Author's Note: It's been exactly two years and three days since I started this story and after this goes up the little 'c' will go up next to this story. It will also be the last thing I post for a while because I'll be going back to school and this year is going to be killer and I really don't want to leave y'all for months on end with one chapter posted in that whole time. I'll be writing stuff but not posting it until I get it all done. But in the mean time, it's been amazing that y'all gave me this experience! I didn't expect so much love from everyone:) Enjoy!
10 years after the wedding of Krayonder and Specs
The lights were off and the only source of light was from thirteen little candles burning in the middle of the room. Ryder thought it was odd but he just threw his backpack down and groped the wall trying to find the light switch.
"Mooooom! I'm home! Is Dad home from the mission yet?" His hand hit the light but it fell when he took in his surroundings again. "Oh ew! EWEWEWEWEW! That's disgusting! Don't tell me to be home at a certain time if you and dad are just gonna do things that we both don't want me to walk in on again!"
Someone snickered in the room.
"Who's there?!" Ryder's voiced changed from joking to the official one he'd head his dad use. "My parents are Admiral Up of Starship 15A2 and General Taz of Sector H on Starship 15A2, so… don't mess with me! I'm also-"
"Just turn on the lights!" Yelled a familiar voice.
"Just turn on the damn lights!" It yelled again.
The boy did as told and slammed his hand against the lights.
"Surprise! Happy Birthday, Ryder!" Everyone cried as the lights flickered on in the living room.
"Tía! Tío!" Veronica and Jose ran up to their favorite nephew and gave him a big hug.
"Ryder!" Two kids pushed through their parents to get to their oldest cousin. Ryder ruffled nine year old Christian's hair and picked up four year old Elle and spun her around. He rammed into his other Tío which caused him to set down Elle.
"Happy Birthday, Ryder." Alejandro gave him a clap on the back.
"Thank you, sir. Is Auntie here?" Ryder asked about his uncle's wife of eight years.
"I'm right here!" She called as she made her way through the crowd of biological and honorary relatives. A feat that wouldn't be so difficult if she wasn't seven months pregnant and had a four year old girl holding each hand.
"Louise, Marie; why don't you go play with Elle?" The older boy asked the twins. They answered by running off to find their other girl cousin.
"Thank you, Ryder, I love them to death but sometimes their 'helping' makes it worse." The blonde said as she gave him a hug. "Happy Birthday, by the way."
"Thanks, Auntie Jess. Do you know if it's a boy or a girl?"
"It's a boy, Alejandro Junior." The proud father beamed.
"We'll call him AJ." Jessica added.
He talked with them for another minute before he was pulled away to get his birthday punches from his dad's two brothers and kisses from their wives. Gracie was still daddy's little girl at fifteen and Danny, now fourteen, was following in Matthew's footsteps and was playing football at his high school. Michael was still the baby at ten years old and was definitely mom's favorite. Gabe still only had the one little girl who was now eleven.
"Cake and presents, everyone!" February called.
"Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to Ryder! Happy Birthday to you!" Everyone sang as they gathered in the living room.
He blew out his candles and Krayonder finished with, "And many more on channel four!"
Specs hit him in the chest as he tried to keep going on. Ryder laughed and Specs handed him a present.
"This is from Krayonder and me."
He shook the box and was about to rip open the top when he pointed it at Krayonder and pulled off the top. Streamers flew out and covered the older man from head to toe.
"Told ya you wouldn't get me this year, Uncle Kray!" He stuck out his tongue as he used the nickname he'd called Krayonder since he was little.
Specs hit him again, "Thanks Dead God we don't have any kids, you would be a horrible influence!"
Ryder laughed again as the Commander of Sector H and the Head of the Tech Department for Starship 15A2 fought over his birthday present now and how they would probably get drunk later and be found making out in a closet.
"Auntie Specs, Uncle Kray! Don't worry about it! I like it… one less thank you card to write." He joked.
"Open ours next!" February cried and placed a perfectly wrapped pink present in front of him.
He ripped off the paper and the lid to find a portable zapper inside.
"Your mom and dad said you've wanted one for a while now." Bug said as he wrapped his arms around his wife of nine years. They had gotten married about six months after Krayonder and Specs. They also didn't have any kids, but unlike Specs and Krayonder who were too focused on work to think about kids, it turned out to be impossible for a bug and human to conceive. Bug was now a lieutenant under Krayonder and February was purely involved in the Science Department (or as she pronounced it: Shience Department).
"A while? I've wanted one since they taught me to shoot! Uncle Bug and Auntie Feb this is the best gift! Hands down! Everyone can go home now!" Ryder joked as he gave the couple a hug.
"This one's from me, Megagirl and the kiddos." Tootsie announced as he handed a small box to Ryder.
Ryder didn't know what to expect from the couple. They were an odd pair to begin with and to throw someone else's opinion into the mix was practically asking for really bad presents. He opened it slowly to give him time to think of a good compliment. He was surprised when he found a key in the bottom of the box.
"We made you a scooter to navigate l around Starship 15A2 on." Megagirl informed him.
"Wow! Really?" Ryder looked around trying to find his parents and see their reaction.
"We all helped." Techno motioned to him and his four siblings.
Techno was Ryder's age, his best friend and the first kid adopted by Megagirl and Tootsie. All five children were adopted from Farm Planet, had some kind of prosthetic, and were all named in the traditional Farm Planet way of your first name is what you do and your last name is what you love. Techno was thirteen and had been adopted first; second adopted were the triplets Tulip, Violet and Daisy who were eleven and last adopted was a little brother for Techno, seven year old, Tripsy. Megagirl now traveled a lot to find other robots and help them download emotions so they could work on Starships. Tootsie realized that the battle field was not for him and started to work in the green house, using his knowledge of farming to grow plants for healing.
"Well that just makes it ten times better!" Ryder cried. "Not to be rude but before I open the rest of the presents can we have cake?"
Ryder sat on the couch and watched as his Tia and Tío took Christian and Elle upstairs to the guest rooms. He remembered the day they moved from Up's small Commander Suite to the much larger, two story family living quarters on the Starship. He was waiting for his dad to come and help him clean his new zapper. His mom had surprised him with his dad coming home early for his birthday and Ryder couldn't be more excited. He heard them talking in their bedroom so he crept over to the door not wanting to walk into anything that could scar him for life. He poked his head around and saw them… sparring.
"Seriously, Taz, you've gotten rusty." Up joked with her as he swept her legs out from under her.
"No, I'm hust going easy on jou, jou big idiota." Up stuck out a hand to his wife of seven years. She gratefully took it and pulled him down onto the ground with her, much to his surprise. Taz stood up, put one foot on his chest and raised her arms. "I WIN! Seriously, how many times are jou going to fall for dat?!"
"How many times are you gonna fall for this?"
"Fall for wha-" Up cut her off by grabbing her legs and throwing her over his shoulder as he stood up.
He dropped her onto the bed and laid on top of her, "This."
"UGGGHHH! Get off of me jou big oaf!" Taz yelled as she struggled under his weight.
"Now, Tazzie, say it nicely." He gave her a sly smile
"Let me go or no welcome home present." She shot him the same smile he was giving him.
"Try me." Ryder decided it was time to cut in, so he cleared his throat from the door. Both turned their heads to look at him but Taz was the first one to speak, "Hola, cariño."
The boy who looked so much like his father did at that age widened his eyes and gestured with his head to tell them they were still entangled with each other. Ryder loved that his parents were so in love with each other and he had heard some of the stories, he knew that they liked to make up for lost time, but he wished it didn't happen in front of him so much. Taz pushed her husband off of her and rolled to the other side of the bed.
They had finally gotten married three years after Krayonder and Spec's wedding. It was small, with just the crew and Ryder in attendance. Taz's father officiated it and after they came back from a short honeymoon they held a reception for their friends and family.
"Dad, you said you'd show me how to clean my zapper." He gestured to where it was sitting in its holster on his hip.
"Oh right, sorry. Come sit on the bed and I'll show you how right now." Up patted the spot next to him.
"Look at dis, we have dis whole house and de whole familia is on one bed." Taz chuckled.
Ryder was still their only child. It was impossible for them to have any more kids after Up's famous injury and they were perfectly fine with just the one.
"Not quite all of us…" Up whistled and in came running their space dog, Saunders, who jumped on the bed and snuggled next to Taz, "Now the whole family is on one bed."
Taz ran a hand through her once again short hair and grabbed a book off the nightstand, "I'm hust going to read my book and ignore dat jou let de dog on de bed."
Up winked at his son and Ryder chuckled at his mom's antics. They both knew she liked having Saunders on the bed to keep her warm.
"First step in cleaning your zapper is to make sure you've taken it off of pew. Actually just turn the whole thing off." Ryder turned the dial and watched as the zapper's lights went down and it made a low whine as it powered down. "Step two… get the cleaning supplies from the dresser."
Ryder hopped off the bed and pulled at the drawer Up had pointed at. He jiggled it a little, trying to get it unstuck, causing everything on top to shake and roll around. Finally, it pulled open, which caused more rattling around and Taz to put her book down and give Up a stare to tell him 'if anything breaks it's your fault.' The new teenager grabbed the kit, threw it to Up and slammed the drawer shut. This caused a picture to fall off the dresser top and shatter. Ryder crawled over to the frame, careful of the glass, and pulled up a piece of paper from the broken wood.
"A post-it must have fallen off the mirror, too. I'll keep looking for the picture. It's probably under the dresser." He was about to ball it up when Up came running over.
"NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!"
"Dad, it's just some glass, nothing I haven't seen before."
"Ryder, dat note is de picture." Taz explained.
Suddenly, Ryder remembered it. The picture was different than all the other pictures in the house because it was two sided with glass on both sides. And there was a note that he had never really stopped to read pressed between the two panes. He knew one side said something about Taziana loving Jason but couldn't think of the other side.
"What does this even mean, 'Why are we so blind?'?" He asked as he read the other side.
"It's jour dad's answer to de front." Taz smiled one of her rare genuine smiles at Up.
"That makes even less sense."
"Well it's a long story and you want to learn to clean your zapper-" Up baited his son as he returned to the bed.
"I can watch anyone clean a zapper! Tell me this story!" Ryder hopped back onto the bed and jumped up and down like a three year old.
"I'll let Taz start it off, it's mostly her story anyways." Up looked at his best friend of nineteen years.
"Jou told him de story of Bug World?"
"If I didn't, Krayonder would have and-"
"Good call." The pair looked back at their son who was waiting with wide eyes for the super special tale, "Dis was about two days after our adventures on Bug World. After leaving we ran into a particularly repugnante group of bugs inhabiting a different planet. Apparently, letting February and Bug be alone in de control room was muy estúpido…"
I'll just go cry in a corner because my baby is all grown up! I hope everyone enjoyed the journey because I sure did! I'll be back as soon as I can my pretties! Until then show me some love by reviewing and if you have any questions feel free to contact me here or via tumblr (I'll put some links down below).
It's been a pleasure!
P.S. Yes, Jessica did marry Alejandro. That's who Up introduced her to when he said he wanted her to meet someone. Yes, the dog is named after Dylan Saunders.