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 We're tumbling down trying to reach your high, @BENEDICT DUNN @BRIANNA DUNN
when i am speaking my mind
Zürich, Switzerland was a great many things to a great many people. A picturesque piece of the globe that many enjoyed vacationing to. The homelands that some had grown up in or around. A future home for those longing to leave behind whatever troubles plagued them... For Trinity and Ben, it was a twelve hour flight to the rehabilitation center that was housing Ben's daughter Brianna as one of many favours owed to Trinity that had built up over the span of the last couple of decades or so.

Typically Trinity wasn't one to call on favours others found themselves in debt of; She had always been fairly self-sufficient but that didn't prevent the odd circumstance from creeping up that was the furthest from being in her control. Fiona had been a prime example of such a circumstance, but Trinity had failed in a great many areas when it had come to Ben's first wife. She had waited a little too long and had been a little too willing to try other forms of treatment when she should have been calling on this very favour from the get-go. By the time she had decided to do just that, it had been too late and the vast majority of Fiona's damage had already been done.

There was a certain irony that came hand-in-hand with the fact that this rehabilitation center was the same rehabilitation center she had attempted to have Fiona signed into against the other woman's will. Fiona had lost all privileges when it came to rational decision making after attempting to take the lives of one of her children and her husband, but she had been underestimated and the attempt to subdue her hadn't worked in anyone's favour other than Fiona's.

A few years had passed since then, but no one could have ever predicted that any of Ben's children would have followed down a similar path of mental illness (jumbled with drug addiction) as Fiona had. There had been no signs indicating that either Trinity or Ben should prepare for the worst and prepare to be able to follow through with the plan Fiona's loved ones had once had for her in an effort to get her the help she had so dearly needed.

Still, it was because of those shortcomings that Trinity knew, when it came down to it, how to best Brianna. They had once had a bond built on trust and support; she had hoped that deep down Brianna still thought of Trinity as trustworthy, even in her drug-addled state. She had also hoped that said drug-addled state had her underestimating - even if only the slightest bit - just how far Trinity was willing to go for any of Ben's children. She had always said she would lay her life on the line for any one of them, though in her more drug-induced states, Brianna had begun doubting that. Perhaps it had been a show, perhaps it hadn't been.

Regardless, she had both trusted Trinity and believed her to be faulting on her willingness to sacrifice herself for Ben's children and that had worked in their favour. Injecting herself with the same drugs that were bound to take Brianna down had been a risk, yes, but Trinity had known her own metabolism linked in with her age would shift the odds of the situation significantly.

It had been a couple of months since that evening; Ben had been healing from the bullets his daughter had fired into him, though Trinity knew the mental wounds wouldn't heal as easily, whether he was vocal about them or not. Her own would had healed just as well; nothing more than a faint pink scar along the side of her neck remained as a reminder of what had occurred.

Given Trinity's history with some of the well-established doctors at the facility, updates on Brianna's progress were frequent. In the beginning, both expected there to be hardships. Resistance was a natural defence mechanism for anyone suffering from a mental illness or an addiction; there had been a few times when Brianna had gotten physical with those assisting in her treatment and there had been a few attempted (and failed) escapes during the more desperate moments of her withdrawal. Those situations decreased as the weeks moved forward, thankfully.

It was still disheartening to hear that Brianna still was proving to be reluctant as the withdrawal had faded; she had shown no interest in group counselling sessions, nor with one-on-one sessions with her own therapist. She refused activities to keep her mind and body occupied (like painting, walks outside, playing music...) and didn't seem to be all that interested in making acquaintances with some of the other struggling supernaturals that were seeking help within the same facility.

For both, it was hard not to pry into Brianna's treatment and attempt to sit down with her and beg her to open up, try new things and most importantly, to trust them. Neither Ben nor Trinity wanted to watch her wither away; both hoped she knew that enough to understand why they had taken this extreme measure. Both continued to hope she knew that enough to trust in their decision.

The three month mark had been when Ben and Trinity had received a call from the facility, asking if they would be willing to have their first family session with Brianna since she had been admitted, though neither had any way of predicting how she would react. They had had no contact with Brianna in those three months, as seclusion from the outside world had been part of getting her clean and keeping her from the problems that had led her down the path she had chosen to take. Brianna could easily fight them every step of the way, but Trinity would be lying if she were to say she wasn't silently praying that Brianna - the old Brianna - was there waiting for them and happy to see them both.

It was almost humorous for them to leave Laila and the triplets in Claire and Sean's care; they were slowly becoming the Brady Bunch of the family, but really... who better to trust than the two currently caring for Brianna's own children? It would only be for a few days and, in turn, neither Ben nor Trinity would mind watching Brianna's twins when either Sean or Claire needed a break.

The flight was long; just over twelve hours, though Trinity had thought in advance and had booked them business class seats. Twelve hours of Ben being shoved in some tiny economy seat with no leg room wasn't a punishment she was hoping to inflict on him. At least that way he was free to stretch and move about if his leg began giving him too much trouble and he would be able to lay back and get some sleep without worrying of laying on top of the stranger behind him in economy while the stranger in front of him sandwiched him from the front.

A rental car had been waiting for them after their flight had landed, but Trinity had been a bit of a rebel in the sense that she had chosen not to get much sleep and instead stayed up for as long as she could manage to review some upcoming cases for work. By the time sleep had won the battle, it had been a mere hour or so before landing, so knowing she wouldn't be of much use behind the wheel, she opted to hand Ben the keys and spend the two hour drive to the hotel - a short distance from the facility - asleep in the passenger seat.

A few more hours of sleep were grabbed once the two were checked into their hotel and after a quick shower and a quick breakfast, they drove the short distance to the rehabilitation center.

Having been led straight to Brianna's Doctor's office by the administrator, they were assured he would be along shortly. Both were offered two chairs that were sat across from two other chairs in the doctor's office, clearly intended for he and Brianna, once both arrived. Her own heart would thud into action when she thought about the possible reactions and outcomes every other minute of their wait; there was a certain nervousness to the situation as well as a fair level of exhaustion. Everyone was so fucking exhausted after Fiona's antics - and now Brianna's - that Trinity truly felt as though she would be the first to burst into a frustrated fit of tears if this veered towards the worst case scenarios. She didn't want to give up on Brianna, but even she could feel just how tired her body and mind were becoming the more Brianna's addiction and drawn itself on.

Feeling all that and knowing that Ben was feeling all of that tenfold was beyond unsettling. In all of her life, Trinity had never taken a man as a mate; she hadn't met anyone that she had seen worthy enough of her attempt at a life outside of her career until she had met Ben. He was a father before he was anything else; any passion, hobby or interest had been placed on the back burner the moment his first child had been introduced to the world. He fought relentlessly for those he loved and his happiness stemmed from the happiness of those around him. How could a person with a heart that big deserve the trials that had been inflicted on him time and time again? How the hell was that fair?

Reaching over just enough to allow her left hand to find his right one, the brunette gave it a gentle squeeze as she offered a small, reassuring smile. There was absolutely no way to predict how this family session with Brianna was going to go... Maybe a little reassurance would go a long way.

everything is grey, his hair, his dreams
In all his travels, Benedict had never been to least not that he recalled. Perhaps he had been there before Switzerland was Switzerland, but things like that were hard to discern. To say the reason for their visit was a pleasant one, would be stretching the truth. It could be good...but, at present there was no telling what was waiting for them when wheels touched runway. Apprehension had settled like a thick cloud over him, growing heavier with each passing hour. It should never have come to this, and yet here they were; trying and possibly failing to save Brianna just as they had with Fiona.

He wouldn’t do it again.

He couldn’t take his daughter’s life, could he? Did he have the strength? Should he, even? Were it to come to his own life, no. Ben would rather die than be the one to end Brianna. Killing Fiona had been difficult enough, only the well-being of his children had made it possible...but what if Brianna were to once more put her children at risk, her siblings? He had brought her into this world, he had failed her, should he not be the one to make the final move? The very thought made his stomach turn.

Sleeping with such thoughts twisting to and fro was impossible, but at least the ride was comfortable. Even his leg managed well enough in the space, only marginally more tense than usual given his lack of activity. It was a reminder of Fiona, just as the two puckered scars on his chest were reminders of Bri. Was it too much to hope, that one day, this would all be behind them? His only wish was for his family to be safe and happy, little else mattered in the long run. The struggles of man, after all, were insignificant on the whole. A cycle of disease and war and death for any trapped in its clutches.

It was often all one could do to look after their own.

What he wouldn’t give to enter the office and see his sweet girl smiling back at him. It was certainly a pipe dream...even after months of getting clean, there was no telling how much damage would still need to be repaired. If it was even repairable, perhaps it would be a numbers game from here on out; a careful cocktail and prescription drugs to keep her level. Maybe none of it would be enough to bring her home again. Benedict swallowed thickly as he took the keys, offering as much as a smile as he could muster for Trinity’s sake.

She had done so much for them, for him, more than he would have ever asked. She had saved him in so many ways, and each day she moved mountains for his family. His family was her’s by choice, but she treated them as blood. Never could he repay her, not truly, he was as lucky of a bastard as there ever was to have her. She deserved her rest, and he even got some of his own once they reached the hotel. As much as he tossed and turned, even the worried must sleep eventually.

The walk through the facility into the office in the morning felt like being lead to the gallows, and considering Benedict had in fact been lead to the gallows before, he knew the feeling well. He should have faith. He wanted to have faith...but that last fight with Fiona played on a loop in his head. His hands had ended it. His hands would always be the right ones when it came to his pack, his family. They were his responsibility, his to keep safe, for better or for worse. He had wished again and again for this chance, for this life, and now it was his job to keep it.

Go big or go home.

Whatever the outcome, this was his burden to bear. Either Brianna would be improving, or she wouldn’t. She had all the time in the world to heal, if only she really took the chance. He wouldn’t call it until absolutely necessary, but if the time came...he would step up to the task. There was no one else. No one else should have Bri’s blood on their hands, if it came to that. With a rough sigh, Benedict ran one hand through his hair as he thumped down into the chair. Trinity’s hand in his own was like a balm to his soul, but even it could only do so much. Only time could tell where this story would end, and even for someone as old as him, time was its own master.
for trinity and brianna

OP was September 21, 2017
Last Bump: November 02, 2017
Three months. Three long months. That was the amount of time that the brunette had been in this facility. The beginning had literally felt like hell between the isolation and the withdrawal as she was forced to detox and get clean. There had come a point in time where she had begged the doctors there to just let her die. She could have died there. Nobody would have missed her. Right? Not after all of the things that she had said and done. How could they? Why would they?

Eventually, that subsided and her days became easier but that didn't mean that she was any more willing to talk or participate in any mundane activities. Deep down, she knew it would be for the best if she did but there was a part of her that felt like she deserved this. Even as angry as she was and as bitter as she felt about a lot of things, the shame that she felt surpassed it all. She didn't even really know who she was anymore.

Even after she had been completely clean and was being medicated for her mental illnesses, it had been hard on her. Now that her mind was clearer, now that she was getting healthy, it was impossible to deny how much she missed the people that she loved in spite of being bitter with all of them. Not that they would know or understand that ... would they? She had made so many poor choices and had done and said so many terrible things. It was likely that none of them even believed that anymore. She did though, she loved each and every one of them but she didn't deserve to be with them.

She had lost that right much as she had lost the right to be a mother to her own children. It killed her that she had messed that up so deeply. She had never imagined herself doing to children of her own what her mother had done to her and her siblings. Perhaps she hadn't tried to kill them or even her siblings but she had shot her own father and his wife and that knowledge alone was enough to make her feel like she couldn't breathe when she thought of them. Would they ever forgive her? Could they? Did she even deserve their forgiveness?

She supposed that might come up today if it ever did at all. It was their first family session since she had been admitted and she didn't know if she was ready to face them. Maybe that was selfish of her, but it was the truth. It was why she had stayed in her room until the last possible second. Her stomach was in knots and she truly felt like she could vomit at any moment as she and her doctor made their way to the office where her father and her step-mother would be waiting for her. She stopped short just a few feet away, her heart hammering in her chest. "I can't ..." she tried to protest as she shook her head and took a step back.

She couldn't do this. She couldn't face them yet. She couldn't sit there and look them in the eyes after everything that had happened. She owed it to them and she knew that but she couldn't do it ... She didn't want to do it. What if they hated her now? What if they never forgave her? What if they left her here for the rest of her life? She deserved that ... she knew that but a part of her felt angry at the thought that they might do just that even while she simultaneously allowed her shame to glue her feet to their spot on the floor.

It took some time and reassurance from her doctor but eventually, the brunette tried to swallow the ache in her throat as the two of them made their way forward. Her eyes downcast as he held the door and she entered before him. Quickly and quietly taking her seat across from the two people who had flown twelve hours to be sitting there that day.

She knew that she should speak, that she should say something or look at them at the very least but she couldn't make herself do it. Her throat suddenly felt dry and her eyes refused to move from the scuff marks on her sneakers. Instead, she would let one of them speak first - or even the doctor as he took his seat beside her.

when i am speaking my mind
The brunette werewolf knew that in Brianna's eyes — at least while she had been in the throws of heavy highs and infuriated intoxication — Trinity had absolutely no business being involved in any capacity with Brianna's family. She could understand how easy it was for Brianna to believe that Trinity, the woman who had once been her mother's doctor, had been the one to fail. It was understandable that Brianna had held Trinity accountable in regards to her mother's dwindling mental stability and even her death; Trinity had never dared negate that.

The challenge was that Trinity wasn't willing to leave, despite Brianna wanting her to do exactly that. To end the relationship she had with Ben, to refrain from further contacting his children or his grandchildren, and to live her life as far away from the Dunn family as possible. As much as she still loved Brianna, and as much as she could respect her heated feelings, Trinity knew that she wouldn't be someone that walked away from the family that had accepted her as one of their own. That wasn't so much as an option.

She hoped that through Brianna's treatment, there might be a happy medium; they had once had a somewhat close bond in the beginning, before the drugs had begun to torment her mind and her train of thought. It was a wild, desperate hope to even long for those days back — it wasn't going to be that easy — but she could at least hope for a tolerance. That the younger brunette would perhaps be able to live with tolerating Trinity from a distance, if that's what it would take.

Her hand didn't stray from Ben's as the door opened and Brianna made her way in. Trinity could smell the waves of anxiety stemming from Ben's daughter, something she had expected. This wasn't an easy situation for anyone, but if it made it even slightly more tolerable, Trinity knew she'd be willing to leave the room at Briana's request, if that was a request the younger werewolf opted to make.

While she hadn't wanted to be the first to speak least she set Brianna off by doing so, Trinity gave Ben's hand a gentle squeeze as her blue eyes focused on Brianna who refused to focus on anything else but her own sneakers. She was nervous — they all were — but they would all have to meet in the middle somewhere, somehow.

Leaning forward in her chair, Trinity thought about her words carefully enough before she chose them, knowing already just how delicate things were between them and the youngest of Ben's quintuplets.

"I think I want to start... by apologizing." Not because Trinity felt as though they were to blame for Brianna's behaviour, because they weren't, or because she felt that Brianna was blameless in any of this, because she wasn't. She wasn't going to stubbornly sit there and wait for Brianna to make her apologies first, especially given the struggles she had already been facing simply by being forced to abstain from drug use.

"This decision wasn't easy on anyone, and I understand if you don't feel it was in your best interest."

everything is grey, his hair, his dreams
Blue eyes were on scuffed sneakers as the doctor had followed her into the room. They remained on scuffed sneakers even once that doctor had taken his own seat. Her teeth scraped against her bottom lip as she chewed on it - an unconscious effort to alleviate the nerves that she was experiencing in those moments. It was quiet, too quiet. She could hear her father's heartbeat. She could hear Trinity's just as easily. She could even hear her own, loud and pounding in both of her ears as if it might just burst out of her chest altogether.

There was a piece of her, a small one, that almost couldn't remember just how she had gotten to where she was today. She knew the choices that she had made but she could also recall a vague glimmer of a memory from times much simpler than these and it was that glimmer that made her ache ten times more than she already had been - all things considered. Who had that girl even been? Shy, naive, daddy's little girl and mommy's world. It was a blurry memory - almost as if it were a mirage - something that had never truly existed and all that was real around her was the mess that she had made of her life upon the death of her mother.

'Deep breath' she reminded herself, having forgotten for a moment to even breathe. 'In through the nose, out through the mouth'. In response to her own silent prodding, her body responded and a breath was inhaled through her nose and deep into her lungs before it was released slowly through her mouth as her lungs deflated once again. Her blue eyes were still on her sneakers. She didn't dare meet the gaze of her father for fear of the disappointment that might - rightfully - be there.

The sound of the younger werewolf swallowing an invisible lump in her throat could be heard through the deathly silent room and her fingers curled under the edge of her chair as she gripped it for stability of some kind - an anchor - for lack of a better term. Though her head remained low, her blue eyes shifted sideways momentarily, almost begging the doctor to break the silence that lingered between them all before falling back to the floor.

She felt shame, she felt fear, but she also felt bitterness and she felt betrayed and that was a large part of her own silence. There was a part of her that wanted to move forward, a part of her that wanted to heal and be welcomed home. However, there were also two other parts. One that felt she deserved to be left there to rot and one that was angry with the choices that had been made on her behalf even still. It wasn't a logical part, to say the least - but it existed. She had so many complex and conflicting emotions that she truly didn't know which piece of her might come out if she opened up her mouth.

Trinity, surprisingly, was the first to speak. Much to Brianna's astonishment, she was offering up an apology. A piece of the brunette wanted to scoff in response - another wanted to hear what else she had to say and she bit hard on her lip to keep control of herself for the moment. Trinity's next words also received conflicting emotions. Part of Brianna wanted to roll her eyes but another part of her wanted to cooperate. It was a difficult task to discern one's words when one both felt grateful and frustrated with the choices that had been made for her.

Her heart beat harder as she finally released her lip and took in a deep breath before opening up her mouth. "Part of me thinks that I deserve that apology, that I deserve ten of them even. I felt like you left me here to die." Her voice was low, her words controlled and slow - an obvious sign that she was thinking very hard before she allowed them to cross her lips and into the open air. Her eyes lifted slowly, focusing only on Trinity. She couldn't bring herself to look at her father. Not yet.

Even looking at Trinity was a task - one that made the younger wolf nervous in more ways than one and it was likely evident in her slightly skittish behavior. "Another thinks that you shouldn't be apologizing ..." It might sound like what she was saying was that she expected that apology from her father and not from his mate but that wasn't it. It was more that there was a piece of Brianna that knew that she had needed help and that they had been doing their best to provide that for her in the only way that they knew how to do so.

Once she had stabilized and had been medicated and her mind had become less hazy, Brianna Dunn had recovered a lot of memories that she had shut out before. A piece of her wanted to shut them out again. It was hard, it was painful, and if healing meant dealing then did she truly want it? Perhaps that was why she wasn't fully participating in the things required of her for her recovery. Even so, that glimmer of a memory - that glimmer of simple - it reminded her that on some level, she had always known that she was making the wrong choices but she had continued to make them because she had forgotten how to stop and somewhere along the way she had learned to stop caring. She had needed help and that glimmer had been waiting inside of her for someone to rescue her when she couldn't save herself.

They had done that but she also felt like they had abandoned her and it was hard to really put into words such a conflicting set of emotions. "I feel like if this doesn't go however you want it to - both of you - you'll leave and never look back and I'll just be here. Alone." It wasn't that she didn't deserve that, she did. On so many different levels, she did, but a bitterness tinged her words as she expressed that particular fear and it left a pretty nasty taste lingering in her mouth.

Her stomach was in knots and she wanted to throw up or run - her body was in fight or flight and it was taking every last ounce of willpower not to give into flight. "I don't want your apology." she practically whispered. "I want my life." She could have meant that in the way they might have expected her to mean it, in the way they might even believe she meant it - but what she truly meant was that she wanted to her father to look at her without disappointment. She wanted her siblings to look at her without disgust. She wanted her children to look at her and not doubt that she loved them. She wanted to be able to look Trinity in the eye without bile rising in the back of her throat as she remembered her own drug-hazed and crazed actions.

She wanted to be able to leave this place and to come home and just be. She wanted to look into a mirror and see someone who deserved to be saved. Someone who deserved their affection, attention and efforts. She wanted to look into the mirror and recognize the face looking back at her. She couldn't though - all of that would take time and it would take cooperation and it would take a willingness on her part to participate in the parts of her therapy that she had refused to acknowledge thus far - it seemed unattainable altogther but that didn't mean she didn't want it.

She just didn't feel that she would ever truly get there and she wasn't sure that she deserved to. It was tricky thing, anger and shame. Hurt and guilt. Sorrow and betrayal. All were opposites and all resided within her in that moment. Another deep breath in through her nose and out through her mouth filled the silence that replaced her carefully thought out words and her blue eyes left the other female to resume their focus on the ground below them.

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