Neo-Nate Pt. 3

((OOC: Joint Post Part III Winters and Blitzen- Takes place BEFORE the Precipice! Sorry for the timing))

Piper closed her eyes and sent the elevator upwards expressly to their floor. Taking the child was a good thing - the right thing - for the good of Oracle as well as for the baby itself. It was the right thing.

Romeo put a comforting hand on Piper's shoulder. He was sure this was hard for her too, being the baby taken away long ago. “It’s the right thing.” He assured her. “We’ve both seen first hand how dangerous a Neo who slips through the cracks become. She has a bright future because of what we did today. She’s going to a little hellion and going to to have some poor Alpha chasing her around. Trust me I can tell.” He said trying to add some levity to the situation.

Piper leaned her head against his shoulder familiarly, happy and content that he knew her well enough to know exactly what she needed to hear. The elevator doors open, and they stepped in, the cries of the baby’s mother being muffled in the process.

As if she didn’t feel they listened to enough sobbing, Desree started to whimper herself as soon as the elevator started to move. “Not you too, little one,” Piper soothed, as the baby’s cry went quickly from soft to ear shattering.

Romeo couldn’t help but wince. He couldn’t blame the kid but why did it remind him of a drill?

“Come on little songbird, no need for the sirens. You’re going to love the Spi--” Piper stopped mid sentence and clamped a hand to her forehead as the elevator stopped moving. It was the same ‘spike’ she’d felt earlier, only this time it was piercing and not letting up, almost as if something were trying to pry open her mind. Something dark.

“Piper!” Romeo said alarmed the cool facade fracturing slightly as he moved in to help stabilize her and the baby.

Piper fell against the elevator wall, or maybe it was Romeo, everything was hazy and dark. The lights in the elevator flickered on and off, the control panel completely lit up as the car slowly started going back upward. Piper saw inky black fingers clawing and into her mind and felt fabric ripping, a drop of blood from her nose hitting the elevator floor as she inwardly struggled. An intense fear gripped her, and somewhere from a distance there was a baby screaming. The elevator rattled, Romeo called her name. Another acrid pain laced into her and the elevator started to drop rapidly.

“Piper…” Romeo warned trying to keep his voice steady as he wrapped his arms around the baby and his Neo protectively. “ … do something!” He urged his voice rising. It was one of the few moments he felt completely useless and felt more like a meat shield instead!

She focused on his voice, a bright spot of light cutting through the dark. “Stop.” Piper said through gritted teeth, trying to break through the dark driving into her brain, while also trying to crawl inside the mechanics of the elevator to make it slow down. “Stop!” She commanded louder, things in coming slightly into focus, as if they were being viewed through scratched sunglasses.

It was becoming more and more clear what the problem was but how to remedy it without hurting Piper or Piper freaking out from the result of the immediate remedy of the situation was another matter. Sadly for a bonded Alpha if he had to choose between a baby and his Neo … the Neo wins every time. His hand drifted to his gun … they had time yet and he at least wanted to give Piper a chance to fix this.

Six years, she knew how he thought, how he’d react, and a small part of herself that she wasn’t proud of thought of the sweet relief shooting the infant would bring, but the better part of her knew how valuable each Neo was to OSEC, not to mention it was a baby! She couldn’t let him shoot a baby. Could she? The dark black faded mercifully into red, and the elevator at least stopped. Piper gasped for air, as she watched a shadowy figure vanish. It reminded her, almost, of what she’d see sometimes herself when she’d glitch. But babies weren’t normally glitchy, not that strongly, anyway. The red fog lifted, a spike removing itself from her brain like a cork from a bottle, and she gulped in air, shoving the infant towards Romeo. She felt completely drained, even the 14 lb infant was too heavy to keep in her arms. As soon as she did, the baby looked up at Romeo and giggled. It giggled, as in a small laugh, after all that, after getting this close to being shot!

It was only at risk of Piper dropping the baby did Romeo, awkwardly, take the child. Had one arm not been around Piper to steadying her he would have been holding out the baby had arm's length as if it were about to turn to a gremlin going for the neck. It seemed some awful cosmic joke that the baby giggled and smiled at him.

Clearly, there was a joke being played and the baby was in on it! He looked cooly down at the baby. “Don’t think shooting you is off the table.”

The baby cooed and giggled at his threat.

“I was feared once.” Romeo grumbled. How had he fallen so far that a baby laughed at his threats? He turned to Piper. “You okay … should I call for backup?” He asked her his voice filled with worry.

Piper snorted, unsure of what exactly had just happened, except when it was there, she could sense the same dread it brought the baby. She slid to sitting on the floor catching her breath. “I am not calling in backup for an infant. We… we tell no one about this.” She dabbed the back of her hand to her nose, and felt a calm, happiness radiating from the baby. “Besides, it looks like she likes you.”

“Don’t encourage her.” He said dryly. “Tell them what? The baby went glitchy and tried to kill us? That I threatened and nearly shot a baby?” Romeo clarified. “Hell no … the others would never let me live it down!” Alphas were a rowdy bunch of boys and the last thing he wanted was a sudden change of callsigns from Frosty to Devil Baby!

Piper smiled with a bit of relief and leaned against Romeo, her first line of support, her last line of defense, everything she could ever need. “Thanks, Romey,” she said, still trying to get her bearings. It didn’t need saying, but it was important to her that he knew just how much she appreciated him. “I’ll even do your paperwork for you tonight.”

“Oh, now you're just buttering me up!” Romeo playfully accused when it hit him. “I’m going to have to carry the baby aren't I.” He said looking at the squirming bundle, chubby little arms outstretched.

“Why? Is she too heavy for the big strong alpha?” Piper teased in response. “You need your neo to do all the heavy lifting?” Truth be told, she wasn’t sure exactly what had happened, and she worried about it happening again before they were able to safely drop her off.

Romeo looked at Piper like he just took a bite out of a something sour. “You’re lucky she likes you.” He said to the warbling gremlin in his arms. He said standing to his full height and extending a hand down to help Piper up.

Piper took his hand and was pulled to her feet just as the elevator doors opened. “Babies are pure chaos.” She told him as they walked from the building. Romeo held the baby in one arm, Piper had both her arms wrapped around his free one, for comfort more than support. “Tiny bundles of raw emotion. Makes ‘em glitchy.” The statement was more to convince herself than Romeo. “Next time, we’ll just use the stairs.”

“If that was your attempt to reassure me all you’ve done is convince me I’m carrying a bomb in diapers.” He summarized looking down to Piper. Now that seemed a perfectly reasonable reason why he, an Alpha, did not have the same fondness as most in regards to babies.

“The bomb likes you.” Piper noted, seeing the infant lie it’s head against Romeo’s shoulder, the babe yawning greatly before closing her heavy eyelids. “I’d be jealous, but you did almost shoot her a hot minute ago.”

“I still could.” He joked. Sue him and grave humor. The diaper bomb nearly punched their tickets! “Agh … I think it’s drooling on me!? I get us Alphas are made to bond with Neos but this taking it to far! I am spoken for!” He murmured sharply to the baby.

Desree ignored the comment and cuddled into him. Piper laced her fingers through his and squeezed his hand. “I’ve seen you disembowel something and slip on the entrails. You’re disgusted by a little baby drool?”

“Easy to say when your not the victim here!” Romeo said his dignity at risk. Sadly there wasn't much he was going to do … clearly the drool meant the little creature was out to lay claim to him in some fashion.

Piper’s eyes lit up. “This means you hold the baby-- and I drive!”

“Drive?” Romeo twitched. “As in manual drive? No just input the directions?” The Alpha gave a quick look to the sleeping EMP. “Is that safe?” He asked regarding bother her driving and the baby.

“She’s content with you.” Piper rationalized, pointing to her head to show she and the baby were on the save wave length. “What if she wakes up? By the time I slip into the engine, we could be crashed. Besides, I’ve always wanted to drive!” The look on Romeo’s face told her that he’d rather deal with a hundred babies with rich dickish self-entitled parents than let her try her hand at technomancing a car. “Fine.” she said, consoling herself by punching in the co-ordinates without touching the keypad. “Back to the Spire!”

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