Where The Heart Is

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Every muscle in Jebidiah's body felt like it was on fire. He was too old for this; his graying hairs had never been such a burden as they were today, when his age finally was beginning to get the better of him. He'd managed to get here--managed to take down every obstacle in his path--but not without a price: pain.

But though he felt weakness overtaking him, the sight of his daughter's limp body empowered him to keep moving. Though his bones may be brittle and his muscles shriveling, nothing could keep him from her now.


Nothing but what he may have been too late to stop.

"Amelia," he groaned, part of his heart crumbling when, for the fifth time, she didn't respond. "Please... Amelia, wake up." He was too strong to cry--but not too strong to feel.


Jebidiah reached out a hand to stroke his daughter's hair, but her head was not as warm as someone with life should have been. She looked so peaceful, laying there--if only she was but a bit warmer, he could believe she was just sleeping.

But she still may be, yet. "Amelia... I love you."


The fingers through her hair--the cracking voice of her weakened father--it stirred something to life in Amelia's stupor. She was alive--if only just.

"D... Daddy?" she whimpered, her eyes barely cracking open.

"AMELIA!" Life returned to Jebidiah, as well. Never with such fervor had he taken anyone into his arms, where he pulled her up, draping his arms around her. "Amelia! It's alright... It's alright, I'm here, sweetheart."

"I.. I..." She tried to say something, but her father ssshh'd her.

"Don't speak. Everything's okay. He's gone. No one will hurt you, now."


Amelia's eyes could still barely see what was around her. Though she heard what her father was saying, she couldn't believe it--she had to be hallucinating. Her hand reached out to grab his arm, unconvinced that he was real.

"D... D-dad," she cried.

Jebidiah smiled, and leaned forward to rest his forehead against hers. "Yes, it's me," he offered with a brief smile, looking into her eyes over the top of his glasses. "I'm here. I came for you."


Amelia began to sob; as weak as she was, nothing could contain the anguish at what she'd just experienced, nor the relief at seeing her father's face smiling down at her just one more time. She had believed she was dead... she believed she had lost all hope.

"Let's get you out of here," Jebidiah groaned as he embraced her into his arms and, with a stabbing pain in his aging back, raised her from the ground. "We're going to take you somewhere safe, alright?"


"S-safe... I'm safe," Amelia whispered. "Safe..."

"Yes. You're safe. Now c'mon, let's take you home."


As her sobs subsided, a fragile smile fell across Amelia's blood-drained lips because she knew...
... she was already there.





In her father's arms, Amelia gave way to sleep again. After losing so much blood and weakened from so little food, conciousness escaped from her and sent her into a dreamless world where the only thing she had was a vague sense of voices talking at a distance.

She wouldn't have noticed the difference between sleeping on a cloud or a bag of bricks, but it certainly felt like a bed of cotton. The noise of sirens, the rattling metal wheels of a stretcher, the static of a police radio, all faded away and melded with her peaceful, uninterruptable nap.


A nap that lasted for days.

Even if she'd wanted to wake, she couldn't; with the extrenuous trauma that Amelia's body had undergone, she'd been kept sedated for days. Blood and nutrients were flooded back into her body, restoring her--at least partially--to health.

With a bit of luck, she continued to live.


As the drugs began to fade away from Amelia's system, she slowly began to regain consciousness. Her eyes winked open, at first only making out blurry shapes and colors; but as they sharpened focus, the noises and smells of the hospital room began to give her a slight indication where she was.

She wasn't in heaven--well... At least that was a start.


"What... What happened," she asked aloud, but was surprised when a response actually came.

"Oh, good, you're awake." It was her father. She turned her eyes towards the source of the voice, and sure enough there he was, sitting, patiently, in an armchair in the corner.

Beside him, dozens of flowers, which were most likely from her adoring fans. It began to give her a sense of how long she'd been asleep.


"How do you feel?" Jebidiah asked as he stood up, cautiously approaching her bed.

"Sore... Blind... Gosh, the lights in here are bright." Amelia began to push herself up to a seated position, but every muscle in her body screamed at her as she did so.

"I imagine. Without food for two days, and asleep for another two days. You've been through a lot, Mia. Take it slow."

Amelia grumbled. "That still doesn't answer my question, though. What happened?"


Jebidiah approached closer, but he was still wary of his daughter's personal space. "Well..." How exactly do you begin something like this? "After you went missing... Naomi called me. There wasn't much that she could do, so I came for you. The police weren't far behind. They took care of everything."

"And... And Jerod? What about him?

"Amelia, Jerod is--well--he's..."


Amelia felt a pit in her stomach. Despite all the hatred she'd felt for Jerod, for everything that he had done to her, there was still something sickening about hearing that he was no longer alive. "He's dead," she answered for him.

"Yes." Jebidiah's face fell; so many years ago, Amelia had accused him of being a murderer. Now, he really was. "I had no choice, Amelia."

"But... then... shouldn't you be--"

"Amelia. It's taken care of."


Amelia felt the pit in her stomach grow. It wasn't even that she was angry--it's that she didn't feel anything. Never in her life had she been so devoid and empty... She wasn't angry nor happy with her father. This was just his way of life; do dirty work, cover it up, let someone else pay the price. And now... she didn't care.

But she was still curious about everything else. "Dad... The vampires. They said they were doing this because you were stealing their shipments. Is... is that true?"

Jebidiah frowned. "Yes," he responded without hesitation, but from the look on Amelia's face, he knew that wasn't going to cut it.


"Look, Amelia... I'm not sure what exactly they told you, but you have to understand, I wasn't doing what I was doing to them because of the money. I was doing it to try to stop them."

Amelia raised her eyebrows in confusion. "Stop them? That's kind of a funny way to do it."

"Mia... Those people, they don't see what they are doing as wrong. They sacrifice other people's lives in order to extend their own, and continue infecting other people with absolutely no realization to the damage they cause. By limiting their supplies, I hoped to at least manage their population, and force them to stop turning others, but apparently, I only made the issue worse. And for that, I am truly remorseful. I hope you understand that, Amelia."

Amelia nodded, although, she was still confused. "What... what exactly is so wrong about just drinking donated plasma, though? I mean... Aren't you just cutting off the vampires' humane way to survive?"


"Amelia, you don't understand. These vampires, as you call them, aren't special, in any way. They are just people. People with a disease, a disease they refuse help for because they believe it empowers them. There is nothing about the way they live that could not be cured, but they refuse to allow anyone to develop a cure because they are too set in their ways. That blood they purchase is not purchased legally--it's blood that is stolen from people who need it."

"Then... Why don't you just... give it back?"

Jebidiah shook his head. "Amelia, you know it's not that simple."

Though she didn't like that answer, she nodded in acceptance. "Alright. I guess... I guess I sort of get it, now. But like... If what they have is just a disease... How come I don't have it?"


"Well, the only person you were bitten by was Jerod--and Jerod had just been infected, himself, right?" He continued when Amelia nodded. "I imagine he wasn't yet a carrier, because of his very short time being exposed."

After a moment, Jebidiah's face fell, and he continued: "To be honest, Amelia... I don't really know. I'm just guessing. I'm no medical expert. But, according to them, you're still just as healthy as you were a few months ago. And sweetheart... Right now, that's all that matters to me."


"Yeah, I... I guess that really is all that matters," Amelia resigned, looking up at her father with very tired eyes. He'd been very willing and patient to answer all of her questions, so it probably was best not to incessantly probe. He was doing the best he could.

"And..." She continued to speak, her eyes drifting slightly downwards, away from her father's gaze. "I'm really happy that I am. And I... I have you to thank for that. Even after everything that I've said to you--"


"Sweetheart," Jebidiah spoke up, ssshh'ing her as he began to squeeze himself onto the bed she was laying. "I am your father. You have nothing to thank me for. I came because I love you. Because I will always love you, unconditionally."

Amelia felt her heart skip a beat in her chest. She hadn't loved him unconditionally, and before now, she had never felt guilty for it. But she did, now. "I... I love you too, Daddy," she spoke with the uttermost truth.


Her father smiled, and bowed forward to plant a kiss on the side of her forehead.

Jebidiah didn't need any more words to express how he felt; just seeing her, seeing her smile at him, was one of the best things he'd ever felt. Finally, she was truly his daughter again.


Despite how much Amelia had slept, they'd barely made it through half an episode of Blue's Simatomy when Jebidiah turned to find his little girl asleep against her pillow, a gentle smile on her face.

She looked so happy, laying there... As happy as he now felt.


"I'm so sorry," he whispered gently as he leaned to kiss her forehead again, and then moved his hand to brush away hairs that had strayed across her face. "I should have never let you go."

When she stirred and mumbled something inaudible under her breath, Jebidiah chuckled and gently stood from the bed, and left his daughter there to sleep.


His only hope was that he could freeze the way things were between them right now, forever. He never wanted to lose her again.




Several days later, Amelia was finally on her feet again. The doctors were amazed at how fast she recooperated; she was still feeling miserable, but according to all their scans and tests, she was completely back to normal.

"You're bound to feel the way you do after what you've been through," they'd said to her. "The emotional stress alone isn't something you're going to recooperate from overnight. The best medicine for that is to get back on your feet, and get some fresh air... You have to remind your body how to live."


Amelia begrudgingly took the advice, putting on a patient's standard-issue jogging suit so she didn't look ridiculous outside in her hospital gown. It was walking out those front doors that was the hardest part, into the blinding sun that she hadn't experienced in over a week--but the air alone picked up her spirits after she took a long, deep breath.

In another day or two, she'd be out of the hospital for good. Part of her didn't want to--the world outside seemed too frightening, now--but she also knew that she couldn't live inside a clean white box for the rest of her life, and the longer she put off leaving, the harder it would be.


But what she didn't expect, when she went out to stretch her legs, was to see the mop of bright blonde hair sitting on the bench outside, overlooking the city. Naomi... Naomi was here.


'Someone must've told her I'd be coming out for a walk today,' Amelia grumbled to herself, but she couldn't blame the nurses, if it was them. They probably just wanted to help.

She looked at Naomi, and debated going back inside... But she had to confront her at some point. She might like to run, but she knew she couldn't avoid Naomi forever ... Mia just knew it wasn't going to be easy.


"Hey... That seat taken?" Amelia asked as she approached the bench. Naomi, absorbed in the view and not hearing the approaching footsteps across the grass, jumped in surprise.

"I, I--No, no, it's not taken." Naomi's eyes were wide, and she had to cover her mouth not to make it obvious that it was hanging open. "I see you're finally up and moving. Really glad to see that you're alright."


Amelia nodded, then moved to sit down on the bench space next to her friend. "For a while there, I wasn't sure I was gonna make it. I guess... I guess I just got lucky." She paused, but only for a moment. "Lucky I had someone looking out for me, despite how horrible I treated them. Someone like you."

Naomi scowled. "That's not--"


"No, it's true, and you know it, Naomi," Amelia cut her off, forcing Naomi to lower her gaze in embarressment. "All you did was hide something from me, which... To be honest, I can understand why. And the things I said... The fact that after everything you've done for me I still didn't trust you... It was horrible of me, and I'm sorry."

Naomi shrugged. "Honestly, Amelia, it's alright. I hate to say it, but I'm kind of used to it from you, by now."

Amelia flinched. "You really are a great friend, Naomi. Thank you. For everything."


"Amelia... I did it because I care for you. You don't have to thank me for that. And I'm always going to be there for you, no matter what happens. You're the only person in the world who I... Well. You know what I mean." Naomi could feel her face growing pinker the longer that she spoke.

Amelia, seeing this, smiled and nodded. "Yeah, I understand. I just wish I'd been the same for you... But I guess that's something I just need to work on."


For a minute, the two just sat in silence, looking out at the view with a dazed expression on their faces; but finally, Naomi spoke out. "So! Now what are you going to do? You've got dozens of papparrazzi wanting you to detail your experience, every club in town is begging our band to play for them, our mailbox is full of letters from men wanting to date you with 'Not a Vampire' as their only redeeming quality..."

Amelia thought about it for a moment; there was a whole city waiting for them out there, ready for the Yelling Birds to get back on top, waiting for the tragic Amelia Kane to grace their red carpets... But now, none of that appealed to her, anymore.


"You know what I want to do?" Amelia said, a bright smile overtaking her face as she turned to face Naomi.

"What?" she asked, curious.

"I want to ditch this town. I want to leave all those scumbag men, ignore all those fame-hungry clubs and parties, and tell all those papparrazzi right where to shove it."

Naomi laughed. "Oh yeah?"

"Yeah. I think... I think want to go back home to Twinbrook." She paused, her smile softening. "With you."


Naomi turned to look at her, a glossy look coming over her eyes. Although she knew that neither Amelia nor her were ready for anything yet, the prospect of a future was looking brighter. Not to mention, dropping out of this crazy city and going back to the living a normal, peaceful life, with the girl that you love at your side--who could say no to that?

"That sounds like a fantastic idea, Amelia," Naomi said with a smile, the corners of her eyes creasing with emotion.


As Amelia leaned in close, Naomi turned to drape her arm around her friend's shoulder, pushing against her for support. She could feel her heart beating fast, and she felt Amelia's doing the same as well.

Though, with only a brief, content glance at each other, they turned their gazes to the horizon...


Before them lay the most beautiful view of the city. Bridgeport: it's where dreams go to either live or die. Yes, perhaps their dream was actually fulfilled--but in the end, it didn't turn out to be what they imagined. Perhaps "being somebody" wasn't the best thing to aspire to--it was just a lie, from the people who couldn't find the truly greatest gift of all: having somebody, to love.

Naomi affirmed again with a nod, a tear escaping from the corner of her eye. "Yes... I definitely think it's 
time to go home."

27 comments:

Kaleeko March 13, 2011 at 9:25 PM  

That's all she wrote!

I'll be doing a Wrap-Up post as usual probably tomorrow--just a couple of things to post before I shut off the writing portion of my brain and take a little siesta before Season Six.

Thank you guys so much for continuing to put up with my writing and continuing to comment and being awesome people and friends. You guys are the bomb!

Amelia March 13, 2011 at 9:38 PM  

Kaleeko, I effing love you for not making us wait.

That being said, OMG SHE'S ALIVE. I love the hospital set- so much better than what I achieved when I tried to make one for the birth scene.

Oh man, poor Jeb, having to explain all of that, especially the Jerod stuff. I hope the stuff about her "not having the disease" is accurate.

What a touching reunion! :) I really liked the dynamic between Jeb and Mia in this post. But that line about freezing the way things are... I hope the future doesn't hold too much fighting between them.

Aw, I've been waiting for Naomi and Mia to make up.

Wow, what a sweet ending! Perfect way to wrap up the season. I love the idea of them going back to Twinbrook (though part of me wonders what Gwen and Kate will get up to). Can't wait for next season! (Though of course, I will be patient while you focus on other things.)

Kaleeko March 13, 2011 at 9:50 PM  

:D :D I knoow. I seriously couldn't leave people hanging like that. It would be way, way too mean of me... That and by the end I just get so excited I can't stop!

Yeeessss, Mia's alive! Let's be honest, I'd've been much more mellowdramatic in comments if she were going to die. PiB pry knows that all too well. :P

The future for Jeb and Mia is iffy. Things are going to be better, for sure, but her moral compass is still too good to be happy with everything he's done. He fights fire with fire. She doesn't like that.

But, all is definitely well, for now, even with Naomi.. Though no tips where things are going to go with them from here.

I'll pry mention something about Kate/Gwen next season. Gonna do my best to try to tie off the loose ends back in Bridgeport.

I'm glad you liked the ending! *super glomp!* I'm just as excited for the next season, too.:D

Amelia March 13, 2011 at 9:57 PM  

I know what you mean, aha. I started out thinking I would post every other day or so but I've had a few times where I posted twice in one day because I was too excited not to.

I found your comments cryptic enough to not know whether or not she WAS going to die, haha.

As for Jeb and Amelia, you'd think she'd have a BIT more appreciation for his evil ways after her recent events (especially with her little B&E stint). But I look forward to seeing their relationship develop.

As well as Mia's and Naomi's. ;)

PiB March 13, 2011 at 10:53 PM  

Quick reply -

Just stunning.

PiB March 14, 2011 at 1:21 AM  

Poor Jeb, Mia did have him worried. But in the end, he had arrived in time.

They have aways to go but father and daughter have definitely healed the huge rift.

And Naomi too. That's nice. They are going home.

Now in other news, I have the last two short story posts half done for writing, needs way more pics. But I require some time before I can get back to it now cause the last three posts here is gonna wreck my style. :) I may go play with soft fluffy Phillip game or go really sentimental and visit original Thomas. Ted thinks I should visit his dad. :) We'll see.

Kaleeko March 14, 2011 at 1:57 AM  

Yep, all's well and good. Nice, indeed.

:-/ Why does it wreck your style?

PiB March 14, 2011 at 2:04 AM  

Not to worry. It's just that I have to work back up to my usual light fluff. Right at the moment, too much drama in my head.

Kaleeko March 14, 2011 at 2:09 AM  

Aaaah, gotcha. Watch something funny on TV or something? That usually perks me up pretty fast. :)

PiB March 14, 2011 at 2:13 AM  

LOL Cats, Dogs and Demotivational posters to help.

Amelia March 14, 2011 at 3:20 AM  

Go PiB! You can do it!

PiB March 14, 2011 at 6:20 AM  

Ok, lot's of LOL cats, dogs. A dose of some very very old school Thomas Leman. A visit with Phillip Grant. and tomorrow I can work on posty again.

seaweedy,  March 14, 2011 at 7:57 AM  

Just read through the last chapters, amazing stuff, especially the poetry in Prodigal Daughter.

Kaleeko March 14, 2011 at 1:07 PM  

Thank you so much, Seaweedy! *squeeeze!* I was pretty nervous about the poetry, but I'm thoroughly glad you enjoyed it.

<3<3<3

Dee March 14, 2011 at 4:25 PM  

Three words.
Awesomeness, awesomeness, awesomeness. :)
Well, more than three words. You did a great job as always and parts of this actually gave me the chilly bumps.
I'm so happy for them. Now where's that TP. I just never have kleenex when I need it.

Kaleeko March 14, 2011 at 4:55 PM  

Awww, thank you, Dee. <3 Chilly bumps! Heee.

There were parts of this that I was really nervous about writing, so I'm so glad it turned out as well as it did--and very glad that you liked it. And as always, thank you so much for your comments.

*squeeze!*

M.J. March 14, 2011 at 8:37 PM  

Oh, **amazed**

Just a quick reply: I haven't managed to make full comment. [I haven't had a sleep from yesterday :( ] But, by by the glimpse of it, I can tell that it's fantastic. I'm going to have so much fun to read it. You're such a great writer. :)

I will be back to comment on the updates, hopefully in near time.

Kaleeko March 14, 2011 at 8:43 PM  

Aw, MJ. <3 Thank you, so so much. I hope that when you get the time, you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them.

Hope all is well! *hugs!*

Amelia March 14, 2011 at 8:55 PM  

I am in the same boat as many here... I have no idea how to write a new post of my own, because how could it possibly measure up? *sinks into bottomless pit of despair*

But in all seriousness, having new tricks up my sleeve is fun.

In other news: I have finally caught up on every single episode and season. Soooo cool to see how everyone developed over the years!

Kaleeko March 14, 2011 at 9:05 PM  

Oh shush you! ;D I will get my foam mallet and beat you!! <3

But yes. I'm so glad I got to share that with you. I'm honestly not nitpicky so what people's screenshots look like doesn't matter to me, but I think everyone deserves to the opportunity to have the same tools in case they want to be better. That, and, camera mode is just wicked fun, especially when creating machinimas. >:D

Wow! I'm impressed, you read all of it! It's weird going back to the beginning and seeing how much my writing has changed since then... And weird seeing Travis and Brad as ittie bittie little things. ^^

PiB March 14, 2011 at 9:10 PM  

Amelia, imagine my feelings trying to deal with a fairly different story with Jerod in it - can't measure up...and damned hard to try just yet. Not after that well deserved yet very grisly end.

It's fun to read over where a blog has been on the road to seeing where it is now. And educational to read your stuff after a couple of months go by.

Jennifer March 17, 2011 at 12:06 AM  

Big, big awww's at the end. I love the look on Naomi's face and then she puts her arm around Amelia. So sweet.

So, they're going back to Twinbrook. I don't blame them. It's been tough for them out in the big bad world. ;)

I was happy to see that Amelia knew how wrong she'd been and how awful she had treated Naomi. Kudo's to her for that.

I have to say I'm soooo envious of your hospital room! lol It was decorated perfectly!
And I love the pose of Jeb sitting on the edge of the bed and placing his hand on Amelia's head. I'm guessing you picked him up and put him there, yeah? Lovely shots though.

Well done Kaleeko, it was a fabulous ride once again. :)

M.J. March 20, 2011 at 12:24 AM  

It's beautiful. Amazing pictures too.

You did great job with the pictures and setting and also the story.

I wonder what will happen on the next season.

IvanaZagreb March 20, 2011 at 6:22 PM  

Wow!!!!! I have to say..... This is the best thing I've ever read!!!! Girl you can sure write!! I just went through the whole story without leaving to the toilet (I had to run after the last chapter!)!! The pictures are amazing!! I don't know what to say!!Unbelievable!!!!!

Kaleeko March 20, 2011 at 6:29 PM  

*Blush!* Awww, thank you, Ivana. <3 Ditto, I dunno what to say either! Thank you for the compliments, I'm very flattered. It's nice to know that all the effort I put into this story really can put out something people will enjoy. *hug!*

I hope your bladder didn't burst, hahaha!! :D

Thank you again!

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