DISCLAIMER: The characters are the property of Spelling/Goldberg Productions and Viacom. No copyright infringement is intended. The story, however, is all mine.

TITLE: 'B Is For Baby'


SUMMARY: Mike and Jill Danko have to learn to adjust to life with a new baby. The sequel to 'And Baby Makes Three.'

AUTHOR'S NOTE: I have been wanting to do an alphabet series of Rookies stories for some time. This is the first one and I hope everybody enjoys it. As usual, I want to thank Bridget for being a truly great beta reader and for encouraging my idea for this series of stories.

The 30th of July 1977 - Early morning.

Mike Danko woke up and rubbed his aching neck and shoulders. He had fallen asleep in the chair by his wife's hospital bed the night before and now he was paying for it. But, glancing over at Jill, he knew the crick in his neck was well worth it. Jill was still sound asleep, her hands clasped under her chin. He knew she had to have been exhausted by the events of the previous day. Tears came to his eyes as he thought of it. He was finally somebody's father! He went into the bathroom to splash water on his face, wondering when they were going to bring their daughter in to them. 'Their daughter,' Mike mentally corrected himself with a smile. He loved the sound of that. He couldn't wait to start teaching her things...how to tie her shoes, ride a bike and swim...all of the things that a parent teaches a child.

Jill woke up when she heard the sound of running water. She stretched, wincing at the soreness that had permeated her entire body. She hurt in places she didn't even know she had. She smiled when Mike came out of the bathroom.

"Good morning," Mike said, leaning down and kissing her.

"Good morning to you, too," Jill replied, smiling into his eyes.

"How are you feeling this morning?" He asked, taking her hand in his and kissing her fingers tenderly.

"I feel like I just ran the Boston Marathon, but it's a good kind of soreness. What time is it?" She asked, slowly pulling herself into a sitting position.

"Why do you want to know the time? Do you have a date or something?" Mike teased, fluffing the pillows behind her back.

"Yeah, with your daughter," Jill replied, eyes twinkling.

"Our daughter. Why don't I go see what's keeping them," Mike offered, getting up and leaving the room.

Jill lay back against the pillows and looked at the array of flowers and stuffed animals that were on every available counter space. She wasn't aware that her and Mike knew so many people. Just then the door opened and Mike walked in, carrying a small bundle in a pink blanket.

"What did you do? Go get her yourself?" Jill asked in amazement, watching him with the baby.

"Not exactly. They were bringing her down here and I thought I'd just save them a trip," Mike replied, handing the baby over to Jill's waiting arms.

"Uh-huh," she agreed, trying not to grin at his rationalization. She took the small, warm bundle into her arms and pulled the blanket back so she could look at her. Mary Kate stared at Jill with her wide, unfocused baby eyes. Her hair was light brown and was curling ever so slightly on top of her head. "Mike, remember when you said you wanted a baby girl who looked just like me?"

Mike nodded, extending his finger to his daughter to see if she'd take it.

"I hate to disappoint you, but I think she's going to look exactly like you. She already has your hair."

Before Mike could say anything, a nurse walked in carrying assorted baby items. "Before you can feed that baby I need to check a few things. So, if you want to, you can hand Mary Kate over to Mike while I check you over real quick.." The nurse smiled at the look of alarm on Mike's face. "It's routine, Mike. It'll only take a few minutes. Go on outside and I'll come get you when I'm done."

Mike sighed, reached out and gently extradited Mary Kate from Jill's arms. "Come on, honey. Let's give mommy a little privacy, okay?" He slowly made his way outside. "Let me tell you a little something about cops..."

"Mike," Jill giggled. "We do have a little time for that, you know."

"Hey, it's never too early to start," he retorted good naturedly, continuing to speak to his daughter quietly as he made his way out of the room.

Mike was allowed back in the room a few minutes later and found that Jill's bed had been propped up so that she was in an almost sitting position. "So, what's the verdict?" He asked as he carefully placed Mary Kate back into Jill's arms and sat on the edge of the bed.

"Everything's fine," Jill reassured him, positioning the baby to a more comfortable position, then put a bottle in the baby's mouth.

"I thought you were going to nurse her," Mike remarked as he watched Mary Kate devour her bottle hungrily.

"Well, I would, but if I'm going back to work in six weeks, it won't be very convenient. And, besides, this way, you can't duck out of 4 a.m. feedings," Jill said innocently.

"So, how long before they spring you from this joint?" Mike asked, slipping an arm around her shoulders and hugging her gently.

"Three days."

"I can't wait to get you guys home so we can really be a family," Mike said, leaning down and gently kissing both of his girls.

"I like the sound of that...family," she said, snuggling into him as she continued feeding the baby.

August 14, 1977 - Just after midnight

Mike put his key in the front door and quietly walked into the apartment. The past two weeks had been a hectic time of adjustment for all of them. He had never realized how much one tiny baby would change their lives. As he walked by her tiny bedroom, he could hear Mary Kate's little squeaking noises. Mike smiled, knowing that those little sounds meant she was trying to wake herself up. As much as Jill hated Mike working second shift, he loved it, because it gave him the chance to spend quiet time with his daughter. He walked into the bedroom and turned the lamp on just as Mary Kate's squeaks turned into cries of hunger.

"Shh," he whispered as he gently scooped the baby up into his arms. "We don't want to wake mommy up. Are you hungry? I know I am. Come on, sweetie. Let's go fix a midnight snack for both of us."

He grabbed a diaper and dry nightclothes before making his way into the living room with the baby nestled securely in the crook of his arm. He then put a bottle on to heat while he scrounged the refrigerator for something to eat. He changed the baby while waiting for her bottle to heat up. He then washed his hands and checked the bottle to make sure it wasn't too hot before going into the living room and settling down in the rocker they had bought just so they would have a comfortable place to nurse the baby.

Mary Kate watched Mike with huge eyes as she gulped down her bottle. Jill had been teasing Mike that she ate as much as he did. Her hair which had been light brown immediately after her birth was now starting to darken slightly, but it was still as curly as ever. Terry called her 'kewpie doll.' And, to Mike, that was exactly what she looked like.

Jill woke up from a sound sleep, alarmed that she hadn't heard the baby, or Mike, for that matter. She turned on the lamp and picked up the alarm clock. It was almost 2 o'clock in the morning. She got up and pulled her robe on before walking toward the baby's room. It was empty, so she walked into the living room and smiled at the sight that met her eyes. Mike was sitting in the rocker, with the baby in his arms and both of them were sound asleep.

"Mary Kathryn, your daddy is spoiling you rotten," she scolded softly, gently extricating the baby from his arms.

Mike jerked awake when he felt the movement. "I fell asleep?" He asked, rubbing his eyes.

"Yeah, and about the time I get her back into her crib she's going to be awake again. The idea is to feed her and get her back to sleep. Come on, let's put her back to bed," she said, holding her hand out to him.

They walked into the baby's room. Mike smiled as Jill laid the baby down and covered her with a blanket. He slipped his arms around her as they watched the baby sleep.

"I can't get over her. I think I can watch her for hours," he admitted. "I love you both so much."

"We love you, too." She said, kissing him.