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Story Data

Posted August 6, 2009

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Series: Eureka Moments

Title: Brothers and Sisters

Author: Jedi Buttercup

Disclaimer: The words are mine; the world is not. I claim nothing but the plot.

Rating: PG.

Summary: Stubborn and crazy Carter women might be, but they were also pretty damn smart. 900 words.

Spoilers: Eureka post-3.12 "It's Not Easy Being Green"

Notes: I'm so glad this plotline has finally been resolved!

"I can't believe Aunt Lexi's really leaving," Zoe said, flopping down onto the couch next to her father with a bowl of flavored popcorn.

"Surely it doesn't come as a surprise to you," Jack replied, throwing her an amused glance. "From what I hear, you're the one who talked Duncan into coming back and trying to get through to her one more time."

"Yeah, well, like I told him, Carter women are stubborn and crazy. I kind of expected her to kick him to the curb again. Not that I mind!" she added, at his raised eyebrows. "I like the idea of finally having an uncle, especially one I can talk to about, you know." She gestured vaguely in a circle above her head; she could have meant S.A.R.A.H., or Eureka as a whole, or even just scientific stuff in general, Jack wasn't sure which, but any or all of them would have been equally valid. "I just wasn't sure she was ready to settle down with him, either."

"She sure seemed eager enough to settle down here," he grumbled half-heartedly, then glanced up at the ceiling. "S.A.R.A.H., TV?"

The screen clicked on as Zoe threw a piece of popcorn at him, frozen on the opening credits of the latest episode of the science-action show they made father-daughter time for every week. "That's different, Dad, and you know it," she scoffed. "Seriously, though, aren't you going to miss her, even a little?"

"Miss her projects spread all over the kitchen table? Or the random Eureka experiments installed in my living room? Or, hey, all the paperwork I had to fill out to keep General Mansfield happy about having an unaffiliated civilian around so many G.D. projects all the time?" he fired back.

"Dad." Zoe rolled her eyes.

"Okay, okay," he sighed, one corner of his mouth drawing up in a fond smile. "It was good to finally clear the air with her a little; it had been awhile since we actually, you know, got along. I've always reminded her too much of our dad-- which was probably half her problem with Duncan, and a lot of her problem with me and you when she first got here. We're still never going to be best friends, but at least we're talking to each other now, and not stand-ins for all our other issues."

"Aw, how sweet," she said, shaking her head as she took another handful of crunchy goodness. "Almost makes me glad I never had any brothers or sisters."

"Almost?" Jack asked lightly, frowning as he studied her expression more carefully. That hadn't been a subject he'd opened with his daughter in a while; it wasn't that he and Abby had intended to only have one child, it had just worked out that way. By the time they would have been ready for another, the fractures in their marriage had already grown deep enough to give them pause, and things had spiraled downward from there. At times, he did wonder whether Zoe felt deprived by the lack of siblings; at others, he felt pretty damn glad to only have the one of her to look after.

She seemed to hear the note of uncertainty in his voice; her eyebrows drew together a little, before her expression shifted into a determined kind of playfulness. "It's not like I would have appreciated them when I was younger, anyway," she said, tossing a kernel up and catching it in her mouth. "I wouldn't say no to one now, though. I was kind of looking forward to being a bad influence on my cousins."

"I must concur," S.A.R.A.H.'s voice chimed in from above. "I have never had the opportunity to interact with human infants before. I was eagerly anticipating the challenge of assisting in their care."

"I'll just bet you were," Jack snorted, glancing up at the ceiling. He liked his house, he really did, but her possessiveness was sometimes an issue; he wasn't sure S.A.R.A.H. had ever really equated Lexi with a Carter and therefore hers, but the AI had definitely had an acquisitive camera on the twins. It was a lucky thing she'd been offline when Lexi and Duncan had come to an understanding-- one that had included not living at the smart-house for the rest of their lives. "And yeah, I was kind of looking forward to being an uncle, too."

Memories of tiny Zoe, wrapped up in blankets, delicate little fingers gripping his, danced through his mind at the thought; he smiled wistfully at her, then shook his head as he deliberately reminded himself of the rest of it. Feedings at oh dark thirty, diaper changings, walking the floor when she started wailing for no discernable reason; and Lexi's boys would come with all of that times two.

"Ah, well," he continued. "I'm sure we'll still have plenty of opportunities to see them; Duncan said they'd stick closer to home until their kids were old enough to travel comfortably."

"He'd better," Zoe muttered, then shifted on the couch, snuggling a little closer to Jack's side. "At least she picked a good one, huh?"

"Yeah, I really think she did," Jack said, thoughtfully. Zoe had, too, he had to admit, though he'd never say so; stubborn and crazy Carter women might be, but they were also pretty damn smart.

"S.A.R.A.H., lights," Zoe called, and they settled in to watch their show.


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