So, here it is. My David Story.

A little background...

I participated in an interactive fan fiction on a friend's site, and my character ended up with David. I spent so much time immersing myself in his music and stories about him (which are hard to find, by the way) that he took over my thoughts for quite some time. I couldn't get him out of my head. He's still in there, rattling doors and opening drawers and such, but he's behaving himself. Mostly.

This story came out as an outlet for me to try to get through my little obsession. I told some of the girls from the other fan fic exercise, and they thought it was hysterical that I got so wrapped up, that I couldn't think of anything but him.

They convinced me to "go public" with the story, so here it is.

I hope you enjoy it. It starts here.

~ Hath

Chapter 43: LJ?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

David was so glad to be back in the States. He had a feeling, though, that it was going to take a few days before he got over the jet lag. He felt like shit, and when he got to his place early on Sunday afternoon, after leaving late Monday night, he was all discombobulated. He gave Hath a quick call, but got her voicemail.

“Hey baby, it’s me,” he said. “I got home OK, and just wanted to hear your voice. I miss you something terrible, and will be counting the hours until Tuesday. I’ll be in around noon, and will swing by your office.” He checked his day planner. “I see you have meetings Tuesday afternoon, so I won’t keep you long, but God, I need to see you, baby, to hold you, and touch LJ.” He laughed. “You know that no matter what we name her, we’re going to call her LJ.” He yawned. “OK, I’m going to crash for a couple hours, and will try you later. Love you, sexy Momma,” he said, then hung up.

Three hours later, David woke up feeling worse than he did when he fell asleep. He groaned. “I’m getting too old for this shit,” he said, and went to go take a shower. When he came out, there was a message on his machine. Checking caller ID, he saw it was Hath and he smiled as he dialed up the message.

“Hi there, sweet Papa,” she said. “Sorry I missed your call, I didn’t hear the phone ring. I was at the stadium, joining 20,000 of my closest friends in giving my beloved Patriots a proper sendoff.” He could hear her talking to someone. “Carl says ‘hi’ and sorry in advance for your loss. Hahahaha. Anyway, I got to shake hands with Teddy Bruschi and Junior Seau!” she gushed, and David chuckled. She loved her team, there was no doubt about that, and he wished he could be there to watch her reactions when she goes to training camp in the spring. Coach had agreed to let Hath onto the field to warm up and run sprints with the team if she wanted to. She'd be close to six months pregnant by then, so wouldn't be doing sprints, but she could do light warmups. It was killing him, not telling her, but he promised he’d keep it to himself. Hath’s voice continued, “So, I’ve moved my 1:00 to 1:30 on Tuesday, so we can have lunch together or just neck.” David laughed outright at that. “Alright, I’ve gotta go and get supplies for my Superbowl party. I’ll talk to you later, my love. Bye, sweetie.”

David checked the clock. It was still early enough to go to his mother’s for dinner. He was going to tell her about LJ. He’d deal with April and the kids tomorrow, but he wanted to talk to his mother, and get her advice. He wanted to marry Hath, to raise this child together, and be with her permanently. Hath had balked, and David had agreed to table the discussion until they saw each other. That didn’t mean he wasn’t going to try to get his way.

Picking up the phone, he dialed a number as familiar to him as his own. “Hi Mom,” he said, when his mother answered. “I’m back; got back a few hours ago, and just woke up from a nap. You up for some company?”

“Of course I am, you nitwit,” Flo said, laughing. “I always have time for my favorite son. Everything okay?”

“Yep, everything’s great, but I need to ask your advice about something, and thought I’d get a nice dinner out of it.”

Flo laughed. “You are going to ask me about Hath, aren’t you?”

“Yeah,” David said surprised. “How’d you know?”

“You only ask me for my advice when it’s about a girl. Come. We’ll talk when you get here.”

“Have I told you Mom that you’re the best, and I love you?”

“Only every time you talk to me,” Flo said with a smile in her voice. “That doesn’t mean I don’t like hearing it.”

Now it was David’s turn to laugh. “I’ll be by in about half an hour. Can I bring anything?”

“Just yourself. I’ll see you shortly.”

“Bye, Mom.”


David pulled up in front of his mother’s house a short time later. He let himself in, and found her sitting in the living room, working on a crossword puzzle, with the blanket Hath had given her across her lap. He leaned down to gently kiss her cheek, and sat by her. Flo looked into her son’s face, and saw he was troubled. She decided to forego the small talk about the tour and the trip home, and got to the heart of things.

“What’s wrong between you and Hath?”

David laughed. “Nothing really, it’s just,” he took his mother’s hand. “She’s pregnant.” Even though David was a grown man, he still felt a little embarrassed that they were in this situation. To her credit, Flo didn’t do more than raise an eyebrow.

“And is that a problem?” Flo asked.

“No! We’re thrilled about LJ, it’s just that she doesn’t want to marry me.”

Flo shook her head. “One thing at a time. LJ?”

“Yeah, short for ‘Little Joker’. Hath and her friends came up with that instead of calling the baby an ‘it’,” David answered. “I kinda like it.”

“It is cute. So, OK, you proposed to her and she turned you down?” Flo found that hard to believe. She saw how the two of them were together, and knew there was more to the story than that. “What happened?”

“I don’t know,” David started. “She told me about the baby, and I started talking about where we’d live, and when we’d get married, and,” he stopped as his mother slapped the back of his head.

“You idiot, you didn’t ask her to marry you, you told her to.” She shook her head. “I knew that Jon was going to be a bad influence on you. That’s something he would do. Did you talk to her about this? Or just at her?”

David thought about it, and sheepishly admitted that he had just gone off and spouted what they should and would do, without asking her opinion. Hath had put the brakes on the discussion quickly, and said she didn’t want him to be marrying her just because she was pregnant, and that if she weren’t, he’d never have said anything. He told his mother that Hath wanted to wait and talk in person, and he had agreed.

“So, what’s the problem?” Flo asked. “Talk to her when you see her Tuesday. She’s a reasonable woman, and she loves you. I’m sure you can sort this out.”

David shook his head. “She thinks it’s too soon, LJ aside, and I’m worried I can’t convince her otherwise.” He looked at his mother. “I love her more than I thought was possible. That she’s having my baby is just icing on the cake. I’d want her forever, regardless of whether she was pregnant or not.” He looked down at his hand, which still held his mother’s tightly. “She’s made me so happy these past couple of months, and I feel like I’ve known her forever. She’s always in my thoughts, and she makes me want to chuck it all in and just spend my days with her. She’s become my life.”

Flo looked thoughtfully at her son. She saw the pain in his eyes because he saw Hath’s reticence as rejection. She also saw that he meant everything he had said, and that last bit about chucking it all in? He had never felt that way with April. There was only one piece of advice she could give him. “Tell her that. Just like that.”

The next morning, David headed to his ex-wife’s. As he sat outside the gates, he thought about the best way to tell her and the kids about Hath and LJ. He was pretty apprehensive about talking to April. The kids, he was sure, would be fine with it. In fact, Lil would be thrilled she wouldn’t be the baby anymore. April, however, was a different story.

Though the split was amicable, her relationship with David wasn’t. She fluctuated between wanting to be friends to being completely ambivalent about him, to wanting to kill him on sight, and she did so usually without provocation. David was pretty sure that after this conversation, the latter would be the case.

He drove up to the front door. The door opened before he could get out of the car, and April appeared, smiling. “Hi David,” she called. “How was Australia?”

David made small talk with her for a few minutes on the porch, then sighed. “April, I need to talk to you about me and Hath.”

“What, you knock her up or something?” she joked, heading for the house. David didn’t answer or follow, and April’s eyes went wide as she turned back to him. “You did!” she exclaimed. Just like that, her face closed up. “Well, isn’t that a great example to set for your children. Nice going, Rock Star.”

“April,” David started, but she interrupted him.

“You aren’t actually going to marry that woman, are you?”

“I don’t know,” David said. “She hasn’t decided yet.”

“More likely she’s just waiting for you to offer your money to her, then she’ll send you away,” April said bitterly.

David blanched. “How dare you talk about her like that. You don’t know her, and – ”

Once again, April interrupted, laughing meanly. “And you think you do? For Christ’s sake, David, you’ve known her for what, all of two months? Yeah, I’m sure you know her REALLY well. Biblically, anyway, but do you really know her?” She shook her head. “Don’t think for a minute that I’m going to let her and your new little bastard interfere with my kids.”

“Bitterness is not becoming, Aip. And what do you mean, ‘your kids’? What the hell are you talking about? They are my kids, too.” David was trying hard to keep his cool, but it was quickly becoming a losing battle. “And OUR kids are a part of MY life. So is Hath, and so is our baby.”

April just glared at him. “You just wait and see how thrilled OUR kids will be when they hear Daddy has a new little kid to share his already meager attention.”

David sighed and massaged his forehead with one hand. “April, I don’t want to rehash old arguments with you. I just wanted to let you know about Hath and the baby before it hits the papers. With Jon’s fiancé pregnant, and now Hath, it’s only a matter of time before someone writes about it. I wanted you to hear it from me first. I’ll be back later to tell the kids, and I’m leaving for Boston tomorrow.”

“Will you at least be back for your birthday? The kids will want to do something special for you.” She was throwing out a challenge already, to see whose side he’d pick. He didn’t want to get into this kind of game with her; neither one would win.

“I don’t know what I’m doing yet,” David said, honestly. “We haven’t talked about what’s going on, and Jon still hasn’t decided if we’re doing the Grammy’s or not, so I just don’t know. I will let you know when I find out.”

April just shook her head in disgust. “And so it begins. Out with the old, in with the new, eh David? I’d have thought you’d at least trade up with the next one.”

David was fuming. “Believe me, April; I have,” he said looking at her, his eyes as hard as his voice. Without another word, he turned and left.

Later that evening, David went back to talk to the kids. The twins were taking their cues from their mother, and were sitting stonily. Lil was, as David predicted, happy that she was going to get to be the big sister for this new baby.

“When is the baby coming?” Lil asked.

“Sometime in the early fall, probably in late September or early October,” David said.

“Is it going to be a boy or a girl? Can we help name it?”

Gabby interrupted, looking so like her mother in this moment that it took his breath away. “Lil, you dummy, they don’t know what it is yet, and it’s not a pet. It’s a brother or sister that you’ll never see. It’s mother lives in Boston.”

David was getting angry – angrier still that April wasn’t correcting their daughter. “Gabby,” he said sternly, “We don’t call each other names, you know that. And THE BABY," he stressed, "is a brother or sister that you can see as much as is possible. Hath and I haven’t decided where we’re going to live yet or any of that. And as for naming the baby, I think your help would be a wonderful idea. We’ve already decided on a nickname, LJ. We just don’t have any ideas for boy names or girl names yet.”

April snorted and flounced from the room. David watched her go, wondering just when it was that she really started to hate him. He felt sad because they had so much history together, but he couldn’t make her be reasonable. He’d just have to shield Hath as much as possible from her.

“LJ?” his son asked. “What’s that for?”

David smiled. “You know my nickname is ‘Joker’; well Hath didn’t want to keep calling the baby ‘it’, so she started calling the baby ‘Little Joker’; ‘LJ’ for short.”

Colton nodded. “That’s cool. What if you don’t find any names you like with those initials?” David could see that with April out of the room, the kids were more interested than they were letting on earlier.

“Then we’ll pick something else, but we’ll still use LJ as a nickname.”

Gabby asked, “Can I help Hath pick out baby clothes?” She gave her father a wry look. “You won’t be any help to her,” she said, and dissolved into a fit of giggles.

David relaxed. His kids, the most important people in his life along with Hath, were going to be okay with this.