This story started out as a test to see if I could write a mission story. I give my self a C on that test, but it is my first try. I think I can get better. It ended up being a very sweet little look at Sam being the great guy he is. We also got a look at Michael floundering to be human and I got to harrass Jesse a little for holding that forgotton gun in her face oh so long ago.

My ThirdWatch gang knows I like to write stories in threes, so they will not be surprised that I am already working on the next part. Gotta fill those bedrooms.. and improve my mission writing. Maybe I could take lessions from Escribe?

Thanks all.



"I just can't imagine anyone believing you were a baptist minister!" Maddy chuckled.

"Funny how I could be Fiona's father though huh?" He asked. She started laughing harder.

Sam shook his head, pushing back his chair and joining Michael in the kitchen. Westen was still removing the tape and plastic bindings from his new appliances.

"Will you be careful!" Fiona squawked, watching him hiss and yank back his finger before putting it in his mouth. "I told you to use the scissors." He frowned at her, but took the tool she'd thrust towards him. "If you scratch my dishwasher I'll cut you myself."


"Yeah Sam." She asked distractedly, picking up pieces of wrapping off the floor of the kitchen.

"I think you need to show Jesse the pool house while he's here." She froze, still bent at the waist. He watched her drop the trash and put her hands on her thighs.

"Pool house?" Michael asked, his finger still between his lips.

"Fi?" Sam blinked.

"Okay." She said softly, pushing back up again. Westen watched her carefully.

"What's the p-?" She ran her hand through his hair before leaving the kitchen.

"Don't cut your fingers off, Michael." She sighed. "Jesse? Can I show you the pool house?"

"You need me for this?" Sam asked her, watching her head shake.

"Fi?" Her husband asked again crossing the floor to her.

"Go finish the kitchen. I need to get this finished before we start working on the bedrooms." She told him, narrowing her eyes and tossing her hand back over her shoulder. He nodded with a sigh before creeping back into the kitchen.

"Pool house?" Jesse asked brightly. "I didn't even know you had a pool." She turned slowly and started towards the french doors.

"I can show you that too." She smiled, almost reaching her eyes.


"This thing you're doing with Fiona." Maddy asked quietly after the door shut behind them. "Desensationalizing.."

"Desensitization, Ma." Michael sighed, collecting the trash she'd disregarded.

"Whatever! You sure you know what your doing?" She bit the tip of her finger.

"Don't worry, Maddy." Sam whispered. "We've done this before."

"I mean, doesn't she need a doctor? A psychologist?" Madelyn looked between the two of them.

"Mom, if you could get Fiona to see a psychologist I'd be all for it." Michael grunted.

"Sure, just make sure she's unarmed when you bring it up." Axe hummed.

"It's the best option we have. She's not going to go to a professional. She's not going to take medication. This is the next best way, therapists use it to treat PTSD all the time. Sam's been through it before. He knows what he's doing."

"You?" Madelyn looked at her friend.

"Yeah I went through a hard time, 'bout a decade ago. A buddy of mine, Military Psychologist, did this for me."

"She's already better Mom. She just needs some time." Michael whispered as the door swung open and Jesse and Fi slipped back in.

"Man. That is sweet out there." Jesse chucked his thumb over his shoulder. The three of them all had their eyes on Fiona. She chuckled a little, Sam grinned and Westen slowly exhaled. Madelyn Westen was studying her daughter in law.

"I think we can put it to use." She sang, coming to stand beside her husband. He felt his body start to relax when he felt no tension from her small frame. "Don't you Michael?"

"I'm sure we will." He said dryly, before dropping his eyes to hers. She smiled back at him.


Fiona continued rubbing a towel against her damp hair as she slipped back from the master bathroom. She stopped staring at her husband on the bed. Her heart sank a little, when he didn't flinch. If he was asleep and someone walked into the room his body would have shown at least some reaction.

He was exhausted, she mused, letting her eyes slide up and down his form.

"How long are you going to stare at me?" He mumbled, without opening his eyes. She smiled before sliding in bed to his left. He sighed as she cuddled into his side.

"You need sleep." Her voice had that edge. That edge that everyone else would think was irritation, but he knew better.

"I'm okay Fi." he whispered.

"Michael.." She turned her head back up to look at him, drawing her fingers against his tired face. "Maybe you should go to the loft."

His eyes clicked open and he looked at her in confusion.

"You kicking me out already?" He asked blankly, still avoiding her concern. "I thought it would take at least a month."

"Stop it." She pushed up from his chest and looked at him. "I know what it feels like to be too nervous to sleep."

"I'm not-."

"You don't have to stand watch over me Michael." She smiled sadly. "If you went to the loft-."

"I wouldn't be able to sleep there either." He told her, his voice it's usual easy timber.

"What if I we sleep in shifts?" Fiona offered, her eyes shining.

"Fi." He rubbed his face with his palm. "I'm f-."

"Don't make me call Sam." He winced before absently stroking her cheek.

"If I'm paying attention I can-." He closed his palm over her face.

"I know." She covered his hand with hers. "But Michael I need to do this."

"You want me to go to the loft?" He exhaled slowly, squeezing his eyes shut.

"I want you to sleep." She whispered. She watched his eyes lazily open into hers, smiling at the memory of his own words.

"We've been here before." He raised an eyebrow at her and he pulled her back against him.

"Yes we have." She said softly, wiggling up to his lips and pressing hers against them.

"This is a new direction." He raised his eyebrows weakly.

"You're exhausted." She hummed, he grunted back his disappointment.

"I am." He admitted softly as her fingers swept up and down his face. His eyelids flickered closed.

"Sleep." She coaxed, tucking her face under his chin. "It's alright."


"Where's Mike?" Sam asked as Fiona tossed the door to the loft open and stomped inside, shaking the rain from her trench coat.

"Working." She groaned. "He's meeting me here."

"Something wrong?" Sam's eyebrows rose.

"I don't think so. I think it's just their regular every other week check in a few days early." She dropped one of hers bag of supplies on the counter and Sam helped her unpack it.

"Doesn't that make it irregular?"

"Sam." She rolled her eyes. "How about you ask Michael when he gets back?"

He stopped to stare at her as she started tearing the duct tape into strips.

"Nah. I don't think I really care." He sighed.

"Well, anyway. I wanted to tell you something." She told him airily, shifting her eyes over to where he had begun coiling her wire. She reached back into the other bag distractedly.

"You haven't changed the plan again Fi. Have you?" He rolled his eyes. "Because I'm going to forget what I'm supposed to be doing and just start mashing all the different ones toget-." He stopped talking when she slammed a six pack onto the counter in front of him.

"Thank you." She hissed.

"For what?" He furrowed his eyebrows at her.

"One for each week-." She pointed at each beer, boldly raised her eyes to him. "Nightmare free."

They stood there staring at each other until the door swung open again and Westen stomped in, tossing his black umbrella across the floor.

"God I'm starving. Tell me we have yogurt." He ran his eyes quickly over the progress at the table.

"We have yogurt." His wife sighed, kicking her shopping bag towards him, he picked it up looked towards the counter. He pulled out a beer, holding it up to Sam. He took it with a smile as Michael carried the other five to the fridge.

"Your welcome." Axe whispered, handing her the coiled wire.