Ruben 'Rabbit' Palchuck always said he didn't want kids. They were loud, messy and costly. He'd have to trade in the old Chevelle and drive a minivan or some shit like that. There was no late bar nights, no double shifts and no wild, helicopter joy rides.
Nancy brought out a different side of him. The Rabbit he was with Nancy didn't need the car or the helicopter or the 'don't give a damn attitude' to be happy. That didn't mean it had been easy to get him to give it up.
They'd been married for a little over a year and a half. Before that, they'd been seeing each other for a year. Nancy and Rabbit didn't need years of dating to know they worked for each other. Something just clicked. Tyler told Nance that was called destiny.
Rabbit tossed his keys down on the table by the apartment door and walked into the kitchen, letting out a sigh of relief. He loved his job and he loved saving lives but sometimes he needed a break from intensity of it all.
The apartment was quiet. Rabbit glanced at the clock on the microwave as he pulled open the fridge door. It was nearly 7:00. Lately, Nancy was always lying down by this time. He pulled out a plate wrapped in foil from behind the milk and grabbed a fork out of the sink strainer as he pushed the fridge door shut with his foot.
He sat down at the table and ate quietly, enjoying the silence. Rabbit had come to realize that life was loud. Scenes of accidents were loud. Helicopters were loud. Soon, their apartment would be loud too.
He got up and slid the plate into the dishwasher and tossed the foil into the garbage before flicking off the kitchen light. Rabbit walked into the living room, turned on a light and dropped down onto the end of the couch. He grabbed the remote and flipped on the television. As he began to flip channels in search of the game, he found his wife joining him.
"How was work?" She quickly questioned as she eased down on the couch next to him. "Did you and Marissa get anything good?"
"Work was fine. Just a few car accidents, kid hit on a bike, nothing major" Rabbit responded with a small laugh. He wrapped his arm around her and kissed the top of her head as she rested it on his shoulder. "Don't worry, you're not missing any earth changing events" He added. "Tell me about your day" He prompted.
"I did what I've done for the past week" Nancy responded with a huff. "I sit around, go out and run a few errands and come home again" She answered.
"You'll have plenty to do soon enough" Rabbit responded, gently running a hand over her blonde locks. "You have to be patient" He whispered with a grin before resting his lips on her cheek.
Nancy let out a sarcastic laugh and closed her eyes. "You can tell me to be patient when you're the one whose nine months pregnant with swollen feet" She rested her hands on her enlarged stomach and gave it a gentle rub. "I want her to come now" She said with a grin, opening her eyes and looking to him. "Speaking of her…" Nancy's voice trailed off as she leaned to her right and reached for the end table. She managed to snag the handle of a bag with her finger tip and pull it into her lap. "I bought her a gift today" She pushed the bag to Rabbit.
He slid his hand into the white plastic and pulled out a hardcover book. "10,000 Baby Names" He read aloud. "Nance, we have a few years before she'll be reading" He joked with a smile.
"No, the book isn't for her. The names are. We still haven't picked out anything and we're starting to run out of time" Nancy said with a smile, hoping to coerce him into deciding on something.
They tried having the name conversation before and they couldn't agree. Nancy liked all sorts of names while nothing jumped out at Rabbit. If the kid was going to be stuck with the name for the rest of her life, he wanted it to be good.
"Nance, you already know what I think" Rabbit started, glancing back to the game flashing on the television screen.
"How about Peyton?" She asked before he could say anything else.
Rabbit didn't reply, partially considering the name and partially hoping she would give up.
"Can you at least humor me?" Nancy asked, resting the bottom corner of the book on her belly and looking over at him in an exasperated manner. "I've spent the past week at home on maternity leave while you fly all over the city and save lives. It's the least you can do for me" She stated, using all the wifely power in her to stare him down.
After a moment of silence, Rabbit finally gave in. He found that Nancy could wear him down like that. Maybe he was a sucker for the little pout of hers. Though he hated to admit it, he was pretty sure he had become whipped. Come to think of it, that's how he knew Nancy was the one. The day he realized he would do anything for Nancy was the day he knew he wanted to marry her.
"Peyton Palchuck? That sounds like a Doctor Seuss character" He answered, continuing to watch the basketball game rerun that he'd found on ESPN.
"Okay then" Nancy said with a hint of disappointment in her voice as she flipped through a few pages. "What about Sophia?" She said, glancing to him as she brushed a piece of her bangs behind her ear.
"How is she supposed to do anything kick ass with a name like Sophia?" Rabbit asked with a shrug, glancing back to Nancy.
"Well, what if she wants to grow up and have a respectable job and a family?" She asked in reply. "Sophia would be a great name for that"
He raised an eyebrow and looked at her.
Nancy let out a sigh and shook her head as she flipped through a few more pages. "Let's see…" She muttered as her eyes scanned down the page. "Marissa or Mia?" She questioned, looking back over at him.
"I'll never hear the end of it if we name her Marissa" Rabbit said, letting out a short laugh at the thought of his pilot and partner.
"So, it's not like Marissa is a bad person to name our daughter after" Nancy protested.
"No" Rabbit answered, taking the chance to cut her off. He wouldn't turn into a total softie for Marissa.
"That still leaves Mia" Nancy offered. She curled her legs and feet onto the couch, folding them to her side as she leaned into Rabbit's chest.
"Nah, I just can't picture it" He replied, looking to her.
"Then what can you 'picture', Rabbit?" Nancy asked, growing irate. Of course, it was his nature to disagree with everything she liked. In his usual fashion, Rabbit did it with calm, cool, collectiveness which could drive her insane.
"I told you, I need a face to put the name to" He insisted. "I think we should wait until after she's born"
"But she won't-" She tried to protest but he stopped her.
"Let's go back to talking about my day" He offered, pulling the book out of her hands and tossing it onto the coffee table in front of him.
"Fine" Nancy answered, dropping her hands onto her stomach and looking to him with a huff. "How's Glenn?" She asked, curious how her probbie partner was doing.
"With you gone, he's not the probbie anymore" Rabbit said with a laugh.
"How so?" She questioned. "And I'm not gone, I'm only on maternity leave" She quickly corrected him with a nod.
"He's got some new guy, Steven working with him" Rabbit answered.
"Aww, poor Glenn" Nancy burst out laughing. "Now he knows what its like to work with himself"
"He probably has a new found respect for you for sticking with him" He said in agreement.
"What about the kid on the bike?" She asked. "How is he?"
"Dr Joe says he'll be alright." Rabbit answered. "A few broken ribs but that was the least of his problems"
"Spinal?" Nancy guessed, making use of her own medical knowledge.
"Almost immediate bruising" He answered, resting his head back on the couch and turning to look at her. "Minor concussion too but the helmet took most of the impact"
"We are never getting our daughter a bike" She answered, giving a small shudder at the thought of the boy flying through the air. Thankfully in her job, she didn't have to see things happen. Nancy only had to clean up the pieces afterwards.
"Speaking of Dr Joe, he was asking about you today" Rabbit commented. "He wanted to know how you were doing with all this idle time on your hands"
"Did you tell him I'm going crazy playing the waiting game?" She asked with a grin, shifting on the couch so she was sitting up more.
"I told him you were ready to have the baby today" Rabbit answered. He grabbed the remote off the arm of the couch and flicked the television off. He stretched his arms out and let a relaxed sigh escape his lips.
"Only a few more days" Nancy said, sliding her head to his chest and closing her eyes.
As it happens, they only had a few hours to wait. Later that night, Nancy felt the first unfamiliar yet tall tale pains in her lower back. She spent the next twelve hours standing, sitting, walking and laying; doing whatever she could to try to relieve the pain that led to the delivery of a 7 lb, 9 oz baby girl.
"Here, you hold her" Nancy said, gently easing the baby in her arms towards Rabbit.
"I don't know-" he started in reply, sliding his chair closer to the bed. He had waited for this moment for so long but now he found himself nervous. It was one thing to mess up his own life but now he would have someone else's in his hands.
"No, it's fine" She said, nodding her head gently. She carefully slid the sleeping girl into his arms and pulled her own away. "That's it, hold her head like that" She added, smiling as she looked at the two.
Rabbit let out a breath before looking to Nancy and grinning. He gently ran his hand over her delicate head of dark, silky hair. "She's so perfect, Nance" He said at a near whisper as he watched the baby sleep.
Nancy lay back in the bed, letting her messy blonde hair fan out around her head. She closed her eyes, trying to regain some of her energy. "How about a name?" She asked with her eyes still closed.
"Huh?" Rabbit asked, looking up to Nancy. He was so memorized by watching the baby he hadn't really listened.
"You said you wanted to see her before we picked a name" She said, opening her eyes. "What do you think?"
Rabbit looked back down at the baby and gently ran his finger over her tiny hands which were tightly clenched into fists.
"Don't tell me you're speechless now" She smiled as she laughed.
"I look at her and I see Taylor Sophia Palchuck" Rabbit finally answered. He tore his eyes away from the little girl to look to Nancy for approval.
"Taylor Sophia Palchuck" She repeated. "Taylor Sophia Palchuck" She echoed again. "Our daughter, Taylor Sophia Palchuck"
"Is that a yes?" He asked, looking back down at the baby once again.
Nancy took in a deep breath and exhaled before answering. "Yes, I think so. I'm glad I got one of my choices in there" She laughed sleepily at the second part.
Childbirth had been harder and more exhausting than she imagined. Nancy had a pretty good image too, having delivered a baby or two. Despite all this, she was so glad she did it. They were a family now, a unit.
"Well then," Rabbit grinned. "Welcome to the world, Taylor" He bent his head down and lightly kissed the child's forehead. "Welcome to the world"