Author's Notes:- Thanks to Stonedtoad for betaing.
"Idiot, idiot, idiot," Rodney muttered to himself as he sat in the lab trying to study while unable to get his mind off the slap he'd just received. He should have known better than to actually open his mouth and make a comment after they'd met but he had which led to his now stinging cheek and amazingly stinging heart.
She'd been beautiful with shoulder length blonde hair, bright blue eyes and an absolutely bewitching smile, someone far too good for an idiot like him.
Glancing up at the clock he realised he had at least another three hours before his lecture so he could either sit here and feel sorry for himself or study what they were doing today.
Looking down at his books he grimaced and dropped his head onto the desk, "Rodney, you're an idiot."
Alisa Bonner shook her head in annoyance at the guy who'd just called her a 'dumb blonde' seconds after meeting her. Her best friend Margo was dating his friend Tim and they'd assured her he was a nice guy, that's what she got for listening to them. She had decided to take a shortcut past the physics labs and frowned hearing someone talking.
"Idiot, idiot, idiot," the familiar voice ranted, "Rodney you're an idiot."
She stopped a little surprised at the voice, moving she managed to look into the room while still hiding from his sight.
"All you had to do was say hi, nice to meet you," he continued berating himself, "But could you? No. You had to insult her in the first ten seconds, the most beautiful woman you've ever seen and you offend her."
A blush covered Alisa's face that he thought she was beautiful surprised he seemed so upset by it, he didn't seem the type.
"Come on Rodney," he said sternly, "Get over it. She never would have gone out with you anyway."
"Says who?" Alisa asked walking in seeing him jump in shock.
"Alisa," Rodney gasped, "Oh I…well…I…"
"Stop before you hurt yourself," she couldn't help smiling at his look of confusion.
Rodney took a deep breath, "I'm sorry about what I said. I really didn't mean to say that to you I just…my mouth sort of runs on automatic sometimes. I didn't mean to call you a blonde… I mean a dumb blonde because of course you're blonde but you seem really intelligent though…" he stopped as she placed a finger onto his lips.
"Do you have a class just now?" she asked him stopping him from speaking, "Just nod or shake your head," at the shake of his head she smiled, "Alright then you can buy me a cup of coffee and apologise some more."
A little shocked he nodded and grabbed his books tossing them in his backpack before following her out.
"You know for an English Major you're actually easy to understand," Rodney teased grateful that she laughed instead of slapping him again.
"And you're not as pale skinned as the rest of the science club," Alisa retorted sipping her coffee, "Tim was right you're not that bad."
"I'm flattered," the automatic sarcastic response shot out before Rodney could stop it, "I didn't…"
"Stop apologising," Alisa told him, "I get your sense of humour. I'm no dumb blonde remember?"
Rodney narrowed his eyes before tossing the cookie he had at her, Alisa deftly caught it and smiled.
"Chocolate, you know the way to a girl's heart," she took a bite before he could say anything.
Rodney laughed his eye catching the clock on the wall, "Oh no, I've got a class in ten minutes."
Alisa shrugged, "Oh. I suppose I'll see you around," she finished her coffee and grabbed her bag.
"Will you have dinner with me tonight?" he blurted out.
"You took long enough to ask," Alisa grinned, "Of course I will."
Rodney felt a grin spread across her face, he impulsively kissed the side of her mouth before he ran out of the café. Alisa shook her head amazed at how different he was now that he had relaxed around her.
"Where will I get you?" he asked reappearing suddenly.
"Meet me at Margo's at seven," she smiled watching as he nodded and ran out again now late for class.
Alisa sat cuddled up to Rodney on his couch after everyone else had left her surprise birthday party, she'd been amazed he'd organised all this with her parents without her even suspecting but she had come to realise over the few years they'd been dating that Rodney was full of surprises. Despite the fact that he hated his parents he got along brilliantly with hers, in fact they absolutely adored him. Her mother just mothered him incessantly while her father seemed to have made Rodney into the son he'd never had.
"Thank you," she murmured to Rodney cuddling closer, "I never suspected you for a minute."
"You're lying," he laughed gently kissing her forehead, "But I forgive you."
Alisa giggled snuggling closer frowning as he moved away from her, "Rodney?"
"I have another present for you," Rodney said pulling a small jewellery box out of his jacket, "Actually I have a question."
"A question?" she frowned more than a little confused.
Rodney sat beside her again and took her hand, "You know how much I love you right?"
"I have an idea," her blue eyes sparkled.
Rodney took a deep breath, "I don't mean we have to do this straight away. I mean we both have to graduate then find jobs but I never want to lose you."
"You won't," Alisa touched his cheek confused by how serious he was being.
Rodney smiled and opened the box to reveal the small diamond ring, "Then say you'll marry me one day?"
Alisa gasped in amazement unable to speak she covered her mouth with her hands taking several deep breaths and Rodney waited for her to answer him. After a moment he realised she was crying.
"Lis?" he whispered thinking he'd upset her, "What's wrong? I didn't mean to…" she stopped him talking by placing a finger on his lips.
Alisa took a deep breath sniffing back tears, "Yes."
"Yes?" Rodney asked in astonishment.
Alisa launched herself into his arms hugging him tightly laughing, "Of course yes."
Rodney laughed wrapping his arms around her for a few moments before he pulled back and pulled the ring from its box. Taking her hand he slipped the ring onto her finger, "I love you."
Alisa kissed him softly, "I know and I love you too."
As they kissed Rodney didn't think he'd ever been so happy and was content to hold her for the rest of his life no matter where he went.
Alisa sat staring at the ring on her finger wondering if this would change his decision to be with her. It was something she definitely hadn't expected but it was happening and she was terrified.
"Hey," Rodney appeared quickly kissing her cheek before dropping into the seat beside her, "What a day, my computer decided to crash as I was working on my paper. I think I saved everything so hopefully I won't have to spend all night rewriting it. What about you?"
Alisa looked up at him, "Oh…I had my doctor's appointment."
"I almost forgot," he grimaced, "Is everything okay? You were pretty sick yesterday."
Alisa shook her head, "I…em…I…"
"Lis honey," Rodney took her hands, "What's wrong? Tell me."
"I'm pregnant," she whispered seeing shock fill his eyes.
Rodney stared at her for a long time before finally managing to ask, "Are you sure?"
Alisa nodded, "Doctor confirmed it. I'm three months pregnant," she started to cry allowing all her fear and confusion out after holding it in all day.
Rodney wrapped his arms around her rocking her murmuring to her, "Its okay, we'll be fine."
"I won't give up the baby," she told him sharply.
Rodney frowned that she thought he would suggest such a thing, "I wouldn't ask you to but we'll need to think of something. And we have to tell your parents."
"I don't know if I can," Alisa whispered burying her face against his chest, "How do I tell them this?"
Rodney held her close, "With me."
She nodded and just stayed in his arms only moving when he lifted her face up to his.
"We're going to have a baby Lis," he smiled at her, "This is a good thing, this is something I want…I expected maybe in a few years but I can move my timetable up."
"Timetable?" she asked suspiciously.
He nodded, "This means you're due to write your best selling novel next year though."
Alisa laughed and for the first time since she'd been given the news she felt hopeful, looking into her fiancé's eyes she smiled seeing her future in there.
Rodney looked down at the tiny bundle sleeping in his arms, he laughed as she yawned, her tiny nose wrinkling before she settled back into slumber.
"Hey," a tired voice made him tear his eyes away from his child.
"Hey," he grinned back, "Here's our daughter Lis."
Tears welled up in her bright blue eyes as Rodney rested the baby in her arms, "Oh Rodney she's beautiful."
"Yes she is," he pulled the seat up beside her and sat watching them together, "Alisa," he breathed into her thin blonde hair not wanting to wake the child, "Marry me now."
Alisa stared at him, "Really?"
"We've just had a baby and I want to be able to say my wife and child," he teased weakly, "Your parents are here and when they kicked me out earlier I met the Chaplin. I know it won't be the wedding you had in mind but…"
"Yes," Alisa told him, "Please. You get the priest and send in my parents."
Rodney leaned in and gently kissed her being careful of both the baby and how fragile she was these days. The cancer had taken its toll on her body and although none of them wanted to say it they knew Alisa would not see the next morning.
Running out of the room he met Alisa's parents who both hugged him tightly.
"Well?" Andrea asked him.
"It's a girl," Rodney told them, "Andrea, Arthur, we're going to get married now. I'm going to get the priest."
They both nodded and disappeared inside Alisa's room leaving him alone. Rodney leaned against the wall for a moment taking in a deep shuddering breath, no matter how long they'd been expecting this it still felt like someone had punched him in the gut. She had been six months pregnant when they discovered she was sick and by then there was nothing they could do. If she was treated it would harm the baby and neither of them wanted that, unfortunately now she was too weak to even be treated which was why he wanted them to get married now.
It wasn't hard to find Father Harris, they'd spoken earlier in the day and he was actually waiting for Rodney to come by. Rodney wasn't religious in any way but Alisa was so at her request he'd lit a candle in the small chapel earlier in the day.
"Rodney," the older man greeted him with a nod when he entered the chapel again, "Has the baby been born yet?"
"It's a girl," Rodney told him.
"And do you have a name for her yet?" Harris continued.
Rodney shook his head, "Father, I was hoping you'd marry us. Alisa is not going to make it and…and…"
Harris rested his hand on Rodney's shoulder, "It's alright son. Do you have rings and witnesses?"
Rodney pulled out a small jewellery box; he'd stumbled across the rings when trying to get a birthday present for Alisa's mother and had been carrying them around with him for the past few days.
"Her parents are here," Rodney explained.
Harris nodded, "Then let's go."
Rodney sat at Alisa's side his arm around her so that they were both holding the baby who was fast asleep completely unaware of the excitement in the room. The wedding had been quick as Alisa was getting weaker and weaker.
"Rodney," she whispered.
"I'm sorry," Alisa sighed, her head resting against his shoulder.
Rodney frowned confused, "For what?"
"Leaving you and the baby," Alisa cried, "I wanted so much to be able to stay with you both."
"You just need to get your strength back," Rodney told her.
"Liar," she sighed, "I love you."
"I love you too," Rodney felt his tears starting to slip along his cheeks, "I was thinking, for the baby's name."
"I want to call her Alisa," he told her, "After her mother."
A faint smile touched Alisa's lips, "I like that," she looked down on the little girl resting against her, "Little Lissa."
"What do you two think?" Rodney asked Alisa's parents who were sitting at their sides.
"I think it's perfect," Andrea whispered as she tried to hold back her own tears.
Alisa sighed, "I'm so tired."
Rodney swallowed hard, "Go to sleep honey. Just rest."
Alisa's eyes closed as she leaned against him, "I love you," she murmured.
He could feel her breathing slow and soon she was at peace.
Rodney shook with grief relieved when Andrea took the baby from them; he pulled Alisa close sobbing into her hair feeling his world crash down around him.
"Rodney," Andrea whispered touching his shoulder, "Rodney."
He pulled away from his wife looking up at his mother-in-law who stood beside him the baby in her arms tears flowing freely along her cheeks. Andrea placed the little girl into his arms as he stared at her confused.
"She's yours Rodney," Andrea reminded him, "And you need to be strong for her."
Rodney stared down at the baby who was still fast asleep, "I don't know if I can do this."
Andrea gently stroked his hair, "Yes you can and we'll always be here for you, you know that."
Rodney nodded moving his daughter to rest against his shoulder as she started to fuss slightly, "I promise that I will do everything to be the best father to you," he murmured to the warm bundle resting against him, "You are the most important thing in my life Lissa," he gently kissed her, "My little Lissa."