Chapter 21 – No More Complications
A/N: Well here we are at the end folks! I am sorry that not everyone that started reading and reviewing this story wanted to stay to the end but I do appreciate those loyal readers that took the time to read and review every chapter faithfully. Alice thanks you so much and really hopes you like this ending :D
A/N 2: to Brii - sorry you do not have an account so I cannot answer anything personally and hope you see this. Thank you for reading and hope you like this ending. Alice is my muse. So yeah I guess you can say these are all joint efforts haha but only with me and my inspiration who finally after 10 years on this site has a name. THanks again.
"Mac...I'm pregnant...we are going to have a family."
~Nine Months Later~
"Okay Stella, once more…push for me," Dr. Adams encourages as he assists Stella in the birthing suite in the hospital, Mac at her side, holding her hand; Millie on the other side modestly filming the birth of her first grandchild; while the rest of their friends and waited patiently outside.
"Ahhhhh!" Stella groans once more, her fingers clamping down around Mac's as she gives her all once more with another firm push.
"The head is out…Stella just a bit more," Dr. Adams states firmly as the room explodes with a flutter of activity. "You can do it."
"Come on Stella," Mac gently urges.
"Mac I….ahhhhh," Stella belts out once more and then pain instantly subsides, their baby was out.
"I got...him. You have a son," Dr. Adams tells them. "A beautiful baby boy."
"A boy…Mac," Stella gasps as she looks up with teary eyes, her hand still tightly clenched with his. "Look at him."
"Our son," Mac smiles as he leans in and kisses her damp forehead.
"Here you go Mac," Dr. Adams hands Mac a clean pair of surgical scissors to cut the umbilical cord with and then their baby is whisked away to be checked over, a good healthy cry issuing forth in mere seconds, causing both parents to look at each other and smile or sob. Millie rushes in and gives Mac a hug and kiss and then leans in and along with Stella, offers happy tears as she kisses her beloved daughter in law.
"And to the happy mother," Dr. Adams hands a mostly cleaned but still crying baby boy to his mother.
"Oh god…" Stella whispers as she props herself up a bit more and cradles the little baby in her grasp. "He's…perfect," she whimpers as she kisses his head, making eye contact.
"Mac you can hold him for a bit but I do want Stella to try to breast feed him as soon as possible."
Millie takes a few pictures of Stella holding her son and then of Mac holding his son and then of the new family altogether before she leaves the room, allowing Stella to feed, Mac to stay with his wife and offer loving comfort and the nurses to clean things up and get a room ready for Stella for overnight, she would be okay to leave the following day.
Mac looks down as Stella arranges their son on her chest and allows his tiny soft pink lips to find her nipple and start to hungrily suck away on the nourishing fluids. Mac's fingers gently touch his son and then move to Stella's face and rest on her flushed cheek.
"I love you so much," he utters in truth as leans in and kisses her on the lips.
"I love you too Mac. Look at the beautiful little human we created together."
"He's so perfect," Mac whispers as he tries to fix Stella's pillow a little better. Both of them sit in silence a bit longer, just watching their son enjoying his milk before Stella switches to her other breast and allows their son to resume his meal. Dr. Adams comes back and starts to give them some instructions; telling them they already had the toddler phase down but they had to deal with newborn stuff before then.
After he was finally full, the tiny baby rests his head on his mother's chest, his tiny watery blue eyes trying to fix on the face of his father.
"Hello Jacob," Mac officially greets his son. His fingers brush the reddish skin on his son's cheek and then move to the dusting of golden brown hair on top of his head before Mac leans in and kisses his skin, his eyes watering once more. They were given a sample routine of eating and changing their new baby boy, telling them that in the first few months, he would most eat, sleep and poop.
"Yeah Mac has diaper duty down pat," Stella teases. They stay in the birthing suite a bit more before Stella is moved to a private room and the team is finally allowed to come in, but only in pairs as per Mac's direction. Reed and Mira were allowed first, along with Don as he was on call.
"Hey I'm just happy I won the baby pool," Flack boasts.
"It was rigged," Mac ribs his friend.
"I am so happy for you both," Mira smiles as she hugs Stella and kisses Mac. "What's his name?"
"I guess I can't call you gramps anymore right?" Reed teases and then stops as he and Don wait for Stella to tell them the baby's name.
"Jacob Reed Taylor," Mac tells them, prompting Reed to look at Mac in shock before he gives him another big hug. "But the first time I hear a JR from you, I'll revoke the Reed part," Mac teases. He then looks to Flack with a warm smile, forcing Flack to just arch a brow and cock his head. "Don, both Stella and I would like to ask you something."
"You want a Don Flack junior as well?" Flack teases.
"No, if you'd be open to it, we'd like you to be the godfather to Jacob."
"Mac, I um…" he pauses and then looks at Stella who nods in agreement. "I would be honored."
"Picture of the two godfathers," Millie smiles, referring of course to Mac as Levi's godfather. Mac turns back to see Levi trying climb up to inspect the little being offering soft whimpering sounds as he lay on his mother's chest.
"Babeee..." Levi offers as Mira looks at him with a smile.
"Yes that's right, that's the baby we told you about. That's Jacob. Just don't...Levi."
"I got him. Hey come here squirt," flack picks up Levi and gives him a big kiss. Levi, who was now walking, finally squirms out of Flack's grasp and tries to run for the door, Flack in tow.
"He's your godfather?" Reed teases just as Flack grabs a laughing Levi and brings him back.
"I heard that," Flack groans.
"Mama!" Levi calls to Mira who quickly rescues him and takes him back to see Stella and Jacob.
The room again erupts into lively banter before it's time for Reed and Mira and Don to take their leave, Reed and Mira promising to drop by in a few days after they were settled and to offer whatever help they could and to just spend time altogether bond as new families and friends.
Mac had brought a sleeping chair into Stella's private room and takes Jacob, allowing Stella to get some much needed rest, assuring her he would wake her when Jacob needed to eat. Millie leaves them for a few hours, heading outside to get a few things for her new grandson, not caring if she was going to spoil the beautiful child right from the start.
Mac looks at Jacob in his arms and smiles, his precious son's face looking upward, intently studying the man that helped give him life. Mac's mind drifts back over the past nine months and how their lives had changed so much but for the better. Right from the start they had the teams support and Sinclair's as well. There had been a few tense moments, mostly with Stella and work but nothing that had caused any harm to the beautiful child in his arms.
Aubrey had gone back overseas, ducking out quietly right after the news broke that Mac and Stella were going to have a child of their own; Don being happy that he won the baby pool and Danny reminding him that it was rigged, but all of them eagerly offering babysitting duty, espeically the Messers as now Lucy had another baby to mother. Mac had told Sinclair that since he had more than enough vacation time coming, he would be off the same year as Stella, and that Danny and Sheldon would be in charge, with them of course only a phone call away.
'I don't want to miss the first year chief, I hope you understand.'
'Actually Mac…I do.'
After that there were lamas classes, Millie making arrangements to move to New York within the year, wanting them to spend as much time together as a new family without too much familial interference. But she did visit every few weeks so she was practically living there anyways.
Sex had become tough after about five months when Stella's belly got too big for anything traditional, forcing them to find creative ways to still enjoy each other in an intimate capacity.
'Sid I don't need…'
'Mac, it's I either give this to you now or wait until you open it at the baby shower,' Sid had laughed when he handed Mac the Sex for Expecting mothers book. 'Besides, you never let me give it to you at your personal shower.'
'We didn't have…'
'Exactly. Trust me Mac you'll need this. Now on page 25 there is a great way to use a chair so that…'
Mac had only looked at his seasoned Medical Examiner with a dry smile but as soon as the older man was out of sight, Mac had closed the door and was instantly invested in the book; so much so that as soon as he got home that night, he took Stella in his arms and they had, by her own admission, 'one of the hottest sexual romps to date'. That book was a blessing.
"My son," Mac whispers as he kisses the top of Jacob's head and then looks up to see Stella watching him with a tender smile. "He is the most…amazing thing in the world," Mac confesses as one strong arm holds his son while the other reaches out and clasps Stella's hand. "Seeing you today…give birth to our son…I um…I know the word love fits but…Stella I was in awe. How you kept him safe and healthy these past nine months inside you and then…" Mac's voice breaks as he looks away.
"What is it?" She asks in a sleepy tone.
"But it nearly killed me when I saw you in so much pain."
"All part of the process Mac," she winks and his face softens once more.
"Did it hurt?" Mac wonders.
"Like hell," she smirks. "Like someone took a blow torch and stuck it between my legs when he was coming out."
"But when he did...the pain it...Mac it was forgotten when I saw our beautiful son."
Jacob starts to make a soft fussing sound, signaling that he needs to be fed, prompting Mac to hand him over and then watch as Stella places him near her breast and his tiny lips latch on and he starts to feed.
"You know what's next right?"
"Diaper duty," Mac offers with a mock pout, making Stella giggle at his antics. "Do you need anything?"
"A truck load of Advil?" She asks weakly and then shakes her head. "I'm okay. A bit hungry but really just need a whole week of sleep."
"I think mom is bringing some food and she knows nothing too spicy," Mac recalls as he tells her. Jacob finishes his nourishing liquid and then is passed back to his father who gently burps him and goes to change his diaper. Just as he redressed in his soft blue sleeper, the Messer's arrive and the room is busy once more.
"Jacob," Lindsay smiles down at the baby in her arms. "Stella he's so beautiful."
"Why do they always compliment the mother only?" Danny laments.
"Hey when you push something the size of a watermelon out the opening the size of a lemon then you'll get kudos too," Lindsay teases and Danny's face cringes in mock pain.
"Ouch," Danny offers and then looks over at Mac who merely shakes his head. "Sorry big Mac, but yeah I am glad I didn't have to do that."
"Wuss," Lindsay teases. "Want to see Lucy? This is Jacob. Isn't he cute?"
"Yes. Can I take him home to play with me?"
"No sweetie, he has his own home to go to," Lindsay answers and Lucy rewards her with a downcast face, prompting Lindsay to look up at Danny. "That face you can take credit for if you'd like."
"Come here Lucy," Danny puts his daughter onto his lap and lets her very gently touch Jacob's tiny hands. "He really is great you guys," Danny praises. They all talk and laugh a bit longer before Stella tells them she needs to use the bathroom and Millie comes back with some dinner.
"I guess it's our turn to help plan a shower."
"Help?" Stella asks Lindsay just before she leaves.
"I'm helping Mira. Yeah we know it's not a surprise because a new mother hates surprise showers, trust me I know," Lindsay smiles before she gives her friend a hug. "See you soon."
Millie sets the food bags on the table and takes Jacob while Mac helps Stella to the bathroom. "Hello my precious little darling," Millie coos as she gently rocks Jacob who looks up at her with curious blue eyes. "You are so amazing," she whispers as her eyes also water at the perfect little being in her care. "And you have the best parents a child could hope for."
Mac and Stella come back and after Stella is settled they both start into a mild supper while Millie tells a few stories to Jacob, still in her grasp, telling her children she'd eat later, right now her grandson needed some attention. After supper was finished, Stella feeds Jacob again and then after Mac rocks him to sleep and places him into his hospital sleeping tub it's time for both of them to try to get some sleep.
Millie had taken a second round of gifts, flowers and cards to their apartment and let them try to get some sleep for the night. But as suspected, Jacob was up every few hours, wanting to be fed and then needing to be changed so a solid night's rest wasn't to be had. In fact that would be their routine for the next few weeks - life for them was about to change for good.
The next morning, Mac awakes to see Stella nursing Jacob, whispering to him soft words. His heart skips a few beats as he just watches in silence the growing bond of love. When she would hold Levi, the love she had was evident, but it was nothing compared to the look she was now giving her own child; it was, in his mind, a scene without words. It was pure love and how do you describe a feeling like that?
"Morning," his warm voice beckons her gaze in his direction.
"Morning," she answers with a warm smile.
"You have some color today," Mac notes as he leans in and gives her a kiss on the lips. "And you don't look as tired."
"You look a bit more rested as well, but you know the sleepless nights are only just starting," Stella reminds him. But just as she finishes feeding, a soft knock is heard at the door and in walks Sinclair.
"I can't stay long as I have to meet the mayor at nine but just thought I'd stop by," he greets them with a smile.
"Morning Sir," Mac offers a smile as he stands up and proudly shows off his son.
"You should be proud, both of you, he's beautiful."
"That is he," Stella agrees with a soft smile. Their superior stays a bit longer before he too must take his leave, telling them that he'll make sure he's at their shower no matter what. Millie arrives with some homemade breakfast and then they just relax until the Hammerback's arrive.
"Very relieved he has Stella's cute features," Sid ribs Mac who merely shakes his head. "Jacob Taylor. Good strong name just like his father."
"That it is," Stella agrees, knowing that Mac's modesty wouldn't allow him to take undue credit. "Course Sidney Taylor would have been just as strong," Sid jokes drawing a small eye roll from Alice his wife. Sid and Alice stay longer, offering some seasoned parenting tips of their own and helping with Jacob when Stella needed Mac's help in the bathroom and Millie was out of the room.
By the late afternoon, Dr. Adams returns to see how Stella is doing and since she had only minimal blood loss would be able to go home and finish the rest of her healing in the comfort of familiar surroundings. Of course with strict orders to do no lifting, straining or anything that could open the birthing stitches or cause her pain. Mac and Millie gather up the rest of the gifts and such and then the three of them slowly leave the hospital, Stella carrying Jacob and then letting Mac put him into his travelling chair in the back of the Avalanche and then it was finally time to head for home.
"I really do hate hospitals," Stella smirks as they enter their own apartment and she slowly wanders toward their bedroom, Mac following with Jacob. She enters and notices the small sleeping bassinet that Sid had given them; placed beside their bed for the first few months until Jacob would sleep on his own in his crib. Since they had already made up the room that Levi had previously used, it really wasn't much to transform it into a room for their own child.
Stella's mind remembers Mira and Reed visiting frequently over the past nine months and both her and Mac were more than delighted to have been on hand when Levi not only took his first step but also said his first word 'mama' and then 'dada' and that was it. Now it had been nonstop baby gibberish and chasing the energetic toddler wherever his little legs could take him. But they also had the privilege of babysitting Levi when Mira and Reed went out, following their example and insisting on an adults-only date night and that helped them bond with Levi as well as continue to prepare them for when they had a child that was his age, past one and really starting to display his personality.
Mac places Jacob into the bassinet and then eases himself down onto the bed beside his wife, wrapping his arms around her as he covered them with the blanket and then both falling into a light slumber. Millie finishes in the living room and then wanders in their direction when she hears nothing, pausing in the doorway to watch them with a smile of love and affection; Jacob asleep on the floor beside them.
"My family," she whispers warmly as she closes the door to give them some more quiet time and then heads back into the living room, pulling out her knitting and waiting until it was time to make dinner; a task she was looking forward too.
The next few days passed by with much the same agenda, all melding into one long day. Mac and Stella would sleep when Jacob was sleeping. Stella would feed him, Mac would burp and change him and then they'd play with him, hold him and just in general give him as much love as possible.
Reed and Mira would come over when possible, Mira opting to only work part time so that she could be with Levi as much as possible. When they were at Mac and Stella's, Levi would run wherever he wanted, but he never strayed too far from Jacob, giving both Mac and Stella ample opportunity to shower him with love and affection.
The next few months were the same as Jacob Taylor would mostly eat, sleep and be played with all the while he continued to grow, coming more and more into his own personality. His face would finally offer small facial expressions and his lips would finally start to offer baby talk. Soon he was laughing, holding toys and trying to crawl. But it was the critical milestones that Mac, Stella and Millie were waiting for.
Today was one of those days. Jacob was about six months, on the floor on his belly when he starts to get himself up on all fours, finally doing so much to the delight and amazement of his parents.
"Mac!" Stella calls out, bringing Mac running from the bedroom. As soon as he enters, his eyes are drawn downward and his smile instantly matches Stella's as they both watch Jacob trying to crawl toward his mother.
"That's it baby boy come to mummy," Stella encourages her son while Mac hurries for the video recorder, capturing it all on tape.
"Eaaaaaa hhhhhheeee," Jacob's lips offer happy baby noises. But he flops onto his belly, not quite making it and then looking up with an instant sad face.
"No Jacob," Stella soothes as she gathers him in her arms and kisses his cheek. "No crying, you did so good today. Mummy is proud of you. She loves you so much."
One of the big things that both Mac and Stella had agreed was the joy they both got now from being able to say mum and dad around their son, knowing that when he would offer his first word, it would be to them and for them; they didn't have to worry about ruining it for anyone else.
Stella puts Jacob back down on the floor and then smiles at him and then points to Mac. "Can you crawl to daddy."
"Come Jacob, come to daddy," Mac lovingly urges, watching as his son turns to him and offers a wide smile, once again melting Mac's heart instantly. The first few months, Jacob's actions were mostly a result of him trying to either laugh or smile, but now he was doing it on his own as a reward for their actions toward him.
Jacob spies a small blue bear on the floor, the same toy that Mac had bought Levi and tries to crawl toward it. It not only being his favorite toy but also the half way point between him and his father. He makes it, much to the happy delight of the three adults around him.
Jacob pauses at the bear, grabbing it in his hands and of course instantly putting it between his soft pink lips.
"Mmmmm aaaaaaaeeeee," Jacob laughs as he flings the bear toward his father and then offers a small pout when it's out of his reach.
"Come on Jacob, come to daddy," Mac urges once more, his face almost in pain from smiling so much. Jacob gets back up on all fours and continues on his way, finally making it to Mac and enjoying a myriad of warm kisses from both parents.
"Jacob is such a good boy," Stella praises her son as her eyes lock with Mac's.
Over the past few months, they had been talking more seriously about working maybe part time so that they could enjoy their child's early years. Both had danced around the idea of maybe a more flexible working schedule until Jacob was in school, that would allow them both to be back at work on a more regular basis but of course still with evenings and weekends off. It would mean some material sacrifices for the first few years.
Today would work to cement that idea into their heads, neither of them wanting to miss any key milestones in their son's life. They would never begrudge Millie the happy opportunity of being the one to see it, but they wanted to be there as well. And while both had agreed that one was the loneliest number for a child, both had agreed that they were going to have just the one and do it right.
"I can't believe how much he's grown in six months," Stella mentions to Mac later that night as she holds a nursing Jacob on her chest as Mac gently plays the bass for them. Jacob loved to hear the music, something he grew accustomed to hearing right from the womb when Mac would play before he was born.
Mac watches as Jacob finishes his milk and then turns his head to look at his father. Mac puts down his guitar and takes his son, sitting him on his lap and gently tapping his back until Jacob's soft pink lips offer a burp followed by a tell tale giggle.
"I don't want to miss anything," Mac says softly as he hoists Jacob to his feet and holds his shaky body. Jacob's fingers reach out and grasp Mac's face, slightly tapping it with his own small fingers.
"Jacob can you say daddy?"
"Ddddeeeee aaaaahhhhh," Jacob tries with a wide smile, forcing Mac's face to instantly brighten.
"Close enough for now," Mac praises as he kisses him once more. "Does Jacob want a bath before bed?" Mac asks as he looks up at Stella.
"Does Mac want a bath before bed?" Stella arches her brows.
"How about a bath for him and a shower for us?" Mac playfully suggests.
"Oh you had me at does," she teases as she takes Jacob from Mac's grasp, allowing her husband to put his bass guitar back into its case and then head toward the bathroom. They had painted Jacob's room green with beige, neutral colors for a boy until it would become apparent what color was Jacob's favorite and what other things he wanted to make his space personable.
Mac removes his son's romper and diaper and then heads for the bathroom where Stella already had the baby tub in the bathtub and was filling it with warm soapy water. When Mac had first changed Levi's diaper he had kinda balked at the idea, but now with his own son, even doing menial duties was something he had come to cherish, knowing that this was it and they wouldn't have another chance and he wasn't going to miss anything.
Stella's love for their child had grown more than he could ever have imagined. She was perfect in every way but now having her as the mother of his child was something of a dream that he never thought would ever come true. Her tender nurturing toward him, fostering complete love in return from the doting little baby boy was very apparent and something that he had put into his storehouse of memories that he would treasure. Someday's he had the words to tell her what he was feeling, other days her loving actions were without words; just a look or even a soft touch from him was all he could do to tell her that she was the most amazing person in the world.
Stella looks up and watches as Mac enters carrying their son and her heart naturally settles. Much like Mac, she too was carefully storing up all the memories she could. Watching Mac around Jacob was also a dream for her. He was so strong and self assured, but around the delicate little baby, he was softer, gentler and almost unsure at times that his strength would hurt or damage him in some way.
His soft words, loving attention and caring toward Jacob made her love him and draw close to him all the more; if that was even possible. He was the perfect father, at least to her, and as she always reminded him, that's all that really mattered in the end. Jacob was amazing; he was perfect, beautiful and the last half to complete their life puzzle. She too was in agreement to having just one but also wanting to be there for everything that Jacob would experience.
On the weekends that Millie was there, they would leave Jacob in her care on the Friday night and have their adult date night, enjoying each other's company in a private and more grown up setting but always wanting to return home to finish the night and then start the next morning with their son. They also made a special effort to go to the park when she was around, such as this weekend.
"I think the weather is supposed to be nice tomorrow," Mac mentions as he carefully places Jacob into the warm soapy water.
"Does Jacob want to go to the park tomorrow?" Stella asks her son as they both start to carefully wash his delicate pink skin.
"Yeeeeeaaaaaaaaaa," Jacob offers loudly, his little hands playfully slapping the water around him, and squealing with delight as the soap would land on his belly and slowly slide off, tickling his sides on the way back into the water.
"I think that's a yes," Stella smiles at Mac before they both look back down at their exuberant baby boy in the tub. His large blue eyes look up and he offers them a gummy smile before he starts to laugh again and splash about it the water. They talk a bit more, Stella mentioning asking the Messer's and Reed and Mira if they could join them at the park; Mac more than delighted to agree.
"I'll take him," Mac mentions as he lifts Jacob's freshly cleaned body out of the tub and then lays him down on a towel to dry him. Mac's lips rest on his belly and start to blow soft kisses; Jacob's arms flailing about as he laughs and then grabs at his father's hair.
Mac finishes drying him and then heads for his bedroom where he puts on a fresh diaper and then his soft sleeper and puts him into his crib. "Goodnight my son," he whispers as his fingers fondle his soft head once more. He places a small blanket over his back, turns off the light and then heads back to the bathroom, where his wife had already stripped and was just about to get into the shower.
"I missed this," Mac whispers as he pulls her against his bare chest and kisses her on the lips, the water pouring down atop and around them, dancing with the moving couple in the heated shower stall.
"Make love to me Mac," Stella begs with a short heated breath as her damp body arches into her husbands.
"With pleasure," Mac responds as he moves himself into position.
They continue their passionate love making session in the shower until both were a tad wrinkly and then get out, Jacob still asleep in his room, allowing them to curl into bed and fall asleep in each other's arms with contented smiles. Saturday greets them with sun and warm weather, a perfect day for a fall outing.
"Think Jacob will like the park?" Stella asks her son as she starts to feed him a bit of mushed up pancake on a small spoon. Jacob however has other plans for the food and tries to grab the spoon, spilling the mushy mess onto the floor and then laughing as his father has to pick it up.
"Jacob isn't cooperating," Stella teases him with a small poke to his belly.
"Heeeeee aaabbbbbbbaaaaa," Jacob's lips babble as he tries to grab the plastic spoon, finally shoving it between his lips.
"Want to try that again with food?" Stella smirks as Millie finally joins them. She now had an apartment down the hall and when Stella would leave their front door open a crack she knew it was safe to enter without knocking, they would be expecting her as they were this morning. For the first few months, Millie had lived in Chicago and just travelled back and forth. But as soon as Jacob had passed six months, she told them the travelling was getting a bit much and just wanted to move already.
"How is my beautiful grandson this morning?" She kisses the top of his head. Jacob, who was now familiar with her voice, tries to twist himself in his high-chair to see his grandmother. "Peek a boo," Millie teases him, drawing another laugh from her the adorable baby boy.
"And how are my other children?"
"Well rested," Stella answers in truth. "It's a nice day for a park outing."
"Does Jacob want to go to the park?"
"Yeeeeeeee aa," Jacob answers, his babble actually sounding like a regular affirmative response.
Millie settles in around the table and joins them for coffee, bacon and pancakes, talking about local news events and helping Jacob with his food. When it was time to pack up to go, Millie went about getting Jacob ready, while Stella packed their travelling bag and Mac put a few things, including the outdoor stroller; the same one Sinclair had bought them as he did for Reed and Mira; into the Avalanche and then it was off to Central Park.
"Hey Lucy looks who's here."
"Jacob!" Lucy exclaims as she rushes toward them. Danny and Lindsay had chosen a part of the park near the children's playground so that both Lucy and now Levi could wear off some energy with some safe and fun activities. Jacob of course wouldn't walk yet but he more than enjoyed to be placed on his tummy on a blanket on the grass to watch.
Reed and Mira soon arrive and Lucy is quick to take Levi by the hand and lead him toward the playground, leaving Jacob to fend for himself on the grass.
"Aww poor little guy," Mira smiles as she plunks herself down on the grass and picks up the struggling baby boy. She holds him so that he's able to look in the direction of the other two children, both of who are with their fathers, and smiles when he tries to clap his hands at something funny Levi has done.
"He's gotten so big," Mira comments as Stella joins her on the blanket. The two had since drawn a lot closer since Stella announced she was pregnant. Mira still suffered from depression that her mother was killed by her father but after her father was sentenced and didn't even ask to see her one last time; she hoping he'd come to his senses and ask for forgiveness, she had given up on the notion that Levi would have any other grandparent than Mac or Millie. Mac always joked saying that now that he too was a father he couldn't wear the title grandfather.
But the whole group of them had really bonded, including Don and Adam when the timing was right and really cementing their feel as a team and a group of close friends.
Lucy and Levi come running back, much to the happy delight of Jacob as he's once again included and the center of attention. Stella props him up in his travelling chair and despite any protests, Lucy has shoved a doll into his hands and is directing what will happen. Course she is always dismayed when Jacob tries to put the head of the doll in his mouth.
"You can't eat her silly Jacob," Lucy playfully scolds as she yanks the dolly away. Jacob's bottom lip then starts to turn downward and quiver as he looks up at his mother for help.
Levi looks at the sad baby and willingly gives him his dolly, once again much to Lucy's dismay.
"Lucy stop trying to be so bossy," Lindsay tells her daughter as she joins the other two mother's on the blanket, the fathers now engaged in a lively game of catch football; Millie always content to capture everything on film before she joins the girls.
"But mummy," Lucy insists as she pulls the second dolly away from Jacob before he could try to ingest a mouth full of hair.
Jacob' s arms start to flail and he offers some baby gibberish in the way of a verbal protest, forcing Levi to look at him in wonder.
"Mama…" Levi looks at Mira and tugs on her sweater in the direction of Levi.
"He wants a toy as well Levi. Ask auntie Stella if she has one for him."
Levi looks up at Stella and offers her a warm smile before it's his turn to ask a question that wasn't quite yet distinguishable in English terms.
"Here sweetie give him this," Stella hands Levi a small green care bear toy.
Jacob happily yanks the toy free and starts to gum it.
"Is he teething?" Lindsay inquires. "He's over seven months now right?"
"They are starting to come. Not bad yet but I know the next few weeks will be tough."
"Ah old hat to you guys now," Mira mentions as she hands Levi a small Disney action figure for him to play with.
The guys finally come back and join them all on the blanket, the three little ones in the middle, happily playing together, well Lucy and Levi playing and Jacob content to watch and suck on his bear toy. The outing, much like the others was a success and when it was time to go home, all returned with promises to meet again soon and happy they had all just spent some quality time together.
"Mac, come get the camera, we have two teeth coming through," Stella calls to Mac a few weeks later. "Jacob is getting to be such a big boy now," she praises her son who looks back with a wide smile, showing off the results of his last few painful weeks. Mac takes a few pictures and then leans in and kisses his son on the head.
As it was raining that Sunday, after breakfast Stella takes Jacob into the living room to be with her while she tended to a few things. Jacob was very adept now at grasping onto items and pulling himself up.
"Stella look," Mac nods in the direction of their son as he was holding onto the end of the couch. "Can you walk to daddy?" Mac encourages as Stella races for the camera.
"Ddddddddd eeeehhhhhhh," Jacob tries, pulling away from the couch but plopping down onto his butt and looking up at his father with a sad face.
"No Jacob don't be sad, just try again," Mac tells his son in a loving tone as he gently takes both small hands in his and then helps him stand up, holding him upright as his shaky legs wobble beneath him.
"Okay Mac, try again."
Mac lets go and for a few seconds Jacob stands on his own but quickly falls back down but thankfully doesn't cry. "He's going to walk very soon."
"Our son is amazing," Stella praises as they both kneel down beside him and watch as he props himself up onto hall fours and looks at them with a smile before he crawls toward them. Mac captures Jacob in his arms and scoops him into the air, the room filled with squealing laughter as Mac swoops him back down toward Stella and then back into the air. A few more turns before he allows his son to rest on the floor on his back, looking up at both adoring parents.
The day progresses much the same as the others in the past few weeks, they'd play with Jacob until it was his nap time, then take advantage of the fact it was quiet and get some of their own things done or spend some quality intimate time together if the night before hadn't afforded them that rite. Dinner would be served and then Mac would play his bass and then they'd read to with him a little before it was time to go to bed and do the same routine all over again.
With winter coming, they would be spending more time indoors, unless there was a break in the clouds and they'd quickly scramble to get dressed and head outdoors with their stroller. Usually not heading too far from home but wanting to get some fresh air and immerse Jacob into the neighbourhood around them. Sunday nights Millie always made them dinner and it was a nice break for them not to cook; and once a month it was still their adult date night. Sometimes they'd have dinner at Reed and Mira's, a few occasions including the Garret's and sometimes they'd have dinner at the Messer's, of course always taking their turn and having them over as well. A happy, content, familial routine had now come to define their lives but neither would ever complain, they were in love with each other and their family.
The next few months were the same as Jacob neared his tenth month, his legs were getting stronger as well as his baby gibberish and he was on the verge of two very important milestone's in his life. Today would be the first.
"You know I think I'd like to take Jacob to the zoo today," Stella tells Mac as she comes back from looking out the window. "Spring is almost here and it's not raining."
"I think that would be a great idea," Mac answers as he places Jacob into his high chair for breakfast. Stella walks up to Jacob and kisses him on the head.
"Good morning my sweet boy."
"Mama," Jacob utters and Stella stops and looks up at Mac in surprise, her eyes instantly watering.
"Mac he…he spoke his first word," Stella whispers as she kneels down beside Jacob. "I'm mama," she encourages with watery eyes, happy tears coming instantly.
"Mama!" Jacob says again, his hands happily slapping the empty food tray before him. Mac quickly gets on the phone and tells his mother that Jacob just spoke his first word. Mac wasn't disappointed that his first word was associated with the woman that gave him life and nurtured him so far, besides he knew he would be next. And that was the case a few weeks later when Mac was putting Jacob down for the night, hovering over his changing table with a toy in his hands.
"Dada!" Jacob utters, bringing Stella into the room in seconds. She looks at Mac and then gives him a big hug and kiss.
"Dada," Mac whispers as it's his turn for his eyes to water.
"Daddaaaa," Jacob offers again as he tries to grab his bare feet and play with them. Well Mac wasn't sure he wanted to put his son to sleep just yet so both of them played with Jacob until he fell asleep on his own and then both went to bed happy and content.
After that Jacob was talking even more than before, especially since he learned that saying mama or dada usually brought his parents quickly to his side. However, they would soon learn they didn't give into him every time and so he had to find other words to utter. But while they would read simple words to him each night, most of them still came out sounding like gibberish.
"Eleven months today," Mac states as he comes into the room and spies Stella on the floor watching Jacob.
"Get the camera Mac, I think he's about to walk."
Wasting no time in getting the camera, Mac puts it onto record and places the camera down so that it could capture all three of them at the happy moment. Sure enough both of them watch as Jacob pulls himself up on the edge of the couch and then looks over at his father.
"That's it Jacob, walk to daddy. Come on my boy you can do it," he lovingly urges, Stella at his side. The camera was to their side so it was able to capture Jacob's small leg as it pulls away from the couch and then stands apart from the other leg. His hands unsure at first hold onto the couch but as he looks at his father who is waiting with open arms he finally lets go and places one foot in front of the other.
"Yes!" Stella exclaims loudly, causing Jacob to falter and plop back down onto his butt. "Come on Jacob you can to it. Let's try that again okay?"
Both watch as Jacob puts his hands down onto the floor and pushes his bum back into the air and then follows with the rest of his body, taking another step into uncharted territory.
"Mac…look," Stella whispers as both of them watch with wide happy smiles. "Come on Jacob, come to us sweetie."
Both had moved in a bit closer so as not to make it too frustrating.
"Mama," Jacob utters as he takes another step closer to them, Stella's eyes once again watering at the happy sight. Another step and just as he reaches them and before he can fall back down, he is quickly scooped up and held close between them; the camera still recording.
"Jacob we are so proud of you," Mac tells his son before he kisses him on the cheek. "We love you so much."
"Dada," Jacob utters with a happy voice as he kisses his father back.
"You know I don't think today could get any better."
"Are you sure?" Stella asks with a shy smile, once again both of them forgetting that the camera was still recording.
"Yeah…why? What's going on?"
Stella looks down at Jacob and then up at Mac and smiles again.
"Stella, what is it?"
"Jacob is going to have a sibling," she whispers as her hand rests on her belly. "I'm pregnant again Mac."
"Really?" Mac asks with his own glistening sapphires as pulls Stella close and kisses her on the lips, Jacob happily babbling away in the middle of them. "I guess I was wrong; today just got a whole lot better."
"It's perfect," Stella replies warmly. "Things are going to change again."
"Only for the better," Mac assures her as he pulls back and looks down at Jacob. "Jacob, do you want a sibling?"
Jacob only offers a toothy smile in return, garnering another round of loving affection from his doting parents. And things were going to change for them; but for the better. They had started their family with a rather forced and somewhat tumultuous start but it had progressed with love and determination and now had only a happy outcome in store for them.
Mac heads for the camera and finally turns it to picture mode, pressing the auto button and then placing himself beside Stella with Jacob on their lap.
"My family," he utters softly as the camera snaps the happy family. Stella was the most amazing woman he had been blessed to know and come to love, affectionately calling her wife and now mother. She was so loving and caring toward Jacob and now to know that she was giving him another gift of life, another miracle they had created together was almost beyond words. In that moment he knew it was possible; he did love her more. She was his future.
The news would be told and things at the lab would change once again; old friends would be come closer friends and new family members would be showered with much love and affection from the tight knit group.
Stella picks up the phone to call Mira and Lindsay to give them the good news and Mac goes to call his mother. Stella looks down at the picture in her hands and smiles.
"My family," she echoes the same words as Mac. All her life she had wanted a family of her own to love, cherish and devote her future too; Mac had made that possible. His love and devotion to her had caused her to flourish in her new motherly role and she was more than happy to be giving him a second child. He was an amazing husband and an even more amazing father and she was beyond ecstatic to have him in her life as her future.
Mac comes back and pulls Stella into his arms, Jacob now sandwiched between them, looking up at his parents with love.
"I love you Stella Taylor," Mac whispers as he leans in closer, their lips about to meet.
"I love you too Mac Taylor," she answers in return as their lips finally meet in a heated kiss of love and devotion.
No more complications, from now on it would just be them as a family growing in love together with the whole future head of them.
A/N: Well I didn't want this chapter to be too close to All I Need's ending so jumped in time a bit and hope that's okay. And I had thought about continuing and possibly bringing back Mira's father for some revenge, and while Alice still has that idea in her plot stock, we are leaving it here and hope that's okay. I really do hope you all liked this ending and the baby choice (sex/name) and hope you'll leave me a final review before you go and THANKS AGAIN SMACKIES!
PS: ABC's of SMex was just updated. Hope you all like it :D