Title: Out of the Blue
Fandom: Wizards of Waverly Place
Summary: "Everyone's going to tell you that you can't do it alone, but lucky you that you won't have to." [Justin/Alex]
shut the world away from here
drift to you, you're all I hear
- love remains the same, gavin rossdale
"Of all the things you I expected you to say when I answered the phone," Alex said as she sat down in the hard plastic chair beside her older brother, "this was not what I expected."
Justin laughed, half hearted. "You should try hearing it from my end."
She didn't doubt that. As much of a shock as it was to her, it had to have a gazillion times worse for him.
"So, what's going on?" Alex asked. She took off her jacket and set it and her purse on the chair on the other side of her. "Have they come out and told you anything yet?"
He shook his head. "Nope, not yet." For the first time Alex noticed that his hands were shaking.
"Hey." She placed a hand on his where they were clasped on his knees. He looked up at her, anxiety all over his face and he gulped hard. "You okay?"
Standing up abruptly, Justin began to pace the length of the waiting room floor. He started wringing his hands and his breathing grew audibly labored. Even if Alex hadn't known her brother as well as she did she would have been able to tell that he was a wreck. Not that he didn't have every reason in the world to be.
"Justin, you're gonna wear a hole in the floor."
He stopped and turned to her, clearly annoyed. "Excuse me for being a little freaked out about the fact that I'm about to be a father."
Though she really didn't appreciate being snapped at, this was one time that Alex was willing to let Justin's attitude slide. Getting a phone call from a girl you had a drunken one night stand with at the beginning of the school year saying that she was on her way to the hospital to give birth, and that you were the father, had to throw a person for a loop.
"Justin, how can you be sure this baby is even yours? You don't even know this girl-she could just be trying to pin it on you because you're a nice guy." Alex walked over to the vending machine in the corner of the waiting room and waited for her soda to drop down. She popped it open and flicked her eyes up just in time to see her brother grimacing at her. "What?"
"You know," he said, "you didn't have to come all the way to Boston just to ridicule me. You could have just done that over the phone."
Rolling her eyes, she sat back down in the char she had vacated earlier and took a sip of her drink. "I came because, if it is your kid, I want to be here."
Justin paused. He hadn't been expecting her to say something like that and it threw him for quite a loop.
She shrugged. "I'd be an aunt. And there's no way you'd be able to hold it together on your own."
Alex had never really liked kids. No, she had never been able to tolerate kids. At all. And yet she had come to Boston, in the middle of the night, at the drop of a hat just for him. A huge lump formed of gratitude and affection lodged in Justin's throat.
Just then a door to the room directly across the hall opened and a girl that looks just the slightest bit familiar stepped out. He walked over to her and asked how Marjorie was doing.
"How is doing?" Placing a hand on her hip, the girl looked at him like he'd just asked her why she was wearing shoes or something. "She's 18 and terrified and her mother is nowhere to be seen, how do you think she's doing?"
Justin flinched visibly, and Alex jumped up from her seat and stalked over just in time for the girl to snort at Justin's request to see Marjorie.
"I think you've done enough."
Alex stepped between them. "Hey. That's enough."
She looked Alex up and down, sniffing dismissively. Looking at her shoulder at Justin, she sneered. "You brought a date to the hospital? Nice."
"I'm his sister," Alex hissed. "And you are done talking to him like that."
With a touch of pink in her cheeks, the girl stalked off, leaving a fuming Alex and befuddled Justin in her wake. Glaring at her retreating back, she turned her face up to her brother to find him gazing at her as if she were a stranger.
"You just defended me," he said slowly.
Her eyebrows drew together, the definition of 'duh' and shrugged. "You may be a dork and a drag, but you're my drag, and no one talks to you that way. Except me," she added as an afterthought.
Patting his shoulder, she wandered off to try and figure a way to get up to the TV on the wall to change the channel and he stood there, staring after her.
Alex was woken abruptly when Justin stood up, and her head fell to the side from where she had dozed off and laid it on his shoulder.
She rubbed at her eyes. "What's goin' on?"
Justin shifted his weight and stared at the door where Marjorie was. Alex rolled her eyes. He looked like he was trying to channel Superman and use x-ray vision on the wood.
"I don't know," he said. "She was yelling a lot and then all of a sudden she just…stopped." Panic laced his voice and Alex slid her hand into his without thinking and wrapped her other hand around his forearm.
All of the comforting words in the world weren't going to help when Justin was so obviously scared and Alex knew that, so she squeezed Justin's hand and pressed closer to his side.
A loud cry pierced the air around them, and she squeezed his arm, laughing in relief. "Justin," she threw her arms around his neck, "you're a daddy."
Looking dazed, he raised his hands to her back on instinct and she grinned up at his reaction until a huge grin broke his face and he hugged her back, swinging her around the waiting room a few times.
"I'm a daddy," he repeated, beaming down at his sister like he had just won the lottery. "Alex," he took her hands in his, "I can never thank you enough for being here with me."
"Obviously." She smiled, a more genuine smile than she had smiled in so long. Something deep inside her heart warmed and glowed at seeing Justin so truly, genuinely happy.
The door opened and the same snotty girl from earlier stepped out wearing one of those gowns they always make people wear in hospitals on television and in the movies. Her face was set in a grim line and she approached Justin slowly. "Marjorie wants to talk to you," she said simply and then glared at Alex (who returned her look with one that was equally scathing) beside him. "Alone."
"Oh, um, okay." Justin placed his hand on Alex's elbow. "Alex, would you call Mom and Dad and let them know what's going on?"
She nodded, feeling like he was getting off easy somehow by not being the one to tell their parents that their perfect child had just become a father.
Alex found him twenty minutes later staring through the nursery window in the next hallway over. Their parents hadn't been very happy to hear the news that they were unexpectedly grandparents, or that she had gone to Boston by herself without telling them, but had assured her that they and Max were on the way.
"Hey, I've been looking all over for you." She came to a stop opposite him, not even glancing at the babies lined up on the other side of the glass in their little beds. "Mom and Dad are on their way, so get prepared."
Justin didn't answer. His forehead was pressed to the glass, a vacant expression on his face.
"Hello," she prodded. "Earth to Justin." Sighing, she looked over the babies, each one more wrinkled and red than the last.
Then, in the second to last bassinette in the third row, she saw him. It had to be. He looked too much like Justin not to be his son.
"Is that him?" She pointed to the baby through the glass and Justin nodded. An overwhelming feeling she couldn't identify flooded her belly and she felt her eyes begin to sting, knowing she was about to cry. "He…he looks just like you."
Justin huffed out a laugh. "Yeah."
But he still didn't look happy, not like he had earlier. The last time she'd seen her brother he had been ecstatic, more delighted than she had ever seen anyone and now…now he just basically looked like somebody had let the air out of his tires.
"Okay, what's up with you? You went from happy bunny to sad cashier at Blockbuster."
Running a hand over his hair in distraction, he sighed as if exhausted and leaned his back up against the glass. "The reason Marjorie didn't let me in the room while was because the adoptive parents were in there and they didn't want a scene while she was in labor."
"Adoptive parents?" She shook her head, positive she'd heard him wrong.
"Yeah. That's why she waited this long to tell me. She was worried I'd try to talk her out of it." Justin's face was fixed into a mask of pure disgust. "Can you believe that?"
"Well," she says tentatively, "would you…have tried to talk her out of it?"
His mouth drops open. She wants to take a step back and this is the first time, ever, that Alex has been somewhat scared of her brother. He looked so murderous right then that she wouldn't have been surprised if he started screaming at her.
"That's my son, Alex," he states in a flat, cold tone, "who I didn't even know existed until today. I can't just-"
He broke off, his voice cracking and leaving him unable to speak. Alex stepped forward and, full of bizarre nervousness energy, wrapped her arms around his shoulders, leaning her cheek against his chest.
"I'm sorry, Justin," she whispered. "This sucks."
"Yeah, it does."
Justin pulled back and she saw an older woman in scrubs with kind eyes standing there with a blue swathed bundle in her arms. Silently, she handed the baby over to Justin, who brought his arms up at once to cradle the infant against his chest.
A lump of emotion caught in Alex's throat as she watched her brother gazing down at his baby with nothing short of awe in his eyes. She reached her hand out and placed it gently on the baby's head, feeling his soft black hair under her fingers at the edges of the little knit cap he was wearing. Her heart skittered and caught, her chest weirdly tight. "Wow."
Chuckling, Justin looked at her. "I know, right?"
Taking in every detail of her nephew's (holy cow) teensy face with her artists' eye, Alex let her finger trace down his petal soft cheek and across his perfect bow shaped lips. "Can I?" she breathes before she can even think about it.
Looking surprised, Justin hands the baby over, positioning her hands just the right way. She was grateful for that, having never held a baby so little before.
She went rigid as the baby squirmed in her arms, stretching his tiny back and his mouth opened and closed a few times, his eyelids fluttering.
"Okay, I'm officially petrified here," she muttered. She thought newborns were supposed to just lie still and sleep, not wiggle around and cause the inexperienced people holding them to freak out.
Justin laughed and leaned over her shoulder to peer at the baby some more-not that Alex blamed him. She couldn't seem to pry her eyes away either. "You're fine, Alex." He placed a hand on the back of the baby's head, sighing. "It really puts things into focus, huh?"
They stood that way for a few more minutes, until Justin looked up and his face went stony. She turned her head and saw a woman in a power suit and pearls walking towards them.
"Mr. Russo, I thought I'd find you here." She looked back and forth between Justin and Alex and the baby, clearly disapproving. "I have some papers for you to sign."
Justin moves in front of Alex, blocking them from the woman (adoption agent she figured) with his body. Ever the protector. She places her own hand on the baby's head where Justin's had been and pulled him closer to her chest. The thought of someone taking Justin's son from him made her sick to her stomach.
"I already told you that I need some time to think," he said.
The woman clucked her tongue, making tut-tut noises under her breath. "Try and see reason here. The parents have already been through all this with Marjorie, they've been here for hours-"
Justin exploded, something inside of him reaching the breaking point and Alex took a step back, watching his shoulders shake. "I don't care. They are not his parents, okay, and I don't care what you say. I know my rights and no one can adopt this baby without my say so."
Alex had never been so proud of her brother in her life.
"Leave," he said. "I want some time with my son and my sister."
Indignant and huffing, she walked away, Justin glaring at her retreating back.
"I may be mistaken here," Alex said, gigantic smile on her face, "but I think I just saw a hint of a spine there."
Justin rolled his eyes and Alex handed the baby back over to him. He started whimpering a little and Justin jiggled him against his chest. He quieted down immediately. Alex shook her head. It figured he would be a natural.
"I can't do it, Alex," he whispered after a few seconds. "I can't just hand my child over to strangers to raise." He looked up at her, face set and determined. "I can't give him up."
She had a feeling that was coming.
That didn't make it any easier though.
"Justin…you're in college. You live in a dorm with a Trekkie and work part time in the library. You can't raise a baby on your own and clearly baby mama in there isn't going to help you."
"I know," he said. "I know all that, Alex, but…he's mine."
She looked down, once more, at the little face revealed amongst the blanket and hat in Justin's arms. He was right. As always. The baby was a Russo and he belonged with them.
Nodding, she licked her lips. Touching the tip of her finger to the tiny button nose, she took a deep breath and looked at her big brother, who, for once, needed her help. "Okay. If you want to keep him and raise him, you should."
Justin's shoulders loosened and he pulled her into a hug with one arm. "Thank you, Alex," he murmured into her hair. "You don't know how much that means to me."
"I may have an inkling," she said. Spying the same woman with two other people who were undoubtedly the adoptive parents to be, she felt a wave of sadness for them (so not like her) and shook her head. "This is gonna get ugly, you realize that?"
He nodded. "But I don't care."
"Good. Cause you're in for a fight, Justin." She glared at the small group at the end of the hall, then banished them from her mind and focused all of her attention on Justin and the baby. "And I'm gonna fight with you."
He told her he was hoping she'd say that, and she felt a tidal wave of emotions she didn't want to think about. Because she needed to think for once in order to pull it off. "Everyone's going to tell you that you can't do it alone, but lucky you that you won't have to."
Justin's forehead crinkled and he rocked the baby a little bit. "What do you mean?"
As honest and sincere as she can manage, Alex crossed her arms over her chest and steeled her expression. He would do it for her and she had to, wanted to, do it for him. "If you're keeping him, you're going to need help. So I'm going to help you."