She came at the most unperfect timing, he was in no way ready to be a father. He was unstable, emotional and wasn't even sure if he could love his girlfriend. Now, twenty months later he is a more ...
Grabbing his phone he looked at the time. It was almost noon. They just had a show that night and he was fine with that. At this point he was more focused on his family.
He knew both of his parents were at work so the house was his. Sitting down on the couch he flipped his sidekick around in his hands as he finally decided to dial the number. Putting it to his ear, he waited for an answer.
"Hi, Marla. It's Pete."
"Oh. Hi, Pete."
"I'm good thank you. What about you?"
"I'm good." Pete said. "And Ariana?"
"She's fine. She's very... Ariana, eat your lunch, please."
On the other line Pete, again, heard a laugh and some banging that immediately brought a smile to his lips.
"Sorry about that. She's been sort of restless since she saw you yesterday." She said, and Pete could tell by the sound of her voice she had a smile on her face, however she tried to hide it.
"Awesome. Well, I was sort of wondering if I could see you guys again."
"Are you sure, Pete? 'Cause you can't just..."
"I know, I know. I can't just walk in and out. I know. I'm here for good, I promise."
There was a pause on the other line and Pete heard Marla turn away. "Do you want to see Daddy later?"
"Actually... I was thinking it could be more than later."
"What if you joined me on tour?"
Marla paused as she heard that. Was he really asking them to join her on tour. "Pete...what do the guys have to say about that?"
"They have no problem with it, really. Please, Marla. Don't tell me no, I want to make this work. I was thinking you come on tour for the rest of the week, it's just the end and then you girls can come to California for a few days, a week, two, forever..." He sighed. "A week or so and we can just get to know each other."
Marla nodded as she looked at her daughter who at the mention of Pete got bright eyed and just wanted to play. "Are you sure about this Pete?" She asked. "Do not think that if I say yes this means that we have a chance together." She told him.
"I know, I know. I'm not asking for that. I just want to know my daughter. I really do."
Marla nodded at the sincerity in his voice. "Alright, Pete. We'll come out."
"Really?" Pete said brightly, his heart soaring.
"Really." Marla said. "Maybe it would do Marla good to see her Daddy in action."
"Yeah! It'll be great, Mar, I swear it will. I'll read to her every night and I'll play with her, and I'll tell her stories and..."
"Slow down, Pete." She laughed. "Let's just sort things out now, okay?"
"Okay." Pete said, coming back down from the clouds. "So, do you want me to pick you up?"
"Alright. When should I?"
"Well, I have to pack for two weeks for both me and Ariana...so if you have time to come over and watch your daughter I could be ready before the show."
Pete nodded, smiling brightly. "I'll be right over!" He said and with that he hung up the phone, raced up the stairs to get ready. He couldn't believe she said yes! He was on top of the world!
Getting in his car, he practically raced to her house then remembering that he was a father and he had to go slow, what if he hurt someone? He wouldn't want anyone hurting his girls, girl. He had to get it out of his mind that Marla was his. She wasn't. And even though he hadn't looked at another girl since her, she wasn't his.
He knocked on the door when he arrived and looked up at the house as he waited for a reply. Marla answered the door, today wearing a green dress and gold hooped earrings. She smiled and waved him in. "Come on in."
"Thanks." He said, smiling back.
"Ariana's in the living room. I'll be upstairs, packing." Marla said, before looking quickly into the living room as Pete entered it.
"You be good for Daddy, alright?"
Ariana nodded and smiled as Marla left. Pete bent down and gave her a hug.
"Dada." She said, with a small nod. Pete beamed.
"That's right. I'm your daddy."
Ariana smiled as she took out her dollies, a few of which had no heads.
"Where is her head?" Pete asked as he took the decapitated doll.
"Head, window, bye bye!" She said very few words as she smiled at him. She knew few words but Marla was always increasing her vocabulary.
Ariana smiled at him as she toddled over to the piano that was in the living room and pulled a picture off of it as she walked over to Pete with it. She smiled at him again. "Da!" She said excitedly as she hit it with her hand. She knew who he was.
Pete took the picture and looked at it. It was a pretty old picture. They had been be about 21 or 22, it was right after Arma ended, but before Fall Out Boy, they were so young back then. And, so in love.
"Who's that?" He asked, pointing to himself in the picture.
"Da!" She replied, as if he wasn't listening.
"Ma!" She said excitedly.
"Good girl. Great job. You'll be singing soon, I expect." Pete said. "Your Uncle sings. Well, not your biological one, and you can't understand any of the words I'm using but still..."
"So who's your favorite dolly?" He asked, pointing at the dolls. She toddled back to her toy box and pulled another one out. Pete stared and gasped.
"Me." He said, shaking his head as she held it up.
"Da!" She said again, placing it in his hands. It was the action figure of him that had been made a few months back.
"Yeah, you're right." Pete said, still shocked.
She struggled to get up on the couch next to him using all of her one year old strength. She sat down next to him and rested her hand on his leg.
Pete smiled as he leaned over and kissed his daughter's head. He could hear Marla walking around on the second floor packing the bags. She really was going fast. He knew she was always great at packing, so they wait wouldn't be long.
Ariana smiled as she walked back over to the toy box and pulled out the other doll which was Patrick. She took him and began to bang him against the coffee table as the head of the Patrick doll went flying across the room and Ariana started to cry.
"Aw, honey, don't cry. I'll buy you another one. I'll buy you Andy and Joe as well, if you like. And hey, you can meet the real them tonight! Yeah? How does that sound?"
"Pat!" She said as her crying subsided. Pete chuckled and pulled her onto his lap.
"Oh, I wouldn't call him Pat. He doesn't really like that. Call him Stumpy."
"Stumpy!" She repeated, causing him to laugh louder.
"Having fun?" Marla said from the doorway.
"Oh, you bet." Pete replied, standing up and picking her up as he started to walk towards her. Ariana cried out and fidgeted in his arms, reaching for the doll.
"Oh, she never goes anywhere without it." Marla told Pete.
"Ah. Gotcha. Sorry, petal." He said, bending down and picking the miniature version of himself up off the floor. He handed it to her and she smiled.
Marla smiled. "Well, we're all ready when you are." She told him as she put down the bags. "I just have to stop at the store and get some diapers and formula for the trip." She told him as she pulled her hair up into a ponytail. The ends of her black hair sliding across her bare shoulders.
"Okay, sounds great." He picked up his daughter. "We have a car seat and everything right? All her toys..." He trailed off.
Marla nodded. "Yes, Pete. I think I got this under control." She laughed as she looked around the house. There were really not many ties keeping her in the house.
"So you still can't work?" He asked as he put Ariana down and grabbed the bags.
"No, I still get disability. They can't figure out what's wrong with my back still." She shrugged her shoulders.
When they were about twenty three Marla had been involved in a bad car accident and she had hurt her back, she had to have surgery, but it still didn't fix much of anything. She was put on disability because she couldn't work to live. "It's okay though. I have the best job in the world." She smiled at her daughter.
"I hear you on that one." Pete said, smiling at her too. "Alright. Let's go do this thing."
Thanks to patricksgirl84 and fobgal1 for the reviews. We appreciate it so much! :-D