My Baby is a 10
Sure Mike had seen footage of Ginny Baker before she'd gotten called up and yes he wasn't blind. But that wasn't enough to prepare him for the experience of seeing Ginny Baker walking onto the field in Petco. He was joking around with some of the guys when she walked up, immaculate uniform complete with Padres jacket and a slight dazed look in her eyes as though she couldn't believe where she was. He couldn't either. And he certainly couldn't believe that the first woman in Baseball looked like that. Sure, apparently the front office thought she could cut it...or they were completely desperate for tickets. Either way, he'd find out. Walking over to her, he grinned, smacking his gum. He didn't miss the way her eyes widened and her mouth pulled back in a hint of a smile, showing him that when she really gave him one he'd be witness to one of the most beautiful pair of dimples he'd ever seen. It was dangerous. He'd never seen a woman pull off a baseball uniform so well...and that was probably because she was the first and she'd definitely had assholes making every comment about her ass in the book. And it wouldn't be good for anyone if he hit on her. She was his teammate, for now. So he'd treat her like any other of the guys. "Ginny Baker in the flesh." He said. Granted, he acted like an asshole, but he made sure she knew just how much prettier Dicaprio was...yeah. He'd nailed it. There was no way she knew that the sparkle in her eyes when she'd first looked at him made feel something he thought had died after Rachel.
It didn't go away. He'd expected to get used to her, but apparently no one ever got used to Ginny Baker. So when she asked him to dance, he casually (he hoped) brushed her off. Let her think he was a grumpy old man, he didn't care...He watched her, though. swinging her hips in time to the music, her hair flying as she moved, the lights making her ethereal. He put his beer down and told Blip he was leaving. He needed to find a way to chase away the distraction. Taking the long way out of the club, he was strangely aware of her presence. Going out into the eerily quiet lobby, he caught sight of her agent sitting at the bar. He sat next to her. He told himself it was what he wanted. After all he was Mike Lawson, he could have anyone he wanted. So what if he was ultra focused on the pale skin and pin straight blonde hair in an attempt to banish the image of bronze curls and warm brown skin.
It was safe to say that he was far gone. He could feel her gaze, all the way from the pitcher's mound. He'd often heard other pitchers and catchers talk about how sometimes the entire crowd disappeared, but in all his years of playing, he'd never actually experienced it...until Ginny. He couldn't hear the crowd, the other guys in the dugout, the opposing team muttering insults. No...all that was there was Ginny and her calling off his damn calls. She was infuriating and smug, especially when, and this happened rarely, she was right. Then he'd be treated to her gloating all through the bus ride or after game drinks. It was the best collaboration he'd ever had since he'd begun playing...and then they called up Livan.
Mike was furious and frustrated. The two of them had such an easy chemistry, which was hardly surprising as Ginny Baker could melt her way into anyone's heart. But there was something about Livan sharing that connection with her that made him want to punch the smug sonuvabitch in the face. He'd just gotten to a place in his career where he could feel everything he wanted just out of his reach. It was slipping away from him and no matter what he did, he knew...his time on the Padres (with her) was limited. Livan would be her catcher for longer than him. Then she turned to him during Livan's first start. She asked him to make the call. Mike felt a sense of satisfaction, knowing his opinion mattered more to Ginny than Livan. But the faint ache in his knees reminded him that he had a responsibility. As much as he would like to boss Livan around...he needed to do what was best for the team. And Ginny needed to learn how to trust the person behind homeplate. So he told her so.
"We're working with a super model." Robles was looking at him and Blip as though he expected them to start drooling over Ginny the same way he was. As though it was normal to completely dumbstruck by her or see her as anything more than a teammate. He dragged him into a side room, intent on making him know just how stupid he sounded. In love with Ginny Baker? He didn't see past the surface, he didn't know the multitude of things that made Ginny Baker the most wonderful person he'd ever meet, but Mike did and he wasn't in love with her...as soon as the words left his lips, he caught sight of the disbelieving look in Blip's eyes...and he realized he'd made a mistake. Robles wasn't the delusional one in love with Ginny; he was.
Her crush on Mike Lawson had started during one of the long Saturday morning MLB game marathons. Most kids got Saturday morning cartoons. Ginny got VHS tapes her father had recorded of every game that had taken place in the season. She remembered that morning as though it was yesterday. She was 8 years old and the Padres were playing the Orioles. She was lying on her stomach, her upper body propped up on her elbows. Her scalp was stinging because her mother had insisted she start the day by brushing her hair. As there was little time during the week to take care of her hair and the amount of work she did was strenuous, the knots had taken an hour to take care of. Her mother had lamented her not going to a hair salon to get her hair done, but it wasn't worth the expense to have her sweat out a hair treatment. The Padres were losing and Ginny was bored. It was the 4h inning and her father had called it; they wouldn't win. Ginny didn't like that. Her favorite color was blue and she wanted them to win simply because they were losing. The bases were loaded.
"There's no way they pull this off." Her father said, dismissively. "They'd need a miracle."
And that miracle came in the form of rookie catcher Mike Lawson. He hadn't gone behind the plate for the opening of the game, but they were starting him as a hitter. Ginny watched as his picture came up with his minor leagues stats. They were pretty impressive and she hoped they could be enough to get the Padres the hit they needed. He swaggered up to the plate, smiling at the camera. Behind her, her father let out an annoyed grunt. "He's too cocky." He said. "Rookies need to prove themselves, Ginny."
The pitch came...and Mike Lawson hit it out of the park. Ginny's mouth hung open as she watched him round the bases. He threw the camera one last grin as he was met by his teammates at the plate. His hazel eyes flashed with happiness and Ginny swore he was looking at her. The Padres won the game and the next day Ginny used her allowance to buy Mike Lawson's rookie card.
The poster was gag gift from Will. He'd seen her carrying the rookie card and wanted to tease her because she had a crush. At first she was embarrassed, but...looking at it hanging behind her bed, she had to admit there were worse things brother could have gotten her. And it met with her father's approval because it was baseball related. Other girls had posters of pop singers and boy bands...she had Mike Lawson.
So when she got to meet him for the first time, she could hardly believe her luck. She was going to be pitching to her favorite player in the MLB. He was different now, not as slim as the poster and the beard was a new development that she didn't know if she could get used to. And it turned out that he was a jerk. She shut him down and walked away, her head held high. She didn't feel his eyes on her back as she walked away. No, definitely not. She didn't know what she'd expected, him to fall over himself because he'd met her? "Rookies need to prove themselves, Ginny." Her father's words bounced around in her mind. She might have made it to the majors, but she hadn't proved herself yet.
The first game was a disaster. She threw again and again. She could hear her father in the back of her head. "Again." Something moved behind her and in her haze she imagined Mike was standing there, watching her. She shook off the feeling and kept throwing.
The pressure at her next start was exponentially worse. All around her were screaming fans, and every time one of her pitches went wild she could feel the oppressive disappointment and the smug satisfaction of the people who wanted her to fail. Then Mike called for a time out and ran up to the mound, pulling up his mask. His eyes were focused on her face as he delivered a speech completely devoid of the snarky ego she'd come to expect from him. "You do this, for you." He said. He was right and while her inner 8 year old was squealing that THE Mike Lawson had given her a pep talk, her 23 year old self prepared to focus on the task at hand. She was exactly where she was supposed to be; she'd made it. Whatever anyone else thought, she knew that.
"Damn I'm good." Mike's self congratulatory comment pulled her out of her thoughts. "I mean aim your pitches if you're aiming to please." His signature smirk was back in place. Ginny rolled her eyes and focused on the game.
It was safe to say she'd seen more of Mike Lawson in the last 2 months than she'd ever thought she'd get to see in her lifetime. But he was leaving. He'd decided to abandon the team. Sure, she tried to be supportive, but it felt personal. She was watching him at batting practice. His irritation at the world and the determined gleam in his eyes hurt her. He didn't want to leave; she knew that. Deep down he wanted to stay in San Diego. He was getting more frustrated as he kept missing the ball.
"Come on, Lawson." She taunted. His jaw tightened slightly. "All these people paid good money and you're out here hitting bombs."
He scuffed the ground with his shoes, getting back in focus. A slight smile teased the corner of his mouth. It was working. She kept at it, ribbing him for missing the ball. The crack of the first hit resounded in her ears and shock her to her core. She grinned and praised him. He threw a glance over his shoulder before preparing to hit the next ball and their eyes met. There was something dark and intense in them. Ginny pressed her thighs together as he turned and hit another ball out of the park. She brushed it off as her childhood crush manifesting itself, but as Mike walked out of the batting cage and looked at her again, she wasn't so sure. He paused, his mouth slightly open as though he was going to say something. Ginny found herself waiting for it with bated breath, the world around them suddenly melting. Then he closed his mouth, his eyes dropping slightly before he nodded, turning away from her.
She didn't even hesitate when he called. She smiled and made an excuse to Noah before meeting him at Boardner's. It was a hole in the wall that was out of the way so they were less likely to be recognized. He was the only other person besides the bartender there. He was nursing his drink, his eyes on the bar in front of him. He probably didn't think that she was coming. She allowed herself one long look at him before he became aware of her. He was flexing his fingers around his glass, his shoulders slightly slumped. His expression was open, vulnerable. Ginny swallowed. Just a crush, she told herself as she called out "Lawson." Just a meaningless childhood crush. He looked up and his eyes widened as he leaned back slightly taking her in. She knew the dress she had on worked; she'd worn it on a date for a reason. But the way Noah had looked at her was nothing compared to the naked admiration in Mike's eyes. Not a childhood crush. Not even close.
We dressin to the 9
Oh that dress. If Mike didn't know how screwed he was, that dress would have been his wake up call. Hell, he wasn't sure he'd been awake before this. Even that red couture dress hadn't worked as well, but...that might have had something to do with the fact that he'd been too preoccupied with Ginny being mad at him to pay too much attention to how she was dressed.
He didn't want to leave her like this. He didn't want to go to Chicago with...things left unsaid, but he didn't know how to say them. He didn't know if he should. Ginny's career, everything she'd worked so hard for was too important to jeopardize with his feelings. In the grand scheme of things, he was negligible. No matter how he felt, he couldn't have her be trapped in the web of disaster that always seemed to follow him. And who was to say she felt the same?
She was getting into the car, about to leave him. He didn't know where they would go from here, but it felt...wrong to leave it this way between them.
"Hey Ginny." He called out. She stopped and turned, looking at him, her lips parted slightly, her hair softly falling down her shoulders. She was back-lit by the street lamps and...he was dumbstruck. Could she ever not look like she was stepping off the cover of a magazine or a movie set? He swallowed, shifting side to side, not sure what he'd planned on saying.
"Ginny?" She said, amused at his use of her first name. Had he used it before? He couldn't remember. Whatever he'd thought he'd say went out the window. So he went with "I nailed your cleats."
She threw back her head and let out that horsey laugh of hers that warmed him. She came close and pulled him into a hug. He held her close, thrilling in the feeling of holding her against him. He wasn't sure when it changed, but suddenly she was inches away from him, so kissable and close.
Stepping away from her was torture, but necessary. Her awkwardness the next day didn't help. It was messing with his head to be this close to her and not be able to be with her. He wanted her and now...now he knew she wanted him too. It was driving him crazy, so he did what he always did, he avoided the issue. He and Ginny couldn't happen. Then Rachel was in front of him, telling him she was single and he knew her well enough to know she missed him. He went to her, trying to chase Ginny out of his mind. This is what he wanted, he told himself as he was with her. This is what he'd been trying to get all this time.
The next day he was sitting alone in the dark in his house watching the TV where footage of Ginny clutching her arm as she feel played on repeat. All anyone could say was that her career was over, that she was done. He couldn't believe it was true. Ginny deserved that uniform more than anyone.
She was going through the paper work to be released from the hospital when he barged into her room.
"Thank god you're still here."
She looked at him in surprise. "Mike..." he looked her over before turning to the nurse.
"What do I need to know."
She frowned, glaring at him. What the hell was he doing. "What?" She asked
"You're coming home with me rook." he said as though it was the most obvious thing in the world. Ginny blinked before looking over at the nurse.
"Could you give us a minute?" She asked. Scrubbing a hand over her face, she pulled at the hem of the ridiculously thin hospital gown she was wearing. Mike shoved his hand in his jacket pockets, looking tired. He was wearing sweatpants and a tee shirt. "I can't go home with you."
"Yes you can." He said. "Your hotel's going to be swamped with reporters and I don't think you want to deal with that."
"And by the time we get to your place that nurse will have tweeted out where I am and then we'll definitely be in trouble." Ginny said. Mike crossed his arms.
"Oh, I can convince her to keep quiet."
"What, scare her with the animal that's on your face?" Ginny shot back, but she was too tired to put any energy into it. Mike was winning and judging by the smirk that was playing at the corners of his lips, he knew it. And though she knew the reasons she shouldn't stay with Mike, she didn't want to be alone. "Mike." She whispered, leaning against the pillows. "We need to talk about this and-"
"No." His voice was gentle. "We don't, at least...not until you feel up to arguing with me. It's not fun to beat you when you can't even put up a fight." Ginny rolled her eyes.
"You wish, old man." She mumbled, really tired. Mike was looking at her expectantly. "Fine." she mumbled, holding up a finger. "One night and one night only."
Mike nodded, going out into the hall to go talk to the nurse. Ginny got herself out of bed and looked at the uniform that was folded in the chair in the corner of the room. She didn't want to wear it. Mike came back in the room, pausing in the doorway. Ginny could feel his eyes on her back and she shivered slightly.
"Don't suppose you have any clothes lying around?" She asked, looking over her shoulder. Mike's eyes went to the ground.
"My gym bag's in the car." He said. "There's a pair of clean shorts and a t-shirt...I don't have any hot pink leggings, sorry."
"Darn." Ginny muttered, trying to ignore the warmth spreading in her chest. Mike seemed flustered.
"I should...I should go get it." He turned and put his hand on the door. Turning, he asked. "Since when do hospital gowns have backs to them?"
"Since they figured out that one day a pervy Padres captain would try to use it as an excuse to check out his rookie's perfect pear shaped ass." Ginny shot back. Mike smiled.
"As much as my ego would appreciate it being about me, I doubt anyone could ever predict you, Baker." He left the room again. Ginny sat on her bed, looking at her shoulder. The doctors had told her it wasn't over; that with the right amount of training and physical therapy, she could be ready for spring training, but...she was worried the front office wouldn't think she was worth the risk. That they wouldn't give her another shot. For the first time she realized how completely alone she was. Amelia was gone, Will was off doing who knows what, her mother never supported her dream and...A tightness was forming in her chest. She tried to catch up to her racing thoughts, but it was too much.
"Uh oh." Mike's voice broke through her panic. "Baker thinking face." She turned to look at him; he was standing in the doorway, an amused smirk on his face, but the second his eyes met hers he dropped the gym bag and was kneeling in front of her, ignoring the way his knees cracked. "Hey..." he said, taking her hands in his. "It'll be okay. Breathe with me, Baker." His thumbs were making circles on the back of her hands. "In....out." She focused on his touch, his words and slowly the grip on her lungs eased. She felt clammy and ashamed. Yanking her hands out of Mike's, she tried to look away from him. She should have known he wasn't going to make it that easy. "Baker?" She shook her head, not wanting to look at him. "Ginny." Her name was soft, hesitant. She bit her lip.
"Mike if I look at you right now..." She didn't know how to explain. She was on the verge of tears and she worked so hard so that no one would ever see her cry. She didn't want to be this open, this...weak in front of him.
"Ginny." Mike's fingers brushed along the side of her face. She shook, the effort of locking her emotions in was too much to contain. She felt the tears prickling at the back of her eyes and she was powerless to stop them as they fell. Mike didn't say anything as she cried, but he never left her side and his fingers brushed away the tears. She didn't know what possessed her, but she moved forward, her knees hitting the floor as she put her arms around Mike and clung to him. He held her as she shook. "I've got you." He whispered and she knew it was true. Whatever happened, going forward, Mike would always be in her corner. Relief flooded through her as she slumped in his arms.
"Your knees." She mumbled, pulling away and wiping her eyes. Mike shrugged, getting up slowly and grimacing as they popped.
"It's for a good cause." he said, offering his hand to her. She looked at it. Mike sighed. "Am I going to get another Feminista Manifesto on how you don't need anyone's help, Baker? Because I'll have you know that if Butch had been sobbing on my shoulder, I'd offer him the same hand."
Ginny felt a small smile tugging at her lips. She put her hand in Mike's and let him pull her up. "Butch would never be sobbing on your shoulder."
"Shows how much you know." Mike smirked. Now that she was on her feet, she was inches away from him. She could feel his body heat through her thin hospital gown. "I've had half the guys cry on my shoulder. We're a very emotive bunch, us Padres." His eyes darted to her lips before he turned away. "So..." He walked over to the gym bag. "I've got a pair of shorts and t-shirt as promised." He handed them to her. "Need help changing?"
Ginny was about to berate him for being gross, when she realized the question was sincere. Mike was worried about her damaging her shoulder. She shook her head. "I've got this."
"Really?" Mike said. "This isn't one of those things where you think you need to prove something, right? Because I'll freely admit that when I was first put on the DL in 05 I took advantage of everyone's offer of help."
"05?" Ginny smirked. Mike rolled his eyes.
"The point." He said, anticipating that she'd make an old man joke and trying to beat her to the punch. "Is that you're allowed to lean on others and take advantage of them offering you help."
She shook her head. "I've been dressing myself for a while now." She tilted her head. "Not as long as you've been dressing yourself, of course, but I think I can handle myself without your help."
Mike looked up at the ceiling. "I was nothing but nice to her and this is how she treats me."
"Upset by those darn ungrateful kids?" Ginny shot back. Mike sighed and turned.
"Change, rookie." He said. "Then we can sneak you out through the garage." Ginny looked down at the t-shirt and shorts he'd given her. The shirt had his his name and number emblazoned on it. Glancing up at him, she shook her head as she noted that he was peeking over his shoulder.
"Busted...again." She said. He chuckled as he faced front.
"Can't blame a guy for trying."
"Oh but I can." Ginny said, pulling off her hospital gown and tossing it at the back of his head. Pulling on the shirt just in time for him to turn and glare at her. She waved. Mike's eyes swept down her legs before he coughed and turned around. Ginny grabbed the shorts, thrilling in Mike's attention. "If I didn't know better captain, I'd say you like me in your number." She teased. "But I wouldn't want to cause you any heart trouble." She brushed past him and almost missed his whispered.
"You already have."
He pick me up at 8
Oh, he was in trouble. He slept the entire night on the couch, trying not to think about Ginny. Her upstairs. In his bed, wearing his clothes. What had he done? What had he gotten himself into? More importantly what had he done to her. He got up and paced his living room, shooting glances up towards his bedroom. If someone found out she was here, it could ruin her career. There was no way he could explain it away. He was a selfish asshole and him inviting her here was no different. He'd wanted her to be close. He'd wanted to assure himself of her condition and...fuck he didn't want to be alone or deny what he wanted. He'd been weak, he'd been selfish. What the hell had he done? Ginny was vulnerable and scared and he'd taken advantage of that and for what?
He scrubbed his hand over his beard. He'd fucked this up, but it wasn't too late to fix. All he needed to do was-
There was a small groan from his room. His heart stopped. Ginny sounded so...pained. He walked up to the door of his room. He had his hand on the doorknob, ready to open the door and walk in...when he stopped himself. He couldn't...if he went in now he knew there'd be no turning back. He clenched his fists and stepped back.
Ginny had way more to lose than he did.
The next morning Mike was woken up by his smoke detector going off. There was a string of muffled curses from the kitchen. He sat up, blinking in the direction of the kitchen, Ginny was looking at him, wide eyed. As soon as she realized she'd been caught a look of defiance entered her eyes. "In my defense." She said, glancing at the smoking pan of what Mike supposed had once been eggs. "You try doing this one handed."
He chuckled, standing. "One handed," He said, walking towards her. "blindfolded" He added, leaning against the kitchen counter and picking up an apple from the bowl, taking a bite. "And backwards, I'll still do better than you."
Ginny glared at him and smacked the apple out of his hand. He grinned.
"What can I say, Rook. I'm a regular Julia Child."
"Julia Child didn't have a beard." Ginny retorted.
"She definitely wouldn't have been happy with you wasting all those ingredients then depriving me of food." Mike leaned down, grimacing as his back clenched. He grabbed the apple and blew on it before taking another bite. Ginny's nose scrunched in distaste. He smirked. "5 second rule."
Ginny shook her head. "I'll clean this up and go-"
Mike panicked, she was leaving? "Go?"
"Well..." She glanced at her arm, "I can't stay here, Mike. I already called Evelyn. She's picking me up in about 20 minutes."
Of course she couldn't stay. He looked at the table. "At least let me make you breakfast." He said. "Unless you want to have your eggs." He motioned to the pan. Ginny's look of disgust was hilarious.
Breakfast passed with the 2 of them joking and laughing. He wanted to pretend that it was like all the other breakfasts they'd had on the road, and it was...that was the problem. Cooking while Ginny sat at the counter, talking about baseball, current events, cracking jokes at his expense. It felt normal, right. 20 minutes on the dot, the doorbell rang. Mike cursed Evelyn's annoying punctuality. Ginny sprang from her seat and ran to the door. She threw a glance over her shoulder, a blinding smile that he hadn't dared hope to see after her accident. "Too slow old man."
She pulled open the door, the look on her face dying as she looked at the person behind it. From his angle, Mike couldn't see who it was.
"Hi." She said, forcing a quick smile to her face, stepping aside. "Mike's in there, I'm just..."
Rachel walked in. Mike felt a swooping sensation in his stomach as she looked at the two plates on the table, Ginny wearing his clothes. The look in her eyes said that she'd probably come to a conclusion that wasn't exactly flattering.
"Rach-" He began.
"Sorry I'm late..." Evelyn walked into the house. "I just..." She trailed off as she caught sight of Mike, Rachel and Ginny. Her eyes widened and a grin lit up her face. "apparently I'm right on time." She was about to walk over to the couch, presumably to take a seat when Ginny grabbed her arm. "What are you doing?" She hissed.
Ginny shook her head, pulling her towards the door. She stopped in the door way to look back at Mike. "Thanks." Was all she said. There was no goodbye, no promise to see him soon, probably because, he felt his stomach curl as he realized, she thought he was back with Rachel. Wasn't he? They'd had sex not even a day ago. It was insane just how much could change so quickly. He nodded at Ginny as the door closed, the noise echoing in the glass house. Rachel crossed her arms.
"Was any of it real?" She asked.
"We didn't." He said, unsure why he felt guilty.
"I left David for you." Rachel hissed.
He looked at the table top, his face burning.
"And now I come here because you've ignored all of my calls to see Ginny Baker in your clothes."
"You left me first." Mike didn't know where the courage came from, but he couldn't stop himself. "I know I was a shitty husband, but you chose to cheat on me. You chose to leave and you chose to go with him."
"And now that you've got me back you go after the ultimate prize." Rachel's voice wavered. "Nothing is ever enough for you, is it? Now that you've got me, you're going to go after Ginny and twist-"
"I'm not going after her." Mike said. "If you think for a damn moment that I would ever do anything to jeopardize her career."
"So you have thought about it." Rachel cut him off. Her eyes widened. "The trade rumors." Mike cursed her for being so smart. Rachel turned and exhaled, putting a hand to her forehead. Shaking her head she let out a humorless laugh. "You tried to give up the Padres for her. You..." She turned and glared at him. "You never even took a day off for me, but Ginny Baker joins the team for 3 months and you just..." She lifted her hands and shook her head.
"It's not like that, Rachel."
"Than what is it like?" She shouted.
Mike clenched his fists. "I don't know." He said. "All I know, is that she hates hospitals and I knew that the last thing she'd want, after spending all that time in that hospital alone, is to be overwhelmed by reporters." He let out a humorless laugh. "And for such a feminist, you seem to be remarkably doubtful of Ginny's ability to be her own woman. What the hell makes you think she'd ever be interested in a broken old man like me?" He glared at her. "She's way too stubborn and tough and amazing to ever allow anything to compromise the baseball career she worked so hard to build. I'm not going to be the one that screws that up for her, because even if I was stupid enough to try, she wouldn't let me." There it was, the fear he'd been harboring so deep that he hadn't even admitted it to himself; that he'd imagined Ginny's response to him and that she might not want him. His self doubt and loathing were on full display and Rachel could see them as clearly as if they'd been branded to his forehead.
She recoiled. Turning, she walked to the door. "You're so far gone, you don't even realize it." She turned. "I hope you can live with yourself, because that's all you'll have."
Evelyn didn't try to ask any questions, even though Ginny knew she was itching for all the details.
"Nothing happened." Ginny said.
"I didn't say anything." Evelyn said.
"You didn't have to." She muttered, looking out the window. "This isn't the way to the hotel."
"You're staying with us." Evelyn said offhand. "Now...when you say nothing, what do you mean by nothing?"
Ginny groaned and pressed her face against the window of the car. She didn't want to think about Mike. Rachel showing up meant that they'd...that something between them had changed. She should be happy for them. After all, she'd been the one who'd practically run from Mike's house out of nervousness of being alone with him. Because it was a terrible idea. With the possibility of the end of her career looming over her head she'd allowed herself to dream, for a second, about what could have happened. That morning, sitting in his kitchen, laughing over breakfast had been so...normal and freeing. She looked over at Evelyn who gave her a knowing smile. It sent a guilty shiver down her spine.
"Nothing happened." She repeated.
"Uh huh." Evelyn looked forward, her smile growing. "Of course not."
He called her later. She looked down at her phone, her stomach clenched. Glancing at the time, she exhaled and pressed accept. She put the phone to her ear, unsure what to say. Mike seemed to be at a loss for words as well as all she could hear was him breathing slowly on the other line.
"Ginny?" He asked. She swallowed, his use of her name making her feel cheap.
"How's Rachel?" She didn't want to play this game anymore.
"She went back to LA." He said, sounding tired. "Ginny, it's over between me and her. Has been for a while, it just...took a while for me to see it." There was a pause. Ginny was sickened by the happiness that his comment had given her. "If you were wondering," Mike's voice was hushed. "That was your cue to make an old man joke. Something like, you can't teach an old dog new tricks or...you might need glasses or-"
"Those all suck. You need to update your joke book." Ginny muttered.
"There she is." Mike sounded relieved. A silence grew between them. She looked out the window.
"It's late." She whispered.
"Ginny, I just wanted to say...I know you said you wanted to wait to talk about...the thing that we said we'd wait to talk about...I just wanted you to know...I can wait. As long as you want."
Ginny shut her eyes. Drawing a shaky breath, she murmured. "I have physical therapy in the morning and it's late. I should... I should get some sleep."
At 8 the next morning, the twins answered a ring at the doorbell. Ginny was walking down the stairs when they opened it. Mike looked up at her, giving her his signature smirk. "You still in PJ's Rookie?" He sighed. "You're going to be late."
"What are you doing here, Mike?" She said, walking down the steps and stopping in front of him. He gave her an amused laugh.
"I'm here to drive you to physical therapy." His statement implied that it was obvious. He looked down at the shirt. The one he'd given her to wear the day before. His eyes darkened slightly, before he met her eyes again. "Nice shirt."
Make me feel so lucky, 7
The Padres' season was over so Mike had all the free time he wanted. His days took on a routine; he took Ginny to physical therapy in the mornings and sat in the clinic, joking with the rest of the guys. A steady group of them had started coming to Ginny's physical therapy. Though she didn't say anything, Mike could tell that Ginny was overwhelmed by this as it was proof of her teammates' acceptance of her. By the third week, though, she was getting annoyed.
"Sal, I know you have better things to do." She grumbled in response to Salvamini's offer to carry her from the yoga mats to the massage table.
"You're saving me from dealing with my screaming kids." He smirked as Ginny glared at him. "Come on, Baker." He held out his hand. Ginny ignored it and stood. Mike snorted.
"Told you she wouldn't go for it, Sal." He said, holding out his hand. Sal rolled his eyes and dug his wallet out of his pocket. Ginny's jaw dropped as he handed Mike 5 dollars.
"You bet on this?" She sounded outraged. Mike froze, his hand halfway towards the money, but when he looked over at Ginny, all he saw was amusement. "I can't believe you..." She looked up at Sal. "Would be stupid enough to take that bet."
Mike relaxed and grabbed the money.
Sonny shook his head. "I tried to warn pretty boy, but he wouldn't listen." Sal pouted, then grabbed Ginny around the waist and put her over his shoulder. Mike noted that he was careful not to jostle her injured arm. The nursing staff watched their antics, completely bewildered.
"Sal, I'm warning you." Ginny's face turned red. "Put me down or else."
"What?" Sal said, stopping next to the massage table. Ginny wiggled in an attempt to force him to put her down.
"I'm buying your kids a drum set."
Mike couldn't see Sal's face, but judging from the speed with which Sal put her down, her threat had the desired effect. Ginny leaned back, laughing as Sal backed away, apologizing. She looked over at Mike and Sonny.
"Anyone else want to try me?" She said. Her eyes sparkled and she seemed more relaxed. The PT was rebuilding her strength and giving her more confidence as it became clearer that she'd be ready for spring training. Mike's stomach flipped as she looked at him. They weren't having The Conversation, Mike told himself. Not until Ginny asked him to.
"Lawson might." Sonny muttered, soft enough so Ginny didn't hear him. Mike looked over and his teammate was smirking. Mike schooled his expression, but couldn't stop the feeling of anxiety that spread through his chest. He was relieved when Ginny told him she needed to talk to the doctor after her session because it gave him and Sonny a minute to talk.
"What was that?" He asked, his voice hushed as he glanced around them. Sonny's face was the picture of innocence.
"There's nothing going on between me and Baker." Mike growled. Sonny arched an eyebrow.
"I never said there was, captain." He smirked, bumping his shoulder as he passed. "But I would be a bit suspicious of the person who was so quick to deny it....unprompted."
Mike glared at him and Sonny's expression softened.
"Whatever's going on, we've got both your backs." He said.
"Really?" Mike looked at him skeptically. Sonny nodded.
"Better you than that tech guy, we know your weaknesses." He said. Mike rolled his eyes. "And we know you can't outrun us."
Mike snorted. "You know, 5 months ago you guys wanted her off the team."
"Well, she has this way of getting into your heart." Sonny smirked. "I don't think I need to tell you that."
Mike leaned against the wall and exhaled. "What gave me away?" He asked. Sonny laughed.
"You mean besides the hearts coming out of your eyes?" Sonny shrugged. "I'd say...the way you freaked out when she started working with Duarte. That was more than ego, because you never had a problem with her running pitches with me." He put his hand on Mike's shoulder. "Don't worry man, I won't say anything."
Mike nodded. "Thanks Sonny."
"Though the drool coming out of your mouth everytime you see her might be a bit of a giveaway." Sonny continued.
Mike glared at him. "I'm still your captain."
"Why are we pulling rank on Sonny?" Ginny was walking up to them, a curious glint in her eyes. Mike recognized it as the same eager look that she got whenever the guys would start roasting each other in the locker room. She was quickwitted and sharp tongued, skills she used to her advantage every opportunity she got. He realized he was looking at her, with his mouth slightly agape.
"Catcher things." Sonny said, saving Mike from further embarrassment.
"Yeah." He agreed, clearing his throat and nodding. "Top secret."
He was silent on the drive back to Evelyn and Blip's.
"I'd say you're brooding..." She said. "But your beard makes it difficult to figure out what you're feeling." He glanced at her. "Though your forehead wrinkles make it slightly easier." She poked him in the side. "What's on your mind, old man?"
He shook his head. "It's not important."
He was lying. that was clear. Something was weighing on his mind and she had a pretty good idea what it was. Drumming her fingers on the car door, she came to a decision. "The twins are having a bunch of friends over." She remarked. Mike arched an eyebrow. "It's going to be loud." She continued. "And stressful. My doctor said I needed to avoid stress."
Mike chuckled. "Baker if you want to swim in my pool, all you have to do is ask." He said.
"But don't you prefer me asking this way?" She smirked. "It keeps your mind sharp."
Mike grunted, but he began driving towards his house. Ginny pulled out her phone.
"I'm ordering a pizza." She said.
"But what will I eat?" Mike asked. Ginny laughed. The car went over a bump and her phone fell. She muttered a muffled curse and leaned down to pick it up when a pain lanced through her shoulder. "You okay?" He asked, glancing at her.
"Yeah, I'm-" Two lights were coming at them. Ginny got a cold feeling in her stomach. "MIKE." She shouted. He swerved, avoiding the car. Ginny heard the screech of tires and could barely breathe. Mike had the car pulled over in seconds. There was a ringing in her ears, her vision swimming. She couldn't breathe...she couldn't breathe. She heard a door slam and he was pulling her out.
"Baker." He was saying, his voice far away. "Baker. Ginny." He grabbed her hands. "Look at me. I'm okay, you're okay." She took a deep breath, looking at him, bewildered.
"Mike?" She said. He nodded. She threw her uninjured arm around him, sobbing on his shoulder. He was okay. She was okay. "I thought."
"I know." His voice was low and rumbling in his chest. Ginny gulped for air, his hands tracing warm circles on her back. She melted against him, leaning on him for support. Around her the weight of everything was crashing on her again. Mike's hold on her kept her from being drowned in her memories. She couldn't lose anyone as important again.
"Mike." She whispered. "Please, take me home."
He knew she didn't mean the hotel. Most of her stuff had been divided between his house and the Sanders' at this point. The second he pulled into his garage, he was out of the car, walking towards her door. She stumbled out of the car. They stared at each other, unsure. She wanted him to hug her again, but she didn't know how to ask. Mike seemed nervous, probably second guessing his decision to bring her here. He was always looking out for her best interests, always putting her needs first. She swallowed.
"So, that pool..."
A smile broke over his face and he stepped back. "Gotta work off some calories before you devour a pizza?"
Ginny exhaled, tension leaving her body. "I can call them back and ask them to put pineapple on it." She said as she walked into his house. He followed, making a retching noise.
"You do realize that being Ginny Baker doesn't exempt you from adhering to the Geneva Convention?" He said. Ginny paused on the stairs and looked back down at him. He had one of those looks he got sometimes when he thought she couldn't see. The look that made everything around them disappear. He glanced down before saying. "Baker? Get it? Because pineapple on pizza is torture?"
He was trying to put distance because they both knew how dangerous it would be.
"Well." She said, thoughtfully. "You'd be the expert, seeing as you were there when they signed it."
Mike frowned. "That's it." He grabbed her around the waist and pulled her towards the pool.
"MIKE." She shouted.
"I'll show you who's old, Baker." He growled. "And I don't have any kids that you can threaten with drum sets."
He kiss me in his 6
Admittedly, this was a bad call, he realized as she struggled against him. It was playful, but each motion pressed her ass further against his front. He stopped on the edge of the pool, holding her over it. The action was beginning to strain his back. Ginny stopped moving, breathing heavily. Mike lowered her slightly so her feet touched the pool edge, but didn't let her go. His hands fell to her waist, knowing he could go any further without her say so. She turned, looking him straight in the eyes. They were back to where they'd been outside of Boardner's. She was so close, so warm. Every nerve in his body was screaming at him to kiss her. His eyes closed and for a second he imagined a brush on his lips. Then she let out a small laugh. "Your beard tickles." She whispered and he realized it was real.
Her heart pounded in her chest as Mike's eyes opened, he seemed dazed.
"Gin." He breathed, then gripped her tighter, pressing her against him, his lips hovering just in front of hers. He was waiting for her to take the lead. She grinned and kissed him again. This time he kissed her back, hungry desperate. She almost felt as though she was floating...then she slipped and fell backwards, pulling Mike with her. They fell into the water, the cold of the pool shocking her senses. Mike pulled her out from under the water, both of the gasping for breath. She let out a laugh, splashing him in the face.
"You did that on purpose." He muttered, unable to keep from grinning.
"You should be thanking me." She said, floating on her back and looking up at the sky. "Now you won't have to water your beard."
His arms encircled her waist and he tugged her towards the edge of the pool.
"Hey!" She protested.
"That arm of yours has been through enough today and while watching you circling around like a wounded duckling would be funny, it would make you cranky." He said. He pressed her against the side of the pool, his fingers curling in her hair. Ginny put her hands on his chest.
"Good thing my momma duck's here to save me then."
Mike pulled a face. "I'm never living down the whole duckling thing." He groaned. Ginny laughed.
"I think it's cute."
"Cute?" Mike looked insulted. Ginny ran a hand over his beard. His mouth opened slightly and he let out a shuddering breath, pushing her harder against the side of pool.
"Well, as hard as you've tried to hide it with this." She tugged at it, eliciting a hiss fro Mike. "You're still cute, Lawson."
He captured her lips, pulling her higher. She brought her legs up, wrapping them around his waist as she rolled her hips against his. He almost lost his footing, leaning against her, his hands gripping the edge of the pool for balance.
There was a ringing in her ears. Mike broke away to look behind him. She huffed and tried to turn his face back to hers for another kiss. "You're going to need to wait, Rook. Unless you don't want your pizza." He smirked. "I know I'm irresistible, but in a battle between me and your stomach even my unbelievable charm can't win." Ginny rolled her eyes and pushed him before wading her way out.
"You the worst, Lawson." She said, looking back at him. His eyes were glued to her and he licked his lips. He was about to throw her a quip in return when her stomach growled.
"I rest my case." He said, walking out of the pool and walked through the house. Ginny silently thanked Mike's architect for the glass walls, as she watched his frame from behind. It was even better when she caught the look of shock on the pizza delivery guy's face as a dripping Mike Lawson answered his door.
We be making love in 5
Ginny had changed into his clothes, insisting that they were more comfortable than any of the clothes that she had in his house (and since when did she have an entire drawer?). They were eating pizza on his couch, Ginny's feet shoved under his thigh because she claimed it was the fastest way to warm them (You need to get your pool temperature gauge checked, Old Man). She was picking at the crust of the pizza, not eating it. Mike shifted slightly. They hadn't really spoken since they'd sat down to eat, a first. Ginny never let food get in the way of expressing her thoughts on anything. He put down his slice of pizza, looking at her. They'd made things awkward again.
"What's on your mind, Rook?" He murmured, wanting her to say something, anything. He wanted to make this right. Ginny looked up.
"You're not eating your crust. It's not like you to skip out on carbs." He nudged her knee and immediately regretted it as the material of the shorts she'd borrowed slid and his hand came into contact with her skin. He didn't hear her slight intake of breath. He looked away, pulling back his hand. "I just...I don't want...whatever this is...or isn't..." He glared at the ceiling.
"I was thinking about how I could never have gone through the last 2 months without you." Ginny said. "I mean, I could have. I've handled things pretty well without you this far, it's just..." She waited until he looked back at her to continue. "Ever since my dad died I've been living without a support system. My brother was off doing his thing and I had Amelia, but..." She shrugged. "There was always tension there. I didn't know how to depend on someone anymore and I didn't want to." She pulled her legs back, putting her pizza on a plate before tucking them against her chest. "I've given everything to baseball and I forgot...I forgot what it was like to have friends and people I could turn to. Now I have Blip and Ev and...I have you." Her voice was trembling slightly. "And I know that this thing between us has about a hundred million things standing against it, but...I don't think there's a way we can just ignore what happened out there. And I know I don't want to."
Mike was stunned. A silence stretched out between them. She fiddled with the the hem of her shirt, a sudden nervous look in her eyes. She was waiting for him to say something, but...he was at a loss for words.
"Ginny." He croaked. "This isn't going to be a one off for me. I want..." Some one he could talk to about his day, someone who stood by him, cheered him on and supported him in his darkest moments, someone who challenged him and refused to give up on him. Someone who could understand the missing pieces of him and fill them with their own.
He had all those things. Ginny was all those things and more.
He wasn't saying anything. He'd just stopped in the middle of his sentence.
"Have I finally figured out the way to stop one of your speeches?" She asked, hoping the joke would break his silence and get him to say something. She was putting everything on the line and while she knew Mike wouldn't let her down, part of her retreated into protective mode. She tried to remind herself that not everyone was out to hurt her, that she could trust.
"I don't think I can find anything to say." Mike admitted, moving forward and tugging her legs so he was nestled between them, hovering over her. "Which is painful for me to admit."
She smiled, relief flooding her limbs. "Really?" She grinned. "I've rendered THE Mike Lawson, master of long winded speeches dumbstruck."
His usually response would have been to roll his eyes or quip, but he simply blushed, the pink dusting the tops of his cheeks that were visible over the beard. "I've told you before, Ginny." He murmured. "You blow me away." His hand pressed to the side of her face. "Are you sure?" He asked. Ginny gripped the front of his shirt and pulled him down, practically smashing her lips against his. He pulled up. "Ow." he put a finger to his lip. "You hit me with your tooth."
"Sorry." Ginny kissed his lower lip.
"I'm here, baring my soul and getting vulnerable and you choose to assault me?" He said, his hands sliding under her shirt and coming to rest on her back. Ginny hummed, lifting her hips. Mike's eyes closed. When they opened, they were hungry, dark. He kissed her, pressing her into the couch with his weight. The kiss turned sloppy, and Mike moved down her throat. She gripped his hair as his beard brushed a pulse point.
"Mike." She gasped, pulling on his shirt, trying to get it over his head. He sat back, pulling her up.
"Gotta watch your arm." He murmured as she settled on his lap. "Don't want to hurt you, Gin."
"I don't need you to baby me, Mike." She said, pulling his shirt up. Mike followed suit, his fingers brushing against her sides and making her shiver. His kisses turned more insistent and she responded. He gripped her thighs, letting out small moans as she rolled her hips.
"Could never." He managed, pulling down her shorts. "But I have plans for you, Baker." The rumble in his voice went straight through her. He covered her skin with his mouth and whispered curses. She ran her hands over him, responding to every touch. The callouses on her her fingertips elicited a stutter of his hip as she traced them over his lower back and she bit back her groan, her eyes growing wide as he pressed against her. She wanted him. clumsily trying to get up to pull off her panties, she fell off the couch.
"Shit, Ginny." Mike was at her side in seconds, looking her over. She got up, waving off his concerned expression. She stood, Mike's over large shorts falling to her ankles. He was staring at her, completely thrown. She thumbed at the edge of her underwear.
"Would your old bones be more comfortable in a bed?" She asked. Mike stood, reaching for her, but she pulled away, walking towards the stairs. He was directly behind her, molding himself to her back. Pushing back her hair, his teeth grazing her ear.
"My old bones weren't the ones that fell off the couch." He pointed out, his fingers tracing a light pattern over her hips, sliding to his knees behind her. Ginny gripped the banister to keep from falling as he drew her panties down, his lips grazing her ass.
"Mike," She whispered. "Your house is made of glass." She glanced nervously at the windows, feeling exposed.
Mike stood, taking her hand and lead her up the stairs. "No one can see you, but I get it." He pulled her into his room. "I don't want to share you with anyone."
"Caveman." Ginny said, pushing him onto the bed. He sat on the edge, his lips capturing her breasts. She put her head back, sighing as he swirled his tongue around her nipple, his beard brushing against her skin, making her jump slightly. He pulled away, the cold of the loss of his touch made her whine.
"Yup." He agreed. "I even have the beard to prove it." He smiled up at her. "I made the joke for you because I know you love the beard now."
"Still no, Mike." Ginny said.
"Keep telling yourself that." Mike pulled her on top of him and rolled her onto her back. She hit the mattress, humming in contentment. "I'll just have to convince you."
She rolled her eyes and was about to protest when he began kissing her again, his tongue dancing across her skin, she shuddered, and arched off the bed, her back bowing as he made his way lower. Her legs quivered and her stomach tightened as she gripped his hair. She moved in time with his tongue, pressing herself against his face. He groaned, not minding her being demanding, in fact her enthusiasm seemed to redouble his efforts. She cried out, "Mike." She whined. "Oh-"
He pulled back, she could see his gaze on her through her lidded eyes as she came. He brushed his cheek against her thigh. Her whole body was flushed and boneless.
"Mike." She said pressed at his shoulder. "Need you."
He stretched her, her breaths shallow as Mike slid all the way in. He didn't move, looking down at Ginny. She pressed herself closer, but he shook his head.
"Wait." He breathed. "I just...Fuck, I need a second."
They stayed joined, trading burning kisses. Ginny gasped. "Mike if you don't move...AH" Mike pulled out slowly and pushed back in. He was slow at first, then he hit a spot that had her scratching at his shoulders as stars swam in front of her eyes. He repeated his motion, setting a faster pace. She met him, rolling her hips against his. They moved together. Mike listened to her directions, slowing when she asked, speeding up when she demanded more. Her hissed command of harder was met with a growl as he complied. On her part she discovered that Mike liked it when she scratched him, gave him orders or tugged his hair.
Her vision blurred and she went taut, wrapping her legs around his waist and pushed against him, crying out as her orgasm hit her. He muffled a curse against her shoulder, and stuttered against her.
They caught their breath, Mike slid out of her, and she flushed at the small whimper that she let out. Mike kissed her, his eyes closing as his sweat soaked skin dragged over hers. She nibbled his lip, humming as her whole body buzzed in contentment.
"How's that for an old man?" He asked. Ginny smacked his arm.
Still the one I do this 4
God his knees hurt. He was on first, watching Ginny pitch to Duarte. Glaring at the sun, he bristled as Duarte called for the fast ball. "Wrong call." He muttered. Thankfully Ginny's stubbornness kicked in and she waved him off, throwing her cutter instead. "That's my girl." Mike said as the batter swung and missed. Ginny's feminist radar must have been on full force because the comment had barely left his lips before she turned and arched an eyebrow at him. He turned to the ref and called time before walking over to the mound. Duarte walked up, annoyed.
"She's waving off my calls." He said.
"I know." Mike smirked. "I've got this, Duarte." He jerked his head towards the mound. Duarte rolled his eyes but he knew better than to mess with him. Mike waited until he was out of earshot before turning his attention to Ginny. "What did we say about trusting your catcher?"
"That Duarte needed more practice running hitters." Ginny retorted. "I was right."
Mike grimaced. "I mean you were, but amazingly that might not always be the case."
She tilted her head. "How's first?"
"Boring, but..." He glanced pointedly at Ginny's ass. "Can't beat the view."
Ginny rolled her eyes. "Lawson."
"Don't worry, Baker." He saluted, taking a step back. "I'll be sure to catch the ball when one of your lollipop pitches goes backwards."
She bristled. "That happened ONE time."
"Uh huh." Mike smirked. "Now, trust your catcher so we can beat the Giants." He turned and walked back to first. He'd switched part time to the position at the beginning of the season and while it was a hit to his ego, he knew it was the only way to get at least one more season with her. They'd agreed to keep their relationship a secret as long as they were playing together and they both wanted this season to last. Mike could feel Blip's eyes on him as he tugged his hat lower over his forehead. He knew because Evelyn had sniffed them out the second Ginny walked back into the Sanders house. The only others were Al and Sonny.
The batter hit the ball and Mike watched as it flew towards the outfield. Robles passed it to Sal who threw it to Mike. The batter was coming as the ball hit his mitt. He fumbled slightly, but managed to tag him out. He turned to Ginny and grinned as she gave him a proud look. There was a small glint of gold around her neck. Mike quickly tapped the hollow of his throat. Ginny turned away from him and pushed the chain carrying the engagement ring she wore every game back underneath her underarmor.
Yes his knees hurt and he was spending more time on first base than behind home plate, but it was worth it to continue working with the woman he loved.
I'm trying to make us 3
They'd waited 3 months after Mike's retirement to allow paparazzi to capture them on a date. At first the papers thought they were just two teammates catching up, much to Mike's disbelief and Ginny's amusement. ("You so much as breathe next to Idris Elba and TMZ does an expose on how you're secretly married to him but they see you on a REAL date with ME and all they can come up with is that we're two old friends catching up?")
It took 3 more dates and a picture of Ginny putting her hand in Mike's back pocket when they were out together for people to get clued in. Then the internet happened.
"What the hell is a Bawson?" Mike asked as she came in. "And why is Elliot texting me about it?" She dropped her gym bag on the ground and walked over to the couch, giving Mike a hungry kiss and settling into his arms. She grinned, looking at the glasses his doctor had forced him to wear when he was reading. She'd given him no end of grief for it, but secretly, not so secretly she loved them. Though she'd never admit it out loud.
"Look it up." She said. She'd been subjected to the guys' taunts on the busride back from LA and she wasn't in the mood to explain.
Mike frowned and began browsing on his phone. "Huh." He said. "It's us..." He paused. "We've got fans." Ginny glanced at his phone, watching as he paused on a site that had "baby watch". He snorted. "You eat one burrito too many and suddenly the whole world thinks I knocked you up."
Ginny hummed. "There's no such thing as too many burritos."
Mike grunted and turned off his phone, looking down at her. "So, how are you, Mrs. Lawson?"
"We've got 3 months before that's the case...Mr. Baker." Ginny smiled as Mike pulled her against him. "Do you..." She stopped as Mike's brow furrowed. "Mike, would you be interested...in-" She wasn't sure how to ask.
"Is this a kinky sex thing or did my mention of burritos awaken the beast in your stomach?" Mike said, his fingers caressing her sides. "I'm down for either, just tell me which."
"I've been thinking of having kids." She blurted out. Mike's eyes bugged out of his head. "Not right this second." She amended. "I mean, I'm only in my 4th season, but...I've been thinking about us and..." She threaded her fingers through his. "I never thought of it before. It was never part of the plan, but...I had a bit of a scare before I left. I..." She hesitated. "I was late."
Mike sat up. "Babe why didn't you tell me?" His voice was soft.
"I was nervous about the game and panicked." She shrugged. "I wasn't sure and...I didn't want to get your hopes up in case it wasn't..."
"Why?" Mike frowned. "Gin you can't keep things like this from me."
"I didn't want to get your hopes up." She snapped.
"My hopes up?" Mike shook his head. "What, did you think I'd rush out to paint the nursery then fly into a rage because it was a false alarm?"
"I wasn't sure," Ginny shut her eyes. This wasn't how she'd planned this conversation. "I got nervous."
"Then you should have told me, Gin. We don't do secrets, remember?" Mike ran a hand over his face. Then he looked back at her. "Was it a false alarm?"
She nodded. "Ev bought the entire CVS aisle." She muttered. "The thing is...I was kinda...upset." She shrugged. "It was never something I even imagined for myself, you know. I thought I couldn't have both what my mom wanted for me and what my dad wanted but..." She looked at Mike. "I know what I want. I want baseball and you and one day a family."
Mike grinned. "You've got me, Baker. Whether I like it or not, you've kinda become a permanent squatter here."
"Hey." She poked him in his side. "You like me being here and in 3 months this will be 50% my house."
"Already staking your claim on my possessions?" Mike said. "I'm getting a sense of deja vu."
Ginny poked him in the side, reveling in Mike's slight yelp. The day she'd discovered he was ticklish was the best day of her life. "Why are you marrying me then?"
"Because you're hopelessly in love with me." Mike sighed. Ginny gave him a warning press of her fingers against his side. He gulped. "But it's not half as much as I love you."
"Correct." Ginny said.
From us 2
"How is this happening?" Blip was pacing back and forth, fiddling with his bowtie. Mike sat in the chair in the corner, smirking at his friend. "I can't do this, I can't do this."
"I believe in you, man." Mike said. Blip glared at him.
"How can you be so calm right now?" He said. "It's your wedding."
"I know." Mike got up and clapped his best man on the shoulder. "And in about an hour you're going to be standing next to me in front of all Ginny and my friends and family, watching as we declare our undying love for each other."
"He's whipped." Butch spoke up from the corner. Mike glared at him.
"Remind me why he's here?"
"Because Ginny didn't pick him as one of her bridesmaids."
When they'd announced their engagement to the team, the guys had insisted being a part of the wedding party. Mike had been flattered...until he'd realized that most of the guys wanted to be on Ginny's part of the wedding party. It had taken a lot of haggling, bribery and threats but eventually they'd worked out a custody arrangement that worked for both of them.
"Breathe, Sanders." Mike said. "Just try not to think about your best man speech and how everyone is going to be focused on you."
Blip's eyes widened. "I think I'm going to be sick."
Mike snorted. The day he'd married Rachel he'd been nervous and jumpy but not today. He and Ginny didn't need this ceremony to prove anything about their relationship. It was a reaffirmation of what they both knew. He opened the door and walked out. "You jerks ready to watch me get married?" He called over his shoulder at the rest of the team. They walked toward the field. Right before they got to the field, The line of Ginny's Bridesmen stopped them. She'd put them in Padres Blue tuxes. Evelyn had a stylish dress of the same color while Cara had opted for a fitted pantsuit. They were all glaring at Mike. "What is this?" He asked.
"Your warning." Cara said. "Besides me, everyone here knows how to use a bat."
"And we can teach her." Sal said.
"We clear, Lawson?" Duarte asked.
"Crystal." Mike grumbled.
"Good." Al said, walking out of Ginny's cubby. "Now, get your butt out onto the field so Ginny can make you the luckiest man on the planet."
Mike tried to look past him to where Ginny was, but Al blocked his view.
"Don't even try it, old man." Ginny's voice shouted. Mike smirked before walking towards the Petco Field.
He still the 1
Standing in front of Mike surrounded by their friends on the mound, Ginny cleared her throat and began her vows.
"The first time we met I thought you were a jerk." There was titter of laughter from the people around them. "It was only after a loooong time that I realized it was because you have one of most generous and caring hearts out of anyone I'd met." She felt his grip on her fingers tightened and his eyes shone slightly. "Mike Lawson you are my constant, my anchor. With you, the world stops spinning out of control." She swallowed. "You're my stability, my home and I know no matter how wild, you'll always catch my pitches."
Mike pulled her closer and kissed her.
"Guys, you need to wait." Blip said.
"Shut up and let them kiss." Evelyn glared at him.
Ginny ignored them as Mike dipped her, setting off a bunch of wolf-whistles from the team.
"I love you, Mrs. Lawson." He said as she broke the kiss.
"And I love you, Mr. Baker."