The italics are a flashback.
Soon after they had arrived home from the airport yesterday, AJ and Kim couldn't contain their excitement any longer. They sat Jordan down and explained to him that Kim was pregnant, in terms that he could understand of course:
"Jordan, sweetie, Daddy and me have something to tell you, okay?" Kim started.
"Now, you know me and Mommy love you very much, right?"
He nodded. "Uh-huh."
AJ continued. "And that you are very special to both us because you are our first baby?"
"Well...you're going to be a big brother. You're going to have a little brother or sister because Mommy is pregnant and is having another baby."
Jordan's eyes widened. "Wow. Really?"
"Uh-huh." Kim said.
"Where is the baby?"
"In mommy's tummy. It's going to grow there just like when I was pregnant with you."
"Oh. How did you make the baby? Did Daddy help?"
Kim chuckled and looked at AJ. "Yes, Daddy helped."
"Wow. When does it come out?"
"Before Christmas, an early Christmas present!"
Kim laughed at her son's enthusiasm. "Here, you wanna feel my tummy?"
Jordan scooted close to her. "The baby's in there?"
"Yep. Be gentle, please."
AJ just watched in amazement at his little boy and tried to take in the moment.
Jordan looked up at him. "If I talk to it, can it hear me?"
"Yes," AJ said. "Go ahead."
He put his face inches from Kim's stomach. "Hi, baby. I'm your big brother, Jordan. I hope you come out soon. Mommy and Daddy are really nice, and Grandma and Grandpa, too. And you get to meet Uncle Brian, Aunt Leighanne and Baylee, Uncle Howie and Aunt Leigh, and Uncle Nick. I'll teach you how to eat ice cream and play Candy Land and how to ride bikes, all the fun stuff that Daddy teached me."
"Eating ice cream, Alex? What am I going to do with you?" she asked him with a smirk.
"Well, someone's gotta do it. You love me for it," he gave her a peck on the cheek.
"Is the baby a boy or a girl?" Jordan asked.
"We don't know yet, buddy. But we will soon," AJ answered.
"Well, I hope you're a boy, that way we can watch Incredibles and play motorcycles and baseball! I love you," Jordan kissed Kim's stomach.
"Awww, J! You're such a big boy! And so cute!" Kim began to tickle him, planting kisses on his cheeks.
"Mommy, stop!" he yelled between giggles. She continued, then, paused to whisper in his ear.
"Daddy!" Jordan lunged at him and began to tickle him.
"Hey! Hey! What is this? You're evil, do you know that?" he called out to his wife.
Kim smiled. "I know."
Life was perfect in that moment. No worries, no fears, no apprehensions. Compared to now, it was perfect.
AJ was so happy to be back home. However, it meant that he had returned to face real life once again, sometimes he wished that he could stay on tour forever, life was a lot easier to handle in most respects when he was away from it all...
AJ was downstairs in his game room which had a fully-stocked bar. He quickly poured another shot and threw it back immediately. He gasped for air as he felt the pain resurface in his chest. Just breathing had taken a toll on him today, he felt weak and unusually tired. It was just the depression making itself known, he mused. AJ was brought back from his detachment when his phone rang.
"Yes?" he asked with an uninterested tone.
"It's Chris. Wanna go out? I'm buying."
"Not tonight, man. Besides, I've kinda already started."
"Started the party without me, huh? Well, I'll just come over there—"
"No!" AJ said quickly, he cleared his throat. "I mean, I just got home, you know. I don't really feel like going out. I'll take a raincheck?"
"Right, right. So how are things, man? Congrats on the new baby, I'm happy for ya."
"Thanks," he returned with a light smile. AJ looked at the bottle of Jack in front of him for a moment before answering. "Things are good." He wasn't lying exactly, it's just that things could be better. "We told Jordan about the baby yesterday."
"Oh, yeah? How did that go?"
"It went great, much better than I expected. You should've seen him, he was asking all sorts of questions, he even talked to the baby. He's gonna be fine."
"That's great, man. And Kim is doing well?"
"She's perfect. She had a rough go with morning sickness, but that should be dissipating soon."
"How far along is she?" Chris wondered.
"Wow, what's her due date?"
"December 19th," he answered.
"A Christmas baby! That's awesome, Alex! You must be so excited!"
AJ nodded. "I am. I don't want a ton of kids, but I've always wanted Jordan to have a sibling."
"That's great, he'll be an amazing big brother if yesterday is any indication."
"Mhm. Listen, I'm gonna go. I've got some things to do before I go to bed."
"Alright, dude, later."
AJ hung up and turned his phone off. He wasn't in the mood for another conversation, he had unfinished business to attend to. Just as he poured himself another refill, he suddenly felt that he was no longer alone. He turned around to see Kim standing in the doorway.
"Hey," he greeted.
"Hey," she replied coolly.
"Come sit with me." AJ tapped the stool next to him.
He pulled it out for her and she sat on it. "You good?"
"Yeah. So, what are you doing down here?"
"Well, I sure as hell ain't prayin'." He chuckled.
"I can see that. Do we have any Martinelli's back there?"
"I think so. Hold on." AJ went behind the bar and found a bottle of the non-alcoholic sparkling apple cider along with a champagne glass. He poured her some, pushed it toward her, and came back around and sat back down.
"No problem." He paused. "I thought you went to bed?"
"I did, but I couldn't sleep. The room's lonely without you." She took a sip of her drink. "I thought you were in the studio?"
AJ traced the rim of his shot glass several times with his index finger. "I was. For about five minutes," he said quietly.
Kim looked at him. "Hey. Are you okay?"
He sighed. "I think I'm just nervous about Tuesday." His appointment with Dr. Stehlik was at 4:30.
She noticed the mostly full bottle of whiskey in front of him. "It doesn't seem that bad."
"Well, I really didn't get a chance to start," he admitted with another chuckle. "Chris called me to see if I wanted to go out."
"And you said no." Kim concluded.
"Obviously," he said, slightly annoyed.
"Hey, there's no need to be snarky, mister."
"Sorry," he apologized softly.
AJ drank his shot and set the glass down down on the bar. "Didn't want it to get too warm," he reasoned. He couldn't help but feel slightly ashamed of his behavior. He didn't normally drink because of stress in front of Kim, he didn't want her to see him like this.
"I think you've had enough," Kim stated and took the bottle from him. She was surprised that AJ didn't stop her.
He glared at her for a moment, but his expression softened and he stood up. "We can go upstairs if you want."
Kim put the bottle down and AJ helped her up to the kitchen without cleaning up. They went into the living room and curled up on the couch together.
AJ kissed her hair. "This is much better. I love you."
Kim didn't answer.
"What? I don't get any love?"
"Why do you do that?" Kim questioned.
AJ pulled away and sat up. "Do what?"
"Run away and drink when you're stressed out."
"I don't know, baby...I mean, being so young out on tour, going out and partying in the the clubs in Europe was a way to decompress, to relieve stress. It was one of our few outlets. Road life then compared to now...well, there's just no comparison. It was straight-up crazy. Performing shows three, sometimes four nights in a row. The hustle and bustle was insane. The only thing I would wanna do when we did have a day off was sleep." AJ chuckled. "And then of course when my grandma died...she was my everything." He paused to compose himself. "I didn't know how to cope with that loss in any other way besides drinking, who honestly would know how to in that situation? I didn't know anything else."
"I know, baby."
"But, I had you. And my family and the fellas. You guys didn't let me self-destruct."
"Damn straight," Kim said. "If we let you go down that road, you'd be an alcoholic and possibly a drug addict. And the Backstreet Boys probably wouldn't exist and we wouldn't even be together right now."
AJ sighed heavily. "Yeah."
Kim continued. "But I do think that you have some dependency issues, Alex. That's not healthy."
"I know. But you stopped me tonight."
"I'm not always gonna be around to do that though. Case and point: touring."
"I know. But I have a pretty decent amount of self-control. I hadn't drank since I found out you were pregnant. I had a beer with the guys after dinner before I went back to my room," he finished, not wanting to leave her hanging.
"I think that you should bring this up with John on Tuesday. It'd be something good for you two discuss so you can figure it out and come to terms with it."
AJ could see her point. "I guess."
"I do love you."
"Mm, you too." AJ kissed her deeply and put his hand on her stomach. "I can't wait until you can start feeling him or her move. When's your next appointment?"
"Friday, June 6th at 1."
"Can I come?" he asked.
"Of course! I want you to!"
"Great! I think Jordan should come."
"That's a good idea, it will help him adjust better in the long run if we're more hands-on and get him involved during this time."
AJ smiled. "That's exactly what I was thinking. It's a plan."
"Mm...I like plans." Kim began to kiss his neck. "And I like my men with a little bit of stubble." she murmured, caressing his face.
"Well, I guess I'm lucky but you're gonna have to wait about twelve years for Jordan."
Kim stopped immediately at that comment. "Alex! What exactly are you implying?"
"That our son isn't going to have to worry about shaving for quite some time?" he asked innocently.
She rolled her eyes. "Sometimes, I worry about you."
"Me, too." he agreed with a laugh.
He kissed her and she wrapped her arms around his neck. "Say the first part again." Kim said.
"This is much better?" AJ asked, unsure.
"After that." she breathed.
"I love you?"
"Mhm. Say it again." She continued to kiss him.
"I love you." he repeated with confidence, his breathing getting ragged and labored. "Damn, woman, you're getting me all revved up...maybe we should move this party upstairs."
"That's what I like to hear," she replied with a smirk. "We're fine, Jordan's sound asleep..."
"We're not alone, you know."
"What if we wake Gumby up?"
Kim rolled her eyes at AJ's pet name for the baby. "Then, we'll be quiet..." She pulled him closer and pulled his t-shirt off of him.
"I don't think that's possible for at least one of us..."
"Shut up," Kim growled.
"You just know I'm that good."
Kim chuckled at his confidence. "God, I missed this. You. Hearing your voice say my name. Tell me again."
"I love you with everything that is in me Kim Luisa Borrego. Always." He kissed her forehead gently.
"I love when your Spanish blood comes out. It's so sexy. You should do it more often."
"Oh yeah?" Kiss. "Should I?" Kiss.
"Now...where were we?" He started to unbutton his jeans.
"Shit!" AJ hissed as he put his shirt back on. "I told you!"
Kim shrugged. "Sorry."
They both sat up as Jordan and Bernie came downstairs.
"What is it, buddy? Are you alright?" AJ asked, hoping that this wasn't a repeat of two months ago.
"I'm thirsty," he said simply.
"Come here, J." AJ felt his forehead and breathed a sigh of relief. 'Cool as a cucumber.' "He's fine," he said to Kim. "I'll get you some water." He got up and went to the kitchen. He came back handed him the glass. "Don't spill it, okay?"
After a few minutes, Jordan was finished with the water, which meant he had to go back to bed.
"Alright, time to go back to sleep now. Say goodnight to Mommy, Jordan."
"No!" he protested.
AJ sighed. "Please, not tonight, J. It's past your bedtime. Up the stairs, let's go." He was in no mood to deal with a fussy kid, especially one that had just ruined his 'mood.'
"I won't tell you again, let's go," he said, a bit more firm.
"No! I'm not sleepy!"
"Jordan, you have to go back to bed. Go with Daddy, please." Kim tried more gently.
"No!" He plopped down on the carpet and didn't move.
"Jordan Anthony, if you don't go with Daddy right now you're not getting muffins for breakfast in the morning." Kim warned knowing that her blueberry muffins were his absolute favorite breakfast, which were a special treat once a month.
Once he heard that, he stood up. "Okay, g'night, Mommy."
"Thank you for listening. Give me a kiss. Love you."
He did and AJ picked him up and carried him upstairs to his bedroom. He set him down on his bed and covered him up. "Goodnight, little man. See you in the morning." He started to walk out.
AJ turned around. "Hm?"
"I love you."
He chuckled softly. "I love you, too. Goodnight."
He closed the door and jogged down the stairs back to Kim.
"I swear, if it were any other night he would've been fine," he said, shaking his head.
"Just our luck, huh?"
"Yeah." AJ sat back down on the couch. "I'm actually kinda tired now."
Kim yawned. "Me, too."
"Let's just go to bed."
"Sounds good to me."
They both stood and headed for the stairs. "I need to get out of these jeans." AJ said.
"I think I just might be able to help you with that."
AJ cocked an eyebrow. "Oh, really?"
He faked a yawn. "I'm suddenly very tired."
"Mm, me too."
They rushed up the stairs as quietly as possible before locking their bedroom door to finish what they started.