Emma bowed her head and peeled back the lid of the plastic Tupperware containing her lunch. Her perfectly coifed bangs fell across her face and she used the opportunity to shoot a furtive glance at the perky blond that sat across from her at their lunch table and currently held all of Will's attention.
Her name was Holly Holiday.
She had been subbing for Mrs. Carlisle for a week. She was tall, beautiful, and filled with an enthusiam for teaching and learning that rivaled Will's own exuberance when it came to the students at McKinley. Her carefree persona and personal brand of style attracted the eye of every hot-blooded male in the hallways and quite a few jealous glares from the girls. She practiced unconventional methods like teaching with music and had been enthusiastically firing song and dance routine ideas at Will ever since she had learned they both shared a passion for show choir.
Blatantly put, she was driving Emma mad with jealousy.
It was October now…Emma was almost ten weeks pregnant and looked merely as though she had eaten a large lunch. News of her pregnancy had spread quickly, the few that did not know or were still unconvinced that the meek, mysophobic guidance counselor had actually, finally consummated her love for Will Schuester were made believers when Will had proudly framed a copy of her sonogram and placed it carefully on his desk for any passerby to see.
Finding herself unexpectedly pregnant was one thing. Braving her first appointment was another. She had been understandably nervous; Will had been too, though he did his best to put on an encouraging, supportive front. It had nearly broken her heart when Emma had fumbled through a phone call to the Woman's Health Clinic to schedule an appointment and Will had asked her, the hope in his voice barely contained beneath his nonchalant tone, if he could come along.
Of course, she realized sadly, Terri wouldn't have wanted Will at a fake appointment for a fake baby. She thought back to what Will had told her about the one appointment he had forced Terri to allow him to attend at Dr. Wu's office and was glad she had the foresight to schedule her own with Dr. Chen.
"Of course I want you there," she had assured him, placing the cool palm of her hand against the invisible stubble of his cheek, "I need you there, Will."
Emma soon began to realize that tackling the initial shock of her surprise pregnancy was just one thing that she was going to have to overcome in the upcoming months. Each action stemming from the news was setting off a series of reactions, as proven by the rumors that seemed to crop up overnight within the halls of McKinley.
Though Will had not announced the news to Glee yet -or anyone, for that matter- Rachel had confronted him after practice two days before Emma's appointment and demanded to know if the rumors were true. Insisting that it was just gossip, and inappropriate gossip at that, Will had shied away from Rachel and her forthcoming speech about the fate of Glee Club and their upcoming performance at Sectionals.
He had arrived at Emma's office breathless and wide-eyed, and Emma had had to laugh at just how naïve Will was turning out to be when it came to the rumor mill at McKinley.
"I'm not surprised," Emma had shrugged, looking on amusedly as Will's mind was seemingly blown at just how in-tune the students at McKinley could be when they put their brains to it, "And I'm sure it's not just gossip to the Glee kids," she noted sensibly, "They care about you, Will."
"I get that, I do. I just figured," Will elaborated, "What with things happening so…unexpectedly…that a little time would be a good thing. To figure things out. I mean, first come the kids, and well, Figgins' will have to know eventually, and oh God, Sue…" Will began to pace, "Your parents, my parents-"
Emma let out a nervous chuckle.
Will glanced her way as he turned on his heel and completed his second pass in front of her desk.
"Yes, your parents," he reiterated, "Of course, I should probably meet them first…" Will gave a small, oblivious chuckle," You know, before just springing something like this on them-"
Will continued to ramble as he paced, but Emma felt his voice growing very thin and far away as she stiffened, reality hitting as suddenly and harshly as a bucket of icy water to the face. Will's pacing slowed and his voice grew concerned -thick in her ears- as she stared hollowly forward, her mind reeling with this new, foolishly unconsidered revelation.
"Em? Emma?" Will reached across the desk and grasped her small hand in his own, "Emma!"
Emma jumped and jerked her gaze -wide and terrified- up to meet Will's own concerned one.
"What will I do?' she whispered, eyes crazed.
Will hesitated unsurely.
"What will I do!" she shrieked, prompting a startled Will to release her hand in alarm. "My parents-" Emma moaned, letting her head fall into her hands, "Oh God, Will…Your p-parents! Glee Club and Figgins' and Sue-" her voice shuddered into despaired silence, leaving a ringing silence in the small space of her office.
Will slowly lowered himself into the chair across from her desk and reached out a hesitant hand to take hers in his own again.
"Emma…" he began carefully, unsure of the best way to handle this new, unexpected insecurity, "We'll handle it, together…"
"No," Emma whipped her head back and forth, causing her red curls to bounce and fall back into place around her face, "You keep saying that, Will! It's…It's t-too much!"
Will was quiet for a moment.
"What's got you worried, Emma?" he queried finally, eager to drive away her insecurities, "Telling your parents? Telling Figgins? I can do that. You don't even have to be there if you don't want to be…As for your parents, we can call them-"
"No, Will," Emma shook her head, "I can't. I can't!"
"Why?" Will pushed, "They're your parents, Em. Don't you want them to know?"
"I can't, Will," Emma bowed her head, her voice a troubled whisper.
Will sat back, releasing his hold on her hand, as realization dawned on him.
"Emma…Haven't you told them about me?"
Emma bit her lip. A slow tear rolled down her cheek and she shook her head.
Will was silent and Emma struggled to make herself look up at him. She immediately wished she hadn't; hurt and betrayal clouded his handsome features, and she flushed, feeling horrible.
"Have you?" she pushed, searching for some kind of saving grace, "Told your parents…about me, I mean?"
"Of course I have Emma," Will answered, his tone accusatory, "And I'm the one whose marriage ended less than a year ago-" His words made her wince and Emma faltered. He wouldn't look at her; his eyes were glued to the floor and another tear leaked out from beneath Emma's lashes and rolled tellingly down her face.
"Will, I-of course they know about you…"
Will's head shot up and he frowned questioningly.
"But you just said-"
"They know Will: Spanish teacher and director of the Glee Club, my married best friend…" Emma clasped her hands together and gazed down at them, unable to look up at him.
Will ran hand through his curls and shook his head.
"They're your parents, Em…"
Emma sucked in a breath, wounded that Will was siding against her, though the reasonable side of her had known, deep down, how he would feel. Family was important to Will. Family to Emma was…a delicate matter.
"I…." Emma brushed aside a stray curl and bowed her head, "I haven't…I don't…I don't talk to my family very often, Will."
Will frowned and leaned forward, his interest piqued.
"That's okay Em," he insisted, ever eager, "I'm sure they'll just be happy to hear from you-"
Will paused and Emma hesitated, searching for the right words to explain away her irrationalities to an anticipant Will.
"Will I…" Emma looked down, wringing her hands, "I haven't talked to my family in a-awhile-"
"How long is awhile?"
"It's been… about ten months," Emma admitted quietly, "...Give or take."
Will was silent, and Emma rambled:
"You know, ever since t-the d-dairy farm incident…things have been…" Emma looked up and met Will's gaze, "We'll they've been strained," she admitted frankly, letting her eyes slide back to her desk again. "My childhood…wasn't normal Will. My relationship with my brother Kevin it…it's always been fragile…It -the incident- it wasn't his fault. We were young. We were both young," Emma continued, as though convincing herself, "I grew up, went to college nearby, lived at home for a few years after graduating. I tried living on my own, in Belle Haven, but…I needed more. My parents didn't want me to move away. They though it would be better for me to stay in Virginia, even live with them. We talked a few times a month for the first two years after I moved here to Lima," she explained, "Eventually the lines of communication fell away."
Will remained silent, and Emma bowed her head further, too ashamed to look up and bear witness to his reaction.
"I just…" she continued finally, "I don't know how I'm supposed to tell my parents that I'm going to be giving someone else a childhood," Emma's laid a hesitant hand against her still-flat abdomen, "…A real, happy childhood…when I failed so miserably at living my own."
A buzzing silence filled Emma's office as her last words faded away. Will didn't say anything, and Emma fiddled nervously with the hem of her skirt, afraid she'd said too much; revealed too much of her crazy. She heard Will push himself up from his chair and her head shot up; she expected to see him turning for the door, but instead, he was making his way around her desk.
She sucked in a startled breath as he took the arm of her desk chair and angled it towards him, then leaned down with an arm on either side of her so that they faced one another.
Will reached out and tucked a stray curl behind her ear, letting his hand fall away to cup her cheek. Leaning in close, he lowered his face to within an inch of her own and passionately claimed her lips in a kiss, leaving her dazed when he carefully pulled away. Emma realized she was holding her breath and released it on a shaky exhale.
"Emma Pillsbury," Will's voice was soft, and laden with conviction, "…You are going to make an excellent mother."
To be continued…
Thanks to everyone that takes the time to read and comment on my story. I truly appreciate it!