"Is he home yet?"
"No, not yet."
"Okay, call me as soon as you tell him the big news. I want to hear everything."
Renee hung up the phone from Nadine, wishing she could laugh at the eager, knowing excitement in her sister-in-law's voice. Nadine has suspected that Renee's insistence of telling her husband the news first could only mean one thing, that a baby was on the way, and though they both knew Nadine was right, Nadine was considerate enough to not push her about it for 100% confirmation.
Renee sat on the couch in the living room, hoping that her beautiful Texan would walk through the door soon. God, she wanted to tell him so badly; she'd wanted to tell him two weeks before when she first found out. But then Warrick...Warrick had happened and everything had changed. After the discovery that Warrick had a son, Nick had been shaken to the core, and as a shrink, Renee knew that he kept asking himself why his best friend hadn't trusted him enough with this secret. Nadine had apparently noticed the change too, as Nick had barely spent anytime over at their house with Sonny and Dharma. Nick, who loved kids, could barely stand being around his niece and nephew; how could she possibly tell him he was going to be a father?
The wash of lights through the living room window had Renee's throat tightening. He was home now, after an endless night of tossing, turning and vomiting from both anxiety and pregnancy. As she watched him walk in the door, twin vines of love and sadness wormed their way into her heart.
Nick's head came up sharply, surprise lighting his eyes. Renee was never home on a Tuesday morning like this. "Hey sweetie. How come you're not at work?"
"I took a personal day. We need to talk."
"Yeah, I think we do."
Nick knew this conversation had been coming for awhile, ever since the case they'd recently closed together where Jeremy Golden, a fifteen year old boy Renee had been counselling, developed a serious crush on her to the point of being a stalker. It had escalated to a breaking point when the boy had taken her hostage in a parking lot and knocked her unconscious before turning the gun on himself. Ever since then, Renee had been leery of cases involving teenage boys - normally her favourite type - and Nick had been able to talk her into seeing her own staff shrink to help build her confidence up. What had complicated the situation for them on a personal level was that they'd decided to try for a baby shortly before she'd taken on the case and both of them had begun to have serious doubts as to whether it was the right timing for them. But now Nick needed to tell her what he'd known the entire time: that he wanted to be a father, watch her body change and grow with a life inside it that came from both of them. Now the hard part was how to tell Renee this without shaking that carefully rebuilt confidence.
Shrugging off his coat and toeing off his shoes, Nick went over to the couch to face his wife. "I know we've been through a lot the last little while, what with the Golden case and then Warrick dying. I know we've been trying for a baby for a couple of months, and...I was starting to wonder if it was a good idea." When Renee said nothing, only continued to stare at him, Nick felt his nerves wobble but he kept going. "Look, I all I'm saying is that stuff really shook me up, but-"
"Nick I'm pregnant," Renee blurted out. There she'd done it; she'd told him. "I found out last week, the day that Warrick died. I'd already taken two pregnancy tests and it came up one negative, one positive, so I went to my doctor's and I am." She watched his face, a frozen mask of shocked silence. After two minutes when he'd still said nothing, Renee stood up and stalked down the hall, slamming the door to their bedroom. She laid down on the bed and done what she'd needed to do since she'd first found out she was having a baby: she cried her eyes out.
She was in mid-sob when she heard the soft click of the door being opened, smelled the after-work smell of him that was sweat and sterile soap from the lab. She didn't bother moving from her prone position and just stared at the bedside clock.
"I knew this would happen," she said softly, knowing her voice would crack at its normal level. "I knew that in spite of how much you talked about still wanting children of your own, that after that case was done, no matter what the outcome, you wouldn't want to have a child."
"So now, I have no idea what we are going to do, I mean I don't want to have an abortion, and I couldn't bear the thought of giving up this child for adoption, but I can't have a baby knowing that you-"
"Renee," Nick repeated, cutting her off gently, hating that her back was still turned to him. Gently nudging her shoulder, he got her to turn over and felt like the lowest form of poind scum when he saw her eyes, now bright red at the rims, still streaming tears. "I want this child. That's what I was trying to say. Yeah I was having doubts while working on that case, but in spite of all of that, I still want a child because we will love and cherish and protect it, so that nothing like what happened to Jeremy will happen to ours. Obviously, I'm not so good with the words if you thought I was telling you otherwise. Hey, come on now."
He tugged on her hand, pulling her up so she was sitting, and hugged her tightly against him. "I love you so much."
"I love you, too...Daddy."
Daddy. The words hit Nick like a bare-knuckle punch that made his face split into a giddy, dumbass grin. He eased back a little, to press his hand to her belly, just under the navel. "How soon?"
"End of July. Greg's going to flip out, even more than me."
Nick kissed her again, this time turning it from comfort to heat. "I know how we can celebrate this momentous occasion."
"Oh yeah?" Renee knew her man well enough to know exactly what that glint in his eye meant. Wasn't how they'd gotten here? "How?"
"Recreate the conception." With that, Nick had her tumbling back to the pillows on a laugh, that turned into a sigh, that turned into the love which had made the little life inside his beautiful girl.