|What's Goin' Through Me
Author: yellow-umbrellas PM
"Leslie took on last deep breath and squeezed her eyes shut before letting it all out in one exhale. "Ican'thavekids.""Rated: Fiction T - English - Hurt/Comfort/Family - Ben W. & Leslie K. - Words: 1,160 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 7 - Published: 01-22-13 - Status: Complete - id: 8936848
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Leslie starting feeling a weight on her chest when she watched Ben play with some of the kids in a summer camp she started up. Ann sat next to her, sipping a bottle of water with an issue of People magazine clutched in her hand. Leslie kicked at the concrete in front of her, her heels scraping on the pavement. She exhaled heavily and groaned.
"This is terrible," Leslie groaned. Ann capped the bottle and rested the magazine on her knee.
"Watching him play with children, it's like actual torture."
Ann chewed the inside of her lip and gathered her thoughts while Leslie tucked and un-tucked a strand of hair from behind her ear. "You have to tell him eventually, Leslie." She groaned again, displeasure and guilt beginning to bear down on her. "What's the worst that's gonna happen?" Ann added, which she promptly realised was a terrible mistake.
"What's gonna happen, Ann? What's gonna happen? He's gonna be mad at me and realise what a terrible person I am and that I obviously can't provi-"
"Stop," Ann said gently. "Just stop. We both know Ben would never do that." Leslie sucked in a slow breath and looked back out at him on the playground. He was knelt next to a boy in a Batman t-shirt, watching as the little boy shoved his hands into the sand and pulled them back out. Ben grinned and played along with him while Leslie sat and spiralled.
"You just have to say it," Ann continued. "Just get it out. You told me easily enough."
"That's because it doesn't affect your future! Or happiness! Or overall feelings towards me!" Leslie grumbled again and hid her face in her hands. Ann stroked her back gently and watched Ben.
"It's gonna be okay. Just tell him."
Leslie went home earlier than she usually did. She flipped through different talk shows, ordered a pizza for dinner, cleaned part of the kitchen, but mostly just tried to piece together a way to break the news to Ben. She mumbled different ways of telling him to herself, tried to picture what it would be like to be told.
She heard a key fumble in the knob and listened while Ben settled back in. She watched him hang up his coat from her view in the kitchen and smiled at him when he caught her eye.
"Hey, Les," He said softly, resting his hands on her hips and kissing her gently. "You're home early."
"Yeah," she sighed, pushing her fingers through her bangs. "I just... Had some things I need to take care of."
"Everything okay?" Ben asked, draping his coat over the back of his chair at the kitchen table. He pulled a beer from the fridge and raised an eyebrow at her when she didn't respond. She dropped her gaze to the floor and chewed her lip. "Les..." She heard him round the island and felt his hand against her elbow. "What's wrong?" His brow knitted together and she suddenly latched herself on to him.
"I love you so much," She mumbled into his chest. She breathed in his cologne and the scent of their fabric softener. He smelled like home and warmth and safety and she loved him more that she could physically contain. He stroked a hand against the column of her spine and held her close.
"I love you too," he breathed. "Now please tell me what's wrong," He said into her hair. She took a deep breath and pulled away enough to look him in the eye. He took her hand and laced their fingers together and Leslie squeezed his hand.
"You're gonna be so mad at me."
"No I won't."
"Yes, you will, because it's terrible and I'm terrible and you're this great person and what I'm about to tell you is... Terrible."
Ben cocked his head to the side and smirked at her, the way that made her stomach flip.
"I promise I won't be mad at you." He assured her, though Leslie didn't seem convinced. He lifted her hand to his lips and kissed her knuckles and over the back of her hand and just above where her engagement ring sat until tears welled up in her eyes. "Baby, please just tell me."
Leslie took on last deep breath and squeezed her eyes shut before letting it all out in one exhale. "Ican'thavekids."
She squeezed her eyes shut again, as if bracing herself against what was coming. Ben's fingers were still wrapped around her own and his other hand was coming up to cup her cheek. Leslie chewed her lip as tear fell down her cheek. Ben kissed the trail that it left and wrapped her up against himself again.
"Okay." He said gently, the way you would agree to a waitress telling you that, no, we only serve pepsi, or that no, someone already has that book checked out.
"I'm sorry," she choked out and he shook his head.
"Leslie it's not your fault, you know that," Ben soothed, kissing her forehead gently and tucking her hair back behind her ear. "How long have you known?"
"Forever," she breathed. "I found out when I was a teenager and I never thought about it again. I just kind of pushed it to the back of my mind and dealt with it. I never... I never really thought about having kids again until I met you."
Ben's throat was tightening and he tilted her chin up so she would look him in the eyes instead of staring at her knees. "I love you, Leslie. And if you can't have kids, then you can't have kids. It's okay," She gave a small nod and he brushed away another tear.
"Do you..." she started. "Did you want to have kids?" He smiled.
"Of course I do." He mumbled. "And what do you mean 'did'? We can still have kids, Les." He smiled at her and she pushed herself onto the balls of her feet and kissed him. He kissed her back gently and lifted her small frame onto the counter top. His hands rested on her thighs and she smiled ruefully down at him. "Just because our kids might not biologically be ours doesn't make them any less of our children."
"I'm sorry I didn't tell you sooner," Leslie said softly, and he nodded.
"It's okay. I understand." He kissed her fingers again. "If you don't mind me asking, who else knows?"
"You, my mom and Ann." He smiled. Listing those three people in one breath was just another way of her saying "the people I love the most."
"I love you Leslie." Ben said it seriously, like she didn't already know it.
"I know," she said, running her fingers through his hair slowly. "I love you too."
"Come on," Ben smiled and stepped back so she could hop off the counter. "Let's go try to make a baby anyway."