Part four, "Will Baby Make Three?"
Disclaimer: part one.
Danny's POV totally. I figure if I'm gonna try the emotional stuff, the least I can do is make it as coherent as possible.
Baltimore Harbor was easy to get to. When he left CJ's office, he got into his car and went straight there. He was staying in a motel nearby and could hang out at the harbor all he wanted. Tourists didn't usually bother him when he was sitting watching the boats as long as he had his notebook out and a pen ready, supposedly, to take notes. "She is the most beautiful, exasperating, magnificent, confusing individual I know." He plopped on the bed. "She can drive me crazy without trying." He rubbed his beard, then ran his hand through his hair. Kicking off his shoes, he tried to figure out what she could possibly have meant this morning. "She needed to know that I still want her. That she could still get to me after making a remark like the one she made this morning. What did she mean by that? She couldn't be repulsed if she said 'we're pregnant', right?" He rolled over and looked at the travel clock that went everywhere with him. "Time for dinner."
He decided to go to his favorite restaurant by the harbor. He made sure to ask for the seat in the back. It was secluded, dark and quiet. Just what he needed. No one to bother him. He ate his fettucini alfredo "heart attack on a plate" without letting thoughts of CJ get to him. After dinner, he walked by the water. Now was the time for thinking. "Why would the possibility of being pregnant shake her up like that?" His thoughts drifted to his younger days.
He was twenty-two and had just graduated from college. He and his girlfriend spent the summer traveling together. They had worked hard and now it was time to play. Play they did...every chance they got. By the end of the summer, she thought she was pregnant. Although Danny didn't jump too high with excitement, he decided that if she was, he'd be a married man at the age of twenty-two. She wasn't sure if getting married would be the best thing for them to do but deeply appreciated that he offered. They went to the doctor together; half an hour early. Both had reached the height of anxiety when the doctor finally arrived. The news was good. Excellent, in fact! She wasn't pregnant. They didn't have to get married! Danny decided to offer anyway. Thank God, she refused. What a mess that would have been. He had been careful ever since...till CJ. Now he was in the same predicament, albeit as an older professional. Was it their jobs that caused the concern? A red-haired baby would pretty much tell people who it's daddy was. The cat would be out of the bag, so to speak.
He returned to the motel to sleep. There were no messages. How could there be? He didn't tell her where he'd be staying. "Neither did she." he answered himself. He planned to sleep as late as he could. No work, no messages, and nobody to wake him up. "Ahhh, I'm ready." he said as he snuggled under the covers.
Sleep was anything but a break from reality. In fact, it was a nightmare. His worst fears seemed to attack him while he was at his most vulnerable.
"Danny, I'm pregnant. I just wanted you to know so that you were in the loop." He was happy and smiling, imagining himself as a father. "Don't get too happy, Danny. I'm not keeping it. I just wanted you to know. I have an appointment Monday at 6:00 p.m. to take care of things. You can come if you want. If not, don't worry about it. I'll be fine."
"CJ, don't do this. We'll make great parents."
"Danny, the 'we' was just to see how you'd react. Now I know. That doesn't change my mind. I don't want to be the mother of your child. No offense, actually, I don't want to be the mother of anyone's child." She left with him calling after her. He woke up and realized that he really was calling her name. "Shut up or you'll wake everyone up and get thrown out of here." he warned himself. He was soaked with sweat. He took a shower. Hopefully, the cool water would help clear his head.
Now, Danny was afraid to go back to sleep. He didn't want anymore of his fears making fun of him.
Dawn finally came and a very haggard looking Danny went for breakfast at a nearby diner. Ordering the food caused him to look at the waitress. It was a matter of respect, he had been taught, to look at the person to whom you were speaking. He noticed a bulging stomach. "Great, Danny, great choice." He couldn't seem to escape from the very thing he wanted so badly to get away from. "How many tourists will be pregnant? he wondered. "However many it will be, it's too many."
As he finished his breakfast, he decided being grumpy wasn't the way to go about this. He would try to think about things rationally while watching the harbor boats go back and forth. Then there was always the Museum of Science to check out when he wanted a break from thinking. The IMAX movies were great!
He had managed to get through half the day already. "Who am I kidding? I don't need to think about anything when it comes to CJ and I. I think I'm falling in love with her, for God's sakes." His final decision was that he wanted to be a father to his child if CJ would let him. Whatever decision she made, hopefully, she would include him. Then his doubts came crashing in, "What if she doesn't want the baby? What if the dream was not just my fears, but reality?" Shaking his head, he decided to call her. Maybe she was at a break in her own thinking and could spare a few moments for him.
"Hello?" she answered cautiously.
"CJ, it's me. I was wondering how you were doing."
"I'm fine, Danny. I met a nice little friend on the beach. We've exchanged shells. I miss you, though."
"I'm finished thinking. I figure the best way to move forward is just to talk about it and figure out where we stand. If you're through with your own thinking, I could swing by later on this evening. I'm almost ready to leave."
"That'll be great, Danny. I am almost through thinking myself. The truth is I'm never going to know how you feel until you tell me. I also need to explain that comment."
"CJ, don't go there yet, okay? I'll see you in a bit. Where are you staying?" After getting the information, Danny hung up. He decided to eat before he left for Virginia. This was one meeting with CJ that he really was not looking forward to.
Next up CJ's POV.
What do you think so far?