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‘‘I’m Here, I’ll Always Be Here.,,

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“Cujoh, not Kujo.”

 

These words have always been a part of Jolyne’s life, even as far back as she could remember. In middle school and throughout high school, she would get very argumentative about a teacher or fellow student writing her name down as ‘Kujo’.

”That’s not my last name!” She would shout angrily, the thought of being associated with her father that broke her mother’s heart and abandoned them when she was young both infuriated and sickened her.

Jolyne would even go as far as to fighting her classmates and other students, some that would say it and write it just to make her mad. They would get sent to the nurse’s office with broken noses and bloodied teeth, and she would spend the rest of her day in the principal’s office, the overwhelming guilt and anger filling her heart as her mother had to come up to her school and profusely apologize to the staff and parents of the child.

She could recall the times when she was younger when her mother would start to tear up and scold her when she’d write her name as ‘Kujo Jolyne’ on her school papers or little drawings she had often made, saying, “We don’t write that name. It’s Cujoh, not Kujo.”

Having a single mother was hell. Jolyne loved her mother with her body, heart, and soul to death, but she remembered how she couldn’t make it to anything her daughter did for school, any parent-teacher meetings, or anything of the sort because of the two jobs she had to work just to support them.

Once Jolyne was in the very early years of elementary school, she started to realize how truly alone she was. Most kids didn’t want to be around her because they thought she was too quiet and fiery, and many of the parents didn’t feel comfortable letting their children spend time with a child with only parent.

But soon, someone came into her life that made her feel less lonely. Made her feel loved.

Jolyne could remember the freezing afternoon as if it happened yesterday. She was sitting alone on the swing-set on a cold, winter day in first grade. Only six or seven at the time, the girl sniffled from the icy air that kept hitting her face, the toe of one of her black dress shoes gently digging into the wet wood chips of the playground.

She looked up and saw her classmates all playing together, earmuffs and mittens keeping them warm while they ran and climbed all over the playground.

Jolyne had often tried to play with her classmates, but they mostly ignored her- or as children do- were way too honest and said “Our parents don’t like us being around you.” And since they were pretty much halfway through the school year, the raven-haired little girl decided to spare herself from the hurt, and stopped asking.

Her teeth chattered quietly, the very thin, pink mittens that her mother had worked so hard to knit for her barely kept her small hands warm. But Jolyne didn’t want to tell her mom that, it was expensive enough to make your items of clothing, and she hated seeing her mom get upset and worry. Even at this young age, she had grown mentally; more than should be asked of a child, knowing she had to be strong and tough it out, just like her mom.

Jolyne had looked up, seeing something soft- but seemingly glowing- from the corner of her eye. The little girl curiously turned her head to the side to see what it was, very interested.

That’s when she first saw him.

The girl was so shocked, she yelped and fell off her swing, her palms stinging slightly as the cold wood chips pressed against them. 

Jolyne’s teacher rushed over to see if the girl was okay, raising a brow as the girl with space buns and braids only stammered unintelligibly and pointed to where the fence of the playground and the brick of the school building met. The teacher blinked and saw absolutely nothing there.

”There’s nothing there, Jolyne,” the teacher soothed, helping the little girl up before going back off to supervise the other kids.

The Cujoh girl kept her eyes plastered to the spot, finally able to register what she was seeing. It seemed to be a man with jet black hair, a turquoise and lilac colored body, with white clothing. He had gold shoulder plates, and an intricate gold pattern tracing along his form.

The terrified girl let out a small giggle as she looked up at the seemingly scary being, seeing a little golden headband in his pitch-black, wavy hair.

Jolyne slowly approached the spirit, unsure if she was daydreaming or not. Slowly slipping her fraying glove off one of her hands, said tiny hand shakily reached out towards the spectral being.

She squeezed her greenish-blue eyes shut, before feeling a ghostly, but warm feeling envelop her hand. Opening her eyes, Jolyne saw the white gloved hand around hers, the gold studs shining as she looked at them.

Her eyes shone with wonder, all feeling of fear fading away. The specter looked menacing and powerful- but he didn’t scare Jolyne. He just happened to catch her off guard.

The little girl once again giggled softly as the giant man tilted his head down at her, she thought he looked like a puppy when it heard something and would cock its head to the side. The thick mass of black hair waved slowly on its own, like tall grass moving slowly in a calm wind.

Jolyne waved her free hand to him, since her other hand was still being held onto by the large being. About to say something- she cut off and pulled away from him, her small body jolting from a sneeze. She sniffled, wiping her reddened nose with her hand, a tired smile on her face.

”Sorry, mister. I think I might have the cold,” the child spoke, her voice stuffy as she spoke. Jolyne pulled on her thin and tattered gloves, watching the spirit look down at the gloves with a frown. “I know I’m not supposed to talk to strangers, but I don’t have a lot of friends,” Jolyne whispered, looking away from him.

The spirit could tell she was still fairly young, minus the obvious signs and reasons- she was oversharing very quickly and being far too honest with him.

”I’m Cujoh Jolyne! Who are you?” she asked curiously. “You look kinda funny, but I like your colors!” the girl smiled, pointing to his purple and blue skin.

Jolyne blinked as the spirit only responded with an ‘ora’, trying to figure out what that could mean, before she flinched when the school bell rang loudly through the playground, signaling that recess was over.

”Oh- I’m sorry! I have to go!” Jolyne frowned, but soon smiled once again when she looked up at the man. “I hope I can see you again! Have a good day!” she waved to him, before running to the door of the school, lining up with the rest of her classmates.

The Stand watched her go inside, returning the wave when the small girl gave him one last smile before going inside, the door closing behind her.

Jolyne spent the rest of her school-day thinking about the stranger she had met on the playground. Who was he? Was he real? Why did he look like that? How come her teacher couldn’t see him?

Those questions kept nagging and pestering at the little girl, but she ignored them for the most part and focused on her schoolwork. She could worry about him later.

The end of the day came faster than she expected, the little girl packed up her work into her backpack and hurriedly left the building. 

Her mother often scolded her for not taking the bus home, Jolyne and her lived only a block or two away from the elementary school, but her mother was constantly worried about her daughter getting kidnapped or get hurt crossing the street if she walked home. But as most children did, Jolyne ignored her mother’s requests and always walked home, and often lied to her and told her she took the bus just so her mom didn’t get all worked up.

Her walk home was just as normal as it was every school day, following her routine twists and turns to get to her house. Jolyne stopped dead in tracks as she turned the corner and saw someone there- before recognizing the unique figure.

”Oh- hey!” Jolyne smiled. Normally, she or any other person would be freaked out by the thought of someone seemingly following them, but something about this being made her feel unafraid- and oddly enough, safe.

“I’m heading home. What’s in there?” the girl asked, pointing to the small paper bag in one of the spirit’s gloved hands.

The giant of a man beckoned her over with a free hand, to which Jolyne obeyed and quickly walked up to him. The spirit got down on one knee so he was more level with the little girl, before handing her the sack of items.

Like a kid on Christmas, Jolyne opened the bag with wide, sparkling eyes, before gasping happily at what she saw.

”New mittens! And a scarf! And- and earmuffs!” Jolyne stammered out, pulling out said items. The gloves were pristine and new, made with the softest wool and yarn. Same with the scarf, it was long enough for her to wrap it around herself and stay bundled up, it even had a little decal of a butterfly sewn onto the bottom. The earmuffs were white and fluffy, and soft to the touch.

She looked with sparkling eyes to the spirit, a bright smile on her face. He, surprisingly, had a grin of his own on his face, as if to say ‘try them on’.

Jolyne complied eagerly, gently taking off her raggedy gloves and slipping on the new ones, just a little bit bigger than needed- but that was perfect! It meant she could keep them longer. She soon put on the scarf and earmuffs, now feeling invisible to the cold weather around her.

The bag was still weighted, so she reached in their and pulled out a plastic bottle. It was cough and cold medicine for kids, which caused Jolyne to frown. She hated taking medicine, but this way- her mom didn’t have to pay for it! So, that was a good thing after all.

The spirit pointed to the security plastic seal around it, showing it was fresh and it wasn’t tampered with. He was caught off guard when the little girl jumped up and wrapped her arms around his neck, hugging him tightly.

He responded by gently wrapping an arm around her in return, hugging her for a brief moment before pulling away soon after Jolyne did.

”Thank you so much for all of this! I’ll make sure to tell my Momma about it!” Jolyne smiled brightly, not seeing the Stand gulp a bit from her words.

”But I have to get home. You can walk with me if you’d like! But Momma doesn’t like it when I walk home, she thinks I could get hurt,” the young girl rambled, picking up the brown bag with her medicine, before starting to walk to her house.

The spirit made a grunt of understanding- the whole reason why he was here minus giving her the items he had bought, he wanted to make sure she got home safe.

He silently walked along next to her, listening to her talk about her day- what they did in class, what she had for homework; things like that. 

Jolyne gently gripped his hand as she had to cross the street, the few cars stopped in front of the crosswalk. The Stand grinned a bit, holding her hand in return as he walked with her, neither of them letting go once they were on the sidewalk.

She only let go once she reached her driveway, turning to look at the man.

”Thank you again for all of this! I hope I see you tomorrow!” she beamed, hugging his muscular leg before running up to her front door, reaching into her backpack and pulling out her house key. Unlocking the door and going inside, she ran up to the window after she locked the door, smiling and waving to the specter, who waved back before fading to nothing.

The next morning, Jolyne was escorted out the front door by her mom, who looked as exhausted as always. The little girl had a frown on her face, but gave her mom a hug before starting to walk to the end of the block so she could wait for the school bus to pick her up.

Jolyne sat down on the curb, her gloved fingers gently fiddling with the end of her scarf. She looked up from her lap when she felt a warm glow next to her, causing her to turn her head to look next to her.

She smiled when she saw the spirit from yesterday afternoon sitting next to her, the sight of the very large and muscular man sitting down casually on the curb caused her to giggle.

”Good morning! I’m wearing the mittens and scarf you brought me yesterday!” the girl said excitedly, showing off her new items of clothing to the Stand, who grinned a bit in return.

”Oh- I forgot! I have something to show you!” Jolyne hummed, sliding her backpack off her tiny shoulders and unzipping it, pulling out a lime green folder. Pulling a piece of paper out from the folder, she gripped it and proudly showed it off to the spirit, a content look on her face.

It was a drawing of him, it actually looked really nice and detailed for a girl her age. It was scribbled in with his skin colors, making sure she got the most accurate shades she could, and filling in his gold markings and shoulder plates.

”I told my Momma about you! At first, she was scared you were a normal man, so I drew her this picture to show her what you looked like! She didn’t believe me, though,” Jolyne trailed off with a frown, looking away from the Stand and setting the paper down on her lap.

”She tried to see if the gloves and scarf was stolen, but she found out they weren’t. She saw the plastic seal around the medicine, she was nervous, but after a while, she still let me take it. I feel a lot better now!” the little girl’s smile soon returned, looking up at the spirit who sat there patiently and listened to her speak at a million miles a minute.

Jolyne once again reached into her backpack, pulling out a pencil bag. She saw the spirit tilt his head a bit in confusion, something he seemed to do a lot. Handing him a purple pen, she set her drawing on top of her folder, before handing it and the pen to him.

”If you don’t mind, could you write your name for me?” Jolyne asked politely, she was smart enough to figure out early on that he couldn’t speak.

She watched the Stand hesitate for a moment, before starting to write on the page. Handing it back to her, Jolyne looked at the paper excitedly, eager to learn her new friend’s name. 

“S...Star Platinum?” she echoed quietly, before looking up at him to make sure she had pronounced ‘Platinum’ correctly. The spirit nodded and grinned proudly, even giving her a thumbs up.

”That’s a long name! Can I call you Splat?” Jolyne asked curiously, watching the Stand frown, it seemed he didn’t like that nickname.

Jolyne giggled, before suggesting once more. “Then can I just call you Star?”

The spirit nodded, causing her to smile and give him a thumbs up in return.

”Okay, Star! You can call me Joly if you’d like, it’s only fair since I gave you a nickname!” Jolyne spoke, before looking up when she could hear the school bus’ squeaky breaks round the corner of her block.

”Well, I guess I’m off to school! I might walk home today, I hope I see you later, Star!” the little girl hummed, putting her drawing and folder in her backpack, along with her pencil bag. 

Standing up, she reached for her backpack to see it was gone. Looking over at Star Platinum, she smiled when he saw the tiny backpack in his large hands, before turning her back to him so he could slip the straps over her shoulders.

Jolyne turned around once she had her bag on, jumping up and hugging the spirit. Star Platinum responded by catching her, wrapping his muscular arms very carefully around her, as if she was made of glass. 

The hug lasted for a few seconds, before the Stand gently set her down when the bus was in sight. The two watched as it pulled up to the curb, before stopping and opening its doors.

”Bye Star! Have a good day!” Jolyne said happily, waving at him before stepping up onto the bus. Quickly sitting in the front of the bus, she pressed her hands against the fogged up and cold glass, the tip of her nose barely pressing against it as she looked at Star, who grinned and waved her off, before disappearing when the bus started to move.

Days like these continued for Jolyne, walking to and from school with Star Platinum, having him around when she had to be outside by herself, and the likes.

At first, she only thought of the Stand as her friend. He would supervise her on the playground, stay around her when she was alone, and would listen along and nod whenever the little girl would ramble about everything that happened throughout the day.

But now, Jolyne was in the fourth grade. She was now 10, and she had Star Platinum in her life for almost three years. She knew she shouldn’t, but she started to see the spirit as a father figure to her.

Currently, she was at the park, school had been canceled for the children to spend Father’s Day with their family.

Jolyne smiled wistfully as she watched her classmates and other children play and give their fathers homemade gifts and cards as celebration.

She wasn’t alone for long, she felt the familiar, soothing warmth next to her. 

“Hey, Star,” Jolyne mumbled, still watching everyone at the surrounding park.

The girl blinked and looked at Star Platinum when she felt his large hand on her shoulder.

Jolyne sighed softly and grabbed her school bag, pulling out a journal that she and the Stand communicated with. About a year after meeting him, she got the idea of writing their conversations since the Stand couldn’t speak, and people would look at her funny since no one else could see him; assuming the little girl was just talking to herself.

This was their ninth notebook together, the girl kept all of them for memory sake, and because she didn’t want to throw them away where other people could read them.

Pulling out her sparkly green pen she always used, she handed Star Platinum his blue pen he always used.

 

’What’s wrong, Joly?’ 

   

Jolyne looked at the writing in silence, thinking for a moment before writing.

 

’It’s Father’s Day.’

 

’What’s the matter with that?’ 

 

Jolyne gave Star Platinum a look, the gaze practically saying ‘Seriously?’. She knew that Star knew why should we be so upset about this, or at least, she thought he knew.

 

’I hate Father’s Day. I’m so grateful for my Momma being here, but I hate seeing everyone out with their dads. I get so jealous.’

 

Star Platinum noticed Jolyne’s handwriting starting to get a bit shaky, seeing her small hand tremble a bit as she wrote on the page. Looking away from the paper and to the girl, the Stand frowned as he saw tears filling in her teal-colored eyes, which were still fixated on the page.

Jolyne’s chest shook as she inhaled deeply, before her lower lip trembled, Star Platinum seeing a tear roll down her cheek before the girl hid her face in her hands, muffling her choked sobs.

The Stand immediately wrapped his arms around Jolyne, hugging her close to his giant, warm frame. The girl gently gripped onto his white bandanna that adorned his neck, and cried into the cloth.

”I hate this day. I hate this day! I hate it so much, Star,” was all Jolyne could stammer out, voice muffled from the bandanna, her breaths short and shaky, voice cracking as she started to hyperventilate. This was the first time she was ever genuinely upset about being fatherless.

Jolyne was gently rocked in Star Platinum’s arms, causing her to slowly calm down, some tears still freely flowing. The girl flinched as she felt the spirit’s chest rumble as if he was going to speak, looking up at him.

His lips didn’t move, but she heard a gruff and monotone voice that she had never heard before, but said disembodied voice was very quiet.

”I’m so sorry.”

Jolyne looked up at Star Platinum with wide, tear-filled eyes.

”D-Did you just speak..?” The girl barely managed to whisper, before frowning and sniffling a bit when the spirit shook his head ‘no’ in response.

Maybe it was just wishful thinking on her part.

”Oh- I forgot something...” Joly’s quivering voice finally became calm, her cheeks a bit red from crying, but otherwise, she was no longer upset.

The girl reached into her bag once again, putting her and Star Platinum’s journal aside as she pulled out a folded sheet of blue card stock paper.

”In class yesterday, we had to write a Father’s Day card... I-I hope you don’t mind that I made this for you,” Jolyne whispered, looking away from the Stand as she handed him the card.

Star Platinum gently opened the card, seeing a little sketch of him on the left side. For being a fourth grader, her artistic abilities were very impressive, and it seemed that Jolyne took a good amount of time on it. On the right side of the card, she had written him a little message, signing her name in cursive for her signature.

Jolyne sat there nervously, she knew Star Platinum would never hurt her or dislike her, but giving him the card was inexplicably nerve wracking. She blinked when she felt a hand gently pat the top of her head, said hand being careful not to mess up her usual hairstyle. 

The girl looked up at him, seeing a small, truly genuine smile on the spirit’s face. Jolyne smiled excitedly in return, before blinking as he pulled away from her, his gloved hands glowing as a blank, white piece of paper materialized in his hands.

She tilted her head to the side a bit when he pointed at her pencil bag, before finally realizing what he was asking for. Handing Star Platinum a pencil, she watched him point at a black pen, to which she gave him as well.

Jolyne’s eyes tried to watch Star Platinum’s hand moving at incredible speed, she swore the paper was going to catch on fire at how fast the pencil was being moved across it. Within seconds, the spirit finished with the pencil, gently uncapping the pen and repeated the same, quick motions from before, inking and coloring in whatever it was he was drawing.

Barely a minute had passed before Star put the cap back on the pen, carefully handing over the paper to Jolyne, still holding onto his card from her.

The girl’s eyes widened what she saw, a soft gasp escaping from  her lips. It was a drawing of her, and it looked absolutely life-like. It stopped at her shoulders, but everything was so detailed and realistic, it looked like a black and white photograph. He had drawn butterflies all around her, swirls of ivy and flowers decorating the background behind her in the drawing. At the very bottom, it read “Jolyne” in perfect, beautiful calligraphy.

”Star.. it’s so pretty!” Jolyne praised, her eyes once again filling with tears- but this time, they were tears of happiness. Observing every mark and detail on the page, her eyes caught something gold and glimmering at the bottom, causing her immediately to look. 

Engraved in gold lettering at the bottom, right-hand corner of the paper was ‘K. J.’, which caused her to raise a brow in curiosity, and confusion.

”Hey, Star.. what is this?” she asked softly, her small index finger gently feeling along the golden initials before she looked up at the Stand. His expression dropped at he looked at the letters, it was obviously something he didn’t want her to see.

”Star?” Jolyne echoed, ready to press the answer out of him, before the sound of a car horn honking nearby caused the girl to jolt from her seat.

Looking where the sound came from, she saw her mom’s car parked, smiling a bit when her mom smiled and waved at her.

”Oh, I guess it’s time for me to go home!” she hummed, soon forgetting about the initials as she started to pack up her bag, before carefully placing Star Platinum’s drawing of her in a folder, treating it as if it were a priceless artifact.

Jolyne was about to say goodbye to her guardian spirit, before seeing the saddened expression on his face. He felt bad since he didn’t get to spend a lot of time with her this week for some unknown reason, and he didn’t want to leave her yet; especially seeing after how upset she was only a few minutes ago.

”Don’t worry, Star! You’ll see me soon!” Joly promised, extending her pinky out to Star Platinum, who only blinked and looked down at her finger with confusion.

”It’s a pinky promise, silly. It’s a promise you can never break,” she explained, watching the Stand’s eyes light up with understanding. He soon linked his large pinky around her small one, gently shaking it in return, signaling he was going to keep his end of the promise.

Jolyne huffed a bit when her mom honked the car horn again, so she let go of Star Platinum, quickly zipping up her backpack and giving him a quick but sincere hug.

”Goodbye, Star. Come see me again soon!” the girl waved to him as she ran to her mother’s car, setting her bag down and buckling her seat belt, watching Star Platinum wave before fading away once the car started to leave.

❀ 

It seemed as if Star Platinum was bad at keeping his promises. Jolyne knew she shouldn’t be upset anymore, after all, she was growing older. Now a second year in junior high- or in American terms, an eighth grader, she had just turned 15 a week prior. 

So much had happened since she was younger. Jolyne honestly couldn’t remember when or why she and her mother had moved to Port St. Lucie, Florida.

But, it was better than Japan, she guessed. The fearsome and tough girl was able to make friends in Florida much easier due to practically everyone coming from homes just as broken as hers.

Jolyne was almost convinced that Star Platinum was a figment of her imagination, perhaps some imaginary friend she had dreamed up. She knew that it wasn’t true, and that she wasn’t insane. Everything he gave her, the time he spent with her, it was all real. But why had he been gone for so long?

Her mother could tell that her sweet Joly was starting to turn out like her father. She grew more distant, spending time at the beach, getting into fights, and keeping up her barriers to protect herself from getting hurt. It was like one day, Jolyne just snapped. 

Jolyne still loved her mother with all her heart, she was the only one who was there for her, along with Star Platinum. But she had gotten closer and closer to the spirit with each passing year, it was hard to spend time with a parent that was never there. She barely had a mother, she had no father, and now she had lost Star Platinum.

And now, here she was, sitting on the beach. The sun was setting low in the horizon, turning the sky a shade of crimson, the water turning an inky black color as the sunlight started to fade.

Jolyne was supposed to be home hours ago, she had multiple missed calls and texts from her mom. The calm breeze blowing all around her put the teenager at ease, her palms slightly digging into the warm, white sand as she sat and gazed upon the water.

She hated herself for the fact she and her father seemed to share the trait of love for the ocean, she absolutely hated being associated with him in any way. Even when her and her mother had gotten into a fight, when she heard her own mother shout ‘You’re just like your father! I swear, you’re turning into him more and more with each day that goes by!’, Jolyne had a complete and total meltdown.

And much like her father, she expressed all of her emotions through anger. That night, she had gone out and smashed windows of abandoned buildings, started fights she knew she most likely couldn’t win, and then came home without another word to her mother.

That all happened last night.

Still ignoring her mother’s desperate calls and texts, Jolyne perked up when she heard footsteps approaching her from behind, the sound of multiple footsteps crunching the sand underneath their shoes.

”That’s her?”

”Yeah, that’s the bitch that beat the shit outta me and my friend last night,” a familiar voice growled, causing the girl to huff.

Jolyne’s knuckles were still bloodied and bruised from the fight she had initiated last night. Maybe if she ignored their cat calls, she wouldn’t have reacted as severely as she did last night; but she was so enraged from the argument with her mother that she couldn’t stop the onslaught of punches and kicks she delivered to the two guys who kept following her.

She quickly stood up when she heard the sound of a blade being drawn, the all too recognizable sound of a switchblade being extended almost echoed in the calm silence of the beach.

She turned around and saw the two men she had beaten the night before, accompanied by three of their friends. Five in total. Jolyne gulped a bit, she was weary and tired from the night before, and she knew she couldn’t win this fight, especially if they were carrying weapons with them.

”Well, if it isn’t the small dick twins and their shitty friends,” Jolyne mumbled, taking a step back when the men started to stride towards her.

”Didn’t your daddy ever teach you to be a good girl?” One of the men purred, getting way too close to her for comfort. One of Jolyne’s combat boots was getting wet from the weak tide that kept pulling in and away from the shore.

”Just give us your wallet, and put those pretty little lips of yours to use good use, and all can be forgiven,” the one with the knife hummed, pressing the cool blade up against the soft skin of her neck.

Jolyne growled a bit, damn her for coming out to the beach so late at night where hardly anyone came to visit.

”My wallet? Fine,” she huffed, pulling out said item from her back pocket. She barely had twenty dollars in there, so she didn’t really care if they mugged her. But she had to take out something very important before she could hand her wallet over.

One of the boys saw her pull out a folded, faded square of paper, causing him to quickly rip it away from her thin fingers. 

“Well, well. What do we have here?” he smirked, unfolding the paper as one of his friends pinned Jolyne’s arms behind her back, kicking the back of her legs to force her to kneel in the sand.

”Give it back! Give that back right fucking now!” Any shred of calmness the girl had was long gone now, squirming desperately to get that piece of paper back.

The boy broke out in laughter when he saw what it was, an old pencil and pen drawing of Jolyne as a child, seeing her name underneath the drawing.

”Jolyne, huh?” he snickered, before showing the drawing off to his friends, who in turn started to snicker and laugh at it.

”Give it back, please!” Hot tears of anger and desperation started to fill in Jolyne’s cyan eyes, causing the boys to only laugh more.

”Awh, does widdle Jowyne want her dwawing back?” the boy faked a pouty face, still dangling it in front of her, watching with amusement as she desperately tried to free her arms from the other man’s grip. “You can get it back if you be a good girl for all of us.”

Jolyne was practically shaking with rage, her eyes burning with an intensity that could only be matched by her father’s. The boy let go of the paper, watching it flutter to the ground before he stepped on it, the bottom of his boot crumpling and smearing the drawing.

”Fuck you! Stop- Stop doing that!” Jolyne was almost screaming now, blinking when the boy stopped assaulting Star Platinum’s drawing of her, before squeezing her eyes shut as he started to bring his fist back, getting ready for the painful blow he was going to deliver to her.

But it never came. Feeling a familiar warmth in front of her, Jolyne opened her eyes, before gasping at what she saw.

It was Star Platinum, it was really him!

He punched the boy repeatedly, sending him flying back into the sand. Since no one else could see him, the boys started to freak out, wondering what was happening to their friend.

The boy that was keeping Jolyne’s arms pinned behind her back was ripped away by a very angry Star Platinum, the rest of the boys scrambling in the sand to get back to their downed friends and leave as fast as they could.

”What the fuck just happened?”

”I don’t know, but let’s go! We got her money!”

Jolyne shakily reached forward and grabbed onto the drawing, trying to see how much damage was done. A hot tear slid down her cheek as she saw the boot print on the drawing, seeing the pencil lines and shading was all smeared.

”Fuck,” she whispered, trembling hands carefully folding up the drawing, looking up when she felt a warm, comforting hand gently tilt her chin up. 

Star Platinum’s free hand carefully picked her up off the sand, setting Jolyne back on her feet. The teenager dusted the sand off of her, moving away from the spirit's grasp. 

“You suck at keeping your promises,” Jolyne huffed, putting the paper back in pocket. “I’m surprised you even found me. It’s been almost two years since I last saw you,” she mumbled, picking up a large stick and tossing it to the spirit who caught it, so he could write his responses in the sand.

She couldn’t stay mad at him for long, the apologetic look on Star’s face made her stomach churn with guilt. Jolyne watched as one of his hands started to glow, she knew he was going to hand her something every time she saw that glow.

Blinking as she saw it was a necklace, she saw the pendant was a very large arrowhead, seemingly made out of pure gold. The design on it was very intricate and detailed, she noticed as he gently grabbed her hand, turning it over so he could place the necklace in her palm. 

Now using the stick, he wrote only one sentence, before letting the wood drop on the shore.

 

’This is to keep you safe.’ 

 

“Safe? Safe from what?” Jolyne asked, a bit on edge from the cryptic message, and the situation he had just rescued her from.

Star Platinum stayed silent, turning his face away as he started to fade, causing Jolyne’s eyebrows to furrow with anger and confusion, running up to the Stand.

”Hey- Star! What the hell?! Don’t leave!” Jolyne pleaded, anger and desperation lacing her voice. She grabbed onto his bandanna, which stopped nothing as he continued to vanish.

”Star Platinum! Don’t leave yet! Please!” she was practically begging, weakly slamming her fists on his broad and muscular chest, until the warm, ghostly surface was gone.

”Damnit!” Jolyne hissed, almost stumbling forward into the sand since she was slightly leaning on Star Platinum before he disappeared. Gritting her teeth, she wiped away the hot tears harshly, her voice cracking and only coming out as a whisper.

”Please don’t leave me again..” 

Five years.

It had been five years since Jolyne last saw Star Platinum, five years since the night on the beach he saved her from the group of men.

Now 19 years of age, one could say with confidence that she was a spitting image of her father. The nose, the eyes, the always angry demeanor, the deadly silence that followed with her- if anyone knew Jotaro Kujo, then they’d know without a doubt that Jolyne Cujoh was his flesh and blood child.

Jolyne practically erased all of her memories of her times with Star Platinum, she knew he had left her for good. And that little girl that the spirit helped raised? That kid was never coming back.

She had left the house as soon as she turned 18, the fights between herself and her mother grew to be more than they could bear. They still loved each other, but almost every day with them brought about another argument. And Jolyne was sick and tired of hearing how much she was reminding her mom of her father.

The damned woman wouldn’t even tell Jolyne was her father’s name was! Not that she wanted to know, she always swore if she ever ran into him, that she would kill him. She could never make him suffer as much as he deserved to because of all the pain he put her and her mother through.

But, her mother always did save the day with words of wisdom.

”Nothing good ever happens past 1 A.M.,” she would constantly tell Jolyne, especially once she hit the teenage years to try and warn her not too stay out late and make bad choices like all teenagers did. 

2:12 A.M. 

That’s the time the digital clock on the police officer’s dashboard read, the bright, red glimmer of the numbers casting a scarlet glow on Jolyne's face.

”Stop resisting!” The arresting officer snarled, keeping Jolyne’s thin wrists pinned behind her back with one of his hands. The teenager responded by trying to squirm away, before tensing up when she felt his hand on the back of her head.

Jolyne got the wind knocked out of her when he slammed her upper half down on the hood of the car, her cheek pressing against the cold, wet surface. She choked as she tried to draw in a breath, feeling like the officer’s hand was going to crush her against his car.

”Get the fuck away from me!” Jolyne screamed, still flailing about and resisting as much as she could, the second officer frisking her for any weapons on her body.  

“Tell me why I’m being detained!” she demanded, a dangerous fire burning in her eyes as she looked over her shoulder to glare at the cop who was keeping her pinned to the hood.

”We ain’t required to tell you shit!” the officer growled in return, applying enough pressure to her wrists to make the girl’s bones feel like they were about to snap. Jolyne let out a strained whimper of pain at this, letting her body go limp for the time being.

Once the second officer finished frisking her, he pulled her wallet out of her pocket to check her identification- and she was just the suspect they were looking for.

”Jolyne Cujoh, 19 years old, green-blue eyes, 5 foot 8 inches..” The officer let her driver’s license fall onto the slick hood of the vehicle, only furthering her confusion.

”I swear- I wasn’t trying to buy that alcohol!” Jolyne lied smoothly, they cornered her in the liquor store, so it’d make sense that was the reason as to why she was getting arrested, right? 

“You can’t even arrest me for minor in possession! You can only fine me!” the fiery girl was starting to get scared, she had never been caught doing anything bad. Five years of doing ‘bad shit’ as she would say, and never once was she caught by adults, cops, or even her own mother- and there was no way she was breaking that perfect record tonight!

”We ain’t arrestin’ ya for the booze,” the officer that kept her pinned down chuckled, replacing his iron grip with his handcuffs, the metal too tight and starting to dig into Jolyne’s skin.

He flipped her around to where her face was no longer pressed against the hood, the quick movements making Jolyne’s head spin as her eyes tried to adjust to the darkness flooding the alleyway they had chased her down into.

”It’s for that kid ya killed, the DWI. The warrant for your arrest was released yesterday mornin’,” the second cop finished, pulling a cigarette out from his uniform pocket, shielding the lighter’s flames from the cold wind as he lit it, before taking a long drag.

“D-DWI? Killed a kid?!” Jolyne was completely terrified, her eyes wide as she looked back and forth between the two cops.

“That wasn’t me! I-I didn’t even know someone died in a drunk driving accident!” she pleaded, trying to prove her innocence- because she truly was innocent.

”Save that shit for court,” one officer huffed, flicking his half-smoked cigarette down onto the wet earth, before his black shoe quickly twisted it into the ground, making the faint orange glow disappear.

The other officer was rifling through her wallet, looking for any incriminating evidence- before pulling out a folded piece of paper with a raised brow.

”The fuck..?” He unfolded the old paper, before scoffing as he saw it was a drawing of his criminal when she was child, causing Jolyne’s head to quickly look over to him.

”H-HEY!” She shouted, quickly catching his attention. “Put that back carefully! That’s none of your goddamn business!” 

The officer chuckled, getting a bright idea to try and draw a confession out of her, and to mess with her because he was bored already.

”Maybe you should hurry up and confess,” he smirked, slowly starting to tear the drawing down the middle.

”I-I didn’t do it-! Stop that!” Jolyne pleaded, trying to charge at the officer, the second cop tripped her, causing her to land face first in the muddy alley.

Both of them laughed as she fell over, the first officer quickly growing disinterested, ripping the paper completely and letting it flutter into the mud, before the heel of his shoe quickly smushed it down into the wet ground, causing the ink to run and smear, the drawing now almost completely shredded to pieces.

”Oops,” he said with a shrug, before swiftly bringing Jolyne up from the mud. The girl’s eyes stung with tears, making visible tracks on her cheeks as the warm drops washed away some of the muck and dirt from her face.

”I’m gonna read ya your rights, you little shit,” the officer hissed, once again slamming Jolyne’s face and chest roughly onto the hood of his patrol car. “Ya have the right to remain-...” 

His words and voice faded away, Jolyne’s tired eyes starting to droop closed. The pain, sadness, and fear was starting to become overwhelming, her body was starting to shut down on her. 

A golden gleam caught Jolyne’s eye, causing her to wearily lift her head up, chin slightly resting on the cold and wet metal of the car. 

Her stomach plummeted as she saw Star Platinum standing on the other side of the car, a horrified and worried expression on his face. She gave him a weak smile, the chain of the arrowhead necklace that he had given her all those years ago got tugged on by the cop, causing her to cough and choke as the metal dug into her neck.

“I said...” the cop leaned down to growl in her ear, smirking as he saw how defeated she looked. “Do you understand your rights as I have read them to you?”

Jolyne nodded weakly, her eyes never leaving Star Platinum’s. She knew he couldn’t try to save her this time, since the officers would assume she was somehow attacking them, and she would definitely do some hard time for assaulting an officer.

Being dragged off the hood and towards the car by her handcuffs, one of the cops opened up the backseat for her, practically shoving the limp girl into the car. 

“Star..” her voice cracked, her whisper barely audible as she tried to look at the Stand through the window of the car. Moving to the right side of the car as much as she could, she grew more afraid as the car started to pull out of the alley, desperately looking at Star Platinum. 

Her eyes stayed on him for as long as she could see him, noticing that he wasn’t fading away. He wasn’t going to leave her this time.

Jolyne had been in prison for less than a month, but she swore it was a whole lifetime behind those barred doors. The hours felt like years, trapped in a tiny room with no socialization, and only an hour of being outside every day. 

Her mother was informed about the night she was arrested, but she had yet to come visit Jolyne. She believed what the officers and courtroom said about the intoxicated manslaughter, although Jolyne tried to prove her innocence against the DWI as best as she could, but to no avail.

The girl practically drowned in her puddle of shame, now not even her own mother wanted to see her. Jolyne knew it was because her mother would start crying, but it was also because she truly believed her sweet Jolyne was a killer.

So, when one of the guards dragged Jolyne out of her cell and told her she had a visitor, the girl was very confused.

"Move faster, Cujoh," he snarled, pushing her forward slightly, causing her to almost trip over the shackles attached to her ankles.

"I don't know how to walk in these yet!" Jolyne snapped defensively, the muscles in her arms straining from being held behind her back from the handcuffs.

"You better get used to it. You ain't leaving these cells for a long time, Cujoh."

The moment the guard shoved Jolyne into the empty visitor room, her eyes scanned the clearing for any sight of anyone, causing her to frown once she realized no one was in the room.

Jolyne sighed softly as the guard took off her handcuffs, rubbing her red and sore wrists to soothe them.

"Sit down," the guard commanded, and Cujoh obeyed, both too tired to argue, and curious to see who was going to visit her.

The guard soon left her side, going to the locked door to let in the visitor. Jolyne's eyes never left the door, before she stared up at the man who walked in.

Her eyes were immedatiately drawn to the bizarre outfit he was wearing. The black hat with a large green star and gold decorations, a black and green accented trenchcoat with gold trim, a white shirt with a matching green star, and finally, some god-awful, gaudy snakeskin patterned pants.

Jolyne would've laughed at this man's sense in fashion, if she hadn't immediately looked at his face soon after his clothing.

No.

Oh God, no.

It was like staring in a mirror- their eyes, their noses, even their lips...

"Shit."

"That's no way to greet a visitor," the man grumbled as he sat in the seat across from Jolyne, before ushering for the guard to leave. 

Jolyne watched in surprise as the security guard actually left, he must've bribed him or something along those lines to get the two alone.

She already knew who this man was, but she had to ask.

”And who in the Hell are you?” Jolyne’s voice dripped with malice, her eyes scanning the stoic man’s face for any sort of reaction. She didn’t get one. 

“Jotaro Kujo. But I think you already knew that,” he said simply, tilting up the brim of his cap a bit so he could look down at her. “That all depends on what your mother told you.”

Jolyne felt sick to her stomach, her heart was in her throat, and it felt like her gut dropped to the floor. She felt so vulnerable and almost heartbroken, nineteen years without seeing her father, and now here he was, inches away from her.

The girl’s heartbreak and anger took over her rational thought, practically leaping over the table that separated them, one hand going for his throat, her other curling into a fist and readying itself to punch the ever loving shit out of him.

Jotaro was actually caught off guard, he should’ve known better seeing how similar they were, but it was a few seconds too late when the weight of the two tipped his chair over, the back of his head hitting the linoleum floor.

He grunted in slight pain, his sea green eyes piercing into Jolyne’s teal ones. Kujo felt his chest tighten painfully with guilt as he saw the hurt in his daughter’s eyes, the hot tears of anger in her eyes threatening to spill.

”Why the fuck are you here?! You’re lucky I ain’t gonna trash your lights right now!” Jolyne snarled, her fist in the air shaking, ready to strike him- yet she somehow couldn’t bring herself to hit him.

Jotaro couldn’t help but feel a small sense of pride at his daughter’s words and actions, is this how he acted on his journey to Egypt? Probably so he thought, and now Jolyne was just as defensive and aggressive as he was. 

“You’re a piece of shit, deadbeat ‘father’. What the Hell are you doing here?” Jolyne was almost screaming at this point, hot tears carving wet tracks down her cheeks, before she tensed up and struggled as someone grabbed her arms from behind, ripping her off of Jotaro.

She figured it was the security guard, so she didn’t resist too much, not wanting to get in trouble with the correctional officers again. Jolyne had already spent enough time in solitary confinement within her month’s stay at the prison.

Jotaro pushed himself up and off the ground, rubbing at his throat for a brief moment, knowing he was definitely going to have a mark from his daughter’s hand.

”Jolyne, I am so sorry. But I swear, I didn’t abandon you,” he spoke softly, wondering if it was a smart idea or not to reveal his Stand to her.

”Yes, you did! You’re a shitty liar!” Jolyne snapped, still a bit limp to the arms that kept her hands pinned behind her back. “You left Mom and I- do you know how hard she worked just to keep us fed and warm?! You wouldn’t, because you were never there!”

If Jotaro wasn’t so emotionally repressed, he definitely would’ve appeared as upset as he truly was. He had to leave to keep her safe- but he didn’t know how to tell her. Tell her the truth about their family, about the star-shaped birthmark at the base of their neck- about anything.

Jolyne felt the hands gripping at her arms disappear, causing her to immediately look over her shoulder to see who had grabbed her; but no one was there. She looked back to Jotaro again, her knees buckling at what she saw.

It was Star Platinum, slowly appearing next to Jotaro. The Stand conveyed the amount of hurt and heartbreak that Kujo was feeling, causing Jolyne to grip the table behind her to regain her balance.

”Star..?” Jolyne’s voice came out shakier than she expected, watching as he extended his gloved hand out to her. She gently grasped it and pulled it close to herself, her teary eyes still gazing up at the spirit.

Now, and only now, she realized how similar Star Platinum looked compared to Jotaro, causing her heart to falter a bit.

”Is... is he you?” Jolyne managed to whisper, Star holding on to her when she almost collapsed when Jotaro nodded.

”He’s a manifestation of my soul’s energy. Everything he did with you, I could see. Everything you said, I heard,” Jotaro trailed off as he reached into the pocket of his coat, before pulling out a faded piece of card stock.

He watched her eyes stayed glued to the paper, before he saw them shine with remembrance. It was the old Father’s Day card she made for Star Platinum back in grade school.

”I kept this with me every single day since you gave it to Star Platinum,” he murmured, his calloused thumb gently brushing over the weathered and faded paper, still looking down at the card.

Jolyne hardened her heart once more, taking a step back from Jotaro and his Stand. 

“I made that for Star. And if I knew he was you, I would never have let him be around me!” Jolyne growled, her angered expression faltering when she saw her father and the spirit flinch a bit, a hurt look flashing over Jotaro’s face.

She changed the subject, not wanting to give in to her almost overwhelming urge to apologize to them both.

”I kept that drawing Star made for me. Well, until..” Jolyne fell quiet, looking down at the floor when she remembered the night she got arrested.

”I know. I saw how your arresting officers ripped it to shreds,” Jotaro mumbled, putting his hand on Star Platinum’s shoulder, who still looked upset.

Jolyne looked up from the floor, before giving in. If her father was anything like her, then he was definitely stubborn, too.

"Tell me why you’re here, Kujo.”

❀ 

Jolyne held her head in her hands, trying to comprehend everything Jotaro had told her. Stands, a man named Dio, a trip to Egypt, two bloodlines bound together by destiny.

”That’s why we have a star-shaped birthmark. It’s cheesy, seeing how we’re from the Joestar bloodline, but it can’t be helped,” Jotaro stated, turning to the side in his seat a bit and tugging at his coat and shirt, exposing the pink star on the bottom of his neck.

Jolyne had no choice but to believe at this point, her own hand subconsciously reaching up to cover her own star.

”If this Dio guy is dead, then why do we have to worry about him?” Jolyne asked, arms now crossing over her chest, treating this situation as if it were a business interaction.

Jotaro knew he had no room to get on to her for that, considering the fact the moment his grandfather, Joseph Joestar, told him about Dio he only scoffed and acted as if he had nothing to do with it.

”Because, the man who framed you for the intoxicated manslaughter is a long-time, devoted servant of Dio.”

Jolyne groaned, her fingers gently tugging at and feeling along the patterns of the arrowhead necklace Star Platinum gave her years ago.

”Remember how I told you that was to keep you safe?” Jotaro asked, his expression softening when he saw his daughter fiddling with the necklace. He knew she hated every fiber of his being beyond a reasonable doubt, but couldn’t stop the spark of pride that shot through him.

”Yeah. What, are we supposed to use this to kill Dio’s follower?” Jolyne asked with a raised brow, letting go of the necklace, causing the cold metal to hit against her chest.

Jotaro couldn’t help but scoff at Jolyne’s words, that noise was the closest he could get to laughing these days.

”No. You’re going to use that to awaken your Stand powers,” Jotaro explained, before rolling his eyes when Jolyne laughed this time.

Jolyne stumbled outside, a bright smile on her face. She was so glad to be out of the prison, shackle and uniform free, back in her usual outfit.

Even if it had only been a month, she still felt like she had missed so much. Jotaro had to pull some strings at the Speedwagon Foundation to get Jolyne out of serving her sentence, but at this point, the Foundation was used to doing everything Kujo asked of them on a whim.

Jotaro couldn’t stop the very faint grin that tugged at his lips as he watched his daughter take a deep breath and close her eyes, enjoying the fresh air that filled her lungs.

A familiar feeling wrapped itself around the marine biologist’s heart, the same one that would appear each time he sent Star Platinum out to check up on Jolyne, every time Jolyne would smile and hug him, feeling the loving warmth from her.

The feeling of regret.

He had explained to Jolyne why he had to leave, but he couldn’t stand to see the sad look in her eyes after he spoke.

 

”It was to keep you safe. I swear. Your safety was the only thing on my mind for nineteen years.”

 

Jolyne huffed when she noticed Jotaro spaced out, although he was still staring at her. Snapping her fingers right in front of his face, she smiled a bit when he blinked and came back to reality. 

Once she was out of the prison’s walls, Jolyne ran to the shore of the beach, taking a deep breath of the clean, salty air. Jotaro followed along with her, a proud smile pulling at his mouth as he saw his daughter gazing passionately at the blue waters.

Now it was Jolyne’s turn to get lost in her thoughts, the faint yet distinct call of seagulls overhead, the gentle lapping of the tide hitting the sand, and the leaves of the palm trees gently rubbing against one another was enough to send her into a dreamlike trance.

Jotaro silently approached behind his daughter. He knew he should keep his distance, he knew how much it was hurting Jolyne by him being there. But he had to protect her, he had to see her. He had wasted his life in a blood feud that he didn’t care if he died for, but the moment his daughter was born, he swore to keep her safe at all costs.

If that meant he couldn’t be there for her when she was growing up, then Jotaro was more than willing to take that loss. He’d do anything to keep Jolyne safe. 

But Kujo couldn’t uphold that promise to himself. He constantly visited and spent time with her using Star Platinum, he just couldn’t help it. Every day he went without seeing Jolyne made his heart wrench and ache.

And seeing her now, all grown up and spitting image of him, a tough and take-no-shit kind of girl, Jotaro wanted to wrap his arms around Jolyne and give her a hug. God, he hated gushy shit like that, but he had to make up for all the years he missed out on.

”Remember the day I gave you that card? Father’s Day, when I was ten?” Jolyne’s voice was soft and gentle, but she still had her back to Jotaro. He was surprised she didn’t clarify that she made it for Star Platinum, but that she made it for him.

”And I was on the bench, crying.. I heard a voice. It wasn’t Star, but somehow, it still made me feel safe and loved,” Jolyne glanced at Jotaro out of the corner of her eye, watching him freeze up for a moment. “That voice- that man, he said he was so sorry.”

Jotaro pulled the brim of his hat down over his eyes, a teenaged habit he never grew out of. He kept his eyes from betraying his emotions by keeping the cap low, his hand shaking ever so slightly as he put it back down to his side.

”Was that you?”

This was one of the times when Jotaro just wanted to break down and sob. But he couldn’t. He just had to stand there, pretending like he didn’t care a single bit. 

Jolyne knew exactly what he was thinking, because that’s how she handled emotional situations as well. Just ignore it, pretend it wasn’t happening, and tell yourself you have to be the stoic one because that’s what everyone wanted you to be. What everyone expected and needed you to be.

No words escaped their lips. Jolyne had now turned to face her father, tears slowly starting to form in her cyan eyes. Her arms were still crossed over her chest, looking up at him patiently.

Jotaro’s head was hung low with shame and hurt, he would’ve given anything to have been there with her when she needed him. Not as Star Platinum, but as Jotaro Kujo.

Just a few feet apart, the only movements that were made was the natural rising and falling of their chests as they breathed, and their ebony black hair blowing to the side from the gentle breeze that surrounded them. Black shoes planted in the golden sand; black, green, and gold against blue, white, and green.

He didn’t have to say a single word. Both Jotaro and Jolyne knew that. The girl knew it was her father’s voice all those years ago, she instantly recognized it the moment he spoke to her in the visitation room.

”Yes, that was me. I couldn’t stand to see you so upset, I had to do something.”

Jolyne couldn’t believe the actual 180 that her emotions pulled, only an hour ago she wanted to beat her father to an inch of his life, and now she had to stop herself from running into his arms like a lost child.

Such is the way of family, she guessed.

”Did.. did you really want to be around me?” Jolyne’s voice wavered, her entire body shaking lightly as she felt ready to burst into tears and surrender to the lost connection that she so desperately wanted to fix.

“Of course I did. You’re my first and only child. My daughter. All I ever wanted was to be by your side and help guide you and watch you grow up,” Jotaro admitted softly, his stone-cold expression fading away.

She took one step towards him.

”I always used to dream you’d come to see me,” Jolyne smiled wistfully, still looking up at Jotaro. “But you sent Star to me. I know he isn’t completely you, but he was more than enough. And knowing that you did that for me..” her words trailed off, she didn’t have a need to finish her sentence. They both knew what she had meant.

He took one step towards her.

”Don’t get soft on me, kiddo,” Jotaro grumbled, his tone of voice acting as a polar opposite of the grin that was crossing his face. Jolyne returned the smile with an equally witty remark. 

”Says the man who let his Stand babysit me,” Jolyne smirked a bit, her usual attitude reappearing once again now that her and her father were teasing each other. 

Jotaro chuckled softly, closing his eyes and shaking his head before his eyes widened in surprise as he felt her arms suddenly wrap around him, feeling Jolyne’s cheek gently press up against his chest. 

She could hear his heart beating rapidly, she knew she had caught Jotaro off guard. Jolyne relaxed when she felt her father’s arms envelop her in a tight, protective hug, as if he were to let go he’d lose her all over again. 

It was just like hugging Star Platinum, but this felt more real. More sincere.

Now it was Jolyne’s turn to be surprised, feeling a second pair of arms wrap around her, seemingly on top of Jotaro’s arms. She opened her eyes, a brow raised from curiosity.

Star Platinum was hovering over Jotaro, chin practically resting on his user’s shoulder, his arms above Jotaro’s as he hugged her close as well.

Right there. Right there is where Jolyne decided she wanted to be.

”I’m sorry that I wasn’t there. I’m so sorry,” Jotaro’s voice was soft, yet it still faltered at those last words. The lost relationship was starting to be rebuilt, but the guilt more than likely would stay with Jotaro forever. They both knew that. But Jolyne was there to help him; they had to start somewhere.

”You’re here now. That’s all that matters to me,” Jolyne murmured in a soothing tone, her loosening her grip on Jotaro. He did the same, he and Star Platinum’s arms slowly letting go of her until she pulled away.

”Now stop being a softy, and let’s go get something to eat. I’m excited to eat something other than prison slop.”

Jotaro huffed and rolled his eyes when his daughter called him soft, muttering a ‘good grief’ under his breath. She saw the light, but undeniable smile that graced his lips, causing her to smile all the same.

”We can come up with a game plan while we’re out. But I think you owe me a nice meal,” Jolyne snickered, starting to walk away from the shore, Star Platinum fading back into Jotaro’s frame as he quickly caught up to her.

“It looks like you inherited my appetite,” Jotaro teased with a proud grin, glancing down at Jolyne as they walked to the taxi at the front gate of the prison.

”I think I inherited a lot from you,” Jolyne teased in returned, her elbow gently nudging his arm as the two walked side by side.

Once the two were in the taxi, it was obvious that Jolyne was more than eager to leave the prison site. The ride from Green Dolphin Street Prison was silent, father and daughter looking out of their respective windows in the backseat. It was a comforting silence, almost even soothing.

Jolyne’s hand rested on the middle seat between her and her father, her teal eyes still watching the prison slowly fade farther and farther away into the background.

She suddenly felt a calloused hand gently rest over hers, the larger hand carefully holding hers as if she was made of glass. Jolyne looked over and up to Jotaro, her hand very gently squeezing his in return.

Jotaro gave her a small smile in response, before looking back out his window, once again falling into the surrounding silence around them. His hand still held on to Jolyne's, so she didn’t let go either, her face turning back to the backseat window on her side.

Life for Jolyne had been hard, and she knew it was only going to get more difficult from here. But she didn’t mind, she was tough, and she now had her father by her side; she knew they would be unstoppable together.

And by her side was where Jotaro planned to stay.