Hey everyone, sorry that this isn't a proper chapter. I just wanted to reiterate that this story is indeed finished. Completely finished. All done. (I didn't plan on writing this chapter but I thought it would be okay). I know I left some things unsaid, but this is how I envisioned the story and how I wish for it to end. And to be honest, I think I left it finished on a good note. I'm very grateful that some of you would like to add on to it more (it really is an honor, goodness) but I just really would like to leave everything as- is.
So, now that that's all said, I will give you guys a bit of a short chapter for your patience C: (I know I would hate to be super excited to see an update from an author that hasn't posted in like, forever, only to be met with an announcement) sooo, without further ado, here it is!
I sit up in bed, a soft sigh coming from my lips as my eyes adjust to the darkness. I see a small figure in the doorway, quiet sniffles coming from the source, a small clenched fist held tightly against her hip, holding a soft- stitched dauntless teddy bear, one that Tris got oh- so- long ago when she was still in the hospital.
"Kit, what are you doing up?" I whisper ever so gently, rubbing a thumb across my eyes. Tris is still sound asleep at my side.
"I... I had a bad dream," I hear a soft, timid voice answer me. She walks a bit closer. "C-can I sleep with you and mom, daddy?"
A soft smile finds its way across my lips, and I open my arms as the small girl walks towards me. "Of course. You don't have to ask, Naomi, you know that," I say firmly and she scurries into my embrace, her small body easily cradled in my arms. She's barely seven, but she still obviously has her mother's small, delicate frame. She'll probably have a bit more height one day than Tris has, but I doubt it'll be by much.
"Tobias… what happened?" Tris asks, sitting up quickly in bed. She's usually the one to wake up first, actually, for this sort of thing. Her maternal instincts are freakishly strong.
"Kit just had a bad dream, that's all," I whisper at her, brushing a lock of long hair from my child's flustered face.
Tris scoots closer, a concerned scowl on her face as she also runs a hand through Kit's hair. "You wanna talk about it?" She asks, sighing. This happens probably once or twice a month, Kit being woken up by bad dreams. Tris swears that it's her fault, that Kit somehow inherited some of her own bad memories while still in the womb. Or maybe Kit just picks up on things that her mother and I have to fight through on a day- to- day basis. I don't know. But that doesn't make it any easier.
Kit shakes her head a little, eyes dry but still a bit out of it. She reaches her arms towards Tris and immediately wraps her arms around her mother's neck. Kit might think I'm the strongest man in the world (and she has voiced that a few times), but when it comes to dealing with emotional things, she knows that Mom is definitely the strong one. Kit just doesn't know that, even though Tris is great with helping with other people's struggles, she has a hard time dealing with herself and her own internal problems.
"I'm here, little cat," she whispers and pats Kit softly on the back, looking over to me and frowning a bit. I simply shake my head and wrap an arm around the both of them, pressing a soft kiss to my daughter's temple.
"Hey.. mom?" Kit whispers a little bit later, tucked neatly between me and Tris.
"Yeah?" Tris answers, stifling a yawn.
"You and daddy would never.. leave me, would you?" And even in the dark, I can see Tris' shocked expression.
"What? No of course not." She pauses, smiling softly, hiding her expression the best she can. "Your dad and I worked way too hard for you to ever leave you, hun."
Memories pass through my mind in moments, memories of Tris huddled around the toilet, face blanched as I rubbed small circles in her back, the only thing that seemed to help. Heat pads on her lower back as she laid up on the couch. Other things that I don't want to think about. A small, squirmy child that kicked too much under her ribs and kept us both up at night, and continued that reputation outside the womb as well.
"So I'm guessing the nightmare was about us leaving you, huh?" I ask, and Kit sighs a little, her usually squeaky, high, excited voice rather soft and quiet.
"It was.. scary, and weird," she says, the light from the hallway peeking through the room just enough so that I can see the wide expression on her face. "You didn't tell me where you were going, and then one day.. you were just gone."
"We would never do that, sweetheart," I whisper softly, and see Tris sigh a bit worriedly. "We'll always be here for you." I pause. "And don't forget that. Okay?"
"..Okay," Kit answers, snuggling her small body between two warm, safe pillars.
After we're both completely sure that Kit's asleep, Tris looks at me and props her head up on her hand, a soft frown on her face.
"What are we doing wrong?" She whispers. "She always seems different when she has a nightmare, like she's shocked or something. What do you think's doing this, Tobias?"
I shrug a little. "I don't know. She might just be prone to nightmares. It happens all the time with little kids," I reply softly, reaching over Kit and running a hand through Tris' hair- it hangs well below her shoulders now. "But we're here for her."
"Is that really all we can do?" She says, furrowing her brow. "Just.. be here?"
"That's it," I whisper back. "That's all she needs, y'know? Someone to hold onto. The same thing we needed when we were kids." Tris scoffs a little. "I know, I know. But at least she'll have that, even if we didn't."
"You're right," Tris whispers, letting out a sigh. She tucks a strand of hair behind Kit's ear, and I see Kit's eyes flutter in sleep. "One day at a time, right?"
"Of course," I whisper, leaning over ever so gently to give Tris a soft kiss, and I feel her hand cradle my jaw in her hand, lips tasting of dark warmth and sleep. She's been biting her lips again, too, pretty badly from what I can tell.
After I pull back, I smile a little. "Now try to get some sleep, yeah?
She sighs some, a tired smile on her lips, fighting through the worry, through the anxiety.
I think, over the past few years, I've learned that love prevails. Past the tired nights and angry days, even past the punch-a-hole-in-the-wall mornings, the cry-your-eyes-out afternoons. The evenings that you have to mop up the blood that you spilled that day and continue on. The nights you can't sleep, or the nights you refuse to. Love is there, and yes I do realize how cheesy that sounds. But it's true. Just watch and see.
Thanks for reading!