A/N: Hello all! This is my first F&B story, and the first story I've written in a really long time. So bear with me. It's un beta-ed. My friend has read it and she likes it, so...yeah. Anyway, it's very loosely based on Kenny Chesney's song There Goes My Life.
Hope you guys like it! :)
"Mr. Franklin?" the voice on the phone kept calling his name but he wasn't paying any attention. "MR. FRANKLIN!"
"I-I'm here." He replied in a shaky voice. "I don't have a daughter, I would know if I had a kid."
"According to her Birth Certificate, you are Julie's father."
"Who's the mother?" He had a feeling he knew who it was, but he needed to confirm his suspicion.
Jared was right. He vaguely remembers sleeping with Claire and then running into her a year later at a coffee shop and being introduced to little Julie. That was months ago. It then hit him that something must be wrong with Claire if he was getting a call saying that he needs to pick up the daughter he never knew he had. "Something happened to Claire." It wasn't a question, he knew something was wrong.
"I'm sorry, she was in an accident, she passed away a few hours ago." The nurse on the other end waited a while before she said, "Mr. Franklin, if you don't come pick up Julie we will have to give her to child services."
"You said Claire was in an accident, was Julie with her? Is she ok?" Jared surprised himself by sounding like a concerned parent.
"She's fine, a few bumps and bruises, nothing major. Sir, are you coming down here?" Jared knew he had to do the right thing and the nurse sounded like she wanted nothing more than to get back to her job.
"Yes, what hospital are they at?" If Jared was going to do this, he needed to get down there fast.
"Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian."
"Wait, that's like an hour aw-never mind, I'll be there." Before he hung up, Jared made sure to get as much information about where to go and what to do when he got there. As he hung up Peter walked into the office.
"Hey buddy! Who was on the phone?" Peter had been Jared's best friend since they were 10, they told each other everything. But for some reason, Jared couldn't tell Peter about this, not yet.
"Remember Claire Young?" Jared asked him.
"Yeah, tall with really curly hair, why?"
"She was in an accident and they need someone to identify the body. Wanna come?" Technically Jared told Peter the truth, just left out some details. He knew that Peter would say no because when Peter is around dead bodies he is useless.
"I'm good. I didn't really know her that well. That's all you buddy." Peter said and sat down at his desk to do some paperwork. Jared was out the door when he heard Peter shout, "HAVE FUN!"
Fun, right, that's the word to describe what just happened. Jared just became a single father. He doesn't know the first thing about kids. Hell, he still acts like a kid, how is he supposed to raise one? "Fuck, I'm gunna need a crib, food, diapers, toys…" he starts listing off things he needs to himself and doesn't realize that the people around him can hear him.
"Finally making a list of things you need to take care of yourself Franklin?" Karp says and he passes Jared in the halls. Jared doesn't say anything back, just flips Karp the bird and keeps walking. As Jared gets to his car it hits him. Car Seat. Damn.
Jared arrives at the hospital an hour later and walks to the Pediatric Wing and asks for Rachel Thomas, the nurse he had spoken with earlier. "Mr. Franklin?" Jared turns around to see, who he assumes is Rachel, looking at him.
"Hi, yes," Jared shakes her hand, "So, where's Julie?" He wants to get out of here as soon as he can.
"Right this way." She leads them down the hall toward Julie's room. "Mr. Franklin-"
"Call me Jared."
"Jared," She smiled, "I'm going to take a wild guess and say that you don't have a car seat to take Julie home in, or anything."
"What gave it away?" Jared said with a laugh.
"Not to worry, Julie came with her own car seat and fully stocked diaper bag." Rachel stopped in front of the room and turned to Jared, "You ready?"
"No." Jared gave a small smile, "But that's never stopped me before." Be took a deep breath and opened the door.
There was a crib in the room and a bunch of monitors that took Jared by surprise, he turned to Rachel with a concerned look in his face, "I thought you said there was nothing wrong with her, just bumps and bruises, why is does she need these machines?"
"They're not on," She whispered to him. Jared looked at the machines again and gave an apologetic smile. "She's fine, I promise. Look." Rachel's voice was calm and relaxing, like she had spent years calming down worried parents. Jared turned to the crib and looked inside. There was Julie, safe and sound asleep. She had a pink pacifier in her mouth and to Jared's surprise, his nose.
"She has my nose." Jared turned to Rachel and asked, "Can I-can I pick her up?"
"Of course you can, she's your daughter."
Jared gave out a tiny laugh, "Right, yeah." He reached in the crib and picked up the sleeping baby. Julie started to stir and Jared shushed her quietly back to sleep. He couldn't take his eyes of this baby. Rachel sensed that they needed time to bond and quietly left the room. "Hey Julie." Jared said in a hushed voice, "I'm Jared, you're dad. Wow, I'm-I'm your dad, never thought I would say those words." Julie snuggled closer to the warm body that was holding her. "To tell you the truth, I had no idea that you were my daughter. I met you once, you probably don't remember, but I do. You and your mom were at a coffee shop near my office. Your mom and I dated for a while, before you were born. Wasn't a long relationship, but it was a good one." He stood there for what felt like an hour just talking to Julie about anything and everything.
There was a knock at the door and Rachel entered the room carrying some papers in one hand and a car seat with a diaper bag in the other. "Mr. Franklin, you need to fill out the paper work to take Julie home."
"Right, of course." Jared took Julie over to the car seat and strapped her in. Julie had yet to wake up. "Wow, she really is my kid, sleeps through anything." It was true, Jared was such a heavy sleeper he would probably sleep through the end of the world.
"Like father like daughter." Rachel said with a smile as she handed over the paper work. Jared sat down in the chair next to Julie and started filling it out, like a pro.
Ten minutes later the paperwork was complete and Jared and Julie were on their way to Jared's car. "Ok Julie, here's the thing, I know nothing about what it takes to be a dad. I'm going to try my hardest to not screw this up." He looked down at the baby he was holding and noticed that she was awake and looking right at him. "Oh, you're awake." They stared at each other for a while and then Jared unlocked the car and began securing the car seat to the back seat. While he was doing this Julie kept looking at him. When everything was secure he put his face in front of Julie and was about to say something when a tiny hand touched his nose. In that moment he knew that this little girl was wrapped around his finger.
The drive back to The Cave was uneventful. Five minutes in, Julie had fallen asleep. Jared had to figure out how he was going to tell Peter that there was going to be an addition to the group. A tiny, adorable addition. It wasn't that Peter was opposed to kids, Peter loved kids, and kids seemed to love Peter. It was explaining that this baby was going to be living with them, for the next seventeen years. I am really going to be living with Peter seventeen years from now? Jared thought to himself. He hadn't really thought about it, he had lived with Peter all through law school and was still living with him. They had been living together for about ten year now. What's another seventeen?
As Jared got closer and closer to L.A he began to realize that he had nothing for Julie to sleep in. He needed a crib, and fast. He needed someone's help. Someone he know he can trust to not tell anyone. Jared took out is phone and called the first person that came to his head. "I need your help."
"Jared?" The voice asked.
"I need you to get me a crib and I need you to not tell anyone about this."
"Ok," the person on the phone said, sounding skeptical, "but you wanna tell me what's going on before I do this?"
"I'll explain later. I just need a crib, a safe one, a nice one, not too small, not too big." Jared told them.
"Why don't you just get it yourself? Picky."
"Have you met me? I don't know the first thing about cribs. Please?" Jared was desperate.
"Okay, okay. Yeah, a nice, safe, medium sized crib. Boy or girl?"
"Girl. AND you can't tell Peter." Jared said, using is serious voice, even though with this person is was really a waste.
"Yeah, sworn to secrecy, I know the rules."
"Thanks Carmen, I owe you one."
"Damn right you do."
Jared hung up the phone and turned on the exit that led to Infeld/Daniels. He needed to tell Peter eventually, might as well get it over with now. It was 3:00 when Jared pulled into the parking lot. He got out of the car and was going around to get Julie out when Hanna walked over. "Hey, Jared, sorry to hear about your friend."
"What?" Jared was confused at first, and then he remembered what he told Peter. "Oh, Claire. Thanks." He opened the backseat and took Julie out of her car seat.
"Who's that?" Hanna asked, seeing Jared take a baby out of his car.
"This is Julie. Claire's daughter." Jared told her, hoping she wouldn't ask anything else. "I have to go do some stuff." Jared locked the car and picked up Julie's carrier and walked away leaving Hanna with a confused look on her face. "Okay Jewls, this is where I work. I'm a lawyer. I help people stay out of jail." Jared told Julie, looking down and seeing her blank expression. "Let's just hope no one else asks me any questions before we get to Peter."
Jared had no such luck. As soon as he got to the elevator, Damien Karp came up to him. "Who's the kid?"
"What do you want Karp?" Jared asked, not really in the mood to deal with him.
"Heard about your friend." Karp said.
"Jeeze, did Peter tell everyone?" Jared was getting pretty annoyed with his best friend at the moment.
"Only those who asked where you were. I only cared because some lady came looking for you. Whatever."
"Mrs. Evens? Crap, I forgot to call her and tell her I wasn't at the office." Jared forgot about the Evens case. He had called her this morning and told her that he had everything ready for court tomorrow and that she should stop by today. Everything went out the window when he got the call about Julie.
Damien could see that something was bothering Jared, as much as it pained him to be nice he said, "Dude, don't worry about it. Peter and I took care of it." The elevator dinged and the two lawyers got on.
"Oh," Jared said, surprised at Damien's kindness. "Thanks man."
They rode in the elevator in silence for a while until Damien asked again, "Seriously, who's baby is that?"
"She's Claire's daughter." Jared said with a smile looking down and Julie. "Her name is Julie."
Damien looked at Julie and then back at Jared, "You two have the same nose."
"It's a common looking nose." Jared said coolly. "Your nose," he said turning to Damien, "is not common. Seriously man, it's huge." The elevator came to a stop and Jared walked out without looking back.
Jared walked in to the office that he and Peter shared and saw his best friend and law partner doing some paperwork. "I need to talk to you." Peter looked up.
"Hello to you too." Peter looked down and the car seat Jared was holding and back up to his friend. "You didn't just go down to identify Claire, did you?" That's the thing Jared loved about Peter, he always knew when Jared was in trouble.
"That's what I need to talk to you about." Jared said, setting Julie down in the chair in front of Peter's desk and taking the seat next to it. "This is Julie," Jared started, turning his head toward the baby, "she's Claire's daughter. She has no other living family."
"You mean she's an orphan?" Peter asked, not really getting at what Jared was saying.
"No," Jared answered, still not looking at Peter, "Her dad's still alive."
"Who's the dad?" Peter asked. Jared finally turned and looked at Peter with a worried expression. It finally clicked. "No way, she's your kid?" Peter looked between the two of them. "I can see it. She has your nose."
"So I've been told." Jared said with a slight smile. "I'm officially introducing you to Julie Franklin. For some reason Claire gave Julie my last name when she was born. I don't really know why. So," Jared paused, "Peter, meet my daughter, Julie."
A/N: Chapter One is done. This fandom seems pretty chill from what I can tell, so I don't think I'll be receiving too much negative stuff. (I don't take criticism well.)
But let me know what y'all think! Have a great week! :)
p.s I don't know when I'll be updating next, school has started and I have a bunch of classes that demand my life.