And Everyday: When Life Gives You Lemons, Put Some Vodka in Your Lemonade (Crystal Methyd/Gigi Goode, Jaida Essence Hall/Jan Sport) - Campvanjie
AN: This was originally written for a fic exchange, and posted to AO3 under my now deleted account there on May 1st, 2020. Reposting here, because I’m proud of it, and am clearing old S12 fics from my Google drive. I’m the original author of this work, and there’s absolutely no plagiarism going on!
Summary: Gigi needs a soft place to land after her quarter-life meltdown, and Crystal realizes the happily every after she gave up on, might not be totally out of reach. Meanwhile, Jaida and Jan work on restoring an old barnhouse; because marriage begets home improvement.Prompts: Parenthood AU, Enemies to Lovers, Idiots in Love, and Angst all used to varying degrees.
CW: conversations around divorce/child custody and (past) bullying behavior, character mentions (non-specific) mental health issues as the reason for a past breakup.
“- Ugh, anyway, it’s like 3:30, he’s almost an hour late and I don’t know why the fuck I even got all dressed up just to sit at court being looked at like I’m some cheap bitch-”, Gigi grumbled into her phone. It was pressed against her cheek as she tried her best to juggle her purse and a extra-large coffee held in her other hand, her livid glare captured perfectly in the harsh, white light of the bathroom mirror across from her.
“I dunno, maybe because you have to be there? Kind of the mom thing to do.”, Crystal told her, static edging into her voice.
It was a long-distance call after all, and Gigi had fought against her fingers dialing the number almost by muscle memory. She had only relented once she had gotten through the packed hallway of the courts complex, and almost collapsed into what seemed like the only empty bathroom.
Call Crystal, had been the only thing she could think of do, in between beating her palms against the cool, brick walls, and shaking with sobs she refused to shed for fear of ruining her makeup.
Without missing a beat; Crystal had picked up, her voice always high and slowed, syllables enunciated in a way that had trained Gigi into asking for coffee, like it was spelled with a K, calling her son’s name, with the E in the middle a sharp, upward spike.
Crystal, Gigi realized with a start; was who had taught her to gulp in her breaths to hide herself crying, and shove her fist into her front pocket, to keep herself from shaking so much.
“I know. I know you’re right. I just- God, I’m so sick of it. It just want this all to be over so I can go back to what’s important, and stop feeling like my entire world is crashing down around me."
Crystal laughed, a little too dry for it to be genuine. "Hey, Gigi?"
"If you- if you wanted, maybe you and the little munchkin could visit? Come see me in Missouri, maybe it’ll get your mind off things."
Gigi’s hands stopped underneath the stream of lukewarm water flowing from the faucet, her eyes meeting her reflection in the mirror. She looked like shit, no matter how much her carefully applied façade remained in place, her gaze jittered around the small room and she had never felt so truly tired in her entire life.
"Yeah. I mean, me of all people should know something about everything falling apart."
Less than an hour later, Gigi found herself dialing Crystal’s number again. She stood outside the courthouse, her glasses misted from the early- evening rain shower as she waited for her car.
Relinquished. She didn’t know whether to laugh, or cry, or take her parents up on their offer to live in their Florida timeshare and disappear off the face of the planet, too.
"He’s not coming because he filed paperwork to relinquish parental rights two weeks ago. In the eyes of the law, it’s just the two of you.”, her lawyer had told her, after finding Gigi just outside the bathroom. Jackie Cox was always dressed in tweed, pastel, pantsuits, dark hair coiffed in buttery smooth curls at the top of her head, her lips pursed in a thin, straight line, as though she was perpetually exhausted.
Gigi supposed that, being one of the city’s longest-serving family court attorneys would do that to you.
“I don’t know how I missed it on the dockets, but I should have told you first.”, Jackie apologized; her hand warm and steady at the small of Gigi’s back as she walked her client back up the hallway.
Gigi grunted, shrugging her shoulders underneath her jacket. “It’s fin- It wouldn’t have changed anything, Jackie. Really, thanks for everything."
She let herself lean against Jackie, letting one of her oldest friends wrap her arms around her, breathing in the scent of Jackie’s honeysuckle perfume on the courthouse steps.
"I’m sorry this happened-”, Jackie started, and Gigi could feel her heart sink to her stomach.
She had never done well with pity, least of all when she truly deserved it.
“Don’t be. Please, just don’t.”
“What are you going to do now?”, Jackie asked, as Gigi stepped out of her embrace, surveying the street before them that was quickly filling with cars and bikes and buses as the work day finished and school let out for the day.
“Right now? Get in an Uber and hope they don’t charge me triple for being late at daycare again.”
Crystal picked up on the fourth ring, and Gigi could hear the sound of a sink running in the background. Water splashed against metal, and the distinct sound of another woman’s voice, screeching with laughter, buzzed through the speakers of Gigi’s phone.
“Whoo- chile, I’m telling you if you come any closer with that flour, I’m gonna-"
"Shit. Sorry.”, Crystal had muffled the phone against her chest, the static only cutting out when Gigi was sure she had ducked into another room.
“How quickly can you get that guest room set up? I’m pretty sure we can make it for tomorrow if I drive through the night.”
“Mom- Mom it’s twelve-thirty-five. It’s way, way, way past your bedtime!”, Destiny crowed from his carseat, kicking at Gigi’s back. His blonde curls were plastered to the side of his face, lips dusted with salt from the bag of chips that Gigi had let him pick out form himself at their last rest stop.
Their entire lives had fit neatly into the sickeningly suburban five-seater that his father had insisted on, the largest luggage case filled with her son’s clothes and bedsheets still having enough room to jostle under his bare feet.
She knew it was impulsive, and stupid, and half-expected the police to pull them over several states away, but as the highways emptied to nothing bur a ribbon of white lines that kept them on the right side of the road, Gigi became more and more convinced she was doing the right thing.
“My bedtime is five-thirty, kiddo. Yours is eight, so you get to stay up so much later.”, she joked easily, never having had Destiny for so many hours, all by herself in the years since he had started preschool.
“Wait, that doesn’t make sense! It’s eight at night and right now it’s morning! Nobody goes to sleep at five in the morning!”, he shrieked, and giggled at his own reflection in the rearview mirror.
“That’s when the garbage truck wakes up!”, he added. Gigi didn’t remember, if he had ever talked so much, his voice jarring and so different from the toddler babbles she had recorded, and kept on her phone to watch on her worst days.
Her textile studio had taken up her days, until her partners had grown tired of Gigi stumbling in at eleven in the morning, unable to force herself to care very much about their bottom line, and the grey, dull world outside until Destiny had come to kick her out of bed.
Afterwards, his father would take her nights, the pressure incessant that they be exactly what they looked like- a family that belonged in a catalog, with a perfectly dressed, perfectly quiet child, money to burn and success in spades; drinking from matching flutes of champagne while Destiny was left alone in his basement bedroom with a baby monitor and his collection of stuffed animals.
Gigi faltered in a sea of plastic smiles and shallow conversations, and at the end of the day, all of her friends who had warned her off marrying her senior-year rebound, giving her life over to the promise of a bright, empty future, had been right.
He wanted to live in a dream, where she was only ever a sidekick; their son nothing more to him than a prop to parade, an filled-in item on a checklist that he had given up without a second thought.
Gigi had named him Destiny, because she liked it first, but second, because it had sounded so good with his last name; that she had never even considered having to change it.
Destiny Goode was a name that sounded like a motivational quote from a caveman, and she briefly wondered, merging on to the next interstate her GPS system highlighted- if a six-year-old would remember his name if she changed it right now.
He could be a Garret, or a Jaden, just like every other boy at school.
A fresh slate with no more questions to be asked, and nothing left to tie her perfect boy to Gigi’s worst mistake.
“-So, she’ll be here at nine-thirty, and we’re all going to be nice as fuck and not make it weird, okay?"
Crystal smoothed down the pleats of her skirt with her palms, her legs crossed in front of her at the breakfast table, as her eyes flitted between Jaida and Jan, who both had forks in hand as they enjoyed the chilaquilles that Crystal had set out for their meal, knowing this was going to be a big conversation.
“Okay, go back to the part where she broke up with you and then ended up married to darksided Warner-"
"Guys!”, Crystal protested, glaring down at her friends.
Jaida and Jan had bought the barn on her family’s property not even weeks after Crystal had agreed to put it on the market, the decrepit, white-washed wood tower an eyesore along the country highway.
They were the closest thing she had to neighbors, in the wide acres of rolling plains that separated everyone by miles along the road, and it hadn’t taken long for the three of them to grow close.
Together, they had carved a guest house out of the front entryway, laying water pipes and television cable; and were working on renovations to turn the barn’s hall into an event space, with glass lanterns hanging high along the rafters that Crystal remembered walking across like a tightrope when she was a child.
Jan drilled in heavy wood planks to form a catwalk that overlooked the barn floor, which you could reach from the outside fire escape, and Crystal had been thrilled to finally put her years of following behind her father to use, toolbox in hand as she sanded down the reinforced beams holding up the roof.
If Gigi hadn’t called her, Crystal and Jan had a day ahead of them of hauling the shingles from a pallet left by the side of the road, in Crystal’s truck up to the barn, while Jaida had her camera, and a full calendar of Senior Portraits to finish before the end of the school year.
“I know it sounds like a lot, but please, please, don’t make it weird. Gigi always…- She always needed everything to go perfectly, and I hate to say it but… I might be her only real friend. Like, ever.”, Crystal told them, biting down on the inside of her cheek.
Gigi, who for the past few years, had been nothing but a collection of memories that would fire in her brain occasionally, like a slight twinge from an old injury, would be back in the flesh at her doorstep, at any minute. Crystal barely had the time to recruit Jaida’s help in clearing out her guest rooms for Gigi and her son, much less process how she truly felt about offering up her home as their refuge.
Gigi had never responded to the birthday cards she sent for Destiny after his third birthday; barely ever logging into her Facebook page that had been filled with photos of the two of them through college; and seemed to abruptly be cut off after she had gotten married. Occasionally, something would trickle through, a vacation photo of her little family, and anniversary note, a first day at school and a post that asked everyone to go and follow her business page.
For all of the refreshing Crystal did, Gigi’s studio seemed to never upload anything beyond its logo and business hours.
“Nah, listen, I get it, babe.”, said Jaida, a tortilla chip hanging from the corner of her mouth. “People grow and change and we gotta meet them where they’re at."
She nodded towards Jan, who was gulping down her orange juice, with a fond grin. "If you would have told my queen bitch ass when I was in high school, that I would end up married to Miss Team Too Much, I would have stole your man and told the whole school some dirty secret.”, Jaida laughed. “Everybody’s dealing with something, and I was so closeted and angry I was acting a fool for free."
"You were never closeted.”, Jan piped up, her voice rising an octave from normal, making Crystal widen her eyes as she looked to her side.
“Glass closet, honey. Besides, my point is, it’s water under a bridge, whatever we do when we’re young. I love you now.”, she said, pressing a kiss to Jan’s temple as she rose to go take their dishes to the sink. “You ended up turning out to be an amazing woman. I’m sure Gigi’s just the same."
The sun was high over the horizon line when Gigi’s car rumbled up the range road, rocks spraying into the grass as her wheels skipped over the pockmarked dirt.
She had taken Destiny to a hotel waterpark with a free breakfast, the absolute joy and shock on his face more than worth being several hours off of the arrival time she had texted Crystal. He was asleep now, only dressed in a pair of shorts and his sneakers, the buckles of his carseat starting to chafe red against his skin.
Gigi turned left at the barn, towards the yellow-shuttered house she remembered visiting over so many spring breaks and reading weeks, surprised to see two workers, stacking pallets of shingles by the barn door. One was a gorgeous, darker-skinned woman, the sun glittering from the highlights in her hair as she waved over to Gigi, making her grin despite herself.
Crystal’s tiny town had always been welcoming, the huge open expanses of space seeming to make everyone all the more willing to seek a connection- though Gigi would have never guessed that Crystal and her family would ever do anything with the barn, which looked just a little less decrepit than she remembered, so many years later.
She parked by the balcony, just in front of Crystal’s truck, and shook Destiny awake, helping him into the first shirt which she could reach from his bag.
"C'mon, Des. We’re here. Are you excited to say hi to Mom’s friend? She stayed up all night to make you new room!”, she asked, watching as he took in the word around them.
“You have friends?”, he blurted out, so plainly that Gigi couldn’t keep a smile off her face, even if he had probably heard that from a TV show she probably shouldn’t have been letting him see.
“That’s not very nice."
Still, she kissed the top of his head, and helped him out of the car, his tiny hand feeling heavy in hers as they made their way up the stairs to Crystal’s door.
The balcony creaked under their feet, as Gigi raised her hand to press against the doorbell, Destiny tugging against her shirt, pointing up at the colorful strips of cut paper that still adorned the windows, the sun cutting what must have been a stained-glass glow inside the house.
"Snowflakes, like at school!”, he called to her, pressing his face against the windowsill before Gigi pulled him back.
“No, it’s called papel picado.”, Gigi corrected, remembering how Crystal had spent hours at her paper press in the basement of the art rooms in college, a mess of stencils spread across the desk, a chisel and mallet in hand as she studied the pictures her grandmother would send her.
Crystal’s tongue would poke out of her mouth, her pupils blown wide in concentration, oblivious to the darkening sky above her until Gigi would find her, at half-past midnight, standing still wide awake in the middle of confetti slices of cut paper piling around her.
They would kiss, exhilarated and young and alone together, and Gigi would never think anything was wrong until-
“Gigi! Geegs! Look who’s late to their own party!”, Crystal squealed, the door swinging wide open to reveal her; red-brown hair still as wild as ever, piled into a messy ponytail atop her head, and a smile so wide Gigi could see nearly all her teeth. Crystal sparkled with the same craft glitter that had always hung from her fingertips, her cheeks flush as though she’d run from one end of the house to the other.
Her eyes looked bright again, the memory of which was so foreign to Gigi that she took a moment to take it all in, Crystal’s bright skirt and her tight, sleeveless top looking all the more like relics of the summers they had spent together.
“Ahoy.”, she greeted, raising a hand to her forehead in a mock salute.
Giggled, like she always had, and waved them inside with a flourish of her hand.
“Are you mad at me?”, Jaida asked, kicking open the toolbox that she and Jan shared.
They had watched Crystal let the storied Gigi into the house, and decided to occupy themselves with bolting down the side light fixtures in the barn, until whatever was probably going on between their neighbor and ex calmed down enough for Crystal to invite them in.
But, Jan’s temper had grown increasingly short through their day, her drill now clenched in a white-knuckled grip as Jaida held the ladder she was on steady below her, digging in the tool box for the next drill bit she would need.
“Why- the fuck- would I be mad at you?”, she said through gritted teeth, over the sound of the power tool in her hand.
“‘Cause you just said fuck, for one.”, Jaida muttered, her eyes rolling skyward. Her wife had always been a little dramatic, but there was nothing Jaida hated more than the silent treatment, far preferring a knock-down, drag-out, screaming fight to being frozen out for hours with little more than a sharp glance or a silent nodded sent her way.
Jan shrugged her shoulders, her favorite blue and red flannel shirt stretching deliciously tight across her back.
Was Jan teasing her? Was it all some kind of elaborate game that was intended to be finished in their bedroom?
“Well, whatever you’re doing, it’s killing the mood, babe.”, Jaida teased, hoping that Jan would get the hint.
Instead, she dropped the drill from her grip, clattering down the ladder as it bounced on the hard-packed ground. The battery pack popped from the tool’s back, not that Jan could be bothered as she stalked away, ignoring Jaida’s raised eyebrows.
“Hey- hey- you can’t just wreck stuff because you’re having a bad day!”, Jaida called after her wife, looking down at the mess of wires at her feet. “And I don’t know how to fix this shit so-"
She fell silent, as Jan’s steps echoed up the outdoor fire escape, her body disappearing until Jaida could only see the outline of her long, blonde hair, blowing in the wind from the balcony.
"Jan?”, she shouted, following her up the steps. “Hey, I know I fucked up, but you gotta tell me how otherwise I’m not gonna know how to fix it."
"Right.”, Jan scoffed as Jaida rounded the corner, the two of them facing towards Crystal’s house, where a second-floor light flickered on and off several times. “I forgot that everything’s so easy for you, I just have to spell it all out."
"Okay, what does that even mean?"
Jan glowered at her wife, crossing her arms across her chest.
"Why did you tell Crystal the reason you were a bully in high school was because you weren’t out?"
"That’s what this about? Baby-”, Jaida reached forward, her hand only barely touching Jan’s shoulder before her wife flinched away. “I was just trying to make her feel a little better about the whole thing, everything going on with Gigi. I don’t even remember if I was a bully in high school."
"Maybe I do.”, Jan snapped, her eyes flashing up in anger for a split second.
Jaida sighed, looking back over the horizon; where the sun was starting to dip at the back of scattered farmhouses and cottage homes littered accross the plains. “Look- I- I’m sorry and I shouldn’t have brought it up-”
“You’ve never apologized."
"You want me to say sorry?"
It had been years since Jan and Jaida had reconnected, long separated from the people that they had been as children.
Jaida had remembered Jan as an easy target from their first day in kindergarten, a tiny, loud girl who fell into a pattern that followed until Jan had left for college on a musical theatre scholarship, and Jaida had gone to play basketball for a small, comfortable liberal arts college in the heartland. When she had met Jan again; she was another person who shared the same name, at an alumni event where both of them had been invited to promote their respective colleges.
Where Jan had always worn her heart on her sleeve, the woman Jaida had married was confident, and passionate, witty and driven beyond belief.
She hadn’t had a second thought proposing to her, in the middle of the butterfly sanctuary at the zoo in the springtime, kissing her passionately without question at their Central Park wedding, their families both swaying together underneath the canopy of a white tent, to the music of the very first DJ they had found on Google.
"I just want you to- admit that it happened.”
“You’re acting like this was a big deal.”, Jaida groaned. “Baby, we were kids."
"It was a big deal. I thought about the stupid shit you and your friends said, for years after- and you don’t know what that was like."
Jaida sighed, laying her hands on the railing that rounded the balcony, squeezing the metal rung tightly against her palms, the fight seeping out of her as she studied her wife, who looked on the verge of tears.
“Jan- baby, hey, I’m sorry. I’m really, really sorry.”
Silence fell between them, the sound of the crickets the only thing that cut in between their breaths. Jan buried her face in her hands, elbows resting against the railing beside her wife.
“I know. It’s just, that stuff adds up sometimes.”
She pressed herself into her wife’s shoulder, letting her head rest against Jaida’s arm.
“It adds up the other way around, too. Don’t think it doesn’t.”, Jan whispered, and Jaida finally let go of a breath she hadn’t realized she was holding in, her arm snaking around to rest around her wife’s waist. “It’s just a lot of work.”
“Then I’ll work on it, baby. Just tell me what you need.”
Gigi was surprised, at how instantly familiar Crystals kitchen was, breakfast leftovers heaped on top of Destiny’s plate while she quietly accepted a Diet Coke, sipping at the flat beverage as she finally began to relax. Gigi could tell her son was starting to feel sleepy, his eyes losing focus even as he kept lifting his fork to his mouth.
“Cielito.”, Crystal cooed, as she ruffled his curls, passing by the two of them as she moved to shutter the blinds in the kitchen. Destiny clearly thrived under the attention, and Gigi wondered if he had always craved touch, or if he was only a child who was excited by all of the new things around him. The heat was sticky, and Crystal’s brightly painted walls made the whole house look even more like an eternal birthday party, the fridge covered with photos and magnets.
Crystal had never learned to speak Spanish, at least as far as Gigi knew, having begged Crystal to help her pass her class for months when they had been roommates, but she supposed, she must have picked up more of it, with all the time she must have spent with her family afterwards.
“Where are you Mom and Dad?”, Gigi asked, swirling her straw in her Diet Coke. “I should say hi, right?"
Crystal shrugged. "We could Facetime? They were back in Mexico for a while after my Dad got sick, but right now they’re travelling Europe, living the old people dream. I’m sure my Mom still misses you."
Gigi took a deeper breath, her lips pursed as she watched Crystal dump dirty dishes in the sink.
"Is um- are you getting the barn demolished? I saw a couple people working on it outside."
"Oh, that’s just Jan and Jaida. They live there. I sold it a few months ago, and they’re trying to turn it into, like, a wedding hall. You’d love them- they’re the gayes-”, she paused, looking down at Destiny as he tipped his glass of orange juice into his mouth. “They’re super, super in love, and so gross."
Gigi could feel herself start to blush, even though she had started having that conversation with her son almost as soon as he had started to learn to talk.
"I usually have them over for dinner, so you can say hi."
Gigi coughed, swallowing the question that had been at the tip of her tongue since she had spoken to Crystal the day before.
"So? are you seeing anyone?”, she asked.
Crystal shook her head. “I’m not really looking.”, she said. “Still putting the cry in Crystal!”, she laughed. “And you were right, I wouldn’t want to put that on anyone else."
"I- ”, Gigi bit back her reply, not quite knowing if this was a talk she wanted to have, with her son arranging chips on his plate not two feet in front of her.
“Hey- buddy”, Crystal tapped on Destiny’s shoulder, nudging him with her hip. “Go wash your hands in the bathroom. It’s the one with the fish on the door and Star Wars on the curtain."
He looked back up at his mother, Gigi giving him a curt nod of approval as he skittered up the hallway.
"He’s a cute kid, you know? You’re doing a good job.”, she told Gigi, pushing the boy’s chair back in.
“Yeah… mostly not my job, but I’ll pass it on to our last nanny."
Gigi had stood with their plates, following Crystal to the sink where she happily plunged her arms into the hot, soapy bubbles, not caring very much for how her shirtsleeves got soaked in the water, navy fabric clinging to her wrists.
"Seriously. Gigi- look at me.”, Crystal reached around her, shutting off the faucet with a decisive clicking noise. “I don’t blame you for being twenty-one and not sticking around after I flipped out because I didn’t know how to deal with college, and real life and everything. It’s a day by day thing.”, she shrugged, reaching to open a cabinet and put the glasses in the drying rack away.
Crystal’s body was almost uncomfortably close, pressing into Gigi’s side like she remembered them being like, when they had shared their first apartment, having barely enough room for two people in between the fridge and the stove.
“Some days are better than others. But it’s-”, she paused, and smirked, her lips curling into the same wicked grin that Gigi could never shake from her memories, no matter how hard she tried. “No offense, but you’re not important enough for it to have been your fault."
"Oh, that’s how it’s gonna be, huh?”, Gigi couldn’t help but laugh, shaking her head. “Kick a girl when she’s down?"
"Or, some people just have shitty brain chemistry, and other people are assholes. Stop thinking it’s all on you all the time, you absolute flaming fuck-up.”, Crystal told her, her words softening behind her smile.
“Maybe don’t say flaming, but I did fu-"
Destiny padded back into the room, rubbing at his eyes. "Is it adult time yet?”, he asked, his tiny mouth yawning open. “Everyone’s saying all the bad words."
Crystal snickered, turning her undivided attention back to rinsing out the sink, her back turned to the both of them as if to say Gigi was on her own with that one.
"Good night, I guess.”, she muttered, shuffling across the tile towards him.
“See you tomorrow, Geegs. Just don’t forget, there’s always that.”
Gigi laid in bed with Destiny resting half on her chest, her son not wanting to leave her side, once the novelty of their adventure had worn off, and he had started to realize that there was a certain kind of permanence, to Crystal’s rainbow-colored walls, to the laughter from the kitchen that came from Jan and Jaida, who had eyed Gigi with enough suspicion to let it be known to her that she was absolutely not welcome in whatever little world they had built.
Okay, maybe the last bit was just in her head, and she could just introduce herself properly at breakfast the next morning- but she had still jumped at the chance to lock herself in Destiny’s appointed bedroom, pretending that he would need her to fall asleep, even though he had only wanted to cuddle before passing out completely the second that she dimmed the lights.
She scrolled through her phone, mindlessly as her son shifted in her arms, the message bubble beside his father’s name still lit up red with unread texts, that she skipped through to flick past her Instagram feed, landing on Crystal’s profile at the very bottom of her following list. The very first account which she had followed, years ago, and the very last that she kept up with, the creeping intimacy of being under Crystal’s roof, trying to piece together the life she had dropped out of, thicker than the heat of the air around her.
Crystal’s photos were all filtered through something that made them look brighter, more vibrant than the rainy afternoons and damp wetlands that they featured in the background, the captions all long, effusive essays about the importance of showing up to vote, or the beauty of the creek behind her house in the summertime. The most recent photo, featured her lying in a bed of sunflowers, grinning up at the sky, eyes half-shut against the sunlight.
Don’t look right into a solar eclipse!, the caption started, followed by at least a dozen laughing emoji faces, alternating with bright pink flowers. Sometimes life just punches you in the face, dummy! And you just gotta deal with it anyway. Don’t waste a second!
Gigi chuckled, locking the phone and laying it back on the bedside table, trying to move as little as possible as she turned off what was left of the light in the bedroom, and drew herself closer to her son in her arms.
His breathing was steady, his hands reaching for her hair in his sleep.
“Okay, kiddo. I got you.”, she said to nobody in particular, sinking lower in the sheets so she could tuck them tighter around him.
There’s always tomorrow, she could hear Crystal telling her, her voice clear as the dream Gigi was starting to slip into.
The next morning, she would start putting everything back together again.
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