Okay, first things first; thank you so much for the amazing feedback on my last fic (which was an insanely long time ago...) That was the greatest amount of feedback I have ever got, so thank you all!
This is the first in hopefully three one-shots, set when the first settlers (ie Todd's parents generation) first arrived on New World. As I'm sure you can guess, the italics are Noise. The bold has no significance, just emphasis!
And last but certainly not least, thank you to the supermegafoxyawesomehot Becstarrr for betaing for me. You babe :)
"What is it? Why won't you let me see where I'm going?" Vanessa asked, giggling slightly at her husband, who had his hands over her eyes.
"It's a surprise," he replied, guiding her out of the large commune where all the new settlers were currently living. He tried desperately not to let his Noise give it away; it was still a very new, unsettling phenomenon, which Vanessa tended to take full advantage of.
Surprise, he thought, over and over again. Surprise, Surprise, Surprise…
"Will, stop it!" Vanessa giggled, as Surprise echoed throughout the small village.
He gently guided her round a bump in the dirt track, before leading her off the track onto some grass, across a meadow thick with wild flowers. She giggled as the tips of the blades brushed against her calves, insects flying away with each step. Will picked a bright red flower, and tucked it behind her ear.
"We're nearly there," he teased, Surprise, Surprise, Surprise.
Vanessa tensed slightly, hearing voices and Noise up ahead, before relaxing once she knew who it was.
"Cillian?" she called, straining her head slightly to hear what he was thinking.
"Cillian, be quiet!" Will called laughing, before Cillian's Noise joined his in Surprise, Surprise, Surprise.
As they reached the far end of the meadow, Cillian's hand reached out to take Vanessa's, guiding her closer to where they were supposed to be going. She heard odd remnants of Finally finished and Ben, where's Ben?, before a loud and strong Surprise, Surprise, firmly drowned out any other Noise.
They stopped suddenly, Vanessa tripping slightly, when Will removed his hands, instead reaching them down to rest on her waist.
"Surprise," he whispered in her ear.
In front of them stood a small cottage, made firmly of mud and brick, with a large downstairs and two small attic rooms upstairs. The door was made of roughly cut wood, with shutters on every window and flowers in the boxes by the gate. There was a pen around the back with some sheep, and the beginnings of a vegetable patch round the front. The whole house had been whitewashed, giving cleanliness to it.
"It's beautiful," Vanessa gasped, tears springing to her eyes. She span around so she was facing Will. "I'm so proud of you," she whispered, kissing him. Although his face showed nothing but modesty, his Noise was filled with So proud, and Little cottage, and So beautiful, my beautiful Nessa. Ben came running round from the back, wiping his hands on a cloth.
"All finished," he announced, Cillian, and all done now, "All the plumbing's done. Just need to finish our house, and then we're all ready to move in!"
He came forward to where the others were standing, tossing the cloth on the ground.
"Do you want to look inside?" he asked, inside, I hope she likes it, Surprise!.
Vanessa ran forwards, grinning in anticipation, dragging Will by the hand.
"Thank you so much; I'll see you both later!" he called to Ben and Cillian, who were already making their way over to the gate.
"So, what do you think?" Will asked, as Vanessa stood in the kitchen, gazing around. "I know it's not much, I mean, there's only a few rooms," what if it's not enough, "and there's only one real bedroom, the other's only a box room, and there's not a dining room or anything, but there's a pantry with enough food for the animals as well as us, and I-"
"It's perfect!" Vanessa said, happily opening all the drawers, and investigating every corner.
She likes it,
"What's this?" she asked, uncovering something in the corner.
"Oh, that's a picture of my parents that I found; I didn't know where you wanted it, so I just left it."
She spun around the room, trying it in different places, until finally setting it on a shelf by the window.
"There we go," she stated, proudly. "Todd and Sally Hewitt." She paused, gently touching the picture, and not for the first time, Will wished that she, too, had Noise. "Thank you for letting me take care of your son."
She turned back to Will, smiling sadly, and took his hand. "How about you show me the rest of the house?"
He smiled, nodding, leading her into the small bedroom, with the handmade bed that the village's carpenter, Mr Horton had made for them. The blanket that lay over the crisp, new sheets, was one of the few things that they had taken with them from Old World, and was Vanessa's most prized possession, having been made by her grandmother. Will had picked some flowers that matched the colours and arranged them on the windowsill.
"It's beautiful," Vanessa breathed, the clean, new room contrasting to the makeshift, dark rooms that they had been living in prior to this.
You're beautiful, Will thought, louder than planned.
Echoed throughout the house.
"Will?" Vanessa asked, suddenly nervous about something. The change was startling, as if someone had just flipped a switch.
"Yes?" he replied, what's wrong, what's wrong, what's wrong.
"Nothing's wrong," she said, answering the unspoken, yet nevertheless said, question posed. "It's just… I have a surprise for you as well."
As she led him out of the small, quaint bedroom, Will's Noise was filled once more with Surprise? Surprise?, only it was no longer an exclamation, it was now a question.
They stopped once they were in the small box room, that was possibly large enough for a guest, but not for anything of greater use.
"What is it?" Will asked, Surprise? Surprise?, his worry getting noticeably greater.
Vanessa looked him in the eye, held both of his hands, and firmly announced, "I'm going to have a baby."
"Are you… sure?"
Gotta be sure, gotta be sure, but she wouldn't tell me it she wasn't sure, but what if she's not? What if she is? What will we do? We can't-
"Absolutely. And, well, I checked with Mrs Cooper, you know she's good with this sort of thing, and she said that I was… Will say something… please… or think something… I could, I mean, there are drugs and medicines, if you think this is a bad idea, and I-"
What? No, not her baby, not my baby, not our baby, not our surprise…
And then, it was as if a dam had broken, and suddenly he was laughing, spinning her around, then putting her back down again, don't want to hurt the baby, don't want to hurt our baby, and kissing her soundly.
"Who should we tell? Ben and Cillian straight away, obviously, and they can be godfathers! And Jessica, and Molly, and Mrs Prentiss, she's having a baby too, and what shall we call it? Is it a boy or a girl?"
"Will, breathe! Calm down!" Vanessa giggled. "We can tell everyone – they'll all know anyway, given your Noise – and of course I don't know if it's a boy or a girl, although I think it's a boy. Mrs Cooper said that the sickness was worse with a girl, and I haven't been that bad – probably why you haven't noticed, especially given that you've been leaving so early in the morning."
Baby! Baby! BABY!
"Quieten down! I expect that even Old World can hear you!"
Will's only response was to kiss her again, grinning manically. "I'm going to be a Dad…" he breathed.
I'm going to be a Dad! Me, a Dad! Daddy, Daddy, it sounds nice, Daddy…
"Will… would you mind, maybe, if…"
"Yes Nessa?" Me, a Daddy, the baby will call me Daddy, Baby! Baby! We're having a BABY!
"Would you mind if the baby was named after one of your parents?"
Parents? My parents?
"Only they did so much for us, so I thought it would be quite nice, you know…"
He moved a hand down to her still flat belly.
"Todd Hewitt the second," he said. "I like that."
Todd Hewitt Jr… Todd Hewitt… baby Todd Hewitt…
Don't worry, Baby Todd Hewitt, Daddy will take care of you. Daddy will make sure nothing happens to you. Daddy will keep you safe. Daddy loves you. Daddy will make sure nothing ever hurts you. No spackle, no men, no creature… Daddy will look after you as long as he lives. Nothing will ever hurt you, Baby Todd Hewitt. Nothing.