Disclaimer: I own nothing.

Author's Note: It had been my furtive hope that upon Sea Patrol returning for Season 4 this year that my creative juices would once again flow and HMAS Baby? would be headed for completion. However, due to a number of factors, including the large character changeover and a lack of motivation, I find myself unable to sit down and churn out chapters for this fic.

That's not to say that I am going to leave you stranded. I've always known the general direction my story would be taking, and so to wrap up HMAS Baby?, I am going to provide one long summary in this chapter to complete this story. I know it's not ideal, but hopefully your minds will be able to expand on these little snippets of scenes, and who knows, maybe one day I'll come back and fix it up once again.

One last thing, as this story was halted and contemplated in the mindset of Season 3, most scenes will have the Season 3 characters, but feel free to exchange these characters for Season 4 characters. And since it has been a while since the last update, you might need to read the first 29 chapters as a refresher!

And so, for the last time...f


New Years Eve:

Mike and Kate are saying farewell to the last hours of 2009 from the daybed on Kate's veranda, having decided against going to the fireworks. Mike holds Kate close as they enjoy a comfortable silence. When he does begin to speak, Kate's responses are minimal at best. When he finally builds up to the point of asking Kate to marry him, he discovers that she is asleep. "Happy New Year," he tells himself wryly before he picked up the love of his life and took her to bed.

The following morning, Kate woke up groggily to the sensation of someone brushing hair back from her face. "Whazzamatter?" she manages to mumble out as she opens her eyes and sees Mike decked out in his navy coveralls. "Never mind," said Mike as he pressed a kiss to her forehead and ran his fingers through her hair. "Go back to sleep."

Mike leaves the room and Kate struggles to sleep as she feels like she is missing something.

Side-tracked:

Shore leave sees Mike on the bridge on the boat as the other sailors are on the beach of a nearby island playing rugby. Mike's attention is on the ring nestled in the box in front of him and so he fails to hear his buffer's arrival until he pops up at his shoulder. He is then teased.

Fun and games is cut short when they receive orders to assist Gilligan Winmarley – a teenager sailing around Australia solo who has run into some trouble. (Gilligan's boat is called Hail Dorothy, named, as he explains to the crew, after his father's love for The Wizard of Oz. "It's was either that or 'D'oh', so..." Gilligan's own nickname is Biggles as he is an airforce brat, both Mum and Dad taking to the skies.) Gilligan's request to use the onboard internet is met by Santa telling him that his 'updating and tweeting' would have to wait a little longer. Someone asking Santa how on earth he knew about these social networking tools brings to light that Santa is a father of two teenagers himself, fifteen year old Bernadette – who would be seen dead without her phone – and eleven year Twain, "whose computer skills surpassed mine a long time ago".

Gilligan is assisted and then sent on his way as Hammersley thengoes to assist a boat with engine troubles called The Luck of the Irish. The boat wasn't moving and couldn't be raised on radio, and so Mike sent out a boarding party containing Santa, Buffer, 2 Dads, Swain and Charge. Boarding, they found a portly man named Daniel Matlock (Lockie), leaving the bridge. He explains the boating issue and calls up his fellow sailor named Manny.

Manny isn't the guy they were expecting though as a hot young thing comes out of the hatch in tiny denim shorts, canvas shoes and a midriff-showing singlet, oil all over. 2 Dads trips over himself to assist, but is ordered to the bridge. Charge teases 2 Dads when he is the one ordered below to assist.

Returning to Cairns that night, Mike planned a dinner for two at a fancy restaurant, but they never made it as Kate was sick as a dog. Looking at her sitting propped up against the pillows later that night, it also didn't seem like a good time to propose again.

Kate was feeling better the next morning, but he doesn't get a chance as Mike gets a phone call in the morning that his sister Abigail has given birth: a son named Tadgh Oskar. Mike opened the shower door to share the news with Kate.

Meeting Krystal and Tarquin:

Chapter begins with Kate lamenting that is lonely. She doesn't fit in with the navy sailors' mothers group. She'd gone once tof the same one that Swain's wife Sally went to, but felt herself to be a world apart from it all. These women were mostly stay at home mums whose existence seemed to exist solely around their children. She felt so very different.

At the shops not far from the base one day, she stood in line at the checkout behind a young woman and a young boy. Wondering at the delay up front, she inched forward to see what it was. The lady in front of her was $5 short on her groceries and trying to decide what to ditch as an impatient teenage cashier looked bored and wanted the transaction to hurry up.

Kate stepped up and took $5 from her purse and gave it to the cashier. The woman looked at her with gratitude, but Kate waved it off with a smile. Her own groceries paid for, she picked up her bag and stepped out of the shop. She looked up from her receipt to find the young woman standing in front of her, the little boy running around in circles around her. "Thank you so much. It was quite embarrassing," she said, her cheeks flushed. "If you can give me your address, I can..." Kate shrugged off her desire to pay the $5 back and they introduced themselves to each other. Kate is surprised to discover that the woman is Krystal Kschessinskaya, 2 Dads' partner, and the little boy is Tarquin, their son. 2 Dads had spoken to Krystal about the old XO, so she had some knowledge of Kate.

After Krystal scolds Tarquin for venturing too far, both women exchange numbers with a promise to catch up some time. It was a lonely life with a man at sea and not fitting in.

The proposal – finally:

In early February, the Hammersley crew rescued three people from a recently sunken ship: Jed Marchello, Lara Gallagher and Badger (George) Gallagher were brought on board with various injuries; Lara a broken leg and blood loss, Badger a broken collarbone whilst Jed flittered about trying to make sure his fiancée and soon to be brother-in-law were okay. He had a concussion, but swore he felt fine.

Jed chattered with Mike at one point that he had finally gotten up the courage to ask Lara to marry him last night. It had taken him five years to get to this point! Mike felt himself in a similar situation. Unfortunately, Jed was the person who took a turn for the worse on the way home. Swain was worried about Lara, Bomber was working with Badger and so when Jed suddenly went into convulsions, they were both ill-prepared.

As Badger and Lara looked on in horror, Jed died. Badger took his sister into his arms as she cried for her fiancée – now deceased. Mike popped down to see them as they got closer to port. Swain had sedated a distraught Lara and Badger sat traumatised next to her. When the captain entered, Badger looked up in pain. "He was a good guy, probably the only one who I was willing to allow to date my sister." Fiercely brushing away tears, he questioned Mike. "You got someone waiting for you at home?"

Mike nodded. "Don't ever take them for granted," said Badger. "Life's only fleeting." This made up Mike's mind and so when the Hammersley pulled into the port and he found Kate waiting for him at the docks, five and a half months pregnant and hand raised to shield her eyes from the sun, he took Badger's words to heart and dashed off. He doesn't care that the entire crew is watching and it's not just the two of them as he'd planned. The timing felt right and so with his hand firmly gripping a little box he'd carried with him for the past six weeks, he crossed the gangway.

Kate turned to him with a smile, a facial expression that slowly changed to shock when Mike got down on one knees, still clad in navy overalls, in front of her and opens up a box to reveal a ring. There were heaps of people around, but in that moment, it was just the two of them. Mike had a whole speech planned, full of love and other stuff, but now that he was finally on bent knee, only one question really mattered. "Kate, will you marry me?"

His heart skipped a beat when he received no response, but when he saw the tears of joy running down her cheeks and her happy laugh and cry of 'yes', he breathed once again. Sliding the ring onto her finger, he stood and pulled his new fiancée toward him, bracketing her face before slipping his hands around her neck to pull her closer to him as her arms snaked around his own neck. Both ignored the catcalls of the crew now lining the boat as they kiss deeply, part and then kiss again.

It's only when they finally part and come back to earth they realise they have an audience. Resting his hand on Kate's swollen abdomen, Mike raised his hand in cheer as their crewmates shouted out congratulations.

Baby kicks:

Mike has been away at sea for a week, and in that week, baby Flynn became very active. The first night that Mike was home, they lay in bed together, his hands firmly plastered to Kate's six month pregnant belly. He is excited with each movement, but she's having none of it. After a week of poking and prodding, the novelty had swiftly worn off! She covers his hand with hers.

It is in a moment like this that they decide to move in together.

The team helps Mike move his things into Kate's place, and at the end of the day, Mike sat comfortably on the lounge as she curled up beside him. Kate wondered at the rightness of it all. Mike had a drink in hand as he watched the news, his other arm firmly around her. As if sensing she's watching him, Mike turned to Kate. "You okay?"

"More than okay," replied Kate with a smile. Reaching up to bracket his cheek with her hand, she whispered "come here" and pulled him in for a kiss. This leads to them both shifting on the couch as the kissing intensifies. Kate is on the bottom and Mike is on the top as she unbuttons his shirt, itching to have her hands on his bare chest. Careful not to rest his weight on her, Mike leaned down to kiss her. Parting, she bit her lower lip as she looked up at him. Tugging at his shirt collar, she pulls him down closer. "I love you," she said for the first time, looking deep into his eyes.

Buffer's birthday party:

Mike is seated on the lounge with a beer in hand at the party, whilst the six and a half month pregnant Kate is seated in the corner of the lounge, her legs pressed against Mike's as she talked with Nikki. Mike had his hand firmly on Kate's knee as he talked with a few people in the opposite direction.

One topic of conversation that comes up is that in a recent ultrasound, baby Flynn had their legs crossed and so it was still unknown if Kate and Mike were having a boy or a girl. For some reason, they both felt it was going to be a girl.

Aunty Jan visits:

Not long after the party, Kate's Aunty Jan – her mother's sister Jeannette – visits. It had started off as such a lovely day – morning sickness was clear for day two, Mike was due home this afternoon for 36 hours shore leave and the house was clean. She'd been home from work for ten minutes before there was a knock on the door...

Sitting on the couch tiredly, her bump very prominent on her small frame, Kate was subject to criticisms. "I sincerely doubt your ability to be a mother – your own mother wasn't much of one either. Guess the poor kid will have to make do", "It doesn't surprise me at all to find you here barefoot and pregnant", "Always knew you wouldn't amount to much. You were this scrawny little thing. Never much beauty", and "You should be thankful that someone agreed to marry you". Kate sat there as her self esteem was torn to shreds by her vindictive aunt, unable, as always, to defend herself. She didn't even get a chance to tell her aunt that she was actually a Lieutenant in the Navy.

When Mike arrived home, his bag riding high on his shoulders as he unlocked the door, Kate hated herself for it, but she jumped up from the lounge and ran for the door 'like a good little housewife'. Mike knew that this wasn't "Kate" and drops his bag in the hall as he gripped her shoulders worriedly. "Is everything okay? The baby? You?"

Kate struggled to find the right words to explain when her aunt, fed up with waiting (and having snooped around enough), entered the hall. "Katie!" Mike felt his fiancée tense in his arms. Firstly, she hated that nickname with a vengeance. (The one time he had called her that, there'd been explosions.) Secondly, it would appear that this woman with the shrill voice was not a welcome addition to this household if Kate's grip on him was anything to go by.

Noting that Kate still wasn't letting go of him, he squeezed her gently as the newcomer locked her eyes on him. Rushing down the hall, fixing her hair and attire as she does so, the aunt pounces – literally – as Mike wrapped his arms around Kate's tense form. "I'm Jan. Kate's aunt. Not that you'd think though, I know. I look so young," laughed the aunt, giggling flirtatiously and fluttering her eyelashes at Mike.

Jeanette McGregor was at the house for two tense days before she left. In that time, she mentioned Kate's mother twice: both times, Mike saw Kate lockdown emotionally and he reached out his hand to grasp hers. Her aunt brought out unwanted feelings of doubt within her and combined with the upcoming work debacle, she was feeling very vulnerable.

The fight:

The whole reason that Kate had been placed on the Disciplinary Committee was to assist the Commander in fishing out corruptive behaviour. It turns out being navy officers placing 'sex bets', making bets on how many female sailors they could get into their bed. Kate blows it wide open when she finds Rachael huddled up in a ball in her office, brutally beaten. Kate approached the young woman in concern and touched her shoulder. She was ill-prepared for the hand that punched out in resistance, making contact with her eye, and the scared look in Rachael's eyes. "Not again," she whispered before she curled up again.

Kate snagged Karleigh Walters' attention. "We've got to tell McLaren," her workmate said. "How do we know he didn't do it," said Kate. Karleigh gave her a look. "Asshole McLaren may be a bastard, but he's made it clear that Rachael's hands-off."

Trying to get the story of what happened out of Rachael later, she's reluctant to share. "You won't believe me," she sniffled. She finally gives up a name: Lieutenant Commander Terrance "Polly" Farmer. The media fallout of this is huge: a man actually sitting on the Disciplinary Committee panel was responsible for the Sex Bets case. (When Kate – tasked by the Commander – traced his files back, she found numerous examples of petty punishments handed down to those who were in his ring and complaints that just seemed to 'disappear'.)

When Mike arrived home to find Kate with a black eye (accidental courtesy of Rachael) he blew a fuse and wanted to know why the hell he hadn't been told. Kate argued back equally angry that he was never home. "I'm fine, the baby's fine and so why should I have to tell you then and there?" she yelled. "It wasn't like you could turn the ship around!"

A pregnant Kate yells at Mike, blaming him for leaving her (amongst other things). Back on the boat, Mike approached Swain – another husband – wanting to know how he handled it, leaving the woman he loved all the time. Mike also made a comment to Charge about it, but the mechanic raised his hands. "Don't ask me mate, I divorced my woman."

Arriving home later that afternoon, tentatively letting himself in, Mike certainly wasn't prepared for when Kate threw herself at him and cried. Not long after, Kate went to a conference in Melbourne about women in the workforce and Mike had a taste of what Kate felt when he came home to an empty house for shore leave.

Palladian Point:

The Australian Federal Police joins Hammersley as part of a drug bust. The target? Palladian Point, a venue that changed every time; boats meeting at a highly secretive location whereby the boats were tied together, temporary bridges attached between each boat, before the booze and drugs were dished out to all interested parties. When the party's done, all they do is pull down the bridges and then chug home.

No one on board Hammersley had ever heard of Palladian Point, and so got their first eyeful when they came across four boats tied up together: Eureka, Danube, Nimbus and Asher with flimsy rope bridges between each deck and a square of wood attached to each bow as a 'dance' platform.

Two RHIBs are dispatched: Mike leading one, Buffer the other and Santa has the ship. The party continues on oblivious until AFP Agents Greene and Horley make their presence known. They're lead to the person in charge – Loretta Willcock – as Hammersley spots another boat incoming. On this boat – Rogue Trader – is Mike's brother Tommy.

Loretta wasn't very forthcoming with information and so Mike plucked his brother from his boat and they head back for the Hammersley. The personable Tommy "just looking for a good time" Flynn flirted with the ladies and chatted with the men onboard. When Mike stepped into the seniors mess, you could see that they were brothers. Unnecessary personnel were removed from the room and soon it was only Agents Greene and Horley, Mike, Santa and Swain left.

Tommy was reluctant to share information but when Mike mentioned potential criminal charges he woke up. "Wow bro. I didn't do the drugs. Just enjoyed the drinking. And the ladies. Nothing more than that."

"Well in that case you have nothing to worry about then do you," said Mike firmly. "But in the spirit of cooperation, spill." Tommy looked ready to object but a look from his older brother changed his mind. "What do you want to know?"

"Where are the drugs coming from?" demanded Greene. "We know they're water bound, but we need more information."

"All I know is that if Lori needs supplies, she calls Tom-Tom. A boat comes out and then voila, she's stocked."

"What boat?"

"Usually it's the Moby Dick."

"What can you tell us about it?"

"Ah, big and white?"

"That describes pretty much every boat on the seas," said Santa dryly. "You got anything else to add?"

"Once it was a different boat," said Tommy. "It was a weird feminine name starting with C. Cheyenne, Chelsea – Clothilde?"

"Clementine?" prompted Mike.

"Yep that's it."

"Boss?" asked Swain as he turned to Mike. "I know Swain."

Talking with the AFP later, Mike filled them in on the last time they had seen the elusive Clementine – a boat that couldn't be found in any records afterwards. Tommy joined his brother on the bridge after the conversation.

"So how's the soon-to-be wife? She backing out yet?"

"Not funny," said Mike. "No, wedding's still on. You do remember that you're the best man right?"

"Sure, sure," laughed the younger Flynn. "Got the suit and everything ready. Your man Buffer and I have been having some words about a Bucks Night."

"No," said Mike turning to his brother and all the sailors in the bridge. "No."

"Oh yes boss," said Buffer. "Oh yes."

Meanwhile, Kate had her own pre-wedding surprise when her ex-boyfriend Captain Jim Roth was one of the witnesses in a disciplinary hearing she was presiding over. The SAS officer stuck around after he had given his evidence and then approached the obviously pregnant Kate, wanting to know how she was. She gave him a very vague description of the circumstances of the past seven months, but reassured the concerned man that the baby's father was sticking around. As Kate left, Roth suspected he knew just who the baby's father was.

Wedded:

Mike and seven and a half month pregnant Kate were married onboard Hammersley over the Easter long weekend. The wedding went off without a hitch, and the reception was a huge bash with family and friends. The team also meets Santa's wife and two kids for the first time.

They jet off for a weeklong honeymoon later that night. Part of the honeymoon conversation finds our newlyweds and parents-to-be sitting in the spa, Kate's back against Mike's chest as she revels in the weightlessness the water provides. They discuss names for their unborn baby. The gender is still uncertain as the baby still won't cooperate at ultrasound times. "Stubborn just like her mother," retorted Mike. "Determined, just like her father," shot back Kate. Both looked at each other in the eye. "Lordy we're going to have our hands full."

Michaela and Katelyn are suggested as names, then quickly discarded. Marguerite was briefly considered, before Kate suggested Emma. Mike made that Jemma and then Kate had her preference of Daneika. Brainstorming boys names was a futile exercise as both parents were certain that they were having a girl.

Returning to "reality" once again after a week away, Mike didn't wear his wedding ring when on duty, but he took great joy in slipping it on when home time beckoned.

Emergency babysitting:

Krystal – 2 Dads' partner – works as a Russian translator for books and texts. (Her grandfather moved to Australia from Russia and she grew up surrounded by the language.)

[Bio: Krystal was the proverbial 'good kid' – the only child of a loving mother and father – until her much loved father died in a car crash and her mother fell into the depths of drug and alcohol despair. Unable to cope, Krystal headed for the streets. She met up with 2 Dads there and both were required to grow up quickly when she fell pregnant at 18 years of age (Leo being 19). She snapped out of the street life quickly, but Leo can't, continuing to steal and otherwise be a nuisance in the eyes of the law. When Leo was caught and given the ultimatum – jail or navy – Krystal was happy with the navy choice, for him, herself and their three year old son. Her job wasn't dependent on her being based in one place, and so she followed him wherever he was posted.]

Mid-April, Krystal has to be in Melbourne for a conference relating to translating. 2 Dads had requested – and been granted – shore leave three months earlier, but come the time for him to be home, Hammersley was still at sea and there was no way for 2 Dads to get home in time before Krystal's flight.

Kate answered Krystal's emergency babysitting call and so ten year old Tarquin is dropped off at Kate's as Krystal runs out the door for her flight. When Hammersley docked later that night, 2 Dads knew that he was late and in all sorts of trouble: Krystal should be in Melbourne by now and he has no idea if she made it. Checking his mobile, he found a message from his partner explaining what had happened. Message finished, he saw his CO making his way over to him: Kate has Tarquin and thus they're going to travel to his place together.

When 2 Dads arrives at their house, the heavily pregnant Kate and Mike are offered quite a different view of their resident prankster and all-round asshole. Tarquin is asleep in the spare room when 2 Dads enters it. Kneeling down to the little boy's level, he brushed his son's hair from his face. "Hey Tarq," he said softly. "Time to go buddy."

Tarquin groans and doesn't awaken, producing a face much like his father when he is put off. Pulling back the sheets, 2 Dads hoisted Tarquin up into his arms. The boy wrapped his arms and legs around 2 Dads' body like a monkey and burrows his head into his father's neck. 2 Dads entered the lounge room with his sleeping son in his arms as he approached Mike and Kate. Putting his hand out, he shook the hands of both as he expressed his profound thanks before leaving in the waiting taxi.

The reason Hammersley had been late docking and 2 Dads was late getting home? Taking advantage of Lockyer's invitation to stop by whenever, a visit to Tomlasin Bay has Buffer spotting the Clementine moored to the jetty. 2 Dads had also needed to fight off the unwanted attentions of Dale Lockyer. They also meet Gordon Lockyer's two henchmen – Guy and Thad – for the first time. They cannot do anything, instead leaving and advising AFP of this interesting development.

Godparents:

Kate is exhausted and heading for her ninth month as she lies on the couch. Mike walks in, picks up her legs to place them on his lap and seats himself. He rubs her thigh as she has one hand behind her head and the other on her considerably pregnant belly. A discussion begins about prospective godparents: Nav has and Buffer are high up on the list, but there's also the thought of Mike's family.

Promise Me:

"Promise me," said Kate softly.

"Mm?" asked Mike, not quite sure he understood.

"Promise me you'll be there." He got what she was talking about.

"I'll be there."

"Good. I don't think that I could do this alone."

Little did Mike Flynn know that he would come very close to breaking his promise...

Tomlasin Bay:

With their frequent interactions with Tomlasin Bay and the Lockyers, when orders come through from above to head to Tomlasin Bay once again to pick up a Dr Quinlan Hyde, Mike's instincts are on alert. Arriving at Tomlasin Bay, Dr Hyde is not where he should be. All that remains is a cryptic message: Help Me.

With the equipment interference that Lockyer runs, radios would be useless and so Mike orders two parties: Buffer, Charge, 2 Dads and RO were tasked with getting past security and getting the interceptors down, whilst Mike, Bomber, Spider and Swain would head for Quinlan Hyde. Nav had the ship and Santa was responsible for ensuring no ships made a dash out of the bay.

As Mike steps off the RHIB, a phone call is made to NAVCOM HQ. Lieutenant Kate McGregor has gone into labour. This is relayed to Hammersley and Nav receives the information. With radio communication impossible, they cannot get the message to the CO that his wife is in labour.

Mike is kidnapped.

Swain and Bomber manage to not get caught but are stuck with no communication means to tell the other team. Unable to help their boss yet without risking capture to themselves, Swain heads inland to the communications hub and Bomber remains on watch.

Mike has been taken by Guy – Gordon's Henchman Number One – and thrown into a room. His shoulder hurts as it hits hard wall. Radio doesn't work and he grips his shoulder as he walked the room, looking for any sign of a way out. He discovers that Quinlan Hyde is being held in the room next to him but he can't do much yet as the door opens. (Mike wasn't to know yet, but Lockyer had been watching Hammersley's every move since they entered the Bay in a special room lined with security screens.)

Meanwhile, 2 Dads and RO are working furiously to get the communications down. There was a moment when a guard stumbled upon them, but Buffer knocked him out and ordered them to continue working. Interference finally down after a well placed explosion, radios are working again. Santa comes over the line wanting a SITREP before Swain interrupts urgently. "We have a problem."

Under orders from Santa, Charge, 2 Dads and RO remain at the communications hub, whilst the others meet up with Swain and then head to where Mike was last seen, Bomber maintaining surveillance. They see a man later identified as Quinlan Hyde being dragged out and tied to a post of sorts in the middle of a crop field. Mike is dragged out next by Guy and strapped to another pole. Hammersley's plan of attack fails when Lockyer's cavalry arrives.

Everything is going as Lockyer planned it.

Guy gives Mike one last punch before he joins his side and a gunfight ensues. Bomber is the smallest and fastest, and so Buffer gives the order for her to free their CO. Gordon Lockyer has a very low opinion of woman. He had seen Bomber run across the crop field on his television screen, but not seen her as a threat that he needed to be worried about. He didn't see it as something to worry his henchmen about and turned his attention away. Moments later, Bomber has the unconscious Mike free.

Buffer is shot as the gunfight in the crop comes to an end. Injured Buffer, Spider, Bomber, Hyde, unconscious Mike and Swain fade into the bushes only to discover that they can't raise Charge, 2 Dads and RO on the radio. These three had encountered Henchman Number Two. Thad was accompanied by two men who take control of the three Navy sailors and throw them into an empty shed nearby, stripping them of their weapons and radios.

Torture is about to commence when suddenly Briony Lockyer – Gordon's daughter – steps into the room, a hard look on her face. "Pat, Liam. Step outside," she orders. Both men looked to Thad for approval before doing so. Briony locks them out and then turns back. Charge and 2 Dads had bolted when she turned, but Thad anticipated it and hit them hard. 2 Dads got a bloody nose and Charge was winded. A gun is trained on them all. A gunshot sounds, but it is Thad who falls.

"Idiot," said Briony as she looked over the fallen comrade. "I had it all under control." The three men looked at her with a mixture of awe and suspicion. "I want to speak to your captain," ordered the young woman, her voice clear. Charge exchanged a look with 2 Dads and RO and then carefully reached for the radio. "Alpha 82 to Hammersley. Come in."

Briony spoke to Santa offering information about the going ons at Tomlasin Bay in return for witness protection. The reason for it? Her father had ignored her one time too many when he pushed her incompetent twin brother to stop having parties and selling drugs and think seriously about preparing to take over the reins of the family empire, instead of seeing that she – his daughter – was a much better pick to run his empire. (Her brother was the one supplying drugs for the Palladian Point parties.)

This all culminates in a gunfight on the beach. Mathis leads a last Lockyer as Mike regains consciousness. Mat, upon seeing that his sister is on the Navy side, yells out "traitor" and charges forward. Mathis Lockyer is killed, but Gordon is nowhere to be found. With the other men surrendering left, right and centre as all signs of leadership disappear, Mike turns to his injured sailors. "We need to go find him."

It's now that Mike is advised by Santa over the radio on the beach that Kate has gone into labour. Mike pales – she's three weeks early! – and thinks about the situation before him. "Boss, what do you want us to do?"

He decides to plough ahead.

It takes a bit of convincing, but Briony gives up the "safe house" deep in the island. Mike orders a bleeding Buffer, Swain, Hyde and Briony back to the boat. "Everyone else with me." Fighting his own pain, Mike leads his wounded party into the woods. Gordon and Dale Lockyer are found in the shed. Navy has no authority for their arrest, but suddenly Tomlasin Bay Police (ie. police in charge of the non-Lockyer half) storm the place and give Australia the right to extradite Gordon Lockyer. (Santa had been in contact the whole time his crewmates had been on the island and pushing the police to actually do something.)

Lockyer's arguments fall on deaf ears as he is cuffed and sent down to the beach. (Tomlasin Bay authorities are happy to deal with the security men cuffed on the beach, but want nothing to do with the Lockyers.) Dale tries to flirt with 2 Dads as a means to get out of this mess, but all he does is pull her arms tighter and continue to guide her down to the beach. "Not a chance sweetheart."

As the two RHIBs return to the Hammersley, Swain sees Mike wincing in pain. "Are you okay sir?" Mike brushes off the concern. When he boards, Nav comes flying down. "How is she?" he pressed. "She's doing okay sir," promised Nav. Mike gave the orders for the boat to get home. Fast.

He's in pain, but he refuses to think about it. Kate is in labour and he needed to get home. Now. He had to – he'd promised her she wouldn't have to do it alone. A five hour trip is made in four and a half. Mike had already spoken confidentially to Santa about all that had happened on Tomlasin Bay and entrusted him with reporting to NAVCOM and AFP as he had a place to be.

The birth:

Kate had been advised that Mike was out to sea and out of contact when she arrived at the hospital and known instantly that something was wrong. Her mind was on other things though. She'd had one phone call with him since he'd boarded the ship once again, rescued. She'd ended the call with a scream and an 'I love you'.

Mike docked in Cairns and prepared to run for the hospital as fast as his sore shoulder would. The Commander met him on the docks and actually called out Kate's room number as he ran on by before he turned to face where Swain and 2 Dads were leading Dale and Gordon Lockyer off the boat. After Briony Lockyer is also dispensed with, there is a general feeling of excitement as all wrap up things and head for the hospital.

Nav flitters between the crowd in the waiting room, the doctor in control of Kate's birth and Buffer who was getting stitches. (Spider was also in line for a check up for his suspected broken finger and RO for his twisted ankle.)

It was a long time waiting.

Kate had been eight hours into her labour with no end in sight when Mike had arrived in the room, still clad in his navy overalls. She reached out for him as she groaned through another contraction. Twelve hours later – after 20 hours of pain – baby Flynn made their arrival at 5:07am in the morning of May 1, 2010, eighteen days early.

When the nurse entered the waiting room to advise the waiting Hammersley crew of the news, she found Bomber propped up on RO's raised leg and Buffer, Charge, 2 Dads and Nav playing a card game. Swain was at home with his own family with orders for a phone call when the baby was born, whilst Jamison Manger was sorting out paperwork, checking in every once in a while. (There had been a running bet on the ship about the due date: 2 Dads had been the only one to predict an early birth and so he won the pot. The team – bored through the night – had set up another bet though, placing bets on which time the baby would arrive. Funnily enough, RO won the pot for this. "Who won the pool?" asked someone excitedly. "That would be me.")

To the great surprise of the new parents, their firstborn child was a boy. Kate and Mike exchanged tired looks as they both realized that neither of them had planned for boy names. It wasn't until Sunday morning that baby Flynn finally gets a name: Wyatt McGregor Flynn. The name was found at 2am as the not-yet-one-day-old baby nursed at his mother's breast and Mike sat in the chair next to the bed. His arm was in a sling, but that didn't stop him from flipping through a name book. Both parents are walking that thin line of wakefulness and sleepiness, their body clocks thrown out of whack by the birth of their child. As much as Mike enjoyed watching his wife and child, the baby needed a name, the paperwork resting on the desk beside him. (Kate had balked against officially calling their child Skipper.)

Flipping from page to page, for some untold reason his eyes were drawn to the W's. His eyes were immediately drawn to Wyatt. Seeing the meaning, he smiled and looked up at Kate. "Wyatt." Kate looked at up blankly as Mike spoke again. "Wyatt, meaning war strength." Mike rose from his chair and stood next to Kate's bed as they both looked down at the baby slowly suckling, his eyes shuttering closed. "Wyatt McGregor Flynn," said Kate, trying it out. The baby shifted his head and the parents took that as a sign that he approved and so Mike reached for the paperwork.

Medal commendation:

Mike had shore leave planned a week either side of the anticipated birth date, but in addition to the time he took off being injured, he ended up with three and a half weeks off. Whilst leave had officially started the Saturday of the birth of his child, he was on the docks with his crew on Monday morning for a medal presentation ceremony.

At 0900 hours, the crew all received a medal or commendation. Unbeknownst to Mike, Kate signed herself out of hospital that morning and stood by looking on proudly, baby Wyatt tucked into her body, protected from the sun as he sleeps on. After they are all dismissed, Mike makes a beeline for his wife and newborn son as the other sailors also gather around to get another look at the baby. (This is Swain's first look at the newborn.)

Epilogue:

Kate now has a life revolved around a baby, swiftly introduced to the world of late nights and breastfeeding. She'd never known true exhaustion until now. (Mike had been there for the first three weeks, but five weeks earlier she'd had her first experience as a sailor's wife when he went back on patrol.) Wyatt is now seven weeks old and Kate marvelled out how some mothers returned to work with their child was six weeks old: she couldn't imagine doing that and had her maternity leave planned for six months.

Wyatt McGregor Flynn was christened at the end of June. His godparents were Nav, Buffer and Mike's sister Justine. The Hammersley crew were at the bar toasting the baby as Kate looked around at her old crewmates and felt like she was part of a family. Nav was holding her baby son with no chance of letting go, no matter how much Buffer tried.

The last scene is Mike stepping up behind Kate, startling her a little. He ran his hands down her arms and crossed his arms over her chest. Kate turned her face up to her husband's as she raised her hands to cover his. Mike bends down and kisses the side of her neck. "I love you," he whispered. "Both of you."

This story ends with all the mobiles in the vicinity beeping: HMAS Hammersley has been crash sailed…


Finito.

Author's Note: As I leave you with this summary, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all the faithful readers and reviewers who followed this story for more than a year, especially bubbles799. Thanks.