A/N: I was going to upload this earlier this weekend, but was out of town and had no time. So...here ya go!
The next six months went by in the blink of an eye. Julie's first birthday was coming up and Jared was a nervous wreck. He had ended up calling Mrs. Bash a few months ago, despite Peter's warning about what would happen.
"You called my mom!" Peter said, walking into the office.
"Julie had a fever, I freaked." Jared defended.
"You couldn't call the doctor! You had to call my mother? You know what this means don't you?" Peter asked walking up to him and shaking is shoulders, "She's gunna come down here and never leave. She's gunna take one look at your adorable daughter and set up camp for the next seventeen years."
"I'm gunna be living with you in seventeen years?" Jared joked pushing Peter away.
"THAT'S WHAT YOU'RE TAKING FROM THIS!" Peter yelled.
Much to Peter's surprise, his mom only ended up staying for a couple days. Only if she was promised an invite to "this little angel's first birthday". Jared promised and basically shoved her out the door.
It was now a week before Julie's birthday and him and his daughter were in the living room playing with her toys. Julie went to put her hand on the coffee table and pulled herself up. Jared's eyes went big. "PETER! PETER IT'S ABOUT TO HAPPEN!" Jared yelled towards the study, his eyes never leaving his daughter. He pulled out his phone and started recording.
Peter walked into the room wondering what Jared was freaking out about. "Dude what are you-" His sentence stoped short when he saw Julie walking along the edge of the table. "Oh my god, she's walking!"
"I KNOW!" Jared had a smile that reached both his ears. "She's been trying to stand up by herself for weeks now. I should've known this was coming." Jared was a few steps away from end of the table where Julie was. She reached the end and looked up at him for help. "Come on Jewls, you can do it." Julie took one step and stopped, her hand still grasping the table and the other out towards her dad. Jared gave in and gave her his hand. Julie smiled and grasped his fingers and let go of the table. She walked to Jared and fell into his legs with a giggle. "That's my girl." Jared said picking up his daughter and gently tossing her in the air.
"Look at you being a proud father." Peter said, walking up to his friend. Jared had changed so much in the last six months. He was happier and it looked good on him. Julie giggled and looked over at Peter and reached for him. Jared passed her over. "Hey baby girl." Peter kissed Julie on the cheek.
"She's starting to like you." Jared said, watching the two of them.
"Takes after her dad." Peter told him, wiggling his eyebrows. Jared rolled his eyes and walked into the kitchen. "You're daddy likes me," he told Julie, "He's in denial." Julie hit Peter on the cheek. Peter turned to kiss it and it made her laugh. "Let's go see what your dad's doing huh?" They walked in the kitchen when someone knocked on the door. "It's open!" Peter yelled.
"You should really check to see who's there." Karp said as he walked into the house.
"Uncle Karp!" Jared gave a mock surprise. "To what do we owe this visit? Are you hear to feed Julie? Can you not get enough of your niece?"
Karp looked at Julie who had a blank stare on her face. "I'll pass." He turned back to Jared. "These are the reports on the Ewing case you asked for."
"Oh right, thanks." Jared said walking over to take them and put the files on his desk. He walked back in to see a sight he thought he would never see. Karp was holding Julie. "Wow," Jared claimed, walking to stand next to Peter, "look at that. I need a picture of this." Jared searched his pockets for his phone.
"Way ahead of you buddy." Peter said, showing Jared the picture he snapped seconds after Karp had taken Julie.
Karp looked up at the men in front of him, "Didn't you say she needed to eat?"
"Yeah, you wanna feed her lunch? It's mac and cheese day!" Jared said in a sing song voice. Julie started giggling with excitement. "Yeah," Jared said to his daughter, "you love mac and cheese." Jared took Julie from Karp and put her in the high chair. He put the bowl and spoon in front of her and she dove right in.
"I'm gunna go." Karp said after watching Julie eat for a minute.
"Okay." Jared turned to his daughter. "Julie," Julie looked up, "Wave bye." Jared waved at Karp to show Julie to wave bye. Julie smiled and waved. "Bye bye Uncle Karp." Karp closed the door behind him. Jared turned to Peter and said, "I'm gunna read over those reports. Try not to corrupt my daughter in the mean time." Jared smiled and walked away.
"Oh like I could ever corrupt and angel like her!" Peter yelled in response.
"Take It To The Limit!"
"That's a good song!"
"Shh! I'm working!" Peter smiled and shook his head.
"Your daddy's crazy." Julie smiled and threw some macaroni on the floor. Peter sighed, "Julie, we talked about this. The food goes in your mouth, not the floor." Peter pulled up a chair next to Julie who picked up her spoon and held it out for Peter to eat. Peter smiled and took a bite. "Thank you."
Julie's first birthday came and went. She got new toys from Carmen, soap from Pindar, story books from Peter's mom, a teddy bear from Hanna that Karp has signed his name to at the last minute, and some funky looking blanket from Infeld that he said had some meaning in some distant part of the world, to be honest, Jared wasn't paying attention.
When the guest of honor had been put to bed Jared collapsed next to Peter on the couch who watching the News. "Hey dad." Peter joked, earning an elbow to the stomach. "Watch it. You have a one year old now. You don't want to introduce her to violence at such a young age."
Jared rolled his eyes. "The one year old is fast asleep. Finally." The image of Julie trying to eat as much icing as possible flashed into Jared's head. "We are never feeding her that much sugar ever again." Jared leaned his head back and rubbed his face with his hands.
"Turn around." Peter told him. Jared peered out from behind his hands and gave him a weird look. Peter rolled his eyes. "Just do it." Jared did as was told and turned his back toward Peter. Peter put his hands on Jared's shoulders and started massaging. This earned a groan from the tired man and made Peter smile. This went on for a while until Jared broke the silence.
"You're hands are like magic." Peter stopped and Jared turned his head and whispered, "That means keep going." Peter laughed and slapped the back of his head.
"Can I ask you a question?" Peter asked, still slowly rubbing Jared's shoulders.
"If it means you keep doing this, anything you want." Jared said in a sleep voice.
"I want to be put down as Julie's other medical contact." Peter dropped his hands and he felt Jared turn around. "What if something happens to her when she gets put into daycare and they can't reach you? Most of the time you're right next to me anyway, I could just, ya know, hand over the phone or something." Jared was still staring at his with a blank look on his face. They sat for what felt like eternity. "Please say something."
Jared wasn't sure what to say. He had never been in this position before. "You want to be assigned as a next of kin?"
"Where did this come from?" Jared was thrown by the question. He knew Peter cared for Julie, he just didn't know how much.
"I got to thinking today; these past 6 months went by in a flash. Soon Julie is gunna be walking and talking and running, and climbing, and help us all if she has your 'I can do anything' attitude-" Jared put his hand over Peter's mouth to stop him from rambling.
"Yes." Jared said, still keeping his hand on Peter's mouth. "Yes. Of course you can." Jared could feel Peter smiling against his hand and took it down slowly and saw that Peter's smile went from ear to ear.
Over the next few months things had started to change between Peter and Jared. Lingering looks over mushed baby food, more brushing of hands when handing Julie off to each other, and sometimes just straight up slaps on the ass. Everything really changed the night Janie had come over to babysit.
Jared was in living room playing with Julie when he heard the doorbell ring. "Can someone get that?" He yelled hoping that Peter or Carmen would get it.
Peter got up from his desk, knowing who was behind the door. He opened it and saw Janie standing, waiting to be let in. "Hey Janie, thanks for doing this."
"No problem." Janie said, slipping past Peter. "You guys need a night out." She turned to Peter and winked. He rolled his eyes and led her to the living room.
"Who was at the door?" Jared asked, still looking down at the blocks that Julie was playing with.
"Get dressed." Peter told him.
Jared looked up, "Why-" he saw Janie standing there and got confused. "What's Red doing here?"
"Get dressed." Peter said again. "Janie's gunna babysit for us while we go eat or something." He saw that Jared still wasn't sure about it. "Dude, come on. Two hours tops. She'll be fine."
Julie looked up and recognized Janie. She started giggling and clapping her hands. "Hey cutie." Janie said, taking Jared's place as he got up. "Daddy and Peter are gunna go out for a while and you get to hang out with me." Jared was about to say something when Peter shoved him to his room.
"Change your shirt." Peter said, trying to force Jared to the hall.
"What's wrong with my shirt?" Jared asked, walking to his room. A few minutes later Jared walked out with a nice button down shirt with his sleeves rolled up. "Better?"
Peter smiled, "Much. Let's go."
Jared ignored Peter and walked up to Janie and handed her a sheet of paper, "This has everything you need to know. Doctor's number and Carmen's number. Do not feed her peas. I swear if you give her peas I will hurt you, she's allergic. She's been fed. Changing table is in my room. Bed time is in," he checked his watch, "about an hour. She should go down pretty easy," Peter grabbed his arm and started dragging him to the door, "but if not, try and sing to her!"
"Bye Janie." Peter said as he pushed Jared out the door.
"SHE LIKES THE EAGLES!" Janie heard Jared yell as the door closed. She laughed to herself and looked down at Julie.
"Just you and me, kid."
Dinner was nice, nothing fancy. They went to the diner like they always did, and talked about stuff they always talked about. Somehow they got on the subject of Julie, not a big surprise since Jared was a proud dad. "She's gunna start walking on her own, any day now, I can feel it." Jared said, sipping his Coke.
"Then she'll be talking." Peter said.
"Oh god. Talking, my little girl is gunna start talking." Jared's head fell to the counter. Peter started rubbing Jared's back to calm him down. They stayed like that for a beat and then Jared turned his head. "Peter?"
"Yeah buddy?" Peter replied, not taking his hand off his friend's back. Jared didn't respond, he just took Peter's hand from his back and held it in his own. Peter looked at their intertwined fingers, "Jar-"
"Shh. Let me enjoy this." Jared said in a quiet voice.
"Enjoy what? Holding my hand?" Peter was confused, but things started to clear up when he felt Jared's thumb on his palm. "Oh." Jared gave a small smile and lifted his head from the table and moved it to Peter's shoulder. Peter leaned his head against Jared's and they just sat there for a while.
They got home later that evening and Peter stopped Jared before he walked inside. "Hold on a second." Jared stopped and turned to face him only to find his face in Peter's neck. Peter turned his head a placed a tiny kiss to Jared's temple. He pulled away and said, "Tonight was fun." Jared smiled as Peter turned to enter the house.
A/N: Hope you liked it! :)