Three weeks later, the Hausers returned from their adventure-filled honeymoon. The entire team had gotten together to surprise the couple with a cruise to Ireland and a week's stay in Dublin. The first two days were spent enjoying each other's company in the first class suite, and the days after that, they kept each other company, no thanks to Shipwreck's "Make sure you eat the Midnight Seafood Buffet, its to die for!" And to die for it was, Duke's stomach still rolled from the bad shrimp. But they did not mind staying in the cabin for most of the trip, taking care of the other and spending most time alone, together.
Returning back to the base, the newlyweds officially moved into the first sergeant's suite. But also discovered that the other married couple on the base had moved! Flint surprised Jaye by purchasing a Victorian style home forty minutes away from the base, and even hired a nanny for Daniel, someone named Nurse Smith. Flint drove to the base and back everyday, while Jaye was still on medical leave for a few more weeks.
But today, the four best friends would get together for an afternoon of fun, well, fun for the men because of the baseball game. But the women would be probably updating everything with the other, for as far as the men were concerned, the women had entertainment.
Duke whistled heading back to his quarters, after a short update meeting with Hawk and Beach Head, he couldn't wait to enter the suite and see his wife. His heart pulsed quicker, just thinking of the redhead waiting for him in his quarters. Opening the door, he walked into the living area, only to stop short, finding her on the couch, sleeping, in her uniform, and her crossbow nearby.
He took two quick steps and was quickly by her side. Slowly, he sat down next to her sleeping form. Several times, he had found her sleeping during odd hours and prayed that the nightmares had not returned. His face turned into a frown, realizing that she was in her uniform, and knew that she had gone to her instructing sessions, which she was not supposed to go to until she obtained Doc's approval.
A small fuzzy object caught his attention on her shoulder. He shook his head at the sleeping tarantula, keeping her owner company. Coffee did not stir, but when the first sergeant tried to gather the spider in his hand, and return back to the cage, Coffee rose on four legs, ready to bite.
Duke growled under his breath, that spider hated him. It was probably from all the times that he chased the darn thing when it escaped. He glanced downwards to see her head move back and forth, and his heart skipped a beat.
He gently touched her stomach. "Shana baby... come on, wake up."
Scarlett's eyes slowly fluttered open, finding him sitting close to her. "Hi, how was the meeting?"
"It was fine." He looked her over. "Did you to go your training classes?"
She glanced down at her uniform. "Umm..." then looked at his face, "Busted, huh?"
"Yeah, I would say that," Duke said. "You better put Coffee away. She doesn't like me very much."
The spider moved around the redhead's shoulder, as if she knew that the first sergeant shared the same thought.
"Well, I don't blame her. How many times did a certain blond field commander, who shall remain nameless, say to the poor creature that he was going to squish her?" Scarlett replied.
"Well then, she should stay in her bloody cage."
"She's smart, she can escape the cage. Guess she took after her mother," Scarlett replied, glancing at him once again, seeing his frown. "Are you angry I went to training?"
"I wish you would have waited until you saw Doc tomorrow and he cleared you."
"I know, but Jinx called panicking with the new Greenshirts coming in for their first session, so I just couldn't just sit here and knit, now could I?" she said, slowly rising to her elbows.
"You could have called Snake Eyes or Quick Kick," Duke pointed out.
"Umm, yeah, I guess I could of, but then again, I couldn't check out the new stud muffins," Scarlett teased him.
"Oh, so now I know what you ladies do when you're there. You rate the men. Typical."
Scarlett giggled. "Oh, like you men don't gawk at the new Greenshirt women? Shipwreck already went to the Infirmary twice today from making a pass at one of them."
"Well, that's different. We are men."
She punched him on the arm. "Well, one of them actually asked me out."
"And did you tell him that you were taken by the dashing field commander?" he asked as he rubbed his arm.
"Actually no. Jinx told him I'm Duke's wife, and the poor guy high tailed it out of the room, like a Wolverine was on his heels," Scarlett snickered, then yawned.
Duke looked at her concerned. "Maybe we should call and see if Doc has your test results back yet."
"I already did, they were inconclusive, so tomorrow I have a nice date with a needle." Scarlett sat up and leaned on his shoulder.
"I'll go with you then," he said kissing the top of her head.
Scarlett nodded, slowly, feeling her eyelids heavy once again. She swallowed the yawn. She felt Coffee's soft legs crawling towards the first sergeant, and knew this could be a funny or dangerous moment, for the spider, not for Duke. "Con."
"Co—" Scarlett went to explain, but was cut off by the first sergeant's surprised gasp.
"Oh God!" Duke gasped. "Shana, get your thing!"
"I think she likes you," Scarlett giggled, now watching the tarantula moving towards her husband's neck.
"She's not going to bite me. Is she?"
"I don't know, she may give you a little love bite."
"Get it off me!" Duke growled, not moving. "We need to get going to Dash and Allie's."
"I... I thought they were coming here," Scarlett said alarmed.
He grinned at her. "Just checking your memory, darling. Yes, they're coming here and they will be here soon."
"Just for that little thing, you can take Coffee off of your shoulder, yourself!" Scarlett snapped, not amused by his joking. "I'm going to take a shower and get ready." She jumped off the couch and headed for the bedroom, closing the door behind her.
Duke shook his head, and mentally kicked himself. He shouldn't have teased her, making her relive what the nightmares had done. He raised his hand to grab the tarantula, but the spider had other plans and crawled up on top of his head. Giving up, he headed to the kitchen, and started to make the salad for the dinner. At least he could score some apology points there!
Ten minutes later, he emerged out of the kitchen, satisfied. He glanced at the bedroom door, and saw that it was still shut, but heard the sound of the blow-dryer. He walked over to the dinning area and set the table for the four of them.
He glanced at the clock and noticed it was almost time for their guests to arrive. He ran to the kitchen, grabbed the snacks and beer for the baseball game, and set them on the coffee table.
The bedroom door opened, and the redhead walked out, dressed in a blue sundress. "Are you staying in your uniform? Scarlett asked.
"No, I was going to change but your pet decided she wanted to stay on my head," Duke said pointing at the brown spot on his blond hair.
"Hope she doesn't lay any of eggs up there," Scarlett joked. "Hmm, maybe she likes that little bald spot you have... now what you call it? Sex machine radar?"
"It is a solar panel for my sex machine," Duke grumbled. "Please get her off there?"
"Baby." Scarlett shook her head with a teasing smile. Then tip toed to get her tarantula off the first sergeant's head. "Come on Coffee, your father doesn't like you much, does he?"
"I like her just fine as long as she doesn't try to bite me," Duke grumbled, heading for the bedroom, went in and quickly changed into a pair of jeans and a Cardinals jersey.
"I put Coffee back in her cage," Scarlett called out from the kitchen. "What time are they coming?"
Duke walked into the kitchen, looking all sporty. "They should be here any minute." He walked up behind her, pinned her from behind against the counter and kissed the back of her neck.
"Mmm, too bad, we don't have time for any home runs," Scarlett teased, turning around and wrapping her arms around his neck. "And you put on my favorite cologne too."
"Well, I thought you and I could have our own little party tonight after they leave," he said then claimed her lips with his.
Scarlett felt lightheaded, feeling his soft lips teasing hers, and finally, what it seemed as if time had frozen for hours, their lips parted. "You do know how to send a girl out of the ballpark."
The doorbell rang, followed by a thundering banging on the door.
"Looks like someone is impatient to see us," she said, still in his embrace.
"I guess I should go open the door." He kissed her again. More loud banging could be heard. He broke the kiss. "Alright, alright I'm coming!" He shouted and walked towards the door. "Keep your shirt on!!!"
Scarlett followed him, watching him open the door, and one excited looking Jaye dashed inside. "Hi! " she greeted hugging her best friend.
"Oh Shana, I've missed you!!!" Jaye exclaimed. "Dash forbids me from coming near the base except for my appointments with Doc."
"What! Why?" Scarlett asked, still holding her friend, then sent the warrant officer, who was walking in, an icy stare.
"Shana, don't listen to her, she's lying! She was here all day two days ago in the pool with Courtney and Keiko!" Flint said, carrying the baby carrier inside.
Daniel stirred in the blue baby carrier. Both Hauser's noticed the little warrant officer beret on the baby's head.
"Okay, I'm not going to even ask where you got that!" Scarlett said, shaking her head.
"Trust me, it took me a while, but I found one." Flint grinned, heading for the couch with the carrier.
"He special ordered it," Jaye said as she sat down the diaper bag. "I pumped some milk so you can feed him later if you want. But I need to put it in the fridge."
"I set up the playpen you two left here in the bedroom for Danny if you need it," Duke told Flint.
"I would love to feed him!" Scarlett said, excitedly, watching Duke's face brighten. "Allie! He's grown! I hope the stuff I purchased for him will fit."
Flint bent down and unbuckled the little boy from the carrier. "Up, we go Danny." He held the baby in his arms. "Alright, want to go say hello to your Uncle Con?"
Duke took the baby and doted on him. "Uncle Con and Aunt Shana brought you back some presents."
Jaye followed Scarlett into the kitchen.
Scarlett walked over to the stove, and checked the chicken with potatoes, then double checked the steamed vegetables. "Want something to drink, before the men drink most of the beer in the house?"
They already started to hear the television blaring in the living room, and the two high command talking about the game.
"I brought some tea and juice. No beer for me," Jaye said. "So you feeling any better? When I talked to you a few days ago, you said you were sick."
"Both Conrad and I were up to our necks being sick, no thanks to Shipwreck and his you got to eat the midnight shrimp!" Scarlett shook her head. "I only had one, but it did a number on me." She walked over to the cupboard and took out two glasses. "I think juice for now, sound good?" Taking the glasses in her hands, she noticed the left one shake from her grasp.
"Shana?" Jaye asked and walked over to her.
"Huh?" Scarlett glanced at her friend, putting down the glasses on the counter. "I've got apple juice if you want some of that."
Jaye touched her friend's hand. "Why were you shaking?"
Scarlett pulled her hand away, touching it gently with the other. "It's from the injury I guess. I'm going to Doc's tomorrow, so he'll find out what's wrong."
She walked quickly to the refrigerator, grabbed two beers for the men, and the apple juice for both of them and then rushed back to the counter and poured the juice in the glasses. Putting everything on the tray, she smiled. "Come on, goodness knows what those two have taught Danny by now."
"You mean like sitting on the couch and scratching themselves?" Jaye joked.
Scarlett burst out laughing, walking out of the kitchen and heading for the men. She set the tray on the coffee table, and handed Flint his beer. "Here, Dash."
"What's so funny?" Flint asked, taking the bottle in his hand.
"Trust me, you don't want to know." Scarlett giggled, walked towards where Duke sat with the baby. "Here, I'll take him, so you can enjoy the game."
"Oh, he's watching the game along with us," Duke said with a smirk.
"Baby hog. First you take my little girl, and now my godson," Scarlett teased.
Flint choked on his beer. "Little girl!"
"Shana, what are you talking about?" Jaye asked confused.
"I'm talking about my little girl, who apparently loves her father, because she is sitting on him, as we speak." Scarlett smirked towards the first sergeant.
Duke jerked. "Put the bloody thing away!!!"
Jaye burst out laughing.
Flint started laughing, holding on to his stomach. "Oh man, where is she?"
Scarlett leaned closer to the first sergeant, "Sure, you want me to put her back up on your sex machine?"
"SHANA!!!" Duke exclaimed.
Jaye took the baby from the first sergeant.
"Hmm?" Scarlett looked innocent, watching the covert operative agent hold the baby, in her arms.
"Allie, want me to hold him?" Flint asked his wife.
"No, I'm fine," Jaye said in a flat tone.
"Where is that blasted thing, Red?" Duke asked.
"I don't see her now, she probably crawled away," Scarlett said, looking on his back.
"I know where she is," Flint said, standing up.
"Where?" They all asked.
"On my head!" the warrant officer announced, causing laughter.
Scarlett got up from the couch, walked over to Flint, and took the tarantula in her hands. "Why are you people scared of her?" she asked, shaking her head, sitting back down next to the first sergeant
"Because she's a big hairy gross thing," Jaye said sitting down in the recliner with the baby.
"No, she's not. She's cute," Scarlett said, defending her beloved pet.
"Conrad, can I ask you a question?" Flint asked, sitting back down on the couch.
"Sure," Duke said as he wrapped an arm around his wife.
"Is the world coming to an end because Scarlett now loves spiders?" Flint said seriously.
"Excuse me?" Scarlett hissed, trying to lean over her husband and choke the warrant officer with her hands.
"Allow me," Jaye said and reached over and knocked the beret off her husband's head.
"Hey!" Flint said in shock, then took his beret, stuck his tongue out at both women and drank the rest of his beer.
"Thank you, Allie," Scarlett said, setting back on the pillow, feeling her husband's arm around her shoulder. She leaned on his shoulder, feeling extremely tired, and knew that she shouldn't have gone to the training sessions, maybe Duke was right about that. She felt her eye lids becoming heavy once again.
The sounds of the television cheers became phased out from the background.
"Duke, I think you wore her out," Jaye teased Duke.
"What?" Duke asked, then looked over at his wife. He gently shook her. "Hey, babe, wake up."
"Hmm?" Scarlett rose her head from his shoulder. "Who's winning?"
"The game hasn't even started yet," Duke teased.
"Oh, sorry," Scarlett replied softy. "Go Jets."
Flint shook his head. "Um, Shana, Jets are a football team, not a baseball team."
Jaye laughed hard.
"Now, what's so funny?" Scarlett shook her head, becoming more alert. She stood up from the couch. "I'll go check the food, will be back shortly."
Flint chuckled watching the redhead walk towards the kitchen. "Looks like Coffee went with her mama." He pointed to the spider, who was sitting on the counterintelligence agent's head.
Jaye handed the baby to Flint. "I'll go help, Red."
"Alright, did you bring Daniel his baba?" Flint asked, towards his wife.
"Let me go warm one up," Jaye said, going to the kitchen and warmed up bottle for the baby. After she was done with that, she went over to the diaper bag, and pulled out a receiving blanket that the baby liked to hold while nursing. Then she took out Brutus and brought him over, and placed the things near the baby.
"Alison Faireborn! Why the devil did you bring that bear with you!" Flint growled. "I've told you Brutus stays home!"
Jaye jumped a little at the harshness of his voice. She quickly grabbed the infant from his arms and sat down in the recliner without saying a word to him and tried to ignore him. She turned her head to look out the window after starting to nurse the baby, not wanting anyone to see her eye glisten with unshed tears.
Scarlett walked out of the kitchen, and headed for where her best friend feed the baby. "Allie, you forgot the bottle cap in the kitchen," she handed it her, then her eyes changed concernedly. "You all right?"
"She's in just one of her moods, Red. Let her relax," Flint said, ignoring the icy glare that his wife shot him. "Do me a favor. Can you put that dumb bear in the stove while you're at it!"
"What!" Scarlett looked shocked, from Flint, to Jaye, and then back to Flint and then back to Jaye. She watched her best friend's face turn bright red. 'Oh oh,' went through her mind. "I'll get you some more juice." Heading back into the kitchen just when the yells began to vibrate the walls.
Jaye started to curse him in Gaelic. Tears started to run down her face, which made her even angrier. "You are a jerk you know it!!! I love that bear!!! I can't believe you're jealous of a bear!!!"
Flint jumped from the couch. "That bear happens to be a pain in the rear! Every time, it causes trouble! I'm not jealous of that stupid raggy toy!"
Duke sat silently, watching the warrant officer and his wife, afraid to interfere, but if it when more physical, he would step in. A crystal bowl shot through the air, missing him by several inches and the first sergeant wished he had retreated into the kitchen, safe with his wife.
"Allie!" Flint hissed. "Stop throwing things! Can't you control that temper of yours? Guess not! Because you throw things even when they are not yours!"
Jaye stood up from the chair, carrying the baby and walked over to the diaper bag. "Scarlett, I'm leaving!! Sorry my stupid husband ruined your party!!!" Her voice sounded nasally and it was obvious that she was on the verge of really crying. She pulled the keys out of the diaper bag and went to open the door.
"Oh, sure, you blame me!" Flint yelled. "Of course! It's all Dash's fault! I told you not to bring the bear again to base! That stupid thing has been a thorn on my side since Duke got him for you!"
"Well I guess you won't have to worry about him anymore, Dash!" Jaye turned looking at him. Her face showed something he had never seen before, defeat. "Or me." With that she opened the door and grabbed the car seat and walked out.
"SHANA, GO AFTER HER!!!" Duke yelled towards the kitchen.
"No, Conrad, let her go," Flint said, sitting down with a sigh. "I can't take the chasing anymore. I can't take the arguments anymore."
"No Dash. Didn't you see her face!!! Oh I forgot, you don't think of things like that when you get mad over stupid reasons!" Duke grumbled.
In the hallway, Jaye realized that she forgot Brutus, so she sat the car seat down in the hall along the wall and turned and headed back to the Hauser's suite.
Flint watched his wife enter the suite, give him an icy look, and walked over to pick up the bear. "Oh, sure you care about that thing more than you care about us."
"That's not true," Jaye said, her voice soft and pain filled. "I'm just tired of this. I can't take anymore!!!" She turned to leave again.
Duke hit Flint in the back of the head. "Can't you keep your mouth shut!!!" he growled softly. "Allie, why don't you go in the kitchen with Shana."
"No, I'm going home," Jaye said, her voice flat and devoid of emotion.
"Allie! That's all you want to do is stay home. You don't want my help, you don't want Nurse Smith's and you don't want Psyche Out's," Flint said in one breath. "And you keep hiding things from me. I can't take it anymore myself."
"You don't have to anymore," Jaye said and turned once again to leave.
"SHANA, GET OUT HERE!!!" Duke yelled.
Flint walked up to his wife. "Allie, listen to me. You don't let me talk anymore, all you do is yell." He walked out to the hallway, picked up the carrier, and walked back inside the suite, putting the carrier on the couch next to Duke.
"So now this is all my fault once again. Do you realize how many times you've basically told me that in the last two weeks? So many times that I've lost count." She went to grab the car seat again.
Flint's entire face turned red, his jaw set and his body trembled to control his anger. He stayed silent, if she was going to leave, then let her go, but he was not going to be the constant person trying to pick the pieces of their relationship all the time. He had enough of Miss Alison's temper tantrums. He turned around, looking out the window, leaving her the choice, if she left, then their marriage would be over.
From the kitchen, Scarlett walked out, with an apron. "Why is everyone yelling?" she shook her head. "Come on, Allie, let's go inside for a cup of tea." She looked towards the warrant officer.
Jaye sighed. "Alright." She refused to look up at Flint, her head bowed, something that was totally not like her. "You want to hold him?" Once again her voice was devoid of emotion, almost as if she shut all her emotions off.
"How about after I'm done cutting the chicken," Scarlett replied, "I can't get grease on him, now can I?" she laughed, putting an arm around her friend's shoulder and leading her into the kitchen, leaving the two men alone. She turned her head and nodded towards Duke, to talk to a certain angry husband.
Duke finally stood up. "Now what the hell was that all about?"
Flint's jaw was set, ignoring the first sergeant's question. He stared out the window, overlooking the base, watching Beach Head chase several new Greenshirts with what it seemed a wedding veil.
"My God, Dash. She's on the edge of a very fine line, even I can see that. Are you determined to push her over?!" Duke yelled turning Flint to look at him.
Flint narrowed his eyes, and began to head towards the door, his face easily deciphered, boiling mad.
"Oh no I don't think so. Not this time, Dash," Duke said and pushed him back on the couch.
The warrant officer stood immediately back up. "Back off, Hauser, I'm not your wife to order around."
"Unlike you, Dash. I don't order my wife around. Now sit back down!" Duke ordered.
"Duke, stay out of this, oh wait! You haven't, because of that stupid bear that started this whole mess!" Flint barked back, heading once again towards the door.
Duke grabbed Flint and pushed him to the wall. "Do you know why I got her that bear? Do you even care why that bear is so important to her? Have you even asked her?" Duke saw the look on Flint's face and knew immediately that he had never asked Jaye why Brutus meant so much to her. "I didn't think so."
"You know what, who cares now anyway, it's over," Flint retorted, not moving from the first sergeant's tight grasp.
"So, you don't care about her?" Duke asked through clenched teeth.
"Don't say to me I don't care about her! I love her! But I can't take anymore her temper! Hawk was right from the beginning! I had seen nothing and now that I do, I can't handle it!" Flint said aggravated.
"How do you think she feels, Dash?" Duke growled. "She hasn't had the easiest life in the world, she lost her mother at a very young age and she witnessed her murder, her mother by the way, gave her a bear that looked exactly like Brutus and that bear was blown to bits in a bomb in our jeep. That's why I bought her that bear!!!"
Flint stood silent for a moment, absorbing everything the field commander told him. "Well, you know what then, Conrad. Why didn't she tell me about the bear! You people and your secrets! I haven't kept anything from her! But she on the other hand, has!"
"She only told me because I found the bear in her pack when I brought it to her tent and I ASKED her why she had it!!!" Duke growled.
"I did ask! and she threw things at me! She keeps everything bottled inside. She won't accept my help, or Nurse Smith's or even Psyche Out's! Seem familiar, Hauser!" Flint said, pushing the first sergeant away.
"So you are just going to give up on her?" Duke asked looking right at Flint.
"I think we both need a break. I decided to take Danny to the farm for a few months, and see how it goes from there. Her depression gets worse when she is with the baby," Flint said sadly, sitting down on the couch.
They both heard laughter coming from the kitchen, and knew the redhead was helping Jaye with the problems.
"You take that baby from her and you'll be signing her death certificate, Dash," Duke said to him. "Don't you think she's lost enough?"
"I tried to make things easy for her, Conrad. And whatever I do, she doesn't care!" Flint said. "What do you want me to do? I'm giving up!"
"Did you ever think that trying to get all this help for her might be making her feel useless?" Duke stated.
"But she isn't useless, Conrad. But how is she going to go forward if she doesn't realize she needs help? Even Shana finally admitted she needed help to you!" Flint pointed out.
"And look how long it took for her to admit it," Duke pointed out. "The Joe women are very hard headed when it comes to that. She may not realize just how depressed she really is."
"You're right," Flint said, defeated. "I need to try to talk to her again, before we make a decision we both regret. These Joe women have enough pride for a whole army! Glad there are only four of them."
"CONRAD!!!" they heard Jaye scream from the kitchen.
Duke and Flint turned towards the kitchen, watching the tarantula emerge out of the door, and race towards the first sergeant, then crawl around in a circle.
"Looks like Shana's pet got a certain Scottish woman scared," Flint said, chucking.
"SHANA, COME ON, WAKE UP!" Jaye hollered, kneeling down next to the fallen woman, still holding her baby in one arm and shaking the her best friend with her free hand.
Duke paled from hearing Jaye's words, and rushed into the kitchen, stopping dead in his tracks, finding the redhead on the floor, not moving.
"What happened?" Duke asked Jaye as he slid to the floor next to them.
"I don't know. I went to the fridge to put the bottle back and when I turned around, she was on the floor," Jaye said worriedly, she was crying.
Flint walked into the room. "Is she all right?" He walked over towards his wife, and gently touched her shoulder, squeezing it tight.
Jaye tensed for a moment but then relaxed.
"I'm taking her to Doc," Duke said and stood up with her in his arms.
"I'll call him from here, let him know you are on the way," Flint said, then turn to Jaye. "Give me Daniel, you go with Duke, alright?"
Duke held his wife tightly in his arms, looking down at her ghostly white features, her eyes still closed, and barely moving. His heart skipped a beat. Something was wrong, very wrong.
"No, I can take Daniel with me," Jaye said standing up. It was obvious that she heard that part of their conversation. She headed out of the kitchen.
"Fine," Flint said, giving up and rushed over to the phone. "Breaker, patch me to Doc." They heard him growl under his breath. "Breaker, Doc, NOW!" He glanced at the nervous first sergeant, who kept looking down at his wife, who hadn't been revived. "Doc, Scarlett collapsed." He nodded. "We're on our way."
Jaye looked at Flint as he put the phone down. "Are you coming too?" It was simply a question, there was no malice behind it at all.
"Of course I'm coming," Flint assured her, wrapping his arm around her shoulder. "Doc's going to meet us at the Infirmary, he was in Hawk's office."
Jaye nodded as they followed Duke out. She started to sniffle, trying not to cry.
Duke rushed down the hallway, ignoring the looks of the other Joes, staring at the scene. He ran down the stairs and raced towards the Infirmary, his heart pulsing with each step, his features scared, hoping the world in his hands was going to be all right.
Flint and Jaye followed the first sergeant into the Infirmary, heading straight towards Doc, who looked concerned.
"Let me guess, she went to training," Doc said, not amused. "Take her into the room."
Duke rushed her in the room and laid her gently down on the bed.
Jaye stood there watching, worried about her best friend.
"What happened?" Doc asked, starting to take the counterintelligence agent's pulse.
Flint pulled his wife closer to him, showing her that he would stay by her side.
"I don't know. Allie was with her and she went to the fridge and when she turned back around, Shana was on the floor unconscious," Duke said worriedly.
Doc nodded. "Alright, all three of you, go outside." He ushered them out of the room, closing the door behind them.
Jaye leaned against Flint's chest and softly cried. "Please don't take him." she softly begged.
Flint led Jaye towards one of the wheelchairs near by. "Here, sit, please."
Jaye slowly sat down.
Duke began to pace.
Flint glanced at Duke, watching his best friend's face filled with worry, and he knew that if it was the opposite, he would be the one pacing. He knelt down and looked at Jaye's teary face. "You need to listen to me, all right? No yelling. No throwing things," he said softly.
Jaye nodded but didn't look at him, she held her baby tightly, afraid of losing him.
"Allie, I love you more than anything, but I need to tell you this," Flint said, reaching over and taking her hand in his, squeezing it tight.
Jaye held her breath, knowing what was coming. He was going to leave, he was going to leave her, and take part of her world with him. A lump rose in her throat and swallowed it down, remaining quiet.
"You need help, Allie. You have to admit that you do. I can't help you through this until you let me inside, and we can deal with this together. It tearing you apart, and its ripping my heart in two. I hate seeing you be so depressed and seeing you in pain. You need to get help, for yourself, for us, and for Daniel." Flint kissed her hand, closing his eyes, hoping she would admit what she needed most than anything at the moment, his help.
Jaye didn't say anything but he could hear and feel her start to sob as her body shook with each one.
Flint wrapped his arms around her and their child, comforting her. He kissed her forehead, not letting go. "You need to see Psyche Out, please," he begged the woman he loved.
Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, she nodded as she cried against him.
"I love you, you know that." He held her face with both his hands, staring into her green eyes.
Her eyes were red and swollen but there was a look in her eyes he hadn't seen since before the baby was born, it was hope. She nodded and tried to tell him the same but her sobs made it hard to speak.
Flint slowly leaned forwards and pressed his lips against hers, both of them holding now the sleeping baby in their arms. His heart beat went quicker, knowing now that everything will be all right. Ending the long kiss, he kissed her forehead.
"I'm glad you are going to get help," he said. He looked over at his torn best friend. "Duke, needs our help now too," he whispered close to her ear.
Jaye nodded. "Go to him. I'll be all right."
"We'll go together, you and I," Flint said, smiling at her face.
Jaye nodded again.
"Come on, I'll wheel you there." He took the handles and wheeled her towards the first sergeant.
Duke continued to pace, back and forth, his hands behind his back, his eyes only looking down to the floor, and his face filled with concern and fear,
"Anything?" Flint asked, his hand stroking Jaye's neck in the back, making her relaxed.
"Nothing yet," Duke said looking up. "Why the wheelchair? Are you all right?" he asked in concern when he saw her red face.
"She's fine," Flint said, smiling. "And I just put her in the wheelchair because somehow the couch is missing." He glanced around, finding no trace of the waiting room couch before he turned back towards his best friend, seriously. "Could her nightmares have returned?"
Duke shrugged. He hoped with all his heart that her nightmares had not returned.
"She was just fine and laughing a few minutes before that, trying to cheer me up. It looked more like she was a little sick to her stomach than anything," Jaye told them.
"Maybe Serpentor's injury is poisoning her a little at a time," Flint blurted out without thinking, then felt a sharp jab in his ribs. Jaye!
"Don't talk like that. Doc said he got everything out," Jaye said.
Duke's face paled.
"Sorry, Conrad. I wasn't thinking straight," Flint apologized. "Maybe it's that shrimp you both had that got you both sick during the cruise?"
"That could be it," Jaye said hopefully.
Duke looked up as the door to Scarlett's room opened. "How is she Doc?" he asked worriedly.
Doc looked straight into the first sergeant's eyes, his face seriously. "It's out of my hands." He put an arm on Duke's shoulder, patting it slowly, for support. "You need to brave, you have a tough road ahead of you."
Duke swallowed hard, trying to find the next question that poked in his mind.
Flint reached downwards and took Jaye's hand in his, squeezing it tightly, his grim face, matching hers.
Jaye looked about to cry again.
"Wh...what is it?" Duke asked feeling like his whole world was collapsing.
Doc shook his head. "I've been ordered not to tell you."
"Please Doc," Duke all but begged.
The Joe medic looked from the first sergeant, to the warrant officer, to the covert operative agent and then back to the first sergeant, with a heavy sigh. "I'm sorry, I can't tell you."
Duke's face fell, his heart pounding wildly in his chest, beating with each pulse vigorously, he felt Doc's hand again on his shoulder."Scarlett wants to tell you, herself," Doc said, softly. "I have to call Hawk, he needs to know."
Flint felt Jaye tense under his hand.
Duke nodded and went into the room, closed the door and walked over to Scarlett's bedside. "Hey baby..."
Scarlett's eyes slowly opened, seeing him there, besides her and a faint smile spread on her face. "The floor and I are best friends now," she said weakly.
"Doc won't tell me what's wrong," Duke said desperately.
"I asked him not to tell you," Scarlett replied to him, watching his face grow into a deeper concern.
"Because, I wanted to tell you myself." She looked at him, her eyes watching his blue ones.
Duke felt his whole heart grow heavy, maybe the warrant officer was right, it was probably the poison, running through her veins, slowly creating darkness, or was it her nightmares, resurfacing once again from the depths of her mind? He slowly lowered himself, wrapping his arms around her, holding her tightly in his grasp, his head, laying sideways, and his eyes closed, shutting them tightly, not wanting to let the tear loose. He had to be strong, he had to be brave, for both their sakes. Doc was right, he would have a rough road ahead of him, and he would do everything in his power to make her world bright.
"Conrad?" Scarlett said gently, stroking his blond hair with her fingers.
A tear escaped, hearing her voice in his ear, her sweet voice that filled his life everyday, wanting to hear it forever, her voice, her laughter, her love.
"Conrad," Scarlett repeated, her own voice breaking. "Please, don't cry. We're both fine."
Duke raised his head, looking in her deep blue eyes, seeing a small sparkle in them, through her pale features.
"Yes, Conrad," Scarlett replied, reaching down and taking his hand in hers, trailing them downwards to her stomach, and releasing his there, leaving it there, letting it rise up and down from her breathing. "We."
Duke looked down at the hand then back up at her and a happy grin spread across his face. "A baby?"
She nodded, smiling at him. "It was that late night dessert."
Duke let out a scream.
Scarlett jumped from his yell, her eyes widened, glancing him with concern.
The door burst open and Flint, Jaye holding baby Daniel rushed in.
"What... what happened?" Flint asked bewildered.
Scarlett glanced at the first sergeant, shaking her head, not to tell them yet on the news. "Dash, I think Conrad screamed because of the…the news I gave him," she said, softly.
"Oh, Shana!" Jaye said, getting up off the wheelchair and rushed to her friend's side.
Scarlett looked at her best friend. "It's all right, Allie. Did Doc tell you?"
Flint shook his head. "Doc didn't tell us a single thing, but he did call Hawk. He's coming over later to check on you," he answered, now getting more concerned.
"What is it Shana?!" Jaye asked extremely worried.
Scarlett looked at Duke, before answering her best friend. "Can I hold Daniel, please."
"What?...Oh sure," Jaye said and handed the baby to her.
Scarlett cradled the baby in her arms, looking down at his peaceful face, watching his sleeping eyes, her own eyes shinning at the little child, in her arms. She slowly lowered her head, kissing her godchild on the top of his head, tears suddenly unleashed from her eyes, trailing down her cheeks, and she rested her head on the baby's chest, her soft cries filling the room.
Jaye was immediately by her side. "Oh honey...what is it?"
The redhead lifted her head, another tear sliding down. "I need to tell Daniel something."
Flint sent a worried look towards the first sergeant. Hoping that the counterintelligence agent did not suffer any venom from the snake bite. He closed his eyes, and put his hand on his wife's shoulder.
Jaye put her hand on top of Flint's hand and leaned back against him.
The redhead smiled down at the black haired baby, rocking him gently in her arms. "Daniel, I'm going to tell you a secret," she said to the baby, who continued to sleep. "Soon, you are going to have a new friend."
"OH MY GOD!!! ARE YOU SERIOUS?!" Jaye asked excitedly.
Duke smiled proudly at his achievement.
Flint dropped his jaw. "You are pulling our legs, right?" he said in shock.
Scarlett smiled. "I'm two months," was the only thing she could say.
"Congratulations!!!" Jaye exclaimed and hugged her best friend.
Flint chuckled, shaking Duke's hand. "Looks like Doc was right about the rough road ahead, old buddy."
Scarlett glared at him. "Excuse me?"
The warrant officer gulped, then quickly took the baby from the redhead's arms, grabbed his wife, and headed out of the door. "You can talk to Red later, Allie." Just when a tissue box flew in the air, and hit him on the head, sending the beret on the floor. "Sigh, here we go again." He closed the door behind them, leaving the couple alone.
Duke sat down on the bed next to Scarlett. "It may be a rough road ahead of me but I'm really looking forward to it."
"So am I," Scarlett replied, leaning against him.
"You've made me the happiest man in the world."
"I'm glad that I did, Sergeant Hauser."
He kissed her forehead. "Now get some sleep."
"Is that an order?" Scarlett said, looking up at his face, her eyes shinning at his. She gently touched his cheek.
"It's a request." He made her scoot over and curled up against her in bed. "I'll sleep with you."
"You better," she joked, punching him lightly in the arm, teasing.
Duke leaned down, his lips pressing against hers, tenderly, softly, filling their world with love, and his hand rested on her stomach, feeling their world expand, every second.
Thank you for reading Joe Wedding 2! Both Alison and I had fun writing this. I hope you enjoyed reading the story.
Stay tuned for Bloodlines, 20 years later!!!