Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Shards To A Whole: Chapter 143

McGee-centric character study/romance. Want to start at the beginning? Click here.

Chapter 143

An hour later, they're both numb with cold, covered in snow that's melted and frozen into their hair, but Jimmy's finally cried out. For now, at least.

"I should go back in," Jimmy said, voice rough and raw.

"Okay. When do you have to be there?"


"Abby and I'll take Molly for as long as you need."

Jimmy nods.

"Do you think it's okay for Abby to come?"

"Yeah. I think Breena could use some Abby hugs. I know I do."

"Okay. I'm going to stay out a bit longer, give Abby a call. I'll crash here, make sure you're up and out in time. Just, rest, as much as you can."

Jimmy laughed bitterly at that, picked up his glasses, and headed into the house.

He hit Abby's contact on his phone and a few rings later said, "Hey. Did I wake you?"

"No." She sounds really tired, though. "Not going to sleep tonight." Good point. He's not feeling like he's going to get any sleep, either.

"Jimmy wants you to come over."

"I'll be there in half an hour."

There are a lot of things he wants to say to her right now, a lot of feelings, but it's cold, and he should head in soon, and the sooner he's done talking the sooner she's on the road, so he says, "I love you, Abby."

"I love you, too." He can hear that she got what he was trying to say. Then she asks, "Do you have any more details?"

He swallows, forces his voice to stay steady. "Yeah. They think it was trisomy 13, which is apparently a condition where pretty much everything that possibly could go wrong, does. They've got to go back to the hospital in the morning to induce labor."

"Oh God."


"You're still here," Ed said quietly. He was slumped on the sofa, open beer in his hand, but Tim could see the bottle was still full.

"Where else would I be?"

Ed shrugged. "Thought you left. Where's your Goth?"

"Home. She's ten weeks pregnant and we weren't sure if Breena would want…" Ed nodded understanding that. "Jimmy says it's okay, so she'll be here soon. Spend some time holding Breena, she's really good at hugs. Help me with Molly in the morning. Are you guys going to drive them to the hospital?"


"You take the guest room; we can camp out on the sofa."


When Abby came in the door, she'd clearly been crying. Clearly been crying pretty much the whole time since he last saw her.

She also had two large bags in one hand.

"What's that?"

"Pads, nursing pads. Her body doesn't know…" Abby didn't finish that sentence and switches to, "She'll give birth, and then her body'll do what it's supposed to do after that. Her milk will let down, and she'll bleed, probably for a couple weeks, maybe as long as a month or six weeks, and I was thinking that they might not want to have to go out and get them."

"Oh." Tim closes his eyes and slumps a little further into the sofa, his heart breaking even more for Breena. It just kept getting worse. A constant reminder every minute of every day for weeks.

"Yeah. I'll head up."

"I think they'd like that."

He jerked when he felt the sofa cushion shift. Abby snuggling in next to him. He hadn't thought he was asleep, but judging from the fact that she had gotten down the steps, across the living room, and onto the sofa without him noticing, he probably had been.

"Sorry. Didn't want to wake you, but I just needed you to hold onto me."

"Yeah. I know." He rubbed his eyes, shifted onto his side, making more room for her, and wrapped around her. "They asleep?"

"Ish. More like they hit the point where they're so exhausted they just dropped."

He nodded, familiar with that feeling. "What time is it?"

"Little after three."

"I told Jimmy I'd make sure they were up and ready in time."

"Shouldn't be a problem, Molly wakes up before they need to leave."

"Good. I googled trisomy 13." Which is part of how he deals with bad things happening. Learn everything he can about them, and once Ed headed upstairs he was just sitting there in their living room, unable to sleep, uninterested in TV, and staring at the wall was useless. So he got on his phone and read everything he could find on it. Then, because the part of his brain that had been doing a pretty good job of keeping him from worrying about this in regards to Kelly had been completely shut down, he researched pretty much any other genetic abnormality he could find, starting with Down's Syndrome and only stopping when the battery died on his phone.


"And it's like Down's Syndrome, sort of. Three of the thirteenth chromosome instead of three of the twenty-first. Most of the time it's a random mutation, a one in ten thousand chance. But there is a gene you can carry that passes it on, as well. No way to tell without testing for it. It's bad. Apparently there's a really bad version that's basically always fatal, and then there's a not quite as bad version that's just usually fatal."



"What's it actually do?"

"Brain damage, heart damage, kidney damage, eye damage, palate damage, polydactyl hands and feet, I think there was other stuff, but I'm not coming up with it right now." He lay there, his chin on her shoulder, breathing in her scent, his hand cupped over her belly, like somehow just his hands could be a shield against horrific fate.

She squeezed his hand. There was really nothing to say. "Let's try to rest."

He kissed her shoulder, holding onto her tightly, wishing, like a little boy, that it could be yesterday again.


No comments:

Post a Comment