For My Little Girl, Part 27Author:
BtVS, NCIS, SG-1, SGA, CSI: Miami, SPN, Leverage, The Sentinel and Criminal Minds.Word Count for this chapter:
2,676Word Count to Date:
This is it, people. Officially at the end, and managed to get there through several 'derailing' scenes. Now I can start writing down the smut I've been avoiding all month ;)See part 1 for everything legal and official and stuff. Part 27
In the end, it really was that simple. The group managed to capture a Prior – figuring they were the more difficult of the Ori, therefore would set the standard – and watched in a mostly controlled situation as several Wraith in a row sucked on his energy. All died with blissed expressions on their faces.
John figured he might be traumatized for life over that. It looked more like death by orgasm than poisoned 'food'.
Grabbing Adria was slightly more complicated in that she had 'phenomenal cosmic powers', but a combination of zat and Ronon's cool space gun at stun setting fixed that problem as well.
What worried the military men was how quickly it all happened. Their partners reminded them that the gods wanted the universe safe for the children of light, etc ad nauseum. It didn't erase their concerns, but made it slightly easier to take the painless victory in stride.
Sometime during the excitement of planning and executing their battle plans (such as they were, since there wasn't much battling to be had), a decision was made to push back the delivery date by two additional weeks and speed up the ladies' gestation to coincide with their siblings' arrival. No one understood how or why it happened – except the gods in charge – feeling more relieved that they had additional time to plan.
Abby and Garcia took a month's leave for family reasons. Gibbs pushed his tech's request through in the turmoil of post-Sheppard confusion, and managed to put a word in to Garcia's at the same time. He found he didn't mind dealing with Rossi that much, which surprised most everyone considering his usual opinion of working with other LEOs as a whole.
When Xander and Dean tried to look for housing in Colorado Springs, they were asked to hold off because that was being taken care of. It left the hunters at loose ends. Spenser reminded them that there was a perfectly acceptable college in town, so why didn't they see what requirements were needed for enrollment?
The not-so-subtle hint went over as well as a lead balloon. Not that they hadn't thought of further education a time or two, just that they weren't used to supportive
friends or family. It caused a few minor freak-outs.
While everyone waited for their kids, the results of the Ori/Wraith buffet, and the housing situation... there were pranks. It took several days for the originator to be found. The only ones unsurprised were John, Rodney and Teyla – Ronon had a weird sense of humor at the best of times, but when he was bored, well, no one was safe.
Finally, two days before the babies were due to arrive, the group was encouraged
to gather again at O'Neill's home.~ * ~
There were fewer cliques this time. The military guys hadn't run off to hide in the basement. The geeks' noses weren't stuck in their laptops or books. The ladies' round bellies got patted and petted by everyone present, much to the amusement of Kevin. Teyla and Ronon had passed Security with noses in the air as they'd been told to do. Even Parker and Hardison had come back to offer a few presents.
Having been briefed by Lucina, Jack made sure there was plenty of 'party food'. And cake. A really huge, completely awesome cake. Separated into four sections of different flavors, with all the kids and parents' names written on top. Eliot had truly outdone himself on that one. Pictures were taken before a single person managed to dip their fingers into the sweet treat.
Fold-out chairs and tables were borrowed from the SGC to make everyone more comfortable this time around. Abby and Rodney even managed to jury-rig speakers out onto the porch so there was a constant shuffle of music in the background.
For all the tense atmosphere of their first meeting, this time was truly a party
. The wait was over. All that was left was for the Persephone to make an appearance with Asclepius to 'deliver' the children.
When that special sparkling fuzzing into materialization started, the group's attention zoomed in on their guests. Most gasped in shock when there were a few more deities than anticipated. In all, ten gods appeared to the assembled. They introduced themselves by name and duties, then stepped back to let the healer and extremely pregnant Persephone lead the proceedings.
'Sclep grinned in delight at the expressions on the mortals' faces. “Friends, my apologies on asking for the delay. Our brothers and sisters wished to arrange for gifts to your new children, which would be best served given at their births.”
Persephone patted her stomach, then beckoned the geekgals forward. “We should all stand together, dear ones. 'Twill make it easier for the blessings to be given.” The ladies joined their favorite ever goddess. “'Sclep, we should begin quite soon. They're as near as I am.”
With a nod of his head, the first god stepped forward. “As you heard, I'm Strife,” he waited for the group to stop giggling at him. “Yes, yes, everyone laughs at me these days. Anyway, my mate and I have decided to offer insurance to the babies. May these children live long, love well, and learn something new every day. May they not no such hardships as their parents have experienced. May they feel more joy and wonder at the universe than their fathers – and mothers. And may they never need our assistance-” he indicated himself and Cupid “-a single day in their lives.”
Before the applause and thanks fully died down, Atropos stepped forward. “My own gift might seem a let down from that showing off,” she snickered at the protests from the godlings. “I hereby declare your offspring to be outside of Fate's purview. May no power hold sway over their futures. In honor of their 'first father', Xander, they will be the wild cards that foil or contribute to others' plans.”
Xander cringed, but was grinning as well. “That's one helluva future headache for some of the movers and shakers club. Can't wait til the Powers figure it out.” Beside him, Dean smirked – he'd wanted to smack the PTB ever since hearing of his mate's life.
Nemesis broke into the laughter over the boys' antics, “My blessing is half done – that those who would use the children most horribly be taken out of power. Questions will be answered after the gifting stage, so hush!” She glared at the giggling Strife. “The second half is that I will endeavor to preempt any need for vengeance on their parts.”
Several people cringed at that, making the Scooby feel better about his previous reaction. No one wanted to 'need' the goddess' personal attention.
Standing behind his beloved wife, Hades added, “It is rare for mortals to see into my realm. The underworld holds many horrors for such deserving souls, but also many wonders. If allowed to be trained, the children will be permitted to view such things on achieving their maturity. Our gift is insight into otherwordly things, may they learn much and use it well.”
Lucina cleared her throat to stop the whispered comments. “This isn't usually my area, but with a little help... my gift is a buffer of sorts. May the children see what others do not, without feeling overwhelmed by it. With how crazy your lives have been and will continue to be, your offspring should not suffer for your careers.”
Attis nodded his agreement. “In that respect, mine goes hand-in-hand with my sister's. May they always see the truth of people's intentions, so to protect themselves and others.”
Golden light sprinkled liberally over the distended bellies with each blessing. When they were done, Persephone smiled the most serene, beautiful smile they'd ever seen. “Per instructions from several of our demi-gods, we have arranged for – what did Jack call them? Oh yes – compounds on which you may all live to raise the children in a communal setting. It is not necessary for everyone to live together at all times. Truly, some of you would drive others to drink with constant exposure. We felt it would be in everyone's best interests to spread them around a bit. Each corner of this country has its own, as does the more centralized position here.”
Seeing her hand massaging away a cramp, Hades took over for his wife, “Each residence has wards and protections placed to insure as much security as possible. They should not interfere with whatever electrical surveilance as you might add later. And Hephaestus threw in a few items for each that might merit investigation. You are each mighty defenders in your own ways. We've done what we could to prevent the need for such measures, but if you ever require our aid... remember to ask for it.”
'Sclep placed his hand on each woman's stomach, hummed a bit, then announced, “By my reckoning, I'd say we have another hour. Get your last pictures taken for the baby books,” he teased a few of the men, who stood back looking hopelessly infatuated by their future hellraisers.
Off to the side, Dean was doing his best to keep his mate from hyperventilating. “Relax, Xan. They didn't give the kids visions or foresight or whatever it's called. So they can see ghosts and talk to them? Think about the cool stories they'll hear. And the gods said they'd only see or hear things they could understand at their ages, right? We don't have to worry about a toddler watching dead people having sex.”
Xander finally broke into shaky laughter at that part. “I'm allowed to worry about them. Didn't know any of the souls but Tara, and Tara was so sweet and innocent about the world. She'd be devastated by that sort of vision.”
“But we'll be raising them and holding their hands through it all. She didn't have much support the first time – just her mom, whose hands were tied pretty often from what you said. And now, hell, look at this bunch? Think there's a single demon or bad guy who's going to make it past us? Not a chance, dude, not a chance in hell.” He saw Hades wink at him for the phrase, and felt even more certain that they could handle it.
Other gifts were brought out and handed to the ladies, making Persephone sniffle and tear up at being included. Her protestations of only being the vessel fell on deaf ears – she was more than her biology (or womb, as Rodney pronounced quite sternly).
Just over the hour limit, Asclepius requested use of Jack's master bedroom for the 'delivery'. It would be the largest area with attached bathroom for ease of clean-up and handling, and the bed was large enough for all three women to rest at the same time. He ushered them upstairs before anyone could complain... or make the mistake of trying to carry them. He'd seen a few of those cavemen looks aimed at the ladies. It wouldn't go over well with such strong personalities.
One member of each triad of parents was sent to receive the babies. Everything from straws being drawn, to threats of physical violence, to begging was heard as they made cases for who would hold the children first.
And while the debates were going on, Xander, Dean, Eliot and Ryan snuck off around the side of the house, entered the front door, and tiptoed up the stairs. Rodney and Blair weren't far behind – though how they'd managed it was anyone's guess, considering how loud and loquacious the two geniuses were.
One by one, they were met at the door by the healer, who handed off a tiny bundle wrapped snuggly in soft blankets. Peaking out from beneath the covering were little shirts proclaiming each child's name and parentage. To Xander it looked more like the 'Hi, my name is -' tags from conventions and reunions, but he wasn't going to complain as it'd keep down arguments or mixed up kids when they'd been shuffled between nearly twenty adults all afternoon.
Leaving Asclepius to clean up and heal the ladies, each man took their precious burden down the stairs and out to the back yard. Taking turns to announce each baby, they had a few moments of solitary cuddling before the tide surged forth and they were surrounded.
Only Gibbs and Jack stood back. They fought their way inside the house and up the stairs to doublecheck on the women. Hades met them at the top of the stairs, having sparkled in. Looking far more rested and spry than any female straight out of childbirth had a right to appear, the ladies were changed into their non-fat clothes. Jack grimaced at the term, but it had come from Abby's mouth, and the other two just laughed with her.
Escorting such lovely girls was never a chore. When the group was reunited, babies made the rounds, women (and most of the men) were hugged soundly, and bottles miraculously appeared to offer first feedings. Soon after, first diapers were changed – which again was fought over. It amused the few experienced people, who stepped aside with a laugh to allow the newbies to make their own mistakes.
Afternoon turned to evening, which saw the gods taking their leave of the party. Evening turned into night. And still, no one made motions of heading to bed or back to a hotel. Someone had the brilliant idea to call for take-out Chinese around midnight.
“You know,” Xander thought out loud at his mate, Eliot and Ryan, “if it seems this hard for us to go our own ways now, it's going to be worse in a few days. Which is pretty much the gods' plan from what I can figure.”
Nodding, the other three agreed at once. “So we've noticed. And it's not like things are that much better in Miami. I could stand to move up here, not have to time-share the kids so much,” Ryan grinned at his partner.
The quartet had soon discovered how similar their sense of humor – and honor – was to each other, gravitating together whenever possible. All throughout the parents group, such trios and foursomes were popping up. Couples weren't to be separated, but friendships varied by personality and locales.
Their compulsion to stick together was fortuitous. As the morning sun rose, golden light enveloped the group – including well-wishing friends, since the two Pegasus natives and Eliot's co-workers were claimed as godparents. A feeling of true peace and contentment settled over the group as a whole, soaking into their bruised and battered souls.“What started as a selfish desire to save one woman, has now bore fruit that will bring hope and light back to all those whose lives are touched by the blessed children born to you. Love them, cherish them, teach them how to live in the world. As they are gifts to you, so you all are blessings to them. It is far past time for balance to be returned to the mortal realm. Be happy and well, my children.”
Xander's eyes grew moist. At his side, Dean leaned into his side, throwing an arm around his shoulder. All around, pairs and the trio drifted together in small shows of affection. Holding Moirah to his heart, Xander sent up a prayer of thanks to the goddess for letting him be part of his little girl's future. It didn't much matter how they'd gotten to this point, not anymore. What mattered was that she would be loved, and he was just the man to make sure of it. The strong, comforting warmth of his mate's arms tightened as Dean seemed to read his mind.
“Whatever happens, together. We're in this together
, got it?”
With a blindingly brilliant smile, Xander leaned in for a kiss, careful not to smoosh their
precious little girl. Together sounded pretty damned close to perfect.~ * ~THE END Notes:
This is the last, official chapter of FMLG. Anything posted after this part is likely to be very mature in content, or considered an epilogue/snapshot. Thanks for following along for the ride, folks. It's been a ton of fun, and great hearing from every reviewer – your perspectives and comments have meant the world to me!
And believe it or not? Other than the identity of Xander's mate, this ending came about before I'd finished writing the second chapter. Hope it doesn't feel rushed... sorta does to me, but then I had to cut out loads of scenes due to their rating. Now I can do a flashback thing and add them *grin* All further snippets/scenes will be in a different file (attached to this one, series style) so as not to screw with the rating for FMLG. If you don't want to follow mostly slashy sex scenes, I won't be offended! It's been a true pleasure to write again, and I've had a grand time sharing with everyone. *sniffle* Feels like a bad goodbye speech, sheesh! So thanks, my friends, for riding along as I try to remember how to put paragraphs together, and force interaction with characters, and gods! the html nightmares have returned, but it's all good. Hopefully this means getting back to my old WIPs that've sat on a shelf for way too long. Cross your fingers for me, yeah? Hugs and snuggles to all!