Smiling broadly up at her new husband, Sam allowed herself to be swept away as Lucas spun her around the dance floor. At last, after several months of intensive planning that had been interrupted only by the occasional terrorist threat, their wedding day had finally come to fruition.

"Happy, love?" asked Lucas.

"Ecstatic," Sam replied, tightening her hold on Lucas as the music swelled and they seemed to be spinning faster and faster. "And you?"

"I feel full to bursting," said Lucas, "As though my skin is all that's keeping me from going everywhere at once."

They paused in the middle of the floor to share a brief kiss, the few other couples present continuing to dance around them. While Sam would have been happy to find a private room and continue with what she had started, Lucas was the voice of reason, pulling back and smirking roguishly at her.

"There's plenty of time for that," he said. "We'll be gone for three weeks, after all."

Sighing dejectedly and pretending to pout, Sam nevertheless allowed herself to be carried away by the music as Lucas once more took her in his arms. Although she adored the entirety of MI-5 team's Section D that they'd invited to the wedding – particularly Dimitri and Erin, who had recently tied the knot themselves, and Erin's daughter – all she really wanted was to be alone with her husband. That's why she couldn't wait for the reception to end, so that she and Lucas could finally leave for their honeymoon: three weeks of nothing but sex, sleeping, and sun-bathing.

As always when the thought of sex crossed her mind, Sam's cheeks flushed and she looked down at her feet, ignoring Lucas's knowing grin. Having been a virgin for the majority of her life, a state that had only changed in the last few months, it felt strange being so comfortable with baring her body to another and seeing her partner naked in return.

The music stopped, then, and everyone fell silent as Harry stood to make his speech, having been asked especially by Sam to walk her down the aisle in place of her own father. "Having only known Sam a short while, I can't comment on her past. However, in the few months that she's been working for me and been with Lucas, I have observed a remarkable change in my Section Chief. Sam and Lucas, you really are a match made in heaven. To the bride and groom!"

Everyone raised their glasses to toast to a successful marriage. Taking Sam's hand in his, Lucas led her to the front of the room. Withdrawing an envelope from his suit pocket, he presented it to her and spoke so that the rest of the room could hear. "I know that because of our jobs we'll be in London for most of the year. But I thought that when life gets to be too hectic, this would be the perfect retreat for us."

Sam opened the envelope to discover a deed made out in her name for a house in the country. "Oh, Lucas!" she exclaimed, throwing herself at him and wrapping her arms tightly around his neck. "This is perfect. Thank you!"

"I love you," Lucas whispered in her ear, "And I just want for you to be happy."

"I am," she assured him. "As long as I'm with you, I will always be happy."


Their three weeks in the Caribbean, which the MI-5 team had chipped in to pay for together, passed by faster than Lucas and Sam would have liked. Pretty soon, they were back to the daily grind of around-the-clock missions, occasionally traveling to others countries to settle disputes and the like. They were worked to the bone, with barely a moment to call their own. And still, somehow Lucas and Sam found time for each other and their fledgling marriage.

It was several months after the honeymoon when Sam took ill for three days straight. She would be sick in the morning and sometimes have dizzy spells; she didn't have much of an appetite; and no matter how much she slept, she always woke up feeling more tired than she had before closing her eyes. Finally, on the fourth day, Lucas insisted on taking Sam to the hospital. He'd been put off before by Sam's assertions that what she had was no more than a case of the flu, but enough was enough. The results they received, however, were surprising, to say the least.

"We're going to have a baby," Sam whispered on the cab ride home.

"Wow." Lucas's arm tightened around his wife as he instinctively sought to protect her. He and Marian had never gotten as far as being married, much less where they were expecting a child, so he was determined that nothing should go wrong this time around.

"We'll talk to Harry in the morning and get you on maternity leave," he said decisively.

"Excuse me?" Sam turned to look at Lucas with a single eyebrow arched to show her displeasure. "The doctor said that I'm barely two months pregnant; I'm not even showing yet! There's no danger to either the baby or me, so I'll be fine staying on the job for another few months, at least."

"And I say no," said Lucas firmly. "I'm not going to risk you or our future child, not with the kind of job that we have."

"Lucas, you're making this decision unilaterally," Sam pointed out to him. "Shouldn't we be discussing this together, as a family?"

He sighed heavily. "You're right; I know you are," he said softly. "Try to understand where I'm coming from, though. I lost you once before – granted, it was by my own hand. But we had never even got as far as marriage. I don't want to lose you – not again – and I certainly don't want to lose our baby. Besides, the decision might be out of our hands in any case. Once Harry hears about this, I'm sure he'll decrease your duties and maybe even restrict you to a desk job until you feel it's time to go on maternity leave."

Sam put a gentle hand on Lucas's shoulder. "I know you still feel guilty for the past." And here, it wasn't Sam talking to him, but rather Marian talking to Guy. "But we're in a different time now. Nothing's going to go wrong. I'll go on maternity leave as soon as I'm showing more. But I'd prefer to make the decision myself instead of having you make it for me."

"I'm sorry," said Lucas, leaning over to kiss Sam in an apology. "It's just- I love you so much that I can't help but worry about your health and safety."

"I know," Sam replied easily. "I'm the same way with you. I worry every time you're on an away mission, or even when you're right here in the city, wondering if this is the time you'll get blown up and leave me a widow."

"I promised to take care of myself – and of you. I won't let you down, Sammy, not again."

The months passed by in a blur as Lucas and Sam prepared for the arrival of their new addition to the North family. Erin was a tremendous help to them; already having a daughter of her own, she knew what to expect and was able to give them lots of advice. And then, the big day arrived: Sam went into labor.

Lucas was surprisingly calm as he sped through the streets on the way to the hospital and rushed Sam into the maternity ward. Donning a nurse's cap and gown, he accompanied her into the birthing room and held her hand through many painful contractions, speaking words of encouragement and soothing her furrowed brow.

"I can see the baby's head," announced one nurse. "All right, Mrs. North – just one more big push and you're done."

"You hear that, honey?" said Lucas, stroking sweaty tendrils of hair from off of Sam's sweaty forehead. "Almost there." With an agonized yell, Sam pushed with all her might and the baby was expelled from her body.

"It's a girl," said the nurse, pulling the baby free and deftly cutting the cord attaching mother and child. Cleaning the North's daughter of all fluids, she was wrapped in a blanket and handed to Sam to hold. The nurse then made a tactical retreat, leaving Lucas and Sam alone with their as-yet unnamed baby.

"She's beautiful," Lucas murmured, pulling away a section of the blanket to peer into his daughter's eyes. "What should we call her?"

"How about Claire?" Sam suggested, tired from her ordeal but nonetheless proud of what she had accomplished.

"Claire North," said Lucas thoughtfully, trying the name out and liking it. The baby looked up at him and wiggled her fingers in his face. Stretching his hand out to reach her, Lucas took obvious delight in watching as she wrapped her little hand around his finger – and Lucas knew then that he was hooked and always would be. "Claire it is, then," he said at last.

"Welcome to the world, Claire," Sam cooed at her daughter before smiling up at Lucas. They may have had a rough start some several hundred years ago, but now that they had each other – and for good, this time – they could face anything.