Marshall was pacing back and forth in the airport. It was nearing eleven o'clock now. The plane had long since left, but none of the Connelly brothers had been on it.
"Was he always so crazy?" Steve asked into the silence reigning around the brothers. Everyone glanced up from their own thoughts to look at him. "I mean, like, always runnin' off like this."
Nick shrugged. "That time he quit the band before-"
"Hey!" Marshall interrupted. "He's not quittin' the band this time, alright? He promised us that much." His brothers didn't seem quite convinced and Marshall growled. "A brother keeps his promises."
There was quiet around them for a long while. No one wanted to speak up against Marshall. Marshall was the eldest. Marshall was the voice of reason. Marshall was the family's rock. Louis was the youngest. Louis was spontaneous. Louis was the band's rock. They'd always been close, until Louis quit the band. And now it was as if that had never had happened. They were close again, they all were, and they didn't want to question their brother again.
"I break! I borrow!" Everyone looked at Marshall, who in turn pulled his phone from his pocket. "I live! I lose!"
"Tha's him," Marshall said, hitting 'answer' and cutting off the song. "Yeah, Louie. What the hell's up with ditchin' us back there in the cab?"
"Marshall, sorry," Louis started out. He sounded a bit dazed. "I found her."
Marshall turned away from his brothers, who watched him with curious glances. "You what?" he asked, surprise coloring his tone.
Louis laughed like he couldn't believe it. "I know. But I did. I found her, Marshall. Lyla."
"So, now what?" Marshall asked. "Where are ya?"
"Central Park," Louis breathed out. "Her name were on the poster for the concert and I couldn't pass up the chance, yeah? And she were here. I found her. And we're gonna be together. I'm her prince."
Marshall laughed lowly at the joke. "I guess ya are, baby bro."
"What's he sayin', Marsh?" Mannix called from behind him. Marshall waved him off and frowned.
"What about the band?" he asked.
He heard Louis take a deep, shaking breath. "Marshall," he began, but hesitated. Marshall frowned deeper, not liking the sound of this. "I...I've got a son."
Marshall almost dropped the phone. "W-wha-"
"I know." Louis let out a half crazed sounding laugh. "I know I know. I've got a son."
"That girl's ben?" Marshall asked.
"Well, how d'ya know-"
"I just know, Marsh," Louis interrupted. "I met him in the park the other day waiting fer ya' all to show for the gig and I...I could just tell there was sumthin' about him, yeah? And then I saw him at the concert and he smiled at me like he already knew and...And he's my son. My son."
Marshall felt his shoulders droop. He could tell Louis was serious about this. This kid was his son. But if Louis had found his happy ending...
"What about the band? You leavin' us?"
"What?" "No!" "Marshall!" His brothers all shouted at once. Marshall turned around long enough to glare at them to shut up and then turned away again.
A pause. "I'm not quittin' the band, Marshall," Louis assured him, sounding more content then Marshall had heard him in far too long. "We were headed fer Chicago, yeh?"
"Yeah." Marshall nodded.
"Lyla lives in Chicago. And the Father's agreed August's best place is with-"
"Wait, father?" Marshall interrupted. "I thought ya said-"
"Church Father," Louis interrupted in turn. "It's a long, long story. I don't even understand some of it meself." Louis sighed. "Look. I'm gunna bring 'em ta meet the others. Where're you at?"
Marshall glanced around himself, even though he knew damn well where he was. "The airport. Do ya wanna meet here or-?" he cut off purposefully.
There was a moment where he could tell Louis was thinking, or maybe he was just staring at his son. Son. The youngest brother and he had a son. This would take some getting used to.
"We'll come to you. D-do ya wanna speak to him?" Louis asked, suddenly sounding nervous.
Marshall laughed. "Watch yerself, Louie. Ya sound like a father in the waitin' room." He shook his head. "Nah. I'll see both of 'em when ya get here."
Louis let out a breath. "Right. Alright. Well, see ya soon then. Tell the others."
"Yeah." Marshall pulled the phone away and hit 'end', slipping the phone in his pocket as he turned around.
Every one of his brothers was standing directly behind him, holding each other like that gave them some sort of camouflage.
"The hell are ya doin'?" Marshall asked, looking them over. "We're a band now, mates, gotta protect our public image, yeh?"
"So...," Nick ventured slowly, "Louis isn't quitting?"
Marshall laughed. "No." They all backed off, looking relieved. "In fact, the Connelly clan just got a wee bit bigger."
"What d'ya mean?" Mannix asked, sitting down by his stuff.
Marshall thought back on the conversation. He had a nephew. Louis had a son. Louis had his girl. A bright smile crept across his face and he laughed to himself in awe. "Louis found his girl." He focused his eyes back on his brothers.
"Really?" Nick asked, eyes bright in excitement. He slapped his leg. "That's fantastic! I bet he's happy as-"
"And he's got a ben."
Nick stopped talking abruptly. Marshall's smile grew wider, more laughing, at the shock etching itself onto each of his brothers' expressions.
"Are ya havin' a go at us, Marshall?" Steve asked, sounding shaky.
Marshall shook his head. "Can't say I am." He crossed his arms. "Now he's bringin' 'em here ta meet the family, so behave yerselves...and try not to smother 'em," he ordered with a teasing grin.
His brothers tried to match his smile, but they all still looked shell shocked. Marshall shook his head and glanced toward the doors where his littlest brother would soon enter. Louis had a family.
Marshall felt old all of a sudden.