Firstly, I will state that leaving this so long was not my intention, but I cannot promise that it will not become I recurring theme at all. Though I can say that there are only another 9 updates to go. I was made to go back to Uni and face reality and apparently I have a very silly timetable that makes me sleepy. However aside from my complaining..
As ever thank you to the lovely people who have reviewed and given the length of time this has been going on - I am frankly amazed anyone is still interested.
To the lovely Callie, ficmouse and Meggi because I quite simply enjoy the madness that we bring each other. And to Checky for her very length review of 27 updates, thank you.
Sam left Resus in a rush; she was sure she could hear her heart pounding in her chest and the blood rushing in her head. Certain her legs were going to give way before she even reached the door Sam threw herself into the first vacant chair in reception. She dropped her head to her hands and considered just what she had seen, the fact that in the space of eight hours two of the patients brought in by paramedics had been adopted, made Sam feel like the world was trying to tell her something and for the moment she was so very unaware of what. Raising her head Sam noted Tom was stood in front of her seemingly watching her reactions, she shook her head quickly and stood, heading towards the ladies purely because she could get a moments peace and Tom could not interrupt her there.
Sam pushed open the door and immediately she leant against the sinks relieved that the cubicles were empty and she was completely on her own. Her first patient of the day had been four year old Tilly Stevenson, a little girl who had been adopted at two months and had an genetic condition which her biological parents never considered to tell anyone about. They hadn't been able to treat her properly, immediately and Sam knew that she had to be physically pulled out of the way, because she'd frozen in shock, when the girl's heart stopped in front of her. The concept of handing Sophie over to people she did not know and that did not know her and have a way to contact her had it been necessary suddenly became impossible. Yet whilst Sam knew that she was still waiting on Zoe's final decision on matter; she could not be certain that she would ever by able to hand Sophie over to anyone but Zoe and the baby's own father.
By the time Jeff and Dixie had wheeled in only Sam's second patient of the morning, she too was throwing adoption doubts at her, aged twenty four years old Dawn Freeman had been on her way to meet to the mother who had given her up at only two days old; the meeting had failed to take place because of a minor car accident yet the woman currently lying in the trolley in Resus had been confiding feelings of hatred, neglect and abandonment to Sam when the doctor could take no more and fled the room. The words of Dawn were playing heavily on Sam's mind and she couldn't shake the feeling that Sophie would react similarly to her patient in later life and Sam wasn't sure that she'd be able to deal with Sophie hating her.
A sudden, swift twinge in her abdomen reminded Sam of her more pressing concern; the fact that she was certain that Sophie had no intention on waiting until her due date to be born. The fear of Braxton Hicks contractions and not being a hundred percent sure about what she was meant to be expecting had left her wakening Tom in fear on more than occasion only for him to spend the next five minutes trying to quash her fears and eventually assuring her that it would be more than okay to go back to sleep. Sam was sure that they only managed to get about two hours sleep at any one time, and she was beginning to feel tired, which left her feeling guilty at the fact that Tom must be feeling similarly with the interruptions to his sleep that sleeping next to her would have caused.
Sam shook her head softly and strode towards the toilet door and hurried off the in the direction of the staff room, hoping that she would be able to settle down before the thoughts which were currently swamping her mind threatened to overwhelm her. She sat down on the staff room couch, letting her hand fall to her stomach as she did so - Sam couldn't certain why she did so but she knew that she had from the moment the little bump had formed. Sighing wearily, Sam rubbed at her eyes tiredly and picking up the cushion from the spot on the sofa she usually occupied Sam kicked her legs up onto the chair and cuddled the cushion to her chest. Her eyes were beginning to close sleepily within moments, fighting to keep them opened Sam thought suddenly of the living arrangement she seemed to have set up without any real discussion; ever since the first night she had fallen asleep with Tom by her side it seemed that more and more of his belongings had began appearing in her flat. It had begun with a toothbrush and pyjama trousers, him joining her at dinner time before wordlessly following her to bed when she'd been unable to keep her eyes open anymore. They'd fallen into a routine and after half an hour Sam would roll gently into his arms and he'd hold her against his chest until Sophie woke them both in the small hours of the morning.
Her hand remained enjoying the feeling of the tiny little movements Sophie made without even really trying to, she loved her baby girl unconditionally and the movements brought a smile to her face every time. Sam was so caught up in how she felt for her daughter that this moment was the very first time she had paused to consider how Zoe might feel towards Sophie; after all she wasn't, biologically, her mother regardless of whether or not she was going to be the one who would bring her up. Standing suddenly Sam began pacing the room as she tried to establish whether or not Zoe would be able to offer the unconditional motherly love and affection Sophie deserved or if the tiny baby would have to grow on Zoe, and the older woman would not love the baby at first sight. Sam shook her head as though trying to physically rid the thoughts from her mind yet in doing so it only served to bring Sam back to concerns about how Sophie may feel towards her when she learned that Sam had given her up as a baby. Sam seemed to drop into the chair and she automatically rested both her hands on her stomach and spoke quietly, "Please don't hate me baby," Sam began, speaking to a child who had not even been born yet. "Please don't," she continued, "because I love you very much and mummy is just doing what is for the best. No matter what happens, Sophie, you are going to be loved, so very much." Sam stopped speaking, suddenly feeling foolishly, regardless of the amount of journals and articles which said speaking to the unborn baby helped them recognise your voice at birth Sam could not shake the feeling that it seemed so very much like she was talking to herself.
Sam could not be completely certain how long she had successfully remained hidden in the staff room, however, when Tess entered a considerable amount of time later it was clear that the nurse had been looking for her. "Sam," Tess began softly. Sam looked up at the nurse's words and smiled in welcome as Tess crossed the room to join her on the sofa. "Are you alright?" The nurse began in question, and Sam nodded almost instantly.
"Sorry," Sam began in apology for her unannounced disappearance from the department. "Is it busy? I was thinking," Sam clarified before Tess even had a moment to answer her previous question. However, Tess shook her head and seemed to regard Sam with concern as she did so.
"Is everything alright?" Sam nodded her head feeling that she could not verbalise a response without blurting everything she was feeling out to her companion, not, she considered, that Tess would be a bad person to share her fears with if Sam chose to do so but for the moment she was not certain if she wanted to admit to anyone - barely even herself - how she felt.
Sam wondered if she was beginning to regret her proposal to Zoe when she considered what was currently circling her mind. Sam had woken Tom up, feigning a slight twinge when he opened his eyes and regarded her with worry even though she was sure he knew it was lie, in the early hours of the morning when she suddenly felt the frightening urge to cry over the thought of having to hand her newborn over to Zoe. In her nightmare the consultant had been handed the baby moments after her birth and Zoe had fled with Sophie never letting Sam see the little girl. Sam had woken in a panic, and was relieved to realise that it was only a dream; she hadn't shared the truth with Tom, but she'd squeezed her crying eyes shut tightly and Tom had wrapped her arms around her back as Sam buried her face into his chest. Tom shifted himself so he pulled them both down onto their side and tugged the duvet back over them holding her until she slipped into a slumber again. He had questioned how she was feeling this morning but he did not mention her tears or ask what had caused them, something which she was incredibly grateful for.
"I'm afraid Sophie will hate me," Sam stated quickly without warning and Tess had turned to look at her in confusion following her words. Sam looked at Tess' expression before clarifying her knowledge of Tess' understanding of the situation that she was currently embroiled in with Zoe. "Tess," she said, "I know that you know." Sam clarified and Tess nodded before reaching out to take Sam's hand.
"She won't hate you," Tess stated so very carefully, Sam was sure Tess was simply trying placate her and she wasn't convinced by her words yet she could not bring her to question Tess' words. "You're her mummy," the older woman continued, "you're the one who kept her safe and warm for nine months." Tess had concluded and the words made Sam feel faintly sick - mainly because she had become so convinced that she wouldn't be able to keep Sophie safe for nine months at all. It had been a recurring thought, and one which occasionally invaded her dreams to the extent that when a restless Sophie had kicked Sam had been unsure as to whether or not she was still dreaming and to question whether Sophie was kicking or she was dealing with the beginnings of labour. Sam hadn't been to share her concerns with anyone, for fear of sounding silly if she revealed to Dylan, or Zoe or even Tom that she had a funny feeling that Sophie would be making her presence known much earlier than expected. Given that she was Dylan's daughter Sam concluded that it would not surprise her if Sophie inherited his awkward streak and made her arrival much early than Sam was prepared for. "This is what you want?" Tess had asked quite suddenly and Sam's head had snapped towards the nurse in confusion.
"It is." Sam agreed sincerely, pausing for a moment before continuing. "If Zoe agrees." Tess nodded at her final words and Sam closed her eyes sleepily, causing Tess to pat at the arm of the sofa gesturing that Sam should steal a few moments with her eyes closed whilst no one was looking for them. Sam made to nod her head in reply to the suggestion but wasn't even sure if she'd managed to before her head hit the cushion gently. Sam's eyes closed in tiredness and the moment Tess began running her fingers through Sam's long hair tied simply in a bobble the young doctor was unable to fight exhaustion any longer.
"Sam," Zoe began as she pushed open the staff room, however upon seeing the woman she was looking for curled up, Tess by her side, she looked towards the nurse in alarm but Tess shook her head softly dismissing her sudden concern. Seemingly aware of another presence in the room Sam stirred quite suddenly, and before Zoe had even realised that she was awake, she was sat upright, brushing a few stray hairs from her face. "We need to talk." Zoe stated quite simply and Tess seemed to understand the conversation as well; the nurse left the room almost as soon as the words had left Zoe's lips, only pausing momentarily to take Sam's hand and squeeze her fingers briefly seemingly in a show of support.
"Have you decided?" Sam demanded quite simply, getting straight to the point. She was exhausted and had no intention of actually participating in any attempts at small talk before she worked herself up, or Zoe did, to have the inevitable conversation about whether or not Zoe had came to decision about bringing up Zoe. Zoe looked stunned by the sudden question and seemed reluctant to answer for a moment, before she stepped close to Sam and ended up sitting on the sofa next to her, both woman staring straight ahead.
"Yes," Zoe responded after a moment of silence. "Yes." Zoe echoed and turned to face Sam, who was looking back towards her curiously as though she could not read Zoe's expression.
Zoe did not expand on her initial reply and Sam wasn't sure whether or not the second positive answer was Zoe telling her what she had decided or if she was simply reinforcing the fact that she'd made her decision. "So?" Sam prompted suddenly and Zoe turned round to face her.
Zoe remained watching Sam carefully; seemingly not certain about whether or not she was able to vocalise her decision to Sam. "Yes," Zoe stated again, "if it's what you want and if Dylan agrees," Zoe clarified honestly. "Then yes I will." The older woman concluded with a soft smile in the direction of her younger colleague.
Sam nodded her head suddenly after a few moments of silence and Zoe released a breath which she had not even been aware that she was holding at the action. Zoe extended her arm gently towards Sam, Sam herself done similarly and gripped at the older doctor's hand, still lost in her thoughts, as though she had something on her mind. "I know that I was the one who asked you and that makes her your responsibility now," Sam spoke softly causing Zoe to look towards her, a curious, yet somewhat concerned expression across her face as she did so. Zoe didn't say anything hoping that Sam might have the confidence to continue without being probed. "But can you do something for me?" Sam questioned suddenly, much to Zoe's shock. Despite the fact that she wasn't sure what Sam was going to say she certainly hadn't been expecting Sam to not announce that she changed her mind about handing over Sophie once she was born.
"Anything," Zoe confirmed honestly, smiling.
"Her middle name is Helen," Sam stated quietly and Zoe did not flinch at the words and just simply nodded. "After my mum." Sam suddenly clarified. Zoe took Sam's uncertain expression, and reached out to gently cup her cheek, holding her face in place and staring into Sam's eyes as Sam continued with her explanation. "I promised myself that first would be Helen and Sophie is still the first."
"Then that is who she is," Zoe said simply, removing one hand from Sam's face to let it rest on her small bump. "Sophie Helen." She stated softly, for clarity.
"Thank you," Zoe nodded at Sam's words and suddenly pulled the younger woman into her arms. Zoe rocked Sam back and forth as they let a comfortable silence fall between them, now that they simply had nothing else to discuss on the subject.
Sam could not be certain quite how long she had remained in Zoe's arms, regardless she could not bring herself to move from the embrace which was making her feel quite so secure. However Zoe broke the silence just minutes later, bring Sam suddenly back to reality with her next statement. "Dylan has to know," Sam could only nod her head, her mouth feeling suddenly very dry at the thought of having to explain the decision to Dylan. She had absolutely no idea how he might react at all.
"I know," Sam finally managed to say.
"I think that you should be there," Zoe stated calmly and Sam understood almost instantly that it was not a suggestion and she would need to be present during the unavoidably awkward and tense conversation where Dylan was finally made aware of the plans which she had been making with Zoe.
"If you want -" Sam began.
"He has to know that it's what you want," Zoe cut her off quickly and Sam nodded simply.
"It is." Sam stated defensively and Zoe raised her hands in an acknowledgment of understanding.
"I know," Zoe confirmed quickly.
"Later?" Sam asked hopefully, rather hoping that she'd have some time to get her head together before she had to deal with Dylan's gruff nature and either of his possible reactions to the bombshell she and Zoe would drop.
Zoe nodded, partly in understanding, partly in sympathy. "Yes," Zoe began, "about five?" She questioned lightly, knowing when Dylan's break was. Sam nodded softly but did not make any attempt at speaking, even when Zoe rose to her feet and smiled at her lightly before leaving the room.
Sam remained in the staff room for little over five minutes once Zoe had left, returning to cubicles and Tess almost at once, however the senior nurse had waved her off explaining that it wasn't very busy and they could manage without her and besides she really did think that Sam needed a lie down. Whilst Sam could not deny that she'd like nothing more than to rest her eyes for half an hour. However, now that Zoe had confirmed her decision Sam found that she could not sit still and was feeling horribly restless as her mind constantly played out the different ways in which Dylan could react to the news. Sam nodded at Tess and very suddenly found that her eyes had filled with tears even she couldn't explain. She blinked quickly hoping to prevent the tears from falling, Sam turned quickly and spotted Tom emerging from a cubicle. She moved towards him very quickly and the moment she was beside him she reached out and grabbed his arm. Tom halted immediately and looked into her eyes in alarm, he placed a hand on her back to led her, wordlessly, away. It was only when the were locked safely in the on call room, away from prying eyes, that Sam did let the silent tears stream slowly down her cheeks, tears which even she could not for when Tom wrapped her in his arms some ten minutes later and questioned what was wrong. "Zoe agreed?" Tom eventually murmured into her hair, yet his words only made Sam cry harder and she buried her face into his chest as her sobs became more and more audible. Tom's hand rubbed circles on Sam's back and when Sam glanced up towards him she could see the complete confusion in his eyes. Yet given her current state Sam could not say that she blamed him at all.
"Yes," Sam responded softly and felt Tom's grip tighten around her before she continued. "We're going to tell Dylan later," Sam confirmed suddenly and Tom seemed to loosen his grip from around her and guided her backwards until she was sat on the bed, him standing in front of her eyeing her with concern.
"You've still got time Sam," Tom assured quickly, mistaking her tears for regret.
"I'm not going to change my mind Tom," Sam spoke forcefully and she regarded his slightly stunned expression before continuing. "It's what I want." She spoke with certainty and reached out to take Tom's hand pulling him down beside her, they were sat side by side yet not looking at each other when Sam spoke again. "I know that you don't approve -"
"I just want you to be happy," came Tom's unexpected reply before Sam could even begin to explain why she had came to the decision which she had.
"Then please understand that I am." Sam said timidly and her tone did not escape Tom's knowledge and he reached out to wrap an arm around her shoulder bundling her into his side.
"Ok," Tom began softly and Sam placed her own hand on his stomach, expecting to be drawn completely into his arms like she always was. "Ok," Tom repeated softly, before he did indeed pull Sam flush against his chest and she buried her head gently under his chin.
Without moving Sam spoke, "do you think that I'm a terrible person?" Her voice was muffled by Tom's neck but the sense of complete despondency in her tone did not escape him and he tried, unsuccessfully to pull her tighter against him, hoping to make her feel more secure.
"I could never think that," Tom replied honestly and Sam did not flinch at his words.
They remained in silence, Tom only having moved once so that they were sitting completely on the bed Sam still wrapped in his arms, for much longer than Tom cared to think about given that he had disappeared without a word to anyone. Sam had barely moved and Tom wondered if she was asleep; she'd had very little sleep the night previous. Sam had been looking exhausted since lunch time. Now a good four hours later, all he wanted to do was suggest that she went home and he had no idea how to go about doing without provoking an irate reaction. Sam shifted in his arms and slipped down to lay her head on the pillow, her legs remained tangled with Tom's. She patted the pillow next to her head and Tom knew to lie down next to her, she seemed to smile at him and Tom reached out to stroke her face gently hoping to bring her some sort of comfort. "When are you talking to Dylan?" Tom queried gently.
Sam glanced up at him in confusion and then what he was asking seemed to make sense to her and Sam looked towards her watch in alarm. "Now," she informed him gently before sitting up and rubbing her face tiredly.
"Why aren't you going then?" Tom asked with a hint of mild amusement.
"I'm comfy," Sam's tone matched his and Tom smiled at her words before rising from the bed himself an stretching out an arm and offering her his hand to help her up.
"Come on," Tom began simply as Sam accepted his hand. "Where are you meeting Zoe?"
"I'll walk you out," Tom offered, dropping her hand and placing his own hand on Sam's back as they slipped out of the room and began the walk towards the staircase.
Zoe had locked herself, Sam and Dylan in the Clinical Lead's office over twenty minutes beforehand, quite what Nick was thinking about the whole event Sam had no idea but she knew that she was beginning to feel quite nauseous and Zoe had began nervously trying to rearrange Nick's files; neither wanting to be the one who had to explain to a highly confused Dylan why they were all there. In the end, it was Dylan who broke the silence. "So?" He began in question. "Are either of you planning on telling me what is so important?" He eventually demanded and Sam and Zoe glanced towards each other.
"We've been talking," Zoe began in explanation gesturing between herself and Sam as though to confirm what she was talking about for Dylan's benefit, but from his disgruntled expression Sam suspected that it was unnecessary. "Sam suggested that Sophie needs a secure family." Zoe stated quickly and hoped that Dylan immediately understand her words because she wasn't sure if they'd be able to explain Sam's decision with the sensitivity that it would require.
"Zoe," Dylan began in frustration and suddenly two pairs of eyes were on him. "Can you just get to the point please," Sam could tell that Dylan's patience was wearing and she wasn't completely sure whether or not Zoe was going to be successful in telling Dylan anything before he stormed out in anger.
"I want you and Zoe to have Sophie once she is born," Sam stated simply and immediately retreated into the corner of the office not looking at either Zoe or Dylan as she did so.
"Did I just hear her correctly?" Dylan's tone never changed and he did not look towards Sam at all.
"Yes," Sam didn't speak, she didn't know what to say and Dylan's question wasn't directed at her anyway, but she was relieved when Zoe did answer.
"Are you telling me that you've agreed to that ill thought out plan?" Dylan demanded of Zoe quite suddenly and Sam closed her eyes wishing that she was anywhere but trapped in the tiny office with Dylan and Zoe. "Zoe?" Dylan prompted again and Sam was half tempted to turn round and try to establish why Zoe had yet to answer, but she wasn't feeling quite brave enough to do so.
The door of the office opened with quite some force and slammed again in a similar manner it was then Sam was able to pluck up the courage to see who had left the room. However she had just opened her eyes when she heard Zoe speaking, "Sam?" indicating that it was in fact that Dylan who had left the room.
"He isn't going to agree is he?" Sam said sadly as she turned into Zoe's eye line.
"He'll come round," Zoe began softly trailing off when Sam shook her head slowly and moving across the room to join Sam in the corner and wrapping a careful arm around the younger woman's shoulder.
"In time?" Sam retorted and Zoe bit down on her lower lip, feeling, inwardly as anxious as Sam did about Dylan's reaction but really not wanting to show it. Especially to Sam when the younger medic was feeling quite so emotional about the situation that they were all now embroiled in.
Before Zoe even had time to ponder whether or not it would be acceptable to give Sam the false hope of an affirmative answer. The office door swung open yet again and Dylan re-entered the room and though he remained in the doorway, staring at the scene in front of him. "Leave Zoe!" He demanded suddenly and Sam, who still had his back to him, jumped in fright.
Sam turned around in alarm just as Zoe had reached the door, neither she or Dylan had bothered to look at each other, though Sam's words halted her momentarily in her tracks. "I want her to stay," Zoe was sure that she'd never heard Sam sound quite so young and suddenly felt very reluctant to leave Sam on her own with Dylan. However that feeling of reluctance was quickly quashed by a look from Dylan.
"Well I don't." Dylan declared suddenly; Sam said nothing but Zoe hurried from the room and Dylan closed the following Zoe's departure, turning to look intently at Sam. "Tell me that you want this," Dylan crossed the room to be stood directly in front of her, never taking his eyes from Sam as he spoke.
"Of course," Sam began quietly. "I would never have suggested it if I wasn't," she confirmed. "You're her daddy Dylan," Sam stated suddenly and Dylan felt lost by the words unsure of why he was being reminded of that particular fact. "And you do love her don't you?" Sam asked quietly and Dylan looked startled for a moment.
His expression quickly changed to one of partial anger and partial distress when he replied to Sam's shocking question. "Don't you dare suggest that I don't," his voice was raised and his tone harsh and Sam very quickly stepped backwards, something that did not escape Dylan's notice. "But Zoe is not her mother Sam, that's you," Dylan clarified unnecessarily and Sam nodded slightly as though she was confirming the fact. "Sophie needs you!" Dylan stated suddenly grapping at both of Sam's hands pulling her closer to him, unsure about whether or not to wrap his arms around and hold her until she understood that she was capable.
"I've made me decision," Sam said quietly, and she pulled her hands from Dylan's grip and stepped backwards though her gaze still met his and there was something telling her not to the be the first to look away. "Zoe is willing if you are." Sam stated simply and side-stepped Dylan, making her way to the door. Pulling at the door handle Sam stepped into the hallway and turned once for a moment before turning to face Dylan and addressing him again. "Tell me when you've decided," with her departing words Sam left Dylan stood in the Clinical Lead's office feeling more than a little bewildered by the events of the conversation which had actually lasted less than half an hour.
Sam scrubbed her eyes frantically, well aware that tears had begun to gather in the corner of her eyes, as she walked down the stairs, passing Zoe on the way. Sam realised that Zoe was her way back to Dylan, and that she did not envy her, nor did she want to be part of any conversation took place between the couple that evening. "You're actually going through with this aren't you?" Sam jumped at the sudden voice and when she turned to face Lenny she wasn't overly shocked to see the look of disappointment across his face.
"Yes," Sam couldn't even begin to understand why she had bothered to reply, she knew that once upon a time she would have simply walked away and not allowed herself to be caught up in any sort of conversation about what she thought was her business and no-one else's.
"Why?" Lenny asked, confusion was evidently in his tone and Sam stepped down the remaining stairs coming to a halt in front of the Scottish doctor, not even certain how, or even why she should, she would explain her decision to someone who didn't understand.
"Lenny," Sam began in warning tone, desperate to avoid this conversation in a public place and at the moment the foot of the stairs in reception was about as public as they were going to get. "It's my decision," Sam retorted, much like she had when she'd first had the conversation with Lenny about the possibility of adoption. At this realisation, Sam considered how little had changed since that day and no she could be happy that she would be able to see Sophie in a family home. "It's for the best." She countered and as Lenny raised his eyebrows so Sam spoke quickly before he was even able to say anything. "She's going to her dad," she stated and as the words left her mouth Sam considered that no one could argue against her decision; she used it justify her decision to herself, whenever she wasn't completely certain and knowing that she was giving Sophie to her own father lessened the feeling that she was abandoning her little girl.
"Won't you miss her?" Lenny asked quite suddenly, out of the blue, and Sam wasn't sure if she'd even be able to make it through answering Lenny's fairly simple question without winding up in tears.
"Of course I will!" Sam declared incredulously, before turning away from Lenny to both hide her tears and to walk away from the conversation. She loved Sophie and she was certain that Lenny knew this. Yet as he asked the question Sam suddenly had to confront the idea that perhaps her actions would make people doubt how much she loved her little girl.
"Then why?" Lenny asked in confusion but Sam had already hurried away leaving Lenny stood himself in the middle of reception.
The conversation had been heated for the best part of twenty minutes and Lenny could tell that various other members of staff were beginning to look over towards him and Tom with interest. Lenny could not be certain quite what Tom thought had happened but at the moment he felt like he was being judged for whatever Tom thought he had or hadn't said to Sam. Lenny knew that the female doctor had fled into Tom's arms in tears when she'd hurried away from the conversation with him. "What's going on?" Came Linda's voice suddenly as he approached them confusion etched across her face as she did so.
"Sam's giving up Sophie." Lenny replied quietly so that only Linda could hear him when he spoke. The information seemed to come as a shock to the nurse and she seemed too stunned to speak.
"And?" Linda eventually countered.
"Tom thinks that I've upset her," Lenny replied with a slight reluctance and Linda met his words with a startled look, raising her eyebrows before she looked between Tom and Lenny, waiting on one of the doctors to explain.
"You have!" Tom stated resolutely, his raised voice adopting a harsh tone which Linda had never heard him use towards anyone but troublesome patients before.
"Don't argue," She demanded suddenly causing both men to turn and face her. "That's the last thing Sam needs," she continued and both Tom and Lenny had the good grace to look both guilty and suitably chided. "Tom go back to her, take her home." Linda spoke calmly; determined to get the two men apart until she could speak to Lenny about what may or may not have upset Sam. She felt that even then Sam would be much better off at home, no one could deny how tired she was looking and Linda hoped that she would know enough to understand that everything would be much better for herself and the baby if she was curled up at home.
Tom did not give any response to Linda's ask but he moved swiftly towards the staff room and Linda had to assume that he was heading towards Sam. She turned to face Lenny quickly and the doctor had simply shrugged his shoulders at her and she'd pulled his hand leading him outside and away from the middle of reception, where he and Tom had, had their disagreement.
"What happened?" Linda asked calmly one she and Lenny has successfully relocated to the Peace Garden. The nurse turned to look behind her while she was waiting on Lenny's reply and as she did so noticing Tom lead Sam from the department, an arm wrapped around her shoulder as she curled into his side, as they crossed the road and disappeared in the direction of both of their flats.
"I just can't believe she's actually giving up the baby," Lenny began and Linda was reluctant to tear her gaze from Sam and Tom until the couple had disappeared completely from view. "Sophie will think that Sam never cared about her," Lenny had continued and the words which followed caused her turn to look at him, chewing at her lower lip, she considered how she supposed to reply. Though she was spared of the awkwardness by Lenny speaking again. "It's an awful feeling and I know." Linda was at a loss over what to say and resolved to wrap her arms around him, and they remained very still, still stood in the Peace Garden, wrapped together, neither needing words to demonstrate their understanding of the other.
"Sam?" Tom called softly from his position by the door of Sam's flat. Sam had spent the majority of the evening napping on the sofa and Tom was reluctant to wake her - purely based on his knowledge of quite how little sleep she had actually gotten the night before. Occasionally he woke with her while Sam tossed and turned as she struggled to get comfortable, but he was sure that there were times where she had not woken him and Tom was sure that he'd slept through her movements. Glancing back to the pair now stood in the door way, Tom realised that the only reason he had even agreed to wake Sam from her slumbering state was due to who were now standing in her hall way, the female of the pair closing the door behind herself. There were a few moments of total silence and no one knew what to say to the other before Sam joined them in the hall way, sleepiness evident on her face. Tom stepped in front of her, both halting her in her tracks and shielding her from the view of her visitors; reaching out to place the palm of his hands on each of Sam's shoulders he spoke quietly, almost a whisper in her ear. "Are you alright?" Tom asked carefully. Sam nodded automatically in response then strained her eye line over Tom's shoulder, now looking between him and her house guests - a look of both confusion and intrigued on her face. "Lenny and Linda are going to have dinner," Tom clarified suddenly and Sam did not even appear to react to the news.
"Okay," Sam muttered softly; speaking for the first time since she had actually returned from the work, she'd shrugged and shook her head in response to anything which Tom had asked since then and generally been completely unhelpful. Tom, however, had taken it all in his stride and knelt on the floor, stroking her forehead until she fell asleep on the sofa.
"Are you up to this?" Tom asked quietly once again moving towards Sam trying to avoid letting Lenny and Linda hear his question. Sam nodded simply and reached out to grip at his hand, holding on until Tom raised his gaze and met her eye. He noted the uncertainty in her eye and paused waiting on her reacting.
"Can you just-" Sam began almost as quietly as Tom had been speaking and quickly stopped speaking and turned on her heel and within a matter of seconds Sam had closed her bedroom door behind herself leaving Tom standing looking towards Lenny and Linda looking as bemused as they did about Sam's sudden disappearance. Tom gestured towards Sam's sitting room and Lenny and Linda wandered there instantly; leaving him free to check up on Sam. He knocked her bedroom door softly before pushing it open.
As he pushed open the door he remained in the doorway watching Sam who had curled herself up in the middle of her bed and seemed to be completely lost in thought, to the extent that she had yet to acknowledge his presence in her room. Tom crossed the room almost on his tiptoes, only alerting Sam to his presence when he sat down at the edge of the bed, "Sam?" He began softly, reaching out to touch Sam's face and he was suddenly alarmed by the look of completely fear and sadness in her eyes.
"Can you hold me for a moment?" Sam asked almost shyly and began to sit up slowly, smiling a little when Tom kicked his own legs up on to the bed, pulling her gently towards him and into his arms. Sam's head was nestled into the nape of Tom's neck before she spoke. "I've been having twinges," she admitted quietly, much to Tom's immediate concern.
Tom didn't dare move after Sam's words, nor did he think that he would ever find the appropriate words. "Are you worried?" He eventually asked softly, shifting Sam in his arms so he could see her face.
"I don't think so," Sam said slowly and then Tom was struck of the look of abject horror which crossed her face almost as soon as the words which had left her lips. "I should be, shouldn't I?" She asked very quickly and Tom only just caught her words, but before he could say anything Sam had shook her head softly and continued to speak. "Every other mum would, wouldn't they?"
Tom closed his eyes and pulled her tighter into his chest, letting them remain in silence with Sam wrapped in his arms for a moment of peace before he replied to her. "If something was wrong you would know." Tom said with honesty and conviction and hoped that Sam would understand that he was not lying to her.
Linda had been looking around the frighteningly bare living area, occasionally throwing Lenny a concerned glance as she did so, as they remained in Sam's sitting room, waiting on both Sam herself and Tom to return from the bedroom. She was just considering telling Lenny that perhaps it would be better for all involved if they simply had this conversation in the morning when everyone had had a bit more sleep. "Hi," Linda almost jumped in fright at the sudden noise and turned to see Sam stood in the door, her cheeks were newly tear stained and she could not deny that Tom himself was looking a little worried and frankly a little sick, as he stood behind Sam letting her back rest against his front, his arms draped around Sam's shoulders and her hand was clutching one of his tightly.
"Listen Sam," Lenny began, seemingly before he lost his nerve and couldn't say the words he'd actually come to say. "About earlier-" He began and was very quickly cut off by Sam violently shaking her head.
"Lenny," Sam began softly, "it's fine. I understand." She clarified.
Linda found herself rising from her seat quickly and joining Sam and Tom by the door way speaking as she did so. "We're not going to stay for dinner," she said simply and turned to find Lenny at her heels. "You look shattered Sam, just go to bed," Linda stated unnecessarily and the younger woman seemed to curled further around Tom at her words. "We'll see ourselves out." Linda confirmed when all four were stood in the hall way. Glancing towards Lenny Linda could note instantly that he seemed as confused by the situation as she was, as they reached the door, she shot one final look around the ajar front door and noted the way in which Sam pulled at Tom's hand propelling him towards her room.
I think I've proof-read this enough to be sure I've not left complete nonsense in it.
As usual, thank you for reading and leave a review telling what you liked, or indeed, what you did not.