The Next Night
Peyton had been in labour for 26 hours and now despite how exhausted she was, she was unable to close her eyes and fall asleep. Juice was asleep in a chair across the room and she smiled at the sight of him holding their beautiful baby girl, Ava. She looked down and couldn't remove the smile from her face as she looked into the beautiful eyes of her baby boy, Harry. When Tara had first initially told them she was having twins, both her and Juice agreed that they didn't want to know the sex of the babies or if they were identical or not. They both wanted to be surprised. It didn't matter to her, Peyton was ecstatic to add to her beautiful family.
She heard a faint knock on the door and looked up as her mom entered. "Hey momma," Peyton said quietly, not wanting to wake up Juice or baby Ava. "Hi baby girl," Joyce replied just as quietly, "I didn't think you would be awake. I was just going to drop these off." She placed a beautiful vase of flowers on the table beside her bed. "They are beautiful mom," Peyton replied, "Thank you."
Joyce pulled up a chair beside Peyton's bed and sat down and looked at her daughter admiringly. "How are you feeling sweetheart?" Joyce asked, "I know things got tough at the end." "I'm exhausted," Peyton replied, "but I don't feel any pain, not right now anyways. Tara said that there might be some discomfort, but I might get lucky and not have any." The labour had gone smoothly for the most part. Harry arrived first and there were absolutely no complications with his birth, but then Ava proved to be a little more difficult. She was just too stubborn. As Peyton tried to push, Ava had gone into distress so they decided it would be best to deliver her by C-section. So after all that pushing, they had no choice. Peyton hadn't minded at all, she just wanted her baby to be safe.
"I'm so glad that they are both healthy and that you are all ok," Joyce said quietly, "Juice looked so scared when he came out and updated us all. I can't imagine what was going through his mind." "He's good now," Peyton replied looking over at Juice and smiling, "He's happy he got his girl. Not that he doesn't love his boys, but that little girl will be so protected that she will never be allowed to date." Joyce laughed at that remark. "Well with all the uncles she has," Joyce stated, "You're right. There will be a very extensive interrogation of every boy Ava every brings to TM or the clubhouse."
Peyton laughed quietly and then closed her eyes and leaned her head against the pillow. She smiled with her eyes closed as her mom stood up and kissed her gently on the forehead. "You get some sleep sweetheart," Joyce whispered, "I'll come back and visit you tomorrow, unless you guys go home." "Thanks mom," Peyton whispered, looking up at her mom with tired eyes, "Me or Juice will let you know what's going on. I love you." "I love you too baby girl," Joyce replied.
Peyton watched as her mother left the room and then she leaned over and placed Harry in the bassinet beside her bed that the hospital had provided her. "I love you baby boy," Peyton whispered to Harry. He looked up at her for moment before his eyes drifted shut. Her heart burst with love for the little boy beside her and the little girl in her daddy's arms. She turned off the light and laid her head against the pillow allowing the sleep to finally take over.
The next morning Jax walked through the halls of St. Thomas, making his way to Peyton's room. He had visited her quickly the day before, but it was only for about ten minutes before he took off. He didn't know why he had left the hospital so abruptly, or at least he didn't realize why until later that night while he was at home watching the boys play in the living room.
Way back about 17 years earlier, Jax was 18 and Peyton was almost 16, he may or may not have had a little thing for his best friend. He was dating Tara at the time, but part of him loved and cared about Peyton more than he had wanted to and Tara had confronted him about. He tried to deny it as best he could, but he couldn't fool Tara. About a year after that confrontation Tara left him behind and went to Chicago to pursue a better life than the one she had lived in Charming. It wasn't like he still had feelings for Peyton, but lately, like the last couple months, every time he was around Peyton he just remembered what it felt like to feel that way about her.
He cleared his mind and quietly pushed open the door of Peyton's room and made his way in. "Hey man," Juice whispered, "You took off way too fast last night Jax." Juice stood up and put Harry in one of the bassinets and then walked up to Jax and gave him a big hug. "Peyton was a little disappointed that you didn't stick around," Juice stated, "Is everything ok man? Do you still have a crush on her?" Of course Jax knew Juice was kidding, but it did come out of left field and it felt like a blow to the stomach for him. He had been caught reminiscing about the past.
"How did you know that?" Jax grumbled. Juice burst out laughing and looked at his friend with curiosity. "I was kidding," Juice retorted quietly, his eyes bugging out of his head, "It was obvious back in the day when I was prospecting that you had a thing for little Peyton, but now..." "There was a time when I did yes," Jax replied, putting his hands up in defence, "But it's not like that now. Peyton never knew about it either." "Yeah she did Jax," Juice replied, "She found out about it somehow because she mentioned it to me, but she said she could never be with you like that. You two were way too close." "Jesus," Jax whispered, "Whatever, it's not even a big deal Juice. We are way past that."
Juice smiled at Jax and patted him on the shoulder. "So look man," Juice said, "I have to head out and do a couple things. I've got some searches to do on that stuff you asked me about regarding Tig and the possibility of him getting released sooner rather than later. Then I have to go pick up the boys from Lyla's. Do you mind sticking around here for awhile?" "Not at all," Jax said, "You go do your thing. I'll take care of them." Juice smiled at Jax before grabbing his bag and leaving the room.
Jax stood in the middle of the room and looked over at Peyton who was fast asleep, no doubt exhausted and trying to recover. There was a bassinet on either side of her bed and he slowly made his way to the right side. He had left so fast the night before that he hadn't had an opportunity to hold them. He really didn't understand why he had left so fast, but now he felt horrible for leaving. Jax was the only brother figure she had and he had always been there for her whenever she needed him, but he wasn't there last night when she wanted to share her exciting moment with him.
"Don't beat yourself up about it Teller," he heard a whisper come from the bed, "I understand why you left and I'm not mad at you. You're here now and that's all that matters." He smiled slightly. Peyton had always been able to read his mind and some times that was so much easier than trying to explain himself in a difficult situation.
He gently moved the bassinet out of the way and sat down on the bed beside her. He grabbed her hand and pressed it to his lips. "How you feeling Darlin?" he asked quietly. "I'm not as tired as I was last night," Peyton replied, "I was so exhausted last night around 10:30, but I couldn't make myself close my eyes. I was too busy admiring my beautiful babies. Mom came and visited me and then I think I fell asleep around 11:30. Then I had to wake up twice to feed the babies. What time is it now?" "It's 8:30," Jax replied, "Didn't have much going on this morning and I felt like such a tool for leaving last night. Thought I would come make it up to you." "Glad you did," she replied quietly, "Now you can have some quality time with the twins."
Peyton looked around and then looked back at Jax. "Juice had some things to get done," Jax answered without her having to ask, "He will be back in a couple hours with the boys." Peyton smiled at him and reached her arms out to him. Jax leaned in and hugged her tight against him. "What did you name them?" he asked her after they pulled apart, ashamed that he couldn't even stick around last night to wait for that announcement. "Harry and Ava," Peyton replied, beaming at him, "Now we've got a baby Opie." He noticed her blink to try and keep the tears from escaping and he could see how much she missed him in that moment. "He would love them so much Peyton," Jax said quietly, reaching for her hand, "Those are beautiful names."
"If you want to hold them you can," she said, smiling at him, "I'm sure they are going to wake up soon anyways." Jax got off the bed and gently lifted Ava out of her bassinet. She was absolutely beautiful. Her skin was soft and she had the darkest head of hair he had ever seen on a new born baby. He sat on the chair across from the bed and just stared at the beautiful girl in his arms. After a couple minutes he felt her move in his arms and then she opened her eyes slightly and looked up at him. Ava looked so much like Juice it took his breath away. That guy had strong genes, he thought to himself with a small smile. "Hey Darlin," he whispered as he held her little hand in his, "I have been waiting so patiently to meet you. I'm your Uncle Jax." Ava held onto his finger and continued to look up at him. She had quite the grip. "She's going to be a strong little girl," Jax stated, looking up at Peyton who had Harry in her arms. Peyton nodded her head in agreement.
Jax stood up and made his way back over to the bed and looked down at Harry. Just a handsome little guy. His hair was a tad bit lighter and he definitely looked like his mom. "He definitely looks more like you Peyton," Jax said, "But this little girl will be the spitting image of her father. They are both beautiful."
Peyton sat up in bed and looked over at Jax. "Thank you Jax," she responded, "Look, I have to ask you something." "Shoot," Jax replied. "Juice and I talked about this over the last couple days and I told him that I would ask you," Peyton continued, "Would you and Tara be willing to be Harry and Ava's god parents?" Jax felt incredibly honored at her request. "I'm honored baby girl that you would ask us," Jax replied, "I would say yes right now, but just out of precaution, I would have to talk to Tara first." "Of course," Peyton replied, "I wasn't expecting an answer today. We just wanted you to know that you are our first pick. We kind of love you guys." Jax smiled at her.
"Jax are you ok?" Peyton asked him quietly, "You don't seem like yourself." Gee she was observant, Jax thought, why did she have to know him so well? "It's no big deal," Jax replied. "You can talk to me Jax," she stated, "You have been keeping to yourself a lot lately. You used to tell me everything, the things I didn't really need to know." "I feel awful for leaving you last night," Jax replied quietly, "I know I should have stayed with you and Juice, but I couldn't do it. It seems that in the last little while everything has finally caught up with me. I can tuck away the serious issues and forget about them, but they are starting to creep up on me." "What do you mean?" Peyton asked him. "I've just become really exhausted," Jax continued, running a hand through his hair, "We are short a few guys now with Tig in Stockton and having lost Bobby. Less guys, more work for the rest of us. That's including work at TM. It also became very clear to me last night that Bobby and Opie, they really are gone and they aren't coming back. Seeing you last night, so happy and yet I could see the sadness in your eyes as well. It killed me to see those emotions underneath the surface and I couldn't deal with it. I rode my bike for hours last night before I went home."
Peyton put Harry back in his bassinet and then she looked at me. "Put Ava down for a minute," Peyton said quietly. Jax did as she asked and then she patted the bed beside her. He sat down beside her and wrapped his arm around her shoulders. "I know you hate the thought of talking to someone about what has happened in the last nine months," Peyton started, "And I know that you think you are ok and all macho because you can tuck it all in the back of your brain and not have to worry about it anymore. But all of that stuff that you haven't dealt with up to this point, it is like a ticking time bomb. It's going to explode if you don't deal with it now. Please Jax, stop holding it in. I don't care who you talk to, just talk to someone about it. Get it off your chest. You can talk to a shrink, talk to Tara, talk to Gemma, Nero, Juice, me, just talk to someone. Because you aren't doing yourself any good by keeping it all bottled up inside."
Jax pressed his forehead against hers the way they always did when they would have serious conversations. He knew she was right, but he was scared of the emotions he would feel. He wasn't sure he was completely ready to say goodbye to Opie and Bobby. He looked at his best friend and little sister and grabbed her hand. "Promise me," she whispered, looking back at him. "I promise," Jax replied.