ptahrrific: Jon and Stephen, "Believe in the me who believes in you" (fake news)
Erin Ptah ([personal profile] ptahrrific) wrote2011-12-18 11:57 pm
Entry tags:

Fake News: Castles in the Sand, Epilogue

Title: Castles In The Sand (Epilogue)
Rating: PG-13
Pairings/Characters: Olivia/Kristen, Jon, c!Stephen/Tad/Amy
Disclaimer: Characters belong to the Report. Names of real people are used in a fictitious context, and all dialogue, actions, and content are products of the author's imagination only.

And so our story ends! Before the end of the year, even, which is a relief as it was one of my 2011 fannish New Year's resolutions.

Amazing beta job by [personal profile] queenfanfiction. Decorative capitals by Daily Drop Cap. Chapter index: Table of Contents




♢ ♘ ♢ ☯ ♢ ♘ ♢


Jon patted Starbeam's flank. "Ready, girl?" he asked, holding back the impulse to urge her on no matter what. It wasn't the unicorn's fault he'd gotten a late start.

The turrets and carvings of Emesen-by-the-Sea's mage temple rose in front of him, surrounded by the customary moat. It wouldn't keep out an invading army, or even a lone wizard, but an ordinary human wouldn't be able to cross unaided. Somewhere in the depths was a bridge which a water rat could raise by manipulating the flow, and a firebug by heating it into steam. An earthworm could form her own bridge, of course, while an air bunny would simply fly to the far side.

Jon rode low on Starbeam's back and let her leap the distance.

No sooner had her silver hooves landed on the courtyard grass than a mage in temple robes shimmered down the front steps. "Excuse me! I'm going to have to ask you to leave," she said, with twin globes of water flowing around her hands that suggested what would happen if she had to ask twice.

"It's okay!" exclaimed Jon. "Kristen and Olivia asked me to come. You can let me in."

"I'm afraid not. Olivia may be the Prophesied One, but that doesn't mean we don't have rules."

"You already stretched them for the wedding," countered Jon. All the brides' friends, mages or not, had celebrated in the courtyard of the temple in En-by-the-Sea. Well, most of the brides' friends: the Report had been stranded at sea at the time. Its crew had arrived in port a few weeks later to congratulate the newlyweds, after the other the guests, Jon included, had left town. He had yet to ask if they had planned it that way.

"Just because they break with tradition doesn't mean we have to." The water mage's element spun into a threatening whirlpool. "Let's not make a scene, now. I'd hate to see such a handsome unicorn get hurt."


♢ ♘ ♢ ☯ ♢ ♘ ♢


Frak me sideways, where's my anesthesia?" demanded Olivia, nails digging into the back of Kristen's hand hard enough to draw blood. It was a good thing Kristen had whisked away their rings when the contractions started. "As soon as this thing is out of me, I'm killing everyone in this room."

"That'll be an awfully short life for the baby," said Kristen calmly.

"Everyone except the baby!" Olivia amended. "First her." She pointed over the watermelon that had replaced her exquisitely taut stomach, where she could feel the doctor, an earth mage of Gi Foarese descent, poking around in places that did not want to be poked. "Then...oh frak!...then her." She rode out the contraction and glared at the nurse, who floated over much too slowly with a syringe in hand. "Then you, for getting me into this mess in the first place!"

"Oh, don't be silly," said Kristen. "If you kill me, who will give you foot rubs?"

"Good point. Okay, you can stay. But only for foot rubs. And changing diapers. And because they don't make heating pads with boobs and fracking hell—"

"I think that's your cue," said the doctor.

"You think? I'm about to have a daughter and all you can say is—"

"Suction!" the doctor exclaimed, waving the nurse over. Then, to Olivia: "Push!"


♢ ♘ ♢ ☯ ♢ ♘ ♢


Don't kick me out!" pleaded Jon, nudging Starbeam to take a couple of steps back. "I have every respect for the sanctity of your temple, I swear. Can I just talk to someone in charge?"

"And have me leave the door unprotected to fetch them? Do you think I was born yesterday?"

"Not at all!" His mount stopped in her tracks, hind legs prancing at the edge of the water. "I just—"

The wind around them whipped up, jostling the half-bloomed spring flowers in the courtyard and shaving a fine spray of drops from the surface of the temple guard's whirlpool. The guard herself dug in her heels to keep from being knocked aside by the gale. Jon leaned in closer over Starbeam, getting a faceful of silver mane but unwilling to risk letting go.

He could barely make out the shape of the mage who landed. Her powers were on the verge of Elemental: set free like this, they swallowed her form in a miniature cyclone, resulting in an apparition more wind than woman.

Until all at once the gusts blew themselves out, leaving a pleasant south wind and a familiar voice: "Ooh lolly, are we late? The party better not be over yet. I brought my special fetus cupcakes and everything."

"I think we're early," said Tad. "Oh, hi, Sir Stewart! Hello, unicorn."

And Stephen — scruffy, weathered, tall-standing Stephen — faced the guard, tilted his head at Jon, and said firmly, "He's with us."


♢ ♘ ♢ ☯ ♢ ♘ ♢


She's perfect. She's completely frakking — whoops, sorry pumpkin, Mommy's trying not to talk like that around you — completely, um, what's a good word?"

"'Gosh-darn'?" offered Kristen, head tucked against Olivia's shoulder, curls soft against her chin as they both gazed at the bundle in her arms.

"Completely gosh-darn perfect," echoed Olivia.

illustration

Sakura Joan Schaal-Munn (or Munn-Schaal, depending on who you asked) had a tiny, pinched mouth, chubby cheeks, and a few wisps of dark hair plastered to her forehead. She had ten little fingers (Kristen had counted) and twelve little toes (Olivia had counted, asked Kristen to double-check, gotten the doctor to confirm that it didn't mean anything unhealthy, and finally declared it the coolest thing ever). In her still-blotchy complexion, her eyes stood out: not green-golden like Olivia's but undiluted gold.

She gripped Kristen's finger, scrunched up her face, and sneezed, spraying the quilt made specially at the temple from Prophesied-One-suitable fabrics with a mixture of snot and ash.

"Ew," said Olivia lovingly.

"Aw, you're already getting powers!" cooed Kristen, using a corner of the quilt to wipe Sakura's nose. "You're a little prodigy. Yes you are."

There was going to be a ceremony later, some kind of dedication with all the country's most respected prophets and as many other mages as they could cram in the temple's main hall. Olivia hoped it was a lot later. This warm, secluded room with its cozy bed and its charming company was the only place she wanted to be for the next few hours. Maybe days. Maybe weeks.

She was debating whether to hand Sakura over and have a nap, or never let her go ever at the risk of falling asleep anyway and dropping her, when a light knock on the door announced the doctor's reappearance. "Kristen? Olivia? You have some...irregular visitors. Shall I have them shown in?"

Olivia craned her neck to whisper in Kristen's ear. "My vagina isn't still showing, is it?"

"Nope," murmured her wife. "You're good."


♢ ♘ ♢ ☯ ♢ ♘ ♢


Enough of the crowd at the post-ceremony buffet appreciated Amy's cupcakes that they disappeared within the first hour. Stephen, who had made the icing with minimal supervision, kept an eye on their dwindling ranks with pride.

Although in theory temple robes were ascetic, the crowd here was a riot of celebratory color. Amy herself had vanished into its ranks during the dedication, and only reappeared to kiss Stephen and nab Tad before being subsumed once more into discussions with friends and colleagues. Olivia and Kristen, both of whom had gotten white dresses for the occasion, stood out at the center of a constantly whirling rainbow as everyone sought to pay their respects. Stephen tried to keep them in sight, but from a polite distance, which luckily happened to be next to the dessert bar.

Every once in a while he noticed Jon doing the same from behind the casseroles.

Not even a choked wail, loud enough to be heard even in the room's far corners, interrupted most of the conversations. As the baby sniffled and gathered strength for another squall, subtitles appeared over Olivia's head: Someone want to help us out here? Jon? Stephen? Anyone?

Stephen lost track of Jon as they both started foraging through the gathering. When he got to Olivia's side, Jon was already there, using his Knight Voice: "Everything all right?"

"I think so," said Olivia, cradling the flailing Sakura. "This is a thing babies do, right? She needs a nap. Or a new diaper. Or food. One of those." She wrinkled her nose. "I'm guessing the diaper."

The mages, any one of whom could have bested Jon or Stephen in under a minute in a duel, reluctantly bowed out of the way as the two men apologized and excused and pardoned a path all the way to the nearest side exit. The hall outside was empty, dust motes drifting lazily in the slanting columns of light from the rows of arched windows. Closing the doors behind them muted a hundred ongoing discussions, letting the baby's fussing take center stage.

"They won't miss you too much?" said Jon over the noise.

"It stopped being about us a while ago," Kristen assured him. "It's moved on into the gossip-and-catching-up stage. Shh, sweetie, we'll take care of you in a—"

Sakura yowled again. Her golden eyes flared with a brilliant glow, and Olivia yelped. "Ow! Take her, mage-girl, before she blows up on me." (Kristen scooped the baby into her arms.) "Sorry to cut this short, guys. Thanks for the bodyguarding."

illustration

"No trouble," said Stephen. Jon nodded. Both watched as the two women whisked their baby girl off down the corridor, until the fussing dwindled into proper silence.

Which left the two men alone together, standing shoulder to shoulder in the light.

It was Jon who spoke first. "It's good to see you," he said softly. "You look well. Interesting choice with the beard."

"I don't think I like it," admitted Stephen. He had been aiming for rugged, but seemed to be perpetually stuck at scruffy.

"Ah. Well, at least now you know."

"You look good," Stephen added, blushing. Jon had shown up in a dress uniform cut to flatter every inch of him, and had left his hair loose so you could see the curl. It didn't tousle quite as nicely as Tad's, but was appealing all the same. "Godfatherhood suits you."

"Sure, you say that now. Wait until you see me covered in spit-up," quipped Jon, then sobered. "That is, if you're around at the time...."

Stephen started. "Didn't anyone tell you?"

"What?"

"We're doing a reprise of the Ring Cycle show," explained Stephen. "Now with extra tumbling. Rehearsals start once Olivia's had a couple weeks to get back on her feet. I'm going to be in Central for...oh, a while. Is that okay? I mean, are you going to be okay with it?"

Jon touched his arm. When Stephen didn't catch his breath or pull away, Jon's hand settled into a sure and steady grip, curving around Stephen's shoulder like it had been molded to be there.

"It's more than okay," he said gently. "Welcome home."
ladyjaderains: (Default)

[personal profile] ladyjaderains 2011-12-19 09:07 am (UTC)(link)
Yay! I will admit I have been waiting, greedily for this. It really is like Stephen's all grown up now and standing on his own. What a transformation!

The heating pad with boobs line, priceless:)

Thanks for a great fic!
kribban: (Default)

[personal profile] kribban 2011-12-19 11:12 am (UTC)(link)
Well, I don't really know how to feel about this.

When Stephen and Tad and Amy were at sea they were at least out of sight, out of mind. Now Jon will risk running into them. At least now Stephen might get back some of his stuff from Jon's place (that are packed neatly and stored away in case he would ever come back and claim them.)

Why does Stephen want to live in CC? I thought he wanted to sail the seas and find himself. Now it seems like the only thing that was holding him back was Jon and by leaving him, he could find himself. I don't see how he couldn't have stayed in the relationship and still grown.

Sir Stewart really got shafted in this story. At least he seems to have lost quite a bit of weight. And he seems oddly underwhelmed by Stephen's return. I kind of expected him to still be heart broken, crying at night and struggling to go through life with this gaping hole in his heart and only slowly learning to live with it by undertaking other dangerous quests that served as catalysts for his grief. (I've quite a bit of head canon, as you can see.)

I really want to liken this season to a series of modern DW. You're put through the wringer and after the season finale you're so overwhelmed you need the silly extra-continuity Christmas Special just to work through your feelings.

Kristen and Olivia will have their hands full with little Sakura. It really is a bit creepy to have a prophecy!baby, though, in the sense that these mystical forces and authorities feel they have a claim to her. You know what I mean? Olivia doesn't just have to go through regular child birth, but all this ritualistic stuff as well. And though I'm sure Sakura's parents will protect her and let her be a child; there will be pressure as she realizes who she is.

Urgh, fetus cupcakes. WTF Amy.

Anyway, I rambled on as usual. Congratulations on finishing this story, and within deadline too! There should be gift-cards.
ladyjaderains: (Default)

[personal profile] ladyjaderains 2011-12-19 09:24 pm (UTC)(link)
Aw, see? Now you burst my bubble of hope that Stephen was home for good and, of course, destined to get back together with Jon so he could rescue his kid(s) and live happily ever after. *gives hopeful look that maybe something unexpected will happen and cause him to stay*.

I was so tired when I read this last night that I only smiled at the fetus cupcake joke but laughed my ass off today after reading Kribban's reaction to them ^_^

Kribban, I'm glad I wasn't the only one who had a strong emotional response to them not getting back together and Stephen leaving! While for me, the fact that I almost cried was a huge shock that rarely happens (except at the end of every Judging Amy episode ever made). You aren't alone in wishing the two of them had found their way back together. Hopefully Erin will unbreak our hearts in the next installment, *again with the hopeful look*.
kribban: (Default)

[personal profile] kribban 2011-12-19 09:45 pm (UTC)(link)
I am not a good measurement - I cry easily at things that break my heart into a tiny million pieces. I once cried over a fic for most of a work day. My co-workers were very concerned.

The most tearjerky TV series of all time has got to be Little House on the Praire. Every single episode is a Very Special Episode about people overcoming hardship or learning special lessons or suffering devestating losses and reaching out to each other.
ladyjaderains: (Default)

[personal profile] ladyjaderains 2011-12-19 10:19 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh my gosh I know! I grew up on Little House but didn't revist it until I got into a horrible accident at work and had nothing but a lot of time and no way to write. My poor ma (who also cries easily) went through a box of tissues while we watched the first three seasons. I finally had to switch to Fraiser!

Still, this fic justifies your emotional response IMHO. I refused to get upset about them breaking up all the way through because I just knew they'd get back together. They were so perfect! I guess Stephen needed to stand on his own but it would've been nice if Jon could have seen his transformation and been there to help.

P.S. I just got the nerve up to start friending people on live journal this week and basically just came out of lurker status this year. So I hope you don't mind that I friended you:)
ladyjaderains: (Default)

[personal profile] ladyjaderains 2011-12-20 01:00 am (UTC)(link)
I know! I figured I could leave it to you to figure out the details and I could just imagine the happily ever after part ^_^

Again, I'm good as long as you leave me with the hope that there's more to come. *still imagining happy ending*

To pull out one of my all time favorite movie quotes:

"It's hope that makes you sad, Wayland, it's hope that makes you sad." - Deceiver

It's when hope ends that sadness begins. I'm perfectly content with my hope:)
kribban: (Default)

[personal profile] kribban 2011-12-20 11:18 pm (UTC)(link)
That's another thing - It kills me that Jon and Stephen will be friends. They shouldn't have a comfortable friendship. They're star crossed lovers with a passionate romance that was never really ended for a good reason. They're still in love, even if they're not together now. Their love should never die. ;_;

LOL I have this elaborate angsty outline starring Jon's Mary Sue daughter Liberty. Hint: the Buffy episode "Superstar."

My favorite christmas special is The Runaway Bride. The Doctor has just lost the love of his life and is immediately - literally - thrust into a new mystery with a new woman.

His grief is palpable throughout, but he remains focused on his task and there's enough crazy hijinks with Donna to keep the focus off it.
politicette: (Default)

[personal profile] politicette 2011-12-19 06:48 pm (UTC)(link)
1) damn jon you looking good in that dress uniform

2) "Ooh lolly, are we late? The party better not be over yet. I brought my special fetus cupcakes and everything.

THAT'S SO AMY. :') I love it.

3) Awwww, little cardcaptor firemage baby! :33 She is too cute. Kind of terrified of the idea of a bb that might burst into flame when she gets upset, though. Her toddler years are not going to be fun.

4) I'm very curious about this ending. Are Tad and Amy staying with Stephen in CC?

5) Jon's hand settled into a sure and steady grip, curving around Stephen's shoulder like it had been molded to be there.

;______; all my creys
politicette: (Default)

PS: HAVE ONE FINAL SONG FOR MY FEELINGS

[personal profile] politicette 2011-12-19 07:08 pm (UTC)(link)
fenellaevangela: text: Kirk & Spock & Bones & some guy in a red shirt. (Default)

[personal profile] fenellaevangela 2011-12-19 09:57 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh man, this was such a great epilogue.

So, yeah, I read this story and liked it a lot! This 'verse continues to be creative and entertaining (with awesome references - something you always excel in :-D) and this was a really interesting addition. I didn't see the soulbond breakup coming, but it works perfectly, and FEMPREG. Why isn't that more of a thing?

In conclusion, I love your Olivia/Kristen.

(Anonymous) 2011-12-21 07:28 am (UTC)(link)
Fantastic story. I absolutely love it. I do have one question though, is Stephen ever going to pick up Colbert? Back when he was asked for his last name I thought he would say it (suprising Jon, who thought he didn't have one) but no, he made one up.

-WhySven
queenfanfiction: Keith, GIF of him going OMG!, caption "OMG!" (Pundit KO omg!)

[personal profile] queenfanfiction 2011-12-22 06:47 am (UTC)(link)
Can I just say OMG THE BABY THE BABY THE *BABY* and not just the fact that she exists because f!preg is awesome but SHE HAS MY NAME <333333!

Yeah, I am totally making myself her godmother rn. And I might have to borrow her for the Kid!Fic Femmeslash AU Crossover Extravaganza I want to write next year. xD ALSO, WE NEED MORE SAKURA JOAN SCHAAL-MUNN FANART, LIKE, YESTERDAY.

And the rest of the story is just awesome, of course, but, THE BABY. <3
queenfanfiction: Caption "Is this an AU where they're all lobsters or do they have their pet lobsters fight their battles for them?" (Sherlock fanfic lobster!AU)

[personal profile] queenfanfiction 2011-12-23 11:50 pm (UTC)(link)
LOL you're the artist AND the author AND she's a time-mage, I'm sure you can think of something. xD

(All the crossovers! All the OFCs ever! I might even have to borrow your TARDIS'verse again. And yes, Sakura will be DOing a lot by the end of it, lolohgod you don't know how disturbing it is to write fanfic about quote-unquote me roflmao. Which is basically me asking if you'd be able to do the illustrations when I write the story... xD)

The honor and pleasure and squee was all mine, milady. <333
Edited (because don't you love it when you forgot the main point of your post until much later?) 2011-12-24 03:32 (UTC)