A couple of weeks passed in a blur of homework, practice, and patrols. Meredith was settling in nicely, Jack was getting used to the idea of magic, and Jon was getting used to the fact that he was sixteen and no longer married. All things told, it could’ve been worse.
She sighed and Jack looked at her, eyebrows raised, before turning back to watch the road. The kids were at school and he was using their small amount of free time to show her a ‘surprise’.
“What’s wrong?” he said, reaching over and laying his hand on her thigh.
“So, this is really the first moment we’ve had to talk
since the Parent-Teacher disaster where neither of us are exhausted,” she started and his eyebrows rose, suspicious. She wrapped her hand around his and fought a smile for a second. “I was just wondering
if you’ve had any time to think about the things you read in the notebook.”
“Ah, yes, the hallowed notebook,” he said, turning his hand up and lacing their fingers together. “I think that if half of what’s in there is true, then it’s a wonder you aren’t crazy.” He squeezed her hand when she snorted. “And I think there’s something you’ve wanted to tell me for the past couple of weeks.”
“It’s just, it’s almost time for Kendra to come and that got me to thinking,” she said, shrugging as she fought with the words. “There are others. Others that will come eventually, but right now, they’re in a pretty bad place. Do we leave them or do we try to help?”
She let him think about it, watching his face as he idly made small, soothing circles with his thumb.
Finally he said, “I’ve been poking around the military thing. I think it’s run by a, uh, counter agency group that opposes the SGC. Well, Hammond’s been poking at it. We’ll know what the hell’s going on there shortly. And, Joyce, I know you loved her like a daughter, but I’m not sure there’s anything we can do for this Anya. I mean, she’s a demon
right now, right? And, as good as she is as a human, we can’t just let somebody call her down on our kids. But if she shows up, we’ll give her a place to stay.”
“Okay,” she said, nodding. “But Kendra, Amy, and Tara…”
“I’ve been talking to Giles about Kendra,” Jack said, shrugging. “He’s contacted her Watcher. They’re, uh, considering their options.”
She gave him a tiny smile. “Did you threaten him with the United States military?”
He coughed and grimaced-grinned at her. “At least I asked Hammond first?”
She laughed, squeezing his hand. “Jack, you’re horrible.”
He shrugged. “It’s not like the guy cares
about her. He’s her third Watcher and she didn’t even end up with him until she had her powers. The first watcher kept her the first ten years of her life and the second began training her in earnest when she was 10. That’s the built-in system that keeps Watchers from caring about their charges.”
Joyce winced. “I’d kind of wondered how that worked.”
“She’s never had a home or a family,” Jack said, scowling at the road. “Giles was pretty sure that all of her belongings would fit in one bag.”
Joyce blinked, thinking of the disaster zones that were her daughters’ rooms, and said, “Wow. That’s just-wow.”
“Yeah,” he said, shaking his head. “And I thought Amy already did sort of live at our house.”
Joyce opened her mouth to argue, then snapped it shut again when she considered the amount of time Amy was around. “Well. Huh.”
“Yeah, and you didn’t mention him but Jonathon’s practically taken up residency on the couch,” Jack said, a little smile working its way across his face.
“That I had noticed,” she said with a shake of her head. “It’s hard not to when you accidentally sit on action figures all the time.”
She squeezed his hand and he sighed. “I was kind of focused on the most immediate problems at hand, so I haven’t really thought about Tara.”
She smiled. “Then I guess it’s a good thing I ask Jenny to poke around.”
He snorted. “Of course you did.”
“Yeah, well,” she said, sighing. “Jenny hasn’t really found anything, yet. It’s hard looking for a person with just a name. I mean, we know she’s magical, but I’m pretty sure she didn’t practice openly at home.”
“So we’re going to have to let that one ride for a while,” Jack said, pulling his hand away to put the car in park.
She hadn’t even realized they’d stopped, never mind that they’d turned off the main road. She leaned up to look through the windshield and gave a breathy, “Oh
“Yeah,” he said, hands smoothing along his thighs. “It used to be some kind of B&B. It was recently refurbished, but the owner’s wife decided she hates the cold, so he’s selling it.”
“How many rooms? And bathrooms?” she asked.
“That’s where it gets a little weird and why it’s perfect for us,” he said with a smile as they both stared up at the house. “The basement has a master bedroom set up, which would be ours. There’s a bedroom with a small bathroom just off the kitchen, which was probably meant for a cook or something. That’d be Jon’s. Then there’s eight bedrooms, four bathrooms on the second floor and two bedrooms and a bathroom in the attic. The kitchen’s huge and so is the dining room and there’s a storage room and what could be a den in the basement.”
“Have you actually looked inside?” she asked, not wanting to get her hopes up.
He jangled a set of keys at her. “I was waiting for you.”
As they both swung out of the car, Joyce fighting back an excited giggle, she asked, “I thought you wanted to build a house…”
“I do,” he said, shrugging. “And I will. But the lake’s too far from town. This place has close access to the school, your gallery, and it’s within driving distance of the base. I’ll build the cabin as a summer thing, so that driving isn’t such a hazard.”
He threw his arm around her shoulders when she laughed. “Because I worry about the children driving in the snow.”
“Because you worry,” he agreed, nodding.
He unlocked the door and her heart climbed into her throat as it swung open. “Oh
He laughed at her. “We’re going to end up buying this house, anyway, aren’t we?”
“It’s a good thing you’re good with your hands,” she said, patting his face as she stepped into the house. “Oh, Jack
He slipped his arms around her waist and pressed a kiss below her ear as he murmured, “I can think of something I’m even better with my hands at. How about we go neck in the car like teenagers?”
She laughed, leaning back against him. “How about we just?” Author's Notes:
Y'all, I am so sorry about that impromptu hiatus. Shit got real for awhile. At least it was a working hiatus? :) Anyway, while I appreciate each and every review I get, I'm probably not going to go back and answer all the ones that I missed. I've been psyching myself out about it for a week, so I'm just going to give myself a pass on it. I do read and appreciate every review, though. I just suck at interacting with people sometimes.