Truth and Discovery:

A Therethan Trifecta

(Disclaimer: I own none of the characters or locations in this story-they are all property of NBC. I simply rewrote part of the storyline to reflect how I would have liked to see the storyline go.)

A couple of days before Ethan and Gwen's wedding, Theresa was holding Little Ethan when she looked down at him and noticed for the first time that he looked nothing like Julian. She realized, as she gazed lovingly at her son, that he reminded her every bit of Ethan. She decided to put her suspicions to the test and contacted Dr. Russell to ask about a paternity test. Theresa knew that if she could prove her suspicions true, that Ethan was in fact Little Ethan's biological father, that she would be on an even playing field with Gwen. She knew she had to act quickly, for Gwen and Ethan's wedding was only two days away.

"Hello, Dr. Russell," Theresa said as Dr. Eve Russell answered the phone.

"Well, hello, Theresa," Dr. Russell replied. "What can I do for you?"

"Dr. Russell," Theresa replied, excitement in her voice. "I need you to run a DNA test on Little Ethan for me. I have a feeling that Julian may not be Little Ethan's father after all; and if he's not, there is only one man who could possibly be his father. I think Ethan is his biological father, because he looks just like him. I was just watching him sleep in my arms and noticed that he looks nothing like Julian. Will you run the test for me, please?"

"Well, Theresa," Dr. Russell began. "You remember what we talked about the day we found out you were pregnant. You were on birth control when you and Ethan made love, but neglected to take any further doses in all the excitement and chaos of what was supposed to be your wedding day."

"Yes, Dr. Russell," Theresa began. "I remember full well what we talked about that day. I have been thinking more and more about that as the days have gone by, and I remembered something that completely slipped my mind that day, I guess because of all the chaos that ensued then. Yes, I had taken a dose of the birth control the day I made love to Ethan, but that was the only dose I took. I had just picked up the pills that morning, and had just begun my regimen. I did some research, and apparently you're supposed to be on birth control for a full cycle for it to be effective—I wasn't. Also, I discovered through my research that sperm can survive in a woman's body for three days following intercourse, which means that I could have been—and most likely was—pregnant before I went to Bermuda. So, even if Julian did take advantage of me when I was passed-out drunk, there is a very strong possibility that I was already carrying Little Ethan when that travesty occurred."

"Well, Theresa," Dr. Russell replied. "You do make some very good points. All right, I'll do the test; however, I do want to some research myself so that you will have me, the test results, and the research to back you up, should your suspicions prove to be correct."

"Thank you Dr. Russell!" Theresa replied ecstatically. "You don't know what this means to me!"

"You're very welcome, Theresa." Dr. Russell replied. "Now, I need you to bring Little Ethan to the hospital as soon as possible. Ethan's DNA is already in our system, so all we need to do is map out Little Ethan's DNA and put it into our system. Then we can run it against Ethan's and Julian's DNA. Let's hope Ethan is a match."

"We'll be there in twenty minutes!" Theresa replied as she grabbed her purse and said goodbye to Dr. Russell. She grabbed her cell phone and her keys, and after buckling Little Ethan into his car seat, she made her way to Harmony Medical Center.

When Theresa arrived at the hospital, Dr. Russell ran the test, and Ethan was determined to be Little Ethan's father. Dr. Russell gave Theresa a copy of the test results, as well as a folder with copies of the birth control and reproductive research she had finished just before Theresa arrived with Little Ethan.

Theresa wasted no time in calling Ethan, telling him that he and Gwen needed to come to Dr. Russell's office immediately.

"Theresa, we can't," came the reply. "We're at the church, tending to last minute wedding details. Can it wait?"

"No, Ethan, it can't," Theresa replied. "Dr. Russell and I will be at the church in fifteen minutes."

"All right, Theresa," Ethan said. "Just don't try to start any trouble with Gwen when you get here, okay?"

"I won't Ethan," Theresa replied. "We'll see you in a little bit."

With that, Theresa, Little Ethan, and Dr. Russell made their way to the church and proceeded to inform Ethan and Gwen of their discovery.

"Theresa, just give it up already," Gwen said with an exasperated sigh. "Ethan and I are getting married in two days and there's nothing you can do to stop it."

"Gwen, honey," Ethan began. "Please don't pick a fight with Theresa. I am sick to death of you two constantly bickering all the time. Please just calm down and be civil for once. Now, Theresa, what was it you wanted to talk to me about?"

"I have something very important to tell you," Theresa began nervously. "But first, I have a quick question for you, and I want your complete honesty."

"Okay, Theresa," Ethan replied. "What's your question?"

"What I want to know is, if Gwen weren't pregnant, which one of us would you be planning a wedding with right now; which one of us would you be marrying? Remember, I want you to be completely honest with us, yourself, Father Lonigan, and God."

"Theresa," Ethan began. "Why are you asking that question again? It doesn't matter because Gwen is pregnant with my child, and I am going to marry her in two days' time."

"Ethan," Theresa replied, matter-of-factly. "I told you that I wanted complete honesty from you, and you are avoiding the question altogether. Be honest with yourself for once, then maybe you can be honest with me and Gwen. We at least deserve that."

"You know, she's right Ethan," Gwen said, as a shocked Theresa waited for Ethan's answer. "I actually want to know that as well. What's the answer Ethan? Would you be marrying Theresa right now or me if I weren't carrying your child? If your answer is Theresa, then that means you lied to me when I asked you why you were so quick to propose to me when you found out I was pregnant. I am not an obligation, Ethan, and neither is our baby. I have already told you that. If your answer turns out to be Theresa, then we're postponing the wedding, and you're going to take some time to yourself to think about things and really make your mind up about what—and who—you truly want."

"Okay, okay," Ethan replied, nervous about what Gwen and Theresa's reactions would be once he truthfully answered Theresa's question. "I was planning on marrying Theresa until I found out that you were pregnant with my baby, Gwen. For me, that changed everything. You were packing your bags to go to New York, and I desperately wanted to be part of my child's life. You even told me that if I chose Theresa you would go to New York and I'd never see my baby. I was terrified, and yes, the first time I proposed after that was because of the baby—because I wanted to do right by you and the baby. I did a great deal of soul searching after that, and I even went to my dad for advice. He told me that if he had known that my mother was pregnant with me, he would have married her in a heartbeat. He also said, however, that although he knew I loved you and how you were my first love, that Theresa was the love of my life. He was right, but when he told me what he told me about my mother, I thought about it a little more and realized that you were making me a father. I realized how much I still love you and decided that I wanted a life with you. Later, I proposed to you again, and you accepted.

The truth is, however, that if you weren't pregnant Gwen, I would be marrying Theresa instead of you. As much as I love you Gwen, I love Theresa too. No matter how hard I try, I can't get her out of my head—or out of my heart. I've tried, Gwen—believe me, I've tried. I'm sorry Gwen. I never wanted to hurt you, I never wanted to hurt either one of you. I'm sorry, so sorry."

"Well, Ethan," Gwen began, fighting back tears. "I'll make a few phone calls and postpone the wedding, at least until you take the time to really think about what—and who—you truly want."

"Okay, Gwen," a guilt-stricken Ethan replied. "I'm okay with whatever you decide."

"Good then," Gwen replied. "Consider the wedding postponed."

"Theresa," Ethan said. "Wasn't there something else you wanted to say?"

"Yes, Ethan," Theresa began, handing him the folder she had been holding for some time. "In this folder, you will find papers showing that Little Ethan is your biological son, along with research documents that explain how and why that is possible."

"WHAT!" Gwen shot back in disbelief. "Julian is Little Ethan's father! We all know it. Look, you slept with him in Bermuda—that's when Little Ethan was conceived. I mean, you never even slept with Ethan anyway."

"Gwen," Ethan began. "That's not true. Theresa and I made love on the beach the night before we were supposed to be married."

"That's right Gwen," Theresa began. "Ethan and I made mad, passionate love to each other all night long to the sounds of the waves crashing along the shore and the roar of a crackling fire. It was the best night of our lives."

"Easy, Theresa," Ethan began. "Gwen is already upset. No need to rub it in, I don't want her getting so upset that she loses the baby."

"Okay, Ethan," Theresa said. "I'll be more sensitive toward Gwen."

"Thank you, Theresa," Ethan replied. "Dr. Russell, how accurate is this?"

"Very accurate, Ethan" Dr. Russell replied. "I ran the test myself to be completely sure. Little Ethan is your son."

"Wow! I still can't believe it—I have a son! Little Ethan is my son! Theresa made me a father! Wait a sec—this changes everything! Ladies, I need to go speak with Father Lonigan and pray about this. I really need to be sure that whomever I marry, I marry for the right reasons. I want the two of you to go where each of you shared your first kiss with me. Whomever I come to first is the woman I've chosen to marry. After today, I will have made my final decision. I want you both to respect and accept it. I don't want any more fighting between the two of you, understand? I don't want any more chaos—it stops now."

"Okay, Ethan," Theresa and Gwen replied in unison. "You have our word."

"Good!" Ethan replied. "Now, off to your destinations while I contemplate what to do."

With that, Theresa and Gwen each went to the location where they shared their first kiss with Ethan—Theresa to the wharf, and Gwen to the tree near the gazebo in her parents' back yard. Dr. Russell left to go home and cook supper for her family.

Ethan proceeded into the rectory with Father Lonigan, and they prayed together about Ethan's decision. They talked, and prayed a little more, until Ethan finally decided who he truly wanted to be with. He parted ways with Father Lonigan and made his way toward the woman he would be spending the rest of his life with.

Theresa and Gwen were pacing nervously in their respective locations. Ethan arrived at the location of the woman he would soon be marrying. He walked up behind her, and put his hands over her eyes.

"Hello, beautiful!" Ethan said with a huge smile.

"Ethan! I knew you'd come!" came her reply. "One thing though, have you been to see Gwen yet?"

"No, I haven't," Ethan said. "I'll let her down gently later on tonight. Right now, I have a very important question to ask you."

Ethan dropped to one knee. "Theresa Lopez-Fitzgerald, will you make me the happiest man in the world and be my wife?"

"Yes! Yes! Oh, Yes!" Theresa replied. "I would love nothing more than to be your wife. One thing first: are you completely sure that I am the woman you want to spend your life with?"

"Of course I am, Sweetheart," Ethan began, as he winked at the beautiful woman standing before him. "It's fate!"