In 273 days, Ty and Annie’s lives changed. It took 273 days for two freshly married, twenty-one year old ‘kids’ to become parents. *Continuation of my last fic, of sorts*
They’d only been married three months. Three months was not three years, but, by that logic, it wasn’t three weeks either, so he guessed they’d made it so far. He smiled at her, or rather, her reflection in the mirror; messy bun and mismatched pajamas, or rather, what she called pajamas these days – one of his old t-shirts and lacy underwear underneath – with flecks of mascara a contrast against the pale skin of her cheek, and she smiled back, a sleepy sort of smile. They’d at least beaten teen pregnancy. That was something, wasn’t it?
“Good morning sleepyhead,” he said to her, laughing a little when she crawled over to him from higher on the bed and rested her chin on his shoulder.
Now she was staring at their reflection, and he met her eyes again in the mirror on the wall. They were bright, but still, she looked tired, run-down, and it occurred to him that they could maybe play the sick card just a little while longer.
“Me? I should be saying that to you. I felt you get out of bed only half an hour ago. What happened to going out for your run?”
His gaze fell to her abdomen and he had to hold in the sigh. There was a visible distention now, and sure, she could pass it off as bloat, but that would only hold in court for so long. Because you couldn’t have a period symptom, without an actual period. He was fairly sure that’s how it worked. Despite the stress it was causing, that soft swell to her stomach was a beautiful thing, and as odd as it sounds, its something he feels tethered to, protective over, even, already. He has his hands there every chance he gets.
Encircling his arms around her waist, he felt her let out a calm breath as his hands reached for her stomach, the pads of his fingertips encroaching over her bellybutton.
“I was too tired. Wanted to sleep in. And can you blame me? It’s the off-season.”
He kissed her temple, breathing in the honeyed scent of her shampoo from last night’s shower before his mouth dipped to the crevice between her shoulder and neck, and he could smell the faint aroma of that froufrou green tea shower soap that she’d cajoled him into buying, the same soap he knew that he smelled of, too. The very thought brought back salacious flashes from the night before; her face buried in his chest, her pert, little ass up against the translucent glass of the shower door, her legs hiked up around his waist, her heels locked together for balance while her fingers were in his hair, every so often pushing back the very wet strands that fell into his eyes as the water ran cold. But they didn’t care. Not about that.
Her eyes fell to his hands there on her body, palming her burgeoning stomach, with a tentative smile. She was scared, he knew that, even if she didn’t tell him as much. Annie didn’t show her vulnerability, not often, and not around many people, and she reminded Ty of himself in that way, in that dumb, paradox where they were emotional people, its just that, they were emotional in private. So, he knew she was scared.
He knew she was scared just by the little things. In the way her chin dipped slightly, as if to turn away from him, the way her eyes downcast to the hardwood floor of their bedroom when he touched her there, the way she let her hair fall in front of her face, newly gotten bangs rushing forward into her eyes, but then again, when weren’t they always; he loved them, especially in the mornings, like this one, where the fringe gets caught in her eyelashes, a little sticky from yesterday’s mascara, because he loves to push them back from her forehead and leave a kiss there, pursing his lips against the warm, milky skin, tinged with an aroma of sleep.
He loved her. He loved her so much that he knew all of the little, innocuous things about her, and the things that he wished he didn’t sometimes, and he vowed, right here, holding her like this, her breaths radiating through him too, against his chest, that he would never, ever leave her. He didn’t when things between them were easy, and he wouldn’t when things got tough, and they would, sooner than later. They couldn’t hide this from their parents, their families, forever. She knew that too; he knew that she did.
“We’re going to be okay, sweetheart. I promise. Even if they’re a bit shocked at first, they’ll come around. We aren’t sixteen. We’re married. We’re twenty-one years old. We’re legal adults.” He placed a kiss into her mused hair. “We can vote.”
He watched in the mirror as her lips turned up into a coy smile. “Heh. We beat teen pregnancy.”
Tyler grinned against her scalp, and then raised his head slightly to meet the reflection of her eyes. “I love you. I love you so much, Annabelle Townsend.”
Her eyes narrowed a bit and she turned to really look at him, no reflection between them now. “That’s Annabelle Sullivan-Townsend to you, mister.”
He’d tried to fight her on it, to take his name and leave hers behind, citing that their future children would have his name, a future that would come a lot sooner than either of them expected, but she didn’t budge. She’d told him that while the Sullivan name might not be part of their future children, it would always be apart of her, and if he didn’t support her decision to keep it, she just wouldn’t marry him. A shrug of her shoulders. A nonchalance designed to screw with his head.
It was obvious to him, and it had been since he’d met her, when she downright refused to give Ms. Dana Sue her baby rattle to wash (a story he’s heard countless of times over countless Margarita Nights from the Townsend living room) that stubbornness was also just part of her, a part of her that he just had to get used to. And he had, but it didn’t mean that it was his favorite part of her. At the end of the day, it was such a small concession to have her as his wife, and so he acceded, even as his father nearly had a heart attack on the spot, a reaction that made Dana Sue roll her eyes in a less-than-Southern-matron reaction, which reminded him so startlingly of Annie, he nearly laughed out loud.
“Right. And Annabelle Sullivan-Townsend…” he leaned forward to push their lips together and she reciprocated in the space of a single breath. “I want to stay in this bed with you all day, if you’ll have me.”
“No question,” she breathed out between their kisses, and then she gasped when he switched them around so that instead, she was above him.
“Except we have to tell them about…the pregnancy. We said today.”
It was still hard to say out loud, for both of them.
He looked up at her, at her hair, matted a little against her head, those bangs in her face again, but it was sexy; it was all sexy, the way her hands were pressed against his chest, the way his hands were on her waist, his fingertips hooked around the string of her underwear, the satin string that gave way to something that only really covered half of her, the Walmart hip-huggers phase of her teenagerhood good and gone, and the way her breath, soft and expectant, felt against his face.
He knew they wouldn’t be telling them today, and she couldn’t fool him, not anymore. She knew it too. “Let’s say tomorrow.”
She smirked at him and he knew it was a done deal, then. “Tomorrow.”
He took her by surprise when he up and kissed her again without warning, and not necessarily gentle. She laughed in reaction and he laughed too, the both of them sounding happy, so, stupidly happy, as if, for a moment, none of this was happening.
The next morning, both of them awoke around the same time, both having had equally restless sleeps. For her part, Annie had tossed and turned all night, never staying wrapped in his arms like she would usually, for longer than what felt like three seconds at a time, because usually, she sleeps like a log. And he knew it was around three seconds between each time she turned over, because he had lay awake, staring at the ceiling, then at her, then at the ceiling, again.
“Good morning love,” she whispered against his chest, and he hummed in response, carding his hands through her hair until he reached her lower back and lifted her shirt up just the smallest bit, so that he could slip his hands through it and feel the heat of her bare skin.
“It will be in a minute,” he teased seductively as he kissed the bridge of her nose, then her upper lip, and then her mouth, biting the skin lightly.
She squirmed and gently pushed him away. Without saying anything at first, she got up from the bed and removed her shirt, her back to him, and, just his luck, she had a bra on before she turned back around to him, before he could think about making any moves.
“We have to tell them today. Brunch, remember?”
She smoothed her hand against her stomach, and still, it surprised him, the way her skin just stretched and moved and made room for something inside of her. Their baby.
He didn’t necessarily want to think about it, but there were twins on his side – his grandpa had twin sisters, his dad’s dad, and he read that the twin gene skipped a generation which meant…well, it meant a whole lot more work for him and Annie. Not that he wouldn’t love to have two babies, he would, in fact, maybe he wanted three, like his parents, but just, maybe not at the same time. He shook his head imperceptively, trying not to think about the fact that Annie was showing a lot for only three months. She’d just become an expert at hiding it, and at seeing her mom a little less.
“I know. And we will.”
They got ready in silence and drove to the restaurant the same way. Dana Sue insisted that they eat anywhere but at Sullivan’s so that’s how they ended up at some Chicken and Waffles place uptown. Annie was picking at her fried chicken, and he could see it in her eyes, she was hoping and praying that she wouldn’t get sick at the table.
“An…” he said to her, putting a soothing hand on her wrist and rubbing circles along it.
“I have to go to the – uh – I have to pee,” she said suddenly, abruptly getting up from her chair, not even bothering to push it in closer to the table before she turned towards the washrooms.
“Annabelle – “
Dana Sue said in a warning tone but didn’t get to finish before her daughter was already too far away to hear her. “Tyler, sweet boy, do you know what’s gotten into her? She’s been to the washroom three times in the past hour…should I be worried?”
Ty’s mouth went dry. He could taste metal. “I – uh – she – “
“Sorry you guys.” Annie got back just in time, putting a reassuring hand on his back before she sat down again.
“I like your dress, Annie, it’s very cute,” his mom said before she could apologize any further. The nervous look on her face smoothed out, but only for a second.
“Thanks Maddie. It’s new actually.” Annie stood up from the table again and touched the emerald green fabric, quickly and unwittingly exposing her forming bump.
“Ha!” Dana Sue cried triumphantly, making him flinch. “I knew it. I totally knew it! Baby girl,” she said, clicking her tongue and giving her daughter an impish look, “you can’t hide a thing from me. I’m your mama. I know everything.”
“Looks like the cat’s out of the bag, An,” Ty said to her, a little regretfully.
For as much as they agonized over it, they wanted to be the one’s to tell their parents, not the other way around. Either way, the secret was out there now, and it seemed that hers and his mom were taking the news in stride.
His mom and Dana Sue glanced at each other, both of their lips showing a glint of a smirk. “At least we beat teen pregnancy,” his mom said, with Dana Sue’s echo, “amen to that!”
Ty couldn’t help it, and it seemed like Annie couldn’t either as they laughed. Ty looked over at her and when she caught him staring he mouthed ‘I love you’ and not to his surprise, she mouthed it right back.
It turns out that Ty was right, and the twin gene was definitely a thing where he and Annie were concerned, because at their 16 week ultrasound, it was very obvious that Annie was carrying two babies. And Ty was actually excited about that fact. He had Baby Girl and Baby Boy to be thinking about now. Before, it was just himself, Annie, and one, singular, baby. It had been a lot to process, the change in thinking, but he managed.
Seven and a half months carrying twins had definetly taken a toll on his wife though. Annie would try and try with all of her might not to complain, but there were days she was just so uncomfortable that it became somewhat cathartic to get angry, otherwise she would quite probably go insane.
Everyone ogled and awed at her though, his mom most of all, and that seemed to help her ignore the discomfort every now and then, a little more. Today though, today had been hard. Church was one hour too long, brunch afterwards was a relief if only because she got to eat, and then they were home, but she couldn’t get into a position that was comfortable in any sense of the word.
Right now, she was curled into the loveseat but the babies were kicking up a storm, the skin of her belly rippling like a white-capped ocean and as much as he loved to feel his son and daughter’s little baby feet kick his hand, he knew it had to be causing Annie some sort of something, whether that be pain, general discomfort or a sense of impending parenthood because more frequent movement likely meant that her womb was no longer fit to size for their two little Peanuts, and that scared the crap out of them both. They’d spent the last few early mornings when the babies wouldn’t let her sleep discussing that very thing. They’d concluded that everything was going to be fine, they had their families, they had their friends (sort of), and they could be scared together, and that had to count for something.
“Agh, Ty,” Annie groaned, trying to switch positions for the third time in as many minutes. “I think these pains I’m feeling are contractions, and I also don’t think they’re going to let up any time soon.”
He watched her face contort with the pain and then there was relief in her expression, and he deduced that they had in fact let up, at least for the time being.
“Hey,” he went from the couch to over to her and stood in front of her. “You’re going to be okay. We’ll go to the hospital when you think you’re ready. My mom said five minutes apart. Do you think there’s five minutes in between them?”
“Mm…not yet. But please distract me. I need a distraction.”
“A distraction huh?” he asked, raising an eyebrow, and she laughed, grabbing his cheeks in between her hands, and pulling him close to her.
“Exactly what I was thinking, Mr. Townsend,” she said to him before pressing her mouth against his.
Soon after though, the next contraction hit. And then again. All the both of them wanted to do was revel in the simple happiness gotten from kissing each other a little bit longer, but they knew it was time to go to the hospital. Now.
“Time to have these babies, huh? You ready, An?”
She sighed while he helped her out of the chair and to the front door, grabbing their hospital go-bag on the way out.
“As ready as I’ll ever be.” She touched her belly softly. “Are you ready in there my little Peanuts? Momma and Daddy are sure ready to meet you.”
At 7:47 PM and 7:49 PM, on July 23rd, Baby Girl Townsend, and Baby Boy Townsend, respectively, were born. It was long and it was hard, but both Annie (his girl was a superhero, and he would never, ever, have any reason to doubt that now), and Ty were elated to be parents to two, extremely healthy babies. He felt blessed with fraternal twins, and while they’d made a top three list for both genders, Annie gave him the honor of naming their son, and it was unspoken then, that she would name their daughter.
“Mom, Ms. Dana Sue,” Ty said to their moms, the both of them crowded around Annie, who looked physically and mentally depleted, but nonetheless, entirely fulfilled, with both babies on her chest. In this very moment, she looked as beautiful as Ty had ever seen her.
“Annie and I would like to introduce you to our big boy on the left, Beau Greyson Townsend, and to our sweet girl on the right, “Sarah Evangeline Townsend. With an H,” he added as an afterthought, not sure why the spelling really mattered in the moment, but to him, for some reason, it mattered.
“Oh you two, those babies are so wonderful. And their names…so precious,” Maddie spoke first, and then so did Dana Sue.
“First and foremost, I am so proud of you my beautiful girl,” she said, directing the statement at Annie, who smiled, and then to them both, “you kids are going to be amazing parents to those babies. I have no doubt.”
“Thanks Mom,” Annie said and there were tears in her eyes. Ty squeezed her hand. “Yeah, thanks Ms. Dana Sue. It means a lot. You too mom.”
Ty took a minute to look at Annie once their moms left, with some pleading from the nurse because visiting hours were ending, and he took a single breath.
“We’re going to do this, Annie. And we’re going to do it right. Teach our kids everything we know, love them with everything we have, and love each other just as much.”
Annie grinned at him, nodding her head as Sarah and Beau slept on in their bassinets next to her hospital bed.
“I know we are. And I know we will. Because with you, baby, everything is possible. And I am going to love life with you.”
Ty kissed her gently. “I’m going to love life with you too.“