sure everyone else was okay first. That's what he always did.
They hadn't been getting a long in weeks now, ever since they returned to Salem, to their home that suddenly didn't feel so "homey" anymore. But the minute she needed him, he was there. Her husband held her as she cried and held her still tighter when she expressed her regrets about how she had never been able to be the sibling that her sister had needed and deserved.
She was often considered "perfect" by people but god knew she had made mistakes - ones she had never quite owned up to, especially where her younger sister was concerned. The sad truth was that now, Carrie Reed could never make up for the sins of the past. It was far too late for that.
No one could comfort him, no one. No one could comfort her children either. They had been having nightmares every night since it happened. He ended up sitting with the youngest girl into the wee hours as she asked again and again, "Where's Mama? Where is Mama?!" Her voice was full of insecurity and hurt and fear. Hell, he felt those things too. He had lost his wife and now he had inherited children he didn't have any clue how to help. Their grief was profound. They had all been in that car but they had been rescued and their mother had not been.
He wanted to rail at the heavens. Why did people he love keep dying? The questions never seemed to get answered though.
He had wanted to keep hating her for what she had done, for the secrets she had kept, for the way she had pissed all over their marriage and their love. But he couldn't hate her and that was the hardest part. Hate was easier to cope with, but love ... When love was gone, Rafe Hernandez decided, there was no healing from that loss. His wife, his life, his reason for everything, was gone forever. She was dead.
Sami Brady-Hernandez was dead.