Trying to man up
Disclaimer: I'm not E. L. James and, sadly, I don't own her characters. Any recognizable lines belong to her, of course. I only own my imagination and this fanfic. There's no intention in inflicting any copyright.
Hi there! So, I’ve always wondered how things would have been if Christian hadn’t messed it up and Ana hadn’t gone mad at him. Or if Ana hadn’t ended up in hospital, forcing Ana and Christian to solve their problems and making Christian realize he loved the baby. I was re-reading this part of the story the other day, and came up with this:
“Damn it! Ana, will you tell me what’s wrong?” Her short e-mails and vague answers I can stand, but I won’t allow her to pick at her food instead of eating it. Besides, I need to know what’s eating her. How else am I supposed to comfort my wife? “Please. You’re driving me crazy.”
She looks at me and I can see the panic in her eyes. What could it possibly be that has her in this state? What is she afraid of? She takes a deep breath and whispers “I’m pregnant.”
No, no, no! No way!
Pregnant? Fucking pregnant?
Of a baby?
I cannot be a father! How could I be a father? I’m fucked up. Fifty shades of fucked up.
I cannot share my wife’s heart. I need to be the centre of her life.
How the hell did this happen?
“How?” She blushes and looks at me as if saying ‘how do you think?’ I don’t have time for her smart responses.
How could she have gotten pregnant if she was on the shot? Hold on.
“Your shot?” I growl. She pales and her eyes open wider. “Did you forget your shot?” How the hell do you forget something as important as to make sure you don’t get fucking pregnant? She looks at me, speechless.
“Christ, Ana!” Before I know what I’m doing, I hit the table. Damn it! I haven’t lost it like this since I was a teenager. I haven’t felt this helpless since I was a teenager. What am I saying? I haven’t felt this helpless since the fucking pimp pressed his lighted cigars against my chest.
How the hell am I supposed to take care of a baby?
Hell, and what if it’s a girl? How could I take care of a little, innocent girl after treating women for years like mere objects?
How could she have forgotten the shot? What kind of person forgets it? You’d think that, after forgetting to take her pills when she left me, she would fucking remember to get the shot! I mean, last time she forgot the contraconceptive, Dr. Greene scared the shit out of her by telling her she could have gotten pregnant!
“You have one thing, one thing to remember” I scream at her. “Shit! I cannot fucking believe it! How could you be so stupid?”
“I’m sorry” she whispers.
Well, sorry is not going to fix this mess.
Nothing is going to fix the mess she got us into!
“I know the timing’s not very good.”
“Not very good!” Now, that’s the understatement of the year. “We’ve known each other for five fucking minutes. I wanted to show you the world and now... Fuck. Diapers and vomit and shit!” I close my eyes. I don’t know how to be a father. I don’t know how to take care of a child, less of all how to raise one!
Shit! I’m about to lose it big time. The last thing I need right now is to physically hurt Ana and feel guilty afterwards. We were supposed to have left that misbehaviour-punishment-guilt circle behind us. I was supposed to have learnt from my mistakes and be less... dominant.
But seriously, how could she have forgotten? Especially after having told her I didn’t want to have children, yet!
“Did you forget? Tell me. Or did you do this on purpose?”
“No” she whispers.
“I thought we had agreed to this!”
“I know. We had. I’m sorry.”
There it’s again. Sorry.
“This is why. This is why I like control. So shit like this doesn’t come along and fuck everything up.” How can I control things now? How can I control this child to be raised properly when I know nothing about babies?
“Christian, please, don’t shout at me” she dares to tell me. She fucks it up and I can’t scream! God, I’m so mad at her.
She starts to cry. “Don’t start with the waterworks now.” I have no patience for this. I have no patience at all. “Fuck.” I run my heads through my hair, mad, frustrated and scared. A baby. “You think I’m ready to be a father?” How could I possibly do this? How could a person as fucked up as me do this? The last thing I need is to fuck up a child in the same way I got fucked up. I don’t know how to take care of a child. I don’t know how to be a father.
“I know neither of us is ready for this, but I think you’ll make a wonderful father. We’ll figure it out.” How the hell is that supposed to make me feel better? And what does she know about my parenting skills? Nothing. Because I have no parenting skills at all.
“How the hell do you know?” I shout, louder. All that times she thought she knew better than me and she ended up being wrong. She almost ended up raped by her boss once! “Tell me how!” I’m losing it. Really loosing it.
I need to leave.
I need to go before I hurt her, before I lose it like the teenager I was many years ago. The teenager who only knew how to use wrestling to regain the little control he didn’t have but desperately needed.
“Oh fuck this” I say, defeated, holding my hands up. I can’t continue this conversation –this discussion –right now.
I hurry to the elevator, with my jacket in hands, and push the bottom that will get me to the ground floor.
I press my back against the cold wall of the elevator and take a deep breath. What the hell was that? I cannot believe she got pregnant! How could she? How could she possibly forget the fucking shot?
Well, I guess Jack breaking into the apartment and then Ray having an accident couldn’t have helped. But it’s a fucking contraconceptive what we are talking about! There’s no way of fixing this kind of mess once you get into it!
I take a deep breath, but when I exhale, the air comes out shaking. I close my eyes firmly and when the elevator makes it to the foyer, I practically run outside so I can inhale cold, librating air.
What has she done?
What have I done?
All those times I begged Ana not to leave me. The fear I felt when I thought she was going to go away after what happened with Leila, that time when I ended up kneeing in a submissive position in front of her. The complete devastation I felt when she walked out of my life after the belt incident.
And, now, I have walked out on her.
I have walked out on her!
What have I done?
She’s as scared as I am. She’s going to be a parent, too. And she’s barely twenty-two. She hasn’t been out of college for more than four miserable months.
And she has a baby growing inside of her. She can’t escape.
I have just walked out on my pregnant wife. I have screamed at her and made her cry, scaring her so much she couldn’t even talk to me. In the same way it was before she left me, when I wanted her to become my sub and I treated her as an acquisition, an object. When I didn’t make her smile and laugh and look as carefree as she does in José’s photos. What have I done to us?
Will I be able to man up and get over this?
Will she be able to forgive me?
What if she wants to leave me? I have showed her how fucked up I can be, and I have really messed it up this time.
What should I do?
I should get back. I should talk to her and solve this. But solve what? You don’t solve a pregnancy. You wait nine months and then a baby is born. A baby that is dependant. That needs to be taken care of. That needs to be raised. That needs to be loved.
And Ana has taught me I have love to give. No. She has found my heart, so that now I have love to give.
I man up –kind of –take another refreshing breath and walk into the building. I get in the elevator and in no time I’m back to our apartment.
Our apartment. Ana’s and mine. Soon it will be Junior’s, Ana’s and mine. Junior? Where did that come from?
Well, technically, I guess that by the time the baby arrives we will live in the house by the sound.
The child is going to love it. He’ll have a lot of space to run and play...
Do I have parental instincts hidden somewhere, after all?
I run through the foyer and into the great room, scanning the place with my eyes, looking for Ana. She’s not here. She left me. My eyes begin to water but I hold back the tears. I feel my heart constrict in my chest.
Then, I realize she couldn’t have left. I was next to the door of the building all the time. Nobody walked out through them. No car left the parking lot, either.
But where is she?
I run to the kitchen, hoping she has recovered her senses and is eating, now that she has to eat for two, but I find Gail alone, cleaning up after dinner.
“Gail!” I gasp. I barely recognize my voice. I’m desperate. What have I done?
Gail turns and looks at me, surprised. Soon enough, the look of surprise is replaced by one of disdain. I deserve it and more. I’ve been an asshole. But I need to know where my wife is. I need to fix this mess I’ve made. “Where is she, Gail?” I ask, sounding desperate.
“I believe she’s in the library, sir.”
“Thank you, thank you” I whisper, sounding like a mad man.
I run to the library and walk through the door. I exhale the air I didn’t notice I was holding, as relief washes through me. There she is, curled up in the overstuffed armchair ,with a hand resting on her belly –on our baby –and another hand holding some kind of leaflet, frowning while she stares at it.
What now? What do I tell her? How do I convince her no to leave me this time? Once again, I’ve proved her what a fucked up son of a bitch I am. I fear the day when she gets tired of me and my fifty shades and finally leaves me.
Suddenly, I find myself in the verge of tears one more time. I can’t recall feeling like this since a very long time. The room is so silent that, when I breathe out shakily, the quiet noise I make causes her jump in her chair and look at me. I walk towards where she is, pleading her with my eyes to forgive me.
“I’m sorry” I say as soon as I reach her. “I’m so, so sorry.” My legs can’t hold me anymore after all this anger, panic, desperation and relief. My knees bend and I fall to the floor, kneeling in front of my pregnant wife, who’s looking down at me surprised.
“I don’t know how to do this. I’m scared as hell to be a father. I understand how you forgot your shot even though I wish you had remembered it. And I’m sorry I walked away. We’re in this together” I burst, agitated and desperate. I feel worst that I felt the night I thought she was going to leave me, the night I asked her to marry me. I’m not only scared of her abandoning be, but also of being the worst father in history.
“Shh, it’s ok, will find a way around it” she says, caressing my hair. Carefully -as though she had just realized she’s made of crystal and invaluable to me- she sits on the floor by my side and hugs me tightly. “I’m glad you’re back. I need you. I’m scared, too. But nobody knows how to be a parent at first, Christian” she tells me.
She’s full of love and forgiveness and I’m in awe-stuck. I tell her so. “I’m in awe of you, baby. You’re loving, and caring, and patient, and... and... I can just picture you being a mother. I know you want a family and that I promised you one, but how could someone like me possibly be a father?”
“Oh, Christian, you’re so loving and caring, too. You seriously know how to treat me as though I was made of glass. And you have become so patient over the last few months! Thanks to you, this baby will be in need of nothing. But you also know how to establish rules so we won’t end up with a bunch of naughty, spoiled children.”
“A bunch?” I ask, panicked. She laughs.
“We don’t need to think about it now. There was something else I wanted to tell you...” she frowns in concentration, trying to remember what it was. I can’t help myself and kiss that soft little V that shows up between her eyes. “Oh, yes! I did forget the shot, but the last one run out earlier that it was supposed to. I got pregnant either in France, or the first week after we came home from the honeymoon.”
“It failed? I thought it was a reliable contraconceptive.”
“That’s what I said, too. Can we move this conversation to a most comfortable place?” I laugh, put myself on my feet and help her stand up.
I grab her hand and we go to the living room so we can sit in the couch and talk. But when we are near our target, she lets go of my hand and grabs her purse. She pushes me to the couch and sits down on my lap. Then, she opens her bag and takes out a... what the hell is that? When I frown in confusion, she smiles at me.
“This is our baby, Mr Grey. The little blip over here” she says, pointing at a dot in the picture.
“The first smile of the baby?” I ask, trying to sound excited and failing miserably.
She kisses my cheek and asks me “Do you seriously think I would let you be a bad father?”
And, surprisingly, that does makes me feel a lot better. I may not trust myself –nor her judgment –but I do have faith in her and her ways to make me be a better person. I smile. A real smile. I kiss her lips softly and she beams at me.
“A real honest to goodness baby!” I exclaim. “I cannot believe you’ve got someone growing in here” I say, placing my hand on her belly softly –and with shaky hands.
“I know it’s difficult to imagine. You have to come with me to my next appointment with Dr. Greene so you can see Blip by yourself!”
“Blip” she nods, proudly. I laugh.
“I trust you, baby. I’d trust you with my life. And I trust you’ll make my fears disappear.” She smiles and kisses my lips with so much love and care.
Then, she curls up on my lap, resting her head on my chest and staring at the picture of our Blip.
She sighs. “I’ll need to find another contraceptive method in one year or so. You know, no method is 100% affective. Sometimes they fail. The more sex you have, the more possibilities it has to fail. No wonder I got pregnant.” I laugh. “Thanks God you didn’t get anyone else pregnant in the last twelve or thirteen years.” That makes me stop laughing. I grimace.
Thirteen. The number of bad luck. No wonder I got her pregnant now. No. Not bad luck. I must not think that way.
No matter how much I look at the ultrasound, I either imagine that little blip inside my wife’s belly or I picture that blip as a tiny human. I cannot wrap my head around the idea of Ana having a human being inside of her.
I don’t know how long we had been staying here, comfortable, with me holding Ana in my arms and she holding the first picture of our baby, when Ana’s stomach growls, asking for food. And I’m always more that ager to feed my wife.
“Ana, baby, you didn’t finish your dinner. You’re not eating for only yourself anymore.” I tell her with a pleading tone. “Please, let me arrange you something. And by arrange I mean reheat because that’s the only thing I can do when it comes to food.” She laughs and nods. I’m glad she’s letting me do something for her. For them. I know it’s not the way to do it, but I need to make it up for her somehow.
“I’m sorry for screaming at you” I say as I put some food in the microwave oven. “And for saying the things I said. For blaming you about doing it on purpose. God, what was I thinking? I know you’d never put me in such a position on purpose.”
“It’s ok, now. You’re here, you’re with me and I’ve got your support. And you’ll have to stand my hormones for the next eight months or so. But, looking at the bright side of things, the second trimester is the ‘horny trimester.’”
“Seriously?” I laugh. “I didn’t know that.”
After she has had enough food, we go to our bedroom. She undresses herself and when she goes to grab one of my t-shirts, I stop her in her tracks. I kiss her belly and mutter “Hi there, baby. I’m your Daddy. I’m sorry for all that screaming, buddy. I promise it won’t happen again. Except for the times I make your Mommy scream in pleasure.” I whisper softly the last sentence, but still loud enough for my wife to hear me. That earns me a smack in my head and I laugh silently. “I’m going to make sure that you’re safe and happy in there. And that your Mommy feeds you” I finish, giving her a chastising look.
She’s got tears in her eyes. Happy tears, I guess, from the look in her face. She grabs my head with her hands and pulls me towards hers. She kisses me passionately and in no time we’re naked and in bed. I don’t know if it’s make-up sex, I-am-ridiculously-joyful sex or a mixture of the two of them. Because that’s what I am, I realize with surprise. I’m joyful. I can picture a little me with Ana’s beautiful, perfect, unnerving blue eyes running through the meadow of our new home, and I feel I am in cloud nine.
For the sake of the happy ending, let’s imagine Lincoln didn’t pay Hide’s bail and Christian and Ana lived happy ever after, together, with six children and so many grandchildren they can’t even remember their names.