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Synopsis: A stranger arrives in town, claiming to be related to a prominent resident.
Disclaimer: Dr. Quinn and the characters created by Beth Sullivan are copyright of CBS, and Beth Sullivan Productions. The following story is my creation and no infringement of copyright is intended. The story however, is copyrighted to the author. This story is for entertainment purposes only and cannot be redistributed without the permission of the author.

It's All Relative

2000 Wanda Offer

Michaela was at the clinic cleaning her instruments, when there was a knock on the door. "Come in" said Michaela. The door opened and Dorothy walked in. "You ready for lunch, Michaela?" "Hello Dorothy, not quite just let me put these away." Katie came from upstairs carrying her beloved doll and said "Hey Miss Dorothy" "Hello Katie, will you be joining me and your ma for lunch?" "Yes ma'am" "let's go" said Michaela.

Wolf who was on the porch, got up, when the clinic door opened. They all headed for Grace's Cafe. They were on their way around the corner when they heard; "Mrs. Dorothy Dancin', Michaela, Katie, afternoon ladies" called Hank from across the street. Michaela smiled and Dorothy looked shocked and said "afternoon Hank" "oh don't go getting yer hackles up, just tryin' to be nice" "you two are practically married anyway, ain't no skin off my nose" Hank smiled that devilish smile of his and tipped his hat.

"I think Hank is finally softening a bit Dorothy", said Michaela with a giggle. "I think I better take what I can get with Hank" said Dorothy shaking her head.

Grace approached the table that they had chosen and said "How y'all doin' this fine day?" Everyone said "fine" in unison. "You are looking very lovely today Grace, motherhood sure does agree with you" said Michaela. Dorothy echoed the sentiment. "Well thank you, it's been rough tryin' to work at the cafe and take care of little Robert, but I'm lovin' every minute" said Grace. Michaela smiled knowingly. "the usual for Katie and I" said Michaela. "Me too" said Dorothy.

"I am so happy for Grace and Robert E." said Michaela. "Been through so much, it's only fittin' " said Dorothy. Katie chimed in "I like Miss Grace's baby, Mama. Can I have a little brother?" "Katie!" said Michaela. "can I mama please?" Dorothy grinned at Michaela and looked as if to say "well, why don't you?" All Michaela could come up with was "we'll talk about it later alright sweetheart?" "Okay Mama" (Actually Michaela could hardly think of anything else lately.)

"Here you are" said Grace, returning with their lunch. "Thank you" they all said. Grace said "You're welcome" and left to greet some new customers. "Sully still at the commissioner's meetin' in Denver?" Dorothy asked. "I'm afraid so, he is not due to return until tomorrow" said Michaela as she unconsciously fingered her wedding rings. "You miss him don't you Michaela?" Dorothy asked. "Yes" said Michaela smiling. "It seems the longer I am married to him the more I love him Dorothy." "Of course, that's the way it should be" said Dorothy as she patted her friend's hand encouragingly.

Later that afternoon, Michaela went to the post office to pick up a shipment of medical supplies. (Brian had agreed to take Katie home with him, when he finished school. Wolf went too.) "Afternoon Dr Mike" called out Horace as Michaela approached him. "Good afternnoon Horace" "Sorry, Dr. Mike, the train was delayed, it will be here soon, though." At that moment, the approaching train's whistle blew. "Told ya it would be here soon" said Horace as he proceeded to write the time of arrival on the chalk board.

Michaela turned to face the train and to her delightful surprise, Sully stepped off. "Sully!" she called. Sully walked swiftly toward Michaela. "Michaela!" said Sully as he scooped his wife up into his arms. "How'd you know I'd be back early, Michaela?" "I didn't "she replied, "I came to pick up some supplies" "Instead you got me" said Sully as he softly kissed her lips. When they finished their "greeting" Michaela whispered "I missed you so much" "Me too, the conference ended earlier than we expected, so here I am" said Sully. They proceeded hand in hand to the telegraph office to wait for the train to be unloaded.

Off the train stepped a beautiful black woman, who appeared to be about twenty-five. She walked to the telegraph office and asked Horace if he knew a place she could board. "course ma'am there is a boarding house just in town." "Thank you, sir" the young woman replied. She took her bag and proceeded in the direction of the boarding house.

Meanwhile, Sully and Michaela sat on a bench and held hands and gazed at each other like two teenagers. (Oblivious to anyone or anything else.)

Later that evening at the Homestead... Brian and Sully were entranced in a game of chess. Katie was sitting on the floor playing with her dolls and talking to Wolf, who just panted and wagged his tail.

Michaela sat and just watched everyone with a pleasant smile on her face. She was so thankful for her family, but she could not help thinking "I would love to have another child." She put her hand on her flat stomach and stared into space. Just then, Brian called "checkmate!" "Did you see that Ma, I really beat Sully?" said Brian.

She didn't answer. Sully looked up at his wife and noticed the position of her hand. Brian called his mother again. "Did you hear me? I won."

Coming out of her daze, Michaela said "That's wonderful Brian, Sully taught you well" Sully stood and announced that it was time for Katie to be gettin' to bed. "Pa" Katie whined "I'll take her" said Brian. They all said their goodnights and Sully and Michaela headed upstairs as well.

Just as they reached the bedroom, Sully picked Michaela up and carried her into the room and kicked the door shut with his foot.

"I saw how you was lookin' downstairs" Sully said as he placed Michaela on the bed. "What ever do you mean?" Michaela replied. "Oh I know that look you get when you start wantin' a baby" he teased.

"I don't want to be ungrateful Sully" Michaela said tentatively. "You're not, ain't nothin' wrong wth wantin' to add to your family." Sully took his wife's face into his hands and said tenderly "ready when you are" "You mean it Sully?"

At that Sully nodded and lowered her to the bed and kissed her lips ever so softly and slowly worked his way down her neck... "Oh, Sully" Michaela breathed in his ear.

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The next morning at the homestead everyone had eaten breakfast. Brian left for school. Katie was waiting in the wagon for her ma. Sully and Michaela were leaning against the back of the wagon. Sully stroked Michaela's hair."Michaela do you have to go to the clinic today?" Sully said with a pitiful look on his face. "I'm afraid so Sully, Billy Johnson gets his cast taken off today and didn't you say were helping Matthew build his homestead?" "Yes I did."

"You're so beautiful" Sully said as if he were realizing it for the first time. Michaela beamed and leaned her head against his chest and said "I think we made a baby last night" Sully whispered "If enthusiam counts, I think we may have made two!" "Sully!" she said as she playfully slapped his arm. With a kiss goodbye, Sully helped Michaela into the wagon and waved to his wife and daughter.