She came bck for some sort of meeting to do with funding.

Don't own them don't claim too, just for fun.

The long way around

By Stephanie meyer

She came bck for some sort of meeting to do with funding. Billy had lost rack of what the meeting was actually about when she'd walked in. She was sitting across from him, trying not to stare

Diane couldn' tbelieve hwo he still affected her. Her entire being cried out for him. The meeting drowned on for ever. As the ending drew near, she causght his eyes and saw her emotions mirrored in them.

Aaron and Jack sat talking in the latters office.

"What was up wiht Billy?" Jack asked.

"The bruneete that walked in."

\"Diana Grad?"

"Diane. THey used to be a couople. THen her reseach grant got yanked and she took off for africa."

"They left toghter."

Theyy cerinalty did ."

"Wonder what Jen will think."

"I won't tell if you don't."

Two months later Danny got a long distance call from africa.

"Eane?"

"HEy, DAnny. LIsten, do you know what happeed to billy? I can't get ahold of him."

"He's in Hawii."

"YOur're kidding."

"DIdn't you know? He got married last week."

Silence.

"Diane?"

"RAther suden wasn't it?"

"Thery've been engaged for six months."

"Oh."

"Diane, are you all right."

"Yeah, I'm fine Danny. Just stupid." With thatt she hung up.

Kate Austin was walking throught the baggage area of custums when she ran into a very pregnant Diane grad.

"Diane?"

"Kate," came Diane's startled voice

"Wow. I haven't seen you in ages. YOu look..."

"Pregnate."

"GRreat."

"I don't feel great."

"How far along are you?"

"Anyday now," she answered as she picked up her backpack.

"Let me get that."

"Kate..." Diane surrendard her bag. "you don't need to."

"You shouldn't even be traveling."

"it was either that or squat in the middle of a mud village. I took the chance."

"Where are you staying?"

"HOtel."

"No your're not. You're staying with me and Sarah."

"Kate, I can't impose..."

"you won't be. You're not giving birth in a hotel."

"Thanks. I really didn't know what I was going to do."

"If you don't mind me asking, what about the father?"

"I apperently mean nothing to him."

"Oh."

"GReat conversation starter huh?"

SArah sat next to DIane, her ear pressed to Diane's swollen belly. "Mom, I can felel the baby move!"

"I'm sure you can, Honey. But why don't you give Diane some space,ok?"

"She's fine."

"CAn I be there when you have it?"

"Sarah!" Kate admonished.

"Kate, really it's ok. Actucally, I was going to ask you, if you would be, you know, my coach."

"I'd be honored. That's so sweet."

"What about me?" SArah popped up.

"If it's ok with your mom, it's ok with me."

"Please Mom?"

"Whay not."

"SArah. HOney wake up. We need to get to the hospital."

"Is it time?" Sarah asked sleeply.

"Yes it is. GEt up."

Diane had been in labor for a good two hours before they got to the hospital. She' hadn't been completely sure she was in labor until her water broke. By the time they got to the emergency room, she was definately sure she was.

"Diane?": Danny's astonishment showed in his vboice.

"Shut up Danny." Diane huffed

"But..."

"Just page Dennis," Kate commanded as she ushered Diane into a wheelchair and pushed her toward the elevators, Sarah training behind.

Dinenis watche the moitor. "Kate, get the mask on her. an turn it up to two liters."

"What? What's wrong?" Diane's voice was paniced.

"Nothing, just a drop in the baby's heart rate. There it comes up again," Dennis reasured.

"I knew something was wrong. He's not even here."

Diane bet her lip and fought back tears.

Kate stroked her forehead. "You're going to be fine. Breathe,. LOok at teh kitty."

Sarah was entertaining Diane while Dennis and Kate talked in the hall.

"What was her prenatal?"

"NOne that I know of. Whay what's wrong?"

"I don't know. Soemthing doesn't feel right."

"Do you think that there's something wrong with the baby?"

"Has she said anything about problems she might have had?"

"No."

"What about the father?"

"I have no clue."

"I think I know."

Kate and Dennis looked up to find Danny Nyland.

"Danny?" Kate akded

She called for Billy about six months ago."

"She's been in Africa for over a year," Dennis countered.

"NOt the enttire time. She came back fdot that conference where a couple of her cased were brought up.:

"That's right,: Kate sighed. "They left togher, didn't they."

"According to Aaron.

"Mom!" Sarah's cry brought Kate and Dennis back into the room as Diane began to hemmerage.

Billy found Danny in the surgical waiting room a very worried Sarah wilmette in his lap crying.

"Danny , man, I have been looking all over for you.: The rest of his statement died as he took in lSarah. HE quatted down in front of th tchari. "Sarah, hey, kiddo, what's wrong?"

Sarah sniffed, "Diane's going to die."

Billy nearly fell over, so shoked that he missed Danny's next words. "She's not going to die sarah. Do yo think your mom and Dennis would let her die?"

"NO." Sarah sniffed.

"DIane?" Billy questioned.

"She started bleeding," SArah explained

"Sarah, can you stay here while I talk to Billy for a minute?" Danniy asked.

Sarah nodded. She slid off Danny's lap and climbed into a nearby chair. Danny rose, took Billy by the arm and lead him over to te nureses station. His friend looked like he was in shock.

"What's wrong with Diane?"

"She abrubted. She stated hemerroging. Her bp dropped and the baby was in distress."

"Baby?"

"Kage and Dennis are doing a crash c-section."

"ABaby?"

"She's pregnante Billy. She came back to CHlicago to have the baby."

"SHe was still in Africa."

"No pernatal. Travled at full term."

"Pregnate?"

Danny sighed . Billy was till stuck on the fact that Diane was pregnante, ignoring th fact that she was more than likely bleeding to death. Maybe it was better that way.

"She called for you about six months ago. YOu were in Hawii."

"Damn. " Billy slammed his habnd into the counter. "Damn, danm, damn." He looked near teares. "I I mean. She's dieing?"

"She's tough billy. She's not going anywere."

Billy becan replaying the past two years in his head. "I can't lose her."

Danny placed a comforting hand on Billy's shoulder.

She had left Chicago for Africa. He was pissed. She had just left. She had told him she
had nothing keeping her here. He'd lashed out at her then, calling her a lier. But he
hadn't gone after her. HE just let her walk out of his life fo ever. He was an idiot. HE
missed her, but he was still pissed off.
"Hey Billy," Danny called through the crowded er. "I've got a kid with a gsw to the
abdomen, can you take it?"
"Sure can."
Billy had spent most of his time in the er now that Diane wa gone. Danny was glad for
the help but worried about his friend's well being. However, he wasn't happy when ,
three weeks after Billy and Daine split, he started dating Jen.
"So how's Jen?" Danny asked as they tossed their bloody gloves in the biohzard can.
"She's good."
"What is it, eight, nine months?"
"Yep. Actually, we're getting married."
"What!"
"I asked her to marry me."
"Billy, you can't! What about Diane?"
"Diane is gone. She's the past. Jen is here, now. That's what matters."
"You're not even in love with her, Billy!"
"That's were you're wrong buddy."
"So you going to this meeting thingie?" Billy asked DAnny two months later.
"Nope. Don't have anything to do with it. Why are you?"
"Some old guy that I worked on with Austin. I don't know what parient records have to
do with funding but whatever. Phillip says be there so I am."
Diane Grad sat in theer. Seh was pissed. She looked up at the man infront of him. His
badge said doctor Wilkes.
"you're new."
"You come here alot?" Kieth asked the woman sitting on the gurney. She had a lac
across her forehead.
"I used to work here. Is Danny here?"
"You know Nyland?"
"We go way back. Is he here?"
Just then, the curtian was pulled back to revveal the afore said physcian.
"Diane, what happened to you?"
"Thanks for the sympathy. I go all the way to Africa and back, for a whole year at that,
without a scratch, get in a cab at O'Hare, the driver slams on the brakes and I plant myself
in the partition." Danny looked at her forehead. "How many?"
"Seven."
Kieth shook his head. "I'll leave yo with him," and walked off.
"What's with him?" Diane asked.
"We have a personality clash," Danny replied. "So what are you doing here?"
"Two of my cases are being brought up in the funding meeting plus the strep infection
and the er outbreak, the one right before I left. Philllip asked me to be here, so I am. 
Could use a break anyway. So, what did I miss?"
"This may take a while."
"Camille resigned. Dennis got shot?"
"He's fine."
Diane shudderd. "I just... Sorry. Flashbacks."
"I understand. Now you have to get moving. The meeteings already startaed."
"What!" Diane jumped off the gurney. Then she doubled back. "Bag, coat."
Danny snatched the drape off her forehead. "Sterile drape."
She sighed at herself and speed out of the er.
"Phillip when is this shindig going to start?" Billy asked as he lost another paper football
of the conference table.
"As soon as everyone's here."
Kate looked around. "Who are we missing?"
"If she's not here in fifteen minutes, we'll start."
No sooner than the words wre out of his mouth than the door blew open for the
whrilwind that blew in.
"Diane, nice of you to join us. Problems?"
"Sorry PHillip. I was in theer. Cab causilty."
"If we can get started..."
Diane sat down, only then noticing that she was direclty across for m Billy kronk.
Jack was highly amused to see the every cocky Kronk thrown off his game. The man was
obvously flustered.
"...So I thought his leg needed to be amputated."
"Because of gangreen. However, the debrevement of the affected tissue with maggets
saved the leg," Diane broke in.
"Will you let me finish."
"It was my case too, Billy. I did save his leg."
"Speaking of your cases Dr. Grad," the chairmen broke in, "You injected malaria into a
patient?"
Diane looked down at her hands." Yes."
"Against Dr. Watters orders."
"Alan..." She stopped.
"What was that Dr. Grad."
"Nothing."
Jack snorted. "You are one twisted sister."
"YOu must be Jack McNeil."
"And how do you know that?"
"I have my sources."
"I don't remember asking your opinion."
"Sorry." Jack held his hands up in defense.
"Diane," Phillilpl countered. "the out break in the er, you had a theory..."
"And the piggy back heart transplant..."
"Unfortunatly," Kate contiued.
Billy watched her. The rise and fall of her breathing. The way her hair fell around her
face. The way her lips parted and he could just see the slightest hint of her teeth. She
met his edyes.
Diane was watching him when he wasn't looking. The way he mussed his hair. The fact
that he needed to shave. She missed the feel of his muscles under her hands. She
focused on his hands. They wre strong and graceful. She looked up and met his eyes.
They were out the door as soon as the meeting was over.
Afterwards, in Billy's apartment, the lay in each others arms. HE gentley carrassed her
shoulders as she rested against his schest.
"So, now what?" he asked.
She planted a sad kiss on his shoulder as he buried his head in her hair. "I don't know."
"When do you leave?"
"Day after tommorrow."
He rolled overe on her and kissed her forehead. "We have alot of time to make up for."
Later, Daine was brushing out her wet hair after her shower. She was sitting on Billy's
bed, wrapped in a twoel. She was trying to work out a huge know when she heard the
shower sut off and Billy enter the room. Dressed only in his boxers, he sat down behind
her and took the bush form her hand. He gently worked out the tangles as seh leaned into
his touch. She loved the feel of his hands in her hair. It was so gentle, so loving. She
kissed his heand when he was one.
"Stay."
She looked at him with sorrow i her eyes. "I can't. You know that Billy."
"Stay with me."
She leaned into him bringing his eyes to hers. "Billy, as much as I want to,need to, it's
not enough. I've moved on. I can't go back. If I stayed here, without my research, part of
me would die, you know that. I wouldn't be me anymore, and we'd both be miserable."
He kissed her nose. "I know."
He took her to the plane. Seh was crying and his eyes wre misting. They're parting kiss
was soul wrenching.
Jen had noticed Billy's moodyness for the past month and put it off to prewedding jitters.
Diane dug through her carry on for her brush. She swore she had thrown it there. Her
hands found an old t-shirt. It was one of Billy's It still smelled like him. She blinked
back tears. She knew where her brush was.
The missing tolietry was in a bottom drawer with several of its cousins in an apartment
with bad heat in Chicago.
Diane vomited again. This was not happening. Seh was not pregnate. She wasn't. She
had a pregnancy test. It ahd come with the supplies that they had ordered two weeks ago
that had arrived yesterday.
She sat waiting. "Pleae, God, I know I haven't asked for much since that melinoma scare
and I am really greatful that it turned out to be a benign nevus, but please, God, don't let
me be..." she looked. Positive. "Pregnate."
Danny stratened Billy's tie. "Do you think I'm doing the right thing?"
"No. But I'm now going to stop you. It's your life."
"Gee thanks."
She waited for the call to go through. "Hey, Danny. Listen do you know what happened
to Billy? I can't get a hold of him...You're kidding...Rather sudden wasn't it?...oh...Yeah,
I'm fine, Danny. Just stupid." Seh hung up and burst into tears.
Jake found her thow hours later. "When are yo leaving?"
"I'm not."
"Diane, the baby..."
"Is mine, Jake. My responsibility. I'll leave right before so I can have it in the states. 
But now there's nothing there for me."
"But Billy..."
"Just got married."
"Oh."
Diane was waddling through the village. Litterly. She was eight months along. Jake had
jsut made her flight reserevations and was hurring her towards the track.
"I have to much to do..."
"You should have left months ago."
"But..."
"Diane, you're eight months pregnate!"
"I'll have the baby here!"
Jake took her by the shoulder and forced her to look inot his eyes. "How old are you?"
She shot him a dirty look.
"Exactly. Your pregnancy is bordering high risk anyway, given the limited care here and
god know what you've been exposed to. Now, you're going home!"
Jen sat at the table in silence waiting for Billy to come home. The door opened.
"Hey."
"Who's Diane?"
"What?"
"Don't play dumb with me, Billy. I found her cloths and her hair brush inyour bottom
drawer. Along with these." Seh gestured to the letters an d poems on the table.
"Did you read them?"
"Yes. Who is she? And don't say nobody or jsut a friend."
"Well you've made up your mind so why explain."
"Is it ture, what's in those letters?"
"Yes."
"Get out." Her voice was deadly.
Billy turned heel and left, heading back to Chicago HOpe to find Danny. And he did
with a sobbing Sarah Wilmette in his lap.
Sarah was alseep when Kate came out of surgery.
Billy's worried expression confirmmed Danny's speculation for her.
"She's fien. She lost alot of blood so she's weak, but sh'e ging to pull through."
"The baby?" Billy asked, suprised how importent this life she hadn't known existied was. 
"She's fine."
"Can I see Diane?"
Kate nodded. "seh should becoming around soon." 
Billy wtched form the hallway as diane held her.. their daughter. His heart was still in his
throat. If he had lost her without...How could he have been so stupid as to let her go?
He entered the room. Diane's smile when she looked up was buetiful. Then it froze.
"Diane..." his voice was thick with emotion. "I..."
"don't Billy. I should be furious with you. But I can't NOt today." Seh cradled the baby
closer to her heart. "Look what you gve me." Seh led out an arm. "Come see our
daughter."
Later after the little girl was asleep, they talked.
"You got married."
"I should have told you..."
"You're right."
"And you should have told me about the baby."
"what are we going to do?"
Billy touched her check. "Do you know how scared I was when I thought you were
dying? I love you so much baby dol, it scares me."
"There's someting else."
"Jen found your peoms."
"The ones in your block book."
"I didn't care . I was glad it was out in the open."
"it's not that easy billy."
"i know, but we can try can't we? Please?"
Daine drew him to her kissed his forehead. They sat together holding their daugher in
silence.
Sarah bounded into theroom three hours later. "Diane." She hugged the womean. "Can I
see her? Can I hold her."
Daine smiled. "Sure you can, Sarah. She's in the nursery righ now."
"come on, kiddo," Billy put in. "I'll take you to see her ok?"
"Srse."
After they'd left kate sat next to Diane. "How you feeling?"
"Soar."
"Billy?"
"Stunned."
"Soo...."
"We're going to try, kate, we're going to try."
"did you here about Diane?" Aaron asked Phillip. The two men wre sitting on the
terrace.
"Close call."
"It certianly was, on several fronts."
"It's not over yet."
 
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