A/Ns: Everything in / are Lindsey's thoughts.
For once Lindsey did not have to go to court in full business attire. He did debate wearing a tie, but eventually decided against it. All he was doing was signing papers, slacks and a dress shirt would do just fine. After all, it was a hot day and he thought the more casual look would make him seem more approachable with the little one he'd be meeting.
Despite being under the impression he would be first that morning, he got there at nine, but ended up having to wait until ten-thirty. The process was quick though, his signature, Brenda's, and a judge. Once that was covered there was only one thing left to do.
"Do you want to me her in the chambers or should I have someone bring her out here?" Brenda asked him as they still in the court hallway.
"What do you think? What usually happens?"
"I think it's better behind closed doors."
Lindsey was not used to not knowing what to. Being quick on his feet was how he made it up the Wolfram and Hart latter in record time. "Then what? I mean I'm a stranger to her. Do I go in there and give her a hug like we're old friends or will that be uncomfortable for her? An introduction might seem cold, no?"
Brenda put a hand on his shoulder. "I always tell parents, guardians to go with your instinct in the moment." Taking her hand off his shoulder, she held up a manila envelope that was in her other hand. "Kristina did pack some kind of bag—"
"Oh how thoughtful," Lindsey cut off dryly.
"This envelope has her medications in side, I thought I should give them to you personally."
/What?/ "Medications? For what? Asthma?" he questioned, having read recently it was on the rise more than ever with kids. Just when he thought there was nothing more he would blindsided with, he was proven wrong. Brenda Kramer looked—and felt—absolutely mortified. Lindsey was starting to get nervous. "What? What is it?" he asked.
"I-I didn't tell you? How could I have not told you…I must have…." She began to pace.
"You didn't tell me anything, so tell me now!" he demanded, getting angry.
"I've had so many cases lately…more than I should…"
"All I want to hear about is my daughter, not your job that you're inept at." Incompetence was one o f the things he had absolutely no tolerance for.
"Well, Kristina didn't say, but in my experience I'd say it's, or related too, the birth defect c-"
"You're telling me my kid's brain damaged or something?! You're telling me now!" he interrupted to yell at her. /Defect?! Is that term even still used?/
"Well, actu-" Before she could finish Lindsey snatched the bag of medicine out of her and, told her to go back to her other cases before she botches them, while she still has her job and stormed of in the direction of the chamber she was in. The usually aware-of-his-surroundings-Lawyer had far too much on his mind to even realize Brenda followed behind.
/I'm not even sure yet if I have time for a kid in general, let alone one that needs extra time. I graduated top of my class how cou-Christ, what is wrong with me?!. If she can, she's going to hate me. What if she thinks that's why I haven't been around?/
When he approached the door he took a breath to get over his anger. He opened the door quietly and he ended up staring at who he was looking at, for yet another reason he didn't see coming. He vaguely took notice of her physical features he could see, which by his distance was tiny red glasses in front of Kristina's brown eyes, dirty blonde hair; could have come from either side. Curly hair, he knew where that came from. But it was the general look of her face; it was a look of being past the point of being sad, it represented resignation, resignation of being a rejected, as if it was something she deserved. A look only a mother could cause. One he had firsthand experience with all-too-well. He wasn't sure if she could see him, so he stopped staring quickly. After all, he didn't know if she could see him from the room layout and he didn't want her to think it was the slightly tilted-back wheelchair that had his attention. Though it was the second thing he noticed. Looking at such a young child, strapped into a chair, both around the waist and each foot was to foot rests (there was an unused car-seat style belt, too), he couldn't help but see her as possibly completely helpless. Helpless, and abandoned: to be placed in a big-city-system if he hadn't agreed to take her. There wasn't a doubt in his mind he was going make Kristina pay. Big time. /"Not even I would ever consider doing this. I know demons that look out for their spawn's safety better than this!"/ After taking another step and motioning the clerk who had been watching her to leave, Lindsey took a small breath, put on his best 'everything's fine' smile he was so good at faking and headed over to meet his kid. He then took a chair, placed it in front of her, so they were eye level and introduced himself, "Hi, A-" he just couldn't call his daughter that name, "Heya, Sweetheart," he amended /Too soon for pet names?/ "I'm your… father…dad, daddy…pops" he continued awkwardly, "I am really sorry it took this long to meet, but you're going to be coming home with me." /Is she understand-/
"Yea," the little girl answered with a slight nod, unknowingly cutting off her father's pondering. Lindsey felt a bit of relief. Her voice didn't sound like a normal four-year-olds, it was like a younger kid just learning to talk, but, with more effort and slower. At least he could understand her.
"Oh, you were told already?" He was answered with a nod. "That's good."
"Mom,… s-ay" she then replied, pausing between words, and breaking some up. Once again though, Lindsey heard her perfectly fine.
/Okay, this is bumpy but moving along./ Ever the lawyer he could not hold back asking his follow up question. "Your mother told you? Did she say anything else to you about me, or what happened?" he asked gently, but making an effort not to seem too gentle; he did not want to appear he was talking down to her, like some people had done to him while he was sporting a plastic hand, or to Darla when she was still adjusting to her resurrection.
There was a pause. Then sounds were made that Lindsey did not understand. But she tried again without being asked. This time he heard "u… un…u..t..un…"
"My turn?" Lindsey guessed. She nodded. "My turn?! He repeated angrily, causing the little girl to jump, "so she's just-"
That was when Brenda made her appearance known in the doorway before he could go on further. "Excuse us for a second honey, Mr. McDonald can we—" Lindsey wasted no time going into the hallway.
"Did she just say what I think she said?!" Lindsey demanded to know.
"I had no idea about that," Brenda confessed. "Kristina said that to me when I took her aside to try and talk her out of what she was doing. We were kind of far away… I don't know if she heard it then, or if Kristina had said it to her before. But you yelling about it in front of her is not going to help you two connect. At all. That's the last thing she needs."
/And here I was concerned she wasn't about to understand enough. I should be concerned about her knowing too much. "Defect", my ass, Brenda!/ "Were there any more parting shots?" he questioned, still unbelievably angry. /Why the hell did she keep her this long to begin with? And 'turn'? Does she think I'll ever allow her to make a decision about my life again?! Will her parents care enough that she'll have to justify this to them?/ Samantha had called an former school-mate who worked as a secretary at Eschman Group, the firm Henry Young, worked for and found out he and his wife, Kristina's parents were in the midst of a South-Pacific cruise. It was quite possible they did not know what Kristina had done.
"Look, I am in no way defending her but sometimes it just takes such an emotion toll on certain people caring-" Brenda tried to say.
"Oh, I'm sure she had a staff do the caring," he cut her off. "Which is why I don't want to hear excuses, it's all a load of crap. Now, excuse me, I have to undo four years of living with that." With that, Lindsey went back in the room, shifting back into a calm mode. At least he was a quick thinker. "I am so sorry I yelled, Kiddo. I did not mean to. I didn't yell because of you, not at all." After a moment of hesitation, Lindsey took both of her tiny hands into one of his, and made sure he was looking her in the eyes. "Look, I… do you know what lying and telling the truth are?" She did. "Honestly, this is the truth what I'm telling you right now. You did nothing wrong at all. Not right now, not when you were with your mom. When I said I was sorry before? That was the truth, too. I… I didn't know you were born. If I had, we wouldn't be here right now, we would know each other and we would have been spendin' a lot of time together." /"A lot?" So much for telling the truth. Well, maybe it would have happened…/ Lindsey moved his hand up to her cheek and lightly held it, even though his new daughter was uncomfortable with it. "Your mom never gave us a chance to know each other until now. But I'm going to make it up to you.
She didn't reply nor could he tell by the look on her face if she believed it or not. He figured the best thing to do was to let it go, for now. He had something else to get to. "So, I've been doing some thinking all weekend… you're initials, the first letter of each of your full names, spell Aly. I like that name. Would it be okay if I called you Aly? If not just say so, I won't be mad." /I'm petty/
"K-ay," she replied, sounding almost happy about it.
"Thank you. I like your glasses. Is red your favorite color?" She nodded. Liking her glasses wasn't just words of kindness. They were different. At least he thought they were different than what most girls would pick, in color and the frame thickness. Perhaps she wasn't another fashion-slave in the making, like her mother. "Is that because of your buddy, there?" Lindsey then asked, finally acknowledging the Elmo doll on her lap. She nodded again. "Elmo, right? See I'm not that old." His attempt at a joke failed. "But I don't really know him well. You'll introduce me… to his.. work." The vigorous nod was what lead Lindsey to notice the bag on the back of chair was an Elmo bag, /Note to self: Elmo, very good. Better than Barbie or some 'Princess', we might just get along easier than I thought./
"I have one more favor to ask of you okay? You know, you've been a kid for a long time. This is my first day being a parent, so if there's anything not I'm doing that you need, it's my fault, and I'll figure it out. I bet though you'll be patient and teach me a few things." He received hesitation eventually followed by an 'uh-hu' sound. "Now how about we get out of here?" The newly-named Aly once again, nodded.
As left the courthouse, Lindsey couldn't help but think about his upbringing with his siblings especially Charlotte, compared to Aly. His father could not even afford to get her cough medicine over the counter, a doctor's appointment and antibiotics were never considered an option. But his almost half-a-million dollar salary that goes along with his VP title, was going to allow him to give Aly the best doctors, treatments, she could possibly need. The idea of hiring a personal nurse was already floating in his head. /Finally, that place is good for something…/
When they reached his car he eyed up his trunk. It wasn't super small, but it wasn't big, either. Would the chair fit? His truck didn't have a back seat so that was out of the question for future use. /"Am I going to need a new car?"/ When he picked up Aly the first thing he did was hold her still, close to his chest. He wanted to test out of there was any truth to cliché of falling in love with your child the first time you hold him/her, as he was sure it was true for Sam. It wasn't true for him. As he looked down at the little girl who he figured was just as emotionally fragile as she might be physically, he did want to help her beyond the scope of parental obligation. Sometimes he had wondered if Charlotte had more to fight for, if she didn't feel like a burden to their dad as she was dying, if their mom paid more attention, maybe –just maybe- her fate would have been different. He would not watch his daughter go through what he couldn't prevent his sister from going through. The physical things that caught his attention while holding her was how stiff her legs and her left arm seemed to be. The other thing he noticed was a scar on her right leg. There was going to be research done as soon and he could. He put her in the car, and to his luck, the chair fit in the trunk perfectly. The car ride was a silent one. Lindsey didn't want to force her into talking if she wasn't up to it, so instead he fiddled nervously with the radio. All of his set stations were in commercials, of course, so he was in scan mode. Suddenly "Oooops… I Didn't It Again," came out of his speakers. He saw Aly immediately appeared to be pleased by the song from the back seat before he could change the station.
A/N: I hope the new revelation has generated interest. Like I said, this was an idea that wouldn't leave my head. Please review to let me know! Thank you!. Actual characters will appear soon, I promise this is isn't going to be Lindsey and all OCs.