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Chapter Text

The telephone trills five times before it's answered. A tiny,
accented voice, obviously an adorable beyond belief toddler
of the female species, yells, "Alo? Alo?! Ho-sit?! Okay-
BYE BYE!", and the receiver is slammed down. This time
READE'S office line rings. "Baby...your Daughter is nuts!"

"Issues abound...What's CRACKIN','"Booty'? What's good?"

"You're on speaker Baby." As verification, Paterson, visiting the
condo on her morning off, pipes up: " 'Booty'! He calls you 'BOOTY',
Tash? Gotta admit, it-the name do fit!"

" 'Sup, Paterson...stop spoiling my Daughter", warns Reade.

"Too late! I've invoked GodMother's privileges, allowing me unlimited
spoiling, as clearly stated in the MADRINA'S handbook, as verified
by Zapata."

Zapata interjects: "She tricked me, Reade!"

Their baby points at the receiver and says "Weed!" Then to her Mother:

"See what you did!", Tasha mocks, her tone friendly, bantering.

"Who is it who has the speaker on, again? I forget," Edgar retorts.

Chapter Text

Two weeks later, The Baby's Grandparents arrive for a visit. They are greeted warmly by all three members of
the Reade-Zapata household. Edgar assists with getting them situated into the guest room (having notified the office
he'd be taking the morning some weeks prior.) Nat, with the spot-light shining directly and solely upon HER, trundles from
adult to adult, bringing building blocks, stuffed animals, rattles, etc

Monica Reade, nodding happily at 'baby babble' of her GrandDaughter, has a question for Nat's Parents. "Any progress on
what we talked about a few weeks ago, Edgar, Natasha? The two of you are adults and fully capable of deciding on marrying
or not without my input; I don't believe that I'm crossing a line asking the question. To settle my own mind."

"Now, Monica...I told you to leave these Children BE about that", Edward Reade Sr interjects. His voice is firm, but gentle.

"Mom,'s a fair question," Edgar says. "We don't have an answer yet, but it is something we discuss regularly. We need
TIME, to think it through. We won't rush into it, neither will we take forever to decide."

Nat, unhappy that the focus is off of her, however temporarily, yips indignantly. "No sea Mala, Usted," (Be a good girl, Ma'am),
Tasha chides her Daughter lovingly. "Crrrreimaht!", she announces, bringing a round of laughter from the adults.

Chapter Text

"She'll not let that die, E...the getting married issue. For myself, I'd prefer that too, but I know<
that young people these days don't always follow the traditions of their parents. You yourself
said it: make up your own minds, in your own time...keeping in mind that your Mom is going to
be 'hot' on that until she gets some sort of answer."

"I know, Pop. We ARE looking at all the pros and cons. All sides. Nat's a handful, and with new threats all
the time, time is somewhat a luxury. It's a longer discussion."

Mr. Reade smiles at his Son, hopeful of easing his mind. 'I'll calm her down-remind her that you and your Brother are
grown Men, fully capable of your own decisions. Buy you some time."

"Thanks, Dad."

"Your Nat is something else, Son. She seems smarter each time we see her. We's love to see her more."

"I'll ask Tasha if she's OK with letting you and Mom taking her one weekend."

"As you Young People say: 'Now THAT'S what's up'," his Father laughs.

Chapter Text

"Your Mom...she feels very strongly about us being married, it seems." This from Natasha Zapata during after
dinner clean-up.

Edgar smiles, recalling his Mother's vehemence. "She's 52, Tash. A modern woman with some traditional ideas.
But-we're NOT going to let my MY PARENTS, your ABUELA, or anyone else determine if and when we marry".

"Our lives, our decision", says Tasha.

"There it is."

Next morning, Tasha is awakened by Edgar rubbing his morning erection against her big bottom. She lifted her leg slightly to
let him enter her from behind. Playing with her boobs and biting her neck, he thrust deeper and deeper into her, trying not to think
about returning to the NYO. When he off-loads his hot cum quietly and deeply inside her, they cling to each other like two ship-wrecked
sailors on an open sea. After an hour nap, they rise and shower together.

At the office, no tattoos pop right away, however a Chinese-backed human-trafficking ring engages NYPD and SWAT in a shoot-out in
Chinatown. A Federal building is involved, motivating the CIRG (Critical Incident Response Unit) to deploy...on scene, Reade, Zapata,
and Agents Ross and Clarke make their way to the rear; Weller, Jane, Mitchell, and Morales flank through the left side of the building.
They are met with immediate aggressive action-Jane and Morales put down two of the gang members: Weller wounds a third. Morales
takes control of the wounded thug, while the other three continue on...

"Everyone down!", Zapata yells suddenly, just as a spray of bullets clang off of the walls and floor-two hit Agent Ross (vest and calf), and
Reade and Zapata provide cover fire while Clarke drags their comrade to safety and begins first aid. In the course of the short gun-battle,
three of the five ambushers are killed or wounded, the other two continue to direct a sustained hail of bullets toward the Agents...

Weller, Jane, and Morales have gained access and are working their way toward stairs leading to the lobby level; once there, they discover
three of the Triad's muscle taking cover at the security station...and they have a hostage. One of them shouts: "滚开! Gǔn kāi! (GET OUT!)

Weller looks at Jane...she yells back: 我们做不到!Wǒmen zuò bù dào! (We can't do that!) 联邦调查局特工! Liánbāng diàochá jú tègōng!
(FBI Agents!) 放下武器! Fàngxià wǔqì (Put down your weapons!) All three open fire, in response. Weller triggers his shoulder mic: "S.W.A.T. you have eyes on the lobby security desk?!"

S.W.A.T Leader Luis Santos: "Hold one, Weller-Li do you have eyes?"

Sniper Evan Li: "Affirmative, Command"

Santos: "Cioli?"

Sniper Bobby Cioli: "Negative, Command, moving to acquire."

1 minute, twenty seconds later: Command, Cioli-target acquired"

Santos: "Stand by, Weller...Li, Cioli-TAKE THEM DOWN!"

At nearly the same instant, two of the barricaded thugs drop, with blood spouting from catastrophic head wounds...the third ejects
the clip from his automatic rifle and tosses it out in front of the desk. The three agents surround and apprehend the 'perp'; Weller
contacts the Emergency Response Sniper Team: "Thanks, Santos-good shooting, guys...stay up until AD Reade relays further, OK?"

"Copy, Weller."

Reade, Zapata, and Clarke meet the other Team in the lobby, having dispatched their enemy combatants after a sustained gun-battle.

A thorough search of the building is fruitless: the Triad Chiefs are gone, if they were ever there. The mop-up is left to FBI and NYPD forensics;
Reade and the CIRG return to the NYO for debrief. None of them depart for home until after 2200hrs (11pm), with instructions to return back
by noon the following day.

Chapter Text

Staring at the the bullet creased vest she's worn in the Triad raid, Tasha Zapata realizes how close she'd come to injury-
serious injury, or DEATH. Leaving the Baby without a Mother, and Reade without a partner...that is not something that she
can live with. She tells Reade that she intends to remain in the office from now on, she can't risk field work, not with Nat in
the picture.

"I'm not arguing against it; I'm asking if you are sure that this is what you want-your skill set, the fact that you LOVE field work-
as long as you've thought about it as much as you need to, I'm behind your decision, 100%."

"It's what I HAVE to do, Reade. I can't take the chance. Now that we have Nat, she's all that matters. I'm doing this for HER, and

"I'll get the paperwork started tommorow."


*From LA To NY*


Howie is still fuming about Maddie's ex-hisband coming by his home, trying to start a fight. Maddie hasn't been able to calm him down,
or get him to see reason. She tries another tack: She asks him: WHERE AM I NOW, RIGHT THIS MINUTE, Howard?! Allow me to answer:
I'M HERE. WITH YOU. Focus on that. I'm not going to let Doug ruin this for me, and you shouldn't either...c'mere...

She kisses him deeply, biting his lips, sucking his mouth and sliding her hand between his thighs to cup his testicles, her expert manipulation of
same cause his nature to rise...her hot replaces her nimble fingers, then her warm, wet mouth...