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
Well the day has finally arrived. Stella is officially three months pregnant. Ashley is delighted. She has been dying to tell everyone since they'd found out, the amount of times she'd come close to spilling it to Flack or Adam, the amount of times she's cut short her Skype sessions with her Grandmother Audrey and blamed it on a 'technical hitch.' Now finally she can shout it from the rooftops.
Stella is so happy; she too finally gets to tell Lindsay, she's been looking forward to having lots of 'pregnancy chats' with her best friend. Although she thinks Lindsay may have inkling already, Stella has been suffering with morning sickness, and every time she leaves the ladies room at the lab with that 'pregnancy glow' Lindsay always seems to be around with a knowing look on her face.
Stella has a small bump now, and if she's honest she loves it, she can't stop touching it, can't wait for it to get bigger. It seems Eden has grown the same obsession; she can't keep her hands off her. They have their first official scan later on today, and as soon as they get the all clear everyone is going to know. But before all that, Ashley's grandmother Audrey's fight is due in any second.
So here Ashley is again in JFK airport, waiting for her Grandmothers flight from Chicago to land, she's primarily been based in Chicago as that's where Zane and Sienna go to school. They couldn't make the trip with her for that very reason, and as much as Ashley would have loved to tell them all together, face to face, she knows she absolutely has to tell her Grandmother in person. She would never forgive her if she didn't.
Ashley is pulled from her thoughts when she sees the unmistakable smile plastered on her Grandmothers face, she quickly moves towards her and pulls her into a bear hug, and kisses her on the cheek, before passing her the bunch of lilies she daren't not bring with her.
Audrey gives her Granddaughter a wry smile before speaking. "Tell me Eden Alexa, what was so important that you had to drag me all the way to New York?"
Ashley can't help the excited smile that hits her face. "All will be revealed soon Grandmother. We'll grab your bags, and then head back to the lab. Mac's gunna take you for lunch."
Now Audrey is really intrigued.
Ashley and Stella have basically just palmed Audrey off on Mac. Ashley could tell her grandmother was not impressed. But they wanted to get the all clear before they go around telling everyone, of course they'll still tell Audrey no matter what, but they'd rather have everything confirmed first.
They are currently at Ava's office, their first official scan. Stella is lying on the bed stomach exposed, and Ashley is holding her hand, already staring at the screen, even though Ava hasn't put the transducer on Stella's stomach yet, Ava chuckles at her friend's eagerness.
"Right Stella, I'm gunna put some gel on your stomach, it might be a bit cold."
Stella nods, and Ava rubs the gel over her new friend's slight bump. "Now I'm going to place the handheld part of the machine onto your stomach. Then Ashley there'll actually be something worth looking at on that screen."
Stella and Ava both laugh at Eden as she pulls her glare from the screen. "Sorry I'm just really excited."
Stella squeezes her wife's hand before fully concentrating again on what Ava is saying. "You will be able to hear the heartbeat too."
Ashley looks at Stella and smiles, who smiles back. They are both excited and nervous in equal measure, they both hope with all their hearts that everything is okay. Ava places the white probe onto Stella's stomach. They both hold their breath. Scared stiff.
Ashley is waiting for a heartbeat to sound, so much so that she thinks her own heart actually stops beating, not only that, but she's looking intently at the screen, she can't really decipher anything though, it's just a big blur to her.
Ava moves the probe around on Stella's stomach, until she settles on what she apparently needs to see. Although Stella had laughed at her wife a few minutes ago now, she too has become engrossed in the small monitor.
The heartbeat kicks in, and they both hear it through the microphone on the monitor. Ashley exhales, that's got to be a good sign right? Although on a closer listen Ashley thinks it sounds a little weird, it doesn't seem to be a uniform beat; she looks at Ava, whose current expression does nothing to quell her fear. Stella catches Eden looking at Ava, and then she two picks up on the expression on Ava's face, but she can't help but panic and ask what's happening.
"Ava what's going on?" Ava pulls the portable monitor closer to her so she can get a better look, but doesn't answer Stella's question.
Ashley too is now in full scale panic mode. "It's the heartbeat isn't it? It sounds strange."
Ava seems to suddenly realise that the two expectant Mums' are out of their mind with worry. She smiles, which calms them slightly, and then turns the monitor, so they can both see.
"Guys calm down. Do you see this?" Ava points at what looks like a slightly misshapen circle on the screen. They both nod, unable to speak.
"This is your baby, 12 weeks, perfectly formed, healthy."
The relief pours from the two women; Ashley lowers her head and kisses Stella's hand, which she is holding in a vice like grip. Stella just takes a deep breath and squeeze's Eden's hand even more. Ava makes herself heard again.
"I'm not finished yet ladies." There's that panic back with a vengeance. She decides to put them out of their misery as quickly as she can.
"You see this?" She points at another misshapen circle, to be honest Ashley had assumed this was part of the first circle. Again both women nod, Ava could actually laugh at the confused faces on the two women.
"This is your baby, 12 weeks perfectly formed, healthy."
Now they are both extremely bewildered, Stella just looks at the screen trying to figure out what Ava is talking about. Ashley doesn't have as much restraint as her wife, she voices her confusion.
"Have we just entered groundhog day? Ava you've just told us that."
Ava smiles and looks from Eden to Stella, back to Eden again, wow it appears they really haven't got it.
"You guys! You know for intelligent women, you really are being dense right now."
Ashley really hopes her friend explains herself soon; she feels like she's gunna have a heart attack. Nope they still aren't getting it; Ava is in fact going to have to spell it out.
"Twins ladies. You're having twins, non-identical, but twins all the same."
Stella can't help the smile that hits her face, although she's almost certain that's because there is nothing wrong with her baby, sorry babies. Ava continues to speak, but it all a bit of a haze to Stella and Ashley.
"Two perfectly healthy, normally developing babies. Congratulations guys."
Neither speaks. Ava can tell they are both in shock. "I'll give you guys a second." Ava exits her exam room, giggling to herself, she knows how worried Ashley's been about one baby, god knows how she feels about two.
"Two babies." It's all Ashley can manage at the moment. Stella just looks down at her wife, she's not sure if it's a question or a statement of fact.
"Are you okay Shorty?" Eden seems to be in a trance, Stella is slightly worried.
Ashley snaps out of it. "Do you really think we can cope with two babies?"
Stella smile. "Yes."
That was all Ashley needed to hear, she smiles at her wife, and gets up from the chair she's been sitting in, she kisses Stella firmly on the lips, before pulling back, the grin on her face is the widest Stella's ever seen it.
"Two babies." This time Eden says these two words, it's full of excitement and possibility. Stella can't help but get excited too. She grabs Eden's face and brings her lips back to her own, this time the kiss is more than a quick peck, it's filled with love.
They pull apart when they hear the sound of someone clearing their fault; it seems Ava has joined them again.
"I take it the news has sunk in now then?" Ava can't help but grin. She starts to rub the gel from Stella's stomach with a wet wipe.
"You know, the way you deliver news leaves a lot to be desired." Ashley wiggles her eyebrows at Ava.
"I knew you two could take it." She smiles at Stella. "So are we happy that's its gunna be double the fun?"
"Ecstatic." Stella really is. She knows it will be hard, but she can't wait.
"I printed you guys a few screenshots, I figured Audrey will be demanding one to take with her, so I made a fair few copies for you."
She hands the envelope to Ashley, who smiles gratefully at her friend. "Thank you."
"Okay, now we know its twins, I want to be extra careful. So I want you back in, in four weeks for the next scan."
Stella nods. Ava hands her an envelope of her own. "This is some reading for you. Twins is a whole different ball game."
Stella peeks in the envelope intrigued, Ava explains a little. "You'll need to rest more, gain more wait, have more regular check ups. But read the literature, and we'll go through it fully on your next appointment."
"Great, thanks Ava." Stella pulls her sweater back down over her stomach, and jumps off the table.
Ashley jumps up and takes Stella's hand, before turning to Ava.
"Always a pleasure." She pulls her friend into a hug, and kisses her on the check, Stella follows the same pattern.
"Make an appointment with my secretary on your way out, and I'll see you guys in four weeks."
They happily make their way out of the office, Ashley can't wait any longer she pulls one of the photo's out of her envelope, and she and Stella both look at it excitedly, you can make out the two separate embryos on the screen shot. Perfect.
Audrey Harbridge is not impressed. She arrived in New York around lunch time. It's now around 5.30pm and the two people she really came to see, namely Eden and Stella, have been nowhere to be seen. She saw Eden earlier obviously at the airport, but since then nothing. She has been well and truly fobbed off on Mac, and he's been acting shady too. She wants to know what's going on.
She's sitting in Stella's office in Stella's chair actually, handbag on knee, waiting for her Granddaughter and Granddaughter-in-law to arrive and give her some sort of explanation.
It appears her wait is over. Stella and Eden walk through the door of Stella's office, smiling and joking. Audrey fails to see what's so funny. Ashley stops smiling as soon as she sees the look on her Grandmother's face. She is not a happy bunny, Stella has also picked up on this vibe, it seems Audrey's annoyance is about to be vented.
"Eden Alexa Ashley Bonasera." Ashley actually flinches. Stella feels sorry for her wife, but deep down she's glad that she's not being told off. Audrey continues.
"Did you really invite me to New York, to spend the entire first day with Mac? I mean don't get me wrong, I like the man, but I would have liked to spend a bit more time with the two of you."
Before her grandmother goes off on a complete tangent, Ashley interrupts.
"I'm sorry. But we're here now, and we're all going to go for dinner as a family. Mac too." Ashley has her hands up in a defensive manner, hoping this appeases her Grandmother. Audrey knows there's more to this.
"Eden. What's going on?" The old ladies eyes are pleading, Ashley almost cracks under the pressure, she has to give her Grandmother some snippet of information to hold onto.
"Look we have asked you to come here for a reason, but all will be revealed over dinner okay?" Ashley gives Audrey her best 'pleading eyes.' It seems to have the desired effect, Audrey just nods, and she supposes she will find out soon enough what the hell is going on.
The four of them, the irregular family, yet family all the same, have been at the restaurant for about 20 minutes. They have just ordered. Ashley can tell her grandmother is sulking. She decides, no time like the present to put her out of her misery.
"Okay so as you know, we do have some news." Audrey perks up immediately, this better be worth it.
Ashley wants to get one thing straight from the off. "Now I want you to know, that Mac already knows." Audrey eyes Mac suspiciously; he's wearing rather a sheepish grin right now. Ashley carries on.
"But he doesn't actually know the full story."
Now it's Mac's turn to look shocked, Audrey can feel the triumphant smile hit her face, in reaction to Mac's currently expression. But the smile is only there momentarily, her focus is almost immediately back on Eden and Stella. Eden is struggling with how to word the next part; Audrey clearly doesn't have the patience to wait.
"Come on child, what is it?"
Ashley decides to just blurt it out. "Stella's pregnant. You're gunna be a Great Grandmother." Audrey's brain processes the information, she is delighted, so delighted in fact she doesn't really know how to convey her current feelings, she moves immediately round the table and pulls her Granddaughter and her wife into a hug, when she pulls back she realises she crying, which in turn make Ashley blub.
"A baby?" She reaches out and places a hand on Stella's stomach, which Stella is more than happy to accommodate.
It's her grandmothers words, which make Ashley realise there's more to this story that she needs to get out.
"No not a baby."
Now Audrey's confused, so is Mac. Stella can see mass confusion all round. She places a hand on top of Audrey's hand on her stomach, this gets her attention and Mac's all eyes are on her now, she decides to finish the tale her wife has started.
Audrey actually gasps, full on open mouthed gasps. Ashley can't help but laugh, she looks over at Mac, who looks as happy as he did the day he found out that there was one baby, he catches Eden looking at him so she takes the opportunity to explain.
"We found out today at the appointment." Mac just nods, he really is feeling very emotional.
Eventually Audrey moves back round to her side of the table, and the four of them enjoy a wonderful dinner. All talk is of course baby related. One thing's for sure, the Harbridge-Taylor-Bonasera family, is a happy one right now.
Stella had arranged for Lindsay to come round that evening, she can wait to tell her best friend. So she and Audrey had headed back to the apartment, Ashley on the other hand has a date with her boys, Adam and Flack, and Lindsay has taken Lucy with her, so Danny has been lucky enough to be released for the evening, however he's still not drinking after the Santiago incident.
She's just walked into the bar, and she sees the three of them immediately. Flack is animated, he must be telling one of his stories, it must be a good one, as the other two are completely engrossed in whatever he's talking about. Ashley joins them at the table, Flack immediately stops his story.
"Hey, here she is."
Adam passes her a beer; she eyes Danny's glass of orange juice, and raises an eyebrow. This isn't lost on Danny, or Flack or Adam, who smirk at him, he decides to defend himself.
"Come on guys, you know Lindsay will kill me if I come home smashed."
"I think as long as you actually make it home she won't be too bothered either way." Ashley can't help but tease him; he made it far too easy for her. Flack high fives her. Adam just laughs.
"What if I told you we are celebrating?" This gets all three of their attention. All eyes are firmly on her, none of them speak, but all are wearing expressions that clearly scream, 'well what are we celebrating?'
Ashley looks at all three of them whilst taking a swig of her beer, before deciding to put them out of their misery.
They all look like their eyes are about to pop out of their heads. But all three are now wearing brilliant smiles, before anyone has a chance to get a congratulations, or a question in, Ashley speaks again.
"That's not the best part."
Adam is intrigued and apparently the only one of them that has regained the ability to speak. "What is the best part?"
That's it, the three guys immediately run around the table and dive on Ashley, bear hugs all round. Ashley giggles, she really loves these guys. Once they release her, she composes herself.
"So what do you reckon, are you three ready to be Uncles?"
"Hell yes." Flack is so excited. "Right this calls for Champagne. Danny, get rid of that juice. There is drinking to be done."
Danny is still a little wary of drinking, he looks over at Eden. "I take it this is the reason Lindsay is going to yours tonight." Ashley just nods. "I guess in light of this news, she won't mind me having a couple."
"That's what I like to hear." Flack has returned from the bar with a huge bottle of Champers and 4 glasses, he pours the drinks and passes them out, before raising his glass in a toast, the others follows suit.
"To Eden and Stella, I for one can't wait to see them attempt to handle two babies."
Flack smirks and winks at her, and Ashley smiles back at him, they all clink glasses.
"Let the drinking commence." Ashley is in the mood to celebrate, to be fair, she needs to do it while she still can, she doubts there will be time for this when there are two babies to attend to.
Lindsay and Lucy had arrived at Stella's about an hour ago, the three woman, the two CSI's and Audrey have worn Lucy out and put her down for a sleep in the guest room. Lindsay is excited, although she and Lucy often come round and have these play dates with Stella and Eden, she knows there's more to this one.
Stella can't hold it in any longer, she and Lindsay are sitting on the couch and Audrey is lounging in a chair, they have all been happily chatting, Stella decides it's time to turn the conversation up a notch.
"So Lindsay, you probably guessed, I asked you round here for a reason."
A Cheshire cat like grin hits Lindsay's face. Stella takes this as a sign to continue. "So. Erm. I'm three months pregnant."
Lindsay actually squeals. "I knew it. I knew you were having morning sickness." She dives on Stella, and the two women embrace, Audrey just watches them both, her granddaughter has so many amazing people around her in New York, no wonder she loves it here.
Lindsay pulls back. "Right I want to know everything."
All three woman burst into fits of giggles at Lindsay's enthusiasm.
They spent the rest of the evening chatting, Audrey and Lindsay recounted their stories of pregnancy and Stella asked about a million questions about pregnancy, labour, child birth, motherhood, and she's sure if they had time she could have asked a million more. But she absolutely loved talking about it.
The evening came to an end, when a rather drunk yet deliriously happy Eden and Danny fell through the front door of the apartment singing a rather interesting version of Justin Bieber's 'Baby'. Stella and Lindsay couldn't help but find them both adorable. Stella is really excited about everything, about life in general. She has to pinch herself; she can't believe how lucky she was that Eden Ashley walked into the doors of the New York crime lab all those years ago.
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