One Year Later
The summer warmth was passing into the early days of Autumn and a chill was beginning to come with sheets of rain that fell each day. It was wanting to keep away from the chilly, wet weather that led us to be grouped in the canteen this afternoon. Not that there was any other place we’d rather be, as the entire Watch’s attention and focus was on the little baby girl that was showing off her latest milestone as she pulled herself into a standing position, before promptly losing balance and falling back into her mother’s waiting arms with a cheerful giggle. With her father’s dark hair, and the mixed silvery blue eyes of both parents combined, there could never be a question over who’s little girl this was, and she was so precious.
“Well done Harriet.” Lacey cooed, from beside her.
“I can’t believe she’s getting so big.” I laughed, crouching down and sweeping her into my arms, smiling as she let out a happy shriek.
“Tell me about it. But big also means mischievous.” Em chuckled, tucking her long blonde hair behind her ear.
There was a loud laugh from everyone as they crowded around, fussing over the beautiful little girl now perched on my hip.
“What did you expect with her father?” Cain teased.
“Just wait until she’s a teenager.” Cassie added, holding her arms out to take her next.
“Oh dear god, don’t go there. I don’t think I’ll ever be ready.”
“At least you’ve got all of us to help out.” Sam added comfortingly.
We’d made sure to keep our promise and look after Em and Hetty since Dodger passed, and she’d not been without support for even a day over the last year. As her pregnancy had reached the final stages, Cain and Hope had taken her to stay with them, so that she wouldn’t be alone when she went into labour. Much to the hospital’s shock, every single one of us had turned up for the birth, filling the waiting room as we all waited for the moment that the little bundle of joy would make an appearance in the world. Eva and Cassie had been by her side during that time, and once she was born, we all witnessed the moment that she was given her special name: Harriet Ruby Olsen. Named first and foremost after her father, her middle name was in acknowledgement of the huge family that she was now a part of, and that was always going to be there to hold her hand through the steps in life, and tell her stories about her dad.
Em brought her frequently to the station when we were on shift, letting us keep up to date with her various new quirks and milestones. It had been something that had brought everyone together in the best way, even Alex and Cindy were getting closer once again, spending more time as a family with their son, and even being spotted turning up to work together on a few occasions. It had been a rocky road still, and wasn’t without reminders of the loss we’d suffered, but we at least had the knowledge that no matter how dark the days can be, there’s always the potential for brighter ones ahead.
I watched as Hetty was passed to Lacey, and she began to entertain the wriggling baby with playful sounds and small bounces in her arms. She was a natural and I began to daydream about her playing like that with a baby of our own. I knew that it wouldn’t be something for right now, but I was also, finally sure, that I wanted that with her. Afterall, married life was turning out perfectly as far as I was concerned.
It had been six months since we’d tied the knot. We had a small, intimate ceremony at the vineyard where we’d spent our first date. I would never forget how beautiful she looked in the simply elegant dress she chose. The pure white, satin gown fitted to her body perfectly, highlighting her curves and falling into a straight flowing skirt, the cowl neck showed off just the right amount and the thin straps followed around to a low back. I’d watched in awe as she walked towards me in that thing, unable to believe that I was lucky enough to be marrying such an amazing woman who was enchantingly beautiful in every way, inside and out.
“Penny for your thoughts?”
Her voice brought me back to the present as she snaked her arms around my waist and smiled happily.
“I was thinking about our wedding day.” I admitted.
She arched a brow looking at me curiously.
“Best day of my life.” I whispered, “So far.”
“So far?” She laughed.
I nodded, looking over at Em and Hetty, and watching them together.
“What do you think about making one of those someday?”
At first she looked stunned, but as she continued to watch the sparkle of joy that Hetty was bringing to everyone, she softened and nodded slowly.
“I think I’d like that. On one condition.”
“Name it.” I laughed, happy that she was on the same path as me in regards to expanding our family.
“We don’t stop at just one.”
“Deal.” I agreed.
Hugging her tightly, I lifted her off the ground and spun her around, kissing her deeply, feeling more elated than I ever thought possible. I wasn’t sure when that day was going to come. But the promise of it was all I needed for now.
Just as I placed her back on the ground, the bell rang through the station, and Will made a break for it to the office. Quickly saying a hurried goodbye to Em and Hetty, the rest of us rushed to the ground floor, running for the appliances and leaping aboard.
As we sped towards the destination of the shout, I looked down at the newest tattoo that adorned, not only mine, but the rest of the Watch’s forearms. Running a finger over Dodger’s name, and the date alongside it, I cast a glance to my right, catching Lacey’s eye. She gripped my hand, and for a second we acknowledged him, and embraced the comforting thought that he’d be watching over us, seeing to it that we made it home again. Once the appliance came to stop, we bolted out the door, looking up at the raging fire we were about to face.
“I love you, Mrs Knight.”
“I love you too.” She smiled. "Make sure you come back to me."
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