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 Just the two of us, Tag: Kiva/Emmie
Axel Cooper
 Posted on: Jun 20 2018, 03:25 PM
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Livvyowl
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Reaping day had come and passed. Thankfully Kiva had once more managed to get through without being picked. She of course didn't have to take out any tessarea, but that didn't mean she was going to be safe. Kids were picked fairly frequently who would have their names in the bowl only one or two times. Little twelve year olds with no real chance of winning. Every year Axel was extremely stressed out around the reaping. He had watched both of his two best friends go into the games. One had come back out, one had not. Was the streak going to continue with Kiva? The dread of that always filled him, but yet again they were safe.

He hated having to watch Arlo go to the Capitol every year. He knew it was hard on him and he knew there was a greater chance of a relapse during these times for Arlo as far as morphling went. Not that he didn't trust him of course, he just knew that things could get overwhelming for his husband and that it was sometimes very hard for him not to go back to that. If he did come back and had a relapse, Axel would be there to pick up the pieces. He didn't mind. Not at all. He loved Arlo, flaws and all just like Arlo loved him.

Now there was only him and Kiva in the house, and he was somewhat used to that. He had taken care of her during the games since she had just been a little baby. Now he was standing in the kitchen, preparing some breakfast. His leg was acting up today and he was limping more than he normally did. It was strange how this seemed to come and go. Some days there was just the limp and no pain, but other days it felt like his hip was on fire.

The healer of the district had told him his hip had healed, but that there was probably some error in the way it had set that was causing him pain. Some days it was pain, others it was just a numbness, as though his leg had fallen asleep and was all pins and needles. It was strange, but he wasn't going to let that stop him. He was no stranger to pain. It had been a constant for most of his life, this was no different. Even with the pain he was humming happily as he settled things on the table.

On days like this, setting the table took a while, he had to make several trips across the kitchen to get one and one item. If he tried carrying a tray on days like today he would just drop things on the floor. Humming he set the last piece of cutlery on the table and then went over to finish off the food in the pan. He was lost in his own mind for the time being while cooking, there was a smile on his face though. It was going to be a good day, leg be damned.
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Kiva Cooper
 Posted on: Jun 20 2018, 10:55 PM
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The Struggle is Part of The Story
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Emmie
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Kiva had been relieved to have made it through another reaping without her name being called, but she hadn't been terribly worried about it to begin with. She was always so worried about Arlo having to leave and deal with things without them and having to be without him at home that there wasn't much room for fear when it came to the reaping. There was some anxiety there of course, but she always just had this feeling that she would be fine. Something was telling her that she would always be fine. Sometimes she liked to think it was her mother assuring her that and watching out for her, somehow. As silly as that sounded, but it wasn't far fetched for Kiva who had quite the imagination.

Regardless, the reaping was over and she was on break from school, so two problems were gone for now, but last night she had encountered another one. She had actually been quite tired for once and curled up in bed to sleep when her stomach started hurting a bit. An annoying sort of cramping with some really painful ones thrown in. She spent a lot of the night trying to get into a position where they didn't hurt so bad and she finally managed to drift off to sleep.

Unfortunately when she woke up in the morning it was still there. It was just enough to be annoying, the worse ones seemed to have gone away at least, but her head was hurting a bit too. Not bad enough that she just wanted to lay around and sleep more, but again it was enough to be frustrating. She tried a hot shower and changed herself into clean leggings and a comfy shirt before she came downstairs to Axel.

She didn't speak at first. She just walked over to him and buried her face against his arm, loosely wrapping her arms around him. "Morning." she mumbled, followed by a yawn. She then turned her face so that she could see what he was doing. "Need any help?" she asked as per usual. She was struggling a bit this morning herself, but she would always help when needed and she wasn't going to let any of this ruin her day.
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Axel Cooper
 Posted on: Jun 21 2018, 03:22 AM
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Axel was just focused on getting the food ready. They had gotten their hands on some proper bread and some eggs. It was expensive but Arlo always made sure they had food that extra fancy for when he left for the Capitol. Arlo. He missed him so much already. The weeks Arlo were gone were always rough, but they made it through together. He and Kiva. They missed Arlo of course, but at least they had each other. At least Arlo hadn't had to take their daughter to the games this year either.

He was just putting the eggs on the plates when he felt familiar arms wrap against him and a face buried against his arm. "Morning Kiva." he said in a warm tone as he wrapped his own arms around her in a tight hug. "I was just finishing up the eggs, maybe you could carry the plates to the table?" he asked. It was the last thing that needed to go to the table and she was less likely to drop them than he was.

Releasing her form the hug he put the last egg on the final plate and then left them there. "Come sit, the rest of the table is already set." he said, then looked at her for a moment. Trying to figure out why he had the urge to protect her. She didn't really look like she was sick. There had just been something about that hug that had set off some sort of warning bells. For now he ignored it, if it continued he was going to ask her what was going on.

Once he made it to the table he flopped awkwardly into his chair, his bad leg giving in as he bent to sit down. At least he'd landed on the chair and not on the floor. That was something. He let out a soft laugh and shook his head. "Seems like my leg won't quite cooperate this morning." he commented. It wasn't an unusual occurrence. It was just part of life after the accident that had almost caused him his life.
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Kiva Cooper
 Posted on: Jun 24 2018, 11:00 PM
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The Struggle is Part of The Story
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Emmie
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Kiva wanted to just nestle into the hug and stay there for a while when he wrapped his arms around her in a tight hug. It was definitely the comfort she had needed after a pretty miserable night and well, he had to make up for the fact that Arlo wasn't here as well. It wasn't like she really preferred one of them over the other, but that preferred having both of them home with her. It never felt right when it was just her and Axel at the house.

"I can do that." She assured him, looking up with a soft smile when he asked if she could carry the plates to the table. She released him from the hug when he released her and grabbed the plates to take to the table. She noticed that his limp was a bit stronger today, the way it got when he was hurting more and the way it gave out when he went to sit down in the chair made it even more apparent.

She set the plates down on the table, one in front of him and then one in the spot at the table that she always sat in, between Axel and Arlo, though Arlo's chair would remain empty for the next couple of weeks. She curled her own legs up under her as she sat down in her chair, looking over. "Well, I don't mind staying in and doing things around here today." she said quickly.

Normally she would have happily gone out and about with him, even to the garage for a little bit. It was actually quite recently that she had started to show an interest in what he did while he was away from the house. Before it was just his job to her, but over the past year or so she had gone along a couple times and learned quite a bit...and she had fun doing it.

Today though she was more than willing to stay home and do more relaxing things after barely sleeping and still not feeling the best. She put some of the egg on her toast and took a bite. "This is really yummy. You did good." she assured Axel with a sweet smile, though she winced a bit and shifted in her seat uncomfortably. "Think we can call daddy later or will he be too busy?" she asked quietly.
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Axel Cooper
 Posted on: Jun 25 2018, 02:42 AM
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Axel just loved how Kiva nestled into the hug and he held her there for
a while before they had to pull apart. He needed and wanted to sit down. So he released and and Kiva went to set the plates on the table. He loved her so much, she was the best help a man could ask for. Even if all she did was carry the plates for him. There was no one and nothing in life he loved more than Kiva and Arlo. Now that Arlo was gone for a bit he was so glad he still had Kiva here with him.

"Thank you." he said when she set the plate down in front of him and then went to sit in her own chair. He would have had her come sit with him for a bit so they could cuddle, but he wasn't sure her sitting on his lap was a good idea right now. Not until his hip and leg had eased a little. Some days they just really hurt still. Something about some nerves being damaged. A doctor had mentioned something about the nerves sticking together. There wasn't much that could be done for it. Not here in the district.

"I do have some minor things that need doing at the garage, but I think it can wait until tomorrow." he agreed when she quickly said that she didn't mind staying in and spending time at home. "We could watch something if you'd like." he suggested. He couldn't really read for her. He was still extremely bad at that. He managed when he had to, but he had never gotten the hang of it.

Axel smiled as she complimented his cooking. It wasn't amazing, but it wasn't awful either, and he was glad she liked it. However, she noticed the shifting in her seat and the wince and frowned. "Are you alright Kiva? Are you not feeling well?" he asked, voice suddenly full of concern for her.
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Kiva Cooper
 Posted on: Jun 25 2018, 03:01 AM
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The Struggle is Part of The Story
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Emmie
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Kiva was happy to help him, just as she was always happy to help Arlo as well. She actually did quite a bit around the house for them without being asked. She liked things neat and tidy, so she was always making sure the house was kept up well. Cleaning also seemed to be something that calmed her. It wasn't stressful and it helped to take her mind off anything bugging her. Helping to cook was one of her favorite things to do as well. Though she was happy to do any little thing to make life easier for Axel and Arlo, like carrying plates.

She was good at helping others, but when it came to herself she tried to be more independent. That was very much something that had recently started happening though. When she was younger she relied on them a lot for everything, but now...she wanted to try and handle things on her own more. Sometimes she succeeded and sometimes she failed.

"I could come and help you tomorrow or I can find something to do."Kiva said with a shrug. She would be fine going off on her own for a little while too. She just hoped she was feeling a bit better by then. "Can we watch a movie in yours and daddy's room?" She asked. She wanted to curl up in bed right now really.


When he asked if she was alright and if she wasn't feeling well she wasn't really sure how she wanted to answer him. Part of her wanted to handle it on her own and...she also wasn't sure how to explain it to him, but the still childish part of her wanted to tell him so maybe he could fix it or tell her how or even just comfort her.

"I don't know." She said quietly after shifting a bit more. "My stomach has been achy since last night...and sometimes I get these sharp crampy pains that are a lot worse." She told him. "When those aren't there though it's just annoying...not bad. I don't feel sick. I just hurt." She added,, reaching to take a drink.
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Axel Cooper
 Posted on: Jun 25 2018, 03:52 AM
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"I would happily have you along tomorrow if you want to come." he said with a warm smile. He loved when Kiva wanted to come work with him. She was such a quick learner, and a huge help. It meant he didn't have to get up off the floor as often to get tools and other things. That had become a chore and sometimes almost impossible on days where his leg was acting up. It was always a bit painful, but on the days it was worse than normal it was extremely hard to keep working.

Axel was honestly relieved when Kiva suggested they go watch a movie in bed. He wanted nothing more than to lie back down and get any weight he could off of his hip and leg. He nodded and offered her a warm smile. "Yes, we can definitely go watch a movie in there." he said, of course there were only capitol approved movies to choose from, but still, some of them could be pretty fun to watch.

He frowned when she said she wasn't exactly feeling unwell, but that her stomach hurt and that it was more uncomfortable than anything else. His mind stated analyzing the problem. People often assumed Axel wasn't smart just because he couldn't really read properly, or because he couldn't do math the way a lot of people could. However, his ability to analyze a situation was pretty good. It was just the letters and numbers that caused him problems.

How old was Kiva now? She was fourteen. Vaguely he remembered something his mother had talked about once. She hadn't been talking to him, but one of her friends who had a daughter his age. They'd talked about something similar to this. How it was normal for girls. Though he thought he remembered something about blood.

The thought was followed by a flash of memory from back when he'd had to do a lot of things he didn't want to. Some cloth lined in some underwear, there was blood on it, but when the child he'd been had asked the woman if she was okay, she'd laughed at him and said it was normal and not to worry about it. He'd found it disgusting at the time, but at least maybe now it would be helpful.

How would he ask her about this without making things all awkward? His brow furrowed a little as he spoke, voice a bit hesitant. "Are you.. bleeding anywhere?" he asked carefully. "If you are, it's ok to tell me." he said gently. He wanted her to know that if she was it was going to be okay. "I.. think I may know what this could be... though I'm not sure what it's called." he said, clearly trying to think about this and what it was his mother had said so many years ago.

He wished Arlo was here, he'd had more experience with women than Axel had, and if this was what he thought it might be, then maybe Arlo would know what to do more. "I think, if you are, or start bleeding it's just uhm. Something all girls have. I think you're the right age." he knew he was fumbling with his words a little. "It's not dangerous, but I've heard it can be unpleasant." he said softly.

There was a slight blush in his cheeks as he talked about this, it wasn't a topic he was comfortable with. "If it happens though, I'll see if I can find some cloth to use... my mother used to have some cloth to use for it anyway." he said feeling a little lost. "Maybe I can get some somewhere that is more proper, but until then we can cut up one of my shirts." he mused. "Or maybe daddy can get something from the capitol." he said, referring to Arlo. "I'm sorry, I wish I knew more about stuff." he said, feeling a little deflated that he wasn't able to fully help his daughter.
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Kiva Cooper
 Posted on: Jun 25 2018, 01:22 PM
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The Struggle is Part of The Story
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Kiva smiled and nodded. "I would love to come help then." she said, when he stated that he would love to have her come and help. She was enjoying starting to learn about cars with him recently. It was fun and something new and she didn't have to have to treat it like a job herself. She was set for a long time thanks to Arlo winning the games, but for all she knew there could come a time when these skills she was building would come in handy.

She was glad that he agreed and seemed relieved at the idea of watching a movie in bed for a while. It seemed they were both on the same page for what they wanted to do today and so even if they were both hurting, they could still have a bonding day together. It was something that Kiva did look forward to while Arlo was away and it made that time a bit easier.

While Axel went about thinking about the problem, Kiva ate a bit more of her toast and eggs. Though as soon as he spoke up and asked if she was bleeding anywhere she looked incredibly confused. "I...am I bleeding anywhere?" she repeated the question and then looked herself over a bit, her arms and legs, touching her face to make sure no blood was on there. "I...no?"

This was one of those things that not having a mother, close friends, or proper education of these things in school really put her at a disadvantage. It made her feel incredibly stupid and awkward, because Axel seemed embarrassed and uncomfortable, but she had no idea what he was talking about.

"Something all girls have? Guys bleed too." Kiva commented. "And we don't need to cut up your shirt or get anything from Daddy...we have bandaids upstairs in the medicine cabinet." she added. She was so lost and had she actually started then she would have known exactly what she was meaning, but it could still take months to get to that point. Kiva had noticed her migraines were worse around the same time for the past two months. This was the first time cramps had been involved though.

She couldn't help, but feel a bit sad though. If this really was something related to girls only...and he was uncomfortable talking about it...then it was another thing she was missing out on by missing her mom. Him mentioning his own mother seemed to confirm that and she just quietly looked back to her plate, pushing some of the eggs around. "I'm sorry." she mumbled.
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Axel Cooper
 Posted on: Jun 26 2018, 12:44 AM
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Axel smiled. It was nice that Kiva was showing an interest for something that meant a lot to him. Before the garage had simply been a job, something to keep him alive on the side of the other things his father forced on him. Now it was more of a hobby really than a true job. Since he didn't actually need the money, but he did need to keep it. Should anything ever happen to Arlo, he knew that he and Kiva would be back on the 'streets' or at least back in the old dingy apartment his parents had once owned. So he had to make sure to put away some money for that possibility even if the thought of something happening to Arlo made him sick.

Okay, so she wasn't bleeding. That was both a relief and a worry because then it probably wasn't what he'd expected it might be. "Okay.. well uhm... there's this thing. Where uh..." he was having issues with this. He really didn't know enough and Arlo would have been so much better at this conversation. "Where girls after a certain age bleeds" he said, he wasn't sure if it was a regular thing, or something that just happened sometimes. "I think it's do to with the ability to have babies later on." he had to specify later on, because Kiva really didn't need any babies yet.

"I wish I knew more about it... but I overheard it sometimes causing stomach aches." he added. "And I don't want you to have to worry if it does happen." he continued, regaining his footing a little. Clearly it wasn't happening yet. "I don't think regular bandaids would be too good for it." he added. "But we can figure that out if we need to." he wanted to make sure he was there to help if it was needed.

He noticed her pushing her food around and frowned. "I'm sorry Kiva... I wish I could help more. I know it can't always be easy with just me and daddy." he said softly, he could guess that must have been where her thoughts went. Because it was painfully clear a woman would have been able to help her with this way better than Axel would ever be able to. "Why are you sorry?" he asked gently. "You have nothing to be sorry about."
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Kiva Cooper
 Posted on: Jun 26 2018, 01:18 AM
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Kiva listened to him, but it just wasn't making much sense to her and she could tell he was suffering through this conversation just as much as she was. She was struggling to understand and he was struggling to explain and it was just making things worse. "I don't want to bleed...I don't like blood." she commented with a bit of a frown. She had never really done well with even small cuts. This was going to be miserable.

"And I don't want babies yet either." She added quickly. It seemed incredibly annoying that she would have to deal with something like that when she didn't even want to have babies yet. She would trust that they could figure it out though if they needed to. For now it was just the pain bothering her a bit, though last night had been much worse, though her head was starting to hurt more.

She chewed her lip a little when he mentioned that he knew it couldn't be easy with just him and Arlo. It wasn't, but he never wanted them to feel that way. He never wanted Arlo to feel bad for her mother not coming home...more than he already did anyway. She never wanted Axel to feel like he wasn't good enough. "I'm sorry I made you uncomfortable." she said quietly.

Kiva pushed the plate away. "I know you worked hard to make this, but...I don't want anymore." she added, looking to him for a moment before she could feel the tears stinging her eyes and threatening to fall down her cheeks. "I'm just sorry..." she said before she got up and rushed off to her room, curling up in her bed and burying her face in the pillow as she began to cry.
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Axel Cooper
 Posted on: Jun 26 2018, 01:35 AM
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Axel could tell he wasn't helping, and he felt awful about it. He nodded a little when she said she didn't want to bleed and that she didn't like blood. It was unfortunately something he thought she would have to deal with. "I know... but I thought it was best you know it might happen... do it doesn't surprise you if it does." he said softly. He hated that Arlo was gone right now. He'd do so much better with this than he did. He also hated that Revaline wasn't around for this, it would have been so much better for Kiva to have her mother.

That brought on a whole slew of emotions. Guilt because he found himself thinking, selfishly, that if she was still here he wouldn't have Kiva and Arlo as his family. Then there was sadness for thinking Kiva had to grow up without a mom. He felt bad that he couldn't be what she needed him to be right now, and he didn't know how to deal with it. He wasn't much help with stuff that most people might know about. He hadn't been taught about family, love and stuff like this from his own family. He'd had nothing but pain from his own family. Nothing but hate for his father and resentment for his mother for not doing anything about it.

"Good... no babies yet sounds like a good idea." he agreed with her when she said she didn't want them yet either. Of course that wouldn't stop any of this from happening, but maybe it wouldn't happen just yet. Maybe it would wait a month or two and Arlo would be here when it did. He kind of hoped so. Not that he wouldn't do his absolute best to help her if it was needed.

She apologized again and his heart broke a little at seeing the sadness on her face. "It's fine, I don't mind I promise." he said. He reached out to gently run his hand across her cheek for a moment. "I might not be a woman.. but I will always do whatever I can to help you Kiva." he said softly.

Then she was pushing her food away and before he knew it she was on her feet and running for the stairs. Running. Axel had no chance in hell to catch up to her today. He wasn't good at running on the best of days, and running today was going to be impossible. With a frown of pain he pushed himself to his feet. Shit, today was one of the bad days, this was so inconvenient right now.

Slowly he made his way to Kiva's room, knocking on the door, but not waiting for her to say he could come in. She might tell him to go away if he did. "I'm sorry sweetheart... I didn't mean to make things worse." he said as he sat on the bed next to her, reaching out to gently stroke her back. "I promise you have nothing to apologize to me for. Not for the awkwardness down there and certainly not for wishing your mother was here." he said, because he still thought that was part of it. "It is only natural. I promise that doesn't upset me."

It didn't upset him that she missed her mother or wished she was there. The only thing that made him sad was his own inability to help in the situation. His own lack of knowledge was what frustrated him. He had lost out on so much with the family he'd grown up in, and he was so desperate to do a better job with Kiva than his own father had done with him. He just wanted to shower her in love and care, yet here he was, failing when she needed him.
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Kiva Cooper
 Posted on: Jun 26 2018, 03:06 PM
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Kiva had run off to her room because she hadn't been able to hold back the tears and she hated crying in front of her parents. When she was little she was very dependent on the both of them. She never wanted to sleep in her own room alone, she never wanted to be left without them. She would cry for hours all snuggled up on Axel's lap when Arlo would leave for the Capitol. When Axel got injured and was in the hospital and Arlo stayed with him she had been absolutely miserable without them. When she got sick or hurt she only wanted to be held and snuggled. She was very much attached to them both.

As she got older though she realized that she needed to make a switch. She started to understand more that Arlo and Axel had issues of their own that they had to deal with. She felt like she had been selfish all those years needing them so much and like she had made things more difficult. She never wanted to make things harder for either of them. She wanted to help. So, she made the decision to grow up. She no longer went into their room at night when she was upset or when she couldn't sleep. She no longer cried when Arlo left. She didn't go to them when she was sick or hurting. She didn't even go to them about her school problems. Generally, if she was willing to seek comfort now then something was really wrong.

Maybe she had gone too far in the opposite direction, but...she didn't want to make them deal with more. She didn't want them unhappy or upset. Her being unhappy and upset always made them sad. She didn't want that. So she did her best to hide it, but today she had failed miserably.

The words that came out of Axel's mouth as soon as he entered the room was exactly what she was afraid of. "You didn't make anything worse." she said quietly, the words a bit muffled by the pillow she had her face buried against, but he should be able to understand them. Then he was sitting on the bed and gently rubbing her back and all she wanted to do was cuddle up to him.

She turned her head to the side. "I don't want to make you feel bad. I don't want you to think you aren't helping and you aren't good enough because you are. You are helping...I'm just..." she was struggling to find the words to explain to him how she was feeling about things. "I never want you or daddy to think you aren't doing enough..." she sighed and buried her face again. How did she explain she loved them and they were amazing, but...she just wanted her mom sometimes and it had nothing to do with them?
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Axel Cooper
 Posted on: Jun 29 2018, 05:42 AM
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It broke Axel's heart that she'd run away from him when she had started crying. He just wanted to hold his daughter and tell her everything was going to be alright. Yet she had headed straight to her room and away from him when she had been unable to stop the tears and that hurt. He wished she didn't feel like she had to do that. She didn't have to be as dependent on them as she'd used to of course, but he just wanted her to come to him if she needed him.

He rubbed her back for a moment, but when she said he didn't make things worse he shifted, laying down next to her instead and pulling her into his arms. He wanted to comfort her, and he didn't feel like he'd done much to help downstairs. Him fumbling with his lack of knowledge on the topic clearly just had made her feel worse than she had to begin with and he wanted to make sure she knew he was here at the very least. Even if he couldn't really help.

Axel frowned when she spoke next. He hated that she felt that way. "Oh sweetheart..." he said softly. "Of course we don't enjoy seeing you upset, just like I am sure you don't enjoy seeing us upset. That doesn't mean you shouldn't come to us when you need to." he said gently, wrapping her up even closer in his arms, even if that really didn't help with his hip and leg. It didn't matter. All that matter was that his daughter was upset.

For a moment he pondered the situation, and something told him he might have a faint idea what this was about. "It's okay to wish you had your mother..." he said softly. "It's okay to want to talk to someone who understands more than daddy and I can." he said as he stroked her hair some more. "I'm not going to get upset about that, neither is daddy. We both miss your mom too." he said.

Kiva of course wouldn't really remember her mother. She hadn't even been a year old, but that didn't mean she couldn't miss her, or wish she had a mom who understood these things that only another woman would truly understand or be able to explain.
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Kiva Cooper
 Posted on: Jun 30 2018, 09:40 PM
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The Struggle is Part of The Story
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Emmie
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Kiva wanted nothing more than to cuddle up to Axel and just crying and spill everything to him that she had been hiding from them for the past few years, but she couldn't and she wouldn't do that. She didn't want to dump all her issues on them when they both had so many things to deal with already. It didn't seem right or fair to add so much to them that wasn't their problem.

Though Axel wasn't going to wait for her to snuggle up to him, he just pulled her into him when he laid down. Kiva didn't fight it, she just snuggled against him instead. She wanted to be held and comforted because she was hurting, she was tired, and she was just upset about things. She continued crying against him for a minute.

"I don't want to make things harder for either of you." Kiva whimpered, her words muffled since she had her face buried against his chest. "I don't want to bother you with things that are my problems. I don't want you to have to deal with more." she said quietly. She wanted Arlo and Axel to be able to just be happy. That was all she wanted.

She sighed softly. "It doesn't seem like you guys miss her that much sometimes." she mumbled a bit. She wasn't sure where that had come from and she immediately regretted saying it and just started crying harder. "I'm sorry." she said quietly. It was true though. It was hard when they seemed so in love. It was like Arlo had never loved Rev and Axel didn't care about his friend. She felt like she was the only one who missed her and she had never even got the chance to really get to know her. It hurt.
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Axel Cooper
 Posted on: Jul 1 2018, 07:50 AM
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Livvyowl
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Axel was glad to feel Kiva shift into him and snuggle up to him when he laid down next to her and pulled her close. Her face soon buried against his chest and he just continued to rub her back and stroke her hair. He wanted to offer her comfort, yet it was hard to go when he couldn't quite get to the bottom of what this was all about. He loved Kiva so much and seeing her this upset hurt. There was nothing he'd ever wanted more in life than to make sure she was as happy as she could possibly be and now she wasn't. Part of him felt like this was something she'd been dealing with a while and just hadn't told them about.

The suspicion of that was confirmed when she told him she didn't want to make things harder on him and Arlo and that they were already dealing with enough to begin with. He was about to open his mouth to answer that, but then her next words hit him as if he'd been slapped in the face. For a moment it felt like the air had been knocked out of his lungs. He was glad Kiva's face was buried in his chest so she couldn't see the utter look of horror and agony that crossed his face, or the immediate tears that pooled in his eyes only to be blinked away furiously.

How the hell did he answer that? It was something he felt guilty about more often than not to begin with. Hell he'd felt guilty about his feelings for Arlo for so many years. Especially because he'd felt jealous of Arlo and Revaline. He felt awful that she felt this way. He felt awful that he'd felt the way he had for most of his life. He had finally found happiness with Arlo after his accident. Yet it was a fairly regular thing that he felt guilty about this still. About how he was happy with Arlo and Kiva, while Revaline had barely gotten any time with her daughter. The daughter she'd wanted so much.

Now he was faced with his daughter pretty much telling him off for just that. His heart felt like it had been shattered into a million pieces and he wasn't sure what to do or how to respond. She said she was sorry, but in many ways it was too late for that now. The damage of her words had been done and it was uncertain if it was ever going to be leave him now. The underlying question of whether he was doing something wrong by being happy with Arlo. Not when the accusation had been spoken out loud by his daughter.

The moments he took to compose himself seemed like an eternity, but was actually only a few seconds. He waited with speaking until he could be sure his voice was steady and the pain hidden inside. He'd have to deal with that on his own time. At the moment he needed to try to comfort his daughter and that was all that mattered.

"Revaline was my best friend Kiva, along with your dad. We spent all of the time we could together. I loved her a lot." his voice let slip some emotion but hopefully she'd think it was because talking about Revaline made him sad. Which it did, but there was so much more to it than that. "And if your mother had made it out of the games that would have been how it stayed. Revaline and Arlo would have been your parents and I would have been your parents' best friend." he admitted. He knew though, that if she had come home he would have ended up backing away some. To let Arlo, Revaline and Kiva be a family. He had already felt it happen a little before Revaline's games. Even so, he would give anything to not have had her go in.

"I would have given anything for her not to have to go into her games Kiva. Anything. If me going in would have kept her from doing so I would have." It was the truth. He had hated the idea of Revaline going into the games, he would have gone in too, to give her a better chance to get out, but he couldn't do that to Arlo. He couldn't have Arlo watch both of the people he loved the most go into the games and likely both not come out. He shook his head a little. "But your mother would have wanted us to be happy Kiva... she wouldn't have wanted Arlo to be alone for the rest of his life..." he swallowed hard. "If Arlo hadn't had feelings for me she would have wanted him to find someone else." he knew it was true, but he still felt the intense guilt of all of this coursing through him. All he really wanted to do was break down and cry himself, but he couldn't. Not now. He'd have to wait until later, when he was alone.

"Just because we're happy, that doesn't mean we don't miss her. It took your father four years before he reached out to me after my accident. Four years where I know he felt lonely and missed her every day. There are still days where we both miss her. I know I miss her laugh, her sense of humor and the way she always seemed to be able to make the best of everything. I'm know your dad misses that too." he continued, because he had to at least make sure she wasn't upset with Arlo for finding someone to love. If she was upset with him for it, then so be it, but he didn't want her to be upset with Arlo. "She would have wanted us all to be happy." He was still struggling to keep himself under control, but he had managed to school his face back into a calm one, even though his eyes still showed the sadness of the moment, but the pain he had managed to bury deep inside where it couldn't be seen from the outside.
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