Author: HextheDaydreamer PM
With wedding bells still ringing in her ears and the cries of her new baby, Ari is ready to take on the role of wife and mother. But with Cobra taking some dangerous steps towards total government control, Nyx suddenly has a lot more on her plate to deal with. With her child's odd behaviour and fellow Joes disappearing all over the world, Ari has to make a choice: Duty or family?Rated: Fiction T - English - Family/Adventure - Chapters: 25 - Words: 76,656 - Reviews: 48 - Favs: 16 - Follows: 10 - Updated: 03-17-13 - Published: 10-09-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8596747
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Chapter One: Wedding Day Bliss
Today's the day, she thought nervously. I'm getting married. I'm actually getting married.
The baby in her womb kicked happily at the thought of soon being welcomed into the world and its mother merely sighed, sitting on the edge of the bed and taking deep breaths. She didn't feel like puking this morning and her "glow" seemed a little more radiant than usual but maybe that was the sweat glistening off her skin. Who'd thought sweat could be described so elegantly? From behind her, warm arms snaked around her chest and lips trailed down her neck to her shoulder. Bright blue eyes opened and a breathily chuckle escaped the ninja's lips, he shook his blond hair out of his face and ran a finger along her arm.
"We're getting married." He wrote on her palm, resuming his pledge of silence, she didn't like that very much.
"I know. You'd better get going before the girls show up and all Hell breaks loose." Snake Eyes suddenly disappeared, his feet landing quietly on the floor near the bathroom and by the time she turned around, he was already dressed in his uniform. She raised one of her hands and waved it at him in the "you can leave" kind of motion but he paused in opening the door, taking a long look at her.
Arianna Cleofe Sarro, codename Nyx, was pregnant beyond belief despite that she had conceived in December, it was April now; the doctors had set their child's birth three days after Snake Eyes and Ari's wedding, April 15th. Her hair was dark brown and braided down her back to her elbows, her eyes were hazel and changed between blue, green, and brown depending on how the light hit it. She had seen a bit of sunlight during her leave of the Joes and her body had darkened into a light caramel colour. She was dressed in a white mid-drift and black shorts, she folded her arms over her stomach and sighed impatiently.
"See you soon, Ari."
"Yeah, I'll be the prettiest beached whale you've ever seen." She replied sourly, massaging her temples. Snake Eyes smiled and kneeled in front of her, cupping her cheek and kissing her forehead.
"Don't be ridiculous, you'll look beautiful, now stop crying."
"But I'm scared."
The child inside her pressed a hand against her arms and Ari wiped her eyes, it wasn't Snake's. This baby was Dren Valentine's, a boy she had loved and dated back in high school, a boy who been dead for six years. Her father, Nickolas Sarro, had faked his own death in a deadly fire and stayed hidden for most of Ari's life; he had Dren murdered and took the boy's sex genes and mixed it with nanomites and other such chemicals that she didn't even know of. The Joes would've questioned "Torture Chamber" more on this subject if Ari hadn't killed him herself. She didn't regret it but now her only family was limited to Jace, Snake, and whatever this child would become now. Growing up in a big Italian family, Ari was used to constant company and the outrageous hours of some parties or Sunday get-togethers.
"I want to know what he did, Snake. I want to know how different it'll be from anyone else. What'll happen when Cobra-" Snake Eyes put a finger over her lips and shook his head.
"I though Nyx wasn't afraid of anything, we'll be fine. You're strong enough to wrestle a bear…Speaking of which," Snake Eyes put his fingers to his mouth and whistled, a jet black wolf with yellow eyes padded into the room and sat down beside the ninja. "Take care of Nyx for me, boy." Kemuri gave an affirmative bark as Snake Eyes rose from the floor and disappeared out the door. Kemuri stared at the Ari's swollen stomach with disgust and she scratched the back of his ear, rolling her eyes and sighing "good thing you aren't a girl." The twenty-three year old didn't bother getting up from the bed, she couldn't see her toes and the door had already been opened again, allowing her party of assassins – er - assistants inside.
Clementine was the first one in, her blond hair bounced in its high ponytail. The woman joined the Joes after Ari had momentarily sided with Cobra; she was tall with striking blue eyes and a black wolf was tattooed at the base of her neck, lying across her collar bone and most of her chest. She was wearing a long red dress with no sleeves, red stiletto heels and bright red lipstick; Ari was dreading her eventual make-up already. Second was Scarlett in a short red dress and her long red hair had been braided and tied in some sort of bun behind her head, a diamond ring glittered on her finger and she bent down to hug Ari.
"Congrats, never thought Rip had it in him." Ari said tiredly, glancing at her own engagement ring.
"I almost thought he wouldn't, he needed a pep talk from Duke in a football huddle format." Clementine giggled.
"I've never seen a black man look so white," Scarlett elbowed her harshly as Cassie burst through the pair and hugged Ari for what seemed like ages. Cassie had long pink hair done up in a fanciful bun on top of her head, her blue eyes sparkled in delight as she spun around in her orange-red dress full of ruffles.
"You're getting married!" She exclaimed, jumping up and down in her black flats, both Clementine and Scarlett put hands on her shoulders to hold her down.
"I know, I know. Now hurry up, Liz will have a fit if we aren't on time." Elizabeth, the redheaded doctor and creator of the Sarro Serum – a formula that accelerated cell repair – had designated herself as wedding planner to deal with all the things Ari couldn't care less about like table linens and seat covers. She and Duke's girl, Ana (the Baroness), were waiting with the rest of the Joes.
Clementine and Scarlett helped Ari stand up as Cassie ran to grab the dress from the closet, one that had been expertly locked so Snake Eyes couldn't peek at it. Ari couldn't really remember the dress very well because Clementine designed and made it herself, letting Ari into it only once and those memories were fuzzy. The girls quickly got Ari out of her night clothes and gave her a quick sponge back ("I've never felt so old before." "Oh, hush you."), and zipped the dress up, being extra careful as they pulled it over her stomach.
"Well, how does it fit?" Clementine asked anxiously, unbraiding Ari's hair as the bride looked at her reflection in the mirror.
"Like a second skin, you never fail to amaze me." Ari ran her hands down the material and took another deep breath. The wedding dress had no sleeves, crystal embroidery sketched white-blue flowers over her breasts and down her stomach, the bottom of the dress pooled around her feet and Cassie helped Ari into black shoes with no heels. Scarlett had brushed Ari's hair as Clementine put tiny crystal stars into it. Kemuri watched with a look of indifference and barely complained when Cassie tied a white ribbon around his neck, Clementine got the veil and fixed it onto Ari's head.
"Alright, now for some light touch-ups and you're free to go. Baby kicking yet?" Clementine placed her hands over the bump and Ari grunted.
"Maybe, if the butterflies aren't doing enough." Scarlett patted her shoulder and left to join Ripcord outside, the pilot poked his head inside and wolf-whistled.
"Damn, girl, you clean up nice."
"Thanks Rip, how's the crowd out there?" Clementine put some foundation under Ari's eyes.
"Pretty good but there are a few someone's here to see you."
Ari groaned into her hand and shook her head, she really didn't feel like socializing for the fear she just might throw up on someone. Ripcord and Scarlett left her bedroom and made room for Cheshire, Ari's older brother and last surviving relative. His real name was Jace and he was taller than Ari by about two inches (she's 5"7), with long caramel-coloured hair and blue-green eyes. He had spent a few years as his father's personal torture subject and had a short descent into madness as he quoted Alice in Wonderland, which is where his codename came from. He was dressed in a suit with a white rose pinned on the front, he kissed Ari's cheek and smiled.
"I can't believe my little sister's getting married before me." He said softly, pulling the veil down over her face as Clementine and Cassie slipped out the door, greeting someone on their way out.
"Not my fault. I thought some pretty girl asked you out Sunday?"
"And?" Jace chuckled and pointed to patch of dark skin on his cheek.
"She was Russian spy with a mean tendency to set her lovers on fire."
"…What the hell kinda pheromone do you give off? "Looking for a hot psycho babe, you can kill me after you kiss me"?"
Jace laughed again and Ari bit her lip, putting one hand on top of her bump and the other under it, she shut her eyes and hissed, waving off Jace's concern with a growl.
"Ripcord mentioned there was someone else?" She asked tightly, opening her eyes again and staring at the door. Jace nodded and gave her a hug and a kiss on the forehead, jogging out of the floor and talking to someone, letting them inside as Ari felt sick. Cupping a hand over her mouth, she didn't get a proper look at the person, she swayed uneasily on her feet and the visitor caught her arm. Ari looked up to thank the person but her voice got stuck in her voice, it was Ishida Mori, Dren's father.
Dren's great-grandfather had been interned during WWII and he changed his last name to "Valentine", giving his sons English names so they wouldn't be discriminated against (it didn't really work). Both Dren had his father shared the same Japanese name and the resemblance between them was striking. Both men were quite tall with long black hair, their eyes were shaped the same along with their noses, pale skinned but Ishida, or rather Vincent, had brown eyes; Ari always thought they looked red or at least deep mahogany. Vincent was dressed in a long black kimono with a red sash, his wife must've pinned the white rose in his hair.
"Hey," she said weakly, steadying herself as Vincent chuckled in that low voice of his.
"It's good to see you again, Ari, you look wonderful."
"Thanks," she leaned in for a split second then backed off with a blush. "Sorry, I just…you two are-"
"So alike, I know." Vincent stuck out his arm and Ari lopped hers around his, breathing deeply as the baby poked at her stomach, Vincent chuckled.
"It's looks like your child is just as excited as you are." There was an accent there, something Ari hadn't noticed in either son or father. It was Japanese but faintly European, French or something. He led Ari out of her room and down the hall, both were taking slow and casual steps, Ari's heartbeat was racing.
"I'm sure Dren would've been honoured to have you as his bride, he loved you very much." Ari didn't say anything, Vincent expected as much. They exited the building and began walking over a grassy hill, pink petals languidly danced in the air and flickered across their faces.
"His death was hard on all of us, Renee has never been the same but everyone finds ways to cope with loss." He stopped and looked at her, smiling proudly and kissing her forehead. "Motherhood helps with the healing, you rely on instinct more than anything because of your inexperience. Don't be surprised if you find yourself attacking anyone you feel is a threat to your young."
"I think I do that enough already, Vince." He chuckled, the sound vibrating in his chest and making Ari blush slightly. She had a crush on him once and Dren made a note of teasing her constantly about it.
"Indeed. Are you ready?"
"Childbirth, bloodlust, revenge, love, and extensive weight loss…Yeah, I've got it."
Author's Notes: Surprise! I realized I haven't been posting anything recently so I thought "Hell, I've got this ready to go".
On a side note, for any new readers, there's no need to read Scars of Our Past, Sins of Our Future. You can but I actually don't like it anymore, it looks so...bad to me for some reason but hey, it's your reading expirence. See you next time!