Ordinary World Soap Opera
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Episode 941: What Made You Say That?

Xavier turned the final page of Hero’s bedtime story, reading it even though the boy had drifted off a few pages earlier. He gently placed the little book on the bedside table and switched off the lamp.

He took light steps out of the room leaving the door ajar as he’d been told the boy preferred. He sat beside Tansy on the sofa, watching the girl flick through channels.

“Do you hate that I’m here?” He asked. “I mean, technically I guess you are old enough now to look after yourself and your little brother.”

“I’m good,” she said, hitting power on the remote control. “I spend a ton of time by myself anyway, I don’t really need more.” Tansy must have realized that it sounded kind of lonely and sad, so she hurriedly reached for the deck of cards on the coffee table. “Do you want to play war?”


They faced each other and Tansy dealt the deck between them.

“Was Hero awful about bed? Sometimes it takes like six stories.”

“Only three, so not bad.”

“It would have been six with me. He totally plays me.”

“You love it.”

“I do. He’s the cutest. Still, mom freaks pretty easily, so I’m glad it’s your responsibility to keep us alive, not mine.”

Xavier smirked. “I’d been feeling good about being given the responsibility right until you just now reminded me of what a big responsibility it is.”

“Dad, and especially mom, wouldn’t have asked if they didn’t think you could.”

He knew Quentin would have enlisted his parents for babysitting duty if they could have done so without crossing paths with Justine. According to Quent, his mom had a tendency to say all the wrong things to Justine, and while Justine presently was not as sensitive and anxious as the past, Quent hadn’t wanted to risk a canceled trip so he’d asked Xavier to babysit instead. Much to Xavier’s surprise, Justine had backed the idea. Justine may not entirely know him, not his past, but she knew enough about him now to entrust her kids care to him and it meant a lot.

“I don’t want to let your parents down,” he said.

“You won’t,” Tansy replied with seemingly absolute conviction. “You’re one of the good guys. You just have to believe it. Then maybe you could go talk to a certain someone before it’s too late.”

“Right back at you kid,” he said with all the compassion he felt for her. “You have someone you need to talk to, too.”

Tansy didn’t respond, they took turns for a while at the game.

“How about this,” Xavier finally said. “how about we make a pact to do this, to talk to the people we need to talk to so we won’t have regrets. What do you say?”

Episode 942: Together Again

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