Disclaimer: JE owns them. I do not. Songfic based on "I'm Already There" by Lonestar.

~oooOOOooo~

I'm Already There

~oOo~

Ranger's POV

I pulled up to the house and let myself in. The minute I was in the door, two little pairs of arms wrapped themselves around my legs.

"Daddy!"

I looked down at the twins and smiled. "Hi, munchkins. Where's your mom?" I picked Mari up in my left arm and Ricky up in my right and gave them both kisses before walking into the kitchen, where I could hear the sound of my Babe making dinner.

"Look what I found," I said, chuckling when Stephanie gasped and whirled around.

"Gah! You scared me," she said, laughing. At my look, she rolled her eyes. "I know, I know. After five years of marriage, you'd think I'd be more aware of my surroundings!"

I put the twins down, watched them run off to the living room, and then went over and wrapped her in my arms. "Ahh, querida. You know me so well."

We kissed for several minutes until the timer went off for the oven. "The chicken's ready," she said, giving me a squeeze before turning to get dinner out of the oven.

Once the four of us had eaten and the kids were in bed, I scooped her up and threw her over my shoulder, racing us to the bedroom.

I spent several hours worshiping my wife's body, still perfect even after having the twins four years ago. We lay in bed, her head on my chest and our legs intertwined.

"Okay, when do you leave and how long will you be gone?" she asked, looking up at me.

"What do you mean?"

"I know you. Our lovemaking always has an edge to it when you know you've been called away."

I smiled slightly. I should've known I couldn't keep anything from her. "I leave tomorrow afternoon. It shouldn't be too long an assignment. I should be home by next week sometime. I'll be able to call and talk to you and the kids for most of the week, as well."

She sighed. "Well, that's something, anyway. Are you going into work tomorrow morning?"

"No, I've already talked to Tank, and I'm offline already. He'll cover for me tomorrow so I can spend time with the three of you before I leave."

"Good," she said before leaning up and capturing my lips with hers.

We spent the rest of the night loving one another until the sun came out and two warm bodies climbed into bed with us.

That afternoon, I kissed them each goodbye and said I'd call as soon as I could.

~oOo~

He called her on the road
From a lonely cold hotel room
Just to hear her say I love you one more time
And when he heard the sound
Of the kids laughing in the background
He had to wipe away a tear from his eye
A little voice came on the phone
And said "Daddy when you coming home?"
He said the first thing that came to his mind

I'm already there
Take a look around
I'm the sunshine in your hair
I'm the shadow on the ground
I'm the whisper in the wind
I'm your imaginary friend
And I know I'm in your prayers
Oh I'm already there

~oooOOOooo~

Stephanie's POV

After Carlos finished talking to the twins during the second phone call since he'd left, I sent them to play and settled in to talk on the couch. I missed him so much, it made my heart ache.

"How are things?" I whispered.

"Okay. A little more rocky than I anticipated. I probably won't be able to call again, but I'll try. I miss you, Babe."

"The kids and I miss you, too, Carlos. I dream of you every night."

"That's only fair, since you're always in my dreams, amante."

We talked for a few more minutes until Carlos said he needed to go.

"I thought the kids would enjoy getting mail, so even though it might not come until I'm home, I sent a letter for them and for you."

I smiled. "I'm sure they'll love it. Stay safe, Carlos. I love you." A few tears slipped down my cheeks as we said our normal goodbyes. "Don't get shot."

"Don't go crazy," he whispered before hanging up.

~oOo~

She got back on the phone
Said I really miss you darling
Don't worry about the kids they'll be all right
Wish I was in your arms
Lying right there beside you
But I know that I'll be in your dreams tonight
And I'll gently kiss your lips
Touch you with my fingertips
So turn out the light and close your eyes

I'm already there
Don't make a sound
I'm the beat in your heart
I'm the moonlight shining down
I'm the whisper in the wind
And I'll be there until the end
Can you feel the love that we share
Oh I'm already there

~oOo~

I kept in touch with Tank as the days went on. The mission was extended another week, but Carlos was making his check-ins, so I knew everything was fine. One day, about halfway through the second week of the mission, an envelope arrived, addressed to Stephanie, Mari, and Ricky Manoso.

I called the twins into the living room and read them their letter from Daddy. They proudly hung it on the refrigerator so he would see it when he got home. After they went to play, I opened the letter addressed to me.

I sat on the couch and cried, running my fingers over the words and wishing he really and truly was here already. When the doorbell rang, I wiped my eyes, folded the letter up, and put it back into the envelope before walking to the door.

I opened the door and fell to my knees. Standing on the other side were Tank, Lester, and Bobby.

The last thing I heard before passing out was Tank's deep voice saying, "Stephanie, I'm so, so sorry."

~oOo~

We may be a thousand miles apart
But I'll be with you wherever you are

I'm already there
Take a look around
I'm the sunshine in your hair
I'm the shadow on the ground
I'm the whisper in the wind
And I'll be there until the end
Can you feel the love that we share
Oh I'm already there
Oh I'm already
There