Burt got up without a word suddenly and walked out of the house, a determined look on his face. Virginia smiled softly and walked back to Jimmy and Hope's room, and Jimmy was sitting, Hope on his lap, reading a book.

"That Sam I am, that Sam I am- I do not likethat Sam I am!" Jimmy read, and Hope laughed, and Jimmy smiled. "Do you like Green Eggs and Ham?"

Virginia slipped quietly out of the room, shutting the door behind her, but gasped loudly, startled, when she bumped into Maw Maw.

"Maw Maw, please don't sneak up on me like that?"

"What'cha doin'? Does the boy have some unfortunate girl in there again?"

"No, Maw Maw, just the baby- how lucid are you right now?"

"Eh... sixty-forty?"

"Good enough, come on, my sewing machine is on the fritz again..."


Later, when Burt came back in the door with a a paper sack, Jimmy was sitting on the couch with Virginia, watching television.

"Ooooh, what'd you bring back, Dad?" Jimmy asked, looking up.

Burt smiled, reaching into the bag and handed Jimmy and Virginia each an ice-cream sandwich.

"Aw, thank you honey." Virginia said, opening hers up.

"You just went for ice cream?" Jimmy asked through a mouthful. "You were gone a while."

"I had an errand..." Burt said evasively.

Jimmy eyed him; he knew the tone. "Dad, you're hiding something- and I know you don't like to keep secrets..." he wheedled.

"Jimmy, let your Daddy alone," Virginia said, swatting playfully at her son's shoulder. But, then she looked over at Burt's hand as he opened up his own ice-cream sandwich.

"Burt... you have an accident there?"

"Uh... nope. Meant to do it." he said, glancing at the hand.

Jimmy squinted at him. "You meantto scrape your knuckles up?" he demanded disbelievingly.

"Yes, okay!" Burt burst out, then ran a hand through his soft, spiky hair. "Tends to happen when you punch somebody in the mouth..." he mumbled, looking down at his ice-cream.

"Burt! You punchedthat Morrison lady?" Virginia squeaked.

"What?" Jimmy burst out, eyes huge and horrified.

"What? No!" Burt huffed. "What's wrong with you two?"

"Sorry, sorry, just... who did you punch, Burt?"

"I punched Mr.Morrison, okay?"

"But... why?" Jimmy demanded, looking a little panicky.

"Well, ya see, I went up there, just to talk to her..." he said a bit defensively, beginning to pace. "I tol' her I didn't think we'd be able to work for her anymore. Wasn't worth the money." he shrugged.

Jimmy looked gobsmacked. "Really?"

"Of course, son... I'm not gonna let anyone get away with... what's that word you used, Virginia?"

"Violating him, Burt."

"Right..." Burt nodded.

"Wow... that's... thank you..."

"Well, we love you, you know that." Burt shrugged it off.

"How does that explain you punching out her husband, though?"

"Oh, that..." Burt said, rubbing the back of his neck with his free hand. "Ya see, he heard me an' his wife arguing about... you know, what happened... and he came on out, and offered me money to get over it, more for you if you were willing not to fight her as hard, because they have quote 'an understanding'."

Virginia's eyes went huge, and she gasped. Jimmy made a face.

"Ew."

"Yeah..." Burt said, gritting his teeth, squeezing his poor ice-cream sandwich into goo. He grimaced. "Aw, and I was enjoying that..." he said, walking to the sink.

After Burt rinsed his hands off, he turned around and there was Jimmy, who gave him a quick, tight hug. Burt smiled, hugging him back. Too soon, Jimmy pulled away, but Burt put out one finger. "Hey?"

Jimmy smirked, reaching out and pulling it, and they both laughed, and then made a face, racing out of the kitchen to the den. As they sat back down, Hope began crying from her crib, and Jimmy started to get up.

"Jimmy..." Burt said sternly, "Remember the sleep training stuff?"

"Oh, right..." Jimmy said, twitching.

"Dada! Pwease, Dada!" came pitifully from the room, and Jimmy fidgeted, looking down and blinking.

Burt kicked at his son's shoe. "Are you made of stone, man?"

"No... jell-o." Jimmy said, racing back towards the bedroom. "Daddy's coming, baby!"

Burt looked at Virginia, who was smiling at him. "What?" he asked.

But she climbed onto his lap, giving him a big kiss. " That." she said, scrunching her nose at him.

"Well, now that's always good..." he said, lifting her by the hips and racing into their bedroom...

-End-