"I'm pregnant."

He didn't MEAN to faint, he really didn't. But he just couldn't see himself as father. It was only a few years after the war. He was still so young! There was so much he had planned for himself, so much he wanted to DO.

He didn't know when he woke, but night had come. He guessed he'd been out for a while, since she announced the change to his future sometime in the afternoon. Maybe he needed more sleep - he didn't know. Maybe he hit his head.

"Are you alright?" She asked, glancing at him worriedly.

One hand went to the back of his head. He felt a bump and it proved his suspicions. He smacked the back of his head on the couch. "What happened?" He asked groggily.

She smiled kindly. "You passed out." She announced, fighting a smirk. Men - they were SO east to predict.

She helped him sit up, eyeing him for any emotion to cross his face. All she saw was a little pain, though he tried to hide his embarrassing mistake.

"So...what now?" He dared ask, not able to look her in the eye. He was too embarrassed about stupidly passing out.

"It's simple actually." She answered plainly. "You can stay, or you can leave."

Mildly startled eyes jerked to hers. They dropped to empty hands moments later. He mused on something she hadn't thought of - on purpose or not. She wasn't going to get rid of it. Even though she was their age, WAY too young to be a mother, she was going through with the pregnancy.

She waited with baited breath for his answer. She HOPED he would stay around and raise their child...he helped create it! He should at least do the rest of his part and help. But part of her told her even if he DID leave, she would be able to manage on her own.

One hand went to her stomach. She wasn't even a month along, but she couldn't find any other way to tell them. They were so busy getting their lives back to normal - free time was nonexistent. The time they did have together wasn't time she wished to spring the news on him. But having waited long enough, she decided it was too long to wait. She ended up telling him and damned the consequences.

"It's okay with whatever you decide." She softly answered, her voice kind and even. "I'll be able to manage if you don't want to stay."

She made it sound like carrying another life was no big deal. He had to give her credit for her inner strength. She wasn't backing down OR taking the easy way out. Even if she offered HIM the chance. Not that he was going to.

His eyes swung to hers. "What do YOU want me to do?" He asked, gauging her reaction. She stared at her hands.

"I wish you to stay around. It's just that we're so busy anymore..." Her eyes went back to his, staring almost in challenge. "But I can't control you and I have never bothered to do so. What you do in your life is your choice. I can tell you what I want, but you need to make the decision."

He nodded thoughtfully, propping his head up with both hands and elbows. Staring across the room at a spot on the wall, he never blinked once.

One would think his choice would be easy. A simple yes would end her apparent tenseness. But...there was SO much he wanted to do yet. Being a father wasn't on his list of plans for maybe five or six YEARS down the road. Not months.

He ended up choosing yes. He couldn't leave her - he LOVED her. He even admitted it a few times. But it was times like these that shook his faith. Now was when his inner strength was put to the test.

"I'm staying." He softly announced, still staring at the wall. His gaze seemed transfixed to it. It finally broke and looked at her.

She was staring with a small grateful smile, tears shining in her eyes. He felt love in his heart lurch and wrapped his arms around her, as if trying to ward off something.

"Thank you." She whispered, hugging him tightly.

It would be okay. They'd survive on each other's love and prosper in the meantime. The years after the war had been overly kind to them. Maybe it was time he gave back in some form. Standing by her seemed a way to go.

Visions of being a dad danced through his mind as they held each other. A small smile tipped his face. Yes - he figured - he could manage just as well as she could. She would be worse for wear anyway. But he'd help her through it as best he could.