Hurt & Comfort

Elusive Comfort

© 2003-2022 MultiMapper
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Chapter 9: Portents of Doom

"Hey one-eye, you got a minute?" Matt asked as he entered the dining room.

"Sure Matt, do you need some privacy for this?" Scott asked, looking at the others at the table.

"Naw, nuthin like that. Tha other Logan just showed up and gave me sumthin and I need ta talk to your lawyer." Matt said as he took a seat beside Scott.

"Jean just left something for us too." Alan said with a grin.

"I got a land deed, what'd you get?" Matt asked suspiciously.

"Go ahead and tell Scott what's up and we'll tell you ours in a minute." Andrew said with a sneaky smile.

Matt gave Andrew a wary look before turning back to Scott and saying, "Look at this."

Scott looked over the document carefully and finally said, "What do you need to see a lawyer for? It's already in your name."

"Cause the other Logan said I deeded the land to myself when I took the name Logan." Matt said gruffly.

Scott stopped and thought for a minute.

"So do you know any lawyers?" Matt asked impatiently.

Scott snapped out of his thoughts and said, "Um, yeah, in fact I know a really good one. He mentioned that he'd be visiting his family today, but if you wanted we could fax this to him right now and he could call us when he gets it." Scott said seriously.

"Sounds good." Matt said in thought.

"Then, once we've faxed this, what would you think about going into town and looking for an open pool table somewhere?" Scott asked casually.

Matt looked at Scott with surprise.

"I remember you saying you'd like to go shoot some pool when you got out of isolation. Well, I'm in the mood for a game right now. It's been a long day and I need to unwind." Scott said hopefully.

After a searching look into Scott's face, Matt said, "You got it Cyke."

"Great! Let's go fax this now, then I have one other stop to make before we leave." Scott said happily.

"Q? What happened? You aren't Q anymore?" Quaid said with worry as he ran from Icheb to stand before Matt.

All the adults looked in confusion as Quaid began to inspect Matt carefully, apparently looking for damage.

"Did they hurt you? Did they make you like me?" Quaid asked as he took Matt's hand, presumably to see if it was solid.

Andrew was the first to understand what Quaid was thinking and said, "Quaid, this is Matt, he's the brother of the Q we know as Logan."

Quaid stopped his frantic touching of Matt and looked up into his eyes, and timidly said, "Um, sorry. I thought you were someone else."

"No harm done kid. What's your name?" Matt asked as a smile came over his face.

"Quaid... Quaid Summers." He said quietly.

Matt bent down a little to look into Quaid's eyes on his own level and said, "You were worried about my brother, weren't you?"

"Yeah. I thought they did the same to him as they done to me." Quaid mumbled.

"What'd they do?" Matt asked quietly.

"Made me human." Quaid responded timidly.

"It ain't so bad bein human. And you got good people lookin out for you. You'll be alright." Matt said with a smile.

"Thanks, you're nice like your brother." Quaid said as he pulled Matt into a hug.

"I bet he just loves hearing that." Matt said sarcastically.

"The last time I told him he chased me across three dimensions." Quaid said with a giggle.

"Are you ready to send that fax?" Scott asked with a tender smile.

"Yeah Cyke, right behind'ja." Matt said and stood, then said to Quaid before he left the room, "Welcome to the family."

* * * * *

"What do you call it when they're all in a row?" Alex asked as he laid down his cards.

"It's called a straight luv. That's it... I'm yours to command." Spike said as he picked up the cards and placed the deck on the table beside the bed.

"Um, you said you'd do what I told you... but... I mean, I want to do stuff too." Alex said in frustration.

"I can see that." Spike said, looking at the straining cock trying to bore it's way out of Alex's jeans.

"Would you mind if we did each other? I mean, guys do it all the time. We don't have to kiss or anything if you don't want to." Alex said quickly.

"Luv. Don't think that I don't want to. I've got the proof throbbing right here that I do. I just don't want to go to fast and ruin this." Spike said with concern.

"How about this? I'll tell you what I want you to do, and if you think it's too much, Just say so." Alex asked hopefully.

"Sounds good... where do you want me?" Spike said with a grin.

"Lay down on the bed. I just want to hold you." Alex said in a breathy whisper.

* * * * *

"Icheb, do you know where the other kids are?" Andrew asked as Icheb moved to stand beside Quaid.

"Trey is spending the night with Clark and John, Robert is spending the night with Bobby, William is spending the night with Chris and Ronny. Jimmy is visiting with Artie and Clarissa. Janine is visiting with Theresa and Rachel. Jimmy and Janine will be here in eight minutes and I will accompany them home." Icheb said as he put an arm around Quaid.

"We'll wait with you. I'd like to introduce Quaid to Janine and Jimmy." Alan said and took a seat.

"Would you like some more food?" Icheb asked Quaid quietly.

"I'd like some more Jell-O. I like the way it feels." Quaid said with excitement.

Icheb led Quaid back to the serving line yet again.

"Everything is going to be fine Andy. Without Icheb, I don't think we could handle them all, but he's the perfect big brother." Alan said as he watched Icheb and Quaid in the serving line.

"I know love. God, we're so lucky." Andrew said with love as he watched his children.

* * * * *

Slash and Lee walked into the dining room as Quaid and Icheb were returning to the table.

"I wondered where you guys went. We turned around and you were gone." Lee said to the boys.

"Quaid became restless and wanted to return to Father and Dad." Icheb said seriously.

"I got my stuff, so I'm ready when you are." Slash said, holding up his backpack.

"Jimmy and Janine will be here in a few minutes, then we'll go. If you have any room left for a snack, now would be a good time to get it." Andrew said to Slash.

"Um, yeah. I guess." Slash said and walked to the serving line followed by Lee.

"You'd think they'd been brothers all their lives the way they get along." Alan said as he watched Slash and Lee.

"I think Slash is just what Dad needed. Dad's seemed sort of... apart. Like he's not one of us. Just hanging on the fringes of the family. I think Slash gives him someone to relate to that's... on his own level. He doesn't have to be the father or grandfather with Slash." Andrew said in speculation.

"And Slash has someone who wants him. I don't think he could accept someone trying to be his parent, not after the rejection he's suffered. But this way he's accepted as an equal and he still gets to have a family." Alan contributed.

"What are you guys talking about?" Slash asked as he sat back down at the table, followed by Lee.

"You." Andrew said with a grin.

"What about me?" Slash asked apprehensively.

"We were just discussing how perfect it is to have you as an Uncle." Alan said with a smile.

Slash gave a dubious look but finally accepted the statement and started to eat.

"Father! Dad!" Jimmy said with delight as he ran into the room, followed by Clarissa and Artie.

"Hey Squirt, what have you been up to?" Andrew asked as he accepted a hug from his son.

"Artie was telling me about his family. He has this big book that tells about all the people in his family for over four hundred years." Jimmy said with excitement.

"It has all kinds of stories about all those people. One of them was a real pirate!" Clarissa said happily.

"That sounds really interesting. Have you seen Janine lately?" Alan asked with a smile.

"She's right over there. She wanted to get some more Jell-O before we leave." Jimmy said, then noticed Quaid.

"Who's that?" Jimmy whispered to Andrew.

"Let's wait for Janine, then I'll tell you." Andrew whispered in reply.

Janine, Rachel and Theresa walked to the table, each carrying a plate of food... all desserts.

"Janine, Jimmy, I'd like for you to meet your new brother, Quaid Summers." Andrew said happily.

"Really?" Jimmy asked with surprise.

Janine studied Quaid for a moment before saying, "It's nice to meet you." Then started eating her Jell-O.

Andrew and Alan looked at each other curiously at Janine's cold reaction.

"Where are you from? Are you really my brother? I mean, like forever?" Jimmy asked quickly.

"Hold on Squirt, give him a chance to answer." Andrew said with a chuckle.

Quaid looked at Icheb with a helpless look of fear and indecision.

"Quaid is our brother forever. He was brought to us by Aunt Jean because she believed we needed just such a person to make our family complete." Icheb said carefully.

Alan and Andrew exchanged a look at the eloquent and thoughtful response.

"Wow." Jimmy said and ran to hug Quaid.

"If Icheb likes you, then I like you." Jimmy said from the hug.

"Thank you." Quaid said as he tentatively returned the hug.

"I think that's everyone who's going. Finish your food kids and we'll go home." Andrew said to the group.

"Ahem." Lee said to get Andrew's attention.

"Oh, sorry." Andrew said with a blush.

"Kids, I'd like for you to meet your new uncle. His name is Slash, but the members of the family can call him Uncle Joe." Lee said as he indicated Slash who looked like he wanted to crawl under the table.

Janine looked at Slash and got a big smile.

"I opened the door for you." Janine said with a smile as she moved to stand before Slash.

"Yeah, and you brought me in and showed me where the food was." Slash said as he pulled her into a gentle hug.

"I like you." Janine said as she rested her head on his abdomen and continued to hug him tightly.

Andrew looked at Alan and gave a shrug.

"Come on guys. Clear up your plates so we can go. It's getting late." Andrew said to the group.

Janine released the hug and hurried to gulp down her Jell-O.

Jimmy, Icheb and Quaid gathered all the empty plates and took them to the kitchen.

* * * * *

Alex climbed on top of Spike, pressing their cocks together between them.

"Everything okay so far?" Alex asked as he nuzzled Spike's neck.

"Oh love, much of that and it'll be over too soon." Spike said, then gasped as Alex bit the skin that joined the neck to the shoulder.

"You'd make a good vampire mate. You've got the instincts for it." Spike said, then realized that his hands were wandering down Alex's back of their own accord.

Alex lifted his head and forcefully kissed Spike, silencing him for a moment.

Tongues dueled as Alex gave a tentative thrust into the sweat and pre-cum lubricated space between their two bodies.

When the kiss finally broke, Alex whispered, "Wil, I know you're worried about us going too far, too fast. But where we are now is where I want to stay for a while. I can finally touch you, I can show you I love you, I can feel your love for me. This is it. We're here."

"Yes love, we're here. And this is where I want to be." Spike said in peace as he felt Alex begin a rhythm of thrusting.

As Spike was about to say something more, Alex moved in for another deep kiss.

* * * * *

"Hey Xander, how's it going?" Andrew asked as he entered  his bedroom.

"Just fine, the babies have been up for a while now. I think they'll be ready for sleep before too much longer." Xander said from the rocking chair where he was holding Marguerite.

"I thought Warren was here." Andrew said as he carefully picked up Thomas.

"He left a few minutes ago... Andy, I'm worried." Xander said darkly.

"What's wrong Xan?" Andrew asked as he sat in the other rocker, holding his son.

"I've got to take control of my company. Warren has been telling me everything I need to know but... God Andy, this is scaring the hell out of me. I don't know what I'm supposed to do." Xander said quietly as he stroked Marguerite's belly.

"Have you told Warren this?" Andrew asked carefully.

"Yeah. He says that he'll go with me to help me out. The whole college roommate thing is going to make that work, but Wainwright Enterprises isn't going to take too kindly to the competition being invited to one of their board meetings." Xander said seriously.

"Xan, think about how what you're going to do will effect Remy and Marguerite. If this is something that will make their life better in the long run, then do it for them. If you focus on that, it should get you through whatever you have to do." Andrew said with certainty.

Xander sat and stared off into space for a minute before saying, "Thanks Andy. I can do it now. How'd you figure that out so fast?"

"Because I do it every day. Anytime I'm not sure of the right thing to do, or having trouble doing something difficult, that's how I make myself keep going." Andrew said seriously.

"Who would have thought we'd end up like this back at Sunnydale High?" Xander asked as he watched his daughter sucking her fist.

"No one could have imagined it. Now come on, I have to introduce you to the newest members of the family." Andrew said as he got up from his rocker.

"More?" Xander asked helplessly.

"Just two... it's been a slow day." Andrew said with a chuckle.

Xander stood and waited for Andrew to pick up Chakotay.

"I still haven't figured out how you do that." Xander said as he watched Andrew get both babies cradled in his arms.

"What?" Andrew asked as he turned to look at Xander.

"Baby juggling." Xander said with a grin.

"It's just something you figure out when you have two at a time." Andrew said dismissively as he walked toward the door, then said, "But I still haven't figured out how to work a doorknob into my juggling act."

"I've got it." Xander said with a chuckle as he walked past Andrew to the door.

* * * * *

Xander and Andrew walked into the living room to see Alan, Slash, Lee, Icheb, Quaid, Jimmy and Janine sitting on the couches.

Alan stood as Andrew walked up and took Chakotay.

"How's daddy's little warrior doing today?" Alan said to the baby in baby talk.

Slash started laughing at the nickname.

"What's wrong with that? Chakotay is a warrior's name." Alan said defensively as he looked at Slash.

"Nothing wrong, it's just an unusual thing to call a baby." Slash said with a smile.

"I guess so, but when you've got nine kids, you've got to get creative with the nicknames." Alan said with a tender smile directed at Chakotay.

"Nine? Last I heard you had eight." Xander said as he settled into the couch.

"Xander, I'd like you to meet our son, Quaid Summers." Andrew said proudly as he put an arm around Quaid.

"Wow, that's like three in one week! That must be some kind of record." Xander said with surprise.

"No Xan, the record stands at six and we're not trying to break it." Alan said with a smile.

"Father, is this also my brother?" Quaid asked, looking at the baby in Andrew's arms.

"Yes son, this is your brother Thomas. Would you like to hold him?" Andrew asked carefully.

"Can I?" Quaid asked with wide eyes.

"Sure, just be sure to support his head... Icheb, will you help Quaid?" Andrew asked.

Icheb immediately helped shift Thomas to Quaid's arms and positioned Quaid to support Thomas' neck.

"What's Thomas' nickname?" Slash asked as he looked at the tender scene of Quaid holding his brother.

"That's daddy's little imp." Alan said with a smile.

"I can see it. That little guy has mischief to spare, doesn't he?" Slash asked with a chuckle.

"Yeah, he's a treasure." Andrew said warmly.

The sound of a door slamming drew everyone's attention.

Andrew looked around and saw that Janine was gone.

"Is that the smell of sibling rivalry in the air?" Lee asked the group.

"She used to be the baby. Now there are four new kids in the house in less than a week. I guess the reality is setting in." Xander observed.

"Uh oh. I guess we should have expected that... what should we do?" Andrew asked helplessly.

Silence fell over the room.

"I have an idea." Xander finally said into the silence.

"What's that?" Alan asked hopefully.

"Ask for help." Xander said with a grin.

"Ask who?" Andrew said in confusion.

"Aunt Vada. She's like a grandmother to all the kids and especially Janine. I can't think of anyone who'd be able to give better advice. I think we should call her tomorrow and ask her opinion." Xander said with a smile.

"If she's up to it, maybe you could take Marguerite and Janine to visit tomorrow." Alan said in thought.

"I'll see what she thinks when I call. It sounds like a good idea. Who wants to drive me down there?" Xander asked as he looked at Marguerite tenderly.

"Hold on Xan, I think I have an answer for you." Andrew said as he hurried back to the bedroom and picked up the large envelope that he carried for the better part of the evening.

"This is yours, I don't know if you've got a driver's license in there, but you might be able to drive yourself." Andrew said as he sat the envelope beside Xander.

"Could you look for me Andy, I don't want to disturb Marguerite." Xander asked hopefully.

"Yeah." Andrew said and opened the envelope to find three envelopes inside, he opened the envelope marked Xander and pulled out a driver's license.

"You're legal to drive." Andrew said as he held out the license for Xander's inspection.

"Maybe legal, but not comfortable. I'd rather not try it without depth perception. I've only driven my Uncle's car a few times and wasn't that good at it." Xander said seriously.

"Plan B." Andrew said as he pulled out Icheb's envelope.

"Do you think you'd be willing to teach Icheb to drive?" Andrew asked as he pulled a learner's permit out of Icheb's envelope.

"Um, yeah. I could do that." Xander said cautiously.

"What do you say son? Would you like to drive your Uncle Xander down to visit Aunt Vada tomorrow?" Andrew asked across the room.

"Yes... I would like to try." Icheb said nervously.

"Can I go too?" Quaid asked hopefully.

"We'll ask Aunt Vada what she thinks tomorrow. If she says it's better for Janine if you stay here, will you be alright with it?" Alan asked carefully.

"Yes Dad... can I call you Dad?" Quaid asked hesitantly.

"Yes son, I am your Dad." Alan said with a smile.

"If Aunt Vada says I should stay, then I'll stay with my other brothers." Quaid said, but glanced at Icheb with a look that showed he really didn't want to be away from his big brother.

"We still have a few new rooms to look through, we need to start thinking about sleeping arrangements for tonight." Andrew said as he looked around the group.

"New rooms?" Xander asked curiously.

"Yeah. The new wing is complete thanks to some divine intervention." Andrew said as he stood and held out his arms for Thomas.

"Huh?" Xander asked as he noticed everyone else was getting up.

"Q... Aunt Jean used her powers to finish the bedrooms." Quaid said as he stood and took Icheb's hand.

"Oh... Okay." Xander said as he hesitantly stood.

"Quaid, why don't you show Uncle Xander and Marguerite the fairy room?" Andrew asked as he led the way through the door.

Xander got a look of surprise as Quaid rushed past Andrew down the new hallway.

* * * * *

"This is Spike and Alex's room." Andrew said as they passed the closed door.

"Come on, come look." Quaid said impatiently from the next doorway.

"It's beautiful." Jimmy said as he entered the room.

"It's Marguerite's room." Xander said as he walked in.

"That's what we thought. It just feels like her." Alan said, carrying Chakotay.

"Itchy, Jimmy, come look. I want you to see my room." Quaid said and rushed out the door.

Icheb and Jimmy hurried out to follow.

"Itchy?" Xander asked with a grin.

"He doesn't seem to mind." Andrew said as they walked down the hall.

Xander, Alan and Andrew walked into the room to see Quaid pointing out every feature of the room with excitement and joy.

"The next room is Trey's." Andrew said as he walked back into the hallway, leaving three of his sons to explore the new bedroom.

"We passed mine, it's right there." Lee said, pointing at his bedroom door.

"So who's is this?" Xander asked as he approached the door across the hall from Trey's.

"I don't know. We didn't make it this far." Andrew said and followed.

As the group walked in, the color scheme immediately barked out the owner of the room.

"Slash. Unless I'm mistaken, you've got your own room." Lee said with a smile.

The stark black and white room was accented by the occasional red fixture or ornament.

"Are you sure?" Slash asked as he looked in wonder at the room.

"Who else do you think it could belong to?" Andrew asked as he noticed the black and white checkered tiled pattern in the carpet.

"Here's a note." Xander said, pointing with his free hand toward a note on the pillow.

Slash picked up the note and read it silently. He looked up to see everyone was watching him.

"It just says, 'Slash, Welcome to the family. Jean'." Slash said with a smile.

"I guess it's official. This is your home." Andrew said as he enjoyed Slash's happiness.

"Dad, Dad, come look." Quaid called from the hallway.

One by one the adults filed out of Slash's room and to the next bedroom.

"Itchy's room is across from mine." Quaid said with joy.

As the adults looked in the room, they couldn't help but smile.

With two exceptions, the room was identical to Quaid's. The exceptions being a regeneration alcove set into one wall and a giant, floor to ceiling number 2 instead of a Q.

"Is all your stuff in here already?" Andrew asked as he walked into the room.

"Yes. Everything of mine is here." Icheb said in wonder.

"I can't wait to see who's next." Alan said and hurried to the next room.

When he opened the door he stood stunned.

"What is it love?" Andrew asked, then froze when he saw the room.

"It's perfect." Alan said and hesitantly walked into the room.

Slash walked in and asked, "Who's room is this?"

"Tell me what you see." Andrew asked as he also walked slowly into the room.

"One side is different kinds of clocks... sundials, hourglasses, all kinds... but they're all stopped." Slash said as he walked in to look more carefully.

"And the other side?" Alan prompted Slash to continue.

"Fires, flames, lasers, heat." Slash said as he interpreted the abstract mural of red, orange and yellow.

"This is the twin's room." Andrew said quietly.

"Thomas' ability effects time and Chakotay's produces heat." Alan said with a smile.

"As soon as they're old enough to sleep through the night, this will be their room." Andrew said with a smile.

"Who do you suppose is next?" Lee asked as he walked back into the hall.

"If I were to guess, I'd say Xander." Andrew said speculatively.

"Why do you say that?" Xander asked curiously.

"Because Thomas and Chakotay's room is across from Dad's, Icheb's is across from Quaid's, it makes sense that your room will be across from Marguerite's." Andrew said as he waited for Xander to open the door.

"Let's see how good your powers of deduction really are." Xander said and opened the door.

"Pretty good." Xander said as he walked in.

"Look, the crib and changing table are already in here." Andrew said with surprise.

"I guess this means you get to stay in here tonight." Lee said with a smile.

"Yeah, all of us are going to get to use our new rooms tonight." Slash said happily.

"Now great, all knowing Andrew. There's one room left, who's is it?" Xander asked with a smile.

"Um... I haven't got a clue. I don't think Jimmy, Robert or William want to be broken up. Janine has a room that she's happy with... let's go find out." Andrew said and walked to the next door.

"I don't understand." Alan said as he looked around the room.

"It's got a crib." Andrew said with concern.

"And the room is decorated in white, shades of blue and metallic colors." Lee said as he looked around.

"Anyone have any ideas?" Andrew asked as he looked at the group.

"Just one." Xander said as he looked around.

"Spill it Xan." Andrew said, feeling strange about the room.

"It's for someone who isn't here yet." Xander said as he looked at the group.

"What?" Alan and Andrew asked as they looked at each other.

"We've known who each room belongs to immediately. There is almost an aura in each room that screams out who's it is... I don't know the person who lives here. This feeling isn't familiar." Xander said, then turned to leave.

"I've got a bad feeling about this Andy." Alan said with apprehension.

"I know love. It's crawling up my spine." Andrew said with worry.

"Q, I mean Aunt Jean wouldn't let anything bad happen, would she?" Quaid asked, worried by his new parents' attitude.

"Quaid, things happen. Sometimes good things, and sometimes bad things. Aunt Jean can help us deal with bad things that happen, but I don't think she can stop them from happening." Andrew said as he walked out of the room.

"Why not?" Quaid asked, truely curious.

"Quaid, I love you just the way you are, right?" Andrew asked.

Quaid nodded hesitantly.

"What if I decided that I didn't want you to change. I wanted you to be just like this, forever. You'd never grow up, never fall in love or have your own family, you'd always be my little boy, exactly the way you are today. What would you think of that?" Andrew asked as the group walked back into the living room.

"It would be bad." Quaid said uncertainly.

"Why would it be bad? I love you just the way you are. Why shouldn't I want you to always be that way?" Andrew pressed.

"Cause I'm s'posed to grow and get big. Someday I'm going to be a father like you. If I stayed like this... I'd never... there'd be no reason to learn anything." Quaid said with difficulty.

"Right. That's why things change. Some changes are good, like getting a wonderful new son. And some changes aren't so good. But they're all part of growing. When bad things happen, you have to do your best to get through them and be strong, and sometimes when you get to the other side of a bad thing, something good is waiting for you." Andrew said, trying to explain so Quaid could understand.

"So my dad made Itchy go away and wanted to make me go away too, so that was a bad thing. But now I'm here where you love me and I have another Itchy and lots of people who love me, so that's a good thing. And if the bad thing didn't happen, the good thing wouldn't happen either." Quaid said in triumph.

"Yes son. You understand." Alan said with a smile.

"So anybody have a clue about what bad thing is about to happen?" Slash asked, breaking the moment.

"No, but I don't think we'll have to wait too long to find out." Andrew said darkly.

To Be Continued...