So, I suppose this story could use a little explaining. I started it about 10-11 months ago in response to what I considered an awful, terrible storyline, full of numerous offenses, the least of which being that the story went absolutely nowhere. There were no surprises, and though full of opportunity, none of the issues involved were ever explored. So, out of frustration, I wrote my own version, focusing on the characters I like, the emotions and tendencies I feel are organic.

Warning, I like Billy and Victoria, obviously. Actually, I love them, so if you don't, that's cool and maybe this story isn't for you. Again, cool. But, there are other characters that make substantial appearances, and I believe most fans of the show could appreciate it. It is finished, the full story posted elsewhere, and by request, I am adding it here, largely to make sure it is available regardless of the status of message boards.

On that note, please enjoy. It was a labor of love and my first attempt at fanfic.

Chapter 1

May 17 2012

Victoria stood frozen outside the door she knew could change her life, unable to muster enough conviction to either knock or flee. She fixed her eyes on the four gold numbers descending the face of the door and willed them to give her a sign, just one sign, that what she was doing here was right.

She knew it was desperate. She knew it was risky. And she knew all too well that in the end, it may not even be worth it. Worst of all, she knew that knocking on this door would hurt every person she loved. Especially him.

Him.

Victoria leaned her head against the coolness of the door, allowing its sturdiness to steady her body and her mind. He was why she was here she reminded herself. He was why she had to do this, no matter the consequences.

She placed the palm of her hand on the door and pushed herself upright. Her fingers curled into a tight fist, and with every bit of Newman determination she had inherited from her father and earned from being his daughter, she struck the smooth plane of the door, harder than she had intended, more persistently than she had intended, each strike bringing her closer to the fate that lay on the other side.


Three Weeks Earlier

Since that day at the club when she first discovered Chelsea's acquaintance with Adam, Victoria had been gripped with a nagging panic that he, rather than Chelsea, Anita or her own meddling father, would cost her yet another child. It wasn't a rational feeling. She knew it was fear born of her losses, mixed with the knowledge of what her half-brother was capable of. He was why Ashley and her dad lost their baby. He was the reason Nick and Sharon grieved Faith for six months. So, no matter how ridiculous it seemed and no matter how many times Adam claimed to be a changed man, Victoria couldn't help but wonder if it was her turn to be his victim.

But in all her late-night worry sessions, in the tossing and turning and the ever-growing sick feeling in the pit of her stomach, not once did Victoria imagine Adam would come at her armed with the truth, wielding it with good intentions but wounding her nonetheless.

He made his attack on d-day, delivery day, or night as it turned out. Victoria and Billy had been enjoying a much needed night out alone, dinner at the club, when they received the call that Chelsea was at the hospital. Her water had broken, the baby was coming.

In the weeks since Billy had returned from L.A., they had worked out the details with Chelsea of what each party expected to happen on d-day. Given the circumstances, Chelsea's crimes that had led to this uncomfortable situation, they all agreed that neither Billy nor Victoria would be present in the delivery room. And since Chelsea wanted nothing to do with the mother she couldn't find now anyway, they had hired a doula to be Chelsea's support system before, during and after the birth. Once the baby was born, Chelsea would spend a few minutes with him before a nurse would bring him to the private nursery where Billy and Victoria would meet their son for the first time.

That's where Adam found her in the wee hours of the morning, pacing the length of the nursery for the millionth time, clutching the little blue bear she had bought as her son's first gift, and fighting that nagging nauseous feeling that there was still time for something to go wrong. Billy had gone on his sixth coffee run of the night, and when she heard the heavy wooden door swing open, she expected his tired face to greet her. Instead, she saw her half-brother standing in the doorway, hesitant and uneasy.

"What the hell are you doing here?" she fired, channeling all of her initial terror into searing anger.

"I, uh, I was with Chelsea when her water broke." Adam let the door close behind him, but ventured no farther into the room. "I brought her to the hospital."

"Of course you were with her," she scoffed. "Even after I told you to stay away." Victoria tossed the little bear into the empty rocking chair and crossed her arms defensively. "Your good deed has been duly noted. You can leave now."

"I stuck around because I need to talk to you…alone. I saw Billy heading for the cafeteria, so…you know..."

The gentle, contrite nature of his tone was unnerving and sent her on the offensive. She closed the distance between them and looked him square in the eyes. "Unless you're here to tell me you're leaving town for good, then I don't want to hear it," she said coldly.

"It's a scam," he blurted. The words stung her as much as if he'd hit her. "The whole baby thing is a scam. Billy isn't the father. You're not getting the baby."

"Get out," she seethed. She made a move for the door, but he blocked her path.

"Not until I tell you everything I know."

Her anger was failing her. Her fear was gaining ground. She retreated to the far end of the room, making her new stance at the window, her back to the enemy, her arms wrapped protectively around herself, and prepared for the lies she knew were coming.

She stared at Genoa City through vertical blinds while Adam told her how he'd overheard Billy arranging their evening at the club and how he'd used the opportunity to surprise Chelsea with pizza and a movie. Only she wasn't alone when he got to the garage apartment. Anita was there, and they were arguing, over new ways to bilk the Abbotts out of millions and fast since the baby was coming any day now and over whose fault it was that the original plan had failed. He told her how Chelsea had been pregnant and in need of cash and how Victor had come along just in time in need of someone to permanently sever the bond between his daughter and that punk Billy Abbott. When Billy refused to pay her off, she played on their sympathy and their desire for a child, worming her way into their home long enough to figure out the next move. That's when Adam confronted them. Anita ran, but Chelsea couldn't. Because while the biggest con of her life was crumbling around her, her water broke.

"Look Vick, I don't have all the details," he said, cautiously approaching her, "but I thought you should know what I heard."

"You mean you haven't had time to make up the details, right?" She felt a new round of anger emerging and whirled around to face him.

"You know, you've always thought you were so much smarter than everybody else. Because you went to Harvard. But you must really think I'm stupid if you think for one second I'm going to believe anything you say. After all the lies you've told my family. And Billy's."

Adam hung his head in shame, unable and unwilling to defend her accusations.

"There's just one problem with your little story, Adam. The paternity test."

Adam offered a small wry smile. "Yeah, I guess you're right. Because dear old Dad, he would never pay off a doctor or a lab tech. And who knows what tricks Chelsea and Anita have in their arsenal."

Delia.

Her mind was swirling with lies and possible truths. She couldn't believe Adam, didn't want to because of what she stood to lose. But they had known Chelsea was up to something, known it all along. And her father? He had hurt her so much already, but how could he use her yearning for another child against her?

Just as she felt herself on the verge of falling apart, the nursery door swung open, and Billy barreled into the room, chest puffed out, fists clenched.

"You. Out. Now," Billy said through gritted teeth. He made a beeline for Victoria and wrapped a reassuring arm around her waist.

"Billy, I was just telling her…" Adam started to explain.

"Oh, I heard enough of what you were just telling my wife, and now I'm just telling you to get the hell away from her." Billy turned to face Victoria and held her firmly by the shoulders. "You know he's lying. I know he's lying. Everything's fine."

"I'm not lying, Victoria. I swear…I swear on my mother's grave that everything I told you is true."

Billy laughed contemptuously and turned around, making his body a barrier between Adam and his wife. "Yeah? Well, if you had any honor, that might mean something. But you don't. This is how you operate. You play on people's fears to gain their trust. Make'em think you're their best friend. Then you destroy them. You did it to my sister. But I'll be damned if you do it to my wife."

"Billy," Victoria implored, tears threatening. While she knew little about the half-brother rarely acknowledged her whole life, she knew one thing for sure-he loved his mother. And when Billy twisted his body to look at her, he saw that heartbreaking truth reflected in her eyes.

"No," Billy said quietly. "Where's his proof, huh? Where's your proof?" he demanded, turning back to Adam.

Adam put his hands up in surrender. "I don't have any. But I also don't have anything to gain from this. I told you what I heard because I thought you both deserved to know." He paused. "And because I don't want another baby used as a pawn in some game. What you choose to do with that is up to you."

His mission complete, Adam started for the door only to be nearly run over by the nurse who had been keeping them updated on Chelsea's progress.

"It's a boy," she announced cheerily. "A big boy too, 8 lbs. 3 oz. and 22 inches long."

The joy they should have had was absent, but the petite nurse seemed oblivious to the tension in the room as she prattled on. "The delivery went just fine. Ms. Lawson's mother showed up just in time for the birth, so they want a little more time with him before I bring him to you. I hope that's okay."

"It's fine," Victoria managed to squeak out as she gladly gripped the hand Billy offered her. She just wanted everyone to leave them alone, but as the nurse attempted to exit the room, Adam extended her stay.

"8 lbs 3oz," he repeated. "That's gotta be some kind of a record for a preemie, huh, sis?"

"A preemie? Good gracious," the nurse laughed. "Your nephew is as full-term as they come."

"Oh, I guess I misunderstood," Adam said. The nurse left the room, and Adam turned to face his sister and her husband one last time.

"Full-term." Adam narrowed his eyes. "That makes the date of conception what? Last week of July, maybe first week of August? And when was it you "met" Chelsea, Billy?"

Billy didn't answer. He didn't have to. He hadn't even gotten to Myanmar til the end of August and wasn't arrested til September 3, six days before his anniversary, six days before Victor procured his release.

Adam opened the door to leave, but turned back apologetically. "For the record, Vick, I've never thought you were stupid, but it doesn't take a Harvard education to figure this one out."

The door clicked sharply as it closed behind Adam. Finally alone, Billy and Victoria collapsed into each other's arms, the weight of the truth crushing them, the prospect of leaving the hospital empty-handed suffocating.


The door with the four gold numbers swung open forcefully revealing a giggling, scantily-clad redhead who was clearly expecting someone else.

"Hello, Phyllis," Victoria said coolly.

"Oh, Victoria… uh…hi..." Phyllis pulled the short silk robe she was wearing tighter around her waist before opening the door wider and motioning for Victoria to enter. "Sorry," she laughed. "I'm just a little surprised to see you, you know you're not usually such a um…ferocious… knocker."

Victoria entered the apartment and gave a quick look around for signs that they were indeed alone. All of the nervousness and indecision she had experienced prior to knocking had been carefully pushed aside as she assumed the role of Victoria Newman, Teflon business woman, ice princess extraordinaire.

"You thought it was Nicholas, huh," Victoria said with a knowing half-laugh. "He does that knocking thing to me too, which I hate. Which he knows. Which only makes him do it more."

"Are you looking for Nick? Is that why you're here? Cause he's actually not here, not right now anyway."

"No," she responded a little too quickly. "I'm actually really glad he's not here. I'm here to see you. I need your help with something, something really important. Something that needs to stay between us."

"Oh, okay, sure. My lips are sealed. But I kinda feel like I'm about to be punked or something," Phyllis joked.

Victoria didn't laugh. She looked down at her fidgeting hands briefly before forcing her eyes upward to meet the fierce blue eyes of the woman standing in front of her, the woman she was betting her future on.

"I need you to help me disappear."