Taiyoo Soshite Tsuki
(Sun and Moon)
Chapter Fifteen: Trial
Old Cybertronian Year: 5879
New Cybertronian Year: 3
Tsuki passed the door, bouncing a squalling child gently. "Let her in, will you?"
Taiyoo winced, then opened the door wide for his mother-in-law to enter. Tsuki handed Tasogare to his father, and said, "Walk with him, please?"
"You'll sleep on the couch if you keep that 'yes, dear' slag up."
Taiyoo chuckled, kissed his wife's cheek, and then walked into another room with the fussy one-year-old. Tsuki led her mother to a chair, and asked, "What's bothering you?"
"They want you to testify in the courts on Earth."
"Who brought this up?"
Tsuki blinked, then said, "Then I will."
Willow nodded, and then looked down, still quiet. Tsuki leaned closer, putting her hand upon her mother's shoulder, and whispered, "You never told me what caused you to have Anwara born premature. Something's telling me that this is important."
Willow swallowed, then started quietly. "Trent was angry, while we were driving back home from his parent's house. The twins were with a babysitter, and asleep, the last time I called." The mother sighed, and bit her lip. "He slammed into a telephone pole, on the passenger side . . . my side. I nearly lost Anwara."
Tsuki embraced the sobbing woman, and asked in a hard, angry tone, "Why have you stayed with him this long?"
"It was the only time he ever lost his temper."
"Was he charged with anything?"
"No. He . . . he didn't lie, but he didn't tell the whole truth."
"Momma . . . Mum, why didn't you tell me this?"
"I didn't want you to attack him when you met him. He . . . he really was a good man . . ."
Tsuki sighed, and asked, "When's the court date?"
"Three weeks from today."
"Right. Enough time for planning."
Willow looked up at her daughter, who smiled, and said, "What? The kids have to have a good time, don't you think? Oh! Come on, then! You have to meet Shinri's triplets!"
Willow's face lit up, and it brightened even more, when Yoake toddled out of the room she and her brother slept in, and over to her grandmother. Tsuki smiled, as the one-year-old clung to Willow's knees, laughing and smiling. Willow picked the child up, and sat her upon her lap. "I will, once Tasogare's quieted down a bit. What did Shinri have?"
"Two sons and a daughter."
"Beautiful! What are their names?"
"Well, the daughter was named by the father, and her name is Verdad, Spanish for truth. She's her mother's namesake, in that sense. The two boys were named by their mother. The oldest's name is Tempestadacero–"
"Spanish for Stormsteel," Willow said, smiling. "I can speak almost fluent Spanish."
Tsuki laughed, and said, "The youngest boy's name is Riesgo."
"Risk? Oh! Hazard!"
Tsuki nodded, and Taiyoo walked back out, his son still wailing. Willow handed Yoake to Tsuki, and then took the child from his father, and resting him against one shoulder, gently forcing him to lay his head down, while patting his back, while speaking gently. "Now that's enough of you for the while, Tasogare. You're tired, and you know that you need to sleep."
Taiyoo blinked, as Tasogare reduced his crying to a few drowsy grumbles, which ceased altogether after a few more moments. He took his son back, and then asked, "How did you do that?"
"I've had three children. Tamm was the fussy one, and that always worked with him."
Tsuki laughed, and picked Yoake up, to open the door. "Come on, you said that you'll meet those triplets."
"I bet she has her hands full!" Willow said, laughing.
"Oh, you have no idea . . ."
". . . and so I request that Tsuki testifies."
The judge nodded, and watched, as the attorney turned to face Tsuki, who handed her son to Kelsi, and walked forward to stand upon a small pedestal. A small man walked up, holding a book. She blinked at him, and he said, "You have to swear upon the Bible that you will not lie."
"I'm not a simpleton. Please do not address me as such. Nor am I human anymore. I swear by Cybertron, its past, present, and future, as well as those who reside upon it. I swear by my Spark, my life and soul, and by my and my husband's honor. I swear by my children's lives. I do not swear upon a human object."
The judge coughed, hiding a chuckle. "Forgive Bramwill, Tsuki. He's filling in, and had no clue of your background. Our ususal secretary caught the flu."
Tsuki blinked at him, then looked back up at the judge. Willow had said that he was a good man, and so it most certainly seemed to be true. "Ah. That explains his white face, hm?"
"Correct. Bramwill, please sit."
"Yes, Your Honor."
Her father's attorney walked up to the pedestal, the seven-inches-high as it was, and glared up at the Predacon. "You are the daughter of Willow, are you not?"
"How is that possible? She is human, and you are not."
Tsuki sighed, then said, "Twenty-six years ago, experiments were done by the Tripredacus Council, to try to combine the human and the Cybertronian race. They wanted to create the perfect killing machines. But they got us, and we were raised by our parents, which was their biggest mistake. Willow is my mother, and Wrangler is my father."
"This 'Wrangler' . . . is he present?"
"Unfortunately," Wrangler said, standing, holding Tasogare.
The attorney glanced up at the judge, who was unruffled by Wrangler's obvious distaste for the fact of being here. The judge asked, "Sir, is the child you are holding Tsuki's?"
Smiling, Judge Niven looked down at Tsuki. "He looks like he's a good child."
Tsuki smiled. "He has his moments, like every kid."
Judge Niven nodded, once, then said, "Please continue."
The attorney was irritated at being interrupted. Wrangler sat, and the human continued. "Did you ever know your mother?"
"Not until two years ago."
"Were you allowed to see her, if you wanted to?"
"Yes, but I've lived a busy life, so I had literally no time to meet her. Anyway, she was officially banned from returning, since she so-called 'gave up' on me, until I was twenty-one."
"Aah, so she did give up on you?"
Tsuki glared at him fiercely, black eyes darkening even further. "I never said that. She never gave up on me. She wasn't ready for the responsibility of raising a child, even with a partner to help her along."
"Yet she left your father."
"He's older than her. He was, what, twenty-nine? No . . . by Terran standards, he was thirty. She was sixteen."
Wrangler sighed, and groaned, sagging into the bench. Tsuki closed her eyes, and said, "My mother entered that compound as a virgin, and she left as one. She was not raped. Violated, yes, but not raped."
"Fine. Did you know that she left you?"
"Always. Yes. But I knew as a fact that she must have had a legitimate reason to do so."
"So your judgement upon her is . . . ?"
"Judgement?" Tsuki asked, blinking. "I try not to judge people. I've made some serious mistakes in my life, as has everyone else I know. Nobody's perfect, and nobody can judge another perfectly. But isn't this about whether or not my siblings can stay with our mother?"
"My next question," the attorney said, walking back to his notes, and picking one up. Tsuki graced Trent with a glare, then turned her attention back to his legal representative, who had cleared his throat. "Do you feel that your mother is able to take care of Katrina, Tamm, and Anwara?"
Tsuki sighed, then heard a hushed, "Yoake! Get back here!"
Judge Niven smiled, and nodded, as Tsuki looked up at him. She turned, and picked up her daughter, who had half-crawled, half-walked up to her. Yoake giggled, and Tsuki said, "Reasons? I saw how desperate she was to make things right between me and her. I saw how her twins, Katrina and Tamm, reacted to me when they first heard that I was their elder sister. I saw how open Anwara was to meeting me, after hearing about me for years. I saw how those very children love their niece and nephew, and show genuine love for not only me, but their brother-in-law, Taiyoo, my husband. They love Wrangler, they love Kelsi and Satsujinhan'nin, Taiyoo's parents. They were taught not to judge, not to care about appearances, as most human children are subconsciously taught. They were raised mainly by their mother, as their father had been working most of their childhood, leaving Willow to take care of their children by herself. So yes, I feel that she is utterly and completely capable of taking care of Katrina, Tamm, and Anwara."
The attorney was silent for a few moments more, then asked quietly, "Were you aware that there was a lie-tester on?"
"Everything you said passed."
"It should. I hate lying."
The man blinked, then said, "I am satisfied with your answers."
Trent stood. "I'm not!"
His attorney sighed, and asked, "Were you aware that your mother was planning to live upon Cybertron?"
"With her children as well?"
"Were you aware that–"
His face went white, as he stared past Tsuki, and at the door. The Predacon femme turned, then sighed, and said, "Xanthos, sit, will you?"
"Can't. Troops are moving in around the premises."
Judge Niven stood, and said, "Everyone stay seated!"
Kelsi and Satsujinhan'nin stood, with Kelsi handing Tasogare to Katrina. Taiyoo also stood, while Tsuki handed Yoake to Anwara. They looked at the judge, who sighed, and nodded. He led them, with Xanthos, to the entrance, where a decorated general was standing, waiting for them. He blinked at them dully. "I am here to take Project X into custody while he remains here upon Earth, for the well-being of the citizens here."
Wailing was heard, and Xanthos turned, seeing Willow with his adopted daughter. She walked up to him, and handed her to him, while he smiled down at her crying face. "Aah, hush, you."
She whimpered quietly, as babies do, and he sighed. "Hungry again. Tsuki, do your children eat as much as my daughter does?"
The general's face was showing his complete shock at that statement. Tsuki nodded. "At that age, all they want is attention, food, and sleep."
"Primus . . . she's going to be a ball of energy when she's able to walk."
Satsujinhan'nin chucked, and said, "Of course."
Judge Niven looked at the General. "Who gave you this order?"
"Then they are watching?"
"Well. Then they see that he is apparently no longer the murderer he once was."
Xanthos looked at them. "I was used against my will, on Bases Omicron and Rugby. A behavior controlling chip was the cause. I had no choice, no free will. I was a tool."
The General nodded. "Then we will remain here, to protect you and your comrades from the public."
Kelsi blinked. "How so?"
The General indicated a group of cameramen, cameras focused upon the small group. Taiyoo sighed, and Tsuki chuckled. "Aah, so be it. Thank you, General, for your concern."
Niven nodded, and said, "Back to the courtroom, please, so we may finish."
When they re-entered the room, the attorney said, "I have no more questions for Tsuki."
Tsuki nodded, and sat with her family, holding Tasogare upon her lap. The judge looked from Trent to his lawyer, then asked, "Are there any more people you would call to stand?"
Trent stood, and said, "Kelsi, who was Willow's best friend when they were children."
Judge Niven sighed, and looked at a screen in front of him. The jury would be seeing no more witnesses called to the stand. "Denied. The jury have made their decision."
Kelsi and Tsuki exchanged a worried look. Willow stood, and said, "Before you go on, may I testify?"
Niven nodded, after a moment. "Please do, however, why do you ask to do so?"
Once she was upon the small podium, Willow replied, "My daughter, Tsuki, urged me to bring up a fact that hadn't been looked at. She wanted me to say this, about why my daughter Anwara was born premature, by caesarean section." Taking a deep breath, she said, "The car accident was intentional, upon Trent's behalf."
Anwara looked at her mother in disbelief, and then looked at her father in growing shock and fear. Her stomach roiled, and Tsuki handed her son off, to grab Anwara's elbow, and rush her from the room and into a nearby bathroom. Willow heard the small commotion behind her, but didn't turn. "Trent wouldn't say that he lost control of his temper. He just wouldn't. All he said was that he lost control, and people assumed that it was the car he was talking about."
Judge Niven stood. "Madam, please sit! Trent, to the podium immediately!"
"Are you all right?"
"I'm gonna be sick again . . ."
"I have your hair, don't worry."
Anwara sat upon the floor of the stall, with Tsuki beside her, and wiped her mouth off on a piece of toilet paper. She looked at her trembling hands, then whispered, "Was it the truth?"
"That blue light turns red when the person is lying."
"It stayed blue."
"Yes. Besides, has your mother ever lied to you?"
"No, but . . . why did he do that?"
"I don't know."
The door opened, and Kelsi walked into the stall, to look at her daughter-in-law's sister, and to hold her hand out. "Here. Your grandmother asked me to bring you a few mints, to get the taste out of your mouth."
Anwara took them, and Kelsi rested her hand upon the twelve-year-old's shoulder. "They're all waiting for you in there. Judge Niven wants you to hear this."
Nodding, Anwara stood, and Tsuki rested her arm around her younger sister's shoulders, comforting her as they walked beck towards the courtroom. Cameras were rolling, as they exited the bathroom. Tsuki sighed, and growled, "If you value your lives, stop filming, and let. Us. Through."
The media backed off to the end of the hall, letting them enter the large room. Anwara stood tall, only her slightly-flushed face revealing that she had thrown up. Katrina and Tamm let her sit between them, each of them either holding her hand, or resting an arm around her shoulders. Tsuki sat with her husband, who had both children upon his lap. Both were quiet, and both were watching her with solemn eyes. Taiyoo . . .
They're empathic. They're also father developed than other children their age.
I never thought . . .
That it would be passed on?
Well, it doesn't matter, anyway. Here, you take Tasogare again.
She did, and looked up at the lie detector. Judge Niven said, "Say that again."
"I lost control of the car."
The light turned red. Anwara was shaking.
"I don't know."
The light stayed red.
"Your ex-wife said that you were angry at something, that you wouldn't let her know about. Care to share that with us?"
The light flickered blue.
"Then you will share it with us, or I shall hold you in contempt of this court. Do you understand?"
"Yes, Your Honor."
"Then explain. Now."
Trent sighed, and glared at the ground. "I was losing control of my funds, and we didn't need a third child. I didn't want a third child."
Satsujinhan'nin was about to get up and go after the man, but Kelsi held his hand, keeping him sitting where he was. He swallowed, and balled his hands into fists, releasing Kelsi's hand, and would have squeezed them tighter, but his wife took them back in her own hands, and forced him to open his fingers. She held his hands in her own, as they looked at the blue light.
Willow was white . . . and was starting to go into shock. Wrangler stood and ran over to her, ignoring Trent's glare, as he rested his hand upon Willow's shoulder, and made her look at him. "Willow, snap out of it. Listen to me, Willow."
She hid her face in her hands, and whispered, "I never even thought . . ."
"Willow, look at me."
She pulled her hands away from her face slowly, and Wrangler took them in his own hands, wiping away the tears, before saying, "Don't lose yourself like you were about to. Anwara needs to see you as a strong mother. Our daughter is trembling with rage, and close to going into shock, but Taiyoo won't allow her to. She won't allow herself to do that. Anwara needs strong people around her right now. Can you do that?"
Willow took a deep breath in, as the noise of the courtroom rose even louder, masking her words. "I . . . I think so."
Wrangler sighed, smiled gently, and said, "That's my girl."
"I've always been your girl," Willow said, smiling faintly.
Finally, the room was brought back to order. Wrangler pressed his hand upon Willow's once, then straightened, and walked back to his seat. Judge Niven sighed, and looked at the screen. Another jury, higher up, had been briefed upon the situation, as was watching the transmission now. Their verdict came up, and he stood. "Trent, you are under arrest for attempted murder, for assault and battery, and violent misuse of a vehicle."
Two police officers came in, and stood upon either side of him. Niven looked at Willow, who stood, with her hands clasped in front of her. "Willow, you have full custody over your children. There will be no visitation with their father at all. Seven years from now, the case will be reevaluated, but I doubt that a change will be made. Dismissed."
Trent was fairly dragged from the room.
It was over.
Katrina, Tamm, and Anwara ran to their mother again, once they were at their house. The family embraced, with the youngest in the center, shedding tears. She looked up at Tsuki and Wrangler, who both came over. The male Predacon rested his hand upon her head once, then whispered, "You did well, Anwara. Everyone's proud of you."
She nodded, and Tsuki kissed his sister's forehead. "I found out that my siblings are cute even when they're puking their guts up."
That brought a small smile, and the younger girl looked up at Wrangler, asking, "Can . . . would you mind . . . if I called you 'Dad'?"
The twins smiled at their mother, then at her once-partner. "Can we?"
Wrangler looked at them, pleasantly shocked, then at Tsuki, who was smiling. He smiled, nodding, turning back to the three children. "Only if you really want to. Tsuki knows that I'm a rough task-maker."
"Yeah, he's bad about chores, since he's lazy, but not all that bad overall," Tsuki said, smirking.
Anwara held her arms up to him, and he picked her up in an embrace, much like he used to do with Tsuki. "It'll be nice, having a little girl again. Two of them . . . and I've always wanted a son." Willow was crying, and Wrangler set Anwara back down, to embrace her mother. "And you, little miss, are getting food, then sleep. And a hug."
"And a kiss!" the four siblings chorused.
The parents glared at them, then complied, causing whistles among the rest of the adopted family. Kelsi yelled out impudently, "Kiss 'er again!"
Her life-partner blinked at her, then grumbled, "And you say that Taiyoo gets it from me."
The packing for Willow to return to Cybertron began. And this time, things could only get better from here on in.