Spoilers: If you've seen Season 1, you're golden.
Disclaimer: I own nothing
Warnings: none really
Word Count: 1857
Summary: Jax and Wendy immediately following the Season 1 finale. Wendy POV.
Hour by Hour
Jax comes home to her that night -thank god.
He must have come in while she was in the shower. Since the funeral, she's been alone with Abel and spent most of the day sitting in the rocker, holding her son. As the sky grew darker, thoughts of her husband's whereabouts became more persistent until finally even her baby boy wasn't enough to calm her quickly spiraling emotions.
Abel was fast asleep with a full tummy and a clean diaper when she placed him in his crib. She's starting to get the hang of this mom thing. She knows she can't actually hold him all day, everyday, but Wendy has a lot of time to make up for… a lot to make up for in general. She left the tiny lamp on and walked into the bathroom for a shower, hoping the running water would wash away some of the images spinning through her head -Jax and Tara, Jax and Tara.
She's on her way to the bedroom -his, hers, theirs?- in her ratty old pink bathrobe, wet hair twisted into a towel on top of her head, when she spots him. He's standing in front of Abel's crib still in his white t-shirt, dirty now, and jeans from the funeral. She pauses in the doorway of the cornflower blue room. He must have heard her come out of the bathroom, but Jax hasn't acknowledged her and Wendy is hesitant to break the silence. The only sounds are the occasional sighs and whimpers her sleeping boy makes.
"Jax," she says quietly.
His only response is a slight turn of the head in her direction. His right hand disappears into the crib and Wendy decides to give her boys- the ring is still on her finger- a few more minutes alone. She continues on to the bedroom and quietly shuts the door. The robe is discarded to the floor and she pulls on a pair of sweats and one of Jax's t-shirts. After a quick rub of the towel, she pulls her hair into a messy ponytail. She's supposed to be trying to win back her husband, but Wendy just can't be bothered with dolling herself up tonight. It's been a long day and she's just too tired to make the effort.
He's sitting in the rocker in the corner when she makes her reappearance. His head is in his hands, but he straightens when she enters. He looks exhausted, but there's something else. Oh god, where has he been. Something's happened. Something's changed. She doubts she can fix whatever went so wrong, but there are other ways she can help.
"Jax, have you eaten anything lately?" she questions.
He tilts his head back and looks her in the eyes. She can't quite read him at this moment, but she doesn't think that she sees a dismissal. She crosses the room and takes his hand, gently but firmly pulling him up out of the chair.
"Come on baby," she leads him to the bathroom. Still hot and humid from her shower. "Clean up and I'll get you something to eat."
She leaves him there and makes her way to the kitchen. He leaves the bathroom door open and she hears the water start up. The familiar sounds of him moving around in the shower wash over her. She'd like to join him, wash away the dirt and sweat, but that isn't what her husband needs from her right now.
Wendy isn't a cook, and neither is Gemma, but that hasn't stopped her mother-in-law from bringing over casserole dish after casserole dish and Tupperware containers full of food. Her freezer is stocked with packaged, frozen meat and the cupboards are full for once. She pulls out a container full of spaghetti and fixes Jax a plate. The microwave does the rest of the work for her.
She was never much into the domestic side of everyday life. Never bothered to learn to cook, and never cared to clean the house. Her only real talents as a wife were observed in the bedroom. She's resolved to do better this time. Abel deserves a safe, clean home and regular home-cooked meals. Her little boy is only ten weeks old and has already had to fight for his life, all because of her. She's going to spend the rest of hers making it up to him -it'll never be enough.
As she sets the plate on the table she can hear her son crying from his room. She quickly sets out a bottle to warm up and rushes down the hall to get him. It won't hurt him to cry a little. Wendy even read in one of the books that Gemma left that it's good for infants to learn to soothe themselves… Wendy just can't leave her baby crying yet.
The door to their -she hopes- bedroom is closed and she picks up her red-faced little guy soothing his cries. He only really quiets when she gives him the bottle and she places herself in the other kitchen chair to wait for Jax.
Her son is the only thing she can really call hers right now, and even he can be taken from her. Everyday is a struggle for Wendy with the stresses of being a new mom -she's already screwed up so badly- and a divorce looming in front of her.
They stressed in rehab that she can't depend on another person for her sobriety. She has to do it for herself and she has to rely on herself… but she really isn't sure she can do it if she loses Jax. They told her to take it one day at a time… Wendy is looking forward to one day at a time. Right now it's still hour by hour, and sometimes minute to minute -the needle, the rush, the nothingness, oh god, she misses the nothingness.
Jax runs his hand over the top of Abel's head as he passes them. He smells of clean soap and he's wearing sweats and a t-shirt as well. She's glad to see that it looks like he won't be going out again tonight. They sit in a quiet peace. Her eyes mostly on Abel, occasionally darting to her husband. The sounds of his fork scraping the plate and Abel's sucking noises fill the kitchen.
This is what she wants. Her family, the three of them. It causes an ache in her when she thinks of how tenuous the situation is –their mine, their mine, their mine.
"Thanks," he says and gives her a slow smile. He looks better now, resting against the back of the chair with his hands crossed behind his head. It creates a warmth in her that spreads from her core to the tips of her fingers and toes.
"Yeah." Maybe she should say more. Ask him how he's feeling, say something, anything, about the events of the last few days. Wendy doesn't know how to do any of that. She's better with actions.
She stands and hands him the baby, picks up his plate and carries it to the sink.
"I can do that," he tries to protest.
"No, it's okay. I got it."
She pauses for a moment and turns back towards him. He's gazing down at Abel, who's happy and content to be in his daddy's arms.
"He still needs his bath," she offers.
Jax smiles gratefully at her and soon she can hear the sounds of father and son in the bathroom.
She busies herself in the kitchen. Wiping down counters and sweeping the floor. The place is already clean, but she wants to give them some time alone. Occasionally, bits of the one-sided conversation Jax is having with Abel drift through the house to her.
She runs out of things to do and turns off the light over the stove and pads into the living room. She settles herself cross-legged on the couch with only the TV on casting a blue glow to the room. Wendy's never felt more like a wife than she has in the past hour and she can't help but be a little proud. Maybe she'll prove them all wrong. Maybe she is what's best for Abel, best for Jax –please, please, please.
Jax crosses the hallway into their son's room and she gets up to clean up the mess in the bathroom. Her little boy is so small and the baby tub fits with more than enough room in the bathtub, but Jax has still managed to get water all over the floor.
On her way back to the couch she peeks in and Jax has their son cradled in his arms. His head is resting against the soft cushion of the rocker and his eyes are closed. Her arms cross low over her belly and her eyes are watery as thoughts of what she did –it's too soon, he's too early- come unbidden to the forefront of her mind. She has to literally shake her head to make it stop and she shakes out her arms on her way back to the couch.
It's never really going to be over. She's going to be an addict for the rest of her life. It's just a matter of whether or not she's going to be a sober addict. Jax deserves a wife and Abel deserves a mother. They don't need a junkie. She told Jax that it's different this time. They haven't done this dance. She's resolved to keep her word.
Stretching out on the couch, Wendy's unsure of what she's supposed to do now. Is she supposed to sleep in the bed… is Jax? She doesn't even know if he wants to sleep beside her –slender brunettes with too much history.
She's pulled from her musings by Jax, leaning against the doorframe in the hallway.
"So…" he sounds uncertain. It's time for Wendy to be bold… to be his wife.
"Come 'ere Jax," she holds out her hand.
"Just come here."
He walks slowly towards her and she scoots forward. He settles in behind her and after a moment covers them both with the blanket from the back of the couch. Her head rests on one strong arm and the other is wrapped around her waist. She automatically moves a leg between his and the arm around her middle gives a slight squeeze. There's an old western on the TV, but neither of them are paying it any attention.
"Wendy… I don't want…" and Wendy has to stop him before her moment is shattered.
"Jax, just sleep. I know okay. I know." She does. She really does know, but it's all going to be there in the morning. She just wants to give him tonight.
"Thank you," he whispers in her ear. He presses a kiss against her temple and his lips linger against her hair. She squeezes her eyes shut tightly and laces her fingers through the ones on her stomach –please don't go.
This is just one night and he's technically only hers for two more months. This memory though… this is hers forever.