A/N: Here is the epilogue of Laws of Attraction, which is now completed! Thanks for reading, everyone! I'll get to writing R/J's story soon-ish, but in the meantime, I'll get around to posting other stuff that I've written and neglected to post.
To those who were curious, yes, I'll eventually finish the stories for Rei/Jadeite and Mako/Nephrite in this story arc as well, but I don't have a long fic planned for Serena/Darien. There may be a few odd one-shots here and there set in the same 'verse, so hope that helps! I'm primarily a senshi/shitennou writer, sorry!
Disclaimer: I don't own them.
"NO. Absolutely NOT."
Two pairs of identical, vividly green eyes glowered into each other in the living room of a neat, well-appointed house in southern suburbia. The taller of the two was male, his sandy-blond curls sticking up in all directions and somewhat in need of a trim, his expression grim. The other was a girl of sixteen, her hair a shade darker than his and pulled back in a loose ponytail, her expression a study in teenage indignation.
"DAD. It's just a group of us going to watch The House of Bad Faith! YOU are completely blowing the situation out of proportion. Yes, there will be boys there. Yes, that includes Devin from my English class, but I fail to see the problem! Sylvia's been dating for AGES! HER parents let her!"
"Ava Elizabeth O'Connor, you are not allowed to date until you're forty-five, and that's final!" Zachary O'Connor, paternal protectiveness flashing in his eyes, folded his arms across his chest. "Teenage boys are NOT to be trusted. I was one once upon a time! Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt, etc. etc. I know EXACTLY what they want and what they're thinking whenever they see a pretty girl, and I'll be damned if they put their grubby little paws on MY DAUGHTER!"
Ava prayed for patience, silently counted to ten, and gave a snort of disgust. "What does age have to do with it?" she muttered balefully. "Don't I catch you kissing Mom in every single room of the house at least three times a week?"
"Ahem." The sound of a throat clearing had both of them swiveling their heads, and like calm water smoothing over jagged rocks, Dr. Amy Anderson-O'Connor walked into the room, still wearing pale blue hospital scrubs. "I could hear the shouting all the way from the garage," she declared, smiling with not a little amusement at both her husband and her daughter. "Zach, it would be appallingly hypocritical- not to mention impossible- for you to forbid Ava from dating until she's forty-five. She's an intelligent young woman and would be out with a group of friends in a public place." Before Ava could stick her tongue out at her father, Amy pinned the older of her two daughters with a cool look. "And Ava, you're not to yell and speak disrespectfully to your father, and you have to understand that he has your best interests in mind. If you are to go on this movie excursion, you're to be home by half past ten. We'll discuss it later, all right?"
Ava made a vague noise of assent and left the living room, muttering something about calling her best friend Sylvia Lennox. Even as she jogged out, a tiny little pixie of a girl, waves of raven hair framing a heart-shaped face that was all big blue eyes, ventured in. "Does Ava really want to watch that movie? It looks really scary."
As always, eight-year-old Teagan O'Connor seemed to calm her father down just by her presence. Shy where her sister was outspoken, Teagan preferred drawing pictures and playing piano to her sister's favoured extracurriculars of Quiz Bowl and competitive swimming. Zach smiled and reached over to ruffle his younger daughter's hair, and Teagan giggled as he gave her a noogie.
"You don't have any boyfriends in third grade, do you, baby?"
"NO!" Teagan laughed at the very thought. "Boys are loud and they like gross things such as worms. Alexander Montgomery picked up a big fat one that was out because it rained this morning. Ewwww."
"Yes, yes, boys are ewww. You just remember that for the next thirty years. Ten," he amended, catching his wife's eye. "And yes, sweetheart, I guess Ava really wants to see that scary movie. It takes all kinds, you know."
"I guess," Teagan mused doubtfully. "Oh! I made you a present, mom! We made vases out of clay in art and Mrs. Morgan finished firing them in the kiln so we took them home today."
As Teagan dashed out to get it, Zach turned to Amy with a rueful look. "Why did I end up with all girls?"
"Well," Amy tucked her tongue in her cheek, "If you'd only paid attention in AP Biology, you would have recalled that the genes of the father determine the gender of the child. After all, it's the male that has XY chromosomes. You have no one to blame but yourself for that, and there's no point in being unreasonable about it to Ava."
"Argh! SO not fair. And of course I don't remember that stuff. If you will recall, honey, I was too busy being besotted with you in Bio to pay attention to everything all the time. It's good that I went into journalism instead of medicine like you. And for the record, I am not being unreasonable!"
Amy raised an eyebrow and bit down a chuckle. "If you will also recall, it's not always the boy's intentions that you have to worry about. I do believe it was my idea to jump you in your mother's foyer. AND if it makes you feel any better, Ava's feelings for Devin from her English class are, at least at this point, not the same as mine towards you."
Zach grumbled, but realized that he couldn't possibly win an argument about this topic with his wife. Rather fulfilling Ava's description of his behaviour, he leaned over and planted a kiss on her temple, the gesture's love and affection not diminished by twenty years of marriage. She smiled and smoothed her slim, capable fingers over his hair.
They'd been inseparable throughout the rest of their high school careers, and unlike so many other couples who'd gotten together in their teens, made it last even after the impulsiveness and inexperience of youth was gone. College found both of them attending the same university, often studying together much like before in one or the other's dorm room. Later on, when Amy went to Duke for medical school, Zach made a point to visit her at least once a week, his chosen field affording him ample opportunity to travel. He'd made sure that she took care of herself amidst the grueling courseload, and similarly, she would always make him little care packages of water purification tablets, first aid supplies, thermal blankets and the like whenever his job required him to travel to remote places.
He'd proposed to her the day that she graduated from medical school with high honours, the youngest in her class. And now, even after all the years and two children and the countless ups and downs, their love only grew stronger, steady as a heartbeat and deep as an ocean.
"Penny for your thoughts?" She was smiling up at him, the same slow, sweet smile that had stunned him the first time he'd seen it when he was a boy of seventeen.
"Mmm, just that I love you," he murmured, giving her hand a squeeze. "Even though you're most churlishly taking Ava's side for her little group date thing."
"She'll be fine," Amy told him. At that moment, their younger daughter bounded back into the room carefully carrying a slightly lopsided but charming vase glazed in shades of blue and green. Teagan set it on the coffee table and beamed at her mother.
"It holds water, so you can put flowers in it. I told Dad and he picked you some and here they are."
Through a sheen of nostalgic tears and a tidal wave of love, Amy could make out a small bunch of dreamy blue chicory flowers in her daughter's hand. Her eyes met Zach's over Teagan's head, and just then, everything was perfect and she had all she wanted in the world.