Epilogue: Parents and Uncles
~ Xander ~
I stand beside the door dumbly while Sam and Janet push past me and race up the stairs. My gut instincts say I should follow them. Willow's in pain, she's hurting, and it's where I should
It's just that my feet can't quite remember how to move.
In fact, I'm kind of surprised I even made it to the door. I honestly don't think I've ever been this scared before. Okay, maybe that time with Glory I was a more frightened, but this is a close
"Xander? You okay?"
I blink at the question and I notice for the first time Jack, Jacob, Daniel and Teal'c are standing just outside the doorway, watching me with concern and understanding. I nod, and motion for them to enter the house.
All of them are holding wrapped presents (although, Daniel's not holding a wrapped present, but a teddy bear) and dressed in their military uniforms. It's not their normal attire for when they usually come to visit (which is once a week -- two or three times a week for Daniel if Dawn's in town), but then this isn't a normal visit.
No, this is the big day
"Xander? You okay?" It's Jack asking the question now.
My face must have answered my question for me, because suddenly Teal'c and Daniel are leading me to the couch with a hand on each shoulder. Jacob puts his gift on the coffee table and walks over to the small bar in the corner of the room. Daniel and Teal'c sit beside me, while Jack sits in his usual chair across from me.
"How is she?" he asks, placing his gift on the table.
"In pain." It's the only answer I can give. I honestly didn't think seeing Willow this way would affect me like this. I've seen her hurt before but, this is different. The pain she's in now isn't because some demon or vampire got one up on her.
She's in agony because our child is fighting its way into the world.
Mine, Sam and Will's.
You know what? Glory was no where near as scary as this. "Contractions are about seven minutes apart. I'm… I'm not really sure what that means." Dawn did try to explain it, but Will was busy crushing the bones in my hand at the time so I kind of missed it.
"It means she might be a little while yet," Jack says.
The thought makes me sick and I'm just about to say so when Jacob holds a glass of what I'm guessing is Giles' twelve year-old scotch in front of me. Luckily Giles is upstairs helping Will so he won't know. Not that I think he would mind…
"Drink this," Jacob orders. "You'll feel better."
I take the glass and stare at it. Maybe a little Dutch courage would be a good thing right about now.
"Better?" Jack asks when I put the empty glass on the table.
I shrug. "I'm not too sure." I'm really not and I think that's why Dawn and Giles insisted I wait downstairs for Sam and Janet to arrive.
"Do you want another?" Daniel asks.
I shake my head. "Will might need me again." Although, there is a part of me that wishes she won't need me, which is wrong of me, I know but…
She's having a baby.
Which means we're all going to be parents and uncles (grand or otherwise) and I know
I'm not the only one scared shitless.
"Relax," Jack tells me. "You'll be okay."
I nod and, not for the first time, I find myself stunned by the way everything turned out. A part of me is still expecting the other shoe to drop. It's been six months since I met the four men with me, six months since their worlds were turned upside down and… Well, it seems weird that they are the ones sitting with me like this, supporting Will and Sam…
Like a real family would.
To be honest, I never thought all of us, the Scoobies and the Spaceys (as I like to call them), as being one big happy family but, that's exactly what it's like. Well, at least now. At first, things were awkward, especially those first few weeks after Will and Sam came out (in both ways). Jack and Jacob had been the slowest to come around, they're still coming around in a way. I don't think they trust Will fully, none of us do, but it's enough.
And now we're all sitting here -- together -- waiting.
It makes me wonder, once again, what happened between Will and Jack six months ago, when she grabbed a bottle of beer and followed him outside. When Jack had walked out, he looked close to losing it. When they both returned a short time later… Jack looked less freaked and Will had looked ecstatic. Neither had spoken about what had been said, although I'm pretty sure Will told Sam, but after that everything had been better.
Although, when I really think about it, it's not that surprising that that Sam's family and friends have looked past everything. Willow being a witch doesn't seem to matter to them anymore, nor does it matter to them that she's female. All four of them had been there at Will and Sam's wedding four months ago. Jacob had walked Sam down the aisle while Jack, Teal'c and Daniel and stood at Sam's side.
When it comes to family -- real family -- you learn to accept the unacceptable. You learn to look past prejudices, fears, and doubts. You learn to forgive. It's what we did with Will after she almost ended the world, and it's what they did with Sam after years of deceit.
It's what I'll do when my daughter or son screws up royally.
"Do you guys want to go up there?" I find myself asking.
All four of them stare at me in shock.
"Up stairs?" Daniel asks. "To Willow?"
I nod. "I think I should go up back up there." I know both Sam and Will wanted me there when the baby arrived. "Do you guys want to come with me?" I'm not above admitting I wouldn't mind a little support. I mean, I don't want to faint in front of Will.
Jack shakes his head, looking a little disturbed by the idea. "I'm fairly sure Willow wouldn't want all of us up there right now. Aren't Giles and Dawn with her as well?"
"They are but… She'd want you there as well." It was one of the reasons she wanted a home birth. That and the fact that she was scared of what she might do in a public hospital while in pain. Accidental magic is no one's friend.
"You think so?" Jack doesn't believe me.
As I expected, my response shut him up pretty good. He doesn't look like he doesn't believes me anymore, instead he's looking… stunned.
"She'll probably kick us all out when she starts pushing but, like you said, that's a little way away yet," I assure them. "Believe me, it's important to her to have you all there." To Sam as well.
They're all still staring at me, but before any of them can give me an answer, Dawn answers for them.
"Guys!" she calls out from the second floor. "You better get up here. Will and Sam are asking for you."
I jump to my feet. "Is she okay?"
"She's fine, a little scared," Dawn replies. "But she needs you guys."
None of us want to go up there. I don't want to see Will in pain and I'm pretty sure neither do Jacob, Daniel, Jack, and Teal'c, but we all start making our way upstairs anyway.
We're family. The End
Thank you everyone who left feedback for this series. It was greatly appreciated and I hope you enjoyed it.
I started out thinking this would be this fic will be the last in the entire series. It is the last in the main series but I plan to write at least two companions (three if my muses want to try a Dawn/Daniel fic).