Title: Baby On The Menu- #2 in the Fiddle-verse
Word Count: 2839
Disclaimer: Twilight and anything belonging to it is Stephenie Meyer's, not mine.
Summary: In which Alice learns that "baby" beats "waffles". But only just. My submission for The Fruit's on the Vine TwiFic Contest. Part of my growing Fiddle-verse . . . AU A/J One-shot-ish.
AN: This story was originally written for The Fruit's on the Vine TwiFic Contest, and it sort of follows on from my other one-shot, You Gotta Have A Fiddle In The Band. These characters just pop into my head at the oddest times.
Thank you to anhanninen for organising the contest, for her kind words of encouragement and for the cute little banner. And of course, thanks to JadaLulu for getting knocked up and inspiring this contest.
And as always, thanks to BookwormBaby2580 for her mad beta skills.
For #1 in the Fiddle-verse, You Gotta Have A Fiddle In The Band, go here.
A plus sign.
Alice had never been so freaking excited or so shit-scared to see one tiny symbol before.
Even the symbol for her music degree final exams hadn't freaked her out this much.
The last few weeks, everybody had started to notice how weird Alice had been acting. And considering this was Alice, the freakishly enthusiastic, yet physically diminutive person that everyone knew and loved because of her weirdness, that should have been a giant flashing neon sign to everybody.
But it was only Bella, Alice's best friend, and conveniently her brother’s best (and only) girlfriend, who had decided that something was definitely up. Or in, as the case may be.
After one almighty temper tantrum, followed by an equally mighty emotional breakdown — all because the store they were in didn’t have a pair of shoes in Alice’s size — Bella decided to take the proverbial bull by the horns. In Bella’s opinion, a bull would have been less scary.
After calming her friend down, directing her to a table at her favorite waffle house, and promising her a Very Berry Waffle Deluxe, with ice-cream and extra maple syrup, Bella cautiously approached the subject that had been on her mind.
"Um, Al? What are the chances – I mean have you and Jas always – look, is there any possibility . . ."
"Holy Hell, Bella, what? What? WHAT?! What exactly are you trying to say to me right now? Because your fucking hesitant little shushing voice is going to make me fucking lose my shit!"
Another clue. Alice never swore. That is, she had never sworn until a few weeks ago. It was as if someone had body-swapped Bella's sweet (albeit excitable) friend with a very angry (albeit vertically-challenged) sailor of olde.
Taking a deep breath, Bell blurted, "Could you be pregnant?"
Well. That certainly stopped Alice up short.
First she snorted. It was a dismissive sort of a snort.
Then Alice shook her head, and kind of snorted again.
By the third snort Bella was worried her friend might be choking.
She quickly moved to sit next to Alice and, while rubbing her back, reached for her glass of water.
“Deep breaths, Al. Deep breaths. Here, drink some water,” Bella said, in the most soothing voice she could muster.
“Water?! It’s a bit late for that now isn’t it?!” Alice exclaimed rather confusingly.
“Alice, what are you talking about?” Bella asked, never once stopping the rubbing.
“I don’t knooooooow!” Alice whined. “Pregnant, Bella? What the hell?!”
Now Bella was desperately trying to hold in her giggles. She was rather fond of her head after all, and didn’t want it pulled off. She knew from personal experience that Alice was weirdly strong.
“Well, I don’t know,” she replied. “It’s just you’ve been acting strangely—” Alice glared at her “—differently,” Bella quickly amended, “and you’ve been living with Jasper for almost a year now, and I unfortunately know that you guys have been going at it like bunnies— ” another glare “— I mean, have been spending all your free time together, and I just wondered if there might be the teensiest possibility that maybe one slipped past the goalies?”
Alice gave her a blank stare.
Bella waited for an answer.
Bella caught on to Alice’s confusion. Right. Alice never understood anything with the slightest hint of a sports reference.
“I mean, maybe some of Jasper’s sperm slipped through.”
“Ohhh,” Alice sighed, comprehension dawning. Then she looked slightly uncomfortable. “Not sure I like you talking about Jas’s sperm, Bell.”
Now it was Bella’s turn to glare.
“—but I, uh . . . I guess. Maybe . . . ? Shit Bella, you think maybe?”
Bella nodded, while collecting their bags and jackets. “I think definitely maybe,” she said while pulling Alice up from her seat.
“What? Where are we going? Waffles Bella,” Alice groaned, pathetically pointing to their table which was quickly getting further and further away.
“Pharmacy, Alice.” Bella could not be swayed and Alice forlornly watched her dreams of a waffle-filled future disappear.
…. (o) >….
Which was how Alice found herself ensconced in her bathroom in the middle of the day.
Much to Bella’s disappointment, while Alice had agreed to purchase a pregnancy test (or seven) with her best friend, she put her foot down at finding out the results with her best friend – in other words, before Jasper. After exchanging promises — that Alice would phone Bella the next day and that Bella would not breathe a word to Edward — Bella had dropped Alice off at the apartment she shared with Jasper. Alice had procrastinated by first drinking two 2 liter bottles of soda (she figured she needed the extra help anyway, seven tests would require a lot of peeing) and then she had started to clean the fridge. She was really rather grateful when the pressure on her bladder had interrupted the fridge cleaning.
And then she sat on the toilet and waited. She waited quite a bit longer than the required time. In fact, she waited the sum total of the time required for each test, just to be safe. And each test presented her with its equivalent of the little plus sign she had seen after picking the first plastic stick up. Each test confirmed that she was, indeed, pregnant.
Which started Alice’s mood swinging violently from freaking excited to shit-scared. After a fair amount of time forcing herself to breathe in and out slowly with her head between her knees, the freaking excited started to gain on the shit-scared until freaking excited was definitely in the lead. Once freaking excited had crossed the finish line (although shit-scared eventually came in second and refused to be completely ignored) Alice took one last deep breath, lifted her head and felt a smile slowly creep across her face. She was going to have Jasper’s baby. Jasper’s baby! The love that suddenly swelled inside her for the man who was her lover, her best friend, her partner in all things, and for the little bean inside her that they had created together, was overwhelming and Alice knew that if she didn’t get a hold of herself she was going to start crying. She couldn’t start crying. She had a surprise to plan for Jasper and she’d be damned if a little hormonal weep session was going to stop her. Alice allowed one happy tear to roll down her cheek before she swiftly wiped it away and stood up to start getting things ready.
Alice had no idea how she was going to tell Jasper. She wasn’t really nervous about his reaction. Well, maybe just a little. She knew he would be happy, but starting a family had definitely not been in their immediate plans. Hell, he hadn’t even asked her to marry him yet. They were going to get married. They had discussed it and they both knew it was only a matter of time. They knew they were it for each other. They knew they would be spending the rest of their lives together. But they both still had things they wanted to do. Alice was hoping to work her way up to lead cellist in the Seattle Symphony Orchestra and Jasper had become an indispensable part of her brother’s band, The Creepy Stalker Vampires. His fiddle had completely changed the sound and direction the band had been going when Jasper had burst back into their lives just over a year ago. The band travelled a lot and was in the process of signing a small, but promising contract with an independent music label. This baby would change a lot of things, for both of them. But Alice wasn’t worried. They would adapt and make things work. They always did, and their love took precedence over everything else in their lives. And now their baby would.
Still, Jasper might be slightly disappointed that this had happened so soon. Alice chewed the inside of her cheek a little at this thought, then shook her head slightly to get rid of it. Whatever happened they were in this together. Alice never doubted Jasper.
But still, how to tell him . . . ?
Suddenly Alice had an idea. It was a small idea and she wasn’t exactly sure about all the details yet, but it was a start. She quickly texted Jasper, asking him if he could make sure he was home for dinner that night, and almost immediately his reply came through:
Sure Ali-Bee. What’s up? Anything wrong? – J
Alice smiled as she typed back,
Nope, just missing you. Edward has been hogging you this week ;-) – A
Ha! I’ll be sure and tell him. See you later. Love ya – J
Love you back! – A
And with that, Alice grabbed her bag and headed out. She had a small novelty shop in mind that was a few blocks from their apartment. After happily finding the exact thing she was looking for she stopped at the grocery store to stock up for the dinner she had in mind.
…. (o) >….
When Jasper arrived home, the first thing he noticed after stepping inside was that Vanilla Ice’s Ice Ice Baby was playing. Which, frankly, confused and scared him a little. Sure, Alice had been acting a little wacky lately but this was rather worrying.
The second thing Jasper noticed was that the apartment smelled delicious. Alice wasn’t known for her cooking skills, and this smelled like good food, not the result of one her cooking experiments. So he started to wonder what this was all about. Something was definitely up.
The last thing Jasper noticed as he walked through the apartment was that the coffee table had clearly been set for dinner. A light blue cotton placemat sat on one corner with a light pink on the other. The cutlery was neatly arranged with tall glasses, already filled with what looked like soda, placed at each setting. In the middle of the table was a white box with blue and pink ribbons tied around it. Jasper had a small moment of panic, wondering if he had forgotten some special day—an anniversary or a birthday or something. But he racked his brains and couldn’t come up with anything. He walked around the counter of the open plan kitchen, resigned to accept whatever punishment was coming his way for forgetting something important.
Alice lit up when she saw him — Jasper didn’t think he would ever get over the fact that she did that every time she saw him.
“Jas! You’re home! Goody, I was starting to wonder. Come, come. Sit down. Dinner is nearly ready.”
Alice was already dragging Jasper back toward the coffee table where she had set up cushions for them to sit on. As she was trying to push on his shoulders to get him to sit, Jasper turned around with his hands circling her waist and asked, “Ali, what is all this? What’s going on? Did I forget—“
But Alice quickly cut him off.
“No silly, you didn’t forget anything. I just wanted to do something nice for you; you guys have been so busy with the band and everything.” Alice stood on her toes to give Jasper a quick kiss on the nose — which wasn’t easy — and then resumed the tugging on his shoulders.
Jasper gave in and sat down, crossing his long legs under the coffee table and leaning back on his hands to watch Alice as she hurried back to the kitchen.
After a few minutes of watching her bustle around the kitchen and wondering why The Supremes were belting out Baby Love in his living room, Alice returned with two steaming plates of mouthwatering food. She placed one in front of Jasper and walked around the coffee table to put the other one down on the pink placemat before delicately dropping to her cushion.
Jasper looked at the plate of food in front of him, and then to his girlfriend next to him, and then back to his plate again.
“What’s all this?” he asked, slightly bewildered. He also decided he needed to come up with a new phrase to ask Alice what the hell was going on. He went with that.
“Alice, what the hell is going on?”
“What?” she looked at him with a disturbingly innocent expression on her face. “I told you. Man work hard. Woman make food. But man better not get used to it.” She winked at him before tucking in to her meal.
“What we have here,” Alice explained, with a mouth very full of food, “is baby back ribs with baby potatoes, baby corn and baby peas.” Alice pointed to each item as she named it. “Oh my God Jas, you gotta try these ribs.”
Jasper was chewing thoughtfully, an inkling taking root in his mind as he listened to Alice moan around her food while Janis Joplin wailed about a Cry Baby in the background. He felt a flutter of excitement in his stomach, but he didn’t want to pay too much attention to it, in case he was wrong. So he continued chewing, nodding his agreement as Alice loudly praised the food that she was putting in her mouth in far larger quantities than normal.
When she had finally finished, after going back for seconds, she sat back and rubbed her stomach. “Oh Lord, that was good. I’m stuffed,” she declared, before following up with, “now for dessert!”
Jasper felt his eyes widen in shock. Where the hell is she going to put dessert, he wondered. But he rearranged his expression before Alice noticed it and said, “Dessert? Really? Great, what are we having?”
Alice was already walking back with two small plastic tubs, the foil covering already removed. But Jasper could clearly see the label on the side of the tubs.
“Gerber Vanilla Custard Pudding . . .” he read. Out loud. Slowly.
“Topped with baby bananas,” Alice added happily and as she placed the tub in front of Jasper he could see the small creamy-yellow slices. He looked at Alice, asking her silently if his inkling was right, while My Baby Just Cares For Me played in the background.
She grinned at him and reached across the table for the white box with the blue and pink ribbons.
“This is for you,” she nodded at him, while placing the box in his hands.
Jasper continued to look at Alice for a long moment, hoping with everything he had in him. Slowly, he looked down at the box and started pulling the ribbons off. Finally the box was free of all the pink and blue, and Jasper carefully lifted the lid.
Inside, nestled among tissue paper, was a miniature violin. Correct in every detail, down to the delicate strings. A baby fiddle. Jasper carefully lifted it out of the box and turned it over in his hands. Written on the back of the fiddle, in fine gold ink were the words:
And Baby Makes Three
Jasper could feel his eyes burning as he looked back to Alice. Her cheeks were already wet with tears, but her smile was brilliant.
“Really?” he asked.
“Really, really,” she nodded, grinning.
Jasper was up and had Alice in his arms before either of them could take another breath. He squeezed Alice so tightly she thought she might pop. She had just eaten two full plates of food, after all.
“We’re cooking a kid!” Jasper exclaimed loudly, laughing happily as he tried to swing Alice around without knocking anything over.
“Well, that’s a hell of a way to put it, mister, but yes. We’re cooking a kid.” Alice was giggling now. “You’re happy?” That small uncertainty nagged at her.
“Happy? Oh my God, Alice! I’m so happy. I can’t even— It’s so—WE’RE HAVING A BABY!”
Now Alice felt a little like she was back in high school, because Jasper was clutching at her and bouncing them both up and down in some sort of giddy fit. She decided to just go with it and bounced along with him.
They were both giggling and bouncing, and Perry Como was singing about his Jukebox Baby, loudly, and Jasper was a little worried the neighbors might start complaining, but he couldn’t really care. His Alice — this woman who had swept him away with the force of her love for him, her acceptance of him and her support of him — was having his baby. Right at this moment, his child was nestled safely inside the woman that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. And Jasper just didn’t think life could get any better than this.
He slowly calmed down and pulled her closer into him. And as The Beatles started singing Baby, It’s You, he held Alice tightly to him and whispered in her ear, “I love you Ali-Bee. So much. Thank you for . . . everything.”
And Alice thought that maybe, just maybe, baby trumped waffles after all.