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Emma Papielle

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a character in “Outcast Boulevard”, as played by deadaray

Description

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Name: Emma Anne Papielle
Age: 19
Gender/Role: Female - 4
Occupation: She's been bouncing around from job to job since the baby was born, although she does a lot of babysitting between jobs

Appearance: Emma is a beautiful girl, with long brown hair and deep brown eyes. She stands at about 5'6" but tends to look a bit taller because she has long thin legs. After years and years of dancing she's super lean and relatively toned. Although she did put on weight during the pregnancy, she's worked extraordinarily hard to get back in shape. Her eyes give away everything. No matter how hard she tries to hide something, the truth can always be found in her eyes. Most of the time she wears very minimal makeup and almost never goes without it.
Personality: Emma is a strong girl, although she's not as strong as she'd like to be. Growing up in a rich family meant that she never really had to worry about money, but she still had a few jobs here and there and loved volunteering at the local animal shelter. Even though her parents were perfectly happy to give her anything she ever wanted, she still managed to become relatively self sufficient. She tries her best to keep her true emotions hidden and always put a smile on her face, and she doesn't like to share her problems with anyone.
Likes: Dancing, the rain, thunderstorms, getting lost, the color green, pizza, all types of fruit, lakes, snow, stars, the moon, trying new things
Dislikes: Being cold, being alone, disappointing people, the color orange, heavy metal music
Fears: Getting left behind, not being a good enough mother, rejection, spiders

History: Emma was born into an extremely wealthy family. Her father, a world renowned doctor, loved her more than anything else in the world when she was growing up. Her mother loved her very much as well, but because she had to travel so much as a communications liaison for a behavioral analysis unit of the FBI, she wasn't around very much when Emma was growing up. When she was 17, Emma started dating a boy who changed her life. It didn't take long for her to fall for him, but when he wanted to settle down, she wasn't ready. He left without notice, and a few weeks later she found out she was pregnant. For a while she kept it a secret, hoping everyday that he would come back and be the first person to know, but the longer he stayed away the less likely it seemed. Eventually it became impossible to hide. Her parents, who had taken her side no matter what her entire life, were suddenly her mortal enemies. Not only did they start fighting with her, but they started fighting with each other. She was forced to live with her older brother Tyler in his small apartment, taking work wherever she could find it.

ImageName: Colby Tyler Papielle
Age: Almost 2 (21 months)

Personality: Colby is a happy go lucky little boy. He doesn't cry to much and somehow manages to find something good in everything. At first it seemed he might have been developmentally delayed, although he cried very little and generally slept through the night, however once he learned to walk he picked everything else up very quickly. Colby has an advanced vocabulary for a child his age, and isn't afraid to show it. He's generally not very shy.

So begins...

Emma Papielle's Story

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"I don't know if I can do this." Emma said, her eyes glued on the building across the street. It took months to track him down, but there was way too much that could go wrong. What if he didn't want anything to do with her? Or worse, what if he didn't want anything to do with Colby? She shook her head and turned around, walking right into Tyler.

"Oh no you don't." He said putting his hands on her shoulders to stop her from running away. "You are not leaving here today without talking to him." She looked away and he tightened his grip a little bit, "do you hear me Emma? You took all that time to track him down, and we came all the way here. You need to see him just as much as he needs to know." He paused, loosening his grip a little bit, "I know you miss him Em." Tyler said softly. He pulled her into a tight hug and then stepped back. Tyler had always been the protective older brother. Their parents saw him as a rebellious disappointment, but he had always taken care of Emma.

"C'mon mumma!" Colby said, tugging at her hair a little bit. He was, without question, the best thing in her life. Sure he had been a completely unexpected surprise that came at the wrong time, but he had grown on her quickly.

She smiled at her son, giving him a quick squeeze before looking back at Tyler. "Ty, will you watch Colby for now? I know Grey needs to meet him, but I want to talk to him first. I want a chance to explain everything." Tyler nodded. "Okay baby, you're going to hang out with Uncle Tyler for a little while, okay?" She said, running her hand through Colby's hair. She handed him over to Tyler and smiled, "wish me luck."

Emma turned to face the building. It wasn't exactly a five star hotel, but it could have been worse. She took a deep breathe and a single step towards the street and then stopped. "What if he doesn't want to talk to me? What if he doesn't even want to see me?" she said turning back around to face Tyler again. A million other possible disasters ran through her mind, but Emma kept the rest to herself.

"You'll never know if you don't try." He said, turning her back around with his free hand. "Colby and I are going to go to the park, take your time." He said as he adjusted the happy little boy in his arms and gave Emma an encouraging push forward.

"To the park!" Colby echoed excitedly. For a two year old, Colby sure knew how to make her feel better. He'd been asking about his father a lot, and lately Emma had been thinking about him a lot too.

"Here I go." Emma said. She crossed the street and stood before the door. There were a few voices on the other side, but it was impossible to separate them. She desperately hoped one of them belonged to the boy she was looking for. The boy who had been haunting her dreams ever since he left. She closed her eyes and took a deep breathe before slowly opening the door and walking in.

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Character Portrait: Aspen Rivera Character Portrait: Jessa Van Zandt Character Portrait: Emma Papielle Character Portrait: Greyson Fairbaine Character Portrait: Skyler Gateway
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Greyson smelled like grass and sweat, not to mention coming back with yet another dark tan. It wasn't even orange - just brown. Oh well. He was use to it by now and the shock of his color changing skin had worn off for everybody, he figured. With a sigh, Grey walked down the street until he came to the back door of the Firehouse and let himself inside. His work-issued button up was sticking to his skin uncomfortably, and jeans weren't the best choice, but anything else wasn't allowed. Thanks, boss. Oh, but at least he had a hat, right? Greyson looked around the firehouse. As his eyes adjusted to the light, he could see Skyler and Aspen having a beer in the kitchen, along with Jessa. Three here and awake, four including himself. That left two others unaccounted for, if his counting was correct. Probably not. Hell, it had been a long, hot day and all he wanted to do was take a shower and have a drink... of water. "Hey," he greeted to anyone who was listening, then went upstairs.

Greyson walked into the bathroom and shut the door, quickly turning on the shower. He slipped out of his shoes effortlessly, then his clothes, and threw his hat to the side. Honestly, he didn't even see where it landed. After a quick shower, he got out and wrapped a towel around himself. Grey saw his clothes scattered about the bathroom, but walked right passed them. He'd get them later. Or make someone else do it. He worked hard enough to order around a few kids. Though, he was allowed to come home early today thanks to some extra help being hired, and most of the people in the Firehouse were about his age. Greyson stepped into his room and dried off. Hmm, if more people get hired, will they decrease his hours permanently? he wondered, pulling on some black jeans and a plain white shirt. The look of wrinkled clothes barely hanging on the hanger reminded him he needed to wash them eventually. Washing clothes, working -- wasn't life just fun?

Grey finally pulled on some Vans and made his way back downstairs. His hair was still noticeably wet, but after running his hands through it, he figured it was decent enough. Nothing had changed since earlier, the same people were in the kitchen. Grey nodded in response to seeing them, but otherwise didn't say anything. His main goal was the refrigerator. He pulled out a regular soda, then leaned against the counter, taking a sip. Later he'd go out for a run or something. Get reacquainted with one of the few good habits he'd forgotten. There just wasn't much time or motivation for him to get out and start running, though. He was about to finish off the drink when he heard the door open. Couldn't have been the back door, he thought. "You guys didn't invite anyone over, did you?" he raised an eyebrow as he left the kitchen and headed for the front door.

Grey's eyes nearly popped out of his head before he regained his composure. Was that? Why was she here? Grey looked around before walking over to the girl, unsure of whether to kick her out or offer her a drink. "What are you doing here, Emma?" He asked, not expecting his past to catch up with him this way.

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Character Portrait: Emma Papielle Character Portrait: Greyson Fairbaine
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It took a few seconds to adjust to the dim lighting in the musty old building. As Emma's eyes adjusted, she tried to take in her surroundings. There were a few voices coming from a room somewhere further into the house, but not much else. For a minute Emma thought she might be in the wrong place, it didn't take long to prove her wrong.

"What are you doing here, Emma?

"Greyson." She said quietly as he walked into the room. She wasn't sure if it had been a greeting to him or an affirmation to herself that she had found what she was looking for. The room was silent for a moment as Emma tried to read his expression. She wanted nothing more than to leap into his arms, to tell him she had been wrong and pray for a happy ending, but that wasn't going to happen. It was hard enough to be there under the given circumstances, but not knowing how he felt about her being there was torture.

The uncertainty looming in the room was almost unbearable. How had it come to this? This boy who she had known better than herself was now a complete stranger. This boy who she hadn't realized just how badly she needed until after he was gone. He looked much older, he was older, but it wasn't just that. He looked like he hadn't had a day off in months.

How do I tell him? she thought. There had been a plan once. She was going to walk in and he would just understand. No explanation necessary. It was an unrealistic plan, but it would have been nice. Standing there in front of him though, Emma was at a loss for words. After what felt like an unbearably long silence, she finally answered. There were so many words tumbling around in her head, but, "How have you been?" was all that came out.

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Character Portrait: Aspen Rivera Character Portrait: Emma Papielle Character Portrait: Greyson Fairbaine Character Portrait: Skyler Gateway Character Portrait: Zack Turriff
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The sound of muffled voices made Zack stir on his mattress. What time is it? he thought as he lazily lifted his head and peered out the small window of his room. He shifted from underneath the blankets and sat up on the edge of the old mattress. Zack ran his hand through his tousled hair and grabbed a cigarette of the nightstand, placing it between his lips. He lit the smoke and inhaled deeply ad he got up and fished some clothes out of a pile in the corner of the room. After quickly changing into jeans, a Metallica t-shirt and a sweater, Zack resumed smoking and made his way downstairs towards the Kitchen for a much needed drink.

Upon entering the room, there was a noticible tension that hung in the air. Zack noticed a rather uncomfortable Greyson near the doorway standing next with a girl he'd never seen before. She was lean and had dark hair spilling over her shoulders. Zack glanced over but not before he decided rather not know what was going on. He continued to make his way into the kitchen where Skyler was standing near the counter while Aspen was atop it. He took a drag of his smoke and walked towards the refrigerator. He pulled out a beer and a pressed the bottle to his forehead. The cool feeling soothed his warm skin.

He wiped the pooling condensation from his forehead and hopped up on the counter opposite to Aspen. He took another drag off his cigarette as watched her closely as her conversation continued with Skyler. Her damp hair framed her face beautifully and her pale blue eyes were bright though she was clearly exhausted. Zack found himself soaking in the view of her toned legs and quickly tore his eyes away from the sight. Fuck. He couldn't let his mind wander. He shoved his hand in his pocket and pulled out a pack of cigarettes. He quickly butted his current one and replaced it with another. As he lit the fresh smoke he extended the pack towards the two across from him. "Either of you want a smoke?"

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Character Portrait: Emma Papielle Character Portrait: Greyson Fairbaine
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Grey shoved his hands in his pockets as the silence grew. He could hear people talking in the kitchen. Lucky them. Really, what was he suppost to say to her? It didn't seem like she was going to answer his first question, and he didn't have any others. By this point, Grey had written her off as a memory. Even when he first left he'd written her off. Greyson didn't plan on talking to her ever again, but he also never planned on living in a building with five other screwed up people like himself. With so many thoughts going through his head, he almost didn't hear her speaking to him.

How had he been? Was that really all she had to say? Honestly, he didn't want to sit through a conversation filled with small talk, she'd come here for a reason. Why not just say it? However, it wasn't like Grey to get tongue tied for too long, and he quickly tried to kill the silence before it became permanent. "Fine. Busy. Working on my tan, actually," he said plainly, eyeing her. "But I'm sure you've been fine, huh? I'm sure it's nice back home with mom and dad, spending their money, probably found a new guy, right?" Those last words weren't meant to be as intense as they came out, but he wasn't interested in filtering himself now. Last time he checked, both her parents had nice jobs, and made a good deal of money. He never went out with Emma for that reason, but he was sure she couldn't have been miserable without him. And she probably found some douche after he left. Grey pulled his hands out of his pockets and ran them through his hair.

However, Grey wasn't horribly mad. He wasn't about to flip a table over or anything. He was just frustrated that she came back. But she was still the same girl he, somehow, ended up falling in love with in the past. She bothered to track him down, so she must've had something important to tell him. Getting upset would only drive her off. "So, yeah, I've been good," he nodded, looking around. What else was there to say? "You want a drink or something? It's hot as fuck outside." Grey didn't feel bad about what he said, but he was definitely getting calmer now that the initial shock had worn off.

That didn't make it any better, though.

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Character Portrait: Emma Papielle Character Portrait: Greyson Fairbaine
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Emma nodded as Greyson began. She half smiled at the remark about his tan, he had always been pretty tan. They used to joke about how a tan that took Emma week's at the beach to achieve took Grey about half an hour in the sun. They used to joke about a lot of things though.

"But I'm sure you've been fine, huh? I'm sure it's nice back home with mom and dad, spending their money, probably found a new guy, right?"

Emma swallowed hard as Greyson's words hit her. Home. She wanted to lash out at him, tell him about how she had been kicked out and cut off. Forced to move in with Tyler and raise a baby on her own. Not to say she didn't love Colby, or disliked living with Tyler, but she missed her family. In the beginning her mother had sent things like money and clothes and diapers, but as time passed they slowed. Don't do it. Emma thought. Her problems were her problems. Besides, she wasn't Grey's problem anymore. She wasn't anyone's problem anymore.

"Sure," she said taking a deep breath, "could I just have a glass of water?" She assumed that he remembered all she really drank was water, but maybe not. It had been a while since she's seen him last. More than a while. It felt like forever. The smell of smoke came wafting in from another room. Emma had always hated the smell, but she kept a straight face. The last thing she wanted to do was offend him now, not after coming this far.

She was still looking for a way to bring up Colby, but it wasn't easy. He wasn't making any easier either. Emma knew he had every right to be angry, she had been the one that turned him away after all. Biggest mistake I've ever made she thought.

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Character Portrait: Emma Papielle Character Portrait: Greyson Fairbaine
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Grey raised both eyebrows slightly, shocked at her restraint. Then again, he didn't remember Emma ever being the kind of person to, you know, show a lot of emotion like that. He normally wasn't that kind of person either, but certain situations can bring out bad things in people, right. Grey turned on his heels, motioning for Emma to follow him. The kitchen smelled like smoke, and he suddenly remembered the soda he'd left in there. Hopefully no one had finished it. Nothing ever really went to waste in The Firehouse. Grey saw everyone in the kitchen and thought as he made his way to the fridge. Talking to Emma with everyone else around probably wasn't the best idea. If she came to chew him out about something, he didn't want to the whole house to hear that. Though, he doubted her reasons were malicious like that. Grey opened up the fridge and pulled out a bottle of water. Since most of them either drunk beer or soda, water was always something they had. The thought made him remember to get his soda from before.

"Here," he handed the water to Emma before grabbing her forearm and leading her out of the kitchen. He wasn't trying to be forceful or anything, just get away from everyone else. Grey walked them both upstairs and into his room, closing the door behind him after letting her go. "You can sit if you want," he said, nodding to the bed. Good thing his room was clean, huh? Not that there was much to get dirty. Grey never bothered to really spice up his room -- that was a waste of time, he thought. Taking a sip of his drink, Grey walked over and sat down on his bed, kicking off his shoes. He wasn't going anywhere, why not get comfortable? Then he looked over at Emma.

"So how have you been, really?" he asked, truly curious. Not that he didn't already have his own assumptions. She really didn't look any different, except for being older looking than the seventeen-year-old he first met. Same dark hair, still wearing as little make-up as necessary. He looked her up and down; no visible tattoos. It seemed as if nothing had changed on the outside, at least.

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Character Portrait: Emma Papielle Character Portrait: Greyson Fairbaine
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Emma looked around, taking in the whole room. There were a few people there, although none of them seemed to notice her presence. The stench of smoke engulfed the room, but Emma tried her best not to cough or anything. She was about to say thank you when he grabbed her arm and pulled her out of the room. No introductions? Clearly he wasn't expecting her to stay very long or see her again after today. Maybe one of those girls was his new girlfriend. Maybe they all were. She pushed the thoughts out of her head as Greyson pulled her up a flight of stairs into a bedroom.

No, I think it would be best if you took a seat Emma thought. Okay, this is it. Just tell him. She was just about to speak when she heard Greyson's voice. How had she been? She wasn't really sure. At first it had been terrible, keeping such a huge secret from everyone. Then World War III broke out in her house as people started to find out. That had been awful. Finally, the grand finally, getting kicked out just weeks before her due date. Things had calmed down since then, but thinking about all of it was still a little overwhelming.

"I've been alright. I um, I moved out of my parents house, and I've been taking work here and there when I could." She said softly, looking at the ground. It wasn't hard to guess what he had been expecting her answer to be. She had been thinking the exact same things about him. The room fell quiet for a moment.

"Greyson, I-" she said, breaking the silence that hung in the room. The words didn't quite come out though. There were no words. How do you tell someone they're the father of your two year old child? Not just any someone, a someone you didn't realize just how much you needed until after you broke their heart.

"Greyson, there's something I need to tell you. It's just, I don't- I mean, I- we-" The words spilled out of her mouth in an incoherent jumble. Of course this couldn't be easy. What was he thinking right now? Was he secretly laughing at how badly she had fallen apart since he left? Maybe he thought she was drunk. Maybe she should pretend to be drunk. There was still time to walk away. Just turn around and walk out the door. No. That couldn't happen. She hoped her expression didn't reflect the panic in her heart.

She took a deep breath, and exhaled, trying to release all of the nerves flittering through her. "Greyson, we have a son."

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Character Portrait: Emma Papielle Character Portrait: Greyson Fairbaine
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Grey watched as she seemed to get more and more uncomfortable as the seconds passed, then explained her current situation. He'd be lying if he said he wasn't surprised. Really surprised. The last thing he expected was for Emma to move out of her parent's house and get a job. Or, from the way she explained it, multiple jobs here and there. She was looking at the ground, and Greyson folded his arms, casting his gaze downward as well. Well, this wasn't what he expected. But maybe the fact that she actually took the time to find him should've been a clue that things had really changed. She wasn't the rich girl she use to be. Hmm. Was she looking for a hand out? Grey suddenly looked up at her, his eyes a little brighter, not out of happiness or revenge. It was just weird. He wasn't really prepared to just throw around money like that, but he did have a secret stash hidden around.

Suddenly she started chocking out words and Grey folded his arms, waiting for an answer. He hated when people didn't get to the point, though it wasn't completely his fault. He'd been delaying the inevitable for a few minutes and it was time to just... get it over with. He cleared his throat, waiting for her. She looked nervous and panic stricken. Could it be that hard to tell him?

Greyson was about to interrupt her and tell her to get on with it when she finally told him the news. A kid? A son? He could feel his face going blank as he attempted to remember what had happened in the few weeks before he left. Had they done anything? When you block things from your memory for so long, they eventually disappear, apparently. But he knew one thing for sure; he did not have a kid. That was impossible, wasn't it? Grey leaned back a little, trying not to glare at the chick in front of him, but he wasn't sure if could hold it back. Her parents weren't supporting her anymore, she didn't have a steady job... was this suppost to be some sort of scheme to get money from him? Hell, he might've given her some if she had just asked like a rational human being. Not by lying to him.

Or maybe she wasn't lying? Anything else made sense in his mind besides the fact that he had a kid. He refused to believe that. Standing up, Grey didn't even want to walk any closer to her, but that would be required to push her out the door.

No, no, no. He couldn't do that. At least, not the way he pictured in his mind. Grey was at a loss for words, switching between looking at her accusingly and staring at the floor, considering the possibility of him potentially having a kid. "What?" was all he could manage. He stared at Emma for a while before shaking his head. If you didn't see it, it didn't happen, right? He hadn't seen this girl in, what, two years, and now she was telling him this? No, he had enough to deal with already. "I don't - I'm not even sure what to say," at this point, he was smiling now, despite his eyes showing an entirely different emotion. That's kinda how Grey dealt with shocking news. Smile and hid the fact that you're about ready to beat someone's ass. He unfolded and refolded his arms, eyes locked on her. Though, the only person to beat up would be him, right? If he did have a kid with Emma... suddenly the words came to him.

"You waited two years to tell me this?" he almost shouted. "You'd think that would be important news, Emma."

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Character Portrait: Emma Papielle Character Portrait: Greyson Fairbaine
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There was no walking away now. As soon as Emma said it she felt like she was about to pass out. It was all to real. This was the moment she had been dreading for months. Ever since she started searching for him. Ever since she took that pregnancy test. His face went blank and she was filled with a whole new wave of terrifying emotions. Would he kick her out? Would he hit her? Hug her? "What?" Was that all he had to say? Emma stayed silent. She told herself it was because he just needed more time to let it sink in, but the truth was, she didn't know what else to say.

She couldn't look at him, her eyes trained on the ground. Maybe if I just close my eyes and count to one million everything will be okay she thought. It was a ridiculous idea, but she was desperate. Besides, she'd tried everything else. The night after she took the pregnancy test the Wizard of Oz came on tv. Emma spent weeks clicking her heels, praying she would wake up and it would all just be a dream.

She didn't move as Greyson stood up. She still couldn't look at him. She felt frozen, paralyzed. "You waited two years to tell me this? You'd think that would be important news, Emma." He was right. Why hadn't she told him sooner? You left. I couldn't find you. You didn't want to know. Possibilities flew through her mind, but the truth was, there was no answer. There wasn't a good reason, no magic words to make this right.

"I'm sorry." Emma said quietly, not looking up. Sorry wouldn't fix anything. Too little too late for that. Everyone else in the house had been forgotten, whether or not they could hear was irrelevant. "There were a lot of things I wish I had done differently." The words came out before she could stop them. It wasn't a reason but a revelation. I should have told you. I should have found you sooner. I should have chased after you. I shouldn't have let you leave in the first place. she thought.

She didn't know what else to say. Greyson had every right to be angry. She had to understand if he yelled and screamed. Whatever happened next, she would have to understand.

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Character Portrait: Emma Papielle Character Portrait: Greyson Fairbaine
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"Oh, really?" he laughed, looking at her, the kind of disbelieving laugh you know is fake but kind of sneaks it's way out of you. Honestly, there are a lot of things he'd wished he had done differently, too. Everyone had something they'd wished they'd done differently. But... did he wish this hadn't happened? Grey wasn't interested in kids - he wasn't even interested in a steady girlfriend at the moment - and now he had to deal with this. Er, he didn't have to deal with it if he didn't want to. Grey was his own person, tied down by nothing. If he wanted, he could send Emma on her way, chuckin' up deuces. Then go down to the kitchen and fix himself something to eat. He'd bought a donut on his way to work, but that was hours ago. Man, only he would stop to think about food during a situation like this.

Then what he was previously thinking about came back to him. Would he react this way if he'd stayed long enough to find out? Pft, probably. They were still broken up at the time whether he'd stayed or whether he'd gone. But if they were still together? Maybe, it wouldn't be such a bad thing? Maybe he'd actually be happy, if not a little overwhelmed, at hearing that kind of news. After all, he did want to commit and be serious with her back then. However, he was a stupid teenager when he looked back on it. He couldn't have been serious about her like that, way back when. She was a girl, girls were usually more emotional than guys, and she didn't even feel the same way towards him, he figured.

So what now? He'd finally decided to accept the news. Did he go and meet the kid? Did he let her go and pretend they'd never had this conversation? The right thing to to would be to get involved or whatever in the kid's life. First thing first, he needed to stop referring to it as 'the kid'. It wasn't 'the' it was 'his', as far as he knew.

Grey stood there in silence for a moment, trying to regain the calm he had earlier. He bent down and picked up his soda, finishing off what was left of it. "So what's his name?" he asked, sighing. Was there even a reason to be mad? Shocked, confused, but mad? It was no one's fault but his own.

If he had never gotten involved with her in the first place, they wouldn't be having this conversation.

And he only hated himself a little for thinking that.

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Character Portrait: Emma Papielle Character Portrait: Greyson Fairbaine
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Emma stood motionless as Greyson thought it all over. Would it be rude to ask what he was thinking? To wonder just what was going through his mind in that very moment. Did he think she was trying to dump Colby with him and leave? Maybe he thought she wanted money. That wasn't it though. Sure a little extra money wouldn't hurt, but that wasn't why she came. Shortly before she started searching for Greyson, Tyler got in a terrible car crash. He was in the hospital for weeks, in and out of consciousness. If he had died, she would have been completely lost. Alone. The fear of being alone wasn't what drove her to track him down.

The time Tyler spent in the hospital brought everything into perspective. It was the first time her parents met Colby, the first real contact she had had with either of them since they kicked her out. It was strange to see how quickly things could change, how much she missed her parents. Parents. Colby deserved to have two parents just as much as she did, probably more. If Greyson chose to stay away that was his choice, but Emma had no right to keep him away from Colby.

"So what's his name?" His words brought Emma back into the room. She looked up, a little shocked at how calm he sounded. "Colby. Colby Tyler Papielle." She said. Her voice shook a little with nerves, but she covered it up quickly. "I wanted to talk to you first, he's at the park down the street with Tyler." she said. Emma hoped that Greyson would really think things over before meeting Colby. She didn't want her baby boy to meet a father who didn't want him. More importantly though, she wanted Greyson's full focus to be on Colby when they first met, rather than a confusing twist of emotions surrounding her in addition to his son.

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Character Portrait: Aspen Rivera Character Portrait: Jessa Van Zandt Character Portrait: Emma Papielle Character Portrait: Greyson Fairbaine Character Portrait: Skyler Gateway Character Portrait: Zack Turriff
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"I've kind of been here the whole time," Jessa teased Skyler. "Don't worry. I've been having an off day too." She shrugged.

From the sound of it, Grey was having a shitty day too. This day was just full of shitness. When her cigarette had reached its end, she immediately started another one. It appeared that they really helped with the nausea. Funny. You'd think they would make it worse, but she just kept breathing in their toxic air.

The conversation betweent a girl who was supposedly named Emma and Grey had caught her attention, and she had been listening to it for the last few minutes. She felt no shame in eavesdropping if she thought her family might be in trouble. And everyone currently residing in the house was her family. She felt more of an attachment to them than the thing growing inside of her.

She looked over at Aspen when she said she was willing to talk to her now. That was much sooner than Jess had expected. She really didn't have time to mentally prepare for the news she was about to break. But hell. She'd never be mentally prepared, she might as well rip it off like a band aid.

"Sure. I can talk now. But you might want to bring a beer, because you're definitely gonna need it for what I'm about to tell you, " She said, causing her to glance over at Zack. God, he didn't have a care in the world. If only he knew about the baby. Maybe then she could let him freak out and she could just calm down for a little while. Ha. Like that would ever happen.

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Character Portrait: Emma Papielle Character Portrait: Greyson Fairbaine
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There was so much stillness, so much quiet in the room. Aside from a few of his outburst, there wasn't much yelling, or freaking out. Nothing was thrown across the room, and they'd managed not to call each other any derogatory names. Maybe that meant something. Or it was probably just in their personalities. Even if they had a few differences, their personalities were kind of similar. That's was probably how they got it to work back then. Back when he was child-less. With that in mind, he wished things between them weren't so tense. Greyson really wished they could both walk up to each other with a smile, and just be friends, at least.

"Colby," he mumbled, more to himself than an actual acknowledgement of Emma's words. He slowly nodded at the name, wondering how long after she'd named Colby that she decided to come and find him. It was an interesting name, he guessed. Grey had never met anyone with that name. And it sounded kind of like Kobe, as in Bryant. With luck, Colby might end up being a basketball player and turn out to be worth it after all. Greyson bit his lip - who was he kidding, neither he or Emma were that tall. One other name could disrupt his thoughts, though. Tyler. Where had he heard that name before? It was too familiar to belong to a new boyfriend. Her brother? Yeah, that had to be it. Grey didn't remember ever hanging out with her brother much. They'd occasionally had a few conversations, and Grey was sure Tyler knew his name. Wait... so did she give Colby his middle name because of Tyler?

Greyson pulled his shoes back on. "Um... I guess," he stood back up and tried to gather his words. "I guess we should go see him, then," he looked at her, almost questioning. It seemed like the right step to take.

And he never noticed the park right down the street from The Firehouse.

Grey walked passed her, waving her to follow him. He went down the stairs and glanced in the kitchen on his way to the door. He couldn't have been the only one was having one of those off days. He walked out the front door and waited for Emma.

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Emma nodded slowly as Greyson suggested they go see Colby. She watched him walk out of the room, a little shocked. He hadn't said anything other than "don't you think you should have told me. Was that all he had to say? Did he really care that little? If that was the case, then why was he meeting Colby at all? She followed him back down the stairs past the kitchen and out the door, the untouched bottle of water still in her hand.

She walked slowly towards the park, still contemplating the idea of turning and running. How would Greyson react to seeing Colby? Was he upset about the name? Would he try to fight for custody? Would Colby like him better? Then again, there was also the possibility that he might just send them away without another word. Somewhere deep down in her heart Emma still hoped that they could just go back to the way things used to be, even though Greyson was making it pretty clear that wasn't going to happen. Would he be this cold to her in front of Colby?

Greyson. His name felt strange in her mouth. He had always been Grey to her, but that felt far too personal. She barely knew him anymore. Still, 'Greyson' seemed too formal.

As they walked up to the fence Emma stopped. She could see Tyler sitting on a bench with his back to them a few feet a way. Colby came flying down the slide, laughing uncontrollably as another little boy came down after him. She smiled, watching him play, and for a moment Emma completely forgot about the man standing next to her.

"That's him, right there," she said, "the little boy getting off the slide." It didn't occur to her that there were two little boys on the slide at first, but then she quickly added, "the one in the red shirt."

She was a little scared to see Greyson's reaction, but she looked over anyways, studying his face.

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Greyson didn't say anything as they walked down the street. His hands hanging limp by his sides, Emma didn't say anything either. He gave her a few glances as they made their way to the park, but he didn't feel like words were the best thing right now. Not that he had any. If he was this silent now, what was he suppost to say to Colby? Hey, it's your dad. No, really. You just don't recognize me because I took off two years ago. He rolled his eyes at his own thought, not aware that they were at the park until Emma stopped at the fence. He could see Tyler - he was sure the guy sitting on the bench was Tyler. There were a couple different kids at the park, and he wasn't sure which one was... his.

The one in the red shirt. Red shirt, red shirt. Grey locked his eyes onto the kid and leaned onto the fence at the same time. So that was Colby? The boy seemed happy enough as he made his way down the slide. If that other boy was a new friend of his, at least that meant he wasn't shy. Grey always felt weird around shy people. Why not speak? He chewed on the inside of his cheek. He still didn't understand why Emma bothered to come find him. Colby had a mom, he had his uncle. Grey wasn't sure how 'involved' her parents were, but Colby seemed happy enough without him. Grey doubted the kid even asked about who or where his dad was.

Then again, he was only two. Not even old enough to go to school and get asked the question of where his dad was by a stranger. Thinking about it, Grey figured Emma would've met someone else by that point. If Colby wasn't calling him dad, he could at least say his mom had a boyfriend. That's close to a dad, right?

Grey wasn't sure how long he had been silently staring, but the fact that he hadn't said anything suddenly came to him. "We did a good job - he's pretty cute," he shrugged, not in the mood to laugh, but feeling okay enough to crack a joke. Even so, he wasn't sure whether or not to go up to Colby and introduce himself, or try to repair the tension between himself and Emma first. Kids were smart. He was sure the boy would pick up the uneasiness between him and Emma, and that wouldn't be a good first impression. Still, he didn't want to keep her waiting, or Tyler, now that he remembered the guy being there. Though, Tyler wouldn't mind watching Colby a little longer, he hoped. Grey didn't feel like meeting him anymore, at least not right now. And he wasn't sure how the brother would feel about seeing the has-been boyfriend who left his sister.

He felt like getting some food. He had some cash in his pocket. "Want to go get something to eat? I'd invite them along, but I think you and I both know we have no idea how to go about this. Me meeting Colby, that is." Grey didn't want to admit he was somehow nervous about the whole thing. Or was she a step ahead of the game and already knew? "If you wanted, though, they could tag along."

He looked over at her. "Or are you leaving now that the big surprise if over with?"

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Emma couldn't quite read Greyson's expression, but she was glad she had stopped at the fence rather than walking right up to Colby. She picture Greyson just staring at the little boy, not speaking as Colby pulled on his pant leg or something. She laughed silently at the thought as Greyson made a joke about doing a good job. Yeah, we did great she thought, made a baby and then broke up.

She was a little relieved and a little horrified at the same time when he said he didn't want to meet Colby yet. He'd hit it spot on though, she had absolutely no idea how to go about it. Luckily, neither Colby nor Tyler had spotted them yet. Talking things over definitely sounded like the best option. She had hoped they could do that right away, but somehow everything had been so silent in his room. She told herself it was just shock, but wasn't convinced.

"Or are you leaving now that the big surprise is over with?"

"I'm not the one that left Greyson." Emma said, a little colder than she meant to. Those words weren't supposed to leave her mouth at all, but it was too late to take them back. She wanted to add and I'm the stupid one that didn't chase after you, but it wouldn't come out. Perfect. She was making such a mess of everything. The situation itself was messy, but Emma wasn't helping in the least.

"I didn't mean that." she said softly, knowing it wouldn't fix anything.

He doesn't want to talk to you anymore. Just let him be. Don't ruin his life like this she thought. Nothing was working out right. She desperately wanted to just curl up in a ball and cry for the first time in months, but that wasn't going to happen. Emma turned away from the park, leaning her back against the fence. You should have just said 'yeah, let's go get something to eat' and smiled and kept your mouth shut. she thought.

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Greyson gripped the fence as if she'd just shot him or something. He didn't even hear that last part about her not meaning it. Grey stared down at the ground, not sure what to do. She's not the one who left, huh? Well, he's not the one who screwed the other over. Fucking bitch, who was she to try and use that against him? She didn't seem to want anything to do with him back then. And if a relationship isn't going anywhere, what sense did it make to stay with the other?

What sense did it make to stay here?

"I left for a reason," Grey straightened up suddenly, looking right at her, his voice taking on a new harshness. He couldn't bring himself to call her any names out loud, but he had enough to say about her. His fist were clenched at his side and he blanked out for a moment. Should he stay here? Should he leave? Grey looked around, trying not to even look in her direction. Yeah, he'd go and buy himself a burger or something. Get hid mind off of this mess. I'm not the one that left, Greyson. Gosh, he couldn't even get that statement out of his head. He wouldn't have left if it wasn't for her. Didn't she know that?

Or this was a good thing. She'd been tight-lipped and kept her mouth shut the entire time. No deep comment, simple answers, stuttering and looking like a wreck. Now he knew what was going on in her head, a little. Was she trying to make him feel guilty now? He had no idea that kid even existed before today. No. Grey wasn't going to feel guilty for not being there for the kid he just now found out about. He definitely wasn't going to feel bad for leaving her.

"I don't even know why the heck you bothered to come back," he scoffed, though his voice was low. He turned and walked straight off. He wasn't going in the direction of anything in particular, just trying to get away.

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"Grey" she said quietly. Her voice cracked badly as she said it.

"Grey please-" Emma said, walking after him. Why had she come back? What had she expected, that he would just take her into his strong arms and everything would be okay again? There were no words to explain, but she knew she wouldn't get another chance.

She finally caught up to him, gently placing a hand on his arm. "Grey, I'm sorry. I didn't mean that, I don't know what I'm talking about. I know I'm the last person you ever wanted to see again, but please just listen to me. I was so young, and terrified, and I'm not all that much older now, but I'm braver. I'm stronger. I should have found you sooner. No, I shouldn't have let you go in the first place. You were the best thing to ever happen to me and I forced you out of my life." Emma said. She looked up at him for a moment before continuing, "and I know you don't want to hear any of this, but I need to say it. Colby is just as much your son as he is mine and I have no right to keep him from you."

She took a deep breath. Emma hadn't stopped thinking about Greyson since the day he left. She hadn't had another boyfriend since, and she didn't want one. She wanted him.

"Now," she said looking straight up into his eyes, "what happens next is completely up to you. If you never want to see me again, that's fine. You have ever right to be mad, I've messed up your life enough. It's okay, I hate me too." Her insides were about to burst, but Emma kept her voice steady, her expression unreadable, and her body still. There was nothing left for her to say.

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Character Portrait: Jessa Van Zandt Character Portrait: Emma Papielle Character Portrait: Greyson Fairbaine Character Portrait: Skyler Gateway
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"Close your eyes, and forget your name, step outside yourself, and let your thoughts drain, as you go insane... go insane!" The loud screams of Slayer blasted Zack's inner ear drums. He shifted uncomfortably beneath the covers, the effects of the drug were already beginning to wear off and Zack craved more. His mind raced as he thought about his friends in the room below him. He was sure Jess hated him by now, the way he had been blatantly ignoring her lately. He couldn't wrap his mind around the fact he had slept with her and presumably ruined their previous existing relationship. It's not like he hadn't had sex sure, he'd been having sex long before he should have been but with someone he was close to, not ever. Having sex with a random stranger was easy, you met, fucked, woke up the next morning and left, never having to see each other again, but this was different. Zack couldn't leave so easily this time and he regretted it.

The unwanted thoughts kept reaping his mind as he turned the music up as loud as the mp3 player would allow it to go but it only made his mind wander further. Zack grabbed the headphones and tossed them on the side of the bed as he stood up, grabbed his wallet from the nightstand and made his way downstairs. As he passed the kitchen/living area, he heard sobs from the other room. It was undoubtedly the sound of Jessa crying. Zack hung his head, figuring he must be the cause of her pain. He quickly pulled his hood over his head and exited the front door without waiting to see if anyone had noticed him.

The sun was still shining brightly as Zack made his way down the street. His mind quickly wandered back to his friends. He felt bad about Jess but he knew he was not the type of person anyone could ever be with more than once. He was trash, an addict, a dealer; he wasn't capable of living a normal life. He was surprised anyone accepted him at all, though he was greatful to have his family at the firehouse. He was never close to anyone, but had started to open up towards Jessa and Skyler over the time he had stayed with them, though lately Zack had even kept his distance from Skyler. Zack was worried about his friend, he had been acting strange himself lately, but Zack was never good with words, he figured if something was wrong, Skyler would have tell him.

Zack's body seemed to be on autopilot while his thoughts were elsewhere because as he made his way through the park near the firehouse, he felt a thud against his legs. Seeming to snap out of his mind, he peered down at the small body that had run into his legs. A young boy with light-blonde hair and a bright red shirt peered up at him with questioning eyes. The boy had clearly not been watching where he was running and had ran straight into Zack.

Zack extended his hand gently helping the young boy to his feet. "You alright there buddy? You had quite a fall there." Zack asked the boy, making sure he wasn't hurt. The young boy smiled widely and nodded as he scrambled back on his feet. Zack grinned back down at him and ruffled the boys hair as if to reassure him. "Alright, just be more careful next time." he said. "Okay!" The child exclaimed as he ran back towards the slide nearby. Zack watched the boy resume playing happily and sighed. If only his mind allowed him to be as naïve.

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Grey felt shivers go down his spine as she put a hand on his arm and tried to stop him. He didn't have time to shake her hand off before she started rambling and spilling word-vomit all over. How she was sorry, didn't know what she was doing, and he was the best thing to ever happen in her life. He stared ahead, refusing to look at her. Should he? What was he suppost to say in response? Greyson didn't even think she felt all of that. He assumed she came back for money, and when that was proven wrong, he wasn't even sure what the motive was. Angry, confused. There was nothing left to yell, nothing left to say involuntarily. He heard her take a pause before talking about Colby. His kid; their kid. Considering his involvement, or lack there-of, in Colby's life, he may have been Colby's dad in a technical, physical sense, but Colby would be just fine not knowing about Greyson. At all. What was the point? Would he go and say hi, and then watch Emma and Tyler take him back home, where ever they lived. Grey didn't think they'd get stuck out here. He looked down at Emma just in time for her to look up, right into his eyes.

The next move was up to him. Well, his last move involved fleeing the scene, so to speak. He'd tried being civil, he'd done the whole explosive anger thing. His mind was racing with thoughts that wouldn't help this conversation. And she hated herself? She was still and stiff as a board, not letting any emotion slip from her face, like a poker player. Hmm. Guess their relationship was at stake? Not that there was anything left of it. But he wasn't as convinced as she'd probably like him to be. Her words sounded like they were deep, coming from suffering, but her look didn't suggest that, and that's were Grey was confused. Honestly, neither of them were ever emotional people, and he liked her for that. Clingy, needy, girls who wasted words always annoyed him. However, he never thought he'd actually wish she'd snap at him. At least then the physical expression would match up with the words and he'd have a clearer picture.

But, if she wasn't jumping down his throat, maybe it would make it easier to tell her, Tyler, and Colby to kick rocks. Not that he would, not now, but it was always an option. Greyson looked around, never even noticing Zack walk by. From the way he looked at the park, something was wrong with him. God, he hated not being in the loop. He hated knowing his 'family' was in trouble even more. Grey watched him and Colby collide for a moment, then return to their previous states; Colby playing and Zack looking like a wreck. Then Jessa went by. She met up with Zack and they started talking, or at least she did. He was about to get lost in someone else's issue when his own came back to him.

Then a thought came to him. Did he consider Emma and Colby family?

Grey looked back down at Emma. "Sorry," he mumbled, hating having to apologize to people. He was at a loss for real words after hearing so much come out of her. Maybe words weren't even necessary at this point. Without really thinking about it, Grey reached down to give her a hug before pulling back quickly and keeping his arms back at his side.

It didn't mean he felt anything different toward her, but he was willing to work something out.

You know, for Colby.

"My offer's still good if you wanna go get some food." Grey rubbed the back of his neck with his hand, wondering what everyone else in the world was up to. "Or... whatever you want to do."

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For the millionth time today, Emma wished she could read Greyson's mind. That, and that she could have just kept her mouth shut. He was probably thinking that too. No, he was probably wishing he had just sent her away the second she walked through his door. God I'm pathetic she thought. Time seemed to pass impossibly slow, but she kept her gaze locked on Greyson. Even as he looked away to something off in the distance. She couldn't bring herself to look away, paralyzed by the fear that he might disappear.

The longer Greyson stayed quiet, the weaker Emma's defenses got. He was blasting impossibly large holes in her armor without a single word. He's going to send me away. Tell me to get lost, grow up, move on, fuck off. I just messed everything up, again. Greyson's silence was the only answer she needed.

Suddenly she was in his arms. Was he accepting her appology? Was he saying he felt the same? Was this an answer to all the questions she hadn't been brave enough to ask? The embrace was over just as soon as it had begun. That warmth that Emma had come so accustomed to, pulled away again. His discomfort was clear, probably just as much as her disappointment. I guess it's really over. He's gone.

She understood the underlying message in his offer. Any contact they had from here on out would be solely based around Colby. Emma could feel the tears welling up in her eyes, blinking them away quickly, hoping he hadn't noticed. Emma nodded, looking back up at him. Did she look as broken as she felt? She wrapped her arms around herself to hold herself together, Emma couldn't let herself fall apart yet.

Emma forced a smile, although it didn't reach her eyes. "Where did you have in mind?"

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Grey watched Emma's eyes get shiny, barely, with the threat of tears, only to clear up again just as quickly. Hell, maybe he hadn't even seen it at all. Just wished, somehow, he wasn't the only one of the two of them teetering on the edge. Then again, it probably wouldn't be too good if she started crying and happy-go-lucky Colby happened to look over. See his mom upset. He didn't know the kid at all and couldn't force himself to give the kid any sympathy, but the good guy in him didn't want any kid, his or otherwise, to see it's parent hurt. Upset. Grey looked around him, glancing up and down the street at the various buildings and shops. There was a hot-dog cart a ways down. A couple birds waiting patiently nearby, watching for the guy running the cart to drop something. Lazy ass birds. He couldn't fight the thought. They sat there, living for nothing and too stupid to really feel anything. Sometimes he wished he was like that, but then he'd remember the good times he'd had and shrug the thought away.

Grey started walking, hands in his pockets. Actually, his appetite had left a few moments ago, when she touched his arm and he decided to hug her. Well, that was kind of short to be called a hug, but whatever he did, he probably should've kept his hands to himself. They were going nowhere, both literally and figuratively. Grey didn't have anywhere to eat in mind, and was really just walking now that his need to eat had left. Plus, he didn't expect to get back together with Emma. Definitely didn't expect her to want to get back with him. But Grey really didn't want to think about that anymore. Every other thought seemed like it was about her; figuring out her thoughts, wanting to curse her out, feeling kind of bad about the situation, blah blah blah. Flipping between confusion, calm, and irritation. He was done with it.

But he kind of wanted to talk. Just sit there and talk about nothing like friends, even if it may never get back to that point. "You said you moved out of your parents house. What happened with that? Where'd you stay?" he asked, not questioningly, just quietly curious about what happened to her after he left. Maybe a little time off from the subject of Colby and their feelings would be better for both of them. He also felt the urge for a cigarette, but Grey was trying, and failing, to set a good example for everyone else in the Firehouse.

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Emma pulled her arms tight around her middle, almost too tight. Her appetite was gone, but if Greyson wanted to eat she would manage to get something down somehow. Her thoughts had finally slowed. More than slowed. They had stopped entirely. She could feel her pulse throughout her entire body. Every breath felt weaker and weaker. She felt weak.

"Yeah, I uh, they kicked me out." She said. Her words were empty, completely void of emotion. Maybe there was finally nothing left. "They weren't too happy that I was pregnant, so they just kind of kicked me out. So, I moved in with Tyler and a few weeks later I had Colby. I came home from the hospital to find a fully stocked nursery in Tyler's apartment, diapers and all. I haven't really talked to my parents since. They didn't even want to meet Colby."

Could Greyson still read her like an open book? Did he still understand her every thought with nothing more than a passing glance? She could hear Colby's screaming laughter coming from the park as they walked away. He didn't have a care in the world, and Emma hoped he never would. She would do anything to protect him, keep him safe. Keep him young.

"What about you? How did you end up here?" she asked looking over at him. She was truly curious, although a little scared to hear the answer. Please, she pleaded, don't let it be a girl.

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They kicked me out. Damn, Greyson wasn't expecting that. From what he remembered, Emma's parents loved her a lot. He found it hard to believe they'd throw her out because she had a kid. Then again, that was something you couldn't expect a parent to understand easily. Either way, he slumped his shoulders slightly at the news and kept his eyes straight ahead. At least she had someone to move in with; Tyler. Grey found himself a little surprised that he was thankful she was okay. Was he even more far gone than he had thought? Hearing Colby laughing in the background made him wonder why her own grandparents wanted nothing to do with him. Grey had a decent excuse - he wasn't there. But weren't most parents usually happy about being grandparents? Getting old probably wasn't that fun, but that meant they could take care of a little kid that wasn't theirs, spoil it, and turn it against it's parents for laughs.

Greyson shrugged his shoulders, "I just wanted a change of scenery, you know?" He looked down at her for a second, then back ahead. "I rode the bus until my cash ran out, walked, hitch-hiked a little. I eventually ended up in The Firehouse. And I wasn't the first one there, but we're all screwed up in one way or another, so I fit right in." He half smiled a little, thinking about them all. His family. Not by blood, but they were all so close. Funny, he thought. It felt like they were all drifting, slightly. Between personal drama and a few too many beers, it was like they were each slowly finding their own path to self-destruction. Still, he knew they all cared for each other. With that in mind, Grey wondered if he should introduce Emma, let alone tell them about his new situation. Like with meeting Colby, it would probably be best to wait until they, he and Emma, were on better terms.

"And your friends? Neither of them kept in touch?" Grey asked, feeling like it was his turn to ask another question. He would've thought Emma's friends would call, want to know about Colby or something.