AN: Yes, I'm back, and yes, this is a Breathe story. :) Just a little snippet, but hopefully it answers a few questions about what happens after Life Is Made. I have some other non-Breathe plot bunnies bouncing around, but my novel revisions are taking longer than planned, so that's been a higher priority. (If you like the family feel of Breathe, you'll find a lot of that in my Exeter stories as well at jenniecoughlin dot wordpress dot com.)
Disclaimer: All recognizable characters belong to CBS and DPB. No money is being made off their use.
Tim snuggled deeper into the warm blankets, the soft flannel sheets cozy on this winter night. As he did, he realized his human blanket wasn't there. Inching the covers down past his ears, he heard soft sounds in their bedroom. Blinking until his eyes adjusted to the faint moonlight filtering through the windows, he saw Tony sitting in bed next to him, their one-month-old daughter cradled in his arms.
"Shhh, Brie." Tony leaned down until he was almost nose to nose with the infant. "Daddy's sleeping." He placed a kiss on her nose, stroking his thumb across the downy hair that barely covered her head. "So's Auntie Ima. So we're going to be vewy, vewy quiet."
Tim snorted at the Elmer Fudd impression. "Brie, your Papa doesn't know how to be quiet." He moved until he was sitting next to Tony and baby Gabriella.
"Oops." Even with everything in shades of gray, Tim was sure Tony's cheeks were dusted pink. "Sorry, Daddy. We didn't want to sleep."
"She's not hungry?" Tim slid one arm around Tony and hooked his chin on Tony's shoulder to look down at Brie, nestled close to her papa.
Tony started to shake his head until he whacked his nose on Tim's cheek. "Ow. No." He sighed. "I went in there, just to look at her. She was stirring, so I figured I'd walk her around until she fell asleep again."
"Or until she realizes it's time for her early morning snack." Tim yawned. "She's got her papa's appetite."
"Hey, she's a growing girl." Tony rubbed his thumb across her head again. "You've got to be big and strong before your cousins get here, don't you?"
Tim snickered at that. "I still can't believe Abby's having triplets. She's going to be wishing she and Jimmy never considered baby bat-gremlins in a few weeks."
"Considering she's only about three months along and already looks like she's wearing a basketball under her shirt, that's a safe bet." Tony shook his head. "I think Gibbs is the one we should be more worried about — Papa Bear's an overprotective grizzly."
Brie made a soft noise, and Tim reached over to put a finger to Tony's lips. "Hey, no slams at Grumpa Gibbs in front of his first granddaughter."
Tony kissed Tim's finger, then sucked it in his mouth.
Tim enjoyed the sensation for a second before pulling it back. "And no fair getting me turned on when we've got innocent eyes in here."
"Innocent eyes that are closed." But Tony just settled into Tim's arm, relaxing against his husband.
"You going to share those innocent eyes, or does only Papa get to hold her tonight?" As he said it, Tony moved to pass the baby. As they shifted Brie without disturbing her, Tim remembered how hard that had seemed just a few weeks ago. Now, he was able to get her tucked into his arms without so much as a murmur.
Tony moved, then nudged Tim's shoulder. "Scoot up a bit."
Tim lifted an eyebrow, but did. When Tony slid in behind him, wrapping his arms around Tim's waist, Tim relaxed back, resting his head on Tony's shoulder.
Sarah woke up, and listened for wails through the baby monitor. But all was quiet. She checked the clock, though she could tell it was past time for Brie to nurse. She grabbed her robe and padded down the hall to Brie's room, but the baby wasn't in her crib. Jethro was sound asleep on his bed under the window, though, so she wasn't worried.
Her bare feet were soft on the carpet as she headed to Tim and Tony's room. Their door was cracked open, and she peeked in. Sarah smiled, and wondered where her camera was. She saw Tim's cell phone on the nightstand and grinned. Sarah eased the door open and tiptoed over, checking to make sure the camera wouldn't flash and wake the sleeping trio. She snapped a few pictures, glad the guys had left the blinds open. With the snow on the ground outside to reflect the moonlight, it was easily bright enough.
As she set the phone down, Brie whimpered, but Tim and Tony were still fast asleep. Sarah walked to the side of the bed, reaching over to nudge her brother on the shoulder.
"Huh?" He sounded so out of it, Sarah had to giggle. She reached for Brie, but Tim's arms tightened around his daughter. That just sent Brie from whimpers to wails, and both Tim and Tony woke up.
"OK, daddies, feeding time." Sarah grinned. "Miss Brie and I have some business to take care of that involves parts of my body Tim does not want to see."
"She's all yours, Auntie Ima." Tim handed her over. "If she's not tired after, bring her back over."
Sarah snorted. "Her tummy will be full and she'll be in a milk coma." She shifted, hugging the baby tight against her chest. "And it's past time to feed her."
As she walked out, she called over her shoulder, "Tim, check your phone." While she and Brie settled into the rocking chair Gibbs had made for the nursery, Sarah wondered what her brothers thought of the picture: Tony's arms wrapped around Tim, their heads together as they slept, their daughter in every way that mattered cradled in Tim's arms.
She looked down at her special niece. "Your Aunt Abby's going to have to help me make a copy of that photo so when you're 15 and think your dads are the most obnoxious, uptight people in the world, you can see just how much they love you."