Spoilers: S3 character, but other only general
Summary: Abby/Connor future fic, angsty and fluffly, with an extra dose of kids.
A/N: Betaread by doylefan22 and rodlox - you're both like speedy gonzales of the fic world. ;). Late fic for black-rose-fics as part of 2009 primevalathon
The sun is high in the sky, the bright blue sky that she remembers watching, unblinking and thinking about how good today would be. Old rock on the radio, a basket in the back, a quilt Connor's mum had made sitting between Lucy and Nikki, with the girls twisted round playing cats in a cradle because they were that bored on the thirty minute journey. Abby groans. Her mobile rings and she wants to hit snooze and go back to sleep – Lester is ringing, she knows that tone. It drills into her head worse than she's ever known. It could be Sarah. Whoever...she reaches out into space towards the sound.
A peek, slits of light let in and it is dazzling through the confetti of the windscreen on the ground, casting rainbows on the pools of liquid by her fingertips. There's a crunch underfoot outside the car and she wonders what's wrong. There is something wrong with this picture and she remembers – she opens her eyes.
There's a horn blaring too but it's not theirs, how could she not know that, how could she not notice? Connor is slumped into the air bag, but it's not his fault, it's not. It's wrong, but it's not his fault.
“Wake up. Get up”
The words are weak, she can't shake him, she can't wake him and the pools at her fingertips are sticky and not hers. The quilt peeks out too, the only sign she can see that back of the car was in any way disturbed – no signs of the girls. Just red specks on the quilt and bile in her throat as she retches – upside down, that's an experience. She could strain, she could try to see them but she can't move. It's too much to do and their all stuck in place, but not frozen in time, no, that would be too easy. Clocks are ticking, the tip tap of blood dripping, and every second is another roll of the dice; will they live or will they die? and she feels her eyelids fluttering when she doesn't mean for them to.
There's siren in the distance, a horn outside, and a ringing in her ears. The phone starts up again, such a cheerful tone that she hates it. She'd smash it to pieces if she could, if she knew where it was, if she didn't feel like the world was washing away.
Everything is...not white. It's so not white that he knows he's staring at a ceiling and by how he feels – bloody awful, worse than the time he got ruffed up by football hooligans looking for an easy target - that equates to a hospital. Everything else is 'fill in the blanks'.
“Oh, you're awake. Nurse!”
The snarky voice of his boss wasn't what he was hoping to wake up to.
“And feeling all the head splitting pain of consciousness too,” he answered gruffly, “Can I have some water?”
The nurse helps him sit up, feeding him a few ice chips whilst Lester watches the indignity. Connor isn't sure the man's pride would survive should he ever be in his place.
“What happened? Dino of the day got one round me? That hasn't happened for a while, but suppose it ought to every now and then.”
He says it too cheerfully, he knows he's doing it, and he knows why – because Lester is so po faced and hasn't offered an accusatory backhanded comment about his un-Darwinesque survival. That means it can't be that simple or pleasantly explained.
“You were in a car crash.”
“That explains half of it, but why are you here then? Where's Abby?”
“Abby was in the crash too.”
Connor honestly doesn't remember it. He tries hard to recall details. How did it happen? How were they afterwards, did he see them?
“Not dead, no.”
It's clearly not the full story, though Connor is certain Lester would be showing some sign of cracking if it were that bad. He's putting all his faith in the fact the man is human and absolutely has to crack sometime.
Connor gulps. He's grateful Abby's alive but he won't be able to bear it if Lester breaks down at this.
He can't ask, he can't stand the -
“They're fine,” Lester looks at him disparagingly like even thinking it was abominable,”Cuts and scrapes, few bruises, but nothing more. They're very lucky, luckier than you.”
“You're telling me.”
“Yes, I am,” he says sternly, sort of accusatory and the next thing out of his mouth explains, though it's gentler than the last part, “They're actually staying with me.”
“Don't read too much into it.”
Lester inspects the floor intently, probably looking at his ornate custom made shoes or whatever. Of course Connor knows that means; Lester is glad they're all okay, he doesn't need to say it and he probably won't today, not to him anyway.
“The other driver wasn't so lucky,” Lester says suddenly as an after thought he obviously isn't too sure he should voice, though his righteousness creeps back in as he elaborates, “but I'd be personally offended if the blasted universe saw fit to reward such an idiot that thinks overtaking on a blind corner is fine and dandy behaviour.”
At that Lester leaves and now Connor knows everything will most likely be all right he allows himself to drift back into much needed sleep.
The sun is streaming through the window, through the prism Nikki hung, not because it made a pretty rainbow but because it made a pattern.
The quilt is on the bed, to one side where it was when she fell asleep. It's not finished yet, it's still stained but on the mend, more patches added to it. There's still plenty of time left – she has far too much time still as her bones mesh back together and the bruises fade.
There is a screaming in the distance, a tickle fight erupting no doubt, girlish giggles from her other daughter as she watches and then another voice squealing as she gets her turn. About five minutes later a troop appears at the door, led by Connor with the tray.
“Happy Mother's Day.”
“It's not really,” Lucy says, hanging onto his leg.
Nikki pinches her sister and a squabble breaks out.
“Stop it. I mean it. Stop it now!”
Nikki pinches her sister again and Connor squirms a little as they fight around his legs.
“Take pity on me will you?”
His pleas don't have the slightest effect and Abby is wondering if she'll actually get to sample the contents of the tray or if they'll soon be gracing the floorboards. The third change of tack gets a response finally.
“Won't you at least behave for your mum, don't forget she can punish you when she's all recovered.”
The kids both stops what they're doing, look up at him, pouting. He laughs at that, ultimately amused more than anything else, seeing as no damage is done, and steps away from their forlorn looking children to continue the procession to Abby's bed ridden person. He settles it to one side and helps her sit up, unavoidably it hurts to do so, but she grins and bears it, puts on a smile as the girls watch it all too silently.
Connor turns back to them, “Come on, what are you waiting for?”
It's all they need to confirm they're off the hook for now and there's a mad rush onto the bed, amongst which Connor's shouting “Oi, oi, watch mummies legs – you know she can't move them in casts.” though they manage perfectly to avoid stumbling over her and only appear to do enough to simply fluster him. It's endearing, seeing him take charge of the kids, half because it makes her feel things would be alright, you know, if things had been different and also because he looks rather fine flushed, but that's a thought to store away for latter.
“Now, you know why it's Mother's Day today, don't you?”
“Because mummy deserves it!” Lucy shouts excitedly, happy to play her part. No doubt this has been well rehearsed downstairs.
“And she shouldn't have to wait a whole year, you're not allowed to miss it ever!” finishes Nikki.
“That's right. You shouldn't ever wait to tell people you love that they're important.”
“Then why isn't it mothers' day every day?” piped up Lucy as she climbed round to the other side of Connor, who looked at her. Time to play mum again she guessed, dad's role must be over, all his lines are used up.
“Well, I think it should be but that's just me,” Abby said with a wink as she picked up a bit of toast with her right hand, watching Lucy crawl perilously closer to the wobbling tray. Connor rushed to pick it up, swiftly moving it across to the dresser, sweeping a few niknaks of his off before resting it firmly out of the way.
When Connor turned back round, he must have been met with the cutest view he'd seen for sometime. From his expression alone it seemed to make his heart swell. Lucy had crawled up to one side of her, resting there so Abby had to hold her toast far out to one side unable to put her arm down and Nikki was half sat and half splayed laying down on the bed with her head at Lucy's feet.
“Wait one second, stay like that. I have to get the camera.”
“No,” Abby protested, “You don't. Don't go anywhere, don't faff around with pictures, just sit,” she said, gently patting the other side of the bed to her with her more bruised arm. “There's no rush, we've got plenty of time but it's worthless if you don't make use of it.”
“Okay, sure,” he walked across and sat down next to her, being careful not to make the mattress spring and disturb her as he did so.
“We don't need a photo of this Connor. All we need is memories. You know I need a few new ones.”
“Yeah, don't we all. Be nice if we could wipe about the literally disastrous version of today.”
“This is the best Mother's Day I've ever had.”
“I don't know about that, don't go writing off all the rest. Might get some photos too, without ruining the moment.”
“That'd be nice.”
Her eyes watered but Abby smiled, a genuine smile that she was sure graced her whole face despite a few tears rolling down it, hopefully enough to reassure him she was happy - Connor leant over and kissed his wife tenderly on the lips and she couldn't imagine being more so.