DISCLAIMER: The characters of Camille, Aaron, Jeffrey, Philip Watters, and Barbara Tomilson are not mine. They belong to David E. Kelley and are used here without permission. No legal infringement is intended. The character of Meghan Michaels is mine, and can be used only with my permission.

This is written as an explanation to one of the great Chicago Hope mysteries. In "Internal Affairs", it is hinted that Camille and Aaron were going to have a baby, but somehow the baby was lost. This is my interpretation of the events. This is my first fan fiction (I wrote this a long time ago, but I have only now gotten around to posting it), so please, please, PLEASE tell me what you think.

Almost

Aaron lay in bed, unable to sleep. The digital numbers on his clock clicked away. 1:15. 2:10. 2:55. By the time 3:00 rolled around, he had pretty much given up getting any sleep. Instead, he rolled onto his back and thought.

His thoughts turned to the new baby. Of course. What else could he think about? Ever since Camille had told him, five months ago, he had been unable to concentrate on anything else. This was definitely a negative development, as being a surgical resident was extremely time-consuming.

He had never wanted children, never seen the appeal. They were loud, obnoxious, and extremely burdensome. Yet Camille loved children. She wanted to have children so much, and she was so excited about this coming child, that he was unable to voice his worries. Deep down, he wondered what kind of father he could possibly be. After all, he had had no stable father figure in his life. His own father had been a philanderer, rarely there for Aaron, constantly having one-night affairs with nurses at the hospital. 'How can I possibly be a father?' he wondered.

Camille lay in bed next to Aaron. She was not asleep; he had woken her up about an hour ago with his tossing and turning. She knew that he was worried, but was not sure about what. She decided it was probably the medical conference coming up that he and Jeffrey would be attending. They were only residents, and he was undoubtedly worried about it.

"Honey?"

Aaron was startled to hear her voice. "Camille, it's-" he checked his clock "-three in the morning. Go back to sleep, honey."

"What's wrong, Aaron?"

He sighed. "Nothing, Camille. Just go back to bed."

She rolled onto her side and experienced a sharp pain in her abdomen. Involuntarily, she clutched her stomach and gasped in pain.

"Camille, what's wrong?"

She breathed deeply and stretched out her body. "I don't know, I just suddenly doubled over in pain. I'm okay now."

"Honey, you know the doctor told you to take it easy. I don't want you to get hurt. Maybe you should take tomorrow off."

"Don't be silly, Aaron, I'm fine. Besides, I can't afford to take any more sick days. I'll be taking plenty of time off once the baby is here."

Aaron gulped hard, thinking about the baby as worries percolated through his mind. "Uh, right, Camille." *** Jeffrey was getting worried about his friend. Aaron was even more distracted then usual. "Hey buddy, what's on your mind, huh? What's wrong?"

"Nothing, it's just…" he sighed, then decided he might as well tell Jeffrey everything. "Camille hasn't been doing so well lately. Last night she said she had a really sharp pain in her stomach, but she refuses to take it easy like her OB said. Besides, I don't know anything about parenting!"

"It's okay, Aaron, she'll be fine and you'll be a great daddy. Stop worrying. We're going to our first medical conference."

"Jeffrey, if Laurie was this sick, you'd be frantic."

"What do you mean, this sick?"

Aaron stared out the window, as if the clouds contained all the answers. "Well, uh, Camille hasn't exactly told me, or anything, but I think she's been feeling worse than she's been telling me. I mean, I found five different medications in the kitchen. Why would she be taking all those drugs if something isn't wrong?"

Jeffrey had to admit that Camille hadn't been looking that great. He wasn't sure what to say, so he just put his hand on Aaron's shoulder as Aaron stared out the window in silence. *** Camille lay in the big bed in their little apartment, unable to sleep. The apartment suddenly seemed unbelievably small, too small for a family. She wondered what she and Aaron would do after the baby arrived. Babies were expensive, and Aaron was only a resident.

She laughed at herself, albeit somewhat humorlessly, and tried to tell herself to stop worrying. She remembered how as a little girl, she had always dreamed of growing up and having a family of her own. From the time she was very young, she would dress up her dolls like babies and play house. Sometimes her brother or sister had to play with her, but more often it was just her, dressing and feeding and bathing her dolls, and taking them for walks in their stroller, and putting them down for naps. She had always dreamed of being a mother, so why was she so worried?

A spasm of pain shot through her. That was what she was so worried about. She knew the baby was not doing very well, but she couldn't tell Aaron. When her OB had said to take it easy, she had been far more serious than she had indicated to Aaron. If he knew how serious this could be, he would freak out. No, she decided, it was better to just take care of herself and not make Aaron worry. He had enough on his mind as it was. *** Camille bolted out of bed, drenched in sweat. Her stomach clenched in pain, and she was afraid she might pass out. Her breathing came out more and more quickly as her pain escalated. Desperately, she fumbled for the phone. The pain that reverberated through her body intensified. Her mind shut down, but her fingers, moving as if possessed by their own spirit, knocked the phone off the hook and dialed 911. *** The lights and voices around her seemed foggy, as if in a dream. "Thirty-two year old female found in extreme distress. The patient is unconscious, fever 101°F."

She heard a familiar voice and clung to it, like a drowning swimmer to a life preserver. "Camille? This is Doctor Michaels. I'm right here, okay? You're in bad shape, and the baby is not doing well, but I'll take good care of both of you, okay?"

She attempted to nod. Meghan had always been truthful to her, through the entire difficult months since her conception. If Meghan said she would be all right, she would believe her.

"Camille? This is Doctor Watters. Can you hear me?"

She blindly turned her head towards Doctor Watters' reassuring voice. Dr. Watters was a kind, compassionate, caring man. She tried to give him some kind of sign that she had heard him, to alleviate the fear in his voice.

"We're going to admit you, all right? Don't worry, we'll call Aaron."

The shot they had given her in the ambulance was finally beginning to take affect; she felt woozy, but the pain was gone. She smiled vaguely, glad that all these strong people were going to take care of her. "Aaron?" She wanted to see him, to hear his reassuring voice and to feel his strong arms around her.

"We've called him, now just lie back and relax."

She felt like laughing. Relax. Yeah right. But even as these skeptic comments formed in her mind, she felt herself being lulled to sleep. *** "Camille?"

She awoke to hear her voice. "Wha-where am I?"

"You're at Chicago Hope Hospital. You collapsed last night."

She felt a moment of dread. "The baby?"

Meghan placed a hand on Camille's shoulder. "Camille, the baby is not doing well at all." She then launched into a long technical explanation of her medical condition, but Camille was unable to comprehend a single word. "Basically, Camille, I would recommend that you terminate your pregnancy. Immediately."

Waves of pain washed over her. But unlike the physical pain she had experienced last night, this was much deeper, and much more difficult to ameliorate. "T-t-terminate? B-but the baby…?"

"The baby is close to death right now. There is not much hope for it. If you try to carry the baby to term, you will probably die, as will your child. If you abort the pregnancy, the baby will die, but you will probably survive."

Camille was unable to speak. Instead, tears ran down her cheeks. She felt unable to cope with the situation; she felt weak, confused, and scared.

Meghan patted her shoulder. "I'll give you some time to decide, but I need an answer as soon as possible."

She finally was able to speak. "Aaron?"

"We were unable to contact him. Apparently, he still hasn't returned to his hotel." She paused to let that slip in. "It's your decision, Camille." *** After his fifth shot of scotch, Aaron was feeling a little better. The worry and stress of the past few months was beginning to seep out of his body.

"C'mon, Aaron, let's go back to the hotel."

"Aw, Jeffrey, lemme alone."

"You've had enough, Aaron, now let's go back." Ignoring his protests, he dragged Aaron out of the bar. It was two in the morning, and they had to get up early for the conference. *** For one of the first times of her life, Camille knew isolation. During school, she had always been very popular. In high school, she had been head cheerleader, class favorite, and had dated the valedictorian. She had always been surrounded by other students. Even though she was not always the center of attention, she had never been an outsider, with no one to talk to. Now she was.

How could she make this decision? How could any mother willingly kill her child? She felt unbelievable mental anguish. Why was this happening to her? What had she done to deserve this cruel fate?

It was not as if she was not sure what to do. The logical, professional part of her brain told her to abort the child. Sure it would be a tragedy, but the baby would die no matter what. She did not have to die. Yet the other part of her brain recoiled from the very idea of killing her child. She sobbed for hours over this cruel twist of fate. She had expected to spend a lifetime with this child, raising him, caring for him, loving him. How could she never even know him?

Meghan knocked softly and entered the room. "Camille?" Seeing her tear-streaked face, she came over and sat down on the bed, letting Camille cry on her shoulder. "Shh, it's going to be okay, this will all be behind you before you know it."

After an undetermined amount of time, Camille sat up and wiped her eyes. "I-I made my decision. I want to surgery."

"Okay, I'll get the OR ready and we'll have you as good as new in no time. Just calm down and we'll take care of you." *** The phone woke Aaron and Jeffrey up long before they were ready to face the day. "Hello?" answered Aaron's groggy voice. God, his head was killing him. "Yes, this is Doctor Shutt." Long pause. "What?!" Long pause. "All right, thank you." He hung up, still reeling from the news.

Jeffrey looked at him. "What's wrong?"

"Camille's been taken to the hospital," he answered, rising to pack his suitcase. He would leave immediately. She needed him. *** When Camille opened her eyes, she saw Aaron's concerned face. His eyes brightened as he saw she was awake. "Honey?"

She suddenly began to cry. The previous day's events were finally catching up to her, and she sobbed uncontrollably. "I-I-I lost the baby!" she bawled.

He cradled her head. "It's okay, honey, it'll be okay."

But he didn't understand, she realized. He would never understand. How could he? He hadn't felt that wonderful baby growing inside of her. He could never imagine how it felt to have another organism living inside of you, nurtured and protected by you. Her tears dried up, and she noticed how disheveled he was. "You should get some sleep, Aaron. I'll be okay."

She saw the relief in his eyes. She knew at that moment they would never talk about the son they almost had. About the baby who almost was their child. That child would cease to exist, as if she had never become pregnant. And they would go on living, trying to ignore the fact that they had almost had a child.

Aaron left and she felt hollow and tired. She looked up to see Barbara Tomilson in the doorway. Without a word, Barbara came over and sat on the edge of Camille's bed. And then, Camille bawled on her shoulder, while Aaron watched through the window, and rued the day she had ever come to him with the news.

"Guess what, honey? I'm going to have a baby!"