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Oh, Ollie! by invisiblemaurader_1
Chapter 6 : In Which Oliver Babysits, Kenna Cries, and Smith Colour-Coordinates
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 16

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Author's Note:  I am so, so sorry for the incredible delay on this chapter.  I honestly don't know what my problem was, but I just couldn't seem to write.  I seem to be over that now, though, and I hope you'll all forgive me for the lengthy wait.  School starts up for me again in a couple of weeks, and for whatever reason, that seems to fuel my creativity, so hopefully the next update should come much quicker, but I won't make any promises.  This chapter is a bit longer than usual, but I know you guys won't mind. :)  I hope you enjoy this chapter, and that you'll leave me a review or two when you're done!

Thanks to Ande for another awesome chapter image!!!

The day of the blasted party arrived.  Somehow, I’d managed not to tell Kenna about it, which was a bit of a miracle, all things considered.  I’d come across her in the bathroom one day, muttering violently to herself.  When I asked what was wrong, she’d pasted a bright smile on her face and told me to mind my fucking business.

Kenna’s not exactly the most joyous pregnant woman around, if you hadn’t already guessed.

But she was worried, that much was obvious.  I couldn’t be sure if it was because her parents still hadn’t responded to the owl we’d sent them or if it was something more serious.  And Kenna, being Kenna, refused to talk to me about it.  And I learned long ago that in order to cohabitate with her successfully, it is occasionally necessary to let her sulk.  Eventually, she will be unable to hide whatever it is she’s thinking of.  Until then, it was smarter to let her alone than to risk having her do something stupid, like, oh…ask for a divorce. 

Not that I was afraid she would, and if she did, I could talk her out of it.  But just before we moved in together, Kenna got some wild idea that we didn’t actually love each other; we just thought we did because we didn’t know how to tell the difference between love and lust.  Naturally, she refused to share her suspicions with me until one day I got fed up and cornered her.  She immediately broke up with me because I wasn’t ‘respecting her privacy.’  I might have said something about her constantly going through my sock drawer, and if that wasn’t a lack of privacy, I didn’t know what was.

Kenna was not amused.  So it took me longer to convince her of my devotion than it probably should have.

No, I wasn’t going to make the same mistake again.  Kenna wouldn’t tell me until she was ready to do so, however frustrating it might be on my end to have to deal with her and her black moods. 

So I was actually rather relieved that Angelina insisted on throwing the bloody party…shower…whatever the hell it was called.  It would give me an excuse to drink too much and Kenna would have so many people giving her attention that she’d be in a good mood for the rest of the evening.  Or so I hoped.

The females had told me not to worry, that they would take care of everything.  I assumed that meant they were responsible for changing Kenna’s shift around so that she went in insanely early and was home just after lunch.

In retrospect, that might not have been the most brilliant of ideas, but at the time, I had to agree that it sounded perfect. 

The one drawback, as far as I could tell, was that I had to be up at the same ungodly hour, not only to make sure Kenna woke up in time to make it to St. Mungo’s before her shift actually started, but to make sure that she actually bloody left the house.  She had more sick days up for use than any one person should ever accumulate, and it would be so like her to get violently ill and stay home just to spite me.  Not that she would have done it on purpose.  But she had an almost uncanny knack for finding ways to torment me, and half the time she didn’t even know she was doing it.  So I was fully prepared to hex her back into well-being if I needed to. 

Luckily, Kenna appeared to be in her normal excellent health.  In all the years I’d known her, I’d only seen her get sick twice.  It was actually pretty bloody annoying, to tell the truth; the rest of the world gets sick fairly often, whether it’s serious or not, and the woman who spends half her time at a hospital, surrounded by people in varying states of ill health, has perfect health.

But as per usual, Kenna’s excellent health did not go hand in hand with an excellent attitude.  Of course, Kenna’s not really a morning person, which probably helps to explain why she nearly took one of my eyes out with a knife.  It was rather frightening because while I’ve learned to never underestimate the lengths to which Kenna will go, her frequent threats of death by spoon are typically not carried out.  But somehow the thought of a sharp, pointed tool in her slender hands, horrible aim or not, was enough to keep me on my toes.

And all I did was ask her if she wanted something to eat.  Before I could blink, she’d grabbed the knife off of the kitchen counter and started waving it dangerously close to my face.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” she cried shrilly. “Just because I’m pregnant doesn’t mean I’m some stupid fat cow who has to eat all the time.”

I snatched the knife from her grasp and tossed it aside.  “That’s not what I meant, Kenna.” I tried to soothe.  “I just have the day off and figured I could save you some time by fixing breakfast.  I have less of a tendency to burn it most of the time.”

Unfortunately, my comment only served to set her off further, and in the course of five minutes, she burst into hysterical tears three times, threatened me twice, and punched me in the gut.  I decided it was best to keep my mouth shut until she left; the last thing I needed was for Kenna to take exception to something else I said and come home in a horribly bad mood because of it.  She typically liked surprises, but there was no telling what all the extra hormones coursing through her system would cause her to do, even if she was in a good mood.  So I kept my mouth shut while she played with a pile of bacon and then proceeded to plow her way through a huge helping of fried potatoes.  This silence seemed to calm her slightly, though she still had a slightly manic glint in her pale green eyes.  However, seeing as this was a fairly regular occurrence within our household, I assumed that my life was no longer in any immediate danger.

Still.  It’s always best to err on the side of caution when dealing with Kenna.  That’s my philosophy, anyways, and since I haven’t been murdered in my bed yet, I’ll assume that it’s correct.  So I left the room.  It was a calculated risk; there was an equal chance that she would either be offended I’d abandoned her side before she was done attacking me, whether it was verbally or physically, or she’d be content to be on her own for the three minutes it would take her to finish her meal and come wandering into the bedroom to finish readying herself for work and find her wand, which she always seemed to misplace when she most needed it.  The fact that she always seemed to lose her wand would not seem out of the ordinary to most people; plenty of witches and wizards misplaced their wands, their spouses, and various body parts on a semi-regular occurrence.  The strange thing was that even if she couldn’t find her wand half the time, she always had a spoon somewhere on her person.  Always.  If she was at work, it resided in a pocket on the inside of her lime green robes.  At home, it was either in the pocket of her trousers or in the drawer of the nightstand by her head.  She took the blasted thing everywhere.  She said it was because you never knew when you’d have to threaten someone with cutlery, and what if they demanded to see said cutlery???  But I knew differently.  Mostly because she’d tried to have a little pouch sewn into her wedding dress so she could have her blasted spoon with her when we got married.  Even Kenna, who isn’t exactly the hearts and flowers type, couldn’t possibly find anyone to be that upset with on our wedding day.  Well, aside from me, obviously.  I put my foot down then, telling her in no uncertain terms that her precious spoon would not have a place in our ‘special day,’ causing Kenna to refuse to speak to me for two days. 

Of course, that could have been due to the fact that I told her if she loved the bloody thing so much, she could marry it instead of me. 

But regardless, Kenna’s silliness was just that; silliness.  She liked having people think she was nutters.  There was a period of time during our final year at Hogwarts that Kenna had carried the spoon around constantly to get rid of the unwanted attentions of my complete prat of a roommate, and after that the bloody thing had just become a habit, a quirk of her already quirky personality.

Still.  A spoon?  She couldn’t find her wand most days, but she’d been carrying a spoon around daily for nine years?

There was no doubt about it; Kenna was insane.  But being the thoughtful husband that I am, instead of commenting on this fact when she peered down her robes to make sure the spoon was still there, I handed her the wand she would have started searching for in the next ten seconds.  Kenna grumbled her thanks and then proceeded to ignore me so she could pin up her unruly brown locks in the mirror.  Little wisps of hair kept trying to escape from the ruthless up-do that was required of all female Healers with hair that fell past their chins.  Kenna frowned at her reflection, as if the mere strength of her personality could force her hair to behave.  It wasn’t as if she had especially curly hair or that it was exceptionally long.  It just refused to stay up.  With a snarl of exasperation, she pointed her wand and her head and muttered a few choice words.  Sure enough, the spell went to work immediately.  Her hair lay calmly in place as if she didn’t have to charm it every three hours to ensure it behaved properly.

Her preparations done, Kenna turned to me.  “Don’t you have anything better to do than stare at me all day?” she asked peevishly, hands on her hips.  I smiled easily.

“Not particularly.” I replied.  Kenna glared.

“Well, find something.” she snapped.

“That can be arranged.”  I used my cheerful tone specifically because it threw her off balance.  Before she could retort, I walked over and kissed her soundly.  She didn’t seem to mind overmuch.  In fact, she kissed me back rather enthusiastically, enough so that I momentarily forgot that my life’s purpose currently consisted of making sure she left the house.  With an effort, I tore my mouth from hers.  She stared back rather blankly. 

“You did tell me to find something else to do.” I told her cheekily.  Kenna growled rather menacingly, and I dropped a quick kiss on her sulking mouth before retreating back a few steps.

“I adore you, too.”  I smirked.  “Now, off to work with you, love.  Wouldn’t want to keep your patients waiting, after all.”

The snarl reappeared.  “Someday you are going to push me entirely too far, Oliver Ewan Wood.” she told me. 

“You know you love me, Kenna.” I snorted.  Her eyes locked with mine.

“I do.” she sighed.  “Merlin help me, but I do, even if you’re an enormous pain in the arse.”

“Aye, as are you.” I said with relish.  “And I love you anyways, Merlin help us all.”

“I will deal with you when I get home.” Kenna said firmly as she prepared to Apparate.

“Me?  What in the bloody hell did I do?”  Her eyes met with mine once again, and I was perturbed to discover that her had gone utterly unreadable.

“If only you knew.” she said, and her voice was a curious mix of her customary wry humour, annoyance, and a twinge of sadness.  Before I had a chance to ask her what she meant, there was a loud pop! and she was gone.

A look at the clock told me that there was quite a bit of time before Angelina and the other, women....females...arrived to tear my house apart.   I mean, decorate for the party.  Enough time to ensure that Smith, who was still in his room with the door shut, not a peep coming from inside,  woke up and dressed himself appropriately before a bunch of females who’d known him since he was two arrived and said mentally scarring things about how adorably he’d grown up, or some such nonsense.

Knowing my young brother-in-law and his affection for Riley, affection that had caused more than a bit of embarrassment, especially in the years since she married and produced children of her own, I assumed that he would appreciate the warning.  So when I banged on his door and explained that the love of his life would be there before he left for his genius camp, he bounded out of bed, slapped on his glasses, and immediately dashed towards the bathroom, growling about people who didn’t give advance warning about women invading a man’s space.

I’m fairly certain that Smith gets his flair for the dramatic from his sister.  Their parents, especially their father, are as cool as a pair of cucumbers.  Kenna and Smith are not.  When people try to find the words to describe either one of them, calm is most assuredly not on the list.  No.  I’m married to a woman people frequently describe as psychotic, emotionally disturbed, and perpetually angry.  On a good day, people refer to her as being eccentric.  Eccentric.  Never mind that it’s true.  It’s just not what a bloke wants to hear people calling his wife.

Smith isn’t much better.  If I hadn’t already been highly aware of this, the fact that he refused to leave the bloody shower until every single hair on his head was precisely where he wanted it to be (which I almost understood because he has the most unfortunate case of bed head I’ve ever seen) and then dumped the entire contents of his wardrobe out onto his bed would have clued me in.

He actually insisted on coordinating the colour of his undergarments with his shirt.  I made the mistake of questioning this aloud, at which point Smith angrily asked “Why the hell are you in here watching me dress?”

I smirked.  Unfortunately, the power of my smirking abilities has never extended to anyone but Kenna, so there was a pitiful lack of reaction from my young brother-in-law.  “Technically, you’re running around like a blind chicken, searching for the mystical outfit that will alert a happily married woman with two children to your charms.  There hasn’t been any dressing yet.” I pointed out.  For my troubles, I nearly got hexed in the face. 

“That’s precisely the point.” Smith hissed through gritted teeth.  I assumed the hissing was because I’d managed to duck from his little spell and I was consequently not lying on the ground, writhing in pain.  Not for the first time, I thanked Merlin for my ability to duck, dodge, and block.  If not for my Keeper skills, Kenna would have unmanned me years ago.  “I’m not wearing clothing.  And you’re in my room.  Watching me.”

“You’re wearing a towel.” I said innocently.  Smith muttered something that sounded violent under his breath.

“Be that as it may.  Get the bloody hell out!”

I considered his demand for a moment.  “No thanks.” I replied.  I thought his left eye was going to pop out.  Poor sod.

“It’s my room!  You have no business in here!”  Smith was reverting to the age of ten, and apparently I was now a stand-in for his father.  I barely suppressed a groan; there was no way I was old enough for this. 

“It’s my house.”  I confess that I couldn’t keep the evil grin off my face.  “You have no business in here.”

Smith flushed.  “You’re just mad because you don’t have this place to yourself so you can violate my sister whenever you want.” he said sulkily.

“More like so we can violate each other.” I muttered.  He looked rather upset at that.

What did you just say??” he demanded.

I cleared my throat.  “You’re just mad because Riley will never see you as anything other than her annoyingly neurotic younger brother.” It seemed wiser than egging him on. 

“I am not her younger brother.  And I am not neurotic and annoying.”  Smith sounded irritated.  “I’m intelligent and interesting.”

“You might as well be.” I shrugged, then snorted at the latter statement.  “You’re colour-coordinating your skivvies with the rest of your clothing.  How is that not neurotic?”

In a surprising show of strength, he shoved me out the door, then slammed the door in my face. I contemplated being irked for a few moments, but then I decided that since I was having sex with his sister and he wasn’t having sex at all, least of all with the woman of his dreams, I could cut him a break.

So it was with great amusement that I watched him struggle with impatience when Riley, on the moment of her arrival, shoved her two children, Eddie and Jane, at him.  She apologised profusely, saying that she wouldn’t have brought them, but the sitter had cancelled, and would he just be a dear and watch them for a few minutes because they would be hardly any trouble.  Seeing as two year old Eddie and his older sister were both screaming, Smith looked rather doubtful, but as per usual, he was completely incapable of denying Riley anything.

It occurred to me that I was going to have to teach him how to handle women.  Older women in particular.  Either that or lock him in a room with a girl his own age who would be perfectly willing to shag him senseless, hopefully ending his pitiful crush on Riley.  Both options sounded good enough to me.

While I was pondering how to cure Smith of his unfortunate lust, Riley had charmed several banners up against the walls.  “What do you think?” she asked brightly, shoving her unruly curls out of her face. 

I glanced around, and without my consent, I felt my jaw dropping.  “They’” I said blankly, turning to stare at the petite woman who I was now convinced was trying to ruin my life. 

“Well, yes, but I thought that pink was a cheerful colour...” Riley said, as if that would explain it.

“They’re pink.” I repeated.  “Bright pink.  And there are...Merlin, there are twelve of them!”

Riley looked confused.  “But...don’t you like them?” she asked, big blue eyes wide.  I sighed.  Screaming and running around like a ninny as I wanted to do would most likely hurt her feelings.

“Erm...yeah.” I lied.  “Could we maybe turn some of them blue though?  That way, it’ll be more like a true baby  Whatever the blasted hell it is.”

To my surprise, Riley’s face brightened.  “Oh, what a marvellous idea!”  She was practically vibrating with excitement.  “And to think the girls wanted to kick you out, too.”

“Wait.  What?  They can’t kick me out of my own home!”

Riley shot me a look, a female’s look, one that clearly stated that I, as a lowly male, could be kicked out of the house any time those women damn well pleased.  “Angelina said something about you not being very helpful.  That and you’re quite bossy.”

“I’m completely helpful!” I interjected.  “And don’t call me bossy.  I’m not bossy.  I’m…authoritative.”

I could have sworn I saw Riley roll her eyes, but since it was Riley, I’m sure I was mistaken.

“Of course you’re helpful, Oliver.”  she said in what I’m sure she thought was a soothing tone.

Great.  Now I was being condescended to by a woman I dwarfed by over a foot. “Whatever.” I muttered.  “Just don’t turn my house completely pink.”

Riley nodded, but she wasn’t really paying attention, seeing as her hellion of a daughter had chosen that moment to come torpedoing into the great room, wailing about a bear, her brother, and something she called ‘Mr. Tinkles.’  Riley excused herself just as Edward bounced into the room, a defeated-looking Smith chasing after him.  He took one look at me and launched himself clear across the room, attaching his tiny body to my knee.

“Up!” he giggled.  “Eddie go up.”  Two little arms outstretched, and without thinking , I picked the smiling toddler up and deposited him on my side.  He giggled again.  “Hi, Olive!” his cheerful blue eyes danced as he caught sight of Smith’s scowling face.

“Give him here, Olive.” he said tiredly.  Edward’s little body arched away from Smith’s reaching arms. 

“I’ve got him.” I replied, trying to keep waving little hands from going inside my mouth as the boy gestured excitedly.  “Just go get ready for that blasted camp of yours.”  I realized belatedly that Kenna and I were supposed to be working on cursing less.  The last thing I needed was to teach a two year old all the bad words I’d picked up over the years.

Smith gave a terse nod, then stalked out of the room.  I was just waiting for the day he was no longer a part of my household.  Between him and Kenna, there were entirely too many hormones at work.  “Come on, mate.”  I directed my attention back to the squirming little boy in my arms.  “Let’s put some of these banners up, shall we?”

“What a charming picture you make, Wood.” a cheerful voice came from behind me.  I turned around slowly to see both Weasley twins, along with all three of my former Chasers grinning back at me.

“Yes, it’s absolutely precious.” George continued for his twin.  Since there was a small child in my grasp, I couldn’t chuck something at him like I wanted to.

“Yes, who knew?” Angelina had a mischievous glint in her eye, one that I didn’t trust for a minute.  “Oliver Wood has a soft side.” 

It was my turn to roll my eyes.  “All right, you lot.” I scowled as menacingly as I could.  “Do whatever it is you came here to do.  And for the love off Merlin, Fred, leave the cat alone this time.  You know she doesn’t like you.  And if you end up with scratches on your face again, don’t blame me.  I told you it was a bad idea to try and pull her fur out.”  Fred grimaced.  “Now, come on mate.  Let’s go find your mum.”

When I came back ten minutes later, the living room had been transformed.  Fred and George were putting the finishing touches on the bar; why we needed one to celebrate pregnancy, which is inherently opposed to the consumption of alcohol, was beyond my realm of comprehension.  Angelina and Katie were hanging little decorations all around.  All these fat little babies kept babbling “Mama!  Mama!  Feeeed meeeee.  Love meeeeeee. Change my diapers.”  It was actually rather frightening, but I was more afraid of what the women would do to me if I said I hated their decorations than what the babies would do to my sanity.

That left Alicia all by her lonesome, humming something to herself as she rifled through a large list.

“I’m almost afraid to ask, Spinnet, but…what the hell are you doing?” I queried.  She grinned.

“We made a list of every song that has anything to do with babies, so the music will be themed.”  She started fiddling with the buttons and knobs on the weird radio Fred and George had borrowed from their father. 

“Let me see that.” I grabbed the list out of her hands.  And then I stared.  “Hit Me Baby, One More Time?” I asked in a weak voice.  Alicia tore the papers out of my hand.

“It seemed appropriate at the time.” she huffed.

“How?  How is that appropriate?  Do you want Kenna to believe that child abuse is the answer?”

Alicia stared at me.  “Merlin.  I forgot that you really are that thick sometimes.”

“At least I don’t beat children.” I mumbled, causing Alicia to burst out laughing.  I didn’t ask for an explanation. 

Three hours later, there were approximately one hundred and fifty people crowded into the house.  Six Hogwarts professors, twelve Healers, the Weasley family, and Lee Jordan were in my kitchen, completely sloshed, betting on whether the baby would be a girl or a boy.  The entire Puddlemere team was in my living room, drinking far too much of Fred and George’s baby-themed punch (it was poo brown in colour, according to the two of them, and everyone was drinking out of what looked like baby bottles.   Even that twat Emily was there, as I found out when she came up to me and offered to make me “more happy than that crazy bitch ever could.”

Needless to say, I passed.  And when I finally caught sight of Angelina, who had been in charge of invitations, demanding to know why that horrid slag was polluting my atmosphere, she gave me some spiel about team togetherness.  When that didn’t work, she tried to tell me that seeing both Kenna and myself in our natural environment, happy to be together, was sure to infuriate Emily to the point where she finally gave up.

Doubtful, but I decided to be optimistic.

The clock struck twelve, and everyone grew quiet.  “She’ll be home in just a few minutes.” Angelina said loudly.  “Everyone, hide.  When she opens the door, we’ll jump up and surprise her.  Wood, turn the lights off.”

I did as I was told, even though I thought it was incredibly stupid.  Along with all the others, I crouched behind the couch, hoping Kenna would arrive soon so this whole thing would be over with.

Sure enough, within five minutes, we heard a key turning in the lock.  Kenna was muttering to herself, and when she realized there were no lights on, she swore violently.  “Stupid prat.” I could tell she was scowling, even though I couldn’t yet see her face.  “Why the bloody hell would he turn the lights off?”

“One.” Angelina hissed.  “Two.  Three.”

As one, everyone jumped out and shouted “Surprise!”  Kenna took yet another opportunity to swear like an irate sailor.  Her eyes locked on me. 

“What the fuck are all these people doing in our living room, Oliver?” she asked in a dangerous tone of voice.  I surreptitiously checked to make sure I had a viable escape route.

“Erm….we all wanted to celebrate your pregnancy.” I said hesitantly.  Kenna looked extremely unhappy at that explanation, but she appeared to calm once Angelina told her that there were presents involved.  Still.  She studiously ignored me while all the others were around.  She accepted compliments and congratulations with a calm that was utterly unlike her, a calm that told me she was in the worst of moods.  But she pasted on a smile and accepted the toasts and the jokes, even going so far as to walk people to the door when they were leaving.

The last people to leave were James and the rest of those from Puddlemere.  Figuring Kenna could do with a break, I ushered them out the door.  Standing in the middle of the doorway, James turned to look at me.

“What the hell did you do to make her angry this time?” he asked in a low voice.

I shrugged.  “I have absolutely no idea.  I mean, obviously she didn’t like the idea of a party, but other than that…just general she hates my guts right now.”

James smacked me on the arm.  “Well, if you need a place to stay for awhile, my couch is your couch.”  He shut the door behind him, and I wasn’t sure whether to be happy that he’d offered or worried because he thought I was likely to need a place to stay for the next few days.  Therefore it was with great trepidation that I approached Kenna as she studiously waved her wand over all the dirty…celebration…dishes.

“Kenna?” I said softly.  She didn’t look at me.  “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing’s wrong, Oliver.” she replied.

“Are you angry then?”

“Why would you say that?” she asked, finally turning around to look at me.

I couldn’t hold back a smirk.  “You never call me Oliver unless you’re angry.”

Kenna flushed a dull red.  “I’m not mad at you.” she insisted.

“But you are mad.”

“I’m not mad!” she slammed her wand down.  “I’m upset!  I come home after a very difficult day, and my house is full of people, most of whom I haven’t seen in years.  You know I don’t do the whole touching reunion scene.  I’m tired and I’m fat and I’m pregnant, and I had to listen to loads of people tell me how much pregnancy agrees with me.  Well, it doesn’t!”  She paused long enough to take a shallow breath, but not long enough for me to get a word in.  “I hate being pregnant.  I’m already crazy enough as it is.  Do I really need to be hormonally imbalanced on top of all my other issues?  And eventually you’re going to leave me because hello, if I’m this strange now, how much worse will I get in the next couple of months?  Who’s to say that I won’t become homicidal?  Who’s to say I won’t be suicidal?  And all of this is your fault!  If you’d been a bloody man and made sure we were protected, I wouldn’t be pregnant and homicidal and on the verge of a mental breakdown.”

“Well I’m sorry, Kenna.” I tossed back.  “I’m sorry that you’re upset, even though your friends wanted to throw you a party because they thought it would make you happy.  I’m sorry that you feel fat and pregnant and tired, and that you think I’d leave you over a little case of insanity.  I’m sorry that after all this time, you just can’t understand that you’re stuck with me, and that I don’t bloody care about all your issues.  I’m used to them.  Hell, I embrace them.”  Something behind me shattered, and I couldn’t be sure if it was due to the force of our anger or Kenna’s unpredictable grip on her wand.  “My fault?  How is this my fault?  If you’re so opposed to having children, maybe you should have made that clear from the beginning.  Then we could have made sure we never had any.  Maybe if you hadn’t forgotten to take your bloody potion on the right days, we wouldn’t be stuck with a child we don’t want and aren’t ready for.”

She blanched so quickly that I could almost feel her pain.  Without another word, she shoved past me, running blindly towards the bathroom.  “Kenna.” I swore.  She gave no sign that she’d heard me, and I was forced to bang on the locked door for twenty minutes.

“Kenna, let me in.” I banged my head against the paneling.  The only response I got was tearful mumbling.  “Kenna!  I’m sorry, alright!  Just let me in!”

“You may not want our children,” her voice was closer, as if she was standing just on the other side of the door instead of crying in the tub.  “and I’m still not sure if I do.  But we’re not getting rid of them.  Not yet.”

I was about to pound the door down, but something she said struck me.  “Did you just mention children?  As in plural?”

The door flung open.  “That’s right, Oliver.” Kenna’s face was tear-stained, but more than a glimmer of her usual determination shone through her eyes.  “We’re having twins.”

I could almost feel my eyes rolling back in my head.  “You’re…having twins.”

“Yes.” she snapped, her face almost daring me to comment.  I didn’t.

Instead, I crushed her to me, lifting her off her toes and resting my head against hers.  She began to squirm after only a few seconds, but I didn’t think I was capable of releasing her.  “I’m sorry.  I’m sorry.” I said over and over again.

Finally, she reached up to pat my hair.  “I get it, Ollie.  You’re sorry.  Now can you please let go of me?” she asked testily.  I held her a few inches away from me.

“I didn’t mean it.” My voice came out sounding hoarse.  “You have to know I never meant it.  I just…lately, it feels like you won’t talk to me, not even over the little things.  I’ve been worried.  And to have you suddenly burst…well, I suppose I burst as well.  Forgive me?”

She stared up at me.  “I’m sorry I worried you.  And I’m sorry I yelled at you.  It isn’t completely your fault that I’m pregnant.” she said quietly.  I stared, stunned, for several seconds.

“Did you just apologize?”

Kenna scowled.  “Being as I felt that for once I was actually in the wrong, yes.  Don’t get used to it.”

I smiled weakly, but then my thoughts returned to the real issue.  “Why didn’t you just tell me before?”

Kenna hesitated.  “I was scared.” she admitted.  “I just found out for sure a few days ago, but before that…let’s just say I had suspicions.  And I didn’t know how to tell you.  I had just gotten used to the idea of one baby.  I didn’t know how to deal with two.  And I didn’t think you would, either.”

I sighed.  “Maybe I don’t.  But we’ll figure it out.”  A thought struck me.  “Bloody hell, do you realize how many names we’ll have to choose?”

Kenna laughed.  “So you actually plan on helping me with that, then?”

“Of course.” I shrugged.

“Damn.” she muttered under her breath.


Kenna shot me her most beguiling smile.  “Well, I was hoping you’d let me pick all the names myself, since men are notoriously bad about being involved in anything domestic.  So now I suppose I have to run everything by you.  How do you like Fitzwilliam for a boy?  And I was thinking maybe Croatia for a girl….”

“You’re kidding.” I stared blankly.  “You want to name our child Fitzwilliam???  No.  Absolutely not.”

Kenna pouted.  “But think how much it would torture that evil little twat berry!” she begged.

“Who, Emily?  Why would it torture her?”

“Well, I figure that any man who willingly lets his wife name their firstborn Fitzwilliam, or anything like it, is so desperately in love that there’s no way in hell they’ll be divorcing any time soon.”

I couldn’t help it.  As usual, her circuitous logic made me laugh.  “You’re right, I love you.” I agreed.  Kenna grinned.  “But not that much.  And besides, I figure that learning we’re expecting twins will be enough to put her off.  I mean, sure, she might reasonably assume that I would leave you while you’re pregnant if she could seduce me, but pregnant with twins?  Even Emily will recognize that there are some things a bloke can’t do, ever.  Deserting your wife and twin children in her womb in one of them.”

She rolled her eyes and pushed me out of the doorway.  Seeing as she was dragging me towards the bedroom, I assumed we weren’t mad any longer.  She lay down on the bed, and I stretched out beside her.  Hands intertwined, we stared at the ceiling for a long while, neither one of us moving or saying anything.  For the first time since she’d announced her pregnancy, I felt completely reassured that Kenna wasn’t about to leave me, or something equally drastic.

I broke the silence.  “So are we good, love?” I asked.

She propped herself up on one elbow and looked down at me.  “Do you promise you didn’t mean what you said earlier?”  She bit her lip, and I reached up to brush my knuckles against her cheek.

“Not for a single moment.  I was just lashing out.” I assured her.  Kenna’s elbow dropped, and her head came to rest on my chest. 

“Good.  Just don’t do it again.”  Her fingers stroked in lazy circles over my arm.

“No, ma’am.”  I smiled up at the ceiling.  Things would never be perfect, but for a moment, I had the wife I knew back.  Not the scared, anxious woman who’d come to replace her in recent days. 

It was good enough for me.

A/N:  Well.  I sincerely hope all of you enjoyed this chapter, seeing as it took so long for everyone to be able to read it!  I'd love to hear what you guys thought about it.   Like I said, school starts up for me fairly soon, and I don't know if I'll have another chapter posted before then, but in case I don't, a little tidbit of what's coming next!

Kenna starts picking out names for the babies.  And she's absolute rubbish at it.  She goes shopping for maternity clothes.  And Smith makes an important announcement.

And speaking of the midget children...any guesses as to what names they'll actually end up with?  What gender they'll be?  I'd love to hear from you all, and thanks in advance for reviewing!

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