Skye carefully picked her daughter up, grateful for the few moments alone with her. She loved her family, and she understood why they were so concerned about her, but their constant hovering over her was driving her mad. She wasn't an invalid, she just had to be careful, her body was still healing from its ordeal.
She was just thankful that she had only missed six weeks of Julia's life, it could have been much worse. She could have missed out on all of her daughter's life. She snuggled Julia, and breathed in her baby scent. She was sad that Julia would be her only child, that she was physically unable to have any more. Sad, and yet, she counted herself blessed to have her daughter, and she would do it all over again if given the choice.
Her daughter was well worth it. She looked down at her baby and smiled. "Just think Julia, of all the fun we can have as you get older. There will be tea parties, and dancing lessons, and frilly dresses and..." Skye sighed happily. "It will be wonderful."
Julia started to fuss, and Skye tried to soothe her daughter by rocking her in her arms, but Julia was having none of it. Her little lips pursed, and she began to wail. Skye raised Julia up, and blew raspberries on her daughter's tummy. It was enough to startle a smile out of her, and interrupt her crying.
"Hey, is everything okay in here?"
Skye met the concerned glance of her husband. "We're fine." She assured him.
"Hmm." He answered non committedly, and he walked closer and put his arm around his girls. "Hello Pumpkin, you're not giving your Mama a hard time now, are you?"
Skye rolled her eyes. "Hawk, she's a baby, babies cry."
He grunted. "I know. I just..."
"Relax Hawk, I'm fine, Julia's fine, we're all fine, okay?" She smiled at him.
He sighed. "Okay."
"So, Kalen, I was wondering..." Rebecca paused for a moment for effect, "if you already had a date for Prom? If you didn't...maybe we could go together?"
Kalen thought Rebecca was a really nice girl, but he just wasn't interested in her, that way, and she never seemed to take a hint. He was only at her house, because her brother was one of his good friends, not because he like liked her. Besides that, he hated dancing, so why would he want to go to the stupid Prom? It was a waste of time and money, he could be doing something much more fun.
He frowned. Just about anything was more fun than dancing. "No, I'm not going. How about you?"
She shrugged, disappointed. "I was thinking about going, but I don't have a date." She looked up at him, her eyes hopeful. "That's why I was hoping you were still free, so we could together."
He hated to hurt her feelings, but he didn't want to give her false hope either. "Sorry."
"Pwetties." Julia pointed towards the window. "Pwetties!"
Hawk smiled at his daughter, ever since he had taken her outside to see the stars in the night sky, it was all she could talk about. "Stars. Yes they are pretty aren't they?" It was hard to believe that Julia was already toddler. It seemed like she had just been born a few days ago, but now here she was. Walking, talking, and already strongly asserting her own opinions.
"Pwetties." She said stubbornly.
"Yes, they're pretty Julia. Those are stars, remember?"
Julia frowned, and the hand held monitor next to her started to shake a little. "No tars! Pwetties!"
Hawk picked her up. "Okay Pumpkin, calm down." He rubbed her back in soothing circles, and slowly he could feel her small body start to relax. He was glad that his daughter had a stubborn streak as far as the Ocean was wide, she might need it someday, but sometimes...
...sometimes it was just a huge headache to deal with, and he wished for a more pliable daughter. Especially when she got an idea in her head, and wouldn't let go of it, no matter what. Today it was the stars outside, but what about tomorrow? He sighed, it was up to him to teach her how to control her powers, so that no one, including herself, got hurt.
She started to arch her back, and wiggle. "Need down! I pee! Pee!"
"Okay, okay, hang on."
Julia decided he was too close, and she pushed him away. "No! I do it!"
He held his hands up. "Okay, Little Miss Independent."
"I done!" Julia announced. She held her hands out. "Ucky! Ucky!"
Hawk brought her over to the sink, and helped her wash her hands. Skye had been determined to teach their daughter good habits from the very beginning, sometimes it even worked, like with the handwashing. Julia liked to splash around in the water and wash her hands. "There, all clean." he said as he wiped her hands dry with a towel. "Now, I think it's sleepy time for you."
"No! I no seepy!"
"Not sleepy?" Hawk said in mock surprise. "Don't you want to go swimming with Grumpa later?"
"I sim! Gunpa! Me! Me!"
Hawk chuckled. "Okay, me, me, you need to take a nap first, and then you can go with Grumpa."
Julia laid down without further complaint, and closed her eyes. Hawk watched his daughter for a moment, and tried not to feel jealous of his father in law. His father in law seemed to have the magic touch with females of all ages, even the toddler ones.
Julia loved spending time with her Grandpa, and would do anything for him. Her mom and dad? Heck no, she fought them over every little thing. His father in law had over heard him talking to Skye about it one day, and had interrupted them to say, "The lil Spitfire has good taste birdboy, she must take after me." And then he had given Hawk that grin that irritated him to no end. That all knowing, blasted grin...
"Okay lil Firecracker, are you ready?"
Julia kicked her feet in the water. "Me! Me!"
He pulled her back, and swung her through the water. "One!" Julia giggled as he did it again. "Two!"
"Three!" Colin threw her up high in air, and then caught her.
Julia shrieked. "Gan! Gan!"
"Do it again?"
"Okay Spitfire, you asked for it! One, two..."
He threw her up into the air, and caught her.
"Mo! Mo Gunpa! Mo!"
Colin laughed. "My little adrenaline junkie." He said fondly.
He happily threw her up into the air several more times, and then chuckled. Skye would have a f*cking cow fit if she could see them. Good thing for him, she was preoccupied with grading papers. He brought Julia closer to the water, and let her splash about.
Julia kicked her feet, giggling when she managed to spray him with water. "Oh, you think that's funny do you?" He pretend growled.
She splashed him again, and chortled, pleased with herself. "Gunpa wet!"
Colin loved all of his grandchildren equally, and spent as much time with them as they would let him, but he was especially close to Julia. They had really bonded, much to his daughter's chagrin. Skye was such a f*cking worrywart, always worried that something was going to happen Julia, and she fretted about it constantly. Colin grimaced. If she could put her daughter in a f*cking plastic bubble, then she would, all in the name of keeping Julia safe.
Trouble was, Colin could recognize Julia's spirit, for it was a lot like his own. Rebellious. Only time would tell, but Colin had a hunch that Skye was going to have her hands full with this one.
He swung Julia up, and held her above his head. He grinned at her. "You think soaking Grumpa is fun..."
"Fun! Gunpa wet!" She giggled, her eyes were alight with mischief.
He dragged her through the water again, and she squealed.
Colin tipped a giggling Julia onto her back, and helped her float. Julia had no f*cking fear, and trusted him implicitly, which freaked the h*ll out of him in some ways. He pointed to the puffy white clouds in the sky. "Look Squirt, clouds. There's a monkey cloud, he's going to tickle you" He playfully waved his fingers above her as she laughed.
She pointed up. "Pwetties!"
"Is that so?" Colin looked up. "Well, I'll be, Miss Julia, you're right. Pretties they are!"
She smiled smugly. "Pwetties."
Hawk glanced up at his wife as she came into the kitchen, holding a very vocal, unhappy Julia.
"She's being impossible today!" Skye said, exasperated. "She barely let me brush her hair, and she refuses to let me get her dressed!"
"No dwess! No dwess!"
"See!?" Skye closed her eyes for a moment, and searched within herself for one more strand of patience to deal with her stubborn daughter. "It's Saturday!" Skye wailed. "I had so many things I wanted to do with her today, like mother daughter shopping! They have the cutest dresses in that little shop downtown..."
"No dwess! No dwess!" Julia hollered.
"Well, Skye," Hawk said diplomatically, "maybe she's a little young for shopping. We could take her to the park though."
Skye's face fell. "I suppose." She sighed. "I had so hoped, well, never mind that then. Julia, how about we go to..."
Hawk watched the bowl of fruit in front of him start to shake. "Julia." He said sternly, trying to snap his daughter out of an impending fit. He was marginally successful, as the bowl stopped shaking, but Julia started wailing again.
Hawk sighed, one disaster averted. He feared that her powers might develop more quickly than her maturity, and that would be frightful indeed.
"Are you pinching that cute little baby Skye?" Luna asked, as she came over to see what the commotion was all about. Hawk really wished Luna would be more careful with her words, Skye already struggled with feeling inadequate as a mother.
"No." Skye said, a little short. "I'm just trying to get my daughter to..." Skye's voice was drowned out by Julia's wails of no "dwess". "Julia, please calm down baby." She gently bounced Julia in her arms, but Julia wouldn't settle down, and continued to cry. "She's just so impossible sometimes!" Skye felt like crying along with her daughter. All she had wanted to do was spend some time with her on her day off, and have some fun. Motherhood was definitely not what she had expected it to be.
"What the h*ll is all that noise?" Julia suddenly stopped crying, but her lower lip still quivered.
"Dad!" Skye chastised her father. "No cursing around her, remember?"
"Hawk, would you take her, and see if you can do something with her, I just, I just..." Hawk held out his arms out and Skye tried to transfer Julia over, but she resisted.
"No!" She howled. "Gunpa! Want Gunpa!"
"Grumpa doesn't take howling monkeys." Colin said calmly. He watched as Julia processed what he said, and then calmed herself down. He held back a grin as she smiled at him, all winsome and sweet once again. He shook his head, the little faker, he was wise to her tricks.
"Gunpa hug?" She held her arms out to him, and Colin looked to Skye for permission, who wearily shrugged and handed her daughter over.
"I don't know why she behaves so well for you Dad, but I'm grateful for it."
"Because I'm not her parent." Colin told her. "Grandparenting is way more fun, than parenting." He turned his attention to his granddaughter. "Now you lil firecracker you, how about you and I have a little chat about that temper of yours..."
"Once upon a time, there lived an Evil Queen..."
Hawk had decided a good way to introduce his daughter to his story, was through a fairytale story. "This Evil Queen had two children, a boy, and a girl."
Julia pointed at a picture. "Pwincess."
"That's right, the Princess was sad, because the Evil Queen..."
"Terry, I need some back up over here! We're losing our base!"
"On my way!"
Kalen thought Terry was a lot of fun, and she never seemed to look at him as anything more than a friend, which was perfectly all right with him. He had no interest in having a girlfriend, just listening to his friends talk about theirs he had come to a conclusion. Girls took too much money and time, and he wasn't willing to part with either.
Kalen had plans, big plans for his life. He wanted to travel the world, and explore history while finding artifacts from the past. Hanging around in this town, tied to one girl, and even worse, having the burden of kids, it just didn't factor into his life.
Kids, he had discovered, were a pain in the butt. If having Kate hadn't cured him of ever wanting children, his cousin Julia sure would have. Man she was so noisy, and she always got into his stuff, she had even eaten his homework once, not that anyone believed him.
Still, he liked the company of girls, he just didn't want any of the expectations or complications associated with them. Terry fit that bill rather nicely. "Woohoo!" he crowed as he blasted his way through an enemy line of soldiers. "Behind you!" He warned Terry.
"I see him. Gotcha!"
"Kalen, would you guys keep it down!" Tanner grumbled. "I'm trying to work here."
"Whoops! Sorry Dad!" His dad had been a little grumpy lately, like he had a lot on his mind. He was hoping it was because his dad was finally going to propose to his mom. He had just happened to see the engagement ring in his dad's hand the other day, but he had quickly pocketed it as soon as he had seen Kalen watching him.
It had certainly taken his dad long enough to get a ring. Sheesh.
"Out pease? Daddy?"
Sometimes his father in law drove him crazy, but Hawk couldn't deny that he was good for Julia. She hadn't thrown a temper tantrum ever since her and her Grumpa had a little chat. In fact, she had even learned a new word, please, which had thrilled Skye to no end.
Hawk could still see the occasional flare of temper in Julia's eyes at times, but then she would glance over at her Grumpa, and the temper would fade away. Colin was nothing short of a miracle worker, not that Hawk would ever tell him so. He was conceited enough as it was.
"Come here Pumpkin." He lifted his daughter up, and cuddled with her for as long as she let him. In Julia time, that meant it only lasted mere minutes before she was struggling to be put down. His Julia was a go getter, never content to just...hold still for a minute or two.
Her energy seemed boundless, she would run and run and run until she passed out, and then she would wake up and run some more. Sometimes Hawk feared he would be unequal to the task of raising her or teaching her what she needed to know. In theory it had seemed easy enough, but he had not taken her personality into account when he had made his plans.
In his mind, his child had been compliant. Hawk knew how his mother would have dealt with non-compliance, but he did not want to break Julia's spirit, he loved his daughter's passionate, adventurous spirit; he just needed to help her temper it bit...
"Uh, Luna?" Tanner cleared his throat nervously. "I have something I wanted to ask you."
"Well," Tanner pulled at the neck of his shirt, was it just him or was it warm in here? "We've been together, well, since we were kids, but together together, you know, romantically..."
Luna smiled at him. "I'm aware of all of that, yes."
"Well, yeah." He said sheepishly. "Anyway, what I was trying to say, was, you know, I..." His voice trailed off for a moment, and then he regathered himself. "I don't know why I'm so nervous."
"Because you're adorable." Luna told him, and she grinned at him.
He smiled back, and suddenly he wasn't nervous anymore. "I have loved you for all my life Luna, through the bad times, and through the good times. I love our life together, and I want to make us officially official. Would you make my lifelong dream come true, and marry me?"
Luna was stunned, and couldn't take her eyes off the ring.
"Luna?" Tanner prompted.
"Yes! I'd be honored to be your wife!"
"Whew, you had me worried for a moment." Tanner said as he got up off his knees and put the ring on her finger.
"I'm sorry." Luna said softly. "I was just thinking how stupid I was when I was younger, not to see what was right in front of me..."
Tanner put his finger over her mouth. "Hush now Luna, we're not looking back, remember? That was in the past, and I am way more interested in our future together." He pulled her in close to him. "I think we should travel, and have some fun, once Kalen graduates."
Luna thread her fingers through his hair. "I've always wanted to travel."
"I know." He smiled at her. "Think of all the adventures we could have! I think we should go to France first, and check out the Museum d'Art. I bet if you show them some of your pieces, they would even display your work. You're a brilliant artist."
Luna chuckled. "Flattery gets you every where."
"It's not flattery if it's true." Tanner said loyally.
"I love you Tanner." Luna said, and then she kissed him.
"I love you too."
Julia frowned. It was her birthday, why couldn't she do what she wanted instead of what her mother wanted? It didn't make any sense to her at all.
Julia didn't care about the cake or the ice cream, she wanted to go night swimming with her Grumpa, and see the Glo-fish. Stupid cake. She didn't even like cake anyway.
"Julia!" Skye called. "Come here Sweetie."
Julia ignored her mother. It just wasn't fair.
"Squirt, get your a*s in here, or forget about going with me tonight."
Julia squealed, and ran into the kitchen where her whole family waited, with a lit birthday cake. She was going swimming after all!
"Dad, language!" Skye admonished, "Put a quarter in the jar!" She then turned to Julia with a big smile on her face. "There's my birthday girl!" They started singing Happy Birthday to her, but she only half payed attention, she only had one thing on her mind. She was going night swimming with her Grumpa!
"Come on Spitfire!"
Julia shivered. "The water sure is colder at night!" she exclaimed.
"That's right, it's not for the freaking wussies, only for the strong ones like us." Her grumpa bragged.
"Mother says it's only for the crazies."
Her grumpa laughed. "Or those." He agreed. Julia giggled, she loved her grumpa's laugh, it made her happy just to hear it.
"Where are the Glo fish Grumpa?"
"In the deeper water, come on Spitfire, get your a*s over here."
"Ooooh, Grumpa, you said a naughty word."
"I'll put another quarter in the jar when we get home." He grumbled.
Julia grinned. "Mother says you're going to pay for her vacation to Egypt with your words."
"She does, does she?"
"Yep. She says you're incorrigible, just like me."
"I think you got that backwards Squirt."
Julia frowned. "Backwards?"
"Yep, I think you're incorrigible, just like me. Come on Spitfire, if you want to see those Glo fish, we better get our a*ses moving."
"I'm glad you're keeping track, you'll make your mother proud." He grinned at her. "Come on, let's go."
"Mother's not as fun as you."
"Whoa, Julia, I don't want to ever hear you say that again, you hear? Your mama tried for a really long time to have you, she loves you, and would do anything for you. You understand me Squirt?"
"Yes Grumpa." Julia said dutifully. Inwardly though, she still thought it. Her mother wanted her to take stupid ballet dance class, and stupid piano lessons, and wear stupid dresses, and have stupid tea parties, all that stupid boring stuff. Julia would rather be outside on the beach, or even better, swimming around in the Ocean. She wanted to be just like her Grumpa.
"Dad, do we hafta to do this now?" The only thing worse than piano and dance lessons, was what her dad called, 'Survival Lessons'.
Hawk turned towards his daughter. "Yes." He answered. "Don't you remember what we talked about?"
Julia sighed. "Yes, I have to learn to defend myself because there are evil people out there that want to hurt our family."
Hawk smiled at her. "That is why I must start teaching you, because there is a lot to learn. The first thing you must know Julia, is how to control your power. Once you can control it, then you can use it to defend yourself, and protect others. Your powers will only grow stronger as you grow older, and you don't want to accidentally hurt anyone, right?"
"Okay, so, first, watch me, and then I'll show you how..."
"Malfunction. Malfunction. Malfunction."
"Bob!" Jack sighed. "What have you gotten into now?"
"Malfunction. Malfunction. Malfunction."
"I really need to program more words for you."
"Malfunction. Malfunction. Malfunction."
"Yes, yes Bob, I see you're malfunctioning, hold still would you...Bob! Have you been in the swimming pool again?"
"Malfunction. Malfunction. Malfunction."
Jack grumbled to himself. "Malfunction alright! Bob you can't go into the water! I sure thought that last programing update took care of any swimming urges you might have." He pulled out his screwdriver and opened up the panel to bob's postitronic brain. "Back to the drawing board I guess."
Julia sighed. Her mother was calling her...again. How was she ever going to get ready for tonight's party with her mother bugging her every few minutes?
"What Mother?" Julia hollered back.
"When did you say that party ended?"
"I didn't." Julia muttered to herself. She walked into the room where her mother sat, grading papers. "Two a.m., I think."
"Two? Oh no, miss, there is no way you are staying out that late on a school night. I want you home by 10."
Julia groaned. How lame was that? 10!? Ha! As if! That was simply unacceptable. "Yes Mother." She said politely. Thankfully she knew a handy little trick that would confuse her mother's memories a little bit, which would allow Julia to stay longer. Her dad was off on some mushroom gathering trip for a few days, so as long as she avoided her Grumpa, she could stay as long as she liked.
She had tried out her powers on her Grumpa a few times, but for whatever reason, they never worked on him. It wasn't like she could ask her dad or anyone why, because then she would have to confess to what she had been up to. So if her Grumpa caught her, she was in big a*s trouble. She had no intentions of getting caught though, no intentions at all.
Notes: What a whirlwind of time, lol :P I have a bazillion pictures of Julia, because I think she is just so darn adorable, but I decided using all the pics just because I have them, would only bog my story down. Her early years aren't too terribly important, other than she's learning stuff, and she takes more after her grandfather than her mother.
Poor Skye, she survives to raise her daughter, but her daughter is not at all interested in any of the girly stuff that Skye wanted to with her.
Kalen is not interested in romance, he rejects all flirts, lol He does however, have lots of friends! =)
And, yay! Tanner and Luna are finally getting married! There probably won't be a wedding though--maybe a mention next chapter. Weddings are always annoying glitch fests for me, so I stopped doing them. Now everyone gets married privately, lol
My kids call their paternal grandfather, Grumpa. I have always thought it was pretty cute. <3
Questions? Comments? Thanks for reading! =)