I have always said I wanted to name a possible daughter after Madeleine, but naming a dead child after an also dead mother seems a little too morbid.
I trace my fingers over Lucien's new tattoo, still mesmerized by his as much as I am by mine. They're both an homage to our loved ones, those we loved dearly and now have to miss every day. Carrying them with us this way seems right, though it doesn't take away the sadness.
There's silence in the room for a while as I listen to his breathing, finding a name that feels like it suits our daughter. The one I carried with me for a little over three months, that I loved dearly, cared for every day of her life.
"Claire?" Lucien suddenly speaks. "I don't know, it..."
"It's beautiful," I breathe, looking up at him. "I think she could have been a Claire."
"Yeah?" He smiles, kissing my forehead.
"I'm sure of it," I'm still crying, I notice when I feel teardrops slide into my neck and down my shirt, an involuntary reaction of my body to the subject, but I'm also smiling. "Claire du Castellon."
"Would she have had my last name?" He wipes some tears off of my cheek with his thumb, the touch feeling soothing. When he goes to move his hand away, I press my hand against his, to keep it there.
"Of course she would have," I lean into his touch more, feeling the warmth of his skin against my slightly sunburnt cheek. "She would have been a daddy's girl through and through. She would've looked like you, just with my porcelain skin. And when she would cry, the only thing soothing her would be either of us, and the sound of you playing the piano. You would've taught her young, and she would blow us away with how talented she was. And kind, so kind."
He smiles, but I can see the tears in his eyes as well. He's trying to hold them back, though one or two are slowly escaping.
"Frank would have loved her, more than he loved either of us. She'd get along so well with Kenna's baby, and Emilia would see her as her own sister. Eschieve and Beth would spoil her to pieces, and so would everyone else, really," I kiss his cheek, tasting the salt of his stray tears. "And she would just steal everyone's hearts each and every day."

Neither of us feel like going to sleep. The day itself has shown us so many sides, it seems like we're both still too impressed by everything that has happened, as if we've had a few cups of coffee.
We're on the balcony, the air cooling down. I'm in one of Lucien's sweaters I've packed, laying against him as I breathe in his scent from both his body and the sweater. The sun has long gone down, and the only thing lighting the area is the few lights we've lit and a handful of candles.
"Lucien?" I look up at him as he's sipping on his drink.
"Emma?" he answers, putting his glass down on the side of the couch.
"Are we going to be okay?" It's a question neither of us knows the answer to, I'm aware of that, but the thought has been circling through my brain for days now, and got awoken again by this morning's article, although that feels like it's been days.
"I...," he breathes in. "I'd like to think so."
"Me, too," I smile, tracing my fingers over the covered tattoo once more. "I think we can do it. It's just... I'm scared of what's to come. When we get back home, when we have to go back to normal life again."
He sighs. "I feel the same way, but I think we're just going to have to live it. There's no use in being scared, we have no clue what it's going to be like."
"Are we going to have to...," I notice I've unconciously folded my hands over my stomach, something I used to do all the time, and I place them on my legs in stead. "I don't know, talk to people about it?"
"What people?" he asks.
"Therapist people," I shrug. "But also.. your agent, social media things. I know you've posted that thing, but it's not going to keep people away for long. They're going to want stories, because if we don't give them that soon enough, they'll just start coming up with bullshit."
He sighs once more, which I understand. This conversation isn't the easiest to have, and today is probably too much of a loaded day to have it much longer.
"That's for later," he shrugs. "But when we get to Paris, I can call Eailyn. Talk to her about it, wait until the dust has settled, if that's okay with you."
I nod. "Totally okay. For now, let's just enjoy... what it is we have right now, okay?"

Both of our bodies are covered in sweat and salt from the day we've had, something we don't notice until we get inside. I'm feeling a little buzzed from the wine, mostly because I haven't drank a lot in the past couple of months, so it hits me harder than it used to.
"We should take a shower," I propose, pulling the sweater over my head and throwing it over the couch, leaving me in just a top.
"I'll go first," he surpresses a yawn. "I'll be a few minutes."
"Or...," I mumble. "We could just go together."
His eyes squeeze a little more shut for a while, his lips do the same, then he smiles at me. "Yeah?"
"Yes," I shrug. "I'm going to need you to wash my back, my arm is sore from the needle jamming into it."

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