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“Don’t cry.” Silco muttered, feeling the life being slowly drained out of him as more and more of his blood poured out of him. His vision had gone blurry at that point, the air burning his lungs and he could tell that his limbs would soon enough go limp, but her pain was vibrant and real and so tangible- far more than his own self was at that moment- and it pushed and pulled at him and he just couldn’t let go. Not until she was fine.

He couldn’t go, wasn’t allowed to go, not until she was fine. Not until he comforted her one last time. Not until he kissed the top of her head last time. Not until he held her just once more. Not until he made sure that she was going to be fine, that she was going to manage it all on her own. Not until he was certain that she knew just how much he loved her.

Because he did love her and he loved her with his whole heart. With his whole being. And he had loved her from that very first night when she lunged into his arms. And he needed her to know that. He needed her to know that he loved her. He needed her to know that he will always love her. And he needed her to know that his death wouldn’t stop him from loving her and only once she knew could he let go.

"You're perfect." he said, soft and loving and adoring- pouring his heart out onto her as his blood slowly soaked through her clothes-, as he looked into her eyes, his gaze far softer than he'd normally allow it to be, but this was a special occasion.

He attempted a smile then, his last words tasting almost like iron on his tongue, but that could've just been the blood… or it could've been Jinx, his beloved perfect daughter, and her fiery gaze, intense and blazing and so, so angry. Her braids, bright blue things that swished through the air as she moved, fast as lightning and lighter than a feather. The mischievous look in her eyes when she was up to no good, which was just about always. The little neon trinkets that she's made him over the years and which were sitting atop his desk as if they were his most prized possessions, and they were indeed his most prized possessions since what could be more valuable than a token of his daughter's love for him. A thump on his desk as she landed on top of it from her place near the ceiling. A drawer of tools and scraps and neon markers and hair ties. A bedroom just for her. Nights spent holding her and soothing her, protecting her from the monsters that lurked in the shadows and in her dreams. The sound of a bomb exploding, killing everyone in its warpath, and the laughter that followed.

Jinx.

His daughter. His perfect, brilliant daughter. Perfect exactly the way she is and more brilliant than all of Zaun and Piltover put together.

Jinx.

And then the last of his blood left his body.

Jinx.

And then he was gone.

*

He sat up the moment he woke up, the air burning his lungs just like it did all those years ago when he finally pulled himself out of the water, and he looked around the room as he clutched his chest. The burn slowly subdued with each and every single breath he took, his vision slowly getting clearer and clearer at the same time, and after a few moments he realized that he was in his bedroom, not a scratch on his body and very much alive.

For a moment he just couldn’t believe it, couldn’t accept that he was still alive. He felt himself die, the blood slowly dripping out of him drop by drop. He felt Jinx’s anguish, her guilt for putting those bullets into his chest. He felt her hands cupping his face. Heard her sobs. Heard himself make one last attempt at reassuring her, caring for her, encouraging her.

And then…

Her.

Jinx.

He was alive and yet she was nowhere to be seen. She wasn’t curled up at his side. Wasn’t sitting on her usual spot on the ceiling. Wasn’t by the window working on her bombs or her weapons. Wasn’t lounging on the floor drawing with the neon markers he bought her from Piltover’s best art supplies shop. She just wasn’t anywhere to be seen.

Jinx.

She wasn’t there. She wasn’t with him. And he had no idea where she was. Why wasn’t she there? And if she wasn’t there then where could she be? Where was she? He had to find her! He just had to find her! And he had to find her that instant!

Jinx.

He practically jumped out of bed, ignoring the dizziness that came from his sudden action as he forced himself to walk towards the door. He searched for her everywhere. He searched her room. He searched his office. He searched the halls and the kitchen. He searched all of The Last Drop. He searched in every nook and cranny, but she was just nowhere to be found. And that thought was one that he just couldn’t bear.

“Where is she?” he asked Sevika as soon as he ran into her.

She gave him one questioning glare but other than that she didn’t comment or question him on his request or its urgency.

“The last time I saw her was when she brought you in the other day. I haven’t seen her since, but I also haven’t seen you so I just assumed that she was with you.” she answered, calm and composed and the fact that he was clearly the only one worried for Jinx was driving him mad.

“Well, she wasn’t with me and you should’ve known that.” he said, the threat clear in his voice and Sevika took a step back.

She did not like Jinx, she never has and she’s certain that she never will. Quite frankly, she’d be quite glad to see her gone… but Silco clearly had other plans and that meant that what she wanted didn’t really matter.

“I can have people searching for her in the next ten minutes. We should find her in no time,” she offered in an attempt to appease him, but Silco shook his head.

“No, you have done enough for now. I will find her myself!” he announced and then he was out of the door.

In all honesty, he wasn’t quite sure where he was going but he couldn’t just stay put until he thought things through. He couldn’t just sit and wait and think while Jinx was out there, most likely ridden with guilt and possibly in trouble.

Oh, she could’ve been in so much trouble and he wouldn’t even know about it! All because Sevika couldn’t be bothered to do her job!

He found that his feet carried him to Singed’s practice and he didn’t even bother to knock before letting himself in. Singed turned to look at his new visitor and his face fell when he laid eyes on Silco.

“Did she say anything when she was here?” he asked, cutting straight to the chase as he couldn’t afford to lose any more time than he already had. He didn’t even bother asking if Jinx had brought him there because he knew for a fact that she did. The fact that was alive and well, but also the distinct feeling of shimmer coursing through his veins, told him as much.

Still, Singed didn’t say anything, just looked at him as if he just saw a ghost. And that’s because he was looking at a ghost… or someone who should’ve been a ghost.

“You were dead.” was all Singed could muster as he looked Silco up and down and Silco just couldn’t hide his confusion at that.

Dead? What does he mean by “dead”? If he had been dead then he wouldn’t be standing there in that moment. If he had been dead then nothing could’ve been done for him. But he wasn’t dead. He was very much alive. And clearly plenty was done for him because he felt better in that moment than he had felt in years.

“Dead?” he said, his voice calm and steady despite the fact that he was actually baffled by the doctor’s accusation.

“When she brought you in you were dead." Singed said simply, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. Silco begged to disagree.

"You weren’t breathing and your heart wasn’t beating.” Singed explained, as if talking to a toddler, and Silco realized that his confusion clearly wasn’t as well concealed as he had thought it was.

“Clearly you must be mistaken.” he insisted, trying to keep his cool but the doctor just shook his head.

“No, you were definitely dead. But she couldn’t accept it, so she threatened me into giving her the treatment and then she was on her way. Haven’t heard from her since.” Singed said, catching onto what Silco truly wanted to know now that he was over the shock of seeing Silco stand before him.

As soon as Silco heard that he turned around and left, not even bothering to throw a “thank you” or a “goodbye” before the door slammed behind him.

He let his feet carry him towards the last place where Jinx could be that he could think of, all while he tried to process what Singed had implied.

She threatened me into giving her the treatment and then she was on her way.

Singed's words echoed in Silco’s head as he walked, their implications being a little too much for him to process. Sure, he knew that Jinx was brilliant, smarter than everyone in Zaun and Piltover put together, but not even he could’ve anticipated that she would defeat even death.

And yet she did it and Silco found this new piece of information both shocking but also completely expected at the same time. Because, after all, if someone were to defeat death, then who else to do it other than his daughter? Who else would have the knowledge and the courage to do such a thing other than his perfect daughter? The answer was no one and Silco knew that. He has known that for many years now.

Still, it was a lot to take in, even more so given the implications of it regarding Jinx's feelings for him. He had known for a while now that she loved him, sure,

(After all, it wasn't hard to guess. Jinx was quite generous and outward with her feelings and her affections. There were, of course, also all of the gifts she had made him over the years and, while some things were never said, Silco never doubted for one second that Jinx loved him and saw him as a father.)

but he didn't think that it meant that she'd bring him back from the dead if he were to die. He didn’t think that it meant that she would defy the very laws of nature just to have him close to her. That was a thought, or rather a realization, that was both reassuring and thrilling at the same time.

Knowing that she loved him that much warmed him up from the inside out, overjoyed to be worthy of her love and affection, but a part of him couldn’t help but worry as he thought about just what she would be willing to do for him. Not because she might fail, but rather because she won't.

He wondered if she really could live with some of the things he was certain she was willing to do, but he didn't think about it too much as he finally made it to her lair.

No lights were on outside and none seemed to be on inside, but she had to be there. The alternative was too much for Silco to bear and he was completely and utterly unprepared for it so she had to be there.

He took one tentative step inside, keeping as quiet as humanly possible as he made it through the cave that separated Jinx's lair from the rest of the undercity.

"Jinx?" he called as he neared the entrance to the workshop she had fashioned herself out of a wreck so many years ago, knowing that it was a bad idea to sneak up on her.

Silence.

"Jinx?" he asked again, quieter this time, and with each echo of his words not followed by his daughter's voice he found his heart pounding faster and faster.

Finally, he took a step inside, peering from behind the corner into the mostly dark room before taking another step in, as carefully as possible since he knew just how much Jinx loved taking people by surprise with some unexpected trap.

As he peeked inside, he noticed that the room was all dark save for one little lamp by Jinx's workspace. Through the faint light of the lamp he managed to see her silhouette, hunched over her desk and… shaking?

He rushed to her side, hearing the thump of his feet echo across the eerily quiet room as he ran. Something was wrong, he concluded. Between her not being there when he woke up, the darkness that almost swallowed her whole, the deafening silence (that almost made Silco miss her loud ear-shattering music) and the shaking, something had to be wrong.

"Jinx?" he asked softly, but despite his best efforts at being quiet his voice still echoed across the cave.

Jinx flinched at that, her hands shaking as she looked left and right, then up and down, before her jaw tensed and she went back to her work.

Silco stopped in his tracks at that.

"Jinx?" he whispered, slowly taking a step towards her.

"Are you alright, child?" he asked and he was expecting her to lash out in some way as she always does when she's in one of these… moods, but he was still taken aback when he felt a metallic shark pressed to his chest.

Her hands shook as she held the shark and, while he was not familiar with that particular creation of hers, he knew that if she did pull the trigger, whether accidentally or not, then he wouldn't be able to help her. He wouldn't be able to ground her and bring her back to reality. And he just couldn't stand that thought, so he had to thread carefully.

He glanced at the shark briefly, trying to hold himself steady as he looked up at her. He tensed up when he saw the wild look in her eyes, so clearly looking right through him as if he weren't even there, but his voice stayed calm as he said:

"Jinx, please look at me."

She gripped her weapon tighter at that, but at least she heard him.

"Please, my dear, please look at me." he pleaded as gently as he could and she grimaced, cold and menacing, as her finger landed on the trigger.

"Please, child, please look at me. I am right here."

Her jaw shook at that, a glowing pink tear running down her already tear-stained cheek. He was getting there. He was so close to reaching her.

"I am here. I am really here." he reassured her, putting a hand on the shark's head and then slowly inching his way towards the hand she had on the trigger.

"Dad?" she whispered in disbelief, eyes wide as her jaw trembled again.

"Yes, dear. I'm here. Right. Here." he said, feeling his voice tremble and tears threatening to form in the corner of his eye as he stared wide-eyed at his daughter but he pushed that bout of emotion away and placed his hand on top of hers.

She looked down at his hand and then back at him and her jaw trembled even more, tears following soon after.

"It's ok. It's ok. It's ok. I'm here. I'm right here and I won't ever leave you again." he said quickly, his other hand reaching out and holding the hand she had placed under the shark's jaw.

"I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry." she muttered out, her pleas growing more and more desperate the more she went on.

She pulled her hand away from the trigger almost as if it burned her to touch it, dissolving into a mess of tears and sobs and apologies. The sight broke Silco's heart and, when she was crushed under the weight of her weapon and her guilt, he was quick to take it away and put it on the nearest table, wrapping her into a loving and warm embrace right afterwards.

"I am so sorry!" she shouted between sobs and he pulled her closer, rubbing soothing circles onto her back.

"It's ok, child. It's ok. You did nothing wrong." he reassured, his words as truthful as they could be and not something he said just to calm her down.

"No! No! No! I-I-I-" she cried out, her whole body shaking from her erratic sobs. She gripped his shirt, holding tightly onto him as she stopped talking and just let herself sob.

"It's ok. It's ok." he whispered as he held her close, the thought of letting go of her for even a moment being one that could never cross his mind. Not when she's like this. Not when she's shattered into a million pieces and he's the only one she trusts to put her back together.

"NO! NO! NO! I KILLED YOU!" she shouted into his shirt, her hands almost pulling the fabric apart with the intensity of their grip.

He didn't move. He didn't flinch. He just let her start sobbing again before speaking, calm and gentle as he did so:

"You did… but you didn't mean to. You would never mean to hurt me.”

“But I did… I did hurt you…” she muttered, her words so quiet he almost didn’t hear her. “I hurt you… I killed you… I-I killed you… I-” and then she screamed into his shoulder, so loudly that his ears were ringing by the time she started sobbing again.

“It’s alright. It’s alright. I’m here now. I am not dead, not anymore, and I will never leave you again.” he reassured, a kiss on her shoulder which only made her cry harder.

“No… no… no… nO… NO!” she shouted and she pushed him, jaw tense and her glare vicious as she spoke next: “I killed you! I killed you and… and you-you’re hugging me?? I killed you and you’re not mad at me?? Why aren’t you mad at me?! Why don’t you hate me?!” she said with her face twisted into a grimace, a predator ready to pounce at its prey, but she didn’t wait for him to answer before looking somewhere in the distance, somewhere… not at him.

“Hate me! Hate me for what I did to you!” she demanded, a scowl spreading across her face as she did.

“No. You’re my daughter. I’ll never be mad at you. I’ll never hate you.” he said, tense and trying to keep himself calm, steady. She needed him and she needed him calm, but it was so hard when every word that came out of her mouth felt like another breath consumed by the waters. Another breath that made his lungs burn and his head spin. Another breath that made his face burn. Another breath stopped in its tracks before it could reach him.

“HATE ME! BE MAD AT ME!” she shouted, her whole body shaking as she tore her gaze away from him and she looked around, searching for something… or someone. Her hands grew restless, empty and leaving her defenceless from whatever terror he couldn’t see.

“Jinx!”

“Please…” she muttered, still chasing the ghosts that won’t stop tormenting her.

“Jinx.” and he took a step towards her.

“Please… please make it stop… please… hate me…. leave me… please, please, just… just…” she begged, her eyes devoid of any emotion as he looked right at him and her voice hoarse from all the crying and the screaming.

She didn’t need to say those last words for him to know what she was asking of him and the ache of her request was like nothing he had ever felt before.

“Jinx…” he whispered and she fell into his arms, exhausted and bled dry after the past few days. He couldn’t imagine how hard it must’ve been for her to be there, all alone and in the dark, with only the voices of all those she lost to keep her company.

“Please, please, please, dad,” and at that Silco’s heart skipped a beat, “please make it stop. I can’t, I can’t do this anymore. Please, make them stop! Please, I-I can’t fight them anymore. I-I can’t- I can’t do this anymore… please…” she muttered between sobs, her words barely decipherable, but he made out just enough.

He sat down, holding her steady as she followed along- unwilling to let go of him even for a moment as if he would vanish if she did so- and quick to help her curl up on his lap once they were on the floor.

“It’s ok. It’s ok. I got you.” he said softly, a kiss on her temple following.

At that she curled up closer to him, sobbing into his shirt and clinging to him as she shook her head.

“No, no, no... I can’t...” she said, her jaw trembling, and then she shook her head again.

“I know, darling, I know. You must be exhausted.” he remarked, rubbing soothing circles on her back.

Her sobs momentarily stopped at his words and she nodded, taking a deep breath before she was overcome by her tears and pain again.

“It’s ok. I’m here. And I’ll never leave you again.” he said as he held her closer, terrified that he might lose her somehow if he dared to soften his grip. “I’ll always be here and I will never let you go through this again… not alone, at least…” he added, sorrow in his voice as he couldn’t bring himself to promise her something he couldn’t offer.

“Promise you’re not mad?” she asked, her voice so quiet he barely heard her over the echo of her sobs. “Promise you don’t hate me?” she then pleaded, her nails digging into the fabric of his shirt as she tried to hold back her sobs and tears.

“I promise.”

He said only two words but she nodded, taking a deep breath and then sitting up in his lap. Her hands were still shaky and a couple of stray tears were still rolling down her face, but his promise seemed to have calmed her down.

“Did you mean it?” she asked and his confusion must’ve been obvious because she quickly added: “What you said that night… about never forsaking me… did you mean it?”

He takes a moment to consider. Not his answer, because his answer was yes, of course he meant it. She was his daughter and nothing came before her, he realized. But rather he stopped to consider his words, knowing just how fragile she was in that moment and knowing just how easily one wrong word would shatter her into a million little pieces in that moment.

He took a handkerchief out of his pocket and he started wiping her tears of shimmer away. Or at least he was going to try, most of her tears long dried up by then and leaving behind faint pink steaks along her face.

“Of course I meant it. I meant every single word. You are my daughter, now and always, and I could never give you up, even if that means giving everything else up. Even if it has to be just the two of us.” he said and she sobbed, his eye quickly looking away from his task to check on her.

“And,” a sob, “And when you said that there was nothing so undoing as a daughter,” another sob, “what did you mean?” she asked and he could feel her tense up under his touch, tears already blooming in the corners of her eyes as she still expected the worst.

“It means,” and he cupped her cheek in his hand, feeling his expression soften up as she leaned into his touch, “that every single day I am undone by the love I have for you. A love that never stops growing and that I never thought I could feel and that still surprises me even after all these years.”

She closed her eyes for a moment and then she gently put her hands over the hand he had on her cheek as she looked back at him.

“So… I-I’m not a weakness? You don’t want to get rid of me?” she asked, tears already threatening to come and her disbelief at his answer palpable.

“You are, but I’d rather be weak than be without you.”

A tear ran down her face.

She grabbed his hand, pulling it onto her lap and holding onto it tightly.

She pressed her forehead against his, sobbing as soon as their foreheads touched.

“I finished it. The weapon. I finished it and I didn’t get to tell you but now you’re here and you don’t hate me and you don’t want to get rid of me and I-I finished it!” she said, the words pouring out of her and her mood picking up the more she talked.

“You finished it, hm?” he asked softly, allowing himself a small smile at his daughter’s enthusiasm.

She hummed at that, pulling away from him and being on her feet in a matter of seconds (and for a brief moment he could’ve sworn that she wasn’t that fast before but he’s probably just misremembering, slowing things down in his mind so that he can actually remember her as more than just the wind passing by him).

She had also returned just as quickly as she went, only mere seconds passing before she was sitting cross-legged in front of him, the metallic shark that she had pointed at him earlier resting on her lap.

Her eyes gleamed with pride as she handed him the weapon, giving him a moment to examine it before shouting:

“I call him Fishbones!”

Something in him broke and grew and then shattered and put itself back together at her words. He knew that with her nothing about her little… gadgets was random, every detail thought through, but still… it couldn’t be…

He dismissed the thought, noticing the way she was bouncing as she waited for his approval, her legs and hands restless and an uncertain grin on her face. Still, he took his time, giving her work all the attention that it deserved.

“It’s perfect.” he said nonchalantly, despite feeling anything but as he was unable to shake a certain suspicion, and she looked away, her cheeks a faint red.

“You don’t even know if it works.” she said with a wave of her hand, but he knew that she was very flattered by his praise.

“Well, does it work?” he asked, humouring her as he always found himself doing without even realizing. He didn’t need her to tell him that it worked for him to know that it did. By then everything she touched worked. Everything she touched turned into a weapon of mass destruction (him included, if the need ever arose) and he couldn’t have been prouder.

“Of course it does.” she said with a smirk, reaching over and pulling open a hatch that revealed the Hextech gemstone that she had stolen a couple of days prior. “It reaches pretty far on its own, but with the gem it reaches even further… maybe even all the way to Piltover.” she added, a mischievous look in her eyes as she looked at him.

“Maybe even all the way to the Council.” she said, her words carefully measured and each of them slowly emphasised so that their implications were clear.

Of course. he thought, certain that his wonder and his affection for his daughter were visible on his face, but he couldn’t find it in him to care.

He had figured that her interest in weaponizing the Hextech gemstone would subdue since he had betrayed her trust and he would’ve understood if that had been the case but… but here he was. So much closer to his goal of creating a better world for his daughter and it was all thanks to her! All because he asked. All because she loved him. All because her genius exceeded that of everyone else in both Zaun and Piltover combined.

And then… then there was also the fact that she remembered. He didn’t think that she did. It had happened so long ago.

It was late when he heard the creak of the door to his office which signalled that someone had opened the door. He looked up from his paperwork, expecting to see Sevika in the doorway, ready to give him another scowl and another earful for her lost arm. He was expecting another reprimand for taking in the one responsible for her loss, but instead all he found was a little girl, who looked at him with her big blue eyes.

“What happened, child?” he asked, far softer than he intended to.

“I can’t sleep.” she said simply and he was certain that she was leaving out a lot.

Still, he didn’t pry. He was much older than she was when Vander had abandoned him and he still had found it impossible to talk about it without breaking, so it was unfair to expect that from a child who has went through enough as it was without having to relive it for someone else’s satisfaction.

She looked away. He narrowed his eye at that, trying to gauge what was going on in her mind, but he found himself coming up empty handed.

“You’re not sleeping either.” she pointed out shyly once she noticed him staring and he hummed at that. He was indeed also not sleeping.

“I suppose I can’t sleep either.” he said, his words more truthful than not but if anyone else had asked he would’ve just said that he had too much work to do to sleep. But she wasn’t anyone else, clearly, and he couldn’t understand why that was the case.

She nodded at that, nervously fiddling with her plush bunny and that was a cue he could decipher. He leaned back on his chair, tipped his head just ever so slightly, and that was a cue she could decipher as she was on his lap in a matter of seconds.

He held her close to him, almost instinctively at that point, and he pressed a kiss to the top of her head. He told himself that it made sense, and it did, but the action and the weight on his lap still felt so foreign that it made him tense up. She didn’t mention it tho, choosing to curl up on his lap and look out into the sea instead.

He followed her example, forcing himself to relax as his good eye trailed a nearby shark. It seemed that she was doing the same, clinging to his shirt equal part excited and scared as she watched the shark catch its prey and kill it right before her eyes.

Another kiss to the top of her head. A reassurance that she was safe. Her grip on his shirt loosened, but her eyes didn’t leave the shark.

“I like coming here late at night when I can’t sleep.” he blurted out, unsure what it was about the girl in his arms that unravelled him the way she did. “There’s something so soothing about the water… and something so reassuring about watching the creatures that lurk within it. Monsters. Forgotten, yet deadly.” he said and he pulled her close to him, her head resting on his chest. “Just like us.”

Her expression changed when he said those last words and it almost seemed like she was contemplating his words. There was more he could’ve said in that moment, turned his musings into some sort of motivational speech but, truth be told, he was too tired for it and he was sure that Jinx felt the same way. So he just left it at that, choosing instead to try his luck at lulling Jinx back to sleep but he’s certain that he ended up falling asleep before she did.

“Silco?” came Jinx’s voice and then the wave of her hand in front of his face, snapping him out of his reminiscing. Once he was back in the present, he was met by two bright pink eyes, watching him expectantly and he instantly knew what she was waiting for.

“Looks like my praise from before was warranted. That and so much more.” he said, delighted by the way she lit up at his words and completely unsurprised when she tackled him moments later.

“I’m so proud of you, Jinx.” he added once she was settled into his arms, a kiss to the top of her head followed. She giggled at that, her joy so infectious that he barely held back a laugh himself, but then she sighed and curled up closer to him and he reckoned that the past few days have finally caught up with her.

“Let’s go home.”

A nod.

“You’ll need to let go of me if we’re going to leave.”

“No, I don’t. Figure it out.” she said and he was shocked that she didn’t stick her tongue out at him at the end just to complete the picture.

“I see…” was all he said, not mad at her disrespect as it was his fault, but rather playing along, a certain threat that she knew all too well accompanying his words.

She was up on her feet in no time, not waiting to see if Silco would follow through with his silent threat or if it was just an empty threat. She then picked Fishbones up, carelessly throwing him over her shoulder, before she extended a hand to Silco, who was still on the floor. Silco took her hand, grateful that he didn’t need to ask for her help and even more grateful that she offered it as he didn’t expect to find getting up from the floor to be a particularly easy or pleasant experience.

Once he was on his feet, he took off his coat, patting the dust away before wrapping it around Jinx’s shoulders. “You’ll be cold without it.” he said as a justification and she yawned before nodding.

“Can you…” she muttered, taking Fishbones off her shoulder and handing it to Silco before he even got the chance to process her half question, but he held onto the weapon regardless as Jinx put her arms through the sleeves of his coat and then wrapped it tightly against herself.

Silco waited for her to be properly dressed before he handed her back Fishbones, welcoming with a smile her holding onto his arm afterwards.

“Shall we go?” he asked and she only hummed in response, already getting too sleepy for any sort of conversation.

“Alright then.” he said, his steps slow at first and then slowly picking up the pace once he was certain that she could keep up with him even if she was half asleep. To his surprise he wasn’t as stiff as he had expected to be, but it was probably just that he was too focused on Jinx to notice the way his joints protested against each movement he made.

“Would you like to eat something?” he asked once they passed by Jericho’s and Jinx put a hand on her stomach before shyly agreeing.

Silco chose not to comment on just how fast she was eating, choosing not to question whether or not she ate anything since… since that day. He already knew the answer to that question and he did not like it, but that was a discussion for later. She was too tired for it. Too fragile, still.

By the time they made it home the cold night air seemed to have woken her up a little, going hundreds of miles per hour about how she managed to incorporate the Hextech gemstone into Fishbones and about just how many other things she could make… if only she had managed to steal some more gemstones.

“But I don’t think that’ll be much of a problem now, all things considered,” she said, attempting to sound dismissive but her proud grin gave her away.

“No, that should not be a problem now.” he agreed as he opened the door to her bedroom, gesturing for her to go inside.

Her smile fell at that, suddenly her expression turning serious.

“I’m not going anywhere.” he reassured and she seemed to believe him as she entered the room, resting Fishbones against the wall before checking in to make sure that he kept his promise.

Once she saw him sitting on the bed, patiently waiting for her, she sighed, a sigh so small it was barely visible but he did see it, and then she took off his coat, throwing it on a chair near the bed before carelessly kicking off her boots.

She let him undo her braids, brushing her hair before braiding it again. He didn’t need to do it, he’ll have to redo her braids in the morning anyways, but, over the years, he had found that it was a soothing activity for the both of them. And, in that moment, they both needed that, more so her than him as her breakdown was still fresh on his mind and he was certain that he won’t be able to shake it off for a good, long while.

She sighed when he was about halfway through, her shoulder slumping, and the tension in her muscles was slowly leaving her the longer he went on.

“Jinx?” he asked, shaking her out of whatever thought she was preoccupied with.

“Hm?” she hummed, her eyes curious as she glanced in his direction. “Oh, right!” she muttered before handing him the hair tie she was holding.

He took it from her hand wordlessly, finishing up with her hair and welcoming her in his arms once she leaned back against him.

Jinx sighed, the rush of the last few days finally truly leaving her body, and she turned in his embrace so that she could wrap her arms around him.

He was there. She was there. And neither of them had a scratch on their body. That was as good as it could get, he reasoned, and then he gently laid his sleeping daughter down, pulling the blanket over her, slowly so he wouldn’t wake her up, and then he kissed her temple, a reassurance that he wasn’t going anywhere.

Jinx.