4 Months Earlier
After a particular trying case, that hit a little too close to home for Matt, Alesha was worried about him. he took so much to heart when it came to his job. and she knew her duty as his friend was to console him,so she pushed her own personal feelings aside and visited him at his flat. Matt seemed relieved to see her.
They spent hours talking while he ran the gambit of emotions over the outcome of the trial. Before she knew it, it was nearly 3am. but Matt was still on a rant about the judicial system. she didn't really want to cut him off when he seemed so fragile, but she needed to get home.
so she sat up, and turned to him with apologetic eyes and said " Matt, listen, i'm sorry to do this but its getting late and I've got to get home" He was taken aback by this statement until he noticed the time on his wall clock. " Oh man, Alesha, i'm so sorry I hadn't even noticed the ti-" She interrupted him with " no worries, but we can continue this conversation tommorow or any other time you need I'm here for you, ok? "
She was so busy searching for her cellphone in her handbag, she hadn't noticed him get up and knelt in front of her. when she did look up, she was startled to see him so achingly close, with an unfamiliar yet very welcomed look in his eyes, he whispered her name with a small smile playing on his lips, leaned forward and kissed her with so much need and passion within it, she responded back in kind.
Pushing her bag aside,She slipped to the floor into his arms. The hungry kissing turned into a frenzied attempt to take each others clothes off as Matt lead them to his bedroom...
2 hours later, Alesha opened her still groggy eyes, to see a sleeping Matt Devlin beside her.
"God, he even looks hot when he's asleep" she thought to herself, smirking.
She lovingly took in the look of slumbering face and without even thinking about it she softly traced, with her fingertips, his jaw line. the very same jaw line that for so long she'd wanted to trail small kisses along, was so readily available to her right now.
Alesha continued her dedicated tracings of his lovely features when he murmured "stop it,Moll, I'm sleeping". and with that he turned over to sleep on his stomach, his head now facing the other direction.
Stricken, Alesha continued to stare at the now vacant place where his face recently was. " Moll? as in Molly?" her good mood deflated upon realization that she was just another warm body in his bed. If it wasn't her,that was there to console him and to reap the rewards of that act, it would have been some other lucky girl. Even in his sleep, he was thinking of someone else and with that sad thought, She quietly got out of bed and dressed in a hurry.
She gathered her things and with one last look, she slipped out of his apartment. As the lock clicked shut behind her, she continued to silently chastise herself for her eagerness to believe that she was something different. He had a reputation as a ladies man,she was well aware of that, but that didn't stop her heart from breaking.
Much Later that day Alesha was sitting at her desk, sorting through her desk drawer, trying to keep her mind occupied, when she heard the door open and the loud voice of Ronnie Brooks chatting away to someone.
Her heart started beating fast, she hoped and didn't hope it was Matt. it was usually Matt but that didn't stop her mind from going in overdrive.
When he finally came into view her heart did an odd leap and plummet at the same time. she felt sick, he looked even better awake. He looked her way and smiled at her, and mouthed, " Hi".
Inside she was panicking, she didn't want to look hopeful just in case she was right, and it was just a one night stand and he was just trying to a nice guy. But she also didn't want to seem like she didn't have a great time last night. so what ended up happening was that she looked like she had a bit of an eye twitch and was sort of depressed about it.
Realizing what an utter failure that was, she sheepishly looked away, missing the questioning look in Matt's eyes as his smile faltered.
A short while later, as Ronnie conversed with James and George, Matt snuck out to speak with her. He came around to her side of the desk and knelt beside her. "hi lesh, you alright?" his blue eyes searching her brown ones. "yea' course, why wouldn't I be?" she said quickly, her words practically jumbling together.
She could barely maintain eye contact. Matt sighed sadly, which made her look up, but his voice betrayed that sigh. In a matter of fact tone he said to her " Maybe we should pretend last night never happened" it didn't sound like a question. it sounded like a statement.
Alesha felt the first pinpricks of tears forming, she sharply looked away and started busying herself again with repacking her staples back into its box , before finally finding the strength to say a very soft "ok".
Later, she couldn't recall how she got that tiny word out without bursting into tears but she did. it was the hardest word she ever said.
Alesha didn't look at Matt again after that. not when she felt him stand up and move away from her, not even when Ronnie came back out,and definitely not when they all said their goodbyes. She kept her eyes downcast. Maybe she imagined the feel of his eyes still on her the entire time, maybe she didn't. Either way,she didn't looked his way again that day.
4 months later...
Alesha's life was so packed with work she barely had a minute to herself. and thats the way she liked it. Ever since that day with Matt, she didn't trust herself to be alone with her own thoughts anymore.
She forced herself to stay insanely busy. never allowing herself to think, to feel, to miss.
She kept a nearly inhumane schedule for the past few months. filled with work, work and more work.
She had her full time job, which included giving the law clerks a run for their money. She volunteered to do even the most tedious assignments. and when that still left her with time on her hands, she volunteered her services elsewhere. At every function she attended,she arrived early, and helped the event staff prepare.
Alesha woke early every morning and crawled into bed exhausted late every night. Any and every occassion not to be alone with her thoughts and feelings, she agreed too.
Without James or even George there, her rigid schedule remained mostly unchecked. She wasn't as yet close to James' replacement so moone told her to call it a night and go home, outside of the janitor.
Her rare minutes of spare time was filled with quick showers and take aways. uUnless some kindhearted soul, invited her round for dinner ( which she always accepted) she ate frozen dinners and takeout.
It was due to this recent change in diet her subsequent weight gain failed to alarm her. Although she wasn't a huge fan of chip shops before, she now adored them. She didn't fancy them before but she now lived for battered sausage with extra curry sauce. and she couldn't do without pineapple fritters. how did she ever live without them? she thought everytime she bit into one.
Alesha blamed this new addiction for her almost daily indigestion. It didn't stop her from eating it, but she now walked around with antacids to combat it.
Her being late, she knowingly attributed to her almost constant activity. She was under a great amount of stress and this sort of thing had happened to her before during her school days, so she thought nothing of it. She had a routine doctors appointment coming up next month, and she'd deal with it then.
Alesha still saw Matt professionally, several times a week, and although it stung at first, the raw feelings abated with each added workload. They continued being work colleagues with no dramatic outbursts. They spoke congenially, and things were basically normal. Sometimes she'd catch him looking at her, but she shrugged that off. "People have eyes, they use it to see" was her mantra during those times.
Life continued in this vein, for another few weeks until one afternoon, Natalie called Alesha, Matt and Ronnie together for a debriefing at the station. When Alesha arrived, she found that Natalie was in another meeting and wouldn't be free for another hour. so Ronnie said "who's up for take away then while we wait?", Alesha agreed happily, while Matt simply shrugged.
They decided to eat at the detective's desk. When Alesha started to prepare her sausage and chips her usual way,bathing it. Matt and Ronnie looked on with amused expressions on their faces.
" Uh, Alesha, how do you eat all that curry sauce without heart burn? " Ronnie asked as he started in on his chips. She swallowed before answering " I don't, I've got antacids in my bag, if you need"
She eagerly devoured the rest of her sausage before opening up her pineapple fritter to start in on that too.
Matt looked slightly alarmed, while Ronnie stared in horror as she dipped it in the curry sauce and closed her eyes as she enjoyed her "heavenly concoction".
" Ron, this is soooo good, you've got to try it" Ronnie shook his head, at a loss for words,a horrified look etched on his face,
"how 'bout you , Matt?" she asked politely " yuck! no way, that looks gross" was the response. She shrugged and finished it off.
Not long after,Natalie's office door opened briefly before she poked her head out and said " guys, you can all come in" she smiled knowingly at Alesha when she looked her way.
Alesha was already standing up, getting ready to pick her bag and coat up, when Ronnie, not unkindly said " Alesha luv, no offense but you need a new suit"
She looked down and noticed her jacket button and hook straining against her tummy, she laughed goodnaturedly and said
"well its no wonder, you saw what I had for lunch, Ronnie!" she walked into Natalie's office as the older woman looked at her retreating form quizzically.
" No way! she couldn't possibly NOT know?" she thought to herself. over the past month or 2 Natalie had noticed the subtle change in Alesha's appearance and figured the lack of announcement was due to Alesha's unsurprising attempt at privacy. She assumed the young prosecutor would tell everyone when she was ready. now apparently that wasn't the case. Natalie made a mental note to talk to Alesha about this.
Throughout all of this, Matt stood back, largely unnoticed, with a strange look on his face. a flurry of thoughts ran through his mind as he made his way into Natalie's office and sat down. " was it true? was Alesha pregnant? was she seeing someone?" he knew they hadn't been very close these past months but he'd assumed she'd have still told him news this big. this life changing.
The next morning Alesha rushed out of the shower, cursing herself for forgetting to set her alarm. and then she cursed again for forgetting her towel on her bed.
As she tracked water onto her carpeted bedroom floor, to get the wayward towel, something in the mirror caught her eye. She stopped in her tracks. She'd noticed something she hadn't noticed before.
Alesha Phillips had a baby bump, albiet a small one.
Stunned, she gingerly touched her belly. How in the hell did I miss this?" she thought to herself. Her lovely features clouded over as she did the quick calculations in her head.
she gasped as the realization hit her. suddenly her legs felt like jelly, and she robotically moved to sit at the edge of her bed. but before she was able to digest this startling news, her phone started ringing. It was DI Natalie Chandler.
Alesha picked up automatically, her mind still blank from shock. " hello, hello? Alesha its Natalie, I think we need to have a chat. lets meet up for coffee?" Natalie confused, said into the phone, she knew Alesha was listening even if she didn't speak.
Alesha found her voice somehow and said distractedly " I , I can't. Natalie, I just found out some news, I need some time to think alo-" She was cut off by Natalie saying in her usual take charge way " and thats why we need to meet up. in a half hour. I'll pick you up" and hung up on her. Alesha clicked her phone off and sat staring blankly at her empty wall.
Matt hadn't slept all night. He was a damned good detective. if he had enough clues, he could solve any number of cases. but for some reason at 3am he couldn't remember if women started to show before 3 months or not.
He had only limited contact with pregnant women so he only had common knowledge to go on. but if he was right and they didn't really show until 3 months atleast, then Alesha must have been over 3 months because her bump was noticeable once you knew to look for it.
She never wore overly tight clothes so it was no wonder, someone didn't comment about it before yesterday. but if she was over 3 months, maybe even 4 months and they'd had sex over 4 months ago then..
"NO WAY" Matt said aloud as he shot up in bed.
Natalie took in the disheveled look Alesha was sporting today, and the haunted look in her eyes and knew she finally realized the obvious.
Natalie gently asked " so what took you so long?"
Alesha looked up at her with tear filled eyes and laughed a hollow laugh " d'you know I haven't a clue? It sounds so silly to say this but I was just so busy, it never even occurred to me. I didn't even have morning sickness,Nat!... but looking back on it now,though, there were huge clues that I ignored" she shook her head in dismay at herself.
Natalie smiled kindly at her, patted her hand and said "it happens, sweetheart"
" not to me it doesn't, it happens to those women on that show " I didn't know I was pregnant", you know the one on TLC? I always thought to myself , how couldn't they know? now I bloody well know" she moaned as she held her head in her hands.
Natalie laughed in spite of herself " I'm sorry, love, but it is just a little bit funny when you think about it" Alesha looks at her and nods begrudgingly " a little, I guess! but I don't fancy having that talk with Matt".
Now it was Natalie's turn to gasp in surprise " our Matt's the father? oh now this is just getting better. you've got to tell him" the older woman said to her with an imploring look in her eyes.
Alesha sighed, nodding " talk about an awkward conversation, I'd rather not have."
After her chat with Natalie, Alesha decided to walk to her office. She needed the fresh air and the time to think.
She went over and over the several ways this conversation could go with Matt. it was all so sudden and she wasn't even adjusted to the idea herself yet and she had to allow herself to be so vulnerable in front of the one person she'd rather not be in that position with ever again.
what if he rejects the baby too? what if wanted full custody? oh crap she should have taken some more time before leaving her apartment this morning. Damn,Natalie for forcing her out before she was ready.
As she approached the familiar building, she still wasn't any closer to deciding anything. She was about to pull the door open, when she heard someone call her name. Alesha turned around to see Matt about 5 ft away from her.
Her heart somersaulted. It was now or never.
"can we talk?"
" I think we should"
Matt nodded and led them both over to the nearest bench to sit. There was noone else around, only passerby that weren't close enough to hear or care about their conversation. They stared forward not saying anything for a long time before Matt asked,
"so um, are you really-"
"yes, I am"
Matt audibly gulped " how far along?"
Alesha hesistated before replying " I don't actually know, I'm guessing a little more than 4 months? I haven't been to the doctor yet".
Matt looked at her strangely, " you haven't? when did you find out?"
Alesha's face flushed " This is going to sound so stupid, don't laugh, but I only realized this morning"
Matt let out a bark of laughter. He looked a bit relieved when he finally turned to face her "so you weren't hiding it from me then?"
it was Alesha's turn to laugh "no way, I was too busy being a total twit" She sighed and continued " I was so hurt after that night together, I never even let myself think about it again. so It never occurred to me that I could be, you know, pregnant" She whispered that last part, still unsure of herself.
Matt took her hand and squeezed it in comfort. " well it does explain all of that curry sauce you were dousing everything in" he said teasingly.
She giggled despite the fact that she still wanted to cry from overwhelming emotions.
" I know you don't want to be with me, so i'm sorry we're now in this position together. you don't owe me anything and I understand if you want to still keep your distance" she blurted out, suddenly serious, letting go of Matt's hand.
Matt turned full around to face her this time. " what are you talking about? I woke up alone the next day, after finally getting a chance to be with you. you left without even a note? I thought you regretted it. and when I saw you in the office later that day, you acted so odd, you wouldn't even look at me. so I thought I'd make it easy on both of us by offering to act like nothing ever happened. and you took me up on it, so easily. not even a word of protest." he said in a quiet but steady voice.
"oh Matt, I didn't regret it one bit. I'd waited so long to be with you, but I just knew you'd want it to be a one night stand. especially when you said her name while you slept' Alesha replied sadly.
" her name? who? what name did I say?" he asked looking at her completely confused.
" Molly" Alesha said curtly. Matt let out a laugh so loud, the pigeons flew away, startled.
He got up quickly and pulled Alesha up too , he stood in front of her, and took both of her hands, stared at her sincerely and said " Alesha, Molly was my dog, when I was a kid, she'd wake me up every morning, by nuzzling my face or neck".
He wouldn't have missed the look of both relief and embarassment that crossed, Alesha's face, for the world.
He grinned at her when she said "you mean, we could have been together all this time if it wasn't for your childhood pet"
he nodded as his grin grew wider. she thought about it for a moment, before closing her eyes and saying " I told you i was a bit of a twit"
Matt laughed as he pulled her in for a hug and kissed her forehead. After a few minutes they moved apart. but still faced each other.
He hesistantly asked the question noone else asked her "are you going to keep it?"
"you know, I never once entertained the thought of not keeping it" he smiled at that.
" so we're having a baby?"
" apparently" she grinned at him.
He placed both his hands on her slightly protruding belly. how the hell had they both missed this bump before ?
He asked softly as if talking already to the baby " we're going to be a family?"
Alesha smiled lovingly at him before whispering back " that'd be nice'
he looked at her with a goofy yet gloriously happy grin on, and pulled her into a deep kiss.