“Whatever It Takes”
Two and a Half Weeks Later
Amanda’s Apartment - Friday Night 11p
Sonny felt as though his two and a half weeks spent with the girls went by in a flash. While he was still a little sad that all his one on one time with Jesse and Billie would be coming to an end, Sonny was happy Amanda would be coming back home. He knew the girls really missed her and he had too.
Amanda was supposed to be arriving Friday afternoon, but her flight got delayed due to weather and she ended up getting back to Manhattan much later than anticipated.
Not wanting to wake the girls, who she knew were in bed, Amanda tried to enter into the apartment as quietly as she could. When she walked in she smiled as she saw a big ‘Welcome Home Mom!’ banner plastered up on the wall and a sleeping Sonny lying on the living room couch.
She walked over to him, placed her hand on his shoulder and gently shook. “Sonny.”
After a few seconds his eyes slowly fluttered open. “You’re back.” Sonny said as he smiled softly and stretched. He rubbed his eyes and sat up on the sofa.
“Finally.” Amanda said sighing as she took a seat beside him.
“How’s Jim doing?”
“He’s getting there.” Amanda said as she ran hand through her hair. “Doing a whole lot better than when I first saw him. I don’t think he’ll need that nurse I hired for him for very long.”
Sonny nodded. “That’s good to hear.”
“Hopefully the girls were as well behaved as they told me they were during all of our FaceTime calls.” Amanda said, chuckling.
Sonny smiled. “They were. Honest.” He crossed his heart.
“You know what they told me in our last phone call?” Amanda asked him.
Sonny shook his head. “What?”
“That they hoped the new baby was a girl. Because you’re the best girl dad.”
Sonny blushed. “Jesse and Billie really said that?”
Amanda nodded. “Billie also said you are an expert nose blower and teeth brusher.”
Sonny laughed and then his demeanor turned a bit more serious. “I can’t believe I never realized all the little things you do for the girls. Billie especially. It’s…its a lot. I don’t know how you do this by yourself. Now, but especially when Jesse was a toddler and Billie was a baby. You’re a really great mom. I hope you know that.”
Amanda gave him a small smile.
He paused for a moment before continuing. “As difficult as I sometimes found being the one who had to make every decision, big and small, for them while you were gone, I imagine if I had been the one who was consistently making them for their entire lives it would be hard to have someone else come in and shake up that dynamic. I should’ve been more understandin’ of that. I’m sorry I wasn’t.”
A surprised Amanda sat silently for a bit as she absorbed what Sonny just told her before eventually replying.
“I really appreciate you saying all of that.” Amanda began, adding, “It WAS difficult letting go. Still, I should’ve been more open to ideas and choices that weren’t my own. Me being a bit reluctant to do so probably did inadvertently sabotage your efforts with the girls. While the way I always did things with Jesse and Billie worked, in my eyes anyways, it doesn’t mean there weren’t better ways to do them. Like the food trick with Billie I stole from you.”
Sonny chuckled. “I thought when she brought that up to me on night one it sounded familiar.”
Amanda smiled and then continued. “I should’ve also just been more accepting of the help. There’s not many guys out there who wouldn’t flinch when asked to do some of the stuff I put on that list. Especially for little girls that aren’t biologically his own.”
“Biology has never mattered to me.” Sonny reminded her.
“I know.” Amanda said. “But I still wanted you to know that you’re a rare breed and I’m lucky to have you in my life. Even if it isn’t really the way I want.”
Sonny raised his eyebrows and fixed his mouth to respond to the latter part of her statement, but she signaled to him with her hand to let her finish.
“I can see why you like her.” Amanda said, in regards to Meghan. “She’s young, smart, successful, beautiful, and has no baggage. But there’s one thing I have that she doesn’t and that’s your heart.”
“You can try to deny it, but I know I do. I see it in your eyes when you look at me and I feel it deep within my soul. I know we have problems, but we were just able to sit here and talk a few of the issues that pertained to the girls out. We still have a ways to go in that regards, and on other things like our work disagreements, but it shows me that we’re capable of working through any issue if we try a little harder.”
“And I want to try. Because you have my heart too. And I want our family to be together. You, me, the girls, and the baby. All five of us. Under the same roof. I’m willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen and—“
Sonny interrupted her by leaning in and kissing her. A kiss that caught Amanda by surprise, but in a good way.
When their lips finally parted, Sonny rested his forehead on hers, caressed her cheek, and whispered to her, “You’re right. You do have my heart. That’s why I broke off whatever it was I had goin’ on with her. Two weeks ago. It’s because I love you so much and I want all the same things you do. I’m ready to do whatever it takes to make it happen.”
He nodded. “Yes.”
They kissed again for a long while before Amanda finally pulled back.
“As much as I want to take this where I feel like it’s going, maybe we shouldn’t.”
Sonny nodded. “As happy as I am that the last time we were together led to this—“ He placed his hand on her stomach—“it didn’t solve anythin.’ We should probably take it slow and focus on the parts of our relationship that need work. Intimacy definitely isn’t one of them and there’s plenty of time for that later.”
Amanda laughed softly. “Agreed.” She then asked, “ So how do we move forward and get past this rough patch we’ve been stuck in?”
“I think we need to continue to talk things out. But maybe do it with someone who can serve as an impartial mediator who could help guide us? Like a a therapist.”
Sonny paused for a moment before continuing. “I’ve never really been a fan of the whole therapy, psychology thing and I know the whole Bucci incident kinda turned you off of it too, but it might be a good thing to try.”
Amanda nodded. “I think you’re right. If we said we’ll do whatever it takes, then we need to do just that. So I’m willing to give it a go and see what happens.”
Sonny gave her a smile and wrapped his arm around her while Amanda cuddled in close to him. They sat like that together for a long while. Both unsure of what lied ahead for the two of them but optimistic.
Three Months Later
Move In Day - Saturday Morning
As badly as both Sonny and Amanda wanted to go full steam ahead and get right back into the swing of things in regards to their relationship, they also knew if they wanted it to work, they couldn’t rush the process. So they didn’t.
Though Sonny and Amanda had made a lot of good progress early on in their therapy sessions, ironing out a lot of the issues that plagued them and picking up new skills, (like learning how to fight as a twosome), they still eased back into life as a couple and family unit slowly. Sonny continued to maintain his apartment, but would spend small stretches at Amanda’s.
However after a couple of months and a lot of headway they decided it was finally time for Sonny to move back into their apartment and for them not to get back to life as it was before, but to establish and settle in to a new normal.
“Come on you three let me help.” A now very pregnant Amanda told Sonny, Jesse and Billie as she watched the trio lug in and unpack his things from the living room.
Sonny shook his head. “We got this Rollins.” He said as he headed toward their bedroom with a box. “You relax on the couch.”
“Yes mom, you relax.” Jesse echoed as she followed behind Sonny with a much smaller and lighter box in hand. “We got this.”
Billie scurried behind Jesse carrying a little lamp yelling out. “We gots it mommy!”
Amanda laughed, put her hands up in defeat and plopped down on the sofa.
Later in the afternoon, while Amanda was out running some errands and Billie was napping, Sonny decided to take a break from unpacking his things and start painting the baby’s room. He promised Amanda that he’d get it done before some of the furniture she ordered for it was delivered next week.
When Jesse heard rummaging in the nursery, she poked her head into it and saw what Sonny was doing.
“Can I help you paint?” She asked hopefully.
Sonny nodded as he opened up the lid to the yellow paint. “Sure. As soon as you water the plants and finish up the rest of your chores.”
Jesse nodded. “OK.” She then went off and did as she was asked.
About 10 minutes later Amanda returned home and was pleasantly surprised to see Jesse on the floor brushing Frannie.
“Starting on your chores?” Amanda asked as she set her keys down on the kitchen counter.
“Yes.” Jesse said as she stood up, removed Frannie’s hair from the dog brush, put it away and then went to grab the empty watering can from underneath the sink. “I want to help Sonny paint the nursery, but he said I needed to do my chores first.”
Amanda hung up her coat in the closet. “He did, huh?”
Jesse nodded as she finished filling up the can at the kitchen sink and made her way over to the peace lily.
Just then, Sonny emerged into the kitchen/living room area from the nursery to grab a drink. She covertly nodded her head in Jesse’s direction and gave him a thumbs. He took a swig from his water bottle and smiled.
Sonny and Amanda had sat down and jointly come up with a list of chores for the girls, punishments (if needed for misbehaving), and what they deemed were age appropriate activities for each one. Doing that helped get them both on the same page and instill in Jesse and Billie that no matter which adult they asked to do something and no matter which adult asked them to do something the other one would support the decision. As a result there was no more going behind Sonny’s back and the girls were listening to him just as well as they had when Amanda had been away.
When Amanda entered her and Sonny’s bedroom later that night after checking on Jesse and Billie, she frowned when she saw Sonny on his work cell, looking intently through his email.
She shot him a look.
Sonny sighed. “Sorry I know we agreed no talkin’ bout work or doin’ work at home UNLESS—“
“It’s an emergency or we’re in the middle of a trial.”
“It’s an emergency or we’re in the middle of a trial.” They said together in unison.
Sonny and Amanda had come up with the solution as a way to minimize any on the job disagreements that may occasionally arise from seeping into their personal lives and it seemed to be helping.
“It’s easier for me to not talk about it then it is to not do somethin’ work related.” Sonny admitted as he put the phone down on his nightstand. “I’m definitely still a work in progress when it comes to that. But I’m tryin.’”
“I know it is.” Amanda said as she slipped into her side of the bed. “And you are trying. You haven’t slipped up too much.” She said smiling.
Amanda cuddled up closer to him and rested her head on his chest. “The nursery looks great. You and Jesse did a nice job painting.”
“I’m glad you like it.” Sonny said to her, but added. “You shouldn’t be in there though. Not until that paint smell dies down a bit. I don’t want you breathin’ those fumes in.”
Amanda nodded. “I just poked my head in for a second. But I won’t do it again.”
Sonny then changed the subject. “So the girls are asleep, right?”
“Right.” Amanda said, raising an eyebrow. “Why do you ask?”
“You know why I’m askin.’” Sonny said as he looked her up and down. “I think we’ve waited long enough.”
“Agreed.” Amanda told him. “It’s just…”
“What is it?”
Amanda sighed. “I’ve never done it pregnant before and I just…don’t feel all that attractive right now.”
She sat up and took her shirt off. “I mean, are you sure you wanna do all this?” Amanda asked as she gestured toward herself.
Sonny sat up a little and guided her on top of him. “No I don’t wanna ‘do’ all this. I want to make love to all this. Because all of this is beautiful.”
He then leaned in and kissed her stomach. “I love you.”
Sonny then brought his hand up to Amanda’s chin. “And I love you. So much.”
Amanda grinned. “I love you too.”
He connected his lips with hers and kissed her passionately.
Once they finished the two curled up to each other.
“We’re gonna be OK.” Amanda said to him quietly.
“We will be.” Sonny told her as he stroked her blonde hair gently.
Three and Half Months Later
Amanda and Sonny’s Apartment - Sunday Morning
When Sonny, Amanda and the baby entered into the apartment, they were quietly greeted by Jesse and Billie, as well as Liv, who had been watching the girls.
“Welcome home!” Jesse and Billie whispered excitedly in an attempt not to awaken their new baby sister, who was sound asleep in their mother’s arms.
Amanda slowly made her way to the living room couch to sit and as she did, the newborn’s ocean blue eyes fluttered open and looked around at her new surroundings before finally resting on her two sisters, who stood before her.
“Do you think Penelope remembers seeing us at the hospital?” Billie asked Amanda hopefully.
“Of course she does.” She told her.
Jesse smiled at her and rubbed the baby’s little hand. “She’s so pretty.”
Liv stood watching Jesse and Billie interact with their new sister for a little bit longer before whispering to Sonny. “I’m gonna head out.”
He nodded. “Thanks for watchin’ the girls.”
Liv shook her head. “No problem.”
“Jesse, Billie, I’ll see you two soon, OK?” Liv said as she gave each girl a hug.
She then turned her attention to the baby girl in her detective’s arms.
“I’ll be seeing you soon too Miss Penelope.” Liv looked over at Amanda. “Have you guys decided on a nickname yet?”
Amanda shook her head. “Not yet. Penny, P, Nellie, and Elle are all still in the runnin’.”
Liv chuckled. “I’m sure you’ll decide on one soon.”
Amanda gently stroked the baby’s light, golden brown hair. “Thanks again for all your help, Liv. We really appreciate it.”
The Captain nodded, gave a her a small smile and waved goodbye to her, Sonny and the girls as she exited the apartment.
Jesse carefully sat down next to Amanda while Sonny pulled Billie up into his arms and stood beside them.
“Is anyone going to be coming over to see Penelope today?” Jesse asked, curiously.
“Nope.” Amanda said as she settled into the couch a bit more and got comfortable. “It’ll be just us. Just family.”
Amanda then looked up at Sonny, who gave her a wink and grinned.
“Good.” Jesse said smiling. “That’s the way I like it.”
“Me too!” Billie exclaimed as she rested her head on Sonny’s shoulder.
He gave her a kiss on the forehead. “Me three.”
“Me four.” Amanda said as she cradled Penelope into one arm and pulled Jesse in closer to her with the other.