Status: Updated unfrequently, but trying for frequent.

Slow Spinning Redemption

Chapter 17: Isolde Needs to Feel Comfortable and Jussi Thinks Things Over

“I’m pregnant,” she whispered, hoping that the reaction wasn’t bad, though the tensing of Jussi’s already tense shoulders was probably a bad sign.

Jussi blinked at her before shaking his head. “What?”

She uncurled her legs, setting them firmly on the bus floor. “I’m pregnant,” she repeated a bit more firmly.

“How do you know it’s mine?” Jussi asked, crossing his arms over his chest.

Isolde fought the urge to be mad, especially with the way he ticked up his eyebrow, as if he was waiting for the proof of paternity. Instead she nodded her head. “That’s a fair question,” she gritted out.

“Especially after our conversation in January,” Jussi pointed out.

“True,” she said slowly, still resisting the urge to lash out. “What I said about having other people to sleep with, I said out of anger. I haven’t slept with anyone since you.”

“And I’m supposed to trust you?”

Isolde stared up at him. She could see the hurt still swirling in his eyes, his hands clenching on his forearms as he stared back at her. She made herself stop getting defensive, reminded herself that she hurt him, not the other way around. He had every right to be upset and ask the questions he was.

Instead, she made herself relax her shoulders, her hands resting on her knees, clenching lightly before letting the anger go. “I don’t blame you for not trusting me. I was…horrible in January. I got…freaked out and I took it out on you. I am…so sorry for the things I said. Contrary to what I said before, you do know me, and you know I don’t lie; especially not about something like this.”

Jussi blinked at her in surprise. He knew that cost her a lot to admit, and…he felt his breath release in a whoosh as her words registered in his mind. She was pregnant and he was the father.

“Oh, holy shit.”

“Yeah.” Isolde nodded as she watched him fall on to the seat next to the counter across from her.

“When did…?”

“So, I haven’t actually gone to the doctor yet, but I’m thinking Christmas,” She said, keeping her eyes on him.

Jussi frowned before rubbing his face with a groan. “I told you! I told you those fucking glow–in-the-dark condoms were fucking trouble!”

Isolde snorted. “Please! We had plenty of sex that night with regular condoms, too. Ever think you just have fucking super sperm?”

Jussi blew out a breath as he looked over at her. “You’re pregnant.”

Isolde nodded. “About thirteen weeks along, if the date’s right.”

Jussi dropped his gaze to her stomach with a frown. “Can I…?”

“Oh. Um…” Isolde nodded slowly. Standing up, her baggy sweater falling around her, she twisted the hem of her sweater in her hands before lifting it up slowly to reveal her belly. Jussi felt the air in his lungs leave him as he stared at her belly: it was a lot larger then he remembered Rose being at thirteen weeks. “I’d let you touch it, but I’m not really comfortable with that yet,” said Isolde. Really, she hadn’t even touched her belly without the barrier of clothing. She was still working her way through her own personal demons about being pregnant.

Jussi nodded slowly, accepting her explanation as he stared at the small expansion of her belly that showed him his child was in fact growing inside of her. “Isolde…”

“I just…I wanted to tell you. I don’t expect anything, I just…” She bit her lip, letting her sweater fall back into place, causing his eyes to snap up to hers. “You have a right to know that you’ll have a kid out there, you know?”

Jussi frowned at her. “Do you expect me to walk away?”

Isolde shrugged. “I don’t expect you to do anything.”

“I’m not just going to let you do this alone.”

Isolde looked at her shoes, pulling the sleeves of her sweater down over her hands as her fingers twisted the fabric. She hated feeling weak; she hated feeling at a loss. And at that moment, she felt both. “I do a lot of shit on my own.”

“And now you don’t.”

“You can’t expect me to just follow you around on a fucking tour bus because I’m going to have your kid!” she snapped, looking up at Jussi with a glare.

Jussi leaned back in his seat, crossing his arms over his chest. “If anyone understands your need to not be tied down, it’s me,” he snapped back. “When, in the five minute conversation that we’ve had, did I say I expected you to follow me around?”

Isolde glared. “I know…”

“You don’t know shit,” Jussi said, shaking his head before rubbing his face tiredly. “Look, you’ve had…months to process this, and I’ve had all of ten minutes. I’m feeling…a lot right now.”

“I get it.”

“Highly doubt you do,” Jussi sighed, banging his head against the window behind him. “I can talk to the guys- see if we can stay the night here. Our next gig is only four hours away…”

“No, no,” Isolde said quietly, shaking her head. “I didn’t tell you because I wanted you to stop everything you were doing, I told you because-”

“I had the right to know, yes, I got that.” Jussi stared at her before nodding. “Fine, but I’d like it if you stayed here, at least for the evening. I’d like to talk a bit more once we get to Norwich.”


“Isolde,” Jussi sighed. “I understand that right now you don’t want to be stuck on a bus or stuck with me, but you are. I just….Give me the night to process I’m going to be a father and tomorrow we’ll talk about what you want to do.”

“What I want to do?”

Jussi shrugged. “I can’t put my life on hold right now. As much as I wish I could just stop everything and be there, I have commitments for the next few months. I do want to be a part of this, every step of the way. If that means me moving to wherever it is you want to move to once I finish the tour, or you staying on the bus, so be it. But I’d at least like to have some sort of loose plan.”

Isolde chewed her lip. “I…”

“I just want to know what your plan is, Isolde.” Jussi sighed. “I’ll follow along with it. I just…” Jussi scrubbed his face in agitation. “You’ve had months. Just give me 24 hours,”

Isolde nodded slowly. “All right.”

Jussi blew out a breath. “Okay.” He looked around the bus and noted only her purse. “Is that all you have with you?”

“I…uh…wasn’t really planning on staying long.”

Jussi nodded slowly. “Come on then. I’ll grab you a shirt you can sleep in. You’re probably exhausted.”

“A bit,” she said quietly, following Jussi down the bus until he stopped at what she assumed was his bunk. He crouched down and opened a drawer, pulling out a black shirt and handing it to her.

“Bathroom is all the way at the end. There should be a spare toothbrush in there somewhere.”

“Thanks,” she said, twisting the fabric in her fingers before going towards the bathroom. She got into the small space, resting the shirt over the sink for a minute as she took slow breaths in, letting them out just as slowly. She leaned against the counter, her fingers touching her belly, caressing lightly, clenching her eyes shut.

She’d expected more arguing, she’d expected more denial, and she’d expected he’d want nothing to do with her. She’d prepared herself for that, she had not, however, prepared herself for total acceptance.

Taking a minute to reevaluate her entire plan, she blew out another breath before taking off her sweater and pulling on Jussi’s shirt. The shirt was loose and falling to just to mid-thigh. She folded her sweater and kept her leggings on. She searched the small medicine cabinet, finding the new toothbrush and brushed her teeth before slowly coming out of the bathroom. She found Jussi sitting on the edge of his bunk, feet firmly on the floor, fingers threaded through his hair, elbows resting on his knees.

He looked up when he heard her and smiled lightly before standing. “Go on, lay down.”

Isolde hesitated. “I…uh…hmm.”


“I get….” She sighed, making herself share a bit of information, reminding herself that he wanted to be a part of this. “Morning sickness is a really big lie. Really, it’s more like…all day sickness. I’m uh…not sure how well I’ll do on the bus.”

“All right. Well, I can grab a trash can, or make sure the guys keep the bathroom door open.”

“No…I mean…thank you, that’s kind, it’s just…I’d rather be at the edge of the bed…easier to roll out of the bed then to climb over you and maybe end up throwing up on you.”

“Ah,” he grimaced. “Right.” He swung himself into the bed and made himself comfortable on his side, his back facing the wall of the bus. He left her some space to crawl in under the blanket, her back facing the aisle. He reached over and closed the curtain. A small light above them illuminated the tight bunk.

Isolde breathed, wrapping the blanket tighter around her as Jussi stared at the black curtain that enclosed the bunk.

“I’m sorry.”

Jussi blinked and looked down at her with a frown. “What?”

She covered her face with her hands, feeling the tears well up in her eyes. “I’m so sorry.”

“Isolde,” Jussi whispered, wrapping his arms around her to pull her closer. Her fingers found his shirt and tightened around the fabric as his chin rested on the top of her head. “There is nothing to be sorry for,” he whispered, kissing her blonde locks underneath him. “This isn’t anyone’s fault.” He felt her shoulders shake against him, and for the first time since he’d met her, he saw the walls she guarded with every breath she took start to fracture.

He rubbed her back, his hands finding their way under her shirt, running his fingers down her spine as he whispered into her ear.

“It’s okay.”

“So sorry; so, so sorry.”

“It’s okay.”

Her fingers tightened around his shirt. “Sorry. I’m so sorry.”

“There’s nothing to apologize for.”

Jussi’s fingers ran up her spine, carefully cradling her neck and rubbing softly at the base. “It’s okay,” he whispered. Feeling the Isolde’s shaking slow, her breathing even out with little hitches, he closed his eyes and tightened his arms around her. He didn’t bother opening his eyes when he heard the whoosh of the bus or the chatter of his friends. Instead he reached up to turn off his light and nestled Isolde further into his body. For a woman who hated sleeping on beds and cuddling, she was still holding on to his shirt pretty damn tight, even in her sleep.

He was about to fall asleep when he heard a light knocking by his bunk. He reached over to open the curtain slightly to see Rosalind peeking in.

“Everything okay?” she whispered.

Jussi nodded, whispering back. “We’re fine.”

“Should I say congratulations?”

Jussi smiled slowly. “I’m still processing.”

“Well, once you’ve processed, let me know so I can say it.”

“I will.”

“I’ll let you guys sleep,” Rosalind said. “The boys don’t know about anything, but I’ve told them to keep the bathroom door open throughout the night. We’re getting a room once we reach the next city.”

Jussi shook his head. “We don’t need to; the bus is fine. We’re only there for the day anyway.”

Rosalind shook her head. “I think getting a room, at least for you guys, would be better.”

Jussi nodded slowly, trusting Rosalind. “All right.”

“If you guys need anything let me know. ‘Night.”

“’Night.” he whispered as Rosalind pulled the curtain closed.


He looked down, still surprised by Isolde using his actual name, and saw Isolde blinking at him, still half asleep. “Don’t apologize again.”

She smiled sleepily. “No, I was just going to ask if you could keep rubbing my back.”

Jussi gave a huff of laughter before returning his hands back under her shirt. “Yes, I can. Go back to sleep, Isolde.”

He blamed her half-asleep state when she snuggled closer to him, her face burying in his chest. He could have sworn he heard her murmur ‘so warm,’ but he blamed his own half-asleep state on hearing things.


It wasn’t the light rubbing on her spine that woke her up or the loud ruckus of laughter she could hear right near her ear, or even the light filtering into her eyes. No, her eyes snapped open when she felt the bus lurch and her stomach roll.

“Isolde?” Jussi whispered, his hand pausing.

“Oh my god!” she muttered as she sat up and tried to untangle her feet from the blanket, her hand over her mouth. She nearly fell out of the bunk as she rushed towards the bathroom, the door slamming shut behind her. She fell to her knees as she retched.

She flushed the toilet and leaned against the wall once she felt her stomach settle a bit, wiping her mouth with the back of her hand with a grimace. “So gross.”

A light knock sounded around the tiny space, along with Rosalind’s voice asking if it was okay to come in.

“If you can fit,” Isolde said as the door opened.

“Oh sweetheart, this bathroom definitely fits two.”

“Don’t upset my stomach again,” Isolde groaned.

Rosalind grinned as she sat down opposite Isolde in the tiny space. “Water?”

“Thank you,” Isolde smiled, accepting the water bottle and twisting the cap off before taking a deep drink, only to groan around the bottle when the bus lurched again.

“We’re almost there.”

“What time is it?”

“About five in the morning. We stopped for a couple of hours so the driver could sleep. I should tell you- Jussi is pacing outside the door. I told him you were fine; nothing a little rest off of a rocking bus wouldn’t cure. We’ve got about half an hour left on the road and I’ve already got a room booked for you guys.”

Isolde wrinkled her nose as she took another drag of the water. “I really didn’t want to mess with any type of schedule. I know the guys have shows back-to-back for the next couple of nights.”

Rosalind waved her hand in dismissal. “Please, do not worry about that. Right now, I think all the guys would appreciate a real bed for the day. How are you feeling?”

“A little better. I need to brush my teeth, but other than that, peachy.”

Rosalind grinned. “I want to be able to tell you it gets better, but it really doesn’t.”

“Worth it though, right?”

“Oh very much worth it,” Rosalind grinned as she stood up. “Take your time; if the guys need to piss, they’ll hold it.”

Isolde snorted. “Thanks.”

“Also, once I leave here, there is no stopping Jussi from coming in.”

“Thanks for the warning,” Isolde chuckled, rubbing her eyes as Rosalind left the bathroom, only to be replaced by Jussi.

“This bathroom is way too tiny for both of us,” Isolde pointed out.

“Are you okay?”

“I’m fine,” Isolde chuckled, cutting it off with a groan when her stomach lurched with the bus. “Just the bus and baby….Not a good mix, apparently.”

“We just got into town. We’re heading towards the hotel now. We’ll be able to get a bit more sleep.”

Isolde nodded. “Right now, I just need to brush my teeth.”

Jussi nodded, reaching over to pull the door open and tug something through the opening. She smiled lightly when she saw it was her sweater. “Thought you’d also want to change.”


Jussi nodded. “I’m going to start getting my shit together, take your time.”

Isolde nodded, watching as he pulled himself up and left the bathroom, closing the door behind him. She sat on the floor of the bathroom for the rest of the ride, knowing that if she left too early, she’d just need to rush back in. Though it seemed her stomach had settled, it did lurch with the bus when it came to a rough stop.

Standing up, Isolde washed her face before brushing her teeth and pulling off Jussi’s black shirt and putting on her sweater. She popped her head out of the bathroom to see the bus empty, save for Jussi who was sitting at his bunk, a bag at his feet.

“Where is everyone?” asked Isolde.

“Rosalind shooed them out; they’re checking in. I wanted to wait for you.”


Jussi handed Isolde her purse and stood, shouldering his bag. “It’s just hitting six in the morning now. I don’t have to be at sound check ‘til about four in the afternoon. So that’ll give us a few hours to rest and talk.”

Isolde nodded, following him off the bus. She took his hand to help herself off of the bus when they noted the steep drop from the last step. She noted that he didn’t let her hand go, but instead tangled their fingers together and led her into the hotel.

“Are you going to tell the guys?” Isolde asked as they made their way to the front desk.

“Yes,” Jussi said as he nodded at the girl behind the counter, telling her his name and showing her his ID as she got the keys for their room. “Do you want me to wait?”

Isolde shrugged as Jussi accepted the keys and looked at the room number before leading her to the elevators. “What’s the point? I’m already showing.”

“I just don’t want to do anything you’re uncomfortable with, Isolde. If you want me to wait in telling them, I can wait.”

“Telling your friends doesn’t make me uncomfortable,” she assured as they walked into the elevator and Jussi pushed the number for their floor. “Touching my belly makes me uncomfortable, but telling your friends is fine.”

Jussi raised an eyebrow at her. “You haven’t touched your belly, have you?”

Isolde shrugged. “Not without my clothes on…It’s weird. I’m a mess,” she muttered, rubbing her palms into her eyes. “Such a fucking mess.”

Jussi wrapped his arm around her shoulders, kissing the top of her head. “We’ll figure it out.”

Isolde nodded. She stepped out of the open elevator and followed Jussi towards their room. He slipped the card in and opened the door, letting her in before following and making sure the ‘do not disturb’ sign was on the door.

The hotel room was like any other she’d stayed at; really, they all blurred together at some point. Same Queen bed; same down comforter with the same pristine white down pillows. A TV, which usually varied in size, against one wall that would have cable, and a table with a notepad with the hotel’s emblem on it. The bathroom would have the same miniature shampoo and soap she saw in all the others. The only difference, Isolde thought with a cringe as she looked around the room, was that there was no couch.

“I can ask for another room,” Jussi said, dropping his bag on the bed. “I know you need-”

“No, it’s fine. I can do without,” Isolde said, waving her hand and dropping her purse on the floor before sitting on the edge of the bed. She slipped off her flats and then her leggings before pushing herself back onto the bed. “Can I borrow another one of your shirts?”

Jussi nodded, pulling one out of his bag and handing it to her before scrounging around for his own things. “I’m going to take a quick shower.”

Isolde nodded, pulling her sweater off and dropping it on the floor before tugging on Jussi’s shirt. She looked up to see Jussi staring at her before blinking and turning towards the bathroom. She didn’t bother stripping the bed; she knew she wouldn’t be able to sleep. Instead, she curled up around a pillow and turned on the TV.

She found some made-for TV movie, which she had the guilty pleasure of loving, while she listened to the water of the shower. She thought of her loose plan that was becoming much more solid. She stared down at her covered belly, chewing on her lip before rolling onto her back and pulling her shirt up to see the small pouch that was starting to form.

She wasn’t by any means [huge, but she was definitely showing. Her fingers curled around the fabric of the shirt before inching their way towards her belly, lightly tiptoeing over it.

“It won’t bite, you know.”

She didn’t bother turning towards Jussi. She instead focused on her fingers skating around the roundness of her stomach. “I know.”

“Are you as awake as I am?” Jussi asked as he got onto the bed, rolling onto his side to face Isolde.

“I haven’t been sleeping well in generals” she admitted, frowning at her fingers as they moved up and down. “My mind keeps going back and forth on things.”

“Like what?”

Isolde finally turned to look at him. “Is this us talking about what my plan is?”

Jussi shrugged. “If you want to.”

“I don’t have a plan,” Isolde admitted, looking back at her fingers as they moved towards the sides of her stomach. “I mean I have something loose, but nothing set in stone. Rosalind says it’s important that I feel comfortable.”

“True,” Jussi nodded, not surprised at all by the information that she’d been talking to Rosalind. He was honestly happy that Isolde had found someone she felt safe talking to. And if anyone was perfect to listen to Isolde’s worries, it was Rosalind.

“I don’t know where that is,” said Isolde as she pulled the shirt down and rolled onto her side to face him. “I’ve spent the last few years avoiding calling anything home, that now that I kind of need one, I have no idea where it would be. I know it’s not a bus, though.”

Jussi nodded. “That’s fair. I don’t think many people would call it home or be comfortable in one.”

Isolde ran her fingers down his cheek with a small smile. “The thing is, I want to be able to compromise. I don’t want to be the only comfortable one in this. I…I want you to be comfortable during this thing, too. I don’t want to force anything.”

Jussi smiled lightly, reaching up to grab her hand. “I’ll be fine wherever.”

Isolde bit her lip, tangling their fingers together before moving his hand to settle on her stomach. “I just want everything to be okay.”

Jussi stared down at his hand, his fingers stretching to span the entirety of the little belly. “It will be,” he whispered.

“Not something you can promise,” muttered Isolde, “As much as I wish it was.”

Jussi looked up at her, trying to find something to say, when a knock came at the door. “They always ignore the fucking ‘do not disturb’ sign,” he muttered as he rolled off the bed. He ran a hand through his hair before pulling the door open, finding Jyrki on the other end. “Hey, what’s up?”

“We were going to breakfast. Did you want to come?”

He looked over his shoulder at Isolde who was on her back again, her fingers hovering just over her covered belly with a frown. “Uh…”

“Isolde can come too. Rose may be sitting this one out.”

Jussi turned back to Jyrki. “I’ll ask Isolde.”

Jyrki nodded. “We’ll meet downstairs in about half an hour.”

“Thanks,” Jussi said, closing the door and turning back to Isolde. “Hungry?”

“Not really,” she said, crunching up her nose. “I really want a shower and possibly a nap.” She sat up. “If I can find sleep.”

“The guys are meeting downstairs for breakfast. I think I’m going to head down and talk to them.”

Isolde bit her lip before nodding. “All right.”

“When I get back we’ll talk more, okay?” he asked as he rummaged through his bag. He pulled out a pair of jeans and a black shirt, putting them on over his boxers before running a hand over his hair.

Isolde nodded. “That’s fine.”

“Text me if you want something. I’ll bring it up for you,” he said, waving his cell phone in his hand to show her he had it before putting it in his back pocket.

Isolde climbed out of the bed and walked towards the bathroom. “Have a good breakfast.”

Jussi nodded, watching as the door closed before leaving the room with a sigh.

“What’s that sigh for?”

He turned to find Rosalind looking at him, her head tilted in curiosity. “Just…a sigh.”

“Is Isolde not going to breakfast?”

“Uh… No. She said she wanted a shower and possibly a nap.”

“Sounds about right.” Rosalind laughed. “Mind if I join her? I really didn’t feel like hanging out with you boys anymore.”

Jussi snorted and opened the room door for her. “Knock yourself out.”

Rosalind held the door open, only to turn back to Jussi and kiss his cheek. “I want you to know that just because Isolde tells me things, doesn’t mean she doesn’t trust you.”

“I never…”

“Eh, you may be happy that she’s opening up, but I totally see the jealousy.”

“Jealousy’s a harsh word.”

Rosalind nodded slowly. “Possibly, but it’s a good one. She’ll come around Jussi. She’s already getting there. Just…be patient.”

Jussi snorted. “Right, patient.”

Rosalind smiled sadly as she watched Jussi turn away from her and towards the elevators. “She’s going to come around sooner than you think, Jussi,” she whispered before heading into the room and letting the door close behind her.


Jussi plopped down in the booth where his friends were sitting and ran his hands over his tired eyes before picking up the menu.

“No Isolde?” Baize asked, eyeing the empty seat next to Jussi.

“Uh, no. She wanted a shower and a nap.”

“Tired her out already?” Archize chuckled.

Jussi sat up and shook his head, not bothering to answer. He instead frowned at his menu. He felt restless. He didn’t want to be sitting in the small hotel restaurant, but he wasn’t sure he really wanted to be upstairs with Isolde, talking with her either. He felt like he needed air, but didn’t feel like walking to get it. His leg bounced as he continued to scan the menu, not really reading it.

“Are you okay?” Jyrki asked.

Jussi shrugged, setting his menu down, not feeling very hungry. “I’ll be okay. Just…processing some shit.”

Jyrki looked at Timo-Timo before Timo-Timo spoke. “What did Isolde need to speak to you about?”

Jussi shrugged, playing with the water glass that the waitress had brought for him. “She’s…” He frowned at the glass before shaking his head. “She’s pregnant.”

He was pretty sure one of the guys gasped. The spoon that clattered on the table was definitely Jyrki’s. Instead of looking up, Jussi stared at the water glass, intently frowning at it.

“Would I be a bastard to ask if it’s yours?” Baize asked, causing Jussi to snort and look up at his friend.

“No because I asked, too. Yes, the baby’s mine.”

“Are you sure?” Jyrki asked.

“Isolde doesn’t lie.”

“Bullshit,” Jyrki said.

Jussi shrugged. “She doesn’t. She may leave things out of stories, but she never out and out lies. She’s not telling me to ‘trap’ me or anything. She just thinks I should know.”

“Are you okay?” Timo-Timo asked. “This is…huge.”

“Isolde’s a mess,” Jussi responded.

“Screw Isolde,” Jyrki said, wincing at Jussi’s glare. “I’m sure Isolde’s a mess.” He amended. “How are you?”

Jussi shrugged. “I don’t know. I want to be there for Isolde if she’ll allow me to be. My head is swirling with things that need to be done, but I don’t want to jump the gun and scare Isolde off. If I scare her off now, I have no idea if I’d see her again.”

“Does this mean you’re moving from Hels?” Baize asked.

“No idea.”

“But I mean, what if-”

“I don’t know,” Jussi said, knowing that any questions asked was had an unknown answer at that point. “I only know that she’s pregnant, it’s mine and that she’s deciding her next step now.”

“Have you guys talked at all?” Jyrki asked.

“No.” Jussi shrugged. “We’ll be fine. We’re not much for talking, anyway.”

“Jus, you guys need to figure out your relationship, said Jyrki.

“You’re one to talk,” Jussi snorted, looking at his friend. “I love you and Rose, but I don’t think you have any room to speak about the perfection of juggling a relationship and a child. You’re a great dad, Jyrks, but you haven’t done the best juggling.”

“At least Rosalind and I talk…”

“Really? For the last five years you’ve both been arguing about who’s going to move.” Jussi shook his head, standing just as the waitress came back, prepared to take their orders. “I need to get air; think things through. I’ll be back in time for sound check.”

He left his friend’s table, feeling the stares on his back. He left the hotel and took a deep breath before turning right, starting to walk.

He was much like Isolde in the fact that he hated being told what to do. He was an adult. He knew he had to talk to Isolde. He knew they had to decide what they wanted to do with their future. In that moment though, he thought, as he walked without really paying attention to where he was going, he couldn’t think that far ahead. There was a baby, but it (He? She?) wasn’t there with him in that moment.

He and Isolde had nearly six months of time to plan what they wanted to do. He had six months to decide if he wanted to follow Isolde and his child, or if he wanted to be like Jyrki and see his child every so often. His heart clenched at that, taking that option out of the mix. He wasn’t overly worried about the aspects of having a child. He’d helped raise Impi and had been around children. He knew he could be a good father, had trust in himself to be one. That factor, amazingly, wasn’t what worried him.

Isolde worried him. She was a flight risk. She was an emotional mess and had trouble speaking to him about things, skipping right into anger fits instead. It wasn’t healthy, and it wasn’t an environment he wanted to raise a child in. Rubbing his face, he pulled out his cell phone and saw that he’d been walking for nearly an hour.

Turning back around, Jussi started walking back to the hotel, vaguely remembering the route he took. He’d talk to Isolde. They at least needed to talk about their last argument; hash out their issues and try to start fresh. They needed to talk about what plans they had for the next couple of months.

He thought about his tour schedule as he reached the hotel. He was so fucking busy, he mentally groaned as he tiredly rubbed his face and punching the button for the elevator with his knuckle. He wouldn’t be as present as he really wanted to be during her pregnancy. He added that to his mental list of shit to figure out.

Jussi stepped onto the elevator, hitting the button for his floor and leaned against the mirrored walls as the elevator went, up, up, up. His fingers itched to write down questions to ask the doctor when Isolde went. The closer he got to his room, the more anxious Jussi was about seeing Isolde, talking to her, and figuring shit out. She had months to figure things out. He had hours before he had to go on stage and then go to a different city.

When the doors opened to his floor, Jussi nearly bolted out of the elevator and sped-walked to his room. He took the key card out of his pocket, fumbling with it a few times before getting it to slide into its slot. The light turned green, allowing him to push the door open.

Jussi saw Rosalind, half-asleep on the bed with the TV playing, but no Isolde. Her purse wasn’t on the table where he’d left it and her shirt that he’d draped over the chair had been replaced with the one she’d had on when he’d left.

“Where’s Isolde?” Jussi asked as he checked the bathroom, only to find it empty.

Rosalind yawned as she sat up on the bed. “She left to-”

“What do you mean she left?” Jussi asked, panic rising in his chest.

Rosalind blinked slowly at him. “Jussi, she just went-”

“I cannot believe you just let her take off!” He glared at Rosalind. “I get that you sympathize with her, but shit, you were supposed to keep her here! Let me guess; you know where she is, but she doesn’t want me to know.”

Rosalind’s eye widened. “I’m not her fucking guard dog, Jussi.”

“Then what good are you?!” he yelled.


Jussi turned to see Isolde standing at the door, her purse stashed under her arm as she held a paper bag in her hand and a to-go paper cup in the other.

“Where the hell were you?” demanded Jussi.

Isolde raised an eyebrow before calmly walking to the table and setting down her bag and cup. “So, first: you don’t get to talk to me that way. Let’s just get that done and over with right now. I am an adult who can come and go as she pleases, do you understand?”


“Do. You. Understand?” she gritted out. “Because if the answer is no, then this is not going to work at all.”

Jussi gave a sharp nod, because he did understand.

“Second: you need to apologize to Rose. I went to go get breakfast down the fucking street. I did not take off. I can be a bitch, Jussi, but I’m not completely heartless.”

He felt the tension in his shoulders ease as he turned to Rosalind, who was glaring at him. “I’m sorry I yelled at you, Rosalind.”

Rosalind rolled her eyes as she pushed off of the bed and began putting on her sandals. “You’re such a dick, Jussi.” She went to the table, going through the to-go bag to grab her pastry. Before leaving, she rammed her shoulder into Jussi’s and slammed the door closed.

“Third: we’re going to sit down and talk,” Isolde continued, crossing her arms over her chest. “Because while I am a flight risk, I would not just leave you in the lurch after dropping this bombshell and then hide my whereabouts from you.” She turned and went through the bag on the table. “I’m going to take a quick shower first, through.” Her hand came out of the bag. “I got you a fucking muffin.” Isolde threw it at his chest and Jussi caught it before it hit the floor.


“Nope, sit and stew,” Isolde said, going to the bathroom. “Coffee is yours, too by the way. Be thankful I didn’t throw that one at you.”

Jussi sighed, falling onto the chair at the table. He set the muffin down, tiredly rubbing his face. He groaned at the stickiness of the muffin residue on his face. The morning was shaping up to be just fucking perfect.

Fifteen minutes later, Isolde came out of the shower. She was wearing a long, ivory pleated maxi shirt and a white loose fitting tank top with a large black heart on it. Rosalind’s, thought Jussi, as he was pretty sure he’d seen both items in her suitcase before. Isolde ran a towel over her hair, finger combing through it, before throwing the towel back into the bathroom.

“Have you calmed down?” Isolde absently asked, plaiting her hair so that the end of the braid ended at the nape of her neck, before tying it off and coming to sit across from him at the table. She scrounged around the paper bag for the last pastry in it; raspberry and cream cheese Danish.

“Thank you for the muffin and coffee.” said Jussi quietly, having picked at the muffin and downed the coffee.

She nodded. “Jyrki told Rose that you’d taken off and hadn’t eaten. Figured you’d be hungry when you came back up.”

Jussi nodded. “Isolde…-”

“Can I talk?” she asked quietly with a frown. “Because the reason we’re like this is because of me. I mean, if you want to go first...”

“It’s fine,” nodded Jussi.

Isolde nodded as she picked at a piece of the bread of her Danish and popped it into her mouth. “So…You probably know this already, having bared witness to it, but I tend to jump to conclusions… And instead of talking things out or asking more questions, I just run all these horrible scenarios in my head, pick the worst and yell at people like it’s already happened. I am…actively working on this,” she admitted. “Believe it or not, I use to be a lot worse about this than I am now. Relationship stuff, though, it’s…triggering.”

“I’m not-”

“I know you’re not Richard,” Isolde said, cutting him off. “I know this. It has been repeated to me a least a million times, by at least a dozen people. And I do know this. You two are night and day; planets away from being any way like each other. I don’t compare you two at all,” she said. “I want you to know that. I don’t sit here and think, ‘God, Richard used to do that; Jussi may do it too.’ I don’t. And I don’t compare you to any of my other lovers, because no one compares to you.” Isolde bit her lip and shoved another piece of Danish into her mouth.

“You are different,” she said slowly. “So different, and I enjoy you. Besides the sex we have, I enjoy you. I like our Skype dates; look forward to them. I don’t have to force conversation with you.” She rubbed her face and sighed. “When we talked in January, I was knowingly taking a large step in going back to Helsinki with you. Staying there for more than twenty-four hours, spending time with you outside of the bedroom…” she sighed. “You brought up Sex Fest and these tickets that are so far in advanced, and I panicked.”

“I know.”

“No, you don’t. I didn’t panic because you offered them; I panicked because I was seconds away from saying ‘Let’s do it.’ I panicked because I’m letting myself just…fall so head over heels for you. I panicked because I don’t wait for the other shoe to drop with you. It’s so easy. And that is scary as fuck. I have worked my ass of for everything. For people to take me seriously in my career. For my parents to mostly accept that their daughter isn’t going to marry rich, but become her own person. To not fall into line with what everyone expects of me. And then you come along, and you expect nothing. You accept me for me and I’ve never met anyone like that.”

“Ben? Josef? Your friends?”

Isolde shook her head. “Josef pushes too hard. Him, by the way, I did leave in Las Vegas without telling him where I was going. He still sees me as this…mess that he needs to help clean up. And when I refuse to let him, he pushes and pushes, hoping everything will just get better. And when it doesn’t, we both just collide and I take off. Ben only knows a few sides of me. Same with my friends; they see what I want them to see.” Isolde rubbed her face.


“I don’t want this,” Isolde whispered, shaking her head. “I don’t know what to do with easy. I don’t know what to do with acceptance. That is how messed up I am.”

“You’re not messed up, Isolde,” Jussi said, pulling her hands away from her face.

“See! Why are you like this?”

Jussi sighed. “Do you want me to treat you like shit, Isolde?”


“You’re different, Isolde. So different. The sex is amazing, but like you said; outside of that, when we’re not at each other’s throats about the stupidest shit, it’s easy.”

“It’s not anymore,” said Isolde, looking down pointedly at her stomach.

“It complicates things, sure.” Jussi nodded. “But we just need to…keep doing this,” he said. “Talking, not yelling, not assuming. Just…talk. I can’t have a relationship like Jyrki and Rose’s. I love them to death, but I just…can’t.”

She frowned. “What do you mean?”

“I can’t…not see you or my child, Isolde. I can’t live in two separate countries and fly out once a month to see my child. I can’t…If it means moving to Prague and going to Hels for the band, so be it. But I can’t not be a part of this. Whether we’re together or not, co-parenting whatever; I can’t not be with my child.”


“I don’t care what you decide. I’m with you one hundred percent. I will adjust my life to make you comfortable.”

“God, Jussi, stop,” Isolde said with a chuckle. “Just stop.”

Jussi sucked in a breath before releasing it slowly. “Okay.”

“I don’t know what I’ve decided when it comes to where I’m living. I have spent the last few years not settling anywhere, that I just...don’t know right now. What I do know is that I’ve booked a flight for tonight to Ireland.”


“My grandmother’s house is over there. It’s in the middle of nowhere with lots of space and its quiet. And I think that’s just what I need right now. I can’t be on the bus. Not because I want to be away from you, but because rocking busses and morning sickness just suck.” Isolde bit her lip. “I usually go out there this time of year anyway. My grandmother’s birthday is in about a month. I like being there, visiting her and my grandfather’s plots. I would like it, if when you’re done touring, you would come out and meet me.”


Isolde hesitated before nodding slowly. “I don’t want a relationship, Jussi. I really…I think I need to figure myself out a bit more before I can jump into that, and I don’t even know if that’s what you want. I’m assuming, but…”

“What I want,” Jussi said carefully, “Is for us to just…get along. For our sakes and for the sake of the baby. I don’t want to raise our child in a hostile environment, shuttling them back and forth between two countries and two fighting parents. I want you happy, I want my child happy, and I want to be happy, no matter what label we put on ourselves.”

Isolde nodded. “Okay.”

Jussi released the last of the tension that was left in his shoulders and nodded back. “Okay. What time does your flight leave?”

Isolde smiled. “After your gig. Rosalind told me about what time it ends, so I got the red-eye flight. My friend is going to pick me up and take me to the house.”

Jussi nodded. “All right.” He tiredly rubbed his hands over his face. “Can we just…sleep for a bit? I need to fucking sleep.”

Isolde nodded and stood from the table, leaving her half- eaten Danish before taking Jussi’s hand, pulling him up from the table and leading him toward the bed.

Jussi pulled the covers up, kicking off his shoes before unbuttoning his jeans. He let them drop to the ground before pulling off his shirt, letting it join his pants on the floor, and crawling into the bed. Isolde soon followed, stripping off her skirt and shirt, replacing it with the one he’d just dropped before crawling in after him. She pulled the covers up over them as Jussi felt his eyes droop.


Jussi opened his eyes to see her smiling at him. “What?”

“Beds are comfortable. Who knew?”

Jussi snorted, burying his face in the pillow to smother the laugh that bubbled up his throat, only to look up with a smile when Isolde pulled his arm over her to settle over her waist and snuggled up her forehead resting on his chest, their legs unconsciously tangling.

“Everything will be okay?” asked Isolde.

He nodded, resting his chin on her shoulder. “Everything will be okay,” he assured her, feeling Isolde’s own tension drain away, both slipping into a deep and peaceful sleep.
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Hey all! Sorry for the long ass wait! I have no excuse other then writer's block and life getting in the way. Next chapter is no where near being done but I'm hoping to have it up soon so fingers crossed! Hope you all enjoyed this chapter and would love to know what you thought!!!