It was true. It had actually, finally happened. They had been trying for almost 18 months and now this was it. She was pregnant.
It had been such a long time coming, she hadn't dared to think about the possibility that it would happen and she would feel this happy. Now she had to figure out how to tell her wife. Her wonderful, beautiful, amazing wife Cheryl, who had shared her heartache through every step of this journey so far.
She knew Cheryl would be over the moon.
Becoming parents had been something they had thought long and hard about before finally deciding that it was the right decision for their family.
Toni knew she didn't want to just come out with it. This was too special for that. She eventually settled on a poem, which she framed and wrapped beautifully, a skill she had learned from Cheryl's elaborate love for wrapping gifts.
She finished the gift with a large red and purple bow, no other colors feeling fitting for the couple.
Toni lit the fire, wanting to make the room cosy for when Cheryl returned from her business trip. Three days apart was far too long.
"Toni?" Cheryl was home less than half an hour later, keen to see her wife.
"Right here.." Toni grinned nervously, appearing in the hallway and instantly wrapping her arms around Cheryl's neck, pulling her close for a loving kiss. "God I missed you."
"I missed you too my love" Cheryl tucked some of Toni's faded pink hair behind her ear, leaning back to gaze into her eyes.
"I lit the fire, come sit.." Toni trailed her fingers down Cheryl's arm till she reached her hand, interlinking their fingers and pulling her gently towards the fluffy rug in front of the fire.
Cheryl might have found Toni's apparent need to be close to her somewhat concerning had she been anyone else, but this was them. Cheryl and Toni. Even after 17 years, they were just as much in love as they were when they were 16, probably more if that were even possible.
Once they were settled on the rug, Toni pulled out the gift she had tucked away, presenting it to Cheryl, her eyes shining with unshed tears.
"I got you something" she whispered, placing it delicately in Cheryl's hands.
"Do you want me to open now TT?" Cheryl checked softly, concern growing at the tears Toni couldn't hide.
"Yes please.." she watched Cheryl intently, the warmth from the flames of the fire hugging them like a warm blanket.
Cheryl carefully removed the bow, opening the wrapping to reveal a frame.
"Read it out loud baby" Toni moved closer to Cheryl.
Cheryl ran her eyes over it, before starting to read:
Adventure is out there,
I know this to be true.
All my greatest adventures,
have always been with you.
Adventure is out there,
you always make it so.
whenever inhibition finds me,
you remind me to let go.
Adventure is out there,
All of mine with you.
Your loving arms to strengthen me,
Whenever I feel blue.
Adventure is out there,
So much fun for you and me.
Whatever life may throw at us,
The good you help me see.
Adventure is out there,
and it will always be,
now that the two of us,
are soon to become three!
Baby Topaz-Blossom, coming soon!
Cheryl was already feeling emotional as she read the words out loud, even more so when she reached the end.
"Oh my god..Toni..." she put the frame down and pulled Toni into her lap. "We're having a baby. It worked this time!" She kissed Toni through her tears, a happy laugh escaping her lips. "I can't believe it.."
"Neither can I, but it's true babe. Our beautiful baby, made entirely from love. I booked us an early scan next week to confirm dates."
They were both crying now, holding each other close as they just let themselves feel and be in the moment.
Cheryl ran her hand gently over Toni's currently flat stomach. "Hi little one.." she whispered, Toni moved off her lap onto the rug. Cheryl immediately leaned down to kiss her stomach, Toni's hand falling into red locks to lightly graze her scalp, Cheryl's warm breath tickling her stomach. "I can't wait to meet you."
"Look at you going all soft.."
"Only for you TT. And this little peanut.." she kissed her stomach again. "As far as anyone else is concerned, I'm still the HBIC I always was.."
"You keep telling yourself that baby.." Toni chuckled.
They thought a lot about when and how to tell their closest friends their exciting news.
They eventually settled on having them round for drinks one evening and telling them all together.
Cheryl was nothing if not extravagant, keen to turn telling them into something they would all remember. Their friends were aware of the struggles they had been through and Cheryl knew they were going to share their immense joy at such wonderful and life changing news.
After much discussion with Toni, Cheryl decided something more low key would be better; Toni suggesting maybe each of them get a t shirt printed. Toni thought hers could say "bun in the oven" and Cheryl's; "mommy to be." They could wear them under their jackets, revealing them when everyone was there.
That idea didn't last long though, Toni deciding that maybe that wasn't the best idea. But, exactly how they were to reveal things to their friends was a little undecided. They had discussed not saying anything and just letting their friends notice. Then they'd considered maybe doing a little speech, thanking their friends for their continued support before revealing the news.
"I can't believe I am so nervous.." Toni whispered, leaning close to Cheryl as they snuggled up in bed on the morning of the big reveal. They had decided Toni would show their friends some of her latest photos from a recent shoot, ending on a picture of her and Cheryl holding their recent baby scan proudly.
"Me too..I can't stop thinking about it.." Cheryl hummed, a hand falling to caress Toni's stomach lightly. A small bump was now visible under Toni's sleep shirt.
"Morning peanut.." Cheryl pushed Toni's shirt up to kiss her belly. "Me and momma are going to tell your aunts and uncles about you today.." she kissed her belly again, stilling her hands on either side of her belly button. "We've kept you our precious secret long enough. Now it's time to share the love."
Toni rested a hand over Cheryl's. "You're such a softie" she chuckled.
"As I always say...only for you TT. You and peanut here.."
They had Veronica and Archie, Betty and Jughead, Fangs and Kevin, plus Sweetpea coming round for lunch. Toni had set up her projector in the living room, ready to show them her photos once they were all here.
Once everyone was settled with drinks (Cheryl has insisted they all have a glass of the finest champagne), they took seats in the lounge, Toni stood anxiously at the front by her projector.
"So uh..I wanted to show you some of the pictures from my latest photo shoot" she started, trying to keep the wobble out of her voice. "I'd welcome any honest feedback from you guys..."
She started to show her photos to them..some beautiful natural landscapes, a flower head up close...various shots all taken outside. Toni spent time explaining each shot. Either passionately gushing about where each photo was taken, or explaining the inspiration behind specific photographs.
Then the final photo appeared on screen. It was of Cheryl and Toni standing together, each holding a side of the ultrasound in-front of them. Toni didn't say anything, her eyes meeting Cheryl's before they both watched the faces of their they loved most.
Silence fell over the room. It was seconds, but felt like hours, nobody saying anything as Toni waited with bated breath. Had this been a mistake? Was this a bad way to announce their special news?
A chorus of cheers and 'congratulations' erupted throughout the room, the grinning faces of their friends smiling back at the mothers to be.
"Congratulations Tiny!" Sweetpea exclaimed, jumping from his spot on the couch to pick up Toni and spin her around wildly. "I'm so happy for you. For both of you.." he grinned turning to Cheryl.
"Careful!" Cheryl scolded. "She's carrying precious cargo. She can't just go flying about like that Sweetpea. It isn't safe for her or the baby."
"Chill out Red, she's perfectly safe" he reassured her, stepping back to show Cheryl that Toni's feet were well and truly back on the ground. "Now come here and give me a hug...you know you want to."
Cheryl stepped up towards Sweetpea, him pulling her into an excited hug and spinning her around for good measure.
"Finally..." Veronica grinned, turning to Betty and giving her hand a squeeze. "We're gonna be aunts!"
"Sooo" Veronica smiled, Toni sitting down besides her and Betty. "How far along are you?"
"14 weeks" Toni smiled shyly at them. "We wanted to wait until we got to 12 weeks before we told anyone, but this was the first time we could get you all together."
"Has your bump popped yet?" Betty asked. "I remember feeling like mine hadn't for ages and then all of a sudden I woke up one day and there it was.."
"Yeah. A few weeks ago actually. Cheryl can't stop touching it and kissing it, it's adorable."
"That does not leave this room through" Cheryl warned, joining them. "I didn't build my reputation of being the most hard ass lawyer around by being adorable.."
We are really happy for you both. Our kids are gonna be cousins and friends" Betty squealed excitedly. "Isn't that nice Jug?"
"I'll tell you what would be nice" Jughead began with a smirk. "I have the perfect name for you to use. You can name him or her after me! Forsythe Pendleton IV. Sounds good, don't you think?"
"Seriously?" Cheryl fixed him with narrowed eyes. "Your own wife wouldn't let you name your child that, never mind ours."
"Cheryl? Toni? I’m so happy for you both" Archie smiled sincerely. "I know my dad would be too if he was here.." he trailed off, Veronica leaning over to squeeze his hand. "And anything you need sorting for the nursery...i'm your guy."
"Can we also get in on that?" Kevin interjected. "I'm sure between Fangs and myself we could design the most fabulous nursery for baby Topaz-Blossom. Or is it Blossom-Topaz? I'm never quite sure.."
"It's Topaz-Blossom my dear Kevin" Cheryl mock sighed. "And while we appreciate the offer..I think TT and I want to plan the nursery ourselves. Isn't that right my love?"
Toni nodded, interlinking their fingers.
"The offer is always there.." Kevin added, hoping maybe later they'd change their minds.
Ever the conscientious host, Cheryl decided it was time everyone had their drinks topped off.
The group took the opportunity to mingle and chat, enjoying the opportunity to catch up.
"Tiny.." Fangs tapped her on the shoulder, tears in his eyes. "I am beyond happy for the two of you. Ever since I've known you, I always knew you'd be an amazing mother one day. You've always been so kind..so nurturing to all of us. Your kid is one hell of a lucky kid to have you as one of its moms."
Toni sniffed, hugging Fangs tightly and thanked him. "You have no idea how much that means to me.." she pushed herself onto her tiptoes to kiss his cheek.
"I love you T. You were always the sister I wished I had growing up."
"And you have always been an amazing brother to me. I am glad my baby will have such a loving uncle on its side."
"Always.." he agreed.
A natural quiet fell over the group, Cheryl taking the opportunity to thank everyone for coming with an arm wrapped around her wife's waist lovingly.
"Thank you so much to you all for coming today and sharing in our joy. It's a little too early for a gender reveal just yet, but naturally we will be hosting something once we know for sure. I'll confirm a time and location with you all soon, but keep the afternoon of April 9th free."
"I'm assuming it will something grandiose?" Veronica was excited already.
"Of course. Only the best for my TT and our little peanut."
"You're Cheryl Topaz-Blossom. We wouldn't expect anything less."