Jack stared at the paper in front of him. He knew exactly what he wanted to do for Jenna's birthday but couldn't figure out what to write. Janet had kept telling him to say what was in his heart. He knew exactly what was in his heart but was never good for getting the emotional words out.
Jack looked up at Janet and smiled at her.
"Hey, baby," he whispered, reaching out a hand. His wife sat down next to him and leaned into his side, resting her head on his shoulder.
"Still can't figure out what to do?" she asked quietly.
"I know exactly what I want to do. I just can't figure out what to say," he murmured.
"You'll figure it out," she said. She kissed his cheek and go to her feet. Jack watched her go and sighed.
Jack jumped at the sound of Jenna's voice. Jenna toddled into the room and fell down right on her face. Jack jumped up and scooped her up. She babbled away, waving her arms. He smiled into her face.
She was the picture of her mother, right down to the headful of black curls, the cute little button nose, and the round full cheeks. She was absolutely beautiful.
But she had Jack's eyes. The exact shape and diamond grey color. That was something that Janet loved the most about their daughter. Her eyes held the same exact mischief that Jack's always held. She was quite the little stinker.
Holding Jenna in his arms, at that moment, Jack knew what he was going to write.
"So, who's present is next? Jack!" Chrissy said, looking over at Jack who had been strangely silent through the whole party. Everyone who loved Jenna was there that day. Larry, Chrissy, Cindy, Terri, Mr. Furley, and Mr. and Mrs. Roper. Also, Jack's mom and brother and Janet's parents and sister were there. Jenna wasn't ever going to remember this but it was still a special moment that was going to stay with her forever.
Janet looked worriedly at her husband. He looked kind of weird. "Jack, honey?"
Jack stood up. "I wrote this for Jenna because I wanted her to remember how much I loved her. I just feel weird doing this."
Janet smiled at him. She carefully shifted Jenna over to her other hip.
Jack opened up the paper that was clenched in between his hands. He began to read aloud.
I see you here, so tiny, so perfect
Your curly black hair, your big beautiful eyes
I see how amazing you are, how gorgeous you are
And I am amazed.
You get into trouble all the time
Your mama says "you're just like your father!"
You don't care
You just laugh and clap your pudgy little hands
I see how happy you are all the time
Loving and magnificent
You are amazing to me
My precious baby girl
I can see the incredible woman you are going to be
I love you, Jenna Marie Tripper
Janet swiped at the tears that were threatening to fall from her eyes. She approached Jack and gently shifted Jenna into his arms. He hugged his little girl to him, kissing the top of her glossy curls.
"Love you, baby girl," he whispered in her ear.
"Luv yew, Dada," she said back.
Jack's heart melted at that moment. He kissed her pudgy little cheek and hugged her to him again.
"Oh, how I love you."
Jack looked over at Janet. "Yeah, why?"
She rolled over in bed and placed her hand on his chest. "You looked really strange at the party. Like you had something on your mind and just didn't want to say it."
Jack looked into her face and knew he couldn't lie to her. "I never thought I would have a child, let alone get married. But here I am, in this wonderful life. A life that I never thought I would have."
"Thank God you objected at my wedding," Janet grinned.
Jack laughed aloud and kissed her forehead. "That was the smartest thing I ever did."
"You're damn right," she whispered, kissing the corner of his mouth.
Jack chuckled and ran his hand through her black hair. "I guess I'm just afraid that something will happen."
"Everyone goes through that," she said. "I sure as hell did when I was pregnant with Jenna."
"You did?" he asked incredulously.
She nodded. "Yeah."
"How come I never saw that? Why didn't you ever tell me?" he asked.
"You're a dolt and I'm a good actress," she said with a mischievous smile on her face.
Jack wrapped his arms around her and held her tightly against him. "I guess when my dad died it kicked up all these stupid girly emotions."
Janet rolled her eyes. "There is absolutely nothing wrong with feeling this way. You just have to remember that you can't feel scared all the time. You just have to live for today. Don't constantly be afraid. Just don't, Jack."
Jack buried his face in her hair. "I love you," he mumbled.
"I love you too," she whispered back, her arms snaking around his waist. She buried her face into his chest. "We're going to be okay."
"I know," he answered.
Jack woke up the next morning to find something really heavy on his chest. He opened his eyes and found himself staring into glossy black curls. But the curls didn't belong to his wife.
"Why is there a rugrat on my chest?" he asked.
Jenna giggled her bell-like laugh. He heard Janet's gentle laughter from the doorway.
"Jenna wanted to wake you up," she said, still laughing.
Jack managed to wedge the baby off of him and rose into a sitting position. He set Jenna in his lap. She giggled away, her laugh infectious. He started to laugh as well. Janet sat down on the bed and crawled under the covers next to him. He wrapped an arm around her and began tickling their daughter. Jenna continued to laugh and rolled over onto her side. Janet scooped her up.
"Don't tickle my baby!" she laughed.
"Grrr!" Jack growled playfully. Janet and Jenna both laughed and she dashed out of the room with Jenna tight against her chest. Jack chased them down the hall and tackled them in the living room, gently setting Jenna down on the sofa and pinning Janet to the floor.
"Jack! Not in front of Jenna!" Janet growled in his ear.
"Why not? She won't remember this!" he protested.
Janet pushed him off of her and scooped up their daughter. "Later!" she said firmly over her shoulder as she carried Jenna into the kitchen to give her her breakfast.
Jack followed them into the kitchen and watched as the two women he loved the most began their meal. His heart overflowed with love at the sight of them.
Everything was fine. Just fine.
~~~And They Lived Happily Ever After~~~
So, this is how Three's Company should have ended! Jack should have protested at Janet's wedding and they should have ran off together to have their own family! Come on!
I read somewhere that Joyce Dewitt, who played Janet, wanted Jack to onject at Janet's wedding. She wanted to be a part of the spin-off Three's A Crowd. Stupid writers. Why didn't it turn out that way?
Rest in peace, John Ritter. We love you and miss you.