Disclaimer: I don't own Sea Patrol I only use the characters for my own personal enjoyment.

AN: first off thank you to everyone that takes the time to read, I really do appreciate the hits. To my Beta reader Mariem201 thank you. I hope you all like. X

Sally()~ here it is the next update. And I appreciate every review I get. The story has about ten more chapters roughly. X

ALIMOO1971~ Buffer is coming up in the next few chapters. I hope you like this update. X

Nihal94 ()~ Thank you for the review. I'm slightly in love with Aiden/Chloe myself Lol, please keep reviewing. X

Mariem201~ Thanks for the review and Buffer's coming up soon. I haven't yet decided how I'm gonna end the Jess/Nikki situation yet, I have two scenario's in my head at the moment. X

Preciouslove09~ Thank you and yes that will be coming up soon promise. X

Gundruna~ I hope you like this chapter. X

xSuperNovax~ Hey Breanna. that's great about your grandad. We get the first peek of Carly in this chapter… she will be back. I hope you enjoy. X

Emma()~ Updated Lol. X

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Chapter 20

Family Gatherings

Nikki turned over in her bed, in her parent's house, to see Josh asleep next to her. The sight made her smile. She quickly leant forward to kiss him before getting out of bed and making her way to the window. She sat on the window ledge and sighed as she thought about last night. She pulled out her phone and sent a text message to Kate.

Are you ok? X

Nikki smiled sadly as she pressed 'Send'. She then turned back towards the window, thinking about what had happened with her brother.

"Hey, you ok?" Josh asked sleepily, yawning, as he sat up and looked worriedly at Nikki. Nikki laughed sourly, as she walked back over to the bed and laid down next to Josh. She put her arms around him and hugged him tightly.

"I don't get Matt!" Nikki sighed, burying her head in Josh's shoulder.

"He will come around! Jess and her family just have their claws firmly into him!" Josh sighed, kissing Nikki's head. "He loves you guys," Josh smiled, as a knock came at the door. Before they could say anything, Aiden had pushed the door open and was running towards them.

"Mommy, daddy!" Aiden squealed, jumping on the bed and launching himself at them.

"Hey, kiddo!" Josh laughed, hugging his son and kissing his forehead. "What are you doing up so early?" Josh laughed.

"I missed you and mommy!" Aiden smiled, hugging Nikki, who sighed.

"We missed you too, sweetie!" Nikki smiled, kissing Aiden's head. She looked tenderly at her son, as he settled in between them and snuggled into Josh's side.

"Are you looking forward to seeing Nanny and Granddad Holiday, and maybe Auntie Carly too?" Josh asked Aiden, who nodded.

"Well, we better get up for breakfast, and then get dressed if we want to arrive at your mom's place for eleven!" Nikki told Josh. When he nodded, she got out of bed and pulled on her robe. She then held her hand out to Aiden to pull him out of bed. "Let's go get you dressed, squirt!" Nikki laughed, as Aiden jumped out of the bed, took her hand and led her from the room. Josh giggled at the sight.

"I'm going to have a shower!" Josh said, still laughing at his son's antics.

Nikki led Aiden into his room at her mom's house and started to pull his pajamas off, before taking him to the bathroom and giving him a quick wash over.

"Ok, let's get you dressed, mister!" Nikki laughed, leading Aiden back to his room and getting him dressed in his pull-ups and Buzz Lightyear pants, before pulling on some denim shorts and a white graffiti t-shirt. Nikki quickly pulled a comb through Aiden's hair before standing up. "Ok, mister, you are all done. Why don't you go down and see nanny and granddad while mommy gets dressed?" Nikki told Aiden, before leading him to the stairs. She made sure he got down the stairs okay, then went back to the room to get dressed. She stuck her head around the corner. "Josh, how much longer are you going to be in the bathroom?" Nikki asked.

"Why?" Josh laughed, making Nikki scowl.

"Come on, Josh, I need to have a shower too!" Nikki growled, walking into the bathroom, just as Josh stuck his head out of the shower and smiled at her.

"Well, this shower is big enough for two of us!" Josh smiled, wiggling his eyebrows at her and making her laugh.

"You planned this from the minute you woke up!" Nikki muttered. She laughed, as Josh nodded at her. She untied her robe and took off Josh's shirt in which she had slept last night, before getting into the shower. Josh pulled her into him, as soon as she got in.

"I didn't get a chance to say good morning properly!" Josh whispered, as he brought his lips down to Nikki's and kissed her hungrily. "Good morning!" Josh smiled, as he pulled back.

"Hmm, good morning to you too!" Nikki smiled, wrapping her arms around Josh's neck and kissing him softly. "I love you!" Nikki smiled, as Josh caressed her back with his hands.

"I love you too!" Josh smiled, as he continued kissing her. "So how long do we have?" Josh asked, quirking his eyebrow, as he stroked her sides.

"Not long enough for that!" Nikki laughed, as she kissed Josh again. She looked up at him to see him pouting at her, and she started to laugh. "No! One, we are at my parents' house and, two, there is no way of knowing when Aiden is going to come charging in here!" Nikki smiled, kissing Josh again, before pulling away. "Now go get dressed before our son eats all the breakfast!" Nikki laughed, as Josh kissed her one last time.

"Fine!" Josh pouted, getting out of the shower and wrapping a towel around himself. "I know when I'm not wanted!" Josh muttered, leaving the bathroom to go back into Nikki's room. Nikki laughed again. She quickly cleaned herself and washed her hair before getting out of the shower and wrapping a towel around herself. She went back to her room and saw Josh putting on his jeans. Josh smirked, as he saw Nikki come back into the bedroom in her towel.

"Like what you see?" Nikki asked laughing, as Josh walked over to her and wrapped his hands around her waist.

"Always!" Josh whispered, as he brought their lips back together. He deepened the kiss, as Nikki wrapped her arms around his neck. Nikki moaned, as Josh deepened the kiss even more. She wrapped her legs around Josh's waist. Carrying her, Josh led her back to the bed. He laid her down on the bed, before climbing on top of her and kissing her passionately. Nikki hooked her leg over Josh's hip. Just as Josh was about to take her towel off, the door burst open.

"Nik? Oh, Jesus Christ, my eyes…they are bleeding!" Craig wailed, closing his eyes, before walking into the doorframe. Josh and Nikki, who had pulled apart from each other as soon as they heard the door open, laughed at Craig's antics. "God, guys, I know I asked you when you were going to give Aiden, a sister, but really!" Craig exclaimed, making Josh and Nikki laugh even harder.

"Well, that's what you get for barging into someone's bedroom without knocking!" Nikki glowered, looking at her brother.

"Yeah, well, I didn't think I would walk in on you two about to have sex!" Craig replied.

"We weren't!" Josh spluttered out, laughing at Craig.

"Sure looked like it!" Craig replied, looking at Josh, before turning to look at his sister with a frown on his face. "Christ, Nikki! Put some clothes on, will you?" Craig muttered, as he turned to leave the room.

"Yes, I'll put some clothes on once you leave!" Nikki yelled, slamming the door, after her brother had left. "Erggg… brothers!"

"Oh God, that was brilliant!" Josh laughed, as Nikki glared at him.

"No, it wasn't. My brother nearly saw me naked!" Nikki growled, looking at Josh, as he stood up and walked over to her. He bent down and kissed her sweetly.

"Babe, even YOU have to admit it was funny!" Josh laughed, as a small smile played on Nikki's lips. "See, I see a smile forming right there!" Josh told her teasingly, making Nikki laugh. Josh looked over to the cabinet by the window, and told Nikki. "I'm going to head down to see our little man before your brother starts teaching him something else!" Josh laughed. "Your mobile buzzed before you came out of the bathroom," Josh smiled, as he grabbed a t-shirt and walked to the door.

"Thanks, babe!" Nikki smiled, as Josh left the room. She walked over to her phone and opened up the text message.

Yes, I'm good. I'm meeting Mike l8r.

I'm gonna take ur advise n talk 2 him xx

Nikki smiled, as she read the message. She texted Kate back:

Good you deserve 2 b happy.

Call if u need me xx

Nikki smiled as she pressed 'Send', and then started getting ready for the day.

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Downstairs

Josh walked into the kitchen to see Aiden digging into a bowl of cereal and Craig sitting with his head in his hands. Josh shook his head, as he went over to greet Maria, who was standing at the oven.

"Hey, mom!" Josh smiled, as she turned around and kissed Josh on the cheek. "Nikki's just getting dressed," Josh smiled, as Craig muttered. "About time!" Maria and Josh laughed.

"Craig, leave your sister alone!" Maria admonished him, as Josh sat next to Aiden and kissed his head.

"Are you enjoying that cereal, kiddo?" Josh laughed. Aiden nodded without looking up from his bowl. "You eat that any faster, bud, you'll be inhaling it!" Josh laughed. Craig looked up and smiled at his nephew.

"You're just like your father, aren't you?" Craig asked, laughing, as Josh glared at him. Just then, Nikki walked down the stairs.

"Hey, mom!" Nikki smiled, walking up to Maria and kissing her cheek.

"Morning, honey!" Maria smiled, hugging her only daughter. She watched as Nikki went to Aiden and Josh and kissed them both, which brought a smile to her face.

"So why are you glaring at my brother?" Nikki asked, looking at Josh questioningly.

"He's being his usual self!" Josh muttered, making Nikki giggle.

"Craig, grow up!" Nikki laughed, looking at her brother to see him glaring at her and Josh, which made her laugh even harder.

"Eat your breakfast, and then go to work!" Maria laughed, placing a plate of pancakes in front of Craig.

"Fine, I know when I'm not wanted!" Craig muttered, digging into his food, as everyone laughed. Aiden looked up at his uncle.

"I want you around, Unca Craig!" Aiden smiled sweetly, making Craig smile and think how cute his nephew was.

"Thank you, buddy!" Craig smiled, making Nikki laugh.

"I suppose I don't mind you being around sometimes!" Nikki smiled grudgingly.

"Ok, everyone eat and stop insulting each other!" Maria laughed, as she set a plate down in front of Josh and Nikki, before sitting down with her own plate. "What time are you heading to your mom's house?" Maria asked, looking at Josh and Nikki.

"At about 10:30, so we will be leaving after breakfast," Josh smiled, looking at Maria. Nikki sighed, making Josh and her mom look up at her questioningly.

"Honey, if they show up, don't let them ruin your time or your relationship!" Maria smiled, looking at her daughter, then at Josh. Josh put his arms around Nikki and whispered in her ear.

"I promise, babe, they aren't going to be there!" Josh told Nikki reassuringly, kissing her exposed shoulder.

"Thanks!" Nikki whispered, kissing Josh soundly.

"What you hear is the sound of my breakfast coming back up!" Craig muttered, standing up, as Maria laughed.

"Shut up, Craig!" Nikki growled out, before turning to her mom. "Thanks mom, I don't know what I would do without you!" Nikki smiled, as a tear appeared in her eye.

"And you will never have to. Your father and I aren't planning on going anywhere!" Maria smiled, looking at Nikki, before smiling impishly at Josh. "And I especially don't plan on going anywhere until I see my daughter get married!" Maria smiled, as Josh looked down, rubbing his neck. Nikki blushed.

"MOM!" Nikki whined, making Craig laugh.

"I'm going to work," Craig said as he walked out of the house, still laughing.

"I hate my brother sometimes!" Nikki muttered, making Josh laugh.

"Your brother just loves you, that's all!" Maria laughed, as Nikki shook her head at her and ate the last of her breakfast.

"I love him. He's just annoying, that's all!" Nikki laughed, looking at her mom.

"That's what having brothers is all about, my love," Maria said, looking at her daughter. "Your Uncle Jack and I used to fight all the time, but I know that, if I ever need someone to lean on, he will always be there for me. It's the same thing for you with the boys," Maria smiled.

"I know, mom. They are just pain in the butts!" Nikki laughed, making Josh laugh too.

"Try having my sisters!" Josh muttered, making Nikki and Maria laugh harder.

"I can deal with your sisters!" Nikki whispered, hugging Josh and kissing his cheek, which made her mom smile. Aiden stared at his parents.

"Oh, just get married already!" Maria told Josh and Nikki, who both blushed.

"Mom, stop!" Nikki said, blushing even more.

"But you two love each other, and I want more grandchildren!" Maria protested.

"Mom!" Nikki growled out. "We need to go!" Nikki sighed, looking at her mom.

"Ok, have fun you guys. Don't let Josh's sisters ruin today if they do turn up!" Maria smiled, as she hugged Nikki tightly. "Don't let Josh go again!" Maria whispered, so only her daughter could hear her. She then walked over to Josh and hugged him. "See you soon, Josh!" Maria told him. As she pulled away, she whispered to him. "Give her back that ring you carry everywhere with you!" Maria smiled, as she saw Josh pat his dog tags. She then walked over to Aiden and kissed his head. "Be a good boy for mommy and daddy, and nanny will see you tomorrow!" Maria smiled, looking back at Josh and Nikki. "I will meet you guys at the dock to pick him up," Maria smiled, ruffling Aiden's head, before she walked to the kitchen door. "I will let you go now, and I will see all three of you tomorrow!" Maria smiled, blowing them a kiss, before she walked out of the room.

"Are you ready to go?" Josh asked, looking at Nikki, to see her eyeing his chest before she nodded. "Are you ready, kiddo?" Josh smiled, as Aiden squealed, making both his parents laugh. "Come on then, let's go!" Josh smiled, as he led his family to the door.

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Sydney Harbour

Kate stood, looking out at all the ships that were coming and going out of the harbor, as she nervously waited for Mike to meet her. Kate sighed, as she thought about all the things she and Mike had been through and what she wanted from their relationship. She shook her head, trying to clear her thoughts.

Mike smiled, as he walked up to Kate, who was staring out at the water.

"Hey, what are you thinking about?" Mike asked, as he came up to stand next to Kate.

"Just thinking about everything we have been through!" Kate smiled, turning to look at Mike sadly.

"Yes, we have been through a lot!" Mike sighed, as he too looked out over the ocean. "I don't regret any of it!" Mike stated, looking straight at Kate, who bowed her head. "Do you?" Mike asked, looking at Kate questioningly.

"No!" Kate whispered, looking at Mike, before bowing her head again. "But I can't keep going on like this!" Kate whispered, as tears appeared in her eyes. "Mike, we need to talk about this. It's killing me!" Kate cried.

"You don't think this hurts me too?" Mike whispered, as he brushed Kate's tears away.

"You don't show it!" Kate stated, looking straight into Mike's eyes. Mike shook his head.

"How can I, Kate, when we are surrounded by the crew half the time?" Mike asked, looking at Kate. Kate shook her head, trying not to laugh, but not succeeding.

"You really think they don't know something is up?" Kate told him, laughing. "Nikki knows about everything, and the rest of the crew members have their suspicions!" Kate smiled. Mike lowered his head and started rubbing his neck. "Mike, they would never say anything! They all love you, and they would never betray you," Kate smiled, as Mike looked at her with a big smile on his face.

"I know they would never betray me," Mike smiled, looking at Kate. "It's just that I don't like my private life being made public!" Mike sighed, looking at Kate sadly.

"I know, but we work with a bunch of nosy buggers!" Kate laughed, making Mike laugh as well. "And Nikki is my best friend," Kate smiled.

"I know, I have noticed the way you and Nikki are always there for each other!" Mike smiled. "As for the rest of the crew members, they may be pains in the butt, but I wouldn't change them for the world. But we are not here to talk about the crew, Kate, so what do you want?" Mike asked.

"It's not about what I want, it's about what we both want. The problem is, we both have our careers to think about!" Kate muttered, looking back out at the water.

"Kate, if we want this, we can work something out!" Mike told Kate, trying to get her to look at him.

"It's not that simple, Mike!" Kate sighed, looking at Mike. "I love you, I do…" Kate cried. "I just don't know what to do!"

"Kate, I never stopped loving you… ever!" Mike sighed, brushing a stray piece of hair that had blown in Kate's face. "Do you want to work things out?" Mike asked, as Kate looked at him.

Kate looked at Mike, thinking about everything they had been through. Then, everything she had said and told Nikki came back to her. Kate leant forward and kissed Mike passionately. It took Mike a while to respond, but he eventually did. Kate pulled back and looked at Mike.

"Mike, can we take this slow?" Kate asked, looking at Mike sadly. Mike nodded his head.

"We can go as slow as you like!" Mike smiled, kissing Kate again.

"I can go for slow!" Kate smiled.

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Holiday Home

Josh smiled. He grabbed Nikki's hand when he felt her tense up as they approached the door. Nikki was holding on to Aiden with her other hand, and looking very nervous.

"Nik, chill!" Josh laughed, as he brought Nikki close to him and kissed her. "My mom wants to see you!" Josh laughed. "She loves you!" he told her, as he knocked on the door.

"Josh!" A blonde middle-aged woman screamed, throwing her arms around Josh and hugging him.

"Grandma!" Aiden screamed, making Debbie smile. She hugged Aiden, laughing.

"Hi, sweetie!" Debbie smiled, before she turned to Nikki. "Nikki!" Debbie smiled, as she grabbed Nikki and hugged her. "Oh god, how we have missed you around here!" Debbie smiled, pulling back, grabbing Nikki's hand and dragging her in the house. "James, our son is here!" Debbie called out, smiling, as an older looking man came out, wearing a suit's pants and a shirt.

"Grandpa!" Aiden yelled, launching himself at James.

"Hey, squirt!" James smiled, kissing Aiden's cheek, before holding his hand out to Josh and shaking his hand. "Hi, son!" James smiled, looking at the soppy look on his son's face as he stared at Nikki.

"Hi, dad!" Josh laughed, as he watched his dad quirk his eyebrow.

"Nikki, honey, you get more beautiful every time I see you!" James smiled, as he kissed Nikki's cheek. "When are you going to become my daughter-in-law?" James whispered, so only Nikki and Debbie could hear him.

"James!" Debbie scolded, smacking her husband and making Nikki laugh.

"Dad, leave Nikki alone!" Josh sighed, shaking his head at his dad.

"Fine, you can come help me set up the table for when your mother brings out the food," James laughed. "We are eating outside," James said, before looking at Aiden, who was still in his arms. "You want to come help us, kiddo?" James asked, as Aiden nodded. "Ok, us boys will be in the garden!" James laughed, as Nikki rolled her eyes.

"Yes, you boys go do that," Debbie laughed, as she linked her arm with Nikki's. "Us girls are going into the kitchen!" Debbie laughed, dragging Nikki into the kitchen with her.

"Josh, keep an eye on Aiden!" Nikki called out, making Josh laugh, as he nodded.

"Oh, nonsense, Nikki! Aiden will be fine!" Debbie laughed. "He has Josh and James out there!"

"I know, it's just my overprotective nature!" Nikki laughed, as she walked into the kitchen with Debbie.

"I was like that with Josh, as he was my only son," Debbie laughed, as she opened the fridge. "I never gave the time of day to any of the girls he dated," Debbie stated, before she turned and looked at Nikki. "I was so glad when Josh met you!" Debbie smiled, making Nikki blush.

"Thank you!" Nikki smiled, before asking Debbie. "Can I help with anything?" Nikki asked.

"Yes, can you grab the meat out of the fridge and place the cover over it to protect it from the sun?" Debbie smiled, looking at Nikki. "And I'm sorry for the way the girls treat you!" Debbie added.

"It's not your fault!" Nikki told Debbie with a smile. Debbie sighed, putting down the jug she was holding.

"They're jealous, you see. They see how much Josh loves you, and the way he treats you!" Debbie sighed, looking at Nikki, who was frowning. "Liz's husband has been having an affair for the last three years. They are only staying together because of the children and to keep up appearances. As for Bianca, she hates her other half." Debbie said sadly, as Nikki shook her head.

"I don't understand why they are staying with those men if they make them so unhappy," Nikki sighed.

"Because they care about what other people think more than what makes them happy," Debbie smiled, as Nikki shook her head. "I know: it's silly!"

"So they make Josh's life hell because they hate their own lives?" Nikki asked.

"Yes, I have told them to stop and to be nicer to you!" Debbie smiled, as Nikki nodded her head mutely, with a shocked expression on her face. "Just give them time!"

Nikki carried on, grabbing the meat and covering it quietly.

"Ok, that's all the meat" Nikki smiled. She turned around and saw Debbie arranging a cart.

"Great, place it on the second and third shelves. Then, we can take it out to the guys, as I think they have already set the BBQ up!" Debbie smiled, as she helped Nikki place all the plates. She then pushed the cart out the door and onto the patio, with Nikki following behind her.

Nikki smiled, as she looked out at James and Debbie's garden. Their garden was gorgeous. It opened out onto a dock where their private yacht sat gleaming in the marina that was near to their house and that led into the ocean. It was easy to see why Josh wanted to be in the Navy so much: he had grown up around ships.

"Hey, are you ok?" Josh asked, as he walked up behind Nikki and circled her waist with his arms, before kissing her neck.

"Yes, I'm good. Just thinking!" Nikki smiled, looking at Josh behind her.

"Good things, I hope?" Josh asked teasingly. Nikki nodded, and then turned around to kiss Josh tenderly. She didn't see Debbie hold her hand over her heart, as she watched the two with tears in her eyes. "Come on, I'm hungry. Let's eat!" Josh told Nikki, laughing. When he turned around, he noticed that his parents were both looking at them with matching grins on their faces. "What?" Josh asked, looking at both his parents.

"Oh, just put a ring on her finger already, and make her my daughter-in-law!" Debbie sighed, making James laugh.

"I second that!" James said, still laughing, as Josh glared at him and Nikki blushed.

"And I third it!" a voice screamed from the door, making everyone turn and look, before they burst out laughing. "Nikki!" a young girl screamed, as she ran straight at Nikki and hugged her tight. "Damn, I missed you!"

"What, no hug for me, Car?" Josh asked with feigned hurt, as the girl let go of Nikki and hugged Josh extremely tightly.

"Carly, let your brother breathe!" Debbie laughed, as she helped James set things up for the BBQ.

"Yikes, mom, chill!" Carly laughed, as she let go of Josh and ran to hug Aiden. She started kissing him all over his face, making him squeal in laughter, as Josh and Nikki walked over to help Debbie and James.

"Are you staying for lunch?" James asked, looking at his youngest child.

"Yes, if everyone's ok with it," Carly said, looking at her parents, before looking at Josh and Nikki.

"Why wouldn't we be?" Nikki laughed, as she sat down next to where Josh had taken a seat. Aiden rushed over, followed by Carly, who collapsed in the chair next to Nikki.

"How's life at sea?" Carly asked, after catching her breath, putting on a posh voice that made Nikki and Josh laugh.

"Well, you know, it's hard work, but it's rewarding!" Nikki smiled, as Carly nodded her head slowly, before laughing.

"Who am I kidding? I have no idea what you are talking about, but Josh and you love it, so it must be cool!" Carly laughed, making Aiden giggle.

"How's school?" Josh asked, looking over at his sister and noticing her tired expression.

"It's great! I just have to figure out what I'm going to do for my business and fashion assignments," Carly sighed, as Nikki looked at her.

"Does it have to be separate assignments or can you combine them?" Nikki asked, looking at Carly with interest.

"Um, I don't know really, and my classmates are either just going business or fashion, but I could ask my teacher. I just don't see how that will help!" Carly stated, looking at Nikki with a confused expression on her face.

"Well, what is it you want to do when you finish school?" Nikki smiled, already knowing the answer.

"I want my own wedding boutique!" Carly replied, shaking her head.

"Exactly, if you can combine both assignments, you can do a shop sale. You can design and make wedding dresses for the fashion part of the assignment, and the money and material side will be for the business part of the assignment," Nikki smiled at Carly's shocked expression.

"Oh my god, that's brilliant!" Carly squealed, bouncing in her seat. "Mom, can I use the house phone to call my professors and see if this is doable?" Carly beamed.

"Yes, of course you can!" James laughed, as Carly ran into the house. "That was a really clever idea, Nikki!" James smiled, looking at Nikki, as Debbie nodded and Josh bent down to kiss Nikki quickly.

"You do know if they say yes, she will want you as her model, right?" Debbie

asked, as she handed a laughing James the first lot of meat so he could cook it. Everybody laughed.

"Nikki!" Carly squealed 10 minutes later, coming out of the house and running back to her seat. "I spoke to both my professors, and they both agreed!" Carly squealed again, as Debbie and James smiled at each other. "Will you be my model?" Carly asked, causing everyone to burst out laughing. "What?"

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Katy xx