Love and Medicine ~ 14
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Word Count: 5,000ish
Summary: Just another day at the medical center, right? (Based off Grey’s Anatomy)
Heading back into the hospital, you went straight for Natasha’s room. The other interns were already in there, surrounding her bed.
“Hey,” you smiled, walking over to her. “How are you feeling?”
“I’m okay,” she responded. “I’m okay.”
You grabbed her hand and gave it a slight squeeze. She needed to know that you were there for her, but you weren’t going to push her into talking about something she wasn’t ready to talk about.
You slammed down a shot, needing to feel the alcohol rush down your throat.
“How was Nat when you left, Scott?” Val asked, bringing more drinks over.
“She said she was okay, again,” he responded with a slight shrug.
“Nobody goes what she went through and is totally over it by now.”
“She’s fine,” you added, taking another shot.
“Too fine,” Val said. “She’s cold.”
“No, she’s hardcore,” Clint said. “She’s got ice in her veins. She does what she has to do to get through it.”
“She lost a baby. She lost a fallopian tube and she’s acting like she doesn’t even care. She’s acting like she has no emotions or warmth, like she’s missing a soul.”
“She’s gonna make a great surgeon.”
“It’s true. You show no weakness, you make it to the top.”
“Some people just keep their feelings to themselves,” you commented.
Your eyes were on the door, where Steve had just walked in. If he noticed you, he didn’t make it noticeable. You watched as he walked over to the bar and sat beside Gamora. Steve ordered a drink from Happy before talking to Gamora. Too bad you were too far away to hear them.
“Y/N kissed me,” Steve told Gamora. “Peggy kissed me… My wife and my girlfriend kissed me on the same day.”
“Happy, do I look friend to you?” Gamora asked.
“Oh, you’re a tiny little kitten of joy and love,” Happy responded, only for Gamora to make a face. “What? He saved my life.”
“His first mistake.” She took a sip of her drink. “Captain McDreamy, go sit by someone who cares.”
“Oh gee,” Steve mocks hurt, but doesn’t make a move to go. “Everything’s gonna be fine. Peggy will leave. Y/N and I will start over. Everything’s gonna be fine. Right?”
“You are so damn stupid.”
“With Natasha out, I need everyone focused today,” Gamora told her group of interns as you all headed off to rounds. “I have a feeling it’s gonna be be one of those days and since we’re short an intern, you do not want to get on my bad side.”
“When are we not on her bad side?” You whispered to Clint.
“Speak for yourself,” he replied with a scoff. “Scott and I are her favorites.”
The group walked into their first patients room. The woman was sitting on the bed, enthralling a group of hospital workers with a tell.
“So we're in the middle of the Belizean jungle and this jaguarondi jumps out and bites one of the guides,” the woman says. “They all look at me. They're yelling, "You're a doctor, help him!" This is one time a PhD does no good.” The people laugh.
“Sorry,” Gamora interrupted, “did I miss the memo about social hour?” Everyone quickly began leaving besides your group.
“Tales of missionary life,” the woman explained.
“You’re a missionary?” Val asked.
“No, my parents. We traveled a lot. Well, they still do.”
“Lang, tell me about our patient,” Gamora ordered.
“Okay, um, this is Dr. Banner’s patient, Talya,” Scott explained. “She, uh, presents with multiple syncopal episodes and ventricular arrhythmias.”
“So you’ve been passing out?” Gamora asked.
“Yeah,” Talya confirmed, “and having palpitations.”
“Talya has past medical history of rheumatic heart disease with mitral valve stenosis,” Scott added.
“They had to ship me from Zambia to the States for 3 months of treatment when I was 8,” Tayla said. “Rheumatic fever almost killed me.”
“Someone please tell me what the primary causes of ventricular arrhythmias are,” Gamora said.
Before anyone in the room could responded, Natasha appeared in the doorway. She leaned up against it in her hospital gown with her IV stand.
“Valvular disease, mitral valve prolapse, stimulants, drugs, and metabolic abnormalities,” Natasha answered.
“Out!” Gamora ordered.
“Out! And you better be in your bed by the time we round on you!”
“And when will that be?”
“In 15 seconds. 14. 13. 13. 11.”
Natasha turned around to head to her room, revealing her underwear through her nightgown. The group of interned laughed.
“Nice panties, Romanoff!” Peter laughed.
Natasha flips him the bird as she keeps waking. “In your dreams, Quill.”
They followed Natasha into the room, where she huffed as she got back into bed.
“L/N,” Gamora called.
“Right,” you responded. “Natasha Romanoff. Post-op day 3 from a unilateral salpingectomy.”
“And ready to get back to work,” Natasha said. “I'm taking solids and my pain is controlled with oral meds. I'm ready.”
“Well, it says here on your chart on you had a fever?”
“Y/N,” Nat growled.
“Natasha, did you have a fever?” Gamora questioned.
“Temp spiked to 101 last night. Big deal.”
“She worked 2 shifts last month with a 102 degree flu,” Clint added.
“Yes! Exactly, Clint. Thank you.”
“And we appreciate your dedication but you're staying in bed until it normalizes,” Gamora said. “You need to relax, shut up, and get better. You're a patient this week so you can be a doctor next week. Understand?”
“I understand,” Natasha grumbled.
Rounds had finished as you were heading to your assignment when you ran into Steve near the elevators.
“Skipping rounds?” He wondered.
“No,” you replied. “They just finished.” You kept walking, when Steve took your arm to stop you.
“You’ve got a wife.”
“You’re life is complicated.”
“I don’t need more complicated. I have that all on my own.”
“Stop saying yes.”
Steve smiled. “I’m trying not to make any sudden movements.”
“You think this is funny?”
“Peggy’s leaving. She doesn’t have any more patients. There’s no reason for her to be here.”
“No reason? Really?”
“No really whatsoever.”
Steve stepped closer, bringing his hand up to brush your cheek. You stood there, trying to not let it get to your head or, well, anywhere else. Suddenly, Peggy appeared.
“Well now, isn’t this cozy?” She said. “Can I join in or are you not into threesomes?”
“I have to go,” you said, rushing away. You didn’t go too far, interested to watch everything unfold.
“Y/N…” Steve called with a sign. He turned to Peggy. “You really are Satan. You realize that right? If Satan were to take physical form, he'd be you. Everywhere, all the time.”
“I am so not Satan,” Peggy responded.
“How come you haven't got on your broomstick and gone back to where you belong?”
“Stop being petty.”
“Stop being an adulterous bitch.”
“You know, you are going forgive me eventually, right? I mean you can't just ... I mean there was a time when you thought of me as your best friend.”
“There was a time where I thought you were the love of my life. Things change.”
Peggy sighed and pulled some papers out of her bag, handing them to Steve. Steve quickly flipped through them.
“Divorce papers,” he said.
“Your lawyer said they're ok. I haven't signed them yet. The ball's in your court. If you sign, I'll sign. I'll sign and be on the first plane out of here.”
“I'll sign them immediately. I want you out of here as soon as possible.”
“Steve, have you ever thought that, even if I am Satan and an adulterous bitch, that I still might be the love of your life?”
Not answering, Steve walks away, completely not noticing you listening in from behind a pillar.
“What are we looking at?” Tony asked, appearing out of nowhere.
“Ah!” You exclaimed, jumping slightly. “Don’t do that!” You playfully hit him. “You scared me.”
“Sorry,” he laughed. “I just saw you over here and I was interested in seeing what you were observing.”
“I think… I think Peggy just handed Steve divorce papers.”
“Really? That actually surprises me. I thought she would put in a little more of a fight.”
“I guess that’s good news for you, right?”
“I want him to choose me because of me, not because of a divorce.”
“In my ever humble opinion, I think it will always be you. Trust me. That man is whipped.”
Natasha snuck out of her room and stole her chart. She sat in her bed as she made changes to it. Walking by, Banner looked in and noticed that no one else was in there. He quickly took the chart of Nat.
“Hey! That’s my chart,” Natasha complained.
“You're the patient. Not the doctor. Act like one,” Bruce reprimands as he studies her chart. “It's been tough finding you alone.”
“How are you doing?”
“Well, you have my chart, you tell me.”
He sighed. “Natasha, how are you doing?”
“I’m fine. Perfectly okay.”
“I had a right to know.”
“Well, now you do.”
“Look. Now you know. It’s over. There’ soothing for you to deal with. So I don’t know what else there really is left to say.”
“Plenty. For starters you could've come to me—“
“And what? We could have raised it together? Or you could have held my hand when I got the abortion? I did not need any of that. I’m an intern.”
“Can you just go? I need to rest. Doctor’s orders.”
Gamora called you to help her with a patient. You two walked into the patient room together, revealing a younger man on the bed.
“I thought I told you I never want to see you again,” Gamora said to the patient.
“That's only cause you're too lazy to learn anything more,” the man responded.
“Dr. Y/N L/N, this is Nick Tate. He thinks he knows so much cause he was one of my first patient's as an intern.”
“I knew as much as she did. She was clueless about how to treat cystic fibrosis. A simple cholecystectomy turned into a month-long stay.”
“Better not be alleging malpractice. Guy raises about a 100 grand a year for cystic fibrosis, running triathlons. Thinks he's a big shot.”
“Wait, you run triathlons?” You questioned, confused how it could as a patient with cystic fibrosis.
“Yeah, why not?” He responded.
“It’s a pain for one,” Gamora replied, flipping through the chart. “Says here you're finally admitting to feeling a little unwell?”
“How little? Truth.”
“Oh, enough to keep me awake at night. Had some seizures. Um, too weak to work out.”
“Anyone been through here with your CT results?”
“No. It's probably just my pancreatitis kicking up again.”
“All right then. We'll be back. With your results and a plan.” Gamora walked to the door, with you following. She glanced back at Nick. “Huh, where do your parents think you are this time?”
He smiled. “Hmm, San Diego.”
Gamora shakes her head as you follow her the rest of the way out of the room.
“What about his parents?” You asked. “Shouldn’t he, or we, tell them?”
“No, he doesn't like to bother them until he's well or about to get discharged. He understands his reality. He just chooses to ignore it. Denial works for him, L/N.”
After Bruce had left, it only took Natasha two minutes to have found blue scrubs and change into them. She took out her IV and snuck out to the nurses station. She began looking through patient charts. The head nurse, Phil Coulson, found her like that.
“Where’s your IV?” He asked, looking at her with a disappointed father face.
“I've taken solids. I HEP-locked it,” Natasha replied.
“On whose orders?”
“Okay.” Phil quickly found her chart and began reading it. “Romanoff. How about this order: best rest, out of bed to chair, bathroom privileges. Nothing about stealing charts at the nurses station.”
“Okay, you know what….” She quickly looked around to find a nearby empty wheelchair. She brought it over and sat down in it. “There, satisfied? I’m out of bed to chair.”
“I’m telling your intent on you.”
“Oooh, I’m so scared.”
She wheeled off with a patient chart, heading to Tayla’s room. When she arrived, she witnessed Tayla, by herself, taking a pill.
“I saw that!” Natasha exclaimed from her wheelchair in the doorway. “I saw you take that pill.”
“Oh it's, it's my pill,” Tayla excused. “You know... the pill.”
Natasha quickly looked over the chart. “It’s not at all in your chart and you are supposed to tell us the meds you are on.”
“You’re not my doctor. You shouldn't even be here.”
“She’s right,” Val said, appearing from behind. “You shouldn’t be here.”
“I saw her take unauthorized medication!” Natasha continued.
“Well, you’re unauthorized to be here.”
“I’m on the pill and I had grapefruit juice this morning,” Tayla explained. “Since the juice inhibits enzymes involved in the metabolism of OCPs, I thought I'd avoid the interaction by taking it two hours after my meal.”
“She's has a doctorate in neuropharmacology, Natasha.”
Natasha huffed, “Well, Val, I don’t see any place where oral contra—“
“Okay so now you will. Will you just go back to bed and stop bothering the other patients?”
Tayla’s heart monitor suddenly started racing, bringing the other women attentions to her. She fell to the floor, unconscious, and Val rushed to her.
“She’s in V-FIB!” Natasha said.
“Call the code,” Val ordered as she began compressions.
Natasha practically jumped out of her chair to call a code, which didn’t feel good. Val got Tayla back as the code team arrived.
“No code?” The nurse questioned.
“Not anymore,” Val answered. “Can you help get her back into bed.
“I’ll—I’ll help,” Natasha breathed got, struggling to get back to her wheelchair. “Just give me a minute.”
“Would you just go back to bed? Seriously, please just go.”
Natasha nodded as she finally made it to the wheelchair. “Just… if she’s on OCP’s, mark it down. Okay, Val?”
You had gotten Nick’s x-ray’s back and were currently putting them up to view them with Gamora by your side.
“Nick’s got a mass in his midepigastrium,” you explained. “Diffused enlargement of the pancreas. That, with his hypoglycemic seizures—“
“He's going to need an exploratory laparotomy. But, despite his triathlons, his lungs still make me hesitant to cut,” Gamora added.
“What are we going to do?”
“I haven’t gotten that far yet.”
“Doctors,” Peggy greeted.
“How old is he?” Peggy asked, studying the x-rays.
“And them some. My patient for at least 5 years. I'm not gonna lose him now.”
“You planning a laparotomy?”
“Hmm. You know, I think I could help you with this. I've seen one case like this before in a 9 year old. We ended up having to do a total pancreotectomy.”
“I'd be honored to take any help you can give me.”
“You’re a neonatal specialist,” you said. “What, uh… this isn’t your area.” Gamora looked at you, annoyed, as she shock her head. “I’m just saying that—“
“I did 2 years genetic research in cystic fibrosis,” Peggy told you. “I've pretty much seen it all, Dr. L/N.”
Walking down the hall, Steve found you. Always trying his best to make a conversation with you. This time it was easy.
“Are you sure your wife is leaving?” You questioned. “She offered to help on the case Gamora has me working on.”
“Just because she offered her services doesn't mean she intends to stay,” Steve responded.
“Well, what does it mean? Because it seems to me—“
“It means that she's a good doctor.”
“Huh… why are you suddenly defending her?”
“I’m not. Y/N, she gave me divorce papers. She filed.”
“Good for you.”
“All I have to do is sign, and I’m free… We’re free.”
“Is there anything to think about?”
“No,” he shook his head, “of course not. I have to read through them, sign, then Peggy’s on the next plane out of here.” He grabbed your hands. “This is going to work.”
After the conversation he had with you, Steve immediately went searching for Gamora.
“Of all the fine doctors in the city, you accept a consult from Peggy Carter,” Steve said, angrily.
“Carter-Rogers, isn’t it?” Gamora retorted.
“The point is she should be on her way home. Are you purposefully trying to drive me crazy?”
“You think this has something to do with you?” Gamora’s voice was loud and upset. “You think I’m even thinking about you and your romantic problems? I’m trying to help a patient very near and dear to my heart. And if consulting with your wife—your ex—your mistress, what ever it is that she becomes! If that’s the thing I have to do to save my patient, them I’m damn well gonna do it.”
“I understand… and I totally deserve the yelling. It’s just that—“
“Just, you look! You have put yourself between two very fine women and you looking for an easy way out and you wanna use me, and the hospital and... somebody to make the decision for you, and it's not gonna happen!”
“Could I just… could I just say a couple of things?”
“No.” Gamora stormed off.
You found Natasha sitting in her bed, in her room. Thankfully. Though she was looking through another patient’s chart. You pulled a chair up to her bedside and sat down in it with a sigh.
“What’s your problem?” Natasha asked.
“Peggy gave Steve divorce papers, which is good. I mean she’s still here, being Peggy, but it’s not like I’m jealous or anything.”
“It’s odd I’m not jealous?”
“No, you have every right to be jealous. It's your territory and she's peeing all over it.” Natasha went back to focusing on the chart in her hands. “What’s odd is Banner’s patient.”
“Yeah. She’s been in 4 other hospitals this year. You know something’s not right.”
“You seem awfully interested in Banner’s patient.”
“This has nothing to do with Bruce.”
“Natasha, you lost a fallopian tube, a baby and a boyfriend all in one day. You have the right to be upset.”
“And you’re losing Captain McDreamy to his perfect wife. You have the right to be jealous.”
“I did not lose Captain McDreamy. Divorce papers, remember? And I’m not jealous.”
“And I’m not upset. I really need to get out of here.”
“You’re on bedrest, remember?”
“Okay, if the situation was reversed, would you wanna spend time with your mother in a confined room with one window?”
“No. I guess not. But still. You need to stay put.”
Before Natasha could respond, your pager beeped. You looked down at it and groaned.
“I got to go,” you muttered, leaving.
Peggy and Gamora met you in Nick’s room. There you began explaining the surgery to him.
“We won't know for sure until we go in there, but it looks like that I'm going to have to take out your pancreas and re-route your intestines,” Peggy said.
Nick looked at Gamora. “Did you tell her that my lungs don't do well with anesthesia?”
“Don’t I always have your back?” Gamora retorted.
“Your kidney function is decreasing rapidly and I'm afraid you're gonna go into multi-system organ failure if we don't operate,” Peggy continued.
“If I say no?” Nick wondered.
“There’s no guarantees, Nick. You know that,” Gamora answered. “It's gonna be a long, hard surgery and put a lot of stress on your body.”
“Yeah,” he smiled, “but I’m me.”
She smiled back. “But you’re you.”
“So if we don’t operate, I die. And if… we do operate, I may die.”
“Basically, yes,” Peggy responded.
“Well, I like those odds. And 26 years with this disease is awesome. And that's the reality. So if I get lucky ... great. And if I don’t…” Nick grabbed Gamora’s hand, “it’s been sweet.”
“It’s gonna stay sweet,” she replied.
Natasha was laying on her bed with her harm over her eyes when Clint walked into the room. Tayla’s chart was laid out on top of her.
“Why do you have that?” He asked.
“I’m working,” Nat answered. “Trying to figure out what’s going on with the crazy woman on four.”
“You are the crazy woman on four. Though, I have to say, you have a better patina than me and you don’t even really have a patient.” Clint plopped down in the chair next to her bed. “Y/N’s got a CF case. Peter has a gunshot wound. Val’s got the mystery arrhythmias. I have babysitting a crazy old lady! I’d rather do scut with Scott than this! I’m a surgeon. A cutter. I don’t want to be a fake surgeon! I want to be a real one!”
“She’s faking it,” Nat repeated to herself. She quickly got off the bed. “The missionary. Talya… Thank you!”
She patted Clint’s head as she walked by. Natasha headed straight for the nurses station, where she saw Val looking around for something.
“Val!” Natasha called. “How how Talya’s studies been?”
“Hey!” Val responded, not pleasantly as she took the chart from Nat. “I’ve been looking everywhere for that!”
“Oh! The echo tests showed mild mitral stenosis, the tilt test was negative. We're doing EP studies.”
“I can tell you what's wrong with her without sticking electrodes in her heart.”
“Really. Just by the chart?”
“No, from the pill she took.”
“They were contraceptives, Natasha! Why are you so obsessed with this? Just go back to bed!”
“I think she’s doing this to herself.”
“You think she's inducing ventricular arrhythmias? She'd have to be crazy to do—“
“No, no, no. She'd have to have Munchausen’s.”
“Okay wait. You think she's secretly ingesting something to produce real symptoms? Seriously?”
“Yes. Run it by Banner and tell me what he thinks.”
“Why don’t you tell him yourself. He is standing right behind you.” Val made eye contact with the man. “Dr. Banner.”
Then Val left. Leaving Natasha will Bruce. She sighed as Bruce guided her into the small office nearby before listening to her.
“I mean, she obviously loves the patient role. She practically lives in hospitals. And... and, and we're like an imaginary family to her because her really family blows her off to go take care of other people.... And, and I saw her take something.”
“It's not enough,” Bruce said, shaking his head. “We have to rule out everything else. Everything physical.”
“She even lied about her job. She's a pharmacy tech, not a PhD.”
“So she's a liar. I've been lied to before.”
“Hey, we're not talking about us here.”
“Maybe we should be.”
“I didn’t lie!”
“You withheld the truth from me. How was00”
“Okay, you know what? I distinctly remember you breaking things off with me. And you didn't seem so upset about it. And this?” She motioned between herself and Bruce. “This is, this is not a relationship. This is not real.”
“Okay, and, and so what's with the big display of fake hurt and drama?” She began walking out of the room.
“I’m supposed to be in bed.”
You absolutely did not want to be in surgery with Peggy. Yet there you were.
“I need more traction,” Peggy stated. “Dr. Y/N?” You quickly did as you were told.
“Here,” Gamora called, “give me some suction there.” So you did. “Now L/N, retract the duodenum. Good. How’s he doing Vis?”
Vis was keeping watch over Nick’s vitals and such. “Harder to ventilate and no urine output since we started,” Vis informed.
Peggy shook her head, “he’s shutting down.”
“Did you increase his peak pressures?” Gamora asked.
“Any higher, I blow his lungs,” Vis responded before the monitor beeped. “Bradycardia. Pushing 1 of atropine.”
“Try ventilating him manually,” Peggy ordered, “see if he starts coming back up.” Vis began pushing on a bag.
“Did we miss any bleeders?” Gamora wondered.
“The surgical field is clear.”
The monitor began beeping faster. “Agonal rhythm,” you said.
“Any pulse with that?” Gamora asked.
“No carotid,” Vis answered.
“Okay, starting CPR.” Gamora handed over her tools and begun CPR. “Push one of EPI.”
“No extraordinary measures, Gamora,” Peggy warned. “He’s DNR.”
“No this is just good medicine.” Sh continued CPR, almost frantically. “Come on! Come on! Don’t give up. Come on.”
“You’re getting tired,” you noted. “Let me take over, Dr. Gamora.” She nodded, letting you quickly switch her places.
“Gamora, his intestines are cyanotic,” Peggy stated. “There’s no blood circulating.”
“It’s been shunted to his brain where he needs it,” Gamora responded as she studied your CPR form. “You call those compressions.” She shoved you to the side and took over CPR. You and Peggy made eye contact, worried. “Fight it. Come on.” Peggy looked around, shaking her head, and everyone stopped what they were doing. All but Gamora. “Why isn’t anyone moving? Whose recording?”
“It's been ten minutes since we've had a perfusing rhythm.” Peggy goes to stop Gamora but is shrugged off. The monitor flat lines. “It’s your call, Gamora.”
Taking a shaky inhale, Gamora stopped. She pulled off her mask as the monitor continues to flat line. “Asystole.” She looked up at the clock. “Time of death: 19:35.”
Gamora rushed out of the OR, trying not to cry. She went straight to the sinks and began cleaning her hands furiously. She paused when she noticed people covering up Nick’s body. Peggy walked in and started washing her hands as well, with you following. You both eyed Gamora a few times, worried. Soon, she left.
Peggy sighed. “It’s hard to accept the end when you’re too close.” She looked down as she slipped her wedding ring back onto her finger. She noticed you watching. “Look, I don't want someone who doesn't want me, Y/N. But if there's the slightest chance that he does, I'm not leaving New York.”
Val walked into Natasha’s room, not excited for the news she was about to tell her.
“Well?” Natasha asked.
“You were right,” Val sighed. “Talya definitely suffers from Munchausen’s.”
“See I was right…. I was right…” She closed her eyes. “I was right…” Nat began to cry. “I was right. I was… I was right. Oh… I’m—I’m—“ She let out a sob. “I’m right. I’m—I’m right.”
Val looked out of the room to see Clint walking by. “Clint! Page Y/N!”
Clint hurried in. “Why? What—what’s happening? What did you do to her?”
“She just started crying and I don’t know what to do!”
“I’ll get one of the nurses to page, Y/N.” Clint rushed out.
“Natasha,” Val tried, slowly coming closer. “Natasha, calm down.”
“The nurses paged her!” Clint came rushing back in.
“It’s okay, Nat.” Val went in for a hug, only for Nat to shrink away and cry harder. “Okay, okay. I won’t hug you.”
“What’s going on?” You came running in, panicked.
“I can’t stop!” Nat cried. “I can’t—-I can’t stop…”
“Crying,” Val finished for her. “She can’t stop crying.”
“I can’t see that!” You replied. “What did you guys do to her?”
“She’s going to dehydrate,” Clint said. “Nat, do you want some water?”
Nat shook her head, “no, no…” You tried to go in for a hug, only to be pulled away.
“NO!” Clint and Val exclaimed.
“I already tried that,” Val said. “It just made it worse.” Clint tentatively handed Nat a tissue.
“Natasha,” you tried again.
“Make—make it stop,” Natasha sobbed. “Make it stop… Somebody sedate me!”
“What’s going on in here?” Bruce asked, walking in. He was dressed like he was about to leave. There was clear concern etched on his face.
“We can’t get her to stop crying,” you replied.
“Y/N, get everyone else out of here.” Bruce was taking off his jacket. “Watch the door.”
You nodded, quickly ushering Clint and Val out. They voiced protests, but willing left. You shut the door behind you and watched. Peeking through the window, you watched as Bruce got in the bed beside Nat. He wrapped his arms around her and brought her close, pressing a kiss to the top of her head. Natasha willingly curled into him, welcoming his comfort. You sighed and turned away, leaning against the door to keep watch. Steve noticed you and came up.
“Hey,” he smiled.”
“When are you off?”
“Uh,” you glanced at your watch, “in about an hour. Why?”
“Meet me at Happy’s when you get off.” He started walking backwards, sly smirk on his lips. “Don’t be late.”
Steve and you arrived at Happy’s bar at the same time. He gave you a smile as he held the door open for you. You walked over to an empty table, Steve close behind.
“I’m glad we’re doing this,” you said.
“Me too,” Steve replied. He set it briefcase on his chair. “Want a drink?”
Turning around, Steve knocked his briefcase onto the ground. A stack of papers slipped out.
“I’ve got it,” Steve quickly said, bending down.
“I’ll get it,” you said, picking up the papers.
You glance at the papers as you stand back up. There his divorce papers, that he has yet to sign.
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blueberry pancakes // bucky barnes
Description: A single mother. Juggling being a mom, a full time pediatrician, and a difficult ex who believed now would be the best time to finally be a father. A soldier ripped out of time. Ex-assassin turned superhero. Learning how to balance a new domestic life with handling demons of his past, while facing the trials of the future. a love story began over something as simple as chocolate chip pancakes with hidden blueberries.
Disclaimer: I do not own any original Marvel characters! All canon plots and canon characters belong to Marvel Comics and Marvel Studios. This is an original work. You may not publish it anywhere else
Note: Takes place after endgame. I have elected to ignore Tony's death and Steve's leaving. Did not happen. Quick Reminder! My works are only published here, AO3 and on Wattpad, thank you.
Chapter Twenty Nine: The One With the Weeks After
Warnings: Weight loss
Word Count: 2135
The first week was the easiest. She busied herself with work, made sure to tell Hunter everything and keep him in the loop. Cleaned the house until there was nothing left. At night she'd scrub the floors until her fingers bled. She'd go to bed around 2 in the morning every night. Rose tried to get her to go earlier, but she knew that Lily needed a bit. Needed time to process the end of the relationship she thought was the one. The one that would fix what had been done to her all those years ago.
Things declined over the following month. The hospital made Lily take stress leave. She stopped eating normally, and would simply make Hunter breakfast before returning to her office to force herself into working on letters she knew wouldn't help her case. Lily kept herself distracted also by helping Rose search for apartments for when her baby came, and Gen revamp the menu for her cafe.
When the first of May came around, Lily knew she had broken herself that day she told him to get out. And now, she sat in her bed as the clock struck 3am, Joey snoring softly at the end of the bed. In her hands she gripped onto the letters he had written her, gripping them to the point she was sure they'd rip. Her tears stained them, smearing the ink as she stared at his words.
"Lily please," his voice broke as he stood from the couch, walking towards the blonde, "Please don't do this."
"You made me a promise, Bucky," Lily whispered, taking a step back from the advancing man, "and I can't handle it. You know for a fact that you're not done with this life."
"I am, baby please," he whispered, halting his steps a meter or so away from her, "I'm done with it all."
"I'll have your stuff dropped off at your apartment," Lily stated, her voice shaking as she dropped her keys onto the half wall, turning her back to the Avenger and taking a few steps up the stairs, "Goodbye, Bucky."
A choked sob racked through her chest as Lily balled up the paper and chucked it at the mirror across from her bed. Her eyes wandered from the paper on the floor upwards, staring at herself in the mirror. Her cheeks were hollow and hair wiry. Her collarbones seemed more prominent and her chest heaved as she struggled to bring air into her lungs. On her chest still sat that damn necklace. The one she tried to take off but could never manage to. It sat against her sunken chest, shining bright against her shallow skin.
She remembered the mornings she'd wake up to him leaning over her, fingers wrapped around the silver pendent, admiring it against her supple skin of the good times. Now it just sat there like a jail sentence. Because she knew there would be no moving on from him. His touch, his smell, his words. The way he would hold her.
She longed for the feeling of his hair between her fingers. His breath against her cheek. His head ducked into her neck as she admired him as he slept peacefully at ungodly hours of the night. His smile. His eyes. The stubble on his chin.
Lily remembered the day she wished that she could sit in his lap and trim it. Months later she lived that same fantasy. Him chuckling as she scrunched her nose and intently focused on the harder to reach areas. The rumble deep in his chest vibrating through her like a warm blanket being draped onto her shoulders. How his arms draped along her thighs and fingers traced circles on her hips.
He was gone though. And Lily didn't have the strength to fight for him back.
"Hey what do you want for your birthday, Lil?" Gen asked as she finished cleaning up the table from dinner, sending Hunter off to play outside with the neighbourhood kids.
"Nothing." Lily shrugged, finishing drying off a cup as she avoided her best friends pointed gaze.
"A new necklace, perhaps?" Gen tested, dancing carefully along Lily's guarded mind.
"I have a necklace." She stated simply, placing the rest of the dishes in their respective cupboards before drying her hands.
"Well your birthdays in three days and I'm not getting you nothing," Gen continued, taking a few steps closer to the blonde, "Can I at least offer to cook you dinner at the cafe?"
"Sounds good to me." Lily nodded, closing the cupboards and walking past Gen, shutting the door to her office and slumping into her desk chair.
Lily stared down at the stack of letters that sat on her desk. It was May 2nd, two days from her birthday. Her birthday present to herself was something she read online. Write letters to your past love and then burn or bury them, to cut the ties. She wasn't sure if she would go through with it. She didn't want to burn the memories of him. They hurt her, but she cherished them. She never wanted to forget him, but she had convinced herself she had to in order for her to find true happiness. Or so the blog she read said.
It's been a week since I said goodbye to you. The words still feel foreign to me. It's weird waking up without you by my side. I can't believe I'm saying it but I miss your snoring. Miss your bedhead.
Hunter knows what happened. He's heartbroken, but I don't think he'll show it very much. Moreso for my sake than his own. I don't blame him. I'm sure he sees the same broken mother he saw all those years ago.
But this one hurts a bit more. Because you were supposed to be the one. I thought you were the one. I still think you are. And I loved you.
I love you"
She traced the tears stains that marked the paper. Her fingers grazing gently over the final three words. Three words she was too much of a coward to properly say. Instead, she made him guess them. Made him say them first in the same format. Writing. Three words she couldn't say, now permanently on paper. Lily's hands shook as she put the first page down, picking up the one just beneath it.
Hunter asked me if I was okay today. The same way you used to. He put his hand on top of mine and let me stare down at my lap as I calculated my answer. His face reminds me of you. Soft and tender, but something always at work behind it. His eyes may be mine, but the thoughts behind it have become yours.
You always took the father figure role so seriously. I never understood why. I loved it, but it never truly made sense to me. He wasn't yours. But when I look at him now, I see more of him in you than I ever did Scott.
He may not have been yours through blood, but he is yours through heart. And he knows me inside and out, even when I feel like I don't know myself. My own thoughts betray me sometimes with Hunter. I feel like sometimes I say things to him because I long to talk to you.
He's your son, through and through. Even if DNA betrays that. But I took your son away from you. And I'm sorry. But I can't risk him."
Her fingers pinched the bridge of her nose, as though she thought it would stop the tears. A large ball formed in Lily's throat, and she wanted to scream and let it out, but she couldn't. Not with Hunter around. Not with Gen in the other room. Not with Rose so close to her own due date. She was mere weeks away from it, and here Lily sat, wallowing in her own self pity. Laying in the mess she made herself.
She picked up the third letter.
I thought it would get easier over time. That the hurt would heal itself at some point. But as I sat at my desk today, I knew it wouldn't go away. It may numb, it may become distant, but there will always be an open space where you used to be.
Rose told me that I should consider therapy, perhaps. But I'm not sure talking about the love I feel for you is possible. The sheer strength of it is something that terrifies me. I'm scared that voicing it will make it stronger.
You took over every part of me. Your smell, your words, you. Every morning I would wake up feeling happy to face another day, because you were there. Whether beside me or just in the city. You were there. And you were mine. But now, you're not. You may already be someone else's for all I know. I haven't dared ask Sam or anyone.
I don't think I'd survive hearing that.
Knowing that you're giving yourself to someone else the same way you gave yourself to me. Knowing that they return the same things I still feel for you. The same feelings that I couldn't voice to you.
But who am I to be upset? I'm the one who ended it. I'm the one who said goodbye, and turned my back without a second thought plaguing my mind until it was too late.
It's still too late."
Staring at her words, Lily slammed her hand down onto the light wood of her desk. She did this. It was her own fault that he was gone. Because when Lily asked something, he always listened. But the one time he asked her to listen to him, she threw him out. She said goodbye. She let him walk out because she was too stubborn to just listen.
Pulling the cap of her pen off, Lily pulled out a few pieces of paper. Her hand shook violently as she signed the date at the top, before pouring out everything she was always too scared to say onto the paper.
May 3rd rolled around mere hours later. Lily sat in her bed once again as the clock struck 2, and she stared at herself in her mirror. Eyes swollen, glasses crooked, face fallen. Her entire body seemed to be falling at once. Her chest was fallen, her shoulders frail. Her skin seemed lifeless. She was merely existing at this point. She still was a mother, she cooked, cleaned, and talked to Hunter. But when the door closed in her room for the night, her body fell into a droop. She shuffled to her bed without bothering to worry about her makeup, if she even decided to do any recently. Nothing about Lily was herself. She had become a husk. Simply a vessel to walk her head and heart around from room to room.
She missed him so much. She wanted him back. God, Lily would do anything to have him back right now. To open her eyes and see him lying in her bed with that same lazy smirk on his face. But when she did, there was no one in her bed. Just herself.
Her fingers dialled the number before she knew exactly who she was calling. Before she realized what this could do.
"Hello?" His groggy voice whispered into the phone.
"Lily it's 2 in the morning."
"I know...I know," she whispered, biting on the tips of her nails, "I just need to know..."
"Is he okay?"
Sam let out a whisper of a sigh, and she knew the answer before he even spoke again. It didn't relieve her. It hurt her more than anything. Knowing that she had caused it.
"He's a damn trainwreck, Lil," Sam answered, "He's always been the brooding type but there's something different now."
Lily placed her forehead into her hand, "Has he said anything?"
"He's lost a part of himself," Sam responded, the noise of shifting blankets echoing behind his voice, "You were something I can't even explain to him Lily. There's still a part of him with you."
She ended the call before he heard her lose it.
Rose took Hunter for the day. Lily could barely move in her bed the morning after she called Sam. Her eyes felt dry and heavy. Whenever she moved, a part of her screamed out for him. She felt so empty and just so...alone. Now that he was gone. But she wanted him back so badly her throat yelled out at her to tell him.
Call him, her mind said, tell him what you're thinking.
But she couldn't.
Because she already said goodbye.
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