Author's Note: A Gold Digger fanfic featuring my favorite character from the series, Jetta(C'mon Fred... more Jetta!). This MIGHT be the first GD fic on fanfiction.net, I'm not sure.
This story is dedicated to those who, no matter what, we wish we had the chance to say goodbye to.
"I know it's been a long time since we last talked. I would have come sooner, but it's been hard to find the time. Our little girl, Alera, got really sick recently. It turns out that, while we were visiting Earth for a friend's wedding, she got into some flowers or something that didn't agree with her. We were worried for a while, but she got well before we even returned home.
"It's kind of like... do you remember the time Sander ate that root, and his face got all red and swollen? He felt so bad, but you made him laugh. Said he looked more like a blowfish than a were. You know I still use that name to tease him? Still gets him mad, too. I can laugh just thinking about it, though.
"The kids are growing so fast, though. Did you know Pojo is already trying to imitate his daddy and me when we practice our fighting skills? He's particularly fond of tackling the two of us, and anyone else foolish enough to get close. He's even tried to imitate my spin kicks. He just falls down, but he smiles and tries again. I know what you're thinking... he's got his mommy in him, for sure.
"Thabian's as romantic as ever. Not a day goes by he does something to show me how much he cares. The other night, after I had a particularly long day watching after the kids, and had put them to bed, I found the path to our bed lined with rose pedals of all different colors. He had even gotten a bottle of wine I had told him I liked when we were back on Earth. He's very sweet... I wish you'd had a chance to get to know him better."
Jetta took in a deep breath, then looked upwards. "When we used to talk, this was the point at which you realized I was talking entirely too much, and that something was bothering me, right? You always knew. And something's bothering me now... and I don't know how to cope with it."
It took her a few minutes to muster the words forward. "I'm scared. I'm scared, and I have no idea of how to deal with it. I've faced down so many enemies, and gotten out of situations that should have killed me many times. I've looked death in the eye and told it to hit me with its best shot, as you used to say. I'll admit, I was even a little scared then. But it's nothing like it is now.
"You raised me to be a fighter. I learned those lessons well, I know. But... I have to forget all of that now. I have to be a leader, and worse yet... a mother. I was never trained to be any of those things. I feel like I'm failing at both of them. I seem to second guess each and every decision I make, no matter how minor. If Thabian weren't here to give me strength... I don't... I don't know what I'd do.
"Being a parent... it's the hardest thing I've ever had to face. Some days, it takes all my strength to just not break down in front of the children. I just have to hold everything in, until they're asleep... and then I can lie on Thabian, and let it all out. I cry myself to sleep almost every night. I know you told me, when you're an Alpha, you can show no signs of weakness... but still...
"It's almost as though the mere act of being a parent makes you weak. There was a time a while ago, when Pojo was in danger. I had... I had let my fighting distract me from watching him... and an enemy was able to take hold of him. I had no choice... I was forced to kneel in submission to a weaker opponent, simple because he was in danger. And it was still a hard battle to get him back. Thabian always tells me, I did the only thing I could do. Yet, I replay the events in my mind constantly, kneeling before that... that witch. I still can't forgive myself, for failing Pojo, or for what that caused.
"The real reason I'm here is... I miss you. And I've only let myself admit that recently. I wish you were here, to tell me what to do. You had all the answers. You could calm my fears with a smile, and tell me it was all going to be okay. No matter how bad things were, or how scared I was, you could make it all go away.
"I remember when Mom died. I didn't understand what was going on. One of the other members of the Clan then told me she had been killed in battle by a werecheetah. That night, I tried to sneak out, to gain revenge. But you knew what I was thinking, and you didn't let me get far. You told me that Mom didn't want me to rush out foolishly. She wanted me to grow up, have my own life, and make her proud. And you told me she'd watch over me..."
Jetta fell to her knees in front of the small tombstone. There was no body buried underneath, for there were no physical remains of this werewolf to bury. Nor would Jetta have wanted them to be, if they had existed. She had made this plot long before he had actually died. The only thing buried underneath, the necklace he had given her when she was still very young. She looked up to the sky as tears began to stream down her face.
"Are you watching over me now, too? I know what you became... I know all too well. I know you said I betrayed you, and that you intended... to come for me. And I know... I know they all hate you for what you did to them. But, I... I can't. I can't bring myself to hate you like that. In spite of everything you did, in spite of what you became, I could never hate you.
"I know what you were, before the power drove you mad. While they remember Brendan, the thief who stole their children from them, I remember my daddy, who made it a point to tell me stories whenever he had a chance. While they remember the one who brought suffering to our people, I can still remember the father who refused to leave either Sander or I's bedsides whenever we were ill. No matter what they say... I will never forget who Brendan was, before it all. He was my father... who I will always miss... and who I will always hope, with all my being, is somehow proud of me."
"I am proud of you, Jetta."
Jetta spun around, and couldn't believe her eyes. The werewolf was old, as old as her father would have been, and his face was unmistakable. But absent was the scowl, or the arrogant sneer that had always marked his face at that age. Instead, there was the warm, caring smile she had first seen when she was growing up. Jetta managed, somehow, to remain on her weak legs, as she looked in shock.
"It's me, my dear."
The female werewolf charged forward and threw her arms around him, unsure of what to say. She had half expected her arms to pass right through him, as though he were some kind of illusion, but they didn't. Tears were streaming down her face, and a million questions swarmed through her mind. She only managed to utter two.
"How isn't important. What is, is that I have been granted a moment to say something I have wanted to for a long time." Brendan pulled away from the embrace, and took Jetta's hands into his own. "My daughter, I am proud of you, and what you have become. Instead of running away from this great challenge, you have accepted it without question. You have been strong, for both your children and your people. Nothing could make me prouder."
"But... I know I'm not as good a parent as you are... please... tell me how..."
Brendan shook his head. "I doubted myself, as you do now. There are no rules to being a parent. You can only learn from listening to your heart. And when you sacrificed your pride to save Pojo... to know a warrior as proud as you was willing to take that step... I know you will make a find parent."
For a moment, the two said nothing, leaving Jetta to just look into her father's eyes. For so long, they had been devoid of the compassion and warmth she saw in them now. After another moment, Brendan broke the silence.
"There is one other thing I wanted to say," he said, and looked at the ground, as though he had to gather his strength. "I never was able to say goodbye to you."
Once again, Jetta hugged her father tightly and laid her head on his shoulder. "I missed you so much, Daddy."
"I have missed you too, Jetta. But you must stay strong for me, your family, and your people. I know the strength of your heart. But whatever happens, just know... your mother and I will always be proud of you."
With that, Brendan kissed Jetta on her forehead, and stayed in the embrace for a moment longer. Then, slowly, he broke free of her hug and backed away. Jetta watched as he moved away, and fell to her knees as he disappeared, leaving only a final message.
"I love you, daughter."
As the tears streamed down Jetta's face, she said the words she had longed for him to hear.
Sure enough, Pojo launched himself at one of his mother's legs, and held on with a strength his parents dared not challenge. She ruffled his hair, and smiled at him. "How's my little angel?"
"Not as much of an angel as he'd like you to believe," Thabian said as he came over, holding Alera in his arms. "He's been wearing his daddy ragged."
Jetta smiled, and kissed Thabian on the cheek. "Suppose I make it up to you tonight?"
Thabian raised an eyebrow in response. "Dare I ask what put that expression on your face? Although, believe me, this is not a complaint."
"Better not be," Jetta teased, then looked down at Pojo. "Isn't it about bedtime for you?"
"Can we play first?"
Jetta looked down at him, and smiled once again. "How about I tell you a story, instead?"
"Since when have you been a storyteller?" Thabian said, more confused than ever.
"Since now," she countered, a response that told Thabian he really didn't want to question any further. The female were scooped up her son in her arms with ease, then carried him over to his bed.
"This one is a human story," she began. "It begins with a boy named Joe, who was a lot like you, except he liked to play something called video games. Well, one day, when he was supposed to be taking dinner home to his sister..."
Thabian shook his head. He was going to have to have a long talk with her later... or try, at least.
With the were long since gone, the visitor to Eden was finally able to return to his true form. He wondered to himself if he had really done the right thing. After all, it was basically a lie. He doubted whether or not Brendan would ever have truly said those words. But still... he had loved his daughter once, and at the very least, the person he was would most definitely have been proud of her.
After all, he himself would have taken great pride in being able to call someone like Jetta his own daughter. She had taken the responsibilities of her post without question, and never really looked back. She regretted the mistakes she had made in her life, and was always trying to better herself. He had even noticed, in the time he had known her, a definite increase in her maturity. She had told her all of this before, but she wouldn't listen to him.
It was only after talking to Thabian that he'd learned what had truly been bothering her. Something he was very familiar with. In spite of what Brendan was, she still loved the father he had been, and missed him. Even if it was a lie, she had finally had a chance to say the things that had been weighing on her heart for so long. It was going to help her, in the long run, and in that, he took comfort.
Because Theodore Diggers knew, all too well, that no matter what they had done or what they had become... you always loved your father.