The Appointment

John was shimmering with something between disappointment and anger as he slammed the door to his apartment and watched as Natalie collapsed onto the couch and into herself. He couldn't believe that a crank call to the Family Clinic had brought him face to face with Natalie and Gigi, with Natalie there for an appointment to have an abortion. Now he needed answers….
"Damnit Natalie! What were you thinking? Were you really going to do that without even telling me?"

Natalie swallowed uncomfortably and looked at the floor: "it's more complicated than that," she somehow managed to get out, wondering how she was going to explain how she had been contemplating an abortion of what could or could not be his child to the man she loved with all her heart.

"Didn't you want- don't you want?" he floundered as he paced the room, stopping as abruptly as he shot out the words to look at her in confusion; this had been something they had once talked about wanting and planning on.

"Of course I do!" she replied without thinking as her head shot up reflexively, her eyes filled with tears of shame.

"Then why?" John demanded as she came to stand over her. "Because it's so soon after Marty lost my baby?" he asked as he lowered himself onto the coffee table, confused and no longer able to stand.

"If it were only that simple!" she sighed, the looked him defeatedly. "You know I do stupid things when I'm hurt, John. I was hurt when I though you read when my letter and discarded not only it, but me as well."

It took a moment for her meaning to sink in: "are you telling me that the baby you're carrying isn't mine?" he demanded.

"I'm telling you that I don't know if it is. I'd sobered up by the time you and I met up at the airport, John."

"He took advantage of you."

Natalie shrugged: "It was comfort sex," she said bluntly, not allowing him to give her a complete free pass. "For both of us. Admittedly I was the more drunk of the two… but… well, it happened."

"Who Natalie?"

"Does it matter?"

"If he turns out to be the father and not me he's going to be a part of our lives," John pointed out in a sad, but rational voice, not quite believing they were having this conversation.

Natalie shook her head and answered adamantly: "No he won't.
It was a one night stand.

We promised we wouldn't tell anyone.
We can't.
It would hurt too many people."

John gritted his teeth: "please tell me we're not talking about who I'm thinking about."

"John…."

"It was Brody, wasn't it?" he asked bluntly.

"Yes, it was. I went to say goodbye.
I was drunk.
He was drunk.
I thought we were over.
He thought he and Jess were over.
I was going to leave for London.
I promised not to tell... only then I found out I was pregnant…"

John exhaled: "What's the discrepancy?" he asked, trying to be tactful.

"A week."

John nodded: "for his information, should he asked, because it's damned well known of his business, a day. He never has to know, no one does."

"John?"

"We weren't together. If I'm pissed at anything it's that you thought you couldn't tell me what you were going through. Couldn't trust me enough to discuss this with me to help me make this decision."

"John, it wasn't just you I was worried about finding out.
Telling.
If Jessica was to find out, especially since she's pregnant too and she's so high risk…. If something happens, I'm afraid of what she's capable of," Natalie admitted.

"I won't let her hurt you or our baby," John told her confidently as he got up and crossed to her, pulling her into his arms.

"John it might…"

"Hey, listen to me… I don't know how, but in my heart I know this is our child. The one I once dreamed of us having together."

"The little boy with dark hair and blue eyes?" Natalie asked looking up and smiling at him.

"Yeah."

"He have a name in this dream?" Natalie asked.

"No," John smirked, "But I seem to remember you once telling Bre she almost had a cousin named JJ, but I have to admit I am really not fond of the idea of a John Jr." he admitted.

Natalie laughed: "Was thinking more of Jude Thomas at the time."

"Could be convinced of that. Any other ideas?" he asked as he snuggled closer to her.

"Benjamin Asa?"

"Why am I not surprised?" he asked with a slight laugh.

"You got something better?" she asked as she put a hand on his chest and pushed up to looked at him in the face.

"We have seven months to figure it out don't we?"

"Yeah. We do."

"And I'll be watching to make sure you don't do anything stupid."

"John, remember this is me you're talking too."

"Natalie…" he sighed with some exasperation. "I won't endanger the baby."

"Our baby."

"Our baby. But I won't be wrapper in a bubble. I'll follow doctor's orders. I follow uncle Bo's at work."

John smirked at that: "technically, I out rank you."

"So I'll do the paperwork. They'll put me on desk duty once I tell Bo anyway," she shrugged off the comment.

"So we have a plan?" he asked her.

"Except how to handle Brody," she sighed, then paused.

"Ok, tell me what's going on in that pretty brain of yours. I can see the wheels turning," John told her.

"I can just tell him the month I'm due, not the exact date, besides, it's not an exact science especially this early on and with that close of a gap. It's not like I slept with him one month and you another- God, I sound like a slut!"

"You're not one.
Again, we weren't together.
They weren't together.
You were both drunk.
You made a mistake.
Thank god I was able to keep you from compounding it, I mean, I don't understand why you did this," he wondered, "I'd like to understand why."

"I panicked John, and when I panic I do stupid things unless you talk me down. Believe me I'm glad you were there to talk me down tonight.
Having that abortion would've been the biggest mistake of my life."

"Believe me, Natalie, I'm just as glad. Nothing is going to stop us from having the family we always talked about. The one we dreamed about.
Now come on.
Let's go to bed.
I want to hold you and let you know just how much I love you."

"I think I can handle that."

"And when it doesn't seem like it's just about the baby… when you're not expecting it, my mom's ring is coming out of the safe and going on your finger," he added as he stood and helped her to her feet.

"That your way of proposing, McBain?"

"Oh, when I propose, you won't have to ask, Buchanan. You'll know for sure this time. No assumptions. No one else giving you the ring. Done the right way. Your dad's permission. Your uncle's. All my love and hope for the future."

"And you will have a yes as an answer and all my love and hope for the future as well," she replied as she rose on her toes to kiss him passionately.

As he pulled away he laughed: "I really did mean to just lie down and rest."

"Yeah, like that ever happens with us," she said pulling him towards their bedding room, causing him to chuckle as he followed her, believing in their future and love.