show: Young & the Restless
central character(s): Billy Abbott, Victoria Newman Abbott.
summary: "We'll figure it out." / Or, good, unexpected, miraculous things coming in threes. BillyVictoria. AU.
notes: This was written two years ago, while on summer vacation. I just found it today, tweeked it, and now, it's up. Now, it's a little out there but y'know? Humor me. As stated, I wrote this years ago and at the time, the plot seemed sensible. Go with it?
disclaimer: I'm merely playing with these characters and giving them back. This is the property of CBS and Sony Pictures.
She's a working parent with more testosterone in her household, but she's deliriously happy when John toddles out with his arms outstretched calling for her. The love she has for this little boy is indescribable and deeper than DNA. Biology does not know love. Biology does not understand the matters of the heart, and Victoria's love for John stretches beyond sharing blood.
Victoria Newman Abbott always has the dream of a biological child in the back of her head, locked away in a small box close to her heart so she doesn't give up and destroy it. There's the dream and there's the medical reality doctors tell her: that's she has the slim chance of carrying a child to term, much less become pregnant in the first place.
Reed is her first miracle baby, and John is her second. It's not that she's cynical, but Victoria doesn't know if there's a third. After all, there can't be.
There are alarming new symptoms that are, however, making Victoria think that it's much more.
This pregnancy (if there is even one at all – false has happened before) is much more different: there's the breast tenderness that make them bigger somewhat because Victoria's bras don't fit as snuggly as they should, the morning sickness that extends into the afternoon, and the fact that Victoria is always looking for a restroom.
Victoria always takes a home pregnancy test (one line, she isn't, and two lines equates to being pregnant) before Billy gets home from Restless Style with a sleeping John in his arms.
The ten minute wait stretches into eternity, and with a silent prayer and a deep exhaling breath, Victoria counts to ten and opens her eyes.
There are two lines. Two lines. Double lines in the first window and the word Pregnant in the second.
"Oh, God," she sighs into air. "I'm…pregnant."
She can't tell Billy yet, so Victoria disposes of the whole test and adds it to the trash sitting on the curb on the way to a landfill in Parts Unknown.
Somewhere between the home pregnancy test and the morning sickness Victoria is hiding from Billy, Victoria leaves Jabot a little early to get blood work done – just to check, just to make sure it's not a false positive, just to make sure that the dream locked away in her heart is actually reality and not just false hope.
The nurse bandages her arm and Victoria pulls the sleeve of her blouse over it, "Alright, we're done. Dr. Okamura will call you with the results."
"How long?" Victoria questions, and smiles ruefully to keep from wringing her hands. She's a little impatient and just wants to know once and all. That, and the fact that one son is visiting from Washington, and she misses the other very much. She misses this little boy who makes her laugh and smile more than ever. He's so endearingly silly. Victoria misses Johnny. "I'm sorry. I'm just a little impatient."
The nurse, Kelly, as it says on her name tag, nods with understanding.
"I'll make a note so that Dr. Okamura puts a rush on these."
"Thank you," Victoria says, suppressing the nausea that threatens to wash over her again.
Victoria wakes up with the familiar wave of nausea that goes beyond telling Billy, she may have a bug or the flu. And her period is late, but her period never really has any consistency anyway.
Billy is downstairs with John, and she's here retching into the toilet for the fourth time in a row this week. She takes a deep breath, washes her face and brushes her teeth. Strands of Victoria's hair escape her hair tie as she towel dries her face.
She stares at her reflection and places her hands at her stomach gingerly.
After all, it could be the flu and Victoria will not, cannot get anyone's hopes up much less her own.
Victoria inhales, trying not to trigger anything that will make her puke and goes down the stairs.
John sees her, peeling his attention away from Yo Gabba Gabba and smiles, "Mama!"
She goes her to son – biology doesn't define a happy home – and scoops him up, pressing kisses all over his face and he squeals and laughs, "Did you have sweet dreams, baby?" Victoria sets him down to indulge in an episode of Sesame Street, unaware that he may or may not be a big brother when Billy walks in from the kitchen, carrying a coffee (black with four sugars) for him and a ginger tea for her.
Ginger tea stems nausea, Victoria thinks, and wonders if he actually knows and is just toying with her.
"Morning," she greets as Billy hands her tea and kisses her.
"Morning to you too, sleepyhead. You slept like a rock."
Victoria sits and sips her tea while John contentedly laughs at something Elmo says on television and claps his hands. He's such a happy child. But he's also stubborn when it comes to being potty trained.
"Sorry. It's just busy at Jabot, and I'm tired, but I feel okay."
Billy smirks, playfully, "Maybe I should tell Jack and Ashley to ease up on cracking the whip over my girl."
Victoria laughs, despite the feeling of guilt deep in her stomach. It could be guilt, or the feeling of their new baby despite not being able to kick yet – it's the idea of a pregnancy, really.
(She'll tell him tomorrow, Victoria resolves. She'll tell Billy tomorrow.)
Victoria will her husband that she may or may not be pregnant that the home pregnancy test could or couldn't be accurate. Or, that bloodwork could say she really does have the flu and puking in a toilet bowl on most mornings is just sheer coincidence.
Victoria finally sings John to sleep, his head of sandy blonde hair because that little boy is a ball of energy that never sleeps.
Maybe, she muses stifling a yawn herself, John lives up to being nicknamed Johnny Rocket, by his Aunt Abby. He's two and a happy child that likes to run around and play for what seems like forever and a day.
"Sweet dreams, Johnny," Victoria whispers with a soft smile at the sleeping child. He's so peaceful when he sleeps yet a ball of energy and so exuberant when he's awake. She presses a light kiss to the side of his head and he stirs before smiling lightly in his sleep. Sometimes, Victoria wonders what goes through his little two year old head.
She shuts off the light and closes the door, before padding off to her bedroom with Billy.
John can potentially go to sleep and wake up a big brother, tomorrow.
Delia could become a bigger sister again (because there's the excitement in her eyes), and Reed really has this big brother job down for life, so the idea of one more sends an trill of happy, cautious anticipation creeping all the down to her toes.
Like a band-aid, you have to rip it off. Ripitoff. Ripitoff, Victoria mentally prep talks herself as she stretches and gets into bed next to Billy.
"Our guy just went down," she declares, and still, there's still the pregnancy. It could be nothing, and not only would her sliver of hope be crushed, but Billy's too – even though, he'll put on a front for her. He doesn't have to pretend with her. She grins, kisses his cheek.
Billy sighs, and there's an amused yet sleepy expression on his face.
"Whatever food we're giving him, it must have superpowers. I want some."
She chuckles, and yawns, and curls into Billy's side, "Same here."
Her head rests on his torso and he kisses her tousled hair. Looking up at the ceiling, Victoria counts to three in her head and hopes to God the phone rings, but Billy has to know. Discreetly, Victoria's hands go to her still-flat, still-toned stomach as the next nine months stretch before her.
There's still no one Victoria wants to go on this ride with, but Billy.
Victoria rests her head on Billy's torso, his breathing a steady rise and fall.
Long after, there are sincere goodnights and kisses that linger a little longer than she'd like, the lights are off and there's just the glow of the lights on the baby monitor, her inward excitement and the way Billy's arm is securely around her.
She can easily walk into a boardroom, give a presentation with ease. She can be cold, and even borderline ruthless but not with this. Never with this.
It's far from business and so close to her heart.
Part of Victoria is almost scared that if she says the words, if she verbalizes them, that it may be a dream that slips through her fingers like fine sand.
"I'm pregnant," she whispers, and hopes that the words somehow reach him in the deepest parts of his sleep. He stirs a little, smiles faintly in his sleep like Johnny and she feels safer, falling asleep in his arms. "We're pregnant, Billy. I'm carrying our child."
"Heard you," Billy answers, voice on the edge of sleep. "Love you."
"I love you, too."
Okay, so it's not the method that Victoria wants to go about, however, she knows. He knows, and she falls asleep despite being wrought with excitement and joy, a mother can only feel.
(It's something Victoria always feels: her sons and stepdaughter make her experience that every day.)
It's eight-thirty in the morning on a Saturday morning, when Billy walks into Johnny's room and finds his son, wide awake standing in his crib. He's all about the big boy bed, but Victoria says to wait a longer because Johnny's at the age where his son likes to play Hide & Seek when it's bath time. Billy and Victoria usually collapse onto their couch just plain exhausted when Johnny's finally asleep.
And then on some days, somewhere in his little brain, he uses Keeley as a mode of transportation.
Actually, he thinks amused, it's quite funny.
Billy's got hours and hours of video of that and really, Keeley doesn't seem to mind.
Johnny seems to be a morning kid. Billy, on the other hand, is definitely is not.
He picks John up and in the back of his head, he hears it. Sure, he's asleep and yeah, it's an enjoyable eight (read: six, actually) hours where Restless Style isn't crazy with deadlines, Phyllis and her antics. She is amazing with her job – he'll admit that half the time, Billy almost wants to slit his wrists.
"Hey, little man."
Billy hears it in his sleep, whisper quiet. John, Reed and Delia could get another sibling.
He could be a dad for the third time, and really, he's excited but he's a guy: somewhere, in Billy's Dude Brain it can't be helped that he is kind of nervous.
(Okay, let's re-phrase that:
Billy's nervous because it's in a million shot for Victoria to get pregnant – but he's happy. He's totally, completely on board with another kid in the house. That's the truth.)
Billy is truly happy, hell excited, even, but it's a little too early to scream it from the rooftops.
Victoria walks Keeley around the block when she can't sleep anymore and the fresh air makes the heartburn after her small breakfast of fruit salad and a piece of whole wheat toast dissipate, somewhat.
Maybe it's the fresh summer air and maybe, it's because Victoria is moving. She walks to the park the kids like: Johnny likes the swings and likes the sandbox and the girl who has the nicest bucket and shovel at the time, Delia likes having girly tea parties and Victoria doesn't mind the jewelry and funny hats with sparkly tiaras; it's quite fun having girl time, and watching Reed and Billy play Frisbee is a nice moment ("Mommy, I love Daddy, but I love Billy too," Reed tells her when she tucks him in for bed – on the night Reed is still getting to know his little brother. She smiles, kisses his blond head because Victoria gets it, totally understands; she loves Billy too).
Victoria breathes in the fresh air – which is why it's probably not making her as queasy, her phone eerily silent in her pocket. Sure, there's the idle text from Chloe, Abby and Mom – but no call from Dr. Okamura's office and it's starting to make her antsy. Victoria walks in step with Keeley on his red leash home, silently praying there's no squirrel that will get his attention.
Now, it is her who leaves Billy asleep when Keeley walks in from the backyard through the doggy door and the leash is in his jaws, tail wagging.
So, Victoria leaves but not without placing a light kiss on the side of his head. Then she walks over to Johnny's room, bright and colourful and smiles down at her sleeping child. She strokes his cheek, as he lightly snores and his chest rises and falls with every breath.
"Mommy's gonna to be right back," she whispers and kisses him on the forehead so John doesn't stir. Victoria wants him to have all the dreams that are sweet enough to a two-year-old and all the happiness in the world. That's love. "I love you."
The sky is a cloudless blue with a sun a ball of light when Victoria's phone rings.
She pauses, as Keeley sniffs a fire hydrant, and then lifts his back leg to pee, as she glances at the screen and hurriedly taps the answer button.
"Hello, Mrs. Abbott," the female voice on the other end says. "I'm Kelly, calling from Dr. Okamura's office. I was the nurse who ran your lab tests."
When Keeley notices they're not moving, he obediently sits. Her heart's racing. "Yes, hi. Call me Victoria, please," Victoria answers, putting on her most composed tone as if she is in a quarterly business meeting. But this isn't business. The stakes are a lot higher, teetering between a miracle or false hope. She discreetly takes a deep breath.
"We had your blood work run twice actually, as per Dr. Okamura's orders so there would be no room for error," Kelly explains before her tone changes – in which direction, well, Victoria doesn't know. "But I'm happy to tell you that you are indeed pregnant. Congratulations."
For obvious reasons, the air is nearly sucked out of her lungs, and tears spring to Victoria's blue eyes.
"So, the positive on the home pregnancy test was actually positive. No false positive?" Victoria asks, just to clarify that it's not a dream. This isn't a figment of her subconscious imagination or a manifestation of having another child, despite loving Johnny more than anything in the world.
"My pleasure," Kelly says, cheerily. "I only ask that you make an appointment with Dr. Okamura as soon as possible so he could determine how far along you are, and assess you from there."
Victoria means from ear to ear, the sheer joy of having another child making her heart race as she holds on to Keeley's leash with her free hand. Being the obedient and lovable dog he is, Keeley looks up at her and pants lightly. Through his dog eyes, she must look crazy. But she's not. Just happy. Victoria is just completely happy that this little dream that is locked away in a secret box has been opened and realized.
"Yes, yes, of course. I'll speak to my husband and book an appointment."
Kelly says, with warm tone that puts Victoria at ease. "Okay. Once again, congratulations, Victoria."
Victoria says goodbye and hangs up.
This is not a dream. This is reality – something that is real and within her reach. It's her reality with Billy and Victoria promises with all of her heart that she will not have this one taken away from her.
Victoria will really hate the one who pinches her because the smallest apprehensive part of her tells it's probably all a dream and to enjoy it while it lasts.
But Victoria knows her and Billy are going to be building their family further because she craves a peanut butter and banana sandwich. Really, really craves it.
(Here's something that Victoria dawns on her as she walks Keeley home: she has peanut butter sandwiches and the occasional pickle when pregnant with Reed – back when she doesn't know whether JT or Brad is the father. But she knows this time – the child is most definitely an Abbott; her child with Billy.)
It's nine-thirty in the morning, when Victoria walks in the door and finds her boys watching Father Knows Best. Keeley runs around, barks ahead and jumps on the couch. Johnny notices him and ruffles him (they're the best of friends) before he greets Billy with a lick to the cheek and chin.
She can't peel the smile of her face if she wants to.
"Hey," Victoria greets, picking up John and sitting beside Billy. "I see you're having guy time."
"Yep," Billy answers, lightly squeezing John's cheek. The toddler grins. "I was teaching this kiddo the best parts of Father Knows Best and why Leave It To Beaver tops it," he makes a gesture, leaving a little space between his thumb and forefinger, "a little more."
Victoria feigns offence, and presses a kiss to John's mop of hair. Scissors make him even more rambunctious than he is, and it's usually accompanied by John grabbing at his hair as if to protect it. He voices his protests the best way a two-year-old can, "No!" he'll yell, shaking his head no. "No! No cut, Mama! No!" No is his favorite word at the moment; his second is tinkle. But Billy promises him a trip to see his big sister, Dee Dee and a trip to the park if he's brave and then he complies, grinning at his reflection afterward at the new nice haircut.
"Our son knows better. Don't you, Johnny?" she playfully argues back and John turns his dark brown eyes on her and rests his head on her chest. Victoria wraps her arms lightly around his little frame and he focuses on the television.
Billy kisses her, lightly on the lips. "How was your walk?"
She smiles, John nestling peacefully – for once – in her arms, "It was good," Victoria explains, tucking a lock of hair behind her ear. "The fresh air helped with the nausea which didn't surprise me because," she signs, locking eyes with her husband. "We're most definitely pregnant. I had bloodwork done because I wanted to be sure, even before I told you. I got a home pregnancy test. It came back positive and I couldn't even believe it," Victoria still explains, and she knows she's rambling because comes out like a verbal waterfall that can't be stopped; she doesn't want it to stop. "I didn't want to tell you just in case it was a false positive. But it wasn't and Dr. Okamura's office confirmed it today that we're going to be parents," she pauses and smiles down at John who has fallen asleep in her arms and then look back up at Billy, with happy tears waiting to fall. "Johnny's going to be a big brother, Billy. Delia, John, Reed – they're going to have a new sibling."
Billy kind of wants to kiss her out of happiness, and to shut his wife up. More the former.
"I know. I heard you tell me when I was asleep. I heard you – oh, screw it. It doesn't matter how I know," he answers, and pulls in her in gently for a kiss. She places a hand over the hand, resting on her cheek when he pulls away. "God, I love you."
"I love you," Victoria replies, feeling complete in this moment. "And I love our family."
(It's odd, the way she quietly resents Chelsea but a part of her – no matter how small – is grateful that she gives John the chance to call Victoria Mom, instead of her.
Last she hears, Chelsea gets Adam to leave Genoa City for California beaches with her.)
"We're pregnant." That would explain the morning vomiting.
"I know," Victoria sighs, placing a hand over her still flat abdomen. But it won't be that way for long. "This is crazy, Billy. Oh my God."
Sure, it's a telltale sign of pregnancy although it's too early for the heartburn. In her pregnancy with Reed, she doesn't experience heartburn until the fourth month of her pregnancy.
Billy answers, "That's one way of putting it," and then he gently pulls her in and kisses her cheek.
Victoria is still kind of amazing. Even more right now.
Victoria glances at her husband, "You know we can't tell anyone yet," and then she mulls it over because the kids are affected too. Not just them. "At least, until we tell our kids. I'll video chat with Reed and tell him, you can tell Delia, and we'll break it John in two year old terms."
Billy reaches for his keys on the center table, while Victoria adjusts her clutch purse while carrying a bottle of water in her other hand. Her Jabot folders are in her car. John spends the day with Nikki at her new house, a ten minute drive away on Main Street from their house on Orchard Road – it's funny how both grandmothers fight over who he loves more. He's only two – well, Victoria call in between.
Nikki decides to buy her own little house, although Victoria likes having her mother close by in the garage apartment. Billy actually likes who's staying there this time. But they let Nikki go and Victoria gets assurance that Gloria sells Nikki a house she likes, and one that is ten minutes away from them. That, and the Ranch isn't the best place for her right now because of her parents' newest Nuclear Sized Fight. But Victoria knows her parents will be back together like that.
"Okay," Billy agrees. "It's a plan," he takes her hands and kisses the back of them. "Take it easy, alright, and he touches her abdomen. "And you, I know you're tiny now, but be good."
Victoria smiles, loving the way her husband is protective of her. That's good, because she's got his back as well. And together, they'll protect their growing family.
She kisses him, liking the way his scruff feels underneath her hands.
"I promise. I'll try. Well, we'll try."
She's still going to work because if she doesn't Victoria will, undoubtedly, be driven to quiet insanity.
"Victoria," Ashley calls, and meets in the hallway of Jabot.
She slows down, trying to suppress the fatigue. And well, she gets the gist of that meeting.
"Ashley," Victoria replies, turning around to meet her sister-in-law. She forces a smile and hopes it doesn't come out as a wince or grimace. Victoria can't say anything; she doesn't want to yet even when Victoria is carrying Ashley's niece or nephew. "Hi, uh, what can I do for you?"
The blonde smiles back but there's a look of equal curiosity and concern etched on her face.
"Nothing," Ashley instantly says. "It's just that you look flushed."
"Oh, do I?"
"A little bit," Ashley answers, with a chuckle. She touches Victoria's arm. "Just making sure you're alright – it's not like you to zone out in a business meeting."
No, it isn't. But she has a toddler going through the Terrible two phase times ten – Johnny's favourite word is no, right behind gimmie, mine, phone, hi, and bye-bye.
"Yeah. Probably the flu or something," she fishes for a cover. "I'm sorry. I'm just out of it. But I do have some marketing ideas to go with the theme of the summer campaign to go with the new fragrance. When you and Jack greenlight it, I can schedule a photo-shoot. Or, bring Abby along since The Naked Heiress does have a following."
"I can't believe I'm actually going to agree to that – using my daughter's following to our advantage."
Victoria has tried that many times – rationalizing it to justify Abby's Naked Heiress following as a marketing advantage. Because really, chances are if people know Abby is where the fragrance is, they will run out and buy it as well. It works for the Kardashians, right? If the Naked Heiress is wearing it, then everyone else will want to as well.
"When I see the actual campaign, we can talk about over coffee," Ashley agrees and smiles with a happy sigh. "Traci's flying in from New York next month when her manuscript is done," she explains, and Victoria is genuinely expecting Traci.
"Oh, wow – well, that's great. Billy will be happy to hear that."
This seems to placate Ashley and she beams, "Yeah, and with Jack starting to walk again just last year, it'll be nice to have the family all together again."
Victoria resists the urge to place a hand on her abdomen. It won't be flat for long. She has to remember that. She always does.
"Yeah," Victoria replies, the similarities too real and too near when it concerns time. "It'll be nice."
All of a sudden, Victoria is taking prenatal vitamins with diligence and seeing a nutritionist (because well, iron-rich foods, omega-threes for brain development and folic acid are the most important in a pregnancy) – partly because Victoria wants to do everything humanly possible to protect this unborn child inside of her.
The other reason is that the smallest part of her is scared.
It seems like a dream until Victoria is awakened (sometimes, literally) by the strong feeling of nausea. And it's intense some days, more than others.
She brushes her teeth after that and catches Billy's reflection in the reflection in the doorway of their bathroom when she towel dries her face. He's been awake for a while, he explains, because Keeley won't stop licking his face and nudging the leash with his nose until he's walked.
So, essentially the dog wins.
Billy crosses over to her and she finds comfort in his arms, as he plants a kiss on her forehead. He muses with a smirk that is playful and sweet underneath, "What have we created? This kid is a hellion."
"Yeah," Victoria agrees, meeting his blue-eyed gaze with a Mona Lisa smile of her own. "Doesn't surprise me. This child is yours."
Victoria sighs, against her husband's chest, and the nausea passes.
She likes moments of peace like this – until John can be heard waking up and calling for her two doors down. But it's okay. That's the best part of her day.
"Speaking of children, our son's awake."
"Yep," Billy replies, with a sigh and a kiss to the side of her temple. "That's our boy."
Victoria kisses Billy like she does so many times and they go and spend quiet time with the little boy that basically is the prince of the house. Somewhere, on the front lawn, Keeley alternates between cleaning himself and barking at the Reyes' dog three houses down in the opposite direction. Well, they must rub each other the wrong way, Victoria thinks.
(She's tired and pregnant; thinking about the intricacies of canine relations is a side effect.)
The doctor comes in and it's not Dr. Okamura.
She's a tall, statuesque woman in her mid-thirties with almond shaped hazel eyes and a smile that is probably helpful to her bedside manner, Victoria thinks pondering. She has dark hair and glasses, stethoscope around her neck. And then, there's the standard white lab coat.
Yet Victoria can't shake the feeling that in one of the many charity events she's been to, she's seen this woman before and Billy thinks there's something familiar in her face.
"Have we met?" Billy asks, beating his wife to the punch. "There's something in your face – like, I've seen you somewhere before."
"I can't shake the feeling that I've seen you somewhere, either."
The doctor beams from ear to ear now, flipping through Victoria's medical chart.
"That could be because I bear a resemblance to my mother more than my father," the doctor says as she continues to quickly study the medical file with a medically trained eye. "Judge Marie Anderson is my mother. She's the one who married you, twice a couple years ago, I believe."
"Yeah," Billy finally says, finding his voice. "That's…us."
The doctor lifts her gaze, finally. "Hello, Mr. and Mrs. Abbott. I'm Dr. Elaine Anderson."
Suddenly, it clicks Victoria where she's seen this woman before: that Mother and Daughter Healthy Heart Benefit where the dress code is formal and the colours red or pink.
She goes with Nikki, and meets Ashley and Abby there.
Somewhere in the night, Victoria bumps into Judge Anderson, says hello and is introduced to her daughter: the woman with the lab coat in front of her.
"I met you before. At that Healthy Heart Benefit a few months ago."
Dr. Anderson gazes at her and then nods, "Oh, yes. I believe I did. Nikki Newman's daughter."
"Hmm. Small world we have here."
"Just a little too small," Billy says, only half-joking.
"Well," Dr. Anderson says to the couple, "I'm sure you're wondering why me instead of my colleague, Dr. Okamura. I will run down to the lab to see what the results of your tests are. "
The doctor leaves and Victoria let out a breath she doesn't realize she's holding.
Billy takes her hand and does that thing where his grip is slightly tighter because of nerves, but she'll let him.
Billy doesn't know what to say, what to think aside from the fact that he thinks the Big Guy is one sneaky bastard. He means that in a good way, though. Seriously, what are the odds? The daughter of the judge that marries them not once, but two times, is the doctor that will be seeing them. Or, at least it looks to be that way.
He gets it. It's more of the universe's brand of kismet, Fate or something.
Victoria likes to think the universe drops little signs here and there throughout a person's life: a penny on the ground probably means good luck so it's probably good to pick it or something, an board meeting that finishes earlier than expected so that Victoria gets to go home to her family. Or, a business proposal that actually goes really well and is accepted without trouble.
But this is more than a series of coincidental events – much more.
Another nurse comes in after Dr. Anderson and runs a whole bunch of tests that Billy can't even begin to explain. There's just a bunch of medical terms that Billy has to pretend to understand. Oh, and perhaps, taking Victoria's pee is standard for more testing or something.
But he leaves Phyllis temporarily (note: emphasis on temporary) in charge of Restless Style so that he's here for this.
He hates hospitals. He hates them because he sees people he loves die there. Dad dies on the floor above him and CeCe dies on the floor above him, both with ventilators. So, no – he's not a fan. But Billy gets acquainted with Johnny and thanks God in the chapel, so it balances out.
Still Billy always gets an uneasy feeling when he steps into a hospital. The all-too clean smell creeps Billy out and finds that his knee is shaking and he masks his clammy palms. Victoria looks at him and hopes that there's a heartbeat this time.
The last time they are this happy, and Victoria is seven weeks pregnant, there's silence because there's no more baby. Victoria tries to be calm but is brimming with a quiet anger that is the opposite of his, and he has overwhelming desire to make his wife feel better and punch Victor Newman in the punch as hard as he can all at once.
Billy hates hospitals, hates the waiting and hates the way there is a sense of being in limbo when he's here.
"Stop doing that—you're doing that thing when you're nervous and don't want me to know."
Billy blinks. He doesn't know what she's talking about. But she bunches the sheets in her hands, before taking a deep breath and letting go. She's frowning at him, and Billy gets it – sort of.
"No, you aren't," Victoria argues back and sighs, offering her hand and softens with a slight smile. "Together, right? We still have our united front."
Billy looks down at their intertwined fingers, and back into his wife's eyes.
"We'll be nervous together."
Victoria chuckles, and pecks him on the cheek before the doctor comes back, clipboard in hand.
"So," Billy says, voicing what he and Vicki are both thinking. It's at the forefront of their minds really, "what's the good word, Doc?"
Victoria knows the significance of seven weeks.
Seven weeks means being pregnant – and knowing whether she's going to relive losing yet another child she loves before it's born – she still remembers losing Brad's baby at six weeks.
At seven weeks, Victoria holds her breath and releases it with tears streaming down her cheeks because there's a heartbeat and Reed's going to be okay. Fast-forward a little more in time and being seven weeks pregnant again, Victoria wears a starchy hospital gown. She has blankets that grate against her skin. The sharp pain is gone but the dread is there. Only this time, Victoria is met with a painful silence as her unborn child with Billy dies within her and it's not fair. The pain is too intense to handle at that very moment. She's grateful when Billy is with her when she wakes up from her D&C and not pregnant anymore. She's too numb to even cry so she quietly tells Billy to just take her home.
So, yes – Victoria understands the significance of being seven weeks pregnant with cautious anticipation in the air, and a look of careful hope that Billy shoots her way.
"So," Dr. Okamura starts, seriously, "Mrs. Abbott, given your history with fertility, I was worried and had to have you come in as possible, but I'm quite happy to tell you that your preliminary test results are normal. We ran it more than once so you are indeed expecting."
"Oh, thank God," Victoria breathes, her heart racing underneath her hand. She wants to cry.
"That's great, I mean – you had us sweating bullets," Billy says and kisses his wife's hand before looking to the doctor. "What's next, then?"
"Well, today, we'll go over how to structure this pregnancy to ensure everything goes smoothly. One of those steps we take is explaining why there are two OBGYNs, instead of one."
"Taking any pre-natal vitamins?"
"No," Victoria replies, honestly. She actually feels great, most of the time. "I feel fine, except for the nausea, fatigue and uh, heartburn. I'm getting cravings for peanut butter banana sandwiches, and Ding Dongs, however. But I signed up for maternity yoga and started increasing my fiber and iron intake."
If she doesn't know better, Victoria thinks Dr. Okamura lets out an inaudible chuckle.
"Normal pregnancy symptoms, aside from the early heartburn."
Dr. Okamura presses the stethoscope to her back and asks her to breathe deeply. She does and the doctor says she's physically fine – that she's pregnant and the pregnancy is going well.
Placing the stethoscope around his neck again, he asks the question that makes Victoria wince on the inside and Billy curse under his breath.
"How's your stress level?"
The biggest stressor really, is Victor Newman: Victoria continues to hold her father at arm's length and Billy has really, really bad thoughts whenever Father-in-Law Dearest is in the room. He only behaves himself for Johnny. And because Victoria doesn't need that.
"Right now, it's good. I'm managing it. There's work," she replies, sharing a glance with Billy. "But there's nothing too intensive. I try to rest when I can because I want this pregnancy to survive. And there's my family. Everything's fine and we're just trying to enjoy the moment between ourselves before we slowly let people in."
"Do they know you're expecting?"
"No," Billy answers, partly because he's going about the best way to decide how to drop the bomb. Really, he's going to go with the one that sounds the least stupid in his head. Then there are the kids. "But uh," he clears his throat, "telling people is a work in progress, Doc."
That's understandable, Dr. Okamura complies.
Here's what Billy and Victoria wishes the good doctor knows: when there's a Abbott-Newman baby in the making, it's more than just understandable. But in retrospect, the OBGYN is outside looking in.
Dr. Anderson comes back with the lab results in her hands and closes the door behind her.
She explains that since Dr. Okamura is here she'll just get to the point.
The blood samples are good. All vital signs are good.
"So, why are you here? Is this going to be a thing where you just alternate doctors because I'm really not okay with that," Victoria says, and then adds. Maybe it's the hormones that make her heart race because she can't help but feel anxious – antsy, even. "No offence."
"I understand your reservations because of your history, so I don't take any offence. Really, I'm just collaborating with Dr. Okamura to cover all our bases."
Billy doesn't like that phrase too much: covering bases. He tries to cover his bases when he gets Lucy but instead, devastates himself, his wife and his whole marriage. Then there's the whole running away to the farthest ends of the globe so Billy can stop hurting the people who love him; although, covering his Emotional Bases in that regard don't work so well. The only good that ever comes from Chelsea-Gate is Johnny and even then, there's always that one Clause that Victoria gets to remain Johnny's mother until Johnny is old enough to handle learning who Chelsea really is. But even then, Billy doesn't care about that too much because Victoria is Johnny's mother. End of story.
Covering bases has a really shoddy record when Billy tries to do it.
And well, pregnancy is always sketchy.
"And that means what?"
"It means that," Dr. Anderson answers after Billy, taking a seat and putting the folder on her lap, "you as expectant parents and us, as medical professionals, are going to do everything possible to keep this pregnancy viable to the end. That's our objective."
That's all Billy and Victoria ever want.
Victoria mentions that she's been feeling heartburn earlier than usual and a little more fatigued than when she's last pregnant, but sometimes going for a walk after eating helps.
Sometimes, it's when Keeley is overly energetic and needs to go to the dog park. Other days, it's when Johnny wants to go to the park so she and Billy walk him there and let him run around and tire himself out. He plays with the other kids, but loves playing with Delia when she gets the chance to come around. And he loves his big brother, Reed, and playing with him when he comes to visit.
That's nice and prefect and everything Victoria could ever want – but it's the quiet evenings she gets with Billy (Johnny's with Nikki as she reads him Goodnight, Moon) when they hold hands and walk around the neighborhood.
"Every pregnancy can be different with any types of symptoms."
"It could range from simple physical changes to a multiple pregnancy."
As in, more than one baby? One baby is miraculous in itself, but more than one baby would be life-changing.
"Wait, wait," Billy says, because more than one kid with half his genes – he's going to apologize to the world in advance. Although, Dee Dee's Abbott genes haven't quite piqued yet, he knows that Delia is eight years old and the snark is settling in, "Are you saying that my wife could be carrying more than one kid?"
"Because that's not possible," Victoria says, before she has the chance to keep it in her head. It's just a passing thought. She remembers sitting right here when Dr. Okamura tells her that her probability of conceiving a child again is low – but Victoria understands.
She feels kind of foolish for thinking that, considering where she is and the fact that she is completely and truly pregnant. She silently wishes and prays for a child that would grow in her womb and her heart at the same time. One child is miraculous and she's ready for that amazing ride to take with Billy. But more than one child is a rollercoaster Victoria still wants Billy to be on with her because with him, she can actually handle it – even when she's physically and emotionally going to be pulled in several directions.
"But," Dr. Anderson cuts in, gently, "we won't know until we go through the ultrasound. If, and that's a really big if, you are about to be the parents of multiples, then two doctors are needed. So, Dr. Okamura will take care of the physical stuff. And I will just help."
Victoria watches Dr. Okamura push over the ultra sound machine from the corner of the room.
"Today, we're going to see what's going there, and how far along you actually are."
Victoria can't stop a tear from escaping and squeezes Billy's hand a little longer.
"We would love to see our child," she agrees, eyes on Billy.
There's no one she would rather do this with, at this very moment.
The ultrasound goes something like this: Dr. Okamura pointing out an anomaly that makes it seems as though something is wrong and Victoria is really trying to not to break apart. The doctor ends up apologizing for the misunderstanding and surely, the fast, staccato heartbeat of an unborn child fills the room, and then another heartbeat. And then, another, and then Victoria glancing at Billy because as smart as she is, she can't understand why there are different heartbeat at separate regions of her abdomen unless –
"Oh my God," Victoria suddenly realizing and tears fill her tears again. "Dr. Anderson was right."
"It seems," Dr. Okamura explains, moving the nozzle of the device over the left side a little, "I'm picking up three separate heartbeats."
Billy shakes his head, half in disbelief and half confused. "Wait a minute. How is that even possible?"
Victoria beams, and laughs, "Billy, look!"
Excitement tingles all over her body like a gentle electric current.
"Clearly, it's possible because if you look closely, Mr. Abbott, there are three small sacs. Your unborn children are about the size of raisins but they are most definitely there and thriving," Dr. Okamura says.
Victoria has to peel her gaze away from the ultrasound long enough to steady her breathing, and process this. The machine goes away, the gel is wiped up, and it still feels like a dream, a silent wish that is realized. Three children. Three little babies growing inside of her that are alive and thriving, as the sound of their heartbeats tap a beat on her own heart. A triplet pregnancy; how can this even happen? Victoria isn't sure how but she is sure that it is nothing short of miraculous and for that, she is grateful.
Placing a hand on her stomach – it's starting to look slightly different – Victoria sighs.
"Hey, Doc, can we have a moment?" Billy asks, clearing his throat.
"Of course," the OB-GYN obliges, with a curt nod. "Take all the time you need."
Before Dr. Okamura leaves, he informs them that the pregnancy us about eight weeks along and that the babies are most likely conceived in April (note: the night of Johnny's second birthday, when the birthday boy sleeps off the sugar high and they make love, falling asleep intertwined in their sheets and each other). The OB-GYN then says that the goal might now is to get to thirty-three weeks.
(Here's something that makes Billy and Victoria mutually excited: the Abbott babies, if everything goes smoothly, should be born in December.)
So, this is how it goes: the house in four-one-six Orchard Road multiples by three to a family of eight and the pitter-patter of six kids (note: they go from Father Knows Best to Brady Bunch – but let's be honest here; Billy's no Mike Brady and Victoria is no Carol Brady).
"I can't believe this."
"Yeah, I know," Victoria replies, with a wry smile. She can't stop crying and wiping at her face. It just feels like a dream, an out-of-body experience, watching someone who isn't her get the news of being the mother of multiples. "Are you ready for this? Six kids between us by this time next year."
On some miniscule microscopic level, Billy will always feel undeserving. The Big Guy, however, gives him three more reasons why he's luckier in life, than he is at horse racing.
He stands up, and plants a kiss on Victoria's forehead. "No," he answers, more to himself than her. Billy feels the same way he does when the circumstances around Delia and John's births become way too real, way too serious, and has the potential to become tragic, but don't. "But I'm ready," Billy takes Victoria's hands in his and kisses them. "I love you. We'll figure it out."
Victoria chuckles, with watery eyes and hugs Billy, pressing a kiss to his cheek.
After all, they're Thelma and Louise. Bonnie & Clyde. Sonny Bono & Cher.
A/N: Feedback, as always, would be lovely.