Jump to content

Single Parents

Guest Red Ranger 1

Recommended Posts

And here's the other sequel I promised, this time carrying on from May to September.Hope you enjoy.

Story Title: Single Parents

Type of story: Short/Medium fic

Main Characters: Dexter, Leah, VJ, Dallas and others

BTTB rating: T/A

Genre: Drama/Family

Does story include spoilers: No

Any warnings: Probably not

Summary: Leah and Dexter have settled into being parents...so obviously there's some complications ahead. Sequel to "May to September".


Dexter adopted a suitably pained expression as he glared at William, whose newest game seemed to be running around the flat in a circle, yelling loud but incoherent noises.“William, do you want to do something new?There’s a great idea called staying in the same place for more than half a second.”

William apparently didn’t like the sound of that, because he continued to run in a circle while making loud and incoherent noises.

“Good luck convincing him of that one,”Dallas noted from where she was lying on the couch.

Dexter gave a rueful smile as he sat down with her, perching on the edge of the seat to avoid sitting on her legs.“How’s the headache?”

“Still kind of achey.”

As several pounds of energetic four-year-old came rushing past, Dexter managed to grab William around the waist and lift him up onto his lap.“Okay, buddy, listen here.You remember what we said about how Mummy is really busy making a new brother or sister for you?”

“Yes,”William agreed cautiously.

“Well, she needs lot of peace and quiet to do that.So about we give her some of that now?”

William considered this.“Will I really be a big brother to the baby?”

“Yes, you will,”Dexter confirmed.

“And you’ll be its daddy?”

“Yes, I will.”

“But if you’re its daddy and you’re not my daddy, how can I can be its brother?”

Dexter looked placatingly at Dallas who shrugged.“You started this,”she pointed out.

“And here I was thinking it was a joint decision,”Dexter sighed.He turned his attention back to William.“Okay, you know how VJ is Stephen’s big brother even though I’m not his dad?”William nodded slowly.“Well, it’s like that.”

To his relief, Stephen thought about this for a few seconds and then gave an understanding nod. “Can I play in my room now?”

“So long as you play quietly,”Dexter told him.Stephen jumped down and ran off.

“Well played,”Dallas congratulated him.

Dexter sighed.“If he ever needs the facts of life explaining to him, you can tell him.And you can tell the baby too.And if you feel like filling in Stephen while you’re at it…”

“Didn’t your dad explain these thing to you?”

Dexter gave her a long-suffering look.“No, of course not.My friend Neville Major explained it to me when we were in Year 6.”

Dallas gave a slight smile.“Good old Neville.”

“He was a guy, yes.”Dexter’s reminiscences were interrupted by a knock at the door.He went to answer it and found Leah standing there with Stephen.“Hey!”he greeted them,“This is a surprise.”

Leah looked at him in confusion.“Is it?I thought you agreed to mind him while I was at work.”

Dexter froze momentarily.“Yes,”he said at last,“Of course.I remember perfectly.”He smiled at Stephen.“Hey there, little buddy!You been looking forward to spending an afternoon with your old man then?”

Stephen gave a non-committal shrug.“Yes, you have,”Leah told him sternly.She looked over at the couch.“Hey, Dallas, how are you holding up?”

Dallas managed to wave a hand in her direction.“Not too bad,”she replied.

“Bit of a headache,”Dexter whispered.

“Oh sorry,”Leah whispered back.She kissed Stephen on the top of the head.“Be back for you later, okay?”

As Leah left, Dexter looked at Stephen.“So, how about we go and kick a ball about, yeah?Yeah.”He raised his voice slightly and called in the direction of the bedroom.“William!Let’s go and find somewhere where you can be noisy.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for the comments, Jarliefan, Beezzz, Aden Belle and pembie!Hope you like this.


“You drop Stephen off okay?”Roo asked as Leah arrived at the Diner.

Leah nodded.“Yeah, he’s with Dexter.”

Roo grinned.“I love how you can just say it casually like that.‘He’s with Dexter.’As if having a son with a guy who’s still at uni is the most normal thing in the world.”

“Well, I’ve had time to get used to it.”Leah turned to VJ, who was sat at the counter.“What are you doing here?”

“I just wanted to make sure you got here,”VJ protested.

“That’s really sweet of you but I don’t want you being late for school.Go on, off you go.”

“It’s nice that he’s protective of you,”Roo remarked as VJ scampered away.

“He’s used to being the man of the house,”Leah agreed.

“You don’t want Dexter in that role?”

Leah raised an eyebrow.“Dexter is perfectly happy with Dallas and VJ and Stephen are more than enough men in my life for the moment, thank you.”

“I’m just saying it’s an odd set-up.”

“I get that, thank you.But it works.”

Dexter, William and Stephen were standing in a triangle on a piece of grass near the beach.A football was resting in front of Stephen.“All right,”Dexter told his son,“Kick it to me.”

Stephen took a swing at the ball with his foot, mostly missing it and only catching it a glancing blow. It gently rolled about half the distance between him and Dexter.

William looked bored.

Dexter ruffled his son’s hair.“Well, you kick better than I did.Your grandad may get the champion footie player in the family that he was after yet.Hey, William!”Dexter picked the ball up and threw it in William’s direction.

William caught it.“We’re playing catch?”

“Yes, because that’s easy.Now mind you don’t throw it too hard.”

With a sigh, William gently lobbed the ball in Stephen’s direction.He caught it with a grin.“I caught it, Daddy!”

“You certainly did,”Dexter replied,“You anticipated the angle well and got your arms in the optimum position to cushion its fall.”He noticed both William and Stephen looking at him confused. “Got to stop doing that,”he sighed.

“Stephen, throw it to me!”William called.

Stephen threw the ball upwards in an arc and William caught it.“Good angle,”Dexter congratulated him.

William looked round.“Hey, look, it’s Mum!”he called, seeing Dallas approaching.He made to throw the ball at her but Dexter stopped him.

“Now remember what we said,”Dexter told him,“Mummy’s carrying your little brother or sister in her tummy so you have to be very careful of her until she’s fully gestated.”He went over to Dallas. “What are you doing out here?”

“I was feeling better so I thought I’d come and see how my favourite boys are doing.”

Dexter smiled and then faltered slightly.“You were including me in that, right?”

“Definitely.”She kissed him gently.

“Hey, Mum!”William called,“Watch this!”He threw the ball to Stephen who chuckled and threw it back to him.

Dexter slipped an arm around Dallas’ waist as they stood there, watching the boys enjoying themselves.

“Leah, telephone call for you!”Roo called.

“Who is it?”Leah asked, joining her in the kitchen.

Roo shrugged.“Sounds long distance.Reminded me of someone I knew a long time ago…”

Leah took the receiver from her and spoke into it.“Hello?...Sal!How are you, wha-what are you doing calling?”There was a long pause in her side of the conversation, during which time Leah’s face seemed to fall further and further.“Oh, Sal…No, of course I’ll do my best but there’s Stephen and VJ and Dexter to consider…Okay, I’ll call you back as soon as possible.”

“So how is not-so-little-anymore Sally?”Roo asked as Leah hung up.

“Not so good,”Leah answered.

Roo looked at her in concern.“Anything I can help with?”

Leah shook her head.“No, I need to talk to Dex about this one.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks again to Jarliefan, Beezzz, pembie and Aden Belle for your comments!Hope you like this one.


“You’re sure you don’t want to come?”Dexter asked as Dallas headed back into their flat,“Perform the great handover, attend full debriefing…”

Dallas shook her hand.“No, I think I want to lie down.Just watching these two has tired me out.Say hi to Leah for me.Sure you’re all right keeping William?”

Dexter looked down at where William was standing next to Stephen.“You fancy a walk to Auntie Leah’s so we can say goodbye to Stephen?”

William thought for a moment.“No.”

“Ah.Should have thought that one through better.”Dexter cleared his throat.“We’re going to take a walk to Auntie Leah’s so we can say goodbye to Stephen.”


When Dexter and the two boys arrived at Leah’s place, they were greeted by the sight of VJ packing a bag in the kitchen.“Hey, Veej,”Dexter greeted him,“Have you finally decided to take my advice and run away to join the circus?”

VJ stared at him for a long while, his mouth opening and closing as he struggled to work out what he should say, before he eventually resorted to bellowing “Mum!”

Leah came hurrying in and stopped, looking awkward.“Dex.Hi.”She hesitated for a moment before turning to her oldest son.“Veej, can you keep an eye on Stephen and William?I need to talk to Dex.” She beckoned Dexter into the front room.“Dex.”

Dexter followed her through and took a seat, looking confused.“So, what’s this all about?Has Stephen been lobbing bits of wet toilet roll at the wall?Because I promise, I told him never to do that inside.”

“Have you heard me talk about my friend Sally?”

Dexter thought for a moment.“Mr.Copeland’s sister?”

Leah nodded.“That’s the one.She lives in Phuket and…she’s had a fall.Put her back out.”

Dexter looked concerned.“Is she all right?”

“She’ll be fine if she rests.Thing is, Miles is away at the moment, he’s helping out with a building project on the other side of the island.Which means there’s no-one to look after her daughter, Pippa. Except me.”

“You?Why you?”

“I’m Pippa’s godmother.Plus I carried her around inside me for nine months.It’s kind of a long story.Point is…I need to get out there.I’ve spoken to Gina and she’s happy for me to take VJ out of school, she thinks the experience will do him good.But I don’t want to take Stephen with me.So I was wondering, could you and Dallas look after him?”

It took Dexter a moment to recover from the surprise.“Well, yeah, we’ll be happy to look after the little tyke.Are you sure though?”

“I’m sure.We’d better go and sort it.”

The three boys were waiting in the kitchen when they came back through.Leah crouched in front of Stephen.“Listen…Mummy and VJ are going to have to go away for a bit.Which means you’re going to need to stay with Daddy and Dallas.It won’t be forever but it might be a long while before you see me again.Can you be a big boy and cope with that?”

There was a look of fear in Stephen’s eyes but he managed a nod.

Leah hugged him.“Good boy.”

“I feel like I should be giving you some advice,”Dexter noted as Leah and VJ got into the car,“Is it safe to drink the water over there?”

“Don’t know,”Leah admitted,“Guess we’ll find out when we get there.”

“Do you have to go so soon?”

“There’s a lot of things we need to sort out in the city before we catch our flight.”

“Booster shots,”Dexter noted,“We’re always having to hand those out to travellers.”

“I’ll take it under advisement.”

Dexter glanced over at his de facto stepson.“And, VJ, good luck with all those girls.”

VJ blushed slightly.“Thanks.”

Leah crouched by Stephen.“Mummy’ll ring you as soon as possible, okay?”She kissed him on the forehead and straightened up.“Come on, Veej.”

Dexter put his arms around Stephen and William’s shoulders and they watched as the car pulled away.“Okay,”he sighed,“Now we need to have a difficult conversation with your mum.”He looked from one to the other.“I’ll increase your pocket money if you talk to her for me.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you, Beezzz, Aden Belle, Jarliefan and pembie!Hope everyone likes this one.


“Mum, I want to go out and play,”William moaned.

“I want to go out and play too,”Stephen added.

Dallas looked at them both and sighed.“I know you do but you’re going to have to stay in and play, okay?”She looked at their disappointed faces and tried not to let the sympathy she felt for them show.“Well, it’s going to have to be okay.William, why don’t you show Stephen that new fire truck of yours?And then maybe he’ll show you some of the toys he brought from his mum’s?”

The two boys wandered off in the direction of William’s room, the room that they were currently sharing.As they did so, Dexter came out of his and Dallas’ room and the boys ducked underneath him.“Wow, was that a hurricane?”he asked Dallas lightly.She simply glared at him.“Admittedly a very slow moving hurricane,”he continued,“With more than its fair share of dark clouds.”

“You’re going out?”Dallas asked, almost making it sound like an accusation.

“Well, yes, I need to be at uni, they tend to fail you if you don’t know the stuff you need for the exams, I’ve always thought it was a bit unreasonable…”

“And when you’re not at uni, you’re at the hospital,”Dallas continued.

“You’re here,”Dexter ventured, hoping this was a positive response.

“Yes, I’m here,”Dallas agreed,“I’m supposed to be taking time off and relaxing because I’m having our baby.Instead, I’m left looking after two energetic pre-schoolers.”

Dexter took a deep breath.“Okay, I acknowledge that I probably should have contacted you before agreeing that Stephen could stay here.But Leah was backed into a corner, she needed help and I thought the rule was that when the mother can’t look after the kid, the father does it.But the father does need to take the father’s partner into account and he apologises unreservedly for not doing that.”He paused, contemplating the speech.“Notice the rather random shift from first person to third person there.Probably quite interesting from a psychological standpoint.”

“I know you’re just trying to do the right thing,”Dallas confirmed,“You’re lucky that’s one of the things I love about you.Just…can you at least try and make sure I’m not doing all this on my own?”

Dexter looked at her hard for several seconds.“You just said you loved me, right?”

Dallas smiled at him.“You really do just see the good things in the world, don’t you?”

“I find it helps to maintain an optimistic outlook on life.”

Dallas kissed him lightly.“Just remember there’s more than one reason for you to spend time here.”

Dexter raised an eyebrow.“And on that note, the sooner I leave, the sooner I get back.”He headed to the doorway and then paused.“Except I won’t, because the uni has a strict timetable.Kind of makes a mess of that proverb.”

Leah looked again at the address she had written down as she led VJ up the stairs to the flat.“This looks like the one,”she decided, rapping on the door.

A blonde-haired girl of about ten opened it and looked at them both suspiciously.

Leah smiled.“Hi there, Pippa.You going to let us in?”

Pippa didn’t look any less suspicious.A familiar voice called through from the flat.“Let them in, Pippa!”

Pippa ran off in the direction of the voice.Not seeing much alternative, Leah and VJ followed her through.They found her huddling close to Sally, who was lying on the couch.“You remember Auntie Leah,”Sally encouraged her daughter,“And VJ!You’ve grown.What are you, Year 12 now?”

“Year 10.”VJ gave her a slight nod.“Hi, Auntie Sally.”

Leah kissed her old friend on the cheek.“Hey, Sal.You’ve been in the wars, haven’t you?”

“Yeah, a bit.Next time, I’ll get the students to move the heavy boxes.Pippa, can you show VJ to Uncle Miles’ room?He’s going to be staying there.”

VJ offered Pippa his hand.She grabbed it with a sudden smile and dragged him out.

“I’m mostly confined to the couch so you can have my room,”Sally told Leah.She looked around.“I was half expecting you to bring the other one with you.”

“Stephen?No, he’s staying with his father.”Leah saw Sally give a slight smile.“What?”

“Oh, it’s just Miles has been filling me in on this Dexter.He sounds like quite a character.”

“Well, a lot of people would say that about Miles.”

“That’s true, I guess.So you really trust him to look after Stephen?”

“Well, his girlfriend’s got a son and they’re having another baby together.He’ll be fine.”Leah looked suddenly worried.“I think.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I didn't realize VJ was 16?!

Nearer 14, I think.(They have 14-year-olds in Year 10, right?Never quite clear on the Australian school system.)Yeah, this is another story with a time skip.

Thanks for the comments, pembie, Beezzz and Jarliefan!Hope everyone likes this.


“Well, I think Pippa’s definitely found herself a new friend,”Leah remarked as she rejoined Sally in the front room,“I left her introducing VJ to all her dolls.”

“She’ll be a while then,”Sally commented as Leah sat down on a stool next to her sofa,“I can’t believe how much he’s grown.”

“I can’t believe how much she’s grown,”Leah fired back,“I can’t believe how much we’ve both missed out on.”

“Miles has filled me in on some of it.”

Leah felt suddenly uncomfortable.“Did he fill you in on everything that happened between me and him?”

“Pretty much.Don’t worry, it’s three years ago now, water under the bridge.”Sally raised an eyebrow.“So.Dexter?”

Leah winced.“I still can’t believe that happened.It’s really not like me to make impulsive decisions that I regret afterwards.”

“I made a few impulsive decisions that I regret afterwards in my time,”Sally remarked,“I nearly married one of them.”

Leah smiled.“Oh yes, Kieran.”

“Imagine if I’d ended up pregnant by him.I mean, much as I regret never being pregnant, I wouldn’t have wanted it to happen like that.”

Leah nodded.“I guess I got lucky with Dex.He’s got a good heart and I know he loves Stephen and he’ll do whatever he can for us…”She noticed Sally raising her eyebrows.“Not like that!I’m happily single, thank you.I’ve had a lot of good men love me over the years, VJ and Stephen are enough men for me to have in my life.”

“I know what you mean,”Sally agreed,“I always expected to have someone to grow old with but my life’s full enough with my family and the work here.”

Leah laughed.“Listen to us, like a couple of old maids.We’ll be putting the world to rights in a minute.”

Sally smiled.“Well…we do our best.”

Dexter ushered Stephen and William to the front of the counter at the juice bar.“Okay, boys, what do you want?”

William thought for a moment.“Strawberry.”

Stephen thought for longer.“Pineapple and lemon.”

“Interesting combination,”Dexter mused,“Have you tried those two together before?”

“No.That’s why I want to.”

“Refreshing take on life.”Dexter paid for the two boys’ juices and gently turned them towards the door…at which point they bumped into Xavier and April.

“Hey, boys,”April greeted them.

Dexter raised a hand.“Um, I’m here too.”

“Yeah, I was including you in that.”

“Fancy a game of pool?”Xavier asked him.

Dexter gestured to the two boys.“I’m kind of in loco parentis here.”He thought a moment. “Actually, I’m kind of parentis here.No in loco required.”

Xavier looked at April quizzically.“He means he’s looking after them,”she explained before turning back to Dexter,“I don’t mind keeping an eye on them for a few minutes.”

“A few minutes?”Dexter repeated.

“That’s how long it’ll take Xavier to beat you.”

Dexter raised an eyebrow in Xavier’s direction.“That, my friend, is fighting talk.”They headed towards the table.Dexter glanced back at where April was settling with William and Stephen.“Better watch out, I think she’s getting clucky.”

“Hey, we are a long way off that,”Xavier assured him as he set up his first shot,“I heard you’ve got Stephen with you full time?”

Dexter winced as Xavier potted a ball.“While Leah’s away, yeah.”

“How does Dallas feel about that?”

“She’s fine, she’s fine.”Dexter lowered his head, as much to do with the fact Xavier still hadn’t missed a shot as anything else.“She hates me.”

Xavier gave him a sympathetic look.“No, she doesn’t.She’s just…mad at you.But hey, we all get mad at you sooner or later.”

“Right!”Dexter leapt on the detail.“What do I do to make it up to her?What do I normally do to make you like me again?”

“Challenge me to a game of pool?”

Dexter considered this.“Don’t think it would work on her.What do you normally do to prove to your girlfriend you’re committed?”

“Ask her to marry you.”

Dexter shook his head.“Just because you and April got married as soon as she left school, doesn’t mean it’s right for us.”

“Your shot,”Xavier told him.

“Really?Thanks.”Dexter lined up his cue to aim the white ball at a large collection of balls and hit it as hard as he could, reasoning at least one of them could go down.

One of them did.Unfortunately, it was the black.

Dexter handed Xavier the cue.“Good game.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you, Jarliefan, Beezzz, pembie and Aden Belle for your comments.Sorry I'm doing such a poor job updating this fic, here's another chapter for you.


When it came down to it, Leah thought, perhaps a beach really was just a beach.She and Pippa had headed down to the nearest one, leaving Sally to rest.And while it didn’t have the same feeling of home that Summer Bay did, she still felt relaxed.

“Why couldn’t VJ come with us?”Pippa complained.

Leah smiled at the girl.“VJ’s gone for a swim.”

“Well, why couldn’t we have gone for a swim with him?”

“Because…sometimes teenage boys don’t want their mums around.And he’s not old enough to be responsible for you,”she added quickly, sensing Pippa’s next question.

Pippa scowled slightly.“We have more fun when he’s around.”

“Yes, I know, but you’ll just have to settle for me.”

Pippa seemed to consider this.“Okay,”she sighed at last.

Leah gave a look of mock offence which she hoped covered up her genuine disappointment that the two of them hadn’t bonded more.“Oh, well, I’m sorry to disappoint you.”

Pippa had been poking at the sand with a spade but the comment made her stop and look at Leah. “Did you really have me in your tummy?”

Leah was surprised at the question.“Yes, I did.Did your mum tell you that?”

Pippa nodded.“The other night.She said you’d done something really special for us and I should remember that.”

“Well…your mum and dad were special people.”

Pippa seemed suddenly interested.“You knew my dad?”


“I don’t really remember him.He left me a video, I’ve watched it a few times.Mum says he was nice.”

“He was.Just like VJ’s dad, he did the same for him.It’s a shame neither of you got to know them.”

“But your other son, his dad’s still around?”

Leah nodded.“Yeah, he’s looking after him now.Guess Stephen’s the lucky one.”

Dallas clapped her hands over her ears.“William, Stephen, will you be quiet?!”

She’d thought she could handle it when Dexter first suggested it.He’d been asked to do an extra shift at the hospital, he’d only be gone four hours.He offered to call Indi or Sasha and ask them to come and help her out but she’d assured him she’d be fine.How much trouble could two pre-schoolers be?

And to start with, they hadn’t been any trouble.They’d decided they wanted to paint, which seemed a harmless enough activity.Dallas had put plastic sheets down and given them both overalls, then handed over the paper and paints and left them to it.But then they’d started arguing.About everything. What colours they should use, how to divide up the paper.Until her head was thumping.

The two boys stopped at her outburst and stared at her.“He’s using up all the paper,”William complained.

“I paint,”Stephen interjected helpfully.

Dallas looked at their respective works.William was still on his first painting, which seemed to be a big orange…thing with a white circle in the middle.Stephen, on the other hand, seemed to think it was more fun to paint a line across every sheet of paper he could lay his hands on and the stack she’d given them was rapidly diminishing.

“Do you need any more paper, William?”Dallas asked.

William considered this.“No,”he admitted.

“Well, tell me when you do and I’ll get you some more.Until then, let Stephen do his thing.”

The news seemed to placate them.Dallas closed her eyes, wishing she could lie down and rest, try and shake the headache she’d developed.It would go easily if she just had half an hour’s peace and quiet.But the peace and quiet never seemed to come.

“You’ve got it on the sheet!”William complained,“You’re wasting it!”

“I’m painting,”Stephen insisted petulantly.

“You’re supposed to put the paint on the paper, not on the plastic!”

Dallas felt tears rolling down her cheeks, whether from the pain or the frustration she didn’t know. She turned away from the squabbling pair and ran to the kitchen.And there she sank to the floor, feeling her body sobbing for reasons her mind didn’t quite understand, unable to cope any longer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for your comments!Hope everyone enjoys this.


The first thought Dexter had when he opened the door was that it was noisy.It only took him a few seconds to work out the source of the noise.Stephen and William were gleefully attacking each other with paint brushes, getting paint all over their overalls and faces.He crouched down by them, grasping their hands.“This is a new game I don’t know about, right?Might be an idea to stop now before you get mistaken for Maori warriors.By the way, where’s Mummy?Slash Dallas?”

“She’s in the kitchen,”William answered.

“She makes a lot of noise,”Stephen added.

“One day, I’m going to introduce you to a pot and a kettle and ask you which one is black.Now, shh.”He raised a finger to his lips to emphasise the point and then headed through into the kitchen.

Dallas was still crouched against a cupboard, her head bowed and in her hands.She seemed to register Dexter’s presence and look up and he saw her face streaked with tears.He awkwardly sat down next to her and put his arm round her and she leaned against him.

“I’m sorry,”she said quietly,“I don’t know what got into me.I had this really bad headache and I just wanted them to shut up so I could have a moment’s quiet but they wouldn’t.Next thing I knew, I was yelling at them like a crazy woman.”

Dexter patted her gently on the shoulder.“How’s your blood pressure?”

Dallas shot him a curious look.“Huh?”

“It’s one of the standard questions for pregnant women with headaches.”

Dallas managed a slight smile.“Pretty high, I guess.”

Dexter nodded.“Okay.Here’s the plan.I’ll take you to your bedroom so you can get some rest.Then I’ll put Stephen and William in the bath.”He noted her puzzled look.“Best not to ask.Or look. Remember your blood pressure.And then…I’ll see about getting you some help.”

“Hey, VJ!”Pippa called as she and Leah got home and saw the boy putting up his surfboard in the kitchen,“Can I have a go on that some time?”

VJ seemed to consider what a diplomatic answer would be.“Maybe when you’re older,”he suggested.

The answer seemed to satisfy her.“Do you want to have a look at my room?”

“I’ve seen it,”VJ pointed out slowly.

“Yeah.Do you want to see it again?”

As Pippa skipped off to her room, VJ have Leah a pained look.“Mum…”

“Just…try not to upset her,”Leah advised.

VJ sighed.“I thought Stephen was bad enough.At least he just wants me to play with cars.”He headed off after Pippa.

“Found someone to keep her occupied again?”Sally asked as Leah came through to the living room.

Leah smiled.“Well, he’s missing out on school to be here so he might as well earn his keep.”

“Wonder what would happen if they’d grown up together.”

“They’d end up getting married probably.Give it six years and he’d probably be begging her to spend time with him.”

Sally grimaced.“Don’t!She’s growing up fast enough as it is.”

“You know, when I stop and think about it,”Leah remarked as she took a seat,“I can’t quite believe I’m still living in Summer Bay.”

“I can’t quite believe I’m not,”Sally answered,“I always thought I’d raise Pippa there but…I guess life has a way of surprising you.Just so long as you know that if you ever needed help, I’d be on the first flight back there.”

“I know,”Leah agreed.

“And I don’t think Pippa would need much encouragement to come with me.”

Dexter put his finger to his lips as he answered the door.“Keep your voice down,”he asked in a stage whisper.

Indi and Sasha looked at each other in bemusement.“Where’s Dallas?”Indi asked in as quiet a voice as she felt comfortable with.


“And William and Stephen?”Sasha asked.

“Also sleeping.They’ve had a tiring day.”Dexter led them both in.

“So what’s with the Walker family summit?”Indi asked.

Dexter sighed.“I’m a patriarch.”

Indi looked confused.“You love your country?”

“No, not a patriot.A patriarch.”

“Not really sure what that is but I’m sure you’re not.”

“It means I’ve been perpetuating negative stereotypes about the role of the male and female in family life, all the while failing to fulfill my duties as a not-quite-husband and father.”

Indi continued to stare at him before turning to Sasha.“Do you know what he’s saying or do we need to find someone who can talk geek?”

“You’ve been asking Dallas to do too much?”Sasha ventured.

Dexter clicked his fingers and pointed at her.“Exactly.”

“Well why didn’t you just say so?!”

Dexter cleared his throat.“Being pregnant and looking after two small and noisy children, asking a bit too much.So like all true patriarchs, when faced with an overburdened female and a job I really can’t take time off from, I look for other females to lighten the load.”He paused.“That’s you two.”

“You want us to help Dallas out?”Sasha asked.

“Of course we will,”Indi promised.

“You’re sure?”Dexter checked,“I know you’ve both let cavemen hit you over the head and drag you back to their tribes…”

“Heath’s good with children,”Indi assured him.

“So’s Casey,”Sasha added.They both looked at her.“Well, I always imagine he would be.”

Dexter breathed a sigh of relief.“Thank you.Both of you.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for the comments!Hope you like this.


“Will you quit worrying?”Xavier asked as Dexter checked he hadn’t accidentally turned his phone off for the umpteenth time.The two of them were sat in the surf club, sharing a drink.

“Well, I can’t help it,”Dexter protested,“I should be getting back to Dallas.”

“It’s not like she’s coping with the kids, your sister’s looking after them.Let her get some rest.”

“Yeah but I can’t help feeling guilty.You’ve no idea what it’s like to hold a tiny life in your arms and know that they’re dependent on you and you can’t mess up anymore because that would mean messing them up…and don’t think I haven’t noticed that glazed expression in your eyes.Sorry for boring you.”Dexter sighed.“I’m going to end up as one of those old guys showing photos of his grandkids to people who don’t care, aren’t I?”

Xavier grinned.“It’s okay.I’m actually kind of jealous of you having a family.Not that April and I are ready for that, it’d just be nice one day.”His eyes flicked towards the entrance.“Uh-oh, here comes trouble.”

Dexter looked round and saw Sasha storming towards him, William and Stephen holding onto her hands.“What was that text message about, Dex?‘Gone fishing, pick the boys up later’?”

“I was…trying to be witty?”Dexter attempted.

“Well, big fail.I’m meant to be going out with Case, so you’re going to have to deal with them.Indi and I agreed to help out because you needed to work, not so you could come here and hang out with your dumb mates.”She looked at Xavier.“No offence.”

Dexter sighed.“All right, social time over.I’ll get them home.”

“Hey, they can stay with us for a while,”Xavier decided,“Come on, boys, I’ll get you an ice cream.”

“A small one!”Dexter called after them,“Don’t want you ruining your tea!”He looked at Sasha and sighed.“I’m turning into Dad, aren’t I?”

It was an hour later before Dexter, William and Stephen arrived home.“Dallas, we’re here!”Dexter called out.

His answer was an agonised moan.

Dexter ventured through into the kitchen and found Dallas leaning against the table, a pained look on her face.“I know that expression,”Dexter realised,“Baby’s coming?”

Dallas nodded.“Feels like it.”

Dexter turned to William and Stephen.“Boys, go in the front room and play video games or you’ll be scarred for life.”He turned back to Dallas.“You rung an ambulance?”

“On its way.”

“Right, I’ll pack your bag.”

“And call the babysitter?”

Dexter froze.“Babysitter?What babysitter?”

“Haven’t you arranged someone to look after the boys?”

“Well, Leah was going to do it but then she left the country.Indi had her phone off the hook so definitely don’t want to go there, Sasha was doing something with Case…”

“So what do you suggest we do?Have them in the delivery room with us?”

Dexter floundered.“We’ll take them to the hospital and see what we can sort out there.”

Leah had gone out for a walk on her own, after some much-needed adult time.Sally had been happy to keep an eye on Pippa for a bit, especially since VJ was there to help.When she got back, she heard voices coming from the living room.“VJ’s going to teach me to surf,”Pippa was saying.

“When you’re older,”VJ amended.

“How much older?”

“When you’re twenty-one,”Sally replied.

“But even VJ isn’t that old!”

“VJ isn’t my daughter.”

“He’s not anyone’s daughter,”interjected another male voice that Leah recognised instantly.

Leah froze at the sound.Then she took a deep breath and stepped into view.Four pairs of eyes looked at her.

Leah looked at the newcomer.“Hello, Miles.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for the comments, Jarliefan, Aden Belle, Beezzz and pembie!Hope everyone enjoys this one.


Dexter carefully led William and Stephen to the room where Dallas was moaning and sweating and shot her a sympathetic look.“How are you getting on?”he asked.

Dallas glared at him in annoyance.“How does it look?”

“I think any answer I could give to that would get me hit.”

“Is the baby coming out of you now?”William asked.

Dallas managed to smile at him.“Yes.”

“It looks painful.”

“It is.”Dallas turned back to Dexter.“How are you getting on finding someone to look after them?”

“Well, I keep asking nurses but they’re all too busy.Apparently looking after the patients is important work.”

“I think you need to take them out of here now.”

“Oh, they’ll be no trouble…”

“Dexter,”Dallas said carefully,“I need to start screaming.”

Dexter swallowed slightly.“I’ll take them out of here now.”

Leah had found herself back on the beach, leaving Sally and VJ to look after Pippa again.The difference was that this time she had Miles walking alongside her.“So, did you get everything done that you had to?”she asked after a long silence.

“Yep,”Miles confirmed,“Another village now benefitting from full educational facilities.I guess Elijah’s missionary zeal must have rubbed off on me.How is he, by the way?”

“Fine last I heard.It’s been a while, he’s got his new parish to worry about.You’re going to be sticking around for a while now then?”


“Well, if you’re going to be here to keep an eye on Sally and Pippa, VJ and I might head home.”

“That’s it?”Miles snapped,“One walk on the beach for old times sakes before you go heading home?”

“Well, what more did you expect, Miles?”Leah demanded,“For me to stay here and us to get back together?”

“No, I stopped expecting that from you a long time ago.I just thought maybe you could bear to be in the same country as me for a bit longer.”

“I never wanted to stop being friends with you, Miles.Okay, maybe for a bit, at first.But you were the one that decided to move out here to get away from me.”

Miles looked at for a long moment, then gave a reluctant smile.“We make a right pair, don’t we?”

“Yes, we do.But not that sort of pair.”

“True.And I have kind of missed having you as a friend.”He gave her a teasing look.“So you really had Dexter’s baby?”

“Yes, I have.And Dex is actually really good with him.”

“Oh, I don’t doubt it.It’s just the ‘getting to that point in the first place’ bit that I have a problem picturing.”

“It…was interesting.And probably firm evidence that I should stay single.What about you?Anyone on the horizon?”

“Nope.After losing Louise and Amber and then all that happened with Kirsty and then you, I’m slowly coming to the conclusion that I’m going to have to settle for being the crazy uncle.”

“Well, it’s a role you play well.Don’t be too quick to rule anything out though.You never know what’s around the corner.”

Dexter noticed a familiar figure walking through reception.“Dad!”he called out.

“Oh, hi, Dex,”Sid greeted him.A look of confusion crossed his face.“Why aren’t you in with Dallas?”

Dexter gestured to where William and Stephen were playing.“Couldn’t get a babysitter.I don’t suppose you could..?”

Sid held up an armful of folders.“Sorry, patients to see.”

“Well, could you pop in on Dallas, see how she is?”

“Yeah, okay, I can do that.”

Dexter turned away from the departing Sid to see Sasha and Casey come rushing in, still dressed up from their date.“Dex, we got your call,”Sasha greeted him,“Is there anything we can do?”

Dexter didn’t think he’d ever been more grateful to see anyone.“Sasha, I would kiss you if you weren’t my sister and fabulously ugly.Uh, scratch the ugly part, don’t want to annoy you.You’re gorgeous.Casey will tell you.Can you keep an eye on William and Stephen for a bit while I’m in with Dallas?”

Sasha took a second to decipher the babble.“Sure,”she agreed at last.

Indi came rushing in after them.“Dexter, I’m so sorry, we found six messages on the answerphone when we, er, checked it.How’s Dallas doing?”

“I’m about to go and find out,”Dexter answered.

“Is Heath with you?”Casey asked.

“No,”Indi replied,“He was taking Darcy to monster trucks and didn’t want to cancel.”


“Are you sure you’ll be all right?”Dexter checked.

“Dallas needs you to swear at,”Indi told him,“Just go.We’ll be all right.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for all the comments, hope you like this one.


“Passengers for Sydney, Australia please proceed to check-in,”a voice announced over the tannoy, repeating the message in several other languages.

Leah and VJ stood in the centre of the airport with Miles, Sally and Pippa.Sally was sitting in a wheelchair, although the doctors were expecting her back to be completely healed within a few weeks.“That’s us,”Leah remarked, obviously.

Sally nodded.“Guess this is goodbye then.”

“Guess so.”Leah hugged her old friend.“Don’t be a stranger, okay?You’ll have to come and see us some time, see Stephen.”

“Me back in Summer Bay?We’ll see.”

“What, you’re allergic to the place?”

“Quite the opposite, I’m afraid if I go back I won’t want to leave.”Sally smiled.“I’ll make sure we see you again very soon.”

Leah hugged her goddaughter.“Bye, Pip.”

“See you.”Pippa returned the hug for a moment, then quickly hugged VJ.“See you, Veej.”

“Um, yeah,”VJ confirmed awkwardly.

Leah looked at Miles.“Do we hug?”

“Not a good idea.You’ll be unable to resist my manly charms and have to stay here.”Miles smiled and hugged her.“I’ve missed doing this.”

“You can let go now.”

“Yeah.Sorry.”Miles released her.“Now…you be happy, you hear?Families are important, whichever shape or form they come in.”

“I get that.”Leah nodded to her son.“Come on, Veej.”They headed off towards their plane, the other three waving to them as they went.

Indi, Sasha and Casey sat in the hospital reception area.William and Stephen were both crouched on the floor in front of them, scribbling on pieces of paper with a set of colouring crayons one of the nurses had provided.“More paper,”Stephen requested bluntly.

“You can’t have any more paper,”Sasha told him,“Just keep using that one.”She pointed to a clear space on the page.“Draw something in that bit there.”

“When are we going to see the baby?”William asked.

“When it’s…out,”Indi attempted.

“But how does it get out?”

“Well, there’s a hole that it comes out of…Hey, what’s that drawing off?”

“Ooh, shameless deflection,”Casey commented.

“As you’re the guy here, maybe you could explain things to him?”Sasha suggested.

“You’re doing great, Indi,”Casey decided.

Sid appeared and everyone looked up.Indi noticed the slight smile on his face.“Dad..?”

“You can come through now,”Sid told them.

The group filed through into the hospital room, where Dexter was sat on the bed with his arm round Dallas.Dallas was cradling a baby in her arms.Dexter cleared his throat.“Well, Louis, you’ve already met your Grandad Sid.That there is your Auntie Indi, who’s a total princess but is going to be really good at cooing over you.And that one there is your Auntie Sasha, who’s going to boss you about even though she was a right troublemaker herself when she was young.And that’s your Uncle Casey, who’s her friend.”

Sasha stared at him hard.“You named him after Louis Pasteur, didn’t you?”

“Louis the Fourteenth, actually,”Dexter retorted.He was met with a series of blank looks.“Longest-reigning European monarch?King of France for seventy-two years, succeeded by his great-grandson because everyone else died before him?”

“It was Louis Pasteur,”Dallas confirmed.

“Thank you,”Dexter sighed.He took a moment to compose himself.“And these, Louis, are your big brother William and your not-quite-as-big brother Stephen, who are going to be really nice with you and let you play with all your toys.Right, boys?”There was an insistent tone to the last two words which both boys seemed to ignore.

“He’s small,”William opined.

“Small,”Stephen echoed.

“You were just as small once,”Dallas told them.

William shook his head.“Uh-uh.”

“How come, out of the three of us, you’re the one that ended up with all the kids?”Sasha asked Dexter.

“We used to ask the same thing about Heath,”Casey observed.

“It’s the neglected middle child syndrome,”Dexter answered,“Causes us to look for love and support elsewhere.”

“You didn’t know you were the middle child until you were eighteen!”Indi protested.

Dexter scowled.“It still counts.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.