Title: Trying Normal Chapter 8

Author: UConn Fan (Michele)

E-Mail: LoveUConnBasketball@yahoo.com

Story Summary: "Can I be normal?"

He shrugged, "what does normal mean anyway? You can be happy though, and that's about as close to normal as anyone can hope for." (Sequel to "Coming to Terms")

DISCLAIMER: I don't own ANY of these characters; they belong to Bad Robot, ABC, and the brilliant J.J. Abrams. Nor do I own anything remotely recognizable.

A/N: This is VERY fluffy, very funny & very sweet. If your looking for angst, go read something else I've written - I've got plenty of it. This is fun, this is sweet, and with everything else I'm writing, this is necessary.









There was no need for a doctor to confirm what Sydney already knew in her heart. Still, when Monday came, that's exactly what her doctor did. Apparently she was six weeks pregnant, due sometime in the last week of September. At the news, the doctor congratulated her with a wide smile. Numbly, she thanked her and walked out of the doctor's office, looking down at the baby in her arms and wondering how she was going to handle another.

Both mother and daughter were soundly asleep on the sofa when Michael returned home from work. They made a beautiful sight, Jackie soundly sleeping on her mother's chest. For a few minutes, he allowed them to sleep, setting his briefcase down and quickly feeding Donovan. Sydney's eyes were beginning to open when he softly emerged into the dim living room. Her head turned to the sound, a smile following when she saw him.

"Hey Syd." He smiled and squatted down in front of the sofa.

"Hey," she answered in a voice weighed down with sleep. "Did you just get home?"

"Yep, traffic was horrible. I didn't mean to wake you." Michael leaned over to kiss her. Then carefully, he touched his daughter's tiny fist and kissed her cheek. "I was actually going to go get the camera."

"No," she chuckled. "Not another picture of me sleeping. I don't want my daughter to look back and see her mother drooling."

"You're beautiful, even covered in drool," he whispered, kissing her again. With a sigh, he sat back and took her free hand as the other one rested on their daughter's back. "What happened at the doctor's?"

"What are you doing in September?"

"Having a baby?" he guessed.

Sydney chuckled. "Apparently so," she agreed. Then she sighed heavily, the wrinkles pressed into her forehead. "Mike, I don't know -"

"We're going to be fine," he promised her. "We're apparently very fertile."

"I thought my chances of conception went down at thirty."

"Didn't you always want a brother or sister growing up? Someone who knew everything you went through, who was always there?"

"Sometimes," she confessed.

"Jackie's going to have that. You survived with Jackie and this time, I'll be there," he promised. On her mother's chest Jackie began to yawn and stretch out of reflex. Michael's smile grew as he reached over and picked up his daughter. "Hey honey, how's my favorite little girl?" he greeted, his voice low and his face close to hers. Jackie's response was to blow raspberries in her father's face before Michael peppered her tiny face with kisses. "I missed you so much. Did you miss Daddy? Were you good for Mommy? Did you let Mommy sleep, huh?" he asked before setting her down on his knee, both father and daughter facing Sydney.

"You're such a good father," she smiled, the tears in her eyes.

"You are a wonderful mother," Michael assured her. "You did it by yourself Syd, and I know it's something a lot of women do, but you did it while bringing down one of the largest international organized crime syndicates. I love watching you with her Syd and she loves you," he pointed out. Then solemnly he asked, "Do you not want this baby?"

"No, I do," she insisted. "I'm just...tired."

"I'll arrange to take some time off when the baby comes. This time around they can ask whatever they want. We'll get through this together," he promised.

"Why are you grinning like the Cheshire Cat?" she asked, unable to not smile back.

"I can't wait to tell Eric. I'll get to hear all about how super my little generals must be." He chuckled as she tossed a throw pillow at his head. "Sorry Syd. I know it doesn't feel that way right now, but this is good news."

"It is good news," she agreed. "I'm just trying to get used to the idea."

"Give it time." He kissed her briefly. "Have you eaten yet?"

"No, I've slept most of the day."

"I'll go toss some pasta on and make Jackie's dinner."

"I can -"

"Go take a shower Syd, relax, okay?"

"You've been the one at work all day, not me," Sydney reminded him as she stood.

"You're the one carrying a baby, not me," he said as Jackie smiled. "See, she agrees."

"How am I ever going to love another baby as much as I love her?" she whispered, as her daughter's hand wrapped around her outstretched finger.

"Before I met you Syd, I could never imagine loving someone as much as I love you. It will happen. We're going to be parents again Syd. We're going to have to play one on one instead of two on one, but we'll be fine."

"Is everything a hockey analogy?" Sydney chuckled.

"Hey, if the shoe fits."

"You're fanatical, but I love you." She leaned up to kiss him.

"I love you too," he whispered against her smiling lips before he ordered her off to the showers.

That Saturday, Will and Jennie were back in the area and they decided to invite everyone to dinner. Silently, they agreed to break the news to all ten of their adult guests - the newlyweds, Charlotte and Patrick, Charlie and Francie, Eric and Amy, as well as Jack and Brigitte - together. They'd only briefly played with the possibility of waiting until she was in her second trimester to share the news, but after all the Vaughn's had endured with Jackie's surprise arrival, they agreed to be honest from the beginning.

"Don't be nervous Syd," he assured her softly as they picked up the living room Saturday afternoon.

"I'm not telling them."

"You're not?" He raised an eyebrow and hid a smirk.

"Don't give me that look," she commanded. "I told everyone the first time around. Congratulations Mr. Super-Sperm, it's your turn."

"Sure Syd, I'll tell them, but I might get some funny looks when I tell them I'm pregnant," he teased. Laughing, she grabbed a throw pillow and tossed it at him, tackling him to the floor.

"You are such a man!" she teased, continuing to beat him up with the pillow. Underneath her, Michael's body continued to rumble with laughter as he tried to block her attack.

"If I wasn't, we wouldn't have this problem," he managed to sputter out through his laughter. "Syd!" he chuckled. In the corner, Jackie sat propped up on the sofa and began to laugh. "Syd, you're beating me up in front of my own daughter!" He grabbed her wrists and swiftly switched their positions. "Scared yet?" he teased as he hovered above her, holding her hands above her head as she struggled to catch her breath.

"Nope," she grinned. Michael rolled his eyes before he leaned down to briefly kiss her. "Mr. Macho," she whispered as he kissed her again.

"Just marking my territory."

"What, are you going to pee on me next?"

He chuckled and shook his head. "I'll leave that to Donovan."

"We have to finish getting ready. People are going to get here soon," she reminded him.

"Do I look like I care?" he murmured, bending down to kiss her again.

"Michael!" she scolded playfully and gently pushed him away. "You're incurable."

"Guilty as charged," he sighed and pulled to his feet. Kindly he offered her his hand and helped her to her feet, then promptly kissed her again. "Can't help it, you're so damn beautiful."

"You're not going to want to touch me in a few months."

"We both know that's a lie," Michael corrected, his hands on her hips. "I *always* want to touch you!"

Sydney laughed and pulled away. "Our daughter's watching and we have company in less than an hour."

"I'll go check on dinner."

"I'll make it up to you tonight!" she called.

As he rounded the corner she heard him mutter, "Promises, promises." Laughing, she rolled her eyes at her already amused daughter and returned to picking up.

The twelve adults made easy conversation amongst themselves over appetizers and then the main course. Jack kept his granddaughter close before Maya appeared, her big brown eyes begging to play with her baby cousin. Even though she had a little brother, Jackie was far more interesting to her, and occasionally she liked to pretend that both babies were her twins. The young girl was never overly aggressive or impatient with the babies, and she was allowed to continue her game.

With dessert on the table, Michael looked over at his wife. Silently, he urged her to start the conversation. Sydney cleared her throat as conversation ceased and everyone looked over at her. "It's really nice to have all of you here," she smiled. "There is a reason we asked you all here at once though."

"Well, what's going on?" Francie questioned.

Briefly, she looked over at her husband, encouraged by his smile, and even more encouraged when he reached under the table for her hand. "I'm pregnant."

"No way!" Will's eyes widened. Various noises of congratulations and surprise filled the room for a few moments. A chorus of hugs and congratulations were exchanged before everyone was in their seats again.

Charlotte was the first one to ask a legitimate conversation, "When?"

"Sometime in late September," Michael answered.

"Jackie will only be seventeen months old," Jack reasoned.

"Charlotte and Michael are eighteen months apart," Brigitte reminded. "The beginning was difficult, but it worked out very well as they got older."

"I think it's a lot better than what I had. It's still difficult being so much older than my brother. I love him, but we have so very little in common," Jennie pointed out.

"I think it's great," Will insisted. "Jackie will always have someone to play with, someone to boss around..." he trailed off as they laughed.

"What about work?" Jack questioned.

"I'll take another year off," Sydney shrugged.

"This is so wonderful! How are you feeling?" Francie eagerly looked at her best friend.

"Not as nauseous," she smiled gratefully. "Just really tired."

"I'm sorry Syd," Jennie sighed. "I shouldn't have had you running all those errands -"

"You didn't know. We didn't even know," she insisted. "I just hope Jackie adjusts well."

"Nonsense, she'll be fine," Brigitte spoke up. "Charlotte adjusted perfectly to Michael. She'll be young enough that she'll never remember life without her brother or sister."

"Do you have a preference?" Charlie asked.

"Healthy," Michael and Sydney answered at the same time.

"This pregnancy will fly by. Trust me, you'll be so busy with Jackie, you'll just wake up one day and be ready to have a baby!" Brigitte laughed. "You better help Sydney, Michael, she's going to be exhausted."

"He's been amazing," Sydney stepped in.

"Of course he has, he just needs to keep stepping up," Brigitte insisted.

"I have no doubt Michael will fulfill his role," Jack replied.

Momentarily the younger man looked at his father-in-law and wondered how many types of pain Jack would inflict upon him if he *didn't* successfully fulfill his role.

"Well, I think it's great," Francie insisted.

"It certainly is," Brigitte agreed.

"Plus, you've still got all your maternity clothes *and* they are still in style," her best friend pointed out as Sydney burst out laughing.

"I hadn't thought of it that way," she grinned.

"The real question is, how long you wait until the next one," Will playfully challenged.

"That's assuming they'll have another one," Jennie reasoned.

"Why wouldn't they?" her husband asked.

"It's only Michael and I, we were fine, and plenty of people are just fine without *any* siblings," Charlotte reasoned.

"I think," Jack spoke over them, dimming the dining room to silence, "I think we should let this child be born before we consider any other children they may decide to have."

Sydney smiled at her father, grateful for his silent understanding. Under the table, she felt her husband's familiar hand grasp for hers, meeting her eyes as they basked in their loved ones' joyous reception of the news.