A/N: Here's a side to Jared we've never seen before. It's a look into his life before the invasion and how he liked to spend his free time. And I really don't mean any offense to those of you who are Lord of the Rings or Star Trek fans, don't get too offended. I like those too (although I wouldn't quite call myself a Trekkie).
If you review it would make me very happy. You should also read my other stories. I think you'll enjoy them (although I am a little biased).
Disclaimer: I don't own The Host. Nor do I own The Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, Star Wars, or Harry Potter. I don't even wish I owned all of them. I'd just take one.
Jared and I were walking back to our room from dinner one night, hand in hand. I was about 5 months pregnant and Jared was in an overprotective phase. Most days he wanted me in bed before it was even dark. He said it was because he wanted me to be well-rested but no one sleeps 14 hours a day. In an attempt to be allowed to stay up later (like I did when I was 9) I started a conversation I knew would take a while.
"So, what are we going to name him?" I asked him.
"It's a him?" He raised his eyebrows. "How do you know it's not a her?"
"Just a feeling," I replied.
"Well, as long as you have a feeling," he said sarcastically.
I laughed. "Don't make fun of my feelings. I had a feeling about you didn't I?"
"And see how wrong you were?" he teased. "So what are we going to name this kid?"
"Well, I was thinking, we could name him Trevor after my dad, or Andrew after yours?" I looked at him expectantly. He didn't look repulsed by either name but he didn't look too excited either. "You have other suggestions?"
"I actually only have one." He took a deep breath like he was a little embarrassed. "What if we called him Strider?"
"Like my last name?" I asked warily. I wasn't a big fan of strange baby names.
"Sort of," he said, squinting his eyes like he was trying not to look at me. "It's not spelled the same. It has an I instead of a Y."
"Why would you want to change the spelling?" I asked, totally confused.
His expression told me he was really sorry he had brought this up. I didn't understand what could be so embarrassing. "To make it the same as in The Lord of the Rings," he blurted out quickly.
I started laughing. "Be serious. You don't want to name him after a book." He looked at the floor and my jaw dropped. I didn't even know how to respond. "You really like the Lord of the Rings?" I asked warily.
"Yeah. They were my favorite books when I was younger." He still wouldn't look at me.
"But you just read them right? You didn't go to the conventions or dress up for the movies or anything like that did you?" I don't know why I was asking. Jared wasn't a loser.
"Well," he started and I knew what I was in for.
I cut him off. "How many times did you see the first movie?"
"Not many." Too vague.
"How many?" I asked in a sing-song voice.
He studied the floor and whispered so I could barely hear. "Five."
I almost choked, then I burst out laughing. "Omigod! You were a loser! I bet you got the crap kicked out of you in high school." My laughter subsided when I saw the hurt look on his face.
"You know, they're very well written," he said trying to justify himself.
I looked at him and tried to make eye contact but he wouldn't look at me. "I'm sorry. I really am I didn't mean to make fun of you."
"Yes you did," he said in his best pouty voice.
"Okay, I did, but I'm over it now. At least you weren't into Star Trek." When he looked back to the ground I realized I needed to pick my words more carefully.
Laughter shook through me again. "You were a Trekkie? How is it possible that I never knew this?"
"It's not as bad as you think."
"Oh really?" I asked between fits of laughter. I crossed my arms. "What's your opinion on Star Wars?"
"It's good. Not my favorite." He was leaving something out.
"How many times did you dress up as Chewbacca for Halloween?"
"None." I sighed relieved. Then he started again, "They didn't have a costume that fit."
It was a good thing I was only 5 months pregnant because if I had been any further along I probably would have popped the baby out right then and there with my hysterical laughter. I fell back on the mattress and started rolling. I put my hands over my face in an attempt to drown out the snorting but I didn't do a very good job.
"You know, I told you this because I thought you'd understand but you're being so immature!" He was really mad and I found it endearing.
"I really am sorry. I'm just surprised, that's all." I tried to give him a calming look but I couldn't get the smirk off of my face.
I tried to be as diplomatic as possible. "I knew there was a lot of stuff I didn't know about you, I just didn't think that this would be it. I mean, you just never seemed like the type to be into that kind of stuff."
"And you never liked anything like that?" he asked me trying to level the playing field.
"No, I was too popular for that," I teased.
"Oh, really? Because I seem to remember someone once explaining to me the finer points of Quidditch once. Harry Potter doesn't count?"
"Apples and oranges," I said, but I knew he was right. I wasn't going to actually admit it, but I knew nonetheless.
At that moment an idea struck me. "You know what?" I asked sitting next to him and looking into his eyes.
"What?" he asked warily. I think he was worried I was going to bust out laughing again.
"I think Strider is an excellent name," I told him sincerely.
"But?" he asked.
"No, buts. I think we should name him Strider."
"Thanks great. What changed your mind?" He seemed really excited.
"Well, since you got to pick the boy name, I get to pick the girl name," I clarified. I was really excited. I'd known my favorite girl's name for years and it was going to be great that I had no opposition. I had agreed to Strider after all.
"And what name would you pick for a girl?" he asked as he kissed me on the cheek.
I suddenly remembered where I had gotten the idea for my favorite baby name and I wasn't in such a hurry to tell him anymore. He was going to laugh. I took a deep breath and looked the floor as I answered.