Chapter 1 - Part 9: After the Fire is Gone

"I named our daughter Faith," Morand told Dixie's urn.  He had visited her every day since the birth of their baby, still in shock that she was gone.  "She's as beautiful as you are and she'll always know she has a mother that loves her."

The pain became unbearable at times, with Morand finding himself weeping before he could stop himself.

"I hope you're watching over us, baby."

To keep Dixie close to his heart forever, he got a memorial tattoo on his chest of a butterfly - her favorite thing in the world.  Whenever he'd look at himself in the mirror, Dixie would now be there, looking back at him.

With the family size grown the Cagley house was beginning to feel very cramped.  The decision to completely rebuild was something Morand had already been planning to do once the wedding was over and Dixie moved in, even though she was gone, the project continued.

The construction depleted the family funds to almost nothing, but knowing his family would have room to spread out and grow made it worth it.

He was incredibly grateful for the paternity leave the firehouse gave him, as it allowed him to spend as much time as possible with Faith.  Every night Morand would check on his daughter to make sure she was alright and at the sound of any crying, he would bolt to the nursery to fulfill any of her needs.

However, even through tragedy, time still marched on and in just a few days it was Cecil's birthday.  Under the circumstances, Cecil didn't want a party or even have any friends over, so it was a father/son celebration.

The next day, the newly turned teen met up with Jett, who had been worried about his friend lately.  "How are you doing, CeeCee?  How's your dad?"

"It's tough, he still really misses her, but he has Faith now to kind of take his mind off of it.  I'm ok, I just wish things were a bit happier, you know?  And prom is coming up, and I don't think I even want to go now," Cecil replied.

"Well..." Jett started, "what if you went with someone who could help you forget everything?"

"And who would that be?" Cecil asked, wondering which of Harmony's lovely ladies Jett was about to suggest.

"Me." Jett responded, perfectly serious.

Cecil was a little taken aback by Jett's proposal.  He knew the two of them were close, but never imagined that there would be anything more than friendship between them.  While Cecil had realized quite awhile ago that he was drawn more to the male population, he didn't have a clue that Jett felt the same way.

"Can I think about it?" He asked, and when his friend looked a little deflated, he added "but, are you still coming over tonight to work on homework?"
Jett smiled, a little weakly, but still smiled, "You bet I am," and the two parted ways, for now.

Morand was being honored at City Hall again, only this time they were going even further by putting on an informal ceremony with the Mayor.

He received a new award and a handshake from the Mayor himself, as well a bunch of confetti in his hair for good measure.

Having Faith there meant the world to him.  While he could see Dixie every time he looked in her eyes and was reminded how much he'd lost, she was also a reminder of how much he had gained, and a future that held hope.

After the ceremony, Jett showed up at the house as expected for homework help.  Cecil still hadn't quite made up his mind about going as Jett's date.  He was afraid that taking the next step between them would somehow ruin the friendship and end terribly.

After the homework had been finished it was dancing time.  Cecil loved to dance and would often spend hours dancing by himself, but it was always more fun to have a partner.

Morand could see that the two boys were growing closer and the dynamic in their relationship was beginning to shift.  While Cecil may not have been ready to admit it, Morand was happy that his son had found someone to be close to.

In the middle of dancing to his favorite song, Cecil realized that it would be a mistake to not at least give it a try with Jett.  He thought about his dad who had lost so much and the idea of turning away something that could be good was a mistake he didn't want to make.

"Yes," he whispered into Jett's ear.  "I'd love to go to prom with you."

Jett was all smiles his whole way home.

Soon enough, Saturday had arrived and the two were off to the prom, while Morand had to deal with an issue with the hospital's air conditioning.  Cecil's nerves were starting to get the better of him and would barely look Jett in the eye.

His worry was for nothing, it turns out, as the boys had an amazing evening and were the hits on the dance floor.  Towards the end of the evening, they surprised even themselves by sharing their first kiss.

Faith's first birthday arrived in a flash and Morand couldn't have been more excited to see his baby girl grow up.  He looked forward to every stage of Faith's life.

And grow up adorably, she did.

Even Cecil found his little sister to be irresistable and would often spend time with her, teaching her to talk or playing with her on her various toys.  He'd also dress her up as his own personal doll in his favorite colors.

Several nights a week, Morand would read her to sleep.  After she'd fall into slumber, he would stick by her crib and watch her sleep, putting his hand gently on her shoulder.  He'd stay that way for hours, until he was about to fall asleep himself. 

Another day, another emergency.

This one, however, brought things close to home when he found a little girl trapped inside.  This could be his daughter.  What if he hadn't been there to save her?  What if Faith found herself in a situation where she needed help and it wasn't there?  Events like this made him realize that what he did wasn't simply a job, but really impacted the lives of his neighborhood.

Thank goodness his little girl was safe at home, absorbed in the latest book he'd gotten her.  She was addicted to reading and would spend all day with a book if not told to do anything else.

It was the opposite with Cecil, who would have to be forced to do his schoolwork almost against his will.  Morand had sensed his son pulling away from him ever since Faith had been born.  He knew that he was spending more time with Faith than he ever had with Cecil when he was that age, but the demands of his job were different now and he had more free time.  He hoped that Cecil wasn't holding this against him.

That night Cecil asked Jett to stay over.  They were taking their new found feelings for each other quite seriously now and were currently going steady.

But Morand had to be sure of one thing, and pulled Jett aside.

"You seem like a nice kid, and I know you and Cecil have been friends for a long time, but I just want you to know - if you hurt my son, I'm not going to be happy, and I'll find you."

Jett wasn't expecting this kind of outburst from the normally quiet Morand but assured him he had no ill intentions and that he really liked Cecil, and has had feelings for Cecil since they were kids.

Morand seemed pleased with Jett's answer and left the boys alone.

"Your dad seems to really care about you, that's pretty cool," Jett said to Cecil.

"Yeah," he replied, a bit stunned by what he'd just witnessed, "so he really does care about me, huh?"

Cecil drifted off to sleep that night overwhelmed with feelings of love by the two men in his life he cared for the most.

The brave fireman has a shy moment before saving a life.
Title / Loretta Lynn



    Sorry for the randomness of events in this chapter, it was basically just a passing-of-time narration of mostly all in-game events.

    I do, however, think Faith is the most adorable thing ever, but we all feel that way about our own kids. HAHA

  2. Haha I love the outtake.

    Faith is adorable <3

  3. I LOVE the outtake. xD The shy idle thing is just the cutest thing ever! And so is Faith. I'm happy she's the heir, and I hope things work out well for Jett and Cecil.

    Still sad about Dixie though. : (

  4. PS: The house took all but $50 to build, and is actually worth a lot more than I paid to build it, but because of Morand's handiness skill being maxed all build/buy purchases were discounted. Otherwise I'd probably have 1/2 a second floor finished!

    I'm always amazed when I see people's first generations and they start out meager but seem to build and furnish houses pretty quickly, but then realized that I was only dealing with one income... Single parent on Gen 1 is HARD as far as money goes!

  5. The new house looks great!
    I'm happy for Cecil and Jett, I'm glad Cecil decided to go for it. :D

  6. I'm finally caught up with the Cagley family! I really enjoyed reading all of your chapters so far.

    Poor Morand seems to be have the worst luck. Hopefully it picks up. Faith is really adorable, I can't wait to see how she grows up. And I'm glad Cecil seems to be taking the lessons his dad learnt to heart. Hope to see more of him and Jett.

  7. Thanks guys!

    Melissa: Yes, I'm really loving the house, even more so now that it's becoming more furnished over time! (I suppose you'll see all that eventually). =)

    Cecil and Jett will pop up occasionally, I'm sure!

  8. I mean no offense by this at all what so ever, but I thought it slightly amusing that Cee's favorite color was pink and he turned out to be homosexual. It was almost as if it was foreshadowed in a weird kind of a way. Again, I mean this in as harmless of a way that I can.

  9. No offense taken at all, that was kind of the idea, actually. =) As soon as I saw that his favorite color was pink and his favorite music was French, it was kind of a given. Haha

  10. I had a feeling that Cecil and Jett were going to hook up when I saw them hugging at the wedding as kids, so adorable!

    I just started reading your blog today and am loving it so far. :)

  11. Cecil and Jett are very sweet together. And Faith is adorable! Morand is very lucky that his kids are turning out so well.

    And Morand is getting buff! He hardly looks like the geeky guy from the beginning at all anymore.

  12. Lol. Greatest outtake ever! Faith is absolutely adorable! I can't wait to see what happens for her in the future. *scrolls up to generation roll* Couple! Whew! Hopefully she can have a happy ending. =]