Jak And Daxter Fan Fiction ❯ Strange Existence ❯ A New Addition ( Chapter 7 )
Disclaimer: Jak is owned by Naughty Dog. I am not profiting from this fanfiction.
Jak5: Strange Existence
Seven: A New Addition
Jak had to admit, shaking down that Jerro boy had been damn fun. Though most people tended to underestimate Daxter, the ottsel had definitely managed such a bravado that it had gotten to Jerro. In all technicality, they had found Sunni meet the boy, spend some time with him, give him a warning that her family had found out -- and being referred to as “family” warmed Jak from the inside, and likely had to Daxter too -- and then she had gone. She didn’t spot them once, not even in leaving.
Then Jerro was all theirs. Though he was dressed as simply as the other citizens, he had blue hair and yellow eyes. And Jak didn’t like the way the boy’s eyes were narrowed.
Confronting the boy had been simple. Jak simply walked out, feigned innocence and said, “Ah, excuse me. You’re Jerro, aren’t you?” When Jerro answered affirmatively, Jak cracked his knuckles. “Good,” he’d said.
Jerro had visibly paled. “W-wait, then you’re. . ?” he stuttered.
“Consider me Sunni’s. . .highly over-protective father,” Jak told him. “Now imagine what I’m about to do to you.”
Jerro had turned to run right about then, but that’s where Daxter had come in. With a dive and a slide, he successfully tripped the boy, who landed a bit too heavily on his elbow. Jak hauled him to his feet, and more or less dragged him into a covered crevice between two buildings -- which didn’t offer too much shelter from gazes, but did its effect in scaring the boy further. Daxter took his appointed place on Jak’s shoulder while Jerro tried to shrink farther into the crevice, only to hit a wall. With a gulp, he’d said, “Look, I don’t want to cause Sunni any harm!”
“I think I’ll be the one deciding that,” Jak corrected. “So tell me, what’s your full name, how old are you, and what do you do for a living?”
The boy was clearly shaking. He replied, “Jerro Firthix. I’m sixteen. I-I help my dad in his machine shop.”
“Well, Jerro Firthix, I sincerely hope you’re not thinking of impressing Sunni by taking her there.”
Jerro was confused more than obviously. “What does that mean?”
“Well, Sunni’s used to being in machine shops, garages and such. I’ll bet she knows how to put together an engine made from scratch at this point.”
For a split second, Jerro narrowed his eyes, as though unpleased with his discovery. Then he shook his head sharply, but Jak had already seen more than he needed to. The boy snapped back, “I -- wouldn’t try that anyway,” he tried to deny. “I don’t think of her like that.”
“Really,” Jak replied dryly. “I don’t remember throwing any guesses about what you were thinking.”
“Well it’s -- that is --”
“This is the part,” Daxter threw in, “where you start picking what you say very carefully. If we find out you hurt Sunni in any way, well. . . It won’t be quite as pleasant for you.”
Jerro looked away, mumbling something to himself. Wanting to know what he said, Jak reached for him, but surprisingly, Jerro tried to dart back towards the road. It was a sad attempt; no matter how fast that boy thought he was, he was still no match for someone as well-trained as Jak. He grabbed the boy by the front of his shirt and slammed him back against the wall, choosing not to let go of the fist of cloth in his hand.
“Damn it, just let me go!” Jerro snapped. He was starting to sound desperate. “You can’t do this, you know! I’ll report it to the council!”
But of course, the news of the council’s decision hadn’t spread yet. Jak gave the boy a sly smile. “Actually, I can. The council relinquished their positions as leaders, and now I’m one of the rulers of this city. If I’m using too many big words, let me know. I want you to understand this part.”
Jerro grit his teeth. “I don’t believe you.”
“I don’t believe you either,” Jak told him. Getting a bit closer, he lowered his voice to a whisper. “I don’t think you have any ‘clean’ thoughts about Sunni. I don’t think you’re anything but a scoundrel. And I don’t think you’d ever get away with hurting her.”
“In this city,” Daxter growled, “the two of us are biggest, baddest, strongest, smartest bastards there is. You’d be a very smart kid to listen to us.”
“I don’t have to take this shit from you!” Jerro yelled, almost shrieking. His eyes had gotten whiter, a clear give-away about how scared he was, even as he kept bluffing. “You guys ain’t the boss of me!”
“Bosses? No,” Jak agreed.
“But we could still fuck you up,” Daxter finished. “You gotta learn, kid, just who has power and who doesn’t. Right now, you’re a bug about to be squashed by a pair of giants.”
Jerro was struggling at this point. Fighting with Jak’s hand, even as the grip was like steel. “Shit, you stupid bastards! I’ll be telling Sunni about this, and then she’ll leave you, how’s that?!”
“Another empty threat,” Jak said, dismissing the boy’s claim. “Would Sunni sooner believe a boy she barely knows over her father, who’s only looking out for her safety? You’ve really got no brains for a kid who works in a machine shop.”
“Fuck, let me go!” he snapped again.
Jak dropped him, not realizing until now that he’d been steadily lifting the boy higher, until his feet had dangled off the ground. As soon as he was back on his feet, Jerro was gone, probably running faster than any time before in his life.
Jak and Daxter gave each other satisfied smirks before the former got back on his jet board to head back to the garage, which is likely where everyone else were. And even on the way back, his thoughts were occupied to the point where he didn’t notice entirely what he was doing. He’d called himself Sunni’s father, and more than once, concerning that boy. Though in the past he might’ve claimed it was just an act to frighten Jerro, he knew better now. Of course he’d see himself as Sunni’s father, after three years of watching out for her like one.
The thing that bothered him now was how Sunni saw him -- she called Keira and Jak both by their names, just like she did everyone else. “Mother” and “father” weren’t words they’d ever tried to make her use. If anything, she probably saw everyone as siblings. Maybe it was because of her small stature that made him think in weird ways. Being fourteen and being average height for a ten-year-old made her fairly short.
A ten-year-old, he amended, who was starting to get a young woman’s curves. That very fact infuriated him to no end; he couldn’t help but worry more now than before. When she was small and fragile, his concerns were always offset by the fact that no one could keep up with her -- that, and she had a tendency to melt the hearts of just about everyone. Now that she was a bit bigger, despite being much smarter and having a stronger grasp on logic, he found himself stressed by the very thought of. . .boys.
The only thing that kept him from forbidding Sunni to even look at boys was the fact that he knew Sunni and Keira both would find some way of punishing him for it. In the end, he had to give up. He had no choice but to hope Sunni was smart enough to deal with boys herself.
And certainly, he added mentally, scaring the wits out of Jerro would help to that end. He found himself grinning just thinking about it.
- - - - -
On second thought, threatening Jerro hadn’t helped matters any.
Sunni was furious when Jerro told her; she was indignant, unbelieving and even a bit hurt. She berated Jak as though she were the mother and he the misbehaving son. Keira sat back and laughed all the while, leaving Jak partially heartbroken when Sunni claimed she hated him now and would never speak to him again. She stormed off to her room, the door slamming loudly in the silence of the garage.
Keira came over to hug his shoulders from behind the couch. “Don’t worry, she’s just fuming. She’ll forgive you.”
“No I won’t!” came her yell from down the hall.
Keira chuckled, but Jak was sitting perfectly still. Trepidation ran through him, fearing despite rationalities that she really did hate him. “What if she doesn’t?” he asked, surprised that he was whispering.
Keira clucked her tongue. “You’re worrying too much. I used to have fits like that, too, or did you forget?”
“You still have fits like that,” he told her, looking up to see her. “But you’ve never told me you hated me.”
“Think of it this way,” she countered, “you acted like a father, and now she’s acting like a daughter. I used to tell Daddy I hated him a lot, though I never meant it.” She was smiling.
Jak frowned as he thought about it. “You told Samos you hated him?” He couldn’t figure that happening.
She laughed. “Yeah, whenever he tried to be really protective. It just clashes with a teenage girl’s need for independence; so don’t worry. She’ll come around.”
“No I won’t!” Sunni called a second time.
“. . .And if she doesn’t?” he asked quietly.
“She will,” Keira promised, whispering to him so Sunni wouldn’t hear.
- - - - -
As it turns out, no one had much time to think about Sunni’s newfound interest in boys. Three weeks after the council declared their group the new leaders of Haven City, the long-awaited birth happened. Torn and Ashelin officially had a son, whom they named Davril.
Adorable though the baby was – a shock of thin red hair and pink cheeks were easily visible – he wasn’t the center of attention for Jak. No, the majority of his attention was on Torn.
When Jak, Keira and Sunni showed up (Daxter and Tess already present), Ashelin was sitting upright in the bed, a clearly maternal expression gracing her features, holding her new son to her chest. And Torn was sitting behind her, arms around both Ashelin and Davril, his face hidden in her neck.
Jak could only imagine what the other man must be feeling, but given what he knew so far, one of the emotions must be embarrassment. Sure, Ashelin was cooing at the babe and Keira and Tess joined right in; that was fully expected. But Jak knew, were he in the same situation, it would be horribly embarrassing to be caught in the same position. Though amused, he allowed Torn to salvage his pride by leaving earlier than the girls.
Daxter was on the same train of thought, and the best part was that none of the women seemed to notice their departure.
It wasn’t until the two were on their way to Jak’s home that Jak thought of Sunni. With all the girlish sighs going around, he hadn’t noticed that Sunni hadn’t joined in until now. Thinking back on it, he could recall Sunni standing perfectly still, wide eyes on the newborn boy. And Jak had to wonder why her reaction seemed so fearful, as opposed to warm and fluffy. He mentioned this discovery to Daxter once they were comfortably inside the house, but the ottsel merely shrugged in question.
“I gave up trying to understand women back when I was still human,” Dax told him.
Jak laughed. “Quitter,” he chided jokingly.
Though Daxter made a few rude gestures in return, the mood remained light.
A few hours later, when the women showed up, everything seemed back to normal. Sunni was more than excited now, animated about just how adorable Davril was and how she’d love to hug him all the time. Perhaps, Jak thought, she had simply frozen in the moment from shock, some emotional strain she hadn’t dealt with before. Maybe Keira and Tess had talked to her, helping her through whatever hesitation she’d had.
. . .That’s what he thought at first, anyway. Over the next month or so, between visits to the new family and hearing how Ashelin and Torn had been planning a marriage but put it on hold because of her pregnancy, Jak noticed that Sunni’s previous silent-spell wasn’t a one-time thing. She seemed normal enough, most of the time. Yet every so often, if she were alone or no one was talking to her, she would get a faraway look and go very still.
He brought it up with Keira almost as soon as he noticed, hoping she would offer insight or a solution, but Keira just chuckled. “You really don’t get it,” she said with a grin. “Sunni is fourteen. Her hormones are out of whack and she has to deal with it all the time. Give her time; she’ll get over it.”
He wanted to believe her. At least he was fairly certain the silent-spells weren’t increasing. It appeared that, every so often, she just needed to think to herself. He supposed it was better than needing to talk to herself, instead.
And Sunni wasn’t the only one moved by Davril’s presence. Daxter complained a few times about Tess whining and cooing in turn about things Daxter didn’t fully understand, but Jak had merely laughed at his friend and offered sanctuary. . .until Keira had brought it up, as well.
They had just gotten comfortable in his bed (and Keira had all but moved in because of all the time she’d been spending in his house rather than hers), he on his back and her cuddled against his side, when she said it.
“. . .I want one.”
At first he hadn’t a clue what she was talking about, and then it hit him. In total shock, the most he could do was sputter for a minute. They’d had pregnancy scares twice in the past three years, and relief had been foremost when they found out she wasn’t. He didn’t think he was ready to be a real father, and neither did he think Keira had been considering it.
“Wait,” he finally blurted, “you want one? You mean a baby?” He stared at her in disbelief.
“Why is that so surprising?” was her response. “You’ve seen Ashe with Davril. She’s loving every second of it.” With a pout, she went on, “I want to feel what she feels.”
Jak blinked, finding the entire situation incomprehensible. “What. . ? We’re not ready to be parents!”
“We’ve been parents,” she shot back, “to Sunni.”
“That’s not the same,” he quipped. “A baby is not the same.”
She narrowed her eyes. “How is it not the same? We had to teach Sunni everything – how to speak, how to act, how to use a toilet --”
“It’s not the same!” he snapped. “Sunni was old enough to know these things, she just forgot how to! She was coordinated, she was smart, she was big enough to get things herself, hell, she’d been fending for herself in the desert for three years!”
He saw tears well up in Keira’s eyes and immediately felt like a bastard. “So that’s it, is it?” she said, voice wavering. “You don’t want any children.”
He groaned, unwilling to be made out as the bad guy. “That’s not what I meant, Keira.”
“It’s starting to sound like it,” she bit out. “You’ve already been a father to Sunni, but you don’t want to be a father to our child?”
He rubbed his forehead, trying to think of the right answer. “That’s not what I meant.”
“Then what did you mean?”
“I. . .” He trailed off, only beginning to grasp the answer coming to mind. “Sunni was. . .forced on us,” he tried. “I’m not saying I don’t want her or anything like that, but she was unexpected.”
“How would that make an expected child any worse?” she snapped.
“It’s not worse, it’s --” He growled, growing frustrated. “Babies. . .babies are scary,” he finally admitted. “I don’t know if I’m a good father or not.”
To his surprise, it seemed he’d found the right answer. Suddenly Keira was half on top of him, kissing him firmly. And, he noted, the kiss was completely devoid of passion. He realized that she was trying to comfort him, and that she was succeeding.
“Haven’t you been?” she replied finally.
For a moment he could only marvel at the gift Keira was to him. Then he said, “Didn’t she say she hates me?”
She smiled. “We’ve had this conversation.”
“Then I guess you have your answer,” he conceded at last. “But. . .no rush or anything, right?”
She chuckled. “Alright, fine. I’ll wait for you.” She snuggled into his shoulder, relaxing in his arms.
“Phew,” he sighed. “That’s a load off my shoulders.”