Saturday, 24 June 2017

Chapter 57 - Gen 2 - Tap


I wake up slowly feeling very groggy and confused.

As soon as my eyes are fully open, and the blurriness starts to disappear, I realise I am in the hospital, as I am now staring at a very familiar room, that I see virtually every day at work, and I wander how I got here for a second, then it all comes flooding back to me, remembering I passed out and hit my head.

The night lights are on, so the room is dimmer than it normally would be, which confuses me.  I suddenly feel like I have lost time, because it must be night time, so where has the day gone?

I try to look around but my head starts to bang as soon as I try to move it.  I spot Bay sleeping, curled up on the other bed.  I moan out load because my head is violently throbbing.

          "Well you have gone the whole hog with this one, haven't you Leafy!"

Granite is laughs quietly.  He seems to have suddenly appear from nowhere, and starts to check me over.  I just lie there and let him, while I am waiting for the fog in my head to clear.  When he has finished he sits down on the bed and smiles at me.

          "Gran ... what happened?"  I ask as I automatically go to feel to make sure my hair is still all there, knowing I've hit my head and I'm in Neurology.  Granite grabs my hand before I even get to feel my head.
          "You had a small internal bleed, nothing too major, so I'm sorry you have been in theatre."  I stare at him in horror, thinking they have probably shaved all my hair off.
          "My hair!"
          "Don't panic!"  he chuckles  "You have only lost a few dreads.  We didn't take it all off, the gash on your head told us pretty much where the bleed was, so while you have been out, me and Bay have unpicked them all and washed your hair .... its hardly noticeable." he smiles at me as he waves my plaited hair at me.
         "Who did the surgery?"
         "Me ... and Mango observed.."  this surprises me.  I didn't think he would have allowed Granite into theatre with me, but in my confusion I am not sure why I think that.  "Thankfully your last scan was all clear, the erratic brain activity has stopped, the swelling is going down, so its just a case of you resting up.  On top of the bleed, you gave yourself severe concussion, so I guess you know you are going to be in here for a few days at least, depending on how you go."  he rolls his eyes

 I am a little amused when he remains holding my hand

        "I guessed you might be destined for the knife, I noticed you had slurred speech, uneven pupils and unusual eye movement before I sat you up."  he smiles at me  "You threw up and lost consciousness again."  he rolls his eyes  "Then you started having seizures ... " he mumbles
       "For berry's sake!!  How many?"  I close my eyes
       "FOUR!!"  I snap in shock  "I don't remember anything after lying on the couch.  Tell me I didn't have the seizures in front of everyone!"
       "Yep!  Trust you to worry about making a fool of yourself, rather than what damage four seizures could have done to you."  he laughs quietly  "Two of them were before you left the house, the other two after we got you in here."  he rolls his eyes  "You terrified me for a while, you didn't regain consciousness once between seizures ... I seriously feared the worst ... but you seem to be fully back with us."
       "Great!!"  I snap sarcastically  "How long have I been out for?"
       "This is the fourth day."
       "Why did you do the surgery and Mango observe, that's not like him."
       "I doubt Mango would have even let me into theatre if he hadn't been left with no other choice ... he had a problem with his contacts, he was blind in one eye, you caught him when you had the third seizure, so it's your fault when you see him with a black eye."  we both laugh quietly for a moment  "So he had no choice but to let me do the surgery,  when there was nobody else available at the time to do it."

           "Where is Mel?"
           "Now don't panic."  he mumbles quietly  "She is down in maternity, she has been admitted."
           "Why?"  I try to get up but I can't, mainly because my head is violently throbbing and Granite is holding me down.
          "She got very stressed out, and into a bit of state because of your head injury -  she has been here before with Alpine remember, but this time she is blaming herself.  I think Mango put her mind at rest, she knows its nothing too serious, and we were only keeping you out until your brain activity stabilized."  he smiles
         "That doesn't tell me why she is in maternity."  he rolls his eyes at me
         "Mango had her admitted as a precaution, her blood pressure was a little on the high side and ... she had some spotting."
         "Fudge ... if she loses them it will drive her cuckoo again!"  I try to get up again, but he doesn't let me
         "Look she is fine, she is in the best place.  She is being monitored and getting the bed rest she needs.  The spotting has stopped, and the babies are fine."  he smiles at me  "If she wasn't down in maternity she would probably have been camped out her, not sleeping and eating properly like Bay, which would not have done her or the babies any good at all.  She is better off in maternity."
         "I guess."  I mumble  "I take it there has been no talk about a termination?"
         "Actually there has been a lot of talk about it, Mel was about to do it, like I said she is blaming herself and she knows its those babies that have done this to you.  Mango and the kids have talked her out of it ... for now."  he smiles at me  "Mango is the one who stopped her mainly, he thinks it is a decision you should make together when you are awake, you know what he is like."  he laughs quietly  "The kids, they just don't like the idea of her doing it, especially Fudge and Bay.  Bay made me laugh - he said he would take them to Cherry with him and bring them up if he had to."  this makes me laugh for a moment.

         "Has Mel been confined to maternity the whole time I've been out?"
         "No, we have been bringing her up here in a wheelchair, a few times a day.  She knows you are okay and that you should be waking up sometime during the night, so I guess she'll be up here first thing in the morning."  he smiles at me
        "So if she's in here, who is looking after Alpine?"
        "Mint and Meadow."
         "They are not being left alone with him are they?"  I frown  "She hasn't had Holly and Ivy there has she?"
         "No, Coal is with them, he is on permanent Alpine sitting duty, so you don't need to worry about a thing!"  he laughs  "Holly and Ivy have been there sometimes, but they are staying with Fudge and Mo mostly."
         "Coal is there?"  I frown at him  "Has she told them?"
         "Not yet, she couldn't really with you being in here and her down there!"  he smiles at me  "Fancy fighting with the table and floor ..."  he starts laughing  "Well telling them didn't quite go as we expected - did it!"
          "Not really!  I expected T or Bay to put me in here not the table!!"  I laugh as I point at Bay  "Is he okay?"
          "He's been a little clingy and his head is all over the place, a reason why Mel has held off telling them about Coal.  I think he's in for the night again, he has basically been camped out here, getting himself into a state on the sly.  He says he is enjoying the break from crying babies and Slate's snoring, but I'm not sure that is his reason for sticking to you like glue."  he laughs quietly  "Mango knows he is there, he's given him something to settle him down, and has told the nurses just to leave him there.  I think he's going soft in his old age."
         "Have any of the kids been kicking off, now it's sunk in?"
         "No quite the opposite, they seem to understand why you have done it this way, and it was the best way for them.   Both me and Mango have had a good chat with them, they seem to be accepting it okay."  he laughs

         "I don't get it!!  Why haven't they kicked off?"
         "I think its because they know you haven't been a completely absent Dad, they know you have been around all their lives buzzing around in the background.  All three of them remember you being there even from when they were little."  he smiles at me   "I think you and Alpine being friends and Meadow and Alpines relationship has helped, especially that Alpine has been okay about the whole situation all along.  I think they worked out for themselves that Mel and Alpine didn't have a very close or loving relationship, and they know their separation was amicably.  Besides they know you, and they like you, they think compared to Alpine you are pretty laid back for an oldie and it's not like they have had to meet a random stranger is it."  he smiles at me "Of course it has been a shock to their system finding out you are there Dad and not Alpine, but they don't seem to hate the idea.  It hasn't fazed Mint one little bit, she is already calling you Daddy Leaf."  he laughs quietly  " Fudge has done the most crying, she has always been very close to Alpine hasn't she, so it's Alpine not being her Dad more than anything that has knocked her about, not you."  he rolls his eyes as he nods in Bays direction  "That one has closed himself off, and is going down, like he did when Slate was on life support, and we have struggled to get him out of here, but we are on top of it."
        "Yeah he was the one that worried me most, because he is the one I've been closest too.  I've been his mate and I expected him to hate me for lying to him all this time."
        "Well he definitely doesn't hate you!!  I honestly think he will be fine now you are awake, and him hardly leaving your side, I think it's because he cares about you, and is worrying himself stupid, just like he did with Slate."

          "Did you explain everything to Slate ..."
          "Yes I've spoken to him, he's been a little quiet, but I think you know he's a thinker, and he's worrying about Bay right now.  I've given Slate a few days and I'll try talking to him again.  Slate and Tapestry have been sitting here with Bay quite a lot, while you've been snoozing, so I don't think he has taken it too badly."  he smiles at me. 
          "T?"  I ask and he starts laughing
          "Kicking off royal style!!  Don't be surprised if he never speaks to you again."  he laughs sarcastically  "He's furious and heart broken all over again!"
          "Yeah I guessed he would be, the idiot!"  I laugh  "What has your Dad said?"
          "Honestly, it didn't surprise him, he's just glad there are now clear signs that we will NOT be getting back together!"  he laughs
          "Charming!  I guessed your Dad didn't like me very much."
          "It is not you he dislikes, it was the way you used to control and manipulate me ... he's never thought our emotional attachment was healthy.  His words - you are a nice guy when you are away from me."  he laughs, but I frown at him for a moment, not too sure what he means by that.
          "So everyone knows by now I guess."
          "Of course, you know how quickly gossip flies around the extended family, especially when it is being peddled by Parsley, who had a front row seat."  he laughs then smiles at me  "Don't worry about it, I think I know what you are worrying about, but you don't need to, I've spoken to her!"  he glances at Bay
         "She was not happy obviously, but she says she won't say anything to the kids, we have got some new dirt on her that she really does not want getting out!"  he grins at me

           "That isn't going to stop her ... she's off her head!"  I mumble
           "We have threatened to spill it if she upsets them, she really doesn't want Prelude finding out what we have on her ... so we think we have got your stalker off your back for good."  he starts laughing  "Mace played the old school criminal Brownie, he lifted her phone on the quiet, and wiped your number and all the text that she has kept that have been going on between the two of you.  He's wiped you completely out of her phone, photo's, emails, text - so she has now got no proof."  he grins at me  "She can't even phone you because she doesn't have your number any more ... and if she does say anything, just deny it, she can't prove it, it's your word against hers and I'm sure Mel will back you up in denying it!!"
         "Well I hope you are right and she does back off!!  You know how she's been driving me nutz lately keep phoning and texting  me.  I thought she would be the one to spoil everything with the kids."  I laugh quietly  "I half expected to wake up and find her dressed as a nurse, threatening to cut things off if I didn't play her game!"  he starts howling at me.
        "Like we would let that happen!!  She's gone back to uni, so it will be months before she's in town again.  Me and Tap took her to the airport and put her on a plane out of here."  he laughs
       "Tapestry ... please tell me he doesn't know!"
       "Yeah,  he already knew, his spirit friends told him apparently."  he starts laughing  "But don't worry, you know Tap won't say anything ... he helped me get rid, he is the one who dug up the dirt on her, and he is livid with her creepy stalking.  The last thing he wants is Bay getting hurt by it."  he smiles at me  "Just forget about it now, and concentrate on getting better, hopefully you'll be in Berry before she lands in this town again."
      "I hope so."  I smile at him

           "Has Mint moved back in with Mel?"
           "Yeah, me and Coal went with her to get her stuff,  I'm not sure Parsley saw it coming and he kicked off a little, but we were in and out pretty quickly and there was no trouble"  he laughs  "Mint recons before the week is out he'll be crawling back to Strawberry."
           "Has she just moved out or have they broke up?"  I frown at him
           "She's broke up with him - she is dead set on going to Berry and he doesn't want to, so she has cut her losses now."  he sniggers  "Coal spotted Juniper while we were there ... now he's gone a little stupid!"
           "I thought Maize and Juni were trying to patch things up."
           "They are, but it doesn't stop Coal liking her."  he laughs  "If Mulberry gets his way Juni and Mazie won't be getting back together, especially with the talk of Maize moving to Berry!!"  he laughs quietly
           "Coal seems to be hanging around a lot."  I frown at him
           "Yeah well, he is going to want to isn't he, his head is all over the place, he's doing what Bay is doing, clinging ... I'll talk to you about it later, just in case."  he smirks as he nods his head in Bay's direction. I'd forgotten for a bit that he was there  "He has had a couple of sleeping tablets but you never know."
          "Who's on the night shift?"
          "You should be remember!"  he starts laughing  "So I'm covering seeing as you are skiving, or as Mango puts it - sleeping on the job."
         "It's fine, you know I would have been camped out here a lot anyway until you woke up and I enjoy working.  Mace isn't too impressed, but he'll get over it once I've buttered him up a bit in the morning."  he smiles at me  "And I have got just the thing to put a big smile on that cute face of his."  he starts laughing as he fumbles about in his pocket.
        "Yeah I bet you have."  I laugh at him
        "Put your dirty mind away Leafy."  he laughs as he hands me a box.

I think I already know what is going to be in the box before I even open it.
An engagement ring for Mace.

       "Hell ... that must have cost you a fortune."  I laugh at him
       "Yeah well, you know what he's like ... he has expensive tastes."  he laughs  "I thought I had better get him one bigger and better than the one he had during the police operation."
       "I thought you said he had packed all his crap in."
       "He has mostly ... but he's worth it."  he grins at me as he starts to wave an envelope at me  "Leafy, why didn't you tell me you was doing this?"
       "Doing what?"  I frown at him
       "They came this morning ... I didn't tell Mace straight away because I needed some time to get over the shock, without him going all hyper on me!!"  he smiles as he hands me the envelope, which I can see has my name on.  "We are now free and single.  Our divorce has come through already, thanks to you."  he laughs  "And here was me thinking I'd have to wait years!!"

I stare at him for a moment, before I open the envelope, suddenly I feel a little empty headed and confused. I stare at the papers which tell me that I am now no longer married to Granite.  I am really not sure what I should be feeling right now, happy or sad, but all I feel is numb and nothing.

       "So why didn't you tell me you had put in for an annulment after all the arguing we did and all the money I have wasted at the solicitors trying to divorce your ass!?"
       "I don't know."  I mumble as I frown at him, I have to think for a moment which makes him frown at me.  "I guess it's about time I started showing Mel I'm serious about our relationship and I know your drama queen is upset that you wouldn't be able to get married before he gets locked up."

       "Seriously!?"  he laughs quietly  "Sometimes I really can't work you out Leafy!!"  he starts to really laugh then he gets a mischievous look on his face  "Sooooo, how do you fancy getting married on the sly, we have got time?"
       "What?!  We have only just got divorced!!"
       "Not us you idiot!"  he starts howling  "Me and Mace, you and Mel, we could all be married before the trial begins ... something else to stick to the berry hole!!"  he starts laugh  "The look on Mace's face me springing a surprise marriage on him ... it will be a picture!!"
       "Wow slow down!!"  I laugh at him  "If you and Mace want to get married then go for it ... Me and Mel have not even talked about getting married and I am not doing anything that will upset the kids."
       "I doubt you two getting married is going to upset them!  Like Alpine says, it is very long overdue!!"  he laughs  "Just think about it, because you know Mace isn't the only one who needs reassuring that we have sorted our heads out and are not going to interfere with each other's hearts and love lives in the future, Mel needs exactly the same reassurance, she still sees me as a threat." he starts to really laugh  "For berry's sake you have three kids together and another two on the way, why wouldn't you marry the woman!"
      "Like us getting married is really going to put either of their minds at rest!"  I laugh at him
      "Keep our divorce a secret Leafy ... I will take that to hide it away."  he giggles as he takes my letter off me  "I want to spring a surprise marriage on Mace, before he gets locked up, so keep stum.  This is going to be so good, it will be the very last thing he will be expecting."  he grins at me  "You can help me - I might even let you be my best man!"  he starts laughing
       "Whatever."  I laugh at him quietly because I can see how excited he is getting  "Gran ... why did we even get married."  he frowns at me
      "Because we thought we loved each other."  he is frowning in a weird way  "Why ask me that question Leafy, when you know why."
      "I ... I'm struggling to remember."  I mumble as he continues to frown at me.

          "Which reminds me, I guess I should give you this."  he holds a ring up to me, which I frown at for a moment, I am really starting to get confused, that ring looks like an engagement ring.
          "What would I want that for?" I frown at him and he frowns back
          "Your Mothers engagement ring ... it's only right that you should have it back."   I continue to frown at the ring
          "Why would you have my Mothers engagement ring?"  I hear him choke
          "You gave it me remember, when you proposed to me!"  I continue to frown and he squints at me suspiciously  "You have seen this ring before haven't you Leafy?"
          "I ... I don't know ... I can't remember."
          "Don't you remember proposing to me?"
          "No."  I shrug

I am still staring at the ring, I'm confused because I don't think I have seen it before, but I must have done if he says it was my Mothers ring and I gave it to him.

         "What do you remember?"  he frowns at me, all I can do is shrug my shoulders and shake my head, which I instantly regret because it starts to throb.
         "Lost River Elf."  he mumbles, which confuses the hell out of me.  My head feels empty and it starts to ache, I feel like I should know what that means but at this moment in time, I don't.
         "What are you on about?"  I snap at him and I hear him choke again
         "You really don't remember what that means?"

 He jumps up on his feet, he stands and frowns at me before he starts to check my eyes

He grabs for my notes off the end of the bed and flicks threw them, he looks troubled.

          "Leafy how does your head feel?"  he frowns at me
          "Throbbing and empty."  I mumble

He then starts to fire a load of questions at me, names, places, times, dates and he is really starting to irritate me, because at this point in time my head is hurting, trying to think, I can't remember any of what he is talking about, I feel like he is talking rubbish!!!  I remember the day we got married, but everything before that is just a blank.

         "Where did we bury Spot?" he smiles at me
         "Who the hell is Spot?"  I snap
         "You don't know who Spot is?"  he is really frowning at me now, and I can see he is starting to get upset.
         "No I don't know who Spot is."  I mumble  "Just quit Granite, you are giving me a headache!!"
         "I'm sorry, I should know better!"  he smiles at me, but not very convincingly  "I've overloaded your head, without even giving you a chance to wake up and come round properly.  You need to rest up not me rattling your head off."  he pulls a face  "I'm sure you'll remember when you are more with it."

I just stare at him, I can see the concern on his face like he thinks there is something wrong.

        "You should get some sleep."

He puts the buzzer in my hand, he leans right over me, he looks upset and for a moment I think he is going to kiss me, he hesitates then kisses my head.

     "I'd better do the rounds ... I'll be back to check on you in a bit!"

I laugh at him as he walks off ... while I'm still trying to remember who Spot is.


Monday, 19 June 2017

Chapter 56 - Gen 2 - Tapestry

After I have wiped away what I needed to ... everything in his memory from his birth to the day that Granite and Forrest got married, I jump out of his head and release his eyelids.

I stand and stare at Forrest in utter and numb shock!!

This is always the part of looking through someone's memories that I hate!!  The part that makes me wish that I did not have this strange ability, and that I was still completely oblivious to it, like I was before I was abducted and introduced to our cold friends with fangs.

I get to see things that I really don't want to be seeing!!

Just like with Ruby, Forrest too has things in his head that I really wish that I didn't now know.

My intention was not to look too closely at what he has stored in his head.  I wanted to just rewind at speed through his memories until I had found the day that Forrest had married Granite, wipe everything away and come out quickly.

While I was doing it, I found myself having to slow everything down part way through skimming back, because I kept seeing a very familiar face continuously flashing up from in amongst Forrest's memories, a lot more times than I thought it should have been.

My cousin Whisteria, seemed to feature heavily in big chunks of his memories, which started to really bug me as well as really confuse me.

When I looked through all of his memories that Wisty appear in, it didn't take me long to see that Forrest and Wisty have been having a mad fling ... and even though Forrest has put a stop to it now, it looks like it was going on for quite a while on the quiet.  I watched the most recent memories very carefully, there seems to be a lot of arguing going on between them, and what my cousin has been up to, it has knocked me sick!!

This I really didn't want to know.

The door opens quite loadly behind me.

          "Are you done?"  Dad mumbles
          "Yeah, it's done."  I mumble back still not taking my eyes off Forrest
          "What took you so long ... you said seconds ... you was in there for ages!!
          "Sorry I got distracted."  I laugh as I look over towards the door  "Watching Granite and Forrest as toddlers together, they were quite cute!"

I have to fob him off with something, I can not tell him the truth about what really distracted me.   He and especially Prelude might just hit the roof if they ever find out about this.  This is no different to Coral and Gravel, but Wisty and Forrest ... it has really shocked me.

         "Okay well, me and Granite are going to take Bay down to maternity to check on Caramel, and while we have got him down there, I'm going to take him to the cafe and make sure he eats."  he laughs quietly  "Mace has just turned up, so you can keep him company while we are away ... don't get running off anywhere, I want a chat with you before you go."
         "Can't it wait until later, I should really be getting back to Crystal."
         "No it can't wait ... Crystal is fine, River is with her.  She is still on hyper rails, so he's put her on IV fluids, which was due to be done today anyway.  It is helping to keep her still and calm her down, so he can explain to her why she can't keep bouncing around like she does.  I really don't know where she gets all her energy from."  he laughs  "And before you ask, Atlas and Saffron have Vanilla and Snow, they have taken them round to Affairs to play with the triplets, to give Crystal a break."
        "How long are you going to be?"
        "As long as it takes for Bay to eat a meal."  he laughs at me

After Dad has left the room I turn back to stare at Forrest again, and my mind goes back to what I have seen.

Now I know who the missing piece of the jigsaw is ... Forrest.

Prelude especially has been pulling his hair out with Wisty a lot lately.  Out of all of us, she has always been the most sensible one, but lately she has gone completely off the rails, especially as far as her university studies are concerned.  We knew she had been messing about with an older married man, who has messed her head up and broken her heart, because Crimson found out and dumped her because of it.

However, we didn't know who he was .... Now I do know and I really wished I didn't!!

The door bangs a few times and opens slowly ...  Mace is struggling with the door, so I go over to help him.  When he is in the room and his wheelchair is parked by the seats I sit down.  The first thing I look for is to see if he is wearing a new ring yet, but he isn't, so it doesn't look like Granite has got round to proposing to him yet.

          "Man am I glad this is all FINALLY out in the open!"  Mace laughs as he looks over at Forrest
          "Only so you can start molesting Granite openly in public now."  I laugh at him
          "You know it!!"  he smirks at me and we both start laughing  "I'm also very glad that everyone will now know the truth and stop seeing me as the delusional idiot and the villian in all this."
          "Yeah, I guess there is that."  I smile at him  "But it might take a while, everyone has got to get their heads around him not being gay yet."
          "Granite warned me he keeps twitching quite violently sometimes."
          "Yeah he does ... it's kind of creepy to watch, but it should stop when his brain activity settles down so Bay says."

           "Oh, I have just watched them dragging Bay off down the corridor - he really didn't want to go."  he laughs  "I remember what he was like when Slate was up here ... a nightmare to shift, he virtually lived at the hospital the whole time!!  I think we are going to have a hells game with him again until Forrest wakes up."
          "I didn't see what he was like, I was away then, if you remember I came back the day Slate woke up."
          "Yeah, it seems like such a long time ago now, even though it isn't."  he starts to snigger  "Such a lot has happened in such a short space of time ... especially for you Mr Rock Star!"  he starts laughing at me
          "You know about the babies don't you."
          "Yeah, all FOUR of them."  he starts really laughing  "Berry Tap, you do know it is a lot easier to have one at a time, don't you."
          "Yeah I know ... I still haven't got over the shock of it yet."
          "I can imagine!!  Granite was virtually rolling around on the floor outside when your Dad told him ... I'm afraid you are going to get ribbed something chronic when he gets the chance."
           "Yeah I guessed I might!"  we both sit laughing  "Where is Clay?"
           "With Slate and Dad downstairs.  They are watching him for me while I popped in here ... we couldn't get a sitter, so we brought them with us."  he laughs quietly  "Slate and Amber being down in the cafe was the only reason they managed to get Bay out of here I think."
           "Oh!!  While I think about it, I have got something for you."  I smirk at him as I reach into my inside pocket.  "It's not due out for another few weeks, so you have the official first copy."

            "Thanks!!  Wow It looks different in print."  he grins as he stares at the CD cover that I've just given him.  "It's been too many years since I've seen any of my artwork in print."
            "Rocky loves it, he was pretty shocked when I told you illustrated the Mr Berry books, and it looks like you have got yourself a permanent job if you want it."  I smile at him  "He has got a solo single planned soon, and he wants you to do the cover ... I've given him your number so I guess he'll be phoning you soon ... and you'll definitely be getting all of mine and the joint Rocky Storm stuff, and there is that other dance music project I'm working on with Shadow."
             "Mmm Shadow ... the mysterious guy in a cloak ...who is he Tap?"
             "It's a trade secret.  Only me, Rocky, Prelude and my boss Grape know who he is."  I laugh at him  "The world will get to find out who he is one day ... but in the mean time, his stuff especially will keep you very busy with him being anonymous and not having a real face in public."
            "That's all very nice ..."  his face twists up  "But don't forget Tap, this time next month I'll be inside, and I dread to think how long they might lock me up for, especially if Gravel continues to be a berry hole."
            "That's just a minor detail."  I smirk at him  "I said the same thing to Rocky, but he laughed at me, because I'm new to all this fame lark and haven't leaned how to use it to my own advantage yet!"  I laugh  "Rocky throws his weight around everywhere to get what he wants, plus you have Shale, so Rocky says the three of us can make noise and pull enough strings for you to carry on doing the artwork, even if you are in prison."
            "It would be good if you can pull it off!!"  he grins at me  "It will give me something to do, to save me getting bored out of my tidy mind just staring at four walls."

The door opens and I think Dad and Bay might be back already.

Who I see walking into the room totally floors me ...

I sit there staring at her and I can feel the colour draining away from my face.  She picks her moment to turn up after I have only just found out what she has been up to with Forrest.

The expression on her face as she stares at Forrest, kind of gives it away, which makes me snap.

            "Seriously Wisty!!"   I snap at her  "You need to sling your hook back to Uni!!"
            "What is your problem Tap?!"  she frowns at me  "I know you and Dad are best buddies right now, but it doesn't mean you have to do his dirty work for him ... I'll go back to Uni when I feel like it!!"
            "You are my problem, and it has nothing to do with Prelude!!"  I frown at her  "What are you even doing here?  Not that I really have to ask!"
            "Granddad told me you was here, and about Forrest ... I am just checking he is okay."

I watch her give Mace quite a shifty look, and he pulls quite an unpleasant face back at her ... I wander if he knows?!

            "Well he is okay ... so now you can go!!"  I snap at her
            "Seriously cuz ... who has rattled your cage."
            "You!!"  I snap at her  "Don't think I don't know!!"
            "You tell me ... what do you know?"  she laughs at me  "It looks like our little Tappy is having one of his terror tantrum!"
            "I know who your married man is!"  I snap at her  "So right now I really don't want to be seeing your face, because just looking at it makes me want to have a tantrum on it!!  You are as bad as Coral, it's no wander Crimson dumped you!"
            "You and who's army Tap!  Come and try having a tantrum on my face!!"  she laughs at me sarcastically  "And you don't have a clue who he is, so wind your neck in!!"

          "Oh I know exactly who he is all right!!"  I snap at her  "Wisty you need to go, there is enough shit going on around here already without you coming in here and making it worse ... stalker!!"
           "You've told him haven't you!"  she snaps at Mace suddenly
           "No I haven't said a word!!"  Mace mumbles as he looks between me and Wisty  "I don't have a clue how he found out!!"
           "You know who he is too don't you?"  I frown at Mace
           "Yeah I do"  he mumbles  "and you are right Tap, she does need to leave."
           "How long have you known?"  I frown at him
           "Since I was in here myself ... he ended it that long ago, and stalker is the word, because she won't leave him alone.  The four of us have been laying into her telling her to sling her hook, but she's not listening."
           "I don't get it, why was he having a fling with Wisty, with everything else he had going on."
           "He was in a bad place, arguing with the Mrs because she's been messing him about for six years refusing to tell the kids the truth about him.  He was hurting and lonely, he bumped into Wisty in a bar, got drunk, she threw herself at him and he lost his head.   He's only been seeing her when she comes here from Uni.  He told us he tried to put a stop to it straight away, but she's been black mailing him, telling him she's tell everyone, and he's been terrified of the kids finding out the truth and getting hurt."
           "Does Mel know about him and Wisty?"
           "Yeah she does.  He told her when he refused to go there any more, she wasn't happy obviously, but she forgave him.  I think she knew she was partly to blame, she pushed him to it, because of what she was putting him through, and he swears he only carried on doing it because Wisty was blackmailing him and he was trying to protect the kids."

I notice Mace get out his phone and he sends a quick text to someone.  I sit and watch my cousin a little bemused, she has been paying no attention to what me and Mace were just saying, and the way she is sat staring at Forrest, she is not even trying to hide it. 

            "Wisty you need to leave!!  I know for a fact Forrest wouldn't want her in here!!"  Mace glares at her  "Haven't you caused enough trouble already ... It's about time you took the hint, grew up and packed it in!!  If Gran and Mel catch you in here they are going to go ballistic!"
           "Let them!"  she laughs without taking her eyes off Forrest  "I notice they are not here themselves, seeing as they are supposed to care so much!"  she snaps sarcastically
           "They have good reason for not being here right now, but it won't be long before they are ... so you need to sling it!!"
           "Anyway, what's your problem Mace, since when did you suddenly become his guard dog ... you can't even stand him!!"
           "That's not the point!!"  he snaps  "The point is Forrest has been telling you for the past nine months to SLING YOUR HOOK and leave him alone ... so you seriously need to listen and DO IT!!"
            "Yes Wisty, you need to go!!"  I snap at her  "We really don't need anyone finding out about this, especially not Bay, he is upset enough at the moment without you adding to it!"
             "What has Bay got to do with this?"  she laughs sarcastically  "Or are you two covering for her too, helping her hide her dirty secret ... I wander what Alpine would say if he found out his wife is playing away!"
             "Oh Fudge!!"  Mace half laughs and chokes  "I bet she doesn't know yet!!"

Me and Mace look at each other and laugh for a moment.

          "Wisty, what did Granddad tell you about Forrest?"
          "Just that you and Uncle Mango were here because Forrest had banged his head and ended up in surgery."  she frowns at me "Why?"
          "So you don't know about Forrests kids?"
          "What kids, he doesn't have any!"  she laughs at me
          "Bay, Fudge, Mint ... they are Forrests kids not Alpines!!"  I laugh at her  "plus Mel is pregnant and they have twins on the way.  Alpine has known all along about Caramel and Forrest, he has been covering for them too with good reason, they are not even married, they got divorced after Bay was born."
          "Stop talking SHIT!!"  she snaps at me
          "He's not talking shit Wisty!!"  Mace laughs at her  "You already know he's been seeing Mel, but it's not only recent like we made out, it's been going on secretly for over twenty years, he was seeing Mel behind Granites back before he even got locked up and Alpine knew all about it!"
          "You need to talk to your brother, Parsley will fill you in on all the gossip.  He will tell you all about it and that he is dating Forrest's daughter!"  I snigger at her  "I've got a picture of Mint on my phone if you want to take a good look at it and compare it with her Daddies face."
          "Sod off Tap!!"  she snaps
          "Wisty, I think I know why you are doing this and continuing with your shit ..."  Mace mumbles  "... because it worked for me, I got Granite in the end but you aren't ever getting Forrest!!  He doesn't love you, he doesn't even like you!!  You hit him when he was at a low point, and he's regretted going there ever since!!  You haven't got a cat in hells chance of splitting him and Mel up with your creepy stalking."  he starts laughing  "You are even too stupid to see, your competition has never been Granite ... it has always been Mel and their kids!!"

 The door opens and Granite comes barging through it, looking far from happy.  I guessed Mace might be texting him.  Granite goes to say something, looks at me, stops and pulls a face.

          "It's okay."  I laugh at him  "I know about Forrest and Wisty?"
          "How?"  he snaps  "Have you been opening your big mouth Mace, or is it her?!"
          "Neither ... my spirit friends told me."  I smirk at him  "I have already told you, that they are always telling me things that I really don't want to know, and this is one of those things."

Granite just stands laughing at me for a moment.  I had to tell him something, I couldn't really tell him that I've been in Forrest's head and looking through his memories.  It does make me wander why Storm didn't tell me about this?!  They have been watching Forrest carefully, to make sure he is doing the right thing by Alpine, so they must have seen this going on!!  I would imagine Storm can not be happy watching his sister acting this way.

          "Wisty, you SERIOUSLY need to do one, because I am very quickly losing my temper and patience with you!!"  he snaps as he storms over towards Wisty, grabbing her by the arm, pulling her up out of the chair.  "In fact, it's time we put a stop to this once and for all!!  You are off your head, you need sectioning!!"
           "Gran what are you doing?"  Mace frowns at Granite
           "I'm showing her out and pointing her in the direction of that Uni of hers, before Bay and Mango get back."   he snaps  "Mace sort your phone out, I just tried to text you but your in box is full of crap!!"  he winks at Mace.  "Delete it all!!"  he smirks and nods downwards as he is pushing a protesting Wisty out of the door.

Mace looks down and starts to laugh

As soon as the door closes behind them, Mace leans over quickly and grabs Wisty's bag that she had dropped down by his wheelchair when she came in.  I watch him quickly go into it and he pulls out her phone.
          "Tap do us a favour, run out and give that to her, so she doesn't come back for it."  he laughs as he holds out her bag to me  "You can give her her phone back after when I've finished with it."
          "What are you doing?"  I frown at him
          "Wiping Forrest completely out of her phone, number, emails, photo's and texts, so she has no proof and nothing to blackmail him with."  he smirks at me "This is what has been stopping us from getting rid of her completely."

After running after Granite who is dragging Wisty down the corridor to give her the bag.  I walk back to Forrest's room laughing, doubting that Mace will get into her phone without knowing the password.  When I sit down I am amused to see Mace is actually already messing in her phone.

          "I didn't think you would get into it."  I laugh at him  "How do you know her password?"
          "I was bottle fed on crime, I watch everyone and everything."  he smirks at me  "She's sat by me loads of times punching in her password, so I've clocked it."  he sniggers  "There is only you who doesn't have a password on your phone."
           "Yeah because I can't read."  I laugh at him  "So has she been blackmailing him with texts?"
           "Yeah."  he mumbles as he continues to mess in her phone  "She has kept some old texts, she made the mistake of showing me, when she thought I was going to help her get Forrest away from Granite.  She's been threatening to send them to everyone."  he laughs  "She is constantly texting, phoning, emailing and stalking him, she has actually started to scare him, he shits himself every time she is in town, because she has taken it to a whole new level ... Look, I'll show you"

Mace laughs as he turns the phone so I can see and starts swiping through photo's that she has taken of Forrest, most of them look like they have been taken on the sly and he doesn't have a clue that she is taking pictures of him.

I sit watching him deleting a load of photographs then he hands the phone to me.

          "Give that back to her ... just tell her she left it on the chair."  he smiles at me  "She will be crying when she sees it has all gone."
          "Maybe she genuinely loves him?"  I mumble
          "She probably does, but what she is doing now is down right creepy.  She is beyond obsessed, I'm sure you saw how she was sat there looking at him, she's off her head!!  He can't move for her, she is always following him and jumping out at him when he least expects it.  She has even broke into Bay's place during the middle of the night, when Forrest was living there, she woke him up mauling him, she locked him in and took the key, so he had to change the locks, as well as having window locks fitted to stop her getting in again."
          "She actually locked him in?"
          "Yeah, he had to climb out of the bathroom window to escape her.  It's just a good job she didn't pinch Crimsons handcuff or he would seriously have been in trouble!!"  he starts really laughing  "I'm sure you've seen the film "Misery" - we are half expecting her to start doing that to him next!!  Tying him up and battering him because he won't play ball.  She has almost turned psycho over him and she has been a whole lot worse since she found out about Mel."
          "How did she find out?"
          "Mel lost her head, and I can't say I blame her, I would have done too.  Wisty sent Forrest a naked text, telling him she was horny and needed him."  he starts howling  "That's what he's had to keep putting up with, and like a twat he showed Mel.  She phoned Wisty and started kicking off, without even thinking that she was advertising the fact her and Forrest were together.  The next day Wisty caught a plane back here, and she sent Forrest another one of her filthy text which had Mel kicking off again, and that's the argument Crimson walked in on."
          "Oh fudge!!"  I laugh  "It's a good job Crimson didn't realise it was Caramel on the other end of the phone."
         "Yeah I know, if he had all this would have come out then, and kicked off proper!!  It is Prelude we are worried about ever getting wind of this, he won't see his daughter is a creepy stalker, he will just make mince meat of Forrest.  Then there is the kids, they could really get hurt by it."  he pulls a face     

            "How do you stop someone stalking?"
            "Berry knows, he can't even get the police involved without El and Crimson finding out!!  If you ask me the girl needs psychiatric help to be that obsessed over someone!!"  he laughs  "I wouldn't mind, but I don't get what Mel, Granite or Wisty even see in the green thing!!  He has sent all three of them cuckoo!!  You know what Granite has been like in the past, Mel is just as bad on the quiet, putting up with his Granite obssession as well as all his shit over the years, and Wisty especially, she is totally barking!!  She must be off her head, because I would chose Crimson over the green thing any day ... wouldn't you!!"
           "I'm straight you twat!!"  I start howling at him, which sets him off laughing with me.  "And so are they for that matter ... so I wouldn't be choosing either of them!"

I walk into Dads office still laughing at Mace, even though I don't really feel like laughing over what Wisty has been doing.  Dad, Slate and Bay had walked in while we were laughing, so that put a stop to our conversation.  Dad reminded me that he wanted a chat with me and dragged me off into to his office.

           "Why have I just seen a very angry looking Granite dragging Wisteria out of the hospital."  Dad mumbles as he sits down
           "He was kicking her out and getting her away from me."  I mumble  "We started arguing over what she has done to Crimson, and I think Granite could see I was about to blow."
            "So has she told you who this married bloke is yet?"  he frowns at me
            "No!!  It's probably someone from Uni or Rainbow."  I mumble as I throw her phone on the desk  "Can you give that to her, she left it on the chair."  he frowns at me  "Before you say it, no I'm not going anywhere near the bitch to return her phone.  She is as bad as Coral and Strawberry in my book and right now I'm likely to have a tantrum on her face."
            "So ... your head hasn't calmed down any then?"
            "Yeah it had until she wound me up."  I frown at him  "So what do you want to chat about?"
            "I'm just wandering how you are feeling about the babies?"  he smiles at me  "Are you up to talking about it yet?"

            "It's not good is it ... FOUR babies."  he frowns at me  "River has already told me, it makes the pregnancy complicated and risky."
            "Yeah, and that is what we need to talk about .... but if you are not up to it ...."
            "No, you need to tell me, I want to know."
            "Well, for now I am just going to tell you basically ... when you are completely comfortable with everything, then we will discuss it all in detail."
            "Go on then ... hit me with the basics."
            "Firstly, Crystal, we need to calm her down ... I'm afraid she has a lot of bed rest ahead of her, those four babies are going to take a lot out of her, and we have to make her understand while she is carrying these babies that she can't bounce around like she does."  he laughs  "River is talking to her now, but we all need to keep an eye on her."
            "I'm sure she will listen when she knowns how important it is."
            "I hope so, because what you both need to understand, that if anything goes wrong with any of the babies .... if you lose one, it's twin is going to go with it, and all four of them could be affected."
            "Why will it's twin go with it?"
            "You are having identical twins - so they share one placenta.  If one goes they both go, because they are joined together by the placenta."  he smiles at me  "And just to complicate this pregnancy more - both sets of twins are joined together by more than just the placenta - both babies are sitting in one amniotic sac - they dont have one each like most twins --- your twins are sharing one."

            "Is that normal?"
            "Identical twins always share a placenta - but sharing the same amniotic sac is not very common ... and with them sharing one sac it brings its own set of complications."
            "What complications?"
            "Complications that you don't need to even think about unless they happen - which hopefully they won't.  We will be doing extra scans and monitoring with it being Quads, so we will be keeping a close watch on everything at home.  You have the added advantage of having five doctors in the house, and I'm borrowing all the necessary equipment like I did with Honey, so if your babies so much as sneeze we will know about it."  he smiles at me  "You also need to know, that these babies, because there are four of them, they won't be going the full term of 40 weeks."
            "Why not?"
            "Quads are generally delivered at about 32 weeks, which is 8 weeks earier than a single baby, and Crystal will have to have a C section .... a normal birth is too stressful and risky for both the mother and babies."  he smiles at me
            "32 weeks is too early."  I stare at him wide eyed
            "32 weeks is how far gone your Mother's pregnancy was when you three arrived."
            "Oh No!!"  I snap  "I'm not having it!!  I saw how tiny I was and the state I was in!!  Tubes and wires everywhere - I'm not having it!!"
            "Tap, you don't get a lot of choice in the matter - babies come when they want to."  he sits laughing at me  "Nature makes it that way.  With there being four babies, the womb will stretch to a size where it will automatically start the contractions - your babies will come around the 32 mark whether you want them to or not.  It is natural with quads."  he continues to chuckle

             "You can not judge anything by your own arrival, you was a one off, a little miracle, and half the size you should have been, a lot smaller than your brother and sister.  They left the baby unit a good three months before you did - maybe it is the photographs of them that you should be taking a look at, not your own."  he smiles at me  "Yes your babies will have to spend some time in the baby unit, because of them coming at 32 weeks and being four they will be smaller - but there is really nothing to panic over.  I doubt they will be anything like you were when you arrived."
             "Why was I different?"
             "We don't know, it just happens sometimes.  We suspect you might even have been conceived later than the other two."  he laughs  "We nearly missed you on the first scan because of your size and you was hiding behind Coral, she basically sat on you the whole time."
             "Typical, it would have to be her!!"  I snap and he laughs
             "When we did your Mothers first scan, you was already at a disadvantage, while Mo and Coral were normal size for triplets, you weren't anywhere near .... your babies are all the same and the perfect size for quads ... so you don't have to worry about any of them being like you were."

He sits quietly watching me for a moment.  While he is probably watching me to see if I am going to get upset and blow, my mind has suddenly flown off to Scarlet.

Now is probably the best time to get this out in the open with him.

            "How far gone is Scarlet?"
            "She has just hit week 40."  he frowns at me  "Why?"
            "So she could be having the baby any time now."
            "Yeah, I'm actually surprised the baby isn't already here yet."  he frowns at me
            "Oh."  I mumble, thinking this is bad timing, we really could do without the hassle that is coming right at this moment on top of what is already happening.
            "Why don't I like that look on your face suddenly."
            "Probably because I need to tell you something, before the baby arrives, that you are really not going to like"  I pull a face which makes him really frown at me
             "Go on."
             "When the baby is born ... it will probably cause one hell of a massive fall out and explosion within the extended family because of stray colouring."
             "Why?"  his eyebrows fly up  "Please tell me you are not going to tell me that the baby is not Cinnamons and one of you kids have been where you shouldn't have been AGAIN?!"  his eyes widen as he starts to throw his arms about and get all stressy  "Tap ... tell me you haven't!!"
             "No!!"  I start howling at him even asking if it is me.  "Honey and Crystal are the only places I've been."  I carry on laughing  "It is actually one of you oldies that have been trespassing this time!!"

             "Well I can tell you now ... it definitely isn't me!!"
             "Oh berry ... perish the thought ... I think I would have battered you by now if it was you!!"  I start howling at him  "I know you and Cosmic are the only two that never rode the school bike!!"
             "Tap this isn't funny!!"  he pulls a face  "You need to spit it out!  Please tell me we haven't got another Coral and Gravel going on and Scarlet is messing about with an older man?"
             "No, its not actually Scarlet who's been playing away, it's Ruby."  I laugh quietly  "Scarlet does not even know herself ... but Sunny was not her biologoical Father."
             "And how would you even know that Tap?"
             "Cosmic, Storm and Sunny have told me from the other side."  I smirk as he rolls his eyes.  "Sunny found out she was not his daughter when she was six - he found out because of something you had told him about parent and child blood groups.  Scarlet doesn't have his or Ruby's blood group."
            "Oh Berry ... I can't believe he knew all that time and never said anything to me!"  he laughs quietly  "I knew when she was born she couldn't be Sunny's, but Ruby wouldn't even admit it to me and I have just had to keep it to myself.  Over the years I have actually virtually forgotten about it because all I can see in Scarlet is Ruby."  his eyes widen  "So did Sunny know who Scarlet's Father is?"
            "Sunny never knew while he was alive who Scarlet's Dad was, Ruby would never tell him.  Ruby has never told Scarlet's Dad either, he is totally oblivious, he has been walking around not even knowing she is his daughter!!"  his eyes widen and I laugh  "But Sunny knows who he is now, and he is hopping mad!!"

            "How does he know now?"  he frowns at me
            "Well obviously Cosmic has told him."  I laugh at him  "Jazz and all the spirits know who Scarlet's Dad is, so they have told me."
            "How do they know, when Sunny and the real Dad didn't?"
            "Ruby decided to unburden her guilty conscience while she was sat at Cosmic's grave ... she didn't realise Cosmic's spirit was actually sat there listening to her."  this makes Dad laugh  "Cosmic knew who he was before Scarlet was even born, he expected it to all kick off when she was born, but obviously being all red nobody could tell and Ruby got away with it.  Scarlet's baby could give the game away."
            "Oh Berry ... here we go again!"  he mumbles  "I guess I'm the one who is going to have to clean up all the fall out."
            "Yeah ... Sunny wants me to pre warn you because if Scarlet's baby has any of her own Dad's colour ... it is seriously going to kick off big time, and he thinks everyone is going to give Scarlet hell and it is not actually her fault - she is oblivious like the rest of us.  There is not even a way to soften the blow, all we can do is stop the confusion of the stray colour by telling them its Ruby who has been playing away and not Scarlet, and who Scarlet's real Dad is."  I pull faces at him

            "Maybe I should go and see Ruby now and get her to do the right thing, this really isn't fair on Scarlet."
            "No, trust me you don't want to go opening this can of worm unless it actually happens and the baby does have stray colouring.  If it doesn't happen they really don't need to know to save them from the heartache .... Caramel, Alpine, the three kids and Scarlet are especially going to get really upset by it ... it is probably going to destroy them, because of who he is."
            "DON'T!!"  his eyes widen  "You are going to tell me it is Forrest aren't you!!"
            "No, it is not Forrest."  I laugh  "He is far worse ... in a way I wish it was Forrest because it probably wouldn't be half so bad for them to take if it was Forrest!"
            "Who on earth could be worse than Forrest."  he frowns then his eyes nearly pop out of his head  "ALPINE!"
            "Hell no!!  Do you think Cosmic would have let Cinnamon and Scarlet get together if it had been Alpine."

I stare down at my hands which I am wringing in my lap ... I am really not looking forward to saying his name or watching how Dad will react to it.

            "Come on Tap ... spit it out ... who is he?"

I just stare at him for a moment, before I take a deep breath and mumble his name.


Thursday, 15 June 2017

Chapter 55 - Gen 2 - Tapestry

After I have quickly legged it out of maternity, and away from Dad, I find myself, only running as far as the hospitals main entrance, where I stop.

I stand for a moment to catch my breath while I am laughing at myself ... here was me thinking my days of running, when my head went, were behind me, but obviously not.   I try to think back to the last time that I did actually run, and it has been quite a while ... the last time I can remember running, ironically was when I found out about Vanilla existing and being here, in the baby unit.

I can not help but thumb through the scan pictures of the babies, which I am only just noticing are still in my hand.  That is when I realise that Crystal is going to be pretty miffed with me, not only for running and leaving her to deal with this on her own, but I have run off with the scan pictures without even thinking, and I know that she wanted to show them to both of our Mother's.  I stuff them into my pocket carefully, so that I don't lose them.

I walk across the front of the hospital building, to the benches where I sit down.

I light up a cigarette which at first has me coughing my lungs up.  The cigarette is a little on the stale side, because it has sat in an open packet probably for months, so it just ripped the back of my throat out.  This is when I know, I really should not be smoking because of the damage I could be doing to my throat and vocal cords ... but at this precise moment in time, I don't really care, because I just need to calm my head and nerves down!!

My head is now all over the place, and seems to be stuck half way between normal and having an outburst, which is beginning to give me a headache.  I really don't know why finding out we have four babies on the way is troubling me so much, when lately I have handled far worse things and not felt this bad or this close to having an emotional outburst.

I feel like the shock of it has unhinged me a little - FOUR babies all at once, just doesn't seem right.  I was worrying enough before when I thought that there might just be one or two babies, suddenly I feel like I have four times the worry, with four different babies now to worry about, and I don't know how I am going to handle it.  As I stare down at the floor it starts to blur as the tears start welling up in my eyes, I'm glad I'm on the verge of crying because it will stop me from blowing.

I am not stupid, I think I already knew before River confirmed it, that four babies makes this pregnancy more risky and complicated, there is more of a chance that something could go wrong, and I am scared of what might lie a head of us.

I am a little amused when I spot my Dad, who has almost come running out of the hospital onto the car park and he starts to look around.  I presume he is looking for me, but I spot him before he spots me.  I just stay where I am, sat on the bench, the tears start to roll slowly down my face and I carry on smoking, which I know he is not going to be happy about when he does see me.

I watch him through the corner of my eye, while I pretend that I don't know he is there.  I am amused when he does spot me, he stares at me for a while, rubbing the back of his neck, he is probably now stressed out about catching me smoking.  He suddenly backs away out of my sight completely, no doubt to slyly watch me from a distance.  I am glad that he has had the sense not to storm over and rip into me for smoking, because that would have set me off ... but I don't doubt he will have his say later.

After I have finished smoking and the tears have stopped flowing, I remain seated there for quite a while, trying to switch my head off from it all, but it is not working, so I give up hoping that spending some time with Bay can distract me.  

As I start to make my way back into the hospital, straight away I am annoyed by two young girls jumping out at me, asking me for a photograph.  So I paint on one of my forced smiles and they get their photographs.   This doesn't happen too often at home, as everyone here treats me like I'm just the same old Tapestry that I've always been, my fame does not really bother them that much, because they have known me all my life. 

These two girls I can't say I have ever seen before, but something about them makes me feel like I should know them, especially because of their ears, they are the same as Forrest's.  I've never seen anyone with Forrests ears before, only Meadow.  Then the penny drops, Meadow has two girls, I bet they are her two daughters.

I head towards Neurology, and it doesn't take me long to spot Dad, following me from a distance, he is not hiding himself very well, this makes me laugh, because he would make a terrible spy.

I walk into Forrest's room and it is very quiet, Bay is in there on his own, which surprises me.  I expected Caramel, Fudge and Mint to be in here with him, like Grantie said they were earlier.  I am also very surprised that Meadow isn't here either.

Bay is lay on the spare bed curled up in a ball and I think he might be crying.  I think my Dad forget's that I was not around when Slate was on life support, he was awake when I returned home after the 'abduction', so I really don't know what Dad means when he says Bay is going down like he did when Slate was on life support.

I seem to be making a habit of walking in on people crying today, first Granite now Bay.  However I can not even imagine how he might be feeling right now ... finding out the man who has raised you, is not your biological father, has to be a pretty shocking thing to have to learn.  I can't help but think about Scarlet for a second, she also probably has this coming, but I doubt her finding out will be very pretty for most of the extended family.          

            "Are you okay?"  I mumble as I stare down at him
            "Oh here he comes, another secret keeper!"  Bay laughs as he sits up and wipes his face. "Leafy told us you have known for about a month.  Man I seriously wish you was more like Parsley sometimes, he can never keep anything to himself!!"
            "Seriously Bay, you would really not have thanked me for telling you this secret.  It had to come from them properly!!"  I smile at him
             "Have you been smoking?"  he frowns at me
             "Yeah ... sorry!  I needed to de-stress."  I mumble   "Honestly Bay if I had told you the secret, would you have even believed me?"
             "No I don't think I would!"  he laughs as he pulls something out of his pocket  and hands it me  "It took this before I could actually believe what they were trying to tell us."

I stare down at two pieces of paper chuckling to myself, he doesn't realize yet what he has done.  I laugh at him as I hand the paper back to him.

           "I can not read remember ... you wally!!" 
           "Oh .. sorry I forgot ... it is my birth certificate and a paternity test.  Which tell me in black and white that Forrest Leaf is my Dad."  he laughs at himself for a moment as he stuffs the paper back into his pocket. 

           "How is he?"  I mumble as I walk around the bed and sit down.
           "He is out of it."  Bay laughs quietly as he jumps off the bed  "If you watch that machine, it keeps going crazy ... it's his erratic brain activity."  he laughs as he sits down in the chair next to me. "He keeps twitching, quite badly sometimes, I'm scared he's going to have another seizure."
           "He shouldn't do should he?"
           "No, your Dad and Granite say he shouldn't have any more, but I don't think I will believe them until he is awake."  he smiles at me  "They are keeping him out until his brain activity settles down."
           "Yeah Dad said it might be a few days before they wake him up."  I mumble  "I'm actually surprised they didn't shave all his hair off like they did with Mace."
           "I was surprised too, I expected him to come out of theatre completely bold.  Granite says when he wakes up Leafy will probably have a fit over the little bit he has lost."  Bay laughs  "Me and Gran are going to unpick all his dreads and wash his hair tomorrow, Gran thinks if he wears his hair differently, he should be able to hide it until it grows back."
           "It's mad to think a bang on the head from passing out can do that to you."
           "I know ... it was pretty scary.  He was having a panic attack, he threw up and passed out.  He hit the corner of the table with such a bang, it was horrible, I tried to catch him but I wasn't quick enough, and he hit the floor just as hard.  He actually stopped breathing, he was choking on his own sick."

           "Yeah.  Seriously I don't know how doctors can do their job.  Gran had to clean the sick out his mouth and throat with his fingers and give him mouth to mouth to get him breathing again ... I had to watch your Dad doing exactly the same thing to Slate when he took the overdose, it is gross!!"  he laughs  "I couldn't do it, I'd be throwing up all over the place if I had to put my mouth on someone covered and stinking of sick!!"
            "Me too, I'm not sure I could do it either!"  I laugh at him  "Has he been out of it since he hit his head?"
            "No he did come round for a bit."  he smiles at me  "He was sluring his words like he was drunk, it was hard to understand what he was saying, his eyes were freaky too, they were rolling all over the place.  He threw up and passed out again, then the seizures started and he hasn't been awake since.
           "He's going to be okay though, Dad said he should be fine when he wakes up."
           "Yeah, that is what they are telling us, but I keep seeing the sly looks Granite and Mango keep exchanging ... I'm not sure they are telling it us straight."  he grimaces at me  "I know that there is always the possibility of some kind of permanent damage with any head injury.  Look at Alpine, Lilly ... Pine ..."  he rolls his eyes at me
           "You know I swear I didn't hit Pine that hard with the rock."  I mumble
           "You didn't, I was watching you!!" he smiles at me  "Which is why I am worrying about how hard he hit the table, and floor."
           "I wouldn't worry about Forrest, I am sure they would say if they thought there was a possibility of any permanent damage."  I laugh at him  "You know I think they are more worried about you than Forrest ... they think you are cracking up like you did when Slate was on life support."

Bay just sits there laughing to himself quietly.

          "Didn't it shock you, seeing Mom and Forrest together .... I can't even get my head around Leafy not being gay, without thinking about anything else, especially him sleeping with my Mother and creating the three of us!!"
          "Yeah it did shock me a bit, especially afterwards.  I thought I was tripping when I saw them mauling each other down the alley way."  I laugh  "I think I was more angry with your Mother at the time, to even think about what Forrest was actually doing, with a woman.  I thought she was knocking someone off behind Alpine's back, and you know there are not many of us who actually know what being faithful means, and I always thought she was one of them."
          "I can imagine!!"  he laughs
          "I thought Meadow would be here."  I frown at him  "I think I have just seen her two girls outside ... two little girls with Forrest's ears."
          "Yeah they are here somewhere.  Meadow was here a while ago, she popped in to check Leafy and spoke to your Dad and Granite, she will be back later.  Holly and Ivy had to wait outside, being children, so they didn't set Leafy off, which was a bit stupid as he is out of it.  I went out and said hello to them, so I got to see my cousins today for the first time. "  he laughs then smiles at me  "Meadow has gone to check on Alpine ... can you believe those two are having a romantic relationship again!!"  his eyes widen  "My head is mashed!!  This morning I thought Mom and Alpine were together - this afternoon I find out Mom is with Leafy and he is with Meadow."
           "Forrest told me Alpine and Meadow had a fling in the past, but I didn't know they were back on again."  I laugh quietly
           "Yeah, they have started seeing each other again lately.  It's no wander Alpine has had a smile on his face since the hospice, apparently since he's been back, Meadow has been having sneaky sleepovers."  he sniggers  "So he's obviously been getting his leg over!"  we both sit laughing for a moment

          "Where is your Mom, Fudge and Mint? "  I frown at him
          "Down in maternity."  he laughs quietly to himself for a moment  "Can you believe ... my Mom is pregnant again ... Mom and Leafy have created more life, so I'm getting a new brother or sister or even both because she's having twins."
           "Yeah I know, Granite told me earlier that she is pregnant and that's why Forrest freaked out."  I frown at him  "Why are they down in maternity?"
           "Mom got all hysterical when Leafy started having seizures, she was sitting here getting herself into a bit of state.  Her blood pressure was a bit on the high side, so Mango and Granite had her taken down to maternity to be admitted so they can monitor her."  he rolls her eyes  "She has a history of miscarrying apparently ... something else we didn't know until today, they sent her down there just as a precaution, they reckoned sitting here getting herself all upset is not going to help her or the babies.  Her age and having twins makes the risk higher apparently."  he smiles at me  "I'm going to wake up in a minute and find out this has all been a wacky dream, aren't I!"
            "No Bay, sorry you are not dreaming, and if you are, I'm having exactly the same wacky dream!!"  I laugh for a moment  "Your Mom is lucky she is only having twins!"
            "Why?"  he frowns at me
            "I have just come up from maternity myself, Crystal has had her first baby scan today."
            "Oh ... how did it go?"
            "Here, you see."  I smile at him as I hand him the scan photo's  "My head has gone!!  That's why I needed a fag to calm my nerves."

I watch him staring at the photo's, he is frowning as he turns them round looking at them from different angles as he looks through each photo.  I bet he will never guess that they are not all of the same baby without me telling him.

          "Why has your head gone?"  he laughs   "And why so many pictures of the baby."
          "There are four pictures because there are four babies."
           "Yeah, that is why my head has gone ... FOUR babies!!"  I laugh  "We are having Quad's ... Four babies on top of the two we already have .... is going to be a total nightmare, especially with Snow and all his problems!!"
           "Shit me Tap!!"  he starts howling  "FOUR!!  How the hell did you manage that?"  he can hardly speak for laughing.
            "Dad says ... its because I'm a triplet, Crystal is a twin, multiple pregnancies are running high with the Shines and Orchids, so there was a higher chance of us having a multiple pregnancy ... plus Crystal was on fertility treatment because of her condition, she has poly cystic ovaries."  I laugh for a moment  "Here was us thinking she might never get pregnant ... now we have FOUR babies on the way!"  I roll my eyes
            "Four is a bit of a shocker!"  he laughs
           "They are two sets of identical twins too ... which I guess comes from the Shine side as Sunny was an identical twin, then there is Maize and Carmine.  I can't tell Maize and Carmine apart, I have to ask who is who all the time ... I'm going to have a hells game aren't I ... never knowing properly who my children are unless I ask them!!"

            "Fudge, Tap!!"  he continues to laugh  "Yeah I bet you can't see the twins different eye colours can you, which makes it easy for us ... so how the hell are you going to cope with your babies?"
             "They are not actually supposed to have different eye colours being identical, its another one of those strange genetic oddities that are coming out in the Shine and Orchid babies, so River says."  I smile at him  "Dad suggested name tags  ... which is okay for everyone else - but I can not read past two or three letters .... unless we make sure they all have a name starting with a different letter - I can just about manage one letter at a time."
             "That sounds like a good plan."  he laughs  "I can just see them now - four little mini Taps all with a different letter permanently sown onto their clothes!"
             "Yeah, but how do you not mix them up when they aren't wearing clothes?  Knowing me, I'll put the wrong clothes on the wrong baby ... they will be growing up very confused!!"  we both sit laughing.
            "So where is Crystal?"
            "River has taken her home ... once she got over the shock, she became hyperactive.   She couldn't wait to show our Mom's the scan pictures ... she is so excited she has gone off and doesn't realise yet that I still have the scan pictures."  I laugh and he laughs with me  "I told them I was just popping up here to see you and Forrest, but to be honest, I am struggling to get my head around it and I needed time out to chill my head out.  My head was starting to go and Dad could see it."
            "I'm not surprised ... four babies all at once is a lot for anyone to take in, without having your emotional problems!!"
             "Exactly, and Crystal is on hyper rails at the moment, and I need to stop my head from going, which will happen if I am around Crystal, she will set off one of my outbursts, because of how excited and hyper she is, when I can not get my head around it."  I laugh

            "I am actually very surprised that  Dad isn't in here already watching me like a hawk, he's already seen me holding my head a few times, so I think he knows it's coming if I can't stop it!!"
             "I thought you was practically okay now ... "  he frowns at me  "You handled Sunny's funeral fine, and you have changed so much since your abduction, with your career, Vanilla and Snow.  I know you flipped out at Cinnamons funeral, but that was because of Honey and Shadow ...  I only know about you having a few outburst in a long time!!"
             "I am fine as a rule, I've learned to control and stop them from coming, but I can never say never, things like this and they unhinge me." 
             "Oh Tap ..."  he starts laughing  "I have just seen an orange face pop up behind the glass in the door .... so he is watching you slyly."
             "Yeah well he needs to stay out there ... I think you know he is the one who tips me over the edge most of the time."
We both sit laughing for a moment, as I look and see Dad quickly step away from the door when he sees me looking.

             "Oh he's off again ... twitching."  Bay mumbles

We sit in silence for a while, as we watch his face hands and legs moving quite rapidly, quick jolting movements that are actually quite disturbing to watch.  We both continue staring at Forrest in silence, who has now stopped twitching, while we are both probably trying to deal with our own set of problems.

         "How the hell can he be my Dad Tap?!"  Bay mumbles
         "I think you are the last person who needs a talk about the birds and bees, sweet cheeks, if what Saffron says is anything to go by."  I laugh at him as he thumps my leg.
          "Okay bright eyes."  he laughs  "Saffy talks too much!!  I can't even picture Mom and Leafy together ... he's gay in my head and I don't know how I'm going to get past that!!"
          "The same way as you got past thinking Slate was straight."
          "With Slate, it was easy when he started mauling and jumping me like a gay bloke!!"  he starts laughing  "It is different with Leafy!!  Even though I can now see me and Fudge have his hair and me and Mint have his eye colour ... it is actually blatantly obvious that he is Mint's Dad, she does look so much like him and Meadow, it's stupid that we have never seen it.
           "Yeah, I think we can all see it now we have had it pointed out to us."  we laugh at each other for a moment
            "Mom says I'm a lot like him with us both having OCD and being neurotic over things, and Mint has his cold hard front, they rarely show any emotion so you can never quite work out how they are feeling ... I can actually see it all now, but still, it is just not sinking in."
         "You will get used to the idea, of him being straight as well as your Dad, I guess you just need time to get over the shock ... it took me a while to get my head around it, I'm not sure I took it in properly until I saw your Mom and Leafy together openly in front of me, acting like a couple who are in a romantic relationship."
          "Yeah I guess, Fudge and Mint have seen them kissing each other, but I haven't."

           "Forrest being your Dad, it is not such a bad thing is it ... for an oldie, Forrest has always been pretty cool!!  He has never been like my Dad or Alpine has he, strict and stuffy!!  I don't know about you but he's got me out of a few scrapes, and made me understand I was in the wrong by talking to me instead of going ballistic at me like my parent's would have.  Wasn't he the one who helped you when you was struggling with being gay?!"
            "Yeah, which is pretty hysterical now I find out he isn't gay himself!" he starts laughing
            "At least you can have a conversation and a laugh with Forrest over stuff that your parents would generally kick off at."
         "Yeah, that is if he stays that way with us, and doesn't start to take his Daddy duties too seriously and suddenly turns into Mango or Alpine!!"
          "I don't see why he should change, even though you didn't know ... he has always known he is your Dad, so wouldn't he have been like it from the start if he was going to be like it at all."
          "I guess."  he mumbles
          "Oh Berry ... just imagine if your real Dad had turned out to be Sunny, Prelude, even Gravel, then you would have had something to cry about!!"  we both sit there laughing
         "Now I know how Slate has been feeling ... how messed up is it really when we both turn out to have different Dads to the ones we thought we had!!" he mumbles quietly
         "Yeah but if you ask me ... you have both ended up with better Dads."  I laugh at him  "Granite is a scream, and Forrest is not too far behind him ... I know how you have always struggled with Alpine."
          "Yeah and now I know why I struggled, because he is not actually my Dad."  he laughs quietly  "At least now I don't have to take any of Alpines shit because he doesn't like the fact that I'm gay - because its none of his damn business any more, what I am!!"

          "So how do you actually feel about Forrest being your Dad?"
          "Seriously I don't know,  I think I'm relieved more than anything.  Relieved that Alpine isn't my Dad and there isn't anything wrong with me after all."
          "What do you mean?"  I frown at him
           "I've always hated Alpine more than loved him, we have never got on or been close and it felt like there was no connection there between us, like there should be with a Father and Son ... the connection like there is with me and Mom.  I thought he didn't love me because there was something wrong with me!"  he rolls his eyes  "I used to watch other people with their Dad's, and I was jealous at the time, wandering why my Dad didn't love me like their Dad's loved them ... like he loved Cinnamon and so obviously didn't love me.  Even Gravel loved Slate more than Alpine has ever loved me!!"  he chokes  "Like Slate now with Granite ... they already have that connection ... that I've never had."
           "But everything should change for you now, aren't you already close to Forrest."
           "Yeah as a mate ... but does that make him my Dad?"  he frowns at me  "Ironically I have always been closer to Forrest and even your Dad, more than I ever have been to Alpine."  he starts to get upset  "Really I should be angry with Forrest for lying to me all this time, especially as I have had such a hard time with Alpine, when he probably would have been a much better Dad, especially since I've been a teenager.  But the more I think about it, I can't be angry with him because I can understand the phobia and why they hid it from us, so it didn't mess our heads up.  He could have just walked away and left town permanently, which mentally would have been better for him, he's stayed and put himself through hell to stay close to us ... he has always been there buzzing about in the background for as long as I can remember ... pretending to my friend when really he is my Dad."  he chokes  "I keep remembering things he's done ... things that if I had sat and thought about them properly at the time, I could have worked it out!"
           "Like what?"

           "Lots of little things that he has done over the years when it should have been Alpine doing it, like teaching us all how to drive for instance.  Leafy has been stepping into Alpines shoes, especially since we became teenagers, and the excuse was always that he was doing it because Alpines couldn't due to his brain damage, but secretly, he hass been playing Dad because he is the Dad."  he laughs quietly  "The thing that really sticks in my mind the most, was when I got arrested, after Storm ..."  he trails off and just watches me for a moment  "It was Mom and Forrest that came and collected me from the police station, not Alpine.  Alpine said I should have been left to rot in the cells all night to teach me a lesson."  he pulls a face  "I remember Forrest was pretty angry, he actually went off on one at me properly for being stupid enough to go after the Freezes and be playing with knives ... he kept throwing Mosaic and Straw, even Pine at me, saying I could have ended up like them, even worse, like Storm.  He genuinely looked upset by the thought of it."  he rolls his eyes  "I was a little confused and amused by his reaction at the time, because he almost lost it with me verbally, he even sent me to my room and told me I was grounded forever."  he laughs for a moment  "I actually went upstairs laughing to myself wandering who the hell he thought he was and what gave him the right to ground me."  he laughs  "Then I heard Leafy and Alpine downstairs kicking off with each other.  Alpine was angry with me, and had hit me when I walked into the house.  Leafy had dragged him off me and when I went upstairs he started laying into Alpine for hitting me.  I actually sat at the top of the stairs listening to them, and their argument just escalated until they were actually having a punch up over it.  A few things they threw at each other confused me at the time, but I didn't think about them later... Leafy kept telling him he had no right to hit me, like he has not right to hit Cinnamon and if he finds out he's layed one finger on me again he's going to come and knock his block off." he rolls his eyes  "Alpine had said ... "Well tell him the bloody truth then, if you don't like the way I discipline your precious boy!! Then you can deal with the idiot yourself and I'll keep out of it with pleasure!!"  he starts really laughing  "It was all there wasn't it Tap ... if I had just thought about how Leafy was acting and what they had said properly, him being my Dad, I could have worked it out!!"

            "Yeah, I guess it is easy to see now, but at the time you would not have had a clue that it was even a possibility ... I doubt half of the people in this town are going to believe all this straight off, because we have all thought that Forrest was 100% gay."
            "I need to speak to him ... what about if he never wakes up?"
            "He will!!"  I smile at him  "Dad and Granite aren't worried, they both say he is going to fine!!"
           "How am I supposed to go to Cherry Hill now?"  he starts to choke
           "What do you mean?"
           "I only just get my proper Dad and when the trial is over I'm supposed to be leaving and moving to Cherry Hill with Slate ... how can I do that now?"
           "It is not like you are never going to see him again is it.  Actually them moving to Berry Shores will make it easier, its only a short distance and journey, if they were staying here it would have been more of a problem."
           "That's not the point though is it Tap ... I feel like ... all the wasted years, and now I finally get my proper Dad who probably will be the Dad that I've needed all these years ... I shouldn't be going and leaving him."  he mumbles  "And I shouldn't be leaving Mom either, with his phobia how is Leafy supposed to cope with the new babies?" 
Bay starts to crack up and cry uncontrollably.  All I can do is put my arm around him, because I just don't know what I can say.  I can not even begin to imagine how he might be really feeling right now.

The door opens, and when I glance to see who is coming into the room, I am really not surprised to see it is my Dad with a look of concern on his face.

Granite trails in behind him, and by the amused look on his face as he stares at me, I can tell Dad has told him our baby news.

           "Is everything okay?"  Dad frowns at me
           "Bay is just a bit upset."  I mumble, even though I really don't need to tell them, because I think they can both see that for themselves, seeing as he is now really crying.
           "What about you?"  he frowns at me
           "I'll be fine as long as you don't start pecking my head."  I snap at him

I watch as Dad checks on Forrest, and Granite comes over and puts his arms around Bay, trying to comfort him.  I am glad that Granite is taking the responsibility off my shoulders, hearing him crying is unnerving me, my head is still not right

  I can't help but notice my Dad as he stands thoughtfully staring down at Forrest.

           "Granite, can you take Bay into my office, I'll be along in a minute."  he mumbles  "I just need a quick word with Tapestry."
           "I want to stay here."  Bay mumbles
           "Bay, me and Granite just need a quick chat with you, then you can come straight back."

I sit and watch Granite taking Bay out of the room, while Dad just continues to stare at Forrest, like something might be worrying him.

           "What set Bay off."
           "His head is mashed, he can't get his head around Forrest being his Dad and I think not being able to talk to Forrest isn't helping.  I don't think he will be okay until Forrest is awake, him being out is unhinging him, and I think he's worrying that Forrest is not going to wake up and when he does that he might have some sort of permanent damage."
           "Yeah I did worry that Forrest being like this, would bring all the emotions back from Slate, you weren't here to see what Bay was doing to himself, he was on the verge of having a nervous breakdown.  Emotionally that boy is very delicate."
           "It's not just that, I think he's suddenly very torn about leaving and going to Cherry Hill, for a few reasons."
           "What reasons?"  he frowns at me
           "He's just got his proper Dad and he doesn't want to leave him and he's worrying about how he is going to cope with the new babies, so he's worrying about his Mom."

Dad stands there thoughtfully staring at Forrest again.

           "Right you can do it ... but be quick about it."
           "Do what?"  I frown at him
           "Wipe his memory."

      I can not help but be very surprised, I never thought he would actually give me permission to do it.

           "Remove everything from his memory up until the day Forrest and Granite got married ... how long is it going to take?"
           "Seconds."  I smirk at him  "So you spoke to Daddy Clone then."
           "Yes and he said pretty much the same as you did."  he laughs
           "See I told you."  I laugh at him
           "Okay smarty pants."  he laughs at me  "Just hurry up and get on with it while there is nobody here and quickly before I change my mind!!"
            "If you had said no, I would have done it anyway, when you weren't looking."  I laugh at him
            "Yeah, River guessed as much!!"  he laughs sarcastically
            "You knew I would too didn't you."  I laugh at him
            "Of course, I know telling you no makes you go and do the opposite!"  he laughs  "Just like our conversation about smoking just a few hours ago."
             "Don't start, I know you saw me."  I smirk at him  "I was de-stressing ... what would you rather I had done, sat and smoked one fag or gone to the dive bar and got totally hammered instead."
             "I will watch the door to make sure nobody comes in."  he mumbles as he starts to walk towards the door.  "Just hurry up Tap!"

I can not help but openly laugh as I watch Dad walking off,  I swear he is running out of things to say to me.  If I had known being up front and admitting to things when I was younger was going to stop him lecturing me, I would have done this years ago and saved myself hours of headache.

As soon as the door closes behind him I see him standing in front of the glass guarding the door.

As I walk up to the bed, I can't help but hope that Granite is right, and that this is going to work.  Logically removing his memories will cure him of his phobia ... let's hope it does!!

I pull back Forrest's eye lids ... and dive into his head.