Thank You For Your Sacrifice


caspian_icon.gif colette_icon.gif des_icon.gif eve2_icon.gif gillian_icon.gif graeme_icon.gif

joe_icon.gif kaylee_icon.gif lance_icon.gif lynette3_icon.gif nicole_icon.gif peyton_icon.gif

robyn_icon.gif russo_icon.gif sibyl_icon.gif silvia_icon.gif tasha_icon.gif

Also Starring:

carl_icon.gif kaylee-emily_icon.gif jaiden_icon.gif jonah_icon.gif

monica_icon.gif pippa_icon.gif remi_icon.gif

Scene Title Thank You For Your Sacrifice
Synopsis The Eric Doyle Memorial Children's Library opens it's door for the first time.
Date March 6, 2018

Eric Doyle Memorial Children's Library: Williamsburg

A restored, 19th-century carriage house, this library rests between two much larger buildings. Opened in March of 2018, this Library serves the public. This 2,600 square foot building acts as a learning space for the youth of the New York Safe Zone. The services and books within catering primarily to children and young adults, with classes and clubs to enrich and entertain.

The building is named in honor of Eric Doyle, a Ferryman, who sacrificed his life in a daring raid on the Cambridge Institute facility, where dozens of children were being held.

The street in front of this restored 19th-century carriage house, with a salmon colored face has been barricaded off, allowing the men, women and children who have gathered to have plenty of room to look on. There's no podium, but Gillian Childs stands on the ramp, in front of the black carriage door. Clouds hang in the sky, blocking out the sun at the moment on this brisk cold morning, about to become noon. There's only a handful of libraries on hand for the opening, even if she called in as many as she could—

Eric Doyle's story has been known for some time. He'd died just before the cameras noticed the occurrences at Cambridge, started to record the slaughter that had happened as drones gunned down rescuers and those they had been sent to rescue alike.

Many children. Indeed, most of the dead in that drainage ditch had been children.

But not all.

Gillian looks out at the crowd, a little nervous, she'd never been one for speeches.. until she joined the Co-Op. She starts going over it again and again in her head as she scans the crowd for faces both known and new.

It took a few minutes for Colette Demsky to be able to cross the street to the library. Zipped up in her soft leather jacket, bright blue scarf wound around her throat and gloved fingers laced together with another hand, belonging to Tasha Renard-Lazzaro. Colette is already sweeping a thumb under one of her eyes, head down and hair tossed in the gentle breeze as booted strides carry her over to the outdoor gathering. Her hand squeezes Tasha's three times, and blind eyes flit to the other woman's, nervousness tense in her posture.

Eric Doyle's death is something Colette only knew of in stories. She'd felt the burden of his passing when the children were evacuated from Pollepel Island, felt his absence throughout the years that followed. But, like many people she lost, she never had a chance to mourn or grieve. Today, in part, is for that.

Reminders of that one particular day are not Lynette's favorite. But she's here, wrapped in a warm coat and scarf, the woman is toward the front, so Gillian can know that she's here to support her. And to remember Eric. He was, after all, proof that second chances work out sometimes. That they're worth the work. And she chooses to remember him as the caretaker. The man who died for these children.

Not to mention, she was there. Watched him die. It felt… wrong to miss this. Her hands are deep in her coat pockets, her expression blank for the moment. A bit dark, like the memories choose to play on her face.

As someone interested in joining the Safe Zone Cooperative, Caspian thought it would be best to attend the library opening. He liked reading as much as the next person, but the cause was a just one and there was a wonderful chance to get face time with those involved in the SZC. He had not been anywhere near New York when all of the Pollepel island stuff went down, but he had heard of it. Who hadn't? It was a terrible chapter in a terrible part of the history of the nation, but by honoring the fallen, there's the chance that healing can continue. Just a little.

Dressed in a rather natty suit, an overcoat over the whole of it to keep the warmth in, the dark-haired man makes his way through the crowd to stand near the stage where any speeches may be more easily heard.

Silvia had never met Eric Doyle, but she had been told about him. He was an important figure to those friends she had grown to care about so for her it felt right to be here. That and she's legitimately excited about the library. She rubs her hands together before sticking them in her coat, peering forward towards Gillian as she waits for the speech, scooting forward so she can see better. She's short.

Tasha squeezes Colette's hand back in the familiar three-pulse pattern, then tucks the other woman's arm in the crook of her own so she can wrap her other hand around it as well. "It's so pretty," she says, of the building itself — she's seen it, of course, and helped clean it and brought all the used book she could collect to donate to it, but it's different today. Today it's official. She beams at it, then at Colette. "He'd love it."

Down the street, another couple and a small, six-year-old boy can be seen walking toward the little library. The woman hasn't been seen in quite some time: Peyton Whitney has only recently returned to the States. One hand clutches the hand of the little boy who has a mop of dark waves; the other hand is interlaced with that of the gentleman beside her — Brad Russo's. Her eyes dart across the faces of those assembled, and those who know her might see she's a little nervous. Finally her eyes find Gillian's face and she takes a deep breath, then murmurs something to Brad.

Having a relationship with Doyle wasn't something Eve got to have really. She remembered him in Level 5. Remembered hearing of him with the kids, the news of his death was a sad one. Her heart ached for the children and her best friend. Her wool crocheted maroon dress clings to her body the sleeves long, her boot feet are crossed as she stands next to Lynette staring up at her friend, light gray eyes intense. A pale hand goes to Silvia's shoulder for comfort, though she didn't know the man seeing so many of her friends here sad has an effect on her, her expression descending to one of sadness. This was going to be a lot, the trauma of the events at the Arc were weighing on Eve's mind.

Moving through the crowd, Kaylee Ray-Sumter is already fighting the emotions. She really thought she'd be okay after all these years, but… she was wrong. However, she would not have missed this for anything. Doyle had been her best friend… She missed him even now. Finger tips brush at the inner corners of her eyes, brushing at moisture that threatens to gather. A small hand reaches up and curls into her other hand. Giving a little tug. Prompted, Kaylee looks down at her daughter Emily, the little girl looks worried. IN her other arms is clutched a small box.

Kaylee give the girl a smile, "I'm okay." She reasures, even if it doesn't feel like she is. She squeezed the hand holding hers, to bolster that reassurance.

"Mom…" On the telepath's otherside, a young boy, few years younger then Emily is already looking bored. "We gonna go soon?"

Kaylee sighs softly, "You could have stayed with your father, like Hannah did, but you insisted on coming, so you are going to have to to learn to be patient… The little boy fives his own dejected sigh and looks at all the towering grown-ups around him.

Those few who got close to the puppeteer know well that it was children who pulled him out of the darkness; a love of innocence and a memory of his own broken and lost childhood that led him to be a protector of the youth hiding amongst the Ferry. If it weren't for the children, he would only be remembered as a monster - if at all.

The children have grown, but they remember.

A grey hood's pulled down to shadow Lance Gerken's face as he leans back against a lamp-post outside the building, facing the steps and the speech about to happen. The lanky youth's hands are tucked into his pockets, and he watches the pavement rather than the crowd as they wait for the speech - the customary easy smile absent today, replaced with a more sullen manner.

Robyn Quinn had been reluctant to make an apperance this evening. She had heard about the library some time ago - even put a chunk of money into helping the restoration move along. She had been there, after all, like a few scant others. There the day the man - and children - the library was dedicated to had died, along with others she cared about. It's a day she rarely wants to remember, even despite it coming up frequently as of late. She wasn't sure she wanted to face the day, or the faces that would be there.

But she wouldn't miss this for the world. Dressed in a button up black shirt and a red tie, pants to match. One black baned pulled over one of her eyes, she stands at one of the paintings, a meloncholy smile on her face. She holds a flask in hand, reaching up a hand towards it. "Hope you're well, big guy," she says quietly. "Dropping wooden puppets on people moving into heaven." A hand to her cheek, and she turns away with a sigh.

Warmth writes across Brad Russo's expression when Peyton murmurs in his ear. His lips tug at the edges and he casts her a long look, laced with a silent never-asked question. He squeezes her hand and peeks around her to see the small boy holding her hand. Despite himself, he finds a smile— not the practiced sort borne from years in front of a camera, but one reflect just a hint of pride before becoming subdued when his eyes turn downwards.

Joe is… quiet today. Somber. And everyone that knows him knows that he's not a quiet one anymore. But today he is. He came with Lance, though Joe has pushed ahead and managed to work his way to the very front, so he could look on the library dedicated to their Santa Claus. He stands there, and unashamed tears course down his cheeks, before the ceremony has even begun. He watches as others arrive, offering nods and smiles to anyone he recognizes, a nod of his head to them, but no words, not yet. He just stands and looks at the building that will bear Eric Doyle's name, and he remembers the man that he knew. He's got his hands tucked into the pockets of his coat as he stands stoicly near the front of the crowd.

Odessa Price knew in her heart that the last time she parted with Eric Doyle would be the very last time. One way or another, their paths would never be fated to cross again. Confirmation of his death had left her devastated in a way she couldn't express. Especially given the people with which she surrounded herself. Her grief had manifested as anger, fuel on the battlefield during the war.

And after? Only a hollow cavity in her heart where he had once occupied space. This would be healthier. This would finally allow her the chance for closure. This? This was a good thing. This library is the tribute Odessa's friend deserves.

Dressed in a plain grey shift dress under a black wool coat, plain, flat black shoes, and wearing her dark sunglasses, Desdemona Desjardins watches from across the street for a while as people begin to gather. Only once she feels there are enough assembled for her to remain inconspicuous does she cross the road and head inside.

After her hazel eyes have rolled over the crowd, pausing on the faces of old friends, old companions, old war buddies, old roommates, stars from television shows of old, some people she'd barely seen in passing, and those whom she'd only just met. And then the strangers, the families who came with their older children. Her smile is sad, but composed. She'd cried enough for ten lifetimes, and today she has no tears. Even when he eyes fall on those who do.

Moving to hold up a small microphone set up to a speaker that's off to the side, Gillian starts small, just to make sure the sound is correct. "Welcome— welcome." After the first she made a small adjustment, and the second one is much better.

"On behalf of the New York Safe Zone Public Library Association and Cooperative, I would like to thank you for coming to the grand opening of the Eric Doyle Memorial Children's Library." She pauses, but doesn't expect much applause. "For those who do not know me, I am Gillian Childs, and as those of you who do know me, you probably know, this has been a very personal project of mine for some time. Some of you have made generous donations that made this opening possible. Thank you." Her eyes settle on a few people, a person moment of gratitude.

"This build is a memorial, as it says in the name. A memorial is about remembrance, but you can't have a memorial unless there's loss. Everyone here, even those too young to know it, have lost something. Without loss, we could not live life to its fullest, we would not love as strongly as we are capable of." She's holding it together well, her voice steady, but not at all dispassionate. She feels very deeply about what she says. "But this also about us. Those left behind. This is a way to give back to those within the Safe Zone in a way that honors those who sacrificed their lives to make sure that others, especially our children, a chance to live and grow stronger."

The ground has begun to thaw and as little green buds appear on the branches in the trees that predate the construction of the Safe Zone, Sibyl has traded her heavier winter clothes for attire that reflects the change in the weather. A fitted wool coat with a rabbit fur collar, either purchased or borrowed from the Vault, hugs her small frame, which is looking lean and a little malnourished without the disguise of bulkier fabric.

She wears her hair in a loosely-braided updo beneath an unpatterned headscarf to avoid becoming a focal point in the crowd. Everything from the leather boots on her feet to the thin calfskin gloves protecting her hands from skin-to-skin contact is a neutral color.

The only pop of color she sports is the unavoidable, pale robin's egg blue of her eyes. And they are watching Gillian at the microphone with the moody intensity of someone who doesn't want to be there but has come anyway out of a sense of obligation.

Jaiden Mortlock-Davignon and Remi Davignon-Mortlock arrive just in time to hear the beginning of the speech. The pair stand quietly in the back of the crowd, their daughters tugging impatiently on sleeves or skirts, only to be shushed by the parents as Gillian gives her speech.

Lynette glances over at Eve, her expression turning grateful for a moment. She can't comfort Silvia herself right now. Not with how tense she feels. It wouldn't be a comfort. But when Gillian starts, her attention turns back that way. She's okay at the beginning, but her gaze moves to her feet during the speech. Looking at the crowd is out of the question. Looking at Gillian, too. At least for the moment.

Caspian listens to the speech, his attention on Gillian, standing near the fence without a word, his hands crossed at his waist. He glances to the crowd at Gillian's pause, then back to the speaker.

Joe turns his head towards Gillian as she begins to speak. There's a definite sniffle or two from him, and he occasionally lifts a hand to wipe his cheeks free of the tears running down them, leaving gleaming tracks that get wiped away with his hand, only to appear again in a new pattern as fresh tears fall. They lost so much, so many people. And it's been rare for them to get the chance to mourn like this, to honor one of those fallen. The LHK's never knew Doyle as a monster, only as their friend, and their protector. A man who paid the ultimate price for what had redefined his life. The children. His jaw tenses, teeth clenching as he tries to hold back the emotion that is doing it's best to turn him into a sobbing puddle.

Des knew she wasn't going to keep it together. She's been crying since before she arrived. She undoes the buttons of her coat while she skirts the back of the gathering, but does not remove her sunglasses. Her eyes are red and puffy anyway. This is one of those situations where someone might understand wearing them indoors.

Especially after the little sob that she can't quite hold back, coming out as a squeaking sound. Quickly, Des buries her face in one hand, as if self-conscious and overcome. One of those things is actually true.

Once they've come to a stop in front of the building, Jonah Peyton's side, Jonah Whitney has eyes only for the other children, looking for the most likely to become his best friend for at least an hour or so while adults do boring adult things. He moves to the space in front of his mother and Brad, leaning against both of them before letting go of his mother's hand to pull out a dinosaur from his pocket, which he simply fiddles with in his hands quietly. Peyton puts one hand on her shoulder but keeps her other on Brad's, as if he's an anchor she's reluctant to let go of.

Next to Colette, Tasha leans her head against the other woman's, smiling as Gillian begins to speak. Soon enough, the smile fades to a more solemn expression, and tears slide down her cheeks. She lets them run down, though, not letting go of Colette's hand in both of hers to wipe them away.

Silvia had spotted Joe in the crowd. Although part of her wanted to just go give him a hug, it was a somber enough moment that she stood where she was. She grew a little misty eyed, glancing over to Eve for a brief moment before she looks forward again. The powerful wave of emotions in the crowd were enough to bring her close to tears.

As the speech starts, Robyn purses her lip. Nervously, she fiddles with her tie - she's told it's red, but she can't tell, she just knows Dirk shoved it in her face when she decided she was going to the event dressed as she is. She didn't want to be wearing it, but she isn't about to take it off now.

Taking a deep breath, she closes her eye as she listens, swallowing back some emotion. It's still a tough pill to swallow six years later, but at this point she's learned how to not cry over it. Even if she wants to. Biting at her lip, she scans around the crowd - familiar faces all around, and regardless if they're folks she wants to see or not, she's happy any and all of them are here.

Screwing the cap back on her flask, she slips it into her purse. She'll wander to others shortly. For now, she's intent on enjoying Gillian's speech.

Lance's head lifts as Gillian starts to talk, and he forces himself to listen; one hand coming up to rub at his nose as he sniffles, though tears are unshed in his eyes. There's more a sense of anger lingering around the teenager, although with nothing to direct it towards. He manages a little smile at the speech, though— at least until the mention of loss giving purpose to having. "I didn't need to lose anything," he mutters quietly, looking down to the street at his feet, "Not him."

Scanning the crowd, Caspian sees a few faces he actually recognizes. In a pause between stanzas of the speech, he makes his way over to stand near Lance, nodding if he looks over. Talk will come when the speech is done.

Brad reaches out and tousles Jonah's hair. Sentimentality and fondness reflect in his gaze when he stares at the boy. But his attention returns to the speech, dutifully holding Peyton's hand while Gillian talks.

"Before the second bomb of Midtown," Gillian finds herself fidgeting at her sleeve, toying with the shirt where it's clasped against her wrist. Or something hidden underneath that no one can see, but she knows, intimately. A black skeletal handprint, raising up on her skin slightly. A handprint left behind when, so very long ago, Peter Petrelli had used a borrowed ability to heal her. In many ways, it's one of the only things she has left of him. This library is not named after him, though. But as she mentions the second bomb, she pauses for a moment.

After a deep breath, she continues, repeating herself, "Before the second bomb, a brave group of men and women went into a facility known to be holding men, women and especially, many children. Many died trying to liberate these children, as had been seen publicly on television. One of those? was Eric Doyle.

"Even before this mission came about, he had dedicated so much of his personal time to help the children who had been taken in by the Ferrymen. So much that one of the children had considered him their Santa Claus."

That makes her take in another deep breath. That emotion in her voice caused a small waver, but she powers on without crying. Even though she's suddenly thinking of a little girl who had considered that the puppeteer to be her Santa, and one of her favorite people in the whole world.

"The love of children can change everything. I know that it changed Eric Doyle. Gave him something to be better for, to protect, to build a better future for. And eventually, to give up his life to ensure that those children could live in that future, free."

Now, she finally seems to have moisture in her eyes, as she catches sight of those very same children. Children she also believes made her better. Turning away, she knocks on the carriage door, so that someone inside can raise it up. The carriage door will likely not be used as the main entrance most of the time, but today, for this moment at least, it is the main opening up the ramp. Today they are letting more people in. After it raises, she turns back to the crowd.

"This library will be a new light for the people of the Safe Zone, and a fitting memorial to a man who was given a new lease on life by the children he cared for."

With that, she gestures inside, standing out of the way a little so that they can enter. Today is about Doyle, but there's other small memorials inside, to others who died within the Arc, and on the way out. "Inside we will be handing out small care packages for each family in attendance, and pamphlets for everyone. If you'd rather donate your care package, they will be given to those who are in need."

She had prepared for a few hundred people, and did not include 'you will be getting food if you come'. In fact, she doesn't even say that part now. No need to cause a rush when she's sure there's plenty for all families who had attended. The care packages she mention sit in a stack, wrapped up like Christmas presents.

Cause they are from Santa.

When Gillian finishes her speech, Colette is hiding her face with one hand. She leans against Tasha, burying her face in the shorter brunette's hair. The presents, the memories of Doyle dressed as Santa on the Christmas she and Tasha met, it's too much. Colette starts sobbing into Tasha's hair, free arm winding around the shorter girl's shoulders.

"Hey." Lance's voice is quiet as Caspian comes up alongside him, and he brings a hand up to wipe at his eyes quickly so as not to seem like some sort of crybaby in front of the older man. He can't really manage a smile for him, though, as holding that emotion in check is about all he can manage as the speech goes around. As everyone's waved in, he draws in a shuddering breath and roughly pushes off the pole to start to stalk forward towards the building and the gates.

Eve's attention is stuck on Gillian now that she's speaking and the dark haired woman's lips quiver, again it's seeing her friends so upset that unnerve her. Usually she grabs a monkey out of her bag or something but today it just doesn't seem right to do. Subdued Eve messes with the sleeve of her dress much like Gillian does to her sleeve. A slight twitch in her expression cause her neck to jerk but she stables herself by gripping Silvia's shoulder. Grounding herself, the sadness is much for the seeress.

"Hey." CAspian replies softly, turning to watch Gillian finish her speech and giving Lance the space he so obviously needs at this very emotional moment in time. He makes a move to rest a hand on the man's shoulder, to do something to reassure him, but decides against it, tucking his hands into the pockets of his overcoat before starting to move into the library proper with the rest of the crowd.

Sibyl keeps her opinions about the Ferrymen to herself, and not because she's spied both Robyn and Joe in the crowd. Her mouth thins out, resisting the urge to pull its corners down into a frown or an expression that's anything other than the shade of her clothes: bland and inoffensive. She slips hands into her pockets and clenches them into unseen fists with nails that bite at her palms.

When the mission is mentioned, Lynette lifts her head, expression controlled, if stony. Her hand comes out of her coat to reach for Eve's. She might need a little comfort just now herself and Eve does, too. Plus, they were together in the Ark. Eve remembers. Her other hand moves to Silvia's shoulder to give her a squeeze. Now that she's pretty sure she won't cry. When the care packages are mentioned and seen… it's a close thing, but she manages.

In the distance, Monica Dawson pulls a hood down off her head with the mention of Santa Claus. She didn't know Eric Doyle very well, but she'd worked with him. Rescued kids. Helped people. There's a frown on her face and her hood comes back up a moment later when she disappears into the crowd.

As the speech continues, Robyn finds herself unable to keep it together, hands over her eyes as she chokes out some tears. The mention of care packages - wrapped up like presents - elicits an audible gasp and a deep breath. She will certainly be donating hers, but… the story of "Santa" isn't one she was there for but certainly heard about in her time at Gun Hill and visiting the kids at the Bay House and Pollepel. It takes all she can to keep from clutching at her heart and bawling.

Swallowing it back, she steadies herself by looking around the assembled crowd for a shoulder to cry on/person to bother. Otherwise that'll be Dirk's responsibility when she gets home and probably neither of them will want that.

In the background, as the story is told, Jaiden removes his hat and rests a hand on Lisette's shoulder, his youngest daughter. Bending down, he lifts the little girl into his arms, the girl shouting "Sana claws!" before she quiets herself down. The story was told at home, around the fireplace. It was shared. Eric Doyle will be remembered.

Graeme hadn't said he was coming. He hadn't said much at all when it came to this — that raid on the arcology is something he's talked about only briefly and only with a select few people — it's only after the speeches that he makes his way over from the edge near the front where he's been standing, quietly, and back to his family. Remi gets a brief hand on the shoulder, as does Jaiden, before Graeme picks up the older of the two girls, and hoists the five year old onto his waist. "'s okay," he murmurs to Tori, running his hand to brush her hair out of her face. There'll be time to talk to others in a bit, but right now he's with his family.

The tears from Tasha who was barely more than a child when she met Doyle segue into sniffles and then Colette's sobs invokes one from her. She wraps her arms tightly around Colette, her head bowing down to rest on top of Colette's hair. "I've got you," she murmurs, swallowing back her own hitches of breath. She strokes Colette's hair back from her wet face, sighing softly as she looks around, noting the little children from those days that are now grown men. "He'd be so proud," she repeats.

Each time the word 'Ark' is mentioned, Peyton's eyes drop, and she presses her lips together, keeping her own sobs at bay. Her eyes are wet, though. Jonah looks back at first Brad and then his mother, his brows furrowing together, before he turns and hugs her. She lets go of Brad's hand to crouch down to Jonah's level and wraps her arms around him in a tight hug. "Don't be sad, Mom," he whispers, one hand still clutching a dinosaur that is getting tangled in Peyton's dark hair.

The mention of Santa Clause, Kaylees composure crumbles. It was one of her dearest memories of the big guy. Shoulders hunch a little and there is a choked sob from the telepath, remembering his expression when she handed him that suit. Watching him interact with the kids. Tears start falling then, she bends her head, covering her eyes with her hand. Fighting with herself. Emilys own eyes tear up, not as much for the man, but for the fact her mom was so sad. The ten year olds arms wrap around her moms waist, the box shes holding getting crushed a little.

Carl looks confused, moving to hug his mom as well, "Mommy" dont be sad," he says softly, which only makes Kaylee give a small sob, moving her hand from her face, to hold her son to her side.

"I cant help it, kiddo. He was one of mommy's dearest and closest friends. I wish you could have met him." A finger touches Carl's nose. "He was good with stories about dragons." That makes her son brighten a little. Kaylee just missed Eric so much. Leaning down, she kisses the top of her son's head and then Emilys. "Lets go give Gillian our gift… hmm?" Her daughter's head nods with enthusiasm, the package clutched tight against her.

Little feet make little sound as they scurry along, carrying a little blonde girl as fast as they can. Some ways behind is her mother, dark of hair and sombre of expression. Both are dressed in shades of electric blue. Daughter's a sateen dress and mother's a sheath dress. Pippa Varlane throws her arms around Peyton and Jonah Whitney from the side, burying her face in Peyton's shoulder.

Des is an inconsolable mess as Gillian's speech continues, but she manages to keep her sobs quiet, muffled against an embroidered handkerchief.

Silvia looks from Eve to Lynette, doing her best to look strong and stoic. But there's care packages from 'Santa' and she can't quite stifle a sniffle. One cold hand reaches into her pocket and fishes out a tissue which she doesn't use, yet. No, she's holding out as long as she can. That doesn't last long, however and she's dabbing at her eyes with the tissue.

Caspian shuffles along with the crowd, taking the offered gift politely as he moves into the museum proper. The wrapped gift is left on the table dedicated to those families in need - God knows there are a lot of them now, and every little bit helps. He does stop, though, and look out over the crowd starting to move into the museum, the museum dedicated to Eric Doyle.

He can only shake his head. To have moved so many people….that took dedication.

Joe can't help it, he breaks down into sobs, soft at first, and then deeper, ugly crying sort of sobs. He tries to keep himself reigned in and in check, and eventually has to lift his hands over his face to drown out some of the noise he's making. He doesn't want to detract from what is happening, from people honoring Eric's memory. He pulls a knit beanie cap out of one of his pockets and lifts it up to his face, using it to wipe it clear of tears, his hands not quite sufficing any longer. The door opens, and some people move forwards, but not Joe, not yet. He can't move yet, he stands there, his head tilting forwards, bowing under the weight of his grief. Tears continue to fall, dripping straight onto the ground now rather than running down his face. And it grows all the worse when he does lift his eyes to spot the 'presents'. Joe can't. He just can't. He can't go in, and he can't flee. So he just stands there, rooted like a tree to that spot, watering the concrete underfoot.

Gillian stands at the entrance, ready to shake hands and hand out pamphlets, hug anyone who needs it as they stop on their way inside to look at the library, or collect their care package. She's unsure how she's managed to hold it together, with so many people crying. Some who have come for curiousity, or just because they live nearby, filter inside, while many of those who actually knew the man she talked about, remain outside.

She understands the tears— in many ways this is the funeral he never had. After the ark, no one had time for funerals. No one had time to stand and feel the losses that they had had. Inside, there's small memorials to others.

A small plaque lists the names of everyone she could find who'd died in the Arc. The names of people who had been held. Those who had risked their lives to try and free them. And next to it is a second one— which lists those she could get names for that they had saved.

She made no mention of the survivors of the raid, including herself.

A Lyle Bennet reading nook, for Claire's brother Lyle.

A Lorraine and Liette Fournier learning room, where children will soon be taught how to read, write, speak English if they need lessons and even ASL classes.

An Else Kjelstrom music room, where the children can listen to music with headphones, old and new.

Near the puppet stage, encased in glass, sits a hand puppet that the Lighthouse Kids would recognize. Old and cared for. Mr. Flopsy sits, presiding over the stage that will, someday soon, hold new puppet shows.

Gillian could make something in memory of so many people. So many people she cared for, loved, admired. But this one thing, she decided to keep to those who died there, far away in Cambridge.

It's wordless that Lance stops up beside Joe — and soundless, too, as not even his feet touching the ground is making any noise whatsoever. He reaches out without a word, wrapping his arm around the other teenager's shopulders in wordless support. One hand busy, he's limited in what he can sign, but his one free hand does move in two simple signals in the Lighthouse's own personal cant. I and Here. Then he nods towards the inside before looking at Joe encouragingly, tears indeed wet on his cheeks.

If he's silent, nobody can hear him cry, after all.

Peyton blinks at the collision of the tiny form of Pippa, looking up and then laughing a little, despite her tears. "Hey, pixie," she says with a tearful smile, including her in the embrace. Jonah giggles a little and hugs his friend tightly around the neck. "Is your mom sad too?" he whispers.

Tasha sniffles, lifting her head she nods to Joe, and begins to move Colette in that direction slowly. Lance beats her to it, though, and her dark eyes all but hug him for his kindness toward his friend. She puts a hand on Joe's other shoulder, and gives it a squeeze. "He'd be so proud of you both," she says softly. It's her mantra today, it seems.

"Move," says a voice from behind Joe, which is both small and hard, but not particularly unkind in spite of who it belongs to. Sibyl is abruptly there, speaking lowly so her words aren't overheard by anyone except the young man they're intended for — or Lance, by proximity.

It's the sort of thing you do when you're pressing a gun to someone's back and don't want to cause a scene. Sibyl's hands remain in her pockets, however. "He didn't look back and you can't either."

"Silvia," Lynette says to the girl, "if you're up for it, I think your friends might need some support." She looks over to Lance and Joe, then back again. "If you're up for it." Since that can be a difficult task, too. She, too, is reluctant to go inside, but she breaks away from Eve to do so. She hugs Gillian on the way in, even though she seems to be okay.

That changes once she sees the smaller dedications. Lorraine and Liette's room is where she stops. The woman was another death she'll never forget. Lorraine, who only wanted to see her children again. Who died for the chance at it. Lynette's hand comes up to her face, to cover it. She tries to move out of the way of the crowds and find a place to tuck herself away for a moment.

From his spot inside the museum, Caspian catches sight of the island of Lance and Joe, immobile, in the crowd. These two guys are pretty much the only guy friends he has in this darn city, so he makes his way against the crowd, shifting a little, to where they stand, offering both a hand.

Emily is quick to move and place the slightly dented package on the table and hurry back to take her moms hand, pulling her toward the library. She had only been a toddler when Doyle was killed, but she had faint memories. One was of a puppet, where she pulled Kaylee now. Carl gets pulled along as well, his eyes wide as they step into the building.

You cant stop memories or the tears. When Kaylee sees Mr. Flopsy, her vision blurs again. Carl notices it as well and exclaims, "Look!" The worn puppet had been in Kaylees care for sometime, lovingly tucked away. Until the announcement had come along.

The telepath lets go of her sons hand so that she can wipe at the tears. Along with a generous donation, Kaylee had given the puppet to Gillian. It had been hard to part with it, the only one left. The rest of his puppet, she had buried on a small rise, above the graves of some of the Lighthouses lost children. Mala. Marked only by a rock, with his name painted on it.

Colette doesn't realize why Tasha is moving her, but she moves with her head down and eyes closed, face red and cheeks streaked with tears. She didn't hear Sibyl's comment — didn't notice her at first either. But whether Colette's vision finds her at all is inconsequential goal. Once she realizes where Tasha is leading her and who the two grown men are she looks up with an exasperated gasp.

"Oh my God!" Colette whisper-shrieks as she unwinds from Tasha and lunges at Joe and Lance, throwing her arms around them both and drawing them into an embrace. "Oh my god," Colette whispers, sobbing again. She hadn't seen either boy in years, and the reunion — here and now — practically kills her. In spite of Sibyl's presence, in spite of everyone else here, the former Wolfhound Lieutenant who spends her days hunting down war criminals is hugging two teenagers and sobbing. It's like seeing Batman cry.
riefly, she looks over to Tasha and smiles through the tears. One arm reached out to her partner.

"Take care of Joe Joe," the seer says softly as she looks to where Lynette has gone but she walks up slowly to Gillian, wrapping an arm around her friend's back to side by her shoulders, "You did good Gilly," she whispers and Eve takes a moment to stare across the crowd, just recently she was in a crowd this big and it ended up in a riot with her on top of a man's shoulders. But today the mood is dramatically low, so low that Eve finds herself practically suffocating from the misery of it all. There's a woman in sunglasses hysterically crying who piques Eve's interest, "She looks like Britney Spears," she mutters to herself before snaps to. Eyes now taking in her smart ass Sister Seer, Sibyl. The one who passed on the shadow herpes.

The dark haired woman's eyebrows raise.

"A little," Pippa admits with a glance over her shoulder to Nicole, who smiles encouragingly and nods her greeting to Peyton, then to Brad with a little less certainty. Pippa kisses Peyton's cheek. "Mommy says it's okay to be sad and that crying can be good. It's okay, Aunt Peyton."

Lynette finds herself with a companion, perhaps in spite of her desires. But it's in the form of an equally distraught Des, who lifts her sunglasses up on top of her head so her friend can see that she's not alone in her grief. The loss of Liette hurts badly, too. She reaches out to rest a hand on the blonde's shoulder.

Nicole lifts her head and turns to look at the building, as though she could see through the walls. She closes her eyes and concentrates on the tremor she can feel in the air, and wishes she could will the pain away.

Silvia nods at Lynette and then Eve, breaking away from her mother and Eve to move over to where Joe and others have gathered. She stops to dodge the lunging Colette, her lips curving into a wide smile as she sees a bit of happiness in the tears. So she doesn't interrupt, she just reaches in her coat pocket, pulling out a packet of tissues and offering them forward to anyone and everyone who might need one nearby.

Jaiden, with Lisette in his arms, starts forward as the crowd moves, Remi walking at his shoulder, one of her hands in Lisette's smaller one, the other in Victoria's, who is being carried by Graeme. The trio move toward the library, each holding the other tightly as the family unit moves. The girls take their offered packages, the youngest in Jaiden's arms not looking like she wants to give it up without a fight. "Lissette, honey…." Jaiden murmurs to the little girl. "Let's let someone have that who needs it more than we do, okay?"

"But sana claws givvit?" The little redhead counters, causing Jaiden to sigh and look to Graeme, as if to say 'can you talk to the kid?'

Joe doesn't hear Lance, but he's used to not hearing Lance. But he recognizes the lack of noise and the contact, knows who that is. He leans into his brother. Blood might not connect them, but everything else does. He looks up in surprise when another hand settles on his shoulder, a deeply saddened smile for Tasha, and he lifts a hand to settle over top of hers. "Hey Tasha." He whispers hoarsely to her. Sibyl's voice he recognizes, despite all the grief tearing him apart, he recognizes her voice, and he… ignores it. He stands there, and he continues to weep, though the tears are slowing, if only a little bit. He can't talk yet, not really talk, so he stands there with old friends and new friends, a hand gripping Caspian's for a moment before suddenly there's a Colette group hug and Joe leans into it. The burden of grief is easier to bear as a group. He hugs Colette back tightly and is just there. For now he's just there. Soon he'll go inside, but not yet.

Lance offers a little nod to Tasha, a faint smile— one hand tugging at the edge of his hoodie to shadow his face more, maybe not wanting others to see he's actually upset. Then he hears Sibyl's words, and he starts to turn with a snarl forming on his lips.

Just before there's a Colette crashing into them, and he just comes apart completely. One arm around Joe, the other around Colette, he buries his face in his shoulder and sobs where only she and Joe can hear, his shoulders heaving. Right now, nobody else can hear any of the three of them, as his ability wraps around the trio.

At the sound of feet pattering, Robyn glances up, spotting Pippa and a moment later, Nicole. She offers a smile in their direction - seeing Pippa always lifts her spirits, even after the time babysitting her. It makes for a nice counterbalance, allowing her a moment regain her composure, lifting up her band as she wipes at her other eye as well.

But she leaves them be for now, already engaged with someone she doesn't immediately recognise. Instead she makes her way inside, stopping to offer Gillian a hug as well. "That was wonderful," she whispers to her friend, before continuing on inside.

Inside, her first instinct is to make her way to the Else Kjelstrom room, of course. But, she decides ultimately to defy predictability. She sees Colette and Tasha but- she will let them come to her if they wish to, given the position she's in. Joe is given a wave as she continues on, taking a deep breath.

It's Kaylee who eventually catches her attention - she's been talking to her brother as of late. It was about time she took a moment to say something to her as well. As she makes her way towards her, a weak smile if offfered towards the children(?!) she has with her. "Bonjour, Kaylee," she offers as she approaches. "Glad to see you made it tonight."

Graeme gives Jaiden a Look in return and shakes his head, though he'll make sure later to help out with distributing packages to families in more need than theirs. With a donation as well. They don't have need, but sometimes indulging feelings can be okay. "Just this once," bis said more for Jaiden's benefit than the children. But then again, Graeme's the one who gives in. Not the one to talk sense into them, and who can talk sense into a barely-toddler and a five-year-old, anyway.

"It sure is," Peyton says to Pippa, kissing her forehead and releasing both her and Jonah. "Pick out a good present and stay where we can see you," she says, standing back up, using Brad's hand for leverage so she doesn't lose her balance. She squeezes it and releases it, moving over to Nicole to give her a tight hug. "Hey. Let me know if I'm upsetting anyone, will you?" she whispers into the other woman's ear. "I wanted to support. I liked Eric so much, and Gillian was my roommate, but…" she trails off. Nicole knows what she means, the reasons she feels she might not be welcome.

Tasha laughs at Colette's reaction to the 'boys,' and takes part in the group hug. The little girl she doesn't know is given a curious glance. "Hi. I don't think we've met," she says, offering a hand to Sibyl. "I'm Tasha. I used to babysit these men sometimes."

Lynette looks when she notices someone else near her, but seeing it's Des, she doesn't move away. She looks back at her, grief for grief, and she reaches out to give the woman a hug. A touch to the shoulder just isn't sufficient. But she pulls back again to wipe the tears off her face. She doesn't explain and she doesn't ask Des to, but rather lingers there in silence. At least until she gets herself back together.

"You big, stupid idiots." Colette curses out Joe and Lance with an enormous smile on her face. "You— you just— you gigantic stupid amazing idiots I can't believe you're here." They've grown up so much, she didn't even recognize them at first. As she leans away from the embrace just enough to slide her arm around Tasha and look side-long to Sibyl. This is a side of Colette that the girl hadn't seen the last time they met. A side of her the public isn't permitted to see. And yet…

"I dunno if I can do this," Colette offers quietly to everyone clustered together. "I— I don't know if I can do this." She's supposed to be the stronger, older one. But there's just so many memories here. "Holy shit you two got old."

"Thanks, Eve," Gillian says when her friend approaches, not even hesitating to step forward and hug her. "I'm glad you could make it." Despite that tuba incident. Maybe she recieved a phone call about that, she doesn't say, but.. "Thank you. You also donated a little, so part of this is thanks to you." She raises an eyebrow at the mention of Britany Spears, but doesn't comment further, instead nodding her friend inside.

The adults who entered find themselves handed a pamplet, from one of the few librarians and volenteers. The pamplets talk mostly about the features of the Eric Doyle Library, when it's open and when it closes, the classes they will offer and their schedules, as well as what rooms are available and their purpose. On the back is a poem.

"Anything for you, and the kiddies Gilly." Gillian might have gotten a phone call from Lynette and Robyn.. And Eve herself. Gillian got calls about Eve often, she was on her Emergency Contact List. Numbero Uno. "I.. I'll be back!" And the oracle scurries away.

Stalking over from Gillian's side Eve appears next to Colette, Lance, Sibyl and the others. She stands in silence teeter tottering on her tiptoes eyes wide as she tilts her head. "Sibyl," she starts but then stops. How do you say, you're welcome that we took your shadow herpes away? Instead, "You look not as stiff today, pleasant dreams?" There's a wrinkle of her nose and she shudders before fixing Tasha with a look, "Oh hello! I'm Eve," They might have met, she can't remember but she does remember Bright Eyes.

Caspian avoids the barreling Colette, the woman he's never met before, letting the three in Lance's silence field hug it out. Doyle….He turns to look at the library again, reaching into the silence to give Joe's shoulder a squeeze, then Lance's, nodding to them both before stepping away. The stories that they must have about this man, about what he did, must be mind boggling, and he will never broach that subject with them unless they offer it freely. He turns to move to the doorway again, nodding to the raven-haired Eve as he passes by, stopping to offer Gillian a hand. "Hello Ma'am." He nods his head. "That was a lovely speech and this…" He lifts his opposite hand to indicate the building. "Is wonderful. I'm an electrician, and if there's anything I can do, repair wise, solar wise, or what have you, let me know through the committee and I'll get with you as soon as I can."

They have met, on the attempted monkey rescue. Gillian reaches out and shakes his hand, still holding herself together quite well. She’s not unfeeling, though, the sadness is still there, it’s just… restrained. “We’ve met, but thank you. We do have a small generator, but it wouldn’t hurt to have someone go over the wiring once again. We wouldn’t want any accidents. I’ll be sure to call you if we need it.” She’s sincere, she will call him.

But almost immediately she shifts to shake someone else’s hand and greet them, gesturing them toward the care package.

Under other circumstances, Sibyl might take Tasha's hand, but Eve is right there and she recognizes her cue to leave. "I'm sorry, Tasha," she says, and there is a genuine note of apology in her voice. Confusion, too, among a myriad of other unsettled emotions roiling beneath her surface like seafoam in a storm. She locates a gap in the crowd that's approximately her size and squeezes through it.

Her name pulls her from the puppet, Kaylees face registers one of surprise. "Robyn?" The telepath brightens a little, taking the time to wipe away the tears with the edge of her coat. "Richard mentioned you had been by the office." She sniffles, eyes red from all the crying, "It's really good to see you. I… know Joseph will be sad that he wasnt able to make it."

The young boy give Robyn a sceptical look. "Who are you?" This earns a smack from his sister. "Ow! Hey! Its a fair question!"

With a slightly embarrassed look, Kaylee, pulls the kids close and separates them with her own body. "Sorry about that… ah… Robyn." She rest a hand on top of her daughters head. "I dont know if you remember, my daughter Emily." The little girl gives Robyn a bright smile and a little shy wave. Last Robyn saw of her was a toddler, not a ten year old girl. Her other hand drops to rest on the boys head, "And this is my son, Carl." Who huffs out an frustrated hello.

Joe finally seems to be collecting himself. He lifts a hand up and wipes the tears from his face, tucking the now wet beanie back in his pocket. He breathes deeply several times, and though some tears still spring free the sobs have passed. He swallows hard, sniffling a little but more, deep breaths, deep breaths. "We were planning to come see you." Joe murmurs, voice still thick with emotion. "We just didn't know where you were. And… yeah." He hugs Colette tight again, holdint it for a few seconds, then looks back over to Lance and draws his buddy into a tight hug as well. He doesn't say anything. He doesn't need to, he's just there for him, just like he was there for Joe. He'll let Lance go, though a hand remains on his shoulder in support. Deep breaths, deep breaths.

"Of course we came though. We couldn't miss Santa's library dedication." Teeth clench for a moment as he fights back a fresh wave of tears, swallowing and taking another deep breath. He's getting a little light headed from those deep breaths. "It's awesome to see you again Colette. And yeah, we did. And you might not be able to do this, I might not be able to do this. But /we/ can do this." He looks around the group, then at the library. "Come on." He does pause to look back at Sibyl, nodding his head to the little girl. "Your delivery needs work, but after a few moments I understood what you meant. Thank you. You want to come inside with us?" He asks, holding a hand out to the little seer.

If she comes with awesome, if not Joe will nod his head in understanding before he starts forwards, his pace slow to keep the group with him. "Hey Sil." He calls softly over to Silvia. "A lot of these people were our protectors and our friends. They're our family." He gestures at well… everyone around himself, and towards the library before he starts in that direction.

I sit and wonder where time goes

we try our best to teach them right,

as times change and our children grow,

We love them with all our might.

Nicole is drawn out from her distraction when Peyton approaches. The hug is returned warmly with a reassuring smile. "Haven't seen anyone try to give you the evil eye yet, P." Pippa grabs Jonah's hand - because you're supposed to hold someone's hand so you don't get lost - and Nicole watches them head off in search of their presents. "But I'll keep a watch for you." Or, more likely, run interference.

Lynette's hug is returned tightly. Des lingers for a moment, shaking in the embrace and needing a moment of human contact to gather her strength. "He-" She gestures toward the nearby plaque, "She—" There are no words that can explain exactly what Doyle or Liette meant to her in their separate ways. "I loved them," isn't nearly enough, but it will have to do. "We'll have to swap stories sometime over coffee, okay?" Not today and not here.

After wiping her face, Des pulls her glasses back down and moves to stand beside Lynette instead of in front, resting her head against her shoulder and clasping her hand.

"We got old? You using a— " Lance brings up a sleeve to wipe at his nose, suppressing a sniffle even as he manages a smile for Colette - legitimately and honestly happy to see her, even if it's under sad circumstances, "— a cane yet, Colette? You're like, what, forty?" He's teasing, or trying, at least. He swallows once, clearing his throat as he straightens and tries to get himself under control. "Eimi said you were in town, we were gonna— gonna go surprise you. It's good to see you."

He draws in a deep breath, and nods a little to Joe, "Yeah. Yeah, we can do this. C'mon." He looks to Colette, to Tasha, "Together?"

"Hey! You can't just give people things from your dreams and run away!" Eve shakes her fist as the others move ahead of her and she looks put out. Where in the world was Delia?? The seer looks confused for a moment and her face screws up in that look people know that means Eve is confused and isn't sure where she is. Is this a dream? "I.." There's a peer in the gap that Sibyl disappeared into and she pokes her head through much to the man and woman's dismay to catch a peek of Sibyl's coat trailing behind her. "God damn it." she whispers.

It's not easy to raise a child

at times, we don't know what to do

we weren't given any instructions

It's a challenge that's all new.

Lynette nods to Des when she gets her thoughts out, even if they aren't enough. She understands. "So much coffee," she says, but in a way that implies that she would like to replace coffee with something stronger. But coffee will have to do. "Consider it on the books." And she doesn't mind supporting the other woman. In fact, it seems to steady her. She doesn't try to go deeper into the library, though. Maybe later. Maybe another time.

Peyton turns to watch Pippa lead Jonah off in search of presents, and puts a hand to her chest. "God, they are so cute. I mean, I'm biased, but… they are super cute, right?" she says to Nicole. She squeezes her once more, before following the children toward the interior. She touches Brad's arm on the way in so he can join her, though she does veer toward Gillian, pulling out an envelope from her purse.

"You spoke beautifully and look amazing," she murmurs, handing her the envelope, which is of course a check, before leaning to kiss Gillian on the cheek.

Sibyl’s apology and hurrying away draws a curious glance from Tasha, who watches her disappear through the breach in the crowd, before turning back to her group. She laughs at the talk of being old. "None of us are old yet. That's only after thirty," she says, before tapping Lance's nose. "It'll come quicker than you expect, so enjoy your youth." She takes Colette's hand and anyone else's hand who might want one. "Together."

At Eve's introduction, the petite brunette smiles. "Hi. Only in passing, I think, when things were crazy. I'm Tasha."

Robyn offers a sad smile to Kaylee - she knows she wan't the only crying, but it's a small sort of comfort to see that Kaylee has been as well. "Oh, he did remember," is a quiet tease offered at Richard's expense. "I'm sad he couldn't make it too. Would've been nice to see him." It's been almost as long since Robyn saw Joseph as well.

When she's asked of her identity, she kneels down in front of Carl and smiles as best as she can - the fashionable eyepatch and scar might work against her, though. "Hello, Carl," she offers in a fond tone. She holds a hand out to him. "Robyn Quinn. I knew your mum years ago." A look up at Kaylee, and she leans forward to the young boy. "You couldn't have done better for a mother," she whispers, before standing back up.

"Oh… my god." That's at the sight of Emily. She offers the young girl a similar smile, before looking back to Kaylee. "I'm glad to see you well. Emily as well. And this one." She motions down to Carl. "When Richard said you worked in town…" Her smile softens a bit. "Meant to stop in before now. Forever busy, though." She looks down at the puppet. "He'd love this," she adds, quietly.

"Lance I won't strangle you in public," Colette threatens in words said pressed to the side of his head at his hair, "you're lucky." There's a hand that comes up, musses with Lance's hair, and blind eyes square on Joe.

Eve's approach is measured with a wary look. Colette's only tangentially familiar with who she is, and most of that comes from Ferrymen potpourri knowledge and post-war internet memes. Embarrassed at her state, she wipes her eyes with one hand and just slugs Joe in the arm, knowing full well he'll be fine.

Joe's sentiments, however, are beautiful ones. Colette spins the ring poking out of her fingerless gloves and looks to Tasha. The years have taught her that apart, people can't do nearly as much as they can together. Tasha's agreement is echoed, and Colette squeezes that hand she's offered three times and nods in wordless compliance. Finally, she says in a small voice. "Together."

Our children are our lives

and our most important goal,

to love and to guide them

and to place them in life's role.

Joe loops an arm up over Lance's shoulders, and takes the hand of a someone else. Caspian, Silvia, Colette or Tasha, anyone really that's in reach and wants a hand. "Hey Aunt Eve." He calls out to the cook, offering her a smile, it's a sad smile, laden with grief, but it's a smile none the less. "Lets go talk to Gillian, and everyone else, and cry over the stuff that's inside. I'm sure there will be plenty more to cry over. I'm glad we're all back home. And we totally need to have some get togethers. I think I'm going to offer to help teach some ASL classes here." He remarks as he walks into the library with the group. Or most of the group, whoever is walking with him really.

"Yeah." Lance manages a stronger smile as Colette threatens him, then agrees with him, and then he takes a deep draw of breath into his lungs and pushes his hood back with both hands, "Together. Let's go— c'mon, Gillian'll need support too. She can't be doing great. And then yeah, we can all go embarrass ourselves and shit." He wrinkles his nose - but crying is okay if it's with the others. If it's with his family, and he hasn't been around this many of them in years. A hand comes up to squeeze Colette's shoulder again, and then he moves to follow Joe in. They can't just stand outside forever.

Yanking her head from between the man and a woman waiting to get inside with everyone else, Eve whirls around and waves to the kids and Colette and Tasha. "Hey dearies, Aunt Eve's got freshly baked cookies after this." They won't be burnt. Her gaze goes to Colette, "Bright Eyes, see me before you leave the safe place." a wink and the older woman is scurrying off zipping past Gillian and the rest peering around the rooms. She told Otter Eyes she would stand by Lynette today and she forgot for a moment. "Lady Zeus? Lady Zeu- Ah there you are," Eve comes to stand in front of the women but her gaze falls on the woman with the sunglasses on.


Dun Dun Dun O baby baby.


Eve looks from Lynette to Des. "Otter Eyes, I forgot I told him I would look out for you!"

Glancing at the puppet too, Kaylee starts feeling choked up. She cant say it right away, only nodding in agreement with Robyn, lips pressed together as she tries to wrangle in her emotions. "He would have loved this, hed make a stink about the fuss, but deep down he would have loved it" she manages to get out, giving a little laugh at her own emotions. The stage was perfect… He would have loved it best. "He never believed he was good enough," Its getting harder for her to speak, but she pushes through, she needed to say this" eyes firmly on the puppet.

Fingers reach out and touch the glass for a moment, "I hope he can see it now. See what I always knew." She loses it then, both hands moving to cover her face, with a hiccuped sob.

"We really did knock it out of the park when it comes to making cute children." Nicole slants a smirk at Peyton and squeezes back. She hangs back a little as Peyton and Brad move on to head inside. She didn't really know the man this library is named for, but knows her little sister thought the world of him. Knows that he was important to the Ferry. To Peyton. To say that she's here because it's good politics would be cold, but not entirely untrue. Her true mission, however, is to be here to support.

Nicole likewise presses an envelope into Gillian's hand. "Excellent speech, Miss Childs. I know you'll make good use of this." Then, she heads off to find Colette.

Des lifts her head when Eve approaches and Lynette can feel her grip tighten. Nervous, bordering on properly afraid. Behind those dark sunglasses, they can't see Des look askance to Lynette. "I should go," she murmurs apologetically. "I'll see you soon, 'Nette." Unlacing her fingers from her friends, she moves to disappear into the crowd and flee.

Jaiden and his family move into the museum proper, leaving a cheque with Gillian by way of the Devereaux group along with the presents that their daughters had forgotten. Yay for having short attention spans.
When Eve reappears, Lynette smiles at her, if sadly. "He'll understand, Eve." And since there's no booze being served, all is well. No harm, no foul. She looks over at Des when she feels her grip tighten. "Alright," she says, confused but not wanted to make her stay when she's been upset. "Come by soon. Or call." She gives Des' hand a squeeze, then lets her go her own way.

And when she looks back to Eve, she sighs heavily. "I want to go home," she says, almost desperately. Home in this case isn't a particular building, but a person. A specific person. "Let's find Sil."

Gillian still seems remarkably well put together, or maybe she's just that good at hiding it. She spots Joe first, smiling at him and stepping forward, reaching up with her free hand to thumb at his cheek. "I'm so glad you're here." She looks past him to Lance, to Colette and Tasha with that same, sad smile. "Thank you so much." She moves past Joe to wrap her arms around Lance. "Do think he'd be happy with this?" Only then, does it sound like she's about to cry.

Robyn takes a deep breath, nodding as Kaylee talks, smiling a weak, waverying smile as she listens. "H-He'd be regaling the kids with stories right now, " she adds, an emotional little laugh following afterwards. As Kaylee reaches for the glass, Robyn looks up, trying to swallow back emotion, but this time - as Kaylee starts to sob, she can't hold it back.

So instead, she turns to her friend, pulling her into a hug. "He'd love it. They'd all love it," she says between sobs. "He was always good enough. Worth it. He's watching over us, and I bet he loves it." There was no better memorial than this, in the end.

"Yeah. I…" Lance moistens his lips with the tip of his tongue as he looks around the library, "I think that he'd really like this. He— I mean, you had other things going, and Brian did too, and… San— Doyle always, I mean he always just seemed to have us." He's stumbling over his words a bit, trying to get the thoughts out without breaking down. A lump in his throat as he adds more quietly, "And we— we had him. I think he'd be really surprised, but he'd— he'd love it, he'd give that startled look and then that big goofy smile and— "

Sometimes the silent kid can talk too much. He finally just gives Gillian a fierce hug, pulling back and quickly signing something close to his chest. Thanks, Mom.

"Oh hey, look, is that Mister Flopsy— ?!" Quick! There's a puppet to look at! Behind glass! OVER THERE!

Joe gives Gillian a tight hug, holding her close for a few moments before letting her move on to the others in the group, offering her a soft thank you, his face clenching up as he tries not to cry again, letting his eyes look around. But then he spots the puppet. He sees the puppet and he walks towards it, unable to hold the tears back. He stands in front of it, just looking at it. "Goodbye Santa Clause. You will be missed, and you were loved." He lets his tears fall once more in memory of a friend.

With a small sob, Gillian nods. She doesn't know a lot of ASL, but she knows that. She's forced to wipe her eyes before she can continue on, greeting and welcoming people.

One family didn't wait to open the care package, ripping open the wrapping paper and opening the box. On top, above a wrapped up blanket, sits a sock puppet and a copy of the Velveteen Rabbit. Under rests some food and water, but it's the top gifts that Gillian had wanted people to have the most. A small donation bin sits waiting for the food people don't need, for anymore checks that wanted to be given anonymously.

But the sock puppets had been created by hand. And the book chosen for the story of a toy who became alive because it was loved.

Because something stays alive as long as it is loved.

Our children are our future

and time will only tell

the job we've done as parents

and if we've done it well….

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