An Outsider's Farewell

According to this newspaper, he was dead.

Had been apparently for some time.

It shouldn't matter, he never had, yet there he was beginning to cry.

His father was a bastard. A useless waste of man that had abandoned him long ago. Had left him somewhere along the age of nine to fend for himself. Even when he had been around he had still been a stranger, no closer than someone you would pass on the street.

Still it hurt.

This man held the title, 'Father'. A title that should bring security with just the thought. Instead when he thought of his father, he thought of someone that had left him defenseless. Someone that had doomed him to his own world of anger, bitterness, and resentment. Someone who had broken all the hope, trust, and belief that a child should carry.

Again, a tear fell.

He honestly hated the man. Not once had that man tried contacting him and he had too much pride to do it himself. If his father had wanted a relationship with him then he should have reached out, after all he was the one who had left.

Yet the silence was deafening as numbness crept within.

It was a rare occasion if he spared his father a thought. The man just didn't exist in his day-to-day. However, deep down he'd always thought that there would come a day that they would indeed meet again. There were no ideals for this meeting, he didn't have any expectations of making amends or finding that his father was a changed man. The prospect of remorse in the situation was laughable to him, but still he had wondered a time or two how that reunion might go.

Now he would never know.

The name in the obituary column was familiar, but the face looking back at him from that black and white photo was foreign. He didn't know this man, despite the beautifully descriptive memorial paragraph someone had written, he was still very much a stranger. He'd been listed as a generous and caring person, as a loving brother, uncle, and son. The obvious was absent. It was something for which he was thankful for.

His father hadn't been a loving one. That wasn't something that had been dealt to him. Still he would admit that for that he owed him. There was no doubt in his mind that he was every bit the man he was today because of the one his father wasn't.

It was a sobering thought.

He tossed the newspaper to the side of the table as he wiped at his eyes resolutely. Not long after, four familiar faces let their presence be known. He cleared his throat as he complained, "Damn allergies" and they each took a seat around the table.

He listened intently as everyone got settled with their breakfast and the conversation turned to the day's task. It brought him another realization as he observed each and every one of them.

If his father had taught him one lesson it would have to be that family is what you make of it.

It isn't blood, bond, or genetics. It isn't a birthright or a given and it isn't something that should be taken for granted. It's something that you create for yourself. A feeling that requires dedication to achieve. A gathering of those that you couldn't imagine living without. It's learning the true meaning of selflessness and devotion.

He couldn't help the smile as he watched his "sister" taunt his "brother" with a harmless yet disgusting game of 'see food'. This was the family he belonged in. In this one he was accepted and understood. In this one he had a role, a place where he truly belonged.

Most importantly though, in this one he was more than just an outsider looking in.

E/N: This one is basically an explosion of my feelings that I just so happened to drop in the Leverage universe. I found out today that my father is dead. He was a man I barely knew; one I haven't seen in 15 years. I don't have memories of him, just fragments, little bits and pieces that I never tried really hard to hang on to. I'm still not sure what to do with them so I did what I like to think I do best and I passed them over to these lovely characters. I figured why not let them shed the tears that I can't seem to find.