Five o'clock am- wake up to alarm, check on Charlie. Shower, fifteen minutes or less. Do hair, apply makeup. At 5:20 am, check on Charlie again. Put him in bassinette in kitchen, prepare breakfast. Wake Kat at six for class. Eat together, clean, and begin day. Walk with Charlie if weather is permitting. Tummy time, feeding, and then nap. Eat lunch and tidy apartment while Charlie is sleeping. Do extra school work in this time as well. When Charlie wakes (around 4pm), go with what he needs. Dinner at 5:30, walking with Charlie and Kat, and then bed. Talk with Kat about her day, and then head to bed yourself. Lather, rinse, and repeat.
The alarm clock on her bedside table had gone off a while ago and, as was routine, she was running through her daily schedule in her mind. Truly it did not vary much, but that was how she liked it. Now that Charlie was three weeks old he had fallen quite nicely into the system they had planned. He was nbot picky, rarely fussed, and now slept through the nights. Abigail was regaining the spring in her step, black bags nearly completely gone from the space surrounding her eyes.
She was tired and it was Thursday, but somehow simply seeing Charlie pulled her through.
He was tiny, more so than he should have been for three weeks. His infant clothes still hung loose on him, but Abigail didn't mind it. He looked cute, she mused as she finished cutting one last slice of banana to go with their breakfast. She already knew that Charlie wouldn't grow all that large, would probably take after Sammy in height rather than Abigail's large male cousins.
It took her a while to get used to the similarities between Sammy and their son. At times she loved it, reveled in it and observed him as he already exhibited some of Sammy's tiny quirks. In baby pictures the two were nearly identical, Charlie holding Sammy's well-worn stuffed koala and giving the camera a trademark Lieberman grin.
At other times, bad days hit her rapidly and very hard, a sort of sting lasting for hours on end. On some days she cried while looking down at his little face, Charlie glancing back at her confusedly. This only made her even more disheartened, because often she struggled with the choice she had made about keeping him for herself. She hadn't known anything about Charlie before deciding to keep him; was she truly fit to be a parent? On harder days, in rare moments when Charlie was acting up and she didn't know what to do, she'd spend his nap wondering if her really would have been better off with another family. Abigail, stubborn as always, pushed these feelings aside and distracted herself. There was no use dwelling on the past.
She often thought about how different life had the potential to be. She had no doubt in her mind that Sammy would have stayed with her and helped with Charlie the intensity she'd felt with their romance was unlike anything she'd experienced. Abigail had gone into the Academy loving only dance- even her own family was often placed on the back burner. All of those feelings and then she met Sammy. She met Sammy and her life was turned upside-down. Suddenly, she cared for someone slightly more than herself, so much that it tended to scare her and deter her from thinking about it in the beginning. With him, Abigail was a better person. She ate more, was kinder toward people, and tried her hardest not to grin when a fellow student made a mistake. She tried to be good for Sammy, tried to be everything that he deserved. She was all of that to him, though; that and one thousand things more. Not only did they date for the reason of physical attraction, but for some unknown feeling that kept them together.
"Is she attractive? Definitely." He wrote in the diary she now kept in her bedside drawer. This entry was written two months after they started to date. "But that's not why I like her. There's something different about her, something haven't felt before. It's like we could talk forever in that little supply closet. Does it annoy me that we can't be public? Sure, it would annoy anybody. I'm not willing to give her up because of her reservations, though. If she's not ready to be public about things, then so be it. I'll stay forever in this closet until she's ready. I have a feeling that this is something worth fighting for."
He would have fought for Charlie too, she imagined. He was an extension of them, would have helped them make it along in rough times.
Abigail felt Sammy's presence constantly. She had never been a true believer in the supernatural, but when she wasn't having a good day she knew immediately that he was there with her. She could never tell if it truly was a phantom extension of her first love or merely a part of her conscience that had begun to think like him. Either way, he was always there.
Abigail burnt the pancakes she'd been working on all morning and a slight chill came across her just before she was about to burst with anger. She was calm. While she played with Charlie one morning he ceased to hold eye contact with her, looking behind her and smiling twice as wide as before. He cried and she woke drowsily, wanting to cry along with him as she made her way into the nursery. He was back asleep before she managed to get there. No matter how bad things got, there was always some feeling pulling her back into control. She had no doubt that it was him.
Abigail continued to dance. It sounded strange to say that she did, that the island in their kitchen had turned into a ballet barre. Their relationship was rough, she and dancing, but she knew that she would be safe. Along with all of the horrible things the sport made her feel, it also freed her from herself. In dancing she could forget her troubles, focusing only on the tasks ahead. Now, she had another person to look over; a life she wasn't willing to sacrifice by letting her horrible, self-disciplined self get in the way. While she stretched Charlie watched from his play mat, intrigued by his mother's strange actions. The fourth day her stretching she noticed this and moved from the makeshift barre, passing Charlie and beginning to rifle through the cabinets underneath the television. The DVD she had been looking for was in the back of the cabinet and she popped it into the player, settling with Charlie on the couch so that he could see the television.
She collected her breath before gently pressing play.
Abigail watched her own for skip across a seemingly empty studio, away from the camera. Light classical music began to play, and she was rejoined on the screen by a slim male just a bit taller than herself.
Her breath caught when she saw him, the first time in half a year. Before Abigail had been living through photographs on her nightstand. Now, she was allowed to watch him dance for the first time since the night of her accident.
It was strange, watching their actions as she was. The only other times she'd watched their dancing she'd been judging, scrutinizing technique and figure. Now, she watched for her own enjoyment. It was amazing how a simple change in attitude altered her view on things. For once she was amazed, but not in awe of her own technique (she was never blissful with her own performance-always six steps away from perfection and one from failure). She marveled at Sammy and herself as a team, dancing pas de deux. They had grown so much at this point from their first dance together in first year. This was greater than any solo moment she'd ever had. She was loose, dancing without a care. He was with her, and that was all that had mattered to her in that moment.
From her lap baby Charlie was babbling, his eyes wide as he watched his parents dancing together. Abigail smiled softly at this, pulling her son closer to her. She began to speak, her voice calm as she explained everything to Charlie. She told him the story of Sammy, of who he was and why his own name, Charlie Isadore Lieberman, reflected his. Even though she knew he did not understand, and that he wouldn't be able to for a while, she continued to explain. The past would be an important thing to them, she knew that, but the future did not seem so bad either.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of your reviews and support during this story. I realize this epilogue is long overdue, and there are still some things I'd like to do with the story, but I wanted to get it right and this just...it wouldn't continue.
That being said this isn't necessarily the end of the Abigail and Charlie AU I've cooked up. I fancy writing for them so much that there'll probably be many more oneshots and glimpses into their life, so be on the lookout for that:)
Thank you again for all of your love, I'm sending it right back to you!
Keep calm and fangirl on,