Part 1

Oh good, he's asleep. If he stays that way then I won't have to deal with him at all. Just drop this off and walk away from everything.

No, not walk, run. Run as far and fast as I can. Just get away, Janice. From this marriage... this life ... wasn't what I wanted out of my adult life. Wasn't...

It took Matt a while to realize that the words cutting through the pain-killer-induced fog which seemed to surround him these days weren't being spoken aloud, but rather, being thought

... how I expected my life to turn out. And now there's a baby and ...

... should just tell him that the baby isn't his. Then he won't fight me over this.

by a rather emotionally incoherent Janice. His wife, although the words she was thinking so strongly that they cut through the clouds in his brain also cut straight through his heart the more he listened to them.

... Nurse said he was pretty much of it. Maybe if he wakes up now, I can get him to sign these damned papers and I can get on with my life.

At this, Matt winced internally. At least, he thought it was internally, but a second later, he heard Janice's voice, this time out loud and accompanied by her hand on his forehead. Gentle, like a mother soothing her child after a long illness or a bad dream.

"Matt, baby..." she cooed. "Can you hear me? It's me, Janice. I'm here now, I'm here."

From outside the door, Matt could hear Dr. Suresh speaking to one of the nurses, who politely told him that 'Mrs. Parkman is in with him now Mr. Suresh, but you and the little girl are welcome to wait as long as you like.' Next, he heard Dr. Suresh ask Molly if she wanted lunch from the cafeteria or 'that horrid fast food place you like so much?' Molly squealed something excited and incoherent, but now Matt couldn't hear what it was because they had moved away from the door.

"McDonald's," he mumbled, making these his first waking words instead of a reply to Janice. Slowly, he opened his eyes.

"What is it?" Janice cooed again, and by now, Matt was starting to wonder if she wasn't laying it on thick because nurses' station was right outside his room and all the nurses probably knew this was her first visit since he had been brought in. "You want McDonalds food?"

Matt shook his head, though it felt more like awkward flopping about than a controlled movement.

Damn meds, anyway. He hated being drugged. It reminded him too much of being taken by Bennett and held against his will, of being helpless one more time in his life. And here he was, stuck in this hospital bed while his wife cooed and fawned over him in a way she never had in their day-to-day lives and he was pretty sure that, when he factored in her thoughts, meant she wanted a divorce.

"Not me," he said, his voice still sounding sleep. "Molly. The girl outside, just now. She likes Happy Meals and Dr. Suresh can't stand the place." Matt would bet anything that he took her, anyway.

"And these are people you know?" Janice asked, her eyes narrowing a little as she watched him.

"Sort of." Not until he had wound up in this hospital bed while trying to save Molly... and the world along with her. But Matt didn't say any thing like that to Janice because she was frowning now and he knew what that frown meant.

Janice was done being Ms. Nice Guy... er, Gal.

Well, it's nice to know that he's been off making friends... sort of... while I've been left to clean up the mess he made of our lives ... while I'm nearly five months pregnant now, too.

Ouch, okay that one hurt a lot and Matt could almost swear he felt the vitriol she flung at him as well as the actual words she didn't.

"I can still hear you, you know," he said, sounding cranky even in his own ears.

"I thought we agreed you wouldn't do that to me," she accused. "You've been spying on my thoughts this whole time, haven't you? Haven't you?"

"No! No! Not on purpose, anyway. I don't think I can help it, right now. The stuff they've got me on... it muddles my mind."

Janice crossed her arms, folding them across her chest with an annoyed frown. "Why should I believe that? You've done it before."

"Not since you asked me not to," Matt told her tiredly. "I can't control it right now, though, whether you want to believe me or not."

"Then you should know why I'm here," she said, ignoring the rest in a haughty way Matt had always disliked about his wife but had often overlooked because he loved her.

"You want a divorce." The words were whispered as if Matt thought saying them softly would take away their power or meaning.

"All you have to do is sign," she said, pulling the papers out of her handbag and placing them on his bed.

"Just like that? What if I don't want to? What if I don't want to give up on us, Janice?"

"There is no 'us' anymore, Matthew. There hasn't been for a while now. You're just too stupid to notice it. Or maybe you just don't want to. I don't know, but I'm tired of pretending to be happy when I'm not. And I'm sick of all this reading minds bullshit and everything that has come with it. I want a normal life, and that's something you cannot give me."

Matt didn't say anything. He couldn't say anything at all, in fact. He did pick up the papers, though, skimming over them and wishing not for the last time that his brain wasn't so muddled. The legalese was confusing enough without having to filter it through the Jello between his ears.

"Just sign the damn papers, Matthew!" Janice yelled at him.

"Is that really what you want?" he asked, resigning himself to the fact that he had no choice here. They were married in California, and by California law, if Janice wanted this divorce, he had to give it to her.


It was that simple to rip his heart out and destroy their lives. Matt didn't have the strength or the energy to argue with her right now. Or try to convince her to give their marriage another shot. And after what he'd heard in her mind a few minutes ago, he wasn't sure if he even really wanted to. But this... he had never wanted his marriage to fail. And he would never have walked out on his wife if the tables were turned and she was in the hospital.

Defeated, he took the pen she held out to him and scrawled what looked like his name on the bottom on the papers. Shoving them back in her general direction, he rolled as best he could onto one side and glared out the window, not looking back when she walked out of room without so much as a thank you or a good-bye.

"Good-bye, Janice," he muttered as he shut his eyes and tried to shut out the pain of losing another family before it had the chance to begin.