MEA Fic: Fall in Love, At Least Once
Summary: After seeing some of her father’s memories, Ryder desperately needs a hug.
Warnings: Spoilers for “Ryder Family Secrets;” references to past character death.
Characters: Ryder, Liam
Zoe Ryder takes the tram back from Hyperion to the docks in a daze.
She will never get over the strangeness of seeing herself through her father’s eyes. How she looks short next to Zach, how she recognizes her hair as a little different, how her dad instantly likens the shape of her jaw and nose to her mother’s.
Seeing how young and vivid she looks next to her mother.
Zoe remembers that day herself, a memory scabbed over but quick to bleed if she picks at it. How thin Mom had gotten, her skin faded and drawn over her bones as she quivered with tremors she couldn’t control any more.
How lost Dad had looked. His memories didn’t show Zoe that; that came from her own. Her big tough dad had been lost and shaking himself, as he’d taken Mom’s hand, tears leaking from the corners of his eyes. She can’t remember if she’d ever seen her father cry before that. She’d walked away – she and Zach both had – partly to give their parents a last few moments alone, and partly because that raw, tender tide of affection was almost too much to look at.
Back when Zoe was maybe six or seven, she’d gone to her mother and asked if her parents were getting a divorce.