Author's note: ah, this is a drabble for what could (and should?) have been...

"Sir," Lieutenant Scott starts, hesitating, "there's something you should know..."

It takes everything Colonel Everett Young has not to run through the halls of Destiny. He is en route to the infirmary, wishing with every step that he was already there. He swears he can feel his hand still throbbing from that sucker punch he threw earlier (but even so, he knows it was the right call) when he'd found out that TJ had been shot. She'd been shot, and there was nothing he could do about it...

But now, now everything had changed. Everything was different now, and was going to be different together. He'd never considered a world where TJ wasn't pregnant; it'd been their reality for so long now that he'd forgotten what it was like before. His stomach is caught in knots, twisted over and over by the anxiety that runs like liquid through his veins.

Finally, finally he makes it. Striding through the door, it's all he can do not to run to her. She is sitting on the edge of her bed, her back to him. Good, he thinks to himself, she's sitting already; she's going to be fine.

"TJ?" he calls out softly, his unspoken request for permission echoing in the air.

She turns to him then, and he can see her beautiful, radiating face again once more. "Everett," she breathes, and his heart catches as he realizes just how long it's been since she's called him by his first name.

"Everett," she says again, a little louder than before, "come and meet our daughter."

She smiles at him, and as he approaches, he finally catches a glimpse of the bundle wrapped up in her arms. He moves closer, and can start to see a little pink face surrounded by fabric, two little hands balled into fists emerging from her covers. TJ, holding her close, is a different woman, a new woman, smiling down at the infant in her arms.

He has to remind himself to breathe. Standing this close to a miracle (because truly, that's what she was) was taking his breath away. "TJ, I..." he starts, but trails off when he realizes that he has no words to say.

She looks up at him, and for a while, they can forget the complex errors of their past and just enjoy this time together. "Would you like to hold her?"

He nods, unable to speak, and she motions for him to sit down beside her. Gently, she shifts her daughter's weight to her other arm, and moves her into Everett's waiting embrace.

Even born too early, she is still heavier than he'd imagined. She squirms a bit, but does not open her eyes as she is transferred into her father's arms. Awestruck, all Everett can do is stare.

From off to his side, he can hear TJ speak. "I'm going to name her Carmen – after my mother," she is saying, and he nods in agreement.

"Hello, Carmen," he breathes, and for one brief moment , Destiny is the only place they'd ever want to be.