Derringer's father was the type of man who was both tough yet tender, a rare duality that was split between the Aragon siblings.
Remington had always been the gentle one. Derrin could clearly remember him rescuing a bird she'd 'accidentally' injured with a BB gun, one of her first attempts with a firearm. He had taken the animal inside, and unsuccessfully tried to nurse it back to health. The small creature's death plagued him for weeks, and he walked around with a heaviness that was quite reminiscent of times when their father returned home from work, carrying guilt from victims he could not save.
But Derrin was the strong one, a fortress built by skinned knees and hard knocks. Even as life's gales blew and rattled its windows, she stood firm. This attitude made her precociously aware of other's needs, and she was often a problem solver, not easily manipulated by feelings as Remington could be.
"I hate hospitals." she muttered, readjusting the visitors badge that was affixed to her chest. The ward attempted to be cheery, with it's brightly colored walls and handmade decorations created by well meaning volunteers for the upcoming holiday. Still, there was something about the nature of the institution that could not be disguised, and it made the corridor's yellow hue almost sickly, the fact that the construction paper crafts were drooping, obvious.
Her guest heeded her two word command as Derrin knocked lightly at her father's open door.
"It's me." she replied, coming to sit on the edge of his bed.
"That's a good look on you." he remarked, touching the sleeve of her brand new auxiliary uniform. The statement brought a wave of unexpected emotion that she forced down with a cough.
Her father was not getting any better -- the words hospice and palliative care were thrown around a lot when the social worker described his condition. She knew that it was his dream that she, too, followed in her footsteps and join the NYPD. But it was painfully clear that there was a possibility that he might not even see her graduate high school, and with that fact in mind, Derrin quit rifle team, instead taking a position as a volunteer officer at their local precinct.
"Dad, Remy's here."
"Remington?" His face darkened. "What does he want?"
"To see you, silly." she replied, trying to lighten his mood.
"C'mon, that was six years ago."
"I said no, Derringer."
"Daddy - "
"End of discussion."
"I've asked him to come here." she began. "He's taken time away from his career, his family, to visit and end this animosity between you two." When he didn't immediately respond she added, "You know Remington was never into law enforcement. What you were pressuring him into was unfair."
"Unfair?" he repeated incredulously. "It's unfair that I was encouraging him to pursue something with stability? A respectable profession? Not to mention the money he took when he ran off?"
"You're mad about five-hundred dollars? He can more than pay you back."
"You're missing the principle."
"And you're missing out on time with your family. Time you don't exactly have."
"Derringer, please. "
"If you die before clearing the air between you two I'll never forgive you."
"I mean it." she said, rising and smoothing out her clothes. "End of discussion." Her boots smacked against the floor, as if adding emphasis to her ultimatum.
"Harsh words, daddy's princess." Remington teased once she had exited the room.
"Oh, shut up. I said it for your benefit."
"Our benefit." he corrected, adjusting a downy haired baby in the carrier he wore.
Derrin smiled, leaning over to kiss the sleeping infant's forehead. "More for him than you, to be honest."
"Ouch." he grinned. Then, seriously, "It means a lot either way. Thanks."
She waved it off, and left, giving the father, son, and grandson some much needed alone time.
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