Musings at Midnight

by Purple Lacey

Second story in the Angel Girl series.

Standard disclaimers apply. I don't own them and make no money off them. The song "Margaritaville" is not mine but comes from the Jimmy Buffett album..

This is a sequel to my story, Caught by the Odds, where Buck finds out he has a daughter. I never meant to write anymore on the subject but I kept getting more ideas and found I just couldn't leave it alone . So to my suprise it seems to have turned into a series. This story takes place the night he brings her home from the hospital.

As always, thanks to MOG for letting us play with her toys.

"Wasting away again in Margaritaville... Searchin' for my lost shaker of salt... Some people claim that there's a woman to blame... but I know it's my own damn fault."

Buck Wilmington sang softly to the tiny child he held in his arms as he fed her the bottle of formula. The blue eyes that looked back at him were the mirror image of his own. The little girl watched the face of the darkhaired man with solemn intensity as she consumed her midnight meal.

Buck gently set the rocking chair they occupied in motion, watching his daughter watch him.

"Whatsa see, huh?" he asked softly. You see your Daddy? That's right, little darlin'. That's exactly who I am, and you're Daddy's little angel aren't ya? Daddy's little gift from God. Did you know that's where you got your name, darlin'? I named you Angela 'cause God sent you down from heaven just for me.

You know, I always tried to be a good person, but there have sure been a lot of times I messed up. There have been things I did that were wrong and things I should've done but didn't. I have a lot of things that I look back on and regret, but the one thing I could never regret is you. I don't know what I ever did that was so good that God would look down and smile on me like this. I keep trying to pinpoint the one thing I ever did so right that God thought I deserved you, but I haven't found it yet. Maybe that's the point. I guess it's not about the past so much as the future, huh? Maybe he's trying to show me I need to be a better person now, ya think? I really do want to be the kind of person who deserves you, Angel. I want to be the kind of Daddy you need to bring you up right and, to teach you all you need to know to get along in this mean old world. I don't ever want you to look back and be sorry God picked me to be your Daddy.

Daddy. I never thought I'd ever be anyone's Daddy. Didn't even think I wanted to be. I was just going along with my life, working and having fun with the guys, and the ladies of course," he grinned, "never realizing what I was missing. You were a big surprise, Angel girl, a big surprise. If anyone would have told me I'dever be getting up at midnight to feed a baby and loving every minute of it, I'd probably have laughed in their face. But look at me now. I wouldn't trade this for all the gold in the world. Who'd a thought it." Buck chuckled quietly.

"I'm not the only one though, am I? You've already got all six of those big softies wrapped around your little finger, don't cha?" Buck grinned. "You don't think I missed the way those big bad federal agents were falling all over themselves for a chance to hold you when we brought you home from the hospital today, do ya? If we're not careful you'll never be learning to walk 'cause they'll be toting you around so much your feet won't ever have a chance to touch the floor," he laughed.

"You'll have to cut Chris a little slack at first though. Seeing you reminds him of what he lost, and that's gonna take a little time to get over. I was sure glad he said okay when I asked him if I could give you Sarah for a middle name. She really meant a lot to me. I just know she's gonna be your guardian angel, her and Adam both. I know the big guy seemed a little stand-offish at first today, but I can tell he's gonna loosen up real quick. Chris has got a big heart, but it's been busted up real bad and it's kind of sensitive. That's okay, 'cause I can already tell he's about ready to stop seeing Adam everytime he looks at you, darlin'. Now he's starting to just see Angela, our little sweetheart. And you watch, you're gonna wind up being his sweetheart. He's not gonna be able to help himself. He's my oldest friend and I know him. You just wait and see. I don't mind sharing you with him. I've got a lot to learn about this Daddy business, and he's the best teacher around. I always thought he was a terrific daddy. I 'm pretty lucky to have him as an example to follow considering I never knew my own father.

And Vin! He certainly seemed to know what he was doing when he was changing that diaper for you this afternoon. I don't know where he learned so much about babies, but he sure learned well. I think that boy has been keeping secrets from us, Angel. I surely do! We're gonna have to dig a little deeper into that mystery, don't you think?

I know we certainly don't have to worry about your health with Nathan around. Did you see that calendar he brought Daddy? He's circled all the dates Daddy needs to take you in for your check ups and immunizations in big red circles, so Daddy doesn't forget. Now don't fret about the shots. I know neither of us is gonna like that, but you have to bite the bullet on this one, Angel girl, 'cause we don't want you getting sick. Daddy will be there with you, and I promise to kiss it and make it better, just like my mama did for me. If I know Nathan, he'll probably be right there, too, making sure they do it right. Maybe they'll let Nathan do it himself. That' be okay, 'cause I know we could trust Nathan to be especially careful with you, darlin'.

Now, I don't want you to let Josiah's size scare you, Angel, 'cause the biggest thing about him is his heart. You can't find a bigger marshmallow than Josiah . He's a good man, though he does have of something of a temper. You don't see it very often 'cause it's hard to get him riled but believe me it's there. I don't reckon that's a side of him you're gonna see much of cause he'll probably be too busy telling you stories of all the places he's been and the people he's seen, and you really should pay attention, Angel, 'cause he can teach you a lot. He's already taught Daddy a lot.

I already know you're gonna love Ezra, all the kids do. Kids just seem to see through him to the man he really is inside. There's another big marshmallow hidden behind that that poker face . He tries hard to hide that gentle side from the world, but we've all seen it sneak out a time or two when he lets his guard down. That's usually when somebody's hurting. I can't say that I blame him much after meeting his mother, Maude. I can look on her as an example of how not to be a parent. She never let Ezra have anything resembling a normal childhood, which is a real shame, but you know what? I think Ez's gonna love sharing yours, sweetheart. I think you're gonna be real good for him. You just be careful about what you let him teach you, okay? I don't want any trips to the Principal's office because you were scamming kids out of their lunch money playing poker on the playground," Buck joked softly.

"And then there's JD. He's the little brother I never had but always wanted, did you know that? He's the best man I've ever known, Angel, and he's smart, too. He's always amazing me with the things he knows and the way he looks at things, although I sure don't let him know how much he impresses me. We don't want him to get to big a head, do we? I tease him a lot about how young he looks, 'cause let's face it, he looks like he still belongs in high school, but you know there's no one else I trust more to back me up when the bullets start flying, and more importantly, I would trust him with you, Angel. I know he' do anything he had to to keep you safe. That kid's got more courage than anyone else I know. That kinda scares me sometimes though 'cause I never want to lose him, Angel. He's too important. He's loyal too. Just look at how he's standing by the two of us. You moving in here is gonna have a major impact on his life, Angel. Now, I'm not saying that's a bad thing, that's just the truth of the matter. It's changed the way we usually do things around here, for sure. He could've moved out and not dealt with any of those changes, but he didn't even hesitate. He just told me we were in this together and he wasn't going anywhere. You see what a good friend he is? How many guys do you know that would completely re-arrange their lives to accomodate one small baby that wasn't even their own blood, hmm? Well I guess you couldn't answer that one since you've only met the seven of us so far, but believe Daddy when he tells you that there aren't many out there. He's the best. They all are. You couldn't ask for better.

I'm gonna try my best to take care of you, Angel. I promise, and Daddy always keeps his promises. I guess we're both lucky that we've got six of the best men ever put on this earth to help us out. They're part of our family, Angel. They love you as much as I do. Well, almost. I don't think anyone can love you as much as I do, but they come close."

Buck lifted the sleepy baby up to his shoulder and gently rubbed her back until she gave a little burp.

"Looks like someone is ready to go back to bed. I think we have a date for around two o'clock , darlin'. I'll see you then." Buck rose from the rocking chair to place the sleeping child in the crib, then bent over to place a gentle kiss on her cheek before raising the side rail, "Sleep tight, Angel."

JD silently shut the bedroom door and slipped away unnoticed by the room's occupants. He chuckled softly as he turned the power off on the digital video recorder he held in his right hand. If someday their little Angela ever had cause to wonder if she was loved, she would have visible proof of exactly how much love one big man could have for one tiny girl.

The End

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