David didn't think he wanted to know, given Lydia had told Brett not to...touch her like something again.
He would like to continue loving his brother, thanks.
In any case, he brought his siblings inside to talk, since he knew that their neighbors were going to ask why his wife had just assaulted a uniformed cop.
Yeah, Brett was taking a minute out of work for this. He'd assured David he wouldn't get in trouble for it, but at this rate David had half a mind to send him back out again because of Lydia.
It was a good thing Lydia was normally on pretty good terms with her in-laws, otherwise Dave would be a little worried about the repercussions.
However, she did return to cordiality pretty quickly, as if nothing had happened, so...that was good.
As he had had to do with his wife, David explained to his siblings what had happened. That they weren't crazy, that he and Lydia believed them, and that it was weird, but it was...real. Unfortunately.
Unsurprisingly, Brett and Monica had an easier time adjusting than Lydia was having. They hadn't...lived so long with the change, so to speak. Monica stayed pretty the same up until she graduated high school, so she had it easy. Her problems weren't nearly so...huge.
Brett, on the other hand, found it hard to have the experiences of an inmate in his head, being a cop, but at the same time that made it easy for him to separate things too. His differences were...rather extreme. Thug memories, cop memories.
Basically, all the memories where David was a deadbeat in their lives were the bad ones.
Considering the awkward glances that kept getting passed between Brett and Lydia, he ended up leaving first. He had to patrol, of course, and...there was also whatever he'd done in the alternate reality that made him feel uncomfortable.
Monica stayed for a little bit after Brett left, but she had class, which she definitely didn't want to miss after wasting so much college in the other world, and David couldn't say he blamed her. So, she left too, though much more graciously than Brett had, leaving her brother and sister-in-law with hugs and kisses.
When they were alone again, Lydia huffed and said, "I had sex with Brett. Thug Brett, but…."
Which made her husband nearly choke on his coffee. His milky coffee, given the mostly good spirits going around, but...it wasn't pleasant. "What?" he coughed, his wife rubbing his back. "Why?"
"...Richie owed Brett money," she admitted. "I think you can put two and two together." Then she gave him a bit of a look and added, "I had no idea he was your brother. Didn't you bust him out of jail?"
"Kinda wish I hadn't," the man grumbled, getting over his coughs, and she chuckled.
It was a good thing Brett left when he did.
After a few moments, David took a deep breath and squeezed Lydia's hand. "Your parents are in town," he reminded her, remembering for himself. "They're coming over for dinner…."
She was silent for a moment, thinking, before starting to cry again.
David gave an exasperated chuckle, mostly because he had a good feeling which Lydia was crying, as weird a sentiment that was. "I know, honey," he said, wrapping his arms around her and rubbing her far shoulder. "I know. I told you I helped you fix things with your parents."
Lydia sniffled and smacked his chest. "I hate you," she muttered.
"What did I do?" he laughed, kissing her temple and leaning his head there.
"For being, quite literally, the best thing that ever happened to my life," she remarked, gazing at him with...half sorrowed, half joyful tears in her eyes. "I know what my life is without you, David."
David hummed softly, kissing her lips. "I know what mine is like without you too," he told her, rubbing her cheek. "I stayed in the military for seven more years, Lydia. Because I didn't have you to come back and marry. Look what happened to everybody. Screw that." He nuzzled her lovingly. "I'm never taking you for granted again."
"Thank you," she murmured, smiling and pecking his lips back.
"Thank you, too," he responded, and the two of them chuckled together.
It was good to be back.
Though it took some time, David and Lydia had all day to...readjust to things. No time had passed at all here, but to them they'd gone through three weeks of hell, twelve years of hell really, and it was nice to be able to just...relax it off. Things would occur to Lydia, and she'd spew things at random, which would make David laugh.
Like, "The note in your jacket!"
Now she realized.
Though, thinking about the notes, David took out his phone and popped the case open. Lydia watched him with a frown, and said, "No. Aw, you found it there? Without me?"
"It may or may not have been the reason I was sobbing all day, that one day…." David admitted. "...Sorry, baby."
"Oh well," she said, snatching the note from him. "I'll just have to find a better place~." At that, she got up to start on dinner, before her parents got here. Not really wanting to be apart from her much ever again, David was more than happy to help in the kitchen. At some point, she told him to watch the rice while she went to the bathroom, just as the doorbell rang.
"Is that them?" she said, groaning. "But I have to pee."
Dave chuckled, shooing her along. "I'll get it," he said, heading for the door. The rice would be fine.
"Okay," she agreed, bustling to the bathroom.
He answered the door with a smile, letting his in-laws into the house. Lydia's parents were cute little old people with their Russian accents, and he didn't always understand why she'd had spats with them so much, but things were better now. Especially since, thanks to him, they had their daughter in their lives, they practically worshipped the ground he walked on.
Tough sell to have your in-laws like you.
"Lydie's in the bathroom," he told them, gesturing to the living room. "Make yourselves at home. Dinner's almost ready."
"Is so good to see you, boychik," said Mr. Petrov.
"We've missed you two so much," Mrs. Petrov agreed.
He'd missed them too, and he knew Lydia would come out sobbing.
"Lydia's really happy that you're he—" he started to tell them, when a scream came from the bathroom.
David started for the bathroom, but Lydia burst out of it of her own accord, jumping for joy, and pouncing on her husband, which was startling. "Baby, what—"
"Shhh~," she responded, before not subtly at all slipping a note into his pants pocket, and focusing her attention on her parents. Unsurprisingly, she acted like she hadn't seen them in twelve years, which was half true, and they didn't exactly protest her affection.
Dave, on the other hand, was too busy with her note. On it was a big heart, with a plus sign in the middle, followed by the equation:
1 + 1 = 3!
"Oh, Davie," Mrs. Petrov spoke up, catching his attention. "There was this strange man outside. He told us to tell you, 'You've earned it.' Does that mean anything?"
David looked at Lydia, and she bit her lip as she looked back at him. They both knew who had been outside. And, probably, who had a hand in nudging David's, uh...swimmers in a certain direction.
"Uh, yeah," he replied to his mother-in-law, smiling. "Yeah, it means a lot."
Thank you for spending your time reading You're Always You!
The sequel to You're Always You has been written - however, it's up to the readers and their support for this novel to be published on FictionPress! Alexis and I write quite a bit and we currently have over five dozen books that we have completed and we are still currently writing together. If you enjoy any of our novels, reviews of support and follows, only encourage us to post and share the stories that we write together. Little feedback diminishes our motivation. Therefore, anything is welcome! Please let us know if there is an interest in the sequel, We're Always Us. Otherwise, feel free to enjoy other novels that we have posted on Alice's account, ChemistryOfLife.
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