Title: Life-Changing
Fandom: Packed to the Rafters
Pairings/Characters: Jake/Rachel, Rebecca Rafter (OC)
Length: 2,072 words
Rating: PG
Summary: When Rachel comes back from New York and has to face Jake again, she must tell him the secret she's been hiding from him all this time.
Disclaimer: No copyright infringement intended; sadly, I don't own Jake/Rachel or Packed to the Rafters.
Author's Note: Thank you SinginPrincess for being my beta and helping me with names, and thank you ginfizz for inspiring me to finally finish this fic- with our endless conversations about Jake/Rachel, and for reassuring me my characters stay IC :)

When I decided to take the job in New York, I thought I'd made the best decision in my life. Even if it meant leaving everything behind. My family, Jake…

Even though we've decided the best thing was to say goodbye, I was hoping that after six months I'd come back and might still have a chance with Jake.

But six months turned into a year, and if it's not enough, my troubles started a few weeks after I arrived in New York.

I was pregnant.

I have already made this decision once, but this time it was different. This time, it wasn't Daniel's child. It was Jake's. And I could never give up his child. Our child.

Ever since I found out I was pregnant, there hasn't been a single day that I haven't thought what if... what if I didn't leave. What life could have been if I stayed? Jake and I would have our own little family. We never talked about it, but I know he wanted it. Deep inside, I wanted it too.

I never told my family about Becky until the day I came back home. I couldn't tell them while Jake was still working for my dad. If he found out, he would have been heartbroken that he couldn't be with us. I couldn't hurt him.

I was in constant conflict with myself. I knew that sooner or later, I would have to face Jake. He had the right to know. But I was hoping it would happen later than sooner. I met him the day I came back, while taking Becky for a walk in the park.

We walked down the boardwalk and stopped to look at the sea. I missed it, I missed home. This place brought back so many old memories.

I was daydreaming before I heard a familiar voice calling me. It was amazing how familiar it sounded even though I hadn't heard it for so long. A short moment later, Jake was standing next to me.

When he saw I was holding a baby in my arms, a perfect little baby with dark hair and blue eyes, the only thing he could do was stare at the little girl. He looked back and forth from her to me.

Then he smiled, an awkward smile. I could see the sadness in his eyes. He mumbled something but I heard it loud and clear.

"Looks like it didn't take you too long to move on..."

I swallowed the lump in my throat. I wanted him to know it's not true. I wanted him to know that leaving him was the hardest thing I've ever done, that I never moved on – but I said nothing while the tears choked me.

Jake looked awkward. He probably didn't imagine this is how our meeting would be. He ran his fingers in his hair.

"I hope you're happy... I hope her father treats you two right. You deserve nothing less."

I shook my head slowly and looked at Becky; she looked so much like Jake.

When I was finally able to talk, it came out as a tiny whisper.

"Her father is not in the picture. He actually never was..."

I tried to focus on everything else right now. Everything – except for Jake's eyes. Even without looking at him, I felt his gaze upon us. It took him a few moments before he realized. I didn't dare to look at him.


He came closer and stood right next to me. He lifted my chin, wanting to look in my eyes when he asks this. My eyes were closed, refusing to open up and face him. A few tears slip down my cheek.

"Is she…"

He didn't have to finish his question. I shut my eyes harder and cried a few more tears until I couldn't bear it any longer. I knew I could do nothing but tell the truth, I couldn't fool him anymore. I nodded and opened my eyes as he let go of my chin. I took a deep breath, looked straight in his eyes.

"She is yours."

He looked at me for a moment that seemed like forever and didn't say a word. For a brief moment, I was hoping he would forget everything and pull us into his arms, kissing me, just like I never left.

This sweet bubble burst within a second.

He took a step back and turned away from me, burying his face in his hands. I hated to see him so upset so I came closer.

"Jake, say something… please…"

I put a reassuring hand on his shoulder but he pulled away when he felt my touch, turned to look at me and raised his voice.

"I can't believe you didn't tell me, Rachel!"

He shook his head and I was still crying. Becky felt my stress and immediately started to cry. I felt nothing but frustration at that moment. I've never seen my little girl so upset. I started to rock her, trying to keep my temper for her but Jake was still shouting. I couldn't take it anymore.

"Jake, please stop it. Now."

He froze and looked at me. My eyes glistened with tears while Becky cried in my arms.

Jake looked deep into my eyes one last time before he turned and walked away. I desperately ran after him.

"Jake, I'm sorry… Can we at least talk about it? Privately?"

He shook his head out of frustration and didn't even turn to look at me when he spoke.

"I'll meet you in the boat club later."

And he walked away. Leaving me broken.

I needed to calm down before going back home. I stayed at the park, just sat there for what seemed like hours.

When I calmed down, Becky calmed down as well. She rested peacefully in my arms and reached out to grab my hair. I smiled at her.

"Daddy loves you, baby girl. He could never hate you, he'll understand eventually."

She smiled. I really wanted to believe in what I just said.


I nearly jumped when I heard his voice. He came from behind and slowly sat next to me.

"Jake... I thought we were going to meet at the boat club."

"Yeah. But I saw you and I had to come over."

I just nodded, didn't know what to say. Jake looked at me, then looked at Becky.

"Can I hold her?"

Hearing it made me smile. I handed her over while Jake scooted closer to me.
Becky hated to be held by strangers and it always made me uncomfortable when people asked to hold her. But now, with Jake, I happily handed her over without a single doubt. Becky didn't even object and immediately curled up in his arms. I reached out to touch her tiny cheek and smiled at Jake.

"She's not used to strangers. She was never this peaceful with anyone before…"

He smiled and looked at her.

"I'm not a stranger. I'm her daddy."

I smiled and just looked at him. Seeing him with her and hearing him saying this filled my heart with happiness and completeness. Even if my heart was still broken and incomplete without Jake.

He spoke without taking his eyes off her.

"Why didn't you tell me, Rachel?"

I swallowed and took a moment before I answered.

"I found out a few weeks after I arrived to New York, I thought you already moved on. I didn't want to cause you more troubles or worries."

I paused to look at him, he didn't look at me but I could see his pain.

"I'm sorry, I know I should have done it differently… I wish I could take it back…"

His gaze was focused on Becky. His little girl.

"I know you meant no harm. I just wish I knew..."

"Jake, I haven't told anyone about it. Not even my family. Until today..."

He quickly turned to look at me, he wanted to speak but I silenced him.

"No, I know what you're going to say. I just couldn't put any of them in this position, not while you were still working for my dad. It wouldn't be fair to anyone."


He looked at me with a worried look. He didn't have to speak out loud for me to know exactly what he was thinking about.

"I was fine Jake, honestly. Everyone around me was so supportive."

He smiled and nodded. He then looked at Becky again and smiled at her.

"You did an amazing job. She's a perfect little girl."

My eyes filled with tears when I looked at them together.

"Thank you."

I smiled a wide smile while he put an arm around me and pulled me into his arms.
I've had many expectations about this family reunion, this true moment was better than everything I imagined. I felt safe in Jake's arms, I felt home again. It was something I was never able to feel while I was away.

I knew it didn't mean I got Jake again, I honestly didn't even think about it at this very moment. All I wanted was him to be in his daughter's life. I didn't want anything else. Of course I still loved him and wanted him back, but it wasn't about me anymore. Now it was all about Becky.

Jake kissed my forehead.

"I never stopped loving you, Rach. Just like I promised you. There wasn't a single day I haven't thought about you."

I lifted my head to look into his eyes. I didn't realize how much I wanted to hear him say it until now.

I wasn't sure why I did that, I didn't know if that's what he really wanted, but I kissed him. Without even thinking. It was like I was drawn to him the second I heard him say that he still loves me. He kissed me back, with more passion than ever.

Then he pulled back, pressed his lips together and looked at me.

"When are you going back?"

I hesitated before answering, trying to look as calm as I could and smiled.

"I'm not going back. I'm not going to leave you again."

I leaned to kiss him again, but he pulled back when I met his lips and narrowed his eyes when he met my gaze.


He knew me too well, even after all this time apart. I took a deep breath and whispered.

"I'm supposed to fly back next week…"

He shook his head.

"Jake, listen to me,"

He looked more hurt than ever when he looked at me again. I knew I couldn't do that to him. Not again. Not now.

"I am not going back."

"Rach... You almost did it one time, you know I won't let you give up your dream for me."

"It's not just you. I have bigger responsibilities now…"

My gaze rested upon Becky.

"She needs her father in her life. It's something I can't take away from her. And I can't take it away from you either. I don't care if it means losing this job. I mean it Jake, I'm not going anywhere this time."

He looked at me for a moment before looking at Becky.

"Are you sure?"

I reached out to touch his cheek. He turned to look at me when he felt my touch.

I smiled.

"Yes. Hundred and ten percent sure. It's the easiest decision I've ever made."

He placed his hand on my cheek and gently brushed it with his thumb.

"I love you, Rachel."

He whispered it so gently before he kissed me again, and I knew he truly meant it. I kissed him back and whispered against his lips,

"I love you too."

Becky waved her hands and giggled. Both Jake and I immediately looked at her and laughed.

I leaned closer to kiss her head.

"Mommy and Daddy are here for you, Becky. We love you so much."

Jake smiled as he heard her name for the first time.


I nodded.

"Rebecca Grace."

I smiled at Jake as he pulled me into a deep kiss once more.

I was in my own bubble again. This time it felt complete and I knew it would stay complete forever, because I had everything I ever needed right here next to me. The two most important people in my life.

I was finally home again.