except they do. [oh, and i'm back]
"You'll never believe it!" She sang, as she bounded down the stairs. She stood on the stair second from the bottom and beamed at him.
"What?" Patrick repeated.
Patrick's stomach did somersaults as he gawped at her.
"Yes! Seriously!" Addison said, troubling to keep her voice down.
"Oh, my God! That's fantastic!" Patrick yelled in delight, holding his arms out as she jumped into them.
"It's going to be perfect." Patrick breathed, hugging her tight.
"What about Myles?"
"Urgh, no way. Myles Stump?" Patrick argued, raising his eyebrow. He and Addison were sitting on their bed, arguing over baby names.
"What's wrong with that?" Addison replied, indignantly.
"Look me in the eye and tell me what isn't wrong with that."
"Okay, okay, you win. Myles is off the table."
Patrick grinned and turned on his side to face her fully.
"What if it's a girl?" Addison asked. Patrick traced his hand over her shirt, with a smile on his face. He bit his lip.
"Molly." He said.
"I don't think so." Addison laughed.
"Well, what, then?" Patrick asked her, frustrated. Addison smiled.
"Charlotte?" He questioned.
"Yeah, it's a lovely name. You don't hear any sluts being called Charlotte."
"Oi, don't call my daughter a slut." Patrick grinned.
"So you agree with Charlotte?" She asked. He paused and frowned.
"I agree with Charlotte." He repeated with a smile. "But we still need one for a boy."
Patrick burst out laughing and shook his head.
"I might love Prince, but I'm not subjecting my kid to grow up with the media questioning his name." Patrick replied.
They sat in silence for a few minutes, Patrick sighing and staring at the ceiling while Addison watched him.
"I've got it!" Patrick said, sitting up.
"Oh, Lord. Do I dare ask?"
"Oliver. Like the Elvis Costello song."
"Y'know it! Oliver's Army."
Addison's lips moved as she mouthed the name.
"Oliver. Ollie. I like it."
"Awesome." Patrick said with a grin. "So it's either Oliver or Charlotte."
"Wha-? A baby? Another?" Pete asked, shell shocked. Andy and Joe high fived each other.
"I bet you five bucks it's bald." Joe said to Andy.
"No way. Ten says it has more hair than you."
"Fifteen says it's a girl."
"Twenty says it's a boy."
"Okay, five bucks each for you two to shut up!" Pete interupted, handing them both a five dollar bill before turning back to Patrick as Andy and Joe smirked at each other, still mouthing bets to one another.
"So, you were saying? Another baby?" Pete continued.
"Yeah." Patrick said, with a grin. "Cool, huh?"
Pete nodded while looking surprised.
"Yeah! But, Patrick... that's... that's six people in one household. That's a lot."
"I know that." Patrick said, hoping they wouldn't get in another fight like they had a few years back.
"Maybe you can make another for me. I mean, seeing as mine is on the other side of the world to me." Pete said, sadly.
"Oh, Pete. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to make you..."
"Nah, it's not your fault." Pete said, waving the apology away. "I just miss him, is all."
"I'm sorry, man.'
Pete sighed and shrugged. Patrick bit his lip and after a few moments looked down at his shoes.
"But four babies?" Pete said suddenly, turning around to face Patrick's. "Come on, can you not just give it to me?"
"Can I have one?" Joe piped up.
"Hey, my wife is not some gumball machine." Patrick argued.
"She's not?" Joe asked. "Then give me my money back!"
"Heyyy, beautiful." Patrick smiled, entering the kitchen where Addison was cooking dinner. He kissed her and buried his chin in her neck like he knew she loved.
"Hey. You're awfully merry!" She exclaimed. "You been drinking?"
"Not one drop." He laughed. "How you doing?"
"I'm good. How are the boys?"
"Great." Patrick replied. "Where are the kids?"
"Upstairs." Addison said. "I'll call you for dinner."
"Okay." Patrick made his way out of the kitchen and upstairs, where he could hear Riley, Danielle and Josh in Riley's room. The three of them had turned six a few months ago, and it never ceased to amaze Patrick and Addison how quickly they grew up.
"Hey, guys and gals." Patrick said, standing in the doorway.
"Hi Dad, guess what?" Riley asked, excitedly. Patrick grinned like he always did when he heard her call him Dad.
"What's that, Princess?"
"I have a boyfriend." She informed him, matter-of-factly.
"Really? And who is this lucky guy then?" Patrick replied, ruffling Josh's hair and picking Danielle up.
"He's called Aaron. He's really cute, and he likes Dora."
"Does he? That's a bit odd for a guy, right Josh?"
"He's gay." Josh said, also matter-of-factly.
"Hey, watch it." Patrick scolded him.
"So how are things going with this boy?"
"Good. We might get married."
"Awesome." Patrick said. He totally understood six year old problems. "Well, if you need wedding money, give me a shout."
Patrick couldn't wait to see how they would get on with their new brother or sister, he was so excited, although they were too young to understand despite having told them a few weeks ago.
He was a little afraid that Josh would react the same way he had reacted when Rachel had been pregnant with Petey, but there was no reason to be worried, Josh just nodded and shrugged when Patrick and Addison had told them.
Two months passed, and Patrick and Addison had begun to realise that something must be wrong. Addison hadn't experienced any normal pregnancy symptoms. Concerned, the two had decided to book an appointment with their doctor, a friendly man who was easy to approach. Since Addison hadn't booked a first ultrasound, the Doctor decided to do one. He frowned as he looked at the screen, which he had directed away from Patrick and Addison. He made small "hmm" sounds as he traced his eyes over the monitor.
"What's wrong?" Patrick asked, urgently.
The Doctor glanced up, looking as though he had forgotten they were there.
"Um, I'm going to need to do a few tests."
"We're just going to take a few precautions." The Doctor told them, giving them a smile that concealed his worries. He left the room quickly after assuring them he would be back in a few minutes.
"Mr & Mrs Stump? If you'd like to follow me through here, Doctor Taylor would like to speak with you."
Addison gripped Patrick's hand tightly as they made their way to an office hidden away down the corridor.
"Addison is suffering from a condition known as chronic anovulation. It can occur in any women, mainly in premenopausal women. What it means, is that there is an absence of ovulation. That's the reason you may have believed yourself to be pregnant," the doctor said, nodding at Addison. "However, the absence of ovulation can be caused by any number of things, such as diabetes, or stress."
"Well, which is it?" Patrick asked, apprehensively.
"I'm not sure yet. We're going to run some tests, find out what's triggered the condition. Then we can consider some other options if you still desire to have a baby."
"What?" Patrick stammered.
"I'm not going to lie to you. The chances of you having a baby together are basically second to none."
Patrick's body flinched as though he had been slapped. Addison drew a deep breath and straightened up in her seat.
"So... you're saying Addison isn't pregnant?"
"I'm afraid so."
"The condition Addison suffers from means she's incapable of carrying a baby full term."
Patrick reached slowly for Addison's hand next to her and squeezed it firmly.
"There are other options, if you do decide you want to have a baby. Although Addison wouldn't be able to carry the child herself, you could use a surrogate."
"How does that work?" Addison asked, just as Patrick had opened his mouth to object.
"Well, after finding a willing surrogate, it can be a member of your family, or a friend, or anyone who comes forward to carry a child for a couple who can't conceive. We would then take some of your sperm," he said to Patrick, "and your embryos, and implant them into the womb of the surrogate."
Addison nodded but Patrick shook his head.
"We have to talk... about everything." He said.
"Okay. Well, you have my card if you have any questions. Once again, I'm very sorry."
Patrick and Addison left the room, Patrick in a daze while Addison watched him closely. He sat down on the bench outside the office, and Addison sat next to him, wary of how tense and stiff he was.
"I'm so sorry." She said, pursing her lips together and pressing her eyelids shut so the tears didn't leak out. Patrick's heart fell to the pit of his stomach. Feeling physically winded, he took a deep breath and took hold of her hand.
"Please, don't blame yourself." He whispered, pulling her towards him. She rested her head on his chest as she wept, but Patrick kept his eyes fixated on the wall.
"Shh, it's okay." He murmured into her hair, rocking her gently. "It'll be alright. We'll figure something out."
He drove her home in silence, both of them trying to ignore their thoughts that kept creeping back.
"Patrick?" Addison asked, standing in the living room doorway that evening, watching Patrick as his eyes flicked to each side of the TV screen.
"Mmm?" He turned his head but didn't take his eyes off the screen. He had been distant since they had returned from the hospital, Patrick had tried to busy himself with work but he couldn't take his mind off what had just happened. He hadn't touched his dinner, nor had he joined Addison and the kids when they ate.
"I think we should split up." Addison said.
"I beg your pardon?" Patrick asked, bewildered as he turned to look at her.
"I don't want to deny you another baby."
Patrick shook his head and stood up before walking over to her.
"We're not splitting up. We'll get through it."
He took her hand and searched her eyes.
"But I don't want to make you miserable."
"Hey," he tipped her chin and smiled. "I've been miserable plenty of times. And there's always other ways. Stop worrying. These things happen, you just have to get through them."
"Do you blame me?" She asked.
"Oh, honey. No, I don't blame you at all." He hugged her tightly. "I don't."
"We could talk about the surrogate thing." She said, sitting down when he let her go. He exhaled heavily and sat down too.
"I don't think it would be such a bad thing." Addison said. "We'd still have our baby in the long run."
"Addy, look, I want us to have a baby together, really, I do. But I want it to be /together/. I don't want another woman carrying our child."
"But we can't have one /together/!" Addison told him.
"I know. I know. I just don't fancy our baby being conceived out of frozen sperm and embryos."
"Well, you could..."
"I could what?"
"You wouldn't have to freeze your sperm if the surrogate conceived the baby naturally."
"Are you serious? Addison, are you actually suggesting me having sex with a willing surrogate?"
"Well, then it would be conceived naturally."
"Yeah, and then it wouldn't have your DNA. No, I'm sorry, Addison, but I won't do that. I'm a strong believer in monogamy. And being in love with the person you make love to."
"Okay." Addison said, nodding slowly. Patrick pulled her into a hug, rubbing her back and closing his eyes as she buried her head in his shoulder and began to cry again.
That night was the first night Patrick let go of Addison as they slept. The first night he turned his back while she slept and he lay awake. Unable to sleep, he paced around the back yard, the cold stinging his exposed face. He stopped and fidgeted, staring at the house in front of him. Where his family were.
His tears gathered in his eyes as he looked at the bedroom he'd started to become so excited about decorating.
He sat down on the back step.
And he cried for the baby he'd never have the chance to hold.