AN: Sadly, this is the last chapter. I had a blast writing this. I do have other things in the works but nothing completed or sent to my friend to proof for me. There will be another mini hiatus.
Anyways, thank you everyone that has read this or left a review I do appreciate it. I know this couple and show has been gone for a while but I still love Reese and Carter as much as I did back when they were together on air.
FOREVER AND A DAY
"Meeting you was fate, becoming your friend was a choice but falling in love with you was beyond my control."-Anonymous
It typically was controlled chaos in the mornings for her and John. They both sold their brownstones finding a place together that had a bigger yard for Bear to roam, extra bedrooms, and one that had a large master bedroom with an equally big bathroom. The 'his-and-her' sinks were a necessity since he shaved at one while she applied makeup at the other. However, this morning was Sunday which were usually their mutual days off together, but today she reclined in bed watching as her husband got ready to go into the office.
John made getting ready for the day an art form. He went to the bathroom to brush his teeth and shower to come back into their bedroom naked, and hair still wet and disheveled from the towel being rubbed through it. Sadly, he was dressed now in underwear and she watched with disappointment as he covered his perfect butt with suit pants.
He turned and grinned as he stared at her in bed. "Now that sight makes leaving for work that much harder," he murmured as his light eyes glowed with desire. Joss lied in bed with nothing on but his shirt that she pulled on during the night, after their last round of lovemaking, to go to the bathroom.
"So don't go, that can be another birthday gift." she suggested seductively. While the necklace was great, birthday sex was even better. But she wanted her husband to lay in bed with her, and hold her. Joss hadn't been one with nature since she was a little girl but somehow being married to her soulmate made the sun brighter, flowers bloom faster, and air smell fresher. Joss wanted to laugh at how corny she sounded even to herself. Love made you a hopeless romantic.
They got married a month after they officially transitioned from friendship to more. Neither had wanted to wait, so they eloped quietly and it's been nothing except wedded bliss since.
"I have to go in. And I thought you liked the necklace." John said, drawing her back to their conversation.
Joss watched as he approached and her heart fluttered, the same flutter that used to unnerve her, now warmed her. She knew it would never stop. "Oh I liked the necklace but I love birthday sex and wouldn't mind it spilling into the morning after." she murmured, trying hard to not bat her eyes at him. He planted a knee on the bed before bracketing her head with his hands to bend and plant a soft kiss to her lips.
"I wish," he said with longing, between kisses. "But we have a problem with a client. Harold needs assistance."
Her arm snaked around his neck and deepened the kiss, letting their tongues tangle before letting him go. She watched as he moved to go grab his dress shoes. "What kind of problem?" she asked rubbing a hand across her stomach.
"He's being a bit picky over who he wants as a bodyguard. Harold has assured him Shaw is one of the best but I'm going to the office and reassure him further." John said it as he walked towards her and then sat at the edge of the bed to pull on his shoes.
Joss frowned. Shaw was one of the best, if not mouthiest. "Who does this client want?" she wondered. There were several great bodyguards they had. They had Joey, Dillinger, and Shaw that she could think of off the top of her head.
That surprised her since John didn't work cases. He went into the office and helped Finch run it and trained with the bodyguards to keep them and himself in shape, but he didn't actively work any cases.
"Are you going to work the case?" she asked finally, as silence followed. She was watching as he finished tying his shoes.
He glanced over his shoulder at her. "No," he answered easily and with a smile. "If I ever feel the desire to work a case it wouldn't be to babysit a self-absorbed billionaire. I have to go into the office and reassure him our bodyguards are just as good. Harold has been trying to reason with him for the past hour. Pierce claims he'll only talk to me."
"Can't fault him for his good tastes, I'd want you too," she murmured, not even trying to hide the pride in her voice. John paid a lot of blood, sweat, and tears in protecting and serving not only his country but everyday citizens.
John smiled "Darling, you already have me," he purred as he grabbed her foot and kissed the inside of her arch then stood facing her.
"Just how I like it, and I don't share," she responded possessively, letting her foot rest on his thigh.
"How about I make dinner tonight since I'm working on Sunday?" he offered.
She grinned as she scooted up and over to him, kneeling on the foot of the bed and wrapped her arms loosely around his waist, her hands grabbing his butt. "Deal," she agreed and he kissed her hard.
"I love you, Joss," he said sensuously, then kissed her again lightly.
"Love you more," she responded as she kissed him back and sighed.
He groaned. "Stop making it so difficult to leave." he grumbled against her lips as his hands cupped her face and kissed her again deeply and passionately.
They were both breathless as she broke the kiss to whisper, "Then stop trying to leave," she reasoned, nipping his bottom lip.
He kissed her one last time then stepped way back out of her arms. With that he turned to grab his watch and ring, and she flopped back onto the bed to watch him. John smiled at her as he exited the bedroom, pausing only a moment to pet Bear, and disappeared from her view. She watched him go before climbing out of bed and stretched her arms above her head, the shirt rising, and yawned. Joss loved being exhausted from making love all night. Her eyes took in the open door and Bear sitting at the threshold patiently, and when he saw her looking at him started to wag his tail mightily. She whistled him in and Bear sprang into action as he ran to her and ate up the pets. The dog knew that the bedroom was theirs but John wasn't around. Joss brushed her teeth, peed, and then changed into some leggings and a thin sweater before racing Bear downstairs.
She jumped from the second to last step to the landing and grinned at Bear. "I won, beat you!" she told the dog with a little wiggle. Bear snorted and flicked his tail as he walked away. What a sore loser! "Hey, you always beat me. I deserve to gloat this once." she said and caught up to the dog and rubbed his head affectionately, and Bear licked her hand and knew her boasting was forgiven.
She let him out and filled his bowl with fresh water and food, with a doggie biscuit on top. Bear knew the difference between her meals and John's. John spoiled Bear rotten but not as much as her.
Joss got a glass of water instead of coffee, checked her phone to see if she missed any calls or texts from family or clients, and then let Bear in. The dog immediately sat in front of her, tail thumping the tiled floor, and tongue out, waiting impatiently for his morning meal.
She smiled at him. "I'll tell you since you won't tattle on me but you're going to have a little brother or sister, Bear." She pressed a protective hand on her flat stomach and still felt a swell of emotions in her, and perhaps a little churning because morning sickness was ramping up in its intensity. Give her about a half hour and the toilet would be her best friend.
As though the dog understood, he hopped to all fours and barked happily. Tears brimmed in her eyes. How stupid was it to get all misty eyed over the dog's excitement over it when probably he was prancing around for his food!
Choosing to think it was over her news she said, "Yea, I'm pretty happy and scared at the same time. Happy because I get to give John something he's always wanted, and scared because I haven't had a baby in eighteen years." she explained and then set the bowl on the floor and, of course, Bear ate his special doggie biscuit first.
"Did I hear you right, you're pregnant?!"
Joss turned and put a hand to her heart then glared at her son. God, she still couldn't believe her baby was a young adult now. He was taller than her by several inches, lean and muscular. Her boy went from adorable boy to handsome young man in a blink of an eye. Pretty soon he was going to college! And he was dating a girl steadily, who happened to be the sweetest and prettiest girl she'd seen. "Don't sneak up on me like that." she admonished, barely keeping from asking that he'd stop aging too that she wasn't ready for him to leave the nest.
"I didn't sneak up. I called out to you but you were having a conversation with Bear," Taylor split a lot of his time between his mom and dad's places. And after they had celebrated his mom's birthday, he left for his dad's because he knew John probably wanted to have some alone time with his mom since this was her first birthday as a married couple. Bear abandoned his food to greet Taylor happily, and he petted him while keeping eyes on his mom. "So? Are you pregnant, mom?"
Taylor whooped and hugged her hard. "I'm so happy for you mom!"
She rubbed his back. "Thank you, sweetheart, I hope John is as happy as you are."
"Why wouldn't he? John would make a great dad! I mean you guys just got married which makes him my step-dad now but I've grown up knowing John forever. He's wicked awesome at basketball and whenever I needed to talk about things I didn't want to do with your or dad, he was there."
"Wait. What things?" she demanded pushing back out of his arms and eyeballing him. Good god, her son went to John to talk about sex! Being Taylor's mother she prayed like hell that John didn't tell him about having sex in the back of a car.
Taylor shrugged. "Stuff that no kid wants to talk to their parents about and he talked to me about how to get through life without having a dad," her son said. Her heart bled a little at the thought of her little man feeling lost without a father. She silently cursed Paul for those years he had put his anger, pain, and alcohol above their son. Joss made a mental note to give John a really big kiss when he got home.
Not wanting her son embarrassed she said, "John might be good at basketball but so is your old mom." Taylor made a face as though he didn't agree. Joss felt personally attacked, and put her hands on her hips. "I'll remember this conversation around your birthday," she sniffed. Taylor laughed.
They talked and ate breakfast together, although her breakfast had been saltines. And no matter how many times she told Taylor to stay the night he insisted to stay at Paul's because they should have some alone time together. Her son was too smart for his own good. After Taylor left to go see his girlfriend, she called and told her mama the good news. An hour later and off the phone with her very excited mama with a few trips to the toilet sprinkled here and there, Joss agreed to go shopping with Grace when she received a text from John that it was going to be a while longer.
They were just window shopping when Joss stopped dead and stared inside. She glanced up and saw it was an antique shop. "We need to get inside!" she exclaimed and grabbed Grace's hand and tugged her friend along with her.
Grace happily came with a laugh. "What did you see?" she asked as she followed Joss.
Joss stopped in front of a bike, her old bike! She remembered it so perfectly. It was the very same pink bike with the white long seat that John lifted off her when she was six. It was only missing the basket but that had been an add-on her papa put on it for her, because she saw older neighborhood girls having one. She couldn't believe it. She didn't think she'd ever see it again.
"Ah eyeing our vintage Schwinn Stingray Pixie?" the older man with all white hair, mustache, and beard said as he approached them slowly with the use of a cane.
Joss nodded, not really knowing the name of the bike only that it was the bike. "I used to ride this when I was a little girl. It kind of has sentimental meaning too. My papa, who is gone now, added a basket for me," she admitted. Boy did it ever. She met John all because of a bike like this. "How much is it?" not seeing a price tag.
"We are asking $250 since it's in excellent shape but seeing as you like it so much I can bring the price down to $200," he offered.
"Deal," Joss agreed. She would have bought it full price but was grateful for the extra cash off. Grace wandered the shop and purchased a beautiful antique necklace and pocket watch. Apparently Harold was a collector of things like that, and the antique necklace was a gift for herself.
Once they exited Joss walked her new purchase back to her SUV. "Thank god, John took the car today and left me with the Acadia." she said as she opened the trunk and hefted the bike up into the back, and then added her other purchases and Grace's in with it.
"We should go somewhere and buy a little basket and attach it to the bike too to truly make it like your old bike. Why does it mean so much?—is it because of your father?" Grace asked curiously.
Joss smiled as she slammed the trunk shut and turned to look at her friend. "No, not really, papa added the basket because I was feeling left out by all the older kids in the neighborhood having them on theirs. The reason I have some sentimental value to an old bike like that one is because that bike is the reason I met John. I fell and he lifted it off me. After that, the rest you can say is history."
Grace grabbed her heart. "Wow, you two really were like childhood sweethearts. John sounds like he was a hero even at a young age."
Joss smiled and then looked through the darkened window to see the bike. "Yea, hopefully in less than nine months we end up with a girl who can eventually grow into riding that bike," she said slyly, then met Grace's eyes.
It took her all of two seconds to figure it out. "Oh my god, you're pregnant!" she exclaimed, then squealed which earned them looks by passersby, and drew her into an enthusiastic hug that Joss reciprocated. "I'm so happy for you, honey!"
"Thank you!" Poor John, at this rate he was going to be the last to know but she just couldn't keep it a secret much longer from Grace.
Finally Grace released her and grabbed her hands. "How far along are you?"
"Not far, my doctor thinks just eight weeks so I need to be very cautious. I've had miscarriages when I was younger. For the last ten days I felt a bit off but I had a big case I was working on so I thought the nausea was from stress but it hadn't been intense. But on Wednesday morning had been my first clue." she admitted. Luckily, she left for work after John did. They got ready together in the mornings for work so they could share breakfast. She tended to have an hour alone before going to work and Wednesday morning she spent it hugging the toilet throwing up her barely eaten breakfast. "At my lunch break I did a whole lot of calendar counting because I couldn't remember when my last period was, and then went to the pharmacy and bought a test and took it. It came back positive much to my co-workers delight."
"Let me tell you, it was difficult hiding the nausea in the mornings from John since finding out," she said. She hated lying to her husband but it was for his own good. But using the excuse that Andrea needed her help before the office opened, to skip out on breakfasts in the morning with him was a necessary fib. There was just no way to hide it otherwise. He'd know the instant he caught her getting sick every morning. "I didn't want him to know until I could go to the doctor, which I did on Friday and he confirmed it."
"How did John react?"
"He still doesn't know. Friday I took as a day to get acclimated with the fact I'm pregnant myself. Yesterday was my birthday and he had this entire evening planned out and I chickened out," Joss confessed, keeping her vitamins given to her from the doctor hidden away in her purse. "Basically everyone I know knows except him."
Grace smiled. "Are you telling him tonight?"
"Yes, I just am nervous how he's going to react."
"Weren't you trying?" she questioned with a furrow of her brows.
Joss looked away. "Not really. John thought I was still on birth control. I didn't tell him I didn't re-up my prescription," she replied and Grace's eyes widened. "John always wanted kids," she said defending herself. "But I knew he'd never ask me thinking I wouldn't want anymore. I think he was scared to have his heart broken by me if I said no. And I wanted to have a child with him, Grace, but I'm also realistic because of my age and was scared I wouldn't be able to conceive a child again. I didn't want any un-do pressure so when I needed to refill my prescription I decided to forego it and let fate decide for us. I mean we had a fifty-fifty shot of whether or not I'd end up pregnant each time we made love."
"When were you supposed to refill your prescription?"
"In November," she answered. They had unprotected sex for several months without her husband even knowing it.
"He's going to be so happy," her friend assured.
"I hope so." Joss knew it was always a dream of his but that didn't mean she didn't have some apprehension over this. John had no clue and maybe he had gotten used to not having a child. Oh god, she should have consulted him first.
Grace squeezed her hands as though she recognized her anxiety. Joss met her crystal blue eyes. "He's going to be blown away, honey. Trust your instincts that told you to make both your dreams come true."
John came home just after one in the afternoon. He had spent a long morning of declining hefty checks thrown at him to pose as Pierce's bodyguard, then reassuring the obnoxious blond of Shaw's abilities. Pierce balked again when he met her but finally after speaking with Shaw, he realized her chilly demeanor made up for her size, and seemed comforted by her verbal attacks. And they were a match made in hell too because John was afraid Shaw might actually kill Pierce herself.
Afterwards he spent some time looking over pending employees' résumés with Harold and finally left the office. Business was booming and they needed more employees to help. But the blitz of interviews wouldn't begin until next week.
John hung up his suit blazer and Bear immediately was there to greet him. He smiled at the dog and petted him happily. "Where's the woman of the house?" he asked the dog, as he gave Bear the pig-ear he tucked in his back pocket to surprise the dog. The woman of the house had her own surprise. But the dog didn't even bother to care about him after taking the treat and ran off in the direction of their living room off into the back of the house. He should have withheld the treat until after he got an answer.
"Wife, where are you?" he called out.
"In the bathroom, husband!" she shouted back, her voice coming from the half-bathroom that was in the tiny hallway that led to the back of the brownstone. He heard the toilet flush then the water run before she came out. The same increase of his heart rate and rush of happiness he always experienced whenever he saw her happened again. How had he ever ignored these feelings? Either it was sheer force of will and stubbornness, or just stupidity. As he eyed his wife, he decided it was stupidity.
He grinned as he pulled his arm out from behind him and held out a bouquet of roses. Her eyes widened. "These are for my beautiful wife for being so understanding when her husband had to bail on their normal Sunday off together," he murmured and watched with astonishment as she burst into tears. Okay, not the response he was anticipating, he wasn't the most romantic guy but he tried for Joss.
She scurried over and buried her face into his chest and he had no clue what was wrong. "Babe, what's wrong?" he soothed as he wrapped his arms around her, the roses dangled behind her back.
"You're perfect. How am I so lucky to be loved by you? Sometimes I wonder if this life is too good to be true, and I'll wake up and you won't be my husband."
His eyes widened. If anyone didn't deserve someone it was him of her. There were things he had done in war that made him think he wasn't worthy of her. But he pushed that part aside and focused on their love, on right here, and learning to be more open for her. He'd forever be grateful she loved him and he would always try to show her it.
"Joss, I love you."
She pulled back and kissed him tenderly then stepped back. "I love you too. I'm just…being emotional," she replied gently. John wondered if it was that time of the month for her. If it was he'd get her favorite sweats out, buy lots of chocolate tomorrow, and give her a long massage. Joss wiped her eyes and took the flowers. She inhaled them. "They're beautiful, thank you."
"Not nearly as much as you,"
She smiled slowly. "Damn that works so good." she muttered and kissed him again.
He chuckled against her mouth but didn't deepen the kiss. "Not a line when it's the truth, Joss," he said and took gentle sips of her lips. "Want to hear one though?"
She groaned and stepped away, turning to take the flowers into the kitchen letting him follow her. Joss grabbed a vase and his eyes flitted over her butt. Leggings, what Joss called them, were a god-send. "Sure, let's hear what I missed out on," she agreed as she started the faucet.
"So, were you born in Tennessee?"
Joss arched a brow. "No, born and raised in New York," she answered, pretending he didn't know for the sake of this line of his. She set the roses into the vase and settled it on the countertop while touching the petals and focusing her attention on John.
"Are you sure?—because you're the only ten I see."
She laughed and groaned at the awfulness of it. "That's your line?! You're lucky we were friends first with lines like that."
John lunged for her and she squeaked as she danced out of his reach but for only a moment as he collected her up against his chest. He bent to kiss her until she was breathless when he noticed something bike shaped and pink in their living room.
Joss pouted when he didn't kiss her instead he released her and entered their living room to investigate. He approached the bike and smiled at her as he touched it, recognition lighting his eyes up when he glanced back at her. Her heart sped up. This was it. What better moment to tell him she was pregnant with his child than while they reminisced?
"You're old bike," he murmured. He fingered the metal and then the basket that Grace had helped her attach to it.
She entered the living room with him trying hard to control her nerves and tears. "Can you believe I found it at an antique store with Grace?! Something I rode is considered an antique!" Joss stated with mock outrage.
The slow sexy grin as he looked her over which made her insides flip flop. "You're the sexiest relic I've ever seen," he teased.
Joss narrowed her eyes on him. "If I'm a relic, what does that make you Mr. Two-Years-Older-Than-Me?"
"Mature," he replied cheekily.
She snorted. "More like obsolete," she grumbled, which made him laugh.
"Perhaps, but we chose to be vintage together," he murmured with a wink. She smiled as she shook her head at him. His attention turned back to the bike and then her. "Are you planning on riding it?" Sure, it was now a bit small for her but she could still try.
"No, then you'll be lifting the damn thing off me again when I fall off it because it's small for me now." she joked with a laugh. Then drew in a big breath and her heart sped up. "Actually, I was thinking this bike would be perfect for a little girl," she said softly. Joss saw a flash of pure longing flicker in his eyes but it was gone in an instant.
"Do we know anyone that has a daughter?" he said softly.
She swallowed hard realizing he didn't get it, which meant she'd have to be clearer. "We'll find out in a matter of seven months or so if we will have one," Joss said, her voice sounding a little wobbly to her own ears as she spoke in a rush. And she then waited next to her husband.
He looked at her and her heart stopped at the intense look in his eyes. The sheer hope made her heart nearly break. "Joss, are you saying…"
"I'm pregnant, John," she stated, knowing he needed the words.
He stepped close and rested his big palms on her flat stomach, which they nearly covered it entirely. His eyes were on hers searching. "Are you positive?" he asked gruffly.
If this wasn't so serious she would have joked the toilet sure knew it in the mornings but instead she nodded. "I was sick all Wednesday morning after you left for work. Things started to add up and so I took a pregnancy test that afternoon and when it came back positive I immediately got an appointment with my doctor to confirm it. On Friday he said I'm about eight weeks along."
John kissed her hard but brief, and then hugged her. She held him as she felt his tears on her skin. Wordlessly they swayed for the longest time just standing and holding each other. Bear watched with anxiety, unsure what was wrong with his masters.
"Are you happy?" she whispered in his ear. His arms tightened around her. "I stopped taking my birth control when the prescription was up back in November. I didn't tell you because I didn't want you to be disappointed if it didn't happen."
"Joss," his voice sounded thick. "God, I love you."
She breathed him in. "Probably as much as I love you, John, but that didn't answer my question. Are you happy? I know you always wanted a child but this is happening fast. We've been married only several months."
He pulled back and she immediately reached up to rub away his tears and felt his hands drift to her stomach again. But this time he lifted her shirt up and out of his way to rest his hands bare against her. His fingers felt the jaggedness of her scar that almost took her from him.
John stared into her dark eyes that he always couldn't help but drown in. "We might have been only married a few months but we've love each other for our entire lives, Joss. I'm more than happy I'm…" he stopped feeling a bit choked.
She soothed him as she rubbed his hands on her belly. "I know. Me too, John, I've always wanted another child. It's like a dream."
"I'm almost scared to believe it."
"Just wait until I'm big as a balloon, you'll believe it then," she teased, gently.
"You'll be just as beautiful as you are today." he said and then leaned in and kissed her until they were both breathless, while still holding her stomach.
And seven months later a little girl with a mop of curls made their dreams all come true.
AN: This is it. Thank you for reading!