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damage finds damage makes damage

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It grows inside her like roiling seas, like thunder, like the start of a great storm. It's love, alright, damage finding damage as three wrongs make a right. The baby's a Quinn, even if somehow their name will be signed Bettelheim, because Quinn genes are always, always , dominant, no two ways about it.

She tells Joe it's a girl and, as transparent as she's trying to be, there's a detail she omits: she's quite sure there's a boy in there too, a mirror, a twin, like her, like Forty. She can't say how, but the certainty is overwhelming and, honestly — when have her instincts ever been wrong?

And if they're wrong, well… she's always been able to make them right. Dedication can get you anywhere.

 

Joe relents, repents, reveres her and their child, their children. He kneels in front of her, talks to her about love and trust and sacrifice. She wants to believe him, she does , there's nothing she wants more, but even with the eyes, the tears and the blood, there's a sliver of doubt there. 

Can you blame her? Opening yourself up is hard. Being vulnerable is hard. How to believe in real vulnerability when all you've been taught your entire life was to cover lies with a thick imitation of truth?

 

Forty's reaction hurts worse, though. She knows how he is, knows his fears, his hatred and destruction inside and out, knows him like she knows herself — better, even. Like she made him, like she built his body, mind, soul and heart out of pieces of her own. People talk about babies who ate their twin in the womb, but she's always believed her and Forty were the opposite: in the beginning there was just her; from her, he was born.

So it hurts, truly and deeply, when he recoils from her touch and her words, spews the hate inside him forward. He's sober, sure — the shake in his hands is different, the glimmer in his eyes, and she's learned to identify every sign with a scientist's accuracy —, but something else is driving him, something worse and more poisonous: disgust.

Disgust for her. For Joe. For their child, children. For their family.

Not the Quinns of old, the bullshit they were born and bred and buried in. But their family, just theirs, her, Forty, Joe. Love powered by her name and heart, the job she was blessed or burdened with as soon as her parents signed the birth certificate. Caring. Protecting. Healing. Saving and guiding and accepting those worthy few, those who laid themselves bare for her and shone so bright, so beautiful.

 

Joe kneels again, for Forty this time. For her. For them.

She believes fully, then, no doubt about it. He kneels, head held high, and closes his eyes in peaceful waiting when Forty tells him. He's willing, open, fully transparent. She could count every atom in his body then and there, see every string making up Joe Goldberg, the colors and tunes and words of his soul.

Ok, she'll admit: it was touch and go for a second, there. As strong as her instincts were, seeing Forty press the barrel of his gun to Will's head made her shake, hold her breath, reach for something akin to a prayer in the recesses of her mind.

But she was right, she's always right. Forty lowered his gun, dropped it with a clang and a sob, and the next second she was at his side, holding him and kissing his hair, whispering a litany of nothings perfected since childhood to ease his brain. All the while, she watched Joe, who took some time to believe what he felt, to open his eyes, understand the life around him, the new life he was given.

She sees it when he gets it, really gets it. His entire face rearranges, muscles tensing and relaxing in a dance that doesn't leave his eyes. It's relief, understanding, hope. The excitement of new possibilities, the faith in their future, the giddiness of a dream come true.

It's love.

Pure. Unadulterated.

Love.