Disclaimer: I own the OC's and the story and that's it.
A/N: ^_^ So, here's chapter three. Finally, we see Sam. And yes, I am taking your requests about the baby's name into serious consideration. All will be revealed by the end of the fic. :) Don't worry about any names the characters call the baby in the fic; it's just Mike and Fi's luck that everyone but them have already given the child a name/nickname and gone on.
Sudden changes in plans for the day are, usually, a bad thing for spies.
Hours, days, or weeks of planning can be thrown out the window with just a simple spraining of an ankle. Carefully created covers can disappear with just an accidental run-in at a grocery store.
Spies don't like surprises or unexpected changes, unless they go in their favor.
Of course, when you're a parent, you grow used to these things.
Just when everyone had finished up breakfast- save for Claire and her abandoned banana that Enelope still refused to eat- Fiona realized that her plans for the day were wrong.
She stood at the sink, drying her hands after loading up the dishwasher, staring out the window as she thought. Michael studied her from the kitchen table as Baby played with a plush squirrel from Barry. Barry still annoyed Fiona, and with good reason, but Baby loved the toy so much that Fiona put her annoyance aside because her children's happiness meant so much to her.
"Michael, what are your plans for the day?" She asked him out of the blue, surprising him.
He thought for a moment, folding the newspaper on the table into a neat rectangle. "Well, I thought Sam and I would visit Jesse and see if he needed any help. I'd mow the back lawn too." He added as an after-thought, suspecting that that was what Fi was thinking about.
"That's good. Don't forget the pool needs cleaning. I'm taking Claire to ballet today." She said it so casually that he almost missed the final statement.
Michael blinked and frowned as he processed what Fiona had told him. "So, today is that day?"
Fiona nodded as she loaded up a bag for the day's events. "Yes, today is the day Claire begins ballet lessons. I completely forgot since I've been so sleep deprived lately and wouldn't have remembered except for Phillip's reminder that he's spending the day with your mother. Charlie will be there, too, so they'll have fun."
Michael nodded slowly, having no problem with that part of the plan, but one part got to him…
"Who's watching Baby?" he asked.
His wife looked up from her bag. "Well, since I spoke with your mother and watching two young boys is hectic enough as it is, I thought you would."
The look closest to panic for Michael crossed his face for a second. "I don't know, Fi…"
"Oh, come on, it'll be easy. And fun. You two can have father-son bonding time." Fi said cheerfully.
Michael tried to figure a reason why he couldn't have his youngest son with him and couldn't.
"And Sam's here." She tossed over her shoulder as she left the room and went back upstairs.
A moment later, Sam used his keys and was in the house. "Hey, morning."
"Uncle Sam! Uncle Sam!" the older children shouted, running to greet Sam, as Michael stood.
"Did you bring us anything?" Claire asked outright as Sam knelt to look the children in the eye.
"I don't know…" Sam pretended to not remember. "Are you two… Fred and Joan?"
"No." the kids said in unison again, shaking their heads.
"Oh. So you're Melissa and Bobby." Sam joked.
"No, Uncle Sam." Claire said, laughing, as Phillip frowned.
"Don't you remember us?" he asked, ever the voice of reason.
"Of course I do." Sam said, smiling at the children. "Actually," he grabbed a nearby paper bag that he had placed on an end table, "these are for you."
Michael winced as he presented the kids with the bag of saltwater taffy.
"Yay! Candy!" Phillip cheered as Claire gasped.
Sam was the "cool" uncle who always brought the kids candy and let them drink milkshakes while Michael and Fi told him not to.
Sam stood as the kids dashed away, Claire holding their treasure, and returned to the TV.
Michael felt a lot better about the gift when he realized that he wasn't going to have to deal with the sugar rush firsthand.
Some surprise changes in plans can be beneficiary to a job. Of course, you have to be quick enough to take advantage of those changes before it's too late and they become a hindrance.
The surprises that come with parenthood, fortunately, can usually be smoothed over by a sugary confection and some careful planning.
"So, Mikey, how are you? Looking good. Did you have peaches this morning?" Sam asked, turning to look into the kitchen.
Michael blinked and stared at his long-time friend, wondering if he had taken a hit on the head recently.
"Oh, not you, Mike." Sam said, addressing the senior Westen in the room. "I was talking to Mikey Jr."
Michael's expression returned to that of passive-annoyance. "Still betting that we name him that?"
"Oh-hoh yeah. The pool's up to $500, Mike." Sam said, striding into the kitchen and heading for the refrigerator. He had opened the door only partway when Fi returned to the kitchen, dressed in a breezy sundress.
"Still no beer in there, Sam." Fi said in a way of greeting, causing Sam to shut the door with a disappointed frown.
"Aw. Not even a beer cooler? Something fruity with a little umbrella?" Sam asked just before Claire dashed in, heading for the fridge. Sam opened the door for her as she grinned at her "uncle".
"We have good juice. Phillip and I always drink some with our candy." Claire said in a tone that was usually reserved for attempts at reasoning with her parents to let her have ice cream for dinner.
"Oh, that's good, but I…" Sam stopped as Claire pulled out a juice box from the fridge and offered it to him. "No no, I'm…" She shook the little box, grinning brightly at Sam. "Oh, why not? Thank you, Claire." Sam said, accepting the little box from the bright child.
"You're welcome." Claire said, grabbing two more boxes for her and her brother before running off again, leaving Sam to shut the fridge door.
Sam nudged it shut with his foot as he struggled to get the thin straw out of its plastic wrapper. "You look awfully cheerful this morning, Fiona." Sam said, at that point failing at poking the straw through the box.
"That's because I get to spend the day shopping with Dani and the twins after Claire's ballet lessons." Fi said, referring to Dani and Jesse's twin daughters, Alison and Grace. "It'll be fun."
Michael raised an eyebrow as Sam, in the background, said, "Ah hah!" as he finally poked the straw through the box and sipped the juice. "I thought today was just the ballet lessons." Suddenly, he was suspicious of how long he would be responsible for his younger son.
"Well, it was at first, but then I realized that Dani's in town and her birthday is tomorrow, so I figured a girls day out would be fun. Besides, I need new shoes." She said as a way of finalizing her decision, because a moment later she was taking a water bottle from the fridge, kissing Michael on the cheek, and heading into the living room to talk to Claire about getting ready for ballet.
Sam started laughing as Michael furrowed his eyebrows. "Well, Mike, looks like it's just you and me today. Let's hit the beach! I know of this great fishing spot…"
"I'm watching the baby, Sam." Mike said, cutting his friend off. "No fishing today." He shook his head. Or ever. Michael silently added, since he found no joy in throwing something into the water and waiting for hours while getting sunburned.
Sam stopped, mid-description of the fishing spot, to consider Michael's words. "All right; that works too. We'll just go wherever it is that a parent with their friend goes when they want to get out of the house and they're bringing a baby along." He said, obviously trying to figure out where that place was. "Where is that place, exactly?"
Michael sighed. To be honest, he was just planning on spending the day at home, doing work. He'd visit his mother later, to check on her, and then go for a run with the dog.
"We'll figure something out." Michael responded with, looking at his youngest son, who was playing with a plastic set of baby keys.
I prefer the changing schedule that is parenthood to the changing schedule of a spy. Only one of them grants you the option of taking a day off and sleeping in late.
Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed the chapter. And thank you to everyone for the lovely reviews! I really enjoying reading them and am so glad you are enjoying the story! :D
For flamers: My secretary is out of office, so your flames may take a while to reach me. I don't know where my office is currently, actually, so… Yeah…