AN: We've come to the end of this story. Special thanks to RosieColes95. It's been a pleasure to write this with you. Thanks also to everyone who favorited, followed, and\or read this story. I hope you've enjoyed it. In other news, I've got a short fluff fic Happy Together that I'll begin to post here in the next couple weeks. After that I have Revival in the outline\tibit stage. It's a rework of Something Real that came in with a tie to Saving Grace when I had the poll as to what Mike & Abby fic to write next.
Chapter Thirty-Two ~ New Beginnings
"I don't know how you did it, Mikey, but you done managed to clone yourself," Johnny quipped. The resemblance was even more striking than when he and Charlie had traveled to DC for the christening. Baby Charles rested against his father's shoulder. Bright blue eyes peeked out from behind long eyelashes. The tuff of hair on his head was a lighter shade of Mike's blonde. Charles even had Mike's dimpled chin.
"I didn't do all the work," Mike said, looking across the room to where his wife was sitting, chatting with Charlie.
"How has Briggs been doing?" Abby inquired.
"Good mostly, the therapy is an ongoing process," Charlie answered.
"Did you decide if you were going to attend any of the secessions?" Abby asked.
"We're actually trying couples' counseling," Charlie answered, "I figure if we really are trying to make things work I have to do my part."
"I hope it helps," Abby replied.
"So far so good. We've still been going out," Charlie said, "Actually dating is kind of nice."
"I'll bet," Abby replied. Going out much was not in the cards for her and Mike for the time being. Mike would still cook or order in a nice dinner at least once a week, trying to keep up the romance even with their hectic schedules. She tried to reciprocate when he was too busy on a case. Abby caught Mike's gaze and batted her eyelashes at him.
"When are you scheduled to testify?" Johnny asked.
"I should be the first witness they call tomorrow," Mike swayed unconsciously. Charles liked the movement. "Bello got his lawyers to stall things long enough," Mike sighed. His son was already nine-months-old.
"I'd pay good money to see the jackass' face when you take the stand," Johnny chuckled.
"What about you? He thinks you blew up," Mike pointed out.
"I'm on after you- the surprise will be gone," Johnny huffed, "His lawyer will ask what happened to me."
Abby and Charlie joined the guys on their side of the room. "Give me my namesake!" Charlie reached out for the baby.
"I was here first- he's my namesake too!" Johnny protested.
"Middle name," Charlie snorted.
"I think we created a couple monsters," Mike quipped to Abby. Charlie and Johnny were also Charles' god-parents. She laughed which in turn got a laugh from the baby. Charles lifted his head and smiled with his few teeth at his mom. He liked it when Abby was happy. Charles reached his little hands trying to grab hold of Abby. He leaned towards her. She took him into her arms effortlessly.
"Not fair!" Johnny protested.
"You get to hold him all the time," Charlie added.
"I could never get tired of my little prince," Abby smirked.
"How are the new guys working out?" Mike asked.
"They've blended in pretty well," Charlie answered. There were two new agents since Mike left and Briggs was reassigned. His therapist advised against returning to the FBI. Briggs didn't need the pressure of the job or access to his old drug contacts. That was a recipe for a relapse. He met them halfway transferring out of undercover work and into digital crimes. With his reassignment, Charlie was promoted to lead agent at Graceland.
Briggs came through the front door. Charlie came up as he closed the door behind him. "Hey," she kissed him.
"Sorry, I'm late," Briggs said.
Mike went over and greeted Briggs with a one arm hug. Briggs froze as Abby approached with Charles. His eyes focused on the baby.
"Would you like to hold him?" Abby offered.
Briggs swallowed and looked at her with wide eyes, almost in disbelief. "Yes, please," he said.
"Say hi to Uncle Briggs," she handed the baby over.
"Hey, Little Fella," Briggs greeted. Abby stood close in case Charles began to fuss. Briggs realized while he had been in communication with Mike, even calling him to congratulate him on his son's birth, this was the first time he and Abby had seen each other since the intervention. They walked over to the couch and Briggs sat with the baby.
"I want to apologize for the way I treated you the last time I saw you- that wasn't ok," Briggs offered.
"It's forgotten," Abby accepted the apology, "Fair warning, if you hurt Charlie again I'm kicking your ass."
"Duly noted," Briggs nodded. Johnny had leveled a similar, albeit more detailed, threat when Charlie & Briggs got back together a few months after he completed the rehab. Briggs looked up from Baby Charles to Charlie. The thought of Charlie with a baby made his heart skip a beat. He had a while before he could prove that he could be trusted with a little human of his own.
"Comfortable, Peanut?" Briggs asked.
"Did you just call my kid peanut?" Mike frowned.
"And what if I did?" Briggs teased. There was nothing wrong with the nickname.
"How do you fell about that, Char-char?" Mike leaned down and kissed the crown of Charles' head.
"Seriously, Hubby?" Abby arched an eyebrow, "Veto."
"What?" Mike questioned.
Abby wrapped her arms around him as he stood. "There will be no calling our son 'Char-char'," the mother stated firmly. Charlie was his nickname when they were at home unless his godmother was visiting.
"Hey guys the sun's going down," Jakes called from the back door, "I've got the fire going."
Everyone gathered around the fire. It grew as the ocean swallowed the sun. Cracking open the cooler the group passed around the beers. A lively conversation brewed. Johnny leaded into a story, "Hey, Abby, has Mike told you about the teddy bear-."
"Hey, hey, hey," Mike cut him off, "Little ears, Man." He pointed to Charles.
"He's not going to remember," Johnny countered.
"Are you kidding? You say the magic word teddy bear- Charles loves his teddy bears," Mike protested. All fifteen of them. "I don't want my son scarred for life," he finished.
"Fine," Johnny went about changing the subject.
"Are you going to explain what he was talking about to me later?" Abby inquired.
"Maybe- it was work," Mike answered.
Briggs took Charlie aside. They walked out to where they could see with the light from the fire, but the others couldn't hear them. But Charlie scooped up a handful of wet sand and flung it at Briggs chest. Briggs got a handful of sand of his own and fired back.
Abby laughed at their playfulness. She laid her head back on Mike's shoulder. He angled down to see his family. Safe in his mother's arms Charles fell asleep to the sound of the soothing waves. "I am such a lucky guy," Mike sighed.
Abby looked up at him, "Love you too."
"You are so good to me," Mike hooked his thumb under Abby's chin. He brought her lips to his for a kiss. "Everyone should have an Abby in their life," Mike pronounced.