A/N: As promised, Jack is back front and centre in this piece as I tackle the dinner. But this has turned into a piece with three chapters as drama ensues at the end of this one. Then we'll continue with the drama in the second chapter, before getting down and dirty with some fun filled mischief at a certain favourite lady's baby shower.
I have also been delighted to discover that there are lines I can put in the story in place of the 'New Section' that normally breaks up my story and so I am giving them a go to ensure a more seamless read. Hope you enjoy them as much as I think I will.
When you guys write such wonderful reviews, it makes me glad that I actually pressed into this series and squeezed so much out of it beyond the first few pieces. Thanks to the following for making it all so worth it; amyprentiss-Reid, Hazmatt, Danzjaron, sarahb2007, NicknHotchfan, HGRHfan35, Huntress79 (hello to you too), greengirl82, HPforever-after and (for Fulfilling A Little Boy's Wish and Fits, Giggles & Invitations).
This is Life's Wishes 9 and is filled with a lot of serious and just a bit of light and fluffy fun for the ending.
Life Ain't Always Fun & Games - Chapter 1
Emily hummed softly to herself as she set out cutlery on the table. Jack was carefully moving glasses one by one from the sideboard to the table and Aaron was in the kitchen, singing along to the radio.
I must remember to tell him not to audition for any singing shows. He really isn't very good at it.
She smiled as she took a short break to survey the table and see if she'd missed anything. And as always happened when one or both of her hands were free, she gently touched the miracle of the rounded skin of her growing tummy.
I wonder if it's like this for all first time mothers?
Turning her head, she smiled at Jack. He hadn't asked; he'd simply gone from calling her 'Emily' to calling her 'mummy' between one conversation and the next. And because he had been so casual about it, she'd swallowed her tears of happiness and had continued on as needed with the conversation they'd been having. Though the novelty of hearing him call her that had yet to wear off.
"Do you need any more glasses?"
She did a swift count and nodded. "Just two more I think and then we need to put out the napkins. But first we'll need to fold them into some pretty shapes to make them look elegant."
"Why do they need to look elegant?"
Always with the 'why'; I wonder if he'll ever grow out of it?
"Because this is a special dinner to celebrate you, me and daddy getting married. And because that is special, everything surrounding it needs to be special too."
"Ah," he said, nodding wisely and going back for the last glass.
Several minutes later, they were seated on the ground in the living room, the napkins spread out in front of them, when the phone rang.
"Em, can you get that? I don't have any hands."
Jack looked alarmed and jumped up before racing out of the room as Emily called back an affirmative and reached for the phone.
No doubt he's going to check that daddy's hands are still attached. Silly daddy.
"Hey there Superwoman."
"Hey PG. Please tell me you aren't calling to cancel."
"Not at all. I'm just calling to see if you need us to bring anything."
Emily groaned. "Seriously, the answer hasn't changed from the first time you asked either of us, something like twenty times ago. No honey; we don't need you to bring anything with you. Just your gorgeous self and your good looking boyfriend."
And here we go again...
And sure enough, it took her five minutes to get off the phone. The only reason she kept her calm as she placed the phone back in the cradle was Jack sitting across from her, watching her intently.
"Did daddy have both of his hands when you got to the kitchen?"
Jack's eyes went wide as saucers. "How'd you know that was where I was going?"
Emily tapped the side of her head. "I'm psychic."
"Wow," he breathed.
Note to self; this child is susceptible to everything I say. Must be careful with that. Wait, must remember to tell Aaron to remind me. Memory is like a sieve. I think JJ called it a baby brain. But maybe I'm getting confused with something else.
Realising she was frowning and Jack now watched her worriedly, she banished her thoughts and grinned.
"Right; are you ready to help me make some elegant napkins?"
At Jack's enthusiastic nod, she opened up the origami book to the page she'd marked that made swans. Explaining what origami was and then demonstrating how it worked was fun. Even more fun was helping Jack make his first ever creation and seeing the delight on his face when he realised that it looked just like hers. She helped him make a second swan, giving them three in total, before she leaned back against the couch to watch him work.
Her hands went back to her abdomen as she stifled a yawn. In the two weeks since the invitations to this dinner had gone out, she'd hit thirteen weeks pregnant, and with three babies growing inside the one small space, she was already feeling uncomfortable all the time. Not to mention that she was just tired all the time.
And don't think I don't complain about that to Aaron all the time...though come to think of it, he looks so worried when he looks at me, so maybe I should stop complaining so he'll stop worrying. Hmm...food for thought...hmm, food...
Half an hour later, she was half asleep when a familiar pair of lips caressed her own. She hummed her approval and pressed closer, deepening the kiss. He obliged for several long moments before pulling back and placing a light kiss on her forehead.
"Why don't you take a short nap now while you can?" Aaron murmured softly.
"I really shouldn't, but I just can't keep my eyes open."
He chuckled softly and assisted her to stand before he picked her up and strode from the room.
"Uncle Dave's here!" Jack crowed happily as he scooted off the stool he was sitting on and bolted for the front door. Aaron walked quickly to the kitchen doorway to watch as Jack twisted the handle with both hands and threw it open with a happy shout.
Dave scooped up his honorary 'nephew' and squished him in a hug that ended with his fingers searching for ticklish spots as the older man nodded to let Aaron know that all was in hand.
Relieved, Aaron returned to the kitchen and his cooking preparations. His intentions of having dinner out on time had been thrown off track by Emily's need for a nap; not having that extra set of hands to put to work had slowed everything done, not just the cooking. But he wouldn't have woken her to help him cook for the world. He knew how exhausted she was all the time, and now how uncomfortable carrying three growing babies inside her had become. He intended to sit down and talk to her about stepping back from work now instead of later as soon as this night was over.
At least I will if she's still awake. Considering the chances of her being asleep by dessert are pretty high, maybe I should just resolve to have the conversation with her sometime tomorrow. Yes, tomorrow would definitely be better.
"Hey Hotch. Need any help?"
"Please. Where's Jack?"
"Gone to wake Emily."
"Shoot," he muttered. "Can you stir that for me?"
He didn't wait for the reply, bolting out of the room and hoping he caught Jack in time. He sighed heavily as he caught sight of the open bedroom door.
"Mummy, wake up. Uncle Dave's here. Wake up mummy."
"Jack," Aaron whispered, crouching down beside his son. "Dinner isn't ready yet. Let's let mummy sleep a bit longer alright?"
Jack frowned slightly, clearly not liking that idea. Aaron found he didn't have a choice.
"Aaron? What time is it?"
"It's early yet love. Dave's here, but dinner won't be ready for another half an hour. Do you want to sleep a little longer?"
Whatever her decision, her words were unintelligible as sleep pulled her back under. He smiled, pleased that she could sleep a bit longer, and scooped Jack up.
Once back out in the hall, he pulled the door closed behind him and grinned at his son.
"Jack, I have a very important task for you. Do you think you can handle it?"
Jack shot him a happy, eager smile. "What is it daddy?"
The rest of the their guests arrived around about the same time to find Dave and Jack lying on a blanket in the front yard and contemplating the sky as the sun set. Jack was chattering away while Dave kept the child occupied and though Aaron had needed the help, he'd wanted to keep Jack occupied, and therefore away from Emily, more.
Jack bounced up with shouts of names and ran from one adult to another for hugs and kisses.
Dave watched all this as he folded up the blanket.
"You're all late, but considering dinner is also running late and the hostess is still sleeping, I'm sure no one will complain too much."
"Is Superwoman alright?" Penelope asked anxiously as she shifted some chocolates from one hand to the other.
"She's fine," Dave said easily, tweaking Jack's nose when he noted the child's worried look. "It's just the normal tiredness any woman carrying three babies will experience. I imagine now that everyone is here, Aaron will wake her and we'll get an hour or two of wakefulness from her before she falls asleep again."
"Well hopefully a little more than an hour or two Dave," Emily stated in a slightly husky voice as she appeared behind them.
Jack raced to give her a cuddle as everyone moved forward and offered some small gift or other. She shot them all an amused look and ushered everyone inside.
Dinner was ready five minutes later and Jack proudly announced the three course menu with only a little prompting from his parents. Everyone applauded and made themselves comfortable around the table as the entree was brought out.
The meal was filled with light and laughter, most of it caused by Jack and his joyousness in his new family arrangements. The announcement that the dinner was to celebrate the three of them getting married generated quite a lot of conversation across the evening.
Aaron had been right though; Emily was sound asleep on his shoulder before they'd even reached dessert. Excusing himself, he took her up to bed before returning to host the rest of the evening. Then it was Jack's turn to fall asleep as the dessert plates were cleared and once he'd been put to bed, Aaron pulled out the alcohol and they all settled in the living room.
"So is Emily really alright?" Dave asked.
Aaron smiled softly as he thought of his wife. "She's fine; she'll just be more exhausted than most women because of the extra weight she's dealing with. She's only got another month at work before her maternity leave will need to start, but I'm hoping to convince her to finish up early since she sleeps most of the time as it is now."
"Jack will be thrilled to hear that," JJ said with a warm smile. "Having mummy around all the time will be a treat.
"That Jack will be thrilled I have no doubt, but I'm not leaving him here with a wife who is going to be sleeping most of the time. We'll need to look at getting a nanny anyway, so we might as well look at getting one for Jack now."
"When does he start school?" JJ asked.
"Not until after the Summer."
"What about Jess?" Derek queried.
Aaron shook his head. "It's too much to ask on top of her having Jack already when we're away on cases. She was wonderful after Haley died, but it's time now to look at other options. And it all feeds back in to the need to find some additional help anyway for once the babies are born.
"But now I'm changing the subject. The ladies are obviously here for the baby shower tomorrow. But I want to know if you guys want to come around as well and hang out with me in the backyard?"
"Aren't you disappearing for the day?"
He shot Reid a surprised look. "Are you kidding me? My wife is three months pregnant with triplets. If that wasn't enough, her age is a factor to be considered during this time. I already hate the knowledge that I will be away for a part of the pregnancy when cases come up; I'm not going anywhere tomorrow. I'm going to be close by, not hovering, but there if she needs me."
JJ and Penelope exchanged a look, but it was Dave who said it.
"It certainly sounds like hovering to me."
Emily swayed slightly with exhaustion as she cast a satisfied look around the living area. Three hours of decorating had culminated in a room that was ready for an incredibly rowdy baby shower.
"Mummy, look at me!"
Emily turned her head, allowing the wall to hold her upright, and only just avoided laughing.
I wonder if there was any chocolate left for the fountain once he got done with it.
"Mmm, Jack looks like he's been helping himself to some yummy snacks."
Jack giggled and darted out of the room.
"Make sure you clean it all off!" Aaron called after his son as he stepped into the room. He turned to look at her, a grin on his face, but it quickly disappeared as he rushed to her side. "Emily?"
"I think you were right, about taking maternity leave earlier. I just can't do this anymore."
"Hey, don't cry. It's not the end of the world; you have time for a short nap before the guests arrive and I'm quite happy to be charming and entertaining to give you a little extra time. And if I'm not charming enough, I can set Jack the task to distract everyone just like I did yesterday with Dave."
The doorbell rang and Emily just started sobbing full out.
I want to sleep and I can't sleep cause now there are people here and it's not fair and I hate this and I...
"...hate you! I absolutely hate you for this!"
Aaron ignored the words and the hurt they caused, hearing the exhausted anguish underneath as he pressed her closer, trying to support her weight and comfort her at the same time.
A small, distressed sound in the doorway turned his head just as the doorbell rang again.
"Hey Jack," he said softly, holding out his arm to his son. Jack raced to his side and cuddled in close. Aaron hated that his son was distressed just by Emily's distress. And more than that at the moment, he hated that he couldn't just cancel the whole thing and tuck them all into bed for a comforting cuddle.
Clearly Dave had gotten sick of waiting at the door.
"We're in the living room."
Dave appeared quickly and assessed the situation. He coaxed Jack to him and gave the little boy a reassuring cuddle as Aaron lifted his still sobbing wife into his arms.
"Why don't you put her to bed for an hour and join her; Jack and I will entertain everyone and I have no doubt all the ladies will understand completely once I've explained it."
"Actually, I'm worried enough about her that I'd rather just take her to the doctor. If I can get her in, can you look after Jack for me?"
"Of course I can. What more is there to worry about?"
Feeling Emily go still in his arms, he knew better than to share all.
"She wouldn't want me sharing the whole of it." She relaxed in his arms, her weight shifting and he knew she was sliding into sleep where she lay. "Listen, even if I can't get her in to the doctor, I'll probably take her to the hospital. Something about this is sending my instincts straight into the 'something's seriously wrong' zone and I don't want to leave it another day before I do something about it. Can you just call everyone to cancel the shower? Tell them that there isn't another date as yet, but for health reasons it just isn't feasible today. Oh, and call the guys and tell them not to come. Or maybe tell them to come if you want a bit of additional company and help with Jack. I don't really care at this stage."
Dave barely smothered a smile.
He's rambling...it's almost cute if it weren't so worrisome.
"Aaron, don't worry about any of it. I'll call JJ and Garcia first and get them to come here. They helped with the planning, so one of them should have a complete guest list. And I'll let the guys come too and that way there'll be more people to distract Jack from worrying."
Aaron nodded and shifted Emily slightly in his arms. Her eyes fluttered briefly, then stilled and he felt his worry increase. Putting her to bed, he grabbed the phone and made a call and was startled at the discovery that Emily was on a shortlist of patients at the surgery the doctor would drop everything for.
"She's high risk in two categories; late-in-life pregnancy and multiple pregnancy. Trust me, we want the best for her as much as you do and that includes ensuring that someone is available to see her whenever either of you have any concerns, whether founded or not. Just bring her down here and as soon as your doctor has finished with his patient at that time, you'll be slipped straight in. And if it is something that this practice can't handle, you'll get an immediate emergency referral to the hospital."
Aaron disconnected the call a minute later feeling better knowing that a doctor was always available for them and annoyed that he hadn't known this fact. Looking at Emily sleeping on the bed beside him, he figured it would have been something she'd know about.
He shifted closer to her and gently brushed the hair from her face. The tracks of her tears were faintly visible to his sight and he hated that, even indirectly, he had caused them. For just a moment he thought of waking her up, but decided she could sleep a bit longer and he'd wake her at the clinic.
By the time he carried her down the stairs, the entire team had gathered.
"Oh, the poor darling. Hotch, don't worry about a thing. We'll get the shower cancelled in next to no time, the living area will be put back to rights quick-smart and our mini superhero will be well cared for. Just you worry about Superwoman; the rest will take care of itself."
"Thanks Garcia. In fact, thanks to all of you for caring enough to come anyway. I'm very grateful and I know Emily will be as well when she hears about it later."
He walked out the door to a chorus of well-wishes and hoped that everything would be as alright as Garcia had painted it to be.
I couldn't bear to lose her now that I've found her. Please let everything be alright...please.
A/N: So I know most of this series so far has been all light and fluffy and fun, but I'm struggling with fun at the moment, so you get something just a little bit more serious and besides that, a multiple pregnancy isn't completely fun and games. But I promise that the fun WILL return, just bear with me here a little bit longer.
Also please note that the next chapter may be a little slow in coming, but I will try to get it out to all of you as soon as I can.
Please review and let me know what you think with the conveniently placed button right below this request.