I figured they couldn't have taken him too far, which probably meant the government building in Timber. I drove like there was a demon chasing me, glad that the roads were pretty much empty. I couldn't wait to get my hands on those bastards. It was about an hour and a half of lightning speed driving before the town came into view. My hands clenched around the steering wheel. I didn't bother looking for a parking space, I just stopped right in front of the building, almost hitting a little old lady with a shopping cart.
There was mild cursing from a few pedestrians as I tore from the car and stormed toward the main doors.
I would have destroyed the entire town looking for him... ...but he saved me the trouble.
He was screaming his lungs out.
I grinned to myself and followed the sound of the voice up the stairs.
A woman at a desk behind me tried to stop me.
But I was already gone.
The crying stopped abruptly. "UNCLE SEIFER!"
I pushed open the door to my left.
He was sitting alone in a small room with all kinds of toys around him. He sat crosslegged on the floor, his face red and tearstained.
I stared dumbly as he stood and rushed up to me, wrapping his little arms around my knees.
"I'm sorry I was bad....." he sobbed. I sighed and picked him up. "You weren't bad....They took you away because of Daddy and me..."
His tiny little fingers curled around the back of my shirt collar, clinging to me like I was the last solid thing in existence. And in that brief second I understood. I knew why Squall had wanted to keep him, why he'd been playing mother hen. Anthony was only a child, only a few years out of infancy. Helpless, innocent, scared. He was still too young to understand all that was happening to him, too small to do anything about it but cry, or hide. He was just like us when we were his age. Lost, abandoned... He needed us. And I think we needed him too.
"Are we goin' home?" He sniffled into my ear, resting his little head on my suddenly oversized seeming shoulder.
"Yeah, beb, we're going home. We're going back to Daddy. And not a person on the face of the planet is going to take you away again. I promise."
"Is Harold alright?" Harold?...oh... his little purple elephant plushie... How did I know that? I'd never really thought about it before...
"He's keeping Daddy company." I hopped down the stairs and jogged past the woman at the desk who was talking on a phone.
Probably to security.
I was already outside and at the car.
The little guy blinked. "You park funny."
The police were at the house when I arrived but I didn't slow down or attempt to run.
Anthony was securely fastened into the seat beside me and couldn't lift his head over the side of the door to look out the window. I didn't want to worry him.
"Anthony, you stay here okay?" I told him as I stopped the car and started to get out.
He looked up at, scared. "Are you coming back?"
I couldn't help but smile. Damn...he WAS kinda cute wasn't he... "Yeah, I'll be back."
"Kay." He blinked at me for a moment before looking around the car for something to keep his attention too.
I shut the door behind me and walked toward the house, right past the police cars. Ten pairs of eyes watched me come in through the front door.
Squall rushed to me, wrapping his arms around my neck. I held him as I looked over his shoulder at the police men staring at the both of us.
"It's alright…" Squall whispered in my ear, still traces that he'd been crying in his voice. "Dad took care of it… They were just staying with me until you got back…I guess they were afraid I'd hurt myself or something…"
"That was quick…" I held him tighter, nuzzling the side of his face lightly with my nose.
"I called Dad before you even came home. I...I tried calling you at the office but they said you were already on your way here..."
I nodded and watched as the police officers began to leave. "Anthony's in the car. Do you want to go get him?"
Squall smiled, wiping at his eyes. "So you actually got him?"
My chest puffed a little with pride. "Walked right in and took him. There was nothing they could do about it."
When we got outside, Anthony was still waiting in the car like I'd told him to, only his little face was pressed against the glass in wonder as police cars left. His face brightened when he saw us, his little body wiggling in the seat.
"So, he's ours now?" I asked, looking down at my husband as we walked.
He looked up at me, surprised. "You mean-"
"Well I'm not about to let him go back to those cretins after working so hard to get him back." I scoffed, letting a little smile show through it. "Besides, he's starting to grow on me…not unlike a little fungus…"
He half laughed, half sobbed and hugged me. "You're really okay with it?"
"I wouldn't say yes if I didn't mean it." I assured him.
And, to be quite honest… at the moment, the idea wasn't THAT horrible…
"Daddy!" Anthony wrapped his arms tightly around Squall's neck and laughed, his little feet wigging in the air as he was picked up. "I'm baaaack! They tried to take me away but Uncle Seifer scared `em all AWAY!"
Squall looked back at me and smiled the brightest, purest smile I'd ever seen. "Yeah, he's good at that."
Yeah, this was all definitely okay with me.
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