Disclaimer: I don't own Dark Angel so don't sue me. Thanks. :-)
A/N: Thanks to Marcus Sylenus, Stargate fan, X5 416, 452max, nattylovesu, and Peaslums for reviewing!
Ex Multus Familia
One Month Later
Robin leaned against the main farm house's porch railing, her back against one of the newly crafted wooden beams, her arms folded over her chest. The early summer sun was high overhead, and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. Behind her, rock and roll music from before the Pulse was drifting out of the open windows of the farm house, lifting everyone's moods as they painted in time with the beat of the songs. Robin was currently baby-free; Taylor was asleep in the kitchen, sharing a baby bassinet with Gem's daughter, Crystal.
"What is he doing?" Robin asked as looked out through the fields and toward the path that led through the woods. About an hour ago, Seth had disappeared down that path with Logan, Alec and Everett in tow.
Behind her Max, Syl and Sidda shared a conspiratorial look. The group of X5 females was dutifully painting the front of the house, so all of them were covered in splashes of white paint. The back of Syl's light blue shirt was decorated with a huge white 'X' while Sidda had a bright white stripe in her hair; they had gotten into a fight earlier, and now they were both sporting punishment.
"What're you talking about, Robin?" Max asked. She walked over to the porch steps and put her hands on her hips, carefully pointing the paintbrush away from herself.
"Seth," Robin answered, throwing a hand out toward the forest path, "He's being acting really weird lately."
"He's a guy," Syl cut in, "I mean, look at the male race. Seth is one of them, so logically he's always going to act weird."
"Seriously," Sidda added. She jumped up and sat down on the new railing and crossed her legs. "And if you really want a weird guy, look at Krit. He's as odd as they come."
"You're so funny, Sidda," Syl replied, making a face. She reached out to tap the other X5 with her paint-roller, but Sidda fended her off with the wide brush she was using.
"Hey, let's try to get more paint on the house than each other, okay?" Max said. She shook her head and smirked as Syl and Sidda both gave her innocent looks. Max stepped over beside Robin. "It's probably nothing, you know, guy stuff."
"Yeah, I know, but he won't even talk to me about it," Robin said. She sighed and walked back over to the house, brandishing her paint brush like a weapon. She started slathering the boards with wide but controlled swathes of bright white, attacking the house with paint.
The screen door creaked open, and Joshua walked out, a half-eaten apple pie in his hands. He went wide-eyed when he saw Max and the other X5 women. Wildly, he tried to hide the apple pie behind his back. "Hey, little fella and everybody! Nice painting, good job."
"Joshua, is that one of the apple pies Gem was making for dinner?" Max asked, pointing her paint brush toward him.
Joshua shook his head vigorously. "Nuh-uh. Joshua has not seen any apples or pies, and not together. Nope."
Syl, who was standing behind Joshua, darted forward and snatched the apple pie from his hands. "Then what's this, Underdog?" She held the apple pie under Joshua's nose. The transhuman involuntarily sniffed at it, his eyes staying on the juicy, flaky, still-warm pie. He grabbed it back from Syl and held it out to Max.
"Ooo! Look, Max, an apple pie!" Joshua exclaimed. He smiled at Max, using that puppy dog charm that worked so well on the transgenic leader.
Max took it from him, half-smiling. "Yep, this looks like one of Gem's. Did you steal it from the kitchen?"
Robin suddenly put down her paint brush on the window sill and stared at the others. "What if he's with another girl?"
"Joshua not with any girl," Joshua said. He tilted his head to the side and gave Robin a confused look. Syl started giggling uncontrollably, which only confused Joshua more.
"Robin, are you serious?" Sidda asked, "Like Seth would ever do that." She slid off the porch railing and walked over to wall, snagging the apple pie from Max and handing back to Joshua on the way. She grinned cheekily at Max. "He already ate half of it; he's a growing artist."
"If he gets any taller, we'll have to warn the air traffic controllers," Syl muttered, glancing up at the giant transhuman.
Joshua shrugged. "Being big is helpful. Reach cans on top shelf. Dust high places."
Max patted Joshua on the arm. "That's right, big fella. You're really useful." Joshua beamed at her praise.
"But what if he was," Robin said. Her gaze darted around the others, looking for reassurance. "I mean, Seth could be with someone else, he's not tied to me or anything."
"Is Robin worried?" Joshua asked, looking down at the X5.
"Ridiculously so," Syl said. She rolled her eyes and put her hands on her hips. "Really, Robin, you're the last person who needs to worry about their man running off. Seth hasn't even realized that other girls exist since you showed up." She turned back to the wall and started painting again. "It's sorta weird, actually."
"Does Robin need pie?" Joshua held out the half-eaten pie to Robin. Robin stared at the pie before turning her glare back to the forest.
Sidda grinned and shook her head. "Nah, it's okay, Josh. I don't think pie is the answer to this one."
Joshua pulled the pie into his chest. He stared at Sidda. "Pie fixes everything." He retreated to the porch swing and started pawing through the pie, sticking his fingers into the pie tin and then into his mouth.
"But that doesn't mean everything's okay," Robin said. She nibbled on her bottom lip and whirled back toward the house, snatching up her paint brush. She started attacking the house again, her paintbrush rushing up and down and side to side and splattering paint everywhere. "I mean, it's not like I'm worried about it, really, or anything, and he can do that if that's what he wants, but I wish he'd tell me."
"Calm down, chica," Max said, her eyebrows knitting together, "Trust me. Seth is not seeing anyone else."
"Quite the opposite, actually," Syl said. Max and Sidda both shot her silencing glares, which Syl ignored.
Robin, however, wasn't convinced. "It's just, he's been a little distant lately."
"I think you're hallucinating," Sidda said. "Because if I remember correctly, when we were in T.C., he was in the apartment so much that I thought I had a new roommate. And you guys share a room here." They had come out to the farm about two weeks ago to start hardcore renovations. A lot of the place was looking better already, even if half of the population was camping out in tents instead of houses since they were still building the other farm houses.
Robin blushed and kept painting. "Yeah, but, it's, I don't know, it's like he doesn't want to tell me something. I just think he's hiding something from me."
"What if he's hiding a good thing?" Syl asked.
"Like pie," Joshua piped up.
"I don't think he's hiding pie," Max said, glancing at Joshua admonishingly, "But Syl's right, what if it is a good thing?"
"You don't hide good things," Robin said. She sighed. "I just wish he'd tell me."
"Well, here he comes, so why don't you ask him?" Sidda said. She gestured toward the path that led to the forest. Seth and the other guys were walking out the woods, Seth in the lead with a long and purposeful stride.
"He'll tell me when he feels like it," Robin said, shaking her head.
"Something tells me that he's going to feel like it," Max said. Robin turned to glance at her, but the transgenic leader was engrossed in painting the house and wouldn't turn to look back at her.
Robin changed her grip on her paintbrush and went back to painting so she was being useful when Seth walked up onto the porch, his footfalls light on the steps. She felt him walk up behind her and then his hands were on her waist. "Hey, Robin."
"Hey," she said, her voice sounding more stressed than she had wanted.
Seth must have noticed because when he turned her around to face him, he looked concerned. "Are you okay?"
"Yeah, definitely," Robin said. She flashed him a half-hearted smile and played with the paintbrush in her hands.
Seth nodded and smiled at her. He reached out, plucked the paint brush from her hands and set it down on the windowsill. "Come on, let's go for a walk."
"A long walk!" Sidda exclaimed from where she was standing, Alec standing at her side with a smirk on his face. He winked at Robin.
Robin raised her eyebrows at Seth, but he just pulled her down the steps headed off around the house and toward the woods in the backyard. In companionable silence, they walked into the woods, Seth's hand tight around Robin's. He led her through the forest, sunlight streaming in to dapple the forest floor with patches of light.
They came out of the forest at a small, mossy area beside the river, right were the short waterfall the X6s had discovered a couple weeks ago. It was a natural waterfall that dipped into a wide pool surrounded by large rocks that people could sit or lay on. It was one of the prettiest places on the farm, and it was usually crowded with transgenics trying to escape from chores or just relaxing beside the cool water and letting the waterfall mist splash their faces. Today, however, the place was deserted. It was yet another thing that told Robin that something weird was going on here.
When they stopped, Robin pulled her hand out of Seth's and crossed her arms. "Look, whatever you have to say to me, please, just get it out now, so we can talk about it." She couldn't stop herself, she had to say something.
Seth looked surprised, but he could not have possibly matched Robin's surprised and confused expression when he dropped to one knee in front of her. "All right, then, I wasn't expecting that, but…" He took Robin's hand in his.
"Robin, forgive my sappiness in advance, but I have to say this. Ever since the day I met you, yes, since Manticore, I've been in love with you. I couldn't get you out of my head, and when you showed up in Terminal City with Taylor, it was like someone had finally given me something good in my life."
He locked his gaze with hers, his brilliant blue eyes warm and sincere. Robin felt her chest constricting with pure excitement, and she gripped his hand so tight she thought she was going to break it. "I never tell you enough, but I love you, Robin, and I love our daughter. I want to spend the rest of my life with you as my mate. That is, if you'll have me." He reached into the back pocket of his jeans and pulled out something small and silver. It was a ring, an elegant silver band with three small diamonds in it. "It's not much, but it's what I could afford.' He smiled up at her as she rocked back and forth on her heels. "Robin, will you marry me?"
The answer exploded out of her almost before he finished the question. "Yes!" Robin dropped to her knees and tackled him with a hug, crying and smiling all at once. Laughing, he slipped the ring on her finger and kissed her, their lips meeting with sweet perfection. "Of course I'll marry you!"
IMPORTANT AUTHOR'S NOTE: All right, so this first part of the story is finished! The first chapter of the next part will be posted next week. There's a lot more of Sidda and Alec's relationship, Robin and Seth's wedding and life as newly weds, Krit and Syl's wackiness, and Logan and Max's twisted relationship. Make sure to keep a look out for it!!