Briggs started to ask Jessie another question, but he heard the front door slam.
"I'm home!" It was Charlie. "Why are there pajamas on the chair by the bathroom?"
"Umm," Johnny yelled to her from the kitchen. "My bad, Chuck."
Johnny could hear her open the door to the laundry room and he assumed that she threw the clothes into one of the hampers.
She smiled when she walked into the kitchen and saw that Jessie had Johnny and Mike both drawing along with her. Briggs was writing a narrative on the paperwork.
"Where's Paige?" Charlie asked them. "Briggs, shouldn't you both be leaving soon?" She looked at her watch.
"Yep," Briggs said. "As soon as she gets down here we're driving to Sylmar."
"Did Jakes go back to the bus garage?" Charlie asked them. "His truck's not outside."
"Yeah, he was going to see if he could be put on today's shift to get better access to Bus 118 for when the team gets there," Mike explained.
"So you're heading over there yourself, Mikey?" Charlie asked.
"Looks that way, Chuck," he said.
Charlie looked over to Jessie's drawing. "What a beautiful picture of you and Johnny surfing, sweetheart."
"Ohhh," Johnny said comically, "I totally see it now." He looked at Charlie as if the woman had a sixth sense. There was no way she could have known that the picture was two people on a surfboard.
"Is that you and me?" Johnny asked Jessie. She turned around to look at him and nodded. "Oh, and that's my board? Huh... I didn't know my arms could be so long... or so purple."
Jessie smiled at him and picked up the blue marker. She did her best to fill in the bottom half of the picture.
"That's got to be the ocean," Johnny said laughing. He looked up at Charlie, "See? I'm good at this!"
She added some details to the water, which Johnny could only feasibly imagine were her attempts at some fish. She switched out the marker again and the four of them watched her write "Johnny and Jessie Serffing" at the top.
"Can I frame that?" Johnny asked her. She laughed at him and handed it over.
"I have a better idea," Charlie said. She took the picture and taped it to the refrigerator. "We'll decorate the fridge more later, ok?" she said to the girl.
Jessie nodded, but her eyes darted over to the stairs. Paige was dressed in jeans and a simple black t-shirt with her hair pulled back in a bun. Jessie wriggled off of the bench and ran over to her.
"Did I miss anything?" Paige asked the other agents. She scooped Jessie up in her arms, and the girl laid her head down on Paige's shoulder.
"Not too much," Briggs said. "I'll explain on the way over." He was already gathering his stuff together.
"You know," Charlie said to them, "You might all wind up at the same place tonight." She looked at Briggs. "You and Paige should end up at the warehouse, and then hopefully you can call in a TAC team. And if we're right about Carlito using the warehouse as storage for the contraband, then Johnny ends up there too."
"Jakes and I are tailing Carlito and Johnny," Mike added. "So, yeah Charlie, but do you still have to go to the tattoo parlor tonight?"
"Assuming that the plan works... I think I need to stay here, no?" She looked over at the girl, who was still clutching on to Paige.
"Call out sick, Chuck," Briggs said to her.
"Yeah, I'll call in a bit..."
"We should probably head out," Briggs said to Paige.
Paige held Jessie up in front of her. "Be good for Charlie, ok? You're going to have so much fun." She kissed Jessie's forehead and put the girl down. She watched as Jessie slowly walked back over to Johnny at the table.
He got her set up with another piece of paper and some markers.
Paige turned to walk with Briggs out to the driveway, but a little voice halted her footsteps.
"But what, sweetheart?" Paige turned around and was looking to Jessie for her to finish her thought.
She smiled at the girl and tried to keep her body language calm and patient, even though she knew that they were running late on the op. in Sylmar.
Jessie moved her eyes back and forth between Mike and Paige. "You forgot to kiss Mike goodbye." The words were said so innocently.
Briggs, Charlie, and Mike were silent, but Johnny was giggling.
Paige shut her eyes for a moment and took a breath.
"You kissed him goodbye yesterday," Jessie added, trying to make sense of how the adults had reacted to her observation.
"You're right," Paige said. "How could I forget to kiss him goodbye?" She confidently walked up to the table, placed her hand under Mike's chin, titled his head up, and kissed him hard on the lips.
With no hesitation, she followed Briggs out of the house. He knew better than to say anything.
As soon as the door slammed, Mike knew that the attack from Johnny was coming.
"Mikey, Mike! I knew it! You can't hide that shit from me!"
Charlie threw Johnny a look for having said a bad word, but Jessie didn't seem to notice or care.
"Ok, John, ok," Mike said, not amused at all by Johnny's tone. He assumed that Paige's kiss meant that they were on better terms. But then again, maybe she knew that leaving him with Johnny was revenge enough.
"I need to go prep the team for the bus op.," he said standing up from the kitchen table. He looked down at Jessie. "Am I supposed to kiss you goodbye too?" he asked her with a smirk.
She shrugged her shoulders and looked up at him. He chuckled to himself as he leaned down and kissed the top of her head.
He walked over to Charlie on his way out of the kitchen. "See if you can find out any more about the nightmares."
She nodded at him. "Don't let your feelings get the best of you today, Mikey."
He turned away from her and she swatted him with the back of her hand as he stepped out of the kitchen.
She looked back over at the table and saw that Johnny was still coloring. "Don't you have work to go get done?!" she said to him.
He playfully threw the marker down on the table and slid off of the bench. "I'm going, I'm going..."
Johnny trotted up the stairs to his bedroom.
"Are you hungry?"
Jessie looked over at Charlie and nodded.
"Me too," Charlie said with a smile. She took some items out of the fridge and started to make lunch for the two of them. Charlie moved her palm to her belly; she couldn't help thinking that she would soon be making lunches for her own kid.