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Kneeling on the ground, Skye worked at the dirt, shoveling it out of the way. She laid the small plants she had started as seeds in the house into the hole that she had made and brought the soil up around them. Beside her sat the row cover that Dylan had made, a lightweight plastic frame to help protect the winter vegetables. With care and if the weather held out, in a few weeks they would have fresh kale, broccoli, carrots and beets for the dinner table.

She took a minute to sit back on her heels, wincing as she did. Though her body protested today's work, Skye had been healing well these past few weeks from her gunshot wound. She took a breath, let out a happy sigh. Then raised her face to the sun, letting it warm it. The weather had been cool lately and raining a lot. The brightness of the sun was a nice change.

Looking over the property, she smiled. The building was progressing nicely and would be done in no time at all. Since she and Dylan were now planning a future together, it had been decided to add to the cabin. One bedroom for her and Dylan, one of equal size for Wade, and a slightly smaller one for Jesse. The frame had been put up quickly with the help of neighbors. Now the men worked at it around their regular chores.

Skye wondered what life would be like now if the AgFlu had never come. She hoped she would've noticed Dylan on the streets of Colton, or that he would have approached her. That somehow they would've been able to merge her work with his love of this mountain, no matter the commute to Colton. But the odds for any of that to have worked would have been small. 

In the old world, they had been like two sides of the same coin, never designed to be face to face. But in this world, they complemented one another in a new way and could stand together to face it.

Skye scanned the tree line, looking for both Dylan and Jesse. Dylan, because he wouldn't be happy seeing her out here. And Jesse because he was due back from hanging out with the other kids. Jesse had turned eleven this last month. Being the only child his age, his choices in companionship was Kelsey and Bre along with a couple of other teens from the area or some very young children. So, of course, he was with the older ones, which made him feel very grown up.

This morning when she had asked when he was going to be back from playing with the kids. He had almost choked on the cereal he was eating. "Mom! We don't play. We hang out." He had then laid his head in his hand as if she had made the greatest of social blunders.

Skye had laughed and laid her arm across his shoulders. "Okay, hang out then."

The feel of him had surprised her. She was used to feeling the hardness of his bones under her arm, but what she felt now was muscle. The boy was still short for his age, but she could swear he'd grown an inch or two at least since his rescue, and he was filling out. Regular meals were doing wonders for him, she'd thought, as she'd handed him the cereal box for the third time that morning.

It didn't escape Skye's notice though that Jesse packed up a couple of his model cars to, not play, but to 'hang out' with when he was with the girls at Doctor Paul's house. She knew in some ways Jesse was old beyond his years, but in others, he was not. She hoped he would take his time moving into teen-hood.

A rustling in the brush caught Skye's attention. She watched as it parted and Dylan stepped through. Across his shoulders, he carried a good-sized deer. Wade appeared, seemingly out of thin air, from behind the house and congratulated his brother. Dylan said something and nodded Skye's way causing Wade to turn and shrug.

"Oh man," Skye mumbled. She sometimes thought that if Dylan had his way she would never be allowed outside the house.

Wade took the deer from Dylan and walked toward the gambrel to hang it, while Dylan headed straight to her.

Coming to tower above her as she crouched by the garden, Dylan said, "I thought I told ya to stay in the house."

"Umm, I believe I heard and I quote, 'I reckon you might wanna stay in the house today,' and well, I didn't want to."

Dylan scoffed as he looked down at her. "Woman, I swear."

"Stop trying to intimidate me. Come here and help me. I only have a couple more then I will go in the house."

"Your the bossiest woman I know." Dylan crouched to her level.

"Well, we're a good match then because you are the bossiest man I know." Skye smiled sweetly at him and kissed him on the cheek.

"None of my tricks work on ya. How am I supposed to get ya to listen?" He ran his palm over her hair as he looked her in the eyes.

"Your intimidation tricks? Well, they actually work better then you think, especially when you are worked up. When your angry, you are one scary looking dude. But you don't need that with me. You just need to love me, that's all." Skye handed him one of the small plants which he gently took into his large, callused hands.

Dylan chuckled. "Just love ya, eh? Like today?"

"I'm fine. I needed some air and don't tell me you wouldn't have done the same thing. And before you say I couldn't have defended myself, Wade was out here. So, see? Protected."

Dylan could barely contain his laughter at being able to catch her out. "You think I didn't see your surprised face when he walked around the corner?"

"Pfft," Skye said and rolled her eyes wondering just how he managed to see everything. "Just set the baby plant."

Dylan gave Skye a knowing look, then carefully laid the seedling in the hole Skye had made for it and covered the roots with care. He rose, holding his hand out to Skye. "Come on, darlin'."

Skye brushed her hands together to release the dirt that stuck to them. She took Dylan's hand and rose, a bit shaky and happy for his assistance. Once she was standing, she put an arm around Dylan. He returned the embrace, being careful of her wound.

The two slowly walked toward the cabin, in time to see Jesse emerge from the woods. The boy ran to them, eager to tell them his activities of the day. As they got closer, they waved Wade toward the cabin. The evening was here and it was time for the family to come together.

A/N: A nice quiet little scene. :) They deserve a little break, wouldn't you say? :)

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