A/N: If you read this, you’re required to send me a potential title :|
Just kidding. But actually, I would really like suggestions cuz I’m fresh out of them, having used up my title quota for the rest of my life. Yup, I am a poor writer with a shortage of titles. Each title which whom I have gotten involved has broken my heart and dumped me carelessly so I really don’t trust titles anymore. So I would appreciate you guys helping me out and hooking me up with a nice, well thought-out title that my parents will like. /why am I a nerd.
Oh and also I plan for this to be three parts, and it focuses on John Wright and Logan Wright’s relationship from the time Logan is born up to canon. It’s told from John Wright’s POV. Most of the time. Okay I’m done messing around now, here you go. <3
John Logan Wright the Third is born as the rain falls and the city roars. John Logan Wright Jr. doesn’t get there in time—he tries desperately, wrapping up his phone conference as hastily as he can, canceling his meeting, bullying a taxi away from two ladies without bothering to apologize. But the sky is dark and angry, traffic is heavy, New York is bloated with too many people. And he doesn’t make it.
“Where were you?” his wife is in tears. Her whole body is wet and aching and smells of sweat. He is tired too, and it’s hard to explain it without making her crying worse.
“You weren’t here for me. I was so scared. You weren’t even here!”
“I’m sorry,” he says helplessly, and kisses her wet forehead. “I’m so sorry.”
“Mr. Wright, would you like to meet your son?” The nurse comes forward. She holds a squealing mass of tissue and blood and flesh, its eyes screwed up, fists clenched tightly, almost angrily. John stares at it as the butterflies in his stomach make him feel sick with fear. Still, his arms go out automatically, and the baby falls into his hold. A son, the nurse had said. His head can barely wrap around the fact—a son?
The baby grips at his shirt the second he’s placed in John’s arms, fingers wrapping themselves around the cloth of his father’s shirt, pinching his skin with a tenacious, vicious hold. It’s his baby, his little baby—his son. Of all the ugly, beautiful, strange miracles!
“Oh give him here, John, you’re not holding him correctly! You’ll hurt him!” his wife admonishes, still in the worst of moods.
John doesn’t want to let go (and he thinks that his baby boy doesn’t want to either), but he refuses to fight right now. He feels so meek and tired next to his wife, who’s just done this wonderful feat, and next to newly born John Logan Wright, who is the most fantastic thing in the entire room.
He laid his boy gently down into the arms of his mother, sits beside his family.
“I’ll make it up to you,” he says as he kisses his son’s forehead. He says it to them both. “I promise.”
His son grows quickly into the name Logan, and it suits him and his bright green eyes. Beautiful eyes. John has no idea how he created such a beautiful, bright-eyed boy, who loves to stare outside of windows, whether the sun is shining or the storm clouds are crawling all over the sky. He babbles incessantly, but he doesn’t cry as much as John had expected. No, his son is brave and strong—all smiles. John can’t help but brag about it at the water cooler sometimes. Oh, your daughter cries all through the night, does she? What a shame. Logan is an angel. Your son won’t eat what he’s given? Logan loves his carrot mush and applesauce. Come over sometime, Logan absolutely loves meeting new people. He is so agreeable.
His life only gets better and better. Brilliant wife, brilliant son, it gives him such confidence and energy that he dares to pull longer nights and take chances and fight for what he believes in. John Wright has always been a tenacious politician, but suddenly he’s breaking down walls. He has everything going for him—so why not run for Senate?
The dream is born in him late one night at dinner, with Logan giggling and smashing his peas into his mouth, the TV in the other room on. Tonight’s conversation has been muted, both adults tired, depending on their giggling baby boy to fill in the silence with his babble. John’s eyes drift from his wife to his son, the TV in the background reporting on a new bill circling through the Senate. The idea materializes in front of him, as though it was always there. Of course!
“Darling,” he breaks the silence, “what do you think about being the wife of a Senator?”
Logan, from his highchair, claps his hands in approval, giggles, spits up a little.
It’s really all the confirmation he needs.
Logan sprouts a head full of thick blonde hair that grows as quick as grass. His first words are “Dada, up!” John knows it’s silly, but to him, those words are proof that Logan is a dreamer like his old man, always thinking forward—no, no, skyward, onto bigger and better things.
John takes his son by the arms and swings him up. Logan’s arms curl around his neck and his tiny nose nuzzles his cheek.
“Up, up and away, right, Logan?” He spins around, making Logan laugh even more. “Up, up and away!”
He wins the seat. Of course he does. He is the young, vibrant politician with a picture-perfect family and an adorable son who doesn’t ever cry at his rallies. The media loves Logan almost as much as John does. And John sees this. He uses this.
His wife doesn’t like it though.
“He’s hardly even three!” she snaps at him one night, ripping off her jewelry as she moves around the room in a huff. “Just a toddler and all of New York knows his name and his favorite candy! That’s ridiculous, John. This really can’t go on—I refuse to take him.”
“Sweetheart, it’s harmless. Logan doesn’t even mind it.”
“He’s a child! He’s just happy to be with his father—for once!”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” He looks up from the book he’s reading.
“Late nights, dinners out, trips across the country! For a man trying to be the poster boy for the American family, you’re hardly around for your own!” She’s a whirlwind of pent-up frustration and she lands on the bed with a huff, yanking back the covers. “He wanders around the house sometimes, calling for you, you know! I had to purchase a leash to put on him whenever we go out so he doesn’t get lost, looking for you! He may be young, but he’s bright. He wants his father.”
Bile churns in John’s stomach and he feels tense, throat tight. Her anger is like a knife in his gut. He can’t help but think—how dare she try to make him feel guilty, how dare she try and ruin his dreams in the most backward, scheming, political kind of way?
“You’re always invited to dinners, parties, anything at all,” he snaps back. “You’re the one who doesn’t want to go half of the time. I have to drag you the other half. How do you think I feel, having a wife who doesn’t support me?”
“That’s ridiculous John, I have a child to take care of. I don’t want to leave him with the nanny all the time. And you can’t expect me to take him to cocktail parties! Will you think of him for once? Or me? I didn’t marry the entire U.S. Congress, I married you!”
“You two are all I ever think about!” John tries to defend. “I’m trying to make this country a better place for him, for you—”
“Bullshit.” The light switches off without another word.
John never has enough time. The day, from the early morning to the late night, moves faster then he can keep up. He’s suddenly not as young as he used to be, even though, in his mind, he feels like he’s 22, fresh out of college. But his eyes ache, his head aches, and he grows frustrated easily, with the situation of his country—and the situation at home. He can’t finish his work, he can’t find time to make love to his wife, he can’t sit down for thirty minutes and eat dinner without his Blackberry buzzing and whisking him away. When he’s at home, he’s bent over his desk, and backaches ripple up and down his spine as the headaches force a few aspirin down his throat.
The fights with his wife evolve. Once they were mere squabbles over the same thing, same thing. She would whine about how he works too late and wakes her up when he came home. He solves this by sleeping in the guest room instead, all alone. She complains about how she never gets to go out with her friends, and so he hired a second nanny, a kind, 26-year-old former pageant girl named Heather, who adores Logan. But he can’t be home the way she really wants him to, and he can’t take Logan out to baseball games or help him learn how to add and subtract. Those are problems he can’t solve. And problems without solutions cause him additional stress, so he throws himself into the ones he know he can help, tackling his work whenever he could, letting it consume him to distract him from his failures.
One day, Logan opens his office door quietly; his angelic face a demure mask of politeness. “Daddy,” he says. “Uhm, Daddy,” he has to repeat himself.
“What, Logan?” John mumbles and pulls up his email, eyes swiftly moving over the words from one of his colleagues, words that do not comfort him in anyway. Urgh, he needs more aspirin. Goddamn, why doesn’t anything work out for him anymore?
“Can I show you something?”
“It will only take a second, I promise.”
“Logan, didn’t you hear what I said?” John grits his teeth, pinches his nose, and takes a breath. He’s so fucking tired and his head is splitting him in half and he needs to be in three places at once and fuck those goddamn Democrats and fuck the President and fuck this whole country and fuck his wife for chewing him out again for not picking up the dry cleaning when he has one hundred more important things to do.
“I did,” his son whispers. John does not notice the fear in his eyes. “But it’s really important—”
And fuck his son for being an annoying little shithead who couldn’t even fucking listen—
“Logan, NO!” His growl turns into a shout. He’s out of his seat and pushing Logan out the door and down the hall. He slams his office door, locks it and as his heart pounds, he can hear crying not too far off.
When did he become this man? He decides that he’ll take Logan out for ice cream as soon as he’s done…
As soon as he’s done.
Two days later, he receives an email from their nanny while at work.
“Hey Senator Wright! J
Happy Birthday from Logan and me!!! I helped your son record this for you, so you can watch it when you have time. We know you’re a very busy important man of course, and we hope we’re not interrupting anything. Logan wants me to tell you that he loves you very, very much! Hope to see you later for your birthday dinner!
XOXOXO (That means lots of hugs and kisses),
Heather and Logan.”
Attached is a video that is only about a minute long. Too curious, John presses play and Logan’s bright green eyes fill his screen, his smile nervous but sincere. The camera zooms out to show his little boy sitting on the piano. Even though his legs dangle on the bench and do not touch the ground, John still wonders how his boy got so big. Are those little oxfords on his feet and is he wearing a tie? Why is his little boy dressed up all nice? He should be in his light-up Batman sneakers, running around. And when did his hair get so long?
“Okay, Logan, go ahead!” Heather’s whisper is loud and clear. Logan turns to the piano. And he begins to play.
It’s not a tune John recognizes, and though it isn’t overly complicated, he’s staring wide-eyed at his screen, as his son tenderly plays each key with precision, his face scrunched up in concentration. Logan treats each key as if they were something soft and fragile—made out of glass. If he presses the keys too hard or if he goes too fast, they will surely shatter. But even in this staccato style of playing, the melody comes together. The tune steadily climbs up and then down, a patient song, a pretty song, and a song that brings tears to John’s eyes. When it stops, it’s a bit abrupt and John wants it to keep going on and on and on forever.
Logan turns back to the camera and his smile is wide and uncontrolled now, face flushed with his nerves, but also with happiness. “I hope you like your birthday song, Daddy! I love you!”
The video ends with his beaming face. And John knows that this is what his son wanted to show him just two days ago. A little composition his bright six-year-old made, just for him.
Heat rushes to John’s face as everything overwhelms him in a wave of emotion—he didn’t even remember that today was his own birthday. He didn’t even know his son could play the grand piano that his wife had bought for the family room, more as a decoration piece than an actual musical instrument. He can recall, somewhere in the thicket of his memory, that he had once heard methodical playing in his house, but he had dismissed it and shut his office door, willing the noise away. Now all he wants is for it to fill his entire head. His office is depressingly quiet, overbearing, too clean, too organized. He remembers with the powerful pain of nostalgia Logan gripping his shirt and he cries, unabashed, at his desk.
Like that day six years ago, the sky is dark and threatening rain, and the city is festering, and he has too much work to do to go to his birthday dinner. But John leaves anyway, saying he feels sick. He arrives home only a little late, the smell of turkey greeting him, and he knows that his favorite cranberry sauce is waiting for him, and it feels like Thanksgiving and he has so much to be thankful for.
Logan is sitting practicing the piano when John enters. He goes straight to his son, who is so absorbed in his music that he does not notice his father until John has him in his arms, scooping him up with tears filling his eyes again.
“Up, up and away Logan!” he cries as he used to, spinning his son once with a choked, awkward laugh that wants to become a sob. He hugs his son close, realizing for the second time that day how long and shaggy his blonde hair is, how big he has grown—can he really be six? Isn’t he going to be seven soon? Time, time, it is escaping him.
“Daddy, what’s wrong?” Logan squeaked and squirmed in his arms.
John puts his son down, kneeling so he is eye-level. “Nothing. Nothing at all. I got your email today.”
Logan turns bright red. “O-oh.”
“It was the best birthday present I’ve ever gotten. You, sir, are a mighty fine piano player,” John pokes Logan in the chest, earning him a nervous giggle. “Thank you so, so much.”
Logan absolutely glows. “I can play it again for you—i-if you have time,” he bites his lip.
“Logan, I would like nothing else. I’ll go get your mother and you’ll play it for both of us, okay?”
And that night, they sit down together for the first time in a long time. Logan plays piece after piece, singing along to the songs with words in a high, clear voice fit for a bird, stunning John for the second time that night. He must give his son singing lessons, he must insist on more piano lessons. He needs to nurture Logan’s talents and he needs to be around. He just needs to, somehow. The turkey settles warm in his belly, he tucks Logan goodnight and makes love to his wife for what would be the last time.
It is indeed a happy birthday.