Chapter Title: 26 | Just Janine
Prompt: #029 – Janine Kishi
Word Count: 2,323
Summary: For a long moment, they simply regarded at each other, communicating with their eyes and hands what they couldn’t convey with words. He loved that he could express with a simple stroke of skin how much he loved her, how in awe he was of her, how proud he was to have been part of this occasion, how excited he was about their future, the three of them, in their happy little family.
Links: DW | LJ | AO3 | FF.net
So, better late than never, eh? *blush*
This is the last of my two 2016 fandom_stocking gifts, this one for desertvixen.
fandom_stocking always brings out my Charlie/Janine muse, and last year was no exception. Still feeling inspired by paynesgrey's journey through pregnancy, I was contemplating a sequel to Stubborn and the universe I'd created, the idea of Charlie and Janine starting a family. I have never had any personal interest in this endeavor, but there's something about friends having babies that suddenly sparks interest, LOL.
I wanted to write something languid and intimate, hence the narrow focus of this piece. I enjoy writing from Charlie's POV as he admires the way Janine has endured her pregnancy and the birth of their child. I can definitely see him having very deep and intense feelings for her, and feeling very close to her during and after childbirth. His longing for a family and the chance to be a better father than Patrick would drive some very deep-seated desires, and he would be incredibly attentive and nurturing, as he knows the pain of absence and neglect. I think it'd start very early on, and indeed, writing this fic has given me bunnies for yet another series, focusing on Charlie and Janine bringing up a family of their own. (It'd be nice if I could finish one before starting another, but alas. This is why I don't write professionally, LOL.)
I really enjoy writing these two, and I feel like they would have an amazing bond in an established relationship. That ability to just get each other, at a level beyond words, and just have this naturally deep understanding of what the other needs and wants. His observations of how his wife has endured this pregnancy and childbirth, in contrast to her normal, daily life, are sharp and poignant, and it only makes the moment even more special to him. He admires her strength more than anything else, and it's on that level that they are a good match for each other.
I wrote this fic with the idea in the back of my mind that my recipient wanted some focus on Rioko, Janine's mother. I introduced a bit of tension in their mother-daughter relationship, in that Rioko would be clamoring for grandchildren more or less the second her daughters got married. Because Janine is the oldest, she'd get the most pressure; doubly so if she marries before Claudia. It's not an uncommon feeling; I've been getting more and more pointed mentions of it myself as I get older (and no closer to marriage or babies). The spat about the Childcraft encyclopedia is straight from my own experience, in fact. Writing that passage of the fic felt very therapeutic.
I also sprinkled in a mention of tension between Rioko and Charlie, hinting that maybe there wasn't totally unconditional happiness when he and Janine announced their engagement. That was partially another breadcrumb, a reminder to myself of a potential fic, but it was also a reason for Charlie to stop and contemplate his relationship with his mother-in-law. I don't think she'd ever be mean to him, but I can totally see her focusing more on her daughter (and granddaughter) than on him. Him convincing Janine to have children would shoot him up to the top of her list of favorite people, no doubt :P
The ending might just be my favorite bit =) It sprang fully-formed into my head:
"Three is a Magic Number" is my favorite Schoolhouse Rock song, and I couldn't resist the cheesy urge to include it here, not only for its prescience but also to lift the heaviness of the mood. The fact that they can just look at each other and simultaneously burst into song might just be my favorite aspect of their relationship :D I'm going to have fun exploring it not only here, but in my "Count Me In" series :D