“Which one do you think looks the best?” Shark had laid out a few pictures in between him and Sagebear.
Dennis was still in bed, trying to catch up on sleep on his day off. This gave Shark time to quickly work on a belated birthday present for him in secret.
All the pictures he had out involved Sagebear in some way. He just needed her approval on which one to use.
With a raised paw, Sagebear slapped it down on her choice. She almost seemed to be grinning at what photo she picked; One with her being held by Shark, as he was taking the picture of them sitting on the ground.
I like that one, too,” he said with a smile as he picked it up. Shuffling the others back into a pile, Shark took her pick and positioned it into a special picture frame laying nearby.
After an early breakfast, Harwood and Marc left to go out on a morning walk to City Hall.
Sinbad had no idea why they wanted to go there, and he decided not to ask. Either way, he declined going with them.
He wanted to kick himself for what he was planning to do, but he figured he could explain later. Waiting a while after they left, Sinbad began snooping around the house.
Wandering into Harwood’s room, Sinbad quickly began to search every nook and cranny of the sparsely decorated area. Finding nothing out of the ordinary, he took to rummaging through the dresser drawers.
The bottom two drawers just held a high amount of drab-looking clothes. There were a few hints of purple and red, but nothing much else besides those colors.
“Come on. This guy’s gotta have something he’s hiding…” Ever since they met, Sinbad couldn’t help but notice something about Harwood seemed off.
It might have been the strange way he looked at him, or even the way he acted sometimes. Whatever it was, Sinbad couldn’t help but wonder what was causing him to act that way.
Finally rifling through the top drawer, Sinbad caught sight of an important-looking envelope.
“Huh. Wonder what this is. Probably information on offshore bank accounts or something…”
The broken seal showed that it had been read already by someone. Pulling out the papers, Sinbad scanned through them with a precise eye.
“Twinbrook Foundation Hospital…These were from my checkup. So why was he hiding this from me…”
Getting to the last page, Sinbad found why Harwood kept the results secret from him. The last page described something he didn’t remember being tested for:
“Probability of Paternity?” He saw the number after those words, and felt his legs go numb. Sitting down on the bed, he set the papers down, and grabbed hold of his long red hair.
“I gotta be fucking dreaming…Him?”
Annette could smell something cooking from downstairs when she left the hidden room. Following her nose led her there, to find Moony sauteing something in a frying pan.
She hoped beyond hope that he wasn’t frying up a clone of Julian. She cleared her throat to get his attention.
“Where’s your ever present partner?” She asked, hoping to break the ice. Moony just looked over his shoulder at her, and waved somewhere upstairs.
“Eh. I left ’em alone. Thought he needed some alone time away from me. Not like we’re joined at the damned hip!”
Annette didn’t respond to this. Instead she asked another question.
“So what’s it like to be romantically with someone old enough to be your father?” Annette internally noted the question, having been married to a much older man herself. She waited until he shut the stove off, before he gave her an answer.
“Not tha’s it any of ye business, but I don’t give a flying fuck about his age. He’s good to me, and that’s all I need righ’ now.”
He went on. “Me own parents had me late in life. I think me own father was pushing sixty when I left home. If he’d known his own son would end up as a Frankenstein’s Monster parody, well…”
Now Moony just shrugged. “Well, I wish I wouldn’t have ended up here. But if I didn’t, I wouldn’t have met Sunny.”
“Kind of a double-edged sword, then, huh?” He nodded to answer her question. Then he slumped down onto the floor.
“And what if you hadn’t met him here? What then?” But this time, he didn’t respond in any way to her now.
Annette watched in confusion as Moony took off his mask, revealing his tanned face in its entirety. He swallowed once, then traced his fingers against the mask.
“I want to get out of here,” he whispered. Annette tried to see if he was still talking to her, but he wasn’t even looking at her now. “I wanna get out of here, and have a nice happy life with Sunny.”
His blank white eyes welled up with tears. “But I can’t possibly have that while that Omnipotent bampot is still around!”
At the last two words, he threw his mask onto the floor, and began to sob.
“I want to go back,” he whispered to himself. Not knowing what else to do, Annette sat in front of him, and picked his mask up and placed it in his lap.
Moony kept whispering, his accent returning to sounding more Americanized. “I wanna see my daddy again. I want ’em to know I found the love of my life in this wretched hellhole.”
Shark had just written his and Sagebear’s names onto the wrapped present when he heard sounds coming from the bedroom.
Opening the door, he saw Dennis sitting on the bed, trying to wake himself up. He then grabbed the hair tie that he used during the day, and pulled it in.
When he saw his son and canine granddaughter standing there, he smiled and glanced at the present.
“Well, now what’s this about?” He sleepily inquired.
Shark handed him the parcel. “I know it’s a few weeks after your birthday, so I thought I’d get you this now.” When Dennis opened it, his face lit up at what he just uncovered.
“‘My grandchild has paws’.” He held it up to see it a little better. “Now isn’t that just precious!” He threw an arm around Shark, and pulled him closer. “I’d say this is the best present I’ve ever gotten, belated or not.”
Shark grinned, glad that his father liked the picture and its frame. “Thanks, Dad.”
Leaning herself up against their legs, Sagebear panted, hoping to get recognition for her part in this as well.
“Oh well, now I could never forget you, puppy!” Dennis set the picture aside, and patted his lap for her to jump up on. “Come here, let Grandpa give you some pets.”
When she did, both Shark and Dennis took turns petting the happy dog.
Sinbad was still trembling over what he’d just read. He was so caught up in this, that he didn’t hear the front door sliding open and shut.
“Hey, Sinbad, what do you want for dinner-” Marc came into the other room, then stopped when he saw what he was holding.
His face began to go pale, and then he stepped back and called for Harwood.
As soon as Harwood came to see what was wrong, he realized what he’d been trying to hide was now exposed.
“Oh, Sinbad…” Was all he could say. Sinbad got up off the bed, holding up the last page that he’d been staring at for a while now.
“Is this shit true, old man?” He asked in as strong a voice he could muster.
Harwood grimaced, knowing he couldn’t lie to the other man. “DNA doesn’t lie.” He tilted Sinbad’s head up so he could get a better look at his face.
“Yes, Sinbad Rotter,” he spoke in a trembling voice, “I, Harwood Clay, am your biological father.”
(Song the Chapter Title came from, because it’s relevant: )