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NS: Please Stop Looking at Me by Blonde-Hurricane96

Vulnerability is a strange and beautiful thing. You drew yourself as a mermaid- a rare and mythical creature that is supposed to be the...

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(Contains: sexual themes, violence/gore and strong language)
PROTON ARNOLD

Happy mashed on the keys and moved the joystick with expert precision as she continued to rack up points through the levels of the Proton Arnold that Walter had acquired for the team. Toby was right behind her, pretending to cheer her on but actually trying to distract her so she would mess up and not beat his high score.

“You owe me another twenty,” Happy crooned as she zoomed through the levels, her eyes now on Sylvester's high score.

“Fine,” Toby relented, pulling another twenty out of his wallet and waving it in front of her face.

“Just put it in my pocket,” she muttered as she tried to duck and keep her eyes on the screen.

“Which one?”

“Pick one, I don't care. I'm so close to beating Sylvester's score, I can almost hear him crying like a baby,” she replied while rapidly approaching her goal.

Toby raised his eyebrows but did as he was told. He folded the twenty in half and carefully slid it into her back pocket, slyly copping a feel while trying not to be obvious about it. He watched as Happy tensed for half a beat and gave him a quick glance out of the corner of her eye, but he caught her small grin before she turned back to the screen. Toby allowed a smug grin of his own to spread over his face as he noted that he was having some kind of effect on her.

“Get another twenty ready,” Happy said as her points ratcheted up even higher.

Toby huffed but took out his last twenty dollar bill.

“Boom!” Happy belted as she beat Sylvester's high score, and Toby slid the money into her other back pocket, watching her victorious grin grow as he did so.

“That's it. I'm out of money,” Toby announced as he stood by and continued to watch her get more points before she got to a point where she was struggling to keep up with the levels.

When she finally did end her turn, she still entered in her name with a satisfied smile, third to Walter and Ralph respectively.

“Alright, try to win some of your money back then,” Happy challenged as she pulled out the $100 Toby had lost to her. “I'm feeling generous today.”

“There's no way I can beat your high score,” he pointed out.

“Tell you what, you beat your own high score, I'll give you my own $50. You double your own high score, I'll give you back your $100. Deal?” Happy proposed as she held up the money and waved it in his face.

“I'll take that bet,” Toby agreed as he took a deep breath, stretched his hands, and cracked his knuckles before taking a strong stance in front of the game and began his turn.

“Come on, you lazy shrink!” Happy 'encouraged' as she watched him play.

“Just let me play, woman!” he defended as he worked the joystick and keys.

“Is that what you're doing? I thought you were losing!” she fired back sarcastically.

Toby groaned but tried to focus on the game. He felt a bead of sweat drip down the side of his forehead from his exertion. “Yeah!” he exulted triumphantly as he beat his previous high score.

“Now try to double it,” Happy encouraged as she slid the $50 into his back pocket, not bothering to conceal her action of copping a good, strong feel on his ass.

Toby made a surprised, almost startled noise, and Happy saw his eyes go unusually wide as she removed her hand.

“You know, for a doctor, you have a pretty nice gluteus maximus.” she appraised with a pleased grin.

“Yeah, I work out a lot,” Toby droned. It was a total lie, he didn't really work out, but he would start if it meant impressing Happy more.

The disbelieving snort told him Happy saw through his bullshit, but he still saw her smiling out of the corner of his eye.

“Come on, you're almost there!” she said as she pointed at the score on the display.

“I know, I know! Stop distracting me!” Toby practically growled as he started to feel his hands cramp. “No, no, no!” he wailed as he tried to mash the buttons as much as he could before his hands began to seize, and by a quick calculation, he surmised he would fall short of doubling his score by less than a couple hundred points.

“You can do this, Toby!” Happy encouraged.

He clenched his jaw and pushed through the pain, but then he nearly lost his focus when Happy came right up behind him to slide his remaining money into his front pockets.

“Warn me next time you do that,” Toby cautioned as he struggled to keep up with the game.

“Oh, you mean next time I do something like this?” Happy teased as she put her hands in back pockets and squeezed, causing his whole body to jump and thus making him lose focus, the game finally beating him.

“You're mean,” Toby complained as he braced himself against the console with his arm while he typed his name in.

Happy's answering laugh didn't help. “Well, hurry up. I want one more round before Walter and Paige get back from their date,” she said as she squeezed in between him and the game and popped her hips back in an effort to force him to step away.

But Toby simply stayed where he was, Happy's glorious butt against his upper thighs.

“Move,” Happy grunted and grinded back into him.

“Not a chance,” Toby argued as he pushed back while gently placing his hands on her hips.

He was officially playing with fire, but this was the farthest she had ever welcomed his advances, and he was going to see just how far she would let him go.

“Is that the way it is?” Happy questioned as she cast him a glance over her shoulder.

“That's the way it is,” he confirmed, trying to sound confident, but his fear of a bad reaction was beginning to rise.

“Okay then,” she replied before abandoning the game in favor of turning around in Toby's arms.

The next thing Toby knew, he was on the ground, staring up at Happy who was straddling his chest and pinning his arms down with her knees. His eyes went wide again as he wondered how badly she was going to beat his ass before handing it back to him.

“Let me make myself clear,” Happy began before putting her finger to Toby's lips to keep him from saying anything. “This little back and forth we've been having has been fun and all, but I'm getting frustrated. So I'm going to tell you something, and I'm only going to say this once, either make a move, or knock it off.” She removed her finger from his lips and crossed her arms over her chest, looking down at him expectantly.

“Can you move your knees from my arms? You're cutting off circulation,” Toby muttered.

Happy frowned and moved to get off of him, but he reached up to keep her where she was. He settled his hands on her hips again, this time with an accompanying sense of possessiveness, then he slid her down his torso just enough for him to sit up. He rose up slowly, never breaking eye contact, both of them suddenly finding their breaths caught momentarily in their throats as their faces drew steadily closer. Caught in a trance, it was like they were afraid a wrong move or even a blink would the make this moment of intimacy fade away into nothing, like all the others had.

No. Not this time. Toby thought to himself.

And as if in complete accordance with his mind, Happy crashed her lips to his just as he made a move towards them.

Toby wrapped his arms around her, pulling her as close as possible as she framed his face with her hands. The heat rose quickly and the kisses deepened. Soon their hands began to roam each other’s bodies, exploring and caressing, at the same time both wild with months of repressed longing and worshipfully tender.

Eventually Happy broke away from him to breathe and to ask, “Your place or mine?”

Her hooded stare filled Toby with more desire than he thought he could contain, and he was nearly crying with gratitude that he no longer had to. “Don't care,” he answered breathlessly.

“Yours,” Happy decided as she got off of him and helped pulled him up to his feet, only to have his hungry lips find hers again once they were both standing. “Your... place,” she managed to murmur between kisses.

“Right, right. You drive,” he suggested as he followed her to the garage where the 69' Riviera was parked.


Happy drove to Toby’s house, which was closer to headquarters than her place, and from his previous boasting, she figured he had a very big, very comfortable bed.

She wasn't disappointed. The moment he managed to get her out of her clothes, and her his, they practically jumped into bed.

At first Toby attempted to take things a little slower, but Happy wasn't having any of it. With a frustrated moan and an insistent roll of her hips, she let him know that her need was urgent and intense. They could do slow and sensual later.

She was going to drive him crazy with lust. He didn’t know if he could hold out very long if he gave into her demands to go faster, but damned if he wasn’t going to try. He used his mouth to seek out the most sensitive spots on her neck as his hand trailed down to her core. He nipped and licked below her ear while his fingers slipped into her entrance.

Happy’s back arched sharply against the sheets as she practically squealed. If she had known that being with Toby was going to be like this, she would have given in sooner, because good god the man was talented. Apparently his mouth was good for more than just smarting off. Her thoughts went blurry with the pleasure as his lips and fingers worked in harmony, her breaths quickly turning into gasps.

Toby felt her grabbing for him, pulling him to her desperately, and he knew her need was just as bad as his. He removed his fingers and slid his aching length into her, nearly going over the edge in just that one motion. She was unbelievably wet and not too tight, revealing just how aroused she was. The sensation was closer to heaven than anything he had ever imagined, and as she writhed beneath him, each stroke inside her became better than the last.

A few, mere minutes later, Toby and Happy laid blissfully in each other’s arms, their chests still heaving slightly. A calm yet awed daze settled over them in response to the intensity that had just transpired, and little smiles hung on their lips as they reveled in the peaceful afterglow. For once they didn’t need to say anything to each other. They both just knew; this was heaven too, and it was only the beginning.


A Year and a Half Later


Happy blinked as she slowly found her sight. Toby's head lay against the glass of the driver's side mirror, a gash already bleeding heavily from his forehead. He wasn’t moving.

Just moments before the crash, he had turned the car at the last minute to minimize the inevitable impact. They had been driving on the highway, had watched in horror as the semi had jackknifed in the middle of traffic. All the other cars around them had begun to swerve to avoid the enormous truck, and Toby had instinctively angled them so that when they got hit, it would be on his side of the car.

Dread kicked Happy’s mental focus into gear. “Toby!” she screamed as she tried to move to shake him, but her limbs felt heavy and sluggish.

She could see outside of the car that people were getting out of their vehicles and walking around, and she knew a few were probably calling 911 already. She looked down at her swollen, pregnant belly and felt around, trying to see if the baby was hurt. She couldn't feel movement, just pain, causing her panic to increase to an unbearable level.

“Help! Someone call 911!” Happy screamed at whoever could hear her. She turned to Toby again, trying to shake him, but she couldn't even tell if he was breathing. “Damn it, Toby, don't you dare leave me here alone!” she pleaded through her tears, already fearing the worst.

It felt like forever before the ambulances got there. She was pulled from the car first and put into the back of one and driven to Cedar Sinai. She did her best to keep her wits about her, she did her best to answer the questions being fired at her from the EMTs, and she tried not to panic.

She failed on all counts. She demanded that the EMTs or someone call Walter. He would know how to help her more than anyone right now. She tried to curl into herself, tried to hold onto what made her happy.


Six Months Before

“Hey, so you know that re-population algorithm we've been working on?” Happy asked as she sat on Toby's desk, her legs flirtatiously wide.

Toby frowned but let his eyes wander up her powerful, petite frame. “Yeah?” he answered, still not completely sure of what she was referring to.

Happy gave him an unimpressed look before rolling her eyes. “Well, there's been progress resulting in a development,” she tried to hint.

Toby sat still for a moment before it dawned on him. “Are you serious?!” he asked excitedly.

“See the results for yourself,” she replied smugly as she handed him two positive pregnancy tests.

Toby jumped up from his chair, cheering loudly and fist pumping the air in celebration. Then he swept Happy up in a hug and kissed her soundly on the mouth before insisting that the rest of the team didn't need to work for the rest of the day, because they had some celebrating to do.


Once at the hospital, Happy was assessed and had a monitor placed on her abdomen to determine the baby's stress levels. They were unusually high, undoubtedly in answer to all the stress she was experiencing. An OB/GYN came in and looked over the results. She furrowed her brows and made a displeased expression.

“Mrs. Curtis, your daughter is under distress. I'm going to do an ultrasound to make sure she isn't physically hurt, and if she continues to show signs of distress, we will have to deliver as soon as possible”

“That's ridiculous. I'm only 34 weeks, barely 35. She needs more time; we were just in a car accident. Give her more time,” Happy argued.

“35 weeks gestation has a very good chance of surviving outside the womb. She’ll be small, but she'll be alright,” The doctor tried to assure her.

“What is the exact chance percentage of her being okay?”

“98%”

Happy scowled and put her hand on her belly. “Just… please, give me more time,” she pleaded.

“Okay. I can't give you much, but we’ll give it another 15 minutes. By the way, there is a Walter O'Brien in the waiting room...”

“Get him back here now!” Happy snapped.

The OB/GYN nodded and left, and a few more agonizing moments passed before Walter finally came through the door.

“Where's Toby?” Happy demanded.

“He's in surgery. He'll be fine. How are you and Joy?” Walter asked as he pulled up a chair next to her and sat down.

“Not good. She’s distressed and they want me to deliver her. She needs more time,” Happy repeated.

“There's a 98.76% chance she'll be fine,” Walter tried to reassure her as he looked at the monitors, his face fighting to stay calm and natural.

Happy took a deep breath and didn't move as she tried to inwardly monitor her daughter. She wasn't moving much, barely at all, not nearly enough for this time of day. Fear that had sunk in earlier rooted itself deep in her heart.

When the doctor came back a few minutes later, she looked at the feedback and shook her head. “Happy, this isn't looking good. Your daughter is still in distress. Her heart rate is decreasing; we need to do an emergency cesarean. I'm sorry.”

Happy took a shuddering breath and nodded before looking over at Walter desperately. “Can he be with me?” she pleaded.

The OB/GYN nodded before she called in the anesthesiologist to meet her in surgery.

Walter reached out to hold Happy's hand, his ever growing EQ demanding he show her some kind of physical reassurance.

“If you'll come with me,” one of the nurses said as she gestured for Walter to go with her to get scrubbed in.

“I'll see you soon, okay?” Walter said as the other technicians began to wheel her out.


Meanwhile, in the waiting room for Toby's surgery, Paige continued to pray while watching for Happy's father. He came in shortly after Paige had called him, telling him that Happy had been in a car accident.

“How is she?” he asked when he recognized Paige.

“Walter is with her, and he just texted me that they are going to have to an emergency C-section. She's in the North Tower in the Maternity department,” Paige began to direct before an announcement that the family of Toby Curtis was to meet at the receptionist's desk.

“Happy might take a while, and I should be here for this too,” Mr. Quinn said as he walked with Paige to the desk to meet with one of the surgeons.

“How is he?” Mr. Quinn asked.

“Not good. He’s lost a lot of blood, his left lung collapsed, his left kidney is badly damaged, and his liver has had level 4 and 5 lacerations. We’re trying to find a donor match right now,” the surgeon answered.

“Oh god,” Paige breathed as she put her hand over her mouth.

“Toby and I have the same blood type,” Mr. Quinn said. “Take a portion of my liver.”

“I'll need you to sign some paperwork then,” the surgeon replied, surprised by Mr. Quinn's very generous offer.

“It's the least I can do,” Mr. Quinn said while a nurse brought him the needed paperwork to sign.

“Mr. Quinn, are you sure?” Paige asked, putting a hand on his arm as he began signing the paperwork.

“Toby has been there for her, much more than I have. Besides, if the worst should happen, Joy will need her father more than her grandfather,” he replied with a sad smile, handing the quickly filled out paperwork to the waiting nurse before she pulled him away to get prepped for his own surgery.

Paige simply watched him walk away, an invisible weight already settling on his shoulders. She took a few more shuddering breaths as she went back out into the waiting room, wondering if she should stay here to hear about Toby or go to the labor and delivery in the North Tower. She decided to stay put and just keep a close eye on her phone for a message from Walter.


Back in Maternity, Walter was holding Happy's hand while the procedure was performed.

“Scratch my nose,” Happy demanded.

Walter obliged and did his best to assist his friend, but he watched helplessly as tears rolled down her cheeks. She had had a great birth plan and had made arrangements for everything, using the old 'measure twice, cut once' mentality, but now everything was chaos.

He looked down at his phone as it buzzed with messages from both Paige and Cabe. He reflexively gripped Happy's hand a little harder.

“What's wrong?” she asked.

“Toby should be coming out of surgery. Paige will be with him. And Cabe and Sylvester are on their way with your stuff,” Walter answered, keeping his voice even. Then he chanced a look at the procedure before he gagged reflexively. He decided to try and take his mind off what was happening. “What's the difference between a Ferrari 458 Italia and a Ferrari 458 Spider?” he asked suddenly.

“Seriously? I'm having Joy prematurely delivered, Toby is in critical condition, and you're asking me car questions?!” Happy growled angrily.

“I'm trying to distract you and keep your mind off of all that.”

“Not working,” Happy bit out as she turned her eyes to the ceiling, hoping everything would turn out alright.

“Alright, Mrs. Curtis, we're going to deliver now,” the surgeon prompted.

It was Happy's turn to squeeze Walter's hand. She took a few heavy breaths before she heard a pop and splash of her amniotic sac breaking and the fluid gushing out. Then all at once, she heard a small cry ring out. Happy bit her lip as the tears continued to leak out of her eyes. She looked at Walter who had chanced another glance and, despite the gruesome scene, smiled as his eyes followed the new infant as she was passed and cleaned off and checked over.

“She's beautiful,” Walter offered as he looked back at Happy, his eyes glistening with tears that threatened to fall.

“I need to see her,” Happy called out.

“We're almost done. We have to make sure she's going to be able to breathe on her own,” one of the nurses answered back.

“She's older than 35 weeks. She looks more like she's 36-37 weeks. Almost full term,” another nurse noted.

After making sure she was fine, they bundled the tiny infant up and set her next to Happy's face.

“There you are,” Happy whispered, relieved that her daughter was alive and safe.

Joy scrunched up her little face and made a displeased noise. “Shh, Mommy's here,” Happy soothed, her maternal instincts taking over as the baby started to coo.

After Happy and Joy were settled into their hospital room, Walter took a picture to show Toby since he couldn't get out of bed yet. Then he retreated to let Happy and Joy bond privately and to go find Paige.


A few hours later there was an announcement for the family and friends of Mr. Curtis to come to the desk. Paige felt like her heart was in her throat as she and Walter walked to the desk.

“Mrs. O'Brien?” the surgeon asked as Paige nodded expectantly.

“The surgery was a success. Mr. Curtis is in recovery; however, I’m very sorry to tell you that Mr. Quinn didn't make it.”

“What?” Paige blanched.

“He had a brain aneurysm and died shortly after going under. We were able to take his whole liver for Mr. Curtis, and Mr. Quinn was an organ donor, so all of his other organs have been treated with the utmost care. He’ll be saving five more lives today,” the surgeon told them gently.

“His daughter just gave birth. He never got to see...” Paige choked out, before putting her hand over her mouth to keep herself from crying out too loudly.

“We are deeply sorry for the loss. We did the best we could.”

Paige nodded in acceptance and tried to keep herself together as Walter offered the surgeon a handshake.

“Thank you for your efforts,” Walter tried to say graciously.

“Can we see Toby?” Paige asked before an aide took them to the recovery room.

Once in the room, Paige took a seat next to Toby and reached out to hold his hand, trying to tell him without words that he wasn’t alone.  He was still sleeping off the anesthesia.

“Did you get a picture?” Paige asked Walter as she realized he hadn't shown it to her yet.

“Yeah,” Walter confirmed as he pulled out his phone to show Paige the picture.

“She's so precious and tiny. She looks like Toby,” Paige noted as she fawned over the picture. “Did you tell Happy about her dad yet?” she whispered as she looked back up to Walter.

Walter bit his lip and shook his head. “I couldn't bring myself to yet. She’s gone through so much already. Let her bond with Joy a little more,” he suggested.

“What about Joy?” Toby tried to ask as he started to wake up, lifting his head with a lot of effort and opening his eyes. When he realized where he was, Walter and Paige watched as the reality of his situation began to sink in. “Where's Happy and Joy?” Toby asked, worry clear in his tone.

“Happy and Joy are fine. They’re recovering in the maternity ward.”

“Happy gave birth?! Without me?” Toby quaked.

“They had to do an emergency C-section,” Walter calmly replied.

“So she's going to live in an incubator for a few months?” Toby guessed.

“No, she's older than we thought she was. She’ll be able to go home in a few days,” Paige reassured as she gestured to Walter to show Toby the picture.

Toby took the phone with trembling hands and looked at his child’s face for the first time, unable to keep himself from crying. Joy was so small.

“She's a fighter,” Walter added with a proud smile.

“Of course she is,” Toby confirmed as he stroked the phone screen reverently. “Has Happy's dad seen her yet?”

Walter and Paige looked at each other and grimaced.

“No,” Walter admitted in a low tone.

“What do you mean, no?” Toby questioned.

“You had some really serious injuries. Your liver was lacerated beyond repair, so he offered to transplant a portion of his own. He died on the operating table,” Walter explained.

What little color was left in Toby’s face drained completely.

“He told me that Joy needed her father, someone who would always be there for her, more than her grandfather,” Paige paraphrased.

“So… I what, have his liver?” Toby remarked, trying to keep his voice even.

“And a kidney,” Walter answered.

“So Happy's dad is dead because of me?” he concluded.

“No, it’s not your fault,” Paige tried to soothe him. “You were in a horrendous accident, and you were only supposed to get a portion of his liver. If all went as planned, you would have both survived the surgery.”

“Does Happy know?” Toby asked as he tried to subdue a sudden sob.

“I couldn't tell her,” Walter confessed.

“She's going to hate me,” Toby groaned miserably as he dropped his face into his hands. “She’ll want a divorce when she finds out. I’ll never hold my daughter.”

“Get a hold of yourself! She’ll do no such thing,” Paige said forcefully as she wiped her own tears away. “Neither you nor she had any control over any of this, and she knows that. No one asked him to offer his liver; he did it on his own. He had a brain aneurysm. There’s nothing any of us could have done.”

Toby shook his head as his sobs took over. Paige sat next to him on the bed and hugged him, cried with him, and held him, even though she knew what he really needed was Happy and Joy. Walter sat next to them and grasped his friend's arm.

After a moment, they heard someone clear their throat, and they looked up to see Cabe standing in the doorway watching them. Walter waved him in, and he stepped closer to Toby as Paige pulled herself away.

“Toby,” Cabe began, his low, raspy voice holding surprising gentleness. “Listen to me for a moment. You should be proud of yourself. Your wife and baby girl are alive because of you, and they will need you even more now, so give yourself time to grieve what's been lost today. Mr. Quinn knew there was a risk before he even agreed to do it, but he sacrificed himself willingly. You need to honor that sacrifice by living, by doing and being what you were meant to be, and what he and the rest of us know you are more than capable of being. An amazing father. Now I'm gonna go see what can be done so you can see Happy and Joy, alright?” Cabe divulged before giving Toby's shoulder a good squeeze and getting up to talk with the nurses.

“Should someone tell Happy about...?” Paige wondered aloud and looked at Walter, who put his head down in shame.

“Well, I was there when her dad came in and went, so I should probably tell her,” Paige reasoned. “Stay here with Toby. I'll be back in a bit,” she added, addressing Walter, who nodded solemnly after her.


Paige tried to keep her feelings under control as she walked the labyrinth of hallways to Happy's room in the maternity ward, rehearsing in her head how she was going to tell Happy the news.

Once at the door, Paige put on a brave smile and knocked softly before she entered. A nurse was leaving after giving the baby her first bath, and Happy was holding her, watching her suck on a tiny pacifier and gently rocking her as she fell asleep.

“Hey, Happy,” Paige greeted quietly as she came closer.

“Hey,” Happy replied. “How’s Toby?”

“He's awake. Wants to see you,” Paige answered softly.

“Was he upset that I had Joy without him?” Happy guessed, trying to keep her tone light even though Paige's body language told her something was wrong.

“He was, but it couldn't be helped, and she's here now and safe and sound and healthy, so that's a lot to be grateful for,” Paige replied as she moved to sit down next to Happy and look adoringly at the newborn.

“So what's wrong?” Happy demanded, not liking to beat around the bush, so to speak.

“Happy, your...” Paige began before her voice cracked. She took a deep breath as she looked away, trying to will herself to say what she had practiced on the way over. “Happy, when you were getting your C-section, your dad came to the hospital to see you. But when he got here, one of Toby's surgeons came out and told us that Toby had too much damage done to his liver and that he would need another one. Your dad...” Paige tried to push through but tears blurred her vision, even after she looked toward the ceiling. “Your dad said that, uh, that he and Toby had the same blood type, and that he could be a match, and he offered to donate a portion of his liver to Toby,” Paige finished as she watched Happy's expression become more and more serious and unsettlingly stoic.

“And?” Happy prompted tightly.

“Shortly after putting him under, he had a brain aneurysm and passed away,” Paige worded with as much gentleness as she possibly could. “So they transferred his entire liver over to Toby.”

Happy clenched her jaw and took a deep, shaky breath through her nose before she pushed the nurse call button.

“Yes, Mrs. Curtis?” the nurse said as she entered the room.  

“Joy fell asleep. Could you put her in the nursery for a while?” Happy requested with unusual calmness.  

After Joy was taken away, Happy’s strength dissolved as she broke down into sobs.

Paige reached out to hold her hand, dying to do or say anything to alleviate her friend’s pain. “Your dad was an organ donor, you know. The doctor said he would be saving five more lives today in addition to Toby’s. And right before he went in for the surgery, he said that Toby has always been there for you, and that if the worst should happen, Joy would need her father more than her grandfather. That it was the least he could do for you and your family,” Paige reiterated.

“But he was my family. H-he was supposed to come over after work today and play Proton Arnold with me before we went shopping for baby sized play tools. We were supposed to restore a 67' Camaro, and he was supposed to help Joy learn how to drive and read her engine manuals as bed time stories and, and...” Happy bawled in a rare show of emotional pain.

Paige moved from the chair to perch herself on the side of the bed so she could hug Happy. “I'm so sorry, Happy. I'm so, so sorry,” she whispered as she held her and rocked her from side to side.

They stayed like that for what felt like hours, until the nurse came back to see if Happy was ready to nurse again.

“I'll give you some space,” Paige said resolutely as she squeezed Happy's hand again before getting up and leaving the room.

She texted Walter what had happened and about Happy's reaction.

Walter texted back to stay put, and that they were coming to them.

Paige warned him to give Happy a few moments to ‘feed the baby,’ and she smirked a little as she imagined the face Walter would wear when he read it and understood it. He probably would have given that twisted lip, and comical, almost grimace face that always had her trying not to laugh.

Paige stood behind a curtain to give Happy some privacy, but told her that when she was ready, Walter and Cabe would be bringing Toby down to see her and Joy.

“Well tell them to hurry up. Joy should be done by the time they get here,” Happy replied.

Despite the bitter sadness at the loss of her father, a few butterflies of excitement filled her at the prospect of Toby getting to finally see their daughter. She wondered what Joy's reaction would be to him. Before, she had always seemed to jump and kick the hardest when he would talk with her.


A week before –

“Alright, Daddy time,” Toby insisted as Happy sat on the couch with a bottle of water.

Happy rolled her eyes as she smiled before Toby got down on his knees between her legs and placed his hands reverently on her belly, gently feeling for where Joy was and how she was laying.

“Hello, my child,” Toby greeted enthusiastically, which earned him some sort of movement and made him giddy with excitement. “How are you doing in there? Running out of room?” he questioned, resulting in a sudden kick from inside Happy’s belly, which made both of them laugh.

“Do you think she'll like me?” Toby mused quietly as he felt around for more movement.

“Well, if you're a condescending jerk, no, but you keep this marshmallow dad thing up, and she'll have you wrapped around her finger,” Happy warned.

“Like you don't already?” Toby questioned rhetorically before he went back and talked and 'played' with Joy through Happy's belly.

“Do you think she'll like me?” Happy asked after a while.

“Of course. You’ll be one hell of a mother. In fact, you'll be the best mother ever,” Toby assured as he reached up to cradle her face in his hands. “You're going to be great. You already are great. You’re smart, talented, and astonishingly beautiful. Total MILF.”

Happy rolled her eyes again but couldn't help but smile at his loving words. “I love you,” she said happily.

“I love you too,” he replied before leaning over her and kissing her soundly as Joy kicked in between them. “And I love you, three,” Toby added as he addressed Joy and kissed Happy's belly everywhere.



When Joy was done feeding, Happy told Paige to send for the boys, and it was mere minutes before they were all there. They had to move Happy's bed over to make room, but they were able to put the two beds side by side, facing each other so they didn't have to turn their heads.

“There's the most beautiful woman in the world,” Toby greeted as his eyes landed on his wife.

Happy couldn't help but smile despite more tears welling in her eyes at the site of her husband in bandages and a wheelchair.

Toby mirrored the smile as he looked at the tiny bundle in her arms. “She looks like you,” he said quietly.

“No, she looks like you. Here,” Happy said as she offered the baby for him to take.

With Paige's added assistance, Toby finally got to hold Joy in his arms, then she and the others left to give the small family some privacy.

Toby started tearing up again as he cradled the precious infant. “She's more beautiful than I could have imagined,” he whispered so as to not wake Joy up.

But to his surprise, Joy scrunched up her face and blearily opened her eyes.

“Hey there, beautiful,” the new father said tenderly as the baby's eyes widened. “Do you recognize my voice?” he asked and smiled when the baby opened her mouth and dropped the pacifier into his lap.

Happy watched silently as her husband continued in his little conversation with their daughter, using the same tone he had used when she was still in the womb and taking her responses to his voice as answers. Except now he had a sweet little face to direct his gaze to. It made her feel emotions she didn’t know how to describe, and with the way it made her heart leap and twist at the same time, she didn’t know whether to laugh or cry

“Did you have a rough day?” Toby inquired as Joy scrunched up her face again and grunted. “I know, I know. I'm sorry about that,” he replied, trying to unwrap her arms as she began to squirm.

When he finally got her hands free, she reached out and grasped his finger, her little hand barely big enough to wrap all the way around it. Toby softly grazed the pad of his thumb over her fingers and really marveled at her. Yes, she was small, and she was covered in a downy like fuzz, but her hair was already starting to come in, and she was alive, safe and sound. She was perfect.

“Daddy's here, baby girl. Daddy’s here, and I'm never going to let you down,” Toby whispered before he gently kissed the crown of her head.
Proton Arnold
Thank you so much to Alaburn for being the best beta ever and I would just like to say- this is what happens when I get prompted 'fluffy, smutty and heart wrenching' and I do all of them at the same time in one fic. so..yeah. thank you for reading. :)
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Not Acceptable


Walter woke up and practically growled. He set his jaw and thought of quadrant perimeters and circuit relays, really anything to keep him in bed and perfectly still, because maybe, by some miracle, if he lay perfectly still, the room might just stop spinning. It wasn't that he was hung over. No, far from it. He had a high fever. He knew it without even having to think about it. His core was cold, but at the base of his neck, that patch of skin was blisteringly hot. His entire body ached and he could feel beads of sweat drip off his forehead, and the spot where his head and neck laid on the pillow was drenched.

But then he felt his mouth water, and he knew he had roughly seven seconds to get from the bed to the toilet or he would be vomiting on the floor, and it would be a bitch to clean out of the carpet.

After he had expelled his stomach's contents, he staggered back into his room to get his phone. He managed to turn his pillow over so he wouldn't have to lay his head back down in dampness, and he sent a text to Cabe letting him know he was sick. The second text was to Paige to inform her that he was under the weather and to let the team just simply work on their own projects until he could sufficiently recover, hopefully in the next couple of days.

Half an hour later, Walter heard a soft knocking on the door. He couldn't help but grin as he recognized Paige's knock - soft but persistent. He struggled to get out of bed and managed to pull on a robe over his boxers and undershirt. He didn’t want her to be uncomfortable with his attire, but neither did he feel up to the task of dressing himself. Besides, she was probably just going to stay long enough to drop off some soup.

Walter tried, he really did, to smile and greet her as he opened the door, but all he could manage to do was cough and try to contain the phlegm that was coming from the bronchi in his lungs. Before he knew what was happening, Paige was backing him into the house and sitting him on the couch, urging him to take sips from a water bottle.

“A little under the weather, huh?” she reiterated as she perched herself on the edge of the coffee table and felt his forehead with the back of her hand.

Walter gave her a pointed look while attempting to control his horrible coughing.

Paige returned the look without a hint of trepidation. “I'm making you tea and soup,” she announced as she stood up and presumably began hunting for something.

Within moments, she found the linen closet and pulled out a blanket and pillow, then she proceeded to make him lie down and practically tucked him in. She also retrieved a bottle of aspirin from her purse, giving Walter two to take before he laid down again.

Then in the kitchen, Paige made herself busy heating up a can of soup and boiling water for tea, but she spared a moment to peek in on him where he was still resting on the couch. His eyelids were closed and his parched lips were open to allow him to breathe through his mouth since breathing through his nose was not an option at the moment. He looked miserably ill, and Paige's heart twisted uncomfortably, willing him to recover faster.

The teakettle began to whistle, just in time for Walter to open his eyes and catch her staring at him. Paige turned quickly to attend to things as he made a gallant effort to sit up. She returned a moment later with his soup, tea, and a few crackers on a small tray and set it in front of him on the coffee table. Then she grabbed a box of tissues and offered them to him.

“You have… uh,” Paige tried to hint as she gestured toward the corner of her own mouth to call his attention to the drool that had escaped while he had taken that short rest.

It took Walter a moment to realize his faux pas, and when he did he wanted to smack himself in the face. His cheeks stained from embarrassment as he quickly took a tissue and wiped the corner of his mouth. He couldn't even bring himself to say anything and opted to just eat the soup while Paige went to his bathroom to find a thermometer. His throat welcomed the soothing hot liquid while his stomach rejoiced in being filled with something comforting and easy to digest.

Paige returned shortly and swiped the thermometer over his forehead to get a reading on his temperature. She gave a small huff through her nose, clearly not pleased with the result.

“This is not acceptable,” Walter blurted out.

Paige scrunched up her face, thinking he was referring to her soup. “Excuse me?”

“I'm a genius. I shouldn't get sick,” he protested, trying not to pout.

Paige's features relaxed and a small grin broke out on her face. “You're human. Everyone gets sick,” she soothed as she ventured to sit down next to him and rub his back comfortingly.

“I can't even breathe out of my face. This is completely ridiculous,” he groaned as he felt his body start to relax. He took a sip of the tea and tried not to grimace.

“Yeah, I know it's not great, but it will help,” Paige said when she saw his expression change.

Walter gave her a skeptical side glance but took another sip anyway.

“Here,” she prompted as she pulled him to lay his head in her lap.

“Wha...” Walter began to protest, but his body was all too willing to follow her gentle commands.

“After that car accident, when you insisted I see a medical massage therapist, this is something she taught me,” Paige explained as she began to caress his forehead with her fingertips in the pattern she had been instructed to.

Walter's eyes fluttered closed as he began to feel the effects; slowly, and then all at once. His nasal passages cleared, and he was able to breathe through his nose again.

“Thank you,” he murmured as he continued to enjoy Paige's attention.

“You're welcome,” she replied softly as she studied his face intently.

How did he have such thick and long eyelashes? Even when he was sick he was still handsome. And even though she was used to seeing him in a suit, the casual attire was rather endearing, if she was being honest with herself.

Her hands began to still on his head, and suddenly Walter's eyes drifted open to consider her in adoring curiosity. Paige unknowingly held her breath until Walter smiled up at her. She smiled back down before lightly scratching his scalp, her grin widening as Walter groaned in pleasure and his eyes closed again.

“I should probably be getting back,” Paige mused softly after a few moments, combing his hair back into place with her fingers.

Walter’s face returned to its prior grimace.

“Do you want me to come back later and check in on you? Or do you think you can manage on your own?” Paige inquired.

Walter racked his brain for how he should respond. At the moment, he could think of no greater use of her time than doting on himself, but he knew there may be implications in asking her to stay. He didn’t want her to think he was ‘needy,’ no matter how ill he was, even if ‘needy’ was exactly how he felt at the moment. Neither would it be the most professional thing to do, and if she got sick from being around him, he would feel immensely guilty. He also still had to protect her reputation, so to speak, so all things considered, she probably shouldn't stay too much longer.

“No, I'll be fine, thank you. I can breathe a lot better now,” Walter answered as he pulled himself up to sit again. “I should bounce back by tomorrow. The day after that by the latest.”

“Oh, okay,” Paige replied, trying to sound compliant and not disappointed as she picked up her purse from the coffee table and walked towards the door. “Call me if you need anything, Walter,” she called over her shoulder as she hesitated by the door, wanting to say something more but losing the courage to say it at the last minute before she left.

“Okay,” Walter called back as he pulled the bowl of soup back into his lap.

After he was sure she had left and wouldn't hear him, he answered her previous offer. “I need you stay, because I have responses to you that would indicate that you matter to me in an inordinate amount. So much that it is unfathomable to me. It's unacceptable because I shouldn’t have enough EQ to even feel this strongly about you, but here I am.”

His words hung in the air, laced with bitterness, sarcasm, and contempt for himself, but nonetheless completely true.
Not Acceptable
Thank you to the fantastic Alaburn for betaing this for me and thank you to you for reading. :)
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Surprise


Paige woke up and had to untangle herself from Walter as the need to go to the bathroom became overwhelming. She hurried to the toilet and fell to her knees to expel the contents of her stomach.

Walter awoke to the sound of his wife retching and began to feel queasy himself. He didn't trust himself to go in there, and his brain began going into overdrive as to what could be wrong with her. He knew she was nauseas, but the answer lay in any other symptoms she was experiencing. He then did a self-awareness check to make sure he wasn't sick. They sometimes had different things to eat for lunch. Did she get something bad? He mentally went over the ingredients available in their kitchen that he could use to make her some tea.

That was when a solution arose in his mind. They had a stick of ginger in their freezer. Paige always kept it in there 'just in case' and to add extra flavor to their meals.

He made his mind up when Paige gave her last hurl and flushed the toilet.

“Honey? You okay?” Walter called out cautiously.

“I'll be okay. It’s just something I ate I think,” Paige replied, turning on the faucet to wet a wash cloth, and she wiped her mouth before washing her entire face.

“I'll make you some ginger tea,” he offered as he got out of bed and padded to the kitchen.

Ginger was world renowned to aid in any kind of nausea. He filled the teapot with water and put it on the stove, setting it to high so it would boil quickly. Then he retrieved a grater from a cabinet and the ginger-root from the freezer. He washed his hands then got to work on grating the ginger until the teapot whistled. He grabbed Paige's favorite mug before dumping the grated ginger in it and added the boiling water. He reached for the jar of honey and added a good sized dollop and stirred it in.

Just then, he turned around to see a very sleepy Ralph looking at him curiously.

“Mom is sick, so I'm making her tea. She’ll be okay soon,” Walter assured him. “Go get some more sleep, Ralph,” he urged him, gently grasping Ralph's shoulder to usher him back to bed.

Ralph nodded and went back to his room to try to get some more sleep. Walter smiled fondly after him and went back to his own bedroom to deliver the tea to Paige.

He went into the bedroom to find that Paige wasn't there. He took a deep breath and prepared himself for the possible states she could be in. He walked over to the bathroom door and knocked as softly as he could.

“Come in,” came Paige's muffled reply.

Walter slowly opened the door to see her sitting on the floor, resting her back against the sink cabinets with a wet wash rag on her mouth and another at the base of her neck. He also noted the smell of an air freshener that she must have sprayed to keep the smell at bay.

Walter couldn't help but feel sorry for her. She looked miserable. He sat down next to her and held out the tea.

“Thank you,” Paige murmured before putting the wash cloths down so she could grasp the mug with both hands.

She inhaled the scent deep into her lungs and a little smile bloomed on her lips before she took a tentative sip.

Walter watched her anxiously, feeling rather helpless. But as the tea seemed to wash down her throat and coat her upset stomach, relief was evident on her face. Paige looked over at him and gave him a grateful smile before leaning over and resting her head on his shoulder.

“Are you going to be okay?” he asked softly.

“Yeah. I'm sure it was just something I ate,” Paige repeated as she snuggled closer to him.

Walter smiled softly down at her and wrapped his arm around her so she could rest her head on his chest. Paige hummed her appreciation and closed her eyes as he kissed the top of her head and gave her a small but meaningful side hug.

“I love you,” he said warmly.

“I love you too,” she returned, a grin spreading across her face.

“You're taking a sick day,” Walter insisted after a moment of silence.

“No. I'm feeling better already. I just need a little more sleep,” Paige countered.

“If you come in, Sylvester will freak and think you have the plague and follow you around with a can of Lysol.”

Paige groaned in response.

“So by this afternoon, if you really and truly feel better, you can come in; otherwise, I need you to stay home and rest, okay?”

“Fine,” Paige gave in. “Help me back to bed then.”

Walter nodded and shifted. “Don't spill that on me,” he requested as he lifted her from the floor and carried her to bed.

“Aw, you're carrying me. That’s so sweet,” she commented sleepily.

Walter smiled smugly before gently setting her down in a sitting position on the bed. He kissed her forehead then went over to the other side of the bed to get some more rest himself.

“Walter?” Paige asked.

“Hmm?” he answered, opening an eye to peek at her.

“Would you rub my back? Please?” Paige pleaded once she had finished her tea and laid back down in bed.

Walter grunted his agreement as he rolled over to face her and watched as she rolled over toward him to rest on her stomach. He had no idea what he was doing, but he just focused on rubbing his hand up and down her spine .She seemed to make the most pleased noises when he was touching her lower back, so that was where he spent most of his efforts.

After a few minutes, she was fast asleep and Walter ceased his actions as he snuggled closer, putting his arm around her waist and trying to get a little more sleep before he had to get up for the day.

Walter's alarm sounded and he turned over quickly to turn it off so it wouldn't disturb her. He rolled back over and kissed his wife's brow before pulling the covers up to make sure she would stay warm and comfortable. He felt her head to make sure she wasn't running a fever. She was just a little warmer than usual but nowhere near hot enough to count as a fever.

He got up and took a shower, and when he was dressed, he came back out to the kitchen to see Ralph sitting at the counter, eating his breakfast and reading a book on neurobiology that Toby had given him.

“Mom is still not feeling well, so she's going to rest this morning. I'm going to take you to school, okay?” Walter informed him.

Ralph didn't really respond, but Walter knew that he had heard him.

He grated up the rest of the ginger, making a note to pick up some more at the store before putting it into the teapot so Paige could make more tea for herself when she woke up. He also left a sticky note telling her as much, along with a reminder that he loved her and hoped she felt better with plenty of X's and O's. Because he knew she loved that sort of thing. Then he joined Ralph at the breakfast bar with his own bowl of cereal as he mentally prepared himself for the day.

“Want to go to Scorpion before school?” Walter offered.

Ralph nodded enthusiastically before closing the book and jumping down to put his bowl in the sink and put his cereal box away, signaling he was already ready to go.

“Hold on, I'm coming, I'm coming,” Walter teased as he picked up his bowl to gulp down the remaining milk.

Ralph took Walter's box of cereal and put it away as Walter put the bowl in the sink, quickly rinsing both bowls out before grabbing his backpack and car keys.

Once at Scorpion headquarters, the team looked up and collectively frowned when Paige didn't walk in with Ralph and Walter.

“Where's Mrs. O’Brien?” Toby asked.

“She's not feeling well this morning,” Walter answered and immediately cut his eyes over to Sylvester. “No, she doesn't have swine flu, bird flu, or the plague. She just ate something that didn't agree with her,” Walter assured him and everyone else.

Cabe came in after a beat. “Where's Paige?” he asked as he approached the group.

“She's feeling under the weather,” Walter answered. “What do you have for us?”

“The Federal Reserve would like a consultation to make sure their latest software updates and firewalls are as impenetrable as they think they are.”

“Pfft, so that'll take, what? Ten minutes?” Walter retorted condescendingly.

Cabe gave Walter an unamused look before he noticed Ralph standing there with them.  “Hey, how's it going, Ralph?” he greeted.

Ralph shrugged and Walter put his hand on the boy’s shoulder to get his attention.

“Actually, it's time for you to go to school. Come on, I'll drop you off,” Walter reminded him.

“The school is on the way; he can get in the van and we can drop him off,” Cabe suggested, which Ralph and the rest of the team seemed to like much more.

After dropping Ralph off at school, Cabe leaned over to Walter and gave him an expectant look. “What's really wrong with Paige?” he asked quietly.

“She just ate something that didn't agree with her. She isn't running a fever and she isn't congested, so the flu is out. She was just nauseas this morning.

“Huh. Did she throw up?” Cabe inquired.

“Yeah. I made her some ginger tea early this morning. It's not a crisis. I can handle my wife being sick, and I'm more than capable of taking care of her,” Walter insisted.

“I'm sure you are. Did her lower back hurt too?” Cabe asked with glimmer in his eye.

“Yes. The act of throwing up often puts a lot of stress on the body. A body ache and certainly a back ache is a reasonable side effect,” Walter explained.

“Sure it is,” Cabe replied, his tone disbelieving and hinting at something else entirely. but it was completely lost on Walter.

Toby and Sylvester gave each other confused looks as Sylvester went over all the possibilities and probabilities of what could be wrong with Paige. Happy, however, just rolled her eyes and continued to drive to the Federal Reserve.

Once back at Scorpion headquarters, Paige was sitting at her desk and eating a large bowl of pho from the Vietnamese place a few blocks away as she continued drinking the tea Walter had started for her that morning.

“It certainly smells good in here,” Toby proclaimed the moment he opened the door and smiled as his eyes landed on Paige.

Paige smiled back from her seat, despite her mouth being full of noodles and broth.

“Honey, I thought I told you to take the day off?” Walter contested as he walked over to her.

“Well I’m fine now, so I decided to come in,” she told him before eating another big mouthful of her soup.

“Well I'm glad to see you're doing better,” Cabe cut in with a proud smile before noticing a buzzing sound. “What's that sound?”

“Oh, me,” Paige answered as she leaned to the side so they could see the seat massager she was sitting on. “My back has been killing me lately,” she explained.

“Okay,” Cabe replied with a slow nod, looking pointedly at Walter who just looked back at him, confused. Cabe finally gave up and rolled his eyes. “You know, you had me worried this morning, with the symptoms Walter told us you had I thought you would be out of commission with the flu or…  something else,” he hinted.

“Nope, I'm fine,” Paige repeated as she downed a spring roll in two bites.

“You know it must be that newly married thing, where the bride just continues to glow,” he hinted again.

“Well, you know what they say about a bride who gets married in the month of June,” Toby chimed in, watching the scene with curious interest.

“Oh, oh, the bride who marries in June, stays a bride all her life, and that the bride groom who marries in June, gets a sweetheart for a wife,” Sylvester answered quickly, proud that he remembered the lyrics to June Bride from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, a classic film from the fifty's.

“And it's November. What’s your point?” Walter asked, not seeing the connection.

At that point, Cabe groaned as he pinched the bridge of his nose before looking at all of them. “You know for a bunch of geniuses, you guys sure don't have a clue,” he finally told them, shaking his head at them.

They all looked at him, confusion clear on their faces, except for Happy, who was wearing a mischievous grin for once.

Toby glanced at her and noted her grin, which Cabe was now sharing with her. “What are you two grinning about?”

“Wait,” Happy cautioned as she nodded over to Paige who had stopped eating and looked to be deep in thought.

She appeared to be doing some mental calculations right before a moment of realization flashed on her face. Bolting up from her seat, she grabbed her purse and left without saying another word to anyone.

Walter simply stared after her in complete confusion.

“She'll be back in a few minutes,” Happy announced with a knowing grin. “Good call,” she told Cabe.

“I've been around enough to know it when I see it,” he replied.

“Know what?! What are you guys talking about?!” Walter demanded.

“Let's just be patient until Paige comes back. No one say anything,” Cabe suggested, grabbing Walter by the shoulder and giving it a comforting squeeze.


After what seemed like an eternity later, Page came back with an unreadable expression on her face. Walter immediately came to her side, and the rest of the team tried to listen to the low murmurs of their conversation, Happy and Cabe still giving each other knowing looks. Toby's understanding finally dawned on him, and he couldn't help but smile excitedly as he wrote down 'pregnant' on a piece of paper and gave it to Sylvester, who nodded and tried not to cry with the sudden joy blooming in his chest.

Meanwhile, Paige held up four pregnancy test sticks, all showing a positive result for Walter to look at. They were all different brands, but Walter examined the digital one, the readout giving an estimation of how far along she might be.

“We need to see an OB/GYN,” he said suddenly.

“I already made an appointment for Wednesday,” Paige told him, an excited smile spreading over her features.

“You're going to have a baby,” he said, mostly to himself to help it sink in. “We're going to have a baby,” he repeated, his voice getting a little louder, and before he could stop himself, he had gathered Paige into his arms and kissed her soundly.

The rest of the group let them have their moment before erupting into applause.

Paige and Walter broke apart and laughed.

“Congratulations!” Cabe said as he shook Walter's hand and welcomed the hug Paige gave him. “If you need anything, you say the word, okay?” he added when Paige pulled away.

“Thank you,” Paige replied with a grateful smile.

“I think this calls for a group hug!” Sylvester shouted.
Surprise
Many great thanks to Alaburn for betaing and thank you for reading! This is the result of seeing a list of prompts for Scorpion on Tumblr and at the top of the list was this one- established Paige/Walter, Paige gets pregnant and Cabe or Hetty is the first to figure it out. and viola, one-shot. 
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Family Portrait


Paige arrived at Scorpion that afternoon with a large tote bag that had the most odd looking shapes protruding from within. She went to a private corner of Scorpion that had a large enough table for her to set everything out while still providing some privacy. She grabbed the scissors from her desk and a dusting rag from a shelf and put her bag down, carefully taking the contents out and arranging them in an orderly way.

She pulled up a chair and began to work on her self-assigned task, and after about thirty minutes she was finished. She pulled out a package of wrapping paper and the scotch tape to wrap each finished item. She smiled proudly as she attached little bows to each one as a finishing touch.

When Drew had come back into her life, she had, understandably, gotten uptight and overreacted, and they had all proven to her that they were more of a family than anything else she had ever known. They really did love Ralph and had only done what they did because they cared about him. They were looking out for him and had his best intentions at heart. Paige felt the need to make it up to them, and she figured this was probably the most symbolic gesture she could give them.

She picked up the four parcels and placed each one on their prospective recipient's desk, being careful as to how she set each one down, and along with a small card she had made by hand. She really was quite crafty and artistic. Sylvester and Toby would probably notice and appreciate these details the most.

When the team came back from lunch, she sat on the edge of her desk, waiting for them.

“What's this?” Walter asked first as he picked it up and examined it curiously.

“A peace offering and an apology,” Paige answered, watching as they each opened their gifts.

Sylvester was the first one to audibly get choked up, immediately grabbing a handful of tissues. Toby put his hand over his mouth as he regarded the gift in fascination and reverence. Happy was biting her lips, trying not to let her emotions give her away.

Walter, however, had a look of disbelief and awe at what he was holding in his hands, the wrapping paper dropped and forgotten. He looked down at the framed picture of all of them. It had been taken at Ralph's Halloween party. They had all gathered together, each striking a pose, but Ralph had been positioned in front of Paige and Walter, the three of them standing the closest together and Ralph holding Walter's hand along with his mother's. At the top of the picture frame, Paige had used fancy letter embellishments to spell out “Scorpion,” and on the bottom she had inscribed “Cyclone.”

“Apology accepted,” Walter replied with a grateful smile.

Paige let out a breath she hadn't known she was holding and felt a deep sense of relief.

“Same,” each of the others chimed in.

“Thanks, guys,” she muttered appreciatively.
Family Portrait
First I would like to thank the ever so talented Alaburn for being my amazing beta. Second, this was a response fic for the teaser trailers for tomorrow's episode. I hadn't intended to write this but...when inspirations strikes, it's hard to say no. So thank you so much for reading! 
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The Experiment


Walter felt he had gathered enough data to create a hypothesis. And now he just needed a means and method of testing out said hypothesis.

He understood why his hands would suddenly get clammy, why his heart rate would increase, and why his throat would suddenly become a little tight. He did not, however, appreciate that these things were happening. It wasn't that complicated. It was just a scientific experiment. An exercise really.

“So would you be interested in testing out a theory?” Walter proposed as he stood in front of her desk.

Paige looked at him curiously and couldn't help but grin, urging him to continue.

“In an effort to make our communication more efficient, I need to become more familiar with your facial expressions, since you use nonverbal cues seventy-one percent more than verbal ones. For me to really study said expressions, I need for you to exude facial cues, but in order for them to be accurate, they need to be manifested naturally,” Walter explained and noticed Paige slowly nod as she tried to keep up with what he was saying.

“And how do you propose to accomplish such a feat?” Paige asked as she tilted her head, her grin growing ever so slightly.

“I thought a trip to the museum would be a good choice,” Walter answered, a smug grin on his lips.

He knew that this would be a perfect choice for her. He didn't care where they went; he still didn't like art, but watching her look at art was something he could spend hours and hours doing.  

“So is this a bio-social exploration with a neuro-chemical overlay that could modify our colleague-slash-friendship paradigm?” Paige asked, pleased she remembered the terms from watching the Big Bang Theory.

Walter's eyes widened as his jaw lowered a smidge. Paige's own smug smile told Walter that she knew exactly what she was asking, and he couldn't help but smile broader.

“If that's what you want it to be, yes,” Walter answered, his eyes alight with joy.

“When?” Paige countered.

“Now?” Walter offered as he gestured for the door.

“Okay,” Paige agreed as she reached for her purse.

At the museum, Walter let Paige take the lead with the pace. At first she kept looking at him to gauge his reactions, trying to see if he was regretting his decision to take her here of all places, but he remained stoic, if not slightly amused. She could feel him watch her. She knew he would be and didn't hide her expressions as she openly admired the artwork.

At one point, Walter found the courage to take her hand and lead her over to a Gauguin that the Museum was showcasing. Paige never tried to get her hand back, but instead laced her fingers with his and continued to enjoy holding his hand throughout the rest of the museum.

Walter, to his credit, did do a little research on what the different art exhibits were so he could at least know enough to discuss them with her. But holding her hand, something that as a child he had a difficult time grasping the meaning and importance of, was now something he relished and deeply appreciated in this moment. However, she was still the most attractive and, dare he say, beautiful 'exhibit' there. The way her face would subtly change, the extensive array of smiles she possessed, and since she was giving him one particular smile that implied she was excessively pleased, that she was happy with him. And that had been the desired result of this exercise.
The Experiment
Thank you Alaburn for betaing this, REALLY FAST HOLY COW WOMAN YOU ARE ON FIRE. And thank you for reading. 
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  • Mood: Tired
  • Reading: this
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  • Drinking: Orange Juice
Wow it's been six months since I've had a journal, yikes. 
So I just uploaded the LAST CHAPTER (officially) of We Love The Water, considering Alaburn and I started that story  A YEAR AGO. It's been a long time coming. I'm sad to see it end, it's been a blast but I'm proud of it at the same time. 
So, what's on the horizen for me? 
Well, after I get my health sorted, (cause my MS and Crohn's are back) I do have a few stories I want to work on. I have a Pacific Rim drabble I want to work on, an Inception fic I started a year and a half ago that I really want to finish because I think it's a really interesting twist on it. Um..there's a tahnorra week coming up that I'm seriously considering doing. And I have two more drabbles to add to the wltw verse, Korra picking out her wedding dress and the actual wedding. So I have a few things on my plate. 
So...that's about all that's going on. lol. 

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Gam3rG1rl13 Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2014  Professional General Artist
You are a beautiful and wonderful person and I do not deserve your friendship! Thank you so much for another fave!

Bless you!
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:iconcandyholic85:
candyholic85 Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2014
You're welcome and right back at ya sweetie!
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:icongam3rg1rl13:
Gam3rG1rl13 Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2014  Professional General Artist
Thanks for another fave! Hug 
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:iconcandyholic85:
candyholic85 Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2014
You're welcome!
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:icongam3rg1rl13:
Gam3rG1rl13 Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2014  Professional General Artist
Thanks for the fave!!! You are the best!!!
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:iconcandyholic85:
candyholic85 Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2014
Of course! How could I NOT fave that?
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:iconiesnoth:
iesnoth Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I finished your commission! :D iesnoth.deviantart.com/art/522…
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:iconcandyholic85:
candyholic85 Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2014
I saw and it's GLORIOUS! Thank you so much!!
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:icongentlewolf:
Gentlewolf Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2014
YAY! :w00t: Thanks so much for the :+fav:, again! SO Glad you liked it, too! :XD:
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:iconcandyholic85:
candyholic85 Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2014
LOVED IT, KEEP UP THE EXCELLENT WORK! 
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