DISCLAIMER: Don't own 'em. Willing to stage a coup.

A/N: I swear this started out with a plot. I thought about putting up a sign asking if anyone had seen my lost plot, but it hardly seemed worth it. Merry Christmas! (In August)

A/N2: The title is "borrowed" from part of "Love's Labours Lost" by Shakespeare, so the British spelling of "Labours" is intended.

If you aren't 18, please go somewhere else. If you are… well, feedback is always loved!

LOVE'S LABOURS

Jordan shifted in her chair, trying vainly to find a comfortable position. It seemed that the one that didn't bother her back meant she couldn't reach her desk, while the one that meant she could reach her desk gave her leg cramps and the one that spared her leg cramps made her have to pee every five minutes (as opposed to every ten, that was). She sighed and glared down at her belly.

"Jor?"

The M.E. looked up and gave Lily a wan smile.

"Still nothing?"

"What do you think?"

Lily came into the office and sat down. "Did you try the beets?"

Jordan rolled her eyes. "Lily, I think I've tried everything short of reaching up there and yanking this kid out myself. And that option is starting to sound better and better!"

The grief counselor couldn't help but laugh.

"Don't." Jordan pointed a finger at her friend. "You never know – you might find yourself in this – this position some day."

Lily shrugged. "Soon, I hope." She smiled. "Two weeks overdue. Wow."

"Don't remind me," the M.E. groaned.

Lily's voice dropped to a conspiratorial whisper and she leaned toward her friend. "Have you tried sex?"

"Um, Lil? That's kind of how I ended up this way."

She blushed. "No. I mean… now. I've read vigorous sex can bring on labor."

Jordan digested that bit of information, letting her gaze drop again to her belly and then back to Lily's face. "There are a few problems with that … suggestion. Even if Woody wanted that – and why would he?"

"Because you're beautiful," Lily interrupted.

"I'm a whale. But, even if he could ignore that – and I don't see how he could – I don't think we could – um – you know… reach each other." She gestured toward her rounded belly and made Lily blush again.

"I bet – I mean – There are probably … how-to… guides."

"I'm not walking into a bookstore in this condition and buying a book on sex, Lil!"

"Try online!"

Jordan gave her a look. "Go ahead. You google that search request."

"Good point."

The M.E. sighed again. "I think I'm doomed to be pregnant forever."

After a little further commiseration, Lily left Jordan to resume her quest for a position that didn't make some part of her body hurt. She wasn't really certain why she was even in her office. Garret hadn't let her do an autopsy for almost a month and she'd had plenty of time to catch up on all her paperwork. Being at the apartment was worse, though. At least at the morgue she could try to sneak in to procedures, catching a tantalizing glimpse of scarred livers or hardened arteries before someone realized she was there and shooed her away. She'd tried hiding once last week but had ended up knocking over a tray of instruments. Garret had threatened to ban her from the building at that point. He'd only relented when she reminded him of his "retirement" predilection for wheat germ shakes and extreme fitness.

XXXXX

When she let herself into the apartment, pasta sauce bubbled on the stove and the shower was running. She inhaled deeply, loving the rich aroma of Woody's red sauce. She waddled over to the stove and gave the sauce a few gentle stirs. Running a hand over her distended abdomen, Jordan murmured, "You're missing out, kiddo. Your daddy makes great marinara."

"I think she'd be a little bit young, don't you?" Woody wore nothing but a towel around his waist. His wet hair stuck up in a variety of strange – and endearing – angles. His deep blue eyes sparkled happily.

"He may never know at this rate."

He crossed to her and gathered her into his arms as best he could, rubbing her back with firm strokes, knowing how much it had bothered her these last few weeks. "D'you have a good day?" He asked her, kissing her forehead.

"Except for the fact every major muscle group cramped up at one time or another, I stopped counting at fifteen trips to the bathroom and I'm still pregnant? Sure." She looked down, glaring again at her stomach.

He tilted her chin up and regarded her sulky pout. "Come on, Jo. Aren't you glad the baby's late and not early?"

She closed her eyes for a moment and took a deep breath. "Yeah. You're right."

He waggled his eyebrows at her. "They say a lot of times the first one is overdue."

"The first one? You're out of your mind, Detective Hoyt, if you think I'm doing this again."

He chuckled, the sound rumbling through his chest and into hers. She shivered involuntarily, desire contracting her muscles. He crooned in her ear, "Oh, Dr. Hoyt… when was the last time you denied me something I wanted?"

"You wanted help with the dishes last night," she observed acerbically.

Another chuckle. Another shudder. "Something I really wanted."

Pulling away, Jordan gave him a thoughtful look. "You know… Lily made a suggestion today."

"Not more beets. Please?"

It was Jordan's turn to laugh. "No." Color stained her cheeks pink. "Actually… she – um – she read that sex – uh – vigorous sex - can – um – bring on labor."

Woody cocked his head to one side, his eyebrows arched. "Did she really?"

Jordan nodded, biting her lower lip just slightly.

"You know, that would be a suggestion I could live with."

"Really? Why?"

He laughed yet again. "Do you really have to ask?"

"Woody, I look like a whale!"

"You look beautiful."

She snorted. "Why do men always say that?"

"Because it's true? I know it's – it's cliché, but you have this glow, Jordan. And – And even if you didn't, you're carrying our child. Our baby. You've got this life inside of you that we made together. A life we made because we love each other. And I know it sounds sappy, but that's beautiful."

She looked at him solemnly for a moment, her lips pressed into a thin line.

He moved one hand from her back to her belly, rubbing the rounded protrusion slowly and gently, his eyes never leaving hers, their blue depths communicating more than words could. "You amaze me," he finally choked out.

Before Jordan could protest, the baby kicked, as if agreeing with Woody. That made the Wisconsin boy smile. "See, Eleanor Katharine agrees with me."

She gave him a crooked smile and rolled her eyes. At least she'd managed to get him to give up the idea of naming the baby – if it was the girl he said he wanted – Ladybird.

"So…." His eyes twinkled at her. "You want to try Lily's latest suggestion or what?"

Shaking her head, Dr. Hoyt giggled. "Well, it's got to be better than the beets."

XXXXX

Woody made her eat dinner first and then lie down and put her feet up while he cleaned the small kitchen. The time would come when this place would be too small for them, but neither of them was willing to admit that yet. For every bad thing that had happened at Pearle Street, it had also been the place where he'd come to her three years ago, after she'd been cleared of Pollack's murder and had come home. He'd come to her and, though he'd meant to sit down with her and hash it all out, find a way to set their feet on the right path – together – at last, they'd made love before either could say much more than a hesitant hello. The talk had happened, but by then some of it had almost been superfluous; their bodies had betrayed any plan either of them might have had to rebuild the walls between them. The fight had been over, the battle against their own fears lost before the first shot could even be fired.

Jordan had changed into the only thing she could wear anymore – an old t-shirt she had that had belonged to Max. She lay in their bed, desultorily reading a medical journal. Woody studied her for a moment. They had made love that first night in that bed, joining mindlessly the first time, driven by a need so strong and primal it had overwhelmed them both. They had talked long into the night, making love twice more before the sun came up. They had spent their wedding night in that bed, eschewing a fancy hotel and honeymoon, while telling everyone they'd gone away, so they could just stay there together, alone. They had conceived the baby she carried on those sheets; he would forever remember the way she had cried out in the throes of orgasm as wave after wave of pleasure pulsed through her. It had been all he'd needed to find his own release, his seed flowing into her, making her pregnant, giving the world flesh and blood proof of their love. He felt himself grow hard as he watched her. That simply looking at her could produce such a reaction in him might have surprised her, but he was pretty certain that even if they lived to be a hundred, watching her in these unguarded moments, thinking of the passion they shared, would always provoke such a response.

"You're staring," she muttered.

"Can't help it," he told her with a smile, as he slid next to her on the bed.

She snorted.

"I can't," he protested, shimmying closer to her, snaking a hand around her head and pulling her mouth to his for a kiss. He broke the kiss and murmured in her ear, "Vigorous, huh?"

"That's what Lily said," Jordan confirmed.

Deftly, he plucked the medical journal from her hand and tossed it across the side of the bed. Ignoring her surprised protest, he kissed her again, nibbling on her lips, drawing her full bottom one into his mouth, pulling away only when she moaned softly and began to relax against him. Her eyes fluttered open as he ran his thumb over her cheek in a slow, silky caress, his eyes boring into hers before he leaned in to nuzzle her ear and kiss his way down her neck. She arched her head back, breathing his name in a murmur. Blindly, knowing the landscape of her body with his fingertips as well as he knew it with his eyes, he slid one hand down her side and under the hem of the t-shirt, rucking the garment up as he did so.

She hissed as his fingers trailed over her belly, sighed as he let his palm rest against the great bulge where her waistline used to be and gasped again when his hand resumed its slithering course upward. She cried out sharply when he cupped one heavy breast, stroking the taut nipple with a long, agile finger. Desire burned through her blood, leaving her aching and tingling and moaning softly in the quiet apartment. Somehow he managed with only one hand to divest her of the shirt, his other hand never ceasing its insistent touch. He looked down at her, her eyes closed, her brows knit down in what he knew to be pleasure, her bottom lip held firmly in the grasp of her teeth as she struggled not to call out more loudly. As often as he'd seen her beautiful reactions, he never grew tired of the sight. The look of abandonment on her features always thrilled him because he was the one who put it there; she held nothing back with him, and he knew she always had in the past.

He moved down her body carefully until he could take the previously ignored bud into his mouth. One of her hands closed in his hair as she tugged as firmly on it as he did on the hard peak between his teeth and lips. He washed his tongue over and over the nipple while his fingers worked the other one, his hand massaging her. Short, sharp cries of "Ohohohoh!" greeted his ears as jolts of pleasure shot through her body to her core. She keened his name as rapture built in her, sitting low in her abdomen, gaining strength enough to shudder through her.

She whimpered when he released her nipple, now glistening with his saliva, and brought his stroking to an end. "Don't move," he whispered, getting up to strip off his own clothes. When he lay back down, he slid behind her, curving his body to hers, reaching around her to resume his sweet torment of her breasts. She exhaled slowly, her breath shaky; it was music to his ears.

He began to move one hand lower until he found the top of her panties. He heard the small sound she made, the one of self-doubt about her current looks, the one that lamented the fact she had to wear such a practical undergarment. He grinned against her shoulder and teased, "Since you hate them so much, let's get 'em out of the way, shall we?"

She couldn't help but giggle at him, even as she complied.

When they were both unclothed, Woody snuggled himself even more closely to her body, letting his hands roam over her silky skin. He stroked one firm thigh, rubbed her back once more, and slid his hands lower.

"Are you groping my ass?" She asked, her voice sly.

"I think I am." He nibbled one ear. "Problem?"

She pretended to consider it and then shook her head.

"Good. 'Cause that way I can do this." Before she could ask what "this" was, he was snaking a hand between her thighs, one finger slipping easily into her ready body, another seeking the bundle of nerves at the apex of her opening. He groaned when she wriggled against him, the friction almost too much for his own aroused state. Still, Woody Hoyt was nothing if not persistent and he didn't intend to let her distract him. After all, Lily had said "vigorous."

He increased the tempo and pressure. "Come on, Jo. Come for me," he hissed into her ear. He reveled in the shiver than ran the length of her body.

"A… little… more," she gasped out.

He added a second finger and curled them, stroking the sweet spot of slightly roughened flesh he knew was there. He felt her begin to convulse even as that rough spot smoothed out, signaling her impending release. He pinched the engorged bud lightly even as he kept stroking her.

Jordan felt like she was balanced on his fingers, wanting to implode from his touch on the bundle of nerves, wanting to explode from the way his curled fingers worked her. Then the orgasm broke free and took her, submerging any rational thought and sweeping away her body in a tidal wave of bliss. It seemed to go on forever, Woody's knowing touch prolonging the pleasure until it was almost an agony. Even as it subsided, she trembled against him, taking shallow, gasping breaths.

He barely let her come down from her body's high before he guided himself into her. The soft, superheated pull of her flesh dragged against his as he seated himself to the hilt in her. He smiled smugly as he took note of the fact she was gripping the headboard with one hand, the knuckles white from the strength of her hold. "Hang on, Jo."

She nodded, unable to make more of a response.

He slid almost all the way out of her and then back in quickly, the friction an undeniable delight to both of them. He set up a rhythm, his erection hitting her sweet spot on each stroke as his fingers worked the bundle of nerves once more. He felt his control beginning to slip. "Can you come again?" He murmured into her hair.

She nodded. "Yeah. I think so."

And then he was rubbing her own moisture over her, flicking, pinching again, pressing all while thrusting in and out of her until she shattered in his arms. She made no attempt to muffle or deny the cries of pleasure that the second release tore from her lips. Nor did Woody as he followed after her almost immediately.

For long moments after, they simply lay, spent, breath harsh and ragged. When he felt his lungs might not explode, Woody nuzzled her neck. "Vigorous enough?"

"Un huh," she managed. "And if not, maybe we can give it another shot in the morning."

He smiled into her hair. "I thought you were tired of being pregnant."

She craned her neck back and grinned up into his face. She reached a hand behind his head and pulled him to her for a soft kiss. "Right now it doesn't seem so bad."

XXXXX

Later (much later)….

"Woody," she hissed in the darkness of their bedroom. "Wake up."

He cracked open one eye. "Whmmm?" He opened the other eye and peered around owlishly. "Wha' time is 't?"

"Middle of the night. Owwwww."

He sat up, suddenly awake. "Time?"

She nodded, her face contorted as a contraction grabbed her.

Woody was out of bed, pulling on jeans and a Red Sox t-shirt, telling her to breath. While she glared at him, he fished out of the closet the duffel bag that she would take with her to the hospital. Once he had that, he crossed to her side of the bed and helped her up.

She moaned.

With tenderness and patience, Woody got her into her own clothes. He smiled as she insisted on brushing her hair and teeth before they went. Her ablutions done, he supported her as they went slowly down the stairs. A low light glowed in the front room. They both peeked in.

Max smiled at them. "Time, huh?"

Jordan could only nod and breathe as another contraction hit her.

"So get out of here. We'll be fine."

"Thanks, Max," Woody replied, urging Jordan to the door.

On the drive to the hospital, Jordan reflected with a tight smile that being the wife – the in-labor wife – of a cop definitely had its advantages. Woody had the siren going the whole time. Diana Lynn Hoyt – forever to be known, at least to family, as 'Dolly' – pushed her way into the world seven hours later.

Jordan's o.b. congratulated the couple on a healthy, two-week overdue baby girl and commented that Jordan was remarkably consistent. "Three babies, all two weeks overdue. Seems like you've got your own sense of timing. What's your secret?"

Woody and Jordan glanced at each other and simply smiled. Some secrets were better kept.

Although both would admit it had nothing to do with beets.

END