"And then what?" A small, high pitched voice asked, enrapt.
"And then we gnashed our teeth, and breathed our fire, like the dragons you so love to play with" the man with should length hair said as he ran a finger down her cheek; **The Fire of our minds**, before smiling at her as he went on, "and they all fell before out might."
"Oh, oh, I know this part!" The girl giggled.
"Do you?" A smile crinkled along Byron's lips, causing lines of age to crow the edges of his lips and eyes.
"Yes! Oh, yes!" She said, sitting and putting her hands in her lap, her serious gesture completely made irrelevant by the exuberant joy in her voice. "And the telepaths were freed from the tyranny of the normal men who'd tried so long to keep them captive!"
"Yes, precious," he said, staring at the girl on his lap like she were the most precious thing in the world. And she was. He would fight this entire war all over again, just for her. None of his past matter when he looked at her. None of the blood on his hands. None of the lives wasted and tears shed over the lives wasted.
He was her hero. It was written all over her face. And in her eyes he felt his heart, simple and true, and free of the past for a few seconds.
"And then we built our own world, out here where no one could touch us," she said the words carefully, like she was trying digilently to remember them exactly. "And we lived happily ever after. Right? Right, Papa?"
"So what's going on in here?' A voice came from the doorway and but heads turned to look. It was a thin woman, with copper eyes, pale skin and long read hair past the small of her back. She a wore an outfit of simple black pants and a cream sweater. "Are you two going over old ancient history? Again? Haven't you had enough of that story yet, muchkin?"
"Never!" The little girl with red pig tails giggled on her fathers lap. "I love to hear it!"
"What could I do?" Byron said with a smirk. "I'm too old to be able to fight the whims of a pretty face turned my way."
Lyta's face brightened with laughter that fell not from her lips, but seemed to infuse the air around them. Her eyes smiled at him before shifting to the little one on his lap again. "Okay, my little budding historian, it time for bed now."
The pale round pace softened into an unhappy pout, with her tiny lip poking out, as her father began to pick her up and set her down on the ground. **I don't wanna go to bed, mama.**
"Jella," He reprimanded softly to his little one, pushing her gently in the direction of the door.
**Go on. Brush your teeth and we'll be in to tuck you in shortly.** Her mother smiled gently, even as her little girl wandered by her thoughts spouting the evils of tooth brushes and going to bed early. She smiled at it and moved into the room so the doorway was free to be walked through.
Byron stood and held his hands out to take her drawing her near. He pulled her into his arms and held her close, just breathing in the scent of her into his being. Thought, smell and feel. Her thoughts were constantly quite to the normal buzz, compliments of her vorlon reprogramming. Her scent was the wind in the arid dessert always changing and moving, tinged with an unknown spice. And her feel was always soft, as if they could simply melt into each other. A perfect melding of their selves.
**Whats bothering you, love?** She asked gently, as she placed a loving kiss on the side of his neck. Not to get a reaction, but simply out of comfort.
**Just shadows of the past** his voice whispered through her thoughts as he pulled back to look at her face. His hands traveled from her shoulders, to run gently across her forehead and down her cheeks before rubbing her hair between his finger, silken and smooth. **Telling the story always excites her about freedom, but it just reiterates how much we lost in getting here.**
**Lost? Oh, my darling, have you never realize how much more you've given us all** Lyta leaned in, pushing up on her tip toes to kiss his forehead and then his right cheek. **You have give us, all of us, and especially the children such freedom. Look at Jella, Byron. Jella is growing up so fast and she's never once experienced fear at being rounded up simply for being how she was born. There is no fear of her future.**
He smiled, but very slowly, tears unshed for lived unnumbered still in his eyes. **I wish it had could have always been like this. Always. Never a need for that battle. For the martyrs. I never feel I did good enough.**
**You did good.** She said as she kissed his other cheek, before stepping out of his arms, holding on to only one had as she pulled toward the door. "If you don't believe me, just look into her eyes. Look there and see exactly what you've done."
He followed her quietly, reluctantly down a hallway. Silence followed for a few minutes and then laughter began to spring out of the silence. Gentle, constant laughter from three different sources, filled with the most important things.
Love and Promise.