Disclaimer: Blah… Blah… Blah… I don't own Sea Patrol.

AN: Hi guys I'm back… I hope you all like this chapter…

Guest: Thanks for the review and the dirt Josh has on them? We may find out in later chapters. Hope you enjoy this chapter. Thanks for sticking with me, a big thank you to Mariem201 my Beta. X

Sally: I'm doing ok I'm glad it went ok, thanks for the review and here's the next chapter… I hope you enjoy. X

MissShawnaAlice: Thanks for the review and I hope you like the new chapter. X

Kazzyj: Thanks for the review and I'm glad that you are enjoying the Fic. X

Guest: There is a reason Mike was in pain and the reason I was centring the character on Nikki are all revealed in this chapter… I hope you enjoy the new chapter. X

PlathFan96: Lol please don't suffocate. I'm glad you are liking the story so far, Here's the new chapter I hope you like. X

Danzjaron: Lol… I hope you like this chapter just as much. Thanks for reviewing. X

ALIMOO1971: Here's the chapter I hope you enjoy and thanks for the review. X

So on with the story.

SPSPSPSP

Chapter 24

Redeployment

Josh sighed as he looked around the room at NAVCOM where the Hammersley crew members were being checked over. So far everyone had been given a clean bill of health, except for Nikki and Mike. The doctor had just told Josh that Nikki had a concussion and that he had to keep an eye on her for the next 48 hours. Nikki would have to go to the naval hospital for a follow-up. As for Mike, he was still waiting for the results of his tests.

"Hey!" Nikki sighed, as she walked over to Josh, who had been waiting for her.

"Hey," Josh whispered, kissing Nikki's head. "Are you feeling alright?" Josh asked, looking Nikki in the eye.

"I will be fine until I get home. I just want to get this briefing out of the way," Nikki sighed, resting her head on Josh's shoulder, just as the doctor came from behind the curtain, followed by Mike. "You ok, sir?" Nikki asked her captain, as everyone turned to look at him.

"Yes, I'm fine," Mike grimaced, holding his side.

"You said you were fine, sir?" Swain asked, looking at Mike in shock.

"I am. I just have a cracked rib and a few bruises. The crew needed you more than me," Mike smiled, as everyone looked at him with surprise in their eyes. "I'm fine, really! They have strapped me up, and they have given me some painkillers," Mike explained.

"You still should have told me you weren't feeling well!" Swain told Mike, looking him in the eye.

"I'm sorry!" Mike sighed, rolling his eyes at Swain. "My crew comes first with me," Mike stated, looking at Nikki who was leaning on Josh. "How are you Nikki?" Mike asked, watching as Nikki picked her head up to look at him.

"It's just a concussion!" Nikki smiled lightly. Mike nodded.

"Well, take it easy," Mike told her with a smile. Just then, Marshall entered the room.

"I take it you have all been checked over?" Marshall asked, looking at them intently. They all nodded, except for Nikki who had rested her head back on Josh's shoulder. "Are you ok, Nav?" Marshall asked, looking at Nav worriedly.

"I'm fine, sir. It's just a concussion," Nikki smiled, as Josh stroked her back.

"Are you okay to sit through this briefing?" Marshall asked, looking at Nikki, who nodded. "Ok, come on, I have one of the large conference rooms set up and the Ramsgate's crew members have arrived, so we can get straight into it!" Marshall stated, before leading the group to the room where James, Craig, Spider, Bomber and Damien were all sitting. "Ok, everyone sit down," Marshall smiled, as he watched Nikki drag Josh to the seat next to Spider so she could sit next to him. "I know you guys are tired but I want a full account of what happened before I fill you all in on the plan that NAVCOM has come up with in the last hour," Marshall explained. When he had finished, Mike started to describe to him what had happened. Nobody noticed that Nikki had fallen asleep on Josh's shoulder.

"Nav?" Mike asked, waiting for Nikki to carry on with her radar readings. Noticing she wasn't answering him, he turned to look at her and saw she had fallen asleep.

"Nik," Josh whispered, lifting her shoulder to try and wake her up.

"It's fine. You guys know what was on the radar, right?" Marshall asked, looking at all the people present. They nodded. "Right, then let her sleep until I tell you the plan," Marshall smiled when he saw Nikki snuggle further into Josh's shoulder.

"Okay, so that's all done," Marshall stated before smiling at Josh. "Time to wake up sleeping beauty," Marshall said in a gently teasing tone, as Josh laughed.

"Nikki," Josh whispered, nudging her arm. Kate, who was sitting on Nikki's other side, also started nudging her.

"Nik?" Kate whispered, as Nikki started to stir.

"Come on, Nikki. You need to wake up!" Josh smiled, kissing Nikki's head. She opened her eyes slowly and looked around, a horrified expression appearing on her face as she realized she had fallen asleep during the debrief.

"Why didn't you wake me?" Nikki growled, hitting Josh's arm.

"I told him not to, lieutenant," Marshall told Nikki with a smile, as she looked at him grimacing.

"I'm sorry, sir!" Nikki said, looking at the table.

"You have nothing to apologize for," Marshall told her gently, making her blush. "But now that you are awake, I can give you all your new mission. It is going to take about two weeks for all the repairs to the Hammersley to be complete. You are on down time till then. It will give both Mike and Nikki time to fully heal, and then you guys are going to be deployed together. You are to investigate these Samaruans and stop them. It will be your only mission until these disappearances stop and the waters are safe again!" Marshall spoke, looking at everyone. "Is that clear? If there are problems between the crews, resolve them now. You will be working as one force, and I want it to be a strong force!" Marshall stated emphatically, looking at Buffer, Nikki and Josh. "You are all dismissed. We will meet here in two weeks. Dismissed!" Marshall said with a smile, as he saluted everyone. "Josh, get Nikki home before she falls asleep. Oh, and I forgot to say. All the personal effects of the members of Hammersley are being collected and boxed. They will be delivered to you at home at some point tomorrow," Marshall finished, smiling, as he nodded goodbye to everyone before he left.

"Ok, I better get Nikki home," Josh spoke quietly, as the rest of the group members stood staring at each other.

"Yes, she looks like she wants to go back to sleep," Mike smiled, wincing as he stood up. "I know the feeling, my painkillers are wearing off," Mike muttered, making Kate roll her eyes and Nikki laugh.

"Ok, I agree. I want to go home," Nikki smiled, as Kate hugged her.

"Look after yourself, I will pop around and see you," Kate whispered as she hugged Nikki.

"You just take care of the captain," Nikki whispered back with a grin, making Kate roll her eyes again.

"I'm so going to regret telling you," Kate muttered, as she walked back to Mike.

Charge came over and hugged Nikki.

"Feel better, I don't want to have to break in a new navigator," Charge said with a grin. Nikki hit him on the arm.

"Shut up!" she muttered. Charge let her go, and Swain came to hug her too.

"Look after yourself," Swain smiled, before looking at Josh. "Make sure to keep an eye on her. If she gets dizzy, come and get me, I only live a few doors down from her. I will text you my address later," he told Josh, who nodded to him.

"Yes, will do," Josh replied with a smile.

"You do know I am standing here?" Nikki said mockingly, looking at the two and rolling her eyes at them.

"Sorry, babe," Josh smiled, kissing Nikki's head.

"Feel better, Nav," Mike told Nikki, nodding at her.

"You too, sir" Nikki smiled, looking at her boss and then at Josh. "Can we get out of here?" Nikki asked, smiling at Josh as he nodded.

"Yes, come on," Josh replied, putting his arm around her.

"Hey, we will drop your stuff off tomorrow," they heard Spider say as he came over to Josh and Nikki. "And feel better," Spider smiled, kissing Nikki's cheek.

"Feel better, girl" Bomber smiled, hugging Nikki. "Give me a call," she added, pulling away from Nikki to look at Josh. "See you later!" Josh nodded.

"Hey Swain, since you live near Nikki, do you want to get a ride with us?" Josh asked, looking at Swain, who nodded. "Ok, I will get a taxi and wait for you," Josh smiled as he guided Nikki to the door.

"Bye, guys," Nikki whispered as she rested her head back on Josh's shoulder. He led her out of the room, as the others watched them leave with a smile.

"She's going to fall asleep as soon as that taxi starts," Charge laughed.

"She will be fine," Swain said, smiling in a reassuring way at Kate, who was looking worriedly out the door.

"I know she will. Josh would give up his life for her," Kate whispered, looking at everyone before focusing her eyes on Mike. "You want to share a taxi?" Kate asked.

"Yes, it will save the cab drivers from making too many trips," Mike laughed. He started to say his goodbyes, and turned to Swain. "We will walk out with you, Swain," Mike said with a smile, before looking at the Ramsgate crew. "Where are you guys bunking down?" Mike asked, looking at James.

"On the ship tonight, Marshall is going to find us accommodations for tomorrow," James smiled. "I will get your number from Marshall, and we can meet up and talk tactics," James told Mike with a smile. Mike nodded in agreement.

"Yes, I will like that. Two weeks of down time will drive me crazy!" Mike laughed, looking at the rest of the crew. "And those guys too," Mike pointed at them. After saying his goodbyes to everyone, he left with Kate and Swain, and they walked out front.

"That looks to be my ride," Swain laughed, nodding towards a cab in front of which Josh stood, holding up Nikki, who had fallen asleep on his shoulder. "That head injury has sure knocked her out," Swain smiled before saying goodbye to Mike and Kate.

"Josh, I will call you later," Kate told him. Josh nodded.

"Bye Kate, Mike," Josh smiled, as he placed Nikki into the cab and then got in himself.

"Bye CO, X," Swain smiled, as he followed them into the cab.

"Where are we going?" the cab driver asked, looking at the three people in the back. Swain leaned over and gave him the address.

"We should be there in 20 minutes," Swain smiled, as he looked at Nikki and saw she was still sound asleep. "Will you need to wake Nikki up?" Swain asked. Josh shook his head.

"No, I can carry her," Josh smiled, kissing Nikki's head. "I can get her in and in bed before Mark and Maria arrive with Aiden," Josh smiled, thinking about how Aiden was going to react to seeing him again so soon.

"I think you will have a very happy little boy," Swain smiled. "Will Nikki's parents need to head straight back to Sydney?" Swain asked Josh. Josh sighed.

"Yes, they will, but I know Mark and Maria: they are not going to want to leave Nikki knowing she is hurt!" Josh sighed, before smiling at Swain. "But they don't really have a choice," Josh smiled, as Nikki stirred before settling again.

"If you want someone to watch Aiden when you take Nikki for her check up, I'm sure Sally will agree we can watch him," Swain smiled as Josh nodded his head.

"Yes, that would be great, thanks," Josh replied, smiling at Swain.

"We are here," the cab driver called, getting their attention.

"I have this, mate. Yours and Nikki's personal effects are still on the ships," Swain smiled, leaning over and giving the cab driver the money. Josh grabbed Nikki and got out with her in his arms. "Are you going to be ok getting her in?" Swain asked, nodding to Nikki.

"Yes, I will be fine, thanks for asking. I need to wake her up anyways. She needs to take the medication the doctor gave her," Josh said with a smile. "I will see you later," Josh told Swain. As Swain waved goodbye, Josh turned and walked to the apartment.

SPSPSP

Josh smiled, as he heard the key turn in the lock two hours later. Josh had woken Nikki up and gotten her upstairs. He had made her take her meds and had put her in bed before sitting down to watch some TV. Hearing the noise, he shut down the TV, walked to the stairs and looked down.

"And what are you doing here?" Josh asked, putting on a posh voice and making Mark, Maria and Aiden jump. Seeing their reactions, Josh started to laugh.

"Daddy!" Aiden yelled, running up the stairs with Mark and Maria following closed behind. The two adults looked questioningly at Josh.

"Hi, kiddo. I thought we told you no running up or down the stairs, mister!" Josh smiled, kissing Aiden's head as he caught him and swung him into his arms.

"Josh," Mark started smiling before looking around and noticing Nikki was nowhere in sight. "Where is Nikki?" Mark asked. He frowned when he saw Josh's smile vanish.

"Hey kiddo, go watch TV for a minute," Josh said, forcing a smile back on his face, as he placed Aiden on the floor. He waited until Aiden was comfortably in front of the TV before turning to look at Nikki's parents. "On the way home, the Hammersley was attacked. My ship was called in to assist them. Nikki hit her head pretty hard, and she has a concussion. She is upstairs sleeping right now," Josh explained, as Maria gasped.

"Oh my…" Maria gasped again. "Was anyone seriously hurt?" she asked. Josh nodded.

"One of the junior sailors was killed, their CO has bruised ribs and, as I said, Nikki has a concussion. The others only had a few cuts and bumps. They got lucky," Josh whispered, as Maria sighed.

"I'm going to run up and see her," Maria smiled sadly, kissing Josh's cheek, before going up the stairs quickly.

"Are you ok?" Mark asked, looking at Josh.

"Yeah, I'm fine," Josh smiled tightly at Mark and saw him shaking his head.

"Josh…" Mark sighed, looking at Josh. "You love my daughter… I don't buy the 'I'm fine' routine," Mark smiled, as Josh looked down.

"I was scared when I heard but, after we got there and I saw that she was okay, I stopped worrying," Josh told Mark, who nodded.

"How long are you here for?" Mark asked him with a smile. Josh's face broke into a big grin.

"Marshall and NAVCOM have decided that we are going to be on the case of the Samaruans with the Hammersley. Both ships will be leaving the dock together and are going to be staying in visual range of each other until the Samaruans are brought down," Josh explained to Mark, who smiled at him.

"And what are the Ramsgate's crew members going to do until the Hammersley's crew members are back on their feet?" Mark asked, smiling as Josh grinned.

"We are going over the plans with the Hammersley crew. We are grounded with them," Josh smiled as Mark nodded.

"So you are going to be here?" Mark asked, frowning.

"Yes, I will be here. You don't need to worry about Nikki. I'm not going anywhere," Josh smiled, seeing the relief on Mark's face.

"I know Nikki's safe with you here," Mark stated, as Josh smiled sadly.

"I promise I will call if anything happens, not that anything will," Josh stated emphatically, as Maria came back downstairs.

"She's out like a light," Maria sighed.

"Yes it's the painkillers; they are knocking her out," Josh smiled. "Do you want to stay for dinner? I was going to order in," Josh asked. Mark shook his head.

"No, mate. Thanks for the offer, but we need to get back to Sydney," Mark smiled sadly, as Maria nodded, not saying anything.

"I promise I will call as soon as Nikki wakes up and is alert enough to actually talk," Josh smiled. Maria smiled back at him and gave him a big hug.

"Thank you!" Maria smiled. "At least knowing you're here… I know Nikki will be looked after," Maria told Josh, who grinned amusedly.

"You know that, after these two weeks, she will be kicking me all the way back to Sydney," Josh laughed.

"No chance!" Mark smiled. "No matter how much you annoy my daughter, she would never send you away… she loves you way too much!" Mark smiled, making Josh grin.

"Actually, while I have you two here… can I ask you something?" Josh asked, smiling at Mark and Maria.

"Of course you can, hun," Maria smiled.

"I'm not doing it yet and I haven't actually planned when I'm going to do it again… but do I have your permission to ask Nikki to marry me?" Josh said, looking at the two people in front of him.

"We told you before, Josh. We couldn't ask for a better bloke for our daughter," Mark smiled, hugging Josh. "Just call us after so we know when the wedding is going to be," Mark laughed, as Maria swatted his arm, before hugging Josh again.

"I already see you as my son," Maria smiled, just as Aiden came running back to them.

"Where's mommy, daddy?" Aiden asked, looking up at Josh.

Josh leaned down so he was level with Aiden. "Mommy hit her head on her way home. She is sleeping upstairs right now. She'll be okay. She'll just be sleeping more tonight and tomorrow, ok?" Josh looked at Aiden and was relieved to see him nod in understanding. "But daddy will be here," Josh added. A smile appeared on his face when Aiden gave him a tight hug.

"Good because I miss you when you're not around," Aiden smiled, breaking all three adults' hearts.

"Daddy misses you too when he's not around," Josh smiled sadly, kissing Aiden's head.

"Well, we better head off." Mark sighed, as Maria nodded sadly.

"Tell Nikki we love her and get her to call," Maria said with a smile.

"Of course I will," Josh smiled, hugging Maria. "Stop worrying, she will be fine!" Josh told her reassuringly before bending down to kiss her on the cheek.

"I know. It's just that Nikki is my little girl," Maria said apologetically. Josh nodded, and Mark clapped him on the back.

"Keep us up to date," Mark smiled, his eyes gleaming.

"You know I will," Josh laughed, as he and Aiden showed Mark and Maria out. Josh and Aiden stood at the door waving goodbye to them. When they were out of sight, Josh shut the door. "So what do you want to order for dinner?" Josh asked, making Aiden squeal.

"Pizza!" Aiden cried, clapping his hands. Josh laughed, as he led Aiden back up the stairs.

"Ok, but only tonight or mommy will kill me!" Josh laughed again, as he kissed Aiden's head and ruffled his hair. "Go watch some TV while I order the food," Josh smiled as he watched Aiden run to the TV. He picked up the phone.

After placing the order, he returned to the front room and saw Aiden sitting on the couch, curled around one of the cushions.

"Daddy, Cars 2 is on," Aiden smiled, looking up at his dad.

"Oh, wow!" Josh smiled, as he sat down next to Aiden. He smiled when Aiden crawled over to him and sat on his lap.

"Love you daddy!" Aiden whispered, as he leaned his head back on Josh's chest so he could hear his dad's heartbeat.

"I love you too, kiddo," Josh smiled, as he hugged Aiden closely and watched the movie with him.

….

"Pizza!" Aiden cheered, jumping up from Josh's side when he heard the doorbell ring.

"Ok, calm down!" Josh laughed, as he walked down the stairs to the front door.

"Hi," Josh smiled, as he looked at the young man who was delivering the pizza.

"Hi, one pepperoni, one Hawaiian and a bottle of Coca-Cola. That is $22," the delivery guy smiled, as Josh handed him the money before taking the boxes and the bag.

"Thanks," Josh smiled. Josh closed the door and walked back upstairs.

"Yay!" Aiden squealed when he saw his dad come back with the pizzas. Josh laughed, seeing how excited his son was. "Ok, let's get some plates and put a couple of slices on the plate for mommy; then, we can tuck in." Josh smiled, as he walked into the kitchen and pulled out three plates. He put three slices of Hawaiian on one plate and poured a glass of Coke before walking back into the front room and up the stairs, to the bedroom where Nikki was lying in bed.

"Hey," Nikki whispered groggily, making Josh smile.

"Hey," Josh whispered, placing the plate and glass on the side. "How long have you been awake?" Josh smiled, as he kissed Nikki's head.

"Not long… I heard Aiden scream pizza!" Nikki smiled sleepily, as she raised her eyebrow at Josh. "You do know that it is extremely unhealthy?" Nikki mocked as Josh grinned.

"One day won't hurt anyone!" Josh smiled, kissing Nikki quickly. "I got a Hawaiian just for you," Josh told a grinning Nikki.

"Thanks," Nikki smiled as she looked at the plate. "What pizza did you get for you and Aiden?"

"Pepperoni," Josh smiled when he saw Nikki rolling her eyes.

"You and Aide better brush your teeth before coming in here to say goodnight!" Nikki told Josh, staring him down. Josh couldn't help smiling. She looked so adorable when she was being bossy.

"I promise, babe" Josh smiled, as he kissed Nikki before pulling out the pain medication. "Take two when you have eaten the pizza," Josh told her, as he stood up. "After dinner, I will put mister man in bed."

"Good, I want my comfy pillow back," Nikki smiled as she looked tenderly at Josh, making him smile.

"I promise I will not make you wait long," Josh told her before leaving the room. He went down to the kitchen, bringing out the bottle and two cups with the two boxes and two plates. "Ok, let's tuck in and then it is bath time, kiddo!" Josh told Aiden, who nodded. Josh gave Aiden one slice of the Hawaiian and one of the pepperoni. "There, dig in," Josh smiled, as Aiden brought the first slice up to his lips. Josh imitated him and started eating.

"Is mommy awake?" Aiden asked, after he had swallowed his mouthful.

"Yes, she's going to stay awake until after your bath so you can say goodnight," Josh told him. Aiden smiled, as he took another bite of his pizza.

"Daddy, look!" Aiden laughed as he splashed about in the tub, making Josh laugh.

"Ok, calm down or mommy will kill me. There is more water on the floor than in the tub," Josh laughed, coming back to the tub after getting out a fluffy white towel from the airing cabinet.

"But it's fun!" Aiden pouted, looking up at Josh.

"For you, maybe, but daddy's the one that has got to clean all this up," Josh told him with a smile. Aiden grinned and started splashing Josh. "Oi!" Josh yelled, before splashing Aiden back, making him squeal.

"Ok, daddy stop!" Aiden laughed as he held his arms out, making Josh laugh. He grabbed Aiden, lifted him out of the bath and sat him down on the bath mat before wrapping him in the towel.

"Let's get you dressed, then you can brush your teeth and go say goodnight to mommy," Josh smiled as he picked up Aiden and carried him to his bedroom. He dried his body, and then dried his hair. "Ok, what pyjamas?" Josh asked, smiling, as he walked over to the chest of drawers and pulled out the third drawer.

"Lightning," Aiden laughed, as Josh turned and looked at him.

"Your red ones or your blue?" Josh smiled when he saw the grin on Aiden's face.

"Red!" Aiden smiled, as Josh grabbed them and a pair of pants.

"Ok, let's get you dressed, kiddo," Josh told him. He sat on Aiden's bed and got him dressed, before holding out his dressing gown. "Get this on, so you won't get cold after getting out of the bath," Josh smiled, as Aiden ran to him and placed his arms in the holes Josh held out for him. "There we go. So next, let's go get those teeth brushed," Josh said, as he swung Aiden into his arms and carried him back to the bathroom so he could get to the sink, where his little red toothbrush sat in the cup on the shelf.

"You brushing your teeth too, daddy?" Aiden asked as Josh grabbed his brush.

"Yes, because mommy doesn't like the smell of pepperoni," Josh smiled.

"All clean daddy!" Aiden smiled. He put his brush back in the cup and watched as his dad rinsed his mouth.

"Me too," Josh smiled as he lifted Aiden over the wet floor. He then threw some of the dirty towels on the floor to soak up the water. "On to mommy," Josh laughed, as Aiden ran to Nikki's room.

"Mommy!" Aiden screamed happily, as he ran into the room and saw his mom smiling at him from her bed.

"Hi, baby," Nikki smiled as Aiden climbed into her arms. Josh walked into the room.

"Are you ok, mommy?" Aiden asked, as Josh sat next to them on the bed.

"Yeah, mommy's ok… she just hit her head," Nikki smiled at Aiden, who nodded his head. "How about tomorrow me, you and daddy have a pyjama DVD day?" Nikki asked Aiden, who nodded again.

"I don't wear pyjamas," Josh muttered, making Nikki and Aiden laugh.

"Well, you can't join me and mommy then," Aiden stated, sticking his tongue out at Josh and making Nikki smile.

"Fine," Josh muttered, turning his back on them, which made Aiden giggle.

"I think we can let daddy off the hook just this once, what do you say?" Nikki whispered loudly. Aiden nodded and threw his arms around Josh's shoulder.

"It's ok daddy, you can join me and mommy," Aiden told his dad with a big smile. Josh grabbed him and pinned him to the bed.

"Is that so?" Josh grinned before he started tickling Aiden.

"NO! Daddy, stop!" Aiden squealed, laughing, as he tried to wriggle away from Josh's reach.

"No," Josh laughed, attacking him again.

"Daddy… please," Aiden said laughing, before looking at Nikki. "Mommy, help!"

"Mommy can't help," Josh laughed as Aiden giggled. Watching her two guys, Nikki couldn't help but smile.

"Josh, stop or he won't go down," Nikki said with a smile. She grabbed Josh's arm.

"See, daddy? Mommy did help me," Aiden smiled, before sticking his tongue out at Josh. He crawled over to Nikki and hugged her as she bent down and kissed his head.

"Mommy said stop because it's your bedtime," Nikki smiled, kissing her pouting son's head.

"But I'm not tired," Aiden whined, looking at Nikki.

"Well, it's bedtime for all little boys," Nikki smiled, kissing his head again, as Josh stood up.

"Come on, kiddo, mommy needs her sleep. Say goodnight," Josh told his son. Aiden put his arms around Nikki's neck and hugged her.

"Night Mommy," Aiden whispered before kissing Nikki.

"Night baby," Nikki smiled, kissing Aiden again as he jumped off the bed. Josh leaned down and quickly kissed Nikki.

"I'm going to get him down and then I'm going to clean up a bit. I will be up as soon as I am finished," Josh whispered.

"Ok, don't be too long," Nikki told Josh, smiling at him sleepily.

"I won't," Josh smiled, kissing Nikki one more time before picking Aiden up, carrying him back to his room and dropping him on his bed.

"Story, daddy!" Aiden smiled, as he crawled under the covers. Josh pulled them up to his chin.

"What story would you like?" Josh smiled, sitting on the edge of Aiden's bed.

"Pirates!" Aiden said, giggling. Josh laughed and nodded.

"Ok," Josh said with a smile. He lay down beside Aiden, propping his head up on his arm. "A very long time ago, on the uncharted seas, lived a pirate by the name of…"

"Captain Spider," Aiden giggled, making Josh laugh.

"A pirate named Captain Spider, he was the most feared pirate in all the land… no one had ever stood up to Captain Spider apart from one man… Lord…"

"Holiday" Aiden giggled, making Josh laugh again.

"Lord Holiday… not only was he not scared of Captain Spider, but he was actually looking for him. He had been hired to find him after Captain Spider stole something from the King… it was the King's most valuable and loved possession!" Josh said, looking at his giggling son.

"Mommy!" Aiden squealed. Josh rolled his eyes lovingly: all of Aiden's stories ended up with him and Nikki as the main characters.

"The King's daughter, Lady Nikki," Josh resumed, smiling as he heard Aiden laugh. "Lord Holiday had agreed to take the mission as soon as the King had asked…"

"Because he loved her!" Aiden interrupted again, making his father laugh.

"Who is telling this story, mister?" Josh smiled as he leant down and kissed Aiden's head. "He accepted the King's mission because he had watched Lady Nikki from afar and had secretly fallen in love with her. Lord Holiday pulled together a crew and set sail after Captain Spider. He sailed through storms and even a hurricane…" Josh spoke in a whispery voice, making Aiden giggle. "But no little tricks of the sea were going to stop Lord Holiday from reaching the fair lady. One day, Lord Holiday's faithful shipmate, Sir Craig, came to tell him a ship had been spotted off their port side. Lord Holiday rushed to his telescope and focused it so he was looking at the ship at the moment Captain Spider came onto the top deck. Lord Holiday had his ship steered so it was by the side of Captain Spider's. He grabbed a rope and swung himself onto Captain Spider's ship. As soon as Lord Holiday's feet hit the ground, Captain Spider thrust his sword into Lord Holiday's face, but Lord Holiday was prepared: he pulled out his sword and fought back. Lord Holiday was a more skilled swordsman than Captain Spider…"

"Yay, go daddy!" Aiden smiled sleepily.

"Lord Holiday backed Captain Spider up against the cabin wall at sword's point and asked 'where is Lady Nikki?'. 'HELP!', Lord Holiday heard someone yell from below the deck. He quickly tied Captain Spider up and headed below deck to find Lady Nikki tied up in a cell. Lord Holiday quickly broke the lock, ran into the cell and cut Lady Nikki free. 'I am Lord Holiday, your father asked me to find you,' Lord Holiday told her quickly, his heart beating very fast. 'Thank you. Lord Holiday,' Lady Nikki replied, her voice like a gentle breeze. 'You're my hero… how can I ever repay you?' Lady Nikki whispered, looking at the young lord," Josh broke off when he realized that Aiden was fast asleep. He laughed before kissing Aiden's head and leaving the bedroom, shutting the door behind him. Josh headed back to the bathroom to clean up all the water from Aiden's bath. He quickly picked up the towels he had thrown on the floor. He grabbed more towels and dried the rest of the floor before heading back downstairs to place the pizza boxes in the bin and put all the plates and glasses in the dishwasher. Then, he locked up and switched off all the lights before heading back upstairs to Nikki's room. Josh quietly opened the door, not wanting to wake Nikki up if she was asleep.

"Hey…" Nikki whispered sleepily. "Is Aiden down?"

"Yeah, out like a light," Josh smiled, as he sat next to Nikki. "Everything is cleaned and locked," he continued, as Nikki nodded.

"Thanks. Are you coming to bed?" Nikki asked, looking up at Josh. He smiled and nodded before throwing his t-shirt on the chair, taking off his trousers, and climbing in the bed next to Nikki. She rolled over and snuggled into his chest.

"Night, babe," Josh smiled as he kissed Nikki's head.

"Night," Nikki whispered, as she kissed Josh's chest and laid her head over his heart so the beat could lull her to sleep. "I'm glad Ramsgate and Hammersley have been deployed together. It means we will see each other more," Nikki whispered, closing her eyes as Josh chuckled.

"Thank God for our redeployment," Josh said smiling, as he hugged Nikki tightly, closed his eyes and let sleep claim him.

SPSPSPSPSP

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