Six months after they became Mr. and Mrs. Jamison Reagan, Jamie and Eddie moved into their own home. It wasn't exactly a smooth transition, but they were finally doing it.
It took some convincing on Jamie's part to talk Eddie into it. While, naturally, the thought of a home of their own, not some apartment, appealed to her, but she was reluctant, to say the least, to move further from the city. She liked access to whatever craving she was having whenever she was having it. She liked the ease of the corner store to grab a few things during the week between their weekly trips to the larger big box store on the weekends. It would definitely be a big adjustment.
But Jamie wanted the big house with the big yard… Not necessarily as big as what he grew up with, but he wanted space. He wanted any future kids he and Eddie would have to grow up with their own piece of the outdoors to play in. They wouldn't have to stay cooped up inside until they made a trip to the park where Eddie and Jamie would have to be on the lookout for anyone looking at their kids the wrong way. No, he wanted the safety of his own backyard. Unfortunately, you couldn't get that in Brooklyn Heights on their budget.
As a compromise, Jamie promised Eddie that any house they agreed on would have a huge kitchen that he would always keep fully stocked as if his life depended on it. He got a laugh out of her with that one. She'd agreed, but only after he also promised to get (and cook for her, of course) many of his grandfather's recipes. Naturally, after enjoying family dinner with the Reagans this past year, she'd become a little spoiled.
Once they'd gotten engaged she'd moved into Jamie's apartment. It'd made sense, he was in the nicer neighborhood, his apartment was bigger and her lease was up first. She'd talked to her landlord and he'd let her out of her lease early because she had already lined up another tenant, another officer from their precinct. To be honest, he had a soft spot for her, but even better, he liked the idea of having police officers in the building.
Even with the larger size of Jamie's apartment, they'd both had to put things in storage to make room for her. So now they were unpacking boxes and trying to find a place for all of their things. They had been in sort of a stand off on some of their larger furniture, but otherwise everything was going fairly smooth.
The mantle of the fireplace and shelves of their built-in bookcases on either side of it were slowly filling with books, knick-knacks, mementos and photos. Even after Jamie had packed up things from his apartment to make room for Eddie, trying his best to make her feel at home, it still felt like his place to her. This was definitely starting to look and feel like their own.
Eddie walked back into the living room from the kitchen carrying two beers, placing one on the coffee table next to the box her husband was currently unpacking. She sat on the sofa just to the right of it and picked up the thick photo album he just put down.
She flipped through a page or two before looking back up to Jamie, smiling. "Oh, look! Little Jamie Reagan!" When he looked to her, she pointed to a picture of him; he must have been about seven years old. He was grinning, holding a fishing pole in one hand and in the other he was wearing a glove holding onto the line from which a fish half as tall as he hung below. "You were so cute." she exclaimed. He raised his eyebrows at that. "Were?" She rolled her eyes as she continued. "You know what I mean… Its not that often I see a smile that big out of you. You're always so serious." He leaned back over, getting a better look at the photo. "That was the first one I caught 100% on my own. I fought him for the better part of an hour, Pops and Dad kept trying to help but I wouldn't let them." Eddie grinned up at Jamie as he turned back to his box before she returned her focus back to the album, flipping through more pages.
She flipped one page and burst into laughter. "Okay, spill, what happened here? I gotta know, who started it?" Jamie leaned back over the photos and starting laughing as well. The photo in question was one of all four Reagan kids covered in cake and frosting almost from head to toe in the family backyard. They were in an odd group hug in the picture, but it obviously hadn't started out as cordial.
Jamie sat down next to Eddie and told the story. "It was Erin's… I believe 14th birthday, maybe? She was taking forever pulling out the candles after she blew them out and Danny was getting impatient. After she got out the last one he and Joe each took a side and pushed her face into the cake. Most girls would've cried, but not Erin. After the initial shock wore off she grabbed two handfuls of cake and they each got one in the face. Next thing I know, she's throwing some across the picnic table at me just because I laughed. After that, it was on. Full out cake fight, all of us grabbing handfuls and chasing each other around. Since I was the youngest, Joe made sure they didn't gang up on me and then it turned into two-on-two, me and Joe versus Erin and Danny. This was after the smoke cleared. I don't know who or even if anyone actually won, I just remember that we ran out of ammo pretty quick."
Eddie was laughing so hard she was nearly in tears by the time he was finished. "Oh my god, what did your Dad say?" She couldn't imagine the gruff Frank Reagan being too amused by that. "Dad? You gotta remember that he was never the tough PC at home, he was just Dad. Back then Connors was still in charge, but you know what I mean. He and Pops just sat back and laughed at our antics. Mom, though? Now that was another story. She didn't appreciate that the cake that she baked and decorated herself got demolished that way. That didn't stop her from still giving us ice cream later that night though… Just in separate rooms, of course. But…" He'd kept it together so far, but now he was starting to lose it. "She wouldn't let us back into the house until after Dad hosed us all off first. He had a lot of fun with that." Now they were both doubled over with laughter.
Once they settled down they returned to flipping through the album, Jamie now being generous with the stories behind many of the photos. Eddie was mesmerized; she loved learning more about him and his childhood. Since they officially got together she had slowly learned more about him and his past. He had always been more of a private person, but he had slowly been opening up to her. Usually talking about his past brought up sad memories, so she tried not to push. But seeing him like this, so animated as he relived those moments in his mind, she couldn't help but fall more in love with him.
It also reminded her of what she missed out on being an only child. Granted, her parents did what they could to ensure she wanted for nothing and let her have friends over whenever possible, but it just wasn't the same as having brothers and sisters. There was a closeness and comradery that the Reagan kids had that she would never fully understand.
As they continued flipping pages they came upon a few from Jamie's high school graduation. There was a posed shot of him with the whole family and then one with just him and his parents; she had seen that one framed at family dinner once. But then there was one that really made her smile. Erin was smiling on one side of Jamie, who was making a funny face at the camera, while Joe was on the other side caught laughing as he watched his younger brother. Something about it looked so familiar that it kept nagging at Eddie.
"Babe, I know this is gonna sound crazy, but I swear I knew him." Jamie looked up at Eddie; he could tell she was thinking hard by the look on her face. "Who? Joe?" She nodded, but kept racking her brain trying to place him. "Well, you've seen his picture before." He reasoned, trying to put her at ease. She shook her head and leaned toward the picture for a closer look. "No, that's not it… I've seen his NYPD portrait. And there's a bunch of posed shots at your Dad's house. I always figured it was just the family resemblance... But… There's just something… so familiar… about these candid ones." She scrunched up her face, deep in thought as she studied the picture.
Almost ready to give up, she flipped through a couple more pages before leaning back and crossing her arms in front of her. It was so close, she could almost picture him. She growled and leaned her head back on the couch while Jamie just continued to chuckle at her. Just as Jamie reached for the long-forgotten box he had been emptying earlier, she jumped up. "I got it. He pulled me over."