Monday, 2 October 2017

The Miskin Legacy - Generation Seven, Part Four: Marriages, Magpies and Storks

Another Friday night, another heist for the Magpie League.

Their target this time was some big-shot banker who had given himself and his cronies a bunch of bonuses, whilst dozens of people had lost their savings due to his crooked contracts. Midas was very keen on clearing this guy out, and giving his so-called "earnings" to a homeless shelter.

As they sneaked through the banker's dining room in the dead of night, Nicolette spotted some expensive china in a nearby cabinet. As she approached it to examine it further - hoping it would be worth a small fortune - she suddenly felt light-headed, and within moments, she had keeled over onto the cold tiled floor.

When Midas noticed this, he hurried over in alarm.


Kneeling beside her, he pulled her up into a sitting position - shaking her shoulders gently in an effort to rouse her.

"Nicolette? Honey, what's wrong? Wake up!"

Mo and Clyde, hearing the fright in Midas' voice, hurried over to see what the problem was.

"I can't wake her up," Mitch cried to Mo. "Forget the heist... leave the stuff. We need to get out of here - now!"

Desperately, he slid his arms underneath Nicolette's in a tight embrace, trying his hardest to lift her up off the floor. It was no use - his slender frame lacked the strength required. 

The sound of someone stirring upstairs drifted down towards the dining room. Mo, panicked, and seeing that Mitch was struggling, immediately stepped forward, and reached for Nicolette himself.

"I'll carry her, Boss," he said softly. "You lead us out."

"And be quick about it!" hissed Clyde.

As swiftly as he could, Midas led the group through the darkness, out into the foyer and through the front door - Mo cradling the now-stirring Nicolette in his arms. As they hurried back to their Windenburg hideout, Midas couldn't help but worry about his beloved.


It was the early hours of the morning on the Willow Creek maternity ward.

Theo, stripped down and lying in a hospital bed, screamed in agony as another contraction came. He was hurting. He was exhausted. He just wanted someone to get this thing out of him and be done with it. Minerva, who was stood beside him, put her arm behind his head to support him, reminding him in gentle tones to do his breathing. 

Gabriel, who was on the other side of Theo and clutching his hand, continued to grasp it tightly... but he had turned his face away. This was for two reasons. 

Firstly, as a Sixamian male who knew that he would be the one who would bear his children, seeing someone go through the process didn't really help his nerves on the matter. 

Secondly, as much as he knew Theo was gay, and not at all interested in Minerva romantically, he couldn't help but feel a pang of jealousy when he saw his girlfriend holding Theo so closely. But, Theo was his friend, and right now, he needed him - and Minerva. So, they weren't going anywhere. Lifting his head to look Theo in the face, and placing a hand on his shoulder, he reassured him that he was doing well.

As Theo screamed his way through another contraction, he broke down in tears, collapsing back onto the bed.

"I can't do this!" he sobbed. "I'm going to die... I know I can't do this..."

Minerva stroked his brow, and laid her head against his tenderly.

"You can do this, Theo," she whispered. "Believe in yourself. You are doing a wonderful thing by bringing this child into the universe. You've been so strong already. You just need to hold on for a little while longer... OK?"

Theo could already feel the next contraction coming. They were so close together now. Drawing a deep, anguished breath, he looked at Minerva and nodded, before gritting his teeth and growling his way through the pain.

The door swung open as a kindly nurse entered. Theo, immediately concerned, sat up in the bed, looking at her - his friends still holding his hands tightly.

"What is it?" he cried in alarm. "What's going on?"

"Calm down, Mr. Creswell," the nurse said politely. "Nothing's wrong. I'm here to take you down to the delivery suite. We're ready to perform your C-section."

Theo exhaled a strong sigh of relief.

"Oh, thank God..."

Within minutes, the nurse and Minerva had helped Theo off of the bed, and were walking him down the corridor to the delivery suite. For the sake of his own nerves, Gabriel had made it clear that he'd rather not witness the birth - but assured Theo he would be there for him once the procedure was over.


Theo found himself in a small room that was mainly occupied by a bizarre machine... one that was reminiscent of an iron lung. Under the obstetrician's orders, he laid himself down within it, and felt the sharp sting of a needle as he was injected with anaesthetic.

As he lay there, like a body encased in a coffin, everything around him grew hazy and distant. Theo would later reflect on how the child had been conceived in a blur, and born in much the same manner. Some time later (Hours? Minutes?) he felt a nurse shaking his shoulder - inviting him to "get dressed, and to come and look at (his) little one".

Theo lay still for some time as he carefully considered this offer. He had no intention of bonding with whatever it was he had borne. Soon enough, it would be whisked away to a faraway world, and he'd never have to think or worry about it again. 

That said, Michael had told him only a few days ago that the rocket was still not ready. It would be a couple of weeks at the very least before he could travel to Sixam. This ba - thing wasn't going anywhere for the time being. Perhaps he should see it, after all - prepare himself for what he would have to deal with over the next few days.

Reaching for the nurse's hand, he was helped up onto his feet, led behind a screen to get back into his clothes, and then finally, slowly - hesitantly - he made his way to the plastic bassinet in the corner. 

As he leaned over and saw a little green infant wriggling away, he stifled a gasp.

When Minerva came in to check on him a few minutes later, she was stunned to see that he was still stood there: somewhat in shock, and apparently unable to tear his eyes away from the unusual child.

As Nicolette opened her eyes, she found herself staring at a familiar ceiling. She could feel the soft smoothness of bedsheets beneath her. Slowly, she rolled over onto her side, and realised where she was.

She was back in her bedroom at the hideout. Midas, who was kneeling beside the bed as she awoke, having watched over her, flashed her a wide, relieved smile, clutching her hand.

"Oh, Nicolette, darling... thank God you're awake," he whispered. "Are you all right?"

"Yes, my love... I'm fine. I just - had a funny turn, that's all."

"Do you need me to call a doctor?"

"And risk being recognised?"

"For you, I'd take the risk."

Nicolette smiled, humbled.

"Really, darling, I'm all right," she insisted. "Nothing to worry about. They say fainting can be common for women in my condition."

Midas' eyebrows shot up in surprise.

"'Condition'?" he asked.

Nicolette gestured towards the chest of drawers near the window.

"Look over there, my love."

Midas, intrigued, walked over to the drawers. He examined them carefully for a few moments, trying to solve Nicolette's little riddle - until finally, his eye fell on a white and blue stick-like shape resting on top of them.

One word was very clearly displayed on its little screen.

Midas turned to look at Nicolette - his jaw dropping, his eyes widening in delighted shock. She nodded. 

All pretence fell away. Despite their attire, the two people in that room now were not the king and queen of crime - but a caring, devoted couple. Mitch and Nimue.

"I was going to tell you tonight," Nimue told Mitch lovingly. "When we were celebrating after the heist. It looks like we'll have to postpone our good time now."

"The hell we do," Mitch replied, walking back over to her. "Get off of that bed - if you feel up to it, that is. There's something I need to ask you."

Nimue rose from the bed obediently, and approached Mitch. As she stood before him, the golden gentleman thief grinned, and lowered himself onto one knee.



"Nimue," he told her, "I love you more than anything else in this whole world. My father may have shared his love with all and sundry, but I know that my heart will always remain your sole property. I may be a thief, but I still have standards - I want this child you are carrying to be born legitimate, and I don't want to have any other children unless you are their mother. I want you to be by my side always. And so... will you do me the immense honour..."

He produced an exquisite diamond ring from his pocket with a great flourish.

"... of becoming my wife?"

Nimue responded to this by throwing her arms around Mitch's neck and kissing him passionately, before permitting him to slide the ring onto her finger.


With one great leap, she threw herself into Mitch's arms - and somehow, he found the strength to carry her.



Early the next morning, Big Mo went downstairs into the kitchen to rustle up some breakfast - only to find Midas slaving away at the stove. His boss was humming a jaunty tune as he poured some mixture into a tin, before placing it into the oven to bake.

"You OK, boss?" he asked.

"Hmm?" said Midas, before turning around. "Oh, it's you, Mo. Come on in."

"What are you doing?"

"Just whipping up a little something."

"Need any 'elp?"

A curious expression crossed Midas' face.

"You bake?" he asked.

"Bits and bobs," Mo replied. "Did it with my mum, mainly - before she passed. I always found it fun."

"Oh," Midas said, legitimately surprised. "Well, if you could whip me up some white icing, I'd be very grateful."

"What for?"

"You'll see."

Half an hour or so later, Mo was delighted when he saw the fruit of his and Midas' labours: an immaculate wedding cake.

"It's very nice," he told Midas, proud of their handiwork, "but why'd you make it?"

"Why do you think?"

Mo paused, having to think hard about the question.  It was only when he spotted his boss desperately trying not to laugh that the lightbulb went on in his head.

"You and Nicolette!" he cried happily. "You're getting married!"

"Yes," Midas replied. "This afternoon, in fact. Right here. We were hoping you and Clyde would be our witnesses."

"Yes, of course, but - well, what's the 'urry?"

"I simply couldn't wait a moment longer," Mitch told him. "I know now I want to be with Nicolette forever. Last night, she told me she was pregnant."

Mo gasped.

"Really? Congrats, boss!"

He clapped Mitch friendlily on the back - but did so with such force, he almost knocked him over into the cake.

"Whoops!" he said, giggling. "Sorry!"

"No worries," Midas told him. "Now do me a favour. Go and wake up your brother. We'll need you to be ready by 12pm."

Mo did as he was told - and sure enough, on the very strike of noon, Nimue and Mitch exchanged their vows in the hall of their mansion hideout, with Mo and Clyde both watching proudly... the former soon bursting into floods of noisy tears.


As the newlyweds shared their first slice of wedding cake, Mo's sobbing only grew worse. As much as he hated to admit it, Mitch wasn't sure if it was because Mo was simply the kind of person who cried at weddings... or because they'd cut into their morning creation.



He'd had a baby girl. Theo knew that. Her skin may have been bright green, and her eyes may have shone like onyx gems... but she was still, undoubtedly, a little baby girl.

And she was so... beautiful.


Minerva, of course, had taken to her right away. "Good to have another green girl in the world," she'd said. Even Gabriel, who grew nervous around babies, had felt compelled to pick her up and cuddle her tightly when he first saw her in her hospital cot. As strange as she was, she had an undeniable charm about her, and whenever he laid his eyes upon her, Theo couldn't help but smile.

The infant had now taken up residence in the little nursery, and Theo had spent the last few days devoting himself to her care - just like any loving parent or guardian. He had fed her, bathed her, held her, and had even sung her to sleep. Given that old habits die hard, Minerva and Gabriel had assisted him to begin with - but it soon became apparent that he could cope quite well on his own.

Tonight, however, everything was going to change. Michael had telephoned that morning to say that the rocket was finally ready. He would pick up the baby later and set off for Sixam, where she would be handed over to the Planetary Council until an adoptive family was found. 

Theo, naturally, had been happy to hear this news. And yet, now, as he stood over the child's cradle, staring deeply into her dark eyes... he began to feel greatly troubled. It was as if the little one was trying to tell him something - to send him some kind of wordless message. 

Slowly, he reached into the cradle, and held his finger out to the baby. At once, she raised her arm up, seized the finger, and clutched it tightly in her tiny hand - reluctant to let it go.

Over in the living room, Minerva and Gabriel were sat chatting, when they were interrupted by a knock on the door. Gabriel went to answer it - and just as he had expected, it was his father.

"Is the little one ready to go?" Michael asked the couple.

"Just about," Minerva told him. "Theo's just saying his goodbyes."

"Well, I am afraid he needs to hurry," Michael told her. "There is meant to be a meteor shower tonight. I need to set off before it strikes, or it could impede the voyage - I might not be able to launch again for weeks."

"I understand," Minerva replied. "I'll go and fetch the baby."

As she headed towards the nursery, Minerva felt her heart sink a little inside her chest. She would be sad to see the little girl go... as would Gabriel. Ever since she'd been brought back to the house, Theo had broken out of his melancholy - brightened up by this little ray of sunshine. But, he'd made his choice, and it wasn't Minerva's place to speak against it.

Forcing herself to don a friendly smile, she stepped into the little mural-covered room. Theo had his back to her: he stood by the window cradling the baby in his arms, cuddling her close to his chest.

"Theo?" Minerva said, as brightly as she could muster. "Michael's here."

He didn't respond.

"Theo?" Minerva repeated. "You... you need to hand over the baby now. There's a meteor shower coming - Michael has to set off for Sixam as soon as he can."

As she moved closer towards Theo, she suddenly realised that his shoulders were shaking. She reached out to touch him, hoping to comfort him at what must be a difficult time - and was alarmed when he shrugged her off sharply.

"Tell him to go," he barked - choking back sobs.

"What?" Minerva whispered, stunned.

"Tell Michael to go away," Theo said firmly, turning towards her - revealing the tears that were rolling down his cheeks. "I'm... I'm grateful to him... for everything he's done... but I - I've changed my mind. The baby... the baby isn't going back to Sixam."

"What... what are you saying?"

After gently planting a kiss on the baby's head, Theo looked up at Minerva with a determined gaze.

"My family cast me out for being different," he told her. "And I... I was prepared to do the same. I - I thought this baby would be a monster... some sort of hideous freak, but... she isn't. She's a gorgeous baby girl. And she's mine."

He laughed weakly.

"I... I'm starting to think there's a reason the Sixamians chose me to concieve her - just like your father was chosen to concieve you. Like the first Gabriel was chosen to concieve Michael. I don't know what that reason is right now, and perhaps I will never know, but I'm prepared to spend my life trying to find out."

Smiling, he rested the baby against his shoulder, nuzzling her gently with his nose.

"Her name is Polly," he said proudly... "and she's staying with me."

By now, Minerva was unable to hold back her own tears. She rushed up to Theo, embracing him tightly, then stroked what little hair there was on Polly's head before racing out into the living room, eager to share the news. 

As the Lee Harkers heard her joyful tidings, they both smiled... and Michael nodded knowingly. He had always had a great intuition about these things. Indeed, he had a great intuition about many things - hence his success as a detective. Theo had done exactly what he'd expected - or at least, hoped - he would do. 

Besides... he hadn't even fixed the rocket's engine yet.


  1. Awwwww! Two little babes in one chapter! Warms my heart it does! Mo is a cook? I'm not even surprised! Ok I am a little but he seems like he's got a well-rounded set of skills. I'm happy for our partners in crime and now all we need is some happiness for our partners in justice.
    Gab and Minerva are adorable, and the ending of this chapter totally warmed my heart completely. Theo being so open and talking about how he was abandoned and how he nearly did the same thing had me tearing up.

    Also, I snickered a bit at the very last sentence. Of course the rocket's engine wasn't ready yet. Hehe... typical wisdom. Ack! I'm all caught up now. Now I'll have to sit and wait patiently for my next Miskin fix.

    1. Your fix is ready. 😀
      As for our partners in justice - let's see what happens!