Saint Paul's Cathedral
Port Charles, NY
"Look at you! Detective Stone Cates." Jagger pulled Stone to him a strong hug. "Welcome back to Port Charles."
Stone returned his brother's embrace with the same amount of ferocity and love. When they were done, the two men stared at each other until Stone laughed. "A job title won't change me."
Jagger smiled. "I know. It's just that it's been so long-"
"A year isn't that long, Jagger. I came back when Karen gave birth to little Scottie, remember? Or were you too busy freaking out to remember?" Stone laughed as Jagger blushed.
"Come on. I wasn't that bad. Just a little nervous. It's not everyday a man becomes a father."
Stone nodded. "Don't I know it."
Jagger's eyes widened. "What does that mean? Have I become an uncle and no one found the time to pick up a phone and tell me? Where is she? I'm not wasting this lecture on just you, little brother."
Stone smiled as he thought of his wife of three years. Everyday with Keesha brought him unexpected happiness and when she told him she was having their baby, he came close to exploding with joy. The year before he didn't understand how Jagger lost all reason when Karen went into labor, but now that Keesha's time was only a few weeks away, he understood his brother's anxiety completely. The excitement of fatherhood warred with the fear that something could wrong. Everyday he said a prayer that nothing would.
"No lectures, please," Stone pleaded. "Keesha's other there with Dawn. She and I decided to wait before we told anyone and the next thing I knew-"
"My God, she's huge !"
"Ssh!" Stone punched Jagger's arm. "Don't let her hear you say that. Well, as you can see, you're not quite an uncle, but you're almost there. Two weeks from now, who knows?"
"Is it okay for her to travel?" Jagger asked. "Philadelphia isn't that far from Port Charles, but this is the last trimester. Maybe you and she should stay with us until the baby is born. Then you can really sit down and give PCPD's offer some serious thought."
"You don't give up, do you?" Stone asked with a smile. "Thanks for the offer, but it's not necessary. The department made all the arrangements for us and we should be able to move into our new home by the end of next week."
Several members of the congregation turned at the sound of Jagger's shriek. Many 'shushed' him and he looked down in embarrassment. When they all seemed to be satisfied that he was adequately contrite they turned around and he resumed conversing with his brother. This time, he spoke in a hurried whisper. "You never tell me anything! Why didn't you tell me you took their offer?"
"Because I wanted it to be a surprise," Stone answered.
"Well, you got that wish." Jagger threw his arm around Stone's shoulder. "Come on. Let's go witness our baby sister's wedding."
"She's so beautiful," Keesha gushed. She reluctantly handed Frances Nicolette Scanlon back to her doting father.
The sleeping infant barely noticed the exchanged. Frank held the baby gently in the curve of his arm. "You should see her when she's hungry. Her face scrunches up and she yells louder than any siren I've ever heard."
"But even with all of that, she's still beautiful," Dawn professed.
Frank leaned forward and kissed her cheek. "Of course she is. She gets her looks from her mother and her temperament from me."
Keesha laughed at the happy couple and they joined in. "Being with you two almost feels like I never went away. Thank you for letting Stone and me stay with you for a few days."
"Where else would you stay?" Dawn asked. "Your home is our home. I'm just relieved that you and Stone finally got a clue and are coming back. I've missed you and your goddaughter needs you!"
"The time wasn't right for us to come back," Keesha said, moving around to find a comfortable position on the wooden pew. "I think it's right now."
"Because Jason's moved on with Gina and the same for Robin with Sonny?" Dawn asked softly. "Jason and Robin were the reasons why you left. You never said it, but I know something happened that last week. Will you finally tell me about it now?"
"Pipsqueak, maybe she doesn't want to talk about it," Frank commented.
"I marry you and give you a beautiful daughter and you continue to call me that awful name! Why, Frank?" she complained, pouting.
"Because you're my little Pipsqueak and I love you." He kissed her mouth before she could react and then, with baby in tow, stood. "Your daughter needs to be changed. I'll hurry back."
She smiled, unable to stay too upset with him for very long. "Please, see that you do."
"I think you made the right decision, Dr. Scanlon," Keesha said after Frank had left her and Dawn alone. "You glow and so does he."
"Frank drives me crazy, but he makes me happy, too."
"You were telling me about Nikolas' letter before the beauty of Frances interrupted me," Keesha said, smiling. "Tell me the rest. I promise to listen to every word."
"He's moving back to Port Charles and will be working at GH as a child psychologist. Stefan isn't thrilled, but Nikolas doesn't really care. He also mentioned that Tommy's been promoted again and Lynn's PR firm is doing very well."
"Aren't Tommy and Lynn engaged?" Keesha asked.
"Yeah," Dawn said. "The wedding will be right here in six months. Saint Paul's has become the place for weddings, but enough about everyone else, let's talk about you. Have you been getting the rest you need? The third trimester can be hell. I'm not even sure if you should have traveled. Your doctor must be a quack."
Keesha laughed. "Is that any way for a fellow physician to speak? Seriously, I'm fine. I'm doing everything I'm supposed to because if I don't, Stone has promised to handcuffed me to the bed."
Dawn grinned. "Kinky. I like it."
"You hush!" Keesha said, wagging her finger. "There would be nothing kinky about it. He's very protective. At first, I wanted to slug him, but now, I'm enjoying it."
"That's good." Dawn reached out and patted Keesha's hand. "I'm glad he's watching over you. Tell me more. Have you spoken to Jason?"
"Not since I've been back. I plan to at the reception."
"I'm glad that things worked out for you both. Calling you and inviting you to the wedding was a big step for him."
Keesha nodded. "I know, but I still wished he would have warned me that it was a double wedding. I had no idea that Robin and Sonny... Jason tricked me."
"He probably knew it was the only way he could get you to come back."
She sighed. "He always knew me so well."
"By the power invested in me by our Holy Father and the state of New York," Father Sullivan stated, "I pronounce you husband and wife. Jason, Sonny...you may now kiss your brides."
Neither Jason nor Sonny needed to be instructed twice. Jason lowered his head to Gina just as Sonny did the same to Robin. In the presence of family and friends, the grooms kissed their brides with love and tenderness.
Jason shook Stone's extended hand. "Thank you. Gina and I are glad that you could come. I am especially."
Stone nodded. "Keesha wasn't expecting to see Robin and Sonny here today and neither was I. You should have told us and let us make the decision. The surprise could have upset Keesha and harmed her or the baby."
"I apologize," Jason said, sincerely. "I didn't know about the baby. I wouldn't want to hurt either of you or your unborn child. You may find it hard to believe, but it's true. I only want the best for Keesha. I thought that inviting her to the wedding was the best way to let her know... Well, a part of me will love your wife very much. Years ago, I rejected her friendship and it took me years to realize that I needed it. Inviting you both to the wedding was my way of showing that I was sincere. Do you know what I mean?"
Stone stared at him for several seconds before he answered, "I know that you're telling the truth. Keesha and I are moving back to Port Charles and I know that having you as a friend will mean a lot to her."
"Do you think we could be friends, too?"
Stone shrugged. "I don't see why we can't."
Jason smiled. "Neither do I."
Keesha refused to put off speaking to Robin a moment longer. Once she reached the smiling bride, she blurted the words that had been on her mind for quite some time. "I'm sorry, Robin. I shouldn't have run away to Philadelphia and I should have just told you the truth."
Tears watered Robin's eyes. She pressed a finger to her lips and embraced Keesha. "You don't have to apologize to me. Love happens." After their hug ended, she lightly patted Keesha's swollen abdomen. "It looks like everything turned out for the best. When are you due?"
"Two weeks," Keesha answered.
"Wanna know a secret?" Robin asked.
Keesha nodded. "Sure."
Robin leaned forward and whispered, "Sonny and I are expecting, too. No one else knows and I was about to burst. I had to tell someone else."
"I'm honored that you told me," Keesha said, softly. "I'm sure you'll be very happy together...especially since he's made a career change."
"He and Mike have turned the Recovery Room into a wild nightclub," Robin said. "It's a little strange watching those two argue over the play list. One wants Frank Sinatra and the other wants N*Sync."
"Sonny's into N*Sync?" Keesha asked.
Robin shook her head. "No, Mike is."
The two women laughed and it felt like old times.
Keesha and Stone walked hand in hand down to the center of the bridge. Waves lapped against the wooden beams and a blanket of stars filled the night sky. Stone stood behind Keesha and wrapped his arms around her. Sighing, she leaned against him.
"We're back home," she said softly.
"We've always been home," he replied. "Philadelphia. Port Charles. It doesn't matter as long as we're together."
"You're a genius. I'm still not quite sure what I did to deserve you. I love you."
Some couples were never carved in stone...but some were.
Keesha and Jason were in the former group, but Stone and Keesha were in the latter.
Stone Cates, Jr. was born on December 1, 2001. He weighed nine pounds and three ounces. Two years later, a sister, Merrie Mae Cates, was born. Keesha and Stone loved their children very much and they all lived happily ever after.