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Late Bloomer

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“I’ll tell you, Charlotte certainly knows how to put on a spread.” Serena responds cheerfully, carrying mugs of tea for both herself and her wife into their lounge. The night after the fifth birthday celebration for Cole, “food was delicious. She said for us to come round tomorrow and grab something extra. I don’t know how she managed. Also, Cole looked absolutely adorable in his little business trousers and shirt, a pair of bucks. Coordinated with Ryan very nicely.” 


“You even gave our son-in-law a compliment, if I remember correctly.” Bernie smirks, raising an eyebrow toward her wife as she accepts the mug of tea from her, “without a single drop of drink in you.”


“He’s a good father where it counts.” Serena nods a little, “when we...take a step back and let them work things out instead of constantly rushing to the rescue.” She takes a seat on the sofa, next to her wife. “Again...I suppose you were correct.”


“Look, I may not have been a good mother as my children were growing up, but I did try to understand them...even if I wasn’t always successful. I do still attempt to make an effort.” Bernie nods a little, “Sometimes I accidentally get things correct.” She wraps an arm around Serena’s shoulders, pulling her closer.


“Oh, I don’t think it an accident at all. I think you’re learning more about they are you. You’re opening yourself up to them, darling. Something you were...afraid to do in the past, I reckon.”


“Never let them see you sweat.” Bernie answers softly, almost absently. “I...had a habit of treating them more like cadets than children. That’s where the issue came in. I couldn’t always separate home life and military life. Not completely...because I’d rush back there. Back away from Wyvern.” 


Serena listens intently, gently rubbing her hand along Bernie’s thigh. Not in any sort of suggestive way, but in an encouraging one. “And now you don’t need to do any of that. Your second life and your first life have somewhat...melted into one.”


“Suppose they have.” Bernie starts to smile a bit to herself, turning her face to softly kiss Serena’s temple. “Our boy turned five today. Can you believe it?” It’s a rhetorical question, not one she expects answered. She continues, “and the grin he had when you gave him his own doctor bag with those...metal and wooden play instruments.”


“I just hope he doesn’t attempt surgery on his brothers.” Serena’s grin grows, “I think my bright spot was seeing his excitement when you gave him the scrubs sets that matched every department in Holby.” She shrugs, “they were all gifts from both of us, but that was your brilliant idea about the scrubs.”


“Marcus thought I was joking when I told him to wear a pair of scrubs to the party.”


“I underestimated just how much Charlotte was going to look like you in those scrubs.” Serena leans her head back a little, turning it to look towards her wife, “if it weren’t for her hair...” She teases, “I may have gotten her confused and brought her home.”


“Come now, I’m not nearly as thin as she is.” Bernie chuckles to herself, “and she was wearing Keller scrubs while I was wearing Trauma scrubs.”


“Yes, but I seem to remember when you started your tenure at Holby, that’s where you were stationed. Before we stole you to keep in AAU, I remember very well...” Serena nods, “who would have thought I’d marry you years later.” She pauses, “I surely didn’t.”


“Oh, that’s right. You thought you were still straight.”


“I always had thoughts and was never really brave enough...until I met you.”


Bernie gives a cheeky smirk, “well, I’m glad I was the one that put you on the turn.”


Serena leans closer, pressing her lips against that of her wife, “I don’t think anyone else could.” Another kiss, “I’ve only ever had eyes for my Big Matcho Army Medic.” A giddy, low toned giggle escapes her lips, glad to be in her wife’s arms. 


“It was also nice to see how interested Jason was with Owen. It probably feels nice to be able to help and speak from experience for him.” Bernie smirks.


“Charlotte said after she told Greta over the phone, they rushed over with pamphlets and a few age-appropriate sensory toys for him. They had previously bought them for Guinevere because they thought, in part because of Greta’s love of statistics, that she’d have autism as well. They prepared. So when she didn’t have it, they just had these toys left over.” Serena nods, “it’s nice to see them both smile. I think Cameron got a good with his mobile camera of them smiling.”


“Good, I’ll demand a copy to frame.” Bernie smiles a bit, leaning her head back comfortable, “we have a really great family, all things considering.”


Serena hums her approval, “we do.” She takes a sip of her tea.


“I never would have imagined we’d be at this point...ever. At least not with myself and my children, we were always in Jason’s good graces...just about.”


“With you, certainly.” Serena smirks, settling a bit more against her wife, “Today was great. Every bit of it.”


“Char was in her element, everyone was relaxed, even Owen. I know the seizure was a wake up call to both of his parents, but it also helped in his diagnosis. I mean...autism can take a while to diagnose at times and it didn’t take them but a week or two to say finally.” Bernie turns her body a bit to face her wife more, “it’s nice when we’re all able to come together to show support.”


“Of course we would.” Serena turns a bit to face her wife as well. She leans forward, gently pressing a kiss to her wife’s lips, “Not only for Owen during his diagnosis, but for Cole...on his fifth birthday. Everyone participated. Even Greta and Guinevere, which I doubted because I needed to explain things several times.” 


“Scrubs feel like pajamas. I was more than happy to oblige.”


“To you.” Serena starts to grin a bit more, “and you wear them well. Really, you could pull off a potato sack and still be the most beautiful woman in the room. It isn’t fair.”


“Maybe when I was younger, but not so much anymore.” Bernie blinks slowly, focusing on her wife, “besides, you were ready to bring Char home instead of me if it weren’t for her hair, remember?”


“Oh, shut it.” Serena leans in, capturing her wife’s lips again, kissing her deeply. Mostly to quiet her teasing, but also because she simply can’t help it. Something about togetherness brings about warmth not only to Serena, but between she and Bernie. Things were finally...right. At least for now.