A/N: This is one for blucougar57, who suggested that Mike and Carolyn telling Maggie about their baby would make a good story, so I started there...and for everyone who wanted a sequel...
Thanks to The Confused One for her opinions on the hardest part of this story: the title.
A mirror reflects a man's face, but what he is really like is shown by the kind of friends he chooses."
- Proverbs 27:19
Maggie and Tommy were finally sleeping, Mike and Bobby had gone out and Eames had put in the movie Nine Months. She handed Barek a bowl of ice cream. Sitting at the other end of the couch, she watched her friend. "What?" Barek asked.
"I want to know how you feel."
Barek didn't have to ask about what. She sighed. "I think I'm still in shock."
"That tells me nothing, Carolyn."
"I don't know, Alex. Am I ready to deal with two kids? Let's face it. I love Mike, but sometimes he's a lot of work."
Eames laughed. "Don't think Bobby's easy. Dealing with him is anything but easy. They're guys...they're supposed to be a lot of work."
Barek sighed. "What do you think, Alex? I'm having a baby...with Mike."
Eames gave it some thought. "Have you talked to him about it?"
"No. He won't talk. Not yet, anyway."
"He'll talk to Bobby."
"Probably. Why do they do that?"
"Talk to each other before they talk to us."
"It's a good thing, Carolyn. They can work things out inside themselves when they talk to each other. Then they feel more in control of themselves when they come to us. That's important for them."
Barek sighed. "Men... So how did you feel?"
"About being pregnant? I loved it. Of course, we thought Maggie was Ricky's. I spent that entire pregnancy wishing she was Bobby's."
"Well, you got your wish."
"Suppose this baby is just like his daddy, like Maggie is so much like hers?"
"Don't drive yourself crazy with stuff like that. Just wait and see. When that baby is born, you won't care if he's like you or like Mike. You'll just love him...no matter what."
"Like I love Mike. No matter what he does or how stupid he's being, I love him."
"Right. I don't think this is going to be a bad thing, Carolyn. You've seen Mike with Maggie and Tommy. He's going to be a great dad."
"If he's half the father Bobby is, I'll be happy."
Eames smiled. "He'll be just as devoted."
Barek nodded slowly. "He thinks Bobby's a great dad. He's going to try to be like him."
"Well, there are worse things he could do."
"No kidding...and I think he's done half of them."
They laughed and Eames leaned back against the arm of the couch. "Okay, now tell me how you feel. We know that the news didn't send Mike running for the hills. What about you?"
Barek was quiet for awhile. Finally she said, "It's going to take some getting used to. I never expected to have a baby. Ever. But I think it's a good thing. I see what you have with Bobby and the kids, and I sometimes find myself wondering if I could ever be that happy. Now I think that maybe that will happen. Mike is a great guy. Maybe this will secure things for us. We have a good relationship. I think this could be a good thing for us."
"So you're happy?"
"Yeah...I really think I am."
Logan leaned against the wall, arms crossed, as Goren worked on clearing the pool table. When Logan hadn't said anything after he sank his fourth consecutive ball, Goren stopped and looked at him. He knew that distracted look. He rounded the table and tapped his shoulder. Logan looked at him for a moment. "Huh? Oh...is it my turn?"
"Go ahead. What's on your mind, Mike?"
Logan looked at the table. "Damn, Bobby. Where'd all the balls go?"
"Level with me, Mike. What's on your mind?"
Logan lined up his shot. "You're the genius. You have to ask?"
Goren watched him sink his ball. "You're worried."
"Damn right, I am. Do you think I'll be a good father?"
"Yes. Do you doubt it?"
"Maybe. You know what my mom was like...and my dad died, so he wasn't there to protect me from her...and I know he would have."
"At least you have a good role model, what you remember of your dad."
Logan sighed, turning his cuestick over in his hands. "How'd you do it, Bobby?"
"Overcome your past."
Goren sighed. "I never let myself become my father. I used to think it would be a struggle, you know, to stay calm when things went wrong...to not overreact and take discipline too far. When Maggie was born, and I didn't know I was her father, I had no pressure on me to be a father. So I just...developed a relationship with her. It kind of snuck up on me that I've actually been a father to her all her life, from the moment they first laid her in my arms when she was a couple of minutes old. Now it's just...natural. I have no fears of becoming my father. There's no part of him in me. I watch you with my kids, Mike. I trust you with them implicitly. They love you. I think you're gonna be a great dad."
"And when I can't tell my kid 'no'?"
Goren smiled. "You have to trust that Carolyn will. I don't know what I'd do without Alex."
"We've already been there, man, and it's not a place I ever want to go again." He sighed. "So, if I ever call you in a panic..."
"I'll always be there for you, Mike," he said with a shrug, as if it were something Logan should already know.
Logan turned his attention back to the table. "So then, maybe, between the two of us, this kid'll turn out okay. I don't ever want my kid to know life without a dad." He looked down to take his shot, turning his eyes up toward Goren and amending, "A damn good dad."
He sank his ball and straightened up, looking thoughtful. "Um, how do you think Maggie's gonna take it?"
"I think she'll be fine with it. It'll almost be like having another sibling."
"I guess so. Uh...I don't guess I could get you to tell her, could I?"
Goren laughed. "Not a chance, pal. You did this, you take it all on your shoulders. I'll back you up, but this is all yours."
"Thanks a lot," he sighed. "I guess I can make a date with her, huh?"
"You can tell her however you want to."
"She'll like it if I take her out for dinner. Is tomorrow night okay?"
"Sure. But you better make sure you don't forget about Carolyn. I don't know about you, but having an angry pregnant woman out for my blood is definitely not my idea of fun."
"Yeah...I don't guess it would be. Shit...how the hell am I gonna go for nine months without pissing her off?"
"Seven months, Mike. She's already got two months behind her."
"That doesn't help much, Bobby."
Goren laughed. "You'll survive."
"Your couch may have a frequent occupant."
Goren nodded. "Just try not to piss off my wife at the same time, will ya?"
"I'll try, but I'm not making any promises."
He walked around the table to line up his next shot and he missed. "Crap."
Two shots later, Goren sank the eight.