Part Eleven: "—I Cannot Allow You To Do That."
The bell had just rung and she was still pulling on her coat when he came looking for her once more.
"A plus." She told him with a proud grin. He smirked, "Good, deserved it."
"You've the matches?" she asked and he nodded, "Yeah."
"Matches?" Ms. David spoke up, alarmed. Her student nodded, "Yeah, we're gonna send it off properly."
"Because this project probably damaged our sanities…we need to get rid of it, tonight."
"Can't I keep it then?"
"I'm sorry Ms. David; I cannot allow you to do that." Gwen picked up the portrait and they left, heading for the desert. They propped up the painting…
"You wanna strike it or should I?" Kevin asked her, holding the box of matches to her. She nodded, taking the box and striking a match ablaze and holding it out to the image and just as she was about to drop it to start the fire there was the roar of a portal opening and a high voice screamed, "MAMA DON'T DO THAT!" before something bowled her over, knocking the match out.
"Ooowww…" she moaned, laying flat on her face in the dirt, "Kevin, did you get the number of that truck?"
"Silly Mama," that same high voice said as the something that mowed her down stood up from her, "I'm not a truck; I'm a boy."
"Kev, call Coop, I'm hallucinating, and then burn that damned thing."
"Gwen, you ain't going nuts; there's a kid here; at least I think he's here, who knows? I may've snapped." Kevin picked her up and set her right, asking, "Do you see 'im too?"
She nodded, "Yeah, I see him too Kev."
The boy that ran her over was about half as tall as Kevin and nearly an exact duplicate except for green eyes.
"Mama, Papa," the kid voiced nervously, "Are you mad?"
"What's you're name?" Gwen asked softly, ignoring his title for her.
"Devlin, Devlin Levin; Mama don't you remember me?" he seemed to be getting upset.
"Devlin, what year is it?"
Gwen looked to Kevin, "Houston we have a problem." She looked back to Devlin, "Sweetheart, you think its 2021, it's really 2010 here. I think you did some time-traveling by accident."
His eyes went wide, "Mama's gonna be mad! I touched her stuff, I wasn't supposed to, and now I'm here and—" he began to sniffle, "Mama are you mad at me right now?"
"No." Gwen knelt before him, "So I'm really your Mom?"
"Yeah," Devlin nodded, before pointing to Kevin, "and he's my Papa."
"O…kay; how old are you Dev?"
"Seven; almost eight. My birthday's next week."
"Okay, okay. Did we ever tell you if another you came back to visit us?"
"No." his lip began trembling, "Will I be able to go back?"
"I'm sure you will," she turned to Kevin, "I think we should wait to see if one of us shows up for him, if not we'll get Paradox to take him back."
"Worth a shot," the young man said, "Stay here or take him back to my place?"
She chewed her lip, "Your place." She looked back to the boy, "Dev, we're going back to Kevin's house for right now."
He nodded and she gave him her hand, which he latched onto, and led him to the green GTO while Kevin grabbed the reprieved painting and followed after them.
"Do you need a booster seat?" she questioned the boy who shook his head, "You say I do but Papa says I don't need one…" he looked to the car, "Where's the van?"
"We don't use a van yet." Gwen explained. She opened the door and waited for him to scramble into the seat and then she made sure his belt was nice and securely tight. The painting went into the trunk and was probably going to stay in there for quite awhile. Devlin kept up a running commentary, telling them how much had changed between their time and his and so the two young adults began having a silent playful bicker-fest over where he got his motor mouth. As always, they blamed each other.
"And you gotta see Uncle Ben's fortress!" he exclaimed, "Kenny's room is so cool!"
"Kenny?" Gwen asked, looking at him in the rearview mirror.
"Yeah, Kenny is the son of Uncle Ben and Aunt Julie; he's eleven—" both adults groaned, having done the simple math involved, "and then there's Jun and Ryuji the twins who are six and then Hatsu, she's three…"
"They've been busy." Kevin muttered, earning an elbow to the ribs, "Ow!"
"…And then there Nissan, she's six, and Daedalus, he's four."
"Who are they? Cousins from Uncle Ken?" Gwen asked with interest.
"No," Devlin giggled with mischievous glee, "they're my sister and brother, silly! And my Mama has another baby in her stomach too! Uncle Cooper says it's a girl."
"I'm gonna kill you!" Gwen hissed to Kevin who smirked lopsidedly.
They pulled up into the driveway of a modest house, "This's your house Papa?"
"Yeah, why? Do I move?" They got out and entered the home, with Devlin taking a seat on the couch with Gwen and Kevin in a recliner.
"Our house is way, way, way bigger than this little house."
"With all those kids running around I can see why." Gwen muttered.
"And we've horses! Mine's named Alexander and he's black…I've won jousts with him. We've dogs, Alpha and Aristotle; they're big wolf-mutts but really, really, really nice and they watch Daedalus like hawks when he's outside and they keep him safe, and Nissan too! And we've got goats and birds of all sorts too…"
"We live in a zoo?" Gwen wondered softly.
"And then Papa has his tiger, Ajit, and a black panther, Anyando, and a lion, Aza, who always sleeps with each of us kids and he says he's gonna get a cheetah for the baby. They're just really big kittens."
"And how did he get these animals?"
"He saved them from the black market; a really, really, really bad man named Argit was gonna sell them off earth as food…Mama, you have an elephant! Bem; you love to go for rides on her and she's really gentle and protective of us all…Papa saved her from Argit too…"
"And where do we live?" Kevin asked with interest.
"In La Soladad; when everyone found out the truth about aliens you brought the entire desert area and used magic to fix it up and make plants grow in some places and not in others…"
"Dev," a soft female voice called out and they all turned to see an older woman with deep scarlet hair, though there were hints of white running through it, and green eyes. She was wearing a purple cloak, "time to go home."
"Mama!" he jumped up to hug her tightly and she laughed, hugging him back, "Have you been motor-mouthing them?"
"Yeah…oh oops. Grandpa Paradox will fix things right?"
She laughed again, a twinkle in her eyes as she surveyed her younger self and that of her common-law husband, "Nah, bud, I think this was supposed to happen just like this. C'mon, you gave your father quite a scare when you portalled away…"
"Sorry Mama, I broke Nissan's doll and I wanted to fix it for her…"
"It's alright." she again looked to her younger self, "Thanks for looking after him and sorry about him talking you to death…"
"No problem; may I ask a question?" her younger self replied.
"Yes I think you can…"
"When you were me, my age, did you have…?"
"Visions? Yes, those are psychic echoes from real events; they sometimes transcend time by accident; you'll both get them at times. You aren't going crazy…"
They let out sighs of relief and a watch went off, "C'm'along Dev, time to get back." She waved her hand and a portal opened, Devlin looked back and waved, "Bye Mama, bye Papa; meet cha in three years." before stepping into the portal with his mother. The portal blinked and disappeared.
"At least we have an idea of our futures?"