The Real Deal (18)

A/N: Sorry that this took so long and is pretty craptastic. I promise to try to get the next chapter up really soon and make it much better for you guys!

~Lex


"How's our patient doing today?" Dr. Xavier asked walking into Harley's room. It was the same scene he had witnessed the last three days, Harley lying as still as a board in bed with Laurel sitting on the tiny chair near the window, sleeping herself and Mark sitting right beside the bed holding Harley's hand in his as he talked to her quietly, willing her to open her eyes.

"She squeezed my hand again, and I thought she said something earlier, but Laurel told me that I was imagining it," Mark said with a small smile.

Dr. Xavier could see that Mark was exhausted but didn't bother to suggest Mark go and get some much needed rest. He had learned from experience that trying to make the man leave Harley's side was a waste of time.

"Have you noticed any change in her facial expressions? Has she looked to be in pain at all?" Dr. Xavier asked as he checked both Harley and the baby's stats.

"No. Why? Is something wrong?"

"She's dilated a few more centimeters and she seems to be having contractions, again," Dr. Xavier said as he continued his examination.

"Can you give her more of the medicine to slow them down like you did before?"

"No, it's best to just let her continue to progress and when the time comes we will deliver the baby," Dr. Xavier replied.

"But it's too soon! She is barely seven months! Isn't that dangerous to deliver this early?" Laurel asked sitting up in her chair.

"While it is true that if the baby comes any time in the near future they will be a preemie; it is also true that modern medicine is on our side to make sure that the baby is still able to live a full healthy life."

"But Dr. Xavier…" Laurel started but was cut off by the doc.

"I know that this isn't what you want to hear, but at this point more medicine isn't an option. We have to allow Harley's body to do what it would do naturally in order to make sure that she herself doesn't have any adverse reactions while in her coma. I know that this is a hard pill to swallow but all I can do is ask you to trust me to know that this is the right form of treatment at this time," Dr. Xavier said.

"Thanks Doc, we know you are doing all you can for our girl," Mark said.

"I'll be back to check on her in a while, but if anything changes before I get back call her nurse and she'll let me know," Dr. Xavier said as he walked towards the door.

"Will do doc, will do." Mark said as the doctor left the room.

"I don't like the fact that they can't do anything to stop those damned contractions!" Laurel said once she and Mark were alone in the room.

"I don't either, but I trust the doc. If he says he's had success in these situations then I have faith that he will bring our baby into this world with very little difficulty," Mark said as he placed his hand on Harley's belly.

"I want to believe that too but it's hard ya know? You always hear about all the troubles preemies go through and I don't want that for you or Harley and I especially don't want that for your baby," Laurel said near tears, "I just…I just wish none of this was happening!"

"Hey now don't think like that, Harley is going to be fine, that baby is going to be fine and I am going to be fine, believe me. Harley is going to wake up and she is going to deliver a beautiful baby and I will make her listen to me and we will be a family, ok?" Mark said standing and pulling Laurel into a hug.

"All right," Laurel said as she hugged Mark tight, "But if you're wrong you're going to be lying in a bed right next to Harley's." Laurel said and Mark could feel her smile on his chest.

"You're exhausted, why don't you go on over to Harley's and take a hot bath and have a nap." Mark suggested.

"I'm not leaving her." Laurel said pulling away from Mark and looking up at him.

"I will be here and if anything happens I'll call, but you need rest you are pretty much out on your feet and let's face it; you wouldn't be any good to Harley if she woke up right now, so go on get out of here. Besides it'll give her a chance to call Shawn and let him know what's going on," Mark said sternly.

"Shawn probably is worried; I haven't called in two days. Fine, I'll go back to Harley's but if anything changes…"

"You'll be the first to know sweetheart," Mark said kissing Laurel on the forehead before turning her towards the door and giving her a playful shove.

When Laurel was gone Mark reclaimed his seat next to Harley's bed.

"Hey there Darlin', you know its ok for you to open those beautiful eyes of yours, right? Or show me that gorgeous smile of yours maybe. Hell at this point I'll even take another hand squeeze, I just need to know that you can hear me, that you know I'm here and that I'm not going anywhere until you can go with me. I love you, Harley Davidson Cooper-Calaway, okay so the Calaway isn't official yet, but as soon as you're well we are getting hitched and I won't take "no" for an answer." Mark said just as the nurse walked in.

"How's our girl doing today?" The nurse, who's ID card read Ann-Marie, asked Mark with a smile as she checked on Harley's IV.

"She's having contractions again, but doc is hopeful that when the time comes everything will be ok," Mark answered.

"Well if anyone knows what they are dealing with its Doctor X, he's the best. Harley is in good hands," Ann-Marie told Mark.

"That's what I keep hearing. Let me ask you this, the doc said that he couldn't give her any more of the meds to stop her contractions, but they are a good ways apart so how much longer do you think it will be before she is in full blown labor?"

"I know that labor is different for every woman, but my sister started having contractions at thirty weeks and had them for three days before her water broke and even still after that it was another seventeen hours before she delivered my nephew. He was a little over four pounds and spent five weeks in the NICU, but now, almost five years later, he is a big strong healthy little boy, so don't let her only being seven months scare you, okay? They will both be fine," Ann-Marie said as she finished her check of Harley's IV and medications.

"Thanks, that definitely makes me feel better about things. I did a little reading on baby's being born at twenty-eight weeks and some of the stories were a little disheartening to say the least," Mark said.

"I know what you mean but remember no two stories are the same and I for one believe that Harley is going to do great when the time comes, whether she is awake or not," Ann-Marie said as she headed for the exit, she stopped just as she reached the door, turned and said, "I don't know if you're a Praying kind of guy Mr. Calaway, but even if you're not I think now would be a good time to start," she said before walking out of the room.


Laurel had taken a hot shower and a short, much needed nap once she arrived at Harley's. She had wandered around the apartment trying to imagine how Harley spent her days when she was her. She realized almost immediately that the place was completely bare of pictures and paintings except for one that Harley must have printed off of her phone. It was of the four of them and they were happy. Laurel sat on the end of the Harley's bed and let the tears fall. She couldn't help her best friend and it hurt her deeply to know that there was a chance that something could go wrong during the birth of her baby. Laurel thought back to all the times when she and Harley discussed children and how Harley was adamant about not wanting to be a mother out of fear that she would turn out her Havilland. Laurel reassured her that she would never be like her mother because she, unlike good old Hav, had a heart. "Dear God, please make sure that they are both okay," Laurel prayed as she continued to cry for her friend and her unborn child.

After her crying jag Laurel pulled herself together and went into Harley's kitchen. She hadn't eaten a decent meal in three days and her stomach was beginning to protest. She found everything she needed to make a chicken pot pie and got to work putting it together and ready for the oven. Once that was done she pulled out her cell and called Shawn.

"Hey good-looking, I was wondering when I would hear from you. How's Harley? How's Mark?" Shawn asked.

"Harley has started having contractions again and Doctor Xavier won't give her the meds she needs to stop them, so I think our little bundle of Joy is going to be here way sooner than expected. As for Mark, well you know him, he keeps saying that he is okay but I can tell he is hurting something awful," Laurel explained.

"I can't even imagine what he's going through," Shawn said with a sigh, "how are you hanging in there?"

"Well I just got done having a twenty minute crying fit if that gives you any idea," Laurel said with a strained laugh.

"Oh honey, I'm sorry I'm not there for you."

"It's okay, I will be fine."

"It's not okay, you need me and I am on my way."

"You don't have to come, Shawn, I really will be fine," Laurel said in protest.

"Give it a rest doll face I will be there in the morning, I was planning on coming this weekend but I'll just make my trip sooner rather than later besides there is someone hanging around that wants to see Mark anyway," Shawn told Laurel.

"Who?" Laurel asked suspiciously.

"Another old wrestling buddy, Glen Jacobs, he and Mark are basically brothers. He flew in to see Mark but when he couldn't get a hold of him he came over and I filled him in on everything. I'm sure he would want to come and see Mark before he had to get back on the road."

"Oh well then I can't wait to see you and meet your friend," Laurel replied.

"Hey, don't tell Mark that we're coming. I'm sure Glen would want it to be a surprise, maybe even cheer him up a little but although that's not likely to happen it's worth a shot," Shawn said.

"I won't say a word. I'll see you when you get here, babe. I love you."

"I love you too sweetheart, you and Mark stay strong everything is going to be alright. See you tomorrow," Shawn said before disconnecting the call.

Laurel checked on the pot pie before picking her phone back up off of the night stand. She wasn't sure if she should make this call or not but she figured that no matter how horrible of a person Havilland was, she was still Harley's mother and had the right to know what was going on. Laurel called three times just to be sent straight to voicemail, "Damn you, Havilland, answer the bloody phone!" Laurel was about to hang up before she got the voicemail again when she heard someone pick-up.

"Hello?"

"Havilland Cooper? I don't know if you remember me, this is Laurel, Harley's friend," Laurel said and then waited for her to respond.

"Yes, why are you calling?"

"Well I thought you should know that Harley was attacked a few days ago," Laurel started.

"Attacked! What do you mean attacked?"

"She was knocked unconscious in an attempted robbery. She's in a coma," Laurel said as her eyes once again filled with tears at just speaking of the terrible tragedy.

"Oh my, what do her doctors say?"

"They don't really know much right now, but I thought that you and your family would like to know that she and the," Laurel was cut off once again and the words that came next churned her stomach.

"Well there's no need for me to come running down there for nothing now is there? Not like I can do anything for her if she doesn't even know I'm there, if she wakes up tell her that I hope she feels better, if that's all you were calling for then I really do have to run I'm on my way to a massage appointment," Havilland said before hanging up the phone.

"What a heartless bitch!" Laurel said angrily as she placed her cell phone in her pocket. As Laurel went and took the pot pie out of the oven the conversation with Havilland replayed in her mind. She realized that she had said "if" Harley wakes up and not "when" Harley wakes up and she couldn't figure out how someone could treat their own child that way. Laurel was glad that she never got the chance to let Havilland know about the baby because she sure as hell didn't deserve to know.

After regaining her composure Laurel packed up some of the pot pie along with two canned sodas and some Oreo's that she found in Harley's pantry and headed back to the hospital. She had to tell Mark about her conversation with Havilland and of course to make sure that Harley's condition hadn't gotten any worse.