Authors Note, Ok so I am really in a Hoot fanfic mood, dunno why, no more alligators I promise, it sounded so much better before dawn, no more late night writing either. It's hard trying to explain to your religion professor you were up all night writing Black Hawk Down fanfic and that's why your unruly in class, some people have no compassion for Banatics. Anywho, have been inspired and have new plans and everything. Go me! So anyway I have decided to go in a new direction with this little ficlet, after seeing a wedding go downhill faster then my GPA (ha-ha) I've decided to base this on family and crap, but it will not be one of those loving moral family stories, it'll be like a real family. So review please and enjoy!

It'd been months since I had slept in an actual bed. Not cot or bunk. A real bed with real pillows, in a real house, with one other person. Well actually two, but McKnight was in the bedroom downstairs. We'd never been faced with that problem before, never before had all of us been off, at the same time.

Sometimes Diana and I would be off and we'd stay in her apartment in Georgia, other times her father and her would be off and they'd stay here, and when McKnight and I were off we'd stay at opposite ends of the base.

We never had this problem before.

Sanderson had thought it was the funniest damn thing on base.

It was about midnight when the phone rang, I knew this because I was awake. Not just because McKnight was downstairs and had the ears of a fox, but because for the first time in months I was in a actual bed, with the woman I loved, and didn't have to worry about waking up or getting caught or if there would be a air raid siren.

It was what so many people called domestic tranquility, something I didn't get a lot of, and it fascinated me.

I could actually lie in bed beside her and not have to worry about anything.

The phone rang and I prayed I didn't have to bail anyone out of jail, all of us were sent here for our leave, unless we requested otherwise, none of us really cared, we hadn't had leave in some time.

I rolled onto my back and she made little unhappy noises, I was almost tempted to ignore the phone and crawl back up against her, but she'd wake up. Or her father, who heard everything. I had more sex on base in closets then I was getting here. Not that I was complaining. Whenever he went out I was having the fastest sex in my life. Though he was starting to get suspicious why we ran out of milk and shit so fast. Which Sanderson also found funny as hell.

Before the phone rang three times I grabbed it, wishing the stupid thing had caller id.



A little part of my mind knew the voice, but it took me a minute before I remembered.

"Don't hang up, please, I want to talk."

It was my father and he wanted to talk. I was actually speechless, Diana curled up against me in her sleep, she buried her face against my arm and hogged my pillow along with the quilt.

"How'd you get this number?"

"Does it matter?"

"Yeah," I wanted to know whose ass I had to chew out. Someone would pay dearly for this little stunt.

"Look Hoot I want to know you. Albert refuses to even take my calls and I don't even know where Joseph is."

"Joe died."

If you had cared about any of us you would have known about that, but I didn't say that. Instead I let him take the news his youngest son was dead in silence.

"When did he die?"

"Twenty years ago." He had been six and had drown, I hardly remembered him, the last memory I had of him was when he waved at Albert and I when we got on the school bus. When we came home he was gone.

"How's your mother?"

Shit, I was getting annoyed now, "What do you want?"

He was quiet for a few minutes then asked, "Would you meet me for breakfast?"


I hung up before he could answer, then I took the phone off the receiver and set it down on the floor. Not wanting the damned thing to ring again.

No I was wide-awake.


I grabbed the phone cord and pulled it off the floor, I reached over and grabbed the phone from the nightstand, I set it on my chest and punched in seven numbers.

Diana didn't know anything about my father and it would stay that way for as long as I could keep it. The man had no right to leave my life when I was too young to remember anything, then pop back in several years later and want to be buddies, it wasn't gonna happen. Life was not a Dr. Phil show.

The phone rang four times before Sanderson picked up the other end, "What?"

He was awake.

"It's me."

There was a silence then, "Do you know what time it is? What the hell is your problem?"

"He called again?"

Sanderson didn't have to ask who, he knew by my tone I guess. Instead he asked, "How the fuck did he get your number?"

"We didn't talk about that."

Against me Diana began to wake up, whether it was from the noise or I was getting tense. I quickly spoke up, "I'm gonna go shootin in the mornin."

Sanderson didn't ask directions or what time, he didn't need to. Instead he said, "Ok, meet you there."

I hung up the phone and dropped it on the floor, Diana moved closer against me until she was completely lined up to my body. Half awake she mumbled, "Who's that?"

I kissed the top of her head and put my arm around her, pulling her even closer, it that was possible. "Sanderson."

Sleepily she lifted her head, her figure silhouetted against the glow of the alarm clock on my side of the bed. Clocks didn't survive on her side.

"Sanderson? Who's in jail?"

I smiled and kissed her lips, "No one. We're gonna go out on tha range."

She stared at me then collapsed on my chest, quite possibly annoyed that we had made these plans so late at night and woke her up in the process.

With her head on my chest she fell back asleep. By all means I should have been tired, I wasn't. I slid my fingers in through her hair and played with it for hours, just staring at the ceiling, looking over at the red illuminated numbers now and then.

At 5:42 I finally fell asleep.