Title: Like Sand Through the Hourglass.....

Author: BuffyAngel68

e-mail: vg68@msn.com

Rating: G - very mild PG

Summary: A few vignettes from the first few months in the life of Darien, Bobby and Roberta Claire. Some are funny, some bittersweet and at least one is guaranteed to be a heart-breaking, tear-making, somebody-find-me-a- tissue-before-my-keyboard-floats-away piece. (Don't give me that. You know you like those the best!)

Notes: Everything I write carries with it a piece of my heart and soul. Readers and reviewers help keep that heart and soul alive. Thanks again to all who took the time to read and comment on The Gift or anything I've posted so far. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

I ^^^^^

"I can't really advise you on this, Darien. It's your decision whether or not to bring it up."

"I guess.... I'm just afraid of what he'll say if I.... I'm not really asking for advice, Claire. More like.... an objective opinion. You're close to both of us, yeah, but you're not in here with us. You're still that step or two away. I need that view-point. Just... tell me what you see from outside me and Bobby."

"It's difficult.... You sit there pleading for the truth, but if I give it to you...."

"I promise to take it as it comes and not get ticked if I don't like what I hear. Please."

Making a final adjustment to the tape on the left side of Bobbi's diaper, Claire began to dress the squirming, giggling infant while she contemplated her response. Finally, she carefully lifted the baby, placed her in her bassinet and turned to Darien with a quiet sigh.

"What do I see? I see two wonderful parents who've adjusted to their lives being turned upside down about as well as anyone could. I see two strong men who've managed to find a way to surrender everything to someone else and yet never give up the essence of who they are. I see men who make the perfect partners on the job and off and who complement each other better than any two people I've ever known. You know each other so well by now, you finish Bobby's thoughts and he finishes yours. You support each other, you watch out for each other and you're so deeply in love it's practically leaking out your pores. What I see, Darien, is something so right.... so beautiful that it makes me believe again."

"Believe? In what?"

"In the possibility that I might find that kind of love someday. It's been a long, long time since I allowed myself to believe that."

"Claire. I'm sorry..."

"No. Don't ever apologize for having found love, sweetheart. It's a rare and precious thing. Don't ask forgiveness for it, cherish it. Seeing what you and Bobby have and all you survived to get to where you are.... it gives me tremendous hope."

Darien reached out and grasped Claire's hands tightly and stared down at where their fingers overlapped.

"So.... you're saying go for it?"

"I told you, what I think doesn't count. I adore the two of you and whether you decide to ask Bobby about this or not, my feelings for you won't change a bit. You need to sit down somewhere private and quiet and ask yourself two questions: Is this something I really want? Is it important enough to me that I want to share the idea with the man I love? Answer those two decisively and you'll know what to do next."

"Yeah? Love.... still can't get used to hearing that word. I'd pretty much convinced myself it was somethin' I wasn't supposed to even understand, never mind find myself in the middle of. Just sayin' it makes this... weird feelin' in my chest.... He loves me. I'm in love."

A quiet laugh escaped Darien, which Bobbi echoed, waving a tiny fist at her mother and Godmother.

"Apparently she agrees." Claire chuckled, reaching out to gently grasp the baby's fluttering hand.

Darien stared down at his little girl, his heart swelling with the emotions that always overwhelmed him when he was near her. He promised himself he would make the time to find that private, quiet space and have the answers to Claire's provocative questions before the day was out.