"Dad, Daddy" Rachel cleared her throat nervously as she walked into the kitchen. Both her fathers' turned and looked at their newly turned 12 year old daughter.
"Can I speak to you?" She was nervous. She didn't know how they were going to react. It was a conversation she had never had with them. She wasn't even sure if she would ever have this conversation with them but it had been playing on her mind a lot lately.
"Of course sweetheart, you can always speak to us" Leroy replied softly. Leroy and Hiram sat at the breakfast bar with Rachel sitting across from them.
"What's bothering you darling?" Hiram asked as he noticed Rachel fidgeting with her hands, something she did when she was nervous.
"Well you know that I am 12 now" Rachel said and both parents nodded. They couldn't believe how fast their little darling daughter was growing up. She was almost a teenager.
"Well I was wanting to know more about my mother. I really want to speak to her" Rachel explained.
"Is this about girl things because you can still speak to us or I can call Nana" Leroy jumped in and Rachel shook her head.
"No dad, I know that. I just want to speak to her" Rachel said nervously. She was unsure how her fathers were going to react to this. She hoped they would be understanding. She was getting to the age where she needed a mom. She needed someone to speak to and get advice from. Her dads were amazing but they weren't her mother.
"Can you allow your father and I time to speak about this?" Hiram asked and Rachel nodded. She looked down nervous about the subject she had just brought up. She disappeared up to her room, leaving a pair of shell-shocked men.
4 weeks later
"We are in New York. I'm so happy. I can't believe you let me come off school a day early as well. The school doesn't let you have time off unless it's a family emergency. How did you get me off school for the day? We don't even have any family in New York. Are we going to see a show? That would be amazing. Please I promise I'd be good" Rachel rattled on as they sat in the taxi on their way to the hotel. Leroy gave Hiram a slight smile. Perhaps Hiram's way would have been better, but this was the plan they had gone with.
By the time they arrived at the hotel it was late and they needed to get settled. They had opted for the late Thursday evening flight from Columbus to ensure that Rachel only missed one day of school. They would return on Monday around dinner time. They hadn't wanted too late a flight home as they knew Rachel would be tired and had school the next day.
"Can we walk around Times Square now?" Rachel asked as she pranced beside the taxi excitedly.
"Not tonight princess, we need to get you to bed" Hiram said and Rachel sighed.
"But Daddy, we are already on Times Square" Rachel complained.
"You can see it all tomorrow" Leroy explained.
"But we are in a city which never sleeps" Rachel exclaimed.
"But our little girls still needs her sleep" Hiram explained as he grabbed the suitcases and made his way to the reception desk. Rachel huffed and placed her backpack on her back. She waited patiently for her father to return.
Check in didn't take too long and when her parents returned, they headed up to their room which was on the 34th floor. Once inside the room, Leroy made quick work finding Rachel's pyjamas and washbag. He then ordered her to quickly shower and get ready for bed. It was now after 11 o'clock and the girl would be tired in the morning if she didn't get to sleep soon.
Once Hiram heard the lock of the bathroom door, he took his phone out his pocket and pressed call. He spoke quietly on the phone as they confirmed details about tomorrow and then hung up ensuring that Rachel hadn't overheard anything.
Rachel then returned 15 minutes later, he hair mainly dried. She was in her pyjamas and rubbing her sleepy eyes.
"Into bed Princess" Leroy said as he pulled down the duvet on the bed. Rachel jumped in and Leroy tucked her in. While Hiram ensured only one side light was on so he could continue to unpack. Once the suitcase was emptied. He and Leroy also got into bed and turned the light off.
At 6:45, Rachel's eyes pinged open. She looked around. She couldn't believe she was in New York city and she had slept in.
"Dad, Daddy it's time to get up now" Rachel said and Hiram stirred.
"We aren't getting up till 8" He mumbled.
"But Daddy we are in New York" Rachel huffed.
"7:30 then" Hiram replied and Rachel nodded. She could do that. Wait, actually she couldn't. After only 10 minutes she rose again. She went to the bathroom and got herself ready for the day. Then she looked through her clothes deciding what to wear.
Hiram and Leroy both woke up due to the noise and looked at each other. They sighed. They needed to get up now. Hiram knew he had been chancing it when he asked the girl to sleep for another 45 minutes.
"What are we doing today? Can we go and see a show? Please" Rachel asked already going ten to the dozen.
"Once we are ready, we will go down the stairs for breakfast. Then we need to come back up to the room to make sure we have everything for the day and to wrap up warm. After that we will go to the Disney Store and then we are going for lunch" Leroy explained. He knew that giving Rachel a full schedule until lunch would keep the girl happy.
"Will it just be the three of us for lunch?" Rachel asked.
"No we will be meeting a friend" Leroy explained.
"Will it be boring?" Rachel complained. She didn't like going for lunch with her fathers' friends. It was always someone from their work and it was so boring. They didn't even try to speak to her. She just had to sit their and smile.
"I don't think it will be" Hiram and Leroy smiled at him. They were both nervous. This was a very big risk and they just didn't know how the girl was going to cope.
Once her fathers were dressed, they headed down for breakfast. They had to wait about 10 minutes to be seated and Hiram and Leroy ensured they drank a lot of coffee as they knew their daughter would keep them busy today. Rachel happily spoke to her parents. She was so happy to be there and she was lucky for the opportunities her parents' gave her.
Once returning to the room to ensure that they were all equipped for the rather chilly, New York weather. They walked to the Disney store. Of course, Rachel bought some things. She saw some ornaments and objects which she liked and just enjoyed the time walking around the day.
They ended up spending a lot more time in the store than they had planned and were now rushed for time. They had just enough time to run back to the hotel and drop off the shopping before heading to the restaurant.
It was a nice restaurant they arrived in and Rachel was relieved to see that it was a lovely Italian restaurant meaning that she knew roughly what food to expect. Hiram explained that they had a booking. Rachel frowned slightly when he said a name which was not their own. She hadn't been paying enough attention as to what the name had been. They were told that their guest was already there and were taken over to a table.
Rachel was surprised to see that it was not a man they were meeting. Instead it was a woman. She had her back to them but Rachel liked her long dark hair. It looked very like her own except it had more volume to it. Though Rachel understood that it could be due to the styling of the hair.
"Shelby?" Leroy asked as they approached, the woman turned around and instantly smiled. Rachel froze, she knew how this was.
"Shelby Corcoran?" Rachel said even though she knew it was her. Both parents shushed her as they didn't want everyone to figure out who she was. Shelby nodded. Rachel was confused. Why was she having lunch with Shelby Corcoran? This was amazing.
"I hope this restaurant is okay" Shelby said as they all sat down. "It has a children's menu but I wasn't sure if Rachel would still eat from one or not"
Hiram and Leroy smiled. They could tell that Shelby was nervous.
"It's perfect and she probably will. Especially if we tell her she can have dessert after" Hiram said and Rachel nodded excitedly. They sat down and made polite conversation but they could all tell that Rachel wasn't engaged because she didn't know who Shelby was.
"Rach remember you asked last month about your mother?" Leroy introduced slowly and Rachel nodded. She didn't understand what this had to do with Shelby but nodded. He looked at Shelby to let her carry on.
"Well I am her" Shelby said "I am your mother".
"Leroy, what are we going to do?" Hiram asked once Rachel had gone to bed that night.
"Should we phone Shelby?" Leroy asked.
"Does Rachel need her? We got her to sign a contract for a reason. What if she tries to take her from us?" Hiram asked nervously.
"Then we make sure that Shelby understands that we are the parents. We could give her parental rights but not custody. I'm sure she would be very understanding. She was always like that" Leroy explained and Hiram nodded.
"It must have taken Rachel a lot to come to us and say that she wants to speak to her and she did only say speak so we can explain that to Shelby. Shelby is on Broadway. Her life is in New York but hopefully she will be willing to be part of our daughter's life even if it is just on the phone" Leroy explained and Hiram nodded. He knew he was just being overprotective.
"Rachel has identified that she wants her mother in her life and we should respect that wish" Leroy said and Hiram nodded.
"Shall we phone Shelby now?" Leroy asked and Hiram nodded, he knew they needed to do it tonight to get it over with as otherwise it would play in his head all night.
"Hello?" A voice answered almost instantly.
"Hello Shelby, it's Hiram and Leroy here" Hiram spoke as Leroy had panicked and froze.
"Oh is everything okay? Is Rachel okay?" Shelby asked worriedly.
"Rachel is fantastic, she is so like you Shel" Leroy explained and Shelby smiled.
"Anyway, Rachel came to us today and asked if she could speak to you. We think it is because of her age. She is looking for a woman to speak to" Hiram explained. Shelby nodded, she waited unsure as to what would be said next as she was aware of the contract. She couldn't contact the girl until she was 18 unless Rachel found her first.
"So we wanted to speak to you first about how you felt about speaking to her" Leroy stepped in.
"Of course, I would love to speak to her" Shelby explained.
"Good now, Rachel is a big fan of yours and I don't know how to do this correctly. I feel that at least the first time you should meet in person so she can actually see it is you" Leroy explained.
"Of course, do you want me to come to Ohio? I don't know when I can get time off the show but I can try and get something" Shelby said thinking out loud.
"How about we come to you?" Leroy asked. He and Hiram hadn't actually spoken about the next steps but it just came natural.
"We could come President's Day Weekend" Leroy said.
"That fits with me" Shelby said.
"Perfect. We will keep up to date with you" Leroy explained and Shelby nodded. She couldn't believe it.
"You are my mother?" Rachel asked and Shelby nodded.
"I was a surrogate for your fathers. I carried you for 9 months and lived with your fathers during this time. Once you were born, I gave you to your fathers as I knew they would be the best parents to you" Shelby explained. She didn't want to overwhelm the girl. Rachel nodded unsure. She didn't understand how she felt. She was excited but nervous at the same time. She also didn't want to upset her fathers or let them down.
The atmosphere was slightly tense as they all turned their attentions to the menu and selected what they wanted to eat. After ordering, they returned to a natural conversation.
"Rachel loves Broadway too" Hiram said trying to bring Rachel into the conversation.
"I was in Annie last year" Rachel boasted and Shelby smiled.
"Really? Who were you?" Shelby asked showing her engagement.
"Annie of course" Rachel said rolling her eyes and Shelby laughed. The girl was definitely her daughter. Once Broadway was mentioned the girl came to life. She enjoyed telling her mother all about the shows she had been in before moving onto the shows Shelby had been in.
"Can we go see Wicked? Please, I won't get scared" Rachel said and Shelby laughed. She looked at Leroy and Hiram who both nodded.
"Of course, I'll see if I can get you tickets for tonight. If not definitely one of the shows tomorrow" Shelby said and they all nodded. Shelby quickly excused herself to make the quick call and was able to hold 3 tickets for them.
"All sorted for tonight" Shelby said and they smiled. Rachel was so excited and struggled to calm down. They ate while still allowing the conversation to flow.
"What are we doing this afternoon?" Rachel asked.
"Don't eat with your mouth full" Hiram scolded.
"Sorry" Rachel said.
"I don't know. We were wondering what Shelby had planned" Leroy said and they all looked at Shelby.
"I have nothing planned until 6:30 when I had to be at the theatre" She explained.
"Would you like some mother daughter time?" Hiram asked and Shelby's face broke into a massive smile. She had to calm herself from letting tears slip down her face.
"Really?" She asked and both men nodded.
"Rach, do you like the sound of that?" Hiram asked and Rachel nodded enthusiastically.
"Can we go to Central Park?" Rachel asked. "Is the ice rink still there?"
Shelby nodded. She was getting to spend the day with her baby girl. Whatever Rachel wanted, they would do.
Once lunch was finished, they split their separate ways.
"Rachel, you must listen to Shelby" Leroy said. Rachel nodded.
As they left, Shelby hung onto her daughter's hand and the girl accepted it. Shelby really didn't want to lose the girl after just getting her.
"Will you manage to walk?" Shelby asked as it was a 15minute walk. Rachel nodded. She enjoyed walking. She had gone shy again without the presence of her fathers and was slightly nervous about spending time with her mother alone. They arrived at Central Park after walking in silence.
"Do you want some hot chocolate to warm up before we go on the ice?" Shelby asked and Rachel nodded. Shelby got Rachel a hot chocolate and herself a coffee before they found a seat.
"How do you feel?" Shelby asked softly and Rachel shrugged.
"You're Shelby Corcoran, Elphaba" Rachel mumbled.
"But more importantly, I'm your mother" Shelby whispered. She knew to be quite in case anyone heard her but this was New York. No one was interested. However, she knew the announcement that she had a secret daughter would set journalists off so for now it needed to stay quiet.
"What will happen next though?" Rachel asked nervously.
"What do you want to happen? All of this is up to you" Shelby explained and Rachel shrugged.
"I know your dads said that you wanted to speak to me and you thought it would be good to have a woman to talk to, is that what you want?" Shelby asked softly and Rachel nodded. She blushed, getting embarrassed now.
"We can work with that" Shelby said "You can think of me in anyway you want as a mother, an aunt or just a family friend. How do you want to think of me?"
"As a mom" Rachel whispered and Shelby nodded.
"Then we will do that" Shelby said.
"But how will I see you?" Rachel asked nervously.
"We will figure it out. Either you can come to New York but no missing school! Or I will come to Lima" Shelby explained and Rachel nodded. She liked the sound of going to New York again especially to spend time with her mom.
"Does that sound like a good plan?" Shelby asked and Rachel nodded. It did make her feel a lot better.
"Can I get a hug then?" Shelby asked and Rachel nodded before falling into her mother's arms. They stayed like that for a while before getting their skates.
They had an enjoyable time on the ice before returning back to Shelby's apartment. They got a taxi as Rachel was getting cold now.
"Warm up then" Shelby said as they walked into the apartment. Shelby pointed to the blanket on the sofa.
"Shelby?" Rachel asked nervously and Shelby nodded looking at her daughter.
"Do you have your Tony?" She asked nervously and Shelby nodded. She walked over to the large cabinet and lifted it down from the top shelf.
"Wow" Rachel said as Shelby handed it to her.
"Do you want me to take a picture of you with it and sent it to your dads?" Shelby asked and Rachel nodded excitedly.
"So we have an hour before we have to leave. Are you hungry or do you just want a snack?" Shelby asked.
"A snack" Rachel replied. They walked into the kitchen and Rachel sat at the breakfast bar watching her mother move. They relaxed into a soft conversation as they spoke about Rachel's school and soon moved onto musicals again.
They had a lovely afternoon and after eating, they relaxed on the sofa until they had to leave. Rachel had curled into her mother's side and Shelby had her arms wrapped around her daughter. It felt so natural.
They arrived at the theatre and quickly ran to Shelby's dressing room, avoiding all the others.
"Sweetie, I just need to explain this to you" Shelby said closing the door and kneeling down to level with her daughter's eyes.
"I am going to introduce you as a family friend. It is not because I don't want you are my daughter because that is not true. It is because I don't want the media to scare you" Shelby explained, and Rachel nodded. She understood this.
"I understand" Rachel said, and Shelby smiled. She was proud of how mature her daughter was being.
"I knew you would, big girl" Shelby said as she kissed her daughter on the head. Shelby started to get ready and did her hair and makeup. Rachel watched on fascinated. Around 7:15, Shelby received a text from Leroy and Hiram to say they had arrived and she arranged for Rachel to be taken to them. Rachel clung to her mother.
"Will I see you at the end?" She asked worriedly, close to tears.
"You bet, wait for me at the door you come out of, okay?" Shelby stated and Rachel nodded. She could do that.
Rachel was quickly escorted to her parents where she spoke to them about her day and how successful it had been. This was such a relief to Leroy and Hiram and they felt that they could relax again. Their baby girl was happy and that was all that mattered.
Rachel continued to speak about Shelby as they waited for the show to start. They were surprised that the girl stayed so quiet during the show. She behaved during the intermission and was just excited to see her mother at the end.
As soon as she was backstage again, she ran into her mother's arms. Shelby smiled as she picked the girl up slightly.
"Did you enjoy the show?" Shelby asked.
"I loved it. You were amazing" Rachel said and Shelby smiled. She loved seeing her daughter like this.
"Can I see you again this trip?" Rachel asked. Shelby looked at Hiram and Leroy.
"Well, it's up to yourself Shelby but how would you feel about taking Rachel on Sunday and keeping her overnight" Hiram asked and Shelby nodded. They were trusting her overnight with their daughter, no, her daughter.
"We understand that you have a double show tomorrow so you will be busy. If you are free, we can met for breakfast? Then on Sunday, myself and Leroy are hoping to see a show which isn't suitable for Rachel" Hiram explained.
"She can come with me to the theatre" Shelby butted in. "And I can do breakfast tomorrow"
Shelby blushed slightly. She was acting like a teenager but this girl meant so much to her.
"Are you happy with that?" Hiram asked Rachel and the girl nodded.
"I'm so happy" Rachel said before flinging herself at Shelby. Shelby smiled and kissed the top of her daughter's head. This was the start of something very special.
I was bored during isolation and I just can't get going on my other stories so I started this. Please let me know what you think :) I do have some other plans but I'd like to know if people want this to continue or not :) I've really enjoyed writing it and hope you enjoyed reading it :)