Disclaimer: I don't own anything here (except for Al, the car-fixing, football-playing, hand-crushing, ass-kicking gal) and am just doing this for fun and to pass the long months until Season 4.
Author's Note: This is a third and final installment, the first two being Walking Away, which is set in Tim's sophomore year in college, and Settling Down, which is set in what would have been his senior year in college. You might want to read through those if you haven't already.
This one is set three years after Settling Down. Tim and Al live in a house they built on their land. Mindy and Billy have three kids with a fourth on the way. I'll try to make notes when I drop in a minor OC from one of the two earlier stories. I think that's all you need up front to have this make sense.
Hope you enjoy it.
Tim lifted up his head to look at the clock, the red numbers taunting him with the ungodly time of 4.17am, only ten minutes later than the last time he looked. He groaned and dropped his head back onto the pillow and resumed staring at the ceiling.
Next to him, Al was sleeping on her stomach with her head turned away from him. He looked over at her, the moonlight coming through the skylights bright enough to allow him to see the freckles on her shoulder. Tim rolled on his side and softly traced a pattern on her arm.
"Al?" he whispered. "You awake?"
He knew, of course, that she wasn't awake. But he was hoping that would change soon. He moved his fingers up her arm, brushed her blonde curls aside and rubbed the back of her neck. She turned her head and shuffled over toward him. He rolled onto his back and lifted his arm so she could cuddle up against his side, her head on his chest and her arm resting across his torso. He rubbed a hand over her arm while the other tangled in her hair and stroked the back of her head.
"Al, sure you're not awake yet?" he asked a bit louder before kissing her forehead.
She opened one eye and lifted her head to look at him.
"Jesus, Tim, what time is it?"
"Early. Sorry about that. I can't sleep," he said sheepishly.
"And if you can't sleep, I can't sleep, is that how this works?" He loved the way her voice was all gravelly when she first woke up.
"Well, you know, it's just.....aren't you curious?"
"No, Timmy, I'm sleepy." She settled her head onto his chest, pretending that she was going to fall back to sleep for a long time.
He sighed, but didn't argue. He felt her smile before she kissed his chest then lifted herself up on one arm to look down at him.
"Have you slept at all?"
"Not really," he admitted.
"And was this a so-excited-you're-not-sleeping like on Christmas Eve sort of deal or was it more a so-terrified-you-can't-sleep kind of thing?"
"It's more like before a big game, when you're not sure how things are going to go and you just hope you play well and it all goes according to plan."
"All right, then. Let's get this over with. Did you leave the bag in the bathroom?"
He nodded as she rolled out of bed and stumbled toward the bathroom, rubbing her eyes. Tim followed her. When she got to the door of the bathroom, she stopped abruptly, causing him to crash into her.
"You're not planning on coming in here with me, are you?" She turned around and put her hands on the door frame, like she could keep him out of the room. It always made him smile when she got like this, all four feet, ten and a half inches of her. She reminded him of a little terrier.
"Kinda, sorta, I was, yeah."
"Tim, do you know what makes for a good marriage?"
"Really great sex?" His smile was positively indecent and brought at least a couple of memories to her mind, judging from the way her cheeks were flushing.
"Yeah, well, besides that?"
He put a hand on her hip and shrugged.
"Respect for boundaries, Tim. Respect for boundaries." She punctuated the statement by putting her hands on his chest and giving him a firm shove.
He put his hands up in surrender. "Okay, okay. I'll wait out here."
"How about you go get me a glass of orange juice?"
He nodded, relieved to have something to do. He headed out of the room as she closed the bathroom door. He felt his way through a dark hallway until he reached the living room, which was lit by the moonlight coming through the windows. He easily made his way into the kitchen, fetched the orange juice and returned to the bedroom in time to hear water running.
He sat down on the bed and handed Al her juice when she came out of the bathroom.
"Thanks. Did you buy one of every test the store had?" she asked.
He smiled as he watched her take a sip of the juice. He knew his leg was bouncing but he couldn't help it. He felt more wound-up than he ever had on a game day.
"How much longer?" he asked.
"Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?" Al teased.
He grinned. "Sorry, guess I'm just a little enxious."
"Enxious? Is that even a word?"
"Sure it is. It's a combination of excited and anxious. Enxious."
She finished the juice and put the glass down on the nightstand.
Tim put his arm around her and pulled her close. They both watched the red numbers change on the clock until finally Al stood up.
"It's time." But then she sat right back down. "I don't think I can look."
Tim jumped up, took three long strides, and disappeared into the bathroom.
"What am I looking for? A blue line?" he shouted to her.
"One blue line is nothing. Two blue lines is a baby."
Tim came out of the bathroom as quickly as he'd gone in. He picked her up off the bed in a giant bear hug then gently put her down. Her face was still a question mark, so he grinned and nodded.
"Tell me, do you want to be called Mama or Mommy?"
"Honestly, I just want to be called Al."
Tim sat on the bed and pulled her into his lap. "You know what the best part is? Mindy and Billy's youngest will only be a few months older. They'll get to grow up together, go to school together, maybe even be best friends."
Al grinned at his enthusiasm.
"And, you definitely didn't hear this from me, in fact, you didn't head this at all, but Six said that he and Lyla are going to start trying after the wedding."
"Yeah, speaking of Jason and Lyla... I know this is going to be hard for you, but you know this has to stay a secret until after the third month."
"Because anything can happen at the start. It's best to keep things quiet until the second trimester. That's what Billy and Mindy have done, you know."
"Yeah, I know. It's just gonna be hard to keep such a good secret."
"I know, Timmy, but I'll be doing the same thing."
Al slid off his lap and scrambled under the covers, holding them out so he could join her. When he was laying down, she cuddled up next to his side the way she had been when he'd woken her up.
"Are you happy, Al?"
She nodded. "I am. I'm a little nervous and scared, but I'm as ready as I'm ever going to be."
"Me too," he said as he tipped her head back to kiss her.