"You really love her?" I asked him.
"I really do," said Ripper.
"Good. As long as you're sure."
Ripper didn't say anything for a little while. "Are you and Dad going to split up?"
I sighed. "I hope not but... I don't know, darling. I don't know if he even loves me anymore. He's been working too hard and it's stressed him out majorly. He's been struggling with work recently. There's too many human wars, and so deaths. He tries his best but he can't work at the speed of light."
"I hope you don't split up," he murmured. "When you said that you'd take me away from here if you had to, did you mean it?"
"You're my son, I want what's best for you. But I don't always know what's best, so it would be up to you. But you're brother or sister would come with me."
"I don't want you to leave, Mum."
"Neither do I, darling. I don't even know where I'd go, maybe to your grandmother's."
"What about your mum?" he asked.
"She's still alive. I can't go back after fourteen years, looking exactly the same. I died, Ripper, I can never go back."
"What's it like up there?"
"There's 4 seasons: spring, summer, autumn and winter. It's sunny, warm, and it didn't snow very often where I lived. There was no magic, there were no faeries, there was no Death. It was completely normal, and boring, but it was life."
"I can't imagine it being warm outside," he contemplated.
"I can't anymore either. But I don't mind; I've got my own family down here."
There were slow footsteps coming down the stairs. They came into the room. I turned to see who it was. It was Shadow.
"Nebula, I didn't mean to shout. I'm... I'm so sorry. And Ripper, I trust you to be responsible in making the right choices. And I wouldn't try to force you to inherit the title."
Ripper got up and went to hug the father he hadn't seen properly for a month. Shadow smiled, relieved that his son didn't hate him. He looked at me, silently begging for forgiveness. I reached out to hold his hand to show him I forgave him.
Ripper moved away from his father and grinned. Shadow came to sit next to me. He put his arm around me and I moved closer to him. He kissed me and Ripper mimed disgust, smiling all the while. I think he was just glad to see us not arguing. He went upstairs to bed, leaving Shadow and I alone.
"Twilight's already pregnant, isn't she?" he whispered.
"Four months. You're going to be a grandad and a dad again all in the course of two months."
"I'm too young to be a grandad," he said.
"Ripper's going to propose to her tomorrow so you needn't worry about him not taking responsibility. He loves her."
"Do you still love me, Shadow?" I asked quietly, scared of asking.
"What? What's brought this on? It was just an argument."
"I know that, but do you still love me?"
He lifted my head to look at him and kissed my nose. "Of course I love you. I've always loved you."