"Maggie…," Abe starts.
"Don't," she interrupts with a growl in her voice. "Just don't."
"But…," he tries to plea.
"No, Abe, I'm not interested in talking about it right now," she snaps.
"Hey, Abe?" Rupert says as he sticks his head in the door. "Can I talk to you for a minute?"
"Yes, of course," Abe replies as he takes one last glance over at his wife.
She pointedly ignores him as she folds her clean clothes and puts them away, her back stiff with anger. His shoulders droop a bit as he follows his father-in-law out of the bedroom, through the main living area and into the twins' bedroom. Rupert shuts the door behind Abe before turning to the merman and giving him a sad measured look.
"I know that your…experiences…with women are limited," Rupert quietly begins as he looks in on the sleeping twins. "So I'm going to give you a bit of advice, man to man. Leave Maggie alone."
"But…," Abe tries to protest as he joins the man at the crib.
"Hear me out," Rupert interjects with his hand held up in a 'stop' motion. "Women are very emotional creatures and using logic with them all of the time is likely to land you in hot water more often than not. Give her time to cool down and when she's ready to talk, she'll let you know."
"But it's been three days," Abe points out.
"That's just it," Rupert replies. "You haven't left her alone long enough for her to calm down. I've arranged with Liz and Selma to get her out of the house to go shopping. I don't know what it is about women and shopping, but after wearing out the credit cards, they always seem to be in a better mood."
"But she doesn't need any more clothes," Abe states as Morgan starts to stir. "She bought enough clothes when she went out with Liz to last her a couple of weeks without washing."
"Ah, but they're taking her baby clothes shopping," Rupert chuckles while he strokes his granddaughter's downy head. "There's something about baby clothes and new mothers that always gets them in a better mood. I remember after Maggie was born, Selma was in right snit for nearly a week until I finally sent her out shopping with one of my sisters. Let's just say she came back very relaxed. And a relaxed wife makes for a very happy husband. Trust me."
"I'll have to bow to your superior experience in this matter," Abe concedes with a nod just as Dylan lets out a whimper. "What should I do now though?"
"Well, lunch is coming up and Selma is planning on whisking Maggie away as soon as lunch is over," Rupert tells him while Morgan lets out a big yawn. "So perchance making lunch would be good. I'll help."
"Perhaps in a bit," Abe replies as he picks up his daughter. "I have a feeling these two want their lunch first."
"I don't need to be telepath to figure that one out," Rupert smiles as Dylan stretches and opens his eyes.
Since the twins aren't demanding food yet, diapers are changed before they're taken to their mother. Grudgingly, Maggie allows Abe to help her get the twins latched on but he quickly leaves once they're eating. Fortunately, her milk supply has returned and she's able to start expressing milk again. Shortly after lunch, Liz arrives and soon after the three women leave for parts unknown.
"What happens if this shopping trip doesn't put her in a better mood?" Abe asks Rupert as he positions the sling over his shoulder before settling Morgan in it.
"Then you're…what's the phrase?...hosed," Rupert answers as he attempts to get Dylan into the sling he's wearing.
"That isn't a comfort," Abe replies as he goes to help the man out.
"I know, but if this doesn't work, I'm not sure what we can do," Rupert responds as Dylan finally gets situated. "Let's just keep our fingers crossed that it does work."
Maggie is going through the bags of clothes, cutting off tags and tossing the new clothes in the appropriate piles to be washed. Abe cautiously comes in and watches her for a few moments. She doesn't immediately acknowledge his presence at first, but when she looks at him she doesn't scowl. He can feel the muscles in his shoulders relax a bit when she even gives him a little smile.
"Are they hungry again?" she asks as she goes back to her task.
"No, not yet," he answers and moves closer to her, slowly like she might take flight if he moves too fast. "I was just wondering if you had any special requests for dinner tonight."
"I don't know," she replies with a shrug. "Whatever you feel like making. Though, I wouldn't say no to your eggplant parmesan."
"Then eggplant parmesan you shall have," he states while he finally reaches her. "Is there anything else you would like?"
"No, that's fine," she answers as she finally pulls the last item out of the bag.
"Then I'll go make sure I have everything I'll need," he tells her.
He leans down to kiss the top of her head, but instead of hair he encounters a pair of soft, warm lips. Very carefully, as if she is a fragile porcelain doll that might break, he reaches up with his gloved hand and caresses her cheek. She makes a happy sound as she leans into his touch and a shiver runs down his spine. Before he can deepen the kiss, she pulls away and he barely stops himself groaning in frustration.
"Shouldn't you be checking on the ingredients for tonight's dinner?" she inquires, a slight tease in her voice.
"Yes, of course," he responds several moments later when enough blood has returned to his brain to process her question.
After forcing his body to behave, he straightens up and leaves the room, never seeing the knowing smirk on her lips. As he heads towards the little kitchen, Rupert intercepts him.
"Well?" the man questions.
"She's definitely much more relaxed," Abe answers as a smile tugs at the corners of his mouth. "Though she didn't seem to want to talk about what happened. Of course, I didn't ask either."
"Good," Rupert sighs. "When she's ready to talk, she'll let you know. Don't rush it."
"I won't," Abe assures him as the merman sticks his head in the fridge to see what needs to be picked up from the store.
Several hours later, Maggie and Abe are putting the twins down for the night and Maggie lets out a huge yawn. They leave the room and half way across the living area, she stops and arches her back. He can hear several audible pops as she cracks her back and she winces slightly before giving out a sigh of relief.
"Would you like me to rub your back?" he asks and she eyes him suspiciously. "I swear that I will do nothing that you don't want."
"What is it with you and wanting to fix me?" she demands suddenly and he knows that it's time.
"I don't want to 'fix' you, my love," he calmly replies. "I want to make you feel better."
"Even if it could cost us everything?" she insists, her eyes flashing with anger. "You could have killed us both."
"Maggie, I didn't mean for it to happen," he responds sadly. "I know I said I wouldn't go so deep, but it needed to be done. You were blocking out the problem and it was sitting there like festering wound."
"So you just had to lance it, didn't you?" she growls.
"Yes, I did," he reluctantly admits, hanging his head. "I'm sorry, Maggie. I didn't know what else to do."
With that, he sadly turns and disappears through the bedroom door. A few moments later, she can hear the water for the tub being turned on. She's still angry, but she's not sure who to be angry at any more.
Realizing he's forgotten the baby monitor, he comes back out a minute later wearing only his shorts. He stops at the sight of her on her knees, her arms wrapped around her middle and silently crying. Without a word, he walks past her, gets the monitor, lifts her into his arms on his way back and carries her back to the bedroom. He gets her into bed, tucks her in and then heads for the bathroom.
"Don't leave me," she whispers through the tears. "I need you."
He doesn't need a second invitation as he quickly climbs in bed with her. He pulls her towards him and she holds onto him like her life depends on it. He lets her emotions and memories flow through him, but doesn't attempt to stop or adjust any of it despite how much he wants to.
Fortunately, she's so exhausted that she falls asleep soon after he climbs into bed with her. Once he's sure she's in a deep enough sleep, he slides out of the bed and rushes into the bathroom. He turns off the water just as it's starting to slosh over the side.
He starts to let out some of the water as he mops up the mess. As soon as the water is at the right level, he goes and retrieves the monitor from the bedroom, quickly checking on Maggie as he does. He gently caresses her face as he makes sure she's deeply asleep before returning to his own temporary accommodations. After finally convincing his brain and body to relax, he manages to fall asleep.
The next day Maggie doesn't talk about the night before and Abe isn't sure if he's relieved by this or not. Instead she helps her parents prepare for their return to California. She drives them to the airport mid-morning where she gives them a teary farewell.
"Maggie, I don't want to tell you how to run your life," Selma starts. "I no longer have that right. But you can't stay angry with him forever. He loves you and he did what he thought best at the time."
"He could have left the twins orphans," Maggie points out. "Just the thought that Manning would be raising them makes my blood boil."
"If you think for one second that anyone in our family would let that overgrown blowhard lay one hand on those two, you need to have your head checked," Selma vehemently replies. "You must have a pretty low opinion of the rest of us if you think we wouldn't fight tooth and nail to get them away from that over stuffed shirt."
"I'm sorry," Maggie whispers, her anger quickly turning to guilt and she can feel the burn of tears starting to form.
"It's alright, baby girl," Selma assures Maggie as she pulls her daughter into her arms.
A moment latter, Maggie can feel the warmth of her father as he hugs her from behind. They stand there for something shy of eternity, ignoring the jostling crowd around them finding healing in just touching each other. Slowly, reality creeps back into their lives, wiping away tears, they say their goodbyes and Maggie watches them go through security and then continues watching until they disappear into the crowd. With a sad sigh, she turns and goes home.
She returns just before lunch, deep in thought. She takes the first baby handed to her and starts to nurse, not even aware which baby she has right at that moment. Twenty minutes later, the baby is done and she hands it off easily taking the one that replaces the first.
By the time she's done nursing the second baby, lunch is ready and she's famished. Still deep in thought, she eats her food not really noticing what it is she's eating. Abe watches her passively, but doesn't interrupt her to talk. When lunch is over, he takes Morgan from Maggie as she heads for the bedroom. A few minutes later, she's back wearing her working clothes and he tilts his head in curiosity.
"I'm going to take care of Magick and Wizard now," she states just before she leaves.
He simply nods as she disappears through the door.
"Was she even aware that we're here?" Liz asks as she wipes lunch off of Trevor's hands and face.
"No," Abe answers as he goes to change Morgan's diaper.
"How do you like that?" Hellboy huffs. "We come up here and she don't even say 'hi'."
"She has a lot on her mind," Abe replies from the other room.
"I'll say," Hellboy grumbles as Liz hands him Trevor.
"So what is she thinking of?" Liz inquires as she takes a damp cloth to the highchair.
"Mostly about her feelings and how she's been acting," Abe responds as he returns. "And the events that led up to last week."
"She's not getting depressed again, is she?" Red asks trying to keep Trevor's fingers from finding his mutton chops.
"No, she's just thinking," Abe answers as he puts Morgan in her bouncy chair next to Dylan and turns the music on for her.
"And that's a good thing, right?" Hellboy confirms.
"Right," Abe smiles as he starts to clear the table.
Several hours later, Maggie returns smelling of sweat, horse and manure. Not exactly a pleasant mix and Abe's glad his sense of smell on land is no where near as keen as it is under water. She silently feeds the twins again before heading off to take a bath. By the time she comes out, Abe is making dinner again.
"Abe?" she starts quietly.
"Yes, my love," he replies equally as soft.
"I'm sorry about last night," she states.
"I forgive you," he responds automatically but meaning every word.
He holds one arm up as he continues to stir with the other. She gladly accepts the invitation and wraps her arms around his middle as she buries her face into his chest. She breathes in the smell of foam neoprene. Who knew that could be a seriously sexy smell?
After standing like that for several minutes, she gives him a gentle squeeze and then goes to set the table. A short time later they're sitting down and she goes to take her first bite. At that precise moment, Dylan makes his presence known rather vociferously.
"I'll get him," Abe offers as he stands and heads for the now wailing child.
He quickly returns and hands Dylan off to his mother before turning around to head back to the bedroom. The soft whimpers of Morgan starting to be heard only now. Maggie nurses Dylan as she eats one handed.
Abe returns to the table a few minutes later with a freshly changed Morgan in his arms and like his wife, starts to eat his meal with only one hand. Once Dylan is done, they exchange babies and Maggie begins the nursing process all over again and Abe goes to change Dylan's diaper. However, eating is more of a challenge this time since only her off hand is free. After a while she just gives up and just enjoys spending time with her daughter.
Some time later, Morgan finally finishes her meal, allowing her mother to finish hers even though it's now cold. Maggie doesn't mind as she eats her food, chewing in comfortable silence. Abe knows she's tired and doesn't try to start a conversation until the meal is over.
"How are things up at the house?" he asks as he readjusts Dylan and settles into his chair.
"They're ok, but I'm going to have to go shopping for some new dishes and glasses," she answers as she props her feet up on the chair next to her and sinks down in her seat. "That little stunt I pulled broke most of them. It's a shame, I liked that pattern too. With my luck they've discontinued it. Wizard is in a bit of snit since there's no one there to constantly pet him and Magick needs to go on a diet. He's so out of shape it's scary. Fortunately, there's no real structural damage to the house or the barn, just some cracked plaster here and there. I lost a few of my herb plants in the kitchen too, so those are going to have to be replaced. I feel like such an idiot."
"You were sick and not completely responsible for your actions," he says soothingly.
"Doesn't mean I don't feel like an idiot," she replies as she switches Morgan from one arm to the other. "It just means no one's going to blame me."
"Why don't you go sit on the sofa with the twins while I clear the table," he states, switching the topic before she starts to get depressed.
"I thought clean up was my department," she points out.
"It is, I'm just clearing the table," he replies. "You pick out something for us to watch and I'll bring out dessert."
"You don't have to tell me twice," she snickers.
She relieves her husband of Dylan and then puts the babies in their bouncy seats while she picks out a movie. A couple minutes later, she has a movie picked out and in the DVD player. She settles down on the love seat with the twins and awaits her love with the remote close at hand.
A minute later he joins them and he hands her the dessert after taking Morgan from her. He takes his seat and gets his first glance at the movie she's selected and he looks at her with that all familiar head tilt. She smirks as she settles Dylan so he's leaning against the arm of the seat and starts to eat her food.
"V for Vendetta?" he asks.
"I felt like a little mayhem tonight," she answers, trying not to snicker.
"A bit violent for the twins, don't you think?" he questions, trying not smile himself.
"We'll cover their eyes during the violent bits," she replies, really, really trying not to laugh.
"And what about the swearing?" he inquires as he settles Morgan on his lap also leaning against the arm of the love seat.
"Bollocks," she snickers. "I don't think we have to worry about them repeating any unsavory words just yet."
"You're being a bad influence on our children you know," he replies trying to keep from smiling.
"I'm the worse influence they'll ever have," she chuckles as she hits the 'play' button. "I'm their mother."
He just chuckles and shakes his head as Natalie Portman starts reciting the 'Fifth of November' poem. They watch the first half of the movie in peace as the twins seem to be fascinated by the moving pictures. Just when Gordon is making breakfast for Evey, Dylan decides he wants to eat too.
Maggie quickly latches Dylan on to the nipple before he can upset his sister and they continue to watch in relative peace for a little while longer. The movie is paused when Dylan's done and Maggie takes Morgan while Abe goes to change Dylan and then put him to bed. About twenty more minutes of movie and then Abe takes Morgan to join her brother.
A short time later, Abe and Maggie are cuddled together on the couch watching the end of the movie together. When the movie is over, the TV and DVD player are turned off, but neither one of them feels like getting up. She sighs contentedly as he rubs his hand up and down her arm.
She reaches over and grabs the hand and starts to pull off his glove. He tries to remain stoic, but when she starts to kiss his finger tips it's pretty much over for him. He lets out a low groan causing her to chuckle.
Before she can even let out a squeak, she finds herself pinned against the arm of the love seat with a very horny husband on top of her. His lips claim hers and she gladly relents to his needs. His hands pull her shirt loose from her pants as her fingers deftly remove his top.
Soon, the only thing that matters is touching and kissing as much skin as possible. Various articles of clothing are shucked every which way as the need to feel each other grows. She whimpers when he suddenly pulls away from her, she looks at him worriedly, afraid she's done something wrong.
Before she can say anything, she finds herself being lifted into his arms and he starts towards the bedroom. She wraps her arms around his neck being careful of his gills and leans her head on his shoulder. She blows on his gills and he suddenly stops as a shiver runs up his spine, holding her even closer.
"Do that again and we won't make it to the bed," he growls.
"Then you better walk faster," she chuckles evilly just before she gently nips his shoulder.
Before she can even blink, he's running across the room and through the bedroom door. She lets out a shriek as she's unceremoniously dumped onto the bed which is immediately followed by laughter as he lands on top of her. The giggles quickly stop once his lips find hers again and the only sounds that fill the room are their moans.
The last of the clothing is removed with some difficulty as foam neoprene just doesn't like cooperating with her sweaty fingers. When at long last those miserable shorts are gone, he holds her to him, skin to skin until she thinks she's going to explode with the want and need of him. Before she can voice her displeasure, he's inside her and anything that might have been words on her lips turns to mewls of pleasure.
The feeling of her surrounding him nearly drives him past the point of reason. With every ounce of will power he owns he refuses to let himself find completion until she does. Her moist heat is driving him to the edge and he's not sure how much longer he can hold out. Then suddenly, she cries out, her body shudders beneath him and he finally lets go.
Their memories merge into one again and this time he holds the door open instead of automatically closing it like he normally does. They are one entity and nothing in the world can separate them, not even death. They lie there like that for eternity it seems until slowly, almost painfully, they separate and he lies down next to her with her cuddling up to him as soon as he's settled.
"I love you and will until the day they scatter my ashes out at sea next to yours," she whispers near his tympanic membrane. "This I promise you."
While he doesn't know what challenges will lay ahead of them, but he knows that the miracle of love will over come any obstacle in their way.
Disclaimer: I don't own the rights to V for Vendetta, Gordon or Evey Hammond. Though I have tried Eggy in a Basket and it's really nummy when made with butter.
Author's note: Can you believe it? I finally finished this story! WOO BLOODY HOO! Thanks to all my readers who've held on this far. Extra cyber cookies to my reviewers. Thanks for reading.