Finally. Sorry it's taken so long, but I haven't had an urge to write for this. Sometimes stories get monotonous and we get bored and when we get bored the writing gets sloppy. I hate sloppy writing. I should be over that…. I've missed the flashbacks/dream/future/things… so they shall be more... uh recurring.
Please Review! You guys begged for it and here it is!
And I would like to add something for all the authors as well as the reviewers. I get kind of irritated when someone tells me that someone is out of character, or this could never happen. Yaddy yadda. Please, take into consideration, that the whole reason for fanfiction? Is to see the things that would never happen.
Kay, enough. Read, Vamanos!
"The best love is the kind that awakens the soul and makes us reach for more, that plants a fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds."
Someone was watching him. He opened his eyes cautiously to whomever was staring him down in the dark.
"Hey buddy, what's wrong?" Sandy called out softly to the dark-headed child standing before him.
"When's Mommy coming home?" His small voice asked hopefully.
"Tomorrow bud. She'll be home tomorrow."
He nodded quietly his blue eyes drowsy with sleep. He bowed his head and looked up shyly at him from underneath his bangs.
He has Kirsten's pout.
But his son is definitely all him.
Dark hair, he shares a mix of their eyes, he has his smile, his friendly out-going attitude, but Kirsten's quiet thoughtful nature.
He keeps his sister out of trouble. While Allie had a habit of diving headfirst into things, Kaden seemed to hold back, think things through and then jump.
"C'mere bud," he says as he lifts the little boy on the bed with him. His son snuggles down against his chest, and in a few moments he can hear his daughter pad softly into his room.
"Hey there la Niña Bella, you can't sleep either?"
She shakes her head, golden girls tumbling down around her, those inquisitive blue eyes looking at him, piercing his soul.
Kirsten stares back at him, miniaturized.
He should have known better then to even attempt to put them into their own beds these past few days.
They hadn't slept at all and had awakened him in the night for various reasons: "I can't sleep, it's to dark, there is a monster in the closet, there is a ghost in my room…" Despite his quiet reassurances that there were none of these things he knew they wanted their mother. It was the first time she had been away in their eight years. They just missed her and so did he.
Kirsten had to take a business trip with her father to persuade two giant companies into buying whatever it was that they were trying to sell and close the deal once and for all. She had been gone five days and the kids were starting to feel it, and so was he.
"Will Momma be home by the time we get home from school tomorrow?" Allie asked optimistically, her sleepy voice softly asked as she nuzzled down against the protective side of her father.
"She should be Allie-girl, she should be, but it depends on what time Grandpa's jet flies back."
Sandy chuckled. While Allie may be more subdued in her outbursts her brother never hesitated. That was probably the difference, Kaden spoke his mind, Allie held her tongue.
An odd contradiction between the two.
"That's beside the point my son, that's beside the point. You guys need to sleep, or else your mother will have my head."
"I miss Mommy," his son spoke softly.
His daughter nodded against him, her eyes closed.
"Me too buddy, me too."
Getting both of them up the following day was a chore in itself.
Getting them off to school was even more so. They were homesick for her and so was he. He was more then ready to have Kirsten back, so they could be even, one-parent-per-child ratio again.
Sandy had brought home some work from his office that he had from Caleb's latest and greatest screw up.
It was near three p.m. when she walked through the door, cell phone in hand, blond hair messy, slightly pale from jet lag; her suit had wrinkles in it from sitting down and she looked tired, but healthy.
He smiled at her as she made her way over to the couch, talking into the phone, and leaned into him as he kissed her cheek, closing her eyes before leaning back, his hand in her hair, playing with the strands.
She closed the phone and tilted her head, giving him a soft kiss while pulling back and raising a perfectly arched eyebrow.
"So, how were they?"
"They missed you. I missed you, and boy do you have a homecoming waiting for you."
She smiled affectionately, snuggling back against his chest.
"I'm so tired."
Instantly he went rigid. "You feel okay?"
He couldn't help it.
She grinned at him. "Sandy, I'm jet-lagged. There is a huge time difference between here and New York; we were up early, everyday. I'm okay…really."
She burrowed against him and sighed before glancing at the clock. "I'm going to go in the kitchen. Pretend I'm not home." A huge smile graced her gorgeous features.
He grinned himself. He loved watching his children's reactions.
They burst through the door no more then ten minutes later, book bags flying, shoes coming off, they ran to the person who they saw first, "DADDY!"
They both gave him a huge hug.
"Is she home, Daddy? Is she, is she!"
Their faces fell.
He smiled as she walked through the entry-way to the living room.
"You guys aren't happy I'm home or what?"
A huge grin crept upon his son's face while his daughter's eyes lit up. Their smiles were enormous and they wasted no time scrambling into her open arms.
They yelled "Mommy!" at the top of their lungs before running to her, both of them hugging her at the same time. Clinging would be the more appropriate word.
"I missed you two!"
It was remarkable as to how similar his daughter looked like her mother. She could mimic her movements; she had her frown, her smile, she could give Sandy or her brother a glare that was identical to her mothers. She was all Kirsten, through and through.
They both chimed their 'I missed you's,' to her while Kaden pulled back, "Grampa's mean for making you go away."
"Sweetie, Grampa didn't make me go, I had to go for work. He's not mean," she laughs softly, watching his amused expression.
"Daddy says he's mean!"
She shot Sandy a look and he held his hands up defensively.
"Why you little sell-out!" He grins as he picks his son up and tickles him, pulling him with him to the couch.
Kirsten takes Allie where they settle down and their children begin to quiz her.
"What's New York like?"
"How tall are the skyscrapers?"
"Did you see pigeons?"
"Did you get mugged?"
"Can we go swimming?"
"Did you ride in a taxi?"
"Did you see where Daddy's from?"
"Did you stay in a hotel?"
"Are you going to tuck us in?"
"Can we sleep with you tonight?"
"Was it snowing, Daddy says it snows there, I want to see snow, Mommy can we see snow one day?"
Random questions, a hundred miles a minute.
Kirsten answered accordingly.
"Homework needs to be finished, yes we can go swimming, yes I stayed in a hotel, yes I saw pigeons, yes I rode in a taxi, and yes I will tuck you in. No I did not see where Daddy is from, No, I did not get mugged, No, I did not see snow, New York is wonderful, we'll go there for vacation, one day we'll go when it's snowing, your father will get you guys something to eat, and go change your clothes."
They grinned, satisfied. Over the years both she and Sandy had learned to let them fire rapid questions and answer in huge paragraphs. It was easier to confuse them and make them hopefully forget a question or two.
She was trying to break their habit of sleeping with her and Sandy at night, but she supposed one more night couldn't hurt.
"Go. Go on, vamoose, I'm not going anywhere."
They turned to go before her son rushed back into her arms, whispering a soft, "I love you Mommy," with his fathers bashful, shy grin.
She swept the dark hair away from his forehead, leaning up to place a tender kiss there, before whispering the words, "I love you too," back to him.
She gives Sandy a smile he loves. She's home now.
He groaned as he stretched in his sleep, his back aching from sleeping in the chair. The baby name book fell to the ground with a soft muted thump and he wearily reached down to pick it up, glancing at the name before him. One of the nurses gave it to him and insisted that he look through it, "He can't be Baby-Boy Cohen while his sister has a name!"
Kaden, Caden: Origin: American. Meaning: Fighter.
Well if that didn't fit then nothing ever would. They would use the K, after Kirsten.
He yawned; his body was tired and weary slowly getting worn down. He glanced at Kirsten she was sound asleep, comfortably, the pain and nausea medication doing their job well tonight.
God he felt like shit right now, exhausted and hungry but he didn't have the appetite to eat anything.
She had the start of raccoon eyes, her face pale, but her cheeks were flushed slightly with a healthy pink. She was curled slightly on her side, slightly on her back and she had a small smile playing upon her face.
He leaned up and kissed her forehead before walking out of the room.
He sent Seth and Ryan home, Julie and Caleb had left, and now it was just Kirsten and himself. He felt like walking down to the nursery ward and glancing in the window, looking at his little angels-that-would-turn-into-terrors- in a few years. Making it there in a record numbing time he felt drawn to the window as they breathed in and out, covered up in the appropriate pink and blue blankets.
His dark headed son and his light headed baby girl with the names COHEN written above them glared back at him.
He smiled proudly wishing he could hold them. He hadn't been able to do that yet. He couldn't wait to hold their little bodies against his chest, he couldn't wait to watch them grow up and he couldn't wait to watch Kirsten mother them to death.
Or so he hoped.
Tiptoeing back into his wife's room, he kissed her forehead again, softly brushing a blond tendril out of the way and he watched as she sighed softly. Her forehead was slightly warm and but she was sleeping peacefully so he let it drift from his thoughts.
He took her hand and held it tightly while she nuzzled her pillow, smiling blissfully in dreamland.
"I love you," he whispered softly with exhaustion.
"The name, what do you think of Kaden, with a K. K-A-D-E-N."
She paused, thinking.
"I like it, what does it mean?"
"Fighter," he answered simply, grinning slightly.
She smiles, "I think that suits him."
"Good, you get to choose the middle name."
She rolls her tired blue eyes and smiles lovingly at him.
She feels better today, not as nauseous, but it doesn't matter, because next week is when it's going to hit the fan. Next week is when Seth joked she would have a "Comet of Vomit!" She smiled at Seth, but he didn't realize how true his words were spoken.
Next week if she is feeling okay, and her immune system is up to par, she starts a bad-ass dose of chemo.
If that doesn't show any improvements, then it's chemo plus radiation.
Just the thought of the two mixed together makes her tremble. Her body was already so weak, so tired and exhausted. Her soul was weary and worn. She doesn't want to fight right now and she doesn't know if she has the heart to do so.
It frightens her down to the last bone in her body. Sandy is smiling at her, patiently, the love in his blue eyes twinkling lightly.
"Give me the book," she smiles at him.
She can think about fighting another day.
The first time she sees her light-headed daughter, tears well up in her dark blue eyes.
The first time she sees her tiny dark-headed son she cries softly and he smiles proudly.
The nurse shows her how she can reach inside and hold his hand and his little fingers wrap tightly around hers and he makes a little gurgle wail as he struggles awake and blinks in the bright, harsh light.
He opens up those light baby blues and stares right at her, piercing her soul. Her smile is so beautiful that Sandy's breath catches in his throat as he watches.
His little grip is tight upon his mother's and he contently closes those blue eyes and falls back asleep.
Alexandria. She can't picture any other names for her children.
It fits and now she can see no other name for him.
A fighter, her little boy is a fighter.
Her little girl is clinging on to her father's hand just as tightly and despite how badly she aches, despite how sick she is, she knows they are worth fighting for.
She smiles weakly at Sandy, her face alight with features he can't even describe.
He hasn't seen her happy or at such utter peace since before the night in the hospital when they found out about everything. He misses the blissful days before he worried if she would make it to the next day.
The days when he didn't think of how she might leave all of them, alone.
Ryan sits quietly outside, the moon glaring off the windows on the glass that surround the massive house.
For once he is glad Seth is upstairs sleeping. He needs the quiet. Seth was always quiet now and that bothered Ryan, because Seth was never quiet. It was eerie when Seth was quiet. The only time in Seth's life when Seth didn't ramble was when something was wrong.
Ryan knew. He knew what he was thinking about. His mother dying, it was evident upon his face.
He shifts in his seat and pulls out a cigarette from the pack that he managed to buy from the shabby gas station just outside of Newport.
His thoughts range from happiness because Kirsten was okay, the twins were okay, for now. His family was okay…for now.
He doesn't want to think about the bad right now. Not when they just got good news.
Not yet… eventually, but not yet.
He inhales his cigarette, listening softly as the embers burn and the ocean waves echo is his ears.
He only hopes the best has yet to come.
The small trip to see the twins had exhausted her. As she eases on her side with the nurses and her husbands help, she fell into a drowsy state, gazing up at him with pale colored eyes, mirrored by his own as he stared back with a sympathetic but loving smile on his face.
She gave him such a small smile anyone else would have missed it.
"You look so tired Sandy," her voice is faint and she reaches out faintly, her hand trembling for his.
"You're so beautiful, honey," he says softly as he holds her small hand in his.
A small but brilliant rush of color tinges her cheeks and she beams softly at him. She knows how she truly looks.
Pale. Like death is already at her door.
Dark haunting, circles under her eyes. Like a battered woman with black eyes.
Frail, thin, weak. Like an elderly woman.
Dark blue, lifeless, eyes. Like the dead.
But she accepts his compliment and squeezes his hand while suddenly sucking in her breath as an unexpected sting roars up her spine.
With each painful heartbeat the pain pulsates up and down so she holds her breath. The needles that are stabbing her in the back never lessen, they only get more intense. She wants them to stop.
Nothing can make them stop.
His hand tightens automatically upon hers and from her grip he can tell how much misery she is in. Her knuckles that clutch the bedrail are ghastly and white, as her hands tremble.
It hurts so horrificallybad in her back that it makes her nauseous.
Her eyes close. She makes a deal with God, begging him to make this stop. She has to stop making these deals because she is getting to the point where she is running out of things that she can promise.
The needles turn into razor blades as they continuously rush up and down. Holding her breath didn't make them go away and now they pulse more rapidly then her own heartbeat.
Her eyes are closed firmly, she's holding her breathagain because it hurts to breathe as well, her teeth locked so forcefully they grind together as the pain rivets down her body.
Suddenly, it eases, just as quickly as it came.
It passes or if it doesn't it has dulled down significantly.
Her grip loosens and she sighs slowly, softly.
When she opens her eyes again there are tears in the dark depths and only she knows how bad it hurts, how much it constantly aches, how much it throbs, how much the muscles spasm, how stressed her body is constantly.
How weak she has become.
He moves his chair closer to her, sitting as close to the bed as humanly possible.
She eases on her back as he lies as near to the bed as possible, his arms open and inviting as she scoots as close as she can to him, and somehow their little arrangement works as she nuzzles his shoulder, her hand clasped tightly around his.
Her drowsy eyes close and little by little her breathing slowly eases into steady, rhythmic breaths.
The twins were doing well. So well in fact that if they kept up the pace of weight gaining - within two weeks they were allowed to go home.
When the nurse told him this his jaw dropped. She was here to check on Kirsten's vitals but she kept him regularly informed on their little ones.
How, in the world, was he going to manage two infant children, a sick wife, two teenage boys, and a job?
He wasn't superman, and just trying to deal with Kirsten and how sick she was had already become was wearing him down to his very weary soul.
How sick she would become was a question he didn't even want to think about.
How was he going to take care of the two infants that would undoubtedly wake him up every few hours for feeding?
For the first time in a long time Sandy feels completely helpless. He shivers as the fear of hopelessness courses through him, the fear of the unknown.
The fear of her dying.
Her soft, uneven breaths tickled against his collarbone, he felt his eyes close drowsily and he couldn't help but tell himself he would nap for five minutes.
Five minutes never hurt anyone.
An early morning phone call startled Kirsten awake with a jump. Who is calling this early and why?
"Allie? Where are you!" Kirsten groans dazedly when she looks at the clock as it glares back at her 3:31 a.m.
Her heart thudded in her chest. Three thirty? Oh God, what happened? Sandy rolled over groggily and sat up quickly as soon as he heard Kirsten call, "Allie."
The loud music was distracting. Surely her daughter wasn't in her room and calling her.
"Mom? Can you come pick me up? Please…I'm so sorry. Please don't tell Daddy," her daughter's normally strong voice was soft and slightly slurred. She was scared.
Her mother would be mad.
Her father would be pissed.
Kirsten knew instantly.
Snuck out of the house.
"Where are you, Allie?" Kirsten held her hand up to Sandy who was practically begging to get the phone and find out where his daughter was.
"Kirsten? Is she okay?" his voice is quiet and concerned.
"Mom? Can you hear me? I'm over Riley's house….Riley Stewart," her voice dropped low and she instantly knew from the silence over the phone her mother was mad.
She mouthed to him, 'She's at a party…Riley Stewart.'
His eyes got wide and he asked again if she was okay, again begging for the phone with his hand.
Kirsten nodded, looking worried as she brushed her hair out of her face with one hand. He couldn't take not knowing what was going on, so he shifts behind her, putting his chin on her shoulder, tilting his head to the phone. His nervous hands then pulled her close, eavesdropping on the conversation.
The one person they had warned the twins to stay away from. He had a bad rap of doing and selling large amounts of Ecstasy.
It was no problem for Kaden who was an athlete. But Allie had some sort of goofy attraction to this loser.
Riley Stewart. Water polo champ. Riley Stewart, cute kid, likes to date girls, get what he needs from them and then leave them.
Their daughter was grounded until she was fifty.
"Allie. Wait for me outside, don't you dare attempt to drive."
"I won't…" not bothering to correct her mother that she was already indeed waiting outside and she couldn't even walk, let alone drive.
She hung up the phone while quickly throwing on a sweatshirt and sweatpants.
"You sure you don't want me to go?" She shook her head blond hair swirling about, "Check on our son, Sandy. If they're both out, I swear to God, they will never leave this house!"
Kirsten made it in record time. Exactly ten minutes, give or take.
Her daughter was sitting on the steps as Kirsten stepped out, and rushed over to her, her motherly instincts on overdrive.
Her daughter's red, glazed eyes looked up at her cautiously.
"Mom? I'm so sorry. Please, really, I'm sorry," she looked so small sitting there with blond hair falling down into her blue hazy eyes.
"I know honey, let's get you home and we'll talk about it tomorrow, okay? Are you okay? You didn't take any pills or anything?"
She nodded 'no' miserably as she stood up slowly.
"Mom you didn't tell Daddy did you?" Kirsten pulled her close, reassuring herself that she was okay.
She quickly ran a hand through her daughters blond hair. "No sweetie. Let's just get you home."
The light in the kitchen was on.
Her father was up.
Allie shrank visibly in her seat.
She was in deep trouble.
"He's going to be so mad," she whispered quietly averting her tired eyes from her mother's concerned blues.
"No honey, he's just disappointed."
"That's even woooorse!" She groaned.
Kirsten didn't comment.
Kirsten turns off the new SUV before walking over to the passenger side and walking with Allie to the door who stumbled slightly.
They didn't even have to touch the handle as it magically flew open.
Sandy stood, eyebrow raised, his eyes darting from his wife to his drunken, barely just turned sixteen-year-old baby girl.
He said nothing.
This made it even worse.
She saw the disappointment on his face and her tears started flowing down her flushed cheeks. "Daddy, I'm so sorry."
He cleared his throat and she hung her head, expecting a scolding, or yelling, or something.
But he said nothing of the sort.
"Go to bed Alexandria.. We'll talk in the morning," his voice was cool, calm, collected. It made her worry and cry even harder.
Kirsten looked at him, urging him to get through to his daughter.
"I'm sorry," she whispers again, her clouded blue eyes looking up at him from underneath the blond, messy hair.
"I know. We'll talk tomorrow," he kisses her head and she wraps her arms around him tightly. "Go to bed Alexandria," his voice is chilly and she understands.
Disappointment. It's better for your parents to be completely pissed at you then to be disappointment.
She frowns at this and slowly walks up the stairs to her bedroom. Her mother is behind her, hand on her back, making sure she doesn't fall backwards.
As her daughter changes clothes, Kirsten gets her some Tylenol and water, waiting until she settles into her bed before handing the drugs and water wordlessly to her.
Kirsten pulls the covers up and sits on the bed with her teenage daughter, smiling softly and she closes her eyes against her mother's tender touch.
"I'm glad you called me sweetheart."
"You don't understand how much we love you baby-girl. You don't understand what we would do if we ever lost you."
A shadowy figure appeared in the doorway and Sandy listened as his wife talked to their daughter.
"No, Bella, you don't."
She raised her head from the pillow and looked at her father as he walked over to her bed, before sitting beside his wife.
"You don't know how bad you scared us tonight, the phone ringing at three in the morning? You know the first thought that ran through my mind?"
She shook her head slowly.
"I thought something that happened to you. Or your brother. Or Seth and Ryan. Our first thoughts are of you guys, and you don't realize that. Do you know how lost we would feel if we lost you?"
She shakes her head again.
"Neither do we and we don't ever want to find out."
Her father smiled at her lightly, "Go to sleep baby-girl."
"Okay Daddy," she whispers softly, reminding him of that seven-year-old who was afraid of monsters.
He leaned up and kissed her forehead before taking his wife's hand and letting her lead him out of the bedroom, shutting the door behind him gently.
"Until she is eighty."
"Sandy! She knows she's done wrong."
He smiles at her, "I know, but it doesn't change the fact of what she has done and how much trust she has broken."
"Kaden?" She asks quietly.
"Sleeping, and after today's game I don't think he will wake up until two tomorrow afternoon. At least it's Sunday so the poor kid can rest."
She leans her head against his shoulder. "Let's go to bed, you cruel punisher, you!"
He chuckles, "You want to see how cruel I can be?"
She smiles at him. "Maybe…"
It's a moan that awakes him from his deep sleep and frightening realistic dream. Twins. Both of them at sixteen? Oh God.
Her forehead is hot and she is withering in sweat.
Her fever is back with full force.
"Sandy… there is a huge spider," she whispers pointing to the side of the bed. Her eyes are wide as her imagination takes flight.
He looks and knows nothing is there.
"Close your eyes honey. Just close your eyes."
She does as she is told, shivering against him. "So cold Sandy… Mmm God it's cold… big spider."
"I know honey. The nurse will bring more blankets, okay? The spider is gone sweetie."
"Good. I hate them, I hate being cold…" her teeth chatter together as she clings to his shirt.
"I know honey."
"So cold, Sandy….Freezing…"
He kisses her warm forehead as she shivers in his arms and waits for the nurse.
He doesn't even want to imagine next week.