how strange to have woken up in a home she barely recognized. sure, dinah knew the basic structure of the house, but it was more than a house. it was a well lived-in home, with framed pictures on the wall of a wedding she didn't have, trips she didn't recall taking, and the echoes of a baby she didn't remember having.

she had woken up next to slade wilson, which wasn't as unusual as it sounded, but most times when this happened, either one of them slipped away without words. this time, a confrontation was followed up by the happy cries of an infant in the room just feet away. this perplexed dinah because she wasn't the type to ever want kids. they both rushed to see what the commotion was all about, and even though the child clung to her happily, slapped her cheeks and cried mam-ba! she didn't recognize himat all.

their heated conversation would take a back seat as she handed the child off to slade with light disgust and bewilderment and exited the room. dinah needed answers, so she went looking. all around her, the house felt so lived in and different. his clothes were strewn on the floor, there were drawers with his stuff in it, and even more strange, there was food in the kitchen that needed to be properly cooked, not just heated up in the microwave. this was not how dinah usually lived. she was a messier person, one that usually left wet towels on the floor, a trail of hair and lost bobby pins in her wake, and two day old cereal bowls in the sink. she certainly wasn't the type to have single cup coffee pots and all the ingredients to make acai bowls and pizza.

it was a strange shock to the system, one she didn't understand. she knew there were always larger forces at play, masters pulling the strings of puppets and making them do things against their own freewill. this could have been one of those times. dinah and slade didn't have a life together, not one this intertwined, which weddings and rings and babies. that was not even a fantasy of hers, let alone actual reality. dinah and slade...they didn't have much between them but sexual tension and bottled up emotions, but both were about as emotionally unavailable as they came. in fact, either of them could be textbook definition.

that's what worried her so much now. this infant, whose name she had yet to learn, could not have come from her. she never wanted kids, not after isla lost her child with owen. even before that, she wasn't interested. now, she woke up in this strange cookie-cutter life with a man she couldn't look in the eye after they fucked with a small version of them screaming excitedly when he first saw them.

when she made her way back in the room where she found the baby, dinah also found slade on the floor with it, like they were bonding over something. "what did i miss?" she mumbled, looking down at them curiously. she had to admit, it was a strangely endearing image, seeing the two of them. so, unsure of what else to do, dinah joined them, sitting down close enough for the giggling child to boogie over to her at top speed. "little slade," she cooed playfully as he crawled into her lap. it was a strange feeling, to have a small person she didn't recognize seem to know more than she did, so she went with it, putting her arms around him and holding onto him. he tugged at her messy hair, shouting "mam-ba! mam-baaaa!" over and over again, and she smiled. "close enough, kid."