Hi everyone! Here is Chapter 1! Sorry it took me a while to get this chapter out. I'm still in the middle of moving houses and unpacking and also started a certification course so things have been crazy busy. I'm going to try to post updates at least once a week, tho I'm hoping for twice a week.
A couple WARNINGS for the story: There will be mention of abuse and rape and child trafficking so be advised. The first chapter turned out a little longer than I was hoping for but I wanted to establish the story well. Please let me know what you think of the start and what you'd like to see. Your reviews and messages absolutely make my day! Enjoy!
Hailey was pulled from her deep slumber by the twins kicking up a storm in her belly. Feeling their feets and fists against her skin, her ribs, her bladder, her hand instinctively moved to rub the spot on her upper abdomen where she felt the most recent movement as her eyes tried adjusting to the dark of the room. Turning around towards her nightstand to check the time, she sighed at seeing the clock read 5:28am. The twins had been waking her up progressively earlier with each passing day this past week, jolting her awake with kicks and fists poking her insides, almost as if they were fighting for space in her belly the moment they woke up. Hailey couldn't really complain about feeling her boys' in action. Active babies meant healthy babies. The only caveat was, unfortunately for Hailey, they'd always start before her alarm. What was with these Halstead and hating sleep?
Knowing she wouldn't be going back to sleep, Hailey decided on getting an early start to her day: a very, very early start to her day. Quietly rolling herself out of bed, she dangled her feet off the bed and slowly stretched, careful to not wake Jay up, who was softly snoring against his pillow. Normally, the light sleeper he was, Jay would have woken up to the slightest movement and noise, but he had gotten home just a couple hours ago, exhausted from his stakeout with Adam, and he had been a goner since the moment his head hit his pillow.
Her stretching interrupted by more kicking, Hailey didn't even bother with looking for her slippers when she stood up and grabbed the baby monitor from the nightstand. She had stopped worrying about finding them since she'd hit about 20 weeks, and her belly made seeing her feet impossible: she hadn't looked down to see her feet in weeks. Instead, getting on her feel, she wobbled out of the room, grabbing her fuzzy pajama robe from where it was hung behind the bedroom door and putting it on on her way out.
The house was peacefully quiet as she made her way to the kitchen wobbling as quickly as her belly let her. That morning marked the end of the 36th week of her pregnancy, and last day of work before maternity leave, and surprisingly she was actually ready for it. While she had felt like taking maternity leave at 36 weeks had been too early when she had been pregnant with Aislyn, at 36 weeks pregnant with twins, she already felt like she was ready to pop, which her OB/GYN, Will, and Natalie had reassured her was expected with twins. They had informed her that almost half of pregnancies with twins went into labor around 36 weeks and Hailey should be prepared for anything, though she really hoped she went full term. Christmas was in a little over a week, and she didn't want them to spend the holidays at the hospital.
Quickly making herself some mint ginger tea in the kitchen, she hoped the herbal taste would suppress the nausea she felt creeping up on her, another new development in her pregnancy that she was assured was normal. Even though her pregnancy had thankfully been uneventful so far, especially once the morning sickness had died down after the first trimester, this return of nausea as she approached full term was an unpleasant surprise she hoped would not stick around. Throwing up the first couple weeks of her pregnancy was one thing; throwing up with a belly of two babies fighting for space in her womb, not able to even bend down properly was another. Regardless, she had made Jay stock up on her anti nausea tea, ginger candy, and saltines until the babies arrived.
Hailey put her hand on her belly and counted the babies' kicks as she waited for her tea to steep, a habit she'd gotten into since she'd read about the importance of monitoring the babies' movements once they started kicking. The first kicks… She'd thought she knew what to expect with her second pregnancy, but those first kicks had surprised her just like it was the first time. Then in time, she'd realized she could tell the difference between the babies' movements: One would move with strong, sudden kicks with short pauses while the other would move in softer, more continuous, kicks. Though one thing was common: they were VERY active.
Once the tea was steeped enough and ready to drink, Hailey held the cup against her chest with both hands, and breathed in the soft scent of mint and sweet ginger. Her body relaxed against the warmth vibrating against her skin in the early December morning as she took a couple sips and brainstormed how she could spend the rest of her time before Jay and Ailsyn woke up and they had to get ready.
Deciding on checking on the twins' room, she wobbled back up the stairs with her mug of tea, to what used to be Jay's office now turned into the nursery in progress, though office was a strong word for where he kept his old computer, a bookshelf with a couple books and his military honors, and stacked boxes from his bachelor pad that he hadn't opened since they'd moved in together. The first order of business had been to sort through his boxes, pack and store everything he didn't need. Then, once they'd found out the genders of the babies and the unit had thrown Hailey a surprise baby shower, they'd painted the room, and bought furniture, toys, and baby clothes.
After seeing how quickly Aislyn's nursery changed and she grew out of its initial decor in just two years, Jay and Hailey had decided to keep the twins' nursery simple. The room was spacious with two large windows that lit up the room when the sun was out. They'd painted the walls a soft baby blue and put pastel army green curtains on the windows. Two cherry wood cribs were placed side by side against the wall between the windows, both with matching white, navy, and green pillows and sheets, and matching furniture surrounded the room. Each crib had a large plush bear that Aislyn had picked next to the pillows. She had insisted that her brothers start off life right, with their own personal Mr. Bears. Over each crib, the names they'd picked were displayed in matching cherry wood letters: Jaxson and Tyler. They still had a couple picture frames to hang up and some of the gifts from the baby shower to put away, but for the most part, the nursery was ready for the babies' arrival; Jay and Hailey hoped they would be too when the time came.
With her mug of tea in one hand, and the baby monitor in the other, she walked over to the rocking chair in the corner of the room and sat down, taking in the peace and quiet of the nursery. In a short couple weeks, or possibly even in days as her OB had warned her, all this peace and quiet would permanently change, the action in her tummy would fill this room, and their life as they knew it would blossom into something new overnight. It was both exciting and terrifying at the same time. Sure they'd already been doing this parenthood thing for over two years now, and she wanted to believe they were doing a fairly good job at it too, but two new babies, having three kids under the age of five with the job they had, she'd be lying if she said she wasn't nervous about what their new normal would be. What would happen when they had rough cases, or if they needed to go undercover? How could they put their lives at risk every day knowing that there are three little humans waiting for them at home, who need them to survive? God forbid, what if something happened to one of them or both of them? "You know it's waaaay too early to be thinking that hard." Her thoughts were interrupted by her husband's voice coming from the door. Turning her head towards the source of the sleepy voice, she was surprised to see Jay standing at the door in an old gray t-shirt and black sweatpants, rubbing his face in an attempt to rub the sleepiness away. "And don't even try denying it. I can hear your gears turning from our bedroom down the hall." He said as he walked over to her and Hailey stood up to greet him. "Couldn't sleep?" He pulled her in his arms and held her close, as much as her belly let him.
"I could, but your sons had other ideas." They felt a strong kick and looked down at her belly. "Like that one. It's like a kickboxing ring in there." Hailey sighed as more kicks followed.
"How long have you been up?" Jay asked, placing a hand on the spot they felt the baby kick, and started rubbing soothing circles over it.
"What time is it?"
"About 6:10." It was six o'clock already? Hailey didn't realize how long she'd sat in the nursery.
"Then almost an hour."
"What can I do to make it better?" He asked as he continued rubbing her belly.
"You're already doing it. They're starting to calm down." She closed her eyes and leaned further into his embrace.
"Yeah?" He smiled, looking down at her belly, feeling the movements under his palm soften.
"I might have you stay at home with them and I go back to work since they listen to you so well." Hailey joked and Jay chuckled.
"Anything to make this easier for you, babe." He leaned down to put a kiss on her lips and squatted down to her belly's level when they pulled apart. "Hey boys, it's dad speaking. What do you say we give mom a break on her last day of work and save up that energy for when you're born and we get to do all kinds of fun, active things." He spoke to her belly, Hailey watching everything with so much love in her heart, wondering how she got so lucky with this man. He was such a natural with Aislyn, and now with the twins even while they were in her belly, and Hailey knew that he'd continue being the best father their kids could ask for.
Jay had been absolutely terrified and so insecure about the idea of having sons when they'd first found out the genders of the twins. Having had a strained relationship with his own father, he was scared of pushing his sons away like his father did to him and Will. He never wanted his sons to think they weren't good enough for him, that he wasn't proud of them, because there was nothing in the world that would make him prouder than his kids' happiness and health. One evening after a rough case, he had voiced his concerns to Voight, his boss and the only father figure left in his life, and his words had somehow eased his fears. Son, your concerns are proof that you will do everything you can to not become your father. Parenthood is all about mistakes. Just never be too proud to admit to them. Then he'd realized, with Hailey by his side, calling him out when he needed to be called out and supporting him unconditionally, he'd be okay at this fatherhood thing after all.
"Yup, you are definitely taking some paternity leave." Hailey declared and they laughed as he stood back up. "You think Voight would be okay losing both his detectives?" Hailey asked, knowing it was not likely that they'd get extended leaves approved at the same time.
"Meh, we can take turns." He laughed. "And it's shocking to say, but I think our boss might have a soft spot for our kids."
"Says the man who is wrapped around our two year old's finger." They laughed again until their moment was interrupted by babbling coming from the baby monitor and their heads turned to look at the monitor sitting on the side table next to the rocking chair. "Speaking of whom… Why don't you go shower and get ready while I'll get her ready? Then we can switch and you keep her company and get breakfast going while I shower?"
"I've been up for a while and am awake enough to handle a toddler." She patted him on the shoulder as they started heading outside the nursery. "You go shower."
"I'll be in Ace's room in twenty tops."
"Take your time. We don't have to leave for awhile." Hailey told him once they reached Aislyn's room.
"Twenty minutes." Jay insisted, gave her a peck on the lips, and walked back to their room as Hailey walked into Aislyn's to find her sitting in her crib, rubbing her eyes as she hugged her Mr. Bear. It was an early morning in the Halstead house, but Aislyn's sleepy 'good morning' and cheeky grin made it worth it.
In an hour or so, everyone in the house was showered and dressed with full tummies and ready to start their days. They had a little under half an hour to get on the road to drop Aislyn off at daycare and get to the district for Hailey's last day before maternity leave. Jay was on the couch watching the game recap of the night before's Blackhawks' game against the Nashville Predators, while Hailey was helping Aislyn pick out her hat, scarf and gloves for her first field trip at daycare. "Alright, Miss Ace, do you want your pink winter set?" Hailey leaned down to Aislyn's level and held up the pink fuzzy beanie in one hand. "Or do you want the red one?" She held a red puffy winter hat with a white pompom in the other.
"Red!" Aislyn pointed at her red winter set and giggled. "Wif puffy pom pom!"
"Alright, red one it is." Hailey carefully stood up and grabbed the matching scarf and mittens from Aislyn's dresser. "And where do we put our hat, scarf and gloves when we aren't wearing them?" Hailey asked, handing the hat to her daughter.
"In myw baggie." Aislyn answered, proud of her answer, before grabbing the hat from her mom and walking over to her go bag/ diaper bag to put her hat in the side pocket.
"Great job, baby." Hailey walked over to her and grabbed the bag after giving Aislyn a quick kiss on the cheek to show her praises. "Now that your bag is all set, what do you say we go back to daddy?" Hailey put the bag over her shoulder and offered her hand for Aislyn to take.
"Yay!" She grabbed the hand offered to her and happily cheered. "Mommy, how awe babies?" She asked, looking at Hailey's round belly, as they walked out of her room.
"They are doing really good, baby."
"Good! They come out?"
"They will, soon."
"Soon? Caw you tell be fast? I wanna meewt them!" Hailey giggled at her daughter's enthusiasm. With each passing day her belly grew, Aislyn kept asking them when she'd get to meet her baby siblings.
"I'm sure they are excited to meet you, too, sweetie, but remember why they are in mommy's tummy?"
"So they gwow."
"Yup! That's why we have to wait for them to be ready to come out. So they can grow strong and healthy." Hailey explained with a hand on her belly and Aislyn nodded in understanding.
"I hope they ready fast." She added as they reached the bottom of the stairs and Aislyn ran to Jay who was on the couch still, and jumped on his lap.
"There's my Ace! You ready for your big trip, baby girl?" Jay asked as he turned the TV off and stood up with Aislyn in his arms.
"I go see coowl stuff! Miss Miwey said so!"
"You promise to listen to Miss Miley when you're at the museum?"
"And you remember what mommy and I talked to you about going out?"
"Staw wif cwass and Miss Miwey."
"Tell gwown up if twicky pewple come to me."
"That's my girl." Jay put a kiss on her cheek and turned to his wife who was already at the door grabbing Aislyn's jacket from the coat hanger. "We all set?"
"Yup. Her bag's all packed." Hailey answered, holding the bag up as proof. "You signed the permission slip for their trip right?" Jay nodded.
"Already gave it to Mrs. Summers when I went to see Ace during my lunch break yesterday." He explained as he put Aislyn down when they reached the entrance and helped her put her shoes on while Hailey helped her into her jacket and wrapped her in her winter set before they put their own shoes and jackets on. Walking out the door, they were ready to get on with their days, or so they thought.
The first half of the work day hadn't been too eventful. It was almost lunch time and Hailey was alone in the bullpen, working on the last of her notes for the recent drug ring case the unit was investigating. It was the very early stages of the investigation, and each set of partners were either out on surveillance or gathering information from CIs, waiting for intel on something big happening so the unit could set up for a bust. She was working on a list of potential gang members and ring connections when she was interrupted by a couple kicks to the ribs that were strong enough to stop her from scribbling her notes mid word. Putting the pen down, she pushed her chair back to settle into a comfortable position, and started rubbing the spot on her 36 week pregnant belly where she felt the kicks. "So that's how it's gonna be, huh, boys?" She asked, talking at her baby bump. "You guys are gonna continue celebrating momma's last day at work with some more kickboxing?" She received more kicks in response and rolled her eyes. In moments like these, she could swear she had two mini copies of Jay in her belly. "I'll make you guys a deal: How about we let me work for a little more, and I promise I'll make daddy get us Bartoli's for dinner?" Her deal must not have been good enough that she only received more kicks in response. "It's just gonna be an active day then, huh?" She continued rubbing her belly when she heard footsteps and talking coming from the stairwell, however, instead of the usual quiet muttering and footsteps of a partner duo, it was loud laughter and multiple feet coming up the stairs. Maybe she wouldn't be returning to that case file after all.
Hailey's thoughts were confirmed when the entire unit appeared at the bullpen, Kevin and Adam holding pizza boxes and drinks, and Vanessa holding a box of pastries as Hailey looked at her husband with questioning eyes.
"It's a 'happy last day of work' pizza party!" Kim happily explained, catching up on the silent exchange between the two detectives.
"Sure, let's say it's for me." Hailey responded with a smile and rolled her eyes. "You people are willing to use anything as an excuse for pizza, aren't you?"
"When Sarge pays? Absolutely!" Adam chimed and the whole group laughed while they started setting up the food on Kevin and Adam's desks, and paper plates started getting passed around.
"It is from Bartoli's." Jay held up a box, knowing how much of a soft spot his wife had for their favorite pizza joint.
"And Frank Bartoli sent you a box of cannolis to say congrats." Vanessa pointed at the pastry box she set aside. "How often do you two eat there?"
"We used to go once a week, got to know Frank really well." Hailey reminisced about the early stages of their partnership and relationship. Whenever they needed to do their thing, it was always over pizza and beer, which would be later followed up by some harder liquor.
"Yea, but then turns out pizza is not an acceptable food group for a two year old, so it's every other week now." Jay answered Vanessa's initial question and Hailey snorted at his answer while grabbing a slice for herself.
"We really stopped going every week because Jay started losing his abs." She corrected him, sending everyone into fits of laughter as Jay looked at her pretending to be hurt. "What? You said it yourself."
"Wow, you're really gonna out me like that? I thought we had that spousal privilege thing?" he pouted as their friends and colleagues watched in amusement. A playfully bickering married Hailey and Jay was a foreign sight to see at the bullpen. They did a really good job at keeping things professional in front of an audience.
"We do, but then you kept me from my favorite pizza and a girl's gotta have her priorities." Hailey mock shrugged before giving in and offering him a wink as another round of laughter followed.
"Yo Halstead, you can crash on my couch when Hailey leaves you for Frank Bartoli." Kevin offered with sympathy.
"He did seem like an adorable guy, Jay. I wouldn't blame Hailey." Vanessa went along with her partner's joke.
"Alright, can we stop talking about my wife leaving me for a 70 year old man?"
"A 70 year old man with great pizza." Kim added, taking a bite from her slice.
"And with that, I'm gonna go eat in the break room." Jay pretended to walk away from the group, only to be stopped by Hailey's holding his hand.
"No, don't leave me. I need you to talk to YOUR sons and calm them down so I can eat in peace." She pulled him next to her to take on a seat on her desk. "Please?"
"Damn right my sons." Jay protectively declared and everyone laughed once again. It was nice to get these moments where they got to joke and laugh in the bullpen. While more common, they were almost as rare as witnessing Mr. and Mrs. Halstead and not Upton and Halstead.
"Alright, caveman, eat your pizza." Hailey playfully nudged his arm and quickly the conversation changed from roasting Jay to how the twins were doing and how Hailey was feeling on her last day at work, and the last weeks of her pregnancy.
They were almost all done with their lunch and dessert and Hailey was joking about her conversation with Jay from earlier that morning about how Jay should ask Voight for paternity leave when they realized that their Sergeant had yet to join them.
"Speaking of Sarge, where is he?" Vanessa asked, her eyes landing on their boss's empty office.
"I thought he was in on all of this?" Hailey asked, referring to Adam's comment about how Voight paid for the pizza.
"He said he was gonna be here but it's Voight so who knows?" Adam offered his version of an explanation just as footsteps were heard from the stairwell and all eyes turned in that direction. While they were expecting their Sergeant to join in on the pizza party and then order them to get back to work, they were surprised to see Hank walk up to the bullpen with Trudy behind him, both with sour expressions on their faces, and every member of the unit froze in anticipation. They just watched the two sergeants stand in front of their group, a thick silence surrounding the room, and they knew that the look on their sergeant's face meant bad news, and it wasn't for the case they were working on. Whatever it was, it was personal.
"Sarge?" Jay's words cut through the silence like a knife, forcing Hank to look up into his detective's eyes. "Sarge, what is it?" Jay repeated his question when he couldn't read Hank's expression, and got no response from either sergeant. By now, worst case scenarios were filling everyone's head.
"Jay… Hailey…" Hank finally spoke, directing all his attention to his detectives and Hailey reached for Jay's hand, both of them paralyzed by fear. He'd addressed them as Jay and Hailey, not Upton and Halstead. "I want you both to stay calm."
"Sarge?" Jay's voice cracked and tears were ready to fall down Hailey's cheeks, neither was ready to hear what Hank had to say.
"We just got a 42-50 call from Chicago Childrens' Museum." Everyone's hearts dropped at the information coming from Trudy. They didn't need Trudy to speak the words to know what was happening.
"No… no…" Hailey whispered to herself, squeezing Jay's hand even stronger.
"The units on scene are already on it, but it's Aislyn." Hearing their daughter's name leave Trudy's lips, an agonized sob escaped Hailey's chest as Jay quickly gathered her in his arms. Their daughter was kidnapped.
And there it was, chapter 1! What a cliffhanger, huh? Sorry to end this chapter in this fashion but I promise the next chapters will be worth it! I hope y'all enjoyed what you read so far. I will also try to post some fluffy Upstead pregnancy one shots to lighten the mood of this story so I hope you guys don't hate me for this story's slightly morbid plotline. As always, looking forward to reading what you thought about the story. Until next time, stay safe out there and be kind to yourself and others!
A/N about current events: I just want to put a short note here about what's happening in the U.S. (where I currently live) My heart is full of sadness to witness the tragedy of George Floyd and I wholeheartedly believe we should stand up to social injustice in kindness, peace and solidarity. Change comes in a variety of ways, and we should support one another as we occupy any and all lanes of change.