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Coming Home

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26 Re: Coming Home on Fri 06 Dec 2013, 11:13 pm

“Is mummy a princess too?” Jill looked serious at her dad.

“Of course.” Liam kissed Jill on the cheek. “So are you then a prince?”

“No darling I was more like a boy Cinderella.”

“So you were wearing a dirty dress before you met mummy?”

“No silly daddy does not wear dresses he is a boy.” Jane looked at her sister so shocked  that Liam started laughing.

“You know Princess your grandfather sometimes wears something that looks like a skirt it is called a kilt.” The thought of grandfather in a dress, Jill giggled.

 
A few days later.

“And remember girls Grandfather is a little bit older so you need to calm down a little bit okay… Jill?” Jo looked in the review mirror at her youngest daughter.

“What? I’m calm.” Jill said while she was stuffing another apple wedge in her mouth. Liam leaned over and kissed his wife.

“Are you sure your dad can handle the girls for an entire day?” He whispered. He trusted Colin but he also knew his girls.

“Yes he will be fine. The girls love to spend the day with him.” Jo parked the

“There are my little lassies!” Colin greeted the twins first and then hugged his daughter tightly. “Hello Princess.”

“Hello daddy.” Jo hugged her father tightly back, she loved Liam but sill it feels nice to be hugged by her dad. She was going to her first therapist session that morning. Liam would be going with her.

“So my little lassies are you ready to be good girls?”

“Yes grampy.” Both twins said like out of one mouth.

“Good, say goodbye to your parents now we got to have some breakfast and then I have some work to do.” Colin said trying to sound strict but he had a cheeky sparkle in his eyes as he took the bag and girls in the house while Liam and Jo drove to the therapist.

“Grampy do we have Weetabix for breakfast, again?” Jill was looking excited at Colin.

“Of course we do. We have lots to do.” Colin took his little lassie in the kitchen where he had three had a bowl of Weetabix, Colin knew what his granddaughters had a special taste so he had added little sugar hearts to Jane’s and little stars to the bowls.
It was a long day, Liam and Jo had several errands to run after the therapy session it was late afternoon when Jo and Liam parked again outside the large country cottage. Liam had his arm around Jo’s waist.

“You know I love the girls dearly but I also love spending just some time with you.”
Jo giggled. “I know. What do you think daddy and…” Jo had used the key but the scene the two parents found was… something. In the living room was a huge tent built of the fine silk bed sheets, Jane and Jill were wearing hula skirts and some shell bras while Colin, Professor Lord Colin Williams was dressed in a pirate costume.

“Arrrr you little hula girls I gonna catch you.” Colin said sounding like a Caribbean pirate.

“No you won’t.” Jill giggled and suddenly saw her parents.

“Mummy! Daddy! Look I’m a hula girl and Grampy is a pirate and we build this tent.” Jill screamed excited.

“Oh hello Princess.” Colin looked a little bit surprised.

“Hello, daddy.” Jo looked very confused at the scene.

“You look like you are having fun.” Liam grinned. Jane came out of the tent and took her dad’s hand. 

“Come I show you.”

While Liam went very excited with his daughters in the tent where they put on an eye patch and a hat on him and Colin walked to Jo.

“I’m sorry but you are a little bit early.” Colin laughed as hugged his daughter.

“Mother would kill you if she sees this!” Jo laughed.

“What in all the devil’s names are you doing here?!” Elizabeth starred at the scene in the living room. It didn’t surprise Liam that Jane pressed herself very tightly against Liam.

“Darling, I didn’t expect you until tomorrow.” Colin cleared his throat when he went to kiss his wife.

“I told them that I cannot travel in the morning.” Elizabeth looked from her husband to her daughter to Liam and the girls in the tent. 
“Please excuse me but I think you should go. I had a long journey and would like to get this house and my husband cleaned up.”
Elizabeth walked passed them and up the stairs.

“Grampy is Grandmother mad at us?” Jill asked as she climbed out from the tent.

“No she is just tired. We will meet very soon again wee lassies. But now I have to say goodbye. Can you let yourself out?”

“Sure.” Jo picked up Jill while Liam carried an actually shivering Jane. “I didn’t know Mother is coming back. It was so long that she was gone. Did father tell you anything that she is coming back?” They strapped the girls in the car seats and got in the car.

“Are you okay?” Liam whispered both Jo and Liam were not surprised that Jane fell asleep before the car even left the parking area.

“I think so. I’m just confused that daddy did not mention that she is coming home.” Jo was quiet for a while. “Thanks for coming with me today. It was a good session.”


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27 Re: Coming Home on Tue 10 Dec 2013, 4:20 pm

The next day Jo and Liam got surprised by a call. Liam was the unfortunate one who had picked up the phone.

“You will join my husband and me for dinner tonight”, Elizabeth said without saying ‘hello’ first, and she didn’t even bother asking if Jo and Liam had time.

“Ehm…did we plan-“

“Dinner starts at seven sharp. Do not be late.”

Liam was about to say something but she had already hung up. He just stared at the phone when Jo walked in.
“Who was that?”

“My very charming Mother-in-law.”

“What did she want?” Jo sounded a bit worried.

“She invited us for dinner tonight- in her very lovely, polite way.”

Jo sighed. “We don’t have to go. She can’t just demand that we’re jumping whenever she opens her mouth.”

“I agree with you, but she…well…she sounded like she’s going to get out a gun if we don’t join her for dinner tonight.”

“Will my dad be there too?”

“Yes, she mentioned him.”

Jo took a deep breath. “Maybe she’s trying to make things right. I know it doesn’t sound like it, especially when she demands us to come to dinner, but she must have learned something while she was away.”

“So you think we should go?”

“Yes, let’s get it over with and see if she has improved. It will make her happy- hopefully.”

“I just hope your dad’s presence will make things a little less…tense.”

“Yes, I hope so too”, Jo mumbled, not sure yet what this evening was going to be about. She hoped her mother would make an effort and stop scaring Jane and Jill.

That same evening, before the O’Dohertys left for dinner, it was also dinner time in the von Gruensee household, which usually meant that everyone had to be there. Everyone. When Lorelai walked into the dining room, however, one family member was missing.
“Boys, where is your brother?”, Lorelai asked her two younger sons.

“He’s in his room”, Edward answered.

“He’s been in his room all day”, Henry added. “And he doesn’t want to come out. I wanted to go in but he locked it and he told me to leave him alone.”

Lorelai frowned, then she turned to John. “Do you know anything?”

“No, I just got here.”

“Okay, I’ll check on him.”

“He sounded very depressed”, Edward said.

“What is depressed?” Henry looked at his brother.

“It means sad.”

“Oh, yes. He sounds sad.” Henry nodded.

“Okay, I’ll go and check. I know this is an exception, but if I need a little longer, you can start dinner without me.”

Her three men at the table nodded, then she went upstairs and knocked on Dan’s door.
“Dan, honey, are you okay?”

No answer.

“Dan, are you there? You have to answer me, okay? I have to know that you’re alright.”

A very weak ‘please go away’ came from the other side of the door. Lorelai raised an eyebrow. Nobody could just tell her to go away. She was also worried and didn’t want to just leave her son in his room while something seemed to be wrong with him. She wanted to open the door but it was locked, though that didn’t stop her because she had copies of the keys from every single room, including Dan’s room. She quickly went to her office to get the spare key, then she returned to his room and unlocked the door. At first she didn’t see him because he was in his bed, hidden deep under the blanket.
“Dan, what’s going on? Is everything okay?” Lorelai sat down on his bed but she didn’t pull the blanket away yet. She waited a bit for an answer, but he didn’t say anything. “Is it Filipe?”
The moment he mentioned his name, she heard a sob from under the blanket. Boy troubles. Of course.
“I know it’s not my business but I have to ask you this. Did he hurt you?”

Still no answer, and Lorelai got enough of this. She needed to know what was going on and if her son was hurt. She carefully pulled the blanket aside. Dan was curled up in a ball and it was obvious that he had cried for hours.
“Oh, honey.” She gently touched his face. “Did he make you do anything against your will?”

Dan shook his head, trying really hard not to cry. “He didn’t want me.”

“Sorry?”

“He got tired of me. He said he never wanted a real relationship anyway, he just wanted to have fun, nothing serious. He said I was needy and too attached and it got annoying.”

Lorelai sighed. She got a little closer and pulled him into a tight hug.
“This idiot doesn’t know what he’s missing. He doesn’t deserve you at all.”

“I loved him. I still do.”

“I know.” Lorelai brushed gently through his hair while he buried his head in her shoulder. She didn’t care that he was already sixteen, he was her son and he needed her.
“First loves can be tough, and they certainly don’t all end happy”, she said with a calm voice. “It’s his loss, Dan. I know you will need your time to get over him and you should give yourself that time, but listen to me. One day you will meet someone who really loves you for who you are, and he will appreciate you and adore you and be grateful that he has met you. If Filipe didn’t see how special you really are, he was not right for you. You deserve someone who appreciates you, and that someone will come along, I know he will.”

In that moment John appeared in the door frame. “Everything alright?”, he asked carefully.

Lorelai smiled briefly at him. “You guys just start without us, I think we’ll need some time”, she said quietly.


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28 Re: Coming Home on Fri 13 Dec 2013, 12:46 am

Jo was nervous Jane had a third neck to be awake at seven but she would also warn her mother that the girls would not have to stay up when they got tired.

“Jo, darling I think we’ve got everything. We have a snack in case the girls don’t like the dinner and we have their stuffed toys and a change of clothes and so much other stuff. I think we need to leave.”

Jo sighed and leaned into Liam’s embrace. “Just don’t leave me alone with her.”

“I won’t.” Liam kissed his wife and then went in the girls’ rooms to get them. “Okay, Cupcake it is time to go. Remember you need to behave nicely at Grandmother’s house.”

“Daddy will Grandmother shake me again.” Jill was pulling at her dress she didn’t really like the pretty and very fancy dress she was wearing and she was very, very nervous about seeing her grandmother again.
Liam picked up his little girl for one to stop her from pulling at her dress and to reassure her. “I will make sure she does not shake you again. Just try to behave okay?”

“Okay. Will we have nice dinner?” Jill asked while she walked next to her dad to go downstairs to the car. “I’m sure it will be… special.”

Liam wasn’t surprised when Elizabeth told them that they were late as she always did. Jane held on very tightly to her dad and Jo followed with Jill.

“Good evening Mother.”

“You are late! As always, I taught you better.” As always Lady Elizabeth looked as if she bit into a lemon. Jill was pulling at her mummy’s hand. “Mummy, mummy!?”

Jo ignored Jill for a little bit while Elizabeth ushered the servant to take their very light summer coats, the O’Dohertys hadn’t even worn them but Jo knew that her mother expected them to have coats. Not until the servant let them into the large salon did Jo sat down on the couch and pulled Jill on her lap. “Remember how I told you that we need to walk nicely to the salon and sit down and then can chat again? So what is it Munchkin?”

Jill looked very guilty at Jo. “Sowwy mummy, but I need to talk to Grandmother.”

“Oh, um yes sure.” Jo looked help seeking at Liam.

“Jill why do you want to talk to your Grandmother?” Liam asked as he sat down next to Jo closer as Elizabeth liked.

“It is important.” Jill looked now so serious and desperate as her little face could look.

“Okay, but um can you talk to her here?” Liam was nervous, he didn’t like the thought of his little girl alone with Elizabeth, not after the last time she had shook Jill so roughly. It was a wonder that Jill was not hurt.

“I can do that.” Jill nodded agreeing at her father and waited patiently for Elizabeth to come in the room.

“What are you whispering so secretively over there? Whispering is rude!” Elizabeth entered the room followed by her husband.

“Elizabeth?” Colin smiled at Jo and Liam and of course the little gingers on their laps. Jill crawled from Jo’s lap and walked over to Elizabeth who was sitting across the small coffee table on the other couch.

“Grandmother?” Jill was standing at her knees in her little white dress. Elizabeth fought to find the right words. She was not sure how to address her.

“What is it that you have to say, Josephine you should teach your… them not to approach adults without being spoken to.” Elizabeth snapped in her usual tone.

“Mother, I mentioned it before that we do teach the girls manners but different ways as you think is right. We encourage the girls to ask us or anyone questions. They learn from all of us.” Jo said, Liam looked at her he hated it when she took this submissive tone in her voice, the tone she had when she spoke to her mother. Liam took her hand and added. “We teach them the freedom of speech.”

Elizabeth just took another mental bite of not just a sour but also a bitter lemon.

“Grandmother I think you have blockage. Daddy said if you have blockage you have to drink orange juice.” Jill turned around and looked at the servant in the corner. “Can you bring my grandmother orange juice for her blockage? Oh and please.”

Everyone in the room just starred at Jill and she didn’t even mind. Jill really liked being the centre of attention. And then suddenly Colin burst into laughter, a real loud beary laughter. “Oh Jill! Thank you. Come here my wee lassie, sit on my lap and tell me some of your stories.”

Elizabeth started mumbling. “Blockage. Not proper. How dare she? A Lady does not talk about such thing…”

Jo was in minor shock and just stared, while Jane was resting her head against her dad’s shoulder.

“My Lady please excuse me but dinner is served.” Another servant appeared in the door to the dining room. No one moved everyone was still sort of shell shocked.

“Oh dinner, come Grampy. We shall not be late. I think you get your orange juice at the table, Grandmother.” Jill said serious as she pulled Colin into the dining room. “Oh so pretty look mummy flowers, look Janey there are yellow flowers, like your duckling.”

This was going to be the weirdest dinner Jo ever had with her mother and they had some weird ones.

“Look Grandmother there is your orange juice. I’m sure after dinner you can make a big poo. You will feel better when it all came out. I always do. Sometimes when I ran a lot I do two poos a day. But I never had blockage. Does your bottom hurt?” Jill looked still so serious, it was just too comical.

“Jill, my wild wee lassie we can talk about that after dinner.”

“Okay we will Grampy, maybe we all should have some orange juice. Is it a big dinner?”

“It will be.” Colin smiled.

“Good I’m very hungry.” Jill climbed on the next to her mom and Colin, while Jane sat between Liam and Elizabeth and Jo sat next to Liam. The two maids brought in the first course a very light and cold cucumber soup.

“Are we eating troll boogies?” Jill asked very curious. “Grandmother you need to drink your orange juice.”


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29 Re: Coming Home on Tue 17 Dec 2013, 8:57 am

The entire time Liam had troubles not to burst out into laughter, but as soon as Jill opened her little mouth it was almost impossible to remain quiet. And the look on Elizabeth’s face… just priceless!

“I will certainly not drink that”, Elizabeth said, looking almost disgustingly at the glass of orange juice.

“But Grandmother, your blockage-“

“Enough of this!”, she snapped at Jill who immediately startled.

“Elizabeth.” Colin gently placed his hand on her shoulder. “Remember what we talked about.”

Elizabeth glared at the little red-headed girl, not happy at all, then she took her spoon without a comment and ate her cucumber soup. Liam and his daughters didn’t seem to enjoy that soup, but they ate it quietly for the moment while Jo and Colin kept up a light conversation about Waterfall Downs in order to avoid awkward silence.
When the main course was served, Liam was hoping that it would be something edible, but it was some weird kind of pheasant meat with an even weirder sauce and some vegetables. Even the vegetables were strange, something kids (and Liam) usually didn’t like to eat, like eggplant and some other stuff. Colin didn’t know that Elizabeth had chosen this very strange food, which wasn’t usually strange for them but Colin knew that children would not like to eat that. Liam was polite enough to eat the meat but when he got to the vegetables he was tempted to get his napkin and ‘accidently’ cough into it. However, Elizabeth kept glaring in his direction which made it impossible for him to spit his vegetables out. Jane made a face when she swallowed the eggplant while Jill simply spit it out.

“What are you doing?” Elizabeth looked outraged at Jill.

“I’m sorry, Grandmother, but it tastes so weird.”

“It certainly does not taste weird.”

Colin cleared his throat. “Darling, I’m afraid I have to agree with our granddaughter here. You have to understand that this is a very specific meal and not every child likes it. Children have a much…simpler taste.”

“Josephine ate those things as well.”

Now everyone turned their heads to Jo.

“Because she had to”, Colin said, saying exactly what Jo was thinking.

“It is proper food, I do not see why those children act so weird about it.”

Colin sighed, then he turned to Jo. “They can have something else. Did you bring snacks or something with you?”

Jo nodded and her mother was about to protest, but Colin stopped her on time and Jo got some ‘normal’ food for her daughters. Liam looked almost a little jealous, since he, as a ‘grown-up’, could not just get out some toddler snacks from Jo’s bag, so he had to swallow the weird vegetables and that weird meat and hoped the dessert was better. How much could go wrong with a dessert?
Apparently a lot when Elizabeth chose it… Instead of something yummy to make up for that rather disgusting main course, they got some strange-tasting cream that tasted a bit like mascarpone, only it wasn’t mascarpone. There was a very weird taste to it and it was also very rich, and Jo and Liam kept exchanging looks as they – very, very slowly- ate that cream.

“So, Jo, are you planning to hire any new teachers next year?”, Colin asked, bravely emptying the bowl of that weird cream stuff.

Jo shook her head. “No, all our teachers are great and so far we are in no need of new teachers.”

“How is my fellow Scotsman James doing?”

When her grandfather mentioned that name, Jane immediately looked up.

“Oh, he’s fine, and he’s doing a great job with the children. He’s basically born for this, he’s a natural”, Jo answered, smiling because her older daughter immediately paid attention now that someone had mentioned her James.

“That’s good, I was sure he would quickly adjust and really like Waterfall Downs.” Colin smiled. “God, Arthur cared so much about that boy, he would have loved to see him as a teacher at Waterfall Downs.”

“Arthur?”, Liam asked.

“Arthur Jackson, Alfie’s grandfather.”

“The famous one”, Jo said with a grin.

“Isn’t any Jackson kind of famous?”, Liam asked, finally finishing his bowl.

“But my father hasn’t talked about any Jackson as much as he talks about Arthur.”

“That is true.” Colin nodded in agreement. “And he took that little Scottish boy right in, got him a place in the best school and made sure that he got a proper education. Yes, he would have liked to see James at your school, I’m sure about it.”

“James likes my piano playing”, Jane said, though a little shyly, wanting to be part of the conversation.

Jo chuckled. “James likes everything about you, Munchkin.”

“And Janey likes James!”, Jill shouted, which made her sister uncomfortable. Liam could feel a little sting of jealousy once again because everyone loved James, but on the other hand he couldn’t dislike that guy because he was a really nice guy and Liam liked him, he just saw James a little like competition, which was childish, he knew that and he knew he had to stop thinking like that.

Colin laughed “Oh, I see.”

Elizabeth sat silently on her chair, observing very closely that Jo and Liam had finished their dessert- which they had, but both of them felt really full right now and wished they wouldn’t have eaten that stupid cream stuff. At least Elizabeth didn’t have a really crazy freak out that evening and Colin managed to keep conversations light, which both Liam and Jo were thankful for.


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30 Re: Coming Home on Tue 17 Dec 2013, 11:29 pm

Jo’s birthday this year fell on a Wednesday his year. “I know it is early but the girls really want to have time to have breakfast with you and I thought a kiss from me is a nicer way to be woken then Jill jumping up and down on you.” Liam whispered while he kissed Jo over and over again. Jo started stirring. Liam looked at his wife that just turned twenty-three and she has accomplished so much and she was just so young. And she was so beautiful!

“What time is it?” Jo didn’t have classes ever before nine often even ten.

“Just half past seven.” Liam whispered he knew the reaction to this.

Jo moaned very theatrical and buried her face in the pillows. “Early.” Liam chuckled, pushed her hair aside and stared nibbling at her ear lope. “We’ve got breakfast. And apparently Jill planned a surprised for you tonight, she doesn’t stop babbling about it.”

Jo moaned again but this time for another reason. “Is there time for a quick one?”

“Mummy! Come it’s your day!” Jill opened the door and finally jumped on her parents’ bed. “It’s birthday day!”

“Answers that your question?” Liam laughed and watched Jill to make sure she didn’t fell off the bed.

“Daddy help! The ketchup is touching my eggs!” Jane shrieked sounding very panicked. Jo giggled as she grabbed Jill and started tickling her while Liam went in the kitchen to safe his other girl from the evilness of the ketchup that dared to touch Jane’s fried eggs.

“Mummy you tickle.” Jill squealed in laughter. Jo laughed too this was a wonderful birthday just a normal day in her perfect life. “Okay the tickle monster is gone shall we go get breakfast?”

“Yes, there are hash browns and muffins, that are cupcakes without icing. And daddy made us hot malt drinks, it looks like coffee.” Jill was as always babbling while Jo carried Jill in the kitchen. Jill was playing with her mum’s hair. “You so pretty mummy.”

“Of course because she is mummy.” Jane said smiling again, now that her eggs were saved from the ketchup. “Happy birthday mummy. Daddy made you coffee. He said you want coffee.” Jane was smiling shy at her mum.

“Coffee perfect and eggs. I heard we are having hash browns too and muffins.” Jo grinned as she sat down on her seat at the table next to Liam, while the twins were sitting on the bench at the wall. Liam had built them additions so that they sat evenly with the table. “Look there are flowers, Auntie Ricky said you like daisies the most.” Jane smiled while she pulled her napkin straight in her lap.

“They are beautiful.”

“Mummy I want to stay home today, I want to be with you.” Jill said with a mouth full of breakfast.

“I’m already a step ahead of you little miss. You and your sister can spend the day with me. My pupils said they want a special day and you two can join me. If your dad says it’s okay.”

“Daddy? Please?” Jane and Jill said like one and who could withstand those intense blue eyes? Liam tried really hard to look as if he was thinking about it and considering saying no. “I don’t know, your classes are really difficult and you would have to sit very quiet in the room.” And then Liam couldn’t stop himself anymore. “Of course you can be with mummy today.”

A little bit later all his three girls were dressed really nicely in skirts, and blouses. “Look daddy we go to school.” Jill grinned, she was wearing leggings and her new Chuck Taylor sneaker. “I’m all ready for school.” She was wearing her little red backpack. “I have a lunch with me a yogurt, and apple, a juice pack and a granola bar. Oh I forgot a pen. Just a moment please.” Jill ran off into her room to get a pen and a small notebook. Jo starred at Liam both of them were grinning. “Okay ready! We can go.” Jill grinned widely at her parents. All four went downstairs and another school day at Waterfall Downs began.


 
“Daddy I need you I don’t get my yogurt open.” Jill burst into Liam’s classroom, Liam was teaching his advanced physics class and they were all working on robots. Liam turned around and there in the door was Jill holding her yogurt and her magic spoon that changed its colour when it gets warm. “Please.”

“Jill I thought you are with mummy?” Liam went to his girl and quickly threw a look over his shoulder at his class. None of them seemed offended that Jill had walked in on them.

“I lost her. We all went to the library but when I arrived she wasn’t there so I came here because I got hungry but the yogurt is stuck.” Jill explained with her serious voice. “What are you doing?”

“What am I doing?” Liam looked a little confused at his daughter.

“We are building robots. Wanna see mine? I managed that it can lift its arms and walk.” One of Liam’s pupils said. Everyone in Waterfall Downs loved the little ginger duo, normally they were always coming in a double pack but on rare occasions you might find Jill or Jane alone.

“Whoa! Really?” Jill forgot about her yogurt problem and went to the pupil, the only girl in Liam’s advanced physics class. “Look I’ve got new shoes. They are really comfortably. And I can jump.”

“Jill please, I try to teach here.”

“Oh but Professor just let her stay, it is not dangerous and Jill knows not to put anything in her mouth right?”

“Just my snacks.” Jill grinned and started munching the opened yogurt Liam handed her. Liam looked at the youngest boy in the class, most of the pupils that was since a while at WDA started calling Liam Professor. Not as a joke or to offend him but to honour him, after a very famous German Professor in a book about four sisters.

“Okay but you need to be quiet. I need to teach those silly geese something.” Liam kissed his daughter on the top of her head.

“You are a geese.” Jill giggled. Jill did chatter a litter with all pupils and had her snacks. She liked watching her daddy do his work.

“Lunch!” Jill screamed as the gong went and ran out of the room.

“I guess she has her priorities set.” The female pupil chuckled. Liam and his class went to the dining hall. They all spread to sit with friends and Liam went to his girls.

“So I hear you found the daughter I lost?” Jo laughed and kissed Liam.

“Yeah she showed up and said I need to help her.” Liam kissed Jo a second time.

“Hello Liam.” James sat down across Liam, next to Jane. Jane blushed and starred at her plate and that is when she noticed that the carrot and cucumber sticks were not sorted. “Here use this.” James whispered the into the little girls ear and handed her the saucer of his cup.

“Oh.” Jane started piling the carrots on the saucer.

“Hello James. How was your morning?” Liam asked while he cut Jill’s sandwich smaller that she could eat it easier.

“It was good, my snails hatched.” James grinned cheeky and stood up. “Excuse me, are we all here? Ready?”

Pupils around him nodded and said yes. “Dearest Missis Jo, today is a very special day. So we planned something, a little surprise. We do understand that you would like to spend the evening with your family so we had to use the lunch hour to surprise you. Okay. My little sheep up you get.” James jumped around and helped here and there pupils and then standing in the middle he acted as sort conductor when everyone started singing. “It's a hap-hap happy birthday, May you live to be, a hundred-and-three; It's a hap-hap happy birthday, A hap-happy birthday to you. It's a hap-hap happy birthday, May you live to be, a hundred-and-three; It's a hap-hap happy birthday, A hap-happy birthday to you. Take a bow, take a bow on your birthday, Your birthday, your birthday; Show us how, show us how on your birthday, You still look as good as new. It's a hap-hap happy birthday, May you have luck galore, nock at your door; It's a hap-hap happy birthday, A hap-happy birthday to you. A hap-happy birthday to you. A hap-happy birthday to Missis Jo.” It wasn’t the Queen’s choir singing but it meant the world to Jo.

“Oh my dears. Thank you so much. That was wonderful.” Jo was fighting the tears seeing all those honest faces looking at her with so much love and respect. Liam was holding Jo’s hand or she was holding his she liked those small gestures of affection. “As you all know when I was well before I met Liam my birthdays looked very different and this lunch is so much better, so I got a little surprise to. I though some cake for lunch is suitable for the occasion so please enjoy your lunch and then after your sandwiches and soup you all get to have some raspberry white chocolate cake.” Jo smiled widely, she has not just planned to have cake but also healthy alternatives for the few diabetic pupils and other pupils that were watching their weight because they were on the heavier side and wanted to become healthier or just didn’t like cake.

The rest of the afternoon went so well and finally when school was out Jo took the girls upstairs. Liam was already home. “Hello my beautiful ladies.”

“Daddy, daddy it is time for the show!” Jill shouted so excited.

“The show?” Jo looked questioning at Liam.

“Yes Jill and Jane have planned a birthday show for you. So if you please would sit down.” Liam led Jo in the living room where Jill and Jane had done all the preparations. Jane was sitting behind her little yellow piano and Jill was well shaking herself as if she had a seizure but she had seen the other day on the TV how actors prepared to act.

“A show. I like shows.” Jo smiled as she saw the cup of tea on the table waiting for her. “Liam you are wonderful. I love you so much!”

“At least this time I’m not drunk, or hurt you, or make you cry.” Liam mumbled.

“All those days are very dear to me, don’t make them look any less wonderful as they are.” Jo leaned against Liam who had the video camera ready to record the first show of his daughters.

“Okay Janey ready?” Jill said now sounding like one of those radio entertainers.

“I am all set.” Jane answered.


“Hit it Janey!” Jill girnned and started dancing to Jane’s music. 


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31 Re: Coming Home on Tue 31 Dec 2013, 4:31 pm

Jill cleared her throat, looking all serious now. “Oh wait, I forgot something!” She quickly ran into the next room and came out with a pencil.

“Why do you need this?”, her sister asked, slightly confused.

“To sing!”

“You need a pen to sing?”

“Yes!” Jill nodded excitedly. “It’s my micophoney thingy.”

Jo giggled. “You mean microphone?”

“Yes.”

“But-“ Jane was about to say that singing into a pencil wouldn’t make sense, but her twin shook her head.

“Let’s start, Janey.” Jill held the pencil close to her lips.

Jane nodded, then she started playing the first notes, which didn’t sound that bad actually. For a two-year old Jane could really play well, she came so much after her grandfather. Jill, however, didn’t seem to have inherited Graham’s musical talent. While Jane started playing her little yellow piano, Jill began singing, or rather, shouting. She blurted out a medley of various songs that she liked and that she knew her mummy liked as well. While Liam, who filmed the whole show, almost cried from laughing behind his camera, Jo just watched her daughters completely fascinated although Jill really screamed out some notes and a few songs in there were almost unrecognisable. However, the way both girls performed the show and how seriously they took it (especially Jane with her very serious and concentrated look) made both parents so proud, even though Liam had a hard time not to laugh. He was still incredibly proud of his little girls and what they achieved and how much effort they had put into the show. Just the selection of the songs alone was a proof that the twins had really thought about their show instead of just doing it without planning. Jill grinned the entire time while she blurted out her super funny and very unique medley:

You me suuuunshine, me only suuuunshine
You make habby when skies are gaaaaay
You ever know dear how much I love…
Please don’ make me suuuunshine ‘way

Hey Dude, don’ make it back.
Make… sad song and nake… bedder.
‘emember… let her in you heart.
Then you can start… bedder. Bedder. BEDDER!

… can ways go – DOWNTOWN
Sings …da dada I know DOWNTOWN
Must risen to the ridden of gentle bossy lover
… Lights are much brighter … DOWNTOWN!

Rouh rouh get a rouh Yeah.
Get a rouh rouh rouh I get a rouh.
Get a rouh rouh rouh I get a rouh
From down to down
Get a rouh rouh rouh I get a rouh
… a real cool hat.
get a rouh rouh rouh I get a rouh
Aim takin real good bad.

Weeeeeeell…
You know make  me SHOUT
Kick my eels and SHOUT
Srow my hands SHOUT
Srow my back SHOUT
Come on SHOUT
Don’ f’get say SHOUT
Don’ f’get say-ay-ay-ay-ay SHOUT


In between Jane briefly looked at her sister because she got the melody wrong, but Jane – very professionally- continued playing while her sister continued singing.

I feel pity
Oh so pity
I feel pity and witty and GAY
And I pretty
Andy girl who is my tonight
I feel darming
Oh so darming
It larming how darming I feel
and so pity.

You dance, you hive, havin time of life
See girl, watch screen, diggn ancing keen
Fiday night and light low
Looking of place go
Were play music in swing
Come look king
Andy bory could be gay
Night young music high
Wis bid stone music edy sing is fine
You in mood a dance

Big girls don cry
Big girls don cry
Big girls don cry
They don’t cry
Big girls don cry
Who said they don’t cry?
Me girl said goodbye
My oh my
My girl didn cry
I wonder why

Lollipoplollipop
Ohlollilollilolli
Lollipoplollipop
Ohlollilollilolli
Lollipoplollipop
Ohlollilollilolli
Lollipop *POP*
Lollipop *POP*
Call me baby Lollipop
Tell you why
‘Cause his sweater than anapple pie
And he does saky doggin tance
Man I hav got shanse
I call
Lollipoplollipop
Ohlollilollilolli
Lollipoplollipop
Ohlollilollilolli
Lollipoplollipop
Ohlollilollilolli
Lollipop *POP*


And then, shortly before they finished, Jill’s grin grew wider. “You ready for the end?” She briefly looked at her sister, then she shouted the last song into her pencil:
Black birdy sing in ted of right
Rake thee boken wrings and fry
All… life
You only moment wait arrive to
Black birdy sing in ted of right
Rake thee singing eyes see to learn
All… life
You only moment wait free be
Black birdy fry, black birdy fry
In sight of the bark black light
Black birdy fry, black birdy fry
In sight of the bark black light
Black birdy sing in ted of right
Rake thee poken wrings and fly learn
All… life
You only moment wait cries


„Merry Christmas, Mummy!“, Jill squeaked.

“It’s Happy Birthday!”, Jane corrected her.

“Oh. Yes! Happy Birthday, Mummy!”

Jane got up and both girls took a bow. Jo and Liam were on their feet and gave them the deserved standing ovation.

“That was absolutely brilliant!” Jo smiled at her daughters and hugged them tightly. “That was the best birthday present. Thank you so much, Munchkins!”

“That was a great present, girl”, Liam said while the twins ran to their parents and hugged them. “How did you come up with that? That was just brilliant!”

The girls smiled proudly.
“We’re just very smart”, Jill answered with a cheeky grin.


_________________


SPN: Georgina (Georgie) Gilmore
SG: The Kid
LaL: Willow
PA: Skadi
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32 Re: Coming Home on Sun 05 Jan 2014, 11:06 pm

Jill was so excited after this show that it took Jo nearly an hour to calm her down for bed. But in the end she fell asleep still babbling.

“She is finally asleep. What about Jane?” Jo snuggled to Liam on the couch.

“She is asleep since half an hour.” Liam kissed his wife. “You should me bring the two to bed. It’s your birthday.”

“Liam it is an honour to be their mum. I love bringing them to bed.” Jo smiled. “This was a perfect birthday. Thank you Handsome!”


 
It was the peace before the storm just a few weeks later Jo woke up with a very heavy head. Liam noticed that she was quieter but he just thought she had slept poorly. “Are you okay Jo?” Liam kissed Jo gentle on the cheek. He noticed that she was quite warm.

“Yes, just tired.” Jo mumbled.

“Okay just take it easy a little today.” Liam looked at Jo again but would also keep an eye on his wife during the day.

It was his last hour before lunch he already planned to tell Jo that she should go upstairs and take a nap in the afternoon. “Daddy! Daddy! Come, quick!” Jill burst into Liam’s classroom. He knew his daughter’s tendency to overdramatize things a little bit so she didn’t just run with her. “Cupcake what is it?”

“Daddy, quick. Mummy is sleeping on her table.” Jill shouted. That is when Liam understood why Jill was so shocked. She must be scared, knowing his daughter he knew that she tried to shake Jo awake. So finding her mum asleep on her desk and trying to wake her up without success.  “Okay I’m coming. Um guys just continue with the calculations and error check each other’s works. I need to bring Missis Jo to bed.” Liam hurried after Jill and found Jo sitting in her armchair deep sleep, a few of her pupils were in the room with her.

“Hey guys listen Jo is just ill can you all please go in your classroom and do something useful. What class would you have with her?” Liam asked as he checked that Jo had a pulse and was breathing.

“We were meant to do a spelling competition.” Sarah said.

“Okay, here.” Liam got Jo’s holy complete Oxford dictionary and handed it to Sarah. “Jo loves this book respect it! And no cheating.”

The pupils left and Liam picked up Jo with ease. “Cupcake, Princess you need to be big girls now and come with daddy. I will then call Betty from upstairs. And Cupcake you need to walk the stairs alone I’m behind you but I can’t hold your hand.”

“Is mummy going to be okay?” Jane asked, she was a daddy’s-girl but she also loved her mummy so much.

“Yes she will be. Come on let’s go.” It took a while because Liam was worried that his girls might fall so they walked slowly the stairs but in the end Jo was settle in her bed.

“Daddy we want to help. Look I’m a doctor.” Jane came in the parents’ bedroom dressed in her lab coat, her fake geek glasses, the old fashioned mirror thing on a head band and her little toy doctor’s case.

“Me too. I’ve got an apple so the big people’s doctor can stay away.” Jill said. Liam sighed he didn’t want his girls to get ill as well.

“Girls no, please get out…”

“Hey Muchkins mummy is ill. I need to sleep, okay?” Jo woke up and turned to look at Liam.

“Can we help, please mummy?” Jill asked as both girls looked pleading at Liam.

“Okay but first we need to make sure that you will stay healthy. Let’s get you some vitamins.”

“Nothing to strong Liam.” Jo whispered. Liam wasn’t sure if she was talking about her medications or the vitamins for the girls. Liam gave both girls their vitamin C and also some multivitamins. He made some tea for Jo and a can of chicken soup. “Daddy what if mommy is not hungry?” Jane asked as she carried the bowl of the apple compote Jo had made a few days ago.

“We’ll see what mommy feels like she will have to eat a little bit so she can take the cold medicine.” Liam remembered that Jo’s stomach gets funny when she takes medicine without having eaten.

“Daddy shall I sing for mommy?” Jill asked she had run into her room and got some books.

“Are you singing from the books?” Liam smiled, he was carrying the tray with soup, tea, toast and medicine. He braced himself to convince Jo to take the medicine, it was better but he knew she would ask if she really had to take it.

“No daddy, the books are for when mummy doesn’t want me to sing.” Jill answered.

“Cupcake mummy is ill she needs to rest she can’t read to you.” Liam put the tray down on the nightstand.

“I know, I will read to her.” Jill said as she climbed into the big bed of Liam and Jo. Jo was barely awake as Liam kissed Jo to see how hot she was. It has been so long that Jo was so ill, she was still at University. Liam remembered how badly those colds could go, and by now he had a theory because she was so well protected in childhood and of course did not get breastfed -a hideous idea that Lady Elizabeth Williams would breastfeed- and that causes every few years a really bad cold; possibly a borderline pneumonia obviously not treated as such since Jo is too afraid of doctors. Jill settled in the parental bed on Liam’s side and started reading her book. While Jane was sitting a little further down petting her mother’s hand looking very serious with her little girl doctor look on her face. Liam sighed this would be awfully difficult. “Girls daddy has to make a phone call. You two take care of mommy okay?”

“Okely dokely daddy we watch mummy.” Jill grinned and continued reading a book about a little duck that thinks it is ugly but in the end she will turn out to be a swan. Jill liked this book a lot.

“Hey Ellen it’s Liam.”


“Oh hello, are you okay I heard Jo is not feeling well?” Ellen was sitting in her own office, the office of the housemother. In the background Gracie was feeding her dolly. 

“She is well yeah having one of her very bad colds. She will be fine, I’ll take care of her.”


“Do you need help?” Ellen knew the answer but she still wanted to offer.

“No. I mean, no thank you I can handle that.” Liam scratched his chin. “We will be fine. I just need mine and Jo’s classes to be covered and possibly someone looking after the girls. At the moment they won’t leave Jo’s side but maybe someone can watch some tomorrow.”


“Oh sure Liam I didn’t think you couldn’t take care of Jo, I’m sure we find someone to watch the girls. Maybe Sarah likes to teach Jill some more lacrosse and Jane will sit in the music room and listen.” Ellen smiled, she knew how protective Liam was about Jo.

“Sorry I didn’t mean to be rude. I’m just worried about Jo.” Liam mumbled.


“Don’t worry your classes will be covered and you just give us a shout if you need anything.”
Liam hung up and found Jo deep asleep, with Jill still reading now another book and Jane brushing her mummy’s hair. “Girl listen mummy needs to take some medicine now can you go play for a little bit and I call you when mummy is settled again?” Jill and Jane looked at Liam they didn’t understand why they had to leave the room but they nodded and went out.

“Hey Jo, come on wake up time for some medicine.” Liam help Jo; sit up and very gentle forced some syrups and tablets into his wife. After some coughing and whining he helped her get changed into her pyjamas and then carried her on the couch, he knew she would hate to be left out. “The girls?” Jo’s voice was hoarse and her eyes not at all open.

“Here they are.” Liam grinned when Jane and Jill couldn’t stay away any longer.

“Can we be with mummy again?” Jane asked very shy.

“Of course Princess.” Liam kissed Jane and then Jill, he planned to make Jo a hot water bottle and heat up the soup in the microwave and make Jo to eat some when the door bell interrupted him.


“Hello Liam, I heard that Jo is ill and I thought I come and bring you some of my very special hay leg wraps.” Matt stood in the door frame and tried peek into the flat hoping he got a glimpse on a semi dressed Jo.


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33 Re: Coming Home on Sun 12 Jan 2014, 12:31 pm

Liam glared warily at the older man. What the hell was he thinking? That he couldn’t take care of his own wife? Besides, this dude was in charge of the animals and not humans, so it bugged Liam immensely that he just walked in like that and acted like he was the freaking nurse. Okay, if any other female teacher would have done it, it wouldn’t have bugged Liam as much. With male teachers, and well, men in general, it bugged Liam a lot because he still had the feeling that he was constantly underestimated and that barely anyone took him seriously and men in general didn’t think he was tough enough. Of course Liam was able to take care of his wife, he had two little daughters, for God’s sake! He knew how to take care of others by now. A few years ago he might have been helpless, but now he was a husband and father and no longer the awkward teenager he used to be, and still, people kept underestimating him all the time.

“I don’t think she-“ He couldn’t finish his sentence because Matt just walked over to Jo and tried to get hold of her leg.
“Ehm, what are you doing?” Liam sounded seriously pissed.

“Relax, I’m just going to give her the hay leg wrap, it will help her.”

“That’s nice, but I can do that. You can just leave it here.”

“I would, but you might put it on the wrong way and then it isn’t so effective, so I should do it because I have practice”, Matt responded, not looking at Liam. The younger man wanted to grab Jill’s lacrosse bat and hit that dude so hard with it that he wouldn’t remember who he was, but the twins were with them, so Liam tried to behave. He watched Matt almost furiously as the animal caretaker wrapped the hay wrap around Jo’s leg. It almost killed Liam to watch another man touching Jo. It would have been a different story if they had called the doctor and the doctor would have touched her, of course Liam wouldn’t have anything against that, but not some random guy who constantly hit on his wife anyway. Besides, he was almost twice her age, what the hell was he thinking? And hitting on a married wife like that?
Jill and Jane looked a bit confused at the other man, not sure why he was touching their mummy.

“Are you a doctor?”, Jill asked Matt.

“He’s not a doctor, he takes care of the animals”, Jane said.

“Oh. But Mummy is not an animal.”

“Here, it’s already done.” Matt got up but kept looking at Jo.

“Okay, thanks”, Liam grumbled. “You should go now, my wife needs to rest.” He put clear emphasis on the word ‘wife’.

“Are you sure you don’t need anything else, Miss Jo?”

Jo could barely talk, she wanted to say something but Liam could tell that she was struggling.

“First of all, it is Mrs, and secondly, she has everything she needs. I have it all under control, so you can leave now and do your job.”

“No need to get defensive”, Matt said sarcastically. He looked one last time at Jo, then he left the flat.

“Prick”, Liam mumbled.

“What is prick, Daddy?”, Jill asked.

“Oh no, honey, don’t repeat that!”

“Why? You just said it.”

“It’s a bad word.”

“So you said a bad word.”

“I did, and I shouldn’t have done that.”

“You don’t like that man, Daddy.”

“Well…I just don’t like it when other men touch Mummy.”

The twins nodded in agreement. “We don’t like that either.”

“Okay, I’m going to get you some more tea, Jo. I’ll be right back.” Liam planted a kiss on her hot cheek and quickly went into the kitchen. The twins were standing next to Jo’s bed and Jill started talking a little too loudly.

“Mummy, I saw a funny looking cat earlier.”

“That’s nice”, Jo mumbled, half-conscious.

“And she was white and brown, and she had whiskers, and she looked funny and she was very funny and I could pat her and she was so funny, Mummy! Like, really!”

“Hmm…”

Jill didn’t quite understand that Jo was too exhausted to listen to her.
“Mummy, can I make your hair?”

“Not now, sweetie.”

“Here, I’ll help you.” Jill stood on her tiptoes and tried to rearrange Jo’s hair.

“Jill, please!”, Jo snapped, almost to angrily.

Jill startled and took a step back. Jane looked also shocked. Liam had just walked in and knew what was going on. Jo felt so bad for snapping at Jill, but she was just so damn exhausted.

“I’m sorry, Mummy”, Jill said shyly.

“No, I’m sorry, honey, I didn’t mean it.” Jo wanted to hug her but she didn’t want to get her sick, so Liam pulled her into a hug instead.

“Cupcake, Mummy didn’t mean it. When people are very ill, like have fever or a really bad cold, they are so tired that they just want a little peace and quiet so they can get better again, do you understand?”

Jill looked at her daddy quietly, then nodded. “I didn’t want to make Mummy feel bad.”

“No, you didn’t, sweetie”, Jo said with a weak voice. “I’m sorry I snapped at you. I would cuddle you right now but then you might get sick, so let Daddy give you a cuddle from me, oaky?”

Jill smiled and let Liam pull her into a tighter hug. “I wish I could cuddle with you, Mummy.”

“I want to cuddle with you, too”, Jane said.

“I know, Munchkins. Let me get better again and we will have a cuddle day, okay?”

“Yes!”

“But first, let Mummy get better”, Liam said.

“Yes, let her get better”, his older daughter agreed.

Liam pulled her into a hug as well so he had both his favourite redheads in his arms. “So we have to let her sleep a lot, and then you will have your Mummy back.”

Jo smiled weakly but then she felt how her eyelids became very heavy, and only a short moment afterwards she fell asleep.


_________________


SPN: Georgina (Georgie) Gilmore
SG: The Kid
LaL: Willow
PA: Skadi
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34 Re: Coming Home on Thu 16 Jan 2014, 12:09 am

The next day Ellen, Gracie and Graham had picked up Jill and Jane and took them out. To give Jo some quiet time to recover and Liam some time to do his work.

“Daideo, is féidir liom go bhfuil roinnt uisce, le do thoil?” Jane asked to Graham’s surprise in quite good Irish.

“Ó banphrionsa cinnte. An raibh do daidí tú ag múineadh Gaeilge?” Graham answered slowly to make sure he saw when Jane did not understand a word. Ellen watched the two. They were at Graham’s cottage which by now was a little more child friendly since Gracie was living with him.

“Sea, rinne sé. Mummy Is maith sé nuair a labhraíonn muid Gaeilge. Is é ár n-oidhreacht, a deir sí.” Jane giggled.

“It is indeed. But we better speak English okay? Because Gracie and Ellen don’t understand Irish and it is very rude to speak a language not all people speak.” Graham said as he took another sandwich. 

“Jane please have another sandwich?”

Jane suddenly went really pale and started shivering. “Banphrionsa, it is okay. No harm done. See Ellen enjoys to hear us but we should not speak to much Irish.”

Jane nodded but was still pale. Ellen of course knew that this was only a little bit about the fact that Graham told her not to do something it was the fact that he asked her to eat some more. Jane and food have a very complicated relationship and Ellen knew that. She had prepared different lunch for Jane but was going to try to make her eat some sandwiches and salad just like they all did.

“Jane, darling he see this sandwich it just has cheese, salad and a little bit of butter on it. In very tidy nice layers. Can you try to eat this?” Ellen said calmly trying not to let the little girl hear that it worried her that all she had eaten was a little bit cucumber.

“Eat this!” Jill said in her childish bossy sister tone as she handed her sandwich with salad and chicken. “It is good.” Jill was a very good eater she just ate what you gave her -except anything Elizabeth decided to serve- and you saw it in her face.

“Sit still.” Jane got up and wiped her sister’s face and Ellen saw that the colour went back into Jane’s face and when her sister was clean she took the sandwich and very slowly ate it. Sometimes pushing the salad back into its layer or the cheese, but she ate the sandwich and drunk her cup of milk.

After lunch the three girls -so the twins and Gracie went into Gracie’s play corner in the living room where she had a small play shop. Graham helped Ellen to put away the lunch dishes. “You are really good with her.” Graham nearly sounded a little jealous.

“I see her every day at least during the week I see how Jo and Liam handle Jane’s OCD. I know it is not a strong form of OCD but it still need to be handled in a certain way. And well you just see her once in a while which is okay but it is easier to handle when you see her every day.” Ellen kissed Graham. He sighed. “I know. Just make sure you stick around I worry my little Banphrionsa gets upset when she is alone with me.”

“She never could. Just play for her some music and she will calm down.” Ellen grinned when he walked away and started quietly playing for the four girls in the house. And as she had said the last bit of stress fell from Jane and she organized the little shop.


 
Meanwhile in Waterfall Downs

“Liam?” Jo mumbled while she was lying in the hot bathtub.

“Yes? Do you need anything?” Liam was close enough so he could easily hear Jo but still gave her some privacy.

“I’m dizzy.”

“Oh, shit. That’s the hot water. Just a second I’ll get you some water. Don’t faint.” Liam quickly got some water and helped Jo to drink it.

“I’m sorry.” Jo whispered weak.

“That’s okay.” Liam kissed his wife and helped her slowly out of the tub. This time Jo was warmly wrapped in her and Liam’s bed. He took the essays she had marked the day before she got ill and looked over them again but because he didn’t want to do her work he wrote comments on post-its so that she could later look through them again and see what she thought. Liam knew that she was reading every essay twice anyway. The sudden phone ringing breaking through the silence let him jump, he was worried it woke Jo but his little snugly wife just dug deeper into her eight pillows.

“Hello?”

“Hey Little Man, what are you doing? You want to come over and have some drinks. Ricky is all day at University so it is just you and me. It’s been a while you and I drunk. I’ve got a really good year whiskey, from Scot’s distillery.” Alfie sort of less asked and more sounded as if he was ordering Liam to come.

“Um, oh Alfie. Sorry but Jo is down with a cold.”

“So you are free. I’ll offer you refuge from your drooly snotty wife for the day. I’ll throw in a stripper so you can get some needed satisfaction.” Alfie said sounding sarcastic and bored at the same time.


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35 Re: Coming Home on Sun 19 Jan 2014, 11:15 am

„Ehm… that’s all very tempting but I think I’ll have to make a pass.“

“So you rather spend time with that bacteria carrier of a wife?”

“That’s part of being married, ‘in good times and in bad times’, you know?”

“No, I don’t know, I’m not married.”

“Well, I won’t leave her alone because she needs me and I would feel bad to leave her alone.”

“Fine, you’re missing a whole lot of fun over here, but suit yourself.” Alfie hung up and just sat next to the phone for a moment. It was so quiet in the flat that you could hear a pin drop. He was bored to death. “Yepp”, he mumbled. “Great times.”

Meanwhile Liam returned to his wife who was still snuggled under the blankets. She opened her eyes when she felt Liam sitting down next to her.
“I’m contagious”, she coughed.

“I know, but that doesn’t stop me from checking on you.”

“Who was that on the phone?”

“Just Alfie. He was bored but I told him I have no time right now.”

“I guess he didn’t take it well. He’s not used to being rejected”, Jo said, trying to sound funny but it was more a weak voice.

“He’s a grown man, so he can keep himself occupied.”

“That’s what you think”, Jo mumbled.

Liam put his hand on Jo’s forehead to check her temperature. “Still hot, hm?”

She nodded quietly.

“At least you’re not freezing. I’ll get you some more water, okay?”

“The girls?”, Jo mumbled from under the blanket.

“They are with Graham and Ellen, so they are okay.”

“Good.”

Liam smiled briefly at her, then went to the kitchen and returned a little later with water and chicken noodle soup. Jo said she wasn’t hungry and Liam didn’t want to force her, but he knew that she needed a bit of strength and would feel very weak if she didn’t eat, so he managed to convince her to eat at least a little and drink lots of water. About half an hour later, while Liam told Jo about his science class to make her sleepy, he heard the front door opening. That was weird because Liam always locked up and he knew that he had locked it this time again.

“So here’s the party.” Alfie turned up in the doorframe of their bedroom.

Liam stared at him, not sure if he wasn’t just imagining this. “Alfie…?”

“You seem surprised.”

“How did you get in?”

“You gave me a spare key a while ago, remember?”

“You gave Alfie a spare key for our flat?”, Jo mumbled, not sounding particularly enthusiastic about this.

“Well, you know, in case something happens…”

Jo was too exhausted to remind Liam that his buddy was probably not the best choice when it came to reliability and responsibility, so she just sighed.

“Ehm, Alfie, it’s nice that you stopped by but as you see, Jo is-“

“I know, that’s why I came prepared.” He put on hand sanitizer first and then he got out rubber gloves.

Liam just stared at him. “Are you serious?”

“What? I don’t want to catch any germs here.” He stood behind Liam now and saw Jo, who was a pathetic, ill wreck, snuggled into her pillows. “I guess someone has seen better days”, Alfie remarked dryly.

Liam rolled his eyes. “She’s really not feeling well, so I would appreciate it if you’re nice to her, just for this once.”

“Relax, Little Man.” Alfie sat down on the chair next to the bed and got out a flask. “So, how are things, Josephine?”

Liam raised an eyebrow. “Seriously?”

“You wanted me to be nice, so make up your mind.”

“Yeah, but I didn’t mean you to…oh, forget it.” He shook his head. “Did you bring something for me? I could actually use a bit.” He looked at Alfie’s flask.

“Who do you think I am? A bar tender?”, Alfie replied sarcastically. “Of course I have a second one with me. Duh.”

Liam shook his head. “You’re incredible.” He took the second flask Alfie was handing him and turned to Jo. “No worries, I’m not getting drunk, I’ll just have a few sips.”

“You know how easily you get drunk”, she said weakly.

“Yes, that’s why I’m only having a few sips”, he assured her.

“Can I have some? Maybe I’ll feel better.”

“No, honey, I don’t think so, sorry.”

“Geez, Liam, don’t be a teaser”, Alfie said.

“I’m not a teaser, she has fever and I don’t think-“

“Whiskey makes everything better, and I saw what effect it has on your little wifey, it was quite amusing.” He smirked.

“Dude, are you trying to get her drunk so that you can watch her making out with me in front of you?”

“You said it, not me.”

Liam crossed his arms and looked at his friend. “Does Ricky know you’re here?”

“No.”

“I guess I should call him then and tell him that his boyfriend tries to get my sick wife drunk.”

“Hey, hey, I didn’t come here to get anyone drunk, I just came here to check on you, Little Man.”

“You want to get me drunk then, so you might get lucky and see me naked?”

Alfie just looked at him quietly for a moment. “First of all, did I ever take advantage of you? And secondly, does getting drunk mean getting naked for you? If yes, that would be very interesting.”

Liam sighed. “I would feel a little less uncomfortable if I knew that my best friend isn’t so keen on seeing me naked all the time.”

“He looks really good naked”, Jo mumbled. She had high fever, so she couldn’t really control what she was saying.

Alfie grinned. “I think your wife should be ill more often, it takes out that stick she has up her ass all the time.” He turned directly to Jo now. “So, Josephine, how big is he?”

“Alfie!”

“What? I asked her nicely, didn’t I?”

“Very satisfying”, Jo murmured.

“Jo!” Liam looked shocked at his wife. “Okay, this is enough. Alfie, stop asking my wife inappropriate questions.”

Alfie still grinned. “By the way, where is that red thing?”

“What red thing?”

“The loud one who calls me a certain name that I’m not going to repeat.”

“You mean Jill? She’s with my dad.”

“Good.”

“Liam…” Jo stretched her hand out and touched Liam’s. “Can I have some?” She looked at the flask in his hand. “Please?”

Liam sighed. “Remind me again to never give people with alcohol the spare keys to my flat.”


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PA: Skadi
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36 Re: Coming Home on Sat 25 Jan 2014, 12:02 am

Jo had several sips from the flask and then sunk back into her pillow. “You know Alfie you are actually not that scary anymore. You are just like Dick. You have such a rough shell but on the inside you are a softie. You are so cute.” Jo giggled while her hand wandered along Liam’s leg until she reached his groin. “Mh nice.”

“Jo!” Liam pushed her hand away and held it in his. Alfie started laughing. “I like it how horny your wife is when she is drunk. Don’t stop her on my account.”

“Alfie, what the hell? No!”  Liam kissed first her hand and then her forehand. “Listen Beautiful, you sleep a little bit okay?”

Jo sighed but nodded. “Can we have sex later then?”

Alfie laughed while Liam looked uncomfortable. “Um Jo you are ill, we um when you are better okay? Now sleep, I’m just in the living room if you need me.”

“Mmmmmh sex! That makes me want to get better quickly.” Jo mumbled her eyes already closed but she still managed to find Liam’s loins and patted it gently which just made Alfie chuckle again. “How Alfie how big is your package? Is it satisfying?”

“Oh Josephine you would be more than satisfied. Do you want to give it a try?” Alfie grinned at the sleepy Jo who grinned back a little cross eyed.

“What the hell? Move it Alfie!” Liam pushed Alfie out of his bedroom and closed the door.

“Just joking Little Man. Here take another drink it will make you feel better. Good god! What happened in here?” Alfie looked around the living room, lots of the twins toys were spread everywhere, used dishes on the coffee table, a bin full of Jo’s tissues, he now cold hot water bottle and so much more stuff.

“Yeah sorry man. With Jo being ill and two toddlers in the house we are sort of behind the tidying. Sorry.” Liam quickly grabbed some stuff and piled it in the corner. “I can’t believe you really came here while Jo is ill. I mean I told you that she is ill and you are not even on normal days one of her biggest fan’s so what made you come here out of all days?”

Alfie sat down on the couch with a sour face as he pulled one of Jane’s dolls from under his ass. “What the fuck?”

“Sorry that is Jane’s Zapf Creation doll.” Liam took the doll stroke the clothes of it straight and put it in the small doll bed, the odd thing was that Liam knew the name of the doll.


“Liam? I can’t find my vibrator, can we have sex now?” Jo was standing dressed in Liam’s NASA shirt and nothing else. It barely covered her.


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37 Re: Coming Home on Fri 31 Jan 2014, 1:30 pm

Liam just stared at his wife, completely in shock. Of course he had seen her countless time dressed in nothing but his shirt, but this time they weren’t alone. No, in fact the person with the dirtiest mind on the planet sat next to him.
Liam jumped up immediately, trying to block Alfie’s view. “Jo, darling, you should really go back to bed and try to sleep otherwise you’re not going to get better.”

“But Liam, don’t be a party pooper.” Jo looked innocently at him, but she acted like she was high. Well, the combination of fever and alcohol obviously resulted in her acting high. She started giggling. “That’s a funny word, party pooper.” Her hand rested on Liam’s chest for a moment, then it wandered down. “Don’t leave me alone.”

“I’m not leaving you alone, I just want you to get some sleep because it’s important for you.”

“Sleeping is boring.” She giggled again, then looked over Liam’s shoulder to Alfie. “You’re agreeing with me, right? Alfie never wastes time with sleeping, Ricky said he doesn’t sleep much. He probably has insomnia or something…”

“I do sleep occasionally”, Alfie replied dryly, trying to figure out whether Jo was wearing knickers under the shirt or not.

“Can I ask you something?” Jo pushed Liam away as she tried to walk to Alfie, but she was a little dizzy and Liam kept holding on to her. He also tried to stand in front of Jo so that Alfie couldn’t take a closer look at her. He knew that Alfie wasn’t into Jo, but on the other hand Alfie still checked her out when she was walking around in nothing but a shirt that reached barely over her bottom. When it came to that, he objectified her just as any other female person. “Could you lift me up? You look so strong, I was just wondering.”

“Why? You want me to show you?”

“Certainly not!”, Liam interfered, especially since his wife was not wearing anything under her shirt.

Jo laughed. “I was just wondering. You’re strong too, Liam, but not as strong as Alfie. He’s like…he’s some kind of a Hercules, I mean, have you seen his arms?”

“You’re checking him out?”

“No, not like that. Well, every girl would check someone out who has that body, you know?” She giggled and kissed Liam on the cheek. “But you’re still my favourite, don’t worry.”

Liam wasn’t angry at Jo, he felt more sorry for her and knew it was the alcohol talking. He just wanted her to go to sleep and get better but she was very hyper.

“Alfie?” Jo looked past Liam again. “Do you think Liam is hot?”

A smirk crossed the older boy’s face. “He certainly is.”

“Okay, that’s enough! Change of subject, please”, Liam said loudly. “I feel like everyone in this room is objectifying me right now.”

“We do”, Jo grinned. “Alfie, would you sleep with him if he let you?”

“Well-“

In that moment the phone rang. “Hallelujah!”, Liam shouted as he ran to the phone, but before that he quickly grabbed a blanket and put it over Jo to cover her. “Hello?”

“Hey, Liam, it’s Ricky. I just came home and Alfie is nowhere, he didn’t even leave a note, so I was hoping he was with you guys. I just worry that he’s out with…ehm…that he’s with someone else.”

“Oh no, he’s here, sitting in our living room and got my ill wife drunk.”

“What? He didn’t!”

“Oh yes, he did.”

Ricky sighed. “Okay, I’ll come and pick him up. At least he’s with you.” He sounded relieved. When he came home and saw that Alfie was gone, not even leaving a note, Ricky’s justified fear that Alfie was sleeping around with someone came back, but luckily he was with Jo and Liam.
About twenty minutes later, Ricky arrived in Waterfall Downs. Jo was still in the living room, refusing to go to bed, but she was wrapped in her blanket, sitting across Alfie and asking him tones of questions about his super athletic body while Liam watched the clock and waited for Ricky to finally to show up.

“Thank God!”, he mumbled when he heard a knock on the door. He jumped up and quite literally stormed to the door. Ricky looked a little startled when Liam tore open the door.

“Is everything okay?”, Ricky asked nervously. “You seem-“

“Stressed?”

“Kind of, yes.”

“Well, apart from the fact that my ill wife, who is battling a really bad cold at the moment, is drunk and walks around in nothing but my t-shirt while complimenting another guy on his ‘hot body’, I’m just super!”

“I’m so sorry, Liam.”

“It’s not your fault, man. I’m just glad you got here.”

Liam and Ricky went into the living room, which was a total mess.
“Ricky!”, Jo shouted when she saw her friend and almost dropped the blanket. “You’re joining the party!”

“Not really”, Ricky laughed nervously. “Honey, how are you?”

“Fantastic! A little hot, though.”

“That’s because you have a fever”, Liam said as he sat down next to his wife.

“No, it’s the bloody blanket! It’s so bloody hot.”

Liam looked over to Alfie. “I can tell with whom you spent your time the past hour”, he mumbled, raising an eyebrow at his friend who just shrugged his shoulders.

“Alfie, seriously?” Ricky crossed his arms and looked almost a little strictly at his boyfriend. “You did know that Jo was ill, right? Liam told you.”

“Yes.”

“And you still had to pay them a visit, with whiskey in your pocket?”

“I just wanted to pay Liam a visit”, Alfie said very matter-of-factly. “You know, keep him some company since he had to deal with all of this here…” His eyes wandered around the messy room.

“But you got Jo drunk.”

“I didn’t get her drunk, she just wanted some of the whiskey that I originally had brought Liam, and well, I didn’t stop her.”

Ricky sighed while Jo laughed like a little school girl. “I touched his arms”, she giggled. “So firm…”

“Not that again”, Liam mumbled. The last time they got drunk at Alfie’s, she touches Alfie’s arms as well and commented how firm he was. He really didn’t like to have Alfie as direct competition, for one, he was his friend, and secondly, nobody could compete with him, it was just impossible, at least when it came to comparing the physiques and physical fitness.

“Jo, Liam, I’m very sorry for this”, Ricky apologised while he pulled on Alfie’s sleeve. “Let’s go.”

“No! Let him stay, he’s so funny”, Jo giggled. “He always says rude things to me but it’s hilarious.”

“Jo, don’t you want to sleep a little?”, Ricky asked carefully.

“I keep asking her that the past hour”, Liam murmured.

“Well, you might have a chance now because we will leave.” Ricky turned to Alfie who finally got up. “You’re impossible, Alfred. There’s not the tiniest hint of sensibility in your body, is there? When people are ill like Jo, you don’t just go there and get them drunk.”

Alfie shrugged his shoulders. “Look at her, she’s in a good mood. Better than just lying around in bed like a dying swan.”

Ricky shook his head and said bye to his friends while he pushed his boyfriend out of the flat.
“Don’t go yet”, they heard Jo in the background, still giggling.

Liam ran his finger gently through her messy hair. “Jo, darling, it’s really time to go to bed now. Party is over.”


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38 Re: Coming Home on Sun 02 Feb 2014, 1:04 am

Jo looked at Liam for a while and then fell into his arms, at first he thought she fainted but he was glad that she just was a little rough in hugging him, but she nodded into his chest. With ease he scooped her up and carried her into their bedroom.

“See you are strong too that is why I love you so much.” Jo mumbled. Now that Alfie was gone and the flat was more quiet again Jo calmed down as well, but one thing stayed she held on tightly to Liam shirt when he had put her on her side of the bed. “Can you stay?” She sounded needy and… upset.

“Sure. Want me to do anything?”

“No just stay.”

For a while Liam was just holding Jo and stroke gentle of her hair, he thought she had fallen asleep when she said quietly. “I’m so sorry Liam!”

“Huh? For what?” Liam moved down so that his face was on the same height as Jo. Holy Saint Patrick those eyes are so beautiful!

“For being so stupid. I just tried to make sure Alfie likes me because he is important to you and I blew it.” Jo had started crying, Liam knew that right now was not a good moment to talk about this her illness made her needy and that made her be more sensitive than ever.

“Oh Jo, I’m pretty sure he likes you. I mean how can you not like you when you show off your sexy bottom?” Liam grinned cheeky trying to ignore the fact that Alfie probably was aroused by seeing Jo’s bottom and her…

Jo blushed intensely. “Oh God, he saw me?”

“Yeah and Ricky too.” Liam mumbled watching Jo closely to see how she reacted, and he was glad to see that even though about an hour ago she was heavily drunk and had the hots for everything male now hearing that Alfie and Ricky saw her naked mortified her deeply. And then it happened Jo’s fevery, alcohol effected and cold medicine drugged brain couldn’t work through the information. Her crying turned into hysterical sobbing and at the same time she wasn’t able to breathe properly. Liam pushed her into a sitting position which didn’t help at all. It was so long ago that she had a real panic attack at it scared Liam just as much as it scared Jo. He remembered that she once said to him that she knows she has to stop crying and calm down but her body is not doing what she wants it to do.

“It’s okay Jo. Come here. Sh! Everything is okay. Try to breathe calmly, in and out, in and out…” Liam had pulled the sitting Jo in his arms and was breathing on purpose very slowly and noticeable so that she could pick up his breathing pattern while he was rubbing circles on her back. It took a while until Jo was breathing more normal and the panic in the eyes Liam loved so much was less visible. Jo wiped her eyes dry not that it stopped the flood of tears but it sort of steadied her while she got out of her nightstand drawer the small box of her sedative. While she took one she couldn’t look at Liam she was too ashamed to admit that she needed help to calm down. Liam lifted her head and kissed her wet face. “It’s okay. You are very tired and ill, please try to sleep. Please?”

Jo didn’t say anything but nodded and nestled back into his arms. “It’s okay Jo. Next time you are ill and I make sure not to let Alfie in.”

“Thanks.”

A few minutes passed and Liam was thinking about how he would put Jo down into the pillows when Jo interrupted him. “There was once a monkey who said… -not that monkeys can actually talk but yeah he said something- … I like to play with balls.” Jo was quiet for a moment waiting for Liam to laugh and it took him a while until he started chuckling.

“You are lovely even when you tell the punch line wrong.” Liam kissed Jo on the top of her head and knew that she now was finally asleep so deep that he had no troubles putting her down into the pillows, but he didn’t left he stayed a little bit longer with her and then got up to call downstairs the kitchen to ask if they mind to make them some dinner as well his girls would come home for dinner and Jill would be very hungry and he wanted them to have a proper meal and also they had run out of soup, he had spilled too much over the past days. Just before the girls came home Liam went back into the parent’s bedroom to make sure Jo’s sedative were back in the drawer so that the girls could not accidently take them as candy.

“Daddy!” Jill screamed as she ran into the kitchen followed by Graham and Jane. It took Liam only one look to see that Jane had missed a nap, she looked tired and even though she was always the more quiet twin not that quiet.

“Hello Cupcake, how was the day at daideo’s?” Liam grinned as he picked up Jill who already started telling her every detail about the day just possibly not in the right order.

“… and sandwiches with music… cucumber… I went for a pee… in Gracie’s room… Auntie Ellen made… daideo… braided hair… did you know that daideo’s name is Grey-Ham… and a poo… chicken… walk… and Janey was sleeping… on the toilet… running around…” Jill just kept on babbling about everything Liam sort of got the idea that she ate, went to the toilet, Jane was sleeping, they played with Gracie and ran around so all in all it sounded like a good day.

“That is awesome. Hey how about you go and wash your hands and I prepare the dinner table?” Liam kissed Jill on the cheek and put her back on the ground to say hello to his own dad and his second daughter. “Okey dokey.” Jill chirped and hopped off to the girl’s bathroom. “With soap, daddy?”

“Yes please use soap.”

“You got it daddy.”

Graham grinned while Liam shook his head in slight disbelieve. “Hey dad.” Liam said as he picked up Jane who nestled her head against his shoulder.

“Hey. How is Jo?”

“Better. She is sleeping and will probably sleep until tomorrow morning at least I hope.” Liam felt Jane’s forehead and looked at her closely, he noticed that her nose seemed a little blocked. “Are you okay?”

“Yeah sorry. Jane slept one nap normally her first one the second was just fifteen minutes long and her third didn’t happen at all. All she wanted was to be on either mine or Ellen’s arm, sorry if we did something wrong.”

“Don’t worry that is okay. As long she wasn’t too upset?”

“No during the afternoon we had some quiet time Jill and Gracie had colouring books -did you know that Jill is quite good with them?- and also they made each other’s hair and Jane and I played on the piano. She liked that.” Graham smiled at his granddaughter and Jane smiled sleepy back.

“Princess can you try to stay up a little bit longer? Maybe you can go and wash your hands too and see what Jill is doing so long?” Liam kissed Jane and was already planning in giving them some tea tonight and also more vitamins and maybe some of the herbal medicine they’ve got for the twins against colds.

“Okay.” Jane was hugging her ducky tightly.

“I’m really sorry Liam. We tried to encourage her to sleep and told her that it is okay but she just didn’t want to sleep.”

“Don’t worry dad. I think she got a little of a blocked nose her sleep is quite mixed up every time she gets ill. And yes I know Jill is pretty gifted with a pen. Did you see her drawings? You can actually see what it is well sort off at least it is not just scribbles. Are you staying for dinner?”

“No thanks though Ellen is expecting me back. But I will stay another time when Jo is feeling better. Oh and Ellen told me to tell you that Jill is coughing a little, nothing bad but she was coughing. And also they both ate well, went to the toilet and had no accidents. I think that was all.” Graham got a small note out of his pocket and checked. “Oh and they had a good amount of exercise and fresh air even though it is getting quite cold.” Graham mentally ticked off the list his girlfriend had given him, it made Liam chuckle.

“That is good as long as they had a good day I’m happy Jo would probably want to know in detail what the girls did.”Liam grinned as he brought Graham to the door and poked into the girls’ bathroom. Both girls were standing on their little stools and washed their hands Jill was playing with a sponge and Jane washed her hands as if she wanted to perform a surgery. “Hey pretty girls what are you doing?”

“Washing our hands?” Jill grinned at her dad. Liam shook his head. “Just don’t flood the house please.”

Graham smiled, he loved watching Liam with his girls. He was so gentle and caring and sweet.

“Are you sure you don’t want to stay for dinner dad?”

“Yes. Please send Jo my love.” Graham smiled at Liam and squeezed his son’s shoulder.

“I will, shit Jill I said no flood. Bye dad.” Liam shouted as he ran in the bathroom. Graham threw one last look at his son and granddaughters and then went out of the door.

“Sorry daddy.”Jill was accidently splashing a lot of water on the floor. “So much water.”

“No kidding. Come here I need to change before we are having dinner you are all wet. And you were meant to take a bath today.” Liam checked the time and since Jo seemed still asleep he decided first bath and then dinner.

“Okay come here Cupcake, lets take off those clothes and you can have your bath first but that means you need to eat nicely and not stuff your face with the food, deal?”

“Deal!” Jill looked serious at her dad. Jane was not feeling well she said she doesn’t want dinner.

“Okay, do you want to go to bed?” Liam asked gentle.

“Yes please.” Jane was trying to wipe the wet spots on her dress away, not in a bad way so Liam ignored it.

“Okay Jill. I need to put Jane to bed first how about you take off your clothes while I do that?”

“You got it daddy.” Jill was such a little girl macho it knocked Liam off his feet a few times a day. Jane was changed quickly, took her vitamins and herbal medicine and then fell asleep before Lam could even ask what story she wanted to hear. He turned on her nightlight and went back to bath his second daughter and then he and her would have dinner warmly wrapped up on the couch with some Tom and Jerry.

“This is nice daddy, can I have more tea? It makes my belly go all warm.” Jill giggled as she lifted her green plastic cup.

“Sure, do you need to go to toilet before you have another cup of tea?”

“No, I’m good do you need the toilet?”

“No me neither.” Liam kissed Jill on her forehead. “Are you feeling okay?”

“Yes but daddy my neck tickles.”

“Do you mean your throat?”

“Uh-huh. That one.”

“I put honey in the tea that should help.” Liam pulled up the blanket a little bit more and gave Jill another spring roll.

“Daddy I like those autumn buns. Oh this one is funny… wait for it… wait for it… there.” Jill started giggling, just as Liam even though he was for once not laughing about the TV show but his daughter.

“Yes those autumn buns are very nice.”

After the episode, and Jill had finished her dinner and brushed her teeth she was settled in her bed. “Daddy this was a nice day, will mummy be better today?”

“I hope she will be tomorrow.”

“I see. I love you daddy.”

“I love you too Cupcake.” Liam kissed Jill on the cheek. “Good night Jill.”

“Daddy? Mummy always prays with me but she is ill and I didn’t pray last night and can you pray with me?” Jill looked sleepy at her dad. “I want to ask God to make mummy better. I know mummy said you don’t pray but please maybe today?”


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39 Re: Coming Home on Sat 08 Feb 2014, 7:08 pm

Liam looked at his younger daughter quietly for a moment, then he nodded. “Sure.”

Jill folded her little hands while Liam watched her. He usually didn’t pray with the girls, that was something Jo always did because it was important to her while he didn’t care so much about praying, but since Jo was ill and sleeping in her bed right now, Liam would pray with them, or at least with Jill since Jane was already sound asleep.

“Okay…ehm…do you want to say a prayer?”, Liam asked Jill. “I’m not so sure what Mummy usually says in her prayers.”

“That’s okay, I’ll do it”, Jill offered. “You have to fold your hands, Daddy.”

“Okay.” He did what she commanded.

“Dear God, please let Mummy feel well again tomorrow. Please let her have a good night and take away the fever from her. Also let Mummy be happy tomorrow, I don’t like her ill and sad. And please don’t make me eat spinach thingy stuff and please make sure that Grandmother doesn’t have blockage anymore and please let Fi kiss me. Amen.”

Liam glared over to his daughter, hoping he misheard what she just said, at least the part about Alfie.

“You have to say amen, Daddy!”

“Oh yes, sorry.” He cleared his throat. “Amen.”

Jill grinned as he tugged her in and planted a kiss on her soft hair. “I’m sure Mummy will feel better tomorrow.”

“I hope so too.”

“Daddy?”

“Yes?”

“Is Daideo going to marry Ellen? She’s not your mummy, right? But she is his girlfriend, like Mummy is your girlfriend.”

“Ehm…” Liam looked a little uncomfortable. This was still a sensitive subject. “I don’t know, Cupcake. Maybe… not sure.”

“I like Ellen, she is nice.”

“Yes, she is.”

“So maybe they marry.”


Liam sighed quietly, then he kissed her one last time good night. “Sleep well, Cupcake.”

“You too, Daddy.”

He walked to the door and switched off the light.

“Daddy?”

“Yes, Cupcake?”

“I made a big poo today.”

Liam tried not to laugh. “That’s nice.”

“I’ll tell Grandmother next time about it.”

Now he couldn’t hold back a chuckle. “Okay, do that. I love you.”

“I love you more, Daddy.”

“I love you most.”

Jill chuckled, then she closed her eyes and drifted off to sleep in no time.


Two weeks later

Jo had completely recovered from her cold now and Lorelai wanted to meet her somewhere downtown. For some reason Jo should bring Ricky along, and when Jo asked what Lorelai had in plan for them, her cousin just said it was going to be a surprise. So, it was late in the afternoon and both Jo and Ricky were done with work. They met at the address that Lorelai had mentioned to Jo, now waiting for her to show up.
“So…” Ricky cleared his throat. “And you’re sure she didn’t say what this was about?”

Jo shook her head. “No, she just said that you and I have to meet her here, that’s it.”

“What is this place?” Ricky took a step back to scrutinise the building. “It kind of looks like a dance studio or something.”

“That is absolutely correct, Ricky.” Lorelai showed up behind him, as always dressed beautifully and looking gorgeous as hell.

“Wait…you want us to…dance?” Jo looked both sceptical and nervous at her older cousin.

“You’ll see.” She winked at her, then she opened the door to the dance studio. “Come on in, children, don’t be shy.”

“Why do I have a bad feeling about this?” Jo exchanged a nervous glance with Ricky.

“You tell me.”

They followed her inside, still not sure what was waiting for them, and after they walked through a narrow hallway they suddenly ended up in a big, bright studio with large mirrors, and in the middle of the room stood a very petite, blonde lady with fake taint and tons of make-up.

“Hey, Holly, I told you I would bring them.” Lorelai grinned as she hugged the tiny woman who was even smaller than Jo or her.

“Fantastic!” Holly walked over to Jo and Ricky, the tiny dress she was wearing was super tight and showed lots of cleavage. Both Jo and Ricky had no idea where to look as she greeted them with a super wide grin. “Oh, I see potential here!” She looked from one to the next. “Look at your gorgeous cheekbones!” She patted Jo’s cheeks with one hand while the other hand moved to Ricky. “And you’ve got some nice hips here, young man. You’re flexible, aren’t you?”

“Ehm…actually…eh…” Ricky tried not to blush. He wasn’t flexible, he was plain clumsy.

“Yepp.” Holly stepped back, nodding happily. “I can work with these two.”

“Um…work?” Jo raised her eyebrows, then looked to Lorelai.

“You two are going to have a very helpful lesson today”, Lorelai said, grinning.

“But for that you have to be in your outfits”, Holly added.

“Outfits?” Jo and Ricky stared shocked at her. “We…eh…we didn’t bring anything.”

“No worries, sweethearts, your costumes are in the changing rooms, girls on the left, boys on the right. Now, off you go.”

Both actually looked terrified but they just went to their changing rooms, reminding themselves that they could usually trust Lorelai- until Ricky saw his costume...
They were actually kidding, right?

“Ehm, excuse me?” Ricky peaked into the studio.

“Yes, babycakes?”

“Are you sure the boy’s changing room is on the right?”

“Yes.”

“Ehm…so this red costume is…”

“Yours, exactly. Now get changed, we don’t want to waste any more time.”

Ricky didn’t know what to say, he went back into the changing room and squeezed himself into that costume. It was so tight that it felt like it was two sizes too small, not to mention the fact that it revealed a lot of him. So much, in fact, that he blushed even though nobody saw him yet.

“Are you ready?”, Jo asked as she was waiting in front of his changing room. “Please don’t laugh when you see me, okay?” She was wearing a tight outfit as well, but at least she had a little skirt attached to hers, unlike Ricky’s.

“Please don’t laugh?”, he repeated sarcastically. “I think I should be the one asking you this!”

“Why? What does your outfit look like?”, she asked.

In that same moment Ricky appeared in his super skin tight costume, his cheeks completely flushed, and Jo’s eyes widened. She tried really hard keeping her eyes on his upper half otherwise she would blush as well.
“That is…you look…ehm…”

“Stupid? Ridiculous?”

“I was more going for interesting.”

Ricky took a deep breath. “I feel…exposed.”

Jo bit on her lip, trying not to laugh.

“Hey angelfaces, are you ready?”, they heard Holly’s high voice from the studio.

The two young people looked nervously at each other. “Ready for what, exactly?”


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40 Re: Coming Home on Sun 16 Feb 2014, 10:28 pm

“I will teach you to pleasure your man with them ever getting naked.” Holly grinned, she was probably an odd woman Lorelai had found her a while ago in London, she was a whore but Lorelai had seen the potential in her so she took her in, not really but in a way that she helped her to built this dance studio that for the outside was a dance studio but for the insiders it was more than that. Exotic dancer from all over England came here to learn the erotic way of dancing. In her time as whore and even now as business woman Holly had seen love and she knew that even though the society was not ready to understand that love was not so easy as one woman loves one man love was far more complicated. She didn’t care that Ricky was in love with another man.

“Wait, what?” Jo starred at Holly, for some reason she was suddenly sure that Holly was not this woman’s real name not that it mattered but still.

“I am teaching you to arouse your men through dance. So first the music. You should choose something slow but sexy and don’t worry you don’t need to make your lap dance last for an entire song. Only 60-90 seconds is all that you need, that is all the men I ever met could handle before they burst through their pants. Make sure his chair is against the wall, you’ll need the wall for support. Make him sit on it and spread his legs…” Holly took Jo’s hand and led her to the chair, “… Jo you will round one the men and Ricky does the dancing.”

Lorelai was sitting at the small bar and drunk her coffee slowly this was better than any movie she had seen in a very long time and the show was so worth the large bowl of popcorn she was eating.

“But I’m a girl.” Jo protested confused.

“Oh I know, but for the moment you are…” Holy asked and looked questioning at Ricky.

“Alfie.” Ricky whispered very quietly.

“This is weird to be Alfie.” Jo whispered back.

Holly chuckled. “It will be fine, you are just the placeholder. Spread your legs a little more. Ricky try to stay in this triangle you need the closeness to create the desired effect.”

Holly took Ricky and led him to the sitting Jo, the sitting Jo that had her legs far apart. Jo was deep red pretty much the same shade of Ricky’s uniform. Lean you upper body forward, with your back arched and your butt up in the air,” Holly pushed Ricky’s body in places she wanted him to do, “so he -or in your case for right now Jo- gets a hot view of your body -I mean look at your, you look amazing Ricky and I’m sure your piece is very satisfying-.” Holly grinned cheeky while she checked out Ricky’s body.

“Put your hands on the wall above Jo, or rest them on the arms of the chair for support, whatever feels right for you. Then tease Jo by inching closer and closer to his face — but don't let him touch — or dip forward even further and nearly touch his lips just hover a hint away from his lips but do not kiss him. “

Jo felt so weird looking into Ricky’s eyes his lips so close that she felt the heat of them. Ricky had to do it all over and then it was Jo’s turn.

“For this one, you start a little further back right between Ricky’s knees, so he can see everything you're doing.” Holly placed Jo between Ricky’s knees. “Take your hands and slowly start to rub your boobs, like you're putting on body lotion.” Jo didn’t move so Holly took her hands and led them in the motion of rubbing Jo’s boobs. “Touch yourself like you would want him to touch you — trail your hands down to your lower abs just above your hot spot, work your way back up to your chest, or turn around and massage your butt. The key is to go in slow motion, so he can imagine having his hands all over you.” Jo felt so weird but she did as Holly told her, Ricky felt so weird to watch Jo touch herself.

“Very good you two. Now again, Ricky you do The Lean again and Jo then you do The Lotion again. And after that I teach you another move.”

So once again Ricky took his position between Jo’s legs, he wasn’t the tallest so in a way his crouch was right into her face. Jo felt so weird.

“So let’s see Ricky, you have good hips. You will like this one. Your hottest seduction tool is your hips, and this move is super easy to master.” Ricky was standing between Jo’s legs and Holly’s hands were on his hips helping him to master the movement. “Slowly start swaying your hips from side to side, and then move them in a figure eight. Up the ante by touching yourself.” This was the weirdest day Jo and Ricky ever had, Lorelai was laughing so hard that she was nearly choking.

“Now it’s time for the grand finale. Jo can you come here?” Holly pulled Jo towards her and turned her around so that she was facing Ricky with her back. Holly put Jo’s hands on Ricky’s thigh and that way Jo’s butt was hovering just above Ricky’s crotch. “Now Jo, move your butt in circles, like you're painting his package with your cheeks. Then switch to an up and down motion, like you're riding Ricky in reverse cowgirl. To really make Ricky pitch a tent, look back at him as you grind against his body.” Jo was literally dying while she did as Holly told her and so was Ricky.

“You were amazing.” Lorelai was still laughing both of the youngsters looked so clumsy while dancing.


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41 Re: Coming Home on Sun 23 Feb 2014, 7:04 pm

This had been by far The Most Awkward Moment in Ricky’s life. Ever. He couldn’t remember the last time he was that embarrassed, and that really meant something because he felt like his entire life consisted of awkward moments and embarrassments. While he and Jo did their ‘lesson’ he kept thinking that he would pretend this hour never happened as soon as he left the dance studio, but as he went home, he thought about it again. He always wanted to be a little more interesting for Alfie, he knew that he was boring. He only would sleep with him in the bedroom, he didn’t like sex toys, he got so nervous when Alfie joined him in the shower and he was generally kind of clumsy whenever they got intimate, so Ricky felt that he could never really give Alfie the satisfaction he needed. That one time he came home with a whip Alfie only laughed at him and on top of that Ricky had fallen down from the bed and got a large bruise on his bottom, so that was the only time he had actually tried to be ‘adventurous’- and had failed miserably. No wonder Alfie kept sleeping with others. Ricky knew that these others didn’t mean anything to him, but at least he got plenty of satisfaction, whereas Ricky was just plain boring…
So, even though this had been the most embarrassing hour of his life, he knew that Lorelai only meant well and encouraged him to be a little daring, and that was what he wanted to be tonight. Yes, he did fail the first time he tried to be ‘daring’ but he would simply do it again, he would just approach the situation a little differently- and no whip this time.
When he opened the door, he was already shaking because he was so nervous. This was ridiculous! He hadn’t even started yet and was already shaking like a scared Chihuahua. That was super unsexy. Ricky sighed. He knew that he was the most unsexy, unsensual, most awkward human being.

“Where have you been?”, Alfie asked sceptically when Ricky entered the flat. His boyfriend just came out from the gentleman’s room.

“I’ve met Jo.”

“You could have told me.”

Ricky rolled his eyes. “Once again, you didn’t check the answering machine.”

“The what?”

“The answering machine”, Ricky repeated slowly. “You know, the thing that is attached to the phone and where you leave a message. I called here but you weren’t home, so I told you on the answering machine that I was with Jo.”

Alfie shrugged his shoulders, then he pulled Ricky into his arms. It always felt like an eternity when he hadn’t seen his boy for an entire day. He hadn’t seen him since this morning, and it was almost six o’clock now, so that was a long time! As Alfie held Ricky for a moment and kissed him gently, he could tell that something was up. Ricky seemed…nervous.
Alfie took a step back to look closer at him. “Is something wrong?”

“Ehm…what? No, not at all.” Ricky tried to smile, but it was an awkward smile.

“Ricky…”

“No, seriously, I’m fine. Ehm…could you…could you maybe sit down?”

Alfie frowned. “Why? Did something happen?”

“Oh no, it’s not like that.”

“Why do you want me to sit down? People usually have to sit down when they are told that someone has died or they are terminal ill. Are you-“

“No, I’m fine, Alfie, calm down.”

Alfie still looked sceptically.

“Please?”

“Okay.” Alfie sat down, not leaving Ricky out of his sight for a second. “So?”

“Ehm…I…I have to get some music.”

“Music? Why? Please don’t force me to one of those stupid sing-alongs.”

“Don’t worry”, Ricky shouted over his shoulder as he walked into his office to look through his favourite records. “It’s a surprise.”
Well, great choice. Most of the records he owned were either the classics like Tchaikovsky and Beethoven or The Beatles, and he needed a slow, seducing song that was right for the mood. He thought of a slow Beatles song, but there was no way he could strip to ‘Yesterday’. That was just wrong on so many levels. Ricky sighed, but finally chose a record, though not completely suiting either, but at least it wasn’t the Beatles or Mozart he had to lap dance to.
He came back into the living room, put the record on and took a deep breath, then he slowly walked towards Alfie, looking probably terrified as shit.
He stood right in front of Alfie now, who, with his typical cheeky look, made him so nervous. Ricky tried to think of everything Holly taught them, but the moment he stood in front of Alfie, his mind went completely blank. Dammit.

Alfie raised his eyebrows. “You okay there?”

Ricky wanted to say something, but before the silence could get any more awkward, he just sat down on Alfie’s lap, a little clumsily, though. A smirk crossed the older boy’s face. “Hello, there…”

Ricky turned deeply red, not sure where to put his hands. “Ehm…eh…” His mind was a complete hole, he really couldn’t remember anything Holly taught him because he was so nervous. He awkwardly pulled his jumper over his head, leaving his hair messy, which was already reason enough for Alfie to be aroused.
“You want to tell me something, Lover Boy?” Alfie’s hand wandered through Ricky’s hair to mess it up even more.

“I…I actually…I…I wanted to do a…ehm…”

“A what?”

Ricky could feel his cheeks burning. “A lap dance. I mean, I wanted to…eh…do…that. For you. But I blanked out. I completely forgot what to do. I just…I-“

Alfie grinned widely and kissed the stuttering Ricky.

“I suck”, Ricky mumbled, embarrassed. “I can’t even do that.”

“You don’t suck at all.”

“I do. I’m too stupid and too boring and too awkward to…to…arouse you in any way.”

“Are you kidding me? I’m plenty of aroused, right here and now. You don’t even need to sit on my lap for that, just you being shy again arouses me more than any lap dance.”

“But…but I’m so boring.”

“I couldn’t disagree more.” Alfie’s hand moved over Ricky’s chest. “I’m turned on by you all the time, so you can’t be that boring.”

Ricky still looked incredibly awkward, but a shy smile crossed his blushed face.

“So…” Alfie said while he unbuttoned Ricky’s shirt. “I’m plenty aroused now, I guess we have to do something about that.”

Ricky smiled nervously, but that same moment Alfie stopped.
“There’s one thing, though…”

“Yes?”

“What the hell is this depressing music? That woman sounds like a manic depressive cat who gives birth to ten babies.”

“It’s Joni Mitchell.”

“Well, could someone put that woman out of her misery? It’s distracting when I try to get into your cute little tighty-whities.”


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42 Re: Coming Home on Tue 25 Feb 2014, 7:05 pm

Jo was so nervous when she came home, she knew that Liam was in his lab now she just had to find out where her children were. What a coincident that she ran into Sarah and Jill.

“Oh Missis Jo, Jill wanted to join us for lacrosse training. Is that okay?”

“Mummy, mummy I play la’ossee.” Jill waved her lacrosse stick in front of her.

“Yes of course, that is fine. Suits me perfectly I have to do something. Jill we will have dinner with all the pupils okay? I want you to behave.” Jo hugged her little daughter all dressed in her little lacrosse uniform it was new and Jo had an idea from whom she got it. She looked so cute.

“You got it mummy!” Jill grinned and hopped off.

“I’ll take good care of her. Oh and I’m sorry, I changed her in my room. I made the uniform for her and when I told her about it she wanted to wear it right away.”

“That is fine.”

“I make sure she is all clean and proper dressed for dinner.” Sarah called while she quickly ran after Jill. Jo laughed as she went to find her second daughter. Which was an easy task, she heard music from the music room and she knew Jane well enough to know that her daughter was with the other children properly lying under the piano again. Jo remembered the day when Graham told her the best sound was right underneath the grand piano and she was lying under it while he played.

“Good afternoon.” Jo smiled, there were at least ten of their pupils and Jane as expected.

“Mummy look we are gamming.”

“Darling do you mean jamming?” Jo kissed her little daughter.

“Oh yes, that is what I mean.” Jane blushed and brushed her skirt straight. Jo took her hands and kissed them.

“That is okay it is an odd sounding word. So how about you continue making music with the others. I’ve got something to do.”  Jo was holding her daughter tightly.

“Sure, I can do that. But mummy what about dinner?”

“We have dinner with the pupils and teachers, how does this sound? Maybe James tells you another story of his childhood or from his sisters.” Jo knew that for Jane the stories James told her sounded like fairy tales, and she liked that James added to his stories Scottish myths.

“I would like that very much.” Jane said politely, Jo thought it was adorable that Jane blushed.

“Good so you stay here and can you take her along to dinner later?” Jo looked at her pupils and of course all of them had watched Jo with warm eyes. They loved their school mum Missis Jo and they loved to see her with the two little girls of the school.

“Sure we make sure that we all are on time for dinner. And she will make sure that we all wash our hands.” They all laughed and Jane turned around and started telling them exactly how you wash your hands so that they are really clean. Jo looked once more at Jane and then went quickly upstairs. It didn’t take long until she knocked at Liam’s lab door, she had returned to Holly’s place a few minutes after she had left it and asked if she had music and luckily Holly did.

“Come in.” Liam said but didn’t look up he was building something not that Jo would understand what but it was some small machine out of metal.

“Liam? How about a little break?” Jo said while she turned around locked the lab door and turned on the light that would signal everyone outside the lab that Liam could not be disturbed.

“Um sure just a minute, I want to finish this carbo-hydronic-automatic-switch.”  Liam mumbled but didn’t look up, he would have seen Jo take off her dress and was standing in the green underwear she got a long time ago for Liam’s birthday the first birthday they spend together.

“How was the tea with Ricky?” Liam asked he didn’t even notice that Jo didn’t reply. Jo knew that she had just one way to distract him. Jo went to his record player and put on her newest [url=http://youtu.be/a2EsIBIfgJg]record[/url], she went to his chair and pulled it against the wall.

“Whoa Jo, what…” Liam was about to protest when he really looked at his wife. “Holy Saint Patrick!”

“Liam?” Jo grinned seductively.

“Yes?” Liam murmured.

“Do you remember when I wanted to dance for you and I hit you with my foot?”

“Yes?”

“I think we need to try this again.” Jo grinned, leaned forward so that Liam had a full view on her boobs and kissed him. Holly was right Liam would never managed not to burst his pants after 90 seconds he already was aroused, like really really aroused.

“You are so damn hot right now!” Liam huffed.
He didn’t even last thirty when he grabbed Jo and carried her to his desk, and the rest was history.

“Liam you didn’t even let me finish one dance move.” Jo looked a little sulking at Liam who was holding his naked wife in his arms.

“Well the music and you in this lingerie was all I needed. Where did you learn those moves anyway?” Liam played with Jo’s hair, he liked that he could play with her hair now that it was getting longer again.

“Lorelai organized lesson for me and Ricky. It was sort of weird we were both wearing those tight suit thingies and danced for each other while Lorelai was sitting in the background ate popcorn and laughed herself hoarse.”
Liam looked up, he had been kissing Jo’s boob. “And the music?”

“I got it from Holly. Liam you did hear that I had the lesson with Ricky right? I had this whole speech of nothing had happened prepared. Don’t you want to hear it?”

Liam looked into Jo’s eyes for a while. “No. For one thing I know you would never cheat on me and the other thing. Come on it was Ricky you did this with, he is properly going to church right now to confess his sins of adultery with you by just seeing you in a tight exercise suit. He is gay all written in capitals.”

“Oh.” Jo was quiet for a moment and enjoyed Liam fondling her. “You mean I’m so boring that I would not cheat on you?”

“No, I don’t think you are too boring to cheat. I think you love me too much to cheat and you get plenty of sex with me, unless you want to tell me that you need more?” Liam looked curious at his blushing wife.


“No, no I’m fine.” Jo sounded like a little girl being asked if she would like to have more Brussels sprouts.


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43 Re: Coming Home on Fri 28 Feb 2014, 11:16 pm

It was Friday afternoon, and Dan just came back from school. All his classes were finished and he was ready for the weekend. Well, he did have homework, but he was pretty exhausted and just wanted to have a little break before he would go back to study again. It was relatively quiet on the von Gruensee estate. Edward had another private piano lesson with Graham, Lorelai was probably running around the stud farm, and Henry was in his swimming class. John would pick Henry up soon, so Dan still had a little time just to himself and after he got out of his school uniform and got himself a snack, he went into the living room and switched on the Tv. He leaned back as he enjoyed the untypical silence in the house. He loved his family dearly, but they were a rather loud bunch. Mutti and Henry were by far the loudest, always running around and never able to sit still. Edward was not loud but he played all kinds of instruments all day long, so yes, he made noise too. John was usually the most quiet one but he and Mutti often got into really funny arguments, which, of course, led to noise. So yes, it was nice to have an afternoon completely to himself.

“Danny!” Henry stormed into the living room. “Are you already home?”

Seriously? I literally got home five minutes ago, Dan thought to himself. So much for some time to myself…
But then he turned around and smiled at his little brother. “Hey, buddy. How was your swimming lesson.”

“Cool!” Henry threw his bag on the floor- although he knew exactly how much Mutti hated that- and sat down next to Dan. “I like swimming, it’s fun. Do you like swimming?”

“Well, I’m not really good at it”, Dan admitted.

“Hey, Dan.” John came into the living room but stopped the moment he saw his youngest son’s bag on the floor. “Henry, how many times do I need to remind you to pick up your bag?”

“Sorry, Dad, but-“

“No ‘but’, young man. Pick up your bag, hang it up, wash your hands and then you can bother Dan again.”

“Fine!” Henry looked a bit sulky but did what his dad told him.

“Do you know where Lorelai is, by any chance?”, John asked Dan.

“No, I just came home and didn’t see her.”

“Okay, I’ll look for her.” John turned around and left the living room. Henry grabbed some juice from the kitchen and rushed back to his big brother.

“Danny?”

“Yes?”

“Do you like school?”

“Yes. Very much.”

“Is it hard?”

“Well, it’s a very good school and sometimes quite challenging, but I like going there.”

“How are your classmates?”

“Nice.” Dan tried to focus on the show, but he couldn’t really pay attention to it since his little brother was cross-examining him on the couch.

“Are the boys nice?”

“What boys?”

“The ones in your class.”

“Ehm…yeah…”

Henry grinned, and Dan knew that cheeky grin. “Henry, why are you ask-“

“Do you love them?”

“All of them?”

“You need a husband!” Henry slurped his juice loudly- which his mother drove insane when she saw him doing that.

“Ehm…I don’t think that-“

“Yes, you do. I decided you need one.”

“Henry, I-“

“You were together with the Spanish boy-“

“Portuguese.”

“Whatever. And then you were very sad afterwards and cried a lot and looked really bad and smelled weird because you didn’t shower anymore and you hid under your blanket a lot and-“

“Thank you, Henry, for reminding me of that really awesome time”, Dan interrupted him sarcastically.

“Well, I don’t want you to be sad anymore.”

“I’m not sad anymore, I’m over Filipe.”

“That’s good, because you need a new husband.”

“Boyfriend.”

“Whatever.” Henry took another sip while he watched his brother carefully.

“Well, to be honest, I kind of…ehm…I do have a boyfriend. I think…”

“You do?” Henry almost choked on his juice and his eyes widened curiously.

Dan looked a little shy but he had a dreamy smile on his face. “Yes, I think he is my boyfriend. We just started seeing each other.”

“Is he hot?”

“Excuse me? Where did you hear something like that?”

“I picked it up from a TV show. That’s what one girl asked her friend when she got a husband.”

“Oh man…” Dan grinned. “Well, he is quite handsome. Actually, he is really handsome.”

Dan grinned widely. “Do you want to marry him?”

Dan laughed. “Oh Henry, I can’t do that.”

“You can’t do what?” Lorelai came into the living room, looking at her boys with a raised eyebrow.


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44 Re: Coming Home on Sun 02 Mar 2014, 11:25 pm

A few days later

Lorelai was sitting in the O’Doherty the twins were playing in their play corner while the two woman had tea.

“I’m telling you Jo he has a new boyfriend.”

“But that is what you wanted didn’t you?” Jo asked looking over at her two girls. Jane was feeding her doll and Jill was drawing something.

“Yes it is but I don’t like that he keeps it a secret. I thought he trusts me.” Lorelai watched the girls as well, Jill had said she was drawing the horses for her.

“He does trust you, but I think Filipe hurt him so much I think he needs to protect himself. He will open up to you, he will give him time. And you taught him to protect himself right?”

“Yes. I talked to him and he knows to use protection.” Lorelai nodded.

“Give him time.” Jo mumbled.


 
Meanwhile on the other side of the Waterfall Downs

John came home with the weekly shopping, he dropped the back in the kitchen and went in the living room to turn on the radio…

“Oh…” John looked at the couch rather shocked, Dan was lying with another boy on the couch rather intimate.

“Dad, um. I can explain.” Dan tried to get up but he and the boy were so tangled with each other that he couldn’t get up.

“No need.” John mumbled and walked out of the living room. “What…” John shook his head and sat down in the kitchen. This was weird.

Not long later Lorelai came home she had picked up Henry from nursery and Edward from his music class. They went in through the kitchen door and saw a rather shocked John. “John Darling are you okay?”

“Living room.” Was all John could say.  

Lorelai looked at him and then hurried in the living room where she just saw Dan and his boyfriend finally untangled and pulling the covers of the couch and it’s pillows back in place.

“Good evening Ma’am. I’m Cadet Cedric Brown. I’m a friend of your son’s” Cedric offered Lorelai his hand, Lorelai took it slightly stiff.

“Ich verstehe. Daniel Von Gruendsee was ist hier los? Dein Vater hat quasi einen Herzinfakt in der Kueche.” Lorelai looked very strict at Dan, the poor boy blushed deeply.

“Please…” Dan looked pleading at his mother but he knew he had lost the battle. “Bitte sei nicht boese. Loennen wir bitte Englisch redden, ich moechte nicht unhoeflich erscheinen.” Dan looked at Lorelai he tried to read her but he didn’t know what she was thinking so he tried carefully. “Mutti this is Cedric my…” He looked at Cedric who looked a little bit uncomfortable. “… my boyfriend.”
Lorelai starred intensely at Cedric and then after about an eternity she nodded. “Don’t scare your father like that. I’m sure you are a nice guy Cedric but I have two young children and I support Dan’s choices but I would not think differently if Dan is kissing a girl in the living room. You know the rules Dan.”

Dan looked quickly at Cedric, the young man seemed okay. A little nervous he was never that open with another boy but okay.

“Can he stay for dinner?” Dan grinned now widely and kissed Lorelai on the cheek. “Please?”

“I see. You do know that Henry will ask a million questions; Edward will be very quiet you know him he is a little nervous around strangers and your dad will be a little bit uneasy. Don’t worry Cedric we are all very open here.”

“I know. Dan has told me a lot about you, he really treasures you. I don’t have to stay for dinner if it is an inconvenient, Ma’am.” Cedric was very respect as you expect from a young police man.

“Don’t be silly. Dan you know the drill, go and set the table with your brothers please.” Lorelai smiled.

“Yes Mutti.” Dan took Cedric’s hand and pulled him quickly in the kitchen to get everything to set the dinner table. Dinner at the Von Gruensees was a very big event every night, on many occasions one of Lorelai’s brothers joined them or Opa Wilhelm or all of them and it was the time to make sure everyone in the family was well and heard. As soon Dan reached the kitchen with Cedric, Lorelai heard her youngest son squeal in excitement. “Oh Dan is that your boyfriend? He is hot!”

“Henry! Come on help me with the table.” Dan pushed Henry with the tray in front of him while he walked closely to Edward to make sure his quiet brother is okay.


 
“Did you think about warning me?” Lorelai sort of snapped when she came back in the kitchen, their dinner has all prepared by their household help.

“I’m sorry, I was not really able after seeing the two… very… close.” John mumbled, he didn’t mind that Dan was gay but he also wasn’t sure how to talk to him and the old teachings were still deeply rooted in him, he did not believe them but they were roaming in his head.

“You are too soft John-Darling.” Lorelai kissed him briefly but passionately.


 
“Hey Edward are you okay?”

Henry was telling Cedric everything about his day at nursery and the play-date afterwards with his friend while they set the table, but Edward was standing next to the sideboard shy and quiet.

“Is the man here to arrest you?” Edward asked very quietly so that Dan had to move closely to him, Dan looked from Edward to Cedric and back at Edward.

“No,” Dan pulled Edward in a tight hug, “Cedric is my friend, my boyfriend and he is not here to arrest me.”

“So you are not getting taken?”

“Nope you are stuck with me.” Dan felt Edward nod against his chest. “Remember when I moved in and promised you to be forever your big brother?”

“Yes.”

“I will always be your big brother and never stop being your brother even when I’m finished with school and move out to go to University. I will always be there for you! I’m never more than a call away!”

Dan whispered so quiet that just Edward heard him and Edward was glad. “Would you like to meet my boyfriend?”

“I would be delighted.” Edward said still sounding a little bit shy but not sounding so scared anymore.

“Hey Cedric come over here. This is Edward the older one of my little brothers, Edward this is Cedric my boyfriend.”

Edward stood very close to Dan, he looked one more time at his big brother and then shook Cedric’s hand. “It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance.”

Cedric grinned. “It is very nice to meet you too. You want to show me what to get to drink.”

“Okay. Mutti is having a beer but only German beer she says it is the best and so is daddy -because Mutti says it is the best- and we have juice. I’m not sure what juice we have today, we have to ask Mutti.” Edward went back in the kitchen followed by Cedric.

Not long after the five von Gruensees and Cedric were sitting around the dinner table, Lorelai had called her brother and father to make sure they are not popping around they had a special guest.

“Cedric you are a man, right?” Henry asked loudly from across the table, as always he was sitting next to Dan on one of the long sides on normal days Edward was sitting on the other side and Lorelai and John were sitting on each of the head sides of the table. Today Cedric was sitting next to Edward.

“Yes are you a boy?”

“Yes. Do you have penis hair? I don’t have any yet but it will grow soon, I took Mutti’s cream and put it on every night.”

Everyone around the table went silent.

“Henry!” Dan shouted nervously laughing. “Don’t ask this!”

“Oh sorry.” Henry was for a moment quiet. “Do you and Dan make love? Mutti says when two people like each other they spend time alone and make love.”
Cedric went actually pale and looked at John and Lorelai to his surprise Lorelai looked rather relaxed and cut her steak, and John looked a little nervous but not as he negative as he could look.

“Henry what else did I tell you about this?” Lorelai sounded calm but had a certain strictness in her voice without sounding unloving.

“Oops it is private so we don’t talk about it,” Henry stabbed his steak and started biting of it from the sides.

“Henry! Tischmanieren!” Lorelai fell back into German.

“Um can anybody cut my cow, eventually?” Henry tried to use big words he picked up lately. Dan started chuckling.

“I can be the somebody, helping you right now not eventually.”

“Yes that is what I said, is it not?”

“Nearly.”

“So Cedric you work at the police are you not a little young for that?” Lorelai did the examination of Cedric.

“I’m eighteen and since two yours with the police force. I just sent my application to become a detective.”

“Eighteen? Don’t you think dating a school boy raises certain questions?”

“I don’t think Dan is a little school boy anymore, he is a quite mature young teenager, but you are right Dan is younger than me and I would never make him do anything he is not ready to do.” Cedric looked right in Lorelai’s eyes and Lorelai saw that he was serious. For a while they all ate in quiet.


“Mutti ich muss eine Wurst machen, wirklich dringend.” Henry said out of nowhere, wriggling on his chair.


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45 Re: Coming Home on Fri 07 Mar 2014, 7:36 pm

It was Alfie’s birthday and once again he had to show up at his parents‘ house and had to be among the people he liked the least. He actually hated his birthday in general because something always went wrong. First of all he never liked all the attention he got. Already when he was a little boy he disliked birthdays, they were impersonal and he just wanted to be left alone. His birthdays usually consisted mainly of politicians and important business men who handed him all a check (as if the Prince of Oxford needed even more money) and a few kids his age and obviously from his social background, whom he couldn’t stand either. The only two people he used to like having at his birthdays were his grandfather and James, but that was a long time ago. Nowadays his birthdays consisted of him having to go to his parents’ house and sit through an awful dinner with them, his sister and his grandmother- although Cecilia was not present because she had recently given birth to her second daughter, which Alfie wasn’t even aware of, that’s how much he cared. And at last year’s birthday he ran directly into Sofiya’s trap and was stuck with her in the Ritz while he was unconscious and she had her fun with him. So yeah, he usually didn’t have good memories on his birthday.

Meanwhile, Ricky wanted today to be perfect, at least the little bit of the evening the two would have together when Alfie would get home. Ricky just hoped that Alfie wouldn’t be in a bad mood- which he usually was when he came home from his parents’ mansion- and then he often went straight to some prostitutes in order to prevent hurting Ricky in any way, but it did hurt Ricky every time Alfie did this. Ricky knew that Alfie didn’t want to let out his anger on him, that’s why he went to prostitutes instead, but Ricky just hoped that one day Alfie wouldn’t have to do that anymore. That he would just come home, no matter how bad his day was, and let Ricky cheer him up again. It definitely got better the past years, their relationship was very different now than it was in the beginning, but still, there were occasions when Alfie was still sleeping with other people, despite the fact that he cared so much about Ricky, and every single day Ricky hoped that one day he would be enough for Alfie.
Ricky just got home from work, he had a little bit of time left before Alfie would come home, so he would spend the next hour or so decorating and preparing everything. He even bought candles so that they would have a romantic atmosphere later, and even a pair of new little tighty whities that said I’m yours- although he did blush a little when he bought them, and he still had to blush when he just thought of them and Alfie seeing him in them, but he knew his boyfriend would like to see that, and he wanted to make him happy today.
Ricky hung up his coat and put his bag away, then he went up the stairs because he wanted to get changed. He just turned on the light in their bedroom when…

“Oh my God!” Ricky was like paralysed when he discovered that he was not alone. In fact, Sofiya was there. In fact, Sofiya was lying on their bed, completely naked except one little ribbon around her neck. Luckily, her long hair fell over her breasts but other parts were not covered, and Ricky sure as hell was not ready to see that. “Oh.My.God…” He finally managed to move and turned his head way, deeply flushed. “Ohmygod, ohmygod, ohmygod…” He mumbled so quickly that it sounded like it was all one word. He started to feel sick and had to take a deep breath.

“So, Fifi still got his little boy, I see”, she said. “You don’t have to turn away, or is this the first time you’ve ever seen a woman naked? It probably is.” She smirked.

“What are you doing here, Sofiya?” Ricky was usually the most polite young man there was, but when this woman was around he got incredibly upset. “How did you even get in?”

“Oh, I have my ways.”

“I’ll have to ask you to leave the bed. Well, in fact, leave the flat.”

“That’s not very hospitable of you, Nicky.”

“It’s Ricky.”

“Is it?”

“And I know it’s not nice of me, but I have to kick you out.”

Sofiya sat up, just looking at this babyface Alfie was so attached to. Ricky was still staring in another direction.
“Please”, he said. “Put your clothes on and leave this flat.”

Sofiya raised an eyebrow. “I don’t think so. It’s Fifi’s birthday, so I want to give him a very special present. I know he will be happy to see me.”

“He will definitely not. You upset him.”

“That’s what you think, and that’s what he’s telling you, but deep inside you know exactly how much he wants me.”

Ricky didn’t answer.
“Please”, he said again. “Get out of our bed.”

“Our bed?”, she repeated cynically while she let her hand wander over the sheets. “Is this where he fucks you?”

Ricky got deeply uncomfortable and he still didn’t look at her.

“Oh wait, I forgot! He fucks everyone else, but he ‘makes love’ to you, isn’t that right?” She laughed sarcastically. “Still the same naïve little boy…”

Ricky wanted to shout at her, to tell her to get the hell out and leave Alfie alone, but he was too upset and too intimidated at the same time to get out one single word.

“As if he knows what that means, love…” Sofiya got up and walked to Ricky. She was standing so close that he could smell her perfume, and he only turned away even more. “Am I making the little boy nervous? Is it the naked female body or just me? Or maybe it’s just you being ridiculously prude…” She went into their walk-in closet but continued talking. “Alfie hates prude people, if you haven’t noticed that already…”

“Apparently you’re wrong about that too, because he doesn’t have an issue with me.”

She let out a dry laugh. “That’s all right, little boy, keep telling that to yourself.”

“What are you doing in our closet?”, Ricky asked.

“You asked me to get dressed, so that’s what I’m doing. After all, I don’t want to make you ‘uncomfortable’”, she replied cynically. Ricky didn’t move while she made her way through the closet, trying to pick out one of Alfie’s shirts to wear.

“Why are you doing this?”, Ricky asked, almost sounding defeated.

“You were the one who wanted me to get dressed, so-“

“No”, he interrupted her. “Why are you doing this to us? To Alfie and me? Why can’t you just stay out of our relationship, of what we have?”

“You don’t have anything, you’re just making that up in that pretty little head of yours. Besides, he needs me.”

“He doesn’t need you.”

“His mind might not, but his body needs and wants me so bad.”

Ricky didn’t reply, still turned away from the walk-in closet while Sofiya picked out a light blue shirt and moved it closer to her face. It smelled clean, with a hint of the perfume Alfie was always wearing. She breathed the smell in for a brief second, then she put it on, leaving it unbuttoned.

“You’re in love with him”, Ricky said, breaking the silence. “You don’t just want to sleep with him, you’re actually in love with him.”

Silence.
Sofiya needed a moment before she answered. “Don’t be ridiculous.”

“It’s the truth, isn’t it? You’ve always been in love with him, but you don’t even admit it to yourself. You can have anybody, you can sleep with as many people as you want, and yet you always come back to this one man, over and over again.”

“It’s because I know that he needs me.”

“I think it’s the other way around. I think you are the one who needs him.”

“Nonsense!”

“You want him all to yourself because you’re in love with him”, Ricky said, almost matter-of-factly. “And all these years I kept asking myself why you can’t just leave him alone, but it’s actually pretty clear now. You love-“

“You have no idea what you’re talking about!” Sofiya almost stormed out of the closet, and there were two ways she usually dealt with people who annoyed her or got too close to her; she either seriously beat the crap out of someone or she had angry-sex with them- and she was just going for the latter one. Maybe Alfie wouldn’t be interested in Ricky anymore if she took that cute, little boyish innocence away from him. Yes, he was technically not a virgin anymore, but it was obvious that he had never slept with a girl before and maybe he would be less attractive to Alfie if he had slept with other people and he would finally get rid of Ricky. Maybe she just had to spoil this little boy for Alfie, she certainly knew how to do that.
Ricky wasn’t aware that he had clearly upset her, but he sure as hell wasn’t prepared for her to storm out of the closet like this, in nothing but a shirt from his boyfriend, and then she actually grabbed his arms and pushed him roughly on the bed. He was so shocked and perplex that he couldn’t react, and besides, she was very strong, definitely stronger than him. Ricky was so shocked that he didn’t understand at first what she was doing, she had almost thrown him onto the bed and then she actually sat on him while she grabbed his arms and pressed him down. Ricky turned his head to a different direction because that shirt she was wearing was not buttoned and he had a full view. He thought this was just her (very inappropriate) way to threaten him and to tell him to shut up, but he didn’t realise what she actually had in mind until she pressed her lips on his and forcefully opened his trousers.

“What the hell!” Ricky tried to push her away but she kept pressing him down, and she definitely had the upper hand, she knew how to use her strength, unlike Ricky, who had never been a fighter in the first place.

“I think it’s time to make a man out of you. After I’m done with you, there won’t be much left of that little innocent boy Fifi craves so much.”, she said. “He craves your innocence, for some weird reason it turns him on, but I’ll spoil that for him…”

Ricky felt physically sick. This couldn’t be happening. There were always articles about girls and women being sexually assaulted by men, but not in a million years he would have imagined that one day a girl would assault him like this. This woman was…she was totally mental! She couldn’t be serious. No, she was just scaring him. Of course this was just to scare him, there was no way she would actually …
But that same moment she pulled his trousers down and he was only left in his underpants, and that was when he realised that she was damn serious. She also had a crazy look on her face that was downright frightening, Ricky had never seen her like this. She seemed completely determined to ruin him for Alfie. She quite literally wanted to take his innocence away from him.

“Get down from me!” Ricky started to get really angry, but she didn’t take him seriously. Instead, she just gave him a little slap and shook her head.

“I don’t like it when little boys don’t behave”, she said. “Just stop resisting and it will be over soon. Besides, it’s an honour that you get laid by someone like me, you’ll realise that you’ll actually like it. You will finally not be a boy anymore. Oh, Fifi will lose his interest in you in no time…” A grin crossed her face as she leaned down, one hand dangerously close to his underpants. “Say goodbye to that white purity of boyhood. There will be nothing pure about you anymore when I’m done with you”, she whispered into his ear.


“No!” Ricky finally pulled all his strength together and pushed her harshly away from him. It was the fear of losing Alfie that finally gave him the strength to defend himself, even if she was the one who had the upper hand. “Get away from me, you crazy bitch!” That was probably the first time he had ever used the b-word, but right now it was definitely appropriate. She tried to press him down again but he grabbed his trousers, pushed her away and jumped out of the bed.
“What the hell is wrong with you?!” He ran to the telephone and luckily was quicker than her. “I’m calling the police!”

“What do you want to tell him? That you were about to receive the best sex of your life with a hot woman who is a thousand times out of your league?”, she chuckled as she got up.

“Don’t come closer!” Ricky was literally trembling as he dialled the number- well, he misdialled it because he was trembling so much.

She rolled her eyes and shrugged her shoulders. “You’re such a wuss, but suit yourself. Your loss.” She threw her long hair over her shoulders and walked to the stairs. Before she went downstairs, she looked over her shoulder one last time. “If I were you I wouldn’t necessarily tell that boyfriend of yours what happened. You know, he likes you sweet and innocent, but the fact that I touched and kissed you might put him off and I’m not sure if he can look at you the same way again.” She smirked a last time, then she went downstairs, still wearing –or wearing nothing but- Alfie’s shirt. Ricky held his breath and waited for a moment, and when he finally heard the door close, he dropped the phone and sank down on the floor. He was shivering and he could barely breathe. He wanted Alfie to come home, he wanted to be held by him, feel the safety of his arms and just cry into his chest, but then he thought of what Sofiya said.
I’m not sure if he can look at you the same way again…
Yes, technically he had managed to stop her before it got too far, but still, she had touched and kissed him inappropriately. In their flat. In their bed. In their safety nest.
Ricky took a deep breath. No, he thought. He couldn’t let Alfie know. It wasn’t good if Alfie knew. Not good for their relationship but also for Sofiya. The last time someone had physically hurt Ricky, Alfie almost killed that guy, and even though Ricky was furious about what Sofiya had done, he was almost scared that Alfie would actually hurt her the way he had hurt Sebastian a while ago. Sofiya did deserve a fright for what she had done, but Ricky knew what Alfie was capable of, and it scared him in fact of what Alfie was capable of. Sofiya was insane, yes, but she only reacted like that because she was, in fact, in love with Alfie. This was such a messed up situation, Ricky didn’t know what to do. He just hoped that he would manage to pull himself together before Alfie would get home.


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46 Re: Coming Home on Wed 12 Mar 2014, 11:54 pm

The dinner at Jackson Manor was not over soon enough. A part of Alfie wanted to go afterwards to the very special massage parlour he used to be a regular but at the same time he just wanted to get home and be with Ricky. He unlocked the door and it hit him.


What the fuck? How the fuck did she get into the flat?

“Ricky?” Alfie called from the front door, he took off his shoes -Ricky liked him to do that- , and hung up his coat.

“I’m in the living room.” Alfie knew that something was up, when he walked in the living room which was lit by candles and had some small snacks.

“Hey.” Alfie hugged Ricky.

For some time they didn’t talk much and just had their well for Alfie second dinner. Alfie’s hands started roaming over Ricky’s body and it felt so good and then suddenly when he pushed his hand into Ricky’s trousers. Ricky flinched. “Oh please, don’t!” Ricky flinched.
Alfie lifted his head and looked at Ricky. “What did she do?”

“No-nothing.” Ricky stuttered.

“Liar! You never ever flinched when I touched you not even when we did it the very first time. You can tell me.”

Ricky turned away and looked into the fireplace. “Can we not just drop it?”

Alfie ran his hand down Ricky’s spin. “I’ll kill her!”

“No! Don’t, seriously don’t hurt her. I’m scared that this time you will not get away with it. I’’n begging you don’t hurt her.”

“Fine tell me what did she do?”

“She was here…” Ricky curled back into Alfie’s arms. “She was… naked in our bed… and I tried to make her leave but she refused and then I realised that she is not just obsessed with you but that she is in love with you. And then she got really angry and…” Ricky was holding on tightly to Alfie. “… She grabbed me pushed me on the bed and… she was naked and wearing your sky blue shirt… she was on top of me and… it was so horrible… I pushed her away and she stormed out.”

“I’ll kill her! I rip her apart! She wants to fuck something, I make an elephant fuck her!” Alfie was so angry that he was actually trembling in anger! Until suddenly he realised that Ricky was getting scared of him.

“Please don’t.” Ricky’s voice was barely audible, he looked so hurt.

“I’m not doing anything.” Alfie pulled Ricky closer to him, “She will not hurt you again! Ever. I’m changing the locks on the door and I will get one of those alarm systems.” For a while neither Alfie nor Ricky said anything and Alfie knew how tired Ricky must be but he never wanted to be in the bed that this Sofiya bitch soiled! Alfie sighed picked up Ricky and carried him in his bedroom, not the one upstairs but the spare one they never used. Tonight it would be the one they would sleep in.

“Where are you going?” Ricky called when Alfie had put him on the bed and was about to leave the room.


“I’m just making you a tea. I think you need one.” Alfie said calmly. He was dying on the inside and planning how to hurt Sofiya without being the one who hurts her.


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47 Re: Coming Home on Sun 16 Mar 2014, 11:03 pm

The moment Alfie had left the room, it didn’t take Ricky five seconds to follow him, although he felt rather dizzy while he got up.

“You don’t really know how to make tea”, Ricky mumbled as he appeared behind Alfie, who was not in the kitchen but the living room, close to the telephone.

Alfie sighed but didn’t turn around. “Go back to bed, Ricky.”

“No.”

“Ricky-“

“I know you’re going to do something stupid and irrational, and I won’t let you.”

Alfie turned around and it killed him to see how pale and fragile his boy looked.

“Please just come back in the room with me, okay?”, Ricky asked quietly. “Please?”

Alfie took a deep breath, then he walked to Ricky, pulled him into a gentle hug, and they went back to Ricky’s room, where Alfie held Ricky while they were lying on the bed, not saying anything for a while. Alfie buried his face in Ricky’s soft hair and the tiny hint of a smile appeared when he smelled Ricky’s peach scent. Just holding Ricky like this was the greatest birthday gift, he didn’t want anything else. If only Ricky would be happy, then it would be perfect, but Alfie could tell that his penguin was troubled from the event that had occurred this evening.

“You don’t realise that she loves you, do you?”, Ricky whispered after they had been silent for a while.

“She doesn’t. All she cares about is the sex.”

“That’s not true, and I think neither you nor her see it but it’s obvious to me. I think she has loved you for quite some time now, maybe even since she met you all those years ago, even before I was in the picture.”

“She isn’t capable of loving.”

“That’s funny”, Ricky mumbled. “Because a few years ago, you said that about yourself and look at you now…”

Alfie didn’t respond.

“She sees me as the one thing that stands in her way. She’s in love with you but I’m in her way, that’s why she gets so frustrated.”

“She’s always liked that.”

Ricky shook his head. “Do you remember how you behaved when you…when you realised you loved me? I mean, that one day when you told me you loved me, in front of Jo and Liam…”

Alfie wanted to say something like ‘I didn’t know what I was saying’, but that would be a lie. Of course he knew what he was saying, and of course he knew that he had really meant it.

“You got really frustrated, stormed off and then slept with another man that same day.”

“Not one of my finest moments”, Alfie admitted.

“But that’s what you did. You reacted rather extreme when you realised what you felt for me, and Sofiya did the exact same thing today, when I pointed out to her how she really feels about you. I know you don’t want to hear that, but you and her are so much alike. You two have no idea how to handle real, honest feelings such as love, and that’s why both of you reacted the way you did.”

Alfie didn’t say anything to that. He didn’t like how right Ricky actually was about that, and he sure as hell didn’t want to admit that to himself. But it was true… He and Sofiya were more alike than they often realised.
They were quiet for a while until Ricky cleared his throat. “Alfie?”

“Hm?”

“Would you…would you still be attracted to me if she…” He paused.

“If she what?”

Ricky took a deep breath. “If she had slept with me. That’s one thing she mentioned, that you are only attracted to me because you like my innocence, and she wanted to change that about me and thought she could take anything innocent away from me if she…you know…” He could feel how tense his boyfriend got.

“She really tried to rape you, hm? That bitch better rot in hell, if she-“

“Alfie”, Ricky interrupted him. “I know it’s wrong what she did but –“

“It’s wrong but she did? That’s the understatement of the year! This bloody-“

“Alfie, please, you’re getting angry again.”

Alfie knew that Ricky felt uncomfortable if he got angry, so he took a deep breath and tried to calm down, but in fact he wanted to slam his fist into the wall- and Sofiya.

“You haven’t answered my question”, Ricky continued with a shy voice. “Would you still be-“

“Of course I would still want you.”

They were quiet for a moment.

“Even if she-“

“Yes, even then”, Alfie replied calmly, running his fingers gently through Ricky’s hair.

“But…but I would probably have lost anything innocent about me.”

His boyfriend chuckled. “That’s impossible. Seriously, every whore in this country, hell, in the world, could sleep with you, but you would always be my boy.”

A silent tear ran over Ricky’s cheek. “Thank you”, he whispered.

“There is nothing in the world you or anybody else can do to change that. If Sofiya thought raping you would make me want you less, then she couldn’t have been more wrong. No matter what she would have done to you, you would always be the purest, most innocent, most genuine boy to me, and nothing and nobody will change that.”

Ricky was very close to break out into a flood of tears, both because the shock of this night’s events were really setting in but also, and mostly, because of Alfie’s touching and honest words, which, if translated, meant that he loved him, no matter what. Ricky closed his eyes, feeling safe and sound in Alfie’s arms. And finally, after what felt like an eternity, he managed to smile again.


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48 Re: Coming Home on Tue 18 Mar 2014, 12:18 am

“Do you think daddy will like this ‘ewy-iver?” Jill was wrapping the screwdriver she had bought for her father in toilet paper.

James grinned, he had offered to babysit the twins while Jo and Liam were preparing the Christmas Eve party. So here he was with the two young ladies at his small flat in the house that most teacher of WDA lived.

“Jill are you sure your daddy won’t mind that you wrapped the present in toilet paper?”

“But, here is Rudolf it is Easter toilet paper.” Jill looked serious at James.

“You mean Christmas. Okay here some more adhesive tape. And I’m sure your dad will love the new screwdriver you got for him.” The small weirdly wrapped present was already plastered in tape.

“What about my present?” Jane asked and looked at the small frame in which James had helped her to pour in gypsum and she had pressed her little hand in it and wrote underneath ‘I love you Daddy.’ “You present is very nice too, do you want to wrap it in wrapping paper or toilet paper?”

“I use the wrapping paper.” Jane smiled shy at James.

“Okay so let’s see this should be enough…”

“No! This is not right!” Jane went pale.

Jill looked up. “You need all the same.”

James looked a little confused. “But it is one piece of paper.”

“Yes but this is bigger than this.” Jill pointed at the sides of the rectangle piece of paper.

“Oh you mean it needs to be a square. I can do that.” James nodded and turned the rectangle and Jane calmed down. “So Jill what did you get for your mummy?”

“I can’t tell, it is in paper and I forgot.” Jill was eating oranges, James knew that they were always allowed to eat fruit so he cut some oranges and showed Jane and Jill how to eat them without the skin and Jill enjoyed them. “You know when you have blockage you need oranges.” Jill noticed her sticky hands and picked up some toilet paper to clean them, she knew that Jane liked her hands to be clean.

“Oh Jill remember this is your dad’s present.” James chuckled as he took the small package out of her hands, it now had Rudolf the Red-Nose reindeer and orange stains on it. “And I know oranges juice can help with the digestion.” Jane pulled a face when she looked at Jill’s present for their dad.

“Hey you want to wrap this one again?” James asked.

“No. I’ve done that one. Can I go and draw?”

“Sure, I just help Jane with her present wrapping.”


 
Meanwhile in the main building of Waterfall Downs Academy

“This is a wonderful tree, thank you so much Scotty.” Jo hugged the older man.

“Oh that was the least I can do.” Scotty liked Jo well and he had seen her when she was just a wee girl and it was nice to know that this scared little girl becomes a headmistress of a school for gifted children.

“You are coming tomorrow right? I plan that you are coming I mean, well not all students are staying but most of the local students will be here and they are all expected to see you. Okay and I think they will try to make you play lacrosse with them but don’t let them if you don’t want to.”

“I will be delighted. And the rule is to wear something read?”

“Yes.” Jo smiled widely.

“I guess I’ve got to find my old red Christmas jumper and hope the moths have not eaten it completely.”

“Yes you do. Oh dear please excuse me for a second.” Jo spotted one of her pupils crying and hurried to her, she knew that her grandfather has just died not long ago and it would be the first Christmas without him. Scotty smiled he loved to like everyone else see Jo at work.

“Like an angel isn’t she.” Colin mumbled to Scotty.

“I thought we agreed that you didn’t grow anymore.”

“I know sorry.” Colin looked at the older man next to him. “How are you?”

“I’m very well, how is Elizabeth?” Scotty had avoided Colin for so many years and now standing next to him and talking to him was so hard, he wished Colin could invite him again to play chess like he had done all those decades ago. But even if he would invite him it would not be the same.

“Like every year at this time not well, she is grieving what we have lost and can’t see what we have gained. I’m not saying it is right that we lost so much but in the end we need to keep on living don’t we. We owe it to them. I’ve seen your flowers on his grave.”

“It is not easy to live on. Send her my love. Will I see you tomorrow?”

“I will not miss this party for the world. My mother started the Christmas Eve parties here and seeing Jo continue this tradition brings her back to me every year. I’ll see you tomorrow my old friend.”

Scotty nodded and looked at Jo. “Please give her a hug from me and tell her I see her and her lovely daughters and her wonderful husband tomorrow.”

“I will.” Colin smiled and went to the library and not surprisingly he got a tail of pupils following him. He didn’t mind, he loved spending time with them. Shortly after Jo had met Liam Colin had retired but retirement didn’t become him well and he went back from one class a week to full time teaching at university again and he loved to teach.

“Professor Williams can I get you a cup of tea?”

“Oh my boy, that would be lovely very strong just milk please.” Colin smiled and continued his story; they all loved his Scottish stories of myths and legends. Jo was standing in the door frame and listening to her dad, she loved his stories.

“When your headmistress Missis Jo was a wee lassie she loved the stories about will-o'-the-wisp and I often caught her looking for them in the garden.” Colin looked up and winked at his daughter.

“It’s not my fault you told me that they do travel down from Scotland all the way into our garden.  Mother got so angry when I was crawling in my pretty silk dresses through the rose bushes to find the will-o'-the-wisp.” Jo laughed and hugged her dad.

“Your mother sends her love.” Colin whispers that just Jo can hear him. “So are you all excited? Are we going to decorate the tree now?”

Jo laughed. “Yes we are so come on you all.” All pupils jumped up and ran in the grand salon, Colin took his daughter’s hand and together they followed the noise group of pupils. “I’m glad you are here daddy.”

“Where are my beautiful granddaughters?”

“Please tell me you are not just here for them but also to see me.” Jo looked fake gloomy at him. a little bit. Where is Liam?”

“In his lab, he properly forgot time again.”

“Is that so?” Colin kissed Jo on top of her head and disappeared towards Liam’s lab. She knew that now she also lost her dad to the lab.
Jo shook her head and went into the Grand Salon.

“Missis Jo come here I made those ornaments to hang up is that okay?”

“Of course Sarah, and I talked to Scotty and he will be happy to play with you tomorrow but please remember that he is an older gentleman.”

“I know Missis Jo.” Sarah smiled and placed a few small present under the tree and then continued to decorate it, Jo spotted her name on one of the presents. Many of the pupils got them small presents, they all knew that it was okay to get teacher’s something but to avoid any presents seen as bribery all presents had to be self-made and the material was not allowed to cost more than £3. The pupils all got a small present too from the school. Nothing big maybe a second hand book, new music sheets, pencils or other personal useful things.

Jo was so excited, and this year she sworn herself not to sneak away with Liam and have sex and possibly get caught by Alfie… well at least she hoped she would not get caught by anyone.


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49 Re: Coming Home on Wed 19 Mar 2014, 8:08 pm

The next day
The halls of Waterfall Downs were filled with voices and laughter. The Christmas party had started about an hour ago, and almost every guest was there, most of them were in the Grand Salon, where the giant Christmas tree and the presents were displayed. Students, staff, parents and friends of the school were all gathered together, wearing something red, whether it was a jumper, ribbon, trousers, bow ties, tights, it didn’t matter, as long as there was something visibly red. And the hair didn’t count, that’s what Jill had asked her Mummy this morning, since she and her sister had red hair. She was wearing a white jumper and a red skirt today, while Jane wore a red dress, with a red ribbon in her hair. Jane loved ribbons, she wore them almost every day. James had complimented her on her ribbon today, which had made her really happy. She had enjoyed the day with him yesterday, wrapping their presents for Mummy and Daddy. Jill had drawn a little picture book of her adventures for Mummy, about ten pages full of things, like her parents, Teddy, students at the school, the garden and everything else that she could think of. She hoped her mum would like the picture book. Meanwhile Jane –with James’ help- had made a few candles with paper stars underneath because she knew that Daddy called Mummy ‘Yvaine’, which had to do something with stars, so she had little star candles for her mum.
In the Grand Salon Jane had discovered the von Gruensee family and quickly walked over to them while Jill was walking around the big room, checking everyone out, jumping into conversations, greeting people- some of whom she didn’t know, but she didn’t care, she just liked to talk- but then she discovered Ricky and stormed to him. She knew that Ricky was usually in the company of Alfie, and she wanted to see her ‘boyfriend’.
“Auntie Ricky!” Jill hugged him tightly.

“Look at you, precious! You’re gorgeous.”

“Thank you, Auntie Ricky”, Jill giggled. “Did you bring Fi? Where is he? Where is Fi?”

Ricky chuckled. “He’s somewhere. Probably where the grown-up drinks are…”

Ricky was actually not wrong, the first thing Alfie did when they entered the room was walking straight to the drinks, but he had to discover soon that there wasn’t anything alcoholic.
“What is this here? A kid’s birthday party?”, he grumbled as he had a sip of alcohol free punch. He was wearing yet another Christmas jumper that Emily Butcher had knitted him this Christmas, and once again it was a little too small, especially the arms, so Alfie felt like he was wearing one of Ricky’s jumpers. Ricky had gotten a new one too, of course, but his looked a little more…decorative than Alfie’s because Emily knew that Alfie’s taste was obviously different than Ricky’s and she didn’t want to give him a jumper with glittering reindeers on it. Although Alfie’s jumper was not as sparkly as Ricky’s, he still felt stupid in it but he knew it made Ricky happy and he also appreciated that Emily had taken the time to knit him this jumper.
The loud kids were getting on Alfie’s nerves and he hoped this little redhead named Jillian O’Doherty wouldn’t find him soon. On parties like this he was never stuck to Ricky, simply because there were too many parents who might raise their eyebrows and talked, and he didn’t want to be the centre of attention, that’s why he usually kept his distance from Ricky when they were at a bigger event at Waterfall Downs. He couldn’t find Liam anywhere in the crowd but had spotted James. Finally someone he actually liked. He was about to go to him when he froze. He had just spotted someone else he knew just too well, and he couldn’t believe his eyes that this particular person was actually here, in Waterfall Downs, one of the last places he expected that person to ever show up.
“What.The.Fuck?!”

“Sir, that’s a bad word”, a little girl next to him said.

“Shut up, brat”, Alfie hissed, not even looking at the student. There was only one direction he was looking now, and that was the direction where his grandmother was standing. Yes, Lady Eleanor Jackson among a crowd of ‘commoners’, of children and their parents who came from the normal middle class, some even from the lower class. There was only a small handful of students who came from a privileged background but even those kids wouldn’t interest Lady Eleanor, for that woman hated all kinds of children. What the hell was she doing here?!
Alfie tried to hide behind a few students, which didn’t work well since he was taller than all of them. He noticed Jo not too far from him, so he turned to her and pulled on her arm.
“Why the bloody hell did you invite my grandmother? What in the world possessed you to invite this woman?”

“What?” Jo looked confused. “She’s actually here?”

“Yes, she is!”

“I’m sorry”, Jo apologised. “She gets invited every year but-“

“What?”

“She gets invited every year, but she never came, so I would have never expected that she would come this year, I-“

“Why the hell is she invited every year?”

Jo sighed. “That wasn’t my idea. Originally my mother always sent out the invitations, but since a few years now I mainly organise it. However, when I started organising the Christmas parties myself, my mother still kept interfering with the invitations and to make her happy I continued inviting Lady Eleanor because my mother said I had to, and since I knew she would never come anyway, I thought it’s okay if I just invite her because she wouldn’t come anyway, but apparently she has changed her mind this year. She never showed up so-“

“Great!”, Alfie interrupted her coldly. “Just great.”

“I’m sorry, I really didn’t kn-“

“Whatever! I have to get out of here before she sees me. And you better make sure that she doesn’t see Ricky, I don’t want her near him”, he ordered her as if Jo was his maid. “She’s your guest so you better take care of this mess.”

“I-“

He didn’t let her finish the sentence because he had to hide before his grandmother could spot him. He quickly left the Grand Salon and walked into the room at the end of the hallway, which he had expected to be empty, but to his surprise Scotty was in there, halfway hiding behind the door.

“Oh.” Alfie immediately stopped. “I wasn’t aware anyone was in here.”

Scotty looked almost a little caught. “I didn’t mean to avoid socialising with the others but I had to…ehm…” He was a little distracted to see the young Lord Jackson in this knitted Christmas jumper, it almost brought a smile to his face.

Alfie just stared at him without any expression on his face, something Scotty knew too well from Alfie’s grandfather, who had been really good at that too. But well, the Jacksons were generally very talented in hiding away feelings, must be a family thing.
Scotty cleared his throat. “I was just hiding from someone.”

“So am I”, Alfie replied dryly.

Scotty smiled a little nervously. “Does it have anything to do with the sudden appearance of a certain Lady Eleanor Jackson?”

Alfie was quiet for a moment, he still didn’t open up to Scotty, not like he used to when he was a little boy all those years ago, a time that was lingering in the furthest corner of his mind.
“As a matter of fact, yes”, he finally said.

“Get in line, then.” A smile crossed Scotty’s freckled face. He still had all the freckles he had as young man.

Now Alfie was the one who raised his eyebrows. “Why are you hiding from my grandmother?”

The older man didn’t answer immediately, he seemed to look for an answer. He cleared his throat. “Let’s just say I’m not particularly her favourite person.”

Alfie actually let out a dry laugh. “Nobody is her favourite person, she doesn’t like anyone.”

“That might be true but I might be one of her least favourite people.”

Alfie crossed his arms. “What did you do? Did you pour tea over her during one of her tea parties?”, he asked with a sarcastic undertone in his voice.
Scotty almost looked a little nervous as he was looking for a way to answer him.
“Well, she didn’t approve of my friendship with her husband”, he said quietly, actually not daring to look at Alfie right now. He realised how this sounded so he quickly continued. “Eleanor just didn’t like the fact that I came from the lower class and I think she worried that I was a bad influence on Arthur.” He had to say something like this, even if it wasn’t the truth. He looked at Alfie now but he couldn’t make out any reaction on the young man’s face. It was completely blank. Scotty remembered the little boy Alfie as if it was yesterday. He remembered his curious, blue eyes, his cheeky smile, his confidence and this incredible intelligence far beyond his young age. It was an absolute joy to see him with his grandfather. Scotty didn’t want to be nostalgic, but looking at the grown Alfie made him especially remember the little cheeky Alfie he used to know. True, he was a spoilt and sometimes over-confident little boy who was used to get everything he wanted, but when he spent his time with Arthur and Scotty, he was just a little bundle of joy.

“She certainly has an issue with the lower class”, Alfie broke off the silence, almost sounding indifferent.
Scotty didn’t know what Alfie was thinking but he could tell that there was a lot on his mind. Technically Alfie had been old enough to remember all those holidays and general happy days Arthur and Scotty had spent together and how they had taken little Alfie along, the brightest little boy Scotty had ever met, Arthur’s whole pride. Alfie must remember these occasions, he had been old enough to remember them, not all of them, but at least the later ones. He had to remember something…
Scotty also had to think of the moment he had accidentally walked into Alfie kissing Ricky on the forehead in their kitchen. They both didn’t know that he saw them and Scotty didn’t want to press it or anything, but maybe it was time Alfie realised that he and Arthur did have something in common after all, and it wasn’t only their last name and the colour of their eyes.
“Alfie-“

“If you’ll excuse me, I have to check on something”, Alfie said, already turning away. Scotty could tell that Alfie didn’t want to talk anymore.

“Sure.” Scotty sighed quietly. “Make sure your grandmother doesn’t see you, and don’t rat me out to her”, he added jokingly.

Alfie just nodded briefly, then he left the room. He actually started to feel dizzy. There were just too many things coming back to him, too many memories he always tried so hard to suppress and it was getting to him. He was definitely in need for some fresh air and went outside, without a jacket on even though it was December. At least his grandmother wouldn’t find him here, since she didn’t like to go outside anyway. Alfie sat down on a bench, crossed his arms and let his eyes wander to the cloudless sky. He hoped nobody would find him any time soon, he really wanted a bit of quiet time alone. And for a very brief second he actually felt something that he hadn’t felt in a while, a feeling that was still very unfamiliar to him. Not completely unknown since he had felt it when he thought that Ricky was in a train crash, but still, this feeling came only very, very seldom. It was sadness.


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50 Re: Coming Home on Thu 20 Mar 2014, 9:53 pm

Meanwhile still in the Grand Salon

Alfie and Scotty were not the only one that have spotted Lady Eleanor Jackson, Ricky pushed Jill and found the drinks for adults.

“This is not good. Really not good.” Ricky mumbled. Jill looked very confused at Ricky.

“Auntie Ricky where is Fi?”

“Oh Jill, Alfie cannot be seen with me.” Ricky said sounding a little bit sad.

“Why not? I thought you love him?”

“That is very complicated Jill.” Ricky sighed as he got himself a glass of mulled wine.

“Okay, but you explain it to me one day, right? With very big words so that I learn new words.” Jill looked serious at Ricky as she sipped at her mulled fruit punch.
Ricky grinned and kissed Jill on the cheek. “I promise I will.”

“Good. Oh look Fi! I need to give him my Christmas present. Come!” Jill took Ricky’s hand and pulled him into the hall. “FI!

“Oh shit! Seriously?” Alfie moaned but couldn’t hide a second time this evening.

“Fi I have a present from Jack Frost for you.”

“Santa Claus, Jill it’s Santa Claus who brings the presents.” Ricky mumbled, it was funny on small occasions at WDA Ricky and Alfie were able to be closer but on this big event they had to stay a distance and now being with Alfie in the hall made Ricky as nervous as the time in Bath.

“Oh, yes Santa Claus. Here Happy Hanukkah.” Jill screamed and handed Alfie a small box. She had decorated with lots of sticker. Alfie eyed is suspicious as if he expected it to explode any second. And when he opened it he found a small stray of ginger hair and a ring, a tiny plastic children’s ring, a pink tiny plastic children’s with a unicorn as ‘stone’.


“So that you remember me and wait for me until I’m five so that we can get married.” Jill hugged Alfie’s left leg tightly.


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