Disclaimer - I own nothing except Tom, Amelia and plot line.
Alright, so a shorter gap between chap 6 and 7. I had this planned a while I just didn't know how to write it, and then for some reason, I was listening to 'Adele - Skyfall' and it all just came to me. I put the song on repeat and this chapter was written in just over an hour. Its darker than normal, more emotional, not fluffy at all, so prep yourself.
No beta - mistakes are my own. I would say I hope you enjoy, but I imagine you might not...
From the first day they found out Tom was sick, Maura had prepared herself. She had fought every step of the way, doing her best to protect her daughter from the horror which she faced, to ensure Tom got to see as much of Mia's life as he could. Maura had been strong throughout it all, she had rarely shed a tear throughout it all, she vowed she would protect her daughter and be the rock Mia would need.
And now Mia needed her, where was she?
She was in Boston, and Mia in New York with her grandmother.
Mia had awoken at 3am once again, and this time Maura had prompted Mia to explain all about the nightmares. Although Mia's descriptions of her dreams were a little vague, Maura could understand how terrifying they would be. And that only left Maura feeling more helpless than she did to begin with. She had fought to protect Mia, and ensure that Mia suffered as little as possible throughout this, and now she was faced with the very bitter reality that every time her daughter slept, her daughter hurt. That in itself left Maura feeling like she'd failed her only daughter, one of the things she'd tried so hard to do, she had failed. And then coupled with the fact that her daughter was hurting, and she didn't know how to help, it was too much.
Less than a week after Jane's outburst Maura had called a specialist; someone who dealt with children coping with bereavement. Maura had a brief conversation, explaining what Mia had gone through, and the current repercussions. They had scheduled a first session that Saturday, which in turn had gone extremely well. The specialist wanted to see Mia three times a week, for 4 weeks. And she also wanted Mia to spend the night at a sleep lab, or have an extremely detailed description of the nightmares, and how Mia acted throughout the nightmare.
Maura eventually decided to let Mia sleep there, so they could keep a better eye on her. To determine if the 'nightmares' were just nightmares, Maura thought it best. However, after the sleep lab Maura knew she couldn't stay with Mia any longer. She couldn't stay away from work. She hadn't even been there 6 months yet and she knew she couldn't just keep having time off.
That's when she decided to call Tom's mother. Tom's mother lived in New York, about 30 minutes from the specialist's office. Maura knew it would be difficult for Mia to be uprooted for 4 weeks, but she somehow convinced herself it was for the best. And it turned out Mia was excited to spend 4 weeks with her grandmother. So, Maura packed up some bags for Mia, drove her to New York and then drove back.
It broke her heart to leave Mia there, but she stayed strong, thanking Tom's mother and hugging her daughter goodbye, determined not to cry.
She refused to cry at all, but as she curled up in bed that night she couldn't help but sob.
The house was just too quiet, and the sudden loss was too reminiscent of Tom's death. Even when she prepared herself for it, and knew it was happening, it hurt to be without her.
Slowly she slipped from her bed, tears slipping down her face as she padded to Mia's room. She smiled as the mess across the little girl's room. Maura had said the room had to be tidy before she left, but as usual it appeared Mia had not listened.
Maura set about tidying everything away, folding clothes, throwing others in the hamper. It didn't take her much over an hour to finish tidying, but it felt much longer. She had willed it too take longer, so she would be closer to having Mia back. But as she padded down the stairs to the kitchen she knew she would have to get used to this.
The clock in the kitchen caught her eye.
Mia would probably be waking now.
Maura briefly considered calling to check up, but if on the off chance Mia hadn't woke, she didn't want to wake her.
Instead she crossed the kitchen, opening the fridge. She smiled weakly at Mia's random food strewn randomly across the fridge. Mia had always insisted on picking her own food (Maura always double checked it after it was picked up, to ensure it was healthy for a child Mia's age) and then Mia had to put it away.
The thought of Mia skipping through the kitchen to the fridge made Maura chuckle, but her chuckle quickly changing to a sob when she remembered Tom.
She hadn't intended her thoughts to take that route, not anymore.
Often when Tom was sick, and Mia would do something funny or adorable Maura would pray, beg, plead that Tom would get to see it. And once he had died it had taken a little while for Maura to realise Tom wouldn't ever see any of those things again.
But after a while, she stopped relating everything Mia did to Tom. She stopped thinking about how he wouldn't see everything.
So tonight, when her thoughts went to Tom, it shocked her. The tears that had stopped falling a little over an hour ago were back, and she let herself slowly sink to her kitchen floor, attempting to silence her sobs till she remembered Mia wasn't here, eventually giving up trying to cry quietly and instead curling up sobbing loudly.
Maura knew she had to deal with Tom's death. She'd seen enough people to know how Tom's death would affect her. She'd read enough to know that if she just boxed it up, repressed it and didn't deal with it, it would come back one day. And she knew there was a good chance it could hurt more.
She knew that and going in to Tom's final months she thought she could deal with it, she thought that she'd be okay, that she knew how to cope.
But after Tom's death Maura realised that dealing with it properly might be easier in theory than in practice.
She and Mia had packed up and left and Maura had specifically promised to be there for Mia. And without even realising Maura packed up Tom's death and put it to the back of her mind. She dealt with it when she could, allowing herself to break down briefly, to cry when she was alone only. But as soon as Mia was back on the scene, or needed her, she rebuilt herself in seconds, putting aside her own feelings for as long as was needed.
In the end Maura realised, she had put her own feelings, her own fears, and her own hurt for so long she didn't even think about it very often anymore.
Until it got too much.
Until she ended crying herself to sleep on her kitchen floor.
When Maura woke the next morning, she couldn't tell if she hurt most emotionally or physically. She thanked god she had the next three days off.
Picking herself up off the kitchen floor she wiped her eyes and made her way to the stairs to wake up Mia, before remembering Mia wasn't here. She felt the tears welling up again, but refused to let them fall.
She climbed the stairs and padded into her room to get dressed.
But somehow less than 10 minutes later she was curled up on her bed, Tom's t-shirt balled up by her face, sobbing. She knew she needed to stop, she needed to get up, she had things to do. But she couldn't face the thought of going out and seeing people.
Finally as she lay with Tom's shirt it hit her.
She would never see him again. Ever.
And even though she had faced this before, she had known this, for some reason the realisation slapped her hard.
She didn't want that.
She couldn't bare the idea of it anymore; of facing everyday alone.
It terrified her.
But then again, not many things didn't terrify her anymore, she realised.
A couple of hours later Maura folded slipped her own shirt off, replacing it with Tom's and padded downstairs.
She walked slowly to the kitchen, lacking the normal energy and motivation she normally had. She grabbed a couple of things and set about making herself a coffee. She figured if anything, the coffee would be a nice indulgence, especially if she made herself a caramel latte, a pick up me she normally relied on. She knew it probably wouldn't even help a little today, but she knew if anything, it had caffeine in. Something she so desperately needed.
She didn't normally agree with highly caffeinated drinks, but today, it wasn't even 3 in afternoon and she was running on empty.
Not the healthiest choice, she knew. But what did it matter. Today, it didn't.
Maura reached up to the top cupboard where she had placed the caramel syrup. It wasn't her best idea to place it up there, since she couldn't see what exactly she was doing, and often ended up picking out the wrong flavour syrup before finding the one she wanted, but since Mia kept using it in her hot chocolate and Maura had to have it specially imported, she figured it better if it went up there.
Maura felt inside the cupboard, bypassing a few bottles she knew were not the syrup. She finally felt a bottle feeling a lot like the syrup. She clasped her fingers round the bottle and dragged it out triumphantly.
It was as she placed it on the counter she realised it was not syrup. Instead the bottle she stared at was one of Tom's.
She had always been against having hard liquor in the house after Mia was born, she was against it before hand, but after she was born it was absolutely not allowed.
But somehow Tom had managed to sneak in a bottle of whisky.
Maura had to hand it to him, he'd done extremely well not to be caught with it, and she eventually found out he'd been having it in coffee late at night, as to not raise suspicion.
When she found out, she had been –for lack of a better word- pissed, she hadn't spoken to him until eventually she just yelled.
However, a couple of weeks later, Tom somehow managed to bring Maura around to the idea of trying it. Mia was now completely weaned, so she really after a little budging from Tom she caved and tried it. She loved it.
They didn't drink it often, especially after Tom was diagnosed and he couldn't drink on his medication, but on rare occasions they had drank it together.
Maura had found the bottle as she packed up the house to move to Boston, and couldn't bare to throw it out. So she packed it.
She hadn't thought about it after she had placed it in the high cupboard, but now with it sitting on the counter in front of her she allowed herself to briefly consider adding some to her coffee.
She hadn't been a big drinker before hand, and after Tom's death, she rarely drank.
So, as she poured a small amount into her coffee, and then took a drink the sudden taste shocked her. She coughed for a moment before drinking again, allowing herself to really enjoy the taste.
It wasn't long before she made another coffee, adding a little more this time. And by 6o'clock, 4 coffees had been made, and drunk, a little more whisky each time.
Maura sat on the couch, Tom's t-shirt more than a little damp from tears, her hair a mess, coffee mugs littering the table.
She had sobbed more times than she cared to count, and now she sat there, completely still, silent.
She had failed her daughter, lost her husband, her best friend and she had made a new friend, only to have her leave as well.
She didn't really know how she had coped this long without breaking down. She smirked. She felt pathetic, weak. The alcohol in her system only serving to numb her a little more. A feeling she didn't particularly enjoy, and she cursed herself for drinking it. She sat for a little while longer, eventually allowing exhaustion to take over and falling to sleep, head rested against the side of the couch.
She never even heard the door slam open. She was too deep in sleep to hear the noise of someone at the front of her house, or when they kicked the door in.
She didn't hear the person walk through the house.
It was only as she heard the bottle on the table in front of her fall and smash that she woke and found someone stood over her.
My trademark cliffhanger there.
So, I have to ask, because review rates, and follower rates have been down for the last two chapters, so I have to ask, is there something I'm doing wrong? Something not right? Is there still the interest for me to continue it?
Alright - thanks for reading.
I'll maybe see you (and others, hint hint) in chapter 8 - but seriously, if there isn't the interest, I can wrap this up in two or three chapters, or if there is interest, I had planned this out to be a long fic. Please, let me know what you want.