sunhawk16: (Lev hawk)
[personal profile] sunhawk16
Christmas day, finally. Or as I fondly think of it; 'Day of forced socialization with people you'd rather not even admit you were related to'. Always a fun time... let's mix too much sugar with a touch of eggnog, toss in a bottle of wine, stir vigorously and pour over the top of mixed politics.
There is a button on my crafting bag that says 'I knit so I don't stab people'. Everybody thinks it's so funny... >_>

I wish for you a holiday without politics. Without resentment. Without debt. Without stress. Without too little time, and too many tasks.

I wish you peace and goodwill. I wish for all your dishes to come out perfect. I wish for you good health, good cheer, and that somewhere in there you get to see the magic of what Christmas was when we were all five and believed.

This year's Christmas fic is another that has been written for awhile and has been squirreled away. If you don't remember what came before, or just want a refresher of names, Amy has the lot of them archived under Godchild Universe here :

The title of this story is 'The Last Goddchild' for a reason. This is the end. I do not personally find it 'sad'... but I can not read it, even after a dozen edits and proofs... without bawling. This is a deathbed story, and for anybody who has ever had to sit that vigil... this may not be the story for you, especially not today. But I don't think it is sad in that 'gut punch' sort of way, because there are the signs of what comes after. Your mileage may vary. I will not be offended if you skip this one.

And here is the fic, and the title pretty much says it all. Mei POV.

He is still rather handsome in his way, which is saying something considering his age, whatever it really is. A couple of the nurses actually asked, but… Uncle Duo was an orphan and nobody really knew. Well over a hundred and twenty.

He is the last of them. The last of those brave boys who fell to earth all those years ago. Fell into legend. Into history.

We lost Uncle Trowa first, and Uncle Quatre not long after. Then my Dad, and finally Uncle Heero. I thought we’d lose Uncle Duo then, but he stayed with us.

The years have been kind to us all, really. It’s hard sometimes to feel the loses and still understand that… but they were all so vital and strong right up until the end.

The last days are always the hardest. By grace, it’s always been sudden, as though they’d all made some deal with the devil… lived out their time in full measure and then paid the piper at the last.

Oh, Uncle Duo isn’t that young man I remember chasing frogs with me in the creek, or helping me sneak out to the skate park. His hair is almost white now, and no longer that long rope of a braid. He’d cut it the day we buried Uncle Heero.

But before he’d closed his eyes and drifted off into what will probably be the final sleep… those eyes had been clear and bright and the mind behind them as sharp as ever.

I sit here and hold his hand now, and the frail feel of the bones breaks my heart. I miss my mother, and I miss my father, but I’m as much my Uncle Duo’s child as I was theirs… and I will miss him mightily.

The fingers in mine twitch of a sudden and Uncle Duo lets out a sigh. I think for a moment that the end has come, but he just smiles softly, shifts a little and settles.

I want to laugh at my own fear… there is no doubt that Uncle Duo is dying, and why should I hope it drags out? Silly Mei, he would say, why waste time?

I pity Saint Peter… he’s about to be hit with a whirlwind.

I choke on a little laugh that ends up being something else, and I’d swear he squeezes my hand while I put a stop to that nonsense.

I’ve had a good run, he’d told me just two days ago, before he closed his eyes for the last time.

Behind me I hear the door open and one of the nurses comes in and quietly checks his hands and feet, says something cheerful, yet tastefully gentle… and goes away again. It takes me a moment to realize that I’m not alone.

‘Alex, don’t hover,’ I tell my son. ‘And what is the news?’

‘You are officially a great-grandmother, Mom,’ he tells me and the bitter and the sweet war in his voice until I have to look at him. He’s staring at his Godfather and I don’t have to ask to know the thoughts in his head.

‘And am I allowed to finally know the pertinent details?’ I ask, arching an eyebrow in a manner I know I picked up from my father, and it makes him smile.

‘Seven pounds, six ounces, ten fingers and ten toes and a fuzz of hair the color of Papa’s.'

It pleases me that some part of my Sean will carry on. He tries to make me ask, but he caves first.

‘Little girl. Going to be a heart-breaker,’ he says, voice somehow wistful in a way my son shouldn’t be able to manage yet. ‘I think she’s going to have Daiyu’s eyes.’

A voice echoes in my head and I shiver.

‘Hey there, little guy… what big, dark eyes you have! Oh, you’re going to be a handful, you are… I can tell already.’

Alex is watching our Godfather, so I just look at him for a minute.

My little baby boy is a Grandpa. How totally bizarre is that?

I run my thumb over Uncle Duo’s knuckles and can’t help the sigh. I wish… I wish he could have stayed just a bit longer. He’d always loved new additions to the family.

‘I think,’ Alex says pensively, ‘it’s enough that he’s still… here.’

I am not at all sure his daughter will agree with him, but I can’t quite work the words around to what I want to say. I’m saved from the need when there is something of a commotion at the door and we both turn to glare at the interruption.

Somehow… I should have known.

‘Daiyu!’ Alex scolds, staring agog at his only child as she is wheeled into the room by her wife.
Kathy manages to look concerned and resigned all at the same time, and I can’t help but reflect that it takes a certain type of personality to marry a Chang.

Because the look on my Granddaughter’s face is pure Chang. So much so, that it takes me a moment to note the bundle in her arms.

Daiyu and I had not always seen eye to eye when she was growing up… I had been a child of skate-parks and mud. Skinned knees and double-dog dares. I’d wanted puppies and ponies and chased frogs for fun. I hadn’t quite known what to make of my Granddaughter of the pink hair ribbons and pristine white patent leather shoes. Mistress of the tea party and patron of the ballet. She had loved butterflies and song birds and wanted a unicorn for her sixth birthday. A real one.

It had taken Uncle Duo to help me see that under all the frills and lace was still the strong, stubborn heart of a Chang.

And if there had ever been any doubt… I’d have lost it in this moment.

I want to be proud at the same time I want to scold her for being ridiculously sentimental. She should not be here. She should be three floors down in a hospital bed, resting.

Kathy seems to understand that making me give ground is not going to happen, so she wheels the chair around to the other side of the bed and makes Alex step back. She smiles at him sheepishly and gives a little ‘what’cha gonna do?’ shrug that somehow puts it in perspective.

When Daiyu Lynn Chang-McFarland wants something… you do not get in her way.

She’s only a little unsteady when she stands up, and if I had expected her to lean down to present her new baby daughter to our Uncle Duo, I was somewhat shocked when she tucked the new born into the crook of his arm instead.

‘I’ve brought your new God-daughter, Uncle Duo,’ she tells him somewhat matter-a-factly, just as though he’d been waiting, and just as though she’d never had a doubt he would.

‘Daiyu…’ Alex says, but then he doesn’t seem to be quite sure just what he wants to convey. He looks to Kathy and then looks to me and somewhere in me I want to laugh at the look on his face. Like he wants to ask the women-folk to talk sense to his child. I wonder where Becca is, and figure she’s probably out hunting down a bottle of aspirin. Or a big bottle of rum.

And that just makes me think about Uncle Duo’s special milk shakes and I find I’m fighting with something in my eye.

The fingers that have been resting lax in my hand for some time, suddenly twitch and then they pull away. When I look up, through the veil of that dust in my eyes, I find Uncle Duo is awake and smiling softly down at the fuzz of red hair nestled at his side.

Those eyes are clouded like I’ve never seen before, but I have no doubt they’re seeing just fine.

‘A new Princess,’ he sighs, those fingers that had slipped from mine going to brush over the tiny head. ‘A spit-fire too.’

‘You think?’ asks Daiyu, managing to look a little concerned. Uncle Duo’s predictions on newbies to the family usually being pretty spot on.

‘I know,’ he says, his hand sliding back to his side and I take it in mine again. He squeezes my fingers, letting me know he knows I’m there.

He’s still smiling down at the baby though, and then he says, ‘Look at that, Heero… a red-headed frog.’

I glance up and meet Alex’s eyes and he looks sad. ‘We’re losing him,’ he says, looking instantly sorry he spoke.

‘He waited for me,’ Daiyu says with the conviction only the young can manage. ‘He promised.’

Behind her, Kathy is working her hands on the handles of the wheelchair, and looks like she wants to speak, but wisely bites her tongue. Always liked that girl.

‘And Uncle Duo never breaks a promise,’ I hear myself say.

‘Named her?’ Uncle Duo asks, just not paying much attention to the conversation in the room.

‘Not yet,’ Daiyu admits, her expression trying to decide between sheepish and defensive.

‘Sally,’ Uncle Duo says firmly. ‘Your Great-Grandpa says her name is Sally.’

Kathy gets a funny kind of look, and then just smiles and shrugs that shrug again. ‘Sally Anne Chang-McFarland… works for me.’

Daiyu takes a minute more to warm to it, and I’m relieved when I see her acquiesce. I’d heard some of her more fanciful ideas.

But… Great-Grandpa? My Dad? He hadn’t even been alive while Daiyu had been expecting.

‘Then may I present to you your God-child Sally Anne Chang-McFarland, Uncle Duo,’ Daiyu says and while her voice is firm, her face is awash with tears and she doesn’t care one bit, that one.

‘Welcome to the family, little red polliwog,’ Uncle Duo sighs, and names her in a way that was just as important. I fight with the dust a little more. They should really keep these rooms cleaner.

On the bed beside him, Sally Anne stretches and lets out a squall as though objecting to the whole business. Daiyu is quick to take her back, sitting down in the chair again, but Uncle Duo seems to be past noticing. His eyes are… more clouded, but somehow he seems to see more clearly than those of us clustered around him.

He suddenly grins broadly, and there’s a light in his expression I haven’t seen in a long time. ‘Hold your horses, fly-boy,’ he mutters, and then his head rolls my way.

‘You got this, Great-grandma Mei?’ he asks and I don’t let myself clutch at his hand.

‘I got this,’ I confirm, all I can manage. He gives me the ghost of a squeeze of his fingers.

‘Your Dad says you’re going to do fine,’ he tells me and gives me a little wink before his eyes close again.

‘Tell him I miss him,’ I blurt and know my face is flaming for the wanting to believe.

‘He knows,’ he says and it’s the last thing he says.

But when he leaves us… it’s with a smile.

Alex pulls the sheet up over his face, because there is a harsh difference between sleeping and death.

The room is still, but I’ve been handed the reins and Uncle Duo wouldn’t want this to be a day about death, he'd want it to be a day about birth.

‘So am I going to get to hold my new Grand-daughter?’ I ask and these are all my children, so they smile through their tears and we go on.

Uncle Duo asked me if I had this… and I do. Because I’m a Chang.

And besides… I was clearly his favorite.

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