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One Thing Leads to Another

Guest Red Ranger 1

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I had this idea earlier in the year but it ended up a bit too much like one of my other stories, featuring the same characters.But I managed to come up with a way of doing it differently so here goes.Hope you like it.

Story Title: One Thing Leads to Another

Type of story: Short/Medium fic

Main Characters: Xavier and April with Bianca, Gina, John and others

BTTB rating: T/A

Genre: Romance/Drama

Does story include spoilers: Not really

Any warnings: Sexual content: Mild to moderate. Violence: None. Language: None.

Summary: When Xavier and April start spending time together, their actions have unexpected consequences.


“April, can I have a word with you for a moment?”

April had been on her way out of uni but the call from Simon Thrush, her tutor, caused her to turn round. “Of course, Simon,”she agreed, following him into his office.

Simon sat behind his desk, removing a sheet of paper from the top of a large pile and handing it to her. “I’ve just been marking your last assignment.I thought you might want to have a look.”

April gaped at the large letter written at the top of the page in horror.“D?!But that’s not possible.I…I did loads of research, I learnt all the facts to do with the subject.”

“The factual content was good,”Simon confirmed,“But you failed to apply the facts properly.It’s no use knowing everything about anatomy if you can’t use it for correct diagnosis and treatment.”

April sighed.“I’m sorry.I’ll do better next time.”

“I hope so.”

Something about the way he said it made April’s ears prick up.“You think I won’t?”

“Not everyone’s cut out for medicine, April.Perhaps you should have a long hard think about whether this is what you really want.”

“Hey, Austin!”

Xavier paused, sighed and turned around.Heath was standing at the counter of Angelo’s restaurant, two plates in his hands.“Yes?”Xavier asked wearily.

“Table Six say their meal arrived cold.”

“Look, I got them from the kitchen to the table as fast as I could.The kitchen must have given them to me cold.”

“Or you were too busy gas bagging to pick them up fast enough.”Heath handed him the plates.“Tell the kitchen to warm them up.And if anything needs to be done again, the waste is coming out of your wages.”

Xavier let out another deep sigh as he carried the plates to the kitchen.Managing to score a job at Angelo’s when he got out of school had seemed like a lucky break at the time.His pizza delivery days might be on temporary suspension but he could still work as a waiter.Unfortunately, he’d forgotten that Heath was the manager there these days.And for some reason Xavier couldn’t quite fathom, he didn’t seem to like him.

It made for an interesting working day.

Xavier breathed a sigh of relief when eight o’clock came and his shift ended.After exchanging a few more barbs with Heath, he headed out of the surf club, taking a deep breath of the sea air.

He could see someone sitting on a fence down by the beach and instantly realised it was April.Since her break-up with Dexter a few months earlier, he’d often seen her on her own.She gave off the air of being quite a solitary person these days.But something prompted him to head down towards her.

“You okay?”he asked.

She glanced back over her shoulder at him.“Fine,”she claimed.

Xavier sat down beside her.“So you often hang out on beaches on your own in the middle of the night?”

“I like the quiet,”she replied tartly.

Xavier shrugged.“Sorry, I’ll go then.”

“No…”Her features softened.“I’m sorry.It’s just I had a hard day at college.”

“You should try working for Heath.”

“Want to swap?You can do essays on human anatomy and I can wait tables and get shouted at by River Boys.”

“I’ll pass, thanks.”Xavier gave an affectionate nudge.“Come on, April, you’re good at this stuff.You’re the brainy one.I’m the one stuck on minimum wage.”

“Well, you never know.Stick it out a few years and you could be running that restaurant.”Xavier laughed. “No, I mean it,”April insisted,“You might not be into the book learning but you’re pretty smart in your own way too.”

Xavier gave a smile.“Well, it’s nice of you to say so.”April kissed him on the cheek.“What was that for?”

“I think this is the first time today I’ve felt like smiling.”She jumped to her feet.“Walk me home?”

Xavier grinned and fell into step next to her.

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Many thanks for all your comments!

there was Heath! :wub: I hope there is more of Heath soon in the story...even if it is just a few lines..

Oh gosh.Heath kind of sneaked his way into this fiction because I needed someone to shout at Xavier and the way the story goes there's not much else for him to do but I might surprise you...


“Bianca!Bianca!”April’s shouts echoed all around the house.

Bianca came hurrying downstairs and into April’s room.“What’s the matter?”

April was surrounded by piles of clothes that looked like they’d been thrown around the room.As if to prove the point, she began checking through one of the piles, throwing the items into a new pile as she did so.“Have you seen my purple top?”she asked.

“Is that what all this is about?”Bianca returned bemused.

“I’m going to the movies with Xavier and I want to wear it.”

“Woah, hang on, back up.Xavier?When did you two get back together?”

April seemed surprised at the comment.“We’re not.”

“But you’re going to the movies with him?”

“Yes, as friends.”

“Then why is it so important what you wear?”

April floundered for a moment.“Because…I’m going to the movies and I want to look my best.For me, not for Xavier.I don’t get a chance to dress up much these days, what with uni and coursework.”

“Okay, but why are you going with Xavier?”

“Because, well, he’s a friend.”April paused, as though considering the matter herself for the first time.“A good friend.We’ve kind of been spending a lot of time together these past few weeks, he’s been helping me take my mind off things.”

Bianca had noticed Xavier’s visits to the house had become more frequent recently but hadn’t really thought anything of it.She hadn’t realised April seemed to have upgraded him to best friend status if nothing else.“Well, that’s good, you need someone to enjoy yourself with.”

April nodded, grateful that Bianca wasn’t pressing the point.“So if you could help me…”

Bianca cast her eyes over the clothes scattered around the room.After a few moments, she lifted up a few items and retrieved the top April was looking for from underneath them, holding it out to her pointedly.

April took it off her with an embarrassed smile.“Thanks.”

“Well, I’ll leave you to make yourself look nice then.”

“Not likely.”April looked at her mess of a room with a grimace.“I need to clear all this lot up first.”

“Oh, very nice,”Gina remarked as Xavier came into the front room, dressed up for his evening out.She smoothed out some of the creases in his shirt, earning herself a scowl from her son in the process.“I’m sure April will be pleased you’re going to this much effort for your date.”Xavier opened his mouth to respond. “Yes, I know,”she continued before he could,“It’s not a date.”

“It’s not,”Xavier reiterated.

“So if it’s not a date, why did you borrow my aftershave?”John called over from the kitchen.

“Because…because I’d just shaved?”Xavier suggested rather feebly.

“Likely story,”John retorted with a snort.

Xavier was saved by the knock at the door.He opened it to let April in.“Hey, you made it on time,”he greeted her.

“Did you expect anything else?”April returned with a smile.

Gina nudged her son.“Tell her she looks nice.”

“Mum,”Xavier hissed warningly.

“Date or not, girls like to hear that.”

“It’s okay, Mrs.Palmer,”April interceded,“Xavier and I are just going to the cinema as friends. Complimenting each other’s appearance is entirely optional.”

John gave an ironic laugh.

“Ah, we’d better go if we’re going to catch our bus,”Xavier suggested quickly, ushering April out the door,“Bye, Mum!”

“Bye, dear!”Gina called after him with a laugh,“Have a good time!”

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Thank you for all your comments!I guess it's Christmas Day in Australia and it's only a few hours away here so I don't know when anyone will log on and read this but here's another chapter.


April was feeling optimistic when she was called to Simon’s office again.Up until the point where he gave her what was presumably supposed to be an encouraging smile.The sort that you used when you were trying to convince someone things weren’t as bad as they might seem.“How do you think you’ve been getting on lately?”he asked.

“I think I’ve been getting on well,”April claimed, trying her best to maintain her optimistic smile,“I’ve taken onboard what you’ve said before and I’ve tried my best to concentrate on interpretation of data rather than bare facts.I’ve been studying really hard on all the possible explanations for symptoms and memorising the early signs of all sorts of conditions.”

“Yes, I can see all that,”Simon agreed,“Your work’s shown a lot of improvement in that area.”

“Well, thank you.”April tried to leave.

“April, are you sure this is what you want to do?”Simon asked.

April gave him an agonised look.“Yes,”she insisted,“I really want to be a doctor, I’ve worked really hard to get here.”

“Yes, you have, I agree.”Simon sighed.“April, being a doctor requires medical knowledge, which you have.And it requires compassion and the ability to relate to people, which you also have.But it also requires instinct, the ability to tell which of the many possible solutions to a problem is the right one.And, I’m sorry, but I’m not seeing that from you.”

April felt crushed.“Are you throwing me off the course?”

“No.I’m asking you to consider, very carefully, whether you think this is the right thing for you to do. Because I can see you’re working hard and I’d hate for you to carry on doing that and then discover, further down the line, that it’s all been for nothing.”

Xavier nearly bumped into Bianca, who was going out as he arrived at the back door of the beach house.“Is April in?”he asked.

Bianca nodded.“In her room.Good luck talking to her though, she came home in a bad mood and shut herself away in there.See you later.”

Xavier suddenly found himself alone.Nervously he went to April’s bedroom and knocked on the door. “April, you in there?”There was no answer so he pushed the door open.

April was standing at her desk, frantically ripping pages out of her university textbooks, letting out cries of frustration as she did so.Xavier ran over to her and took hold of her gently but firmly.“April, April, stop it!What are you doing?”

“It was all for nothing!”April was shouting hysterically,“I’m useless!Useless!”

Xavier turned her round and hugged her close to him.“No you’re not,”he insisted,“What’s going on, hey?”

April pulled away from him slightly but didn’t pull out of his grip.“I’m leaving uni,”she said.

Xavier looked at her in surprise.“What?But why?You’re the smartest girl I know.”

“Oh yeah, I’m smart.”April sat down heavily on the bed, looking despondent.“I get told that over and over.But apparently that’s not good enough.Apparently I need instincts and I haven’t got them.”

Xavier sat down next to her.“What are you going to do?”

“I don’t know.All those months wasted…why did I ever think I could be a doctor?”

“I reckon you’d be a great doctor.”

“Well, that’s because you always say nice things to people.”

“Well, yeah.But I still think you’d be good.”

She smiled at him.“Thanks, Xavier.It’s good to know I’ve got you on my side.”She kissed him on the cheek.Then, after a moment’s hesitation, she turned his face towards her and kissed him on the lips, letting the kiss linger as they began to gently massage each other’s lips.

Xavier let the kiss continue for a few seconds before pulling away.“April, we…”

“Shh.It doesn’t matter.”She kissed him again, letting it deepen this time.She pushed him down onto the bed, lying on top of him, and began pulling his shirt off over his head.

Xavier realised what was going to happen but he didn’t want to stop it.He helped April remove her top and loosened her skirt, allowing it to drop off her body, as April began unbuttoning his trousers…

They sat at opposite ends of the foot of the bed, getting dressed.Xavier pulled his trousers back into place as April did her bra back up and retrieved her skirt.

Xavier coughed awkwardly.“Well, um…”

“Don’t,”April told him abruptly.

Xavier looked across at her.“Don’t what?”

“Don’t talk about what we just did.We’re two friends who just got a bit emotional and…had sex.It happens.”

“Has it happened to you before?”

April paused.“No,”she admitted.

“Me neither.”Xavier pulled his shirt back on as April did the same.They got up and looked at each other awkwardly.“So, we’re still friends?”he asked.

April nodded.“Of course.But…I think we should probably stay away from each other for a while.”

Xavier looked disappointed.“Why?”

“Because…I think we’re going to need time to put this aside before we can carry on as normal.Just a few days, Xavier, that’s all.”

Xavier felt he should kiss her on the cheek or shake her hand or something but from the way she was keeping her distance from him he suspected any attempt at physical contact wouldn’t be welcome.“So, I’ll call you in a few days then?”he asked.

April nodded.“In a few days.”

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Many thanks for all your comments, hope you enjoy this one.


Xavier stood on the beach near the surf club, checking his watch again before looking in both directions.It had been three weeks since he and April had pushed the boundaries of their friendship and, although they had met up a few times since then, things remained awkward between them.So when she had rung him up and asked him to meet her on the beach, it had come as something of a surprise.

He was beginning to think she had changed her mind and wasn’t coming when he saw a figure approaching from the direction of the beach house.He stood still as April came closer, stopping about two feet away from him.“How have you been?”he asked.

April bit her lip nervously.“Good, thanks.”

She lapsed into silence but Xavier had a feeling there was something she was trying to pluck up the courage to say.“Do you want to go to the Diner or something?”he suggested.

“I’m pregnant!”she blurted out.He stared at her in shock.She took a deep breath.“I’m pregnant and it’s yours.”

Xavier struggled to know what to say.“How long have you known?”

“A couple of days.I was late so I did a test.And it was positive.”

“But…”Xavier was still at a loss for words.Everything he thought of sounded stupid.

“Come on, Xavier, you must have known this could happen,”April protested,“It’s not like you used anything.”

“I thought you were on the Pill!”

“Why would I be on the Pill?”

“To stop yourself getting pregnant?!”

April threw up her arms in despair.“Okay, Xavier, I give up.Just thought you might want to know.”

She turned to go and Xavier ran after her, grabbing her arm.“April, wait.I’m sorry, okay?We’ll…we’ll deal with it.”

“Any ideas how?”

Xavier took a deep breath.“Well…I guess we’ll start by telling people.”

Bianca stared hard at April.“Tell me you’re joking.”

Not for the first time that day, April bit her lip nervously.“I’m not joking.”

“April, how could you be so stupid?You’re eighteen and pregnant and you haven’t even got a boyfriend!”

“I told you, it’s Xavier’s, it’s not like I’ve slept with some stranger…”

“Oh great, so it’s Xavier’s!You think that makes everything all right?You think he’s going to look after you?”

“He…he said he’d help, he’s telling his mum about it now.”

“So Gina’s going to be involved as well?I’m sure she’ll be delighted.Well, you can kiss goodbye to being a doctor.You’re going to have to leave university…”

“Well, I was going to have to do that anyway, my tutor already said I was no good.”April felt the tears running down her face.“I’m sorry I’m such a disappointment!”She ran into her room, slammed the door and threw herself down on the bed.

She hoped Xavier was getting on better.

“How could you be so stupid?”Gina snapped.

John shifted uncomfortably next to her.“Ah, Gina…”

She waved a hand in his direction.“I’m dealing with this, John.”He held up his hands and retreated from the room as she turned her attention back to Xavier.“It was bad enough you made a mess of things at school…”

“I got a job,”Xavier protested.

Gina went on as if he hadn’t spoken.“…but how do you think you’re going to provide for a child on what you make at Angelo’s?It barely even covers your rent here.And I really thought April was more sensible than that.”

“Than what?”Xavier demanded,“Than to sleep with me?”

“Xavier, you know that’s not the issue here.Although having said that, if you had both shown more restraint then we wouldn’t be having this conversation.”

Xavier shook his head.“I give up.I thought I might get a bit of support but I guess I should have known better.”He stormed out.

They met up by the beach again.“How did you go?”April asked.

Xavier considered lying for a moment then he shook his head.“Not good,”he admitted,“You?”

“The same.”April sighed.“I guess I’ve turned into the girl on the Sex Ed videos.You know, the one who has unprotected sex and gets pregnant and has everyone telling her she’s messed her life up.”

“What does the boy do in the videos?”

“Well…most of them aren’t as nice about it as you.”

“I wasn’t that good to start with,”Xavier pointed out,“Maybe Mum and Bianca will come round.”

April shook her head.“I really don’t know if I can cope with this.”

They hugged each other silently, their minds in turmoil, neither of them having a clue what to do next.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, if you've been missing this fiction hopefully you'll be happy it's back and...

I hope there is more of Heath soon in the story...even if it is just a few lines..

...never let it be said I don't take requests.


Xavier looked cautiously to his left and right one more time before peering through the window.He could see April hunched over the bed, seemingly busying herself with something.He tapped lightly on the glass and she almost jumped out of her skin before she turned round and saw who it was.She stalked towards the window angrily.“Xavier, what are you doing?”

“Checking the coast is clear,”he explained,“I’m not sure how welcome I am at your place at the moment.”

“Well, Irene and Bianca have gone to work so, yeah.Come on round.”

Xavier quickly made the short journey from the window to the back door and into April’s room the conventional way.“How are you doing?”he asked and then he noticed exactly what it was April was busy doing,“Why are you packing?”

April sighed.“Because I’m going away.”

“What?But…where?Why?Are they making you, is it to do with the baby, do they want you to..?”

“They don’t know,”April interrupted.

It took Xavier a few seconds to process the information.Then he realised.“Are you running away?”

April didn’t look up from what she was doing.She just nodded.

Xavier took her by the shoulders, forcing her to look at him.“April, think about this.Where are you going to go, what are you going to do?”

“I don’t know.All I know is I can’t go on like this.Meal times are a nightmare, Bianca giving me disappointed looks and Irene not knowing how to react.College is pretty much a write off, what with being pregnant and useless.I can’t go on living in a town where everyone just sees me as a screw-up teenage mum, I need to be somewhere else.”

Xavier looked at his watch helplessly.“Look, I’ve got to be at work but promise me you won’t go anywhere until we’ve talked about this.Come round to mine this evening and…and we’ll see if we can sort this, okay?”He saw her start to protest but cut in firmly.“Promise me.”

April sighed.“Okay.But if you tell Bianca or Irene or your mum about this, then I swear I’m going to leave here and you’ll never see me or this baby again.”

The day seemed to drag on interminably.Every time Xavier looked at his watch expecting his shift to be nearly finished it was only a quarter of an hour since he’d last looked.And the constant baiting from Heath was hardly helping, especially since his mind wasn’t exactly on the job.

“Table four,”Heath repeated after Xavier had headed off in the direction of table eight by mistake,“No wonder you’re working here if you can’t even count properly.”Xavier silently changed direction and delivered the meal to the correct table but as he headed back to the counter Heath gave him a light clip across the ear.“Better shape up, Austin, or I might have to find myself another dumb wage slave.”

It was the last straw.Xavier turned round angrily and punched Heath in the chest.It felt curiously akin to hitting a wall and the fact that, despite being knocked back a pace by the blow, Heath merely laughed didn’t help.“Stuff your job!”Xavier snarled before storming out of the restaurant.

Xavier paused outside the surf club, taking deep breaths to calm himself.He was surprised when Heath followed him out and even more surprised that he didn’t immediately start pummelling him into the ground.“You wanna tell me what that little girly tantrum was about?”he asked.

“April’s pregnant, okay?”Xavier snapped, aware of the irony of who he was confiding in but too wound up to think of a lie,“She’s pregnant and it’s mine and our families hate the idea so she wants to run away and I don’t know what I’m gonna do about it.”

“You got April pregnant?”Heath asked with a smirk,“Didn’t know you had it in you.”Xavier scowled and Heath’s demeanour changed slightly.“You love her?”Xavier didn’t answer.“’Cos if you really do want to do right by this girl and this kid, you need to stop being a wuss and start to man up.Just saying.”

Heath went back inside.But Xavier was shocked to realise that his words had actually given him an idea.

April had her bag slumped over her shoulder when she turned up on Xavier’s doorstep that evening.She looked cautiously past him as he answered the door.“Your mum isn’t here?”

“No, she and John have gone out.”

April took a deep breath.“Okay, I know I said we’d talk about this but seriously, there is nothing you can say to change my mind.I know that this is crazy and childish and I don’t really know how I’m gonna support myself and look after this baby and I know I’m not being fair to you taking our baby away like this but…I’m at my wits end here, Xav, and I just know I can’t go on the way I have been.”

“There’s nothing I can say to make you stay?”

April shook her head.“Nothing.”

“Okay.”Xavier picked up a rucksack from beside the door and slung it over his shoulder.“Let’s go then.”

It was not the response April had been expecting.“What?”

“I’m going with you.”

“Xav, you don’t have to do that…”

“Well, the way I see it my life sucks just as much as yours and it’s the only way I’m gonna be there for the baby and we’ll stand a better chance of supporting ourselves if there’s two of us.So..?”

April stared at him in disbelief for a second.Then she smiled and took his hand.

Xavier pulled the door shut behind them and they walked off down the street together.

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Many thanks for your comments, hope you like this one.


“April!”Bianca called out as she and Irene arrived home.There was no answer.

“Maybe she’s in her room studying,”Irene suggested.

“I doubt it.She hasn’t got much to study for these days.Probably reading an antenatal book.April!”Bianca pushed open the door to her sister’s room and saw the letter sitting on top of the empty bed.She picked it up and scanned the contents.“Oh my god.Irene!”She ran back through into the living area.

“What is it?”Irene asked, taking the letter Bianca was thrusting at her.

“She’s run away,”Bianca replied anxiously,“I didn’t mean for her to do this.”

Before Irene could respond, Gina came running in the back door.“April!”she called before catching sight of Irene and Bianca,“Is she here?”

Bianca didn’t know how to respond.Irene held up the letter.“No, love, it turns out she’s run away.”

Gina held up an identical-looking letter.“So’s Xavier.I mean, they both have.They’ve run away together.”

“What?”Bianca snatched the letter off Gina.

“He says that April didn’t think she could stay here,”Gina explained,“And he…he didn’t think he could count on us to support them so he’s gone with her.”

“Are they crazy?”Bianca demanded,“They’re just kids!Maybe I was a bit hard on April but they didn’t need to do this!”

“I suppose I was the same with Xavier,”Gina admitted,“I was just so angry with him for getting himself into this mess but it doesn’t mean I wouldn’t have supported him.”

“Maybe we should look on the bright side,”Irene suggested.

Bianca and Gina looked at her doubtfully.“What bright side?”Bianca asked.

“Well, at least they’re together.Doesn’t that mean they’re looking out for each other?”

Xavier unlocked the door of the motel room and he and April went inside.They took in the small room at a glance:the solitary double bed, the small bathroom, the few uncomfortable chairs dotted about.“I’ll take the floor,”Xavier offered,“There’s probably an extra blanket around here somewhere.”

April shook her head.“You don’t need to do that.”

“Well, you can’t sleep on the floor, you’re pregnant.”

“I know, I mean…we can share.”April nodded towards the bed.

Xavier looked at her in confusion.“You mean..?”

“I mean we can share,”April repeated, her tone making it clear she didn’t mean anything more than that, “Just two friends sleeping in the same bed.And having a baby together.”

“Well, okay, if you’re sure…”

She nodded.“I’m fine with it.”She put her bag down on one side of the bed and took out some bed clothes, hesitating for a bit before nodding towards the bathroom.“I’ll go and get changed in there.”

Xavier spent a few long moments debating whether sleeping in just a pair of shorts would be appropriate before deciding to put a t-shirt on as well.He was halfway through donning it when April emerged from the bathroom, dressed in a night vest and pants.“Sorry,”she apologised.

“No, that’s okay,”he replied as he finished getting dressed,“Um, do we turn in now then?”

“Might be best.Long day tomorrow.”April clambered into bed and Xavier couldn’t help paying close attention to her figure.

“How long before you start showing?”

“Don’t know.Few months, I guess.I’ve never done this before.”

Xavier got into the bed as well, laying down a few inches away from her.“Guess we’d better get to sleep,” he noted.

“Guess so,”she agreed, before they lapsed into silence for a few moments.

“Any idea what we’re going to do tomorrow?”

“I dunno, get to the city and find somewhere to live, try and get jobs somewhere.”

“Sounds like a plan.”Xavier went to turn his lamp off.

“Xav?”April smiled at him awkwardly.“I’m glad you came with me.”

Xavier smiled back and turned out the light.

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Thank you for all the comments, hope you like this one.



April grimaced at the call, looking round to where a man, sat with his family, was clicking his fingers at her.However much she might wear a badge saying “My name is April, I am here to help”, to the customers she was always Waitress.

She forced a smile on her face as she went over to the table, notepad in hand.“Yes, sir, how may I help you?”

The man scanned the menu.“Two burgers with chips, one haddock with chips and one steak and kidney pie with chips, please.”

April noted down his order, giving him another smile as she did so, and headed to the kitchen, handing the order to the cooking staff.

“Sit down here a minute,”called Molly, who was working the till,“I can handle any orders if they come.”

April liked Molly.She was the same age as her, having left school the previous year.She was also the only person in the café, staff or customer, who ever seemed to notice that April was pregnant.It wasn’t like she could hide the pregnancy anymore, a cursory look at her would be enough to tell, but everyone just seemed to view her as someone who was only there to take orders, wait tables and smile at people as she totted up their bills.The idea that she might have a life outside her job didn’t seem to occur to them.

“Thanks, Molly,”April replied, taking the weight off her feet.

“You doing anything at the weekend?”Molly asked.

“Quiet night in.We spend less money that way.”

“You should both come out with us.We’re having a drink on Saturday.”

April grimaced.“Drinking not really an option at the moment.”

“We won’t mind if you stick to orange juice.”

“Thanks but…we kind of need the money for when the baby comes.I’m trying to get clothes and everything we need sorted.”

“Okay, well, let me know if you change your mind.”Molly winced as another customer started shouting for a waitress.“I’d better see what he wants.”

April sighed, checking the clock to see how many hours of her shift remained.She wondered if Xavier was having better luck.

“The thing you’ve got to remember, Xavier, is to bend your knees.”

Xavier did actually remember that.Mainly because Ted told him it every day.But the older man was good company and, despite being over twenty years old than Xavier, he never talked down to him.Well, no more than he would anyone else he viewed as the new boy.It was quite refreshing.

Xavier helped Ted lift the next one of the newly arrived crates onto the pallet.If nothing else, working in the warehouse was keeping him fit.There was always a steady stream of cargoes arriving at the harbour which needed to be stored somewhere.

“So what are you and that girlfriend of yours getting up to tonight?”Ted asked.

Xavier sighed.No matter how many times he said it, the message didn’t seem to go in.“She’s not my…”

“Not your girlfriend, I know,”Ted interrupted,“Just a friend who happens to be a girl and who you happen to have got pregnant.Which is completely different apparently.”

“It is,”Xavier insisted.

“Well, whatever it is you call her, I take it you’ll be seeing her tonight?”

“Well, yeah, we do live together.”Xavier took advantage of the distraction of loading another crate to have a think.“We’ll just have stay in, I guess.Watch a bit of telly or something.”

“That’s what young people do nowadays?You’re sounding like a married couple already.”

Xavier glared at him.“Do you want to have to lift these crates on your own?”

Ted held up his hands in a gesture of surrender.“Message received and understood.”

Xavier and April liked to call their home a flat, although the description stretched the definition of flat a little.It consisted of a grand total of two rooms.The largest room was a combination bedroom, kitchen and living area:A large bed dominated the room, opposite the television set and a small coffee table, while on the far side of the room was the cooking and washing up area, a table for eating meals nearby.In the early days, they had given active thought to buying a smaller bed somewhere but after a few weeks they’d got used to sharing and the conversations had ceased.

At the other end of the room was the door leading into the small bathroom, although it didn’t actually contain a bath, only managing a shower cubicle.Although neither Xavier nor April really minded showers, given how sore she felt most days April could have done with a long relaxing soak.

Xavier found her already in the kitchen area when he arrived home, having finished an hour before him. “How was your day?”he asked her.

“Much the same as yesterday,”April answered,“I’m making my famous beans on toast.”

“Who says we don’t know how to live?”

“Well, it has the advantage of being easy to make…ow!”April gave a sudden gasp of pain.

Xavier looked at her in concern.“Are you okay?”

“Yeah, I just felt a…”April rubbed her stomach thoughtfully.“Is it about time for the baby to start kicking?”

“I guess so, I haven’t really been around that many pregnant people.”

“Because I think that’s what it’s doing.”April gave another gasp.“Yep, I’m pretty sure that felt like a kick. Hey, come and feel.”

“Do you mind?”Xavier asked cautiously.

“Bit late to worry about that now.Here.”She took his hand and placed it over her stomach.

For a moment, Xavier felt nothing.Then he felt the dull thud of something moving around inside her.An involuntary smile spread across his face.“Wow.”

April looked at him and smiled too, the pair of them united in their pleasure.Then she sniffed the air.There was an odd burning smell…“Beans!”she realised and dived for the cooker.

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Thank you for all your comments, hope you like this one.


April checked her watch for what felt like the hundredth time and looked around the hospital waiting room.It seemed to be full of couples.Pregnant women accompanied by their loving husbands. They had probably been trying for children for ages, looking forward to the positive test result and the following scan.And probably to the birth and the having a baby that came afterwards.

The nurse came out of the examination room.“April Scott?”

April cast a look back towards the doorway, hoping for a miracle.But there was no-one there.She hesitated.“Can I wait a bit longer?I’m waiting for my…”She broke off, unsure how she could describe their relationship.“I’m waiting for the father.”

The nurse seemed uncertain for a few moments then nodded.“All right but we can’t hold the slot for too long.Mrs.Abbott, you’re next, are you ready?”A woman in her early 30s, with the inevitable husband by her side, nodded.“All right, come on through.”

April sat fidgeting for a few moments longer, feeling several people’s gaze on her when they thought she wasn’t looking.She checked her watch again, two minutes since her appointment was supposed to be.Then Xavier came barrelling through the door, out of breath, and dropped into the seat next to her. “April, I’m so sorry.”

April primarily felt relief but it didn’t stop her showing her anger.“Xavier, where have you been?”

“I got held up at work and then the traffic was bad…I didn’t worry you, did I?”

“Worry?Xavier, I’ve been sat here on my own!Don’t you get it, I don’t have anyone else apart from you!If I can’t count on you…”

Xavier looked at her dumbfounded.“April, is something up?”

April paused.When she’d first decided to run away, it had all seemed fairly straightforward.Xavier coming along too had been a help but she knew she could have managed on her own if he hadn’t.But now…now she was beginning to feel as though she relied on him and she had no idea what she’d do if he wasn’t there.

“I just wish you’d let me know where you were.”

“Is this your first pregnancy?”the nurse asked once they were finally in the examination room.

April glanced back at Xavier and smiled.“Yeah.”

“Well, I just want to assure you that this is nothing to worry about.It’s just routine to make sure the baby’s developing nicely.”

“And is it?”Xavier asked.

The nurse examined the ultrasound scan.“Two arms, two legs, that’s always a good sign.Strong heartbeat.A good size for twenty weeks.I don’t think you’ve got anything to worry about.Have you been having any problems?”

April shook her head.“No, everything’s fine.”

“And you’re eating okay?”

April paused slightly.“As well as I can.”

“Well, you need to keep your strength up.”

“She hasn’t been going hungry,”Xavier insisted defensively.

The nurse nodded.“All right, just checking.I can print off a photo of the ultrasound if you want.”

The pair smiled.“Definitely,”Xavier agreed.

“More than one if you want to send them to family?”

Their smiles faltered a bit.“There isn’t really anyone to send them to,”April admitted.

“Okay.I think the doctor wanted to give you a pelvic examination while you were here.”

Xavier took a step back.“I’ll wait outside for that one.”

When April emerged about ten minutes later, she looked around for Xavier and saw him standing by the reception desk, chatting to a young blonde woman in a nurse’s uniform.“Xav, I’m ready to go,” she called.

“Okay.”Xavier nodded to the woman.“See you, Cheryl.”

April felt an odd pang at the remark, at the idea of Xavier talking in familiar terms to someone who she recognised was quite attractive.“You two are on first name terms?”she asked as he joined her.

Xavier held up a piece of paper and gave a satisfied sigh.“She gave me her number.Nice to know I’ve still got it.”

“Lucky you,”April replied tartly,“Some of us have ended up fat and ugly.”

“Hey, you’re not ugly!”Xavier protested,“Half of the guys in here were looking at you and wishing that was their baby.”April raised an eyebrow.“You know what I mean.”

April tried to push her bad feelings aside.She did want him to be happy.“So are you going to call her?”

“I doubt it.My evenings are kind of full, my days are even fuller and I haven’t really got any money to take her anywhere.”

April’s expression soured again.“Well, I’m sorry to be such a burden to you, Xavier,”she snapped and stormed on ahead.

Xavier stood in her wake, wondering what he’d done wrong.

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Thanks for all your comments once again, hope you like this.


April slammed the order slip down on the counter.“One double cheeseburger with a large fries,”she snapped,“Like the guy taking up two seats needs them.”

Molly looked at her bemused.“Okay, this job makes me cranky sometimes but you seem to be at a whole new level today.Is this a hormone thing?”

“No, it’s not hormones!Why is it whenever a pregnant woman’s upset about something people think it’s hormones?”

Molly took her by the arm.“Okay, outside before you kill a customer.Harry!We’re taking our break now.”

She led April out into the alleyway behind the building, the one staff normally used when they wanted a cigarette.“Right.Talk.”

April sighed.“I went for my scan the other day.”

“Everything was all right with the baby, wasn’t it?”

“Yeah, yeah, fine.It’s just…one of the nurses gave Xavier her number and I was…well, jealous, I guess.”

Molly held up a hand.“Okay, back up.You like Xavier now?”

“No!Or possibly yes.He’s a friend and we’re having a baby together.But I’m not in love with him or anything.”

“So what’s the problem?”

“The problem is we’re having a baby together!I thought I could do this on my own but I can’t, I need him to be there for us.But on the other hand, he’s a nice guy and he deserves to be happy and I don’t want to stand in the way of him being happy.”She groaned.“Oh, this is so messed up!”

“Have you talked this over with him?”Molly asked.

“No.I mean, what do you say?”

“Look, I’m sure there’s nothing to worry about.Xavier’s got plenty of reasons to stay with you.”

April looked thoughtful.“Well, I guess I just have to make sure that stays true.”

Xavier had a set of excuses prepared when he got home, to explain why he was late back again, but before he could use any of them he heard April’s voice.“Close your eyes.”

Xavier did as instructed.“How long do I have to stay like this?”he asked.

“Just another minute.Take a step to the right and then…open them again.”

Xavier gaped at what he saw.The table was set up with a lavish meal, a bottle of wine and candles. April was standing by it and she looked gorgeous:She was wearing a black dress that showed off her figure, even after five months of pregnancy, and had had her hair and make-up done.The whole thing must have taken her hours.

“Wow,”he said at last.

April gave a nervous smile.“I thought we deserved a special evening.”

“You’ve certainly managed that.Can we afford all this?”

“We’ve been good for a few weeks, I think we can afford to push the boat out a bit.”

Xavier picked up the bottle of wine.“And should you be drinking this?”

“It’s non-alcoholic, Xav,”April snapped, beginning to get a bit flustered,“Look, I thought I’d do something nice for us.But if you’re worried…”

“No, no.”Xavier took her arm gently.“I’m sorry, okay?It’s great that you’ve done this for us.Let’s just sit down and eat and talk about our day.”

She smiled.“That seems like a good plan.”

“You don’t have to do that,”she remarked as Xavier finished putting the plates away.

“Hey, you did all the cooking.Only fair that I helped with the washing and clearing up.”Xavier straightened up and put his arms round April’s waist.“This was a good idea.It was nice to have an evening that’s just about relaxing instead of worrying about bills and babies and crates full of hairdryers.”

“Doesn’t have to be over yet.”

“Oh, you had something else planned?”

“Yes.”She leaned forward and kissed him.

Xavier responded to the kiss for several seconds then pulled away slightly.“Are you sure..?”

“Don’t question it.”

“Okay.”They kissed again and staggered over to the bed, beginning to remove each other’s clothes as they lay down together.

Being in the same bed wasn’t exactly an unusual experience for them.However, being naked and feeling the warmth of post-coital bliss was a bit more rare.“What exactly was that?”Xavier asked.

“What, you didn’t recognise it?”

“No, I mean…was that just us letting off steam or…”He rolled over and looked right at her.“Are we together?”

“Do you want to be?”

He tried to look serious even though he couldn’t help grinning.“Will you be my girlfriend?”

“I think I could cope with that.”

“I love you.”

The falter of her smile was so slight he didn’t even notice it.“I love you too,”she replied.And kissed him again.

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Big thank you for the comments!This turned out shorter than I expected but I hope you still like it.


“Fifty, seventy, ninety makes ten dollars.Have a nice day!”April handed the customer his change with a cheerful smile.

“You’re looking a lot happier than you have been lately,”Molly noted,“Did you sort things out with Xavier?”

“There’s been a few developments,”April confirmed.

“Such as?”

April gave a coy smile.“Well, let’s just say that we haven’t just been sleeping in the same bed the last few nights.”

Molly’s eyes widened in surprise as she realised what her friend was saying.“Oh…my…god.You and Xavier?I didn’t know you were heading that way.”

“Well, like I said, I needed to make sure he had a reason to stay with me.”

Molly froze at the comment.She took April by the arm and led her away from the counter, where no customers or workmates could hear them.“April, please tell me you’re not prostituting yourself to Xavier so he doesn’t walk out on you and the baby.”

“I’m not prostituting myself!”April protested,“It’s Xavier, I’ve known him for years.”

“Yeah but why are you suddenly getting all more than friendly now?Do you love him?”

“Yes, I love him!He’s one of my best friends, he’s been there for me all the way through this pregnancy, he’s kind and caring, he’s cute in a dorky sort of way and…when we sleep together, it actually feels pretty special.”She noticed from Molly’s expression that she still wasn’t satisfied and sighed.“I’m just not entirely sure I’m in love with him.”

Molly looked at her doubtfully.“Are you sure you should be doing this?”

“Yes, I’m sure.We’re friends and we’re going to be a family, that’s a pretty solid basis for a relationship, isn’t it?”

“Okay.Just…be careful, okay?”

When April arrived home that evening, she paused just inside the doorway and sniffed the air.There was an odd smell reminiscent of a curry house.“Xavier?”

“Over here!”he called from the kitchen area.

April turned round and let out a gasp.Xavier was standing by the table, which was neatly laid.He’d dressed in a smart shirt and seemed to have used a comb for once.“What’s all this?”she asked.

Xavier shrugged.“Well, I figured after you made a meal for me last week I should return the favour. Except I kind of cheated and got takeout.”He held up a foil carton.

April smiled in delight.“You didn’t have to do that.”

“Well, I thought I should at least make a show of looking after you.”

April ran over to him and kissed him.She’d intended it to be a light peck but somehow neither of them seemed to want the kiss to end, continuing to explore each other’s mouths enthusiastically.“Do you think the takeout will keep if we leave it in the oven for a bit?”she asked in between kisses.


“I think we need to work up an appetite first.”

Xavier stopped the kiss and grinned at her.“You really are insatiable, aren’t you?”

“Do you mind?”

“Nope.”He started kissing her again and she began leading him towards the bed.Reluctantly, he pulled back.“Just give me a moment to see if I can find low heat.”

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