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Spring had come and gone and summer in the city was hot and smog blanketed the sky. Ryan and Sam had settled into a routine that consisted both of work and remodeling. Becca's pregnancy was in its 3 rd trimester and she absolutely glowed, the bouts of morning sickness were gone and she was determined to work until the day her water broke. Nathan had been trying to get her to go on maternity leave but Becca had assured him that she had never felt better in her life and wanted to work as long as she could, so that she could take off more time after their son was born.
Becca and Sam were in OR 1 working on gang victim that had been shot in the leg and had suffered from a partially severed femoral artery. The suspect in the crime was in custody, he was a sixteen year old kid.
“I don't know how Ryan and her officers deal with this shit,” said an exasperated Becca.
Sam knew Becca was more worried about Ryan's safety than the futility of the injury their patient had incurred. “It's getting easier for me so you don't need to worry so much Becca. I still have concerns about Ryan but listening to the other spouses and partners of the other officers in group has really helped me see my role as an integral part of Ryan's support team. I know that this support is something that only I can give to Ryan and it helps balance the fear. I also have so much respect for how she is able to deal with the needs of the public and the officers both above and below her in rank. She is needed by the LAPD and I am proud of her.”
“You are good for each other, Ryan is much more relaxed and at peace these days. I thought the lack of closure over Bruce's death would drive her nuts but Ryan is handling it really well. Nathan is pretty proud of her too.”
The young man on the table was stabilized and the operation to repair the tear to his artery almost complete.
The walls of the scrub area of the operating room were filled with color and warmer than the sterile, cold almost warehouse like look of the surgery room. The surgical area consisted of a silver operating table, very large lights that hung from the ceiling and concrete floors and walls that could be hosed off and disinfected after each surgery. Monitors, anesthesia machines and various other pieces of equipment were on carts and wheels so they could also be easily removed from the area.
Sam and Becca were in the scrub area after having removed their gowns and were cleaning up after the surgery. Warm water and strong antiseptic soap scented the air.
“How about some lunch, I am starving and your nephew is doing back flips demanding attention.”
“Ok, he is not the only one hungry.” With that statement Becca could hear Sam's stomach growl.
The two doctors had a half hour break ahead of them and decided to walk across the street to the hotdog vendor. It wasn't the most nutritious meal the redhead had consumed this past week but Becca's cravings were always better being satisfied and not ignored. The vendor had worked outside the hospital for years and knew the women and also what their orders would be. By the time they arrived at his cart he had a chili dog with onions and hot peppers ready for Becca and a Chicago dog for Sam along with bottled water and a can of 7-up.
“You sure know what I want John,” stated Becca.
“Doc, you have been requesting this for the past month heck for the past 3 years minus the onions and peppers.” John had a smile on his face he especially enjoyed his visits with the 2 pretty women doctors, they always asked about his family and praised him on the quality of his food.
“You are the best John,” said Sam.
Becca and Sam took their treats and headed for nearby benches that had been placed in a park like setting outside the hospital. It was a nice place for both staff and visitors to sit and get out of the semi sterile environment of the hospital.
Becca could see by Sam's expression that she had a secret she wanted to share but was trying very hard to stay quiet. “Ok, so are you going to tell me what has put that extra sparkle in your eyes this morning or are you going to keep me guessing?”
“Ryan wants to set a date for our commitment ceremony, she plans on telling everyone at Thanksgiving. A year ago I would never have believed that I could be this happy and loved. She wants a family Becca, a real family with kids. My nephew is going to have cousins.”
Becca reached over and hugged her cousin. “I am so happy for the two of you. I love our big family Sam and a year ago I couldn't have imagined all of the love we have in our lives. So I guess this means I need to keep quiet about you two officially setting a date until next month, but we can make wedding plans in the mean time. Since Ryan wants to wait until Thanksgiving it means I can drive her nuts with bridal magazines, this is going to be fun.”
“Why do you think I told you, I can't wait to see the look on her face the first time you come over loaded down with information, she is going to squirm. Do you want to see what we can come up with before shift is over she is picking me up since my car is in the shop?”
Both women began to chuckle knowing how much fun they would have harassing Ryan.
It was ten till six and Ryan was walking by the nurses' station when she heard Becca and Sam laughing from inside the break room.
“Do I even want to know what has the two of you laughing so hard,” asked Ryan as she entered?
“Hi honey.” Sam got up from the table where she had been sitting and walked into Ryan's open arms and gave her a kiss. “Remember when you said I could tell Becca about our plans?”
“Why do I feel like the two of you are setting me up for something?” “They think I am going to run screaming when they start their planning thought Ryan, but I am so ready for them. Hell I already have some plans of my own, this is going to be fun.
Becca with a gleam in her eye handed Ryan a small stack of wedding magazines and color computer print outs. “I know how special this day is going to be and I want to help both of you any way I can. You have so many things to decide, the food, music, clothes, the venue, and on and on.”
“Absolutely Becca, and I even have some of these same magazines in my car. In fact did you know that nowadays weddings can be themed?” Before either woman could reply Ryan continued. “In fact I was just thinking on the way over here how we could do a beach theme and hand out shell bottle openers.” Ryan was able to keep a straight face even when she saw the look of alarm cross both Sam and Becca's faces.
Immediately Sam took charge. “Honey I already have some really good ideas that I think you and I can talk about later. Becca thanks for the help and I'll see you in the morning tell Nathan hi for us.” With those words said, Sam hustled Ryan from the room and looked back over her shoulder giving her cousin an exasperated look. Themed wedding my ass thought Sam, whatever happened to traditional is that too much to ask.
Dinner was over and Sam was in her favorite spot in the living room between Ryan's long legs with her back snuggled against her chest on their oversized couch. “Ryan.”
Ryan had been waiting for Sam to broach the subject of their upcoming wedding. “Yes, honey.”
Sam took her hand and began to rub it up and down Ryan's jean covered leg. “Do you really want a beach themed wedding?” Slowly Sam began to turn within her loves arms and started to touch her collar bone. “I was thinking maybe we could do something more conventional.”
“Well honey I only plan on getting married once, and I want it to be perfect.” Ryan was thoroughly enjoying teasing her fiancé, and was well aware that she was committing herself to a romantic and traditional woman. “I will love whatever you have planned for our special day and for future reference when you and Becca are scheming it might help your cause to not cackle like two hens when I might be in ear shot.”
“Oh you are evil,” exclaimed Sam. “All tonight I was worried about hurting your feelings over not wanting a beach themed wedding and you were just teasing me.” Sam began to tickle Ryan mercilessly and didn't stop until she had her saying uncle.
The morning of August 15 th arrived and a very pregnant Becca was waddling around the hospital determined to finish up any last minute paper work before her son arrived. Her replacement was already on duty and had taken over most of her surgeries all except one which would be Rebecca's last until Sean was born.
Ryan spotted Becca as she walked up to the nurses' station, where she was putting some notes in a chart. “I heard they had great hot dogs out front you up for one since Sam is still in surgery and stood up our lunch date?”
“You know I am really not hungry for a change maybe because today is my last day, but a soda sounds good.”
“Well I hear the cafeteria has those so how about it?”
As the two women turned Becca gave out a small moan as her water broke and dropped to the tile floor. “I think you nephew has other ideas Ryan”, said Becca.
A panicked Ryan responded, “do you want a wheel chair should I get someone, are you okay”?
“Ryan first women have been doing this for centuries and other than the fact that I have made a mess on the floor I am fine, the contractions are still far enough apart that I can get myself up to Labor and Delivery, you on the other hand seem to need a sedative.” Rebecca took Ryan's hand and gave it a reassuring squeeze. “Second I need you to call Nathan, let Sam know, and my folks and your dads that I am in labor.”
Before Rebecca could say more Tom the orderly on duty was approaching with a wheel chair and a smile on his face. “Your chariot awaits Dr. Obrien.”
“Really I am fine-
“Dr. Obrien, Shirley said to put you in the chair and take you to Labor and Delivery that woman can be as sweet as sunshine and hard as nails if you get on her wrong side so please get in the chair”, said Tom.
Rebecca could see Shirley standing by the nurses' station ready to head her way if necessary. Knowing the situation needed a little control Shirley began to issue orders to both her staff and the two women standing in the hallway. “Ryan there is a phone and a seat here, so get over here and make those calls. Dr. Obrien you are no longer on duty and now are officially a patient so your surgery will be given to another doctor and Tom will be taking you to L&D, this is my floor and I have a reputation to keep.” Shirley winked at the young doctor and knew she had everyone well in hand when Rebecca sat in the wheel chair and Ryan quit sputtering and headed for the nurses' station.
Within minutes the chaos had quieted and Ryan was finished with her calls and headed up to L&D to wait for her family and be with Rebecca until Nathan arrived. The elevator ride seemed interminable to Ryan and by the time she had reached L&D she felt ready to pop a blood vessel. As soon as Ryan walked into Rebecca's room her sister in-law could see the anxiety etched on her face.
“Ryan I need you to come over and sit down.” In truth Becca thought Ryan needed a bed more than her at the moment. Rebecca reached out and held Ryan's hand. “Honey I really am fine and to be honest I expected this kind of reaction from Nathan but not you too. What happened to my cool headed detective?”
“I am not sure it is just that I don't know what to do and when you grimaced and then the water and you know Sam and I are going to be doing this in the future and suddenly it was just so real. I didn't know how to help you.”
“Oh Ryan all you have to do is sit here and be with me. Honest I am ok and when you and Sam are having your baby the time will be right and wonderful. This is really quite safe, my pregnancy has been really easy except for the morning sickness and yes the natural child birthing can be painful but it is safer for the baby and you know us O'brien women we are strong.” Rebecca squeezed Ryan's hand tighter and then leaned back on the bed.”
Rebecca's words had both soothed and calmed Ryan and grounded her. “I love you very much Becca, this will be the first little one in our family, guess I got a little over excited there, but I am ok now.”
With a soft knock Sam entered the room next looking very happy for her cousin. Looking at Ryan Sam was surprised to see the calm collected look on her partners face. “Well I have to say Ryan I thought you might get stressed by all of this.”
Suddenly the other women in the room were laughing and telling Sam all about Ryan's first reaction to the impending delivery and soon all three of them were laughing as Nathan entered the room. The family exchanged hugs and Sam and Ryan left to wait for Ed and Rafe. As Ryan began to close the door she saw her brother bending over to kiss his wife and the stoic look of strength and happiness on his face.
“Wow Sam, Nathan is handling all of this really well I was a mess for a while.”
“In your career in law enforcement have you ever had to deliver a baby Ryan?”
“No we had to watch a video in the academy but that was years ago and then every 3 years we have CPR classes and a quick review but that is all.”
“Nathan has delivered 6 babies during his career so he has a better perception about what is happening, so in turn this is not new territory for him.” Sam had her arm around Ryan and couldn't stop her next statement. “Hopefully you will have yourself more together when it is our turn otherwise someone else just might have to hold my hand during delivery.”
“Not funny Samantha, not funny at all, if my brother can do this then certainly I can do it as well if not better. I am sure there must be books, lots of books on this stuff.”
Ryan was determined and Sam knew her lover would be up to the challenge when the time came. “I need a cup of coffee and Ed and Rafe should be here soon,” said Sam.
Holding hands the two women walked over to the nurses' break room for some refreshments and instructions with the floor nurse to send the grandfathers in to them when they arrived.
Four hours of labor later Sean Edward DeLucas was born and laying on his mother's stomach as Nathan cut the cord.
“Go tell your family honey, they should be finished weighing and checking Sean out in 20 minutes or so and then you can bring the family in.
After a quick kiss for Becca and Sean, Nathan went in search of his family.
The DeLucas and O'Briens were in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner when Ryan stood up to make an announcement. “Since all of the people who truly matter in our lives our here today Sam and I have a request. We would be honored if you would join us December 12 th at our house for a commitment ceremony.”
Everyone in the room began to talk and suddenly a loud ya ya ya wa wa and some more baby gibberish took over the room. All eyes turned to little Sean DeLucas who was sitting in his high chair with gravy and mashed potatoes decorating his face and hair. At 3 months of age he already knew he had a captive audience.
“What you think little man, do you think they have tuxes small enough to fit you,” asked Sam? She then reached over and touched her nephew.
Ed and Rafe blinked at Ryan and Sam and simultaneously raised their glasses toasting the happy couple. “I think I can speak on everyone's behalf when we say we would be honored and it is about time.” Rafe then got up and walked around and hugged first Sam and then Ryan.
Soon the entire room was up embracing and the rest of dinner was spent talking about the upcoming ceremony and the new and amazing things that Sean was doing.
For the first time in a long while Ryan had been able to set aside her anger towards the Costanos family and was just content in the peacefulness that had come to her own life. Sierra was a great partner and opened Ryan's world up to all different aspects of law enforcement. The two officers would go to schools and do talks with the children and because of Sierra, Ryan found she really enjoyed spending her time with the kids and any other civic group that was interested.
Early in the wee morning hours Sam would awaken to the sound of Ryan's pager and knew that both of her room mates would soon be off to handle some drug call but all in all things were pretty relaxed. Sam was sure it had something to do with Sierra being new to the unit and the obvious general need the department had for a drug dog with her even temperament. More and more the callouts were code 4 events where Ryan and Sierra showed up to find the incriminating evidence and left the rest to the on duty units. The Costanos Family was not a topic of conversation in her home very often and for that Sam was grateful.
December 11 th came and Nathan arrived at the door to his sister's house. Ryan was surprised to see her brother and even more surprised to find Sam handing her a suitcase and escorting her to the door. “Sierra is staying with me and you and Nathan have a good time.”
“What is going on here? I don't want to go anywhere,” stated an emphatic Ryan.
“Off course you don't honey but I have things to do and so do you. Nathan is going to help you get ready and you can have some quality time with your Dads, Wayne, Harry and my father. The girls are going to be here soon just scoot.” Sam leaned forward and took Ryan's breath away with an intense passionate kiss.
A dumbfounded Ryan found herself saying ok and getting in her brother's truck. “Wow, how does she do that? I am so whooped, she tells me what she wants gives me a kiss and I just say ok.”
“Tell me about it sis, Becca does the same thing to me.” With a twinkle in his eye Nathan says, “ they are the best things to ever happen to us and you know it.”
“I can't argue with you there. So what are the plans for today?”
“Well if you tell anyone I will deny it but Becca made both of us appointments for massages at that new spa and she said I had to either pick a manicure or a facial and that you had to have both. So what do you think would be the easiest?”
“Let's see your hands.” Nathan held his hands up for inspection. “Well I truly don't think you can improve that mug of yours any but your hands are looking a little unkempt so I would say to man up and get the manicure.”
“Ok good that is what I was thinking too and Becca said there was going to be hell to pay if we didn't do this and then she very sweetly said it would make her happy and well it was kind of like back there at your house.”
“Let's get going then little brother because after we do this I am really looking forward to the back room at De Lucas, good food, fine wine and poker.”
Nathan and Ryan both hesitantly entered the darkened lobby of the spa and approached a large mahogany reception area. The entire room was decorated in warm muted colors and a small fire burned in one corner with a couch and chairs around a dark wood coffee table.
“It sure is dark in here,” said Nathan.
“I was thinking the same thing and no one is here except for that lady on the couch in a robe. Do you think we are going to have put a robe on and wait out here too?”
Both brother and sister were greeted by petite soft spoken receptionist. “You must be Nathan and Ryan, we have everything ready we just need a signature from you and Nathan is it going to be a facial or manicure?”
Nathan gulped feeling totally out of his element and asked for the manicure.
“Fine here is a robe for each of you and the locker rooms are thru that door men to the right and women to the left, and here are the keys to your lockers there are sandals inside. Enjoy your stay at Simplicity Spa.” The young girl smiled once again and turned back to her desk.
Nathan leaned down and quietly whispered to his sister. “Do you feel as out of place as I do?”
“Yes I walk into abandoned buildings you name it and yet I feel more comfortable in those kind of situations than a nice room with quiet music and a fireplace. I think it would be better if Becca and Sam were here with us.”
“I agree, I wonder if they knew we would feel this way. They didn't give me any choice in the matter Ryan, Becca said it was paid for and she would know if we didn't go and that I didn't want the repercussions of not going.” Nathan shrugged his shoulders and led the way to the locker rooms. “See you in a bit Ryan I mean how bad can it be?”
Soon Ryan was walking to the couch area with a big smile on her face observing how her brother looked in his white terry cloth robe, black rubber sandals, and sipping on a glass of cucumber water.
“Quit your smirking and just get yourself a glass it is actually pretty tasty,” grumbled Nathan.
After a few minutes a small Asian girl stepped through a door almost hidden in the wall and called out Nathan's name. “Nathan, come this way I am Zoie and I will be giving you your massage today.” Nathan smiled got up from the couch and quietly walked to the gallows behind the door leaving an anxious Ryan waiting. Within seconds another more robust looking woman entered taking Ryan to her own unknown fate.
An hour later both siblings were in the coed area in swimming suits enjoying the mineral spa, sipping more cucumber water and eating apples.
“You know when that little gal came out to take me in for my massage all I could think was how is she going to do anything for my back with those small hands but she was tough I said ouch a time or two. I think I could like doing this every now and then, I didn't realize how tight my back was,” stated Nathan.
“You should have seen the Swedish woman that came out for me she is sweet as can be but I was kind of afraid that the massage was going to be painful but I feel more relaxed than I have in a long time. She really worked on the scar tissue in my shoulder area and I even made another appointment for 2 weeks from now. Her name is Inga and she said she could really help with the tight muscles and continue to free up the scarred area. Sam has been trying to get me to do this for a while now and I just never felt comfortable, but this was awesome. I also found out the Zoie and Inga both work on Sam and Becca so the girls told them we are their spouses and kind of chickens when it comes to this stuff so they were prepared for us.”
Before long Nathan and Ryan were both laughing and found themselves to be so hungry that they started to eat the cucumbers too and another apple. They had another hour in the mineral pool before the next part of their spa treatment. After showering Nathan and Ryan met up in the waiting area and received a coupon and directions to a nice restaurant nearby.
The bachelorette party for Ryan was a roaring success. Male and female coworkers alike showed up and Shayne and Stephanie had been waiting when Ryan entered the backroom at De Lucas. Ryan felt loved by her family and friends and was especially excited about seeing Sam in her wedding gown the next day.
“Get up sleepy head”, yelled Nathan from the kitchen area of their dads house. Soon Rafe, Ed and Samuel were yelling for Ryan too.
Ryan entered the kitchen looking more awake than any of the men gathered around the island area sipping coffee. Where the men looked tired Ryan was glowing with excitement. A knock could be heard on the back door and Stephanie entered carrying a pink box of do nuts and a bag that smelled of breakfast burritos.
“We have 2 hours before you have to be back your house so eat up don't want you fainting or something,” teased Stephanie.
“You know I have never felt more relaxed and happy about anything in my entire life. I am so lucky and I love all of you so much,” firmly stated Ryan.The group exchanged hugs and coffee was consumed by the pot and food was passed around till they were all full and awake ready for the day ahead.
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