It's night, and the kids have all gone to bed, and Donald's scrambling through the medicine cabinet for a bottle of aloe vera lotion. "It's fine," Tasha tells him from the bedroom. "It doesn't hurt that much."
"I don't want it to hurt at all," he insists, digging out the bottle of aloe and heading for the bed. He waits for her to turn around and lift her hair, and then he starts in on her neck and shoulders, rubbing in the lotion in tiny little circles. "You and Leo were in Krane's heat chamber for too long. I'm worried."
"It's fine," she says again. She just sounds tired. "It's no worse than a bad sunburn."
"He was going to fry you."
"Donald," she says, swiveling around to get a look at him. "Just let it go. We're okay. I'm okay." She doesn't sound like she's lying, or like she's trying to spare his feelings. She just sounds tired.
He knows from the one unsuccessful semester he spent on his college newspaper that reporters learn one special rule— report the news, don't make it. Journalists are supposed to be outside observers, not part of the stories they're telling.
Tasha's been frozen, body-swapped, attacked and terrorized, but this is different. Krane sought her out to get at Donald and the kids. Donald made her a target, and he's never going to be able to deal with that.
"You can leave," he says, quietly, quietly, as he works the aloe into her upper back. "I get it. You didn't sign up for this, and… and you shouldn't have to. If you want to go… I get it."
Tasha turns around slowly, an incredulous look on her face, and she reaches up to take the bottle of aloe out of his hand. She sets it on the bedside table before wrapping her hands around his and lowering them. "Don't be ridiculous," she says flatly. "Honey, I don't blame you for this. Or the kids."
"I know, but—"
"No," she says, standing firm as always. "Donald, how did you feel today when you saw Leo was in danger? Not about me, about Leo."
He thinks. "It was like I couldn't breathe," he says after a moment. "I mean, that's my… I felt awful. I love him so much."
"Right," she says, nodding as she makes her point. "That's how I feel about Adam, Bree and Chase. Alright? They're not just some kids who live in the basement and make my life dangerous. They're my kids, too. They're my family."
She kisses his forehead, his cheek, his lips, trying to get him to just calm down.
"I'm sorry," he says, unable to think of anything else to say.
"Krane tried to get you to choose between Adam, Bree and Chase and me and Leo," she reminds him. "And you said you'd never choose. See, that's the thing. You can't ever make that choice because we're all one family. You get that?" He nods. "I'm not leaving. Not ever."
"So now what do you want to watch?" Tasha asks, remote in hand, flicking through the list of movies. They started with "Benji" and moved onto "Old Yeller."
It's been a quiet Sunday evening. The kids are downstairs packing for the island; meanwhile, Donald and Tasha sequestered themselves upstairs with potato chips and Donald's database of dog movies. "I don't know," he says, splayed out beside her on the bed with one arm tucked behind her shoulders. "Maybe a happier one, though." He tries to grab a tissue without being conspicuous about it and she rolls her eyes.
"Okay," she says. "How about we both say what we want on three and then decide?"
He shrugs. "Works for me."
"Okay. One, two… three. 'Homeward Bound.'"
"I want to have a baby." A pregnant pause. Donald coughs. "Um. 'Air Bud'?"
Tasha pauses the TV moments before Yeller dies and rolls on her side to stare at him. "You mean like… an android baby? You want to cobble together an android baby in your lab?"
"Uh," he says, "no, actually, I was thinking maybe you and I could make one from scratch."
She laughs, but she still looks surprised and confused. "Where is this coming from?"
He shrugs again, suddenly looking a little self-conscious. "Just been thinking," he says. "With the kids getting older, and… you know, there suddenly being like forty of them, it makes me realize I never actually got to have that. I love Adam, Bree and Chase, they're my kids, but I didn't take them in until they were around 4. And I love Leo, but I didn't even meet him until he was 13. I want a baby that's mine. Or, you know, ours. You know?"
"Yeah, I know," Tasha says, finding his hand with hers. "I know what you mean."
She hits play and they finish out the movie in silence, holding hands, deep in thought. And as the credits roll, she turns and looks at him again. "Okay."
"I've been thinking about it, too," she says. "I love you. I love our family. Let's add another member to Team Davenport."
They kiss, soft and sweet, and he smiles against her mouth. "We don't need to make one right this second, though," he chuckles. "I kind of really do wanna watch 'Air Bud.'"
"Queue it up," she says, scooting in closer beside her husband and handing him the remote. As he searches through the list, she says, "Ooh, do you think we should get a golden retriever?"
"Let's start with the baby and go from there," he says, and presses play.
It's weird having the kids home again, weird but good. The ordeal with Giselle and Marcus has them all shaken, but they're getting back on their feet. Donald and Tasha woke up to a lazy Saturday morning and Adam surprised them with a box of doughnuts (and he only ate four of them).
"So how's Kira?" Donald asks as he's working on a cross-stitch for the nursery. He and Tasha have been passing it back and forth, following the pattern, adding a stitch here and there. It's supposed to be the Davenport Industries logo with little flowers surrounding it.
"She's Maya now," Tasha says, selecting a blueberry glazed and sinking her teeth in. "I remembered there was a girl I didn't like in high school named Kira."
"Mm," he nods, picking through the box of doughnuts for a sourdough. "I feel like we keep coming back to Copernicus, though."
"We could call her Nicky for short!"
"Fine." He returns to his doughnut and his cross-stitch.
Tasha flips through the news on her tablet for a while in companionable silence before setting it on the side table and turning to Donald. "Have you told the kids yet that you're splitting them up?"
His face crumples a little and he sets the cross-stitching in his lap. "No," he sighs. "I don't know how to do it. I mean, they always make such a big deal about how much they love each other and want to hang out with each other. Man, why can't they just hate each other's guts like normal siblings?"
"I know," she grumps half-sarcastically. "Rotten kids. Being nice to each other."
"My brother and I were literally dead to each other for like ten years."
"You have to tell them."
"I know," he says, cramming the rest of his doughnut in his mouth. "But do I have to?"
At that moment, they hear the thunderous pitter-patter of four bionic teenagers running upstairs to their bedroom. They all crash through the door and pile up onto the bed, being pretty careful not to squish Tasha and not affording the same amount of caution to Donald— or his cross-stitch.
"Turn on the TV, turn on the TV," Adam says while Chase scrambles for the television remote and flicks through the channels.
"What's going on?" Tasha asks, loosely curling an arm around Bree.
"We're on TV!" Bree says, shoving Adam's head out of the way so everyone can see. Chase finds TMZ on the TV, where a room full of people is mercilessly picking apart Bree and Leo's outfits from their trip to Dairy Queen yesterday.
"Guys, this is vicious," Donald points out, trying to see the screen despite the heads bobbing in front of him.
"I know!" Bree practically squees.
"It's so legit," adds Leo. "I'm finally a famous bionic kid instead of just an awesome PR guy."
"Not gonna lie, I love this attention," Bree says. "We should dress tacky and go out in public more often."
"Great," Leo says. "Big D, can we raid your closet?"
"Okay, haha, very funny," Donald says, rolling his eyes and looping an arm around Chase as they all turn their attentions back to the TV, where someone's ridiculing Bree's ponytail.
He's gonna have to tell them eventually.
But not right now.