Trust is a Funny Thing

“Forgiveness is not forgiveness if it is worked for. Forgiveness is a gift. Trust is worked for.” –Bramble, from The Most Unlikely of Times

Alex knew that he’d gone too far on this one, knew it from the very bottom of his soul, but at the same time he wasn’t sorry.

After all, finding out that the more than questionable venture that you’d begun funding several years prior to your ‘younger’ sister even discovering that there was a fertility problem and somehow causing her to become pregnant via complete override of her husband’s own genetic code (supposedly) and actually doing it on purpose were two completely different things.

The outcome was the same, though, and he would never be sorry whenever he looked into the dark blue eyes of his nephew.

Alex knew that Mary would find out. She always did whenever it came to this kind of thing.

And if by some miracle she didn’t find out, then Warren certainly would.

The two of them were really quite perfect for one another and Alex would forever be grateful that neither really had the head to manage a business or his little business empire would be in a great deal of trouble.

As it was, he was still in trouble, but it would only be against his own peace of mind as a part of a family rather than as a mogul of the economy.

Funny how he would rather it be the other at this point…

Losing the trust of his sister would likely put a strain on their relationship, and though they would try to not let it affect any relationship between him and his nephew, it would. Whether they wanted to or not, children always picked up on this kind of thing.

“Alex, stop looking like your life’s about to end just because it’s your turn to change Terry’s diaper.”

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Tired Befuddlement

She was tired. So very tired.

It was probably because she’d stayed up late once more to watch as the stars came out. That in and of itself wouldn’t have caused this level of exhaustion by itself, but that hadn’t been all she’d done.

For one, you couldn’t see the stars come out in the city, which is where they lived, so she’d driven herself way out into the country, or what was left of the country this far inland. She’d been assured that the stars would be visible if she went far enough away though she still wouldn’t be able to see all of them like she wanted.

“Why do we have this much light pollution?” she’d asked her husband.

“It’s not just the light pollution, Mary,” Warren’d responded, “With a city this large we have to worry about the smog pollution as well.”

“Why did we decide to live here again?”

Warren had laughed and kissed his wife before helping her pack up what she was taking with her for her stargazing trip. He hadn’t been able to come due to needing to be at work for an important project earlier than normal in the morning.

It didn’t help that she’d stayed out, staring at the stars, longer than she had initially planned for. She’d almost decided to take a nap in the car and drive home after the sun was coming up, but had decided against it at the last moment. She’d be fine for the drive and she knew that Warren would worry if he didn’t see her before leaving for work even if all he saw was the top of her head under the covers.

Driving home had been easy to do safely, but keeping so alert had drained her more than it should have. She’d been having that reaction to a lot of things that had never given her any problems before. Now if only she could figure out why…

Anonymous Gift – SoC

Mary smiled as she held the little boy in her arms for the first time. Warren smiled down at his exhausted wife, knowing that any threats she might have breathed at him-

(“Why did I want this? What’s wrong with me? What’s wrong with you? Why did you let me do this?!)

-okay, maybe she didn’t so much as breathe them as scream them in the quietest voice he had ever heard her (or anyone else) use.

But this moment, standing next to her as they stared down at their little boy, their little gift from someone out there in the world.

It was worth it.


Inspired by the prompt for this week’s Stream of Consciousness prompt. Make sure to check it out as there is a guest prompter this week!

Extended Family

Mary didn’t talk about any extended family when she started dating Warren other than her older brother, Alex. As he didn’t have all that many relatives either, he didn’t find it odd that he was never introduced to any parents, grandparents or siblings. It wasn’t that odd in his experience to either not have family around or to be so estranged from them that they didn’t factor into any decisions you made.

His parents hadn’t been all that attached to him, but had worked long and hard jobs that kept them from one another as well. They weren’t bad people, but they weren’t very good at interacting with other human beings on anything other than a professional level. There were times when Warren honestly wondered how he’d come to exist.

Don’t You Worry

Alex worried about Mary.

(Alex always worried about Mary, it was practically encoded into his DNA for all that they had never met until they were both well into adulthood.)

Ever since the separation between Warren and Mary, Alex had been worried. There shouldn’t be any reason that he could think of for them to be having marital problems at. All. Much less ones that would require them to have a period of separation. So yes, Alex was very Worried, with a capitol W.

He knew that they’d had problems before.

(Somehow being unable to conceive a child had been something that they hadn’t wanted to broadcast and he had respected that. He’d never let them know that he knew…though sometimes he was certain they were just humoring him about his little attempts to know what was going on with them, but trying really hard not to at the same time.)

He’d known that Warren was having some kind of problems with work.

(Alex hadn’t known just what, exactly, those problems were, just that there was something not sitting right. He hadn’t been able to find out much more than that without letting anyone else know that he was looking. He didn’t want people to know that he was connected to Mary or Warren. It wasn’t safe to let that knowledge get out. Ever.)

“What is going on, Mary?” Alex murmured to himself.

He frowned as he thumbed through what little information he had been able to find out concerning his ‘little sister’ and her husband. The surprise pregnancy between them had been surprising to Alex as well as Mary and Warren. The fact that they’d actually found some way to visit him and talk about it.

He could still remember how that had gone…

“Mary! Warren! What a surprise!”

Alex had been both pleased and displeased to see them at the time. He’d had delicate operations going on and so wasn’t entirely certain when he’d need to go ‘off the grid’ so to speak. Then again, he was always happy to see his sister as she always reminded him that there was good in the world.

(She also randomly inspired him to donate more to charity and to foundations that looked into the cure of this or that illness.)

Mary was very pale and Warren had a pinched look to his face.

“I’m pregnant.” Mary whispered, her eyes almost as pale as her skin.

Warren did not look away, but stress lines appeared even deeper around her eyes.

Alex frowned at the couple, “Why is this bad news?”

Mary looked at the ground as Warren answered. “I’m sterile, Alex. It’s physically impossible for me to be the father of this child and yet, it is also physically impossible for Mary to even desire another now that she is with me.”

“I see…” And he did.

Someone, somewhere, had done something to either Mary or Warren that had caused this pregnancy and though it was obvious that the child had to have come about because of these two, it was impossible for the child to be of Warren’s own issue.

“I’ll try my hardest to look into this, but I’m not sure how long it could take.”

Alex wondered, now, if whatever it was that had caused the pregnancy and then the second one eight years later had been the cause of the dissolution of their marriage.

He had never been able to find out everything about how the pregnancy had come to be and a part of him blamed himself for the ruin that had come to his dear sister’s life as a result.

Wish You Could See

image: courtesy of Janssenfrank and taken from Wiki Commons

Mary sighed as she knelt down in front of the gravestone. Her hands did not tremble as they cleared away the grass and weeds that tried to cover the slab of cement, though her fingers lovingly traced the outline of the letters.

“It’s lonely without you, Warren. The boys aren’t home as often as they used to be, busy with work and school and friends. They don’t have as much time for their mother anymore.”

Terry had graduated high school with honors and was now attending university, his long-time girlfriend off and studying her way through dancing, his job not ending just because he had less time on his hands. If anything, he spent more time with his boss than with his mother.

“I don’t mind so much, Terrance is really coming into what he wants to be and I think he would make you proud with his dreams of going into law. He’s not just going to leave it to someone else to fix the mess that has often happened in our legal systems.”

Matt wasn’t in high school, not yet, but that was more because he hadn’t wanted to skip grades than anything else. Her little boy was smart and often spent time over with his brother at his workplace. Terry’s boss didn’t seem to mind and even let the pre-teen help out as well.

Mary smiled once more at her husband’s gravestone, “It seems that I am nothing more than a thought they have now and then, but I know that they still love me even if I don’t quite fit with them anymore.”

With a sigh, she stood.

“I wish you were here to grow old with me.”


This is a dual inspired post, part of it came from reading a post by Oliana this morning (nothingness) and also from the Light and Shade Challenge.

Has Passed

Warren never met with Alex alone. Mary was always there between them, the link that connected two people who would have never met in any other way.

Sometimes, Alex wondered what would have happened had he been able to help Warren with whatever it was that caused him to drift from his wife and children. Maybe he could have done something to stop it from happening.

Of course, Alex could wonder all he wanted. Nothing would change the past or what had happened as a result.

Speculation means nothing when the time to act has already passed.

But I am leaving the regions of fact, which are difficult to penetrate, but which bring in their train rich rewards, and entering the regions of speculation, where many roads lie open, but where a few lead to a definite goal. –Sir William Ramsay


Inspired by the quote from the Friday prompt from Light and Shade Challenge. This little snippet of my Former Guardian universe is brought to you by the fact that I didn’t stay under the 100 word limit in my last response to this prompt. Hurrah for stories running ahead without authorization!

(I might be a little loopy today.)