Chapter 15

The Perfect Mate

A few weeks after her return, Cora goes into labour.

The family welcomes little Daniel. Everyone but Cora is slightly surprised about the way he looks – despite being warned. But they get used to it quickly.

Alex, who has (supposedly) retired from her life of crime, has embraced being a full-time grandmother, and spends her evenings knitting stuff for baby Daniel and for Brie’s son Jaxen.

Why can’t I hold all this baby?

Grandpa Don is ecstatic about having a baby in the house again, and dotes on little Daniel.

Aunt Brie stops by to meet Daniel as well, and announces that her and Shawn are already considering a second child.

Zane also comes to meet the new family member. Alex shoots Don a meaningful look when he sits back down after letting a slightly flustered Zane in.

“Nice young man, that Zane. And handsome.”

“Zane… I don’t want you to be too shocked, but… he looks a bit special – like his father.”

Zane looks a the little blue baby, unsure of what to do or say. He was never good with children, always felt uncomfortable around them. But this is Cora’s child. What is he so afraid of?

“Do you want to hold him?”

“I… uh, better not. I don’t want to drop him”, Zane mumbles. Cora can’t quite read the emotion in his face. Shortly after he excuses himself with an important case he needs to work on and leaves.

With Don and Alex at home, it doesn’t take long for Cora to return to work. Luckily, her old job is excited to have her back, and she is excited to share everything she learned from the Sixams.

Of course, things are slightly awkward in the beginning, as not everyone quite believes her story, but it’s hard to argue with the results that her new knowledge provides.

Cora also gets updated on the office drama. Her colleague Elsa thought she was too old to have more kids, but suddenly found herself pregnant and gave birth to a little girl – with black hair. Her very blonde husband Lucas was not impressed. A paternity test and two divorces later, Elsa and Cora’s supervisor Payton now live in a San Myshuno apartment with their baby daughter.

A few weeks later Zane drops by again, and this time Cora convinces him to hold the baby.

“Hi Daniel… Cora, are you sure? He’s so small… What if I hurt him somehow?”

Cora laughs.

“You won’t hurt him. Because if you do, I’ll have to sue you, and I promise to use your competitor.”

“I told you, I don’t do that kind of law, Cora.” Zane smiles as he gingerly picks up the baby.

Zane looks into Daniel’s dark eyes, so unlike Cora’s and yet so similar, and is struck by an entirely new feeling. As he marvels at the little fingers trying to grab his tie, Zane feels a sense of protectiveness wash over him, like he would do anything for this child. Cora’s child.

“See, I told you it would be fine!” Cora says, and Zane snaps back to reality.

“Yeah… fine.” Zane puts Daniel down gently, surprised at how empty his arms suddenly feel.

Nothing lasts forever, and one evening Alex collapses in the kitchen.

Don is immediately by her side.

“Alex… babe please, don’t leave me… I love you.”

The funeral is a somber affair. Alex is put to rest outside the church she married Don in.

Don is crying his eyes out over the loss of his soulmate. Cora and Brie are also devastated.

Zane has shown up to pay his respects. He has known the entire family since he was a teenager, after all. And he wants to be there for Cora more than anything.

“I miss her so much. I still can’t believe she’s gone.”

“Me neither, Cora. Your mother was an amazing woman. She always made me feel welcome.”

“You’re a true friend, Zane. Thank you for being here.”

“I’ll always be there for you, Cora.”

Months pass, and Don deals with his grief by punching things and throwing himself back into a strict fitness regimen to keep himself occupied.

He also offers to mentor Zane, who wants to get in better shape. As a lawyer, he spends a lot of time sitting in front of a computer or in court. Zane comes by in the early morning before work.

Daniel always yells “Tsane!” whenever he sees him, and Zane is happy to play with him.

After an early morning training session with Don, Zane and Cora is saying goodbye by the door.

“So, Cora, I was wondering. Have you ever tried bowling?”

“Bowling? No, there wasn’t much of that in space. And now I’m too busy with work and Daniel.”

“Well, I think you need to get out of the house. How about you leave Daniel with Don, and I teach you the basics? I can pick you up at eight tonight?”

“Sure. See you tonight.”

Sandy Run Bowling is pretty full by the time they arrive, but luckily most people flock to the bar.

“I didn’t even know blacklight bowling was a thing. And it’s so weird not to have to constantly make sure Daniel isn’t getting into trouble.”

“Cora, you’re ahead by like 20 points, I thought you said you’d never bowled!”

“Thank you for not being a sore loser, Zane. Let’s get a drink before we leave.”

“I’m glad you invited me out, Zane. I really needed this. I had fun.”

“Always a pleasure.”

Before he can change his mind, Zane steps forward and kisses her.

Cora kisses him back for the briefest of seconds before suddenly pushing him away.

“Zane, no, I.. no. We can’t. I should go.”

“Cora, please… I’m sorry…”

“I’ll get a taxi. Goodnight, Zane.”


For a few days, Cora ignores Zane’s texts and calls.

Don is annoyed with her.

“Cora, I see you two all the time. You’re perfect together, why don’t you give it a chance?”

“It wouldn’t work, dad. Please stay out of this.”

“I just want you to be happy, baby girl.”

A few days after the bowling fiasco, Zane is at the door.

“Cora, we need to talk about this. You haven’t been answering my calls. Or my texts.”

“Why did you kiss me? Do you have any idea how much pain you’re causing me? How dare you!”

“Pain? I would never want to cause you pain. What are you talking about?”

“Because I love you, Zane. But it would never work. I want more children. And you famously don’t.”

For a moment, Zane simply stares at Cora as tears well up in her eyes.

“Cora, I… why didn’t you talk to me about this? I do want kids. Every time I see Daniel I wish he was mine.”

“What? But – but you don’t want kids! You and Layla broke up over this! You never wanted kids!”

“I changed my mind.”

“But you can’t even have kids, you told me yourself…”

“Cora, you’re a scientist. Surely you know there are ways around that. We’ll figure it out.”


“If you want me.”

For a moment, Cora looks into Zane’s eyes, as if trying to find a trace of doubt – or deceit.

Then she kisses him.

9 thoughts on “Chapter 15

    • I was really struggling to pick between Aidan and Zane when they were teenagers. I had picked out Aidan, but then Cora brought Zane home from work and I loved him. Then Zane aged up with the Hates Children trait, and Layla appeared when they started university, which further complicated things.
      I picked Aidan but later regretted it (because Aidan is boring and Zane is amazing) and as I was complaining to my husband, he said “Just make them swap partners, then” and the rest is history 😛

      Liked by 1 person

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