Safe & Sound

its new, hope u guys like it!!
​I remember you said,
"Don't leave me here alone."
But all that's dead and gone and passed tonight.

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4. It's so quiet in the world tonight. part 2

''And that's what happened today,'' Harry suddenly makes sense of the situation, ''Why you couldn't come for dinner.''

She nods. ''It was worse today because I had to stop at the shop on our way back. We had no more food. I should've waited and just brought her home, but I waited last time and it wouldn't have worked two days in a row.''

He turns to look her square in the eye.

''Kenn, you have to learn to ask for help. You're not alone.''

''I know that now,'' she admits. She can feel the hollowness inside her stomach expand further. ''But I was alone before. I've been alone all this time. I know you're going to ask why I didn't tell you about this, too. But Harry, I was ashamed.''

He searches her frantic eyes. ''Ashamed? Why?''

Kennedy buries half of her face in her hands.

''Because they could've caught it sooner if I had just taken her to get checked,'' she cries, ''I couldn't afford it. It's all my fault. I spend every waking moment worrying about whether I'll have enough food for her breakfast or if I should turn the heat down because the electric bill's too high or how I'll ever be able to get by once the credit card companies find out how much I've been spending for the medical bills. But I worry most about Addison not opening her eyes when I go to wake her up in the morning and it's all my fault, Harry. It's all my fault.''

The amount of pain he's experienced the past few days learning he's had a child all this time and knowing that child has a terminal illness is indescribable. But in this moment, while witnessing Kennedy come apart before his eyes, he knows that his pain is nothing compares to hers. She's been alone, first with carrying the child, then with birthing her and caring for her, and now with battling this disease. He can't imagine what it's been like for her day after day these past three years and especially these past two months.

No time is wasted in pulling her into him, pressing her tightly against his chest. She cries for a long time and he soothes her, desperate to do anything to make her feel less alone in all of this. She has someone she can depend on now, but he knows it's going to take a while before she's fully convinced of that.
 



Harry struggles trying to balance both plates on his arm as well as the glasses of water and the DVD. Kennedy's glad his plan of bringing dinner to her ended up working out despite the constant interruptions.

Shortly after the movie begins and the pair take their first bite of pasta, they hear the soft whimpering of Addison coming from the bedroom. They jump up immediately even if it's her fourth time waking up tonight.

They find her standing in her crib, face flushed and eyes watery.

''Mama,'' she pleads quietly, ''It hurts.''

Kennedy reaches for her, letting Harry gently detach the monitor wires before pulling her close. He's had the past few hours to process the news and although he admits he's still quite a bit in shock and denial about all this, Addison doesn't seem any less different than a normal child her age, which helps him cope.

''I know, baby,'' she comforts her, running her fingers through her thinning hair.

But then Addison's attention is turned to the taller, broader of the two, and she reaches for Harry for the first time. Kennedy passes her to him, and he's surprised by how easily her tiny body molds to fit against his. Her arms wrap snugly around his neck and her head rests against his shoulder. The whimpers seem to silence as he rubs her back, unable to hold back his smile.

He and Kennedy take Addison back into the living room and put the film on mute.

Watching her child in Harry's arms touches her. She's never felt so comfortable letting anyone else hold her. But with Harry, it seems natural. The way he absentmindedly soothes Addison's back with his fingers makes it seem as though she belongs there with him, and Kennedy can do nothing but smile at them from afar.

After a few minutes of quiet, Addison turns her head against his shoulder.

''Harry,'' she repeats his name from memory.

''Hmm?''

''You smell nice.''

He erupts in a sparkling grin, eyeing Kennedy, who smiles back.

''Thank you, Addie.''

Slowly, she turns her head back to its previous position.

''You're welcome,'' she sighs.

They wait a while before they're certain she's fallen asleep. Harry insists on waiting a bit more after she closes her eyes, but Kennedy knows that's only because he wants more time spent with her in his arms.

''Sweet dreams, kiddo,'' Kennedy tucks the toddler back into her crib, putting her new pink rabbit close so she'll see it properly when she wakes up in the morning.

Back on the couch, Kennedy catches Harry yawning and shutting his eyes when she's not looking.

''You're welcome to stay the night,'' she offers, ''I have extra sheets and pillows.''

He knows he should probably decline for Miranda's sake, but honestly he doesn't want to.

''Thanks,'' he smiles sleepily.

She fetches the linens and, even though he tells her he's perfectly fine on the couch, she insists he can sleep on an air mattress in the bedroom so he can be near Addison. He's humble about accepting, but she can see he's secretly very happy about it.

Once they're situated and in their separate beds, Harry asks something Kennedy didn't see coming.

''What was she like when she was a baby? Before she could talk, I mean.''

For some reason, the question burns her insides. She feels guilty that she got to be part of all of Addison's life so far and he's only just met her.

''Shy,'' she answers, ''Quiet. Sweet. Not really much different than now, really.''

She hears the smile in his voice when he speaks. ''What was her first word?''

''Banana,'' Kennedy answers with a chuckle.

''Tell me more.''

She goes on in quiet whispers for a while, telling him all about the first day she brought her home from the hospital and how she cried so little, it scared Kennedy in the beginning. She describes how small and delicate she was. Almost like a doll. She tells him how much she's always loved flowers, warm blankets, and being sung to.

He doesn't say much. He only closes his eyes, picturing everything he's told, trying to live the memories in his head since he missed out on the reality.

''She's very smart,'' Kennedy notes, ''She has a better memory than I do.''

''Can I ask you something?''

Harry's voice is drawn out with exhaustion, but he fights to stay awake.

''Anything,'' she answers.

''Did your mum ever find out about that time you snuck out of the house and went driving with me?''

Kennedy laughs quietly. ''No, she came into my room the next morning like nothing had happened.''

He chuckles with her and they struggle to keep it down for Addison's sake.

''Where did we go? Do you remember?''

He shakes his head. ''No idea. I think we just drove round your neighborhood because we never thought we'd get that far into the plan.''

The memories seem to create an atmosphere that Kennedy's missed. Excluding any moment spent with her daughter, the last time she was truly happy was when she was with Harry doing stupid, carefree things like sneaking out past midnight. All she ever had to care about was him and school.

''Life was so much easier back then,'' she sighs, ''It seems like it was decades ago, but it wasn't.''

It's quiet for a while. The silence fills the room thickly before Harry whispers.

''I thought about you every day after you left, Kenn.''

She's thankful he can't see her face because if he could, the first thing he'd ask is why in the world is she crying already.

''Everyone told me you weren't coming back, but I didn't believe them. I knew it couldn't have possibly ended the way that it did. There had to be more to our story.''

Silently, she wonders if he knows that his words are breaking her heart.

''I knew I was right not to give up on you.''

Her voice is small when she reminds him.

''Is Miranda okay with you sleeping over?''

He doesn't respond for a while, perhaps thinking of an answer that doesn't sound as bad as it does in his head.

''She doesn't know.''

''Won't she wonder why you're not home?''

''She hasn't moved in,'' he says, ''She has her own place.''

''Oh.''

Talking about the woman in this room strangely makes him feel uneasy.

''I take it she doesn't know about Addie either,'' Kennedy guesses.

''I haven't gotten around to telling her yet.'' In truth, it hasn't crossed his mind. Telling her about his daughter with his ex-girlfriend isn't the most important of his worries at the moment. ''We've only been dating for a few months.''

''She's still your girlfriend, Harry. She still deserves to know.''

''Yeah,'' he sighs, ''I know, you're right.''

''Tell her. Soon. I'm sure she'll understand.''

Harry nods, agreeing to the command. He'll try to help her understand as best he can.

But here, in this room, lying just a few feet from his daughter and the mother of his child, he's not sure if he wants to. Despite the pain that's proving to come with being back in Kennedy's life, there's something about it he feels like he could come home to every night if it meant he could be with Addison. How he'll break this to his girlfriend, he doesn't know, but he decides his only option is to cross that bridge when he gets to it.

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