I hope you all enjoyed Chapter 1! Writing two stories at once has been fun, but a bit of a challenge. I like to think I'm doing a good job on both of them though, and I'm sticking to my update schedule. I like how this chapter turned out and I hope you do too! Please let me know what you think!
Chapter 2: Surprises
Rachel heard the doctor call her name and went into the office with Finn. Today they would be finding out the gender of the baby, meaning that the kids could narrow down the field of names to one gender. Her mind flashed back to when they found out the genders of Ryan and Emma and she and Finn were debating what to name them.
"Here's a list of all the Broadway stars and major Broadway characters' names," Rachel had told Finn. "You can tell me which names you like." She handed him the list she'd created years ago.
"Okay," Finn said, beginning to go through the list. "I'm going to make this easy on us and get rid of all the names that sound like an old lady and all the ones that are just weird."
Rachel sighed. "I guess that means we are not naming our them after any of the long time legends."
"No," Finn told her flat out. "I am not naming our daughter Barbra. Or Patti or Bernadette or Idina... and we are not naming our son after any of these guys."
"Well, what names do YOU have in mind?" Rachel asked.
"I was thinking of naming our son after some famous athlete, like Michael or Jim or Henry..." Finn began. "And our daughter, let's see, there's..."
"Well, if we can't name them after Broadway stars, then we can't name them after athletes either," Rachel snapped.
Finn groaned. "Fine. Let's just get out the baby name book."
"I was hoping we wouldn't have to revert to this," Rachel sighed as she got out the book. "Let's just look at the top 100 list first."
They looked at the list before Rachel turned to Finn. "See any names you like?"
Finn nodded. "Yeah, I like lots of these. Do you have any favorites?"
"Well, for a boy, I like Ryan," Finn said. "What do you think of that?"
"I like that," Rachel said. She looked at the girls list. "How about Emma for our daughter?"
"That's a pretty name," Finn said. "What about Grace for her middle name? Emma Grace Hudson has a nice sound."
"I like that," Rachel said. "What should Ryan's middle name be?"
"You pick, I picked his first name and Emma's middle name," Finn said.
Rachel looked at the list. "What about Nicholas? I like the idea of Ryan Nicholas Hudson."
"Ryan Nicholas Hudson and Emma Grace Hudson," Finn said. "Those names sound perfect."
"Perfect," Rachel agreed.
That April, Ryan Nicholas Hudson and Emma Grace Hudson made their debut. Now, they were already in high school.
"You okay?" Finn asked, noticing Rachel looked dazed. "Hormones?"
"Just remembering when we were in this situation for the first time more than 14 years ago," Rachel giggled. "I can't believe how fast our kids are growing up. I know I say that a lot, but in four short years, we'll be sending Ryan and Emma to college."
"DON'T TALK THAT WAY," Finn demanded. "I don't want to think about that."
They made their way into the obstetrician's office. Rachel took a seat at the table as the sonogram appeared. There was their little boy or girl.
"This is our sixth one," Finn told the obstetrician. It wasn't their usual one.
"What do you have already?" the obstetrician asked.
"Three boys and two girls," Rachel said, deciding to leave their history out. She still felt bad that this was the second kid Jack wouldn't get to meet.
"Want to know what this one is?" the obstetrician asked.
Finn and Rachel smiled at each other. "Yes," Finn said.
"This one's a girl," the obstetrician told them. "And it looks like she's thriving."
"The girls will be happy about that," Rachel giggled. She looked down at her stomach. The baby bump was becoming more noticeable.
"Are the other kids excited?" the obstetrician asked.
"Very," Rachel said.
"How old are they?" the doctor asked.
Rachel looked at Finn, unsure how to answer. Luckily, Finn took over. "We have two fourteen-year-olds, a ten-year-old, a five-year-old and a three-year-old." It was true. Jack had been five.
"Quite a family," the doctor said.
"We couldn't be happier with them," Finn said, hugging Rachel.
After the doctor's appointment, Finn and Rachel got in the car, driving to the Heights girls soccer game. Their appointment had started late and they hoped they hadn't missed the JV game because that would mean having to miss seeing Emma play.
They arrived as the varsity game was starting and found seats in the bleachers near Ryan and Nick. Nick had been living at their house for a week now and still hadn't said one word to his dad. Finn had told Rachel not to bring up Nick's dad with him because it was hard for him when his mom had dated Burt.
"You missed the JV game," Ryan called to his parents. "Emma and Ava both played really well though, they both had assists."
"That's great!" Finn said. "By the way, you're getting a baby sister."
"Well, that evens it out," Ryan said.
Emma sat on the bench at the side of the field with some of the other girls on the team. She felt bad her parents hadn't been there, but at the same time she knew that they had to get ready for the new baby. It had meant a lot to her to have Nick and Ryan there. Nick was still very reserved about talking about his dad's engagement. She talked about it with him when he brought it up, but when he didn't bring it up, she tried not to. It didn't look like he was leaving her house any time soon.
About two minutes into the last quarter, one of the senior forwards slipped and fell hard. The referee blew the whistle, and the coaches and the benched players ran onto the field.
"What's wrong?" the coach asked, kneeling beside the girl.
"I can't get up," she moaned.
"I think she's injured her back," one of the other girls said.
"We've got to get her to the emergency room," the trainer said. "In the mean time, you've got to get another girl to play the rest of the game."
The coach scanned the JV girls. "Emma, I need you to play varsity for the rest of the game."
"What?" Emma gasped. "But I've never played varsity."
"You've shown potential in the JV games," the coach said. "Your brother's on the Varsity team and has already scored goals, it's got to be in your blood."
"Oh my God!" Emma said. "But... I can't."
"You can," Ava said.
"I'll try it," Emma said. "I don't even have a varsity jersey!"
"Your JV jersey will do," the coach said. "Just get on the field."
Emma nervously took the empty position on the field. She looked up in to the stands. Nick gave her a thumbs up.
The game was tied 2-2 with a minute to go. Emma had managed to survive her first Varsity playing time. She just stayed in the back of the field and let the regular varsity girls take over. She moved toward the center of the field with 45 seconds left in the game. When she saw a girl from the other team take possession of the ball, she decided she had to stop her. She lunged in front of several other girls and took the ball and kicked it, hoping to get it over the fowl line so the game would at least end as a tie.
Instead, she kicked the ball into the other team's goal.
The end of game buzzer sounded. Euclid 3, Heights 2.
One of the junior players looked at Emma. "You're such an idiot! How could you do that? Did you WANT them to win?"
Emma burst in to tears and ran off the field. She'd screwed up her first varsity game. She was humiliated. They'd probably never let her play varsity again. Word about this would get out to the swimming and softball teams. They probably wouldn't let her do varsity either. She ran until she was off the field and sat in the school courtyard, finally letting herself cry. The score of this game would be in the paper. Saying that a Heights player had scored a goal for Euclid. She'd be the laughing stock of the school. Maybe she wouldn't get solos for the Gold Stars. Maybe the paper wouldn't use her articles.
With her face buried in her lap, she felt a hand on her back. She lifted her head to see Nick through her tears.
"It's like the other girl said, I'm an idiot," Emma said, beginning to cry into her boyfriend's shoulder.
"You're not an idiot," Nick whispered, hugging Emma. "You were great out there. Even if it's for the other team, you scored a goal. That means you CAN score a goal."
"How mad are they?" Emma asked.
"You'll have to ask one of them," Nick said. "Your parents sent me to come look for you when you ran off."
"I just hope they forgive me," Emma sighed.
Nick gave Emma a kiss. "They'll come around."
"I love you so much," Emma said quietly.
"I love you, too," Nick said. "How about we go meet your parents? I told them to wait for us by Wendy's so you don't risk seeing people. They got the car."
Emma and Nick crossed the street to Wendy's, where Finn, Rachel and Ryan were waiting in the mini van.
"You don't have to talk about it if you don't want to," Rachel said.
"Thanks, I'd rather not," Emma said. "Did you get my stuff?"
"Yeah, Ava gave it to me," Ryan said. "She said she doesn't know about anyone else, but she and all your friends aren't mad at you."
"That's good," Emma said.
"I texted Sarah and asked her not to say anything," Rachel said.
"Thanks, Mom," Emma said.
The ride home was quiet until they got home. Sarah and Grant were on the front porch, drinking juice.
"Is the baby a boy or a girl?" Sarah asked almost immediately. Emma felt a sting of guilt. After being humiliated at the soccer game, she'd forgotten about her mom's appointment with the OBGYN.
"Well - what do you think it is?" Finn asked, smiling and putting his hand on Rachel's stomach.
"A girl," Grant said. "Like Sarah and Emma."
"It's a girl," Finn said.
"Then Nick has to stay here so we're even," Grant said. Emma smiled to herself. She loved living with her boyfriend, but hoped he would one day come to terms with his dad.
"I don't plan on leaving anytime soon, Grant," Nick said, putting his arm around Emma.
As the family (and Nick) began heading inside, a car pulled up. Emma knew whose car this was right away. It was Nick's dad's car. She hoped Nick wouldn't see his dad's car driving by, but the car came to a stop. She watched Nick's dad begin to walk up. Nick noticed, too.
"What are you doing here?" Nick snapped.
"Nick - I was hoping..." his dad began.
"Are you still engaged to Wendy Hannon?"
"Then I'm staying here."
"Nick, you can't turn your back on me forever."
"Well, if the egg that gave birth to me is being replaced, then so can the sperm. You may be my biological father, but since you got engaged, you sure as hell aren't my dad."
Emma didn't know what to say at this point. But Nick's dad continued talking before she had a chance to say anything.
"Nicholas Robert Dougherty, your attitude is disgusting me. I was actually coming to tell you that when you're ready, you can come home and that we really hope you'll give us a chance. That I wanted you to be an usher and I wanted the Gold Stars to perform at my wedding. Maybe it is better for you to be here now."
Emma watched as her boyfriend's father got in the car and drove away. Her family may be growing, but his was falling apart. There were worse things than scoring a goal for the other team.
Chapter 3 preview: The Gold Stars begins. Ryan has academic troubles. Emma tries talking to Nick about his situation.