The funeral was just about as lovely as a funeral could be. Andrew Northman was a well-loved man and the turnout was proof of that. I’m still in shock that he’s no longer with us. I knew him for a short time, but he was someone I counted as a friend. He was a great father-in-law and judging by my husband he was an even better father.
Karin is taking some time off of work to adjust to her new life. She’s a lot stronger than I would be if I woke up and Eric didn’t. She has an amazing support system. Which is always needed. My Gran died when I was twelve and at the time since I’d been home schooled she was my best friend. So I don’t know exactly what she’s going through, I understand the loss.
I’ve been strong for them, doing whatever they need me to do since Drew’s passing. I’ve cried a few times, which is to be expected. What scares me is Eric hasn’t cried. It’s been just over a month and not once have I seen him cry, which is fine I guess, but he hasn’t shown much emotion at all. I’m scared it hasn’t really hit him yet. I don’t want to bring it up; because I know it’ll come in time. I just don’t want it to happen when he’s alone, or watching the kids. They’re both very understanding, but I don’t know how hard it’s going to hit or if he’ll be able to function when it does. He’s a strong man; however we all deserve to have our moments of weakness.
We hadn’t come to a decision on names for the twins when Drew passed, and we haven’t talked about it since. Their birth is rapidly approaching, so we want names. I would hate to have to call them Thing 1 and Thing 2 until we figure it out. Andrew wasn’t in the running the last time we talked about it, but with recent events I think I want to honor him by naming one of the boys after the grandfather they unfortunately will never get to meet.
Eric and I are kidless tonight. My parents have Joey. They’ve been taking her a lot since Drew passed. Initially it was so we could get things done for the funeral, now it’s so Eric and I can have more alone time before we’ll be up to our eyeballs in diapers again. We aren’t doing a whole hell of a lot with our alone time like we used to. I’m too uncomfortable to have sex, plus I stopped feeling sexy around month five. I know I’m as big as a house. I believe his superhero line, the sincerity in his eyes when he reminds me I’m doing something amazing for him that he could never do tells me that’s the truth. I also know he’s nowhere near attracted to me. He keeps telling me I’m beautiful, and sexy and all that horsehit, but he doesn’t even get morning wood anymore. He’s also turned down the two blowjobs I’ve offered. I just can’t turn off my pregnancy hormones when some residual sex hormones sneak through. I don’t blame him. There’s been a lot going on.
I’m sitting on the couch contemplating lying down when Eric walks in with the decaf coffee and cake I requested. I’m officially started maternity leave and I thought I’d kick it off with sweets.
“I’ve been doing some thinking about names,” I tell him when he sits down at the end of the couch so I can use him as a pillow when I’m done with my cake.
“Yep. How would you feel if we named one of our boys Andrew?” I ask.
He thinks about it for a minute before he says, “Whatever you want is fine with me.”
“Are you sure? Did you have something else in mind?”
“No. Andrew is fine.”
“Okay…” I don’t know what I expected. Maybe I was hoping for a little more emotion. “Have you thought of anything for the second one?”
“I haven’t really thought about it,” he admits.
“Understandable,” I nod. “Other than my brilliant Andrew plan, I don’t have much either.”
“We’ll figure it out,” he says like we have all the time in the world.
“Well… I would kinda like to figure it out before they’re born. Which at this point could be at any moment.”
He sighs and says, “Whatever you want is really okay with me.”
“Fine,” I huff and take longer than I should to stand up. If he doesn’t want any part in this, then fuck him. Names are a big deal and I would hate to pick something out that he hates. I have a feeling he wouldn’t tell me if he did hate it. Then our baby would be stuck when he finally pulls his head out of his ass and shows an ounce of emotion for anything.
I finally get up and pick up my coffee before I start waddling into the kitchen. I would go to bed, but walking up the stairs alone scares me right now since my balance is so off. Instead I sit at the island and realize I forgot my cake, which makes me cry. No more children after this. I should not be crying over cake.
A few minutes later, Eric brings my cake in.
“You forgot this. Why are you crying?” he asks.
“Because I forgot my cake and I don’t want to be pregnant anymore, and want you to care about what we name our children,” I sob.
“I care. I just… I have other things on my mind,” he says.
“Then talk to me, Eric. Lately you seem like you don’t care about anything, you’re just going through the motions. I’ve let it go because we’re all having a hard time, but I want my husband back,” I sniffle.
“I’m fine, Sookie. You don’t need the extra stress. I can handle it,” he tells me.
“But you’re causing me extra stress by not talking to me. I… I’m so worried about you I lie up at night and watch you sleep. I miss you, Eric. You haven’t been yourself, and it scares me,” I explain.
He finally shows some emotion when he says, “I’m sorry I’m not grieving to your standards, Sookie. I’ll try to do it better next time.”
“I thought this was supposed to be a partnership, but partners talk, Eric. If you don’t want to be upset about your father, then fine. You can deal with that however you want. I’m not here to tell you how to feel. I have two children that are going to need you very fucking soon and I want them to have the father they deserve, not the fucking corpse that’s been walking around this house.” There. I said it. It’s not exactly what I wanted to say, but I think I get my point across.
So does he when he says, “Fine,” and turns to leave the room. A few seconds later the front door slams.
I stay at the island and sob. I don’t know where he went, and I’m not going to ask, but if he doesn’t come home tonight, there’s a strong possibility he’ll be coming home to an empty house. Jo and I will stay with my parents until he pulls his head out of his ass. He can be a dick, but I don’t have that luxury. I have to be here for these kids, whether he wants to be or not is his choice.
I end up on the couch. I would go upstairs, but if I happen to go into labor I don’t know if I can make it back down.
I’m worried about Eric, but there’s no point in telling him that much now. I don’t know if he’ll even talk to me if he comes home. I end up crying myself to sleep on the couch, terrified that I’m going to lose my husband. Not that he’s going to leave, but that he’s not going to be the same man I fell in love with.
I don’t know how long I’ve been asleep when I’m jolted awake by the front door closing. My heart rate is just getting back to normal when Eric walks in the room. I just stare at him. I don’t know what to say, and I don’t want to make things worse than they already are.
“Do you need help getting upstairs?” he asks.
“Um… yes please,” I respond. I can’t read him right now.
Eric comes over to help me up and once I’m standing, he kisses me gently.
“I’m sorry I snapped at you. I’m not mad at you. I’m mad about… you know,” he says.
“I just want my husband back,” I tell him while looking up into his eyes. “I know there’s still a lot to work out in here.” I rub my hand over his chest before I finish. “But we need to do this together. You’re the other half of me, and I feel like I’m empty without you.”
Instead of saying something he pulls me into a hug. Not some lame, forcing himself to hug, but the real thing. My arms wrap around his neck and as I hold him I start crying again.
“I love you more than anything, Eric,” I whisper through my tears.
“I love you too, Toots,” he says quietly.
We stand in the living room holding each other a while longer before I say, “Come on, I need to get off my feet,” and I begin to pull away.
“I’m right behind you.”
“I kinda need you next to me,” I snicker. I can’t see where I’m walking.
“Maybe we should get you mirrors to attach to your shoes,” he jokes.
“I’ve missed you,” I say seriously instead of laughing. I have my husband back.
“I’ve missed you too.” He kisses my head.
“I would ask you to carry me, but I don’t think you could lift me,” I smile.
“We’ll have one of those hover chair things installed before the next kid,” he smirks.
“You really think I’m going through this again?” I ask as I point to my belly.
“I guess we’ll have to talk about it later, Fertile Mertyl.”
I snort and stroke his face. “There’s no possible way for me to get pregnant again right now… just sayin’,” I purr so he knows where I’m going with this comment.
“I hope not. Could you imagine being pregnant for a year and a half straight?”
“No. Now take me upstairs, Mr. Northman. I have to service my husband.”
“Yes, dear.” He offers me his arm and helps me up the stairs.
As it turns out, the twins didn’t like what Daddy was doing and they decided to push back. The orgasm Eric gave me triggered my labor and I’m currently calming down from my last contraction. I called my mom on the way to the hospital; she said she’d call Karin and Jason. I assume either Jason or Karin will call Pam. All I can focus on is the contractions and wanting to push these little fuckers out.
“Shit… I have to push two kids out… Two, Eric, two…” I don’t think that really sank in until just now.
“You know, I think I have a name for the other baby,” he says, trying to distract me.
“Good, I don’t think Demon would work out so well and right now that’s what I want to call him. Lay it on me,” I sigh and I can relax enough to lie back.
“Since we’re honoring my dad, I thought we could honor yours too. How do you feel about Ford? Your dad always wanted one,” he smiles.
I look at him like he’s lost his mind, but counter with, “Falcon. It rolls off the tongue better.”
“Falcon? Sounds like a superhero name.”
“You’ve been calling me a superhero the last few months. Hell, we could even make Danger his middle name.”
“I think we would regret that later,” he chuckles. “I’m not crazy about Falcon.”
“We could name him Wesley, after Joey’s favorite movie character. You know, since you won’t let me name him Channing.”
“I like Wesley,” he says. “Wesley Falcon?”
“Yep, and Andrew Danger,” I giggle.
He snorts and says, “Toots, I don’t think Danger is going to work.”
“You’re no fun,” I smile. “What’s Drew’s middle name?”
“Henry, after my grandfather. My middle name is Andrew after my dad.”
“So we’ll name him Andrew Eric,” I tell him and rub my thumb over the top of his hand.
“I’m okay with that.”
“He’s going to be jealous of his brother for not getting a cool name like Falcon,” I point out.
“Or he’ll think you were high as a kite when you picked that name.”
“It’s true, but Daddy’s going to love it.”
“I think so,” he smiles.
Another contraction hits and Eric helps me sit up so he can rub my back. It lasts a few minutes and when the nurse comes to check me I’m dilated nine centimeters. Almost time. I’m ready to have this over with.
“You get the first shitty diaper,” I tell Eric. “This is ridiculous. Why can’t they just be brought by stork like we learned in the cartoons?”
“Because with our luck the stork would make a double delivery to us and we’d end up with four instead of two.”
“As long as I don’t have to push them out I’m fine with… four,” I pant when another contraction hits. That damn nurse needs to get back and double check. I’m ready to go.
“Just breathe, Toots,” he says and rubs my lower back to relieve some of the pressure on my spine.
By the time it’s over I’m crying. I had an epidural, but the pressure is so intense.
“Can you go get my mommy?” I cry. I didn’t want anyone but Eric in the room initially, but I need my mom.
“Of course.” Eric kisses my forehead and then leaves the room to get her for me.
While he’s gone another contraction contorts my spine and I want to push. As they walk in Eric can see the panic in my eyes and he pushes the call button for the nurse.
An hour and a half later we have two loud baby boys being weighed a measured. They came out six minutes apart. So I had a small reprieve before I went through it the second time. I assume Eric got to cut the umbilical cords; I was busy trying to push a second one out at the time.
“Good job, baby, I’m going to tell everyone in the waiting room,” my mom says and kisses my sweaty head.
I can’t say much because I just want to see my babies. Eric places both of them on my chest. They’re tiny, baby burritos with blue hats on their little heads.
“They’re not identical,” Eric says. “The little moose on the left has a rounder face than his brother.”
I must be high because the first thing out of my mouth is, “That’s good. That way if one of them turns out to be an axe murderer, they can tell by DNA which one it is.”
“I think it’ll be the one with the crazy middle name,” he jokes as well and kisses my forehead.
“Probably. Which one is that?” I don’t know who’s who.
“Our little moose looked more like an Andrew to me.”
I look back and forth between them and I agree. “Do you think Wesley will be upset if I call him Farm Boy?”
“I guess we’ll find out.”
“I love you, Eric. Thank you for my handsome little men,” I smile up at him. I hated these two little punks all through labor, but holding them now I know it was all worth it.
“I love you too, Toots.” He leans down to kiss me.
“Isn’t that what got you two in trouble in the first place?” Karin jokes as she walks in. It’s the first time I’ve seen her smile since losing Drew.
“It’s part of it,” Eric says, and stands up to give his mom a hug. “Wanna hold your grandsons?”
“Yes, I can’t hold you anymore, so I’ll take the next best thing,” she smiles. I assume my parents are giving her a little time alone with us before they join her.
Eric picks up the baby on the right and hands him to Karin. “This little man is Wesley.”
“Not going to tell her his middle name?” I grin.
“That’s all you, Toots.”
“That’s Wesley Falcon. My dad’s favorite car is the Ford Falcon,” I explain. “I have a feeling that one will be his favorite grandbaby too.”
“It’s… different, but I understand,” she smiles and traces his face with the tip of her finger.
Eric picks up the other baby and brings him over to Karin. It takes a second to get him settled in her other arm and then Eric says, “This little moose is Andrew.”
Karin’s breath hitches as she looks down at our son. Instead of crying, she smiles softly at him. “Your dad would be very proud of you, Eric, and you too, Sookie,” she tells us without looking away. “I’m sure he’s here greeting these babies with us. He was so excited to meet them.”
“I’m sure he is, Mom,” Eric says. “We’ll have to dig out their little jerseys when we get home.”
The teeny Lakers jerseys didn’t arrive until after Drew died.
“I have them ready for these two,” she tells Eric.
“Do you want to go get my parents before they take the babies away?” I ask.
“Sure,” he says, and the door is barely open before Mom and Dad are funneling in.
Dad has coffee for me. I can smell the pumpkin spice.
“Dad, you’re my hero,” I grin. I’ve gone all season without my pumpkin spice lattes, and I’m ready.
He goes straight to Karin to see the boys and I hear him make a manly noise. He’s proud he finally has grandsons.
“Now look what we’ve got here. Future mechanics,” Dad grins.
“I didn’t have them to help you in the garage,” I tell him. Although, I don’t think Eric would complain.
“You had them to help me in the garage,” Eric smiles.
“If they choose to. I have Jo for the household chores,” I giggle.
“You’ll never have to pay for another oil change or brake job,” Mom chuckles.
“I married a man that can fix a car for a reason. He’s not just a pretty face.”
“So what are their names?” Dad asks.
“Andrew Eric and Wesley Falcon,” I smile and wait for my dad to start gushing.
“You named my grandson Falcon? That officially makes you my favorite daughter.”
“I’m your only daughter,” I snicker. “I tried to make it his first name, but Eric vetoed it.”
“Party pooper,” Dad says.
“I think Falcon Danger sounded awesome, but nooooo,” I tease, looking at Eric with a little twinkle in my eyes.
“Hey, I wanted to name him Ford so hush. Plus the next one can have Danger as a middle name,” Eric says.
“Why can’t kids just have normal names,” my mom throws out.
“Stop being so old fashioned, Mom.”
She shrugs and takes Wesley from Karin.
“Andrew has a normal name,” Eric says as Dad takes him from Karin.
“And you call me Sookie. You have no room to talk about names,” I remind her.
“They’re cute, that’s all that matters,” she says.
“See? You could have called one Demon,” Eric chuckles.
“Now I’ll just call him Farm Boy,” I giggle back. “Jo is going to love it.”
“Moose and Farm Boy…” Eric shakes his head.
“They’re going to hate us.”
“That just means you’re good parents,” Dad says. “You used to say you hated me if I didn’t give you brownies and you hated Michelle for not letting you paint your nails.”
“I still hate that you guys said no,” I deadpan.
“So then you give Jo all the brownies she can eat?”
“I don’t have to. Gramma stuffs her with sweets before she sends her home,” I say, glaring at my mother.
“Gran did it to me,” Mom shrugs. “And I had Jason to scrape off the ceiling. Jo is a walk in the park.”
“You’ve taken to grandparenting well,” I smile. “You get to keep these two until their sugar high wears off.”
“You should get some rest,” Mom tells me.
“I will when you guys are done.”
Our parents stay another twenty minutes before they leave Eric and me alone. My nurse takes the babies to the nursery so I can rest.
I look at Eric and see the absolute adoration in his eyes when he looks back at me. No matter what happens when we leave the hospital, whether I go back to work, or not, it doesn’t matter. I have this man that walked into my life and changed it in the best possible way. He’s made a positive impact on Joey and I already know he’s going to be the best father in the world when it comes to the boys. As scared and angry as I was before the boys came, it’s all okay now. It always will be. I have my best friend and all around favorite person to share my family with. He’s told me I’m the superhero for incubating the twins, but to me he’s the hero. To me, there is no better man than Eric.
I talk Eric into snuggling on the bed with me until I pass out from exhaustion. I don’t know if it’s a dream or if I’m crazy, but the last thing I remember hearing is Drew’s voice telling me good job, kid.