A/N: Hey everyone, sorry its been so long since I last updated, I didn't mean for it be that long a time. This chapter actually part of what caused the giant freeze in updating, it gave me a lot of trouble near the end of the chapter that I couldn't figure out where and how to end it. Thankfully I finally found a decent place to stop. Not to mention that I signed up for a summer course for school, and the assignments for said class have been keeping me extra bus and will probably continue to make it difficult for me to update often. At least until the class ends in the middle of July, and then I'll have a month's time to write and update more often til classes start back up for the Fall at the end of August. Lastly I just wanted to say thank you to all of you who have sent me reviews for all of the other chapters in this story. They really mean a lot to me. Also, the next chapter will probably be the last chapter of this story. Now enough of me talking and wasting valuable reading time, have fun reading. Like always, read and enjoy, and send me a review telling me what you think:)
Chapter 12- Introductions Part 2
From outside Sam's and Beth's combined hospital room the last of the sun's rays shined through the room's moderate sized window, as the rest of the world outside was slowly engulfed in darkness. It was close approaching eight o'clock at night; nearly four hours since Gina and Garcia had departed for home. The time's passing was slow, verging on torturous. All Beth wanted was to see her two oldest children, and introduce them to their little sister, but in order for that to happen she had to wait for Gina's and Garcia's return. At that moment, as if in response to Beth's eager anticipation, Mick's phone beeped announcing the retrieval of a new text message. Taking a moment to read his message a smile worked itself onto Mick's lips as he announced,
"That was Gina, she says that they just got off the interstate onto Glenside, and are going to head straight to the hotel since visiting hours end in an hour…"
A second beep sounded from Mick's phone, interrupting what he was about to say. Pausing Mick quickly opened the newly received text message; his smile growing larger at the message's content. Looking up from his phone Mick was met by both Sam's and Beth's ever expectant faces. Swiftly Mick handed Beth his phone as he continued,
"And apparently the second reason for Gina's and Garcia's sudden change of destination would be because both Wyatt and Sarah have already fallen asleep during the car ride."
The evidence before them spoke for itself; there on the device's screen was a picture, most likely taken by Gina with her own phone, of Wyatt and Sarah sound asleep in the backseat of the SUV; with Wyatt's head propped against Sarah's shoulder as if it were a pillow. The captured moment was a precious thing for Beth and Sam to behold; to be informed that their two oldest children were together and close by with people whom they trusted with their lives. That single fact alone seemed to help ease Beth's eager anticipation, and calm her mind. She and Sam would see Sarah and Wyatt in the morning after they have awoken from their pleasant slumber.
While placing his cell phone back into his jean pocket Mick exchanged a quick glance with Prophet; both men coming to a mentally made agreement, before he cleared his throat and said,
"Well guys, I guess since Gina and Garcia are headed straight for the hotel with the kids that we'll be heading that way as well. Give the two of you some personal bonding time with Alexis before you turn the lights out for the much needed shut eye that you both deserve."
Now standing near the end of the double wide bed Prophet added,
"And don't worry, we'll keep Sarah and Wyatt busy tomorrow morning so that they don't try and have us come visit you guys at the crack of dawn. We'll even call when we're on our way here to give you guys a heads up."
Appreciating the reassuring promise that Prophet had made them Beth and Sam settled down deeper into their bed; relishing in the room's peaceful silence as Prophet and Mick made their leave. To be given their privacy to bond with their daughter was one of the most generous gifts they had ever received; for when they returned home it would be a rare thing to have such a bonding time as private as they now had. Turing her head Beth gazed lovingly down at Alexis' peaceful form still cradled comfortably in her father's arms. Taking note of how content Alexis was Beth could already tell that she would be a true Daddy's girl as she got older; the adoring look on Sam's face brought truth to Beth's thoughts.
It was then, while watching Sam cradle Alexis in his arms, that Beth saw the exhaustion that completely covered Sam's face. Knowing that with everything that had happened, Sam had had an eventful day, and needed his rest. Tenderly placing her hand upon his arm Beth softly spoke,
"Sam, you look exhausted. Why don't you let me hold Alexis for a little while before I place her in her bed so that you can get some sleep? You've had an eventful day today honey, you need your rest; especially if Sarah and Wyatt are going to come and see us tomorrow."
A deep, but soft sigh escaped Sam's lips, as if he were somehow reluctant to transfer Alexis into Beth's arms and give in to sleep. Already knowing what had created Sam's hesitation Beth gently rubbed her hand up and down Sam's arm, soothing him as she said,
"Sam, you can't go on with your life without sleep. You and I already know that what we experience in our dreams isn't real; they're just the resulting creation of our minds as it tries to process what has happened. Just remember that if you do have a dream, that I am here if you need me, always ready to listen."
A sense of calm relief fell over Sam, shining brightly in his eyes. Heaving another sigh, different from the first, Sam slowly turned and placed Alexis into Beth's arms as he replied,
"You're right Beth I do need sleep, even if I do dream, my mind is already at ease because you are here beside me."
After receiving a lingering good night kiss from Beth Sam laid his head down on his pillow; falling asleep in less than a minute. Listening to Sam's deep, even breathes Beth couldn't help but smile as she gently rocked Alexis and said,
"You hear that Lexi'? Your Daddy is already fast asleep. I guess he was a lot more tired than he realized. No matter, while Daddy sleeps you and I can spend some quality time together before we too succumb to needed sleep."
Gazing up at her mother's face, as if intrigued by Beth's words, Alexis gave a content sigh as she closed her eyes and snuggled her face down closer to Beth's warm chest. In no time at all, the precious little bundle in Beth's arms had also fallen asleep. While watching Alexis sleep peacefully in her arms, as if the need to sleep had become contagious, Beth let out a long, tired yawn. Eyes' drooping from the sudden exhaustion, Beth was grateful of Gina's idea to move the hospital mobile crib closer to the bed. Moving slowly so as not to disturb Alexis, Beth gingerly rose from the bed, and gently laid Alexis down in her mobile crib before returning to the comfortable confines of her own bed. Just like with Sam, the minute Beth laid her head upon her pillow she was pulled into a pleasant slumber.
Even after two wake up calls with Alexis during the night Beth, having taken both turns so that Sam could get more of his much needed sleep, still felt the rejuvenating energy of a fairly good night's sleep. As the sun's first early morning rays filtered in through the hospital room's window Beth was awoken from her light slumber. Feeling the sun's warm rays upon her face Beth smiled groggily. Stretching her arms up above her head Beth turned to look over at Sam, and was surprised to find him still fast asleep.
Being as quiet as a mouse so as not to disturb Sam's peaceful and tranquil sleep, Beth got out of bed and stood beside Alexis' mobile crib; hearing a soft almost inaudible coo from within the mobile crib Beth knew that her newest little girl, her little angel, was already awake. Gazing down into the inner depths of the mobile crib Beth was greeted by Alexis' angelic face staring back up at her. Placing her hand into the crib Beth gently caressed Alexis' soft cheek with the tip of her finger as she softly spoke,
"Good morning Alexis, looks like it's just you and me awake so far; Daddy's still fast asleep. Why don't we try and let him sleep a little longer? What do you say?"
Bending down over the crib to pick up Alexis' now wiggling form a tainted but still potent odor hit Beth's nose with full force. Wrinkling her nose slightly in response to the smell Beth quickly amended,
"But first I have to change your dirty diaper. We wouldn't want its strong odor to wake up Daddy."
Reaching down Beth swiftly retrieved a fresh diaper from the shelf beneath the crib before getting straight to work relieving Alexis of her poppy diaper. In just a matter of minutes the simple task was complete; leaving Alexis smelling like a freshly cleaned baby. Cradling her newly changed daughter in her arms Beth gently resumed her spot on the double wide bed beside Sam.
Despite Beth's best efforts to not disturb Sam's sleep, a low moan escaped Sam's lips as Beth settled back against her pillow. Turning her head in Sam's direction Beth watched as Sam began to stir from his deep, now interrupted, slumber. In spite of feeling guilty for disrupting Sam's period of deep sleep a smile slid into place upon Beth's face. Waiting Beth continued to watch as Sam blinked his eyes several times, trying to clear them of the fog that was heavily coated in drowsiness. When Sam gave his head a quick shake, a final act of desperation to rid him of the fog, Beth laughed softly as she said,
"Good morning sleepyhead. Sorry for waking you, I was hoping to let you sleep a little longer. So does that head shake mean that you are officially joining us in the world of the conscious reality?"
His throat dry from sleep Sam gave a soft chuckle as he replied,
"Yes Beth I am now completely and officially awake; so how long have the two of you been awake for?"
Giving her shoulders a slight shrug Beth replied,
"Not long, five maybe ten minutes at the most. Besides, even if I hadn't of woken up when I did I expect that little missy here probably would have woken me up anyway so that I could change her very stinky diaper. Be thankful that you weren't awake to smell it."
Another chuckle escaped Sam's parched lips,
"I'm sure it was; I'm also sure that I will get my chance to smell that exact same kind of diaper, or at least one similar to it once we're home during one of my turns of diaper duty."
Giggling in return Beth replied,
"I have no doubt that you will."
At that moment, before either of them could utter another word, a soft knock sounded from the room's closed door, followed closely by the infamous squeaking of the door's hinges as the door was opened. Recalling Prophet's promise to call before hand to inform them of their impending arrival, both Sam and Beth knew that it wasn't their family of teammates coming to visit. Their curiosity was answered a moment later as a nurse with short blonde hair; wearing purple scrubs, while pushing a cart occupied with two trays of food, walked into the room. Seeing that both of her adult patients, as well as her infant patient, were awake the woman smiled as she said,
"Hello and good morning to the both of you. My name is Heidi and I'll be your nurse for the first part of the day…" Heidi brought the cart of food to a stop beside the two bed tray tables, "I've brought Breakfast for both of you, but before I can give you yours Mr. Cooper, your surgeon Dr. Malvern has asked me to check, and if needed, change your bandages, ok?"
Hearing the hint of nervousness in Heidi's voice Sam gave her a calm friendly smile as he answered,
"That all sounds fine with me Heidi, and please feel free to call me Sam."
Beth quickly added,
"And please feel free to call me Beth, Heidi."
Truly relieved by both of their responses Heidi's smile grew even bigger. Placing the first of the two trays of food onto a tray table Heidi swiftly maneuvered it around the bed, positioning it in front of Beth and Alexis. Smiling at the young woman in thanks Beth lifted the lid from her tray to examine her food while Heidi diligently did the same thing to Sam's wound and bandages. After applying a fresh bandage over Sam's healing chest wound Heidi presented Sam with his own tray of food before finally leaving the room.
Having not eaten anything since Breakfast at home the prior morning Sam was completely famished. Pulling his now uncovered food tray closer to him Sam took his time eating the food, savoring every last bite. Then fifteen minutes later, just as Sam was finishing up his own tray of food, there came another gentle knock at the door. The door being already open, into the room walked Dr. Bloom and Dr. Malvern to see their two patients. Coming to a halt at the end of the hospital bed both doctors smiled at Beth, Alexis, and Sam before Dr. Malvern said,
"Good morning to the both of you. Dr. Bloom and I decided to coordinate our schedules this morning so that we could come and see the two of you together; see how both of you are doing, and talk about the possible time frame for when each of you can be discharged."
At the mention of the impending discussion of their discharges, both Sam and Beth became overly attentive as Dr. Malvern continued with a light chuckle,
"I'm happy to see that both of your attentions were peeked by the mere mentioning of discharge. Now, being the gentleman that I am I will let Dr. Bloom go first."
Making her way around the double bed towards Beth and Alexis Dr. Bloom glanced down at Alexis' precious face as she spoke,
"Well Beth since there were no complications during the delivery and both you and Alexis are doing so well, as long as nothing happens to change this, I believe that you and Alexis should be able to be discharged two days from now."
No mere words could adequately describe the happiness that had consumed Beth's body. Just like literally every member of her team Beth wasn't too fond of hospitals, even if she never verbally admitted it. Smiling in joyous relief Beth nodded her head as she replied,
"Thank you Dr. Bloom, I can't tell you how happy I am at the prospect of getting out of this hospital, and actually be able to go home."
Knowing exactly how Beth felt Dr. Bloom simply smiled and nodded her head in return. Over on the other side of the bed Dr. Malvern softly cleared his throat before he spoke,
"Well, now that Dr. Bloom has done her part, I guess it's my turn. Now based on how well your recovery has progressed so far Sam, and as long as no signs of infection presents itself, I believe that you should be able to be discharged the day after you wife and baby girl. Now since I know that you're not going to want to make a trip back down here for me to remove the staples from your chest, I'm going to give you the number of a close colleague of mine who works in a hospital up where you live, a Dr. Mason Chess; just give him a call and set up an appointment with him and he'll remove the staples for you. He'll also talk with you about the temporary restrictions that will be placed on your physical activities. Now that that's been said, do you have any questions Sam?"
Remaining silent for a moment while considering all of what Dr. Malvern had just told him Sam gave a slight nod of his head as he answered,
"Just one Dr. Malvern, do you have an estimated length of time that I'll be out of the field, as well as being on the certain physical restrictions?"
From his standing position beside Sam's side of the bed, with a knowing smile on his lips as if he could read Sam like a book, Dr. Malvern chuckled, slowly shaking his head as he said,
"You don't like being confined to the sidelines, do you Mr. Cooper?"
Before Sam had a chance to reply, from beside him Beth interceded,
"You have no idea."
Still dealing with his fit of chuckles Dr. Malvern nodded his head as he replied,
"I figured as much. You didn't strike me as a man who willingly sits on the sidelines while there is action taking place; you strike me more as a man who liked to be in the middle of the action, no matter what. So to finally answer your question Sam, I believe that you will have to remain out of the field for about a month or more depending upon your recovery progress; you will have to work on rebuilding the chest muscles that the bullet damaged, it'll be a lot of work."
His mind quickly absorbing all of Dr. Malvern's words a smile identical to Beth's spread across Sam's face. In just a few days he would finally be able to leave this cold and overly sterile hospital, and head home. The realizing fact that he would have to rebuild the muscles in his chest had no affect on Sam; there seemed to be some positive advantages to choosing a gym for the location of the Red Cell's off sight headquarters. Not only that but the added fact that everyone: Mick, Gina, Prophet, and especially Beth, would do anything they can to help him regain what he had lost. Still smiling Sam looked back at Dr. Malvern and replied,
"Thank you Dr. Malvern, you have no idea how much all of this means to me; everything that you've just said as well as everything that you've done for me. I am grateful for all of it."
Silent, taken back by Sam's immense gratitude, Dr. Malvern stepped closer to Sam's side of the bed, and gently clasped Sam's shoulder as he said,
"You're very welcome Sam Cooper; after all, the world needs more FBI agents like you and your team…" Dr. Malvern exchanged a glance with Dr. Bloom, "Well now that Dr. Bloom and I have said everything that we needed to tell you, we'll leave the two of you to your privacy with your new little girl."
That said both Dr. Bloom and Dr. Malvern stepped out of the room. A calm peaceful silence filled Beth's and Sam's room; the only sound to be heard came from little Alexis as she sucked on her fisted hand. A brief soft laugh escaped Beth's lips as she gently worked Alexis' fist out of her mouth and said,
"Looks like someone would like to have some Breakfast of their own. Wait just a minute Alexis while Mommy gets herself ready and then you can eat as much as you want."
Despite the fact that it was just her and Sam in the room Beth retrieved one of the extra blankets from the shelf beneath the portable crib. Unhooking the concealed snaps on the front of her gown Beth swiftly removed it revealing her succulent breast; to which she guided Alexis' hungry mouth before she covered her from public view with the blanket. Then, as Alexis continued to consume her Breakfast, the hospital phone situated on the nightstand beside Sam gave a shrill ring. With slow ginger movements Sam retrieved the phone and answered,
Prophet's smooth southern voice filtered through the phone as he answered,
"Hey Sam, I'm glad to hear that you guys are already awake. Like I promised you and Beth last night, I'm calling to give you guys a heads up on our arrival. We're all in route now, and should be there in about ten minutes or so."
A new smile slipped its way onto Sam's lips, this one of eager anticipation; his eyes sliding over towards Beth as he replied,
"Hey thanks for the heads up Prophet. I'll let Beth know; hopefully it will be enough time for her to finish feeding Alexis. No doubt she'll be as excited as I am about what you all are doing."
A laugh travelled through the phone as Prophet said,
"I'm sure she will be; alright Sam we'll see you guys in a few…"
After one last 'ok' Sam and Prophet both ended the call. Gingerly stretching his arm once more Sam returned the phone to its rightful place on its stationary receiver. Turning his head back around to face Beth Sam could already see the faint trace of a smile about to form on her lips as she inquired,
"The guys on their way here with the kids to visit?"
Sam gave a simple nod of his head,
"Yep, Prophet said that they should be here in about ten minutes or so."
The previously faint smile finally made its appearance on Beth's face, making her face shine brightly like the rising sun as she said,
"That's great, and it's a perfect amount of allotted time too because I do believe that this little angel is just about finished eating her Breakfast."
Just as the words flowed from Beth's lips she peaked a glance under the blanket, only to fling the blanket off her shoulder a second later; Alexis had finally filled her little tummy and was done eating. Working one handed Beth swiftly reattached the open section of her gown back up; making herself presentable for when everyone else arrived. The fact that their family of teammates as well as their kids were on their way here continued to circle freely within Beth's mind; time passed by in a blur, and in no time at all there came the sound of a knock at the hospital room's door. With identical expressions of eager anticipation on both of their faces Sam quickly answered,
"Door is open guys, come on in."
As the door creaked its way open the unmistakably beautiful sound of children giggling floated into the room accompanied by the sound of children's feet running across the floor. Into the room, as if flying through the air, raced Sarah and Wyatt with Garcia, Mick, Prophet, Gina, and little Madeline. To see Madeline balanced upon Gina's hip was a truly genuine surprise for Beth and Sam since Gina had dropped her off at her sister's place the morning that they received the case. The smile that was spread across Gina's face, as if she was pleased by their surprised responses, told Beth that picking up Madeline had been a last minute decision; an unexpected surprise, but one that was well received by Beth and Sam.
Both Beth's and Sam's still lingering feelings of surprise were quickly dissolved when they took in the beautiful sight of Sarah's and Wyatt's smiling faces as they stood against Sam's side of the hospital bed, hopping around like little bunnies. As Sarah and Wyatt continued to hop up and down beside the bed with their hands planted firmly on top of it Sam came to understand what they were trying to do- they were trying desperately to jump up onto the bed. Looking over at Mick it was as if he had read Sam's mind and knew exactly what he was about to ask him to do because before Sam could utter a word Mick swooped in and individually placed Sarah and Wyatt on top of the bed. Immediately upon finding themselves seated on the bed Sarah and Wyatt scooted themselves up closer between Sam and Beth. While Sarah's eyes immediately fell upon Alexis' bundled form cradled in Beth's arms, Wyatt's eyes fell upon Sam's hospital gown covered body. Wyatt stared intently at the patch of gown that covered Sam's chest as if her could clearly see the bandages that were concealed beneath it as he said,
Nodding his head slowly Sam replied,
"Yeah buddy I got a boo-boo, but don't worry I'm ok now, the doctors patched me up."
As if he were pleased with Sam's simple response Wyatt turned his head to look over at Beth. A look of pure joy shined brightly upon Wyatt's little face as he glanced back at Sam and pointed his finger at Alexis as he exclaimed,
To hear the pure excitement and awe in Wyatt's voice Sam couldn't help but laugh softly as he said,
"That's right buddy, baby; that's your baby sister Alexis."
His eyes still beholding the new tiny form cradled in Beth's arms, a whisper of 'Alexi' rolled off of Wyatt's lips as he leaned forward and placed a gentle kiss on Alexis' cheek. A round of awes circulated throughout the room at Wyatt's preciously sweet gesture. Using a tissue to dab the trickle of tears from her eyes Garcia said,
"Would you look at that, Wyatt's already being a little charmer."
A mischievous smirk filled Prophet's lips as he glanced quickly over at Garcia and said,
"Well what do you expect from a boy whose parents are Sam and Beth?"
As a second collection of laughter filled the room Prophet stepped closer to Beth's side of the bed and asked,
"So how is our little Miss D…"
At that moment, before the rest of the word could leave Prophet's lips, Beth cut him off,
"So help me Prophet, finish that sentence and in therefore nickname our daughter 'little Miss Daisy', and I will strip you of your Godfather title till I see fit to reinstate it. And don't think that I won't do it because you know I will."
Shocked by Beth's threatening words Prophet diverted his eyes, his cheeks pink with unwelcomed embarrassment. Wanting desperately to fix the unintentional mess that he had created Prophet raised his head, locking his eyes with Beth's once more as he said,
"I'm sorry Beth, I didn't mean to make you upset. I only meant to call Alexis little Miss Daisy this one time as a joke. I have no intention of ever calling her that again; besides I think the nicknames that you guys have already given her are perfect for her. Please forgive me Beth."
With the sincerity ringing strongly in Prophet's words Beth knew that she couldn't remain mad at him. Allowing a soft warm smile to caress her lips Beth replied,
"Of course I'll forgive you Prophet. Knowing now that you were only calling Alexis little Miss Daisy as a joke, there's no way that I can remain angry at you. And to answer your unfinished question, she is fine this morning, just being her little angelic self."
Still balancing Madeline on her hip Gina made her way over beside Prophet, shaking her head in exaggeration as she said,
"Man Prophet, I think that's the fastest you've ever worked to save your own ass and redeem yourself in Beth's eyes. If I didn't know any better, I'd say that you're starting to become an old softie."
Staring at Gina in mock disbelief Prophet crossed his arms over his chest as if to stand his ground as he replied,
"I don't know what you are talking about Gina. There is absolutely no way that I am becoming soft. Not now, not ever."
Watching and listening to the quarreling match that was beginning to unfold Beth knew that something needed to be done to end the match before it had a chance to begin. Even though Prophet's quarreling matches with his fellow teammates were usually harmless fun they usually held a tremendous impact which was something that they didn't need unleashed in the hospital room with the kids present. Seeing Gina's body give a slight tremble as a fresh laugh bubbled its way up her throat Beth knew that now was the time to intervene; clearing her throat rather loudly Beth raised her voice slightly as she said,
"Sorry to interrupt your little quarreling match of a conversation, but something has just been tugging at my brain ever since you guys stepped into the room. Gina, where in the world did you pick up this adorable little girl that you have straddled on your hip? I thought you said that she was spending a few days with your sister?"
Looking like a child that had just been caught red-handed stealing a snack before dinner Gina diverted her eyes, taking a moment to glance down at Madeline before she replied,
"She was at my sister's and I originally had every intention of letting her remain there and to meet Alexis when we all got home, but my heart couldn't go through with it. I couldn't deprive her of the chance to meet her newest cousin alongside Sarah and Wyatt. So Garcia and I took a detoured route by my sister's place and picked her up."
Gazing through the fresh silence at Madeline as she laid her head of dark brown hair upon Gina's shoulder Beth's lips curled even further at the their tips as she said,
"Well unplanned or not I'm awfully glad that you decided to bring her along with you after all. I love every chance that I get to see her and spend time with her as well as watch her interact with Sarah and Wyatt. When the three of them are together they are like the three Musketeers. And now with Alexis joining their ranks they can now be called the four Musketeers."
A foot away from Gina and Madeline, standing near the end of the hospital bed, Mick's cheeks burned bright red as he tried very hard not to laugh at the comparison that Beth had just made but his attempts were crumbled. The laughter that he had tried so hard to contain erupted from Mick's lips like a hysterical bombshell, and lasting longer than a minute. Finally regaining control of himself Mick's cheeks were once again a deep shade of red only this time from the embarrassment of his outburst; the smirk of realization still fixed firmly upon his lips as he questioned,
"Hang on, did you seriously just compare the kids to characters that are not only fictional but are from a Disney movie?"
Beth's face remained neutral as she casually shrugged her shoulders,
"So what if I did. It was simply meant as a mere statement, not something that can be brought up for a debated discussion. There is no harm in describing the kids as being like the group of Musketeers."
Finding no arguable fault in Beth's explanation Mick quickly dropped the discussion, surrendering him mentally in defeat to Beth. Looking back over at Gina Beth saw a mischievous glint sparkling in her eye; no doubt she wouldn't let Mick forget about this moment for a good long while. The same mischievous glint shined in Prophet's eyes as well as he broke the silence and asked,
"So do either one of you know when you'll be released from this prison-like establishment that they call a hospital?"
Grateful of Prophet's quick thinking, so as to smoothly change the topic of discussion and reveal his truly colorful feelings towards hospitals in the process, a soft chuckle passed through Sam's lips. It wasn't much of a secret that every member of the Red Cell team, even Garcia as well, held certain distaste for hospitals and their sterile atmospheres. For a second that single well known fact held everyone's minds before Sam answered,
"As a matter of fact Prophet we do already know when we'll both be released from this particular establishment. Both of our doctors came by together to visit us just a short while ago before you called to give us warning of your arrival…"
Desperate to hear when the two of them and little Alexis would be discharged, while hating the fact that Sam appeared to be purposefully stalling with his answer, Garcia gave a small huff of impatient air as she said,
"You are purposefully holding out on answering Prophet's question Sam. Quit stalling and just tell us already, please."
Comprehending all of what she had just said Garcia quickly clamped her mouth shut while presenting the look of a petrified mouse on her face. This time the whole room burst with laughter as Sam said,
"Alright Penelope I'm sorry, I'll get to the point now. Well according to Dr. Bloom, Beth and Alexis should be able to be released in two days time. As for me, Dr. Malvern says that as long as I don't start showing any signs of infection between now and then, that I should be able to be released the day after Beth and Alexis. Another thing that Dr. Malvern explained to me is that I won't be allowed to return to field work for about a month, since I'll have to work on rebuilding my chest muscles that the bullet damaged."
Despite having already anticipated this particular set back the news still managed to hit Garcia, Gina, Mick, and Prophet with a bombshell of shock. Being the first to recover from the news Mick blinked his eyes a few times as if to clear out his head as he questioned,
"So what does that mean exactly, for the team? Are we going to be put on hold from any new cases while you recover?"
Sam shook his head no,
"Not necessarily Mick. Yes I will technically be placed on medical leave, but that doesn't mean that I'll stop assisting you guys on any new cases that we may receive. I'm not going to be allowed to work in the field but I will still be working from head quarters in any way that I can, and work on my chest muscles in between. And if we do get a case that is out of town or out of state then Beth will fill in as acting team leader like she did when I went to LA to work on the Veronica Dae case."
Wanting to give her teammates some additional reassurance Beth added,
"And just so you guys know, so as to help our team I will only be taking two weeks of maternity leave. I will still be bringing Alexis in to the office with me before and after that time, but Sam as well as Garcia at times will watch her while we work on a case."
Absorbing Beth's well spoken words a small but simple nagging fact clung to Gina's thoughts till she finally spoke her mind,
"But that would mean that we'd be working one man down out in the field. I know that we've done that before, but how are we going to make it work on any large scale cases?"
Gina's words were like a forest fire just starting to building and spread out of control. Acting calmly to extinguish the flames Mick swiftly draped an arm around Gina's shoulders as a means of providing her with comfort as he reassured,
"Don't think about that right now Love. We'll deal with it together as a team if the time should arise."
Sam, agreeing whole-heartedly with what Mick had said, gave a nod of his head as he added,
"Mick's right Gina now isn't the time for us to worry about things that could happen later on with possible future cases. For right now all we can really do is leave it alone and deal with it when the time comes, together as a team as Mick said. Then even if we do get assigned to a major case, be it simply out of town or out of state, I'll have a talk with Director Fickler. The two of us will figure something out, maybe get someone from Hotch's team to come and temporarily join our team for the duration of the case? We'll just have to wait and see, that's all we can really do."
With Sam's last words marked the end of the discussion. Taking both Mick's and Sam's words to heart Gina pushed all of the annoyingly pressing thoughts to the back of her mind where she could dig them out at a later date. Sensing the room's atmosphere return back once again to its original calm, relaxing self Mick looked over at Beth still cradling Alexis in her arms. Rubbing his hands together like a child with a specific plan already formed in their mind Mick asked,
"So Beth, are we going to be able to start getting our second turn at holding Alexis now or what? Or did you just say that to us last night to get us to leave?"
Rolling her eyes at Mick's last comment Beth heaved an exaggerated sigh as she replied,
"Yes Mick you all are still going to get your chance to hold Alexis for a second time. Although I'm starting to consider whether you should still get your turn after your last comment."
As fast as turning off a light the childish glint dissolved from Mick's eyes, leaving in its place full-fledged fear of Beth's words. Despite having hoped to punish Mick for his last comment the plan quickly fell to pieces when Beth saw the pure fright in Mick's eyes. Unable to stop herself Beth released a whole-hearted laugh from her lips. Wiping away the few stray tears that slid down her cheeks from her now watery eyes Beth was choked by her laughter as she said,
"Relax Mick I was only pulling your leg to get back at you for the last comment you made after asking if you guys were ever going to get a chance to hold Alexis again. Oh man, you should have seen your face, it was so pure and genuine and just perfect. Maybe now you and Prophet will finally know better than to try and play certain tricks and jokes on me, unless you just want it thrown back in your face."
As the last of Beth's laughter finally died off Prophet made his way over to Mick. Standing side by side both Mick and Prophet had the same scowling expression painted over their faces. Though Mick twisted his jaw around, as if wanting to say something, neither of them spoke for they knew that it would be futile. Taking in Mick's and Prophet's mute responses Gina just smirked, not even trying to hide it, as she remarked,
"And the two dogs have finally learned to heal on command without making a sound. That's impressive work."
Holding up her hand for Gina to high-five Gina said,
"You said it my fair Gina."
While watching all of the continuing action from his nice and comfortable hospital bed Sam knew that it was now his turn to bring this seemingly harmless fun to a halt before it could get any farther out of control. Raising his hand up in the air like a traffic cop directing traffic Sam swiftly intervened,
"Alright guys I think that's enough joking around for one day. Why don't we all hang up our towels of jokes for today before things get too out of hand, and pick it back up some other time?"
Noticing the slight crest fallen expression on each of her teammates' faces at Sam's suggested Beth stepped in,
"And if you guys are good and do as Sam says, then I'll tell you all who gets to be the first to hold Alexis."
Like children being presented with a surprise present of delicious candy, everyone's faces were quickly altered to reveal looks of bright excitement. Beth paused for a moment to see if anyone would still try to speak. Finding only silence she continued,
"Ok, so after some careful consideration I've decided that the person who gets to hold Alexis is…Sarah."
Not expecting to be included in the drawing selection to get to hold Alexis Sarah was completely stunned. Her face still frozen in shock Sarah slowly lifted her head to stare up at Beth, her voice cracking as she questioned,
"Me, Mommy are you sure I go first? I not big enough to holdAlexis."
Nudging Sarah's shoulder with her elbow Beth nodded her head,
"Of course I'm sure sweetie. Not only are you her Big Sister, but I think that you are the perfect size to hold Alexis. If you want I'll cradle my arms around yours while you hold her to help keep you steady, ok?"
Eyes swimming with nervousness Sarah gave her head a vigorous nod of approval. Spreading her legs apart into a wide V-shape Beth swiftly repositioned Alexis so that she was holding her in one arm before looking back over at Sarah and patting the now vacant area between her legs. Moving slowly as if afraid that she might hurt Beth, Sarah maneuvered her way into Beth's lap. Using her free hand Beth helped Sarah position her arms in preparation of holding Alexis. Wrapping her arms around Sarah, as if giving her a backwards hug, Beth helped Sarah keep her arms steady as she placed Alexis into Sarah's awaiting arms. Actually holding her new baby sister in her arms Sarah's face beamed brightly with pride.
The scene before them was absolutely beautiful while Sarah's smile was contagious as it quickly spread around between Mick, Gina, Garcia, and Prophet. Seeing how happy Sarah was to be allowed to hold Alexis first was all it took to dissolve the four Aunts' and Uncles' disappointment. Not wanting to miss this adorable picture perfect moment Garcia quickly pulled out her camera to capture the moment forever on digital film. Not a word was heard out of Mick, Gina, Garcia, or Prophet; the four of them stood in silence not wanting to disrupt Sarah's special moment with little Alexis. The four of them just watched and waited patiently for their turn to hold Alexis.