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.
“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?”
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.