"Golly Bill Doc, I'm jus singin." Festus explains to Doc as he swayed back and forth. "Singing? Is that what you call it? I heard your screeching all the way outside." Doc grumbles and reaches for the bundle that Festus holds. Festus reluctantly lets go but hides his smile as Doc coo's softly to the child.
"Doc. Miz Kitty says I was to look after the babe while she and Matthew went to look at the Walker ranch." Festus states proudly, although as much as he admired Matthew and Miz Kitty, he never thought he would see the day when they would settle down and have a family. In the hills they would be grandparents by now but city folks have their own ways.
His thoughts were unhappily brought back to the night in Doc's office when he and Matthew stumbled into the office and slipped in Miz Kitty's blood on the floor. He could still feel the stickiness of her blood on his boots and his heart blanches at the memory. He tries to put that and other hurtful memories away, but at times they make themself known. After Doc assured them that Kitty would be okay, both men whose hearts where in their throats let out groans of relief. Festus stood behind Doc and placed his hands firmly on the older man's shoulders giving him whatever strength he had left. Miz Kitty, he could never think of her any other way, was coming to and speaking with Matthew. He could hear them speaking words of love and his heart was filled with hope for them.
"Matt" Doc calls softly to him, bringing his attention back to him. Matt lets go of Kitty's hand and walks toward Doc with Festus and Newly. "Tell me Doc." Matt barks afraid of what Doc will say. Touching Matt on his arm and looking at both Festus and Newly, Doc tells them that Kitty will be okay but there is something they need to know. Doc wipes his hand across his mouth, taking a breath before he changes their lives forever. All three men brace themselves for bad news not expecting what Doc says next.
"Matt, I'm not even sure I should be telling you let alone them," Doc says pointing and Newly and Festus "But I think you all should know." Choruses of "Doc." in various forms of discontent chime in. Matt's voice rises above the rest. "Just tell it Doc." bracing himself for more heartache.
Doc takes a quick look at these proud, strong men who love the woman lying on the table and then surprises them all by smiling broadly. "Matt." He says as he takes his hand, "You're going to be a Daddy." These men, these brothers, are stunned into silence. No one expected that.
Newly, the one who always remains calm and cool jumps up and shouts "Hallelujah!" The other three men look at him for a second and then break into soft laughter. At the news that Kitty is caring his child, a smile breaks across Matt's face and he silently whispers, "I am so happy Kitty. Thank you honey."
"Matt. I'm sorry to tell you this way." Doc begins but Matt cuts him off. "Is she, are they okay?" His legs tremble and find Doc's chair, no longer able to stand up. Unknowingly his hand wipes his mouth identically like Doc and he looks at the floor unable to meet Doc's eyes. Doc moves quickly to Matt and heavily puts his hand on his shoulder so he would feel his answer. "Matt, they are fine and will be fine. I promise."
The horror of the last couple of hours are swept away by the miraculous news. "Festus take this hothead" Doc says pointing to Newly "and get out of here and don't breathe of a word of this yet. It's Kitty's and Matt's news to share."
Newly quickly recovers his composer and shakes both Doc and Matt's hands with pride and heads toward the door. Festus, whose love for all of these people in the room shines stands silently and surprisingly, hugs both Matt and Doc. Neither man is used to this type of display but gladly accept and return the hug. Doc finally brings it to an end exclaiming "Scat and leave us be" but catches Festus' hand in his and holds it for a second feeling Festus' love flow into him. It gives him strength for the next conversation.
Matt watches Festus and Newly leave Doc's office and steels himself for the bad news that he knows awaits him. The thought that Kitty is pregnant with his child doesn't come as a surprise. At some point in his life he knew that this would happen and is happy that it has come at the end of his career and that he is ready for it.
"Matt" Doc starts but Matt interrupts him. "You said she and the baby are okay and that they will be okay. Right?' Matt states. "Well, yes but there are things you need to know." Doc struggles to say. "Matt, Kitty didn't come to me and I only thought she was pregnant. She was going to leave us without telling us." Doc spurts out his words like the blood that had left Kitty's body only hours ago. "I don't know what her plans are, only that she didn't tell me she was pregnant and she obviously didn't tell you. But I do know she started plans to leave Dodge."
"Matt," Doc tries to go on but a moan from Kitty brings both men to her side. She doesn't wake but Matt takes her hand brings it again to his lips before gently putting it back under the protection of the blanket.
"Doc it doesn't matter what she was planning or what her plans were. She and I will come up with new plans". Matt states staring at Kitty and then looks up at the man they both thought as their father. "It doesn't matter. I'm done leaving her and I'm done with her leaving me. Get the pastor ready for tomorrow Doc. Kitty and I are getting married even if she's unconscious. I'm done waiting. I'm done with everything but being the man, the husband and father I've long denied her."
Matt had tried to explain to them for he understood without her ever having to say a word. He could only tell them that Kitty had no choice, that he had driven her to it. He took full responsibility for the choice she made to leave and that Kitty was actually trying to save them all heartache and pain.
When Kitty regained consciousness she cried in shame and fear, Matt held her and said, "No Kitty. No tears, no regrets. I understand honey, I really do. You were faced with something you thought you had to do by yourself and that more than anything hurts me. But I understand it. Yes, you were going to leave me but your love and honor for me, for us and our friends shown in what you tried to do before you left." He said as he rocked her slowly on the brass bed that for years had been his only home. He rubbed her back and listened to her cry and she ran her hands up and down his arms soothing them both.
"Matt, I've been so scared, so lonely and mad even before the baby that I didn't know where to turn. I was so afraid all the time. Not afraid like after Bonner, but afraid that we lost our love and that hurt more than him." Kitty said. She was ashamed that she ever doubted him, her, them. Matt seeing her hurt, lovingly took her hand and kissed her palm and fingered his mother's ring that now adorned her left hand.
"Kitty, I love you and understand we both wanted and needed more from each other but didn't know how to go about it getting it. I should have talked to you more. I hid behind not talking but that was just an excuse and that made me lazy. Lazy in not letting you know my true self and that led to you having doubts." Matt continued to rub her back trying to calm her and him.
"Matt if you didn't talk enough, I know I certainly did. Or should I say yelled?" Kitty quipped and Matt was happy to see a bit of her old spark. "I think I will answer that another day sweetheart but for now, time for you to go to sleep. Doc will have my hide if he knew you were still awake."
"Matt, please stay until I am asleep." Kitty asked quietly. She knows he will but wants to make sure. "Honey." He says his answer and holds her closer.
The lovers and friends found their way back to each other and began a new journey that included a new character by the name of Samantha Wilhelmina Dillon.