Who: Laura, Caitlyn, & Caspian What: Caspian's return & Laura's birthday When: Sunday, July, 7, 2019, morning Where: The Finn residence, 401 Justice Drive, to the beach Rating: Low Status: Complete
The couch was not nearly as comfortable as their bed. Wandering into the quiet home so late in the evening warranted allowing the stillness continue. If he knew his family, the people that lived in his household, Caspian knew that all of them needed as many hours of sleep as they could get. His wife especially. What little slumber came to the three in the residence needed to be cherished and valued. Which meant not disturbing anyone.
As the morning approached Caspian stirred. The exhaustion was still present in his features as blue eyes opened, blearily observing the thread of reds and yellows painting the cloudless sky purple and green as the sun began to rise. Caitlyn had come downstairs first and noticed her father there. A bit of squealing on her part and a bit of light hearted shushing on his, the pair got themselves together. The conversation sat heavy on both of their lips but that was not important. No, this was his wife’s birthday. And while he understood that he had been locked away he felt awful for not getting Laura anything at all.
Knowing she would be awake soon Caspian and Caitlyn went about preparing a small bit of breakfast for Laura using what of the rations were available to them. Eggs, toast, coffee, the last bit of bacon.
And then the journey upstairs and to the master bedroom. Caitlyn did her best to hold back any giggles of delight. It was nearly as if they’d never missed a beat at all.
“Mummy,” the girl breathed, shaking her mother’s arm gently to wake her up. Caspian stood nearby, tray in hand, waiting to see if Laura would rouse from her slumber or not.
It wasn’t the best start to a birthday but it was all he had to give her. More would come as the day stretched onward but just then things needed a solid place to begin.
In the last few weeks, Laura’s difficulty with sleep had drifted away. Now she slept deeply, once she was able to calm her nervous mind. She still struggled with feeling rested though, it was as if her energy was constantly being drained.
Worrying about Caspian left her more on edge than usual, but she’d tried her hardest not to let it affect Caitlyn and Dorian. Whether she was successful in that was a different story. So when she felt the shaking at her arm, she woke suddenly with a start. Her biggest fear was that it was happening again, now someone had come to take the rest of them away.
Blinking, she looked to Caitlyn and then up to Cas with a gasp. Seeing him, tears of joy sprang to her eyes. “Am I dreaming?”
An easy, warm smile came to his face and Caspian shook his head. “Not that I think, love. You look awake and real enough to me.” Caitlyn giggled, then, at the pair of them. She found them both to be very silly.
“We brought you breakfast for your birthday, mummy,” she interjected, motioning to the tray her father was carrying. Caspian took the cue, setting the little thing near to where Laura could reach it and far enough to not have it be upset by any movement. “Happy birthday,” both of them said at the same time.
Laura looked to her daughter with a faint smile, then back to Caspian. She wanted to jump out of bed and hug him and never let go. But it seemed they’d cooked up something while she was asleep, and she didn’t want to ruin it. She’d honestly forgotten it was her birthday, she’d never celebrated the occasion much in the past and with Cas away it had been the last thing on her mind. Looking to the tray and then back to both of them, she smiled again and wiped away a happy tear. “Thank you, both. This is so wonderful.”
Sometimes it was the little things that mattered. Not forgetting an occasion like a birthday, remembering the times which were important even if it wasn’t something another might put a lot of thought into. “We love you, darling, and we want to make this day the best one that we can.”
Caspian went around the bedside and crawled in, sliding close to where Laura sat. An arm would wind around her, a soft kiss would be placed upon her hair. She always smelled wonderful.
Caitlyn beamed proudly. “Da made the coffee but he let me make the rest!” Caspian laughed softly, nodding at their daughter, “Mostly because I know if I make it it’s liable to be burnt.” That wasn’t a truth, he could do well enough in the kitchen but there was no mistaking the young girls prowess in the kitchen.
When he moved to sit beside her, Laura hugged Caspian tightly and placed a tender kiss on his lips. She lingered there for a moment, cherishing the opportunity to touch him once again. Turning her attention then to Caitlyn, she smiled. “You did? It looks so good, like a gourmet chef. You’ll have to teach me how to make something this lovely.” She then gave Caitlyn a big hug as well, kissing the top of her head. “I love you both so very much. Every day I get to spend with you both is the best.”
A hand would rise, fingers would cup Laura’s cheek as they kissed, the pad of his thumb brushing across her skin. He’d missed her, nearly mourned the time they’d been apart. And when the kiss was over his hand fell to find one of Laura’s as both of them turned to look at Caitlyn.
Caitlyn grinned. She nodded, rolling her eyes, “Mummy it’s just toast and eggs.” Caspian smiled, “Ah, But you didn’t burn the bacon, love. That’s the strategy.”
Their daughter wound her arms around her mother. “We love you too, Mummy.” Caspian nodded, pressing another kiss against Laura’s cheek. His wife was glowing. Radiant like the sun, and he’d only just noticed. Even in the dimness of the room he could see it.
Laura leaned against Caspian, just happy to be close to him once again. All of the worry and stress fell away the moment she opened her eyes to see him. The anger and want for revenge would return later, once they really had time to talk about what had happened, but she vowed not to take their time together for granted.
She laughed a little at Caitlyn’s words and expression. “Toast and eggs may sound simple, but they can also go wrong very fast. You did great, it looks delicious.” While she meant it, her stomach turned a bit at the thought of eating something at the moment. She ignored the feeling, as she had been doing for the last few days.
“The coffee should be cool enough by now to drink carefully,” Caspian breathed, nodding at the tray. “Whenever the new rations come we should be good again for options.” Caitlyn nodded and smiled.
His fingers squeezed hers gently before he released her hand so she could eat. “You alright, love?” Something in her changed for a moment. He noticed the subtle shift of her expression but wouldn’t press her about it just now.
“Thank you, mummy,” Caitlyn radiated. She loved both of her parents dearly and was glad to have both of them together again.
Reaching for the mug, Laura took a small sip and nodded with a smile. She hated that they had to worry about having enough food, she’d hoped that part of her life was over for good. Setting the coffee back down, she looked to them both. “You’ll both have some too, won’t you?” She wasn’t sure how much she could keep down, but she also didn’t want them to go without eating. She assumed that Cas must be starving, she doubted he was fed well while he was away, if at all.
“Of course, love,” Caspian breathed in return. There was enough bread for breakfast for the both of them. A few eggs were left. Something could be created from what little was left. And he wasn’t concerned at all about his own well-being, all that mattered was his family.
“Once you’ve finished Caitlyn and I will go back downstairs and find something for breakfast. Leave you to shower or whatever you’d like and from there the day is yours.”
Laura watched the both of them for a moment, so happy that they’d been reunited. Not wanting the food to get cold, she picked up her utensils and began to eat slowly. After a few bites, she paused. “This may well be the best breakfast I’ve ever had. Have you tried it?” She offered to plate to Caitlyn, then Caspian encouraging them to have a few bites.
Caitlyn and Caspian exchanged a look between them. A bit of silent back and forth at his prompting and then they both turned back to Laura. “Caitlyn has not yet eaten. She would be happy to indulge you, darling.”
With little fingers the girl picked a couple of bites from her mother’s plate and offered a noise of satisfaction. “Delicious, mummy.” A nod would come.
Cas just shook his head. “It’s for you. Really. You need a bit of strength.” She looked a bit pale just then. For whatever reason.
Laura watched the two of them curiously as they seemed to have a conversation with just a look. She arched a brow, but was happy to share the food with Caitlyn. She certainly didn’t want her to be hungry. “It is delicious, and it's all your handiwork.”
She looked to Cas again with a little smirk. “And you need some strength and rest too.”
“My strength comes from your happiness,” he laughed, leaning over to kiss her cheek. “Or have you not noticed my regeneration ability.” That was a tease but he found it appropriate. Caitlyn stole a bit of eggs from the plate when her mother wasn’t looking.
“Oh!” She cried, scrambling from the bed. Little feet would patter out of the room. Moments later she would come back with a card that she and Dorian had made for her mother. “Mummy, I almost forgot! We made you a card.”
It would be outstretched, handed over gladly to her mother.
Laura caught the gesture out the corner of her eye, but pretended not to see. She turned to give Caspian another soft kiss and gave Caitlyn the opportunity to take more food if she wanted it.
Breaking the kiss, she turned to watch the little girl hurry off to somewhere. She gave Cas a quizzical look before turning her attention back when the card was handed over. She took it with a smile, reading it. “You made this? It’s so beautiful, I love it.”
He had no idea about the card, but he felt enchanted nonetheless. It was endearing, the fact that she and Dorian had thought to make a card for Laura.
A shrug was offered to his wife and he looked over her shoulder at it when she’d opened it. It was covered in a bit of glitter and was well articulated.
Caitlyn lit up instantly. “Dorian helped me. But we wanted to make sure you loved it.”
Laura set the card aside carefully to give Caitlyn another warm hug. “And I do love it. Thank you and I’ll have to thank Dorian as well.” Laura was constantly surprised by her daughter, Caitlyn had so many strengths and talents, she was proud to see that her daughter was so versatile and well-equipped.
She ate a little bit more of the breakfast before insisting that Caitlyn eat the rest. While she did, Laura turned to Cas again, her eyes searching his face with concern. She spoke softly although she knew Caitlyn would obviously overhear. “Are you really alright? You must be exhausted, at the least. We missed you so much.”
Caitlyn accepted the plate, beginning to devour what was left on the dish. Fingers would pluck up eggs, toast, and shovel it into her mouth.
Caspian looked at his wife and nodded. “I’m better now than I have been in days. The exhaustion is to be expected, I just wanted to be home.” There was no deceit in that, it was the truth. “I missed both of you, too.” His words were soft and for her. “I love both of you deeply. There was no life in that cell.”
Laura watched Caitlyn with a faint smile before looking back to Caspian. She took his hand, squeezing it lightly. “I still don’t understand what happened and why. It was all so sudden, what was the point of it all? You’re innocent.” She couldn’t help but smile a little, trying to lighten things. “And that is not always the case. But this time around..”
“Let’s leave it as a casual mistake, shall we?” There was no need uncovering a grave that was meant to stay closed. “I’m worried about Dorian, however.” The last bit was murmured into Laura’s ear where Caitlyn wouldn’t overhear.
A hand would lift. He touched Laura’s face with adoration. “I’m back now, my love. That’s over.” He’d evaded the law long enough. He supposed karma would catch up to him eventually.
Laura let it be for now, but it was a conversation she wanted to continue later when Caitlyn was not present. She nodded to his whisper with a sigh. “So am I.” She’d been worried about the young man for a while, but she also knew she was being a bit too overbearing toward him so she tried to step back.
Leaning into his touch, she kissed him once more. Her skin was cooler than usual, but she didn’t seem to notice the change in her temperature.
He breathed a sigh of relief, glad his worries weren’t his own solely. Laura was good at reading people. “That Roman fellow,” came a soft few words into her ear. He wouldn’t speak more about it there, in front of their daughter.
The kisses were met with more kisses. She was cool to the touch. Had that been normal he would’ve thought nothing of it. But a bit of worry met him. His brow furrowed when he pulled back.
“Caitlyn, please take the plate and tray downstairs.” The words were said to Laura, not their daughter.
Obliging, the girl swept the meal up and was off with it.
“You feel so cool, my love. Are you ill?” A hand would sweep up to press tenderly upon her forehead.
When he mentioned Roman, her jaw tightened. “I asked him not to deal with that man, but he was determined.” She needed little reason before to go after Roman, but if he had done something to Dorian, Laura would not hesitate to fry him and his fancy suit.
She watched Caitlyn leave before turning back to Cas with a shrug. “It’s nothing, I’m sure. I’ve been more and more tired lately, and feeling a bit sick and dizzy but it always passes quickly. It will go away, it was probably just the stress of adjusting to this place.” She was not really worried, in her life she’d been seriously ill, and anything else minor only lasted a few days.
His own jaw set. Roman was not someone he wanted his family associated with in any capacity. “He’s the only one in that role. Dorian has to make mistakes to learn.” Caspian would admit that the man suddenly had an interest in his case and that was what had freed him so quickly.
“He did get me out, though. I suppose that counts for something. I did read his mind, though. I would rather him not come by the house.”
Hand would fall from Laura’s forehead. He frowned. “That’s not a good thing. We should go to the medical facility if you’re feeling that way. Even if it disappears, I would rather know you’re fine. Or at least have a direction.”
Laura was in agreement that she didn’t want Roman stepping foot in their home again. “Maybe I should stop by his office and thank him for his help. He probably wouldn’t drop by again after that.” She knew the man didn’t like her already, but she didn’t care.
When Cas mentioned the medical facility, she looked at him like he had lost his mind. “I’m not going there. I’m fine. I promise.”
“Perhaps. I want to get Dorian’s opinion on him before we go calling in the calvary.” He knew both of them were intimidating. Caspian had given Roman a lot more than a piece of his mind while incarcerated. “But I’ll let you know what I find out first.” He wouldn’t make irrational decisions without facts first when it came to Dorian.
At her look he frowned. “No, Laura. You’re not. You’ve never been cold to the touch in your life and you’re nearly freezing. Please. Just enough to check and that’s it. If you feel like the doctors are quacks we can leave.”
Laura was a little disappointed that she wouldn’t be able to give the liason a piece of her mind, but she would listen to Caspian. There was no point in making waves until it was the right time.
Sighing, she shook her head no again. “We’ll talk about this another time, okay? For now, I don’t want to argue, I just want to enjoy having you back home.”
His jaw was still set. If it hadn’t been her birthday he would have protested and argued. As it was Caspian nodded and let the subject rest. It wasn’t about him. He didn’t want something acute to have come upon her that they could have found instead of dredging through putting it off for later.
Feet scurried up the stairs. Caitlyn burst back into the bedroom. She crawled up to her parents and snuggled in close to both of them.
Leaning to him, Laura touched his cheek and kissed him softly. “Thank you. I love you.”
She pulled away when Caitlyn joined them, wrapping her arms around her in a hug. “This is probably the best birthday I’ve ever had. Thank you both for this.”
His attention went to their daughter. An arm would lift and wind around her. “Of course,” he breathed, relaxed with both of the women he loved so close. “We love you, darling.” A kiss would be placed upon her cheek.
Caspian prompted Caitlyn. “Let’s leave your mother to wake up. She can come find us when she’s ready.”
Both would pull from Laura slowly.
Reluctantly, she let them both go. She wasn’t usually one to laze around in bed all day, but it was a tempting thought given her low energy level. Still, now that Caspian was back home, she was not about to waste a moment of time doing nothing. She wanted to stay close to him, and Caitlyn. And she needed to share with him what she and Dorian had plotted in his absence.
“Let’s let your mother rest,” he prompted, shooing Caitlyn away gently. Another kiss was placed upon Laura’s crown before they both were up and off to the living area.
Descending the stairs he and their daughter went about cleaning up a bit to make sure Laura didn’t have to do anything on her special day.
Laura took a bit longer than usual to go through her morning routine, but she eventually did make her way down from the bedroom. Freshly showered and dressed, she moved through the house in search of them. She planned to make sure that Caspian had a proper breakfast on his first morning home.
Both were outside in the backyard. Caitlyn was hopping through the grass searching for something. Caspian was settled on the porch, shoulder pressed against a beam as he stood there watching his daughter.
He could feel Laura approaching but he kept those blue eyes fixed on the girl in the grass. Caitlyn laughed, settling down amongst the pristine blades holding a praying mantis in a small hand.
It was good to be back home.
Slipping up beside Caspian, Laura slid her arms around him and leaned against him heavily. She smiled, watching Caitlyn playing. She spoke softly, looking up to him. “Have you eaten? Are you tired? You should go to bed and get some peaceful rest.”
He felt those arms wind around him and with a sense of relief he leaned backward into them. Eyes would slip closed and he basked in her embrace. A hand would lift, sliding across the back of one of hers and come to rest there.
After a moment of considering her questions his eyes opened, once again observing their daughter in the grass in the yard. “A little,” came the reply for both questions. “There won’t be peaceful rest until we get off of this rock. I’m quite sure about that.” And he doubted he would sleep well at all without her there too. He would wait until later to try to rest.
The weight of the last week sat heavily, burdensome on his shoulders.
Laura tightened her arms around him with a sigh. “We’ll find a way, soon. Dorian and I are gathering some information. We’ll all make a plan together.” She sounded confident, easily hiding her worries since there was at least something she could do to be useful.
Caspian nodded. He patted Laura’s hand gently. “I know we will find a way. There has to be one.” He didn’t want his daughter growing up here. He didn’t want to die here. Never had he seen a cemetery which meant either there had been no deaths or they didn’t bury anyone on the island. Did they send them home to their families?
That was a curious thought.
Slowly he pulled back enough to turn around, facing Laura. Arm would lift and wind around her, pulling her close. “So. What are the plans for today? It is your birthday, after all.”
Laura worried about Caitlyn being damaged by this place, but she was more worried about something else, something so much more terrifying that she could say the words. Not yet, anyway. There was no need to mention the warning to Caspian until she knew if it was relevant or not.
Looking up to him, she smiled softly. “My only plans are to spend as much time with you as you’ll allow. You know I don’t really celebrate my birthday. Although, it is nearly 11 years since the day we first met. That is something more worthy of celebrating.”
“Indeed,” he remarked, lips pulling into a smile. He lifted a hand, touched gently at the curve of her jaw and toyed lightly with her hair. “I can still recall the day clearly that I finally worked up the nerve to talk to you. Hell of a mess I was, obviously. But I’m glad that I did.”
The path forward would have been entirely different without her. Caitlyn would never have been born. Life without either of them was difficult, having lost both of them for even that small stretch of days was unbearable.
“Today your wish is my command, my love. If you feel like laying in bed all day we shall.”
Laura smiled, relishing his touch. “You were charming and handsome, and you still are. More so every day. I am the luckiest woman in the world.” Her lips met his in a loving kiss. “Spending the day in bed with you sounds heavenly. But I think that Caitlyn might be a bit bored if we do that.”
Her words were not far from the truth - their daughter was of the age now where things needed to be an entertaining adventure or she wasn’t having anything to do with it. The spoils of parenthood and childhood. “That’s fair. We can save that for later, of course. For the remainder of the day how about we get out of here? Go do something outside of home.” Unless she just wasn’t of the want to leave.
Caitlyn giggled at her parents upon seeing them kissing. Her nose wrinkled up in amusement and she made eww sounds in a playful way.
“I’ll hold you to that.” She stole another kiss before looking to their daughter with a little laugh. She nodded to the suggestion, but staying in his arms a moment longer. “Alright, if you’re sure you’re up for it.”
“With you, I could face the entire world and not be afraid.” He didn’t mean that just because of her ability, but the fact that they were stronger together as a family than apart on their own. He continued to hold her for as long as she would allow, not eager to let her escape so quickly. But they couldn’t stay in the house all the time. He didn’t want anyone to think they were afraid.
Caitlyn rose to her feet and rushed over to her parents eagerly.
Laura pulled away slowly, studying Cas for a moment. “I feel the same.” When Caitlyn joined them, she held out her hand to her. “Where do you think we should go off to today? What would you like to do?”
There had been times in his life he had been afraid. Had been out on the streets of New York and other places being shot at, trying to kill someone. Blood on his hands either way. All of it for their daughter, and how all of it for both of them. “Good.” He smiled at her, warm and true, fingers touching the skin at her jaw.
And then those blue eyes fell to their daughter. Caitlyn took her mother’s hand and she twirled beneath Laura’s arm in a capricious way. “Could we go to the beach?” The girl inquired.
His smile made her heart flutter and caused a smile of her own. Looking back to Caitlyn once again, she let her twirl happily. “Of course, if that’s what you’d like. I think it’s a nice day for the beach and to enjoy the weather while it lasts. I’ve heard rumors of storms coming soon.”
“Just rain storms, Mummy,” she chimed, not thinking anything of the warning. Caitlyn spun in another circle before letting her mother go to rush into the house for more appropriate clothes.
Caspian watched her go and then turned to Laura. “A bit of sun, then?” A wink would follow the comment. “Seeing you in a bathing suit is always a highlight.” She was gorgeous, there was no doubt about that.
Laura nodded, watching Caitlyn hurry off to change. She didn’t think much of the weather, but had heard more than one person comment on it recently so she took it to heart. She knew nothing about this side of the country, so she didn’t know whether or not to believe weather reporting.
Slipping her hand into Caspian’s, she slowly led him back inside with a smile. “Some sun might be nice. And you are always welcome to see me in that. Or less.” Laura had always been a bit self-conscious of her body, but not around him.
Letting Laura pull away he turned to follow. Hand caught hers and he drew her close again even as they began their journey into the house. “Oh, I assure you, my lady, that I will get what I’m after sooner or later.” He chuckled softly at her.
There would be a few things needing to be gathered to make the time at the beach pleasant. He would get what they needed, what they had, while the pair of the ladies got ready to leave.
Laura stole yet another kiss before finally letting go of him reluctantly. She headed back to the bedroom to change, and to help Caitlyn get ready as well. It wasn’t long before they both returned, ready for a nice family day at the beach.
While both were away tending to the day, Caspian gathered anything that they might need for the beach. Sunscreen of course, towels. He put everything into a bag that was easy to carry that might help combat the sand.
As the ladies returned Cas excused himself to become a bit more appropriate for the event and then as they all decided they were ready, the journey to the beach wasn’t as long as it seemed. Of course there were guards on rotation but he paid them no mind.
“This is a good day to be in the sun.”
As they headed to the beach, Caitlyn ran just slightly ahead of them, excited for the adventure. Laura walked hand in hand with Cas, her pace a little slower than usual. As they passed guards, her grip on his hand tightened and she watched them warily. Taking note of the last names sewn into their uniforms, Laura tried to commit it to memory for later use.
It took a moment too long for his words to register due to her distraction. Shaking off her thoughts, Laura looked to Cas with a smile and nodded. “It is. I think Caitlyn will have a ball.”
As their daughter raced ahead he kept pace with his wife, easy and natural. Just like she did he observed the guards along the way though for different reasons. He didn’t have to remember their names to distinguish or recognize them - their minds said enough.
He noticed her distraction, the vice-like grip on his hand. “You alright, love?” Looking down at her with a bit of concern Caspian made himself smile at her.
Focusing her full attention on him now, Laura nodded. “Yes, of course, just a bit tired. But I’m happy to have a chance for a beach day with you. Are you alright?”
Caitlyn ran back to them, urging them to hurry out to the water with her.
As they reached the sand Caspian lead his wife over to a small, shaded spot in the sand and set their things down. “Quite,” came the reply. He took his hand from Laura’s long enough to get everything situated.
When Caitlyn ran up and took his hand he offered the girl a grin and a laugh, “You want me to get into the water?” He inquired at her prompting. The girl nodded, pulling at their hands. “Please Da, please mummy!”
“Alright, Alright, hope your horses. We are coming,” he replied patiently. With delight the girl turned and was off toward the waters edge.
Laura helped Caspian to set up everything, glancing over to Caitlyn every now and again to make sure she hadn’t go off too far or gotten into anything. When she joined them, Laura laughed and nodded to both of them. “Go on ahead, I’ll be along in a bit.”