Dear Diary

Chapter 33

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Dear Diary,

Yesterday I got a taste of what Mamee and my family must have felt when I was taken from them.  When I heard that man saying he was going to kill my boys and there was nothing that Jessie or I could do to stop him, my own heart wanted to stop.  Staying functional through that was the hardest thing I have ever been through, and that counts going through what Mom's alternate personality did to me. 

I really think that Mamee doesn't like that I still call her Mom, but she says that she trusts me and my Clan Training enough to believe that the woman who took me away from her when I was so young wasn't really responsible for what she did.  I think I will go see her today before we head for Orlando for the wedding.  I hope everyone will understand when I want to postpone my own wedding for a bit.  If I'm getting married to Jessie, I really want her there with me because she is my family just as much as everyone else.

I think I'll quit writing now.  I couldn't sleep last night because I stayed up watching Emile, Etienne, and Evander sleeping in their room, but now I see that at least part of Jessie is waking up, and I suddenly have the urge to go back to bed now.  Bye, Diary.

********************************

"Dixon!" Barbara called out when he walked into the offices of the facility where she had been sent.  "I heard there was an attack on your family.  Please tell me you and Jessie and your boys are all ok, and the rest of your family."`    1

"We're all fine now, Mom," Dixon told her as he hugged her tightly.  "It was just some loose ends from Arkansas, but they have been dealt with and will not be a problem for anyone ever again."

"It was Dupuis' brother wasn't it?" she asked directly.  "I knew that man was as bad as his brother.  I could just feel it every time I was around him."

"Yeah, it was him and a few friends of their family," Dixon confirmed.  "Like I said, they won't be a problem anymore."  He smiled at her and asked then, "So, how are you doing?"

"Paige is gone, completely gone," Barbara said a little proudly.  "You were right, Dixon.  She really was the weakest of us all.  The only strength she ever really had was anger, and I have finally learned that it's ok to be angry, and that there are perfectly good, socially acceptable ways to express that, which I won't get into trouble for as my abuser no longer has any influence over my life.  Although, I have to admit to almost wishing she was back when I heard that someone had attacked you and your family.  I wanted to be able to turn her loose on anyone that tried to hurt you."

"That would have been a bad thing, though, Mom," Dixon said quickly.

"Oh, sweetie, I know that.  She was all anger, nothing else.  Turning her loose would have meant there was no control or stopping her.  But now that anger is part of me and there is a lot more to me than just anger, even when it is justified.  Paige will never control me again because I control my anger, not the other way around.  I can never thank you enough for getting me to this place so I could get the help I have needed since I was very young, and I am so proud of you for being part of a group that is helping make sure no child ever goes through life the way I have."

"Paige may have interfered sometimes, but you raised me to be a good guy who helps others when I can, Mom, and now I am in a place to help a whole lot."  He suddenly got nervous and started staring at the floor while he fidgeted with the hem of his shirt.  "You really love me like I was your real son, don't you?"

"Yes, Dixon, I do." Now she got nervous.  "I never got the chance to ask that day, is it all right if I still call you Dixon?  I mean I know it isn't the name you were born with, and you may have gone back to using Daniel now that you are back with your real family."

"I'm still Dixon, Mom, and to me, you are just as real family to me as they are.  That's why I came here today hoping that you are doing so much better."  He started blushing and getting really nervous now.  "You see, well, it's like this, Jessie and I have the boys now.... OH, that reminds me.  Did you like the name Evander when you picked it for my middle name?"

"Michelle picked that actually.  Evander was the name of one of the boys that I had to make a film with when I was about seven years old.  He was thirteen and was very cute and he tried to fight doing the film because he didn't want to hurt me.  He was really sweet to me and my... abuser... made him pay for that.  Evander was... he was the first one that I was forced to....  His last words to me were that he forgave me because he knew I had no choice.  I had been made to help get rid of some of the... bodies... before, but because he was nice to me and tried not to hurt me, they made me kill him.  That was when Paige was born."

"Mom, I am so, so sorry that you had to go through that," Dixon told her as he hugged her once again.  "I wanted to know about the name because when I came back to Charleston, Mamee let me change my name to Dixon Daniel Wiggins, because I didn't want to give up being Dixon, but I kind of hated to lose Evander too.  Well, anyway, the new baby, your third grandson, is named Evander.  That was already his name, but I am really glad because it is the name I would have wanted for him anyway.  The twins are calling him Evvie when they don't just say Little Bubba."

"I'm really happy that he has that name too," Barbara smiled.  "You know, Dixon is pretty special to me too.  Dixon was the name of my older brother.  He was our abuser's victim before me.  I don't remember him really well because he was kept so busy making films and taking care of friends of our abuser that we didn't get much time together.  He was supposed to be my first when I was five years old, but he absolutely refused and nothing they did would make him agree.  He died fighting them to protect me."

"So you named me after the two guys who had meant the most to you?"  When she nodded, Dixon added, "I hope I live up to their legacy, Mom."

"You do, sweetie, you definitely do," she said as she pulled him into her lap for a cuddle.  "Now, we both got a little off track.  You were saying something about a reason you were hoping that I was doing so much better."

"Yes, ma'am.  You see, Jessie and I are both considered adults under Vulcan Law now and that's how we were able to adopt the three boys, but we sort of forgot when we were getting them that we weren't married, and that's something the Clan would kind of prefer for their families."

"You and Jessie are getting married? Oh, sweetie, that's wonderful.  You two make such an adorable couple.  You're so cute together.  I'm so happy for you.  I really am.  It was only when Paige was in control that there was a problem with you being gay, sweetie.  Like I said, she was all anger and nothing else, so rational intelligence was not exactly her strong suit."

"You're really ok with it, with us?"

"Does he make you happy, Dixon?"

"So far beyond happy, Mom.  I can't even describe it.  It's like he's part of my soul, to the point that without him around me, I'm not all here, you know?"

"Then I am extremely happy, and totally ok with it and with you, Dixon."  She gave him a great big kiss on his forehead and hugged him really tightly.  "I only wish I could see the wedding.  Don't you worry about me, though.  I understand it would be awkward with me there, to say the least."

"Well, it's going to have to be really awkward then, Mom, because I don't just want you there, I want you to walk me down the aisle, even if that does make me look like the bride, or the bot.... Umm never mind, shutting up about that now.  Anyway, I want you to give me away, Mom, but only at the wedding.  You're not getting rid of me for a long, long time."

"Dixon... you want me.... Really, Dixie?  Are you sure about that?"

"Absolutely, Mom.  There's nobody else I would want more to walk with me down that aisle."

"We'll have to see if I can be cleared for at least a brief outing then," Barbara smiled, her eyes tearing.  "I'm going to walk my son down the aisle for his wedding."

"Mom, I should also let you know that I have a big family now.  I have two identical brothers because they are me from other dimensions and a twin sister from another dimension as well.  Oh, and she brought my Dad with her."

"Your father is here now, too?"  At this, Barbara started getting nervous again.  "Umm... wow."

"Please don't back out on me now, Mom," Dixon pleaded.  "I really, really want you there."

"I'm not backing out, son; it's just... well... Paige killed the him from this dimension a few years ago, and I know it wasn't me, and Michelle and I were fighting her, but still this body and yeah...  Your Mamee is probably not going to ever want me around you at all, much less at your wedding.  What that woman has gone through because of me...."

It was at this point that Mamee stepped around a corner just a few feet from them.  "I may be old and set in my ways, young lady, but I am not so blind that I can't see how much this would mean to Dixon.  Nor am I unable to see that while your other part stole him from me, you did your best to raise him to be a caring, sensitive, loving, intelligent young man that I am very, very proud of and would never want to disappoint again for however many years I have left."

"What do you mean disappoint again, Mamee?"  Dixon asked.  "And how did you get here?"

"You aren't the only one capable of asking for a lift from one of your little Miky friends, Dixon," Mamee told him with a raised eyebrow that would have done any Vulcan proud.  "In fact, I am told that I pay better than you, because I give them pralines and you just tell them thank you."

"Mikyvis on a praline sugar buzz?  Mamee, are you sure the universe can handle that?" Dixon squeaked.

"That is the universe's problem, and their parents," the old woman sneered.  "I'm a grandmother; those rules don't apply to me.  Sugar them up and send them home.  That's in the job description I was given by Teri and a few of the other ladies I met in Orlando, so I am taking full advantage."

At that point, Kyle and Tyler popped in. "Mamme!" both boys said in unison with their best puppy-dog eyes at full force, "Can we have soma those yummies too? Levi says they's AWESOME!"

"Oh sweeties, I'm afraid I didn't bring any with me, but if you go to my house and give Annie Mae and Auntie René those adorable little pouty faces, I'm sure they will be happy to give you a couple of dozen to take home for all your family."  Mamee then leaned down and gave each boy a cuddle and a kiss on the forehead.

"You're the bestest Grandma EVER!" Tyler squealed in delight as both boys gave her a big hug and sloppy Mikyvis kisses before popping off on their yummies hunt.

"Mrs. Wiggins, I cannot begin to tell you how sorry I am for everything," Barbara started saying.

"That's right; you can't, because I'm not going to let you.  You weren't yourself, dear, and having heard just the little bit that I have just now, I feel that I should be the one apologizing to you for not helping prevent what happened to you as a child."

"Oh no, ma'am, you would never have known what was going on, so you have nothing to apologize for at all."

"Fiddlesticks, the whole universe owes you an apology, my dear, for not having someone able to step in and help you when you needed it.  It is a shame that we all should bear that it took so long for young Dixon's Clan to be formed and do what needed to be done.  That is neither here nor there at this point, though.  The crucial matter at hand is how do we get my great grandson's mom to his wedding?"

"I believe that I may be of some assistance in that regard."  Dixon, Mamee, and Barbara all looked up at the new voice and Barbara smiled.

"Healer Stepn, I would like you to meet he who is my son, and she who is his ancestor," Barbara introduced.  "Dixon, Mrs. Wiggins, this is the healer who is in charge of my mental care here."

"Live long and prosper, Director Wiggins, Mrs. Wiggins," the tall man said as he gave the traditional salute to Dixon.

"Peace and long life, Healer Stepn," Dixon replied in kind.

"It is an honor to meet you, Mrs. Wiggins," the man said as he bent to kiss Mamee's hand.  "I believe that is the customary greeting for your cultural heritage, is it not?"

"Oh my," Mamee actually blushed a bit.  "You sir, are a gentleman and a scholar, and a silver-tongued flirt."

"Silver-tongued?" the healer raised one eyebrow, just like Dixon had seen Uncle Spock do before.  "I assure you that if you were to examine it more closely, there would only be the appropriate green tint, as I am quite healthy for my age and life experience."

"Ok, if you weren't a Vulcan I would so be grossed out by you just offering to French kiss my great-grandmother," Dixon moaned and facepalmed.

"DIXON!" Mamee and Barbara scolded in stereo.

"Mamee, he asked you to examine his tongue more closely.  Only a Vulcan could say that and actually mean it the way it was said," Dixon defended.

"I am gratified that you are aware that I was not making improper advances towards your maternal ancestor, Director."

"Can we please stop with the ancestor?" Mamee demanded.  "I may be old, but I happen to know that there are boys in the Clan that make me look younger than baby Evvie."

"My apologies, Mrs. Wiggins, I meant no offense, merely respect for your position in the Director's life," Stepn told her.  "I would also assure that no improper behavior was implied in my earlier comments despite the hormonal influence in young Frankenweenie here."

"Does everyone in Alpha Prime know that name now?" Dixon moaned as he hid his face again.

"No, Director, only those of us who were present at the dedication ceremony for the Clan facility near your home."  Dixon could have sworn that Stepn was smirking then.  "Perhaps their families throughout the galaxy.  However, you will be gratified to know that the possibilities of the entire Romulan and Klingon Empires knowing the sobriquet are still quite low."

"I've just been burned by a Vulcan," Dixon pouted.  "Can I go home and hide in the train room with my kids now.  They still like me at least."

"I am a Vulcan, Director.  I am incapable of liking you, but you have the reassurance that this also means I cannot dislike you, either."

"Not helping," Dixon mumbled.

"Are we now back to the point of me helping?  Human interactions can sometimes be difficult for me to follow."  Dixon gave his best impression of an unimpressed Vulcan.  It was.... unimpressive.  "She whom you regard as your mother is free to leave our facility, provided she continues to receive counseling from one of the specialists allied with the Clan on Earth."

"I can leave?" Barbara gasped.

"She's free to go?" Dixon questioned.

"I believe the Director who apprehended Ms. Pickhinke, recorded in his official report to the patriarch that she was not to be held responsible for those actions taken by her alternate persona due to the mental health diagnosis," Stepn stated with a pointed look at Dixon.  "A determination for which not only is she grateful, but one in which I find the logic to be sound."

"Thank you, sir," Dixon said sincerely.  "I didn't want people to think I only let her off because she was my mom."

"I never contemplated such, Director," Stepn assured him.  "I am aware of your training in our discipline, even if you are in a command role and not functioning as a healer."

"Well, I for one think that your Clan could do with quite a few more mental health caregivers, particularly with a specialty for adult parents of Clan members," Mamee announced, but she did have a smile on her face.  "Why just look at the shape your poor father was in when he came home yesterday."

"Yeah, well he wasn't the only one that Georges surprised yesterday," Dixon confessed.  "I guess we should do a better job of that with Mom."

"Perhaps you should," Mamee agreed.

*****************

When Jessie awoke for the second time that morning he was alone in the bed.  He couldn't actually remember if he really was awake the first time or if he had only dreamed about the fun he had with Dixon.  As Dixon seemed to be gone, he assumed it hadn't been real.  Dixon must have finally realized that everything that had gone wrong in their lives could all be traced back to him.  Jessie had gotten his parents murdered, his brother had been jailed because of him, and now just yesterday, his and Dixon's boys had almost been killed all because of him being gay and stupid.  It would be best for all of them if he snuck away and disappeared, so he can't endanger or hurt his family anymore.

He found it really easy to sneak out of the house, as he didn't come across anyone in the halls, but he stopped on the front porch and just stood blinking in confusion when he got outside.  Directly in front of him across a lovely paved boulevard with wildflowers beds in the middle of it was the Whatley farmhouse.  There were more houses on either side of both it and Wiggins House as well.  The duffel bag in his hand thumped to the floor as he looked around in wonder.   As he looked at the house immediately to the left of Wiggins House, he started to really think he was losing his mind.  There in perfect condition was a house he had seen burn to the ground... in Louisiana.  As he watched, the front doors of the houses around him started opening and similarly surprised people began emerging. 

From the house on the right side of Wiggins House, Jason, Philip, and Lefty walked out onto their small front porch and they all had the same gobsmacked expression as Jessie.  Across the street, Whatley Farmhouse opened up as Sonny, Libby, Danny, and Priscilla emerged.  Danny was looking around frantically and when he saw Wiggins House, he ran across the street, into the house and up the stairs.  A moment later, he came barreling back down again.  "Where's Bethany, have you seen her, where's my BB?"

"Little bro, do you have any idea what happened or what's going on, not to mention where we are?" Jason asked he walked up to Jessie. 

"I...umm.... I don't know.... Haven't seen..... No idea."

"Very helpful, squirt," Philip teased.  Then he noticed the bag beside Jessie.  He dropped to his knees and looked directly at Jessie's eyes.  "Little man, why is there a bag full of clothes beside you on the porch?"

Jessie snatched up the bag and tried to run, but Jason tackled him on the lawn in front of the big house.  "You aren't going anywhere, bro."  He held Jessie in place with one arm, and grabbed for the communicator that he had gotten from Zemal at Dixon's orders.  "I don't know who is listening, but I need Dixon Wiggins to show up where I am as soon as possible."

"I'ma got rat on dat, Oncle Jase," a young Cajun voice answered, but it wasn't one of the Popsicle Twins.

"Ok, when did we all enter the Twilight Zone?" Sonny asked as he joined the gathering family in front of Wiggins House.  "I went to bed in my apartment in Charleston and I woke up in that admittedly very nice and spacious farmhouse."

"I was in my room in Wiggins House, and woke up in a new house too," D.K. said as he came over as well.  The house he had been in was on the right side of the farmhouse.

"You guys have got to see this place!" a voice yelled out from the left side of the farmhouse.  Everyone turned to see Nate and Zemal holding hands with their twins as they walked out of a tiny little building that bore a strong resemblance to a mushroom.

"How did you four all fit in there?" Libby asked as she started toward them.

"We gots a underground house!" Jules and Julie squealed happily.

"BRO!" Lije yelled out as he ran up from a house across the street.  "You live in a smurf house.  If he's Poppa Smurf, which one are you now?"

"What are you talking about, Lije?" Nate turned back to look at his new home from the outside.  "OH NO THEY DIDN'T!  AWWWW Come on, guys."

"Actually, I sort of like it," Zemal shrugged.  "I definitely like the inside.  Our bedroom was the perfect temperature for me when I woke up.  You weren't too cold were you?" he asked Nate nervously.

"ZEMAL! Dude, I know it's casual dress around the office especially for you, but seriously what are you wearing?" Huey asked as he fought a wicked case of giggles.

"What do you mean? I'm wearing my underwear as usual," the Andorran replied, then he looked down.  Across the crotch of his never seen before underwear was the logo for Nathan's hot dogs.  He looked back up to see Nate turning fire engine red from head to toe.  "Well, it is yours," he shrugged.

"Excuse me, could any of you folks tell me where we are and what is going on?" Everyone turned to the new voice, and Nate broke out in a smile.

"Hiya, Zipper," Nate called out as a little boy ran up and hugged him.  "Hello, Mr. and Mrs. Nelson.  It's good to see you again.  He then introduced Roger, Alia, and Zipper to the members of the family they had not met previously.

Meanwhile back at the secured facility where Dixon and Mamee had gone to see Barbara, an orderly walked up to tell Dixon that a child with an unusual French accent was contacting him and that his communicator had now been patched through.

"This is Daddy, go ahead my little popsicle," Dixon spoke as he tapped his comm.

"Sorry, Oncle Dixie, dis not you popsicles, dey out crawfishing wid Kyle and Tyler," the voice that answered told him.  "I'm Thibbie.  We ain't met yet, but we fin to when you got back.  Is you and Mamee and Tante Barbara ready to get home?  Oncle Jess, he need you home bad, and maybe you brought dat nice Mr. Stepn wid you.  Oncle Jess, I tink he need to spoke wid him too."

"I am available for the next 36 Earth hours, Director," Stepn whispered to let Dixon know he could assist with whatever issue was apparently taking place.

"Well, let one of the Miky's know that we need a lift," Dixon told Thibbie.

"You don't need dem dis time, Oncle Dixie, I took care of you in tree or two second," Thibbie responded.  "I jes gotsta wait on {Ark} to learn how to spoke wid me."   There was a very brief pause, and then Thibbie announced.  "Home again home again jiggety jig."

"Mercy sakes, I will never get used to that," Mamee fussed as she opened her eyes in an unknown, very high tech room with no windows.  To one side of the room was a desk with several computer screens on it and a nameplate that said 'Poppa Smurf.'  "Where are we, Dixon?"

"Umm... I'm not actually sure, Mamee," Dixon confessed nervously.

"Dis here Communications Central where me and my Poppa Smurf work," the voice from the comm told them and suddenly there was a little boy with chestnut brown extremely curly hair and caramel colored skin standing in front of them wearing nothing but a pair of denim bib overalls.  He had one blue eye and one green eye, but strangest of all was that he had Andorian antennae on top of his head sticking up out of his afro.  "Hi Oncle Dixie, I'm Thibbie, dat short for Thibedeaux.  I'm you AI.  I would showed you round, but you need to got to Oncle Jess now.  Dat red door is de halimavator what took you folk up bove ground.  You got out de halimavator, go straight out de big doors and den you cross Rue de Sarah, two door up Josiah Boulevard, you gonna found de whole family in front of Wiggins House."

"Rue de Sarah?  Josiah Boulevard?" Mamee wondered aloud.

"Dey was name special for you family," the little virtual boy told her with a smile.  "De place look a little different den you last seed it, but I tink you gonna like it plenty good."

"Dixon, I am getting a bit nervous here," Barbara confessed.  "It seems something strange is going on.  Did you not ask to come home?"

"Yeah, I asked for home, Mom," Dixon told her as he took her hand in his.  "It's ok though, I think I know what is going on.  I just didn't expect it to happen this quickly."

"You mean the house is moved?" Mamee asked him.

"Yes'm," Thibbie answered.  "De whole family on de farm now.  Mamee, you might want to gone and seed to Tante René.  I tink he don't knowed what to tink after he woke up dis morning in his old house from de bayou."

Dixon and the three adults all got into the lift and followed the directions to get outside.  Just across the street in front of them was a beautiful boulevard with houses on each side of it.  The Brouillard Plantation house was on their right and on their left was... a Smurf mushroom house.  They could see the family all gathered on the lawn in front of Wiggins House just next door to Auntie René's home.  They crossed the street and Mamee knocked at her old friend's door as Dixon and the others kept walking to join the crowd.

Barbara hung back nervously at the edge of the group, and Healer Stepn stayed close to her.  The Peltiers were the first to notice her.  Sonny and Libby came over with warm smiles as they carried Bethany with them.

"Hello, Ms. Pickhinke," Sonny greeted holding out his hand to shake hers.

"Hello, dear, I'm Libby Peltier, and this is my husband Sonny," Libby gushed.  "This is our granddaughter Bethany.  It's so nice to meet you finally."

"Are you sure you don't mean it's a shock?"

"Certainly not," Sonny corrected her.  "Anyone that's been around Dixon for the last.... Oh dear, I'm not sure how to describe the time anymore.  By the calendar, it's only been a very little while, but those young Miky boys took us all on a vacation for six months so we could all get to know one another better last week, so has it been a week or has it been six months?  Oh well, doesn't matter.  The point is you're here now to complete Dixon's family for him and Libby and I couldn't be happier."

"Healer Stepn... Are you sure I'm ready to be released?  I'm feeling really confused at the moment."

"I find the situation as perplexing as you," Stepn replied with an arched brow.

"Now, you never mind all that talk about time," Libby told them.  "You just come right on over here and meet the others."

"Ms. Pickhinke."  Barbara turned and caught her breath.  Standing right in front of her were two Dixons and a girl that was obviously the sister Dixon had mentioned.  Danny spoke again as he stepped forward to take Bethany from Libby for a moment.  "I'm Danny, this is Davey, and Danielle.  The three of us are Dixon's brothers and sisters."

"I think she could see that," Danielle said rolling her eyes.  "Boys.  We all talked and it's not a problem for us that Dixie calls you Mom."

"Danielle and I don't remember our birth mother much more than Dixon does, so if it's all right with you, may we call you Mom as well?"

"Dixon explained about your condition," Danny spoke up again before Barbara could respond.  "I remember my mother very well, but I accept that she is gone along with the world that I knew before coming here.  I ask not only that you be Mom to me, but grandmother to my daughter Bethany as well.  If you are willing, of course."

"You.... You all really want to.... You want me to be..... Even after...."

"Like Danny said, Dixon explained it to us," Davey piped up.  "If he loves you still, then you must be good people in my book."

"And Dixon definitely loves you," Danielle told her.  "He thought he was blocking us out, but we all know how much he wants you to be at his wedding.  It's... well, it's romantic and sweet."

"Careful, Thumper, you'll ruin your butch image," Davey teased.

"You are just determined to make me kill you, aren't you, Big Mouth?"

"Children, that will be enough of the name-calling," Barbara scolded.  "Oh, I guess I am a Mom."  She smiled at the three of them and held her arms open.  "Well, Moms get hugs, don't we?" 

"Jessie, what is going on?  I left you a note on the table beside the bed to let you know I was going to visit Mom this morning.  Did you not see it?" Dixon asked as he walked up to find Jessie crying in his brother's arms and nothing anyone was saying was getting through to him.  Dixon's voice seemed to do the trick though.

"You didn't leave me to save the kids from getting killed like I got my parents murdered?"

"Healer Stepn, we need you over here, please," Dixon called out at the same time Jason yelled at Jessie.

"WHOA! Hold up, little bro.  You did not get our parents murdered.  You were in the courtroom in Arkansas that day.  You know good and well that they were planning to take Mom and Dad out anyway.  They just used you as the bait for the psycho that did it.  You were set up just like Mom and Dad were."

"How may I assist you, Director?" Stepn asked as he stood beside Dixon.

"My boyfriend seems to think that he is responsible for things that were out of his control and of which he was just as much a victim as the rest of us were.  I am clearly not able to diagnose or counsel him, so I would like to ask if you could evaluate him and make recommendations for his care, as well as his fitness for duty as second in command of this division.  Please take him somewhere you can have privacy, while I tour the new division compound with the rest of my crew."

"Dixon? You sound angry," Jessie said softly.

"We will discuss my feelings later, commander.  My focus needs to be on the division at the moment."

"Commander Blankenship, if you could direct me to your personal quarters, I believe that will be an appropriate location for our purposes," Healer Stepn told Jessie as Dixon turned and walked away.  Jessie was wiping tears from his face as he walked back into Wiggins House.  He didn't see Dixon doing the same as he approached the group of family still gathered by the street.

"May I have your attention, please?" Dixon called out.  "It is my pleasure as the Director of Family Clan Short of Vulcan Intel Field Services Division to welcome you all to our new divisional compound, formerly known as Whatley Farms.  Mikyvys work in mysterious ways their wonders to perform.  I was not expecting this to happen for another couple of days, and I certainly didn't expect everything to happen at once like this.  Plus I have suspicions that one of the surprises to me this morning is not a surprise to some of my crew.  Huey, Doug, Nate, and Zemal... would you guys like to take us all to that big building at the end of the street and introduce the family to someone?"

"Introduce the family to who?" Huey asked in confusion.  The other three didn't seem to know what Dixon was talking about either.

"Mamee, Mom, Healer Stepn, and I were just teleported home by a cute little munchkin that sounds an awful lot like my popsicles and looks like a mixture of all four of you.  He said his name is Thibbie, which is short for Thibedeaux."

"He's online?" Nate squealed.  He turned to look at Zemal, Huey, and Doug, who all looked as shocked as he did.

"He looks like us?" Doug questioned.  "All four of us?"

Protocol was clearly forgotten as the four boys turned and ran toward the command center as fast as they could.  "Well, I suggest the rest of us follow along.  It seems that Thibbie may be the only one around here that knows what is actually going on.  Maybe he knows where my kids are as well, since I haven't seen them yet."

"Emmy and Enny is out at Popsicle Bayou with Kyle and Tyler," Jules announced.

"Yeah, dey mudbugging," Julie added.

"Popsicle Bayou?  They went back to Louisiana?" Dixon asked.

"No, silly," Jules giggled.  "They rat out you back door, behind you house."

"What did you say they were doing, sweetie?  Mudbugging?  What is that?" Libby asked the little girl.

"Dey put a string wid a hook and some goop on it down dese holes and dey catch critters what dey say Auntie René could ball up for after de wedding today.  I ain't never heard of playing ball after a wedding, me no," the little girl answered.

"It's clear that you two have been spending an awful lot of time around Emile and Etienne.  You're starting to sound just like them," Philip laughed. 

"Yeah, you bébés spoking like home folk now," JB grinned at them, as he picked them both up and cuddled them as they walked down the street toward the Command Center.  "Just so everyone is clear though, I think they mean to have a crawfish boil after the wedding."

"Timmy say we de Popsicle Patrol, so we gots to all been popsicle like Emmy and Enny," Jules told them proudly.

 Nate appeared at the entrance of the building just as the rest of the family got there and was grinning like it was Christmas morning.  "Jules, Julie, come meet your new big brother."

"We gots a brother?" Jules asked excitedly.

"Do we get a sister too?" Julie asked quickly.

"Um...well... not today at least," Nate told her.

"Probably not for lack of trying, huh Nate?" Jason teased.  Everyone but the little ones laughed as Nate turned red all over and grabbed his twins and took them to the lift to go down to the communications room below ground.

"This is all wonderful and exciting, but I still don't understand why my family and I are here," Roger Nelson muttered as he and his wife and son looked around the Intel Field Services Division headquarters.

"Oh dat easy, Oncle Roger," Thibbie grinned.  "You de pilot.  You been transferred from Whatley Wiggins to Intel Field Services.  De shuttle hangar just behind you house.  De shuttle named Caledonia III.  Ask Oncle Ossie bout dat he can told you where dat name come from."

"Well, I realize I am a pilot, that was why I was hired on at Whatley-Wiggins," Roger mumbled.  "Wait did you just say there is a shuttle hangar behind my house?"

"Welcome to Intel Field Services, family, Lieutenant Nelson," Dixon smiled.  When everyone looked at him he shrugged and laughed a little shyly.  "I might not have known that this was happening this morning, but I'm the Division Director.  I'm not totally clueless.  After meeting you the day of the attacks, I did some research on you, Mr. Nelson.  Something about how well you and your family fit into our family, and the compassion that you showed as we grieved our loss and celebrated our gains, I just felt that you belonged with us as part of this crazy roller coaster of a family.  From there it was just a matter of pulling a bit of rank and privilege as one of the majority stock holders, and here you are.  I do hope you like your house.   That actually goes for all of you.  Uncle Sonny and Aunt Libby are the only ones of you that got to give input."

"Now Dixie, you should know us better than that," Kyle announced as he rode into the room on the back of a seven foot long alligator along with the Popsicle Twins and Tyler.  They were all five covered in mud.

"I thought you guys were catching mudbugs not becoming them," Jessie laughed.  The adults were all too busy backing away or climbing onto furniture making noises of panic.

"I think you two need to introduce your friend to the family, before he scares them too much," Dixon giggled.

"Before he scares?!?" Philip snorted as he tried to coax his mother off the top of a communications console.  "I think it's a little late for that, little bro."

"Mommy, can I ride on the dinosaur, too?" Zipper squealed.

"Maybe after he takes a bath, dear," Alia told her son as she peeked out from behind her husband.

"I assure you, Zipper will be just as safe as my boys are," Dixon told them.

"That is the most unassuring reassurance I have ever heard in my life," Alia grumbled.  She then squeaked and hid her face against the back of Roger's shoulder as the gator hissed loudly.

"Cedric say he be mighty proud to give Zippy a ride round de bayou wid me and Enny, Miz NelsonCedric say he be mighty proud to give Zippy a ride round de bayou wid me and Enny, Miz Nelson ("Cedric says that he would be mighty proud to give Zippy a ride around the bayou with me and Etienne, Mrs. Nelson")," Emmy grinned.  "Oh dis Cedric, Daddy.  He live in our bayou wid his Papa Hébert Hébert ("pronounced as 'A bear'") and his Mama BathildeBathilde ("pronounced as 'BA teal'") and his bubba Emeric and his sissy ClothildeClothilde ("pronounced as 'CLOH teal'")."

"The alligator's father is a bear?" Poppop questioned.

The Popsicle Twins giggled and almost fell off Cedric's back.  "No, Poppop, dat his name, Hébert."

" Hébert, dat spelled H E B E R T," JB translated.

"Well, of course, it is," Poppop rolled his eyes with a smile.

"Cedric he de big bubba like me.  Emeric his baby bubba just like Evander.  Emeric he only only four feets big."

"Only four feet?  As in four feet long?" Libby gulped.

"Well I would say that Cedric is a pretty big brother all right," Sonny joked nervously as he fidgeted his fingers over the seat of the chair he was not trying to hide behind at all because he is a grown man and yeah, he knew he wasn't fooling anyone.

"Oh Oncle Hébert he way bigger den dis," Enny pointed out helpfully.  "He wait upstairs cause he couldn't fit in de halimavator to come down here."

"That is a commercial freight sized turbo lift," Roger observed.  "There are shuttle pods in Starfleet that aren't that big."

" Hébert could fit into the lift alone, but not with Cedric," Tyler told them.  "But back to the original comment from Dixon.  I promise all of your minds provided information regarding your houses, even Nate and Zemal."

"I don't remember ever wanting to live in a mushroom," Nate told them.

"Ummm... hello, you are marrying a smurf," Kyle giggled.

"I likes our smurf house, Daddy," Jules told Nate.  "I never know shrooms is bigger on de inside den de outside."

"Yeah, that's a trick we picked up from my brother Galli," Kyle grinned.

"Ok, I get that mine and Doug's house is straight out of our heads, because we had actually talked about stuff that we saw in it as we walked out this morning, but what I don't get is why we are so far away from HQ, when our son is the AI unit here," Huey griped good naturedly.

"We just thought you should get some exercise outside the bedroom too," Tyler giggled.

"I would dunk you in the bayou, but it looks like you've already been there," Huey growled.

"Ok, so who's ready for the grand tour?" Dixon asked everyone.

"We ready, Daddy," Emmy squealed.

"You're ready for a bath is what you are ready for, my little popsicles," Jessie laughed.  A second later, all the mud was gone from the room and from the four boys and the gator.  "Thank you for the Miky mud removal."

"Well, we were the ones that brought it in," Kyle smiled.  "I can be responsible and mature sometimes."

"I'm sure I speak for Cory and Sean and quite a few others in the clan when I say we are happier that you took the time to play in the mud, than we are that you cleaned it up," Dixon told him seriously.

"Oh, I can bring the mud back if you want," Kyle giggled.

"That's not necessary, but thank you for offering," Dixon laughed as he hugged the little Mikyvis king. 

Upstairs in the lobby of the Intel Field Services headquarters, everyone met Cedric's father, Hébert, who did indeed make his son look rather small.  Hébert was easily twice as long as Cedric.  Zipper was most impressed.  "OOOO MOMMY DADDY I want to ride that dinosaur please please please."

"We'll ride with him so he doesn't fall off," Davey offered as he, Xander, and Xandra all climbed onto Hébert's back.  Roger walked over and lifted up Zipper and placed him in front of the three older kids.

"Me too," Thibbie announced as he scrambled up on the giant reptile as well.

"Dey not dinosaur, Zippy, dey hallimagatorDey not dinosaur, Zippy, dey hallimagator ("They are not dinosaurs, Zippy, they are alligators")," Emmy called out as the alligators led the family tour out of the building.

Dixon led the group to the front gates of the new Intel Field Services Compound.  Mamee and Auntie René had joined them as they walked up Josiah Boulevard.  Everyone's homes were pointed out for the others so that everyone would know who lived where.  Mamee was touched that the original stone and wood archway of Whatley Farms had been preserved and only modified to include a force field powered and controlled by the new guardhouse just next to it.  Sergeant Alexandrè, Georges' big brother was on duty and hurried out to greet them.

"Sir," he said as he did a full attention salute.

"At ease, Alex," Dixon blushed.  "We've had this discussion already."

"Begging your pardon, sir, but that discussion was before your promotion," Alex stated formally still holding at attention.

"My promotion?"

"May I have the honor of introducing you to the family?  That is if you are still talking to me, and want me to," Jessie asked as he walked up with Healer Stepn, both wearing formal uniforms with Intel Field Services logos on them.

"I don't know," Dixon mused.  "I am pretty hurt that you think I would blame you for what happened at that park yesterday, and I'm really angry right now that you would try to sneak off and leave me and the boys.  I understand that you were hurt and overwhelmed, but you could have talked to me first, you know."

"I realize I made a huge mistake this morning, Dixie," Jessie told him as he stepped right in front of Dixon and then dropped to one knee.  "Dixon, I know I have been a stupid, immature kid, and right now I won't and can't blame you if you say no, but I love you more than anything in this universe or any other, and I want to spend the rest of eternity with you, supporting you, loving you and being loved by you, and protecting you from all the flaming farms that may come our way.  Dixon Daniel Wiggins, Director of Family Clan Short Intel Field Services and Fleet Commander of Family Clan Short Space Forces, will you marry me?"

"Fleet Commander? Me?" Dixon squeaked, and then the rest of Jessie's words sunk in.  "Are you ever going to try and leave me again?  I won't be able to forgive that again, because I will know that I was not good enough for you."

"Director, when do you wish to schedule your session with me?" Stepn asked.

"Dixon doesn't need to have a session," Jessie said quickly.

"Yes, Jessie, yes I do," Dixon corrected.  "I'm just as insecure about not deserving you and all of this as you have been."

"I am so, so sorry I made you feel that way, Dixon," Barbara whispered.

"You didn't do this, Mom," Dixon assured her.  "Paige did it, not you.  You and Michelle only ever loved me."

"I have wanted to die ever since the night my parents were murdered.  I felt I deserved to because it was all my fault.  My mind was so caught up in guilt and sorrow and pain, that I couldn't accept it even when it was proven in a court room in front of me that I was just a means to an end.  What those two men planned to do to me that night was going to be their bonus, not their main plan.  I went through hell not realizing that I was being given a great big chunk of heaven to make up for what I had been through.  I love you, my Dixie Pixie Frankenweenie, and I will never, ever forget again that you love me too."  The two boys kissed and held each other as they both cried.

"Frankenweenie?" Roger whispered.

"Long story," several voices responded.

"Please correct me if I am in error, as my training has been in mental health, not physical, but it is my understanding that it cannot be that long as the Director is not yet 12 years of age," Stepn observed.

"STEPN!  You're fired," Dixon growled.

"I see no conflagration, Director Wiggins," the man said as he glanced around himself.

"You, sir, Vulcan though you may be, were born to fit in this family," Mamee smiled as she instructed everyone to join in a whole family group hug, insisting that Kyle and Tyler join as well.

"Dixie, how could you ever think you aren't good enough for me?" Jessie asked Dixon as everyone started to separate again.  "So you think you are so insignificant, huh?  Then why did Mamee survive all the emotional pain of losing her family, and all the aches and pains of growing older and older, just so she could see you one more time?  Why did I fight a grownup who was armed with a knife to protect you?  Why did your mom work so hard and fight so much in her own mind just to spend more time with you?  Why did I fight another grownup who was trying to kill us all to save you?  Why did I run into a burning barn to rescue you if not because I couldn't imagine living without you?  Look around you, Dixon Daniel Wiggins.  Look into the faces of our family.  We would not all of us be right here right this minute if it weren't for you.  You are the heart that beats to keep this family alive, Dixon.  Don't you EVER say you are not good enough again."  Dixon grabbed Jessie and kissed him as all the little ones squealed in fake disgust and giggled.  "So does this mean you are saying yes?"

"Yes, my knight in shining armor, always and forever yes."