?

Log in

 
 
28 November 2010 @ 10:47 pm
Short: Meant To Be  
Title: Meant To Be
Pairings: Isaac/OFC
Ratings: G
Warnings: This story takes place in the Rust universe. It's set two years after the one-shot . . . And Beyond but it's not necessary to read that one-shot before reading this one.
Word Count: 2,766



He wasn’t quite sure how he’d been picked to play baby wrangler. Perhaps it was just bad luck of the draw. Either way, what he’d anticipated as a loud, but enjoyable day with his family had not turned out exactly as he’d expected. Instead, he had been left to handle the multitude of Hanson children.

Then the women, congregated in the kitchen as they prepared the evening’s meal, had discovered they were missing several key ingredients – by no fault of their own he, like any good husband, was sure.

That was how Isaac Hanson found himself toting his eleven-month-old daughter, Shiloh, in a baby carrier strapped around his middle. She toyed with the buttons on his coat while he busied himself with corralling his six-year-old son, Asher, nine-year-old niece, Lily, and seven-year-old nephew, Kasen, as they made their way through the only grocery store still opened on Thanksgiving day.

He could only be thankful that neither his sister, Jessica, nor his sister-in-law, Nora, had gone into labor early. Otherwise, he likely would have found himself juggling a newborn as well. How his mother had ever wrangled seven children seemed unfathomable to Isaac.

It was nearly as unfathomable as the fact that he was a father of not one, but two children. A few years ago, if someone had told him that he’d be a father to a six-year-old, he would have thought it impossible.

He’d all but given up on the idea of fatherhood and happy marriages four years ago. The way his life with his first wife had fallen apart so thoroughly had given him little hope for the future. He knew now that hadn’t been a fair assessment. Things had just seemed hopeless at the time.

It was reconnecting with his brothers and former band mates that made the difference, he thought. They had all been going through something of a tough time. Taylor was fresh out of a rehab and fighting to remain on the straight and narrow after years of a lifestyle filled with meaningless sex and an abundance of drugs while Zac had escaped a miserable marriage that had been doomed from the start.

The friendship among brothers that had been lost but rekindled had become the small glimmer of hope he needed during a dark time, but it was the reforming of their band that truly revived him. If not for the joy of making music again, Isaac doubted he ever would have opened his heart and mind enough to try again.

He would always be thankful for that because the idea of a life without Kendi, Asher and Shiloh would be no life at all.

The first time he saw her, it was just after Halloween. The band had been working on their second album on their independent label. Zac had just met his now wife, Nora. Zac had been thoroughly smitten by the woman, and Isaac and Taylor had only been able to laugh at how their little brother had fallen for Nora in only a matter of hours.

Then he met Kendi and understood Zac’s plight all too well. He and his brothers had been involved in charity work before the band split. It was something Isaac had stuck with during their break, and once the band was reassembled, his brothers became involved once again.

As a band they had partnered with TOMS Shoes to help provide children in poverty with their own pair of shoes. They often made trips to help hand out the shoes, and with Thanksgiving coming up and a small lull in recording their album, the band found themselves with the time to make another trip to Africa. Even though it was just a small thing in the grand scheme of it all, Isaac still found it fulfilling.

Other people joined in on these trips, and that was how Kendi entered his life. She was coming along and seemed thoroughly dedicated to the cause. Isaac wanted to believe that it was her determination to help that attracted him to her in the first place, but in his heart of hearts he knew the truth. He’d taken one look at her, and when her dark eyes met his and her full mouth curved into a smile, he thought his heart had stopped.

Then she crossed the room and held out her hand and said, “Hello, I’m Kendra Roberts, but everyone calls me Kendi.”

He took her hand, amazed by the soft velvetiness of her skin, and the lovely lilt of her voice. He knew then that Taylor and Zac would likely be mocking him later on after he confessed how thoroughly smitten he was with this woman after one good look and little more than a handful of words.

During that trip, though, he discovered more than just the surface beauty he’d initially recognized. He found that Kendi was just as thoroughly beautiful on the inside. He found she was just a few years younger – Taylor’s age – and was a website developer and designer by trade.

“How’d you get involved with TOMS?” he wondered.

“Well, I have a natural interest in Africa,” she answered, motioning toward herself, which Isaac took to mean the color of her skin, “but it was really a trip I took after I graduated from college. One of my friends had an older brother who was involved with Doctors Without Borders. He spent some time in Africa, among many other places, and it really got under my skin hearing about how these children have to live and how much they have to go without. I just wanted to help in any way I could.”

That was enough for Isaac. He got it. He felt he had no choice but to get involved when he first heard about the various things people were doing to help. His and Kendi’s shared compassion only endeared him to her more. He was sure there was still plenty to learn, though, and he wanted to know it all, which was why as soon as their trip was over and they were stateside once again, he asked her out for coffee.

That was when he first learned of her son. “I adopted him when he was only about a year old,” she explained over hot mugs of coffee. “I don’t know what exactly it was about him. You see so many children there in Africa. So many left without parents that it’s hard not to want to scoop them all up and bring them home, but there was just something about Asher. The moment I laid eyes on him, I knew he was meant to be mine.”

Isaac understood all too well. Kendi was not a child, of course, but he had felt much the same way upon laying eyes on her. His only hope was that she felt the same way.

“I was only twenty-five, and my family thought I’d lost my mind trying to adopt so young, but I just knew this was right,” she explained. “I think the worst part was the waiting. It took about a year and a half to get everything in order and for the adoption to go through. Ash was about two before I finally got to bring him home with me. ”

“My ex-wife and I considered adopting,” Isaac admitted, and that was how he found himself spilling his guts about the mess that had once been his marriage.

They spent most of an afternoon in that coffee shop getting to know each other, and before they parted ways, Isaac had secured another date. This time they met for dinner and spent the evening learning more about each other. Next, he took her to an art showing, and after walking her to her car, he was treated with their first official goodnight kiss and an invitation to have dinner with her and Asher at her place.

He’d been nervous to meet the little boy he’d heard so much about. He was comfortable around his nephew who was just a year older than Asher, but he’d known that the rest of his relationship with Kendi likely hinged on how well the evening went, so it was a relief when the dark-eyed boy with a head full of tight raven curls and a huge smile that that rivaled that of his mother, greeted Isaac happily at the door.

They had hit it off better than Isaac could have hoped for. The affection he felt for Kendi easily extended to Asher. By the following April, Isaac found himself down on bended knee, asking Kendi and Asher to accept him into their life as husband and father. They readily accepted.

A couple of months later, shortly after Zac proposed to Nora, a panicked Kendi barged into the studio to tell him that she was pregnant. As panicked and worried as she was, Isaac was conversely euphoric. Once Kendi saw this, her panic dwindled into awed excitement. Four months later, they were married, and a few months later Shiloh was born.

It seemed amazing how much his life had changed in the last two years, but they had easily been two of the best years of Isaac’s life, and even though he had to endure days like today where he was stuck with the task of tending to the children, he would not trade it for the world.

Now, as he navigated the surprisingly busy grocery store, Isaac tried to keep an eye on the older kids and occasionally pressed a kiss to Shiloh’s honey skin. The hair at the back of her head, which had fallen out initially, was starting to grow back in, but the curls at the crown sprung straight up.

Kendi fretted over it too often, and Isaac usually just let it go. Kendi had voiced a hope that Shiloh being biracial might help in the taming of the curls, but the natural curl of Isaac’s hair seemed to lend itself to their daughter’s genetics, thus making it all the more out of control.

Today, a tiny bow held her curls together, trying to make some semblance of being tamed. The curls tickled Isaac’s nose as he kissed her forehead. Her chocolate eyes were getting heavy, and he could see that a nap was coming on.

He glanced at the list in hand as he turned into the next aisle. They had apparently been short on pecans because they needed several bags. Isaac eyed the aisle warily. There were several people here, but it wasn’t overly crowded, but he worried that they might be out of the necessary item. If he were to come home without the much-needed pecans, there might be hell to pay. He was pretty sure this was Nora’s needed item, and while she was usually a very likeable woman, pregnancy apparently made women crazy.

Isaac had been pushed out of bed many nights while Kendi was pregnant and set to task on retrieving odd concoctions from the kitchen. If they didn’t have the intended ingredients, he’d learned not to complain and just go buy what they needed without comment. As beautiful as his wife was and how much he adored her body full with pregnancy, he quite enjoyed her renewed sanity these days.

He glanced back over his shoulder, making sure the kids were still mesmerized by the lobster tank, and then made his way down the aisle, keeping his eyes peeled for the pecans.

He passed the brownie and cake mixes on one side, and when he neared the coconut and various types of chips – ranging from butterscotch to chocolate and everything in between – he thought he must be close. As soon as he spotted the walnuts, his concentration broke into a smile. “Ah ha!” he said to himself, causing Shiloh to jump a little before letting her head fall back to his chest. He patted her back gently and looked around until he found the bags of pecans.

He consulted his list before picking up several of the larger, much pricier bags. He tossed them into his cart before checking his list for the next item. Apples, he read, and was relieved he knew, at least, where to find those. He started to push the cart, but barely got a foot before the end of his cart collided with another.

“Sorry, sorry,” he said, patting Shiloh, who had jumped out the loud noise, “I wasn’t watching where I was going.”

Relieved that the baby was soothed, he looked up, wondering why the owner of the other cart hadn’t spoken and found himself shocked silent.

In the four years since his divorce from his first wife, he had somehow managed to avoid seeing Mary, despite living in the same town. It seemed his good fortune had finally run out because there she stood, gripping the cart he had bumped into.

“Isaac,” she said after a moment, like she wasn’t entirely sure she was really seeing him.

“Mary,” he nodded.

Then they stared at each other for a long moment. It was strange, looking at this woman who he had once promised to love until the day he died. Those feelings had dwindled slowly over the course of their marriage and disappeared completely when he discovered her infidelity, but looking at her now, he felt very little. The sadness over the end of their marriage and the anger over her affair that had he felt so strongly just four years ago had faded.

He’d thought very little of his first wife since meeting Kendi. Maybe the fleeting thought here and there, over how different his marriages were or how easily he and Kendi had conceived a child without even trying, but seeing her in the flesh, as different from Kendi as night and day, was quite startling.

He supposed that was why it took him so long to notice her round belly, and it seemed she took notice of Shiloh at the same moment. “Congratulations,” Isaac said. It sounded weird, but it was spoken with sincerity. He and Mary had tried for a baby for so long, and he knew what a toll it had taken on both of them, and as strange as this moment was, he was happy for her.

“You too,” she answered as Shiloh stirred a little, lifting her sleepy head. “How old is she?”

“Eleven months,” Isaac answered proudly. Mary smiled in kind. Then they stared for another moment, as if unsure exactly how to proceed. Just then Isaac heard a stampede of feet. “Dad!” he recognized Asher’s voice without trouble. He turned and watched as his son hurried toward him with his cousins close behind. “Someone bought a bunch of lobsters and the guy getting them out dropped them all over the floor!”

“It was so funny, Uncle Ike!” Kasen laughed.

“One landed near my foot!” Lily giggled.

“She screamed,” Kasen chortled, throwing his hands up in the air in a girly fashion meant to mock his sister.

“Okay, okay,” Isaac chuckled, “settle down.”

Shiloh’s head had popped up as soon as the kids arrived and several of the other shoppers had stopped to listen to hear what all the excitement was about. Isaac could see the amusement mirrored in some faces while annoyance littered others. A bunch of Scrooges, he thought.

He noticed Mary was one of the amused, but she also seemed awestruck. She glanced from Isaac to Asher, probably shocked to hear the boy call him dad. Then her eyes flickered over to Kasen with obvious recognition.

Isaac felt slightly uncomfortable, unsure how to proceed, so he consulted his list. “We need a bag of granny smith apples and yellow delicious. Why don’t the three of you head on over and look for the best ones you can find?”

“Sure,” Lily readily agreed while the boys looked less enthused, but followed the older girl regardless.

“It looks like you have your hands full,” Mary commented.

Isaac nodded and rubbed the back of his neck.

“Well, I hope you and the rest of the family have a Happy Thanksgiving,” she said.

“Thanks,” Isaac smiled. “Happy Thanksgiving to you as well.”

As they parted ways, going in opposite directions down the aisle, Isaac reflected that it was odd he would meet his ex-wife on Thanksgiving of all days, but awkward as it was, he also had her to thank. Their marriage had soured and ended on a bad note, and while things could have been done differently, in a much better way, his divorce from Mary was truly the catalyst to the new beginning of his life.
 
 
Current Mood: accomplished
 
 
 
Beccashy_of_reality on November 29th, 2010 04:05 am (UTC)
Awww loved it!!!!
Brittney: hanson » isaac » watchovermefakearomance on November 29th, 2010 04:10 am (UTC)
Thank you! :D