Out of all the things that Rafe Valentine had expected, this was not it.
He had only left his baby sister alone for eight years and look what happened.
And if that little bump on her stomach was anything to go by, it was going to become three in a few months.
And if he thought that was odd then the icing on the cake had to be that his niece and nephew's father was Nietzschean.
Rocket had settled down with a Nietzschean of all people.
His head was still spinning from the shock. Rafe had been fully convinced that Beka would have ended up dying a childless spinster than actually stopping to consider starting a family. With anyone. Her husband would definitely take some getting used to. Hell, the man was his brother-in-law.
Rebeka Bea Valentine getting married wasn't something one heard of everyday so as a gesture of good will, he gave her back the CD's he stole from her the last time they met as a wedding gift. It was the least he could do after all. What were big brothers for?
He still couldn't stop staring at the boneblades that decorated his niece's forearms.
His nephew had bumps.
Rafe never thought that he would actually get to see a baby Nietzschean up close in his lifetime.
Even if the kid was technically only half.
His sister was mother to a two and five year old. He had become an uncle without ever realizing it.
And okay, sure, maybe he should have called or wrote but well, he was a grifter and Beka was the First Officer of a monster of a ship for the New Commonwealth. Even dad would have been proud.
The sound of the Obs. Deck doors sliding open brought him out of his thoughts.
Speaking of Nietzscheans.
Brother-in-law. Damn did that sound weird.
Rafe nodded as Tel, Tele, Telemekkktiisss...Te...what was it with Nietzscheans and weird names? What was his last name again? Rayday...Rafe was bad at this. And he knew it.
"Rhade right?" That was the name. Yes, he was sure. As the man came to stand beside him at the viewing window.
Rhade graced him with a nod of his own. He was still alive so the name must have been the right one. That was another thing Beka had told him about. How all the ubers on Tarazed weren't like the others of their species. But were actually...civilized and...non-hurty. Good for Beka. He'd hate to have to try and kick someone's ass when said person could most literally pull his head off.
A few minutes of silence. Rafe had always hated silence.
"Is this awkward?" he asked, "This feels kinda awkward."
"It's as awkward as you make it," offered Rhade.
"That's a lot of help."
Yep, definitely weird. He'd heard some of the things that little Harp-guy quipped to the Nietzschean. A lot of it he'd get killed for instantly. It was like the twilight zone.
"So...married to my sister. How's that working for you?"
Rhade smiled. "She is quite Nietzschean."
Rafe snorted. "Somehow I can believe that. She's vicious enough, no offense or anything." He said hurriedly. Rhade prompted him to continue. "The whole kid thing though? Childless spinster I foresaw her. Imagine my shock."
"She was shocked she heard from you. The two of you don't keep in touch?"
"Well big universe..and uh, separate lives...what's she told you?"
Nietzscheans were big on family. Rafe knew that and left alone with his new found brother-in-law (still weird) he should gave known it'd come up eventually.
"She looks up to you, you protected her when you were young, you stole her CD collection, and the whole con-artist thing. Have you ever considered something legal?"
"If you're hedging to New Commonwealth officer propaganda spare me, our esteemed Captain Hunt has already tried and I'm not 'yes sir, no sir' material. 'Sides it's only legal when caught."
"So I've heard."
"About the last time I was here?"
"Yeah, well I ah, just thought I'd pop over and see how Rocket was doing. I should probably be going in a few anyway."
Rhade nodded. "You should stop by more often than eight years, the children should know their uncle."
"Heard they've got a lot on your side anyway."
"You should come with us to Tarazed. Everyone would be happy to meet you, thought just a warning my mother may try and find you a wife."
Rafe laughed. "That's just what I need."
"You really should. We'd love to welcome you to the family. Or even if you're in the area, they'd love to have you in."
"Maybe one day."
Telemachus held out his hand, Rafe took it and they shook.
As far as Nietzscheans went, his brother-in-law wasn't half bad. Maybe he really would have to stop by Tarazed and see what everything was like. Beka had gotten herself a new family, Rafe had been the only one for so long that he'd gotten used to it. But now, a husband, children, and Rhade's entire family.
AndRafe was being openly welcomed into it.
A/N: Yes that's IT! Maybe I should have ended with Beka and Rhade but what can I say? It's a new beginning of the whole family! So I thought I'd leave it on that note. I liked Rafe, he should have stopped by more, so I of course had to have him in this story.
For those reading Glass Shards, I'm half way done writing chapter three.