Author's Note: This fic is currently being written to fill a prompt on The Fan Fiction Exchange Program (the-ff-exchange (dot) livejournal (dot) com). I've posted more chapters to this fic on that site and I will transfer them over as soon as I get a chance. In the meantime, if you want to read further, head on over and while you're there, why not consider leaving a trade request! It's a really great opportunity to have a fic written that you've been hoping to read! It's got me hooked! :)
Peter and El, married about a year, there have been some issues because El hasnt been able to consieve and they want children badly maybe El recently had a misscarage and they are working through the pain of it and the fact that they may never have kids, neither of them really wanting to continue to try and risk going through the pain of another misscarage (This part is optional of course) anyhoo... Peter is just promoted to the position he has now as head of team in the white collar unit... I dont know how but some how Peter comes across some street moppets picking pockets and pan handling, the little one, no more than 6- Curly ringlits of brown hair, big blue eyes and missing both front teeth has been causing heaps of trouble. Peter finds out that he is a run away from foster care, he was shuffled back and forth from a few to many unfit foster homes (no physical abuse please but niglect is a better option as to why he would run away... always goes hungry the foster parents punish him by taking away food what not.) Following the little one leads him to another child not much older maybe 9 with mousy brown hair and thick glasses, they were from the same foster home, they bonded and ran away together, the big one takes care of the little one teaches him how to make it on the street, that wasnt the first foster home he ran from and he spent some time making it as a street kid before being put back into a new home after being found. He is very protective of the little one even though he isnt quite so big himself. Anyway however Peter runs into them he does and somehow they wind up home with him. Both boys are a littke skimmish and scared, they dont have any good experiances with adults, the little one is always scared he wont be fed,maybe squerrles away food from meals just in case, the big one used to taking care of him maybe sneaks food from his plate onto the little ones... and then of course there is trouble, how could there not be with these 2? They run Peter and El in circles, neither used to school and dont like it not to mention other rules and maybe some shop lifting or curiousity about Peters gun (hey Id be scared of guns too if I got my bottom smacked for touching one!) Anyway, these two seem like an answer to Peter and El's prayers, they have wanted kids so bad and here are two in such need of good parents.
Warning: This fic contains spanking of a foster child. If you consider that to be of concern, please don't read any further.
Agent Peter Burke stroked his beautiful wife's arm as she lay stretched out sleeping peacefully on the sterile hospital bed. He was careful not to bump the IV taped to her hand, mindful of the value provided by the sedative being pumped through the clear plastic tube. He ran careful fingers through her luscious dark, wavy hair and swept a stray lock off her face. How had he how been so fortunate to end up with such an incredible woman? He loved her with his whole being and there wasn't anything in the world he wouldn't do for her, if he could. And there was the catch. Sadly, some things were not within his powers. Some things were kept cruelly out of his reach, beyond what money could buy, beyond what favours could provide, beyond what wishes and prayers were unable to answer. In their two years of marriage, this was Elizabeth's third miscarriage. He wouldn't allow there to be a fourth.
"El…El…El…" Peter gently shook the shoulder of his sleeping wife.
"El. I'm leaving for work…. Remember you said you would come in for lunch."
"Yes, I didn't forget." Elizabeth rolled over and looked up at her husband while rubbing the sleep out of her eyes.
"Okay, well I'll see you around noon." Peter lifted his wife's fingers and planted a soft, tender kiss onto the back of her hand. "You have a good morning."
Agent Burke spotted his wife across on the opposite footpath, sitting at their favourite corner table outside the little sidewalk café that had become a regular meeting spot for lunch from the very early days of their relationship. He jogged across the road and greeted El with a kiss. "Hi, sorry I'm late honey." Peter sat down while explaining. "I had my first departmental co-ordinators meeting this morning and it went far longer than I had envisioned."
El raised her eyebrows in surprise. "You started your new position today? For some reason I didn't think that began until next week."
"No. I moved into my new office this morning." Peter smiled while trying his best to use his 'no big deal voice.'
"Oh I'm so sorry honey. I… it slipped my mind. I should have done something special for you."
"You did El. That's why I asked you to come in for lunch."
"Oh. I didn't put two and two together. I'm sorry."
"Hey, it's fine hon. Look don't worry." Peter reached across and took his wife's hands. "You're here. You're out of the house. You look fantastic." El smiled lovingly at her husband. "Look, you're even smiling. Now what more could I ask for?"
The young woman gave a defeated sigh. "A lot more Peter. Certainly more than I am capable of offering. I don't know why you put up with…" El was cut short when the waitress arrived to take their order.
Peter went first. "I'll have the steak sandwich and a stubby of Corona, thanks."
"And for you ma'am?"
"Just a coffee thank you."
"El?" Peter was not going to let that go.
"I'm not all that hungry." El spoke quietly, hoping the waitress wouldn't notice the little disagreement.
Peter ignored his wife's rationale and addressed the young girl standing by their table. "Ah, would you add a ham and salad sandwich to that order thanks."
"No problem. Is that all?"
"Yes thank you."
The young waitress collected the menus and disappeared back inside.
"Peter, I'm not hungry and I don't need you deciding for me what I should or shouldn't eat." El sounded more deflated than angry.
"El, I don't care what you eat as long as it's food. Coffee does not a meal make." Peter looked caringly into his wife's eyes. "Look hon. Do you think you should go back and see your doctor? We don't want it to get like last time."
El gazed off into the distance. "It won't be like last time Peter. It's going to be okay."
Peter thought it was a good time to change the subject. He didn't want El regretting agreeing to come out for lunch. "Why don't you come in for a visit tomorrow and I'll show you my new office?"
"Is it nice?" El made an effort to sound enthusiastic.
"Yeah it's fantastic. There's heaps of space to spread out all my gear. My desk looks down over the bullpen so I can easily keep an eye on everyone from the comfort of my chair. There's plenty of room to hang photos of my beautiful wife, and best of all I have a great view out my window of the park across from the plaza. Hey, when you come in to visit maybe you could bring some sandwiches and we'll go sit in the park and I'll point out which one is my office?"
"That sounds like a great plan."
Peter kept chatting throughout lunch while El tried her best to appear in high spirits. It was emotionally draining on the agent's part but he would never let it show. Someone had to be strong. El had eaten half of her sandwich, and was struggling with the other half when she accidently knocked her handbag off the table and onto the concrete surface of the sidewalk. She reached down to pick it up but was beaten to it by a young boy who was walking by. He collected the bag from the germ infested ground and placed it carefully back onto the table top.
"Why thank you young man." The little kid smiled happily at Elizabeth. He was missing his two front teeth and looked around five years old. He was the cutest little character she'd ever laid eyes on. The young chap was wearing a child size fedora that was quite possibly being used, unsuccessfully, to control a thick mop of curly brown hair sticking out in all directions from under the hat. More hair swept down over his face. His feet were in shoes at least two sizes too big with shoe laces hanging everywhere and baggy socks that pooled at his ankles. He was wearing a short sleeve button down shirt that was not tucked into his long checked shorts, and a sweet little black bow tie sat crooked around his neck. His overall appearance was totally adorable but it was the eyes that really caught El's attention. They were the most brilliant blue she'd ever gazed into and while the smile on his face made them sparkle, there was also something else in his expression, something she couldn't put her finger on. The child lifted his bony little arm and gave her a friendly wave before travelling on his merry way.
"What a gorgeous little boy," El commented to Peter after the boy had stepped away.
"Yeah, just charming." Peter stood.
"Where are you going?"
"I'm going to follow your 'gorgeous little boy'. Sorry hon. Thanks for coming in for lunch." He leant down and gave her a loving kiss. "I won't be home too late."
"Peter? I'm confused." El couldn't explain the sudden departure.
The agent pointed in the direction of the young child. "Your little moppet just stole your purse."
"Hey?" El quickly scanned through her bag. Seeing that her purse was indeed missing she demanded, "Well why didn't you get it back while he was standing here?"
"Because the kid is stealing that for someone else. I'm going to follow him and then arrest whoever is callous enough to have a young child do his dirty work."
"Okay but watch out for the little one. I don't want him getting hurt."
"El. He just stole your purse."
"Yeah, fine but he probably needed it more than me anyway," El defended in the child's absence.
Peter rolled his eyes and discreetly headed off in the direction of the little street moppet.