Notes: Whoa! I finally got here? Well yes, this is the end of our fabulous journey through my fic The Poet and the Pendulum. I hope you enjoy this last installment and thank you all for reading and staying with me for this long!
Part: Final Interlude [ find your way home
Words: 4618 words
Disclaimer: The Twilight series and its characters belong to Stephanie Meyer, who I am definitely not. This means that I don't own the characters or anything but the strange circumstances that I slap them into. I'll put them back once I'm done with them, promise. Anything unfamiliar you see is mine.
. find your way home .
One year later...
I would have to admit that it was... very comforting to have both Setsune and Kieran around. This was mostly because it was good to have people around who not only understood what Jake and I were going through, but had experience with it and could give us advice whenever needed. Kieran was there to help Jake with his pregnancy and Setsune was a godsend in keeping me sane – Jake is, unfortunately, very good at making me worry.
As much as I was grateful to have Carlisle around, sometimes he did nothing but add onto my unnecessarily large pile of fears. I knew that he just wanted us to be prepared, but I think there were times that I could have lived without some of the things he told us.
Jake did his best to reassure me, but I was still nervous as all hell. But I did appreciate his efforts, and I tried my best to try and keep them from him so that I could try to reassure him. I might not have been very successful – Jake can see through me easily – but it was the only thing that I felt I could do during the entire time that Jake was pregnant.
Carlisle had offered to tell us the gender of the child once he was able to, but Jake was insistent on being surprised. I decided to go along with him.
Two and a half months after they joined us, Kieran gave birth to his and Setsune's second child via a Caesarian section courtesy of Carlisle. After speaking with Setsune about how Kosuke had been delivered, I was very, very glad that Jake would be having one as well because I don't think I could have lived with myself if he'd had to go through the pain that Kieran had. I could feel the shadow of pain that he'd experienced having to help his mate through that – they'd had to go through it with just the two of him – and I could only imagine how much worse it had been.
Kieran seemed very relieved and happy that it was a boy; apparently he'd guessed that it would, and Setsune had bowed to letting him name their child if he was correct. And since he was, Kieran named their son Ran.
"It means orchid in Japanese," Setsune explained, he shrugged a little. "Kosuke's name means rising sun; I thought it would be rather symbolic, given her parentage."
Jake had fallen asleep while we were having this discussion, and he was using my lap as a pillow. I didn't mind at all; I enjoyed having him close to me even if we weren't being intimate. The warmth from his body was soaking into my thigh, and I tangled my fingers in his hair as I stroked his head. He hadn't been sleeping very well at night because of the baby, so I was just relieved to see him sleeping now.
The rest of my family had left, giving the four of us some much needed time alone. Kieran had just put Ran down for his nap, and was expecting him to wake up some time soon. I think mostly the reason everyone had left was so that the four of us could just speak without having them around.
As much as Jake's relationship with Rosalie had progressed, she still sometimes got carried away about his pregnancy and the child. We needed time to talk about it.
There was the small matter of names for our child, and whether or not we wanted to give the child his last name or mine.
Kieran was apparently of the same mindset as me, "So Jasper, have you two given any thought to what you want to name your child?"
I frowned; I had given it some thought, but I hadn't been able to talk to Jake about it. "If it's a girl... I would like to name her Katherine, after my sister."
"That's a nice name," Kieran remarked, moving closer to Setsune's side. "Have you and Jake talked about this?"
"Not really," I replied. "I don't think that it's something that has occurred to Jake yet, but it's something I mean to bring up."
Setsune shrugged, "Perhaps he already has an idea of what he wants to name them, but is just waiting for you to bring up the subject. I know that Kieran always knows what he wants to name our children, but he always just waits for me to ask him if he's thought about it before telling me."
"That's because you're no fun and you honestly have no idea what to name a child. If I let you have your way, Ran wouldn't have the name he does."
"I fail to see what's wrong with the name I chose."
"You wanted to name our son after one of the shoguns. That'll get him teased for having history loving parents or something."
"Tsunayoshi was perfectly acceptable–"
"It's too long; I don't want to have to be yelling such a long name around the house while chasing after our son so that he doesn't give the neighbours a heart attack."
Hearing the two of them bicker was rather amusing, I couldn't help but smile as they went back and forth; it would be interesting to see who won this particular bout of verbal warfare.
"Need I remind you koi that we have no neighbours; and you could always shorten his name... I see nothing wrong with calling him Tsuna or Yoshi for short."
"I still don't like the name and that's that; besides, it's a little late for us to change our minds. Kosuke's pretty set on his name remaining Ran; she's already set to work embroidering that sash she was planning on making for you."
Setsune sighed, "The things I go through to please you."
"You love me more because of it," Kieran replied, pressing a quick kiss to Setsune's temple before standing up to go and tend to Ran who had already started to fuss in his crib. "Now excuse me gentlemen, I have a fussy baby to see too. You talk about whatever floats your boat."
.:-o-:. .:-o-:. .:-o-:.
Even though Kieran had been to speak with Jake's family and the rest of his pack, they were still incredibly wary about what to expect from our child. No matter how much Kieran tried to reassure them, they still had their doubts about whether or not he or she would be a danger to them and the rest of the human population of Forks and La Push.
It was eventual that Kosuke would have to go down to assure them that hybrid children functioned perfectly fine and were of no danger to people.
She came back with some rather interesting news about a new dynamic in the pack and how... interesting life would be because of it.
Because of how Kosuke had been raised – largely isolated from human society because of her unique nature – she hadn't really been aware of whether or not some of the biological urges that she might have inherited from her parents would affect her. From her own experimenting, she knew that she wasn't venomous, but that blood best satiated her hunger; food could prolong how long she could go between feedings, but she noted that to do so required her to eat massive amounts of it because of her high metabolism.
Much to her shock, however, she learned that she wasn't as immune to her mother's heritage as she'd thought.
"I think I imprinted."
Setsune stared at her, in shock. I was, quite frankly, extremely shocked as well, and both of us were staring at her as though she'd just grown a second head. Kieran was upstairs, looking after Ran, but I had no doubt that he had heard what his daughter had said. Jacob was also upstairs, resting.
"I went down to La Push, right? Because I wanted to talk to them and show them that I was perfectly fine and that Jasper and Jacob's child would turn out just fine – and um, a few of the pack met me when I arrived on the border, and I was looking at one of them and then it was just bam! I couldn't help it, I felt drawn to them immediately."
Setsune pinched his nose, face wrinkling up as he thought this through. "You... imprinted... on one of them?"
"Yeah, I'm pretty sure I did."
"Do you know who they are?" Setsune asked. "Have you spoken to them?"
"Um... yeah, we talked really briefly before I had to leave," Kosuke replied. "I told him that I'd like to meet him again – tonight, actually – and I introduced myself to him properly and mentioned you and okaa-san. He seems like a really nice guy; I think you'll like him."
"What's his name?" The tone in his voice let it be known that he was going to find out everything that he possibly could about the one that his daughter had imprinted on. I was prepared to answer questions as best I could, but I knew that Jacob would be fielding a lot of questions from the Japanese vampire.
Setsune raised an eyebrow at her; he must have heard something about him from Jacob.
"Yes otou-san. Do you want to meet him? I could probably try and convince him to come here with me tonight so you and okaa-san can meet him. Would you like that?" Despite being over a century and a half old, it was obvious that Kosuke still very much valued her parents and their opinion of her. She just wanted their approval – even though Setsune's might have to be hard won.
There was of course the fact that Kosuke was Setsune's only daughter, so it was completely understandable that he would be a little overprotective of her. I had seen enough families over the years to know that this was a general trait of all fathers – ones like mine were an exception, though.
Eventually, Setsune caved to his daughter's wants, and agreed to meet with Paul that night just to make sure that he was, as she claimed, a nice guy and worthy of being with her.
Jake and I finally had our discussion on what we could possibly name our child; we debated a while, but Jake was pretty open to whatever ideas I had, despite the fact that he was the one who was carrying. Personally, I felt that he reserved the first choice and that I could offer suggestions.
"Seriously? The only name you want to use is Katherine? What if it's a boy?"
I frowned, "Why not name them for your father then? William would be a perfectly fine name."
"Really? You don't mind?" The way his eyes lit up... I couldn't help but smile back at him and nod.
"Of course not, however... you wouldn't object to – if it is a boy – his middle name being Emrys? For my grandfather?"
Jake seemed to mull that over for a few long minutes, then nodded his head in agreement to whatever it was that he'd decided on. "Yeah, William Emrys Whitlock is a good name for a boy."
That was a little surprising; we hadn't discussed whether or not the child would have my last name or his. I'd thought that since neither of us had talked about marriage – and Jake seemed to be a little against it in the first place – the child would take his last name, not mine. But by now I'd learned better than to argue with him since he was stubborn about things once he set his mind on them.
"You want to use my last name?"
"Yeah, I do; I like your last name better." Jake nodded, running a hand over his now very swollen stomach.
Placing my hand on it, I was rewarded with a sharp kick followed by a softer punch. Jake winced a little at the kick, but put his hand over mine and gave it a squeeze. Almost as though it could sense us, the child gave another kick, only this time a little more gentle. I couldn't help but smile; I was sure that they'd be quite the ball of energy and keep all of us on our toes.
"What if it's a girl?" Jake finally ventured. "What should we name here then? I know that you want to name her Katherine, is that the only name you've considered?"
I nodded, "It's for my younger sister... she... she passed away two months before I was turned; she was a few days shy of her eighteenth birthday."
"I never knew you had a sister." Jake frowned; I had been a little tight-lipped about my past around him, for a number of reasons. It wasn't so much that I was afraid of upsetting him – that was partly it, given his condition – but that it was just something that I didn't want to have to drag up again, I was still dealing with its consequences years after.
I smiled, "I had two, actually. Katherine was younger and Elizabeth was older – I was the middle child, much to my mother's relief."
Jake cocked his head to the side, "What happened to them?"
"My mother passed away from consumption when I was young, shortly after Katherine was born. Her pregnancy only exasperated her condition, so it was only logical... Katherine fell ill with it as well, unfortunately; and as for Elizabeth, she was the only one of us who managed to find herself a happy ending."
"You and Katherine were close?"
"Very. I've always wanted to name my daughter after her, if I ever had one," I replied. And it was the truth; even though I had never given much thought towards marrying and children, the few times that I had I always wanted a daughter. It was one way for me to help keep my sister's name alive. I knew that Jake had two sisters of his own, but from what little he had told me of them, he wasn't too close to them; and he'd lost his mother at a young age.
An idea came to me, "Why not name her Katherine Sara, then?"
That seemed to surprise Jake, because his eyes widened and he stared at me for a few seconds before responding, "You mean after my mom?"
"Why not? I'm sure that you're father would approve, and it gives you a way to keep your mother close. It's only fair that if we name her after my sister that we give her some of your heritage as well."
Jake mulled that over for a while.
"It's a good name."
.:-o-:. .:-o-:. .:-o-:.
I had never imagined that being a father could be both so exhilarating and also strangely tiring, even for someone like me. And I knew that Jake was, more often than not, exhausted to the point of collapse. It took quite a lot of convincing on my part, but eventually I managed to make him agree that he would sleep through the night while I would look after the children if they needed anything.
And yes, children. Jake and I were very shocked when Carlisle told us that we weren't having just the one child, but two – twins. The first was a girl, Katherine, and the second was a boy, William. Both of the names that we'd decided on got to see use. Carlisle was rather impressed when he went about filling out the paper work for their birth certificates – I wasn't surprised to see that he used the stereotypical doctor's handwriting on it so that Jake's name looked positively illegible.
Looking at the writing, you couldn't actually tell what Jacob's name actually was. You'd probably only be able to discern it if you were actually looking for it, and even then it was difficult. But in any case, we were the twins' parents so it didn't really matter.
Carlisle could deal with the legalities of my and Jacob's new roles as parents, we were too busy dealing with our new family to really care.
Of the two, Katherine is the more energetic but she's also, strangely, the calmer of the two. She doesn't throw so many tantrums and doesn't cry very much. Whereas, William is definitely a 'mother's boy' – and Jake would kill me if he ever heard me calling him such, I know this – and can only be comforted by Jake taking him up and feeding him. Katherine doesn't so much care who holds her so much as she cares if she gets fed or not.
She doesn't like to sleep through the night, though.
Ran and her are close, if I leave her with him, the two of them are gurgling happily and batting at each other's hands. It's rather sweet. I'm not too worried about it developing into anything more as the years pass; they could be great friends or lovers and I think that I could accept it.
The pack is around a lot more too. It's a combination of the fact that even though Jake hasn't been completely accepted back into his pack and tribe, a lot of them are still his friends and care about him deeply. I think they also wanted to see the children.
"Ow, Katy stop biting me!" Embry tried vainly to wiggle his finger free of the offending mouth. "That hurts you know!"
I couldn't help but laugh, bouncing William a little in my arms to keep him entertained, "Keep your fingers clear of her mouth; she'll bite anything that comes in range."
Finally managing to free his finger, Embry shot the tiny girl a glare, "Still it hurts like–"
"Embry, don't swear around the children; Jake will have my hide if you teach them anything inappropriate before they're old enough."
Kieran grinned at that, "I don't think he'd appreciate it if they learned it even then."
I hadn't noticed the older shifter enter the room, but then I realized that he was holding a squirming Ran in his arms and gave him a smile. Setsune and I had been trading off for hunting trips so that at least one of us was home, and sometimes one of the pack would stop by as well. It was usually Embry, Quil, or Seth who stopped by, but I'd noticed that Paul was coming around more often.
Probably Kosuke's influence because I knew that he wasn't all that fond of us vampires. Still, there is no denying an imprint, and Kosuke was half-vampire so he had to accept that. Judging by how much time they spent together, I think it would take long until they were as inseparable as the rest of us.
It was just the four of us in the house, plus three rather restless babies. It was going to be a long night, but one well worth it. William was already dropping off to sleep, so I'd be putting him down in his crib in a few minutes only to have him wake up again in a few hours. That was how it was, and I was extremely glad that I didn't need sleep or else I would be completely deprived of it.
I wasn't too sure how human parents could cope with this, because it was stressful enough for me and I wasn't even human.
Embry was making faces at Katherine, making her giggle and wave her arms about trying to catch another finger or his face so she could cram it into her mouth. But Embry seemed to have learned his lesson – and the little bites on his fingers and hands would heal without scarring – from previous mistakes and was keeping his hands and fingers clear.
What was a little shocking to know was that both Katherine and William were born with sharp little fangs. I didn't know what to make of them until Kieran had explained that, as infants, hybrid children usually fed from their 'mother'. At least, that had been his experience with Kosuke. The shifter's body naturally did produce milk for the child, but because of their vampire nature...
It wasn't something we talked about.
But Carlisle had figured out a formula for the children shortly after Ran was born, so neither Jake nor Kieran had to go through that again. It smelled terrible to me, but none of the children seemed to mind it and took it eagerly.
Eventually William nodded off and I excused myself to go and tuck him back into his crib. Katherine had finally started to tire herself out and was yawning widely in Embry's arms, so he followed me upstairs to my and Jake's room which had also been turned into a nursery as well. Neither Jake or I wanted to have to trudge to the third floor if either Katherine or William woke in the middle of the night, so the crib and all of the necessary accessories had been set up in our room.
Alice had a field day redecorating, and quite a bit of my stuff had been moved into one of the rooms on the third floor to make room for everything.
William and Katherine had their own cribs, and I made sure that William was settled in his and that I'd pulled his blanket around him – a gift from Rose; I'd been a little surprised to learn that she had knitted it herself – before taking Katherine from Embry's arms.
Embry grinned and waved before very quietly leaving the room. Technically he wasn't supposed to have stayed with us so late, but Katherine had woken up shortly after I'd finally convinced Jake to turn in for the night. Embry had been kind enough to comfort the crying child while I made her formula and handed it to her. The two of them got on quite well, ignoring how Katherine loved to shove his fingers in her mouth and bite them; Embry didn't really appreciate being used as our daughter's... chew toy.
Katherine yawned and looked up at me, blinking her big blue eyes at me and gave a sleepy smile.
I was a little surprised, at first, that she had my eyes. In every other way she was the spitting image of Jake, from her dark hair to the shape of her eyes... it was like looking at a female, child version of my mate. Except for her pale skin, but I was sure that would take on more color as she grew older.
And William? He looked exactly like Jake, as in, he was almost a clone of him. I was sure that he wouldn't have any of my traits, but Jake had pointed out that his hair – still short and fuzzy and dark – looked to be a little blond at the ends. He joked that our son would have pudding treat hair when he grew up. Sadly, I don't think that I understood the joke very well.
Nonetheless... our daughter and son were perfect and beautiful and healthy. I still had my mate who was sleeping peacefully in our bed and I would be joining him shortly.
Rocking Katherine in my arms for a few minutes as I waited for her to close her brilliantly blue eyes, I talked to her, "You'll be as beautiful and charming as your namesake. I don't know what I'll do then, but I suppose I'll be chasing boys off... or maybe your brother will do that? Will he be overprotective and a knight in shining armour for you and later some young lady? I wonder..."
She gurgled happily and I smiled.
"I shouldn't worry about that now, I've still got years ahead of me that I can spend watching you and your brother grow, seeing how the two of you will face the world. But I know that you'll brave it and come out stronger, it won't destroy you and it won't hurt you as much as it did me, I'll make sure of that."
As her eyes fluttered closed, I looked over my shoulder at Jake, curled up on his side and sleeping peacefully and smiled, pressing a kiss to Katherine's forehead before laying her down in her crib and tucking her in gently.
"I'll make sure that you and your brother and your mother never have to fear the world as I did."
A big thank you to everyone who has stuck with me all the way through this and to roadsidefury, because without her this fic would've died within its first few parts and also might not exist at all! And I want to thank each and every one of you readers who have read, reviewed, and poked and prodded me until I finished this. Without you guys I don't think I'd really have the motivation to finish anything, so thank you. I send you all my love. 3
The ending is open-ended. I don't think I'll come back to this universe, but I'll leave it as is just incase I do. I may write something focusing on Kieran and Setsune, showing their relationship developing, but I have a few other fics that need to be finished.
Thank you all!
And an EXTREMELY LARGE WORDS CANNOT DESCRIBE thank you to both avari_maethor and starry_nights88 for giving this fic an honorable mention at the TwiSlash Awards! You guys! Thank you so much I really don't know what to say! Thank you thank you thank you! I send you my love!