Author: pygmymuse PM
"Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans." And then the past comes back to haunt you as well.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Family - Eva Zambrano & M. Procter - Chapters: 19 - Words: 80,859 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 16 - Follows: 3 - Updated: 08-09-10 - Published: 07-18-10 - Status: Complete - id: 6154227
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Chapter Nineteen (Epilogue)
Word Count: 2,413
Disclaimer: I can't own anything. The pygmies and debt collectors own me.
Summary: "Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans." And then the past comes back to haunt you as well.
Spoilers: Up to 1x12.
Author's Note: I have finally come to the end of this long, massive, ever changing project. That makes me a little sad and a lot relieved. Yes, relieved. I don't know. Writing anything this long takes its toll, and since this was so personal in so many ways and I ended up defending positions that I never thought I'd be defending (yes, as a matter of fact, the character's integrity is more important to me than any comfort I might feel by playing only in the safe zone of my own personal convictions), and so this one was a hard one to do. Add in that I hate naming people's kids in fics whenever the insanity grips me to actually write a baby fic, and then I hate weddings and everything... Well, here was one long and difficult project. It is complete. I doubt I'll ever go back to this one because it would end up being too much about the kid, and I personally hate those kind of fics.
So... Other things... Yes, I did actually name the baby. It's in here. And you can see why I avoid it whenever possible. I gave this as much of a conclusion as I could.
And... since they were so slow in their realizations and stuff, I figured this song title would be fitting to borrow for a chapter (or epilogue) and here it is...
Never Want to Say It's Love
"You know you have nothing to prove, right?" Eva asked, coming into the garage. "You don't owe us anything. No one is expecting you to do everything right in this instant or even at all. You can take a break. You can sleep. And you don't have to do this on your own. Anna has a car. It still runs. Stop pushing yourself so hard, Chris."
He lifted his head from under the hood. Anna's car was in worse shape than Proctor's was when they started. They had a lot of work to do. Eva didn't know what she was talking about. This was important. He needed to get this done while it was still light out. He could do the rest of the work on the apartment after the sun went down, but even with the light in the garage, it was hard to see what needed to be seen later in the day. No, this needed to be done.
"Papi cooked for everyone again. You need to come inside and have something to eat," she insisted. "Chris. Stop. Now. We were all trying to help keep you busy so that you wouldn't go out of your mind after losing Rick, but this has gone too far. You barely eat, you don't sleep, and you can't keep doing this."
"If you want me to get the whole team out here to drag you inside, I will. Or I'll just use my secret weapon."
Chris had to laugh at that. "Using your son to manipulate people is just cruel, Eva."
She shrugged. "It works. And he's good at it. So, you going to come in and eat or what?"
He sighed. Fine. She won. He'd go inside. He didn't want to be dragged, and the baby was... impossible to resist. That was why it was so evil that Eva used him against everyone. Especially Proctor. Chris shook his head as he wiped off the grease on his hands and followed her back into the house.
Serena had the baby and was talking to him in obnoxious baby talk, while Proctor frowned. He didn't like that more than anyone else did. According to him, the sooner the child was exposed to normal speech, the sooner he would use it. Chris wasn't sure he wanted to see what Little Proctor would be like when he grew up. That was kind of a scary thought. "Chris! You're a mess."
He shrugged. "Someone needs to fix that car."
Anna shook her head. "You're going to end up doing everything. I know I'm not much of a mechanic, but you guys all agreed to teach me, not to do it for me."
Chris looked at her. She made him feel guilty all over again. She knew that wasn't what they meant. Damn, they were just trying to help. They'd all been better to him than he'd expected, helping him through losing his brother. His relationship with Rick hadn't been great, hell, he was closer to most of the people in this room than he was his brother, but it still hurt. He was doing okay. Thanks to them, really. He didn't know what he'd do if they hadn't taken him in like this.
"Okay, we'll work on it together tomorrow."
"Not tomorrow," Proctor said. "Have you forgotten that you and Eva are back on rotation tomorrow? I, for one, have not. It will be good to have Alpha team operating at full strength. That is, if you are both up to it."
"There is only one reason I'd stay behind tomorrow," Eva muttered, looking over at her son. "I'm not sure I can take leaving Little Proctor behind."
"Tremayne will be fine," Proctor said, taking the baby from Serena. Eva rolled her eyes.
"I'm sure that Monroe will be fine," she shot back. Chris laughed. It was easier when they all just called him Little Proctor. That way, they weren't taking sides. The only way they'd agreed to name the baby was to let them each have one of their names. Proctor's ended up being the middle name, but he still insisted on calling the baby by the name he'd chosen while Eva used the one she'd chosen.
Eva took the baby from Proctor, and they continued playfully arguing as they went into the dining room, where Alberto was waiting with the food. Tuck followed them, trying to calm Anna down, since she was convinced that they were going to give the kid a complex. Serena started to the door, then stopped and looked back at him. "You coming?"
Chris just shook his head and smiled. This was good. It was home. It was family.
"Have I told you," Proctor began, looking over at Eva as they worked on repairing a torn vessel, "just how much I have missed your skilled hands?"
She laughed. "Only about five times today. You'd better stop it. Everyone's going to think you're ridiculously mushy, which doesn't fit you."
"There is nothing mushy about appreciating a colleague's talent," he said, slightly annoyed. He knew she was smiling behind that surgical mask. "If you had had to put up with the incompetents that I did during your absence as well as Chris', you would not be laughing now, Eva."
She still wanted to laugh. That was clear. "Oh, really? So I'm that good, am I?"
"Well, now you're being rather insufferable, but it is hard to complain given your level of competence," he told her. She rolled her eyes at him. He truly had missed her. Her level of skill, her dedication and rapport with the patients, he had missed all of that. He missed trusting the person he handed a difficult case over to. He missed discussing a diagnosis with her. She had also become some sort of liaison between him and the rest of the team. Despite the closeness of their new... family, he had felt the loss of that position while she was gone.
Fortunately, there would be no reason for her to leave without him again. Now, if there was only a way to keep their son with them at the hospital, everything would be perfect. She looked up at him, and he knew that she was thinking the same thing. "He's fine, you know."
"I know. They would have called if he wasn't. I just... Maybe I didn't want him to be fine."
Matt smiled. He knew what she meant. "Let us close up here, since I believe we have seen to all of the injuries our unfortunate patient suffered during his... er, accident, and after that, you can call your father and see how he is."
"Don't you dare pretend you don't want to know, too," she muttered, leaning her head down to finish her last suture and start closing. He smiled to himself, humming a little. She had already teased him plenty regarding his habit of calling home to check on them both whenever he had a chance. He finished his section and waited for her outside the OR.
She took her surgical scrubs off, yanked off her gloves, and pulled the chain around her neck out. He helped her undo the clasp and her rings fell into her hand. He picked them up. "May I do that again?"
"Every time, cariño," she said with a smile. He replaced them on her finger, giving her a quick kiss. "Now we better make that call before another red van gets in, and we don't have time for another three hours."
He nodded. They walked to the desk together, and he put the chart back as she picked up the phone. She set it right back down as a loud scream was heard.
"There, see, I told you Mommy was here," Annabelle said, trying to soothe the inconsolable newborn as she brought him over to them. "He just had a bottle, but apparently, a big sister is no substitute for Mommy."
Eva pointed to Proctor. "Oh, no, it's Daddy that calms him down when he's like this."
Proctor made a face. "You're just doing this to make me sing in public."
"What, you're shy all of a sudden?" she teased as Annabelle gave him the baby. "You handle that. I need to make sure we have all those papers we need."
She disappeared quickly into the break room, getting all the paperwork they had been occupied with over the past few days, trying to ensure that a restraining order was in place for when Annabelle's mother was released from jail.
"All right, Miss Lawyer," Eva said, shoving the stack of papers over to Annabelle. "Please tell me I've filled all of these out correctly."
Proctor smiled, looking down at his son while the others worked. It seemed that was what they did these days. They were rather industrious, whereas he was not. Then again, he was taking care of the child. He hummed some more, and Tremayne reached up to take his hand. He didn't know why Eva had to use the other name, or why everyone else seemed just to call the baby Little Proctor. It made things... a bit confusing for Matt, personally.
"They look right to me," Annabelle said, finally. "I can drop them by the courthouse later. When are you two off?"
"Unless there is an emergency in the next ten minutes, we're off then," Proctor answered. "I assume you want to leave him with us?"
"I thought we agreed that you were not going to take our newborn son onto this roof. Any roof," Eva said, frustration getting the better of her. She didn't like it, but her paranoia over her son developing SIDS in the night terrified her. Waking up, rushing to the crib only to find it empty had almost unhinged her. She had stood there for far too long, starting at the crib and shaking, silent tears running down her face.
Then she remembered, with a curse, that Proctor hadn't been next to her when she woke, either. One frantic search of the house later, she was up on the roof, listening to him sing softly to his son and debating killing him for putting her through this. She loved him, just not that much at the moment.
Proctor sighed. "I am sorry. It was just too nice out not to be here, and when he woke, I did not want to disturb you. This seemed better than waking the whole house."
"You swore that the roof was only for when you needed to think," she said, shaking her head. "Not to take the baby up here and not at night. ¡Maldito sea! What if you'd tripped or something?"
"I am not usually so clumsy, and I know my way around this roof," Proctor objected. He shook his head. "I did not callously endanger my child's life. And if you saw his face before you came up here, so clearly upset, you would understand the appeal of bringing him out here. He likes the sky as much as I do."
"That's an excuse."
"Would you like to take this argument off the roof, love?" he asked, and she cursed. She hated when he did that. He said that, and she got unbelievably mushy. She liked it way too much when he called her that. It was still hers alone, even with Anna living with them, even with their son. Love was Eva. Only Eva.
"I don't know. Why do we do this again?" she asked, rubbing her forehead.
"Because we are who we are," he answered simply, drawing close with one hand, tugging on her robe. He handed Monroe to her and then wrapped his arms around her, holding them both. She saw a smile on her son's face, a smile that she knew wasn't supposed to be real at his age, but she didn't care. Proctor was right. It looked like he loved it out here. "Because, whether we meant it to be or not, this is our life. Our family. Our... love."
"Very little of this was... planned," Eva agreed. "Still, it worked out pretty well. In the end."
He kissed her temple. "None of it was planned, Eva. I know, when I left Baltimore that my future was ahead of me. I did not know what that future was. Nor was I truly prepared for what it would be. I certainly never expected to fall in love with you or to have a child. Nor did I realize how much of my past I would have to lay to rest in order to properly enjoy this future."
She turned in his arms to kiss him. "You're getting better at saying that. The I love you part, I mean."
"Says the woman who seems to only manage to say it in Spanish," he teased. She laughed. He was right, and she still didn't know why, but it always came out te amo instead of I love you. For Proctor. Her son she could say the English words to just fine.
"It means the same thing, which is more than I can say for your silence," she said, shaking her head. "It's kind of cold out here. We should go back inside."
"Yes," he agreed reluctantly. "We should."
She looked down at the baby. "He's asleep now."
"That's sounds... somewhat less than the pleased or relieved tone of a fatigued new mother, but rather more like a hint of some kind..."
"Anna did say she wanted a sister next time."
"It is too soon for that."
"Yes, well, we didn't think that he was going to happen, and he did. Maybe we should consider that this time, should we decide to have sex again..."
"Abstinence doesn't suit us," he began. "But you are the one that has the real burden if that occurs."
"And if it does, we know what to do. We've figured that part out, at least."
"No, I think we'll be learning for the rest of our lives."