Sam wearily entered his house after 2am, toeing off his shoes just inside the front door. It was there that he noticed a smaller pair of athletic shoes under where his rested. McNally was there. The rest of the house was quiet and dark, so she was most likely already in bed. Quickly locking the front door and setting the alarm, Sam made his way to his bedroom as quietly as possible.
With a sliver of moonlight coming through a crack in the curtains, Sam could make out Andy curled up on what had become her side of the bed. They'd been working opposite shifts this week, Andy 8-4 and him 4 to midnight. Though they'd only been officially together for about three weeks, this was the second time he'd come home to find her in his bed, waiting for him. He'd headed to the Penny was Oliver and Jerry after shift, but if this was what was waiting for him at home, he was definitely begging off next time.
Pushing off from where he'd been leaning on the door frame, he headed to the bathroom to get ready for bed. She needed to be back at the Barn in less than six hours, but he was sure she wouldn't mind if he woke her up when he got into bed. As he turned toward the bathroom, he noticed a grimace on her face, but as quickly as it was there, it was gone. Thinking he was imagining things, he continue to the bathroom, waiting until the door was shut to flip on the light.
He got ready for bed quickly, pausing to look at her in the glow of the bathroom light one more time, before flicking it off. Damn, she was beautiful. But there it was again, her face was scrunched up like she was in pain. It didn't unfold nearly as easily this time. He hadn't heard about any incidents on shift involving McNally and she hadn't mentioned anything as they had passed in the hallway at shift change. He crawled into bed behind her, trying not to disturb the mattress too much, but she turned on her back, turning her head to face him anyway. He lay propped on his side, supporting his head with one hand while the other lay between them.
"Hey," she half-whispered, eyes still sleepy. "What time is it?"
"A little after 2. I went to the Penny after shift. I didn't realize I had a bed full of McNally at home," he responded, reaching out to smooth her hair behind her ear with his free hand.
"I was trying to wait up for you…" her words trailed off as her smile became a grimace.
"Baby, what's the matter? Did you get hurt today?" Sam had never been the kind of guy to call a woman "baby," but he was learning all kinds of things about himself as he navigated this relationship with Andy.
"No, nothing like that," she said, as she shook her head against the pillow. Now she looked embarrassed, confusing him even further.
"Well, you're obviously in pain, so what happened?"
"It's just…" Andy turned her head to stare up at the ceiling. "I've got really bad cramps right now. I took some Motrin earlier, but it hasn't really helped. I don't want to take anymore because you can only take two every six hours and I don't want to get an ulcer..." Her words came more rapidly as she tried to explain.
And it all clicked into place for Sam. He'd seen that look on her face before. They'd been riding together for over a year and he could always tell when she was a bit off. Though the male officers knew it was not something to be talked about with their female partners or with each other, it was always pretty obvious when it was that time of the month. Or at least Sam knew when Andy was suffering. A sugary coffee and a frosted donut would usually get him through the worst of it, but some days, it was just better to keep his head down and wait it out. Of course, now he was the boyfriend, not just the partner and hopefully, that meant he could be more obvious in his problem-solving for her at this time of the month.
"...anyway, I didn't bring my heating pad over and you don't seem to have one, not that I was snooping in your stuff..."
"McNally, take a breath. It's fine. I usually use those disposable ones you can heat up in the microwave, but I'm pretty sure I used the last one a few months ago, after playing basketball with the guys."
She still wouldn't look at him, so using his free hand, he tilted her chin back toward him, waiting until she made eye contact before continuing. "I'm sure the liquor store around the corner has something. Let me just throw my clothes back on and I'll be back in ten minutes."
Sam pushed himself into a sitting position. Then he felt a hand on his arm. "No, that's okay. Just stay."
It didn't take much convincing to get Sam to lay back down next to her. He would do anything for Andy, but he'd much rather lay her than go back out in the -2 degree weather to the liquor store around the corner. He propped himself back up on his arm, reaching over to rub his other hand on her stomach. She gave a small sigh.
"Okay, so what can I do?" Sam wondered aloud, as her face was still pinched.
"Nothing, I'll be fine. The first twenty-four hours are the worst, but after that, it's a cake walk." Andy smiled up at him, but Sam got the distinct impression she was trying to convince herself as much as she was trying to convince him.
Sam was struck with an idea. "Turn over on your side."
"Roll over, facing away from me."
Andy furrowed her brow, but did as he bade. Sam pulled her up against him, spooning her entire back. Andy wasn't really a cuddle-sleeper, but he hoped this would help. Using the hand draped over her, he worked his palm under her sleep shorts, resting it just below her belly button.
"Um, Sam, I don't mean to be a buzzkill, but I'm not really in the mood for…um…"
"Shhh, relax. I don't have a heating pad, but maybe this will help until you can fall asleep."
Andy sighed again and then seemed to burrow closer back into him. He splayed his hand on her abdomen, trying to get as much coverage as possible. Soon, her breathing even out and her features lost their strained quality. As he felt himself start to drift off to sleep, he found himself thinking about another scenario where he would be holding her like this, feeling their unborn child kick under his hand. He gave himself a mental shake. Where had that come from? They'd been dating for three weeks. Besides, he definitely wasn't a kid person. But as he lay there, listening to her deep, even breathing, he realize there were a lot of things that he hadn't thought he was, but Andy McNally definitely made him want to try. A smile ghosted across his face as he felt sleep claim him. Maybe one day...