|Flowers for Lucy
Author: MarilynnRae PM
Gillian takes in a foster child who has a history of severe abuse. The story of the way one child changes everyone's life and teaches them just how important they are to each other as well as the little girl named Lucy.Rated: Fiction T - English - Family - Cal L. & Gillian F. - Chapters: 15 - Words: 45,996 - Reviews: 107 - Favs: 19 - Follows: 23 - Updated: 05-16-13 - Published: 01-31-13 - id: 8964578
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
This is a concept that has been on my mind for a while and I thought I would run with it. Let me know what you think!
"She has a history of severe abuse. Parents were druggies who slapped each other around almost as much as they slapped her around. She's very quiet but extremely bright. Look, Gillian, I wouldn't be asking you to foster this girl if I thought she stood a chance anywhere else. She needs help and I think you're the only person that can help her."
Gillian just stared at her old friend that stood in her doorway. "Carrie, Alec and I aren't even together anymore…"
But Carrie shook her head. "I didn't set up custody for you and Alec. Just you. Lucy needs you."
Gillian looked at the dark haired child that sat across from her at her breakfast table. Her eyes were down, staring at her cereal as she took bite after bite, almost as though she was afraid it would be taken away.
"Lucy, you don't have to eat so fast," she told the child lightly, but the girl immediately flinched at the sound of her voice, dropping the spoon and pulling her hands away.
Slowly the girl glanced up at Gillian, searching her face before slowly reaching for the spoon again. She ate slower this time, but kept glancing up at Gillian to be sure she wasn't going to hurt or yell at her.
It had been three weeks and the girl barely spoke more than a handful of words to her. She preferred to do everything herself, often waking up before Gillian and getting dressed. She was caught more than once stealing food from other kids' lunch boxes. Each time Gillian would calmly explain to the teacher that Lucy has gone through a lot and is in a transition period. This still didn't make anyone at the school like her any better.
It pained Gillian to watch this child guard herself like an animal. Her eyes were always down unless she was studying your reaction to know if she was safe. The way her arms were always crossed or twisted in front of her, it was a silent way of shutting others out. All Gillian could do was try.
Lucy attended counseling three times a week for an hour. She refused to open up to anybody.
Due to teacher's meetings, Lucy didn't have school that day and Gillian thought it best to bring her to the office since a babysitter didn't quite feel right.
She had never been before, and Gillian had taken a lot of time off to adjust to the change. It took Gillian by surprise when the six year old clung tightly to Gillian's hand and hid partly behind her as they moved through the doors of the Lightman Firm.
Thankfully, no one addressed the child, most likely seeing the fearful expression on her face and not wanting to upset her more. Lucy clung to her guardian's hand and curiously scanned every person and office.
Gillian nodded at receptionist and leaned toward her charge. "That's Heidi, she's very nice."
Much to Gillian's surprise, she actually received a nod of acknowledgement from Lucy who looked up and met Gillian's eyes patiently. It was the most content she had ever seemed, even through her nerves she seemed to actually be putting a small amount of trust in Gillian.
There was a small smile that broke through Gillian's lips as she recognized the moment of trust, it felt like a break through. Her hand squeezed the little girl's gently and guided her into her office.
Lucy slowly let go of Gillian's hand, but only after the door had been completely shut. She took a seat at her desk and watched as the girl stood only a few feet from the door, taking in all the unique aspects of the new territory.
There was a vase of flowers on the shelf that caught Lucy's eye. She took a step closer, but stopped and glanced at Gillian.
A smile took over Gillian's lips. "You can look and touch. I'm sure there is nothing you could harm," she assured her.
Lucy studied her a bit longer before deciding to take Gillian at her word and move toward the flowers. She touched them gently, running her fingers across the soft pedals. Slowly she opened her mouth as though she was going to say something and Gillian leaned in anxiously to hear. As Lucy turned toward her the door to Gillian's office swung open making both of them jump.
"Oi, Foster." Cal walked into her office tearing her anxious eyes off of Lucy who suddenly was back to her slightly terrified disposition as she moved to hide behind Gillian. Cal noticed the slight disappointment on her face and tilted his head. "Expecting someone else?"
Confusion took over her eyes next and she shook her head. "Not at all, just letting Lucy get acquainted to my office." Gently placing a hand on Lucy's back, she brought her out from her hiding place. "Lucy, this is my friend and business partner, Doctor Cal Lightman. Can you tell him hi?"
She knew it was a bold move, but she wanted to try. Lucy only looked between the two adults and then clung to Gillian's hand again.
She sighed, but gently stroked the girl's hair. The poor thing was so skittish of people and Cal could intimidate the best of them. Still, as Cal looked down at the little girl his disposition changed to a much gentler and calm, opposed to his rough and radical normality. Gillian watched as Lucy studied him.
"Hello, Lucy." Cal could easily read the discomfort on her little face as she looked at Gillian for reassurance. Gillian responded with a gentle encouraging squeeze as she continued to stroke the girls hair. "I swear I don't bite. Gillian here is my friend too."
Cal had heard all about the difficult times she had be having with Lucy. The first night where she didn't want to be touched or look up from the ground and how she slept on a blanket between her bed and the wall. The first time Gillian tried to brush her hair and she flinched every Gillian moved the brush, assuming she was going to get hit with it. The night that Alec came over uninvited and Lucy became so anxious she got sick.
But with the bad came the good. The first time Lucy let Gillian touch her without flinching. The first time she spoke, a full week after she came and only it was only "Cheerios" when given the option of breakfast cereals at the store. The very first time Lucy took Gillian's hand when she was nervous or scared. They were milestones throughout the two weeks.
Lucy slowly glanced at Gillian again who gave her a nod and a smile. Her face relaxed a little and she may have not spoke, but she did wave.
Both adults took this as a pretty large step, but decided to not push her more. Cal leaned against her desk as Lucy went back to exploring her office.
"Why don't you bring her over for dinner tonight? She may like Emily," he tried as they both watched the little girl examine everything very closely.
Gillian sighed and picked up the stack of files and papers on her desk. "I don't know, Cal. She's just now getting comfortable at my place. I just came by the office so I could get some work done at home."
Of course she missed both Cal and Emily and she truly did want to spend some time with them, but her focus had to be on Lucy right now. Then again, Cal did have a point. Emily would most likely be really good with Lucy and Lucy would probably enjoy her company.
Taking a deep breath Gillian looked back at Cal. "Why don't you come over to my place?" she offered before she realized what she was saying. "You can either help me cook or bring takeout. Either way, I wouldn't mind having you both around."
Cal smirked. "That's my girl. Emily startin' to wonder if she'd see ya before we head off to Mexico."
Gillian suddenly became alarmed. Had she lost track of time that much? "That trips not for-"
"Relax, love. It's not for another month."
Cal watched as Gillian relaxed a little. Poor thing was more stressed than he had ever seen her. She was not even legally divorced and recently took on raising a child by herself. She needed a break. He was worried for her.
"You holdin' up alright?" he asked her finally.
She didn't take her eyes off of Lucy as she took a deep breath. "She's the best thing that's ever happened to me, but this is still new. I just hope she's happy."
Cal turned toward the little girl as she reached out and picked up a brightly colored children's book Gillian kept in her office for when she had to interview children. Lucy then glanced up at Gillian and held the book out wanting her to read it.
"I think," Cal said softly as Lucy moved closer, "she's happier than she knows how to be."
Lucy handed the book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie over to Gillian and wrapped her arms around one of Gillian's.
"We'll read this when we get home, alright?" she told the little girl who nodded but kept holding onto Gillian's arm even as she stood and exchanged a friendly peck goodbye to Cal. "Call if you need anything, otherwise I guess I'll see you around seven tonight?" The part posed as a question because she wasn't sure what time would work for him.
"Seven it is."
Cal watched as Gillian and Lucy walked back out of the office and toward the door. If anyone could help that child it would be Gillian and if anyone could help Gillian, it would be that child. They needed each other. As much as Gillian needed someone to care about, Lucy needed someone to care about her.
Gillian was thankful that Cal didn't feel the need for their usual banter this morning mostly because he wasn't sure how Lucy would interpret it. Emily was often a little nervous when she and Cal really got into it, but they were both strong personalities with strong beliefs who sometimes stepped on each other's toes. Still, she was more than happy to have a relax conversation with him and watch him reach out to Lucy.
As she and Lucy entered the elevator with the book in her hands, Lucy looked up at Gillian. "Gillian?"
She nearly jumped at the sound of the little voice, after all she heard it so rarely. "Yes?"
"I do like it with you, Gillian."
Lucy's big blue eyes studied Gillian as she fought back tears. Such a bright child with such a big heart even with her coming from such a dark place. Gillian kneeled down to eye level and looked at the little girl.
"I really like that you're here with me."
Then, to both of their surprise, Lucy wrapped her arms around Gillian's neck and for the first time hugged her tightly, even allowing Gillian to pick her up and carry her. In one morning Lucy had spoken more to Gillian in five minutes than in the entire three weeks before.
All Gillian wanted was a family, and though she was weeks away from being legally divorced, she never felt so close to having one.
I hope you enjoyed! Please review! :)