Title - Gravity of Love
Author - Kourion
Summary: "He's been crying for you, sweetheart." And Patrick hands me Dylan with trembling arms. I struggle to sit upright, to finally...look at my son. "He...has...ringlets!," I sputter. Because truly - he does. A whole head of blond ringlets. And staggeringly blue eyes. Established Jisbon/family fic.
A/N: I needed to get out from underneath the angst!mountain that I've been generating lately. So here you guys go...an established Jisbon romance/ family fic. With mini!duplicate!Jane. Errr...sort of. The title I sort of...stole/ borrowed from the band Enigma and various 80's music recollections. Or maybe it's 90's music recollections. I was a little kid then, so forgive me if I'm mistaken.
I warn you...I've never written much in the way of light-er [it's still not all rainbows and sunshine] hearted family fics. And I've NEVER written a baby fic. Ever. Unresolved sexual tension and angst fics...sure. But nothing so warm, silly, cutesy... as baby stories. So if this...royally sucks, let me know. If you (for whatever reason) like this story, let me know. Please?
QUICK note: this story takes place POST Redress. If you've read that one (well, it's a WIP, but you know what I mean...) you'll know that it deals with rape, especially the aftermath. So there are...references to that subject matter herein. Nothing explicit, though.
Patrick leans forward with an ice cube for me to suck on.
Sort of like my face, I'm sure.
We're at hour 37.
"I...I c-can't...do this anymore...Jane. I...give...up."
If I wasn't so exhausted, I would hit him when he laughs.
It's not a loud laugh or a mean laugh.
But it's a laugh, and that's bad enough.
"Sweetheart, it's probably just a little more now...just a little more...," he tells me in his console-Lisbon voice.
I want to smack him.
"You said that t-ten hours ago!"
I almost let out a scream as a wave of contractions hit.
I feel as if I'm being ripped in two.
"Come on...just suck on this ice, honey."
I bat away the ice cube, trying not to cry.
"I don't want a-a-any bloody ice!"
"It's cherry. It's your favorite."
My husband gives me a sympathetic smile.
"I hate cherries," and suddenly I'm crying.
Or my body is crying.
My mind is staring down at my body in disgust at my display of horrendous weakness.
I don't cry.
"I have blueberry and raspberry too...would you prefer a different flavor?"
I want to punch him.
And I want to kiss him for his sweetness.
"I...want this baby...out. Now. Out."
"Maybe...we should check how far along you are..."
This time I whack him away with my right hand, and he takes a step back, hands held in an innocent gesture.
A 'don't-shoot-me!' gesture.
"If you think you are ever...t-touching me again, you are...m-m," and I howl in pain, bite down on my lip.
I'm not done with him.
"You...are...majorly deluded. Next time you try to sneak into my b-be-bed..."
Patrick gives me a terse smile, and with some renewed strength of character, reaches forward and strokes my hand.
"That would be our bed, sweetheart."
I carry on as if I haven't heard him.
"I will do you...bodily...harm. Because that's...what you've..."
Another wave hits, and I bite down on my lip.
This time I think I've drawn blood.
"Just squeeze my hand, Teresa."
"...y-you've done to ME! Caused me... bodily harm, and-"
A nurse comes in at that moment.
Just as I'm laying out the ground rules for our new no-sex marriage.
"And how are we doing here, Mrs. Jane?"
I shake my head back and forth, suddenly too tired to talk to this stranger.
Too tired, or too cautious.
I know anything that's going to come out of my mouth won't be very...PG-13ish.
"I think...she must be close to being fully dilated now," my husband says to this new intruder.
"Oh SHUT UP Jane! That's what you said ten hours ago! You're not a doctor!"
The nurse is...intelligent, in part.
She remains quiet.
"I'll get Doctor Landry to come in soon. See how far along you are..."
Then the nurse - too chipper for my tastes - leaves.
"I want a different Doctor..."
"Honey," Patrick tries softly, his voice all...aggravating REASONABLENESS.
Jane! Reasonable! It's utterly hilarious.
"I'm b-boycotting males. I want a female Doctor," I cry.
The laughter this time IS louder, and I stop my ranting to glare at the man before me.
"Oh you laugh... go ahead and laugh. Just remember this moment when I make you sleep on the couch... for the rest of your life."
Patrick continues to stroke my wrist good-naturedly, while I turn on my side and whimper.
"I'm not laughing at you, sweetheart. I know...it hurts."
I nod against the cool bars of the hospital bed.
"I thought this would be...so much faster. How can it take...two days? How?"
"Well...you know what Dr. Landry said. You're small. In the hips. Doesn't make for easy birthing."
I lay my wrists on the cool metal.
This has gone on too long.
Patrick rubs my back now.
Small, gentle circles.
"And the first pregnancy is usually the hardest and most drawn out. After that, it gets easier."
"Oh...f-funny man! I'm never going through this again!"
He leans down close to me, helps me turn back over.
I feel bloated, and sore and sweaty and exposed.
I want to hate him for feeling like this.
"I...I'm not r-ready for this-," I whisper.
Patrick pushes my hair out of my face, then bends down so he's very, very close to my face.
He kisses me gently on the lips. Chastely.
Just for a couple seconds.
Then he kisses my cheek.
"Yes you are. And it's normal to be scared. I was...very scared when Charlotte was born."
I study him intently, trying to ignore the pain, the nausea.
"Are you scared now?"
He pauses, then helps me bend forward a bit, and gets up on the bed, too.
I don't think he's supposed to do that, really, but damn hospital rules...
He manuvers so he is behind me, then slowly helps me lean back into him.
I do...carefully...feeling like I'm a melon about to burst.
The sensation...doesn't feel very good.
"I...am not as scared as I was, then. Maybe, possibly - because I know how stubborn and commited you are..."
He lifts my head upwards, so I can meet his eyes.
"How brave," he whispers. "You're the bravest person I know, Teresa."
I can't look at him right now.
Not after all my complaining.
"Blueberry," I pant, and he passes me an electric-blue ice-block.
Then his hands come to run just under my swollen belly, which he strokes a couple times.
"Come on, baby," he sing-songs so softly that I barely hear him at all, "it's time to come out of Mommy. She's tired, buddy."
I close my eyes.
I haven't slept in 50 hours.
Suddenly I hear Patrick speaking in a louder and less...comforting tone.
It takes me a second to realize...he's not addressing me...nor our-stubborn-as-heck-child...at all.
"Is there any way we can...make this easier for her? She's in a lot of pain."
The doctor is back.
Damn men with their damn leisurely time-frames.
"We might be able to give her some additional medication, sure."
Doctor Landry then turns to me, looking peachy-keen-happy.
"I'm just going to check how far along you are, alright Teresa?"
I want to growl at him to just give me the damn C-section already, but I don't.
I just turn back against Patrick and close my eyes again, and let him stroke my hair.
I'm not comfortable with all this...touching.
Patrick says it's...normal.
After what happened.
Hell...I was married for a year before I was even able to have sex.
And I cried after that.
I cried when we...finished.
Even though I trusted him implicitly.
Even though I had spent the two weeks leading up to our first time... insisting that I was ready.
And still...I cried.
For a long time, actually, and he just held me.
And for the next few months we just cuddled.
But he always waited for me to kiss him first.
He insisted on it.
I remember one day horrible day, after coming home from the CBI.
I was pissed off.
I felt...unsure. Of myself.
I got angry...because he hadn't been holding me, or really even touching me.
He hadn't even tried to kiss me again.
All he would say, on a damn endless loop was... "we are going to take this slower."
That, or... "I'm worried about you."
Or even...(and this was my least favorite suggestion, bar none): "I think you should talk to someone again."
And I had gotten...angry.
Stormed around, slammed doors.
He came to our room about a half hour later.
Told me...if I wanted him to kiss me, I'd have to kiss him first.
And that's the way it has been since.
He told me that there was no rush.
That sex was the least of his concerns.
That I...was his only concern.
So it had gotten...easier, then.
Just knowing I could say no, could stop. That I didn't have to feel...badly...for stopping.
That I didn't have to feel like a...bad wife.
But none of this has been easy, so he continues to stroke my hand now, and answers the doctors questions.
Takes over for awhile.
I just...close my eyes and try to pretend I'm anywhere but here.
And Patrick just holds me tighter while the doctor does his business...
My grasp on his hand becomes...desperate.
Almost...frantic...as I feel coolness, pressure, and something foreign enter me.
I know I should be over this.
I'm having a baby for God's sake! The doctor has to...touch me.
But it's still hard.
"Jane...," I cry, feeling something not unlike panic edge at the corners of my sight.
I should be over this by now.
But I'm not.
"It's okay sweetheart...I'm here. I'm here," he breaths against my ear, so faintly that I know the doctor doesn't hear.
We've been married for nearly three years now, so...Jane, the title...has more or less...
But when I'm scared...I still call him Jane.
"9.5 centimeters. You're almost there, Teresa," my husband whispers back to me, again.
I wonder how he knows that.
I can't...recall the doctor speaking.
Then again...everything is buzzing around me.
I can hear...my pulse.
But nothing else.
"Jane...don't...leave me," and I know...I KNOW...the second it's out of my mouth...
How stupid it sounds.
"Funny woman," he whispers back. He's sitting...behind me and here I am...
Vaguely...the logical, unfeeling little voice is pointing out the odd...particulars.
Random stuff that I really shouldn't be concerned with right now...
Stuff like...how Jane's actually still squished up behind me on the bed...
Not going ANYWHERE...
And stuff like...how the doctor says I'm "going to have to push now..."
...and all I can think of is...
'do all husbands get to sit up on the beds like this?'
'isn't there some sort of...rule against it?'
'did he...tell them? tell them I've been hurt?'
"n-no-more. Jane...no more."
"It's almost over..."
When I want to go back in time...I call him Jane.
'Stop that, Teresa! You're having a child. You want this...'
"Count with me, Teresa. We will count the breaths together..."
The first year...we didn't try at all.
Not for a child.
"That's it...you're doing well..."
And it really wasn't...his issue, his fear...
"Okay...the doctor says to bear down...bear down, honey..."
He was...ready to have another child, he said.
He would like nothing more if I had his child, he said.
I was terrified. Absolutely...terrified.
I can feel Jane's lips press against my temple.
"The doctor can see the head. You're almost done. Almost done, my love."
A wave of pain, and I push away the pain...
away, away, away...
I take all my fear and push it away...
All the feelings since the rape...away...
"Don't cry. It's okay. Please don't cry."
Am I crying?
"He's crying enough for all of us...," and my husband laughs.
And his laughter sounds...spiked with tears and hoarseness and something else...
"Whose crying?," I finally mumble, before I feel my lips go numb.
Before I blearily see Jane's face staring down at me...
Before I hear this odd, dream-like calling of my name...
Like I'm under water.
I'm so tired.
And everything is so white.
When I wake up, everything is dark.
It takes me a moment to realize where I am.
I had a baby.
I've had the baby.
"How could you possibly forget THAT little detail, Lisbon?," and Patrick's voice cuts through my thoughts.
I smile in this dark room.
This dark, warm room.
"Was I speaking out loud?," I ask...timidly.
My eyes close reflectively as my husband turns on a bedside lamp.
"You were," and I can see well enough now...to catch his smile.
He comes forward quickly, pulls me into a tight hug.
I can feel...his body, pressing against mine.
The lines of muscle.
Looking down, I realize...just how much...flatter...
"Wow," I breath against my nightshirt. "Wow...what a difference!"
I touch my belly, almost...in awe.
"He sure took up a lot of space...," I sputter.
I know I sound like an idiot.
But I feel...so much better.
I also feel a weird, twinge of something...akin to...
"Loss?," Patrick supplies, his eyes studying mine seriously.
"Uh...it's like...a tooth. A tooth that's gone. A little gap in my mouth. Like that."
I shake my head, feeling strangely...sentimental.
Again...what can I say?, but...damn hormones.
Patrick hugs me again.
Or...hug-holds me, as I refer to it.
Wraps his arms around me and just...holds on.
Like he's afraid not to...hold me.
He's impossibly quiet, and then it hits...
Volatile, intense fear.
"Where is he? Where's Dylan? Is he okay?"
Patrick pushes back slightly. Lifts my chin with two fingers.
"He's fine. He's...wonderful. He was crying for you, earlier. But he has stopped now."
"He was crying? I...don't remember."
I know I'm frowning.
Patrick takes my hands, and half slides onto the bed. Carefully...very, very carefully.
"You passed out," he says, a moment later.
There's an edge to his voice.
Something else that I'm simply too tired to place.
"I'm sorry...," I try, then suddenly wonder what alien hormones have bombarded me.
Why am I apologizing?
I just went through a 39 hour labor.
Patrick stares at me, his eyes somber.
"Don't you dare apologize. I should apologize."
I grin, suddenly.
My moods are out of control.
"Yes. You should. For getting me pregnant. That...hurt."
My husband shakes his head, a slight grin threatening to crack through.
"I don't think it was...entirely...my fault."
I close my eyes, and smile as he speaks again, clears his throat.
"How are you feeling?"
I blink down...supreme...tiredness.
He doesn't say anything for awhile.
"You...lost a lot of blood, Teresa. The baby is...fine. But you... for a second there..."
"My lips felt...numb...," I admit.
"I was...so scared...," he reaches towards me, holds me tighter again and I let out a muffled cry of pain.
He releases me quickly. Wipes at his eyes.
I don't want him to cry.
Please don't cry...
"I just had a baby, you dingbat! And you're squishing my already squashed uterus!"
Patrick laughs then. Louder and fuller than anything I've heard in a long time.
He clears his throat, as if he's preparing a speech.
I groggily open one eye, and try to determine what's so important that he's been stricken...with this...
Shifting about in the bed, I feel a tug of something cool lance through my arm, and I gasp.
See the IV.
See the little hanging bag. The little red pouch.
The streaming red wire feeding fresh blood into my right arm.
"Woah. How much blood did I lose?," and I look at the IV in shock.
Patrick settles down besides me.
"You're...going to be absolutely...fine."
I feel old-morning-bear-Lisbon rear her head, take control.
"Is that what I asked?"
He grins, obviously aware that I'm feeling...more...like myself.
"I don't know. I didn't ask. I was too busy panicking about my wife."
I shake my head, amused in a very dismal sort of way.
"Well that's great. Super swell, Patrick. If I were in real mortal danger, I'm happy to know that you love me enough to panic."
Patrick laughs again, reaches forward, and captures my lips in a kiss.
And he's *still* laughing as he kisses me; when he pulls back, I see a new and bright excitement light up his features.
"Do you want to see Dylan?," and under his breath, "oh, this is going to be...awesome..."
"Is he here? Here-here?"
Patrick turns to me, smiling his I-have-a-secret-smile.
"Oh yeah...he's here."
I suddenly know...I'm in for a surprise.
"What...what's going on? You sound...absolutely delighted in that I-know-something-Lisbon-doesn't know...kind of way."
We're too accustomed to the names to let go of them forever.
I call him Jane when I'm afraid.
Or...when I want to tease him.
I give him a scowl.
Well, a half-scowl.
"Wait a second...I had a girl, didn't I? EVERYONE thought it was going to be a boy...," I huff.
Patrick actually giggles then, and I groan.
"Great! Now we have to come up with a NEW name, and I didn't LOOK at any girl names because you were SO certain-"
"Teresa, sweetheart - be quiet," and he grins another fierce grin, a retort dying on my lips.
Because I can see now...distantly, in the darkened haze...
that he's holding...
"He's been crying for you, sweetheart."
"Dylan," I breathe, and my arms open up as if on automatic pilot.
"I want to hold her," and then I'm the one trying not to cry.
Although these tears are different from the ones I felt earlier...
Not cold...scared...terribly scared tears...
These tears are warm. Consoling.
These tears make some sort of ancient sense.
"If you keep calling our son a girl, Lisbon, he's going to develop a complex," and Patrick is smiling still, although the grin is gone.
Replaced by something solid.
He almost looks like a different man.
There's no pain in his eyes.
'I was so worried that I would see...pain.'
Instead his eyes flicker back and forth.
Back and forth...as if...spellbound.
As if caught in a tug-of-war between who to look at, who to study...
... me...or this blue-swaddled baby.
Finally...finally!...he lays the small mass into my arms.
I choke back on laughter as Patrick hands me Dylan with trembling arms.
I struggle to sit upright, to finally...look at my son.
"He...has...ringlets!," I sputter.
Because truly - he does. A whole head of blond ringlets.
And staggeringly blue eyes.
"He looks...he looks like a mini-you. A mini-Jane."
Patrick laughs for what must be the 100th time today.
He sounds...absolutely delighted.
"He does...doesn't he? Except...he has your eyes. Your beautiful eyes," and he gestures an oval with his right hand.
"But they're blue," I note.
"The shape, I mean. And besides... all babies have blue eyes when they are born. Well...most babies. Most caucasin babies. And, anyway... I'll bet you a pony...they'll turn green."
"A pony, huh?"
I chuckle knowing better than to ever bet against my husband, and I slowly rock Dylan, who now sort of... spurts to life.
"Which button did I push?"
Those teensy eyes open again and our little guy turns to me.
His mouth opens into a large...O.
"Whose that?," Patrick queries, "that's mommy. Mommy...whose very, very happy you are out here, and no longer in there..."
And the goof pokes me in the belly...lightly, sure...but still.
"Watch it, Pokey!"
"Meh...I didn't even touch you," the kook smirks, eyes never leaving our child.
I turn back to the little-mini-Jane.
Little-mini-Jane...taking me in with such absorbing concentration for an infant.
"Hi Dylan," I say...and my voice somehow - SOMEHOW - comes out in the sweetest falsetto I've ever heard.
"Oh no...I'm turning into a Mommy," I mock-gasp to Patrick, who gives me a thumbs up, a toothy grin.
"Good job, mommy-lady!," he quips, beaming at me...and to our son: "Did you hear that, munchkin? Lisbon actually wants to keep you around! A JANE. ANOTHER one."
I slow my rocking slightly, while our very, very quiet little boy looks over at his daddy - at the big oaf making all the noise...
"No orphanage for you, buster!"
A tiny hand comes out and swats at the noise.
"That's right, Dylan. Clever baby. If Daddy says something stupid, you smack him - that's right!"
When I look up a second later, I add, "well...he obviously gets his survival skills from me."
I hear Patrick snort, then feel him crouch down, see his hand come out to stroke our little boy.
Dylan flaps his arms out for his dad, then tries to lift his head, but of course...he can't.
So he cries.
And it's not a deluge of noise, by any means.
More a snotty-teary cry. As if...he's really disappointed that he can't bend his head, and look at his Daddy.
"There you go...you CAN make noise! And here I thought you'd be..." and I smile innocently at my husband, "fabulously mute. A refreshing change, that's what I was hoping for..."
"Oh...that's nice, woman! Did I not make you an assortment of berry ice pops in EVERY conceivable berry flavour? Did I not pack you a lavish emergency bag?"
I sit up rapid-fire-fast.
I had forgotten about the emergency bag.
Patrick shakes his head, closes his eyes, bites his lip.
Then looks back at me.
"I'll go find a kettle," he murmurs, coming in for another kiss. "You...coffee-obsessed-woman."
I pout, "it's...not...COFFEE. It's SANKA. There's no coffee in it!"
Patrick continues to nod, amused.
"Whatever you say, darling," and he starts to get up...obviously not wanting to do so. Not wanting to leave.
"I want my Sanka today, Jane."
Another snort, and then he's gone.
I lean in towards our son.
"Of course mommy's right, hey imp?"
Dylan catches my eye, reaches out with that teensy hand, and grabs the air.
And the look...then...
He looks just like his father.
Blond ringlets hanging down over his head.
Our newborn babe with his golden mop of curls.
I should be scared...
I should be terrified.
But looking down into his eyes. Those Jane-imp-eyes...
"I love you little baby," I whisper, feeling a cloaking feeling of something big and real catch in my throat.
"I love you Dylan Spencer Jane."
A/N: Yes, it ends on a sappy note. What can I say? I got very, very little sleep last night. And - evidently...I become a sap when I get no sleep.
If you don't completely dislike baby Dylan, let me know. Drop me a fast line. I may have him feature into some other stories in the future.
Like I said...I've never written a baby-fic before.
How did I do? :)