06 September 2037
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Jessica Crowley John Crowley Vladimer McMurran Elijah McMurran Adam Crowley

Jessica: Folding laundry. Got her hair fixed. Gets out the ironing board. Irons John's shirts, even his old training ones.
John: Lends a hand.
Jessica: …I'm sorry, John…
John: Folds. …It's alright, Jessica…
Jessica: I shouldn't have told you.
John: …I'm glad you did.
Jessica: Blinks. Why?
John: I wouldn't want to have found out you were living with that any later than I did.
Jessica: Why? At least then, you wouldn't have to deal with this burden too.
John: To know that you handled that burden alone… Shakes his head. Now that I know, you don't have to deal with it alone.
Jessica: Smiles a little, but sighs. I just don't want you to be unhappy.
John: …It's kind of you to think of me, even with what you have to deal with, Jessica.
Jessica: I don't think it's any easier for you than it is for me.
John: I think… it'll be easier together, at least.
Jessica: Sighs heavily and stays quiet for a bit.
John: …Through sickness and through health, Jessica… I'll always, always be here for you.
Jessica: Seems to have become very absorbed in ironing, staring down at it with great concentration.
John: Folding the clothes a little half-heartedly. Then just altogether stops, walks around the ironing board, and lightly puts a hand on her shoulder. Would hug her, but doesn't want to cause her to accidentally burn herself.
Jessica: …I-I just feel like I've failed you…
John: Removes his hand and instead, wraps his arms lightly around her shoulders. You haven't, Jessica.
Jessica: Swallows. A-A good wife wouldn't die and leave you…
John: The light embrace becomes a little tighter. …Jessica… You're a wonderful wife…
Jessica: Sniffs and wipes tears from her eyes.
John: The embrace gets just a bit tighter. I'm here for you… For anything. Through anything.
Jessica: Puts the iron down and hugs him.
John: Strokes her hair as he hugs in return. Trying his best to comfort her as she has comforted him.
Jessica: I-I did the best I could…
John: Your best is more than good enough, Jessica… I could not have asked for a better wife.
Jessica: Holds him close. …I can't leave you…
John: …You'll always be with me. In my thoughts and in my heart. Says it with sincerity and conviction.
Jessica: Holds him closer. My poor, poor, John…
John: Hugs her just a bit tighter. Trying to be comforting, despite the fact that Jessica is once more putting him before herself.
Jessica: Strokes him a bit, then reluctantly and gently pulls away from him.
John: Doesn't let go for a few seconds, but relents and releases her.
Jessica: Sighs and returns to ironing the last few shirts, hanging them up, and putting them in the closet. Looks very unhappy.
John: I am so very bad at this.
Jessica: Doesn't seem to know what to do after this… Straightens up the bed covers a bit.
John: …Would you like to go for a walk, Jessica?
Jessica: …Sure…
John: Offers his arm to her.
Jessica: Takes his hand and smiles at him a little.
John: Squeezes her hand and smiles back.

Jessica: Walks with him, wherever he leads her.
John: Down the halls and to the outdoors, of course.
Jessica: Outdoors they go!
John: Around the large yard he leads her!
Jessica: John…?
John: Yes Jessica…?
Jessica: Did you ever want any more children?
John: …I had thought about it before.
Jessica: You have?
John: Nods.
Jessica: …And…?
John: I would have liked to eventually.
Jessica: I would too.
John: …Even now?
Jessica: Stays quiet, thinking.
John: Lets her think in silence, not wanting to disrupt her thoughts.
Jessica: I don't know if it'd be fair to you… To leave you with a child…
John: Nods, looking thoughtful himself. …I would be more than willing to try, Jessica. I think it'd be more unfair to leave the child without a mother, honestly.
Jessica: Thought the same.
John: Looks to her, squeezing her hand gently.
Jessica: …Heh… I'm a little surprised…
John: …That I would want another child?
Jessica: Nods.
John: Can't help but chuckle a tiny bit. Why is that, dear?
Jessica: I don't know… You never mentioned it… or even hinted…
John: …I was unsure for awhile of how good of a father I would be, to be honest… That kept me from talking about it for a long time… and… there was just so much going on… with work… with Adam…
Jessica: What do you mean? You've been a father for nearly 14 years.
John: The thought of having another child has been there for quite awhile… I just never really spoke about it… Thought it would be too soon with the twins being born and everything else.
Jessica: Looks quite surprised that he's been thinking about it for so long… Her thinking about it has been fairly recent.
John: …I probably should have said something of that sooner… Chuckles a bit, though the sound is quite mirthless.
Jessica: Twists a bit of her, now short, hair around. …I don't know if it'd be fair to have a child and leave it so soon…
John: …I had thought the same thing…
Jessica: But maybe it wouldn't be fair to never have the child…
John: Hadn't thought of that. Looks thoughtful on those words.
Jessica: Waits for John to speak, enjoying the cool night.
John: Looks like he wants to say something, but having trouble finding the words with which to express his thoughts.
Jessica: Looks up at him with large dark brown eyes.
John: You're the most beautiful woman in the world… but doubts she wants to hear him dote on her at this very moment. Meets her eyes with his own icy blue ones. …Do you think I could raise another child… without you?
Jessica: I think you could… If you really want another child…
John: Thinking of exactly how he would manage that. …Even now, do you?
Jessica: …What do you mean?
John: …I would be willing to have another child, even with what the future holds… but would you want to go through pregnancy in your condition…?
Jessica: Thinks and finally nods. I don't know if… I might regret it if I didn't…
John: Now wondering about her condition. …Jessica… Your condition… You said that if you took it easy, you would be looking at two years… but a pregnancy…
Jessica: I… know what to expect.
John: Squeezes her hand again and keeps his eyes on hers. Trying to discern how sure she is of herself in that statement.
Jessica: Surprisingly, looks quite sure. Meets his gaze.
John: That she can meet his eyes and the sureness on her face is enough for him. …I love you, Jessica… As if that's enough to convey to her his mind on the matter is set. That he wants another child with her, despite what the future will bring.
Jessica: Hugs him. I love you too, John. So very, very much.
John: Hugs her tightly in return. Still gently enough to not harm her. I should tell you that I've always needed you, but saying it now might just make things worse.
Jessica: Just stays in John's arms.
John: Holds her close. She probably knows, but it's one thing to know and one thing to have it spoken. …Jessica?
Jessica: Yes?
John: …I… just wanted to thank you… You've made me so happy over the years… Everything I have, I owe it all to you, Jessica… I couldn't have done it, any of it, on my own… You've always been there for me… All those times you have been… I've needed you. Like the promise of beautiful dawn when the night is at it's darkest. Hugging tighter as he speaks.
Jessica: …John…
John: Just holds her in silence.
Jessica: Unhappily. What're you going to do when I'm gone?
John: …I'll raise our children, love our family, and wait the day I join you in Heaven.
Jessica: Hugs him close. Let's… just try to live in the present…
John: Yes… We still have time… We shouldn't mourn the living.
Jessica: …But… Do you think we should tell the children?
John: …I don't know, Jessica… Honestly stumped. Would usually go right for being honest and straightforward… but…
Jessica: Thinks on this too.
John: …Perhaps Elijah… He's an adult… He can handle the news…
Jessica: Nods. Celena and Feemy are adults, too…
John: Of course… but… I do not think Feemy would take it well.
Jessica: Nods and sighs. …I mostly wouldn't want to tell Adam and the girls…
John: I wouldn't either… Exactly his thoughts, really. Doesn't want to see his children cry, even though they will eventually. Why not save them the pain?
Jessica: Adam's finally had things go in the right direction for him… and the girls… they're still so young…
John: Nods. …We shouldn't tell them… They shouldn't have to know…
Jessica: Nods. …I agree…
John: …We should have an outing.
Jessica: Blinks. An outing?
John: …I'm sorry… That was a bit out-of-the-blue.
Jessica: Just waits for him to explain himself.
John: A family trip is what I mean.
Jessica: …Where to?
John: Is there any place in Atlantis that you would want to go?
Jessica: …I've been pretty much everywhere here…
John: …Then how about outside of Atlantis? Someplace we can enjoy ourselves as a family.
Jessica: Nods. That might be nice…
John: …Been to Six Flags?
Jessica: Roller-coasters scare me.
John: Oh, they have more than roller-coasters. Would you prefer Disney Land?
Jessica: Laughs. I've never been there… What do you think?
John: I haven't been there either… but thinking about it, I think the children would enjoy it.
Jessica: Nods, smiling.
Bushes: Rustling.
John: Gets a very serious look on his face at the rustling. A bit paranoid, as is. Releases Jessica and interposes himself between her and the bush. You've got precious seconds to show yourself before I burn you alive.
Vladora: Don't burn me!!! Doesn't come out of hiding though.
John: Big sigh of relief. Way to jump the gun and threaten a child. Just lucky he thought before he acted. It's past your bedtime…
Vladora: Comes out of hiding. I was looking for Demons.
John: Vladora, you know better than to be outside on castle grounds at this hour.
Vladora: But I wanna be a knight like you!
John: You're not going to do that by breaking curfew, young man.
Vladora: You're breaking curfew, also too.
John: I'm an adult and captain of the Royal Guard. I don't have a curfew.
Vladora: I wanna be like you.
John: Just a hint of a smile at that. …Your father would be upset if he heard you were out by yourself at this time of night.
Vladora: You're not gonna tell him!
John: That depends. Are you going to do this again?
Vladora: Big eyes. Shakes his head 'no'.
John: Alright, so long as you can promise me first. Then it'll be official.
Vladora: I promise. A knight never breaks his word! Smiles.
John: That's right. Otherwise we wouldn't be knights. Now come on… We'll take you back to your room.
Jessica: Nods.
Vladora: 'Kay. Did a walrus eat your hair, Grandma?
Jessica: Nooo…
Vladora: How's bout a narwhal?
John: Narwhals don't like hair.
Vladora: How come?
John: They prefer children.
Vladora: Nuh-uh.
John: …Yeah-huh.
Vladora: Nuh-uh!!!
John: Grinning a little. Yeah-huh.
Vladora: Nuh-uh!
John: Okay, you win. You know more about narwhals than I do.
Vladora: Rubs his nose. Yup!
John: You can tell us all about them on your way to bed.
Vladora: I don't wanna.
John: Just going to walk in silence then?
Vladora: Imma squash spiders. Stomp. Stomp. Stomp.
Jessica: Vladimer… Don't yell… People are trying to sleep.
John: Nods in agreement.
Vladora: Sleeping's stupid.
John: Offers him a hand, so he can lead him inside with his wife.
Vladora: Takes it.
John: Seeks his wife's hand with the other.
Jessica: Takes his.
John: And begins the trek back!

Vladora: And you know, we would have invented world peace by now if we didn't have to sleep.
John: You'd be surprised by how much thinking one can do while they're asleep…
Vladora: Not anything good.
John: It's good for you.
Vladora: So is brussels sprouts.
John: They are, so no more skipping out on eating them at dinner.
Vladora: Wu'll see.
Jessica: Knights get big and strong by eating their vegetables.
John: That's true.
Jessica: That's how Grandpa got so tall.
Vladimer: Great-Grandpa must've not eaten any vegetables.
Jessica: That's not very nice.
John: There's nothing wrong with being shorter than I am.
Jessica: A lot of people are.
Vladimer: Well I'm gonna be taller.
John: If you eat your vegetables.
Vladimer: I hope I get all your jeans.
John: How to tell him he's not even biologically related to me? Not now, anyhow.
Vladimer: Wonders why that was met with silence.
John: My jeans are too long for your legs.
Vladimer: Not for long!
John: If you eat your greens. Otherwise… well… I could always help you get things out of the cabinet if you don't.
Jessica: Why don't you talk to your father about that?
Vladimer: What?
Jessica: Your genes.
Vladimer: He's short.
Jessica: So was your real grandfather. He's very good with swords, though.
John: Better than I am.
Vladora: You know what's cool?
John: What?
Vladora: Zombies.
John: Why are they cool?
Vladora: Cos if you can defeat death, you can defeat anything.
John: Here I thought zombies were dead. I thought death was a tall man in a dark cloak with a scythe.
Vladora: They came back from the dead. So death din't really defeat 'em.
John: But are they any better off? They're all rotted and shambling
Vladora: Then they could just take off their arm and hit you with it an' it doesn't even hurt 'em. If you don't feel no pain, then you're indestructible.
John: …That's true about the arm thing, but then I'd just cut off their legs.
Vladora: They'd still getcha.
John: Even if I chopped off their arms too?
Vladora: Yup.
John: And their head?
Vladora: Ya. 'Cause their limbs can think separate and you'd have lots of 'em chasing you and kickin' and punchin' you.
John: Even if I burned them to cinders?
Vladora: The cinders would getcha. Grins. They'd go down your throat and suffocate ya.
John: Then I'd become a zombie? Or would I just perish?
Vladora: They'd just eat yer brains.
John: Ha. They couldn't reach up that high, I'm too tall.
Vladora: They could stack on top of each other.
John: They are tenacious. I hope zombies don't come for us then.
Vladora: I'd beat 'em all.
John: You know their weakness?
Vladora: You just gotta show 'em who's boss.
John: That makes a world of sense there. How would you do that?
Vladora: I just would.
John: Nods. Pretty good candidate for knighthood, I'd say. Wouldn't you, dear?
Jessica: Mm-hm… I certainly feel safe with both of you around.
John: Leans in and kisses her on the cheek. I'd never let zombies get you, love.
Jessica: Let me tell you… It keeps me up at night…
Vladora: Cartwheels down the hall.
John: Kid has got a lot of energy.
Vladora: Even does a handstand and walks on his hands.
John: Just watches with a small grin. A lot on my mind still yet, so it's nice to have a reprieve in the form of a silly kid like Vlad.
Jessica: A regular monkey.
John: I hope he doesn't become a knight or a guard or anything like that.
Vladora: Sings. All ya need is looove
John: Vladimer, people are trying to sleep.
Vladora: They should all wake up and eat marshmallows!
John: Maybe some other time. Right now, people need to sleep
Jessica: Jaded. Elijah was pretty much like this at that age.
Vladora: Hooold me tiiight toniiight.
John: Did you know that Feemy sings? Maybe that will get you to stop singing.
Vladora: Yup!
John: Trying to be like Feem, or do you just like singing?
Vladora: I'm singing!
Elijah & Adam: Peek out of their doors at the same time.
John: Smooth.
Elijah: Frowns. Vladimerjonauramcmurran.
John: You're screwed, kid.
Vladora: Wut?
Elijah: Don't give me, 'wut'. What're you doing out of bed?
Vladora: Singing. Can we have a marshmallow party?
Elijah: You won't be having any parties for awhile if you don't get back into bed within 10 seconds.
Vladora: Uncle Adaaam…
Elijah: Uncle Adam can't save you now… One…
Vladora: He's king of the world.
Adam: Um… You should do as your father says.
Elijah: Two.
Vladora: Grandpa?
John: …Knights should be quick on their feet.
Elijah: You're fighting a losing battle here, Vladimer. Three.
Vladora: That was too abstract for me.
John: …You've only got a handful of seconds to get to your bed, Vlad.
Elijah: Uncle Adam's sick. Don't you feel ashamed for waking him up? Four.
Vladora: He'd feel better if he had some marshmallows, right?
Elijah: Five. Six.
John: I'd run to your bed like zombies were chasing you, if I were you, Vlad.
Adam: I'd feel better if you went to bed, Vladimer.
Jessica: Nods.
Elijah: Seven…
Vladora: I'm not scared of zombies.
Elijah: Eight…
John: If you don't go, there won't be any marshmallow parties. Ever.
Vladora: Maybe.
Elijah: Nine.
John: Crosses his arms. Disappointed in you.
Elijah: Ten.
Vladora: Runs!
Elijah: You better be running to your room!
Vladora: Does indeed go to his room.
Elijah: Follows. Ooo, you're going to get it.
John: …Sorry for waking you, Adam.
Adam: It's alright. Gives him and his mom quick hugs. Good night.
John: Hugs back, albeit as briefly as the quick hugs are.
Jessica: Good night. Love you.
John: Love you, Adam.
Adam: Love you… Back into his room, he goes to sleep.
Jessica: Sighs and heads towards their own room.
John: Follows.
Jessica: Kid likes to tempt fate…
John: And he's not afraid of zombies either.
Jessica: Laughs a bit.
John: I got you to laugh. …I hope he didn't hear us talking.
Jessica: Nods and sighs. I'm beat…