Doodle dreamcatcher by shadowwolf13 of Catch a Dream.
This 5-inch hoop is wrapped in caramel thread for Doodle's hair and webbed in aqua for his eyes. A crystal hangs from the center for his preference for quartz crystal. His art supplies are scattered over the webbing and his name formed from wire and sits at the top of the web. An aqua thread is provided for hanging.
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Later, Doodle reflected that he should have known something was up. Something beyond Crystal’s now-normal erratic behavior and flatline post-meth, post-partum depression. She’d been slinking around Hathaway House for weeks, alternately avoiding baby Kaylin and holding her close, not letting anyone else touch her. The whole house was in a state of perpetual mild alert. Hypervigilance. Ready to jump in if anything happened, and making sure Kaylin was okay.
So Doodle was actually relieved when the knock on his door turned out to be Crystal, lugging Kaylin in one of those carseat baby carriers, diaper bag slung over her other shoulder. “Can you watch her?” Crystal asked. Abrupt. No hello. Her voice was hoarse, crackly, and her energy crackled around her like solar flares around an eclipse. She got that from Kellen, that eclipse.
Doodle nodded, of course, opening the door further. Crystal hauled the carrier in and set it on the cleanest spot of his table, dumped the diaper bag on the floor. She squatted down and stroked the baby’s hand. Just once. “I have to do something,” she said, and he never knew if she was talking to him or Kaylin.
Doodle shrugged anyway, picking up scattered tubes of paint and getting them out of the baby’s reach. He eyed Crystal furtively. Shaking a little, but she didn’t vibrate like she would if she were high. She hadn’t since she got back from the desert - stayed clean for the pregnancy. “It’s cool. You go do your thing. I’ll take care of her.”
She stood and looked at him, and there was something in her eyes, in her expression, that hadn’t been there in ages. Maybe not since her first month in Vegas. She looked young again. Young. Lost. Broken. And he itched to draw her like that - but she turned away, headed for the door. “Thanks. I - I gotta go. I’m sorry.”
“It’s okay,” he replied to a closing door.
He squatted down as she had, stroked the baby’s hand. She was sleeping, but grabbed his finger reflexively. He smiled and sat beside her, grabbing a nearby sketchbook and pencil; he fumbled it open with his free hand and began to sketch chubby infant cheeks, a nimbus of soft golden hair, the sweep of eyelashes, the dimpled elbows.
He spent a few hours like that. Freed himself from Kaylin’s grasp after a bit and drew her from more of a distance. Drew Crystal in the doorway. Drew til his hand tightened; wincing, he worked it back and forth, fist and flex, until he heard the baby starting to fuss. Smiling, he popped the lock and lifted the baby, settling her warm little self against his shoulder to jiggle her -
And saw a slip of paper on the back of the carrier. Plain white, folded four times.
Giving him custody of Kaylin.
He didn’t remember the rest of that night very well - panic set in. Shock. Disbelief. He ran down to Martin. Couldn’t find Griffin or Axis. Martin drafted Petra and Arthur to go look for Crystal, helped Doodle figure out how to manage for the night… dragged the crib up from Anthony’s apartment, where Crystal had been staying. No clues there - Crystal hadn’t taken anything.
He should have known.
Days later, when he flipped back through that sketchbook and saw the picture of Crystal leaving…
He’d drawn her wearing the charred remains of Kellen’s jacket.
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