A/N: So, just as I'm finishing one I got an idea for another STEAM fan fiction, probably longer and definitely more of a slow burn than this one. I'll leave the summary at the end of this chapter and if it sounds like something you guys are interested in reading let me know.
Here's the final chapter! I'm kind of sad its ending, but proud that I finished the story! Anyway, Enjoy!
"We have to be quiet, okay River?" I said, gently rocking her as she stared up at me with unfocused blue eyes. "Mommy's sleeping, and we need to let her rest for a while. You really tuckered her out."
She wasn't crying. Since her first cry, she'd been in a much better mood, and vocal about it in her gurgles.
"The books said you were going to sleep most of the day." Other than a little nap when Steffy first fell asleep, she'd been awake for the last three hours, and I was doing all I could to keep her from waking her mother. "You're already a rebel."
Steffy was sprawled out on the bed, her head leaning off the pillows slightly. Her face was still a little red from all the pushing and screaming, her hair no longer in the pretty curls from before, but straight, matted down against her face.
She looked tired, my sleeping beauty.
River was oblivious, as she stuck her fist in her mouth, humming.
"Do you remember daddy's voice?" I asked, she stopped humming. "I tried to talk to you every day when you were still inside mommy. I wanted you to know me, and to know my voice. To know that I'd always be here for you. I'll always be your safe place. I promise."
I had taken to pacing when I held her, she seemed to like it more than when I sat, but I got her to be really quiet when I did it in a square. Or maybe I was tired and imagining things.
"I'll be here even when you don't need me anymore. When you get big and strong and brave. And I know you'll be brave, because your mother is the bravest person I know." I said, adjusting her little hat.
"That's why we gave you your name. River Cayden Spencer. We had reached a stalemate in the big decision about your name, River and Cayden were both on the list, but so was Paris. At first Paris started out as a name Carly gave your mom, for no real reason except it was a different length than Penelope or Jo. But as time passed, your mom started to love it, just like she loved Paris. It had been her escape in hard times, and she knew whenever she faced anything hard again, she'd always find happiness and escape in you. It meant a lot to her. It reminded her of Aspen, too, our little guardian angel in the sky."
She stared at me, blinking not looking any closer to sleep.
"The thing is, Paris is beautiful. When we lost Aspen, Steffy was able to find a way to move on there, but it meant leaving me behind. Most of the times she'd gone to Paris was usually to escape some pain that we were facing, or something I had done."
I smiled down at her. "Daddy makes mistakes sometimes."
She grasped my finger in her hand.
"I didn't want your name to be a reminder of sadness, even in reference of finding joy again after sadness. I wanted Cayden. It was originally on your mom's list. She was very much in love with the idea of you rocking a boy's name."
"Cayden means warrior. I thought it was very fitting considering how much we fought to be together, and how hard your mother fought to be able to have you. You were born of a fighter, and we knew that strength would flow in you. But we wanted you to have a name that was solely yours, one that was unique and uncommon, so we settled on Cayden for your middle name."
I remembered being one of three Liam's in my class, it didn't bother me much, being referred to as Liam C., to the others, Liam F. And Liam K., but I knew our daughter would be one of a kind and I wanted her name to represent that.
I was looking through our old photo albums when I came across a picture Steffy and I had taken in Aspen. We were looking for Katie, after she had left Will because of her postpartum, and we were basking in Will's cuteness. We were just dating, but it was at that trip that I brought up having kids.
"A little girl." Steffy had said when we were lying on the bed. "I can only handle one boy at a time."
Later, on that trip, we went for a walk and stumbled across a river, flowing steadily between the trees, and took a picture.
"So, I offered the name River again. It had been brought up in passing in our little Veto game, but now it was up for serious consideration, and your mom wasn't convinced. I had to sell her on the name."
Her brow puckered on her tiny wise little face as if she were asking, 'what the heck?'
"Yeah, I know right. River is an awesome name, isn't it? But I had to convince her. It was a beautiful tribute to Aspen in the same way she thought Paris could be, and I showed her the picture, how happy we looked with the river streaming along behind us, but she wasn't sold yet."
"No." I shook my head.
"It wasn't until late into the night that I realized why I love the name so much. When I woke her up, I thought she was going to punch me." I chuckled at the memory.
"The river was us, our love. It was constant and flowing, sometimes it was choppy and rough, and other times is was steady as a beating drum. In the path of a rock, the water would drift apart, but it wouldn't disappear, and when it flowed past that point it came together. The river's always changing, always flowing, and even in drought when it might dry up a little, all it took was a little rain to give it back its strength. Our love had been rough and steady, we had drifted apart, and sometimes it looked like we might dry up, but we always came back together. We always got back our strength." I said, my voice quieting as her little eyelids fluttered.
"You are our strength. You are our love. And every day we'll look at you and say your name and be reminded of our love and who it created."
I was whispering then, as I walked over to the bassinet, gently placing her inside, careful not to wake her.
I collapsed into my chair beside it, sleep pulling be under.
It was a rustling that brought me back some awareness.
It was a nurse.
She was handing River to Steffy, saying something about proper positioning and latching that I was too tired to listen attentively to. I cracked my eyelid, and Steffy sat awake in the bed, River in her arms.
The nurse congratulated her on a good latch, asked her if she was comfortable as Steffy ran a finger over River's cheek nodding.
"I heard your dad telling you that he came up with your name. Most of it was true, except for that beautiful part in the end when he realized the river was us. I actually came up with that part. Let me tell you what really happened."
I smiled, eyes falling shut. I was too tired to protest.
"So, when I woke up the next morning and told him all of what I'd dreamed, and he said he'd woken me up last night and said that to me…"
I had woken her up, she'd just been too tired to remember it properly.
But I'd let her win this one, just for now.
I shut my eyes, welcoming the blackness of unconsciousness.
I didn't even hope for nice dreams.
Nothing could top my reality.
A/N: There it is. The final chapter. I hope you guys like it. I really enjoyed writing this story, and the last chapter was a little short, but I didn't want to force more words into a story that I felt was done. I just wanted to end on a less dramatic note and give insight into the beautiful name.
Who knows, maybe down the line, I'll write an epilogue or two, of just little snippets of their life together.
Thanks so much for reading!
Anyway, I did start something new based off of episode 7881, so the episode that aired yesterday (June 13th). The story starts with this episode, so Hope is pregnant, Liam has zero backbone and absolutely no mind of his own, and Steffy is kind of defeatist but holding on to faith, and it's going to be a spinoff from that episode.
Here's the actually summary, and if you want me to post this then let me know and I will.
Summary: AU based off of episode 7881
Set After Liam tells Steffy that Hope is pregnant and that he wants to wait to get married. Steffy is tired of Liam's indecision and makes a decision of her own; to do the best thing for her and her daughter. But will everyone agree on what that is? And will Liam let her go without a fight?
Warning: Very angsty, somewhat bitter Steffy. Possible other Steffy relationship.