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Web Of Lies [IC]


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After staring inside the fridge expectantly for a few minutes without anything appetizing presenting itself anywhere in confines of the stuffed shelves, Taylor thumped the door shut and went in search of Jack. On the bright side, the fact that Jack didn't eat, let alone open the fridge that had people food made him easier to convince than most husbands that a trip to the market was not only neccessary but urgent.

Taylor was weighing the pro's and con's of various frozen foods, a container in each hand when she glanced over Jack's shoulder and all of the blood drained from her face. For a moment, Taylor strongly considered chucking the frozen food and fleeing the dimension but her feet remained rooted to the spot. Taylor would rather have faced a horde of demons than the diminutive brunette bearing down on the two of them.

"Zee!" Taylor cringed at the family nickname and considered sinking through the floor of the supermarket.

Of course, of course, she hadn't bothered to toss anything bulky over the turtleneck. They were only running to the store, after all.

"Mom..." She began placatingly, her hands raised in wary defense but Taylor's mother gasped, her blue eyes wide with a combination of shock and hurt before she began in on a tirade that was a confusing mix of Cantonese and English, her gestures at Taylor's waistline making the point abundantly clear.

For Jack's sake, Taylor's replies remained in English. Not that she managed to get much in, "No- Mom, I... No! It's not... Well, yes... Mom, wait... Not like that!"

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Normally, Jack wouldn't have gotten involved in a dispute between Taylor and her mother. That held doubly true for something as emotionally explosive as this. But, he decided, stepping away from the door, it wasn't as if he could declaim responsibility. "Hello, Dr. Chun," he said with disarming frankness and an apologetic look. "Please don't be angry at Taylor. I persuaded her not to tell you until we knew the baby was all right."

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That took the wind out of her sails as few things could. Taylor blew out a sigh of relief and stepped forward to capture her mother's elbow in a gentle but firm grip. They were the same height but Taylor, despite the pregnancy, was more fit than her mother and stronger.

"I've been seeing a specialist for a rare hereditary condition" Which was all true. "Can we not talk about this in the frozen foods aisle? People are starting to stare."

Dr. Chun allowed herself to be tugged towards the front of the market but she frowned at Jack in an expression that was strikingly similar to her daughter's as she demanded, "Why? What's wrong?"

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"Lunch, today," she insisted, fixing Taylor with a look that made her feel about eight years old again.

Taylor sighed and agreed with exagerated patience, "Lunch today, yes. We'll get in our car and head right over."

"Don't you act like I'm being the unreasonable one here, Taylor Xiao Xiao Chun," her mother scolded in outrage and Taylor ducked her head in abashed appology before she pressed a quick kiss to her mother's cheek.

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry. We'll be right there." Taylor murmured. It took a few more minutes of promises and threats before Dr. Chun got in the car and left. Taylor was certain that she was checking the rearview mirror to make certain they were following.

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"Well, I tried to take a bullet there," said Jack with a wry smile, concentrating on the wasp of this issue so he could ignore the slavering jackal of his own fears just behind it. "What do you think; we should tell her things were sped along because of your powers? And because...well, explaining me is going to be a little more dificult," he admitted.

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Taylor turned towards him, a smile chasing away most of the shadows in her eyes. She raised one hand to touch his cool cheek affectionately, "I appreciate the rescue attempt. Its my own fault for procrastinating so on things."

She shrugged and shook her head, shaking a few tendrils out of the messy bun on her crown, "I'll explain that we both have powers that make having children difficult but apparently not impossible and so we're treating the pregnancy as high risk. I don't see any reason to share your secrets. I love my family but I'm not going to expose you to any sort of judgements from them."

Her chin firmed stubbornly, lifting a a fraction.

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"That's probably for the best," Jack admitted, shifting uncomfortably as they headed after Dr. Chun. "I mean, the last thing we need is her thinking I'm more evil than I already am for knocking you up before the wedding," he said with a false little laugh. That particular joke was truer to his real feelings than he wanted to admit. "You can tell them it's inherited from me, and that's why I don't eat. That'll solve that issue too."

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Taylor rested a soothing hand on his shoulder, squeezing him gently, "You're not going to get evicted out of the family, Jack. You'll always have me and my parents will come around. Mom's just hurt and worried, both of which can be dealt with."

She gave him the smile that released both dimples in her cheeks before she started to unfasten her saftey belt and slip out of the car, "That would make family dinners easier again. There's only so many times you can have a business meeting or an urgent call, or fall ill without it getting weird. Of course, weird is starting to become par for the course around here."

The last was muttered in a slightly disgruntled tone as Taylor wiggled out of the car. You never realized just how much you took for granted your mobility until it started to grow irritatingly impaired in some fashion. Bucket seats and the growing inability to bend properly at the middle did not go well together.

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Jack took her hand as they walked up to the Chun house, giving her a nervous smile. He couldn't really tell Taylor that he felt better about this than almost anything they'd done since they'd found out about her condition. It was so normal, but so abnormal; just like them. Probably good not to let that on, given all the worries she'd had about it. He let Taylor open the door, a vampire's reflex even after getting an invitation.

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Taylor opened the door, using the key to the family home that she still had. She leaned on Jack for balance as she pulled her shoes off and tucked them in one of the cubbies by the door before waiting for Jack to do the same.

They found Taylor's mother unsurprisingly in the kitchen, staring at the various sandwich toppings. Taylor's mouth softened at the sight of her mother standing there with her brown hair pulled back and lines etched around her mouth and eyes of the strained concern of a worried parent. She stepped into the sunny room and took the knife from her mother's numb fingers.

"Mom, let me get that while I explain." Taylor said gently as she steered her mother to a chair by the breakfast table. Returning to the island, she picked up things to make sandwich fixings. "Remember after the wedding and I explained that Jack and I moonlight as superheroes?"

Dr. Chun nodded slightly and she patted Jack on the arm after noting his expression. She sounded a little more herself, although her tone hadn't lost its sharpness, "Yes, I said 'thank God its not drugs. What has that to do with things? You're not swinging from rooftops still are you?" She fixed Jack with expectant blue eyes, "You're not letting wrestle goons while pregnant are you?"

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