A/N..I took a simple phrase and gave it a new meaning. I hope you like.
It was the end of Fiona's pregnancy. She lay on the bed, in the hospital, suffering through wave upon wave of labor pains. The doctor came into the room and examined her.
"Mrs Westen, I know you wanted to have this baby naturally but your labor isn't progressing. We are going to take you into the surgical room and give you a C-Section."
Fiona gave Michael a panicked look and simply said his name. He smiled down at his wife and saw her worried expression. He asked "Fiona doesn't want drugs. If we don't consent to do the C-Section, what could happen?"
The doctor sighed and said "There is a chance that either the baby's or Fiona's heart rate could drop significantly. If you decide to wait, more stress is put on the mother and the baby, making delivery very risky. I'll give you a few minutes to decide."
As the doctor was leaving, Fiona grabbed Michael's hand as more pains hit her. When they subsided she said "Michael, I wanted to deliver naturally but I don't' want to hurt our baby by waiting. I want the C-Section." Fiona began to cry partly from exhaustion, partly from worry. "I'm sorry."
Leaning over, Michael kissed Fiona's cheek. "Don't cry. There's nothing to be sorry about. You are exhausted. If you want my opinion, I'd rather you have the C-Section so you and the baby are safe and healthy. It doesn't matter to me how the baby comes out. I just want you both to be ok."
The doctor came back in and Michael said immediately "She'll have the C-Section." Fiona, who was in the middle of another moment of labor, shook her head. Once the pain stopped, she was handed consent forms and prepped for surgery.
Before they wheeled Fiona away, she said to Michael as he leaned in to give her a parting kiss, "Throw me into any amount of gunfire and I"m fine. This scares me."
Smiling, he soothed her saying "It will be fine. I will see you in the operating room and soon we'll meet our baby." He leans in close to her ear and whispers ""It's time to be brave little angel."
Little Emily and Michael sat on the front porch of their house. They are waiting for the school bus to come and whisk Emily off to her first day of kindergarten. Noticing Emily is unusually quiet, Michael asked "Why you so quiet? Usually I have to beg you to stop talking."
Emily sighed. "Can't you and Mommy come to school with me today?"
Michael crouched in front of Emily and smiled at his girl. He tried to make her feel better. "Mom and I talked to you about this. You are a big girl now. You get to ride buses and go to school with other kids your age. Won't that be fun?"
Softly, Emily says "I won't know anyone there."
Michael stood up and took Emily's hand in his as they walked to the edge of the driveway. He knelt down and said "I'm sure you aren't the only one who won't any of the other kids. I kind of feel bad for the teacher. She doesn't know any of you."
Emily giggled. "Will you be home waiting for me after school?"
Quickly Michael answered. "Of course I will. Mom will be home too. Later, your Uncles will come for dinner and want to hear all about your day. It's going to be a great day. You'll go to bed tonight and wonder why you were so worried this morning."
The bus pulled up to the curb and the driver opened the doors. Seeing the scared look on Emily's face return, Michael gave her a quick hug before letting her go on the bus, whispering into her ear. "It's time to be brave little angel."
Emily is now seventeen. Lee, her crush in high school, invited her to the prom. Fiona and Emily spend hours at the mall finding the perfect prom gown, shoes and purse. Returning home after an exhausting trip to the mall, Fiona plopped down on the couch next to Michael.
"I'm afraid to ask how much you spent today." Michael said dryly.
Snugging up to Michael, Fiona wrapped her arms around him and said "It doesn't matter. Emmie is going to be wearing a dress and heels, spending an evening dancing with her friends." Fiona placed a kiss on Michael's chest and said "I am surprised she wanted to go. Usually she is happy to go jogging or spar with you in the basement on a Friday night."
Their time alone is interrupted when Emily enters the living room wearing a strapless pink knee length dress. Michael, seeing his little girl looking grown up, smiled and hoped he hid the tears that threatened to fall from his eyes. Fiona asked "Doesn't she look amazing? We are going to put her hair up in a twist and I'm letting her borrow some of Maddie's jewelry."
"There's one problem. I don't know how to walk in heels." Emily said, holding the shoes in front of her mother. Fiona directed Emily to put her shoes on and they will practice walking in heels. Several days are spent teaching Emily how to walk and move in shoes that don't lace up and have rubber soles.
A week before the prom, Michael was in the basement fixing a chair that was broken. Emily descended the stairs in her heels and wrapped her arms around Michael, giving him a hug.
"What's up?" he asked.
"I know how to walk in heels, thanks to Mom, but I realized I don't know how to dance in heels. Mom said to ask you for help on this one." Emily sighed and said "Will you teach me how to dance Daddy?"
He kissed the top of her head and said "I would love to teach you to dance."
The next hour is spent with Emily dancing in the basement. Towards the end of one of the songs Emily said "Mom said you were the best dancer. She fell in love with you on the dance floor of a pub in Ireland."
"I fell in love with her when I saw her from across that crowded dark pub." Michael said. Pulling back, Michael smiled and said "I taught you all I know about dancing. We'll practice in your dress before the prom, so we can put it all together."
Prom night finally arrived. While Emily is waiting for her date to arrive, Michael pulls turns on the stereo and plays a slow song. "Dance with your Dad." He said, extending his hand. Emily accepted his offer and began to dance when the doorbell rang.
Fiona moved to answer the door, while Michael gave Emily a quick hug. She looked worried, so he asked "What's wrong?"
"What if I forget how to walk in heels? What if I trip? What if I step on his feet while dancing? What if..." Emily ranted in a panicked tone.
Kissing her cheek he said, "You will be fine. You have been living in heels the past month and you haven't step on my feet in ages. Relax and have fun."
Fiona led Lee into the living room. Emily smiled nervously, excused herself and ran into the kitchen. Fiona followed Emily into the kitchen and asked "What's going on Emily? Why are you running off into the kitchen?"
"Everyone at school knows me because I play soccer, softball and swimming. They have never seen me dressed like this. I'm scared they are going to laugh at me and tell me I don't belong at the prom." Emily said, almost in tears.
Wanting to empower her daughter, Fiona took her daughter's face in her hands, she said "Your friends love you and want to spend tonight dancing by your side. You will have fun." Fiona wrapped her arms around her daughter and whispered into her ear "If they don't like you being there, then screw them. You be my fierce little girl who goes after what she wants. You wanted to go to the prom, so you that's what you are doing. Enough wallowing in self-doubt. It's time to be brave little angel."
Emily is now twenty five. It's the night before her wedding. Around midnight, Fiona entered the kitchen to find Emily sitting on the kitchen counter.
"Emily! You need to be in bed. Tomorrow you are getting married and you need to be rested."
Emily tilted her head and asked "How did you know Dad was the one? I mean you guys had so many problems and then you just married him one day. How did you know it was right?"
Fiona took a moment and then asked "You aren't having second thoughts, are you?"
"What if I was? I love him and I know he loves me, but its not magical like you and Dad. It feels too easy." Emily explained.
Holding up her hand, Fiona said "Our relationship is far from magical. I've known him since 2001 and it's never been easy with him. We've lost one another so many times before that we know we have to work hard at being together." Pulling Emily off the counter, Fiona turns on the light to show Emily the backyard that has been decorated in preparation for her wedding. Standing next to Emily, Fiona said "Scotty loves you more than anything. You two are a match made in heaven. You both have common interests and the same sense of humor. He would do anything to make you happy. Most importantly, he puts you first in everything he does in his life. You are nervous and it will pass."
Both women climb the stairs. Fiona returned to bed, snuggling up against Michael. He noticed she was gone and asked "Everything ok?"
Fiona yawned and said "Emily is nervous. Maybe tomorrow you can talk to her before the ceremony." Hearing something that resembled an answer of 'OK', Fiona drifted off to sleep.
The next morning was busy, with getting ready for the wedding and greeting guests. Emily sat in her room, kept company by her cousin Charlie and her bridesmaids. Michael entered the room and said "Everyone out, its time we start."
Everyone moved to the their spots, leaving Michael and Emily alone before he walked his baby girl down the aisle. "Mom said you are nervous."
"Very. I had some doubts last night." Emily said.
Michael kissed his daughter on the head and said "He's a good man and you know I approve of him. I wouldn't let you do this if I didn't like Scotty. Don't worry. You two are perfect together."
The music played and Michael walked his girl down the aisle. At the altar, he kissed on the cheek and said in a broken voice "It's time to be brave little angel."
Emily is now forty five. Michael passed away from a heart attack a few months earlier. Fiona, now in her eighties, has had a stroke. She is bedridden and can only speak a word or two at a time. Emily sits by her bedside day and night while her husband Scotty tends to their three children.
One night, while washing Fiona, Emily hears her say "Michael."
Emily looks sadly at her mother and says "Mom, its ok to go join Daddy. He misses you and we both know he needs you to take care of him."
Emily looks into her mother's eyes, the spark she remember in her eyes that would spur her to go further and harder than most was now gone. Fiona manages to ask "You? Kids?"
Emily knows what Fiona is asking "We'll be ok Mom. Go join Daddy. He's waiting for you at the Black Sand Pub. He wants to ask you for a dance." Remembering the phrase that always get her courage and strength, Emily leans next to Fiona's ear and says loud enough to for her to hear "It's time to be brave little angel."
A short time later, Emily sits down on the couch next to Scotty. Rubbing her back, he asks "Is Mom ok? She was kinda irritated today. Kept calling out for your Dad."
Tears fall from Emily's eyes as she says "She's perfect. She's where she always wanted to be, by my Dad's side. Always and forever."