To my dear readers:
This story marks the 100th story I have had on Fanfiction. I wanted to do something special for that milestone. It came to me, exactly what I wanted to do: make this story a "group effort," with all of you giving me your suggestions and thoughts via PM or email on what you wanted me to write. It seemed fitting... Without you—your reviews, your favorites, and your alerts—there would be no M/G stories for me.
Words cannot express my gratitude for your support and the love you have shown me through my stories. All I can offer in return is my humble thanks and the promise that I will continue to write for you and with you for a very long time.
All my love,
PS. Feel free to drop me a PM anytime! I love hearing from you.
Chapter 28: The epilogue (In two parts!)
Five years later…
"Mommy, are we gonna see Mickey Mouse?" DJ asked, his huge brown eyes filled with love and excitement as they waited in the airport.
Penelope glanced at her handsome little man, holding his monogrammed bag with the travel handle Grandma Fran had gotten him. Although he was only four and a half, he was already a seasoned traveler, having visited his relatives in both Chicago and California several times.
However, this time, he could barely sit still. This trip was the most exciting for him yet; they were going to Florida. First to Orlando—to Disney World—and then to visit his friend, Juanita Espisito, who lived in Miami. His computer-savvy mother had set him up on Skype when he was very tiny to talk to the other baby in the Sunshine State. A "21st Century Playdate," she'd called it.
"Yes, baby, we are," Penelope reassured him, which made him ask another question immediately.
"Are we gonna see Goofy?"
"Yes, honey, we are," Derek said, looking up from his phone. Before this trip, Penelope had found another game that had him just as addicted as the man running in the temple.
Derek, Jr., immediately turned his attention to his father. "Daddy, I wanna see Buzz and T'mater and—"
"Son, we're going to see them all," Derek reassured him.
"I wanna see 'em now," he said, jumping to his feet and taking Penelope's hand. "C'mon, Mommy."
"Wait a minute, tiger." Derek scooped him up with one arm and brought him to his lap. "We have to fly there first and get settled in the hotel, and then we can go see your Disney friends."
Her son crossed his arms over his chest and began to pout, completely crestfallen. Penelope's heart ached. She couldn't stand when their little angel was sad, for any reason. Derek was similar; they were incredibly indulgent parents.
Derek kissed the top of DJ's head and said, "How about we watch them on the phone?"
The little boy nodded and leaned back against his father's chest comfortably as Derek pulled up one of the many Disney shorts P had loaded on their phone.
Watching them, Penelope recalled when she found out she was pregnant with DJ...
Two months after they'd returned from Miami, Penelope stared down at the stick in her hand in amazement. She'd had the lightest period in the world last month—she hadn't even needed a panty liner—and now this month, she'd missed it completely.
A plus sign. She was pregnant.
In denial, she rebelled against the thought. She couldn't be pregnant. She was on the pill. She'd taken it rather faithfully, had only missed it once in Miami and had caught up with it the next day. She'd been on the pill for years, and she'd heard that some "coverage" carried over from years of taking the pill. She'd missed it many more times when she'd been with Kevin, and she'd never gotten pregnant.
She looked at the stick again. A tiny plus sign—she'd bought the most obvious brand she could think of—that would change her life forever, and Derek's life, too.
A duality of feelings ran through her. She was both ecstatic and scared to death.
They loved each other so much, but they were just getting started with their relationship. This was a huge cramp in Derek's life. He'd been a playboy before he'd settled down with her somewhat. Surely he wanted more time to be just the two of them, out and about, having fun.
"Baby Girl... Daddy's home," she heard him call from downstairs, and the irony of his words made her gasp. He'd meant them in a sexy way, not a literal one, but he didn't know how true his words were.
Hearing his footsteps on the stairs, she began tossing the instructional paper—who didn't know how to pee on a stick?—the box, and the test stick into her purse. She wasn't ready to tell him.
"Penelope?" he called when he entered the room.
She flushed the toilet and began washing her hands. "In here, angelfish."
A second later, he came through the door and embraced her from behind. She watched as he moved the fall of her hair to one shoulder and leaned in to kiss the side of her neck. As he kissed her, her worries started to drift away. Merciful stars, he was a perfect specimen of male pulchritude.
"Mmmm," he purred against her neck, just under her ear. "I was going to take you to dinner to show you a surprise, but now I have a problem..."
She could feel the swelling of his erection against her ass, but she feigned ignorance. "What kind of problem?"
"I want you to be my dinner."
She chuckled and turned in his arms...and knocked her purse off the counter, spilling the contents everywhere.
"Oh!" she cried, bending to grab everything.
Derek was holding the plastic stick.
She gulped. Too late. "D... I-I-I..."
For a moment, he looked down at the stick. She saw shock as he asked, "Penelope, are you—?"
"Yes, Derek," she interrupted quickly, wanting to be the one that told him, the one that said the word first. "I'm pregnant."
Undeniable pleasure lit up his face, and he grabbed her and kissed her soundly, a deep, strong kiss that took her breath away and made her weak in the knees. As she caught her breath, he reigned kisses all over her face. "Oh, sweetheart. This is incredible! I can't—wait..." He paused in his kisses and held her face, a look of concern washing over him. "You're okay, right? This is fine with you?"
She nodded, a soft smile on her lips. "Yes, sweetie, it is. I was worried about you—"
She gave him a wry grin. "Silly boy, I know that now."
He beamed at her. "This kind of overshadows my surprise..."
Her eyes widened. She'd forgotten completely about his surprise. "What is that?"
"I can wait..." he teased.
"I can't! Tell me!" she pleaded, stepping closer to him.
"This isn't the most ideal spot," he remarked.
"Derek..." she growled.
Reaching into his pocket, he dropped down on one knee in front of her. "Penelope...you're my life, my heart, my everything. I live for you." He opened the tiny velvet box in his hand and revealed a huge diamond ring inside. "Will you marry me?"
For once, usually nonstop talking Garcia was speechless. All she could muster was one very important word:
"Yes!" she cried, tears blinding her as he rose to his feet. He drew her into his arms and kissed her again, the start of their happily ever after...
And now they were going to the kingdom of happily ever after. She had another surprise for him. It had taken far longer to conceive this baby, but it was certain—she was three months pregnant. She wanted to tell him in Miami, when they were alone. She had the stick in her purse and everything.
"Boarding for Flight 2108 to Orlando. Priority seating and passengers flying with small children are now welcome to board," the attendant at the desk called out.
"Here we go, tiger," Derek said, standing with DJ on his hip. He reached a hand down to his wife to bring her to her feet.
As Penelope stood, she knocked her purse onto the ground, and everything tumbled out onto the ground...including a very important test stick.
Derek bent down with DJ and began helping to gather items. He picked up the important stick and glanced at Penelope with an expression of hopeful surprise.
She smiled back at him and nodded.
With a joyful grin, Derek tugged her into his arms and gave her a kiss, a far smaller kiss than the first time he found out she was pregnant.
After all, DJ was squished and wiggling between them.
"Too tight!" he called out, causing them both to laugh and kiss their son's cheeks.
Derek draped an arm around her shoulders, and together, they boarded the plane to Florida.