A/N: This idea just came to me tonight while sitting at my laptop. Ben/Abigail is definitely my favorite National Treasure pairing. And I wondered...how would Ben handle fatherhood? So, this is my (for now) one-shot. It will eventually become more than one chapter, but for now I'm dubbing it complete until I have time to work more on it. It does stand as a one-shot.
Basically, Ben and Abi have been married for a while, and now they want to tackle being parents. Each chapter will probably cover a different stage of their child's life as he/she grows up.
Disclaimer: Disney owns it, not me!
Ben tiptoed quietly into the bedroom he shared with Abigail. It was almost two in the morning, and he'd been up late again, reading about Egyptian pyramids and conspiracies – follow-up on a possible treasure lead. Silently, he changed into his nightclothes and slipped into bed beside his sleeping wife, sighing with contentment to finally rest his eyes.
"Ben?" Abigail's sleepy voice penetrated the cozy quiet of the bedroom.
"Hm?" he mumbled.
"…what do you think about kids?"
The words registered slowly in his sleep-deprived brain. "Huh? Kids?"
"Yes." Abigail did not sound as sleepy as she had at first. On the contrary, a shifting of the mattress betrayed her sitting up. "You know…having them."
Ben decided his wife had been waiting up for him purely to bring up this topic. He gave in to the fact he would have to put sleep off a bit more and sat up as well, reaching blindly for the bedside lamp and squeezing his eyes shut against the sudden light.
He blinked at his wife, who was watching him carefully. Cautiously, he said, "I, uh, hadn't really thought much about it."
She pressed on, more eagerly now that she knew she had his attention. "I mean, we've been married for over a year, and money certainly isn't a problem, nor is space. We have everything we need right here – you can watch the baby while I'm at work during the day, and Riley's here so much he's practically a live-in babysitter waiting to happen!"
Ben had to snort at her use of words, but he instantly regretted it as her face hardened.
"Benjamin Gates, I'm being serious."
He ran a hand through his hair and thought. Truth be told, he had considered the prospect of fatherhood before. He found the idea both exciting and alarming, but he'd never truly worried about it because he didn't see Abigail as the mothering type. Sure, she could probably be nurturing and all that, but she was kept busy with her job at the Archives and seemed to enjoy the independence. Besides, they were a fairly new married couple in the "throes of young love," as Riley once put it (though the word "young" more accurately applied to the twenty-six-ish techie). Ben liked the occasional peace he got alone in the house, in the rare times when Riley was absent. And at least Riley didn't cry or have accidents. Glancing up at his wife, he realized she was waiting for an answer.
"I-I really don't know what to say," he said slowly.
She rolled her eyes. "I believe it would be appropriate to tell me yes or no."
"No, no, I mean – yes – I mean…" he trailed off hopelessly, mentally berating himself. "I mean; kids are fine. I, um, well, we never talked about it before."
"We're talking about it now," Abigail pointed out.
She sighed. "Ben, can you see yourself as a father, or not?"
He chewed on his lip, a habit he'd picked up from Riley. "Well…we're always on some kind of adventure, it seems, doesn't it? And we're a busy couple…"
"We are not," Abigail said vehemently. "I work during the day, and you spend all day researching various long-lost treasures. Do you think you might be able to trouble yourself to take a break for a daughter or son?"
Her tone was mocking, but also pointed. She was hurt by his stalling.
"Of course!" he defended, avoiding her gaze.
Abigail pouted. "Your parents want us to have children!"
Ben couldn't help it. He smirked. "I thought the choice was up to the man and woman actually in charge of…conceiving the being?"
She stood up so quickly he almost fell off the bed.
"I thought so! You don't want children!" She accused, stalking into the bathroom.
Completely bemused, Ben followed her. She stood before the mirror, an angry frown forming between her eyes.
"Just tell me," she cut him off, "why? Is it because you don't like kids, because you don't want to have them with me, or because you're not committed enough to bind us together through a baby?"
"None of the above," Ben told her, wrapping his arms around his wife from behind. She tried in vain to throw him off. He kissed the top of her head. "I love you, sweetie. Give me a break. It's past two in the morning – you want to have this conversation now?"
"We've already started it, so yes, I'd like to," she responded coolly.
He spun her around to face him. "All right. You caught me by surprise – I've thought about children before, but I never thought of us as the parenting type. I mean, I'd love to try; but I didn't think you'd want to."
Her face softened. "You'd like it, then? Being a father?"
"Yes," he told her sincerely.
Abigail smiled, her face lighting up. "All right, then," she said. "Problem solved."
"Great," Ben yawned. "Now, can we go back to bed?"
"Sure." She led the way back to their bed and climbed in, pulling the covers over herself. Ben switched off the light and snuggled in next to his wife.
"Why now?" he asked her suddenly.
"What?" she replied sleepily.
"Oh." She was quiet for a moment. Then she sighed. "…I'm pregnant."
"What?!" He sat up in bed, staring at her huddled form in shock. "But – how? We were being careful! How long have you known?"
She yawned. "It's been about three weeks. Sara, my secretary, scheduled the doctor's appointment for me. She's the only one who knows, and now you. Accidents happen sometimes, Ben." She fell silent, apparently judging this to be a satisfactory explanation.
Ben sat still, registering the fact for a moment, before settling with a sigh on the pillow. "I'm going to be a father in less than nine months."
"Mhm," she mumbled. "Congratulations…Daddy."