Summary: The first in the Thanksgiving verse. Jack tries to have the perfect Thanksgiving with his daughter but when Chloe gets drunk and Chase has to come over and help her, it ends up being a very different Thanksgiving then the one they planned.
“You’re nervous,” Kim commented as she walked across the sand, watching Angela run ahead of them.
“Only because your father might kill me.”
“Yeah, I’m sure Chloe’s gonna take the news much better. Since she hates me.”
“I think we should have split them up,” Chase groaned. “I’ll take Chloe, you take Jack.”
“Little late for that,” she sighed, walking across the beach to where Jack, and Chloe were relaxing on a towel, Tony sleeping peacefully in Chloe’s arms.
Jack stood up to hug Kim while Angela climbed onto the towel to stare at the baby.
“I want a baby to live at our house,” she informed the adults.
Chase sighed and settled next to his daughter, smiling at Chloe and her son.
“So,” Chloe demanded, “why are we here?”
Kim glanced at the woman nervously. “I thought it would be nice if we all spent some time together.”
Chloe eyed Kim suspiciously. “Really?”
“It is nice,” Jack said quickly.
Chloe rolled her eyes. “Why don’t you just get to the point?”
“Take it easy on her darlin’,” Chase murmured.
Chloe glared at him. “Jack, Chloe, we brought you here to tell you we’re dating because we’re really terrible at keeping it a secret even though one of us used to be a government agent. It’s not really that hard.”
Chase and Kim stared at her incredulously.
“How long have you known,” Chase sighed.
She shrugged. “It wasn’t really hard to figure out. You were both suddenly less depressed and busier.”
“We were trying to take things slow,” Chase explained, “get it right this time.”
“And since keeping it a secret from me worked so well last time you decided to try it again,” Jack muttered.
“Sorry,” Chase said, ducking his head sheepishly.
Jack turned to Kim. “Are you happy?”
“If you leave her again I’ll kill you,” Jack warned.
“If I leave again I’ll deserve it,” Chase promised. “So,” he added, leaning closer to Chloe, “what do you think darlin’?”
“I’ve been trying to get Jack to help me get the two of you together forever,” Chloe answered.
“You have,” Kim whispered, shocked.
Chloe shrugged. “I want you to be happy,” she told Chase. “And it seems like this was the only thing that was going to make you happy.”
Chase wrapped his arms around her in a warm hug. “She does darlin’. She makes me happy.”
“So can we go get something to eat now,” Chloe asked.
“Not yet,” Jack said quickly.
“Why not,” she demanded.
“Just a few more minutes,” he promised.
“What exactly are we waiting for?”
“Look up,” he instructed.
Chloe glanced at the sky and then glared at him. “The sun is blinding. Just another reason we should go get food.”
“Chloe, look at the sky,” he pleaded.
“Darlin’,” Chase urged, “do what he says.”
Chloe looked up again, squinting. “Okay, what am I supposed to be looking at, because all I see is one of those planes people hire to pull the advertising behind them and unless it’s an advertisement for some fantastic place to eat…” she said, her voice trailing off as she read the sign.
“Chloe, will you marry me,” Jack asked, repeating the words she’d just read.
“You did this,” she asked, suddenly feeling confused and overwhelmed.
“Answer him darlin’,” Chase murmured.
Chloe stood up, letting Kim hold Tony and taking Jack by the hand, dragging him a few feet away. “I told you, I don’t need you to marry me. Can we just go get something to eat?”
“You’re saying no,” he sighed.
“I love you. I’m not getting married when I still feel like I’m fat from being pregnant.”
“We could have a long engagement.”
“People who have long engagements never get married,” she muttered. “Why can’t we just be us?”
After watching Jack’s face fall, Kim turned to Chase. “She said no,” she whispered.
“Better luck next time,” he sighed.
Jack lugged another box into Chase’s house. The younger man was right behind him, dropping a box on the floor.
Chase sighed. “You’re doing it all wrong.”
“I’m getting pretty good at moving my daughter’s stuff from place to place,” Jack muttered.
“Not the packing,” Chase corrected. “Chloe.”
“What about Chloe?”
“You really want to marry her?”
“Of course I do.”
“Then you need to ask her the right way.”
“Chloe’s been very firm about her lack of desire to be my wife.”
“Because you haven’t asked her right,” Chase insisted.
“What are you talking about?”
“I mean,” Chase paused. “I mean you need to stop thinking about what you think is romantic and showing her how much you love her and think about Chloe. I mean…a plane? On the beach? Really? For Chloe? In public, making her answer you like that…she was probably mortified.”
Jack shook his head. “So what do I do?”
Chase shrugged. “You think about Chloe. You know her. It’ll be easy, you’ll figure it out.”
“It’s a good thing you got all Kim’s stuff moved before it started to rain,” Chloe said, watching the fat raindrops pound against the bedroom window from her warm comfortable spot curled up on Jack’s chest in bed.
“She cannot move again this year,” Jack muttered. “I can’t move all her stuff.”
Chloe made sympathetic noises, kissing his skin lightly.
Their peaceful moment was interrupted by Tony’s cry.
“He’s hungry,” Chloe explained, moving to get him.
“I’ll bring him to you,” Jack offered, slipping out of bed.
He returned moments later with the baby in his arms, cooing softly and handing him to Chloe.
She smiled at her son, lifting her shirt so he could latch onto her breast and leaning against Jack.
“You’re so beautiful with him,” Jack murmured, watching them. “You’re such an amazing mother.”
Chloe blushed. “Thank you,” she said shyly. “I love him so much Jack.”
“And he loves you. And I love you.” Jack swallowed. “Chloe I love you so much. I know you say you don’t want it, but please, baby, marry me. I want us to be a family. We are a family,” he added quickly. “But I want you to be my wife. I want you to be mine forever, because I’m yours. I want to stand in front of all the people we care about and tell them how much I adore you, and cherish you, and promise that I always will.”
“Yes,” she said softly.
She wiped at her tears. “Yes Jack. I could never say no to something so perfect.”
He kissed the top of her head tenderly.
“I was afraid you didn’t want me for a husband,” he said quietly.
Chloe shifted, forcing him to look at her. “I was just waiting for it to feel right.”
“And it feels right now?”
“It feels perfect.”
“Are you alright,” Chase asked as they walked up the steps to the front door.
Kim nodded slowly. “Just tired.”
“We’ll stay home this weekend,” he promised. “Sleep in late and have breakfast in bed.”
“Sounds nice,” she murmured. “So Chloe didn’t get any hint about why they called us here?”
“Nope. Just said to wear nice clothes.”
Kim sighed. “That doesn’t sound frightening, not at all, Chloe advising us to dress up.”
Chase laughed, his fingers laced through hers as Angela rang the door.
Jack answered and ushered them quickly inside, Angela running ahead and through the house in search of the baby.
Kim hugged her father and glanced around. “So…what’s going on?”
Jack beamed. “We’re getting married.”
“Congratulations,” Chase said warmly.
“Wow,” Kim said, her mouth falling open in shock.
“What do you need us to do,” Chase asked.
“We got a little flower girl dress for Angela, and then just need a maid of honor and best man. The minister should be here soon.”
“Where’s Chloe,” Chase murmured.
“She’s still getting ready,” Jack explained.
Chase found her in bed, nursing Tony while Angela twirled around the room in her new dress.
“I hope you have a really pretty bridesmaids dress for me,” he chuckled.
“I’m sure I can find some maternity clothes that will really bring out your eyes.”
“I’d expect nothing less from you.”
“For what darlin’?”
“For everything,” she said softly.
Chase leaned forward to kiss the top of her head. “You deserve it all. Now let’s go make an honest man out of Jack Bauer.”
“Are you alright sweetheart,” Jack asked, watching Kim carefully.
“I’m fine Daddy. I’m just tired. I think I might lie down for a few minutes when I put Angela to bed.”
“Are you sure you shouldn’t just go home?”
“No,” she said firmly. “I’ll be fine and we’ll go on celebrating your wedding. I just need to rest for a few minutes.”
She got Angela comfortably tucked in in the guest room and moved to lie down next to her when she was hit with a bout of nausea that threatened to overwhelm her. She stumbled into the bathroom and emptied the contents of her stomach into the toilet, leaning back against the wall and trying to catch her breath.
When she finally felt strong enough she slowly pushed herself off the floor, holding onto the sink and washing her face off. She fought off another wave of nausea and made her way into the hallway where she found Chloe standing there, staring at her.
“Are you okay,” Chloe asked slowly, closing the space between them and offering Kim her arm.
“I think so.”
“I’ll get Chase,” Chloe offered after helping Kim settle in the bedroom.
“Wait,” Kim said, grabbing Chloe’s hand.
“Do you feel sick again?”
“No. Sort of. Do you have any pregnancy tests?”
Chloe nodded. “In the bathroom.”
“Can I have one?”
“Sure. Let me go get Chase.”
Kim shook her head. “Stay with me.”
“Really? I mean…Chase is a lot better at stuff like this than I am and he loves you.”
“Chloe, please stay.”
Chloe helped Kim to her feet and into the bathroom where the younger woman swayed slightly before vomiting into the toilet again.
She was surprised when she felt Chloe’s hands carefully pulling her hair back and rubbing slow circles on her back. When she was finally done Chloe offered her a cool washcloth to clean her face with a cup of water to sip.
Chloe pressed a cool washcloth to Kim’s neck and another across her forehead.
“Thank you,” Kim said weakly.
“They should help you be a little less nauseous,” Chloe explained.
“I should take the test now, huh?”
“If you’re ready,” Chloe said, standing and pulling a box out of the cabinet.
Kim took the box from her hand and read over it.
“It’s two lines,” Chloe offered. “Pink ones.”
Kim nodded, taking the test and sitting on the edge of the bathtub before lowering herself to the floor and leaning against the wall.
After a moment Chloe sat next to her.
“Are you and my dad planning on having more kids,” Kim asked absently, gesturing to the test.
“We want more.”
“Are you trying?”
Kim closed her eyes. “The last time I thought I was pregnant I wasn’t. I cried for days.”
“I’m sorry,” Chloe said softly.
“I finally got over it, I finally feel like if Angel’s the only kid I ever get to have, then I’m really lucky. Not that I don’t want more, but she’s such an amazing kid…thank you. I know how much you helped Chase.”
Chloe shook her head. “She’s yours. She always has been, even when you weren’t there.” Chloe glanced at the clock. “It should be done now.”
Kim opened her eyes and stared at the two pink lines in front of her.
“Ninty-nine percent anyway,” Chloe murmured. “Congratulations.”
“I have to tell Chase.”
“I’ll get him.” Chloe paused at the door. “He’s gonna ask you to marry him. I shouldn’t tell you, but when he does, I don’t want you to think it’s because you’re pregnant. He asked Jack for his blessing last week. Congratulations Kim.”
“Chloe said you’re sick,” Chase said, kneeling on the floor with Kim and rubbing her back. “Let’s get you home.”
Kim leaned against him, lacing her fingers through his.
He glanced up, his eyes landing on the pregnancy test. “Kimmie…are you…”
“I’m pregnant,” she said softly. “We’re pregnant.”
He kissed her cheek, his hand landing on her stomach. “We’re pregnant?”
He kissed her again and she could feel him smile against her skin. “Pregnant,” he repeated.
“What are you doing,” Jack asked curiously as he surveyed the magazines and notes covering the table in front of Kim.
“Trying to get everything finalized for the wedding so I don’t have to waddle down the aisle.”
“Is that what you really want?”
She sighed. “Daddy, I told you, I love Chase. I’m thrilled that we’re marrying and having this baby,” she added, rubbing her swollen stomach.
“That’s not what I mean. I told you, if you trust Chase, then I do too.”
“Then what are you talking about?”
“Do you really want to rush your wedding?”
“I don’t want my water to break while I’m in the middle of my vows,” she groaned.
“So you’re happy with a small, simple ceremony?”
“You had one.”
“Chloe wanted something like it. She didn’t want lots of flowers and people.”
Kim shrugged. “It was a nice wedding.”
“It was wonderful. For me and for Chloe.”
“But I still remember when you were a little girl and you ran around the house dressed up like a bride and dreaming of your wedding day.”
“I was just a kid then Daddy.”
“I don’t want you to regret this. I don’t want you to be disappointed.”
“I want us to be a family, me, Chase, Angela, and this baby, before she’s born. I want to be somebody you can be proud of…somebody mom would be proud of,” she whispered.
“Kimberly,” he said, cupping her chin and tilting her head until she was looking him in the eye, “I am so incredibly proud of the person that you are and I always will be, and your mother was here, she would be too. You would make her proud. And Chloe’s taught me a lot of things, but the most important one was that you don’t need rings, or a ceremony, or paper to be a family. You and Chase and Angela and my new granddaughter are already a family.”
He nodded, chuckling when the baby kicked. “She agrees with me. You’re only going to get this day once Kim, wait, and plan it just like you always wanted it.”
Chase led Jack and Chloe through the house, upstairs to the bedroom that they entered quietly. Kim was dozing lightly, the baby, born only hours earlier, sleeping on her chest.
“We could come back,” Chloe whispered. “She should rest.”
“I’m awake,” Kim yawned. “Teresa needs to meet her grandfather.”
Jack blinked away tears, moving to the edge of the bed. “She’s beautiful. She looks like you did when you were born.”
“Yeah.” He grinned. “You had all kinds of dark hair, your mom was convinced you were going to look just like her.”
Kim stared at her daughter. “I miss her Daddy.”
Jack moved to hug her carefully. “I know sweetheart.”
Kim slowly transferred the sleeping baby to Jack’s arms, leaning back against the pillow.
“There’s something we want to tell you,” Jack murmured. “A baby present, sort of.”
“What’s that?” Kim asked, opening her eyes.
“Chloe stepped forward and handed her a small card. “It’s a save the date card,” she informed her.
“You’re already married,” Kim said. “And you didn’t even send out invitations, you just invited us to your house and informed us you were getting married.”
“It’s not my wedding,” Chloe muttered.
“I just gave birth. Please don’t make me think.”
“It’s our wedding,” Chase grinned.
“What wedding? We don’t have a wedding. I…I stopped making plans, I was so busy being pregnant and exhausted and huge.”
Jack stroked the baby’s soft skin, his granddaughter, and she slowly opened her wide blue eyes to look at him. Kim’s eyes. “We planned your wedding,” he murmured. “I wanted to make sure you had your dream wedding. If there’s anything in the plans you don’t like, we’ll change it, or we can scrap the whole thing and start over, but I want to give you everything you ever wanted.”
“Daddy,” she whispered, hugging him tightly. “Thank you.”
The chapel overlooked the ocean, Kim had discovered it when she was pregnant and searching for a place to have Teresa’s christening.
The dress was white lace, chosen because it reminded her of the pictures of her mother at her wedding. Her mother had been pregnant with her when she’d married her father, a small ceremony in her grandparent’s backyard. When Kim was little she’d been fascinated by the pictures, both of her parents looking so young, her mother glowing.
The room they’d given her to get ready in even had its own ocean views, when she propped the window open she could hear the waves crashing against the beach. Teresa was sleeping next to her in her own white frilly dress, and Angela was running around outside in her dress, being bribed by Jack to please wear the pretty flowers in her hair.
“It’s bad luck for you to be here,” Kim murmured when Chase pushed open the door.
“You want me to go?”
He smiled at her and settled next to her, reaching over to stroke their daughter’s cheek. “I love you Kimmie.”
Kim kissed him softly on the lips. “I have all the things I always wanted, the things I never thought I’d get. You, Teresa, Angela, my dad’s in my life.”
“And I have all my girls,” he grinned. “And you’re going to be my wife.”
“Just a few more hours.”
“I can wait. I’ve been waiting for you for years.”
Jack found Chloe sitting outside the reception on the deck, looking out across the ocean. He slipped into the seat next to her, his hand landing on her swollen belly.
She leaned against him, sighing.
“Tired,” he asked.
“I thought the wedding was nice.”
Chloe smiled, turning to look back inside at Chase and Kim dancing. “She’s happy Jack.”
“And that makes me happy.”
“Because you’re a wonderful father.”
“Do you want to go home,” he murmured.
She shook her head. “Let’s stay for awhile.”
Jack pecked her on the cheek. “Nice view.”
Chloe smiled at him. “Did I ever tell you I loved to do puzzles when I was kid?”
He chuckled. “My baby was a genius from the very beginning.”
“I liked the challenge, moving all the pieces around until they fit.”
“I bet you were good at it too.”
She shrugged. “Sometimes it feels like we were puzzle pieces Jack. You and me and Chase and Kim, and we had to keep moving around until we fit, so that we could all end up here in the right place.”
“And you made sure we did. You made sure we all ended up right where we were supposed to.”
“With a little help,” she smiled, leaning back to kiss him.