Standard Disclaimer: This story is of my own invention, however, the characters were drawn from Xena: Warrior Princess, created by Rob Tapert and Renaissance Pictures. I am making not a penny from this endeavor; I am doing this simply for the intrinsic value derived.

Violence Disclaimer: There is a little, but certainly not as much as you’ll see on the evening news or read in the daily paper.

Sexual Disclaimer: What have you got against sex? If I remember correctly, it can be quite a kick! Okay, okay, there are some sexual encounters with people of the same sex; I think they call them lesbians. Anyway, if this sort of thing offends you, please don’t read this story. In addition, if you are not at least 21, don’t read this, and I certainly wouldn’t advise you to read this at work.

Hurt/Comfort: Not very much; I have enough grief in my life without putting it in my stories.

Yeah, I know; it’s been awhile. If there are any folks out there who still want to read my "stuff", this story is a peek into the lives of Becca and Stace’s kids from my "Lost and Found" series. Rest assured, the old folks will appear from time to time. After all, you wouldn’t expect Mom and Mom to stay out of their children’s lives would you… Hell no! If you have any comments, for good or ill, you can reach me here at the ranch




October 19, 2002

Chapter 1: Let’s Get the Hell Out of Dodge!

I never get tired of this view: the ocean, the beach, and the sun setting slowly into the horizon. It’s amazing to me the noise the waves make as they crash onto the shore. But this noise isn’t offensive to the ear; it’s not like the obscenity of traffic noise, or that new wave music the kids seem to enjoy. Whatever happened to Waylon and Willie?

They’re dead; probably drank themselves to death.

Whoever said the only thing that constant is change, never had to deal with you. Why, for instance, do you constantly interfere with my musing? Why can’t you let me have just one quiet, respite to myself?

It’s what I do, ya’ know? I mean some folks sing, some folks write, some folks teach…I interfere. See?

I see. Do me a favor, would you? Go interfere with someone else, Margie for instance?

Are you nuts, that woman is lethal?

Yeah well, for once I must agree with you, Margie’d chew you up and spit you out. I’ll tell ya this much, if you’re gonna stay, you must be quiet and let me think, deal?

Okay, I can do that?

Yeah, I’ll just bet…

Hey, give me a chance, will ya? A condemned man would get more consideration from you than I do…

And your point is… Just be quiet and let me think…let’s see where was I…

Waylon, Willie, noise…

Yeah, now those two had a ride didn’t they…yeah…they’re probably retired somewhere now, living the good life…don’t I wish…

Wait, wait wait…don’t tell me you’re thinking about retirement…at your age…you don’t have the right…

Don’t talk to me about rights, I’ve worked my butt off since I was eighteen. I haven’t seen you put in too many sixteen to twenty hour days…

Ahhh, but you forget…where you go I go…

Oh please! Give me a break; I’d love to forget you, but I can’t. Anyway, I’m not sure I want to retire, but I have to admit, I have been thinking about it. I mean I’m tired; I want a little peace and quiet.

So take a vacation…

No, I need more than that; I need to get away from…from…oh hell, I don’t know what…I’m just tired, bone tired…

I think I know…

Then please, enlightened me…

Don’t be so sarcastic, smartass, I’m trying to be helpful here. It’s the little kids, isn’t it? The little broken bodies, they never seem to end, isn’t that it?

My God, when you begin to make sense, I know I need to retire. But, I guess, you’re right. I find I’m continually asking the same question. When are people gonna buy a clue? When will they ever learn? Why must the children be the ones who suffer? I don’t know, maybe it’s time for the "Second Coming". Jesus should just come back and blow the world all to hell and not rebuild.

You don’t really believe that, do you? I mean, that’s a bit cynical, isn’t it?

Well, you know me, a cynic to the very end. It should be obvious, even to you? Nothing surprises me anymore, nothing people do surprises me anymore. In answer to your question, yes I do mean every word I said.

That’s sad, really sad. You were the last person I ever expected to just give up. I mean Hippocratic oath and all…

Oh, butt out! Who asked you anyway?

Fine, I’ll butt out, but don’t think retirement will make you feel any better, if you quit for the wrong reasons.

I hate little voices…


"No, for the last time, we wouldn’t be interested in having new siding put on the house! We have bricks!" Margie said tersely, then slammed down the receiver.

"Who was that?" Becca asked.

"Oh, some idiot who didn’t want to take no for an answer. People really are becoming pushier everyday." Margie shook her head sadly. "Dinner will be ready in just a bit. Would you like to eat on the patio?"

"Isn’t that the truth, what’s wrong with people these days?" Becca chuckled, "and yes, it’s such a lovely evening; dinner outside would be nice. Is Stace home yet?"

"Uh huh, and I’d tread lightly, if I were you. The good doctor didn’t drink a beer, she went right for the scotch, a double." Margie warned.

"Wonderful, but it isn’t too surprising. Today is the first Monday of the month; the Board of Directors was probably in their usual fiscally prudent form again. You know Stace; she never has tolerated these board meetings. The politics of medicine has never been, nor ever will be her strong suit. I’ll go see if I can cheer her up. Where is she?" Becca inquired thoughtfully.

"Down on the beach. But, if I were you, I’d send those flea bitten dogs down first; if you don’t hear any ki yiing, then my guess is you’d be safe to go on down." Margie said matter of factly.

"The dogs didn’t go with…ohhh, she must be in a state." Becca mused.

"No ma’am, they did not. And if you ask me, staying out of Stace’s way was the first time those mangy animals ever showed any intelligence in their entire, worthless lives." Margie remarked; her obvious dislike for Stace’s dogs couldn’t be missed.

The object of the conversation, two brown and black furry heads, peeked timidly around the corner. Becca caught the movement out of the corner of her eye.

"Hi guys," Becca crooned, "where’s your mom, huh?"

Margie never had been impressed with Stace’s canine buddies.

"Becca, don’t let those two fur balls in my kitchen! I’ve just cleaned the floors. Damn dogs don’t belong in the house anyway," the irascible housekeeper grumbled. "Out! Out, all of you. Go find Stace and bother her!"

"Ay, Ay, captain! Right away ma’am." Becca laughed. On her way out, she gave Margie a quick kiss on the cheek. Still, woman and dogs existed quickly rather than risk dealing with the chief cook’s bad temper.



…little voices always seem to intrude when they are least wanted. However, on the other hand…

Maybe little voices are most annoying because you know this particular little voice is right.

God, I hate this! All right then, what in your learned opinion do you suggest I do? Do I stay at the trauma center and continue to "tilt at windmills…" or leave and spend some quality time with my wife and kid?

Oh, now if you’re gonna play the neglected family card, that’s not fair…

Why isn’t it fair? They are the whole reason I’ve worked as long and as hard as I have, for them. I’m tired, just plain tired, don’t I deserve a rest?

Well, if it’s for them, I guess you’re right. It is time you spent more time with Becca and Syd. They deserve it too. So, you have my blessing; you may retire.

Oh thanks, like I need your blessing to do anything. Now, all I have to do is tell Becca…

It looks like you’ll get the chance; here she comes, bye. You’re on your own there, smart ass.

There are some things in this life that I never get tired of. One is watching Becca walk toward me. Even at fifty, she looks thirty-five, her body hasn’t given in to the ravages of time. Tall, long back hair, beautiful blue eyes, yes sir simply gorgeous. To me, she’s as lovely, and sexy, as the day we made our commitment to each other. My God, eighteen, were we ever that young. A blanket of despair covered me; I don’t want to get old, I hate old, and my back hurts, too.

Stop feeling sorry for yourself…

Don’t you have somewhere else to be?

Not really…

Well find someplace!

Humph, ya ol’ grump!

That’s me! Where was I? Oh, Becca, we’ve been together for so long we have truly become one. We know instinctively when the other is hurting or sad or happy. It’s not ESP; it’s more than that. I don’t know what, but I do know I couldn’t survive without her. She is my anchor without which I would sail away into oblivion. There is no doubt about it; it’s time for me to retire. Let the next generation fight the good fight, I’m done. I’ll spend the rest of my life enjoying the good life with my lady.

Becca had nearly reach the spot where I was sitting when two, large furry missiles hit their target, me. In the process, sand and scotch went flying.

"Damn your hides!" I exploded. "Do you have any idea how much good scotch costs?"

Becca took my tirade in stride; she always does.

"Honey, they love you. You should have seen the "hang dog expression", no pun intended, on their faces when I came home. You always take them with you when you come down here. Their feelings were hurt when you ignored them."

I guess it’s my lot in life to be loved by everyone, such a burden…

I wouldn’t say everyone…

Who asked ya…

"I know, but I just didn’t feel up to their… what’s the word I want…uh, exuberance today." I apologized. "Okay guys, come here, I’m sorry."

My two mutts needn’t have been told twice. They jumped all around, over, and on top of me.

"Okay, okay, enough already," I yelled. I picked up a piece of driftwood and threw it as far as I could. "There, go chase that. Work off some of that pent up energy. I wish I had a little of that." Becca sensed my gloomy mood and the reason for it. I told you we knew each other well.

"Baby, what’s wrong? Bad day at black rock?"

Becca sat down beside me and I fell gratefully into her arms. Usually it was me who was the strong one, the one to play the protector. Oh God, I must be going through menopause or something!

"Hell if I know." I grumbled. Who was I kidding, I did know. I just didn’t want to admit it.

"No, baby, that’s not true; I do know. Becca, I don’t want to go to the center anymore; I don’t want to do anything anymore. I’m getting old and tired and I don’t know what to do about it." Becca, true to form, did know what to do about it.

"Honey, you’re not getting old. Fifty-one isn’t that old. Believe me when I say you are still the most beautiful, sexy, desirable woman I know. You’re not old."

Not only did Becca know the right thing to say and when, but also the right thing to do and when. She proceeded to show me just how much she loved me. I only hope I have the strength to endure this pleasurable torture…Oh God Becca, do your thing.


"Margie, as usual, dinner was wonderful."

Becca was so good at placating our housekeeper/cook/nurse/…well you get the picture. And, as usual, it was my fault Margie had to hold dinner past the appointed hour. Well, Becca had a little to do with our tardiness. Booo yeah!!! Anyway, I was in a much better mood. Maybe I’m not getting all that old.

Depends on your point of view…

I refuse to lend credence to that banal remark by responding to said remark. Margie’s angry voice brought me back to the here and now.

"Thank you Becca," Margie ignored me for the moment, but I knew my turn was coming, "it’s too bad you had to eat leftovers because certain people can’t bring themselves to the dinner table on time!"

Point taken; in the heart!

"I’m sorry Margie," I lamented, "but Becca was late too. Why is it always my fault."

That’s pretty juvenile; go ahead and blame Becca. You’re right, you’re not getting old; you’ve never left childhood…and you know, of course, this ploy won’t work…

Oh yeah? Just hide and watch, emphasis on the hide…

"Wait just a darn minute!" Our cook was on me like stink on rotten meat. "You are not going to shift the blame to that darling girl. For once, you will take responsibility for your sophomoric behavior. Next time you’re late for dinner, you simply will have to fend for yourself. You ruin my meals once more and I swear I’ll feed it to those no good mongrels! This is nonsense, I’m getting too old for these shenanigans." Margie fumed, and with that, she turned on her heel and disappeared into the house.

Darling girl? Sophomoric? Wow, I’m impressed, and I agree…

Naturally, you would…what just happened here? The entire blame for Margie’s reheated dinner has been heaped upon my head.

Not too surprising; you have a big head, as in fat head. Heh, heh, heh.

Leave, would you, just leave! Why doesn’t Becca ever take part of the blame? After all, had it not been for her making love to me, I would have been on time for dinner.

Would not! You’d still be down there on that beach sulking and feeling sorry for yourself.

God, I hate you! I sneaked a peek at Becca, and she had a very large, self-satisfied smirk on her lovely face. Darling girl, indeed. Girl? She’s no girl! Hell she’s only a year younger than I am. Why doesn’t anyone refer to me as a girl?

Do you really want an answer to that question?

Shut up!

You are a grandmother you know!!

Oh shut the hell up!!

Well, it’s true!

It was true, but so’s Becca, and still they call her a girl. It’s Syd’s fault! She and Scott could have waited for God sakes. They didn’t have to have a baby the first fucking year they were married! I turned to look at Becca again.

"Are you just going to sit there and smirk?" I demanded. "You always do this you know. Never do you take your part of the blame for us being late."

Slowly, very slowly, Becca arose from the chair, like a Phoenix rising from the ashes. Oh shit, I’m dead. Becca continued to move toward me until only an eyelash separated us. She began a slow, gentle survey of my body with her hands. After what seemed like hours, she kissed me deeply, sensuously, lovingly. Oh how I love this woman.

"I’ll tell you what I’m going to do. And no, I’m not just going to set here with a smirk on my face. If you are interested, I am going to go into our bedroom, and we can carry on the discussion we just started here. When we’re finished, I assure you, you will be certain where I think the blame for a ruined dinner should be placed." Becca’s voice was deep, rasping almost.

"What can I say? You know I can never say no to discussions with you. They are always so thoroughly in depth." I barely managed to croak out the words. "…Once more into the breach, dear friends."

"Been reading Shakespeare again?" Becca laughed.

"Hey, whatever works!" I replied.


"Oh my gosh, look how she’s grown!" Margie was beside herself at the sight of Syd and Scott’s little girl.

"Do you really think so, Margie?" Syd asked, tongue in cheek. "We’ve gone from newborn everything to toddlers in what seems like a blink of any eye."

"Hello!" Margie laughed, "What are you feeding her? Beef on the hoof?"

I had heard the commotion in my sexual haze. My angel and I had renewed our love for each other once again. As long as I have my Becca in my arms, I will forever be young. I had laid here as long as I could before my back began to argue; I knew had had to get up. As much as I hated to disturb Becca.

"Honey, I hate to end this, but I think we have company," I whispered, "it sounds like the kids."

At the mere mention of "the kids", Becca was on her feet and nearly out the bedroom door.

"Sweetheart," I chuckled, "I love you in the buff, but I’m not sure that sets a very good example for the children."

I smiled devilishly, and waggled my eyebrows suggestively.

"Ya think?" my world smiled. "Oh shucks, I guess if I must clothe myself, I will."

"I would think that would be the thing to do," I groaned as I climbed out of bed, "damn it’s hell getting old."

"Oh honey, your back again?" Becca came to me and gently rubbed by aching back.

"I guess." I mumbled

"Does it hurt much?" My angel asked.

"Awe, you know me," I grumbled, "I mostly suffer in silence."

"Yes, dear, I know." Becca chuckled. Becca paused thoughtfully for a moment before broaching the next subject. "Honey, are you going to tell the kids?"

I looked back at my angel.

"Tell the kids what?" I asked innocently.

Becca just shook her head.

"Are you really getting old or do you just have selective memory? You know perfectly well, what. Tell the kids about what we talked about this afternoon?" My love replied. The exasperation was clearly present in her voice.

You better be careful smartass or you will be in of need hospitalization instead of retirement.

Ahhh, don’t bug me! I know how to handle Becca.

Oh, rrriiightttt! This should be good; I think I’ll stick around.

Don’t think you have to stay on my account…

Oh, I’m not; I’m staying for mine. I need the diversion your impending pummeling will bring.

"Ugh, I guess now would be as good a time as any." I replied sheepishly.

This is how you handle her? I waited here for this?

Oh shut the hell up.

"Coming dear?" my love cooed.

"Huh, oh yeah. I’m right behind you." I mused.

Following behind Becca would give me time to figure out how I was going to tell the kids about the impending changes in my life. All of our lives; maybe I’ll let Becca break the news. Yeah, that would work.

That is what I’ve always liked most about you, smartass; your courage in the face of adversity.

Did I ask for your opinion?

No, you never do. But should that stop me?

Never has before.

Then buy a clue; it never will either.

Well, for once, I agree. I have to tell them myself. However, they must understand, I will not become a permanent nanny for that kid!

What a thing to say! That kid is your granddaughter!

I know that! And I love her, but not enough to spend my golden years, baby-sitting!

Golden years my a…

Shut up, will you? I have to think, but there was no time to think. Becca had already taken Syd’s little darling in her arms. I had to admit she was cute, so cute, she was able to disarm anyone, including me. Oh God, I hate this. Grandkids! Shit, I’m too young to be a grandmother. Dammit, I’m not going to do this, I won’t!

Do what? Love this little child because she makes you feel old? That’s it isn’t it? Oh for Christ’s sakes, grow up would you?

Oh hell, I give up! I am getting old; there isn’t any part of me that doesn’t hurt: my back, my knees, and my hips. Why? I’ve taken good care of myself? I don’t drink, much; I don’t weigh that much… My daughter’s voice brought me back to the here and now…

"Mom, hasn’t she grown?" Syd asked. Becca turned toward me, and little Sharley immediately waved her little arms for me to take her. Syd could see I was a little distracted. "Mom, are you okay, you seem, I don’t know, not altogether here."

I took my little grandchild from my angel. Syd was written all over her little face. It seemed such a long time ago since I had held Syd in my arms like this. Maybe that was it. It wasn’t Sharley I resented; it was the intervening years, between the two, I resented.


"No honey, I’m fine, really," I said, "but there is something you all should know. Becca and I have talked it over, and I’ve decided I’m going to retire from medicine."

There you have it! This is the first entry in the new series, "Lost and Found, Generation Next." Let me know if you think there should be another entry.

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