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Lost Miracle

An Emergency Story by

Alanna
 

 

 

 

 

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It was a beautiful April day. 

 

The  three  families  had  been to the  children's  museum  as  part of  Stacy's  birthday  celebration.  The  two  boys  being  older  had  wrinkled their  noses  at the idea  but once they were there  had  enjoyed it.   Especially the inter active exhibits on space and sports.

 

The  guys  had  spent a long  time in those  two  areas  while the  girls  liked  the  area  with the  baby  animals . The one set  up like a pioneer  village had  an  old  one  room  school  house.  

 

Teacher  Jenny had  taught her  students  to  read  from  the  McGuffey  reader and  do  sums  by  rote.   They all had enjoyed the exhibit that matched music and colors.  There  were different  instruments  there  and  the  sound  waves  were  shown  dancing  on the  screen  as you played them pushing a button next to the instrument.  

 

The  biggest  laugh  was when  Johnny  sang  into the   mic and  his  voice  picture  was a  grumpy   cartoon  bear.  When Jim sung into the mic it showed a beautiful ocean beach and a sunset.    Kathy , Jo and  Lee  had  sung  together and  their  voice  picture had  been as field of  flowers…Stacy and Jenny had  been  a  bunny and a  kitten…Roy  was a  cartoon  frog and  the  boys a  couple of  howling  pups.  

 

After the  museum they had went to  dinner  at  O'Sheas   where  Stacy had  been  given  a  crown of  flowers and  made official  princess for the  day.  Shelia  O'Shea  had  made  special  birthday  cup  cakes  but   told  Stacy  that  her  birthday  cake  had  been  delivered to  her  house.   All had  giggled  as   Mick  came out of  the  kitchen and  had done a  special  birthday  jig  for  the  party.    Others in the restaurant had watched and enjoyed the fun. 

 

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 Johnny had been watching the faces of his two nieces and turned to say something to Lee.  The  wide  crooked  grin  quickly  faded   when he  saw the  look on  Lee's  face  which  she  tried to  hide from  him.

 

 "What's wrong??"  He whispered in her ear.  

 

"I  was  laughing  so  hard I  turned the  wrong  way . It’s just a stitch in my side…It's almost gone." 

Johnny studied her face.  It was pale and there was tightness around her eyes and mouth.  He was worried she seemed so tired.   But it had  been a  busy  day  and  she had  been  shopping the  day  before  for the presents  that  were waiting  at the  Kildare  home.  "Don't fuss it's Stacy's party."   Soon everyone was laughing and talking and Johnny relaxed as she did.  As they were getting ready to leave Mick came over to Lee.

 

"And was there something wrong with the food today?"  Shelia had told him her plate was barely touched.  "If something wasn't done to your liking you tell me, lass."   The big Irishman   looked down at her giving her that look that sent his staff off in a fright.  The red hair maybe be graying and fading but the temper wasn't.  He expected  his  staff to  have the  same  work ethic  as he  did…perfection  was the  goal  for his  food and service he  provided.

 

 "No it was perfect as always.  Just wasn't hungry…Too much partying I think.   Thank you for making this a great party for Stacy."   While hers  was  fancier  Stacy had  been  just as  thrilled  that Jenny  had also  gotten a  crown of  ribbons  as had  the  3  ladies.  The guys had jester hats on.   When the  cupcakes had  came to the  table  Johnny  showed  Shelia   how  to use  his  camera and she had  taken a  group  picture. 

 

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"The wee ones  are  darling  as  their  mam’s  and  aunt…You  be  bringing  them  back  here  often…and  with a  little  warning  there will always  be  strawberry  cakes  for them."

 

"You're a  good  sweet  gentle man  Michael  O' Shea  for all  you  go about  growling  like a  bear  with a  sore  paw…and a wonderful  friend."   Lee  felt a special  bond  with him  that she  couldn't  really  put a  name  to.  It was like an old memory that made her feel like a little girl.   {One  day she  would  realize Mick  reminded her of   "her   gunny" and of  Maria's  father  Michael  Patrick  Sullivan  who had  considered her one of  his grandchildren.}

 

When he was lifting   her into her wheelchair Johnny felt the tension in her body and frowned.  They were going to make it an early night if he had any say so in the matter.  He also noticed again that she was losing weight…

 

"Ok   Princess Stacy, are you ready to open your presents?"   Kathy said as they were all gathered in the family room.    

 

Stacy went  over and  sat  down   on the  dining  room  chair that had  been  turned into her  throne…Jenny  was  sitting on a  small  foot stool  next to her,  her  lady in  waiting.   

 

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Johnny had his camera and was taking pictures.  Lee  didn't  think anyone  noticed  when  she  took an  aspirin  bottle  from her   pocket and  quickly  swallowed  3  of the  pills  but  Kathy had  seen  it…just as she had  several other times  during the  day. 

 

The presents were opened with   fanfare befitting a princess and greatly admired.  Kathy and  Jo  had  decided  today  would  probably  be the last time the  girls  could  wear their  flower  princess  dresses from  the wedding as each had  grown  over the  winter and  the  dresses were almost  too  small now. 

 

 The presents were opened and greatly admired.   Books and  a  game  from  Jenny and  Chris  and  a  art set  from  Jo and  Roy.   Johnny and Lee gave her a new outfit with a matching one for Jenny Lee and more books.   Jimmy gave her a puzzle with Tinkerbelle, the favorite character of the moment.  

 

"Now this is from me and daddy."   Kathy  said  as   Jim  carried in a  pink  two  wheeler  with a  huge  pink and  purple  bow  on it.     

 

"It’s soooooooooooo beautiful…."  The six year old quickly went over and was looking it over.  "When   can we take the training wheels off?"

 

"We'll practice tomorrow ok?  Is that soon enough?"  Jim laughed at the excitement in his daughter's face.

 

 "OK anyone ready for cake and ice cream?"   Kathy asked.   

 

"Yeah that cup cake only made me hungrier for more," Jimmy said. 

 

 "Ok,  everyone to the  dining  room…Johnny  would  you  take the  throne  back to the  table  for me?"

 

"Sure." 

 

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Lee looked over to where Johnny was and saw he was busy helping   Kathy.   Jo  was  looking at  the  cards  Stacy had  gotten in the mail  from her  grandparents  and  other  friends.

 

 "Jo, could you help me a minute?'  Lee said not moving. She shivered as another cold wave of nausea went thru her.   Jo noticed the paleness and the shiver and hurried over to her.  "I 'm gonna be sick…get me to the bathroom…"  The  downstairs  bathroom had  been  modified  when Kathy had  been  hurt several  years  before  as had the master bath  upstairs.  

 

They had barely gotten into the bathroom before Lee began throwing up.   Jo had  quickly  handed her the  trash  can  and  was  horrified  to  see  what she  was  throwing  up.   Not  wanting to  leave  her  but  not  wanting to  scare the  two  little  girls…"Kathy!  Can you come here PLEASE?"  Jo hoped that someone would have heard her.

 

"Mom,  Mrs. De Soto  is  calling  you,"  Jimmy  said  as he and Chris  went into  the  kitchen.  "Think she is in the bathroom with Lee." 

 

Jo had moved the chair father into the bathroom and closed the door.  Kathy opened   the door quickly shutting it behind her.

 

 "What happened?"  Lee was extremely pale and Jo was wiping her face with a cold wash cloth.

 

"Don't ruin the party…I'll be ok…Just too much party I guess."  Lee pleaded. 

 

"Kathy, check the trash can.  Is that what I think it is?"  The worry in Jo's face was echoed in her voice.

 

One look at the trash can and Kathy went to get Jim and Johnny.  "Lee needs you…Roy call the squad."  Johnny had started towards the hallway but stopped when he heard that before following Jim.  Kathy had gone upstairs.   Jo had moved out into the hallway to give the others more room.

 

"What's going on with you?  Too much junk food?"  Jim said trying not to show how concerned he was.    Kathy came in and handed him his medical bag.   Johnny  stood  back and  let  the  two  doctor's  take  vital and  ask  questions.   He knew when Roy came up behind him.

 

"Jo had the kids go out to the family room."  Roy said.   "Squad and ambulance are on the way."

 

 "Johnny,"  Jim said as Kathy moved out of the way to make room for him.

 

"Hey, Baby Girl, don't cry…We're gonna take good care of you…"  He stroked her cheek and then brushed the hair back from her face…"It’s   ok…"

 

"Don't let the girls be scared…don't ruin Stacy's party."   She said before starting to throw up again.  Johnny  tried hard  not to react  to the  mix of  old and  fresh  blood  she  was  throwing  up.

 

 "Mommy, is Aunt Lee bad sick?"  Jenny asked.  They had watched the adults go in and seem Kathy come down with the medical bag.  

 

"She needs to go to Rampart…but they're taking care of her so it'll be ok."

 

"Yeah  bet she  twisted  wrong  like  she  did  before…They had  to give her  shots to make  her  back  stop  having  charley  horses…"  Jimmy told the little girls.  "She does that sometimes when she gets really tired."     He had  been  about 6  when Lee had  first  got hurt and  was 8  when his  mom  spent  3  months in a  wheelchair.   So he thought it was his job to reassure the two little girls.  Jo decided this was the least frightening scenario and let that be the reason for the concern.

 

" Lee doesn't want your party spoiled.  That would make her feel really bad."   They  followed her into the  family  room and  Jo   had  the  kids  sing  Happy  Birthday  to Stacy  then  served the  cake and ice cream.

 

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 Roy was waiting out front for the squad.  The paramedics were surprised to see their friend. 

 

"So what's going on?  The call just said illness…"

 

 "It's Lee …Johnny is in there…so are two doctors…It's their house…She's throwing up blood."  All the time they were talking they were walking towards the house.    They went into the front room where they had moved her once the kids were out in the family room.   

 

 "Roy you want to set up the biophone…"   They were talking to Jim and then began getting new vitals.

 

 "Rampart this is squad 110...How do you read?"

 

 "Loud and clear…"  Dixie said a little surprised to hear Roy's voice and getting a bad feeling…

 

"We have a  23  year old  female, who is  throwing up blood…both  old and new...Be advised  patient is  Lee Gage…"

 

"110, did she fall?"  Kelly Brackett asked.

 

 "Johnny said not to his knowledge…"  He gave the vitals.  "Dr. Jim Kildare is here…we're at his house…"

 

"Let me talk to him …transport as soon as possible.  Do not let Johnny ride in the ambulance.

I don't want him second guessing you guys."

 

"Thanks Doc."    Jim got on the biophone and soon they were on their way to the hospital.  Kathy and Jim took Johnny while Roy rode in the ambulance.   

 

Dixie sent them all to the doctor's lounge to wait while Kel and Mike Morton took care of her.  The main  concern  was  how  fast  her  blood  pressure  was  dropping and the  inability  to get  her blood  to  clot. 

 

Kel left her with Mike and went up to the lounge.  Johnny was pacing and the others talking quietly trying to figure out what had happen.    Kel  knew  Johnny  was  probably  blaming  himself  for  not  noticing earlier she  wasn't  feeling  well.

 

"How has she been acting the last few days?"  Kel asked standing with his arms folded and frowning.  "I saw her two days ago and she seemed fine."

 

 "Yesterday  after  breakfast  we went  shopping  and then  after  lunch  we  went  over to the rehab  center and  she  did  about  5  laps and some of her  exercises.  We  didn't stay as  long as usual  because she  said she  was  tired  and  just  wanted to go  home.   After  dinner last night  we  watched  TV and  she  wrapped  the  presents  for  Stacy….She   said she hadn't  slept  well the  night  before  that her  legs  ached…that  was the  night it  rained so  hard…At   lunch today she  had a  funny  look on her  face  liked something  hurt…When I  asked her  she  said she moved  wrong and her  side  hurt…that she had a stitch in it…but  then  later she  seemed  ok…"

 

Has she fell or been sick lately?" 

 

 "Not that she  told me and she has  been  pretty  honest  with me  about the  falls...She  bruises  so  easy she  can't really hide  them.   And she hasn't had any problems since Dr.  Westmore  did  the  D&C  about  3  weeks  ago…That  went  really  well and  Lee  seemed  fine."

 

"Why did they do that?"  Kel   didn't remember hearing about that.

 

 "After  she  fell  in  February  she   was  sore  for awhile  then   it  got  better then it  started  hurting again…lower  right  abdomen …she had  had  some problems  with  scar  tissue and  cysts  there  before…Dr.  Westmore  ran  some  tests then  did a D&C  and  Lee  stayed   in  bed like she was suppose to and a week  later  Dr.  Westmore said just take it easy and things were looking good…"  He  knew  Kel was aware  of  the  previous  pap  test  with the  misshapen  cells  that had  sent  up  some  warning  signals.

 

"What about medications?"

 

Nothing…don't  even remember her  taking a  pain  pill  for  awhile.  And usually if she has a bad day she tells me..."

 

"Kel, its aspirin  poisoning…that’s  why the  blood isn't  clouting….She  eats them like candy  mints…3 or  4 at a time  usually  without  water…"  Kathy said suddenly.    "She has for years."

 

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 The next 2  hours  were  among the  longest of  his  life  as Johnny   waited to hear  how  she  was.  He had insisted Kathy and Jim go home to their kids.  Lee would be furious if they let her being sick interfere with Stacy's party any more than it had.   He and Roy had talked some but mostly they just sat and waited.   After  Jim and  Kathy had  left  they  moved  up to Lee's office as more  people  began  coming into the  lounge.  They left word at the nurses' desk where they would be.

 

 "Lee has  an appointment  with  Dr. Chondi…She  thinks   he  can 'fix'  her so  she  can  have a  baby…I  keep  telling her she isn't  broken…"

 

"You still thinking about adopting some day?"

 

"Maybe someday…We'll have our  first  anniversary in a  few weeks…think  we're still learning  about  each other…and  right now I'm  not  ready to share her with anyone  else…I  just  realized  that…Is  that  being  selfish?"

 

"No its  being  honest  with  yourself…There  has  been  some  major changes in your  life in the  last 18  months…give yourself a  chance to  get  use to them all."

 

Kel and Dixie came into the office.   "She is out of surgery and her blood pressure is doing much better.   She took a page out of your book, Johnny.   Can't either one of you do things the easy way when it comes to getting sick?"

 

"Guess not…What was wrong?  Besides the aspirin O D?"

 

 "There was a small tear in the lining of the uterus… Probably a  spot  that  was unusually  weak or  thin…Maybe  from the D&C  or  just  nature…With her history  it’s  hard to  say…The  X rays   did  show a lot of  scaring  and  a  cyst…but  nothing  else…We'll  do  some  tests on  the  cells we collected  but I'm  optimistic  about her  recovery.   She is going to be on strict bed rest for at least 2 weeks…then about 3 weeks of   restricted   movement.  I'll  talk with her  orthopedist  and  her  neurologist   about  what she  can and  can't  do  for the next  month…as well as with  Dr. Westmore."

 

 "But she is gonna be ok?   There isn't any cancer? "   He had been afraid to say the word before now.

 

"None that we can see and they'll be doing screenings on the blood work and tissue samples…   I  would  recommend   she  continue the  regular  checkups  with Dr. Westmore of  course  and  I also recommend  if you  ever see her  taking another aspirin  you  turn her over your  knee…and  give her a  good  spanking."  The last brought the desired effect and he laughed out loud.

 

 "Doc I just might do that…Thank you…Thank you both…Roy…did you hear?  She's gonna be ok…."   The tears that had  been   clouding his  eyes made  their  way  down his  face….He  wasn't  gonna  lose her…She  didn't  leave   him…" Guess I need to call some people…"  

 

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 "Yeah you do that junior."   Roy was relieved for his friend and proud of how he had handled this crisis.   Johnny went over to her desk and called Kathy.   He was pleased to  hear that  Jo and the  kids were still there…The  kids were  all  camped out in the  family  room  having an impromptu  sleep over.  Jo had  laid  down  on the  bed in the  guest  room and had  fallen  asleep,  Jim had  went to  bed since he had to be at the  hospital at  7.  

 

While Johnny was on the phone Kel was watching him.   "How did he do emotionally?"  

 

"He was worried  but  handled  it as  well as anyone  else would have…We  talked and he  paced and  then  we  talked  some  more…I asked him if he  wanted me to  call anyone else  but he  said  no…not until  we had something  to  tell  them."

 

 "Do you think he realized how close we came to losing her?  If Kathy hadn't been here by the time we got the labs it would have been too late."

 

"He knew he just wouldn't admit it," Dixie said.  "That would have doubted her promise to him.   I don't know about you but I'm beat…"

 

 Soon as Johnny got off the phone Roy called Hank Stanley.  It  was late  but he  knew  that  Cap would  rather be woken  up  than  find out  from   HQ  that  Johnny  would  be off  for at least  2  shifts.  Hank answered on the second ring.

 

"Stanley residence."

 

"Cap its Roy…I'm here at Rampart with Johnny."  

 

 "What happen--- how bad it is?"

 

 "Lee just had emergency surgery …They couldn't control the bleeding due to an    O. D."

 

 "Overdose?  Lee?"  Not believing what he was hearing.  "You're kidding right?  De Soto are you drunk or just mad?"

 

 "Just  tired…it  was  aspirin  poisoning…Near as we could  estimate she had taken at least 12 we  saw …and she  probably has  been  doing this  for  days…They are  getting  ready to take  her up to  critical  care…"

 

"How's John?" 

 

 "Doing ok…"

 

                                                                                  

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A week later they  were  in  her  room  watching  a  game  show  on  TV.  Johnny was waiting for Lee to let him know what she was thinking about.   He had   not  gotten to the  hospital  until  about 11:00  since he had  some  errands  that had to  be  done  if she was  coming  home  soon.  She turned off the TV in the middle of the show.

 

 ""Is there something wrong?"  He sat up straighter and looked closely for signs of distress.

 

"No, I just wanted to talk…Its kind of important…"

 

"Ok."  Apprehensive,  at what she was going to say.   She had been too quiet since he had gotten there. 

 

"Dr. Chondi   and Dr. Westmore came to see me this morning…"  She looked down at the blanket, not at him.

 

"Why didn't they wait until I was here?"  Angry that Dr. Westmore at least hadn't called him.  "What did they tell you?"

 

"Dr. Westmore  shared my  records and all  the  stuff  from  this…Dr. Chondi  more or  less told me not to  waste his  time…There is  surgery  that  could increase our  chances a  little  but  in his  opinion  even if I  had the  operation  there is   little  chance of a viable  pregnancy…and…the  risk to me  would  be extremely  high  even if I  spent  90%  of my  time in  bed…The  tissue  just isn't  thick  enough to support the  extra weight and stress…So  it  looks  like  we add another  failure to  my list…My  darlin'  boyo  I  never meant for it  to  be like  this…Please  believe that…I  honestly   thought  we'd  have  a   miracle   and  I  could  give   you a  son."    Her voice was soft but he could hear the sorrow.

 

"Baby girl, we do have our miracle.  Both of us  have  faced some things  that  made us  grow  up a little  different  from  most of our  friends…Both of us  have  know  what it’s  like  to  be alone and  feel  like there is  no place  we belong…But  then  we  found  each  other…and  we found a  love  that is  gonna  last  a  lifetime…I  told  you the  day I  asked you  to marry  me and I'm  telling  you  now…it's  you I  love and  want to be with...nothing is  going to change that  now or in 50 years  from  now…That  day in the  office when  we first met…that’s the  day we had  our  miracle and  for me that’s  enough…for  now and  forever"

 

 "I  was  so afraid  you'd  be angry with me,"  she  said  softly  her  eyes  closed.  "For being too scared to even try to have a baby.   That you would be disappointed in me."

 

 "I'm  scared  for  you to  even  try…If  there is any  chance  you  could  get  pregnant I'm going to have the  operation  Dr. Westmore talked about.   I know  that isn't  what you  want…but I  won't  risk  your  life   I'll   have a vasectomy  whether you agree  or  not.   And  remember I  was  sitting there  when you  went off on her  for  even suggesting it  before.   As  far as I am  concerned  the  subject is  closed…Yes we are  going to  mourn the  babies  that  might have  been  but  we are  going to celebrate  this marriage and the  love we have.  As far as I am concerned the subject is closed."    He looked at her daring her to argue.  Before anything else could be said Kathy and Jo came in.   They had  soup and a  milk  shake for Lee and  soup,  sandwich  fries and a  milkshake for  Johnny and  a  pastry  box.

 

"Mick was upset when he found out you were in here.  Said  if you  want anything  call him and he'll have it  delivered to  you…There are  2 more  shakes out in the  freezer  we gave them to the  nurse  at the desk."  Kathy said as she handed the bags to Johnny. 

 

 "Did we come at a bad time?"  Jo said noticing the looks on their faces.

 

"No…The Boyo is probably starving…I know I am…"  She smiled at her two friends.  Later they would talk but now it was too new and too hurtful.  They  both had  brought more  pictures  from the  girls  and  the  boys had  both  written a  quick  note,

 

"You  know  Jenny and Stacy had  decided it’s their turn to go  on a  bike  ride with  Uncle  Johnny…no  big  brothers allowed."

 

 Johnny laughed and shook his head.  Soon as he had  swallowed   the  food in his  mouth,  "We  can arrange that…There is a  bike  path in one of the  parks  that would  be perfect…Lee and  I  go  for  walks  out there  sometimes…"

 

 "You  three  or  maybe four  since it  would be nice to have an  extra adult   or  two  along  can  do  that and I'll have a picnic  lunch  for  you at the  shelter  house."   They had been there about an hour when Dr. Westmore and Dr. Brackett came in.

 

 "Call us if you need anything…either one of you…hear me?"

 

"Same here." 

 

"Sorry didn't mean to run you off,"   Dr. Westmore said.

 

 "Actually it’s the clock…the kids will be getting home from school soon…"   Johnny walked them to the elevator.

 

"Is she ok?  There was a tension in there …" Kathy asked as soon as they were out of the room.

 

"I'm  gonna let her  explain  when she is  ready…but  yeah  she is  ok…just a  little  sad  today.  Thanks for everything and give the kids our love."  A quick kiss to each   and he was back in the room with her.  The doctors had finished their exam and were waiting on him to come in.  He sat down on the edge of her bed.  His arm on her shoulder.

 

 "Lee said you two talked about our visit this morning."  Dr. Westmore said.   "And you were a little upset you weren't here."

 

"Yeah would've  liked to  been here with her but know  you  two are  really  busy and  only have so  much  time to  get  things  done."

 

 "And she  told  us  your  concerns…Johnny   there is  no  need  for you to have any  procedure…There  is  no  way with the amount of  blockage…But  I  will  say  what  you  wanted to  do  only  reinforces my  respect  for you.   A lot of men  would have  cared more about having a  son  than their  wife's  health. And  feelings."

 

"Thanks…"

 

 "Now if you two  have everything arranged she  can  go  home  tomorrow…no  transferring   and  no getting out of  bed for  at least 48  hours…bathroom  only  after that  with lots of  help  for at least  2  weeks  and  then  we'll  see  about your activity  level.   Give the  stitches  time to  heal  before you  go  pulling on them…Johnny  who  will  be with her  when  you're at  work?"

 

"Maria," Johnny answered. "And Hector is planning on  being there a lot."

 

"And I will be good and follow the rules," Lee added.

 

 "Oh  yes  you will…There are at least  4  volunteers  to  turn  you over their  knees  if  they  even  see you looking at an aspirin  bottle.   And  they are  just  back  up after me if I  chicken  out   when you  bat  those  beautiful  green  eyes at me…"  He laughed at her shocked   look.   "Doctor's orders, right Dr. Brackett?"

 

 "Thanks for ratting me out, yeah right.  "Kel said with a shake of his head as he and Dr. Westmore left.

  

 

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Johnny went to the station just after shift change.  Cap  was  in  his  office  and  Roy  was  cleaning the  dorm,  the others  busy  with  their  chores.  John  nodded to Mike  who  was in the  kitchen and  went  on  over to the  office and  knocked on the  door.  Cap looked up, motioning him in.  

 

"I need to talk to you and Roy if you have time," John said as he sat down.  

 

 "Of  course…unless   we  get a  run…Go  get  Roy and   why  don't you  get you  some  coffee,  you look  like you  could  use  some." 

 

A few minutes later the three were in the office the door closed.  "Now, what's on your mind Pal?"

 

"The  doctor  told  Lee   yesterday  there  would  never  be a safe way for her to have a  baby…We always  knew it  wouldn't  be  easy  if  it  ever happen  but  I  guess we  both  kept  hoping   for a miracle…even if  we didn't  say a lot  about it.   Roy  knew  because before she  said  yes  she  wanted to be sure I  wasn't  making a mistake…and she  wanted  Roy and  Jo  to  know  she had  been  honest  with  me.  Think she wanted   their blessing like I wanted Jeff's and Matt's…"

 

"That’s understandable."  Cap said.  "Don't think any of us would expect less of her or you."

 

"The  thing is…Some of the  guys  tease us about  when we're  gonna  have a  baby…Everyone here  knows  how  crazy  I am  …We are  about  Roy's  kids…and I  did  say I  wanted at  least  2  kids…but  that  was  before I  even  knew  Lee…Cap  I'm  not  saying  we  won't  mourn  the babies  that  we'll  never  have…but  even if she  could  get  pregnant  I  wouldn't  want her to  risk her  life.  Anyway I just wanted to tell you that and that I'll be back next shift.    We'll be taking her home today that’s what really matters."

 

"Yeah it is  Junior…And  you know if  you need  anything  you call…Jo can help  Maria entertain her…Jo's  getting to be a  domino  shark  hanging  out  with  Lee."  They all laughed and Roy walked out to the Rover with him. 

 

"You gonna be ok?"  Roy asked.

 

 "Yeah  now…You and  Cap will make  sure  the others  know  so  they  don't  tease her  any more…She  is  trying to  act like she's  ok  with this…She  said it  was  just one more  thing to  add to her list of  failures…We talked and  hopefully  she  understands it  doesn't change how  much I  love and need her."

 

 Roy went back in and Cap was waiting.  "Well?"

 

 "He needs us to let the others  know  not to  tease  her…He's  hurting as  bad as she is  but  doesn't  want anyone  to  know it.   But together they'll be fine.   They always are."

 

"Hey  guys,  meet  me in the  kitchen,"  Cap  said as he went out to the apparatus  bay. 

 

 "Is this about Johnny?"  Marco asked.  He had seen how tired and sad his friend had looked.

 

"Yeah Marco it is.     He and Lee got some bad news yesterday…"

 

 "She's going to   be ok isn't she?   They said it was a complication from an old injury."

.         

"That’s kind of a yes and no question, Chet.   Because of complications she can't have kids…ever.  Johnny  knows  you  guys   wouldn't  ever  say anything to her  but  face it  sometimes the  teasing  gets  a  little out of  hand.  Now  none of  us  wants to make  this  harder  for those  two…so  just  watch  it  …"

 

"Yeah Chet no more morning sickness jokes…"  Mike  said  remembering  how  Chet had  given Johnny a  hard time about   if  he  would have  sympathy   morning  sickness  like one  of the  guys  over at  110  did  when his  wife  was  expecting.

 

"Look maybe I   give Gage a hard time but never would I do anything to hurt him or Lee."  Which  sounded   kind of  weak  even to  him as   he  remembered some of the  things he  had  said in the  18  months  since he had  known her. 

 

lunch without jg.JPG

 

 Johnny had taken the last of the planters and balloons that she was keeping down to the Rover.  She had  given  many of the  planters  to  the  nurses and  patients and had  sent  several of the  more  cartoon  like  balloons  up to the  children's  ward.  

 

"I  don't  see why  I  have to  stay in  bed for  2  days…I  can  lay  out  on the  couch  or in the  recliner. " she pouted.

 

 "Because the doctor said so."  Maria had  came to  help  Johnny  and to   get  any  last  minute  instructions  from  Dr. Westmore.    "They  want to  keep  you  from  pulling  on the  incision and  give  it  plenty of  time to heal."   She looked an adopted daughter and smiled.  She was being grumpy and impatient.   That was a good sigh.  A quiet and docile Lee was not a good thing when she was in the hospital or getting over an illness.   "You are  going to  go  home  get  settled and  eat your  lunch then  you  can  take a nap."

 

 "I don't need a nap."

 

"Maybe you  don't  but  Johnny  does and he  won't  sleep  unless  you  do…He has  moved  some of his  things to the  extra  room…If  you  don't  behave  it is  only  going to  make  things  worse  for him."

 

"That isn't fair to use him against me," Lee growled but then smiled  with a  deep  sigh..  "And  he  would  tell  me  all's  fair  in  love and  war and this is  love."     She smiled a bouquet of faerie roses sitting on the tray.  "He still loves me…Even after this he still loves me."

 

 "If you ever doubted he wouldn't  I am ashamed of you for thinking that.   Why would you even think that he wouldn't?"   Maria  knew the  answer  but she  wanted  Lee to  voice it and to  get all the  fear and  doubt  out of her  system  before it  festered.  

 

"If I'm  not  even sure I  like  myself  how  can I  believe  someone as  wonderful as  him  could even like me  any  more   let alone  love me? "

 

"My  child, that is the  fear and  pain and sadness  talking…There  will be  bad  days,  but  remember,  there will also  be good  days…And at the  center of  all is  the  love you two  share and the  love  others  have  for you…Now  he  will be  back up here  soon  so are you ready to  let us  love you and take  care of  you? 

 

"Yes…I want to go home and get on with our lives…"

 

Lee   was  eating a  bowl of  homemade  vegetable  soup and  watching   Johnny  sleep in  the  recliner.   She  was so  glad  they had  gotten the  small recliner  after  her  fall  in  February.   Since she  rarely  needed the  standing   table  any more they  had  moved it  out of their  bedroom  to the  extra  bedroom.  She  really  would  like  to keep the  recliner  in  here all the  time  but  that  wasn't practical.   When  they  built  their  house   it  was  going to have a  bedroom large enough to  have a  recliner  in.

 

 Maybe that was what she  would  do  the next  two  weeks…work on  plans  for the  house.   And  doing  a lot of the  work  from the  office  without her  computer  would be taking  up  time  too.  Nell  was so  good at  running the  office she  didn't  really need   to  worry about it…and  the other  offices were just  gonna  have to  do their own  work…or they  would  be  replaced.   She had  talked  with  Tom and Will and  they  had agreed  they  would  rather  have her on  limited  hours  than  quitting.   Nell   was  glad  for the  extra  hours as her and  Malcolm   were  looking  for  a  house.  

 

 "Ya  know  this  thing  sleeps  pretty  good.   Much  better than that old one I  had at  my  place."   He  stretched and  again  she  thought  how  much he  looked  like a  big  jungle  cat…Graceful and  sleek  and  powerful   were the  words  that  came to  mind.  "Anything you need?"   He asked opening one eye.

 

 "Yep a  body  that  isn't  falling  apart."   He came over and kissed her lightly. 

 

"Watch it  girl, you're talking about the  body I  love…I love the mind and  soul  and  heart  that lives in that  body…Pretty  partial to  the  green  eyes and  smile  especially."

 

"Stop it  before you make me  cry…It  hurts  when I  cry…And I  don't have the  tolerance for  pain  that   you  do."

 

 "That’s  good  because I  have a very low  tolerance  for you  being in pain….Is  that your  roundabout  way of  telling me  you need a  pain  pill?"

 

 "No…just  telling you  what I  found out  early  this morning…I  was  dreaming and  woke myself  up  crying  because it  hurt…The  nurse  gave me  something  and I  went back to  sleep…I  kind  of  messed up  our  going away  for  our  anniversary  didn't I?" 

 

 "So  we just  celebrate a little  later…It’s  no  big  deal…I  think we should  celebrate  every  day we are together  just  like  we have  been…"   Remembering a  conversation  he had  had  with  Jo  years  before about  her and  Roy  as well as the  ones  he had  had  with his  friends  after Drew  had  died.

 

 "That’s my boyo, " she  giggled , "not  only  handsome  but  smart."  He   shook his head at her, busting out  laughing. 

 

Neither  realized that Maria  and  Hector  were  standing  just  outside  the  doorway  listening.  Hector watched the smile spreading across his wife's face.

 

 "Our children are laughing together again…All is well with their world."   There were tears in her eyes but they were tears of relief.  She knew that everything would be fine now between them.

 

Hector hugged her then kissed her.  "And yours my love and yours."

 

darkroom.jpg

 

Epilog:

 

Johnny was  down in the  room   developing  the  pictures he had  taken a  month  earlier  at Stacy's  birthday  party.    Stacy had  reminded  him  of his  promise to take her  and Jenny  on a  bike  ride  and that Lee had  promised to help  her make a memory  book  from  her  party  pictures.   A lot had happened in the last month but things were back to normal.  Well as normal as it ever got   for them.  

 

Maria had  fixed them a  wonderful  anniversary dinner and  the  guys  from the  station had  came over for  cake and to  visit.  Nothing more was mentioned about the infertility issues and each had mourned in their own way. And each day was celebrated as the gift it was

 

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