I really didn't intend to write any more about Rorie. This is with thanks
to all those people who wrote to ask for a sequel. If you want more, you'd
better send me more ideas...hint....hint!
Ezra and Chris arrived in the downstairs living room in time to hear Vin
telling the others about Rorie's 'battle' with the bully Elroy at the children's
'Ya shoulda seen her. Reckon she knew what ol' Elroy'd do when she insulted
him an' planned the whole thing.' Vin grinned, every inch the proud Uncle.
'I guess there's more than a touch of Ezra in her then? Doesn't let her size
stop her from doing what's right.'
'Whilst I have reservations, Mr Jackson, about your comment with regard to
my stature, I appreciate the compliment.' Ezra dimpled at the medic.
'Since when has calling you a conniving bastard been a compliment?' Chris
chuckled at Ezra's outraged expression.
'That's my daughter you're talking about!'
'Nah, SHE's cute as a kitten,'
'That she is Mr Wilmington. She is also the proverbial trouble with a capital
'Ya got that right! Mind you, it came in right handy on the flight. In two
minutes she managed ta git the stewardesses falling over themselves ta git
us anything we wanted and quite a bit we didn't.'
'Goddamn! I would 'a liked to have seen that!' Buck mopped at his mouth with
his hand, afraid he was drooling.
'She uses her innocent appearance to manipulate her victims into a false
sense of security. That unfortunate Gentleman at the airport is a prime example.'
Ezra paused then grinned cheesily. 'That's my girl!'
The others laughed.
'However, I will have to ensure I retain the upper hand if I am to maintain
control. Being aware of her intelligence and wit is half the battle.'
'Brother, have you given any thought to the practicalities?'
'Indeed Mr Sanchez. Her school report has been forwarded to Denver Academy
For The Exceptionally Gifted and I have applied to a local agency for a Nanny.
Bearing in mind that my employment involves frequent absences from home,
Mr Tanner has kindly agreed to make his current residence permanent, so that
he will be available for Rorie when I am engaged elsewhere.'
Vin shrugged off the looks and began a detailed examination of his fingernails.
'Suits me. Don't rightly care where I live.'
The others all stifled their grins. They all knew how much both Vin and Ezra
enjoyed each other's company and if they wanted to use the new arrival as
an excuse, fine.
The discussion was interrupted by a soft rhythmic thudding coming from the
hallway. They turned as one to peer through the open double doors into the
A little figure in a pink sleepsuit, complete with feet, was shuffling down
Roughly pushing a pile of unruly blonde curls back from her face with one
small hand Rorie was dragging George the Bear behind her by the ear, his
big bear bottom bouncing softly as he descended each step.
Stopping in the doorway, the little girl peered at them blearily.
'Daddy? You were gone.'
'Dahling, you were asleep.' Ezra rose to his feet and scooped her onto his
hip. 'I'm not going to leave you. If ever you can't find me, you just have
to look for your Uncle Vin or Uncle Chris, or one of the others.'
Rorie regarded the newcomers shyly. Vin was immediately suspicious.
''Lo.' The little blonde head tucked itself under Ezra's chin and she wrapped
her legs round his waist as he regained his seat.
'Gentlemen. This is Rorie.' He flashed his 'proud-papa' smile.
'Hi Rorie, I'm Uncle Josiah.' Josiah was rewarded with a small, tentative
'Rorie,' Nathan kneeled down in front of her, bringing himself to her level.
'Do you know who I am?'
The curls danced as she nodded. 'You're Uncle Nathan. You fuss too much.'
'What? S'what Uncle Vin told me.' Nathan glared at Vin who narrowed his eyes
Vin swore he could see laughter in the Emerald green depths although it didn't
show on her face. Little Minx. He realised Nathan was still glaring at him.
'Relax Nathan. It was a joke.' Nathan was not appeased.
Rorie obviously felt guilty.
'Uncle Nathan? Uncle Vin told me you fuss cause you care for everyone when
they don't care for them-'selfs'. You gonna fix me too now when I'm hurted?'
Nathan refocussed on the child, his temper drifting away in the face of such
innocence. 'I guess I am sweetheart. Try not to get 'hurted' too much though
won't you? I'm kept kinda busy with your dad and Uncle Vin.'
'I resent that'
Nathan winked at the child who giggled.
JD couldn't wait any longer. 'Hi Rorie.'
'Hi Uncle JD.'
A huge grin broke out on the young Bostonian's face and he gazed delilghtedly
at the new Daddy. 'She knew who I was. Uncle JD. 'Uncle' JD. I like that.
Can you say it again?' He looked beseechingly at the kid who smiled.
'You asked me to say 'IT' again.'
'Oh lordy her jokes are worse than yours Kid.' Buck swatted JD across the
back of the head and Vin and Rorie exchanged glances. He winked at her and
she buried her nose in Ezra's shirt to stifle the snort of laughter. Ezra
raised a knowing eyebrow at the sharpshooter. He knew Vin had told her of
the 'Head-cuffing' tradition and correctly identified the joke.
'Hey there little darlin' I'm Uncle Buck.' Buck crouched down in front of
the child and put on his best smile. It faltered slightly as Rorie gazed
at him in silence for a long while, head tilted to the side and a confused
look on her small face. She wrinkled her nose at him and he noticed a light
sprinkling of freckles across the bridge.
'Uncle Buck?' This was delivered in a stage whisper and he leaned forward
and smiled encourgagingly at her.
'Yes little Darlin?'
Rorie lifted a small hand and touched his moustache.
'Did you know your eyebrows have fallen down?'
Unfortunately for Josiah, Chris had just taken a big swig of his beer which
he sprayed over his profiler.
Buck was gaping open mouthed at the cherubic expression on his niece's face,
making the others laugh harder. He turned to Ezra who smiled wryly.
'Don't say I didn't warn you Mr Wilmington.' Gaining his feet he commanded,
'Say goodnight Rorie.'
'Goodnight Rorie!' This was accompanied by a chuckle so deep it sounded like
it couldn't have come from such a little body. Wrapping her arms and legs
around her father, Rorie allowed him to carry her back upstairs.
There was a silence as the men considered the new addition. It was broken
by the pounding of feet coming down again.
'Aurora! Where do you think you are you going?'
'I forgot something!' The little pink figure came dashing back in. She climbed
onto the couch and onto the startled Nathan's lap.
'Night Uncle Nathan.' Nathan accepted the sloppy kiss with a pleased smile.
Climbing off she slowly moved around giving everyone equally wet kisses.
She ended up with Vin. Snuggling down against his chest she gazed up at him
with Ezra's eyes.
'I'm awful tired Uncle Vin.'
He grinned. 'No Rorie. I'm not gonna carry ya back up an' ya'd better git
movin' afore he come's huntin'' He waggled his finger at her and tweaked
her nose. She pouted and he snorted a laugh. 'Aint gonna work. Git!' He pushed
her off his lap.
'Aurora!' The disembodied voice growled with impatience.
The green eyes rolled dramatically and the little imp took off for the stairs.
'Gonna change my name.....'
The sleepy undercover agent groaned and reached out a hand to swat the annoying
alarm. He fumbled about and finally silenced the annoying buzzing. Pulling
his arm back into the warmth under the covers he sighed and went back to
'Aww Hell.' Five minutes later Ezra once again sleepily fumbled for the clock.
Following the sound without opening his eyes, he shuffled to the left side
of the big double bed and smacked his hand down, effectively cutting off
the noise mid-buzz. He buried his head in the pillow.
Hearing the alarm go off, Ezra once again wriggled over to the right side
of the bed and thumped the clock. Peace. Thank god.
What seemed like only seconds later the alarm went off again, louder this
time. He wormed his way back over to the left side and reached out his hand.
Hand poised over the offending timepiece, he was enveloped by a strange sense
of Deja Vu. Suddenly, from beneath the thick quilt, his other hand shot out
and grasped a small thigh. There was a giggle.
Turning off the alarm he kept a tight hold on the limb as he folded back
the bedding and peeled open one bleary emerald eye. Two inches from his face
was a matching pair of green eyes, dancing with humor.
Ezra looked over at the hated clock and groaned.
'Rorie, can you tell time?'
'Yep. It's..' She studied the hands and numbers for a long minute. '5 minutes
'Uhuh.' Ezra finally worked the other eye open.
'And why has my clock been going on a tour of the bedroom?'
'You wouldn't wake up.'
'Rorie, it's too early. Go back to sleep.' He shut his eyes. There was a
brief pause. The bed bounced and a weight settled on his chest. He felt little
fingers prying open his eyes.
'What? Come on Daddy, it's morning!'
'That is a matter of opinion. Go and find Uncle Vin. He's probably awake,
or failing that, one of the others.'
'They're all here?'
'Mmmm' He rolled over and buried his face again.
The little girl watched him for a few minutes but he didn't move. Eventually
she left to find someone else to play with.
In the first room she looked into Rorie found Uncle Chris.
Wandering over to the bedside she examined this new phenomena. He looked
different asleep. Her gaze wandered down to his hands, neatly folded across
his chest. Pink paint surrounded his fingernails and she shook her head grinning
wickedly. That would never do. Determined to 'help out' she shot off to her
bedroom and rootled through her spongebag returning with a small bottle.
Chris slept on, oblivious.
Rorie was hiding the evidence back in her room when she heard a loud rumbling
coming from somewhere further down the corridor. She set off to investigate.
The profiler came awake slowly. He felt oddly congested. He twitched his
nose. What on earth?
Rorie was lying on her back on his chest engrossed in a picture book. Her
feet were in his face, one big toe up each nostril.
'Wor-Wee' Josiah pushed her feet away and rubbed the bridge of his nose.
'What..?' He sneezed loudly.
'Sshh!' A little fat finger was held to his lips. Josiah blinked dazedly
'Why did you have your toes up my nose?'
'It was the only way to stop you snoring. I couldn't find anything else that
fit. You have to be quiet, Uncle Josiah, Daddy's sleeping.' She shrugged
her shoulders as if any idiot would have thought of that.
Josiah did not care to inquire what other impliments she'd tried whilst he
'I'll be quiet. Go see if you can find Uncle Vin.' Rorie nodded, picked up
her book and set off.
For half hour she'd played hospitals with Uncle Nathan. He'd agreed to play
as long as he could be the patient and stay in bed. Eventually, the game
had ended up with his announcing he was comatose and going back to sleep.
Rorie once again found herself in the corridor searching for the elusive
Unfortunately for the Ladies man, his was the next room she tried.
The bed was empty but there were sounds coming from the bathroom. She sidled
in and sat on the edge of the bidet.
Uncle Buck was shaving. She watched as he scraped off the foam and rinsed
his face. She waited while he took a pair of scissors out of the bag on the
shelf and started clipping his moustache. It wasn't until she spoke that
'Aggh!' Buck jumped. He looked at his face in the mirror and sighed. Turning
on his heel, he regarded the intruder.
'When did you come in?'
'I've been here for ages. What you doing Uncle Buck?'
'Right now, I'm going to take a shower. Go find Uncle Vin.'
Vin, being an early riser, was already in the shower when his uninvited guest
appeared. The yet-to-be-renovated en-suite had a nylon shower curtain and
a showerhead over the bath. He was just kneading the shampoo into his hair
when he heard a noise.
Turning quickly he spotted Rorie sitting at the far end of the bath, amid
the bottles of shampoo and shower-gel, watching him.
'Aggh.' He got a mouth full of soap for his trouble.
Quickly turning his back he told her 'Out! I'll be finished in a minute go
wait in the bedroom.'
5 minutes later he emerged from the bathroom wearing a pair of faded blue
jeans. Water dripped from his hair down his bare chest, joining up to form
rivulets that disappeared into the waistband, turning it a darker shade.
Rorie was sitting dejectedly on his bed and he crouched down in front of
her, lifting her chin with his thumb.
'What's the matter pumpkin?'
Tear filled green eyes looked up at him.
'Nobody wants to play with me.' She sniffed. Vin looked at the clock. 7.15.
He smiled lopsidedly at her.
'It's kinda early fer them fellas ta be up. Gimme a minute an' I'll play
with ya Okay?' The tears dried up remarkably quickly and Vin realized he'd
'I guess it's time fer some groundrules.' Rorie watched him warily.
'I don't know what Ez is gonna tell ya but as far as my room is concerned,
ya can come in only iffn I tell ya ya can. Ya have ta knock an' if I say
Okay then fine. If I ain't here you stay out understand?' She nodded. 'My
bathroom is mine. I don't want ya in there at all. Got it?'
Once the rules were agreed, Vin kissed the top of her tousled head and padded
barefoot to the chest of drawers to pull out a t-shirt.
'Go on downstairs an' find the kitchen. I'll be down in a minute an' make
ya some breakfast.'
'Okay.' Rorie skipped off happily and Vin grinned.
In the kitchen, JD had set up his laptop on the table and connected up his
phone. He poured himself a cup of coffee and sat down to read his mail.
Something moved against his foot and he started. The hot coffee took on a
life of its own, leaping out of the mug and straight onto the crotch of his
'Oww Owww Owwwww!' He jumped up and fanned his hands, pulling the wet material
away from his skin, trying to ease the burn.
'Holy Shi...' He caught sight of a little face peering at him from under
the table and abruptly shut his mouth.
'Rorie! What the h...?' The computer whizz took a deep breath, which he
immediately regretted as the still hot denim came back into contact with
the now highly sensitized parts of his anatomy. 'OOoof.'
'Hullo Uncle JD. Are you dancing? Want me to put the radio on?'
'Ah, no thanks sweetie. I'll, ah, I'll... I just spilt my coffee, I'd better
go change my jeans.' He made a quick ungainly retreat.
Not long after, Vin arrived in the Kitchen. Taking in the laptop he glanced
about looking for the kid.
'Was JD here?'
'Yahuh.' Rorie sat on a chair at the table swinging her legs. 'He had to
go do something.' Vin nodded and fixed the child a bowl of cereal and a glass
of milk. He'd just set it down in front of her when there was a roar from
upstairs. The sharpshooter glanced at the doorway and back to the child.
'Yes?' Vin specutively eyed the innocent look.
'Ah... have ya seen Uncle Chris this morning?'
'Yahuh. He was sleeping so I didn't 'sturb him.' Vin searched her face and
then nodded, heading upstairs to see what the noise was about.
'What's goin' on?' Josiah, JD, Ezra, and Buck were standing in Chris's bedroom
Chris stood dressed in boxers with his arms across his chest and a hand tucked
into each armpit.
'Nothing.' Larabee's face was as granite. Vin and Ezra exchanged a look.
Ezra sighed, sweeping a hand through his hair. Being 'Daddy' was turning
into the most challenging role he'd ever taken on.
'Alright, Mr Larabee. What did she do?'
Their leader had just begun to shake his head when there was a thump and
a muffled curse from Nathan's room. They all looked at each other and made
a rush for the door.
Seconds later six ATF agents stood agape as they watched their seventh, the
sensible one, lying on the floor attempting to get his feet under him.
The team medic had been 'fixed'.
His legs were bound together from ankle to knee with a length of one of Nathan's
own webbed bandages. Both hands had been placed in 'splints', rending them
completely useless and quite unable to remove the enormous quantity of bandaids
stuck liberally to his chest hair.
Vin cracked first. The others followed as Nathan glared at them.
'When you're all done laughing will someone please get me out of this?'
'Mr Jackson, I assume my miniature 'devil-in-disguise' is responsible for
this. What I don't understand is how?' Ezra knelt to undo the ace bandage
tied securely round Nathan's feet.
'She came in at some ungodly hour this morning and we played hospitals.'
Chris chuckled. 'I was the patient and I guess I fell asleep.' Nathan got
a close look at Buck who was releasing his right hand. 'What happened to
Buck grinned. 'You don't like it?' The others noticed then that Buck's moustache
was now resembling something along the lines of Adolf Hitler's.
'Jeez Buck that's awful.' JD laughed.
'Buck, what's with the new style?' Chris was looking at him with a half smile
on his face.
'I didn't mean to. Rorie crept up on me this morning as I was trimming it.
I was lucky not to cut off my nose. Instead, I took a great chunk out of
my moustache. This was the closest I could get to repairing the damage without
shaving off the whole thing.'
'She does have a thing about creeping up on people in the bathroom.' Everyone
turned to the sharpshooter.
'Has anybody else had a run in with Rorie this morning?' Ezra was trying
to think of a way to punish his wayward child.
Both Josiah and JD broke off as Chris just held up his hands.
'Oh my God!' Ezra doubled over laughing. The others joined in.
'Cerise is a good colour on ya Cowboy.' Chris shot his sharpshooter a wry
'How the hell did she manage that?'
'Brothers, I hate to alarm you but isn't it awfully quiet?'
They all looked towards the door. 'Oh No! She was in the kitchen...' JD made
a dash for the stairs.
He was walking like a bowlegged Cowboy too long in the saddle.
'Something ya need ta tell me kid?'
In the Kitchen
Rorie munched contentedly on her cereal, wondering what they were going to
do today. She raised her head as the seven men poured into the room.
'Hello Daddy. Hiya Uncle.. er, Ya'll. Great, everybody's finally 'wake.'
She smiled angelicly at them flashing the dimples.
'So, who want's to play with me?'