Title: Diablita
Author: Mariann
Rating: PG-13
Classification: X
Spoliers: "Two Fathers/One Son", "Closure", general mytharc
Keywords: Mythology, Pre-XF
Disclaimer: "The X-Files" does not belong to me and I am not making any money off the use of them herein. However, the character of Katherine Spender DOES belong to me, and shall not be used without my persmission.
Archive: Any/All, but please let me know where it's going.
Feedback: PLEASE! Greatly appreciated and answered! imaginem...@aol.com

Summary: The youngest Spender child is born into the center of the conspiracy.


"From her earliest days, she was dancing in the shadows." - Live, "Lakini's Juice"


July 21st, 1975

Cassandra Spender sat in examination room number three in a small town clinic in Central California, not too far from Sacramento. She had been sick every morning for a week and the last time she had that experince she had been pregnant with her son, Jeffery. Truth be known, she hoped she was pregnant this time too. She loved Jeffery very much, but she had always wanted to have a little girl.

However, her husband, Charles, might not share her enthusiaism over the possiblity of a new baby. Almost three years ago, Charles's daughter from another relationship, Samantha, had come to live with them. With Samantha now eleven and Jeffery at eight, their small house on April Air Force base was begining to feel like a sardine can. There was barely enough room for everyone now, another child would only make things worse.

The Spenders were far from the average American family. Cassandra had first realized this on a cold night in Novemeber nearly three years ago. She had been gathered with the other wives and daughters of the members of the consortium her husband C.G.B, short for Charles Bailey Gordon, belonged to. There had been a bright light, and behind it were extra-terrestrials that she had only thought to exsist in Science Fiction movies. The group of women and girls were taken by the aliens and experimented on then returned only to be taken again and again over the three years that had passed.

Cassandra didn't exactly agree with the tactics of the group, but she had no choice but to go along with their plans. She had taken Samantha as her surrogate daughter and tried to provide as normal a life as possible for her and Jeffery. She didn't complain about being taken out of her home in the dead of the night and having experiments, some horrifying, done on her. Because when it all came down to it, her husband and his colleuages were doing noble work with the aliens. Work that would create a better existance for both the human race and the alien race. What kind of person would she be to get in the way of that?

Before she could ponder this point any farther, the door opened. The doctor walked back into the room with a file and several papers in hand. He turned to Cassandra, somber look turning into a smile. Her heart felt like it stopped a beat. Was it good news? Was it what she had suspected?

"Congratulations Mrs. Spender. You're going to have a baby."

The doctor handed her a paper confirming her pregnancy. She took it with a slightly trembling hand, grinning from ear to ear. Pregnant. The word tumbled over and over in her mind in dizzy and exicted circles. She barely heard the doctor talking about ultra sounds and diet changes. Cassandra already knew those things from when she was pregnant with her son. What mattered the most is that she was going to have another baby, and something deep in her mind told her it was going to be a girl as she hoped.

That only left the question of how to tell Charles.

"I'm pregnant."

The words fell out of Cassandra's mouth before her husband even had a chance to get all the way in the door. She had spent all afternoon going over different scenarios while she waited for Charles to get home from the office. But when he finally did arrive, all the speeches she had rehearsed in her mind over and over again disappeared. She had not even taken time to say hello to him before blurting out a confession.

She watched him closely as the news sunk in. It was more then obvious to her that of all the things to be greeted with, this had been the least expected. But he was good at hiding his emotions and she couldn't detect any hints of anger or happiness from him. Only silence and indiffrence as he pulled a half pack of Morley cigarettes from his pocket and lit up.

"Are you sure?" He finally spoke, exhaling a cloud of paleish blue smoke.

She nodded. "I've already been to the doctor."

"And is everything normal?"

"I don't know. I have an ultrasound in two weeks, it should give us at least some idea." Cassandra frowned as reality struck her. "I hope."

That was another thing she hadn't thought about. Her last abduction had been just a week ago, and she was most certainly pregnant at the time. The longest she had gone without being taken since her first abductions was four months. It could easily happen again during her pregnancy, and there was no telling what effects it would have on the unborn child. There was a chance that the child would not turn out normal and healthy like she hoped. But deep down, Cassandra knew she would love the child and raise it the best she could no matter what.

Charles sat down on the couch next to her and stubbed his cigarette out in an ashtray on the end table next to the couch. Cassandra was relieved, he seemed to be taking the news alot better then she had thought. There were times when he could be so cold, and so distant, usually when he had to attend to important matters. But then there were other times that he was wonderfully affectionate and animated. And though the frigid spells hurt her, she stayed with him because she loved him very deeply. Not too mention he was a good provider and a good father. She was confident that no matter how he may have felt today about the pregnancy, he would be a good father to the child.

"What do you think about all of this, Cassandra?" Charles turned to her.

"What do you mean?"

"We didn't expect this to happen."

"No." A small smile touched her lips. "But I'm happy it did, Charles. I've wanted to get pregnant again for the past five years."

"What's pregnant mean?" Jeffery piped up from behind them.

"It means Mom's going to have a baby." Samantha explained to her little brother.

Cassandra and Charles turned around at the same time, surprised. Samantha and Jeffery stood a few feet behind the couch, watching them. At times it seemed almost impossible for the couple to talk to each other in private. And this was definetly one of those times, Cassandra noted with a little frusteration as the children joined their parents on the couch.

"We weren't spying or anything. We just wanted to know what's for dinner," Samantha quickly explained. At eleven, she was starting already to turn into a pretty young lady and her grades in school proved she was very smart as well. She inherted her father's dark hair, and her eyes were a lovely deep brown. Cassandra was certain that the boys would be lining up outside the door in the years to come.

"Are you really going to have a baby?" Jeffery looked up at his mother solemnly. He was on the serious side for only being eight years old. Like Samantha, he was dark haired and dark eyed. He was also intelligent, though in a more quiet and observing way then his older sister.

"Yes." Cassandra smiled at the children. "You're going to have a new brother or sister."

"Oh." Jeffery looked thoughtful for a moment. "How?"

"Eh..." Charles looked at his wife, letting her field that slippery question.

"I'll tell you when you're older." Cassandra didn't want to give the birds and the bees talk yet. It was time for quick distraction tactics. "Who wants to go out for ice cream?"

"I do!" The children responded in unision.

"Then let's go!" Cassandra opened up the door and let them run out to the car. They were so beautiful to her, and she felt so blessed to have them in her life. Hearing them laughing as they got into the car lifted her spirits. And she couldn't wait for the time when the new baby would be part of the family too. Her hand wandered up to rest lightly on her stomach and she silently marveled over the miracle growing inside of her.

"You're a good mother, Cassandra." Charles came up behind his wife and put an arm around her shoulders. "And you'll be a good mother to this baby too."

Cassandra smiled up at her husband. She knew in his own unique way, he was telling her he was happy about the pregnancy. Her heart felt like it was about to burst with joy. For once, everything was falling right into place in a postive way. She could only hope the future would hold more of the same.

The men of the Syndicate gathered two nights later in their New York office. All the members were present, and wondering why C.G.B. Spender had called an emergeny meeting, not knowing it was time to discuss how to handle the possible problem of Cassandra Spender's pregnancy. Instead of a celebration with cigars passing around and congratulations to the father to be, there was somber silence and hidden plans. Cassandra unknowingly held a key postion in the consoritum's cause, and her pregnancy could change everything to their disadvantage.

It was the Syndicate's mission to cover up the exsitance of extra-terrestrial biological entities. They had been formed shortly after the infamous UFO crash in Roswell, New Mexico. It was around that time they learned alien colonists were planning on overthrowing the human race, killing off most with a viral apocolypse and enslaving the surviors. The group made a deal to help the aliens colonize if the lives of the group members and their families were spared both death and enslavement. In exchange, the consortium collaborated on various experiments done on humans abuducted, and later returned, by the aliens.

Heavy work began two years ago on their most important collaboration with the aliens; the creation of an alien/human hybrid. Before the aliens would begin colonization, a hybrid had to be created to ensure that a slave race could surivive contact with the oily black substance that carried the deadly virus that was set to wipe out the human race. The group had decided the future hybrid must be one of the member's wives, to keep any potential death or other unfourtante incidents under wraps. And after careful consideration, they decided Cassandra Spender was the best candiate for the project. Of course, C.G.B hadn't been pleased with this choice, but though he was influental in the group, he was also one of the youngest and to make his way to a more powerful place in the pecking order would take some extra sacrafices on his part.

But the men of the Syndicate were not the types to sacrafice willingly. And they used the hybrid project to distract the aliens while they worked on a cure for the virus. They had began implanting abductees with computer chips at the begining of the seventies. Perhaps if the chips could give a person immunity to the virus there might be a fighting chance for the human race. The aliens knew about the chips already, and even a change in shape or style wouldn't be likely to rouse suspciousions. However, talking about it and doing it were two different things, and the project was at least a few years away from being tested on a human.

There were about twenty of them all together. Men who had to sleep every night knowing that the fate of the human race rested on their shoulders. Overall they dealt with the pressure very well. They went on living their lives, working in goverment postions all over the globe, and raising their families. They were all dignified men, and to see them gathering in an elegant room, hazy with cigarette smoke and smelling of vodka, was a rather impressive sight.

"Would Spender like to tell us why he called this meeting?" Strughold, one of the most influential among the younger members, was the first to address the issue at hand.

Spender exhaled a small cloud of bluish cigarette smoke. "Cassandra is pregnant."

The room went silent, the news taking them all by surprise. There had been so many variables, so many things that could destory the project they had not even thought of something as mundane as pregnancy as a possible threat. The older members pondered how responsible Spender was for this unexpected dilema. The younger members didn't care whether Spender was to blame or not, what mattered was to fix problem and move on with the project.

Romero, a large man who looked and spoke alot like Marlon Brando, finally broke the silence with a understated musing. "This will affect the project...."

"We have to stop the experiments!" Calvert, the well manicured Englishman exclaimed from the back of the room. "God only knows what affect they'll have on the child!"

"It's too late." Bill Mulder, a close friend of the Spender family shook his head slowly. "She was taken just over a week ago, she had to have been pregnant then."

"What's done is done, now we must deal with the consequences," Romero concluded.

"And how will we do that?" Spender challenged in his icily calm way.

Romero chose not to respond and instead poured himrself a shot of vodka. Spender could be cocky, too cocky for his own good. He sat there smoking his Morley cigarette with a small smirk on his face, satfisifed with Romero's silence. In actuality, he was concerned for his wife and unborn child. His colleauges would respect him less if they knew what he felt on the matter, so he only showed them a detached calm.

"The colonists will not accept excuses for why we have to delay the project. The experiments must continue," Strughold stated matterly of factly in his thick accent.

"What about the child?" Calvert was once again playing the role of group humanatrian.

"It could work to our benefit." Bill Mulder glanced briefly at Spender, then turned back to Calvert. "Or there might not be any affect."

"But we don't know that for sure! This is a human life we are talking about, and a child at that!"

"When has that stopped us before?" Mulder responded with a hint of bitterness to his voice. Almost three years ago his young daughter, Samantha, had been taken and not brought back. She was now presumed dead. He blamed himself for the most part. Had he allowed her to go with the other wives and daughters of his colleauges she would have been returned safely. Instead he had tried to hide her at home, and the aliens decided to take her on their own.

"Patience is a virtue, gentelmen." Spender stubbed out his cigarette in a nearby ashtray. "We shall wait and see how things progress before we act."

One by one, each member of the group nodded their agreement. The silence was a unanimous vote in favor of no action. After all, it was Spender's wife and child that were at risk, he should have at least some say in what happened. Some, but not much.


Five Months Later

Bright light. A needle piercing skin. Pain. Darkness. Nothing.

Cassandra jerked awake, feeling like something was terribly wrong. She sat up as quickly as she could for being seven months pregnant. Looking around the room, she expected to see something very out of place. It couldn't have been later then two in the morning and the house was silent. She was in bed, and Charles was sound asleep beside her. Everything was as it should have been.

But yet something still felt very wrong on the inside. Cassandra felt aggitated and nervous, like she had just been through a great ordeal. Like she usually felt when she was returned from her abductions. The thought hadn't crossed her mind until then, but what if she had just been abducted? Her hands hurried down to her stomach, relieved to find it still quite large from pregnancy. She decided she should get some sleep and maybe the feeling would pass by morning. But when she moved her hands away from her stomach she felt a small wet spot on her nightgown.

Perhaps it was just curiosity, or women's intiution at work, but something compelled Cassandra to turn on the light. The first thing she noticed was a faint trace of blood on her fingers. Holding back a wave of panic, she looked down for the wet spot on her nightgown. It wasn't hard to find, there was a spot of blood on her nightgown about the size of a quarter and it was still somewhat wet. She carefully pulled up her nightgown and found a small puncture wound on her stomach.

All at once things seemed to fall into place in her mind. She remembered seeing the bright light and feeling her skin being penetrated by a needle. It hadn't just been an odd nightmare, she had been taken yet again. Fear griped her at the deepest core when she realized that something had been done to the baby. It was impossible to hold back the panic she felt in the pit of her stomach any longer.

"Charles!" She shook her husband, somewhat frantically. "Charles wake up!"

"Hmmm?" He grumbled, not bothering to open his eyes or move.

"Dammit Charles wake up! It's the baby! They did something to the baby!"

"But the baby's not due for another two months..."

"I know! But they did something to the baby tonight!"

"They?" He sat up and looked at his wife in confusion. "Who's they?"

"You know who they are!"

"I do?"

"YES! The SAME THEY YOU WORK WITH!" Cassandra shouted at her husband, frusterated at his sleeply stupidity. She immediatly regretted it, and hoped she hadn't woken the children. Everything was happening too fast, and she thought for a moment she was going to break down. Against her will, tears came to her eyes and trickled down onto her pale cheeks.

"Cassandra..." Charles was now fully awake and had his attention completely on her. "What makes you think they did anything to the baby?"

"This..." She pulled up her nightgown and showed him the puncture wound. "They did something to our baby, I know they did!"

"Okay, just try to calm yourself. I'm going to take you to the hospital to get checked out."

Time seemed to stretch on forever to Charles. He sat in the waiting room at the local hospital while his wife and unborn child were examined. Samantha and Jeffery were on the uncomfortable couch with their father, fast asleep. It would be impossible to find a sitter at two in the morning, so the children had been roused from bed and brought along.

Charles wished he could just sleep the wait off like his children, but too many thoughts were whirling around in his mind. Though he had kept a perfectly calm front on the outside, on the inside he was rather worried. Not too mention angry at the thought of his colleauges going behind his back and experimenting on his pregnant wife. What had happened to waiting to see how things progressed?

The bitter truth that frusterated Charles the most was knowing that even if they had told him what they were going to do, there wouldn't have been a way to stop them. He had some power in the Syndicate, but not nearly enough to halt one of their most important projects. And then Cassandra could've been wrong as to which "they" was responsible. The colonists could've taken it upon themselves to check the status of the future hybrid's pregnancy. Either way he had been powerless to protect his wife and child from any potential harm that may have been caused. Another sacrafice for the project.

Cassandra came into the waiting room a few minutes later. The fact that she was up and moving was a relief in and of itself to Charles. As she walked towards him he noticed that she looked very worn out, but otherwise seemed devoid of emotion, something he took as a good sign.

"Is everything alright?" He rose up off the couch to greet his wife. "What did the doctor say?"

"I'm fine, and the baby is fine," Cassandra replied. "But I still know something was done."

"Let me worry about that." Charles took his car keys out of his pocket and handed them to her. "Right now you need your rest. Take the children home and try to get some sleep."

"What? Where are you going?" She looked up at her husband with confusion in her light blue eyes. "And how are you going to get there without the car?"

"Don't worry about that, I'll take a taxi." He kissed his wife's forehead and gave her shoulders a reassuring squeeze. "I won't be gone for long, but there's something I need to do."


Spender arrived in Washington D.C. just over nine hours later, and went directly to an upscale neighborhood in Georgetown. The time had come to learn the truth about what had happened to his wife the night before. Though Strughold was not offically amoung the few elders in charge of the Syndicate, he would be the best source of information without having to go to the elders directly. The truth was important to Spender, but not so important he was willing to risk his standing in the group.

After a moment's hesitation, he got out of the cab and gave the driver a fifty to secure his ride back to the airport. He paused on the stoop to light a cigarette before ringing the bell. He assumed Strughold would be home, after all it was only ten o' clock on a Saturday morning. After several moments, a hispanic woman opened the door.

"Yes?" The maid's voice was thick with a spanish accent. "May I help you?"

"I'm here to see Mr. Strughold. Is he in?"

"Si'. One moment please."

The maid closed the door and retreated into the house. Spender waited patiently and took another drag off his Morley. He could see his breath in the brisk December air as he exhaled a cloud of bluish grey smoke. The door opened after a few moments, a curious but not exactly surprised looking Strughold on the other side this time. Social calls were not made amongst the members of the group, and when one showed up on the doorstep of another's home, it usually meant there was a problem.

"Spender, what brings you this far from home? Is there something I can help you with?"

"Yes, there is something you can help me with." Spender replied matter of factly and flicked the burnt ash off the end of his cigarette. "You could tell me what was done to my wife last night."

Suprise briefly flickered over Strughold's face. "What are you talking about?"

"Something happened to my wife and her baby last night, I want to know what it was."

"If anything happened last night, I can assure you that it was without my knowledge."

"Then who did? The elders? The colonists?"

"Even the elders would not have gone behind your back." Strughold thought for a moment. "It had to have been the colonists. This isn't the first time they've acted without our consent."

Spender watched Strughold closely as he spoke, getting the definite feeling he was being lied to. It was suspicious that Strughold had not made any attempts to flat out deny it, and instead quickly brushed it off on the colonists. The most damning piece of evidence was that he had not asked what had led Spender to believe something had been done.

There was little doubt in his mind that he was being lied to, but instead of causing a ruckus, he would again wait and see what happened. Unless there was some benefit to the project, it would not have been done. What was important was now Strughold could give word to the elders that he was onto them. They could sit and wonder if Spender was going to do anything, and when they saw he was not, they would know that he was more willing then most to make some sacrafices for the project. Coming into the good graces of the elders was important for the future of his postion in the Syndicate.

"They are alright, your wife and the baby?" Strughold finally asked Spender.

"Yes, they've been to the doctor and everything is fine."

"Then I don't think it would in the group's best intrest to confront the colonists on their actions."

"I agree." Spender dropped his cigarette on the stoop and snuffed it out under his shoe. "I'm sure they won't be as foolish to try anything else until the child is born."

He looked Strughold right in the eye, letting him know that it was more of a threat then a statment. It was clear in the other man's eyes he understood, and Spender felt like he had accomplished what he had set out to accomplish. The last two months of Cassandra's pregnancy would go undisturbed and he had a chance to show his devotion to the project. Both would be beneficial to him, especially as time went on.

"Good day, Strughold." Spender nodded slight to the other man and turned around before he could reply. Within a matter of seconds he was back in the cab and it was gone, leaving nothing behind to show he was ever there with the expection of a cigarette butt.

The next day Strughold had another visitor. Bill Mulder had shown up shortly after six o' clock that evening. He carried his briefcase at his side, still thinking over the news the documents inside held. He rang the doorbell and waited, noticing idliy there was a Morely cigarette butt on the stoop. Expecting the maid, he was surprised when Strughold himself answered the door.

"Ah, Mulder, I've been expecting you." Strughold stepped aside to allow Bill Mulder in.

"I have the information you requested." Mulder took off his trenchcoat and folded it over his arm.

"Let's go into the study and take a look."

Strughold's study was exactly how Mulder thought it would be. A large black leather couch on one side of the room, and a pair of matching chairs on the other. Towards the back was a large oak desk with papers neatly stacked on it. The space was void of any personal iteams, the only decoration being a painting hung over the desk which literally screamed expenisve. It was a dimly lit room, the only light coming from a lamp on the small table between the chairs.

"Have a seat." Strughold motioned to one of the chairs. "I do not know your prefrence, but mine is to have a drink with important news."

He took two glasses out of a small cabinet behind the desk which was filled with an array of liqour bottles. Choosing a scotch from a good year, Strughold poured both himself and Mulder a glass. He handed Bill his glass and took a seat in the other chair with his own.

"So," he took a small sip of the liqour. "Am I going to be pleased with this information?"

Mulder took a drink as well, then fished a file out of his briefcase. "It all depends on how you view the test results. Handled properly, this could be beneficial to the project."

"And what are these test results?"

"The results show that between ten to thirteen percent of the child's DNA is alien. Apparently the first two gene transfers had more effect on the newly developing fetus then on Cassandra Spender. I looked back through the records and found the first transfer was just days after the conception. The second happened when she was approximately six weeks along in her pregnancy. Other then this, the child is perfectly healthy and normal."

Strughold took a drink and looked over the file Mulder had given him as he thought over what he had just been told. They had not expected the pregnancy to make it so far. By all rights the child should not have survived the operations that had transfered alien genes into it's mother. But it had, and within two months they would possibly have a child with alien qualities. That is why it had been necessary to take Cassandra a few nights ago and do a round of tests on the child. Now that they knew for sure what they were dealing with, a course of action could be planned.

"And how will this benefit the project?" He finally spoke.

"The child may have natural immunity to the alien virus. And if not, it still may be a viable canidate for replacement if the hybridization doesn't work with Cassandra. One that we can begin working on from a very early age." Mulder paused a moment. "Of course, Spender doesn't have to know about this..."

"He already suspects it, he was here last night. But if he tries to interfere, the child can always be taken out of his custody."

A small smirk crossed over Bill Mulder's face. He had always suspected Spender may have been involved with his daughter, Samantha, not being returned after her first abduction. There had been some doubt in his mind for many years now that Samantha and her brother weren't really his children. While in the army, he had been told he was sterile and unable to produce children. At times, his wife and C.G.B. Spender seemed to know each other just a little too well and he was at the house just a little too often when Bill wasn't home. Now that Spender's wife and one of children had become experiments for the project, he felt somewhat vindicated. An eye for an eye. Even though he didn't know for sure that his suspicions were founded in reality.

"Now that the business is settled, let's enjoy the rest of our drinks." Strughold raised his half full glass. "To the next generation of the project."

Bill raised his glass as well. "To the next generation of the project."


February 10th, 1976
4:28 am

"One more push Cassandra!" The doctor coached her as he prepared to the deliver the newest addition to the Spender family.

Cassandra took a deep breath and pushed with all her might. The pain was horrible, but it was almost over. She couldn't believe she had only been in labour four hours, and considered herself lucky not to go through another sixteen hour labour like she had with Jeffery. Griping her husband's hand tightly she continued to push until the searing pain turned into a more tolerable sorenees. There was silence for a few moments, then the cry of a baby.

"It's a girl!" the doctor announced, giving the newborn to the nurses to clean off.

"It's a girl, we have a girl." Casandra beamed up at Charles, tears pricking her eyes.

When the nurse handed her the baby, cleaned and wrapped in a pink blanket, she couldn't hold back a tiny sob of pure joy. She held her child close and took her first look at the baby, studying every detail. The thin wisps of dark hair on her tiny head. The way her little hands were pulled into fists. And when she opened her eyes, Cassandra could see she had the most beautiful blue eyes, almost identical to her father's.

"She's beautiful." Charles said, looking down at his daughter for the first time with the slightest hint of tears in his own eyes. "What should we name her?"

"I'm not sure..." She thought of all the names she had picked out over her pregnancy, but one stuck out in her mind the most. "How about....Katherine?"

"Katherine?"

"Katherine Marie."

Charles gave a small smile. "It suits her."

Cassandra felt a sense of disbelief for a moment, wondernig for a moment if it wasn't some wonderful dream. After alot of worry, her child had not only been born, but appeared to be normal and healthy. The test incident two months ago apparently hadn't had any effect on little Katherine. She hadn't felt more grateful before in her life.

An hour later Cassandra and her baby were resting in a private hospital room. She was insistant that she wanted to keep Katherine with her for a little while more, even though she was now very tired. After eight years she had forgotten just how much work giving birth was. The baby apparently was tired too, she slept peacefully in her mother's arms under the gaze of her parents.

"Bring the children in." Cassandra turned to her husband. "Let them meet their new sister."

"Alright." Charles nodded and left the room

She couldn't help but wonder if the children had gotten themselves into trouble while being left on their own in the maternity ward waiting room. When Cassandra went into labor it was too late at night to call a babysitter, so they had little choice but to bring them along. Charles had given them some money for the vending machine and a threat of being grounded for life before she was whisked into the delivery room. But the way she felt, she could've found out they set the hospital on fire and it still wouldn't dampen her spirits.

Charles came in a few minutes later with Samantha and Jeffery in tow. The children were silent and came into the room cautiously. No doubt they had been warned by their father to not be boisterous around the baby. Katherine, however, did not seem to notice the two new people in the room and stayed asleep.

"It's okay." Cassandra smiled reassuringly at her two older children. "Come here, there's someone I'd like you to meet."

The children came up to the side of the bed, still being quieter then normal. Cassandra watched as they took their first look at their new sister. Almost as if she sensed it was time to perform, Katherine opened her pale blue eyes. She looked over her siblings with a small yawn, which made Samantha smile. A little more wary of the new arrival, Jeffery stayed back a little ways.

"What do you think?" Cassandra asked.

"She's so cute!" Samantha gently touched the baby's tiny fist.

"Yeah." Jeffery was not as impressed. "Can we trade her in for a puppy?"

"Of course not, buttmunch!"

"Samantha," Charles warned from behind.

"He was being stupid, Dad."

"Was not!"

"Was too!"

Charles sighed. "Can't you guys quit fighting for once?"

"Probably not," Cassandra answered with a chuckle.

The children stopped fighting as quickly as they had started. The baby hardly seemed upset with the arguing, and decided to go back to sleep. It was all Cassandra could do to stifle a little yawn herself. But she wasn't ready for sleep just yet.

"What's her name?" Jeffery asked, looking down at his baby sister again.

"Katherine," Cassandra replied. "Katherine Marie Spender."

"We should call her Kit for short," Samantha suggested with a small shrug. "It's cute."

"That's a good idea, Samantha." Cassandra smiled.

She looked down at little Katherine, thinking of all the things she had in front of her. A whole life ahead for her to live, and Cassandra looked forward to being there for a good share of it. There was no telling what the years would bring and they had alot more to worry about then the average family, but she didn't want to think of that right now. As uncertain as her family's future may be, the present was simply wonderful.

The End

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