Author's Notes: I promise the last two chapters of Growing Up Too Fast are coming. I have the week off for Thanksgiving and I plan to finish GUTF, work on Christmas stories, finally do part two of The Farm and whatever else writing I can get done. But for now, here's the post-ep for Episode 9 "Lawmen." I hope you enjoy.
Disclaimer: The show Flashpoint and its characters were created by Mark Ellis and Stephanie Morgenstern and belong to them and its respective networks. I am making no money off this story and it is for entertainment purposes only. However, this particular story is my creation and should not be used without my express written permission.
Wanting the Best
"I'm not going to do it."
"Jules, it's not like you have much control over it. Don't fight it." Sam pleaded softly but knew his words were falling on deaf ears, the same way they had every night for the past four nights. She was sitting with her back against the headboard, her knees drawn up and her head buried against her legs. He snaked his hand under the thin tank top she was wearing to gently rub her back.
She just shook her head. "No. I swore things weren't going to be different and I'll be darned if I'm going to let things start now. I refuse to give in." Her defiant words would have sounded tougher if she hadn't had to groan right after she spoke. She wanted to whimper as well but wouldn't allow herself to go that far. It was bad enough that she'd been reduced to the point she already was. And despite her brave words, she suddenly had to push off the bed and make a beeline for the bathroom, slamming the door shut behind her.
Sam didn't follow her; although he really wanted to. He'd learned after the first time he'd tried to be supportive that his efforts weren't appreciated when she was feeling so miserable. Instead he glanced over at the clock. 11:47 on the dot just the same as the last four nights. At least she was consistent. Slipping from the bed he went to the dresser and opened the bottom drawer, pulling out a pair of sweatpants and an oversized sweatshirt. He knew when she was finally able to emerge from the bathroom that she'd be cold and shivering despite the fact that only moments earlier she'd been complaining of being hot in her thin tank top and sleep shorts. He set the garments on the bed where she'd see them if she came out before he returned and then headed downstairs.
Once in the kitchen, he grabbed a glass from the cabinet. He set it on the counter and opened the half-empty bottle of ginger ale. He didn't see how she could drink it room temperature but she'd made it clear that she could handle the warm ginger ale better than she could the cold. And considering she was carrying his child, the least he could do was provide her with the beverage that seemed to do the most to ease her nausea. After recapping the bottle he picked up the glass to carry it back upstairs and snagged a sleeve of saltines on his way back upstairs.
The bathroom door was still closed. Sam set his offerings on the nightstand and knocked on the bathroom door. Whether she wanted him to coddle her or not, he couldn't stand the idea that she was suffering that much without him. "Jules, sweetheart?"
The toilet flushed and he heard water running as the sink faucet was turned on. A minute later the door opened and Jules shuffled past him, her face pale. He followed her to the bed and watched as she slipped on the clothes he'd laid out for her. She sat on the side of the bed and looked up at him. "I'm sorry I'm being such a pain."
Sam resisted the urge to grin, knowing it was far from appropriate and that the situation wasn't amusing, not to him and certainly not to her. Instead he sat down beside her and pulled her close to him. He kissed the top of her head. "You aren't a pain. You're pregnant. I know you hate the idea of it but morning sickness is pretty common."
"Thus says the pregnancy expert." Jules grumbled. She rested her head against his chest and bit her lower lip. "Sorry. It just doesn't make sense. It's not morning; how can I be having morning sickness?"
Sam once again pressed a kiss to her head and then reached out to snag the glass from the nightstand. He offered it to her. "Misnomer or not, it's what you are experiencing. And no matter how much control you want to have over every aspect of this pregnancy, I don't think you are going to be able to escape its effects until it runs its course." Which, he didn't want to add, could last the entire pregnancy in some women. He'd read everything he could get his hands on about what was probably happening or what could happen at this stage of her pregnancy but he didn't think she needed to hear that little tidbit. "Maybe it's better that it's happening at night rather than morning. I think the team would be a little suspicious if you were having to run to the bathroom to puke your guts up every morning when we got to work."
Jules's pale face turned a little green again as she sipped the warm beverage. "Don't say puke. I promise you Sam; I want this baby and I love him or her with every bit of my heart already but this nausea is getting on my last darn nerve."
Once again, Sam suppressed a smirk. Jules had been insisting since she'd gotten the news that she was pregnant that she didn't want anything to change; that she didn't want him treating her differently. But he'd noticed that she seemed to be going almost out of her way to avoid using curse words. He wondered if she'd even noticed it or if it was an unconscious thing on her part. "Want some crackers? They're supposed to help settle your stomach like the ginger ale."
She shook her head. "No. But thanks for taking such good care of me. Pregnant or not, I know I'm a pain when I'm not feeling well."
Sam wrapped his arms around her waist and scooted back on the bed pulling her with him so they were both resting against the headboard once more. Jules set the glass on the table with only a few swallows missing and snuggled into Sam's comforting embrace. Once more Sam's hand slipped under her clothing but this time to caress her stomach. "Hey kiddo, this is your father speaking to you. Ease up on your mommy some."
Her stomach did flip flops once more. "Your child is not listening to you." Sam released her as she once more scrambled out of bed to rush to the bathroom. At the same time, his cell phone rang. He frowned. Who would call at midnight? He answered the phone, knowing that Jules wouldn't want him to see her throwing up anyway.
Five minutes later he was returning his cell phone to the nightstand as Jules once more joined him in the bed. "Who was that?"
"Mom. Said she hasn't been able to stop worrying about you since dinner tonight; said she wanted to make sure you were okay."
Jules groaned but this time it had nothing to do with the nausea which seemed to be lessening after her second bout of throwing up. They had met Sam's parents earlier in the evening after shift for dinner. She knew he'd wanted to tell them about the baby just as much as he wanted to tell the team. But she'd asked him to wait. Perhaps it was illogical but she really wanted to keep the news just between her and Sam for just a little longer. She might not be able to wait until twelve weeks like she wanted to but she wanted to make it as close to it as possible. "Sam…"
"Relax, I didn't tell her about the baby and I don't think she suspects anything like that anyway. She thinks you work too hard; I told her I thought you got a hold of some bad fish at lunch. Jules, I'm sorry you don't feel well. I'd take that part if I could."
Jules rolled her eyes slightly. "Yeah, well as much as I would love to give you that part of this, no thanks. The only thing worse than feeling nauseated and miserable is trying to take care of you when you feel nauseated and miserable. I'm sorry I made you lie to your mom. I know you wanted to tell them about the baby tonight; I feel bad that you are having to hold back because of me."
"Jules, we're in this together. Yeah, I want to plaster the news on billboards all over town so the whole city knows the news but it's not just about me and what I want. We'll do this when we're both ready or when the baby's born; whichever comes first." He grinned down at her to show he was joking. She slapped good-naturedly at his chest.
"Jerk. I know we can't put it off much longer, especially not the way you get that goofy grin on your face anytime someone says the word baby. I thought you were going to give it away completely today when Spike started showing Dean and Clark Babycakes this morning."
Sam blushed slightly. He could tell she was starting to feel better because she was getting more talkative. When the worst of the morning sickness was affecting her, she wouldn't say much at all and could barely even tolerate him talking to her. "Yeah, well, it was just Spike and the boys there at the moment. I don't think they would have caught on anyway. Sarge and Ed, however might have been a different story."
Jules twisted in his arms so she was curled comfortably into his side. She was starting to get a little drowsy but wasn't really ready to surrender to sleep just yet. "Just think, one day our son or daughter might be doing a ride along with us."
Sam thought back to the events that had happened as a result of Dean and Clark riding along with them. "Considering the danger they put themselves in; I'm not too sure I like even thinking about it."
Jules yawned, her jaw popping audibly with the effort. She blinked back the sleep. "Our child will mind us when we say stay put."
Laughing out loud, Sam slid down so they were lying down more than sitting up. He knew that she was already starting to feel tired more easily than she had before she was pregnant but didn't want to give into or even admit to the way her body was already changing to accommodate the new life growing inside her. "Right, cause the baby proved tonight just how much he or she plans on listening to me. Seriously though, knowing what could have happened to Dean and Clark today scares me more than a little. I'm not sure I'm ready for a teenager."
Jules absently traced random patterns on his chest. She glanced up at him. "Sam, you do realize we'll have thirteen years to get ready for a teenager, right? We'll have many other things to worry about long before we have to worry Izzy and Baby Braddock getting into that kind of trouble together. Still, watching Dean today during the transfer; seeing how excited he was and how much he obviously respects Sarge; it makes me want that and more for this baby."
Sam leaned down and captured her lips with his for a slow, tender kiss. When he pulled back, he nodded. "Me too."
Even just in those two words, Jules could hear the catch in his voice. She sat up and looked at him in concern. "Sam, what's wrong?"
He shook his head and kissed her again. "Nothing. Don't worry about it. Get some sleep. Ed mentioned some training exercises for tomorrow."
Jules frowned. "No, Sam. Something's obviously bothering you. What is it? You know telling me not to worry is just going to make me worry more."
He gently pulled her back down against him and his hand once more went beneath her top to splay against her stomach. He needed the contact with her and their child to admit the direction his thoughts had taken. "Things were a little different having Clark along with Sarge and me. A lot less excitement and a hell of a lot less respect. Reminds me of someone."
And despite the fact that Clark was his father's son in many ways, Jules was sure Sam wasn't thinking of Ed right then. She'd noticed Sam's nervous energy both before and during dinner with his folks had seemed more intense than usual but had chalked it up to him not being able to share the news about the baby. Now she was starting think it was more than that. "You see yourself."
It wasn't a question but Sam nodded anyway. "Yeah. He was sitting in the back questioning everything we did, the validity of it. I used to do that. Questioned why the military was so important to my dad not because I didn't understand or didn't believe what he was doing was important. I knew that me questioning everything he believed in would get to him and that's why I did it. It wasn't that I didn't love him or that I didn't think he loved me. Sometimes though it felt like he loved his job more and to deal with the hurt of that I lashed out in a way I knew would hurt him. I think Clark's reactions were pretty much the same thing."
"You followed in your father's footsteps though. You did join the military…"
"Not because of him." Sam interrupted. "I had sworn I was never going to have anything to do with the military at all. It was Matt who convinced me to give it a try. Dad thought I was finally getting over my rebellious ways and doing what he wanted for me but it had nothing to do with him. Matt was determined to join Special Forces and I went along with him to have his back. I wanted to make sure he was safe."
He didn't say the words but she could hear the guilt in his tone as he trailed off his words. Just as she had issues she didn't like to discuss very often - her mother's death being the biggest, she knew Matt's death was a topic Sam found difficult to talk about. She didn't press him or try to reassure him that he shouldn't blame himself for what had happened. He knew how she felt and her belaboring the point didn't help erase his guilt no matter how much she wanted it to. Besides, that's not what she believed was the bigger issue right then for Sam. "Sam, Clark and Ed are going to be okay. Things may be a little more strained right now between them with everything that Ed is going through but they'll work things out."
Sam nodded, running his fingers through her hair. He knew that relaxed her and, as tired as she was, would probably put her right to sleep. But she wouldn't be swayed. "Sam, we may make mistakes with this baby; we're human after all. There may even be times when he or she thinks we're the absolute worst parents in the world, but deep down he or she will know that everything we did was out of love and because we want what's best. Don't doubt that."
"I don't." Sam assured her, his blue eyes never leaving her face. There was more he wanted to say and she could see him running his ideas through his mind trying to find the right way to say it. "I know you and I will plan to raise our child to be able to think for himself or herself and make the decisions that are right. I know we will be okay with the choices he or she makes because ultimately we want our child to be happy. I know all that in my head but deep down in my heart, I'm just worried that somewhere along the line, I'm going to become my father and decide what that happiness should look like. I don't want our child to hate or resent me."
Jules leaned down and kissed him before settling down in his embrace. "Sam, we can do everything right and yet there's still a good chance he or she will not like everything we say or do. We just have to do what we know is right."
"Like not saying curse words anymore? Don't think I haven't noticed you censoring your words." Sam teased gently.
Now Jules blushed slightly. She hadn't realized her word choices had been that obvious. She shrugged. "It's not like I'm never going to use a swear word again. I just don't want our child to hear me say them. And at least until the baby is born, there are always little ears around. Maybe it's silly…"
Sam shook his head and caressed her cheek with the hand that wasn't touching her abdomen. "Not silly at all. I think it's sweet you are already thinking about things like that. Maybe I should do the same. But really, is the baby even big enough to have ears?" Seeing the scathing look Jules gave him, Sam realized that thinking was something he definitely needed to do more of. He was pretty sure he'd read that the baby didn't develop the ability to hear until about sixteen weeks but he couldn't remember for sure what it said about actual ears. He'd have to check that out in the morning. However, for now, he just needed to get out of trouble with the mom who could definitely hear him. He continued quickly. "I didn't mean anything bad. I guess I was just hoping that earlier wasn't about disobedience from the womb but more that he or she didn't hear or understand what I was asking."
Jules chewed on her bottom lip. "I don't know at what point babies truly understand what is said but I do know they can recognize at birth voices they heard from the womb. So whether the baby understands what I'm saying or not, I don't want to take chances."
For several minutes, they didn't speak but enjoyed the comfort of the other's arms. Then Sam sighed. "After watching everything Sarge and Ed were going through with Dean and Clark playing the Hardy Boys today, I kind of think I want this to be a girl. It would be a whole lot easier."
Jules smirked. "Except she could be Nancy Drew instead. Besides, having a little girl has a whole other set of problems. Just wait 'til she's sixteen and you tell her there's no way she's leaving the house in some skimpy, little outfit to go meet a twenty-something year old guy with more tattoos than skin showing and drives a motorcycle. She'll pull those tears out and claim you just don't want her to be happy, and you'll feel horrible. Face it, boy or girl, we'll have our share of fights." Sam wondered if she was talking from experience. He'd have to ask her later.
She let that sink in for a moment. "And it won't always be our son or daughter not liking our choices either. I'm sure he or she will do things from time to time that we won't agree with. Just like today when Dean and Clark didn't listen to what Sarge told them and put themselves in danger. And we'll get mad at him or her just like Ed and Sarge were upset at Dean and Clark. Today just kind of reinforced for me that being a parent won't always be easy. But even knowing that, I'm still excited about this baby. It'll all be worth it - even morning sickness that can't tell time - just knowing this child is ours."
"Me too." Sam agreed softly, running his fingers up and down her arm beneath the covers. "Just remind me of tonight and that I want to be open and understanding when he or she starts thinking about careers. Remind me that it's all about what's best for him or her and not what I think is best."
"Gotcha." Jules promised, her head nestled contentedly against his chest. The nausea that had so consumed her earlier had now completely faded, at least for maybe twenty four hours. She was drifting slowly off to sleep. "As long as the job choice is legal, we'll support him or her whole heartedly. Whether it's being a cop like us or running off to join the circus or even if…."
Her voice trailed off into nothing. Sam waited a second to see if she would finish but when it became obvious that she wasn't going to say anything more, he looked down. Her eyes were closed and her breathing even indicating she'd fallen asleep mid sentence. He smiled and kissed her. When she didn't respond at all, he knew she was sound asleep already. He eased her back against the pillows and shifted down under the covers so that his face was even with her stomach. He lifted her sweatshirt and placed a soft gentle kiss on her abdomen.
"Listen up, Little One." He whispered almost conspiratorially. "It's your dad again. I know you really can't hear me right now but that's okay, I'll remind you of this once you can. It's too important to wait another 8 weeks to say. Besides, I and all the research could be totally wrong about your ability to hear so I'll take the chance just in case. You and I are both pretty lucky to have your mom. She's pretty special although she'd scoff if she heard me say it. Hmm, I guess scoff's a word you won't understand for awhile, huh? Guess I'm going to have to watch that too. Okay, so see, your mom is pretty smart and I think she's got a better idea on this whole parenting thing than I do. But I'm going to try. I promise you that. But between you and me, I've got to warn you: you decide you want to run off and join the circus at any age that's not a single digit, you and me are going to have long talk. Just warning you now. Anything else, we'll be okay."
He planted one more kiss on her stomach and then shifted back upward to pull her once more into his embrace. She didn't stir or even seem aware that he'd moved. He still wasn't sure he was ready or would ever be ready for this baby to be a teenager, but, as Jules had reminded him earlier, they had time. He would just have to make sure his son or daughter never had a reason to doubt his love in the meantime.