Hey new fandom! I'm here only because of a crossover, however. We get a little Brenner background, if you're interested. This is a part of an Alphas' 'verse: "Mother Knows Best" "A Helping Hand" and "Love Remains The Same" all fall within the same storyline. This takes place in 2012, so this is three years post ER's finale. (And yes, I support Roomies all the way. Neela needs to stay away from Simon.)
I own neither Alphas nor ER.
Simon Brenner had a soft spot for children. If a child came into the ER, especially if they had neglectful or abusive parents, he tried to do whatever he could. The blonde doctor partially blamed it on his past, but he partially blamed it on the fact that he had a kid out there somewhere. Simon didn't know whether he had a son or a daughter, but that much didn't really matter. He had been a right son-of-a-bitch to the girl he had had in his life when he was nineteen. She had gotten pregnant and he left her all because he was trying to please his parents.
There wasn't a day that went by that he didn't regret it. Her sky blue robe still hung in his closet, with the engagement ring tucked inside a pocket. No one ever touched it other than him. And, if they asked about it, he would get defensive and ask them to drop the subject. No one ever knew that he had an ex-fiancé and a daughter out there somewhere. It hurt way too much to think about how much of an ass he had been, let alone tell someone else about it. Simon just kept things to himself; no one had to know how many times he would call her uncle, asking about her and their child, nor how many times he called himself an arrogant bastard for leaving in the first place.
When Skylar got in touch with the blonde, asking him to take their daughter Zoe in for a little while, Simon thought that he had entered an alternate dimension. From what her uncle Wesley had told him, the doctor's ex-fiancé had wanted nothing to do with him ever again. So, to hear that she trusted him enough to do this for her, it was all like a whirlwind.
He had missed almost seven years of his little girl's life; Simon hadn't the slightest idea of what his daughter would like. Would she like barbies, or toy cars? What about her favorite movie or bedtime story? There were so many things that he missed. So many things that he could never get back.
His six-year-old was forgiving, though. She started hanging off of him from the moment she was dropped off by an older man in a nice suit. Simon found out everything from her favorite kids' show to her favorite math equation. (The thought that his daughter knew more about mathematics than he had ever learned back in uni was only slightly terrifying.)
When it was time for him to go to work, though, that was the tricky part. Simon couldn't get a sitter for his darling daughter quite yet, which meant that he had to bring her along. Hopefully she could play in the daycare department. That was where most of the personnel dropped their kids off, anyways. The problem in and of itself, though, was that no one knew that part of Brenner.
Oh how the rumors would spread. They already knew bits and pieces, given Skylar's phone conversation with Banfield. It was just another reason to make Simon's life a living hell, he supposed.
Simon had set up everything as quickly as he could, despite the short notice he had to get ready for his daughter. The guest room was the perfect size for her; he could even paint the walls for her if that was what he wanted. The doctor had almost seven years to make up for, and it was about time to start. He had so much more to make up for when it came to Skylar, however.
Zoe looked a lot like her mother, the father admitted. Same dark eyes, the only difference being that Simon's blonde hair made her hair a few shades lighter.
Brenner looked back at his daughter and smiled a bit. She was watching early morning cartoons as she ate her blueberry pancakes at a fast clip. (Blueberry pancakes had become her favorite breakfast dish after her father cooked them for her on their first morning together. She couldn't wait for her mother to try daddy's delicious pancakes.)
He was finishing a mug of coffee and reading a medical journal about pediatrics. While he dealt with children in the ER, they had never been hischild. Everything was different for Simon now; he had his daughter. He swore that he wouldn't screw this up a second time around. No one, absolutely no one would come between his future with his girls.
"Hey daddy," Zoe began, ripping her father out of his thoughts, "why doesn't Wile E. Coyote find something else to chase? I mean, he's all the time after poor Roadrunner, but he never seems to take a hint."
Simon had to fight a chuckle. His kid did have a point, though… "I don't know, Zoe, darling," he sent her an affectionate smile and ruffled her hair a bit, shooting a glance down at his watch. "Finish up those pancakes soon. My shift starts in a little less than a half hour."
"Kay, daddy," the six-year-old piped up, scrambling to finish her pancakes and her tall glass of milk. She smiled up at him once her plate was polished and her glass was empty; her father had to take a second to recover from the whiplash, she had finished quicker than anticipated.
Fatherhood was going to be interesting, especially with this one around…
There were so many things that Simon wanted to know about Skylar. He couldn't wait for her to come to Chicago where she and Zoe would, hopefully, stay. In seven years, a lot could change. She obviously hadn't found someone else, which was slightly uplifting.
The doctor looked back at his daughter, who was tucked in her car seat as they headed for County General. Zoe was bundled up in her one good winter coat, despite the fact that it was just late October.
"So, Z," he started to ask, eyes darting between her and the road, "how's your mum doing?"
"She's doing okay. I… I don't think she knows, but I hear her crying a lot, especially at night," Zoe told her father. Skylar tried to be strong for her daughter, even for everyone else. But when no one was around, she tended to let herself fall apart. That was the only time that she let such things get to her.
Simon's hands gripped the steering wheel just a little tighter. He knew that that was because of him. If he hadn't left his pregnant fiancé, none of this would have happened.
"Do you know what's upset her?" He asked his daughter, sparing her a tiny smile.
Zoe shook her head, which disappointed Brenner to no end. She then let out a little gasp before adding, "but, whenever I asked her who my daddy was, she looked all sad. Maybe that's it?"
The doctor sighed. "I think that's exactly it, li'l joey. Dad hasn't exactly been the best to your mum. I've done some stupid things lately."
"But I thought that you were smart, daddy!" the six-year-old blinked back at her father, fidgeting slightly in her seat. "Aren't doctors supposed to be smart?"
"Even doctors make mistakes, darling," Simon told her, smiling at her through the rear-view mirror.
By the time that they got to County, on call doctors and nurses were carrying patients in on gurneys, just like any other day in the ER. Zoe looked around in awe and a little shock.
"Welcome to County General, darling," the blonde doctor began; grinning like it was some private joke. All things considered, he was glad that Neela had left for North Carolina; Simon didn't think that he could deal with her nagging about him not bringing up the fact that he was a father. Maybe he just ought to "get over" that too.
He parked his car and went around back to scoop his brunette daughter up out of her car seat. Zoe clung to his neck and shivered slightly, which made Simon secure his six-year-old closer.
"Better?" he smiled down at her, placing a kiss on her forehead.
As they went through those front doors, the blonde doctor swore that everyone was staring at them; and, truthfully, they probably were. Banfield and Archie were going over a patient's chart when they could have sworn that they saw Brenner walk by holding a small child.
"Did you just—" Archie began, shaking his head. "No, 'cause that doesn't make any sense. Brenner doesn't have a kid."
Banfield raised an eyebrow at the other doctor. "Apparently you're out of the loop, doctor," she handed him back the chart and headed over to the Australian.
"Doctor Banfield," Brenner responded curtly, looking down at his daughter, "I can explain this."
The chief's lips twitched into a tiny smirk. "No need, doctor. I seem to recall that your girlfriend and I talked about that. Question being now, where is she and why isn't she looking after your daughter while you're on call?"
"She had some things to attend to before coming to Chicago—" the blonde doctor began, bouncing his daughter against his hip.
"I'm Zoe!" the six-year-old beamed a smile and snuggled against her father's chest.
Banfield smiled back at the child and then frowned at the other doctor. "Get her to the daycare, and don't dilly-dally around. We've got work to do, Brenner."
As she walked away from him, Morris decided to stand around and gawk at Simon. "I—had no idea. Um—who's her mom?"
"You'll meet her soon enough. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to get li'l Z to daycare before Banfield has me head," Simon nodded and sent Archie a smile, leaving him confused as ever.
"What the… Why am I always the one out of the loop?!" Archie threw his hands up in the air, calling out to no one in particular.
"Because life's out to get you," Frank patted the other doctor on the back as he passed by. "Don't sweat it."
By lunchtime, Simon flopped down onto the couch in the break room, about ready to pass out then and there. He had spent so much time prepping for Zoe's arrival that he hadn't really had much time for a necessity known as sleep. Not to mention that, after she got there, all she wanted to do was play. During all hours of the night and day.
He didn't notice when one of the nurses, Sam, came into the break room for a cup of coffee and a snack. Simon had his head resting against the back of the couch, his eyes shut tight.
"You've got a cute kid, Simon," she told him, startling him out of his comfort zone. He had been thinking about Skylar, all dressed in white.
"Huh?" He grumbled in reply, shaking himself awake. "Oh, thanks. Yeah," Simon rubbed his eyes wearily, "she's—she's a good kid."
"Honestly, I didn't think you had it in you, Brenner, none of us did," Sam told him, smiling a little as she went over to the coffee pot.
"People surprise you every day," he replied weakly, chuckling to himself. He had no idea what he was capable of as a father, either.
"I'll say. Well, you'll have to bring in the Mrs. someday, huh?" Sam grabbed her coffee and went over to her locker to pull out her snack.
"Yeah. I definitely will," Simon began, digging into his pocket to check his phone for any messages from Skylar. As soon as he looked up again, Sam was gone.
Zoe fell asleep tucked under Simon's arm later that night. She had heard from her mother, who had to call every night that she was away, and now the six-year-old was just tuckered out. She had met quite a few new kids in the daycare, which her father was happy to see.
Simon yawned widely as he turned off the TV, careful to disturb his princess until it was absolutely necessary. He looked down at his watch, eyes widening over the fact that it was well over 12:30. Very carefully, Simon scooped Zoe up and carried her towards her bedroom. There had been a reason why that room was pink when he moved in, and now he knew what that was.
The six-year-old burrowed under her covers sleepily and murmured her goodnights to her father. Simon just kissed her goodnight and left a crack in the doorway.
As the blonde doctor tucked himself into bed that night, he was clutching one of his most prized possessions. It was a picture of him and Skylar; she was at least two months pregnant in the picture. Simon had her in his arms, both of them were grinning with glee.
He placed the picture back on his nightstand, smiling sadly. They had been so in love until he royally screwed it all up. He could only hope that the two of them could pick off from where they were.
As Brenner finally drifted off to sleep, he felt hopeful for the future.
Well, well, if any of you have made it this far, thank you. Feedback would be wonderful! If you newcomers like what you see, don't be afraid to check out the other three fics!