DISCLAIMER: CSI New York and its characters are the property of Jerry Bruckheimer and CBS. No infringement is intended. Eden Ashley is an original character. All mine.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To debrafitzakerley[at]yahoo.co.uk
Eden Ashley Chronicles
They had both been in and seen Ava, and both had been declared fine fertility wise. So now everything was set, Ashley is actually on her way to Ava's office right now, to have her eggs harvested. She and Stella had decided that an anonymous donor was what they really wanted. Ava had provided them with a catalogue of potential donors, which they had spent an evening with a bottle of wine picking the perfect match, as well as checking the family medical history was good, and the educational background was okay too, they picked a donor who's physical appearance and ethnic background would match Stella's the most. That way the kid stands a chance of looking like their child.
They are both incredibly excited, but Ashley hates that they haven't shared it with Mac and Audrey yet. Obviously Mac knows they were thinking about starting a family, but he doesn't actually know the wheels are in motion, and it's taking everything she has to keep the information to herself. Stella is adamant though, she wants to at least wait until she's pregnant, and if at all possible, until she's past the three month mark, she really doesn't want to jinx anything, and she knows the traditional thing to do, is wait until three months has passed. Ashley thinks she may actually physically explode before then.
Ashley was gestured at by the receptionist at the doctors' offices to go straight into Ava's office, she smiles and walks in. Ava looks up from behind her desk and instantly smiles, and rises to greet her old friend, before taking a seat, and inviting Eden to do the same.
"Hi." Ashley still has a grin on her face, Ava can't help but comment.
"Hi, yourself. I see you've still got that silly lopsided grin on you face?"
"Can you blame me?"
"You really love her don't you?" Ava asks with a whimsical look on her face, even though the answer to her question is obvious.
"More than I ever thought possible."
Ava couldn't be happier for her friend, and she knows that although they don't see each other as often as they would like, they're still close enough that she can pose her next sentence.
"You know I thought after the whole 'Katy' episode, you were so messed up that you'd never really be happy again."
The smile falls from Ashley's face, as it usually does when she thinks of Katy's murder. "You and me both."
Ava still lost in her own thoughts. "Stella must be a really special woman."
Then the smile returns as it inevitably does when she thinks of her wife, and how she's brought the joy back into her life. "She is."
Ava smiles, and then shakes her head. "Right." It's almost as if she's just realised Eden is here for an actual reason, not just a catch up.
"Let's harvest some eggs." She wiggles her eyebrows at Eden, who instantly gets a little nervous.
"So tell me, what is the procedure exactly?"
Ava picks up on her friend's uneasiness. "Well, I won't sugar coat it Eden, there's a probe involved."
Ashley's head whips up at Ava's words. "A probe?"
Ava laughs, "Yeah I have to insert the ultrasound probe to get to your ovaries, and get the eggs, those drugs you've been taking should have stimulated egg production so there should be plenty for me to aim at."
Ava is trying to keep it as playful as she can. Ashley is still fixated on the probe. "Where exactly do you insert this probe?"
For someone as seemingly intelligent as her friend is supposed to be, she isn't half being dense right now. Ava laughs. "Where do you think Eden?"
That's what Ashley was worried about, obviously she assumed this was probably the case, but she can't help but voice her disgust, knowing her friend will take it in the good banter it is intended. "So I'm gunna have to get my bits out for you?"
This makes Ava really laugh, and Ashley can't help but join her. "I'm afraid so Eden. If you want to have a baby that is."
Now for Ashley's next concern, "Is it going to hurt?"
Ava stops laughing but the smile doesn't completely drop from her face, as much as Eden likes to play the tough guy, she knows that she hates doctors and medical procedures, and more to the point, pain.
"Well it will last about 30 minutes, and I won't lie, its gunna be a little uncomfortable. But I can give you some Anaesthesia to help with this."
"What's the next step after today?" Ashley as usual is eager to have a clear time line in mind.
"Well, once I've got you eggs, I will mix them with the sperm from the donor you guys have chosen, and then they'll go in the incubator for a few days, then if everything is going okay and progressing as normal, we'll get Stella in at the end of the week, for the transferring procedure, when we'll implant the embryos into her womb. Which by the way, will take about ten minutes, and won't hurt at all."
She can't help the playful dig, she actual winks at Eden as she says it.
"Great. So I've pulled the short straw then?"
"Oh yeah, 30 minutes of uncomfortableness, versus nine months of pregnancy, and child birth. You got the raw deal."
Ashley loves her friend's sarcasm; they're very similar in this respect.
"Right let's get this over with." Ashley is eager to get things underway. She can't help but give her buddy a little dose of banter back first. "Now Ava, when you see me naked, try not to fall in love with me."
Ava just rolls her eyes, Ashley continues. "Cos you know I kinda like your Husband, and things could get awkward."
"I will try to contain myself." She says it dead pan, in a way that means Ashley can't help to laugh out loud.
Ava wasn't kidding about the procedure being uncomfortable. But the good news is that it was successful, they harvested a lot of good eggs, and Ava was starting the fertilisation process immediately.
Ashley hadn't bargained on it hurting quite as much, so she hadn't thought ahead to book the rest of the day off work, as such she had just gotten back to the lab. She headed immediately to Stella's office and let herself in, without a word to Stella, who is sitting at her desk. She looks at her wife as she lowers herself gingerly into the chair opposite. She can tell there's something wrong. She just looks at Eden over the top of her glasses; it doesn't look as though she's going to offer an explanation any time soon.
"Is everything okay Shorty?"
"It kinda hurt you know."
"What the procedure?" Stella can tell it can't have been a pleasant experience due to the expression on Eden's face. Ashley just nods, to confirm she is talking about to procedure.
Stella now genuinely concerned, moves round and sits on the arm of her wife's chair, and puts her arms around her.
"Poor baby. Do you want me to kiss it better?" Stella smiles, hoping that Eden will smile too. Her little joke certainly has the desired effect, Ashley smirks at her spouse, but leaves her in no doubt of the fact that she is in some deal of discomfort.
"Not a chance. Nobody is going anywhere near anything down there for a good few days."
"Wow, it must be bad, if you're refusing sex."
"Ava said I should be back to normal by the morning."
Stella kisses the top of her head, and squeezes her a little tighter. "Did everything go okay?"
"Everything went perfect. You should be getting a call to go in at the end of the week, to go and get pregnant."
The excitement grows in both of them. Stella's certain her heart just skipped a beat.
"Right you, go home." Stella's words take Ashley by surprise. "Go on I'll clear it with Mac, go home have a nice hot bath. I'll try and get off early too, to come look after you."
"I knew being married to the boss had its perks."
Ashley grabs a kiss from Stella, she's not about to pass her up on her offer. "Thank you."
"No, thank you." Stella in so unbelievably in love with this woman, she would do anything for her, giving her the afternoon off, seems so insignificant compared to the gift Eden is giving her.
Later that week Stella had, had the call. She was currently at Ava's office, having the embryos implanted. A very distracted Ashley is currently out in the field with Flack, they along with Lindsay are presently investigating a double homicide.
Thankfully Ashley is on photo duty today, so she is just studying the crime scene, and photographing the body and anything of interest. Flack has obviously picked up on the fact that her mind is elsewhere.
"Hey yo Ash, is everything okay?"
Ashley is pulled from her thoughts, she knows Flack has spoken, but she has no idea what he's said. "Huh?"
"Do you wanna join the rest of us back down here on planet earth?"
Again Ashley doesn't have the concentration level to take in what Flack has said. "Huh?"
Flack has to laugh initially, but it's not long before he starts to worry, it's not like his best friend to be this distracted at work, she's an ultimate pro, he knows that whatever's on her mind must be damn important.
"Ashley." He grabs her shoulder to fully gain her attention. "Seriously is everything okay?"
She knows she can't tell him the truth, Stella would kill her. While she's thinking over exactly what she can tell him, her lack of answer has Flack racking his brain for what the matter could be.
"Is everything okay between you and Stella?"
"Yes. Yeah, me and Stella are great. Fantastic even."
This calms Flack a lot, he removes his hand from her shoulder, and just as Ashley is about to give some feeble excuse as to what exactly is wrong with her, her cell phone rings. Saved by the bell. She quickly checks the caller ID, its Stella.
"Excuse me, I've gotta take this."
The speed at which she exits the room intrigues Flack, but he guesses if there is something to tell, she will tell him soon enough.
Ashley answers the call as soon as she hits the front garden of the property she is currently investigating. She doesn't even extend a 'hello' to Stella; she just needs to know that everything has gone okay.
"How was it?"
Stella has to laugh; she can tell Eden must have been waiting for her call. She's not going to make her wife wait any longer. "Everything went great."
The relief pours out of Ashley. "That's fantastic."
"I know." Stella can't contain her excitement. "Now get your ass home as soon as possible."
This takes Ashley by surprise. "What, why?"
"Eden." She practically squeals. "Today could well be the day I get pregnant. I want my wife to make love to me on the day I get pregnant."
"Oh, okay." In her head Eden is thinking it's going to be hours before she gets home, they've still got lots to do at the scene. But she knows how important this is to Stella.
"I'll try my best Honey, but there's still quite a bit to get through here."
"Hey, you don't have to be home early, just before midnight."
"Wow I feel like Cinderella."
Stella chuckles. "Just promise me you'll try your best."
The call ends, and Ashley re enters the scene, with a renewed vigour and appetite to power through this case as quickly and as thoroughly as possible. After all, the incentive to get home on time has never been greater.
Ashley did make it home that night. They certainly made the most of it. Since then it had been an agonising two weeks, Ava had told them in no uncertain terms that they had to wait at least two weeks, before doing a pregnancy test. Something about how the fertility drugs Stella took at the transfer stage would give a false positive until they were completely out of her system, which generally takes up to ten days, but Ava really stressed that she'd prefer them to give it at least two weeks to be sure, the last thing she wanted was unnecessary heartache for them. Which to be fair is the last thing Stella and Ashley wanted.
So they waited, and waited, and waited, and the two weeks felt like about three years. Ashley is on edge. She's on her way home to Stella now, pregnancy test in hand. Well that's actually a lie, she has about fifteen different tests, all different brands, she is not taking anything for granted, she wants to make sure, before they get their hopes up. Ava told them to do the home pregnancy test, and if that was positive then she would schedule a proper one.
She practically flies through the door of hers and Stella's apartment. Stella finished work an hour or so before her. She laughs as she finds her wife sitting at the island in the kitchen, glass of some kind of pink looking liquid in hand, half empty jug of the stuff on the counter in front of her. Ashley smiles, she bets Stella's been drinking liquids all afternoon, which is good she supposed, she has got around thirty sticks to pee on, the majority of these tests are 'two packs' after all.
Stella looks up expectantly when she hears the door to the apartment open. She isn't disappointed when she sees her stunning wife enter the room, she is however wondering what she's smirking at.
"What's that?" Ashley nods her head towards the aforementioned pink stuff.
"Pink Lemonade." Stella hasn't got time for small talk. "Did you get the tests?"
Ashley grins at her eagerness, and instead of answering her question, she empties the plastic bag she's holding all over the kitchen island. A sea of pregnancy tests.
They decided to just do one to start with. After all if they weren't pregnant, the last thing they want is thirty negative tests lying around to remind them. So Stella had gone into the bathroom attached to their bedroom, and done the business, as it where, and Ashley had sat on the floor at the end of the bed waiting.
Stella joined her, she left the pregnancy test in the bathroom, they take about three minutes to get the results. Now doubt this would feel like about three days. Stella leans her head on her wife's shoulder.
"What if it's negative?" Stella voices the question that on both of their minds, the question that causing all of the tension in the air at the moment.
Ashley dreads to think. She didn't fully realise until right now, until she was sitting here on the cusp of parenthood, and the brink of all this possibility, just how much she wants this. She thought this was always Stella's thing, and as much as she thought she wanted kids, she was probably going along with it more, because she knew Stella was desperate for a family.
But sitting here, thinking about a negative test, makes her feel sick, it makes a lump form in throat, so big she can hardly swallow. She's desperate too, desperate for the test to be positive. Desperate, for a child of her own, desperate for her and Stella to add to their family. Desperate to have an even greater connection to this wonderful woman, this amazing woman who has changed her life so completely.
This woman that she loves so much, she knows that if she's scared Stella will be ten times worse, she needs to be strong, so she swallows down that lump in her throat, and musters the next sentence with as much confidence as she can.
"Well if it's negative, then we just try again."
They both sit in quiet contemplation. Then Stella suddenly seems to remember that they're doing something, in almost a panic she blurts out. "How long has it been?"
Ashley, who had also become lost in her own thoughts, quickly snaps her left hand to her face, and looks at her watch which she's been keeping time on.
"Three and a half minutes." She lets out a breath she didn't know she'd been holding and looks at Stella, who rather excitedly runs into the bathroom, and just as quickly runs back into the bedroom, and plants herself down next to her wife once more the whole time with the pregnancy test concealed from her view and from Eden's, who is a little confused at her wife's actions. Stella explains.
"We check together on three. Deal?"
Ashley smiles, of course she wants them both to find out at exactly the same time. Ashley just nods her head, and they both count down in unison, both terrified and excited in equal measure.
"Three . . . Two . . . One . . ."
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