On May 7th, 2020 Alex Morgan gave birth to a wonderful baby girl named Charlie. Naturally everyone on the team was ecstatic to be aunties to a new baby. When Alex first brought Charlie to camp the team was simply obsessed with her. Fierce competition arose to be little Charlie’s favorite. By the end of the camp it became clear that no one could compete with Kelley for best auntie.
Kelley who would change diapers, hold Charlie even as she screamed at the top of her lungs, gladly feed her if Alex was busy, make silly faces for hours just to get a giggle, and everything else you can imagine.
The jokes about Kelley stealing Charlie away from Alex of course started from none other than Sonnett. “Al better watch out at this rate Kelley’s gonna sneak your whole baby into her suitcase just to take her home!”
Alex always just laughed them off and said something about how she was lucky to have such a great best friend. Kelley on the other hand didn’t take them in stride.
The night the first joke was told Kelley found her way to Emily’s room and politely told her to “Shut the fuck up!” Really Emily hadn’t done anything, but Kelley still felt attacked. When morning came the following day Kelley found herself at the same room again to apologize for her harsh words the night before. It’s not like Sonnett had meant any harm after all she didn’t know everything.
She didn’t know about how sometimes Kelley liked to daydream and pretend whenever she was around Charlie.
The first time it happened Kelley mentally scolded herself and vowed to never let her mind go there. Of course it didn’t work because Kelley had never had much self control when it came to anything involving Alex.
Days passed and she began to accept the twisted things her mind was envisioning.
Sometimes it was as simple as her and Alex teaching Charlie how to walk together. Other times it was as complicated as imagining herself there holding Alex’s hand while she pushed and pushed until a baby was out and she was looking up at Kelley with love filled eyes.
Kelley would always try not to dwell on the complicated ones for too long. She already spends most of time away from camp thinking about complicated ones anyway.
Normally the thoughts were easy to put on the back burner. Charlie, however, brought new and intense thoughts that simply couldn’t be ignored so easily.
The adorable bundle of joy was a constant reminder of what could’ve happened if Kelley had just been braver all those years ago. If she would have allowed herself to think of not only negative possibilities, but of the positive ones.
There had been moments throughout the years that upon reflection hadn’t been just friendly. Times when Alex would catch Kelley’s eye and a certain knowing smirk would appear on her face. Times when Alex’s hand would trail up her inner thigh until Kelley would let out a gasp. Times when Kelley caught Alex blatantly staring at her lips.
No matter how many of these moments there were Kelley never allowed herseld to act. The prospect of losing Alex was always too terrifying for her to change anything.
Kelley hadn’t even broke at Alex’s wedding when she was in the dressing room with a panic ridden bride. A plea was never explicitly made, but the look in Alex’s ice blue eyes gave her away. Written in her eyes was something along the lines of, ‘Tell me to stop this so it can be us.’
The silent plea went unanswered and Alex made her way down the aisle to a man who would love her endlessly.
Emily would never know because she hadn’t been one of the ones to find Kelley hysterical in the bathroom during the reception. That was Christen and Tobin who had always been able to read Kelley like a book.
They stayed by Kelley the rest of the night acting as supoort beams for the shorter brunette. The pair wasn’t here now though which just made everything harder.
Both of them were off playing for Man United in Europe. While Kelley was happy that they finally got to play on the same team she really wished they were here right about now because she was sobbing in her hotel room.
The phone only rang twice before Christen answered with a sweet, “Hey Kell how’s camp?” Despite growing apart over the years Christen never once acted bitter to her. Part of that might be because while Kelley drifted to Alex, Christen even farther drifted to Tobin. On rough nights Kelley resented how things had worked out so perfect for two of her best friends.
“Christen I can’t do this!” The exclamation comes out in a choked sob that Christen knows is synonymous with Alex.
“Can’t do what Kell? Please try to breathe for me before you answer.”
For once Kelley follows instructions and does try to take a few deep breaths before answering. This time is comes out much more controlled.
“Chris she brought Charlie to camp and I can’t deal with it. Charlie’s just the perfect baby you’ll love her when you meet her. I just keep thinking about how I could’ve I don’t know... had something like a Charlie with Alex.”
“Oh Kell...” Christen sighs as she tries to come up with anything to make her friend feel better.
“I know it’s so stupid and I should just be happy for her since she’s my very best friend, but I just keep having all these thoughts. It hurts so much and I can’t get away from it without being called out for being a shitty friend.”
The last thing was perhaps a little over dramatic. No one would dare to call Kelley a shitty friend, but they could sure think it.
“Kell I don’t want to upset you, but I want to say something honest. Can I do that?”
She takes the silence as a sign to continue.
“You have to get over it. Whatever way you do that is up to you, but you need to do something. You have a responsibly to be her best friend and you chose that route when it came down to it. I don’t want you to feel guilty about that because it was the acceptable thing to do, but you have to accept the consequences. You can’t just check out of her life so you need to find another way to deal with these feelings. I want what’s best for you Kell and I don’t want to put yourself through this forever.”
Christen was right of course. Kelley basically did choose this when she didn’t say anything at the wedding. Didn’t make dealing with it any easier.
“Should I talk to her? I’ve heard closure can be helpful in moving on.”
“Whatever you think Kell you know Alex much better than I do.”
After that the topic was dropped and it shifted to how Christen thought Tobin was going to propose soon. Kelley called being one of the bridesmaids since she had essentially gotten them together. Christen put up no objection only saying that she’s after both her sisters.
Upon hanging up Kelley actually feels a lot better. Not nearly good enough to face one on one Alex tonight, but good enough to go socialize at dinner.
Dinner was a pretty good experience for Kelley. It always is when she’s in between her two favorite youngsters Lindsey and Sonnett. The two produced joke after joke only stopping to take large bites of food.
The two reminded her a bit of a younger Kelley and Alex. Stares that went on too long accompanied by flirty jokes and longing looks. Plus the fact both had confessed their feelings for eachother to Kelley.
Maybe things would work out for them.
Despite her good attitude Kelley elects to head to bed after dinner. Her decision came with many questioning faces since she never just went to bed.
The most questioning one, which Kelley completely missed, came from Alex. Alex who gave the excuse of needing to check on Charlie who was napping just to quietly follow Kelley to her room.
She wasn’t discovered until Kelley was shutting her room door. At the sight of Alex Kelley yelped and shot into the air.
“God, Al what are you doing here?” For just being scared Kelley’s tone was oddly controlled which she was thankful for.
“I wanted to check on you. I’ve been on this team with you long enough to know that you never just go to bed. Not even after a huge game. So what’s wrong?”
‘Just like Alex to get straight to the point’ Kelley thinks to herself.
“Nothings wrong like so said I’m just tired.” The agitated tone in her voice doesn’t go unnoticed by her teammate. It makes her decide to change her approach though.
“Okay whatever you say, but you should totally let me in. Don’t even say you’re tired because bonding time is way more important since we almost never get to see eachother anymore.”
There’s no real argument against that. Both girls had been extra busy recently. That and Kelley has been avoiding Alex just a bit.
Alex is reluctantly let into the hotel room and their night of bonding begins.
Despite Kelley’s original discomfort she eventually feels the extreme comfort thats she’s always felt in her best friends presence.
They discuss the easy things like the Washington Spirit trade and then not so easy things like when they’ll have to retire from the game. It’s unspoken but they both know Kelley will go out first because of the ankle injury that just won’t go away.
Everything is just peachy until the sound of a ring tone fills the room. Without thinking about it Kelley’s eyes read the screen.
Alex doesn’t even bat an eye at her phone and just continues telling a story about playing in Europe.
A few seconds go by before the annoyed look on Kelley’s face is noticed.
“Kell what’s up you look like a 1st grader whose marker got stolen?”
Not only does her facial expression not change, but she uses Alex instead of Al or Lex.
“Don’t lie to me Kelley I’m your best friend I can see right through that.”
The plan was to do this sometime tomorrow, but plans can always change.
“Fine you wanna know what’s wrong?”
Alex opens her mouth to answer but doesn’t get the chance.
“What’s wrong is everything. Everything is fucking wrong. You gave birth to a beautiful baby and I can’t bring myself to be really happy for you. What kind of a friend does that make me huh?”
What Kelley’s saying completely shocks Alex. With the way Kelley had acted with Charlie no one could ever possibly tell she was feeling anything but joy for her best friend.
“Kell what are you talking about? You love Charlie anyone can see that.”
At least a minute goes by before Kelley says anything else.
“I regret it everyday you know?”
This whole conversation is making absolutely no sense to Alex. Why would Kelley regret anything that had to do with someone else’s daughter? Much less her best friends.
“Regret what Kell?”
“I do love Charlie so much. Of course I do, but I can’t be happy about it. Everytime I see her all I feel is regret.”
“You’re not making any sense here Kell.”
“Let me finish please Alex or else I’ll never get it out.”
Kelley takes Alex’s silence as a cue to continue.
“I regret your wedding everyday. There we were in your dressing room and I knew what you wanted. I didn’t show it or say anything but god I knew exactly what you wanted. I should’ve fucking... I should’ve been brave.”
Tears were beginning to cloud her vision.
“I’ve regretted not stopping it everyday since then. If I had just said something maybe we could have a Charlie together you know? It’s so selfish of me Alex I know. I love Charlie so much, but I desperately wish she was ours instead of just yours.”
In front of her Alex sits slack jawed. Whatever Alex had been suspecting it wasn’t this at all.
Her best friend sat across from her with tears running down her cheeks and shaky hands. Something that always happened when she really was nervous. The sight of it had to be one of the most heart breaking things she’d ever seen.
She was so focused on the girl who just confessed so much that she didn’t even notice her own tears forming.
“I love you Alex. I’ve always loved you and I’m so sorry I didn’t tell you when it still mattered. I just couldn’t do anything that would put me in a position to lose you. Now I’ve probably done that so guess it was all for fucking nothing.”
Kelley begins to stand up but Alex’s hand grabbing her wrist stops her.
“Sometimes I wish she was ours too.”
Kelley finds herself sitting back on the bed.
“Watching you with her is so hard for me because it makes me think about how great of a mom you’d be. Then it always turns into how great of a mom you would’ve been to Charlie if it had been you. If you’re this good as an aunt I can only imagine how good you’d be if it was as more.”
Silence falls over the both of them as they try to figure out what to say. Nothing that comes to mind really feels right. Finally Alex settles on something simple.
“Kelley it does still matter.”
“What still matters?”
“That you love me.”
“Because that’s all I’ve ever needed to hear. On my wedding day I settled for someone who doesn’t make me feel half as much as I feel for you. I regret it everytime I even think of you.”
This time the silence that follows is from shock. Shock for Kelley about the fact Alex feels any of that and shock for Alex that she just admitted that.
“What does this mean for us?” Kelley has to be the one to ask it because after all Alex is the one with a husband.
“I don’t know Kell. All I know is that I want you more than anything in the world.”
“Lex would it be okay if I...”
“Kiss me Kelley.”
“Promise we’ll figure everything out after?”
And they do.