Hello readers!! waves frantically Hokay, so, this is my first NT fic, and it's actually going to be a collection of vignettes following the life of an OC. dodges flying objects Yes, there are a lot of OCs out there, but I figure if you don't like them you wouldn't click on this story to begin with. So, anyway, I won't give too much away, because the plan is seriously for her whole life to be told one moment at a time. My only warning is that some of these may jump around a bit as I think of new things for her to experience. I will give Catt's age within the vignette somewhere, so just keep a heads up for it if you are lost.
Martha Washington Gates leaned against the counter of her home, staring blankly at her hands. She knew that she had to tell them the truth, but the irrational part of her brain told her that there was a second route around the problem. Maybe there was a few months ago, but that route disappeared with Cristian.
"Mattie, what was it you wanted to tell us?" Her father was sitting at the kitchen table, preparing a batch of fresh green beans for dinner. To his right sat her younger brother Ben, his 10th grade math homework spread over the end of the kitchen table, proving to be more of a challenge than he thought it would be. The seat to her father's left was empty, but she knew that her mother was filling it in spirit. Mattie had called her mother earlier that day to explain to her first. While Emily had been appalled at first, she quickly remembered her own experiences, and urged her daughter to explain to the rest of their small family as soon as she could. Well, here they were, and now the young woman was freezing up.
"Come on, Matt, it can't be that bad." Ben rolled his eyes.
"It's pretty bad." She said, taking a deep breathe. "I'm pregnant."
Ben's pencil made two clean 'clacks' on the floor before rolling away. Both of the Gates men had identical looks of shock written on their features as Mattie returned her gaze to her folded hands.
Of course, it shouldn't have been a complete shock. Patrick suspected something when Mattie opted to attend nearby American University rather than her first choice school, Yale. "I could live at home." She explained with a shrug, which made no sense to Patrick at the time, because she always insisted that she would move away. Now, only three weeks after that conversation, it was clear why she changed her mind.
"Like…with a baby?" Ben asked. He knew the answer to that question, but the shock was not allowing him to use the rather extraordinary brain he had inherited. His older sister, just recently a high school graduate, could not possibly be pregnant. Not his Mattie. She wouldn't leave the house to go get some milk without having at lest two back-up plans. How could this happen??
"Yes, with a baby, Ben." She rolled her eyes gently, the ghost of a smile crossing her lips.
"Well, this explains you going to American." Patrick mumbled, more to himself than anything else.
"Dad, I'm so sorry." Mattie said, sitting down in the empty seat. "I didn't mean for it to happen. I just…I wasn't prepared. I didn't expect things to go that way."
"Is Cristian the father?" Patrick asked. Mattie nodded. "Does he know?" She nodded again. "So now we know why he left." Mattie nodded again, tears starting to form in her eyes. Ben spotted this, and abandoned his homework. He began bustling around the kitchen making hot chocolate, as Mattie did for him countless times.
"Mattie, don't worry about it." Ben said over his shoulder as he found the tea kettle. "We can help you with the baby. Right, Dad?"
"If she wants to keep it, then yes, we will help." Patrick said, looking questioningly at his daughter.
"Of course I'm keeping it." Mattie said. "It isn't the baby's fault."
"Then we'll be here for you and the baby." Patrick said softly, handing her the tissue box.
"Thanks." Mattie said softly.
Six Months Later
"Ben!!" Patrick's voice was cutting through the still night air with a sharp note of panic.
"Five more minutes." Ben rolled over, trying to block out the light that flooded into his room from the hallway.
"Mattie doesn't have five more minutes." Patrick said. Been, suddenly very awake, sat straight up, checking the clock. Quarter past eleven. And his niece was on the way.
"Right." Ben said, getting up and pulling on the first clothes he saw. "Evacuation Plan B. Grab the suitcase. Unlock the car. Turn the car on. Turn the heat on." He repeated the important steps to himself as he performed them, eventually settling himself into the backseat of his father's car just moments before Mattie herself climbed in. Ben was expecting to see some more panic from her, but she just closed her eyes and settled back into her seat.
"Are you okay?" Ben asked his sister in hushed voice.
"I'm fine, Ben." Mattie reassured him, an amused smile on her lips. "And you can talk normally. I'm not on my death bed."
"Poor kid doesn't know what he's doing." Patrick said, putting the car in reverse.
"Well Dad, it's not like he has much experience with pregnant ladies." Mattie rolled her eyes.
"Yeah!" Ben piped up lamely. Mattie laughed.
Ten minutes later they pulled into the hospital. Ben began repeating steps again as he lugged in his sister's bag and followed them up to the third floor. There he was directed to the waiting room. It wasn't until four in the morning that Ben finally saw Patrick come out into the waiting room.
"She's all right." Patrick said, noticing that Ben had immediately opened his mouth to ask for an explanation.
"And the baby?" Ben asked.
"Why don't we go see them?" The father suggested. Ben nodded fervently and followed his father through a maze of hallways, finally stopping at a random wooden door. Ben looked at as though it were going to attack him. "It's all right, Ben." His father pushed him forward a bit, and he entered the room to see his sister propped up, look tired but well as she flipped through the hospital information.
"Hey, Uncle Ben." She smiled at him, then motioned to the plastic tub next to her. Ben crept towards it quietly, half expecting to see a lizard in there. Instead, he saw a tightly wrapped pink bundle, out of which poked a chubby little face topped by a head of dark, wild hair. Ben gasped in amazement, though he still wasn't sure why it was amazing. It just…was.
Still keeping an eye on the tiny newborn, he moved to the name card placed on the side of her makeshift crib. "Carrie Chapman Catt Gates. Born: January 9. Sex: female. Weight: 6lb 8oz. Length: 19 inches. Parents: Martha Washington Gates." Ben saw the blank line after his sister's name, and knew that the father's name was supposed to be there. But then again, the father was supposed to be in the room now too.
"So, what do you think, Ben?" Mattie asked.
"She's beautiful." Ben smiled.
Then and there, in that tiny hospital room, he made a promise to the small being in front of him. That second line may be blank, but you will never alone because of it. Ben thought, gently touching the sleeping infant's nose.I promise that I will always be there for you.