Disclaimer: Not mine.
Authors Note: I'm not sure what this is. It's a LB ficlette I guess. Just a little snippet I hope you enjoy
August 19, 1986
Athens Regional Medical Center
Athens, GeorgiaThe smell of rain and autumn filled his lungs. Someone had managed to open the only window in waiting room 2, and a cool breeze carried in the comforting scent and dulled the smell of antibiotics and cleaning fluid.
Beside him his mother tapped her foot nervously on the cheap linoleum, before standing and striding to the furthest corner of the room, then back, the beginning of a bout of anxious pacing. The fourth one shed had today.
Idly he watched a rain drop slip slowly down the slightly ajar windowpane, and cling to the edge at the bottom for a moment before dropping the gradually growing puddle beneath it.
Honestly Ezra, how could you let this happen followed a heavy sigh.
May 17, 1993
Idly Ezra flicked the corner of the thin manila envelope he held back and forth, watched the flames in his fireplace arch and lick at stone that surrounded them.
Outside the horizon was just a thin golden line and the sky was a fading dark blue that signaled the approach of sunrise.
He hadnt slept.
Not since three days ago.
Three days ago, he'd been spending a lazy sunday afternoon at the ranch, chatting over drinks and watching the boys play. One of the boys fell and bloodied his lip and hed offered him his handkerchief and the boy had taken it, smiling and blinking up at him with wide little boys eyes and suddenly Ezra saw everything with a startling clarity that changed everything.
+ + + + + + +I go out of my way to make sure you have the best. The best homes, the best cloths, the best cars
Her footsteps grew near and the tips of her heels appeared in his view and after a moment he looked up into her frowning face then cast his eyes back down.
The best education. The very best. So I know your not stupid boy, but I cant fathom how you let that girl make a fool of you like this.
She didnt intend for this to happen mother. Neither of us did.
Oh, Im sure you didnt. she replied condescendingly before sighing heavily again. Of all the stupid things to do you pick this.
At that he glanced up again in time to catch her eyes. And of all the girls you meet, of all the fine, well bred, well educated, wealthy girls you meet, you choose her to do it with.
Little miss scholarship-country bumpkin, all the way from white trash USA.
Mother he cut in again warningly, his voice hard.
For a moment she fell silent, studying him from where she stood beside the window, then shook her head and looked out.
She took one look at you, at the money you had, the life you had, and decided she wanted it.
She loves me.
She loves your money
She loves me mother he said again quietly
She tricked you, Maude shook her head but didnt look back, and you let her.
+ + + + + + +
That day hed driven home slowly, numb, his mind ticking and whirling furiously, the stained handkerchief clutched tightly in his hand.
Distantly hed watched himself count the time, the day and months and years since hed left Georgia, then dial his lawyer, and only vaguely noticed himself carefully folding the handkerchief and placing it in a Ziploc bag and then into an envelope his lawyer would have to address when he got there, because his hands were shaking so badly.
The next day he went to work, hung out and had a drink with the others after, spoke briefly to both the boys, and noted somewhat distractedly how quickly the day had passed. The next day passed in much the same fashion without him noticing. He worked, he ate, he waited for the manila envelope he knew was coming to show up in his mail.
Today it had.
+ + + + + + +The biting reply on his lips faded when the door to the waiting room opened and a nurse, somewhere in her forties, gray hairs at her temples and deep lines around her smile,and made her way to him.
Uncertainly he stood and automatically curled his arms around what she handed him and after a moment, looked down.
Congratulations, its a boy.
He heard her say, but couldnt reply.
The world around him faded, dulled, pared down to the chubby cheeks, the mop soft dark curls that framed the tiny flushed face and the big dark eyes that stared back up at him, and the realization that he held the balance of his entire life in his arms.
+ + + + + + +
Brushing his fingertips over the envelopes surface, he paused to plucked nervously at the label, then polished off another shot of bourbon.
Hed never thought of Georgia or of that little boy after they left, never rehashed any of the few seconds hed spent with the child. Had filed any memory hed so desperately made that day, away in the back of his mind, each too painful to recall.
+ + + + + + +Outside there was the quiet sound of approaching footsteps and then a quiet conversation just outside the door, and it occurred to him that even though theyd discussed this and the papers had already been signed, he didnt know now how hed ever let go.
For a moment he wondered how much his life would really change if he changed his mind, how different his life, their life would turn out to be, how much he could offer, how many promises he could make and follow through with.
Itd be hard, he had no doubt about that.
Elizabeth had signed away her rights as quickly as she could, taking whatever amount his mother had offered right away. After all, her family did need the money, for her schooling as well as her brothers and sisters, and for food and cloths and all those things hed never had to want for. So itd be just him and the child, should he decide to keep him.
But maybe he thought, it wouldnt be so bad.
Then he thought of all the nights hed spent longing for his mother, of how he only knew how to make promises that he knew would be broken, how he only knew love as a one-sided bitter thing that was lonely and so very lacking of everything you needed.
Then, he turned his eyes back to his son's face, taking in everything he could, his smell, his feel, anything he could have to remember, with quiet desperation.
+ + + + + + +
Standing he let the envelope drop to his side and hang loosely in his hand as he strode to the large bay window at the furthest corner of his room and looked out.
A part of him wanted so badly to go back to that day a week ago and decline the invitation to come up to the ranch, wanted so badly to never have recognized those eyes.
Another part wanted desperately to open the envelope he held and have there be no doubt that that boy was his son. Sighing he lay his head on the cool windowsill and stared for a moment down at the quiet empty street below.
Turning he began to make his way to his desk and the letter opener that sat there but stopped when the frame of a picture that sat there caught his eye.
Itd been taken almost two years ago; a few months after Chris and Buck had taken the boys in., and everybody had been given a copy.
In it, the sun had just sunk behind the horizon and the sky faded from a dusky pink to a dark almost black blue and two silhouettes stood out against the darkness. Buck, his hair slightly windblown, his too large cowboy hat worn low on the boy's head, had one arm thrown across JDs slender shoulders, both their smiling faces turned into the last fading rays of sunset.
+ + + + + + +I cant believe you did this. Youre lucky they found someone to take him so soon. At least we wont have to change our flight plans.
Swallowing hard he watched the nurse carefully lift the baby from his arms and looked away when she made her way to a couple who stood at the door, their hands clasped, there eyes flickering from him to the nurse with something akin to happiness and unease.
I cant believe you did this, his mother sighed again from somewhere behind him and he looked up in time to see the nurse and the couple turn a corner at the far end of the hall, the woman smiling, his son, her new son held close as she planted a soft kiss on his forehead, then smiled brightly at her husband who smiled in return and took her hand.
There are worse things I could do mother.
+ + + + + + +
There are worse things I could do he sighed, leaning his forehead back against the cool glass.
Quietly he downed another shot and watched the sun rise slowly on the east.
Behind him, amidst the flames, the envelope burned, unopened.