Title: A Family Not Meant To Be.
POV: First person - Frank.
Length: 8.3k words.
Summary: Frank's worst nightmare, as a husband and a future father, becomes real when he wakes up in the middle of the night to find his love bleeding in the bathroom.
Disclaimer: I don't own or know MCR. This never happened. I am pretty sure men can't get pregnant in reality so there's no need to tell me if you suspect so, too.
Author's Notes: I wrote this almost a year ago and I'm rather proud of it. It's my first mpreg, so I was pleased with the result.
Warnings: Male pregnancy.
I held the cold, lifeless hand in mine as my thumb traced invisible patterns on the back of it like his usually did on mine. His hand didn't even hold mine back, no matter how hard I squeezed his, trying to get it to warm up and live, he didn't squeeze back lightly the way only he could. He didn't smile and slap my hand away when I reached out to stroke his hair lovingly, not caring if I ruffled it slightly in a way he didn't like because I just loved feeling his hair. His hair that stood out in the bright room that surrounded me with white. Everything was white, a sickly pale shade that just struck me as wrong. He wasn't supposed to look like that, not with the warm Italian blood running through his veins. Yet, most of that blood and the life within it were slowly seeping out of the veins they were kept in. Something, or someone, was stealing it.
The sound of the respirator filling his lungs with air and the beeping of the heart monitor filled the air, but I didn't hear them as I was simply too used to them. He breathed the neutral oxygen, not being bothered by the sickly smell of hospital that stung in my nose but I tried to ignore it. There were too many so much more important things to focus on in that room. Holding his hand, for example, as well as stroking his hair, running my fingers along his smooth arms, chest and stomach. His chest was rising and sinking slowly, his mechanical breathing soft as if he was just sleeping, perhaps about to wake up, about to just open his eyes and smile at me before granting me my morning kiss.
He didn't, it was just as if he was already dead, but the important thing that everybody kept telling me was that he wasn't dead. His condition was highly critical, but it was important to have faith. They kept telling me not to give up on him, to keep believing, to keep supporting him to recover. They asked me to make a choice, but how could I?
I held my fingers to his wrist, feeling the sickly weak pulse in his veins, watching the bag of blood hanging from the IV stat-stand, pumping in fresh blood, type AB+, into his veins. He was bleeding heavily, and even though they had been trying to stop it for hours they couldn't. They didn't know exactly where the problem was, and they didn't want to cut him open as they were afraid it would hurt the fetus, but then all of a sudden they started to think that it, the baby, was doing this to him, and they needed my permission to- to do something about it. How can you ask that of someone? How can you ask a loving husband and excited father to be to choose between his husband and unborn child? It wasn't fair. I didn't ask for this.
I sighed despondently as I leaned forward and let my head rest on his stomach, the baby bump. I tried, but couldn't stop a stray tear from falling when the soft, familiar kick wasn't there. It was still, just as if it had been empty, just a belly full of blood. It probably was though, he was bleeding internally and they couldn't fix it. They couldn't just put a happy, colorful Spiderman band-aid on the uterus or whatever it was that was bleeding. Not like my mom had done when I scraped my knee as a kid, telling me that a band-aid would always take the pain away.
If it only was that easy. I held his hand and brought it up to my lips, letting them run across the back of it for a few seconds before kissing each of the ice-cold fingertips. More tears escaped my already red eyes as I glanced towards the clock on the wall, wondering how it could only be 11.30 in the morning when it felt like I had been there for years. Was it really just that morning that I had woken up, missing him in bed?
I rolled over in bed, just wanting to get back to sleep as I had to get up early for work. Not opening my eyes I reached out an arm, searching for the sleeping body of my older husband but he wasn't there, there was just a warm spot where he had previously been. I moved further to my right in the bed, stealing his spot as I buried my face in his pillow, smelling his fruity shampoo on it. I sighed contently, hoping Gerard would be back from the toilet soon as I was about to drift off to sleep and wanted him in there to know he was okay.
I heard the toilet flush, showing that he was done in the bathroom, but instead of the bathroom door opening I heard a soft 'thump'. I assumed that Gerard had just knocked something over or something, but he didn't come back in. I should have gotten up to see what was taking him so long. I would have, but I was just getting closer to sleep and finally gave in.
I suppose I was just out for a few minutes, but something felt completely different when I awoke again. Everything felt off and Gerard still wasn't back from the bathroom. I sat up, not seeing anything as my eyes hadn't adjusted to the darkness and I didn't hear anything either. If Gerard had gotten up on one of his midnight kitchen-raids there would be sounds, but I couldn't hear anything coming from anywhere in the house.
"Gerard?" I asked out loud, hoping that there was something other than just darkness listening. I was starting to get worried about him, and when I heard a quiet, barely audible whimper coming from behind the closed bathroom door I got up out of the bed immediately. I shivered in the night air, but shrugged it off as I approached the door, "Gee, baby, are you alright?"
"F-Frank?" I heard a hoarse whisper and twisted the doorknob, silently thanking Gerard for never locking the bathroom door at night. Time seemed to slow down and all these thoughts and 'What if?'s came running through my head, almost making me dizzy. What if he was hurt? Maybe even dying? He needed me, what if I couldn't help him?
"Frank, I need you to come to the hospital." Gerard's usually smooth voice was hoarse and raspy, sounding as if he had been crying as his voice flooded through my cellphone.
"Why? What's wrong, baby, what are you doing at the hospital?" I asked worriedly, immediately starting to have worst case scenarios playing out in my head.
"Nothing, just get here, please Frank? I just need to have you here." His voice pleaded with me and instead of asking any other questions I said I'd be there in ten minutes, still worrying and wanting to know what had caused my fiancé to be so upset.
I don't know what I had expected, if I really could have imagined something so bad, but shock and terror was mainly what was pumped around in my veins when I opened the door and found him. He was lying on his side on the white tiled floor, looking as if he tried to curl into a ball, but failing as his seven months pregnant belly got in the way. He was facing the wall, eyes wide open but they kept flickering around, not being able to focus on anything, not even my face as I sat down, carefully pulling his head onto my lap and turning his face up to look at me.
"Frank?" He looked at me but was still having trouble focusing as I carefully brushed his long dark hair out of his face. His face was partially covered in blood that was oozing out of a small cut on his forehead which he had probably acquired by hitting his head when he fell. It had mingled with the salty tears running down his face making it look like he was crying blood. Why had he fallen? What had happened?
"Yeah, I'm here, Gee. I'm here, baby." I felt tears of my own trickle down my cheeks as I grabbed one of his hands and kept seeking eye contact with him. I felt so powerless, not knowing what on earth I was supposed to do but worry and wonder what was wrong. Was my unborn son okay? "What happened? Do you- Do you know..." My words drifted off, worry controlling my system.
"It hurts. Make it stop hurting." He moved his free hand slightly down to his stomach and my eyes followed, for the first time seeing the pool of blood my husband was lying in. How could I not have noticed it before? It was so much, so red and such a huge contrast against the white tiles and Gerard's white skin as it was spreading from his middle, soaking his underwear.
"I'm going get you to the hospital, okay? Just wait here a minute, you'll be fine, baby." I got a few small towels from the cupboard next to me and put them under his head before getting up and running into the bedroom, pulling on whatever clothes I could find on the floor. I got a few large towels and blankets from our large wardrobe and got back in to Gerard, a few tears running down my cheeks as I saw him. He wasn't moving. His eyes had slipped shut and his chest was barely rising. I fell back down on my knees next to him, stroking his cheek.
"Gerard, open your eyes. Talk to me, sugar, don't fall asleep." His eyelids fluttered slightly. "You need to stay awake for me, for me and Aaron." He groaned lightly and his hand moved over his large belly.
"We- We're going to have a baby." He whispered, looking down at the floor instead of up at me, where I was standing in front of him and holding his hand. I reached my other hand out to his face, gently lifting his chin to try to look into his face, to try to understand, but he still looked away.
"Gerard, what are you talking about? What-" Had he, no he couldn't have, he wouldn't do that. He loved me, right? "Gee, how? Have- Have you che- cheated on me?" I swallowed deeply, clamping my eyes shut and forcing the tears that threatened to escape to stay hidden behind my eyelids.
I suddenly felt him reach out to me, pulling me into his arms as he buried his face in my hair, "Frank, no." He spread his legs where he was sitting on the hospital bed, letting me come even closer before he grasped one of my hands, moving it to his stomach. "We, you and I, are having a baby, Frank." His voice cracked at the end of the sentence and I felt the wetness of his tears in my hair as they fell from his eyes.
"Gee, that's... impossible." My arms automatically found their way around his body, holding him close to me as one of my hands threaded softly through his hair in a soothing manner. "You- You can't be- It's not possible." I whispered helplessly in his ear, wondering what to believe. Common sense that was backed up by science, or the words of my boyfriend?
"Frank, I am pregnant."
So it was possible, although it shouldn't have been. If it hadn't I wouldn't have been where I was, sitting in a dead hospital room, clutching on to the hand of my dying husband and running my hand over the belly where my son was. They told me that the baby was as good as dead, but that meant that there was still a chance. I couldn't give up on him, they had told me not to give up, although they were most definitely focusing more on Gerard than our baby, our son.
He wasn't kicking, and my husband was just bleeding, his heart rate dropping with every fifteen minutes, even though there was always an almost full bag of blood to be pumped into him, replacing the red liquid that spilled out of him. I hated that I couldn't feel his body heat or his hand holding on to mine, and I hated that I couldn't see his eyes. He wouldn't open them, not even when I cried and begged for him to do so, or when I cried and told him that his son needed him.
"Mr Iero?" A female voice spoke behind me as she poked her in through the door. I hated her, not because I knew her or anything, but I hated every single person working at that place. I hated them for forcing me to do this. I turned my head to look at the young nurse, hoping that she could see the pain, love and inevitable indecisiveness in my face.
"It's Iero-Way." I corrected her shortly, hoping that she'd just go away and leave me with my family. I turned back to him, to them, and brought Gerard's hand up to my lips, kissing his knuckles softly.
"I'm sorry, Mr Iero-Way, but we need you to make a decision now. Just because he's hooked on machines and blood transfusions it doesn't mean he can live like this forever." I felt a hand on my shoulder and wished that it was bigger. I wished that it was Gerard's, and that I could actually feel him comforting me in some way, give me a sign of what to do.
"I just, I need more time." I whispered and she left the room, leaving me to think and grieve in peace. There wasn't a way to save both, was there? I knew what Gerard wanted me to do, he had told me just hours earlier, but I couldn't. I needed to find another way, there had to be one, whatever the price was. For the second time that morning I did something I never thought I'd do again; I prayed.
"He's not kicking." A fresh batch of tears escaped his eyes as he uttered those words, for the first time this morning looking straight at me without his eyes flickering around, and I realized that we really needed to get going if I didn't want to lose both my husband and unborn child. I got the towels and blankets and wrapped them around his body, cursing myself for letting him lie there in just his boxers which were soaked in blood.
I picked him up carefully and carried him through the house, talking to Gerard the whole time and trying to get him to say something back, to let me know how he was feeling or just anything, but he couldn't. His head was just hanging backwards as he was too weak to support it and I was afraid he was slipping out of consciousness again. I was afraid that it might be for good. "Gee, open your eyes, say something."
"Close your eyes sugar, just relax." He did as he was told, nuzzling his head in the crook of my neck as he lay halfway on top of me, one of his legs in between mine. My arms were wrapped tightly around him, his hands entwined with one of mine as my free hand gently rubbed his belly. It was still rather flat, since it had just been between two and three months, but we were both fully aware of what was growing in there. A very special baby.
"I'm sleepy, Frank." He whispered in my hair and I smiled, squeezing his hands softly as my other hand kept tracing patterns that only I could see on his stomach.
"I told you that you just need to relax, then it comes by itself. It's just your imagination that tells you that you need pills. You really don't, baby." He giggled softly and the short breaths warmed my neck.
"Not as long as I've got you." His hands released mine as he rolled over on to his stomach but still on top of me, supporting himself on his hands which were placed on either side of my head. "I love you." We both smiled at one another as he leaned in, attaching our lips in a tender kiss. One of my hands found it's way up to his face, gently caressing his cheek as we let the kiss deepen for a short moment before pulling away.
"I thought you said you were sleepy?" I gazed up in his pretty hazel eyes, noticing how tired and worn out they seemed. He needed sleep, but since he was forced to quit taking his sleeping pills because of his... pregnancy, he just couldn't get there. He smiled weakly and kissed the palm of my hand softly before taking my hand in his and laying down with his head in the crook of my neck.
"I am, but I don't think I can-"
"Just relax, Gee. Just sleep." Gently pressing a finger to his lips, I whispered in his hair before I once again wrapped my arms around him and let my fingers run over his pale, smooth stomach. I just lay there with him in my arms for I don't know how long, but I lay there until I felt his breathing slow down to a soft, even pattern, effectively telling me that he was finally sleeping.
"Gerard, don't leave me, don't fall asleep. You're okay, you and Aaron are going to be just fine. Just stay awake." Tears were constantly falling down my face as I carried my bleeding, lifeless and pregnant husband through our dark house. I had to put him down on the couch nearest to the door so I could go and open the car door and then go back in for Gerard to carry him outside and put him in the car. After unlocking and opening the door to the backseat of the car which was parked outside I ran back in, gathered my husband in my arms and kicked the door shut behind me as I hurried back out. I laid him down and somehow buckled the seatbelts around him to make sure he didn't roll off the seat before closing the door and running around the car and getting in on the drivers side.
I put the keys in the ignition, but then I just sat there without even starting the car up, leaning my head on the wheel as I sobbed. I couldn't understand it, why it was happening, what I had done wrong. Why had I been granted an amazing husband and even a child-to-be if I was going to lose them? Why were they being taken away from me? "Why is this happening to me? Why them?" I whispered to myself, before silently begging to whatever almighty force there might be in the world to not take my family away from me.
Why and how had all of this happened? The doctors had said that everything was great and that the baby seemed healthy just the day before, so what could possibly have crept up behind us and attacked so suddenly? Gerard had been just fine earlier that night, he just had some troubles with getting to sleep. Could he possibly have been so stupid that he- No, he wouldn't have done that. No matter how hard it had been for him to stop taking the sleeping pills he had been prescribed for six years, since he was twenty-three, he had accepted that he had to do it for his, our, baby. The doctors weren't sure at all how much Gerard's body would be affected by the pregnancy, or if the baby would be more sensitive than usual, so it was very important that he didn't take any medications or drank any alcohol, just to be on the safe side. He wouldn't have put our son at risk just like that, would he?
"I want an abortion." He whispered from where he lay on the bed, his back turned to me and staring straight at the wall. He had curled up in fetal position with a large pillow over his stomach, hiding what was there as if he just wanted to deny it ever happened. I left my position where I was standing by the door and climbed up on the bed, crawling over to Gerard and reaching my hand out to touch his shoulder, only to have him shrug it off. "Don't touch me!"
"Gerard, what's wro-" I tried again to put my hand on his shoulder to somehow try to soothe and comfort him, but as he interrupted me he also shrugged me off again.
"I just don't want to have this baby, Frank. I don't want to do it." His voice cracked slightly, signaling that he was crying and I tried a third time to come closer to him, holding in a sigh of relief when he finally let me. I carefully crept closer, not wanting to upset him any further and slowly lay down behind him so I was spooning him and wrapped my arms around his belly, lacing my fingers with his over the pillow. He didn't respond, but his breathing was strained from the crying and choked sobs, and I didn't know what else to do but to press my lips to his neck, hoping he would know that I was there for him.
"You can't possibly mean that, Gerard, not- not now. You're already five months long, you've been so excited until now, you can't just change your mind." I whispered softly, only to have his hands move away from mine in another attempt of shutting me out. "Just tell me why." I snaked my arms in around his stomach again, under the pillow this time so I could gently rub the growing bump. Then I felt something.
"I'm a freak. I want it to stop. I want to be normal again, please make it stop." I felt him tremble in my arms as he cried more heavily, letting the sobs out and I just tightened my grip and rubbed his belly, still amazed by the subtle movements I could feel inside. That's what he wanted to stop, but how could he? It was a miracle, our miracle, in there.
"You're not a freak, you're amazing. Why do you want it to stop? You used to really look forward to when we would be able to feel it." I kept moving my hands over his stomach, loving the feeling of my baby boy or girl moving underneath them.
"It's wrong. I'm not supposed to be like this. I'm disgusting." He kept sobbing in my arms, and his words made me realize that he didn't mean it. He wanted this baby, but he was scared about carrying it. I moved my hands from underneath the pillow to remove it, and Gerard didn't even fight to keep it there, he just lay there. I gently grasped his hands in mine, putting them over his stomach so he could feel what I felt, and not just what could be felt on the inside.
"It's not wrong, Gee, it's beautiful. You're perfect and our baby is the most amazing baby in the world. I love you, both of you and I won't ever leave you. I'm here for you, Gerard." I kissed his neck softly and whispered with my lips still pressed to his skin, slowly feeling him starting to relax in my arms and I could also hear his breathing return to normal as the sobs ceased.
"I love you, Frank. I don't know what I would do without you." He whispered as he laced our fingers together properly over his stomach so we could both feel the soft movements inside, causing me to smile in his neck.
"You'll be the best dad ever, Gee."
I was suddenly awoken from my dreams and memories by small whimpers coming from the backseat and I jumped in surprise before turning around so I could look at him. "Gerard?" I whispered and got a painful groan in response. In the darkness of the car I could just vaguely make out his head turning from side to side as he tried to figure out what was happening and where he was. "Gee, say something?" I whispered, wanting to hear his voice, and wanting some kind of confirmation that I wasn't imagining it.
"Frank... Aaron's... he's- I think he's kicking." For the first and only time that morning my face lit up with hope and my heart rate sped up as I thought that there might be a chance, I might get to keep them both. "It hurts."
My happiness and hope didn't last long as I heard him cry in the backseat, but I did turn back forward and finally got the car going, intent on making the ten minute drive to the hospital no longer than five minutes. He couldn't- I wouldn't lose him. I wouldn't let myself do that, and I wouldn't let anyone take him away from me, nor would I let anyone cause any harm to my son. My own flesh and blood. It was finally sinking in, now in the middle of the night, that I was actually having a child of my own, but now I might lose him and never get to hold him in my arms anyway.
Not really knowing how I made it there without crashing, I eventually pulled up outside the ER, not caring about parking the car anywhere in particular. They could do whatever they wanted with it as long as my husband got some help. I unbuckled my seatbelt as fast as I could before opening my door, getting out and opening one of the backseat doors as well. I swiftly undid the seatbelts around Gerard, whispering sweet, soothing little nothings to him as he just whimpered weakly, drifting back into unconsciousness.
"Gerard, please stay awake. Don't leave me, I love you." I gently lifted him up and out of the car, for the first time looking around me, finding it to be nothing as I had expected. Realizing I had spent way too much time in my life watching stupid shows like 'ER' I stared at the empty area where I had expected ambulances to be, or at least doctors waiting for ambulances to come and bring them sick people to treat. It was empty.
As I started to walk towards the entrance, silently hoping that someone would come out and meet me with a wheelchair or a gurney or something, I felt Gerard squirming slightly inside the blankets, emitting louder whimpers and sounding as if he was trying to say something. "Shh baby, I'm getting you help." I whispered as I had to stop to tighten my grip on him, something that wasn't easy as I held the package of towels and blankets bridal style.
"P-pro-promise, Frank," I heard him say, the first thing he had said clearly enough for me to make out since he said that the baby was moving.
"What, promise what?" I asked, utterly confused. I had promised countless times to never leave him, and to never give up on him. He didn't seriously think I'd change my mind now, did he?
"I- I l-love yo-ou," he stuttered out, blood and tears cascading down his face, glittering in the sharp light from inside the hospital. But there was a smile on his lips, confusing me even more. "P-please, do-don' w-worry, don't worry a-about m-me." I felt my own tears pour out more heavily as we stood there in the cold night and I wanted to do nothing but reach my hand up and brush his hair out his face and wipe the tears and blood away. "P-pr-romise you'll s-save h-h-him."
"Gerard-" He couldn't ask that of me, I couldn't lose him.
"P-promise, n-no m-mat-matter w-what." I was shaking, and he probably was too, the cold doing nothing but worsening his already critical condition, but I couldn't move. I just couldn't do anything, not what he needed, not what he asked of me. "P-please, Frank." I knew it took all of his willpower and last strength to get out what he wanted to say, and I felt so guilty, knowing I should have just walked inside and let the doctors help him several minutes ago.
"I- I promise," I cried softly, and suddenly came back to reality where I could move and do something to at least try to help my dying husband, to try and save my unborn child. I walked hurriedly to the doors, now realizing that my arms and back was aching after holding Gerard up for so long, and fearing that I might drop him if I couldn't put him down soon.
Upon entering the calm ER I uttered one cry for help, immediately having several doctors and nurses running to my side, taking Gerard from my arms and eyes to a room where they quickly unwrapped him and started examining him. Another doctor grabbed me and brought me somewhere else to ask questions about what had happened and what his medical history was and if there was a special doctor they should call. I felt a cup of lukewarm, watery coffee get pushed into my hands as I answered the questions, feeling as in a trance. My mind wasn't even in that room but in the examination room where they had my pregnant, possibly already dead husband.
I hated what his last words to me had been, and I regretted what my last words had been. I didn't think I would be able to go through with giving him up to keep our son, our Aaron, alive and I shouldn't have promised to do it. If Aaron didn't make it- Gerard would hate me. He would never forgive me.
What was I meant to do now? He was lying there just before my eyes, pale and cold as if he was already gone, but he was alive. His heart was beating, no matter how weakly, it still beat, and the machines were breathing for him, filling his living body with oxygen. His face was relaxed, clean and pure, the tears and blood washed away by some nurse and the cut on his forehead was stitched together neatly. He wasn't stitched up on the inside though, the blood and life just flowing out of the veins where it belonged to fill up empty spaces in between the sensitive organs that worked so hard to keep the fragile body alive.
The doctors still weren't sure of what was wrong with him, but as soon as I had mentioned that he used to take sleeping pills and that he had occasionally said that he wanted to have an abortion, they had ordered multiple drug tests and were still waiting for them. I had asked them why they couldn't just pump out his stomach and make sure there weren't anything that could damage him any further in it, but they just said it could hurt the baby. It was the same thing with surgery, they couldn't open him up because of the baby. They couldn't do anything because they had to take the baby into consideration, especially since Gerard was a man and they weren't sure of 'how his ovaries were located'.
I groaned angrily, wanting to kick and throw everything and trash the room. I felt like punching the doctors, being so fed up with their constant bullshit. The excuses of not being able to do anything because of Gerard being a pregnant man that they didn't know how to treat were all lies. When Gerard got pregnant we had found out that the doctors had known about his abnormal physical state ever since he had his appendix removed as a kid, but not even his parents were told. Now they were stalling, wanting to get the media there so the hospital could sell our story and make money, not caring about us who really had to pay the highest price. Because of their fucking greed I was sat here for ages, being told that there was nothing I could do but wait as they did everything they could to save Gerard without hurting the baby. Then all of a sudden they come and tell me that I have to give them permission to abort the baby; that I had to let them kill my son to save my husband.
I was close to doing it several times; just wanting to get it all over with and wanting to have Gerard back, I almost chose to sacrifice my baby. I kind of hoped that it would be like in the bible, and that God was just testing me to see if I was willing to give up my child to have Gerard back like Abraham was told to sacrifice his own son to God. God had let him know he was only testing him just before he took the boys life and I forced myself to believe that if I let them take Aaron they would come back five minutes later and tell me that they didn't have to do it. I tried forcing myself to believe it but I couldn't. I couldn't find it in me to just let go of my son when I had promised Gerard I would fight for him and save our boy. But the fetus was like a parasite, eating away at Gerard's body, energy and will to live just as the doctors and media fed on our misery. They weren't even sure that the baby was alive anymore, but I couldn't give up just yet. Gerard didn't want me to give up and the doctors had said that the baby's pulse might just be too weak for any monitors to sense it.
I clutched my husband's cold, lifeless hand tightly in mine, pressing my face to it just to feel it as warm tears started streaming out of my eyes once more that day. "Please wake up, Gee. Just come back! I can't do this without you. I can't choose," I sobbed, wishing he could just hold me like he used to do before his stomach got to big and was in the way. The stomach that hosted what was the cause of all of our problems. I wanted nothing more than to have Gerard back and I'd honestly give up anything, even my son, but he would hate me. He asked me to save the baby, the possibly already dead fetus that was tearing apart his insides, making him bleed more and killing him by slowly sucking the life out of his heart. He begged me to save Aaron instead of saving him and I had promised that I would.
I leaned back, still gripping his hand tightly as I looked at his calm face, wishing that the sweet smile on his lips actually meant something. He looked so relaxed just because he trusted me and I wished he wouldn't. I saw in my head how desperate he had looked early that morning when I found him, how his tears had mingled with blood, making it all into a tragic but beautiful painting. I looked at his empty smile again and remembered his last real smile of happiness from the night before.
I couldn't help but smile as I gazed into his eyes, amazed by how happy he seemed and how his entire face lit up with the beautiful grin on his lips. His eyes sparkled as if all the stars in the sky were captured and put into his magical pools of hazel. They were so full of life, so beautiful and so happy; he hadn't even been close to this kind of happiness since we got married, the thought of having a baby making it much more difficult to focus on the bright side of things.
He leaned down and attached his lips to mine affectionately and I happily kissed him, my hands resting on his large belly where I could feel our baby kick. His hand cupped the side of my face as he pulled away, smiling as he whispered, "I'm so happy." I smiled and took his hand as I lay down on our bed, waiting for Gerard to take his place beside me. "I'm so happy we finally decided to find out the baby's gender today. I just can't believe we're having a son, a little boy." I sat up next to him, one of my hands stroking his hair out of his face as the other once again found his beautiful belly.
"Me too, baby. I don't think I've ever seen you this happy before." I kissed his lips tenderly before laying down with my head on his chest, feeling it rise and sink rhythmically below my head.
"Do you still think I'll make a good dad? I kinda feel like I can actually do this now." One of his hands threaded softly in my hair as I grasped the other one and kissed his fingertips softly.
"You'll be the best dad ever." I smiled and rolled over, pressing my lips to his stomach. "Ain't that right, little guy?" I lay down with my head on his stomach, ear pressed to his skin as I listened but didn't hear anything. Gerard was still running his fingers softly through my hair and looked at me strangely as I smiled up at him.
"We need to decide on a name for him. We can't avoid it anymore now that we know it's a boy," he sighed happily.
"He could be Frank IV... What do you think?" I smiled, rolling over again and moving up to his face, sealing the question with a peck on his lips, gazing into his eyes as I pulled away.
"Yeah, that's okay. I've always loved Aaron, though." I was instantly disappointed that he didn't want to give our son the name I had inherited after my father and grandfather. I had always been a bit sad about not being able to have a son to give that name to because I was gay, and now that I was having a son he wouldn't get that name anyway. The disappointment must have been evident on my face because Gerard immediately continued, "If you hate it, it's okay. We'll go with Frank if that's what you want, baby."
I smiled widely, tears welling up in my eyes as I kissed him deeply again, silently thanking him for being so amazing when I acted so selfishly. This man who was my husband was actually giving me a child, the son I had always dreamed of having, and I was acting like a spoiled brat because I couldn't give my baby a certain name. "Aaron it is."
His eyes glittered in surprise and happiness when I pulled away and his hands encircled my face, caressing my cheeks tenderly. "Really? If you don't-"
"I love it, Gerard, and I love you. Frank is a bit out-of-date anyway." He pulled my face back down for another sweet, passionate kiss, both of us smiling happily.
"I love you too. You are amazing, thank you so much for being here, for doing this with me." A stray tear slipped out of the corner of his eye, running down in his hair. I smiled at him as I wiped the trace away and he continued, "Thank you for giving me our little boy and making me the happiest man in the world. I'm sorry about being so... difficult, about everything before. I just- I want you to know that there is nothing in the world that I'd rather do than raise our son with you." More tears glimmered in his eyes and I felt them well up in my eyes as well as I leaned in and connected our lips once more.
"Thank you, Gerard. I love you more than you'll ever know," I whispered against his lips, smile playing on both of our lips as tears were still visible in our eyes.
"I think I know more than you give me credit for," he whispered and I pecked his lips before lying down with my head on his shoulder and my arm across his stomach. I pressed my lips to his skin and both felt and heard Gerard let out a soft sigh, "I can't wait 'til we get to see and hold him. I just want to know that it's for real."
It was real, too real for me to like it. "I- I'm sorry Gerard. I'm sorry, but I can't lose both of you, especially not you. I'm so, so sorry." I kissed his hand, letting my lips travel over the cold skin as my hot tears flowed down my cheeks, some of them landing on the back of his hand. "I'm sorry I can't give you up for him, I- I'm s-sorry I can't k-keep my p-promise." I stood up, my left hand still holding his as my other hands slid up his arm to his shoulder, neck and his face. My thumb brushed over his cheek as if to wipe away the tears that should have been there, and my fingers traced over his face, lightly brushing the closed eyelids. "I'm sorry you won't get to hold him in your arms or see him like you want to. I'm sorry I have to let him go."
I was trembling as I reached for the button which would call a nurse to the room, knowing that as soon as I did this it was final. My son would be dead. I pressed it anyway, knowing that I'd soon change my mind if I didn't do it quickly when I had finally set my mind on it; on saving my husband.
"Frank?" A voice spoke behind me and I recognized it as Dr Olsen, Gerard's doctor, the man who had been with us through this whole ordeal and had been supposed to deliver the baby. He wouldn't get to do that, no one would ever hear the beautiful first cry of our son because there could be none.
"I want you to save him. I need to have Gerard back." My hands still trembled as the left one still gripped his tightly and the right one once again caressed his cheek.
"I promise, they'll do their best. But you need to understand that his state is very critical, Frank. Considering his current state with the terrible loss of blood he already is weak. His body might not be able to take the surgery, he might not make it." I turned around to look at the kind face of a man in his fifties with gray, thinning hair and spectacles perched on his nose. I knew he was telling the truth, only to warn me and prepare me for what could happen. He was the only one who had always cared for us and how we were coping with our situation instead of trying to sell us out like most people would have.
"I know, but he'll make it. He's strong and I have faith in him. He wouldn't leave me like this," I whispered, turning back to Gerard's sleeping form. I don't know how much I meant of what I said, I might just have been trying to convince myself to believe in him and have faith in that he'd come back and recover. I needed him to be okay and to forgive me for being so selfish and claiming him to myself.
"I'll get someone to take him up to the OR then. If you want to say goodbye to him, this will be the only opportunity you get before the surgery. Use it well, Frank." I heard him exit the room, signaling that what could be my last time with Gerard started. But I couldn't say goodbye to him. He wasn't dead yet. If I said goodbye, he might believe that I wanted him to go and he'd give up.
"I love you, Gerard. I love you so much and I'm so sorry. I wish I didn't have to do this, but I do and I just hope you'll come back to me. Forgive me, baby. Please." My hand was now stroking his hair, trembling fingers running through the dark locks as I bent down, firmly placing my lips on his pale forehead. The tears on my face dripped down on his skin and hair, leaving a final trace of me on him so that I would never leave him, mentally or physically.
"I love you so much, Gerard, so much more than you'll ever know. Please come back to me." I straightened my back as Dr Olsen returned, a few nurses with him to take Gerard away. But not forever, I reminded myself. They'd only take him away to repair him, to fix him so he could be mine again. He'd come back to me, and we could maybe have another baby. We'd make it and we would have our family.
I reluctantly let go of him, my hands leaving his soft hair and the familiarity of his hand. Tears rolled silently down my cheeks as a warm hand patted my shoulder comfortingly, belonging to the man watching the bed being rolled out of the room with me.
"You'll be fine, Frank. No matter what the outcome is today, you will make it," Dr Olsen said calmly but I only sniffled loudly in reply, feeling so alone now that I couldn't even see my husband. That's when I realized how long the next few hours were going to be, how horrible it would be to wait for the answer, to find out if my prayers had been answered at all.
I was showed out to the waiting room where all sorts of different people were, all for different reasons. Some were young and some were old. Some looked sad and some looked as if they'd always have a bright outlook on life, no matter how difficult it was. Some looked terribly sick whereas some looked completely well. It was strange to see them all and wonder what their stories were, why they were there. Were their situation perhaps slightly similar to mine or was I actually as alone in the world as I felt? The clock was ticking by and I felt lonelier with every passing minute, I felt more dead with every hour that was lost in that damn waiting room where everything was so hideously anonymous. Gerard wasn't dead, was he?
I received the answer to my final question around three hours after Gerard had been taken away and my face and heart lit up with hope as I saw the doctor and friend walk through the room and towards me. I couldn't read his face and, when he asked me to go somewhere else to talk, my heart immediately sank again. It was bad. He led me to the family room and asked me to sit on one of the old, uncomfortable couches as he sat down in an armchair on the other side of a small coffee table. I hadn't cried at all during the long wait but, as I sat down with the doctor, I felt the tears creeping back into my eyes and down my face as I stared down at my hands, resting in my lap.
"I'm sorry, Frank, there was nothing we could do." I could literally feel my heart split in two, no thousands of tiny parts, at the realization of everything being gone. "The best surgeons we have did everything they could, but he had lost too much blood. His heart stopped four times, and the fourth time it just wouldn't start back up again." Large teardrops kept flowing out of my eyes but I still cried silently, not having enough energy to sob or even sniffle every now and then. I was tired, exhausted and heartbroken. I was alone.
"He is still upstairs if you want to see him. Your son is too," he said sadly.
"Why did this happen? He was fine yesterday, why did he get sick?" I whispered, not looking up from my hands that just lay limply in my lap.
"We don't know. He might have had a better chance of making it if we had been able to operate sooner. I'm sorry Frank. Do you want to see them?" I looked up at him and shook my head. I couldn't look at them, although I wanted to. It was my fault; I shouldn't have waited for so long to let them help him. I should have known from the beginning that everything was over.
We should have known it. We had been fooling ourselves completely, actually believing that we were meant to do this, and have a baby together just because it happened. Coincidences don't happen for a reason, some times it's just nature that has fucked up. Two men aren't supposed to have a baby, they aren't supposed to get pregnant, no matter how right it feels and how well it seems to be going. It was wrong and Gerard had been right all along. If he had had that abortion he wanted he'd be okay now. We'd be together. We had clearly been punished for our naivety though. A family like ours was just never meant to be.