Just a small one shot about Alan's birth. EDIT: December 2020 - Reworked and edited to clear up some mistakes and some issues I spotted whilst clearing up my work. You see I realised that the only copies of my work that I had were on the website so I figured hey, why not download them to save them elsewhere just in case? Simple. Not. Well in the process I made the fatal mistake of rereading some things and oh boy...oh dear oh dear oh dear. Never ladies and gentlemen, and i mean never, reread your early works. Thankfully this one wasn't so bad and with it only be a one shot I could edit the mistakes rather quickly.
EDIT: December 2020 - Reworked and edited to clear up some mistakes and some issues I spotted whilst clearing up my work. You see I realised that the only copies of my work that I had were on the website so I figured hey, why not download them to save them elsewhere just in case? Simple. Not. Well in the process I made the fatal mistake of rereading some things and oh boy...oh dear oh dear oh dear. Never ladies and gentlemen, and i mean never, reread your early works. Thankfully this one wasn't so bad and with it only be a one shot I could edit the mistakes rather quickly.
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
When tragedy befalls the Tracy family they are left with one tiny hope.
A light at the end
Jeff gazed down at the sleeping form lying in front of him. Two weeks had passed since Elizabeth Tracy had been taken from this world, tragically before her time. She'd gone into labour 14 weeks early, giving birth to a baby boy weighing just 4 and half pounds. She'd lived for just a few more minutes, living long enough to name the baby before falling into the darkness. She'd been buried that very morning, a small service, just family and close friends. Jeff had left the boys with his mother, needing some time to pull his head together. He'd drove for over an hour before finding himself at the hospital, and now...here he was. Sitting in front of his youngest, smallest and most fragile son praying desperately he'd pull through. Nothing seemed to make sense anymore. Without Elizabeth, without his angel, how was he meant to keep going? How was he meant to raise five sons on his own?
Although it might not be five for much longer. A twisted voice echoed in the corner of his mind.
Jeff had been told the previous day that Alan, that was his name, had only a 17 percent chance of survival. He didn't need telling that his son was likely to die; he knew that since he'd been born at 26 weeks. That's too early, far too early. John had been trying to help, telling his father of a baby who survived having been born at 21 weeks and 6 days. John...his sons...
Scott was getting through this by taking care of his brothers. Despite not yet being 12 he'd decided that focusing on his brothers and their needs helped him to grieve for his mother...Jeff didn't understand it either but it was helping so whatever he needed, he guessed it was okay. Not to mention the fact that Scott helping out made his life so much easier. The boys had always been so close. Scott seemed to understand them all in a way that he just couldn't. With everything going on he got the distinct feeling that even if he tried to stop his oldest from his current actions there's no way that he'd succeed.
John...God John had loved his mother so much. Elizabeth had been close to all of her sons but she and John shared a special bond. They were so much alike. His star child hadn't spoken for ten days after Elizabeth had passed. The first time he'd opened his mouth was two days ago after Jeff had told the oldest two that Alan probably wouldn't survive. John had been devastated at the thought of losing the last link to his mother. His mission now was to save Alan at any cost. It was a mission no 10 year old should have to fight through.
Then there was Virgil. He had struggled at first not really understanding that his mother was gone forever. But now, now he was a pride to everyone. He had fully understood that his mother was gone and in his words 'crying won't bring her back.' Of course the 7 and a half year old was upset but he thought more of his younger brother than anything else. Virgil was proving himself to be the big brother Gordon needed and spent most of his time entertaining the family fish. It gave Jeff the room he needed to grieve.
Gordon. Gordon had only just turned five and didn't really know what was happening; all he knew was that mummy was never coming back. He was confused more than upset; it would be a while before the news truly made sense to him. The little fish was what was keeping everyone else going now. His smile, his laugh...his sense of humor had come in very handy – first time for everything!
Jeff smiled as he thought of his sons. They were handling this so well, losing their mother had been so difficult but they'd be okay, he knew they could deal with it. Losing Alan...Jeff knew the family couldn't lose the baby now. If he didn't pull through...God he couldn't even think about it. The thought of losing him now, Jeff didn't need to think to know that it would tear the family apart. He could feel it with every fiber of his being. If his boys were going to survive this, if his family were going to pull through they needed Alan. They needed their little boy.
"Dad?" A small voice from behind broke Jeff's thoughts. Seeing his oldest stepping into the room made him wipe the away the tears that had built in his eyes. "I'm sorry...I know you said I shouldn't come down here until we know if he's going to be okay but I just..."
"Scott...it's okay. Come here." Jeff wrapped his arms around his son and hugged him tight before spinning him round to the tiny incubator in the centre of the room. "This is Alan."
Scott's eyes lit up at the sight of his baby brother. Since his mother's death he'd spent his time helping his brothers to grieve, helping them through made him feel close to his mother. He knew it was what she'd do; it made him feel that she'd be proud of him. It helped. Watching over them like she would have done.
"He's so...small." Scott whispered, afraid that even speaking would break the tiny doll lay before him. He pressed his hand over the glass, desperately wanting to touch the child.
"Sorry Scoot. He's too fragile to be held right now." Jeff's heart ached so painfully right now he thought it might break, he'd not even been allowed to hold his son. His little boy was right there and he couldn't even touch him. "They're keeping him sedated until he's ready to breathe on his own. Right now his lungs are a little too weak so they're giving him a helping hand."
"Why does he have tape over his eyes?" His eyes flickered over Alan's body, desperately confirming the image to his memory...just in case. It broke Jeff's heart all over again.
"If the sedative wears off they don't want him to open his eyes just yet, not until they can check him over. You see Scooter, when babies are first born they make a connection with the first images they see, which is their mo...Parents so when Alan is ready to wake up they want the first thing he see's to be us. First impressions are always important you know." Jeff wasn't so sure if it was true but, Scott seemed happy with the explanation so it worked.
"Dad, is he going to be okay?" Scott finally asked the question he'd been dying to know. He hadn't dared to ask before but now with the tiny baby lying in front of him he couldn't let it go. "I mean is he going..."
"I don't know Scott, I really hope he'll pull through. I don't think this family can handle losing someone else..." Jeff had meant to say more, he'd meant to carry on but a beeping caught his attention. One of the machines went crazy, if it hadn't have been for the nurses rushing in at that moment Jeff might have seen the movement of a tiny arm.
Two hours passed before Jeff was finally told the news. Two hours where Scott paced every inch of the waiting room they'd been hurriedly ushered into. Two hours where every second that passed broke both hearts just a little bit more. Two hours where Jeff prayed to a god he wasn't so sure he believed in anymore.
"Mr Tracy?" A doctor called. Jeff knew this doctor, Doctor Bradfield. He'd been there when Alan was born, when Elizabeth had died and for everything else. "It looks like you've got a fighter on your hands."
"What? You mean he's okay?" Scott asked before his fathers brain could even process the information. "He's alive?"
"Alive?" Eric Bradfield suddenly understood the horrified looks on the faces of the two men – well man and child – they hadn't been told. "Oh Mr Tracy, Alan is fine, the machine was signalling that Alan was breathing on his own."
"Breathing..." Jeff was thankful that he'd been sitting down at that moment. He knew his legs couldn't take it, they felt like jelly right now. Breathing? His little boy was breathing.
"Yes. It looks like Alan isn't a big fan of the ventilator; he was quite keen to get rid of it. He's still sedated right now, it'll take a little while longer before it wears off but...he's getting there. Being able to breathe on his own is a big step, now I'm not saying that he's out of the woods but he's taking a big step forward."
"Can we see him?" Scott was already on his feet, itching to run into the room. He needed to see his little brother.
"Of course...I shouldn't really let children go in but...I think we can make an exception this once." Eric smiled as the youngsters face lit up with joy. He couldn't help but laugh at the look of absolute glee that crossed the face of both of them. After everything this family had been through they needed a little. Besides there was still a chance that the tiny baby wouldn't pull through, if that happened he should at the very least have been around people who love him.
"Thank you." Jeff whispered, he sent up a silent prayer to whatever God was watching over them that day. If he didn't know any better he could have sworn he'd heard a voice say
You're welcome sweetheart.
Watching him there without the tube was a sight he wasn't sure he'd ever see. For a while neither of them spoke, for a while both drank in the comfort of watching their little boy fighting.
"See dad...Johnny was right, Alan's going be okay. You see he's going to wake up and then..." Scott stopped as movement caught his eye.
It was small at first, just a tiny finger flickering slightly, but then it grew. First to a hand, then to an arm but soon the small form in front of him was struggling around the small glass box. The nurse in the room, he assumed she was there for when this happened, quickly went to work. The tiny baby was removed from the glass box, wrapped up and for the first time handed over to his father.
Silently he sat down on a nearby chair, Scott standing by his side and cradled the youngster in his arms. For a few minutes he just twitched and moaned, getting used to his limbs and voice, but then it happened. For the first time he opened his eyes, what lay behind those eye lids seemed to make everything okay. The brightest, sharpest, most piercing baby blue eyes gazed up at his father, and for a moment it was like she was there. Almost like his wife was sitting with him, well in a sense she was, her eyes were here at least, and if his feeling was right her soul was with his new found joy as well.
"Everything's going be okay..." Scott whispered as he took his baby brothers hand, he could have sworn he'd felt a squeeze in response.
"You're right." And for the first, Jeff finally believed it was true.
"They gonna be excited aren't they daddy?" Jeff smiled as Gordon giggled. The five year old sat on the counter top practically bouncing through the ceiling; he'd never been good with secrets so thank god they were going to be home soon. He could tell Gordon was about ready to pop with excitement.
Not that anyone could blame him, Jeff could understand the way the family fish was acting. Today was the first day of the family's brand new start. Today was the day their family began their recovery. Today was the day Alan had finally been allowed to come home. Well...in fact he'd been allowed to come home the day before but Jeff wanted to wait to surprise the boys.
It'd been five weeks since Alan had begun to breathe on his own, five weeks since he'd first opened up those baby blues and five weeks since the day Jeff had realised everything was going to be okay. The boys had gone to school this morning, courtesy of his mother, well all except for Gordon who'd broken his wrist yesterday and was having an extra day off. After that Jeff had gone straight to the hospital and picked up the newest addition to the family.
Gordon had gone wild when he'd seen Alan. Finally he was a big brother he wasn't the youngest, the littlest brother anymore he was a big brother now. Strange as it may seem he just wasn't cut out to be the youngest. He was too...well it just wasn't his thing. He hated being looked after not to mention he couldn't stand being babied. Most importantly though he was definitely big brother material, judging from the way he'd been with Alan today anyway. The smile on his face had stayed there all day and didn't look like it was going away any time soon.
Good. That's exactly what this family needs.
"They are going to so excited you won't even believe it." Before he could say more the sound of the front door opening caught both their attention. Gordon giggled before clapping a hand over his mouth.
"Hey fish feet!" Scott called from the doorway; a resounding slap told Jeff that his mother had given the eldest what for. She'd had always hated nicknames for as long as he could remember.
"Hi daddy." Virgil hugged his father immediately, something that had surprised Jeff at first but now it seemed normal. Jeff half suspected Virgil needed the comfort of knowing his father was still here for him. "Hi Gordy, how's your wrist?"
Gordon said nothing instead he simply looked at his father and giggled helplessly. John simply looked over at his father before his eyes flitted back to Gordon and then to his father again. Scott had a smug smile and an I-already-know expression in his eyes; somehow the eldest had worked out his father's plan. The other two – well three if you included his mother – had absolutely no idea.
"Dad what's going on?" John's tiny voice pleaded, he could tell something was going on. He really didn't like being kept in the dark.
"You think I should tell them Gordy?" Jeff addressed his second youngest child who by now was fit to burst and frantically nodding his head, clearly he was struggling to keep his mouth closed. "Alright alright, I've got a little surprise for you. Come on upstairs."
Jeff picked Gordon up and wandered up the stairs picturing his sons face's when they finally met their baby brother. Since Alan's immune system had been having a few troubles the doctors thought it best to keep the youngster isolated from as many people as possible, hopefully reducing the chances of him getting ill much to the upset of his mother who'd been dying to go straight to the hospital. John had looked happy at the news his brother was getting better and for the first time since his mothers death a smile crossed his face. They hadn't told Virgil or Gordon just yet, partly because the two were in bed at the time but also because it was still early. They'd waited a little longer before they relayed the news. Reaching Alan's bedroom Jeff entered, a resounding gasp from behind told him his mother had worked it out.
"Oh my heavens!" Grandma Tracy gazed down at the sleeping form of her new grandson. She could feel her eyes already beginning to water, quickly wiping her eyes she couldn't help but breathe a sigh of relief. It'd been hell since Elizabeth had passed on; the only thing keeping the family going was the knowledge that they had a new life that needed them. Especially John, god he'd been hit so hard. Knowing that there was a little life that his mother would want him to protect kept him from falling too hard.
Jeff looked down on his sons, each one of them mesmerised by their new baby brother. Scott stood at the opposite end of the cot to Jeff; he shared a smile with his father before letting his gaze fall back to Alan. John's smile made his heart leap, every second he looked at it he could feel the ache in his heart lesson a little. He could already see that John had fallen in love. Virgil, well, Virgil was fantasised. There was this look in his eye, this look that told everyone that if anyone tried to hurt his baby brother...well...there'd be hell to pay. Gordon, to Gordon Alan was the best toy in the world. He was cute, he was small and he had strange eyes. Gordon was just like his grandfather, red hair, skinny and emerald green eyes. The five year old had realised earlier this year he didn't look like his brothers and had gotten quite upset about it. But now, well Alan had the most unbelievable blue eyes ever, her eyes. They were 'funny looking' as Gordon had said, he'd been attached ever since.
As if on cue those pearly blue eyes opened up and gazed around one by one at his family. First Scott, Jeff and Gordon, the faces he'd seen before. Despite doctors telling him Alan was far from being able to recognise faces but Jeff could swear Alan knew him. Every time he'd gone to see Alan in the hospital he could tell that he knew him, almost as if he knew who he was. He always seemed happy to see him. Alan then turned his eyes on the new faces. First his grandmother, with those eyes her was likely to get away with anything, great another terrible toddler – Gordon was going to love him. Secondly his eyes passed to Virgil's, Jeff could almost feel Virgil's smile. Thirdly his eyes settled on John's. If anything Jeff could have sworn Alan gazed longer at this brother than the others. Blue eyes matched blue eyes and for the first time a flicker of that old sparkle reached John's eyes.
As Alan's eyes reached his father's he could tell the youngest wanted picking up. He gently lifted the youngster up and sat in the nearby chair, his mother ushered the boys out as Alan yawned sleepily. Rocking him in his arms Jeff smiled as the wind whistled the words
Take care of him my darling
And Jeff knew that his little boy had four brothers who'd make sure he did just that.
Okay so no major changes in the update. Just a few edits that needed doing.