TITLE: Family

SUMMARY: Joy has finally decided to become pregnant through the sperm bank. She decides that she doesn't want to be impregnated in a cold, and sterile doctor's room. When she runs down the list of men whom would be happy to help her with the turkey baster; she realizes that she doesn't want a man to be there when she became pregnant the second time around.

She goes through her list of women friends; and realizes she doesn't want to be a single mother. She wants a life partner by her side helping raise the baby. Realizing that the only person whom truly made her heart beat was Melanie – she is heartbroken. How can she convince an very straight Melanie to be the second mother to her baby?

CATEGORY: Friendship/ Family/ Hurt/Comfort/ Drama/ Romance/ Humor/ Angst/ Tragedy/ Suspense/ Crime/ Spiritual.

RATING: T

SEASON: Second – after the episode How I Meet My Mother.

PRELUDE:

Joy sighed against her pillow. Staring out of the window at the huge oak tree that outlined her bedroom window. She loved this view the best out of the entire property that the house stood upon. She had very recently met her grown son, Owen. She loved that name. Owen. O-wen. If she had allowed herself to name her infant son; than Owen would be on top of the list. Along with David, Sebastian, Benjamin, and Adrian. But as an newborn he looked like an Owen. So she's not at all surprised to learn that her son's name was Owen. She had sectary named him since she first looked at him. She never even told her closest friends, Melanie, and Victoria.

They would have understood; and they would have pitied her every time they looked at her. Joy doesn't do pity. Not from her family; not from her friends; and not from herself. Especially not from herself. She all ready had their pity for the fact that she told them that she gave up her newborn son.

What they didn't know; and would never know that she had been able to hold, and nurse her son for the first twelve hours of his birth. There had been issues concerning the adoption. She had prayed, and begged to God that the adoption wouldn't go through – so she could keep her son. Her heartbroken sobs followed her son out of the room, and out of her life.

If Owen allowed it; then she would tell him that she desperately wanted to keep him. But she knew in her heart that she had to give him up. In order to protect him meant that she had to turn her back on him. If Owen allowed it; she would love to be his friend. If Owen allowed it; she would love it if Owen sees clearly that she is his mother.

She was dreaming. He had denied her enough times in his hospital room. Perhaps she shouldn't have shot him? You really can't come back from shooting your child; after giving away said child in said child's babyhood. She snorted in laughter at the mere thought that she had a chance with Owen. She had to literally force him into sharing just a hint of bit of his life. She never even answered whom his father was. She could have at least given Owen his father's name. She just didn't want to share her son with anyone. Owen was her son. Hers. She hadn't wanted to damage Owen any more than she all ready had. To know his father would damage her baby boy beyond all repair.

She couldn't tell her son why she gave him up. All she could do was give that damn speech about wanting to be friends. He said okay. But he gave very superficial answers to her questions. Of course she didn't ask the deep down important questions – like the two he asked her.

He had ended their meeting rather quickly after the hug. She did manage to hang onto her boy for as long as she could. He returned the hug – she felt it – he returned her love back to her. But Owen went back home. He had told her not to call or contact him. That he had too be one too take that step. That he had to be one to finally decide that they should have any short of relationship.

All she could do was agree. But every single of the day she desperately wanted to send an e-mail. Too tell him that she loved him. But every single time that she went to press the send button – she stopped. She just knew that if she sent that e-mail she would lose her son for good. She moved the e-mail to the folder OWEN. There were a close to a hundred un-sent emails.

"Hey." A voice started her line of thinking. Her head twirled around from the window – chocolate brown eyes wide; and her hand against her racing heart. "You scared me."

"I didn't mean too." Melanie said with widen eyes. She took a step into the room; than she paused. She eyed her best friend. "Why are you so sad? You don't have to tell me if you don't want too. I was just passing by, and I saw you so melancholy that I had too make sure you weren't all suicidal or something. Not that you would ever communicate suicide … you have much; too much to live for." Melaine wished that she would stop babbling all ready. "I just saying that you just found your son and all. You got your green card. You have us. Me. We would miss you if you were dead. I would miss you if you were dead. I would be angry as hell with you that you took your own life. But I would miss you terribly." Tears were freely rolling down her cheeks by the end of her babble.

Joy held out a hand. It was soon griped so tightly by both of Melanie's. "I'm not suicidal. Never again. I promise." She pulled backward so that Melanie could half fall on the bed, and on her. Felt Melanie's hand land on the bed near her right shoulder. She felt Melanie's warm breath on her face. Her free hand rose to gently stroke the side of Melanie's face. "Never again. I promise."

Melanie's head slowly bowed down to rest against Joy's shoulder. Her lifted arm slowly lowered, so it could pass Joy's upraised hand; down pass the shoulder. She felt it slowly run down her kidney; she softly moaned in acceptation of that special spot of hers. She felt the hand continue it's course till it ran gently against her waist. She moved closer to the body to feel closer to the offered warmth.

"I was thinking of Owen." Joy said after a half hour of silence. She felt Melanie's breath hitch against her neck. "I used to be sad because I gave my son up. Gave him up, and closed all options to finding me." Her breath hitched as she thought back to that day. "Now that I have met my grown son; now I few more things too be sad about. One; I completely missed the chance to see my baby boy grow from infancy through adulthood. Second; I shot him before I laid eyes on him for the second time in my life. Third: I lied to him with the first sentence I had said to him in over twenty eight years. Fourth; Not only did I lie to him – but I denied him that I was ready to call myself his mother."

"Oh Joy," Melanie nodded her eyes drifting slowly closed.

"He doesn't want me." Joy finally allowed the heartbroken sobs to finally be unleashed.

Melanie moved her head up from Joy's shaking shoulder. Her left the intertwined fingers of Joy; and cupped the taller brunette's right cheek line. Lifting her teary brown eyes to get destroyed by the heartbreak in the chocolate eyes staring right back. "He wants you." Melanie whispered. She held the struggling chin in place. "He is hurting right now. He wants you to hurt along side him. Children always want their mommies in there darkest of times – and those that don't even come close to the monster under the bed." Resting her forehead against the wetness of Joy's cheek. "He wants you. He loves you. He's just shaken over the events that happened when he met you for the first time. He'll calm down; and realize that he truly does want and need you in his life."

"This isn't like scolding your two year old from catching the knife. This isn't like scolding your six year old to take a bath. This isn't like fighting with your sixteen year old from driving like a crazy person through town. This isn't like having to say good bye to your eighteen year old in front of college dorms." Joy sighed as the last of her sobs died out. "I wish that Gary had killed me. Then at least Owen wouldn't have to deal with a mother like me,."

"Joy." Melanie was shocked. "Don't ever say that ever again. Never think it either."

"Pete should have deported me when he had a chance." Joy stared at the wall at the end of the bed. "He should have come after me due to the fake marriage for my green card; after he dumped your sorry ass for sleeping with his brother – and not telling him about it."

"How was I too know that Pete was Hank's brother? Peter always called him Henry." Melaine protested in a high voice. "That's so not the point." She sighed as she tightened her hold around Joy's waist.

"I wish the INS will come and ship me back to England." Joy sighed. "That way he couldn't find me in the United States of America. God knows how long it would had kept him from thinking of looking in England."

"He would still have found you. He wanted to find you. He still wants you." Melanie said with such sureness in her voice.

"He doesn't want me." Joy's heart clenched. "Who says that this new baby would want me also. I think Owen just proved what a horrible mother I am. I can't put another innocent person through that." Resting her head against the pillow.

Melanie propped herself up with her elbow. Her fingers lightly squeezing Joy's thin waist. "That's not true Joy. You make a wonderful mother. I have seen you with my children. Your eyes always did go soft when they looked at Will. I knew something was going on with you even before you told me about having a baby, and giving him up at birth in your teen years." Her hand gently stroked the hair from Joy's face. "Every single time you held Will – you couldn't bare to give him up." She laughed lowly, "I mostly wished that I kicked my lying, man whore of a husband out; and allowed you to move in help me raise my children with me."

"I would have destroyed them. I should never have been allowed near them. You should have kept them from me." Joy shook her head. "I should have denied you even the superficial access to me. I should have showed you what a total bitch I was when we first met. Better yet, I should have just turned and walked away. Then you would have been safe."

Melanie frowned, "How would I be safe without you in my life? Joy, you saved me. Countless times. Without you I would have no reason to keep living." Bowing the few remaining inches that separated the lips. Turning her head to the right, she whispered in Joy's ear. "I love you Joy. Always real. I promise to tell you the truth all the time. Now, after saying that; you need to listen to me now. If you ever come close to killing yourself; than Joy; I'll never forgive you. You will feel my wrath all the way up in Heaven." Moving just five centimeters she let her lips meet the skin of Joy's warm cheek.

"I won't. I promise." Joy said turning her neck so she could meet Melanie's brown eyes. "I always carry about what I tried to do all those years before. I am always in fear that I would return to that dark place. But, then your face comes to my mind; and your voice; I can always hear deep within my inner ear. You save me every single day."

Resting her head against Joy's forehead. "What can I do too make this better?" Melanie whispered.

"Just hold me." Joy whispered.

"Forever." Melanie promised.

END PRELUDE