Disclaimer: I do not own the characters from Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. The rights to those characters and to the show belong to the creators of the show, to CBS, The Sullivan Company and to A&E.

Baby Talk

By, Ashley J.

Written July 3, 2005

"Feel better?" Sully asked as his hands rested on Michaela's bare shoulders and massaged away the tension that had rested heavily there for so many months. The bubbly water had risen just above her breasts, and she was relaxed, leaning against the back of the washtub. She let out a soft moan as Sully worked his magic on her, and she breathed in the scent of the burning candles mixed with the aroma of Sully's aftershave. She smiled as his fingers brushed against the tops of her breasts as he massaged he began a deeper massage.

"It's so good to have you home," she whispered, bringing her soapy wet hand to rub against the length of his arm. This was their first night back home together since Sully had been pardoned by the army, and they had been intending to enjoy it making love and professing their love for one another over and over again, but after singing Christmas carols with the children, Daniel, Dorothy and Cloud Dancing around the hearth, Michaela had felt a wave of nausea pass over her, and the Christmas Eve family reunion had been cut short. Now, Michaela was feeling better as most of her body lay submerged under the warm water. She felt the slightly stretched skin on her belly bubbling, and she knew her baby was kicking and letting her know that all was well with the world.

"Sully," she whispered, taking his hand and moving it under the water. He rested his hand on her belly just in time to feel their miracle baby kicking strongly. "Can you believe it? Our baby." She closed her eyes after the baby stopped kicking, and she enjoyed the rest of her massage. Sully kissed his wife's neck as he worked, and he felt so grateful to her for being so strong. She had nearly lost that baby due to the stress that his absence had caused, and though she promised him that wasn't the reason, he couldn't help but think so. She had been strong and smart and had rested to give herself and the baby time to regain their energy, and now the baby was growing by the day and becoming more and more active. In just a few short months, a new member would be added to the family, and all of those months of worry and strain would be a part of the past, and the future would look even brighter.

"Michaela?" Michaela opened her eyes and tilted her head up to look at her husband.

"Hmm?"

"Do you ever think about whether it's a boy or a girl?" A knowing smile spread over Michaela's tired face.

"Do I ever? All of the time," she whispered. "I have this feeling, Sully, that we're having a boy."

"Do ya?" he asked, a sparkle forming in his eyes. "Why's that?"

"I don't know," she said with a sigh. "Something feels different with this pregnancy. I feel different than I did with Katie, but that doesn't always mean anything, of course. But, just days before I found out I was pregnant, I would dream of our son, and I would see him running about the meadow with Katie."

"Sounds like a good dream."

"Yes," she commented. "A very good dream. I'm so thankful that you're here to share this experience with me again. I was so frightened you'd miss the birth."

"Even if I was still hidin', I wouldn't have missed our baby bein' born for anything." He moved around to crouch at the side of the tub. Michaela placed her damp hand upon her husband's cheek. "I missed ya so much, Michaela. If I could do anything to take those months back and be here with you, I'd do it."

"I wouldn't," Michaela admitted. Sully raised an eyebrow.

"Ya wouldn't?"

"No," she whispered, swallowing hard. "If we hadn't had that time alone together, just the two of us out in the woods," she placed her hand over her belly under the water, "we may have never conceived this child." He took her hand in his and kissed it softly.

"But, because of me, we nearly lost it. Ya almost had a miscarriage."

"But I didn't. That's all that matters. Almost doesn't count." Her fingers ran through Sully's hair, and then they traced along the smooth skin of his recently shaved chin. Michaela felt the water starting to cool off, and all she wanted to do was wrap herself in a warm robe and settle under the covers with her husband on this chilly winter's night. She started to get out, and Sully helped her so she wouldn't slip, and he held a towel out for her to step into. She leaned against him, and he rubbed the soft fabric down her arms and across her neck. She closed her eyes as his lips replaced the towel, and soon, she was turning in his arms, and the towel was fluttering to the floor. Her arms encircled around his neck, and he tightened his arms around her, pulling her closer. She offered her lips to him, and he took them with sweet kisses and soft whispers. She smiled against his lips, and felt her body beginning to react to the feeling of his bare chest against her breasts.

When their lips parted ways, they looked into each other's eyes, and Sully stepped back, holding his wife's hands in his. He admired her gorgeous pregnant form and remembered how beautiful she looked when she was having Katie. He had never seen that glow about a pregnant woman before that many women always commented about, but when he looked at his wife, she was glowing with love and warmth. She amazed him. She was carrying this tiny life around inside of her and protecting it for nine whole months.

He led her to the bed, and she eagerly followed, happy to be crawling under the warmth of the blankets and into the passion of her husband's embrace. She scooted under the covers, and he stepped out of his buckskins, tossing them over a chair. She smiled as he blew out all of the lamps, and the room was left illuminated by only the dying fire in the hearth. The orange glow about the room made Michaela sleepy, but when Sully crawled under the covers and pulled her into his arms, she was suddenly very awake and very alert to all of her senses.

Her leg draped across his hip as she gently rolled onto her side, placing a pillow underneath herself for comfort. Sully's hands began to sensually massage her arms as their lips found each other again. Their bodies pressed together during their passion, and as Michaela felt the first sparks of passion beginning to fire and rage throughout her body, Sully let out a chuckle. Michaela's eyes fluttered open in confusion. Never in the midst of their passion had he started laughing before. For a moment, she wondered if he was laughing because of her awkward body shape, but she knew he'd never do that. They had found ways of making love during her pregnancy with Katie, and she knew Sully wasn't the kind of man who would laugh at his wife. He had fallen in love with her when she was covered in mud, for goodness sakes.

"What is it?" she asked, her heart pounding frantically in her chest as Sully's hand moved under the covers to stroke her belly.

"I felt the baby kickin' ya," he admitted. "It felt funny against my stomach." Michaela let out a giggle, knowing their moment was passing, but she didn't mind. With Sully's hand on her belly, she felt peaceful and completely comfortable.

"Just imagine what it feels like with that kicking from the inside." Sully smiled in wonderment, and Michaela groaned.

"What?"

"Oh, it's nothing. Just a cramp in my back. I need to stand up." Sully helped her out of bed, and she walked across the room. She hadn't quite started waddling yet, but he found it endearing when she was expecting Katie.

Michaela stood in front of the mirror and looked at the reflection of her body in the glass. Normally, she would feel embarrassed and improper about doing this, but she found it fascinating the way her form was changing by the week, and sometimes by the day. Her breasts were fuller and heavier, and her stomach was rounder and heavy with child. She wasn't bulging as large as she had with Katie, but at five months into her pregnancy, there was no question about her condition. When she had been carrying Katie, she had said she hated the way she looked, but that was merely because she was miserable in her last month of pregnancy. Everything was swollen and achy, and all she wanted to do was hold that precious life in her arms. But, she had had a fairly easy pregnancy this time around, despite the problems just a few months ago, and she was able to appreciate the way her body was changing with as little morning sickness as possible.

She felt happy and healthy, and she felt that she looked that way too. She smiled when Sully walked up behind her and wrapped his arms around her. They stood naked together in front of the mirror, and for once, Michaela didn't blush. She leaned against his chest as he buried his nose in her hair, inhaling the sweet scent of the soap she used. His hands moved around to rest on her belly, and his fingers massaged small circles where he felt the baby kicking. Michaela smiled and closed her eyes, feeling better than ever.

"How's it feel?" Sully asked. "Havin' that life inside of ya movin' all the time?" Michaela opened her eyes, pondering over her husband's question. She smiled and watched as their bodies swayed together a little through the reflection of the mirror. She arched her back as his hands moved to release the pressure she was feeling back there.

"I'm not sure I can explain it," she said softly. "It's something that only a woman can experience if they're lucky enough." She cradled her belly in her arms, and Sully moved his arms to lay over hers. "Feeling him moving around inside of me gives me a sense of peace. It lets me know that he's healthy and active. Or she," she reminded herself. "The only drawback would have to be the fact that this little one keeps me awake at night, but I know he's just preparing me for the sleepless nights ahead." She turned in Sully's arms, feeling a little chilly now. He helped her into a robe, and they settled back into the bed, tired but happy. "We're going to be exhausted, Sully. Katie won't even be two by the time this little one arrives."

"But it'll be a good kinda tired, won't it?" Sully asked. Michaela smiled. Sully would be glad to have this busy life compared to the drab, boring life he had when he was hiding out in the cave. Sure, he was hiding from the army, but most of the time, he sat around doing nothing but thinking of his family, which nearly killed him, because he couldn't be with them. But he was here now. That's what mattered.

"I'm sure it will be, but it's going to take some getting used to. Having Katie around was very difficult for me at first. I had to become accustomed to her feeding schedule, and I had to try to synchronize that with my work schedule. That didn't work well either." She laughed a little. "It changes everything." She looked over at Katie's empty crib. Katie was sleeping with Colleen tonight so Sully and Michaela could have some privacy.

"Havin' a new baby ain't always easy for anybody. I remember Brian getting jealous, and . . . well, I know your focus changes. That's what Dorothy said, anyway." Michaela smiled a little and snuggled closer to her husband. "Sully, if I ever seem to distance myself from you romantically, just know that I need a little more coaxing." She kissed his bare chest softly. "I don't want you to feel neglected." Sully smiled and kissed his wife's temple. "You were so patient with me after Katie. I don't think I ever told you how much I appreciated it. I know it must have been difficult for you."

"I know the baby's your priority," he started.

"No," she said quickly. "Our family and our marriage are my priorities. I don't put anyone over anybody else, and I want you to know that. I love you so much, Sully. You've given me this beautiful home and a beautiful little girl. Soon, we'll have another child, and we'll love it just as much as we love all of our children." Tears came to her eyes. She hated the thought of Sully feeling as if he didn't matter to her as much as he used to. She leaned up and kissed his lips tenderly. "I don't think I'll ever be able to express just how much you mean to me." A smile curled up on Sully's lips, and he tilted his wife's chin upward to gain access to her soft lips.

"I know," he whispered. He knew she loved him more than she ever had, but it was still nice to hear it from her. They told each other they loved one another every day and night, but somehow, the words to explain the depths of their love were non-existent, and they expressed their feelings in other ways.

Sully's hand slipped into his wife's robe, and he gently caressed a nipple, feeling it harden against his hand. She moaned as he pleasured her breast and then its twin in his hands, moving the robe off of her body. Her hands moved over his strong back as he settled between her legs, careful of the belly that they both had to adjust to. He smiled as he looked into her eyes, and he bent down to kiss her, taking her lips lovingly against his. Her hands moved across his body, feeling his muscles tightening under her touch, and she arched her neck to give him access as his lips trailed paths down her skin and toward her breasts.

"Sully," she whispered as his lips enclosed over her nipple, lightly grazing it with his teeth before giving the other the same attention. She smiled as his hands explored her body eagerly but carefully, minding the aches and complaints that came with pregnancy. He felt his child give Michaela a mighty kick once more, and he bent down to press a kiss to that very spot.

They made love that night with so much patience and gentleness with one another. Michaela had never felt more loved than when she was moving as one with Sully, and he was minding her needs as well as he had on their wedding night. Of course, she didn't complain, because their wedding night had been one of the most memorable and pleasurable experiences she had ever had. She loved the way he made her feel when he was being so careful and protective.

They finished together, collapsing side-by-side but holding one another so close that they could still feel their hearts beating in time together. They dreamed together that night, dreaming of their love for one another and the new baby that would make its appearance in just a few short months. They were happy and felt blessed that they were being given another chance at parenthood. The four children they had made life so wonderful, but having another baby to watch grow and learn was a blessing in itself. Life was going to change once again, and like before, normal would be a completely different kind of normal.

The End