Chapter 1: Scotland
Bren and Tony’s new life in Scotland has just begun and it’s perfect. What could go wrong?
this fic is totally self indulgent but i just really wanted to write these characters in this scenario although i don’t think i do them justice at all. anyways, enjoy!
“Tony?” Bren called through the house as she approached the front door, “Is that the last of the boxes?”
“Just this one and another one in there left.” Tony presented the box he held as he stepped out of the back of the van.
Bren walked out of the house as she grabbed the box he had left in the back of the van. When she grabbed the box and stepped out of the van, Bren noticed Tony still standing outside the house. He looked up at the large cottage they had bought and she frowned. Her mind started to go on overdrive as it usually did when it came to Tony. She felt herself beginning to worry if he had made the right decision or not, if he regretted bringing her to Scotland with him.
“You alright?” Bren approached him.
“Hm? Yeah. Just thinking about how happy I am.” Tony smiled down at her.
“You still wanna live with me then?” Bren asked.
“Of course I do.” Tony wrapped his arm around her tightly. He kissed her cheek, “You snot brained halfwit! This is where I wanna be and you are who I want to be with.”
Bren smiled at him but before she could say anything, there was a sudden rumble of thunder. The two looked up at the dark clouds above them as the heavens seemed to open up and rain battered down.
“Get inside, quick.” Tony said as the two rushed into the house, putting down their boxes, “I’ll go lock the van.”
Bren watched as Tony ran out to the van as he locked it up. Tony ran back to the front door as he tried his best to dry his shirt. Bren looked out the front door as she watched the rain batter down. Bren chuckled to herself.
“You’re going to say ‘I told you so’, aren’t you?” Tony asked.
“No. I actually was about to say that it’s actually quite soothing.” Bren replied before turning back to Tony. She noticed how he was totally soaked and she started to laugh. Tony looked up at her as she continued to laugh, “Now, I’m going to say it.”
“Don’t bother.” Tony rolled his eyes before picking up the box at his feet.
Bren laughed again, shutting and locking the door behind her. The two soon began unpacking their boxes and getting started on making their new house a home. They spent most of the day moving furniture and trying to build flat pack furniture. After a quick argument about if ‘A’ should go into ‘D’ or not, Bren and Tony had unpacked most of their boxes and their cottage was starting to feel like it was truly theirs.
Tony sat down on the couch as he sighed. His back was aching a little but as he looked around the living room, he felt happy with what they achieved today. Everything seemed to be working out great for him and Bren and it could only get even better. Tony could not be more happy.
“Here.” Bren handed him his mug.
“Oh cheers, Bren.” Tony took the mug before he took a sip, Bren sitting down next to him, “That’s lovely. You do make some good brews.”
“It’s one of my talents.” Bren chuckled. She took a sip of her tea as she looked around the room, “It looks good, doesn’t it? It feels really cosy now.”
“Yeah, it does.” Tony nodded. He then wrapped his arm around Bren, looking down at her, “Are you happy?”
“Yeah. I’m happy. Really, really happy.” Bren nodded with a smile, “You?”
“Yeah. Really, really happy.” Tony grinned.
The two leaned as they kissed. They then broke off the kiss as they smiled at one another. Bren rested her head on Tony’s shoulder as he grabbed the remote and turned the television on.
- - -
Two months had gone by since Bren and Tony settled down in Scotland. They had gone into business with Tony’s friend, Hamish, and everything was going really well working in the pub he owned. It was now May and the summer was coming in fast. Today was like any normal day but there was something up with Bren. Tony had noticed that she was a little quiet this morning but maybe thought she was tired. But that was strange because she was usually quite chirpy. Too chirpy for Tony at times. Tony decided to just leave it, she could have just been tired. It was understandable, they did wake up quite early but it wasn’t as half as early as it was when they worked in the canteen. Maybe she was just needing a break. When they drove down to the pub and were preparing the food, Tony noticed that Bren was still very quiet. He watched her as she walked quickly around the kitchen and he frowned. He knew there was something bothering her. He knew what she was like. She would always become very quiet and reserved when there was something wrong.
“Bren, are you alright?” Tony asked as he walked over to her.
“Yeah.” Bren nodded, too busy focusing on the food in front of her.
“Are you sure?” Tony asked. He took her hand, rubbing the back of her hand gently, “You can tell me, mate.”
“I’m fine. Honest.” Bren nodded before moving over to another counter, “I need to get cracking.”
Tony frowned as he watched her walk away. He wanted to say more but the two younger women who worked in the kitchen, Anna and Morag, came into work. They began talking as they walked in and Tony knew he couldn’t continue to ask what was wrong with Bren for now.
As the day went on, Tony noticed Bren trying to busy herself with work. When the pub got busy, Tony and Bren would help out in the pub and today was already looking to be one of those days. Tony tried to do the same but he was so worried about Bren that he couldn’t think straight. He watched her going in and out of the toilet, her face as white as a sheet. She was talking quietly to Anna before suddenly leaving the kitchen with her coat on.
“Anna?” Tony called when she was gone.
“Yeah?” Anna turned to Tony.
“Is Bren alright? She hasn’t spoken to me all day.” Tony asked, his hands in his pockets.
“You’ve not had a row, have you?” Anna frowned. Anna and Bren had gotten quite close over the couple of months they had been in Scotland and Anna was quite protective of Bren in a way. She was like a Scottish version of Twinkle Tony thought which made him a little scared when she got angry.
“No. I can’t even remember the last time we had a row. We’re usually alright. But today, nothing.” Tony shrugged.
“She’s no feeling well today.” Anna replied.
“What do you mean? Is she alright?”
“Has she no told you?”
“No. What did she say? What’s wrong with her?”
“I don’t think it’s my place to say.”
“Please, Anna. I need to know she’s alright.”
“Here, Tony?” Hamish called through the door to the pub, “Have you got those bottles of Vodka there?”
“Yeah, I’ve got them here.” Tony handed the two large bottles to Hamish.
“Cheers, big man.” Hamish took the bottles before looking around, “Where’s Bren?”
“Up the high street, she’s away to get some wee things for the kitchen.” Anna explained.
“Alright, no bother.” Hamish nodded before going back into the pub.
“What has she gone to get?” Tony asked quietly.
“It’d be best if she told you herself.” Anna nodded, “I’m sorry, Tony. I would tell you but it’s not fair on Brenda.”
Tony nodded. He understood why Anna wasn’t telling him but his mind now went on overdrive. He was so worried about Bren and waiting for her to come back was like torture. When she did come back, she was just as pale as before and went straight into the toilet. It was times like this that he wished he was back in the canteen with the nosiest women he’s ever met. He would have found out by now.
The day turned into night as they started serving people in the pub and Bren was taking some of the meals out to the people in the pub. Anna would at times take some dishes from Bren so she only had a couple to take out. Tony started tidying and wiping down the kitchen near the end of the night. Anna had left to go home early but Morag and Hamish were out in the pub still serving last orders. Hamish had brought through a drink for Tony but he wasn’t going to drink it because he was driving. Tony thought he would give it to Bren in some sort of peace offering. He lifted his head when he noticed Bren appearing from the toilets and he sighed. He knew this was his time to ask her what’s been going on.
“Are you alright?” Tony asked softly.
“Uh, yeah.” Bren replied, playing with her ring finger as she usually did. She then turned away, “I’m fine.”
Tony looked down at the pint next to him. He picked it up as he approached her. Bren turned when she noticed him walk up to her.
“I won’t drink it.” Tony shrugged as he offered the pint, “Hamish brought it through for me.”
Bren looked at the pint for a moment before back at Tony. She shook her head.
“I won’t drink it either. I’m not allowed anyways really.” Bren replied.
“What do you mean?” Tony asked, putting the pint down. So many things were going through Tony’s head that he could not think straight. The thought that kept coming to his head was that Bren was ill. It made him think back to when he was ill and that worry of it coming back. Now, that worry had manifested into Bren getting ill in a similar way, “What’s been going on, Bren? Are you ill?”
Bren studied Tony’s face as she sighed softly. She didn’t know where to begin. She started to play with her fingers as she finally conjured up the courage to continue their conversation.
“No. Well, not really ill. I’ve been ill but not in a serious sense. Well, it is serious but not in that way. A different way.” Bren tried to explain but she found herself getting flustered. She held her head in her hands for a moment, trying to compose herself and find a way to blurt it out properly. She took in a deep breath before dropping her hands to her side, looking at Tony, “I’m pregnant.”
Chapter 2: Pregnancy
Tony finds out Bren is pregnant.
The words seemed to echo through Tony’s head for that short moment. That was the last thing he expected Bren to say. He was expecting the absolute worst but pregnant?! That was something that didn’t even occur to him. Why would it? Tony thought he could not have children after the chemo. Bren and Tony had not properly discussed it and Tony didn’t really get a definitive answer from the doctors about his status when it came to being fertile or not but he just assumed it would never happen. Bren did too, he knew that. He remembered New Year’s Eve when Anita left her baby at the fire escape and how upset Bren had been.
“Pregnant?” Tony said softly. He was too shocked to say anything more.
“Yeah.” Bren nodded. She began playing with her fingers more frantically, “I just found out today. I went into the chemist’s and got a test.”
“So that’s where you went?”
“What do you think? I mean it is very, oh what’s the word? Not unsportsmanlike, unexpected. It’s really unexpected you know. We haven’t talked about this. We never thought it would even happen, d’you know what I mean?”
“Bren,” Tony caught her flailing hands in between his. They were cold against his warm palms and he rubbed them gently, “Stop.”
“What do you think though? I don’t even know if you want babies. I don’t want to force anything on you.” Bren looked at him. Tony noticed the tears bubbling in her eyes and his heart broke for her. He knew she was insecure and always worried about them but this was on the next level. Tony had never seen Bren like this before.
“Bren, it’s alright.” Tony reassured her. Bren looked down at the ground, a little sniffle as she closed her eyes for a moment, “This is amazing. It’s… so amazing.”
“It is?” Bren asked.
“Of course it is.” Tony chuckled.
“Are you sure?” Bren asked.
“Yes, I’m sure, you halfwit.” Tony rolled his eyes. He then looked down at her again, “It’s perfect.”
“But is it? I mean, do you really wanna have a baby with me? I could be a horrible mum like my mother. I might leave it somewhere or drop it. I’m also too old. By the time it’ll be eighteen, I’ll be sixty bloomin’ one! How are we going to juggle all of this and a baby at the same time?” Bren went on a tangent again, “I’ve messed it all up, haven’t I?”
“You haven’t messed anything up, mate.” Tony brought her into his arms. He rested his head on top of hers as he held her tightly, rubbing her back. He then sighed as he pushed her back so they could look at each other in the eye, “Yes, it is perfect. Yes, I do want to have a baby with you. No, you won’t be like your mother. It doesn’t matter that you’re forty two, you’re not a hundred and forty two! And we’ll find a way around it. We always do. Even if you had messed it up, it wouldn’t just be you, would it? It would be my fault too. You can’t make a baby without a man. Unless you’re a flipping daffodil.” The two laughed, “You know, Bren, I’m not into all that spiritual crap but this was meant to be. I know it.”
“You really mean that?” Bren asked.
“Of course I do. I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t.” Tony replied, “I love you, Bren. I always will.”
“So you’re happy?” Bren raised a brow.
“Yes, I’m happy. Are you happy?” Tony asked.
“Yeah.” Bren nodded, a smile appearing on her lips, “I’m sorry. I should have told you sooner. I just got scared.”
“No, it’s alright. I don’t blame you. At least we weren’t in the canteen, that would have got around the factory in ten minutes!” Tony replied, “You’re feeling okay though, yeah? Not ill or anything?”
“I’ve had a bit of morning sickness today. That’s why I was in and out of the toilet. I then went to get a pregnancy test. Well, three actually and of course, all the same result.” Bren explained, “Apart from that, I’m alright.”
“You should take a day off tomorrow.” Tony suggested.
“No, I need to come in.” Bren shook her head, “I’ll be fine.”
“I’m not having the mother of my child tiring herself out when she’s not feeling her best. And I’ll quit the fags as well. And I’ll book an appointment at the hospital for you.” Tony listed everything before hugging her again. He squeezed her tightly before looking at her, “Oh, Bren, this is going to be brilliant!”
“Are you excited then?”
“Of course I am! I’m gonna be a dad and you’re gonna be a mum.”
“I know. It’s mental, isn’t it?”
“Yeah, it is. But amazing. Absolutely amazing. We’re gonna be parents.” Tony grinned as Bren giggled. His grin then softened as he cupped Bren’s face, his thumb grazing her cheekbone, “I love you.”
“I love you too.” Bren smiled.
Tony smiled back at her as he leaned down. He kissed her lips tenderly. When they broke off the kiss, they smiled at one another before hugging tightly. Tony let one hand slip down to rest over Bren’s tiny bump and he smiled into the crook of her neck.
“You know what else this means?” Tony then lifted his head.
“What?” Bren asked.
“I can actually have kids. The chemo didn’t affect me.” Tony grinned before his grin dropped, “Either that or sperm really can get through a sash window.”
Bren laughed loudly, burying her head into his chest.
- - -
A week later…
- - -
Bren and Tony walked into the waiting room and sat down. They were going for their first ultrasound and Bren was nervous. They sat quietly as Bren chewed her nails. Tony noticed her doing this and he took her hand, rubbing his thumb against the back of her hand.
“Relax.” Tony whispered.
“Sorry.” Bren replied, her leg starting to bounce. Tony then silently moved his hand to rest on her knee which stopped her leg bouncing, “Sorry.”
“It’ll be fine, Bren. You don’t need to worry. It’s not gonna come out with two heads or anything like that.” Tony reassured her.
“I know. It’s a bit scary though, isn’t it? Seeing your baby for the first time.” Bren replied.
“I know but it’s a happy thing and we’re doing it together, aren’t we?” Tony said which made Bren smile, He then nudged her gently, “I’d hate to see what you’re going to be like when you’re actually giving birth.”
“I think I’ll be more prepared to see the baby by then. You know with it coming out of my-.”
“Brenda Furlong?” A nurse called out in the waiting room.
Bren and Tony got up as they followed the nurse into the ultrasound room. They spoke for a moment about Bren’s pregnancy so far and anything to expect before letting Bren get ready for the ultrasound. She lifted up her top as the nurse put the gel on her stomach. When the nurse pressed the probe onto Bren’s stomach, she watched the screen for a moment before pushing the screen towards Bren and Tony.
“There’s your baby.” The nurse smiled.
“Oh wow.” Bren grinned. She then turned to Tony, “Flipping heck.”
“I know.” Tony laughed as he took her hand, “It’s amazing, intit?”
“Yeah.” Bren nodded.
The two continued to watch the screen as the nurse moved the probe around Bren’s stomach. They watched their baby on the screen with the biggest grins. Tony squeezed Bren’s hand almost every time they saw the baby from a different angle. Silence fell over them like a blanket when they heard the baby’s heartbeat.
“Your baby is very healthy. Good strong heartbeat, pretty much perfect.” The nurse turned to them, “Do you want to know the sex?”
Bren and Tony looked at each other. They had not thought about that yet. It was actually one of the last things they had thought about which surprised them actually. Bren and Tony looked at each other for a moment, silently making their decision. They turned back to the nurse.
“Not yet. It’d be nice to have a surprise, eh?”
- - -
Three months later…
- - -
“Bren?” Tony called through the house as he walked in. He put down the shopping bags at the side before locking the door, “Bren?”
Tony had just come home from working at the bed and breakfast. Bren was on maternity leave and it was now summer. Tony brought the shopping through to the kitchen as he put it all away. He looked out the window that led to the back garden as he noticed Bren sitting at the garden table reading. Tony smiled, grabbing the tub of ice cream he’d bought and two spoons.
“Hiya.” Tony walked out into the garden.
“You alright?” Bren turned and smiled at him. Tony noticed the sunburn over her nose which made him smile, “How was your day?”
“It was alright. Not very eventful.” Tony shrugged as he joined her, “I saw Tam at the shops.”
“Did you? Did he say anything interesting?” Bren asked.
“He just asked about you and the baby and then proceeded to tell me a long story about when his wife was pregnant.” Tony rolled his eyes as he sighed. He then put the tub of ice cream on the table, “I got you more ice cream.”
“Ooh.” Bren sat up as he handed her a spoon, “Thanks.”
“How are you feeling? Are you still tired?” Tony asked as the two started to eat the ice cream.
“Yeah. I tried to get a sleep earlier but nothing. The baby’s not stopped kicking.” Bren sighed as she rubbed her stomach through her oversized white t-shirt.
“Are they still kicking?” Tony asked.
“Yeah.” Bren looked down at her bump, “They’ve been, what’s the word? Not congregational, constant. Constant all day.”
Tony moved his hand over her stomach. The baby kicked against his hand which made Tony laugh. Bren chuckled too, having another spoonful of ice cream. Tony then moved his head down to her bump as he listened. Bren watched him as he listened to her bump, stroking his hair gently.
“Ooh. They just kicked me in the face.” Tony laughed, holding his cheek before going back to his previous position, “You can’t kick your old dad, eh? That’s not fair!”
Bren chuckled as she watched him talk to the baby through her stomach. Tony continued to talk to her bump, telling the baby jokes and little stories. The baby’s kicking seemed to slow down a little.
“I think that’s them asleep.” Tony turned to look at Bren. Bren was now asleep with her head tilted back slightly. Tony chuckled to himself, “I think they just needed to have a chat with their dad.” He then shook Bren’s arm, “Bren, come on. Let’s get you to bed, mate.”
“Hmm.” Bren moaned tiredly.
“Come on.” Tony stood up before holding out his hand to her.
“We haven’t finished our ice cream yet.” Bren stood up slowly, her hand over her stomach.
“The ice cream can wait.” Tony took her hand as he led her inside, “I’m not having the mother of my child fall asleep on an uncomfortable chair.”
- - -
One month later…
- - -
Bren picked up the protective sheet as she unfolded it. She draped it over the cot when Tony walked into the room with two pots of paint.
“Hey! I told you not to do that.” Tony put the pots down as he rushed over to her, “No strenuous activities.”
“I’m not doing any ‘strenuous activities’, I’m just putting cover over the cot.” Bren chuckled.
“I said I would do it.” Tony replied, “And you’re not going on the ladder.”
“It’s not a ladder, it’s a step up. I’m not climbing the Eiffel Tower.” Bren shook her head, “Where are we starting then? Which wall?”
“We should start on the ceiling, which I will do. I’m not having you put yourself through more work.” Tony told her.
“I might as well go downstairs if you’re not gonna let me do anything.” Bren shrugged, “What can I do whilst you’re doing that then?”
“You could make us a brew?” Tony raised a brow as he grinned.
Bren just rolled her eyes with a laugh. She playfully hit Tony’s back before leaving the room and heading downstairs to make them a ‘brew’. When she came back up, the two sat for a moment as they took a break with their tea before getting back into painting the baby room. Tony focused on the ceiling whilst Bren painted the wall at the window. They were painting the baby room a pale yellow colour and they had already bought most of the furniture for the room. They had the radio on quietly in the room and Bren would sometimes hum along to the music which made Tony smile.
Tony had just finished with the ceiling and now had come over to help Bren. He picked up the other paint roller as he got some paint on it and started painting next to her. Bren noticed him next to her as she then looked up at the ceiling.
“That ceiling looks good.” Bren replied before turning back to Tony, “This room will be brilliant once we’re done.”
“Not if you keep painting like that. You poxy lame brain.” Tony put down his paint roller as he stood behind her. He put his hand over the hand that held her paint roller as they went over the paint properly. Tony focused on the painting but he was aware of Bren looking up at him. Tony turned his head to her and noticed the smile on her face, “What is it?”
Bren said nothing as she moved his free hand to her stomach. Tony could feel the gentle kicks against his hand from the baby. His smile grew which made Bren giggle softly. Tony kissed her temple, his hand staying over her bump before continuing to paint the wall. They were quiet for a couple of minutes before they heard the doorbell go downstairs.
“I’ll get it.” Bren stood up straight.
“No, no. I’ll get it.” Tony said as he handed her the paint roller, “I’m not having you go up and down those stairs all the time.”
Tony headed down the stairs and answered the door. It was their postman, Angus and he held a medium sized box with a couple of their other letters. Tony was surprised when he saw the parcel, wondering if Bren had ordered anything for the baby but the parcel was addressed to the both of them and was handwritten. He headed back upstairs and went into the room. Bren turned when she saw him.
“What’s that?” Bren asked.
“Dunno. Some parcel. Where’s that penknife I had?” Tony put down the parcel on the step up ladder near the protected armchair, “I hope it’s no posthumous surprise your mother had set up.”
“It wouldn’t surprise me.” Bren handed him his penknife as she watched him open up the box, “What do you think? One year old pies? More money? That baby she was meant to have for ‘little Lenny DiCaprio’?”
“There’s a letter there.” Tony handed her the letter.
Bren opened the letter and instantly recognised the handwriting. A smile grew on her face which Tony noticed.
“What is it?” Tony asked.
“It’s from Jean.” Bren replied.
“What does it say?” Tony asked, leaning on the box a little.
“Dear Bren and Tony, I hope you’re well. The pictures you sent of the cottage looked lovely and Stan says that if you need any help with repairs that he’ll be up ASAP. We’re both alright, plodding along as usual but planning for the wedding is going well. We’re hoping for a summer wedding next year so hopefully you can make it down with the baby. Speaking of babies, Anita’s little boy is getting big fast! I’ve put some pictures of him when we went to the park with him the other day although he probably will be even bigger by the time you get this. They do grow so fast, you’ll find that with your little one. Anita’s well too, she started her own little business which gives her time with the baby. Twinkle’s working at that new cafe near the roundabout which is nice, she seems happy enough. You know what Twinkle is like. She’s not exactly happy-go-lucky. Dolly’s fine too, her new house in Mobberley is looking good. She did say she sent you pictures the other week. I’m still thinking of buying her that whip with the money you gave us.” Bren continued reading as she laughed, “Liza’s pregnant though Dolly did say she told you. She’s just found out which will be lovely having another little one running around. Anyways, how are you and Tony? Not long now eh? I bet you’re both excited, it’s such a brilliant time before a baby so make the most of it! You’re going to be up all night and will be having no sex. And let’s not start on the stitches.”
“She’s full of joy, Jean. This letter is really making me feel another way about having a baby.” Tony sighed.
“Give over.” Bren rolled her eyes with a smile before continuing to read the letter, “It’ll be brilliant when you do have the baby though and I’m sure you’ll have lots of fun! Tony better be looking after you, I’m sure he is. He’s very protective of you. Although he really should make an honest woman of you now that you’re having his baby. Go on, Tony, get the girl a ring! If Stan can, you can!” Bren laughed, “I’ll let you go but we all wanted to give you this for the baby. It’s a gift from all of us but Anita made it, she’s getting very good with her hands. We all hope you like it and we hope to see you both, and the baby, very soon! Lots of Love, Jean. And the rest! P.S. Be very careful with the present!” Bren then pulled out the photos Jean had put into the envelope of Anita’s little boy. She smiled at the smiley baby boy in the pictures, “Awww, look!”
“Aww.” Tony grinned, “He really has got big, eh?”
“He has. He looks lovely.” Bren giggled as she looked at the pictures. She thought back to when Anita had left him on the fire escape and how sad she felt when being with him. She never thought she would have a baby and seeing Anita’s baby seemed to put that in perspective. But now she was going to be having her own baby whilst looking at pictures of Anita’s little boy. And she was happy. So happy. Bren then stood, “What’s in the box then?”
“Let’s see.” Tony said.
Tony took out the other box inside the parcel. He opened it up and inside, a homemade baby mobile. There were woodland animals on it and it was painted with immense detail. The couple were quiet as they looked at the baby mobile for a moment, appreciating its beauty.
“Anita made this?” Tony raised a brow.
“Yeah. She’s always been good at making arty things and she thought she would start making money from it. It’s one of those things she’s kept to herself.” Bren replied.
“She could do us a favour and come up and finish this room. We could even have Stan do any fixtures we need done.” Tony shrugged. They were quiet again as they continued to admire the baby mobile. Tony finally looked at Bren, “It’s beautiful, isn’t it?”
“Yeah, it is. It was really kind of them to send it.” Bren nodded, “It also means we don’t need to look for baby mobiles anymore so that’s that checked off our list.”
“Thank God.” Tony’s eyes widened. His face then relaxed with a little smile on his lips, “I think it suits the room.”
“Yeah. Yeah, it does.” Bren nodded, “They do know best, eh?”
- - -
Three months later…
- - -
It was now December and Bren was way past her due date. Her due date was the first of December but now it was the twenty first. Bren’s bump was now very big and she was getting a little fed up. Tony was putting up the Christmas decorations whilst Bren sat on the couch. They had decided that they were going to always be last minute putting up their decorations even though it was their first Christmas in the cottage. As Tony draped more tinsel on the tree, Bren took one last sip of her tea as she balanced the mug on her bump. Tony turned to look at her and he couldn’t help but chuckle. He knew she was fed up with being pregnant but he knew the baby was going to come in their own time. Tony felt prepared, even pumped for the baby to come. Tony made sure that Bren wasn’t putting any strain on herself and he was doing everything around the house which he didn’t mind.
“Hey,” Tony said as Bren looked up, “It won’t be long.”
“I feel like we’re waiting forever.” Bren sighed.
“I know, mate, but they’ll be here soon. It just takes time.” Tony replied with a little smile, “Still need cooking time.”
“I know. It would just be nice to have them now. I feel like I’ve been pregnant for three years nevermind nine months, d’you know what I mean?” Bren replied. She then looked up at the tree, “I can’t even help you.”
“Don’t worry about that. You’ve helped enough, telling me where things to go.” Tony shrugged. He then walked over to her as he crouched in front of her, his hand stroking her bump softly, “It won’t be long, Bren. I promise.”
Bren didn’t look up, just staring at her hands as she played with them. Tony sighed softly as he moved the mug that was balanced on her bump onto the table. He took Bren’s hands as she looked at him and helped her up. Tony then grabbed the star from the box as he stuck it on top of the tree. Bren watched as he stood back and picked up the switch for the lights and handed it to Bren.
“You can do the honours.” Tony smiled.
“I dunno how to turn them on.” Bren looked at the switch.
“That button there.” Tony pointed.
Bren pressed the button and looked up when the tree lit up. The lights were on a slow fade and the couple watched the tree quietly. Tony took Bren’s free hand that was at her side and squeezed it gently.
“It’s been a funny old year, hasn’t it?” Tony said as he looked at her.
“Yeah.” Bren nodded with a little smile. She looked up at him, “Yeah, it has.”
“It’s been good though, eh?” Tony replied.
“Yeah. It’s been the best.” Bren nodded.
Tony grinned, leaning in to kiss her as Bren cuddled into him. Tony’s hand moved down to her bump as he stroked it gently. It had been around a year since they finally ‘got it together’ and everything had changed drastically. They were together, they were in Scotland and they had a baby on the way. Their life was amazing and Tony could not be more thankful for what he had with Bren.
“I need to pee.” Bren broke off the kiss.
“You always know how to make a moment even better.” Tony said sarcastically. Bren walked past him to the door of the living room, “You gonna manage to get to the toilet, okay?”
“Yep.” Bren replied.
Bren left the room as Tony went back to the decorations. He started tidying up the boxes around the tree.
“Tony!” Bren called from the hall.
“Yeah?” Tony asked.
“Can you come here a minute?”
Tony walked out to the hall and noticed Bren at the top of the stairs. She was holding her bump as she looked down at her front. Tony frowned as he watched her.
Bren looked up at him and she wore a worried look. Tony noticed the wet stain around her bottom half.
“My waters just broke.”
Chapter 3: Amy
Bren and Tony bring their newborn home.
Tony unlocked the door as he let Bren into the house. She held the baby close to her chest, kissing her head softly. She looked back as Tony locked the door behind them, putting their overnight bag on the floor.
“You need help with anything?” Bren asked.
“No, no. I’ve got it.” Tony turned as he took off his coat before going to Bren, “Shall I take her?”
“Yeah.” Bren carefully handed their daughter to Tony. The baby started to stir a little, “Oh, oh. Shh now.”
“Phew.” Tony chuckled as he held the newborn close to him as she still slept, “Come on, you.”
Bren smiled as she took off her coat, watching the two go into the living room. She hung up her coat and went into the living room. Tony was setting the baby down in the bassinet they had just got the other week. Bren walked up to him, resting her hand on his back as he kept his eyes on the baby. Tony smiled down at the sleeping baby before them.
“I know I’ve said it in the hospital but I can’t believe she’s real.” Tony said softly.
“I know.” Bren chuckled, “She’s beautiful, eh?”
“She is.” Tony nodded. He then turned to Bren as he put his arm around her, kissing her head softly, “You done good, mate.”
“We both did.” Bren smiled. Tony brought her a little closer to him, squeezing her shoulder for a moment, “I’ll make us a brew then, shall I?”
“Are you sure? Do you not want me to do it?” Tony asked.
“Nah, I’ll manage. It’ll be good for me to walk about a bit.” Bren smiled as she patted his back, “You can keep her majesty company.”
Tony chuckled as he sat down whilst Bren went through to the kitchen. Bren started making the tea as she turned on the radio.
“What about Sharon?”
“Because I’ve given birth to a baby girl, not a forty five year old woman.”
“Well, what about Martha?”
“Oh no, I went to school with a girl called Martha. Nasty piece of work.” Bren then came through with their tea. She handed Tony his cup of tea as she joined him on the couch, “Another girl called Martha started seeing my first boyfriend behind my back. I don’t trust Marthas.” She took another sip of tea as Tony sighed, “What about Emma?”
“Bit boring, eh?” Tony raised a brow, “We want something that pops out.”
“Oh no. That’s too much!”
Bren laughed as she took a sip of her tea. She looked at the baby over Tony’s shoulder as she smiled. The baby was still asleep, stretching her legs a little.
“We’ll come up with her name eventually.” Bren smiled.
“Yeah.” Tony nodded before sitting forward and putting his tea on the coffee table, “Bren, I need to ask you something.”
“Oh. Okay. Is everything alright?” Bren asked.
“Everything’s fine. It’s perfect. Oh, I don’t really know how to ask this.” Tony sighed before going into his pocket and pulling out a little blue velvet box. Bren frowned when he showed her it as he opened it, “I was saving this for Christmas but I don’t think it can wait.” He opened the box to reveal a vintage engagement ring with an aquamarine stone and a thin gold band. Bren gasped, “Bren, will you marry me?”
Bren was speechless. She kept looking at the ring, her head swimming a little.
“Where did you have the money for this? This would have been so expensive.” Bren’s jaw dropped.
“It’s my nan’s. My mum sent it up when she sent that hat for the baby.” Tony chuckled, “What do you think?”
“It’s beautiful. Are you sure you want to give it to me?” Bren frowned.
“Of course I do, you halfwit!” Tony laughed, “I want to be with you for the rest of my life. I love you, Bren. More and more everyday. What do you say?”
“Yeah.” Bren nodded, her eyes bubbling with tears a little, “Yeah.”
Tony grinned as he put the ring on her ring finger. Bren looked at the ring for a moment, in shock as she admired the stone.
“Do you like it?” Tony asked.
“Yeah, yeah I do.” Bren nodded. She looked at him with a grin as she giggled, “I love you too.”
Tony leaned in as he kissed her. Bren’s hand moved to his cheek, keeping him close. They kissed for a couple of seconds but before anything else could be said, the baby started to cry. The two broke off the kiss as they looked at the baby.
“Let the fun begin, eh?”
- - -
Tony gave the guests at the B&B their breakfast before heading back into the kitchen. He sighed softly, checking if he had any more orders. He rubbed his eyes a little as he flicked through the orders but everything was served. He checked the time. 11:26. It was approaching lunchtime and he was looking forward to getting his break soon. It was a Friday. Finally. Tony was looking forward to enjoying his weekend with Bren and the baby.
Tony pottered around the kitchen again, tidying up the worktops before going to wash the dishes that had just been used. As he stood at the sink, Tony heard faint voices out front but he didn’t pay much attention to them. There was then a soft knock on the door near him. He looked up to see Morag leaning against the doorframe.
“You have visitors.” Morag smiled, holding her empty tray to her chest.
Tony frowned. He washed his hands before heading out to the hall of the pub. Tony couldn’t think of who it could be that had come to see him. He thought it was probably someone who had stayed at the B&B before.
Tony stepped out into the hall and grinned immediately when he noticed who it was. It was Bren and she was talking to Hamish and Anna. Her back was to Tony but he knew she had the baby with her because he could see the pram at the door. Bren turned when she heard his footsteps and smiled. She held the baby in her arms and the baby was awake.
“Hello.” Tony grinned at the baby as he walked over to them. The baby started to smile a little which made Tony smile more. Bren handed her over to Tony, “Hello, sweetheart.” Tony kissed her head as the baby cooed before turning to Bren and kissing her, “You alright?”
“Yeah. I thought it would be best to take her on a walk, you know, let her have a bit of fresh air and we were just passing here so I thought I’d pop in.” Bren explained.
“Well you can stay for a bit. It’s almost lunch.” Tony suggested, rocking the baby gently.
“Um, yeah. Yeah, why not.” Bren nodded.
“We’ll leave you two to it then because we need to start opening up the pub.” Hamish said.
“I’ll take you through.” Tony led the way for Bren.
They headed through to the kitchen and then to the back where there was a little staff room. Tony gathered the last of the plates from the guests before he headed back to Bren.
“What would you like then?” Tony asked as he stood at the door.
“You got chips? I’ve got a bit of a craving for chips.” Bren replied as she held the baby in her arms.
“A craving? You better not be pregnant again.” Tony grinned.
“Ha-ha.” Bren rolled her eyes.
“Chips coming up.” Tony rubbed his hands together as he headed into the kitchen and started making the chips.
Tony brought through two bowls of chips for him and Bren. He then sat with her as they began to eat.
“How’s your day been?” Bren asked.
“It’s been alright. Those hitchhikers were in again.” Tony replied.
“Really?” Bren frowned, “They’re always here. Did you say they were going to a festival?”
“Yeah. They’ve been now, they’re going home today.” Tony explained, “They looked like they had a wild time. A three day hangover from three days of drinking lots of lager and taking pills with no food, no thank you.”
“I’m sure Twinkle would be in fine form after that.” Bren shrugged.
“I think Twinkle would survive a bomb.” Tony sighed, “Although not those rotten mince pies, d’you remember?”
“Yeah.” Bren giggled. The baby then started to stir, crying a little. Bren looked down to the baby in her arms, “Oh, shh. It’s alright, sweetheart. I think she’s hungry.”
“How has she been today?” Tony asked as Bren began breastfeeding the baby.
“She’s been okay.” Bren replied. She rubbed the baby’s back, “She was a bit moody earlier. That’s why I took her on a walk, I think she was having cabin fever.”
“Can babies get cabin fever?”
“I dunno. It’d be funny if they did though, eh? Well not ‘funny ha-ha’ but funny, you know?”
“Your mum phoned before I left.”
“Yeah? What did she say?”
“She was just asking about the baby and asking if we got the baby grows she sent up.”
“Oh. Was that it? No drama with the neighbour next door or that my Aunt Emily is in hospital again?”
“Nothing at all. Believe me, I was surprised too.” Bren chuckled. She then burped the baby as the baby started to fall asleep as her face fell, “It’s weird being at home all day on my own.”
“What do you mean? You’ve got madam there.” Tony chuckled.
“No, I know. But I miss you.” Bren sighed.
“Aww, Bren.” Tony rubbed her shoulder, “I’m sorry.”
“No it’s not your fault. You can’t take time off, can you? It just would be nice if your, oh what’s the word? Not patriarchy, paternity! It would be nice if your paternity leave was longer. You’d get more time with her.” Bren replied.
“I know. Good thing I’m not here the whole day, eh?” Tony chuckled but Bren just looked at the baby with a sad look on her face. Tony looked over at the clock, “I tell you what, I’ll say to Hamish I’m going early. We’ve not got many people in tonight so I should be able to go home. We could get this weekend started properly. What do you say?”
“Yeah.” Bren nodded with a little smile growing on her face, “That would be great.”
“Brilliant. I’ll go say to him and we can go now.” Tony stood up.
“I haven’t finished my lunch yet, Tony.” Bren grabbed his hand.
“Oh, sorry.” Tony chuckled as he then sat back down. He watched Bren continue to eat her lunch as she still held the baby. Tony then sat forward as he went to take the baby from her, “I’ll take her for you.”
“Thanks.” Bren smiled.
Bren watched Tony as he held the baby close to him. Tony stroked the baby’s strawberry blonde hair gently, a little smile growing on his face. Bren smiled as she watched him. She moved closer to him as she looked at the baby.
“Look at that little smile.” Bren pointed at the baby’s small smile in her sleep, “I think she’s been missing you too.”
Tony chuckled as he looked up at Bren before back at the baby. The two were quiet as they watched the baby slowly wake up again. She opened her eyes as she yawned. Bren and Tony stayed quiet as they watched her, so happy for what they had together.
- - -
The baby’s cries filled the cottage as Tony opened his eyes tiredly. He was aware of Bren sighing in her sleep as she rolled her over. He knew she was going to get up, always insisting that she should check on the baby through the night. Tony rested his hand on her shoulder to stop her getting up.
“I’ll go. You get some sleep.” Tony rubbed her shoulder as he sat up.
Bren just groaned in reply as she lay back down. Tony got up from the bed as he headed through to the baby’s room. The baby’s cries were loud and seemed to wake up Tony more as he got closer. Tony finally reached the cot as he started to speak to the baby.
“Shh, shh.” He hushed the baby as he rested his hand on her stomach for a moment, “It’s okay, sweetheart.” Tony then reached into the cot as he picked up his daughter. He kissed her head as she started to quieten down, “It’s alright, eh? What’s the matter? Did you have a bad dream?”
The baby whimpered in reply. Tony walked over to the armchair as he sat down. He looked down at the baby as he turned the lamp next to him on. The baby looked up at him with her big blue eyes which made him smile. She was so like her mother which made Tony smile. He could see the similarities between himself and his daughter too but she was her mother’s daughter and to be honest, he was so happy about that. He loved Bren so much and having a child with her made him so happy. The fact he was able to have a child with Bren was amazing and he was thankful for it everyday.
“Are you alright now? You were just having a bad dream.” Tony spoke quietly to the baby, “It’s just a dream, nothing will hurt you. I’ll make sure of that. Me and your mum, we won’t let anything bad happen to you. We love you so much.” Tony continued as he watched the baby look around the room. He looked in the direction of where she was looking and he noticed the baby mobile above her cot, “Oh you’re looking at the mobile eh? Your Auntie Anita made that. It’s clever. Do you see the little fox there?”
Bren rolled over as she noticed Tony wasn’t back in bed yet. Bren sat up slowly when she heard voices through the house. Bren decided to get up and headed through to the baby’s room, wondering if there was something wrong. She noticed the lamp was on in the baby’s room but the door was closed slightly. Bren approached the door as she was about to go in but she then stopped when she noticed Tony in the armchair with the baby. He was speaking to her about the baby mobile and the animals on it. Tony spoke quietly, smiling down to the baby as he talked to her.
Bren smiled as she leaned against the door frame and watched them. She always knew that Tony would have been an amazing dad but she really was blown away by seeing him as a dad properly. He was so caring and loving towards their daughter and she was only a few weeks old. Bren really felt like she hit the jackpot. After all those years with her mother and everything else, Bren’s life was now perfect or at least perfect for her.
“That’s you asleep now, eh? Come on, let’s get you to bed.” Tony said quietly as he stood.
Bren watched as Tony lay the baby down. He pressed a kiss on the baby’s head before going to turn the lamp off. He headed to the door and opened it but jumped when he noticed Bren standing there.
“Oh Jesus, Bren.” Tony held onto his chest as Bren started to giggle, “Gave me the fright of my life.”
“I’m sorry.” Bren giggled. She then checked that the baby had not woken up.
“What are you doing up?” Tony asked.
“I just wanted to make sure everything was alright. You hadn’t come back to bed yet.” Bren replied, “Is she alright?”
“Yeah, just a bad dream I think.” Tony shrugged, “You should have stayed in bed. You look shattered.”
“I’m okay. I’m okay.” Bren nodded, “Thanks for going to see her though.”
“You don’t need to thank me, mate. She’s our daughter, remember?” Tony replied.
“I know but…” Bren said before she was hit by a big yawn.
“Come on,” Tony took her hand, “Let’s get some kip, eh?”
- - -
Bren sat in front of the television as she breastfed the baby. She had had a long night with the baby who had her first cold. Her cold was going away but it was still hard for her. Tony wanted to stay off with them but Bren made him go to work. Bren yawned before looking down at the baby who was done. Bren started to burp the baby before cuddling into her a little. The baby whimpered a little which made Bren frown.
“Shh, shh. It’s alright.” Bren looked at her daughter as she rubbed her back, “You’re okay, eh?” The baby stared up at Bren with her big blue eyes as Bren giggled a little, “Look at those eyes. Aren’t you pretty? Yes you are, you’re my pretty girl.”
Bren giggled as the baby continued looking at her but she was cut off when she heard the front door unlock.
“Bren?” Tony called through the house.
“Hiya.” Bren replied back, “How was your day?”
“It was good.” Tony appeared at the door of the living room, “I have a little surprise for you.”
“A surprise?” Bren asked.
“Yeah.” Tony nodded.
“Oh. Okay.” Bren said as Tony then disappeared into the hall again. She looked down at the baby, “What’s daddy got for us then, hm? What do you think it is? It probably won’t be something too big. He said it was little, didn’t he? Could be something for you, eh?” Bren went to call for Tony as she lifted her but she was shocked to find what, or more who was in front of her, “Oh wow.”
Jean, Stan, Dolly, Anita and her little boy, Twinkle and Philippa all came into the living room. They smiled as they came in whilst Tony stood at the door frame. Bren was so shocked to see them that she didn’t know what to say.
“Hello, Bren.” Jean grinned.
“When did you all come up?” Bren frowned.
“This morning. We got a flight up.” Dolly explained, “We’re staying at the B&B.”
“Did you know?” Bren turned to Tony as she sniffled a little, happy tears bubbling in her eyes.
“I had no idea.” Tony shrugged, “Not until they showed up.”
“We wanted to surprise you both.” Stan replied, “And come see the baby.”
Bren giggled a little as she sniffled again. She was so happy to see them all. It had been around a year or so since she had seen them all and having them here made her so happy. Bren and Tony (Though he would never admit it) had missed them all a lot. They all crowded around Bren to see the baby as Tony disappeared into the kitchen to make tea. Jean and Dolly sat next to Bren on the couch whilst Twinkle sat on the armrest at the other side of Bren. Anita sat in the armchair opposite the couch with her little boy on her lap, Philippa sitting on the armrest of the armchair and Stan stood with his hands in pockets near the fire.
“She’s beautiful, Bren.” Jean smiled down at the baby.
“Do you want to hold her?” Bren asked.
“Oh, please.” Jean smiled. Bren handed the baby over to Jean as she looked down at her. The baby still slept, stretching in the older woman’s arms, “Aw, look.”
“She’s like you, Bren.” Dolly pointed out.
“Yeah, everyone says that.” Bren nodded, “I sort of see it. She was a bit like something out of the Beano when she was first born. That was probably me.”
“You can see a lot of Tony too though.” Philippa said.
“Yeah. Nice to see that Cardiman is still getting his end away.” Twinkle laughed before singing quietly, “Agadoo.”
“Thank you.” Dolly tutted.
“Twink?” Bren lifted her head.
“Yeah?” Twinkle replied.
“Shut up.” Bren chuckled.
“How was the birth?” Philippa asked as Tony brought through their cups of tea on a tray. He handed Philippa her tea, “Thanks, Tony.”
“It was quite long. Eleven hours.” Bren nodded. They all reacted with an audible gasp among them, “It was alright once she came though. It wasn’t too painful.”
“‘Wasn’t too painful’? You almost broke my hand, mate. And you were screaming at the top of your lungs.” Tony sighed.
“Well yeah, but apart from that, it wasn’t that bad. The worst part was afterwards.” Bren replied.
“I did tell you about the stitches. Not nice at all.” Jean shook her head as she passed the baby to Tony.
“Yeah, it was really uncomfortable.” Bren took a sip of her tea, “I was sitting on frozen peas for days.”
“Did you have any haemorrhoids, Bren?” Anita asked with her usual innocence. Bren noticed Tony’s face drop when she mentioned this and she tried her best to stifle a laugh.
“Um no actually, which I was surprised at because I was pushing for awhile.” Bren nodded.
“Well, it’s different for everyone, isn’t it?” Dolly added.
“It is. One of my friends had three, sort of in a cluster.” Anita replied as she let her little boy off her lap and let him play with his teddy, “I only had one.”
“Well, thank goodness I now have an infant daughter who isn’t toilet trained yet because if I didn’t, I would have been outside with a fag right now. Bren, I’m gonna change her.” Tony said as he walked past Philippa and Anita to go change the baby’s nappy.
“Oh yeah, whiffarama!” Philippa turned away for a moment before watching Tony begin to change the baby’s nappy, “When did you give up smoking, Tony?”
“The day Bren told me she was pregnant. No more cancer sticks for me.” Tony laughed.
“Good man, Tony.” Stan nodded, “Not a very good habit, cigarettes. You know, my dad was a desert rat and he said used cigarettes for their bullets if they ran out. A lot of power in them. Although he did like his pipe now and then.”
“He’s good with her, isn’t he?” Jean nudged Bren gently as they watched Tony with the baby.
“He is.” Bren smiled, “She’s lucky.”
“You both are.” Dolly butted in, “You’ve both done so well.”
The baby started to whine a little as Tony looked around the table. He tried to calm her but she started to cry more.
“Bren, where’s the other packet of nappies?” Tony frowned.
“I’ll get them.” Bren stood up as she headed over to get more nappies out.
“What’s the baby called again, Bren? I don’t know why but I keep forgetting. Stupid Philippa.” Philippa laughed nervously.
“That’s alright.” Bren chuckled as she walked over and stood in front of the living room door, “She’s called Amy.”
“Awww, now that is an exceptional name,.” Stan smiled.
“Was there any meaning behind it?” Philippa asked.
“Well, we couldn’t think of a name for a few days and then Amy just came to us. We actually named her after Tony’s mum, eh?” Bren explained.
“Uh huh.” Tony replied as he got Amy into her baby grow.
“That’s really nice.” Anita nodded with a grin.
“Thank goodness you didn’t name her after your mother, Bren.” Dolly raised her brows.
“Yeah, baby Petula.” Jean sighed.
“Or another baby Brenda.” Bren chuckled, “She’d be Brenda Furlong the third.”
“You mean Brenda Martin?” Tony walked over to her with Amy in his arms which made Bren chuckle.
“Now, that’s a nice name, Bren, eh?” Jean nodded with a grin.
“What about middle names?” Anita asked.
“Eh?” Bren asked with a smile.
“Middle names.” Anita repeated. Twinkle’s eyes drifted from Anita as she looked around the room. She started fiddling with her hands before looking up towards Bren. Bren’s hand was at her side and Twinkle noticed the aquamarine ring on her finger, “Middle names are-.”
“Anita, shut up a minute.” Twinkle took Bren’s hand as she looked at the ring, “Flipping heck, Bren! This is massive!”
“What is it?” Jean asked before noticing what Twinkle was looking at, “Bren? You didn’t tell us that!”
“What?” Stan frowned.
“Me and Tony are engaged.” Bren said shyly as she showed them her ring.
There was another audible gasp from everyone. A more cheerful audible gasp this time. Bren giggled as she looked up at Tony who smiled.
“Why didn’t you tell us?” Dolly grinned at them.
“And when did this happen?” Jean grinned too.
“I proposed when we brought Amy home. I was going to do it Christmas day but the timing wasn’t right. It would be best to be a little earlier.” Tony explained as he wrapped his arm around Bren who smiled up to him, “I guess we’ve not really had the time to tell anyone, have we?”
“No.” Bren giggled.
“When’s the wedding then?” Philippa asked.
“We haven’t thought that far ahead yet. You’d be lucky if we’ve even thought about our dinner tonight.” Tony sighed. He then looked at Bren, “Speaking of dinner, shall we get a Chinese? I’m not having you cooking for all this lot.”
“Yeah, why not.” Bren chuckled before turning to the others, “Unless you all have other plans.”
“Not at all.” Dolly shook her head.
“We’ve come to see you three! Of course we don’t have any other plans.” Stan laughed.
“Exactly. Besides, after that revelation, we need to stay!” Twinkle chipped in, “Bren and the sad man are getting married. Wahey!”