I think I'm pregnant.
He had been holding her hands when she'd told him. Instead of pulling away or standing up and pacing, he remained where he was and gripped her hands a little tighter.
It was only natural to be stunned by those words, wasn't it? Nothing could have prepared him for them. He had noticed Roxy had been feeling a little under the weather, but somehow Jack Winston had been naive enough to think it wasn't a big deal. He'd even gone out and bought her a stomach bug survival kit that included Pepto Bismol, ginger ale, and potato chips. It seemed silly now, that he hadn't thought of the most likely scenario. It wasn't as if they were abstinent – far from it, really.
They couldn't know for sure without seeing a doctor, something she wanted to wait until their return to Boston to face. Familiar territory, she had said, and he couldn't blame her for not wanting to visit a doctor in Las Vegas. Besides, a few days of not knowing wouldn't be the end of him. If she was pregnant or if she wasn't, they would face it together. His opinion of her, his love for her – none of that would change.
He knew, without a doubt, that he wouldn't leave her over something like this, but his own insecurities had him wondering if it went both ways. What if she didn't want a child with him? What if she didn't want him in their life? Neither of them knew for sure if she was really pregnant, but his mind was already embracing it as truth. He was losing himself in the what-ifs without knowing if it was certain.
This was too much, too fast, even if he knew he wanted something like this with her eventually. Jack loved Roxy and could easily see himself starting a family with her, but it seemed so sudden. Somehow, he had convinced himself that everything would go according to plan and not get sorted out of order. Dating. Marriage. Children. That was how it worked, right?
His fears were eased once he realized that they were on the same page, which really shouldn't have come as a surprise to him. Both had begun to speak as if the baby was real and as if they intended to keep it in lieu of the alternatives. It gave him peace of mind and made it easy to start living as he would be a father in nine months time. They were going to do this, together.
It was that optimism that made the Monday morning doctor's visit all the more disappointing.
He'd squinted looking at the image on the ultrasound machine, trying to find any sign of life. A speck, a dot, something. The seriousness on the technician's face only made it worse. Did anyone have proper bedside manner anymore? The minutes went by agonizingly slow, almost as if some all powerful being was torturing him. Probably Thanos, as usual. Somehow, they made it through and were instructed to meet the doctor in his office. He was nervous, but it didn't stop him from smiling once Roxy finally joined him. His hand was on hers no sooner than the doctor had turned the knob to enter the room.
He had spent the week accepting her pregnancy as real, so to hear that it wasn't made him feel sick to his stomach. He should have been relieved, yet he wasn't. How could she have all the symptoms but not have a baby growing inside of her? He was confused and uncertain and wondering what the right thing to say to Roxy was. Was this disappointment? Had accepting her pregnancy and acting accordingly as not to alarm their friends made him want it to be real? It wasn't as if they had been trying, so why was he so upset about this?
The expression on her face made him believe she felt similarly. He spent the entire drive back to his house (because they had decided that morning that not using his teleportation device would make them feel more normal) mulling over what he could possibly say to make this better. It was no good that he'd come up empty, even after seeing her touching her stomach from the corner of his eye. He should have been relieved, but instead he felt numb.
As they walked through the front door and were greeted by his many pets, he realized that maybe words weren't the right way to go about it. Even his own mood couldn't stop him from smiling upon seeing the dogs and cats. Comfort came in many forms. They would deal with what the doctor's diagnosis meant in time, he knew that, but there were other ways to reassure her. All that truly mattered was making certain she knew he was there for her, no matter what, just as he had promised when they were first greeted with the possibility of a child.
And so he took her hand, squeezed it gently, and said the only thing he thought to be safe.
"I love you."