I could drag you from the ocean,
I could pull you from the fire
And when you're standing in the shadows
I could open up the sky
And I could give you my devotion
Until the end of time
And you will never be forgotten
With me by your side
Somebody to Die For
'Aunt Aria makes the best strawberry cream cakes. Poor Lily, she is too young to really enjoy it. Daddy, you missed out on the coolest birthday party ever! Yes, it was quite girly with all the pink flying around, but the food was sooooo yummylicious!'
He let out a little laugh. Almost everyone in Rosewood had been invited to Lillian Fitz' first birthday party, the proud parents being extremely excited to show off their little bundle of joy. Toby himself had intended to go, considering the mother, Aria Fitz was his wife's best friend and wouldn't take no for an answer. Unfortunately, an urgent assignment required for him to rush to Philadelphia, giving him hardly enough time to barely drop off his seven year old son at the Fitz residence in before rushing off to said location. He knew that Aria would give him a hearing when she saw him next, whenever that would be.
'Uncle Ezra told us the story of how he and Aunt Aria fell in love,' little Scott Cavanaugh said. 'He said he loved her right away. Did you love mommy right away, daddy?'
'No,' he replied, sighing deeply. His mind drifted to the memories he hadn't really thought of off-late, but would always be fresh and clear in his mind. His lips twisted into a smile upon remembering all those fond images, and on seeing his seven year old son's perplexed expression, Toby Cavanaugh continued, 'She sort of just snuck up on me.'
'What does that mean?' Scott asked enthusiastically.
'Well, it means that I didn't expect to love her, and I am pretty sure neither did she,' Toby answered. He paused to take a bite of the grilled cheese sandwich he had hastily prepared after returning home. Chewing slowly, he took a look at his son, who had his eyes fastened on him, his dinner apparently forgotten. 'It is a really long story.'
'I bet its a good one,' Scott said.
'Will you tell it to me?' Scott asked eagerly. 'You know how much I love stories, dada, especially the good ones! And you just said this is the best one ever!'
After taking the last bite of his sandwich, Toby leaned back. He was unsure whether he wanted to revisit and unlock the memories he had pushed away with such difficulty. They were, without a doubt the best days of his life, but thinking about them, verbally talking about them would feel like rubbing salt in the wound of his heart. The dull ache in his chest was a constant reminder of how good he had it once upon a time, but giving conscious thought to them? That would be torture. His heart and life had never been same ever since it happened, and he knew that it would never fully go back to what it was without her. What actually hurt about revisiting the memory lane was the fact that after going through the worst and toughest hardships thrown their way, they were thrown apart like this. Unfair didn't even begin to describe it.
'I don't know Scotty,' Toby said slowly. 'I mean, it is a really long story. I bet you'd get bored half way through.'
Scott narrowed his eyes at his father at the ridiculous assumption. 'Daddy! I am the only student in my class to have read an entire book. I love stories. More than I love watching baseball with you, and that says a lot!'
Of course it did. Scott had taken after his mother in every sense, from his progidal intelligence, to his ability to make Toby ultimately give in to his demands. In that moment, with his face scrunched up like that, he looked so much like his mother that Toby felt his insides melt.
'Okay,' he said finally. 'But only on one condition. You're going to finish all your sandwiches. If you do that, I'll start telling you the story at bedtime. It'll take me a few days to get through it – a few weeks maybe – mind you.'
'I want to hear it daddy, so I am going to finish these sandwiches,' Scott said, picking up one and taking a large bite out of it.
'Alright,' Toby said. 'You continue eating while I make your bed for you.'
Once he had washed and dried his plate, Toby went up the stairs, to Scott's room. With his mind on the story he was soon going to tell his son, Toby began geting his bed ready. Despite the fact that his son was a fiercely independent boy who loved doing things on his own, Toby felt a sense of responsibility to provide him with the feeling of having his mother at home. Once he had puffed up all the pillows and pulled down the blankets just enough space for his son to clamber under it, he sat at the edge of the cot. It was red in colour and was shaped like car. Two months before Scott's fifth birthday, Toby had begun desiging and building it, and it was still according to him, one of the best things he had ever made. Posters of characters from various movies were pasted all over the room, owing to the fact that his little son had seen more films in his short life than Toby had seen in his.
On hearing soft, yet rushed footsteps, Toby looked up just in time to see Scott enter the room with a happy smile plastered across his face. The delight and excitement on his face made Toby's heart glad. Before getting under the blanket, Scott jumped onto him, giving him the warmest hug, filled with love that overwhelmed. Toby snaked an arm around him, pulling him close. He patted him gently, and with a sudden jolt, realized that he still had something to look forward to. Even though half the time he felt like all was lost, the thought of being able to see his son grow up before his eyes gave him a rare sense of happiness, one that he hadn't thought he would ever feel again.
Scott untangled himself from his father and slid under the blankets, pulling it up to his chin. Toby chuckled at the cute sight, and propped up a pillow against the head of the bead and leaned into it, stretching his legs out.
'I am warning you again buddy,' he said. 'It's a long story.'
'Daddy please. I want to listen to the story!'
'Okay okay.' Toby raised his hand in defeat.
Apprehension and dread filled him. Once the words started flowing from his mouth, he knew there was no going back. Thinking about the fond memories that shaped his entire life was going to be one of the hardest things he had ever done – and he had done a lot of those in his life, especially when it came to his wife. It was not that they were painful memories...though some of them definitely were, but the fact that they were the constant reminder of everything he loved so much, of the woman he loved with reckless abandon.
'So,' Toby said, taking a deep breath. 'It all started on a fateful day, thirteen years ago.'
A/N: This is going to follow an AU story for Spoby with similar dynamics and a few scenarios from the show, but largely AU. Though the story is basically a narration from Toby to Scott, I will be writing certain parts in Spencer's POV as well. :) Don't question me on the logistics of that. :P See HIMYM for example. :) Anyway PLEASE do read and review. I promise you it's not what it seems.