Pairing: Maureen/Joanne. Past Mark/ Maureen
Summary: April 7th is an important day to Maureen. Joanne finally finds out why.
A/N: Thanks to for betaing.
Joanne never thought to ask why Maureen lit the pink tapered candle, a present from Mark, only on April 7th every year.
All she knew about April 7th was that Maureen vanished for hours and then refused to discuss where she had been.
After these disappearances, Maureen always seemed exhausted and depressed. Joanne didn't want to pry, especially when her lover seemed so upset.
Finally, eight years into their relationship, she got the nerve to ask.
"Maureen?" she murmured, the words heavy on her tongue. "What is so important about April 7th?" Suddenly, she realized pain was seeping into her hazel eyes. Had it been something she'd said?
"Norah…Norah Juliet." Maureen muttered, seemingly staring off. "Norah Juliet Cohen-Johnson…our Bright One…Our Precious Girl." Tears began to slowly slide down her cheeks.
Joanne was stunned. She hadn't seen Maureen cry like that in years, not since they had buried Collins. Then, a greater realization hit her.
Maureen had a child? Why had Joanne never met her? Where was she? Why was this a big secret? Why had Maureen never told her?
"Come with me tomorrow," Maureen sounded blank, almost robotic. "I can't explain tonight. Just trust me. You'll see"
Joanne woke up at four the next morning. She wasn't surprised to see Maureen was already up. On April 7th, Maureen was up at three-thirty, preparing to light her candle at exactly four nineteen.
Moving into the kitchen, she began preparing a light breakfast. Tea and toast…nothing fancy, but enough to satisfy them. Who knew how long they would be gone?
Sitting in quiet meditation, she watched Maureen write in the pink notebook, only used on this specific day. Sipping her tea, she still struggled to grasp Maureen's revelation.
"Thanks," Maureen murmured, picking up the chipped mug. "You're not mad at me are you?"
"Why would I be mad?" Joanne asked, taking a bite of toast. She noticed that for the first time, she wasn't nauseous. Maybe now she could keep something down. Why hadn't she guessed tea and toast?
"I don't know," Maureen murmured. "How's little Juniper treating you?" She gently placed her hand on Joanne's stomach.
"Not giving me nausea." She said. "We do need to discuss names…" Her voice trailed off.
"Ready?" Maureen asked, setting her mug in the sink. "We have a bit of a trip ahead of us."
Joanne nodded, watching the candle being extinguished. Her eyes followed the drop of wax slowly moving the stem.
"Do you want to hear about Norah?" Maureen asked, setting the candle above the mantle. Joanne nodded. "I need Mark to tell you verbally. It's part of our agreement, but start with Her Book," She handed Joanne the pink notebook. As the book changed hands, Joanne couldn't help but a notice of hopeful pain cross Maureen's telling eyes.