Last chapter! Happy reading everyone!
Schmidt, of course, was the first one to the nurse sitting behind the pane of glass.
"We're having a baby!" he shouted, skidding to a stop. The nurse looked at him and then around him.
"Excuse me?" she asked.
"We are having a baby," Schmidt said again. "Actually, two babies. We are having two babies."
"There's no one behind you," the nurse commented. Schmidt whirled to see she was indeed correct.
"Hang on," he said, bolting back for the door. Nick and Coach were helping Jess get out of the car still.
"Oh," Jess was saying as another contraction hit her. Her water had broke in Nick's car, which she felt bad about despite Nick repeatedly telling her it was okay. She'd called Sadie, who told her she would meet them there.
"Come on!" Schmidt urged. "We gotta get in there!"
"Schmidt, relax," Winston said. "It's not like there's a crowd of pregnant women in line to have a baby."
Cece arrived then, having managed to get dressed and out the door in record time. She had no make up on, though, but Schmidt still thought she looked radiant.
"I can't believe this is happening!" she cried, reaching to squeeze Jess's shoulder.
"Have someone wring your uterus inside and out and kick it a few times before throwing it against a wall, and then you'll believe it," Jess grunted in reply. That was just one description she had for the contractions.
They made their way to the nurse, who nodded as she saw Jess.
"Okay, darlin'," she said, going around to get a wheelchair for Jess to sit in. "How far between your contractions?"
"Eight minutes?" Jess said. She really wasn't sure. "I woke up with pain, so I think I started labor while I was sleeping, but I don't know exactly when." The more she thought about it, the more she realized that what she had thought to be gas pains before going to bed were probably contractions. She felt embarrassed for not figuring it out.
"It's all right," the nurse assured her as she helped her into the chair. "Has your water broken?"
"Just now in the car," Jess answered, feeling bad again. Nick gave her a reassuring look.
"Okay," the nurse said. "Let's get you into a room."
Everyone stepped forward, making the nurse give them all a look.
"Who is the father?" she asked, eyeing them all up.
"I am," Nick answered, holding up his hand.
"Okay. You'll have to rotate visiting since there are so many of you. During birth, only the father is allowed to be there. After, I will let you all in only once to see her and the baby. Then it's back to rotating. There can't be so many of you in one room at the same time."
"Babies," Schmidt corrected. "They're having twins."
"Well," the nurse smiled. "Isn't that joyful."
"Uh huh," Jess nodded in pain. Nick put his hand on her shoulder to comfort her.
"We got this," he promised.
Jess sure hoped so.
Schmidt paced while the others sat and waited. After almost eight hours, Jess was finally in the birthing room. Her parents and Nick's mom were going to be there soon, having left not long after Jess had called them.
"I can't believe Jess and Nick are going to be parents," Winston commented. He was lying on his back in the chair and looking at the ceiling.
"I know," Cece said. "Things are going to be so different now."
"We are their aunt and uncles," Schmidt said importantly. "We have to be good role models for them."
"I'm a good role model," Coach said, offended.
"You eat cereal from the box like an animal," Schmidt retorted.
"Only when it's almost empty. Why waste a bowl?" Coach countered. Schmidt made a vomiting noise in his throat.
Nick appeared then, looking disheveled and both scared and excited.
"Shh!" Cece said, smacking Schmidt in the arm to make him stop imitating throwing up.
"We got a boy!" Nick cried.
"Oh my God!" Winston replied, ecstatic.
"I gotta go back," Nick said. "But she's doing great, and we got a boy!"
They laughed and hugged each other as Nick went back to the delivery room.
"I hope they name him Winston," Winston said. Schmidt shot him a look.
"Why, so you can make him go by Miller?" Schmidt asked. Cece and Coach gave them both a look, which was ignored.
"What have we missed?" Joan asked, appearing with Bob then. The conversation between Schmidt and Winston had been forgotten quickly as everyone hugged and shared the news that there was a baby boy.
"Remember when Jess was born?" Bob asked Joan as they got settled into the chairs.
"Ha, yes. She refused to come out. I was in labor for almost 30 hours."
Cece almost choked upon hearing this. She didn't think she could do that.
"I'd love to have a baby one day," Winston mused.
"I'm on the fence," Coach admitted.
"We got a girl!" Nick cried, coming back then after about twenty minutes and interrupting them all. Everyone whooped and hollered again.
Jess was exhausted. She was so glad it was over, and she was even more glad that Nick had kept his head on and was able to help her through giving birth without freaking out or fainting. How could she have doubted him?
"Wow," Nick said now as they waited to hold their babies. The nurses were checking them over and getting them ready for them.
"I know," Jess nodded.
"You were fantastic," Nick said to her. "I mean, I would have lost it, but you...you were so good."
Jess had wanted to lose it a few times, but she knew she had to keep it together for the babies. Nick bent to kiss her then, and she smiled.
"Here we are," the one nurse said, bringing over their son. The second nurse brought over their daughter.
"Good job, guys," Sadie said, beaming at them. "I knew you could do it."
"Thank you, Sadie, for helping us every step of the way," Jess replied.
"Oh wow," Nick said as he was handed his daughter to hold. Jess was handed their son, and she couldn't even begin to describe what she was feeling.
"I'll come back to check on you in a bit," Sadie promised. Jess and Nick held their children and felt very awestruck.
"Can you believe this?" Nick asked her.
"No," she laughed, shaking her head. "We did this. We made these perfect little babies."
Nick felt like he was going to cry. Jess openly cried because she couldn't keep it in anymore. It was such an emotional time.
"Five minutes," the nurse said at the door before letting everyone inside. Bonnie had arrived by then, and she was standing with Joan and Bob and smiling at Jess and Nick.
"Oh my God, you guys," Cece said, coming over and putting her hands over her mouth in awe.
"Can I hold one?" Schmidt asked.
"Sure," Nick nodded, handing over his daughter. Schmidt immediately started to cry.
"What are their names?" Coach asked, leaning in to see their daughter. Jess and Nick looked at one another.
"Aaron Robert Winston and Bronwyn Cece Joan," Jess answered.
"Oh," Bonnie said. "Nick."
"I know," Nick smiled. He knew his mother's full name was Bronwyn, that she'd gone with Bonnie because her family had called her Bonnie forever. He and Jess liked Bronwyn, though, for some reason.
"You did great, honey," Joan said, leaning to hug Jess before taking Aaron from her. Jess and Nick watched their friends and family pass around their children and talk and laugh and coo with each other and at the babies.
"Our family," Jess said to Nick quietly.
"It's amazing," he answered, nodding. She eventually grew tired, though, and the nurse returned to tell everyone to give her time to rest. She couldn't wait to get home and start their life with their babies.
A Few Days Later
Jess and Nick managed to not go crazy after coming home with their babies. Schmidt, Coach, and Winston all helped as best as they could as did Cece when she came to visit, which was often. Nick's room was turned into the babies' room, but Jess and Nick both realized that before long, they'd have to find a place of their own. It was a step for another day, though. For now, they'd make do.
"We did it, Nick," Jess said to him as they stood and looked down at their now sleeping babies.
"Yes, we did," Nick agreed. He put his arm around her. They were so perfect looking, so innocent. He wanted to keep them safe forever. He never wanted anyone to hurt them. Now he knew how his mother must have felt after he was born.
"I wouldn't have wanted to do this with anyone else," Jess told him, turning to look at him then.
"Me either," he replied. "We make a good team."
"Is this how you saw your life?" Jess asked, curious. Nick gave a small laugh.
"No," he answered truthfully, "but I wouldn't have it any other way."
She smiled, and he kissed her. She couldn't have agreed more.
16 Years Later
"And that," Nick finished. "Is the story of us." He looked at Jess, who was smiling. Aaron and Bronwyn were sitting cross legged on the floor, staring at them both.
"So, if it weren't for us, you wouldn't be together?" Bronwyn asked.
"No, no," Jess shook her head. "I fully believe that regardless, your father and I would be together. You guys just moved things along faster."
"I agree," Nick nodded. "I would have never stopped loving her." Jess gave him a loving look in return.
"And what about Aunt Cece and Uncle Schmidt?" Aaron questioned. "How did they get back together?"
"Oh, that's a long story," Jess dismissed. "You'd be better to ask them about it."
It had taken almost a year and Cece to go climb a damn mountain before realizing she wanted to be with Schmidt still apparently.
"How did Dad propose?" Bronwyn prompted.
"On one knee in the middle of the grocery store," Jess answered, laughing.
"I'd had the perfect thing planned out," Nick argued. "But it just wouldn't seem to work. So I said the hell with it and just asked her."
"Did it involve the roof?" Aaron wanted to know.
"Yea," Nick nodded.
"So in a way, Uncle Winston and Uncle Ernie's messaround helped you guys too," Aaron pointed out.
"Eh, sort of," Nick shrugged.
"No, Aaron," Bronwyn said. "The car accident is what did it."
"Okay," Jess interrupted. "No need to argue over what helped and what didn't help us get back together."
"You better get your homework done," Nick said. They "awwwed" and "ooohhhed" about it before getting up slowly and heading to their rooms. Nick and Jess were left sitting side by side, thinking.
"You do believe we'd be together if I hadn't gotten pregnant, right?" she asked.
"Of course," Nick nodded. "It might have taken a few years, but I firmly believe we would have figured it out again."
"I love you," Jess said.
"I love you too," he answered. Then they kissed.
"Oh, gross!" Aaron yelped, having come back for his phone.
"Ah get used to it," Nick said back. He grabbed Jess and faked a make out session. Jess played it up with him. Aaron ran shouting from the room as they laughed.
"Kids," Jess said, sighing. She was smiling, though. She knew all about not wanting to see adults being lovey dovey with each other.
"I gotta run. Schmidty wants to have a coffee with me."
"Okay," Jess nodded. Nick waved before he left, and Jess smiled once she was alone. They'd kept in touch with their friends over the years. They still had fun together and played True American. They still knew who they could call if they needed a friend. They were lucky, and Jess was grateful that they were so lucky.
Yes, things had turned out just perfect, and Jess wouldn't change a thing.
Thank you to all who have reviewed, favorited, and followed. It's always bittersweet when I finish a story. I apologize for taking almost a year to do it.
P.S. I did Google, and apparently Bonnie can be a nickname for Bronwyn, which is why I did that. Anyway, until next time, folks!