Sentry by SLWalker
Summary: (2256) - Corry comes home after a very long day to a peaceful house.
Categories: Original Series Characters: Corrigan, Andrew (Corry), Hanson, Abigail, Scott, Montgomery (Scotty)
Genre: Family
Warnings: None
Challenges: None
Series: Arc of the Wolf: Uncategorized, Arc of the Wolf
Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes Word count: 1248 Read: 1401 Published: 17 Jul 2013 Updated: 17 Jul 2013

1. Chapter 1 by SLWalker

Chapter 1 by SLWalker
Coming home to a genuinely quiet house was not something that Andrew Corrigan was all that used to. Nonetheless, when he stepped in, shaking the rain out of his hair, the house was very quiet -- a low mumbling from the vidscreen in the livingroom, and the sound of the rain batting against the front of the house and the windows. No shrieked, "Dada!" No, "Ahbababab!" No, "Make sure you wipe your feet."

Then again, he was getting home a bit late. They'd been on a good lead down in Maryland, and several of his students had asked him to stay and help them out. He had called to let Abby know he'd be running behind, but he still hadn't expected to come home to a genuinely peaceful house. He had settled into the fact that so long as he had children, the words 'peaceful' and 'house' wouldn't go together for at least another couple decades.

He stuck his head around the door to the kitchen first. The sight of Abby at the kitchen table, going through data disks with her reader, was an immediate relief. If Abby was sitting and reading, then no one was hurt, dead or otherwise. At least, no one within Abby's circle of protection.

"Hey," he said, quietly, almost afraid to break up the peace he wasn't quite sure how to deal with.

Abby smiled, the corners of her mouth creeping up unbidden on her, though she didn't look away from the screen. "I thought you said you'd be late. Generally, late implies a few hours at most."

"Yeah, well..." Cor grinned, sneaking over to kiss her cheek.

"Yeah, I know," she said, planting a kiss back on his lips when he tried. "Dinner's still in the oven."

"Your cooking, or Scotty's?"

"Mine. But he gave it his stamp of approval."

"Good enough for me." Corry shrugged his jacket off, stepping back out of the kitchen to hang it up. "Everyone already in bed?"

Abby smiled again, shaking her head. "Allie is. Aaron and Scotty are passed out on the couch." She paused there, then chuckled quietly. "Lemme see... the little old lady swallowed the dog twice, but didn't die."

It wasn't hard to understand what she was referring to -- while the lullaby was kinda grim, both of the babies got a kick out of it, and so it had become the most demanded song in Scotty's fairly impressive repertoire. And after the still new Chief Engineer of the Enterprise put in a full day of work on upgrades to his starship in the Fleet Yards, he took the time to commute all the way from orbit, to Augusta, then to South Bristol, only to be accosted by his god-children for a few hours. So, Abby's words were easily translated; probably in an attempt to put Aaron to sleep, Scotty had decided to sing the old favorite, and had ended up falling asleep himself, repeating a line before oblivion.

"I'll take Aaron to bed," Corry said, once he made sure he wasn't going to track mud anywhere else.

"Yeah, I tried." Abby smirked. "Fifty credits says you can't do it."

"You're on."

After about ten minutes of standing there, Corry realized that Abby might actually win that bet. The first thing he had done was go back into the kitchen and ask where the camera was. Abby had informed him that it was too late; she'd already gotten that picture. In fact, ten of them, just to make sure that the moment was captured for all eternity. Then he'd come back with the firm intention of taking his youngest child to bed, regardless of how... well, how sweet the scene was... and then had decisively failed.

What made it sweet was, of course, partly the present reality. Aaron was fast asleep on Scotty's chest, kinda diagonal. Scotty was just as dead to the world, and had a two-armed grip on the baby that was relaxed in sleep, but more then enough to deter a roll-off. Even just in and of itself, it was the kind of thing that made Corry feel warm all the way into his soul.

But in the context of the years, it was something that defied all words.

Corry thought of wolves.

When Rachel had brought her third husband around to visit the baby, then only six weeks old, Abby and Scotty had both instantly bristled. Standing between them, Corry half expected them to start snarling -- two instinctive creatures that could speak volumes with their stances. God knew, he had become quite adept at reading those stances from both of them -- from his wife, from his brother. The new guy, Wayne, made him feel kinda uneasy too. Another of the string of losers that Rach managed to get hooked up with. But the tension on either side of him was off the scale, and both Rach and her hubby beat a retreat quick, mumbling that they hadn't had much time.

Wayne was arrested two weeks later for drug smuggling, and Cor wasn't the least bit surprised. If he didn't know Abby so well, he would have chalked it up to postpartum protectiveness. But her instincts were good, and earned in the worst possible ways. Just like Scotty's.

So, the scene was of his best friend and brother sleeping peacefully with the baby on his chest. But Corry knew that if anything jangled those instincts, Scotty would be on instant alert, instantly ready to kill or die to defend the child he was holding. To defend any of them.

The wolf, guarding his pack. His family.

The sentry.

Corry still called him Wolf sometimes. Not lightly, though; he knew just how much power that name had. What it meant, another of the many things that defied words. It was one name, but it could speak a million things and had in the past. Things that had no words, that were grounded in the most fundamental fabrics that could make people, or break them, or tear them apart...

Or bind them together.

Corry knelt down beside the couch. It was after midnight, and despite knowing that Aaron would be perfectly protected right where he was, Scotty would have to be up early to get back to work. Juggling a sleepy, angry baby at that hour of the morning because he was disturbed would not be a good way to start the day for any of them. Plus, he didn't doubt that Scotty could probably do with a good night's rest; at thirty-four, he still seemed to have boundless energy, but overhauling a starship was real work. As nice as babies served as little heating blankets, not being able to shift around and get comfortable would eventually take a toll, and chasing him off to bed was probably the wisest course.

Corry went to reach out, then paused for a moment. Just to appreciate the peace. The image. His wife, soft under her steel, who understood why this mattered and didn't want to end it. The sentry, and the living child that the sentry was protecting. His child, protected by his brother.

He sighed with a quiet chuckle, stood back up. Leaned over and kissed Aaron on the side of his head, gave Scotty's hair a brush back, then headed back into the kitchen.

Abby held out her hand without looking up. "Fork it over, Andrew."

"You win," he said, and dug the credit chips out of his pocket.
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