Chapter 17

Author's Note: Hi everyone! Well, here is the final chapter. I look back and can't believe it took me so long to finish this story! I feel so bad, thinking of you guys and the wait you had the endure to get to this point. As a fellow fan-fiction reader, I know what it's like to find a fic I love and get into, only to find it has been left unfinished. I want to thank everyone who left me feedback. You guys were the ones who wouldn't let me slack off and forget this story, and for that, I am very greatful to you! I hope you enjoyed reading these final chapters and I hope I was able to stay true to the characters and the show, as it has been many years since I sat down and watched this show! Thank you so much for taking the time to read this fic!

Amy paused only for a moment before walking up the walkway and up the steps to the front door of the Brown house. It had only been a few days since Ephram told her of the news, although it seemed like years since then. So much had changed that day for Amy. One minute she was packing her things and getting ready to start a new chapter in her life, taking one step closer to adulthood with her boyfriend; the next, her future was shattered into little pieces and scattered about. It had taken Amy almost a week before she had come to this point, standing out front of Ephram's house. The first few days consisted of crying, worrying and wondering where this news left her and Ephram and their future. Unable to muster the focus long enough to come up with any such answers, Amy reached out to her best friend, her brother and finally, her parents. All of a sudden, as quickly as the panic and worry set in, they disappeared and Amy was able to find some clarity. She had been so focused on how the news would effect her and her future with Ephram that it hadn't even occurred to her how Ephram felt and was going through.

She felt terrible once more thinking about it. She couldn't believe she hadn't stopped to think about Ephram, the person she loved most. She closed her eyes and recalled his face and the sound of his scared and confused voice as he told her the news. He had come to her and laid everything out, looking for nothing more than love and support from her and what did she do? She turned him away, needing time to think about things.

Shaking the thoughts from her head, Amy continued up the front steps and knocked on the front door. The streets behind her were still and quiet, covered by the dark night's sky above. Funny, she hadn't noticed the stars were out until just now. Just as she returned her attention to the front door, she saw a shadow behind the thin curtains and the door opened in front of her.

Delia looked up at Amy from her worn baseball hat, a quick smile forming on her face. "Hi Amy!"

"Hey Delia. Is your brother home?" she asked, not seeing Ephram anywhere in sight behind the little girl.

"He's in the living room playing with the baby," she explained and in the next breath, hollered to her brother. "Ephram!" Amy forced a smile as she stood in the doorway and waited, Delia standing before her. A few seconds later, Ephram rounded the corner and came into view. It was then that she caught the first glimpse of the baby in question as Ephram held him close in his arms with a blue blanket around the small bundle.


"Hey Ephram," she said, unsure of where to begin. The two stood there awkwardly for a moment, Amy's gaze fixed on the fidgeting baby in her boyfriend's arms. At first, the sight of Ephram holding a baby seemed odd to Amy; misplaced even. However, as she studied Ephram holding the baby, she noticed both Ephram and the baby had grown used to one another. She watched as the baby reached up towards Ephram's face and smiled at the sight in front of her. "I uh, I probably should have called first. Your probably busy."

"No! I mean, I'm not. I was just getting him ready for bed," he explained, looking down at the baby then back up at Amy. She took a step towards them, wanting a better look at the baby. Ephram turned to his side to allow Amy a better view of the baby.

Amy stuck her pointer finger out towards the baby's chubby fists. "Hi there." She smiled when the baby looked up at her curiously as he opened his fist and squeezed her finger. "He's got a good grip."

Ephram smiled. "Yeah, he does." Amy looked up at him and the two stood there for a moment, frozen in place. After a moment, Ephram looked down at his sister who still stood by the doorway, looking curiously back and fourth between Ephram and Amy. "Delia, want to help put him to bed?"

"Sure!" she said excitedly.

Ephram looked back up at Amy. "Let me just hand him over to my dad and we can-"

"Oh, no rush. It's okay," Amy assured him quickly. "Do what you gotta do. I'll wait for you."

Ephram forced a smile. "If you want, you can come wait inside. It'll take like, two seconds to get him settled in," he promised.

"Y'know, I think I'll wait outside. It's actually really nice out."

He nodded. "Okay. Be right back."

As promised, five minutes later, Ephram joined Amy on the front steps outside.

"That was fast," Amy observed as Ephram took a seat beside her.

"Yeah, he goes down pretty fast. Once he hits that point, there's no stopping him," Ephram explained. The two fell into an awkward silence as they sat on the front steps.

Finally Ephram broke the silence. "So…"

Amy smiled. "So." Amy turned to face him. "First, I want to apologize for kicking you out of my house like that and then not calling you for a week."

"It's okay-" he began.

"No, it's not. You've got… so much happening and when you finally open up to me about it, I freak out and send you packing. I should have sat with you, talked to you about it." She sighed. "Instead, I made it about me and how I needed time to think about things. Your thoughts and feelings should have come first and I apologize."

"It's okay. Really. The past two weeks have been…. Insane," Ephram said. "If things were reversed and you dropped something like this on me, I'd be a little freaked out at first too so don't come down so hard on yourself." He looked down at his hands before speaking again. "I don't know what to do, Amy. A part of me hopes that he isn't mine. A big part. I mean, I can't just take him to New York City with me in the fall, not to mention the fact that I'm not ready to be in control of anyone's life. I can barely navigate my own." The two smiled at one another.

"But then I look at him, this helpless little person. He didn't ask for this. It's not his fault Madison gave up on him." He raked his hands through his hair as he felt frustrated once more. "And I want to hate her, I do. But then I think about how scared and shocked I was when I found him and I think, that must be how she felt."

Amy sat there silently beside him, listening as he vented, wanting nothing more than to take all of his worry away from him. Instead, she reached over and took his hand in hers. "It just seems unfair that she left him like that. Instead of talking to you or that other guy and actually finding out whose baby it was first before leaving, she just left it all up to you to arrange and take care of."

"Yeah, that pretty much sums it up," Ephram said simply. Silence fell between the two of them as they sat on the front steps outside of the Brown house. Finally, Ephram broke the silence. "So…. Where does this leave us?" he asked, almost afraid to hear her answer. He shifted his body so that he was facing Amy. The time had come; he had been worried sick about what Amy would do once she found out. If she'd stay. If she's leave him. While as he couldn't picture going through this without her, if she chose to separate herself from the mess his life had become, he wouldn't blame her. He would have to let her go. Verbalizing his thoughts, Ephram said, "I-I know you didn't sign up for this when we got together. A baby must have been the last thing you'd expect to pop up; I know I never expected it." He paused. "The thing is, Amy, I don't know if this baby is my son or not. Not yet at least. And… I still haven't decided on what I'm going to do if he turns out to be mine. So I understand if your having second thoughts about us. I-I wouldn't blame you or anything."

. "Your right, Ephram; a baby is the last thing I'd have thought of popping up between us, especially a baby that wasn't… ours." She forced a smile. "But what I've learned from the past four years is that life..." She sighed, thinking back on the past few years with a genuine smile on her face, "…life is crazy! It can't be predicted, no matter how much we all wish it could be. The best laid plans can change in a moment." She pinned him with her gaze. "I was shocked when you first told me. Sad even at the thought of you creating a child with someone else," she admitted. "But never did I once think about leaving you to deal with all of this. I want you to know that no matter what happens; what the test says and what you decide to do, I'll support you. I'm here, I'm yours. I'm not about to leave you now. Not when you've been there for me."

Ephram felt a wave of relief crash through his entire being. He searched her face for any signs that the words she spoke were not genuine. Quickly he realized she spoke the truth. Overcome with emotion, Ephram felt tears threatening to spill down his face. Smiling, Ephram swiped the tears from his face before leaning in and capturing her lips with his own. Finally, after a few moments, Ephram pulled away, breaking off the kiss.

"I uh, I have something…" He stood up and reached into his back pocket for something before sitting back down. Amy watched as Ephram unfolded the envelop, which had been folded in half to fit inside his back pocket.

"Is that…" Amy said, her voice almost a whisper.

He nodded. "It arrived today. I-I wanted you with me when I opened it. Assuming you hadn't already run for the hills, that is." He forced a smile. The two sat there, staring down at the unopened envelop in Ephram's hand with a mixture of nervousness and curiosity.

"You don't have to open it right now if you don't want to," Amy assured him. "Whenever your ready."

Ephram sighed. "I might as well get it over with. No time like the present, right?" He turned the envelop over and stared at it for a moment before he finally made a move to open it. Taking a deep breath, he took the piece of paper out. Ephram felt his hands shake as he held it in front of him so that both he and Amy could read it. Their gazes both skimmed over the perfectly type words, stopping cold when they came across the results. There in front of them, backed up by scientific evidence, were the results of the paternity test.

Amy felt tears forming in her eyes. Tearing her gaze away from the paper, she looked up at Ephram before reaching over and taking one of his hands into her own. "I love you, Ephram."

Squeezing her hand, Ephram said, "I love you too."