Massive thank you to BookwormBaby2580 and MelissaMargaret for beta'ing.
Thanks, Kelley, Marita, and Marie, and Vanessa for pre-reading.
Small disclaimer: I do not own 'Twilight' or any characters from it. I just play with them.
"I'm suddenly nervous," Bella confessed as I secured Owen into the most ridiculously expensive — and safe — car seat we could find. I'd practiced buckling it up more times than I could count, but it wasn't as simple with shaky hands. "You are too, aren't you?"
"Uh . . . I'm scared shitless," I laughed nervously. "I just . . . we could probably convince Dr. Uley and Dr. Snow to keep you both another day."
She smiled softly, shaking her head. "I think we need to go home. Start this . . . parents of two thing. I didn't think I'd be terrified to bring him home, you know?"
"Yeah, me neither. We've got this, right?"
"Hell yeah we do," she giggled as I finally got Owen buckled in. "See? Our first hurdle has been jumped. He's in."
I looked down at our wide-eyed son in the green and gray seat. He was swaddled, buckled, and Bella had laid a blanket over him too, just in case. Their discharge paperwork was done and we were free to leave whenever we were ready — which, I guess, was now. Suddenly five days in the hospital didn't seem too long.
Grabbing my jacket, I leaned down to kiss Bella. Her lips had this odd calming effect on me, it seemed, and I needed that right now. Our new lives were starting . . . right now. We'd walk out of this hospital and there would be no nurses or doctors to reassure us, no extra hands when we needed some sleep, and no one but us to keep our son happy and healthy.
It was kind of fucking daunting.
"I love you, Nibbles," I said as we parted. "I'll go pull the car around and then be back up, all right?"
She nodded with a smile as she rocked the car seat. "Sounds good. I love you, too. So does Owen."
"Of course I love you too, Little Man." I smiled, kissing his forehead. "Here we go, huh?"
I about jogged through the parking lot to the car, wanting to get back to Bella and our son as soon as I could. Though Little One begged to be a part of bringing Owen home, we made the tough decision to do this alone. Bella needed room in the backseat with Owen and if Little One and her booster seat were back there too, the forty-five minute drive would be cramped. We did let her skip school, though, and Charlie was at the house with her, waiting for us. It wasn't what she wanted, but it worked.
Once I pulled the car up to the main entrance and explained to the security guard what was going on, I headed back upstairs. Bella's nurse was in with her, helping her into the wheelchair. She was healing well from the surgery and hadn't had any complications, but she was still pretty worn out and sore, which was completely normal.
"Bags are in the car and it's waiting for us," I said, lifting Owen's car seat. "Are we ready?"
She nodded. "Yep, let's go figure out what the hell we're supposed to do next."
"I think that list is pretty long," I laughed as the nurse started pushing her out of the room.
I followed behind closely, holding onto the car seat with both hands. I wouldn't drop my kid, but . . . it was better to be safe, let's just say. Dropping the car seat was one of about five-thousand irrational fears I'd suddenly had, and it felt so fucking weird to be scared — legitimately terrified. I'd gone through this with Sofia, so it wasn't like it was the first time, really. This part, though . . . it was. I hadn't watched Sofia come into the world, I hadn't stressed over bringing her home, and I hadn't feared everything so much. I think. Fuck, I probably had, actually — just differently.
"Okay, he's, uh . . . he's secure," I said, straightening myself out before hunching over again and checking the belt once more. "Yeah, he's secure."
I tugged once more, just to be sure, before shutting the door and running back around to the other side. Bella stood from the wheelchair without waiting for my help, but did let me take her hand so she could climb up into her SUV. She quickly scooted into the middle, running her thumb over Owen's cheek as I shut the door and headed to the driver's side. Once settled, I tilted my mirror so I could see the one on the headrest in the back.
"He's still wide awake, isn't he?" I asked.
She looked up, smiling. "He's making those little grunts, too. But he's not a fussy baby, are you, sweetheart?"
She cooed to him as I just enjoyed the view for a minute, thinking back to almost six years ago.
"It's all right, sweetheart," Bella said, smiling and rubbing Sofia's tummy. "We're going to get you all cleaned up."
"So you know babies?" I asked.
The memory hit me like a ton of bricks, and I was left with a smile on my face as I started the car. It seemed so long ago when Bella had rescued me with Little One — as if it were another life all together. She was so nurturing with Sofia, and yet had no reason to be. She welcomed us with open arms, effortlessly and with love.
It was just meant to be.
Pulling into our driveway, I felt both panic and relief. We'd made it without me crashing the car, but we were also here. It was the beginning of a new chapter in our lives and the moments that led up to it filled me with happiness.
"The first time we looked at this place, I didn't even consider that it'd turn into our home," I said, looking back at Bella.
"I know, but . . . it is. There's no place I'd rather be," she said. "I still remember right after we moved in, putting Sofia down and watching her toddle across the floor. She was still so new to walking and kept falling on her little butt. You'd freak out and she'd giggle."
"She was fucking fearless," I chuckled. "This place, though . . . it's a home because of you. You saw the beauty in it and we made it ours. It was an incredible beginning."
She smiled, nodding. "And now we have another beginning in it. I'm going to carry him, okay? Will you grab the car seat? We can get the bags later."
I shut off the car, pulling the key from the ignition. "Yeah, of course."
We walked through the front door together as my hand rested on the small of her back. Little One was quick to come running as our eyes fell on the blue streamers decorated haphazardly.
"Daddy! Mommy!" she squealed, running toward me. "I'm so glad you're home!"
I quickly let the car seat fall to the floor, catching her up in my arms. This little girl was the reason for my life today — for my life, period. If she hadn't been left in my apartment, a screaming, crying, pissing mess . . . Fuck, I would have never known what true happiness was.
She was my everything.
"I see you decorated," I said, smirking as Charlie walked into the foyer. "Did you make Gampy get on a ladder?"
"Make?" he chuckled gruffly. "She just batted her eyes lashes and I was already up there, taping the streamers."
Little One smiled a little too sweetly. "I wanted to make it pretty!"
"It's so very pretty, sweet girl," Bella said. "How about you help me get Owen changed, and then we'll come back down? I smell lunch."
"We made Mac and cheese and hot dogs!" she said. "Can I hold him?"
"Once we get up upstairs." Bella smiled, holding her free hand out. "I'm sure Owen can't wait to see his room."
Charlie stayed for lunch, but left not long after to give us time alone. We found ourselves in our bedroom — Sofia holding Owen as Bella curled against my chest, smiling contentedly. Little One was so gentle with her brother, holding him securely, though the pillows around her did most of the work.
"He yawns a lot," she said, looking up at us. "Is it his bedtime?"
"Maybe nap time," I said. "He's had a very exciting day, after all."
Before we ate lunch, Little One took Owen on a tour of the house — having Bella follow her with him to each room. She was such a damn good big sister already, wanting to show him everything and asking over and over if he needed anything. When Bella fed him, Sofia was right next to them waiting with an extra burp rag and asking question after question.
I thought Bella would get annoyed by the nonstop questioning, but she didn't — not even a little. She explained everything to Little One, thrilled that our daughter took such an interest. Once again, I was reminded of how Bella taught me everything.
She was a mother, right from the start.
Our day was filled with naps, dirty diapers, and feedings, but . . . it was perfect. It felt complete, to be honest. My little family stayed on our bed all day, watching our newest addition as he slept and shit himself. Little One even dubbed his poop face as cute. I mean . . . he was a cute kid, but I wouldn't go that far.
"I might be biased, but I think we have the cutest kids in the world," Bella whispered to me, looking at Sofia between us — passed out peacefully — and Owen doing the same on her chest.
I shook my head, smiling. "I don't think it's biased. I mean, it's the truth. They're pretty fucking adorable, and they're ours, Bella — both of them."
As I watched her kiss Owen's little head, another memory came rushing back to me.
"Are you okay?" Bella asked as we stood in the elevator.
I pressed my lips to the top of her head. "Yeah," I sighed. "Just . . . hurt for Little One."
"Well, I love her more than anything in the world and I always will. She'll have us."
I smiled some, nodding. "Yes, she will. You're a wonderful mother Bella — better than I ever could have hoped for my daughter . . . for our daughter."
"They're both ours," I repeated as she looked up at me, cocking her head. "I just . . . Without you, Sofia wouldn't be such a great kid. I will never, ever be able to thank you enough for wanting her to be yours, too."
She smiled softly, resting her head on my shoulder as I held her tighter. "There was never a choice, Edward. The love I feel for Owen is no different than the love I feel for Sofia. It was never about wanting her to be mine because, well . . . she always was — and she always will be. Thank you for letting me call her mine and for giving me another child."
"I love you," I said, titling her chin and pressing my lips to hers. "I love you more than anything."
"I love you, too," she said. "Why don't you hold him, hmm? Sofia's been a little of a baby hog since we've been home, after all."
She gently lifted Owen from her chest, passing him to me. I looked down at my son, and my heart felt so fucking full. This . . . this was happiness.
"Shhh, we don't want to wake up Mommy," I whispered, swaying as I held Owen to my chest.
He screamed and I knew it wouldn't be long before Bella woke up, so I quickly left our bedroom, heading for the nursery. She'd just fallen asleep after feeding him and she needed to rest before he wanted her boob once more, so I quickly got up with him before she could.
"What's got you so upset, Little Man?" I asked, sitting down in the rocking chair. "I know you're full and your diaper's clean, so what do you need?"
I felt another surge of fear rush through me as he continued to scream. It'd been so damn long since I was up in the middle of the night with a pissed off child, but I'd always managed to calm Little One down, hadn't I? Or maybe my voice just bored her into silence.
"I used to talk to your sister a lot as a baby," I said, patting his back as I rocked. "I called her my therapist, even. You know, she's who I went to when I needed to discuss my relationship with your mother."
"So, I kissed Bella today," I said. "She said she liked it, but I'm not sure where to go from here. I'm not a . . . relationship kind of person, but I think I could be for her. She's great, right? You like her. Part of me is just afraid I'll lose her as a friend if this doesn't work out, and I don't want that."
"I think I might love Bella, and I think I'm afraid I'll get close and it won't work out."
"So, do you have any advice for me about Bella?" I laughed.
"I'm thinking when she gets back, the first thing I have to do is apologize."
I smiled at the memories, knowing there were dozens more, too. "I might have abused the whole, silent therapist thing with your sister, actually," I chuckled. "But I mean, now I have you. I'm sorry, but you're going to hear a lot of rambling."
He gurgled, burying his head in my chest as his sobs eased. I rubbed his back, trying to think of what to say to him. There was so much, really. He had a hell of a lot of stories to hear — both good and bad. But really, I only wanted to talk about one person still, it seemed.
"I met your mother in a hallway as she tried to open her apartment door," I started, smiling as I recalled the day. "I was an idiot and didn't realize what she'd be to me, but I like to think I made up for it. Owen, you have the most loving and caring mother in the whole world. And I mean, she's the most gorgeous as well, but I won't go into detail about that. I could, though. I could talk about her legs forever and that nice a—"
"You'll never learn about the monitor, will you?"
My head snapped up, finding Bella in the doorway with a smile on her face as she held up the damn device. I shook my head, patting Owen's back as I smirked.
"To be fair, that thing shouldn't even be on. You did that on purpose, didn't you?"
She laughed, nodding as she walked into the nursery. "Well . . . I knew you'd bring him in here if he woke up and I kind of wanted to see if you'd talk to him, like you did Sofia."
"You spied on us a lot, didn't you?"
She sat down on the foot rest, shrugging as she reached out and laid her hand on Owen's back, joining mine. "Only here and there. I guess some things never change, do they?"
I chuckled, shaking my head. "No, I suppose they don't. Then again, with all the changing we've done over the years, it's nice that a few things stay consistent."
"Like your love of the word fuck?"
"And your secret love of the nickname Nibbles?" I grinned.
She rolled her eyes. "I refuse to confirm or deny that. Now, why don't we take him back into the bedroom?"
"You go. I . . . I have a few more things to tell him."
There were more than a few things, but I had time. I had the rest of my life to talk to Owen and Sofia about their amazing mother, and I fully planned on never stopping.
"Our story begins with an F word," I said, kissing Owen's head as Bella pulled the door closed. "Family . . ."
A/N: Once upon a time, I posted a little story about a manwhore, a baby, and a new girl. What resulted was more than I ever could have imagined. I found friends and support that fill my heart with joy, and I have to thank you all for that. Thank you for taking the time to read, to review, and to say a few words to a friend. Just . . . thank you all. Thank you for taking this journey with me, which took a lot longer than I anticipated. The fact that you're still here makes me so incredibly happy. I love you all, and I love this fandom.
Though this marks the story as complete, I'll be adding at least two futuretakes at some point. This isn't really an ending to me because, in my head and hopefully yours, this little family is just beginning.