All things considered, as Fi went from trimester two into trimester three, the pregnancy had been going well.
By week twenty-two she had regained the weight she lost from morning sickness, and had continued from there to plump up nicely.
The baby was doing a pretty good job of not bugging her mom, too much. Sure, she seemed to be under the impression that Fi's bladder was her own personal combination pillow and punching bag, but beyond that, she was behaving.
And compared to some of the horror stories Fi had been hearing, something about a visibly pregnant woman inspires strangers to tell said woman just utterly terrible things, she'd been having it pretty easy.
So, she probably should have figured she was due for something to happen. After all, whenever a job seems like it's going too well, something is about to jump out and bite them.
She was getting dressed to go jogging. She stopped training with Michael when it came to fighting as soon as she learned she was pregnant, but since the doc said pregnancy wasn't a good time to start jogging, but if you were already doing it, there was no reason to stop as long as it didn't hurt, they had kept up with the running.
Fi stood on one foot, and lifted the other to put a sock on. Normally that would be that, put sock on, lower foot, put other sock on, and go run. But this time something happened. She doesn't know what, but she was standing, foot up, sock in hand, and then there was searing pain all down her hip and left leg, and she was on the floor cursing loudly.
Michael was there a second later, worried, picking her up, asking what happened.
She tried, gingerly, to put some weight on her leg, and once again pain went shooting through it.
Five hours later they were out of the Emergency Room with a diagnosis of a strain, and instructions to put ice on her hip and rest.
They are sitting on the bed, her between his legs, back resting against his chest, as he gently rubs her hip and thigh.
"How about Claire Natalie?" Michael asks.
"I like Claire. But..."
"Yeah, I don't actually like Natalie either. It's a bad name for a girl. Natalia isn't much better. I just want—"
"What was his middle name?"
Fi thinks about that. "Ellie? Elise?"
Michael slowly starts to smile. "I like Elise."
"How about Elise Claire? Claire is just mine, but Nate was both of ours."
Michael kisses Fi's temple, and rests his hands on the baby bump. He strokes it firmly, and feels the baby kick in response.
Supposedly, Sam is bringing them to meet a client. Just for a consult. He and Jesse will handle the heavy lifting on this. Mike and Fi are just there to plan.
Supposedly this client is very security conscious, which is why they're going to his place in, from what Michael can see, the Everglades.
And, as they pull into a driveway filled with cars, he sees Sam frown. Someone, and he's guessing in this case, someone is Barry, forgot that if you're trying to set up a proper surprise party for Joe Average, let alone Mr. and Mrs. Superspy, not having everyone parking in the driveway is a good plan.
It's a beautiful house, and it's way off the beaten track, and Michael is certain that's on purpose. Sure, Barry and his mom may have forgotten about the parking situation, but they both understood that this particular combination of guests would need a lot of privacy.
Inside looks like a Mary Kay convention. There's pink everywhere. Pink balloons, pink streamers, pink pillows, pink cake, and in case all of the pink didn't get the idea across, It's A Girl was emblazoned everywhere.
And also inside was a huge group of people, almost everyone he and Fi have helped over the years. He's got no idea how Barry and his mom could have come up with this guest list. It boggles his mind that all of these people are here to celebrate him and Fi having a baby.
And yes, the games are kind of cheesy, and the food could be better, but as he sits there opening a collection of unique baby gifts, he's amazed at how much he loves these people, and how happy he is right that moment. He leans over and kisses Fi, which results in a wave of "Ahhhs" cresting over them, strokes her face, and pets Elise.
And right now, life is awfully sweet.