Summary: Dru's pregnant, alone and scared. But if there's one thing she knows, it's how to survive. Two years after leaving the Schola and the real world behind, she's finally at peace, but when the past catches up with her she'll do whatever it takes to keep her child safe.
If/when reviewing please be nice lol also constructive criticism is very much welcome! Thanks
Disclaimer: Also all respect to the amazing Lili St. Crow. The author rightfully respects the genius of Lili St. Crow, creator of Strange Angels
Set after Reckoning.
Shit. Locked in my bathroom, heart beating like I'd just run a mile. Holy fuck. I just sit there crouched on the floor, staring at the plastic stick that now has two pink little stripes on it. Pregnant. Me. I'm pregnant at 18.
No, no, this cannot be happening! Killing the king of vampires, reclaiming a Broken and being the head of Order I can deal with. This not so much. Grabbing the edge of the basin, I pull myself up on shaky legs. Pregnant. "Jesus!" Gran would be disappointed and Dad...well Dad would be out the door with a shotgun if he was here.
But he isn't, two years after his death and I still can't fully accept him being gone. I was so used to him always being there. Tears slip down my cheeks. I'm followed wherever I go, and yet I have never felt so alone. So helpless.
Taking deep calming breaths, I look up at my reflection in the mirror. I look like my mother, but without a doubt in my mind I'm my dad's girl, through and through. I imagine Gran saying sometime's bad is good, but there's a difference between gettin' by and livin'. God Gran I miss you. Staring at my reflection of red eyes, tear stained cheeks and slightly wobbly mouth, makes me feel weak. And I can no longer afford to be weak anymore. I pull my shoulders back, raise my head and stand tall.
Walking out of my bathroom, I'm glad Nat wasn't here to wake me up, because I am in no state to explain this. Crap the stick and packet! Running back into the bathroom and grabbing the stuff, I shove them into the cupboard under the vanity basin.
"Dru! Hurry up or you're going to be late." Benjamin calls though the door. After months of trying I finally got him and his crew to call me Dru instead of Milady. The first time he referred to me as Dru I felt like I could do anything. Never thought that anything would consist of raising a kid.
"Comin'!" I sound scared, my voice small and tight.
"Everything alright Dru?" Great now he sounds concerned.
Opening the door, I try for a sunny smile. Probably failing miserably. "Yep."
Benjamin looks me up and down, his eyes narrowing. Guess he knows I'm lying. But just nods and steps aside to let me walk in front.
With having everyone's eyes on me all the time, I won't be able to hide when I start growing and the whole Schola might be knowin' by then if I'm as big as a house. Funnily enough getting fat is the last thing on my mind. How to tell him is what is making me freak out. Do I even want to tell him? I mean I don't have to tell him, I could just leave. 18, pregnant, homeless and on my own...now I know what scared is. This life isn't a life. It's no place to bring a child up in. All the horror, gore, blood and death. No I will not let my child's life be decided for them.
Oh baby, it's going to be ok. Momma's here. That makes me miss a step on the stairs, causing Benjamin to grab my arm to right me. Ignoring the slightly alarmed look on his face, all I can focus on is the surge of love for this – my child. Yes, I will do whatever it takes to make sure my child is going to be ok.
But what's going to happen when I do start to show? I can't just blame it on eating too much. I just know Shanks would make a sarcastic comment about switching to diet coke and Graves would smack him on the back of the head. Graves. He's been back for a few months now. And it's been great having him around. He keeps me sane when I feel like flying off the walls. How the hell am I going to tell him? Yeah I will tell him, he'll have an idea about what to do. I think.
Benjamin interrupting my internal monologue starts talking about how good I've gotten. "Huh? What are you talking about?" Gotten good at what?
"Ah, um, sparring with Christophe," He looks uncomfortable now. "Reynard says you pretty much end each session in a draw." Benjamin finishes sounding, if I didn't know any better, proud.
"Oh. Yeah. Thanks." I want to say sorry for ignoring him, but I don't want to start a conversation that'll end in me possibly saying too much.
Shit. Christophe. How am I going to tell him? Jesus he'll...I don't even know what he'll do. And sparing! That's the class I have now. Crap. Shit. Fuck. I can't fight in this...this...condition. I'm fairly certain it would be frowned down upon by every pregnancy book out there.
I could just not tell Christophe. I could just leave with Graves. But would Graves come? I mean we agreed to be friends, which is exactly how I got myself into this mess. No not a mess, a situation. My child is not a mistake an accident yeah, but not a messy mistake.
Groaning inwardly, I wait for Benjamin to open the doors to the gym. I can open my own goddamn doors, but he keeps insisting.
The click of the doors shutting behind me echo's around the room. Standing awkwardly I watch Christophe tighten his grip on the Malaika and turn to face me with that soft smile that he only does for me. Except when his eyes meet mine and he sees me more than anyone else. I know he knows that something is up. Now I feel guilty.
"Good morning Dru. I suspect you didn't sleep well since you look like you'd much rather go back to bed then be here." His voice his it's usual business like mockery, but I catch something else in his tone. Only I don't know what though. Concern? Curiosity? Affection?
"Uh, yeah. Hey look I'm really not feeling up to sparring today, so could we maybe do something else?"
Christophe raises one eyebrow, but other than that his expression doesn't change. Why can't I ever figure out what he's thinking? "Oh? And what do you suggest we do instead milna?"
Feeling my face heat up, except not from the customary reason of him simply looking at me, but because I'm hiding something from him and he knows it. Only he doesn't know what. "Maybe you could just show me some moves and I'll try to copy them?"
He smirks. Freakin' smirks! Now my face probably resembles a tomato. Great. Ok so I get that he's older, like way older. So he's experienced, but jeez I wasn't meaning it that way.
"A-a-ah. I w-wasn't meaning THAT!" I started out like some goody two shoes, wide eyed bambi and ended practically squealing. Way to look composed and mature Dru. Trying to save face, I retaliate with what I know will anger him. "I'm not one of your admirers Chris. And beside's I have my own admirers to practice moves with." I'm being so petty I almost cringe.
Christophe's face darkens slightly. He doesn't say anything for a long pause. His perfect face was set and white, and I saw the hurt in his eyes although I almost missed it due to the barely controlled anger burning in them. Eyes like that could burn you wherever they touched you, and my heart crawled up and lodged itself in my throat. "If that's the case, then why are you here?" He says with quiet malice. His shoulders coming up as if I'd hit him.
Ouch. He hardly said anything, yet that comment makes me feel like a floozie. Like I could be with any and every guy I make eye contact with. And by be with I mean in bed with. Frowning I turn my head away so he doesn't see just how hurt I am in my expression. "You're right. Bye."
A part of me expects him to be standing directly in front of me as I make my way to the door or to call my name and say he's sorry, that he didn't mean it. But there's nothing. Not a damn sound. I've never heard silence quite this loud. Just as my hand rests on the handle he calls my name, making me hold my breath.
"Dru," He finally says, "if you'd rather have him, your little lap dog." He stops as though something was caught in his throat, "Then go." The words were raw, like they were sandpaper-scraping his throat to get out.
Swallowing hard I open the door and stepped through. As soon as I was in the hallway outside, I was running. Glad that Benjamin had left for his class, I was alone. Usually Christophe would wait outside the girl's locker room until Benjamin showed up to walk me to my next class. Figuring I had about a half hour until someone or everyone came looking for me I went straight to my room to grab my bag that was always packed in case I had to leave at a moment's notice. Like now.
Ducking through the strap of my bag I go in search of Graves. Since coming back, he's taken to being almost a brother to Ash. They go everywhere together. Peering out my window I check that the coast is clear, and jump. Landing soft as a feather I put my back to the wall assessing the Schola grounds. It's about 7pm, the dark making it easier to slip into the shadows of the night. Night-time patrols are timed down to the second and every inch is watched. But since blooming I've been testing my limits and one thing I've discovered is that svetocha aren't just fast, they're fast. Making my way across the Schola's green, hushed grounds, working close to the high ivy-veined wall on the east side I start to run, to build up speed. Then jump landing lightly on top of the stone wall that separates the Schola from the outside world. Without a second glance I jump down and follow the tangy scent of loup-garou and wulfen.
Coming out of the clearing I slow to a fast paced walk, my eyes scanning the diamond baseball field where a little league game is on. Excitement and nerves thrumming along the surface of the crowd. The touch hums in my head, alerting me to turn right and walk straight into Graves. That was easier than I thought.
"Hey." I say as casual as I can, even though I feel anything but.
He does not look happy to see me out and about without my Guard. Disapproval radiating off him in waves, he opens his mouth, but stops when I put my hand up to silence him.
"I'm leaving Graves." Might as well get straight to the point.
Blinking and jerking his head back in surprise, he says, "Leaving? What do you mean leaving?"
"As in about 10 minutes I'm going to be gone. And I'm not coming back. No, wait listen to me. Don't say anything, just listen." Taking a deep breath to steady myself, I begin to explain the, let's say, highlights of my day to him.
Gritting his teeth, the muscles in his cheeks flicking, he growls out, "I'll kill him."
Shaking my head, tears pooling in my eyes, I choke out, "Please don't. I just want to go. Alone. Please."
"Alone? Alone! No, no Dru, please don't do this. We can work this out. Who cares what others will think?" I don't think I'd ever seen Graves looking so helpless. But I knew he wouldn't push me nor convince me. And he knows it too.
"One look at this child and they'll know whose it is. I can't risk that Graves. Please let me have this chance to do something worthwhile with my life. To give this baby a chance. Please!" I don't have much time. The tears in my eyes threatening to spill.
Nodding his head, with tears in his own eyes, he pulls me into an almost bone crushing hug. Whispering in my ear, "Take care and for the love of God be careful!"
Wrapping my arms around him, I whisper back, "I'll be in touch. But only with you. Only you ok? You can't tell anyone anything more than that you saw me yesterday and that I seemed fine. Promise me." Pulling back from the hug, I stare into his eyes knowing that this might be the last time I ever see him again. But needing to know that he will keep the promise.
"Promise." He rasps, then let's go of me.
In a blink of an eye I'm five feet away from him and disappearing into the crowd. One thing I know how to do is disappear.