Multiplication- Chapter Two
Isabelle: I try not to listen to my mind if I can possibly avoid it. Thanks for your review. You're right- reviews do make posting fun.
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Thanks to all ye who reviewed. Made me less nervous about the whole business. It seems the posting of fanfiction was a thing only easy when I was young and stupid.
'So Fi figured out you're actually pretty keen on this baby business huh?' Sam seemed amused as he handed Michael the binoculars.
'Mmhmm,' confirmed Michael, peering at the building. 'They got building security?'
'Sure do. Two patrols, changing shifts on an alternating schedule. Closed circuit cameras, the whole shebang. You're gonna need a legit reason for getting in there if you wanna have a look around.'
Michael groaned. 'This was meant to be a quick job. I gotta take Fi to the hospital later.'
'It's a narrow window. This is your last chance to figure out some of the people Carla might be working with, Mike,' Sam warned him.
Michael sighed heavily. 'I know Sam.' He thought for a long moment, considering his options. 'We'll have to try again later and hope we can catch wind of another break like this one.'
Sam nodded in acceptance but Michael could see in his eyes that he didn't think it was likely. Hell, Michael knew it wasn't. Still. It didn't matter. They were finding out the sex of the baby today. He wasn't going to let the burn notice take that from him.
Fi was just coming down the stairs as he got back to the loft, having dropped Sam back at his apartment. Michael got out of the car and quickly moved to help her down the last few steps.
'Weren't you investigating a lead on Carla?' she asked, accepting the help without comment.
'Yup. Come to drive you to your appointment though. They say pregnant women shouldn't be jacking cars past their first trimester.'
Fiona smiled a radiant smile. Standing on tip-toe, she placed a quick kiss on his lips. By the time Michael had recovered from his surprise, she was already getting in the car. He shrugged it off and went to do the same.
'Michael, we hear your girlfriend's pregnant. This is wonderful news!'
Michael's eyes narrowed at the familiar voice on the phone. Fi's flowing sun dresses largely hid the pregnancy when she was out and about, but Carla must have finally caught on. He found he really didn't like the rush of protective anger that flowed through him at the mere mention of Fi by Carla. 'It's none of your business,' was all he said though, voice brisk and controlled.
'Of course, of course,' came the light reply. 'Let's hope there's no need for that to change.'
Michael gave a tight smile, certain that she could see him even in this crowded shopping centre. 'Careful,' was all he said. 'You don't even want to think about going there. Really. If you want a preview of what would happen, look up Quatz-ksier. It was a village in Afghanistan. The leader made some threats I didn't like.' He hung up on her. If she really wanted his cooperation, she'd ring back.
That evening, Fi picked up on his jumpiness. 'What's eating at you?' she asked as he cut himself for the second time chopping carrots for dinner.
Michael stopped swearing and ran his finger under the tap. 'Nothing,' he muttered, not meeting her eyes.
'Don't lie to me Michael. I can read you like a book.'
Michael couldn't help a small smile at that before growing serious again. 'Carla's found out about the baby,' he told her.
Fiona shrugged, unconcerned. 'She was going to eventually. It's not a problem.'
'How so?' retorted Michael dubiously.
'Well, if she sends someone after me to threaten you, I'll just shoot them.'
Michael raised an eyebrow, unimpressed.
'Or…' sighed Fiona, 'hide quietly somewhere they can't find me and avoid overexerting myself.' She really hadn't taken well to all the restrictions pregnancy placed on her.
Michael felt much better after that. Lingering worries still plagued him, but he was better able to remind himself that Fi could look after herself. Carla seemed to get the message too, and didn't mention Fi again.
After the six month point, Fi grew rapidly.
'I look like a whale,' she moaned, waddling towards the fridge to get yoghurt.
Michael looked wide-eyed at Sam, who held up his hands as if to say leave me out of this. Michael tried for the truth. 'You look beautiful,' he told her. It was true, to his mind. Pregnancy lent her a softness that was endearing.
Fi glared at him, unconvinced. 'Don't lie just to make me feel better,' she snapped.
'Man, that is going to be one dangerous baby,' chuckled Sam. He regretted it a moment later as they both turned to glare at him. 'Hey, just saying is all!' he defended himself.
'If pregnancy hormones make me shoot you, I won't be held responsible,' Fiona warned him.
'Duly noted,' agreed Sam, backing away defensively.
It was a long and convoluted series of circumstances that led to them hiding out from gangsters in an abandoned warehouse. It had been several hours but they couldn't budge until the police finally made their move and cleaned out the dock area. As it was, Michael had to just cross his fingers that no one would stumble across their hiding place before then.
He climbed back down from his perch on top of a pile of crates, right up by the ceiling. It gave a good view of the door and the only window- early warning should someone decide to search this warehouse. If that happened, they'd hollowed out a hiding place inside one of the storage crates.
Fiona was resting on the small palate of blankets he'd scraped together. He scrambled down to sit beside her and let out a silent sigh. 'The watch walks past every 10 minutes or so. There's no way we're getting out of here without getting seen.'
'We might if I could move faster than a waddle,' muttered Fiona. Her voice sounded strained and Michael looked at her sharply. 'How long?' he asked.
'Been having contractions for a couple of hours. They're starting to speed up.'
'Oh no. Not now. Not here,' he started anxiously.
'Don't exactly have a choice here, Michael,' she replied.
Michael grit his teeth and glanced towards the door. She was right. They were well-and-truly pinned down. 'Damn damn damn. Uh…OK. Breathe- remember to breathe.'
The look she gave him would have blistered paint off a wall. Michael grimaced and decided this might go better if he didn't try to give advice. He thanked his lucky stars that he'd read up on birthing techniques. It was a spy habit that had stood him in good stead to know what he was getting in to- he just hadn't expected to actually need the information.
'Are you comfortable?' he asked, stroking her hair back from her forehead.
'Well I'm about to give birth to our son in a warehouse on the Miami docks. What do you think?' she snapped. A moment later she squeezed her eyes tight shut. Michael could actually see the contraction ripple across her distended abdomen. He fought down the panic and tried to remember what he'd read.
It was another 45 minutes before the baby began to crown. Michael held her hand and whispered soothing words to her. Fiona was drenched in sweat, hair sticking to her forehead as she panted and strained. She was squeezing his hand tight enough that the bones were starting to grind together, but she didn't cry out. Any noise and they'd have the mob on top of them.
It seemed to take forever. In a final heaving effort Michael was holding a newborn, wrapped in his jacket and blinking up at him.
'He's not crying. Why isn't he crying?' moaned Fiona, lolling back against the blankets.
'It's OK, he's fine. You did it,' Michael told her, looking down in wonder at the life he was holding. He did his best to wipe the infant down and shuffled up to sit next to the new mother. 'See? Here he is.'
Fiona's eyes lit up through the exhaustion and she reached out a trembling hand to stroke a gentle finger across her son's cheek. 'He's beautiful,' she breathed.
'He is,' agreed Michael. Cradling his son against his chest with one arm, he helped Fiona to sit up against the crates behind her and handed her the baby.
'The police are never going to believe this,' he muttered, looking at the scene before him. Fiona was speaking softly to the baby in her arms, her hair still stuck in strands to her face by drying sweat. Michael quickly clambered to the top of the pile of crates and checked the entrance. He was fairly certain he kill anyone that tried to hurt either of the people just below him.
When he climbed back down, Fiona had slipped the shoulder off her dress and was giving their son his first drink. 'He needs a name,' she told him, watching the baby nurse.
Michael raised his eyebrows. They'd discussed a few but hadn't been able to decide on any. 'Born in a warehouse hiding from gangsters. He's setting up to have an interesting life.'
Fiona smiled tiredly. 'I hope so. Wouldn't want our son to be boring.'
'With your genes? I don't think there's any risk of that.'
'Theo,' said Fiona suddenly.
'Theo?' repeated Michael, trying out the sound of the word. 'Theo,' he confirmed. He reached out a hand and stroked he son's head. 'Welcome to the world kiddo.'
Thought I'd best end in there. There's half a sequel, but it's lacking in inspiration. It's more to do with how baby's parents decide they may actually kinda like each other.