Hello, new readers, or old readers I've sent back to the beginning!
I'm writing this almost three years after I started this story, and over two since I last updated. I'd basically abandoned it, but since I just started watching the show again, and remembering why I fell in love with it in the first place, I thought I'd give this fic another look.
Even if I don't end up adding more to it, I will be editing it and making it a slightly better quality than what fourteen-year-old me came up with. If I don't add more chapters to this one, there will be a sequel set when this baby grows up, coming soon.
CHAPTER ONE: BABY
The baby's coming. Two weeks early, because that's just her luck, isn't it? Hal's at work. Dewey and Jamie at school. Malcolm's at college, and Reese is at Craig's. God knows where Francis is. She's all alone, there's no-one, and driving to the hospital stopped being an option about ten minutes ago.
The phone's in the next room. If she can just get to it, maybe it'll be okay.
She's too old for this. She was too old for Jamie, for Pete's sake, but at least she hadn't been alone then. Just get to the next room, she thinks, but her head's spinning, and sits down on the couch. Breathes deeply. She can do this.
She staggers across the room, leaning on every surface until she reaches the phone. She should call the hospital first, but instead she goes straight for speed dial, number 1, Hal's cell phone. He answers on the second ring, and doesn't need to be told twice.
Dewey picks Jamie up from Kindergarten every day now. Not that he minds. If he's going to be a good brother to Jamie, he has to spend time with him.
Jamie doesn't talk much, but Dewey's grown to like the silent audience to whatever he wants to say. It's nice to have someone in the family who doesn't tell him where to put his clarinet.
Dewey knows his parents didn't come to his concert but he appreciates that they lied to make him feel better. It's compensation at least. And if they had come, they'd've probably just embarrassed him anyway. So maybe it was just as well.
He lets them both in, slightly confused about why the door's locked, because with the due date so near, his Mom's not at work. He looks at his watch - dead on a quarter past three, the normal time he arrives home. And as if on cue, the phone rings.
"Dewey!" his father exclaims when he picks up. His voice sounds strange, heady and almost gleeful. "I thought you'd be home. We're at the hospital."
Dewey immediately crushes the panic that begins to rise, because his Dad wouldn't be sounding so happy if something was wrong. "The baby?"
"The baby!" His father echoes, as if he can't quite believe it. "The baby, it's here! A bit early, but she's doing fine. So is your Mom."
"Good." A second too late, Dewey realises what that means. "She?"
"You have a little sister, Dewey."
Dewey lets a few seconds pass in silence. Then, "Wow." It's stupid, really, because there was always a fifty-fifty chance that he would have a sister, but when you're already one of five brothers, the possibility seems much slimmer. So slim that he hadn't really given it a thought.
"Definitely wow," his father adds. "You'll be all right for a bit, won't you? I'll come home later on, but my two girls," he pauses for a moment, as if wondering at being able to say that, "will be in here at least until tomorrow."
"Sure." Dewey grins. Home alone with Jamie. He could definitely manage that.
"I'll see you soon, then. Oh, and Dewey - you could let your brothers know, if you can find numbers for them that are even slightly up-to-date."
"Okay. Bye, Dad."
His father says goodbye, and Dewey hangs up the phone. Well. This is an interesting development.