So this is just a little oneshot that popped into my head last week. C.C. has been called to the hospital by her sister but doesn't know why, during her visit she remembers several other times she was in hospital. When D.D. finally confronts her with the problem...will C.C. find a solution? I marked this as N/C.C. but nothing exactly happens between them, only a few moments. Anyway, hope you might like this. R&R please. :)
Problems and Solutions
"Dr Shearman please come to Intensive Care, Dr Shearman."
C.C. Babcock slowly lifted her head up at the announcement, only to lower her gaze to her coffee cup a second later again. She had almost successfully managed to block out the hustle and the noise of the hospital…until now. Resignedly she closed her eyes and gave the bridge of her nose a sharp pinch. She hated being here, not that she thought that anyone would actually enjoy a trip to the hospital, but she really hated it. She'd always found a way to avoid going, but there were a few occasions where she hadn't managed to stay away. Those few occasions counted as the worst memories of her life, all tainted with numerous negative emotions. Yet somehow she felt that the current situation could've been avoided. That's why she had only made it as far as the hospital cafeteria; that and not a yearning for bad coffee. She sighed and took another sip, contemplating again how important her being there really was and if she could get away with simply leaving again, it wasn't as if she didn't have any work to do. And with that her mind guiltily slipped to the pile of paperwork on Maxwell Sheffield's desk which he, as always, had neglected to deal with. She knew that it wasn't really her job to clean up her business partner's messes, yet at the same she was all too aware that it would never get done otherwise. Somehow her determination and stern way of dealing with choreographers and costume-designers was amiss in several other aspects of her life. Slowly she lifted the cup of coffee to her lips again, only to find it empty. It was time to make a decision. C.C. wasn't in particularly close contact with her family, that's why it had come as a surprise to her when her sister D.D. had called out of the blue. They barely talked, let alone met each other in person because they were simply too different. Where C.C. was goal oriented and prided herself in her career, the youngest Babcock had always been more like her mother. Naïve, playful, superficial and out to marry for money. C.C. supposed she loved her in a way, but it was decidedly enough to encounter her at family affairs, where she could flee to her brother if they suddenly became hard-pressed for a conversation topic. Nonetheless, C.C. had received this rather strange phone call from her sister, explaining that she was in hospital and that she needed her to come, but that she shouldn't worry about a thing. C.C. had interrogated her instantly about any diseases or accidents, but D.D. had said over and over again that it was nothing like that. It didn't sound urgent, C.C. reasoned, so why should she waste her time with something like this? But then again maybe that was precisely the point. Why had her sister called her? Why not her mother? There was only one way to find out. C.C. pushed her chair back and stood up; making a beeline for the trash can to dispose of her coffee cup. On her way to the reception desk she tried to keep her eyes glued to the floor, avoiding seeing any patients at any cost. But it was no use; the sounds still infiltrated her head, causing old familiar pictures to rise again.
C.C. Babcock for all intents and purposes, had been a lucky child; in as such that she was rather healthy and required no trips to the hospital. Whenever she had as much as the sniffles her mother would find the best doctor around and let him take care of her at home. Money was no object, after all. But when she was 7 it seemed her luck had run out. She had broken her arm ice skating. The hospital she had been taken to was cold and unfriendly, with clinical white rooms. Her parents had been away on a trip with her little sister and her brother had been staying with a friend. So once the servants had called the ambulance and ensured her safety, C.C. was left to her own devices. The doctor in question had tried his best to calm the frightened little girl, but even he had had to leave eventually to schedule an x-ray appointment for her. So C.C. was nervously looking around the room trying her best to ignore her left arm that was hanging limp against her body. She swallowed and almost wished that it would hurt, it would be a familiar sensation at least and not as eerie as this. After a while that seemed an eternity for C.C., the doctor returned and led her away to be x-rayed. C.C. knew that she had to be strong, being a Babcock that was almost a natural requirement but still she would've given anything to have her daddy by her side. That was why when she finally returned to her room and spotted her parents, all her self-control slipped and she burst into tears. Her father was with her in an instant and hugged her tight.
"You'll be alright, kitten, you've been a very brave little girl."
C.C. sniffed and buried her face even more in his chest, breathing in the familiar scent of safety, when suddenly a sharp scoff cut through the silence.
"Please Stuart, don't coddle the child."
Her father released a sigh and let go of her. C.C. instantly wiped her tear-streaked face and looked up at her mother.
"How did this happen, Chastity?"
"I was bored so I invited Nancy and Jenny over to play, Jacob said it was ok. We went outside to play in the snow and then Nancy showed off her new ice-skates and then we took turns skating on the lake and I fell and broke my arm. I'm sorry, mommy."
The silence that followed was not a good sign. "Perhaps it is time that you chose your friends more wisely, Chastity. Ice-skating on a frozen lake…you're lucky to be alive, you stupid girl. And you ruined our trip! Now get in bed and not a sound, we'll be back tomorrow to take you home."
By the time C.C. returned to their estate Jacob and the rest of the servants in charge of looking after her that day had been let go and been replaced by an entirely new staff.
"Yes, Ma'am, how can I help you?"
"I'm here to see my sister D.D. Babcock. Can you tell me which room she is in?"
The receptionist nodded and entered the name into her computer. "Room 412, it's in Wing B."
C.C. smiled in thanks and turned to make her way to the big map showing where all the wings of the hospital where located. Impatiently she elbowed some kids out of the way that were blocking her view but when she saw what exactly was located in Wing B her body went numb and her jaw dropped in a comical "O".
"I hate hospitals," she growled darkly under her breath but earned only an amused chuckle from the man to her right.
"And here I thought you'd love it. Doesn't your kind feed of fear and pain and death?"
"Shut it, Niles."
The butler chuckled again and then tried to make himself as comfortable as possible in the plastic chair.
"How long is this going to take?" C.C. asked after a while, checking her watch impatiently
"She's already been in there for at least an hour. It can't be much longer…"
"Oh you're in for a treat, witch." Niles said, laughing with glee "It took my mother 14 hours before I was born."
"Well of course, she had to squeeze out one hell of a chunk of butler."
He grimaced and rolled his eyes. "Thanks for the visual."
"Any time." He shook his head with an amused smile and then nudged her.
"What are you doing here in anyway? You're the secretary; you don't have to wait for Mrs Sheffield to have her baby."
C.C. scoffed and looked somewhat shocked by his ignorance. "Because she's my friend?" she replied as if it was the most natural thing in the world "Although I'm beginning to re-think that friendship the longer that woman takes to squeeze out a baby. I mean seriously, how hard can it be?"
Niles shook his head again in amusement and chose not to answer this time. Instead he stood up and announced that he'd go and get himself some coffee. C.C. sighed and looked after his retreating figure, suddenly aware of her surroundings again. As much as she despised the man the sparring had helped her block out her fear of hospitals. And now that he was gone she felt alone again, much the same as she had done as a 7 year-old girl. So she sought comfort by picking up the only thing available, his coat. She felt the soft fabric and inhaled his scent which proved to be almost as comforting as her father's when she had been little. Then she awkwardly curled up on the plastic chairs, clutching the coat against her chest and waited until sleep overtook her.
"Babcock…wake up…" She didn't hear him at first but when the coat in her arms was suddenly yanked away she woke up with a start. "Not such a good hearing anymore, eh? I've heard at your age that isn't entirely uncommon."
She rolled her eyes at the butler's dry remark and simply sat up, rubbing her face in an attempt to chase the exhaustion away. "Did she have her kid?"
"Yes," he nodded "Miss Margaret was born half an hour ago."
"Half an hour?" C.C. exclaimed "Why didn't you wake me sooner?"
The smirk on his face and the amused sparkle in his eyes told her that that was precisely the question he had been waiting for. "Because I didn't want to traumatise the child by letting her see your face immediately."
"As if yours is any better." She grumbled half-heartedly at him and then strode towards Sara's room.
Upon entering she was instantly confronted with a tired-looking Sara, a beaming Max and a crying baby which was enough to make her subtly back out the door again. Only she didn't get very far, but instead softly collided with Niles' chest.
"Coward, Babcock?" he whispered into her ear.
C.C. resisted the urge to grumble yet another curse at him, and instead squared her shoulders and marched back into the room.
"I have a daughter." Maxwell chose to state the obvious and held little Maggie high up in the air, letting everyone catch a glimpse of her.
"Congratulations." Niles and C.C. said at the same time.
And while Niles chose to step closer to coo over the baby, C.C. firmly remained where she was, at what she considered to be a safe distance.
"C'mon C.C., don't be shy. Why don't you hold her? She's not even a day old, she won't bite you." Sara coaxed gently, smiling tiredly up at her.
C.C. had never been too fond of little children, particularly her baby sister D.D. had been a pain in the butt. But with her employer eyeing her with undeterred focus and her friend's hopeful smile she found it entirely impossible to say no.
"Sure," she managed with as much enthusiasm as she could muster and approached the two men.
Niles, who was holding the little girl with surprising ease, gently passed her over into her own arms. There was that brief moment of magic that new parents always bragged about, but then Maggie opened her eyes, noticed that she wasn't looking at any of her parents and burst into tears. C.C. cringed instantly at the annoying sound while at the same time feeling unmistakably guilty for making a little girl cry. Maxwell carefully picked his daughter up again to sooth her and while Sara tried to reassure her that it was perfectly normal for the baby to cry, all C.C. could see was the butler's smirk. He knew as well as she did that she was useless with kids.
The maternity ward? What in hell had D.D. gotten herself into this time? C.C. cursed silently and marched down the corridor towards room 412. Her sister was knocked up, that was the only reasonable explanation.
"Stupid girl…never had an ounce of intelligence in that stupid head."She muttered but then paused in front of the door.
Didn't her mother know? Or her father? What exactly had D.D. wanted her for? She didn't have a good track record with kids. And her sister did know how awful hospitals made her feel.
"She'll be ok, right? I mean they wouldn't have called us here if she wouldn't be ok."
She noticed that her voice sounded almost as panic-stricken as the 2 little children looked. Toddler Grace was scooped up in her arms and sound asleep. Niles tried his best to keep a comforting smile on his face for the sake of the children, but she could see the fear in his eyes as well.
"I don't know Miss Babcock," he murmured quietly to her "Maxwell has been in there for quite some time."
C.C. nodded and opened her mouth to say something when the man in question finally stepped out of the room opposite them. His eyes were red and he seemed to have aged over the past few hours.
"Your mother wants to see you." He spoke almost mechanically and C.C. could hear what their little ears could not yet process. She wants to say goodbye.
C.C. swallowed and exchanged a sad glance with Niles before entering the room and facing possibly the worst moment of her adult life.
C.C. shook her head to physically rid herself of the pain and the memories of the children's cries and late nights running the business for Maxwell and pushed the door open. She found her sister all alone in a large hospital room, squatting unsteadily on the soles of her feet in bed, her butt slightly in the air.
"I've seen on TV that this is a good position." She said in greeting without any further explanations.
But then again, it wasn't exactly as if C.C. needed to hear more, the huge baby bump said enough.
"You never heard of protection?" she asked icily and crossed her arms in front of her chest.
"Straight to the chase…just like mommy…" D.D. sighed.
"Speaking of…why didn't you call her here? I'm sure she'd be much more suitable if it is comfort you're looking for."
"She knows…has known from the beginning. She suggested I kill it…it came from a quick fling with the gardener and you know mommy's attitude."
"Don't tell me you have a heart, Deirdre."
"I don't…but I still kept it but now I don't know what to do with it anymore."
"What an amazing plan." C.C. commented dryly, her posture stiffening further "So why did you call me? I'm as good with children as the rest of us Babcock women."
"True," D.D. conceded with a sigh "but you're so determined, you always know what to do. So I figured you could find a solution for this."
When C.C. returned to the Sheffield mansion that sentence was still swirling around in her head.
"Find a solution…" she muttered under her breath while pouring herself a generous glass of Scotch "as if she made some minor miscalculation…"
The first glass of alcohol didn't help much too ease her tension so a second soon followed.
"You're in rare form today," a dry, mocking voice suddenly remarked from the background "missing half a day's worth of work and then getting drunk. Mr Sheffield will be delighted."
"Just cut it out, Niles." C.C. turned and snapped sharply, already filling yet another glass.
His eyes glinted in a knowing way before he stepped closer and took the bottle out of her hands. "What got your broomstick in a knot, mmh?"
"My sister is pregnant." C.C. replied in the same snappy tone and sipped on her Scotch.
"Now I'd say that in normal families that would be a cause for celebration, but I can see how that would throw the Babcocks for a loop."
"The "Babcocks" don't even know. My mother and I know…she suggested in her usual way to get rid of the child while I…" she paused and rolled her eyes "I've been chosen to come up with the great solution."
"A solution to what?" Niles frowned.
"D.D. is almost ready to pop and she doesn't want the child but she doesn't know what to do with it either."
"Well then, the answer is simple. I'm sure even your slow brain can figure that out. Give the child away for adoption."
There was a long pause in which C.C. continued to bite her lip furiously, clearly not happy with the solution provided. "Not there yet?" Niles mocked gently after a while.
"No…just…" she glanced at him "I'm not sure it is the best solution to give him or her away…"
"No, I agree. Of course the best option would be for the child to grow up with its mother. But she doesn't seem to want it…would you still call it the best option then?"
"No…" C.C. sighed quietly "but I've been put in charge of this so I have to find some other way."
And that's how she found herself back at the hospital the next day. This time she didn't waste time with coffee at the cafeteria but went straight up to her sister's room. She entered after knocking briefly and positioned herself at the end of her bed.
"This is what we're going to do…"