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Having a Party

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Trish throws the baby shower. The name has been decided--the shower is late, not because of Trish and her over-the-top planning skills, but because Jessica wasn’t sure she wanted one, even if Trish would throw one anyway.

Jessica is tired. So tired. And so bloated. And she’s really not sure about food, even more than usual.

Luke sits with her every day and minds whether she eats and whether she’s throwing up or if it stays in the system for her and the baby.

They’re having a baby. And people drop by, even Matt and Foggy, because their social circle has no rule that they can’t be at a baby shower. They’re in an uneasy peace right now on every level, each respecting the other’s role in the giant mess that is their city. Colleen and Misty show up together too, and as a group they slowly pile the baby goods up in one corner, both at the shower and long after. Jessica wants to ignore it for now but she does appreciate it.

Danny comes occasionally, when he's not in meditation or board meetings, and Jessica is strangely grateful for that as well. He is quiet at the shower, and each time he visits. He and Luke have gradually worked out their differences as Danny becomes more educated on how to join the masses and be a relatable person. Colleen has helped too, but she does spend a lot of time with Misty at work--seemingly as much as possible.

Jess has been sober for long enough to keep the baby safe, but being sober doesn’t automatically mean she’s enjoying life.

She does enjoy Luke, though, oh, she does, and when she’s having a flare of what passes for her flavor of PTSD hell, having a super-strong husband who’s been in so many similar situations really helps her come back down to reality and deal.

This is really happening. They’re having a child.

Jessica really has to be an adult. Somehow she is now about to be responsible for another human, and she never expected it, isn’t sure if it’s something safe for her to do.

But her friends keep coming, wishing her well, and bringing food too. She even eats some of it.

Luke is even more protective than usual. And they are having the conversations they need to have--well, when no one else is there. Right now it’s a steady stream of the who’s who in superhero circles.

The protectiveness comes out majorly in front of Trish’s mother. In fact, Luke flexes a little in front of her and no one’s even sure if she’ll ever come back. And that would be fine.They don’t want her back.

They’ll protect the baby at all costs, with the people who choose them, in whatever way they do.

Right now Jessica feels bizarre, nauseous, disengaged, but her friends keep coming, and Malcolm stays nearby like he always does, picking up her messes and reminding her he isn’t going anywhere.

She’s not prepared for this. She’s not sure she can really be a mother. But the baby is coming, and her people are nearby. Sometimes so nearby that she’s sick of them. Sometimes the idea of it all makes her so tired.

She curls into Luke’s arms at night and feels the security of not having to explain--her powers, her pain, any of it. With Luke, she is home. And they’ll make it through.

*~*~*

Danielle is beautiful. Everyone is in love at first sight. Now it's settled. She’ll always be with them, reminding them of the way they’ve come together through it all, supporting each other. And it’s a little harder to get a superhero to babysit, but life continues, and Jessica realizes it: she has a family. Both by blood and chosen.