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
"Wait, what does two lines mean?" Ashley jumps up and runs back into the bathroom to check the instructions.
Stella just smiles. "We really shoulda read the instructions beforehand."
Ashley isn't really listening to her wife, she slowly walks out of the bathroom frantically looking at the crumpled piece of paper in her hands, she flips it over and scans the other side. Stella can't take her eyes from her wife she needs to know, she's watching for any change in demeanour.
Ashley see's what she needs to, she stops still her hands drop to her side, Stella watches intently, but she can't read her. She can't take the tension. "Well?"
Ashley snaps out of her daze and looks down at Stella. "Two stripes means pregnant."
"Really?" Stella questions gently.
"Really." Ashley is on the verge of tears, she feels so unbelievably overwhelmed emotionally, but so incredibly happy at the same time. She needs to be sure though.
"Right. Do another one."
Stella immediately agrees, she just nods her head at her wife who practically runs out into the kitchen to grab some more tests, she shouts over her shoulder at Stella as she exits the room.
"I think I got ones that actually say, 'Pregnant' or 'Not Pregnant'. Probably better for us."
Stella just chuckles at her wife's words.
Around three gallons of pink lemonade and 30 pregnancy tests later, 29 of which have been positive, Stella and Eden are currently lounging on their sofa, feeling pretty pleased with themselves. Ashley has called Ava and a clinic pregnancy test has been scheduled in for first thing tomorrow.
Stella is laid on the sofa with Eden in front of her, head leaning back onto Stella's chest. They are both lost in thought. Ashley thought her mind would be pre-occupied with planning, but all she can think about is what her child might look like. Kids really do turn your mind to mush.
Stella on the other hand is actually surprised at her own train of thought. For some reason she's thinking about Frankie, her ex boyfriend, who she had killed in self defence. She had never spoken to Eden about him, but now she has the overwhelming urge to bring it up, and she's not sure why. She guesses she just feels like Eden needs to know everything about her, they're bringing a child into the world, and Eden needs to know exactly what she's capable of. Without thinking she just blurts it out.
"I killed an ex boyfriend."
Of all the things Ashley was expecting to hear at that precise moment in time, those five words were definitely bottom of the list. She pulls herself up into a sitting position and turns to face Stella, with a look on her face which most definitely conveys 'why the hell have you just brought that up?'
Stella feels rather sheepish, she can barely look Eden in the eyes, she just takes a deep breath, and repeats the words again.
"I killed an ex boyfriend."
It appears that's all Ashley is going to get from her wife for the time being, so she offers her response.
"You know?" Stella is genuinely surprised.
"Well yeah, it made the news at the time Stel." She's speak as gently as possible, still not sure exactly what's going on, but aware that Stella looks a little unstable emotionally.
"Why didn't you tell me you knew?"
"It wasn't my story to bring up?"
Stella smiles, she feels so stupid. "You must think I'm such an idiot, pushing you to tell me all about your attack, and all along I didn't have the guts to tell you about mine."
Stella can't help the tears that fall from her eyes. Ashley just feels incredibly sad, she still doesn't know where all this is coming from. "Hey, you didn't push me to tell you anything." She grabs Stella's hand to reiterate her words.
"I told you when I was ready to tell you, and I just assumed that you would do the same with this."
Stella just nods, tears still falling. Ashley continues gently. "What I don't understand, is why now?"
Stella's not sure she knows herself, other that this fear she's currently feeling. "Doesn't it worry you that I killed my partner?"
"Worry me?" Ashley is genuinely concerned about Stella's frame of mind.
"Yeah, you know that I might lose my temper. I mean we're both cops Eden, there are plenty of guns in the apartment."
Ashley can't believe her ears; surely the pregnancy hormones can't be making Stella insane already.
"I know you're not insinuating what I think you are." Stella just looks away; she doesn't know why she's doing this. Ashley continues, as she does she pulls on Stella's hand causing her to look at her.
"But for the record, I know that you shot him in self defence. That the simple choice was him or you, and I for one am glad that you came out of the other side. So no it doesn't worry me. It fills me with pride that the woman I love is strong enough to not be a victim, and is willing to stop at nothing to protect herself, and I know that that protection extends to the people she loves. You would stop at nothing to protect me or that little baby growing inside of you, and that makes us the luckiest family alive."
Ashley gestures at Stella's stomach as she finishes her little speech.
"Stella, I'm not scared of you, and I know you would never do anything to intentionally hurt me, or our children."
Unbelievable, Stella can't believe it; Eden once again proves she knows her better than she knows herself. She has said exactly what she needed to hear, After Eden's impassioned plea, Stella feels stupid for even worrying about it to start with, she knows she could never hurt her own family, but as ridiculous as it seems, she just needed to hear Eden say it.
Ashley's still slightly worried that Stella hasn't spoken, but she has stopped crying, so she hopes this absurd notion is out of her head now. She decides to try and lighten the mood.
"Plus, I know I can be annoying some times, but I like to think even I couldn't piss you off that much." She smiles her little joke has had the desired effect, Stella smiles back and grabs her into a hug. Feeling pretty stupid.
"I'm sorry. I guess now this is really happening. Now I have your baby growing inside of me, I'm just terrified I'm gunna mess things up."
"Hey, I'm scared too. But I think you shooting our baby is probably the least of our worries."
Stella laughs again at her own stupidity and buries her head into the crook of Eden's neck to try and hide her embarrassment. Ashley just kisses the top her head and smiles. Wow babies really do make people crazy.
Well its official, Stella is two weeks pregnant; she and Ashley have been walking on air ever since Ava officially confirmed the news this morning. They arrived at work a couple of hours ago, Stella has gone out on assignment with Hawkes, and Ashley immediately knows she is going to be overly over protective of Stella now she's pregnant, she is worried sick that something bad might happen. Her focus has been on the elevator since Stella stepped out of it, and she knows she'll only feel at ease, when she's back in the lab safe and sound. Ashley really hopes this wears off, because she hasn't been able to concentrate on anything.
Another thing stressing her out is Mac, every time she sees him; she flees in the opposite direction. She is dying to tell him he's going to be a grandpa, but she knows Stella will kill her if she does. She really doesn't trust herself to not just blurt it out, hence the avoidance tactics. It's a lot easier to avoid her grandmother, with her being on the other side of the country, but she guesses their daily Skype sessions are about to get a lot more interesting.
Mac was beginning to develop a complex, every time he's seen his daughter today she has run away from him, he's determined to get the bottom of it, as he cant for the life of him think what's he's done to upset her so much.
He spots Eden sitting in the DNA lab, she doesn't appear to be doing much work though, she's just fixated on the entrance. She is definitely distracted by something. He walks up gently behind her.
"Eden." He says it softly enough, but such is Ashley's concentration on the corridor, it really takes her by surprise and scares the life out of her, she nearly falls right off the seat she's sitting in.
After taking a few breaths to regain her composure, she realises who's standing in front of her. "Dad hey."
"What's going on Eden?"
"What do you mean?" Ashley knows exactly what he means; she's trying to buy herself some time, to think about what she's going to say to him.
"You've been running away from me all morning. You're distracted; you all but jumped out of your skin just now." Mac is really starting to worry.
He watches as Eden wracks her brains, she has no idea what to say to him. "Eden I mean it I want an explanation."
She can't do this, she can't lie to him. "Roof?"
He just nods; he knows this is Eden's refuge. He follows her straight up to the roof, and watches as she leans on the wall and looks out over the city. She hasn't spoken for a few minutes. Mac hasn't taken his eyes off of her.
"Are you in some sort of trouble?"
Ashley smiles at Mac's words. "No. It's nothing bad."
She hopes that calms her father a little. It does, he takes a deep breath, it's almost in relief, and joins her at the wall, looking out over New York.
Ashley really is fighting with herself internally. She agreed with Stella they would wait until three months has passed before telling anyone. But she desperately wants to tell Mac.
She still hasn't spoken. "You're gunna have to help me out here Eden. I don't think I'll be able to guess anytime this week."
Ashley smiles. "You have to promise me you won't tell Stella."
"Why is it every time you bring me up on this roof, you make me promise to keep a secret from my oldest friend?" he smiles to show he's only being half serious.
"Well technically, you won't be keeping a secret from Stella, she already knows. She just doesn't want you to know."
She realises that sounded slightly harsh. No going back now. "You're going to be a grandpa."
Mac was reeling a little from Eden's previous statement about Stella wanting to keep secrets from him, he heard the word grandpa, the shock hit his face immediately, then a huge smile. He can't believe it. He knows last time they were up here Eden told him they were thinking of starting a family, but he had no idea that they had actually really looked into it. He pulls her into a hug, he is feeling overwhelmed and emotional by Eden's news, he has about a million and one questions to ask, and it appears his brain has stopped working properly, he just blurts them all out.
"What? When? How? Who? Why doesn't Stella want me to know?"
Ashley laughs out loud; Mac can't help but join her. She thinks over the questions he's just thrown at her and tries her best to answer them all.
"You're going to be a grandpa. We are two weeks into the pregnancy. I m not sure you really want me to go into the how. Stella is pregnant. And of course she wants you to know, she's just really panicky about telling anyone before the end of the first trimester." She thinks that's covered everything.
That was a lot of information for Mac to take in. He's developed about a million more questions. He decides to take a breath and ask them in more normal manner.
"Yeah I hear its bad luck to tell anyone in the first three months."
He see's Eden's face drop. "Hey, its and old wives tale okay. Nothing bad is going to happen because you've told me."
Now he understands why it was such an effort for Eden to tell him.
"So Stella's pregnant?"
Ashley can't help the smile that hits her face, hearing someone else say it made it even more real. "Yeah, like I say two weeks. But it's my baby."
Mac looks bewildered; he doesn't want to ask the obvious question for fear of looking stupid. Eden chuckles and takes pity on him.
"One of my eggs was fertilised and implanted into Stella." She doesn't want to get too technical with him. "But what that means is, that this baby will have Taylor blood in its veins. So you will be a Grandpa in every sense of the word."
This tips Mac over the edge emotionally, he can't speak, he just pulls his daughter in for another hug, and he really doesn't think he's been happier than this in his entire life. After a minute or so, father and daughter have composed themselves; Eden has gone back to staring out over the city.
"That's why I've been so distracted today. With Stella out at a scene, I'm just a thousand times more worried than I normally would be."
"I'm sure you'll get used to that. I know Danny did." He looks at this beautiful young woman before him, and can't believe he's been blessed with such a truly amazing, caring daughter.
"You're going to make a wonderful mother. Two weeks in and your already worrying like crazy."
"That's the thing, if I keep this amount of worry up, and I'm scared I will actually make myself crazy."
Mac giggles. "Give it time. I think the three month mark will calm you both down."
"It really can't come soon enough." Ashley really means it, she can't wait to hit three months, not only will they be out of the woods danger wise, but she'll be able to tell everyone. She can't wait to tell Flack and Adam, she can't wait to talk to Danny about what it's like having a pregnant wife; she has about a billion questions for him already.
"It will be here before you know it. Then you'll have an actual baby to worry about."
Again the look of panic on Eden's face makes Mac laugh out loud. "Sorry to be a smack of reality there Honey."
She exhales loudly, she was worrying so much about the pregnancy she hadn't even thought about the impending mother hood that would follow.
"You and Stella will be fine."
"I know we will. And we'll have the world's number one Grandpa on hand for babysitting whenever we want."
Now it's Ashley's turn to smirk, but rather than panic Mac, it fills him with excitement. "Absolutely. Now come on, let's get back to work."
They had back down into the lab, Ashley feels like a weight has been lifted from her shoulders. She's not looking forward to telling Stella that she's told Mac.
Stella arrives back at the lab, she needs to speak to Eden, so she's pleased when she enters her office and sees her wife sprawled out on the sofa.
"I see you're hard at work."
Ashley looks up immediately, as soon as she sees Stella she's on her feet. "Are you okay? How was the scene?"
She reaches out and puts her hand on Stella's stomach as she speaks. Stella has honestly never felt more loved than she does now. She places her hand on top of Eden's on her stomach.
"The scene was fine, I'm fine." She smiles as she speaks.
"Thank God for that. Stella I've been worried sick, I don't think I can cope living every day like today."
Stella knows today has been difficult for Eden, the text messages she's received every five minutes asking her how she is where testament to that. She's decided that Eden needs to share the burden, before she drives herself insane, or drives Stella insane. Truth be told she was a little scared herself today, any small knock she took, she panicked. She kinda feels like they both need someone to talk to outside of the pregnancy.
"I think we should tell Mac." She looks Eden directly in the eyes.
She can read her expression instantly. "You've already told him haven't you?"
"Yeah sorry." She feels bad. "If it's any consolation I told him not to tell you that I'd told him."
Stella smiles. Ashley has to ask. "Why the change of heart?"
"You're gunna drive me crazy if you don't have someone else to talk to about this." She says it completely dead pan. Ashley starts to take offence, until Stella can no longer keep the smirk off her face.
Ashley just tuts and shakes her head. Stella offers her a more accurate explanation. "I just kinda feel like we need all the help we can get. You know how scared you feel?"
Ashley nods to confirm that she is scared, like the most scared she's ever been. Stella continues. "Well I think I'm probably about ten times more scared. No actually make that a hundred times more scared."
"Really, and usually if I'm scared, I would run to you, but before you came along, I would run to Mac. I kinda feel like we both need him for this."
"Phew." Ashley is really relieved. She pulls Stella into a hug, and they stay like that for some time. Happy that they are really going to deal with this as a family. Now Ashley just has her Grandmother to worry about.
Return to Miscellaneous Fiction
Return to Main Page