After the Storm 21

I don't own these characters; I just like to spend time with them. No other profit to be had than that.

There has been some concern expressed on the previous couple of chapters that Matt and Kitty weren't spending enough family bonding time with their baby and that Kitty was not physically able to engage in the activities described.

First of all let me say this. This is a work of fiction, and as such should not always be taken so literally. Also fictional characters can do things we can't. Otherwise Matt would've been dead a long time ago as many times as he was shot.

Secondly, Benjamin is only 2 months old and asleep at the time his parents were otherwise engaged.

Thirdly, up until these last two chapters the parents weren't yet completely back together so it was difficult to bond as a family with that separation in the way. The parents had to mend their relationship in order to make the family really a family.

Fourthly, while Matt and Kitty were not yet together they were each separately bonding with Benjamin. As far as Kitty's milk drying up, I have no idea. It's entirely possible, but the baby formula I mentioned in a previous chapter was always available. (And I did check - the formula mentioned really did exist back then)

And lastly, though Kitty was injured and she was having problems with her back, she and Matt hadn't been together for quite a while and sometimes your needs supersedes the pain and anything else. At least for a while.

Oh and if I have offended anyone by this story I apologize. It was never my intent and I did start this story out by stating this is non canon.

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"You mean it?" he asked, yet again. "You're coming home with me?"

"Only if you want me to, Galen." Margaret smiled softly at the loving expression on Doc's delighted face.

"Want you to? By golly, Margaret, I couldn't think of anything I'd want more, now that Matt and Kitty are back together."

"Well good then, its settled." She sighed. "Of course it's going to take a little while to settle things here. I mean I have to sell the house and move my bank account and…."

"Whoa," Doc silenced her with finger to her lips. "Does all that have to be done right now?" he leaned in a little closer to her.

She looked over at him with a wicked gleam in her eye. "Why Doctor?" she grinned mischievously. "Do you have something better in mind that we could do?"

Doc pulled her close, enveloping her lips in a kiss. "Yes I do, Margaret" he took her hand and helped her up from her couch, starting towards the bedroom. "Yes I do." He repeated, closing the bedroom door behind them.

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Kitty sat on the couch in her house and giggled, watching Matt as he changed the diaper on Benjamin. The expression on his face was priceless, as he wrinkled his nose and held the diaper out at arm's length. "Matt, I told you I would do that."

"I know, and I told you I wanted to do it." He replied, hastily depositing the diaper in the pail and putting the lid back down on it. "I just keep forgetting how nasty it is."

Kitty laughed again and carefully rose to her feet, struggling not to show a reaction to the twinge in her back. Though it was much better now than it was, she still occasionally felt a pull, and had to remind herself to be careful. She wanted nothing that would delay their trip home to Dodge.

Matt saw it anyway. "Kitty, I told you to take it easy," he said, as he finished diapering the baby. "I can handle all of this."

"Matt, I'm just fine." She scoffed. "I just can't sit around all day. If we're going to leave for home next week, I have a lot of things to do."

Matt sighed as he placed Benjamin down in the bassinette, and turned to take Kitty into his arms. "I know," he pushed a small lock of hair from her face. "And I promise you, it will all get done. But you are not going to do it alone. No matter what happens from now on, you are not going to have to do anything alone, again, while I draw a breath."

Kitty's smile saddened as she thought of those last five words and earnestly prayed he would always be there drawing that breath beside her. Sighing, she looked up into his earnest blue depths. "I know that, Matt, and you don't know what that means to me. It feels so good to have you back."

"That's my line," he grinned as he brought his lips down to hers. Before they could go much further however, they heard a knock. "Hold that thought," he told her, reluctantly releasing her and heading to the door.

"Nathan," he exclaimed, as he held the door open. "Come on in."

"Thank you, Matt," Nathan said, as he shook the snow off his cloak and removed his hat. "Hope I'm not disturbing you."

"Not at all, Nathan," Kitty walked up beside Matt and took Nathan's arm, ushering him in. "What's brings you here in this kind of weather?"

"Well I brought those papers by for you to sign, selling me back my half of the pub." He said, handing them to Kitty and casting a sideways glance at Matt. "You sure you want to do this, Kitty?" He now understood why everything happened the way it did, but he still cared and worried about Kitty.

Kitty beamed up at Matt and nodded. "I'm sure, Nathan." She smiled happily. "We're going home to Dodge, and once we're there, I'm not leaving again."

"Well I'm glad for you, Kitty, and I'm sorry I'm going to miss your wedding. I'm going to miss you. But I understand."

Kitty leaned over and gave him a friendly kiss on the cheek, and a warm hug. "I'll miss you too, Nathan," she glanced back up at Matt, "but like I said, Dodge is home."

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(One Month Later)

"I now pronounce you, Man and Wife." Reverend Johnson smiled. "You may now kiss the bride."

Matt eagerly pulled Kitty into his arms, and devoured her mouth with his own as most of Dodge cheered and shouted their approval.

"Golly, Mr. Dillon" Chester almost stammered, when they finally parted and started up the aisle. "I sure am happy for you and Miss Kitty, I mean you and Mrs. Kitty, I mean…."

Kitty grinned and leaned over, kissing him softly on the cheek. "We know what you mean, Chester, and thank you."

Chester's blush spread clear up to his hairline as he watched Matt take Benjamin from Margaret, then extend his other arm to his new wife as they exited the church.

"Sure is going be different around here, isn't it, Chester?" Sam appeared at his side, after giving the new bride a kiss on the cheek and good wishes, and shaking hands with the groom.

Chester looked quizzically up at him. "Well I swan to goodness, Sam" he declared. "Things ain't gonna be that much different. I mean Miss Kitty and Mr. Dillon already decided he ain't quittin' bein' Marshall and Miss Kitty's still gonna run the Long Branch. And even old Doc over there, once he and Miss Margaret get married, he's still gonna be the Doctor around here. What's so different about that?"

Sam just grinned and shook his head. "Nothing at all, Chester. Nothing at all."

As Matt and Kitty gaily walked out to their waiting carriage, Kitty took one last, small look at all their cherished friends who had assembled there for their big day.

She knew a fierce storm had come into their lives, in the form of three wrathful and evil men who had sought to destroy them in the name of vengeance.

But those men hadn't known that you can't destroy real true love. You can hinder it, but it's still there. And as long as she and Matt loved one another as they did now, no storm would ever be able to tear them apart. After any storm that came their way, they would still be standing, together.

FINIS