In the first three months of her pregnancy, nothing changes except her ever expanding waistline. By the time she's nearly four months she has a considerable swell that can only be covered by large flowing shirts and a purse that she now carries most of the time. Then she wears jackets that are five times a normal size. It's obvious, at least to her and Al. But some how the team hasn't noticed and for that she's grateful. She's continued to solve murders, which is really the only thing her disorder is good for. Al has begged her to stop multiple times, but she'd get bored. She needs her job to keep her sanity.
Things with Al are at a standstill. He comes over to her apartment every night and they talk while eating dinner. It's not like she can do much else, she can't date because she's pregnant and she's sure Al would have a stroke. But every time he leaves, she feels empty and wishes he would stay just a while longer. She didn't know it was possible to feel lonely with a human being growing inside of you. Then memories of them will plague her for the rest of the night. She's pretty certain that once the baby is born he wants them to move into his apartment since it has three bedrooms but she honestly doesn't want to think about it. It barely feels like she's pregnant sometimes because she's hiding it so well. But there are other times where she run her hand over her bump and there will be this overwhelming feeling of love. It surprises her.
The office is bustling the second she walks in it, late of course because her pregnancy makes her exhausted. They don't even look up because they know it's her. This case is big too. A soldier with sniper training with PTSD just got back to the States and he believes he's still in battle. He's killed three so far and they've been trying to track him down before he can kill someone else. It's hard enough to tell families that there was no actual motive behind their loved ones' death. She's about to ask to be briefed on the situation when Mike begins to talk.
"Tanya is working on his exact location with Roe, but we know the general location, we're going to head out soon. Al knows more, you should go see him to get a vest anyway."
She nods, tries to smile.
"Yeah, thanks Mike."
She rushes to his office and closes the door. She tries to shake the fear that she feels, she's never felt like this before. She's always loved going to catch the bad guy, the riskier the better. But now it's different, everything is different. She has a baby growing inside of her. Who was she kidding? Every thing is changing right in front of her and that alone scares her.
"Carrie, you okay?"
She didn't even realize that he was standing there waiting for her to say something and he still is. She smiles and nods, even though she's unsure. The last time they did this, it was for the guy on the boat and she got shot at then too. The blast back was enough to send her sprawling on the floor, gasping for breath. She doesn't want that to happen again.
"Yeah, I'm fine. Mike sent me to get a vest, he said Tanya and Roe were getting really close to pinpointing his exact location."
"You think you're going out there?"
"I know I am, Al. There's nothing to stop me from going out there."
"Oh yes, I forgot our child which depends on you for everything isn't enough of a reason to stay behind when we're dealing with a sniper who's already been diagnosed with insanity. Please forgive me for wanting to protect you."
"Stop, just stop! Shut up, please. You promised nothing would change. You aren't trying to protect me, anyways, you're trying to control me. If it didn't work all those years ago when we were actually together, when I actually loved you, than it won't work now. So just stop."
She can see how what she just said cut him down to the core. They still haven't worked through the things that happened all those years ago, honestly. They don't know where to start with the pain she inflicted on him, those scars were still there and sometimes they had the power to smack Al in the face. She didn't mean to remind him of those times, she didn't actually mean to hurt him. Sometimes things just come running out of her mouth and she can't stop them.
"Al, I'm sorry."
"No. I'm sorry, obviously I've been over stepping some sort of imaginary line that I didn't even know existed. So forgive me, Carrie, for actually caring for you and our child."
He throws a bullet proof vest her way from beside his desk, she catches it. For a moment there is complete silence in the room and it feels like whatever is happening outside isn't interfering with them. Neither of them suspect that maybe their coworkers have completely stalled their work so that they can hear what the two are saying. The silence envelopes her and she looks out to her coworkers who are still working.
"I think we should tell them soon. They should know why you stick so close every time we go out looking for suspects. And why last week when I took off to chase that guy you flipped out so bad."
"Carrie, where the hell are you going?"
Mike yelled as she started running from their group. She paused slightly, thinking about giving them an explanation. But the guy was already so far ahead that it would take her long enough to catch up with him. All she could do was hope they followed her.
"That guy knows something!"
Al starts chasing her. Freaking out that possibly she'll hurt herself. Mike, Nina, and Roe being the followers that they are decided to follow their boss. It feels like forever to Roe since he hasn't run since high school and is way out of shape. When they catch up to Carrie she's bent over at the waist, breathing heavily.
"What the hell were you thinking about chasing that guy? That was so stupid, Carrie!"
It's the first thing Al can get out because he's so blinded by rage that he can't say or see anything else. When she doesn't answer he realizes that she's wearing a tight grimace and she lets out a moan. They team watches their boss closely, he usually doesn't yell at her for chasing a suspect.
"You three scope out the area."
They disperse quickly and finally he can speak.
"Are you okay? Is it the baby?"
She finally straightens herself out.
"Yeah, I had a cramp, it's over now. I'm- we're okay."
"What the hell were you trying to do then?"
She shoves the bullet proof vest around her body, she has to loosen the straps that go around her body to accommodate her bump. She let out a deep sigh and looked back up at Al once her jacket is back on. The December weather in New York was terrible, the snow hadn't come yet, but it felt like it was about to. The cold just added to the general feel of Al's office considering that the department didn't like to turn on the heat until the pipes were practically freezing.
"Yeah, we can tell them when we get back it's a great idea."
He sounds so sadistic and angry. She knows she really cut him deep without even trying and she regrets it, but it doesn't change that she said it. She hangs her head low. In five months their issues need to be resolved, because she doesn't want their daughter or son to feel the tension that is in between them at all times. Al doesn't help though. She asked for no change and that's exactly what he's giving her. When he starts tidying things on his desk she realizes he doesn't have a vest on. They're dealing with a sniper. Does he not realize how dangerous that is?
"Al, you should put on a vest. We're dealing with a sniper, he has a-"
"Leave it alone, Carrie, in fact you should just leave me alone for a while. Go check on their process. Aid the investigation. You're not doing any of us any good by standing here, doing nothing."
She reaches out to grab his hand but he retracts it so quickly it's like she's poison or something. She fights the tears that are threatening to spill. Stupid hormones. She takes a deep breath and thinks that he's acting like an idiot and a baby all at the same time. She just doesn't know what to do right now. So she'll keep trying to apologize until he forgives her, like he usually does.
They're interrupted when the door opens and it reveals Roe who has no clue that he's interrupting a moment.
"Boss, we pinpointed his location. We think it'd be best to not alert the guy, just catch him by surprise."
"Okay, lets go."
Al and Roe start leaving the room and all Carrie can do it follow. She rides in Nina's car because she can't stand to be in the tension filled car with Al. The fear she felt earlier has nearly completely dissipated. She just wants to catch this guy for not only everyone else's safety but for his own safety. When the pull up in the alley, they can see him sitting on the roof. Slowly, they make their way to different corners of the roof.
"Sergeant Simons, drop the weapon."
The five of them come out of their hiding places, Nina and Carrie in the middle of the five. They see the standard hand gun in his hand, from the bodies they knew that's what he was using. His sniper rifle was taken away from him once he touched down on American soil.
"Why are you chasing me? I'm just getting rid of the enemies that shot my men down. I watched as boys that aren't even old enough to drink died. I continued to follow orders after they died, I took out snipers, I killed men, just like I was ordered. I don't deserve five guns being pointed at me."
Carrie stepped toward the man, Al watched her out of the corner of his eye.
"It wasn't right for those boys to die, Mr. Simons, but it happened. You were sent back to the States, you're in New York right now. You killed Americans, not enemies. You're sick and all we want to do is help you, but we can't do that until you drop your weapon."
"You're lying. You're lying to me. Dropping your weapon gets you captured and killed. I've got a boy, he's seven, I promised I'd come back to him. I refuse to drop my weapon."
"Mr. Simons, you're home, you're in the states. Your boy, I'm sure he's at home wanting to see you. You were gone for a year right? That's a long time to go without seeing your son. Just drop the weapon and we'll go see your son. I'm sure he wants to see his dad, I'm sure he missed you so much. You're safe now, Mr. Simons."
The safety clicks off on his gun.
"You're lying to me! I hate liars!"
The gun goes off, Nina shoots Mr. Simons in the leg and he goes down. Al jumps in front of Carrie at the last second possible in order to save her from being hit. He hit's the ground as blood gushes from his chest. Carrie strips off her jacket and the vest before pushing her jacket into his wound in order to hopefully stop the bleeding. The other three tend to Mr. Simons.
"Carrie the ambulance is on the way!"
Nina is so far away she feels. It's just her and Al, but he's so pale and the blood is practically in a puddle around him. She wishes she could smack him, because he's such an idiot. But his eyes start closing and that's when fear strikes in her. No, he can't leave her. She needs him to help her raise this baby. ?He's the sensible one, he's the one who knows how to do this stuff.
"You idiot, stay with me."
"Yes you are. I had on a bullet proof vest. What was going to happen to me? I need you, Al. I can't do this without you and I'm sorry for throwing things back in your face. I'm sorry. I need you so much. I can't do it."
Somehow he manages to lift his hand and put it where their child is currently growing inside of her. More tears fall from her eyes onto him, but he doesn't seem to notice. She hopes he's focusing on staying alive for the little family they've made or are in the process of making.
"I'm… not… going… any…where."
His eyes keep closing more and more. She puts more pressure on the bullet hole.
"Then you stay awake, don't you fall asleep on me. Talk to me Al, please."
She feels more tears slip from her eyes as his heart starts slowing underneath her fingers. She continues to put more pressure, if it's even possible, hoping that some how it will cause enough pain for him to stay awake. Finally sirens fill her ears and men are walking up to carry out Al. She wants to follow but some men push her back in order to get to Mr. Simons. His wound isn't serious, so she doesn't even bother moving forward to help them out. Mike and Roe go to follow his ambulance so that he can be monitored by police and served an official arrest warrant. Carrie can't stop crying and she can feel the cramps start coming from her abdomen. Shit.
"Carrie, is there something you need to tell me?"
Nina's voice sounds in her ears and she tries to alleviate the cramping. Once she calms herself down the cramping stops enough to fully think. She looks at herself and realizes that the big jacket that was covering up her bump is gone- she was using it to save Al, to stop the bleeding. Now all she's wearing is a skin tight long sleeve shirt. Automatically, her hands run over her abdomen.
She tries to grin but smiling doesn't feel right and she really doesn't feel like doing this-explaining how she got herself into this situation. She just wants to get to the hospital, get to Al, get information. Do something other than just stand here. But Nina drove her so she has to inform her before they go anywhere or do anything.
"I got that much. Who's the father?"
His name almost tastes bitter on her lips.
"Are you two-"
"No. It was one night in Syracuse. Can we go now?"
"Yeah, but I reserve the right to ask more questions."
Carrie is fine with that but she just needs to get there. She just needs to hear a doctor say that Al will be okay. She needs that reassurance that everything is going to work out. She can't believe this happened. But it's likely that it will happen again. They're cops for God's sake. They're bringing a child into the world where both of them are in constant danger. They could both die. What were they thinking?
She doesn't even know anymore.
The second they get there, Carrie is running to the front desk. The woman looks startled by her appearance. Nina informed her on the way there that his blood was still on her hands. She didn't even care at that point, but now she kind of does.
"Detective Al Burns, he should've just been brought in. Gunshot wound to the chest."
"Yes, the doctors took him into surgery when he got here. The bullet is dangerously close to his heart. What relation is he to you?"
Carrie hates that question. When they were together years ago, she would just lie and say they were married or they had a kid at home or something stupid like that. Now she didn't even have to lie.
"I'm carrying his kid. I should be his medical proxy too."
"Is your name Elaine?"
"No…no. Carrie Wells. I'm his partner, too. He had the paperwork done. He said he was going to submit it."
"Well he didn't submit it, obviously. Look the go sit over there and when the surgery is over I'll send the doctor to you.
"Great…Please don't call Elaine, they broke up a really long time ago."
"Yeah, I wasn't planning on it."
Numbly, Carrie walks up to the chairs that line the wall. She can't believe he didn't change his proxy yet. He and Elaine broke up seven months ago and she…she is the mother of his only child. He showed her the paper work weeks ago, it was completed and ready to turn in. She isn't even with Al, but when the receptionist said Elaine's name it was like a kick to the gut, a punch to the heart. It hurt.
"How is he, Carrie?"
Nina scares her, but she doesn't let it show. The woman takes a seat next to her.
"They had to rush him into surgery. The bullet is really close to his heart, so they have to take it out."
"Are you okay?"
"You want the honest answer?"
"No, I'm not. He's an idiot. I had a bullet proof vest on, I would've been fine. He didn't wear a vest for whatever reason. I'm having a hard time between being worried for him and super mad at him."
"He was just protecting you Carrie. I know you think he's an idiot, and I completely agree. But the blow back would've been terrible and at that range you never know with the vests. He was just protecting you and the baby."
"I just…I just really want him to be okay."
Nina grabs her friend's hand.
"I know, me too."
They sit in this comfortable silence for what seems like forever. It allows Carrie time to think, which is all she seems to be able to do these days. She thinks about Al. She thinks about the baby. She even thinks about them moving in together to raise their child. She just doesn't think about the fact that Al could die on the table and he would've died because he was protecting her. She hears footsteps and opens her eyes to see a doctor with blood all over his surgical wear. Al's blood.
"How is he?"
She stands and hears Nina stand behind her.
"The bullet was in a very risky position. We somehow managed to get it out. The anesthesia should wear off soon, he'll experience some mild discomfort depending on his pain tolerance and someone should stay with him once he's discharged which won't be for a while. Other than that, once this all heals he should be as good as new again."
"Can I see him?"
"Yes, it would be good to have a familiar face there when he wakes up."
"Thank you, doctor. Nina, do you-"
"Nah, I'll let you two-three have a moment. I'll go check on the boys, since I'm sure they're dying to know if their boss is okay."
The two parted ways, going through difference corridors to get to their destinations. Carrie can barely breathe when she sees Al hooked up to all the machines. But at least he's breathing on his own, at least…She sits on the chair next to his bed and grabs his hand with hers, it's still covered in blood. The room is silent, except for the heart monitor, that is until Al lets out a moan.
Her whole body jumps in excitement that he's woken up. His eyes meet hers and he squeezes her hand.
"Carrie. Are you okay? Baby's okay?"
She ducks her head, she should have seen someone for the cramping , but she was too worried about Al so she decides not to say anything.
"We're fine, thanks to you."
"Look I know you're probably mad cause you had on a vest. But when I heard that gun sound, none of that mattered. All that mattered was that there was a bullet heading toward you. I couldn't stand if something happened to you or the baby. I just had to protect you."
"Al, I'm not mad, not at you. You love the baby, I do too- but I didn't realize it until I had a gun pointed at me and I realized that he could hurt our child. Thank you for protecting us."
She can tell he's getting tired, the medication is effecting him. He needs rest to heal anyways. She can't help but get a few more words in anyways.
"Al, I'm sorry about this morning. I didn't mean to."
He's asleep just like that, leaving her alone to her thoughts again. She doesn't let go of his hand, in fear that this is all a dream. She doesn't plan on ever letting go again.
The waves splash as he chases after her. She's running as fast as she can, but Al has always been a faster runner. Besides, she's laughing so hard that her speed is effected. He gains on her until he's picked her up and he's towing her into the ocean, the waves hitting them.
"Put me down, Al!"
"You really wanna be dunked in the ocean? Fine."
He starts to let go but she claws at him to keep his hold.
"I take it back, don't drop me! Don't let me go!"
"Wasn't going to. Never would."
They make eye contact and kiss just as a wave crashes over them.
Thanks for all the reviews! Hope you guys enjoyed this chapter :)