A/N: After getting several requests to make a full story of the Sorry from my first instalment of my McKeller FlashFiction I present to you Twenty Seconds to Regret. Thanks to my lovely beta Shadow who helped me run with this idea. Please leave a review.
Twenty Seconds to Regret
Chapter 1- Fallout Begins
Rodney sat on the floor of what was supposed to be their new living quarters; a two bedroom suite with the second one he had spent the last month converting into a nursery for his son. Now he had to question if the life growing inside of his wife was really his. How long has it been going on? How many nights did she spend with him and come back to be with me? Have they been laughing behind my back this entire time? Was I a big game for the both of them? Rodney's minds let him think those dark thoughts. It would be where anyone's mind would go when the two people it trusted most would break that trust in a most heinous way. The destroyed man stared through the open door of the nursery, a month of hard work…a labor of love. He looked down at his left hand where the gold band had its home for the last two years. It did not seem right to wear the false symbol anymore. Trying to take of the ring proved to be a difficult task, "Why won't you come off?" After five minutes of trying, he huffed in frustration and gave up and stuffed his hand into his pocket so he would not have to look at the offensive piece of jewellery.
The longer Rodney sat alone in the room the more his anger grew and it reached a peak when he heard the swoosh of the door opening. Only one of two people would be dumb enough to seek him out right now. The scent of his wife's perfume took over his senses. There were countless memories attached to that scent in the five years they had been together. Some of the memories good: the way she tackled him and attacked his face with kisses after he got down on bended knee and proposed or how she snuck up behind him while he was in his own world working and showed him the positive pregnancy test. Then there was the not so good: the feeling of her head on his shoulder as he rubbed his back after Woolsey broke the news that his sister and her family had been killed in a car crash or when her voice and her comforting scent were the only things keeping him alive after he took a bullet to the stomach by rogue Genii. It was hard to believe emotions like that could be faked.
He took a deep breath and steadied himself before finding his voice, "It was supposed to be our anniversary gift. Two years, next week. Did you forget?" His voice lacked any emotion.
How could I forget one of the happiest days of my life? Jennifer looked around the room and words escaped her. The room he had created for their son was amazing. It was everything she had talked about wanting the night they found out it they were having a boy. She thought he had fallen asleep, but obviously, her husband had been listening. "I'm sorry," the pregnant doctor put her hand on her stomach. Jennifer hated herself for ever doubting Rodney as she should have known him better. She did know her other half, but the crazy hormones of pregnancy clouded her better judgment. It was no excuse for that twenty second lapse in judgment. Twenty seconds she should have listened to what her heart always knew. Twenty seconds that ruined a perfect life.
"Sorry is not going to make this better," Rodney could not look at his wife without having the urge to be sick. He could feel the bile burning the back of his throat. Nothing will ever make this better. He returned trying to pull his wedding band off and was still having no luck.
Jennifer felt a crushing sensation in her chest as she watched him try to remove the ring, "Rodney, please look at me." She put her hand on his shoulder and jumped back as he violently pulled away.
"Get off of me. Don't you dare touch me," her hand on him felt like acid burning his skin. The anger reached new levels when she saw that the vile woman was no longer wearing her engagement or wedding ring. "Looks like you beat me to it."
"What are you talking about?" she saw his gaze on her hand. "You mean these?" Jennifer pulled a chain with her rings from under her shirt, "My fingers were swollen this morning and I couldn't get them on." Jennifer took the chain off her neck and tried to put the rings on her fingers, but neither could go past the second knuckle, "And they are still swollen. So I put them close to my heart," she was not sure if he was even listening, but she hoped he was.
And he was not listening, "Is he even my child?"
"Of course he is. How can you even ask that?" Jennifer wanted to burst into tears at his insinuation. She had made a mess out of everything and knew Rodney needed his space to process everything.
Rodney set his jaw and was fighting a losing battle to control what was left of his temper, "After what I saw earlier I have every right to question it. How long has it been going on? Since the very beginning? Have I been some game for the two of you? How long can you string the poor schmuck around before you get caught?"
"Nothing has been going on. It was only the one kiss," she knew it probably did not make a difference to him right now, but it had to be said. "Some game? You cannot honestly believe that. The past five years have been the best of my life. Rodney, I love you and only you," Jennifer feverishly tried to wipe away her tears, but they were falling too fast for her to keep up with.
The destroyed man shook his head, "I don't want to hear any more of your lies." Betrayal always hurt worse when it came from the people you least expect it from: the people you trust the most. Since his sister died, the only two people he fully trusted were his wife and best friend. To have that trust destroyed created such a hole in his soul that Rodney felt like it could never be repaired. "I don't even want to think of how far it would have gone if I didn't walk in when I did." But, of course with Rodney, it was a movie that kept playing over in his mind. John's hands and lips pleasing his wife in the ways he knew drove her crazy.
"Nothing would have happened. I know you are angry and hurt right now, but it was mistake. A lapse in judgement. Nothing more. I know it is no excuse, but do you have any idea how crazy these hormones are making me? You've been coming to bed late for the past month," Jennifer regretted those choice of words.
Fury and hatred flared in the scientist's eyes, "You are saying this is my fault? Just get out of my sight, Jennifer. I cannot even look at you. You make me sick."
"No. That's not what I meant. I just meant..." she was starting to be tripped up over her words. She was trying to say if it were not for the hormones, she would have suspected he was up to something for their anniversary instead of suspecting him of being up to something else.
"I said get out," Rodney yelled in a way he had never yelled at her before. There was hatred and sadness in his voice. He finally got to his feet and glared at his wife with an icy stare.
Jennifer had never seen that look before; it was one of a man truly broken. A man who had his whole life torn apart and its inside spilled out for all to see. She refused to leave only because she was afraid he might try something stupid.
His face grew redder every second she did not move. "Fine if you won't go then I will," the angry husband finally managed to twist off wedding band and dropped it do the ground before leaving the room.
The act pushed Jennifer over the edge and she let out an anguished cry. She had no idea if Rodney would ever come around, but right now, the emotions were too raw to know where they stood. He wouldn't leave his son, would he? He has to know it's our son. "Hey, you have to calm down in there, little one. I know your daddy is upset, but don't you be mad at me too," she rubbed her round stomach where the life inside of her was kicking or punching up a storm. "He'll come back. He's not going to leave you." Me maybe, but not you. Jennifer crouched down and picked up her husband's ring. "I'm not going to give up on you my love," she closed her hand around the ring.
TBC... Chapter 2: Confrontations