AUTHOR: Sue Necessary



DISCLAIMER: ::sob:: I don't own 'em; that honor goes to Trilogy, Mirisch, MGM, CBS, TNN, ETC. If I did own 'em, they'd still be on the air. All day, every day. With two-hour episodes and no commercials. Nathan would never have applied those bandages over Vin's clothes, and that whole Wagon Train thing would never have happened. Maybe in my next life...


NOTES: Yeehaw, it's finished!!

I must acknowledge my undying and deepest gratitude to Joan C. and LaraMee Deux for all the help they've given me. They've not only beta-read this sucker, they've given me advice, walked me through plot difficulties, talked me off plot ledges, and just generally helped make this story better for their involvement. Y'all are the best! And to every medical person I've ever pestered: KET, Lynda, Kathy Teresa, and Derry (though she probably doesn't even remember, it was so long ago <g>). Ladies, thank you


WARNING: I don't usually put these on, so this is serious. This story deals at length with child abuse and the repercussions thereof (yes, involving one of the Seven), and some of the depictions are graphic. There's disturbing stuff in here, folks, including violence and psychological trauma, and the story overall is pretty intense. So if that kind of thing bothers you, don't read this. I don't say this to titillate, but to warn. I'm serious here, and most of y'all know I don't get that way often


Now, for a couple of additional notes


First off, to Joan and Lynn: You two have my undying gratitude and love for walking through this with me. I simply could not have done this without either of you. Your suggestions, corrections, nudges, encouragement, support and friendship have made this story sing. You've both said there's a lot of me in this. Trust me, there's an awful lot of y'all, too. And it's all good.


Second, to Joan again: You were the one who helped me figure out what this thing is about in the first place. It's all true, sweetie, every single word, and it's all for you. I love you.


Third, a dedication: This is for every survivor out there, so many of whom have written me and touched me (and awed me) with your stories and your courage. I'm still amazed that this could mean so much to so many of you, but I'm deeply thankful that it does. I only hope I've done your courage justice.


Fourth (and final, I promise), to the readers: To every one of you who has written me about this, who has applauded, nudged, nagged and threatened, thank you. I've come *this* cloe to ditching this thing so many times because I just couldn't imagine that anyone would want to read it. Shows what I know. You all are the best, and this story owes its continued existence to y'all.


Now, on with the story!


COMPLETED: January 5, 2004 - Part 24




Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5



Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Part 10



Part 11

Part 12

Part 13

Part 14

Part 15



Part 16

Part 17

Part 18

Part 19

Part 20



Part 21

Part 22

Part 23

Part 24