Atlantan Legacy XIV - Birds, Bees and Teddy Bears

by Squeakypeep

Sensitive subject matter but not offensive. (I don’t think – one never knows – I did try to deal with it carefully.) Let me know what you think – I have three kids who are getting to the age when they will ask the dreaded questions – I’m open to suggestions! Thanks to Keisha for the Teddy’s Picnic Idea – and to her sister for the smart remark!

Comments: - be nice.

Saturday 12th August
‘No!’ JD collected all the articles that had mysteriously appeared in the shopping cart and handed them to Casey to return to the shelves.

‘I told you, Rorie, only one candy choice. I am not having you wired on sugar all weekend.’ Casey Welles raised her brows at her boyfriend and chuckled. JD sounded more like a parent than Ezra usually did. He was taking this first time sole guardianship duty seriously.

JD had volunteered to watch the child for the weekend while both her father and her usual guardian, Vin Tanner, were out of town for an ATF re-certification seminar. Casey was surprised that JD could be so ‘Adult’, she had been expecting to have to watch the pair of them but JD proved stricter than she could have imagined. It occurred to her at that point that JD was actually more mature than she gave him credit for and she tucked that away for further consideration later.

Rorie turned pleading emerald green eyes in her direction and she felt her own resolve crumbling. She was glad JD was the bad guy. ‘Don’t look at me sweetie. Uncle JD’s the boss this weekend.’ Casey grinned at JD who pulled a face.

‘You aren’t gonna make me eat Sushi are you?’ Rorie was horrified. Uncle JD wasn’t the pushover she’d anticipated.

‘No.’ Dunne laughed. ‘How about we go to Fuddruckers for lunch?’


They managed to get to the checkout without further incident. Ahead of them in line was a matronly woman with a little girl a bit older than Rorie. By the time they’d stood in the queue for five minutes the girls were firm friends. The mother smiled at the young couple.

‘It’s nice to see that young couples today are making such a good job of bringing up their children. It restores my faith in our youth. I suppose you must have faced a lot of criticism for having had a child so early but I have to tell you, your daughter is charming.’

Casey flushed scarlet and hurried to explain. ‘She’s not ours. JD’s my boyfriend and Rorie’s his niece. We’re just watching her for the weekend.’

‘Oh. Sorry, I assumed…’ The woman stammered her apology.

‘It’s okay ma’am. I’d love to have one just like her, but not yet!’ Casey chuckled as JD gave her a speculative look. ‘We’ll be giving her back after the weekend. I can’t imagine having to cope all the time, it’s exhausting. Full-time parents have my undying admiration. Just keeping her occupied for two days is enough of a challenge for us.’

The woman smiled at them. ‘If you’re looking for things to do, there’s a Teddy Bear’s Picnic at the park on Power’s Avenue at three this afternoon. You just bring the child and their bear and the tickets are sold on the gate. I have three daughters and they’ve all enjoyed the picnics. Amy and I will be there.’

JD and Casey exchanged looks as Rorie began to jump up and down. ‘Can we go? Please? Uncle JD? I can take George and he can meet all the other bears. Please?’

‘We’ll see.’ JD turned back as the woman paid for her purchases and made to leave. ‘Three o’clock at the park on Power’s?’

The woman nodded and grinned knowingly. ‘See you later!’

Power’s Avenue Park

They spread the blanket on the ground and made themselves comfortable. Casey sat and watched all the children running about with their teddies. She glanced over at the organiser, a peroxide blonde in a painted on dress, and then at JD. He was watching the blonde. ‘JD!’

‘What?’ He looked startled.

‘Stop gawking. The woman’s a floozy!’ JD cast a quick look at his charge, cringing as her mouth opened to ask what a ‘Floozy’ was. He was rescued from having to explain.

‘Rorie!’ Amy, the little girl from the grocery store, came dashing over to her new friend, a small yellow bear tucked under her arm. ‘You made it. This is Bruno.’ She held up her own stuffed animal, which squinted lopsidedly through one eye.

JD and Casey were stretched out on the blanket, basking in the August sunshine, but they both leaned up to solemnly shake hands, or rather paws, with Bruno the Bear.

‘Hi Amy. This is my bear, George.’ Rorie held George round the neck and despite the fact she was standing up, his ‘feet’ were still trailing on the ground.

‘Wow. He’s big.’

‘Yahuh.’ Rorie’s voice was filled with pride.

‘Wanna come meet my friends?’

Rorie looked at JD questioningly. He nodded, but qualified his approval. ‘Stay where I can see you.’

‘Okay.’ The two little girls set off to Amy’s family, taking their furry friends with them. JD turned to Casey but she forestalled him with a raised hand.

‘Sorry! I forgot she was there. You shouldn’t have been staring at that woman though.’ She glared at him.

‘Case, c’mon, I’ve got better taste than that! I was just wondering why she was dressed up like that for a little kid’s party.’

‘Better taste?’

‘I chose you didn’t I?’

Casey grinned delightedly and kissed his lips lightly. He tried to deepen the kiss but she slipped away smiling. ‘That’s the nicest thing you’ve ever said to me JD Dunne!’

JD raised his brows. All those lectures from Buck and the hours spent practicing his ‘how to woo a woman’ speeches and she liked the plain stuff. Women were supposed to like poetry and flowery compliments. He’d never understand her.

About twenty minutes later there was a loud growl and an adult in a bear suit called all the teddies and owners to the decorated tables laid out on the grass. Bear shaped helium balloons tied to the back of each chair danced in the breeze as the children seated themselves for the party food. After tea there were games like ‘The Great Honey Hunt’ and ‘Pin the Nose on the Bear’ and prizes for the best-dressed bear, the bear most likely to become famous, Mr and Mrs congeniality bear and such like.

The children were invited to stand up and introduce themselves and their toys and to tell how they had got their bears. There would be a prize for the best story. Rorie, never backward at coming forward, was one of those who stepped up to speak. JD watched through the lens of his video camera.

‘I’m Rorie and this is my friend George. I used to live in Atlanta but when my Mummy died at Easter I moved here to live with my new father and all my uncles. My Uncle Chris gave me George at the airport when we got here so that I would have a friend in Denver.’

The buxom, over-dressed woman organising the picnic smiled benignly at the small elfin child with the big green eyes and dimples. ‘Very cute. I’m sure some of it is even true.’ She winked at the audience, clearly thinking the child had made up a sob story in an attempt to win the prize. Rorie’s lips pressed together in a tight line. ‘And what does George have to say?’

‘George told me he likes all the other bears and he enjoyed the food and the games.’ Rorie eyed the woman and JD sucked in a breath at the expression on her face. He’d seen that look on Ezra enough times to recognise impending mischief. He started praying under his breath and Casey gave him a weird look.

He muttered under his breath. ‘She’s up to no good.’

‘He wants to know something. Can I ask you a question?’ Rorie smiled innocently up at the woman, an expression at odds with the devilish glint in her eye.

‘Of course.’

‘Are you really a floozy?’ There was a stunned silence followed by titters from some of the mothers. JD groaned.

They left shortly after.

Late Evening

‘Oh God! Yes! Bucky baby, higher!’ Buck Wilmington kissed his way up the flat belly, his head burrowing under the loose t-shirt of his date who was writhing beneath him on the sofa. His roving hands trailed inside the undone fly of the skin-tight jeans, moving without pause. He had just closed his mouth over her breast when there was an unexpected interruption.

‘Did you lose something Uncle Buck?’

The ladies man gasped and shot out from the tunnel of his date’s shirt. His hair stood on end with the abruptness of the withdrawal and he gaped at the small, blonde voyeur in pink pyjamas standing less than two feet away. His date clutched her t-shirt against her chest, trying to re-fasten the bra, which was loose underneath her clothes and very uncomfortable.

‘Rorie?’ He gaped at the sleepy looking child.

‘What were you looking for under there Uncle Buck?’ She yawned and rubbed a fist into one eye.

He ignored the question, surreptitiously refastening his jeans. ‘You’re supposed to be asleep in JD’s room. What’s the matter?’

‘I heard a noise. What were you doing?’ Buck’s date snorted and he sent her an apologetic look.

‘I’ve got to go anyway Buck. Call me?’ She kissed his mouth hotly, nibbling at his lower lip and running a fingernail down his bare chest, before disentangling her limbs and letting herself out of the apartment.

‘Cindy! Wait!’ She just waved over her shoulder as the door closed behind her. Buck turned to his niece.

‘Do you need the bathroom?’ She shook her head. ‘Water?’ Another negative shake. ‘Anything else?’

‘No thank you. What were you doing Uncle Buck?’

Buck ran a hand through his hair. He’d forgotten they had a small visitor this weekend. ‘Ah…. we were just playing.’

‘What were you playing?’

‘It’s a grown up game.’

‘Oh. What’s it called?’

‘Ah…um… The Birds and Bees.’ Buck hustled her back towards JD’s room where she was supposed to be sleeping on a cot.

‘I didn’t see any animals. Why were you hiding her under her clothes? Is that part of the game?’

‘Sort of. Listen Darlin’, you’re too small for this game and you shouldn’t have seen it. If you have any questions you should ask your father.’

‘Oh. Okay.’

Buck tucked her back into bed, noting that JD had slept though her midnight wanderings and snored away merrily under his quilt. He hoped she was more asleep than she looked and wouldn’t recall enough of this in the morning to actually ask any questions. Ezra would kill him.


‘Uncle JD?’ JD was making pancakes.

‘Yeah Ror?’ He took a sip of his coffee which promptly choked him.

‘Do you and Casey play Birds and Bees?’

‘What?’ The young Bostonian wheezed.

‘Uncle Buck plays Birds and Bees with Miss Cindy. I was just wondering…’

‘How did you know that?’

‘They were playing it last night on the couch.’ JD gaped for a full minute. He thumped his mug down on the table. Throwing some pancakes onto a plate he placed them in front of the little girl. ‘Can you manage the syrup yourself? I have to have a word with UNCLE Buck.’

‘Sure.’ Rorie eyed the big bottle of syrup and wondered how much she could get on two small pancakes.

‘BUCK!’ Dunne threw open the door to the older Agent’s bedroom. It slammed against the wall with a bang.

‘Wha…What?’ The ladies man, although startled upright, wasn’t really awake and was shocked to find his younger friend looming over him at dawn.

‘What the HELL happened here last night? Did you let Rorie catch you making out?’ JD sounded like he was Buck’s parent.

Buck groaned and slumped back against the pillow. ‘I was hoping she was too sleepy to remember. What’d she say?’

JD related their conversation in the kitchen and Buck reassured him that she hadn’t actually seen very much at all.

‘YOU get to explain this to Ez. I’ll be sure to say something nice at your wake.’ JD turned on his heel and went back to the kitchen, only to find the four-year old elbow deep in maple syrup.

Buck lay silent for a moment contemplating his alternatives. He pulled out his cell.


‘Chris, old buddy old pal.’

‘What did you do?’

‘What makes you think…’

‘Buck. Cut the bullshit. I know you. WHAT DID YOU DO?’

‘Ah… Well… I… Did Adam ever catch you and Sarah making out?’ There was a silence and then a huff of air, loud in the earpiece. It sounded like half groan, half laugh.

‘Did you leave me anything nice in your Will?’

Standish/Tanner Household
Monday Morning

Vin blearily opened his eyes, peering at the closed bedroom door. ‘C’min’. The door slowly squeaked open and Rorie appeared. He found himself grinning at her as she trotted over and climbed in. They’d only been gone two days but he’d missed her. Especially in the mornings. He’d really come to appreciate the quiet time they spent together at the start of every day.

‘Hey pumpkin.’ He accepted the sloppy childish ‘hello’ kiss and waited as she settled in next to him, cuddled up against his side. ‘Ya have a good time with Uncle JD?’

‘Yahuh.’ She told him all about the Teddy Bear’s Picnic, leaving out the bit where she called the woman a floozy. Vin half listened, making the appropriate noises when he seemed to be expected to answer. He drowsily stroked a hand through her soft sleep-tousled curls. He was very tired from the re-certification testing and was dozing lightly when she asked if he knew how to play Birds and Bees. He wasn’t sure he’d heard correctly and asked her to repeat the question.

‘Uncle Buck and Miss Cindy were playing a game called Birds and Bees. He said it’s for grown ups but I was wondering if you knew how to play it?’

There was a heavy pause. ‘Ummmm’

‘That’s what Uncle JD said.’ She propped herself up on her elbows to look into his face and sharp joints dug into his collarbone. He was fully awake.

He was blushing.

‘Uncle Vin?’

‘Uncle Buck shouldda knowed better than ta… um… play… with you there.’ Tanner winced. Ez was going to kill their ladies man. They were going to need a new surveillance expert. ‘I think ya better ask yer Dad.’

Rorie huffed. This was getting very frustrating. Nobody would tell her anything. ‘Okay.’ She climbed out of Vin’s bed.

‘Rorie, ya’d best let him have coffee first.’

‘Nope. He said I could ask him anything, anytime. Even in the middle of the night if I wanted.’ She disappeared down the corridor. Vin lay back against the pillows and started to laugh. He wished he could be a fly on the wall for that conversation.

Ezra's Room

‘Hello Daddy.’ Ezra rolled over and mumbled incoherently. The small child eyed him specutively. Her question had made everyone else sit up and take notice. Time to try it again.

‘Daddy what’s the Birds and the Bees?’

‘WHAT?’ Ezra bolted upright.

Vin chuckled at the incredulous bellow echoing down the empty hallways. He padded down to the kitchen to make coffee. Poor Ez was going to need it. He was never at his best in the morning, especially early morning, especially early Monday morning.

Team 7 Offices

The elevator pinged, announcing the new arrival. The assembled team members all gazed at Buck and then watched as their dapper Undercover brother sauntered nonchalantly into the Bullpen.

‘Morning Ez.’

‘Mr Dunne. Good morning. Thank you for taking such excellent care of Rorie this weekend. She appears to have had an enjoyable visit.’ The Southerner kept his green gaze fixed on their youngest.

‘Yeah. We had fun. She was no trouble.’ JD smirked and shot a look at his roomy. Buck was trying to become invisible.

The gambler ambled over to his desk, carefully placed his Starbuck’s on the mat, and fired up his terminal. There was silence as everyone watched the riveting scene play out.

After a few minutes Buck couldn’t stand the suspense. If he were going to be killed, he’d like to get it over with. He cautiously approached the Undercover Agent’s desk.

‘Ez?’ Standish raised his head and gazed at him, expression unreadable.

‘Mr Wilmington?’

Buck hopped from foot to foot. He pulled at his collar and looked around at the others. They were all smirking. Chris was leaning against his office door and he sent him a desperate look of appeal. Larabee shook his head imperceptibly and winked. Buck scowled at him.

‘Did you require something, Mr Wilmington?’ Ezra stared hard at him over the rim of the Styrofoam cup. Buck felt like a particularly nasty laboratory specimen.

‘She told you didn’t she?’

‘I assume you mean my daughter? My sweet, innocent, four year old daughter.’ He emphasised the ‘Sweet’ and ‘Innocent’ and ‘Four year old’ and the gaze turned icy. Buck swallowed painfully.

Wilmington nodded. There was an uncomfortable pause. Standish continued to stare. Buck sighed. Bastard was going to make this as difficult as possible.

‘I’m sorry Ez. I forgot she was there.’ One elegant eyebrow rose over the unblinking green eyes.

‘She didn’t see much, we’d only just started to get, um, close.’ He shuffled his feet. He felt like a teenager caught making out in his parent’s bed.

The eyebrow climbed higher.

The ladies man ran a hand through his hair as he started to sweat. ‘I didn’t know what else to tell her when she asked what we were doing…’ He trailed off and looked at Standish. His expression hadn’t changed. Buck had no idea what he was thinking, not unusual in itself, but in these circumstances it made him much more nervous. He wiped sticky palms down his jeans and waited for the axe to fall.

‘Mr Wilmington.’ Ezra rose to his feet. Buck took an automatic step backwards and then stood still. He closed his eyes, anticipating the blow he was sure was coming. He knew he deserved it for corrupting the child. He felt Ezra stop inches from his face. He waited.

‘You owe me lunch. For a month. From restaurants of my choosing.’ Wilmington opened his eyes at the calm statement.

‘That’s it?’ He watched Ez wander over to Chris and hand him a file. ‘You don’t want to kill me?’

‘And violence would achieve what exactly?’ Ezra slipped back into his chair. ‘The matter has been resolved Mr Wilmington. However, in light of your irresponsible actions, I feel recompense is due. Do you agree?’ Buck nodded. ‘Excellent. You will provide sustenance, as requested, for the duration specified and I will endeavour to forget your reprehensible lapse in judgement.’

Buck shuffled back to his seat, chastened. Throughout the morning he cast anxious looks at the Southerner, as if expecting him to shoot him at any moment. Finally Ezra sent him to a Japanese restaurant to fetch his lunch. He went without protest.

No sooner had the elevator door closed than Standish found himself the center of a curious circle.


‘What happened?’ Chris pulled up a chair and sat down with his feet on the Undercover Agent’s desk. Ezra glared at the offending footwear but wisely didn’t comment. He glanced at the other curious faces and grinned.

‘Actually it wasn’t as disastrous as Mr Wilmington perceives.’

Ezra’s Room
Earlier that Morning

‘… so then I asked Uncle Vin but he just went red and told me to ask you.’ Rorie cocked her head to the side and gazed steadily at her father. He’d tell her, she was sure.

Ezra was flat on his back against the pillows, his curious little girl perched happily on his chest. He had used the time it took for her to relate her story to decide how much he wanted to tell her, and how to phrase it so she could understand. He wasn’t embarrassed and he was aware that such questions were inevitable.

Having said that, he hadn’t expected to have this conversation just yet.

‘Rorie, you know boys and girls are made differently, that boys have a penis and girls don’t?’ She nodded. ‘Well, when you’re little it doesn’t really make much difference, boy or girl, but when you grow up to be a lady and grow breasts then you will be big enough to have babies. To make babies one needs a man and a woman. The man puts his penis inside the woman and places a tiny seed in her tummy. The seed grows in the woman and eventually becomes a baby.’

Rorie laid down flat on his chest and put her chin on his sternum so she could continue to watch his face.

Ezra grinned inwardly. He had her complete attention.

‘In reality the act is called ‘sex’, although I prefer ‘making love’. Usually the man and woman love each other very much and they make a baby on purpose. There isn’t a baby every time they make love and often they have to try many times before they succeed. In other circumstances the man and woman just make love because it feels good and sometimes a baby is made by mistake because the couple are just enjoying the feeling of touching each other.’

‘So Uncle Buck and Cindy were trying to make a baby?’ She sounded like she thought that was an interesting prospect.

‘No. They were from the other group. They were touching because it feels good.’ Ezra sat up, pushing Rorie onto his lap, raising his knees to lift her up so they were eye to eye. He gently gripped her chin and gazed into her eyes.

‘Listen to me carefully now. What I’m going to tell you is very important. Are you paying attention?’

She nodded solemnly. ‘Yes Daddy.’

‘It doesn’t feel good until you’re a grown up. That’s what Uncle Buck was trying to tell you when he said it’s a grown up game. NOBODY should EVER touch children that way. To do so is very wrong. If they do try to touch a child it is because they are trying to hurt them. If anybody EVER touches you under your jeans you tell me or another adult you trust. Immediately. Regardless of what the person trying to hurt you says. You understand?’

‘Yes. Nobody’s allowed to touch me and if they try I have to tell you.’

‘Good girl. Now, remember that you can ask me anything, so if you have any questions just tell me, okay? If I’m not here then you may ask Uncle Nathan or Uncle Chris or Uncle Josiah. Don’t go to Uncle Vin with your questions. You’ll just embarrass him.’ They shared a chuckle. They both knew how easy it was to get Vin flustered.

‘Daddy?’ Rorie watched as Ezra got up and pulled a pair of sweatpants over his customary nighttime boxers, intending to get his much deserved morning coffee from the kitchen.

‘Yes Dahlin’?’

‘Why did Uncle Buck call it the Birds and Bees? There aren’t any.’ Ezra grinned.

‘Because some grown ups don’t want to talk about making love. They find discussing anything to do with their bodies embarrassing, especially with children. Some are so embarrassed by their man or woman body parts that they won’t even to go to the doctor if they hurt.’

‘You mean they’re shy? Like Uncle Vin?’

‘Precisely.’ The t-shirt he was pulling over his head muffled his voice. He moved over and knelt in front of her.

‘Do you have any more questions? No? Okay then. Let us go and break our fast.’ He took her hand in his much larger one and they set off for the kitchen.

They were halfway down the stairs when Rorie thought of something else.

‘Daddy?’ She tugged the hand holding hers and her father stopped.

‘Yes Honeybee?’ Ezra could smell the coffee but concentrated on Rorie.

‘What about you and Mummy?’ She gazed up at him and her eyes filled with tears. ‘It was a mistake when you made me wasn’t it? I was a mistake.’

Ezra knelt on the step and gathered his child against his chest. He stroked her hair as he hugged her.

‘No Sugah. We may not have set out to make you but you were never a mistake.’ He pulled her away from his chest and kissed the tip of her nose.

Gazing into her eyes, one hand on each curved cheek, he told her,

‘You were a miracle.’

The End

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Comments: - be nice.