Show: The Guardian

Title: Family

Disclaimer: See Chapter 1

A/N: I started off this story with an idea of what I wanted, but that has become a little blurred.
Therefore, I've chosen to complete my story. It might seem a little rushed, but really it's for the
best considering I have very little inspiration left where the story is concerned. However, if any of
you wish to take up my spot as author, that would be fine, just get into contact with me via review
or email and let me know what's up.

*~*~*~*~*~*

Six months passed and while Nick and Amelia's relationship grew stronger, she steadily grew
weaker as her body began to shut down on her. The dreaded day soon came when her legs
failed her and she was unable to stand up, the signal of her plight a heavy thud on Nick's
bedroom floor and his pounding steps into the bedroom to find you sprawled on the floor.

His heart stopped as he stood frozen in the doorway, his blue eyes filled with concern and anxiety
even as Amelia whimpered in pain before he flew into action, clinically running his hands over her
limbs to check for any injuries.

She'd fractured her wrist and had a badly twisted ankle, but she was no worse for the wear, but
her pride surfaced at her doctor's suggestion that she take to using the wheelchair. They both
knew what that meant – the end was soon upon her – and neither thought they could handle the
truth.

As Nick drove back to his apartment through the steady Pittsburgh traffic, Amelia turned to look at
his profile. His face remained stoic and the timbre of his voice was completely controlled as he
parceled out his cases to the other associates back at the office. She knew he was trying to
remain strong for her and it was killing her to know he felt such pain but was so adept at hiding it.
He was so adept at hiding things, he was great at it – brilliant in fact – she didn't want that to be
the case.

Nick gallantly swept her into his arms and carried her up the stairs of the apartment and set her in
the middle of the sleep-rumpled sheets of their bed. It suddenly struck him that he never referred
to anything he owned as his anymore; it was all *theirs* - their apartment, their couch, their
bathroom, their bedroom, their bed.

It would all soon be *his* again, and it was heartbreaking.

Reverently, Nicholas traced the soft plane of her cheek with his fingers. Amelia turned her head
and pressed a soft kiss to his palm even as the hot tears pricked at her eyes. He made to move
away, to head down the hall to his at-home office, but the suddenly strong grip of her hand on his
arm stopped him.

"Wait," she whispered.

Nick turned to her, curiosity in his sapphire blue eyes.

"Make love to me, Nick," she requested.

His eyes widened at her request.

Amelia started to flush in embarrassment at his silence, the self-doubt surging to the surface. She
moved to retract her request when Nick suddenly fell to his knees before her, bringing his arms
around the ribbon of her waist and burying his face in her chest.

The tears started to fall before either of them could stop them. Amelia's body shook as she held
the man who had given her back her life; who had shown and given her more love in the past six
months (maybe seventeen years) than she'd ever known in her entire life. She cried at the
thought of, having found something so good, so right, she would have to leave it and leave him.

Nick cried at the thought that in a time, very soon from now, he wouldn't be able to touch, taste or
smell her. To hear her call his name when they made love, or when she requested something of
her, to hear her sigh in her sleep as she fused her body as close to his as possible. He cried and
cursed God or whoever was responsible for this for the cruelty they had dealt her. For the cruelty
they had dealt *him*. For him to have happiness again, only to have it ripped from him.

Amelia lifted his head from her chest and gazed into his eyes. The shiny blue orbs were
swimming in tears. He looked so heartbroken.

Her own green pools were tear-filled, and her cheeks and nose were red from the sobbing, but
never had there been a dearer face to him.

Amelia dipped her head and captured his lips with hers, reveling in the sensation that instantly
erupted. His palm lifted to cup her cheek, his thumb wiping away the remnants of her tears even
as he angled his head and deepened the kiss, seeking her tongue with his own and, when given
permission, plunging into the deep wet sweet recesses of her mouth to plunder for what seemed
and may indeed be, the very last time.

They didn't know who moved first but, before long, they were both naked between the sheets of
their bed, Nick gallantly keeping his weight off her body with his elbows. He lay deeply embedded
within her, his length loving gripped by her walls. His hands cupped her face as their eyes never
wavered and he stroked her cheeks, memorizing each plane, each angle, each hollow of her
body, each sigh, every groan, every moan, every shudder and tremble, each touch as, with
hidden strength, she lifted her arms and legs and wrapped them around Nick's lean hips as he
steadily thrust into her, trying to draw out this pleasure as long as possible. When the light hit her
as if she'd been knocked into a wall, she cried out his name, sobbing her love for him even as he
pressed his forehead to hers and started to climax like never before, each shudder a delicious
aftershock that rendered him limbless.

In the waning afternoon of that late fall day, he knew that the final chapter was over. Nick held on
as long as he could, kissing and nibbling every part of her body, feeling his own gearing up for
another round until finally, exhaustion beckoned Amelia and with a final weakly whispered, "I love
you…" she drifted off to sleep.

Six days later, she was dead, eight days before her birthday. She'd stopped breathing in her
sleep, fused to his body as usual, and he had known when she'd passed, holding and rocking her
body in his arms with a keening cry as he seemed he would never let go.

The funeral was enormous. So many people had known and loved Amelia. So many had known
of her suffering, so many were glad that it was over at long last; that she was at peace. But not
Nick. He was overcome with a selfish grief, cursing the heavens for having taken her away.

Nick sat in the front pew by the gravesite, the flower-strewn maple coffin in direct view – white
roses and lilies – so fucking depressing, he felt like ripping them from the coffin. Burton sat to his
left, Audrey and Frank to his right. She was holding Nick's hand even as Frank kept his arm
around her ample waist and she sobbed in grief. Most of her past students were there, her
colleagues, childhood and neighborhood friends. He'd even spotted Freddie somewhere in the
back, Ms. Skinner notably absent. He'd caught Nick's eye but he'd turned away unable to look at
the man who, up until three months ago, had the right to call Amelia his.

The priest started the graveside prayers, but Nick was numb, stuck in his chair even as the rest of
the congregation recited the prayer:

*~*Let light perpetual shine upon them, oh Lord

And may their souls and all the souls of the faithful departed, rest in peace.*~*

Audrey stood to say the eulogy – Nick couldn't bring himself to say anything – and not an eye
was left dry. Nick clasped her to him as he swallowed the knot of sorrow in his throat, keeping the
stoic manner even as his body ached to scream and rail at the injustice of it all.

Everyone soon left, patting him on the back, whispering condolences as he mechanically nodded
and Burton uttered words of thanks. Audrey and Frank traveled with Burton back to the Fallin
house where they would accept yet more condolences and accept typical offerings of food and
allow the others to stay for a while. And only when the last footstep had died away did he cast
himself on his knees by the graveside burying his head in his arms, memories of the past
beautiful nine months flying past his mind at breakneck speed, and wailed for the one he had lost.

*~*~*~*~*~*
Three years later

"It's a girl!" came the joyful announcement of the doctor. He carefully cut the umbilical cord of the
red screaming infant even as Nick brushed back the dampened strands of hair from his wife's
face.

Lulu was crying, even as she laughed with joy and she grasped his hand as he pressed a shaky
kiss to her forehead.

The smiling nurse came over, the tiny bundle of joy, moderately clean and wrapped in a pink
blanket, squirming in her arms. "Would Daddy like to hold his little girl?" she asked, even as she
handed over the baby.

Nick accepted the bundle and the feeling that washed over him was phenomenal. She was red
and wrinkled, odd looking with the typical blue eyes of a newborn baby, but she was the most
beautiful thing he'd set eyes on.

Lulu cooed as Nick held the baby in the crook of his arm and leaned over so she could inspect
their daughter. She marveled at her size, at her ten fingers, ten toes, her button nose…
everything. Nick was mesmerized, captivated by the tiny infant.

"Have you thought about a name yet?" asked the nurse, smiling at the scene.

Lulu opened her mouth to say no they hadn't but Nick cut her off saying emphatically, "Amelia.
Her name is *Amelia*."

Lulu frowned a little but nodded in understanding, her eyes riveted to her husband's and the
nurse smiled. "That's a beautiful choice."

**Yes, it is. Hello darling… hello my little Amelia.**

THE END

A/N: I hope you don't think it was too rushed and maybe it was a little fluffy, but I felt if I didn't finish
it now, I'd never finish it and I hate to see unfinished stories online. R&R and tell what you thought.

Cara