Can See Tomorrow In Your Eyes (1?)
Warnings: Lots of Tony/Michelle!Angst..
Fandom: 24 Spoilers: Through Day 3. AU after that.
Characters: Michelle, Tony, Jack
Disclaimer: Genius to Cochran and Surnow. Credit to Carlos Bernard and Reiko Aylesworth for playing Tony and Michelle so beautifully. Kiefer Sutherland is Jack Bauer.
Summary: Life goes on.
Notes: Completely independant of the other fics I've been posting.
I can't believe I told him to go home last night. I'm so glad he didn't listen. He slept on the couch, since I sleep in the spare room now. I still can't bear to sleep in my own bed, in Tony's bed.
The pain started a little after one. I tried to ignore it, tried to convince myself it was false labor again. We were on the way to the hospital by two. By three wanted to die, and by four I was ready to kill everyone in the room. Including Jack.
At six thirty-seven, my contractions were less than a minute a part. Jack sat beside me, holding my hand, stroking my hair, whispering words meant to comfort. He'd been my breathing coach, my rock, my sanity. I never could have done this without him.
"You're doing great," he assured me. I nodded even though I didn't feel like I was doing great, or even good. I was crying and in pain and cursing everyone who so much as looked at me.
"I just want this to be over," I muttered.
"It won't be long now," Dr Collins stated before Jack could respond. "Give me one more push. That's it. Come on. You can do it, Michelle."
I grit my teeth against the pain, and silently cursed Dr Collins for refusing to put me under and do a cesarean section like I wanted. It wasn't the pain that scared me, but the babies themselves. It's hard to explain, but...I'm just not ready. I've had nine months to get used to the idea and now that it's happening, I'm so afraid...what if I can't love them? What if I look at them and I just can't...
"Okay. It's coming. I can see the head. Don't push, Michelle. Relax. It's almost over."
Seven thirteen. "It's a boy," Dr Collins announced. I felt a sudden and swift change of internal pressure. I kept my eyes locked on Jack, and Jack held my gaze. Somewhere over his shoulder, I was aware of a nurse taking my son away to clean him up on the other side of the room.
"Okay, Michelle. Listen to me," Dr Collins put a hand on my knee. "Don't push. Whatever you do, don't push."
Jack squeezed my hand. Dr Collins asked him to step aside with her. They whispered back and forth, Jack's eyes clouding and taking on a worried look. He came back to my side, squeezed my hand again.
"The chord seems to be wrapped around the other baby's neck. Dr Collins says a C-section might be the only way to save him," Jack explained calmly. My gaze drifted to the other side of the room. I could see my son's tiny leg kick at the air.
I nodded. "Please..."
I was whisked to another room and they made Jack stay outside. I was too weak and scared to argue.
My body felt heavy and numb when I woke up. Jack was there, my rock, holding one hand and gently stroking my hair. "Hey," he smiled when I opened my eyes. "Glad to see you're awake."
"Hey," I managed weakly. I tried to lift my arm, but it didn't want to cooperate.
"Shhhh," Jack murmured. "Don't try to talk. I'll get Dr Collins. Lay still, okay? Don't try to move."
He went to the door and called out in the hallway. I couldn't hear what he said. It didn't matter.
"It's okay. The chord was around her neck. She's fine. It's a girl. You've got a handsome baby boy and a beautiful little girl. I'm sure you can see them in a few minutes."
I just closed my eyes. How could I tell Jack I was afraid to see them? Afraid I'd look at them and...and feel nothing but fear. I should tell him. He'd understand. But then how could I justify not telling him what happened nine months ago?
I never told anyone. I couldn't. I thought...when I found out I was pregnant, everyone assumed it had to be Tony's and I tried to convince myself of it as well. But the simple truth is I don't know. I really don't know.
"How are you feeling?" Dr Collins asked, her way too cheery voice filling the room.
I opened my eyes and tried to smile. "Like I got run over."
"That's common," she smiled. She checked my vital signs. "Everything looks good. Do you want to meet your babies?"
I glanced at Jack. What could I do but nod?
"I'll have a nurse bring them down."
Jack watched her leave the room, then turned to me, his eyes deep and intense. I knew that look. He was thinking, and I'd have to do some fast talking or hope the nurse came in before he could get into interrogation mode. "What's wrong?" he asked softly.
"I'm just...really tired. Giving birth is exhausting."
He nodded and reached up to rub his chin. He hadn't shaved for a few days, and little prickly hairs dotted his jawline. He seemed to accept that, at least for now. He'd know...as soon as the babies were in the room and I had no choice but to look at them, he'd know...
They were in the same cradle. Bassinet. Whatever it's called. The boy wore blue, the girl was in pink. His little legs were kicking wildly, she wasn't moving at all.
There was no way to know. Maybe in time...if they grew to look like their father...Right now, they were just...beautiful innocent babies.
"Do you want to hold them?"
The nurse placed my son in my arms. Jack held my little girl. "Have you thought about names?"
I shook my head. I can't do this. I just can't do this. I thought I would know when I saw them, when I held them. I thought I would feel it somehow. I'd know if they were Tony's or...or...or not Tony's.
"It's okay. You have time to think about it still," the nurse chirped.
Jack lay my daughter against my chest and lifted the boy out of my arms.