XCOM2: Brighter future

James 'Archangel' Taylor sat alone in the living quarters tinkering with his Gremlin, not the best place to work on a flying robot capable of electrocuting anyone in range but he just got out of the infirmary after being gravely wounded by Chryssalid so he didn't feel like working in the loud and messy engineering room. Archangel hadn't spoken to anyone since getting out of the infirmary as most of his fellow soldiers were helping out the resistance or drinking in the memorial bar. Archangel himself was never one for drinking (a combat hacker needed to be completely focused at all times) so this is how he past his time off duty.

Archangel looked in the nearby mirror once more, he still couldn't believe he got out alive. His face was mostly unscathed. save for the burn on the left of his face, the result of a completely different battle. He still had short untidy brown hair matching the color of his eyes, and a small beard and moustache which his comrades have called the Obi Wan Kenobi beard due to the resemblance of the old science fiction character. His squadmates enjoyed making jokes at his expense. Growing up and surviving alone in the wilderness of the USA has left him with a serious outlook on life, one that could be only described as 'intense', his squadmates have tried to get him to open up and relax a bit to no avail, in fact almost no one on the ship has ever seen him smile.

'Almost' no one that is.

A voice came from the door. "Good to see you're finally awake." Archangel turned to towards the speaker and grinned. There in the doorway stood a dark skinned woman with long wavy black hair and beautiful deep green eyes. Wendy 'Ace' James was the only one who could get him to smile. The Canadian sniper tended to be more laid back compared to Archangel, and yet despite great differences she somehow became the first person he considered a friend.

Then she became the first person he considered more than just a friend.

Ace sat down on the couch next to him. "You look well." she said.

"Yes the Icarus armor helped," Archangel replied. "Glad I chose to wear it."

"To think that you used hate that outfit, why did you decide to keep it in the end anyway?"

"You said I looked sexy taking it off." Archangel smirked and Ace laughed. Archangel turned back to his Gremlin, silence reigned until Ace spoke up once more.

"So I got something important to tell you," Archangel frowned at her uneasy tone. "You know how I said that the reason I didn't go with you on that last battle was because it was wiser to keep some experienced soldiers behind in case you failed?" Archangel nodded. "Well there was another reason."

"Is everything okay?" Archangel asked, now really concerned.

"Yes of course but umm…" she paused, uncertain on how to continue. "Ya know how a few weeks ago you and I had some… fun, in my cabin?" Archangel nodded, it was an unforgettable experience. "Well it may have had an unexpected side effect."

"What kind of side effect?"

Ace smiled. "I'm pregnant."

Silence once again reigned the room as Ace let the news sink in. Archangel was wide eyed staring her, then her stomach, then her, then his Gremlin for some reason, then finally settled on staring at her.

"Yh. You're..." Archangel stuttered, his once focused and determined mind now going haywire. Ace just smiled and nodded, it was clear she was enjoying this. "Oh my god!" Archangel buried his head in his hands.

"Oh don't be like that!" Ace exclaimed patting him on the shoulder. "It's not so bad."

"Whuh...but...Eh...It's not so bad!?" Archangel shouted. "I'm going to be a father! I don't know the first thing about being a father!" Clearly panicking he stood up ignoring the searing pain from his unhealed wounds and walked towards bunk bed, steadying himself on the edge, he turned back towards her. "Why aren't you freaking out about this?!"

Ace stood up and walked over to him still smiling. She helped him sit down on the edge of the bed. She cleared her throat.

"At first I did," she admitted. "But after watching you put on your armor for the leviathan op I let myself calm down a bit," he tried to interrupt but she cut him off. "Don't you start panicking again, I think you'd make a great father."

"How?" he asked. "I'm a soldier, I good at shooting and hacking stuff, and this isn't exactly a place to raise a child." He buried his head in his hands. Ace started rubbing his back.

"You've got protective instincts, skills worth passing on, and the war is over, we can live anywhere now," she reached out and turned him to face her. "You are perfect."

Archangel still didn't look convinced, Ace growled in irritation. "Why does he have to be so damn stubborn all the time!" she thought. Archangel noticed her frustration. "Look," she said before he could interrupt," It's too late to back out now so you had better start believing in yourself soon or I'll do something well both regret!" She leaned closer "Remember what I did to Brenden's hand that time he tried to grab my ass?" he nodded, Highlander avoided her for days after that incident. "Think that only with your crotch instead!"

Archangel couldn't help but smile. Ace was always good at making people happy while she was threatening them. They sat in silence for an hour before she broke the silence again.

"Feel better now?" she asked.

"Still terrified," he admitted. "But I think I be fine as long as you're watching my back."

"I always do." she replied and the sat in silence for five minutes before she dragged him to her quarters to 'celebrate'.


"Taylor! You're awake! How you feel… Taylor?" Dirk 'Serial' Bakker asked as Archangel passed him in the avenger's hallway. "What's up with him?" he asked Thulani 'Nukes' Yeboh as Archangel entered his quarters.

"I don't know." Nukes replied.

"Was he smiling?"

"I don't know."

"Should we…ask him about it?"

Nukes looked down the end of the hallway at Ace's room and grinned.

"No, something tells me well find out later"

"Alright then," Serial sighed "Soo… want to grab a drink?"

"Sure." Nukes replied and they went to get some beer from the memorial bar.