Disclaimer: You know the drill. 'Mutant X' and it's amazing cast of characters Not Mine. Lexi and Izzy Fox-Mulwray and Ryan DeLauro-Kilmartin Mine.
Author's Note I: I wasn't sure whether or not I'd write another story about Lexi and Izzy - they've featured in six of my stories so far - but this one wouldn't go away.
Author's Note II: This story takes place two years after 'Kindergarten'. Lexi and Izzy are seven years old, Ryan is two and Jesse and Emma have had another baby.
Author's Note III: As always, reviews as well as suggestions are more than welcome.
"Ryan! No!" Emma was drenched by a miniature tidal wave as her son made his escape, whizzing past her so fast that she was almost knocked off her feet.
The toddler tore out of the room, desperate to escape, his mother in hot pursuit.
"A little help here, guys!" Emma called out as she chased Ryan past the rec room doors. "Somebody stop that baby!"
Shalimar, who had been the fastest runner in Sanctuary, at least before Ryan had learned to walk, joined the chase, enjoying the same success as Emma.
She dove forward to catch the little boy who dodged, leaving his aunt to fall flat on her face.
Shalimar glared at her grinning husband. "I don't see you helping."
"What do you want me to do - shock him? He's soaking wet."
"Could you guys keep it down?" Jesse hissed, cradling a sleeping infant. "I just got her to sleep."
His three teammates glowered at him.
Ryan's giggles could be heard as he used his propulsion abilities to move around Santuary faster than any two year old had any business moving.
"He's not going to run out of energy any time soon, is he?" Brennan commented, amused.
"Does he ever?" Emma sighed in exasperation. "He'll stop when he's bored, not before."
Shalimar gave her friend a sympathetic smile. "And I thought the twins were bad at that age."
"Are you talking about us?" Lexi asked from the couch, where she and her sister were curled up watching cartoons.
"Did Ryan run away again?" Izzy asked, already knowing the answer.
"Afraid so, Izzy-lizard." Brennan ruffled his daughter's hair, much to her indignation.
"Let me guess." Lexi's innocent expression would not have been out of place on the face of a Christmas angel. "You'd like us to help you catch him?"
"Please." Emma had no qualms about pleading with a pair of seven year olds.
Exchanging an exasperated look with her twin, Lexi marched out into the hall, where a blurred figure was approaching.
She shook her head maternally.
Her little cousin was growing up so fast.
"Stop." Her voice was quiet, but her command was irresistable.
Ryan stopped short, slipping and landing in an undignified heap on the floor.
He glared up at the older child, his expression betraying his indignation at her betrayal. "No fair." He complained mutinously.
Emma darted forward, scooping up her son and carrying him back to the bathroom.
Jesse watched her leave, a smile on his face. "Every time we try to give him a bath." He gently stroked the cheek of the newborn in his arms. "You're not going to grow up to be a troublemaker, are you, Bethy?"
"She's going to grow up to be a Daddy's girl." Shalimar commented.
In the five and a half weeks since her birth, Bethany DeLauro-Kilmartin had become the apple of her father's eye.
With sandy blonde hair and blue eyes, she was the image of Jesse, although she took after her mother in terms of mutant abilities.
Adam had predicted that she would be a telempath and a telepath.
Unlike Lexi, who had set up a cacophany of noise as a baby whenever she felt that her wishes were not being granted in an efficient manner, or Izzy and Ryan who had both kept the adult inhabitants of Sanctuary on their toes with their demands, Bethany was a quiet, placid baby, who never cried and seemed to possess endless patience.
In any case, with five adults, two seven year olds and Ryan, who basked in the glory of his position as a big brother, to tend to her needs, she never needed to make any fuss when she wanted something.
Dozing peacefully in her father's arms, she was a picture of tranquillity and contentment.
"At least we've got one well behaved kid in the place." Brennan joked, tickling his niece's chin.
"Hey!" The indignant twins chorused.
"We're good." Izzy declared.
"Sure you are."
"Would you two ever think about having another one?" Jesse asked teasingly. "You'd be bound to get a quiet, well-behaved one to balance out Double Trouble."
Lexi and Izzy simultaneusly flashed their eyes feral.
"Odds are, it wouldn't be one." Shalimar pointed out. "Feral genes."
"Adam said you might rise to triplets, maybe even quads if you were lucky, the second time." Brennan said solemnly, getting a smack to the chest from his spouse for his pains.
"We've got all we need as it is." Shalimar hugged her daughters.
"Yeah." Brennan reached for the nearest twin - which happened to be Izzy - and tickled her mercilessly. "Quiet is over-rated."
A loud splash, followed by a cry of surprise, could be heard from the bathroom.
"Shouldn't one of us help Emma?" Shalimar looked at the two men.
Later that night.
"Izzy?" Lexi hissed, trying to rouse her sister. "Are you asleep?"
Izzy sat up, rubbing her eyes. "I was."
Lexi wisely ignored her twin's cranky tone. "Ryan was funny tonight, wasn't he?"
Izzy grinned. "Yeah. He's getting lots faster now." She paused. "Do you think . . ."
"We've been waiting for ages, haven't we? Since he was a baby."
"I think it's time." Lexi decided solemnly. "He's ready."
Her sister giggled. "The grown-ups will be mad."
"Aren't they always?"
"We'll teach him everything we know." Lexi's smile was positively diabolical. "The grown-ups won't know what's hit them."