I really need to get around to wrapping this story up…I do hate ending things though, that damn finality. Blah… :-P
As always hope it doesn't suck too bad!
Sunday early afternoon:
Max sat on a swing, she'd found tucked into a closet forgotten. Not reaching its potential for over a decade as it lay neglected. A few tugs of the rope confirmed it was none worse for the wear so earlier in the day with Logan's stomach churning she'd easily scaled the tree branch twenty feet high and secured it around.
Now she sat on it, leaning against a rope as she held on with one hand as the other secured Will to her as they gently swung.
"Me and nature, who'd have thunk it?" she softly pondered to the baby.
"This is kinda nice though," she decided after a moment.
"Well you know, minus your millionth bout of crying last night," she amended dryly, remembering how he'd started up again soon after she'd woken up, as Logan looked worriedly and helplessly on as she bounced all along the cabin with the baby and Logan was finally sent off to bed with an apologetic look on his face as he yawned.
"You know just because you're miserable about something doesn't mean you make the rest of the house miserable along with you, trust me, I could make your life real difficult," she proffered.
Just then Logan looked over the grill he was tending up by the cabin and glanced their way, he just smiled for a second, accepted her tender one in return and dropped his head back down to the food he was flipping on the grill.
"He'd probably lose it if both us were acting like brats full time though," she offered down to the kid. She chuckled, "Or his hair, which would probably make him moodier than us," she chuckled again before her head dropped down a bit, "so what do you say, scream your head off while he's off doing his thing and give us some piece and quiet later on?"
Will smiled in his sleep as he nuzzled in a bit to his nook.
She smiled, "I'll take that as a yes kid."
Late Sunday afternoon:
There was a standoff at the car.
Logan paused on the porch looking at the car as Max bent up from strapping Will in, who was momentarily happy in sleep, sucking on his pacifier.
She caught him eying the passenger side door.
"We are not stopping every five minutes with the kid," was all she said, yet didn't make a sudden dash for the door as she looked over the roof to him. They both knew she'd beat him, might as well fight him on his ground.
"It makes sense for you to be driving, it'll be dark by the time we get home." Her daytime vision trumped his by miles, her night…
"It'll be dark for the last few minutes of the drive; don't use that as an excuse; I always warn you."
"Max, it's your new car, you haven't driven it for more than a few miles," he pointed out.
" Logan unless you're planning on buying me a new one every week, me and ol..." she dropped her head down to look at the car before looking up with a smile, "Porgy."
He smiled back.
"Have plenty of bonding time ahead of us,"
He sighed as he moved towards the car and gave up his fight.
"Good choice," she smiled.
He'd always been warned about always losing the fight in a relationship, he hadn't known they were right though until he met her.
The sector cop patrolling the edge of the city laughed as Logan rolled down his window to hand over their papers. His body bent and his head tilted to see the passengers in the back. "My wife used to do the exact same with our first two kids," he said with a smile as he saw Max in the backseat leaning into Will's car seat as she replaced the pacifier that had dropped out of his mouth.
She looked up confused.
"Hovered over every trip, we used to pull over a half a dozen times just going to the grocery store," the older man smiled, a parent of children long since grown, raised in a world so different than the one he was in now.
The couple's eyes met in the review mirror as Logan met hers with a sheepish expression.
"Just the first two?" Max asked with a smile, the 'sugar and spice, and everything nice' route was always the best one with cops.
"Three kids on just a cop's salary?" he gave a wry smile, "Our first car lasted till the youngest was three, limited amount of seats. She had to learn how to turn around every five seconds with the third."
Max and Logan both smiled back.
He flipped through their IDs and their passes. He paused looking at Logan's last name, a rather well known name even before…He wondered if the guy knew plenty of folks regarded the late Jonas Cale as a martyr, they could have really used those hover drones, they might have had a shot of getting control back of the city, like it had been when his kids were little. He didn't risk saying it though, "You folks take it easy," he smiled and handed the papers back, he smiled to Max, "and make sure you pull over when that little one needs out." He smiled back at Logan, "We were driving to my mother's and my wife decided she'd change his diaper in the back seat, I almost went head on into incoming traffic from the smell."
Logan brightly smiled back as Max laughed.
"And what's wrong with my favorite nephew?" Krit said swooping into the apartment almost an hour after their arrival and extracting the squalling baby out of Logan's arms after he opened the door.
"That's a very good question," Logan replied, "let us know when you figure it out."
"Where's Max?" Krit asked as he bounced with the baby.
"She was a little distracted by his crying and…" Logan's voice tapered off.
Krit stopped moving and just looked at Logan, a second later a smile emerging on his face, "Oh man, tell me she got peed on."
Logan just made a face.
"The mouth? The nose? The eye?" Krit was giddy with anticipation.
"You're enjoying this a little too much," he replied with serious eyes.
"She got it in the mouth didn't she?" Krit's smile fell into a smirk of satisfaction.
"Just a little," Logan answered; of course the stream had also hit her neck and chest in that second before she got it under control.
He was trying not to laugh, desperately trying not to laugh, but she had laughed that first, second and well he wasn't telling her about the third time, he was never trying to multitask and change a diaper ever again.
"Don't you fuckin dare," she ordered after wiping her mouth and spitting a bit onto the floor as she continued on autopilot to change the diaper. "Of all the crap I've had to take and can take…Peeing on me?" her eyes were large in anger. "I've slept outside for weeks, I've gone over a week without food, I've been covered in blood, my own and others, but peeing on me?" She turned to him with the baby dressed in a fresh diaper, "One guy caught the corner of my shoe once in a john, I personally introduced him to the can." She handed off the baby as she walked straight past him into the bathroom.
He convulsed in silent laughter until he heard the shower start…
"Oh man," Krit smiled, "I can't believe I missed that…" He patted his nephew's back, "Nice shot kiddo."
Logan couldn't help but laugh again.
Krit's smile fell as he anxiously looked down and Will and tried shifting him around to make him quiet down. "Did you try the swing?"
Logan looked at him with dry eyes, "No, we decided to just let him scream it out for over an hour."
"He's been crying for over an hour?" Krit's eyes narrowed.
"Minus a few minutes I think he used to catch his breath."
"Crap," he said looking down at his nephew, hoping the kid didn't keep it up throughout his visit.
"Look whose finally making an appearance," Krit said spying his sister walking towards the edge of the living room. Her hair wrapped in a white towel, a blue plaid robe wrapped tightly around her.
"You've been here for ten minutes," she answered matter-of-factly having heard him arrive. " Logan working?" she asked quickly scanning the room upon her arrival in it.
Krit chuckled and rocked gently in the chair with Will in his arms, "Yea, moment the kid quieted down, he bailed for his computer," he smirked, "after ordering me to keep doing whatever it was I was doing."
She laughed and settled into the couch, "What did you do?"
"I was my normal naturally charming and caring self, kid calmed right down," he smiled.
She rolled her eyes before shaking her head, "Keep doing your thing, I'm gonna go check in with my girls."
He frowned as she walked away before looking back down at his sleeping nephew, pacifier happily being sucked. "At least you appreciate me, right Will?" he asked as he gently bounced his nephew for a response.
"Wake the kid and I'll kill you," Max ordered without turning.
The mother viewed her suspiciously; the father's eyes almost never left the baby. Both looked ready to pounce her with every move. She'd had anxious parents before but this was pushing it and to top it off she was being studied like a med student by an old colleague.
"Babies cry during these things," Sam chuckled as he watched his old friend of over ten years look at him with annoyance.
"Babies cry general," Dr. Trent corrected.
"Yea," Max interjected, "but this one cries more than most," she said referring back to the topic they'd been discussing when Will had decided he'd had enough of this and let them know. Max's moves were sudden as she snatched him into her arms and away from the doctor without so much as a warning twitch.
Lot's of moms did that, Victoria Trent tried to remind herself and took a calming breath, "Colic," she explained.
"The books all say that-" Logan began.
The doctor cocked her head for that, she just loved when they knew more than her. "Symptoms don't fit?" she asked.
"Well no, but, the timeframe, if he was going to have developed."
'Timeframes are not exact; all of the books say they're general guidelines."
"Does not always develop to a noticeable peak within the age the books suggest, especially when the baby is premature. Granted he's actually very on track with his developmental milestones, you just lucked out on this one."
"Who actually has colic?" Max asked with a shake of her head, sure people joked and even bemoaned about it, but the descriptions she'd read hadn't lined up with their kids…Willon the other hand. Damn how had she missedthat?
"You don't see it much anymore because the majority of babies are breastfed due to no other option."
Like she'd had a choice in that, Max thought begrudgingly as it felt as if the other woman was accusing her of that wrongdoing.
"So what can we do?" Logan asked with a sigh and moved to take Will out of Max's hands and he noticed Max's growing confrontation with their doctor.
"Switch formulas would be my first suggestion. My nurse should hopefully have a few samples of some brands for you to try. I'll give you a list of ones that might be easier on his system. I'm sure your books will have a lot of suggestions. Motion's normally the most successful option, rocking chair, swing, stroller, walking…" She smiled, "Car used to be the most popular option, though with the gas shortages being what they are…" she shrugged with another smile, "Parents have learned to be a lot more creative."
"More creative?" Max shot an accusing look down to Logan as he strapped Will into his car seat.
He didn't say anything.
"How much are you paying her for her to say we should be more creative?" she continued to rail.
"Max, I'm sure if she had a magic pill to give us, she would have," he promised as he gave a gentle smile and a reassuring finger rub against the cheek to his sleeping son, before standing up.
"And it might get worse before it gets better?" she questioned leaning against the black passenger's side door of the Volvo.
"I know it's not the answer either of us wanted," he conceded as he softly shut the back door, "But it will go away and he's perfectly healthy, which isn't that what we wanted?"
"Well I could have told her he was fine, sick lungs don't sound like that," she glared.
He sighed and shook his head, "Look Max, I'd love to debate with you the triviality of most health care professionals in this day and age, due to their lack of resources, the serious lack of culpability, due to the lack of checks and balances in the current system, not to mention the understaffing of all medical fields…but I'm late, so can this wait till dinner?"
She rolled her eyes.
He took a step closer to her, "What if I tell you I have a surprise for you?"
"You're quitting to be a stay at home dad?" she asked with a cocked head.
"The offer of daycare is still out there," he reminded, but didn't directly respond to her comment, "but this is even better than that."
"All the bling in the-"
"Not really bling, more like a beep," he offered taking another step to press her into the car door as he pressed himself against her.
Her eyes casually rolled up, ignoring their stance.
"Not flashy, but flashes after every blackout," he hinted.
"If you're messing with me," she gruffly ordered.
He smiled, "You can pick it up at Rick's," he said referring to his local connection that they'd used before, "on your way home, I'd grab it after work, but I figured you'd want it for lunch."
'You may be useful after all," her lips lifted in a teasing smile.
"I could be even more useful and pick up enough Chinese food after work so you can nuke your way through lunch for the rest of the week."
"Hmm, sounds like my kind of surprise," she answered before rewarding him with a goodbye kiss.
Muddy green eyes eyed the surrounding area with an unwavering diligence, not deterring from his goal for a second, until, "It's my turn," a little hand came out, flying towards the black leash.
"Nuh uh," blue eyes went as wide as the sea as he viciously snatched the leash away from the prying hands and all forward motion stopped and even the puppy turned around and started bouncing in front of them as he barked and they bickered.
"Daddy said, At the tree."
"It's not this tree," his head vigorously denied his brother's validity.
"Guys," the weary father behind them called out.
Their mother snickered.
A pair of grayish green eyes came upon her in a moment of agitation that matched their children's.
She focused her eyes away and pushed down that smile, "Will," she calmly ordered.
"Mom…" his voice became a whine, "he's not big enough to walk-"
"Will," it was his father's stern warning this time.
His face settled into a petulant frown and he muttered under his breath, "Try not to let go this time."
Their youngest son snatched away the leash as he turned back towards his parents, "Mommy," his face full of frustration, "it wasn't-"
"I know baby, Buck got excited by the geese, just hold on tight this time, he's a little puppy; we don't want him getting lost in the woods."
"I'd never let you get lost," he promised squatting down to pet the golden retriever's blonde fur, ignoring his own sandy blonde locks that fell forward nearly covering his eyes.
"Ugh," his older brother sighed and groaned all at once and started walking again.
"Hey wait for me," his younger brother leapt up and started after him, firmly clutching the leash within his tiny hand.
"Guys, slow down," their father called out before sighing to himself once they were further away.
"All boys need dogs," the mother snickered again.
The father once more glared and the mother giggled.
She shot awake and tried to shoot up, but instead found herself toppling to the side and breaking her fall to the floor, by grabbing onto the coffee table. She kicked at the throw that had managed to get tangled in her feet as the baby screamed from his bassinet angry at the delay, angry at the discomfort that wasn't being relieved and she shot an angry look at the fried rice that had fallen during the struggle before dashing across the room.
"I know," she promised as she scooped him up, "I know," she bounced with him, "this sucks. You'll be okay. It's all going to be okay." Then she shot a look over at her now messy coffee table, "And I'm never eating that much General Tso's at 2am," before smiling as she continued to bounce.
Thanks for reading!