10: A Happy Distraction

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Sophie stared in awe at Fitz, who was waving his hand in front of her face, smiling, "Sophie? You okay?"

Warm tears of joy trickled down her cheeks and she clumsily reached into the neck of her dress for her handkerchief.* She rubbed the soft fabric between her fingers for a moment before dabbing her eyes, trying to process what Fitz had just told her.

"The war is over, no need to cry. Dex is coming home," said Fitz in a soft voice.

"Apologies," she rasped quietly, filled with so much joy that she felt as if she were floating "but it is just that it has been so long... I was beginning to think that we would never see him again."

"Nonsense! No need to apologize. This is a cause for merriment and celebration!" he caught her as her knees started to wobble.

"Indeed it is, but now I don't know where to start to prepare for his return."

"There is no need for that at the moment. It can wait until tomorrow, it will take some time for the troops to make their way home, there is time to prepare," Fitz reminded her seriously. "For now, why don't we go tell the triplets?"

She quirked her eyebrow with a smile, "We?"

"Well I simply can't allow you to walk alone, not when you're falling into my arms," chuckled Fitz.

Sophie gasped, pretending to be hurt, and pushed away from him playfully, "I can walk on my own thank you very much." To prove him wrong, she took a hasty step forward and felt Fitz grab her before she felt her knee melt under the weight.

"You can barely stand on your own," he pointed out.

"Technicalities," she attempted to brush it off.

"Technicalities I cannot let slide in good conscience."

Sophie smiled with a sigh, "Your nobleness exceeds your embarrassment."

"There's nothing embarrassing about being so happy you can't walk down the hall without an escort," he stopped for a moment before correcting himself, "I can see how that may be a little embarrassing."

"Yet I get the feeling that you're going to escort me anyways."

"You know me so well, Sophie," he shifted her weight to his arm. "Shall we go?"

Sophie nodded, and they walked together to the nursery.

When Sophie looked back later on, everything was hazy. She could remember crying when she saw the triplets' cute little faces because she knew they were just going to light up when they heard the news. She could remember how the triplets' screams of joy ripped at her ears painfully, but she also remembered that in the moment, she didn't care. She remembered falling backwards against Fitz when the triplets tackled them and all five of them falling onto the floor. She could remember Fitz supporting all of their weight, his hands propped on the floor behind him. She could remember Rex's face pressed into her shoulder as he sobbed, his hands gripping the fabric of her dress. She could remember Lex at her side, his face wedged between the side of her rib cage and Fitz' stomach, one of the young boy's arms wrapped around the top of her stomach while the other reached behind for Fitz. She could remember Bex wrapping her arms around Fitz's neck and thanking him through her snotty tears. She could remember the rumble of Fitz's laugh in her chest reverberating through her back muscles and tickling her bones, just another reason to smile.

Everything was going to be perfect. This was absolutely perfect.

 This was absolutely perfect

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