Chapter 2: The Confession

Feeling the most nervous she had been in her life, Allison sat in her favorite café, trying to wait patiently. The café was actually quite large, but always managed an intimate atmosphere. Perhaps that was what she loved so much about it; it made her feel like there was always a place for her. Sitting in her little corner booth, she was just grateful that there weren't too many people around this evening.

It was almost 7. She had been so anxious that she had arrived an hour early. She probably would've called him and demanded that he come sooner, but unfortunately, he had work and it would be a few more minutes before he would be able to leave and make his way here.

After spending the past three days ignoring his calls to chat, she had decided that she couldn't keep it to herself any longer. Though she had debated whether or not she should tell him at all, she knew that this was something she absolutely could not keep from him. After all, he most definitely had played a role in this, and he would hate her for the rest of their lives if she kept this from him. Still, the thought of just running off and disappearing for a year or so flitted across her mind from time to time.

She took one last glance at the clock, knowing that he could arrive at any moment. Silently, she began to rehearse what she would say to him for the millionth time.

"Ally, hey," Brandon greeted, almost making her jump out of her chair in surprise.

Quickly returning to reality, Allison looked up into his warm brown eyes and felt her own eyes well up. Suddenly, she was no longer sure if she had the courage to do this. She wasn't at all sure about how he would handle the news, and as silly as it may have sounded, he was her best friend and she didn't want to see his world crumble the way hers had when she first found out. Maybe running had been the better idea after all.

Instantly noticing her odd behavior, his eyes widened and his movements became tentative, "Ally?"

Watching her carefully, Brandon slowly sat down. When he put a firm hand on her forearm, Allison had the panicking thought that Brandon really could read her mind and knew that she was currently a flight risk. He just continued staring at her though, and waiting for her to speak.

Taking a deep breath, she began to recite her speech to him in a shaky voice, "We need to talk about something."

The words spoken aloud seemed inadequate, and despite all her planning and rehearsing, she felt ill-prepared.

"Is it the reason why you've been ignoring my calls this week? Because I really do demand an explanation for that," he chuckled, trying to put her at ease.

"Yes," she sighed solemnly, "I suppose it is the reason."

Suddenly, Brandon gave her a strange look that made her unable to say the next line. "Oh god," he said suddenly, before she could muster the courage to say anything, "You're pregnant."

The way he said it was so certain, there was no question about it. There was an incredibly tense silence that seemed to confirm Brandon's words. Never had she seen his eyes grow so wide. The way he was staring at her stomach made her feel awkward. It was almost as though he half expected the baby to leap out of her stomach right that moment.

Unnerved, Allison tried to blink back tears as he just stared at her in shock. That certainly wasn't the way she had intended this to go, and she couldn't decide on what she should say next. She settled on self-consciously covering her belly.

"How?" he finally managed to blurt, breaking the silence for her.

Allison couldn't help but roll her eyes. It was such a Brandon-like response, and really, she was amazed that she hadn't been expecting something along those lines. The sarcasm that Brandon always seemed to elicit from her escaped, despite any other emotions she was feeling.

"I'm pretty sure you were in health class with me when we learned about how. I know it's been a while since high school, but it really isn't something you forget," she quipped, surprised by the relief she felt that there was at least some sort of normalcy to it all.

For the most part, Brandon remained unfazed by her words. In fact, he grew so silent, she became worried. Silence was certainly not a Brandon-like response, especially not for this long. She found herself wishing that she had Brandon's mind reading talents.

"Is that really all you have to say?" she asked tentatively, suddenly worried that her relief had been a little too premature.

"What am I supposed to say?" he said, in a voice that did not sound like his own, "I can't believe this is happening."

"Trust me, neither can I," she replied almost bitterly.

A new silence fell over them. It was only then that Allison realized how pale Brandon had become, and considering his natural tan, it wasn't a sight she witnessed often. With a heavy sigh, she reached for his hand. Just the other day, it had been her in those shoes, and she couldn't find it in her to be so hard on him. It wasn't as though she had handled the news all that gracefully either.

"Look Brandon, I know this is a lot," she said gently, "I know how you feel in this, ok?"

Brandon looked pained by this, but he just nodded, taking in her words.

Brandon Mills and Allison Warren had been best friends since childhood. They liked to refer to it as a strange, freak accident. When they met at summer camp, Allison had been the one to excel in music and art, while Brandon had always been the sports star. Allison preferred to read and play with her small group of friends, while Brandon preferred to cause mischief and played the role of social butterfly. Their paths really never crossed until Brandon developed a crush on one of Allison's friends. The crush didn't last very long, but despite their many differences, Allison and Brandon felt an instant connection and became fast friends.

Perhaps it was those differences between them that had made them so compatible, but it was definitely those differences that had kept them from ever developing romantic feelings for the other. They could be quite the antagonistic pair, so much so that sometimes, people were surprised that they were actually even friends, but they had a deep affection for each other that only they could understand. To everyone's amazement, they were best friends.

Then, one night a year ago, after a great deal of laughter and alcohol in his tiny, one bedroom apartment to celebrate Allison's graduation from university, the best friends had sex. When they awoke the next morning, they were amazed to find that there was no awkwardness or embarrassment that followed. Instead, they decided that it had been a fun, incredibly satisfying experience.

Next thing they knew, they found themselves having sex relatively often. There were no issues of discomfort or jealousy. In fact, they almost seemed to carry on as they always had, albeit with more sexual jokes and innuendos than ever before. It ultimately led them to a friends-with-benefits situation that, to their great surprise, worked for both of them. As long as neither of them got too emotionally involved and were single, they figured they could fool around as much as they wanted.

Of course, that plan obviously backfired with this new development.

"I can't believe it," he murmured, shaking his head as though it would awaken him from this nightmare.

"You already said that, Bran," she sighed, trying to be sympathetic, "But I haven't had coffee since I found out and you know I wouldn't do that for any other reason, not even if it was banned from the face of the planet. It seems like I've been addicted to the stuff since the day we met."

Brandon balked at her, "I'm surprised by how well you are handling this whole thing, Al."

Allison could only smile weakly in response. In all honesty, she wasn't even sure why she was suddenly in the mood to exhibit a lighthearted, albeit a bit dry, sense of humor, since she didn't find one bit of this the least bit amusing. The only reasoning she could find was because this was Brandon, and she didn't know how else to be around him.

"I have a question," he asked suddenly.

"Maybe I'll have an answer," she replied automatically.

"Didn't we always use protection?" he questioned in a hushed whisper.

Quickly enraged, Allison glared at him, "What are you implying, Miller? Because I know, without a doubt, that there is no one else to pin this on and it is certainly not all my fault! If you're going to try and make accusations, then you'd better hurry and get them out so I can kick your ass all at once!"

"That's not what I meant, Ally!" he cried, alarmed by her response and holding his hands up in surrender. He knew that when she used last names, she was pulling out the big guns. "Come on, you know what I mean. The question came out wrong!"

The anger in Allison simmered as quickly as it flared, and she just sighed. Of course she knew what he had meant, but her emotions were running amok as it was, and she couldn't help the mood swing. "I have half a mind to kick your ass anyway," she murmured halfheartedly, "Though it may just be the hormones talking."

"So, what happened? Where did we go wrong?" he asked, trying to sound gentle and not cross the pregnant lady.

"Well," she began, biting her lip regretfully as she remembered, "Remember the night of your birthday? We were both pretty drunk and we really didn't think about things before we acted.

Brandon groaned and dropped his head on the table, "Are you kidding me? That one stupid time? We only forget once, and this is the result?"

"Yeah well, the worst part is, I actually went out and got the morning after pill, just in case," she informed him, quite bitterly, "But the doctor said that it isn't always a guarantee."

They both sat there in silence, contemplating this bit of news.

"So," Brandon began slowly, bringing Allison's attention back to him, "Basically, I have some kind of super sperm?"

Allison was stunned speechless. She stared at him for a moment before dropping her head onto the table with a thud. "Idiot," she muttered, trying to stifle the urge to laugh.

"Oh come on," he laughed, "I couldn't resist and you have to admit it was kind of funny."

"Now who's handling this surprisingly well?" she teased.

Brandon seemed to sober up at that, "Sorry, Ally. I know this is really no laughing matter."

"No, it's okay," she sighed, peeking at him, "I guess it's better to deal with it with a bit of laughter, instead of tears and complete fear. It's kind of a nice change. Maybe I should've come out with it sooner."

Brandon took a moment to study her form. Though he could barely make out her face, he noticed that there was a different air to his best friend. Everything about her seemed to be drained, whereas usually, she seemed to exude a confident, glowing aura that almost always put him at ease, As though she could feel him studying her, she looked up at him. It was then that he could see the lack of sleep and caffeine that she was experiencing. It looked like she had certainly had a rough few days.

"What?" Allison said, starting to feel self conscious.

Offering her a weak smile, he reached over and took her hand in his, "So what are we going to do?"

A fresh sense of dread flooded her with that one simple question. She had spent time rehearsing this part as well, but words escaped her as she tried to regain her calm.

"Branon, I think," she began, uncertain, "I actually want to keep the baby."

He stared at her in surprise.

Suddenly, Allison was too afraid to look at him, and though she wasn't normally a babbler, she found she couldn't stop herself, "Listen, I'm sorry. I know we are supposed to decide this together, but really, I've been thinking about it every minute since I found out, and I'm pretty certain that you won't be able to change my mind on this. I don't care if you don't want anything to do with this kid. I can do this without you if I have to, and I honestly won't think any less of you. You can just be Uncle Brandon, if you want. My family will be supportive enough that I'll be able to manage without you. I don't expect anything, ok? I'm willing to accept that this was my decision, not yours."

There was a dead silence that followed. Allison couldn't take her eyes off of the edge of the table, and for a moment, she wondered if he was even still there across from her.

"Please say something," she whispered, daring to look at him.

"Wow, I cannot believe you," he finally said, suddenly enraged, "You're such a bitch."

"Excuse me?" she stammered, taken aback and close to tears.

Brandon looked like he just might hit her. He got up abruptly, and motioned for her to follow him, which she did without question. She had to admit that she was slightly afraid as she walked with him out the door and to his car. Though he was a softie at heart, physically, Brandon could do some damage. Instinctively, however, she trusted that he would never actually do anything to physically hurt her. He never had before; in all the years they had known each other, no matter how angry she made him.

The short walk and the cool fresh air seemed to calm him slightly, but he still turned to look at her with hard, slightly menacing eyes.

"How long have we known each other, Allison? I thought we were best friends, but I didn't realize that you thought so low of me!" he said through gritted teeth.

His words struck her. A mixture of shame and relief washed over her as everything sunk in, but he never gave her the chance to speak.

"I would never shirk my responsibilities! I would never ditch you in your time of need! And I would never let my kid grow up without a dad! How dare you suggest that I would do any of that? Is that really what you think I would do?"

Never had she seen Brandon look so hurt and offended. There had been dozens of times when she had seen him blown his temper, but this was such a different emotion on him that she couldn't bear to look at him. It made her heart ache.

Tears streaming down her face, she suddenly hurled herself at her best friend and wrapped her arms around him, "Oh Brandon, I'm so sorry! You know that wasn't what I meant! I just didn't want you to feel obligated to adhere to the decision that I made without you! You know I would never want to force you to do something you didn't want to do, unless it was for your own good."

Scoffing loudly, Brandon shook his head, "You're an idiot, Ally. You know I would support you no matter what decision you made, whether it was adoption, abortion, or becoming a parent. Stop acting like you're not my best friend."

She couldn't stop herself from crying, "I'm sorry for being an idiot and for being a bitch. I honestly didn't mean to do it. I was just trying to be considerate of you, and obviously, I really didn't think that one through. This whole evening did not go the way I had expected it to go and the speech I had planned to give you was nothing like the one you actually got."

"Oh good, I'm glad in your original speech, you didn't make me out to sound like a deadbeat dad," he scoffed, though he felt himself softening and his anger dissolving. He knew she honestly hadn't meant such implications, but it had still offended him. With a heavy sigh, he just held her for a moment.

"Oh goodness," Brandon finally groaned, playfully mussing up her already messy dark brown hair, "Would you stop with all the crying already? You look like a drowned puppy."

Frowning, she fixed her hair and glared at him, "Get used to it!"

Brandon rolled his eyes, "I don't remember you ever crying so much."

This made Allison laugh a little, "Yeah, well, I think it's actually a side effect of the pregnancy, because I don't remember me ever crying so much either."

It looked as though she had just struck him with a bat. "Oh my god," he muttered, falling against his car with a thud, "You're pregnant with my kid. This changes everything!"

"Why do you say it like I didn't just tell you that less than 10 minutes ago?" she replied slowly, studying him cautiously.

"Stop looking at me like I'm crazy," he barked, glaring at her. Then his voice softened, "You know what I mean. We're having a baby, a real, live, little kid. I'm actually going to be a dad!"

Allison couldn't help but smile. Brandon Mills, the big, strong, tough-looking guy, was going all soft and mushy on her. It was priceless. But his words rang true and she couldn't help but echo, "We're having a baby."

To her surprise, Brandon dropped to his knees in front of her and kissed her belly. She couldn't help but blush at this intimate gesture when they were out in public. Brandon, however, didn't seem to notice anything outside of his little bubble of him, her, and the being growing inside of her.

"Hey you tiny little thing," he whispered softly.

As a reflex, Allison swatted him on the shoulder, "Don't call our baby a thing!"

"Sorry," he grinned sheepishly before amending, "Little fetus."

Unable to keep from laughing, she simply just shrugged in consent, "Better than 'thing', I guess."

"I can't wait to meet you," he whispered, gently caressing her belly.

Allison was glad that the darkness masked her growing blush. "Come on, Brandon," she laughed, "Get up. There's still about 7 months before this kid pops out of me. You'll have plenty of time to do this sort of thing, preferably in private."

Unable to keep the grin from his face, Brandon finally released her and stood, looking like a new man. Fatherhood was always something that Brandon had looked forward to. His relationship with his father was poor at best. Allison always knew better than to talk about his father with him. The man was a narcissist and a jerk. Brandon hoped that with his own children, he would be able to be everything that his own father failed to be. It certainly helped that he truly did love being around kids.

"Do you think it'll be a boy or a girl?" he asked, sounding almost excited.

A smile crept across her face. She hadn't really allowed herself to think about that sort of thing, just in case she had decided not to keep the baby, but she knew in the back of her mind that such thoughts had been swirling around.

"I think it'll be a boy," she said with certainty.

Brandon frowned at her response, "Really? I think it'll be a girl, and that she'll look a lot like you, only with my eyes, because brown is a the dominant gene."

Rolling her pale green eyes, Allison tried to imagine the little girl Brandon seemed to see, with his brown eyes, her small, pointed nose, her fair skin, and her lips. Secretly, she hoped that their daughter would also get his adorable dimples.

"No," she finally said, shaking the thoughts away, "It'll be a boy."

"I disagree," he snorted, rolling his eyes at her stubbornness.

"I can't believe we're even arguing about this!" she cried with a laugh.

Brandon shot her one of his brilliant grins that told her she'd better get used to it. To her surprise, she found herself hoping that if it was a boy, that he would be as handsome as his father. Allison never took much time to check out her best friend, but if someone had to drag the truth out of her, she would admit, however grudgingly, that Brandon actually fit the description of tall, dark, and handsome quite well.

"You look like Christmas has come early," Allison finally remarked, playfully making a face at him.

"Kind of feels like it has, to be honest," he chuckled, "As shocking as the news was, I think I'm actually really happy. I know the circumstances are not ideal, but we're going to make this work, Al, I know it."

Allison beamed at his words.

In one quick motion, Brandon grabbed Allison around the waist, lifted her up, and spun her around, "I think we're gonna do good, Al."

"I think so too, Bran," she laughed, feeling infinitely better about the entire situation.

Allison felt like she should have known that things would turn out alright. Brandon was a bit rough around the edges, but he was a good man and her best friend, she should have known he wouldn't let her down. To be perfectly honest, if this situation had to happen with anyone, she was glad that it happened with Brandon.

A/N: First and foremost, I want to thank swamp13 and TomKaulitzLoverxxx for being my first reviewers. I know the prologue wasn't much, but I'm glad to know you're looking forward to seeing more. I hope this chapter met your expectations.

Anyway, this chapter is dedicated to my beautiful little niece who turns ONE today (4/15/2011). She is a wonderfully, precious little being, and my favorite little princess. Happy birthday Kaitlyn. Your Auntie loves you tons!