The aftermath of Paitently Waiting. This is the real reason Marshall ended up in rehab. Enjoy!
Detroit, MI - Nov. 2005
Have you ever loved someone so much you'd give an arm for? Not the expression - no - literally give an arm for? When they know their your heart and you know you are their armor and you would destroy anyone who would try to harm her - but what happens when karma turns right around and bites you and everything you stand for turns on you to spite you? What happens when you become the main source of her pain..
"Daddy! Look at what I made.."
Marshall crushed the piece of paper between his hands and tossed it towards the small trash can beside his desk, sighing deeply as he ran a hand over his tired face. It was nearly two in the morning and the house was empty - deserted and the only sound came from the faint patter of heavy Detroit rain outside. For the first time in months he was exhausted but he couldn't bring himself to go into that room and be alone another night. His back ached from sleeping on the couch for an hour each night but that's all his body offered and that's all he could handle. All the misfortunes he had been dealt over thirty-some years had never left him feeling this empty inside, things had never been this bad before.
His cell phone rang loudly, playing a familiar ring tone that caused him to flinch in surprise and fumble around the desk to find it before sighing a hello.
"You need to come get Hailie."
"Hailie - your daughter. You need to come get her."
"You have her for the weekend, Kim. We talked about this - she needs to spend time with you."
"I can't deal with this shit right now, Marshall. She won't stop talking about your wife - she's been crying for thirty minutes now and I can't get her to stop. She's upsetting Whitney."
Marshall closed his eyes tightly, willing away the urge to cuss his ex-wife and send a newly bought phone flying across the large room. His voice cracked with emotion as a simple okay escaped him. He was trying hard to be the mature one in his and Kim's relationship - keep the peace between them for Hailie's sake but it was causing him a great deal of grief. More than anyone knew.
"I'll be there in ten minutes.."
"Okay, thanks Marshall - I love.."
He shut the phone before Kim could finish and stood to his feet, idly wondering how his life had fallen apart so quickly and why he had let it all go to shit in the first place.
The black SUV pulled into Kim's driveway slowly, parking beside her new Mercedes and another car Marshall couldn't quite place. He had bought the car as a gift for her birthday last month, along with the house and whatever else she needed to 'get back on her feet'. To say the least, Kim was a very happy girl these days. He jumped out of the vehicle and made a quick jog towards the open door - smiling once he saw Hailie's tiny frame in the threshold. At least he wouldn't have to be alone tonight.
"Hi baby, you ready?"
He didn't want to go inside but his daughter insisted.
"Thanks again Marshall, sometimes I just get so overwhelmed with Whitney.. it's hard watching two kids by yourself." Kim mumbled, standing between Marshall and the entrance to her living room. He forced a smile and watched Hailie gather her things. He knew Kim's boyfriend Eric was sitting on the couch he had paid for in the living room but he didn't care anymore. He told himself it was the lack of sleep or the time of day but he felt dead inside right then and Kim could sense it.
"Are you okay, Marshall? You look.."
"I'm fine. Hai - you almost ready? It's late."
"Yeah Dad, I'm comin'.."
Kim watched Marshall usher Hailie outside into the cold and sighed, feeling a little guilty. She was definitely using Marshall and something had definitely changed with him recently - he gave to her unconditionally and she felt she deserved every cent he spent - everything he did for her because she was the one who was there for him all those years but even Kim Scott had a conscious, somewhere.
"Did you hear from Shanea today, dad?"
"No, baby. I haven't.." Marshall croaked. It never failed - within five minutes of seeing his pride and joy she mentioned that name. Hailie had every right to wonder where her step mother was but Marshall was the last person that could give her the answer she needed. Shanea was gone and she had taken Madison and Ronnie with her. It had been nearly three weeks since he had heard from her and a part of him feared he never would again. He had fucked up again - chose Kim over his wife and family, again and he didn't blame Shay for leaving but taking his kids? Marshall gripped the steering wheel so tight his knuckles turned white.
"I miss her, you know. I love mom but I love Shanea too.."
"I know baby.." His voice was barely a whisper now and Hailie could hear the emotion in her dad's words so she sank down into the passengers seat and looked out the dark window as they pulled up to a red light. Marshall coughed hard, trying to camouflage the sob that had escaped him. He loved Shanea more than anything but life - his responsibilities, his and Kim's relationship, Shady Records - everything had got between their marriage and she had taken all that she could handle.
Shanea was gone.
Four months earlier.
What happens when you become the main source of her pain..
"Why is mommy crying?"
"What baby? What are you talking about?"
Marshall looked up from his desk and went to his youngest daughter Madison, scooping her up in his arms as they went through the large house in search for Shanea. She was sitting at the table in the kitchen with her face buried in her hands. "Shay? Baby? What's the matter?" He sat Madison down on one of the chairs and went to his wife, kneeling down beside her quickly. Shanea looked up and forced a smile, assuring him and Madison both that she was fine - wiping at the tears in her eyes.
"Are you leaving again, daddy?"
Shanea locked her eyes on Marshall's and waited for his answer as if she didn't already know.
"Baby, daddy ain't leavin' no more."
"Daddy your lying.. you always say that - you always say this is the last time.. I don't want you to leave no more! Neither does Hailie."
Marshall's head fell forward, he was defeated. His wife and two daughters definitely knew how to play the guilt trip and if Ronnie could talk he knew he'd be right there with them. "Madi, baby, Daddy has to work. We talked about this.."
"You always have to work. I hate work!" She squealed, pushing herself down to the floor and running off into the house to find her sister. She hated when her dad went away for such a long time - it always made her mom so sad. "I'm never gonna work ever!"
Shanea flinched as Madison's bedroom door slammed, exhaling when she felt Marshall's protective arms around her. "I'm sorry Shay. I really am - I know I don't get to spend enough time with you and the kids but damn.. working on two albums and helping Fifty get out there is hard. Is it always going to be like this?" She looked down at his question, unsure of the answer. "Only if you let it, Em."
Proof looked up from his paperwork quickly, surprised at Marshall's sudden outburst. His best friend looked completely exhausted - mind, body and soul and he knew when something was bothering him. "Yo man? You alright? You ain't freakin' out on me, are you?" Suddenly a handful of papers went flying across the room as Marshall stood to his feet, obviously pissed off at something.
"I can't keep doing this fucking shit, Proof. Shanea was crying today - I'm not going to get to see her for a week and I left her crying again. Madison and Hailie beg me to stay when they know I have work that needs to be done and Ronnie, god - I don't even know if he remembers who I am anymore."
"Marshall, chill out man. We gotta get Fifty's album polished up and sent off - this nigga's goin' places and you know it. We're going to be rolling in bills in a few weeks and then I bet you Shanea starts singing a different tune."
"Fuck that - she doesn't give a fuck about money or any of this bullshit, Proof. She just wants her husband back and I can't half blame her. When me and Kim were married I was out fucking whores and threatening her life but all I do is sit in this fucking office and listen to other people rap about shit I don't even care about. I'm tired of it Proof.. I'm going home to my wife."
Proof rolled his eyes. Every time Marshall came back to Detroit he threatened everyone with talk of retirement but Proof knew better then that because this - hip hop - was where Slim Shady's heart was and there wasn't any denying it. "Whatever, Slim. Go call your wife and make up then get your country ass back in here and finish this paperwork - I'm going down to the studio."
Marshall slammed the office door.
"Fucking tired of this god damn bullshit.." Mr. Mather's stormed off down the hallway and towards his SUV - if it took him all week he was going to drive back to California and be with his family. For the life of him he couldn't figure out why Proof and the rest of his boys couldn't come to terms with the fact that he didn't want to do this anymore. He had been at it for nine years now and he was finished - ready to hang it up and let someone else have the spot light. The infamous Fifty-Cent would gladly take his place.
Marshall looked down at his cell phone and rolled his eyes once Dawn's number came up on the screen. Dawn was Kim's sister and this couldn't be good news. The last time he had even spoken to Dawn was when... "Hello?"
"Marshall? It's Dawn. Kim.. she's..."
Even though he was married to the woman of his dreams Marshall felt his heart sink into the bottom of his stomach as his ex-sister in law took a long, unnecessary pause in their conversation. After a moment her voice filled his ears again, assuring him that Kim had attempted suicide for the second time and she wasn't sure if she was going to make it this time.
"You didn't bring Hailie with you, right?"
Marshall croaked a no into the phone and hung up once Dawn told him which hospital Kim was at.
"Marshall, she's unstable. God, I thought she had grown up a little bit this year - boy was I wrong." Shanea growled into the phone, pacing around her deserted kitchen as she desperately tried to get supper on the table. "What do you mean your going to stay with her the next few days? Are you fucking crazy?"
"I'm not jealous! I don't give a fuck about Kim but I don't want my husband spending the night at his ex-wife's house! Can't you see what she's doing?" "I don't care if she has five hundred boyfriends, Marshall! Fuck! Whatever. Goodbye."
Marshall sighed into the phone as his end went dead. He knew telling Shanea he was going to stay with Kim for a few days wouldn't sit well but what else could he do? She had tried to kill herself - again. She needed help and he was the only person she could talk to.
"She's mad, isn't she?"
He didn't answer Kim as she spoke, turning away from the window to look at him. "Is Hailie okay?"
"Yeah, she's fine."
"You don't think she'll tell her, do you? I'm so stupid, Marshall. I don't want to hurt Hailie. I'm sorry - sometimes I just can't deal.." Marshall sat back down beside Kim on the bed and ran his fingertips through her hair. "Shh, Kim. Just relax, okay? Everything's going to be okay."
One week later.
"Marshall, don't leave, please? I miss you.." Kim whispered through her tears as she watched Marshall gather up his things to leave. He had a one way ticket back to California to see his wife and his kids and nothing was going to stop him. Shanea hadn't spoken to him much in the past week but as soon as he got home he planned on making everything better with her. He loved her more than anything and nothing, not his business, fame or ex-wife was going to get between what they had. He wasn't going to allow it.
"Kim, don't do this. We've both moved on, remember? You've got Eric now and he's good to you. He's doin' good by you and Whitney."
"I don't love him Marshall, I love you.. with all my heart. You're the reason I did this.." Kim lifted up her wrists to show Marshall the damage he had caused. All the pain he had brought her over the years was finally back firing on him. "Kim, a part of me is always going to love you but not like that, not the way I love Shanea, okay? It's over between us... I thought you understood that."
"I love you Marshall.." Kim assured, allowing him to step past her and into the driveway. He stared at her for what seems to be forever before shaking his head and disappearing down the walkway towards his SUV. He was going home to his family.
"Honey, I'm home.."
Madison and Hailie looked up from the TV in the Mather's living room quickly and squealed, pushing themselves towards the front door as their father emerged through the house. "Daddy! Daddy!" They each cried, wrapping their arms around his waist as he dropped his bags to the floor. "Daddy we missed you so much! How's mommy?" Hailie asked, squeezing him extra hard. "She's okay, baby. She sends her love and says she misses you.." Hailie smiled, bouncing away from Marshall and towards the back of the house to tell Shanea he was home.
"Shanea! Shanea.. daddy.. he's home!"
After a moment Shanea walked into the living room, surprising Marshall with a smile on her face and their son on her hip. Every time he saw Ronnie he looked older, more like himself. "Hi baby.." He whispered, taken back at her beauty - god how he had missed her. Things were definitely going to change now that he was back - more time with Shanea and his kids, less time at the office and dealing with everyone else's bullshit. He was going to be The Family Man. "I missed you..."
Shanea walked up to Marshall and placed a soft kiss on his lips, allowing him to take Ronnie into his arms after a moment.
"Hey there little man, dad's home..."
"I miss Madi and Ronnie.."
"Well dad? I do! They are my family too!" The little girl squealed, pushing herself away from her father as they entered the quiet, empty house. "I love them both and Shanea too! Even if you don't anymore!" Her voice got louder with every attempt to block out the pain her father had caused. First with Kim now Shanea? It was almost to much to bare.
"Hailie Jade! I love Shanea more than anything-- as much as I love you, okay? I'm going to bring her back home, I promise."
Hailie shook her head sadly, sitting down on the large couch alone. She didn't have her half sister to play with anymore and her little brother - she barely remembered what he looked like. "You keep saying that, dad.." Marshall sighed, defeated. He couldn't find the words to assure Hailie that their family would be back together soon so instead he just headed back towards his bedroom and shut the door. A familiar bottle of medicine called out to him from the dresser - a half a bottle of sleeping pills beckoning him. It had been nearly two full days since he had slept - his mind buzzing with ideas, songs - thoughts of Shanea. He was never going to get her back at the rate he was going. Choking back on a sob, Marshall swallowed down a few pills and turned towards his lonely bed.
Two days later.
"Em, you look like fuckin' hell." Proof assured - matter of fact, slapping hands with his best friend as they entered the tall building. Marshall just grunted a comment and tried to focus on his destination - anything but the numb pain in his chest. Dre's office never welcomed him lovingly - nothing ever did nowadays - but when Dre wanted to speak with him it usually meant more work, longer hours - less sleep. There weren't enough hours in the day anymore.
"Slim, yo man - where you been the past couple of days?"
"Catchin' up on sleep."
"Sleep? You don't need no fuckin' sleep - have a seat. I got this idea.."
A rapper's work was never done.
"By the look on your face man, I ain't even gonna ask.." Bizarre started, only to be given the look by his crew. Nothing had changed in the past few days and none of them were surprised. "Marshall - you actin' like a punk ass bitch you know? If I was you I'd hunt that bitch down and tell her she best know her roll and stop trippin' - she ain't nothing, fuck if that was my bitch.."
Suddenly, Marshall stood to his feet - glaring across the table at his longtime friend. "Well you ain't me, Denaun. Try not to fuckin' forget that - alright? I'll handle my shit - my fuckin' family - the way I want to." Slim Shady didn't give D12 a chance to back track or utter another word before he shoved the table away and slammed the office doors behind him. He was on his last fucking ropes with everyone - Shady Records, D12 - Dr. fuckin' Dre, Shanea - Kim.
Before he realized what was happening he had punched the side of the building, cussing several times as he tended to his nearly broken hand. "God damnit Shanea you fuckin' bitch! I should have fuckin' known better!" He stalked off towards his SUV, glancing over at his reflection in one of the large glass mirror windows. "This is all your fuckin' fault.." Marshall growled to himself, throwing another blind fist towards the window only to have it crack and shatter around him. His hand was definitely broken now. "Fuck!"
"God damnit... fuck.." His anger was fading quickly as the pain began to flow through his blood covered hand. Once he made it to his SUV he grabbed a shirt from the back seat and wrapped it around the open wound, pulling himself weakly into the drivers seat. He was supposed to pick Hailie up from Kim's at two p.m. but right now he could only hope he made it to the hospital.
Thirty minutes later.
"You'd think being a famous celebrity like yourself would get you some service around here." It was more of a statement then an invitation to start a conversation but Marshall looked up anyway, surprised to see Shanea standing at the emergency room door. He looked, so helpless - sitting in the waiting room with a soaked rag over his hand and tears in his eyes. "Shay.."
"Marshall, what's happened to you?" She asked softly, sitting down beside him in the small room. He took in a breath, having everything come back to him so quickly - everything he thought he had lost. She was there again and all was right in the world. "Shay, god.. I missed.. you.."
"I never meant for anything like this to happen, Em. I never meant to hurt you or Hailie I was just so.. unhappy. I really thought that you had picked your career, Kim - everything over me and your kids. I shouldn't have left.." Marshall looked down at his hand and winced in pain as he tried desperately to hold back the sobs that threatened to escape him. He had never cried over anything like this - maybe it was the pain, or maybe because Shanea had came back to him but he couldn't help it - couldn't hold it back anymore.
"God, Shay.. I love you so much. I swear to god I'll stop it all - no more of this bullshit... if we have to live in a fucking box on the side of the road I'll be with you and the kids every single second of the day just please.. please come back.." Shanea leaned into him and he could swear he smelt her perfume, the warm inviting scent of the woman he loved lingering around him as he opened his eyes and realized he was being woke from a quick nap; a large, burley woman shaking him roughly to assure that it was time to see the doctor.
"Mr. Mather's, is there anyone I can call to come help you? Is there a Mrs. Mathers?"
Marshall closed his eyes for a moment and forced himself down the hallway without answering the nurse. He wasn't really sure of anything anymore and maybe he needed more help then anyone could offer.
Two months, six days - three hours and seventeen minutes earlier.
"You're joking, right? It's Madison's birthday."
"I'll be back in the morning, Shay. She'll understand."
"She's five, Marshall! She's not going to understand." Marshall closed his eyes once Shanea began raising her voice. This was how it always started - then she'd give him the guilt trip and probably bring one of the kids into the fight for good measure. "You promised her! You said if anything you'd at least be here for her fucking birthday!" Before she realized what was happening she had crossed the room and was on him, screaming and throwing her fists like a psycho. Marshall grabbed both her wrists and pinned her between himself and the counter, staring at her as if she had lost her mind.
"I'm getting really sick of this shit, Shay. You know I have a responsibility to my fans! You knew what you were getting into before we got married! Stop blaming all of this fucking bullshit on me likes it's my fault I have to work!"
"Work!? You call hanging out with your boys and getting slammed work? I wish I had a fucking job like yours then Marshall because all I get to do is take care of YOUR kids and clean YOUR house then go to bed alone every night. This is the last straw Marshall, I'm on my last leg with you! If you leave this house on your daughters birthday then we are finished!"
There it was - the ultimatum he had been dreading. Shanea knew that he had to leave when Dre called for him. It wasn't as if he had a choice in the matter - there were people depending on him and Madison should understand that her father was a busy man.
"I'll be back in the morning - she won't even know I'm gone."
Shanea stared at her husband with her mouth hanging half open, tears streaming down her cheeks as she realized that his job, his business - everything he stood for was more important than his family. She couldn't even answer him as he assured her that he loved her and would be back 'before she knew it' - disappearing out the front door without another word.
"Mommy? Where are we going? Where's Hailie?"
Shanea didn't answer her daughter - just continued to pack the few things she could carry of her's, Madi's and Ronnie's. If Marshall Mather's thought for a second that she was going to be second best to anything he was wrong, it had went on for to long and he was in for a rude awakening whenever he decided to come back to his 'family'.
"Where's Hailie?! Isn't she coming to my birthday party?!" Madison screamed, throwing herself down on the floor which only caused her brother to begin to cry as well. "Madi, sweetheart - remember uncle Mike? His new big house? We are going to go visit him and the girls for your birthday. Wouldn't you like that?"
"I want Hailie to come."
"Hailie can't come with us, baby. She went to see her mommy this week, remember?"
"I don't care."
"Madi... come on now, be a good girl for me, please?" Shanea was fighting back her own tears for the sake of her children she would be strong. Marshall wasn't going to get the best of her - especially now that she was on her own with two small kids. Sometime's she wondered how she had messed everything up? If only she would have kept Madison to herself and never saw Marshall again things would be so much different, but she knew deep down she'd be even more miserable without him.
"Daddy's not coming either, is he..?" Madison asked, looking up at her mother as she dashed around the room grabbing everything valuable to her. "No, he's not.." She answered quickly, closing her eyes for a moment to regain her composure. Shanea loved her children, even Hailie Jade - with all her heart and soul but sometime she just wasn't sure what to do with them, if she was even being a good parent. Kids deserved two good parents not one trying so hard just to fail.
"Daddy still loves us, doesn't he?"
"Oh, Madi.." Shanea stopped in her tracks and went to her daughter, scooping her up tightly in her embrace. She went to Ronnie and held him up on her hip as well, hugging her two kids tightly. "Daddy loves you both so much, baby.. don't ever think for a second that he doesn't... he's just busy right now but maybe soon we'll be able to figure all this out and go back to the way things once were." Madison just nodded her tiny head and buried her face into her mother's shoulder.
"Thank you for calling Shady Records, may I ask who's on the line, please?" The beautiful secretary crossed her legs behind the desk and reach for a fingernail file, listening carefully to the voice on the other end of the phone. "Uh, huh? Okay, I'll give him the message - please hold." She blew a large pink bubble from her mouth and popped the gum loudly before pushing a button on the phone. "Has Mr. Mather's returned to work yet, Mr. Young?"
"Donna, I told you that Marshall was out for another two weeks. Damn, I told you that shit just a few hours ago."
"Oh, sorry - he has a call on line one. What should I tell her?"
"Take a message."
Dre went to hang up the phone only to have his dimwitted secretary assure him that she had already taken a message and it was from Mr. Mather's wife, Shanea - stating that she wanted to speak with him if there was any way possible. "Are you fucking with me, Donna? Shanea's on the phone?" This was definitely a turn of events - Marshall had been in rehab for two weeks after breaking his hand and nearly having a nervous breakdown in the doctors office and now, after all this time Shanea wanted to talk to him? A part of Dre wanted to cuss her out, tell her that Marshall had moved on to some other stupid whore that was just going to fuck his life up but he knew Shanea, and knew what she had went through so instead he told Donna to transfer the line directly to his personal office.
"Yo, Shanea - that you girl?"
"Dre? Where's Marshall?"
"You mean you haven't heard?"
"Is it true? He's..."
"Getting help, Shay. Marshall, he's really fucked up nowadays, since you been gone - over doing it mostly, but he misses you. Every time I talk to him he mentions your name.."
"I want to see him... if I can.."
"I don't know, girl.. I don't know if he can take being rejected.."
There was no mistaking the sob in her voice, or the crack of emotion in her throat. "No.. I want to make things better..." Dre smiled faintly, nodding towards Proof and Bizarre as they let themselves into the office with puzzled looks on their face. "Alright, girl - let me transfer you back to Donna and she'll give you the stats on where my man's staying, but listen - don't go fucking with him right now, alright? If you want to be with him then let him know."
"Okay, Dre... thanks.." Shanea muttered into the phone before he put her on hold to get back in touch with Donna.
"Yo, what's up? Who was that? Another reporter tryin' to get in on Slim's recovery?"
Dre grinned from ear to ear, wondering if he should milk this for all it was worth or let his boys in on the information. "Naw, that wasn't no reporter.. some other girl tryin' to figure out where her man disappeared to."
"Kim again? She knows where Marshall's at."
"Well who the fuck was it, Dre? Damn - always fuckin' with people."
"It was Shanea. She's going to go talk to Shady, see if she can mend his broken heart."
The look on Proof and Bizarre's face was priceless, they didn't know weather to jump for joy or go hunt that bitch down and beat her ass for the shit she put Marshall through. "You kiddin', right? She ain't talked to him in months." Dre shrugged his shoulders and went back to signing the paper work before him, "I don't know, man - I guess she's had enough of being lonely. You know those cats was made for each other."
"Mr. Mather's, you have a visitor."
Marshall kept his eyes glued to his paper, scribbling out a line of a new song he was trying to think up before he looked towards the door - nearly falling out of his chair as Madison ran into the room at full speed. "Daddy!" She looked so much older, even though it had only been two months since he had last seen her already her hair was longer, she was taller. "Madi, baby? Oh my god, what are you doing here?" He wrapped his arms so tightly around his daughter that she squeaked and giggled, hugging him back just as tightly.
"Daddy! You've been working for a long time now, when can we come home? I promise I'll be good, good girl. I promise."
"Baby, I.." Marshall closed his eyes for a moment, running a hang over his pale face. What was going on? He had been so alone for the past few months and now all of a sudden, out of nowhere his daughter was right in front of him wondering when they could be a family again. "You're mom.." He croaked, feeling the pit of his stomach tighten. Madison was staring up at him with those beautiful eyes, "Mommy's here."
He felt sick.
Marshall looked up as the door to his room opened slowly and Shanea, the love of his life - the every being of his soul, stepped into the room with their son Ronnie on her hip, tickling him slightly as he squealed and reach for Marshall from across the room.
In two quick steps he was across the room and holding her in his arms, burring his face in the sweet scent of her hair as a sob of happiness and grief escaped him. He didn't want to cry - not in front of his children, he wanted to be strong and keep them there with him forever but after a moment he stepped back from Shanea and took a long, hard look at her as if he was embedding her image into his brain.
"..you're so beautiful.." Was the only thing he could utter as she smiled and handed the baby over to him. "Da-da," Ronnie assured, poking Marshall in the chest with a tiny finger. Marshall smiled and kissed Ronnie on the forehead, causing him to giggle and pull away. "Daddy, we missed you - now where's Hailie?!" Madison demanded, searching the room quickly only to be disappointed. "Hailie's not here."
"We'll call her, Madi - in a few minutes, she'll be down here I promise.." Marshall muttered, never taking his eyes off Shanea as she stared back at him - unsure of what to do or say. She wanted to kiss him, tell him that she loved him so much and couldn't live without him but all in due time, she knew better then to fold into old habits but it had been so long and he was still so sexy. She couldn't be without this man - even if he told her that he'd only be home once a year, she was lost without him. "I love you," He assured, not caring what her response would be, but to his surprise she whispered, "I love you," back.
Kim walked into the facility holding onto Hailie's hand protectively. She was trying so hard to be a better person and she just knew bringing Hailie down here to meet up with her sister and step mother was the right thing to do. There was no mistaking it anymore - Marshall was in love with Shanea and Shanea was doing right by him, she loved him so much and would never do anything to hurt him, anything near what she had in their relationship. If she couldn't have Marshall at least she could know that he was with someone that would treat him like he deserved to be treated, because in the past few months she had realized that he wasn't such a terrible person after all.
Proof, Bizarre and Dre looked up as Kim made her way into the hall where they were all sitting - Madison and Ronnie in the floor with Proof's two girls playing quietly while Marshall and Shanea talked alone in his room. "Hailie!" Madison yelled suddenly, scattering to her feet as her half-sister walked into the room and gasped, running to meet her sister in the middle; giving her a huge hug. "Madi! I missed you so much! Where's Shay!?"
"Ronnie! Hi baby, look how big you are!" Hailie squealed, scooping her little brother up in her arms as Marshall's door opened and Shanea appeared in the hallway. She cut her eyes to Kim briefly before walking towards Hailie, kneeling down to her level. This was the part that scared the hell out of her - if anything she didn't want Hailie to be angry with her for leaving. "Hey, baby." Hailie looked up at Shanea with a blank expression on her face, she was feeling so many different emotions at once it was almost overwhelming. "Hey.."
Shanea wrapped her arms around Hailie's tiny form and brought her into her embrace, holding her tightly in her arms for a long moment. "Listen to me, Hay - I missed you so much while I was gone. I thought about you every second." Shanea assured, kissing Hailie's temple softly before holding her at arms length to get a good look at her. "I love you.."
Hailie finally smiled, looking down at her feet shyly. "I know, Shay. I missed you too! I'm so glad you're here right now." They hugged again tightly, causing Shanea choke back on a sob. "I'm here, baby - for good and I promise I won't ever leave again." Hailie nodded slightly, "Okay, you promise?"
"I promise, baby."
After a moment Shanea stood to her feet, standing just a few inches away from Kim. She forced a smile, realizing that this wasn't the time or the place to let their past interfere with the situation. "Kim, thanks for bringing Hailie down here. You're daughter.. she's so beautiful.." Kim smiled and thanked her quietly, "It's no problem, Shanea. I'm happy for you and Marshall and Hailie, she's both of ours now." Shanea nodded her head and smiled, thanking her softly as Marshall walked into the room.
"Madi, Hailie, baby - uncle Proof's gonna take you two and his girls out tonight, okay? Whatever you want, my treat. Shanea and I are going to go home and talk, is that okay with you?" Hailie and Madison jumped up together and went towards Proof's little girls who were about the same age as they were. "Yeah! We're going to have so much fun!" They all assured, giggling and running off towards the doors. "Girls! Be sure to do whatever Proof tells you and behave, okay? I'll come pick you up in the morning." Marshall continued, grinning over at Proof who seemed less than thrilled to have to deal with four girls under the age of ten tonight, but he'd do anything for Marshall - especially after what he had been through the past few months.
"Thank you, daddy! We love you!" Madi and Hailie assured as Proof ushered them out the door and towards his vehicle. "Da-da! Wove you!" Ronnie assured as well, reaching out for Marshall from the ground. Marshall walked over to his son and picked him up quickly, holding if as if he'd never let go.
"Kim, thanks for bringing Hailie down. I really appreciate everything you've done.." He assured her softly, receiving a nod from her before she turned to leave. Bizarre followed her out the door, throwing his hand up before he disappeared down the street towards his own ride, leaving Marshall, Shanea and Ronnie alone in the small building.
"Let's go home."
"Wow, nothing's really changed.." Shanea assured quietly as they walked into their Detroit home. She glanced over at Marshall who was busy talking with Ronnie, singing him to sleep softly under his breath. She felt like a terrible person - taking his kids away for such a long time, her heart ached just looking at him.
"I'm going to go put him down in the crib, okay?" Marshall muttered, walking off towards the back of the house where Ronnie's room was. After a few minutes he returned to the living room where she sat motionless, staring down at the pictures that were scattered around the coffee table. Pictures of herself and Marshall, Hailie when she was a baby, Madison and Ronnie just a few months ago.
Marshall sat down beside Shanea slowly, frowning once his realized she was crying - hot tears streaming down her cheeks as she tried desperately to wipe them away before he realized. "Shay? What's wrong, baby? Please don't.." He whispered, wrapping an arm around her shoulders. Shanea rested her head on his chest and sobbed quietly, clutching the fabric of his shirt in her hands. "Marshall, I'm so sorry.. for everything, I never should have..."
"Shh, baby. Don't do this.. it's okay, you're here now.. you came back and that's all that matters.."
"No, it's not, Em. I left you.. god, I never should have done that. We're married - we should work through our problems not run away from them." She didn't want him to forgive her for leaving, be okay with the fact that she took his kids away from him, she wanted him to scream and be angry and never forgive her. Marshall wiped away the tears that fell freely from her beautiful eyes and kissed her lips softly, causing a soft moan to escape her throat. "Shanea, baby - you did what you had to do and I understand that. I never should have let all this bullshit in my life get the best of me.. from now on I promise you it's us.. you're my number one priority, you and the kids and nothing else.."
"..but your music is your life, Em. It's always been like that and I shouldn't be so selfish.."
Marshall shook his head no and smiled at her, cupping her chin in his hand to bring her eyes up to meet his. "Look at me, Shay. I told Dre a few weeks ago that I wanted to retire - I'm finished being the prodigy of Dr. Dre, it's someone else's turn.."
"It's the truth, Shay. I wanted to come find you so many times in the past few weeks - hire millions of people to hunt you down and bring you back to me but my pride just wouldn't allow it. I was so scared you hated me.. I couldn't... live through that if you said you hated me."
Shanea closed her eyes, forcing back another sob. "I don't hate you, Em. I love you so much.. I just want to be with you.. no matter what." Marshall kissed the top of her head and brought her into his embrace, holding her tightly against his body. "I love you too baby, you're everything to me.."
"That's when I wake up, alarm clock screamin' - there's birds singin', it's springin', Hailie's outside swingin'. I walk right up to Shay and kiss her, tell her I miss her, Hailie just smiles and wink's at her little sister almost as if to say, and when I'm gone just carry on - don't mourn, rejoice every time you hear the sound of my voice, just know that I'm lookin' down on you smilin', and I didn't feel a thing so baby don't feel no pain just smile back."