Sins Of The Father.
I own nothing. I was just playing!
These scrubs hide a multitude of sins. Sins that we don't want aired in public. Sins that we want to keep hidden until we are ready to truly face up to them and their consequences. I never thought I'd be the one having to hide something, needing to hide something until I find a courage which I was always so sure that I had within me until now. I'm hiding that something every day and it's breaking my heart that I cant find the strength to start to deal with things, to truly acknowledge this life changing occurrence, and to give in to the emotions that I'm keeping at bay because I am so terrified of what it means and how things will change forever.
I was always the strong one. Always the mother figure who wanted to take care of people; always the woman that people came to for advice and support. I was always quick to stand up for people who needed reassurance and strength themselves and who needed a shoulder to cry on because that's who I am. I care for people. I believe in people and I believe in doing what's right, but right now it's as if all the strength has been knocked out of me and I don't know how to get it back. Right when I need it; not just for my sake but for someone else so precious to me, it's all gone away and it's because of him. Because of one night. One wonderful, passionate night when I saw a side to him that I knew was buried deep within rise to the surface after a particularly distressing day.
He'd actually cried that night. He'd stood outside the hospital under the light of the stars and tears fell from his gorgeous eyes leaving wet trails down his cheeks as he saw me walking out of those doors. He quickly brushed them away but I knew that they were for me because that day he had been faced with losing me and for once in his life he was helpless, unable to sweet talk us out of the situation. Instead he had watched someone hold a knife to my throat and powerless to help me himself had to stand and watch while police diffused the situation and persuaded the violent patient to let me go.
I had never been so terrified in my life. It turns out neither had he. The absolute fear in his eyes as he watched that man tighten his grip on me and press the blade hard against the skin was something that I never thought I'd see. It was in that moment as he looked at me so frightened and helpless that I saw through all the bravado and cheekiness and saw something else, something I always suspected was there from the moment I heard him sticking up for the female staff members when dealing with a particularly arrogant lorry driver. I saw a man who cared, a man who wasn't all bravado and did get scared just like the rest of us. More importantly and something which was somewhat of a shock to me, I saw a man who cared for me.
How much he cared I had never really been aware of before. When he was playful, smacking my bum, kissing me on the forehead, doing anything he could to wind me up I saw it as part of a game. I saw exchanging sarcasm and wit as something that we did, part of our working life, just something that made us who we are. It was only when Selena pointed out that his playfulness was more often than not only directed at me that I began to suspect that maybe there was a bit more to it and when I saw him stood there, a deep rooted fear in his eyes, refusing to leave even as the police tried to persuade him to go for fear of him agitating my captor, I saw the same care within him that I saw later that night under the stars. The care that caused tears to fall from his eyes as he saw me walk out of Casualty, when earlier on there was every possibility I may never have walked out of those doors again.
"H…How are you doing?" He asked me, then clearing his throat as if trying to remove any emotion and once again keep things strictly professional.
I stopped in front of him and found that he was unable to meet my gaze.
'Were you waiting for me?" I asked him softly, a hand rubbing my bruised side where the man had dug his fingers in to me tightly as he tried to keep me from struggling.
"I uh…of course not…I uh…okay I just wanted to make sure that you were all right." He admitted.
I couldn't help but smile when the normally cool and calm Stitch Lambert was stood in front of me
struggling to find words.
"You find something funny?" He asked and I could hear the frustration in his voice.
"No. No of course not. I'm touched…I just…Stitch you're not normally one to struggle with words. In all fairness its often hard to shut you up."
He smiled at my quick response and I found myself smiling back at him again, the trauma of the day forgotten for that moment apart from the pain that came from the bruises which had been inflicted upon me.
"Yes well…its complicated." He said simply. "So are you? Okay?"
I looked at the ground, the gentleness of his tone and genuine concern dredging up all kinds of emotions.
"I'm fine." I lied, feeling unable to burden him with the truth that I had gotten through the rest of the day on pure adrenalin and really I was absolutely terrified. I needn't have worried.
"It's okay that you're not. You don't have to pretend you're okay just for my benefit. It was quite the ordeal you went through today."
"Stitch I can't…" I started, finding it so hard to talk about what had happened but wanting so much to ask him if he really had been as scared as he looked.
He shook his head and put a hand on my shoulder gently to stop me from rambling.
"You don't have to talk about it if you don't want to. Let me take you home." He offered.
"I'm okay really."
"Maggie…" He whispered brushing away a tear from my cheek that I hadn't even realised had fallen.
Suddenly I was overcome by sobs and found myself enveloped by his strong arms. He kissed the top of my head again, for all to see, only this time it wasn't to wind me up or to play around, this time it was to comfort me and show he cared.
"Let me take you home." He whispered into my hair, his voice breaking with emotion.
I nodded and he led me to his car still wrapped in his arms.
The journey passed in silence. I lay with my head against the cool glass of the passenger window while Stitch periodically checked to see if I was all right and to ask for directions. In no time at all we were outside my house. Josh was round Charlie's and wouldn't be home until late and the darkness and emptiness terrified me. Even sitting outside the house seemed imposing and threatening. I was frightened of being alone.
Stitch sensed my hesitance and took my hand in his own. His hands were surprisingly soft and he was gentler than I imagined he would be. He didn't say a word, he just looked at me.
"Josh is out…I uh…it's stupid but I'm…"
I couldn't believe I was finding it so hard. What could be possibly be thinking of me? I was usually so calm and collected and yet there I was a total wreck. Completely understandable of course but a wreck all the same. I couldn't believe I was sat here with Stitch and I was such a mess, whereas usually I'm so strong.
"I tell you what. How about I escort you inside, we order us a pizza and I'll stay until Josh gets back?"
I smiled softly but shook my head despite myself. I could think of nothing more reassuring than having Stitch there but it also scared me somewhat. I had seen the concern in his eyes, I had seen how he felt and having him inside with me away from work would mean having to confront so many issues that had arisen that day. I was terrified of being alone in that house, but I was also terrified of the emotion radiating between us that night.
"I'm just being silly. I'll be fine. Thank you for the lift…for…"
He shrugged his shoulders.
"All part of the service princess." He replied with a wink.
I opened the car door and slowly stepped out. I smiled at him in thanks and walked down the path towards my front door but I stopped dead as thoughts of the day ran through my mind, and once again the house seemed absolutely terrifying to me.
I didn't even hear the car door open and close but a few seconds later there he was behind me.
"So do you fancy pepperoni or cheese and tomato?" He asked me and I turned around and smiled gratefully at the man who had really shown me such compassion that night.
Conversation started off being light hearted to take my mind of the days traumas. It was only when the pizza had all gone and I took off my sweatshirt to reveal a vest top which had ridden up over my stomach that the full extent of the days drama came back to haunt both of us. My side had come up in big black bruises, as had my arms where the man had held me. I immediately reached for my sweatshirt to cover them back up but he stopped me. He simply knelt in front of me where I sat on the sofa and studied them, brushing them gently with his fingertips. His eyes were so full of concern.
"What did that son of a…? What did he do to you." He muttered, anger in his voice.
"He didn't know what he was doing. They did a tox screen before they took him to the Police Station. He was high on drugs."
He looked up at me with his eyes shining.
"That's no excuse. Look at you. My God Maggie I…we could have lost you today. He wanted to hurt somebody. Look at these bruises."
"I'd rather not if you don't mind. I'd rather forget it ever happened. Bruises fade. It could have been a lot worse."
"How can you say that? How can you forget if I doubt I ever will and I wasn't even the one who was being held like that?" He asked me and I struggled to answer.
"I'm sure you've seen a lot worse, a brave and daring Doctor like you." I replied staring at the carpet.
"Maybe I have but none of those things involved you." He replied sharply and as soon as he said it his cheeks went red and he turned away embarrassed.
His fingertips immediately left my bruised skin and it surprised me to realise I wanted them there again. His touch was comforting and gentle and seeing so much emotion that he was expressing for me was making me see him in a whole new light.
"You wouldn't leave me. Even when the police told you to. Why?" I asked him bravely.
I covered up my stomach again. My cheeks were getting hotter with every passing second.
"I would have done the same for anyone." He replied sharply and I inwardly cursed him for being such a coward when just a few minutes previously he had almost admitted that seeing me in that situation had hurt him more because it was me going through what I was.
"So you would have done the same for Josh or Charlie or Kelsey or…" I probed. I wanted him to admit what was making him behave with such compassion and care.
"Oh come on Maggie…" he argued and I knew that I'd hit a nerve.
"You would have stood there looking absolutely terrified if it was anybody else? You would have refused to leave? You would have stood outside the hospital and cried?" I asked him a lot more angrily than I would have liked when he didn't give me the answer I craved.
"You know what? Goodnight Maggie." He replied and quickly got up and walked to the door.
"I never had you down for a coward." I shouted after him angrily then cursing myself inwardly. I truly didn't want to be alone and I didn't want to push him away.
Fully expecting him to leave I pulled my knees to my chest and buried my head between them, preparing myself mentally for a few more hours alone in the house and then just like earlier he was kneeling in front of me again, looking at me with those eyes.
"I wouldn't have done the same just for anyone okay?" He admitted softly. " I wouldn't be here missing out on a hot date just for anyone and I wouldn't have cried just for anyone. You're right I was crying and I don't cry. What does that tell you Maggie?"
"You have PMT?" I responded weakly.
"Funny." He replied.
"Please don't leave me here alone." I pleaded, emotion getting the better of me.
"I won't. I promise you." He told me sitting on the chair next to me and pulling me into his arms. "I was so frightened of losing you today. I don't want to let you out of my sight." He admitted.
I rested my head against his chest and listened to the soothing rhythm of his heartbeat. His chin was resting on the top of my head and for the first time since that man had grabbed me in cubicles I felt safe. Gentle fingers stroked my bruised skin as he held me tightly and before I knew it there I was sitting facing him with my hands caressing his cheeks as we shared a kiss.
At first it was gentle and a little hesitant. We slowly pulled away and just looked at each other in shock.
"Maybe I should go." Stitch had whispered breathlessly.
"Do you want to?" I asked him.
"Do you want me to?" He replied.
We both shook our heads and the next thing I knew we were entangled in the sheets on my bed making love.