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#1 Capt Jennifer Braggins

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Posted Star Date 22003.20 @ 01:07 (01:07 AM)

==Crawford Estate, Colorado, Earth - Almost Three Months after Commiseration Plot==

 

Jenny yawned as she stared at the terminal in front of her, the morning sun streaming through the window and casting an annoying glare on the monitor. Grunting with annoyance, Jenny rose from her feet to adjust the blinds to reduce the glare so she could get back to work and took a moment to enjoy the breeze and the sunlight. In the eight weeks since the Artemis had returned to Earth for repairs and upgrades at Utopia Planitia, things in Jenny's life had taken an unexpected turn for the chaotic.

 

First, the endless debriefings had made Jenny wonder whether she was being recommended for a medal or court-martial. Star Fleet Command had praised her plan and the tenacity with which it had been carried out, but had pointed out casualties were higher than they had deemed acceptable - something Jenny had refuted rather loudly, requiring a recess to be taken while the uniformed bureaucrats and Jenny each restrained themselves from attempting to murder the other.

 

Then, there had been the "official" wedding ceremony. Originally Jenny had hoped they might get away with something discrete, but fate had intervened and the wedding had been a much grander affair than either she or Bryan would have liked. It was still small and intimate enough that neither had been overwhelmed by the ceremony and the number of guests, but rather than the ten or twenty individuals Jenny had wanted, there had been about a hundred friends, family and miscellaneous other well-wishers in Dress Whites on the day.

 

And then there was the challenge that not even Jenny had been adequately prepared for. Motherhood.

 

Closing the blind, Jenny turned to the small carrier she had placed on the floor beside her desk and crouched down to gaze at the small infant contentedly sleeping within. The pregnancy had been a shock, Jenny had been under the impression she'd been created infertile to prevent the secrets of her creation accidentally becoming public knowledge, but she had been mistaken. Bryan had been just as shocked as she, and a little hurt she had not confided in him before having the embryo "tubed" in an Artificial Womb, but it had been necessary - the baby had developed at nearly twice the rate of an average Human, and Jenny had been almost eight weeks pregnant when she found out that the weight gain and irritability were not due to changes in diet and stress after all.

 

Carly Mackenzie Crawford, named after Tyra and Bryan's deceased sister and Jenny's adopted mother, opened sleepy eyes and gazed upon her mother for a moment, and Jenny's heart swelled. It had not been an easy two weeks since she'd emerged from the Artifical Womb; the baby needed a lot of attention and poor Raiju had started to feel a little left out, but she'd managed so far - not without help from her mother, Tonya Crawford (who had been delighted to gain a daughter-in-law and a granddaughter), and Alex LaHaye, of course... Things were improving now, Raiju loved the small bundle and Jenny and Bryan were steadily getting used to late-night feedings and changings, which would end far sooner than most parents due to the tiny Human's accelerated ageing - a remnant of the Genetic Engineering her mother had been subjected to during her creation.

 

She'll be the equivalent of one year old before Alex can slow it down safely, but don't grow up too fast little one; I don't think you'll be getting a brother or sister any time soon!

 

Blinking violet eyes slowly as Jenny's finger caressed a tiny cheek, the baby regarded her mother before yawning, stretching, and going back to sleep. Raiju, curled up next to the carrier, lifted his head to ensure his smallest charge was safe and content, before himself going back to sleep with a contented sigh. Forcing herself away from the sleeping infant, Jenny stretched and returned to her desk; her book wasn't going to write itself, after all!

 

==Tag any family members or other well-wishers who want to come and see the baby!==


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#2 Capt Tyra Crawford

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Posted Star Date 22003.22 @ 03:45 (03:45 AM)

== Crawford Property, Colorado, Earth ==
 
It had probably been a miracle that Brian hadn't ended up wearing her mouthful of coffee when he'd informed her of the newest development in his person life, as if a shotgun wedding hadn't been exciting enough for him and his new bride. She'd blinked at him, blue eyes narrowing as she expected a 'just kidding' to follow, but the way he'd been beaming from ear to ear, his eyes sparkling with pride, had been the same look Thomas had had when he'd gotten to tell people that they were expecting a little one. The big difference was that Jenny had taken a far more comfortable route to motherhood, which hadn't involved being a cow or hormonal mood swings, but Tyra had to wonder if it had taken away some of the bonding that typically happened during those uncomfortable months between mother and child.
 
However, she hadn't gotten a chance to pry into such things in the two weeks since the little one, named after her and Bryan's sister, had made her appearance. With official duties completed and the Artemis sitting in dock with a dedicated engineering team for repairs, Tyra had purposefully retreated back from the pressures of everything going on. She'd spent a few days at the ranch in Oklahoma with her parents and Rachel, trying to regain some semblance of normalcy, before taking Evie to join Thomas at their new permanent residence in Wyoming.  She'd been exploring the new property when news had reached her that she was, once again, an aunt but besides a quick check in to make sure mom and baby were okay, she had given the new parents their space. She remembered how overwhelming those first few days had been and that was with months and months to prepare for Evie's arrival. Bryan had still seem shell shocked at the whole thing days before birth so she could only imagine him fumbling his way through diaper changes.
 
Fortunately, her mother had been ecstatic about having a new daughter and a granddaughter and her father was likely just happy that Bryan had had better tastes than his last fiance this time. They had offered the new parents use of the Colorado property for privacy -- her father didn't seem too keen on Jenny punching anymore reporters -- and because it allowed easier access for Tonya, Mackenzie and Alex to assist as desired without any interference. There was plenty of space for Raiju to run as well, though Tyra suspected the wolf was on close guard duty anyway.
 
That was confirmed when no four legged creature met her at the front door after unlocking the front door, Evie resting carefully on her hip even as the little girl tried to squirm out of her grasp. It had been at Bryan's insistence that she drop by, despite Tyra's protests that she didn't want to intrude, but she suspected he wanted to show off little Carly to her aunt and cousin as soon as possible. It was Bryan that intercepted her in the hallway, uttering the normal new parent plea of 'shhhh' as he gave her a hug and a kiss before bestowing the same affection on his littlest niece. However, Evie wasn't satisfied with that as she extended her arms in an uncharacteristic demand to be held from the child that preferred to tear through her environment on two legs. 
 
Tyra left the two giggling quietly together in the hallway as she moved to the kitchen, setting down the gift bag she had been carrying in the other hand down on the counter.  She could only imagine if that was what Bryan was like with his niece that he would be an amazing father, even if it took some adjusting, just like she was certain that Jenny would be an excellent mother in every way that mattered. Of course, that thought only lasted for a few moments before Bryan entered the kitchen, offering her a steaming cup of coffee while eyeing the present she had brought. It took two sips of coffee before she realized that maybe she was overestimating Bryan's parenting skills as a very valuable package had not entered the kitchen with him...
 
Jenny might have been able to hear the slightly uneven, little steps of a mobile toddler in the hallway before Evie reached the door of the room Jenny and Carly were in but Jenny definitely would have recognized the quietly whispered 'woof' that was the signature call of her goddaughter/niece when looking for Raiju. It was the little redhead's attempt at saying 'wolf' as Raiju was far too outside of her vocab so far and calling the wolf 'Ray' just didn't seem to spark as much joy in the constantly growing vocabulary of Evelyn Grayson.
 
One big blue eye peered into the room a moment later, a chubby toddler hand gripping the door frame as if Evie was trying to be stealthy in her search for her furry, electric friend.
 
== Tag!! ==

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#3 Capt Jennifer Braggins

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Posted Star Date 22003.24 @ 16:35 (04:35 PM)

Jenny groaned and pinched the bridge of her nose between her forefinger and thumb; the words weren't flowing, and despite having promised the Academy Board that she'd have her chapter ready for the new volume of the required reading for Tactical Cadets, she couldn't help but wish she were finishing off the Captain Proton adventure she'd been writing on-and-off since her father had first uncovered a PADD of old novels in the family estate on Dhar'hyyk and given it to her as a birthday present. It was always amusing to read those novels, to see how Humans of times past had viewed their future, and sometimes Jenny wondered whether 1930s humanity would be proud of their achievements, or horrified.

 

Given what 20th and 21st century humanity was capable of, I don't think they'd be all that surprised...

 

Raiju heard the footsteps first, ears pricking up and head lifting to face the door as Jenny turned in her chair just in time to see a chubby little hand wrap itself around the doorframe with a shy face just barely poking past the frame itself. A soft "woof" escaping from the girl's lips as she tried and failed to pronounce "wolf". Raiju leapt up and scampered to the door, sniffing at young Evie and giving her a good licking which elicited a high-pitched squeal and giggle as she ran her hands through Raiju's quills. For a vicious predator (anyone who'd been on Ryla and seen what a pack of Thunderwolves could do would agree), Raiju was very gentle with children, especially little girls; Thunderwolves being a matriarchal society where the males served the females - something Jenny could get behind, given the choice!

 

Rising from her chair, Jenny bent low and scooped up the giggling toddler and tickled her tummy. Chubby arms flailed as she squealed with delight, and Jenny couldn't help but smile as she gently pressed her nose against that of her niece and blew a raspberry at her. 

 

"You're getting so big!"

 

Belatedly remembering that toddlers and bladder control weren't the best of friends, Jenny gently placed the toddler back down before she inadvertently tickled the poor child into an accident. Again.

 

"Let's go find your Mom and Uncle Bryan, shall we?"

 

Retrieving the carrier very carefully so as not to wake the still-sleeping bundle within, Jenny took young Evie's hand and the two left the office and wandered down the long hallway to the kitchen, with Raiju gently nudging Evie with his nose every few steps and causing her to giggle once again. Tyra and Bryan were both nursing mugs of sweet-smelling coffee, though Jenny knew it was weaker than she would have preferred (Bryan didn't allow her to brew it to her own specification at home). Releasing Evie's hand so the small and still slightly-unsteady force of nature could run back to her mother, Jenny gently placed the carrier on the table and went to greet first her husband with a kiss, then her sister-in-law with a gentle hug.

 

"Tyra, good to see you!"

 

Tyra was the first adult Jenny had seen who was not either Carly's parent, grandparent or doctor in over a week, since having briefly stopped in at her parents' to wish Jenny (the not-clone) a happy fifteenth birthday, introduce her now-teenage siblings to the baby, and escape quickly before anyone insisted that since it was technically also her birthday, she should stay for the festivities. Fortunately Bryan had already made plans; which had involved Tonya taking Carly for the night, a candlelit dinner, and a chance for the two to be alone for the first time.

 

"Glad you could make it, I hear Thomas has been busy with the new place in Wyoming?"


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#4 Capt Tyra Crawford

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Posted Star Date 22003.31 @ 16:21 (04:21 PM)

In the early stages of Evie's mobility, Tyra likely would have felt an immensely rising sense of panic at the disappearance of her daughter but nearly six months of being the mother of a toddler had left her at the point where if there was no screaming, no crashing and no barking from a dog, she could enjoy a few more moments of her precious peace and coffee. It was an important stage of development for her, saving pieces of her sanity one sip at a time.
 
"I thought you were exaggerating when you said being an insomniac security officer would prepare me for fatherhood," Bryan commented over his own steaming cup of coffee. His expression adorably affectionate, signalling he was one step closer to being that softy whose daughter wrapped him around her finger. 
 
Tyra chuckled and shrugged her shoulders. "You can't miss sleep you never got. The light sleeping helps too -- there's nothing more terrifying than waking up to a toddler hovering over you with something in their hand," she added with a grin.
 
They had shifted onward to laughing at how their father inevitably turned into a soft, laughing grandfather with his children's children and why the only explanation was some sort of alien influence, when they heard movement coming towards the kitchen.  There was no noise quite like the unsteady footsteps of a toddler, a shuffling noise that often times correlated with something being run into, and Tyra could only hope Evie had some guidance before she disappeared again. Fortunately, Jenny had the little redhead firmly in one hand and a baby carrier in the other as she entered the room, letting the squirmy toddler go almost immediately. 
 
"Tyra, good to see you!" The greeting was accompanied by a gentle hug, though Tyra had to release her sister in law before she would have liked to prevent Evie from climbing the stool at the counter to reach the 'fee fee', what she called coffee.
 
With a toddler in hand, hoisting her up onto her hip to keep her in place to prevent her stealing actual coffee, she smiled warmly at Jenny. "It's even better to see you. I'm glad everyone looks like they're in one piece and not entirely sleep deprived yet," she said with a teasing grin before turning to the replicator.
 
Evie's fascination with coffee had started around the time she became mobile and it was in spite of Tyra's attempts to keep the toddler oblivious to the nectar of the gods that was coffee. However, whether through nurture or nature, Evie had seen through the rouse quickly and had begun, usually when Tyra stopped for coffee at shops, demanding 'fee fee' of her own. Fortunately, unless she'd snuck sips of Tyra's coffee without her noticing, Evie had no idea what coffee actually tasted like and was easily conned into enjoying what amounted to warm milk with froth. As soon as Tyra handed Evie what looked like a disposable coffee cup with a lid that was 75% froth and 25% milk, the little redhead let out squeal of satisfaction and toddled around the corner to show 'Bear' her 'fee fee'.
 
"Glad you could make it, I hear Thomas has been busy with the new place in Wyoming?"
 
Tyra turned her gaze back to Jenny with a wide smile, a spark of pride flickering through her blue eyes. "He has. He managed to get the house and the immediate yard done perfectly. He's working on some smaller house projects today but wanted me to tell y'all 'congrats and welcome to the party'. The rest is up to me to get done but fortunately, there's no rush on those. My horses are fine at the ranch until there's a permanent place to put them."
 
Now, her bright blue eyes shifted to the baby carrier, moving so that she could peer over the edge at the little sleeping form within. Tyra had been surprised when Bryan had told her that they'd decided to name her after Carly, happily surprised but surprised all the same. Bryan had only been 8 when Carly had died and Tyra guessed she had always assumed the loss had hit him least of all of them based on his age. However, Carly had also been the closest to him in age before the adoption of the twins and Rachel, making Carly his primary playmate for most of his life. It would reason that the loss had been just as hard for him, just in a different way. In true Crawford fashion, it just wasn't something they talked about outside of vague references and silent nods of understanding.
 
"So this is the newest addition to the family. She's beautiful," she said, gently stroking the little foot that stuck out. "How are y'all adjusting? It can be a interesting transition, especially without the months and months of mental preparation."

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#5 Capt Jennifer Braggins

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Posted Star Date 22003.31 @ 19:48 (07:48 PM)

Jenny smiled as Tyra replicated a cup of milk and froth for little Evie, the "coffee" that was suitable for a small child of two. The little girl was definitely her mother's child, which made Jenny wonder what mischief her own child would get up to when she was ambulatory and had begun to grasp the English language; no doubt the two cousins would soon become thick as thieves, and gods help whoever was assigned to watch them while the parents were on duty. Snuggling into Bryan's side as her husband (that was still new enough that it brought a smile to her lips when she thought of the word or absentmindedly played with the simple rings on her left hand), Jenny smiled and nodded as Tyra spoke about how her new home was coming along.

 

We'll need to find somewhere to settle ourselves, I doubt we'd get away with staying here forever, much as we'd both love to...

 

"So this is the newest addition to the family. She's beautiful."

 

Jenny grinned, not quite preening at the compliment her sister-in-law had paid, smiling up at Bryan and leaning in a bit deeper against him as she replied.

 

"We do good work!"

 

 "How are y'all adjusting? It can be a interesting transition, especially without the months and months of mental preparation."

 

Jenny shrugged; Bryan was taking the lack of sleep in his stride and thanks to the way her metabolism worked, Jenny could get away with power naps so long as she kept her food intake up, which of course meant that the Replicators had been well-used since they had taken residence, and trips to the local market for fresh produce had been more regular than any family of three would reasonably make.

 

"We've been doing well. Lots of coffee and catching naps when we can so the little princess here is waited on hand-and-foot when she wants feeding, changing, or just a cuddle. Fortunately she sleeps a lot when she's not eating or pooping, so I've managed to catch up on my paperwork and even relax a little. Fancy that!"

 

Bryan had extricated himself from Jenny's arm to move to the Replicator, returning with a steaming mug; Jenny's preferred blend of extra-strong hazelnut mocha with extra chocolate, and the addition of whipped cream on the top because they were on leave, and the new mother deserved the extra perks.

 

"I think was Alex was concerned when I said I wouldn't breast-feed, even if it was her idea; until we know that she's not going to grow fangs like her mother, it's probably best she doesn't go near anything delicate."

 

Sipping at her mug, Jenny absentmindedly scratched Raiju behind the ears as he leaned against her, red eyes fixed on the baby carrier to ensure it or its occupant were not interfered with.

 

"Raiju loves her, of course. Sleeps under her crib at night; even if we tempt him onto the bed before we go to sleep, when we wake up, he's there under the crib guarding her. I think she's as much his cub as she is ours."


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#6 Capt Tyra Crawford

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Posted Star Date 22004.05 @ 02:30 (02:30 AM)

"We've been doing well. Lots of coffee and catching naps when we can so the little princess here is waited on hand-and-foot when she wants feeding, changing, or just a cuddle. Fortunately she sleeps a lot when she's not eating or pooping, so I've managed to catch up on my paperwork and even relax a little. Fancy that!"
 
Tyra's eyebrow arched up as she watched Jenny over the top of her coffee cup. "Relax? Is that word in your vocabulary? I mean... I heard you've been doing some writing and that doesn't sound super relaxing," she said with a wink before taking another sip of life giving nectar.
 
That amused smile, though, turned to a grimace as Jenny mentioned the dangers of breastfeeding little Carly, given the potential to develop fangs. With how sweet and sleepy the little girl looked in her carrier, it was easy to forget that she, despite lacking her mother's genetic make-up, was still descendant from one of the most lethal women Tyra would ever have the pleasure of knowing. Baby teeth were already horrible enough as it was but it was probably a very good decision to forego the practice altogether.
 
"Raiju loves her, of course. Sleeps under her crib at night; even if we tempt him onto the bed before we go to sleep, when we wake up, he's there under the crib guarding her. I think she's as much his cub as she is ours."
 
Tyra smiled softly, looking down at the wolf. "Fen will probably be the same way whenever I bring him back to y'all --  he's very protective of Evie as she toddles around but he missed you guys. I was going to bring him back today but Ray wanted to take him for a run while we were gone so I'll make sure he gets over here soon," she said, not having minded dog sitting the large dog to keep the new parents from having to deal with two canines and a baby at the same time.
 
"In the meantime though, I have a treat for Raiju... well, more than just Raiju but I think he'll love his treat the most. He can consider it a reward for being a good big brother," she said, sitting her cup down before pulling the bag she'd brought closer to her. She paused slightly to glance down at Evie to make sure she was still happily occupied with her cup before continuing to dig through the bag.
 
There was clearly something fairly heavy in the bag but she bypassed it and pulled out an item that appeared to be wrapped in layer upon layer of butcher paper. "So I will let you decide when he gets this but I went hunting with some of the guys a couple days ago. We were very successful and I figured Raiju might appreciate a fresh treat. It's a full deer leg -- we manage to get it in two pieces for storage but it should last Raiju... ten minutes? Maybe fifteen if he has a thing for bones..."
 
She said the last as she reached back into the bag, pulling out an item in each hand. In her right hand, there was a bottle of what looked to be whiskey but the label was turned into the palm of Tyra's hand. In the other hand, there was a stuffed animal that Jenny very likely recognized, though if she looked closely she'd probably notice it wasn't exactly the same.
 
"Now before I get distracted by baby snuggles, we have a tradition in Crawfords that, of course, involves alcohol. When a new young'un is born, the family picks out a bottle -- dealer's choice -- from the birth year to mark the occasion. The bottle's suppose to stay untouched until the baby bird leaves the nest into adulthood, though I'm pretty sure Mom drank Bryan's bottle somewhere around the time he entered the smelly, horrible teenage years," she said, teasingly towards Bryan.
 
"If yours somehow survived to your 18th birthday, I know damn well mine did. You made me look like a saint," Bryan shot back with a grin before shrugging. "But yeah, you're suppose to keep it unopened until their 18th birthday. Our parents never shared with us -- they used it to celebrate surviving us or maybe, not killing us -- but I know Aunt Liz always let her kids take shots... so I guess that's up to us."
 
Tyra shrugged with a smile, finger tracing the label before handing it over to its new owners. "I had Cera scout out the year's premier stock and she is confident that this one will age well. I've never heard of the Steel Bull Distillery but she says it's comparable to Blanton's. So if it's bad, remember to blame her," she said with a chuckle before squeezing the other object in her hand.
 
"And while I haven't been able to pry the original Mister Bunny from Evie for long, I felt it was only fair for Carly to have a Mister Bunny of her own for good luck. I managed to sneak it away from Evie during a nap and took it to a very talented seamstress, who managed to match everything up pretty damn well. It's missing some of the newer stains Evie has managed to inflict but I figured that Carly will manage some customizations of her own," she said with a gentle smile before handing the stuffed animal to Jenny. 
 
"There's one more thing too but I don't have it with me," she said, shooting a grin at Bryan. He'd helped her design what was Jenny's present as he was definitely more artistic than she was but unfortunately, it hadn't been ready in time for her trip over to see the new parents. "A friend of ours knows a traditional artisan in Kyoto that does traditional steel forging and we managed to convince him to help with a little project. Unfortunately, it won't be done for a couple more days..."
 
Byran reached into one of the drawers and took out a PADD, which he handed to Jenny. There were drawings and prototypes of a sword, clearly inspired by a katana but not adhering strictly to the traditional style of the katana. The design called for a wolf's head to be etched onto one side of the blade while the other side had Jenny's birthday over Carly's.  There were a few images of the sword being forged and of the very early stages of its more artistic touches being placed on the handle and what looked to be a leather scabbard.
 
"Originally, it started out as a birthday present but we thought it fit both occasions pretty perfectly," Tyra explained while Bryan hid a proud smile behind his coffee mug.
 
== Tag! Presents galore!! ==

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#7 Capt Jennifer Braggins

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Posted Star Date 22004.09 @ 17:17 (05:17 PM)

Jenny smiled as Tyra spoke about how Fenn would share guard dog duties with Raiju, hiding the inner pang that went with the knowledge that he would be with Bryan aboard the Luna rather than all of them being together on the Artemis; regulations were regulations, and Bryan's desire to get out from under his sister's shadow and forge his own reputation was more than understandable, but it was going to be hard on the new family.

 

As Tyra began to rummage around in her bag, Jenny tried to sneak a peek but her diminutive size made that difficult, and her nose picked up the faint smell of meat as Tyra withdrew a heavy bundle wrapped in butcher's paper. Raiju's nose was also going into overdrive, as his head stuck straight up into the air and his nose began twitching like crazy as Tyra described the two massive chunks of deer leg she'd provided for everyone's favourite lightning wolf.

 

"I think we'd best freeze it for later; wouldn't want him spreading chunks of deer meat over your parents' rugs, would we?"

 

Affectionately scratching the Thunderwolf behind the ear, Jenny watched curiously as Tyra went back into the bag. The next item retrieved was a large bottle, part of a Crawford family tradition which made a certain amount of sense; you either celebrated or commiserated the coming-of-age of your child. The banter between both Crawfords made her smile, and she accepted the bottle with meek thanks and the wonder of when little Carly would be fully-grown and ready to leave the nest. Regardless, she suspected it would be both too soon and not soon enough.

 

The bunny wanted to make Jenny cry; it was a near-perfect replica of the bunny she had given to Evie not long after she had been born, but a slightly different colour. The head, hands and feet were fluffy and fully packed with stuffing, while the torso and limbs were barely stuffed, limp, and covered in fabric that looked more like a play-suit to aid washing the bits most likely to get stained. Gently taking the stuffed animal, Jenny played with the limbs for a moment before carefully placing it in the carrier with the sleeping infant, who automatically clutched it to herself.

 

I'll have to think of a way to thank her properly for that...

 

The gifts hadn't finished, however, and now Bryan was rummaging around in a drawer. That made Jenny suspicious; she'd known he'd been up to something but her husband was clever and had never left anything for her amateur sleuthing (or nosing) to discover. As she was handed the PADD, she made a mental note to get Bryan later, and her eyes widened as she scanned the images.

 

This is...this is...

 

The sword was, in a word, beautiful. Her birthday was etched on one side, with Carly's below it. On the other side of the blade was a wolf's head. If the weapon was full-size, the blade would be half as long as she was tall; difficult to wield but the artistry on the blade alone meant it was likely meant as a wall-hanger than a functioning weapon anyway.' After staring open-mouthed at the PADD for a moment, she simply threw her arms around her sister-in-law and squeezed (though not too hard).

 

"They're all wonderful gifts. I don't know how to thank you."

 

Releasing Tyra, Jenny turned and offered her husband a salacious grin that under normal circumstances she wouldn't even consider in the presence of other people. Though he was hiding his grin behind his coffee mug, she could see the delight in his eyes and the relief that she'd liked the gift.

 

"You on the other hand..."


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