Persephone: Parent

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Introduction To the Other Me: Two Words

on May 19, 2015

There’s a side of me that I keep quiet about online now. It’s a side of me that was the first me on the internet, almost 20 years ago and over the past few months, slowly some elements have crept into this blog. I’m a sci-fi geek. I used to never talk about my love of TV, attending conventions and writing fanfiction, but I now have some TV based blogs on here. I have discussed my conventions on here. But my fanfiction has never appeared.

Until now.

Where I house my fanfiction online, it has work dating back to the early 2000s if not maybe late 90s and I was a very different person then. God, I was barely an adult. I’m not going to go into great depth about the stories that I have posted online for the world to read. I won’t go into graphic detail into why I write fanfiction, which my favourite show is or what my favourite pairing is, etc, etc. I go through random periods where I write and others when I don’t. I haven’t written in almost a year now, but I keep thinking about it at the moment.

If you hit the more tag, there is a story beneath. It’s based on a TV show that I watch and love but you truly, really don’t need to know anything at all about that show. There are barely any names mentioned and the piece is very different for me. It is one of a few pieces that were written to work things out in my head and as we approach the second birthday of my first born, this is the story I wrote for him just before he turned one. And I guess this post, the story beneath are evidence of a different me – the me that writes fanfiction and keeps it hidden like a dirty little secret and the me that I was before I was blessed with Elvis and then Robin.

Title: Two Words

Spoilers: None, at all.

Warnings: Established Olicity, fertility talk ahead!

Rating: I’ll say T for the “adult” theme.

Category: Angst

Summary: The two words that change everything. Pregnancy trope.

Disclaimer: All characters and the universe they exist in belong to the CW, Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, Andrew Kreisberg and DC Comics. This piece of fan-fiction was created solely for entertainment purposes and no money was exchanged. No copyright infringement was intended and the original characters, situations and plots are property of the author. This piece of fan-fiction must not be archived without the author’s consent.

Author’s Notes: I haven’t written in years. I started an Arrow fic a few months ago, it’s a toss-up as to which will get posted first. This one is heavy and angsty. There are adult themes within that some readers may find disturbing.

 

Those two little words, they haunted her all of the time. The merest thought and her world would collapse down around her. He knew how much it hurt, how terrible those words were. His world would collapse, too, but he was stronger. Only on the outside was he stronger, watching her world crumble, inside he felt the same. She knew he did. They both knew what was in his heart even when his heart was not on show like hers.

Those two simple words.

They had first heard the words over a year ago, both of them had been together when Thea of all people uttered them. On that occasion, that first time, there was no pain, no hatred or jealousy. No, all of those feelings would come later for her. For him the most prevalent feeling would be anger. There were smiles of joy, tears of congratulations all for Thea and Roy. Amidst the flowing champagne, the clinks of toasts, their eyes had met. They had exchanged little knowing smiles, a silent decision was made an agreement between them.

Everyone thinks decisions are simple. You make one and it happens, you do what you need to make it happen. You decide to wear a bright pink shirt, tight grey pencil skirt and heels. So you do. You decide to train for an hour, pummelling anything in your way before you decide to don a green hood, a mask and patrol the streets. So you do.

But some decisions, whilst simple to make, are not so simple to carry out and achieve. But neither of them knew that when they sipped their champagne.

The first time the world started to dissolve was three months later. It had been the week before Christmas and hope had filled her. That hope had been dashed and a few days later, those two words.

Over the year, all they heard was those two words over and over. Everyone said those two words to them. So many in fact, that she lost count. He did not. Twelve people said those words. Twelve people broke her heart and crumbled her world. Twelve people caused so much anger in him that he almost relished the hunt those nights. After those words he would always be home later. She understood. She would normally wait for him at night, but on those nights she would wait for him in their bed wide awake and almost emotionless. As soon as she felt his warmth behind her, her tears would start. They would last all night as he held her silently. In the morning they would both don their disguise, not the green and black of night-time, but the facades the outside world saw. Her bright colours, his impeccable suits, they both hid behind their clothing, behind a life that was no longer bright and impeccable.

Two months later, around Valentine’s Day, their painful truth began to seep out to those around them. Having returned to her position in IT after their relationship began, she had only limited reasons to visit him, work of her own to consume her day. She knew what the fourteenth meant before the day began. So did he. She hated the word clockwork. She hated the moon and the power it seemed to have over her. She knew what was happening before that first niggle. She was in the toilet, ready and prepared. It had all been wearing her down, after five months, things had reached their peak and she could no longer be strong. Fighting back her emotions, the tears burning in her eyes as she silently took the elevator, wordlessly walked past Diggle and the woman who had replaced her and into his office.

He saw her coming, saw the concern on Diggle’s face as he stood but made no move to follow. He knew that she would be coming. He knew what the fourteenth meant. She had moved straight over to the large window to look out over the city that they kept saving. He had followed immediately, both out of view of prying eyes and her sobs had started before he got to her.

“I failed. Again.”

“We,” he had corrected.

It became a monthly ritual. Her tears in his office, hiding in the corner. He would try and send her home, sometimes she would agree and Diggle would drive her home in silence. She would still turn up at the foundry, she would simply stare at her computer screens all night. He always made sure there were no missions, simply seeking out minor battles to release his anger and pent up aggression. That day was always the worst, Diggle noticed the most. They never spoke about it. Diggle respected them both enough to not pry, always ready to be her shoulder to cry on, his sounding board, a punching bag for either of them.

By the middle of the year it was all consuming. She lived in a cycle, in the turning of the moon and she hated Mondays because it was always Mondays. The first Monday would be pain, physical and emotional, threatening to tear her apart. The second was always a high, she would be in overdrive and hyper, but by the third it was all over and she knew it was too late, another month had passed. On the fourth Monday the apprehension would start, the waiting and the anticipation. It was just a waste of energy. They both knew that, but she was trapped in the cycle like a werewolf was tied to the moon.

It was the routine they lived by, the routine that set their life in stone and removed all of the joy from it. He worried that it was all his fault, his penance from his wild days of breaking girls’ hearts left right and centre. She was the one woman he would never break the heart of and she was the one woman he watched have her heart torn out every twenty-eight days. It was his punishment. She worried that it was somehow all her fault and that he would leave her. She never uttered the clichéd words, never told him to leave her for someone not constrained to this cycle of pain, the Groundhog Day from Hell. He could do so much better than her. He was going to get bored of her failure, of her wonky sex-drive. The playboy billionaire was going to stray with someone who wanted him, who was not simply using him as a means to an end, that was all their relationship was she would fear on that first and third Monday. All of the happiness and joy was gradually seeping out, she feared.

But she never spoke of it because she knew it was not true. It was in the way that he held her, how he made sure that his arms were around her all night long. Nothing from their decision was going as planned. No one else could even begin to understand.

After that year, one random morning she approached him in the bathroom. He had been wearing only a towel around his waist, his toned upper body covered in scars and still damp from his shower. In times gone by there would be no words as she watched him. They would be late for work, in the days before their decision. Now there would be no point. It was the wrong day, her temperature was not right, it would be a waste of energy and resources. Joy, fun and spontaneity had left the bedroom long ago.

Still wearing one of his sports shirts that she always wore in bed, she had stood there watching him until he looked over with a question in his eyes. What’s up?

“It’s been a year.” A pause. “A whole year.” Another pause as they considered the numbers. “I think there’s something wrong.” He looked down at his feet. “I should see a doctor.”

“We.” He corrected.

Their first trip to the doctor’s was simply to discuss the course of action and what could be wrong. The second and third times were simply taking blood from her, to check the most basic of things. They both went to the fourth, getting her blood test results which showed that, hormonally, she was perfect. It was an odd word, she thought. How could she be perfect after a year of failing? The next non-invasive and obvious test was for him. She feared what he would think, feared that he would take it as a knock to his masculinity.

Could the playboy extraordinaire, able to literally buy anything he wanted have faulty little swimmers? She feared a return to the man before, the man she had never met and hoped to never meet.

He did worry the same, that it could be his fault, the penance for his wilder youth, but only because that would mean it was his fault she lived in a constant cycle of pain, grief, hope and despair. How could he ever make that up to her?

His sample was easy enough to give, although he had never before done that in a clinical hospital room. In his previous life, he had had sex in one though.

Their sixth appointment was to learn that there was nothing wrong with him. He, too, was perfect. So she had asked, already aware of the answer, what next? All of the remaining tests were for her alone, which cemented in her that it was her fault. He had held her hand tightly as they were told about the HSG that she should have. It was more invasive than needles drawing her blood but there was no risk of complications.

The seventh appointment was for that test and she fought him to go alone. He was not needed, she argued. There would be no answers, she explained. It was simply a catheter, a dye, an x-ray and then it would be done. Aside from the gentle cramping as the catheter hit her walls, it was simpler than the blood test. He let her go alone, but he sat staring at nothing in his office whilst Diggle paced outside, both awaiting her call.

The final test was explained on the eighth appointment after the doctor informed them that she had no blockages and everything was clear. The laparoscopy would be done under general anaesthetic, which carried its own risks, and would involve two incisions, a balloon of air that could cause uncomfortable bloating afterwards and a look at everything internal. Did she have scarring, reasons to stop implantation? Would this be the test that explained their failure?

On the day, he walked her down to the surgical level and was told to leave her at a large double swinging door. He did not want to leave her. She did not want him to leave her. They both stood at the door, watched by a nurse, and all silent. She wanted to tell him that she was scared. He wanted to tell her it would all be fine, she would awaken from the anaesthetic. She wanted to be held by him whilst he wanted nothing other than to hold her. They both wanted to say they loved the other. No words came out.

The next morning she awoke whilst he was getting coffee so he found her sitting by the window, the sun out over the city and warming her skin. There were tears in her eyes as he handed her a coffee.

“I was alone.” In the surgery. “I never want to be alone again.” He wanted to promise her she never would. “I can’t do this.” She sounded like a frightened little girl. “Not if it means ever having to be here again.”

Her surgery gave her the all clear. There was nothing wrong, no reasons for it. The doctors recommended fertility treatment if they wanted to. She answered without asking him. She agreed with the less invasive method, Intrauterine Insemination, and did not consider the cost. He could care less about the money.

They were advised to wait a few months after her laparoscopy and then the treatment could start. In those three months, the cycle was destroyed and happiness returned to them both. They relaxed.

The odds with treatment were lower than those of nature, but they both had hope for the first time in over a year.

The pills barely affected her, same with the injections. He winced every time she pinched at her abdomen to inject herself and she rolled her eyes at his reaction. For two weeks they went to scans every other day to see how her body was responding. They lowered her drugs when there were three viable chances and she took her final injection on a Saturday night.

On the Monday, a third Monday, they went to the hospital to have the insemination. She waited for him to produce his sample, sitting outside the collection room where he was alone. The next two hours involved them nursing coffee in the hospital canteen and her eating cake. Then they had to wait for the consultant to perform the procedure. In a windowless, grey looking room with sterile lighting, she lay on a bed as another man inserted a catheter. This was never how she had pictured creating life. Creating life did not involve a stranger between her legs, her love by her side holding her hand. He never imagined being fully dressed and watching helplessly. Both of them had thought creation would be more fun. The fun had left months ago.

Once the doctor was finished, he left them alone and told them to take their time. Neither of them would remember after if they spoke until she felt something odd and turned to him in panic.

“It’s coming back out. I can feel it.” She had not moved, now tears welled in her eyes as he passed her some tissue. She placed it between her legs and then looked at the dampness. “It’s not going to work.” She was panicking and he, as ever, was the face of calm.

“This is normal,” he reassured, but it did nothing for her.

For the next two weeks he lived on tiptoes. Her hormones went crazy and he had no idea how to help her. Mentally he was preparing himself for the potential pain they would go through. If a normal month broke her heart, what would this one do? He refused to show her any negativity, telling her it had worked. For the first time since they started, she refused to have true hope. She refused to be broken again. She did not lie to herself about symptom after symptom, remaining realistic over the hormones artificially in her system.

Maybe it was because she knew.

He was in the shower when she peed on a stick for the first time at his nagging. Through the water stream, he kept telling her that it would all be fine and she sat there, waiting, not peeking and she already knew.

It was not in the clichéd way that some women declare they know within days. Somehow she just knew. Except she refused to believe herself, thinking it was just hope grabbing hold of her yet again. Even when he stood before her dripping wet with a towel around his waist, she refused to believe herself. They looked at the test together, a smile on his face. She refused to feel happy that they had finally done it.

The next morning Diggle asked them what the test said. Then Thea. Then Roy. Everyone knew it was the month. There were no secrets.

There were still risks. She could have conceived multiples. She could have over-reacted to the drugs, endangering herself. Every twinge worried her. He finally felt at peace, it was all finally over for him, but not for her. She would have to wait three more weeks, for another Monday, to see if she, and their baby, were okay. She had no idea, he had complete faith. On that Monday, she removed her skirt in silence, refusing to meet his eyes or look at the nurse and the screen that she had looked at so frequently. Even as the ultrasound probe was inserted and began to do its job she refused to look. He watched the screen avidly, wishing that she would let him hold her hand, wishing that she would look at the screen, wishing that she could have faith, hope and joy. The pain had all been too much for her. Her pain had been too physical, too emotionally draining each and every month, whilst his had always been focused onto her. He had never felt the hope, felt the knowledge that it had not worked again. He would not know what it would be like for the remainder of the pregnancy, it was the curse of being the male.

He saw it first as the nurse continued checking things, he saw it and knew. The smile that broke out across his face was mega and illuminated the room. She did not see it; her eyes were focused on the wall. She wanted the nurse’s words to be what broke her heart or told her that it was all perfect. She knew that it was more complicated than simply having a positive test result. But then she heard it.

Thud. Thud. Thud.

And she turned to the screen. Over five weeks earlier she had watched on that screen as follicles became larger and larger, ready to pop and now she could see the tiniest little bean pulsating as if it was one giant heart. That was all that the little test had been, it was not a baby, not yet, it was a single pulse of life. Their life.

Neither of them remember much. The nurse printed an image, indicated that the egg sac was healthy, there were no risk signs for miscarriage, there was only one, her ovaries were fine. Then they remember leaving the nurse’s office and walking to the elevator in silence. She had suddenly stopped, staring down at the printed photo and then looked up at him, crying. In the middle of a hospital corridor with people walking around, visitors, people dying, sick people, healthy people, and the pair of them, he held her as she cried yet again at those two words.

“I’m pregnant,” she said, smiling through the tears.

Authors Notes 2: This was written in a completely different way to anything I have ever written before. Perhaps it’s the subject, perhaps it’s the place I am in my life. I refrain from using names, certain terms and too much “speech” because I think it adds to the piece. I spent ages after starting this, wondering if I was taking the emotion out of it by putting in that distance, but then decided that this wasn’t a story to make a reader emotional, to garner their sympathy for the characters, but to simply tell a story. You decide on your own emotion. And whilst the characters are obvious, they have no names because this can, sadly, happen to anyone.

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