"When you hold a baby in your arms, the whole world feels right, you know?" Amy said as she slid her niece into arms of her waiting mother.

"Yeah, it does," Francie said as she looked down at her daughter. The little mouth opened to yawn, the eyes blinked several times in resistance, and then finally the newborn fell into sleep.

Amy grinned. "I think she has Will's stubbornness."

"My stubbornness?" Will laughed as he walked into the room. "I think she got it from someone else."

The last year had been good for him. The tension that he used to carry, tension that Francie never even noticed because it had grown to be such a part of him, was gone. He smiled more, laughed more, and even cried more. He'd shared nightmares with her--never all the details, just vague hints that hurt to hear--and he'd even invited some of his CIA buddies over for dinner and football parties.

Hard to imagine that a year ago, she hadn't even suspected that part of his life existed. "It's been a year exactly," Francie realized as she glanced over at her digital calendar.

Will only nodded. She had spent almost seven years of marriage dreading this date, but now Will was acting as if it was only another day. "No, I'm not," he told her as if he could read her thoughts. "Today is the day everything started to change, but I realized last week that it wasn't all bad. I didn't need to grieve over what I'd lost anymore, because I've gained far more than I've ever lost."

Francie looked down at their youngest child and grinned. "Sappy, Will, sappy," Amy said as she gathered her purse. "I'm going to go meet Jason and Johnny over at Mom and Dad's."

"Why is Johnny staying over at Mom and Dad's tonight anyway?" Will asked as he stroked his daughter's cheek. Francie had left a message with his secretary earlier informing him that their oldest would be staying with his grandparents tonight; she made sure to leave the message with her instead of talking to him. He would have asked too many questions that she wasn't prepared to answer over the phone.

Francie grinned as Amy rolled her eyes. "Yes, you are the slow one," Amy said, lifting up on her feet to give her brother a kiss on the cheek. "But I love you anyway."

Struggling not to laugh at her husband's confused look, Francie walked down the hall to her daughter's bedroom. She had been a surprise baby, but the minute Francie had learned of her existence, she had loved her. "Goodnight, Sydney," she whispered.

Will had been surprised when she suggested that name. In some ways, she'd surprised herself. Before they'd known Johnny's sex, they'd discussed girl names, and she'd flatly refused to consider "Sydney" as an option.

However, the day the doctor had grinned and told her "You're pregnant, Mrs. Tippin," she'd known the baby she was carrying was a girl. And she'd known what she wanted to name her. "It doesn't hurt to think about Sydney anymore, Will," she'd explained. "Besides, our daughter was conceived during our trip to Australia. It just feels like she was meant to be named Sydney."

Francie had been on a few trips with Will during the past year, but Australia had been the first. "I want to show you the world, Francie," he'd told her. "Let me show you the places that I've seen." She had fretted about leaving her restaurant for so long, but she'd given in, and she was glad she had.

They stood several minutes staring down at their sleeping child. It was only when she reached down to take his hand that she noticed the gift bag it. "What's that?"

Will smiled, but it didn't reach his eyes. "Weiss got it in the mail yesterday, and he brought it to me this morning. Said he knew it was meant for us."

Taking the bag from his hand, she headed towards the rocking chair in the corner. She peered down into the bag. When she saw the beautiful mobile, she gasped. Pulling it out, she examined it. "Oh, Will, this is gorgeous."

He nodded. "Yeah, it is."

"I don't--" she started to say before she noticed the sheet of paper inside the bag. She took it out and read "Knew you would love this. Love, SMJ William."

She grinned and hugged the mobile. "They thought of a way to send us a gift for the baby."

"I guess Jack's still reading the paper for birth announcements," Will said with a smile. "I thought it might make you sad."

"No, not at all," she said as she slid the gift back into the bag. "It lets us know that they are alright, and that they are still a part of our lives--even if it is only from a distance."

Will sank down on his knees in front of her. "Some of the analysts are starting to say that it might be safe in a couple of years for them to start making sporadic visits--if they want. Most of the old guard is dead, and what's left is falling quickly."

"As long as she's safe, I hope so," Francie sighed. "I want her to meet our children." She looked into her husband's blue eyes and grinned. "I even want Jack to meet our kids."

He smiled and leaned his forehead next to hers. "Maybe it will be safe enough for us to visit them at a neutral place soon. Maybe."

Francie wrapped her arms around his shoulders. "I miss her."

"I do, too."

Sighing, she leaned back. "I think I understand why you never told me." Will opened his mouth, and she put her fingers over his lips. "I really do. I dreamed of her last night, and she was running, and I couldn't help her. I felt so helpless when I woke up, but I'm still glad I found out the truth, too."

"I'm sorry," he whispered.

She shook her head. "You've apologized enough; I just wanted to tell you about it."

He glanced over at their daughter and the grin on his face melted her heart. "I can't believe Johnny wanted to leave the baby; he's usually in here watching her sleep."

"He wasn't happy about it," she admitted.

Will looked at her. "You mean he didn't ask to go?"

"Oh, no," Francie said with a smile. She stood up and reached down for her husband's hand. With eyebrows raised in confusion, he took it and stood up straight. "He was not happy with me for making him leave Sydney."

"So why did you make him?"

Grinning, Francie turned and walked up close to her husband. "You've been working way too much the last few days."

"Yeah, I know," he said as he yawned. "And Sydney hasn't been letting us get much sleep either."

She took another step forward. "I had my doctor's appointment today."

"Doctor's appointment? Everything's okay, isn't it?" He stopped, realized what she was saying, and grinned. "You've been released."

"Yeah," she sighed as she leaned up to kiss him. "I have."

He wrapped his arms around her waist. "As Amy said, I'm a little slow."

"I've noticed," she said with a smile.

Leaning down, he kissed her. Slowly. Tenderly. Then, he licked her lips, asking her to open them. She did and his tongue slid into her mouth. He finally pulled away she groaned. "I'm thinking slow might be the best way to night. Slow and long. If you are up to it?"

"Oh, I'm definitely up to it," she answered. "I'm just hoping you can keep up with me." She turned on her heels and walked towards their bedroom.

Will laughed but quickly followed her. And when he wrapped his arms around her, drawing her to him, Francie felt like everything was right in the world.


The end!

Finally. A big "Thank you!" to all those still reading for your patience and wonderful feedback. I appreciate them both more than I can say