Wow. It's now been over two months since I released Chapter Twelve. I gotta apologize for that. I kinda lost interest in the ending to this story, but just so that I can get it off my plate and start working on other DM stories, I've finally decided to finish it.
Also, I've been busy re-writing the original Down The Bloodline, so that it fits with my new writing style. I've got six chapters re-written so far, and I feel that story has already improved A TONNE. Anyway, I hope this last chapter doesn't disappoint…
Chapter Thirteen -
The Best Day of My Life
Dru stared out the living room window, watching a few young children play on the street. He felt an overwhelming sense of guilt. Because of him, those children, who were lost inside the story of their make-believe game, almost lost their lives.
What kind of person did that? A terrible one. A beyond evil one.
Somehow, even though he had been striving to gain that kind of status since the beginning, the fact that he now obtained it made him feel absolutely awful.
He gave a long huff before looking down to the floor, a harsh sulk drawn across his expression. Thankfully, Gru, Lucy, and Jack had managed to save the world from his mistakes and stop Venin before it was too late, rescuing Edith in the process. He wished he could've helped in doing so, as now, he felt like garbage. He needed to make it up to them somehow, to show that he wasn't the disgusting person his entire family must think he is, but how?
And then, startling Dru slightly, a small squeaky voice sounded from behind him, grabbing his attention.
"Uncle Dru?" Agnes spoke, traipsing across the room to the blonde villain, firmly clutching her unicorn toy. "Are you okay?"
"Oh...um...yes, I'm fine, Agnes." Dru replied, nodding reassuringly. He gave a fake smile, one of which only lasted for a second, before turning back to look out of the window with his previous upset pout.
"You don't look fine." She said, moving to stand right beside him. Dru turned and looked down at the small girl. From what he'd heard from his brother and sister-in-law, Agnes held knowledge that stretched far beyond her years, even if she still definitely acted her age.
Supposedly, if it wasn't for Agnes, Gru and Lucy wouldn't even be together right now. He sighed and confessed, deciding to give Agnes a shot at helping him out.
"I feel guilty." He admitted, shrugging. "De world was almost ended because of me and all de stupeed stuff I deed."
"But it wasn't you," Agnes replied, moving closer to her uncle. "It was that really really horrible man."
"Yeah, but...I helped heem." Dru replied, clenching his fists in frustration. Saying this aloud made him feel even worse. "Because of me, dat bad man knew how to get to Edith. She was almost taken because of what I deed!"
For a few seconds, there was silence, which only added to Dru's guilt. Now that his thoughts had been translated into a damning confession, he felt even worse. Even though he couldn't see her, Dru predicted that Agnes's expression was one of disgust.
But, that's when he remembered who Agnes was. She would be willing to give everyone on earth a second chance, since she was just too nice to stay mad at people.
"Well, did you mean to?" She asked innocently. Dru turned and looked down at her in confusion.
"Of course, I deedn't." He stated softly, shaking his head firmly. "I…I would never mean to do dat."
That statement caused Dru to turn away again. He may tell himself that he would never do that, but the cold truth was, that he did do that. He almost caused the end of the world. He almost put Edith in a very horrible situation. He almost ended his own family's lives. Every time those thoughts crossed his mind, the guilt elevated another level higher.
Why did he have to be so selfish!?
"Then, that's okay." Agnes chirped happily, cutting off Dru's thoughts by emitting a wide smile. "One time, I broke one of daddy's vases, and I was really scared when he found out because I thought he would be mad at me. But he said it was okay, 'cause I didn't mean to break the vase, and that it was just an accident. If you didn't mean to do all those bad things, then you shouldn't feel sad, because it was just an accident."
Dru's eyes widened and he turned to her. Her story may have been incredibly innocent, but in some way, it soothed his guilt tenfold. This child must have some sort of superpower or something. With only a few sentences, she made Dru feel a million times better, even though she was only six years of age. He smiled and kneeled down to her level.
"Thanks, Agnes." He said, as the tiny girl grinned proudly. "Yoo've made me feel a lot better."
"That's okay." Agnes responded, bouncing in a giddy fashion. She soon jumped into Dru's chest, hugging him tightly. "I love you, Uncle Dru. Thanks for saving me from the bad man."
Dru's smile grew even wider, wrapping his arms around her back in return. The need for extra spice in his life was long gone at this point. If villainy gets boring as a job, then so be it. Because at the end of the day, having his family there reversed all of the boredom immediately, resetting him for another day. All he needed in life were those six people, all of whom could provide all the spice in life that he desired.
"I love yoo, too."
Gru strolled into the AVL's security room, where yet again, a multitude of agents were littered around computers and desks, researching up on the next potential threat to humanity. He started towards the interrogation rooms, where inside, Fiona was awaiting questioning.
However, once Gru had arrived, there would be no questioning of the sort. He didn't need any more answers. The fact that she'd assisted some villain in attempting to blow up the entire United States was enough reason to put her inside the underwater prison cells for life. In fact, her attempt at hurting Lucy at the army base was plenty enough reason in Gru's mind.
He pushed his way into interrogation room A, and sure enough, there sat Venin's old accomplice, strapped helplessly to a wooden chair. She snarled when the director entered the room, electing to turn away with the roughest of frowns.
"Don't even bother questioning me." She sneered. "I ain't telling you squat."
"I don't really care," Gru replied aggressively, taking a few steps towards her. "I've got all de eenformation I need."
Fiona huffed in exasperation, as if she was simply bored and didn't understand the severity of the situation she was in. Maybe she didn't realize that, after this little chat, she would be spending the rest of her life inside some dark, underwater prison cell. Gru couldn't wait to break the news.
"So, let me guess," Fiona started. "You defeated Venin."
"Maybe." Gru replied, smirking evilly. Fiona simply rolled her eyes.
"I knew I shouldn't have gone along with it." She stated. "That plan was just too convoluted for three villains to carry out, especially when one of them is as dull as a bag of rocks."
"How deed yoo even start workeeng weeth heem?" Gru asked, narrowing his eyes.
"What did I just say!" Fiona snapped angrily. "I ain't telling you squat!"
"Fine. I don't care." Gru replied, shrugging. "Whether yoo tell me or not, dis ees steel gonna end de same way."
Fiona stared right through Gru with a fiercely angry gaze. He did have a point. She was almost one-hundred percent sure she was going to be either jailed or executed, so why not go out with a long back-story?
"It all started thirty years ago." She started, lowering her head. Listening closely, Gru sat down on a nearby chair and leaned back, genuinely interested in what started this whole predicament. "My parents wanted me to get some stupid part-time job with this law-firm, but that sounded boring as all hell. So, I started looking for a more enthralling job, something that would actually be fun to do. And soon enough, I found this opening for a receptionist at some big, anonymous company, and it peeked my interest. I inquired about it, and they said they'd get back to me, so I awaited their response. The next day, a bunch of these men arrived at my house and kidnapped me. They took me to this big, underground facility and forced me to work behind a desk. I'm not too sure what happened to my parents. I think they were killed."
"Woah." Gru replied, his eyes wide-open. He wasn't expecting that kind of answer. "And...yoo just let eet happen."
"Yeah." Fiona said, shrugging. "The job was alright, and I didn't really care for my parents anyway. In fact, I've never really cared for anyone. I guess that's why I thought I'd work out as a villain."
She dropped her head solemnly. She hadn't really thought about it until now, but her life was actually kinda sad. Nothing ever seemed to work out for her, and every night was spent alone inside some standard looking town-house with very little money to live off of and an abundance of excitement or meaning.
She wished she hadn't thought about it.
"So, how deed yoo and Venin meet?" Gru inquired.
"Well, after that stupid IVB agent betrayed the company and started fighting against us, the boss decided to fire me because he was planning on moving the whole headquarters to another country." She explained. "So, I was forced to start working at some stupid supermarket for a few months, until eventually, Venin found me and recruited me for his plan. I still wish I wasn't sacked from the IVB though, cuz then, none of this would've happened. I never trusted that bratty agent from the beginning."
"Wait...are yoo talkeeng about Jack?" Gru questioned.
"Yeah, that's him." Fiona growled, frowning with pure rage. "Let me guess, he had a hand in stopping me and Venin, didn't he?"
Gru simply nodded.
"Ugh, I knew it." Fiona said with a sigh. "He has a habit of ruining people's lives, ya know that?"
Getting defensive for his new son, Gru sat up and put a finger in her face, becoming tired of hearing this same excuse over and over again.
"No, he doesn't actually!" He barked. "Here's a lesson for yoo, Fiona! Eef yoo'd just stuck weeth your parents and gone through weeth dat job, yoo wouldn't have gotten een to dis mess! Eef Venin had just stuck weeth his kids and deedn't ditch dem for a life of villainy, he wouldn't have gotten heemself killed! Eef Dru had just stuck weeth a normal life of villainy, he wouldn't have almost destroyed de entire US! None of eet ees Jack's fault! Dis problem ees on your own back! Just be happy for de life yoo've got, because dere are others out dere who aren't as fortunate as yoo! Unfortunately for yoo, yoo're now one of dose people. Enjoy your new life!"
Sighing sorrowfully, Fiona lowered her head and turned away as Gru stormed out of the room. Slamming the door, he turned to a nearby agent and spoke up, gathering his attention.
"Take her down to de underwater base." He stated. "Ensure she's placed eenside de preeson."
The agent nodded promptly and nodded his head at a few other nearby agents. They all hurried into the room, ready to take Fiona to her new home. As Gru made his way for the exit door, Derek came hurrying up to him, beaming with a bright smile as he did so.
"Great job on the Venin case, sir." He stated happily, making Gru grin proudly. "I don't think Valerie could've done any better herself. It's just...unfortunate we couldn't stop him before...what happened to Nigel."
"Yes." Gru replied sadly, looking away for a moment. He also wished he could've avoided any deaths on this mission. Having co-workers die was something incredibly saddening, and if it was any other job on earth, he would never have to experience it. Shaking himself out of his small daze, Gru turned back to Derek and lifted his head, trying to look as authoritative as possible. "So...was dere sometheeng yoo wanted?"
"Um...yes...actually." Derek began, turning away awkwardly. "I...uh...I just wanted to ask...now that you don't have an assistant...were you thinking of hiring a new one?"
Gru hadn't really thought about it, but now that Derek had mentioned it, he realized that it would be necessary. Having an assistant is something incredibly important when you're the director of a huge organization like the AVL, and now that Nigel was gone, he was in need of a new one.
"Hmm...I guess dat would be a good idea." He stated, nodding.
"Great!" Derek cheered. "Uh...do you have anyone particular in mind?"
Derek stared at him with an almost pleading expression, hoping sincerely that Gru would turn around and grant him assistant status. I mean, he surely deserved it. Derek was the one who sent the whole AVL to save him at the army base, and he was also the one who apprehended Fiona. Who else deserved the assistant status more than him?
"Yes, actually, I do." Gru stated, nodding again. Turning away from him, Gru started towards the exit door once again, leaving Derek standing there without a clear answer. The AVL agent continued to stay deadly still, hoping that he would turn back around and give him the good news.
But, as Gru left the security room with a slam of the door, Derek was left with his answer.
"Uhh...I guess I'm not the one, huh."
Violet stood on her front lawn, rummaging through a multitude of boxes that were labeled with her name. She was ensuring that each possession she needed was inside, and sure enough, it did seem that way.
As she did so, Charlie came waddling out the front door, a box held firmly in his grasp. He moved over and placed it beside another eight boxes, all of which were all labeled with his name.
"Jeez, Charlie." Violet spoke, grabbing her brother's attention. "How do you have that many boxes?"
"Well, where else is all the Unseen Hunter stuff gonna go?" He asked, proceeding to scratch a spot just beneath the bandage on his nose. Violet simply rolled her eyes and turned back to her boxes, but as she did so, a certain someone caught her gaze.
"Uh...hi." Jack greeted awkwardly, shrinking down in himself as he stood just in front of her. Violet huffed and turned away again, crossing her arms in the process.
"What are you doing here?" She asked aggressively, refusing to make eye-contact.
"Um...just wondering what all this is about." He spoke, pointing at all the many boxes littered across the lawn. Scowling, Violet turned back around and gave him an intense stare, one of which tore right through Jack like a knife on butter.
"What do you think!?" She snapped, pointing behind him. Jack turned around and spied a large white van, which had the words 'Move-It' printed in red block text on the side. Clearly, it was a moving van.
"Oh." Jack spoke solemnly, turning back to his ex-girlfriend. "So...you're moving again, huh?"
"Mm-hmm." Violet replied angrily, cocking her head to the side. "Things haven't been too great since we've moved here. My job interview yesterday flopped because I was too angry to concentrate, my brother had his nose broken by some little brat when he tried to be nice, and some...psychopath threatened to kill my entire family!"
"Uh...yeah...sorry about that." Jack mumbled.
"Hmph." Violet huffed, turning her head away, clearly refusing to accept the apology. "So our parents thought it would be a good idea to move back to Vermont. I guess it was...nice knowing you."
You didn't need to be a genius to recognize the obvious sarcasm in her voice.
"Right..." Jack said, rubbing his shoulder as Violet continued to hand him a death stare. "Look, I didn't really mean those threats I said, okay. I just...I get angry when people say something bad about my family."
"Well, surprisingly, I get angry when people break my family's noses!" Violet exclaimed, her frown looking completely impenetrable.
"Uh...I guess...that's fair enough." Jack murmured, shrugging again. Putting his head down, he decided upon keeping himself silent this time. He'd tried apologizing, but judging by the layer of aggression plastered across her face, he was clearly unsuccessful. And what did it matter? If she was moving away, then who cares if she forgives him or not?
For some reason, he seemed to care.
"Anything else!?" Violet snapped, crossing her arms in anger.
"Uh...yeah actually..." Jack replied softly, attempting to keep his composure. He despised it when someone mouthed off to him, but if he got himself angry and said another thing that he would surely regret, then he wouldn't solve anything. "I just wanted to say...I really enjoyed the time we spent together."
Jack promptly dropped his head. Making eye-contact would make this entire confession harder to speak.
"Like, I really enjoyed it." He continued. "You've made this past week pretty awesome. No other girl has ever made me feel...like that...before. If you gotta go then...I understand...I made a pretty big mistake. But I just want you to know that...even though we didn't have that much time together...I...I'll really miss you. Guess I'll...see you around."
Jack was thankful no-one was watching this, apart from Violet of course. Not only was that entire speech extremely lame, but the tears stinging the back of his eyes made him feel like some stupid little wimp. This was completely against his entire personality, and for whatever reason, it made him feel like complete and utter garbage.
Sighing, he turned around and took his first step back towards the pavement, wanting to just get back home as soon as possible. But, catching him completely off guard, Violet ran over and grabbed both his shoulders, spinning him back around like a bottle top.
Without any warning, Violet pressed her lips against Jack's, almost making the teenage boy cough in disgust. Upon realizing what was happening, Jack's first instinct was to pull away and try to stop himself from throwing up all over her lawn.
But...he just couldn't. He simply stood there, allowing the kiss to continue.
The next few seconds lasted almost an eternity in Jack's mind, and when she finally pulled away, disappointment flooded him like a tsunami. His mouth fell completely awake and the shock was practically paralyzing him. It wasn't the fact that she'd kissed him that was causing the shock, instead it was the fact that he enjoyed it.
"Goodbye, Jack." Violet spoke, sniffing a little as she choked on her words. Turning around at speed, the teenage girl hurried back up her front steps and into her house, actually and figuratively disappearing from Jack's life.
For a whole minute, Jack simply stood there, gawking at thin air. He tried to turn around and start towards his house again, but his legs refused to co-operate, as if they were trapped in a thick block of concrete.
He felt like an entirely different person. It was like someone had broke inside his mind and shuffled the wires around, changing every aspect of what made him Jack. How could one, stupid little kiss make that happen? He really had no clue.
Finally, he broke out of the trance, and like a flash of lightning, all the wires in his brain re-aligned. Shaking his head free, he spun his gaze around the entire neighborhood, ensuring that he was indeed all alone in the street.
Shrugging, Jack smiled and spoke to himself, saying the words that kept his casual personality alive.
"That was cool." He stated, turning back towards the pavement.
Jack was lying dead still in bed, staring at the ceiling intently. He had been lying there for two and a half hours at this point, but no matter how hard he tried, his brain wouldn't doze off. There were just too many things on his mind, all of them seemed to revolve around Violet in some way. They were all dominating his thoughts, making it impossible to slip out of consciousness.
After a few more minutes of staring, he turned his head to look around the room, hoping that doing something fairly tedious will aid in sending him off to sleep. He stared at the small lick of the hallway's light seeping from underneath his door. The way the small shine mixed with the blinding darkness made the room contrasted and peaceful, not seeming to help him in drifting off.
With a frustrated huff, he turned over and looked out of the window. The stars glistened lightly and the breeze wafted softly, the hushed tone adding a huge sense of relaxation to the room. Yet, it was not working. He was still wide awake, with no sign of enveloping sleep anywhere on the horizon.
And then, the room was suddenly illuminated, catching Jack's attention from the night sky. He turned over again and squinted as the hallway light fully flooded his surroundings, the half-open door casting a shadow over the floor. Coupled with the light, a small pink figure strolled into the room, peeking their head to spy the room's interior.
"Jack?" The figure whispered. "You awake?"
It wasn't particularly difficult to realize who the voice belonged to.
Jack lifted his head a little and allowed his eyes to adjust to the light, finally making the figure out completely.
"Edith?" He replied, confusion overlaying his expression. He quickly rolled up the sleeves of his black onesie and inspected his digital watch. The time read '11:49PM', not a time when a nine-year-old girl should still be awake. He chuckled and looked back at her, sitting up completely to provide an invitation. "It's still not midnight. You're not ten just yet."
"Yeah...I know." Edith informed quietly, nodding her head as she slowly trudged into the room. She put her head down and stared at the carpet, giving a little shrug as Jack inspected her closely. "I just...couldn't sleep."
Jack continued to glare at her inquisitively, as she uncomfortably shuffled her feet on the floor. Something was obviously wrong, and considering the events of yesterday, that really wasn't much of a surprise. He gave a small huff, pushing the duvet off as he moved to sit on the edge of the bed.
"Me neither." He said, lightly patting the spot next to him, inviting her to sit down. Edith lifted her head and accepted the invitation, quickly shuffling over and propping herself up beside him. "It's hard to sleep when you've got stuff on your mind."
Edith nodded and stared at the floor again, filling the room with silence. There were many things Jack wanted to say, but for some reason, they weren't leaving his mouth. He'd gone over this exact conversation in his mind, the apology for the yell, and he was fairly sure he could navigate it sufficiently. But yet, he remained completely mute.
Edith simply sat there, listlessly swaying her feet back and forth as she lost herself in deep thought. After a few seconds, she sighed and questioned him, not looking up from the floor.
"So...was that really our dad?" She asked. Jack turned away completely, pondering the question. Not anymore he wasn't. Gru was their dad. A much, much better dad. But, as much as you are allowed to choose your family figures, you're not allowed to chose who's biologically related to you, even if you wanted to.
God, how much he wished he could. Then he could've started with this great family right from the beginning.
"Uh...yeah." Jack replied, nodding with a solemn sigh. Images of what could've happened flashed in his mind. What if he, Gru and Lucy had failed in stopping Venin? Chances are, his whole family would be dead, the USA would cease to exist, and Edith would be forced into living a life with one of the worst men to ever grace the planet.
The very thought raised Jack's heart rate, giving him the urge to hold Edith in an eternal hug, where she would be completely safe from harm.
"And...did you-" Edith began. Jack immediately interrupted her, lightly grabbing her shoulder and electing her attention. He knew how she was going to finish that question, and he wanted to provide the answer as quick as possible.
"Edith..." He said softly, yet extremely firmly, as she quickly turned her head to face him. "I had to, okay. That man tried to take you away from me again, and I wouldn't be able to sleep at night knowing he was still out there. If I didn't get rid of him, he might've come back and succeeded in taking you away. I just...there's no way I can let that happen."
Edith nodded again, putting her head back down. She understood the reasoning completely, but it still felt a little weird. She absolutely hated that guy for what he said and tried to do to her family, even if he seemed to care for her, so she was glad he was gone forever. But, the fact that her own brother killed her biological father made her feel uneasy, even if it was justified.
Now that words were finally leaving his mouth, Jack was confident in continuing the conversation sufficiently. He opened his mouth to let out the apology, but as he did so, Edith butted in and beat him to it, not making eye-contact with her brother as she sat there uncomfortably.
"I'm...I'm sorry for what I said, Jack..." She whispered with a wince. Apologizing was never her strong suit. "I didn't mean it when I said you weren't my brother. You're...you're the coolest brother ever. I just got a little angry, I guess."
"Pfft...don't you dare apologize." Jack retorted jokingly, a small smirk emerging on his features. "You have nothing to apologize for. I'm the one who has to apologize. This was all my fault. I was being silly by calling you annoying. I mean, you're the best thing in the world to me, and that will never ever change. I guess...I've just...been feeling weird recently and...I didn't realize that I was being a really bad brother. I'm really, really sorry for that."
"What do you mean you've been feeling weird?" Edith asked, the intrigue forcing her into making eye-contact. Jack's expression dropped, turning away uncomfortably. Edith really didn't need to know about this. This was a very sensitive topic, and even though getting it all out in the open would help a lot, telling a nine-year-old these kinds of stories is just not cool.
"Uh...it's complicated." Jack said, shrugging. "Just know that I haven't been feeling like myself and...it's been making me really upset."
"Oh. Um...okay." Edith replied, not knowing what else to say. She'd apologized, he'd apologized. There was no need to say anything else. But, Edith hadn't spent much time with her brother as of late, so just a small conversation with him sounded pretty fun. "Remember when...I woke up really early a few days back, and we talked in the hallway?"
"Yeahhhh..." Jack said, nodding as he narrowed his eyes questioningly.
"Well, I'd had this really bad nightmare about you." Edith explained. Jack immediately looked concerned. A nightmare about him, considering the things that had happened to him over the past two months, would never be good. "This bad man was taking me away, and you didn't seem to care, even when I cried out really loud. I was really worried when, y'know, someone actually came to take me away, 'cuz I thought you wouldn't save me. Uh...especially after you yelled at me."
"Oh..." Jack spoke, putting his head down. Now the guilt was hitting him harder than it had before. If he'd known any of that, there wasn't a chance on earth he would've yelled at her. Why did he have to be such an idiot? "Well, you know that nightmare's not true? You know I'll always be there to save you, right?"
"Yeah, I know." Edith said, nodding happily. "It just...scared me, that's all. How come you're never scared?"
"What?" Jack questioned, giving his little sister a confused glare.
"Well, y'know..." Edith replied, shrugging. "You're never ever scared of anyone or anything. I've only ever seen you scared once, and that's after...what that man said."
Man was probably a better label for Edith to use. If she just refused to accept the fact that he was her actual dad, then maybe it would remain untrue.
"Well...that's not really true, Edith." Jack replied, turning away awkwardly. This conversation was a little uncomfortable for him. When you spend most of your teenage years training for the IVB, you learn to push your fears deep down, in order to hide them from enemies and prevent them from being used against you. "You see...I get scared a lot, actually."
"You do?" Edith questioned, lifting her head up in surprise. "Of what?"
"Well, there a lot of things." Jack stated, taking a breath. "I'm really afraid of losing any of you. I'm really afraid of saying the wrong thing. I'm also really afraid of having a nightmare. They always seem so...vivid, and it terrifies me."
"Oh." Edith replied, turning away in thought again.
"What makes you ask?" Jack inquired, cocking his head to the side. Edith turned back around and looked at Jack fearfully, wanting to discontinue the conversation. But, if her brother managed to come clean and admit his own fears, then surely she could do the same.
"Well...I guess..." She began. Dropping her head completely, she finally let the words out. "I guess I wish I was more like you."
For a few seconds, Jack could only stare down at her and smile. Sometimes, like in this moment, the realization that his sister was back in his life and the fact that she genuinely seemed to care about him hit him like a speeding train.
Chuckling, Jack put his arm around Edith and tried to comfort her, since the sight of her sadness was the one thing in life he hated above anything else.
"Edith, I'm glad you're not more like me." He said, as the soon to be ten-year-old lifted her head up and glared at him questioningly. "There are a few things that genuinely suck about me, and I would hate it if you had to go through the same rubbish I had to. Just...keep being you. I mean, that's the little sister I fell in love with in the first place."
Beaming brightly, the two siblings shared another large hug, putting all the events of the past few days behind them once and for all. However, in this time, Jack had learned a valuable lesson.
The events of the past doesn't matter. Yes, things used to suck, and yes, there are some memories that will forever remain engraved inside his mind. But, in the end, all that matters is the present, and right now, everything is pretty damn good.
He has his sister back, he has a mom and dad who actually care, he has two more siblings who are just as cool, he has a crazy blonde uncle who is as mischievous as he is loving, he has an army of yellow cousins who will not stop at explosions to keep everyone safe, and he has the knowledge that no past events will come to ruin it.
I mean, what else do you need?
Breaking the hug, Jack yawned and rubbed his eyes, smiling as his little sister continued to beam up at him.
"Anyway, I think it's time you get back to bed." He said, shuffling back under the covers. "The quicker you get to sleep, the quicker you can wake up and turn ten-years-old."
Laying back down, Jack closed his eyes and rolled over, trying to finally fall into the warm abyss of sleep. But, after a few seconds, he could still feel Edith's eyes staring into his back, and he rolled back over to face her as she stood just in front of his head.
"Didn't you hear me?" He asked, giving her a befuddled look.
"Uh..." Edith mumbled, turning away awkwardly. "Is it...okay if I come sleep with you tonight?"
Immediately, Jack became apprehensive. Sleep was a very important thing in his life, and if someone was lying right beside him, squirming and kicking around and constantly waking him up, he was sure to get grouchy and frustrated.
But, as he spied the pleading look on Edith's face, he remembered the one thing more important than sleep.
Pulling the blanket over, Jack motioned for her to jump in beside him, and the pink-hatted tomboy didn't need a second invitation. She immediately crawled in and snuggled into Jack's chest, making the teenager internally huff. He loved Edith to death, but there was no way he was falling asleep while she was holding onto him like that.
However, he didn't realize just how wrong he was.
Within a few seconds, quicker than ever before in Jack's life, he fell stone-cold asleep. Maybe it was because Edith was cuddling him so tight, or maybe it was because he had got barely any sleep over the past few days. But, whatever the reason, Jack simply didn't care...
He was way too lost inside his dream to do so...
I sat inside the waiting room of the hospital ward, my head down as far as I could lower it. My mom had been gone for over two hours now, and I had been left alone with...him. I couldn't stand being here with that man around, but right now, something much more important than my absolute hatred for him was happening, and I refused to miss out on it.
The seconds were passing like minutes. I wasn't sure what was making time go so slow. I narrowed it down to either my pure excitement of what I was about to see, or my pure fear of who I sat beside. Maybe it was both.
Eventually, a nurse came into the room and spoke up, gathering my attention from my thoughts. I didn't hear what she said exactly, but considering the reason why I was here, there was only one thing she was announcing.
I looked up to make eye-contact with her, but to my surprise, she was nowhere to be seen. I swear I just heard her voice. Was she ever even there? Were my ears simply playing tricks on me? Maybe I was just so excited for her to call out, that I tricked myself into thinking she did so.
I turned to face...him...in the hopes that he would clarify what was going on. But again, to my complete surprise, he wasn't there. A moment ago, he was sat right beside me, but now, he'd completely disappeared. In fact, the entire waiting room was empty, and I had been left all alone.
I was beyond confused. How on earth could everyone just disappear like that within a matter of seconds? Whatever the reason, I didn't necessarily care, as now, I could go see if it had happened.
I stood up from my seat and traipsed through the waiting room, making my way for the double-doors adjacent to my seat. I pushed them open and started down the fairly long hallway, both sides of which were occupied by dozens of doorways.
Which one was she in? I didn't have a clue, but instead of just standing there, wasting precious time, I started peeking my head through each doorway.
The first room, empty.
The second room, empty.
The third room, empty.
There wasn't a sign of anyone anywhere, and the complete silence was beginning to frighten me. I was just praying beyond belief that nothing bad had happened. Out of all the days for an apocalyptic event, knowing my luck, today would be the day for it to strike.
I continued to the next room with a deadly fearful expression painted across my face. I was getting so afraid of the unthinkable, that my limbs were starting to shiver with fear, and I found it arduous to walk in a straight line.
Eventually, I made it to the forth room, and as I peeked my head through, my heart almost stopped dead.
There she was. It had happened. I don't know where on earth my mother was, but who cares?
She was here.
I walked over to the small cot and looked inside. Sure enough, there she was, laying completely still. My mouth fell agape slightly. It shouldn't be surprising, since I've seen a baby before, but for some reason, it was the most shocking thing I had ever seen.
An amazing feeling, one of which I'd never felt before, washed over me. Tears seeped into my eyes, and even if I could try, there was no way I was stopping them from flooding down my cheeks. I'd always considered babies to be extremely ugly looking things, but in my eyes, this little girl was the most beautiful little girl I'd ever seen.
Finally, my little sister had arrived. My parents may not care about me, but now, it officially didn't matter. This was my chance. My chance to give out the love that I'd been longing to give out for so long. I didn't care how hard I'd have to try, I would get this little baby to love me as much as I already love her.
Finally, I would be happy.
Then, a clipboard upon a table beside the cot caught my eye. Many things had been written on it, and out of pure curiosity for what they'd been writing about my new little sister, I reached over and picked it up.
My mother's name had been written there. My father's name had been written there. A bunch of medical stuff had been written there. But, more importantly, my little sister's name had been written there.
I had never heard that name given to anyone else before, but to me, that just seemed to make her more special. I was loving everything about this girl, and I knew that no matter what people or things that came her way, I would ensure that no harm would ever come to her.
A moment later, she very slowly opened her eyes. From the very little knowledge I obtained about newborns, I knew they couldn't see much farther than around ten inches, so I leaned in as close as possible to ensure she could see me clearly.
"Hey, Edith." I spoke softly, smiling as bright as I could. It wasn't too hard considering how overjoyed I was. "Nice to meet you."
As if she was trying to respond, she started kicking her arms and legs a little, looking insanely cute. I had never been much of a cryer, but suddenly, my eyes were becoming waterfalls. I couldn't explain the feeling I was experiencing. It was like a feeling of internal warmth mixed with unbridled joy.
Standing up straight again, I sniffed and wiped my eyes with my sleeves, trying to regain my composure. But, considering that I'd just looked into my little sister's eyes for the very first time, it was proving to be quite the difficult task. It was as if the world suddenly revolved around her, and I knew without a doubt that my life would be changing for the better from this point.
Leaning in again, I laid a very soft kiss on her forehead, trying to be as gentle as I possibly could.
"I love you." I whispered, the tears of pure joy starting to pour again. Even if I wanted to, there wasn't a chance on earth I would ever forget this day. The day everything was solved. The day I experienced love. The day I met my little sister.
The best day of my life.
"JACK! JACK! JACK! JACK! JACKKKK!"
Jack was abruptly woken up by the sounds of shouting, jumping and shaking. He moaned and turned over, trying his hardest to ignore the sounds and fall back asleep. However, whatever was causing the noise was pretty persistent, as within a few moments, it was jumping right beside his head.
"JACK! Come on! Wake up!" The voice was yelling, continuing to bounce up and down on the spot. Jack was so tired, that even though he could clearly recognize the voice, he wasn't entirely sure who was speaking. He figured that whoever it was would go away if he kept himself silent.
However, the person remained relentless, and with a kick to the head, snapped Jack awake. He moaned again and rolled over, turning to face the giddy figure of his little sister.
"Ughh...jeez, Edith." He mumbled, staring up at her as she stood beside his head, practically shaking with excitement. "You didn't need to kick me. What's with all the noise?"
"What do you think!?" She exclaimed cheerfully, lifting her arms in the air excitedly. "It's my BIRTHDAY!"
Immediately after shouting the announcement, she leaped onto Jack's chest and started bouncing up and down again, making the teenager jolt and groan in pain. After the fifth jump, he reached up and grabbed her, making her giggle happily as he held her in mid-air.
"Okay, okay, I'm awake! Stop jumping on me!" He exclaimed playfully, unable to hold back a chuckle. Edith continued to giggle and squirm in his grasp, until finally, he pulled her in for a hug. She didn't realize it, but her birthday meant as much to Jack as it did to her. It marked the day that Jack was given a new lease on life, and he was happy that he could celebrate it with his sister this year, instead of just getting extra upset without her. "Happy birthday, Edith. I love you."
"Love you too!" Edith replied, her voice coming out as fast as lightning. After only a second, she leaped from her brother's arms and ran out of the room, her arms up in celebration as she continued to cheer loudly.
Jack stared on with the widest of smiles on his face. Nothing could compare to these kind of moments, when this feeling of pure happiness and gratitude took over his mind. It's enough to make him cry, but to avoid making himself look like some wimp again, he tried his hardest to push it back.
Sometimes, when this feeling made itself present, he would sit back and admire it for a while, just to take it all in.
But if he stayed in bed for any longer, he was fairly sure Edith would punch him in the face. And from what he'd seen, she had a pretty decent punch...
Dru, Jack, Margo, Edith, and Agnes all sat inside the living room, the birthday girl shaking uncontrollably in her seat with excitement. They were all awaiting Gru and Lucy to return to the room with Edith's presents, and even though they'd only been waiting for five minutes, the pure eagerness made it last forever in Edith's mind.
"Edith, could you like...calm down for a second?" Margo asked, as she started jiggling up and down on the couch with the tomboy's ferocious shaking.
"No!" Edith replied bluntly. "It's my birthday, I don't have to listen to you."
Margo rolled her eyes and looked over at her uncle, giving him a look that said 'help me out'. But, unfortunately for her, it didn't seem he was on her side.
"She's right." He said, shrugging. Huffing, Margo decided against sitting beside her and stood up, unable to handle the constant vibration any longer. Having little sisters was annoying, but having little sisters that never grow up, no matter how old they get, was even more annoying.
"Does it feel different being ten, Edith?" Agnes asked, scooting over to Margo's old spot on the couch.
"Yeah, like, totally different!" Edith replied, beaming. But, taking a small glance at Jack, who was keeping himself awake by rubbing his tired eyes, she decided to go back on her reply. "But...not that much different. I'm still me!"
"Yeah, I didn't notice." Margo snarled, as she stood in front of the couch with her arms crossed. Before Edith could poke her tongue out at her, Gru and Lucy returned to the living room with two presents in their grasp, grabbing the ten-year-old's attention almost instantly.
Gasping excitedly, Edith started panting like a dog as they carried the presents to the front of the couch. One of them was a big box-shaped present, while the other was a thinner rectangular one.
"De beeg one ees from me, and de smaller one ees from Lucy." Gru stated, placing them down on the floor. Edith looked like she was about to tear her own hair out if she didn't start opening them right now. Chuckling at her energy, Gru continued. "Well, what are yoo waiteeng for? Open dem!"
Without any hesitation, Edith leaped from the couch and tore into the large one, ripping away the wrapping as fast as she could. Without having to take it all off, she quickly realized what the present was, and with another loud gasp, jumped into Gru with a huge hug.
"THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THHHANNNKKK YOOOOUUU!" She yelled happily, making the AVL director chuckle.
"Yoo're welcome, sweetie." Gru replied, putting his arms around her back.
"Wait, what ees eet?" Dru questioned, perking his head up to inspect it further. "De wrappeeng ees een de way."
Edith moved back over and ripped the rest of the wrapping paper off, revealing it to be a 'GameDrive X'. Immediately, everyone gasped in surprise. Edith couldn't help but grin proudly, as if she'd just done something absolutely amazing and deserved heaps of recognition.
"We are so spending the next month on that thing." Jack said, leaning in to get a closer view. Not only did it look expensive, but it also looked like the most fun thing on earth.
"Now open mine!" Lucy exclaimed cheerfully, seeming beyond excited for her daughter's reaction. Edith didn't need to be told twice, and at extreme speed, she ripped off the wrapping of her second present. Inside, was the final piece to her GameDrive X puzzle.
The Unseen Hunter game.
Squealing happily, Edith leaped over and hugged into Lucy just as she did with Gru, making the redhead grin proudly.
"YOU'RE THE BEST MOM AND DAD EVER!" Edith yelled jubilantly, still shaking uncontrollably. Gru and Lucy looked at each other with a beaming smile.
Maybe they were spoiling her a bit by spending all of that money, but judging on her overzealous reaction, they didn't really care. I mean, wasn't this the main reason for sticking with the director job? All that money they were earning meant they could buy each of their daughters almost anything they want, and the very prospect of their beaming expressions was enough to make Gru stick with the job.
When Edith finally let go and turned back towards her presents, she was shocked to see a third, cylinder-shaped present appear seemingly out of nowhere. For a moment, she simply just stood and stared at it. Who could've put it there? She was only hugging for around ten seconds, so whoever it was managed to do it fast. She looked around at her entire family, giving them all inquisitive looks, before landing on Jack.
He was very clearly pretending to mind his own business, by leaning back and staring up at the ceiling with his arms crossed and a smile planted across his face.
"Jack?" She questioned, pointing at the present. The teenager pretended to be startled by her voice, and looked back down at her, the same smile still spread across his face. "Is this from you?"
"Oh, well, I'm not sure." Jack replied playfully, uncrossing his arms and sitting up. "I think I remember buying a present for someone, but...I can't remember who."
Upon finishing his obviously sarcastic taunt, he sent her a wink, and in response, Edith gasped happily. She ripped away the wrapping at speed, and upon noticing what was inside, came to a complete stop.
Behind the wrapping paper was a see-through, cylinder shaped plastic container. But, more importantly to Edith, the inside of the container held a pink colored dumbbell, which had her initials printed on both weights. It was a lot smaller than Jack's huge dumbbell, but no matter the size, it was absolutely awesome!
"So, do you like i-" Jack started, being cut off as Edith wrapped both arms around his neck and started jumping up and down happily.
"IT'S SOOO COOL!" She exclaimed joyfully. "YOU'RE, LIKE, THE COOLEST BROTHER IN THE WORLD!"
"Pfft...obviously." Jack replied with his umpteenth smile of the morning, wrapping his arms around her back in return.
"Dat ees pretty cool." Gru spoke, nodding impressively at the pink-colored gift.
"How did you even get that?" Margo asked, inspecting the sparkly letters 'E' and 'G' on the sides of the dumbbell.
"I have connections." Jack explained, shrugging. In response to his strangely vague response, Margo gave him an odd look. As he said a few days back, there were a lot of things she didn't know about him.
Maybe it was best that it was kept that way...
"Anyway, you stick with lifting them," Jack started, pulling his little sister out of the hug. "And you'll be beating me up in no time."
"Hmph...I can already beat you up." Edith responded, smirking. "I just don't 'cuz I don't want to."
"Phew, thanks for sparing me." Jack replied playfully, proceeded by the whole family chuckling. Jack couldn't help but beam proudly when they did. For the first time, he was finally beginning to feel like one of them, and he couldn't be happier.
For the most part, it was hard for him to be accepted into this family. Not by them, mostly by himself. It seemed like they actually grew to him quite quickly, but in Jack's mind, he still felt like the outcast. Like the one who doesn't really belong.
However, because of the onslaught of insults his father used to hand him on a daily basis, he always felt like he didn't really belong. Now that his old dad was gone forever and his new dad was here to stay, maybe it was nigh time to ditch those feelings. Maybe it was finally time for him to be the person he wanted to be.
A cool older brother sounded like a pretty awesome person.
"Anyway, I know eet's Edith's birthday and all but..." Gru started. "I got a leetle present for yoo, Jack."
"Aww, that's not fair." Edith moaned, crossing her arms and slumping down on the sofa.
"Yeah, getting a GameDrive X all to yourself, it's totally not fair." Jack responded, sticking out his tongue at her as she rolled her eyes and turned away. "Anyway, why are you buying me a present? What've I done?"
"Well...eet's not really a present, more an offer." Gru replied, sitting down beside him on the crocodile couch, as the teen sent him a confused glare. "After what happened to Nigel, I've been lookeeng for someone weeth a lot of skill to fill een as my asseestant at de AVL. And, considering yoo've saved my daughter's lives on three separate occasions, I thought yoo feet de criteria pretty well."
"Wait...you're offering me a job at the AVL?" Jack inquired, his eyes widening a little.
"Yoo won't go out on any meessions!" Gru stated, trying to make that message as clear as possible. "Eet'll be all researching on villains and telleeng me about any new threats yoo find. But...yeah, I am. I theenk eet'll be a good way to learn about how de AVL operates. And, when yoo turn twenty-one, yoo can become a full agent and start goeeng out on all de meessions weeth me and Lucy. And dat's not even mentioneeng de salary. So...what do yoo say?"
Jack's eyes were now fully open and his mouth had fallen completely agape. These past few days, Jack had been using all of his power to avoid getting a job, but now, being involved in that job was all he wanted. Sitting around, reading up on villains, before eventually going out on the dangerous missions. That sounded so cool.
"Yoo don't have to say yes." Gru said, after a few seconds of silence. "Eef yoo want, yoo can steek around here and spend time weeth de gurls unteel you're ready. Eet's completely up to yoo."
"No, no...I want the job." Jack responded quickly, turning and giving his three little sisters a quick glance. They were all crowded around Edith's gifts, smiling as bright as the sun. God, he loved them all so much. This whole family meant the world to him. If he could spend every waking moment with them, he definitely wouldn't pass up the opportunity. If he could spend every single day playing along with their make-believe games, he wouldn't dare complain about it. But...you've gotta grow up eventually, and seventeen is a pretty common age to do so. "I mean, you'll all be here when I get back, right?"
Gru smiled warmly.
"Of course." He stated, putting a hand on Jack's shoulder. "Always."
Jack immediately grabbed onto Gru in a hug, and as if it was some sort of telepathic command, the rest of the family soon followed suit. A warm silence filled the air, leaving a smile upon the face of anyone who was caught inside of it.
This family was now whole. Complete. Nobody was hurt and everybody still kept a hold onto their lives. There were no injuries, no scars, no nothing. Everything was pretty much perfect for them.
The US was also still intact, with no nuclear bombs coming to obliterate everything. And also, the world was completely safe from any harm.
Well...that's until the next villain comes along.
Phew...and there we go. Thanks a lot if you stuck through until the end, even with the two-month gap in updates. It really means a lot if you cared enough about the story and the OC's to get this far. It genuinely does.
Anyway, I feel like people are getting a little sick of this series now. I'm certainly open to doing a third one. If people want it, then I'll do it, but I don't want to annoy anyone by continuing this series.
But on that note, I did end up starting a third one, so give it a read if you're interested.
I've got a few ideas for new stories that revolve around the normal family, and even a few more one-shots for my one-shot series, so hopefully, I won't leave for that long again.
Again, thanks a lot for reading, and hopefully, I'll return with something new soon.