A/N: Thank you ever so much to those who have written such kind reviews and been so encouraging. I appreciate the time you have taken to stick with this story. It has been a pleasure writing this, and I can only hope that you've all enjoyed it as much as I have.
Having Andrew at home had put a new spring in his step, and Foyle tackled this latest case with a tenacious enthusiasm. He wanted it to be over so he could be at home with his wife and son, keeping them close. In the few days since Andrew had been home, he already felt the years apart melting away. It was an amusing thought: Foyle the family man. It had been a long time since he'd had the feeling of wanting to race home at the end of the day. It was especially strange not having Sam be the one to drive them there.
Foyle was very much looking forward to retiring — now the war was nearly over, the force surely couldn't hold him any longer. He'd stayed like he said he would, now it was time to continue down a different path. Policing was over for him, he hoped. Everything was changing in any case: the station was moving to a new building, Milner was waiting to hear about his promotion to Detective Inspector and transfer to Brighton, and Brookie would be headed back to London as soon as he could. In fact, the old station was in a current state of upheaval, Brookie coordinating the move with impressive precision. He'd done well for himself, Foyle mused, and he was glad to have known the cheeky sergeant. Milner had done well too — found himself a wife into the bargain. Foyle suddenly felt old: the young men around him making new starts in life after this god awful war, and here he was retiring…
But thoughts of days full of Sam, Andrew and the new addition made him smile. He too was going on to better things…a sort of new start as well, perhaps. Now this case was nearly over, he could focus on tidying up any last strings and becoming a new father all over again. His heart swelled at the picture in his mind's eye of Sam holding their new child. Any day now….
Foyle walked back into the old station to find only Milner and one or two constables busy packing the last few boxes.
"Hallo, sir," Milner said, grinning from ear to ear.
"Your papers came in then?"
"Yes, sir, about an hour ago. I've got it — I'll be Detective Inspector over in Brighton."
Foyle shook the younger man's hand warmly. "Jolly good. You deserve it."
"I can't thank you enough, sir, for everything over the last few years."
"Don't mention it." Foyle gave him a smile.
Brookie came in just then, rounding up the constables sharply, " 'urry up, you lot, these are the last boxes and we've been waiting ages."
He looked up and saw the two detectives in the corridor, "Ah, Mr Foyle, Mr Milner. I've got something for you."
"Oh yes, what's that?" Foyle asked.
He pulled a green bottle from the box he was holding. "This 'ere is for you and Mrs Foyle. Something for when the baby arrives."
Foyle smiled, "I see. Where's this come from then?"
"Evidence room, sir. Couldn't seem to place the labels — gone adrift somewhere."
Foyle and Milner exchanged an amused look.
"And another for you, Mr Milner. Detective Inspector at last, very well done, sir."
"And, 'ave you 'eard? They're all set to declare the end of the war — there's to be an announcement from the Prime Minister tomorrow afternoon. They're calling it VE Day," Brookie added, arching his eyebrows, "Victory in Europe."
"About time too," Foyle said.
He nodded at Milner and continued down the corridor to his own office. It had also been packed away, all the files gone to the new building on the East Road. His personal affects, like Rosalind's watercolour and his clock had already been taken home. This was it. He could finally enjoy retirement with Sam…and the new addition that would very soon be on its way. They would be a family again, now Andrew was home. Foyle smiled at the thought of his little family waiting for him.
He was startled from his reverie when the telephone shrilled. Foyle sighed slightly, and picked up the receiver. He wasn't prepared for the voice on the other end and he put out a hand to steady himself against the desk. In less than a minute he was saying, "I'm on my way."
He strode quickly out into the corridor calling for Milner.
"I need a car, Milner, where are those lads?"
"They've gone to take the last few boxes, sir…what's the matter?"
Foyle bit his lip, "Anyone else here? Where's Brookie gone?"
"He's gone with them. Just us I'm afraid, sir." Milner frowned in concern. "Sir?"
Foyle raced past and went behind the desk that had seen so many of Hasting's troubles during the war years. He wrenched open a cupboard and found the key he was looking for. Without a backward glance he made for the station yard, leaving Milner standing open mouthed.
He drove quickly to Steep Lane, putting the gears mercilessly through their paces. With a small bump onto the pavement and a slight screech of the brakes, he was in front of his house. Leaping out of the car, he ran up the steps, opened the door and went through without bothering to close it.
"Sam!" he called out, tearing off his hat.
The house was deathly still and he felt himself go cold. "Sam!" he called again more loudly, his voice cracking.
"Up here, Dad."
He raced up the steps two at a time. In their bedroom at the end of the corridor he found Sam glaring at Andrew saying, "Not like that."
"Sam. You all right?" He came towards her quickly.
"Of course I'm all right," she snapped, rubbing her back.
"I'm having a baby, Christopher, it's not the end of the world. Don't you start." She glared at Andrew again who was looking both bewildered and sheepish.
He gave her a small kiss on the cheek, "Jolly good. So, er, what's going on?"
"I'm trying to change the sheets. And Andrew is being completely hopeless."
"Is he now?" Foyle patted her arm, "Shall I help?"
He came around the side of the bed, murmuring to Andrew, "Don't look so shocked, my boy."
Andrew gave him a smile and leant a hand. The bed was soon fresh and Sam had stopped glaring. She paced a bit back and forth, before giving a soft groan.
"Are you all right?"
"If you ask me that one more time, Andrew…"
"Well shouldn't you be lying down or something…"
Foyle motioned with his head and Andrew said, "Right…I'll go put the kettle on." He looked glad to escape.
Contemplating her a moment, Foyle said, "You look gorgeous, do you know that?"
Sam looked up, eyeing him suspiciously, "Well, I feel like a balloon ready to burst."
Foyle put an arm around her, "You'll be splendid, my darling."
She relaxed at his touch and leaned into him. "Poor Andrew…I didn't mean to be so cross with him."
"He'll get over it."
Foyle kissed her cheek. "He gave me a fright on the telephone."
She rolled her eyes, "He's truly impossible; he got in a right flap… I don't know how he was a pilot."
"Ah yes, but that's different." Foyle smiled at her, "When a woman is concerned, well…"
Sam huffed. "You men. I'm fine." She was frowning again, and Foyle saw the worried anticipation in her eyes.
"Of course you are. You'll be terrific, Sam, really."
A firm voice came up from the hall. "That'll be the midwife,' Foyle said, rubbing Sam's shoulder encouragingly.
A rather tiny, older lady came pounding up the stairs, Andrew following behind carrying a large bag for her.
"Righto, put the case there. Hallo, my dear, ready to get on with it? Good, good."
She noticed Foyle and eyed him shrewdly, "That your car out front? Jolly bad parking job, I could hardly get my bicycle past. And your front door was wide open for all and sundry to come traipsing through. In a rush were you?"
Sam and Andrew stared at Foyle, both saying at the same time, "You drove?"
The midwife, having rummaged through her case, looked up and said, "Righto, men. OUT. Now. There's work to be done. This might take a while."
"I'd liked to stay," said Foyle, eyes not leaving Sam's face.
"Certainly not. You'll only be in the way. Go and make yourself useful and park that bally car properly so the rest of the street can get past. And make some tea while you're about it."
Foyle kissed Sam, whispering, "I'm only downstairs if you need me. I love you and you'll be magnificent, my darling."
Her eyes became moist and she kissed him back firmly, lip trembling slightly.
"Yes, yes, all right. Now out with you." The midwife chivvied him out and he smiled at Sam before the door was shut in his face.
Foyle descended the stairs slowly with Andrew, a half smile playing about his lips.
"Did you really drive, Dad?"
"Well, your telephone call wasn't exactly calming, Andrew. There was no one else about, so, yes, I drove."
Andrew whistled, "I wouldn't like to be you when Sam tackles you about it."
"I'll be ready. Best see to our tasks, eh? I rather think she's got eyes in the back of her head." He motioned back up the stairs.
When Foyle returned from parking the police car, Andrew had two cups of steaming tea waiting. Foyle quickly rang the station to let Milner know what was happening before joining his son in the lounge. They sat quietly, not saying anything for a moment.
"She said had been tired all morning and just wanted a lie down," Andrew began, stirring his tea. "Next thing I know she's yelling my name and I find her lying in bed in a right mess…" He grimaced. "So I rang the midwife first, like she said, then you."
Andrew took a sip of tea and added, "I think I was frightened to know it was all beginning. Isn't it a bit early? I didn't know what to do."
"I find at times like this it's best to take orders," said Foyle twitching his lips.
"She started groaning and leaning on chairs. I don't know how you're so calm, Dad."
"Been through it once before, haven't I? When you came along." He paused, "It may a bit early, but I don't think we need to worry."
Foyle knew he was only saying it to calm them both, but he felt on edge and just as concerned as Andrew looked. He wasn't about to show it though.
"Game of chess? We'll be here ages I should think."
"So, you can drive?" Andrew asked after a few minutes.
Andrew raised an eyebrow.
"So, I wanted a driver. I got Sam. Never looked back. End of story."
Andrew rolled his eyes, "I see."
"It's your move," Foyle said, case very much closed.
Three hours later, the two men were growing restless, each feeding off the other's agitation. Trying to ignore the sounds from upstairs, Foyle had chewed both lips into oblivion, and was pacing the lounge with a hand in his pocket, the other cradling a whiskey.
Andrew was sprawled in an armchair, turning a chess piece over and over in his hands.
Foyle looked up, "Hmm?"
"I'm really chuffed for you both."
He smiled at his son.
"She's a wonderful woman."
They were silent for a bit, Foyle continuing his slow pacing, and Andrew his contemplation of the chess pieces.
Suddenly a strong, infantile cry ripped through the air. It was both clamouring and indignant. Foyle stopped pacing and looked over at Andrew. They both grinned.