Chapter 5: Unexpected Beginnings
Last Revised: September 23, 2007
Summary: Now that the battle with the Master is over, Daggeron must find his missing family. But what if they were right under his nose the entire time? Shocking revelations come that could split the Mystic Force forever.
Rated: THIS CHAPTER IS RATED M!
Ships: NM, VX, CC, UL, DOC
Disclaimer: I don’t own them, I wish I did.
Dedication: For all the Maddick and Vander fans out there! Thanks for the support!
AN: There will be a MA version of this chapter later, but I just…I didn’t have the inspiration to work on that version. For now, you get this, tying up some loose ends. Enjoy! And I’m sorry it took so long to get to you.
Xander sighed happily before he bolted awake, feeling the body pressed close to his own. He’d never woken to find his dreams had come true before, but one look down at the woman in his arms and he about started laughing with barely restrained joy. Vida’s dark head was nestled in the crook of his shoulder, her slim body was pressed against his side, and she was sound asleep. The night before, and his frantic search for her came back to him, causing the ball of fear that had been tight in his stomach to come back with a vengeance. His poor Vida, she’d been through so much. He brushed her bangs back from her face before lying back down. A bright green sheet of paper taped to the lamp next to his bed. He leaned over, careful not to jar Vida, and snatched it. It was from his mum, saying that he and Vida were to rest, and that she’d called Ella to let her know Vida was with him.
Sighing, Xander tossed the note on the floor and curled around Vida’s body protectively. As he fell back asleep, his one wish was that he could keep her from all harm.
He couldn’t help but blink rapidly as he looked up. He wasn’t in his bedroom anymore, instead, he found himself outside in the forest, with the sun shining overhead and the birds making noise in the trees. His body felt heavy, like it weighed twice what it should, and he also felt unbelievably content. When a breeze blew through, he felt a shiver race through him. Lifting his head, he felt his eyes widen when he looked down and found his body completely devoid of any clothing. The even bigger shocker was that Vida was lying on top of him, her head on his chest, sound asleep. “Holy crap.”
Vida picked that to be the time to open her eyes and stare up at him. “Hi,” she smiled softly, cuddling against him.
“Vida…” he whispered.
“I’m so relaxed,” she told him, yawning. Xander felt desire spear through him when she began to peck kisses to his chest before pushing herself to sit up over him. “Someone feels ready for a second go round.”
Xander couldn’t utter another word as she lifted off of him slightly before sinking back down, slowly making love to him. She was like a goddess above him, her body glowing gold in the sunlight as she rose above him. Instead of analyzing, he simply enjoyed finally being able to love her openly like he’d always wanted to.
Just as the two neared the moment of no return, Xander was suddenly ripped from the moment.
“OH!” Vida’s voice lifted, full of what sounded like lust. It didn’t register with Xander’s brain what was happening until he felt his body caught in the unmistakable grip of something warm and strong. His eyes shot open as he saw Vida above him, like in his dream, only now they were in his room and Vida was gyrating above him, his body locked tight with hers as she sat caught in the throes of what had to be an incredible orgasm from what Xander could tell.
The shock only lasted a few seconds before Xander felt himself hit the edge. He automatically thrust up into her, his body exploding his own released in the tight confines of hers. “V!” he cried out, his voice hoarse as his back arched off the bed.
Once the spasms had passed, the two fell to the bed, panting. Xander stared at the ceiling, wide eyed and in utter shock as his best friend lay naked on top of him, her chest heaving against him. He didn’t utter a word when, after a few minutes, Vida pushed herself off of him and headed for his bathroom, leaving him to lay on his bed. ‘What the hell did we do?’ he thought in a daze. His dream came back to him, making him wonder if he’d done that, or if the sinking feeling in his stomach meant Vida had initiated whatever had just happened.
He heard the shower start up, but Xander found he couldn’t move. It was finally hitting him that he and Vida had just had sex, and he was clueless as to how it had come about. “She did not just leave me lying here,” he muttered, finally pushing up from the bed, the one thought running through his mind being what the hell had happened to make her lose what was left of her mind.
Meanwhile, in the bathroom, Vida turned the shower on as hot as she could get it before crawling under the spray. The shock of waking up with Xander under her, inside of her, was still coursing through her. Instead of being a good person and getting off the still sleeping Xander, she’d taken advantage of his clueless-ness and had continued to have sex with him. For a good long moment, she wondered if she’d lost her mind completely. Part of her had always wanted him, but she’d never done anything about it because of her fear of having her heart broken. Xander was a ladies man; he had the reputation of dating anything with breasts and hips that swayed. “Oh God, what did I just do!” she uttered, sticking her head under the warm spray.
She was so lost in her thoughts that she never heard the bathroom door being thrown open or Xander come stalking in, a wild look on his face. He took exactly two deep breaths before he jerked the shower curtain open, causing Vida to let out a scream. “What the hell are you doing?” she asked as water dripped in her face.
“What the hell am I doing? What the hell just happened in there?” he demanded, jerking his thumb toward his bedroom. “Cause as far as I can tell, you just had sex with me while I was sound asleep!” Vida just looked at him before she turned around and continued taking a shower. She figured if she ignored it, ignored him, the whole situation would go away. “Vida!”
“GO AWAY!” she yelled, pushing him back a good foot before closing the shower curtain.
Stumbling back, Xander clamped his jaw shut and silently, violently counted to ten before he tore the shower curtain open, almost pulling it off the little hooks on the rod. He glared at her bare back for all of ten seconds before he realized her shoulders were shaking. Cursing mentally, he stepped into the shower and slid his arms around her, pulling her back into his chest. He wasn’t the least bit surprised when she turned and laid her head on his shoulder. “Talk to me, V.”
Xander bit back the automatic ‘For What?’ and shook his head while he rubbed his hands up and down her back. “I’m serious, tell me what happened.”
“I took advantage of you being there,” she muttered, figuring there was nothing else to do but to own up to what had happened. “I’ve had feelings for you for a while, and when I woke up from that dream…I just….I didn’t care anymore. I couldn’t stop. I’m so, so sorry. I never meant to hurt…”
“I’m not going to say I’m not pissed that you did,” he started, watching her head bow in shame. “Because, honestly, I’d like a little more control when I’m making love with someone, particularly in me being aware that it’s happening. However,” he spoke, reaching out and lifting her chin with one of his fingers. “Considering the newly mentioned feelings, I’m not going to hold it against you. Seriously, what man in his right mind wouldn’t mind waking up to the snug confines of a sexy woman’s body? I sure as hell don’t, not in the grand scheme of things.”
Vida swallowed hard, disbelieving that he’d accept her apology so casually after the absolute lack of respect she’d shown him. “I’m sorry; I shouldn’t have taken advantage of you.”
“No, you shouldn’t have, at least not with me dead asleep. How exactly, might I ask, are you going to make up for that?” he asked her, his voice barely a whisper.
“I can’t,” she told him. “I don’t think there’s a way to make up for what I just did.”
“How wrong you are,” he whispered, leaning down so that their faces were mere centimeters apart. “How about we finish this shower, go back into my room, and you can make it up to me by making love to me, fully awake this time?”
Vida’s eyes grew round with disbelief. “What?”
“You heard me, I’m not about to repeat myself,” he started, pulling back from her before reaching around her to grab the wash cloth he kept on the metal shower basket on the wall.
“Xander, you can’t be serious,” she muttered.
He leisurely soaped her arms, chest and neck before running the cloth under the water and bringing it back to rinse her off. “I’m completely serious, why wouldn’t I be?” he nonchalantly asked.
“Xander, I’m not joking, so quit kidding around with me. You can’t be serious about wanting to have sex with me,” she growled.
“I never said a word about sex,” he reminded her. “I believe I mentioned you making love to me, with me completely awake. And why in the hell wouldn’t I want that?”
Vida just stared up at him. “Because we’re best friends, and it should have never happened. I had a moment of weakness.”
“No, it wasn’t a moment of weakness, it was you finally giving me the one thing I’ve always wanted,” he grinned at her triumphantly.
The Pink Ranger looked confused. “Huh?”
“You have feelings for me, you said so yourself. That little incident this morning proved those feelings are far more than platonic. As it just so happens,” he told her, looking smug as hell, which confused her even more. “I happen to share those, definitely non-platonic feelings with you. Waking up, with your body wrapped around mine, was not only mind blowing it was a long held dream come true, thank you very much.”
Vida shook her head, trying to clear away the confusion and disbelief. “I…I just…I really don’t get you this morning,” she uttered. “I took unbelievable, unthinkable advantage of you while you were asleep, and you’re standing here telling me you’re not in the slightest bit mad at me for doing it, and that you in fact have feelings for me.”
Xander’s grin was a slow, easy one that suited his mood. “Oh, I’m pretty mad at you for it, and eventually, I will get my revenge. However, I’m more than capable of looking past that, as you’ve just told me you have feelings for me, feelings I happen to return. Considering the stress you’ve been under lately, I’m honestly not surprised this didn’t happen sooner.”
“You seriously want to make love to me?” she asked, trying to clarify his intentions.
“No,” he told her, watching her eyebrow shoot up. “I want you to make it up to me and make love to me, only this time I think it might be better if we at least used protection.”
Vida’s eyes went huge at the sudden implications of his comment. “OH SHIT!”
She leaned against him, wrapping her arms around his waist. Solid, dependable, always there when you need me Xander had feelings for her, the same kinds of feelings she’d been hiding from him for months. And, damn her desire to lose herself in a distraction from the rest of the world, she may have already damned them both with something that had far reaching consequences. “Oh, God, I’m so sorry.”
Xander shook his head and tipped her chin up again. “If there are consequences, we’ll meet them. It’s not like we don’t have jobs.”
“We don’t need to be bringing a baby into this world when we don’t even know if we’re going to make this odd ass relationship work,” she told him, stating their being together as if it were a forgone conclusion. Xander could just smile at that. He wanted her, and apparently, she wanted him just as much, which, really, worked for him on so many levels. Besides, he still had to get her back for the morning’s surprise attack.
“V, it’s going to be okay, I promise.”
She just shook her head. “I hope you’re right.”
“Good, now, are you ready to get out and have your way with me?” he teased. “Because, seriously, I need you, like right now.”
His comments warmed her heart, even as his body pressed close to hers, his arousal proving just how much he needed and wanted her. “Well gee, since I caused that, it might be best if I took care of it,” she murmured, standing on tip toes to do the one thing she’d never done. Reaching behind his head, she pulled him down so that their lips met. It was like fireworks on the Fourth of July exploding inside of her the instant that their mouths met. “Just so you know if I even see you flirting with another girl, not only will I kill her, I’ll dismember your body and hide it where no one will find it. Understood?”
Xander tried not to laugh as he nodded his head in agreement. Quietly, they stepped from the shower, dried off and then made their way back to his room, where they made love for hours on end.
Daggeron’s expression gave nothing of what he was feeling away as he stomped onto the porch of the Rocca household. Both Maddy and Vida were safe, which took a great deal off his shoulders, but he was bound and determined to speak with Alexander Rocca for what he’d said and did to his daughters. Daggeron respected the man for taking on two children who were not his own and loving them as best as he could, but to simply treat them the way he had once they’d found their father was unforgivable. Reigning in the anger that loomed under the surface, Daggeron stopped at the door and rang the doorbell.
A few seconds passed before the door slowly opened, revealing a disheveled looked Ella, who gasped in shock at seeing Daggeron. “What are you doing here?”
“I want to speak to your husband,” he told her, his temper barely held in check. “He and I have a few things to discuss.”
“Daggeron, now isn’t a good time,” she started, then gasped when sparks started around his clenched hands.
“Go get him, Elektra. I have things to say to him, and they will not wait.”
Swallowing, she nodded and shut the door behind her. He could hear her in the room just beyond the door, speaking to someone, before footsteps followed and Alexander opened the door. Daggeron’s teeth ground together as he stared at the unshaven, worn looking man who had raised his daughters. “What can I do for you?” Alex asked.
“First of all, you can explain to me why I’ve just spent the better part of the night searching for my runaway daughter? Then you can explain to me what in the Gods’ names has gotten into that head of yours that you could say such things to two young women who love you so much that choosing between us is practically tearing them apart. And then we’re going to move onto the fact that I ought to be beating you to a bloody pulp, as Chip so eloquently put it this morning. So, you pick where you want to start.”
Alex paled as Daggeron’s anger lashed out at him. “I have no excuse.”
“You’re right, you don’t, but I want to hear one anyway,” Daggeron told him. “Madison and Vida are torn up about this, and both of them are lashing out in the only way they know how. Do you have any idea how hard it is for them to be dealing with this? Trust me when I say it’s far worse than how you’re feeling. They feel like they’re betraying you, the man who was supposed to love them, who raised them as his own, if they choose me and if they choose you, they feel like they’re betraying the man they are only now learning is their father, but has been mentor, counselor and friend to them for the better part of a year.”
“As I said, I have no excuse,” Alex muttered. “Other than to say I felt like I was losing my girls, my babies,” he choked, moving to sit on the porch swing. “You’re right, I’ve raised them as my own, loved them as if they were truly mine, but it’s always been there, in the back of mine and Ella’s minds, the memory of a man neither of us knew, who they belonged to. You can’t know how many nights I sat and watched them sleep; how many nights I prayed you’d never come for them. It got easier as the years went by, as Ella’s already shattered memories faded, until there was only our family, but still, always, were lingering thoughts of ‘What if he comes for them’. I knew it wasn’t just the girls I’d lose, it was Ella too.”
Daggeron’s anger all but disappeared at the emotionally charged words Alexander was giving him. Still, he pressed on, hoping to make Alexander see that there was room for them both in the girls’ lives. “So you were scared, does that give you the right to hurt them so needlessly? They were the innocent victims in this, they didn’t deserve to have their family ripped from them before they were even born, nor did they deserve to have your hatred and fear of me clouding your judgment where they are concerned.”
“I know I was wrong, and if, God willing, they give me a chance, I will make it up to them,” Alex vowed.
“Then start by accepting that they love us both,” Daggeron told him. “I’ve come to know them well in the last year, neither will forgive easily, nor will they ever forget; you damaged your relationship with them, and it will never be quite the same. Maddy will forgive you sooner; she has the ability to see past things much more clearly than Vida. Your greatest challenge will be in getting Vida to forgive you, but know this, you may need to prepare for the fact that she may never completely forgive you.”
“Are they alright?”
The Solaris Knight nodded. “Vida is over at the Bly household with Xander, and Madison is at Rootcore with Nick. They’re fine, physically. Mentally and emotionally, it may be some time before they are.”
Alex nodded, knowing he spoke the truth. “Ella and I have decided if they wish to move in with you, until we can come to a truce, then so be it.”
“That’s up to them; don’t be surprised if they jump at the chance. I have to get back, give my regards to Ella,” Daggeron spoke, turning for the stairs.
“Can I ask you something?” Alex called out, causing Daggeron to turn back toward him. “Why haven’t you pushed her? You have every reason to want her back.”
Daggeron’s eyes were full of so much sadness that it stole Alex’s breath. “Neither of us are as we remember the other,” he spoke softly. “She has a new life, a family, children and a husband who need her, and I am more changed than I care to admit after the battle with the Master and my imprisonment. It would do no good to push, when I know we cannot go back to how we were. I will always love her, love the time I had with her, and cherish the memories of that time. She has given me two miracles that I not only love and cherish, but admire and respect, and for that, the least I can do is leave her be.”
“You don’t give her enough credit.”
“I know she will love me, always, especially now that she has her memories back, but as I said, you cannot change what is, or how we are now. I’ll be in touch.” That said, Daggeron strolled away, leaving Alexander to stare at his retreating back.
Daggeron stood on the ridge looking down over the ruins of the castle he’d once called home. So much had changed since he’d last walked those halls; so much that made him feel so very old. Closing his eyes, memories washed over him, leaving him with a sense of loss so profound, it nearly toppled him. It was, however, the overwhelming sense of joy and relief he felt from whomever was approaching, that brought him back to the here and now. As he’d told Alexander a few days before, the past was the past, and there was no sense in him trying to live within it. Opening his eyes, he smiled. He could feel the change in the wind and smell the faint saltiness of the sea; it could mean only one thing – his daughters had come to join him on his trip down memory lane.
Two small, delicate hands found their ways into his as the girls stepped up on either side of him. Carefully releasing them, he reached his arms out to wrap around their shoulders, drawing them against his sides. “Udonna said we’d find you here,” Vida spoke up first, leaning her head against his shoulder.
“Are you alright?” Madison’s question was whispered as she burrowed into his side.
He could do nothing but smile as he held them tight. He wasn’t alright, nor would he be for a very long time, but the two graceful, intelligent, beautiful, and loving young women now holding onto him would go a long way to helping him down that path of healing. “I’ll be fine,” he whispered, pecking a soft kiss to both their heads.
“Dad, you’re a bad liar,” Vida pointed out, poking him in the side.
Love and pride and hope soared through every fiber of his being at that simple name she called him. In the days since his talk with Alexander, Vida had taken to calling him dad a lot easier than Maddy had, not that he was upset with his youngest. Madison’s heart was simply still too torn to change as rapidly as her sister, which was fine with him. He noticed more and more that she was starting to accept that he was not just friend and mentor, but father now as well.
“Yes, well, I’ve never had a need for lying before,” he teased. “How about the two of you?”
“We’re dealing,” Maddy whispered, looking up at him from her place on his shoulder. “It’s never going to be the way it was, and we have to accept that, but it’s not as bad as it may have seemed in the beginning.”
“Have you decided what you’re going to do now that you’re going to be graduating in a few months?”
“Get apartments? Move as far away from Mom and Alex as possible,” Vida muttered, only to receive a stern look from her father and a disapproving look from her sister. “What?”
“We talked about this, didn’t we?” Madison growled. “You’re not being fair, to either of them.”
The Pink Ranger huffed at the hurt coming from her twin. “I can’t help it.”
“Well try,” Maddy snapped. “It’s not been easy on them either, or Dad for that matter. You just snipping about it every time it’s brought up isn’t going to help matters.”
Daggeron just smiled at his daughters as they continued to argue while the trio headed back towards the path leading to Rootcore. It was going to prove to be an interesting next few months, but then, given everything that had already happened, he wouldn’t change any of it for the world.