The next boarding saw them meet Jim Roth, Kate managed to hide her surprise at seeing him. Dutchy didn't. Kate watched carefully aware that too much interest could get them all killed.
They dropped back to Hamersley watching the boat. Every instinct of Kate's told her to get Jim out of there she counted him as a good friend. She knew however that they couldn't compromise his cover not unless there was good cause.
They had good cause, a fight; they sped over Kate wishing the RHIB went faster. They cleared the deck, Kate found Jim. For a brief moment she thought he was dead, he looked pale, and was breathing only shallow breaths. They rushed him to the ward room Swain stabilising him much to Kate's relief, after all he was a friend a good friend.
Making it to a foreign port they took off in a small boat searching the harbour, the blood only confirming the local fisherman was dead. Getting back on the ship Kate knew that Jim was pushing himself to hard but couldn't get him to relax.
Instead she decided to relax, going and getting a decaf tea. How was this so complex she mused as Mike Flynn walked in trapping her, he then had the gall to ask her about Jim, Kate was so annoyed what with him dating Maxine. He begged her to talk to him. The one thing she couldn't do not until she had spoken to Nikki and definitely not on the boat.
"I can't talk about it,"
"Kate" Mike started, she glared at him for being so unprofessional "XO," he tried again
"Yes Sir" Kate responded being strictly professional.
"You're right it won't happen again." Mike said acknowledging his mistake. Kate left upset,
She couldn't believe it they wanted Jim to go to meet the drugs dealer, a man that could barely stand. Whether she loved him or not wasn't the point they had a duty of care
She won the argument instead they sent Dutchy.
Afterwards she met Jim. She told him everything figuring he was a good man to have onside, he was also somebody who would keep the memory stick safer than she could ever dream of. Surprisingly he was really supportive, his sister was a single mum and his mum had been. He promised to be there for her in whatever capacity she wanted him to be, as a dad, or a brother.
To Kate it meant the world that unwavering support. Although she made it clear she loved Mike Flynn.
The next few weeks passed quietly Kate continued with the boarding's unable to tell anyone she was pregnant, she was amazed that she had just started showing yet and her normally flat stomach had a slight bump, at nearing 5 months it just made her look bloated rather than pregnant which was lucky as they all had to have a topless inspection, luckily Bird wasn't focused on looking at her stomach and didn't even ask.
Back at port she met up with Nikki, this time they met at Kate's house. Excited Kate showed her the bump and the ultrasound. Nikki was thrilled, and had been shopping showing Kate some baby clothes, a bottle and a pacifier. She also had lots of catalogues with baby items, cribs, blankets, car seats, Kate never knew babies needed so much stuff.
After they ate they settled down to discuss business.
"So I found out you were never on the promotions list, this doesn't prove anything though Maxine will just blame a clerical error" Nikki told her watching as Kate fought the anger
"I did what you recommended I got all the emails on a USB gave it to Jim the SAS guy after all who is better to keep it a secret than him, I also told him about the baby" Kate smiled remembering the promise he had made, "I also emailed my request for a shore posting to both Maxine and Canberra, I just hope I get it, I also included my maternity plans I'm going in 2 months and would like to start light duties as soon as I can"
"And Mike?" Nikki asked
"I'm going to tell him, doesn't matter what Maxine says he has a right to know" Kate decided. The next night she rang Mike and arranged to meet.
She went to the bar ordering a grape juice, Mike joined her they sat talking, Kate just wondering how to bring it up. He offered to buy her another, Kate agreed, one glass of wine wouldn't hurt. As Mike went to the bar Maxine rang, Kate groaned she was still in the picture. Then suddenly Mike was hit by a man going down hard. Kate ran over, he shrugged her off. Apparently it was Ryan's dad, Mike then stormed off.
Kate tried to ring him over the next few days but didn't get any response. Finally catching him on deck he revealed he was Ryan's father much to her shock.
Maxine knew it was time to make a move, Kate was 5 and ½ months, she'd be showing soon. She told Stuart he wasn't Ryan's father, making sure she timed it too interrupt Mike and Kate's date. Then she told Ryan before telling Mike. Hopefully he would be so distracted with Ryan and her he wouldn't gave Kate a second look.
She was angry with Kate going over her head about the transfer, she was determined to call her into her office give her a piece of her mind then transfer her to another base, she was thinking Perth as it was the furthest away. After that she would be free to settle down with Mike and Ryan as a proper family.
Kate sat with Mike at the bar, it was loud and not quite what she had in mind. Luckily Mike had the same thought as they relocated somewhere quieter.
"We haven't really had a chance to talk, not talked but talk" Kate noted
"You want to talk about Maxine it was 20yrs ago" Mike defended.
"I know and really its none of my business but you have a son that's pretty amazing" Kate said trying to get his thoughts on fatherhood and on Maxine
I'm still getting us to it" Mike replied, Kate could see he was still in shock
"Ever wonder how things might have en different if you and Maxine had more of a connection" Kate wondered trying to gage how serious the relationship was as to whether he would believe her when she told him about Maxine's stunts
"We have a connection, I mean had" Mike realised his slip, saw the pain in her eyes
"You said have" she said knowing it was his instinct, her heart was breaking again,
"I meant had" he protested knowing this could be them over
"Mike Flynn you are completely transparent" Kate said able to read him easily the guilt of telling her like this was consuming him.
Instead of letting out her anger she returned to the ship. The next day as she prepared the ship to leave Jim approached her. She smiled having made her decision, the baby needed a father, one who was there and Jim was a good man who was willing to step in. He knew Kate would never truly love him, but knew he could never truly commit to a relationship both parties knew it would be more of comfort and convince than love.
The next day they met for drinks, the relationship seemingly moving forwards until it was rudely interrupted for Jim's mission.
Kate and Jim had argued about her continuing on boarding's but as Kate pointed out she had little choice. Jim watched feeling sick she shouldn't be in this situation. She did the boarding Jim covering with his gun; if he couldn't stop her he could at least watch her back.
Back on the boat she fell into his arms as Mike Flynn watched on jealously.
Kate rubbed her stomach 6 months into her pregnancy and she had begun getting the sickness. It was beginning to become a problem. Swain had noticed. Kate made her way to the ward room knowing if she didn't he would come to find her.
Kate sat on the bed, Swain began talking her observations.
"So X do you know the problem?" Swain asked
"Yes Swain I'm pregnant" she told him not able to lie. "So I just need some anti-sickness pills and I will be fine"
"Congratulations mam, how far along are you?"
"24 weeks" Kate told him. "I'm sorry I couldn't tell you before I was ordered not to" Kate whispered aware of his hurt look
"Why? Who? what?"
"I can't tell you Swain, please don't make this harder than it is"
"But X you've been doing boarding's, dangerous boarding's"
"I know Swain I've applied for a desk job, anywhere in Australia and nothing" Kate told him frustrated
"X you should have told the chain of command"
"I have NAVCOM told me that I was pregnant in the first place, and I regularly have check-ups with the Navy doctors." Kate replied, "Its ok Swain I only have 4 weeks left."
"I can't let you go out on boarding's pregnant"
"Swain I've been given a direct order not to tell the CO and until he works it out for himself I can't tell him. I didn't tell you because I didn't want to put you in this position" Kate told him. She reached into her pocket pulling out the most recent scan. She showed it Swain who made the appropriate cooing noises. Then going to the cupboard he pulled out some pregnancy safe anti sickness tablets
"Take these Mam" he offered, "and X I'll talk to Sal but we have tons of stuff from Chloe you can have"
"Thanks Swain" Kate said appreciating his help and his discretion.
"Although if anyone asks I won't lie," Swain informed her
"I appreciate your help" Kate said sincerely.
Swain had a quiet word with Mike about the stomach flu, meaning Kate was off the boarding's much to her relief. While her uniform fit still her bullet proof vest was getting snug and she was aware a lucky shot could kill her baby.
They found Ryan beat up but ok. Kate watched as they loaded him onto the stretcher.
"I thought you'd be with your family"
"Later I'll meet them at the hospital," Mike smiled thinking of them as his family. "You know there is a rumour going around the ship that you're pregnant"
"What if I was, would it be so bad?" Kate asked her heart thumping wildly in her chest this was it, Mike was about to reply but Maxine called from the dock, Mike smiled apologetically at Kate before walking down.
Kate sighed, she had been so close to telling him.
Standing up on the bridge as Hamersley Kate patted her stomach, this was her last cruise before her maternity started. None of the crew had noticed the loose fatigues hiding her figure. Kate smiled as she wondered how to break it to them, whether an announcement over the PA or over drinks at the pub either way she was sure some would be saddened others like 2dads pleased.
The fishing vessel appeared deserted Kate lead the boarding team. Surveying the vessel there was no crew to be found. A mystery, Kate and Swain took the lower deck. Kate spotted a Geiger counter, it made no sense until she turned it on. Straight away it started indicating radiation. Following it they came across 2 men with radiation burns. Alarmed Kate went topside aware even the smallest radiation could harm her baby.
Rushing them back to the Hamersley the men revealed there were 2 suitcases some deduction indicated they were lead lined carrying heavy radiation. Jim was also brought abroad to Kate's relief it would be easier to handle leaving with an ally. He offered to marry her, bring up the baby in a stable relationship, Kate hadn't said no, it being the best offer at the present and with a threat so big her mind wasn't focusing. He gave her his ring to keep too think about it. Kate slipped it onto her dog tags deep in thought.
The next boarding revealed their worst nightmare a dirty bomb most likely targeted at Australia.
The whole crew was working extra hard to stop this threat. They found one bomb, one suitcase, they knew there had to be another, despite what Madeline said it was the only thing that made sense. Dutchy investigated further deducing it wasn't Sydney harbour but one much closer to home.
Kate lead the boarding party on the boat it had the dirty bomb on a timer. Swain took the wheelhouse, Jim began disarming it. Kate took the RHIB feeling like a coward but Swain had insisted the radiation would be bad for the baby. They both promised to get out. They arrived back on the Hamersley, 3 minutes left to go. Kate stood on the bridge. The tension was thick as everyone watched their eyes glued to the small boat.
Time ticked away, with a minute to go Mike ordered them out. Nobody emerged from the boat. With 20 seconds to go the 2 men emerged throwing a suitcase into the water, they jumped into the tinny speeding off. The boat exploded knocking the tinny out the water. Kate was running with half the crew to the RHIBS even as Mike piped the orders.
In the water wreckage was everywhere, debris lining the surface of the water. The 2 RHIBS searched with the Hamersley helping
"Body at red 4" Mike announced, Kate's RHIB sped over the other RHIB beating them there pulling out the body. To their relief it was Swain and although bruised and bloody he was alive. The RHIB rushed back to the Hamersley as Kate looked for Jim. Spotting a flash of green she ordered the RHIB in. As they neared they could see it was a body and it wasn't moving. Kate reached down pulling up the limp and unmoving form of her fiancé. She knew as soon as he asked she would say yes. Checking his pulse Kate automatically knew he wouldn't have one his face slowly mottling, turning yellowy like only the dead could do.
Kate stared at him blankly. The man she had promised her life to was dead. The man she trusted above all others even Mike was gone. The stress becoming too much for her pregnant body and to everyone's shock she fainted hitting the water. The cold of the water didn't stir her as she sunk deeper in to the ocean. Luckily Dutchy dived in grabbing her and hauling her out onto the RHIB rushing them back to Hamersley.
With the ward room full Bomber struggling with an injured Swain and knowing they were minutes from port Mike her lifted from the RHIB to the boat deck before ordering RO to ensure there were ambulances waiting.
Unfortunately being CO meant he couldn't sit by her side like he wanted he had to report to NAVCOM tell them the threat was eliminated and the sacrifice of Jim Roth.
They were in port 5 minutes later Swain was taken off the boat first followed by Kate who had come around slightly and was able to walk with a kind paramedics elbow as she followed Swain to the hospital.
Mike finished on the ship making his excuse. He drove to the hospital relieved to see Swain was on the ward he had broken a leg and had a possible concussion but was sitting up hugging Chloe and talking to Sally. Although he would be off duty for at least 3 months he was alive. Next he went to visit Kate slightly confused when he was told she was on Holston ward as it wasn't one he was overly familiar with.
Arriving he saw Kate asleep not wanting to disturb her but concerned as there was a reason they were keeping her in. He was worried his heart in his throat as he found a doctor introducing himself.
"Ah Mr McGregor you'll be pleased to know both mother and baby are ok, we think it's a bit of high blood pressure from the stress so are monitoring carefully. If it goes down we can release her if not she'll be on bed rest until the baby is born."
To his credit Mike hid the surprise that Kate was pregnant, instead thanking the doctor. Walking over to her bedside he waited hoping she would wake up. She didn't stir but something caught his eye. Carefully he lifted her dog tags surprised to see a ring hanging off them. Hurt he left.
The woman he loved was pregnant with another man's baby. Just then he felt his heart break into a million pieces. He left the hospital angry with Kate furious even, he had one destination in mind NAVCOM.
Entering he saw Maxine he stormed into her office she followed.
"Did you know?" he shouted, she looked at him blankly, "Kate she is pregnant," he raged
"No, how far gone?" Maxine asked playing dumb, he was angry it was perfect,
"I don't know but I found an engagement ring on her dog tags." Mike furious hit the wall his mild temper gone exhausted leaving only grief.
"And she didn't tell you?" Maxine said acting shocked
"Well she will have to be transferred, we don't want a pregnant officer on a warship, would you like me to keep her local?" Maxine asked carefully, hoping he said no, Mike was silent for a long time
"Transfer her the hell away from me" he requested sitting down exhausted,
"Let's go for drinks tonight I think you need several, my shout" Maxine invited, Mike nodded agreeing.
"Thanks Maxine's it's nice to know there is a friend I can count on." Mike said sincerely
"Anytime, one more thing Mike and please I only suggest it because I have seen it before is she'll realise her mistake, claim the baby is yours to try and salvage her career" Maxine said carefully
"Kate wouldn't" Mike said still having faith in her.
"I hope not, I'll get her transferred you won't have to see her again" Maxine promised.
Back at the hospital Kate had woken confused and upset. Her blood pressure was settling but was still sky high.
The doctor came in trying to soothe her, ideally they didn't want to sedate her as it potentially risked the baby.
"Mam we need you to calm down please" he tried, "I've spoken to your CO and told him your situation"
"Mike you told Mike" Kate said stressing out even more, if Mike knew she was pregnant where was he? Why hadn't he waited there he must know the baby was his surely?
Noting her rising pulse rate the doctor tried to soothe her more
"I notice the ring on your dog tags would you like me to call your fiancé?" the doctor asked, Kate looked at him blankly as she remembered finding Jim floating face down in the water, the blank look on his face as they pulled him out.
"Jim" she muttered beginning to cry,
The doctor sighed this hadn't calmed her at all in fact he had made it worst. He prepared the sedative, injecting in to her quickly. She settled within minutes. The doctor left to consult her file hoping there was someone he could call to soothe her.
The file sat empty on next of kin. No mother, no father, fiancé dead, ship captain obviously uninterested. The doctor frowned before an unorthodox approach hit him. She hadn't been the only sailor admitted perhaps the other one could give ideas.
He knocked the room entering. A young man lay on the bed his leg elevated, next to him sat an attractive woman a small girl balancing on her lap.
"Hello, I'm Doctor Thorpe, I'm looking after you XO, Kate McGregor" he began
"I'm Swain this is Sally and Chloe how is she and the baby?" Swain asked worried, "I'm the ships medic" he added hoping it would encourage the doctor to confide in him some more
"Her blood pressure is elevated, its endangering her and the baby, I have her sedated at the moment but I need to calm her down or I'm worried she'll develop pre-eclampisia" the doctor forecasted
"What do you need me to do?" Swain asked
"I need the contact details of anyone she is close to, anyone who can calm her down" the doctor begged, Swain nodded
"I'll make some calls, Sal you know Kate why don't you try" Swain begged Sally nodded remembering the stress of being pregnant and the young officer. Swain began making calls, he knew Nikki knew and knew Mike could calm down Kate in seconds. Nikki answered first promising to be there as soon as she finished work in just over an hour. Mike didn't answer so Swain left a message for him.
Feeling exhausted he lifted Chloe next to him on the bed and went to sleep the little girl joining him.
Back in Kate's room Kate woke up again. This time there was a soothing hand on her shoulder.
"Hey Kate" confused as she didn't recognise the voice Kate opened her eyes
"Sally how is Swain?" Kate asked
"He is fine, broken leg, slight concussion but he is playing with Chloe at the moment, how are you?" Sally asked.
"I'm fine" Kate said more automatic than anything
"Really?" Sally asked unable to keep the sarcasm out of her tone. Kate sighed
"I don't know where Mike is? He found out about the baby and ran. He must know it's his. I don't know what's going on, but I think it's over between us"
"Oh honey" Sally comforted pulling her into a hug "he is probably just scared, I remember when I told Chris, he was crying more than I was. Then he went through the whole what if I'm not a good father phase. If it makes you feel better I'll get Swain to call some of his Navy buddies they'll talk to him, I bet he is down the local bar right now"
"But he is with Maxine, so I went to Jim he knew I didn't love him that I only wanted a stable family but he was happy with that. He proposed and I accepted" Kate admitted "And now he is dead and I have nothing"
"Wrong, you still have yourself, your friends and this little one and right now you need to focus on relaxing for this little ones sake." Sally said patting Kate's stomach. "Wow your still fairly flat how far gone are you?"
"7 months every day it gets bigger, I was starting to worry how I would hide it" Kate admitted
"Just start to moisturise a lot I'll bring in the stuff I used it's amazing I got no stretch marks" Sally began before talking about other tips she had found or been told. It worked as Kate began to relax, asking questions she hadn't even thought of before.
Soon Nikki arrived Sally made her excuses going back to Swain.
"Hey" Nikki said, hugging Kate then sitting down on the side of the bed.
"He proposed" Kate whispered,
"Who Mike?" Nikki said her eyes lighting up hoping these 2 had got their acts together.
"No Jim and now he is dead" Kate said, hugging herself.
"I'm so sorry Kate, I know you were close friends" Nikki replied.
"Thanks look they're not going to let me go home tonight is there any way that you can pop over to mine grab a few bits?" Kate begged she was in a hospital gown and nobody had thought to grab her sea bag.
"Sure you got your keys"
"No there in my bag on the Hamersley"
"Don't worry I think they'll still let me on" Nikki joked hoping one of the old crew was on watch it would be nice to catch up.
Nikki left Kate reassuring her she'd be ok she was just desperate for some of her own comforts.
Lying in bed Kate finally started to relax, maybe Nikki and Sally were right maybe Mike did just need time.
Dozing slightly she was woken by a young midshipman entering holding a folder
"Lieutenant McGregor" he asked uncertain,
"Yes Midshipman" Kat replied
"I have your new orders Mam" he handed her the folder,
"Thank you Midshipman" Kate said taking the folder. She waited until he was gone before opening it. New orders, Kate read eagerly her heart sinking. Perth, as far away in Australia as you could get and the job was practically a demotion not that anyone would offically call it that.
Confused Kate sat there was this Maxine's doing? Tired her head hurting she sat the papers to one side maybe a rest would help her headache.
Mike sat at the bar drinking with Maxine. He'd had several tots of whiskey and was getting more and more annoyed with Kate.
Pissed off he called a cab he was going to the hospital to give her a piece of his mind.
Arriving he got to her room unchallenged. She was sleeping her hands resting on her stomach. She looked peaceful something which angered Mike even more.
Kate woke to see Mike pacing at the bottom of the bed.
"Hey you came" she said smiling hoping he was willing to listen to her, then watching him pace agitated she sat up. "What's wrong?" she asked
"What do you mean what's wrong Kate your pregnant that's what is wrong" He shouted
"I thought you'd be happy" Kate replied
"Happy! Happy you're having another man's baby why would that make me happy?"
"Another man's baby, I'm 7 months pregnant Mike"
"She said you'd say this" Mike said letting Maxine's manipulations cloud his mind.
"Who Maxine, she has been engineering this whole thing. She blackmailed me I wanted to tell you but I couldn't, now she has me transferred to Perth" Kate cried unable to believe that bitch was winning.
"It wasn't Maxine who transferred you to Perth it was me" Mike said "I transferred you because I see you're a lying manipulative bitch who used me" he spat out
"Really Mike do you believe that? After everything we have been through, please leave me alone. Go play happy families with Maxine, tell her she won I won't fight for you anymore" Kate said leaning against the bed. She felt tired, her headache was worse than ever, her vision was blurring. She figured it was a migraine she had suffered them before.
"Fight for me you've never fought for me" Mike exclaimed
"I tried Mike, I really tried, can you get the nurse in here" Kate asked feeling suddenly very sick.
"Kate you feeling ok?" Mike aske worried
"Don't pretend you care I'm not your XO anymore" Kate yelled back grabbing the sick bowl and vomiting, Mike left the room getting a nurse. The nurse rushed in taking her blood pressure. Then she yelled for help.
"Kate your blood pressure is dangerously high we need you to try and calm down. Sir I need you to leave as your obviously stressing her out." The nurse ordered taking charge. Mike went outside taking a seat. He couldn't believe what had happened he was so sure he was right and what did he mean Maxine. Kate had dumped him first hadn't she seeing Jim Roth.
He had been spending more time with Maxine but they had only started dating recently surely Kate knew that.
The hussle coming in and out of Kate's room worried him. Lost in thought he missed Nikki's arrival
"I don't know we were arguing and then she got sick and the nurse ordered me out"
"Wait you were arguing she's not meant to get stressed" Nikki ranted at him
"I'm sorry I didn't think it was that serious" Mike said.
"Mike Flynn sometimes you are an idiot" Nikki ranted, "You go to that witch, that bitch, that cow, who has spent the last 7 months making Kate's life hell while you wine and dine her"
"She told you that" Mike said still believing Maxine's lies
"Told me yes, proved it yes. I've seen the emails she sent heard the tapes of the blackmail, heard from people who were on the promotions board that Kate's name was never put forwards"
"What?" Mike said shocked
"Kate didn't get the promotion because the paperwork you submitted was 'lost'" Nikki revealed
"Maxine wouldn't do that" Mike said still defending his long term friend
"Really here this is a USB of the emails and recordings Kate made if you don't believe her then ask Maxine" Nikki said as a doctor walked out. Mike left more confused than ever. He took a cab home falling asleep before he had chance to look at any evidence.
The next morning he awoke to an almighty hangover. Making it to the toilet to vomit he felt slightly better, rubbing his head and taking some pills with a glass of water and he almost felt human. Staggering into the lounge he came across a USB. Suddenly the events of last night flooded his mind. He sank into the chair feeling ashamed of his actions. Still it was no good feeling sorry for himself Mike mused as he plugged the stick into his laptop.
He opened the first file, copies of emails Kate had sent asking for a transfer, each response was different all stating that a transfer wasn't possible and she was expected to serve on the Hamersley until she went on maternity. Mike frowned that wasn't right there should have been a transfer somewhere especially for a pregnant officer. As he read the emails took a distinctly threatening tone suggesting resignation. Clicking on an audio file he played it frowning as Kate's and Maxine's voice played
"Look Kate I'm doing this for you. If you tell Mike now he would resign. It would ruin your career and Mikes. You'd be pregnant no job, no income Mike would lose the Navy and the Navy is his life we both know that. Initially it might be good but eventually it would drive you apart. But I'm not telling you what to do" Maxine said
"I need to tell Mike he deserves to know"
"Fine tell him, it will break him, there are no transfers for either of you right now. Mike is your CO for the next 12months"
"Maxine please" Kate begged. Breaking Mikes heart,
"I'm sorry Lieutenant my hands are tied; now you are dismissed." Maxine said. The tape stopped. Mike sat there angry she had lied all along but why?
He sat there for a long time coming up with a plan. He needed to expose Maxine, ring his parents and explain they were about to become grandparents. Then he had to somehow make it up to Kate and pray she would forgive him.
Going to Navcom he picked up a recorder along the way, he was going to trap Maxine before presenting everything to Canberra only hoping they'd agree to keep things quiet.
"Hey Maxine" he greeted entering her office.
"Hey Mike you disappeared on me last night"
"Sorry I went to the hospital" he watched as Maxine winced slightly
"How is she?"
"She did what you said she would. The baby is mine but it can't be I only slept with her once" Mike moaned
"I knew she would."
"Makes me so mad to think she used me like that" Mike said
"Don't worry Mike I've got it all set up. She has a new posting in Perth a demotion but she'll take it she has little choice. I picked a CO who will give her a hard time as a personal favour any mistakes she will be punished to the max." Maxine said smugly.
"Good, what I don't get is why she was still on active duty why she didn't tell me" Mike complained
"I ordered her not to, Mike I was trying to protect you. Every mission there was a chance she could lose the little bugger"
Mike hide how sick he was feeling, Maxine was evil and twisted beyond anything he had imagined
"She got in the way Mike. I knew you wanted me but was lured by her. I knew you would never be happy with her."
"But the baby"
"I told her to abort it she didn't listen. Although I hear from the hospital her blood pressure is uncontrollable with luck she'll die and take the brat with her" Maxine gloated
"Kate is that ill?" Mike asked
"Apparently" Maxine said grinning it fading as Mike ran out. He had to go to the hospital.
Arriving he went straight to Kate's room. There Kate lay pale and sleeping next to her sat Nikki holding her hand
"How is she?"
"Not good her blood pressure is still up, if they can't get it down soon they might have to deliver the baby early to save Kate's life"
"What can I do?" Mike asked
"Not stress her out for one" Nikki said glaring at him
"I won't I believe her I have enough evidence to put Maxine away for a long time. Gods Nav I've been so dim" Mike exclaimed
"Yes you have if it's any consolation she still loves you" Nikki said confidently
"I'm going to prove myself. My parents are sailing down and should be here next week to help out. I've got a meeting with Canberra I'm going to report Maxine try to get Kate reposted here" Mike said standing and entering Kate's room.
She was sleeping, he brushed some of her hair out of her face. She didn't stir, not wanting to wake her he left a letter hoping it was sufficient for her to let him in when he came back.
Leaving he hopped on a plane to Canberra, there he went straight to a meeting with 2 Commodores and a Vice Admiral. He explained the situation, shared the evidence Kate had gathered and the evidence he had gathered. To say they were concerned was an understatement. The commander of NAVCOM Cain's was using her position to fuel a personal vendetta against a Navy Lieutenant and had admitted to trying to kill her and her unborn baby. If this went public it would be a PR nightmare.
Several high powered meeting later and Mikes arm was starting to ache from saluting so much but they had a solution. A new commander had been appointed Maxine was to be arrested and I would be heard in a closed trial. Mike would remain on the Hamersley for a year to settle in Nikki Cataneo as XO before moving to NAVCOM. Mike was delighted to hear Nikki would be getting a sea posting and a promotion. Kate was harder to place, they had cancelled the move to Perth and would be investigating Maxine's claims of a corrupt CO. Kate was hardest decision, the next promotions board wasn't for another 3 months and they couldn't reconvene another one sooner. Her promotion would have to wait but the brass seemed sure she would get it as for her next posting they decided to wait until she came off maternity leave to decide. It would give them chance to A get her promoted, B view the fall out and C weed out Maxine and other cancers in the Navy.
With new orders Mike flew back to Cains. Here he went straight to the hospital. Kate lay his time awake.
"Hey" he said awkwardly,
"Hey" Kate replied not saying nothing to give away how she felt.
"I'm so sorry Kate" he began
"And" Kate replied
"I know that I betrayed you. That I was blinded by old love that I should have stood by in but instead let you be fed to the wolves and I know there is nothing I can do to make it up to you but I want you to know I will never stop trying to. Maxine has or will be arrested shortly they have all the evidence they need so you won't have to testify. And I am really, really sorry" Mike blabbered never remembering being this nervous.
"It's a boy"
"What?" of all the responses Mike had expected this wasn't one of them
"Our child, they did a scan it's a boy" Kate repeated, Mike walked across the room to her side placing his hand on her tummy.
"Hey there son I'm your daddy"
"I'm still annoyed Mike, but I understand, she had everybody fooled even me for a long time. Its only when she realised I was no longer fooled that she started with the threats."
"She fooled me for longer"
"I should have told you as soon as I first found out" Kate said crying.
"I understand why you didn't" Mike told her cuddling her. "How are you now?"
"My blood pressure is lower, I have to be on bed rest for the rest of my pregnancy but as I have nobody at home to look after me I have to stay here."
"I'll look after you" Mike promised
"Until you get called to sail again" Kate reminded him
"By then my parents will be here" Mike announced
"Mike I've never met your parents, what if they don't like me?"
"Kate they will love you"
"You don't know that" Kate protested thinking of all the people who didn't like her.
"Ok well they arrive later today so we can wait and see" Mike said silencing her with a kiss. Kate sighed conceding the point it would be good for her child to have some grandparents and since her parents weren't in the picture Mikes would have to do.
"I guess it might be nice"
"Good I never want to let you go again I've been stupid twice now, Katelyn McGregor will you marry me" He said jumping off the bed to go onto one knee. Kate's mouth opened in shocked especially when he reached into his pocket pulling out a ring.
"Mike Flynn, it's beautiful. Yes" She exclaimed wiping tears away,
"You've just made me the happiest man on earth"
"When Jim proposed it was to give the baby a father, I didn't accept I couldn't imagine marrying anyone else but you" Kate admitted
"My parents will be ecstatic. Also we need to tell the crew about us" Mike whispered
"I wish I could be there for that" Kate smiled thinking of their reactions
"We can arrange that" Mike replied nodding at the door. Just walking out the lift was Charge, Swain, 2dads, Bomber, Dutchy and RO holding a large bouquet of flowers and lots of baby clothes. Dutchy was pushing Swain. Mike edged away from Kate slightly not wanting to spoil the surprise.
"Hey X" they all greeted
"Hey, Swain you look better" Kate said, taking in his appearance his leg in a cast his head with a dressing on it.
"Thank you X, how are you doing?"
"They got me on bed rest until the end of my pregnancy" Kate moaned
"And how long is that X?" Dutchy asked after a nudge from Charge
"I'm 7 months pregnant" Kate told him with a smile indulging them, she watched as they all stood awkwardly wondering who was going to ask the question that they were dying to know. Swain and Mike meanwhile were trying to hide their smiles.
"Congratulations and who is the lucky man?" Charge asked
"My fiancé" Kate responded smiling whilst fingering the ring that now sat on her finger.
"Not the SAS guy?" Mike stood up aware Kate was still grieving Jim's death,
"Nope" he said proudly
"You Sir way to go" 2 dads congratulated, the rest following.
"Thank you" Mike looked at the group all grinning insanely.
"It's about time" 2dads added.
"So who we getting instead of the X?" Charge asked
"You might recognise her" Mike said as Nikki walked out of the lifts on cue.
"NAV" Charge exclaimed happily, Swain joining in with Bomber
"Congratulations Nikki I have your new orders" Mike said handing over the piece of paper.
"What?" She questioned reading it, "Wow XO" she muttered happily.
It was 6 weeks later Kate had met Mikes parents and gotten on with them really well and had agreed to look after Kate at home. Over the 6 weeks Mike had made it up to her, whenever he was on shore leave he had been there for her. Maxine had been arrested, sentenced and was spending time in jail 20 years to be exact.
Mike Flynn ran back into the hospital the Hamersley had just arrived in dock to news that it was time. He met is dad outside the room, Kate and his mum inside. He could hear her screaming. Taking a deep breath he entered to see his baby emerge
"Wow" he muttered walking over kissing Kate's sweaty brow
"Congratulations mummy and daddy" the midwife said as the babies cries broke the silence, "It's a perfectly healthy little boy, do you have a name?" she asked placing the baby on Kate's chest. Mikes mum started taking photos.
"Yes, Nicolas Flynn" Kate said, they had picked the name as a way of thanking Nikki and honouring her part in helping her.
6 months later Kate finished maternity leave teaching at the Naval College. The hours were generous meaning Mike's mum or the local nursery could care for Nick. Mike had only 3 months left on the Hamersley before he took up a position at NAVCOM.