Sam woke more than normal and needed to be nursed to return to sleep. Abby was more than a little tired when Lucas squeezed in between her and Tim at 5 in the morning having woken with a nightmare. All may have been physically alright but the boys obviously were still feeling uneasy about their adventure.
When Tim's alarm rang out at 0600 Abby quickly covered Luc's ears and glared at her husband to turn it off. McGee reluctantly got out of bed and headed to the shower to invoke some sort of living being within himself. His sleep had been sporadic at best and was definitely not able to be called restful. Having run off the job yesterday and pulling his entire team and Tony's as well Tim couldn't stay at home today as he wanted. Ready for work in the physical sense he kissed his half asleep wife and his practically unconscious son before heading off to work.
Abby lay in bed as long as Sam would allow it, but because he'd fed so much in the night he slept passed his usual 6 am wake up and didn't rouse until almost 8. Abby was thankful for small mercies and sat nursing the quickly growing baby while sitting in the rocking chair in his room. He happily suckled as she started down at his round little face. "You gave everyone quite a scare yesterday my littlest man. Yes you did. You can't go running off with that big brother of yours. Next time he suggests taking off without an adult you make sure you tell him NO. Got that my little monkeyshine?" As if on cue the infant gave a wide grin and a twinkle sparkled in his eye. "Oh no you don't monkeyshine… you are going to be a good little boy and stay home from now on." She chided softly. Abby didn't see or hear Lucas standing at the door as he listened to her gently scold the baby.
"Mommy don't be mad a Sam. He was a good baby. He came with me because I asked him to." Lucas broke into sobs and then took off towards his own room. Laying the baby back in his crib Abby sighed deeply and then she too headed for Luc's room. As she predicted Luc was sitting at the bottom of his closet. Without asking she picked up her small 6 year old and carried him back to the nursery. Sam lay in bed watching as Abby sat on the rocking chair she had just vacated and held her eldest to her. Lucas' sobs slowed and eventually stopped as Abby gently rocked back and forth.
When she felt he was finally in control of himself Abby said "I think you should tell me exactly what happened yesterday. From the moment you woke up to the moment you went to sleep. OK?"
Luc turned and looked at his baby brother, who smiled back at him, then leaning his head against his mother looking at the closet door rather than anyone he began.
"You told me that you weren't going to bring Sam to school for my project and I was really upset and you said I could take a picture instead. I didn't really want a picture but then you left and daddy left and I didn't have a picture. So I saw Sam in his chair and I thought that "I" could take Sam. I knew how to go to school and I thought he could just stay with me and I could teach him what I was learning at school"
The little boy paused for a few seconds before he explained how he'd gotten Sam to the stroller. "Once he was in the stroller it was easy, we just went to school."
"Bear, why didn't you ask Kayla if she was willing to stay with Sam and bring him for your project?" Abby asked although she too felt guilty that she hadn't offered to ask the babysitter the same thing, having been in such a rush to get to court.
"Cause I just didn't think of it. I thought of a different thing." Luc replied pushing himself harder into his mother's embrace.
"Then what happened?" Abby encouraged.
"I got to school and I couldn't park the stroller at the fence because I couldn't carry Sam, my backpack, his bag and bottle. So I pushed the cart to the tree and sat and waited for the bell. Then when I got into class Ms. Carmichael said I couldn't keep Sam in class. He had to wait with you…. But you weren't there… so I went back out to the tree… and I waited there for a bit…" he stopped and tears started to fall again and Abby began rocking the chair and rubbing her sons back to get him back under control. "But you didn't stay at the tree…. What happened?"
"I was sitting there and started to think that maybe Ms. Carmichael wouldn't let me back into class without you… so I started to walk home… it took a really long time and Sam started to cry…. And he wouldn't calm down when I played with him…. So I stopped at the park and fed him his bottle and he was much happier then… he didn't finish the whole thing but he had some… I sat at the park for a while trying to figure out what to do… "He trailed off and didn't continue even with prompting. He wasn't crying again he was just staring off into space.
Abby decided that asking questions might help. Why did you leave the park? was her first question. It took a few seconds for the little boy to answer but finally he did. "Cause I…. cause I figured out by that time that I was going to be in trouble…. and… then… then … I heard police sirens and I thought they were coming after me… and so I told Sam we needed to hide for a little bit and then we could go home… he agreed with me… didn't you Sam?"
Hearing his name said by his big brother the baby smiled his huge mischievous grin that a 10 week old shouldn't have been able to do with an added gurgle for good measure. Abby had to smile at the interaction before prodding her eldest to continue.
"So we went into the forest to hide for a bit… we were only going to hide for a little bit… but then the stroller got caught on the root and I couldn't get it up.. and Sam was crying again… and I was scared and I … didn't know what to do… and I couldn't figure out how to get out… and I couldn't find so I gave him his bottle and ate some of my lunch and tried to feed Same some lunch but he wouldn't eat it… would you Sam… not even a sip from my drinking box" he looked to the baby laying in the crib watching every move the older child made. Abby continued to rock listening to the story. "But you weren't found with the stroller, you were really really far from there" Abby explained.
"So I had to carry him I thought I was walking home… I guess I wasn't … I had to keep stopping to take a break… and Sam was crying and sometimes he'd stop… but then I just sat down and I couldn't go any farther.. I couldn't… I tried… but I was so tired and my arms hurt I couldn't lift Sam anymore… and he was crying and I couldn't get him to stop… he always stops for me… always…." Lucas looked again to his little brother with an angry glare. Abby recognizing the frustration in her son explained "Sam wasn't being bad or feeling angry at you… he's a tiny baby… his only way of communicating is crying… he needed a diaper change, more food and like you he was very very tired… he'd missed both of his naps that day…. And he could tell you were upset and crying so he was doing the same thing… he was being like his big brother!"
"Oh…" was all that Lucas said to her long explanation.
"Lucas, I love you so much, I love Sam so much... I am so happy to have you back safe and sound."
Abby rocked and held her child. Something she would never, ever take for granted again.