Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Chapter 53 - Gen 2 - Tapestry

As I stand outside the nursery door, waiting for either Amber, Poppy or Willow to start crying, I can not help but think I could really do without being on baby sitting duty today.  At the moment I am feeling constantly tired, because I have only been back home for a few days, and after a hectic two weeks away and hardly any sleep, I think I'm still suffering from jet lag

I had nothing planned for today, other than popping into the vampire den to see Shadow, because this afternoon, we have a hospital appointment for our first baby scan.   I really could do with some time out to relax, my head is overloaded with too many things, and I'm tired, because it feels like the hassle going on around me never stops, so I am constantly on the go!!

I thought today I would be getting a day off to chill out and spend some time with Crystal, Vanilla and Snow.  Poppy I am not too bothered about, because even though Maize has now taken full custody of his daughter, Poppy has spent most of her life down here with us and Crystal is still looking after her while Maize is at work anyway, so she is always here during the day time.  It is just my extra Neice and Nephew I could do without.

With very little notice, I have been given Amber and Willow to look after, because today is the day that Forrest spills his and Caramel's secrets.  While Forrest is explaining everything to Bay, Fudge and Mint, Dad and Granite are explaining everything to Mosaic, Slate and Parsley.  They thought it was best the two babies weren't there to interrupt things.  I knew this was coming sometime this week, and that I would be on baby sitting duty while it happened, but Forrest could have picked any other day, just not today.

I chuckle to myself for a moment, wandering just how Forrest and Caramel's secrets are going to go down with everyone, especially how Bay, Fudge and Mint are going to take finding out that Forrest is their biological Father and not Alpine, and why.  He told me the truth and whole story over a month ago, and I still don't think I can get my head around it.

Sunny's funeral is now over and thankfully it went without a hitch, and his secrets are still safe with just a handful of us, and all of Sunny's children were spared the heartbreak of learning the truth about him.  Although Ruby could quite easily have blown it, by just suddenly storming off part way through the service, but everyone just put it down to grief.  Only me, Mace, Granite and Turmeric knew it wasn't grief, she was angry knowing his secret, and Turmeric had to chase after her to calm her down and keep her quiet, to stop her blowing it all out into the open.

The day after the funeral, even though I felt guilty for leaving Crystal so soon after the service, I was jumping on a plane to Rainbow Valley with Prelude, where I have spent the past two hectic weeks, mostly working.  I was able to attend Sunny's burial in Amber Valley, so that Mustard was not alone, and was also around while they found and exhumed Crystals twin sisters remains from the woods.  The most amusing part for me, Sunny and Saffron's spirits came along for the ride.

River also went out to Rainbow with me, because he got his wish of getting involved in a medical capacity, he got to play the archaeologist and practice the forensic medicine that he loves so much.  Mustard had to join us out there, he was coming out to Amber with Sunny's body and couldn't travel with us, in case Prelude or River picked up on anything and worked out Sunny's sordid secret.  The best part about my two weeks away, I got to catch up with Denim and Pheonix, who I have really missed.

I spent most of my time in Rainbow with Rocky and Prelude, sorting out all the last minute details for our up and coming tour, that will have me away from home for three months soon, which I am really not looking forward to.  Being my first tour I am already nervous and stressing myself out over it, because I really don't know what to expect, I'm just really glad that I will have Rocky there to hold my hand and show me the ropes.   It makes it harder knowing that I will be away from Crystal while she is pregnant, and I have to go three whole months without seeing her, Vanilla, Snow and Shadow.

Shadow in particular is stressing me out, he really is not happy about me being away for so long, he is playing up something cronic and getting very upset, and I really don't know what to do about it.  He in particular is making me feel very guilty for having the career that I do.  If he wasn't a vampberry I could take him with me on my trips away, like I can sometimes take Vanilla, but it is just impossible with him.

           "Where is your head at?"  Crystal makes me jump, appearing suddenly.
           "Nowhere.  I am just stood out here waiting for the screams to start."  I smile at Crystal  "Three sleeping babies, but I don't know how long for.  You know Amber and Poppy are teething, so I doubt they will let Willow sleep for long."
            "Well instead of standing out here like a neurotic idiot, USE THE BABY MONITOR because you need to come and spend some time with your own children!!  Vanilla and Snow are beginning to forget what you look like, they have seen so little of you lately."  she mumbles  "And you will be off again before we know it on that stupid tour!"
            "Seriously Crystal, you know I can't help how busy I've been for the past three weeks, and remember I should only have been out in Rainbow for a week, but this stuff with your twin sister, had me out there an extra week."
            "I know but I get fed up sometimes, you are always running around doing something that doesn't include me and the kids."
            "I'm sorry ... it's my job, and I would much rather be at home most of the time, but unfortunately I have stuff to do."  I smile at her  "Why do you think I am rushing around so much at the moment .... to get everything done so I can take time out for when the baby comes."   I laugh  "The album is finished, and I have a few new singles stacked up waiting to go out, so after the "stupid tour" as you call it, you will have me for at least six months, without working interfering, there are only a few thing I can't avoid doing, and Rocky has said any new stuff that we will be working on, he will come here to do it, while I'm on maternity leave."  I smirk at her
            "Yeah, we'll see."  she laughs sarcastically

           "You haven't forgot the baby scan this afternoon have you?"
           "Like I can forget, when you remind me every day, a hundred times a day!"  I laugh at her  "I didn't plan to do anything at all today, but Forrest did warn us that they couldn't predict which day they would do it, because of Alpines rocky head."
           "What are we going to do if they haven't finished in time for our appointment?"  she frowns at me  "River and Winter are at work and we can't expect Saffron and Atlas to look after Amber and Willow as well as our two, Ocean and Poppy."
           "Why not - we do."  I laugh at her  "Don't panic, if the worst comes to the worst, we will just have to drop Amber and Willow off with Slate and Mo, whether they have finished or not.  I've already warned Granite we have an appointment and can only have them till dinner time." 
           "Where are all our spirits today, I haven't seen any of them, not even Glimmer."
           "They are probably at Caramels, watching Forrest drop his bomb.  I know Storm is worried about Bay, and Cos is worried about Alpine, so I expect Sunny, Cos, Storm and Saffy are there.  I'm not sure about Glimmer though, I haven't seen her for a few days."  I frown at her   "Talking about the faded, have you and your Mother decided where you are having your sister buried, because the police have told River they will be releasing the remains soon."
           "Yeah, we think probably here?"
           "Why here?"  I frown at her   "I expected you to put her where her grave is, with Sunny and Saffy."
           "It's not easy going out to Amber Meadow is it, especially not for Mom.  There are too many bad memories for her there."  she smiles at me "It is bad enough that Sunny is buried out there and none of the Shines can go to visit his real grave, besides I would rather have her close, so here is the best place."

           "Okay, well you will have to talk to River, burials is something I've never had to organise and I don't have the foggiest clue where to start, he said he would help you get all that sorted out."
           "Crimson said he'd help me too."  she smiles at me
           "Good, it gives me one less thing to worry about."  I smile at her  "Where is your Mom anyway."
           "You might guess ... with your purple Granddad."  she sniggers 
           "Please tell me they are ... NOT!"
           "No silly!!  I think they are too old for all that!"  she sniggers  "While you was away, they rediscovered their love for playing crib."
           "Crib?"  I frown at her
           "It's an old peoples card game, your Granddad said the young ones don't play any card games these days, especially not cribbage, because they are too busy on their phones and the internet."  she starts laughing  "Your Muffin Grandparents play with them sometimes, and Shale.  Some days it's looked like we are running an old peoples home down here, as well as a cresh!"  she starts really laughing and I can't help but laugh with her.  "Mom and Grape, have been spending most of their time together playing cards and talking about the old days."
           "Yeah, I noticed, he seems to be a lot happier and more active since your Mom has been here."
           "Your Dad says its an old people thing ... they keep each other company and they are on the same wave length - they are both stuck in the past."  she laughs
           "So who is actually watching the kids right now?"
           "Don't panic!!  They are not on their own, Scarlet is here, she came while you was in the nursery getting Amber to sleep."

Crystal mentioning Scarlet sends a cold chill of dread through me.  Her baby is due any time now, and I really need to speak to my Dad about it, before the unstoppable bomb drops, which will causes total chaos in the extended family.  At least Dad can be pre-warned because no doubt he will be the one having to sort the aftermath out.

Crystal has become quite close very quickly, to all her Shine Neices and Nephews, all except for Strawberry.  Scarlet and Saffron she is particularly close to, and I am not looking forward to what is coming.  Scarlet finding out she is not Sunny's daughter means that Crystal is not technically related to her - which I know is going to be very hard for them to take, especially Crystal.

Just as we start to make our way into the living room where Vanilla, Snow and Ocean are playing, my phone starts to ring, and I just answer the call straight away.  Crystal rolls her eyes and carries on without me.

          "Tap what are you doing?"  My Dad, barks at me down the phone
          "You know what I'm doing - I'm at home looking after Amber and Willow."
          "Good!  Take Amber and Willow back to Mo and Slate ..." he seems to be flapping
          "Seriously!!  I have only just got them off to sleep."  I tut at him  "I thought Mo and Slate were collecting them when it was finished."
          "Well things have changed.  Wake them up, drop them off at Forrest's with their Dad's, then come to the hospital, I need you to bring me my glasses, and hurry up."
           "Why are you at the hospital - I thought you had the day off."
           "Yeah so did I  ... they have just rushed Forrest in with a head injury."
           "Is it bad?"
           "Look Tap just hurry up, I don't have time to talk - I'm needed in theatre ... and DON'T FORGET my glasses!!"

The call cuts off suddenly.  I can't help but just stand and stare at my phone for a minute - he is needed in theatre, so does that mean it is bad enough for Forrest to be going into theatre?!

Crystal is seriously not going to be happy that I have to go out again.

I walk into the Neurology department, still a little worried by the phone call that I received from my Dad, not too long ago.  After getting earache off Crystal for going out again, like I expected, I dropped Willow and Amber off with their Dad's at Forrest's house.  To stop him from phoning me, I had to make a painful call to Shadow to tell him that I could not get in to see him until later tonight, which didn't go down too well with him.
My mind is now troubled.  Dad wanting his glasses, generally only means one of two things, there is something wrong with his contacts, or he needs to cry.  Seeing as he told me they have just rushed Forrest in and possibly into theatre  ... I take it he is upset and if he needs a cry, that really worries me, because Dad doesn't cry easily.  Dad has always been very close to Forrest, he is one of his oldest friends.

I know that Forrest joked that he would probably end up in the hospital today, he predicted that Bay might knock him out, once he learns the truth about Forrest being his biological Father, but I never expected his prediction to actually happen.  I don't know how Forrest has managed to get his head injury, or why he might have been rushed into surgery, because Dad didn't really say, it was just one of his quick sharp phone calls barking out his orders, which generally annoy me.

As I walk through the double doors I spot Granite, literally curled up on one of the couches in the corridor, and he is really crying, which makes my blood run cold ... now I really am worried.  I suddenly get the feeling that I might be walking it to some bad and horrible news.

           "Hey!"  I say quietly as I stare down at Granite
           "Tap!"  he mumbles as he opens his eyes and stares up at me 
           "Forrest is okay isn't he?"
           "Yeah he is better than we expected."  he mumbles as he sits up wiping his face.  I can see he is very embarrassed, by me walking in on him crying.
           "Are you okay?"  I smile at him as I sit down
           "Ignore me, it was Leafy, he just really scared the hell out of both me and your Dad for a while!!"  he mumbles   "He had a few too many seizures, a slight bleed which we sorted out in theatre and he is suffering from severe concussion.  Hopefully he should be fine." 
           "So why are you crying?  You gave me a right scare when I saw you lying there like that!"
           "I'm sorry, nobody was supposed to see me."  he rolls his eyes in embarrassment  "To be honest, I am not really sure why I just cracked up ... relief I guess.  My head is already all over the place at the moment, with Mace's trail only weeks away, I am not coping with just the thought of Mace being locked up for time and us being apart.  Then Leafy goes and does this and I just had visions of losing both of them, and I don't think I could cope with that and stay sane and sober!"
           "So what happened?  How did he get his head injury."  I frown at him  "Bay didn't thump him, like Forrest predicted did he?"
           "Hell no!!"  he laughs for a moment  "You know about his pedophobia don't you?"
           "Yeah, his child phobia"  I nod
           "Talking about his phobia to the kids made him pretty anxious, and Caramel is pregnant again, and Leafy had a freak out knowing he has more babies on the way, and another thirteen years of hell in front of him.  She is having twins and mentally he is struggle to cope with it, so he had a panic attack and passed out.  On the way down he bounced his head off the table pretty hard, then off the floor."

I start laughing and Granite frowns at me

           "I'm sorry!!  I wasn't laughing at Forrest hurting himself!!  It is you saying Caramel is pregnant ... wait till Mom hears about it, it is going to set her off again and she is going to start giving Dad hell again ... she has only just shut up about wanting another baby!!"  I laugh  "He has only just convinced her that she is too old to be having more babies now, and if Caramel is doing it, she will think she can too."
           "Yeah I know!"  he laughs  "Your Dad said exactly the same thing!!  He even said he thinks it is time for him to have the snip to shut your Mother up permanently."  we both sit laughing for a moment.
           "I seriously can't get my head around Forrest's phobia.  He tried to explain it to me, but it's all too much for my stupid head!!"
           "Basically it is just like any other phobia.  Spiders, heights, needles, blood ect.  Most people have a phobia and there is generally a reason behind it.  Put a tiny spider in front of most people and they are irrationally scared stiff of it.  In Leafy's case, he has issues from his childhood that have scared him mentally, which has given him an irrational fear of children.  Leafy just reacts to children like most people do to spiders."
           "That is the bit that I do get, it is Forrest having the phobia that I don't understand."  I roll my eyes at him  "Do you know why I can't get my head around it ... Sandy Shores."
          "Oh Tap if only you knew what was going in when you weren't looking!!"  he starts to laugh  "Leafy was crawling the walls in the bedroom having Vanilla there.  The first night when she kept crying, Leafy literally climbed out of the bedroom window and went and sat down on the beach where he couldn't hear her crying."  he starts laughing   "I cleaned up so much puke over those two days, it beats me how you never smelt it!!  Me keep dragging him into the bedroom, wasn't for sex like I was making out, it was because I could see he was starting to wobble, it was to get him away from you so he could have his melt down in private."  he smiles at me  "It is just a good job you found Snow after we left, or he might have just given the game away ... one child he can deal with just about, two, he has no chance."

           "You should have told me!!"
           "We couldn't, he has always been very scared that the more people that knew the more likely his big secret would get out ... not only has he always been very embarrassed and ashamed of his phobia, he has always been terrified of Bay, Fudge and Mint being screwed up by him and his erratic behaviour caused by the phobia."  he rolls his eyes  "He only told you when he did because he was scared you would say something about catching him and Mel together, and it would all blow up, and the kids would get hurt ... he has always broke his neck to protect those kids."
          "Why has it taken them so long to tell Bay, Fudge and Mint the truth, if he has been okay with them since they were teenagers?"  I frown at him
          "Between you and me, Leafy has been nagging Mel for the last six years to tell them the truth and she wouldn't do it, scared of what they might think or how they would react, that is why it has taken so long to come out."  he laughs  "If the truth be told, it is only happening now on Mel's behalf, because she's had no choice because of the trial.  Forrest is expecting Gravel to blurt the truth out to the kids in court out of spite, Leafy told her he was doing it now with or without her blessing, if you ask me he should have put his foot down with her six years ago!!
         "Why did you invite me to stay out in Sandy Shores - if you knew Vanilla was going to upset him?"
         "To be honest Tap, I wasn't thinking at the time.  It was actually Forrest's idea about you being able to pretty much hide out from your fame and the world at the beach house because of the private beach. When I heard you moaning about being hounded everywhere you went outside of Sugar Valley, and how you would love to take Crystal and Vanilla on vacation ... it reminded me about what Leafy had said, so I asked."  he laugh  "Don't worry yourself or feel guilty, it was my fault, I was the one who put him through that.  We actually laugh about it now, his cat flap in the wall, the window, he flew out of it so often, it was very comical, especially from where I was standing."

          "Surely this phobia can be cured?"
          "Not always, Forrest needs to deal with his psychological issues, which he hasn't been able to do so far."  he rolls his eyes  "Now if we could wipe his memory of his childhood, then he might stand a chance of getting over it."  he laughs jokingly  "Unfortunately we don't have that power, and I wouldn't wish amnesia on anyone, but for Forrest right now, with Mel being pregnant, and expecting twins, it might just be his only cure, and I doubt he hit his head hard enough to cause any permanent damage, even with the bleed."

I stare at him for a moment, thinking about what he has just said.

        "I thought you was looking after your Neice and Nephew."  he frowns at me
        "Yeah I was.  I dropped Willow and Amber off at yours on the way here, even I'm not stupid enough to bring babies into see Forrest."  we both laugh for a moment  "Dad asked me to bring his glasses in."
        "Oh yeah, he's a little blind and one eyed at the moment!"  he laughs  "Forrest had a few seizures before we got him into theatre, and in the commotion your Dad got a thump in the face and lost one of his contacts.  So don't be surprised if he gets a black eye."
        "So how did the confession actually go?"
        "Okay, I think.  Bay, Fudge and Mint are still a little shocked about Leafy being straight more than anything."  he laughs  "None of them have kicked off or said anything, and they can't have taken it too badly because they are all sat in his room with him now he has come out of theatre."
         "Can I ask you something ... tell me to sod off and mind my own business if you want to ... but why the hell did you two get married if he's straight and you are gay?"
         "We thought we loved each other, we had been together since we were toddlers, and mistook emotional attachment for love.  Well I know I did, Leafy is still adamant he loved me, but he is still kidding himself.  After twenty years, it is pretty obvious he loves Mel, he just doesn't realise it himself yet, like it took me five years to realise I love Mace, because we were too busy holding onto each other to see anything else, our emotional attachment has blinded both of us, and I needed to come back for us both to see the truth.  Forrest is just taking a little longer to get there because his head is screwed up."  he laughs  "When we were teenagers Leafy tried to play gay to keep me, which is what has screwed him up so much, to cut a long story short, it is basically me and my fault he has the phobia."  he grins at me  "So now you know!!" 

       "Aren't you worried that Slate might be doing the same thing with Bay?"
       "Of course!!  At first, me and Leafy were terrified that he was attaching himself to Bay for all the wrong reason and that he would mess himself up trying to play gay, just like Leafy did.  If it all went wrong, Bay would have been just as messed up as Slate, it would have broken him, I think you know he's always loved Slate."  he grins at me  "But luckily it seems to be working out for them, and neither of us are worried about them any more.  Slate has obviously always had it in him, to be bisexual and he didn't realise it." he starts laughing  "You would think Slate is the gay one how often he jumps on Bay."  we both sit laughing  "He has had no struggle at all thankfully!!"  
       "So is Bay okay?  How has he taken Forrest being his Dad?"
       "I'm not sure, he's been very quiet.  Forrest is expecting it to affect him the most, so we just need to keep an eye on him, to make sure he doesn't go down again like he did when Slate was on life support.  Mint seems the least bothered by it, I secretly thinks she is happy that Forrest has turned out to be her creator, because finally she knows who she looks like."  he laughs  "Fudge I really can't tell, but Mel thinks it will upset her the most as far as Alpine is concerned, because she has always been the closest one to Alpine."
        "How is Alpine?"
        "He got upset.  Coal is at home sitting with him, we thought it best if he didn't come to the hospital, just in case he became unhinged, we already have enough to deal with, and he was already starting to rock and roll."  he frowns at me suddenly  "Alpine kept saying the strangest thing ....  he said Sunny, Cosmic, Storm and another ghost were there, waiting for Forrest.  He actually lost it at one point saying Forrest had faded and they had come to collect him.  He freaked Bay right out, because he kept talking about Storm!!  he starts howling   "Caramel says he thinks he can see your ghosts."
        "He can.  Storm and Cosmic have told me Alpine has started seeing them lately ... since Cinnamons funeral, but he can't hear them like I can."  I laugh back at him  "And they were at Forrest's today, Sunny, Cosmic, Storm and Saffy, Sunny's twin brother .... they were being nosey, but Storm was worrying about Bay."
        "Seriously Tap!"  he frowns at me  "I know I've been told you think you can see ghosts, but really, do you expect me to believe not only do you see them, you speak to them too!"  he starts to almost howl.
         "Yeah."  I smirk at him
         "I'm sorry Tap ... ghosts are something I can't believe in!  They are not real and you will never be able to convince me otherwise!"  he is laughing

I think about something that Sunny has been nagging me to do for him, which involves not only Mustard, but Granite and Mace too.  There is no way that I can do what Sunny wants, without first convincing them that spirits are actually real and he is still here.

          "They are very real to me, and they don't like being called ghosts ... they are spirits!!"  I smile at him as he sniggers.  "I've already had Forrest pecking my head over it, because he has started to believe that me and Alpine are seeing them, because we are seeing the same spirits.  Also because I see and talk to Cosmic, and everyone will tell you Cosmic faded before I was even born, so I couldn't know him unless I am seeing him now in spirit form - which I am."
          "So come on then, what do these  ghosts, sorry, spirits of yours look like and say to you." he laughs at me
         "They look exactly how they did when they were alive, except for they are transparent and bright and they talk to me just how they always have, just like I'm talking to you now."  I smirk at him  "I haven't lost Storm or Sunny even though they have faded, because for me, they are still here like they always have been, only they are now in the spirit world.  Although they do annoy me sometimes, they are always coming through walls and making me jump, or invading my privacy."  I laugh  "and they are very good at telling  me about things that I would rather not know, things that only they see."
          "Like what?!"
          "Like peoples secrets ... I knew about Caramel and Forrest before I even caught them, because Storm told me, the spirits didn't tell me about the kids being Forrest's because they didn't think I could take it, but Cos has been watching them for years, making sure Alpine wasn't being abused by the situation.  All of Sunny's shit, I lied, he didn't tell me while he was alive, he only told me after he faded, because he needed me to clean his shit up, which you and Mace helped with."  I smile at him  "Cosmic has known for years that your Dad's grave was fake, there are no bones buried there ... spirits can tell these things."
           "Get out of here, you are pulling my leg aren't you!!"  he starts laughing at me

           "No!"  I smirk at him  "Some one went to the cemetery yesterday, to put flowers on his Mother's, baby brothers and Sisters graves.  He apologized to his Sister, because he feels guilty that she has been hurting these past five years while Mace was with him, even though he  didn't have a clue who Mace was and especially not who he was married to."  I laugh as his eyes widen.  "Then he sneaked off to Sugar Falls to buy an expensive engagement ring ... didn't you Granite."
          "What!?"  he looks confused  "Somebody was listening, and saw me?"
          "Only Sunny."  I smile at him  "I didn't even know you had a baby brother called Slate buried in that graveyard until Sunny told me.  Sunny watched you visiting Tami's grave then he followed you, he took a ride with you to Sugar Falls.  He was with you for half the day because he was suspicious, he knew you fibbed to Mace, when you told him you was going to Raspberry for a few hours to see Meadow, when he'd seen Meadow here in Sugar with Alpine at Forests, and he heard you sneaking a call to Meadow asking her to cover for you, when you was sat in the car."
          "Sod off ...."  he frowns at me 
          "Well it's true isn't it?"  I smirk at him
          "Yeah." he mumbles quietly as he nods sheepishly
          "Sunny said you drove straight over to Sugar Falls, you went into McBerry's for just fries and coffee, he was amused by how much ketchup you used and that you kept laughing to yourself."
           "Yeah, because if Mace had been there he was have been moaning at both the fries and the ketchup."  he laughs quietly
           "Then you went into half a dozen different jewellers before you finally found the ring you wanted.  You kept looking at the wedding rings too didn't you, and asked about having your names engraved on the inside of the rings .. which amused Sunny no end, because he didn't realise you was the romantic type."  I laugh at him as he rolls his eyes at me  "I can even tell you where you have hidden the engagement ring."
          "No you can't!!"  he starts laughing at me
          "Oh yes I can, Mace is never going to find it upstairs is he."  I laugh at him

          "You have hidden it in the corner of one of the bedrooms upstairs, Atlas and Saffy's room ... you have got a really clever hidey hole haven't you!!"  I laugh at him as his eyes nearly pop out of his head  "You moved a cupboard, pulled back the carpet, lifted a lose floorboard, where you have a metal buscuit tin hidden.  How would I know that when you locked the door and was totally alone in the room ... only a spirit could have seen you."  I smile at him
           "This is nutz!!"  he is staring at me wide eyed
          "Sunny said you sat laughing hysterically for ages when you lifted the tin lid and found a full bottle of vodka and a stash of drugs still in the tin.  He said you called Forrest a twat out loud, for never finding your stash or hidey hole over the past 20 years."  I raise my eyebrows  "It is worrying that you left the booze and drugs in the tin and didn't get rid of them!"
           "What the hell!!"  he chokes  "I honestly don't have any intention of touching either the drugs or booze ... I did not leave them there because I wanted to, I had to."
          "You heard Atlas and Saffron coming up the stairs."  I smirk at him  "Yeah, Sunny said you only just got everything back in place and unlocked the door, before they walked in, and you pretended you was getting their dirty washing."  I grin at him  "You got a splinter in your finger from the floorboard in your rush to put it back didn't you."
           "Yeah I bloody did!"  he holds his finger up to show me  "This is crazy!!"
           "Next time you go in your hidey hole, you won't find the vodka or drugs ... Sunny got rid of them, to stop you from getting tempted!"  I laugh at him  "After 20 years he thought they might blow your brains out and you will mess yourself up if you even tried either of them, and he wasn't going to leave them there for you to do it to yourself."
           "Yeah right, I was just starting to fall for it then .." he laughs at me  "Like Sunny would give a shit about me, he hated me, he would probably be hoping that I take the drugs and booze, not save me from them."

          "He didn't hate you, he was jealous of you openly being who you should be - gay.  That was a big part of his problem, he stupidly backed himself into a corner when he was a teenager pretending he was straight at the boarding school so that he didn't get bullied for being gay, like he was at the school in Amber Meadow, and he hated the life that he created for himself in his stupidity, that he couldn't get out of.  He got Ruby pregnant and it just spiralled out of control  He lashed out at you gay guys, because he hated himself for having to live the lie, even though he knew it was his own fault, and his homophobic act was to drive the temptation away, especially your cute face."  I snigger  "He hasn't admitted it to me, but I swear he fancied you in particular."
           "Sod off, Mace has said exactly the same thing!!"  he chokes
           "Sunny wasn't happy about you being Tami's brother, especially because of what he watched her go through while Mace was missing and with you, and he's admitted he put his guard up with you straight away because of you being Gravel's brother, and he though you would be a berry hole just like him  ..."  I grin at him  "He's told me, he is watching you very carefully, because if you ever hurt his mate Mace, you will literally be feeling his hands around your throat ... and because of Mace, he is looking out for you, because he knows what losing you would do to Mace."

I start to laugh at the expression on his face.  He is just sitting there saying nothing, but I can tell I've messed his head up with it, and he is thinking about it.
           "Go and check your stash, when you see it's not there, think about what I have said, then come and tell me ghosts aren't real!  And if you want real proof that spirits are real, I can give it you."  I smile at him  "Oh, and Sunny has left you something in place of your stash, he says you will enjoy that a lot more ... something only you and Mace know about apparently!"  I smirk at him.
           "Like what?"  he frowns at me
           "I don't know, he wouldn't tell me he just kept laughing."  I laugh at him  "Maybe you can tell me, when you know what he's left you."  I stand up  "I had better go and give Dad his glasses before he starts having a tantrum."

I walk off howling with laughter at the look of sheer shock and confusion on his face.

I walk into Dads office, still laughing quietly to myself.   I am amused to see, that Dad isn't sat behind his desk like normal, he is lying on the examination couch with this hand over his eyes, like he is taking a nap.

        "Wakey Wakey Dr Muffin!!"  I shout quiet loudly and he jumps up like a startled rabbit.
        "Tap seriously!!"  he frowns at me before he starts laughing
         "I finally caught you slacking at work!"  I start to laugh at him
        "As if!!  Anyway technically I am on a day off today."  he laughs  "I'm just getting a headache ... it's been one of those days!!"  he mumbles
        "Yeah, I hear Forrest has thumped you, so its not surprising that you are getting a headache!"  I laugh at Dad as I hand him his glasses.  He frowns at me  "Granite told me, you might be getting a black eye because Forrest thumped you."
       "He didn't exactly thump me!"  he laughs  "It was more a case of me being too close when he started having a seizure, I didn't move quickly enough, and he head butted me in the face."
       "He is going to be okay isn't he?"
       "Hopefully!!  He is stable now, and we are just waiting to wake him up, to know for sure, but it might be a few days before we can do that yet?"
       "He has given himself severe concussion, as well as had a bleed on the brain.  His brain activity is a little erratic at the moment, so we are just keeping him under and waiting for it to get back to normal ... it helps to prevent any long term damage."

Dad puts on his glasses and makes his way to his desk and sits down, so I automatically sit in one of the chairs opposite him.  I can't help but think he looks rough and a little droopy eyed like he has also been crying like Granite.

I wander for a moment if I should pre warn him now about Scarlet's real Father, while I have the chance and we are alone.  I know that is a conversation that I really need to have with him now, because Cinnamon and Scarlet's baby is due any time now ... but I am not sure how to even start that conversations with him.

          "What took you so long to get here anyway?  I was beginning to think you had been distracted, wandered off and forgotten."
          "I've actually been here for quite a while, I was sitting with Granite out in the corridor talking, he was very upset when I walked in."
          "I'm not surprised, it got a little hairy there for a while."  he mumbles.  "Forrest scared both of us because of  how many seizures he was having."
          "Granite said something to me that has got me thinking."
          "You be careful you don't give yourself a headache!"  he laughs
          "Funny!"  I laugh at him  "This phobia of Forrest's ... I might be able to cure it."
          "And how on earth do you think you are going to do that?!"  his eyebrows raise then he starts having hysterics.
          "Dad I'm being serious!!  Granite said - if he didn't remember his childhood and the things that are screwing him up - then he wouldn't have a problem which would cure the phobia."  I smirk at him  "I can do that ... wipe his memory."  he laughs for a moment then stops.  "Let me try!"
         "Tap I really don't think ..."

           "Why not?!  It's worth a try isn't it!!  What harm will it do if I wipe away his childhood memories, they are only causing him grief by them being there.  It will only be like he has amnesia like Mom, and you have said yourself in some ways it has been a blessing because she can not remember the bad things that really upset her ... like her childhood and how Prelude and her parents treated her, Cosmic and the baby fading ..."
           "That is all well and good, but as you know Tapestry, this vampberry brain wiping is not all that Jazz cracks it up to be .... Crystal is the perfect example of that!"
          "Yeah I know and that River remembered things too that had been wiped away, but the memories only come back in dreams and a lot of the time they were jumbled up with other stuff, and they both just dismissed them as being wacky dreams, they never believed they were a memory.  We all have bad and wacky dreams, even when we haven't been memory wiped."  I smile at him  "There is still a hell of a lot that Crystal does not remember, like she still doesn't have a clue how she got here from Rainbow.  A lot of the stuff she will never know about, unless I tell her or let her see it through my eyes."
        "No, its not ethical, it's a stupid idea Tap."  he laughs
        "Is it .... stuff ethics!!  There is nothing ethical about me or my unusual abilities is there."  
        "I'm surprised you even know what that word means!"
        "Shadow has decided to educate me - so my vocabulary is growing."  I grin at him  "You only think its right to cut him open or ram medication down his throat to cure him ... well I've got a much better way to cure him, which will take seconds to do, and it won't hurt him."
        "Oh I don't know .... as a doctor, me letting you do it, just seems ..." 
        "Unethical ... I know!"  I laugh at him sarcastically  "Which is kind of hysterical you saying that when you've let Jazz mess in your head ... and all the stuff that you have done and taken part in to cover up my abduction, Honey, Shadow and our cold friends with fangs!!"  he just sits chuckling to himself for a moment   

       "Tell me something, did you once think or believe that Shadow or Honey were alive after you had your brain wiped up until the night I walked into the den and you had to be reminded that they were still here?"
       "No I believed the lies that Jazz planted in there, that they were burried in the cemetery ..."
       "Well then, so isn't it worth me wiping Forrests childhood memories to cure his phobia."
       "Don't think for one minute that I'm going to let you mess in his head ... he has just had brain surgery!!"  I laugh at him
       "Seriously I think you know me wiping his childhood memories is not going to make him retarded even if he has just had surgery!"  I laugh at him  "Otherwise you, River, Winter, Mulberry, Ice and Crystal would all be basket cases now!!"
        "Funny Tap!!"  he laughs at me
        "You need to speak to Daddy clone, and see what he thinks, I bet he will be all for it!!"  I laugh at him  "I could do it before you wake him up, then it will be just like he has woken up with amnesia, because of the bang on the head."  I grin at him   "Will you be able to live with yourself if you have to sit and watch him struggling mentally with the new babies, when we might be able to cure his phobia, but you didn't even try!!"
         "Get you, when did you start to think logically and be so sensible!"  he laughs at me  "It's a shame you don't operate in sensible mode all the time, because I know you still have lapses.  Sometimes I wander if the vampberries didn't mess in your head while you was away ... how different you are now."
          "They can't get in my head remember, only Shadow."  I grin at him  "Besides while I was away, Daddy Clone didn't wrap me in cotton wool and suffocate me like you do, it helped my brain grow."
          "Stop calling him Daddy Clone!!"  he laughs at me as he wags his finger at me  "Your brain hasn't grown enough for you to understand that smoking is bad for your health, especially your throat and vocal cords!!  And this is what I meant by your lapses in being sensible, because don't think I don't know you are still smoking on the sly!"

          "Oh I understand its bad for me .... but what you don't seem to understand, it is something I have to do!!  I get ribbed enough for being too squeaky clean for a Rock Star, when I'm at work, because I don't drink, do drugs or shag every fit woman that throws herself at me ... "  I laugh at him as his face twists up probably because I've said the word shag.  "The old me would have been doing all of it, so you are very lucky he still isn't here anymore ... and smoking is the lesser of the three evils in my book, and it keeps them off my back ... it is not like I am smoking all the time, especially when I'm home ... its only when I'm mega stressed out or when I'm out working at one of the parties!!"
           "Well you need to stop!!"
           "Yeah like Coral needs to stop pretending she doesn't have two babies, like she needs to get a job and quit sponging of me and you, like she needs to stop shagging every man in town, but I don't see you on her back!!"  I snap at him
           "I'm dealing with your sister!"  he mumbles and I just laugh at him
           "Anyway, what would you rather I do instead of smoking, drink on my meds, get off my head on drugs or sleep around, like all the others do, cheating on their wives and girlfriends, catching STD's off the dirty tramps, like Coral and Straw?"  I snigger
            "You don't have to be doing any of it, just because they pressure you into it!!  Rocky doesn't!"  he smiles at me, and I can't help but laugh
           "Doesn't he."  I laugh at him  "Okay so he doesn't smoke, and is very faithful to Lacey, however when he's out working he does drink and occasionally does drugs ..."  I watch his eyebrows almost launch off his face  "He is a Rock Star, it comes with the territory, even Grumpy Grape gets stoned from time to time and he's older than you."  I laugh at him  "Maybe I should take you to one of these parties, that generally turn into drug and alcohol fuelled orgies ... then you might just give me credit for what I am not doing rather than you jumping on my back for what I am doing ... smoking OCCASSIONALLY to fit in for a quiet life!!"

           "What drugs?"  he frowns at me   "What drugs is Rocky doing?"
           "Coke and weed, OCCASIONALLY."  I regret even telling him now.  "He's not like most of the others, like Blaze for instance, who is permanently off his head on something.  Rocky only does it at the parties and not always, and when he does it, it is done in moderations, he never gets off his face."
           "So how OCCASIONALLY are you doing coke and weed?"
           "I don't do it at all!"  I grin at him
           "Yeah, like I believe that!!"
           "Ask Prelude, I don't touch the stuff!!"  I smirk at him  "It doesn't react well with my meds, and I know because I have already learnt that lesson.  I did the booze, coke and weed years ago, when I was a kid, before I even thought about being a rock star ... " his eyebrows nearly fly off his face again
            "WHAT!?"  he snaps
            "Oh if only you knew what me and Storm used to get up to when we were kids"  I start laughing at the expression on his face.
           "What about Coral and Mo?"  he frowns at me  "Were they doing it too?"
           "That's up to them to tell you." I smirk at him  "I don't run telling tales on them like they did me."
           "Where did you get it from?"
           "Dodgy Swan ... surely you knew he was dealing to all the kids?"
           "Hell no!!  The adults yes, but not the kids!!"  he squints at me suspiciously   "So who is dealing in this town now he has been locked up?"
           "I seriously don't have a clue as I don't do it any more!!"  I laugh at him, probably trying to catch me out with his question.  "Don't stress, I honestly have not touched any of that shit since Storm faded, and I don't intend to in the future ... on my life!!"
           "Yeah, and I wander if you would be sat here saying that if you hadn't been abducted, had space away from me where you grew your brain, like you reckon."  he laughs sarcastically

           "So, what about Prelude?"  he frowns at me
           "What about him?"  I laugh
           "What does Prelude get up to at these parties that you Rock Stars go to?"  he frowns at me  "I've never been too comfortable about you two being out there in that environment, you are both way too easily led."
           "The old Tapestry and Prelude were easily led."  I smirk at him  "He is constantly nagging me to quit smoking too, so don't stress!"  I laugh at him  "He isn't drinking if that is what is worrying you ... I think what happened to his Dad and Slate because of alcohol totally woke him up on that score, besides El would batter him!!"

My phone starts ringing which saves me from the rest of the conversation.  I can't believe he hasn't gone off on one at me for admitting I was a naughty boy when I was younger.

          "Tap where are you?"  Crystal
          "Still at the hospital talking to Dad."
          "We have the baby scan in an hour, we are going to be late!!"  she snaps at me
          "Stop stressing, we have an hour still, so we won't be late!!  I'm coming now."  I laugh at her  "Get the kids ready, so we can just drop them straight off with Saffron."
          "There is no need, Saffron and Atlas are here.  Turmeric is kicking off over something apparently, and Shale thought it best if they watched the kids here."
          "Okay, well I'll be back in a bit."
          "Yeah, make sure you are, and don't go wandering off anywhere and forgetting."
          "Like you will let me forget!"  I laugh at her.

I laugh as I close my phone and stuff it back into my pocket.  Crystal has been working herself up into an excited tizzy over the baby scan for weeks, I will just be glad when it is over and done with now, then she might calm down a little.

          "I've got to go Crystal is stressing."  I laugh at Dad  "You are still coming aren't you?"
          "Coming where?"  he frowns at me
          "The baby scan."
          "Oh fudge!!  The scan slipped my mind with everything that has been happening today."  he pulls a face, then smiles.  "Yes, of course I'll be there."  he smiles at me
          "The appointments at 2.30pm ... so I'll see you there."  I smile at him
          "I'll just check on Forrest, then I'll go down to maternity and wait for you.  he smiles
          "And don't forget to have a think about Forrest getting amnesia."  I smirk at him
          "Okay ... I'll think about it."  he mumbles

I laugh as I leave his office, doubting he will let me wipe away Forrest's memory.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Forrest 5b

The room has gone deadly quiet all but for Alpine quietly laughing.  The three of them are sat staring at me and each other, still wide eyed and in disbelief.  I am holding my breath, waiting for a reaction, that is taking a long time to come.

I glance at Caramel and she smiles at me, a much more relaxed smile than she gave me earlier, a smile that I generally only see when we are alone and in private, so I smile back at her in the same way.  I am very relieved that it is finally out, even if they haven't actually reacted yet.

It feels like time has stopped or it is moving in slow motion, with the continued silence in the room.  Why have they not reacted or said anything yet?

When I turn back to look at them, they have been watching me and Mel smiling at each other.

      "So now you know.  Leafy is the Jerk!!"  Alpine says quietly.
      "What!?"  But he can't be ... don't mess about,  Leafy you are gay!!"  Bay is the first one to speak
      "We are not messing Bay honestly!!"  I mumble quietly  "I am the Jerk with a child phobia, and your biological Father."
      "Oh Berry!!"  Mint starts laughing
      "Seriously, this has to be a joke!!"  Bay really can't believe it. 
.     "Bay we seriously are not joking!!  If you can not tell that Leafy is not gay - you need to get your gaydar checked!!"  Alpine smiles at him.  "He has never been gay or you three wouldn't be here.  Forrest is your real Dad honestly."
        "Don't be stupid, this is nuts!!"
        "Bay and Fudge you have his hair, Mint is the biggest give away, she has his skin and eyes, she looks the most like him facially, and Bay you have got all his neurotic and finiky ways  - I seriously don't know how you kids or anyone else have never seen it!!   Mint is so obviously his daughter it is seriously beyond me how nobody has never seen it, besides Granite, he saw it straight away!!"  he starts laughing  "I'm sure you have noticed you all have Leaf as a middle name, and like Leafy said it was done for a reason ... so when you knew the truth, if you wanted to, you could drop my surname Forrest and take his surname, without actually changing your name."  Alpines starts to really laugh  "It has always amused me no end that his first name is the same as my surname and that your names backwards are Forrest Leaf ..."
Mint amuses me by actually getting up and putting her hand on my arm to compare our skin colour, which she can see is identical.  For a moment I worried when I saw her coming towards me, I thought she was going to be the first one to punch me, I am actually half expecting Bay to fly at me still, because of the look of sheer confusion on his face.

          "Have not one of you thought all the time that I have been sat here talking, that I know way too much information, especially about how the Jerk feels, to have not been the the Jerk and the one involved.  I even slipped up a few times, which you didn't spot, saying I, we and our."  I laugh
          "No because you are supposed to be gay!!"
          "Bay, I thought you at least would have sussed me and my phobia!!  Think about how I am around Jasmine, Clay and Amber, you have seen me in action.  Kicking off, storming out the house, slamming doors and yelling shut up and covering my ears every time one of the babies cry.  Why do you think I don't go anywhere near them or have anything to do with them ... because I am terrified of them."  I smile at him  "You see how nasty I get with Jasmine, just for walking into a room, I call her a brat and go off on one and she doesn't even need to speak, and when she speaks and squeals, I lose it completely."  I laugh at the expression on his face  "You have even kicked off at me yourself, over my behaviour a few times, and I'm not nasty to Jasmine because I want to be, it is what my phobia does to me, I seriously can't help it.  Those kids being in my house is why I've had to move out and into yours."
        "Oh fudge and we all thought you was just being a miserable berry hole because she's Mace's kid!!"  Bay stares at me wide eyed
        "Yeah I know what you all think, and I have had to take a lot of stick lately, over Slate, Mace and Jasmine, and I've had to let it happen, and just stand there taking it.  I've had to let everyone think I am the total ass hole to protect you three, rather that telling the truth.  Telling the truth would have exposed me and your Mother, my phobia, me being your real Dad, which would have hurt you three in the process, without us getting the chance to sit you down and tell you properly, like we have today."
        "Oh Fudge!!"
        "And I'm the same with any children, as Holly and Ivy, my two Nieces, your cousins, will tell you - they hate me with a passion and I can't say I blame them.  When they become teenagers, I have a hell of a lot of making up to do with them, because I have put them through exactly what we have protected you three from."

           "No you can't be, this doesn't make sense ... you are gay!!"
           "Bay, I have never been gay!!  Okay so I married Granite, when I was a stupid mixed up teenager, because I loved him, it was just my bad luck he was male.  I was in the same position as Slate.  He loves you for you, not for what sex you are and while he obviously doesn't struggle playing gay ... I always did.  Trying to play gay is a big part of why I am so screwed up!!  Mine and Granites relationship was never about sex, we didn't really have a sex life because I seriously couldn't hack it, and it didn't really matter to either of us, while he was breaking the law and getting high and hammered and getting his thrills that way,  I was being who I should have been, sleeping with women, not that he knew at the time.  I'm in your Dad's camp, as straight as they come and you couldn't pay me to sleep with another man.  The only thing I'm comfortable doing is kissing them and even then that only applies to Granite."
          "So why tell everyone all this time you are gay?"
          "Everyone presumed I was because of Granite, and I never put them straight.  Letting everyone carry on thinking I was gay is what has helped us to get away with this for so long.  Me being gay was a good cover for me and your Mother, because who would ever have suspected us, and it helped to keep the truth hidden from you three.  I have sat in front of you telling you our story and not one of you have suspected me once, because you think I'm gay."  I laugh at him   "Everyone thinking I am gay is what has helped me and your Mother hide the fact that we have been together since just after Cinnamon was born.   Look at Mint, it is so obvious that she is my daughter, it is hysterical that nobody has ever questioned why she looks so much like me, and why has nobody ever questioned it ... because they think I'm 100% gay."  I laugh   "I've been living here for weeks and not one of you have been remotely suspicious of me and your Mother, if you knew I was straight then you would have been very suspicious." I smile at them  "We go out in town together, for a drink, a meal, to the cinema, even bowling in front of you kids sometimes, and nobody bats an eyelid, or gives a thought to us being together or how much time we spend together openly, because I am gay, everyone thinks we are just good friends, they never see us doing anything of a romantic nature, and we always have the excuse, that I'm your Dads doctor so we are discussing his condition.  You have even seen us at the gym together Bay and not too long ago."  Caramel starts to really laugh
           "What's so funny?"  Bay frowns at his Mother, then me
           "Your Mother even being at the gym in the first place!"  I smirk at Caramel  "Nice try babe, but it's not happening!!"

I laugh at Caramel as I throw the cushion at her that she launched at me earlier, she was trying to embarrass me just then, thinking I would tell Bay why she is really laughing.  I smile at Bay who starts laughing.  If only he knew, if he had walked into the steam room just a few minutes earlier, he would have caught us messing about!!

        "Obviously Granite hasn't been here, and we didn't want our relationship out in the open or anyone especially you finding out the truth, because I was being such a jerk because of my phobia when you were little, and we didn't want you getting hurt or screwed up by me."  I roll my eyes  "I am seriously screwed up psychologically, and that is the the last thing I ever wanted for you!!  It seriously would have messed your heads up and wrecked your lives knowing I was your biological Father, when I had to keep my distance because every time I was around you I freaked out.  Bay maybe now you might be able to understand a little more, I would have treated you like I treat Jasmine, and you never would have understood that especially with me being your Dad.  Think about what Saffy has been through because of how his Dad has behaved towards him ... unfortunately he is scared for life and not just physically, mentally too."  I smile at him
         "Oh Berry ... Saff is really messed up in the head because of Sunny."  he mumbles
         "Exactly, so now can you see what we have protected you from.  The way we did it was way better for you and Granite could have come back at any time and your Mother was under no illusion that if he came back, in my delusional screwed up stupidity I would have left her, until I came to my senses, which would have wrecked your heads even more so it was better you didn't know about me.  I have always been a physiologically messed up time bomb waiting to go off and I didn't want to drag you down with me!!  Trust me you have had a much better life without me being the fatherly figure in it, even though I've hated having to watch Alpine brining you up, but I have tried to spent as much time as I could with all of you in one way or another especially since you were teenagers, I just couldn't tell you who I was!!"
         "No!!  I don't believe it!!"  Bay mumbles  "You and Granite ..." he looks at Caramel then at me

          "There is no me and Granite, and there hasn't been for well over twenty years.  Even though we have lead everyone to believe that we still have a relationship and he is just humouring Mace until he is locked up ... that is far from the truth.  I know I acted a little crazily when Granite did come back, but he is a big part of why I have psychological problems and am so screwed up!!  Him coming back is what we both needed to sort our heads out, it is what I needed to help me start clearing away my physiological problems, which I will explain to you properly when you have got your head around me being your biological Dad."  I smile at him   "In reality and behind closed doors, I'm with your Mother, which I have been for over 20 years, and Granite is with Mace.  He loves Mace not me, we are getting divorced and as soon as that comes through, they are getting married and when you lot move to Cherry, he will finally be out of my life for good."  Bay stares at me wide eyed  "Everything we have led everyone to believe, and anything you have seen since he came back, was part of an act, not even Shale knows what we were doing.   We had to keep up the pretence of our relationship, with Mace's help, which your Mother knows all about, because of how crazily we both acted when Gran came back, we did it to stop everyone, and you especially because of you living with us, from uncovering the truth, until we could sit down and tell you the truth properly."
          "This is insane ..."  Bay frowns at me suddenly  "Leafy ... where is your wedding ring?"
          "Floating about somewhere in the sea."  I laugh  "I haven't been wearing it since the first day me and your Mother went out to Sandy Shores."
          "You lost it?"
          "No, I threw it .. I didn't need it any more.  Since Gran came back, and we both sorted our heads out,  we have only worn our rings for show.  Granite isn't wearing his ring now either, which you obviously haven't noticed."  I laugh at him  "I knew me and your Mother were coming clean when we got home ... so I chucked my ring to finally get rid of it."
          "Leafy ... but you can't be our real Dad!!"
          "Well I am Bay.  Look at Mint and tell me she doesn't look just like me and Meadow, she has my face, skin and eyes.  Look at yours and Fudges hair ... it's my hair, the same as my Dad's and Meadows.  You have my eye colour, and you take more after my side of the family than you think Bay, with your OCD and all your neurotic and finiky ways which comes from my Dad which I've got and given to you, and the blushing thing you do, you get that from my Mother, she was always permanently red cheeked and blushing just like you do.  Fudge, even though she is the most like your Mother, she still has my hair, my eye shape and my blood type."

I laugh, as all three of them just sit staring at me, while I think the girls are quietly accepting it, Bay is obviously struggle to take it in.  I reach into my back pocket, I guessed they might struggle to even believe I'm actually straight and not gay, especially Bay, he is the one that I have been closest too, as a mate, and I guessed I would be more of a shock to him.  I imagine it is going to be hard for anyone in this town to believe that I am not actually gay.

          "But if you can't take our word for it .... we have something to prove it, which will leave you in no doubt, that I am your biological Dad."  I laugh at him still, not taking it in.  They accepted pretty quickly that Alpine was not their biological father, it is me that they are struggling with ... because to them I have always been gay.

I hand the three of them the paternity test results that tell them in black and white that I am their biological Father.  Luckily we had one done on all three of them, in my mental state when they were born, it was the only thing that helped me accept that they were mine, otherwise I would have just convinced myself they weren't.  I jump up and go over to the sideboard and remove an envelope that I had hidden in the bottom of the draw earlier.

          "Why do you think things like your bank accounts, driving licences and passports sprung into existence when you became old enough to have them, even if you didn't need them."  I laugh as I take their birth certificates out of the envelope.  "We had to get certain things done for you, before you tried to do it yourself, so that we could hide your birth certificates from you." 

I pass them their birth certificates and watch them quietly as they stare at both pieces of paper, and I am wandering why they are not kicking off about any of this, especially me.

         "Why now?  Why only just tell us now?"  Fudge looks up wide eyed from the piece of paper that she was staring at.

        "We were always going to tell you one day.  I wanted to tell you when the three of you were teenagers, ever since the day Mint became a teenager, but your Mom and Dad didn't, I was out voted.  Their reasoning being that everyone's teenage years are hard enough, without having something like this dumped on you - so we waited until you became adults so you can rationalise and deal with it better"

           "What do you mean you was out voted?"
           "Just because you have never seen me here as your Dad, it doesn't mean I haven't been here, because I have always been here in the background and have had a lot of say in what has gone in your lives.  All of the decisions made for you three kids, the three of us have always made together.  In reality you have always had three parents."  they frown at me and I laugh  "When you were both playing up to have your noses pierced Fudge and Mint, your Mother didn't want you too, but me and Alpine didn't see the harm in it - so your Mother was out voted and you had your noses done.  And like I told your Mother at the time it would just be a passing fad, which it was as it's been years since I've seen either of you wearing nose studs."  I laugh quietly  "Like you Bay, when you wanted a motorbike, while Alpine was all for letting you have one, me and your Mother thought they were too dangerous, so Alpine was out voted, and you was told you couldn't have one.  I bought you a car instead, hoping it would stop you from getting yourself one."
           "You bought my car?!"
           "Yeah."  I mumble quietly, wishing I hadn't mentioned the car.
           "Forrest bought all three of your cars."

 The three of them just look at each other, then back at me, and I really don't know how they are taking it.  I glance at Alpine and know he will be feeling very uncomfortable with the subject of money and hope that Mel just leave it there ... but she doesn't.

          "One thing you three have always been very blind too!  Money and where it was all coming from!"  Caramel laughs at them

           "You have never wanted for anything have you, and most things you've asked for over the years, you've got, including Cinnamon, he was never left out, Forrest has been supporting all four of you financially.  How did you think I afforded it all on my small wage with your Dad not working because of his brain damage?  I could barely keep a roof over our heads most of the time, which Forrest has had to help me with."  she laughs at them as they sit there blankly looking at her.  "Computers, TV's, game consoles, stereo's, skateboards,  bikes, mobile phones, tablets, the piles of presents on Birthdays and Christmas, and all the other endless things you asked for, even your clothes, expensive trainers and pocket money - if it had been left to me, you would hardly have got any of it, because I seriously couldn't afford it ... if you ask me he spoiled you and it was lucky for the four of you that he has a well paid job!!"
          "You paid for it all!"  Bay says to me and I just smile.  I suddenly feel uncomfortable.
          "None of that matters now ... I was only doing what I would have done if I'd been here as your Dad like I should have been.  Like I said, I have always been in the background of your lives, I've done everything that I've been capable of doing, I just had to stay hidden for your sakes."  I mumble  "And I'm sorry, if I could have done something to fix my phobia, I would have done."
         "So who paid for my wedding?"
         "Who do you think!"  Caramel laughs  "And the deposit on your house."  she smiles at Bay 
         "Can we just shut up about money!!"  I snap, I know more than anything this will be denting Alpine and I can see it is making him feel uncomfortable, because he has always been frustrated that he could not provide for his own family, especially Cinnamon.  "Babe, you are making it sound like I am trying to buy their approval."

        "Don't be stupid ... off he goes, over thinking again ... I swear Leafy's brain will still be thinking way after he has faded!!"  she starts to laugh at me  "I am just trying to make them understand that even though they have never physically seen you here,  that you have always been here for them!  They are never going to know these things unless we point them out to them."
         "I think they might be able to work that out for themselves, when they think about it.  They have known me for the whole of their lives, as their Dad's friend and their doctor.  I have always been there for them to see."  I smile at the kids  "I have done little things, like teaching them all how to drive, and all three of them, at some point in their life have had me digging them out of a problem or hole, on more than one occasion .... and it really wouldn't surprise me if  they can even remember seeing me having a melt down in front of them when they were very little, if I frightened them enough doing it, because I did lose control in front of all three of you at one time or another.... "  I laugh  "I lost it the worse in front of Bay once, the day Alpine was hit, and I rushed into the hospital thinking the car had faded you both.  I collapsed in the corridor and had a full scale panic attack when Bay ran out into the corridor straight up to me showing off his stitches ..."  I laugh  "He even asked me if I wanted a lick of his lollipop, while I was on the floor trying not to throw up all over him."  Bay starts to really laugh  "And you girls were a nightmare, because you were both little terrors and kept going for my ears!!  You trying to touch them had me freaking right out in front of you."
       "Oh Fudge!!  Your ears ... my baby could have had your ears!!"  Fudge starts laughing
       "Yeah, but I made sure he wasn't, otherwise we would have had to come clean sooner, before he was born."  she frowns at me  "I muscled in on your scans if you remember, I had a good look to make sure he wasn't getting my ears."  I grin at her  "I had to keep a close eye on all three of your ears before you was born, because if any of you had had them, it would have blown it right open, but thankfully that never happened, for your sakes.  If it had happened you would have always known I was your Dad, which really would not have done you any good!!  By rights, being girls you two should have had my ears, it has always ran on the female side of our family - berry knows why I got them, and you didn't.  Meadows two girls has them, and every other female relative I've had."  I smile at them

        "Fudge!!  This is messed up!!"  Bay is staring at me, still with a look of confusion on his face, while he is still not getting it, both of the girls seem to now believe it.  "You are supposed to be my mate ... not my Dad!!"
        "I still am your mate, I am still the same person I was yesterday.  You knowing I'm the jerk who created you doesn't have to change anything unless you want it to.  I don't even expect you to call me Dad, because Alpine is your Dad, I've never been that to you and I'm not trying to fill his shoes, take his place or turf him out ... we just needed you to know the truth, so me and your Mother can get on with our life in the right way, instead of all this hiding, now that I can no longer mess your heads up with my phobia."
        "So what actually is going on here?"  Fudge frowns  "You are living here ... are you and Mom actually still together, together?"
        "Yes we are - we always have been behind closed doors, since before Bay was born.  Now you know the truth, we won't have to hide it any more, from you or anyone else."  I smile at Mel  "So we can finally live a normal life."
         "So, you haven't been sleeping in the spare room at all have you."  Fudge laughs at me
         "No."  I laugh  "I've been sleeping in your Mother's bed, exactly where I have been for the past twenty years, only you never knew it."  Fudge and Mint look at each other and giggle.  I can't help but laugh at them knowing what they are like  "So I guess now you know who I actually am, I am not going to be privy to your giggly conversations about your favourite subject any more?"
         "That depends on if you are going to turn all stuffed shirt on us!"  Fudge laughs at me
         "Oh fudge!!  The day we found him sleeping on the couch!" Mint starts to really laugh
         "Yes madam, now you might understand why I was getting so grouchy and annoyed, because of the direction you two were taking the conversation in!!  It was wrong on more than just one level!!"  the three of us start really laughing.

          "What's this?"  Mel is frowning at me
          "Nothing for you to worry about!"  I laugh at her
          "Have you been running and telling Mom everything that we have been saying or doing that she doesn't know about?"
           "No!!  Your secrets are still pretty much safe with me, especially anything you've told me as a doctor."  I laugh  "But I will warn you, from now on, I've had my orders from Mango, you three have to change doctors - I've got into serious trouble being your doctor since you were babies, I'm lucky I haven't lost my job over it."
           "So how did you do that, be our doctor with your phobia?"
           "With great difficulty, especially when you were children and I had to try very hard not to let you see me cracking up, which I did every time you left!!"  I smile at them
           "Then why do it?"
           "Me being yours and your Dad's doctor is something that I had to do to stop anyone from accessing your medical records and working out that your Dad is not your biological Father from your blood groups.  You girls have my blood type which is obviously different to both your Mom and Dads."  
         "What about Dad?"  I frown at Fudge  "What is happening to Dad now?"
         "Nothing.  Like we said nothing changes.  Me and your Mother will continue to take care of him for as long as is needed.  The three of us will be living together permanently from now on.  Just because I'm here now openly, it doesn't mean we are ever going to take him away from you, or you from him, he will still always be your Dad.  And like your Dad said, there has always been three of us here, the only thing that will change from now is that I am no longer in hiding."
        "That is just crazy!!"  Mint laughs

        "This whole situation has been crazy from the beginning.  My phobia and his brain damage has helped to shape this to what it is, and regardless of what you might think, me and your Dad have always been good mates, even with the initial agro of him nearly beating me half to death,and him totally messing my Sisters head up!"  I laugh  "He did a big thing for me taking care of you three and being your Dad while I couldn't, so the least I can do for him, is take care of him."
        "How did you and Dad become such good friends after everything that you told us happened in the beginning?"
         "Me and your Dad were already good friends before the crap started."  I laugh as I look at Alpine, who smirks at me. "It was a green thing ... for your Dad anyway.  The minute that Mango introduced him to me, he latched onto me, because I am his colour.  He was brought up in the coded world, and the colour code was very much ingrained in him and if the truth be told, he has never really been too comfortable with the whole colour mixing thing, and that was a part of his problem about being with your Mother.  Even though I am a pure berry, I was born and raised in this town, so the colour code and the green thing has never really applied to me."  I smile for a moment  "We hit it off straight away, he used to come round to mine and we used to go out drinking, he even put up with me being gay, or so he thought!"  I laugh  "It was actually a while before I even saw your Mother, and your Dad had already made me believe that their relationship wasn't too good, and he'd hinted that he had a bit on the side, I just didn't realise it was my own sister at first."
         "So you jumped on your mates Mrs."  Bay laughs
         "Basically in the end I guess I did, but it was never my intention, even though I knew there marriage and relationship was rocky, but sometimes you meet someone and you just can't control these things.   Granite was still here, not that I saw him much, he was always over in Apple with his criminal mates getting high and hammered ... and it was your Mother who did the initial jumping."  we both laugh at each other.

          "Granite was still here when you met Mom?"  Bay frowns at me wide eyed
          "Yeah he was, just about and like I said, our relationship was never about sex and I ... I had quite a few affairs behind his back, before and after we got married, I'm not proud of myself, but my head was all over the place, I loved him, but I was a straight man struggling in a gay marriage ... it was never going to work and stupidly neither of us could see it, not until he came back.  I have always been very blinded by Granite, and I think if he hadn't got locked up when he did and been absent for as long as he has, we would have worked it all out twenty years ago ... especially with you arriving Bay.  Me holding onto Granite in his absence has blinded me, especially to what me and your Mother have together ... we are still together, even with my delusional head and after everything we've been through, which shows, it was always meant to be that way.  Granite has done exactly the same with Mace, it took him to come back to wake us both up.  Sometimes love isn't enough, when everything else is wrong in a relationship."
          "How did you know he wasn't gay Mom."
          "I didn't."  she giggles  "I fancied him, and he was winding me up just walking around in shorts.  I wanted to see how far I could push him, and I expected him to push me away, and I got the shock of my life when he didn't say no, and I could tell, by how easily he is turned on, he was so not gay ... "
          "Mel stop!!"  I snap at her  "Do they really need to be hearing this."
          "Lighten up!"  she laughs at me  "They are grown ups, I am sure they know how we made them."
           "Still, you don't need to spell it out to them, I know what you are like, they will be getting a graphic description in a minute."  she laughs at me and Alpine starts laughing mischievously  "And don't you even mention anything about us leaving the bedroom curtains open either!"  I laugh at Alpine
           "I wasn't going to ...." he smirks at me  "Or the trail of clothes between here and the bedroom that you two quite often leave for me to pick up!"  he starts howling and all I can do is put my head in my hands as I hear all three kids laughing with him.
           "I think I should tell them the other stuff."  Caramel says suddenly
           "No Mel!!"  I frown at her, I glance at Alpine who is pulling faces, probably thinking the same thing that I am ... it is too soon.
           "They have taken this so well, we should just do it all"
           "Babe no, you seriously need to let them get there head around this first ... they might be taking it okay now, but they might not when it sinks in and they have had a good think about it, especially me!!"

          "But ..."
          "But nothing!!  Let them deal with one thing at a time!"  I smirk at her   "I think we should go into the kitchen and make something to eat, to give them some space, to talk and get their heads around it."

I stand up and grab her hand pulling her up off the couch.  I need to stop her for blurting out the rest too soon, and I think she might be trying to play a very clever game.

          "Kitchen now!!"  I laugh at her  "I'm hungry."

Caramel sticks her tongue out at me, pinches my backside as she kisses my face, then goes off into the kitchen laughing her head off.  I laugh at her as I watch her go, knowing she is going to be impossible from now on, when we are around other people I get a break from her mischief,  now she can do it openly, she is going to be embarrassing me no end.   I smile at Alpine, who is also laughing quietly, I hadn't noticed until just that he has been pretty quiet for a while, he stands up and starts walking across the room.

        "I think I'm going for a lie down, I'm tired."  Alpine mumbles
        "Okay, I will bring your food and meds in."  I smile at him as he walks past me and pats me on the back.

I watch Alpine walk into his room, I can see he is already starting to get upset.

We worried that this might unhinge him today, and that is why Meadow is coming later to distract him.  I know he has always been very worried that when the kids know the truth he will lose him.  I glance over at the kids and they are all just sat there staring at me, I don't think they know what to do, say or even think.

          "Can you do me a favour.  Your Dad needs reassuring, by all three of you, that this is not going to make any difference to him.  He's always been scared that when you found out the truth about me, that he would lose you.  He will always be your Dad even if I am here, and he needs to know that."  I smile at them  "I can see he's already getting upset, it would help if one of you went into him and put his mind at rest."
         "I'll go."  Fudge smiles at me as she gets up.
         "Take his meds in with you, and leave the door ajar, just in case this sets him off."
         "I need to phone Slate, I told him I wouldn't be long."  Bay says suddenly as he pulls out his phone.
         "Bay, you don't need to phone Slate.  Granite and Mango, have Slate, Parsley and Mosaic round at mine, they have had pretty much the same thing explained to them, so they know already, and they know you might be here a while, getting your heads around it."
        "Mango and Granite know?"  Bay is now staring at me wide eyed.
        "Yes and Mace."  I mumble quietly
        "How long have they known?"
        "Granite already knew before he came back, he illegally accessed my medical records when he was in Cherry Hill, so he found out about my phobia.  He was spooked by Bay and Fudges hair, but when he saw Mint he guessed she was mine.   He knew, she could be my daughter because he has always known, I am straight.  So he read through my psych reports, which gave him the proof because you three appear in them, obviously I have had to talk about you to my psychiatrist."  I smile at them  "I only found out he knew after the sepsis when he was still in hospital.  Mace caught me and your Mother out, messing about at the hospital, I thought he was still unconscious after his spine operation, but he wasn't, he was awake.  Mace couldn't wait to grass me and your Mother up to Granite ... so I came clean with Gran and Mace about you three, and why I have been sneaking around for twenty years, to stop them, especially Mace, from telling anyone about me and your Mother, so you didn't get hurt by it until we had told you properly ourselves.  Mango was told about a week ago."

      "Who else knew about your phobia and us?"
      "My parents and Sister obviously, but that is a bit complicated, it got very nasty in the beginning because of the circumstances, they too had to step away and hide themselves from you to protect you, which they didn't like, it really hurt them. You asked early why Meadow would make that sacrifice for your sake ... because she is your Aunt, and she did it to protect you too, like your Dad was trying to protect Cinnamon, as well as you.  Everything they did was protect you from me and my phobia.  I'll explain it all to you properly when you have got your head around this."  I roll my eyes  "Tapestry, has known for about a month ... but DON'T go having a go at him, I knew I could trust him to keep the secret and he has only kept quiet so you three didn't get hurt, he knows we are doing this today, and it was our fault he found out!"
      "How did he find out?"
      "Gran and Mace sat with your Dad so we could go out.  I was walking your Mother home, it was very late at night and we got careless, because as usual your Mother can't behave herself!"  I laugh for a moment  "Tap caught us kissing in the alley way."  Mint starts laughing  "And Gravel, unfortunately, he's known since just after Bay was born.  I couldn't hide it from him because I was on the verge of having a nervous break down."
       "Gravel knew all that time!!"  Bay is shocked
       "Yes, unfortunately, and I seriously regret him ever find out.  At the time I was very weak, I was struggle to deal with you Bay when you was born, I couldn't deal with you being mine, and I couldn't hide it from him.  He has seriously made me pay over the years ... because you three are the gun that he has been holding to my head all this time ... the reason why I couldn't tell Slate the truth or find Granite,  I had no choice but to toe the line because if I didn't he was going to expose us, after he had told you the truth about me being your real Dad, and wrecked your heads and lives!!"
       "Shiiiit!!"  Bay shouts quite loudly

          "Now maybe I can sit down with Slate and explain to him properly why I had to sit and hide everything from him, not that it will help him, but it might help him not to hate me so much."  Bay is just sat looking at me wide eyed.  "I will leave you three to talk, Fudge don't forget your Dad, he needs reassuring."  I say to her as she stands there staring at me  "I'll help your Mother make something to eat."  I mumble as I slope off to the kitchen quickly.

I stand against the wall in the kitchen, and let the relief flow through me.  I can't believe they didn't kick off - they seemed to just take it, which I never expected.  Granite was right, he told me to tell them the story from the third persons prospective, and not reveal myself until the end.  He said that they would be distracted by the phobia, and are sensible enough to be sympathetic with it, as well as understand that we did the best thing for them.  I hope this continues and they don't start kicking off at us, when it has sunk in properly and they have had a chance to think about it.

      "Well that went better than I expected!!"  Caramel laughs as she puts her arms me.  "I can't believe they didn't kick off."
      "Me too!!"  I smile at her  "But there is still time, it probably hasn't sunk in properly yet!"

          "Don't think I didn't spot what you was trying to do there!!"  I laugh at her sarcastically
          "What?"  she frowns at me
          "You was going to tell them about the pregnancy wasn't you."   I raise my eyebrows at her   "That is one sure way to swerve having a termination."
          "Don't be stupid!!"  she laughs at me  "I was only going to tell them about Coal."

She starts to kiss me, I suddenly think about the kids being in the living room.

          "Mel stop!!"  I push her away a little  "They might see us." 
          "You need to relax!"  she laughs at me  "We don't have to hide us any more."  She smirks at me  "So we can do this whenever and wherever we want to from now on!"
          "Yes I know, but just let them get used to the idea of us first!!"  I laugh at her  "we can't go rushing them, and you as usual are worse than an impatient child!!"
          "They will never get used to us if you still keep hiding from them!  I doubt Meadow and Alpine will be hiding it later when she gets here."  she laughs  "Besides they are probably too busy talking and getting over the shock!"  she forces me backwards and pins me up against the wall.
         "You are impossible!"  I laugh at her  "Just keep your hands above my waist, I don't need you winding me up right now!!!!"

She giggles as she comes at me and starts kissing me.

At first I have to grab her hands to stop her from taking it too far, because I knew she would try to now, just because I have told her not to.

Caramel mentioning Meadow and Alpine starts me thinking.  I am really worried about what is going on with them.  Under normal circumstances, I would be happy that they have finally got their act together, but I am worried that his condition might get a little too much for Meadow to handle, and she backs off and messes his head up.  Meadow is yet to see Alpine at his worst, so she really does not know what she is letting herself in for.  

I'm not really sure how long we had been kissing for, when I am jolted back by someone clearing their throat loudly, probably to get our attention, then laughing, I hadn't even heard the door open.

          "Sorry!!"  Fudge laughs as she and Mint are stood having one of their giggling fits in the doorway.  "Dad needs a cold drink!"
          "Well you know where the fridge is."  I laugh at her trying to cover my embarrassment.

Suddenly I feel a little uncomfortable, them already catching us kissing.  We have spent so many years hiding our relationship from everyone except Alpine, it is going to take some getting used to, doing it openly in front of anyone, and not just the kids.

Caramel laughs at me before she makes her way to the other side of the kitchen and opens the fridge.

 Fudge follows Caramel to the fridge

           "I need to ask you something ... is your phobia catching?"  Mint amuses me for a second  "Only Bay has got your OCD ..."  I start to laugh at her
           "Oh berry!!  No!!"  I laugh at her for a moment  "Bay has inherited the OCD partly from my genes, but phobia's are totally different!!  A phobia is not genetic, they arise from an individuals physiological problems, you can't inherit a phobia."  I smile at her for a moment   "You are asking because you don't like children very much aren't you."
            "Yeah ..."  she mumbles
            "Well don't worry, you not liking children is just like me not liking the colour red.  We all have our own personal likes and dislikes."  I smile at her  "Its not like you are scared of them, throw wobbles, have panic attacks and run off when you have children around you, do you?"
            "No."  she laughs at me
            "Well then, there is nothing for you to worry about.  I've seen you with both Amber and Clay, so I know you don't have a problem, not like me anyway."  I smile at her
             "So, are you moving to Berry Shores with Mom when she goes?"
             "Yes of course I am."  I smile at her  "Now you probably know the reason why I have stayed in this town ... your Mom and you three kids is what has kept me here.  Personally I can't wait to get out of this town, the move will be good for all of us, as long as we all go."

              "So when do you think you'll be moving?"
              "I'm not sure yet, but I hope as soon as we can - it all depends on you kids and how quickly we can sell both houses.  As soon as everything settles down, after the trail, we are going to start seriously looking into it.  I've already started house hunting, and after the trial, I'm taking your Mom and Dad out to Berry, so we can have a look around ... you should come with us."
              "Yeah I think I will."  she grins at me
              "I know Mosaic has virtually said he is up for the move to Berry, because Mango has chewed my ear off over it, so how is it going with Parsley?"
             "It isn't."  she rolls her eyes  "I told you didn't I, he won't even think about it, he is too tied to his Dad's apron strings, he doesn't want to move away from Prelude and Affair, he even used Storms grave as an excuse for not wanting to go."
             "So what are you going to do?"
             "I want to move, I think you already know I want the better job opportunities, and I'll be damned if I am staying here just for him, especially if Fudge is going too!!  So I am definitely going, whether he wants to or not, he can stay here and rot for all I care?"
            "Are you two still not getting on?"
            "Not really, we are still arguing over kids, he still won't move out of his Dads, he's been really narky with me since I suggested the move to Berry Shores, and Strawberry is bugging him again .... the way I am feeling at the moment, she is welcome to him, because I'm just sick of his lazy ass and all the hassle as well as living in that house!!  I think we are done anyway, and something you said earlier made a lot of sense to me ..."  I frown at her  "you said ... sometimes love isn't enough when everything else is wrong with the relationship."  she smiles at me  "I can already see that I was just kidding myself going back to him thinking we would work out the second time around, just because I love him."
         "It sounds like you two need space and a break from each other to sort your heads out.  You moving out might give him the kick up the backside that he needs ... you know there is nothing stopping you from moving back in here ... I know you said you wanted your own space, but you have missed out on Bay's place, he's renting it out to Carmine and Fern until they can find something bigger."

          "Yeah I know ... " she glances at Caramel  "I was actually going to ask Mom today if I could move back in, because I don't know how much more I can take living there."
          "It's fine by me, you know I didn't want you to move out in the first place."  Mel laughs from the corner of the room  "Your room is upstairs ready and waiting, just how you left it, all you have to do is go and get your stuff."
          "There you go."  I smile at her  "If he gives you any trouble when you are getting your stuff, just phone me and I'll be round."
          "I doubt Parsley will bat an eyelid over me leaving - it's Prelude who scares me!"
          "Don't worry about him ..."  I start laughing  "I'll come armed with sedative."
          "You wouldn't!"  she laughs at me
          "Oh I would!!!"  I laugh   "And it wouldn't be the first time."
I am very amused when I glance at Fudge who is now laughing while she is sat at the table, quietly listening and watching me while she is drinking the carton of juice that she was supposed to be getting for Alpine.

          "Isn't that juice supposed to be for your Dad?"  I laugh at her
          "Err ... yeah!"  she laughs at herself
          "Did you speak to your Dad and reassure him that nothing was going to change as far as he is concerned?"
          "Yeah, I started too but Meadow phoned him, so I left him to it."  she laughs  "She soon put a smile on his face."
          "Yeah I know she does."  I laugh for a moment  "What is Bay doing?"
          "Oh you might guess ... he is on the phone to Slate."

Fudge gets up and pulls another carton of juice out of the fridge and after another giggling fit, the girls make there way out of the kitchen.  I can't help but laugh at them, especially at their none stop giggling.

As I stand and watch Mel cooking, I keep seeing her rubbing her pregnant stomach.  I can feel my chest tightening and my head starts to spin as I try to catch my breath.   I suddenly start to have a panic attack.

I am not sure why I am doing this now, they now know and it has gone a lot better than I ever could have expected.  I should now be able to relax, they have even just caught us kissing and found it amusing.   I'm not sure if its the relief or if I am still expecting the worst to come.  However I suspect, Mel rubbing her stomach, and thinking about the two babies developing in there, is what has taken me off guard and set me off.  I stand there trying to fight off a full blown panic attack that I know is coming.

      "Are you okay?"  Caramel frowns at me
      "No, I'm having a panic attack!"  I mumble as I lean over holding my stomach trying to catch my breath. 
      "Babe, you can relax, there is no need to get yourself worked up into a state!!"  She comes over and rubs my back as she laughs at me.
      "It's not over though is it, you still have something to tell them, and those babies could blow their heads to pieces, it is going to spoil everything, because they are going to have to watch me acting like an irrational idiot!!"  I snap at her  "What are they going to think Mel?!"
      "This pregnancy is neither of our faults, and I'll make sure I tell them that!!"  she mumbles  "It is going a lot better with the psychiatrist you said, because you are working through your Granite issues, so by the time these babies comes, you should be okay!!"
      "STOP talking about the babies Mel my head is going!!"  I start to choke  "I really can't believe you have done this to us YET AGAIN!!"  I snap  "More babies - you know I can't handle it!!"

      "What babies?"  I hear Fudge ask

I glance sidewards and I see all four of them standing there, Alpine has his arm around Fudge and all eyes are on me, which is the last thing I need, it makes me panic even more.  Alpine starts laughing.

     "By the looks of Leafy, he is throwing a wobble.  I'd say your Mother has just told him you have another brother or sister on the way!"  he is laughing
      "Mom are you pregnant?"
      "Yes, we've had another accident."  she mumbles  "My coil moved
      "I think you are just about to be educated and see Leafy at his finest, and they call me a nutter."

Alpine is really laughing, I know he is only trying to make light of the situation, because he knows about the baby and that we weren't telling them today, but at this moment he is really not helping me.  His laughing is echoing loudly in my ears, I can feel the tears streaming down my face, and I can now hardly breath, I'm there gashing for air and going dizzy, knowing they are watching me make a fool of myself, just makes it worse.

      "Finding out he has a baby on the way always freaks him out!!"

That does it, I feel myself throwing up, as I clutch my chest, I'm already struggling to breath and the vomit coming up is choking me.  My eyes start to blur, the room is spinning.

I feel myself falling.  I feel the excruciating pain in my head as my body jolts because my head hits something on the way down.

Everything goes black.

I start to come round, and I realise I am lying on the couch.  While my head is swimming, I can feel my ears being flicked, I know that it is Granite leaning over me, because I can hear him laughing.  I open my eyes and my vision is very blurred.

      "Get off me Gran!!"  I snap at him as I try to slap his hand away from my ears  "You always have to be an aggravating berry hole!!  Leave me alone!!"
      "Leafy is back!"  he laughs  "You stink of vomit, you are slurring your words like a drunk and your kids now think you are a fruit loop!!"
      "That's probably because I am a fruit loop!!  I wouldn't blame them if they have done a runner!!"  I moan as I try to feel my head which is hurting, he grabs hold of my hand and moves it away from my head.
      "You banged your head pretty hard apparently when you passed out, you bounced it off the table, then off the floor.  I don't think you've damaged anything other than you head, there are no signs of factures or breaks.  You have split your head open and need a few stitches, so don't mess!!"  he laughs  "I think you knocked yourself unconscious as well as passed out, so we need to get you to the hospital, you was out a little too long for my liking. "  I see him frowning at me as he leans right over me.  "That hollow head of yours needs to be scanned I think you've dented it."  he laughs  "You never know we might just find your pea brain in there!"
      "Sod off!!   Why is everything always such a joke to you?!"  I snap at him  "What are you doing here anyway?"
      "Bay phoned me, you was out cold and he didn't think you was breathing, so I legged it round."  he raises his eyes at me  "It was a good job too, you was choking on your own vomit, I had to clear your air way and apply CPR.  What are you like ... a few more minutes and we would have been saying goodbye Leafy!!"  he leans right over me again "Leafy follow my finger."

He frowns at my eye movement which worries me a little.

          "What is your vision like?"
          "Very blurred.  I can hardly see you." I mumble
          "I thought it might be.  Mango is at the hospital waiting for us, I think you've given yourself a severe case of concussion, bouncing your head off the table and floor."  he mumbles and I ignore him.
          "Oh Berry!!  I have made a right fool of myself, haven't I!"  I cover my eyes with my hand to stop him from frowning at them.
          "Not really, you can't help what you are.  We all have a phobia, and I've seen Mace doing exactly the same thing over spiders and blood.  At least you didn't pee yourself like he does sometimes!!"  he laughs  "What set you off?"
          "Mel stood there rubbing her stomach.  It just hit me hard out of nowhere.  I've been so preoccupied worrying about how the kids would react to me being the one who created them, I've shut those babies right out of my head.  I thought I was coping with it, but obviously I'm not!!  I started panicking, knowing there is two of them, and I can't even cope with one at a time."  I start to choke  "Gran what am I going to do?  I doubt she will have a termination and I can't go through all that hell again."  I start to cry
         "Leafy please, don't upset yourself, the last thing we need is you working yourself up so you throw another wobble!!"  I close my eyes and everything feels like it is spinning and I start to feel sick.  "Just don't think about it now, take deep breaths and try to calm yourself down."
         "Oh Berry!!  They really didn't need to see me doing that, especially not today!"
         "I disagree - I think it is exactly what they needed to see, it will help them to understand you better.  It's one thing hearing about it but something else actually seeing it.  It's actually shocked them, as well as opened their eyes to your phobia."
         "How can I expect them to understand me when I don't understand myself half the time?"  he starts laughing at me  "Where is Mel?"

           "In Alpines room.  She is calming Alpine down, because he got a bit upset.  He said he's seen you throw these wobbles hundreds of times, but he's never seen you nearly fading yourself in the process."
           "She is not in there alone is she?  If he's upset he might lose it and start getting violent." 
           "Don't stress, Coal is with her."  this makes me panic
           "Why did you bring Coal Gran ... you know ..."  I don't get to say anything else because he puts his finger on my lips
           "Shhhh  Leafy you need to stop stressing yourself out.  Coal is a doctor remember, he is going to stay with Alpine for as long as is needed, so you don't have to worry about him or Mel!"
           "Where are the kids?"  he starts to laugh loudly as he points with his finger

I gingerly follow the direction of his finger.  The three of them are sat on the other couch just silently staring at me.  I close my eyes and start laughing at myself knowing how close I was to just blurting something out about Coal for the kids to hear.

           "Way to make a fool of myself ... Again!!"  I just lie there laughing at myself  "Gran you are a berry hole, you could have told me they were there!!"
           "You know me, I just love watching you make a fool of yourself, which you hate!!"   he starts howling  "Remember the time you farted out loud in assembly at school for everyone to hear - it traumatised you for a month!!"  I hear the kids start laughing  "He made it worse for himself, if he'd sat there acting ignorant nobody would have known it was him - but he just had to get up and storm out in tears like a big tit, advertising the fact to the whole school that it was him!  He got ribbed for weeks after!!"  they are all really laughing now  "Leafy has always been so preoccupied with not making a fool of himself, he general does in the process!!  Oh I could tell you some stories!!"
          "Just shut up Gran!!"  I laugh even though I don't feel like laughing, a horrible feeling washes over me.  "I feel sick!"  I mumble as I start heaving.
          "We need to get you up, to stop you choking again." he helps me to sit up.

        "I have phoned for an ambulance, they shouldn't be too much longer."
        "Cancel it, I don't need to go to the hospital."  I mumble
        "Leafy, I think you know you do!!"  he laughs at me  "You are severely concussed."

I sit rocking for a moment then put my head in my hands because my vision is very blurred, I feel dizzy and my head is banging painfully.  I can smell myself, as I try to look down at all the damp patches on my top and trousers, which I can't see properly because my blurred vision seems to be getting worse.  I'm fighting back the vomit that is coming up into my throat, trying not to be sick again.

          "Gran ...."

I try to tell him that I feel like something is wrong,  my head now is becoming too painful for me to bare,  but I can't get the words out because I heave and can't hold it in.  I watch Granite, who is now just a dark shape in my vision, jump backwards and away from me as I start to violently throw up all over the carpet again right by his feet.

I can't help but think ... way to make a fool of myself times three.

I feel myself going, I am fall forward and I feel myself fall into someone's arms as I black out again.

          "Fudge chase up the ambulance we need it here NOW!!"  Granite shouts across the room
          "What's up with him Gran, why does he keep passing out?"  Bay mumbles
          "I thought it was just concussion, but I am beginning to think it might be a little more than that now."