Fifty Shades at Fault
A/N: Thank you all for your support. It means more to me than you'll ever know. I thought I'd get this chapter out to you now. It's not as long a chapter as usual but I think it explains a lot. So here you are, I hope you like it.
Adversity has brought these two lost souls together. Bound in each other's arms, conscious only of the tempo of their heartbeats, Ana and Christian stay locked in a cocoon of comfort, need, and yes, trust. For months they've longed to feel this closeness again and afraid if they were to let go it would end. The past, at this moment is a moot issue. The now, the troubles of the present, only matter. She only matters. He rocks her back and forth in a soothing motion and whispers words of concern in her ear. She hums in contentment and surety. They are completely oblivious to the four, make that five counting baby Abby, individuals in the room watching on with stunned perplexity. So focused on the other that the sound of the elevator pinggoes unnoticed. In strides unexpected company: Christian's parents. When hearing their daughter-in-law was back in town Grace and Carrick dropped everything and rushed to Escala. They wanted personally to welcome her back and delight in the sight of Ana and Christian tightly embraced once more in unity. No one else in the room seemed joyous though; their faces were dour. Why, she thought, would such a blissful occasion be depressing? Grace inquired. Christian, still holding tight to Ana, swallowed hard and relayed the dreadful news.
Of course Grace and Carrick were both shocked; who wouldn't be. The doctor in Grace questioned the diagnosis. Ovarian cancer? She managed to pry Ana away from her son's arms; dried her eyes with a lace hankie from her purse, sat her on the down on the couch, "Ana, I'm so sorry, Dear, but I'm puzzled. When did you discover such news? What prompted you to visit your doctor in the first place? How did he or she come to this conclusion? And why are you here in Seattle and not seeking treatment!"
"I found out a little over a week ago. Three days before I was to have my physical I experienced unexplained pain in my abdomen. And really awful bloating: Much worse then cramps. I called Dr. Karin Rosenski's office, explained my condition to her and fortunately she was able to see me that afternoon. Luke, knowing how uncomfortable I was feeling drove like a maniac to her office in San Luis Obispo.
"She took blood work and told me she was suspicious of the results. Sorry, I can't remember what they were. After they took an ultrasound she started explaining things and, and, I guess I became so overwhelmed when she said "ovarian cancer" that I heard nothing else except "stage two". I'm sorry, Grace, everything else is a blur. I do remember though her saying something about my age and that I've given birth that there should be no reason so it may be hereditary. I freaked out and visited my mother in Atlanta to find out. Then I came here to Seattle. I wanted to tell everyone here in person that I have cancer."
"Ana, that last was a very foolish decision. I don't know any physicians, or cancer specialists who would dare come to such a drastic conclusion from a simple blood test and ultrasound. Look, cancer stages cannot be determined without surgery. Which I doubt you have had. They have to take tissue samples from different parts of the pelvis and abdomen, examine them under a microscope in order to make a positive diagnosis. I think that since you're very vague on your visit with Dr. Rosenski, I should give her a call, see what she actually told you and have her fax me the tests results. We don't know for sure yet but I have a feeling you may be jumping to conclusions. I'm also going to call Dr. Greene, get you in to see a specialist here in Seattle pronto. Now, if you will excuse me, Christian, may I please use your office?"
As Grace leaves the mood in the room takes a confusing turn. Other members have no idea how to react. Should they be sympathetic, relieved, or irritated? One thing they are is jumpy as hell. Christian and Jason pace, Carrick sits quietly pensive. Gail is so nervous she has to do something. Offers everyone refreshments: Refusals all around. Luke though, among other emotions is mildly angry because Ana might have lied to him. Why didn't she let me in the doctor's office with her? At least I would have listened and had the correct info! Her head is bent down. She blushes at her ignorance. Look at their faces. And poor Christian. Why did I assume the worse? Why didn't I listen to the doctor? And why did I go around upsetting these loved ones without knowing all the facts? Stupid, stupid Ana. Hopefully Grace will have better news that my health issue is not as sever as I suspect.
Forty-five minutes feels like a lifetime to these anxious individuals. Soon, Grace walks in wearing a pokerface. She sits in the nearest chair. "I've just been talking with Dr. Rosenski. She did not directly tell you that you have ovarian cancer. Because of the high level of CA-125 in your blood work there's a chance it might be. Either that or an ovarian cyst. She also mentioned at this time if it is cancer it's at the early stages. Stage 1 or possibly stage 2. That can't be determined without surgery. And, she told me she recommended you see a gynecologic oncologist. She was concerned because you acted so distracted. When she questioned you about it, you answered okay, that you understood everything so there was no need for her to repeat. They even made you an appointment to see a Dr. Emil Flemming. When you missed the appointment his office tried to call you but there was no answer. I suppose that's when you were out of town?"
Ana sheepishly nodded her head.
"Still, Ana, this is a serious condition. You shouldn't have waited. I've talked to Dr. Greene. She immediately got Ken Jensen; he's a very highly respected gynecologic oncologist, on the phone. He wants to see you today if not, first thing tomorrow. I suggested today, the sooner the better. That's why you have an appointment with him in two hours. We are going to find out the correct prognosis and get you on proper treatment now. Ana, if it does turn out to be cancer lets pray it's slow growing and hasn't spread outside the ovary and becomes worse. I advise we don't waste anymore time."
Christian rises from Ana's side and insists he's coming, too. With just as much persistence Grace and Ana demand "No way!" in unison; his company is not required. A kinder way of saying not wanted! According to Grace the only male allowed will be Luke. An insulted Christian eyes darts in his direction. He challenges, "Why him and not me?"
"Because, of any one in this room he's more involved in the situation. He'll drive us and sit and listen to every word the doctor tells both her and I." She turns her attention back to the embarrassed sheep." Ana, when you visited with your doctor you should have let him sit in with you in the first place. We could have avoided this misunderstanding then, right, Luke?"
He grins, and nods in agreement.
"Now that that's settled I don't know about you, Carrick, but I'd like to see my grandchildren. All, three of them." She turns, and both grandma and grandpa march up the stairs leaving a silent group behind.
A man disgruntled at being rejected folds his arms against his chest and huffs, "I don't care what the fuck she says I'm coming, too."
"Typical Christian." says Ana, shaking her head, "Always has to have his own way. Sorry buster, not this time. You're staying here with everyone else. You can find out what the doctor has to say when we get back. And that's an order coming from me not your mom so, no arguing. Get it?"
"Yeah, he gets it. Don't you, Boss."
He receives no answer, just a pair of glaring gray eyes.
Ignoring Christian's irritated expression he gives Ana solid reassurance, "And I'll make sure he doesn't sneak out and try to follow you. Old habits die hard, you know."
" Yes, I remember. Thank you, Jason."
Mr. Bossman scowls and grumbles in retreat. "Okay, fine then."
Ana would like nothing more than to roll her eyes at her husband's petulance. Jeez, he's worse than Teddy. But what good would that do? Fuel his ire? As Mom would say, "Honey works better than vinegar" Especially true on Fifty. She stands by his right side, strokes his thick bicep, and kisses his cheek. "Thank you, Christian, for honoring my wishes. I know it's hard on you, on all of you and I can see in your beautiful gray eyes how much you want to protect me. And I love you for it, I do. But lets see what we're up against first. Believe me, I'm so ashamed of my obvious obliviousness. Please, I didn't mean to cause any one of you undo worry, especially you, Christian. But I'm worried three times as much. Let's take this one step at a time, okay? And I promise you we'll take it together."
He gently strokes her cheek, "Ana, I'd do anything for you."
" I know. I'm going to go check on the kids now, all five of them. Seven if you count Abby and Ryan. Cute couple, don't you think? Reminds me kind of me and you." Once upon a time that is. Who knows, maybe again?
As difficult as it was to tell Ana, "Laters Babe" the wait to welcome her back three hours (Grace and Ana did a bit of shopping and stopped off for tea after the doctors visit), later felt like an agonizing eternity. When finally walking from the elevator into the lobby all giggling with Luke carrying the many shopping bags, the first words out of a stressed-out Christian, who's been spending the whole time pacing and tearing his hair out in fret, was "Well, what's the news? Good or bad?"
Grace answers her wide-eyed son, "Hello to you too son. We don't know yet. Dr. Jennings, a very kind, friendly, educated surgeon is very interested in Ana's case. He gave her an examination, some wonderful advice, which this time she listened to. He wants to do a few more scans such as a CT and MRI, check her hormone levels and take another blood test before surgery. He'll take a biopsy, send the sample to a lab where a pathologist will analyze it under a microscope to make sure the cyst or tumor is cancerous or not. Then we will know our plan of treatment. He wants to do this as soon as possible so he's scheduled her to begin tomorrow. Other than that there's not much more we can tell you."
"Christian," says Ana, "I know you're busy, but I'd really like you to come with me tomorrow, stay with me while I have the different tests and scans. But I understand if you're not able to."
"Are you kidding? I'll take the day off. There's no meeting in the world that's more important than you. Ros can handle things in my absence. She always does. Baby, I'm there for you all the way."
An excited Teddy hears their voices and comes bounding down the stairs, "MOMMY, GWANMA, UNCA LUKE." His arms fly around his mother's legs in a tight squeeze that almost throws her off balance. "Ywou home, ywou home. Where ywou been, Mommy?" Ana picks him up and he gives her a big sloppy kiss. "I miss you."
"I miss you too, my little Teddy Bear."
"Daddy misses ywou too."
"Oh, does he now? Hey, did he ask you to tell me that?"
He shakes his head, "No Mommy, he rweally does. I made ywou a pwesent. Would ywou like to see it?"
Teddy runs back upstairs to the entertainment room and hurries back down with a drawing in his hand. He gives it to Ana and tears come to her eyes. "It's beautiful, Teddy, but why an angel?"
"Becwause angels are pwetty and so are you. Ywou like an angel, Mommy."
There's not a dry eye in the room. Ana's voice cracks, "Thank you Teddy, that very sweet. But I'm not an angel. Not yet. And I don't plan to be an angel for a very long time."
"I know. But ywou still an angel to me."
Out of the mouths of babes comes wisdom.
AA/N: To my fans and readers, just so you know, I think you're the greatest! You rock! Oh, any bets on what the tests results will be?