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This page last viewed: 2017-04-25 and has been viewed 1515 times
Rated: PG 13
Disclaimer: Don't own the A-Team but Hannah is mine.
Summary: Everyone is snowed in at the Langley Compound - Takes place one month after Without Reservations
Warning: surprise-no angst, no mental illness themes, no trauma, with no vague references to childhood violence, and no suicide attempts or references to suicide.
In the spirit of Mary Sue Week, I've decided to contribute one of the Gemini stories that has been completed for a year now. I've been trying to finish other parts that go before this part, before I've posted this part. I'm wrapped up in RL and other stories and it looks like I may not be able to finish other stories......... And So-o-o-o....... I'm not going to hold back anymore.
Why am I posting this as Mary Sue in the honor of I am a Mary Sue week?
I have a confession to make--- Hannah is a Mary Sue........ A very well disguised Mary Sue. But she is a Mary Sue, nonetheless----- She can do anything and everything the guys can do and sometimes better. She's a mental case, or rather was a mental case. She can shoot and she can come up with a plan and hack into any computer. When she screws up, she gets lectured right along with Face, BA and Murdock. .... so on and so forth........
I picked this particular Gemini part because this is the Mary Sue-est of all the Gemini stories that I haven't posted yet.
Face was happy. He relaxed a little more, inching down the couch a little more with his feet propped on the ottoman before the fire in the private den. He threw off the blanket that everyone insisted on covering him with and wiggled his sock-covered feet contentedly. His doctor had given him a clean bill of health earlier that day and had prescribed an exercise regiment to get his strength back up to where it was before he had been shot nearly six weeks ago.
The doctor assured him he'd be back on the job in two weeks with no complications. Even that did not bother him as much as he hated the suicide missions Stockwell sent them on. He felt so happy that it bordered on nostalgia and he knew it wasn't the painkillers because he had not needed any for over a week. Face felt himself begin to drift into a peaceful nap when he felt
someone gently place the blanket back over him. He sighed and endured the pampering quietly.
He didn't let the fact that he didn't hear anyone come into the room bother him and he was the most paranoid of all of them. He had been following Murdock's rules for happiness and this was rule number three: Allow others to take care of you. He had to admit rule number three was a good rule and like all Murdock's rules, it was very difficult for him to follow. When he realized
that it made everyone around him feel useful and good, it became easier to accept, especially after he came home from the hospital. He felt someone plant a gentle kiss on his forehead and he knew it could only be one person.
A smile crept upon his face as he reached for the person and pulled her down. Sarah gasped in surprise. "Hey, I thought you were asleep." Face opened his eyes and strategically pulled her on his lap. "I was almost asleep but the novelty of sleep is starting to wear a little thin lately. I'd rather be awake when you are in the room." Sarah draped her arms around his shoulders and eyed him knowingly, saying, "Uh huh. That was real smooth.. Is this the con-man speaking or is it Face?"
Face laughed and playfully said, "A little of both. I'm feeling much better and getting tired of being cooped up inside all the time. Do you think I will be allowed to go outside and play in the snow tomorrow?" Sarah did not laugh and she shook her head. "No.
Especially not after the fiasco that took place this morning."
After his doctor's appointment, the limo picked him up from the hospital and it already had a passenger-Stockwell. They made small talk about the weather and when they both lost interest in the subject of snow, Stockwell asked, "Do you think you will be
able to continue working soon?...I already know what the doctor said about your physical condition, but will you be able to handle the other requirements of the job?"
Face was about to throw an insult at him, asking him, why doesn't he ask the psychiatrist, who had been forced on him to help him deal with the shooting. Seeing that Stockwell was genuinely concerned for his well being and he answered him honestly. "I really don't know because nothing like this has ever happened to me before."
Stockwell nodded thoughtfully and said, "I have a few corporate fraud cases on my desk to ease you back into the pace. You will join the others on the regular missions when you feel you are ready."
Face chuckled. "Careful General. You're starting to show your human side."
"Just don't take advantage of my good graces."
Face began to get excited at the prospects of going undercover in an office instead of out in the field in a foreign country where he could potentially get killed. He hated the idea of not being with the others, but at least he will be close to Hannah and the twins
after they were born. They were due to arrive within the next few weeks. Hannah had gotten so big that it was almost impossible for her to get up or sit down without some assistance and it was difficult for Face not to giggle when she waddled across the room. Face was brought out of his thoughts when the limo began sliding slowly across the icy road and into an embankment. The impact was barely noticeable because they were traveling so slowly and the snow cushioned the vehicle.
Face looked around wildly, noticing how deep the snow was for the first time. The only experience Face had ever had with snow was on a ski slope and it was usually the manufactured kind. Stockwell sighed and picked up the car-phone to order the guards at the compound get the ATVs out and come and get them. He relaxed when Stockwell seemed unconcerned by the situation and settled back into the seat.
After waiting a half an hour and no rescue vehicle in sight, Face became restless when the snow began to fall heavily. He got out of the car and prepared to hike the remaining two miles against Stockwell's orders and almost immediately fell into a snowdrift. Stockwell and the driver dug him out and stuffed him back in the limo without protest. To his relief Stockwell let his humiliation serve as a lesson for him as they waited patiently for Stockwell's men to arrive. Both, Hannah and Sarah scolded him when they found out what had happened and he loved every minute of the scolding.
Face looked Sarah in the eye and saw that she was worried about something. They had become a couple almost immediately after he was brought home from the hospital and Face was amazed at how well attuned they were to one another already. He figured it was because they had gotten a chance to know each other, off and on, over the past three years before they became
'involved.' He's never taken the time to do that before, and the longest he's ever been able to sustain a relationship since Leslie Becktal was a couple of months.
Those relationships began immediately with great sex and always ended in a series of arguments. He was discovering that getting to know a person could be more intimate than a physical relationship and he wanted to put off consummating it as long as possible. This was something else he wanted to get right for a change. Face traced her jaw line with his finger. "What are you worried about?"
Sarah waved a hand towards the window at the falling snow. "They've announced on the radio that all the secondary roads are closed and another snow storm is moving in fast. And Hannah maybe ready to go into labor anytime now."
"I thought she had a couple of more weeks."
"Twins usually arrive about two weeks sooner than a single baby. And her physical condition and behavior is becoming more consistent with pre-labor activities, especially in the past couple of days."
Face swallowed hard. "If worst comes to worst, I'm sure you can handle it, if it comes to that." Sarah leaned against his chest. "I don't mean to frighten you but I need to discuss this with someone. I can handle it as long as it's a classic twins delivery. I've delivered several babies before I went into psychiatric nursing, but never twins. A lot more could go wrong with twins and I'd feel better if we could get her safely to a hospital right now until the storm blows over. But then, .. Nothing may happen."
Face chuckled bordering on outright laughter. "These twins aren't just any twins, they are Murdock and Hannah's babies and I'm their uncle. Trust me, they will make a major melodramatic entrance, so what do we need to do. Get together medical supplies, blankets, towels..?
"Where are we going to get medical supplies when we're snowed in already?"
"This place is stocked like a military base and I know just the person who could tell us where to find what you may need." Face carefully used the word 'may' because he hoped Sarah was wrong and hoped that they 'will' not need these preparations. But it is better to be prepared than sorry later on. Face cuddled Sarah in his arms as he asked, "What do you need?"
Sarah settled into him a little and glanced up. "I'd like to see the supplies myself, so I can make a better assessment on what's available to me"
Face gave her a little nudge. "Okay, lets go."
"To find Carla. She knows everything about this place."
"And what makes you think she's going to help us?"
"She's developed a soft spot for me since I came so close to dying. I may as well use it to my advantage while it lasts."
Sarah gave him a playful shove. "Everything is a big con game to you isn't it?"
The smile disappeared from Face's mouth. "No. Everything is about surviving to see the next day and doing everything I possible can to protect everyone."
Sarah seeing the seriousness in his eyes, sat there dumbfounded for a moment before she hugged him. She was still getting used to everything being a matter of life and death and it scared her to think about it. She shoved her fears aside for the moment. "Its not all your responsibility, you know?"
Face sighed. "I know.. but you are my responsibility until you fully understand what you've got yourself into when we became involved."
She kissed him on the lips and played with his ear. "I don't mind that. I think I've always been a little jealous of Hannah and all the attention she gets from everyone. Now that I'm getting a little, I kind of like it."
"In that case, stay as ignorant as possible because I love taking care of the women in my life."
After receiving an affectionate pat on the rump, Sarah got up and pulled Face to his feet. He said, "I'm hoping the twins are girls because I can never have too many women to look after."
Sarah raised an eyebrow. "Oh, is that so?"
They found Carla in her private office and she was a little annoyed when Peck walked in with Edmond's caretaker. She quickly closed the file that she was reading. "What is it, Peck?"
Face smiled sweetly. "What? No hello? No how are you doing, Peck? Or I hope you are feeling better?"
Carla sighed and looked amused. Then Face seeing that her sympathy had worn off when she heard about his little encounter with the snowdrift earlier that day. She figured if he was well enough to get into trouble, he was well enough to resume their usual working relationship. He got serious. "Uh,.. Carla, we need to know where the medical supplies are just in case this snow storm lasts a little longer than anticipated."
Carla looked over to Sarah. "Why? Do you plan on hurting him? Because if you do, no-one will hold it against you."
Sarah began to laugh as Face made a face. He said, "She's not that tired of me yet... Seriously, we need to get some supplies together just in case Hannah goes into labor before the roads are clear enough to pass."
Carla's smile disappeared and she opened a drawer retrieving a key. "There are medical supplies in the room across the hall from the wine cellar. This place is a fallout shelter and supplies are kept up to date.... Is everything okay?"
Face accepted the key while nodding his thanks and Sarah said, "Everything is fine. We want to take some precautionary measures, that's all. I hope it doesn't come down to this but I need to know what is on hand just in case."
"And Carla, please don't tell Stockwell. I don't want to upset Hannah unnecessarily."
Carla nodded. "If you can't find everything you need, let me know."
"Thanks Carla. We appreciate your help."
They went down stairs and proceeded to put together a makeshift birthing kit.
Murdock, Hannah, Hannibal, BA and Frankie were in the main living room and Hannibal and BA saw the two going down to the basement. Hannibal thinking aloud, "I wonder what those two are up to?"
Hannah looked up from eating pretzels dipped in mustard and reading a computer manual, knowing who he was talking about. "Who cares? I'm glad to see Face up and running around again."
BA nodded in agreement. "I wish I could say the same for Murdock. I'm glad he's down for a while."
Murdock was huddled up next to Hannah on the couch, asleep with an arm draped over her stomach which was a disappointment for Frankie because he was bored. Hannah smirked. "So am I. At least he's getting some sleep. I had him up and down all night last night."
BA giggled. "Yeah, and its bad enough he's pregnant right along with you. I don't think I can stand him complainin' about sympathy pains fo' much longer."
Murdock insisted on being a part of the complete pregnancy experience and had established a permanent link to Hannah. He felt whatever she was feeling and not all of it was pleasant. Since their bond had become public knowledge to the rest of the Team, they had become more at ease with it. Murdock had come to think that with the support of the others, their bond had become stronger in ways he and Hannah could never imagine. It annoyed Hannah for a while when he knew what she wanted or needed before she did. She began to depend upon it during Face's recovery and especially during the last few weeks since her pregnancy was progressing rapidly and it became difficult get around freely.
Hannah glanced over to Murdock and grinned at BA, saying, "It's no picnic for me either but I don't think I'd want it any other way. But I think he will change his mind by the time we reach the delivery room." BA noticed that Hannah was getting low on food and shook his head, amazed at the vast amount of food she was eating in the past few hours. Even though he did not really want anything from the kitchen he announced that he was going there and asked Hannah if she wanted anything else.
Without missing a beat, she said, "Yeah, a peanut butter and banana fluff sandwich would be nice... And I 'm very thirsty, too. Could you bring me some more juice, too please. I can't seem to get enough to drink because I swear I've already drank over a gallon of it today."
Hannibal gave BA a knowing glance as he left for the kitchen to fill Hannah's order, with Frankie on his heels. Hannibal said, "Don't you think you ought to slow down a bit? Those kids are going to be born with indigestion at the rate you are going."
Hannah giggled. "This the first time in almost a week that I've felt like really eating anything. I'm just going with what the ol' bod is telling me to do."
Murdock cringed in his sleep and adjusted his arm across her stomach. Hannibal looked at Hannah with questioning eyes as she explained, "It was just a cramp. He's just overly sensitive to everything, especially when he's asleep."
Hannibal shook his head feeling sorry for Murdock. "Just take it easy on all four of you, okay?"
BA returned with the sandwich and a pitcher of orange juice and Hannah immediate devoured the sandwich and Hannibal began to wonder what Face and Sarah were up to.
In the meantime, inside Hannah...
"Hey! Get your foot out of my eye!"
"If you'd stay over on your side of the womb you wouldn't have to worry about having my foot in your eye! Now move over!"
Here gave There a push, saying, "Ah, that's better..I wish Mom would lay off the food 'cause we're getting squished like pancakes,... whatever a pancake is."
There sighed, "Oh, great! Dad is dreaming about us again! Its bad enough we have to put up with Mom's thoughts, like we don't have much choice because we are inside her. But to have to put up with Dad's mushy thoughts about us all the time. There's only so much a fetus can take."
Here looked over to it's twin saying, "I kinda like being dreamed out..at least Mom and Dad are not worried about Uncle Face anymore."
There softened its tone and said, "Yeah.. Do you think Uncle Face is going to be okay? I mean Mom and Dad were really scared for him. They thought he wasn't going to come back for a while."
Here said, "He could have died."
"Shut up. I don't like that word."
"It's just a word."
"I don't care. I hate that word because a lot of people have 'done' that word and it has made Mom and Dad real sad."
Here rolled over and said, "If you don't like it then why do you go through their memories?" There shrugged it's shoulders in spite of the cramped quarters and said, "I just want to know what our parents are going to be like. Aren't you curious?"
"Sure. But I 'feel' what they are and they want us and love us, along with everyone else. That's all I need to know."
"Hrmph..Doesn't it scare you to know that they shoot at anything and blow up everything else?... I'm scared and I don't want to be born."
"Its going to be all right. I can feel it. And besides, we will be together out there like we are in here."
There turned around and said, "Right! Betcha that's what Mom and Uncle Face thought, too, and look at what happened to them."
Here sighed and said, "You're not even born yet and you are already a cynic... May I point out to you that Mom and Uncle Face found each other again."
"I guess you are right but they fought a lot."
"Stay out of Mom's memories. You are going to forget it all by the time we're born, so why waste your time."
There challenged, "I'd like to see you stop me."
"If you are going to do it, try some happy memories..like this one, the time grandpa taught Mom how to ride a horse. Uncle Face and Uncle BA thought it was so funny and Mom was sore for a week."
"That's not funny. Pain is never funny."
Here shook it's head saying, "Mom and Dad are going to have their work cut out for them.. Or they could simply just drop you on your head and the problem will be solved."
There kicked Here hard in response.
Sarah rummaged through the boxes upon boxes of supplies, finding every thing she'd thought she would need during an emergency birth. She commented, "With all these supplies, you'd think Stockwell was expecting World War three to break out in his front yard soon."
Face chuckled as studied an inventory list he had found hanging on the wall by the door. He was beginning to think she was right as he made his way down the lists. He found a section dedicated to kits. It ranged from the most complicated medical emergency to the most basic. Burn kit -quantity twenty, tracheotomy kit-quantity fifteen, insect bite kit-quantity seventy-eight, and so on and so forth.. "Sarah? Could you use an OB/GYN kit? Because according to the inventory there are eight of them somewhere in here."
Sarah stood up and craned her neck over Face's shoulder. "That's exactly what we need.. Where's it located?"
Face matched the isle number and lot number in the cramped overstocked room to the numbers written on the paper. Sarah opened the box and became excited. "Wow! There's even an emergency cesarean section kit in here." Face looked panicky, not only by the mention of a cesarean section but by the instruments inside the sealed sterile plastic bags.
"Uh, ..Sarah, you do know how to use all of this, don't you?"
Sarah smiled at his discomfort and said, "I'm certified to deliver babies, Face. So, don't worry about it. It may not even come to this."
Face nodded and picked up a bag of what looked like some medieval torture devices with a questioning look. Sarah laughed saying, "You've had some even more sinister looking equipment in you during your surgery."
"At least I was unconscious the whole time with an exception of that damn respirator.. I still have nightmares about that thing."
Sarah stood up from where she was squatting over the OB/GYN kit and put comforting arms around him and kissed him. She then said, "That must have been hard on you ...and tell you one thing.. It was no easy thing to see it done to you but it was necessary at the time."
Face shook off the memory of the way the respirator forcing air in and out of his lungs felt. He chuckled saying, "Hhhhmmmm... So, all I have to do is tell you I've been having nightmares and I get a hug and a kiss? ....I'm going to have to have more nightmares then."
Sarah leaned in for a more passionate kiss. "All you have to do is ask."
Before he could ask, Sarah was already tenderly kissing him. She became more passionate when he responded to her. He sucked her lower lip and when she let a sigh of contentment escape her lips, he went slower making more deliberate motions with his mouth and tongue. He tentatively inserted his tongue inside her mouth and searched for hers until they touched. He felt her arms
pull herself closer to him, pressing her chest into his and he felt unsteady. She pulled her head away from his and looked up with concern. "Had too much excitement for one day?"
Face, a little embarrassed, said, "I guess so. But it's nothing I can't handle." He started kissing her again and he felt like his knees were going to give out from beneath him. Sarah supported him while he got his bearings. She chuckled saying, "And you were going to trek two miles in the snow this morning? You wouldn't have made it two hundred feet if you can't handle kissing.. Come on. Let's get you upstairs where you can lie down before you fall down."
Face sighed in frustration. "The doctor said I was okay this morning.. I don't get it."
"It's going to take time for you to become physically, mentally and emotionally in sync again. Most people would not have survived that kind of gunshot wound, so give it some time, okay? And keep doing what you've been doing. ... Do you think you can make it up the steps?"
Face nodded and steadied himself before letting Sarah go. Sarah eyed him carefully as he gingerly made his way to the door and she carried the OB/GYN kit and set it by the door.
Face was exhausted by the time he made it up stairs and he was trembling. He leaned heavily against the wall. "I think you better go get BA or Hannibal." With Sarah's help he slid down the wall and sat in the floor. She sighed and shook her head amusingly. "What am I going to do with the two of you?"
Face weakly grinned and suggested, "Shoot us and put us out our misery."
"That's not even remotely funny... I'll be back in a minute."
"I'm not going anywhere."
Sarah walked into the living room and whispered into Hannibal's ear as she watched Hannah happily munching of some fruit cocktail. "Face has collapsed and I need help getting him back in bed."
Hannibal nodded and discretely got up and followed Sarah. Once they were out of everyone else's earshot, Hannibal asked, "What happened? I thought the doctor said he was fine."
"Oh, he's physically okay but emotionally .. well emotionally he's dealing with too much. I'll explain it to you later... Glad to see you didn't run off."
Face grinned as Sarah approached him followed by Hannibal. Hannibal smiled easily. "Having some problems kid?"
"Lets get you off this cold floor."
Hannibal pulled him to his feet with little ease and was surprised by how light he felt. Face said, "I want to be with Hannah."
Sarah looked at Hannibal and shrugged her shoulders. "If that's what he really wants."
Hannibal took Face by the arm and pulled it across his own shoulder and wrapped an arm around the back of Face's waist to support him. Once they were in the living room doorway, Face whispered, "I can make it the rest of the way by myself. I don't want to worry her."
Hannibal nodded and allowed Face to walk over to the couch to be with Hannah and Murdock. Hannibal followed him closely ready to catch him if he faultered under the guise of asking Hannah if she wanted anything more to eat. To his relief she didn't and he returned to Sarah. "What's wrong with him?" as he followed her down stairs to get the OB/GYN kit.
She sighed, "Well, for starters, he recovering from a very traumatic injury and that alone would manifest itself physically if it has a strong emotional impact on a person. In this case, I have no doubts. And on top of that, there's his family."
"What about his family?"
"I may not know the entire story but Face has been wanting a family his entire life and it has been denied to him up until recently. He's getting everything he's ever wanted in a short time and it's petrifying him. First Hannah, then Ellen and his father only to lose his father practically on the same day. Not to mention he and I are starting a new relationship and he's been working so hard to change, to be more trusting and open and he's making real, concrete plans for the future for the first time since he quit college.. There's only so much excitement a person can take in a short time and if my suspicions are correct, Hannah is getting ready
to go into labor. And he's having sympathy pains for her."
Sarah opened the door to the medical supply room as Hannibal said, "Whoa here, back up. Let's take this one thing at a time. Starting with Hannah first. are you sure she's in labor?"
Sarah pulled at a box. "She's not in labor but she's getting ready to go into labor.. It may be days before she goes into actual labor and we can't be too cautious with that snowstorm moving in tonight and we are already stranded. help me get this box upstairs."
Hannibal moved over and picked up a box that was clearly marked OB/GYN and realized how serious she was. "Why do you think she's going into labor?"
Sarah closed the door after Hannibal, leaving it unlocked just in case they needed something else later on. "You've seen her eating and drinking all day long to day. She's packing it away like a racehorse. That's nature's way of giving her some last minute energy
reserves because once she goes into labor, she's going to be too busy to eat or drink. Face was fine until I mentioned this to him and then he started making all these bad jokes about getting shot.. Hannibal, I'm worried about him."
Hannibal regarded Sarah's concerns and he respected her opinion. She's taking care of and is looking after two of his most favorite people in the world and she loved them. He placed the box in a closet close to the bedrooms as she had directed him. "For as long as I've known Face, he's always managed to get himself taken care of but it has always cost him in ways I never understood. He appeared to accept personal failures in stride but now that he's finally getting something right, he's falling apart. That doesn't make a bit of sense to me."
Sarah smiled sadly. "Good things can be just as stressful as bad things but in Face's case, he's waiting for the ax to fall on everything. Which makes the good things even more stressful for him. All we can do is be patient with him and reassure him as much as possible."
Hannibal nodded reflectively. "If Hannah does go into labor, how is he going to react?"
Remembering all the times how Face had pulled himself together for Hannah's sakes during her times of personal distress, Sarah said, "Oh, I think he'll be just fine because Face loves a crisis whenever he perceives there is one. I predict he will pull himself
together within five seconds after the labor starts."
Hannibal grinned. "You certainly are right about that... C'mon, lets go check on the triple twins."
"Would you please, explain to me what is everyone talking about when you refer to Face, Hannah and Murdock as the triple twins."
Hannibal's grin got bigger and he shook his head. "About the same time we found out Hannah and Murdock were expecting twins, a Buddhist mystic told them that they were soul twins. I'm not sure if I believe it but they believe it to be real. Ever since then, they've refer to themselves as the triple twins."
"I've heard a lot of really strange things having worked in a psych ward for years. But Murdock and Hannah as soul twins?....uh huh.. Now I've REALLY heard it all."
"I've seen the two of them do some amazing things in the short time they've been together. A few things even defy any possibility of a rational explanation .. If you really want to now how Hannah is and how she's feeling just ask Murdock or at least watch him closely. You will see what I mean."
Sarah was sorry she had asked the question in the first place and was beginning to think that BA was the only one in the outfit that wasn't crazy on some level.
When they returned to the living room, Murdock and Hannah were gone and Face was lying on the couch, looking very comfortable. He explained, "Hannah had to go to the bathroom."
Sarah took this as an opportunity to check Face over and asked, "Hannibal, could you please go get my medical bag in the den?" Then she asked Face, "How are you feeling?"
Face was about to say something cute but stopped himself. He mentally kicked himself, thinking, 'I've got to be honest with her..God, how does Murdock do this all the time?'
"Really tired.. Sarah, I'm sorry for being so much trouble."
She smiled at him. "You are no such thing. Though, I can imagine you can be at times but not now."
He settled further into the pillows on the couch and nodded. For reasons he could not understand, he was so overwhelmed with joy that he didn't trust himself to speak without his voice cracking. He asked himself, 'Is this what its like to be loved by someone for real?. If it is, it's going to drive me as insane as Murdock and real soon.'
Hannibal had returned with Sarah's medical bag with Murdock and Hannah following him. Once Hannibal handed the bag to Sarah he helped Murdock settle Hannah back on the couch. Hannibal wondered how much more bigger Hannah could get as he glanced over to Face who was seemingly enjoying Sarah's attention immensely. Murdock sat down in the floor next to Hannah's feet and removed a shoe to give her a foot massage while looking over at the very happy Face. Once she had all his vitals and
commented that his blood pressure was a little low. Face grinned., "I know a way to get it back up in no time at all."
Sarah successfully avoided his grasp. "Oh, no you don't."
Hannah and Murdock grinned looking at each other. Murdock continued with Hannah's foot massage. "Hey, light bulb. settle down. Or the doctor will put you back on active duty in no time at all." "Huh? .. Why are you calling me light bulb?"
Hannah giggled. "You two are so happy that you are glowing. Especially you, Facey. Maybe you should rent yourself out to a lighthouse."
Hannibal took a closer look at Face and thought Hannah was right. Face was so happy that he was glowing. Once Sarah had completed her examination of Face, she moved onto Hannah. She protested Sarah's attention. "I'm fine. You don't need to punish me for teasing you and Face."
Sarah stuffed a thermometer in her mouth to shut her up and Face stuck his tongue out at her. "Nyah." Then he settled back into the couch and watched with mild concern as Sarah proceeded with her examination.
Hannah thought Sarah was spending way too much time feeling for the positions of the babies. "Is everything okay?"
Sarah heard the concern in her voice. "Yes, everything is perfect.. The babies have dropped a little further into the pelvis, that's all and it's perfectly normal during this stage of the pregnancy."
Face sat up asking, "What does this mean?"
Hannah got even more serious. "It means I could go into labor any time now."
Sarah corrected her. "It can be as long as a week or two, so don't get worked up into a frenzy over something that may not happen."
Hannah gave her an unsure smile and she quietly endured the rest of the examination with great interest. When Sarah was finished, she announced that mother and babies are as they should be, perfectly fine. Everyone returned to their usual activities but there was an undercurrent of concern towards Hannah and the babies with a new snowstorm underway.
The storm had knocked out the power and telephone lines. The house staff quickly got the generator online and built up a fire in all the fireplaces to ease the strain on the generator. Face watched BA and two others come in from the snow from helping with the generator wishing he was well enough to help. He did what he was able to do and handed every one a cup of hot cocoa when
they shook off their snow caked coats. The guy named Jeff said, "I haven't seen it this bad in years... Mr. Baracus, we appreciate your help. We could not have gotten it done as quickly as we did without your assistance."
BA was unaccustomed to having his work complimented. He had been working with the Team for so long that it was no longer necessary to thank each other for a job that needed to be done and it was often a waste of time. They knew the others appreciated the work and Face thought BA was going to blush. BA said, "Not a problem.. Is there anything else I can do?"
Jeff shook his head. "We're all moving into the main house in a few minutes for the remainder of the storm. We can manage a few changes of clothes and some extra blankets on our own. But thanks for the offer.
Jeff and his partner finished their cocoa and went back out to the staff's house to retrieve their things for the night. BA accepted a second helping of hot cocoa from Face. "How's Hannah doin'?"
"She's already in bed asleep, thank God. Keep your fingers crossed that she doesn't go into labor amidst this mayhem."
BA shook his head and giggled, "That would be just like her to do somethin' like that right now."
"Shut up. Don't even dare entertain the thought because she needs to be in the hospital with doctors when the twins come."
"Hey, take it easy. Women have been havin' babies for thousands of years without hospitals and doctors. I think its better not to be surrounded by perfect strangers when you're being born anyway."
Face never thought of it like that but he would feel better about getting Hannah to a hospital. He believed in Sarah's abilities but he knew Hannah was scared because she had already lost her first born and that was weighing on her mind heavily as her due date was getting closer. BA went back outside to bring in more firewood and to help the staff move in for the night. Face busied himself with making more cocoa.
Face smiled when Sarah walked into the room. She said, "I've been looking for you.. It's time for you to get into bed. You've over did it today and I don't need to nurse you all day tomorrow."
He groaned. "Under the condition that you come to bed with me." Sarah balked and Face quickly settled her concerns, saying, "I don't mean it that way. I want to be near you that's all, nothing more, nothing less. If you don't feel comfortable with the idea, I'll
Sarah hugged him. "I don't know whether to be insulted or flattered."
Face was hurt and Sarah was immediately sorry about the comment. She said, "Of course, I'd love to be with you tonight."
"..S-s-sarah.. It's no big secret that I've been with a lot of women in the past.. And I regret my indiscretions more than anything else I've done in my life..I thought that that was the only way I could be loved.... But I've always respected every woman I've
been with and I never treated them cheaply..."
Sarah interrupted him. "Sssshhh.. You don't need to do this Face."
"Yes, I do."
"Let's go somewhere private, okay?"
Face nodded in agreement and let Sarah lead him to her bedroom. Her bedroom was right next to Hannah and Murdock's and he laid down on the bed. He nodded towards his sister and best friend's room. "Those two taught me what love was really about and I want what they have."
Sarah crawled in behind Face and held him. "You can't have what they have. They are different from you and me. We can follow their example but what's they have is theirs. We have to build what we want with what we have. Do you understand?"
"Face...Templeton Peck..Richard Allen Bancroft...I love you and I love everything about you. I may not understand you all the time but know this and trust in it."
Face closed his eyes against the stinging tears that were forming in his eyes and without realizing it he was pulling into a fetal position. He pulled Sarah's arms around himself tighter. She wrapped herself around him tightly and whispered, "I bet you anything that none of those other women told you that they loved you and it's their loss They never saw the prize that you are and you are a prize, you know that? You are sweet, loving, kind, intelligent, generous and good."
Face wasn't prepared to hear what was coming up next and Sarah said, "I'm going to ask you something very important and you don't have to give me an answer right away.... Will you marry me?"
Face opened his eyes and looked around behind him. He unrolled himself from the fetal position and sat up, looking incredulously at Sarah. At that moment he saw what she was. He could picture them growing old together, he saw all their unborn children, and the struggles and joys they would share over the years. Not everything was perfect but they were happy and they loved each other. He accepted that because it was real. He leaned over and kissed her. That kiss made him feel more alive than he's ever felt before. "I don't have to think about it because I love you. Yes, I will marry you."
Face settled into her arms and exhaustion overtook him and he fell asleep. Sarah held him unable to speak for a long time and when she found her voice, she looked down at him looking more relaxed than she'd ever seen him in the three years she had known him. "I hope I can be what you deserve because you are more than any woman deserves."
Sarah and Face were waken by Murdock, who was on the verge of panic. He quickly explained, "Hannah is bleeding."
"Face, keep him in here and calm him down...I'll be back after I check her."
Face wondered how on earth was he suppose to keep Murdock calm when he was on the verge of panic himself. Murdock was about to go after Sarah and Face said, "Oh, no you don't."
He grabbed Murdock by the shoulder, ready to wrestle him to the floor even in his weakened condition. "Give Sarah a chance to look at her first. Okay, buddy?.. Use your head and think for a minute.. Calm down now and connect with her."
Murdock did as Face told him and Face asked, "What is she feeling?"
"Sh-she's scared and she wants me there with her."
Face hugged Murdock. "You've got to pull it together and keep it together. You are her strength now. She needs you more than anything right now."
Murdock buried his face into his friend's shoulder drawing in his strength and he began to focus. He hugged Face back. "I'm ready to go back to her, now... Face... Thanks."
Face smiled. "Lets go see her."
Before they left the room, Face looked at the time it was nearly six o'clock in the morning and prayed that everything was okay. They knocked softly at the door and Sarah said, "Its okay to come in now."
Sarah walked out of the private bathroom drying her hands on a hand towel, giving a tired reassuring smile. "We are in labor. . She's already dilated three centimeters. The bleeding was caused by a baby pressing against the cervix. This is very common with multiple births and its nothing to be really concerned about."
Murdock crawled right next to Hannah who was looking really nervous. She welcomed the hug from Murdock as Face folded his arms, looking at the two comforting the other. Sarah stood next to Face and he put an arm around her shoulder. She glanced over at him. "You okay?"
Face nodded. "Couldn't be better."
Sarah believed him. "We need to distract them for as long as possible to keep them from worrying too much so they can focus on her contractions. Hannah's state of mind is very important till she delivers."
Face grinned and said, "Shall we tell them about us? That's as good as any distraction, don't you think?"
Sarah giggled and said, "You tell them.. Hey, you two. Lets go for a walk. Walking will help with the muscle cramps. But before you get up, Face has something he wants to tell you."
Face grinned and sat down at the foot of the bed with both Murdock and Hannah captivated by wondering what was so important that warranted the suspense that was hanging heavily in the air.
"Last night Sarah asked me to marry her and I said yes."
Sarah walked up behind Face and hugged him as Murdock and Hannah congratulated them. Murdock crawled across the bed and flung his arms around both of them and Hannah laughed saying, "We are going to have three new additions to the family today... oh..ouch, ouch.."
Face felt Murdock cringe against him. Sarah freed herself from Murdock's embrace and checked Hannah. Murdock recovered and grimly asked, "Was that a contraction?"
Sarah nodded and Murdock dryly said, "Oh, boy."
Face pulled Murdock up and gave him a sympathetic hug before pushing him off of him. "Let's go get breakfast. I'm starved."
Hannah moaned at the very thought of food and she felt the urge to throw up. "I'll just watch everyone else eat."
Murdock and Sarah helped Hannah to her feet and they went down stairs.
"Stop pushing me, will you."
"I want out and you are in the way."
"If I could move and let you out, I would. But I can't move anymore. I'm loosing fluid in my sack.. I'm scared."
Here looked over to There and said, "I'm sorry. I guess I'm excited to find out what everything everyone out there is talking about is like. I keep forgetting that you really don't want to leave."
There sighed. "It's getting cramped in here.. I suppose it's about time to leave."
Here grinned. "Just think of everything we get to do out there. We'll get to be held by lots of people instead of just mom and they'll teach us all sorts of neat things."
"Dad will teach us to fly and mom will teach us to hack. Uncle Face will teach us to get anything we want and Uncle BA will teach us to fix things. Grandpa will teach us to do everything else."
There listened to Here intently and asked, "What will Aunt Ellen and Aunt Sarah teach us?. Sarah is now going to be our Aunt, you know?"
Here thought for a moment before answering. "They will probably teach us to be normal.. Mom and Dad hate that word but I kind of like the sound of it."
"We are not normal and we never will be. So get that idea out of your head right now!"
Here was annoyed. "Easy does it. That's all Uncle Face ever wanted and if it's good enough for him, it's good enough for me."
"You're crazy, you know that?"
"I think I better get out of here just in case what you have is contagious."
"Hey, don't let me stop you. You're first in line to get out of here anyway."
Hannibal was feeling unusually cheerful when he woke up. He quickly dressed while looking out the window watching the wind whip the snow against the frosted glass. He wondered if Stockwell made his men stand watch last night during the storm and thought surely Stockwell wasn't that inhumane. He was relieved to see the morning guards were sitting around the kitchen
leisurely sipping coffee and eating breakfast. His men, Hannah and Sarah were scattered among them and they greeted him with more enthusiasm than usual. Before he could ask why was everyone in such a good mood, Murdock flung his arms around him saying, "Hannah's in labor and Sarah and Facey are engaged to be married! Isn't this great news?"
Hannibal looked around the room at the faces and settled on Hannah's and she nodded, saying, "It's true."
Hannibal waited for Murdock to turn him loose before asking his next question. He had forgotten how enthusiastic the pilot could get. Murdock had been calm and reserved since they've returned from Vietnam from rescuing Fulbright's daughter. Hannah was obviously glad to see the fun-loving, overly affectionate side of Murdock return, even if it was for a moment. Once Murdock had released him from the embrace, Hannibal asked, "Shouldn't you be in bed?"
Hannah, Sarah and two of Stockwell's guards burst out laughing. Hannah said, "You are so old fashioned, Dad... I'm fine, the contractions aren't even regular yet."
Sarah added, "It will be a while before we see any real action. Everything is going along as it should be.. Here, have a seat."
Sarah vacated her place next to Hannah so that Hannibal could sit next to his daughter. Hannah giggled at Hannibal as he hesitated. "Dad, don't worry.. I'm not contagious."
Face's eyes twinkle as he kissed Hannah's forehead and snatched the vacated chair's cushion and stuffed it up his sweater. In mock shock, he staggered around. "Oh, my God! I kissed her and she made me pregnant!"
Everyone burst out laughing and Face continued staggering around saying, "Somebody call a doctor,.. call Ripley's,... call the National Enquirer because inquiring minds want to know this!"
Sarah playfully slap Face on the back of the head and yanked the pillow out from beneath his sweater and
Face said, "Oww-wah... Is that any way to treat your fiancé and our first born?"
Hannibal knew that Face had not taken leave of his senses, he was doing this to keep Murdock and Hannah calm and preoccupied as he watched them laugh at Face's vaudeville act. He thought this was good and walked over and snatched Face's 'first born' from Sarah and sat on it next to Hannah. Face whined, "Hannibal, you're sitting on Face, Jr.."
"He's nice and comfy, too, Lieutenant ... How are you doing kid?"
Hannah looked him deeply in the eyes. "I'm fine. I'd feel better if we were in the hospital but I know that's not going to happen... But I know everything is going to be okay because you're here with me."
He had never realized how much faith Hannah had in him until that moment and it was a little overwhelming to him. He put his arm around her and kissed her on the forehead tenderly. Face made a big show of watching him carefully. "Hannibal must be immune."
Hannah said, "That's enough Face. I know what you are doing and I appreciate it but don't tire yourself out. Okay?"
Sarah said, "She's right. Now go lay down and get some rest, Grocho."
Murdock chimed in. "If he's Grocho, I'm Chico."
Face whined again. "But she gets to stay up."
Hannah muttered, "I wish they both were Harpo."
Hannah had a contraction and Face steadied Murdock as he crouch over in pain. Face being serious, chuckled a little. "Breathe.. That's it."
Hannah cringed a little, bracing herself against the table, taking a deep breath and slowly let it out. One of the guards whistled ruefully and Jeff said, "And I thought I had sympathy pains when my wife had our kids."
The other guards began to shift nervously in their seats, each thinking of an excuse to leave the room. One by one they left, using their convenient excuses. Two of them even went back on guard duty when it wasn't necessary in the storm. Hannah chuckled. "I'm going to have to remember this the next time I want to clear a room full of men."
Out of all of Stockwell's men, only Jeff the guard and Michael the limo driver stayed. Michael thought he'd better stick around just in case the roads should miraculously clear, because they would need him to drive them to the hospital. Jeff looked at Murdock
saying, "If you have painkillers, give them to him because he's going to need them... It's going to get a lot worse.. A LOT."
Hannah gave into the urge to walk around and got up and began pacing. Hannibal, Face and BA looked over to Sarah to see if this was okay. When she did not react to this BA started pacing next to Hannah while eyeing her every move. BA, Hannibal and Sarah took turns walking along side of Hannah when she paced for the remainder of the morning. By noon the contractions were
beginning to become more intense and a pattern was forming.
A contraction had just passed and Murdock was still bowed over in pain and Hannah tiredly shook her head as she sat down for the first time in nearly an hour with Sarah's help.
"Mockingbird if this keeps up, you're going to be totally incapacitated by the time I'm in active labor."
Sarah sighed, saying, "I have no idea what it is between the two of you but if you two can put a stop to this, do so NOW."
Murdock almost snapped, "I thought we've agreed to do this together."
"We are doing this together.. You don't have to connect completely to the point where we're both impaired. Now get out of my head!"
Sarah massaged Hannah's lower back thinking that they've both gone delusional. Hannah moaned in pleasure at the temporary release of pain and she felt Murdock began to withdraw from her a little at a time. He remained at the borders of their connection, ready to reconnect fully to her if she needed him and his energy reserves. She sighed contentedly as she looked over to Murdock, seeing that he was relaxing for the first time since she started labor. She felt a tightening and announced, "Here comes another one."
Sarah wrapped her arms around Hannah as Hannah clung to her tightly, whimpering at the pain. Labor was the true test of character for women and so far Hannah did not disappoint her. In the original birthing plan, Hannah wanted painkillers and an epidural but with no way to get her to a hospital, she was going to have to endure natural childbirth from start to finish. Sarah began reminding Hannah to focus on her breathing exercises, encouraging her to let her body do what it wanted to. What Hannah really wanted to do was scream at the top of her lungs at every contraction but she didn't want to scare the daylights out everyone and wanted to maintain some semblance of dignity.
Sarah glanced at her watch and noted that the contractions were now six minutes apart. She figured in about another hour Hannah should be in active labor. Sarah had to find a place for her to have the babies because getting her back upstairs to the bedrooms was out of the question. She wouldn't risk having Hannah on the steps while she was having a contraction. Murdock
seemed to have pulled himself together and was massaging Hannah's lower back to Sarah's relief. BA had returned with a cup of ice that Hannah had asked for. He looked worried as he watched Hannah pant through the contraction. Once it was over with, Hannah groaned, saying, "I want to walk some more."
Murdock and Sarah helped her to her feet and she began to pace haltingly as Sarah said, "I'll be back in a few minutes."
Hannah doggedly nodded as if she didn't care what Sarah was saying. Murdock took her by the arm and walked along side her. "I can take care of her for now."
BA gave Sarah a look to tell her that he would stay with the two of them so she could go and do whatever it was going to do.
She quickly went from room to room looking for an ideal place to turn into a makeshift maternity ward and she found it with the fourth room she tried. Nice and roomy, fireplace in the corner, private bathroom to the side, complete with shower stall and had a nice big overstuffed easy chair in the corner of the room. She knew this was Stockwell's home office and a wry smile crept upon her face. She had managed to stay off of Stockwell's hit list in the time she had been with the Team but after today, she knew she was going to join them on that list.
When she returned to Hannah, she had her arms wrapped tightly around BA's neck hanging onto him. BA supported her because this took the weight and pressure off of her back and Murdock was massaging away at her mid and lower back. Sarah smiled at this. BA was becoming comfortable with having Hannah hanging around his neck like this. Early that morning when Sarah instructed Hannah to hang like this for the first time, BA looked as if he wanted to run and hide. But when he understood this was making it easier on her, he was more than willing to do this for her.. to do his part in helping Hannah and Murdock. Sarah asked, "Can you do without me for a few more minutes?"
Hannah moaned in response and Sarah said, "I'll make it as quick as possible.. Does anyone know where Hannibal is?"
BA said, "In the den making sure Face gets some rest."
Sarah disappeared once again. Hannah moaned into BA's chest again and BA rubbed her back gently. "You're doing real good and it'll be over with in a little while."
Murdock announced, "Here comes a contraction."
Hannah clung tighter to BA's neck and cried out into his shoulder. BA felt her began to relax as Murdock walked her through the breathing exercises.
"What is it, littl' momma?"
"..I want you to be their godfather."
BA looked over at Murdock in surprise.
Hannah moved her head so she could see him better. "Will you do this for me and Murdock?.. If something should ever happen to us, I want you to raise the babies."
BA smiled and gave Hannah a light squeeze and Murdock said, "Of course the big ugly mudsucka will do it. Won't you BA?. He'll make them drink lots of milk."
"You didn't need t' ask.. I'd be honored... but you two will always be around for them. I'll make sure of that."
BA was disappointed when Hannah began to release him so she could walk off the cramps a little. Murdock made a note of what time it was and they walked with her, one on each side holding her arms.
With Hannibal and Face helping her, Sarah quickly commandeered Stockwell's office and they were in the middle of rigging the easy chair when Stockwell found them.
"What are you doing in my office. You know this is strictly off limits to everyone."
Sarah said, "We can't get Hannah back upstairs ..Unless you want her to squat the kids out in the middle of the living room, I suggest you move out of the way."
Face and Hannibal stopped their work on the easy chair for a moment and grinned at each other. Hannibal thought Sarah was definitely going to be the perfect partner for Face.
Stockwell protested, "There are classified documents in this room and leave that chair alone.."
Sarah stopped unpacking the contents of the OB/GYN box saying, "Don't worry. The twins won't be able to read for another four or five years and we will fix your chair up as good as new after it's all over with."
With this, Sarah pushed Stockwell out the door and closed it. Stockwell's mouth dropped at the door in his face. He was beginning to think everyone that associated closely with the A-Team developed an attitude problem towards authority figures. Hannibal
said, "Welcome to the family, kid."
They had Stockwell's office ready for Hannah in no time at all. When the contractions were coming closer, they walked her into the makeshift maternity ward. After a quick shower, Sarah and Murdock settled her into Stockwell's leather easy chair, heavily padded with blankets and pillows. Hannah gave a half-hearted chuckle and Face asked her, "What's so funny."
Hannah looked up almost embarrassed at Murdock. "I'm pretty sure they were conceived in one of Stockwell's other offices."
Murdock grinned at the memory and Face shrugged at Sarah who let an amused sigh escape her lips. Face was about to leave when Hannah in the middle of a contraction cried out his name. When the pain became more bearable she looked at Sarah. "Let him stay, please. I want him here."
Sarah nodded her approval and draped sheets over Hannah's stomach and legs. Face looked a little uncomfortable when Sarah began to check her and he focused on Hannah's eyes. "Whatever you want Sweetheart. I will stay as long as you want me here. Okay?"
The fear in Hannah's eyes subsided a little and Sarah announced, "You're almost fully dilated and you'll be able to start pushing real soon."
Face understood the fear Hannah was experiencing. It was the same fear that motivated her to find him years ago. It hurt him to see that fear. Her control was slipping and the deep-seated fear of loosing another baby was beginning to show. Face's heart grew heavy when he saw Annica's shadow make a brief appearance in his sister's eyes before another contraction came on.
He watched Hannah and Murdock's eyes lock as Murdock talked her through the pain and Face felt envious of his best friend. He wanted to be the one to talk her through it and soothe her fears away. He wanted her to trust him in that very way, the way she trusted Murdock in that very moment. He looked over to Sarah who was watching Murdock comfort Hannah and she felt his eyes on her. She turned and looked at him and he knew that she would look at him someday like Hannah was now looking at Murdock. She smiled at him before returning her focus back on his sister.
Sarah's prediction came through. Hannah was soon in active labor and Sarah said, "Okay. I want you to push with the next contraction. You got that?"
Hannah looking ragged, nodded and took a deep breath. They didn't have to wait too long and Sarah started shouting, "Push! ....Push! ...Push! ... Great! . Keep it up for a few seconds longer. Push! Push! Okay, that's good... Ready for another go at it?"
Hannah nodded almost eagerly and Sarah laughed, saying, "Well here's your chance.. Now get ready.. Now... Push! Push! Push! Push! Push! Push! Push!"
Murdock joined in on the rhythmic chanting. After several more rounds of this Face found himself doing the 'Push' Chant right along with Sarah and Murdock.
When Sarah announced that the baby was crowning, Hannah let out a long wailing cry with each new contraction as the baby inched it's way out. It wasn't really a cry a pain, it was a cry of anger and determination. She wanted this, she wanted it badly.
Sarah shook her head as she watched Hannah dig her fingers into Face's and Murdock's hands that held hers. To their credit, neither of them complained and she knew it had to hurt. Face lost himself in the laughing and cheering-he was Hannah's one-man cheering squad as Murdock kept her centered and focused.
Sarah said, "One more ought to do it...Ready?"
Hannah didn't answer her. She was already underway. Straining forward, Hannah writhed and cried out as she felt a sudden release of pressure followed by a more bearable ache. Sarah let out a little laughing cheer as the head popped out and almost immediately a high pitched strangled cry could be heard. Sarah said, "Stop pushing."
Face squeezed Hannah's hand, kissed it and then it placed it over his chest, holding it there while looking anxiously from his sister to the source of the screaming. He began to laugh nervously saying, "You did it! You did it Hannah! You really did it!"
Hannah fell back against the pillows, spent. Her head lolled back into the pillows as she began to catch her breath. After a couple of deep breaths and she blinked hard a few times, she looked down as Sarah called Murdock over. Murdock and Hannah looked confused as Sarah said, "Come over here and help me."
Murdock hesitantly let go of Hannah's hand and scooted around to where Sarah was. Murdock gave a look of pure opened mouth wonder when she guided his hands around the screaming little creature still two-thirds of the way inside of Hannah and softly instructed him. "Pull downward and the rest of the baby will come out."
Murdock calmly looked up at Hannah and gave a nervous half laugh. She wet her lips breathlessly and gave him a slight nod. She began to breathe heavily as she prepared for what was to come up next and Murdock lost all fear as he focused on Sarah's instructions. Never blinking, afraid to miss anything, he watched the little creature slip into his hands. The crying became more intense as he turned the baby over on its back and just looked at it. Covered in thick fluid with traces of blood, he held the baby up higher so he could see it. He heard Sarah announce, "It's a girl!" as she cleaned the babies mouth and nose out.
Then a round of laughter and cheers intruded upon the deafening sound of his heart beating. He looked up with tears streaming down his face and he struggled to find his voice for several moments, "... uh.. heh..uhmm... l-l-look ... wh-wh-what we .. did... oh, my God, Hannah.. look what we did...we did this, we actually did this.. Oh my God, she's perfect."
He began to laugh as he proceeded to hand the baby over to Hannah's outstretched arms. With the baby now on her chest, Sarah began to prepare the umbilical cord to be cut. Hannah seemingly forgot the pain and exhaustion, started laughing and crying, cradled her daughter. Face numbly began to lightly towel off his newborn niece's face, back and head. Murdock tenderly fingered the baby's facial feature before kissing her forehead and his eyes met Hannah's gaze.
To him that gaze was the most perfect moment in his entire life. Their souls were now perfectly joined and they were whole. He knew in that instance that when they were finished with this life and pass on to the next, they would be joined. Their souls would return to their original state and move on as one again. Sarah said, "Okay, Dad.. Are you ready to cut the cord?"
Murdock gave no indication that he had heard her and Face tapped him on the shoulder, grinning from ear to ear. "Dad. You need to separate Hannah and your daughter."
Murdock looked up startled and Sarah handed him a pair of surgical scissors. She had clamped the umbilical cord close to the baby's belly and had another clamp a few inches from that one. Sarah instructed him to cut the cord between the clamps. He smiled and accepted the scissors, pausing for a moment longer and proceeded to cut the link between mother and child because he sensed the other one was waiting to make it's appearance. Sarah quickly wrapped her in a receiving blanket, handing her to Face. She smiled at him and said, "Clean her up and come back as soon as you can."
The baby girl's crying had subsided a little but not by much and Face chuckled saying, "It looks as if we have another Howlin' Mad in the family."
Hannah looked longingly at Face and he reassured her, "I'll bring her back when you're not busy, I promise."
Hannah nodded as Murdock began to dab away the perspiration and tears from her face and neck as she watched her brother leave the room. Murdock signaled that she was about to have another contraction and Hannah prepared for the next baby.
BA grinned and Hannibal chuckled when they heard the sudden piercing crying of an infant from the next room. BA stood up and walked over to the door cracking the door a little to see what was going on. He closed his eyes when he heard that it was a girl, grateful for Hannah's sake that she had another daughter. He watched his goddaughter scream..it was the pure sound of life
that was music to his ears.
When Face walked out of the room with her cradled in his arms, he stood back as Face announced that it was a girl, grinning from ear to ear. BA peering over the blanket. "Yeah, we heard... Is every thin' okay?"
Face still grinning said, "See for yourself."
He opened the blanket to expose a pinking angry little infant and began to clean the birth gunk from her skin with a soft dry cloth. It would have been easier if he had laid the baby out on the table but he didn't want to put her down. Face softly said, "I'd be mad too being taken from a nice warm safe place and put in the cold harsh world.. But the world can be a wonderful place if you let it be."
BA tore his gaze away from the baby and looked at Face curiously. Face was oblivious of BA studying him as he continued with the task of cleaning the baby and inspecting her. He was in a world of his own. He had another woman in his life now as he studied every feature of his new born niece. They didn't notice Hannibal behind them, silently watching. Once she was
thoroughly cleaned, Face neatly wrapped her up in a fresh blanket. He could not stop himself from stroking the light blonde damp fuzz on her head and by this time she had quieted down. BA ran his finger across her forehead and cheeks, saying, "The l'ttle darlin' is so tiny."
She awkwardly gave a crooked yawn and cracked her eyes opened a little. BA shook his head as he noticed that she had all of Hannah's unmistakable facial features and he did not doubt for a moment that she would be almost a carbon copy of her mother when she was fully grown. Face softly cooed at her, "Happy birthday, little sweetheart.. Hey, she has Murdock's eyes."
BA thought, 'Well, almost a carbon copy,' as he began to compare her to her uncle. Face suddenly remembered that Sarah asked him to come back when he had finished cleaning her up. He reluctantly turned around with his niece in his arms and BA grinned at him and gave a nodding glance towards Hannibal. BA wanted to hold his goddaughter but thought it was more appropriate for
Hannibal to be the one to hold her at the moment. He would have plenty of time to hold her later on.
Face giggled. "Hey, grandpa. Could you take her? I'm needed back in there."
Hannibal looked as if he wanted to back away but stayed where he was as Face walked up to him. Face laughed when it occurred to him that Hannibal had never held an infant. "Take her Colonel. All you have to do is hold her like you are cradling an M-16 across your chest... That's it... You're a natural..keep your arm or your hand beneath her head at all times."
Face stepped back taking in the sight of Hannibal holding the baby stiffly, wishing Hannah and Sarah could see this. He looked pleadingly at Face and BA. When he saw that he wasn't getting any sympathy from either one of them, he looked down at the wrinkled little face looking old and tired, while blinking with unfocused large dark brown eyes. He began to relax and tilted her a little further against his chest. He felt a rush as he imagined those eyes bore right through him and he knew at that instance, he was holding the most powerful weapon of all. Face said, "See, I told you he was a natural.. Gotta go." Hannibal did not look up and he went back to his chair to get acquainted with his granddaughter.
Face entered the room just as the next baby was about to arrive. He quickly returned to his place as Murdock moved around next to Sarah to help his next child into the world. Face still was on the high of the first one and he could not imagine feeling anything more. Sarah looking up at Hannah and started the push chant and Hannah weakly complied making a half hearted attempt.
Sarah seeing that she was about to give out, gave a worried glance at Face and forcefully said, "Hannah, I need you to push!"
Hannah whimpered. "I'm too tired...can I do this later?"
Face adjusted his grip on her hand as Murdock said, "Do as Sarah tells you ... Now PUSH!"
Hannah made another half-hearted attempt and collapsed on the pillow heavily. Face looked panicky from his sister to Sarah, who was getting angry and Face said, "Let me try something."
Sarah and Murdock gave him a curious look and Sarah resigned. "Make it quick."
Face had never taken an authoritarian stance with his sister before and now was the perfect time to start. He summoned all the strength he could muster and put it in his voice. "Hannah, I'm giving you a direct order... Now PUSH!.. PUSH!...PUSH!!"
Murdock moved back next to Hannah's side and helped her sit up and locked his eyes with hers and began to chant with Face the pushing order. Sarah began to make approving comments that it was working and with the one last rallying effort the entire baby came out in one motion. Murdock eased her back on the pillows, laughingly telling her she did a great job with love pouring from his eyes into hers as Face went from looking at his sister to the new baby and back again. Sarah flipped the infant onto Hannah's stomach and she announced, "It's a boy!! You did wonderful Hannah, you did great... You rest now, its all over."
Her son began to cry when Sarah began to wipe him off roughly to stimulate him and began to clear the fluid from his mouth and nose. Murdock reluctantly tore his gaze from Hannah's eyes to look at his son for the first time and her eyes followed his. She wept as she saw the little boy cry harder and wiggled in protest and she began to laugh through the tears. Murdock felt as if his heart was going to burst out of his chest and he released Hannah's hand as she pulled away to touch the baby.
Sarah prepared the umbilical cord to be cut and handed Murdock the scissors once more. This time he took the time to study the fleshy cord, noticing it pulsated a little carrying life from Hannah to the baby. He felt a sense of grief wash over him because he felt this was a violation of something sacred as he proceeded to cut the cord. Sarah gave them all a minute to absorb the moment before saying, "I need to finish up here guys, take him and get him cleaned up."
Murdock reluctantly stood up and found that he was a little unsteady on his feet. Face seeing this, wrapped the baby in a blanket. "I got him."
Hannah had recovered a little more and she looked at Murdock and gave Face a momentary glance. They both smiled at Face's take charge attitude towards his new niece and nephew. Murdock squeezed her hand and said, "I'll be in the next room... And Hannah.... I love you."
He leaned over and kissed her and reluctantly released her hand to follow Face and his son. Hannah felt a release of strength and allowed herself to go completely limp falling deeper into the pillows. After a few deep breaths she became emotional and asked
Sarah, "How did I get so lucky."
Sarah shook her head . "It has nothing to do with luck.. You've earned it."
Once Murdock was outside the room, he quickly located his daughter in Hannibal's arms and he couldn't make up his mind which one to go to first, his daughter or his son. Face announced, "It's a boy."
Hannibal picking up on Murdock's confusion took the baby girl over next to her brother and Murdock helped Face clean up his son. He studied their features and counted their fingers and toes. Everything was as it should be and he was amazed by the resemblance between the babies, and Face and Hannah. Murdock grinned at the prospects of having another set of Face and Hannah in his life but one look from the babies' eyes told him that they were going to be different.
Face wrapped the little boy up in a fresh clean blanket and coaxed Murdock into holding him. Murdock looked from the baby in his arms and the baby in Hannibal's arms and he could not contain himself anymore. Tears began to stream down his face and BA rested his hands on his shoulder giving them a light squeeze. "You and Hannah did a great job. a great job."
Murdock looking at his son and daughter., "Someday we all will tell you the story about how we got you guys here. It all started when I met your Uncle in Vietnam, along with your grandpa and Uncle BA but that can wait until you're old enough to understand. Right now, its time to formally introduce you to your Mama."
Face took the baby girl from Hannibal and said, "Let her hold her daughter first."
Murdock was tearing up again. He understood what Face was doing as he remembered Annica, Hannah's first born who had died almost five years ago. He imagined for a moment being told that one of his newly born children had just died, and the pain he felt was indescribable. He held his son closer to him, relieved to feel the child's breath on his neck. Sarah poked her head through the door and said, "Mom is ready for visitors now."
Hannah was in fresh clothes and there wasn't a trace of what had happened earlier as they all entered the room. She looked like she could sleep for a week but otherwise fine. Face was leading the procession with the baby girl in his arms. He carefully placed the baby in her arms and quietly said, "Here's your daughter."
Hannah cautiously inspected the baby, unwrapping her like a fragile Faberge Egg while holding her close. In the middle of counting her fingers and toes, Hannah burst out into choking sobs. She rocked her and she clung to Face with her free arm when he sat on the arm of the chair next to her. Face began to cry with her and held onto Hannah and his niece as if he were the
cement to prevent them from ever being separated by death. Hannah's sobs subsided and she held her other arm out for Murdock and her son. Face stood back out of the way. The new parents exchanged babies and one by one the others in the room slipped out of the room without them noticing.
Face was the last one to leave the room and when he carefully closed the door he took a deep breath and all but crumpled onto the floor. He waved BA away from helping him back to his feet and pat the floor next to him as he leaned against the wall. BA shrugged and joined Face on the floor and grinned at him. Hannibal pulled out a cigar and lit it before sitting on the opposite side of Face as Face caught his breath. "Whoa."
He looked up at Sarah and waved her over to sit between his legs. She thought, 'What the hell. If that's the way they celebrate the birth of the next generation I may as well join in because I'm going to marry into this family, albeit a strange one.'
Sarah sat between his knees and leaned against his chest. She sighed contentedly. Hannibal puffed thoughtfully on his cigar and glanced at Sarah. "You did a great job kid... and another thing,... I wanted to say this before things got a little crazy early today.. Congratulations on your impending union.. If he ever gives you any trouble just let me know and I'll set him straight."
Sarah blushed and snuggled further into Face's arms. "Thank you Hannibal, but I think I can handle him on my own."
Face chuckled. "I advise you to take him up on his offer because I can be a lot of trouble. I've been enough trouble to keep the four of them pretty busy much of the time."
BA asked, "I wonder what they're goin' to name 'em?"
Face hugged Sarah a little tighter. "Hannah will name them and they will have classic names, you can count on that."
Hannibal suggested, "Nicholas and Catherine?"
Face nodded and said, "Great idea. Give them a real complex. Name them after saints and Tzars. Nicholas the patron saint of thieves and Catherine the..."
BA said, "Let Hannah name them. She's going to name them what she's going to name them and that's that."
Face looked at Sarah and asked, "Have you any idea what we are going to name our kids?"
"Whoa there.. Lets get to the alter first before we start having kids. I'm not old fashioned but I do follow a certain pattern in life."
Hannibal asked, "Have you set a date?"
Face whined, "Hannibal we've only been engaged for less than a day. We haven't had a chance to let that sink in much less set a date but since you mentioned it. If it's all right with you, Sarah, I'd like to get married on the day we get pardoned."
Sarah looked thoughtfully. "It sounds great to me."
Hannibal grinned with his eyes full of mischief. "Well, then. We're going to have to hurry Stockwell along so we can get pardoned. The sooner we get pardoned, the sooner you two can get hitched, and the sooner you get hitched, the sooner I can have more grandchildren. Because I 'like' being a grandpa." With that, he chomped down happily on his cigar and folded his arms proudly across his chest.
Face was stunned and he glanced over at BA, who was giggling quietly to himself. There was no mistaking what Hannibal had said but he did not realize what he had just said. Face recovered and grinned slyly. "Uh.. Dad? May I borrow the car tomorrow night?"
Hannibal swung his head around and his cigar nearly dropped out of his mouth when it dawned on him what he had just said a minute earlier.
Face gave him a heart felt sympathetic look, saying, "I understand and think nothing of it. Okay? I'd be honored to have you be a grandfather to our children. Since you and Hannah adopted each other, I'd be lying if I said I haven't entertained the thought too.. But for now, I think we would feel more comfortable with you continuing as my commanding officer."
Hannibal was relieved to hear that he was off the hook and said, "Thanks kid."
He thought that a lot of things are going to change dramatically for them all when they were all pardoned. He allowed himself to think of Face as a son openly and allow the thought to fully form for a moment. He looked at Sarah who was snuggled up against Face's chest and thought that Face made an excellent choice in a partner in life. She was going to be good to him and good for
him, and was going to be an excellent mother to his children.
Sarah stretched and yawned. She got up and said, "I think I had better check on the new family."
Face followed her. "It's time to go and be the very indulgent uncle that I am."
Hannibal smiled as he watched the two go back into the makeshift maternity ward. He looked over to BA and asked, "Shall we go tell the staff? Since there's a boy and a girl, I imagine this is going to throw the betting pool way off."
BA giggled. "That's what I was countin' on."
"BA?.. You didn't? ... You did. .. You know how Hannah feels about the betting pool."
"I'll use the money to buy a gift on behalf of the entire staff."
Hannibal nodded thoughtfully. "You just may get off this time."
They both got up to inform the rest of the people who were stranded in the house with them.
Face and Sarah entered the room to find Murdock holding the sleeping girl baby and a much improved Hannah nursing their son. Sarah grinned saying, "Look who's hungry... How's everything going?"
Murdock yawned. "Feel like we could sleep for a week."
Face was surprised that he felt comfortable at the sight of Hannah nursing and he walked up to them. He marveled at the sight of the infant sucking at Hannah's breast. "How do they know how to do that?. Does it hurt at all?"
Hannah smiled at her brother's childlike queries. "It doesn't hurt as long as I hold him right and everything a baby does at this stage is pure instinct."
Face whispered, "Incredible.." Then in a normal voice, "Have you named them, yet?"
Hannah looked at Murdock who was now grinning like a hyena. "Dad, you tell them because you named them. I don't want to get yelled at."
Face groaned. "I can just imagine what 'HE' named them... Okay, lets have it. what are they called?"
Murdock tilted the tiny infant girl up. "This is Holly Madeline Murdock and you were the one who named her Face. It's an alteration of Howlin' Mad Murdock." Murdock grinned proudly at his creativeness in naming his daughter after himself in a round about way, adding another HM Murdock to the clan. Face slapped his forehead, quietly apologizing to Holly for her name and
he was afraid to ask what his nephew's name was. He didn't have to ask as Murdock craned his neck to get a better look at his son still attached securely to his mother's breast and said, "This little glutton here is Arlo Hannibal Ellington Murdock. Arlo was my father's name, Hannibal is self explanatory, and Ellington as in Duke Ellington, was a song we first danced to."
Hannah looking amused. "Ahem."
Face turned and said, "Yes?"
"No, that's what Arlo's initials are A-H-E-M."
Face didn't know whether to laugh or cry and he looked at Hannah, asking, "What were you thinking when you let HIM name them?" indicating Murdock.
Hannah shrugged. "I kinda like the names.
"And I was worried that naming them after saints would give them a complex."
Sarah chuckled. "I think they're cute... Are you four ready to go back to your bedroom?"
Arlo detached himself from his mother's breast, sufficiently drunk on milk, he fell into a deep stupor while looking around at nothing in particular. Hannah discretely covered herself and cradled Arlo in her arms as if she had done it all her life. Hannah said, "Yes, I'm ready. This thing isn't big enough for the four of us."
Hannah slowly made a move to get up and Face asked, "Isn't it kind of soon for you to be walking?"
Hannah and Sarah laughed at Face's concern, and Hannah said, "I just had two babies, not two broken legs."
Sarah added, "She needs to get up and move around as much as possible. It will be better for her in the long run and prevent her muscles from getting stiff and sore."
Face volunteered, "I'll take Arlo."
Hannah and Sarah grinned at each other as Face took Arlo from her and Sarah helped Hannah to her feet and into her bathrobe. Hannah smiled as she looked down at her feet for the first time in months. She wiggled her toes and waved at them, saying, "Hello feet and toes..I remember you guys. Long time, no see."
Sarah shook her head at the silly gesture and tied the front of the robe for Hannah as she steadied herself adjusting to her new weight and balance. Hannah took a tentative test step and discovered it wasn't too bad but she held onto Sarah's hand for support, anyway.
The nearest stairs to the bedrooms were through the living room and that's where almost everyone was located while they waited out the storm, which seemed to be letting up a little. BA was going around collecting money he had won from the betting pool and
everyone quickly hid the money when they noticed Hannah was coming. There were four off duty guards playing cards with Michael the limo driver along with Stockwell, Carla, Frankie, BA and Hannibal. Stockwell was relieved to have his office vacated, mentally made a list of things he wanted to accomplish that evening to make up for the loss of time when he should have been working that afternoon. Michael vacated his chair, saying, "Please, have a seat."
Hannah felt a little refreshed from her short walk and said to Sarah, "I want to stay for a while."
"Only for a very short while."
Michael stepped over and assisted Sarah in helping Hannah settle into the chair. Hannah could have sat down without any help but she allowed the ever helpful Michael do what he could and Hannah said, "Thank you."
Frankie walked over to Face and Murdock to investigate the contents in the blankets as Jeff asked, "Are you going to introduce us to our only source entertainment during the day or are you going to make us wait a little longer?"
Murdock laughed and he walked over by Hannah with Face following him, saying, "This little girl is Holly Madeline Murdock and the little guy in his uncle's arms is Arlo Hannibal Ellington Murdock."
Everyone seemed to approve of Holly's name but there was a ripple of confusion to Arlo's name. The only people who did not react with confusion was Hannibal and BA. BA rested his hand on Hannibal's shoulder as he absorbed the fact that the boy was named after him. Frankie hovered closely to the babies and Murdock sensed that he wanted to say something and he asked,
"What is it Frankie?"
Frankie shuffled his feet a little and said, ".. Uh.. if its okay.. I'd like to give them a blessing.. It's a tradition in my family for everyone to bestow a blessing and a promise on a baby to welcome it into the world and the family."
Hannah looked up at Frankie and said, "That's a lovely tradition Frankie. I'd like that very much. Why don't you go first?"
Frankie hadn't a clue what to say and stammered. Murdock and Face grinned and handed Frankie the infants. He looked pleadingly at Murdock and Murdock shrugged, saying, "It's your idea."
Frankie looked at Arlo and Holly in his arms and saw how serene they were and drew upon that serenity before speaking. ".. I haven't known your Mom and Dad for very long but I know they are very strong people. And it's going to take a lot of strength to be their kids.. And so I am going to bless you with the strength to match theirs and the patience your father had shown me."
Frankie looked up. "Who wants to be next?"
Everyone was silent because of the sincerity Frankie conveyed. BA cleared his throat. "I will." Frankie carefully transferred them over to BA. BA smirked when he looked at the two tiny infants. They were dwarfed in his massive arms. "I bless you two with
knowing how to see with your hearts and souls because that's where everything really counts. In addition to this blessing I am going to make a promise to show you the love and acceptance your Mama and Dad has shown me. I'm not much to look at but they saw me for who I was and loved me and accepted me for that."
BA planted a gentle kiss on each newborn's forehead before handing them over to Hannibal. BA did not look away from the infants because he knew Hannah and Murdock would be teary eyed and everyone else would be grinning like a bunch of idiots. Hannibal was silent for a moment as he held both his grandchildren. They were both semi awake and were looking around at nothing in particular. He chuckled, saying, "It seems as if everyone is talking about your parents and I'm not going to be the exception. If you turn out even half as good as they are, you are going to be as good as gold. They are the most generous people I've ever known in my entire life. They've willingly sacrificed their own freedom to help their friends and they gave me the
family I've wanted but thought I could not have. I bless you with the generosity to match theirs. And as your grandfather, there's nothing in the world I won't do for you and I'll be around everyday to remind you of this."
Hannibal looked around for the next person and seeing that the house staff was a little envious of what was taking place he waved Jeff over. Jeff hesitantly sat next to Hannibal and placed a hand on each of the babies but refused to take them in his arms, saying, "It's not right. I'm just going to be passing through in their lives and they won't remember me. The people who will be permanent fixtures in their lives should only be allowed to hold them when doing this but I'd like to give them a blessing anyway."
Murdock and Hannah nodded their approval and Jeff turned to Holly and Arlo, nestled in Hannibal's arms. "These people who are going to raise you have been a lot of trouble to a lot of people. Without a doubt you two will inherit this trait and you both will be a lot of fun for them to keep out of trouble thus keeping them out of trouble. I bless you two with the ability to stay out of the trouble that involve breaking the law but otherwise keep their lives as interesting as they have made everyone elses."
Face said, "Uh-oh..Uh. Jeff, I'm sorry about all those times I've given you the slip."
Jeff grinned saying, "Too late. Once a blessing has been bestowed it can not be undone."
Carla took Jeff's place and fingered Holly's cheeks with one hand and let Arlo grasped a finger of the other. "You mother and Uncle are very special people. In spite of how badly they've been treated, they are very forgiving people and I hope you learn from their example. I bless you with self-respect and the knowledge that you are loved by everyone. And armed with this knowledge you will know that you are worthy of being respected and you will know how to stand up for yourselves."
Hannah grasped Face's hand and gave it a gentle pat. The Team knew what Carla meant. She couldn't out right say that she cared about Face and wished he would stop letting people walk all over him when the Team wasn't around to prevent this.
Michael and the three remaining off duty guards gave them individual blessings and Stockwell stepped forward. He said, "This isn't a blessing but more like advice. I found it handy when my own children were growing up. You must remember 'Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for it self. They come through you but not from you. And though they are yours yet they belong not to you. You may give them your love but not your thoughts. For they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls. You may strive to be like them but seek not to make them like you. You
are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth."
Hannah said, "Thank you, General. That is excellent advice.
Face quietly stepped forward and sat down next to Hannibal. Hannibal handed Holly and Arlo over to him and Face held them for several moments before speaking. "I-I've waited all my life for a sign to let me know everything is going to be all right. No matter how hard I looked and no matter how patient I've been I've found no sign... until now. Now I realize the signs were always there for me but I didn't see them before. I was looking for some sort of earth shattering sign but the signs I was given were more subtle but just as earth shattering. Looking in your eyes and seeing myself reflected in your eyes is the sign I was given. It's
the same reflection I've seen in your mother's and your father's eyes everyday I've known them along with some very important people in my life that will be known to you as your Uncle BA, your grandpa and your Aunt Sarah. I bless you with the happiness you've already given us and will continue to give us."
Face wanted to say more but he wanted to say it in privacy. Seeing that everyone had said what they wanted to say, Sarah respectfully said, "Let's get the new parents and babies upstairs so they can rest."
Everyone made a move to assist Hannah get up but Murdock standing next to Hannah, was the one she accepted help from. Sarah seeing that Hannah was moving along okay, took one of the babies from Face. And once they were gone from the room, BA resumed collecting the money from the baby pool. BA made his way to Stockwell and held his hand out. "Pay up, Stockwell."
Everyone turned in surprise to find that Stockwell had placed a bet.
The trip up the flight of stairs was the last straw for Hannah. Sarah thoroughly checked her over before she allowed Hannah to go to sleep. With Face looking on, Murdock watched closely as Sarah gave his son and daughter the same thorough going over as she did Hannah. She proclaimed them to be, "Perfectly healthy."
Sarah then ordered Murdock to get some sleep too. Sarah and Face assured him that the babies would be safe in their care. Murdock was exhausted and he reluctantly crawled into bed and carefully wrapped himself around Hannah without waking her. Before he drifted off to sleep, with Holly in his arms Face patted his shoulder softly and he softly said, "Don't forget to connect
with her, buddy."
Murdock doggedly nodded and using his last bit of consciousness he mentally connected fully with Hannah. Sarah rolled her eyes a little and shook her head. Face looked down at Holly in his arms and went over to the dresser where he knew Hannah had put the baby things. Glancing over at Sarah, he saw her skepticism. "It's the way the are. Don't ask me to explain it, but I know it's very real. I think I feel it when I'm watching them close enough."
Sarah adjusted her hold on Arlo and shook her head. "There's something going on. I do know that much. I've never seen a man have sympathy pains like that before."
Face pulled out several sets of baby clothes and diapers and noticed the time. It was almost midnight. He thought the day had been an eventful day and then some. He held some of the evidence in his arms. "I've been a bit jealous about how quickly Murdock got along with my sister right off from the start. After today, I'm mostly glad that I'm not the one who has the
connection with her."
Face handed brought some of the things over to Sarah for them to dress the infants in. He shrugged slightly. "Hannah's my twin. Its something I've wanted with someone and twins are said to have a connection that no other people have. I hope these two have it, if Hannah and I can't have it. I guess we've been separated for too long."
Face and Sarah began to dress the infants and Sarah shook her head. "I don't know if I believe in this. But you are wrong. You do have a connection with your sister... During Arlo's birth, you got through to her and she listened. She got the strength she needed from you during the final pushes. He could have been in trouble if he was born a few minutes later."
This alarmed Face and his eyes fell upon the naked baby boy being diapered by Sarah. Arlo began to cry at being dressed. Unaccustomed to wearing clothes he made protesting kicks. "He's okay, isn't he?"
Sarah smiled. "He's perfect."
The sound of one of the babies' cry woke Hannah. She tiredly raised her head towards the crying and mumbled something. Sarah turned and said, "Go back to sleep. Everything is fine."
Hannah did not hear her and made an attempt to get up. Face soothingly said, "Everything is okay Hannah. Lie back down and go back to sleep."
Hannah muttered something incoherently and obediently did as Face told her to. Sarah left Arlo with Face and settled Hannah back into the bed. When Sarah returned she gave Face an amused look. "And you say you don't have a connection with Hannah?.. She believes what you say more than her own eyes."
Once the infants were dressed and properly swaddled in blankets. Face gave Sarah a knowing look as she began to inspect him. He said, "I'm fine. If you remember, you made me take a nap today and made me rest for the better part of the day. You look like you're ready to drop, so why don't you go get us something to eat and afterwards you get a couple of hours of sleep. There are a dozen other people that I can call on if I need help"
Face gave her the same stern look as he did Hannah when he was ordering her to push. She sighed. "I'll be back in a few minutes."
He leaned over and kissed her. She handed over Arlo leaving him alone with the infants, his sleeping twin sister and his best friend. It was the first moment of quiet he had had all day and he began to truly absorb the events of this extraordinary day. He shuffled over to a chair next to the bed where the new twins' parents were sleeping. It was a trick to sit down with an infant in each arm but he managed nicely. Once he settled, he began to relax. Looking from ancient face to the other and back again. He studied them and recognized more of Murdock in them, but Hannah's features were the most prominent. He then corrected
himself. His and Hannah's features were more prominent in the infants.
He smiled and thought they looked very much alike. So much alike that he thought they would have to check their diapers to tell them apart until everyone got to know their unique individual personalities. Face felt like he already knew them. He and Hannah had a strong physical resemblance. There was no mistaking that they were twins and he wondered how much alike they looked
as babies. He felt he was looking at his answers.
Holly worked her mouth in an uncoordinated yawn and blinked her unfocused dark eyes. Arlo was asleep now with his hand pressed against his face. Arlo was curled against his chest as if to return to the position he was in before he was born in the tight quarters of the womb. Holly on the other hand was testing her new freedom. Waving her arms about and stretching her neck
out. Face settled back against the chair and thought he couldn't possibly be happier.
He decided to finish his blessing of them that he started only a short while ago. "I bless you with the knowledge that you are already loved every moment of every day of your lives. Even if you live to be a hundred. I've waited my whole life for this day and I didn't know it. I bless you with a life where you will never be apart. You were meant to be together because you came into this world together. Now don't you forget that. You hear?"
Holly shakily rubbed the side of her face in response and Arlo slept peacefully on. Face smiled at the two newest additions to his family and sighed. He softly began to hum lullabies.
Unknown to Face, Murdock had been listening. He woke up after Sarah had put the blankets back around Hannah when Arlo's cry woke her up. Murdock snuggled closer to Hannah and silently thanked her for his son and daughter. He then silently blessed Face with the same blessing he had bestowed upon the infants before drifting to sleep.
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