Here we are! The spin-off we've all been waiting for. At the end of Angel of Vengeance Seth and Morgan are 24 and they're about 26 now. It might be slow-going with the updates, especially with the impending holiday fic challenge, but I wanted to get this one kicked off. Enjoy!
Seth was not a pushover or a people pleaser but they did have one major weakness- children. Seth was already a doting step-parent to Maya, their partner Booker's four-year-old daughter. Morgan, their other partner, had talked about having a biological kid one day, and Seth was 100% on board, the more kids the merrier. So they always said yes when Kei, their friend/employer, needed a babysitter. And when their sleazy older brother showed up with a baby, Seth felt compelled to help.
"His name is Florian," Simon explained.
"Geez, what fantasy novel did you pull that out of?"
"His mom picked it out."
"And where is she?"
"Hell if I know."
"Don't curse in front of the baby."
"He's like, six months old. He doesn't know what hell means."
"Let's keep it that way."
"Can you watch him for a few hours? I know you only work nights, and I'll be back by then. I promise."
Seth weighed their options. Simon wasn't exactly good with promises. He couldn't be that much better with babies, either.
"Give me the poor dear."
"He's an easy baby. Everything he needs is in the bag."
"You better be back by 7."
"You better be." Then Seth hoisted the child and the diaper bag and headed inside.
Maya appeared next to Seth.
"Noddy? Who's that?"
"This is Florian. He's my nephew."
Maya gasped, "He's so little!"
"You used to be this little."
Maya laughed in disbelief.
"Noddy? Why is Flor here?" Maya asked, sticking the little boy with a nickname that would follow him his whole life.
"His daddy, my brother, needed some help. So you and me are going to watch him today." Morgan was at work and Booker was doing the grocery shopping, so it was just the two of them. Well, three of them now.
"Can I hold him?"
"If he lets you," Seth said, "and if you sit still on the couch."
Seth got Maya situated on the couch and placed Florian in her arms.
"Gentle, he's not a toy."
Maya nodded seriously and held Flor carefully.
"Noddy, can we watch Encanto?" Maya asked after a bit, getting bored of holding the sleepy baby.
"Sure. Let me take Florian and I'll turn it on." As Seth was starting the movie, the door opened.
"Daddy! Me and Noddy and Flor are going to watch Encanto."
"Flor?" Booker asked, walking in with two arms full of groceries.
"Simon left us a houseguest for the day," Seth said as they rocked Flor to sleep.
"Aww… How could a baby that cute be Simon's spawn?"
Seth laughed, "I'm just glad that it wasn't another cat. Lulu and Beans are enough."
"Noddy. Encanto," Maya reminded.
"Sorry, princess. Give me a minute." Seth turned it on while Booker went to unload the groceries. Then he came back and offered to take the baby.
"He's so quiet," Seth said, "I'm worried Simon might be neglecting him."
"If Simon asks, would you watch him again?"
"I don't think I have a choice. Florian needs stability. Simon isn't exactly stable."
"You should ask Simon to compensate you for your time, though."
Seth laughed, "Like he'd go for that."
"Well, you should try. It's not fair for him to keep taking advantage of you."
"Hey. I put my foot down when I need to. I just can't let my nephew suffer for my brother's mistakes."
"Did you even know that Florian existed before today?"
"No clue. But I know he's a Drake. We have the same eyes."
"Beautiful eyes," Booker said, wrapping his other arm around Seth.
Seth smiled, "Yeah."
"Maybe you should warn Morgan before she comes home to a bonus baby."
"Yeah, sorry I didn't tell you, I figured you'd be home before I got the chance. But Morgan won't be."
Morgan had found her dream job as a technician at the local planetarium, where she spent her days among the stars. Seth still worked for Kei with a healthy side of crime and Booker still worked at The Queer Bait, along with his new unsolved crime podcast. Maya was pretty busy as a preschooler, but if you asked her she was sure she was days away from becoming an alien rockstar princess.
Seth shot off a quick but detailed text to Morgan about Flor and then returned their focus to the kiddos.
Morgan was only surprised for about a moment and mostly about the fact that Simon had procreated. Not at all about the fact that Simon's progeny had wound up at their doorstep, or that Seth had immediately taken Florian in.
The babysitting gigs increased in frequency over the next few weeks. In the beginning, Simon would keep his promises and pick Florian up before Seth's shift with Kei. Then Flor became an overnight guest. And, though Seth, Morgan, and Booker hadn't discussed it, they all knew the possibility that Florian might become a permanent member of their family.
Seth knew it was a possibility better than anyone else. To them, Florian was already their child. Seth brought him everywhere with them and had already introduced him to Obake, Kei, Trina, and little baby Teddy. The two little boys seemed to already be fast friends. In Seth's mind, the matter was already set, and they were just waiting for Simon to ask officially.
But Simon didn't get the chance to ask. One day, when Seth was watching the now 9-month-old with Maya and Booker, there was a knock at the door. Even though Sadie knew about the arrangement, Seth was surprised to see their twin standing outside the door, looking grim. Standing behind her was an even more surprising visitor, Connor Drake.
"What's going on?" Seth asked, holding Florian closer in their arms, the sleepy baby babbling obliviously.
Connor looked choked up, "I'm so sorry, Pumpkin."
Nicknames from their childhood, when Sadie had been Pudding and Seth had been Pumpkin, it was a bad sign. Seth instinctively shielded Florian with their wings.
"Dad," another word that didn't get used very much, "What's going on?"
"Simon is dead," Connor said in a grave, heartbroken tone.
Tears sprang to Seth's eyes and an involuntary sob escaped their throat. Suddenly Booker was standing behind them with his hand on their back.
"Bats?" Booker asked. Seth shook their head and let out another sob and soon Sadie was crying with them.
Finally, Seth managed a single question, "How?"
"He drove off a bridge and either died on impact or from the water in his lungs."
"Did he do it on purpose?" Seth asked, still weeping.
Connor shrugged, unable to say more.
"How," Seth said again, not asking for another explanation.
"Seth let me take Florian inside," Booker requested gently. Seth's wings unfolded and they surrendered the baby.
"We should talk about that," Connor said quietly when Booker was gone.
"About what?" Seth asked.
"Simon trusted him with me. This doesn't change that."
Sadie shifted uncomfortably as if she knew what was coming.
"I know about the arrangement you made with him. However, your mother and I think it might be better if we take care of Florian."
"Why?" Seth said, pain replaced with anger.
"Florian needs stability."
"I know that. That's what I intend to give to him. Morgan, Booker, and I can give him that."
Connor looked nervous, "It's just-"
"No. I don't want to hear your reasons. Or Scarlett's reasons. I am the person Simon chose and I am choosing to believe that his dying wish was that Florian would be safe with me."
"You can't put words in his mouth."
"Neither can you. Y'know, I wasn't a freak to Simon. I wasn't an abomination like I am to you. Simon trusted me with his child. Simon saw me as the most stable member of this family."
Seth took a deep breath, "If you want to mourn with me, you're welcome to stay, but if you intend to steal my son I advise you to walk away before you find out what I'm capable of."
Connor took a deep breath and considered his options.
"I don't think you're an abomination, Seth."
"Then let me do what Simon would have wanted."
Connor nodded, afraid to touch Seth and deciding instead to turn away.
Sadie, on the other hand, wasted no time pulling Seth into a hug. The twins bawled together for a while before Sadie reluctantly admitted she had to get back to her husbands, who were understandably worried about her.
"We'll visit soon, though," Sadie promised.
Seth's own partners were pretty worried about them, too. Booker handled the kids and had apparently called Morgan, who left the simulated solar system and joined Seth on the roof of their home as fast as she could.
"We need to move again," Seth said before Morgan had time to offer condolences.
"Yeah? Why's that?"
"Flor should have his own room, plus I don't like Connor and Scarlett knowing where we live. They want custody of Florian."
Morgan nodded encouragingly before adding her own two cents.
"Yeah?" Seth asked, their voice breaking.
"We're going to get through this."
Seth swallowed a sob, a thousand complicated feelings running through their head.
"I have to be strong for Florian. Stable."
"No, baby, it's okay to grieve. It's okay to hurt."
"It's not like he was much of a brother."
"You're allowed to mourn that too."
Seth turned to lean against Morgan, who held them close while they wept.
"I know it hurts, baby, and that the hurt won't just go away. But we'll get through it as a family. I promise."
Well… Their ending didn't stay happy for long. But if anyone can rebuild, it's this family. I'm just as excited to see what happens next as you are.