Sorry for taking so long to get this out. Exams caught up to me. But hope this acts as an early holiday present to you all! :)
Disclaimer: If I owned it I wouldn't have had my heart broken watching that wrap video. WHY DOES IT HAVE TO BE OVER?
Epilogue: April 12, 2016
"Samuel Stephen Bartowski, take your hand off that doorknob."
"But Daddy! Why can't I say hi to Mommy? I always do, every morning."
"I know you do, and she loves it. But, Sammy, today is a sad day for Mommy and she just needs some more time to sleep. I promise she will be up and playing with you by lunchtime. But for now, just come downstairs and eat your breakfast so that I can go to work, okay?"
Sarah rolls over in bed, her eyes still shut in an attempt to return to her dreamless sleep. She knows what day today is and really doesn't feel like waking up for another few hours. Although she doesn't mind listening to her two favorite voices conversing in the hallway outside.
"Pleeeeeease?" Sam whimpers, pleading with his father to be allowed his customary good morning hug, a ritual the Bartowskis have taken up on days when either parent is home from a mission. They wanted something to reassure their son that, no matter how long a parent might be away for, they will always still love him when they return. Thus, customary morning hugs and bedtime kisses.
"I'm sorry, not today. Mom will give you your hug when she wakes up, okay? Now, I made you pancakes with…"
The voices fade out as Sarah hears the door click shut again. Leave it to their three-and-a-half-year-old to be such a momma's boy that he needs his hug every morning. Sarah doesn't blame him though – for the toddler, sometimes it is a tossup if both of his parents will even be there in the morning. Between being parents, owning two businesses and going on missions, Sarah has no idea how their child will ever grow up "normal".
She rolls over again, attempting to find a comfortable position on her left side. Even with their large and comfy bed, in their large and comfy mansion sitting up on the hill overlooking Burbank, it is getting tougher and tougher for Sarah to fall asleep comfortably. Maybe it's that her body has been going non-stop with switching between spy mode and mom mode that it just can't settle down for five minutes. Or maybe it is that, even though this day has been scary for the last three years, Sarah is even more terrified today.
Sarah peeks open one eye, not wanting to wake up but wanting to know how much longer she may be able to procrastinate giving her son his hug. The clock screams back at her with the time 9:13 AM. Still another three hours before noon. But she made it into the morning, so that is a good sign, right?
She sighs, thinking back on this day four years ago. She was in the hospital living the scariest moment of her life, and for an international spy, that is definitely saying something when the scariest moment didn't involve terrorists, bombs or guns. Just a white room, lots of panicked faces, and too much blood. She shuts her eyes tight, fighting the tears that always come with that particular memory. Even though they have Sam, they have such a beautiful and wonderful little boy, Sarah still needs her one day, or even just one morning, to mourn the two she lost.
She takes a deep breath in and is not surprised when it comes out in staggered puffs. This day is always hard for her, and she knows that taking the time to be sad keeps you happy most other days, so though hard, the day is also extremely necessary.
After about twenty minutes of lying there, Sarah hears the faint sounds of their garage opening and closing once more. Though Chuck wanted to take the day off work to spend it with Sarah, she knew absolutely nothing would get done with the Easter sales if Chuck wasn't at the Buy More to supervise.
She finally maneuvers into a position comfy enough to sleep, hoping she can stay that way for as long as possible. Maybe this year she can just get through the morning and everything will be okay.
Yet as soon as Sarah's eyes are shut and dreams are within spitting distance, her conscience hers the small creak of the bedroom door open, a small pitter patter, and the bed depresses the smallest bit. She makes groans internally, the groan of a mother who just wants a few more minutes of rest, not wanting to entertain their normally overactive son at this early hour.
But she doesn't get woken up by someone tugging on her arms to go throw a ball outside, or join him in the living room for video games, or make him a snack because he is already hungry after breakfast. Instead, she feels a tiny body snuggle up to her chest, his tiny arms barely reaching around her shoulders but his warmth enveloping Sarah from the outside in.
She smiles, rearranging herself so that she can pull Sam as close as possible without crushing him. One hand rubs small circles on his back while she leans down to place a kiss in his messy blond hair.
"I came to be sad with you, Mommy." He says, snuggling his face more into Sarah's chest and causing her heart to break just a little. "Daddy said you won't wake up until lunch time. And when I'm sad I want to snuggle with you so…" His little voice trails off, unsure how to finish the sentence.
Sarah places another kiss on her son's head. "You are so smart, Sammy. A snuggle is exactly what I needed." Her words surprise herself, and Sarah begins to see how true they are. The last three years, she had Chuck. He would sit with her and let her cry and be the strength she needed. With Sam, it is different. He isn't a tower for her to lean on, like Chuck is. Instead, he is a small beacon of hope that crawled into her bed on his own accord.
The mother and son sit in silence for a moment, both wrapped around each other. Sarah never wants to leave this moment, her son still small and wanting to spend time cuddling with his mom, his presence reassuring Sarah that not everything she has done in life has been a failure.
"Mommy?" Sammy says, breaking Sarah's train of thought. She nods down at the small child, rearranging themselves so she can look into his eyes. "Why are you sad?"
The question, so small and innocent, brings more tears to Sarah's eyes. Chuck had agreed with her to tell Sam about the miscarriage, but never really decided on a "when". Perhaps now is better than never, because Sarah does need to explain and she can tell Sam feels very safe wrapped up in her arms. She also doesn't want to lie to their son about something so important. Saying she was in New York on business instead of in Malaysia fighting armed gunmen? That is a lie to protect him. But anything but the truth would do much more harm than good, at least for this subject.
"Well, remember how we always say that you are our miracle?"
The little boy nods. "You also say I'm named after Papa B, even if he's gone now."
Sarah smiles. "That's true too. But, the reason you are our miracle, was because Mommy had a lot of trouble trying to have a baby. When we found out you were coming, I was really scared."
"Not excited?" Sammy asks, his face starting to get disappointed.
"Of course I was excited too!" Sarah reassures, her hand smoothing out his messy curls. This was not going well. "Your father and I, we were more excited about you than anything else in the world. But you can be excited when you're also scared." Sarah pauses for a moment, trying to come up with an example that her son might relate to. "Remember when we went to Disney Land? And you wanted to ride on Dumbo?"
"Yeah, he went really high!" Sammy exclaims.
"Well, before you went on, you were scared."
"But I wanned to go on really bad! I was excited and… oh. I get it." He smiles at his mom, proud of himself for finally understanding.
"So, we were excited, and I was also really scared. I was scared I might lose you before you came." She sees the confused look on her son's face again. "You would be gone like Papa B, but gone before I could meet you."
"Oh. I think I get it." The boy's confused look does not match his statement.
Sarah smiles, unsure where to continue. Talking about it with Chuck or Ellie, you could say the words "miscarriage" or really get into the hard emotions that come with that evening. But Sarah doesn't want to scare Sam or give him too much information for his small brain. But she still wants him to understand. A part of her wishes Chuck hadn't gone in to work – he is always so much better at this explanation stuff.
Sam looks up at Sarah with wide eyes, waiting for her to continue the story. But, Sarah really doesn't know where to begin.
"So… we…" She takes a deep breath. "Sammy, even though you are here with us, and we love you so much and wouldn't change that for the world, you were…" Her voice breaks, and she can feel the tears coming back again. "You had a twin, I like to think a brother, who was going to be born with you."
She looks down through clouded eyes to see her son's reaction, and he looks just as sad as Sarah feels. It breaks her heart, because she never wanted to put this burden on her son.
"What… what 'appened to him?"
She grabs Sam and pulls him in tight, making sure to keep him locked in the hug as she explains. Sarah isn't sure if she is hugging him to keep her son or herself calm.
"He… Four years ago, before you were born and when I was pregnant with you, something happened so that your brother decided to go be with Papa B, while you decided to stay and be with us." Probably not the best way to explain it, but hey, he is only three and a half.
"What 'appened? Why'd he go and I didn't?"
Sarah takes a breath, completely unsure how to answer this one. "I really don't know. But you stayed here with us and he… joined your Papa." Hopefully that will be enough for Sam, at least for now. Because how else do you explain? He went to heaven? Sarah isn't even sure if she believes in heaven. That would probably be the way that Chuck would explain it, but Sarah can't try to convince her son of something she doesn't believe herself. "He's there and you're here."
"And he being there makes you sad?"
A tear rolls down her cheek as Sam thinks about the story he was told. Sarah takes a deep breath, making sure to take in the life next to her without forgetting the lives she lost. Because, as much as the young boy would love to know everything, he doesn't need to hear about Sarah's first miscarriage. That would be information overload, and she doesn't want to scare him too much.
"So why am I the mirable then?" Sam asks, his eyes like saucers.
"Because, Sammy, we thought we lost you too. But we didn't, and you are here, and that is what makes you our miracle."
"Oh." He says. A smile reaches his lips and he snuggles back into his mother's chest. "I can be sad wif you for a while if you want Mommy." He says into her chest.
Sarah stops and thinks about it, realizing that mourning the child she lost with the child she has seems a little too morbid, even for her. But she definitely won't turn away the snuggling.
"How about, we go downstairs and snuggle while watching a movie? It will help me stop being sad, take our minds off of things, and will cheer us both up."
"Okay!" Sam's eyes light up as he jumps out of Sarah's arms and bounds off the bed. "I'll choose a movie!"
Just before he passes through the door, Sam stops and turns to his mom. "I love you mom. And I wish I cood meet my brother. But I still love you." With that, the boy is gone and probably halfway down the stairs.
Sarah lets her last few tears roll before moving herself to the edge of the bed and standing. She places a hand on her slightly expanded belly. Sure, this day is sad and has terrible memories to go with it. But maybe they can make new memories, memories of family and friends, and probably Finding Nemo. And maybe today, instead of bringing death, will bring new life.
She smiles, knowing for the first time in four years she will have a happy April 12th. Because no matter how much life takes away, there is always something new waiting for you on the other side.
Her hand wanders back to her lower belly as Sarah stands to wash up in the bathroom. Perhaps today, after the revelations Sam already had, would not be a good day to tell him about his new brother or sister. Perhaps next week, Sarah thinks as she smiles to herself before heading downstairs after her son.
Well, there you have it. Months of hard work, and 100,000 words later my drabble is a full fledged piece of work. Thanks to everyone who read, reviewed, commented, etc. Basically the same thing I said in the last chapter applies now. :)
Also, thanks to all of you, I now have a future worked our with Chuck, Sarah, Sam, their unborn (as of this story) daughter who will be named Madelyn (Madi for short), the future Bartowski industries, Alex and Morgan's kids, Casey's interaction and a pool party that gets crashed by the President's daughter's birthday at a national emergency. Really, they are all living in my head now and I can only thank you for that.
Maybe at some point I will write a sequel, or a one shot that just needs to get out, but I have absolutely no idea when, if ever, that would happen. I only hope that you guys would still want to read it
Thanks to you all for making my first foray into fanfiction writing an amazing experience! I will always remember you and all of your reviews and comments and alerts and favorites when I am old and grey.
Now let's all try not to cry too much at the series finale next year, okay?