9: Ruins of a Past Life

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"Wisdom in even some of your hardest times," he chuckled lightly.

"My name does mean wisdom," she pointed out.

"I should've expected that when I first heard it then. Never has there been a name so fitting."

"There is no need for flattery."

"There is every need for flattery."

Before she could say anything else, she pulled her hand up to her mouth and yawned.

"You must have been crying for a while if you are tired now," commented Fitz with a frown.

"I feel like I have at least, but I can not sleep now, I am still on duty. I have taken a large enough break as is."

"No, no, sleep. Biana can take care of herself for the time being," he assured her.

When Sophie tried to sit up, it took great effort, but no effort at all for Fitz to ease her back down.

"Sophie, please, you wouldn't be able to serve tea in this state anyways. Stay, sleep. I'll watch over you until Biana or Keefe comes back, and then I'll go set some arrangements for my trip to the battlefront, and by the end of that meeting, the triplets will be waiting to be picked up from the nursery, and I'll take them out to the orchards to see if there are any fresh cherries. That will keep them from worrying about you and distracted so that you may have more time to rest."

"Really? You would do that for me?"

He nodded.

"Promise you'll take care of them?" she asked.

"I promise."

She nodded and closed her eyes, feeling the warmth of his hands encircle hers once more as she drifted to sleep.

She nodded and closed her eyes, feeling the warmth of his hands encircle hers once more as she drifted to sleep

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Dex Dizznee was laying on his cot, looking up at the ceiling of the tent, trying to process what had happened. The war was over. They could go home.

Home. He hadn't been there in so long. The idea of going back was like water against chapped lips: refreshing, but foreign. He suddenly  felt as if he were dreaming or as if he didn't exist at all, like the world moving around him just passed right through his body. Was this real? Was he real? Was his life for the past three years suddenly over? Was his old life going to wash back over him? Was his new life with his family going to be totally different from the old one? He couldn't find answers to those questions, no matter how hard he tried.

The triplets were older now, already eight years old. Dex had missed so much already, what would it be like to see them again? Would they even still remember him? Their faces were mostly clear in his mind after missing them for so long, but did they even remember his anymore?

And Sophie, how did she manage to take care of those three on her own for so long? Did she meet someone? Was she married? Did he miss his own cousin's wedding? Was he an uncle? How much had her life moved on without him? Could he even bear to see it all? All the changes? All the ways it was like he never existed? Then Dex had a daunting thought: should he even go back?

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