Felicity was aware that she was being watched even before she opened her eyes. She could smell the familiar scent of sanitizer in air and a constant flow of manufactured cool air blowing across her closed eyelids. Someone was holding her hand and saying something softly, but she couldn't quite make out the words. She wished that she was at home – her real home – snuggled up in bed with her boys watching a movie.
"Hey, there," Ben said quietly as she opened her eyes. He was holding her hand with one of his own and used the other to brush hair away from her forehead. Felicity smiled at him weakly and motioned for a cup of water. "You gave us quite a scare."
Felicity leaned forward and sipped through the straw Ben was holding out for her. Once her dry throat wasn't quite so scratchy, she sat up enough so that she could take in her surroundings. She was tucked into a hospital bed with no idea how much time had passed. "What happened? Why am I here?" she asked. When he started to remind her about Andrew, she shook her head and reiterated her question about being in the hospital. "Ben, is something wrong with me?"
"You passed out," he explained as he sat in the chair next to him. "You were talking one minute and then flat on your back the next minute. They checked you out to make sure everything is fine. They said you were dehydrated and a little anemic, so that might explain why you passed out. The doctor also had a little bit of news."
"Is it about Andrew?"
Ben shook his head and slid an envelope from his breast pocket. "Why don't you ready it for yourself?" he retorted, handing it over to his wife. Felicity looked at him in confusion. He knew exactly how she was feeling right now. His own head was spinning at a million miles a minute, trying but failing to catch up with what had happened over the past several hours. First it had been his son and now it was his wife. "Felicity, just read it."
She tore away at the flap carefully and pulled the manila slip from the envelope. She recognized the form immediately as her jaw dropped. Felicity looked up at Ben and then back at the paper. This couldn't be right. She couldn't be. "I'm pregnant?"
"Apparently so," he said. "I kind of thought you might have known already and were keeping it from me. I thought maybe you didn't want to tell me after everything else that had been going on."
Felicity shook her head as she read over the paper again. She couldn't believe that she was pregnant. They had talked about trying, but Ben had wanted to be more established in his career before they had another child. Felicity had agreed with him for the most part and had dropped the issue. The last thing she had expected was to end up pregnant and on the verge of divorce. It was the exact opposite of the image she had in mind when she had thought about expanding their family. Her life suddenly felt even messier than it had hours before.
"Ben, of course I'd tell you," she vowed. "I would never keep that from you. I mean, I know that I've been distant after everything, but I wouldn't do that to you. I really had no idea. I was only a week late, and I kind of just thought it was the stress. It's happened before. Oh, my goodness, are you sure this is right? Am I really pregnant? Are we having a baby?"
He had to laugh a little at her ramble. It had been awhile since he had been on the receiving end of one of those. She was usually quiet these days unless wrapped up in a conversation with Andrew. "Yes, I am pretty sure that the test is right. You are indeed really pregnant, which kind of means that we are having a baby," he answered. "Wow, we're going to have a baby. I'm going to be a father again."
Something finally sunk in. "How's Andrew?"
"Meaghan and Sean are in with him right now. He was sleeping when I went and checked on him a few minutes ago," he replied. "He doesn't know that anything happened, so don't worry about that. I thought you might want to tell him together when he was feeling a little bit better. You know that he's always wanted a little brother or sister. He's going to be pretty excited."
"And what about you?" Her voice was small and bare audible over the constant hum of the monitors attached to her body. Everything was such a mess right now, and adding a child to the equation wouldn't doing anything to simplify it. She'd completely understand if Ben wasn't taking the news in stride. She wasn't entire sure how she would take it herself later when it had truly sunk in. "Are you excited?"
"Are you kidding me?" he laughed. "I'm ecstatic, honey! This is what we have always talked about doing, and okay, so maybe it wasn't planned, but I am so happy."
She wanted to say that he didn't have to pretend to be happy. She wanted to tell him to slow down and that this didn't change anything about their situation. She wanted to ask him to crawl into bed and just hold her. She wanted to go see her son and share the big news. She wanted to go back to that night and double up on protection. She wanted to kick herself for giving into temptation that night after counseling. She wanted to fast forward a year and see how it all worked out. She wanted to do many things, but instead she settled for something completely different.
"I think maybe I should move back into the apartment when my lease is up. I want to come home."
Ben's face lit up in a wide grin as he nodded in agreement. "I can have Noel and Sean help move everything whenever you are ready," he offered. "But I don't want you to feel obligated, Felicity. If you need more time, I understand. We don't have to rush this. Just because we're having this baby doesn't mean that changes how you feel. I get that."
"You're right, it doesn't," she agreed. "I am still hurt and angry at you for what you did to our family, but I also still love you. I promised you a long time ago that I would always love you more than I hated you, and that hasn't changed. This baby needs both its parents together, just like Andrew needs us together. It's going to take a lot of work, but I am willing to put in the time. I just need you to promise that this is it. I won't put my kids through this anymore."
"I promise, Felicity, I will do whatever it takes to make our family work," he promised. He was in tears now and so was Felicity. Their hands were entwined on her stomach, both so acutely aware of the life that they had created was living in there. "I love you."
"I love you, too," she replied before turning her face toward him to kiss her.
"Eww!" Felicity looked over Ben's shoulder to see their son in a wheelchair. It had been twelve hours since his surgery had ended now, and she knew that it was a good sign that the surgeons had allowed him out of bed to come down to see his mother. Sean was pushing him, Meaghan at his side with their four-year-old daughter on her hip. "Seriously, guys, no more kissing." Andrew pretended to be offended by his parents' public display of affection, but the grin on his face told them both that he was happy to see them back together. "How are you feeling, Mom?"
"Better now that you're here," she smiled. "You scared your dad and me."
"Sorry," he grinned, ducking his head as Sean parked him by her bedside.
Ben asked Sean and Meaghan for a few minutes alone with his family. "Buddy, we need to talk to you."
"I know, you and mom are back together," he said matter-of-factly. "Right? That's why you were kissing?"
Felicity looked at her husband and then her son. "We're working on that, sweetheart."
"So what do you need to tell me?"
"I'm having a baby," Felicity told him. "You're going to be a big brother."
"Really?" he asked excitedly, looking between his parents. "Are you and the baby gonna live with dad and me again?"
Ben nodded and squeezed his wife's hand. "Yes, we're all going to give together as a family."
"Mom, that's so cool!" he said excitedly. He started to get up and hug his mom before Ben put his hand on Andrew's shoulder to stop him. Helping him slowly to his feet, Ben managed to get Andrew up on the bed next to Felicity and then sat on the edge next to his wife. Here they were, the whole Covington family – Dad, Mom, Andrew and Baby. It wasn't perfect quite yet, but it was a good start.