Disclaimer: I got inspiration for this story after reading Blood Ties by
Becky Blair. I just wanted a Duke and Scarlett piece. So if you see parts
that look familiar…you know where I got them (pays homage to Becky Blair).
The only difference is that Duke and Scarlett are not engaged in my story.
In fact, in the beginning they aren't even a couple. As always I dedicate
my story to Robert and Diana M. Oh and I should forewarn you of major
angst. This story makes me feel like the Queen of Angst. LOL. Please
email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me about my story. If you send
flames, I will use them for my Fourth of July cookout.
Just then the helicopter landed. Doc and Flint rushed Jaye into the
hospital. "The delivery room is already, it was smart for you to call
ahead." a nurse said to them as they entered. They pushed forward into the
delivery room. Scarlett, Rock and Roll, Roadblock, and Mainframe rushed in
minutes later. Duke was already waiting for the team's arrival and report.
He pulled Scarlett aside from the other joes.
"How's Jaye?" Duke asked concerned.
"She started having contractions in Cobra's hideout. She was almost
fully dilated in the helicopter. I'm sure it won't be long now." Scarlett
tucked some of loose strands of hair behind her ear.
"Cobra Commander didn't hurt her, did he?"
"No, but he almost got to her. Destro stopped him." Scarlett
"Destro? That's odd." Duke rubbed his chin.
"Yeah, we were all skeptical of him. Destro killed him before he had
a chance to harm Jaye. He even unlocked her restraints so we could save
her. He almost seemed concerned." Scarlett continued filling Duke in.
"Well, we'll worry about Destro later. Right now my thoughts are
with Jaye." Duke grimaced and placed a hand on Scarlett's back close to her
shoulder. She flinched at his touch and pulled away. Duke looked at her
back and could see a blood stain on her uniform.
"Scarlett, you're hurt…" Duke trailed off.
"I didn't even know…with everything happening…" Scarlett trailed off.
Duke called over a nurse.
"You need to have that checked out." Duke sternly told her.
"I need to be here for Jaye." Scarlett shook her head.
"Flint's with her. She'll be alright." Duke reasoned.
"This better be quick." Scarlett relented and let the nurse lead her
into a room nearby. Luckily, her wound was not serious and just needed
some bandaging. Duke came into the room as the nurse was finishing the
"Baby number one is out and healthy." Duke reported. Scarlett turned
her head and smiled at him. The nurse announced she was finished and
Scarlett slid her uniform up her shoulder and zippered it. She and Duke
hurried out the room hoping for news of the twin. Flint was pacing the
hallway wringing his hands.
"Flint, what's wrong?" Scarlett rushed over to him alarmed.
"She was bleeding. The baby is not right. They made me leave."
Flint spoke agitated.
"What?" Duke cried out in shock.
"They need to do a C-section." Flint added frowning.
"Flint, she'll be fine." Scarlett tried to assure him.
"She better be." Flint spoke tight lipped and closed his eyes. Duke
and Scarlett exchanged glances not knowing what to say. Doc came bursting
out of the delivery room moments later.
"How is she?" Flint asked. His face held the look of a man in deep worry.
"Mother and daughter are doing just fine." Doc said as he placed a hand on
Flint's shoulder. Scarlett and Duke both made a sigh of relief.
"Daughter?!?" The look on Flint's face was priceless." Doc grinned at the
"Yes, Flint, your daughter. Congratulations."
"But...we were told it was two boys." Flint was in a state of total
shock. Scarlett and Duke smiled surprised at the news.
"Well, my friend, evidentially they looked at your son twice because
she's definitely a girl." Doc smiled at Flint's expression.
"Can I see them? Is Allie okay?" Flint asked worried.
"Yes, you can see them. Allie is fine." Doc nodded and headed back into
the delivery room.
"Congratulations, Flint." Scarlett smiled and gave him a hug.
"I'm a dad." Flint smiled in disbelief. Scarlett pulled away and Duke
smacked him on the back.
"Congratulations, buddy." Duke grinned.
"Thanks, I'm gonna go see her." Flint grinned and went into the delivery
"A girl and a boy. How perfect." Scarlett smiled.
"I wonder what they'll name them…" Duke pondered.
"I don't even think they had a girl's name picked out." Scarlett shook her
"How's your shoulder?" Duke asked remembering Scarlett's injury.
"Oh it's fine. I haven't even thought about it." Scarlett tried to look at
her bandage. Duke watched as Scarlett zoned out in thought.
"What's going through that head of yours?" Duke asked a few minutes later.
"Jaye's so lucky." Scarlett sighed.
"Yes, you and the rest of the team saved her just in time." Duke nodded.
Scarlett looked down at her feet and then looked at the delivery room door.
"Oh, right…Cobra…we saved her." Scarlett nodded and looked down at her
feet. Duke could feel Scarlett's happiness rapidly decline.
"Did I say something wrong?" Duke asked worried about her change in
"Nothing…it's nothing…" Scarlett shook her head.
"C'mon, I know you better than that. What's wrong? What did I say?" Duke
bent his knees so he could look up at her and try to read her eyes.
"No, I'm fine." Scarlett gave a fake smile and let it fade.
"Shana…" Duke dropped her real name hopefully as a sign that she
could tell him what was bothering her. Flint came out of the delivery room
with a huge smile.
"They're perfect. Everyone is perfect. We even picked out names.
James McClellan and Melissa Reilly." Flint continued to smile. "They are
being taken to the nursery so you can see them. I'm going to stay with
Jaye a bit longer. She's getting transferred upstairs."
Scarlett and Duke nodded and headed to the nursery on the fourth floor.
"Look, I'm sorry for whatever I said to upset you." Duke apologized.
"It's not something you can understand, Duke. I don't really want to
talk about it." Scarlett sighed.
"James and Marissa. Already sounds like a handful." Duke chuckled
trying to lighten the mood. His attempt failed and the two rode the
elevator in silence. The other joes who had arrived with Scarlett were
already waiting at the nursery's observation window.
"They just put them out." Mainframe told them. The nurse held up a
tiny bundle in pink.
"She's so…beautiful." Scarlett breathed and then put her hand in
front of her mouth as if this was a moment she shouldn't be breathing.
Another nurse held up a baby wrapped in blue. The baby was crying loudly.
"Yeah, that's Flint's kid alright." Rock and Roll railed. That
caused a chuckle among all except Scarlett who was staring intently through
the window. Duke watched her closely while trying to piece together what
was upsetting her.
"You'll have a family of your own too one day." Duke whispered softly
to Scarlett so none of the others would hear.
"Don't pity me, Duke." Scarlett softly replied. He saw a tear slip
down her cheek before she hastily wiped it away. He felt sad for Scarlett,
but relieved that he figured out what was eating at her. The others walked
away after saying they were going to buy some things at the gift shop.
"I'm not. I just see this happening for you." Duke tried to cheer
Scarlett up. Scarlett whirled around and Duke could see her temper was
"When Duke? I'm 37. I don't exactly have all the time in the
world." Scarlett retorted. Duke took a step back from her surprised at the
tone of her response.
"I didn't realize you had a schedule planned." Duke defended himself.
"It's not me, Duke. It's my biological clock that's ticking."
Scarlett turned back to the window. "That's why I said you wouldn't
Duke pulled her around to face him. "You don't think I understand
about wanting a family? You don't think I want to have a wife and kids
"You married your career." Scarlett threw at him.
"How dare you say that when you don't know how I've felt at all. Do
you know how worried I am when you are assigned on highly dangerous
missions? Do you know how I spend nights worrying myself sick, literally,
that you aren't going to make it home? Do you know how overjoyed…elated I
am when you return healthy and safely? Do you know how disappointed I was
after we went for dinner and a movie that the night had to end? Do you
know how hurt I was when the team was being disbanded and all you did was
offer a hand shake when we were parting?" Duke criticized her.
"I did hug you." Scarlett managed to make out.
"But there was so much left unsaid. Do you know how much I wanted
you to ask me to come with you to Atlanta? Do you know how much I wished
things would have turned out so much differently between us?" Duke brought
has hands to his face and rubbed his temples.
"I'm sorry, Duke. I didn't realize…" Scarlett softened and touched
"Forget it…it's over. Just, the reason I said I could see you having
your own family is because I used to see myself in that picture." Duke
waved his hands in front of himself.
"Oh…" Scarlett trailed off not knowing what to say. The
uncomfortable silence only lasted moments as the other joes returned from
the gift shop with oodles of gifts for the new babies.
"Jaye's in her new room. We can all visit." Mainframe announced to
Duke and Scarlett. They continued down the hall, Duke and Scarlett joining
"We're here to see the babies…I just hope they haven't already driven
their mama crazy!" Roadblock rhymed as they entered a room.
"Hi, guys." Lady Jaye smiled weakly from her bed. Scarlett made her
way to Lady Jaye's side.
"We saw the babies. They're gorgeous." Scarlett smiled and took her
"I'm so glad they are both ok. Thank you for being part of Flint's
team. Thank you, all of you." Lady Jaye smiled back and extended her
gratitude to everyone. That got all the joes talking and before they
realized it an hour had passed and Lady Jaye was starting to nod off. A
nurse came in and announced that they all needed to leave. The patient
needed her sleep. All the joes left after bidding farewell, Duke and
Scarlett being the last to leave besides Flint who was allowed to stay at
his wife's side. As they entered the hallway, Scarlett pulled on Duke's
arm for him to look at her.
"Duke…does it have to be over with?" Scarlett asked quietly.
"What?" Duke asked confused.
"I mean the picture. Does it have to be over? Do we have to be
over?" Scarlett asked quietly.
"How can we be over if we never began?" Duke asked a little coldly as
he kept walking.
"Conrad!" Scarlett called to him. He stopped in his tracks and
turned around. "That day we had to say good bye. I wanted to throw my
arms around you. I wanted to beg you to come to Atlanta with me. I wanted
you to be with me. I wanted that picture too. I was just afraid to put
myself out there like that. I didn't know how you felt." Scarlett
"Listen, Scarlett, it's done. There's nothing either of us can say
right now to change the past. I just don't want to talk about it anymore."
Duke sighed exhausted by the conversation.
"Duke, please…give me a chance. Give us a chance…" Scarlett.
"I don't know Scarlett. With Cobra Commander's son dead, Cobra might
not be a threat anymore. We might disband a second time. Once again we'll
"No, Conrad…" Scarlett shook her head. Duke turned around and
"We'll all go our separate ways, just like we did before." Duke
"No, Conrad, it won't be like that." Scarlett tried to convince him.
"How would it be Shana?" Duke asked simply stopping to look at her.
"Well, first, I would throw my arms around you." Scarlett began as
she threw her arms around Duke. "Then I would kiss you…" Scarlett relaxed
her hands onto Duke's muscular arms and reached up and kissed him tenderly
on his lips. She pulled back and looked into his eyes. Duke seemed to be
in a trance…unsure of what just happened. "Then I would say, 'Conrad,
please come to Atlanta with me. I want to be with you…always.'" Scarlett
finished. Duke still stood speechless. Scarlett bit her lip waiting for
his reaction. Duke said nothing, but instantaneously reached behind
Scarlett's head and brought her lips to his for a second kiss. They pulled
apart and Duke smiled.
"I think I could like Atlanta." He said with a grin and kissed her
"My father will have to find a new nickname for you." Scarlett added.
"What was he calling me?" Duke asked curious.
"The one that got away." Scarlett laughed lightly.
"I think my mother coined that name for you first." Duke replied and
nestled his head against hers.
"I have a nickname for you too." Scarlett smiled devilishly.
"Oh and what's that?" Duke raised his eyebrow.
"You'll have to wait for later." Scarlett giggled.
"How much later?" Duke wanted to know.
"Tonight…in my quarters…900 hours." Scarlett replied. She could tell
Duke liked the sound of that. They continued down to the lobby where they
met the rest of the joes and started the journey back to base.