|None Stop Nineteen
Author: Ginny-Rose95 PM
Stephanie has a pressing problem involving her love life and needs to disappear so she turns to her friend Connie and her mob affiliations to help her. Can she stay hidden until it passes? Or will one of her lovers follow her? Will an old enemy from her past find her instead? Can she choose between Ranger or Morelli? Will she get her happy ending or will it be none stop heartache?Rated: Fiction T - English - Humor/Drama - Stephanie P. & Ranger M. - Chapters: 17 - Words: 29,652 - Reviews: 297 - Favs: 37 - Follows: 133 - Updated: 07-16-12 - Published: 06-03-12 - id: 8179950
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The kiss was deep but soft, more of a slow and romantic one then the normal heated tempestuous ones we had shared in the past. It was a nice change, more reassuring, like the ones he would press against the back of my ear, than the normal ones. We broke apart slowly, his hand still lightly pressed against my stomach and me still laying on him. Probably we should get up before Rangeman employees from the control room came to gawk, but I couldn't bring myself to get up. Ranger's body was warm and comforting, his smell and frame familiar to me. I didn't want to lose that quite yet.
"How'd you know?" I asked him quietly, gesturing towards his hand. I was rather curious as to when he found out and I knew the more I put emphasis on the child inside me, the more time I had between explaining to Ranger about Morelli and Scrog. And I wanted to know his take on the whole issue. It was rather obvious that he was at least a little bit supportive, if the kiss was any indication, but I needed to hear it from his mouth that he was going to be there for me.
"I knew when you left, that you were pregnant anyway. I didn't know it was mine until you went to Rachel's. Jake, by the way, is very eager to meet you again, babe. You made quite the impression." The corners of his mouth were twitching as I blushed.
"Not another word about that." I told him, pointing a finger at him threateningly. Ranger smirked slightly in response and flipped us, making me squeak loudly, so that he was on top. Stupid men, always wanting to be in control. His eyes darkened momentarily and he kissed me again, pressing himself solidly against me. I shuddered lightly and he backed up, hand lazily splayed against my stomach. I got the distinct feeling that would be a frequent gesture for the next eight months.
"Fine," he told me and his eyes were light again, his tone serious. I gulped, knowing what was coming up. The talk. I hated the talk. "We won't talk about that. What do you want to do?" His eyes bored into me as he spoke, telling me I was completely in control of our situation. He wasn't going to tell me what he wanted, and since I had no idea what I wanted, I didn't know what to tell him. I knew how he felt about marriage and just the thought gave me hives. It had been different when the ring was fake, and the name change meant nothing, but I wasn't ready for the real thing. I wasn't ready for a child either, and I knew Ranger had never wanted another child. Yet the idea of giving it up was inconceivable, and abortion was out of the question. Well-developed Catholic guilt pretty much threw that out the window.
Suddenly, Ranger's very closeness was a distraction. The gentle fingers tickling my stomach, the feel of his toned body, those dark eyes waiting for me, they were all too much all of a sudden. "I can't think. Please." I told him. He got the message and slowly stood up, holding a large hand out for me. I stuck my tongue out in response and scraggily pushed myself up. I was pregnant, not handicapped. Ranger looked amused at my response but made no attempt at talking. Obviously the ball was still in my court. He leaned against the nearest car, his truck, and waited.
"I don't know what I want," I told him, suddenly nervous. What if he didn't agree with me? Sure, he had seemed affectionate to our child, but what if he still wanted to get rid of it? Put it up for adoption? I couldn't do that, it was a little person inside of me, someone we'd created. I couldn't give that up, even if Ranger wanted nothing to do with it, even if he or she was an accident. "I'm not ready for a child, Ranger. I'm scared I'll be a horrible mother or I'll get them killed because I'm so incompetent. I can't cook, I live in a one bedroom apartment and my salary can barely support me on a good day, how am I going to take care of another person?" I asked. I wanted him to say something, but he remained silent, no help at all.
Part of me appreciated the complete independence I was given, another part wanted to throttle Ranger for at that moment being the Man of Silence. Dammit, I needed answers! "But I want to keep it," I continued, my anger making me bold. "I know you never wanted another child and to you he or she might be another burden on you, but I just can't think about giving it up to someone else." No emotion from Ranger. "We created him or her," I continued softly, "and even if I lose you, I don't want to lose them." I bit my lip, ashamed of the tears that had welled up in my eyes. Stupid hormones.
Warm arms wrapped around me and before I'd even realized it, I was crying into Ranger's shoulder. "Never be afraid you'll lose me babe," he whispered. "I'll always be here." I could hear the slight amusement as he spoke, "Always your batman." I laughed despite myself.
"I don't want another Julie." I warned him when my traitor tears had finally stopped. Ranger brushed hair out of my face in response.
"They won't be. I was young and foolish. And I didn't love Rachel." He added and I smiled.
"I don't want to get married." I laid down. "Not right now." Maybe not ever. Ranger just nodded in response.
"Too much paperwork, babe." I agreed. "But what's your mother going to say?" I imagined my mother's face, pinched and irritated at the thought of an illegitimate grandchild and winced.
"She told me to stay safe and marry the bastard that got me pregnant. Maybe we'll get married." I conceded. Ranger stayed silent for a moment.
"You have a scary family, babe." I agreed fully with that statement. "We have to get a new house." He added. I didn't much like the thought but I knew it was true. As much as I loved my apartment, it was much too small to comfortably hold a family and Ranger's although significantly larger, was at the top of the Ramgeman building. Probably the Merry Men wouldn't appreciate their beauty sleep being interrupted by mini-Ranger or a little Rangette.
"You have to get a different car." I told responded. "I'm not driving our baby around in a car that looks like a drug dealer's." Ranger nodded, probably already having a car shipped down from whatever third world country he smuggled them into. "I'm not giving up sugar." I added.
"I didn't think so. Full on disease couldn't make you give up sugar. You'll have to stop bounty hunting for a while." I nodded.
"Until the baby's born. Then I'm back."
"We are never leaving the child with your family for more than an hour. Ever. Your grandmother will have it lifting up coffin lids before it can walk." This was true.
"We aren't leaving it with your Merry Men either. I won't have my child knowing how to shoot a gun before it can talk. Or know how to kill a man in ten different ways before he can recite the alphabet." Two people could play the game. There was a beat of silence as Ranger contemplated my new bargain.
"Fine. We'll hire someone. We will have to live together." I nodded, agreeing readily to that. Living with Ranger out of wedlock would be highly sinful, but me and the baby would probably be safest with him. And the idea of a closer relationship excited me more than was probably healthy.
"You have to be there for things. No more unexpected trips to third world countries for extended periods of time." I wanted to say no going in the wind whatsoever but I doubted even a Batbaby could stop Batman from saving the world.
"No more running away. Ever." I thought about it for a moment. Probably if I ran away, it would be for a good reason, like if Ranger ever found out about Morelli.
"I don't particularly want to make a blanket statement that lasts forever. I'll keep the running to a minimum." Ranger seemed resigned for that being the best I was going to offer him because he nodded. We stood in silence for a moment, wondering what else to lay down in our new found relationship. We had covered the basics. "I suppose that's it for now." I told him. He simply raised an eyebrow at me.
"Not quite, babe. Jake mentioned a rather interesting find at a local car rental-ship in Miami. Mind explaining why Morelli was handcuffed to a pole and two women matching yours and Connie's description were seen leaving?" Damn Batman and his damned ESP.
So, I really liked writing this chapter. Sort of calm after the last few, but also important, yes? I really enjoyed writing all of the 'bargaining' they were doing with each other because I could see them doing it in the actual series as they are both always slightly vying for control. I hope Ranger was still in character (I wanted him to be silently supportive) and wasn't too out there. Same with Stephanie. I did leave it on a cliffie slightly but not too bad. Next chapter will obviously be angry Ranger. I hope you liked it and thanks for reading, I'll update as soon as possible.
P.S. Fun Question: What was your favorite "condition"?