I'm a fan of Step-By-Step and always loved Dana and Rich and JT. If there's anyone reading, I'll finish this in further chapters. Hope you enjoy!
"I don't know how I got stuck with you today, Barky," JT Lambert said as he stuffed his hands in his pockets and looked disinterestedly at the table full of fluffy baby blankets in front of him.
"As if my idea of fun is to spend the day with a man who thinks Lamaze is a position in the Kama Sutra," Dana Halke replied, grimacing as her distended stomach bumped against the table as she reached for a sage green blanket. "You know that Rich is paranoid I'm going to go into labor if he's not around to stare at me to keep it from happening."
"I still shudder to think about the two of you…" JT cut off with a theatric tremble.
Dana quirked a brow. "You spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about my and Rich's sex life," she said.
JT made a face. "Do you have to use my best friend's name and the words 'sex life' together… especially in regards to you?"
Dana put the blanket she was examining down and wandered further into the store JT had brought her to while Rich worked. She was going mad sitting in the house waiting for her approaching due date, and Rich had apparently sent JT to babysit her. She should be angry with the overt sexist connotations to that, but found even the sight of her step-brother more appealing to sitting through endless hours of daytime TV--alone.
"Fine," she said. "I'll just pretend this one is yet another immaculate conception," she said, stroking a hand over her round belly.
"Huh?" JT said, face screwed up in confusion. "Whatever, Barky." He wandered into another aisle and turned to watch Dana as she waddled behind him. "Maybe Quacky would be a better name for you at the moment," he joked.
Dana picked up a baby bottle from a shelf and held it out menacingly. "How'd you like this crammed up your…"
"Joking, joking!" JT said. "Jeez. Remind me not to get a girl pregnant."
"You'd be doing us all a favor," Dana said. Picking up a package of clear pink bottles, she wrinkled her nose. After a beat, she looked at JT, staring at the bottle display quietly. "How's Sam?" she asked.
"You'd have to ask her," he answered bitterly. "Haven't heard from her since she said she needed some time…"
Dana's mouth twisted. "I'm sure that she'll… Listen, JT, I know that she loves you," she said finally, exiting the aisle and heading towards the toys.
JT mumbled behind her, but Dana didn't push him. His and Sam's complicated relationship was not something JT often wanted to discuss.
"Hey, what kind of stupid toy is this?" he asked, picking up a measured bottle with a funnel on it and flipping it over. He brought it up to his mouth and breathed into it, trying to make Darth Vader noises.
"Uh, I believe that's a breast pump," Dana said dryly, watching in amusement at he dropped the object like a hot potato.
"Gross! They should put warning signs on…. Ugh!"
"Oh, JT, grow up. Breasts are for babies, you know." Dana rolled her eyes and continued her trek towards the toys.
"Fun for us big boys, too…" she thought she heard him mutter. They browsed through the toys for awhile, looking at the different plush animals and educational toys that the store offered. Dana and Rich had decided not to find out the sex of the baby until the birth, so Dana gravitated to neutral toys, while JT kept holding up traditional "boy toys" and talking about how much his nephew would enjoy them.
"You know," Dana felt the need to point out, "I could be having a girl."
JT gave her a look of horror. "God wouldn't be so cruel as to curse the world with another Dana Foster."
"Yes, well, I suppose perfection would be hard to duplicate," Dana answered him smartly. "But actually, this one," she rubbed her stomach lovingly, "will be perfect. In fact, he or she already is. I'm convinced it's a genius. Rich swears I'm an idiot, but I was asking questions the other day and it was kicking in with appropriate answers…"
"Sure, Barky," JT said. "And I'm the president of the United States."
"Well, looking at George Bush, I'd actually think you're more qualified…" Dana quipped.
"You know, this is all really fun, Dana, but is there a reason we're here?" JT asked, not giving in to her joke.
"Besides saving me from endless boredom?" Dana asked. "Yes. I need sheets for the crib, a bumper for the crib, and a mobile to go over it."
"Well, where can we get those?" JT looked around at the endless supply of baby accessories around him. "Maybe we could get the crib done in all Packers colors."
Dana rolled her eyes again. "No. And I think all the crib bedding is on the second floor."
"Second floor?" JT repeated. "No way I'm getting on an elevator with you."
"What?" Dana asked angrily. "Why not?"
"I know how this works," he said, tapping her huge belly with his finger. "Well get on the elevator and it'll break down. Then you'll go into labor, and I'll have to deliver the baby."
"Oh, for the love of…" Dana trailed off exasperatedly. "You'll have to do no such thing. The baby's not even due for 2 more weeks."
JT wasn't budging. "We'll go up the steps," he said.
"I can't go up the steps!" she cried. "I can barely step up the two steps on our front porch anymore."
"Steps or no crib… stuff," he said, folding his arms over his chest.
Dana narrowed her eyes. "Why don't you walk up the steps and I'll take the elevator?"
"… I guess that'll work. But no funny business in the elevator. Your husband may be short, but he can pack a punch." JT lifted a hand to his jaw, as if in remembered pain.
With a shove, Dana pushed him towards the stairs next to the toy department. "See ya on the second floor," she said.