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Characters: Jack Shephard & Kate Austen
Date: Can't remember
Senario: Based on Try To Fix You an RP, with fic. It's based a couple months after this. One version of Jack asking Kate to marry him.
Authors: atomic_eyes as Jack Shephard & heartisbruised as Kate Austen
Rating: PG 13

Kate: I sat outside the entrance of the hospital in the wheelchair, which I'd only half heartedly protested. Sure, I felt like I could walk, and carry my daughter. But the nurse was insistent that it was hospital policy, Jack was insistent that I follow the hospital policy at his hospital, and in the end, two days after giving birth, and spending my first two nights getting up every two hours, I was just too tired to argue. Though the whole thing made me feel like an invalid. Maggie was snuggled tightly in my arms, wrapped up warmly in her pink blanket, with her little cap on so that only a tiny bit of her face was showing; Jack's nose, and my lips. I could tell already. We'd been waiting for about ten minutes, and I was starting to get a little antsy. Knowing Jack, he was adjusting and then readjusting and then adjusting again the car seat so that it was perfectly placed and restrained, even though he'd already practiced putting in and out of the car since I was six months pregnant. I could only imagine what the drive home was going to be like. But looking down at our baby, I couldn't help but smile. "Maybe Daddy will have us home in time for your first birthday," I said softly to her, before looking back up to watch for his car.

Jack: It took me at least four tries to get the car seat to sit properly in the SUV. At least I think it was four I lost count at three and it had been a bit of a struggle. Finally I was pulling up to the patient pick up and getting out of the car quickly so Kate wouldn't start trying to get up by herself. I was by her side as she was just trying to get out of the wheel chair. I didn't take Maggie from her, instead I put my hand on her arm to help her up as smoothly as possible. The first day or so after the birth I'd spent a lot of time holding our daughter and talking to her. Kate had been so exhausted that first night and I'd kind of monopolized Maggie's time while she was awake. Once Kate was on her feet I was just struck by the way she looked, tired but more beautiful than I think she'd ever been, holding our gorgeous baby girl in her arms. I'd been having this humbling feeling since Kate told me she was pregnant and now I'd just be struck but the weight of the moment and how perfect it all seemed. I leaned over and kissed Kate lightly on the forehead and then helped her get Maggie safely into the car seat before helping her into her seat anyway. She didn't really need that much help but it was a testament to how tired she must be that she didn't argue more. Buckling myself into the drivers seat I did a once over of my girls and then grinned wide at Kate, "Home sweet home."

Kate: I smiled at Jack from the passenger's seat. "I can't wait," I admitted, as he put the car and drive and slowly began our 5-mile-an-hour crawl toward home. Out of instant habit, I turned tiredly in my seat to place my hand back in Maggie's car seat, making sure that she was all settled in, had her pacifier, and that the canopy of her infant car seat was covering her completely and keeping any and all sun from her eyes. So maybe I wasn't going to be terrible at this mom thing in the sense that I wasn't going to take care of her. It was just her genetics I worried about. Pulling my hand back up front, I reached over to the console where Jack's right hand rested, and I slipped mine in his. He was so focused on the road, and on every other single car and person on it, I was pretty sure Maggie wouldn't be leaving the house again until she was 16. Home sounded so good, as his words echoed in my ears again. The idea of a good night's sleep sounded even better. It wasn't that Jack hadn't helped me while I was in the hospital. He'd practically been an inpatient with me, even when he'd been actually called to go scrub in here and there, his every other second was spent with us. Even if it was just to sleep in my hospital bed instead of an on call room. But hospital beds weren't exactly comfort. And our big, king sized mahogany sleigh bed was. And even if I could only sleep off and on every two to four hours four the next month or two or even three, it would be fine, as long as I could count on those few hours in Jack and I's bed. "On the plus side, you no longer have a cow for a wife." I said, randomly, as I thought about the fact that I weighed less now than I did when I got pregnant. I'd read about people who gave birth and lost all of their pregnancy weight plus an extra pound or two, but I wasn't counting on being one of them. Not that Jack would have minded. I could have been nine months pregnant forever, and he would have still looked past all of the plastic surgery trophy wives at the gala we attended when I was eight months pregnant. People like me weren't supposed to be this lucky.

Jack: I laughed lightly at her and shook my head, "I never had a cow for a wife. You were a beautiful pregnant woman, the most beautiful pregnant woman I've ever seen but that's par for the course as you are still the most beautiful woman, period, that I've ever seen." Yeah, so it was a little corny but no less true. There is just someone about the woman you love being pregnant with your child. It's more than beautiful, there isn't a word that adequately describes how beautiful it is. I hadn't thought Kate was all that self conscious while pregnant but I guess with the hormones she couldn't help it. She would always be the most beautiful woman and that was just a fact. When we were stopped at a red light I turned slightly to look over the bundle in the backseat and then turned my attention to Kate. "The plus side is that we get to sleep in our own bed again and since I'm on leave for the next week I say beyond eating and taking care of Maggie we use the bed to get as much sleep as possible." So far Maggie wasn't a fussy baby but she was still a baby and they tended to wake up at odd hours and we would no doubt be run ragged for a while. I was already dreading going back to work after my week free of the hospital. Unless there was an emergency that no other Doctor in the county could handle everyone at the hospital was on orders not to disturb us. I didn't know how much my life was going to need adjusting in the coming months but I was going to do it and love every damn minute of it. The light changed again, I squeezed Kate's hand lightly. God, we were parents. I could barely believe it, it was surreal; who would have thought a year ago that this would be my life? Not me, I never would have dreamed life would have turned out like this but I wasn't complaining; I wouldn't dream of complaining. Everything I held dear to me was inside this car. This was happiness.

Kate: I laughed and just shook my head again. "You're a sentimental man, Jack." I informed him. "Because I was a cow. I belonged back in Iowa where I'm from because it's practically the cow capital of the world." I was only teasing of course. Iowa was about as far from my mind as any place could get, and it definitely wasn't where I felt like I belonged or would ever belong again. With Jack, wherever that happened to be, would always be where I belonged. And now with little Maggie Christine Shephard. The single most important person in my life. If I thought letting myself love Jack was scary, then this had to be the most terrifying thing in my life. But also the most amazing. And I had Jack to thank for that. "I agree," I said, allowing a soft yawn to punctuate that thought. "I feel like I could sleep for a year, though from what I hear, we won't be sleeping for the next eighteen." And longer than that, knowing us. We had a girl, but I was pretty sure somewhere, Jack wanted a boy too. And I guess with all of my maternal instincts kicking in, I was starting to feel like, if this didn't turn out to be a complete disaster, on my part, I would be inclined to give him one. I think if it went past two, I'd have to draw the line at three. But for right now, I was just focusing on the one. Jack was truly my savior for arranging to take an entire week off to be home with her and I and to help me. It seemed like it was going to be so easy, just feed her and change her and then sleep when she did, which was a lot. But I was also scared to death. She was so tiny, and so breakable. She made me nervous and yet her life was in my hands. I smiled as we pulled into the cul-de-sac, and the familiar sight of the dark brick came into view and seemed to grow bigger until the three stories were looming over us. Technically it was two stories and a loft like attic. But it seemed like a tower. "Home sweet home," I repeated, leaning over to kiss Jack, before undoing my seatbelt and letting myself out. This time, I let him take the baby, and I grabbed our bags.

Jack: "You were not a cow. Nothing about you has ever been nor will ever be cow-like." I looked at her seriously before my mouth got the better of me and I smiled. She really hadn't looked like a cow. I'd start on about the beauty of pregnant women but somehow I think just letting this conversation go is the best way to deal with it. Well after I've convinced her that she was beautiful and she's never been anything but. "18? More like 35. I think we should invest in a chastity belt and a homing beacon." I grinned over at her, I was teasing ... kind of. It was terrifying, more terrifying than anything that happened on the island, and more terrifying than any surgery I'd ever performed. There was this little life that was going to depend on us for everything for a good few decades. We have to help shape her and protect her and make sure she's safe and happy. All while trying to keep ourselves from doing to her what our parents did to us. I can't help the fears and how absolutely scary all this is but I've got Kate and I've got Maggie and they are what matter now. Once we pulled up to the house and I had Maggie in my arms it all just hit me again. Would it stop hitting me? I'm not sure I want it to. We got into the house and went up the stairs to the bedroom to put things away, we'd decided to keep the crib in our room for the first week or two, maybe longer - I think we're both a little gun-shy in this situation and having Maggie close is what makes us comfortable. I didn't want to put her down though so I just sat on the bed with the beautiful bundle in my arms. "She's so beautiful, just like her mother," I grinned up at Kate.

Kate: "I was such a cow! If I got any fatter, I was afraid they were going to have to take me to that juicer thing from the Willy Wonka movie," I teased, mainly because I knew he'd argue the point with me forever. I actually think I was more beautiful to him in the last nine months than I'd been in the entire time he'd known me. But men were like that. Nothing says 'she's mine' like making you 30 pounds fatter with their baby. I grinned back over my shoulder at Maggie. "Don't even listen to him, baby. Mama knows you'd figure a way out of those things before Daddy could even finish reading the instructions." Not that I wasn't all for protecting our daughter, and God did I never want to think of her being the ages I eventually got to when I started drinking underage and having sex. When I started running. I hope she wouldn't be like me. I hope she wouldn't run. Once we were upstairs, I let him handle her, while I started putting stuff away. I'd originally packed light for the hospital, but then he'd came behind me and over packed. When I was done, I changed into one of the countless pairs of scrub pants he'd worn home, so soft from repeated industrial washings and a tank top that would be easy to deal with when it came to nursing. Especially when she woke me up screaming. Curling up on the bed next to them, I laid my head next to Jack's knees and looked up at him. "I think she's got more of you in her, than me." I argued. "Though there's no denying, she is the most beautiful thing on the planet."

Jack: "You were not a cow! End of discussion, you were beautiful and I've never loved you more. End of story." I was serious but we were both stubborn and the putting my foot-down thing never tended to work in real arguments let alone teasing ones. I wouldn't have bothered but this was something I was adamant about. I rolled my eyes at her talking to Maggie. "Hey, I built the crib without any problems ... okay without many problems. I'm a spinal surgeon Maggie," I said turning around to look at her in the car seat, "I think I can figure out your chastity belt and homing beacon." I shook my head with a grin. I was only half serious really. "She's not dating till she's 35, I'm serious." I turned back to the road and watched as the scenery flew past us. Once we were upstairs and Kate had finished putting things away and changed she laid down on the bed next to me looking up at us. "You hear that Maggie, mommy and I agree on something again. You should remember this, it might not happen again for a while," I said quietly securing Maggie in my arm and letting my free hand take one of Kate’s.

Kate: "Fine, you carry the next one and see if you don't feel like a cow," I teased. I didn't mind being pregnant at all, and I'd always been so naturally tall and lean that what little weight I gained that wasn't Maggie, I'd managed to carry well. Even I knew that, despite how much I liked to complain to him about how fat I'd gotten. Sometimes just to have an argument for argument's sake. "Till she's 35?" I asked him, raising my eyebrows. "Jack, we're not exactly poster children for listening to authority. I highly doubt past the age of 16 we'll be able to keep her from anything she has her mind set on. You'll be detailing the things you can do with a scalpel to some scared 17 year old, and I'll be sneaking them out the backdoor." The sad fact was that he was half serious, and so was I. He was going to be an overprotective daddy, and I was going to have to be the voice of reason to keep our daughter from becoming too rebellious, like her mommy. I laughed when he told Maggie she should remember this rarity of us agreeing. "Until you're allowed to date, probably," I agreed, taking his hand and bring it to my lips, kissing his knuckles before resting it on my chest and covering it with my other hand. "I don't know how she ended up so good. With parents like us, you'd think she'd already be giving the world Hell."

Jack: I just gave her a strange look. "You want me to carry the next one?" We hadn't really talked that much about the possibility of a next one. I knew Kate was terrified enough of only having one child. She had it in her head that our combined genetics were going to mess up our kids. I could relate a little bit but I have to believe that it doesn't matter that our fathers were ... well. I just knew we'd do a good job with Maggie, I had faith in us. "I'm not ashamed to admit I probably couldn't handle the pain of childbirth. Women are definitely the stronger sex." My hand still attested to it actually. "35 is a good age, Don't you think?" I asked with a grin. I sighed at her comment. "I think there is definately merit to explaining the proper usage of the scalpel." I just watched her as she kissed my knuckles and squeezed her hand lightly. "I think she's pretty lucky to have us, we're not perfect but we're us and that's enough."

Kate: "I was kidding, Jack," I said, rolling my eyes at him a little, playfully. "I'm not so sure there'll even be a next one." We'd just have to see how things with Maggie went. Being pregnant with her, and so far having her had changed my perspective so much. Just, maybe not enough to have any more than her. She was an accident. But definitely not a mistake. I was surprisingly and overwhelmingly happy when I found out. And Jack? Well, it was probably the best thing to ever happen to Jack. I don't think he touched ground for weeks. I smiled up at him a little. "You're tough, but probably not that tough," I agreed, happy that at least my husband was the kind who could admit these things. Jack's biceps were almost thicker than Maggie's entire body, yet he wasn't threatened by acknowledging the harrowing experience that was 12 hours worth of labor for me. And not that he hadn't been there for every second of it. Or nearly had both of his hands broken during it all. But there was a big difference between coaching and doing the delivering. "If she still lives with us when she's 35, I think we'll have officially failed as parents. Besides, at some point, don't you want to go back to just us? Running around the house naked, and doing it wherever the mood strikes us?" I said, trailing my fingers up and down his forearm as I winked at him. I looked up at Maggie, so perfect, and so perfectly sound asleep in Jack's arm. "Time will tell that, I guess." I replied, biting my lip softly. "If anything, she's lucky to have you to save her from me."

Jack: "I know," I said in response to both the fact that she was kidding and that she wasn't sure if there would be another. She knew I'd love to have a son but I don't plan on pressuring her either way. It is her body and I'm not even sure how we're going to handle Maggie. I have faith in us, no problem but it's still scary. I could deal with having one child and no more, Maggie was perfect and I couldn't ask for anything else. I'm blessed with what I have. Wow, I sound a little like Locke. At least I'm not talking about Density and Fate and what the island wants. "I'm definitely not that tough, it's one thing having your back sewn up without anesthesia and another to have a baby," I grinned at her. Sure surgery was hardcore and I'd had my share of injuries but it was totally different. The pain threshold you had to have was crazy. I laughed lightly at her comment, "No I just meant she'd get the key to the chastity belt when she was 35," I chuckled softly. I should probably just go ahead and let that crazy thought go. "You mean we're not going to do all that anyway? What are parents for if not to embarrass their kids?" I smiled and followed her gaze back to Maggie and then frowned at her next words. I moved my hand and lifted her chin to make her look at me, once she'd met my eyes I looked at her seriously. "Kate, she is lucky to have you period. I'm lucky to have you. I can barely believe even now that your here with me. You are amazing and you prove that to me everyday and I know," I rubbed my thumb across her cheek, "I know that you will continue to do so for the rest of our lives and you will be everything to Maggie, just like your everything to me."

Kate: "Maybe," I said, giving him a small smile. "Maybe if she makes it two without any big scratches or terrible trauma, maybe we'll try for a boy," I offered. "Because if we're going to have more than one, I definitely agree that they should be spaced about two years apart." God, I'd been reading too many parenting magazines. There wasn't much else when you spent so many months in the waiting room of your OB's office. Plus, I liked to think I was prepared. Jack wasn't always going to be with me. Sometimes I was going to have to take care of her by myself. A lot of times, actually. And I wanted to know how to do baby CPR and all of that stuff. "We'll see." I said, shrugging. I wasn't going to shoot it down, because maybe it would be a good idea in a couple of years. But I wasn't going to start planning for it either. "Hey, that took some serious nerve. Letting some strange woman who'd just fallen from the sky and had only sewn her drapes stitch up your back? If it was me, I'd have probably just let it bleed." It was true. I was that stubborn. Jack was stubborn, but he wasn't as stubborn as I was. I lightly hit his knee as he made the crack about doing it anyway and embarrassing her. "Nope. As of the moment she starts walking, we're confined to this room right here until she's 18. As for embarrassing her? There will be plenty of bath pictures for that." I reasoned. She'd be as normal as we could make her. Even if we did fuck her up some, like we were bound to. At least like I was bound to. My eyes began to fill with tears as Jack spoke to me. Damn it. When did the hormonal part go away? I was so sick of crying every five minutes. I just nodded my head. I still wasn't sure. I didn't think I'd ever be certain until I saw that she'd walked away from me unscathed. "I hope so, Jack. I hope that I... I just keep hoping I don't screw her up," I took a deep breath, letting it out a little raggedly. "I hope I'm not the reason she can never be good."

Jack: "We'll see," I said with a small smile. Knowing that if the time came and we wanted to have another baby we would. We didn't have to think about it now. Or at least we didn't have to decide now, we had a while before we had to give it serious thought, or at leas a while before it was feasible to give it serious thought. I laughed lightly when she talked about that day, our first meeting. It felt like a million years ago now. "I knew I could trust you, don't ask me why or how but I knew it when I saw you walking through the jungle that you could do it." I still, to this day, felt like Kate had somehow sewn a piece of herself inside me and that was it. There was no turning back from the first moment we met I was a doomed man. For a long time I hadn't liked that feeling, the good or the bad, I guess being broken does that to you. Unsure and unable to see the good that's staring you in the face - or at least unable to handle it all. She had me from that first day. That first trek into the jungle, the cockpit and pulling her to me without a second thought, her heartbeat echoing against my chest as we feared for our lives. Doomed in the best way possible. I laughed again, "I think I can deal with being confined to this room," I said with a raised brow and a kiss to the tiny head of the her we were referring to. She'd be amazing, I had no doubt about it. Yes, Kate had issues and god knew I had mine. Yes there were a lot of things in her past that weren't good, including her record and the years she spent, the things she'd done but she's not that person anymore and even if she were I don't think that person was a bad person. People do things when they need to survive, I've learned that. Her eyes started to water and I wiped away a tear as it fell. Her hormones were going to be crazy for a while but since the delivery she hadn't had too many bad mood swings. "We're bound to screw her up Kate," I said softly. It was inevitable. "Baby, you're the reason she will be good. You're the reason she'll be strong and beautiful and independent in ways that will probably scare me. She's good Kate, you're good."

Kate: I smiled a little through the sudden onslaught of tears that felt like they were pent up and suddenly being shed for the first time in years. Kissing his hand again, I untangled mine and sat up, reaching for her. He placed another kiss on her forehead before handing her carefully over and I cradled her tiny head with one hand, settling her in the crook of my elbow as I stared down at her face. It was so amazing to see both Jack and myself combined. "We are going to screw her up, aren't we?" I asked, frowning slightly. It was hard enough that I was capable of bringing life into this world, after I had taken it, and been the cause of it being taken. To think that I could be good, or the reason that a new life was good was just too much. Despite the fact that Jack seemed so sure. But then, he'd always believed in me. He'd always had this unwarranted faith in me. The thing was, if we screwed her up, we wouldn't blame anyone but ourselves. Unlike our parents who made us believe it was all our faults. That we'd done it to ourselves. I knew already that we'd take responsibility for every single thing that happened to her or that she became, and that made me feel a little bit better. The fact that I knew we'd be the kind of parents who at least knew they were fucked up and in no way perfect. "You'll still love us, won't you?" I asked her, softly. "Even if we're not perfect, or the best, if we just... if we just love you enough to make you everything we could never be, you'll still love us, right?" I looked up at Jack and forged a smile, waiting for the tears to pass.

Jack: I hated to see Kate cry, it was rare, though less rare since she got pregnant. I hated to see the fear, pain and doubt in her eyes that were present now. They weren't unfounded but it was more than just the fear of being a parent and messing up our kids. It was more than that and I wished I could take it away from her but it was also a part of her. That fear and I loved every part of her even the parts that frustrated the hell out of me. It was all or nothing with Kate and I'd always wanted it all; that hadn't changed since the day I met her. "We are, its inevitable. But we aren't our parents Kate, we never will be. We're going to make mistakes and we're going to want to change things and make it better but all we can do is be us and give her everything we can and I have no doubt that we can do that." I knew that she'd always doubt herself, she'd always wonder if she was doing things wrong. If Maggie would turn out like Wayne or if somehow because she'd made the choices in her past that she wasn't proud of that it would ruin our daughter but I knew differently. I knew Kate. Maybe there were still things I don't know and things I'll never know but I know to trust in how she looks at me, the way she melts in my arms, how she wakes up in stages, inch by delicious inch and how she's looking at Maggie right now. There's no turning back now and I never want to. After I handed Maggie over I moved to her side and wrapped an arm around her back kissing her temple lightly. "She will," I said and I had no doubt. We were not our parents and our daughter would not look at us one day and wish that we'd been different, I had faith in that. I would always have faith in us. Kate gave me that.




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