A/N: It's been soooo long since I've written FanFiction. We're talking years, people. And I have never before written a General Hospital FanFic. Pretty please be gentle. :
Summary: Johnny and Lulu were never conventional. First came baby then came marriage. Then came Lulu's almost death.
Lulu Spencer couldn't help but roll her eyes and smirk at all the huffing and puffing that was coming from her friend.
"You didn't have to come," Lulu reminded her.
"I know that," Maxie Jones snapped. "I just don't understand what's wrong with schools these days. The program said 7:00 and it's 7:30 and do you see anyone on stage? No, no you do not. You see a big red, ugly thing covering the scenery."
"You mean a curtain?" Lulu asked slowly, stifling laughter.
"Whatever! All I'm saying is I came here to see the Christmas tree portrayed by my lovely and highly talented godson."
Lulu threw her head back and filled the small auditorium with uncontainable laughter. Lulu could feel her face getting red and her sides begin to ache. Oh, wow! She couldn't breathe, but she could feel Maxie's glares.
"I'm sorry. It's just-" she quickly broke off again in another fit of laughter after glancing at Maxie's face.
"You are so rude, Lesley," Maxie muttered, folding her arms. Lulu shook her head and grabbed a hold of Maxie's arm, still with a grin plastered to her face.
"I'm sorry, Maxie. Really, I am. It's just I can't figure out where you got it in your head that you're my son's godmother! Isn't Aunt Maxie good enough?"
Sometimes it still made Lulu take a double take when Maxie bounded into Lulu's little house, holding scones and coffee to go around. Lulu wasn't sure exactly when it happened but it did. A truce between Maxie and Lulu was formed and from the truce sprung friendship, a really good friendship at that. Lulu finally understood what Georgie had always been trying to tell everyone about her older sister. Maxie really was a good person when she wanted to be. Except, for when Maxie meddled in Lulu's affairs. That just annoyed Lulu to no end.
The lights dimmed and happy sighs were expressed from parents all throughout the room. "Thank you, Jesus!" Maxie yelled out, looking up to the ceiling. Laughter was heard around and Lulu just shook her head. Maxie Jones was definitely a force to be reckoned with.
The play was utterly adorable and Lulu couldn't help but radiate pride as she looked up at her son stomping around the stage in a fuzzy green Christmas tree costume made by Great Grandma Lesley. As Lulu sat on the edge of her seat holding her Kodak camera and smiling like an idiot, she felt the hairs on the back of her neck rise.
She didn't need to look to confirm her thoughts. She could feel his presence all the way in the second row. Well, of course he would be here. This was their son's big debut. Just because he was a rotten husband didn't mean he was a rotten father. It would certainly make things easier if he was.
Lulu could feel his stare burning into the back of her neck. Her hands began to sweat and Lulu quickly decided that the 256 pictures she had taken were enough and slid back into her plush seat. She glanced over to Maxie and saw the annoyed expression plastered to her face as she steadied the video camera.
"People have the biggest freaking heads," Maxie muttered. The people in front slowly lowered in their seats. On any other circumstances, Lulu would have laughed.
Before she knew it, everyone around her was standing and clapping. Finally. She needed to get out of here.
"So, what are we doing for dinner tonight?" Maxie asked as they shuffled out of their row.
"I don't know. Nathan said he would think about it," Lulu replied shakily.
Maxie groaned. "I don't want to eat at McDonald's!" Lulu forced a laugh.
"From the way he was talking in the car I think we might be going to Kelly's."
"Actually, I was hoping to take Nathan home with me tonight," a rough voice cut in. Lulu turned around to see Johnny standing behind her.
"Aww. Trying to be a hands on dad now are we, Johnny Z?" Maxie asked snidely. "I thought we've discussed this. Nathan's a bright kid with the world as his oyster and he doesn't need his gangster dad screwing his life up. Why don't you just get lost?"
Before Johnny could reply Lulu cut in. "I really think that's up to Nate. He's a big boy now and he can decide form himself."
With a glare to Maxie, Johnny nodded to Lulu. "You're right, but before he gets here I wanted to talk to you. Alone."
"S'okay," Lulu muttered to Maxie. With a stomp of her foot and a roll of her eyes Maxie marched back stage in search of Nathan.
Lulu turned so her whole body was facing Johnny and took in a deep breath. He was still gorgeous as the day he picked her up hitch hiking, but not as reckless. Maybe it was running the organization or becoming a dad or maybe even becoming a husband. Lulu couldn't say, but she did know that she loved or used to love the man that he had become. Before he had decided that she wasn't good enough.
"So," she said slowly. "What did you want to talk about?"
Whew. He really didn't waste anytime.
"Okay . . . "
"I just wanted to know if you were confused about anything." Lulu hated the tone he used with her. He always sounded so formal, like they were talking about territories or money transfers. "Because I know that you've had the papers for about a week now and they're all signed on my part. I'd really like it if you got them-"
"I've been busy," she stated coldly. His jaw tensed and he crossed his arms over his chest.
"It's just a couple of signatures, Lu. Everything's fair. You're getting a lot more than my lawyer advised and Nathan's set for life."
"You think that's what's taking so long? You think that I'm worried about how much money I'm getting or which vacation house I'll be keeping?"
The "no" was never spoken, but Lulu knew he was thinking it. Just like he knew she wanted to punch him in the face.
"Why did you even marry me?" Lulu hissed. "Hell, why did you even get involved with me? This is what you were afraid of. You were afraid I would get shot and I did. You knew it was going to happen one day. You knew! So why all the surprised faces and divorce papers?" He frustrated her to no end!
Johnny sighed and a muscle in his jaw ticked. "I married you because you were pregnant. You and I both know that. Don't act like I spent days upon days rehearsing my proposal speech and arranging a nice little dinner at the MetroCourt. I did what was right by you and our son. Yes, I was afraid you'd end up like my mother, because I was fond of you and didn't want you dead."
"You were fond of me?" Lulu asked taking a step back. Just because he wanted to rewrite history didn't mean she had to.
"I'm so scared," Lulu whispered against Johnny's neck. He just hugged her tighter.
"I'm not going anywhere. You're not eighteen. You're almost twenty-two years old. Hell, if I want to be married to anyone, it's gonna be you." Lulu laughed into his neck. "Hey, I'm being serious."
Lulu's laughter ceased. "About the age part, because me too." Johnny rolled his eyes.
"No. About the married part." Johnny took her face into his hands and brushed a kiss against her forehead, her eyelids, her nose and then rested his head against hers. "I think it would be pretty nice. Just me and you all the time. Hey, we could help the environment by saving water and showering together."
"Since when do you care about the environment, Zaccarha?"
"Since that little idea popped into my head. I'm being serious Lulu. A little walk down the aisle and it's you, me, and baby makes three for the rest of our lives." Lulu shook her head.
"I don't want to get married just for a baby. I want to get married because of love."
"Do I not tell you enough?" Johnny asked. He tilted her head up so that she was looking him straight in the eye. "Because I do. I've never loved anyone like I love you. When I have to go through one whole day without seeing you it hurts. It sounds girly I know, but all I can do is think about you and wonder where you're at and what you're doing. I've thought about marriage for awhile now, but I didn't know if it was right or if I was just jumping into something without thinking it through. You're going to have baby. My baby. That seals it. No more thinking. When they announce the sex I want them to say 'Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Zaccarha'."
"Lulu Zaccarha?" Lulu asked. "I don't know. It doesn't have that 'umph' a name is supposed to have.
"Well, it's not my fault if Lulu is a dog's name." Lulu gasped and slapped him in the arm.
"That was mean! You need to take that back, right now!"
"Aww, Lu. You know I love your name," he told her chuckling. "It fits you just right. Kind of like that mothering tone you just used no me!" Lulu smiled tugged on his hand.
"I don't want a-" Lulu looked down at the ground and then sighed. "big wedding. Just a tiny one. You know, just a few people. My brothers, my dad, Spinelli, Carly- just a few."
"Is that a yes?" Johnny asked. He couldn't help but sound a little hopeful. He may have sounded and came off playful, but he was dead serious. He wanted to spend the rest of his life with Lulu.
"Did I not just list off my guest list to you?"
She didn't know if he had planned it or not, but she knew that he loved her. The only reason he filed for divorce was because she had almost died. In his arms, nonetheless.
Lulu whirled around smiling.
"There's my favorite Christmas tree!" Nathan jumped right into his mother's arms and wrapped his tiny arms around her neck.
"Was I good?"
"The best!" Lulu exclaimed.
"You were, Nate," Johnny cut. "We should call in Steven Spielberg."
"Or Dillon," Maxie threw in, smirking at Johnny. Johnny hated Dillon. That was a known fact amongst the three adults.
"There's no Christmas tree in the world better than you, little man," Lulu told him as she gave him a tight squeeze. Nathan laughed.
"Is there, daddy?" Nathan asked.
Johnny shook his head. "Are you kidding me? There's no tree in the world that could top that! Listen, buddy. I was wondering if you wanted to spend the night with me tonight and then go back to mommy's tomorrow. What do you say?"
"Yeah!" Nathan wiggled his way down his mom and grabbed on to his dad.
"When do you want me to drop him off?" Johnny asked.
"Whenever is fine. I'll be home." Wow, what a way to sound like you're boring and have no life. Great.
"Sounds good. Say goodbye to your mom." Nathan ran back over to his mom. Lulu bent down and he gave her a kiss.
"Bye mommy," Nathan whispered in her ear.
"You have fun okay," Lulu whispered back.
"Okay." Nathan had Lulu's hair, but his eyes, nose, jaw- that was all Johnny. He was such a beautiful little boy. She did not think that just because she was his mother. Everyone at Kelly's thought so too.
Lulu sighed as she watched her two favorite men walk away. Maxie walked up from behind her and threw her arm around Lulu's shoulders.
"So, since we are childless on this beautiful Friday night. What do you say to getting drunk at Jake's?"
"Sounds good to me."