Disclaimer: I do not own Private Practice or the characters within, they are creations of Shonda Rhimes and I am simply borrowing them for my own entertainment.
Author's Notes: Okay, so I assume I'm not the only one who has a "Holy Crap!" reaction to the cliffhanger... Well, mine goes a bit beyond that, you see I couldn't even go to sleep (even though it was 5am when I finished watching as I live in Europe and was streaming it live) until I had written the first draft of this. This is what I would like to happen in the season five premiere... This is the first story ever I've written completely in 2nd person... hope that doesn't put you off... No matter what you think I hope you review. Good or bad, I don't care, as long as you're honest...
Many thanks to my beta, Mediatorsk for giving this a looksy.
Edit: It seems some might be under the impression that this is another new series, so I regret to inform you that this is and will remain a one-shot. I have two current stories demanding my attention, plus an older one that is well due for an update. I can't stretch myself to start another series until some of my current ones are complete. I do still hope you find this one-shot a comfort.
The funny thing about airports? The longer you sit there, the more the noise starts to blend together. At first you can hear every announcement… Flight 327, leaving for San Francisco departing at Gate 26… Calling passengers Thomas Roberts and Ruth Davidson, please come to Gate 97 immediately, that's Thomas Roberts and Ruth Davidson for Gate 97, the Gate is now closing… then as more time passes, they all start to sound alike and you begin listening more to the voices in your head than to what they are saying over the speakers.
He said bye-bye. Your baby said bye-bye and you feel like crying. Not because your husband wouldn't look you in the eyes when you left, not because he said he was done. It's because your baby looked at you, waved to you and said bye-bye. You know it's irrational; it's only for three weeks. He's been without you for longer; hell… you spent a whole year away from your child and look how well-adjusted he is… Thinking about that is not really a comfort; in fact, it's only making you feel worse.
You're being selfish! That's the other thing popping up in your head. You realize you were perhaps being a bit stubborn, reacting to him with the utmost defiance… You blame your parents. Watching them dictate their lives to one another instilled something in you, a need to always decide for yourself, always… Alright, maybe you were a bit selfish… maybe you were very selfish, asking him to stand by you yet again as you do as you please…
He loves you; he wants you around, not across the country promoting the book that is causing so many problems for the practice… You don't regret writing it, don't regret what it stands for and what it is going to mean for thousands of people out there… but you regret the ripple effect it seems to be making in every other aspect of your life. Your license has been suspended; practically speaking you're not a doctor anymore. You can't practice medicine… and there are no words as to how long or what hoops the medical board will have you jump through before you get to go back to the work that you love, not to mention the entire practice is in jeopardy.
Your husband is a whole other matter… It's not about jumping through hoops; you realize that, now. It's about making a change, a probably much needed change. You need to set aside the stubborn streak and learn to listen in your personal life, the same way you've been listening in your professional life for well over a decade. Sure, it's easier with patients, they only require you to guide them, help them make choices for themselves and their lives. With the man you love it's going to require an effort from you; an effort to truly learn the art of compromise in your marriage.
Because while on a grander scale your marriage may still be considered a new one… for you it's a marriage worth fighting for, worth saving. You want your child to grow up with parents who are together, who love each other… not because it's the so-called right thing to do, but because it's what feels right to you. You want to endure that foul morning breath every morning, just so you can kiss him the moment you both wake up; you want to reach across the table and grab his hand, or have him grab yours when either one of you are having a bad day; you want to share the joy in every milestone your child makes with him when it happens, not catch each other up as you pass the child between you...
It's not until it's beginning to get dark that you realize you've missed your flight, missed the probably many times the speakers have called out your name, asking you to run to your gate. Your phone rings and it's your publisher wondering where you are, as you had a meeting half an hour ago and didn't show. Of course, they want you on the next flight out. They can reschedule to tomorrow morning instead. It has to be early, because they've booked two TV appearances at noon and a signing in the afternoon.
They don't take it too kindly when you say you changed your mind. Laments about cancellation fees ring in your ear, but you don't really hear it. What you hear is the voice of your child saying bye-bye, and you pick up your carry-on luggage and walk out of the airport. It's getting late… Your husband is probably about to put him to bed, but at least you can watch him sleep, and tomorrow morning you can surprise the child with your presence, show him that mommy came back. Maybe you can go to the park, tomorrow. It's not like you have a job right now, so why not?
You rent a cab and the whole way home you think about what other ways you are going to fill your time, now. Once you get started, you realize the possibilities are endless. You can find another job, temporarily while you wait for the board to waive your suspension; maybe you can do volunteer work… There are many ways after all that you can help people where you don't have to be a licensed doctor to do so… And maybe being a fulltime mom for a while won't be so bad after all; spending time with your son now to make up for the time when you were away, the time when he didn't know you. Looking out the passenger window you smile… you're beginning to see the glass as half-full.
Unlocking your front door and stepping inside, you feel your world starting to fall apart again. You see him lying on the floor, clutching his chest in pain, and you call out his name as you rush forward and crouch down next to him. There isn't a need for a medical degree to see what is happening... Inwardly you berate yourself for not paying more attention. He didn't look well, but you were too caught up in the fight to be sufficiently worried… You begin to ask yourself why you walked out that front door in the first place…
You see your child sitting on the floor looking at his father, unable to comprehend what is happening. You cannot let him see the panic in your eyes. You're his mother; it's your job to protect him... You call 911, they are sending an ambulance right away…
Your area is the mind, not the body, but in the back of your mind you still recall what to do next, you run into the kitchen for an aspirin and a glass of water. He's heavy like a sack of potatoes, but you still manage to tilt his head and upper body far enough so he can safely swallow the pill. You encourage him to take small sips to help wash it down properly. He tries to form words, but the only things coming from his mouth are groans.
Lowering him back to the floor and carefully rolling him onto his side, you then go to pick up your child before returning to your husband's side. Turned away, so he can't see his father's pain stricken face, you hold the boy close. Part of it is for selfish reasons, because you yourself need the comfort, but you also mean to comfort your child. You use your free hand to grab your husband's other hand, the one he doesn't have clutched to his chest. He looks at you and through the pain you can see that he's glad to have you there.
The ambulance arrives and you stand back, stroking your child's head and back as they move your husband over to a stretcher and rush him out to the vehicle. They offer to let you ride with him to the hospital. For your child's sake you ask to sit up front with the driver. They understand... the last thing your son needs is to watch a bunch of strangers working on his father.
Arriving at St. Ambrose, you are pointed to the waiting area, while they disappear through the heavy doors, the doors separating between where visitors can go and where only medical personnel are allowed. Doors that you have grown accustomed to walking through… but today you are not a doctor. You are a terrified wife, holding your slumbering child close to you as you take a seat in the waiting area.
One of the nurses walks past and sees you. She works with your husband and she's seen both you and your child on several occasions. She finds you a blanket and a small pillow, so that you can lay your son down on the seat next to you. Selfishly you want to keep holding him, but recognize that this is better for him. The nurse returns with a bottle of water and a bag of trail mix. She sits with you until your friends begin to arrive. They each give you hugs and offer words of comfort. You appreciate it, but you can't get yourself to engage in the conversation.
Finally the doctor comes to update you on your husband's condition. He tells you he's out of the woods for now, that they're keeping him for observation and further tests, but that you can see him if you want. Your friends immediately offer to watch your child for you, but you don't want to leave him behind. Holding your sleeping child in your arms, you follow the doctor to the room.
You want to cry at the sight of him. He looks so sick and frail lying in his hospital bed, with the nasal cannula, the IV-fluids, and the heart monitor... And you know very well that it's not over yet, but at least he's here, he's alive… Right now that's all that matters…