Julie sat between the twins in the front seat of their car. Several bags of her things were piled into the backseat. Connor drove while Murphy sat with his arm thrown around her shoulder.
"I'm nervous, guys," she said quietly, holding Pokey in her lap.
"We know," Connor nodded. "But ye'll fall in love with the place once ye see it."
"I still can't believe you guys bought me my own little house," she added, looking back and forth between them. "Are you guys sure you don't want me to pay some kinda rent?"
"Of course not, Julie," Murphy chided gently, half hugging her.
"Besides," Connor added. "It wasn't all that expensive. Just lucky we found it in such a good neighborhood."
"Wanted to make sure ye'd be safe," Murphy informed. "Plus, it has a big kitchen like I promised."
"When Da comes back with Ma, ye'll have ta cook us a big, family meal," Connor smiled.
"Of course," Julie grinned back, clutching Pokey a little tighter.
"And ye know how ye were thinkin' a gettin' a new job," Murphy asked. "Well, there's a sweet, old widowed lady what owns a bakery just down the street. Says she's been needin' some help since her husband just passed."
"I've always wanted to work in a bakery," Julie beamed.
"And so ye shall," Connor replied happily, pulling over to the side of the road. "Ah, here we are."
He stepped out of the car cautiously as Murphy got out, pulling Julie along with him. It was a small brick house which could have barely fit two bedrooms. The yard was small as well, but neatly trimmed with bushes growing around a small porch. There must have been some kind of backyard because there was a fence. By many people's standards, it would have been on the small side. But to Julie, it was one of the most beautiful things she had ever seen.
"We have a surprise fer ye before we show ye inside," Murphy smirked, leaning in close to her.
Connor whistled through his teeth and there was a sudden sound of yapping. Through the open gate in the fence, two puppies came running out to great Julie. To her amazement, they were Irish wolfhound pups. Crouching down to see them better, she realized they must have been from the same litter because the coloring was the same, but with just a tad different features.
"We saw 'em and knew we had to get 'em fer ye," Connor chuckled as the puppies attacked her with their tongues. "Ta keep ye company when we're not around."
Julie giggled as one of the pups practically jumped onto her and licked her furiously. "This one's Murphy!"
The other puppy licked her softly, wagging his tail a little as he sniffed and nuzzled her face. "And Connor!"
"Aye," Conner smiled. "That's because the pup knows how ta treat a lady."
"Well, see who's gettin' more attention," Murphy retorted playfully, jabbing his brother's side a little with his elbow.
The two puppies started batting at each other, until they began to roll around in the grass, playfighting. Julie glanced up at the brothers. "Just like their namesakes."
The twins both smiled sheepishly at her before grabbing some bags out of the backseat. All three went about the house, setting things up for Julie to move in. Murphy had been right, the kitchen was rather big for the small house, perfect for if she ever felt like making a meal, with its own little dining room off to one side. Most of everything was furnished already. Apparently one of the reasons the house had been so cheap was that the owner had died while in the hospital. The family needed to money to pay for the medical bills and was willing to sell cheap with everything left inside. Leave it to the boys to find a way to help two people in one fell swoop.
The bedroom had a queen size bed, which of course was call for a joke or two from Murphy. After a few hours, everything was ready for Julie to begin her stay. She walked with the boys back out to their car, the puppies running around their feet.
"We're sorry we have to go so soon," Connor said remorsefully. "But we've got some business ta tend ta."
"Otherwise, we'd be stayin' the night with ye," Murphy added, no sign of teasing in his voice.
"It's okay, boys," Julie smiled, still holding Pokey in one hand.
"Either way," Murphy continued. "We'll be by tomorrow mornin' ta check on ye."
"Aye," Connor smiled. "And we'll bring ye some breakfast so ye won't have ta break in yer new kitchen just yet."
Julie smiled sadly. "I'm going to miss you guys."
"And we'll miss havin' ye around the apartment," Murphy nodded. "But we're only a short bus ride away. Soon ye'll have yer own car and ye can come and visit us any time ye want. Ye still have the key to the place."
"And ye know we'll be over here at least once or twice a week to play cards with ye," Connor winked. "Or maybe take ye out ta the pub."
"I'll make keys for you guys too, for whenever you want to come over and crash," Julie smiled. She brought Pokey up to her chest and ran her fingers over the cross at her neck. Then quietly she asked "With the things that you two do… would you leave town without telling me?"
"If ever we should have to leave town," Connor assured. "Ye'd be the first and only person ta know."
"And that's because we'd be comin' to collect ye," Murphy added, smirking. "We won't let ye stray too far from us now."
"I'm part of the flock," she smiled softly.
Both brothers looked taken aback. Connor asked "What was that ye said, Julie dear?"
"That I'm part of the flock," she repeated. "When I first started living with you guys, I found this prayer written on a piece of paper. Oh, which reminds me!"
Julie opened the pocket on Pokey's back and pulled out two small wooden plaques. She handed one to each brother. Burned into the wood in intricate letters was the prayer she had found. "I had these made for you, as a little thank you gift."
"This is our family prayer," Murphy said, sounding astonished as he ran his fingers over the wood.
"There was only one other person outside the family that we had thought about telling it to," Connor added. "But he was killed before we could teach him."
"Oh," Julie said softly. "I'm sorry, I didn't know."
The brothers looked at each other for a moment, then both nodded slightly. Murphy looked up at her with a soft smile. "Ye've earned the right ta know it."
"I had memorized it," she said ruefully. "Only because it sounded so pretty."
Conner tucked a finger under her chin and raised her face to look at him. "Then we want ye ta pray it every night before ye go ta sleep."
"And every morning when I wake up," Julie nodded.
"There's a good lass," Connor grinned, running his fingers through her hair before pressing his lips softly against hers.
He stayed there close to her longer than was casual, but she wouldn't bring herself to push him away. When he finally backed up, she gave him a gentle smile.
"Ah, now ye've done it," Murphy interjected. "Now ye've got ta kiss me as nice ta make it even."
Julie giggled as Murphy pulled her into his arms and settled his lips over hers. It wasn't as long, but she couldn't say it wasn't as nice. Giving each a lingering hug, she stepped back to let them get in the car.
"We'll see ye tomorrow, Julie," Connor called from the driver's side.
"Oh and one last thing," Murphy added. "We'll be taken ye ta get inked tomorrow afternoon."
"What," Julie asked surprised. "You mean a tattoo?"
"Aye," Murphy nodded. "Just a small one."
"But why," she continued.
"Well, we have 'truth' and 'justice,'" Connor said, leaning over Murphy to point to both their hands. A wide grin crossed his face. "Ye'll have ta be our 'American Way.'"
Julie started to laugh, remembering the remark she had made when they first met. Then, the boys were pulling away from the curb. She raised a hand in farewell, both brothers sticking a hand out the window to wave good-bye as they drove down the street. When they were out of sight, Julie clutched Pokey harder to her chest, running her fingers over her Celtic cross as she walked down the little pathway to her new house, the two Irish pups following closely at her feet.
A/N: Thank you so much to everyone who has read and reviewed. You've kept the story going this long. I kind of have an idea for a sequel, but it hasn't completely developed in my head yet. However, I do know that it will have a higher rating, if you know what I mean. Please let me know if it's worth the writing. ;) Hopefully, you'll all read the other BDS fics to come out of my twisted head! XD