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When Saying You're Sorry Just Isn't Enough (IC)

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The Promenade. Thursday, July 22nd, 2010. 9:03 pm

Wow, it's actually really nice up here; I should visit Hanover more often.

Sitting at a picnic table near the river's edge, Lynn had an impressive view of Freedom's skyline, all lit up as the last rays of sunlight died in the West. Couples strolled hand in hand along the paved footpath, and cyclists and rollerbladers were still out. She impulsively bought a glow necklace from a passing vendor, and slipped it over her head, a pleasant memory of childhood summers.

Lynn was dressed very casually; at first she given a ridiculous amount of thought to what she'd wear to this meeting, but in the end she figured the important thing was to be comfortable. More than likely, Jack and Taylor wouldn't decide to do anything violent based on her choice of top :roll:

So she settled on flip-flops, loose khaki shorts and Star Wars T-shirt, looking like any other tourist girl who'd spent the day shopping. Which she actually had, judging by the bags for various stores sitting on the grass by her side.

As she watched moths circling a nearby light post, she sighed.

Dear God, let this meeting go smoothly.

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This was a bad idea. Jack really didn't like to hear people lamenting about their problems, particularly when he didn't think they actually had problems to begin with. But this was supposed to be the human thing to do, so he and Taylor had made the trip out themselves to talk to Lynn about whatever was bothering her. "Okay, I'm here." He was simply there, sitting across the table from Grim when she looked back from studying the moths. He looked as severe as a man could be in a white muscle shirt and jeans that made him look like any other young man out on the town that night. "Taylor's on her way. What do you want, Lynn?"

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"Okay, I'm here."

The changeling jumped a good inch off the bench at the sound of his voice; she was even more nervous than she realized.

"Taylor's on her way. What do you want, Lynn?"

Lynn turned to face Jack head-on, her palms resting on the top of the table as she took a deep breath.

"Well, mainly to apologize to you, and Taylor, for saying some pretty horrible things in the cemetery that night; I was still upset about the whole...incident, and I should have waited until I'd calmed down to speak with you."

She turned to nervously poke around in the shopping bags for a moment or two.

"I also have some stuff for the baby, books and stuff. I got gift receipts in case you already have 'em; at my sister's shower, everyone bought a copy of The Velveteen Rabbit, so I skipped that one..."

Lynn stopped fussing with the bags and closed her eyes.

"I just...want the anger to stop."

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"I appreciate that," said Jack sincerely. "Any new parent is grateful for something for the kid," he said with a little smile. Focusing on Lynn, he said, "I'd like an end to the anger too. Why don't you tell me how you're thinking we can accomplish that?" He took out his phone as they talked. "Don't mind me, I'm just texting Taylor that it's all right to come over."

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"I'd like an end to the anger too. Why don't you tell me how you're thinking we can accomplish that?" He took out his phone as they talked. "Don't mind me, I'm just texting Taylor that it's all right to come over."

Lynn frowned slightly; it made her a bit sad that Jack felt it best to 'case the joint', as it were, but she guessed she could sort of understand it. Things had been rough between them for a while now.

"Well to be honest, I think the bulk of the work is on my side; I mean, I dunno, you might not like me very much, but I think I've given you a lot more crap than you've ever given me."

She sighed and cupped her hands around her face; this was the hard part.

"Look, I don't want you to take this the wrong way, Jack, but I think the big mistake I've been making is...well, to judge you by the standards of human morality. Because you're not human, even though look like one and often act like one; you're a predator. And by the standards of predator morality, you're actually pretty frickin' amazing."

It all hinged on this argument, and her choice of words; if they couldn't see eye-to-eye on this, or if she offended him or Taylor, they were already done. Without realizing it, she held her breath in anticipation of his response.

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Taylor strolled up, looking like any new young mother as she juggled the wide eyed baby, bag slung easily over one shoulder. Jack Jr. was almost four moths and enjoying the ability to actually cling onto his parents and look around. With a thick head of black hair that stood up at all angles and wide blue eyes, the resemblance to his father was clear (Including small white fangs). Taylors influence was in the slight golden cast to his features and the deep dimples in his cheek when he smiled. Which he was displaying often these days.

She strolled over and started to juggle things so that she could sit down, "Hey, honey. Hi, Lynn. Don't mind Jack's paranoia. It's harder than you think on him to bring the baby out to an open area."

Taylor wasn't unduly bothered by the coddling. She knew it wasn't concern over her own abilities or even her abilities to protect the baby, it was just... part of Jack's nature.

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Jack reached up and ruffled the baby's hair, gently scooping the serious-faced boy out of his mother's arms. "Hey there." Conscious of the theater of the moment, a father with his baby son on his knee, Jack said, "That's fair, Lynn. The question I'm left with is, how different do you think predators and human beings are? Do you think I love Taylor or my son any less because of what I am? Or that Taylor's somehow in the wrong to love me?" He gave Lynn a straightforward look. "Because if you do hold opinions like that, now's the time to share them."

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At Taylor's approach, Lynn smiled, waved and said 'hey'; she always felt just a smidge safer around Jack when his spouse was present, even if that probably wasn't really the case. Then her eyes fell on the baby, and she turned to mush.

"Oh my God, he's adorable! Hey, little guy! Oop, he's got his poppa's chompers! That has to make life interesting."

"That's fair, Lynn. The question I'm left with is, how different do you think predators and human beings are? Do you think I love Taylor or my son any less because of what I am? Or that Taylor's somehow in the wrong to love me?" He gave Lynn a straightforward look. "Because if you do hold opinions like that, now's the time to share them."

The changeling held up her hands. "Hey, technically humans are predators, too, and actually one of the most bloodthirsty, pardon the pun." She leaned in a little closer, feeling a bit more comfortable. "I've been doing a lot of research on predators; y'know, hittin' Wikipedia and the library. The simple truth is that most predators mate for life, humans being a notable exception in that category. So no, I don't think you love her or this little scamp any less than any human would. It may be expressed differently, maybe, or be like a different flavor, I dunno, but I'm sure that love is real. And despite my freakout over the ill-fated 'regifting' last month, I doubt they could be anywhere safer."

She looked between the three of them, a portrait of a loving family like any other, and she pressed on.

"The blood thing? That's my issue, how I was raised; Jews are raised to see blood as sacred. Not a drop of any blood, human or animal, can touch a devout Jew's lips."

Lynn pivoted to face Jack more directly.

"With a name like 'Faretti', I assume you were probably brought up Catholic? I guess I could be wrong, or you're family maybe wasn't practicing. Anyway, Catholicism has a very different take on blood sacrifice; in fact, it's one of the building blocks of the faith, what Jesus did for those who believe. And every Sunday, that blood sacrifice is re-enacted, and it's cool with everybody."

She indicated Taylor with a wave of her hand. "Because of the relationship you have with your wife, with what you both agreed upon, me being critical of you for that sacrifice would be like me giving you crap for being Catholic."

Then she raised up both her index fingers. "And, and this is most important, you turn those instincts that I'm pretty sure you share with most predators - the territoriality, the loyalty to the pack, the hunter's urges - to constructive ends. And for me to condemn that, or in anyway to try and separate you from your family, would be wrong and pretty damn stupid." She held up her hands and laughed. "Taylor and this little guy? Best thing that could have happened to you, am I right?"

She sighed deeply and closed her eyes. "So that's the way I see this, after literally days of thought."

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Taylor seated herself quietly while Lynn spoke, not wanting to interrupt the conversation. In faded jeans and a light tank top, she looked like she hadn't even dressed for the same event that Jack had, as comfortable and casual as could be. She pushed her long hair back over her shoulder and reached up to twist the dark amulet around her throat. Taylor grinned, dimpling both cheeks as Jack Jr won over yet another fan. He was his daddy's boy, that was sure.

"Yeah, it does. Fortunately Jack's hardy enough that the baby can just gnaw on him, and I heal fast enough that its not a concern. We have to pay babysitters hazard pay, though." Then Taylor went quiet for the rest of Lynn's speech, one hand coming to rest on Jack's thigh in silent support and she turned her face up to him in question. She smiled and said quietly, "I don't know about Jack but I know that he and the baby are the best parts of my life. Jack's a great husband and a great father. We're just extraordinarily private about that part of our lives so very few people get to see that facet."

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"Yeah, it does. Fortunately Jack's hardy enough that the baby can just gnaw on him, and I heal fast enough that its not a concern. We have to pay babysitters hazard pay, though."

Now that is just plain freaky. However, Lynn wisely kept her thoughts to herself.

"I don't know about Jack but I know that he and the baby are the best parts of my life. Jack's a great husband and a great father. We're just extraordinarily private about that part of our lives so very few people get to see that facet."

The shapeshifter nodded. "Yeah, that makes sense. it's hard enough being a parent these days without all the complications you guys must have to deal with."

She furrowed her brow in thought, trying to choose her next words carefully.

"The other reason I think we don't always get along is...well, despite our differences, I think we actually have a lot in common, Jack, at least in terms of temperament. I think we're both a bit stubborn and sort of hold ourselves to a higher moral standard. Now on a good day, that means we're dedicated and won't back down. But on a bad day..."

Lynn scrunched up her face, as though the next thing she was going to say tasted unpleasant.

"Well, to be honest, I think we can both be self-righteous douchebags. And I really think we bring that out in each other, so it's probably a good thing we're not on the same team anymore."

She held up her hands defensively.

"It's just my opinion, and feel free to disagree. I just think that sometimes our greatest strengths are also our greatest weaknesses; it just depends upon the day."

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