A/N: This was the hardest thing I've ever had to write. I would sit with the doc open and it wouldn't write. I literally could not write. But I think, or at least hope, that this is a satisfactory ending for you for our foursome. I tried to do them justice, give them the best and most realistic ending I could.
Thanks as always to everyone who reviewed and gave their opinions to me. It's been a crazy ride, and I can't say I'm not relieved this isn't over, because I really am, but thank you for sticking it out with me and letting me try to tell my story. And thank you of course to EmmaleeWrites for being my beta throughout.
One last disclaimer: I only own the crazy-ass plot. The rest is SMs and whoever created Full House.
"Henry! Come get your backpack!" I called from the kitchen. I could hear footsteps on the stairs, reluctantly. "Buddy come on, we gotta go!"
"I don't wanna," he whined. "Sienna is so mean to me!"
"Maybe she likes you," I teased. His hazel eyes narrowed at me in suspicion. "What? I'm just saying! I used to be mean to girls I liked when I was your age."
"You were never six!" he giggled.
"Oh yes I was!" I laughed, pointing to his oatmeal on the table. "Eat up. Mom doesn't feel like getting up right now." She was still in the middle of morning sickness, which had never treated her well, not with Henry or with Maggie, and not with this one.
"Mannnn," he pouted. It was kind of crazy how much he looked like Edward sometimes, especially when he got all moody, but the pout was one hundred percent Bella. So adorable I couldn't resist.
"Eat up or Dad and Uncle Jasper won't come over for dinner," I falsely warned. "They're gonna bring Sailor Sam..."
That got Henry to hush up right quick. Sailor Sam and Henry were best friends and they'd be wrecking havoc in the living room tonight for sure. Maggie would be there too, but since she was only two, she'd just be running around shrieking at the top of her lungs most likely. Fun times to look forward to for sure.
I dropped off Henry at school a half an hour later, and when I got home, Maggie was singing, playing with her toys as Bella laid out on the couch, eyes tight shut, but not in sleep, but discomfort.
"Why does this baby hate me?" she moaned. "I can't stand this!"
"It'll be over soon baby," I promised. It was only a matter of time before it would slip away and those infamous hormones and I would be buddy buddy again. I was very excited about it to be perfectly honest.
"Daddy!" Maggie screamed, running to me. She had my crazy curly hair and Bella's wide eyes and she was my little angel. Most of the time. The shrieking thing she had going on could definitely go away and I wouldn't miss it. In ten years I'd tease her about it.
"Baby girl!" I grinned, scooping her up in my arms. Bella winced as she yelled, so I stroked Maggie's hair and whispered, "We need to be quiet for Mama, OK?"
"OK," she nodded, curls bouncing.
"That's my girl, let's go get some breakfast," I said.
"She already ate," Bella called.
"OK then, let's get a cookie," I smirked. I could practically hear Bella's scowl at my back and I chuckled. "Want that princess?"
"Yup!" she giggled.
"Emmett..." Bella warned.
"Just one Mama!" I pleaded, winking at Maggie, who winked back dramatically. She was my little ham. Like father, like daughter.
Bella's response was a loud groan and I decided to be nice to her. In an hour or so she'd be up and on her feet, but lately mornings were not her friend, which is why I'd been scheduling my work for mid-morning rather than earlier. I was VP of the construction company now, so I could make my own hours. It was an awesome feeling, and I knew I was lucky to be so young and successful in the business. The economy was slow, but Bella had her writing and we made it easily enough.
Not like Edward and Jasper, the lucky guys. They'd found super success, Jasper now partner in the firm, and Edward went back to school and worked as a lawyer rather than a paper boy. They had a nice house with a view of the Sound now and everything, where they lived with Sailor Sam, the black lab.
It was good between the four of us, better than any of us had anticipated. It was an odd arrangement, but it worked out. Edward and Jasper lived close enough that they could visit weekly and sometimes more, and Henry spent many weekends in their house, with his own bedroom and a neighbor friend that he liked to spend time with.
It wasn't like we spent a creepy amount of time together. We were separate couples with separate lives, we just didn't mind when our paths crossed, in fact we enjoyed it. We were friends and that was a good thing.
We hadn't messed up. That was the best way to put it. I'd had a lot of dirty looks and snide comments over the years. I had a child with my gay ex? And I had a husband who I had children with too? And I was still friends with my gay ex and his partner?
Peanut decided to give me another wave of nausea, and my head collapsed back on the pillow beneath me. I'd made many mistakes, many decisions that probably weren't for the best, and I felt like shit right now, but I'd never change it for anything in the world. I had the love of my life, two babies and one more on the way, and a career I enjoyed even if being mommy didn't let me publish nearly enough like I wanted to. It was all a trade in, I supposed. Can't have everything you want.
Alice was still my publisher but her and Rose had broken up, oh, six years ago or so, so she was still bugging me to go out with her so she could meet new people. She'd had a lot of relationships over the years, but none as powerful as the one she'd had with Jasper's sister, and I knew my best friend missed Rose like nothing else. I felt her loss nearly daily.
I could still hear Maggie and Emmett playing around in the kitchen and I highly suspected she'd convinced him to give her more than one cookie. He was a sucker for her, probably more than he ever was for me. I smiled a little at the thought.
The day we found out I was pregnant with her, I think he peed his pants or something, he looked that damn happy. He'd finally convinced me to marry him when Henry turned four and I'd found out I was pregnant with Maggie literally two weeks later. To say we were elated was an understatement.
And then Henry felt unloved, and we'd had to prove to him that even though Emmett and I were having a baby, he still had his daddy and his two uncles that loved him more than anything else and that we were a family all together. It was all very Full House, if Uncle Joey and Uncle Jesse had hooked up after Aunt Becky had the twins.
Did that make Emmett Danny Tanner? I couldn't quite make the comparison in my head. Bob Saget, I'm sure, didn't nearly look as good naked as my man did.
"Baby, do you need me to take today off?" Emmett asked, his voice closer than it had been a few moments ago.
"No, I'm fine," I groaned. I'd already thrown up three times this morning and it felt like if I even moved my lips to talk, I'd be hurling again. I wasn't a huge fan of pregnancy even though I loved the end result.
"You sure?" He really was too good to me.
"GO," I said more firmly than I wanted to. "I'll get dinner ready tonight, I'll get Henry... just don't worry about it, OK? Just be back by seven. You know how Jasper gets when I don't get his steak done on time." Silly Texan, had to have everything just so when it came to his meat.
"Maggie is down for her nap," he said, kissing my forehead. Holy hell, how long had I been laying there? "See you soon."
I hummed my consent and fell back into deep thought... partial dreams... whatever. Even though I was sure I was too soon in the pregnancy to really feel it, I could swear Peanut nudged me a little, just to remind me of the good that would come from all of the puking and crap I felt now.
Edward's kisses still drove me insane with need. No matter how many times I kissed him, made love to him, I fell apart at the seams when his lips touched mine. "Baby, I need to go," I whimpered against his mouth, his kiss becoming more aggressive as his hand cupped my face. "Really."
"One more minute," he said lazily, like when Henry requested just five more minutes of sleep.
I smirked against his lips. "Oh, I suppose so..." And we utilized that minute to the max.
When we pulled apart, I glanced at the clock and eyes snapped open. "Shit! You ass, you got me all horny before my meeting!"
He just winked, which pissed me off just a little, because he knew this was important. Damn bewitching man. My rise and fall... sometimes literally.
The six months we'd broken up for had been torture. Though it was literally years ago, three to be precise, I still felt the insecurity, the pain sometimes when I looked in his eyes. There were times where I couldn't help but think that it might happen again, and then he'd do something that would remind me that he was really the one and I'd be assured. I supposed that was all part of life, because I knew he felt the same way sometimes.
It had been a mutual break and it had seemed like a good idea at the time. We'd needed the space, the time away. And yet it was the most singularly painful time of my life. I couldn't breathe without him, it was simply impossible to live without him.
I was the one that begged for him back. And though I didn't have to beg too much because he'd missed me too, it was hard to admit that I had been wrong, that the split was a mistake, that I'd tried to be with others to forget him but I couldn't go through with it. The look on Edward's face when I admitted that last part was something I wished I could burn from my memory forever. The dejection, the anguish, the jealousy.
It wasn't easy. His family never accepted us, which was no shocker, and it was never easy to be a gay couple, in even the most accepting of atmospheres. We'd try to find an apartment together but we'd have to pretend to be best friends. It had been challenging to find the house we were in now, just because we didn't feel like hiding, and it wasn't like we weren't allowed to, but there were plenty of dirty looks and snide comments that made us feel unwelcome. It's not like we expected a picnic, we weren't naive. No matter what color the state was, it still wasn't a cake walk.
Tonight Sailor Sam, our baby, Edward and I were going to Bella and Emmett's house for dinner. It was a monthly or bi-monthly thing and it was... nice. I liked to think we had a good balance going, where we had our own lives, but shared those lives with each other. There was no need for bitterness. It was all good.
And now I had to focus. Another big case, another thing to get sucked into. I was lucky to have a partner that understood, that accepted it, that didn't get mad because I had to stay up late finishing files... mainly because he was too. Edward's career path had again pissed off his family, but then, what didn't lately? The last I'd heard, Carlisle had gotten another nurse pregnant. Esme was still stony-faced and stayed with her man. Stepford pyschos...
It was time to focus on the future now. I was happy, happier than I ever expected to be, and life wasn't all that bad. I could stand for a little more vacation time sometimes, but then the workaholic in me didn't like that much either.
Maybe next year I could take Edward to that one Italian beach I spent a summer in grad school... He'd look good in the Mediterranean...
"Sammy!" Henry exclaimed. It was strange and sometimes unnerving to see just how much he looked like me. Like a little clone running through the halls of Bella and Emmett's house. Sailor Sam barked happily, his heavy black tail thumping hard against the wall as he licked his best buddy on the face, Henry laughing and trying to push him away and hug him simultaneously. "Get off Sam!" he giggled.
Jasper did the little whistle he'd taught Sam that meant "NO!" and Sammy backed off, if only a little. Henry practically choked the dog with a hug and then ran over to me.
"Hi Daddy!" He seemed taller even though I'd just seen him three days ago. How was it that he grew so quickly? He hardly looked like the four pound baby that had come a month early one terrifying day. "I gotta show you that project I told you about!" He hugged Jasper for a second before running up to his room to get what he had told me about a few days previously.
Emmett and Maggie were next to greet us, Emmett clapping a hand on my back and pulling me into one of his huge hugs. Maggie's little arm also went around my neck and I grinned. They hugged Jasper too, and when they pulled back, Bella was in the room. She looked paler than usual, but I knew she'd been having bad morning sickness. It had been the same with Henry and Maggie I knew, but I still felt bad, so when I hugged her hello I was careful.
"Henry hasn't stopped talking about you guys coming over," Bella said with a smile. "He's so excited to show you what he worked on in school."
I could hear him running back down the stairs, a cardboard box in his hands. "At school, they asked us to make our families!"
I chuckled. "What?"
We settled down on the couch, Jasper on the other side as Henry prompted, Emmett and Bella stood grinning, Maggie singing and playing with Bella's hair.
"See?" Henry held the box up to my eye. Ahhh, a diorama. "I made us!"
I held it to my eye and looked. And it was us. All of us. Bella and Emmett and Maggie, and Bella was obscenely pregnant though she still wasn't quite showing yet. And Jasper and me and Sailor Sam. Not separated, no "Daddy's House" and "Mommy's House"... just us. Like we would be seen right now, together. We all had big crayon smiles.
"I wanted to put Gran and Grandpa and Grandpa Charlie but they wouldn't fit," he said, a frown on his face, and my heart swelled. My parents hadn't been thrilled about me, but when they finally agreed to meet Henry, they'd at least treated him like a loved child instead of a bastard, even if that was what they were really thinking. They saw him once, maybe twice a year, and holidays and birthdays were never forgotten. At least they pretended to make an effort.
Charlie had loved Henry from the moment they'd met. I'd never met a prouder grandfather. It was nice to see. And he hadn't shot me when he found out about everything. So that was always a plus.
"That looks wonderful son," I said, patting him on the back encouragingly. He was a pretty good artist for a seven year old, I had to admit, and it wasn't just proud papa syndrome.
"I'm glad you like it," he beamed. "I worked all night on it."
"Well I can tell!" I grinned.
Jasper peeped through the box too and smiled, ruffling Henry's hair. He got the unruly thing from me, though it was several shades darker than mine. "Good job Hank!" Bella rolled her eyes. She hated the nickname but never said much. Jasper was the only one that called him that.
"So dinner's ready when you guys are," Bella said with a smile.
"Well heck, I can always eat!" Emmett said as he and Jasper started in on a conversation about college football as they walked into the kitchen, Henry, Maggie and Sailor Sam on tow.
"He's been really anxious to show you that," Bella said in a quieter voice when we were alone in the room. "I think he wasn't sure if the teachers would like it or not because it's different."
"Well I loved it," I said truthfully. "And I hope someday he'll realize families don't have to be all cookie cutter... that most aren't."
She had tears in her eyes, happy ones from what I could gather from the smile on her face. "I'm glad we didn't destroy us."
"Me either." I pulled her into my arms and held her for a moment, kissing the top of her head. Sometimes, in moments like these, it was easy to remember how we had started. As best friends, all the way back in Chicago, all those years ago. I would say we never should have been together, but then I never would have had my son. Henry was everything to me and I wouldn't trade him for anything in the world. As weird and as untraditional as everything was, it was us, and it worked.
I followed Bella to the kitchen where I could hear laughter and smell freshly baked bread. "Emmett, you had better have left me some..."
A/N II: Please, let me know what you think. Thank you ALL for reading and giving my fic your time.