DISCLAIMER: Don't own 'em. Thinking the coup isn't necessary any longer, but still ready, willing and able to stage one should the need arise.
A/N: Ummm...I got nothin'.
When You Let It: Chapter One
Jordan switched off the vacuum cleaner, wondering yet again how she'd been roped into this. Sure, it was just a small get-together – no one was using the words "baby" and "shower" in the same sentence – but it was still a party of sorts and it was still being held at her place. She'd tried every argument she could think of: Bug had finally stepped to the plate and was dating Lily, so they should use his place; Nigel had a flair for this sort of thing; Garret's place was bigger; if they surprised Lily with their little gathering at her place, she wouldn't have to worry about carrying things home with her.
Nothing had worked. Bug's place was too small. Nigel's place was too… Nigel. Garret's place was too masculine. And surprising Lily with a party at her place just wouldn't be right. No, Jordan, it has to be your place, they'd all insisted. So here she was. The Pearle Street apartment sparkled from top to bottom. Her refrigerator was crammed full of the makings of some weird 7-Up and sherbet punch, three types of dip, vegetables, chicken wings and who knows what else. Garret was bringing a few more chairs when he arrived and Woody was bringing a six-pack; God knew Jordan was going to need it. She hoped he would actually manage a twelve-pack – otherwise she might not share.
There was only one thing left to do. Another thing she could hardly believe they'd roped her in to doing. Jordan was taking Lily shopping and then bringing her back to Pearle Street, where their friends would be waiting to surprise the mother-to-be. How this differed wildly from surprising Lily in her own home was something no one could explain to Jordan, but since it had been proposed somewhere around the time of that 7-Up punch and the three kinds of dip, she'd thrown her hands up in surrender.
A knock at the door summoned her and, grabbing her purse, she made her way to the front. Nigel. Early, of course. Jordan let him in, glad she didn't have to leave the key under the mat. Then again, this was one day a break-in might not have bothered her; she'd have been able to dispense with this foolishness.
As she drove to pick up her very pregnant friend, the M.E. mused it wasn't that she was against showers – of the baby or bridal variety – as a general rule. She would have happily attended one for Lily, but "throwing" this sort of thing wasn't something she felt comfortable with. Not to mention that Lily had said more than once that, given the awkwardness of the whole situation, she didn't really want one. Everyone else kept saying she was protesting too much and besides every new mom should have one. Jordan would have opted for buying half of Lily's wish list from the local baby shops, but no one would let her. So she was picking up Lily and they were going to get a couple more items for the layette – blankets, onesies, some other things Lily had mentioned and Jordan had pretended to know what she meant. Then it would be back to Pearle Street on some pretext that Jordan had yet to make up and… surprise!
Lily levered herself into the El Camino and thanked Jordan for agreeing to take her shopping. "I have everything. I know I do, but… oh, I probably don't! I'm not ready."
Jordan smiled weakly. "I bet every mom-to-be says that! I'm sure you're ready, Lil."
"I don't know," she sighed. "I'm never going to be ready. What was I thinking?"
The last left Jordan completely at a loss for words.
"Well, I mean, obviously, I wasn't exactly thinking. I mean, who thinks during-"
"Lily? Um…no offense, but…."
The grief counselor blushed. "Sorry." She chuckled. "Too much information?"
"A little." Jordan shrugged and smiled. "So, what are we buying today?"
Lily's list and descriptions occupied them until they arrived at the department store that Lily had discovered carried all-natural, organic, probably holistic baby clothing, blankets and so on. They took the elevator to the third floor and Jordan trailed her pregnant friend as Lily made her selections.
Purchases complete, they made their way back to the elevator. "So… um… I hope you don't mind if we stop at my place on the way back," Jordan said, as casually as she could. "I have… something I wanted to –"
"You got suckered into hosting my baby shower?" Lily interrupted with a laugh.
"Please." She grinned. "All the whispers, the looks I've been getting, the way everyone has been so agreeable about not throwing me a shower… it wasn't that hard to guess."
"Oh, jeez." Jordan groaned. "Will you pretend to be surprised? I mean, they'll think I told you and… what?"
Lily's face had paled. "I – I don't think I'm going to have to pretend!"
Lily looked down.
Jordan's gaze followed hers – to the puddle of water. Their eyes met and locked.
"My water broke!"
Which was when – of course – the elevator jerked to a stop. Between floors.
END Part One