Title: A Complicated Mother's Day
Summary: Another holiday interlude to my fic Complications. This time it's Mother's Day.
Disclaimer: I don't own Spooks or any of the characters or dialogue you may recognise. They all belong to Kudos/BBC.
A/N: As stated in the summary, this is a Mother's Day interlude to my other fic, 'Complications'. You will probably need to read that first in order for it to make any sense. This interlude will fit between chapters 16 and 17 of 'Complications'; taking place the week after Jane's re-appearance. I'm thinking it will be two or three chapters in length.
Wednesday 10th March 1999…
Harry arrives home from work and is greeted by his children running into his arms. He does try to get home before they go to bed, but more often than not it doesn't happen, so they love it when he does. Once he has said hello to them, he bids Claire goodnight and puts Graham to bed. When he reappears downstairs, Catherine is waiting for him.
"Come and see what I made at school, Daddy!" she says, tugging her father into the kitchen. They stop in front of the table and she points at a card on the table. "Look!"
Harry picks it up gently; it's a Mother's Day card. On the front Catherine has drawn a little girl holding a posy of flowers. Across the top of the card is written "Happy Mother's Day" in Catherine's own, distinctive childish script. Harry had been so busy he'd forgotten all about Mother's Day, but of course Catherine wouldn't have; they'd have talked about it in school. And with Jane's reappearance the week before it was only right that Catherine would want to make her a card. Harry sighed; thinking of Jane sent his stress levels soaring. "It's beautiful, sweetheart. I'm sure Mummy will love it."
"It's not for Mummy," Catherine states.
"It's for Ruth," she replied. "Will she be here on Sunday?"
"Erm…I'm not sure. She might have to visit her own Mummy."
"But I have to give it to Ruth!" Catherine pouted.
"I know sweetheart and don't worry; we will. Did you make a card for your Mummy?"
"No; there wasn't enough time. We'll just buy one…and a present too. Oooh, can we buy a present for Ruth too?"
"Of course; I'll leave Claire some money tomorrow and maybe she can take you after school. Is that okay?"
"Yep!" agreed Catherine enthusiastically. "Will you read me a bedtime story, Daddy?"
"Of course I will sweetheart." He scoops his daughter up and carries her upstairs. Once in her room he pulls back the covers and Catherine climbs in. Harry draws the covers back around her and asks, "What are we reading tonight, then?"
"One of the Greek stories!" Ruth had recently bought Catherine a book of Greek myths and legends and she loved it, both the stories and the accompanying illustrations.
Harry reaches out and selects the book from the book shelf and makes himself comfortable on the edge of his daughter's bed. "Which story would you like?"
"The one about the lady who had snakes for hair!" Catherine tells him, snuggling down in her covers. "And then can you tell me the story of Pegasus again?"
Harry smiles, knowing that she'll be asleep before he finishes Medusa's story. "We'll see, sweetheart," he says, turning the page and beginning to read.
Sunday 14th March 1999…
Ruth awakes on Sunday morning to an empty bed. She sits up and looks at the clock; 8.30. It's too early to call her mother. She and her step-brother had been planning a surprise visit for Mother's Day but Peter had called her on Wednesday and informed her that her mother was driving down to Bath for the weekend to visit an old friend, who had lost her mother a few weeks before. Elizabeth had reasoned that her friends need for support was greater than her own need to see Ruth and Peter. Ruth understood and had posted her Mother's card to her friend's address. She was going to arrange to have flowers sent until Harry had pointed out that it might cause more upset for her mother's friend. So she had spent yesterday with Harry and the children and had stayed over as usual.
However, it is unusual for her to wake up in an empty bed. Usually she wakes first; Harry snoring lightly next to her, and gets up and puts the coffee on. Apparently not today. Curious by this strange development, she gets out of bed, puts on her robe and goes to find out what's going on. She doesn't get far. Sat on the landing facing the bedroom door is Graham.
"Good morning sweetie," she greets.
"Morning. Go back to bed," Graham states.
"Pardon?" she asks with a smile.
"I'm the guard. Go back to bed."
"Why do I have to go back to bed? And why do I need a guard?" Ruth asks, assuming this is some game he's concocted in his vivid imagination.
"Catey says you're not allowed to get out of bed yet. And that I'm the guard and I'm not to let you."
Ruth is confused. "Why?" Graham shrugs, unable to explain. "Where's your Dad?" Ruth asks.
"Downstairs with Catey," he informs her.
"Maybe I should speak to him." She moves towards the stairs.
"No!" cries Graham, taking his role very seriously. "Daaaaaaad!" he shouts down the stairs.
"What is it, son?"
"Ruth's trying to escape."
She then hears Catherine's voice. "No! Dad…stop her!"
"Ruth…back to bed!" Harry instructs.
"What's going on?" she asks, not liking to be kept in the dark.
"Just go back to bed…all be revealed in a couple of minutes."
Ruth does as she is told and returns to the bedroom. She invites Graham in and the two snuggle up with a book, waiting to find out what is going on.
A few minutes later, Catherine pokes her head round the door and rolls her eyes at the sight of Graham. "Some guard you are!" she quips, before opening the door to reveal Harry stood with a breakfast tray. Catherine bounds onto the bed and embraces Ruth. "Happy Mother's Day!" she exclaims, almost deafening Ruth. "We made you breakfast."
Ruth is touched by the gesture; she hadn't expected the children to acknowledge her in any special way today. Harry puts the tray down on the bed and Ruth looks in amazement at the assortment of food that is present. "Thank you sweetheart," she smiles, "I'm not sure I'll be able to eat all this though."
"We can help!" announces Graham, stealing a strawberry and making everyone laugh.
Once the four of them have eaten breakfast, Catherine scurries off, announcing that she'll be right back. She returns with a small gift bag and two envelopes, one of which she gives to Graham. "We made these for you," Catherine tells her as she and Graham simultaneously hand her cards. Ruth takes them both and then examines them carefully one at a time. Graham's has a yellow hand print on the front that has been made into a flower by adding a green stalk and leaves. Inside, Claire has written a message and Graham has tried to copy his name. "S'my hand," he tells Ruth proudly, pointing at the front. She gives Graham a hug, whispering thank you to him, before turning to Catherine's card. She looked at the girl on the front holding the flowers, and the 'Happy Mother's Day' legend. "Catey, it's lovely..."
"I wrote something inside too," prompts Catherine. Ruth opens the card; inside she has written, 'To Ruth, Happy Mother's Day, Love from Catherine.' There are several kisses too.
"Thank you; both of you. The cards are wonderful."
"We bought you a present too." Catherine hands her the gift bag. Ruth reaches in and pulls out a little plush teddy. He's holding small fabric heart embroidered with the words 'Happy Mother's Day', and is filled with lavender. She inhales his scent, "Mmm…he smells lovely."
"There's something else," whispers Harry.
"More?" she asks the children. They nod eagerly. "Wow..." The rest of her present is a photo of her and the children, taken on New Year's Eve, in a heart-shaped cut out frame. "Oh, that's lovely! Come here you two." She envelopes them both in her arms, hugging and kissing them. "Thank you so much." She didn't know what else to say…the cards and presents had made her feel very special indeed.
A/N: There will be more - after-all, Jane will have to put in an appearance at some point...