as both becomes all
summary: you’re pregnant and not with ben. it all feels like quite a lot to handle.
warnings: angst, fluff, smut (18+). female masturbation, female receiving oral, pregnancy
pairing: bodyguard!ben hardy x reader
word count: 13.1k
thank you so much for the positive feedback this little trilogy has gotten - i never expected that it would have gotten as popular as it did, and i’m so excited to be posting the final part of it!!
( gif creds to @ michaelscofieldx )
The tour ends abruptly.
Fans who were meant to be attending the last few shows are sent emails from your tour company, apologizing profusely, claiming that you had a health emergency that required you to not perform. And it’s true, of course, but you feel horrible. For nearly a week after you cancel the shows you’re getting angry tweets and DMs, people claiming it’s unprofessional.
News of you getting shot goes unnoticed. The first source came from DailyMail, and it was enough to make people assume it untrue. You don’t bother to correct it, because, after all, it is a rather private matter. And you need time to heal yourself.
So you make a few apology posts. A second email goes out with a $75 voucher for your merch, which is more than some of the tickets even were, but it seems reasonable. Sweatshirts and baseball caps and bracelets go out of stock within hours, and in a few days angry tweets change to ones of fans showing off what they’ve got.
You enjoy looking at them. Lying on the couch, head throbbing, your brightness so dim you have to squint to see what you’re scrolling through. You like a few, maybe type a comment, but eventually looking at your screen hurts your eyes even more. So you drop your phone onto your stomach, grumbling at your cousin to turn the lights down, and with a roll of her eyes she complies.
It’s been a painful week, and boring, as well. Your cousin comes over, the one who’d been watching your dog, and she talks to you for hours at a time. It’s easy to talk to her. It always has been, really.
“You know - this bodyguard, Ben -” and saying his name is just about painful. You swallow before continuing, pushing yourself up against the couch and swinging your legs over the edge. “We were a thing.”
She raises her eyebrows, looking up from her phone on the other side of the couch. Her eyes meet yours, narrowed in confusion, before nodding. “Well, I figured.”
“You talked to me about him a lot. And then not at all.” She leans over and rests her phone on the coffee table, hand stroking your dog in her lap. “Is it over?”
You haven’t told anyone. Intended to keep it a complete secret, hush hush, until you decided what to do. But you - you can’t - so you nod slowly, swallowing the lump in your throat, and mutter, “It’s over. He ended it. But there’s - I mean -”
Saying it makes it so much real, and you draw your knees up to your chest. Rest your chin against them, shake your head slowly. And then you continue, “I’m pregnant, with his fucking baby, of course. And I don’t know what to do. I don’t -”
“Hey,” your cousin mutters, reaching over to grab your hands. There’s an instant flashback to the two of you as children, mere months apart, running through the park with your hands firmly clasped, and it’s some sort of comfort in this strange situation you’re forced in. “It’s okay. You know that. You’re gonna be fine.”
You roll your eyes without meaning to, and then you feel bad. “I just - it really doesn’t feel like I’m gonna be fine. This is a fucking problem.”
It’s something you can both agree with, at least. Your cousin raises her eyebrows, and then says, “Did you tell him?”
“Nope,” you respond, popping the p.
“You know you have to do that.”
“I don’t even know if I’m going to keep this thing. I don’t know.”
“He still has to know. Even if you decide not to keep it. He has to know.”
She’s fucking right. God, the asshole.
It takes a lot of Instagram stalking to figure out where Ben lives, and truthfully you’re a bit embarrassed by it. But you’d rather the internal embarrassment than the external type, by asking Ben where he lives, so you suffer in silence.
He doesn’t have an Instagram - statues generally don’t - but his best friend, Joe, does, and he posts religiously. At least three posts a week, and Ben takes up a lot of them. It makes your heart hurt, a bit, seeing Ben so beautifully carefree in some of these pictures -
A blurry shot of him and Joe on a boat -
A photo of him stuffing the largest cupcake you’ve ever seen into his mouth -
A video of the two of them doing the macarena at a party -
Because suddenly it feels like this is a whole new part of Ben, one you’ve never seen but Joe does. And the best friend is supposed to know more, you suppose, but you wish you could have stayed with Ben long enough to take silly videos and pictures with him.
It was all so secret.
When you scroll back down to 2016, there’s a group shot of four men - Ben and Joe among them and then two you don’t recognize - but their handles are tagged, and you click on the shorter stranger’s profile first (his name is just ramim, which, depending on what his name is, seems pretty straightforward.) It’s bare, two pictures and private, anyway, so you go back and click on the taller man’s profile. HIs username is gwilymlee, which is quite the name, and he has quite a few pictures.
Ben is in a few of them. Not enough, in your opinion, but you scroll down, eyes finding every picture with your blonde (ex?)bodyguard in them.
In 2016. A bright shot of Ben and Joe in front of an apartment building, the blonde holding a keyring with a positively overjoyed look on his face. It’s a building you know - one you’ve passed before - and you sit up just a bit straighter as you read the caption gwilymlee added.
New apartment for benny! Finally moved out of his parents’ basement!
You push your half eaten bowl of strawberries away from you, resting your elbows on the kitchen island and examining the picture more. You know where this fucking building is and you know how to get there and what if he is there? What if this is it?
Of course, there’s the chance that he doesn’t live there anymore. That he moved, perhaps. But there’s a feeling in your gut, the kind that feels like a handwritten letter from the universe herself, and you think it is his. His apartment, still. Think it might be fate. And you know you have to try to see if you’re right, at least.
Really, you try not to doll yourself up too much. You don’t want it to look like you put in effort to see him, but if you go looking like a total bum then perhaps he’ll think that the breakup destroyed you, and you can’t have that. So you settle - a pair of jeans and a hoodie - and a touch of makeup. Just enough, really. Then you punch the apartment building’s address into your maps and set off, positively determined and entirely too nervous.
In 23 minutes you’re there. Parked on the street outside, gazing up at the red brick building, with moss artistically climbing across the exterior walls - it’s positively beautiful and you’ve thought that since the first time you passed it. Always said it would be a dream to live here.
You press a hand to your stomach, over the soft cotton of your Billabong pullover. There’s nothing there. No movement. Not that you really expected there to be, but - well, maybe you thought the baby would be reacting to this life altering decision you’re going to discuss with Ben.
You climb out of your car, locking the doors before shoving the keys into your pocket, and slowly you walk up to the front doors, keeping your head down, gazing at the beige sidewalk beneath your feet. Your hands grasp the handle for the door - cold beneath your touch - and you pull it open, walking into the warm lobby of the apartment building.
There’s a mere receptionist at the desk, three couches, and an elevator, and you feel strangely claustrophobic in this space - but no, not claustrophobic, you don’t think. Maybe just uncomfortable. Ben has been here, once upon a time. Maybe today. Perhaps he has a friendship with this nice receptionist named Lola, or maybe he’s less partial to her.
You give her a smile and then a moment for her to recognize you, as always happens. And normally the moment of surprise bothers you, to an extent, but you appreciate it coming from Lola. Like watching her eyes widen, her lips part, and then she clears her throat and says, “Oh! Hi! What can I do for you?”
Freshly painted fingernails drum against her desk as you lean in, giving her a small smile before questioning in an ultra soft, sweet voice, “I was just wondering if you could tell me - I have a friend who I believe lives here. I thought, maybe, you could confirm the name for me?”
You’re not sure if this is against the rules for her to do, but Lola nods eagerly, dragging her fingers across her keyboard. “Of course! What’s her name?”
“Ben Jones,” you reply, watching her fingers fly across her keyboard. “He never really told me where he lived. And I really miss him.” It’s the truth but you don’t fucking know why you said it. To build a story, perhaps. “It’s been a while since I’ve seen him. Anyway, does he still live here?”
“Yes, he does,” Lola tells you, and your dumb heart skips a beat. “Unfortunately I can’t tell you what apartment he’s in, but -”
Whatever else she says goes unheard as the door opens again, and you turn around to look at who walked in -
“Oh!” your eyes widen and your cheeks heat up. “Joe. Hi.”
Joe is holding a bag filled with groceries - one of the fancy reusable ones from Wegmans that your mother always bugs you to use - and he looks only the smallest bit confused at you being there, in his best friend’s apartment building, but then he clears his throat and says, “Oh. Hi.”
Lola is forgotten as you take a deep breath before giving a smile to Joe. “Are you bringing those to Ben?” you question, nodding down at the groceries he’s holding.
“Yeah,” Joe nods, holding up the bag. “What are you doing here?”
“I was hoping to - um - visit Ben, actually.”
There’s a beat of silence. And then Joe clears his throat, turns to the receptionist and says, “Hi, Lola!”
“Hi, Joe,” Lola replies, and the absolutely uncomfortable situation is the tiniest bit rectified. “Going up to see Ben, I gather.”
“Yep.” Joe spares you a glance, walking to the elevator. “And I’m bringing her up with me.”
Ben’s apartment contains every ounce of personality that the man himself ever lacked - pictures on the walls, colorful furniture, a small dog jumping up on your thighs as Joe holds open the door for you to duck into. It’s small, you suppose, though nice - a small hall leads to the kitchen and living room, and it’s all open and nice, and you feel strangely choked up looking at it.
“What are you doing here?” Ben questions, drumming his fingers against his kitchen counter. You know the question, of course, is directed at you, and you can’t exactly explain it yet. Not with Joe here - unpacking the groceries he brought and setting them in their cabinets. It looks like he knows his way around the place, but considering he knew the receptionist by name - it isn’t shocking.
You brace your hands on the kitchen island and pull yourself up onto it, feet dangling as your eyes follow Joe’s path. “I’d love to tell you, really,” you begin, crossing your arms over your chest. Joe pauses in the middle of stuffing a second box of macaroni into a cabinet and meets your eyes, brows furrowed. You understand why Ben and Joe are friends, you think - they seem to balance each other out, in some sort of way. Joe is goofy where Ben seems to be serious. Opposites attract, you muse to yourself, in more ways than one. Ben just seems to be a magnet for the opposites. “Joe, would you be an absolute angel and mind giving us a few minutes alone?”
You’ll need more than a few minutes, but Joe doesn’t need to know that. Not right off the bat. You give him a smile and he sets the pasta down on the counter, giving Ben one final glance before making his way off down the hall. The front door opens and shuts and then your gaze snaps back to Ben, his hair messy with his sweatpants low on his hips, and you focus your eyes directly into his.
“Why are you here?” Ben asks again.
“You’re so blunt, Ben. Aren’t I allowed to visit you?” your voice is sweet and Ben sighs, rubbing his hand over his face. “Kidding. But, really, is it that much of a burden that I’m here?”
“It’s just -” he sighs slowly. “I don’t know.”
Your feet thumb against the island with every swing of your legs, cut short by the rhythmic bangs. “Alright, Benny. Something kind of bad is happening.” You pause. Gauge his reaction, and you can tell he’s trying to appear calmer than he is but his eyes give him away. “I wasn’t going to tell you, truthfully. And maybe that’s kind of fucked up, but I was planning on just handling it myself. But my cousin - I told you about her, I think - she told me I have to tell you, because otherwise that kind of makes me a bad person. Not in those words, of course, but the implication -”
Ben holds up a finger to silence you. “What is it, Y/N?”
Your heart beats hard against your chest, and your throat feels oddly dry, but you don’t want to give your nerves away. Not to him. And the worst he could do is - is reject you, not support you in your decision, whatever it is. But that wouldn’t be too different from not telling him at all, right? Which was the original plan. So you take a deep breath, and your feet thump thump thump against the island. “So, you remember when I was at the hospital.”
You’re only starting from that point to fuck with him. But he nods, crosses his arms, and you continue. “Well, the nurse had a - um - rather pressing health update to tell me about.”
In an instant, it seems, Ben is by your side, and you fight the urge to shift closer to him, so your thigh is touching his torso, but your eyes are slightly leveled when you turn and look at him.
“Are you okay?” he asks, voice rich with concern. “Are you sick, or -”
Watching his expression morph into a thousand different ones would be amusing if you weren’t slightly terrified of his response. But Ben goes from concerned to surprised, and then confused, and then he rolls his eyes and takes a step away from you.
“Oh, shut up,” he says, back to you, and your brows furrow in confusion. Ben turns back around, and his lips are spread into a humorless grin. “You’re not pregnant, Y/N.”
You press your palms against your thighs, exhaling a deep breath, and then you retort, “I promise, I am. Took three drugstore tests and made the hospital take another more official one. I was in denial, too, but I thought you should know. You know, being the dad and all.”
The last sentence - a metaphorical bomb dropped - sends Ben’s head flopping forward into his hands, and for a few minutes he doesn’t move. Just stands still, his face in his palms, and you sit atop of his kitchen island and wait.
Wait for him to get it together, you suppose. You need him to get it together, to talk to you about it, to maybe go outside and tell Joe that you guys are going to need a lot more time than a few minutes, because this conversation can’t be jammed into a time slot. It’s positively indefinite. And getting started on it - on decisions, decisions, decisions - can only occur when Ben fucking stands up and looks at you.
“I’m not too thrilled either, Benny.” it’s the only comforting words you can think of, and your feet still hit the island. It’s a nervous tick, you think. “I promise. But you’re - the dad - and this conversation has to happen. With you.”
“Oh, god,” is all Ben mutters in response, and then he moves his face up so that he’s looking at you - eyes peeking through his fingers, wide and bright. His face is oddly pale. “Please tell me you’re not kidding. Please. If you’re joking …”
“I’m not,” you promise, and then you hold your hand out to him. Stick your middle finger out. “Oops,” you mutter, replacing the middle finger with your pinky. “I swear. I swear I’m not kidding.”
Murmurs of oh god reach your ears, and you let your hand drop back down to the island. Your other hand presses over your stomach, just a comfort thing, and then you swallow. Watch him, still. Make out the way he reacts to this, because he seems just as shocked as you were.
At least he’s not hearing it from a nurse he’s never met five minutes after being broken up with and after being shot, you think, but that hardly seems fair.
Slowly you push yourself off of the island and take a step closer to Ben, reaching out to wrap an arm around his shoulder. He doesn’t push you away and then you envelope him in a warm embrace, and he doesn’t necessarily reciprocate - too busy covering his face - but perhaps he feels comforted.
You do, at least.
“Hey.” you pull away and press your hands to his cheeks, pulling his head up. “Can we talk about this, Ben? Seriously?” He nods slowly, and his eyes look the tiniest bit watery. You hate to focus on it. “I don’t know what I’m going to do.”
“Okay,” Ben says, and you furrow your eyebrows at the complete non-response. Then he drops his hands to his side, sighing, and then he grabs your wrist. It isn’t your hand but it’s close, and you hate the way your heart rolls in your chest at the feeling. The thump thump thump you still hear is no longer your feet but your heart, beat beat beating inside your body. “You know I’ll support you no matter what.”
And because you did know this - did know he’s a decent man - you smile slightly and reply, “I know.” You’d thank him but it hardly seems like an extraordinary sentiment. More like something he’s supposed to do. But men were unpredictable, really, because when your best friend had a pregnancy scare in high school, her boyfriend said that he’d never talk to her again if she didn’t get rid of it.
She wasn’t even pregnant. So you push down your pride and cough dryly. “Uh - thank you.”
Ben takes his bottom lip in between his teeth, gnawing on the soft pink skin, and you open your mouth to speak again when the apartment door opens again - you jump, turning to look at who walked in, and Joe pops his head into the kitchen.
“Are we done talking?” Joe asks, as if the incredibly intense conversation you’re having with Ben involves him at all. But he’s nice. You appreciate him, even if you hardly know him.
“It’s gonna be a while, Joey.” Ben motions for Joe to leave, and the ginger sighs, then gives the pair of you a smile. Perhaps he’s noticed your close proximity to each other. Maybe he thinks you’re getting back together - maybe he wants you to. Or maybe he’s just a friendly person.
Joe leaves, and you turn back to Ben.
“Look, sweetheart,” Ben begins, and the nickname forces your eyes to the floor. You don’t want him to see what that name still does to you. He can’t see the heat in your cheeks - the softness in your eyes. “Do you know what you want to do?”
There’s a pause. Then Ben adds, “Because - I mean - I’ll pay for any procedures. If that’s what you want to do.”
The language makes you cringe a little, and you take a few steps back so you’re leaning against the counter. Procedures. It’s certainly a possibility, and outweighing the other option at the present moment, but you hate - well - thinking about it. You nod slowly. “I’m not sure. I’m not sure what I want to do. I mean, it’s a fucking - a fucking baby, Ben. And I’m doing pretty well now, career-wise. I can hardly take a break to care for a baby. And you’re -”
But you don’t want to finish that last sentence. Don’t want to tell Ben what you’re thinking.
“What? What am I?” His voice isn’t rude, really, as if he suspects you were going to say something completely horrible, and you appreciate him for it.
“Not with me, I guess. I mean, doesn’t having split up parents constitute as a broken household? I don’t want to raise a baby in a broken household.”
Ben shakes his head. “You know I wouldn’t make you raise our kid on your own.”
“I know that, but -”
“I don’t think it’s a broken household, then.” he shakes his head, blonde hair swaying from side to side. “They’d be loved by both their parents, if you decide to keep them.”
You drum your nails against the marble island. “It doesn’t have to be broken at all, though.” And this is where you need to shut the hell up, but you can’t stop. “If I - we - whatever - decide to keep the baby, why couldn’t we raise it together? Together?”
Ben brings his thumb into his mouth, nibbling at his nail, and it takes him a moment to reply. Perhaps he’s wary of this subject. Has to choose his words carefully. “You don’t understand.”
“Explain it to me.”
“This isn’t the time.”
“It’s as good a time as any. Let’s get all the painful conversations out of the way now.”
You think you should’ve kept your mouth shut, actually. But you’re going and going, and you can’t stop now. You need to hear what he has to say - hear it for yourself. Why have you been agonizing over this? The baby, the break up? You deserve some sort of closure, and he’s in the place to give it to you.
“I couldn’t protect you,” Ben speaks slowly, tongue darting out to run along his bottom lip. “And that scares the shit out of me, you know? Because I’m supposed to protect you. That’s my job.”
“Ben,” you interrupt. “That had nothing to do with being involved with me.” You hesitate. “Do you want to be with me?”
He opens his mouth immediately and then shuts it. Finally he clears his throat and says, “Yeah. I do. I really, really do. But I want to keep you safe more. And it’s hard when I’m - I’m distracted.”
It all sounds so fucking stupid. “You know, there were, like, a thousand guys who sent in applications to be my bodyguard.”
Ben raises his eyebrows. “Really? A thousand guys who wouldn’t have let you get shot in a fucking 7/11?”
“You didn’t let me, you know.” But that hardly seems the point of bringing the other applicants up. “You don’t have to be my bodyguard, Benny. If that’s really what’s stopping this from happening.”
There’s a heavy pause. The air feels thick around you, warm and constricting, and you shift slightly. You are entirely too hot, and you aren’t really sure why. It was so cold outside. Too cold, really. And you want to strip down to the bare dressing essentials right now.
Ben shakes his head, and a small, humorless smile tugs at his lips. “Let’s focus on the baby for now, yeah?”
Tomato sauce. Gnocchi. Sourdough bread.
It’s only three things, so you rolled your eyes when your cousin tried to write it down for you. I’m not an idiot, you know, you told her, and you’re still holding that sentiment strong in your mind.
You hate cooking, really. Your cousin, though, is a chef so she both loves and excels at it, and whenever she visits, she’s in charge of cooking duty. But you, though - you have to get the groceries and clean up and do the dishes. It’s an even price to pay for a good meal.
You have the pasta and the bread - perfectly firm, as your cousin told you - but the tomato sauces are a bit more tricky. Your cousin gets a specific brand, and she told you it so many times before you left the house but you can’t remember. God. You probably should’ve written it down. Your brain can’t handle all three things, apparently, and if that isn’t embarrassing.
u can’t already have pregnancy brain, your cousin replies when you text her asking for the brand confirmation. like ur barely pregnant. get it tf together.
look it isn’t my fault.
should i blame ben?
You shut off your phone and throw it into your basket. Well, fuck her. Pregnancy brain. Is that even a real thing? You feel just as smart - or not - as you were before you got pregnant.
You’ll just grab a random brand. If she gets mad at you for it then you’ll just throw it back at her for making fun of your pregnancy brain. But looking at all of the plastic containers full of bright red sauce, you can’t determine which is even the best to buy. And you could look at all of the brands but that’s so much work.
So you grab Prego. Just to give your cousin a little laugh.
Even looking at the word, though, makes you a bit nervous. Because you - haven’t really thought about what to do with the pregnancy. And you’ve talked to Ben since then but they’ve done little to make your mind up. Dropping the Prego sauce into your basket, you turn and make your way to the checkout, mind returning to the overdriven state it hardly seems to leave.
Sometimes you wish you could just get a break. Go back to before you knew about this. To when you still had Ben and not a care in the world, unaware of the baby, unaware of the impending bullet and breakup.
Time travel doesn’t exist. You can’t go back. Only forward. And that’s fine. You like to think everything will work out in the end, anyway.
Aisle number 5 has the least people while still being open. Giant never has open aisles so it’s between 5 and 9, and there’s a line at 9. Only one woman at 5, pushing a cart full of snacks, and in the cart is -
“Well, hi, cutie.”
Your voice has morphed into an ultra sweet, soft voice that’s reserved for your baby nieces and nephews and little cousins, and the small, pale baby sitting in the cart seems to enjoy it. She looks up at you with a smile, mouth containing one growing-in baby tooth, and her baby blue eyes are wide.
“Her name is Ella,” her mom says to you from where she’s standing, placing her groceries into the same reusable bag that Joe used for Ben. (Kind of makes you feel like shit for not using that bag, but whatever.) Her hair is dark, tied into a ponytail, but her eyes have the same bright blue hue of her daughter. “Ella Grace, legally, but we all call her Ella.” Then the woman’s eyes meet yours, and a slow smile spreads across her face. “I know you, I think. Are you famous?”
Heat spreads through your cheeks, and you smile a little. Poke Ella Grace’s cheeks. “Um, kind of. I don’t know.”
“You’re modest,” Ella Grace’s mom says, pausing in the middle of stuffing a third bag of Lays potato chips into her bag. “My stepdaughter has a poster of yours in her room.”
“Oh,” you murmur, moving your hands in front of your eyes and then waiting a few seconds before pulling away. “Peek-a-boo!” You watch as Ella’s face lights up, and then she giggles loudly. “You’re such a sweetie, aren’t you, Miss Ella?”
Her mom grins at you, setting her bag in her cart. “She’s a sweetie now, but when no one else is around she’s a demon.” She maneuvers her way to the front of her cart and leans down to kiss the top of Ella’s head, and the baby gurgles in response. “You’re such a natural. Has anyone told you that before?”
Your stomach flips dramatically, and you swallow slowly. Begin setting your groceries onto the conveyor, and they move towards the entirely-unbothered cashier slowly. “No, haven’t really heard that before.”
“Well, you definitely are.” She begins pushing her cart away, and small pale fists reach out to grab the air near you. “See? Ella loves you.” The woman pauses and turns back to look at you. “My stepdaughter will never believe it. Really, she won’t.”
“Tell her I love her,” you hear yourself saying, but you’re not focused on it. Feel clammy and cold, all of a sudden. The woman bids farewell and leaves, and you shakily pull out $30 from your wallet and hand it to the cashier. Your total is less than $20 but the guy looks like he could use the extra cash, and you can’t stand to watch him pick out your change. You just grab your plastic bag, give him a smile, and walk as fast as you can out to the parking lot.
A car passes you - a black Toyota. The woman, Ella’s mom, waves at you from the driver’s seat, and you grin at her. As soon as she passes the smile melts off your face, and you grab your keys from the pocket of your windbreaker and unlock your car door as fast as you can.
When you’re in your car, heat turned up as high as it can go - for wind and for white noise - you let your head fall against the seat, a tear trickling its way down your cheek. You sniffle pathetically, bringing your wrist up to wipe away the evidence of your stress and sadness and anger - and all you can think about is Ella.
You’re a natural.
You reach into your pocket, where you’d stuffed your phone before ditching your basket, and unlock it with shaky fingers. Hot air surrounds you and it’s just about suffocating, but you’re unbothered. Just open up your text messages, look at your eighth most recent - simply named benny - and type out a text as fast as you can manage.
i’m keeping the baby. i have to.
And the response is lightning fast, as if Ben had been waiting for your text.
You know I’ll support you no matter what.
I love you more than anything.
And your fingers fly across the screen as you type your reply.
you know i do too.
Then, can i come over? really quick.
You’re always welcome here.
When Ben answers the door you get barely a moment to look at him before you’re being smushed into his chest, his arms tight around you, and it feels like home.
Your eyes are watery and the tears stain his light grey t-shirt, and you throw your arms around his torso. Squeezing him so tight it feels like he could burst and being in his arms is so great. God, you never want to leave. Never mind your cousin waiting for you or the things you have to do in life. You want to stay forever.
“You’re okay,” Ben mumbles, resting his chin on top of your head. His hand rubs circles into your back, slow and smooth. “It’s all going to be fine, alright? We’re gonna be parents.”
“I know,” you choke out, hiccuping. “I can’t - I have to keep it, Benny.”
His lips press against your head and then he pulls away, placing his hands on your arms to steady you, and you bring your wrist up to wipe at your eyes. “Alright.” And you can tell he’s struggling with what to say - you are, too - so he moves his hands down your arms. Grabs your hands, and his palms are warm and soft. “I’ll support you until the end of time, sweetheart.”
Another tear slips down your cheek but you refuse to move your hands first - squeeze his tighter, really. Then you clear your throat, mumble, “Sorry for showing up.” Because - really - it’s getting later, now, nearly 7. And you don’t consider that late by anyone’s standards, but what if he was getting ready for bed? Or preparing to go out with Joe and those other two guys on Instagram? “Didn’t mean to ruin your night.”
Ben smiles humorlessly. “I wasn’t doing anything. Just watching a movie, probably.” His eyes fall down to your joined hands, as if he’s just realized the physical connection between the two of you. You prepare for him to drop your hands, fast and sharp as if they burned him, but he doesn’t. Just squeezes tighter. “Is your cousin waiting for you?”
“How did you know I’m going home to my cousin?”
“You’re always going home to your cousin.” His face is a shade too red and his eyes look watery, and you feel slightly bad. “You talked about her a lot.”
On tour is the forgotten next part of that sentence. You don’t, surprisingly, want to think about your time with him now. Just want to focus on this.
Stay in the present, you think. The future, maybe. But not the past. It’s all you can do to move on from there, with this fucking baby and - and Ben.
i’m giving you a hypothetical situation here.
After sending the text to Ben, you rest your phone on the couch in front of you. Your house feels too empty, the lack of people you live full-time with suddenly overwhelming - your cousin is over a lot and so are some friends but, really, you just have your dog besides that. And he’s lazy, constantly wanting to lie on top of you and nap.
You’d been fine with that before, but at 15 weeks pregnant you’ve started pushing him off of you when he tries to rest in your lap. Your stomach is beginning to show, a small bump that goes unnoticed when you wear baggy clothes. You’re always hyper-aware of it, though. Worried that your dog will hurt the baby.
So your dog is ignoring you, now. Offended that you won’t let him stretch out over your body for hours at a time.
It just makes the loneliness worse. Even if you have a person attached to you at all times.
Alright. Hypothetical situation. Go.
if i was extremely desperate for nutella, and i was all out of nutella, would you get me some and bring it to my house?
A text bubble appears right away, indicating that he’s typing, and then it goes away.
I can bring you nutella.
Wait, this is hypothetical, isn’t it?
it doesn’t have to be!! my address is 2275 sawyer street.
You throw your phone onto the couch with a grin, settling back against it with your eyes on the TV. Pretty Woman plays, a favorite movie of yours, and you hate not paying attention to it.
Even if you can recite every line by heart.
What if, by chance, you notice something new about the movie you’ve watched a hundred times? You can never be so sure.
After 10 minutes your phone rings, and it’s Ben - you let it play out for a few seconds and then answer it, pressing the phone to your ear.
“Hello?” Ben says, and you can hear rain softly pattering, both through the phone and from the outside. “Hey, I’m driving around your neighborhood, and I have no fucking idea how to get to your house.”
You smile slightly. “There’s a pretty long driveway.”
“Yeah, but where does it start?”
You sit up, put the phone on speaker, and lean over to rest it on the coffee table. “Look, I know exactly where you are, because everyone gets caught up in the same area.”
He pauses. “Seems like a confusing house to have.”
“Well, it’s more private, you know?”
“Private, secret, whatever. Just tell me how to get there.”
“Alright, so …”
After a minute of explaining exactly how to find your house - an explanation you’ve given more times than you can count - Ben hangs up with the promise of arriving in less than 2 minutes, and you push yourself up off the couch. Reach for the remote and pause your movie, and then you head down the hall towards the front door.
There’s a knock after a couple of seconds and you lean your head close to the door, calling out in a mocking, sing-song voice, “Who is it?”
There’s laughter from the other side. “I have your Nutella.”
You unlock the door and swing it open, coming face to face with Ben. In his hands is a plastic grocery bag, and through the sheer material you can see the Nutella label, staring you right in the face.
“God, Benny, you’re an angel.” you grab the bag and peek inside - three fucking containers of it, and you can nearly moan at the sight. “You know, I’d hate to be doing this with anyone else. I can’t think of a single person who would go out and get me Nutella at 9 at night, but here you are.”
“You can count on me, sweetheart,” Ben tells you, and you take a step backwards into the foyer. He lingers outside, a hand braced on the doorframe. “You know, your house is pretty big.”
You shrug. “I’d call it average size.”
“Always so modest.”
You look up, eyes meeting his, and then a smile spreads across your face. “You can come in, you know. I wasn’t planning on having this be a drop-off situation, but if you wanna go, then …”
Ben is inside before you finish the offer, shutting the door behind him and blowing warm air into his palms. You pad off back down the hall and into the living room, Pretty Woman paused right on the scene where Vivian is going shopping for clothes and gets kicked out of a store. Your favourite in the movie, really - though it does tend to make you quite sad, and even more when you watch it now.
“Hey, turn around real quick.”
At Ben’s voice you pause and then turn, brows furrowed. “What -”
“I didn’t realize you were starting to show.”
You look down at your stomach, the tiny swell of the baby clear in your tight tank top. “Oh. Guess I am.” Pause. “Barely, though. Soon I’ll grow more, probably too much, really.”
“Yeah, probably,” Ben replies as you turn back again to the living room. You throw the bag onto the couch and then flop onto the cushions, sinking into it. “When did that start?”
“A week or two ago.” You pause as Ben leans against the wall, watching as you dig through the bag to grab one of the containers of Nutella. “Believe me here, Benny. You weren’t purposely left out of the loop. My cousin said I have pregnancy brain already, but I don’t think that even exists. Can you grab a spoon from the kitchen? I swear, I’m not trying to be a pain in the ass here.”
Ben dutifully turns towards the kitchen and returns a minute later. He sits next to you and then hands over the metal spoon, and you untwist the top of one of the Nutella containers and dig the spoon into the sweet snack.
There’s a moment of silence - broken only by the movie - and then Ben says, “I wanna know about these kind of things, Y/N.”
You look at him, lapping the Nutella off the spoon. Your brows furrow - truthfully you hadn’t thought it was a very big deal, starting to show. It just seemed like something that was bound to happen. Nothing special. “Oh. I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be sorry,” Ben tells you. He stretches his arm over the back of the couch, eyes on the television screen. “I just want to hear about the pregnancy. Developments and everything.”
“Alright.” you hesitate, digging your spoon back into the Nutella jar. “I mean - I am sorry. I didn’t think it was that big of a deal, that’s all.”
“I mean, it isn’t, really. It’s just important to me.”
There’s an easy fix for this, you want to say. What if we move in together? What if we get together? You’d probably notice the bump before I do, Benny.
Ben looks at you and then moves his arm so it’s around your shoulders, and you practically melt into his touch. “I didn’t mean to make you feel shitty about it, you know,” he tells you.
You shake your head, curls brushing his nose as your head moves. “I don’t feel shitty. I’ll tell you about everything. Promise. Even when I wake up in the middle of the night and vomit my guts out into the toilet.”
He nods slowly, fingertips tickling the side of your arm. You take another spoonful of Nutella, pressing your head against his shoulder and trying to pay attention to the movie, but it’s hard, now. Because this feels quite a lot like cuddling, and it messes with your emotions quite a bit for Ben to be instigating cuddling with you. But after a moment Ben urns to look at you with a small grin tugging at his lips. “Now, how often does that happen? Should I be concerned?”
“How much money are you putting into the betting pool?”
Ben rolls his eyes, shutting the pamphlet he’d been reading and shoving it into his pocket. He has a stack of them shoved into the pocket of his sweatshirt - the waiting room had a variety of them and Ben took one of each.
He leans close, mouth right by your ear. He’s standing beside the table you’re seated on, his hand braced beside you. There’s no one else in the room with you but he still keeps his voice down, as if he’s wary of the doctor coming in and hearing your conversation. “I’m not putting money into guessing the baby’s gender, Y/N.” The last syllable of your name breaks off into a laugh, and you throw your head back with a giggle.
“Alright, alright. I’m just saying, Benny, I know it’s a girl.” you lower your voice, reaching into his sweatshirt pocket to grab one of the pamphlets. You unfold it and hold it in front of your face, and Ben bursts into laughter. “Shut up! Nothing’s funny!”
Ben rests his head against your shoulder, and you lean towards him, pressing your bodies impossibly closer despite the barrier between your seats. “And I know it’s a boy. I can feel it.” As a point he reaches in and presses his hand against your 20 week stomach. “See? That’s a boy.”
“That’s a girl.”
“This is why I want to make a bet.”
“And I refuse to bet on what sex my baby is gonna be.”
You cross your arms and huff pointedly. Ben picks his pamphlet back up and traces his finger along the page. You reach behind you and pull your phone out of your pocket, opening up Instagram. You have notifications - the result of a selfie posted earlier that’s already reached 700,000 likes - and you scroll through your homepage absentmindedly. Angry tweets and Instagram callouts have subsided dramatically in the past few months and you’ve been on your merch team to get all of the products out in record-breaking time - makes it so that people can’t get mad at you for it anymore.
Or, they can, but most people consider it unreasonable.
The door opens abruptly, and you shove your phone back into your back pocket, sending the doctor a wide grin. “Hello, Dr. Green!” you chirp, voice unnaturally high, and you pray that’s the correct name.
“Hello, Y/N. Ben.” Dr. Green is a sweet lady, short with dark hair, and she always seems happy. You appreciate it - appreciate the enthusiasm at your pregnancy. Her excitement at every new development marks the difference between a good doctor and a great one, you think. “It’s just a routine checkup - you know the drill by now, right?”
You and Ben nod in unison, and you reach for his hand on the table. He takes it, intertwining your fingers, and Dr. Green smiles at the pair of you.
You lie back onto the table, pulling your shirt up over your stomach as Dr. Green spreads some of the gel over your bump - it’s always cold, no matter how prepared you pretend to be for it. It’s always a surprise. Your eyes turn to the screen, your thumb rubbing the back of Ben’s hand, and you squint at the screen until you can make out the vague shape of your baby. And it’s -
Previously it had been hard to really make out the baby but now you can see it, make out its features. And it seems real.
LIke it’s really happening.
Dr. Green points at different parts of the screen, a manicured nail tapping against the hard surface. “You can see the eyes, here - look, this is the head. You see?”
Your eyes go glassy as you gaze at the screen, squeezing Ben’s hand. “Yeah. There he is, Benny,” you grin, looking up at Ben, and he rolls his eyes.
“She. There she is.”
Dr. Green’s eyes dart between you two, and then she asks, “Would you two like to know the baby’s sex? We’re far enough along that we can tell, and the baby appears to be in the right position.”
Ben says, “Oh, we definitely do,” at the same time as you nod furiously, hair swaying with every movement of your head. “Please,” you tell the doctor, pushing yourself onto your elbows to look at the screen. “We’ve kind of been fighting about it.”
The doctor smiles, raising her eyebrows. “I heard,” she murmurs. “Are you putting money on it?”
You turn and mockingly glare at Ben. “I wanted to, but Benny here thought it was immoral, or something.”
“Because it is,” Ben argues, “I don’t want to win money because of what sex my baby is.”
Then Dr. Green asks, “So, Ben, you think it’s a girl, correct?”
“Yes, I do.”
“Well, then, if this were a bet, I’d have to say that you -” Dr. Green moves the probe around your stomach, and then points again at the screen. You squint to see what you’re meant to be looking at. “You, Ben, would be winning money.”
It takes you a moment to process what she said, and your eyes widen.
You glance up at Ben, and you find that your vision is blurry as you look at him - from what?
Are those tears?
“Oh, my god,” Ben breathes, eyes fixed on the screen, and then he collapses into the chair beside your bed. “Oh my god.”
“Are you serious?” your mouth falls as you stare at Dr. Green, a smile spread across her face. “It’s a girl? You’re serious?”
“I’m 100% serious. You two are going to have a baby girl.”
Ben pulls your intertwined hands up to his face, pressing his lips to the back of your hand before losing it - his face drops and you can make out tears falling down his cheeks. You laugh a bit, leaning over and trying to wrap your arm around him, but it’s a bit difficult.
After a moment Ben looks up at you, and his face is red, eyes watery. “Oh my god, Y/N. We’re going to have a daughter.”
You look back up at the screen, hiccuping and giggling at the same time. “I know. A baby girl. I mean, you’re positive, right?” The last part is directed at the doctor, and she grins as she nods. “Holy shit. Holy shit.” You reach up and press your hand against the screen, as if it’s the equivalent of touching your daughter in real time. “Can we have copies of this?”
You’re positive you’ll never be able to capture the emotions you’re feeling now ever again, but having copies of it - well, it’ll be the perfect way to remember it. And when Dr. Green prints you two copies of the sonogram (and then a third and a fourth, for Joe and your cousin, you tell her, because Ben has been rendered incapable of speaking) you clutch it in your hands, eyes unable to leave the blurry picture of your daughter inside of you.
You gave Ben a key to your house the week you found out the baby’s sex.
And it really did seem like a great idea. You gave it to him and then marked it with a small, pink, heart shaped sticker, and Ben made a show of hooking it onto the same keyring he has his apartment key on.
In turn he gave you the key to his apartment. You put it in your pocket and have since lost it, but he doesn’t know that.
Now, though - giving him a key has started to seem like a really horrible idea.
Your fingers tweak at your nipples, peaked in the cool air of your bedroom - the window is open, sending the early morning breeze straight into your room. Your other hand works at your cunt, pumping one finger in and out of yourself, palm of your head rubbing against your sensitive clit.
Soft moans are like a mantra off your lips, and you squeeze your eyes shut. If you think hard enough, work your mind enough, you can trick yourself into imagining that your fingers aren’t your own.
Ben’s are larger, you decide. You add another finger to the one that’s fucking into your pussy, and you let out a louder cry at the feeling. When you curl your fingers just right - the way Ben knows how to, better than anyone you’ve ever been with - it brushes against your G-spot.
Ben was a master at finding it. You’re even better.
Your back arches up, and you bring your hand from your tits down to your pussy. Your two fingers rub desperate circles into your clit, and you swallow a mouthful of air.
“Fuck,” you hiss, tilting your head back into your entirely-too-soft pillow. And your mind goes back to the man you wish were here with you - the one you want, the one whose fingers you’re desperate for - and you cry out, “Fuck, Ben -”
The voice isn’t yours, and you sit up, panic flashing through your mind - bright red sirens, blaring around your mind, and you pull your sheets up over your body, naked except for your panties.
And - Ben is there. His cock is straining against his sweatpants, and in between his two fingers is the pink heart decorated key you gave him.
“Oh my god.” your voice is soft and you swallow thickly. “Ben. Hi.”
“I didn’t know you -”
“I’m fucking sorry -”
“Don’t be, I walked in -”
You squeeze your eyes shut and lean your head back, feeling a prickling behind your eyes - you’re needy and embarrassed and you have an unbelievable urge to rip Ben’s clothes off, because he’s so fucking hard and you were almost there.
You almost came from the thought of him.
“Ben,” you interrupt him, and he leans against the door, pushing his keys into the pocket of his sweatpants. “Ben, I’m really fucking - horny.”
He hesitates. “I see.”
“And I really, really miss you. And your - appendages.” You push yourself up so you’re kneeling, sheets falling down over your chest, stopping just above your stomach. “Please. Benny, please.”
“Please. Oh my god, Ben, I fucking need you.” you clasp your hands together as if you’re begging, and in a way you certainly are.
You can see Ben’s mind whirring - your eyes pointedly trail down to the bulge in his sweatpants, and then back up to his eyes, and then Ben lunges at you.
His lips meet yours and it’s frantic - desperate - everything you’ve been missing for the past six months, nearly. Your hands tangle in his hair and pull him down to you, and eventually the two of you lie on your sides, mouths not moving from each other’s.
It’s different, completely different, from how it was. His hand goes to your stomach, resting on top of the bump as his lips move against yours. You whimper into his mouth, and Ben groans as your hand trails down to the bulge in his sweatpants.
“Oh, fuck, sweetheart,” Ben grunts as your nails drag across his boner. “Six fucking months I’ve been wanting this, you know that?”
You pull away, attaching your lips to the underside of his jaw. “You know you could have had me. I was fucking desperate for you, Benny.”
“Mmm, well … I figured.”
You move your head away from him, furrowing your brows. “Awfully conceited.”
“What to Expect When You’re Expecting said that a lot of women have spiked sexual libidos during pregnancy.” You push Ben onto his back and throw a leg over his thigh, straddling his waist, your panty clad cunt pressed against his dick. “And - oh, fuck. I’ve missed this, sweetheart.”
You try not to wear your emotions on your sleeve but it’s hard - your heart swells and your cheeks heat up, and then you rock your hips against his once.
Try not to let him know how much you’ve missed this.
The pair of you have all the time in the world, really, but you can’t move fast enough. You grind your cunt against his rock hard erection, desperate for him to be inside of you, to be full of him again and he hisses, hand trailing behind you to land one firm smack on your ass. He grins as you yelp at the sensation.
Ben reaches down and tugs your underwear away, and your hands go to the ties of his sweatpants, undoing the small knot with deft, shaking fingers. You tug his pants down over his cock and it’s - it’s so much bigger than you remember.
He’s achingly hard, his cock swollen and purple at the tip, and when you wrap your hand around the base he lets out a soul-wrenching moan. His hands go to your hips, massaging your sides as you adjust yourself so you’re sitting just above his cock, positioning yourself above him before sinking down.
He is bigger than you remembered, and it just about fucking hurts, having him inside of you. You throw your head back and cry out, feeling breathtakingly full after months of only your fingers. Ben moans loudly, fingernails digging into your sides, and you’re sure it’s just as surprising for him as it is for you.
“You’re so fucking tight. Oh my - god.” Ben’s face is coated in sweat and you bring your hands down to his cheeks, wiping some of it away before leaning down to kiss him sloppily. “Feel so good around me. I fucking missed this, sweetheart.”
“I missed it - I missed you,” you breathe. And you’ve seen him so much, still, in these past months, but it’s different. You know it is. Being around him and being with him are two separate planes of existence and you’ve been stuck on the former for six fucking months. 24 weeks. “I needed you so bad.”
Ben’s hands on your hips help you work your way up and down, and you just want to lie down and let him fuck you but that’s - not necessarily a possibility, now. Not with your girl inside of you, restricting your movement in that way.
(You wouldn’t give her up for the world.)
His thumb presses into your clit, rubbing circles into it with an achingly slow pace as you try to maintain steady rhythm, bouncing up and down, rock n’ rolling your hips against his. You brace your hands on his chest for leverage, lifting yourself up off of him and then back down, and with every movement, mixed with his hips bucking up into yours, that perfect spot inside of you is hit.
Again and again.
You were so close when he started and you topple over the edge within minutes, cumming desperately, seeing the night sky behind your eyes. Stars align your vision and it’s so beautiful, so great, all you want to see. That ball of pressure builds up in your core and explodes, again and again.
“Fuck,” you moan out, voice strangled and throaty, and you finally have to stop moving - admit defeat - because your legs are exhausted and you’re completely emotionally and physically overwhelmed, and really, you’re not sure that this isn’t some crazy dream you’ve made up in your mind, anyway. “Wait -”
And you detach yourself from him. Ben cries out and you resist the urge to grin at the noise, how needy he is for you, how much he’s wanted this. You roll onto your side and Ben follows, his chest pressed against your back, and with this new position he re enters you.
It’s different - you’ve never tried this before, even in your hypersexual relationship in the pre-gunshot, pre-break up, pre-baby days. He wraps his arm around your body, fingers rubbing at your clit again and you know you’ll be reaching your second orgasm at the hands of the man you’re so fucking in love with it physically hurts.
Every time your lungs fill with oxygen Ben tears it away - short moans escape your body as he fucks you, mixed with the firm circles on your sensitive nub, and you lean your head back into your shoulder. Ben tilts his head so he can press his lips to yours in the messiest kiss you’ve had, but it’s perfect. It’s all you wanted - no, needed - and your eyes water just at the feeling.
“Want me to cum inside of you?” The question is fucking stupid, because you’re already pregnant - there’s nowhere else you’d rather him cum except for inside of you, filling you up again. His other hand works at your sensitive breasts, tweaking your nipples so they’re peaked in the cold air. Even with the sweat that drips down your body you’re fucking freezing, and it reminds you of that first night you spent together.
(And you swear this is the most passionate sex you’ve ever had.)
You nod, thick mane of curls tickling his nose, and Ben buries his face into your locks. He presses his body close to yours and finally lets himself fucking erupt, releasing a strangled moan. Thick spurts of hot cum coat your inner walls and you sob out, squeezing your eyes shut, and the feeling of his cum inside of you after so long sends you over for the second time. Your chest rises and falls with desperate, heaving breaths, and you suck in air until you’re coughing.
Ben buries his head into your shoulder, his breathing just as desperate as yours. And the pair of you don’t speak - can’t, at least in your case - and you try not to think about any of it. The break up, the future, the past. Just let yourself live in the moment, in Ben’s arms, until exhaustion chases you into a dream filled sleep.
When you wake up Ben is gone.
You’re not sure what you expected, but he hasn’t answered your texts in three weeks. You told him that you have to talk, and that you should be getting started on the nursery as you approach 7 months, and the read receipts mocks you.
You hate being the one to double text. It only seems necessary.
you can’t fucking ignore me benjamin.
we’re adults. we’re having a fucking kid. this isn’t right.
what did i do?
Read. Read. Read. Read.
You find the key to his apartment in your car and you debate going to pay him a visit but you decide - foolishly, perhaps, and for the sake of your pride alone - that you want him to find you first. To seek you out.
You’re not really sure if you’re being the adult or the child here. Maybe both. Maybe neither. You’re just being you, and as you get further along you find that it’s the easiest thing to be.
At 7 months you find yourself getting a bit panicked about the Ben situation. He hasn’t texted you nor sought you out yet, and you can’t help but think that this is it. Unconditional support has found its end. You and Ben are done, and he’s gone.
Wouldn’t be the first man in your life to do that, but with a child on the way?
(Still not the first man.)
It’s a heavy cloud weighing down on you, raining on your parade wherever you go. LIke sitting at a restaurant with your cousin, picking at your lo mein with a permanent lump in your throat.
And she looks at you, brows furrowed, bringing her hand in front of your face to snap twice. Regain your attention. “Are you alright?”
No, you want to say. I think I fucked everything up. And you didn’t, you have to remind yourself. You haven’t done anything wrong. You don’t know what the fuck is happening with Ben but - but what did you do? To deserve what he’s doing?
So you smile at your cousin. “I’m fine.” The baby moves inside of you. “She’s crazy, I swear. Wanted Japanese and now she’s freaking the fuck out at the thought of it.” And that’s a lie. You’re so hungry for the noodles you could fucking scream, but you also think you drank your lemonade too fast.
You shove your phone into the pocket of your jacket and stand, giving your cousin a smile before turning and walking towards the bathrooms. It’s a small corner of the restaurant - two doors, marked with a small man and a small woman, and you lean against the wall by the women’s restroom.
It’s hard. You open your phone and look at your texts, as if expecting to see a response from Ben that you’d somehow missed but it isn’t there. Of course it isn’t. You’d know. You’ve only been checking it obsessively for weeks, desperate for him to reach out and apologize for the shit he’s been pulling.
And there’s nothing.
He doesn’t fucking care.
It doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t.
You put your phone away and look up, shock flowing through your veins. “Joe -?”
The ginger looks up from his own phone, and your eyes meet.
“Oh!” And he looks genuinely happy to see you. It’s - it’s so good. So nice, that he looks as if running in to you is some miraculous experience. When have you last felt that from someone? “Y/N! Hi!”
“Hi, Joe,” you smile, and then your mind connects the dots - Joe - Ben’s best friend - Ben who won’t talk to you -
And then you take a step forward, hugging your jacket closer around your body, and ask, “Have you spoken to Ben lately? By chance?”
Joe furrows his eyebrows and takes his bottom lip in between his teeth - the way Ben does. You wonder if one of them picked it up from each other, or if it’s just a coincidence. “I … I have. And I heard about your, uh, situation with him.”
“You have?” You tilt your head, smiling. “Can you explain it to me?”
“Ben hasn’t texted me in nearly a month,” you tell Joe, and you don’t want to be getting angry but you can feel the heat flowing through your veins. It isn’t Joe’s fault, you tell yourself. “I don’t know what I did. I mean - well, if he told you, then don’t you know why I’m being fucking shunned?”
Oops. You hadn’t meant to slip the f-word in there. Sometimes it just wiggles its way into your thoughts.
Joe hesitates, and then says, “I think he’s scared.”
“I don’t know. That’s what he told me. He said he was scared.”
I’m scared too, you want to say. You want to yell it. Your phone feels like a fire lit in your pocket, all of a sudden, and you want to throw it on the ground until it fucking smashes. You want to shake Joe - no, Ben - until he understands, understands that everything he’s feeling is amplified for you. And you’re fucking furious about it. But you can’t take this out on Joe. It isn’t his fault.
You swallow. Take a deep breath. “Okay.” You need to think about what to say. Because now there’s - a prickling behind your eyes, and you can feel the tears on their way, and if you cry in front of Joe you’ll never forgive yourself. “Can you tell him to call me?” And, fuck, your voice cracks on the very last syllable. “Please. That’s - I just really, really need him to call me, okay?”
Your eyes are watery and you sniffle pathetically. Joe nods - you see that - and then he steps forward, wrapping his arms around you, and you let yourself fall into his embrace.
It doesn’t matter that he’s practically a stranger.
It doesn’t matter that you’re waiting for the bathrooms at a random Japanese restaurant.
All that matters is this. The comfort. The silent promise of some sort of remedy for whatever’s been going on with Ben. Joe can help.
You trust him on that.
The doorbell rings as soon as your cousin drops you off at home - you’ve kicked off your sneakers and ripped off your jacket and then there it is.
You grip the doorknob with a sweaty hand, swallowing thickly before calling to the other side of the door, “Who is it?”
There’s a pause. And then, “It’s me.”
So you open the door. Come face to face with Ben, his hair messy, and every bit of your anger evaporates at the sight of him.
Ben takes a step inside and shuts the door behind him, and then you throw your arms around his shoulders. He presses his hands against your back, and even if your stomach is in the way it’s fine - feels good. Good to have him back.
“I’m so sorry,” Ben mumbles into your hair. His voice is muffled by your locks and you tighten your grip on him. A silent it’s okay, even if it isn’t. It will be. “I should’ve never - fuck. I’m so fucking sorry, sweetheart. I love you so much.” He pauses. “I’m not your bodyguard anymore. I quit. I had to. You know - you know I had to.”
You pause. Pull away, brace your palms on his cheeks. It’s what you’ve needed to hear - all you’ve ever wanted to. It all feels so fucking right - the relationship you’ve needed, the baby you’re going to have, the future you can foresee.
“Fuck, Benny. I love you,” you tell him. “I love you so much.”
And then you lean up, press your lips to his, and you work your way further into the house. There’s no better place to start making up for lost time like the present, you moan into the cool air, and he throws his head back and laughs, the small distraction breaking his focus away from suckling a hickey into your inner thigh. Just like how he used to.
“You know, we should do one of those things where we put her name up on the wall above her crib in - like - block letters, or something.”
You push yourself on the rocking chair in the corner of the future-nursery, watching as Ben works at the crib on the ground. You haven’t bothered yourself with helping too much - at least, not with the heavy-duty, manual labour type of shit - but the decorations have been perfected because of you.
It’s a beautiful room. You and Ben spent weeks agonizing over how to do it and you finally think you’ve nailed it - white walls and a grey crib, carpet so soft that your feet sink right into it. You picked out the rocking chair, too. Same shade of grey as the crib, and adorned with a pink pillow and a dozen of stuffed animals that have been evicted to the ground so you could sit.
“That’s a good idea,” Ben tells you, squinting his eyes to read the instructions for setting up the crib. “We don’t have a name, though.”
You hum. Not officially, you don’t - haven’t gotten around to that conversation - but you certainly have ideas. “Well, let’s get on it, then. Wanna hear my ideas?”
Ben grins. “Sure, sweetheart.”
“Alright!” you clap your hands together and then fish your phone from your pocket. You turn it on and flick to your notes app, scrolling until you find the list of names you’d put together. “Starting from my favourites and going down. Evangelina, Charlotte, Madeline -”
“Well, long names can get cute nicknames, you know? Anyway … Madeline, Caroline, Genevieve, Adaline …”
Ben holds up a finger, and you stop reciting your list. “I like Genevieve a lot.”
“Really?” you tilt your head to the side. “Because that’s closer to the bottom of my list, really.”
He laughs, turning so that he’s looking at you. “Well, I like it more than the others. I don’t know a lot of girls named Genevieve, either.”
You lean your head back, pushing your foot off of the ground to rock yourself a bit more. You shut your eyes, rest a hand on your stomach and think - Genevieve. You certainly like it or else it wouldn’t have been there in the first place - and it presents the nickname Evie, which you dubbed as the ideal nickname for Evangelina, your first choice.
“Hypothetically,” you begin, and Ben mockingly rolls his eyes. “If we named her Genevieve, what would her middle name be?”
“Does she need one?”
“It seems right.”
Ben pauses, looking away from the instructions he’d been trying to comprehend. “I don’t know. Marie?”
You groan. “Something less basic, would you?”
“Then what about Charlotte? That’s cute, isn’t it? And I know you like it.”
The name flies around your head - Genevieve Charlotte Jones - and then a tiny grin tugs at your mouth. You nibble on your bottom lip and then bring your thumbnail up to your mouth.
Ben glances up at you, gauging your reaction to the suggestion. “What do you think?”
You push yourself off of the chair and kneel down beside your boyfriend, leaning in to press a firm kiss to his lips. “I love it. I love it so much, and I love you so much.”
Hitting the nine month mark is surprising and unsettling and it certainly shouldn’t be. Almost every mother gets to this point - where, as Dr. Green says, it’s any day now. But you feel special for it - feel an amount of pride, especially when you walk into the nursery and look at the nine letters spelling out your daughter’s name, right above her crib.
Hitting the nine-month-and-one-week mark is normal and it doesn’t bother you, really, that your girl has gone past when she’s supposed to come out. Pregnancies are nine months, aren’t they? But she wants to stay, you suppose. And that’s fine. You accept that. Lord knows how difficult it’ll be when she comes so you’re fine with it, fine with her staying.
Hitting the nine-and-a-half-month mark makes you desperate.
You decide you want her out. You’re done with being pregnant, having her kicking you at all hours of the day, craving everything, constantly feeling exhausted. And you try your best to keep it from the public, reducing it to rumours coming from unreliable news sites, so social media has been a burden.
Selfies. Selfies and shots of just your face, and absolutely nothing from your stomach down. No photoshoots, and you don’t let your friends post anything that’ll give it away.
Genevieve and Ben can be your surprise until she comes. Then you’ll decide what to do, whether to tell everyone, whether to keep her a secret for a bit longer.
Until she comes. And it seems like she never will.
You and Ben decide to make Joe and your cousin her godparents, in case of any emergency, and they take the role with (in your cousin’s case) a squeal and a hug, or (in Joe’s case) tears. There hardly seems anyone more fit for the job than the people who, in their own way, brought you to this point.
At nine and a half months you’re lying in bed with Ben, your hair wet from a shower, and your body is riddled with tiredness - it’s all you’ve been feeling. Tired and sore, all the fucking time, and Genevieve is still in no rush to make her appearance into the world.
“Ben,” you mumble, feeling his arms around your waist, hand against your stomach. “I can’t wait until she’s here.”
You can feel him smile against your neck. “Me, too.”
“No.” you turn your head so you can look at him. “I’m really sick of being pregnant, if you want to hear the truth. It’s a real pain in the ass sometimes.”
Ben untangles his body from yours and sits up on his knees, looking down at you. The moonlight streams in through the window, illuminating his body to you and yours to him, and he leans down to kiss your neck. “What can I do to help?”
It’s such an innocent request. You’re already prepared to taint it as you push yourself onto your elbows, sighing and telling him, “Well, there’s this rumor I heard.”
“That having an orgasm can induce labor.”
You raise your eyebrows at him, and Ben grins. His hand trails from your stomach to your pajama shorts, undoing the tie before starting to pull them down your thighs until they’re dangling from one ankle, and he can push your legs apart with warm hands. His hair is floppy and the light lets you see it better, every individual strand highlighted by the glow.
“I’ll give you all the orgasms you want, sweetheart,” Ben tells you, voice soft yet loud in the silent room. In what feels like a heartbeat he’s lying on his stomach in between your legs, bracing his palms on your smooth inner thighs. He traces your skin, drawing pictures and telling stories that only he can understand until a chill runs right up your spine, and your fingers run through his hair before squeezing the locks.
Ben takes the hint, leaning in to press a soft kiss to your clit. Your hips buck up instinctively - the small jolt of pleasure makes you feel so fucking good already, so desperate for him. Ben looks up at you with a wicked grin, teeth shining, and then he leans in to nip at your clit.
“Fuck!” you gasp, sucking in a sharp breath. “God. God.”
One of his fingers, as thick as two of yours, traces along your folds, collecting wetness on his fingertips. Slowly he slides his digits into your cunt and your body accepts them eagerly, walls clenching around him - Ben leans in to kiss your inner thighs again, sucking another dark hickey into the skin.
He fucks you nice and slow with his fingers, moving his mouth from your thighs to wrap his lips around your clit. He sucks the small bud desperately, cheeks hollowing, and you’re sure he’s rock hard but all he wants is for you to cum. You can tell when he gets like this, when all he’s chasing is your pleasure and not his own. His hips, though, give him away. Rocking against the mattress, needy for any bit of friction, and it’s so unbelievably erotic to watch.
You reach down and search for his free hand, the one not pumping in and out of your pussy, and you intertwine your fingers. Ben’s eyes flicker up to you and he raises his eyebrows, waggling them until you’re giggling and then choking on the air you’re sucking in.
Your bodies are luminescent under the moon, and you press your other hand overtop of your stomach, crying out as your hips buck into your boyfriend’s mouth. Ben’s teeth graze your clit at the same time as his fingers curl to brush your g-spot and the pressure building in your abdomen finally releases, legs quivering and throat raw and skin clammy.
Ben milks it out for every last drop he can, and then he laps the juices up off his fingers that are beginning to trail down his wrist. You can feel stickiness on the inside of your thigh but you don’t mind, really. Usually that would bother you, and maybe you’d ask Ben to go get a washcloth, but you don’t want him to move as he cuddles into your side.
“Do you want me to help you?” you question, soft voice giving away the exhaustion you’d been hoping to hide. “You looked … needy, Ben.”
He snorts, kissing your shoulder. “I fixed it myself. Don’t make fun of me.”
A grin tugs at your lips. “I wasn’t planning on it. Jesus. Go to sleep.”
Ben kisses your puckered lips and then tugs the sheets up over you. They stick to your sweat covered body and it feels good. Cools you off, almost, even as your human furnace of a lover attaches himself to you.
Fingers run absentmindedly through his hair, and your eyelids are brutally heavy but you can’t fall asleep. Even as Ben begins to snore.
This is how it’s supposed to be, you think. How you wanted it to be. You and the love of your life and your unborn daughter, stirring inside of you.
(By tomorrow night, she won’t be stirring inside of you - she’ll be very much outside, sobbing with her fists in her eyes that match her dad’s.)
(But you don’t know that yet.)
1K notes · View notes