A/N: Hi guys! Well, this is it. The last chapter. A massive thanks goes out to white rose01 who has stuck with me throughout this story, pointing out my mistakes. Can't wish for a better beta-reader.
White rose01 – Yup, very last chapter. I'm glad you enjoyed the last chapter… well, I suppose one would enjoy just about anything after writing an essay. ;) Anyway, thanks again. I really appreciated your beta-ing, and thank you as well for the continued support & reviews. Enjoy the last chapter!
SaucerEyes – I suppose it's a good thing you're not living where I live then. Too small to fit TB2 in here. ;) Now, I'm not sure whether this one will give you a heart attack; you'll have to tell me afterwards, when you've recovered. :p Sorry, yes, this is the last chapter. I'm just not someone who can write about a marriage interestingly. When I first started with this story it was kind of by accident (see A/N1, chapter 1). From there on I just wrote a bit, found a goal to work towards, and now I've reached that goal. I can't just continue writing now without a goal in mind. There's always the possibility that I'll think of a story in which I can work in the 'marriage/kids/white house with a picket fence, etc.' For now though, this is the end. :p (sounds so dramatic.) I hope you'll enjoy this chapter despite it being the last chapter. Thank you so much for the reviews!
Rachie Loves Donald Duck – Yup, last chapter. Thanks for the reviews! I hope you'll enjoy this chapter too!
Thanks to all who reviewed and read this story!
Nicole watched as a total of six people entered. The first one was a man with dark grey hair and a serious expression. 'Must be John's father.'
Then there was a shorter, jolly-looking young man with red hair. 'Definitely Gordon.'
Following Gordon was an Asian looking girl with raven black hair. Nicole couldn't remember her name. 'It had something to do with metal. Corrosion, Corry? Nope, that wasn't it. Oh well.'
The next person was an old lady, who, despite having a frail-looking body, had the authoritative aura of experience around her. 'Definitely Grandma.' Nicole decided.
Then a broad-shouldered man with brown hair walked in, followed by Scott. 'So the other one must be Virgil, 'cause I know Alan is in the satellite.'
She figured she had had everyone now, but behind Scott she caught a flash of a man with brown hair and blue glasses. She wracked her brains to come up with a name. 'B…B… well, something with a B.'
"Hey everyone." John said as his family came closer. "This is Nicole Evers, my former partner at NA-" He didn't get to finish his sentence as he was hugged tightly by three brothers at the same time. "Oof." His brothers grinned.
"Welcome back John. It's been way too quiet here without all the noise and trouble you always make." Scott said.
"Thanks, Scott. I missed you guys too." Then he turned to the older man. "Hi Dad. How have things been?"
"Fine son. Glad to have you back. Scott's right. We did miss you. But it wasn't for the noise you make, but rather for the reduction in the noise when you're here." Both men grinned as the other brothers immediately began protesting.
"OK, OK, enough already," John said, "As I was trying to tell you, Nicole here was my partner at NASA. Nicole, as you may have figured out by now, this is my family." John pointed out the different family members as he introduced them.
"You met Scott."
"Hi. I bet this is a less unusual way of meeting."
Nicole grinned, some of the nervousness dissipating.
"Definitely. Hi Scott."
Then Nicole turned her attention to the man next to Scott. She nodded at the redhead with a smile.
"I figure you're Gordon."
"That's not too difficult," Gordon said self-consciously, "I'm the one with the good looks." He winked. Nicole grinned, thinking to herself that John was right. Ben, Tracy style.
John then guided her to his father.
"Nicole, this is my father; Father, this is Nicole."
Jeff looked at her pensively for a second before holding out his hand.
"Jeff Tracy. Nice to meet you."
Nicole shook his hand.
"Likewise." She felt the slight reservation. John too noticed, and led her to Josie. The old woman smiled encouragingly.
"Hello dear, welcome to the island. Just call me Grandma. And if any of these boys scare you off or do something they shouldn't, just let me know, and I'll take care of it. They never get too old for a good spanking." She said with a wink.
Nicole smiled. She liked the old lady already.
"Thank you. I'll keep it in mind."
She continued to the Asian girl who stood next to Grandma. She held out her hand.
"Hi, I'm Nicole."
'Corry' nodded. "I'm Tin Tin."
"Nice to meet you."
Nicole turned her attention to the man next to Tin Tin. He gave her a wide smile.
"Hi, I'm Virgil. Nice to meet one of John's friends."
"Well, it's nice to meet John's family too." Nicole replied, shaking his hand. The only person in the room who hadn't been introduced yet was the man with the blue glasses. He looked uncomfortable, like he wished he would be anywhere but here at the moment. Nicole was wondering how she should handle this, when John took care of it.
"Brains, this is Nicole. Nicole, this is Brains. He's our resident genius, and also one of the best friends one could have."
Brains looked up shyly, and stuttered: "H-h-hello."
Nicole smiled gently at him.
"Hi. It's nice to meet you." Brains finally looked her in the eyes and returned a tentative smile.
"So, how about we go to the living room," Josie suggested. "Coffee or tea my dear?" She asked Nicole.
"Coffee, if that's OK?"
"Of course! I wouldn't have asked otherwise, now would I?" Josie said as she walked towards the door. John held Virgil back for a moment.
"Hey, Virge. Did you know that the co-ordinates given on the plane differ from the real co-ordinates?"
"No, I wonder how that came about."
"I don't know, but I think it's just a matter of repositioning. We can do that later today or tomorrow."
"Now, let's get upstairs before Grandma has something to say about us being late."
His blond brother chuckled.
"Yes, we'd better hurry."
When the two brothers entered the living room, the others were just about to sit down. Grandma had introduced Nicole to Kyrano, who had disappeared to the kitchen to get the coffee and tea. John took Nicole to the guestroom to dump their bags, before rejoining the family. Brains had returned to his lab, and Tin Tin was helping her father.
The family chattered and asked questions about the time John and Nicole were partners, etc. After about half an hour, both Nicole and John had some time to breathe. John pulled Nicole slightly closer to him, whispering: "You sure you don't want to back out of a relationship with me? As you can see, it comes with a package… a complicated but loving package."
"I'm absolutely positive."
They looked into each other's eyes, then Gordon interrupted.
"Hey, save that for later. Nicole, with your permission, I still have to get back at your partner for ruining my dive."
Nicole raised one eyebrow, while she felt John's muscles become poised for action. When she took too long to answer, Gordon shrugged.
"Or without your permission." He made a lurch for his older brother, but at the same moment John sprang into action, quickly disappearing through the balcony doors. Gordon ran after him, but John was carefully making a rapid descent to the terrace, using the rocks as support.
'So that's why he was so comfortable climbing that rock during the hike.' Nicole thought absently. Gordon hesitated. He hated heights when there was no water below it. John had reached the ground, looked up and waved at his redheaded brother. Grumbling Gordon ran through the door, in an attempt to catch his lithe, often absent brother. Scott and Virgil, knowing John would eventually end up in the swimming pool, looked at each other, then quickly ran after Gordon. Nicole watched them leave. John, meanwhile, had disappeared into the garden.
"Does this happen often?" Nicole asked. Both Jeff and his mother laughed. Jeff, having decided his son had been correct in his judgement, put an arm around Nicole's shoulders.
"Welcome to the Tracy-family, Nicole. Welcome to the Tracy-family."
A/N: Yes, you read it correctly. This is the end of "Blowing Up". I hope you've all enjoyed this story. Bye, zeilfanaat.