Ashleigh Anpilova

Set after Escaped.
Fornell is watching his daughter sleep.
A Fornell-centric gen story.
Written: August 2008. Word count: 500.



Finally she loses the battle to keep her eyes open, and with a soft sigh she slips into sleep.


He carefully closes the book, slipping a bookmark between the pages ready for the next evening, turns off her bed-side lamp and turns on her night-light.


He doesn't need to be able to see her, not really. But he is glad to have some light to show him the one perfect thing in his life; the only good thing to have come out of his marriage to Diane. Emily; his little girl. His beloved little angel, the person he would do anything for, go to any lengths for, fight for, lie for, even kill for.


Emily; his Emily. And he could all too easily have lost her. If it hadn't been for Jethro she might now be sleeping forever. He suppresses a shiver that passes through his body at the thought and wonders, not for the first time since he'd leaned his closest friend had also had a daughter whom he lost, how the hell Jethro lives with it. He's not certain he could.


Emily is the center of his world; in many ways she is his world. She's the reason he keeps fighting to try to make the world she'll grow up in just that little bit safer. She's the reason some mornings he even bothers to get out of bed. She's the reason his world looks just a little bit brighter. She's the reason he takes a little more care than he did at one time. She's the reason he is at least civil to Diane.


Emily; his Emily. His daughter. He came to fatherhood late in life, but now that's he's experienced it, he never wants to be without it. He wants to see her grow up; he wants to meet her first boyfriend. He wants to be there when she has her heart broken for the first time, because he knows, he knows no matter how much he loves her, how if he could he'd take all the hurts away, she will get hurt; it's all part of growing up. He wants to see her graduate; he wants to walk her down the aisle; he wants to be a grandfather.

He smiles to himself as he lets his fingertips gently touch her forehead. There she is only eight years old and he's already thinking about being a grandfather. As a Federal Agent he really should know better than to look too far ahead, and mostly he does. But when it comes to Emily, his little girl, his baby, well, even hardened Feds can have a soft side, can't they?


With one more look at her and another brush across her forehead, he stands up to leave her to sleep. But before he does, he bends over the bed and kisses her cheek. "I love you, Emily," he murmurs quietly before he leaves.


The love of a father; there really isn't anything quite like it in the world.



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