He wants to tell them the truth, so much the words choke and he's fighting for every breath. Just as well that they do, he can't ever tell them the truth – not until Adam says its safe and Brennan isn't sure it ever will be. If he has to lie to Shalimar and Jessie until the end of time he'll do it. Whatever it takes to protect his family, he'll do it.
"I can't remember what life was like before you," with Emma, the poetry words come easy. One look from her and his heart's springing up with sonnets and rhyme, proclaiming to the world how much he adores this woman.
"Yes, you can," she smiles, quick and mischievous, and he's lost all over again. "You know you can't lie to me, your eyes do this thing when you try."
Going to bed every night without her in his arms – in his mind – is a torture unlike any. They should be curled together in the dark, bodies still flush with lovemaking, whispering plans for the future. Distance is an enemy that makes his arms ache with need and he hopes she's sleeping better than he is.
She's laughing and he thinks it might be the most beautiful thing he's ever seen. When Emma laughs the world lights up and there's warmth about everything. She infuses the world with the unique beauty of her presence and Brennan is the luckiest man alive because of it. Her laughter is meant for him and it's the best gift he's ever gotten.
Every time they face down Eckhart's goons, he knows why. He isn't fighting Adam's war like Shalimar, or because it gives him purpose and a place to belong like Jesse.
He's fighting for Emma and their right to be together. A world without her in it isn't any world at all and Brennan won't let that happen.
Sometimes, he thinks he can feel her presence like a whispered sigh in the back of his mind. A presence that steals over him in quiet moments and that brings to mind the image of her smile. If she is there, she never speaks and he neither does he, though the urge is there. Her name will always spring unbidden to his lips when he hears the light step of a feminine walk. No matter to whom the footsteps belong, the sound will always be Emma to him. Light on air, smiles and laughter, that's Emma.
It's a miracle, he believes, that he hasn't cracked and let something slip. The biggest secret of his life is the one he's desperate to share. But it's also the one he can't share, not if he wants his family to live.
She whispers the news late one night and, for a moment, he doesn't believe his ears. They've always been so careful but, no plan is foolproof. It's a huge complication, Sanctuary is no place for a baby, and their life is no life for a child….but none of that matters. He doesn't need Emma's abilities to know she feels what he feels; the sudden desperation to see this child born.
He never really, truly, thought about having a family. A thief's life is not exactly stable. Neither is the superhero gig but he wants to be a father. He wants to give this child – God, his child – a life worth living. He wants to give his child the life he had stolen from him.
Emma's confession in the night brings similar thoughts.
They're going to do this, there's no choice, he just has to figure out how.
It's Adam's plan in the end, though Brennan executes it. The execution is the hardest part of all, lying to Jesse and Shalimar day after day he holds back the truth even though it feels like it might kill him. Maybe it will. For all the lies, the grief he puts out is very, very real.
Time's being stolen from him and its eating him alive. Somewhere, Adam is watching over Emma. He monitors the baby, and Emma herself for any signs the pregnancy is affecting her New Mutancy or vice versa. He'd be doing that if they were here too but they're not here, Brennan is, and it feels like he's dying every night.
He wants to be there to see it all, to see Emma's body begin to change and grow. He wants to be there for the sonograms trying desperately to make a baby appear in a grey blob on a screen. He wants to feel their baby kicking beneath his hand. He wants to fight over nursery wallpaper, buy pickles and ice cream and watch Emma cry over crazy TV commercials. All of it's being stolen away and he's letting it go.
"We don't have a choice," Emma's crying and, God, he hates it when she cries. "You know we don't, Brennan. It has to be this way…at least for now."
He knows it does, he says as much in words and kisses. They can't get enough of either one, clinging together while Adam waits. It's not forever but it's still too long and they're afraid to let go.
She blew into his life in a whirlwind and he's afraid she'll vanish the same way.
"I'll protect her," Adam's vow is the one thing he's said in a long time that Brennan can believe without hesitation. They've had their disputes but on this….if Adam betrays them, this will be the last thing he ever does.
Emma doesn't say goodbye, neither does he.
Come hell or high water, he will see her again.
The sonogram is in an envelope on his bed.
How it reached Sanctuary Brennan has no idea. It's just there one night, waiting.
The faint scent of Emma's favorite lotion greets him when he opens it and the picture slides out.
He stares at the gray blob for an hour, committing every pixel to memory. There's no note, no message of any kind, but Brennan gets it just the same.
The baby's okay, she's okay, and most of all; "I miss you too."