Disclaimer: see chapter one
AN: Well, this is it. The last chapter ever for Shaking Foundations. And it's posted on New Years' Day. Consider it a present from me to you. Hope you've enjoyed the story.
Chapter Forty Eight- Epilogue
Scott closed the door, and sat on the edge of the bed. "Hi gorgeous." He kissed her on the forehead. "Before you even think about asking, Luke's here, he's fine and is absolutely perfect. Our baby boy is beautiful."
Tash moved her head towards the direction of Scott's voice.
"You know how you keep saying Mel's a clone of her dad? Well, you've got your own carbon copy now. Yep, Luke is exactly like you. He's got a fine dusting of red hair, emerald green eyes and a cavernous but infectious smile." Scott looked back down at Luke again, drinking in his appearance.
Blinking slowly, Tash opened her eyes. "That epidural was no epidural."
Scott's head whipped up, only to see his wife's tired, but sparkling green eyes staring back at him, her hands outstretched. Scott dutifully handed his son over.
"Hey, beautiful." Tash smiled, tears of joy blurring her vision.
"How're you feeling?"
"A little sore. Scott, what happened?"
"There was internal bleeding; you needed a c-section."
"Why? What was in that epidural? Everything was going OK before that."
Before Scott could answer, there was a knock on the door, and five heads peered through. Ever so quietly, they traipsed into the room and gathered round the bed.
"So," Jeff began. "Does he have a name?"
Scott nodded and took his son back into his arms, before handing him to Jeff and swapping him for Mel. "Luke, this is your Grandad."
"Who chose that name?" Gordon asked while moving closer to his dad to have a better look.
"He did." Tash sighed tiredly and closed her eyes. "Wouldn't stop kicking when we were watching Star Wars. It was kind of obvious that he liked the name."
With a flick of his head towards the door, Jeff indicated that it was time to leave. "We'll see you tomorrow."
As soon as the door closed, Scott looked back at his wife. "You weren't really going to shove TB1 down my throat, skewer it up the other end and then burn me and freeze me, were you?"
"You were actually listening in my tirade?"
"Heard every word. Loud and clear."
"Maybe. I guess you'll never know."
Four days later, Jeff entered the hospital again alone (he had sent everyone else back to the island) and waited in the lobby, ready to take his family home. Without saying a word, communicating only through his eyes and smiles, he led them to where the car was parked. Surprising Scott, he relinquished the keys to the car. "You can drive, son."
What was even more surprising was when Scott knocked back the offer. "No thanks, Dad. You can drive."
Tash narrowed her eyes in suspicion. "Were you caught speeding again?"
Scott nodded slowly.
"How fast were you going?" Jeff sighed and rolled his eyes.
"Fifteen k's over the limit." Scott muttered, abashed. "But it wasn't my fault! When did they change the speed limit anyway?"
"Scott, you can't drive at one hundred and twenty five kilometres down a motorway, and not get caught. Especially when the speed limit has always been one hundred and ten kilometres." Jeff lectured. "What was the punishment?"
"The fine has already been paid, and another three points have been added to my licence, meaning I am one point away from losing my licence." Scott finished strapping Mel into the car seat, and clambered into the back middle seat. "So, I'm giving up on driving until at least six points disappear off my licence. From now on, the only driving I do is on MarioKart."
With an expression of wintry disapproval, Jeff slid into the driver's seat. "Why, pray tell, do I let you fly the most powerful jet in the world? It has obviously given you an uncontrollable need for speed."
"Because I'm good at flying the most jet in the world. It's my day job."
"This is your seventh time you've exceeded the speed limit. I think I need to send you back to driver education."
Tash craned her neck round to look at Scott. "After hearing about your affinity to speeding, I want you to promise me one thing."
Scott shrugged. "Sure."
"Don't EVER drive a car when our kids are with us. I can handle your speeding. I can even handle you careering round corners on two wheels instead of four. They can't."
"Fine, you can teach them how to drive. But just for the record, I am a good driver." Scott defended himself. "Have you seen the idiots on the road these days? And I've never quite managed to take a corner on two wheels. I can do it on three, but not on two."
Jeff pulled up outside the airfield. "So, you relinquished the driving helm, Scott. You sure you want to fly a plane? I mean, I don't mind flying."
"Not a chance. I said I was taking a break from driving, not flying."
John sat down on the couch, just listening to the melodious tune reverberating round the room. "What are you playing, Virg?"
"I don't know. I haven't thought of a name yet." Virgil's hands stopped dancing over the keys of his piano, and he scribbled away on a score of music. "When are they coming back?"
"Scott called in a while ago. Should be here any moment now."
On cue, three shadowy figures made their way into the room. Virgil smiled at them as they made their way into the villa. "How was the flight?"
"It was fine." Tash replied, rocking Luke slightly. "At least Scott wasn't caught speeding in the air."
Both Scott and Virgil winced. "How many points this time?"
Scott held up three fingers.
"Ouch. And people say I'm the bad driver of the family." Virgil smirked, self satisfied.
"Hey, at least I've never driven on the train tracks at the rail crossing." Scott shot back.
"I was under the influence of cough medicine at the time. I can't be held accountable for my actions!"
"Enough, boys." Jeff intervened. "You're equally as bad as each other. Not surprising, considering Virgil learnt with Scott. Where's Gordon?"
"Games room," John drawled in a bored voice. "Fishing."
"Go get him, Virgil. I just spoke with Ohana. Dinner's nearly ready. I'm going to freshen up."
Both parties went their separate ways and Scott took Luke out of Tash's arms. "I'll put him in his cot. You sit and rest."
Tash dutifully sat down next to John as Scott walked out of the room. "John, thanks for everything you did."
"It was no trouble." John reassured her, and tipped his head to the side. "Did you find out what was in that injection?"
"It was some sort of blood thinner. Apparently it was in testing stages, and it shouldn't have been administered to any human, especially not one in labour." Tash said flatly.
"Damn. I really wish I'd caught the guy." John could feel disappointment running through his veins. "If he does that again, it would be my fault because I couldn't catch him and stop him."
"It's not your fault." Scott said from the doorway, walking towards them. "You did your best. No-one will blame you for that. And John, thanks for being there. You really pulled through for me." He pulled John in for a brotherly hug. "Now, how about we get some chow?"
Scott slung one arm over his brother's shoulder, and the other one around his wife, and together, they walked to the dining room.
Jeff smiled at them as they sat down. Glancing round the table, he reviewed his family. Everyone was there, including Alan, who was watching through a video screen.
Scott was wrestling a squirming Melissa into her highchair, before flaking her chicken into small pieces which the nearly one and a half year old could eat. 'You think she's being difficult now, Scott,' Jeff thought dryly. 'Just wait until the terrible two year old syndrome starts.'
Opposite them, Tin-Tin was having the same struggle with Leroy. His arms were flailing wildly, and he shook his head. "No."
'Little tyke doesn't want to eat,' Jeff remembered. 'Alan was just like this too. Whoever said like father, like son, wasn't wrong.' His gaze drifted to his two single sons.
John was laughing at Gordon, who mock pouted. 'Uh oh, Gordon's about to sulk. Run and hide. No-one is safe. Should probably find out what John said to insult my coppertop son.'
"What did John say, Gordon?"
"He keeps calling me Gordo." Gordon's face crumpled comically, and he looked like he was about to cry.
"Because that's his name!" John reasoned.
"It means fat in Spanish!" Gordon wailed dramatically. "He's calling me fat!"
"All I did was tell him he could do with losing a couple of pounds. It's not my fault he can't handle the truth."
"John, stop teasing your brother." Jeff warned in his no-nonsense voice. "It's not his fault his name means fat in Spanish."
"This is all your fault!" Gordon accused his father, pointing the finger and the blame. "You gave me my name."
Jeff shrugged. "It was heaps better than Leroy."
"Ahem," Alan cleared his throat, eyeing Jeff menacingly. Even through the video screen, it unnerved Jeff. "What is wrong with the name Leroy?"
"It suits your son fine," Jeff soothed Alan's ruffled feathers. "But for your red head rascal of a brother? I don't think so."
"Fair point." Alan conceded.
'Oh, Alan, that temper of yours is going to get you into trouble one day.' Jeff thought, shaking his head slightly. 'But I wouldn't have you any other way.'
Virgil looked longingly at the empty spot beside him. It had remained empty ever since Virgil claimed that spot for Gus. 'You have grown up so much Virgil. And you've come so far. I mean, you're getting married in three months. And I couldn't be happier for you.'
Noticing Virgil was staring at him with probing, questioning eyes, Jeff averted his eyes. "Just thinking about something." Jeff smiled. His family were together. International Rescue was up and running at full power. They had their happily ever after ending. And wasn't that the way life was meant to be?
AN: Yep, that's it. The end of this story, but not of the saga. There's more to come.
OK, thanks to all the reviewers; it was really nice knowing you were enjoying the story. Special thanks to Lissysue, Lulu and Little Miss Bump, as you guys kept reviewing for practically every chapter, and picking up on my mistakes which I and my beta couldn't find.
Happy New Year, everyone. Stay safe, keep smiling and have a great 2009!