The Hurting Time Has Come (13/?)

An ER fan fic by Michelle

He's sleeping when I go in the room. Gillian is there on the far side of the bed. She looks up at me and offers a small smile. I shrug. She must know I'm not going to tell her anything until I tell Carter.

And he could go either way. There's no guarantee he'll be happy. If I had to guess, I'd say he's going to freak out on me. He won't be happy. He'll push me away again. I don't know if I'm strong enough to deal with that again. Not now.

Not when I have to tell him he's going to be a father. My hands instinctively go to my stomach. Tears burn at my eyes. Damn it, I don't want to cry. I'm tired of crying. I feel like that's all I've done for days. My eye ache from it. My soul aches from it.

Gillian has moved around the bed. She takes hold of my hands, grips them. "It's all right, Abby."

I shake my head then force myself to look at her. How did I ever try to hate her? She's too sweet and kind, and so very much like her brother. I try to smile, but it only causes more tears.

"Here. Sit down." She helps me into the chair. I want to tell her I don't need to be treated like a child, but I can't find the words. I just want to crawl under the covers, to wake up and realise this was all just a dream. A horrible, terrible, unspeakable dream.

"Can I get you anything? Water, coffee, a sandwich?"

I dry my cheeks with the backs of my hands. "I'm not hungry. Elizabeth made me eat dinner before I came back up here."

"Good. But since you're here now I'm going to go grab something myself. Are you sure you don't want me to bring you back anything?"

"No. I'm all right." And grateful she's leaving, but I'm not going to say that. She squeezes my hands again before letting go. She asks Matej if he would like anything, he replies that he would like to go with her and take some fresh air.

Carter is looking at me when I turn back to him. His eyes close and he turns his face from me.

Dear God, I can't do this. I can't take this. I can't handle this. It feels like a weight on my chest holding me down, crushing me. But it's not just me anymore. There are two precious lives inside me, depending on me.

"I'm pregnant." The words fall out of my mouth. That's not how I meant to tell him. I wanted to do something special, like go out to dinner and have the waiter bring a rattle -or two- out on a platter before the meal.

"Get out."

"I know it's...I'm scared too."

"I'm not scared." His voice is clipped and even. He's still not looking at me.

"I'm not leaving, John. You can push me all you want. Say it a hundred times. I'm not going anywhere."

"I don't want you here."

"I don't care." I try, God I try, to sound strong and sure. Inside my heart is breaking, shattering into a million tiny pieces. I can't do this. I can't. I thought I could, but I can't.

I don't want to cry anymore. I don't want to sit here and sob like a frightened child, even if that's exactly how I feel.

When I get myself under control again, he's staring at me. His eyes are swollen, dried tracks mark his cheeks. I want him to say something. Anything. Tell me he loves me. I'll love him forever. Tell me to get out again. I'll go. I'll go because I can't take it anymore.

He gnaws on his bottom lip. I'm about to scream just for the noise it would make.

"I'm..." his voice is low, weak, dripping with emotion raging out of control. "I'm sorry."

Just when I thought I was done crying. Leave it to him to make me start all over again.

* * * * *

There is no greater feeling than laying in his arms. Or having him in mine.

But I know it's a dream and I don't want to wake up. Don't make me wake up. I want to hold on. I want to stay in his arms a little longer. Just a little while.

I'm laying beside him, my hand on his chest, my head next to his shoulder. I pull back slowly, carefully. He grimaces but tries to cover it with a smile as I move to the chair.

"You're really pregnant?"

I nod. Should I tell him now? What if it's too much? What if I tell him and he pushes me away again? But I have to tell him. He should know. "It's twins."

His eyes widen, then close. "Twins." The word rolls off his tongue and disolves into a fresh round of tears.

Just call us the crying couple.

But at least it seems this time it's happy tears. When the initial shock passes, he looks at me, his eyes shifting from my face to my stomach. I keep my eyes on his face, my heart practically bursting with the love I feel for him.

We've got a long, hard road ahead of us. I know that. I'm a nurse, a former med student. I know how serious his injuries are, I have an idea how difficult the recovery will be. I don't like it, I wish it could be different, but I'm in too deep to turn back now. I love him, I will love him always. I hope to God he will walk again, but even if he doesn't, we'll manage. We'll be okay.

"I want to touch you." I know he means the babies. My stomach. I also know there's no point to telling him there's nothing to feel yet.

He can't lift his arm off the bed without help. So I help him. I guide his hand to the flat of my belly.

"My babies are in there."

I nod and lean down to kiss him.

* * * * *

End chapter 13. I know it's short. But I'm already planning the next chapter. Hopefully I'll get it written and posted b the end of the week. In the meantime, I want to say thank you to all who have sent feedback and encouragement in response to my fics. I'm a fickle writer, I jump fandoms at the drop of the hat. But ER is one I always seem to find my way back to…So yeah. I'm planning to stick around for a while, and hopefully see some of these fics drawn to a close in the next few weeks and months…

That said, please don't forget to use the review button. It's there for a reason. And I cherish all my reviews.