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14 October 2011 @ 11:53 pm
Short: I Could Not Ask For More  
This was written for rain_queen's birthday. When I posed the theoretical question about what she would like to read if I were to write something for her birthday, she said she wanted something from the Trash universe, but she wanted to see something from Taylor's point of view. I thought about rewriting a scene from his pov, but I thought maybe a future shot with some new material would be nice.

Happy [Early] Birthday, Mel! I hope you enjoy!

Title: I Could Not Ask For More
Pairings: Taylor/OFC
Ratings: G
Warnings: This story takes place in the Trash universe. This takes place five years after the abridged sequel, Trash To Treasure.
Word Count: 1,385

“Daddy!” Brenna’s bellow sounded from down the hall and was followed by a higher echo from Hope.
I paused in mixing the pancake batter to call back, “In the kitchen!”
The pitter-patter of their bare feet smacked against the hardwood of the hallway as I returned to preparing breakfast. I knew when the girls had arrived in the kitchen by the lack of footsteps. “What’s going on?” I asked without turning.
“Daddy!” Brenna sighed heavily, “Mama is crying again!
“Cryin’ ‘gain,” Hope repeated, also sounding sullen.
If not for the news of Mika’s tears, I probably would have laughed at their solemnity. Instead, I turned to see Brenna standing at the entryway to the kitchen with her hands on hips – a Mika-ism that she had picked up over the years – and a frown on her freckled face. Beside her, Hope tried to mimic her big sister’s stance, but she hadn’t quite mastered the hip jut needed to properly convey the gesture.
Sighing softly and smiling gently in reassurance, I sat down the bowl of pancake batter and wiped my hands on a dishtowel. “You two stay here,” I instructed and slipped past my little carrot tops before hurrying up the stairs.
Before entering the bedroom Mika and I shared, I took a deep breath, trying to brace myself for today’s meltdown. They weren’t an every day occurrence, but for the last week they had been pretty regular. And if any day a meltdown were to be expected, it would be today.
I pushed the door open to reveal my wife seated in the middle of the bed, her back resting against a pile of pillows and her head thrown against the headboard while her hands ran over her swollen belly.
I had to stop for a moment to admire the beauty. Though she was convinced she looked like a whale, I couldn’t believe there was anything more beautiful than my wife – my Mika – carrying my child.
The day I’d met Mika, I’d been enthralled – not only by her beauty but also by her strength. She’d disliked me on sight. I was convinced I’d never have a shot with her, but then, on what could easily be considered one of the worst nights of her life, she had trusted me when she had no one else to turn to.
It had taken me years to convince her that my love for her was forever, so I hadn’t believed that I could be any happier than I was on the day when she agreed to marry me, which also happened to be the day she told me she was pregnant with Hope.
Then I’d watched her walk down the isle and we promised until death do us part. I thought perhaps that would be the happiest day of my life. Then Brenna asked to call me daddy, and she, Austin and Layla took my name. Then Hope was born, strong and healthy.
I was sure then that my happiness was complete. I could not ask for more.
Then a year ago Mika told me that she wanted to have another child. I hadn’t expected it. We had been in a good place in our lives. She and I were both secure in our jobs, and Layla and Austin were both in college, living on campus, leaving us only with Brenna and Hope at home. We only had a couple more years until Hope would be in school full time, and by then Brenna would likely be old enough to baby-sit for her sister.
I’d expected Mika to be thrilled by these developments. We’d never really talked much about having children. Hope had been a surprise while Brenna had been a happy inheritance. I knew Mika loved Austin and Layla just as much, but her relationship with them was slightly different. Brenna could only remember Mika as her mother, while Layla and Austin had been partly raised alongside Mika by their mother. Nonetheless, we’d considered ourselves a family of six even though the relationships seemed odd and slightly muddled to anyone from the outside looking in.
Even though I absolutely loved children, I’d been happy with the family I had, so I’d never thought to ask for more, and after all of the years of stress she had endured, I hadn’t expected Mika to want to start all over again. Perhaps I should have known better than to assume things when it came to Mika because she was always surprising me. It was one of the things I loved most about her – aside from her heart. She would never agree, claiming she wasn’t warm and cuddly or anything of the like, and maybe that had been true once upon a time, but anyone who knew her before she and I married would vouch for the fact that she was no longer the angry, jaded young woman she had once been.
This pregnancy, however, had also changed her. She had been far more emotional than she had been with Hope, but I already knew that today’s bout of tears weren’t solely a result of pregnancy hormones.
I crossed the room and sat on the edge of the bed. “What’s going on, Miki?” I asked.
Her bottom lip quivered slightly and she sniffled as she raised her head and opened her eyes. If it weren’t so adorable and I didn’t risk getting slapped, I might have laughed. I knew better, though, and waited for her to answer.
“I look like a cow,” she began, but I was sure there was more to it than that. “And I can’t find anything to wear. I can’t go.”
“Mika,” I sighed, trying to hold back a smile. “You have to go.”
“But I don’t want to embarrass Layla,” she cried.
“You won’t embarrass her,” I assured her. “It’s her college graduation. She wants you there. She wants all of us there.”
Mika sniffled again. “I know that, but . . .”
“You want to know what I think?”
“No,” she pouted.
“Well, I’m going to tell you anyway,” I grinned. “I think you’re just emotional because Layla’s all grown up now. Wasn’t it just last week you were crying and saying that she wouldn’t need you anymore?”
“Well she doesn’t!” Mika cried.
“Mika, no matter what, Layla will always need you,” I said. “You’re her sister, her best friend. You’ve always been there for her through everything. Who’s the first person she calls whenever there’s something wrong?”
Mika frowned and didn’t answer. I raised an eyebrow and she huffed. “Fine, she calls me.”
“That’s right,” I grinned. “We’re her family. She’ll always need us – just in different ways.”
“I know,” Mika sighed, “but it’s just hard. I can’t believe she’s graduating from college. And Austin won’t be far behind. Before we know it, Brenna’s going to be off at college too.”
“And, eventually, Hope will go away to college too, and so will this little guy,” I said, patting her swollen belly. “But you know what?”
“They’ll always need us because we’re a family,” I said, “and you know what else?”
“You’ll always have me,” I said. “I’m not going anywhere. Ever.”
Mika smiled at that, and then took hold of my hand and pulled me forward to kiss me on the lips. “Why do you always have to be so smart?”
“It’s part of my charm,” I shrugged.
“When are you going to figure out that you’re too good for me?” she murmured but there was no real conviction behind the statement.
I pulled back and stared deep into her indigo eyes. “Never,” I promised. “I’m yours for always.”
“That’s good because even if you did decide you were too good for me, I’d never let you go,” she grinned.
“Is that right?” I raised an eyebrow.
She nodded smugly. There was the girl I knew and loved. “I love you,” I told her.
“I love you too,” she smiled. She wiped at her face. “I probably look a mess.”
“You’re beautiful,” I assured her, “as always.”
She rolled her eyes, but her cheeks tinged pink the way they always seemed to do. I wondered if she would ever realize just how beautiful she is. Luckily, we had the rest of our lives for me to try to convince her.