"Hey…you sure you don't want me to take you to the doctor?" Matt grimaced painfully as he watched his girlfriend, sitting on his bathroom floor, her head resting against the cold porcelain of the toilette, eyes closed against her misery. This is the same spot she'd been in since four o'clock, though she hadn't woken him; he woke an hour and a half later to the sounds of her painful retching.
Emily lamely rocked her head back and forth along the curved ridge of the toilet, to exhausted and sick to do anything else. She didn't want to go to the doctor, she wanted to stop vomiting long enough to fall asleep, even if it was on the hard tiled floor. Doctors can't do anything for the stomach virus anyway, even if it was the mega-bug from hell.
Matt knelt down beside her, putting his face close to hers, even though her breath was laced with digested food and stomach acid. She looked terrible. He checked his watch, noting that he still had forty-five minutes for the twenty-minute trip to work. He sat beside her, and pulled her close to him, letting his rest her head on his chest, a much more comfortable spot than the toilet.
It felt so good to be in his arms, Emily wished he didn't have to go to work. She was feeling very needy, not something she was accustomed to, though she tended to be a little emotional when she was sick, this was something else. She wanted to sit there with Matt forever, enjoying the comfort and security of his arms, but she couldn't he had work. Or at least, that was what she told herself before her eyes started fluttering shut, and sleep finally came to her again.
Matt sighed and stroked her hair, hoping she'd get a little respite from her illness, in a nice restful sleep. He kissed the top of her head, and slowly rose from the floor, maneuvering her into his arms. Thank god she didn't wake up, though that in itself was a testament to how sick she was. Onto the bed, he pulled the covers over her, placed her kiss on her cheek, and made sure her cell phone was in reach of the bed. He was about to leave when he had seconds thoughts, and grabbed the garbage can from the bathroom, and set it beside the bed, near her head, just in case.
He returned to his apartment later that evening to find Emily looking much better than when he'd left, at least as far as her complexion and energy level. She still looked very unhappy about something. He sat down next to her on the couch, handing her the small bouquet he'd gotten for her on his way home.
Emily smiled at the flowers, and crawled closer to him, so she was practically in his lap, and rested her head against his chest, as she had that morning. She'd started feeling better in the early afternoon, and was struck with an epiphany, one that could change everything between them. Instead of announcing it right then, like she promised herself she would, she settled for cuddling next to him, in the last simple embrace they might have.
"How are you feeling?" Matt turned his head awkwardly to look at her, worrying that she still seemed so lethargic and, almost depressed.
"Better, thanks." She offered nothing else, and silently berated herself for being a coward.
"Really, you don't seem very happy about it?"
"I think I'm pregnant." Well, she hadn't exactly meant to blurt it out like that, but there it was.
Matt's eyes flew so wide open, he was afraid they'd pop out of his head, and he sat up straighter, staring at her. Emily leaned back from him, shock worn off long ago for her, and now replaced with sad resignation. She didn't want this, they weren't ready for it, but even without a test, she was pretty sure it was here.
"I…I…I…jesus, I don't know what to say. Have you taken one of those tests?" Tact wasn't something he was capable in his current state of shock.
She tossed a bag on the table. "Not yet, but I did go down the street earlier and get one." She got points for that, right?
"Uh, so maybe we should do that?" Man, he was having flashbacks to senior year with Mallory crying hysterically in her bedroom, while he sat by dumbly, without a clue.
"Us? You want to pee on the stick too?" Whether it was sarcasm or teasing, it didn't matter, it broken the sudden tension enough for both to smile, just a bit.
"Well, no. You know what I mean. I'll wait out here, while you…take care of that." He waved at the stick, not quite sure how to call that what it was, and not seem tactless.
Emily allowed herself to smirk at his awkwardness. "Right, I'll do that."
Less than five minutes later she was out of the bathroom, and they were both trying to ignore the test while they waited. And they waited, and waited some more, and kept waiting for had to be the longest five minutes of either of their lives.
"It's time." Matt struggled to swallow the lump in his throat. He loved Emily, and someday, maybe a baby would make them happy, but not today. He was more than happy with the way things were, and wanted them to stay that way for a while longer.
"Plus sign, I think that means pregnant." Emily said calmly.
"Oh yeah it does." He'd seen that once before.
"So now we know…"
"Yep, now we know…"
"Well, that's good right…to know…?" It sounded pathetic even as he said it, and they both quickly decided silence was better. At least it was for a few minutes, then Emily just couldn't take it any longer.
"Oh my god Matt, what the hell do we do now?" Emily knew the only person farther from mother material than her, was her sister; Ally would screw a kid up a lot faster, and much more thoroughly that she ever could.
"Uh, pick out baby names?" He suggested dumbly. The last time he was faced with that question, his parents and her parents had much more control over the outcome than either of them had.
"Seriously, that's the best you've got?" She looked at him skeptically.
He shrugged, completely bewildered. "What's your suggestion?"
"I should call my doctor."
"Definitely. We have to tell Cheryl."
"You know, she might just kill us." Their supervisor was not going to be pleased that their dating thing got them into big trouble.
"She'll get over it…damn, she's going to give us new partners."
"Better than her killing us."
Matt suddenly grinned conspiratorially. "You know, there is nothing in the FBI rule book that says you can't have a baby with your partner."
Emily just rolled her eyes at him.
"Emily, good to see you're feeling better," Cheryl greeted as they walked into the CNU. Emily had a stash of saltines in her purse, and had eaten several for breakfast; so far, so good.
"Thanks. Uh, do you have a minute, we need to talk to you." It was now or never, right?
"Sure…is everything okay?" She looked back and forth between them, suddenly worried.
"Peachy," Matt answered with a childish fake grin, causing Cheryl to sigh, and turn around, leading the way to her office.
"So, what's up?" She asked after they'd all taken seats in the increasingly familiar office.
"Well, we—" Emily suddenly paused, tried to swallow the need to vomit unsuccessfully. "Excuse me, I need to—" she gestured with her hand, and ran out of the office for the bathroom.
Cheryl watched Matt turn his gaze from Emily, to his feet, staring at his shoelaces. Suddenly everything began to add up for Cheryl, puking and a need to meet with her could only mean one thing.
"Oh my god, tell me you didn't." She said loudly, startling Matt, who stared at her in confusion.
"Please, please tell me you didn't get your partner pregnant, Matt."
Matt grimaced, "you know, it doesn't specifically say anywhere in the FBI handbook that you can't have a baby with your partner?"
"Matt!" He cringed just as Emily came back in the door, and looked from him to Cheryl's very unhappy face.
"So you told her?"
"No, I guessed. How did this happen?"
Emily looked at her confused. "Uh, do you want the biology of it?"
"No. What I mean is, aren't you both familiar with various forms of contraception?" She struggled to be patient with them, but she would be on the phone for the rest of the day now, trying to explain this wonderfully blessing, and why the hell it occurred between the Bureau's star partnership.
"Um Cheryl, not a single thing they've come up with is 100 percent effective, so you know, we are that lucky one percent." Emily felt like a sixteen year-old getting scolded by the school nurse.
Cheryl shook her head, this was going to create one hell of a headache. "Can I just ask you two one last thing?"
They looked at each other and shrugged, could it really get worse?
"You are both very attractive, intelligent people, with good jobs, and prestige within your careers, basically what I'm saying is that you can have anybody, so why would you both choose the one person you shouldn't have?"
Once again, the couple exchanged looks, as if hoping the other would be able to supply that answer. Neither could, and so they simply turned back to look at Cheryl, clearly at a loss.
Outside her door, Matt grabbed Emily, and ducked into an empty workroom, something on his mind that he desperately needed to say. Cheryl's last question had triggered something in his mind, something that caused him to make an important decision. The intensity burning in his eyes surprised her, and excited her at the same time, so she sat compliantly, curious to what this was about.
"I want to marry you." He spoke quietly, hopefully so only she could hear.
"I want to marry you." She blinked, and then held up a hand.
"Oh no, we aren't doing this. This isn't the fifties, you don't have to marry me because you got me pregnant, and damn it Matt, I don't want you to." She was not pleased with his proposal, not at all.
"You didn't listen Em, I want to marry you. I'm not going to lie and say the baby has nothing to do with it, but it's not why I'm proposing." He held her hands in his, his eyes never wavering from hers.
"Really, so you're saying you would have proposed without the baby?" She looked dubious, she didn't want this, a marriage because of a baby, she wanted it because of love.
"I don't know, but damn it, I love you. And, you're having my baby, I want people to know it's not just a stupid accident. I want them to know the night we made this baby, I held you in my arms, and hoped to god, we'd last forever. Please, say you'll marry me." He watched her eyes soften, but there was still a fear in them, one he recognized. Her fear of allowing people close, but she hadn't bolted, he considered that progress.
"At least let me put a ring on your finger, we don't need to get married right away, it can be a long engagement. We can take out time." He really just wanted people to know that they weren't just fooling around, and the baby wasn't a mistake.
She bit her lip, her eyes welling up, and wrapped her arms around his neck. Sometimes it stunned her how well Matt knew her, knew her fears, her weaknesses, and didn't fault her for them.
"Yes...yes I will marry you one day." Surprising, saying that didn't really scare her.
By the end of the week, everyone in the building knew Emily was pregnant, and the news received mixed responses. There was lots of shock, excited squealing from Lia, and a few other women, endless teasing from the many of the guys on the potency of Matt's little swimmers, some heartfelt congratulations from casual acquaintances, and then there were the people who looked down their noses at the idea. These people were largely ignored.
Within six weeks of their discovery, Matt had gotten Emily to pick a ring, and a chain to wear it on when the pregnancy made her fingers swell. That created a whole new stir at work, with the same mixed responses, including a good deal more squealing from Lia. Matt also had a new partner by then, and Emily, much to her dismay, was confined to a desk or her classroom. It was very hard for her to see someone else sitting and working beside Matt, but on the bright side, she was able to start a few more regular classes.
Emily, with the exception of puking every morning, right before dawn, felt fine, and looked no different toward the end of her third month. It was hard for either to imagine that she'd already gotten through the bulk of her first trimester. And today, she walked back and forth across her classroom with just as much energy as she'd ever had. She'd always been a big fan of the Socratic method, feeling people learned better when they had to think and teach themselves to a certain extend.
She nodded along as a young female agent explained how she'd handle the hypothetical high risk suicide she'd posed. A 35 year-old man, beautiful wife, two young children, brand new luxury cars, big house, etc, had been caught embezzling from his partners, and was facing long jail time. His solution was to hop up on the roof of his building, which was always deserted, and put a gun in his mouth.
"So, I think he would respond positively to the idea of his children having to live with his suicide, and viewing him as a coward." She watched her instructed with eager, but young, inexperienced eyes.
"Okay, but what if that just upsets him further. He tells you his kids are going to be ashamed of him, and hate him either way, he takes the safety off. What's your next move?" She paused near the young student.
"Um, I would tell him if he lives, there is always a chance for redemption, but if he kills himself, they'll never forgive him."
"I like that, keep that idea of redemption in his head. Anybody know why I like that?" She surveyed the class, and nodded to a young man with his hand raised.
"Because right now he's hopeless, if you remind him that eventually he can be redeemed, you give him hope, and if he has hope, he won't want to kill himself."
"Theoretically—" she paused, resting a hand on her abdomen, suppressing a cramp. "Theoretically yes, that should—" Another cramp, more painful than the last. She leaned against her podium, head down, eyes squeezed shut, but the pain didn't go away, it got worse.
"Agent Lehman, are you okay?" Gabby, a female agent in her forties asked.
"Yeah, I'm—owwhhh," she moaned, collapsing on the ground, breathing hard, pain ripping through her abdomen.
"Shit, someone call 911, tell them she's pregnant, and just collapsed, could be having complications!" Gabby shouted at them, running down to Emily. She had four kids, if there was one thing she knew, it was pregnancy.
Emily was curled in the fetal position clutching her abdomen, moaning and whimpering in agony, not yet noticing the blood soaking her jeans.
"Oh god, tell them she might be miscarrying!" Gabby shouted, kneeling down next to Emily. "And, someone call Lia Mathers, and get her ass over here!" Lia could contact Cheryl and Matt, and if Emily really was loosing her baby, she'd need a friend.
"Emily, you're going to be fine. We're calling an ambulance, and Matt, just keep breathing." She promised this, even as tears streaked down the negotiators face, twisted in pain, and blood just rushed out of her.
Lia walked out of the hospital room, thoroughly exhausted from worry and the struggle to get Emily to talk. Her friend was curled on her side, morphine, blood, saline, and antibiotics dripping into her, refusing to open her mouth or even look at anyone. Lia looked up to finally see a frantic Matt and Cheryl rushing down the hospital hallway. Not far behind them Frank and Duff followed.
"Lia, what happened, Emily, is she alright, the baby?" Matt was breathing heavily, and speaking very fast, fear radiating from his eyes.
"Emily's fine…but Matt, I'm so sorry, the baby…" Her eyes welled up for her friends loss, and she couldn't finish.
"Oh god no." His fingers dug into his hair, his eyes wide as he tried to comprehend. "I need to see her."
"She's in there, it's a private room, but she won't saying anything."
"What?" Cheryl asked alarmed.
"She won't talk to the me, she won't talk to the doctors or nurses either." These same doctors and nurses said this wasn't unusual, but Lia was still very worried. Matt let his hands dropped tiredly, and slowly opened the door to the room, disappearing inside.
Emily's back was to the door, everything except her head covered by blankets, tubes coming out from underneath. He walked around the bed, and sat on the chair beside the bed. Emily flicked her eyes away, and continued staring off into space with dull, lifeless orbs. Matt surveyed their surroundings, and noticed a familiar silver band resting on the stand by the bed. He picked it up, and turned to her, running a hand over her cheek.
"Did they need you to take this off?"
She shook her head, not speaking.
"Then we should put it back on, don't you think?"
She shook her head again, burrowing further underneath the covers.
"Talk to me Emily, please. I need to hear your voice right now," he begged, tears already forming in his eyes.
She poked her head out of the blankets, eyes red, rivers running down her cheeks, and finally, she whispered. "I'm sorry."
"It's not your fault, I don't blame you, and neither should you. There was nothing we could have done."
"No, it is. Junkies, little teenagers, other women carry babies, but…but I lost our baby." She whipped angrily at her tears, but they just continued to pour out.
"Don't do that Em, you can't blame yourself for this, any more than I can blame myself." He grabbed one of her hands, and held it delicately between his.
"It's different Matt, I was supposed to protect it and nourish it, and I didn't."
"And I was supposed to protect you, and care for you, and I didn't do a very good job did I?" It was true, he should have made her work less, made her eat less greasy take out, put more fruits and vegetables in his apartment (which she'd moved into). And, damn it, he should have been there to hold her when the worst happened.
"Not true, you've been great," she whispered, resting her hand on his face.
"Sure it is, I didn't take care of her either." She knew the her he was referring to, his high school girlfriend, who miscarried their child.
"Did it--" Emily gagged on her tears. "Did it hurt this much, then?"
"No, we didn't want the baby, and I wasn't in love with her." He was ashamed to admit it under the circumstances, but truth was, it was the best thing that could have happened to them. "It hurts so much more now, wanting our baby, and seeing it hurt you so badly."
"I'm so sorry I couldn't do it, Matt." She wept harder, her body jolting with the force.
"We couldn't do it, Em. We. I'm sorry too…I love you." He leaned over and kissed her.
"I love you too," she whispered back. He held up the ring to her, and she gave him her hand, accepting his proposal again. They shared a tear filled kiss, and then Emily scooted over in the bed, adjusting her tubes and wires, so he could climb on. He slid on carefully, so as not to jolt her, and wrapped his arms around her, pulling her close. She burrowed into his chest, wrapping an around his chest, and he draped one leg over her, sealing them together.
Twenty minutes later, Cheryl peeped her head in, relieved to find them cuddled together and seemingly peaceful. She closed the door quietly, ushering her companions out, allowing their friends all the time they'd need to deal with their loss. Tomorrow they would be back to check on them, and offer their sympathies. Tonight, they needed to be with the only other person who could really understand what they were feeling.
Sorry, another sad story, but the next one is happy and humorous!