A/N: I love the situation in this fic for two main reasons: 1) Tony and Michelle are adorable as loving, concerned parents and would totally be worried about their little babies even in non-threatening situations (plus they make an awesome parental duo), and 2) it brings out some great Day 3 nostalgia. Ahhh. So here's a fluffyish little post-S4 AU oneshot for you; again, featuring their little son, Anthony. Hehe. Hope you like.
"Mom!" The familiar voice of a little boy called warily from the hallway. "Mom!"
Michelle looked up from the counter she had been wiping down to find her five-year-old boy tentatively entering the room, head tilted slightly upward with his hand pressed up to his nose. She noticed that his hand was covered in blood and her heart immediately skipped a beat. She unintentionally sucked in quick, sharp breath and covered her mouth with her hand as images of the Chandler Plaza Hotel flashed through her mind. She and Tony were ensured that their children wouldn't have to worry about the Cordilla virus - she had been immune to it when she was exposed after all - but the sickening idea of those toxins possibly floating around in her kids' blood still lingered in her head and jolted her when she saw the symptoms in her little boy.
"Come here, baby." She moved quickly from the kitchen, grabbing a handful of Kleenex, and gently pulled him next to her. "What happened?"
Anthony's eyebrows furrowed as Michelle began cleaning his nose. "I don't know. My nose just started bleeding and it won't stop."
"Ok, okay." The explanation, or lack of, struck a wrong chord with her and she examined him carefully. "Tony!" she called slowly, hesitantly. Seconds later her husband appeared in the room.
"What is it, Miche-" His question was cut short at the sight of their son, blood still flowing steadily from his little nose. At first he held the look of a deer in headlights, frozen at the scene. When he snapped back into a responsive state, his eyebrows knitted together - uncannily resembling the same look her son had just been wearing, Michelle noted - and his eyes took on a concerned glare. "What happened here?"
"I got a bloody nose, Daddy," their son informed him, innocently.
"Did you hit it on something? Or bump into something?" Tony questioned him intently as Michelle continued to keep his head tilted up and pressed the tissues to his nostrils in attempt to stop the blood flow.
"Nope. Just started bleeding."
Tony's look of concern grew with the information and he looked at Michelle, an unspoken question being asked from his eyes. Michelle read it and answered him as assuringly as she could. "I'm sure he's fine. It's probably just from the heat or something."
Tony relaxed, albeit barely noticeably, but didn't look satisfied with her attempted comforts. "Are we sure he's clear from the Cordilla? Was there any possibility that it could have affected him or Maddie?"
"Honey, you were there when we took the tests and talked to the doctor. They said we have nothing to worry about. I wasn't affected by it at all because I was immune. And the kids won't be either." Michelle spoke softly, doing her best to put on a calm, collected facade, though deep inside she also had an uneasy feeling about the whole thing. After having gone through the scare of the Cordilla virus threat like they had those years ago, she and Tony would live at least somewhat traumatized over it forever. It was just a burden that came with the experiences they'd had and things they'd witnessed.
Tony still didn't appear impressed with her answer, but held off any objections he may have had. "A'right. Still, maybe we should take him to the doctor just in case. To make sure everything's... y'know… okay." The creases in his forehead had softened slightly and he stroked his fingers gently through Anthony's curls.
Anthony's eyes grew wide at the mention of the 'd-word' and he protested apprehensively, "I don't want to go to the doctor. Why do I have to go?"
Michelle looked up at Tony from where she was kneeling beside her son. "I don't know if that's really necessary, Tony. The bleeding's almost stopped now anyways.."
Tony didn't reply; instead he cocked his head to the side and scratched the side of his face before kneeling down and meeting their son eye to eye, studying him. He took what was left of the tissues from Michelle and picked Anthony up, carrying him on his hip over to the living room couch. He kept his head up, keeping his nose from trickling blood everywhere and set him on his lap. "Are you ok, buddy?"
Anthony nodded. "Yeah I'm okay. But is it done bleeding yet?"
Tony kissed his son's temple and pulled the red-stained Kleenexes away from his face, examining his nose. The stream of fluid had almost completely stopped. Tony gently patted his nose again and cleared the couple drops of blood left that needed to be absorbed. "Yeah, it's done bleeding now."
Michelle approached them and extended her hand out to Anthony. "Come on, let's go get you cleaned up." He took Michelle's hand and shifted off of Tony's lap, onto the ground.
Michelle managed a smile for her son as she looked at Tony. Her eyes met his, contemplating if he felt the situation was resolved to his satisfaction or not. She watched him let out a long breath and rub his forehead before meeting her eyes again with an affirming nod. His lips tentatively curved up just enough for her to notice before she and Anthony disappeared down the hall and into the bathroom.
Tony mindlessly flipped on the TV and turned it onto the first sports game he found, although he didn't really plan on paying much attention to it. He tried to process the emotions he'd just gone through. He knew his son couldn't have the virus, but an uneasiness still hung over him. He couldn't stop going back to that day Michelle was exposed to the Cordilla. The fear that had consumed him that day, the fear he might lose her, had choked him and tore him apart. After being so close to losing her he had decided he would never let her come that close again. If he lost her, he would lose himself.
Now that they had kids, he felt the same way about them. When he saw Anthony standing there with blood streaming from his nose, he saw Michelle back on that day at the hotel - what she may have looked like had she gotten infected. Though she never came down with the virus, his mind had viciously teased him with images of her suffering while he worked that day throughout the duration of the threat at CTU. When he saw Anthony, all those unwelcome fears and images surfaced back in his mind before he could even rationalize.
He just couldn't completely settle those worries, no matter how irrational they were. Really, he reasoned, the cautions were warranted. Maybe this time they had nothing to worry about, but he'd never play it safe when it came to his family's health and safety. He would never risk it.
A few minutes later, when Tony was out of his reverie, the sound of patterning feet graced his ears. His eyes broke from the TV to find a clean, bloody-free Anthony running toward him. He jumped onto Tony's lap energetically, obviously fully recovered from the little issue he had just been dealing with. Tony wrapped his arms around his son and squeezed him tightly. "Hey! All better?"
"Yep!" The little guy reciprocated the hug, wrapping his dainty arms around his father's neck. He sat back and locked his eyes on Tony nervously. "Dad?"
Tony kissed his forehead before answering softly. "What is it, baby?"
"Do I still have to go to the doctor?" His forehead creased and Tony let out a single chuckle, mostly caused by his relief in the matter.
"No, sweetheart, you don't have to go to the doctor." He smiled at his son who let out a relieved sigh.
"Oh, good. I don't like it there."
"And I don't like it when you have to go there, so I'm glad too." Tony kissed his son's head and pressed his nose into his hair. Gosh, he loved his little boy. A lump began to form in his throat as he embraced the small frame in his arms and kissed his curls once more. "I love you so much, Anthony."
Anthony smiled and squeezed Tony tighter against him. "Love you too."
"Kisses?" Tony turned his head, slightly, as Anthony leaned in and planted a perky kiss on his cheek.
"You're the best dad."
Tony grinned at the compliment. "And you're the best son, ya know that?"
"Yeah, I know." Anthony giggled as Tony tickled him. He scrambled off his father's lap, into the spot beside him, and rested his head in the pocket between Tony's arm and side.
Michelle joined them, sitting on the armrest of the couch. She cupped the side of Tony's neck with her hand, and his arm came around her hips, pulling her closer to him. She looked down at her son, who had now become interested in the game on TV. "Looks like you're doin' better, Anthony."
"Yep. All better! And Dad said I don't have to go to the doctor!" he answered her, pleased to share the news.
"Yay! That's great, sweetheart." Michelle beamed at her child and watched his smile turn from her back to the TV.
She looked at Tony and their eyes met each other's before turning to Anthony, taking him in. They both smiled and gripped each other tighter, acknowledging, without words, the love and appreciation they had for their child. He was theirs and he was okay. They were all okay.