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Time:07:11 pm
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Time:03:10 pm
Where do I even start?!

Okay, first things first: We saved my parents. Thanks to the quirks of Rhydin, some quick magick, and a lot of luck, Cass and I traveled back to the night of their "death" and pulled their unconscious bodies back to Rhydin before the massive army of... whatever... could claim their lives. Stormy helped a lot by making them feel like they've been asleep for years and years, and...

Well. They're here.

Dad is... Well, both of them, I feel like I've known them all my life. They're as I imagined them; happy, rowdy, larger than life. Fiercely loving, with only a little sadness that they missed their children growing up, but they want to make me a brother, and I'm fine with that! More than fine! I can't even put into words how wonderful it is to have them back. It doesn't replace my childhood or invalidate it. I did it for them, so they could have the life they otherwise missed. But yes, I benefit from it too.

They're even getting along with Storm, which is great. Stormy adores my dad. She seems to have decided he's trustworthy, and affords him snuggling and comfort the same as she does me. Which is good. She's... I don't know what to say, pushing herself too far and too fast. Challenging everyone she meets to train her -- me, Carolyn, Nhairis, Dad, Dreamer, Shadow, Drake fucking Valkonan... Something's gotten into her and it worries me. She seems to be putting distance between us... I wonder what I did. I wonder if I will lose her friendship as well, and not even know why. It wouldn't be the first time I'd done something stupid, after all. I should... try to just talk to her. She can be so hard to talk to.

Carolyn has been hanging out with me more. I don't know how it happened that we went from vague unease to great friends, but I'm really not complaining. She's unique, and very much herself. There's things I can learn from her, I think. I want to get to know her better; we've been having just lots of fun goofing around. She's made dinner for the family once, and is gonna do it again tonight. I'm probably in trouble, since she likes to wear short skirts and shorts and torment me with legs. This is, I might add, the sort of trouble I do not immensely object to. Tormenting as it might be.

More seriously... I think I'm ready to take my ring off.

I love Diast. That will never stop. That will never change. And, depressingly, she's not even the first person I've said that about. I still love Sashra too. But time passes, wounds heal, and continuing to cling to the past is damaging. Not that I begrudge the time I've spent mourning her. That too was necessary. Nor am I really going to take the ring off... just move it to my right hand. I will never forget.

If I fear anything, it is the future... but I welcome it as well.
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Time:03:17 pm
I almost, almost, ALMOST think things are starting to look up.

Don't get me wrong, there's still plenty to complain about. Depressingly, Irina seems intent on putting herself at the top of that list. I have to say I'm -- well, part of me is disgusted that she still blames me for our date going wrong. That was years ago. YEARS. This should have been a lesson to me about trying to help people! One I should have learned from, I swear. I'm actually glad our first date went so poorly, now; trying to have a serious relationship with that girl would've been disasterous. I'm hardly going to apologize for trying to help her, and expressing the sincere worry that a relationship with her would've meant compromising my friendships with others.

Not that that didn't end up happening anyway. But I didn't see it coming, that time. Ugh. I mess up so many things.

But how long can someone hold a grudge? The other part of me isn't surprised at all. I'm just well aware that she will, in perpetuity, hold this against me. That I don't really care about, any more. I can't make her forgive me, and I have no obligation to do so even if I could. But accusing me of judging her?

Yes, she accused me of judging her. After she claims she doesn't judge her friends. I stand by what I said then: I'm not her friend because she judges me all the damn time. Even my silly comments and obvious jokes she takes personally, as if I've devoted my life to taking her down. Do I judge my friends? Better to say I don't make friends out of people whose conduct and standards of behavior are completely antithetical to my own. If she wants to call a sociopathic amoral murderer a friend, then she ought to be prepared when people make inferences about her from that decision! Meanwhile, what have I done for her? Given her a place to stay (twice) and support after she lost a lover? Helped her kick a drug habit she foolishly got into? (And if I was judging her, would I have really helped her with that? News flash: I don't blame Irina for that. She was tricked. She was naive and foolish, sure, but she didn't set out to do it maliciously or hurt anyone).

God. How come Cass is my friend, if I'm so judgmental?

Seamus wants to know why I feel I can't do anything right by her? Because she still holds this petty little grudge against me after all these years. But Seamus is another bone of contention right now. Honestly, why in hell does he think he knows martial arts, my training style, and what's best for me? Always question, question, question, as if I'm some bloody idiot who hasn't the slightest idea what I'm doing. And then when I explain it, it's not, "Oh, okay, I understand now," it's "I'm giving up, because you're so stupid and senseless I'm not even going to bother arguing with you, but you're still wrong, wrong, wrong." As if he knows! Which one of us is the person who spent 17 years training? Which one of us is the one who's training under, literally, the world's greatest martial artist? Damn know-it-all. Next time he starts up with this stuff, I'm going to tell him off.

At least after all this time, our friendship is strong enough that we can HAVE that sort of telling-off occur without it going sour. And that's a very good thing. We're family now... who would have thought that'd it occur, looking at us all those years ago?

Sheena came over the other day, just to thank me for sticking with her during all that mess. Did not see that one coming! It's... really nice to know that she appreciated all that. She certainly didn't seem to at the time! And she was also wearing shorts, so that was all good. Um... I guessed, pretty accurately it seems, that she has some interest in me. I tried to let her down as gently as I could, and it actually seemed to work. I mean, maybe she was hurt and just hiding it, but it didn't seem like it was too bad. It's kind of a pity, really. If I didn't have Aten I'd have dated her, but... she's got some maturing to do before she could be a good mother to my baby, and that's more important than anything. Still... I'm glad to have a friend, and glad to have her consider me a friend. I wish she and Stormy would get along better, but oh well. Can't always have what I want.

Speaking of Stormy, I taught her about birthday celebrations! I cooked for her, made pie, and got her a matched pair of hand-forged swords... and she liked it all! She really seemed to enjoy it! I was worried I'd screw it up somehow, but it all went really well!

She seems to be doing better in general, lately, for which I'm grateful. Aside from certain Sals and Sins being insistent on butting their way into her life no matter how strongly she asserts she doesn't want them there, in general she's happier and doing better. I'm really proud of myself for suggesting she volunteer at the animal shelter. I just hopes she picks up her own animals sometime soon! I wish she'd take a chocobo. Maybe I should give her a little push on that again. She'd be a good choco-mommy.

Been making efforts lately to hang out with some friends I don't see enough of, Stephen and Cass mostly. Carolyn has been great lately, too, in her Carolyny sort of way.

Why am I convinced everything is going to collapse? I'm so damn cynical. No, I'm happy, or at least content, and things are going well. Let's stay the course.
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Time:02:50 am
I don't know what to say any more, honestly.

Or perhaps who to say it to. I seem to be running out of friends... slowly squeezed out of my normal haunts by the completely amoral crowd that increasingly runs around, ever expanding. It wouldn't be a terrible analogy to compare Rhydin to Earth, now.

There's always Stormy, but I can't talk to Stormy about a lot of my problems. Not because I don't trust her or think she'll listen, but just because I don't think she'll understand. She's still not terribly familiar with Rhydin, and she still blames herself and takes too much on herself right now. I want to help her... and I don't know HOW to talk to her about my problems. Stephen's out because Stephen's in full-asshole mode lately, especially to me. He might understand what I want to say better, but care? That's a lot more questionable.

Aten is growing so well. No man on earth could ask for a better child than she is. I say that now, knowing full well I'm headed for trouble when she learns to walk and talk and be a little terro, but even then I'll love her even as I want to kill her. Not that I actually want to kill her. I read about things like Shaken Baby Syndrome and child abuse and wonder what on earth is WRONG with people. How could anyone bear to harm their own child? The thought of any pain or suffering coming to Aten from any source sends chills through my spine... but from me? I couldn't live with myself.

I've been trying to help a brother-sister pair named Patrick and Sheena. It's a very complicated situation... rescuing the one from a demon who owns his soul and has enslaved him in a mind, rescuing the other from her own stubborn self-destruction and denial of her abilities. Not that I can blame her on the latter, if she really does lose her mind every time she shifts. Still, there's got to be SOMEthing I can do for them... even if it's just be a friend.

Maybe I could talk to Carolyn about things. I don't know if she'll understand, but at least she seems more prepared to accept my existence without questioning how I think and feel for no good reason. I don't know. I don't know what to think or who to turn to any more. What I need, and what I seem to lack, is a simple, uncomplicated, UNBURDENED friendship. Not that I begrudge any of my friends the effort I give them, but sometimes it'd just be nice to relax and hang out and not have to worry about anything. Just have some fun with someone.

I'm so frustrated.
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Time:04:40 am
Goodbye, Diast.

Hello, Aten.
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Time:03:58 pm
How do I properly express what has happened?

How can I even put this into words?

Okay. So... apparently, Diast isn't Gin-Hu. Apparently, she is instead a former Sith who attempted to kill and impersonate her, but accidentally erased her past identity rather than simply submerging it.

Yeah, I look at that and I can't believe it. Nevertheless, that's what she believes. Apparently the Jedi Council was able to make a very convincing argument for that.

And she's going back, she says. Once our daughter is born... she's going back and throwing herself on their mercy. Their mercy of course being death.

I think the thing I hate, more than anything, about the Jedi is that they have absolutely no concept or hint of the vaguest possibility that their carefully thought-out philosophies on life and existence could be wrong. Sure, they have the whole Force thing going for them, but are they interpreting it correctly? Do they truly understand it? Is its reality even close to their basic beliefs, or does it even have a reality? As a Tradition mage, I can't claim I'm any less stubborn about my own beliefs than any Jedi, but we live daily with the knowledge that there are other competing theories. The Jedi never had this sort of competition, and thus they can't imagine they might be wrong.

Diast is just as guilty of this as the rest. She's so convinced that she needs to be punished for the sins of a former life. And so she's going to throw away her life, a good life as a good person, to satisfy this arbitrary concept of justice. If there were ever a better argument against my own personal belief that death is never the answer, I can't imagine it.

Beyond that... what do I do?

It's over. It's over so soon.
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Time:07:11 pm
I swore I told Diast we were having a girl! I swore I did! Oh god, I'm a horrible husband!

Well, maybe that's going too far, but man, how did I let that slip my mind? Maybe I told her when I thought she was listening and she wasn't... or maybe I told her in my mind and not with my voice. I don't remember.

One thing I don't know is how long this pregnancy will take for her. So far it hasn't given any signs of being there except through magic and medical testing, so it hasn't

Um. Wow. So, out of nowhere, in the middle of the last sentence, I got yanked out of my nice quiet mansion by none other than Carolyn, who stole my sword and left me to die at the hands of I don't even know what. Now, how she healed me and brought me back to life afterwards is anyone's guess. I really don't understand it myself. But I was dead for a little while there... or at least I think I was. Did I imagine it? If I was dead, how did I come back? I know she healed me, but... And what was with that pink being that was with her? The one that... wiped reality clean and made it better again, to heal Carolyn and myself and even a freaking tree I'd taken out (with my spine, ow). Something about images of her father, and then
the pink thing sent me back home...

I swear I must have been dreaming. Too damn weird. I don't know...
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Time:01:42 am
Diast said something to me during our reception that made me think a little, that I had everything I ever wanted now. But I honestly haven't thought of it in terms like that in I don't know how long. Months. A very long time. Diast and I, we have what we want. We got lucky on some of it and some of it we had to fight for, but it's a team effort. Her and me. Soon enough it'll be a family effort, and that will be something incredble indeed.

And if I have what I want, it's because for the first time in my life I really want what I've got. Friends, family, a lover and a wife and a wonderful person to share my life with. Family on the way.

I know my problems haven't gone away, but right now I feel like nothing in the world can stop me or slow me down. I have what MATTERS, and that's what matters to me. I'm so happy.

I have to come back to my life now, and really nothing much has changed with this wedding except that Diast and I are wearing rings. I came home to her before we were married and I will after; not all that much is going to change because of a ceremony and a legal paper, but I'm happy. I hope Diast is too. It's funny how something that really doesn't have any real effect can make a person so happy, but that's ritual for you. That's love.
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Time:08:02 pm
Stephen finally gave me an answer! The bastard is gonna stand with me at my wedding!

I can finally, finally stop worrying and really enjoy this whole thing now! The last of my troubles is gone and I have my best friend back. Aaah, it's such a weight off my shoulders, and I don't have to pretend like it doesn't bother me or any of that. I don't know why he thinks I'm making a mistake. I'll ask him the next time we hang out. I'm sure he doesn't understand Diast. I don't think anyone does but me... she's still closed off from other people even now, though nothing like how she was when she first came here. Cat seems determined to befriend her... I really owe Cat a debt of gratitude for that.

Stephen and I have some hard times, I think, because we're both assholes. Not that we mean to be, but he grew up without any friends and I grew up without any family, so we both missed out on a lot of the things we'd need to be fully all-there people. Well, maybe we'll have a little more time together with summer here, and Cat back with her family for the time being. I'd love to just hang out with those two again. It's been forever.

There was a centaur at the Rose the other night! I have no idea why I think that's so cool, but I do. Centaurs rock! (I really wonder where on earth this liking of centaurs came from. I don't know. I'm not even all that particularly fond of horses...)

I feel finally happy, all the way through, for the first time in a while.
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Time:08:50 am
So Vin kidnapped the Wylies.

What a great start to this! He captured them both, but Katie, bless her adventurous heart, escaped somehow. In perhaps the bizarrest team-up rescue efforts ever, I worked first with Mara, then with Don, to bribe the hell out of everyone we possibly could to get us info, delay Vin's ship in port... everything.

We were *almost* too late, when we finally found him. But using our awesome ninja skills, Stormy and I successfully rescued him and got him to the hospital. Once there, he promptly had about six bazillion complications, but as of now he's doing much better. I hope he'll be home soon.

(And good lord, Katie, take care of yourself better. I swear, I practically have to mother her to keep her eating and get her to take care of her sciatica. She needs to be home in her own bed and comfy chairs and near food, and not stuck in that room with him.)

Diast came back after a "mission" which was really them re-granting her the title of Jedi Master. Sweet! I think they seem to be more accepting of her marrying me, now; isn't this a sign? They wouldn't do this if they had doubts or concerns about her ideology and performance.

Just let the last piece fall into place...
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[icon] Morgan!
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