In the Name of Love
Disclaimer: Anyone out there that still thinks that I might actually own anything in association with this story after reading the other hundred disclaimers for every story I've ever written to have their reality checked for stalls. Thanks.
Timeline: I have no idea where the hell the timeline is on this thing anymore. This started out as a ten chapter max story and kind of grew legs of its own and ran with me trying to catch up.
Rating: It's probably R for this chapter. Tell me if you disagree.
Author's Note: This didn't start out as the last chapter… more like the second to the last chapter. But the story decided to end itself so I just went with it. I hope you had as good of a time reading this as I have writing it. And thanks for joining me!
Hooray! I finally found someone that can provide with the entire season of Presidio Med. (Claps hands eagerly.) Now I can watch Matt and Jules and Nick all I want!!!
Oh and one last thing, if this chapter seems a little rushed, that's because it is. That's all.
Summary: What would you do in the name of love? Surprise!
The print out was read three times with growing trepidation. Then with a sigh, it was placed aside as the doctor contemplated her next step.
No, that wasn't true. She already knew what the next logical and ethical step should be. She just happened to dread it. It wasn't that it would cause a great deal of anguish or pain but still… It wasn't going to be the easiest thing in the world.
"Oh heck," she muttered, picking up the phone. "It couldn't get any worse than the last time."
"That was lovely," Matt said with a sigh and undid his tie. It was almost three in the morning and he felt every minute of the last four hours. It was worse that pulling a double shift at the hospital. "I also have to say that it was so lovely that I'm glad it's over."
Laughing, Jules removed her shoes and dropped to the bed with a sigh. Heels look great but after the first couple of hours… "It was, wasn't it?" removing her earrings and tossing them onto the nightstand by the table negligently, she took a deep breath and enjoy the relative peace of their hotel room after the hours and hours of long dinner and reception followed by the traditional tossing of the bouquet where every female singleton screeched and the tossing of the garter belt where every male singleton converted, especially with such a lovely bride. Luckily, Matt had the forethought to grab Jules and excuse themselves just before the event to take a supposed phone call from the hospital and did not return until they were both sure that traditional singletons event had passed. And of course Robert and Delilah would forgo to tradition of leaving for their honeymoon right away; oh no, the couple decided to ride out the night with their guests. "Learn anything?"
"Yes," joining her on the bed with a grin that split his face. "When we marry, we're eloping."
She raised one brow and didn't call him on the fact that he said 'when,' not 'if.'
"Nightcap?" he asked reaching for the phone for room service.
"No thanks," she replied easily, reaching around to unzip the dress. "I'm not a big wine person. Though there were certainly enough to float a battleship tonight. Do you Brits always drink to excess?"
"Yes, makes us much happier people," he laughed and reached for her. Wrapping his arms around her, he held her for some incredibly comfortable moment, "Why don't you let me do that for you?" and stared to reach for the hem of the dress when the ringing of the phone startled him. "Now who could this be?" He made a face at her that spelled trouble for the other end of the phone, "Hello?"
Confusion hit him first then, "Dr. Lenning?"
Jules looked up from attempts as removing her dress; she hadn't yet showed Matt the garters she found herself unable to resist. Startled, she merely stared.
Shaking his head to clear some thoughts, "Dr. Lenning, what can I do for you?"
There was a momentary pause. "I'm sorry to interrupt your vacation…"
"It's quite alright," he replied politely though he was feeling anything but. "Is something the matter?"
Again, another pause, "Well, kind of. Is Jules there?"
Not particularly liking this, "Hang on, she's right here," handing the receiver over slowly. His eyes reflected his confusion… and his concern.
"Harriet?" her eyes never left Matt's. "What's up?"
There was a sigh on the other line. "Are you sitting, dear?"
"Yeah," she replied slowly, her free hand feeling blindly for Matt's. Curling his fingers around her soft gentle hand, Slingerland conveyed his support with a squeeze. "What's going on?"
"Jules, I need to be completely calm when I tell you this."
"You're stalling, Harriet," Jules said with a frown. "What is it?"
"I got your lab results back."
She sucked in her breath, "And?"
"And… Well, I'm not sure if this is good news or bad new at this point."
She turned her body until she was resting it against Matt's, hiding her face by resting her forehead against his collar. "Whatever it is…"
Jules jerked up. That was not what she was expecting. "What?"
Unable to take the suspense, Matt searched her face. "Darling, what is it?"
Shaking his head at him, "Harriet, could you repeat that please?"
"You're about three weeks, give or take a day or two."
All the air in her lungs gave a lurch and she doubled over for a moment.
"Jules!" his face losing all color.
"HOW?" she shouted into the phone, feeling suddenly nauseous.
"Darling," he wrapped himself around her, resting his cheek against her hair. Her sudden fear went a shockwave of terror through him, leaving him shaking and sick. "Please darling," taking hold of her hand that still held the phone. "Let me."
Because her hands were shaking badly and the room seemed to be spinning out of control, Jules relinquish the phone and turned to him. Climbing into his lap, she clung to him, hiding her face in his collar. "Why is this happening? Why?" squeezing her eyes shut. "I can't keep doing this yo-yo routine."
Matt made soothing noises, ignoring the phone for a moment to secure her to him. Her grip on him was painfully tight but he said nothing as he band his arm around her. "Hello? Dr. Lenning?"
"Is she all right?" she asked quietly with concern.
"No, I'm afraid she's in a bit of shock at the moment," he answered as calmly as he could. One of them had to be anyways. "Dr. Lenning, I know that I'm not legally of relation to Jules and…"
"Just tell him," Jules lifted her head long enough to say.
"What's going on, Dr. Lenning?" Matt asked. "What happened?"
Harriet toyed with the phone cord for a moment. Technically, Jules did give permission. But the fact of that matter was… oh heck, who cares at this point? "I'm afraid that we jumped the gun as fair was announcing Jules was not carrying a child due to the laboratory malfunction."
"I beg you pardon?" confusion warred with something... something else. That entire brilliant mind turned into mush for a moment. "Are you saying that the embryo was viable?"
"Oh no," she said calmly enough. She had spent the last day double checking herself and having the lab technicians run tests. "The embryo was most definitely compromised and wouldn't have produced anything."
It was another moment before the words and meaning sunk in. "But that means…" and then echoed Jules's earlier question, "HOW?"
"Oh, I would think you produced a child the old fashion way," she answered with just enough humor not to offend. "You were sharing your bed, correct?" Matt muttered something that was unintelligible. "I thought as much," she leaned back in her chair. "I'm not too thrilled with the fact that Jules was just on a plane for over fifteen hours and her health has been… delicate of late. Make sure she goes to a hospital if she so much as has a cramp in her foot. I don't think I have to tell you…"
"We'll take all the necessary precautions, Dr. Lenning," Matt assured her, rubbing Jules's back with his hand. "IS there anything else I need to know about?"
"No," shaking her head to the empty room. "I think that's it. You're both smart kids, you know what to do."
"Thank you, Dr. Lenning," he said and hung up without waiting for a response.
They sat there for a long time, in complete silence, absorbing each other. Neither one was sure what to say, what to do, never having been in a situation that was anywhere resembles this. What had started out as a simple idea and a good-deed favor was rolling into a most complicated and unpredictable situation. Granted, there was the added bonus of realizing that they enjoy each other's company immensely, but the amount of emotional trauma they've had to endure…
"I'm so tired," Jules whispered softly.
"I know," he replied, understanding perfectly that she hadn't meant physical weariness. Matt ran a comforting hand down her back and took a deep breath. He was exhausted and just a little unsure as to the next step. "Shall we wait until morning?"
She leaned back so she cook look at him, see his eyes when she said it.
He searched her face, puzzled by the pensive look that plagued her. Reaching up, he cupped her face with his hand, his thumb running lightly over the gold freckled cheeks. She had such a pretty face. "What is it, darling?"
"Are we happy about this?"
A light smile crossed his face. "What happened to waiting until morning?"
"I need to know now," she replied with a quiet intensity that made her point.
His mouth possessed hers for a moment, urging up her the emotions that he felt for her. When they were both breathless with needy, he pulled back. "I think I was the one that suggested an alliance to produce a child… not to mention forgetting birth control."
Jules gave a weak laugh and pressed herself to him. "I really wish I had the energy to do something about your teasing."
Rubbing his nose gently against hers in an endearing manner, "Oh damn, I knew we should have left during the tossing of the bouquet." Shifting slightly, he brought them both down on the bed, lying side by side. "You don't mind if I don't get undress, do you? I'm not sure I can accomplish such a feat."
"Not at all," tugging at the loose end of his tie. "I like you in this James Bond get-up."
"Care to explain the fascination you women have with James Bond?"
"Yeah," she said grin as her lids closed slowly. "The tux and accent does things to a girl, you know."
"Really?" amused and aroused, and damn well wishing he could do something about it.
"Yeah," snuggling close. She took a deep breath and settled down for the night. It was several minutes later when she whispered, "Matt?"
"Yes, dear?" he answered only half-consciously.
"I love you."
That got his attention like nothing else in the world could. "What?"
"Nothing, Matt," she sighed.
"What did you just say?" he urged.
"Nothing important," ducking her head so he couldn't see her grin.
"Everything you say is important to me, darling," he pronounced, nudging her gently with his shoulder. "Now what did you just say?"
"Nothing at all," she repeated and snuggled close. "I'm tired, Matt. Nighty-nite."
"I…" he sighed and fought the urge to grab her shoulders and demand an answer. But she's been through enough today. "Goodnight, Jules."
Chuckling, she leaned up and kissed his chin before repeated the words he so dearly wanted to hear. "I love you, Matthew Slingerland."
His smile could have hurt someone it was that big. "And I adore you."
"I knew that," she said smugly. "Goodnight, Matt."
"Goodnight, my darling." But he was no longer sleepy; there were simply too many ideas and thoughts rushing through his mind. Not the least of which is what his parents are going to say.
Four Days Later
"Millicent!" George slammed the front door shut behind him, an unprecedented action upon his part, startling the butler and housekeeper. "Millicent! Millicent!"
"George!" Millie appeared at the top of the stairs and stared at her husband in surprise. "What is all this bellowing?"
"Have you heard from that son of yours?" he demanded.
A thin brow rose at that tone. "If you wish to speak with me, George, you will do so in a civilized manner."
Taking a deep breath, George calmed himself. "My apologies, Millie, I was overwrought."
Nodding her head, "Now, what's this about Matthew?"
"Have you heard from him of late?"
Millicent's lips compressed to keep herself from grinning as she had done all afternoon. "Yes dear, I have had a short conversation with Matthew this afternoon."
"And?" he asked expectedly.
Turning about, Millie headed toward the hall, "And I believe the baby carriage we used for Matthew is still in pristine condition. They simply don't make carriage as they had once done. Do you think it will cause too much damage if we were to ship it to the Americas?"
Stunned, it took a moment before George shook himself out of the stupor and sputtered for a moment. "Are you saying that you approve of this rash…"
"Oh stow it George," as she walked to the entrance of the attic. "I suppose it's up there and we'll have to clean everything out to get to it."
"Millicent, do you realize that…"
"Do you realize dearest that you're about to gain that grandchild you've been wanting since Matthew reach adulthood?" She glanced at her husband, waiting for the implications to hit him. "And please do keep in mind that Matthew and Julia produced this child the way nature had intended; none of those test tube things that Matthew was going on about." She watched him digest the information before inquiring, "I don't suppose you had listened long enough to learn of that."
He didn't remember. He couldn't remember. All that encumbered his mind was the fact that… he was going to have a grandchild. Someone to pass his legacy down to, "Do you think it'll be a boy or a girl?"
"Does it matter, dear?" she asked, searching for the cord that lowered the stairs to the attic.
"No, no, of course not," George could feel the grin beginning on his face. "A baby."
"Yes, darling, a baby," she shook her head and found the cord, tugging at it gently. She didn't quite remember now this contraption worked. "And if I do not miss my guess, judging by the look in Matthew's eyes during the Rademacher wedding, I expect he won't wait long to put his little family together nicely. You needn't worry about those silly papers of yours. Matthew will do it by the right."
"Well of course he'll marry her. He has to marry her."
"Why?" she inquired.
"The child needs a father."
"They don't have to marry for him to be father," just to play devil's advocate here. "We are living in the 21st century dear."
"I know my son, even if he thinks I don't, he'll marry her if it's the last thing he does."
"Or at least before the baby comes, yes?"
"Was there every any doubt?" he asked.
Millie grinned. "So, do you think we'll be giving the wedding, dear?"
George made a disagreeable face. "As impulse as that son of mine is, I'm surprised he hasn't eloped already."
Two Weeks Later
"Dr. Jordon," Norman held the fine linen envelope aloft.
"Norman," Letty answered dryly, "How many more times are you and me going to have to speak about coffee needing to taste like coffee?" Taking the envelope. "Put it back."
"But the Jamaican roast is quite…"
"Put it back," she repeated and opened the envelope with a pen. She shook her head as she headed for her office. Pulling the fine paper out, she grinned as she read it.
"I'm jealous," Nick said as he walked up along side the cardiologist. "Not surprised but definitely jealous."
"About time if you ask me," Letty said tucking the card into her pocket. She thought about it for a moment. "But it's kind of unfair of them, don't you think?"
"Yes, it is," he said with a grin. Kokoris had been thinking about it since he got his card. "The surgeons are getting together to decorate the lounge, would you care to join us?"
"Tom will tell me when," Letty said with a grin. "And I'm thinking that the ladies will have to do something a little more special here."
Nick laughed and glanced down at the card in his hand. "They're not getting away this easily," he pronounced as they parted way in the hallways.
"Dr. Brennan, you're two o'clock is here," Denise said as she picked up a chart. "Oh and here's your mail."
"Thank you," taking the small stack of correspondence. "And can you move my three o'clock back by fifteen minutes. Dr. Cochran and I are doing a consult at two-thirty."
"Sure," went back to the appointment book and to make the phone call.
Rae grabbed the chart and tucked it under her arm as she peruse through her mail. The square fine linen envelope caught her attention for no other reason than the fact that it wasn't her usual correspondence. Frowning, she turned it over in her hand.
"I got one too," Jackie said as she sailed pass Rae. The grin on her face was that of holy delight. "I say it's about damn time," and waved an identical envelope her head. "She's buying us dinner the minute she gets back. I want all the details."
Before Rae could reply or ask anything, Jackie was already around the corner and gone. "Well, that was strange," and pulled open the envelope.
She was laughing by the time she actually got to the exam room.
"Phone call on line two, doctor."
"Thank you Jenny," Harriet tucked her hair back and picked up the phone as she pulled the stack of mail from her in-basket toward her. "Dr. Lenning."
"Yeah," came the cheerful response. "Did you get it?"
"Get what?" she asked happy to hear from a dear friend. "How are you? How is the baby?"
"The little announcement from cross the Atlantic."
"What little announcement? What are you talking about Jenna?" Perplexed now.
"Have you looked at your mail today?"
For a moment, Harriet's mind went completely blank. "I was just about to when you called," pulling the stack of mail toward her again. "So tell me about the baby."
"Oh you're as bad as Jules is. She asks about Kevin every chance she gets these days."
"Can't hardly blame her," tossing several advertisements into the waste bin. "Did the donor…"
"Everything went beautifully," Jenna assured her, unable to keep the happy grin off her face. "Jules talked to Dr. Warner, she seems satisfied so I'm sure everything went peachy-keens. David wants to do a celebratory dinner the mind Jules and Matt gets back from England."
"Not until they've cleared their case load off the…" her voice trailed off as she attempted to read the return address on the large fancy envelope with an impressive 'air mail' stamp across the front. "Hum…"
"I'm going to take it that you've come across the item of the day," Jenna said gleefully. "Go ahead, read the thing and ignore me. I totally don't mind."
"Good, because I believe that is exactly what I'm going to do," reaching over she pressed the speaker button on the phone and dropped the receiver onto the cradle. "George and Millicent Slingerland?"
"Open it!" Jenna urged.
"I'm opening it, I'm opening it," taking out the silver letter opener in her desk. Tipping her glasses higher on her nose, stared at the fanciful lace design on the front before flipping open the card.
"George and Millicent Slingerland are proud to announce the marriage their son Matthew David Slingerland and Julia Corrine Keating. The couple was married in an intimate ceremony this last Sunday at the St. Lucien's Chapel in Gretna Green, Scotland.
"You are cordially invited to a reception this coming Saturday at King James's Hall in London, England to celebrate this joyous occasion as George and Millicent Slingerland welcome the newest addition into their family.
No RSVP required."
"Oh my…" Harriet didn't know but she was wearing the biggest grin on her face.
"Indeed," she replied gleefully. Jenna has startled both David and Kevin this morning when she read the announcement and started the Happy Snoopy Dance while frying bacon on the stove-there had been a close call. "I want to fly out there for the reception but not with Kevin having to go to the hospital every few days." She was still jumping for joy every few minutes. "I'm so excited!"
"Well, now… this would explain the commotion in the hospital today," and indeed there had been plenty, she just hadn't been paying close enough attention to them. "Did you know that she was going to get married?"
She laughed uproariously. "You know, I think she didn't know she was getting married. I haven't even heard from the newlyweds yet."
Placing the card into her top drawer, Harriet chuckled. "It won't surprise me one bit if Slingerland decided to take charge. Your sister is a wonderful doctor and a beautiful human being, but this has all the earmarks of Matthew Slingerland."
"Yes, he does seem like the impulsive romantic type doesn't he?"
"Just that no one noticed, that's all."
"My sister made a good choice," Jenna concluded with a nod.
Harriet agreed. "Not that Slingerland would have allowed her any other."
"Do you think anyone knows?"
"Darling, we've been in England for almost three weeks with no communication to the hospital, why would anyone know?"
"Because the realm of gossip works a little differently than reality."
"You're being paranoid," Matt leaned over and kissed her before unbuckling his seat belt. "Now, I know that we both have some catching up to do at work but…"
"I know, I know," Jules rolled her eyes and grinned. "No over doing it. I got it."
"Understanding is one thing, luv, for I have no doubt and high respect for your intelligence. It's the doing part that I'm concerned with."
"Will you relax," she told him, slamming the car door shut. "I will be the perfect pregnant woman: fat and lazy."
Slingerland laughed as he took her arm, guiding her toward the stairs. "Ah… but darling, you'll be beautiful, fat and lazy in my… our home."
"We're finding a new place this weekend, right?" she reminded him.
"Right," he agreed. Need more room for that baby of ours."
"You're townhouse is pretty nice," she reminded him.
"But you want something of ours," he concluded with a nod. "And I know just the realtors to help us find ourselves a prefect place."
She glance him a glance and smiled. "Your lung transplant patient?"
He paused for a moment, "Michelle."
"Michelle," she repeated carefully, "Breathing through Curtis's lungs."
That gave him a bigger pause. "Are we having our first tiff as a married couple?" he inquired jokingly hoping to above the said disagreement.
"No," she replied, giving his arm a squeeze. "We're having a discussion on parenting," she stopped and faced him. "I don't ever want to put my child through what Curtis went through, okay? If it looks that way, you slap me across the face and tell me to wake and smell the ammonia."
"Darling," kissing her forehead. "I never fear that you will ever allow our child to feel rejected the way Curtis was. And I would never think raise my hand to you… your sister would hack it off with a butcher knife."
She laughed. "Jenna won't use a butcher knife; she'd use a butter knife."
"Yeah, it's duller; takes longer and tons more painful."
"Should I be frightened you just said that with a smile on your face?"
"Drs. Slingerland and Keating," Letty Jordan greeted with such cheer that it immediately put Matt and Jules on alert. She dropped the pen she had been using and came toward them. "Welcome back!"
"Hello, Dr. Jordan," Matt greeted with as much enthusiasm as he could muster. "How is Tom?"
"Complaining about the work rotation, as usual," she replied, her eyes giving nothing away as she took their arms. "Come with me, David gave special instructions on bringing you to him when you get in."
"David?" Jules asked, her eyes going to Matt's for a moment. "Why would David want to see us?"
"Not sure, might have something to with you two taking an extra week," she game them a disable look. "By the way, I didn't appreciate that. More work for the rest of us, you know."
"What are you talking about? We're not even in the same department," Jules made a gesture and caught sight of several nurses whispering behind their charts, they're twinkling eyes riveted on them. In fact, there were more than just nurses staring at them as they were hurried down the hallway. "Um… Letty? Did something happen while we were gone?"
"What do mean?" the cardiologist asked as she gave Matt Slingerland's arm a yank. "Where do you think you're going?"
"My office," he answered with a frown but continued forward. "I wanted to check my schedule for the day."
"Relax; you've both have an hour this morning allotted for this."
"An hour?" he had a sinking feeling about this. He should be on his honeymoon for Christ sake. "It's going to take an hour?"
"More if Harriet had it her way but we are a hospital and there are patients to see," she gave them both a grin and stopped just outside the doctor's lounge. Gesturing to the door, "After you."
"I don't like this," Jules told her.
"Either would I," she replied sweetly.
Matt looked toward the heavens of some patience. "Come now, it can't be all bad. If he wanted our heads, he would have done it in the parking lot," and pushed the door in. "Let's get it over with."
Jules grumbled something unkind under her breath and followed him in.
Letty grinned manically.
A shower of rice came down on Jules and Matt as they step through the doorway braced for whatever it is that David from Administration cared to level at them. Both ducked but wasn't able to avoid getting tiny grains that stuck immediately to their hair and clothes. An array of Presidio Med staff shouted, "Congratulations!" with Colette and Kokoris adding, "About time," to it.
Wincing, Jules cautiously opened one eye and got hit with more rice when she did. "How did you guys even find out so fast?"
Every single person in the room held up a familiar cream color envelope.
Matt groaned. "I told you we should have killed him when we had the chance."
"He meant well," she whispered back.
"He did it without our permission," came the irritated hissed reply. It wasn't the first time they had this disagreement – he refused to call it an argument – and chances are it will not be their last. Matt had not been pleased to have his pseudo-honeymoon with Jules in Scotland interrupted by his parents, who called to request their presence at a wedding reception in their honor. Matt refused to go and Jules ended up bullying him to attend. Yes, they had a lovely time. But it was the principle of things.
"He's your father."
"And what is your point?"
Rolling her eyes, she kissed him square it the mouth, much to the delight of the staff, who whistles and hollered with excitement. "And it means we can't get rid of him no matter what you want to do," she grinned. "So live with it."
Matt sighed and shrugged and turned to face their audience, all of whom immediately demanded to know the details of their recent happenings. Congratulations were offered, time was arranged for the women to throw a post-wedding shower, and some of the men promised to make up for the missed bachelor party – at which time Letty and Jules both dared their husbands to say yes with identical looks that promised much pain and horror. It was some time later when Jules was finally returned to Matt's side.
"So," Nick said as he slid up to the happy couple, his eyes twinkling with mischief. He was thoroughly enjoying watching the two together. It gave him hope for the future and plenty of materials to play with. "When do we get to kiss the bride?"
Matt offered Nick a wide and smug smile, "Sometime next to never!"
Jules merely laughed.