TJ often felt like he was more devoted to his job than he was to anything else in his life. But he also knew that now that he was on the road to being a father, he was going to have to make some changes. And if those changes started with taking some time off to drive with Kayla to visit her family in Boston to share their news, well there were worse ways to begin. He'd said he would drive his car, so before the morning of their departure, he'd washed the car and detailed the inside, then gone to the store and bought up a bunch of snacks and a new cooler to keep drinks in. He'd packed for a week and his luggage was shoved in the back of the SUV. He had satellite radio in the car as well as an audio jack for his phone if they wanted something else. All in all, he felt prepared for the trip ahead and was actually looking forward to it. He didn't sleep as well as he would have liked, mainly because of the sense of anticipation, like a kid on Christmas Eve. But when he woke the next morning, he felt rested enough. He made sure the house was locked up tight and then jumped in the car and headed for Kayla's place to pick her up.



When Kayla first mentioned going to Boston she didn't really think Travis would be tagging along; it was what she loved about him the most that she hated the most as well -- his dedication to the job and his inability to let go of it. She had certainly been surprised when he'd so easily agreed to going and had taken time off from work. Realistically she knew that if she had to she could have taken the trip on her own, but it was very long, and she was glad that she didn't. There was a little part of her that felt she should not have asked him to come -- that it wasn't something she should expect of him, but she wanted him there, and she chose to ignore that part of her brain.

They had agreed to meet up at her place, and she had actually woken up earlier than she'd initially planned that morning. She knew she needed her rest, but just like any other time when she was going on a trip, her brain would go on overdrive and she had to check things twice, if not three times to make sure everything was as it should be, and that she wasn't missing anything. She had just finished taking Troy out for a walk, and had only been back for a few minutes when she heard the familiar sound of a car pulling up. Taking a glance out the window, she noticed TJ's SUV parked outside. She made her way over to the door, unlocking it and leaving it slightly ajar -- just enough for him to notice, but not enough for the dog to sneak out.

Going back into her bedroom, she grabbed the bags she had left on top of her bed. She was being a typical girl, and had packed more than she needed. It was something she had done her entire life, and something that would never change. Stepping back out into the living room, she dropped the bags on the floor next to the couch, and was on her way to the kitchen to find everything she had gotten ready the night before. She'd been on a fruit kick lately, and between that and packing for the dog, she had more than enough to borderline ridiculous. Looking over in the direction of the door when she heard it open, she smiled at the sight of Travis. "Hey.."


TJ parked the car in the driveway and made his way up to the front where he saw the door was open. He pushed it open further and stepped inside. Troy sensed him immediately and bounded toward him and TJ got down on one knee to greet the dog with some scratches behind the ears and let him lick his face. He heard Kayla's greeting and glanced up, offering a smile. "Hey," he returned, getting to his feet. Now that he'd properly greeted the dog, he was content to let TJ talk to Kayla without interruption. He went to her and pressed a kiss to her cheek.

"What can I help you with?" He looked around for bags and saw them next to the door. "I'll start loading." He looked between the bags and her again, raising his brow. He new she'd get his meaning. There was enough there for three people. Shaking his head gently, he grabbed the first couple bags and hauled them out the front door, pulling it closed behind him so the dog wouldn't get out. He packed them into the rear of the car and headed back in for the rest.

"Do we need to stop anywhere before we head out? The car's all gassed up and I packed some food. I wouldn't mind stopping at McDonald's but if you're not going to be able to handle that, we can get breakfast somewhere else." He stood near the door, holding the last of the bags, Troy sniffing at them until he lost interest and wandered back to the couch and laid down.


"You have obviously won him over..." She laughed as she watched the interaction between Troy and Travis. There were some people he was still pretty hesitant about going up to, but with Travis it had not taken much time at all. She was a litle impressed, but at the same time not really all that surprised -- he had after all won her over quite easily as well. "Just like mom, huh?" She mumbled to herself, looking over in the direction of the dog, before turning her attention over to Travis. Giving him a quick hug when he walked up to her, she smiled. "You sure you're ready for a roadtrip with this beast here?"

Following his gaze, she laughed; Kayla knew exactly what Travis was thinking as soon as his attention went to the bags sitting by the door. "You know me.." She smiled, a small shrug of her shoulders following at his raised eyebrow. "...can never make up my mind." At the shake of his head she laughed once more, her attention going back to the kitchen where she'd left both reusable bags filled with a few of her "healthier" snacks, as well as Troys food and treats. It was going to be a long trip, and she knew they would have to make a stop before the day was over.

Watching him walk back in she smiled a little to herself; Having Travis there had hit her with a small sense of nostalgia. It wasn't that she was sad -- enough time had passed where she could be around him without being upset by it, but having him there felt a bit like old times. They really hadn't gone on many road trips through the years -- work was always getting in the way, but the few they had been on had always proven to be good ones.

"I don't know, TJ.. I kind of like the idea of food, food.." Not that she'd be completely against the idea of fast food, she was sure she'd be having some at some point in their trip, but she was dying for a real breakfast. "A veggie omelet is just screaming my name.." Walking over to the couch, she leaned down to pet Troy for a few seconds, reaching over to grab his leash from the table nearby. He might not need it at all times, but she wasn't about to risk it hundreds of miles away where things weren't familiar to him. "I can just whip something up real quick if you rather not stop.." Looking up at him, she gave him another small shrug, "I do need coffee, though."


"I think I'll probably be able to handle him alright. It's you I'm worried about," he teased with a smile. He got the rest of her bags loaded into the car, along with Troy's stuff. All that was left was what Kayla was gathering when he walked in. "Well, a veggie omelette sounds like I'd rather eat a paper bag, but I'll wait while you make yourself one. And then we can just roll through the drive-thru for me." Seemed like a simple enough solution to him. He took a seat on the couch next to Troy and settled in to wait for a while.

TJ had never been the most health conscious guy, and vegetables didn't always sit well with him. He was definitely a meat and potatoes man. And besides, McDonald's was a sort of road trip tradition for him. Or at least, a fast food breakfast was. But she was pregnant and he was happy to cater to her cravings. He wasn't about to deny her anything she might want, and was happy to settle for a compromise so they could both be happy.

He reached over and scratched the dog behind the ears again. "And we can get coffee or make it here, I'm not picky about that." He glanced at her over the back of the couch. "Is there anything you need my help with? I can make the coffee if you want." He lifted his brows in question and turned a little bit more to look at her.


"Ha, ha.. so funny.." She said, a mock offended look on her face. She knew she could be pretty bad when she wanted to, but, she wanted to enjoy the trip as much as possible -- complaining about one thing or the other wasn't about to make that happen. Making her way back into the kitchen, she leaned against the counter, looking at him across the room. "Since you won't be having any of my 'I rather have a paper bag' breakfast.. you want something else while you wait?" She wasn't necessarily looking forward to the cleaning part of making breakfast, but she really wasn't up for the greasy aspect of a Macdonald breakfast either.

Walking over to the fridge, Kayla pulled out a container of leftover vegetables from the night before -- spinach, mushrooms, bell peppers, and onions; one thing Kayla was glad about during her pregnancy was that majority of her cravings had gone more toward the healthy side. She had the occasional milk shake craving, which she was sure she'd end up getting on their drive-thru stop, but other than that not much really got her attention.

Looking over her shoulder while she fished out the cheese and eggs from the refrigerator she answered his question. "As weird as it sounds.. I do kinda miss your coffee." Closing the door, she placed everything on the counter and turned to look at him once more. "So.. yes, if you want to make coffee I won't really fight you over it.."


TJ grinned when she threw his words back at him. "Nah, I'm good." He sat there and scratched Troy a bit more while she rummaged around in the kitchen to make her omelette. He quietly observed her while she walked between the refrigerator and the stove. He could see the prominent swell of her belly, though it could be hidden if she angled herself in just the right way, and he felt a small lurch in his belly. It took him a moment to identify it as pride. He was proud that she was carrying his child. He honestly couldn't think of someone else more appropriate, not only because of their history but because there was a reason they'd been circling each other for the better part of a decade.

He also took a moment to admire the other parts of her body that were filling out thanks to a little weight gain. Her legs had always been long and lean, but they seemed a little more muscular these days and her ass seemed a little rounder. He caught her eye after a moment and felt like he'd been caught with his hand in the cookie jar. He smiled and nodded when she said she wouldn't fight him if he wanted to make the coffee. He pushed off the couch and joined her in the kitchen, prepping the coffee maker and spooning the grounds into the filter, filling it with water. A few moments later it was percolating and he stepped up behind her at the stove. He tentatively settled his hands on her hips and then slid them forward to cup her belly.

"Have I mentioned how surreal it is that you and I did this?" he murmured near her ear, his chin resting lightly on her shoulder. His hands moved over the swell of her stomach. Not only was it surreal, but it was kind of a turn on and he had to physically remove himself from her a moment later, or he'd make a fool out of himself. He cleared his throat and turned back to the coffee maker, reaching into a cupboard for some mugs.


The majority of her pregnancy Kayla had been too concerned with the idea of not showing it. It wasn't that she was ashamed, but she'd been pretty unsure of how to deal with it at first, and if she was to admit to it, she'd been scared of what Travis's reaction might have been. Now, however, she was no longer worried about showing she was pregnant. Granted, she wasn't flaunting it at work just yet -- though, she knew a few people had their suspicions, but she wasn't about to continue actively trying to hide it, either. The smile that touched her lips when she caught Travis watching her was not one she was able to hide easily. It was one of the things she missed about their relationship -- regardless of the kind of day she was having, or how she felt, he always had a way of making her feel attractive with just a look. While she knew she had not changed much, being pregnant, there were days when the last thing she felt was attractive -- being hit on by someone in the back seat of her patrol car was not the same as getting that silent look from someone she cared about. She had to admit, she liked it, and definitely missed it  more than just a little. The smile still on her face, she turned her attention back to the stove, flipping half the omelet over the vegetables before removing it from the heat.

When she felt Travis sneak up behind her, and his hands settle on her hips, her smile got wider. It was such a simple touch, and while there was nothing remotely sexual about it, it reminded her of the days when the same touch was a little different. "Mmhm.." She mumbled, finding herself leaning back against him. If there was one thing that never changed between them was the attraction that was there. It didn't matter if they were on or off, there was always something there. In the back of her mind, Kayla knew that was not something that would ever go away, at least not on her part. They had spent a decade building that, and she knew it couldn't be erased. "I never thought we'd find ourselves here.."

Her hand running over his arm, she turned her body around to face him, giving him a small shrug of her shoulder. She wasn't lying either. A baby was not something she thought was part of their future, but now that it was, she couldn't see herself changing it. "I think I like it.." She said, walking backwards as he made his way back to the coffee, stopping when her back touched the counter. "Thanks for the coffee.." She looked up, the smile still on her face.