“And that,” Hollywood said, “was how I got pregnant with this vampire baby.”
He held up said baby, rotating it a few times so that everyone could get a good view. The crowd of admirers—everyone from Hollywood’s TOPGUN class minus Chipper who was a witch and had business elsewhere—stood in a half circle around Wolfman and Hollywood’s bed, paying tribute to the most horrifying creature any of them had ever born witness to.
It looked like a baby. Sort of. It had all the requisite baby parts. Technically. But something about it was just off, and not because its eyes were empty pools of darkness inside which one might meet the avatar of chaos and destruction. Maybe it was the pointy elf ears? Also, it looked like it’d aged a whole year in the day and a half since birth.
Goose was not there. He was alive but had better things to do, like organize his collection of novelty steins.
“Thanks for all that exposition, ‘Wood,” Sundown said. “I can’t believe Stinger of all people was the leader of the Volturi—” He paused to look at the palm of his hand. “—a hoard of evil vampires—this whole time.”
“Don’t be presumptuous.” Ice poked Sundown in between the ribs. “Anyone can be the leader of a hoard of evil vampires.”
Sundown hung his head. “God, you’re right. I need to go to another one of those vampiric sensitivity meetings.”
“It’s okay.” Wolfman held up a finger. “The important thing is that we defeated the evil hoard of vampires trying to get to ‘Wood and kill him to prevent the vampire baby’s birth.”
“We couldn’t have done it without Chipper’s help,” Hollywood said. Everyone agreed. No one said what it was that Chipper had done because they’d all been there. It was really important, though.
“So how did it come out of you?” Maverick approached the bed, staring uneasily at the general area of Hollywood’s pelvis. “Or maybe we should start with how it got in.”
“Actually,” Sundown cut in, “I’ve found that most people don’t care too much about that bit. They’re there for the narrative and characterization, not for any detailed attempts to rework biology to account for mpreg.”
“Yeah,” Maverick said. “But I can’t stop thinking about it.” He reached for the edge of the blanket and began lifting it up.
“No,” Wolfman said firmly, intercepting Maverick’s hand with his own. “You do not want to see what’s under there.”
“Yeah.” Hollywood tossed the baby a few feet in the air and caught it. “He had to bite it out of me. Everything looks like raw ground beef right now.”
Ice wrinkled up his nose. “That’s disgusting.” But he, too, secretly wanted to peek.
After a few more Wolfman-foiled attempts at sating his morbid curiosity, Maverick gave up and returned to Ice’s side. “Well, I think I’m done here. What are you guys going to name it?”
Hollywood and Wolfman looked tenderly into one another’s eyes. “So,” Wolfman said, “we wanted to name her after both of you, because you are the most important people in our lives, for reasons.”
“Seriously?” Sundown looked from face to face for intelligent life, coming up empty. “Chipper literally killed the entire evil vampire hoard with his elemental witch magic while the rest of you sat around with your dicks in your hands.”
Nobody heard him.
Maverick sniffed, tears beginning to fall down his face. “What are you going with? Like, Peter Tom or Tom Peter?”
“Better,” Hollywood said. “We’re naming her Mavman.”
“It’s beautiful.” Iceman wiped away a single tear. “I’ve never been so happy.”
“Can I hold her?” Mav held out his hands. Sundown climbed out of a nearby window and never talked to any of these people again.
“Catch.” Hollywood threw the infant over to Maverick like a football, complete with a perfect spiral.
“That’s a sturdy baby,” Maverick said, awestruck. He and Ice took a good look at Mavman. Despite the circumstances, she did not have vampire fangs, but maybe those grew in later? “Can you throw all babies like that? I thought newborns were fragile.”
“Just vampire babies I guess,” Wolfman said. “The first time was an accident but after some experimentation we found you can chuck her around with no consequences. I mean, she’s basically immortal. Viper and his sexy nameless husband borrowed her for a cornhole game yesterday because they were down a bean bag. Not a scratch.”
“Damn,” Maverick said. “Can me and Ice borrow her if we need a hockey puck?” He tossed Mavman back to Hollywood.
“Oh, I didn’t know you played.” Hollywood stowed Mavman under the bed where she would be out of the way.
“No, I’m just a puck bunny.” Maverick gestured at Ice, who concurred with a nod. “Ice takes me to games and his team passes me around in the locker room afterward.”
“Is it better if they win or if they lose?”
Maverick gave this some thought. “They’re more passionate if they lose, but there’s all the wailing and gnashing of teeth which is kind of a buzz kill. When they win there’s usually a gangbang or two but inevitably they get more turned on by each other than by me which is honestly a level of disrespect that I find breathtaking.”
“How do you feed her?” Ice pointed at Hollywood’s chest. Currently it was hidden beneath a pajama top with dinosaurs printed on it. “Do you make milk or something, or does she drink blood?”
Hollywood shrugged. “I don’t know.”
“How do you not know that?”
“I wasn’t paying attention.”
“Guys.” Maverick stepped between Ice and Hollywood, taking each of them by the hand. “We are thinking way too much about this. The important thing is that we’re all here, and that Stinger and his evil vampire minions are dead. You know what I’m thinking?”
“Nothing, most of the time.” Ice yelped when Maverick stepped on his toes.
“Don’t be fucking rude. This morning I had to show you how to use a toaster.”
Wolfman drew his finger back and forth between Ice and Maverick. “Are you guys dating, or…? I don’t think we established that.”
“What I’m thinking,” Maverick said, “is that Viper had the right idea. Let’s take that immortal abomination and play some cornhole.”
They did. Mavman was in fine form, laughing as her sturdy little body arced gracefully through the air. And everyone who witnessed it thought it was the most awe-inspiring thing they’d ever seen.