(Sequel to Remember Zion)
Time-line: Post final season. Alternate Universe/Future events
Summary: "Suffer the children to come unto me. . .for such is the kingdom of heaven."
Rating: NC-17 SLASH ADULT. M-PREG!! Angst. (You have been warned).
Disclaimer: The blue-eyed babe with the cane - sigh! - is not mine.
I know I said this would be a month down the road, but what-the-hey! (It came to me and here it is).
"When an opponent declares, "I will not come over to your side," I calmly say, "Your child belongs to us already... What are you? You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing else but this new community."
"They're getting so big now."
Their eleven babies, all between six months and two and one half years old, were still relatively small. But having been born after only three weeks inside their gestating father, it was no surprise that most of the growing was still to come. The oldest two, though - Reid and Gordon - House's sons by Foreman, were finally toddling around, hanging on to the couch and the walls of their ever shrinking home. It was just the beginning of the getting-into-trouble years.
Foreman watched his babies fondly. Reid had no difficulty with putting one foot in front of the other, while Gordon, a little shorter in the leg (surprising considering the height of both their sire and birth dads - neither short men), was less sure on his feet, teetering every-so-often to the left or the right. Foreman resisted the urge to constantly run over to steady him when-ever he looked like he was about to tip over. It wasn't a world where anyone, beyond those who loved you most, would lend a hand. From now on and for a long future while, you stood pretty well on your own or you simply didn't stand. It was a lesson they would all have to learn while they grew.
May as well start 'em young. Foreman watched the boys and pondered Wilson's words. Yes, "Big", he had said, though not so big as numerous. The sturdy brick house had exactly two top story bedrooms. Large, as bedrooms went, but only two. The kitchen, the living-room, the back porch where birth-dad Gregory House had his lab and did his doctoring, a dirt cellar turned into preserves and food storage, and a small front railing-less veranda made up the rest of the dwelling. In square feet, it was roomy. But in practicality lay its short-fall. And House was pregnant again. How do you house twelve children comfortably once they grew beyond a crib? Already Reid's feet were touching the ends of his.
"We need a bigger house." Foreman said.
Wilson dragged his attention away from their delightful offspring, and to the words of his mate of seven years. Yes. Baby number twelve on the way. Their house was shrinking in virtually; a thing he had not considered until that moment.
"Yeah." Wilson looked back at Reid who had happened upon a toy block carved from wood, and was turning it in his clumsy child fingers, each side of the block painted with a different word - all of House's choosing: COLON, KIDNEY, SPLEEN, DOCTOR, DADDY, and GENIUS.
Chase had stepped in and prevented all of the toy blocks from befalling similar fates. "They're my kids, too, and my kids are going to be taught normal things."
House had made some remark about "boring dad" and his bush kangaroo, but left him in peace.
Wilson's mind returned to the room and the problem now confronting them. Damn Foreman and his stiffly practical thinking. For months they had all more-or-less been buzzing with contentment. They had a warm home, a safe environment, beautiful children and a BM breeder they all loved to one depth or another (for Wilson, it ran to his blood and marrow).
Now all of that was about to change again. It was a depressing thought. "Should we build another?" Wilson asked, hoping it was the best solution to Foreman's ears. Another move. Seventeen people?? Even if twelve of them were under two and half feet in height - it was still a tall order. How in the hell could they manage it?
Foreman shook his head. "I can bang together an animal shed, Chase can carve a pretty mean play-pen, but build a house? One large enough for twelve growing boys? We're talking four bedrooms - minimum. And six double beds. Add to that more furniture, clothes. I don't know how to frame a house, or what we would use for insulation. Straw? Moss and mud? Most of the tree's around here are willow." Which meant thin trunks. Not construction material. "We own one old, rusting saw." Foreman shook his head. As far as he could see, the obstacles were un-breachable. "It could take ten years, and that's only if we do it right - and we probably wouldn't. Somehow, I don't know how, but we have to move."
Wilson turned his eyes back to Reid and Gordon, both now sitting on the floor, tossing blocks and laughing as they hit the floor with a clatter. "If that's impossible, then how do we move eleven - soon to be twelve - children and five adult men with one car and twenty-nine gallons of gas?"
Foreman understood that of course. "I don't know, but we'd better think of a way." An idea popped into his head. Eli had come from a farm two days drive away. Two days drive on a motorcycle. Five hundred miles, Eli had said. That's how far away his and the late, murdering Josh's former home was. With twenty miles a gallon as an average mileage for a mid-nineties car like the one they had, they could do it with two men and be left four gallons to spare. But was there more gasoline buried on that farm? How many other motorbikes were still...Foreman had a new and better thought. A question, but very possibly also a better thought, depending on the answer.
"That high school we went to? Did you notice if there was a school bus anywhere close by?"
Wilson nodded. "Yeah." A tall, long orange bus. "It looked in pretty good shape, too."
Foreman pursed his lips. "Hmm. Do you know how to drive a forty foot bus?"
The idea was sound, and the town not that far. He'd forgotten all about the school buses - he remembered two. "I drove a Volvo."
Eli and Chase were consulted.
"A move?" Eli was not happy about the idea. He loved their life as it was, where it was. "But everything's going so good for us here."
"Here is going to be too small very soon." Foreman reminded him, then looked around at his mates. "Unless one of you learns how to construct a decent house and, say, finishing it sometime in the next five years."
Eli tried again. "Isn't this jumping the gun a little? None of our boys are going to need new beds yet. Like you said, not for years. Can't we-?"
Wilson hated the idea of moving, too. But Foreman was right. Why can't things just stay the same for a while? "How much harder will it be when the babies are seven or eight?" He sighed. Practicality by necessity lurked around every corner in a world where nothing was secure for long.
Chase took the floor. "Wilson and Foreman are right. What if the car breaks down sometime between now and five years from now? Engine parts wear out, brakes seize, electrical wires fray."
Eli couldn't think of a new argument for staying. Privately, he knew they were right. There were safe on the farm - for now. But they were also isolated, and far from help. Not that their past "help" had been particularly beneficial. "How do we do it?"
Chase leaned forward on the straight backed wood chair. The kitchen seemed to be their unspoken but agreed upon family meeting place. They could all huddle together around the table and hash out problems until one or more of them came up with a solution that all could live with. "Wilson and Foreman should take the car, and one of the rifles Josh left behind when he very nicely died out there on our lawn." Chase glanced at Eli, remembering with gratitude that the giant of a man had been there to finish off the man who had kidnapped House, tearing all of their lives up.
"Eli and I will stay here to care for the animals and to help House with the children." Chase looked around. House had not joined them in the kitchen. "Is House sleeping?" At Wilson's nod, he continued. "There's bound to be some gas left in the school buses." Chase gave Foreman a tiny nod.
Foreman took up the monologue. "They looked like they haven't been touched. They looked brand new." The hoods were still down, the interior, the quick look inside he had taken, hadn't been torn up for material. Stood to reason the gas hadn't been siphoned off either. In fact, he was counting on it. "Plenty of room for seventeen people, and lots to spare for supplies. We can strap things to the roof. Take everything we need. We'll siphon the extra gas from the second bus and take that too. We ought to have enough for a trip of a thousand miles if needed."
Wilson felt even more depressed. "A thousand miles to where?" He asked.
Foreman shrugged. "For now, let's get the bus here. It's only a four hour drive one way. We'll be gone less than a day this time." Their last trip to Small Town America had taken two days, but then they had stayed long enough to dismantle the high school chemistry lab, bringing it back with them. A gift for a depressed House. House hadn't spent much time in it yet, being too nauseous - "too pregnant" as he had put it - to do much of anything except complain.
Wilson battled his inner demons about the pending move. That trip had been not even been a month ago, but it seemed like a past life. The past weeks since then had felt like heaven. House was carrying his fourth child, and he eagerly awaited the birth.
A move far away from everything they had established and made their own felt like another purgatory; like the first days after Outbreak, when he and Foreman had stumbled upon one another on Long Island. Once the virus had played itself out and all the women were gone, and almost all of the blue-eyed men (save for those naturally immune like House), he and Foreman had moved away from the carefully controlled military-style life under government hands, and located a place to settle in New Jersey. It was more dangerous, more wild and a harder way to live, but it had also been freedom. A chance to start over.
The rest is history. None of it had been trouble-free. But House and the few others like him who had survived, had made hope come alive. Suddenly a future and family seemed possible again, all because nature had chosen the immune "mutant" Blue's (or BM's) to bear the new generations - literally.
They had built freedom once again here, right where they were. Wilson did not speculate about his other sire-mates feelings on it but, for him, House was the whole reason he wanted to stay alive. House and the wonderful children he had gone through so much to bear and give to them.
But Foreman talked, and Chase backed him up, and Eli, as usual, defered to his physician mates as though doctors had all the answers to everything. "I don't want to move." Wilson blurted.
Foreman said. "I know. But we don't have much choice." He paused. "Unless you have a better idea?"
Wilson didn't. He shook his head, and rose from the table. He knew the others didn't have to ask where he was going as he climbed the stairs. He was checking on House. He checked on him a dozen times a day, sometimes until House threw him out of the bedroom, or out of the kitchen, or out of the house, just to get a little peace.
This time, House didn't say a word as Wilson softly opened the door. It still squeaked the whole way. Gotta oil the hinges. But then, what was the point? They were abandoning the hinges along with everything else. Let them sing for now if they wanted to, they would soon enough be silent for good.
"Hey." Wilson lay down behind his lover, wrapping his arms around him. House didn't protest. In fact, he scooched over to give Wilson more room.
Wilson, as he almost always did, rested his right palm on House's swollen lower abdomen. Wilson was delighted to find the jeans unbuttoned and the zipper open all the way. At this stage of his pregnancy, that was the only way House could wear them, his belly now too fat to let him zip them closed. The tender bulge was hot with life and flushed with pink "baby-sign" - Chase's newest phrase for a knocked-up House.
"Hey." House answered back.
Wilson began gently rubbing the baby spot in slow, luxurious circles. Sometimes it eased House's nausea. And it fed Wilson's mind with images of House giving birth. The touch of flesh on flesh also fired Wilson's cock. But with this pregnancy, House's nausea had arrived the first week and refused to budge. All manner of ginger drink and plain, mushed up food had done nothing to shift it. "Still feeling sick?"
House nodded, and even that movement set up an extra wave of "pukey"- House's word, added to his list of pregnancy symptoms he had, after fourteen pregnancies, come to loathe.
But sleep usually did the trick. House would sleep through the night, save for rushed trips to the bathroom bucket to pee whenever the baby kicked, then get up in the morning and enjoy an hour or so of feeling normal before the nausea would settle in again. Then back to bed. Sleep, move around, get pukey, back to bed. A pattern he had been repeating since his second day of being "with-Jewish-baba". Wilson didn't mind the political incorrectness of his mate. As long as he was fat with baby, as far as Wilson was concerned, House couldn't do a single thing wrong that wasn't forgivable.
Wilson sighed and House must have heard something in it, because he suddenly asked "What?"
Wilson hugged him tighter. "We have to move."
House turned his head slightly. "What the hell for?"
Foreman was right. Even this, the largest of the two bedrooms, was looking small with twelve cribs pushed up against three of the four walls, one still awaiting its un-born occupant. "We're soon to have dozen kids. This house can't hold that many people, not when they start to really grow up."
House craned his neck to look around the room. He supposed Wilson was right. "How are the kids?" House had left their care largely up to Wilson and Eli while he was lying down. If he stood too long with his stomach raging the way it was, he usually ended up throwing up what-ever he had managed to keep down. This was his first pregnancy where he had lost weight instead of gained (the first pregnancy of this kind, that is, where the child was expected to survive) With his un-named miscarried son, he had lost over twenty pounds, only half of that from the miscarriage itself.
Wilson ran his fingers along House's right side. "I could play Skinna-marink-a-dink-a-dink on your rib-cage."
"Not with your toneless lack of talent."
Wilson ignored the insult, and began to rub his palm higher on House's belly, then lower, then lower still, until his little finger was just touching, teasing, the base of House's flaccid penis.
House at first ignored the seductive caresses, then turned so he was facing Wilson and let him kiss him. Wilson kept the kiss long on his breath, then let his hands find the buttons on House's shirt, unfastening and pushing it away, until he had all of his lover's clothes off. He asked "How nauseous are you? Is it really bad?"
House worked to remove Wilson's shirt as well. "Not that bad."
After only moments, Wilson was inside his mate, making long, slow, deep passages within, his cock thick and aching with the intense pleasure of it. Oscillations in between hard thrusts, savoring the unbelievable headiness of fucking his sweetly pregnant House. If there was high higher than the highest, this beat even that. The hot tightness, the feel of being swallowed by his lover, the image of his lover already pregnant - and maybe, within a momentary sexual fantasy, another planted today. Right now.
Being careful not to put any weight on House's tender under-belly, Wilson sped up and up until he was pumping madly, until House moaned his approval with each thrust. That made the room exploded around him in searing heat and flashes of brain storm - a show of fire and light.
Wilson pumped until every drop was spent from his body and they both collapsed, Wilson being careful to roll off House before flopping bonelessly on the mattress.
Once he had caught his breath "We really have to move?' House asked.
"I think so." Wilson looked over at House. His face had a sheen of sweat though his eyes no longer seemed occupied by the discomfort of his digestive track. "Feeling better?"
House nodded. "Screwing cures nausea. Who knew?"
The diesel-fired engine rumbled down the lane, carrying a three thousand pound, forty-foot orange beast on its back.
Eli watched its arrival with really were going. Chase could sense the sadness in the big guy, and patted his shoulder. "We'll be all right, you know. We're four pretty intelligent men. Thanks to your former roomie we have rifles and three boxes of ammunition, and enough gas to get us almost anywhere we want to go." Chase looked up at Eli. He had to crane his neck a little to do it, Eli's six-foot-four-inch a full six inches taller than himself. "Are you positive there's more gas buried at your old place?"
Eli nodded. He wasn't exactly sure where it all was buried, but it was there. It was just a matter of figuring out where Josh would have most likely buried it, then digging it up. "Fifty gallons more of gas for the car. Another hundred of diesel." For the bus that would be their second escape vehicle. Two of them would drive the car in convoy until it ran out of gas, then they would abandon it.
Josh's place had been a proper, working ranch once. The original farmer had his own diesel tank full of the purple liquid gold to run all his farm equipment. The huge metal constructs had since rusted useless. Eli recalled the back field being littered with the red, rusting hulks of dead machines, still in the air like reconstructed dinosaur bones; extinct beasts fit only for a curious eye, should one happen to wander by.
Prior to Josh's home-steading of the place, wandering scavenger humans (who barely passed anymore as a member of the species), had ignored the diesel tank because most scavengers didn't drive diesel engine cars. And most scavengers, or for that matter - anyone, didn't have vehicles. Scavengers were practical in the way of survival. Practical, efficient and deadly. They had honed man-hunting and theft to a fine, if grotesque, art. Do accomplish their "craft", they used horses. Horses were quick, ate wild hay that grew at the side of almost every road in Montana and, in a pinch, made damn good eating. Besides, grass was free and there wasn't much chance of the world running out of that any time soon.
Eli much preferred the idea of the big, heavy bus that could bust through the legs of any scavenger's mount, and the scavengers as well, in minutes leaving them far behind on the road to suffer and die any way suited to them. The bus was a good thing, the only good thing, about this move. "I guess we're really going."
Chase walked over to the bus that Foreman had taught himself to drive on the way home, and peeked inside. It was clean and looked water-tight. The tires had good tread, too. If they encountered snow on an elevated highway, they'd be fine. Chase looked up at Foreman, who sat proudly in the driver's seat. Seems he enjoyed his little power-trip. "Hello bus driver-man." Chase greeted with a false, squeaky soprano. "When do we leave for camp?"
Foreman unbuckled the seat-belt and climbed down. He stretched. "As soon as we pack. Make lists of everything you think we'll need. Everyone should do the same. That way if one of us forgets something important, maybe someone else will remember."
Chase nodded. It was wise counsel. He spread the word.
With a heavy heart, Wilson folded baby and adult clothes into two boxes for himself, House and the boys. The boys clothes were by far the more numerous garments, House and most of the men had been drastically reduced as to fashion through years of wear and tear. Some clothes, sewn and repaired so many times, had lived well past their time of death and, beyond saving, had been demoted from clothing to rags, or sewn together for the making of some very colorful but odd looking sheets for the children's cribs.
House watched him, nauseous once again but trying to stay awake to be, if not any real help, then emotional support for his oldest friend and lover. They'd be all right. they had Foreman. They had a big-ass metal and iron bus. They had guns and plenty of pairs of balls to shoot first and ask questions later. not usually one to nurture hope, house said to Wilson, as he folded one diaper after another "This'll be a cake-walk."
Wilson smiled to himself. An ironic, humorless grin. "Doesn't sound like you, House."
"When I'm being blunt and bleak, you scold me to soften up, and then when I soften up, you gripe. You're hard to please."
Wilson felt a surge of affection, and leaned over to kiss his mate on the lips. "I'll eventually get used to the idea of leaving here."
House raised one eyebrow. "Eventually meaning tomorrow? 'Cause that's when it happening."
"Sure." Wilson dropped the last home-sewn diaper in the box, closed the lid carelessly and plopped down on the bed beside House, stretching out. If he just turned his head to the left, he could see the gentle swell of House's lower belly, inside which lay his un-born son. He had the urge to kiss and lick it, but instead settled for "How close do you think you are?"
With automatic reflex, House touched his belly with two fingers. "Two days maybe. Not much more."
"I don't like the idea of you having that baby while we're on the road."
"It won't be the first time."
"It shouldn't have to be at all." Wilson had a bad feeling about this move. To him, it felt as though an invisible demon was changing the pieces on the board of their existence, and disaster was just a roll of the dice away. "This feels like a gamble."
House shrugged. "Staying here would be a gamble."
Maybe. That didn't pacify the nameless fear, shirking around the peripheral of his mind, poking at him with its ugly claw. "Foreman better be right about this. We get far enough away and find nothing, we won't have the fuel to get back."
House nodded. He hoped Foreman was right, too. The life of his unborn son was riding on it. But then, from his first breath, his life would be a gamble. One could always hope, though House had never indulged in it. Hope was an empty emotion. One way or another, his children would have to come learn first-hand about both.
The next morning, Chase and Foreman, after working all night with Eli to get everything ready, were re-checking the boxes and bags of things they were taking with them. Every ounce of preserved food and beef jerky Wilson had prepared over the last few months was carefully stored near the back of the bus, the farthest spot from the heat of the engine, where the opened windows would be left to flow cool air over them, to help keep the food cool. Every item of clothing and every scrap of cloth, blankets and linen was brought on board. Every utensil and tool, no matter how small, was removed from the house and tucked in the narrow storage compartment beneath the bus. All of the kids toys, except for the play-pens, were wedged in between or underneath the back four seats.
Nine of their eleven children were strapped into the bus seats, either in their tiny, home-made cribs or on thick quilts, with more quilts over them, then strapped carefully but firmly in place in case the road should get rough.
Wilson and House would ride in the car behind the bus, Wilson driving, and House with his youngest twin babies between them.
Each vehicle would carry a rifle and a box of bullets. Foreman had spent time showing House how to load and shoot. Even after practice, his aim remained terrible, but at least the weapon looked lethal.
Lastly, Chase had opened the gates of the animals pens, so the goats and cows could wander freely and find whatever life in the wild was left to them. But since the children would still need milk and eggs, not all of the animals were being left behind. The six youngest, healthiest chickens, and one Billy and one Nanny goat were carried onto the bus, along with a bale of wild hay and a sack of Chase's carefully mixed wild seeds and wheat for chicken feed. Every bottle they could scavenge from the house and sheds were filled with boiled water and placed on board.
All the extra gas and diesel was placed in the trunk of the car, away from babies sensitive lungs.
Eli had also packed up a mix of dried vegetable seeds for a garden crop sometime down the road, if they should ever happen upon a farm even half as good as the one they were leaving. Eli was unhappy about the move, but his adored mate House was going with the other fellows, and his children were going, because with the group was a stronger, safer place than alone. And so he was going. His new worry lines, too.
They were ready. Foreman, the designated driver of the bus, took a short walk around the yard. This was the home they had built, and the life they had made. A good life it had been. Some awful times, too, but when they were all together, mostly a good life.
He sighed and turned away from the roof he had repaired, the fences he and Chase had expanded and fixed; the home they had fashioned from their own hands and the children they had coaxed from the belly of their beloved breeder.
Foreman climbed in the driver's seat and turned the key. The engine rumbled to life.
Time to go.
Part II asap