Summary: Marriage can lead to a terminal case of…children!
Disclaimer: I do not own the charcters of TS. If I did I'd take much better care of them!!! They are owned by Pet Fly and Paramount.
Henri Brown fairly bounced out of the elevator and into the bullpen of Major Crimes, several small, pink and blue boxes in his hands, a wide grin on his face.
The detective went to Rafe's desk. "Have a cigar, partner."
"A cigar? You don't smo…wait, this is candy; like the kind you get in the hospital when someone…has…a…baby." The meaning of his words slowing sinking in, "A baby! Congrats, partner. Hey, guess what guys…"
Brown just grinned wider and nodded his head. "We're six weeks along and healthy."
"Shelia's pregnant?" Said Taggart, accepting the candy cigar Henri handed him.
"So ol' Henri Brown is going to be a daddy," Jim said with a smile. "Congratulations."
"A baby, huh. Big responsibility there partner; you barely made it through the wedding without hyperventilating. How you think you're going to handle fatherhood?" Rafe teased.
"Hey, I figure I've got in some practice just keeping up with hairboy, here." Henri said, reaching out to ruffle Blair's curls.
"Ha. Ha. That is so not funny, Brown. You try to change my diaper and give me a bottle and we are gonna have some serious problems, here." Blair shot back good-naturedly.
Blair noticed a sudden glint in his sentinel's eye. "Jim. What is it, man?"
Jim gave a wicked smile. "Just thinking…a playpen. Hey, guys, do you think they make 'em big enough for wayward anthropologists?"
The other detectives burst out in a new round of laughter at the horrified look that crossed Blair's face. "Oh, no, guys. Don't even go there."
EIGHT MONTHS LATER
"Yo, this is Brown." Said the dark skinned detective absently as he scooped up his ringing phone.
Rafe's head shot up when he heard a loud gasp from his partner and watched as Brown got up and began pacing around his desk. "Hey, baby…you sure…now. Okay, ohboyohboyohboy….okay, yea, breathe…yea, okay…oh boy oh boy oh…."
Brown stopped pacing and handed the phone out to his partner. Rafe gingerly took the phone from his agitated partner. "Hello? Oh, hi Shelia…it is, okay. Yea, I will, promise. See you there…bye."
Rafe hung up the phone and turned to his shell-shocked partner. "Brown. Henri. I'm going to go tell the Captain what's going on then I'll drive you to the hospital. Go get our jackets okay -- can you handle that buddy?"
Brown nodded and turned to retrieve their jackets from the rack. "Jackets. Yea, jackets. I can do jackets."
Rafe heard Henri mumble as he started across the nearly empty bullpen towards his Captain's office. Rhonda was all ready up, shooing him away, a smile on her face. "I take it from Henri's panicked look that it must be time? You go ahead, get Henri out of here, I'll tell Simon what's going on."
The elevator doors parted to reveal Sandburg and Ellison. The sentinel was on instant alert when he noticed Brown's to rapid breathing and heart rate. "Brown?"
Rafe smiled at his friends. "Nothing to worry about guys, we're just having a baby today. Shelia just called, we're on our way to the hospital."
"Congrats there Henri," Blair said enthusiastically, pounding Brown on the back.
"Huh…what?" He said looking at his friend dazedly. "Yea, right! Baby…hospital…"
Rafe just chuckled as he led his partner into the elevator. "Come on partner, let's get you out of here."
"Ellison." Jim greeted as he answered the phone. "Hey, Simon…and…good, and Henri? He what? They did. Okay, Simon. See you in the morning."
Jim was shaking his head and chuckling as he hung up the phone.
"Well?" Blair asked expectantly. "What's so funny?"
"Baby's fine. Shelia's fine. Henri was admitted…" Jim rattled off.
"Admitted! To the hospital?" Blair exclaimed.
"He, uhm, he passed out…hyperventilated. Hit his head -- concussion." Jim explained.
"That's rough. He's gonna be all right though?"
"Yea, they just thought it be best to keep him for observation. Let him calm down a bit."
The next afternoon Jim and Blair took a long lunch to go to the hospital and see the newest member of the 'tribe'.
"So, how's the new mother?" Blair inquired as he bent down to give Shelia a peck on the cheek.
Shelia smiled. "Actually, I feel great. Have you got a look at my beautiful little girl?"
"Not yet," Jim replied. "We thought we'd come check on mom…and dad. So where is the proud, if somewhat klutzy, daddy?"
"Hey, I heard that," said a voice from the door. "Meet Marissa Lynne Brown."
The proud father wheeled the bassinet over to his wife's bedside. "Look…a baby! My baby!" Henri grinned widely, pointing to the small, sleeping bundle.
"Yea, Henri, it's your baby," Blair chuckled, giving the big man a pat on the back. "Are you sure your heads all right?"
"Come here, baby, and sit down before your fall down—again." Shelia directed her husband, patting her bed. "Try to remember to breathe today."
"I'm breathin' just fine woman," Brown pouted.
"Oh, Shelia, girl, you have got your hands full; and now with the new baby, too."
Henri glared at Blair as Shelia laughed and patted her husband on the back. "Oh, he's worth the trouble. When he stops grinning like a fool he might even be helpful."
"Hey…" Henri sputtered.
"Hand me my baby girl there, daddy."
"Uh…" Brown looked down at the now squirming bundle with no small amount of trepidation.
"Henri! She's just a harmless, little baby. She won't bite." Shelia gently chastised her husband. "Now, we practiced all this in those child care classes we took; now, pick up your daughter and hand her to me."
"But…but, she's…moving! Those other babies didn't move around like that!" He exclaimed, pointing down at his daughter.
"Henri, those were dolls," Shelia said with exasperation.
Feeling sorry for the big detective, Blair stepped over to the bassinet. "Look, Henri, watch me. You just put your hand under her head and neck like this, then, put your other hand behind her lower back. Then you bring her to your chest like this; or you can hold her under her arms like so, still supporting her head and neck, and put her over your shoulder."
Jim watched Blair's ease in handling the newborn with some amazement and no small amount of amusement. "And just how is it you know so much about how to handle babies there Chief? Something you need to tell us about?"
"Ha, ha, Jim. Naomi and I stayed in a lot of communes. Free love leads to a large case of children," Blair explained with a chuckle.
Turning to Henri, Blair placed the wiggling baby in his arms, staying close in case Henri panicked. "See how easy. Now it's your turn daddy."
They all watched with amusement as Brown stood stock still with terror, the wiggling bundle now adding crying to her repertoire of ways to torture her unsure, terrified father. "She's crying!! Now what?"
"Lay her so she's resting across your lower arm and hold her closer to your chest so she feels more secure." Blair directed, helping him maneuver the baby to a better position. "Now sway a little bit, side to side, the rocking motion helps calm most infants down."
Brown looked down at his unhappy daughter, his eyes softening; his stance a little less tense. "What is it, my baby, girl? Daddy's girl is unhappy. What can daddy do to fix it, huh…"?
"Oh to have a camera," Blair commented mischievously.
Without looking up from his baby, Brown shot out. "Watch it Hairboy!"
"Come on, Chief, we've stayed long enough," Jim directed his partner. "And you, daddy, you take care of that little girl."
Not getting a response from the man, Jim turned to Shelia. "You take care of yourself."
"You bet. Thanks for stopping by guys, and thank you Blair. I think Henri is staring to get the hand of it now."
3 WEEKS LATER
"Hey, guys, look who's here!" Blair caller out to the bullpen in general when he noticed Henri, Shelia and the baby get off the elevator.
"Hey partner…how's fatherhood treating you?" Rafe asked, rising to greet his partner with a hearty handshake and pat on the back.
Henri plopped down in his desk chair, a big yawn nearly drowning out his answer of fine.
"You'd think a man who can stay up all night in some boring old stake out could manage a few 2 am feedings," Shelia teased, sitting on the edge of Henri's desk.
"Here. Here, have a chair," Blair said, wheeling Jim's chair over to Shelia. "How are you doing?"
Shelia moved to the chair. "Other than being exhausted -- fine."
"May I?" Rhonda asked, holding out her arms to Shelia.
"Of course." Shelia answered, handing over her sleeping bundle. "That's why we're here, besides some paperwork for personnel, daddy was getting antsy to show off his 'little princess'."
Everybody gave a chuckle, and Brown, for his part, just took the good-natured ribbing with a huge smile. "Well now, have you ever seen anything as 'beautiful' as my daughter?"
"No, don't guess we have," Simon agreed with a smile, remembering his awe at the birth of his own son, Daryl. "Why don't we go get that paperwork straightened out while these big old cream puffs 'oh and ah' over the baby."
Henri followed his Captain into the office and plopped heavily into a chair at the conference table. Simon grabbed the file off his desk and handed it to his detective, a smile on his face. "Tired, huh?"
"Yea, tired," Brown answered distractedly, never making a move to open the file, his gaze going out into the bullpen.
Simon sat down on the edge of the table and rested a hand lightly on Henri's shoulder. "Is there something wrong Henri? Do you and Shelia need more time?"
"No. Yes. I don't know…"
"I know it's a bit overwhelming, but it does get easier," Simon comforted, then added with a rueful chuckle. "That is, until they reach puberty. Then it's a whole new ballgame."
"Does it?" Brown asked solemnly, never taking his eyes off his daughter, who was now in Ellison's arms. "I stare at her: sleeping so peacefully in her crib, so innocent, so vulnerable. I'm terrified to come back to work, but I'm even more afraid what her world will be like if I don't."
Henri suddenly turned and locked eyes with his friend. "How do you do it, Simon? How do you handle that fear, the uncertainty?"
Simon sighed, his hand again coming to rest on Henri's shoulder. "That's not an easy question to answer. I'm not sure you'll find comfort in anything me or anyone else can tell you. You're looking for guarantees. I can't give you that; no one can."
"I know." Henri said quietly, looking away.
"Henri, every parent feels the way you do. It's not the cop in you that feels this way; it's the father in you. You don't have to be a cop to see what goes on out there on those streets. We keep them as safe as we can from the obvious dangers and hope we've given them enough love and guidance to recognize the more subtle dangers." Simon tried to explain to the new father.
"God, it would be easier to walk through mine field than do this fatherhood thing," Henri groaned.
Simon chuckled and got up from the table. "You'll have to ask our resident bomb expert on that -- he's done both."
Henri gave a snort and reached for the file to file out the waiting paperwork; Simon, meanwhile, went to stand by his office window, looking at the throng of 'tough' detectives still huddled around the baby, who was now in Joel's experienced hands.
Simon smiled. "You'll do fine Henri. You just got to trust yourself. Besides, from the looks of it the kid's going to have so many 'uncles' looking out for her she'll never get a chance to get into any trouble."
Henri closed the file and went to stand by his captain to watch his friends and colleagues in the bullpen fussing over his daughter. "Thanks, Simon. Now I think I better go get my baby girl away from all those 'tough' guys out there."
"Go on, get out of here. You've got what, two more weeks to stay home and enjoy that baby girl of yours. And believe me, enjoy her now, before she's old enough to talk back." Simon said, waving Brown towards the door.
Brown came out into the bullpen in time to see Blair lift the baby out of Joel's arms and hold her up in front of him. "What are you doin' to my little girl, there, Hairboy?"
"Blair is explaining about the naming rituals of some South American tribe," Shelia started to explain.
"Yea, well she's all ready got a name. Stop wavin' her around like she's some sort of flag," Brown grumbled, taking the baby from Blair.
"Whoa. Look who's in full blown 'over-protective daddy' mode," Blair teased.
Shelia laughed and rose from the chair, relieving Henri of his bundle. "I think you've had enough excitement for one day…and the baby needs a nap, too."
"Yea, hey, wait. What do you mean 'and' the baby needs a nap, too?" Henri sputtered, following his laughing wife out of the bullpen and to the elevator. The Sentinel of the City tracked his fellow 'warrior' and his family to the relative safety of their car.
****If I think of anything else to do to ol' Henri or anyone has an idea of any new torture to put 'daddy' Henri through drop me an e-mail!******