Warning! Lizziewhomp! Tom is a bastard!
Please read and review… Much love!
And I own nothing!
"Tom…say something. Anything…"
Elizabeth knew that Tom would be upset with her, but she at least expected him to discuss it with her. Loudly, if he wished. She wished he would yell, at the very least. SHE would have yelled at her. After a year of interviews and ultrasounds and unsure young mothers backing out, SHE was the one backing out. SHE was the one standing in the way of their family, and she had never felt guiltier. Their lives had to be put on hold once again, and she was entirely to blame. She couldn't even pin it on her job. It had nothing to do with her job, and everything to do with their relationship. Elizabeth could no longer trust her husband –no matter how many times he proved his innocence- and was actually starting to doubt her love for him. Tom was great… endlessly patient and endlessly kind, but he no longer consumed her every thought the way he used to. She was no longer excited to get home at the end of the day. She even went so far as to create more work for herself so she could avoid her home. It was not a little pathetic, but she did it anyway. And, there was no longer a thrill that went through her when they kissed. Elizabeth missed that thrill.
While Elizabeth was ruefully pondering her waffling marriage, Tom turned and started to walk away. Okay… she had just dropped a bomb and he wasn't going to react?
"Tom? Tom? You can't just walk away from this. We've got to talk about it."
When Tom spun around to face her, she barely recognized the man standing in front of her. The anger in his eyes was the most horrifying thing she had ever seen, and it was directed at her. She shirked away instinctively.
"I can barely look at you, let alone talk to you. I never saw this coming. The Liz I married wanted a family. The Liz I married would NEVER let a job come between us. She would never sit back and watch that job DESTROY us. I don't understand this Liz. I don't understand you. And I don't think I want to understand you."
Elizabeth was scared by how right he was. She hadn't realized how much she had changed over the past few months, and not it occurred to her that she most certainly was not the Liz that Tom had married, and it wasn't fair to him.
"You're right. You are absolutely right. I am not the same girl that you married, and I am so sorry. Maybe… maybe it wouldn't be the worst thing for us to spend some time apart, to think about what we want out of life…"
Tom didn't seem to like that idea.
"So now you want to leave me? It went from 'I don't want to have a baby with you' to 'I don't want to be with you'? What the hell, Liz?"
Elizabeth felt his hand on her arm, yanking her forward, and it shocked her. Five years of marriage and Tom had never laid a hand on her. It had never occurred to her that he might. She struggled against his hold and he tightened it. This was not good.
"Oh no, Lizzie. We don't walk away, remember?"
Elizabeth gave one more good attempt to pull away, and it seemed to trigger something in Tom. Before she knew it, she was lying face first across the stairs, blood pouring from her nose and from the cut on her lip. Her own husband had punched her. Well… this was unexpected.
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There was a knock on the bedroom door around two in the morning, and Red was not amused. Sure, he wasn't sleeping, but he was entitled to a little alone time, wasn't he? He considered ignoring Dembe (who else could it be?), but his friend was obviously not going away. In fact, the knocking grew louder and more insistent.
"This had better be really good or at least really interesting."
Dembe swung his door open but didn't bother to enter. He looked serious, but Dembe always looked serious.
"There's been an incident at the Keen residence. Both Agent Keen and her husband were taken to the hospital by ambulance."
Now it was Red's turn to look serious.
"Throw me my coat. We're going to take a little trip."
They reached the hospital in record time, thanks to Dembe's driving. How he maintained a perfect driving record, Red would never know. The ER was crowded, but he found who he was looking for immediately. Lizzie stood with her back to him, surrounded by agents. Red was confused until she turned to face him. Her beautiful face was bruised and bloody. Red was infuriated.
Elizabeth shook her head and tried to deflect his question.
"It's not as bad as it looks, really."
Red was really in no mood for this.
"Lizzie… what happened?"
She sighed and ran her hand through her hair. Red could see bruising on her arm as the sleeve of her jacket slipped down. Someone was in such deep shit…
"Tom and I had a fight. I told him that a baby was a bad idea right now, and that we should spend some time apart, and then he hit me. A few times."
Few times had Red ever felt such rage. The bastard had hit her. The punishment for such a crime would be… severe.
"Liz hit him back."
Donald Ressler appeared out of nowhere, or had he been there the whole time? Red was hardly aware of anything except for Lizzie's face.
"My bad-ass partner here beat the ever-living shit out of that son-of-a-bitch. Both of his eyes are swelled shut, his jaw is WIRED shut –she shattered it- and he has broken ribs, one of which punctured a lung. He's going to be in here for quite some time."
Ressler beamed with pride, and for a moment, Red didn't find him as annoying as he usually did. Lizzie smiled slightly and winced at the effort.
"I couldn't stop myself. He kept coming at me and I just snapped. My field training kicked in and I fought back."
She shrugged as though it were nothing. Red disagreed. It was everything. Not only had Lizzie seen the dark side of her beloved Tom, but she had survived seeing it. Months ago this would have broken her, but now, it only made her stronger. Red regarded her with a sort-of awe, unable to tear his eyes away from hers, even when Ressler spoke up again.
"Cooper's working on making this go away with the police. I think I'll go help him."
Ressler scurried away, leaving Red and Liz somewhat alone, although it wasn't quite enough for Red. He tugged slightly at her jacket and motioned for her to follow him. She gave him a questioning look but followed him anyway. He searched until he found an empty room, then ushered her inside.
"Red… I know I should have let him walk away when he was trying to. I just never thought…"
"There's no need to explain yourself. Do you know how proud I am of you right now? I always knew you could take care of yourself, I just didn't know if YOU knew it. How does it feel?"
Lizzie was silent for a moment, and then she gave him a mischievous grin.
"Honestly? I feel like a whole new woman."
She squared her shoulders and raised her chin. Red had never been more in love with her than he was at that moment. He moved toward her and brought his lips down to hers, mindful of her injuries. She pulled back slightly, resting her hands on his chest.
"Are you serious? I'm a mess!"
Red eyed her intensely and pulled her back to him.
"Quite serious. And you are magnificent."
He kissed her deeply this time, tracing her lips with his tongue until she allowed him entry and finally kissed him back. When he pulled away to catch his breath, he heard Lizzie sigh softly and murmur something.
"What was that, Lizzie? You're going to have to speak up."
She threw her arms around his neck and smiled.
"I said… there's that thrill."