2018-06-24 - LOTUS INCEPTION: Steven Universe

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Title: LOTUS INCEPTION: Steven Universe

On an outing to FunLand Arcade, Steven and Rose Quartz run into Fate, and she helps him cope with the fact that the person he is with isn't truly Rose Quartz, and look beyond loss to find the courage to press on in an imperfect world outside the Book of Darkness.


Fate Testarossa, Steven Universe, Mikoto Minagi as Rose Quartz


Steven's Dream World - Beach City Boardwalk Plaza

OOC - IC Date:

6/24/2018 - ??-??-????

<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed.

A lovely day with a trip to the Pyramid Temple, won in a bet (a rigged bet) but one everyone was a winner in. Even pearl! She found a human food to enjoy! Something no one ever expected. Not even Garnet.

After warping home, the family went about their business, though Steven, still hyped up from the trip, and most likely too much sugar from massive strawberries, wants to do more! "Mom! Moooom! Let's go do something else! Like, uh." It takes him some time to think. "The Arcade maybe? No one can beat Garnet's high scores, but someone has to take her off her digital throne!"


It was overcast. An ocean breeze moves leaves and rustles street signs. The sense of rain has been about all day, but no sign of it yet. It has been there all day since Steven woke up from another awful dream. The forecast shows no signs of it relenting, but singing and running in the rain was always fun as well!

The Beach City Boardwalk Plaza likewise does not slow down in the least either, as native Tokyo citizens come down to the beach to enjoy a little slice of Delmarva. Ronaldo is out handing samples of fries in front of the Frymans as Peedee helps customers flowing in. Nanefua is educating some customers who are curious on how pizza is made.

The place is alive as ever. It feels like they never left.

"What games do you like?" he asks his mother, Rose. "Have you played any yet? They are really fun!?

It is obvious he is trying to distract himself from something. Most likely his poor sleep pattern. He looks tired, going on an unknown fount of energy that just seems to keep him animate, regardless of how he feels. As if every thing he wanted to do was the most important thing in the world.

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Strawberries the size of people - strawberries the size of Rose Quartz - the biggest strawberries he's ever seen! Steven's mother had leapt so gracefully atop one with him in her arms, to allow him to survey the wondrous place from atop the towering dessert-fruits.

The seeds were as big as his palm.


"Of course, Steven!" Rose smiled, to the idea of the arcade. "Even if we can't beat Garnet, it will be fun!"

(The glint of glasses as Garnet smirks from the corner. A silent thumbs up.)


The boardwalk is bustling and lively, almost desperately energetic in the face of the overcast skies - as if everyone wants to get in as much fun as possible before the rains fall. Rose Quartz walks without an umbrella; she is fearless in the face of nature.

Steven has personally seen her jump into a hundred rain puddles, after all.

"Oh, Steven," Rose bubbles, holding a sample of fries in her hands - down low enough for Steven to reach, of course. "I love all the games. Humans are so inventive! The rules are so fascinating! Why, they're all lovely."

They're all lovely, and she fully fails to describe any of them at all.

Her smile is warm. "I can't wait to get to the arcade with you, Steven. We'll have so much fun."

<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [Infinity Institute (5)] has posed.

It's becoming a little harder for Fate to know whose dream she's in she's in. That's because most of those worlds are Tokyo - and most of them are overlapping so well. She doesn't know which is the border unto the next.

It's at least a little easier to understand where she is down by the Bay. Because this is no part of Tokyo she's ever seen - but there are /parts/ of it that she's seen.

<Landmark Noted.>

From this side of the boardwalk Fate can just make out the profile of the side of the Temple. "Yes..." Fate agrees quietly.

Putting her hands in her pockets, the breeze whips her hair up and she looks overhead at the overcast skies, the threat of rain was thick. After her own dream...

She was beginning to wonder if the pall cast over this world of shared dreams was her.


"I thought he'd be here with Garnet... or Pearl... or Amethyst..." Fate converses quietly with her Device.

The fact that he isn't. The fact that he's with someone she's never seen before... it tugs at her heartstrings in a way that feels far too familiar.

Right now Fate's in a yellow and white striped shirt, a light black jacket and a white skirt. The ribbons in her hair are more bright blue bows.

She'd been leaning against the side of Fryman's as the two passed by...

"... there's something a little different about her."

Maybe it's how it feels like she's treating humans like a wonderful curiosity. Yet it doesn't feel like she's... there's anything wrong about it.

It's like a traveler from another world on a permanent vacation.

"Okay. Wish me luck."

<Good Luck Sir.>

Stepping out onto the Boardwalk, she begins to walk Steven's way pretty casually, a smile on her expression. "Oh - um - Hey Steven!" She says as she flags him down, coming up along beside the two, before asking, "Remember me?"

This isn't a question out of insecurity. Right now in any dream - whether a person knows her or not is always up for debate. What role she has in their dream if any. On some level though, everyone she's ever met knows her somewhere deep down.

"Enjoying a day out with your mom?" She asks - because it seems pretty obvious to her who she must be. Or at least it's obvious to her she must be. She always thought of Garnet - Amethyst - and Pearl as Steven's mothers. But... apparently she was missing a detail.

She offers Rose a smile, though it seems a little sad.

<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed.

She ah, didn't say what game-- eh who was he kidding! It was Rose! She loved /every/ game. "There are lots of video games we can play together! I think--" Wait, what was that.

He snaps his gaze to a corner. Huh. He swore he saw a familiar shine. Oh well.

"--I think we can get far if we work together, haha!"

A familiar voice has Steven turning to meet them. "Fate! Hiya! How are you?" It seems in this dream, he does know her. In fact, he knows everyone he knew before the event. Some of whom can even be see wandering the boardwalk. Some of the Senshi and HiME met could be out there at this very time! This place just seemed to be the magical hangout for some reason.

Noticeable to Fate for certain is that lovely roseate Gem once in Steven's navel is gone, as a normal one just barely peaks out from under the shirt. And the person(?) next to him seems to have it instead, same location. "Yeah, totally! OH," he exclaims suddenly. "I don't think I introduced you! Yeah, this is my mom, Rose Quartz! She's super nice and strong and totally fun to hang out with!

A look to Rose. "Her name is Fate! She helps save the day too! She shoots magical explosions and can fly!" That is a terrible distilling of Fate's wheelhouse of abilities, but not inaccurate of what she is known for, at least by the boy.

"So! What brings you out here today? Came to hang out at the boardwalk?" he asks politely. It was nice to get to talk to friends and catch up, and he hasn't got to see her for a long while!

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Rose Quartz smiles, serene and warm and bright, as one of Steven's little friends emerges. She lets him introduce her, her eyes shining with love and curiosity. She leans down, curls cascading over broad shoulders. "Hello, Fate! I'm Rose Quartz. It's lovely to meet another defender of Earth... you must be very brave."

She really does have the feeling of a stranger to her.

Someone who so loves a world she doesn't understand...

She offers Fate a fry from the sample pack she has acquired, because humans need to eat.

"The boardwalk is lovely this time of year," Rose looks out, over the bustling crowds. "Everyone starts to get out of their shells after the winter chill... soon it will even be warm enough to swim!" She grins, excited. "The sand in your toes, the sun on your skin - it's wonderful!"

She smiles down to Steven. "Aren't you excited for summer, Steven?" She asks as if summer will arrive - as if he could stay here forever.

As if these lazy days...

<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [Infinity Institute (5)] has posed.

"Oh I'm great!" Fate confides in how she is. And when introduced. "It's very nice to meet you ma'am." Fate even gives a small bow. If Rose is familiar with Tokyo then Fate might seem a little too foreign to be actually Japanese. She's still subdued though because she understands what... she must be.

Fate smiles her eyes moving a little downcast under the gaze of the gem, "Ah... yes. Bardiche and I do do those things." <Yes Sir.> The Device Chimes, feeling comfortable doing so after such an introduction. But as Rose compliments her, it's like a critical hit. To actually get complimented by a mother figure. Suddenly looking down, all fidgety as she shuffles from foot to foot, "Um! I'd say it's less that I'm brave... and more that I try to be brave. I am trying my hardest for my new home though... I came from... somewhere else far away."

But as her eyes move down - it's to the spot on Steven's navel - where instead of a gem there's a belly button. She tries... not to stare too long.

In fact she's staring at how it's not present on Steven - when she is offered a fry. And looks up quickly. "Oh- Oh! Thank you!" Taking the fry between two fingers she stares at it for a moment in wonder, then eats it. "I was a bit hungry..." And then she nods quickly, "It's... very nice. I enjoyed our class trip to Okinawa last summer. The beaches there felt a lot like this place..."

And Steven asks what brings her out here... "Um! Well I was hoping to find you actually - can I walk with you two for a little?" And assuming she gets some assent, she starts walking alongside them down the boardwalk. Now a little subdued, "Um - you see... I guess when I said things were great. I meant they were slightly... less than great. There was something... I wanted to ask you for advice on."

Taking a deep breath. She begins, "You ever have those moments where you feel like... something in your life is just missing? You see... I had this strange dream last night. And it really bothered me... it's not that there was anything wrong about it... I was just living happily with my family."

It feels almost rehearsed - at least a little. Like this has been her tact with several people now. And the reason is because Fate has chosen the strategy she thinks would resonate with most of them initially, "Some parts of it made me feel really happy actually... but the thing that bothered me is..." She stops looking down and starts looking over Steven's way, "... such a world can't be real. So much in it just couldn't actually happen... and it kept bothering me and bothering me until I just..."

There's a silence that lingers in the air for a few moments, before she finishes, "... woke up."

<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed.

Steven reaches out to try and stop Rose from offering that fry, but recoils with a smirk and a face to his forehead. She has done that to so many people today. It was adorable, even to her son. "I am super ready for summer!" he exclaims. Maybe he will get to surf again!

"Oh, I didn't know that you weren't from Tokyo! We can be foreign buddies!" Is that even a term? Apparently it is now. He doesn't notice the stare due to being fired up about the coming summer fun. "Ohhhh I remember that! Yeah, who woulda thought there would be badguys doing bad stuff on our vacation spot! Good thing we went, huh?"

And it seems like something is troubling Fate. "O-Oh. Well, you know you can talk to us about it if you need someone to listen or help." Always a go-getter for his friends. "Yeah! I..." He stops and looks down. "I have had weird dreams recently. Sometimes I can't sleep. I dunno what it is."

But what Fate speaks of is different. A good dream. Too good. "Those aren't fun. It's almost like they tease you until you are able to open your eyes. I'm so sorry you had one of those, Fate. I am sure there were things in it you wished were real, but aren't."

Steven says this in a sincere way, trying his best to comfort her. Though she seems perturbed more than someone normally would be. But why? It was just a dream after all. Did it held something so disturbing and different that it shook her even when she was awake?

He feels like, if he had everything he wanted in a dream, and found out it was fake and went through what Fate did... he wouldn't know what to do. Steven looks to Rose Quartz, to see what insight she can provide. Maybe she can help comfort her?

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Rose Quartz smiles so supportively to this girl who struggles so much with support. "Far away, huh?" She giggles, behind a hand, as she straightens up. "I know a thing or two about that!"

Because, as Steven so helpfully explains, they're foreign buddies.


"Bad guys get up to all sorts of trouble, but we're always there to stop them," Rose bobs her head in a nod. "We won't let them interrupt our summer fun, right, Steven?" He wrote a song about it, you know. A song about how they'd always save the day. It was a lovely song. She was so proud of him.

Rose blinks as Steven tries to stop her offering the fries, only to laugh again. "Oh, Steven, don't worry! There's plenty for everyone!" It may well be that she's taken up the fries /just/ to offer them to others - after all, she doesn't need to eat.

Though she has eaten, if Steven wanted her to.

She's always attentive to what Steven wants.

And what Steven wants, right now - fumbling over his words in the way only children do - is to help his little friend Fate. Rose Quartz looks up at the clouds, collecting over the sky. Looks back down, down to the children. She's very tall. They're very small.

"It sounds very scary," Rose's voice is nothing but sympathetic, speaking both to Fate and Steven. "To have such wonderful things, and then have them taken away... it must feel as if the world is taunting you."

She reaches down, places her free hand on Steven's shoulder. "To wake up from a world like that... wouldn't it hurt?" Her words are so painfully genuine.

"I'm so sorry to hear you've been having bad dreams... both of you. Perhaps some warm milk will help - Greg's always telling me how warm milk fixes everything, you know." The sort of solutions someone would give if they'd looked at humanity from the outside and perhaps guessed at their motivations. "We'll find a way to make your dreams nice again, really."

She looks so pained by the thought that perhaps their dreams aren't as kind as they ought to be.

She must just be worried about her son.

<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [Infinity Institute (5)] has posed.

There's this faint bob of her head, this slow blink of her eyes when Steven says there are things she wishes were real. "Oh yes. There's a lot in it that I wish was real..."

She's about to say more - when Rose Quartz looms. She knows what Steven said. That she's very strong.

And right now she's at least three times taller than her.

Her words... they sound... so kind...


For a moment, when Rose asks if it would hurt, Fate flinches - going a shade paler.

For a while she's all hands - and feet.

"Warm milk would be nice..." She mumbles. But then steadying herself with a deep breath she looked up at the Giant Woman. "And it did hurt... but it hurt in a good way. It... bothered me in a good way. Because it allowed me to accept certain things..."

She then looks over at Steven, "I... don't think I ever told you..." It's really understandable that she didn't how painful it is, "...but my mother and I never had a good relationship..."

Understatement much?

There's this faint pause, as her eyes hesitantly look over at Rose out of her periphery. "...I did a lot of terrible things to try to make her happy. Hoping that I would get to live with her like you two are right now."

Again - she looks back and away, "For the longest time I wanted that more than anything else in the world."

She takes this deep breath, "But... after that dream... I think I've accepted... even if she came back to me... it just wouldn't be possible. She's... gone." She says this sadly - with so much sympathy, "And even if she were here... there was just... too much between us..."

Looking straight ahead - she seems faintly abstracted, "Some things aren't meant to be... some things just... are."

<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed.

"No way," Steven says with gusto and a fist pump. Badguys might as well go on home and stop wasting their time!

He feels that soft large palm on his shoulder. Comforting in this moment. She was so near, and everything would be okay. It had to be okay. "It... it would..." He touches a hand to hers, and looks to Fate. "D... Did you deam of her and you... being together?" he asks, a lump in his throat, already imagining what it could have been like.

But there's more to his choking. There's a weight in his chest. A pull of familiarity, one he cannot understand.

Or does not want to admit is real.

Fate continues with her story. When she says 'gone', a raindrop falls. it hits Steven in the forehead, and runs down his face, much as a tear would. The sensation of someone important being gone and that water falling makes him feel a chill inside. a penumbral cold that reaches for his heart.

"But... but wouldn't you want to at least experience it in a dream? Or is it just.. too different to appreciate? Too much of a contrast?" Something about this feels eerily familiar. But he has never experienced anything like this.

Has he? He looks back to his mother.

A few more raindrops fall.

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Rose Quartz is large; she contains multitudes.

She is a hundred stories told by a hundred people.

She is a pillar of strength and a font of wisdom and a loving mother and...

Her head lowers, eyes shadowed by those voluminous pink curls. Drip, drip, goes the rain, down past follicles made of solid light, down over a forehead almost the same shade as the humans she so loves, down cheeks like tears.

"That must have been so difficult," she says, to Fate, on the matter of her mother. "I'm sorry to hear it..."

That hand on Steven's shoulder is firm, supportive, /there./ She is /here./ She is present; she is real; she loves him.

She tilts her head back up, and looks to him, searching for something in him this time. "Steven..." Her voice is quiet, gentle. "... would it really be too different?"

Drip, drip, goes the rain, down past a dress like flower petals, down between bare toes. There's no point to jumping in rain puddles now.

"Wouldn't you be happy, Steven?"

<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [Infinity Institute (5)] has posed.

"I... did." Fate answers Steven. "I also met someone I never had... my big sister, Alicia." And to Rose- "It... was." She answers her sympathy.

The rain drips down around her. It dampens her hair. Her ribbons. Fate does not even try to shield herself.

Fate Testarossa is the storm.

Steven asks her a question, and she considers how best to answer it. As she does - there's a hand upon Steven's shoulder.

It feels so loving. So supportive.

So possessive.

For a moment she has the realization of what it would feel like to be a cherished object rather than one cast aside into the refuse.

The rain falls.

And Fate stares ahead. "I thought I did. If you'd asked me before the dream I'd say I'd want that so much..." There's this faint smile, which seems pinched at the edges, "So much that it hurts."

She keeps her eyes right on that arm on Steven's shoulder. "Now... I'd say no. If I could have her back right now - I'd want to work towards that. So one day we could be mother and daughter - but that's not something we could have right away. She'd need to change... and I'd need to heal. And I can't heal by pretending nothing happened between us."

She says quietly, "She hurt me. And a dream can't erase that."

She finally can take her eyes off Rose's hand, "If it were just that we were strangers... even if it was no fault of her own that we were... I think I'd need time all the same. So we could learn who each of us are... piece by piece."

<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed.

Fate's story is beginning to upset Steven. Because it was sad. It was unfair for her to go through this.

Because he feels somehow he can relate. His mother was right here, but in his heart, there's a sense of understanding this caliber of loss. A relation of unknown origin. But how could he have known how this feels. "It... it could be! Humans have complicated things they go through!" he says towards her, worried for Fate.

"I-I would be happy! But what about my friends? I don't care about myself, I care about you and the Crystal Gems and everyone else..."

Something snaps together in Steven's mind as the rain comes down harder.

"What if... the dream was like that... but was about someone that didn't get to have a life she fought so hard for. Gave everything to see it happen... but could never be there?" A pause to attempt re-composure fails. "What then?"

He looks at Fate expectantly. Most of those words came from somewhere Steven did not understand. A place where tidbits of memories and feelings are beginning to breach out of, reach out of, to claim the place where they belong.

He begins to grip Rose's hand firmly. Quite firmly. "What if they were here, and those around them didn't want to separate from them?"

These feelings... what were they? A place, a time unlike the one they were in. Of happiness and sadness, where things went different. A place that...

Feels much more like home now.

<Pose Tracker> Mikoto Minagi [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> Rose's Theme (Music Box) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Gz0caqS0OM

Fate talks about how it hurts, and Rose Quartz looks away.

The sample fries drop from her other hand, to a growing puddle of raindrops.

Her voice is quiet, a note of sadness like the twang of an acoustic guitar. "... I understand what you're saying, Fate." What she's saying to Steven - what she's making him realise. What she's done.

Rose Quartz loves Steven Universe more than anything in the world.

She cannot do anything but.

Because, in this world...

Rose shakes her head, and smiles, squeezing his hand. "Oh, Steven. Oh, Steven..." Her voice trails off, as the rain falls down.

Someone like that - someone who never got a chance to share their life with the people important to them...

"You really... just wanted to... oh, Steven, I'm so proud of you."

She's said it a hundred times before - so why does it feel so final, now?

Why does it feel like an ending now?

Why does it feel like he'll never be happy here now?

"Steven." Rose Quartz turns to face her son, kneeling down in front of him. She opens her arms, wraps him up in a tight hug unless he protests. It's impossible to see her face for all the curls; her tone is serious. "Do you remember what I told you, in our tape?"

The tape he found in Lion's mane - the tape which must have been so troublesome to play, so many years later.

The tape from another world entirely.

Drip, drip, and it's not the rain any more. They're tears from shining eyes, as Rose pulls back, hands going to rest on his shoulders. "We can't both exist. But I am half of you, Steven. I am always, always with you," a hand presses against her navel, covering that gem. "And I do love being you, Steven. You're a human being... and I couldn't be happier, Steven. Because I am here. I'm right here."

She smiles, hand lifting to wipe away a tear. It's bittersweet. "... and you have taken care of them, Steven. I wish I could be by your side to take care of you... but you have so many wonderful friends here to help you." She looks aside, to Fate.

"Do you remember when I said... this world is full of so many possibilities? I'm so glad you're one of them, Steven. You're extraordinary." The warmth in her voice and her eyes seems to ward away any trace of the rain's chill. "And you're going to do so many extraordinary things - and I'll love every second of them."

<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [Infinity Institute (5)] has posed.

What then?

The rain comes down harder?

Steven looks at him expectantly for answers.

And Fate just watches him for a time. Because she shouldn't just give him the answers. They'd be her answers. Even the story she's told so far was her story.

This is his story though. His dream. And it's his place to choose reality.

Something in her heart hurts when Rose answers Steven by saying 'I'm so proud of you.' But it's only a momentary pang of sadness. Fate Testarossa is happy. And she's accepted that her happiness won't ever be that.

Instead she listens to his mother. Maybe it's not his mother - Maybe there is some lingering will there. Either way...

She says the right thing. Fate closes her eyes briefly against the warm sting.

And with that Fate finally answers him. "What then? Steven... I wish - I wish this were real. That you truly had that chance to get to know her. Because..."

He looks at Rose then, "... she seems like someone special. Someone wonderful." Of course she is. She's Steven's Mother.

She says quietly - "I can't offer you a world with her in it the way you want. I can just offer you a world alongside your friends. A real one that comes with living your life. Sometimes it's going to hurt - and hurt a lot. But... I have to believe that together - we can help make a world that's truly special out there."

She looks away - "I didn't hug my mother when I left... I felt there was too much between us..." Fate sounds distant, abstracted, "... but I think it's not the same way for you. Especially if you never had the chance..." A beat, "I should give you some privacy... I'll be nearby."

Giving Rose one last look, she does offer a smile, "It was nice to meet you Ma'am. I wish you and Steven had gotten the chance to know each other. I... wish we could have met for real."

Quietly in the rain, she starts to step away - towards the arcade. Given the rain - it won't be long until she's out of sight.

<Pose Tracker> Steven Universe [Juuban Public School (6)] has posed.

As the rain comes down, Steven too begins to break down into sobs. Feeling her felt os real. But deep down... He kinda knew something was wrong here. Rose comes in for that hug, and Steven can only accept it. He doesn't have the power in all the world to turn it away. He hears Fate's words, and that she will be nearby, and nods to her.

"Y-Yes," he manages to squeak while holding her. He listens, and the moment he hears her say she was there and touches her gem, a roseate light appears on Steven's and there, his gift, his power, his Gem, blossoms forth, as if it was always there. Never gone. Always with him. As she is.

I-I knew it... Heh... heheh..." he chortles out over sobs. "I just wish it could have been... together... like now." He looks to Fate, and then back to Rose. "I just can't help but feel guilty that I took you away from everyone. Even though its..." he trails off. It was never his choice, decision or want to do such a thing. But deep down, a tiny part will always feel that way. Anyone whose ever caused the loss of another by some unpreventable means always does. "I'll do you-- us, proud. Promise."

"I love you, mom."

It was the one thing he wanted to say all his life to her face. This might be some sort of fake Rose Quartz, but being able to say it to some representation of her that can communicate gives him the closure he always wanted. To thank her for everything, from saving the Earth, to making the Crystal Gems happy, to having him.

It is all a good son could ever ask for.

It takes every ounce of effort to let go of Rose. it feels like an eternity of happiness being cast off, But so much more lay ahead.

And the rain slowly begins to stop. The boy looks to Rose one last time before he heads to find Fate. He has a puffy face, teary eyes and a runny nose, but there's a smile there. A small one, but a smile. nonetheless. "Th-Thank you..." He ekes out. "Our... world..." He clenches his fists, recalling all the hurt, all the things that were wrong with it. But so much good was there. And if they didn't find a way back to it. It would be worse. And so many innocent lives will be lost."

"She was a wonderful person. And you know what? She still is. And because she can't I have to do the things she wants to do. And I can promise that she wants to stop whatever is happening outside." He then looks down to his Gem.

"I don't have much. I don't have spells, explosions, lasers, or amazing weapons. I can't fly, and can't teleport or have any kind of super speed. But I do have heart, and some of the best friends I could have ever asked for, like you."

He holds a hand out to shake hers.

"Whatever happens, I'll be there for you. For all of us. Thank you, Fate. I am so sorry you had to go through everything you said. You are stronger than I can ever fathom, being able to push beyond it."