A/N: Horray to all of you who caught my Supernatural reference. I couldn't help myself at all...
This chapter is un-beta'ed (I have a case of the belated Mondays since I didn't work yesterday), so I apologize in advance for any silly mistakes.
The door to the Cullen house opened to reveal my smiling granddaughter who promptly hurled herself into my arms.
"Ooof," I huffed as her solid weight hit me. "You're getting too big for tackle hugs, Kas," I informed her, lifting her up anyway. At seven she still wasn't too big to be carried around like this, but she would be soon so I was taking advantage while I still could.
Kas giggled. "Guess what!"
"What's that, baby?"
"Gramma made cookies. Our favorite!" she said excitedly.
"Oatmeal raisin?" Maybe I was an old man, but my mouth still watered at the thought of biting into an oatmeal raisin cookie. Not a lot of pleasures greater than that, and I found it strangely pleasing that my granddaughter shared my sweet tooth. Her eyes were wide as saucers just talking about it.
I chuckled and set her down as I stepped into the huge house, heading toward the commotion.
In Carlisle and Esme Cullen's house, there was always a commotion. Today, it looked like the whole family was here.
"Hey, Dad," my daughter greeted me as I stepped into the living room area. She'd been resting with her head on her husband's shoulder but stood to give me a hug and a kiss on the cheek.
I held her at arm's length. "You feeling okay, Bella?" I asked, noticing she looked unusually pale and tired.
When she smiled, her eyes had an odd gleam to them. "I'm fine," she assured, and stepped back so the rest of them could have their chance at me.
Even after all these years, it was still a little uncomfortable, how touchy-feely the Cullens were. It was hard to get used to how every member of the family had a hug or a handshake every time they saw me.
Still, I could be appreciative, for Bella and Kas's sake especially. It was nice for Bella to have in-laws who were so inclusive.
My mother-in-law, Renee's mother, was a bitch.
It was clear the Cullens considered Bella and Kas a part of them even without the blood relation. I was especially glad that Kas got a grandma out of the deal. Mrs. Newton was the kind of woman who made her grandchildren call her Karen because she couldn't face the facts she was a grandmother.
Once I was properly greeted, things settled down. Kas ran off to play with Irina and Vasilii, the girl and boy that Rosalie and Emmett had adopted from Russia a few years back.
"Yo, Chief. Game's about to start. Come on," Emmett called, jerking his head toward Carlisle's gigantic flatscreen.
The game was getting really good. Emmett, Jasper, and I were getting a little rowdy, yelling and whooping at the screen while Carlisle and Alice laughed at us. Just as the team we were rooting made a truly incredible score, Emmett jumped up, grabbing Bella as she passed and spinning her around wildly while he whooped.
"Emmett! For the love of God, be careful!" Edward cried, sounding more furious than I'd ever heard him. He raced to Bella's side, grabbing her away from his brother and wrapping an arm around her. "You could have..."
He stopped abruptly, and I don't think any of us were paying attention to the game anymore.
Edward's hand was splayed in a protective, possessive gesture over my daughter's stomach.
Bella was giving her husband the evil eye, and Edward was looking apologetically sheepish. Everyone else seemed frozen.
It was Emmett's booming laugh that interrupted the sudden silence. "We're having a baby?"
Edward rolled his eyes. "We're having a baby. Yes," he said, and it was impossible not to see the pride and light in his eyes. Oh, yeah, he was ecstatic.
Of course, I wasn't concerned with how Edward felt. As everyone cheered and whooped and started congratulating and hugging the couple, I tried to gauge the expression on Bella's face.
It was hard not to remember the way this all went down the first time. I came home from work that Bella had cooked, as usual. She didn't even touch her food, didn't look up at me the entire meal, and though I usually didn't pry, she made me nervous enough that I demanded she tell me what was wrong.
She burst into tears. Bella wasn't prone to hysterics, so I was as terrified as I'd ever been, and I've had a gun pulled on me. It was a full five minutes before she could stop sobbing long enough to get the words, "I'm pregnant," out.
This situation, though, was a far cry from that.
As she was passed from Cullen to Cullen, I could see she was smiling. No, more than that, she had that glow that people always talked about.
I always thought they were full of crap when they said it, but looking at Bella, I finally understood. She was happy. Completely happy. And her husband couldn't take his eyes off her. That wasn't atypical, but he seemed even worse than usual.
Edward Cullen wasn't Mike Newton, and Bella wasn't a high school kid anymore. I'd had to remind myself of that more than once over the last few years. Mike looked like he wanted to crawl in a hole and die - and I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to help him there. Edward looked like he would have shouted their news from the rooftops.
Babies were supposed to be a good thing, a happy thing. As Bella finally escaped the arms of the Cullens, looking toward me, I could feel the beginnings of a smile tugging at my lips.
"Hey," she said softly, her tone almost shy. I guess telling your dad you were pregnant was always a little uncomfortable.
"Congratulations, kid," I said, pulling her toward me for a hug.
And I was happy for her. She'd finally gotten here on her own terms
~Kassandra - 8 Months Later~
"Mommy said you're gonna have a new sister."
"Uh-huh," I nodded at my little brother.
"She said that's why your mommy is so fat!"
I shoved him, but only a little. "Mommy is not fat! The baby has to live in her belly, that's all."
Mikey scrunched up his face. "That's weird." He stood up and lifted his shirt, looking down at his tummy. "Can babies live in my belly?"
Sometimes Mikey could be so dumb. "No. You're a boy," I informed him. "Only girls can get babies."
"Oh." He went back to playing with his Legos for a minute but then he had more questions. "Are you sure it's a sister? I'd rather have a brother."
"Ewww. Not another stinky brother." He made a face at me, and I laughed at him. "It doesn't matter anyway. Edward said that new babies are too, um..." I tried to remember the word Edward- who said lots of words I didn't know - used to describe the new baby. Fraggle? No, that wasn't right. "He says they don't like playing," I decided finally. "They can't even hold their head up. It's going to be boring until she's a little older."
I frowned because Edward said that Mommy would need to be with the new baby a lot, and I would have to have patience.
"That's okay, though," I went on. "Mommy said we can still have girls days, and the baby isn't invited until she's older."
"Oh," Mikey said, nodding. "I bet I know how girls get babies. It's because Edward always kisses your mommy like this!" He stuck his tongue out and waggled it around making all sorts of stupid noises.
"Ewww! Na-uh. Don't be stupid. Edward kisses Mommy more nice, like this." I kissed my hand without all the tongue and noises. "And anyway. If that was true, then that means Daddy kissed my mommy like that, and your mommy like that, and that's gross."
Again Mikey scrunched up his nose. "Yeah," he agreed. "That's gross."
"Hey, baby. Are you ready to go home? I got all your stuff in the car, but I can't find your Ninja Turtle backpack."
I looked up at Daddy, confused. "You're taking me home? Why isn't Mommy coming to get me?"
"Yeah. Actually, your grandma Esme is going to come stay with you for a little while. Your sister decided to come a little early, so Mommy's going to be in the hospital," he explained.
"Is that okay?" I asked, suddenly worried.
Daddy gave me a hug. "Yeah, it's fine. Don't worry. We'll see how she's feeling when we get into town, and if it's okay, we'll stop by the hospital first to say hi. How does that sound?"
I nodded, feeling nervous for some reason.
We did not get to go to the hospital to see Mommy.
Mommy called to talk to me. She said that there were some complications, but I wasn't supposed to worry. She sounded weird though, and when I said that she said that it hurts a lot for the baby to get here.
I was mad at the baby until Mommy told me that it hurt when I came, too. I told her I was sorry, and I was too little to know, and she laughed.
Grandma tried to get me to play, but I didn't want to. She didn't yell at me about it though. I went to bed and hugged my doll and wished that Mommy and Edward were back. Grandma rubbed my back and scratched my hair, which I liked, but it made me sleepy.
When I woke up, I was crying because I had a bad dream that Mommy wasn't ever coming home. But Grandma hugged me and didn't tell me I was a baby for crying. She said Mommy was just fine and so was Bianca, my little sister.
She said we couldn't see them until morning, but she let me call. Edward said Mommy was sleeping, but I believed him when he said she was okay.
Grandma looked really happy when we drove to the hospital with Grandpa C. She'd brought a whole bunch of flowers - which I thought was silly because the baby wouldn't like flowers, I was sure about that - and let me pick out a soft, stuffed turtle to give to Mommy and the baby.
I liked turtles.
Finally we got to Mommy's room. She looked tired, but she smiled when she saw me, and held her arms out so I could give her a hug.
Edward was sitting beside her bed with the baby. She was so small! He looked really happy, and I hoped he would still love me even though he had his own little girl now. I kind of thought he would though.
"Miss Kassandra April, this is Bianca Katherina," he told me. Grandma Esme said her name was from a Shakespeare play. Edward was always talking about that guy.
Checking to make sure it was okay and no one would yell at me, I picked up her hand and shook it. "She's all little and scrunchy."
Everyone thought that was funny, and I didn't know why. She was kind of ugly.
"Remind me to show you your baby pictures," Mommy said. "You were scrunchy, too."
Well, that was just silly. I was never ugly like this. But she was my baby sister, so I was the only one that got to say so. "Hello, Bianca. I'm your sister and the boss of you because I'm older," I informed her, which the adults thought was funny, too, but Bianca better know it was true.
She just closed her eyes, but I didn't care. I talked to her anyway. Edward said new babies slept a lot. "I think this is a nice family to be in. We have an Aunt Alice. She's crazy but she'll give you lots of hats. And Uncle Emmett is a lot of fun. He and Aunt Rosie have two kids. Irina is fun, but sometimes Vasilii can be a big cry baby."
"Kas," Mommy groaned. "Be nice."
I sighed at her. "What? I'm just telling the truth!" I thought about it. "But he does share his toys, so he's okay. And he'll climb trees with me. Irina doesn't do that." I looked at Mommy as if to say 'better?' and she smiled at me.
"Aunt Alice is married to Uncle Jasper. He's fun, too, but Uncle Emmett will swing you around faster. And Grandma Esme and Grandpa C are really cool. And Grandpa Charlie is a cop, but he won't let me touch his gun, so don't ask."
The baby yawned which looked funny 'cause she had no teeth.
Well, if she really wanted to sleep, I could tell her a story. "Once upon a time, it was just me and Mommy. But then Mommy found Edward. 'Cept you probably should call him Daddy. And he was really nice to Mommy and me. And he told us he loved us, and let us have his big family, so we weren't such a small family anymore. But there's always room for more, and that's why you're here," I said, nodding and touching her hand again. "And we're going to live happily ever after."
A/N: Jeebus... that was fluffernut sauce.
This fic was made possible by the everlasting love and support of jadedandboring, barburella (even though she accidentally almost deleted half this epilogue), jfka06, CellaCullen, twitina, GinnyW (who named baby Bianca), and bmango.
This has been a fun little experiment. Thanks for joining me on this journey. I had a great time, and I'm glad you seemed too as well!