Right. I’m back, and I bring Marmites. I’ve been away for ages I know. Various reasons... But here I am. This isn’t a spectacular return, it’s a crappy return that I needed to get up as soon as possible so that I could throw myself back into things. And now the recap. The Marmites moved into a swanky new house in which Katrina gave birth to Jirachi and Ichigo and Ani Mei got engaged. Once a toddler, Jirachi started having fits of sorts although doctors insisted there was nothing medically wrong. Desperate for help, Hiro, Yaeko, Ichabod and Katrina moved to Belladonna Cove in search of magical help for their daughter, acting on the advice of Elphaba. The Cordial sisters explained that, as a child of a vampire and a human, Jirachi was a Dhampir...... You know what? I can’t be arsed to do a recap. The house is in holiday packing mode and everything’s a massive rush. Hope it’s okay
“I bet I can jump higher than you can Joan,” “Nuh uh” “Uh huh” “Please try and be careful,” called George’s father from the kitchen as he made himself a sandwich. “Dad, come and tell us who’s jumping higher” said George, breathless. “I’m not getting involved,” Jacob laughed.
“Well if you can jump higher than me,” smiled Joan, not in the least out of breath “then you’re not doing a very good job of showing it” “Okay,” he grinned “Watch this,” He bent his knees and sprang into the air, rising-in reality- no further than he had previously. “Rubbish!” laughed Joan. She crouched low on the sofa, imagining herself rising high into the air, feeling a strange crackling sensation in her legs. She did not however expect this prediction to become a reality. Joan tore through the air, rising almost to the ceiling of the mercifully open two story room. George let out a gasp, staring open mouthed and stunned as Joan landed gracefully on the sofa looking just as surprised as him. “Everything okay?” Jacob called, still preoccupied with his lunch. “Yeah...” replied his son, still gaping unashamedly at his best friend.
“Heheh, you’re a smart one aren’t you?” laughed Joan as George’s younger sister fixed her with a look that clearly stated ‘I know perfectly well that you haven’t got my nose- do you really expect me to fall for that?’ Emma smiled as she passed them. “How’s Jirachi these days Joan?” she asked. “I haven’t seen her in a while.” “She has good days and bad days,” she replied with a small sigh. “But she can go out in the sunlight and stuff on the good days!” “I’m glad to hear that,” Joan looked up and returned her warm smile. She was glad George’s family knew about Jirachi and her dad. She didn’t have to hide anything from them and felt at home in their company.
So used to looking after her elder sister, Joan was a natural with Monica, the second Knightley child. Emma often said that, as soon as she was old enough, Joan could babysit her daughter and she would be able to have total faith in her ability.
Having taken the potion brewed for her by Kim and Samantha since she was just two years old, Jirachi seemed to grow visibly stronger during her ‘good days’.
But there was no escaping the ‘bad days’. All the family could do was watch as she thrashed and jerked in her bed, oblivious to anything they said or did. Her body was still here, but her mind was somewhere else and unable to notice them. Someone had to sit with her at all times simply to stop her hurting herself. In the end, the family gave in to the witches’ suggestion that sedating her in these periods was simply kinder. The guilt had of course never left Ichabod-for Katrina’s sake he had to be as strong as he could manage, but on these days.... He spent more time watching her than any of the other family members, purely so his grief was hidden from them.
His thoughts always dragged him back to the day he had awoken as... As himself and only himself. “I just can’t.... Thank you so much Farnsworth... I...” “Don’t worry about it, I love a challenge.” He remembered the way her face had set, becoming hard and grim. “But you mustn't forget what I told you before I put you under. You have to accept that there may be-” “I knew the risks. If something happens, it happens.” he had smiled and slowly his great grandmother’s face softened. “You be careful boy.” she had said, still frowning. “And get to a shower quickly- you’re making my stomach turn.”
Katrina’s third pregnancy came to a rather unexpected end- and didn’t even continue the legacy tradition of bathroom births.
There was further surprise when it became apparent that there was more than one new arrival. Both twins, a boy and a girl, inherited Ichabod’s dark hair and Katrina’s green eyes. And they were named.....
Jessie James Jessie and James are Team Rocket field agents who, after being defeated by Ash Ketchum, follow the rookie trainer, attempting to steal his Pikachu. They form a trio that is completed by Meowth (a Meowth).... There really isn’t that much to be said. If you know, then you know y’know? And if you don’t, then why the hell don’t you? It’s Pokémon for god’s sake.
Their infant years flew by- let’s face it, babies do very little. “Two toddlers to chase after at the same time” Katrina was smiling, but not without traces of the slight panic often found in the faces of parents of twins. “Aw, don’t worry Katrina,” as ever, she was displaying the energy levels of a woman half her age. “You’ve got us to chase them around too, right darling?” she said, smiling at her husband.
“....Yeahhhh,” I’m getting too old for this shit... The candles were barely extinguished when Jessie and James jumped out of their parents’ arms and returned as toddlers in a cloud of confetti, giggling wildly and fidgeting even more so. “Well these two look like they’ll be a bit of a handful,”laughed Katrina.
“meh,” Yaeko waved a dismissive hand “Bring ‘em on bitches.” “Have you been watching MTV again Mum?” *********** NOTE: apologies, but I don’t seem to have any pictures of the twins for a while.... :-/
“HIIIIIIIII EVERYONE!” Ichigo stared at her. “Err, are you okay Kat?” “I’m super-duper!” “Super-duper..?” “Yeah! I’m so excited about little Sakura!” “Right...” Ichigo heard an internal voice whisper nervously,Let’s just carry on shall we?
Sakura turned out just as gorgeous as her mother. ^^ They had not thought it possible, but they fell even more in love with their little girl.
I feel an update on Noah is more than overdue. He’s certainly the outdoorsy type and seems to have inherited the energy of both his parents.
Sakura was distinctly more of the studious type. No less pleasant and sweet, and still very confident, but without her brother’s extrovert tendencies.
Soon after Sakura’s birthday there was a new addition to the family. A baby girl named Hana, which means “flower”. That is one of the very very few Japanese words I actually know- all thanks to ‘Ichirin No Hana’ by the J-Rock band, High and Mighty Colour. I’m happy to except any royalties they want to pay me for advertising.... Damn, I think they might have broken up....Typical.
This is the twins’ room. Anyone see what I tried to do there? Eh? Eh? :D
“Jesus, we’ll have another one at this rate” And yes they would. Not planned per se, but hey.
Jessie and James did indeed prove themselves a handful, perhaps several hands. They had a knack for turning up in unlikely places and escaping from their cots, regardless of reinforced security measures. So much so that sometimes babysitters were required so that Katrina and Ichabod could spend more time bonding with Jirachi and Joan. Their choice in babysitters is questionable.
“Well,” said Ichabod, looking at the signs “this looks like the right house. Are you sure this is a good idea Kat?” “Of course Ick, “ she smiled. “It’s only for a couple of hours. And they’re good friends aren’t they?” “Yeah, but that’s not what I’m worried about...”
“Bethan, these two say we’re supposed to be giving them some kids or something.” “You mean having them for a bit.” said Katrina. “Yeah, something like that... I forget.” “Yeah Lauren, y’know, Jessie and James.” Bethan reminded her fellow simself. “OH!” she turned to Katrina. “You mean YOUR kids? I remember that obviously.” “Okaaaaaaay....” said Ichabod. “Let’s get going shall we honey?”
“They’ll have a great time!” Bethan called as Ichabod dragged an anxious looking Katrina the door by the hand.
“Food for toddlers... Food for toddlers.... Ponder Lauren, ponder!..........Ooh! Got it!”
“Kids like baked Alaska right?” “Now just a little help from our friend Mr Flame...”
“Well if they’re not sufficiently impressed by this then they can go hungry for all I care.”
“You dyed their hair!?!?!”
“Oh much more than that,” smiled Bethan. “Note the delicate feathering of the layers.” she gestured to the children as though they were part of an exhibition in The Tate. “Pretty damn frabjous huh?” her sister added. “Well,” Katrina let out a sigh, making room for a cautious smile. “I suppose it does suit them.” “We did try blue and green but they couldn’t pull it off” “Lauren!” “She needs to know these things Beth. She’s their mother. The last thing she wants is for them to have unflatteringly coloured hair.” “True dat,” Bethan nodded. “Although they were working the black.”
Unsurprisingly, no one in the family seemed to understand Jirachi like Ichabod did. Consequently, they became very close. Seeing his daughter being as ill as she often was and knowing that it was because of what he was, because of what he used to be was almost unbearable.
And here’s a load of Joan&Jirachipicspam. Featuring: -Yaeko -Jessie -Creepy guy
If you got the impression that some of those pictures for a specific reason that I have forgotten/can’t be arsed to write, you’d be totally wrong.
Whilst Jirachi and Joan acted like twins, Jessie and James had the biological and chronological advantage. They shared a similar level of sibling affection, although they were not immune to fall outs. However, what they could do was work as a team- something to strike fear into the hearts of the rest of the family. ***
“I think I’m going to do a landscape for the art project.” George said as they stepped into the porch. “I’m just going to splatter a load of paint on a canvas and say it’s a statement about...” she paused “the struggle for identity in modern society or something.” George sighed. “One of these days you’ll have to actually do your work properly Joan. You can’t keep-” “The door’s open,” she interrupted. “That’s weird.” George followed her into the house, beginning to share his friend’s unease. “Jirachi?” she called. “Jirachi?”
And then he saw her. “Joan!” his voice trembling as he pointed to where her sister lay jerking as though subject to an electric current. Without a word, Joan ran to kneel beside Jirachi.
“What do we do?!”he screamed.” “I need you to help me George,” As calm as she was, Joan could not entirely exclude emotion from her voice. “Draw all the curtains and then grab a wet cloth.” He nearly tripped several times as he raced around the room. Returning to her side, with the cloth, he knelt beside his friend, wiping it over Jirachi’s exposed skin as instructed whilst his friend sprinted to one of the kitchen cupboards. “Make sure she doesn’t hit her head.” Already, Jirachi seemed to improve, and when Joan returned with a small green sparkling phial, he was able to gently prop her up as Joan helped her to swallow the liquid. Jirachi’s spasms slowed and her form relaxed into what could pass for a calm sleep. ****
Hana grew up to be, frankly, adorable and remained much loved by her big brother and sister.
Ichigo and An Mei’s children had lively, happy childhoods. There was always someone perfectly willing to swing you around by your arms...
...or enter into a water balloon war with. Yaeko sometimes visited purely on the off chance that she would be invited into one.
“You’re getting pretty good at that Ichigo.” “Thanks dad,” he replied, continuing to play. “I started learning in Uni, Isildur taught me. But then-” He stopped playing. “I miss him too,” said Hiro sadly. “I spoke to Merrow last week, she says he’ s still doing really well.” “I know,” Ichigo sighed. “I just wish he lived here.” “I’m sure he’ll come to visit soon. He’s got all these nieces and nephews he’s never met.” Ichigo smiled. “I guess you’re right.” ***
And before long he had one more. “Ani, do you mind? I can’t focus.”
The Kuchikis now have two girls and two boys. This little boy has Ani Mei’s hair colour, her gorgeous eyes and Ichigo’s skin. His name is Kaien- named after a character from Bleach.
Jirachi opened her eyes and found herself in bed. She held her hand to her forehead. Ice cold. No change there then. As she slid out of her bedcovers, the girl sitting beside her bed-who she suddenly became aware of- stood up and beamed at her.
“You’re awake!” “I’m sorry...” Jirachi said hesitantly “Do I know you?” The girl rolled her eyes. Eyes identical to her own. Eyes identical to those of her- “Joan?!” “Finally.” she smiled “I was beginning to worry that you had we were in some god awful soap and you had amnesia.” “But you’re so- I can’t believe I missed your birthday!” Jirachi said sorrowfully. “How long have I been out for?” “About a week and a half.” Jirachi grimaced at her sister’s words. “But you’re awake now and that’s what matters” They smiled at each other, laughed and then launched into a hug.
“So have I missed much?” “Well,” Joan thought for a moment. “The twins are children now-” “I missed their birthday too?” Jirachi moaned. “I barely saw them as toddlers.” “Don’t be too sorry. They were a nightmare.” “Why?”
“They have every baby lock money can buy on their cots, but Jessie can still get out somehow and then she lets James out. And they turn up in the most bizarre places- Dad found Jessie in the fridge once. The fridge. And on Tuesday James gave Mum the fright of her life in the kitchen.”
Joan finished recanting the story and Jirachi’s jaw dropped rather magnificently. “How did he get up there?!” “No idea.” she shrugged. “I don’t know how Jessie managed to climb two thirds of the way up the chimney either. And now they’re children. I’m trying not to think about the next few years.”
She let out a sigh. “But I suppose it won’t be that long before we’re off to Uni eh?” “Till you go to Uni you mean.” Jirachi said sorrowfully. “For the last time,” her sister frowned “Dad was fine at Uni and you will be too.” she smiled at Jirachi who failed to return the gesture. “I just don’t see how you can think it’ll all be okay” “Hey,” Joan commanded. “You have me and I’m going to make sure everything is just peachy.” “Peachy?” “Yes. Peachy. You have no say in the fruit that the situation will resemble.” “This is all backwards.” Jirachi sighed. “I’m the eldest; I’m supposed to look after the rest of you.” “Well you’re in luck,” said Joan “Because Jessie and James are going to need some looking after.” Jirachi gave a small smile. “And you’ll get your chance with me. You’ll have to make sure I do all my term papers.” “We’ll see about that” Jirachi laughed.
Yeah I got a maid. I’m a lazy bugger and it’s an awkward house to clean. Plus I like having them around. Not because of the skimpy outfits, I swear. And that kid? Well Ichabod brought a friend home from work one day and this is that friend. Oh yes, this child apparently works in the medical career track. Oh how I love the Sims.
That day also happened to contain the birth of the final child of this generation. So this excruciating, embarrassing ... Magical moment had an increased audience. Wonderful. But at least they made some effort to get into the moment. Yaeko and Hiro are clearly bored by the birth of grandchildren.
“So that’s two chicken chow meins, 6 spring rolls, a crispy skin duck...” It’s a boy! He has Ichabod’s dark hair and eyes, which came from Yaeko incidentally. It’s only just hit me quite how perfect it is that Jirachi is blonde with green eyes. Because the pokemon is yellow and green? See?
Why Jack? I hear you cry. There are millions of Jacks. Yes, which is why there are so many awesome Jacks. So this baby is named after all of them. Consider, Captain Jack Sparrow, the notorious pirate who just happens to be played by Johnny Depp. *cough* Captain Jack Harknessfrom Torchwood/ Doctor Who AKA Mr Hilarious ‘awesome coat’ McBadass. Jack McFarland from Will & Grace. If you’ve never watched it you haven’t lived. Jack the Ripper- I’m not saying I like him! Just proving a point. And there are fantastic episodes of both the Simpsons and Futuramafeaturing a cartoon him. Jack Skellington, a well meaning skeleton and hero of Halloweentown. Hugh Jackman- okay, so I just wanted a picture of him. But it’s in there! And he’s Wolverine goddamnit. Jacoby (jack-oh-be)Shaddix, frontman of Papa Roach- okay okay. That’s pushing it too far.
Despite Jirachi’s fears, she did indeed make it to University and the staff proved to be just as supportive and understanding as they had been when Ichabod had studied there. Starting their studies with her, were Joan, their cousin Noah and childhood friend, George. All things considered, they would need private accommodation instead of a dorm, but Joan and Noah- keen to avoid missing out on the social aspect of being a student- begged for a Greek house and eventually got their way.
Joan and George chose to study Literature whilst Noah chose Physics and Jirachi chose Psychology. “Okay,” George admitted “It’s a pretty cool house,” Joan laughed and stuck her tongue out playfully. “I told you so.” “It’s still too big for us.” “It’ll be fine,”she grinned. “Trust me.”
“Joan?” She gestured for her sister to join her on the far side of the room. “What’s up?” Joan’s eyes widened, suddenly worried. “What is it? Do you feel okay? Sit down-” “No.” Jirachi said firmly. “I just wanted to say- well, thanks. I don’t think I would have been able to make myself go through with this without you.” “Meh, don’t worry about it. I’m here to make sure you get what’s best for you.” She paused. “This has gone a bit too mushy hasn’t it?” “Yeahhh...” There was an awkward pause. Joan punched her sister lightly on the shoulder. “Later bitch.” “Later whore.”
“I swear, I’m good at pool.” “Well then you’re doing a very bad job of showing it,”smiled Jirachi, preparing to take her shot.
“Hhhhmmmmm,” She took her shot and watched the balls ricochet around the table. Not a great shot, but still better than anything Grigg had pulled out the bag.
“Okay, that was good,” he grinned. “But wait till you see this.” He lined up to take what was, in the end, a deeply disappointing shot. “The sun was in my eyes!” he insisted, half laughing. “Sure...” “It’s not my fault, you make me nervous.”Jirachi looked up from the table with a jerk. She and Grigg stared at each other until a voice broke the silence. “Sooooooooo,” said Joan. “Are you going to introduce us Jirachi?” “Oh!” Jirachi, pink and flustered put down her cue quickly.
“Grigg, this is my sister Joan. Joan this is my friend Grigg; we met at the library.” “Nice to meet you Joan,” he grinned goofily. “You too,” she smiled. “So what are you studying Grigg?”
“Well,” he began eagerly “I’m sort of between majors at the moment. I started off doing maths, but I hated it so I switched to drama but I got bored of that- plus the professors are all really pervy- so then I started psychology, but I sort of lost interest in that... So I started politics, but it just didn’t feel right y’know? So now I’m undeclared again” He smiled at her. “What about you?” “Errr, literature.” she replied. “Maybe you should give that a go Grigg.” Jirachi suggested.
“That’s a good idea!” he cried. “I think I’ll go and look into that right now. Nice to meet you Joan, seeya Jirachi.”
“Sooooo,” Joan said later that day, half suspicious, half teasing. “This Grigg guy...” Jirachi fidgeted slightly on her sister’s bed. “What about him?” “I was just wondering if there was anything....going on there.” “Well there isn’t.”
“Good.” said Joan in a satisfied sort of voice. “He’s not good enough for you.” Jirachi looked up, aghast. “What’s wrong with him?” Her tone was not defensive, merely confused. “I’m sure he’s sweet enough, but so unreliable!” “I suppose so...” Jirachi said in a tone hesitantly approaching agreement. “I should have known you’d have better taste than that.” Joan smiled and walked over to hug her sister. “We’re a good team aren’t we?” “Yes,” smiled Jirachi. “Yes we are.”
The party had been Noah’s idea, seconded by Joan, but the logistics of it largely became George’s responsibility. One such duty was mixing drinks prior to the arrival of the horde of students- something he was not confident in doing. But hey, how hard could it be?
“You know man,” Noah slurred, pointing a finger at George and consequently nearly overbalancing. “I love you so much- both of you.” “Christ!” “Very nice of you to say so,” Noah waggled his finger again “But it is I, JontyDeWolf.” “No,” George bent down to hold him by the shoulders. “You’re Noah. Noah Kuchiki.” “Well yeah. Of course I am. Are you drunk Georgeie?” “How strong did I make that stuff?” He cried to Joan, who was fidgeting behind the bar.
“It’s the quantity he’s had that’s the problem I think.” she called, watching George coaxing Noah into a chair in a quiet corner. “Hey Joan,” She stood up, smiling at the man. “John! I’m so glad you could come.” He opened his mouth to reply, but Joan got there before him. “There’s someone I want to introduce you to. Jirachi!” she beckoned her sister over.
“This is my sister Jirachi.” “Nice to meet you John.” she smiled shyly. “I see good looks run in the family.” he grinned. “I’ll leave you two to talk” she said, walking away, smiling smugly to herself. “Oh-” said John. “Bye then” he called.
“Hey,” frowned George. “How did you manage to get a black toga?” The simself did not cease her smustling, but laughed. “Have you seen me in white?” “Yeah, but how?” “Oh I have my ways.” “Come on George,” For someone so utterly rat-arsed, Noah displayed inexplicable rhythm and finesse. “Dance!” George smiled slightly, but shook his head. “I don’t dance.”
“See, they’re getting along perfectly.” “Not as well as her and Grigg.” “Oh forget about Grigg. John’s perfect for her.” “Why? Because he’s a medical student? Because he’s stable? Because he’s intolerably dull?” “I only want what’s best for her. And I can tell that he’s half in love already.” “Because you can sense emotions right?” he teased, though his manner remained stern. “That’s what the witches say. I can practically smell them. I got this and Jirachi got-” she sighed and fell silent. “Trust me George, I can feel the... Smittenosity from here.”
“Mmmmm” George was clearly not wholly convinced, despite knowing full well the authenticity of Joan’s ability. “Right now, for example,” she told him “I can sense that you’re feeling exasperated.” she grinned. Despite himself, he smiled. “However did you know?” he asked dryly. “It’s a gift.” she grinned. “Come on,” She grabbed him by the arm. “Let’s get another drink”
If nothing else, it was a memorable night.
“You’ve made a real impression on John,” Joan told her sister over the noise of the party. “What? Do you think so?” Jirachi asked her sister, blushing slightly.
“Look at him,” she jerked her head. “He’s pretending not to look now, but when I first came over he couldn’t stop staring at you.” “I don’t know...” “Trust me,” Joan smiled. “There’s a whole lotta love hanging around John right now.”
“So what do you think of John?” George asked Jirachi the next evening. “He seems nice. Very clever too.” “Joan says he’s got a thing for you,” he watched her reaction. “Oh...” she blushed. “That’s what she says, but I’m sure she’s rushing ahead of herself, as usual.” George smiled at that. “That’s Joan.” he paused.“Have you spoken to Grigg recently?” he asked casually. “Not in a while, no. Why?” “Just wondering.” “I should start getting to class,” she stood and smiled at him. “I’ll see you later.”
Shortly afterwards, Joan appeared, chatting away to someone over the phone. “Okay, I’ll see you tomorrow. Bye.” She hung up and walked over to her friend, beaming. “What did I tell you? John’s coming over tomorrow.” “I really don’t think you should be messing with this Joan.” “What’s the matter George? I’m just doing what’s best for her.” “Are you sure you know what that is?”
“Don’t be ridiculous George.” she said, annoyed and headed for the door. George watched the door swing closed behind her. He gave a deep sigh. What am I going to do with her? Of course I know what I’m doing. George had been her closest friend since they had met as toddlers, but it sometimes seemed to Joan that, from that moment, he had done nothing but scold her. And, though she was reluctant to admit it, he had been right a lot of the time- but he wasn’t this time. Of course he wasn’t.
Jirachi returned from her class early, both escorted and supported by three of her peers. By the time they reached the staircase she was unconscious. Once her sister was in bed, Joan thanked them for their help and said goodbye. She sat beside her sister, worrying; it had been quite a while since Jirachi had had an... episode without the presence of the sun.
“Joan... Joan” At the touch of her shoulder, Joan woke up. “Oh God,” she moaned quietly “I fell asleep.”
“Go and get some proper sleep Joan,” George whispered, showing no evidence of their earlier argument. “But Jirachi-” “I’ll sit with her.” he said. “Now go on.” “Thank you.” she said gratefully.