You know how PCs just up and take you by surprise sometimes? That's what happened to me and Wolfy when Missy and Jyarl ended up fallling for each other as they bonded over little Jefferies Hellstomper. Unfortunately, their story got rushed a little by Wolfy's impending absence, but it was still fun to write.
Jyarl / Missy / Jefferies
Part 1: Opening Up
SpoilerJyarl was scared.
He couldn't remember how long it had been since he'd ever been personally afraid of anything. He'd feared for the men under his command, and lately (a lot lately) he'd feared for Jefferies. But for himself? Pain could be dulled with enough drugs, and death held no more secrets from him. What was there to be afraid of?
Still something more, it turned out. Whatever had just happened with Halifax had been more than just sex, even if it had been unwillingly hurried by the child's naptime. They'd finished sooner than they might have done otherwise and quickly dressed afterwards, moving to the sofa to share what silence remained of the afternoon. But even in that time, he'd opened himself up to her, and she'd seen signs of the young man he'd been many years and worlds ago. He'd thought the pampered noble heir had been killed in the Penal Legions, replaced by the cold and strong soldier he'd become in the Emperor's service.
What if he couldn't close down again? Had he lost his edge? Would he always have to rely on others now?
The warmth of Halifax's body in his arms steadied him a little. He remembered that when he first became aware of her, he had wondered what had possessed Vasquez to choose her for Mortal Coil. She was soft, emotionally open, hated to kill. Everything Jyarl wasn't. He'd seen her type before. She was the kind of soldier who got people around her killed because her "morals" held her back. So Jyarl had believed. After he'd served with her, he'd grudgingly come to realize that she didn't hesitate on the battlefield, even if she went all angsty before and after. He couldn't respect her as a person, but he could trust her as a soldier. That was the beginning and the end of their relationship, until the tenement fire changed everything.
He'd seen her run into a burning building, unprotected and unequipped. She'd had no way to personally rescue anyone. All she'd carried with her was a set of eyes that could talk to the tactical net and direct the firebugs as they worked. He'd been furious with her for disobeying orders, but more so for being there with his brother. He'd even briefly considered putting her on report for insubordination, but he'd known how that would go. Vasquez would have pointed out first, that Halifax wasn't in his chain of command, and second, that her actions had saved lives.
After that, most of his time was occupied with the sudden acquisition of a daughter, and it hadn't taken him long to realize he was in way over his head.
He needed help. And he knew one soldier who was soft and emotionally open, willing to put her life on the line for her duty, and rumor had it, had once had a child. If it allowed him to keep tabs on Halifax and make sure his brother wasn't insinuating himself into Remnant through a romantic attachment, that only added to his motivation.
The prattle of Jefferies' voice coming from the bedroom broke his reverie. He couldn't make out what she was saying, but he felt Missy chuckle. "Jefferies caught Gorgutz chewing on Master Chief's wing and is demanding that he apologize," she said. Jyarl laughed as well. While Missy tried to straighten her dishevelled hair, he kissed her bare shoulder and replaced a fallen dress strap.
"Will you stay tonight?" he murmured. It was frightening, feeling so vulnerable, but he didn't want to be alone tonight. He wanted to feel he still had something, after losing everything.
Jefferies padded into the room and climbed up onto the sofa, squeezing between Jyarl and Missy, but wrapping her little arms around Jyarl. His heart swelled. No, he hadn't lost everything. If he had lost the coldness he'd valued so much, he had certainly been compensated richly.
Missy leaned in to give Jefferies a kiss on the temple, and then looked up at Jyarl with more warmth and tenderness than he'd ever seen in a woman's eyes before.
This story is set a few weeks later. During this time, no commitments have been made or promises spoken, but Missy has been staying over every few nights.
Jyarl / Missy / Jefferies
Part 2: Waking Up
SpoilerThey woke up to hear the bedroom door opening, and a little silhouette standing there. "Master Chief haded a bad dream," Jefferies said.
After becoming a parent, Jyarl had gotten into the habit of pulling on shorts before falling asleep. He reached over to make sure the blankets were covering Missy before turning on the bedside lamp. "Let's get you and Master Chief some water, then you can come in here and sleep with us." He murmured to Missy, "T-shirts and shorts are in the second drawer," before sitting up and going to Jefferies.
He carried Jefferies into the kitchen, and dawdled there long enough for Missy to get dressed. When he returned to the bedroom, he settled Jefferies and her beargon down between him and Missy.
"Der was a fire," Jefferies said. "Der was fire all around, and I couldn't find how to get out and I finded you but you weren't moving."
Jyarl's and Missy's eyes met. They knew exactly what night her subconscious was remembering.
Missy spoke first. "Remember the time I burned the toast and there was a really loud noise? That loud noise will tell us if there's a fire, while it's still a little fire, and we can get out. Your bad dream won't happen." The word 'again' is left unsaid. One day they'd talk to Jefferies about her first home, but that time wasn't tonight.
"Not MY bad dream. Master Chief haded a bad dream. I not scareded of fire." Jefferies protested.
"Good," Jyarl said. "Then you can be my brave girl and make sure we keep Gorgutz and Master Chief from being scared."
"I can do dat," Jefferies promised. "Can we leave the light on... for Master Chief?"
Jefferies fell asleep again soon, and Jyarl followed her soon, but Missy lay awake most of the night, watching them both. Realizing that she'd fallen for both of them so hard that she'd never be able to walk away.
She leaned over and kissed Jyarl softly on the forehead. "I love you," she whispered to him as he slept.
And this one, a few weeks on from that.
Jyarl / Missy / Jefferies
Part 3: Dressing Up
SpoilerJyarl couldn't deny it to himself any longer, though it had been obvious to everyone long before he picked up on it.
His little Hellstomper was becoming girly.
The plush beargon hadn't been an issue. After all, it was mostly green, with only some pink accents. Jefferies had named it Master Chief, which Jyarl thought was a fine name choice. Until he made the mistake of referring to the beargon as a 'he'.
"Master Chief is a girl, like me!" Jefferies insisted.
"Then is she Mistress Chief?"
"No, dat not her name. Her name Master Chief."
Missy bought a few other dolls and plushies for Jefferies, but the fashion dolls, male and female, largely got turned into soldiers. But after a few weeks, one of the human dolls started wearing dresses. "Dis one name is Missy. She a soldier, but she wear dresses when she not fighting," Jefferies informed him. The doll didn't look much like the real Missy, but that didn't seem to bother Jefferies at all. It wasn't as if the beargon plushie looked anything like Master Chief.
The next sign was one evening before his shower, Jyarl ran the clippers over his head, then called Jefferies over to do the sides of her head to maintain her mohawk. They'd been doing this a few times a week since she'd come to live with him. But this time, she put her hands over her head. "Dun want it clipped. I want pretty hair like Lottie has."
Jyarl cleaned the clippers and put them away. "You can have any kind of hair you want," he said. They looked at pictures online, and she pointed to the hairstyles she liked.
"How long to make my hair look like dat one?" she asked.
Jyarl had no idea. All this girl stuff was beyond him. "We'll ask Halifax tomorrow. She'll know." he said.
Halifax didn't disappoint. After telling Jefferies it would take a year or more to grow her hair like that, she said there was magic that could make it happen quicker. They went out together to Missy's hairdresser, and when they returned, Jefferies had braided pigtails.
It was adorable, but he kind of missed her fierce warrior look.
But what finally sealed it was the dress. There was going to be a party on the last day of craft class, and Jefferies begged for a special party dress. Jyarl delegated that responsibility to Halifax, of course.
When they got home from the mall, he looked at Jefferies, then at Halifax. Back to Jefferies. "Ruffles, Halifax? Really?" he said.
Missy gave a smile made of pure evil. "Lottie helped her pick it out.."
It was a white ruffly dress, with red flowers embroidered along the top. Even the socks had ruffles!
His feral warrior child had become a little girl.
Jefferies skipped in, and twirled. "Do you like it, Daddy?"
He felt his heart skip a beat. He'd never asked her to call him Daddy, and he knew by Halifax's wide eyes that it hadn't been her suggestion. This was all Jefferies doing.
He blinked back tears. "You look like the most beautiful little girl a daddy could have."