I had called for a family meeting in the lounge. This pretty much just consisted of Paisley, Victoria, Carmen, Evita, Bruce and Banner. The rest of the kids are too young to understand much around them, and I honestly can't be bothered with the faff of waking them up for this.
"Okay." I begin, still thinking about what to say. "I wanted to know if any of you guys had a problem with me getting a job in theatre for a while. There's a production of Phantom on, and somebody once told me that if I got the chance I should go for it and try for a part." There's a long silence after I ask the question, and Banner is the first to speak. "I think it would be a wonderful idea Mama. Especially since you like singing so much. But won't the babies be a problem?" she asks. I give it thought for a second.
"I doubt anyone would mind." Evita says. "I mean, they'd have Skye fraking Everard on their stage."
While I'm not the world’s biggest fan of her use of Battlestar Galactica curse words, I take the compliment with a pinch of salt. Paisley has so far not said anything, but she doesn't seem to have a problem with it. "I'm cool with it." is the general response after the initial doubts.
The auditions for the part are later that day, and I arrive in plenty of time. Very few people are there before me, and I start taking to them. There are a number of parts available, and I hope that I'll be able to work with some of the girls.
Surprisingly, the auditions are very brief. We sing a couple of lines, and then say a couple, and the director and his team of officials just tell us to go, and they'll post the list on the theatre doors in half an hour. I stand there for a while, before deciding to text Paisley. Most of the conversation is regular, but then I'm interrupted by a tap on the shoulder.
Behind me is stood a man I never thought I'd see again. My former boyfriend, Erik. I stand there for a moment, vaguely stunned, but in the end it's Erik who speaks first. "Skye. I saw your audition, well of course I did, I'm directing. I wanted to congratulate you personally. You got the main role."
I look shocked for a minute, before I reply. "Thank you." I whisper, and I hug him tentatively. He reciprocates, and when he lets go he responds, "I'll pin the list up then we can have lunch."
This done we take a trip to his office, where he pulls out a couple of sandwiches, muttering distractedly, “I’m sorry it’s not something more.” I shrug my shoulders and put down the sandwich after taking a bite. “So, what brought you to my little town?” I ask, and he shrugs noncommittally.
“They needed someone to direct their performances. I took the offer, and here we are. Though I admit, I had no idea you were in town.” I nod. “So… how are the relationships treating you?” he asks.
“I’m in a pretty steady thing right now. With the most wonderful person. I’ve never met someone who understands me better. You?” I inquire.
“Nobody. But there is a beautiful girl I have my eye on in the chorus. Her name’s Meg. She’s got the most wonderful blonde hair I’ve ever seen.” I snort with laughter and Erik raises an eyebrow in his typical way.
“Sorry,” I giggle. “It’s just… she sounds just like the demon from Supernatural.” And with that I burst out laughing again, which even earns a chuckle from Erik. “I suppose it does a bit. Though I’ll confess I haven’t seen her eyes turn black just yet.” We spend the next fifteen minutes off and on catching up and laughing about that. It ends in a careful decision to remain friends, and to keep exchanging news on the status of Meg, and her possible demonic possession.
When I return home, I am greeted by Paisley talking to none other than Captain America. I gawk for a minute, before he notices me and introduces himself. “Steve Rodgers. I’m uh… here to have children with you.” He says, blushing red. Behind him, Paisley is pointing madly and pulling faces, but I ignore her. “Ah yeah. I can tell you’re a little nervous. Good news. We… Paisley and I… don’t feel comfortable considering our relationship, so we use the new IVF treatments rather than the conventional manner.”
Captain America passes out on my carpet. When he comes to, it is because of a kitten licking his nose. Oh yeah! Isis. Turns out she’s gotten pregnant and just after I had my babies, she welcomed along two more little ones into the world. I’ve jokingly nicknamed them Luci and Michael, after the two angels, because they’re always fighting. It’s sweet though, and totally harmless.
So I cart Steve off to the sperm bank, we get it done, and we’re home in time for dinner, courtesy of Mr Rodgers. He’s a 'wonderful' cook, and I tell him so. Repeatedly. Most of the kids just want to see his shield, which he’d brought for just that reason. Bruce and Banner sit staring at it, before running off to draw up some designs to make it better, and Stark likes to bash it so it makes noise.
It’s not long before he has to go though, and I think he might have been just a little pleased to get out of there. He’s not entirely used to the adoring female population yet. We wave him off and then go inside. The teens are moving out today, Carmen included and we were waiting until he’d visited to let them go.
Carmen is still her usual self, since she’s not changed in the past two weeks. Both Evita and Victoria are very sport oriented, but where Evita wants to become a soccer player, Victoria is a champion swimmer. Haven is very artistic, and wants to become a painter or an art teacher.
Checking the time, I realise that it is time we put the younger kids to bed, so I grab Stark and Edward to carry them to the nursery. When I’m there, I bathe them both and change them into their pyjamas ready for bed. I lean over their cribs and hum them to sleep, alternating between Smoke on the Water for Stark and Hey Jude for Edward. It works well enough, and they’re out like a light.
Banner is determined to age up as soon as possible so she can join shop club and the harder classes at school. I can’t say I can blame her. She and her brother are almost as smart as their father, so I’m perfectly happy to leave them to focus on their studies and improve. But I do draw the line at reading advanced particle physics book (I’m gonna have to talk to their dad abut that) at 10PM, when they `should be in bed. “Banner. Put down the book and go to sleep.” I say, and she grudgingly sets it on her nightstand and turns off the lamp.
I stick my head into Bruce’s room after that, and am more than pleased to discover that he’s fast asleep and dreaming. I walk over to tuck him back under his covers and turn off the bedside lamp. True to form he has a very thick book under his pillow I drag it out and see what it is. War and peace? I didn’t think we brought this with us. I think, but I place it on the bottom of his bed and leave the room.
With everyone in bed I figure a bath is in order. So I make a cup of tea and mosey into the bathroom. A bath seems like an amazing idea. After so many children I cherished the moments of me-time I got, though they were probably more numerous than most people’s.
I go to bed after that and am once again plague by nightmares. They’re becoming more and more common. I manage to stay in bed until around 5AM when my baby bump appears and I decide to prepare breakfast. I’m feeling like something cool is on the menu today. I make waffles, pancakes and cookies. (Un) fortunately, I’m pretty much the only one to eat any of the cookies and then it’s time to take the kids to school. I strap Edward and Stark into the back of the car and get all of us to school in plenty of time for the morning bell.
One the way back from school I call in at the grocery store to pick up a few essentials and on the way home, Stark convinces me to come to the park. So we take a detour and he and his brother have a wonderful time.
There’s another woman with kids their age in the park, and when I set down the twins I walk over and join her on a bench. We talk for a while about pointless mother things and the kids play together, but nothing else happens. Well… I eat a snow cone. But that’s it.
Around noon I bring Stark and Edward home and we start learning their skills and soon enough they've learned everything, and Banner and Bruce are home from school.
I’d agreed some time ago that as soon as they got on honor roll, they could age up, so after checking that that was the case I allow them to grow up into teens. Banner has a newfound interest in Chemistry and practically lives in the school labs. She also wears glasses because the late night reading strained her eyes.
Bruce is much the same, but his area of expertise is more physics. His eyes are still fine of course.
I also decide to age up the youngest. Edward is very outgoing and loud, but Stark is quieter and more reserved. He likes to play basketball though, the first of my kids to show that interest. Banner and Edward are very close, often he will sit and watch her science experiments while they go.
Unfortunately, just as it comes to an end my TV time is interrupted by the sudden and unexpected labour for my next baby. I wince in pain before calling for Bruce (the adult, not my kid of course) who comes quickly. I’d asked for him thinking he’d remain calm being a doctor and all, but he freaks out a second before running off shouting for Tony, in typical crazy-person fashion. I guess he tells the teens t watch their siblings, because quick as a blink, Tony Stark is whisking me off to hospital in my favourite BMW. Humph. He has his own. “Stark, I've got amniotic fluid on my shoes.” Says Bruce as we stand at the front desk, and we both turn to glare at him. I pause momentarily to look at his shoes. It’s not a lie. I’m mostly just concerned about how it got there.