The Clockmakers Daughter

Babies and Monsters

Boris crushed her to him, holding on long after the three appeared in the room Nightmare had been using to recover at Clover tower. They all waited there for her, with the exception of Elliot who took the twins place, guarding the mansion so they could be there for her if she needed them. Boris captured her lips, relishing the taste of her as her power rose up, drawing him into her.

“Not in front of me please.” Julius said gruffly. He was so thrilled to see her, and to see her unharmed, that his knees became weak.

Aliya broke away. “DADDY!” she ran to him, wrapping herself in his arms, allowing herself to soften as tears welled in her eyes for the first time since the night she dug her mother’s grave. Blood came to her, placing a comforting hand on her back. Her arm wrapped around his waist pulling him close as silent tears tracked down her face. For once, Blood did not take the opportunity to tease Julius and the clockmaker did not blush, they just held on to their daughter and to each other until she could be strong again.

“Aliya?” Nightmare called softly, Boris helping him to where she was. She peaked out of her father’s arms, finely calming. “I knew that you lived, no matter what he said.” She stepped forward and kissed him gently, both too weak to heal each other. “I have so much to tell you. All of you.”

Ace laughed loudly. “Damn, that’s the truth.” He went back to his corner, kicked back in the chair and back to his nap, he had worked hard after all.

“What happened?” Nightmare asked, returning to the bed, her sitting on the edge. “You have been gone ten time changes.”

“I woke up in a cage, chained to the floor by wrist bands made with my blood so that I could not break them, even at my strongest he said.” Her eyes took on a distant look as she relived those painful moments. “He kept me from feeding, I guess you’d say. Only female faceless came and I dare not touch them for the fear of killing them. He would come and offer relief from the burning, cramping agony that I was in if I would bind myself to him, be his to control. You were right Nightmare,” she looked at him, her eye glowing softly, and “It hurt worse than death. Early today, I think, the mother came to me and told me many things.” Aliya gathered her thoughts for a moment. “Nightmare, they are your brothers. The mother took human form and fooled your father into sleeping with her. She gave birth to White and Black in that form.” She took his hand, knowing that this would be the hardest on him. “White killed your father.” Aliya told him gently. “He is very jealous of you, though I am not entirely certain why.”

Nightmare grew grimmer with every word, molten sliver encased in black stared out unseeing. “He needs to die.” The words came out in a hiss. Silver mist began to leak into the room. Then he almost visibly shook himself, returning to her story. “How are you not hurting now? That long of time would have killed me without the medicine.”

She blushed just a little. “Black came to me and helped free me.”

“I’m sorry. Did you hurt him badly?” Nightmare asked, knowing her well enough to know that it would bother her to unconsciously cause pain to another. Now if she did it purposely, that was different.

Ace laughter again filled the room, “She killed him. He seemed quite happy about it too.” She tossed a stray pillow at his head which he caught and tucked behind his head, “she hasn’t told you everything the bitch told her either.” He smirked when she growled at him.

“Aliya?” Boris asked, taking her hand, Peter coming close as well. “What is it?”

“Um, well…” damn, why was this so hard? “I seem to have done more with my sacrifices than I was aware at the time, you see…” she paused again. It was hard enough telling one man he was to be a father, two and witnesses were stealing her words away, especially when they looked at her all at once. “Give me just a minute.” She asked, rushing outside the room. She pressed herself against the cool wall wondering idly if that is what stage fright felt like.

“Who is going after her?” Dee asked. They stared at each other.

“I believe this is a moment for at fathers influence.” Blood said, rising from his seat. “You stay until we return,” he ordered the room. He went to where she braced against the walls. He put his hands firmly on her shoulders. “Aliya, tell me what it is right now.” His eyes held no room for argument.

“I’m pregnant.” She said low.

His hands tensed for a moment before sliding down her arms. “I see. And the father is?”

“Nightmare, Boris, Black and White.” She tested the sound aloud. Four, shit she was going to have four babies. Fuck.

Blood blinked, but gently pulled her in his arms. “Now we need to go tell the others. It will be fine, Aliya. We will never leave you.”

“I know. I guess I just needed to say it out loud just once before announcing it to the world.” She hugged him, “thank you father.”

“Just let me get close to your Dad before you say it. He gets weak knees, you know.” He smiled at her slight giggle. “Let’s go.”

Aliya walked back into the room where they all stood waiting for her. Boris, Peter and Nightmare were over by his bed, while the twins were trying to aggravate Ace, who completely ignored them, only briefly glancing up as she reentered the room. She began to get nervous again, and damn did she hate that feeling, until her father slid behind the clockmaker, winking at her. That made her smile and face those she loved. “I need to tell you something. The mother did something else while we were restoring the land. She tied the life of this place onto five beings, me and the children I carry, made from the moments of our sacrifices.” She said blushing, looking pointedly at Nightmare and Boris.

“Babies.” Boris said, excited. Kids were fun, great at mischief.

“Babies.” Nightmare said, sinking to the edge of his bed, his eyes on her. Unlike Boris, he had gotten her full meaning.

“Babies!” Julius whispered, visons of dozens of teenaged Aliya’s in her revealing outfits spinning all around his tower flooded his head. He stumbled, caught by the waiting Blood who chuckled along with his daughter as he helped the man to a chair.

“Yes, Babies. Four, belonging to Nightmare, Boris, Black and White. It was why Black gave his life twice to save me. Why we should not have left him there to those things.” Aliya saddened.

Nightmare rose and came to her wrapping her in his arms. “I’m sorry that you had to go through that and we will do what we can to help Black.” He kissed her forehead.

“We may have to go sooner than your thinking.” Gray said from the doorway, having heard the last bit of the conversation. “White was on the island. He can call them, Nightmare. I watched as he trapped some, but he is not as strong as you are at it. The Bandersnatch refused to listen when he called her, but he took some with him.” He handed the vial of dreams to him. For once, he uncomplainingly tipped it back, feeling the effects take hold. He should at least be able to function until Aliya could help him recover again.

“That what he’s making those creepy things out of.” Aliya shook her head, “Cruel to push something into a shape it did not choose to be.”

“Kind of you to say so, lady.” Came a slow, raspy voice before a masked figure appeared in the room. The twins prepared to slay it, but Aliya bid them wait with a wave of her hand. “I bare a gift from the white one.” He held a bloody package out to her.
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