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I don't own the Oz boys and no $$$ is being made off of this story. Thanks to Numenora for beta-ing this. Hope you like the finished product. :D
"Are you sure you wanna do this?" Toby asked with uncertainty.
"As sure as I'll ever be," Chris replied, "Why, you having second thoughts?"
"And thirds and fourths and fifths."
"Comon' Tobe, we can do this. It's going to be different this time," Chris soothed, rubbing the knot he could see forming at the back of Toby's neck.
Stilling his hand, Toby turned to Chris, shaking his head in doubt, "How do you know? How do you know things don't end up the same way? That we don't end up making the same mistakes?"
"We won't, I promise. That's not how it works, trust me. I have it on good authority."
"There's nothing to be afraid of, baby. I'm gonna be there with you. For you," Chris swore, taking Toby in his arms.
Toby's brow was still furrowed. He fixed Chris with a doubtful look. Chris took it in stride, sliding his hand up Toby's face and lightly thumbed away the worry lines etched there. Chris' voice was soothing, "Toby, you worry too much. This is our chance to get it right. To make things right that went so horribly wrong before, individually and with each other."
Toby continued questioning, still uncertain, still afraid of the unknown that lay before them, "What about my kids? Will I ever see them again?"
"Eventually, back here, when it's time, but now's the time for us. It's called Karma, baby," Chris countered with a grin.
"I miss my kids."
"I know you do, but you won't once we get there."
"I thought Karma was about making amends? Why can't I make things up to them?" Toby protested.
"Eventually Toby, you will, just not this time around. We have to do this before you can see your kids again. You'll be making amends with Kathy this time, and I with you...and with those boys I hurt," Chris explained patiently.
"Well, that's for you to figure out."
"You promise you'll find me?"
"We'll find each other--it'll be fate, our fate," Chris promised.
"Ok, how do we do this?
"Whenever you're ready, all you gotta do is jump...call it a leap of faith."
"No more Oz?"
"No more Oz, and no more hacks," Chris smiled assuredly.
"Not in this lifetime."
"Ok, let's do this. Oh, and Chris? Get the tattoo again, so I'll know it's you."
"Which one?" Chris asked, a slow smirk making its way up one corner of his mouth.
Toby rolled his eyes, then pondered briefly and replied, "Both," his eyes twinkling. And with that, Toby's soul jumped into the newly forming fetus waiting to be born. Chris followed suit a year later.
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