Father's Day Presents

The first year they'd all been together in the parallel universe Pete hadn't made a fuss about Father's Day; it had barely occurred to him that that Sunday was different to any other. For years that day had meant nothing more to him than a painful reminder of what he was missing; he usually spent Father's Day imagining what Rose looked like, trying to picture her growing up in an effort to remind himself what he was fighting for, the family he was sure he had somewhere. Jackie and Rose had only been there three weeks when Father's Day came around; Rose had started work on her project and was beginning to adjust to her new routine, and they had just discovered that Jackie was pregnant so he was over the moon and still reeling from how perfectly his life had fallen back into place. That morning he had come downstairs with his wife, arm around her waist as he beamed at her, to find Rose already sat at the table, breakfast prepared for them. With a smile she'd handed him an envelope, apologising for not having a present, but the card alone had been more than enough for him, a reminder that he was a dad, twice now really, and with a beautifully artistic daughter who despite her heartache had taken the time to make the card herself. He'd put the card up in the living room and that was the last they'd said about Father's Day, but the three of them had spent the day together and he had enjoyed every minute, surrounded by his family and overjoyed that they had a baby on the way.

The next year, with them settled in properly and Tony four months old, Father's Day meant more to them all. Jackie sat with Tony in her arms, watching as Pete opened his present from him. With a grin he propped up the homemade card, two tiny blue handprints on the front underneath the words 'I Love You Daddy'. He leant forward so he could reach to rub the baby's nose, to his delight earning himself a giggle from his son. "I love you too Tony." He pulled the wallet out of the wrapping paper and ran his fingers over his initials in the corner, smiling as he looked up at Jackie. "Thank you."

"Open it." Inside on the left panel was a photo of the two of them together, 'I love you Pete' written across the bottom. The right side showed a picture of her with Rose and Tony.

"Oh Jacks, I love it." He reached for her hand.

"Tony helped me."

"Thank you, Little Mite." He stood up and walked round to her, kissing the boy's forehead. "And thank you." He briefly kissed his wife. "I love you." Returning to his seat he took Rose's card from the envelope, a smile on his face as he read it and put it next to Tony's. "Oh Rose, thank you, it's gorgeous."

"You're welcome."

"Seriously, you can really draw, it's beautiful."

She grinned. "Thank you."

"I wonder if I can guess what you got me." He ran his fingers over the surface of the gift.

Jackie laughed. "Oh just open it."

He quickly obliged, grinning as he pulled the wrapping paper away. "Would now be a bad time to mention that you owe me twenty years of Father's Day presents?"

"Not when that means you owe me twenty years of Christmas and birthday presents."

"Ah." His smile softened. "How about we call it quits?"

"Deal." She beamed at him. "Having you is better than any present anyway."

"Yeah same goes for you, and your mum and Tony." He walked across to her, pulling her to her feet as he hugged her. "Seriously, thank you. I love it." He squeezed her tighter as she wrapped her arms around him. "I love you Rose."