By Ashley J.
Disclaimer: Yes, it's me, AshleySully. No I do not own the characters from Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. I am poor, please do not sue me! The characters belong to the wonderful creators of Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman and to Beth Sullivan. Thank you for the amazing show that has inspired me to write for so many years! This is my first DQ fanfic in years. Short and sweet. Please read and review!
As Michaela Quinn sat staring at her sleeping newborn daughter, she found herself smiling and sighing softly at the thought of this innocent little creature that had been nothing more than an idea less than a year ago. The gentle rising and falling of her little chest and the quick sucking motion she made with her mouth as she dreamt were a comfort to the new mother who had feared just weeks ago that she might not even carry her baby to term.
Things were quiet around the homestead now. Colleen was busy helping Dr. Cook at the clinic in town, Matthew was busy with his duties as sheriff, and Brian was spending an increasing amount of time with his new friend Anthony. While Sully spent time trying to help Cloud Dancing adjust to life at the new reservation, Michaela often spent her days tending to her daughter, reading up on the latest medical journals and keeping up with her correspondence to her sisters and mother in Boston. She tended to write down every little new thing Katie did as the days passed, wanting to record every minute as to not forget a second.
As the baby's left leg twitched and she let out a little grunt, Michaela placed her hand on the baby's belly, gently soothing her back to sleep. Letting out a little yawn, Michaela turned and headed downstairs to the family room. She saw her medical bag collecting dust on her vanity table, and she frowned. It wouldn't be long before she relieved Andrew of his duties at the clinic, and she'd have to share the time she'd become accustomed to having with her family over the last few weeks with the patients who needed her in town.
Michaela sat down at the vanity table and brushed a layer of dust off of the bag. She certainly hadn't had much time for cleaning lately. Luckily, Colleen was around to help with the cooking chores, though Michaela wasn't sure at all what she would do when the time came for her daughter to leave for college, an event which was approaching quickly. Never had she dreamed that she would be a mother, a wife and a doctor all at the same time. It was something she had hoped for but never thought would be a reality. No, when she became a doctor, she accepted that she may never marry, for many men were not exactly enthusiastic about the idea of a female doctor. But then there was Sully. Just the thought of him brought another smile to her face. If it wasn't for Sully, she wasn't certain she would even still be in Colorado Springs. The truth of the matter was that there were times that, as strong and willful as Michaela strived to be, Sully had been her rock. There were times when she had completely broken and needed him to lean on; times when he had saved her life. She was grateful that they were brought together. That gratitude had extended tenfold when baby Katie was born. The idea that they could come together to create such an amazing little spirit was something she struggled to comprehend each day. As a doctor, she had delivered hundreds of babies, but giving birth to and nurturing the product of her love with Sully was something she found difficult to even put into words. The incredible feeling of looking into her child's eyes, seeing the innocence in those beautiful eyes was something that melted her heart at the mere thought.
Watching Sully with her was another astounding sight. He was wonderful with Matthew, Colleen and Brian, but to see him holding Katie in his strong arms with such tenderness, such affection, was breathtaking. The image of his face the moment their daughter was born immediately popped into her head. A tear trickled down her cheek, and she brushed it away. With a little shake of her head, she took a deep breath.
For the first time that day, Michaela picked up her pen and dragged a piece of paper from the corner of the table. Without pause, she began to write.
My Dearest Katie,
You, only a few weeks old as I write this, are sleeping just up the stairs from where I sit, yet I can still somehow hear your tiny breaths and the sweet noises you make in your sleep. I always thought my senses were fully intact, but nothing compares to the amazing transformation that motherhood does to your instincts. Sometimes I feel as if I can hear you cry before you even open your mouth. I feel this connection to you, a connection I felt before you were even born. I want nothing more than to keep you and your brothers and sister safe from harm. I realize that that is a difficult goal to reach. In life, there are uncontrollable instances, and as a mother, I will never be able to protect you from the certain heartbreaks in life. But I vow to prepare you for whatever may happen.
Your presence in my life has filled a space that I never knew existed before. I considered myself thankful, lucky to have your wonderful brothers Brian and Matthew, and your sister Colleen to look after and nurture. I considered myself blessed to get to know your father and become his wife. And when I found out you were on the way, I wondered how I could possibly love any other being as much as I love your siblings and your father. And then you were born. This intense, overwhelming joy washed over me the second your father placed you in my arms.
Being a wife is one of the most wonderful experiences of my life. I hope for you, my dearest daughter, that you will find a man as understanding, compassionate and loving as your father is. I want you to strive to be whatever it is you want to be in life. I want for you to be able to talk to me, to tell me things, even if they are difficult to talk about. I will be here for you as long as God allows me to be.
I want you to know that you are one lucky little girl. You have two brothers who are fiercely protective of you. You have a sister who treats you as her own. Your father dotes on you. I wake some mornings to see him sitting on the foot of the bed, cradling you against his chest. Sometimes he doesn't realize I'm watching him, and he'll whisper stories to you about the brave Cheyenne nation. He tells you of your Cheyenne father, Cloud Dancing, a man who taught your father and helped him become the man he is today.
As you read this, I hope you realize how much love your family has for you and how much you changed our lives in so many wonderful ways in just a few short weeks. My dearest Katie, you have brought this family even closer together. The love and foundation of this family has strengthened since the moment you entered our lives. You have made us appreciate even more the time we have been given on this earth.
As she placed her pen down, she felt a hand on her shoulder. She looked up into the mirror to see Sully leaning over her. She smiled as he wrapped his arms around her from behind and kissed her cheek. She leaned back against him and hummed a little sigh.
"Whatcha writin'?" he asked.
"Oh nothing," she mused with a smile, folding the paper and placing it aside. "Just something between mother and daughter." Sully gave her a befuddled look for a brief moment before she stood and turned in his arms, wrapping her arms around his neck. She kissed him softly and murmured something against his lips.
"What's that?" Sully asked, pulling back.
"Thank you," she said more clearly.
"What'd I do?" Sully asked with a little smile, bringing his hands to rest on her hips, pulling her in closer. She cocked her head to the side a little and leaned in for another sweet kiss. Before she could answer him, Katie began to fuss down the hall. Michaela started for the door, but Sully stopped her.
"S'alright. I'll get her. You get some rest." He headed out the door, and when she could hear Katie stop crying, she crept up the stairs and down the hall to stand just outside the bedroom. She could hear him whispering to Katie in dulcet tones, telling her about his talks with Cloud Dancing that day. She could hear the baby fussing a little at first and calming down as her father's voice became even softer. Michaela placed her hand against her chest and closed her eyes. Perhaps the peaceful moments in life would become few and far between in the future. Perhaps the chaos of life would create tremendous pressure on her and the family someday. But for right now, in this very moment, Michaela Quinn felt blessed and truly at peace with her path in life. She had accomplished more than she'd ever dreamed she would accomplish in life, and now she felt incredibly inspired to continue pursuing her dreams, helping her children achieve those dreams, but most of all, she wanted nothing more than to have the comfort of knowing that every day for the rest of her life, no matter what, at night, she had the comfort of coming home to the family she'd always wanted but never imagined she would have.