Liam and other various and sundry series characters who appear belong
to Roddenberry-Kirschner, among others. Moira Beckett technically
belongs to them as well, but she is the character Deb Cebulski
developed in "A Sort of Homecoming". Rosemary and the mentioned
Marianne belong to Estirose, continuing the storyline from "Tackling
Redemption, plus the stories mentioned above.
notes: Esti here. This is the story Deb and I wrote to mesh
together her world and mine. It was written in IM for the most part,
with one of us taking one character’s dialogue and the other taking the
other characters (and splitting up the third character when needed). A
crash on her end and two computer shifts on mine had corrupted the file
enough that the version here is a reconstruction of the first draft. It
is complete (well, unless we tack on something at the end) but is in
bad need of revision. This draft is posted by kind permission of my
by Deb Cebulski and Estirose
Moira Beckett sat at her kitchen table, drinking hot, sweet tea to ward
off the winter chill. Sundays were long and mostly dark, and Moira had
made it her practice to cast runes in the short afternoon. She
preferred the classic three-rune spread. As usual, Moira checked on the
welfare of each of her family members. Moira asked aloud, "What is in
my grandson Liam's immediate future?"
Moira shook her bag and drew out three runes. She laid them out and
studied them intently. "A sexual act. Hmmm. But no marriage." Moira
puzzled over her remaining stones. "A child! Liam's partner is
pregnant. Siobhan's grandchild. Hmmm. Too many possibilities--can't
tell about Liam."
Moira dropped the runes back into the bag and quickly cast another
reading for Liam's child.
"Ah! A baby girl!" Moira smiled. "Definitely a Beckett--I do hope our
Liam is ready for another strong-willed female in his life." Moira
glanced at the third stone. "Oh my God!" She threw the tea cup and
runes to the table as she ran out of the room, screaming for Sean.
Moira stood impatiently in the ticket queue of Dublin Airport. Since
the traveling public had embraced the use of the Portal system, the
queue was not what it would have been back in the twentieth century.
Still, it was annoying to wait. Moira had tried to contact Liam, but
his global was forwarding to his email again. She felt that the danger
she had foreseen was not an immediate threat, or she would have set
aside her qualms and actually used the Dublin Portal.
Moira glanced up as someone tapped her shoulder. "You're next, ma'am."
Moira swallowed, and strode up to the counter. "One ticket to
Washington, D.C., please."
The clerk smiled. "Certainly, Madam. One-way or return?"
Moira slid her credit card and passport across the counter. "Open
Moira's plane was halfway across the Atlantic when her global rang.
Moira heard several grumbles from sleepy passengers as she opened her
global. Liam's face filled the screen. "Gran? What's happening? Where
Moira whispered, "Shh...I'll go where I can talk." She carried her
global into the lavatory.
As she shut the door behind her, Liam blurted, "Now will you tell me
what's going on?"
Moira sighed. "I'm on my way to Washington." Before Liam could do more
than gasp, she continued. "I cast the runes for you. Who's the girl?"
Liam frowned slightly. "Huh?"
Moira looked him straight in the eye. "The girl you got pregnant."
Liam's mouth opened and closed. "How did you--" His eyes stared off
into space for a moment, then snapped back to look at her. "The runes."
Moira nodded. "I cast runes for your daughter as well. She's in
terrible danger, Liam--and so is her mother."
Liam stared blankly at her for a moment. "A--are you sure, Gran?"
Moira sighed deeply. "Liam, you know how much I hate flying--do you
really think I'd be doing this if I weren't sure?"
Liam looked away slightly. Moira's face softened. "I'm sorry. I haven't
slept, and I shouldn't have snapped at you like that. All I know is
that your--girlfriend and daughter are in terrible danger, and that if
I'm not there, the danger will claim them."
Liam's forehead creased slightly as he pondered this development. "What
time do you land?"
Moira replied, "6:30 A.M. your time, I think."
Liam paced as he waited for the 6:30 flight from Dublin to arrive. He
had resisted calling Rosemary up to have her meet him for the flight.
Besides, he knew Rosemary and his Gran, and he thought it better for
any conversations to take place in a private place.
He was so deep in his thoughts that the tannoy announcement of Moira's
flight caused him to pause for a moment. He watched the plane glide
towards the gate and found himself involuntarily holding his breath.
Soon she would be here and he'd have to face her, answering her
questions as to why he hadn't told her about Rosemary's pregnancy.
It seemed to take forever for the passengers to come out of customs,
heartbeats lost as he looked for her familiar face. Finally, he spotted
her, waving to catch her attention. She swerved towards him.
Gran looked up. "Good. You're here." She glanced around the crowded
terminal. "Is it safe to talk?"
Liam looked around, trying to gauge the crowd. It might be safe to talk
about Runes - after all, nobody would pay any attention, but he didn't
want to get into an argument about Rosemary in such a public place. "I
think it might be safer if we wait until we get to the car," he said.
Gran nodded. "As you wish. Now let's get my bag and get out of here."
Liam nodded, deciding that he was lucky that he was due to go to work
right after he dropped Gran off. As she strode determinedly towards
baggage claim, he managed - barely - to keep up with her. She seemed to
almost ignore him as they waited by the baggage carousel, only paying
enough attention to hand him her luggage before she headed towards the
Struggling with the luggage, he managed to steer his silent Gran to the
car. Only after her baggage was loaded and they were both in the car
did she speak.
She glared at him. "So. How long has she been with child?"
Liam somehow managed to not plow his car into any parked nearby.
"Three- nearly four - months now."
He could feel the tension in the silence of the car. Gran's voice was
soft and flat as she asked, "And you couldn't share this with me?"
"Because there was no safe way to tell you," he responded, just as
softly. "I didn't dare tell you over global and I haven't had any
official reason to come to Dublin." Liam's eyes were on the road, but
he could see his Gran's concerned face out of the corner of his eye.
"Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Do you think I was the one who put that baby
"I don't know, Gran. We won't know until it happens," Liam said, trying
to console her. "I do know that I've made plans to keep her safe just
in case I'm discovered or something like that."
Gran started to cry. "Oh God, Liam. I didn't even think--" She sighed
deeply. "If that baby's hurt because of me, I'll never forgive myself.
And how would I explain to your, your girlfriend, I guess you'd call
Liam reached over with a free hand. "I don't know how she'll react.
She's chosen to bear the child because she knows what I am and it means
a great deal to her to help continue that. I'm just hoping that her
pregnancy has become gossip - as much as it's not flattering, it may
save her life."
Gran grasped his hand tightly, and then released it. "I hope you're
right. God, I hope you're right." She wiped her eyes. "So, tell me
about this girl..."
Liam put his hand on the steering wheel again and wished he could close
his eyes and just think. "Her name is Rosemary. She's a medical doctor
who works for the Taelons, although most of the time she has to feign
loyalty to them, because they hurt her badly. We got to know each other
after she'd found this out, which is eventually how she ended up
Gran sighed. "I was raised not to hate. Hate almost destroyed Eire--and
it wounded Siobhan. But I could hate the Taelons for what they've done
Liam shook his head. "Rosemary feels much the same way. She used to
wholeheartedly support the Taelons - now she's working to keep them
from doing to other humans what they did to her."
Gran smiled. "It sounds like Rosemary and I have a lot in common. I
can't wait to meet her."
"You do," Liam said, smiling a little. "She's off tomorrow - I'll see
if she has any plans. But I suspect she won't."
Liam just hoped that Rosemary would take well to his Gran and vice
versa. Rosemary had had little tolerance for what she called his
'fussing' - how would she take Gran?
Moira waited at the window for her grandson to bring the car around.
She smiled slightly--her grandson dating a doctor, and expecting a
child! She hoped that she and Rosemary would get along--and that she
would be able to find the threat to her family and avert it in time.
The car pulled up, and Liam honked the horn. Moira trotted downstairs,
and they drove off.
Moira glanced over at Liam. He seemed unusually quiet for some reason.
"Liam, why don't you and Rosemary live together?"
Liam stared straight ahead. "Because other than a few dates, and - that
one time, we rarely see each other. I think Rosemary prefers it that
Moira looked stunned. "But what happens once the baby's born?"
"I don't know. We haven't really discussed it," Liam said. Truth be
told, he hadn't had a chance to do so. Rosemary was so tired of
listening to security precautions that the topic just hadn't come up.
Moira paused for a moment. "What do you want to do, Liam? Do you want
to be a father to this child?"
Liam paused, ignoring a green light until a car behind him honked.
"Well, yes! I want her to have parents. But...."
Moira wasn't about to give up. She pressed the issue. "But what?" A
horrible thought occurred to her. She spoke slowly, as if the words
were having to fight to leave her mouth. "Liam, you gave me the memory
of your conception. I--I know that Siobhan wasn't initially willing to
join with your father." She hesitated, "Did you... is that why she
doesn't want to live with you?"
"I don't think it's that," Liam said, sounding uncertain. "I think
she's scared, but for some reason she won't tell me. Or, I could be
completely wrong and she just feels guilty. I don't know."
Moira sighed deeply. "I think that you and she have a great deal to
discuss before your daughter is born. Your daughter needs parents, and
you owe it to Rosemary to reach some sort of understanding with her
before she gives birth."
Liam nodded slightly. "I'll try, Gran. I've been so worried about her
safety that I really haven't been able to deal with what happens after
the child is born."
Moira smiled. "I'm sure you've done your best to protect her, but now
it's time to talk to her."
Liam rolled his eyes. "Easier said than done."
Moira laughed. "You're probably right!"
Liam parked the car in a parking space outside Rosemary's apartment
building. He noticed that Gran had let herself out and was just gazing
at the building as if appraising it. Coming around, he stopped by where
Moira was standing. "She's waiting for us," he said, gently ushering
her along the walk towards the building. As more of the front entrance
came into view, he could see Rosemary waiting by the doors.
She swung the door open as they approached. "Liam," she said
enthusiastically, giving him a half hug. "And this must be your
Once they were all in the building, Liam remembered he hadn't replied.
"Right. Rosemary, this is my Gran, Moira Beckett. Gran, this is
Liam stiffened slightly as he waited to see Gran's reaction. She smiled
slightly, and her eyes shifted momentarily to Rosemary's abdomen. "I'm
pleased to meet you. Congratulations. When are you due?"
"Um, in another five and a half months," Rosemary said, glancing down
at her own stomach. She then directed a 'you didn't-warn-me-about-this'
look at him, at which point he shrugged.
Gran apologized to Rosemary. "I'm so sorry that my visit has to be
under such difficult circumstances."
Liam glanced over at Rosemary. She had a puzzled look on her face.
Rosemary had a puzzled look on her face. "Difficult? In what way?"
Rosemary led them through a spacious, slightly utilitarian lobby to a
bank of elevators. For a moment, they stood in companionable silence.
Liam stood close to Rosemary, his arm just touching hers.
After a brief elevator trip, Rosemary led her two visitors into her
It was a good-sized flat, not unpleasant in decoration. Rosemary's
tastes seemed to run to growing things and floral patterns, with plenty
of cushions. Off to one side there was a kitchen, neatly organized, and
several doors led off to presumably bedroom, wc, and closets. Moira and
Liam sat on the couch, while Rosemary fetched a tea tray from the
kitchen. After tea and cookies had been offered and accepted, Moira
Moira looked into Rosemary's eyes. "How much do you know about Runes?"
Rosemary looked at Liam, as if expecting a clue on how to react. But if
he gave one, it couldn't be seen. "What I've read, and what Liam's told
me about them," Rosemary replied.
Moira sighed. "I have certain psychic abilities, which I use the runes
to channel. I regularly do readings on members of my family. I did a
reading on Liam yesterday and discovered that he had fathered a child."
Moira hesitated. "I then did a reading on the child. I discovered that
you are bearing a daughter--and that you and the child are in deadly
Rosemary looked over at Liam again, then slowly took a sip from her tea
before speaking. "I should be skeptical, but... do you know anything
more? I'm not worried about myself, but my child...."
Moira sighed. "All I know is that you and your daughter are in very
real danger--and that I have to be here to stop it." Moira reached out
and took Rosemary's hand. "I know that you are afraid, but please
remember that the future is not set in stone--it can be changed by the
choices we make."
"'There is no fate but what we make for ourselves,'" Rosemary quoted.
"I knew that I was on a dangerous path from the moment I slept with
Liam... but I have made the choice to take that path. However, I'll do
much to keep my loved ones safe."
Moira smiled and glanced up at her grandson. "We all will."
Rosemary made a face at Liam, as if this was a sore spot with her. "I'm
sure that your group's resources are better put to use finding out the
truth about the Taelons than babysitting me."
Moira glanced at Rosemary. "Believe me, I am no friend to the Taelons.
They killed my daughter. My only concern is the welfare of my family:
my grandson, his--companion, and his daughter."
"I believe you, Moira," Rosemary said, smiling, then nodding towards
Liam. "Thanks. It's Liam's overprotectiveness I'm worried about."
Moira laughed. "I'm afraid you have my daughter to thank for that--if
you think *he's* overprotective, you should have seen her in her prime!"
"I know that she was a very determined woman," Rosemary answered,
though absently as if in the grip of memory. "Whoever she followed. We,
um, met when she ended up under my care once. Did Liam tell you that I
specialize in medical care for CVI recipients?"
Moira glanced at Liam. "No, he didn't--he hasn't told me much about
you." She grinned at Rosemary. "Actually, he hadn't even told me that
you were expecting. I wasn't very happy about that." Moira glared a
moment at her grandson, and then smiled at Rosemary. "I am sorry for
the lack of notice--after that vision I was on the next flight out."
"Well, it's certainly an interesting way to meet in-laws - potential
ones, I mean, and what better reason," Rosemary said, giving a small
smile back. "As for the pregnancy, we're trying to be quiet about it
for several reasons. Most of which are obvious for security and
Moira smiled. "Under these circumstances, the fewer people that know,
the better. Have you decided on a name yet?"
"I've thought of a few," Rosemary said, leaning back in the chair. "We
haven't gotten together to decide on one, though Liam knows what I
Liam smiled. "Marianne Elisa for a girl, I remember."
"Marianne Elisa Beckett," Rosemary corrected gently. "You mother made
quite an impression on me."
"Marianne Elisa Beckett Schultz. I like it, actually," Liam said,
smiling and reaching across to take her hand.
Moira blinked, and tears began to fall from her eyes. "I only wish my
Siobhan were here to see this. I think she'd approve of you. I
Rosemary released Liam and spoke softly. "I wish I'd known her better,
but - she had her duty and I had mine. I just hope her granddaughter
turns out just as intelligent and thoughtful as she was." She fell
silent for a moment. "I never thought I'd end up with her son."
Moira wiped her tears and smiled at Rosemary. "Neither did I, my dear.
After Siobhan passed, I never thought I'd have a grandchild, and in six
more months I'll be a great-grandmother."
"We still have to get through the six months, though," Liam reminded
them both. "I know you aren't happy with some of my precautions," he
told Rosemary, "but they'll keep both you and Marianne alive."
"I know, Liam," Rosemary replied. "I just hate being fussed over.
Especially that way. Our child's important, but...."
Moira shifted somewhat uncomfortably in her seat, not wanting to take
sides in the debate. Liam spotted the motion. "I'm sorry,
Gran--Rosemary and I can discuss this some other time."
Moira straightened up. "Don't worry, Liam--you do have some time."
"Sorry," Rosemary apologized. "I love Liam, but sometimes he drives me
Liam shrugged, answering Moira. "We do still have some rough spots to
Moira slyly grinned. "I'm not surprised--you are both strong-willed.
I'm sure you'll work things out... eventually."
Moira glanced at Rosemary and Liam. "Have you two thought about living
arrangements once the baby arrives?"
Liam glanced over at Rosemary, as if apologizing. Rosemary leaned back.
"Actually, I was planning to set up things here, and move when she got
bigger and needed more room."
Moira leaned forward. "I have something here that may help." She
reached into her bag and handed a sheaf of papers to Liam. "Siobhan's
estate has been settled, and you are Siobhan's next of kin and heir.
For obvious reasons, we can't risk you openly claiming her estate. Your
cousin Tara is a chartered accountant, and she set up a blind trust for
your benefit. Ostensibly, your cover identity is a lost heir."
Rosemary looked from Moira to her grandson. "I'll let you two settle
this. It's not my money, and it wouldn't be even if I married you." She
rose. Rosemary strode over to the bedroom and closed the door.
Moira pulled a pen from her purse and handed it to Liam. "All you have
to do is sign the Declaration of Trust. Tara will deposit the first
disbursement into your account here."
Liam put the pen down. "Gran, I can't take this! You're her mother. The
money is properly yours, not mine."
Moira shook her head. "I gave you a copy of Siobhan's will, and it
specifically states that the bulk of her estate is to be divided
equally between her children. There were several bequests and
charitable donations, but the rest is yours."
"I'm not legally her child. Besides, I don't need the money - I get
paid well for what I do, and I wouldn't dream of claiming it. What she
gave me when I was conceived is sufficient."
Moira sighed. "Legally, you may not be Siobhan's child. However, you
are her son, and she explicitly left most of her estate to her
children. I was named as her executrix--would you have me betray her
"No, I would not have you betray your trust, it's just that I feel it's
unfair that I get the money. She didn't remember my birth until the
last minute or two of her life, and I've certainly not been part of the
family. It's the family that she loves that should get it, not a child
mostly forced upon her by a desperate alien," Liam said, looking into
Moira leaned forward. "Liam, the family discussed this for months. We
all decided that Siobhan's wishes should be honored." She shuddered.
"The memories you shared with me should tell you that Siobhan loved
you. I don't know why you doubt that. You don't have to decide right
away, but I want you to know that the money will be there if you need
it. We won't touch it."
Liam shook his head. "I just don't want to take it, Gran. I just feel
like I don't have a right to it. Besides, I don't know if Rosemary
wants a house - and since I think Rosemary thinks housing is her
responsibility, I don't know if I have much of a say in it."
Moira gathered the papers and pen and stuffed them back into her purse.
"All right, Liam--if that's what you want. I just want you to remember
that you can change your mind at any time." She looked up. "I want you
to know that whatever happens, you're part of the family. If you ever
need anything, I hope you'll remember us."
"I will," Liam replied softly. "I'm not forgetting, I'm just not
asking. I'm more likely to need refuge for Rosemary than any amount of
Moira nodded. "I understand. If things go bad, send her and Marianne to
us. The O'Suilleabhain's are quite widespread, and there are several
places we can use to hide them." She pulled out the pen and wrote on a
scrap of paper. "This is your cousin Tara's number. Memorize it and
destroy the paper. If you're in trouble, call her--she can arrange to
smuggle Rosemary and Marianne into Eire."
Liam nodded, taking the scrap and looking at it. "I hope she takes this
better than she took my last suggestion. I worry about her, Gran -
she's so focused on the child , I think she forgets she's important
too. Marianne's going to need her."
Moira laughed. "Give her time, Liam. I felt the same when I was
pregnant with your mother. Marianne will always be vitally important,
but she will eventually come to value herself. She's too strong not to.
Speaking of Rosemary, don't you think we should bring her back out
Liam smiled. "Maybe we should, before she falls asleep in there." He
got up and knocked on the door. "Rosemary, we're done talking about
Rosemary came out and poured a cup of tea.
Moira looked at her. "I'm sorry about that, dear. I promise I won't
raise that subject in front of you again."
"What... oh, Liam's inheritance. I figure you two took care of it,"
Rosemary said, smiling. "It's just none of my business. How Liam
applies it to Marianne he can deal with, but I'm not family." She
picked up her newly-filled cup and took a sip of the tea.
Moira sat for a moment, and picked up her teacup. "I understand how you
feel on that issue. However, as Liam's companion, you are a member of
the family as far as I'm concerned."
"I still don't have a right to say in your financial matters," Rosemary
said. "I don't want to be presumptuous in that way, especially since my
only connection comes from being pregnant with your
great-granddaughter, and I'm the one who dragged Liam into bed."
"You didn't have much of a choice," Liam reminded her. "The hormones-"
"I know fully well what happened, Liam. They may have gone away
eventually even if we hadn't slept together," Rosemary snapped. She
smiled embarrasedly at Moira. "Sorry. Old debate. We can discuss it
Moira grinned. "Don't worry about it. I was married for 20 years--I had
similar conversations with John many times."
"I hope we survive that long," Rosemary said, sighing and rubbing her
stomach. "Sometimes I have doubts about that. Liam's the optimist, I'm
afraid. But he's still overprotective."
"And you'd probably notify the hospital and 'forget' to notify me until
Marianne was born," Liam teaser her.
"I don't like the fuss," Rosemary said, smiling. "I can't wait for
Marianne to be born just so that you can fuss about her, instead!"
Moira smiled knowingly and sipped her tea.
Liam's global chirped. He motioned for silence from the two women, and
stood against a blank wall before answering. "Kincaid here."
Agent Sandoval's face appeared on the screen. "Da'an asks that you
report to him immediately."
Liam frowned slightly. "Is he in the Embassy or on the Mothership?"
Sandoval's eyes narrowed slightly. "Da'an is at the Embassy, but
requires you to pilot his shuttle to the Mothership."
Liam nodded. "I'm on my way." He slammed his global shut and looked at
Rosemary. "Do you think you could entertain Gran tonight? I don't know
how long they'll keep me at the Mothership."
"I'll be glad to," Rosemary said smiling. "Moira, have you ever been to
Washington, D.C. before?"
Moira shook her head. "No, I haven't. I knew I'd visit eventually--just
not so soon!"
"I better go," Liam said. He turned to Rosemary. "I'll call you when
"Sounds good to me," Rosemary said, smiling at him. "You just go, I'll
take care of your Gran for you."
Liam smiled back. "I know you will. Gran, I'll be back soon, I hope."
He started for the door.
As Liam reached the door, Moira called out, "Take care of yourself,
Liam called back, "Don't I always?"
As the door closed, Moira and Rosemary exchanged an ironic look and
Rosemary shook her head. "That's Liam for you," she said, still
smiling. "An overprotective worrywart when it comes to me, but never
thinks about himself. Do you want more tea, Moira? Or shall we just go?"
Moira shook her head. "Why don't we get out for a bit?"
"Sounds good to me," Rosemary said, walking over and fetching her car
keys. "One good thing about all that's happened... I never misplace
anything by accident anymore."
"So where are we going?" Moira asked.
"I'm going to show you my favorite parts of Washington, some of which
are kinda touristy, but most of them aren't. I haven't lived in the
area for that long, but even I can find nice places to show a visitor,"
Rosemary said, opening her door and smiling.
Moira went through the door. "I can't wait."
As they took the elevator down, Moira asked, "Do you have a good
OB/GYN? If not, I have a third cousin who's a doctor in New York. I'm
sure he could recommend a colleague in Washington."
"Actually, I've got one. Or, more precisely, Liam's got one. Dr.
Melissa Park, who delivered him and is one of about three doctors
including me who has any idea on how to treat him. You can imagine my
surprise when he brought her to me for a preliminary exam about two
weeks into the pregnancy," Rosemary replied. "The way he was
frantically arranging things, you'd think he was pregnant, not me. I
don't mind sometimes on the medical end but sometimes it's like he
forgets I'm the one that really needs the say in things. There's such a
thing as overprotective and overreactive."
Moira sighed. "Give him time. Liam lost two of his parents before he
was two months old. He doesn't want to lose either of you. Once
Marianne is born, I think he'll be a bit more secure. If it's any
consolation, John was the same way while I was pregnant with
Siobhan--if not worse! John tried to prevent me from lifting so much as
a tea kettle while I was pregnant. It took a while, but I was able to
convince him that pregnancy wasn't a disease, and that I was perfectly
capable of doing things for myself." Moira did a double take. "Did you
say Dr. Park?"
"Yes, you know of her?" Rosemary asked, puzzlement on her face.
Moira stood still as a memory of Melissa Park standing over her
daughter invaded her consciousness. "Oh God. Melissa Park performed the
surgery that killed my daughter."
"Surgery?" Rosemary asked before her eyes grew distant. "Ooh, great.
Liam, you have the brains of a flea, sometimes." As the elevator dinged
to a stop, she said, "I'm sorry, Moira. I would have noticed sooner,
but I try not to remember Liam's memories out of respect for him."
Moira stumbled out of the elevator. "That's all right, dear. I'd rather
know." She allowed Rosemary to lead her through the lobby. "Has she
treated you well?"
"She fusses almost worse than Liam does," Rosemary said, smiling
slightly. "Like she has a personal stake in this. I know a thing or two
about pre-natal care myself, and she is extremely thorough. Of course,
Liam listens to her assurances and still treats me like something's
going to go wrong any second, but that's not her fault."
Moira sighed. "Liam shared some memories with me once. I've never
forgotten that woman's face. She cost me my daughter--she had better
not cost me my great-granddaughter and my grandson's companion."
Rosemary muttered something about Dr. Who and continued at a more
audible level as she led Moira towards the parking entrance. "Well, the
other is my boss, whom I'm having a slight bit of a tiff with right
now, and besides, she's more acquainted with Liam's biology anyway.
She's just about the only choice we have, because we don't dare use a
non-L - a normal doctor."
Moira nodded. "I understand that intellectually, but a part of me still
doesn't trust her."
"That, you'll have to take up with your grandson," Rosemary told her.
"I am going to concentrate on ways to convince him that I don't need a
bodyguard 24 hours a day. In a way, I'm glad we don't live or work
together - otherwise I'd probably strangle him before his daughter's
born. Too bad she'll probably insist on him being there for the birth.
One fussy person paying attention to me is enough."
Rosemary unlocked the car and opened the door for Moira. "My, this is
going to feel quite strange. In Eire, this side of the car is the
Rosemary got in and started the car. They buckled up, and Rosemary
pulled into the street.
"It's going to be a bit of a drive, I'm afraid," Rosemary said as they
stopped for a red light. "This is actually a suburb of Washington, not
the city itself. But it's worth it. Meanwhile, feel free to ask me
anything. I'm sure you have questions, and I want to take care of any
worries you have while you're here."
Moira pondered for a moment. "Do you have any brothers or sisters? Will
Marianne have any aunts, uncles or cousins on the Schultz side of the
Rosemary grinned. "Two living grandparents, an aunt, an uncle, and a
cousin, just to name the nearest. I'm the family misfit - the rest of
them live in California and grow herbs commercially. Well, except my
niece, Amber. She's a little young at the moment."
Moira smiled. "Coming from a large family myself, I find the support of
the family comforting. I understand it can be somewhat overwhelming,
Her companion sighed. "There's a reason I moved away from home, and it
was not just because I wanted to go into the medical field.
Fortunately, they all belong to a segment of Liam's - group, so we're
getting along better now. I'm told if I want to spend some time later
on, Dad'll personally drive all the way to Washington. But I've been
fussed over so much, I told them just to send over some (names of herbs
useful for pregnancy/pain/etc.) and not worry."
Moira laughed. "I understand. There were many times when I was growing
up that I wished my brothers and sisters were far, far away. Once we
grew up and scattered, I missed them more than I ever thought I would."
"But Marianne will be taken care of, even if both Liam and I die, I'm
sure of that. I just hope that maybe we'll be able to give her a few
brothers and sisters, if Liam wants them, that is."
Moira nodded. "God forbid, if anything should happen to you or Liam,
Marianne will always have a home in Eire."
"Thank you, Moira," Rosemary said, smiling. "I hope not, but if it
happens, it's good to know she'll be taken care of. I'm very well aware
of what's at stake here, and I'm sure you are as well. I want to live
to give my daughter a happy home with her parents both alive to teach
her about herself."
Moira smiled. "Well, I will certainly do my best to make sure that my
great-granddaughter's parents are around to raise her. Speaking of my
great-granddaughter, where do you plan to live once she's a toddler?"
"A bigger apartment once I need it, one with its own bedroom," Rosemary
said. "Maybe save up for a house down the road should I be able to
afford one. Enough room for a growing kid, anyway."
Moira hesitated a moment. "Do you think you and Liam might marry one
"Hadn't really thought about it, or discussed it. More pressing worries
on our mind, I'm afraid."
Moira nodded. "I quite understand--and given the unusual aspects of the
situation, I am not surprised."
"Of course, when I look at Liam, 'white picket fence' does not really
come to mind. I'd like to marry someday, but I don't want to force
him," Rosemary said, her eyes steadfastly on the road.
Moira smiled. "You have to do what is right for you."
"I don't know what is right for me, yet," Rosemary said softly. "I may
not know until Marianne's birth... or after. If it's best for
Marianne's welfare that we marry, I'll ask Liam, but it's also his
Moira smiled thoughtfully. "I don't think Liam will be ready for a
while--he's very young still."
"That's the understatement of the year," Rosemary said. "I sometimes
forget he'll only be a few months older than his daughter. Seems too
young to be having kids."
Moira sighed. "Maybe it's his youth that makes him so easy to love."
Rosemary smiled. "Maybe you're right." She turned right onto a small
cross street. "I'm going to take a short cut here."
Moira nodded and looked around at the scenery. It still felt strange to
be on the driver's side--but not driving. In the distance, sirens
blared. Out of sheer habit she checked the rearview mirror--nothing
Moira then heard a high-pitched whine. She checked the mirror again and
was horrified to see a motorcycle at high speed headed straight for
them. She opened her mouth to tell Rosemary to pull over, but it was
too late. The next sensation she felt was a jarring impact as her body
was thrust against her safety restraints.
A moment later, the airbags inflated, filling the cabin with an acrid
odor. Moira thought for a moment she would smother against the cloying,
clinging bag. She didn't have long to enjoy the embrace of the
airbags--another impact at the front slammed her back into her seat.
For an instant, Moira could do nothing but sit there. However,
instincts honed by a lifetime preparing for--and dealing with--acts of
terror took over. She methodically inventoried herself--nothing seemed
to be broken, only bruised. Her seat belt and airbag had protected her.
She would hurt for a few days, but she would live. She glanced over at
Rosemary--and saw blood coming from her lips.
Moira released herself from her seat belt. She looked up and saw a
young man in his mid-30s.
"Are you okay, ma'am?" he called anxiously.
Moira nodded. "I'm fine, but my friend is unconscious. We need help
right away--she's pregnant."
Moira's side of the car was barely dented, and the young man was able
to force the door open. Moira was stiff, but she was able to leave the
car unassisted. She looked over to Rosemary's side and saw a mangled
wreck. She didn't have to be a mechanic to see that the frame of the
car had bent and that the front of the car was folded into another car.
She assumed that the black flames up the road were all that was left of
The young man had apparently been talking on his global. Moira was
drawn away from her contemplation of the tableau by the sound of a
global slamming shut. "Help's on the way, ma'am. I'm sorry, but I
couldn't get your friend out." He looked uncertain. "I'm sure they'll
have her out in no time."
Moira picked her way through the wreckage and went over to the other
side. Rosemary's window had shattered, sending shards of safety glass
into the compartment. They surrounded Rosemary, reflecting the setting
sun and surrounding her with a halo of light. Moira shook her
head--don't even think that, you silly woman! Rosemary isn't going to
be joining the angels anytime soon, not if I can help it!
Rosemary was slumped over the steering wheel. Her safety belt must not
have been positioned properly due to her pregnancy. She did seem to be
in an odd position. Moira looked down, but could see no amniotic fluid
staining the floor or Rosemary's dress. Hopefully, the baby would be
Moira's eyes widened. Oh Jesus--what if they get a look at the baby? Do
Kimera babies look different? Is there something different about the
pregnancy? Moira knew that there was no way she could allow an ordinary
doctor to examine Rosemary. A strange calm descended upon her, and she
knew that this was the moment she had come here for--this was the
danger she must avert.
Moira looked up the street. A fire lorry sped down the street, only to
be blocked by the flames at the head of the street. A troop of
firefighters streamed out of the truck. Moira turned around to see a
group of medics carrying a board running towards her.
Moira took a deep breath, and motioned to the medics. "My friend is
trapped and unconscious--please hurry!"
Moira thought that the medics had been running before--she was wrong.
Within seconds they sprinted up and were reaching through the window,
checking pulse, blood pressure, reflexes. One medic trotted in behind
them carrying a case. "Were you in the car as well, ma'am?"
"Yes--I don't think I'm badly hurt, but I think you should know that
Rosemary is a physician in the employ of the Taelons. She is having a
problem pregnancy, and is being treated by Dr. Melissa Park."
The medic nodded. "I'll make sure the doctor at DC General knows that.
Now, what's your name, ma'am?"
Moira shook her head. "You don't understand." She groped for an excuse,
anything to make this youngster listen. "Rosemary--is a Taelon implant.
She *has* to be treated by Dr. Park!"
The medic's jaw dropped and he fumbled for his global. He flipped it
open. "Get me in touch with ComTech immediately." He looked up at
Moira. "What's Rosemary's full name?"
Moira replied, "She's Dr. Rosemary Schultz."
The medic nodded at her and glanced back at his global. A pleasant
soprano emerged from it: "ComTech, may I help you?"
The medic nodded. "EMT Wayne Harris, Washington Metro. I have an
injured Taelon implant here by the name of Dr. Rosemary Schultz. Is Dr.
The pleasant soprano seemed less self-assured this time. "I believe Dr.
Park is at the Embassy. One moment... I will page her."
Wayne looked up at Moira. "Don't worry, ma'am... the Taelons take care
of their own. Rosemary will be just fine."
The voice that emerged from Wayne's global was somewhat more harsh than
that of the first speaker. "This is Dr. Melissa Park. And you are?"
Wayne nodded deferentially. "EMT Wayne Harris, Doctor. A patient of
yours, Dr. Rosemary Schultz, has been in a severe auto accident. Her
companion informs me that Dr. Schultz is an implant. Is this correct?"
Moira held her breath.
Dr. Park replied without hesitation. "Indeed, and her companion was
quite right to have you contact me. Pregnancy is a particularly
delicate time for Taelon implants. What is Dr. Schultz's current
Wayne and Moira glanced over at the medics, who had temporarily given
way to firefighters. Moira shuddered as she heard Rosemary's moans for
the first time.
"She's still trapped inside the vehicle, Doctor. If you would like, I
will hand you over to one of my colleagues who has been treating her."
"Please do," replied Dr. Park. Wayne ran over and handed his global to
another medic, who began rattling off a stream of readings to Dr. Park.
Wayne ran back to Moira. "Well, that's your friend taken care of. Why
don't we see how you're doing now?"
Wayne examined Moira and concurred with her initial impressions. "I
think Dr. Park will want to take a look at you, just to be sure. We're
going to be transporting you and your friend to ComTech." Moira's eyes
grew cold and distant. Wayne didn't notice, and continued, "It's a good
thing you mentioned that your friend was an implant. If you hadn't...
well, the political implications wouldnít be pretty."
After he finished, Wayne tried to guide Moira over to the ambulance for
transport. Moira looked him right in the eye and quietly stated, "I'm
not leaving this place unless Rosemary comes with me."
Wayne began to say something, but stopped. "As you wish, ma'am."
It took the firefighters 30 long minutes to get Rosemary out of the
car. During that time, the only intelligible sounds Moira heard
Rosemary make were weak cries of "my baby, my baby."
Moira prayed that these would not be Rosemary's last words.
Once the firefighters got Rosemary out, Wayne bundled Moira into an
ambulance. Moira refused to be strapped into a gurney, but they made
her ride in the back. As they pulled away, Moira caught a glimpse of
the crowd of rescue workers that had labored to free Rosemary. Her eyes
filled with tears.
Wayne tried to reassure Moira, telling her of the fine reputation of
the ComTech clinic. "Only the best doctors are chosen to serve the
Taelons. Normally, only Taelon employees are treated there, but Dr.
Park insisted that we bring you with Dr. Schultz."
Moira nodded. "I'm sure the care will be good. I'm just worried about
Wayne smiled slightly. "She'll be fine. You'll see."
The ambulances arrived at ComTech almost simultaneously. Wayne opened
the back door and assisted Moira down. A white-coated woman was waiting
with a wheelchair. She settled Moira into the chair, and then nodded at
Wayne. "Thank you, Mr. Harris. We'll take it from here."
Wayne nodded, and tapped at his global. "I've just transferred her
chart." He nodded at Moira. "Good luck, Moira."
Moira nodded back. "Thank you, Wayne." The woman wheeled her through
Moira didn't get much of a look at the ComTech facility. From what she
saw, it was clean, bright--and very modern. She was whisked into an
examination room. The woman assisted Moira from her wheelchair into a
comfortable padded chair. She gave Moira a small smile and said "Dr.
Sidemore will be with you shortly." She strode out before Moira could
say another word.
Moira slumped in the chair. The false energy of adrenaline had deserted
her, and she wanted nothing better than to find a warm bed and crawl
into it. She wouldn't allow herself that luxury until she knew Rosemary
and the baby were all right.
Moira was on the verge of sleep when the door opened again. A balding
man in his mid-forties walked in. "Mrs. Beckett? I'm Dr. Aaron
Sidemore." He held his hand forth, and Moira took it. "I understand
you've had quite a tiring day, so we won't put you through any more
tests than necessary."
Dr. Sidemore had her lean back in the chair as he ran various
instruments over her. "Well, I have good news for you--you have some
nasty bruises, but nothing serious. You will probably feel sore for a
few days. I would suggest that you rest for at least a day, and that
you stay in the country for a few more days to allow your body to
recover." He smiled. "Do you have any questions?"
Moira sat up straight. "Yes. How are Rosemary and the baby?"
Dr. Sidemore's face fell slightly. "I'm not treating them, so I
honestly don't know. Dr. Park is treating them now, and she will be in
shortly to brief you."
Moira sighed. "Thank you, Doctor--I appreciate your honesty."
Dr. Sidemore smiled, shook her hand and left.
Moira slumped in her chair again, and she dozed off. Some time later,
she awoke to find Liam and Dr. Park standing over her.
"Gran," Liam greeted her. "I got here as soon as I could."
"Mrs. Beckett, I'm Dr. Park, Dr. Schultz's doctor," Dr. Park said,
holing out a hand.
Moira briefly clasped Dr. Park's hand. "Let me be brutally honest with
you, Doctor. I have no reason to care for you. My grandson has shared
some of his memories with me, and I felt every agony you inflicted upon
my daughter. However, I will forgive every agony you put my Siobhan
through if you can save my great-granddaughter and her mother."
Dr. Park looked over at Liam briefly before answering her. "Rosemary -
Dr. Schultz - will be fine. She broke several ribs and punctured her
left lung. She's being (been?) stabilized. She'll need to stay in the
hospital a few days just to make sure she doesn't lose the baby, and
shell need to stay on light duty for a while after that."
"She was lucky, Gran. I'm told that you most probably saved her life,"
Liam said, his eyes glittering a little as if he was suppressing tears.
Moira drew in a long, shuddering breath and clasped Liam's hand. "Thank
God they'll be okay." Moira turned to Dr. Park. "I have to thank you
for backing me up, Doctor. Claiming that Rosemary was an implant was
the only way I could think of to ensure that she was brought here for
Dr. Park looked puzzled. "But she is an Implant, Mrs. Beckett. Liam,
you didn't tell her?"
Liam shook his head. "I figured that was Rosemary's business, not mine.
She tries not to advertise it."
Moira's mouth dropped open, and then slipped into a smile. "I chose
that story on instinct. I thought it was a white lie, but it looks like
there was more to it than I thought."
"At least this way the Taelons don't expect her to be carrying what
she's carrying," Dr. Park said. "That was very quick thinking, though,
"Rosemary and I slept together a few days before she was implanted,
Gran," Liam explained.
Moira looked up at Liam and Dr. Park. "I just knew that other doctors
could not be allowed to examine Rosemary and Marianne. That's the
danger I was here to prevent. I just thank God that I was able to
"Marianne?" Dr. Park asked, sounding puzzled again. "The baby?"
"The baby," Liam confirmed.
Dr. Park nodded. "It's a nice name. We're releasing you now, Mrs.
Beckett, since Liam's here to take you home. You can visit Rosemary in
the morning. Both of you. And Liam, not a stitch before that!"
Liam responded to the humor in her voice. "Got it," he said, reaching
out a hand to help Moira up.
Liam rubbed his shaqarava almost absently as he and his Gran headed to
the room where Rosemary had been taken. He was gratified that Moira had
seemed to have slept well, even had caught up on her sleep. And that
she'd survived his breakfast. He was almost glad, though, that she
wouldn't be there much longer to comment on his dietary habits.
Da'an had quietly given him the day off, saying that he would be all
day on the Mothership, so Liam would not be needed until later in the
evening. He had thanked Da'an, grateful that he wouldn't have to
balance his duty with his concern with his family. He hoped to give
Moira some of the tour of D.C. that Rosemary had promised her before
the accident, after they visited Rosemary. Turning his head, he asked,
"Did you mean what you said, about Rosemary being family?"
Gran glanced up from her contemplation of the flowers in her hand. Her
eyes were not cold, but they were piercing all the same. "Liam, you
should know better. She's your companion, and the mother of my
great-granddaughter. Of course she's family!"
"I'm not quite sure she knows that," Liam said softly.
"When we were talking about her having you over for tea, she was so
adamant about not wanting to intrude, due to her 'unmarried state'.
Even now I'm not sure how she feels."
Gran laughed softly. "That's because you're a man, dear. Rosemary and I
had a wonderful chat before that horrible crash. I think she knows--but
if it makes you feel better, I will reassure her. In fact, I need to
gather her genealogical data at some point; the Schultzes will become
part of our family history as soon as Marianne is born." Her eyes
sparkled. "I may even have to purchase a separate book to enter the
family history--the Bible was starting to get rather cramped, and that
Beckett sheet isn't even the full history--it only goes back a few
generations. With a new book, I'll be able to write it out properly."
She squeezed his hand briefly. "Don't worry. Everything will be fine."
"I hope so, Gran," Liam replied as they reached Rosemary's room. "I
worry about her. If I had any choice, she'd be safe away where nobody
could find her, but we both have covers to maintain and hers is
offering her a measure of safety, at least."
Gran shook her head. "I'm glad you realize that shutting her away would
be a grave mistake. Even if you marry her, you have to allow her time
to pursue her own interests and to lead her own life. Now let's go in
and see her!" Liam watched helplessly as Gran marched over to the door
and firmly knocked on it.
"Come in," Rosemary called, and Moira opened the door. They went past a
bathroom and the closet to find her cheerfully laying on the bed,
hooked up to half a dozen things. "Hello, you two," Rosemary said
Liam trailed behind as his Gran trotted over to Rosemary's side. She
held out her hand, and after a moment Rosemary took it. "How are you
"Other than I hate being on the receiving end of medical care,"
Rosemary said, a glint of humour in her eyes. "I'm fine. Or will be, I
should say. Dr. Park's been keeping a very close eye on me. If I didn't
know that this was because she wants to see the baby born, I would be
giving Liam a few words in the ear about overprotectiveness!"
Liam winced slightly as Gran laughed softly. "I'm glad to hear that
Marianne is doing well. I think Dr. Park needs a lesson in
patience--Marianne will come out when she's ready, and not before."
"I think she's worried about Marianne coming out *before* she's ready,
Gran," Liam told her. He turned to face rosemary. "She says that part
of your problem was from bending over to protect the baby."
Rosemary shrugged, or at least as much as she was able to. "Pure
instinct. This is my child too, Liam."
Liam glanced over at his Gran, who was busily arranging the flowers in
a vase. She smiled at Rosemary. "You did what any mother would have
"I'm sure, when Marianne is old enough, she'll thank me for it,"
Rosemary commented. She then smiled wryly. "Should both of us survive
till then. Trust me to turn onto the wrong street. Hopefully Marianne
will have enough intuition for the both of us."
"You survived, that's what's important."
"I guess so. But... no bodyguards, dear. It doesn't matter if I'm your
girlfriend, companion, or whatever I properly am, you have bigger
things to worry about than me and Marianne," Rosemary said. She looked
over at Gran. "Sorry, by the time you leave I should have it through my
head not to raise that issue in front of you. I can't wait until
Marianne's born, believe me."
Gran shook her head. "Don't worry, dear--you're family now, and you
always will be, even if you and Liam never marry." She smiled.
"Speaking of which, do you have a Schultz genealogy completed? I'll
need it to complete Marianne's family history."
"I don't, but I know who does. Hand me a piece of paper, I have contact
addresses for my folks," Rosemary said, reaching out an arm. "They know
I'm pregnant, thanks to Liam's... connections, so you'll have to
explain who you are exactly."
Gran handed Rosemary a piece of paper and a pen. Rosemary scribbled a
few lines, and then handed both back. Gran looked at Liam. "Is it safe
for me to contact them?"
It was Rosemary who answered. "I think it would be pretty safe,
actually. I'm not an expert in security matters, but they do own a
business. I indicated which ones were their business contacts, in case
you want to seem like you're ordering commercial herbs or something."
"Or you could say that you were looking to trace an obscure branch of
the family tree," Liam offered. "Rosemary, are they into geneology?"
"My parents? My mom is, kinda. She has a copy of the charts, I belive,
so if she was asked, she could answer. It's actually a cousin that's
geneology-mad. Does that help any, Moira? I want to offer all the help
I can. She's your descendant too, after all."
Gran smiled at Liam and Rosemary. "I think your cousin will be able to
provide the information I need. I'm actually doing this for all of
us--it's very important to know where we've come from." A wry grin
crossed her face as she turned to Liam. "Once things stabilize, I'm
going to want your help with your fathers' information. I don't think I
should write it down right away, though--I don't want it to fall into
"Probably a good idea," Rosemary said, sounding bemused. Liam, on the
other hand, paled as he considered trying to extract his family tree on
"One of them should be easy enough," Liam said, trying to make it sound
offhanded. "The other might take a few centuries to compile, though."
Rosemary giggled and looked at Moira. "I think you might need an
encyclopedia on his."
Moira smiled. "That's fine--it can be a family project. Look at it this
way, Liam--you'll have something to keep Marianne busy and out of
"I'm sure she'll be an absolute angel," Liam said.
Rosemary shot an amused look at Moira. "Doesn't know very much about
kids, does he?"
Moira laughed. "He'll learn--John said the same thing when he saw
Siobhan. I think he changed his mind after the fifth midnight feeding,
Liam looked at the two of them, confused. Rosemary must have taken pity
on him, for she said, "Something you'll learn from experience. And
trust me, you'll get plenty of experience."
Liam sighed. "I hope I'm up to the challenge."
Moira clasped his hand. "You're not going to be perfect, dear. You're
going to make mistakes, but you're going to learn from them. And you'll
always have help if you need it." She glanced at Rosemary.
"I'll lend you a few books, Liam," Rosemary said, grinning widely.
"That way, you'll be prepared six months from now."
Liam glanced over at his Gran, who was grinning wildly. Her lips kept
twitching slightly, and he could tell that she was holding back
laughter. He sighed.
Gran managed to control her urge to laugh. "Liam, I think you need some
more lessons in childhood. Have any of your friends or co-workers had
any children lately?"
He shook his head. "No. None after me."
Gran sighed. "Have you considered parenting classes? If you're truly
concerned, I think they might help you." She smiled slightly. "There
are fathers without your particular history that worry about their
ability to parent."
Rosemary had such an evil grin on her face that Liam realized he was
trapped. "I guess I'll be taking them," he said. Gran pulled out a
sheaf of papers from her purse.
Liam started to protest. "But Gran, I thought we'd already--"
She shoved the papers into his hand and smiled broadly. "I called your
cousin last night. This is all the information she was able to gather
on parenting classes in the Washington area."
Rosemary's puzzled expression turned into a grin, but she said nothing.
Liam scanned over the papers, noting that they were indeed parenting
resources. He could even make out a tiny note at the bottom concerning
something for Rosemary that he probably didn't want to know about.
Rosemary reached out for them and he handed them to her. "Um, thanks."
Rosemary read over the sheets. As she reached the bottom of one page,
she blushed. She smiled at Moira and carefully ripped one portion of
the page. She placed the slip of paper in her nightstand drawer and
handed the remaining papers back to Liam.
Liam took the papers awkwardly, trying not to drop them. He had a
vision of parenting classes, fathering classes, breathing classes, and
half-a-dozen other things swirling through his head. I think I've just
had my life planned out for me, he thought, dismayed.
Gran came over and patted him on the shoulder. "It's not the end of the
world, you know. Your life's not over--you're just going to have to get
used to having a child in your life." She looked him in the eye. "That
child needs a father, not a sperm donor."
Liam grinned. "I know that. Why do you think I'm protecting Rosemary so
There was a short pause, then Rosemary spoke, her eyes gleaming. "Look
on the bright side, Liam. We get to learn this parenting thing
together. Besides, I'm sure some things will turn up that aren't in the
Moira nodded emphatically. "I didn't want to imply that you would shirk
your responsibility. I just wanted to let you know that this is a
lifetime job. I want you to have the knowledge you need to be the best
father you can be." She reached out and clasped his hand. "I know you
can do this, Liam."
He squeezed her hand briefly. "I know, Gran."
Rosemary nodded. "I won't let him forget," she said, as a nurse came in
to check on her.
Moira and Liam stepped back as the nurse checked Rosemary's monitors
and vital signs. "You're doing very well, Dr. Schultz. Dr. Park will be
in to see you in a few minutes." She nodded at Moira and Liam as she
Gran sighed. "I think that's our cue, dear." She grasped Rosemary's
hand. "Get well soon, dear. I think I'll leave you two alone." She
nodded at Liam. "I'll be in the waiting room."
Liam watched as his Gran left, then turned to Rosemary. "You want us to
Rosemary shook her head. "No, come back later after I've faced Dr.
Park. I don't want to intrude on your time-"
"You're not intruding."
"I know, but... I'm sure you have things to discuss. Now go! Shoo!"
Rosemary said, making motions as best she could with her arms.
Moira paced in the waiting room. Thankfully, there was no one present
to see her fretting. She loved her grandson dearly, but she feared for
him. Would he be able to effectively parent Marianne when he had no
real childhood experience to guide him? Would the parenting classes do
the trick? Would Rosemary be able to help? She sat on the couch and
drew the coffee table closer. She drew out her rune bag and began
"Will my grandson Liam be a good parent?" she whispered into the still
She drew out three runes and laid them out.
"Hmmm...some initial mishaps."
"Rapid learning--well, I'd expect that."
A voice spoke up behind her. "And then what?"
Moira looked up. Her grandson was standing in the doorway. She glanced
down at the third rune and swept them into her bag.
"And then--you'll be fine. Rosemary was right--you're going to have a
lot of experience. Marianne is going to be lucky to have you for a
"I hope so," Liam said. "I don't want to botch it."
Moira's eyes glowed. "Don't worry. You won't. I know it."
Earth: Final Conflict fanfic