It was nice to arrive back home after being gone for five months in South Korea, and he was looking forward to seeing Anastasia and the kids after what felt like an eternity. He exited the car and let the servants bring in the bags as he walked into the house and took in the familiar scent, everything being just how he remembered it. He turned to head into the living room, wanting to see if anyone was in there or if he would have to hunt around the house for Anastasia.
-"Doing nothing can sometimes be the most effective form of action." Message Me - 05:20, February 20, 2019 (UTC)
Anastasia had just spoken to Jaeyeol that day. He'd been coming in about depression issues and they were working on that. It was supposed to have been a normal day. Maybe that was the problem. Her days shouldn't be so "normal" with one kid missing, one learning the ways of the sex world, and the other - well, she has no clue what's going on with Daegu. Not to mention, Heeyeon extended her stay with their relatives. Jae finally pointed it out today. He asked her, "How can you act so normal? Doesn't this shit affect you? Don't you care? How do you do it?" The words wouldn't leave Ana's mind. He said them like it was some damn accomplishment. As if putting on a face and pretending everything is okay was some act to admire. As if it was normal. Needless to say, Anastasia came home and was two wine bottles in already. She was sat on the floor, back against one of the couches as she abandoned her wine glass and drank straight from the bottle.
Upon entering the living room and seeing the state that Ana was in made him take a moment to take everything in and realize what was going on. He hadn't seen her like this for... Well, for a really long time, and wondered what had happened. "Ana?" He asked as he slowly approached her, noticing the wine glasses and the bottle in her hand. "Ana, what's wrong?" He asked quietly as he knelt in front of her, knowing not to get mad or lash out on her, especially since he had just gotten home from being gone for so long that he wasn't sure if she'd actually want to speak to him.
-"Doing nothing can sometimes be the most effective form of action." Message Me - 05:30, February 20, 2019 (UTC)
Anastasia looked at her husband with a dazed expression before a laugh fell from her lips. "Ah, shit." She chuckled, taking another swig. "Didn't think you'd be home this early." Ana admitted bitterly. This was just what a hard-working husband should come home to - a drunk dead beat of a wife and a broken home. You're doing great, Stasia. Keep it up, sweetie...
"And I didn't think you'd be drinking wine this early," He told her, reaching out to take the bottle from her gently, "Ana, what happened?" He asked, knowing something big must have happened to make her this way. "I know I just got home, but you're my first priority right now, and I need to know what happened so I can help,"
-"Doing nothing can sometimes be the most effective form of action." Message Me - 05:43, February 20, 2019 (UTC)
She didn't put up much of a fight when the wine was taken from her. "You shouldn't have to help." She declared angrily, though it was only anger at herself. Tears pricked at her eyes and she hated herself for it. She didn't deserve to be the victim here. "It's my fault, not yours."
"Hey," He said sharply when she started to talk like that, "It's not your fault, whatever it is that happened. We're in this together, remember? For better or for worse?" He reminded her gently, "Now, you have to tell me what happened or else I can't understand why you're so upset, and I promise I won't get mad at you, I never do," He said, brushing her hair out of her face.
-"Doing nothing can sometimes be the most effective form of action." Message Me - 06:05, February 20, 2019 (UTC)
No. He never does. No matter how much Stasia screws up. She doesn't deserve Taejong. Never did. "Seoul dropped out of school and I have no idea where he is." A lie. She tracked him the moment he left. She wanted to know in case anything happened to him. "Daejeon knows what sex is now and is screwing around with some sixth year with anxiety problems caused by the drop out." She knew about the train accident as soon as it went down. Even gave that Kim Jun kid a book on comforting others after a tragic experience. He didn't really need it. "Daegu is dating a highly depressed kid and is dealing with that by himself. Hasn't asked for help or anything. Just taking it on like a champ. That, and Daejeon." She wished she could help Daegu but she'd just screw it up. Instead, he was having to support his brothers and boyfriend all alone. "And I won the award for world's most terrible mother. I mentioned you in the acceptance speech. Sorry you had to miss it." She finished like a joke despite the tears beginning to stream down her face as she reached for the bottle.
He had a servant come and take the bottle away so she couldn’t drink anymore, needing a moment to process everything. All this happened while he was gone? He thought it was quite a lot, and instantly felt bad for not being here to help. The biggest concern was Daejeon knowing what sex was, his little Daejeon being corrupted already? He’d have to figure out who to take out later, but he knew Seoul would be found within the day and that could be taken care of soon, Daegu on the other hand.. He’d figure something out, “Ana, look at me,” he told her, hands gently grabbing her shoulders. “None of this is your fault, if anything it’s mine for not being here. You’re a wonderful mother and are raising good children, don’t beat yourself up for things that you can’t control,”
-"Doing nothing can sometimes be the most effective form of action." Message Me - 07:21, February 20, 2019 (UTC)
Anastasia scowled, shaking her head. "But I can control it. I could've kept Seoul in school if I wanted. I could've told Daejeon a long time ago about sex and other things. I could've helped Daegu. I could've talked to our kids. I could've cared more. I could've tried, Taejong." She chastised herself, voice strained. She pulled her knees to her chest and buried her head atop them. "I failed them as a mother." Anastasia finally admitted quietly. Maybe her own mom was right all those years ago. Ana just wasn't fit to be a mother.
"Anastasia, you are not a failure," He told her sternly, wanting to get the point across as he moved over to sit next to her and wrap his arm around her. "Things happen that we as parents can't control, and sure there's things we could do better but that doesn't mean you have to beat yourself up for it," He said, kissing her cheek. "You're a wonderful mother, and all of our children would say so because it's the truth, what you're saying isn't true and it's harming you."
-"Doing nothing can sometimes be the most effective form of action." Message Me - 16:20, February 20, 2019 (UTC)
Anastasia balled herself up even more and cried into her knees. He was wrong. Ana loved her husband. But he was wrong. What had she done for her kids? Kept Daejeon from the world... Let Seoul and Daegu do whatever the hell they want... Heeyeon wasn't even with them because Anastasia would screw her up too. But Taejong would tell Stasia she was doing great until the day he died. No use in arguing with him. Even if he was utterly, horribly, and devastatingly wrong.
“Ana,” he said gently and pulled her into his lap, holding her close. “Don’t beat yourself up about the children, you did the best you could and there’s still a few years until they’re out of your custody,” he kissed her head softly.
“It might be,” He said with the slightest chuckle, “But, that still doesn’t mean you should beat yourself up over this,” he told her, holding her close. “I know you haven’t completely given up on our kids though, because I know you know where Seoul ran off too, who Daejeon is sleeping with and who Daegu’s boyfriend is. WHich is more then I know,”
-"Doing nothing can sometimes be the most effective form of action." Message Me - 17:09, February 20, 2019 (UTC)
Anastasia stayed quiet, both of them knowing there was some truth to that. She loved her kids. So much. She just didn't know how to parent. She was so afraid of being her mother that she ended up not being much of a mother at all. "He went to Hawaii for a bit... Remember when we used to take spontaneous trips to romantic places? I miss that..." She murmured reminiscently, lifting her head a bit to look into Taejong's eyes.
“I’ll find him and talk to him,” he told her, brushing her hair out of her face. “Don’t worry, everything will come back together,” he promised, kissing her forehead before smiling softly. “I do... We should do that again, maybe go to Rio?” He asked, “Be young and careless again like in our college days,”
-"Doing nothing can sometimes be the most effective form of action." Message Me - 18:05, February 20, 2019 (UTC)
Ana smiled at that, closing her eyes as if to picture it. "As long as you keep this hair." She giggled, wiping her tears away. Gosh, she was a mess. "I don't know if I could go through your porcupine phase again." Stasia teased lightly, though there was nothing but love in her eyes.
"Ouch, that hurts you know," He said, putting his hand against his chest. "Although I can't disagree with you there, you were quite the catch when we were young. I always wondered why you got with a guy like me," He said with a small chuckle, "Maybe it really was because of my money, hm?" He teased lightly.
-"Doing nothing can sometimes be the most effective form of action." Message Me - 20:15, February 20, 2019 (UTC)
“Oh, it was definitely the money.” She grinned teasingly. Honestly, porcupine and all, Ana couldn’t help but fall in love with this dork. He was charming without having to try and didn’t look at her the way every other man did. He was different. That is who she fell in love with.
-"Doing nothing can sometimes be the most effective form of action." Message Me - 23:56, February 20, 2019 (UTC)
Anastasia smiled, holding Taejong's face in her hands. "Nah, you still got it babe." She promised, returning his kiss. Truly, she was lucky to have him. He always managed to make her feel better despite how bad things may be.
"I thought we burned those," He said, not wanting to look at cringey pictures of himself from his college days. "Anyways, not speaking about my horrible college days, why don't we get you something to eat? I brought back some of your favorite Korean foods~"
-"Doing nothing can sometimes be the most effective form of action." Message Me - 02:50, February 21, 2019 (UTC)
Anastasia perked up a bit. "Gimbap?" She asked excitedly, hoping he brought some back. It was always so much better from Korea than anything you could get from a restaurant or store here. "Do you have Chapchae too?" She added, craving some of that as well. "Or did you just get snacks?"
-"Doing nothing can sometimes be the most effective form of action." Message Me - 07:29, February 21, 2019 (UTC)
Anastasia beamed up at her husband, her heart happy for the first time in what seemed like way too long. She tackled Taejong in a hug, burying her head in his chest. "I kind of love you a little bit." She murmured into his shirt, holding him tight.
He held her close and kissed her head lovingly, "I'm glad, even if it's just a little bit," He said and chuckled a little, "Though don't eat everything, I did bring some of it back so we could share it,"
-"Doing nothing can sometimes be the most effective form of action." Message Me - 20:22, February 21, 2019 (UTC)
She nodded, waving him off as she dug in the bags. With a small sigh, she remembered the "we" might be bigger than she thinks. "Guess we should save some for the kids too. Daegu's favorite is the gimbap, and Seoul will want some of the chapchae, and-" Anastasia stopped herself, realizing he wasn't going to be there. Seoul wasn't there. Her family was still a mess. A bag of food wouldn't fix that. "I uh... I need to go lie down for a bit." She decided softly and began moving towards the stairs.
He felt the pain in Ana's voice when she spoke about Seoul and realized that Seoul wasn't here and that their family was falling apart. "Ana-" He went over to her and gently put his hand on her shoulder, "Let me come with you... You shouldn't be alone,"
-"Doing nothing can sometimes be the most effective form of action." Message Me - 17:31, February 22, 2019 (UTC)
Anastasia shrugged his hand off her shoulder, giving him a sad look. "I'll be fine." She promised. Ana was tired of disappointing her husband. She was tired of disappointing everyone. "I'll just lie down for a bit. You probably want to get settled in anyway." She reasoned before moving up the stairs. When she wakes up, maybe things will be better. Maybe she'll be better. A better wife. A better mom. Here's to hoping, right?
He followed her up the stairs, gently taking her hand. “I can’t settle in if I know my wife isn’t okay,” he told her, “Let me lay down with you... Please,” He asked, knowing why she wanted to be alone and knowing he couldn’t let her be alone.
-"Doing nothing can sometimes be the most effective form of action." Message Me - 22:06, February 22, 2019 (UTC)
Ana looked over at her husband, squeezing his hand. "Why are you so good to me?" She sighed, shaking her head. Taejong deserved the world. He was way too good of a husband. "Come on." She finally decided, leading him to their room. Maybe some cuddles with her husband was just what she needed.
He followed her up to their room, missing holding her hand and the familiar scent of his house as he walked with her. “I really missed you,” he said as they were walking down the hallway, squeezing her hand gently.
-"Doing nothing can sometimes be the most effective form of action." Message Me - 02:39, February 23, 2019 (UTC)
Anastasia looked back at him with a genuine smile. "Not as much as I missed you." She promised, giving him a quick peck. "It's been a long couple of months." Ana admitted, walking into the bedroom. The great and all-powerful Anastasia Kang had realized in the time that Taejong was gone that even she had weaknesses. She needed Taejong. Falling onto their bed, she pulled Tae with her.
The guilt of being gone for so long was finally starting to seep in, but he wasn’t about to let Ana see. He easily and happily fell into bed with her, missing being with her and having her close. “As much as I love you, and missed you, I need to put on my pajamas,” he told her, giving her a kiss, “Unless you’d like to help me change~?”
-"Doing nothing can sometimes be the most effective form of action." Message Me - 01:38, February 25, 2019 (UTC)
Anastasia laughed, shaking her head at Taejong's antics. "I am way too drunk for that." She giggled, already curling up in the sheets. "But I'll take a raincheck." Ana added cheekily, winking at the other.
"But you aren't too drunk to enjoy the show~" He said with a small grin, taking his time as he took his clothes off in front of the other. Being away from his wife for five months was torture in many ways then just one. He missed being intimate with her, laughing and joking and teasing each other, being in her presence and overall just missing everything about her and their relationship. "Like what you see~?"
-"Doing nothing can sometimes be the most effective form of action." Message Me - 17:44, February 26, 2019 (UTC)
Little did Taejong know, Anastasia had already fallen apart. He was just sweeping up the pieces. But that wasn't important right now. What was was that Tae was back. And he was holding her and kissing her and everything would be okay.