For My Little Girl, Part 22Author:
BtVS, NCIS, SG-1, SGA, CSI: Miami, SPN, Leverage, The Sentinel and Criminal Minds.Word Count for this chapter:
2,635Word Count to Date:
57,220/50,000 – still plugging away.See Part 1 for the Disclaimer parts.Part 22
While the two experienced fathers were out of earshot, Daniel pulled Tony over toward Xander and Dean, whispering in a serious voice, “We should make sure not to include any name related to any of their previous lives. Maybe make it a rule that no one can offer a name to any relation – living or dead – to prevent favoritism?”
Eyebrow raising, Xander said dryly, “You're pretty sure one of them's his son?”
Daniel just rolled his eyes.
“Okay, fine. His and Gibbs' both. I can't see either of them being such gluttons for punishment to try naming a second child after their dead first ones.” He winced at the look of rebuke from the linguist. “That may sound harsh, but seriously! And it's really bad luck in most cultures. Honoring the dead is one thing, but in the same generation is just creepy.”
“Agreed. I wouldn't have put it quite that way, but agreed.” Daniel's eyebrow aimed at the Scooby – it felt like a spanking of its own. Neat trick. “So let's come up with names while they're occupied.”
“If they've got a shorter list of options, they're more likely to be willing to pick their favorites,” Tony included. “Gibbs likes options, but give him too many and he'll walk away til someone cuts the list.”
Dean grinned. He was good at cutting down ridiculous amounts of research, surely he could handle this. Stepping around his small group to get them out of the line of fire, he whistled shrilly again.
“Listen up, boys and girls! We're going to set up some ground rules for the kids' names here.” A few grumbled complaints were glared into silence. “First – and really important – is that none of the names can have any similarity to the returning souls. Any of them, in any form. We don't need them growing up to that kind of expectation, okay?
“Second... this is probably going to cause more bitching, but it's to keep everything fair. None of the kids will be named after any of us on the daddy patrol. Or the ladies either. We can probably get a little closer in likeness if it's by majority vote, but I'd rather not.
“Also, please don't be stupid about it! We've decided on the collective last name of Thaddeus for all the kids – which leaves way too many options for initials spelling out words if we aren't careful. Even you old coots should remember how mean little kids can be about nicknames and abbreviations. Don't give them more ammunition.”
Xander was really pretty proud of his partner. He could easily see Dean as a teacher one day, with his down-to-earth way of relaying information to his audience. If he could keep the cussing down, that is.
“Any name that can be shortened or rhymed with something mean should be avoided if possible,” Spenser put in. “I was never in with my own age group, but the teasing and offhand cruelty is not restricted to younger kids.”
“And please, folks, try to keep away from the trendy names,” Eliot begged. “Or names that used to be for boys being used for girls, and vice versa. Last names being used as first names aren't always bad, but make sure they don't sound bad with Thaddeus.”
Garcia grinned. “Like my parents giving me a totally English name with a Spanish surname. Not everything is going to have the right flow.”
Joining the spirit of it, Blair bobbed his head. “Better for the kid, easier for us. And nothing hard to pronounce from the way it's spelled. How about everyone includes four girl names, four boy names, and we toss them all together to see what works?”
They had a plan. It sounded doable, easy, and uncomplicated. But so many normal parents spent months arguing about a single child's name before their birth – compound that problem by six kids and fourteen parents? It was a nightmare of logistics.
And their three best tacticians were getting drunk in the basement.~ * ~
Daniel, Blair and Rodney had opened up laptops to search baby name sites. Abby and Garcia were doing their own combined search several feet away, ignoring the males for now. Spenser was taking notes on a discussion of family names hated by Derek, Tony, John and Ryan. That left Xander, Dean and Eliot watching from the sidelines.
“Do you get the impression we're going to have our work cut out for us in keeping cliques from forming?”
“Nah, let them have their friends. Similar interests and abilities and all. As long as everyone's got the kids' best interests in mind, they can team up all they want.”
“Might make them more willing to ask for and offer help too.”
“So why don't we start our own version of this list? We can pretty much cut out a whole lot of names already. Some are more common or have lots of variations, which leaves out some more. What are some names you can see calling out when the kids get in trouble, or praising them for a good spelling grade, or calling them in to dinner?”
Xander was way too quiet. Eliot's questions brought to mind how sure he used to be of never living to have children of his own. A glance to his side showed Dean similarly pensive.
“Fine, I can start this time. Always liked Clara Elizabeth-” pausing at the Scooby's immediate reaction, Eliot asked, “Okay, what's wrong with it?”
“Buffy's name. No Elizabeth, which is sad cus I love the name Elsbeth, but that's too close.”
“Alright, good reason.”
Dean had a frown on his face. “We forgot to beg for another restriction.” He stood up and got everyone's attention again. “People, please, for the love of all you hold dear... Do not fall into the cutesy trap of boy/girl names! Stephan and Stephanie, Alexander and Alexis, anything like that. It's a nightmare for teachers, parents, and the kids too. All the nicknames are the same, they get mixed up in line or in home room. Just don't, okay?”
Tony snicker, grinning over at the hunter. He called out, “Not even to piss off my mother? She'd hate it like hell, which might mean leaving me the hell alone.”
Standing up for his mate's reasoning, Xander offered, “Hey Tony, if you need your mom warned off, Dean and I can go visit her for a week or two.” The hunters smiled sweetly, in unison, with plenty of teeth. Several people shuddered.
“Huh... ask me later. I need to check with the legal department and see if that's valid as a threat or borderline stalking.”
Cackling, they went back to more serious topics.~ * ~
Down in the basement, the 'old coots' were laughing as Jim relayed snippets of conversations from outside.
“That's a real handy trick you can do, Ellison,” Jack said, admiration and a touch of envy in his voice. “If you ever want a change of career, let me know. I've got something that'd be right up your alley, and let your geek do his thing at the same time.”
Jim shook his head. “Thanks, but not just yet. I'll talk with Blair about it though. We're trying to work things out with the department, get everyone over the latest rough cases and crises.”
“No hurry – but sooner than later would be good.”
Gibbs grinned at them both. “Think you could put a slightly used Gunny to work too? Unfortunately, DiNozzo's part of the package, but he's good for undercover work and comic relief. Or if you ever need a movie reference in the middle of a high speed chase.” With a shrug, he accepted their snickers. It was funny, even if he wasn't giving a full disclosure of Tony's skills. They needed to talk about the problems at NCIS between themselves first.
“Anyone else get the feeling that someone
would be pretty happy if we just all moved onto a commune together?”
Jack's comment produced identical nods. They were all quiet for several minutes, drinking their very nice beer, until the colonel had a thought. It scared the bejeezus out of him, so he had to spread the wealth.
“We're almost all paired off, aren't we,” he said in a flat tone. “Eliot, Spenser, Ryan and Derek, plus the girls – though Garcia's got a boyfriend who she says looks just like an older Xander. And no one can tell me the gods meddling with things didn't lead the boys directly to us specifically. They kept saying genetics. What about our specific genetics is so important to them, and what do they plan on doing with it?”
Signing, Jim grimaced. “Well, you know my secret. I'm not sure it's something that can be passed on to kids, but no one's studied that.”
“You know they're probably listening,” Gibbs put in. “Not like we can block them out, but nothing's telling me to stop or shutting us down with interruptions.”
“Uh huh, no. I don't believe in divine plans anymore.” Jack's belief in that religious stuff had died along with his son. “They might have plans, but I refuse to accept the divinity portion of our scheduled program.”
Gibbs shrugged. He wasn't going to believe or disbelieve at that point. Jim's thoughtful expression told a different story.
“I've had my beliefs turned inside out ever since Sandburg came into my life. No, since my chopper went down in South America. There's more at work on this planet than human conflicts and self-important assholes in political positions. Can't say I always agree with all of his mystical mumbo jumbo, but there's definitely other
influences at play.”
“And that, my friend, is too depressing for my tastes.” Clinking bottles as he collected them for the trash, Jack grabbed three more brews and passed them out. “To babies we didn't screw to produce, and the gods and goddesses who decided we should spend the next twenty years worrying our hair out.”
“To babies and gods,” the other two agreed. They chugged their beers, belching in contentment when the bottles were empty.~ * ~
“Gloria sucks. Besides, there's at least two songs, and both make it seem like she's loose or easy.”
“So any name found in a song is out? There go another hundred girls' names.”
“I'd like to stay away from all the boys' names that were so popular as action heroes, especially bad
“Like some of John Wayne's roles?”
“More like Rambo.”
“Oh, yeah, that's not even up for discussion.”
“And just to keep down the arguments, let's not have any names with serious religious undertones. Any religion, from saints to icons to... just whatever.”
“One of my classmates had four kids, each one she named after major characters in children's book series. Christopher Robin, Lucy Suzanne, Peter Edmund, and Madeline Charlotte. I felt so sorry for them.”
“There's worse. Really, really worse! Back in the mid-70's, there was this couple up in Oregon – modern people, hyphenated their last names. John Leahy and Sui-Anne Hoo. Crazy fans of George Lucas.” A few groans meant someone was putting it together already. “Named their son Yoda. Yoda Leahy-Hoo. Kid learned how to fight dirty
before his third birthday.”
“I don't get how parents can be so... unthinking about the ramifications of their cutesy choices. Like Mary Merry, who married a man named Les More. They swapped names to be funny – Les Merry and Mary More. Really.”
“Or the nature lovers who want to have their kids grow up as one with the universe, naming them after plants and birds and stuff. Not all are bad, but who wants to date someone named Shrub?”
“So we've figured out a whole lot of what we don't
like. Any progress on what we do
“Are we restricting what nationality or geographic location they originate?”
“Not unless it's too hard to pronounce or spell.”
“Nevermind, there went half of mine. Americans can't pronounce anything from other cultures as a rule.”
Spenser flipped through his notebook, scanning page after page as he reread the notations made regarding everyone's dislikes. He cleared his throat, straightened up in his chair, and said, “I've got a few suggestions that don't seem to break the rules.”~ * ~
“Uh oh, Reid's starting the actual list. We should head up there to protest as needed.”
“Damn, was just getting nice 'n fuzzy.”
“Come on, old man. Get your flabby ass back up the stairs.”
“Who you callin' flabby, stupid jarhead.”
Jim sighed. He hadn't imbibed as much as his buddies – Sentinel and alcohol weren't a great combination – which left him being the responsible adult of the trio. With two oversized toddlers. At least they didn't break furniture or themselves getting up the stairs.
“Go on, Spense,” Derek told his co-worker with a smile. The young genius usually had some pretty unique suggestions.
“Yeah, sorry. Barring information I don't have yet as to familial names or close friends, adopted relatives and so on, here's what I've come up with:
“For the boys. Xavier, Oscar, Darrin, Max, Lucas – although Luke would sound better when said with our agreed last name – and Micah.” He looked around at the gathering, noting that no protests were being made. Relaxing a bit, he went on, “And for the girls. Claire or Clara (interchangeable, whichever suits the middle name), Ava, Jillian or Julianne, Moirah, Lucinda or Cynthia, and Margaret. There's all sorts of variations for the girls.” Finishing with a shrug, he slumped back in his seat to await their opinions.
“Huh. Some are pretty good,” Dean admitted. “Not sure if I could have an Oscar – grew up a Sesame Street kid – but I like Max and Luke. The way you pronounced that one girl name, Moirah? That's nice too. Feminine without being frilly.”
Xander smiled at his mate. “Can we have that one? I like it alot, and it'd suit her whether she's shy and femme, or kickass and take names.” A few chuckled at his enthusiasm, but they were allowed to 'steal' the first designated name. “Suggestions for what'd sound good as a middle name?”
“Nothing that starts with a vowel,” Eliot immediately stopped the ideas pouring out around them. “M and T with any vowel as a middle initial will come up with too many problems.”
“Oh yeah, thanks.” Dean tilted his head at the hitter. “And since Moirah is pretty close to Mary, all the variations of that name are out too.”
Daniel's fingers flew across his keyboard, then he grimaced. “We need something to counter the meaning too. Moirah means 'bitter'.”
Xander pouted, until Blair pulled up a different site. “Ceinlys and Beth, but I like the exotic flavor of Ceinlys better. A variant that sounds a little better is Celeste, it's associated with heavenly bodies, obviously.”
“Moirah Celeste Thaddeus,” Dean tried the name out, frowning a bit. “Doesn't quite work, does it? Moirah Beth Thaddeus...” he looked at Xander's thoughtful face. “Sounds pretty good.”
The ladies weren't quite as happy with the combination, but they had their own to name.
“Okay, one down, five to go!”
A mass groan met Xander's hyper bounce. They didn't have to have everything worked out before bed, thankfully, but the task seemed like a heavier prospect than when they'd first begun. Who knew so many factors went into what was placed on the birth certificates?