A/N: As promised, here I am with another update. I'm sorry it took longer than the week BUT I've been awfully sick so...that's why. Even so, thank you to all of you who reviewed last chapter and those who favd. and/or alerted as well! It warms my heart that, even though I've been very negligent with this story lately, people are still reading and enjoying it.
Without further ado...
Enjoy the chapter!
DISCLAIMER: The TT aren't mine...and I'm sort of glad for that because I'd be a lousy owner...we'd only get one new episode per year at my rate. ALTHOUGH, the show wouldn't have been cancelled...NO OWN.
"I'm sorry, but you want to do WHAT?" Changeling exclaimed, arms crossed, staring disbelievingly at his daughter.
All of the Titans, adults and children alike were gathered in the main room after Summer had requested to speak to all of them about what she claimed to be a very serious matter.
"I said I'm going to enroll in the JLA training program as a student," she said firmly.
"Absolutely not," Changeling said, glaring at his daughter "Summer...have you gone mad? Have you forgotten that place was the beginning of all our problems. I sure as hell wish I'd never allowed Jake to go and I refuse to make the same mistake twice. You're not going...end of discussion."
"Dad, it's not fair! The JLA program is much safer now that Creak's out! Besides, you know the JLA have doubled their security of the place since the attacks! Just because Jake messed up doesn't mean I will do too!"
"Let her go..." Jake said quietly before chuckling and shaking his head "Heavens knows the girl needs to ACTUALLY learn something about self defense..."
"Watch it, Jacob," she said, wheeling around and glaring at him.
"Summer...honey, it's not just YOUR safety I'm worried about," Changeling said slowly "There are others involved as well..."
Summer crossed her arms defiantly.
"Really, now?" she said "And who could those, OTHERS, be?"
Changeling said nothing and tried to keep his eyes from heading in his son's direction but both Summer and Jake got the message.
"Oh, c'mon!" Jake scoffed "Are you going to start treating me like a baby now?"
"Once Creak finds out you're alive..." Changeling said with a shudder "Heavens knows what he could come up with! I don't ever want to lose you again, Jakie, never..."
Jake had a hard time maintaing a straight face at that one.
Like 'Sunny' had been his father's nickname for Summer when she was a child, 'Jakie' had been HIS nickname while growing up. It hurt him to hurt his father this way...but he couldn't let others see that.
"I don't know whether he knows I'm alive yet," Jake whispered "Until I do, dad, it would be foolish for me to confront him openly...Summer would be a great asset dad, in this fight. Together, both of us could ensure we win this battle without any more deaths...howeve, she needs proper training for that."
"Why can't you train her then?" Raven asked her son.
Jake shook his head.
"I can't," he said "I'm her brother...you know I'd lose objectivity..."
"The kid is right..." Hot Spot said with a sigh "And I hate to say this but...our methods won't be enough to beat this guy, we need more aggressive tactics...it's a good idea to let Summer go..."
"But-at least-you wouldn't go alone...would you?" Changeling said, biting his lower lip in worry.
Summer shook her head.
"No dad, Rebecca's going with me..." she said "She said she wanted to come too,"
"WHAT?" Cyborg sputtered "No, no, Rebecca no, my baby, my princess...it's too dangerous..."
"Dad, trust me please, it's for the best," Rebecca pleaded.
"She's right, Cy, besides, it won't be a repeat of last time...security's much better now..."Bee said, taking her husband's arm and rubbing it soothingly.
"I guess..." Cyborg said hesitantly.
"It's settled then," Nightwing said with a sigh "You two will go to the program beginning next week..."
"I want to go too..." Lise said.
"Lise, you can't, you're sick," Ben said, holding her back.
That caught Jinx and Kid Flash's attention.
"You're STILL sick? Honey!" Jinx exclaimed "That's no ordinary cold anymore, I'm taking you to the doctor tomorrow, first thing!"
"Mom, I'm sure it's nothing," Lise said.
"You should go to the clinic, Lise," Jake adviced "Your mom's right, you've been sick for too long...besides, my sister's right, you can't go, not only are you sick but remember...he's caught you before...you're a bit more-sensitive-to his powers than Summer and Rebecca..."
"And Daniel needs his mom," Ravenie added.
"Oh, alright," Lise said exasperated "Just be careful, Summer, alright? Promise me you'll be careful..."
"I promise," Summer said firmly.
Everyone seemed a bit nervous after this and while they agreed that this was for the best, they were still worried that something could go wrong.
The quiet that had settled over the room was suddenly broken by a loud wail.
Everyone's eyes turned to Jinx and Kid Flash.
"It's Mark," Lise said immediately "I should probably go check on him and-" she couldn't complete her sentence because she was overcome with a fit of coughing.
"No way, you're sick Lise, you need to go lie down," Ben said, taking her hand and leading her gently towards her room.
"When's, uh, the last time you fed that thi- him?" Jinx asked her daughter awkwardly.
"Me? I haven't been taking care of him these last couple of days...like Ben said, I've been sick mom..." Lise said, before her eyes widened "You mean to tell me you haven't been feeding him or anything while I've been sick?!"
"Jinx?" Raven asked her best friend shocked.
"Well I-I-" Jinx said helplessly "Fine! No! I haven't, and I'm sorry! It just-slipped from my mind okay?"
While the rest of the adult titans continued arguing with Jinx and Kid Flash, Jake and Ravenie slipped quietly away from them and into the nursery...
At the nursery...
"Hello there, little guy,"Jake greeted the crying baby, picking him up "What's the matter?"
It was evident almost instantly from the smell what the matter was.
"Hey, I'm going to go get his bath ready, meanwhile, can you clean him up for me?" Ravenie asked Jake who nodded.
Jake then wiped the baby clean and threw the dirty diaper on the nearby trashcan before handing him over to Ravenie and helping her give the baby a sponge bath.
Mark squealed delightedly as Jake quacked a rubber duckling at him.
Ravenie smiled, despite Jake's harsh attitude when dealing with Creak or crime-fighting he was still the old, tender, caring Jake when dealing with kids.
"You're a natural at this," she said as they took Mark out of the wáter and wrapped him up in a towel, beginning to dry him up.
"So are you," Jake said "Do you know where I could find some clean clothes for him?"
"He doesn't have any...Jinx and Kid Flash didn't buy stuff for him but I usually dress him up in Alex's clothes. They're a little big on him, but they work..." Ravenie said.
"Alright then," Jake said handing her one of Alex's sets of clothes.
"While you dress him up, I'll go heat a bottle for him, he must be hungry," Jake offered.
"Sure, that'd be great, thanks!" Ravenie said.
"Hey, have you noticed how our own little squirt hasn't cried all this time? Or made a sound at all?" Jake said to Ravenie while preparing the baby formula.
"He's asleep, miraculously," Ravenie said, sparing her son a glance before returning to the task of dressing Alex up.
Jake waited some time for the milk to warm up in the microwave befor handing it over to Ravenie.
"Sometimes I feel like I have two sons instead of one," Ravenie said, while looking down at Mark who was happily sucking his bottle, her eyes full of tenderness.
"Yeah, me too," Jake said "I'd actually been meaning to talk to you about it..."
"About what?" Ravenie said, looking up at Jake.
Jake bit his lip.
"Well..." he began "You know Jinx and Kid Flash haven't been the best of parents to Mark lately..."
"That's an understatement but sure, go on..." Ravenie said.
"Well, I've been thinking that...maybe he's too much for them, I mean, you know what led to his being born and, you know, that can't be easy on either of them. Maybe they'll never be able to be good parents for Mark, and I wouldn't entirely blame them for it either..." Jake said.
"Well and what do you think we should do about it?" Ravenie asked him.
"Well, I think we'd make better parents for Mark," Jake said "What I mean is...sure, we're young and all and we even have our own son to care for, but...we've been handling both babies since I came back here and...we seem to do a good job at it."
"We can take care of both babies, yes, like you said, we've been doing it for the last month," Ravenie said.
"No, but...I mean it more, as in...legally too. Ravenie, I know this will sound crazy but...don't you think that we could, like, adopt Mark?" Jake said softly before bracing himself for her outburst.
It never came.
"Honestly Jake? I think you're right..." she said softly "I mean, we're getting married, we've already got a stable family for Alex, which Mark could join, sure, no problem. But Jake, we'd never convince Jinx and Kid Flash of this. They might hate Mark, but they'll never admit to themselves OR the other titans that we, who are so much younger and less mature and experienced than them would do a better job..."
"Yeah, you're right, convincing them would be tough," Jake said "But we could try, right?"
"What about what your parents, or my parents will say?" Ravenie said "I mean, I hate to break this to you but, economically speaking, we're still dependent on them..."
"No we're not," Jake said immediately "What did you think my main motivation for joining the JLA was?"
"Seriously? You joined them for money?" Ravenie exclaimed "Jake!"
"Oh, c'mon, it's not like they don't know it either, Wonder Woman was the one to bring the financial subject up, not me!" Jake said defensively "Besides, if we're going to form a family...I want to properly be able to take care of you, Ravenie, not rely on my parents to buy everything for me..."
"I...guess you're right," Ravenie agreed grudgingly "Which takes me to our next topic of discussion...what are we going to do, once we get married Jake?"
"What do you mean?" Jake asked.
"Well," Ravenie took a deep breath before continuing "I've been thinking things over and...I want to go back to school Jake. I don't want to be a heroine anymore, I've seen enough pain and destruction as it is...I don't want to be a part of this world anymore..."
"You know I won't ever give up being a hero," Jake said "But I understand that you wouldn't want to do the same...still, Ravenie, college's expensive, have you thought WHAT you'd even like to study? And after that, how will we afford it with two children to take care of? I know I said I'll be working but...I don't know if my job can cover all that..."
"I know, Jake," Ravenie said "And then there's a house to think of, how will we buy one, and the expenses that come with it...I think I can convince my parents to pay for my career, I mean, I'm still their daughter and I'm guessing dad will be overjoyed that I'm going back to school instead of risking my life. I've thought long and hard about it and...I think I want to be a nurse, Jake, maybe work at a school or hospital the morning shifts so I'd be home to take care of the kids...and you...by nighttime. Besides, it'd be a great way to know how to help you in case you ever get hurt or something..."
"I can't argue with that," Jake said with a smile "Well, alright, if your parents can pay for your college career then I guess I can get mine to help us with our house...something small, nothing too fancy would do..."
Ravenie smiled and nodded.
"I guess we're really doing this then," she said.
Jake returned her smile.
"Guess we're growing up," he replied as she settled Mark down for a nap.
"I guess you are," said a voice from behind them.
Jake and Ravenie whipped around to see all the titans, adults and kids alike standing in the nursery's door, looking at them strangely, the one having spoken having been Nightwing. Jinx and Kid Flash looked especially guilty.
"Dad!" Ravenie exclaimed "F-for how long have you been standing there?"
"Long enough..." was all he answered.
Jake felt his stomach tighten into a knot...this conversation wouldn't be pretty...
A/N: Not much of a cliffhanger...I mean, yeah, it is but...well, you'll see.
Next chapter we all find out Jinx and Kid Flash's decision regarding Mark's fate.
Who thinks they should keep him and attempt to be better parents? Who thinks Jake and Ravenie are right and they should adopt him and raise him as their own?
Your reviews will decide Mark's fate.
Summer and Rebecca will also be going undercover soon and we shall, soon, see Creak make a come-back.
Does he know Jake is alive or does he still think Jake is dead? What complications will this do to Ravenie and Alex if Jake's secret is found out?
Also, Lise is sick, what in the world is wrong with her? Will she and Ben still be getting married?
Don't miss the answers to all these questions in the coming chapters!