Summary: With her marriage to Adam falling apart, and her own feelings of self worth shaky Julie finds comfort with an old friend.

Author's Note: OK, so here's the deal. I'm not abandoning the crossover. I promise promise promise I will go back to it. I'm just low on inspiration for it at the moment. I feel like I've got a fully flushed out story for this one, and kind of a dramatic one, compared to my others. Even the others connected to this one. Just a warning, there are really strong religious themes, I'm not sure why, I just sort of wrote it like that. Some of the things that Julie and Dean say may sound a little wierd if you aren't Catholic...I hope they aren't taken the wrong way, it's a Catholic thing, we get a little into our own culture from time to time. But afterward we always feel really guilty about it though. Anyway, I hope it is enjoyed.

Disclaimer: I don't own any of these characters.


Looking For Myself

Chapter 1: The Baby

Looking For Myself Looking For Myself

Julie woke up, refreshed from the first good night's sleep she had gotten in almost two weeks. She'd been agonizing over what she should do and then driving so sleep hadn't come easily. For some reason she had slept more soundly in one night on Dean Portman's couch than she had next to her husband in almost a year. She knew she should call him, but couldn't do it. She wasn't ready for that yet. Knowing Adam, he would call her mother, and knowing her mother she would tell him exactly where she was. She had her cell phone switched off, and got off the couch. She suddenly realized the date and remembered that she had promised herself she would go to church that day. Real church, Catholic Mass, not the protestant services she'd been going to twice a year, since she married Adam. She would light a candle and say a prayer to the Virgin Mary, asking her to care of her baby. She would go to confession and ask forgiveness for living a lie for the past twelve months. She was going to be the perfect Catholic from now on, it had been way too long since she set foot in a church and received communion, too long since she said a Rosary, too long since she could actually look her mother in the eye without the burn of Irish Catholic guilt piercing her soul. The problem was she was far away from anything familiar, and that included a parish that she knew she could go to. As she was wrapped in thought, Dean came out of the bedroom, he smiled as he looked at her with her head in her hands.

"Hey," he said sitting next to her. "You sleep ok?"

"Yeah," she said looking at him, "I slept great actually, the best I have in a while. Dean, where's the nearest church?"

"Real church?" He joked, nudging her. She remembered how at Eden Hall, she, Portman and Luis used to make fun of the overly preppy WASPs that surrounded them. They were the only Catholics on the Ducks, and part of a small contingent at Eden Hall who used to ride a bus to mass every Sunday and on Holy Days of Obligation.

"I need confession like a whore who slept with a pope," Julie laughed, "and I need to light a candle."

"For Adam," Dean said quietly.

"No, not for Adam," she shook her head. "A year ago today, I miscarried, I need to ask Our Lady to take care of my baby. I should have done it a long time ago."

"You were pregnant?" Dean said looking at her, he knew how hard that was, his mom had lost two babies. "How far along?"

"Six weeks," she said, "six weeks of complete pregnant bliss. I didn't mind the puking, everyone said that I was glowing, and then it ended." She started to cry, "it ended just as fast as it came. And it killed me, because I know it happens all the time, and I know that Adam and I could have tried again, but I got the feeling he didn't want to. When he came home that day, and found me in bed, he seemed almost relieved, like he hadn't wanted the baby to begin with. That's when it all started, he started working all the time, I stopped writing, and we fell apart. When I finally asked him about trying again, he said that he wasn't sure he even wanted kids." She shook her head. "I have to have kids, Dean, I mean, Adam doesn't get it as much, he's so, well he's so,"

"Protestant?" Dean said filling in the blanks.

"I didn't want to say that." She said. "But yeah, god, did you know I practically became one of them? I went to a service on Christmas and Easter and didn't set foot in a church any other time. I mean, a service, not even mass. I was in a country club with women who planned to have all two of their children by cesarean on planned due dates, because it's easier to get your figure back that way." She laughed at her own idiocy, "I sat and drank tea with them, and planned fundraisers, and put my career and family on hold to fit in to their little world. God, I feel like I'm in confession now."

"I'd give you a pretty easy penance," Dean laughed along with her. "Listen, the church is a decent drive from here, I'll go with you if you want. You know in case lightening strikes your protestant ass down." She laughed and playfully slapped him. "Nah, I'm kidding with you. I always knew deep down you were still the good Catholic girl my mother wanted me to fall in love with."

"I'd like it if you'd come with me," she nodded, "do you go often?"

"Every Sunday," he smiled, "and Holy Days."

"And Holy Days," Julie nodded and then smiled, "I feel like we should call Luis." Dean laughed.

"Come on Cat," he said, putting his arm around her as they walked towards the door, "let's get you some absolution."


Adam walked through the door of his house, it had been two weeks since he had been home. He'd been away on business, and he hated that he hadn't been home that night. She probably thought he hadn't remembered, but he remembered that day more clearly than any other in his life. He had walked in, much like he did now and his wife, his precious Julie, his lovely Cat, was curled up in their bed crying. It had broken his heart to see the strong woman he loved reduced to that. He knew she was probably a wreck now.

"Julie," he shouted, "I'm home." He walked up the stairs. "Jules?" He walked into the bedroom. He saw an envelope sitting on the pillow with his name on it. "Shit." He mumbled as he took the envelope and opened it.

Dearest Adam,

I know this is the wrong way to do this. Actually I don't know that there's a right way to do this. I've been thinking for a long time, almost a year actually. After we lost the baby I felt like I lost you too. I know I lost myself. So that's what I'm doing now, I'm finding Julie again. I can't promise I'll be back, I do promise I'll call you soon. I love you so much, but I just don't know that that's enough any more.

All my love,

Julie

It was about the baby. He knew it had to be about the baby. He never should have said the things he said. He did want kids, he wanted a family. But he had been so afraid, he had been so afraid that it would happen again, that she would feel that joy and then that loss all over again. He couldn't stand to see her that unhappy again. But the more he thought about it, the more he realized even without the added unhappiness of a lost baby, she had still been miserable over the past year. He just ignored it, he buried himself in work. He also knew his wife, there would be two people who most likely knew where she was. He picked up the phone and dialed his mother in laws number. He heard the phone ring twice.

"Hello?" he heard, Jane Gaffney's voice on the other end.

"Jane?" He said, realizing he sounded panicked. "Jane? Is she there?"

"She's on her way Adam." She bit her lip. "She ran into Dean Portman last night. She stayed with him, rather than drive all night. She said she was going to call me when she was leaving."

"Portman? She's at Portman's?" He said barely believing it. He had expected her to go to her mother, to Luis maybe, but not to Portman.

"Well, that's what she said." Jane stated flatly. While she had always liked her son in law, she knew how unhappy her daughter had been over the past year. "Do you remember what today is, Adam?"

"I remember," he sighed, "all too well. Maybe I'll call her cell phone." He said out loud to himself.

"Don't bother," Jane said, "she turned it off. I already tried." Jane sighed. "Just give her time to breathe Adam. Let her come back to you. I'll tell her you called when I talk to her."

"Right, thanks Jane." He said, hanging up the phone. He picked it up again, and almost called Charlie Conway. He needed to talk to his best friend, but suddenly he realized he didn't need the Duck chain spreading this. He hadn't included them in any of his and Julie's problems since they lost the baby. They probably all thought they still had the perfect marriage. Finally he decided he couldn't be alone, so he just swallowed his pride and made the phone call.


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