Getting ready for the future, and sometimes you can't help but reminisce about the past.
"So how come you guys learnt it?"
"Mystery." Andy said. "To how Joe learnt it, of course. I'm just smart."
"MOO!" Danielle said, laughing while pointing at Andy.
"Don't point, Danni." Patrick said, guiding her hand back to her side.
"Moo?" Andy questioned.
"It's because you don't eat meat. She can't say vegetarian, and she doesn't find vegan appropriate, so she says moo when she talks about you." Patrick shrugged.
"See? Being vegan benefits everyone. Even three year old illiterates who can hardly talk." Andy shrugged, and wandered off. Joe followed him and left the others at the table.
"Baby." Josh said, poking Rachel.
"No... baby /boy/." Pete said, grinning. "I'm kidding, honey."
"I'm going to go talk to Andy." Rachel said, getting up and leaving them. Danielle hopped off the seat and followed, closely followed by Josh. There was a clink of cutlery as Pete laid his head down heavily on the table and groaned.
"What am I saying?" He asked Patrick.
"Nothing wrong." Patrick said to him.
"Was Christina this bad when she was pregnant?"
"I wouldn't know." Patrick said. "I hardly saw her."
Patrick literally hadn't seen her for years, ever since the court case there had been nothing. He had, of course, seen her billboards that were now spreading across America, and it wasn't uncommon for him to open an in flight magazine on a plane and find an advertisement for a perfume or new clothing line starring Christina staring back at him.
"Sorry. But the times you did, was she like that?"
"Well, she basically hated my guts anyway, so she was usually pretty short with me."
"Right." Pete said. He leant back in the chair and stared at the ceiling. He looked at Patrick.
"A word of advice... if you ever get a chick pregnant again..."
"Oh, great. Make me sound like a whore. Again."
"If you ever do, don't call her baby. 'Cause every time you do, she comes back with 'I have one inside me! Don't piss me off!', and it's not pleasant." Pete said, using air quotations.
"Uh, yeah... I heard." Patrick said, trying not to laugh. He was sort of glad he had missed all of Christina's pregnancy hormones. He was probably the type to burst into tears after being yelled at by a pregnant woman.
"I'm a wreck, Patrick. I've hardly had any sleep. Not that I used to get a lot, but I'm constantly running out at 3 o'clock in the morning to McDonald's to buy her 'Big Macs' and 'Happy Meals'. It's driving me crazy."
"It's really that bad?" Patrick asked. Pete nodded wearily.
"I can't say anything without having my head bitten off. It makes me feel like I'm not needed."
"Oh, you will be. Don't worry."
"Honest to God, look, McDonald's is on my speed dial." Pete said, showing Patrick his Sidekick. "I'm going insane."
"I know it's hard, but give her the benefit of the doubt, Pete." Patrick said.
"Why?" Pete said. "She's being really mean."
"Yeah, but think about it." Patrick said, as they both turned in their seats to look at Rachel. "She's got a kid inside her. And while that's amazing, it can't exactly be easy."
"Where was all of this when Christina had /twins/?"
Patrick ignored him and gestured to Rachel.
"That woman's having your baby, pal. Just keep that in mind."
"Fine. But tonight... if she wakes me up at 3 AM. I get a bite of her Big Mac."
Patrick raised his eyebrows as Pete got up and walked over to the bar, where Rachel was sitting with Andy and Joe, who each had Danielle and Josh on their laps. He watched Pete wrap his arms around Rachel from behind and kiss the top of her head, waiting nervously for her to push him away, but she hugged him back and lay against him as he rocked her from side to side as he talked. Patrick sat on his own, looking around the room. There was his brother and his wife dancing, his niece and nephew dancing with other kids their age. There was his mother and Vic, in their fifties but still besotted with each other, and there was Patrick's father, and his wife. And of course, there was his sister and her new husband. He was basically the only lonely person in the room. The only one who sat alone with a drink of water.
"Daddy?" He looked down to see Danielle tugging his sleeve. "Are you sad?"
He smiled and pulled her up onto his lap.
"No. I'm not sad, honey."
She turned around so she could sit on his knee yet still watch everyone dancing, and Patrick laid his chin on her head.
"You're the only girl I'll ever need, aren't you?"
"I'm sorry for being so bitchy, Pete. I'm just so uncomfortable." Rachel said that night, as she lay in bed and Pete was getting ready to go to bed. He turned around, his shirt off and his jeans unbuckled.
"I know, sweetie. But that's what I'm here for, right? For your every need. At your service. You want something? Just call Peter." He said, with a small salute. Rachel laughed.
"How did I ever land such a sweet guy like you?"
"I dunno." Pete shrugged. "You mixed the right potion one day, I'm guessing."
He chuckled and kissed her.
"I'm kidding. You won me over with your beauty and absolutely everything about your personality."
"Aww." Rachel said, rubbing his arm. He crawled up the bed and laid next to her, laying his head near her stomach.
"I close my eyes at night, wondering where would I be without you in my life?" He sang. He chuckled again and looked up at Rachel.
"I know, I know. I'm no Patrick when it comes to singing, but hey, it's the thought that counts, right?"
"Haha. I can't believe I'm gonna be a daddy. Who woulda thought? A few years ago I was like... 'kids? Whoah! No way!' now, it's like 'Yeahhh.... Daddy Wentz."
"You sure will be."
"I'll be so cool." Pete said, scrambling up and sitting up. "I'll tell it all these stories that I make up, bam, on the spot, and then I can tell them about how mommy and daddy met."
"And that would go along the lines of an R rating or PG?"
"I'll tell it that 'mommy was Uncle Patrick's throwaway au pair, and then Daddy fell in love'."
"Gee, when you put it that way, we sound like the golden couple."
"We are, sweetie. And we'll have the golden baby, won't we?"
He lay back down and lay his head under her arm, quietly humming to himself as he smiled. He had never, ever been this happy.
"I'm scared, Pete."
"I don't know. Just for everything."
"Hey, don't worry about a thing." Pete said, sitting up and swapping positions with her, so she was laying her head against his chest.
"I'll be there for everything. I'll hold your hand when this lil' guy's born. I'll get up in the night to feed him. I'll sing him to sleep."
Rachel smiled and looked up at him.
"I couldn't ask for a better man."
"That's true, you couldn't." Pete said, cheekily, and pulled her as close as close could be.
"I love you, Rachy."
"I love you too, Pete. More than anything."
They lay in silence for a while, Rachel almost falling asleep, until Pete spoke.
"Oh! I just thought of something."
"This is going to be one fiiiiiine looking kid." Pete said, stroking her stomach.
"Right, Miss. Hop in." Patrick said, holding his arms out as he knelt down beside the bath.
"Will you sing to me tonight, Daddy?" She asked, as Patrick lifted her into the bath.
"Sure thing, petal. What do you want me to sing?"
"Clothes Off!" She sang. Patrick laughed as he washed her.
"You're too cute."
"We have to..." She mumbled the tune, hardly able to remember the words but trying her best.
"A budding little musician, aren't you? You have been since you were a day old." Patrick smiled.
"You still are a baby, sweetheart." Patrick said, lifting her out of the bath once he'd washed her. "I used to sing to you when you were this big," he motioned with his hands before toweling her, "and you'd make these noises like you were singing back."
"Not quite." He said, pulling her pajamas on. "Close enough, but far away."
"Far away." She mumbled sleepily as he lifted her up and sat her on a stool.
"Hey, I know I usually nag you about going to sleep, but you still have to brush your teeth."
He helped her brush her teeth as he brushed her hair and watched her in the mirror.
"You're pretty, you know that?" He said to her. She nodded, causing him to laugh.
"How about we sing you that song?"
"Come on, pal. Bedtime. Don't make me chase you round the house again." Patrick said to Josh as Josh stood grinning at him, out of his reach. "Come on, it's the first night you have your guard fence, thing on your bed."
"In my bed?"
"Yep. Now it's your big boy bed." Patrick said, holding out his pajamas as Josh shamelessly stepped out his clothes.
"You were great today." He said to Josh.
"Whoah. Pete's been teaching you how to be cocky, huh?"
"I should have known. So did you see any chicks at the wedding tonight?"
"Pete definitely did not teach you that bit. What's wrong with girls? Wait, let me guess. Cooties?"
"I'm sure you'll change your mind in the future, Joshy." Patrick said, lifting him into his bed and pulling up the railing to prevent him falling out.
"Don't count on it, boy." Patrick said, ruffling his hair. He sat on the chair next to his bed and looked at him.
"Is Uncle Petey having a baby?"
"Not physically." Patrick laughed to himself. "But yes, he is."
"He'll forget about me." Josh said, his face falling.
"Oh, honey, no he won't. Uncle Pete loves you very much. He'd never forget about you."
"Listen, Joshy, Uncle Pete doesn't forget /anyone/. You know all those people that Daddy goes to sing in front of?"
Josh nodded, clutching the covers to his chin.
"Uncle Pete remembers nearly all of them. So there's no chance of him forgetting you. Honest."
"I promise." Patrick said, standing up and kissing him. "Now go to sleep. You can see Uncle Pete tomorrow and ask him, then he'll tell you himself he loves you very much."
"I love you, Daddy."
"I love you too, Joshy." Patrick said, walking towards the door and switching the light out.
"No!" Josh screamed. Patrick flipped the light on.
"You don't want the light out?"
Josh shook his head.
"You're even more like me than you think, mister. I used to be scared of the dark when I was a kid, too."
He flipped the night light on and blew Josh a kiss.
"Can you stay with me?"
"Sure, I can."