What is it about babies?

Setting: Season 1, post Ball and Chain

Nathan Wuornos parked his Bronco outside the station but he paused before they got out and looked at Audrey with his typical subdued curiously. "So Parker, What's the go with you and babies?"

"What do you mean? Shouldn't I be the one asking that question? You're the one that turns into some sort of clucky childless housewife every time you're within four feet of a baby," Audrey countered defensively. She knew Nathan hadn't missed her reaction back at the initial crime scene, when for all they knew Beatrice was just a normal proud new Mum. While Nathan had cooed over the baby Audrey had been uncharacteristically cold and reserved.

"I admit, I may go a little mushy around babies but who doesn't? I get that some people just don't like kids but I've seen you around kids Parker, you're great with them, you're understanding, you connect with them. So the question is why do you hate babies?" Nathan spoke slowly, choosing his words carefully.

"I don't hate babies, I just, I don't need to be around them."

"Look if you don't want to talk about it I'll understand, but I can tell something's bothering you, would it really hurt to get it off your chest?"

Audrey hesitated, unsure if she wanted to open the can of worms that Nathan was prodding at but she could see the sincere concern in her partner's eyes and she did want to get to know him better and she knew that was a two way street – just not a street she was used to going down. "It just brings back a lot of memories. And a lot of missing ones. You know I told you I don't even have a photo of my first day in this world? That's because I didn't have anyone who cared enough to take pictures, and when I look at a baby I can't understand that, what was so wrong with me that no one wanted to take my picture? I mean I can understand giving a kid up, raising kids is hard, they don't sleep, they cry a lot, but who looks at a newborn baby and says "I don't want her?"" Audrey swallowed hard, she did not want to cry, she would not cry in front of him. But Nathan could see the tears formed in her eyes, threatening to fall.

"I don't understand either," Nathan agreed gently, his voice low as if he was trying not to spook her. Awkwardly he patted her shoulder. "However your mother was, she might have had her reasons, but whatever they were it wasn't worth missing out on knowing you. She was the one that missed out. Anyone would be proud to raise a kid like you."

"Thanks," Audrey forced a brave smile, the tears held at bay. "I know it's stupid, I mean it was all a long time ago."

"We all carry around things from our childhood Parker, it doesn't make you weak, it makes you stronger," Nathan reasoned.

Audrey nodded, "So I guess we should go write up that report?"

"Yeah both of them," Nathan agreed.