Detective Jennifer Hendricks waited outside the bathroom stall in worry. "You okay in there?" she asked. She stepped back as the toilet flushed and the door opened. "You look like hell."
Detective Tiffany Chambers glared at her. "Thanks for pointing that out, Jen." She walked to the sink and splashed cold water on her face. "I feel like hell, too."
"Got the flu?"
"No idea," Tiffany answered.
Jenny smiled slightly. "You know, there could be another reason you're sick to your stomach this morning."
"Oh, get real!" Tiffany said, but her hand went automatically to her stomach. "I mean, I can't be."
"If you say so," Jenny replied with a shrug. "That would be a site to see though."
"What would?" Tiffany swallowed as her stomach started to protest again.
"The expression on Carlos' face if it was true." She started to laugh.
Tiffany sighed. "Yeah..that would be a sight...for the whole five seconds it would take for the news to sink in, and for him to be on the next flight outta here."
"Carlos would make a great daddy," Jenny said as the door to the ladies room opened. "Hey, Dani."
Officer Danielle Pritchart nodded a hello. She had heard Jenny's last statement, and wondered what the topic was.
Tiffany put a hand over her mouth. "'Scuse, me," she said as she ran for a stall.
"She sick?" Dani asked. Things suddenly snapped into place when Jenny nodded. Tiff's sick...in the morning...Carlos would make a great daddy...oh, this is a good one!
Tiffany leaned her head against the coolness of the window as Jenny drove. She closed her eyes against the scenery, wishing that her stomach would cooperate with her. She chuckled to herself as she thought about what Jenny had suggested. It was true that Carlos would make a great father, of that Tiffany had no doubt. The only "if" in the whole scenerio was the fact the Carlos had a fear of the word commitment. Sure, they had been together for over six months, but at times she could see the little signs that showed he was not in the relationship for the long haul. Those little signs had been few and far between, but she had still spotted them.
"You awake?" Jenny asked.
Tiffany nodded. "Yeah....hey, could you pull over here? I want to get a ginger ale."
Danielle bounced in her chair as she filled out paperwork. She knew a wonderful secret, and was dying to tell someone. Dani had tried to tell herself that it was not her place to announce such news, but the gossips in her couldn't help it.
Dani jumped slightly. "What?"
Detective Anthony Cortez smiled at her. "Maybe I should ask you that question...you look like you've got a juicy secret, and you're burtsting to tell someone."
Dani laughed. "Well, I suppose...as long as you don't spread it around."
Anthony looked hurt. "Have I ever spread around a rumor you've told me?" He held up his hand. "Wait, don't answer that. Besides, I don't spread them...it's the people I tell that spread them."
"Well...I don't know..."
"Come on, spill!" Anthony crouched beside her chair. "You're never gonna get any work done until you do."
Sounds logical "Guess who's pregnant?"
"Who?" Anthony asked. Please don't let it be Jenny.
Dani seemed to read the expression on his face. "Relax, it's not Jenny."
Anthony sighed. He had a rather large crush on Jennifer Hendricks, and silently hoped that she would break up with Trent Malloy. "Okay, it's not her...who then?" His eyes grew wide. "Tiffany?"
Dani nodded. "I heard her and Jenny talking about it in the washroom this morning."
"Tiffany's pregnant?!" Anthony asked again, a little too loud. Silence fell over the squad room as all looked at him. Oh, shit.
"That was suppose to be a secret!" Dani told him.
Carlos Sandoval dialed the telephone, waiting until someone picked it up. “Detective Chambers, please,” he said. He listened for a few moments. “Okay, thanks.” He hung up and looked at Trent Malloy.
“Not there?” he asked.
“Nope, she’s out.” Carlos leaned back in his chair. “She must be feeling better then.”
Trent smiled. “That’s good. Hey, you want to stop by the station after their shift and take them out to dinner?”
“If Tiff feels up to it, sure,” Carlos said. He picked up the phone and dialed again. “Gonna try her cell phone.”
Tiffany moaned as her cellular phone rang, and she grabbed at it. “Hello?”
“Hi,” Carlos said in a warm voice. “How are you feeling?”
“Like crap,” she admitted. “But better now that you called.” She could hear Trent’s voice in the background.
“Trent wanted to know if you were up to the four of us going out to dinner tonight?” Carlos asked.
Tiffany’s stomach flip-flopped at the thought of food. “Uhh…how about I let you know later?”
“That’s okay,” Carlos said. “If you’re not feeling better, then I’ll take you home and look after you.”
Hidden innuendo dripped off of his words, causing Tiffany to blush. “That would be great,” she whispered. “And if I am feeling better?”
“Then you can look after me,” Carlos laughed.
“Jerk!” Tiffany joked. “Oh, we’re here…I’ll talk to you later.”
Captain Simon Transerpt sighed as he walked by a desk. He stopped, and looked at the small basket. “What is that?”
Dani smiled up at him. “That’s for the baby.”
“Tiffany and Carlos’,” she said.
Simon’s eyes grew wide. “They’re expecting?” He pulled out his wallet when Dani nodded and put a ten dollar bill in the basket. “What are you going to buy with it?”
“A plane ticket for Carlos!” someone yelled. “He’s bound to bolt sooner or later!”
Tiffany sipped on her ginger ale, grimaced, then put the lid back on and shook it. She opened it again and took another sip. “That’s better.”
Jenny pulled out of the parking lot. “You want to stop by a doctor? Make sure there’s nothing wrong?”
“Maybe I should,” Tiffany agreed. “I think there’s a clinic a few streets over.”
“Got it.” Jenny turned at the corner.
Trent Malloy put the phone down, and looked at his business partner thoughtfully. "Hey."
Carlos looked up from the newspaper. "What?"
"That was Anthony Cortez." He motioned to the phone.
"Okay," Carlos replied, "you're point being...?"
"He asked me," Trent paused to clear his throat. "Uhh...well,..." Trent scratched his head, not knowing how to word what he had to say.
Carlos looked arched an eyebrow at him. "Having trouble speaking today, Trent?" He smiled, amused. "Try breathing...in, out, in, out," Carlos said as he breathed. "Like that." He laughed.
"Carlos...I think you better sit down for this one."
"Why?" Carlos asked in a worried tone. "Is everything all right?"
"I'm not sure," Trent admitted. "Anthony called to see if I knew when the baby was due." He soundly slightly confused.
Carlos stared at him. "Come again?" He shook his head. "I'm sorry...I must have heard you wrong."
"That's what he asked."
Carlos squirmed slightly in his seat. "My baby..." A look of astonishment crossed his face as he bolted upright. "My baby!?....Oh, God! That's why Tiff's sick today!?"
"You mean you didn't know about this?" Trent asked.
"Of course not!" Carlos' voice cracked.
"Well?" Jenny asked as Tiffany walked out of the doctor's office.
Tiffany breathed slowly. "Seems that I have to stay away from King's Chicken Palace."
"So I found out," Tiffany replied as she got in the car. "Doc says to take it easy for the rest of the day."
"Wanna head back, and see if Cap'll put you on a desk?"
Tiffany nodded. "Sounds like a plan."
Dani smiled as someone added more money to the growing amount in the basket on her desk. She reached out for the phone as it rang. "Precinct..." she stopped as the other person talked. "Oh, hi, Carlos! No, she's not here....uh-huh, yeah, sure....I'll get her to call you as soon as I see her." She paused. "Oh, and congratulations....Daddy."
Carlos stared at the phone. "She called me Daddy," he whispered. "Oh, God." He hung up, turned away, and turned back just as quickly. He picked up the phone again. "Gonna try her cell again."
Trent smiled in support as Carlos waited. He knew that, although Carlos would make a wonderful father, it might be as an absent one. Commitment and Carlos did not mix well.
Carlos looked at him, panic building inside of him. "She's not....Tiff?!" He said as the phone was finally answered.
"Hi!" Tiffany's voice said. "You've reached Tiffany Chambers. Please leave your name, number, and message at the tone."
Carlos sighed as he waited for the beep. "Tiff, it's me...call me as soon as you get this message....it's extremely important."
"You'e taking this a lot calmer than I thought you would," Trent commented as Carlos hung the phone up.
"Until I hear it from her own sweet lips, then I'm not gonna panic." Carlos put his head on the desk. "I'm not ready to get married."
Trent looked at his, shocked. "Married?"
Carlos raised his head. "Yeah, married." He sat up in his chair. "If, and when I have children, I want to be able to be there for them, 24 - 7. Day in, day out. I don't want to be a weekend father."
"I didn't know you thought that way."
"Sometimes I surprise even myself," Carlos sighed.
"You know, you don't really have to get married to be there for your child," Trent pointed out. "Lots of families today are single parent households." He paused. "And, by saying that you're not ready for marriage shows that you're a lot more ready for it than you think."
"Don't speak in riddles today, please!" Carlos begged.
Trent smiled. "Sorry...what I meant was...because the thought of marriage crossed your mind,..."
"Stop right there," Carlos said as he stood. "You're treading in dangerous waters."
"Sorry," Trent said as he tried to hide his smile.
Jenny passed over the styrofoam cup as she got back into the car. "Here ya go," she said. "Luke warm...just like you ordered."
"Thanks." Tiffany took a sip of the tea and grimaced. "Geeze! How much sugar did you put in this?"
"Three or four teaspoons," Jenny replied as she started the car and pulled into traffic. "Too much?"
Tiffany nodded. "I never put sugar in my tea."
Jenny glanced at her. "This from a person who adds five spoons of sugar to her coffee?"
"Coffee's different," Tiffany said as she placed the cup on the dashboard. "Besides, it's only four I add, not..."
Her words were cut off as a car shot out in front of them at an intersection.
"Jesus!" Tiffany hissed as Jenny slammed on the brakes. She put out her hand as the cup started to slide off the dash, but only succeded in grabbing air. The tea spilled out of the cup and landed straight on her lap. "Shit!"
Jenny grimaced as some of the tea splashed on her shirt. "Aw, damn it! I just had this drycleaned!" She glanced at her partner as she turned on the siren and lights. "Get burned?"
Tiffany shook her head as Jenny started driving. "Get that son of a bitch!" she said as she tried to pick the wet material from her skin.
"I plan on."