Family is Forever
I have been working on this one shot for literally months and only finally found the motivation to finish it today. I hope you enjoy it. In my mind, Jordan and Rafe were soulmates and I am so sad that they aren't together anymore. But hey, at least they live on in fan fiction, right? Let me know what you think of this!
"Mom, I can't find my training bra!" Twelve year old Amy Hernandez shouted, careening into the kitchen to find her mom sitting at the table with her father. Oh dear god, her dad!
"Dad!" Amy wailed. "I thought you already left for work."
"Here I was thinking you liked when I hung around."
Amy blushed all the way to the roots of her dark brown hair. "I do but – but I mentioned a bra and –"
Rafe waved his hand. "I had two sisters growing up. I am impervious to bra talk."
Amy kept blushing and Jordan quickly stood up. "Rafe, honey, you're embarrassing her."
"Oh sorry," Rafe said faux-indignantly. "I think I'll run along so you two can talk about –" he stage-whispered - "bras!"
Jordan's lips twitched in a smile but she swatted his chest and sent him to the door. He blew little kisses to his wife and daughter and then was gone with a smirk on his face.
"God, that was so humiliating," Amy said.
"That's a true father's job – to humiliate you but ultimately love you like crazy and protect you. You're a really lucky young lady," Jordan said.
Amy nodded. "I know I am. You don't … You don't think I hurt Dad's feelings do you?"
Jordan shook her head. "No, not at all."
"Maybe I should-" Amy broke off and started running to the door. She ripped it open and ran down the porch steps. She caught her dad about to climb into his cruiser.
"Dad, wait!" Amy said.
"Am I in trouble?" Rafe asked with a little smile. He spotted Jordan standing on the steps and winked at her.
Amy shook her head. "No, Dad, I just… I feel bad for making a big deal out of that whole training bra thing."
"It's fine, honey. I'm not mad at all."
"Seriously," Rafe said, enfolding his pride and joy in a tight hug. "I love you, kid who's not so much of a kid anymore."
"But I'll always be your little girl right, Dad?"
"Absolutely," Rafe said. He pulled back and ruffled her long, curly hair and then hopped into the cruiser. Jordan and Amy stood back watching him pull out into the street. He honked the horn twice and then was gone off to work.
Amy joined her mom on the porch. "He's a good dad," Amy said.
"The best you could ask for," Jordan said. "Now come on. Let's find that bra."
Amy just rolled her eyes as they went back inside the room. They went down the hall to Amy's room. It was a pigsty, without a doubt – clothes, shoes and books strewn all about.
"Hmm this is a needle in a haystack," Jordan mused earning herself the side eye. "Well, it's true. You tackle that pile and I'll try this one."
They dug through several piles of clothing before the missing pink princess bra was located. Jordan held it up triumphantly. "Here you go." Amy snatched it from her hand.
"Thanks, now I better hurry or I'll be late for school."
Jordan's eyes went wide. "Since when do you want to be on time for school?"
"Since …" Amy blushed again.
"Oh I get it. Parker Jonas right?"
"Mom!" Amy wailed. Then she nodded. "But yeah, yeah he's so cute and I don't care if he's a lot older than me."
"Your dad might care."
"Are you going to tell him?" Amy asked. "I mean it's not like Parker and I are going to get together. He's gorgeous and perfect and look at me, I have braces and all the figure of a three-year-old."
Jordan moved to her daughter and wrapped her arm around Amy's teeny-tiny waist. "Hey listen up now, you're beautiful. As close to perfect as they come."
"You have to say that… You're my mom."
"I am your Mom but I also have eyes to see how pretty you are and how nice you are to everyone, even when you're hormonal."
"You're a real peach as they say in the South," Jordan said, "and don't you forget it."
"Look at you though, Mom. You're a knock out and I'm –"
"You're not going to let me talk bad about myself, are you?"
"Nope. Self-loathing gets you nowhere, believe me I know. I spent years hating myself and where I came from… It was so hard. It took a very special person to make me realize I wasn't half so bad."
"You mean Dad."
"Yes… I was so hard on him for the longest time but he never gave up, thank god."
"Tell me about how you met again."
"You know all that."
"Okay, tell me about how you told him I was coming."
"You really want to hear that again?"
Jordan danced nervously on the balls of her tiny feet as she waited for Rafe to return to their apartment in the city. What if he didn't like her news?
She shook her head. "No, no don't go there, Jordan," she told herself. Still, she was full of nerves and doubts as she forced herself to check on the arroz con pollo baking in the oven once more. She wondered if setting up some big dinner for two was too elaborate a way to spring the news on Rafe. He might feel bombarded and she didn't want that at all.
Just when she was half sure that her head would explode from all of the self-recriminations and doubts, Rafe came in the door. She smiled as he zeroed in on her with those smoky dark eyes of his that made her fall in love with him all over again. A feeling of peace filled her chest as he pulled her to him and hugged her tightly before giving her a sweet, soft kiss that curled her toes.
She could do this. She could tell him her news. Their news.
Rafe palmed her cheek. "Hey, babe, what's that awesome smell?"
"Arroz con pollo. Your favorite and the one dish you know I can make without ruining it."
"Hey, you've made many a satisfying meal." Rafe's lips twitched.
Jordan smacked his arm. "You're lying and you know it."
"Okay so cooking isn't your number one talent."
"Or number one hundred for that matter."
"Well, you've got other talents that I am crazy about," he said, dipping his head and kissing her deeply. Jordan smiled into the kiss as it became more and more passionate. She wrapped her arms around his waist and squeezed as his fingers knotted in the long locks of her golden hair.
"Mmm," Rafe murmured, "how many minutes do we have until dinner?"
"That's enough time, don't you think?" Rafe said and reached for the buttons on her white blouse.
"It'll do," Jordan teased as he picked her up and carried her to the sofa. He gently settled her atop the cushions and -
"Mom, stop!" Amy shouted. "Can we skip the part where you and Daddy make furious whoopee?"
Jordan blushed. "Sorry. Your dad and I just enjoy-"
"I know. Believe me, unfortunately, I know. Remember the time I walked in on you two going at it in the kitchen?"
"Yeah, that was unfortunate."
"'Unfortunate'? It scarred me for life!" Amy said. "No one likes to even think about their parents having sex. And actually seeing it -" She pointed a finger between her lips and pretended to gag.
"I get it. But remember, that's how you got here," Jordan said with a smirk. She was feeling irrevent. Rafe had always had that odd effect on her.
"So you were telling me about how you told Dad I was coming… Please skip to the post-coitus part, of course."
"Post - what?" Jordan's eyes bugged out. "You're not even thirteen yet!"
"Mom, I'm in a health class at school. Don't you want me to be informed?"
"Of course, but you're growing up so fast."
Amy sighed. "I wish I was grown up." She puffed and blew out her long chestnut-brown bangs which always hung in her eyes.
"Don't say that. You are my baby."
"Mom," Amy said, "I'll always be your baby."
"Aww," Jordan said, throwing her arms around Amy.
"Mom, you're squeezing me too tight," Amy said but hugged her back. They both laughed. Amy looked at the clock. "Oh shit."
"I know, I know. I'll put a dollar of my allowance in the swear jar on the way out the door." She broke free from Jordan. "I need to hurry up and get ready. I want to look good. Sorry, but the story will have to wait 'til later after all."
"It's okay," Jordan said. "You need help with anything, let me know."
"I do. Can you wave a magic wand and make me magically as pretty as you are?"
"What did I tell you about putting yourself down?" Jordan asked. She took Amy by her bony shoulders and positioned her in front of the full-length mirror in the corner of the messy bedroom. "Look."
"Look," Jordan said again. "Look at those high cheekbones. I'd kill for them. Look at that tiny waist. I don't think I've ever been that small, even when I was five."
"Mom, come on."
"I'm serious. Look at those big brown eyes, just like your Dad's. They're beautiful. Your hair is long and curly. I've always wanted natural curls."
"But they get all tangled."
"Worth it." Jordan smiled at her in the mirror. "You're worth it. More than worth it. You're a good person, Amy, and that's part of what makes you beautiful inside andout."
Amy's eyes dampened a bit. "You mean that?"
"Yes," Jordan said. She kissed Amy's cheek. A little smudge of rouge lipstick lingered and she wiped it away with her thumb. "I'm glad you're mine."
"I am glad to be yours too," Amy said. "You and Dad are the best parents ever."
"Really? Even when we make you put money in the swear jar?"
"Yeah. Tell me the rest of the story when I get home okay?"
"Okay. Maybe your Dad will be home by then and he can help fill in the blanks."
"Sounds good, Mom." Amy smiled. She reached for a black top and then a red one. "Which one will look better on me?"
"Mom! Mom Parker Jonas smiled at me!" Amy announced, bursting through the front door, breathless from excitement and running all of the way home.
She soon found her Mom. Of course she was in a fierce lip-lock with her Dad. "Not again," she muttered.
Jordan and Rafe broke apart. Jordan dabbed her lipstick from the corners of his mouth. "Hey, sweetheart," Rafe said.
"You're home early," Amy said. She crinkled her forehead, looking so much like Rafe in that moment that Jordan could only smile. "How much did you hear?"
"Not much," Rafe said. "I was kind of concentrated on that kiss with your Mom."
Amy rolled her eyes. "The neighbors are going to start talking if they aren't already."
Jordan and Rafe both struggled not to laugh. Rafe held out his arms to Amy. "I know you're older and far too mature but do you think you can give your Dad a welcome home hug anyway?"
Amy nodded. "Alright." She moved to him and slipped her lean arms around his waist. He kissed the top of her head.
"That wasn't so hard was it?" Rafe teased.
"No," Amy admitted. "Now I need to go take off my makeup."
Rafe looked at Jordan. "Since when does she wear makeup?"
"Since I was eleven, Dad," Amy said. "You didn't notice?"
"I thought you always had rosy cheeks…"
Amy smiled and patted his shoulder. "Oh, Dad…" She moved down the hall, hearing her parents words even as she reached her room.
"Jordan, makeup? Really?"
"It's just a little blush and lipgloss."
"What's next - fake tans, driving too fast, drinking and going to raves?"
"Calm down, Rafe."
"She's growing up too fast, Jordan. I wanted her to stay five for another fifty years at least."
"I know, me too, but she's really coming into her own. Fortunately, she's responsible and smart. She always makes good decisions."
"But she's interested in boys, Jordan. Older boys. Isn't Parker Jonas about thirty now?"
Amy cringed and sagged against the wall. So he had heard what she said about Parker. How awkard!
"He's eighteen but who is counting?" Jordan said.
"Still, he's way too old for my baby girl."
"It's just a harmless crush, Rafe. Amy will find more age-appropriate guys soon I'm sure."
"I don't want her to find age-appropriate guys. I don't want her to date period.Ever."
"That's it. I am sending her to a convent."
Jordan chuckled and then stopped abruptly. "Wait, you're serious."
"Yes. I was a teenage boy once and I know how they think. I don't want them around my daughter. I know the priest at St. Luke's. Maybe we can get her in tonight…"
"Rafe, come on. Put down your cell phone. Right now."
"Rafe, put it down. You are not putting our daughter into a convent under my watch."
"What do you have against nuns anyway?"
"Nothing," Jordan said. "I just want our daughter to have the choice. If she wants to be a nun or a model, it should always be her choice."
"Oh no, she can't be a model!"
"Why not?" Jordan asked.
Yeah, why not? Amy thought. Am I too ugly?
"Because she's beautiful, Jordan. If she models, can you imagine how many pervy guys are going to be looking at her pictures?"
Amy smiled in spite of herself. Dad had called her beautiful. True, he always did, but he did it when he didn't know she was listening!
Jordan chuckled. "I love you, Rafe."
"Mmm… Don't distract me. I was on a roll here," Rafe said. There was a loud silence and then moaning could be heard. "Jordan…"
Amy screeched under her breath and dashed for her room, slamming the door after her. Didn't they ever get tired of sexing each other up?
Amy noticed her Dad was strangely quiet at dinner, barely picking at his food. Jordan had improved as a cook over the years and now had five meals she could cook without burning. They were eating one of them - spaghetti and meatballs - and her dad loved the dish but was hardly touching it tonight. Amy figured that it was her fault and felt badly.
Jordan had noticed the tension in the room and sighed. "Amy, your dad is worried about you," she finally said.
Rafe sighed. "Jordan…"
"Well it's true. We've never been one of those families that have to hide things from each other, even when they're painful. We're not going to start doing that now. I want you two to have a good talk alone after dinner."
"You heard me," Jordan said, ripping a slice of garlic bread in half.
"Okay," Amy said with a sigh.
"Alright," Rafe agreed.
It was Amy's night to do the dishes but Jordan insisted on doing them so that she and Rafe could talk. They ended up on the porch, swinging back and forth in the big bucket swing. Amy wondered what people saw when they walked by. She was always super-conscious of how things looked. How she looked. How could she not be when her parents were the most gorgeous people alive and everyone called them the perfect couple?
"Dad-" Amy started.
"Ames -" Rafe said at the same time.
"You first," Amy said.
"No, ladies first."
Amy shook her head. "Okay… I don't know why you're mad at me. Okay maybe I know but-"
Rafe covered her hand. "Hey. I am not mad at you."
"But you are mad, right?"
"No. Just a little … scared I guess."
"My tough dad is scared? No way."
"Even tough guys have moments like this," Rafe said. "And yes, I'm scared. I am scared you're growing up too fast."
"I'm not. I still have the body of a three year old boy!"
"That's not true and that's not what I meant anyway. I mean, you're getting older and I feel I'm losing my little girl. Before I know it you're going to be asking to date."
"Well I do want to date."
"See? But you can't. Not until after I die."
"Dad, what a horrible and depressing thought!"
"Amy, this world is not always the nicest place all of the time. I see the well, un-nice side, of it every day as a police officer. If God forbid, something happened to you out there - You or your mom…"
"Dad, nothing is going to happen to me. I promise," Amy said, squeezing his large hand in her much smaller one.
"You can't promise that, baby. No one can."
"Okay, that's true, but I can make one promise."
"I promise that I will always come to you if things get too hard. I will always be careful and make smart decisions. And if something bad were to happen, I will tell you and we can get through it together."
Rafe sighed. "Damn. You really do sound so grown up."
"It's not a totally bad thing, Dad. Now that I'm growing up, you don't have to worry about me so much."
"I'll always be your little girl, Dad. Just like we talked about this morning. I'll just be your … grown up little girl. But I know one thing."
"That you'll always be my hero."
Rafe smiled and they hugged tightly. Jordan poked her head out the door. "Did you two make up?"
Rafe looked at Amy with a fond smile. "Yeah we did."
"Good," Jordan said. She stepped out onto the porch and squeezed onto the swing, on Amy's other side. She stroked her daughter's long hair as she looked at Rafe. "What do you say we tell her our story?"
"The whole story?"
"No," Amy said. "I still have so much homework!" She smiled. "Just tell me again how you found out I was coming, Dad. I really like that story."
"Okay we can tell it," Rafe said.
"Just leave out the nasty parts," Amy warned.
The sex was fabulous as always. Jordan rested her hand against Rafe's hard chest, feeling his racing heartbeat. She figured that they had about a minute before the dinner burned clean up but in that moment, she loved Rafe so much - she trusted him so much; a feeling she'd enjoyed with no other - and knew she couldn't keep her secret a secret any longer.
Rafe kissed her cheek. "What are you thinking about?"
"How much I love you."
"I love you too, babe."
"Rafe, I have to tell you something."
"Hey, you're not leaving or something are you? This wasn't goodbye sex?"
"Of course not."
"Good. Because you look serious all of a sudden. I guess there's a part of me that still worries I am going to lose you again. I know that sounds pathetic but -"
Jordan stroked the curve of his jaw. "It's not pathetic. I worry too we'll fall apart again. When things are this good, that's when you risk losing everything right?" She worried her bottom lip between her teeth.
"Well, Jordan, one thing I'm sure of is that I am here for the long haul if you are."
"I am," Jordan said.
"I'm committed to you and our life. I want it all with you - marriage, children… a future."
"I want those things too," Jordan said. She felt tears mist her eyes. "Do you really mean that part about children?"
Jordan took a deep breath. "Then I have something to tell you. I thought of a million different ways to do it. Some were more elaborate than others. Like hiring a sky writer to spell out the words.. I actually really did consider that..."
"What are you trying to tell me, sweetheart?" He curled his fingers in the wavy locks of her hair.
"I don't know how to say it. Things are so good. I don't want to jinx it and yet I am so happy. The idea of carrying your child, of having a baby with your eyes-"
Rafe's eyes widened. "Jordan, sweetheart, are you telling me that you're … pregnant?"
"Well I was trying to but I think I mangled it."
"No, you did just fine. It was perfect actually. You're perfect."
"I am not."
"You are, Jordan," Rafe said. "You are everything to me and now we will have a kid of our own. Do you know how long I've wanted to be a father?"
"Even if I'm the mother?" Jordan sniffled.
"I am thrilled you are going to be the mother of my child. That's why I didn't have kids before, I think. Because fate or whatever it is, was waiting for me to find the right person to share that amazing bond with." He moved his hands to rest gently on her still-flat tummy. "Oh my god, Jordan. We're going to be parents."
"Yes we are." A tear slid down her cheek. "You're really happy?"
"Crazy happy actually," Rafe said. "I have everything I've ever wanted right here on this sofa."
"Thank you for choosing to be with me, Jordan Ridgeway."
"It wasn't a choice, Rafe. It was the only way I could live."
"I promise I will never take you or our baby for granted."
"I am holding you to that," Jordan said. She leaned over and kissed him. The kiss grew in intensity. They only broke apart when the fire alarm started going off and thick curls of smoke began to emanate from the kitchen.
Jordan and Rafe vaulted from the sofa, running naked to the kitchen. Jordan threw up a window and Rafe began to put out the little stovetop fire with the extinguisher.
He looked at Jordan with a smile. "We've still got it, Jordan."
"Yep. Hot enough to set off the smoke detectors!"
Rafe laughed and reached for her, pulling her up into his arms. "Since dinner is destroyed, what do you say we skip right to dessert?"
"I say, hell yeah!" Jordan said as he carried her down the hall to their bedroom. He gently put her on the bed and went to climb -
"Okay stop right there!" Amy screamed at her dad.
"Hey now. I wasn't going to give you any details."
"Thank god!" Amy said.
Jordan and Rafe chuckled. "How did you like our little baby story?" Jordan asked.
"Except for the nakedness part, it's still my favorite story ever!" Amy enthused.
"Mine too," Jordan said with a soft smile.
"Can I ask you two something?"
"Sure," Rafe said.
"You really are great parents. So why didn't you two ever have any other kids besides me? I know you have a lot of love to give."
"It just never happened for us," Rafe said. "But it's okay. You're handful enough."
"Ha ha," Amy said. He ruffled her hair but she didn't mind it this time.
Jordan looked at the two of them. "We should think about giving Amy a sibling."
Rafe's eyes lit up. "You want to try?"
"You two try enough," Amy wailed.
"How soon would you want a baby?" Rafe asked.
"Is nine months too soon?"
Rafe and Amy's eyes locked on Jordan. They both noticed she had her hand resting on her taut belly. "Mom?" Amy said.
"Jordan?" Rafe said. "Are you-"
"I took the test this afternoon. It was positive."
"Oh, Mom!" Amy said. She threw her arms around her mom. "Wait. I'm not hurting you, am I?" She asked.
"You could never hurt me," Jordan said, stroking her hair. She looked over at Rafe. "Happy?"
"So happy." He leaned across Amy and kissed her. "Thank you for giving me this family."
"Thank you for wanting this family with me."
"You and no one else." Rafe kissed her again and Amy shrieked, squirming free.
"I'm going inside to call Cousin Ari. You two don't get too crazy or the neighbors will have to turn a hose on you!" She ran for the door and then paused, looking back at them holding hands and staring into each other's eyes. She wanted that someday. They looked so happy and compete with each other.
"I love you, Mom and Dad," she whispered and then slipped inside the house leaving them to talk and cuddle.