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"Father, there is a large truck in front of the house." Icheb said through the bedroom door.
Andrew, Alan and Hank walked out of the bedroom in time to see the first boxes being hauled into the living room.
"What's all this?" Andrew asked with surprise.
"Cribs, changing tables, playpens, bassinets, swings... baby stuff." Dawn said as she carefully took stock of what was being brought in.
"What are two babies going to do with all this stuff?" Andrew asked as more and more boxes were unloaded.
"Three babies... And some of this stuff is for the mansion. It just made sense to have it all delivered where the majority was going, rather than deal with separate shipping instructions for every single thing I bought." Dawn said seriously.
"Okay... I don't know what we're going to do with all this stuff. I don't even know what some of these things are." Andrew said in an overwhelmed voice.
"Dawn, would you mind if I took Andrew and Alan out of here for a few minutes?" Lee asked quietly.
"Would you please?" Dawn asked hopefully.
Lee nodded then said, "Robert, watch out for Chakotay. William, watch out for Thomas. Your fathers and I will be in the bedroom for a few minutes if you need anything."
Robert and William nodded as they held their brothers close.
"Misty, would you help me?" Lee asked hopefully.
Mystique looked surprised for a moment, but quickly covered it and walked to Lee's side.
"You get Alan, I'll get Andrew." Lee said and took hold of Andrew's arm to gently guide him to the bedroom.
"I can't, the babies..." Andrew began to say.
"The babies are fine. Their brothers are watching out for them and they'll call us if there is any problem." Lee said with assurance.
Finally, after a few stops and starts, they were able to make it into the bedroom.
* * * * *
"Bobby, would you come here for a minute?" Scott asked from the dining room doorway.
"Um, sure." Bobby said, glancing at Peter who was looking at the babies.
"Sit down." Scott said absently as he closed the dining room doors.
"What is it? Is it about Pete?" Bobby asked with worry.
"Yes. He gave his permission for me to talk to you about this." Scott said with difficulty.
"What is it Scott? You're freaking me out here." Bobby said in worry.
"Tell me about Peter. How would you describe him... as a person?" Scott asked slowly.
"Um... big... definitely big. Friendly... honest... shy sometimes, but not always." Bobby said in thought.
Scott smiled at the description, finally he asked, "What about his organization?"
"Oh yeah, I guess he's organized, just like you and Warren." Bobby said with a slight nod.
"You don't know how good it is to hear that you think of Peter that way... he's been working with the Professor to overcome a disorder, an obsessive-compulsive disorder, for the past three years." Scott said quietly.
"Oh... I never noticed." Bobby said in thought.
"He's much better than he used to be. He was almost unable to leave his room when he first arrived... but he still has times when it's a problem for him." Scott said gently.
"So he didn't want to go camping with us because he was... what?" Bobby asked in confusion.
"Peter has a need for routine. Certain things need to be done in a certain order. A disruption in his order throws him into chaos, his reaction can be anything from depression to what might be classified as a seizure because it's so powerful." Scott said with worry.
"Then how did he come to lunch yesterday?" Bobby asked curiously.
"I don't know. I was surprised to see him come back from running with you. I guess he has good days and bad days. He must have been having an exceptional day to agree to break his routine and come to lunch." Scott finished with a shrug.
Bobby nodded and thought.
"He's afraid he's going to lose you as a friend because of this." Scott said into the silence.
"Why would he think that?" Bobby asked immediately.
"Because it's happened before." Scott said quietly.
"Oh." Bobby whispered.
"So what do you think?" Scott asked, hoping for a good reaction.
"I think I need to talk to Pete... Would you mind asking him to come in here?" Bobby asked as he looked at Scott with concern.
"Sure Bobby." Scott said and got up from the table.
"Thanks for telling me Scott." Bobby said gently.
"It was Peter's choice to tell you." Scott said in response.
"I know, but thank you for doing it for him." Bobby said with a gentle smile.
Scott nodded as he left to get Peter.
* * * * *
"Aunt Vada, you're in awfully early." Dr. Ross said as he shook her hand.
"Yes. I had some early visitors today and we wanted to visit Marguerite before we go to Westchester." Vada said happily.
"Oh, you're going to see Xander and Remy?" Dr. Ross asked with interest.
"Yes. Two new babies were born into the household and we're going to pay our respects. This is Lacie, Steve and Evelyn Hawkes." Vada said kindly.
"A pleasure to meet you. If you'll follow me, we can visit Marguerite together." Dr. Ross said as he led the way.
"How is she doing?" Vada asked immediately.
"Extremely well. With the proper care, she could leave the hospital today." Dr. Ross said simply.
"Excuse me Dr., but what kind of care would that be?" Steve asked carefully.
"Just someone with a delicate touch since she's so small and someone attentive who can stay with her." Dr. Ross said and opened the door into a small lounge.
"Have a seat and I'll be back in a second." Dr. Ross said and walked through another door.
"What are you up to Steve?" Evelyn asked curiously.
"Aunt Vada, do you think Remy and Xander would be able to give her the proper care she needs?" He asked curiously.
"Yes. I'm certain of it." Vada said with a swell of excitement.
"Then maybe we should bring Xander and Remy a surprise when we visit." Steve said with a smile.
"Oh Stevie, that would be wonderful. And that would be like all three babies being born on the same day." Vada said joyfully.
"Here she is." Dr. Ross said as he carried the tiny bundled form of Marguerite into the lounge.
"She's so small, are you sure she can leave the hospital?" Steve asked in awe of the tiny baby.
"She's small, but she's strong. This little girl has more fight in her than just about any patient I've had." Dr. Ross said with admiration.
"That's my granddaughter." Vada said proudly.
"Would you like to hold her?" Dr. Ross asked Steve carefully.
"I'm afraid I'll hurt her." Steve said in a whisper.
"Just cradle her... you'll do fine." Dr. Ross said with a smile.
Steve carefully took the tiny baby into his hands. Her tiny eyes opened and he was immediately in love with the tiny angel.
"Look at her, oh Evelyn, look at her." Steve said in a gasping breath of wonder.
"She's gorgeous. Oh Vada, what a beautiful little girl." Evelyn said in awe.
"Hello Sweet Pea, your grandma is here again." Vada said and brushed the tiny baby's cheek with her finger.
"Will Remy and Xander know what to do if we bring her home?" Evelyn asked with concern.
Dr. Ross gave a curious look toward Aunt Vada.
"Dr. Ross, Stevie is also known as Judge Hawkes, the man who is overseeing Marguerite's adoption." Vada said gently.
"I've seen your name on some paperwork... and I think Remy and Xander mentioned how you helped them speed up the adoption." Dr. Ross said in memory.
"Yes, well, if you were serious about Marguerite being able to leave the hospital today and would be willing to let me take her to Xander and Remy, then I'll file the official paperwork and make it all legal in the morning." Steve said as he kept his gaze fixed on Marguerite.
Dr. Ross nodded in thought, then said, "To answer your question, Xander and Remy have been here and helped care for her enough that they know what to do."
"Good... I don't have a car seat." Steve said suddenly.
"She wouldn't fit in one anyway. You'll need to carry her just the way you're doing." Dr. Ross said with a smile.
"Oh. Thank you Doctor... does this mean we can take her with us?" Steve asked in surprise.
"Aunt Vada will need to sign her out at the desk. As far as I'm aware, she's still the baby's legal guardian. But then... yes. I'll have Serena gather a few things to take with you... diapers and things." Dr. Ross said and walked out of the room.
"May I?" Evelyn asked and held out her hands.
Steve carefully handed the tiny baby to Evelyn and saw the rightness of how she looked holding a baby.
Evelyn glanced up and saw the look in her husbands eyes.
"Yes." She said in a near whisper as peace and joy radiated out from her.
Vada and Lacie looked at each other as Lacie said, "Well it looks like I'm *finally* going to be a grandmother. I was afraid I was going to have to sit him down and have 'the talk' with him again since it didn't seem to take the first time."
Vada chuckled and said, "Look at them. They'll be perfect parents."
"Thank you dear, I think you're right." Lacie said as she watched her son and his wife with Marguerite.
* * * * *
Peter walked into the dining room hesitantly.
"Hi Pete. Will you talk with me for a minute?" Bobby asked carefully.
Peter nodded and took a seat at the table.
"Scott didn't give me any details, and I don't really need any. I just need for you to tell me the truth." Bobby said seriously.
Again, Peter nodded.
"He said you need routine... like the running." Bobby began and Peter nodded in confirmation.
"Would it be possible for me to, like, follow along with you one day? I mean, so I could understand your routine?" Bobby asked carefully.
Peter got a look of horror at the thought.
"Pete, I'm not demanding anything. I'm your friend and I want to understand this so I can, I dunno, work around it, or share it with you, or something." Bobby said hopefully.
Peter looked at Bobby in shock, so Bobby continued, "Will you tell me what you need to be doing right now?"
"It is time for me to prepare to run." Peter said quietly.
"Okay, hold on for a second." Bobby said and jumped up.
Peter just watched as Bobby walked out of the room.
* * * * *
Scott walked into the living room to find everyone milling around looking at the boxes that nearly filled the room.
"Where is all this stuff going to go?" Scott asked the room.
"Some to Andrew's room, some to Xander's room and some to the mansion." Dawn said seriously.
"Okay. How much needs to be assembled?" Scott asked as he noticed that many of the boxes were suspiciously flat.
"Most of them." Dawn said seriously.
"Alright. Do you mind if we start?" Scott asked Dawn, who seemed to be in charge.
"No, that's a good idea." Dawn said with a note of relief.
"Do you have the invoice?" Scott asked as he surveyed the room.
"Right here." Dawn said and handed it to him.
"Right... Icheb, will you work with Xander, Remy, Alex and Spike to carry the things for Marguerite upstairs. When you get it there, start assembly and put things where they're going to go. Dawn can tell you which boxes are yours." Scott said with authority.
"If you can find me a marker, I'll mark an 'X' on their boxes." Dawn said.
Trey immediately ran into the kitchen and came back with a large marker.
"Trey, Jimmy, Janine and your fathers can move things into Andrew's room and do the same. Those boxes will be marked with an 'A'." Scott said to Trey.
"Robert and William can continue to tend to the babies for a while longer." Scott said, looking at the two boys holding their brothers.
"John and Ronny, will you help me move the things for the mansion over by the door? Dawn can mark those things with an 'M'." Scott said and received a nod from both boys.
"Once the boxes are all marked, Dawn and Tara can go through the bags of clothes and separate them into piles." Scott said in their direction.
Tara nodded with confidence.
"Okay, let's do it." Scott said and walked to the first box.
"That one goes to Andrew's room." Dawn said and quickly marked an 'A' on the side.
"What of these?" Trey asked from beside a stack of diapers.
"Put one in your father's room, the rest can go to the basement till we need them... and everyone, break down your boxes and store the flattened cardboard in the basement." Scott said to the room.
Bobby came out of the dining room and walked to Robert for a moment.
Robert shook his head and whispered to Bobby with an expression of regret.
Scott walked over to them and asked, "What's up Bobby?"
"It's time for Pete to go running. I just wanted to see if Robert could join us." Bobby said quietly.
"Robert, if you want to go, someone else can watch your brother while you're gone." Scott said honestly.
Robert had a look of indecision.
"I think your brothers and sister would like to get a turn at taking care of the babies too. Go ahead." Scott said with a smile.
"Thank you Uncle Scott." Robert said quietly, so as not to wake his brother.
"Jimmy, would you like to take a turn at holding Chakotay?" Scott asked Jimmy as he was rushing by.
"Yes, I would like that very much." Jimmy said with excitement.
"Robert, give Chakotay to your brother and get ready to go running." Scott said peacefully.
Robert did so and walked with Bobby back to the dining room.
* * * * *
"Andy, Alan, you've got to realize that you've got a huge family here. This isn't all on your shoulders." Lee said seriously.
"But they're our kids." Andrew said immediately.
"Yes, but everyone is going to help care for them." Lee said firmly.
"If you stress yourselves out, you're not helping anyone and you might end up making it harder for people to help you. Let the people around you help and just jump in where you're needed." Lee said seriously.
"How do you know about all this Dad?" Andrew asked curiously.
"Because when you were born, I took care of you. Your mom wasn't very... nurturing. And I nearly drove myself to a nervous breakdown before I asked for help. You don't have to ask... everyone is offering. All you have to do is accept it." Lee said and automatically put an arm around Mystique as he spoke.
"Thanks dad. You're right." Andrew said as Alan nodded in agreement.
"Of course, I'm a father." Lee said with a teasing smile.
There was a knock on the bedroom door.
"Come in." Alan said in a moderate tone.
"May I come in and start assembly of this sleeping unit?" Trey asked hesitantly.
"Sure, when it's done, just put it by the dresser over there... dad, would you help me move the dresser over a little so there's room for both the cribs?" Andrew asked with a smile.
"Of course son." Lee said happily.
* * * * *
Bobby and Robert walked into the dining room to find Peter sitting with a look of anxiety.
"Pete, Robert and I can go running with you if you want." Bobby said seriously.
A smile came over Peter's face and he said, "Thank you Bobby."
"Yeah, no prob. Go on and get ready and we'll do the same. When should we meet you at the track?" Bobby asked carefully.
"Will one hour give you enough time?" Peter asked carefully.
"Yeah, that'll be fine." Bobby said with a smile.
"I will see you then." Peter said and hurried to leave the room.
"Pete, just a second." Bobby called quickly.
Peter turned and looked at Bobby with question.
"Can I tell Robert?" Bobby asked hopefully.
Peter looked at Robert who was standing next to Bobby, looking back curiously.
Finally Peter said, "If you like, but please tell no one else."
"I promise Pete, I'll never tell anyone without your permission." Bobby said as a vow.
"Thank you." Peter said with a smile before he left the room.
* * * * *
Warren and Kurt arrived at the boathouse to what seemed to be chaos.
Janine let them in, then went back to whichever duty she had been assigned.
"What's going on? This is a madhouse." Warren asked as he looked at people carrying boxes up the stairs, cardboard down the stairs, bags of baby clothes being stacked in various piles. In the midst of it all were William and Jimmy holding two sleeping babies.
Kurt walked to the boys and said, "May I hold one of ze babies?"
William nodded and carefully handed Thomas to Kurt.
"Vhat is his name?" Kurt asked in a whisper.
"Thomas Ahnikan Summers." William said in an answering whisper.
"May I?" Warren asked in front of Jimmy.
Jimmy nodded and handed Chakotay to Warren.
"This is Chakotay B'Elan Summers." Jimmy said proudly.
"They're beautiful. Perfect little babies." Warren said as he held Chakotay close.
"Yes, they have exceeded my expectations." William said with a tender look at his brothers.
"What's going on here? What's everyone doing?" Warren asked as he looked at all the people rushing around.
"They are relocating the things for the babies and assembling the things that need it." Jimmy said seriously.
"Do you need any help?" Kurt asked.
"Uncle Scott is coordinating the activities. He is in my fathers' bedroom." William said as Kurt handed Thomas back to him.
"Let's go see if we can help." Warren said and handed Chakotay back to Jimmy.
* * * * *
Angel walked up to the door with Chris on one side and Julia on the other.
He knocked gently and the door was answered by a blue naked woman.
"Hello? I'm here to see the babies." Angel said in confusion.
"They're in the living room." Mystique said and stood back.
"I don't think we've met. I'm Angel." he said cautiously.
"I am Mystique." She said simply and led the way to the babies.
"Chris!" William said with hushed excitement.
"Hello William. We came to see your new brothers." Chris said happily.
"Would you like to hold him? His name is Thomas." William said with a smile.
Chris nodded and sat beside William.
"Just make sure you hold his head." William said with caution.
"May I?" Julia asked and immediately received a baby in her arms.
"His name is Chakotay." Jimmy said proudly.
"That's a curious name... but he's a beautiful baby." Julia said as she cuddled the baby close.
"Where is your father?" Angel asked curiously.
"Either my father or my dad look out that door every five point two seconds." William said and pointed to the bedroom door, just as Andrew poked his head out to see how the babies were doing.
Angel and Julia both laughed as Andrew and Alan came into the living room.
"How are we doing out here?" Andrew asked curiously as he held close to Alan.
"Just fine... but I think this little guy is ready for a diaper change." Julia said quietly.
"Okay, I can take care of that." Andrew said calmly.
"Father, may I do it? I watched Grandfather carefully." Jimmy said hopefully.
"Okay, go ahead." Andrew said with a smile as Julia handed the baby to Jimmy.
"There is a changing table in the bedroom. The wipes and powder and fresh diapers are all right there." Andrew said simply.
"Thank you father." Jimmy said and carried his brother into the bedroom.
"Aren't you going to supervise?" Angel asked curiously.
"No. My father is in there and he's a diapering expert. If Jimmy has any problems, my dad can handle it." Andrew said calmly.
A moment later Jimmy came out of the bedroom, dripping wet and sputtering.
"Where's Chakotay?" Andrew asked with immediate worry.
"Grandfather is completing the diapering. I must go to my alcove for sonic cleansing." Jimmy said darkly.
"I'm sure you're only the first of many who will be christened in the coming months." Andrew said as Jimmy went downstairs.
* * * * *
"Who's the woman with your dad?" William asked quietly.
"Her name is Julia... I think she's going to be my new mom." Chris whispered in return.
"Let me know what it's like to have a mother. I have no memory of having one." William said seriously.
"So far it's great. She loves my dad and has been really nice to me." Chris said frankly.
"That is good. I am happy for you." William said, looking toward the bedroom door.
* * * * *
"How did you do that?" Alex asked curiously.
"Do what?" Trey asked as he worked on the second crib.
"Build the changing table and crib so fast? Remy and Xander just barely figured out how to get the boxes opened." Alex said as he looked around the room.
"Uncle Alex, I was on the engineering staff of Voyager. The assembly of furniture poses little challenge." Trey said as he quickly put the last screw in place.
"Could you go up and help them when you get a chance?" Alex asked hopefully.
"Of course, I will go now. Janine can complete this." Trey said and followed Alex.
To Be Continued...