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A New Adventure

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"Do you ever think about how if we could have children, they would look more like you than me?"

Jack was startled by the non-sequitur; his first startled thought was that it would be a shame for these hypothetical children to have his plain looks, when they could look like his gorgeous boyfriend.

"What makes you think that?" he asked, wondering what had gotten this thought in Oliver's mind.

"Well," Oliver replied, "it's basic genetics. Dark hair and eyes are dominant to light hair and eyes. Not sure about your freckles though," he added teasingly.

"I do not have freckles!" Jack said, mock affronted, and the conversation moved on.

This was not the first time that Oliver had brought up the topic of children, but it was the first time he had mentioned the idea of their children. Jack wasn't quite sure what to think. However, when Oliver all but pounced on him after Charlotte picked up little William from their house after babysitting, growling his appreciation of Jack's skills with children, the niggling doubts resurfaced.

Later that evening, when they were cuddling together in bed and Oliver had removed his prosthesis, Jack steeled himself to ask. "Oliver, do you want kids?"

Oliver blushed. God, how Jack still cherished each of his blushes, even after nearly two years together. He buried his face in Jack's chest before responding. "I, maybe?"

They had fallen in love so quickly--although Jack at least considered it a long time in coming--that many of the practical conversations of spending a life together had been put off. While they had caught up on a great many of those over the past 18 months of living together (feelings about pets, household chores, and long term financial plans among others), they had not yet had the "kids talk".

"Do you ... not?" Oliver asked hesitantly. "I mean, you're so good with William and Simon."

"I don't know. It's not something I'd ever considered. I mean, before you, I never thought I'd settle down, let alone start a family."

Oliver lifted his head to gaze directly into Jack's eyes and spoke slowly. "I think, that I would like to raise children with you. But it's not a deal breaker. I love you. Being with you is the most important thing."

"I love you too," Jack whispered. "And I'll think about it."

When Oliver wrapped his arms around him, Jack melted into his embrace, but he did not fall asleep for a long while. This image of the two of them raising a family together that Oliver was presenting was so different than anything he had imagined two years ago. But, he didn't hate the idea. In fact, it had a certain appeal.

Oliver woke to an empty bed. He wasn't concerned, as they had decided before embarking on this adventure that Jack would take the nighttime feedings. However, he usually woke enough to hear the baby crying or Jack getting up.

He reached for his crutches and pulled himself up. He limped to Emma's room, but it was empty too. He heard an infant squawking in the kitchen and smiled.

Oliver paused just before the open kitchen door and leaned on the wall. Normally Jack heard him coming--it was hard for a one-legged man to sneak up on anyone, especially someone as alert as Jack--but now he was too distracted by the bundle in his arms.

Emma whimpered. "Hush, lamb," Jack crooned, gently rocking her. "Your bottle is almost ready." Oliver took a moment to enjoy the sight: his husband with their daughter in his arms swaying in the dimly lit, predawn kitchen. Then of course, the baby began to cry in earnest, and all Jack's rocking and shushing would do nothing to calm the ravenous infant.

"I'm amazed," Oliver said, coming into the kitchen, "when I feed her she's usually screaming long before 'almost ready'."

"Oliver," Jack said. "What are you doing up at," he checked the microwave display, "4:47 in the morning?"

"I missed you," Oliver said simply. "Now," he settled himself into a kitchen chair and set his crutches aside, "give her to me and check on that bottle."

Jack did as he was told with a small smile. While he pulled the bottle out of the small basin of warm water and tested the milk's temperature on the back of his hand, Oliver spoke over the still crying baby, "I didn't hear you get up."

"We, ah, may have fallen asleep on the couch after the two o'clock feeding." Jack handed him the bottle, which Emma eagerly latched onto, and sat next to Oliver. Jack put an arm around Oliver's shoulders, and Oliver leaned in with a happy sigh. This was exactly what he had always wanted, but for so many years, never dreamed that he could have.

"I love you," Jack whispered, as if afraid that speaking too loudly would destroy the moment. Emma waved her tiny hand, and when Jack put his large one close she grasped his finger. "Yes, little one. I love you too."