Chapter One

This story assumes Jamie to be about 25 at the start of the series and that Eddie is three years younger than he is. Jamie married Eddie about then end of season six, approximately March of 2016. Joey was born four years later and Lila four years after him.

I'm not sure if it works out mathematically, but I love Frank and didn't want to write this without him in it, so we assume he is about 92 years old. Danny is approximately 70 and Erin about 67. Joey is 24 and Lila is 20. The story Tough, took place between August of 2027 and May of 2028.

Special Thanks to Lawslave for reviewing this story every step of the way and offering me her expertise as a Jamko writer.

Reagan Family Home

Bay Ridge, Brooklyn

June, 2044

Jamie!" Eddie called when she heard the kitchen door slam shut. "Don't be banging the door, I have bread rising!"

Eddie had been hard at work all day. They were playing host that night for Lila's boyfriend, Steve's graduation from the FDNY academy that evening. It was sticking in Jamie's craw having to do this for a smoke eater, but it was also for his little girl.

"Okay," he replied loosening his tie and dropping his heavy briefcase on the floor. Eddie hurried in from the living room where she had been cleaning up for the party. "Your father is trying to sleep upstairs, can you keep the noise level down?" she scolded again.

Jamie ignored her admonishment and pulled her in for a hug, "I missed you today, Detective Reagan," he whispered. "I had to handle my own schedule; it's a miracle I got here on time."

"Well, someone had to get the house ready and Lila had classes. She's on the train back now." Eddie laid her head on Jamie's chest. Since he'd become the PC a year ago, she had been his right hand at the office. His father had advised he needed someone as strong willed as he was and as intelligent as well. For Jamie, Frank admitted that was hard to find. He'd had Baker at his side and he never regretted that. Jamie had chosen Eddie for that job, she did it at home, she could do it at 1 PP.

After Eddie's bout with breast cancer, she had chosen not to return to work until Lila was in high school. It was incredibly hard to get reinstated but then Commissioner Gormley pulled the strings required as a favor to Jamie, his then right hand. Eddie quickly made a name for herself and flew through the ranks. When Gormley retired and threw Jamie's name in the ring as his successor, Eddie was primed and ready for taking over the huge shoes left by Abigail Baker after her own retirement that same year.

"I know, and I do know you would much rather be a homemaker and take care of Dad than be working with me," Jamie sighed. "But I love you for doing it anyway."

Eddie pulled back, "How did the meeting go with the Mayor?" she asked. They were in a fiscal crisis, again.

"It went," he sighed. "We can't see eye to eye. There are deal breakers on both sides. It looks like if I want to keep my stress training and the mental health training I have to freeze wages and benefits at their current levels."

Eddie poured Jamie a glass of iced tea, "Drink this…it's blueberry, very calming." She had gone full on holistic after her cancer, but she had not had a recurrence or even a scare in thirteen years, so perhaps there was something to it.

He took the tea cup and sipped the cool liquid as Eddie busied herself with setting up dishes and plates for the family meal later that night. "I was asked by Commissioner Haydn to sit with him on the stage tonight but I think no, I think I'll sit with my beautiful wife."

"You do what you need to do," Eddie told him. "If an alliance with the Commissioner will make your life easier then you sit up there and you smile."

Ever since Jamie took the job as the PC, he'd been under the gun. Their son Joey had finished his third year on patrol and was in line for a promotion to Detective Third Grade when Jamie's appointment went through. That effectively derailed his fast track, considering Jamie felt that his son's promotion should not be his first official act as PC. That had caused a few battles but things seemed to be okay now.

"I think I can enjoy the ceremony more from the audience…"

Jamie finished his tea, "Let me run and take a shower. Did you pick up my dress uniform from…?" Before he finished the question he saw it hanging on the door. "I should have known better."

Jamie went up the steps and peaked in on his dad. Frank had taken the room that once belonged to Henry when he had gotten too old to be alone. Danny and Linda were content in their Staten Island home, so it fell to Jamie to carry on another tradition.

Frank was still resting so Jamie headed to the bathroom and jumped into the warm spray. He loved his family, he loved his life, but sometimes the stress and strain of being the PC was overwhelming.

The hot water felt good on tense muscles, when Jamie stepped out he felt refreshed. He heard his father's voice downstairs and his wife's delicate laughter. Jamie threw on some sweats and head down. Lila had arrived a few minutes ago. "Mom the house looks amazing. Where's Dad?"

"Dad's right here," Jamie replied going to hug his little girl. "You know how much your mom and I must love you to be hosting this shindig right?"

Lila laughed, "It's not my fault I fell in love with him, Daddy. You told me you can't control who you fall in love with cause if you could, you and Mom would never have fallen in love."

Jamie laughed, she always used that card. "I did say that…" He reached over Eddie's shoulder and took a bite of the dip she was stirring. "Oh honey, that is so good…" He kissed her head. "That goes with the bread?"

"Yes and the caterers will set up. Linda is going to be here to supervise that so we can see the graduation."

Lila smiled, her favorite thing about her family was how the always had each other's back no matter what. Her parents had been supportive of her relationship with Steven even though he was in the fireman's academy and even though she was still in college. She knew it was rough on her Dad to see her growing up so fast but she loved him anyway.

"Danny is coming with us and Jack is already at the venue, he's supervising the security given the Mayor, the PC, and the Fire Commissioner will all be in one place at one time," Jamie reported. "Sometimes I feel like the President traveling around with so much security, I'd rather you have the protective detail not me."

Eddie sighed, "I am not the man in charge of 40,000 police officers. You are and sometimes that means you have to make unpopular decisions."

"Jamie, remember what I told you when you took your oath…you do this job with your head, not your heart. If I did it with my heart, you would have made detective the first year, Danny never would have been in another jam, and neither one of you would have been in harm's way. You can't feel your way through…use your perspective."

Jamie nodded at his father's sage advice. "When is Joey getting here? I thought we were all going over together."

Before Eddie answered, the door opened and shut again. Their son Joseph appeared in his dress uniform, "Mom you made your dip…" He loved Eddie's bacon honey mustard dip.

"I did, I know how much you like it," Eddie replied but slapped his hand away when he tried to taste it. "There will be plenty later, don't mess your uniform. It's almost time to go."

Jamie held Frank's arm as they headed to the SUV that was now his main ride. Jamie missed driving himself and his family places under his own power, this was just one of many sacrifices he made at commissioner. Frank was still remarkably spry for his ninety-two years. He napped more often and used a can for balance but all in all he was doing great and would live a good many more years guiding his family. "Commissioners," Jamie's driver greeted as they got into the car and headed over the bridge to the ceremony in the City.

As Jamie watched the next class of New York's Bravest take their oath to serve he observed his own family. To his right was Eddie, always at his side since the day he met her outside the twelfth. The years had done nothing to diminish her beauty. The medications that she had taken over the years to prevent a recurrence of her cancer had put a few extra pounds on her and she had cut her trademark blonde locks into a short more wavy style, but Jamie still loved her as much as the day he first kissed her outside her building. Their youngest child, Lila sat at her side. She was the image of her mother, blonde curls, bright blue eyes, but she had Jamie's 1000 watt smile that lit her entire face when she bestowed it upon someone. She'd been doing that a lot over the last year since she met Steve that made Jamie just a bit nervous.

On Lila's other side was Joey. They had, since he'd become a police officer, taken to calling him Joe, but to Jamie and Eddie, he'd always be their sweet little boy, their first born son. He too favored his mother in look as well as in temperament. While Jamie was quick to take offense he was also quick to forgive. Joey would let it simmer and fester, he carried a grudge. He was carrying one against Jamie for a year now, but lately he seemed to be coming around.

Danny sat on Joey's right. He had celebrated his 70th birthday not very long ago. He looked great for his age and all he'd put his body and his mind through in 40 years on the job. There was no prouder moment in Danny's life as a father than when Jamie named Jack as his Chief of Department. He hadn't had that long a time on the job, but flew through the ranks with remarkable speed on his own merits. Jamie wanted someone he trusted to be at his side. Danny's marriage to Linda was strong as ever. Jamie didn't think he'd ever find a marriage that worked better than his parents until Danny and Linda and now his marriage to Eddie.

His dad sat at the far end. Frank was 92 years old but still a formidable presence for the family. When things weren't' going well for any one of them they could still go to him for love and support. Jamie was so glad that he had his father's guidance in his life. Becoming commissioner was never a dream of his, Chief of D's was but here he was. He stood holding Eddie's arm as the processional began, Jamie was still very solicitous of her and treated her like a gentleman especially in public.

This year's class wasn't that big, only about 50 cadets were graduating so the ceremony was short and sweet. Steve's last name was Tenney so he was near the back of the pack when it came to getting his credentials.

He found Lila even before finding his friends. Jamie found it pretty sad his parents didn't come to see him graduate. Steven took her in his arms and kissed her deeply. "My mom and dad have a party at the house for you and we've invited a few of your classmates like I promised." Lila slid her arms around his shoulders and kissed his cheek.

"Thank you, Mrs. Reagan, Commissioner Reagan," Steven said to Eddie and Jamie as Eddie hugged him offering her congratulations. "It seems like yesterday it was you, Joe, from the police academy, but no one is perfect. And how many times do I have to ask you to call me Eddie."

Steven smiled at her then turned to Jamie, "Jamie, I'd like to have a word with you back at the house and Mr. Reagan too."

"That's Commissioner Reagan to you,' Jamie corrected. This smoke eater was far too touchy feely with his little girl and now he wanted to have a word with him and Frank alone. That felt too scary and too familiar. "Yes, I have a few minutes to speak to you."

Steve was scared now and Lila was shocked, "Dad, we've been dating for a year, why are you being like that? Mom do something."

Eddie gave Lila a reassuring look. Jamie was like this with all of Lila's boyfriends. He didn't think anyone was good enough for his little girl.

On the ride home, Lila rode with Steven giving Eddie a change to talk to Jamie. "What the Hell was that Reagan?" she asked in the SUV. "That boy was very nice to you, he's always been polite to use both and you just shot him down. That wasn't fair."

"He wants to talk to me and Dad alone at the house later," Jamie told her. "Which only means he needs money of some kind. That's just not the right way to go about it."

"It could mean he's going to propose," Frank piped up. "You went to see Eddie's father in prison to ask for her hand."

"Dad, they've only been together a year and Lila is still in school, they are far too young to get married. Far too young, he'd never even think of that fresh out of the academy."

"Don't be so sure, Jamie," Eddie sighed. 'They've been together over a year and I can tell she is in love with him. IF that is what tonight is about…you know what you need to do, I want to let you sleep in the bed tonight."

Jamie had his marching orders now, Eddie rarely spoke like that, they usually made their decisions together and talked about all their parenting choices, so for her to make it almost an order he knew how serious she was and he knew the only acceptable answer to her demand, "Yes, dear."