Can You Stop the Rain
An AU futuristic Jolex story. Alex and Jo Karev had 5 children but their eldest, a girl named Alexandra, died last year and nothing has been the same ever since. However, when Jo turns up pregnant with a new baby, can healing begin? An angsty story that I think will ultimately be hopeful.
P.S. Are you excited that it appears Jo is pregnant on Grey's? I am totally stoked!
Jo was exhausted in every way that a person could be. She had finally gotten a fussy and feverish Eddie to bed for what she hoped was the night. She still had so much left to do but couldn't abide the thought of cleaning up the huge mess her kids had left behind. Toys, dirty clothes, spills… They would all have to wait until morning to be tidied up.
She had no sooner sunk down onto the sofa when there was a soft knock at the front door. She sighed and called out, "Come in," hoping her visitor wouldn't wake up the children. She rubbed her eyes as the door opened and none other than Stephanie slipped inside.
"Come in? Come in – really?" Stephanie asked haughtily. "What if I was a serial killer or something?"
"You're not though, Stephanie."
"I could have been. Who doesn't ask who's at the door before giving them an open invitation to come inside?"
"A really tired person," Jo said, rubbing her eyes again. She blinked at the clock. "It's almost nine-thirty. What are you doing here so late?"
"I would have been here sooner but Bailey made me take on an extra shift," Stephanie said with a grimace. "Ever since she became Chief, she's been a grandiose pain in the ass. Well, even more of one."
Stephanie moved over to Jo and sunk down onto the sofa beside her, patting her thigh in a comforting gesture. "Anyway I brought you something."
"Energy pills? A caffeine drip?"
"Nope," Stephanie said. She opened the bag in her hand and pulled out a plastic spoon and then a huge gallon-sized jar of Skippy peanut butter.
"What the –" Jo started as Stephanie passed her the spoon and began unscrewing the cap on the jar. "Wait. You – you know."
"Yep," Stephanie said. "I always know." She handed Jo the ungainly jar. "Dig in."
"How did you know I'm –" Jo sighed as she shoved the spoon into the middle of the peanut butter, turning it, filling up the spoon. She held it up to her mouth but couldn't bring herself to take a bite in that moment. "I don't even think this will help."
"You have to eat something and we both know that peanut butter is the only thing that helps your morning sickness."
"You mean my all-day sickness," Jo said. "But seriously, I'm not hungry."
"Don't make me force-feed you. You need the protein." Stephanie touched Jo's shoulder. "How far along?"
"Three weeks," Jo answered.
"Does Alex know yet?"
Jo tried not to choke on the thick peanut butter as it went down like a solid rock in her throat. When she had finally managed to swallow it, she looked at Stephanie. "Hey, how do you know its Alex's?"
"I know you, Jo. Unless you've suddenly made a habit of having anonymous one night stands."
"Well people change. Things change people… And have you seen that new intern Jesse? He's so hot and-"
"His name is Jeffrey and we both know you did not tap that."
"How do you know that? Am I not hot enough carrying around this stubborn fifteen pounds of baby fat I can never seem to shed?"
Stephanie gave her the evil eye. "Seriously though, Wilson, we both know you'd never cheat on Alex."
"How can I cheat on him if he checked out of our marriage ages ago?" Jo said darkly. She stabbed her spoon into the vat of peanut butter again and again and still again. "He doesn't even live here anymore, Stephanie, and you know that."
"He still visits the kids," Stephanie pointed out.
"Not as often as you think," Jo said.
"But he obviously visited your bedroom one of those times he was here right?"
Jo nodded, a storm of emotion swirling in her chest. "I should have said 'no', you know? But he's Alex and I felt like he needed me and dammit right in that moment, I needed him too. So one thing led to another and then-"
"And then you're knocked up … again."
"With baby number five … or actually six, if you count –"
Stephanie rubbed Jo's knee. "I know. I know how much you all miss her. I miss her too."
"You can say her name," Jo whispered hoarsely. "No one does anymore and I just need to hear it sometimes to know – to know that I didn't imagine her."
"Alexandra," Stephanie said, her eyes filling with tears like Jo. "Alexandra Elisabeth Karev."
A single tear rolled down Jo's cheek. "My little girl… It's been a year come next month, Stephanie. Sometimes I don't think I'll make it and then I remember my other children need me too. And just because Alex basically checked out on them, that doesn't mean I can do the same."
"I hate that you have to do all of this alone, Jo."
"I'm not. I've got you, I've got Meredith and April and –"
"You need Alex."
"Maybe I do, but he doesn't want to be here so-"
"I don't believe that. I know he wants to be here."
"Could have fooled me," Jo said as she stuffed a thick scoop of peanut butter into her mouth.
"Have you told him how much you need him?"
"Don't be so sure, Wilson. Men are incredibly dense on a good day, but they shut down completely when a tragedy like this happens."
"Tell me about it," Jo grumbled. She took one more bite of peanut butter and then shoved the jar away. The stuff was sitting like a very sticky rock in the pit of her stomach. She pulled her knees up to her chest, hugging herself.
"When's the last time you talked to him? Really talked to him?"
"I've tried. He doesn't want to hear it."
"You've never been afraid to back down from doing something uncomfortable. Don't start now."
"Jo, just tell me, if you won't talk to him, how is he supposed to find out about this baby?"
"Maybe – maybe I won't tell him," Jo said.
"So what - you're going to wait until you've popped before telling him?"
"I don't know," Jo said. "A part of me thinks that it would be so much better if I just – just didn't –"
"Have this baby?"
"Yes," Jo said, another tear rolling down her cheek. "Isn't that horrible?"
"Why should it be horrible? You've been through hell. You've lost someone you loved more than life. Why shouldn't you doubt and second-guess everything?"
"You get me," Jo said. "That's why you're my person."
"Damn right I am," Stephanie said. "Now as your person, you've got to tell me how I can help. Can I go to Alex and shake some sense into him?"
"Please don't. I want him to come around on his own. And he will, Stephanie. He just needs time."
"I'm sure you're right." But Stephanie didn't seem all that convinced and come to think of it, Jo didn't feel very encouraged herself. She had lost her daughter and now she was losing her husband too. How much more could she possibly take?
Stephanie started to say something but broke off when they both heard crying. They both looked to the hallway where four-year-old Eddie stood, rubbing his ears, tear tracks on his pale cheeks.
"Come 'ere baby," Jo said and Eddie immediately moved to his mom. Jo pulled him onto her lap. He rested his head against her chest. Jo's hand found his forehead. "He's burning up now, Stephanie. Is it happening again?"
"No, of course not," Stephanie quickly assured her. "Think like a doctor, and not like a scared mom."
"I am a scared mom!"
"Look how he's rubbing and tugging on his ears. It's likely just an infection. I will watch the other kids while you take him to the hospital. He's going to need antibiotics."
"You're right – of course you're right. I can't immediately go to the worst-case scenario," Jo whispered. She kissed Eddie's heated temple. "Alright, baby, we're going out to the hospital to make you feel all better. You game?"
"Will it hurt?"
"Not anymore than you're hurting now."
"Will I die?" Eddie asked tearfully.
Jo looked at Stephanie. They both shook their heads. "No, no way," Jo said.
"But Lexi… Janie said she went to the 'spital and never came back."
Jo didn't know how to answer that. She just smoothed back Eddie's rumpled, chocolate-brown hair. "You're coming home, okay? I promise. Now let's get you into your winter jacket and we'll go."
"Okay," Eddie agreed, obviously trying to be brave.
Jo got Eddie into his slippers and a thick downy coat. She thanked Stephanie for what she was doing and then they headed off into the cold winter's night.
TO BE CONTINUED.