|Keep Holding On
Author: Johanna-002 PM
After his divorce, Stan is finally moving on with his life but what happens when a diagnosis shatters his world? Who will he turn to? Please Read & Review.Rated: Fiction T - English - Hurt/Comfort/Romance - Stan Z. & Dorothy Z. - Chapters: 5 - Words: 9,716 - Reviews: 19 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 3 - Updated: 06-14-12 - Published: 06-04-12 - id: 8183363
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
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Dorothy walked into the bedroom to find Stanley lying on his back, his eyes were closed but she knew he was still awake. Needing nothing more than him, and hoping he'd still have her, she padded over.
"Stan," she whispered, waiting for his eyes to open. "Hold me." He did and she lay down beside him, arms instantly surrounding each other, her head coming to rest on his shoulder, just above his heart.
"Stanley…" she began, but he placed his fingers on her lips.
"Sssh!" he soothed, wanting nothing more than her touch; for the next few minutes at least.
Dorothy was thankful for the reprieve, she couldn't think of anything to say which wouldn't reduce her to tears after spending most of the twenty minute interval replaying the doctor's words. They lay entwined, in silence, as the sun disappeared and the room darkened. Dorothy's stomach rumbled a few times before Stanley propped himself up on his elbow and kissed her cheek.
"I think I need to feed you, babe," he grinned as he kissed her again.
"No, I'm fine … really," she said, not wanting him to move.
"That's not what your stomach is saying," he replied, resting his palm on her abdomen, before rubbing gently. "Sophia had made a pot roast, but if you don't want that we can order in … what do you want?"
She shook her head. "What do you want?" she asked, not really interested in eating.
"I don't really care," he answered, his eyes flittering between hers. "I haven't had much of an appetite lately."
"I know, I've noticed," she replied, as his fingers raked through her salt and pepper hair. "But you know you have to eat to keep up your strength."
"Yeah …" he sighed. "And so do you." She smiled as his fingers trailed down her face. "So, I'll ask you again, babe …what do you want?"
"You..." she whispered, leaning up to brush her lips against his, "decide."
"Tease," he grinned, returning her kiss.
Gently, Stanley moved forward, his chest grazing her breast, his face just inches from hers.
"You want me …" he cooed, "to decide?"
"Aha," she replied softly. She wanted him in so many ways, some she would never be able to describe.
"Wait, get a hold of yourself Dorothy!" She said to herself. "He is your EX husband."
"What if I decide, that I want is you…" he drawled, "to decide?"
"Then it's a stalemate," she said, her chocolate eyes widening as he came closer. She watched his brown eyes darken as his hand came up behind her neck, drawing her increasingly closer. As his lips brushed against hers once more her stomach grumbled and gurgled loudly causing him to collapse onto her laughing causing Dorothy to convulse in laughter too.
Suddenly, the laughing changed from a humorous chuckle as the pent up tension of the day sought to be released, and before long both were laughing and sobbing, neither one knowing who started crying first, but both responding to the other. Finally, Dorothy stopped; trying to draw in deep breaths to compose herself, Stanley did the same. Neither prepared to look at each other or speak until the other did.
Nothing was said for a long time and then as Stanley went to speak there was a knock on the bedroom door. Kissing her forehead he muttered a "Yes,"
The door slowly opened, "It's me," Blanche said. The southern bell closed the door behind her as she made her way over to the bed. "How was your appointment Stan?"
"It was okay," he answered solemnly.
"Dorothy," she said as she took a seat at the foot of the bed.
"Igh," she replied, a sudden wave of sadness washing over her.
It was one thing knowing Stanley was sick, and listening to the doctor, but this was the first time she'd actually have to talk to someone else face to face about it. After nearly four decades of being his wife and having his back, she had to openly admit Stanley had a disease which could claim his life, a disease she couldn't protect him from.
"How are you really holding up, Dorothy?" Blanche asked quietly as Stanley excused himself to the restroom.
"I'm fine," she replied automatically, a brief smile crossing her lips.
"Wanna try again?" Blanche asked locking eyes with her.
"I'm okay, Blanche…I have to be," she whispered as the water began to spill out of the sink faucet.
"Let me fix you two a plate," Blanche suggested.
They sat down; Dorothy in the middle, Stanley seated on her left and Blanche on her right.
"Where are Sophia and Rose?" Stanley asked munching happily in his meal.
"They went to the movies a little while ago with Miles, but the film should have ended by now." Blanche said, squinting as she looked at her watch.
"So, before they get here," Blanche began, an unfamiliar edge to her voice. "I have to tell you that this has really thrown me. I just want to say that anything you need, anything at all, you have it from me, okay? You just have to ask. And I mean anything."
Stanley nodded. "Thanks, Blanche, I appreciate it," he smiled gratefully.
"Same goes for you, Dorothy," she continued. "Anything," She nodded but didn't reply, not wanting this to be about her, not wanting to contemplate her needing anything other than Stanley.
A half hour later Miles, Rose and Sophia came through the back door.
"Hello everybody," said Miles with a smile.
"Hello Miles," Dorothy and Blanche replied.
"Miles, you've met Stan haven't you?" Dorothy said as she motioned between the two.
"Yes," Miles answered as they exchanged a hand shake. "We actually meet up for drinks a couple of weeks ago."
"Oh, how nice," Dorothy remarked.
Sophia started a pot of coffee and everyone began to slowly circle around in the living room.
Miles followed Dorothy into the kitchen to help with the drinks.
"Hey, Dorothy," he said, coming in behind her. "Rose told me about Stanley. How are you doing?"
"Fine," she replied with a forced smile in place.
"That your final answer?" he asked,
She nodded, unsure of getting any other sort of answer out. "Okay, Dorothy," he said.
"What's taking so long?" Rose asked, coming in.
"Nothing," Miles said, picking up the plates of cheese cake and leaving the kitchen.
"Dorothy," Rose said as Dorothy moved to pass her. "Got a minute?" Dorothy turned around and leant back on the fridge.
"Yes?" Dorothy asked, as if she couldn't guess.
"I know you don't want me asking but, how are you doing with all this?" Rose asked, tilting her head back to the living room.
"I'm doing okay," she replied, with a bob of her head. "I don't like it … but it's not like we have a choice, do we?"
"No, we don't," Rose said, resting her hand on her shoulder. "You just remember to look after your self while you are looking after him, okay?"
Dorothy nodded; although she knew looking after her self was low on her priority list right now.
The cheese cake was delicious, not that anyone really ate or noticed. The coffee was warm and refreshing, The conversation went in fits and starts; covering everything but Stanley's illness.
Finally, Sophia broached the subject, with some trepidation. "So, Stan, how are you coping?"
Stanley looked from Sophia to Dorothy and smiled slightly before looking back at his ex-mother in law. "I'm doing okay … I need to think positively about it and although I'd rather it not be me … I can handle it." He glanced back at Dorothy; while he didn't want any insidious disease invading his body he would much rather it be him than Dorothy or any of the kids.
"You know we're here for you, Stanley, don't you?" Rose asked.
"Yeah, I do," he nodded. "And I appreciate it."
Little more needed to be said by the eclectic group which had become family over their time together.
Not long after Blanche stood up, saying her goodnight. Rose got to her feet too. "Miles, I'm sorry but I am just exhausted, I'm going to bed. Can you see him out, when you go to bed Dorothy?" she asked, Sophia saying good night to everyone before leaving.
"Sure," replied Dorothy as Miles and Rose kissed each other good night.
Small chit-chat continued between Miles, Dorothy and Stanley. More a man-on-man talk with Dorothy laughing slightly on the side lines.
"I'm going to say goodnight too and leave you two to talk," she said standing up.
"Oh Dorothy," said Miles. "Stay and talk."
"No, it's okay. You guys talk," she said looking at Miles earnestly, hoping this would give Stanley the opportunity to open up, something he wasn't really doing with her at the moment. Miles understood and winked at her.
"Night, Dorothy," he said.
"I'll see you later, Miles," she said, reaching over and kissing his head before moving towards Stanley. "Thanks for coming tonight."
"Night, Stanley," she said, kissing his cheek. "I'll see you soon," she said, smiling at him.
Both men watched until Dorothy disappeared into the bedroom hall.
"She'll see you soon?" Miles smirked, bringing his attention back to Stanley. "How does that work?"
"Huh?" Stanley replied, his eyes still focusing on the dark hallway.
"Why would she say 'see you soon' rather than 'see you tomorrow'?" he questioned, with a grin.
"Um … well … err…" Stanley stuttered.
"You sleeping in there?" Miles asked, tilting his head toward the direction of the bedrooms.
"Yeah, have been … the last couple of nights," Stanley admitted, looking at the floor.
"And?" he prompted, an eyebrow raised.
"Oh, no," Stanley said, looking back at his friend. "Nothing like that. I mean we have been in the same bed sleeping but we're not actually sleeping together."
"Why not?" Miles asked pointedly. "I mean it's pretty obvious how you both feel about each other."
"It's not the time," he responded.
"Seems like the perfect time to me," Miles replied.
Stanley shook his head. "I don't want to complicate things … more than they are," he added when he saw Miles expression.
"Stan, man to man, and with none of the 'it's too complicated', what do you see as your relationship with Dorothy?" he asked bluntly.
"I see her as my best friend … actually … I see her as the love of my life," Stanley said with complete honesty, glancing up at Miles. "I do love her, Miles … more than anything."
"Why don't you do something about it then?" He questioned, not having understood Stanley's inaction in regards to Dorothy since his divorce.
"Now's not the time," he sighed, his heart heavy. "Not with this hanging over me. I don't want to make declarations or promises I won't be able to live up to."
Silence fell between them for a moment. "Look, Miles," Stanley began slowly. "Before any of this treatment begins … while I'm still thinking clearly… you know," He stood and walked around the sofa. "I need you to promise me something…"
"You've got nothing to worry about," Miles interrupted. "I'll look after her, Stanley, I promise."
Author's Note: Please Review! And for all those who wonder: Dorothy never married Lucas. She has let down her guard a lot, especially with Stanley so sick. She isn't so stubborn when it comes to him. I'm so glad so many of you like this (: I try to make them lengthy just to show my gratitude.