So I know nothing about the army or anything I went completely based off background knowledge, so if I get something wrong message me. This is a oneshot for now but I can write some new chapters, tell me if you’d like that. This takes place two years after whatever happens in the finale. Um they found AD, the bitch was a bad person, they died, everyone else was fine. Alison’s kid is Emily’s. So yeah, nothing too intense… Thanks guys! :)
Even before the ring of the doorbell for the second time, even before the notes stopped arriving, even before the promises were broken, even before Emily sat her down on the couch, Alison knew it was all over.
Because the news kept playing a familiar tune, and Uncle Sam kept singing ‘I need you’.
So when Emily sat Alison down and told her that she wanted to enlist Alison was far from surprised. But she was a born liar, and a born fighter so she acted that way.
“What. The. Hell.” She growled.
“I know it’s not… great, but I need to do this,” Emily tried, she moved the hair out of her face. “I need to help those people.”
“Help yourself Em!” Alison begged, “Help me! Help your daughter! We’re right here, not thousands of miles away!”
“It’s only for five years and then I’ll be home, for good,” Emily reasoned,
“You were already gone for five years, remember? How’d that turn out?!” Emily smiled sadly at her wife.
“My dad was a solider. I’ve been wondering a lot if he’d be proud of me. Who I am Alison? A dictator is killing and torturing his own people, and I’m teaching breath strokes to teenagers!”
“Of course your dad would be proud of you! You have a beautiful daughter, a loving wife, and you’re inspiring a new generation of athletes!” Alison argued, “you don’t have to join the army to prove yourself.” Alison was begging now and Emily took her hands.
“I have to do this Ali, for me, for you, for our daughter, and for those people. The pay will be better so we won’t be living paycheck to paycheck, I’ll still see you for a month every year, and it’s only for five years. Then I’ll be home, safe and sound.” Ali was crying now, soft cool tears slipped down her cheeks.
“If it’s what you want I’ll support you,” Alison muttered, “always. But please, please, please, please think about it.”
“I have, for weeks now. It’s the best thing for this family. I’ve even told my mom. I’m… enlisting tomorrow.” Alison’s eyes widened.
“That’s really soon,” the blonde muttered and the brunette pulled her in as they both began to cuddle.
“People are dying everyday Ali, I’ve got to do it now. Besides,” she now tried to put up an air of bravado, “I’m the perfect solider, I’m already traumatized.” They both chuckled a little.
“Have you told the others?” Ali asked and Emily sighed.
“You know I hate goodbyes…” The girl said. Alison glared at her, “alright geez I will!” The two wives shared a sad smile.
“Estella will miss you,” Alison said now, referring to their two year old daughter.
“I’ll miss her,” Emily said, her voice thick.
“She’ll have to grow up with one Mom.” The blonde said slowly, let the words roll of her tongue.
“Okay don’t get dramatic, I’ll be back for good by the time she’s seven.” The brunette glared. “I promise.”
All things considered Alison did pretty well with Estella. The dark haired girl was bright, and kind, and good, she smiled with her whole face and loved everyone. All the things Alison was never able to be.
Emily wrote every day, just of what had happened, nothing interesting, and she called every chance she got. They had deployed her almost immediately as she surpassed a lot of the physical requirements and already knew how to shoot a gun and swim.
Turns out she was the perfect solider.
And the pay was really helping them, Alison wasn’t loosing sleep over money anymore, just Emily.
It was ironic that all throughout high school she’d thought she’d get a sugar daddy and be some gold digger, but now that she was married she couldn’t care less how much money she had, she just wanted her wife back.
The times when Emily had been home were glorious, it was soft and gentle touches, and squeezing out every second they could spend together. Often Ali would pull Estella out of school for a few days just so they could bond.
And by the time the five years were up it looked like the tide was turning. And even though the notes had been decreasing in frequency, and the calls as well, Alison still hoped. And even though Emily’s unit was deep into enemy territory, and she hadn’t heard anything in weeks, Alison still hoped.
Because Emily promised she be back in time for Christmas.
But Emily lied.
Christmas came and passed and they heard nothing, Estella cried, Alison just bit her lip and worried.
Valentine’s Day passed and Estella cried when she saw the roses on the kitchen table.
“Just to brighten up the room,” Alison explained, “she’ll be home soon.”
But when Easter came and passed, and there hadn’t been a letter, and call since before Christmas Alison felt a little part of her break.
When the first ring on her doorbell came sometime in the deep heat in august Alison wasn’t very surprised, just really sad. She didn’t even have the energy to act surprised when they told her that her wife was missing in action and handed her a flag.
So Alison was right when she said that her daughter would grow up without a parent. But she never wanted to be.
To great credit on the blondes part she never let it consume her. She never locked herself away in her room and cried, she never took it out on Estella, she just placed the flag gently in the attic and told her daughter to “buck up.”
“Mom,” the seven year old said, “what if she doesn’t come back.” Alison had smiled and wiped away the tears.
“My dear, your mother has let me down twice in her life, and both of those times she always came back. She’ll be fine.”
Two of the people in Emily’s squad had been killed in a bombing, the rest of them, including Emily were missing. They suspected capture, but the men and women of whom Ali were acquainted who were married to the soldiers in that squad suspected there was nothing left to find.
From what she had heard of the dollhouse, of torture, or of Radley, she hoped those women were right.
Emily’s mom moved in after two more years passed and both learned to support each other. Alison read Estella great expectations and told her love stories before she went to bed. She woke up with tears in her eyes, Pocahontas was always just inches away.
The war finally ended a year later but Alison couldn’t celebrate in the streets with everyone else. Her battles were daily, and had so many casualties. One day Pam Fields didn’t wake up even though she was only sixty. The stress had given her a heart attack.
Five years passed and the doorbell rang a second time, at around five-thirty.
Alison told all her friends, the ups man, the pizza deliverer, her brother, everyone, never to ring the doorbell. Because the doorbell was reserved for the army.
Who would want to open their door expecting take out and get heartbreak instead? Everyone complied and knocked.
So when the doorbell rang on a Tuesday, Alison squared her shoulders. Estella who was in the kitchen frozen. She was fifteen now, and more beautiful and good everyday. The door bell rang again and alison sighed.
“I’ll be back in a bit, stay here.” Estella continued to stir the soup, her feet frozen. She heard a cry and crash and she cringed. She read somewhere that the soldiers who delivered the flag often stayed with the widows for awhile and helped them. She hoped one was helping her mom up now. Then she heard something she never thought she’d hear.
No, not crying, sobbing. Her mom was sobbing. She had never seen her Mom cry at a movie much less heard her sob. So it wasn’t any of her fault if the raven haired girl just had to run in and save her Mom. No stranger could provide enough of the comfort she needed. She couldn’t either but she could try.
She ran in to see Alison sobbing into Emily’s chest the brunette stroking the blondes hair softly.
“I’m home,” she kept whispering, “I’m home and never leaving again.”
“Hey Mom,” Estella muttered. Emily looked up.
“Hey kiddo, did you get your homework done? We’re having company over.” Emily smiled and Estella smiled too, using her whole face.
“Just have to do a paper for English,” Estella responded and Alison growled.
“I’ll move the deadline back you brat,” the teacher muttered from inside Emily’s army jacket.
“C'mon now babe, that’s no way to talk to our daughter,” Emily giggled.
“Not your daughter anymore I remarried,” Alison muttered and Emily laughed now.
“Oh yeah who is he? I’ll kill him.”
“Didn’t work so well the first time,” Alison snarked, and Emily kissed the top of her head.
“If you want something done right, never let Hanna do it,” she muttered. She looked at Estella, “that’s a good lesson. If you want to kill someone don’t let Hanna do it for you.” Estella raised her eyebrow, having not been filled in on any of the 'family history’, except that her mom had a previous marriage with an abusive man.
“I’ll keep that in mind,” the fifteen year old said slowly. Alison finally began to extract herself from Emily and the brunette turned to her daughter.
“C'mere Stella.” And the Mom and daughter hugged. For the first time in six years they hugged. Maybe it was the fact that no one called her Stella except Emily, maybe it was that it had been so long, maybe it was a million things but they were all sobbing now, sobbing and hugging but very much a family.