Here's my series of one-shots- yay! Please review
I don't own N2N.
Diana and Dan were sound asleep when the crying started. At first, just a few tiny little whimpers, then a few longer stretches, and finally full-blown screaming. Diana woke up, sitting up in the darkness of the bedroom, looking around. She hated waking up in the night- it was so disorienting. But Gabe needed her.
"Dan, I can go," she whispered, knowing her husband would be awake, too.
"No- Di, let me."
"Dan, he wants me, I know he does. I can hear it," she insisted.
"Di...?" there was confusion in his voice.
"Let me go Dan- he needs me."
But she had already gotten out of bed and thrown back the covers, not needing a light to find her way up the stairs of their tiny first house. She took a right on the landing and entered her little boys' room, accidentally knocking her shin against something in the dark.
"Shit-" she said, before remembering that Gabe was in the room. But she could have sworn they had set nothing next to the door.
"Gabe, sweetie, I'm coming. What's wrong?"
But the crying just got louder.
"Gabriel? Sweetheart?" The cries were ever louder.
Di found the crib and switched on the lamp.
Where was the hell she?
The walls around her were a sunny yellow, not the blue she had painted only a little over a year ago. The blankets were pink, not green.
And this baby was not hers.
It was a girl, screaming her lungs out, her cheeks red and her eyes streaming. The girl looked to be about a year old, and her eyes were pleading with Diana. She was reaching her arms out, longing for closeness, but Diana recoiled in horror.
Was this a dream? Or had she somehow gone to sleep in someone else's house? But then her shin gave a painful throb and she knew that it was not a dream.
"Who are you?" she asked the baby. "WHO ARE YOU?"
The girl just yelled more.
"Where is my son?" Diana grabbed the bars of the crib, holding on for dear life. "Where is my Gabriel?"
Sobs raked through her body, and she was now as desolate as this imposter child in front of her.
"Di- Di!" Dan's voice was ringing up the stairs, and soon he was in the room, which was really much to small for the both of them.
"Dan?" she asked, weary. "Who is this?"
But he just pushed past her, reaching into the crib and pulling out the tiny crying child, holding her gently in his arms and rocking her back and forth. "Shh, Nat... Hush, sweetie, Natalie. It's ok... everything's alright..."
Diana took a step back, tripping over the toy box next to the crib and landing on her bottom on the floor.
Oh my God. Natalie.
New tears poured from her eyes- a different fear, a different hatred. Instead of hating the poor little child, she hated herself.
She had forgotten her daughter. How often has this happened?
"Dan...?" she whimpered out, needing him now more than ever.
"Di... Maybe you should just go back to bed," his voice was kind and gentle, but she saw in his eyes that he was angry. Angry and scared.
"Dan, let me help- I can hold her-"
"No, Di- I've got her. She'll be... fine. I'll be with you in a few minutes."
By now, Natalie had quieted in her father's arms. Diana just nodded, shame overflowing her whole being. But before she left the room, she reached out as gently as she could to her tiny daughter, her pajamas soft and white and her dark hair curly already, despite its thinness and lack of length. She was beautiful- just as beautiful as Gabe had been, and just as precious. But in her own way- and Diana feared the child she had would never touch her in the way the child she'd lost had.
"I'm so sorry, sweetheart. Natalie, I love you. I do, Natalie- with all my heart." She reached out a finger to stroke her daughter's tiny hand, but the little girl tugged it away.
It could be a coincidence, she knew. But then her daughter's eyes- though so young, they carried such an old soul- and knew it wasn't. At only one year old, her daughter did not trust her.
"I love you, Diana. I hope you know that," Dan said, his eyes making it clear that he could forgive her. As always.
Diana just nodded.
Didn't he know that sometimes loving just wasn't enough?