Title - Wedgewood Blue

Author - Kourion

Summary: "You're making Dylan a mobile, aren't you?" I nod vigorously. "Quick Grace...name a mythological creature, any mythological creature..." Van Pelt pauses for a second, then animatedly shouts out, "Gelfling!"

A/N: This is, obviously, a follow up to Gravity of Love. (And for the record, Gravity of Love is a follow up to Redress, which is a follow up to Little Stars. Or at least, chronologically...that's my plan once everything is all wrapped up. Little Stars will be the earliest - Redress etc. etc. Just in case you have some desire to read everything in order...)

This story, for the record, takes place two months after the birth of Lisbon and Jane's son, Dylan (errr...Patrick and Teresa, I guess :) )

The time of year? October 31st. In what would be maybe 2013/2014 if I had my way in the TV world. (Or, sooner. But sooner wouldn't be very realistic).

Just because I felt like writing a Halloween fic.


oh...and a:

Special thank you shout out to...Hawklover!

I dedicate this chapter to you. :)



JANE'S POV


I'm sitting by my desk-of-massively-improved-light-access...and making miniature mythological origami creatures.

So far, I've made a Griffin, a Pegasus, a unicorn and a dragon.

I line them all up in one neat little row.

In proper colour order.

Red for the griffin. Orange for the Pegasus. Yellow for the unicorn. Green for the dragon.

My son will need to learn his colours soon. He might as well learn his colours in style.

Cho ambles by, and gives the desk...a look.

"I take it...those are not for...Mrs. Jane. Or do you call her Boss?" and his lips quirk upwards.

As Cho rarely smiles, I do a double take and glance to my friend to confirm that I'm not actually... seeing things.

Sleepless nights and a crying baby = worsened insomnia. And mainly Dylan seems to cry if he can't sleep in the same bed as Teresa.

Not that I blame him.

"My man Cho! How little you know, my friend. Believe me...my origami critters are like Lisbon-aphrodisiac. No joke. You know...just the other day after I made her this cute little..."

Cho holds his hands up in a "stop the presses!" pose, and the look on his face has ME smirking now...

Of course, I don't actually PLAN on saying what occurred between my wife and I...

Though - for the record, it was actually very, very tame. No NC-17 activities or anything of the like.

Just the sweetest, most affectionate kiss from my raven haired sylph and a gushing, "A penguin, Patrick? Thank you, sweetie! Oh I think I'll put THIS little guy over here in the kitchen!"

[Lisbon actually wedged him into the open cut window...kicking out a fragrant and lush herb plant from its humble home to do so, too. Honestly, I was a little surprised with the speed with which she replaced her beloved rosemary pot simply so she'd have a prominent place for some rinky-dink paper animal that I made for her while stuck in a traffic jam...]

Her reasons were more practical and not-gushy-girly at all, though...

"This way, when I make my coffee in the morning...he'll be there to cheer me up. Him, and coffee."

Practical...sure. Because, let's face it: my wife has never been a morning person.

She and mornings go along about as well as a vegan in a steak house.

Lisbon still doesn't drink coffee, of course. Just Sanka. So long as she's breast feeding...no coffee for the lady. (And of course I feel the need to bring up the long-term effects of caffeine on developing children, just to wreck any low-level craving she has for the drink. I catch her eyeing the stuff, enviously, whenever we pass a Starbucks. And the other day I actually heard her proclaim that going without coffee so long is a type of torture for her... so that "if little Dylan wants a brother or sister, we're going to have to adopt." I was GOING to laugh before catching that insatiable look of need on her face, like a junkie).

Anyway...I've been 'rewarding' her with the origami critters. I figure...I'm much better at the whole positive reinforcement technique angle, and she deserves something to lift her spirits, now that coffee has been temporarily taken out of the equation.

"...maybe you can make me a whole legion of penguins..."

Of course...I actually hesitated then, not really understanding such devout appreciation for the hand folded items. Not before that moment, anyway. I would never have believed that she kept half of the random scrawlings, airplanes, paper-napkin-notes scratches...or any other bit of random garbage that I had foisted off onto her over the years...

...although she has.

Every little pathetic piece!

What's worse - she's kept them in a special letter box. From day one. Going back to her first ever leaping-paper-frog. Aka the "Lisbon apology origami model." (Though I never say that aloud)

I don't know whether or not to be delightfully assured that her sentimental nature was...fortuitous of obvious fated star-crossed splendor. Or if I should patiently...worry...for my woman. And for her latent hoarding habit.

But seriously... the penguin has become her power animal ever since we watched March of the Penguins! I still recall the day.

She had basically been kicked out of the office by Hightower for refusal to take her maternity leave. So my Teresa had trundled home looking so wan and lost...just like a puppy caught in a downpour...the I had to take pity.

So I suggested that we watch an animal movie that harped on some moralistic idea about overcoming extreme odds.

"What about Milo and Otis?," she had quipped immediately while helping herself to what seemed to be a never-ending treasure trove of Hot Tamales, which she kept stashed by her very swollen belly as she battled me for the remote control.

8 months pregnant with our child, and living off candy! (I all but smacked the box out of her hand and deposited it in the trash, a lecture on my lips. "What had we agreed about...with you...trying to eat a little better?")

Marriage seemed to be making me mature in very atypical (or maybe just unexpected) ways.

Ways that I had never really developed when married the first time.

This time... I was finding myself worrying, over-thinking...enough.

Enough to make me realize that...people really do change. Or can.

If there's a will.


Teresa still channels Lisbon, pre-motherhood. Which is probably why I've filled up every nook and cranny of our home with leafy greens and lean protein sources, regularly rooting out and destroying candy stashes.

(My wife would try to live off Mike and Ikes and Fuzzy Peaches if I let her!)

"I'm craving sugar. I'm craving caffeine. I can't help it, buster! Your genes are overpowering my genes, here. The little guy wants sugar!"

The following day I had taken my tea plain. Sans white sugar. Sans honey. Cream poured first. Water boiling. Tea steeped to exactly four minutes. Everything as it always has been...

But no sugar.

"Aww, Jane. Going all ascetic on me just because I can't enjoy anything whatsoever, anymore?"

Hence...March of the Penguins. A film about extreme barrenness, harshness. The ultimate struggle for survival. (At the beginning of the film... a mother penguin tries to pass her egg back across to the father, but it slips away, lands on the snow...and in seconds...the life inside dies. Teresa...actually cried. Not loudly or anything, and - mind you - she was eight months pregnant at the time, but still - she's had a soft spot for the little "tuxedo-men" ever since).

Back to the original point: Lisbon's obsession with origami animals...

Well, let's just say that our house is quickly being outfitted in the most whimsical fashion. I wouldn't have ever believed it.

Whimsy?

Not from Lisbon.

Right?

But not only is it getting pretty whimsical around here, but also warm-cozy. Cinnamon-mini-donut cozy in most of the rooms. Except...maybe our bedroom where it's more 'lavender-satchet' comfortable.

A subtle but undoubtedly important distinction.


"The other day she actually shared COLOUR swatches with me," I laugh to Rigsby, explaining my wife's new found obsession with fixing everything...just so.

And this from a woman who didn't put away boxes in her own apartment for a solid two years!

(Maybe I should take back my earlier suggestion that Teresa hasn't changed as much as I have?)

"BOSS? Boss was talking about colour swatches?," and Grace has come into the office now, sounding rather surprised - having caught the last bit of conversation. Her red hair is messily pulled up into the most scattered bun I've ever seen.

"How goes yoga?," I ask lazily, while I continue to work on the newest mythological animal of the bunch.

This time I am attempting a Phoenix...

(It's not going very well.)

"Fine, fine...," and Grace trails off.

I look up quickly, share a look with Cho.

"Liar, " I grin, "you lie. You're...bored out of your yoga-addled little skull."

Grace sits down on my sofa - eyes raised in a semi-asking 'you mind?', with regards to napping on my sofa.

I roll my hand in a 'go ahead' gesture - not nearly as possessive over that piece of furniture now as I had been in yesteryear.

Grace seems to read MY mind for once, and gives me the cheesiest all-tooth grin.

"Someone has been unfaithful to...Elvis," she sing-songs, while I snort, bite down on my lip in concentration, and continue working on this...oddly shaped little Phoenix.

"Does this look like a Phoenix to you guys?"

"I thought it was an alligator," Cho remarks blandly from the next table over.

"I'm making MAGICAL creatures here Kimball...," I trail off, feeling sort of foolish when he looks up from his novel, muttering, "oh, well - I thought it was a magic alligator."

'This one I might just chuck a little later...'

"Still," I counter after a few seconds, knowing origami figure #26 for the day is a lost cause... "You're...actually...bored. Of Yoga. Grace Van Pelt...bored with yoga! Whodda thunk?"

Rigsby nods his head vigorously. "I know, right? I mean...it's downright freaky. Next thing we know, she'll be replacing her carrot sticks and hummous dip with Snickers bars and twizzlers!"

Grace chucks a rejected-origami-critter in our general direction.

It doesn't go very far, and Rigsby hoots.

"Ok. Laugh," she growls, "But seriously...it's really a compliment. I miss Lisbon," she pouts.

We let the Lisbon slide. It's an unspoken rule that anyone who actually knew Teresa before we (unbelievably! ecstatically!) got married, can more or less call her Lisbon whenever they see fit. I still call her Lisbon myself, sometimes...which is something that never fails to amuse Cho, especially.

My eyebrow quirks upwards. A classic Teresa gesture.

No one seems to notice.

"How does your boredom flatter my Teresa there, Grace?"

"Well...Boss was...really...amusing. In class, I mean."

I have it on good authority that Teresa was a very sporty kid. I tell this to Grace without pause, lest the younger woman think she can tarnish the jock-o reputation of my wife.

"Oh, no. I don't mean that she was BAD at Yoga. I mean...she was funny. She was like...the kid in the back of grade 11 math who always says something biting when the teacher is lecturing!"

I can visualize the scene with ease.

"Pretty sarcastic, I take it?," and I look over to see Grace's expression, before turning back and counting my origami paper.

6 pieces left.

I need to start rationing.

"Oh yeah," Grace chuckles, before finally seeming to SEE the little army of multi-coloured paper-people who have begun to take over my desk.

"What are you DOING, anyway?"

Cho doesn't look up from his Jane Austen book this time.

"You mean besides regaling us with stories of Lisbon's transmogrification from CBI-agent control freak to colour swatch control freak?"

I blink.

"I wouldn't say control freak...," I interject quickly, feeling the need to defend my better half.

Cho snorts. "No? It isn't odd that she's so focused on whether wedgewood blue would best compliment your eyes that she's visited five home repair shops in the last week?"

I huff in his general direction. "I don't think that's exactly what I said...and that would really fall under "obsessively detail oriented" a little better than "control freak", maybe..."

Rigsby opens his mouth, and all I can see is artificial, neon yellow.

Cheesies.

"Oh, yeah right Jane! Near enough! "We could paint this room the softest wedgewood, sweetie...it would be like falling asleep in the rain...""

"That's a far cry from saying that it would match my eyes!," I say, oddly feeling exasperated.

I catch the look, then - of the two of them. The insider-glances. The devious little looks.

Oh...

OH.

Who do they think they are fooling?

I can play at this game.

I INVENTED this game!

"Cho? Rigsby? You guys...cannot make me embarrassed. Nothing you say or do with cause me shame. I'm inordinately proud of our quirky love."

Grace sits up straighter on the sofa then, her face looking every bit the overtly romanticized 7th grader. I can almost hear an 'awwww' on her lips.

Rigsby just continues to eat his highlighter-yellow 'snack.'

"But "SWEETIE?" I mean - come on. I thought you were joking! It's like she's turned into a pod person!"

His laughter is cut off as Grace gives him a scowl.

"Well I think it's terribly sweet," and the chewing and the smacking of cheesie-laden lips...stops. Just like that.

"I'm happy for you guys, Patrick," she adds genuinely after a moment - now off the couch, and by my side - and squeezing me. A hug. Out of nowhere.

I stare down at my shoes.

"Now he's blushing," Cho mutters.

Grace drags a chair over to sit by my side. Once seated nearby, she lets her fingers flutter on over to the assembly of critters I have finished...and actually..."awwws."

"You're making Dylan a mobile, aren't you?," she says a moment later, looking pleased.

I nod vigorously.

"And you can help, Grace... Quick! Name a mythological creature. Anything but a Phoenix. I'm not any good at making those..."

She pauses for a second, then animatedly shouts out, "Gelfling!"

I frown at the tiny sheets of orange and purple paper that I have left.

"I don't know how to make a...Gelfling. Not that's it not a fantastic suggestion...," and I drop my voice, and hiss to Cho, "what's a Gelfling?"

"The DARK CRYSTAL?," Grace interjects, hearing me - and looking up at me as if I've lost my mind. "You've never seen The DARK CRYSTAL?," and her voice booms out again in deep resonance.

"Uhh...no. Why? Should I have?"

Grace suddenly looks very, very young.

"Oh...well...d'uh! Of course! It's a mid 80's classic, Jane! I got to watch it for my 2nd birthday," her voice drops off in fond rembrance, "I thought Kira was...so pretty."

I smooth out a line in my last sheet of green paper.

Another dragon won't be anything dingy.

"That's why, then. I would have been a high schooler to your pre-schooler," and I give her an its-alright-we-all-forget-sometimes pat on the back.

"Still. Great movie. Jim Henson classic...," she mutters, before brightening. "Maybe Dylan would like it?"

Cho licks his finger tip, and turns a page in his book. "Jane...teaching his son colours. You - thinking a baby would like Gelfling movies. You're both nuts."

There.

Finally.

A Minotaur!

A respectable one at that!

"TA DA! - my skewed mythological creatures mobile is now complete. And I've used all of the ROY G BIV paper colours!"

Cho takes a sip of hazelnut coffee. I see Rigsby mouth out "ROY G BIV?"

"Nuts...," Cho adds, after he swallows. "Completely cuckoo-for-cocoa-crisps crazy."


"Honey...they are just coming over for drinks! You don't need to DO anything!"

I'm trying to get Teresa to stop fretting over snacks.

"Besides...Rigsby never stops eating. He's not touching the brie."

She's frowning.

"Are you SURE the apples look proper?"

She's not a cook, a chef, or an apple-caramel-dipper person.

But at least my Teresa tries.

That counts for everything in the world, to me.

And apparently...nothing in the world, for her.

"Ah ah AH. These are perfect, my dear!"

It's a Halloween party. Not a Royal Wedding feast.

"They look wrong," and I move the pan away before Lisbon can chuck the remaining apples into the garbage.

We've lost a lot of apples this week...

"They have PERSONALITY. What they lack in perfection, they make up for in being personality-rich!"

She still looks forlorn.

"I really don't think I should ever set foot in a kitchen. Not ever. I should just leave the cooking up to you. That, or we can live off Thai takeout..."

"Uhh, honey..."

"And him," she points to Dylan - who is konked out in his carrier, currently sleeping, "when he's older. He can cook too. If he wants. Oh...who am I kidding? I'm sure he'll be the gourmand type, just like his father."

Her voice sounds gloomy, so I lift her chin upwards so that I can look her in the eyes.

What I have to say next is..extremely serious.

I need her to understand the gravity of the situation here.

"Lisbon, sweetheart...please don't tell me that you want to buy our son an easy bake oven for Christmas. Firstly - he's two months old. And secondly - and MOST IMPORTANTLY - wasn't the cabbage patch doll bad enough?"

THHHHAT does it.

The start of a classic-Lisbon smile.

I feel better already.

"Hey! Cabbage Patch Kids and childhood go hand-in-hand! As do Glow-Worms," and as if to indicate her point, she indicates to Dylan, napping alongside both a plastic doll with dimples and a plush green worm that's glowing a gentle, melodious pink. The former given by mommy, the worm - a gift from Grace, whose taste in toys for children is still stuck in the 80's, alongside her taste in juvenile film media.

But he seems to like it - the little kook. In fact he's staring at it now, having just woken.

Teresa, seeing a golden opportunity to showcase her sensitivities, crouches down by our son and runs her hand through his curls before turning her attention to the glowing, stuffed worm. Picking it up slowly, she smirks when Dylan seems to rouse - white mischief hands coming out to bop his mom.

"See?...I rest my case," she adds triumphantly; after a moment, she coos, "You want this, buddy?"

Those little hands are still grasping in the direction of the light, so she takes pity and returns the doll to its rightful owner.

Within a nanosecond, Dylan has latched onto the glow worm. Another nanosecond later...and our son's mouth has, likewise, latched onto the hard plastic head.

In two seconds flat, the entire toy is covered in slobber.

I still feel...disconcerted by the scene.

"After you continuously referred to Dylan as a girl at birth...don't you think we should try to get him...I don't know... manly toys or something?"

I know the comment will provoke a full-blown smile.

And I'm not disappointed.

"MANLY?," she's pink with amusement. "What's manly for a two month old?"

"Well, maybe we should start by taking the dress off the cabbage patch doll? And maybe...you know...doing something about these curls?"

Our son has more hair than a one year old. Maybe even a two year old.

It looks ridiculous.

I make a SNIP-SNIP motion with my fingers, and Teresa's eyes go wide. She protectively comes to Dylan's side.

"Don't you DARE *dream* of taking scissors to his precious head! I love his curls!"

I know she does.

She loves mine, too.

So much so that my hair gel has miraculously vanished on no less than three seperate occasions.

I've more or less been forced to quit buying the stuff.

"What about a buzz cut?," I interject randomly, a moment later. "You know...so we can have our own little military man?"

Teresa looks horrified.

"You touch his hair, and I WILL shoot you! In the past, I've joked...but not any longer. Not when it comes to my son!"

"'My' son?," I laugh, noting the possessiveness.

I have to roll my eyes as she rushes to Dylan's side then, and picks the baby up.

"It's not like I'm going to do something in this PRECISE moment, Liss. He'll survive the night, hair intact. I promise."

"Leave his hair alone. Or you'll be sorry," she hisses, taking a now garbling Dylan to the window, where she pulls back the curtains to look outside.

Waiting for our guests, apparently.

I grab a handful of candy corn from an amber bowl, and then lie out languidly on the couch, pulling a green afghan over me as I nibble on sweets.

"Well...what about if we just dyed his hair with blue kool-aid? I think it would look very punk, personally. Even Cho thought it would be neat!"

She turns of her heel then, looking startled.

"You talked about this with Cho?"

"Sure. Rigsby too. Why not? I mean, five people this week alone thought he was a girl!," I frown, suddenly realizing that for me...this isn't a joke anymore.

I'm actually concerned. A little bit.

Enough.

Concerned...or...upset.

'Upset?'

Teresa is studying me, all looks of humor and teasing and mock-horror-outbursts...gone.

"What's the matter?," she asks softly.

I eat another candy corn piece slowly. Drrrrrawn out.

Maybe because something, something I can't quite discern, is bugging me.

Some niggling insecurity, maybe.

That, or something else that's old and haunting and should be left in another time, another place.

"You look upset. I thought you were joking, but - what's wrong... really?"

I chew like a horse to prolong having to speak. Long, drawn out movements.

I swallow, think of something silly to say, and speak at last.

"You mean aside from your wacky caramel apples... 'what's wrong?'?"

"Patrick...," Teresa semi-laughs, grabbing the bowl of what she likes to call cavity-corn away from me, pouring a few pieces into her hands, cupped.

"Are you sure that-?"

"Nothing is wrong. I mean it. What's the time? Shouldn't we get Dylan into his costume?"

She nods...still looking all too-thoughtful and concerned, in my honest opinion.

"Pat..."

"It's nothing that a sailor suit won't fix, I'm sure..."

Letting the subject drop for now, she starts upstairs.

"It better be a MANLY costume, darling," I call, as she retreats, "or his hair...CHOP CHOP!," I call up behind her, just as the door bell rings.


Grace is, not surprisingly, the first to arrive.

She raves and 'wows!' about everything that Lisbon has done to make the occasion festively...spooky.

"I like the red rope! It looks like a vascular network that's going haywire. And those little straw dolls! Those are just creepy."

I stare up at our ceiling.

It IS pretty creepy.

Hands clap together then, excitedly, and I see Grace whip out a rather large aubergine knapsack - the kind that you'd take on a mountain climbing expedition.

And it's packed to the brim with candy.

"Whose going to eat all this?," I smirk, helping her unload tubs and tubs of jujubes, gummy worms, black and orange jelly beans and bags of fun-sized chocolate bars.

"Well, I figure Wayne will eat half or so, the trick-or-treaters will devour some more and amongst the four of us, well..."

She looks off thoughtfully.

"Oh! I remembered - here!," and I'm instantly rewarded with two new 'presents.'

Actually...one is a present, by the looks of things. I catch old 50's Caspar the Friendly Ghost wrapping paper, a sparkly silver bow and a jumbo green card taped around some small, flat parcel.

"For Dylan," Grace smiles at me benevolently. "A Happy First Halloween, gift!"

At my look of expectation, she adds a beat later. "The Dark Crystal. And what do you know? We can watch it tonight! It's perfect for Halloween."

I nod, relenting.

"See? You keep this up...and I won't even be ABLE to spoil my own son. His Godmother will have beat me to the punch!"

"Punch? I didn't make any punch," I hear my wife ask, now coming down the stairs, holding our son...and...

ohmygod.

I choke on a candy corn piece and Grace comes to my side, pounding me on my back before I inhale the trinket up into my lungs.

When I finally catch my breath, I wheeze out, "I thought you said...it'd be MANLY!"

Teresa gives me a look, a slow up and down gaze, as Grace watches on, amused.

"I like my definition of manly," and she gives me a peck on the cheek, her smile turning hysterical.

Grace, meanwhile is red...trying not to laugh.

"You...you HAVE to hold him Jane. You and Dylan. All night long. Because I need pictures!," and poor Grace struggles to take a breath, trying to compose herself. Her face is now as red as her hair, really.

"And when the kids come around, you need to-"

"No...I'm not exposing my son to germy children all night. He doesn't have a developed immune system yet," I say at last - suddenly feeling as if I should go and change before the men arrive.

"Nothing to say, honey?," Lisbon rattles off as I stand rooted to the spot, toothy grin showing her extreme pleasure at my extreme...

I don't know...

"I don't know if I find this cute, creepy, amusing, or simply plain devious," I smirk. "But I bow down to your trickery and mad-cool sewing skills, darling..."

Grace is still laughing, her attention now fully trained on Dylan, whom Lisbon has handed off, and who is now reaching out and grabbing at long red hair in his pudgy hands, as if saying 'mine. mine. mine.'

Dylan is a suck-up with it comes to Grace.

"I was going to tape a blue plastic teacup to his wrist, too, but I figured that wouldn't be very comfortable," Lisbon informs me with a wide smile as Grace sits down cross legged on our floor, Dylan in her lap - Pinky grasped between both hands, the doll head all slick with baby spit.

Ever since she got the ridiculous tyke his beloved pink glow worm he has clinged to the pilly thing. His 'Pinky,' as Liss refers to it, as if THAT will help us make progress in our lets-testosterone-this-kid-up! plan.

Pulling a handkerchief from my pocket, I wipe off Pinky quickly and then I study my son. The little boy really is all cupid ringlets in the whitest blond I can ever recall seeing. Blue eyes puckering towards something with a greenish cast.

I was so right. He's going to have his mom's eyes.

"Come on son, friends don't drool on friends!"

Dylan looks up at me as I sit down next to him and Grace, suddenly wanting to get a better look at the outfit. To take a look at that teensy, hand sewn three piece suit - in wedgewood blue, no less.

"How did you make this tiny vest, boss? And...wow...you even got the same type of material for the dress shirt! Now he REALLY looks like you, Jane!"

I smile at last, catching my wife's look of supreme adoration as she studies our son.

Suddenly, I'm not so worried about changing.


SPECIAL NOTATION FOR HAWKLOVER:

Firstly...thank you very, very much for your indepth advice/ review :)

To answer your question (semi-question, maybe?)...no, I've never given birth. What I am familiar with (if you can call it being familiar with ANYTHING of the sort)...is the second-hand retelling of one friend of the family, who (possibly) had an atypical birth. She didn't have any of the hemorrhaging that I put poor Lisbon through, here - but she looked...very, very "back to normal" when I visited her at home the next day. So much so, that I remember saying..."wait, YOU were pregnant?"

Of course, while I'm even shorter than Lisbon (*sighs*), this family friend was a great deal taller and definitely bigger than me. So maybe that changes things? I think when you are petite... every pound shows up a lot more/ faster/ more 'easily'. (I've always been in the 95ish lb range, but with an ulcer...it's easy to gain weight quickly.:/ Not fun... (which also, possibly, helps explain why in canon a) Lisbon is so snarky, b) Lisbon is so impatient c) Lisbon doesn't seem quite so smitten with Jane as I think she should be! Ulcers = crappy experiences, indeed. Especially bleeding ulcers, but I digress...).

Other than that (going back to my original story), the baby girl of this friend-of-a-family member... was born with an entire mop of jet black hair - in curls! I remember thinking it was the oddest thing ever...to see this newborn who looked as if she had stolen the hair right off the head of an older child and made a wig of it!

Hilarious and adorable, all in one. :) (She was a very amusing baby across the board, though. I imagine if Jane ever had a son...the amusement factor would be through the roof anyway, but moreso if his son with born with that kind of curly-top hair! So of course, I had to be mean and give the kid curls... (No, all truth be told...I love Jane's hair. I think it's adorable on him. I don't like it when he gels it back. The curls...are pretty sweet indeed, imho)).

Another thing that was pressing on my mind [making it harder for me to know which direction to take everything] was just...how to merge the established rocky past/ Lisbon's issue with the present. Especially if she was a mother, giving birth. Would fear trump the normal/ typical responses, here?

I'm not sure. I think it's possible.

Because I've lived through abuse. I know fear can cause some very intense reactions. I know a good deal about PTSD, and I've lived through a bit that canon-Lisbon's lived through, and what my non-canon version has lived through, too. Scarily enough (and this will feature more in my other stories), I've lived with an ulcer since I was a teenager. I guess you could say...in many respects...I 'get' Lisbon (in almost every respect. Walter Mashburn doesn't hold a candle to Patrick Jane, you silly woman! What were you thinking? Good grief! *deep breath* *rant over*)

I think the tricky part was merging, authentically...a 'normal' response for someone who has gone through an assault, but then has to give birth. I don't really know of any stories or representations off the top of my head that deal with that particular subject in detail, so I just took a shot. And given that Libson is so snarky usually, I just had it in my mind that she'd continue to use her 'aggression' when afraid. But by not having the first hand experience myself, I had to go off of stories from family members who - you guessed it - all had epidurals, as far as I know! [I didn't want to make Lisbon a character who went for an epidural, partly because if you want to stay in control of your self, your body - you need to stay alert. So someone with Lisbon's history would probably have issue with drugs anyway. placed in a vulnerable position...]

Yes...I wrote myself into a bit of a writing corner, didn't I? :p