AN: Jodes, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!


Nobody said it was easy

Liam didn't know what to say as he read through the letter. "Oh come on, bro…just say it", Mason complained and rolled his eyes. "I'm…I'm accepted", Liam answered slowly and put the letter down. "You're accepted? Oh my God!" Carol squealed and got up from her seat to hug her son. Doug chuckled and clapped on Liam's shoulder. "I guess we have a reason to celebrate now", he said and handed Liam a bottle of beer. "Oh man…I'm accepted", Liam chuckled and shook his head. "Wow, mom, are you going to survive this? He'll study medicine on the other side of the US!" Tess laughed and Carol rolled her eyes. "Well, my dear son didn't say if he'll accept it yet", she said and looked at Liam. "We'll see", he answered and looked at everybody. "You'd be stupid if you wouldn't accept it", Emery said and poured lemonade into her glass. "I mean…Harvard…who gets the chance to go to Harvard?" she added and took a sip. "Well, I didn't", Doug chuckled and took a seat again. "And yet you were one of the best Pediatrics ever", Carol smiled at him and he nodded. Kate looked at both and was amazed by the love they still shared. "Okay sis, what the hell is going on with you?" Tess whispered to her and Kate looked at her with a furrowed brow. "What do you mean?" Kate asked back. "Since you arrived here, you're so silent…that's not you at all", Tess said. Kate shrugged her shoulders. "Just thinking about some things", Kate answered and sighed. Tess nodded and knew that she would have a very long talk with her sister today.


When the triplets finally were at the party and Doug and Carol went to bed, Tess handed her sister a bottle of beer. They sat outside on the dock and Kate looked out on the water. "Alright…enough with being in a funk…tell me what's going on", Tess said. "Problem is, I don't know if I did the right thing", Kate answered and took a sip. "Going to SanFran?" Tess asked and Kate nodded. "I mean…I like the job; my colleagues are okay…but it's San Francisco", she answered. Tess nodded. "Yeah…not the same as Seattle…but you wanted to move to San Francisco so badly", she said. "Yeah, right. The city is beautiful, I love it. I…I don't know what my problem is", Kate said. Tess sighed. "Well, it's never too late to come back, you know that. And now tell me about Mark", she smiled.

"Mark…" Kate murmured and smiled too. "He's a teacher at our school too and well, he's hot, I can't deny that. We were at this party and we got drunk and the next thing I remember is that we landed in his bed…all this happened one week ago and now he kinda wants to get serious." Tess nodded and smiled. "So?" she asked. "What can I say? I'm not really in love…I don't feel it, you know? I mean, the sex was great, we had fun, but that's it!" Kate answered and took a sip of her bear. "Oh man, I guess we really can't let you alone there", Tess chuckled and Kate nodded. "I miss you", she pouted and Tess smiled. "Aw…I miss you too", she answered and they hugged. "I wish we could be kids again…it was so much easier back then", Kate murmured. "Totally…well, except of going to school. Remember how often we were riding our bikes and had fun with the boys?" Tess laughed and Kate nodded. "Those were the days…what's going on with Carey and Casey?" Kate asked. "Well, Casey is still studying", Tess told her. "I can't believe he's going to be a lawyer", Kate chuckled and shook her head. "Well, nobody ever thought that you'll be a teacher", Tess answered. "Right…I never expected it either", Kate laughed. "You're a good teacher", Tess said. "Am I?" Kate asked and Tess shrugged her shoulders. Now both laughed. "What about Carey?" Kate now asked. "He has a girlfriend now", Tess told her. "Really? Wow", Kate murmured. "Yeah…you broke his heart, remember?" Tess asked and Kate shook her head. "We weren't even together!" she complained. "No…you just went off to SanFran to avoid everything", Tess chuckled and Kate rolled her eyes. "That's not true", she said and Tess nodded. "I know, just kidding. He seems happy now. I think we'll meet her when we go out", she answered. "We go out?" Kate asked. "Sure, why not? Not today…but another day…come on! Don't tell me you're getting old!" Tess said. "Our siblings are going off to college…Liam is accepted at Harvard! We ARE getting old!" Kate laughed. "Doesn't mean we can't have fun", Tess answered and Kate nodded. "Then drink out your bear and let's have another one", she said and drank out hers.

Two hours later both seemed drunk already. "Oh no, I didn't do that!" Tess laughed. "You did! Can't you remember how you cleaned mom's car the next day?" Kate asked laughing. Tess made a face. "Ugh…yeah…don't remember me", she said and shook her head. "Man…we were so drunk that night!" Kate laughed again. "We were…and I think I'll go to bed now or I'll be hangover tomorrow", Tess said and Kate nodded. "I'll go too…just need to drink out", Kate answered and Tess nodded. "See you tomorrow then…good night", she said and Kate smiled. "Good night sis!" she answered and looked out on the water again.

"Kate Ross!" Kate jumped as she heard her name and turned around. Carey Lawrence was standing behind her; his hands in his pockets and a smile from one ear to the other. "Hey Carey", she smiled. "Mom told me that you are visiting again and I heard you chat with Tess", he said and Kate nodded. "Yeah…she just went to bed! Want a beer?" she asked and Carey shrugged his shoulders. "Sure, why not", he answered and took a seat beside her. Kate handed him a bottle and he opened it. He didn't change a bit. Well, his hair was shorter but except of that he was the young beautiful men that Kate remembered. When she noticed that she stared at him, she looked away. "How's San Francisco?" he finally asked and Kate smiled. "Great…everything is going great! Well, I'm still the new one there, but I have enough to do, so I don't get distracted", she said and noticed that it was a little lie. It wasn't going so great in San Francisco. "That's good to hear…so? You having a boyfriend already?" Carey asked and Kate looked at him. "I don't know", she laughed and hated herself for being drunk now. Carey looked at her with questioning eyes. "There's a guy, but we're not together. I don't know. But Tess told me that you have a girlfriend now…that's great!" she answered. Carey nodded. "Yeah…it's still fresh", he smiled. Kate nodded and looked out on the water again. He seemed happy…she was happy for him. "We'll see how this goes…" Carey chuckled and Kate smiled. Was he still thinking about her? Was he still mad that she went off to SanFran? Was he in love with his new girlfriend? God, why did she even think about these questions? When did her life become such a mess? She was happy for him. "How's work going?" she then asked just to change the subject. "Nothing changed the last six months", he chuckled again and Kate nodded smiling. "Well, I didn't see you on TV yet", she answered and Carey shrugged his shoulders. "Don't know how long this will take", he answered laughing. "Well…I'm tired…I should go again. Thanks for the beer, Kate", he said and got up from his seat again. "You're welcome", Kate murmured and put her bottle down on the wood. "Good night", she heard him and she sighed. "Good night, Carey", she said more to herself instead to him and then she heard him going away.

"Carey!" she suddenly called. Damn alcohol. What now? She got up from her seat although she didn't want to. Only moments later she was standing so close to him that she could smell his perfume. "I'm sorry", she whispered and looked down. Her heart was beating like hell. What was she doing here? "Kate…no need to apologize. You didn't do anything wrong", Carey answered and she looked at him again. His eyes were locked with hers and only moments later she felt his lips on hers. When she opened her eyes again, he was gone…and she felt his lips on hers until she fell asleep.


"Can I have aspirin?" Liam asked the next day when he came downstairs, hangover like hell. "Sure not. I told you not to drink alcohol. Look at you", Carol complained loudly. "Mom…please; not so loud!" Liam smirked and hid his head in his hands. "We celebrated my Harvard acceptance", he murmured and Carol nodded. She wasn't amused at all. "Go back to bed and think about your future. Maybe it isn't such a bad idea that you're going to Harvard. This way I won't see you like this that often", she said fiercely. Liam rolled his eyes and went back to his room without complaining. Carol shook her head while she put her cup into the dishwasher. "You so can't deny that he's your son", she murmured when Doug came back to the kitchen. Doug chuckled and hugged her. "They're young…we were young too once and it's good that he has a headache. Maybe he'll remember it the next time", he said and kissed her shortly. "Why can't we turn back the hands of time? I'll miss them all so much", Carol murmured and snuggled closer to Doug. "They'll always have their home here…just like Tess and Kate", Doug answered and kissed her forehead. "I know…but…we'll be all alone then! We didn't have such a silence since 17 years", Carol said. "Well, maybe it's time for a dog now", Doug chuckled and Carol smacked his arm. "Be honest…you'll miss them too", she said smiling. "Same as Tess and Kate", he answered and went out to the garden.

"Morning, mom", Kate murmured as she came downstairs. "Oh no…not you too", Carol rolled her eyes and looked at her daughter. "Too much beer", Kate answered shortly and poured herself a cup of coffee. To be honest, she was really drunk yesterday. She didn't even know if the kiss was real or a dream. "Ah man…I love to be here, you know that?" she then said as she took a seat. Carol smiled. "I love to have you here", she answered and stroke over Kate's hair which was a mess. "Mom…what would you say if I come back to work in Seattle?" Kate now asked and looked at her mother. Carol leaned back and sighed. "First you need to tell me what's going wrong in San Francisco. I know that something is going on, am I right?" Carol asked. Kate bit on her lip. "I don't know what's going on with me. The job is great, really. I love to be a teacher…which I never thought. It's exhausting too but that doesn't matter. It's just…god mom…I don't know", Kate fussed and she had to hold back tears. "Aw baby, don't cry…come here", Carol got up from her seat again and hugged Kate. "I'm there for six months and already ask myself if it was the right thing to do", Kate said and wiped away a tear. "Well, maybe you need to give it another try. You'll go back after this week and if it really doesn't work, you can always come back. Maybe you need to grow into it. Moving away isn't easy, but it just takes time", Carol answered. "Yeah…when you moved here you had dad. I have nobody", Kate said and sighed again. She could have Mark but her heart didn't want him yet. Well, he was the only one who really cared for her there. Since last week. Maybe it wasn't really meant for Kate to go to SanFran. "Kate…you're young and so beautiful, such a nice young woman. I know that your Mr. Right is waiting for you out there", Carol answered and smiled. Kate sighed. "Yeah…if only you're right", she answered and smiled too.

"Mom is always right", they heard Tess who came into the kitchen and smiled from one ear to the other. "Why are you so happy today?" Kate asked. "I don't know…it's a beautiful day! What will we do today? By the way, what took you so long to go to bed yesterday?" Tess asked and took a seat beside them. Kate blushed a little. "Carey was here", she just said and Tess looked at her mom smiling. "I see…and?" Tess asked. "And nothing. We just chatted a little", Kate answered annoyed and rolled her eyes. "Okay…no need to get pissed", Tess apologized and Carol smiled as she shook her head. She remembered that Kate had her first real kiss with Carey. She still remembered Kate crying as a 16 year old girl because Carey didn't want to go with her. And she remembered that Carey was heartbroken when he heard the news about Kate moving to San Francisco. Except of that, she had no idea what was going on between the two. She didn't know that Kate slept with him on Independence Day this year; she didn't know that Carey wanted to be together with Kate but she decided to go to San Francisco instead. "We could drive out with the boat today and go swimming", Kate suggested and interrupted Carol's thought. "Good idea. While you're out on the lake with the triplets, I can clean the house", Carol smiled and with that, the other subject was over.


"Okay…what's going on with you?" Doug asked as he came back from mowing the lawn and found Carol sitting at the table, staring out to nowhere. "Hm?" Carol asked and looked at him. "What's on your mind, beautiful?" he smiled at her. "Harvard, Chicago and Berkeley", Carol sighed. Doug nodded and took a seat. "I don't want them to go", she continued and sighed once again. "It's their decision…we agreed to not stand in their way, remember?" Doug said and Carol nodded. "I know. Still I don't want them to go…" Carol murmured and looked into Doug's eyes. He knew that it would be hard to let the kids go. He still remembered how weird he felt when Kate moved to San Francisco. In six months Liam would go to Harvard; Mason would go to Berkeley and his little girl Emery would go to Chicago. Tess was living with Leon and Kate was in San Francisco. God, how he missed the days with them already…