Things You Need to Know:
Emily didn't have the abortion. I was writing something for Out Living My Life today, and it hit me out of thin air... what if Emily hadn't had the abortion and had a baby when she was fifteen? And this is how it started.
So, this is AU. Not quite as AU as I've written in the past, but AU nonetheless. Please hit the little button after you've read this and let me know what you think? I'd appreciate it huge.
BONUS PROMPT: Surprise (Buffy)
She looked down at the little stick in her hand in surprise, awe and blatant terrible fear. The answer was there, plain as day. She felt tears swell in her eyes as she felt Matthew wrap what was meant to be a comforting arm around her shoulders.
What was she supposed to do?
"Well, Em, you have to make a decision," Matthew replied seriously.
She hadn't realized she'd said the words aloud. She drew in a deep breath, letting it out in a slow exhale, trying to keep herself from bursting into hysterics. She was pregnant. She had a decision to make. God, she didn't know what to do! "I don't know."
Matthew's hand rubbed her shoulder, trying to give her strength and comfort. "What does your heart say, Em?"
Her heart told her to keep the baby. Her heart told her that there would be nothing more precious in her life than a child. But her head… Her head was her dominant in these kind of debates. Her head told her that her parents would be disappointed. Her head told her she'd be letting them down, and her head told her that it would be a disgrace. "But what about my parents?"
He cupped her chin in his hand, turning her to face him. "Screw your parents. This isn't about them. This is about you and about what you feel is right and about what you want. Your parents… they should love you regardless. Parental love isn't conditional."
She'd always felt like it was. She needed to be the perfect daughter for her parents. She needed to put on the perfect image for her parents.
"Emily, stop it. What do you want?"
She took a deep breath, trying to push back everything but her own feelings. It was difficult. Compartmentalizing was her life and she preferred to look at everything in a rational light. She was fifteen! But that didn't stop what her heart was feeling. "I want this baby."
"Then have the baby."
She looked up at him with teary eyes. "I can't do this alone," she whispered.
"You won't be alone," Matthew replied with a conviction she had no choice but to believe. "If John isn't going to be there, I will. That's a promise."
He'd never broken a promise to her before. Ever. She took a deep breath, a very deep breath, looking over to him. The look in his eyes made her feel like everything was going to be okay. She needed everything to be okay. "Okay."
Emily looked down at the little bundle of pink wrapped in her arms. She'd done it. She'd actually done it. She'd given birth to a healthy baby girl. Her heart was swollen with emotions and she knew she looked like hell, but Matthew stood beside her, a wide grin on his face as he looked down at them both.
He'd been right. Her parents had been surprised, shocked, and yes, disappointed. It had taken them a few months to come to terms with the fact that their teenaged daughter was going to have a baby. But somehow, someway, they'd managed to accept it. Her father had been the first to come around, and he'd been the one to make all of the arrangements to get her back to the States. It was time the Prentiss family set down actual roots and Emily was glad. She didn't want her baby raised in the cutthroat, constantly shifting world that she had. She wanted better for her daughter.
"Look at her, Em," Matthew whispered. He'd transferred with her, intent on seeing this through to the very end, no matter what. John hadn't been ready for a child, and Emily refused to 'do the right thing' and marry him because of the pregnancy. Matthew had been her sole source of support until her father came around to the idea. She had no idea what she would have done without Matthew by her side.
"She's beautiful," she heard him whisper again. "Gorgeous."
Emily smiled down at her daughter, stroking her little face. "She's mine, Matthew. I can't believe it."
His hand ran down her head, stroking her hair. "She's all yours, Em. Look, she even looks like you."
"She's just a baby," Emily said with a laugh.
Matthew laughed along with her, slipping his finger into the infant's hand. "What are you going to call her?"
Emily had thought long and hard about what kind of name to give her child. She'd known as soon as it was possible that she was going to have a girl and she'd spent plenty of her free time trying to come up with an appropriate name. "Camille," she told Matthew, eyes on her daughter. "Camille Hannah Prentiss."
"It's a good name," he told her softly, meeting her eyes.
"Know what it means?" she asked, turning her eyes back to the newborn sleeping peacefully against her mother's breast. She couldn't believe it. Part of her was afraid that if she took her eyes off of the child for too long, it wouldn't be real.
"I should have known it would have a meaning," Matthew teased. "What does it mean?"
"Perfect Grace," Emily replied quietly. "She's my perfect grace."
According to babynames. com, Camille means 'perfect' and Hannah means 'grace'. So that's where I got the meanings.