Author: Brown-in-the-Black PM
Allanverse. Takes place after Birthday and Recollections. Chapter nine. Allan has a conversation with the man who tried to kill him, offers Fred a job and finally, everyone heads for home. This chapter ends this story arc.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Zoe W. - Chapters: 9 - Words: 26,007 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 2 - Updated: 02-10-09 - Published: 01-26-09 - Status: Complete - id: 4819338
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: Joss, Fox, Universal Own em'. (Except for Allan. He's mine) I'm just playing. No money being made.
This story takes place four and a half years after Serenity (BDM) and has the established couples of Simon/Kaylee, Mal/Inara, Zoë/Allan and Jayne/River. Follows after Birthday and Recollections.
A/N: New story arc! Gonna be a slow ramp up to action but I promise some before too long.
Thanks again Chris for the Beta.
Zoë hadn't felt quite right for a few days. She had already gone through one round of false labor a week ago. As she undressed for bed, she felt a twinge in her belly. She paused for a moment...
"Nah," she said out loud before crawling into bed.
Rubbing his eyes, Allan entered the bedroom. His wife was already asleep. Zoë was the strongest woman he had ever met and the pregnancy was kicking her behind big time. The morning sickness had lasted nearly five months. Zoë's mood swings had been few and far between (thank god) and in her third trimester, she had finally adapted to things and tried to forge on.
She succeeded for the most part. Other than the cramps, waddling when she walked, and having to run to the bathroom every thirty minutes.
They spent time planning the baby's room, shopping for toys, clothes and supplies. Zoë began 'nesting' She took charge of the decoration of their new house. Allan was amazed at the transformation.
Zoë, who was at all times the cool collected warrior woman. Found another calling as an interior designer. And Allan even liked the style. He suggested he liked the 'Hunting Lodge' style and Zoë took it and ran (well, waddled). Soon their new home had plush leather and hand hewn wood furniture. Outdoor scene wall hangings and even a real bear skin rug in front of the fireplace.
As he slipped into bed behind his wife, Allan was more amazed by Zoë every day.
Zoë awoke with a start. The pain in her abdomen both unfamiliar and sudden. A panicked thought ran through her mind. The baby! A moment later she felt a sudden gush of fluid between her legs. Lifting the blanket while turning on the light she saw that the fluid was clear, not blood.
Zoë realized that her water had just broken. She was in labor. For real this time. Zoë looked at the clock. It was 3 AM.
She nudged her sleeping husband, "Baby?"
Allan didn't stir.
"Time to call Simon."
"For what?" Allan asked sleepily.
Zoë stared at her husband. For a genius, he sure could be dense at times, "Maybe because my water just broke?"
Allan was out of the bed in a flash. His fingers punching in the number on the Telefonix terminal to Simon and Kaylee's house, a score of yards away.
After what seemed like an hour but was actually less than a minute, a disheveled Simon Tam appeared on the small video screen, "Allan? What's wrong?"
Before Allan could say, a scream from Zoë answered his own question.
"I'll be right there."
Simon shouldn't have been surprised when he noticed that the lights were on at his sisters house as he hurried across the compound, med bag in hand.
"Simon! It's time!" River shouted excitedly as she erupted from the front door of her house, dressed in just sweatpants and a t-shirt. River's bare feet kicking up little puffs of dirt as she ran.
"I know," Simon replied as they both stepped onto the Bryant's porch.
Entering the house, the siblings heard a scream from upstairs followed by a long string of mandarin cursing.
"This is going to be a long night," Simon said to no one in particular as he took the stairs two at a time.
Zoë was sitting on the edge of the bed, naked as the day she was born, panting heavily while the contraction passed.
"How far apart?" Simon asked Allan who sat behind his wife, supporting her back.
"Seven minutes, give or take," Allan replied quickly.
"Why didn't you call sooner?"
"Cause we were asleep!" Zoë growled.
"Relax, Zoë," Simon replied, fully in his doctor mindset.
"You try to relax when you're tryin to push a shuttle out 'tween your legs!"
Over the next ten hours, Zoë alternated screaming, cursing, condemning Allan's parentage, telling him he was never going to touch her again and apologizing. She had almost re-broken Allan's left hand as well. Throughout it all Allan was at his wife's side, encouraging her and tolerating her curses with a smile.
He was about to be a father.
Simon glanced at the older man and recognized that smile. It was the same one both he and Mal had when they looked at their children.
"How rutting much longer!" Zoë growled.
"You're at eight centimeters. Not much longer..."
Zoë screamed with another contraction.
Downstairs in the living room, The rest of the Serenity family had gathered. Alisha and Reggie were throwing together a light brunch while Mal paced back and forth. Every scream from Zoë causing him to stop and glare up the stairs.
Inara and Kaylee shared a look and giggled as they fed their own children. Sitting in Allan's overstuffed recliner, Jayne rolled his eyes.
"Mal, will you sit down? You're makin me dizzy with all yer' pacin back and forth," the big man rumbled.
The Captain glared at Jayne. Another scream made him wince, "Been almost eleven hours."
"Every woman is different, Bao-bei," Inara smiled, "Just because my labor was short doesn't mean Zoë's will be."
"Relax, Capn'," Kaylee added, "You think any child o' Zoë's gonna come inta' the verse easy?"
Mal chuckled, "Guess you're right there, Lil Kaylee."
Despite her feigned nonchalance, every cry from Zoë made Alisha wince. Reggie kept her focused on her task instead of rushing upstairs to her sisters side.
"That's it Zoë! One more push!" Simon encouraged.
With a final bloodcurdling scream, Zoë pushed and a new life joined the 'verse.
Quickly Simon suctioned the newborns nose and mouth. Before he could even stimulate the infant, a loud cry echoed around the bedroom.
Zoë's face relaxed into a wide grin as she relaxed and collapsed back on the bed. Allan's head threatened to split in half from the smile on his face.
"It's a girl," Simon grinned while River cleaned the baby up, "Allan, would you like the honor?"
With shaking hands, Allan cut the cord and held his daughter for the first time.
"Welcome to the 'Verse," Allan whispered. As he glanced at River, he saw her holding a capture. With a roll of his eyes, Allan handed Zoë her daughter.
"She's beautiful," Zoë whispered as she brought the child to her breast.
Allan couldn't agree more. She had light toffee skin and a shock of light brown hair on her tiny head.
"Well?" River asked, even though she already knew the answer.
Allan looked at his wife and Zoë nodded through her sweat soaked locks.
"River, Simon... meet Sara Jane Bryant."
Allan came down the stairs followed by a smiling River, Sara bundled in his arms. Zoë was resting while Simon finished things up.
As he reached the bottom of the stairs, Allan was mobbed by his friends and family.
"Everyone, this is Sara Jane. And no, Jayne, she's not named after you."
Jayne grumbled and River punched him in the arm... hard.
"Ow. What you beatin on me for, baby girl?"
"Because I can."
"Oh my god," Alisha whispered as she gazed upon her niece for the first time.
"She's so cute," Kaylee cooed.
"Got Zoë's nose," Mal commented
"Allan's eyes and hair," Inara added.
"Kinda wrinkly... Ow! Riv, stop beatin on me!"
"I will when you stop being crude."
"How's Zoë?" Mal asked.
"She's sleeping," Simon said as he came down the stairs, "And she's fine."
As if on cue, Sara yawned.
Allan beamed. His smile nearly lit up the room. He thought he understood what love was with Zoë. Sara increased that tenfold. He knew he would die for his little girl.
Kaylee steered Allan to the sofa and Alisha sat down next to her Brother-in-law.
"You guys did good," Alisha whispered.
At that moment, the front door opened and Marion strode in. Her hand flashing to her gun for a moment until she realized that everyone in the room was family.
"Uhhh, what'd I miss?" she asked dropping her overnight bag to the floor. Marion had been in Capital City visiting her mother for a few days.
She suddenly saw the bundle in her boss' arms. "Oh.."
"Marion," Allan said, "Come meet Sara."
The bodyguard walked closer and sat on the arm of the sofa. She looked down at the baby in Allan's arms.
Allan could only nod.
"Come on," Reggie said, "Food's ready."
Zoë awoke sore and hungry. Her eyes flew around the room. Where was Allan? Where was Sara?
Pulling on her robe, she stiffly walked downstairs and found a strange scene. Allan stretched out asleep on the sofa. Reggie snoring in the recliner while her Sister and her husband's body guard giggled like schoolgirls as they knelt on the floor and stared at the bassinet on the coffee table.
Zoë cleared her throat.
"Zoë!" Alisha cried as she got up and ran to her sister, "You okay?"
"A bit sore, Mei-mei. How's my little girl?"
"Sleeping like an angel," Alisha grinned.
"Cuter 'n hell," Marion grinned.
"Hungry, Sis?" Alisha asked.
"A mite," Zoë admitted, "What time is it?"
"Little after five in the afternoon," Marion said.
As if sensing that her mother was in the room, Sara began to wail.
Allan was awake in an instant, but before her could reach for Sara, Zoë picked her up, "I got this, Husband."
Allan stood and kissed Zoë, "How you feeling?"
"Hurtin, but I'll live," Zoë smiled.
"Guess we did good huh?" Zoë said, grinning as she pulled open her robe to feed Sara.
"That we did, Baby... That we did."
Allan sat heavily in the chair in his study. He had a few messages to send. Zoë was back upstairs with Sara...
Sara. A wide grin appeared on his face. He was a father. A father to a beautiful little girl who he knew would be strong and smart. Cambridge University on Londonium popped into his head.
"Less than a day old and I've got her university picked out already," Allan chuckled to himself.
Turning on his cortex link, Allan typed in an address. His office on Londonium.
"Good morning, CEO's Office," answered the image of Edwina Butterfil, Allan's executive assistant and who Allan considered the real power behind Blue Sun. He couldn't run the mega-corporation without her.
"Hey Eddie," Allan smiled.
"Mr. Bryant! Lord, it must be 1 AM on Boros..."
"One fifteen to be precise," Allan grinned.
"Is there something wrong? Is Mrs. Bryant okay?"
Allan chuckled. Must be someone in the office with her. Eddie was only this formal with others around. When it was just her and the boss, she used first names.
"Zoë's fine. As is Sara."
"My daughter. Sara Jane Bryant."
"You mean..." Eddie asked in shock.
"I'm a daddy," Allan grinned.
"Congratulations, Allan... I mean Mr. Bryant."
"Who's in the office, Eddie?"
"Put her on."
After a moment, the screen changed to the face of Madeline Chang. Blue Sun's Comptroller and the number three person in the company.
"Oh, hello, Allan. Is all well?"
"More than well, Madeline. As of 11:35 this morning, local I am the proud father of a healthy baby girl. Sara Jane Bryant."
A smile split the Chinese woman's normally dour face. "Congratulations Allan. Is Zoë well?"
"She is. More than a bit sore but fine."
"I can imagine."
"Would you mind passing the word to the board?"
"Certainly Allan. I... I imagine you will be calling Durin yourself?"
Allan's face fell and he nodded, "He's my next call."
"Please, Give him my best."
"I will. Could you switch me back to Eddie?"
"Certainly. Good day, Allan."
"You too, Madeline."
A moment later, Eddies face reappeared on the screen, "Yes Mr. Bryant?"
"Company wide memo announcing Sara's birth. Wait about an hour before you send it. I want to talk to Durin first myself."
"As you wish, Sir."
"I'll call tomorrow."
Eddie smiled, "I look forward to it... and I want to see a capture."
"You got it Eddie. See you later."
Allan leaned back in his chair. The next call wasn't going to be as pleasant. Durin Haymer was Allan's right hand at Blue Sun. Probably Allan's best friend outside of the crew of Serenity, Durin had run into a very rough patch in the last year.
Durin had been shot helping Allan retake Blue Sun. After his recovery. His wife, Yolanda had become pregnant and Durin was over the moon.
Yolanda had a troubled pregnancy after her second trimester. The former con artist didn't take to pregnancy well. Add in the guilt Durin felt after inadvertently arranging for Allan to be kidnapped by Adeli Niska, Yolanda's death in childbirth nearly pushed Durin over the edge.
The only thing that kept Durin Haymer going was the little girl that Yolanda had given him.
Despite her tragic entry into the verse by emergency c-section after her mother's heart had stopped, Bridgett Haymer was a healthy baby. If not for his little girl. Allan was sure that Durin would have eaten a gun by now.
Allan checked what time it was on Belepheron. Early afternoon according to the cortex. Allan punched in Durin's address.
"Haymer residence," said the face of a servant.
"Allan Bryant calling for Durin Haymer," Allan said formally.
"Just a moment, Mr. Bryant."
Durin's drawn face appeared on the screen, "Allan, all...all is well?" he asked. Durin knew Zoë was due any time now.
"Very well, Durin," Allan smiled. "Zoë and I are the proud parents of a little girl."
"And Zoë is okay?" Durin asked hesitantly.
"She's fine. A little sore but she's great."
Durin seemed to let out a breath he had been holding, "I am so glad to hear that."
"We named her Sara."
A small smile appeared on Durin's face. Something Allan hadn't seen in months. Despite their nearly weekly waves, "That is a lovely name."
"We thought so. I... I have a favor to ask."
"Name it my friend," Durin replied.
"Mal and Inara are Sara's primary godparents but just in case..." Allan trailed off.
"I would be honored, Allan. Besides I owe it to you since you and Zoë are Bridgett's godparents."
"Thank you, Durin."
"I must be going. Time for Bridgett's bath. I... I've been helping her nanny with the day to day things."
"That's the way to do it, Durin. Take care."
"You as well and give my love to Zoë."
Allan cut the wave and rubbed his face. It was damn late. Heaving himself out of the chair, Allan made his way upstairs. Entering the bedroom, he paused by the crib holding his daughter.
Allan jumped when Zoë called his name.
"You comin to bed?"
"Yeah, just wanted to look at her."
Zoë smiled, "I know. Was all I could do to put her down to sleep."
"I called Durin with the news..."
"How'd he take it?" Zoë asked, worried.
"He actually smiled," Allan said as he reluctantly turned away from the crib.
Zoë smiled again, "Good."
Allan nodded and began to undress. A moment later he slid in next to his wife.
"Love you," Allan said followed with a kiss.
"Love you too. But don't think that you can touch me for at least a month."
Allan began to snicker, which turned to laughter in short order. Zoë followed suit.
Settling in next to each other, Allan and Zoë drifted off to sleep...
For all of ten minutes before Sara announced to all that she was hungry.
"I got her," Allan said sleepily as he rolled out of bed. A moment later, Zoë was holding Sara to her breast.
Looking at his wife, Allan grinned.
"What?" Zoë asked.
"Just thinking about how beautiful you are right now."
"Just keep that in mind for the next six months or so when our girl here wants to be fed at all hours."
"All part of the fun."
"Go to sleep, husband."