Title: Don’t leave me this way – part 16
Disclaimer: Neither the show nor the characters belong to me. They belong to CBS. Nonetheless, I love to borrow them from time to time.
Summary: Sequel to ‘Worries, hesitancy and too much thinking.’Warnings: none
AN: I know, this took me ridiculously long again. Somehow, I’m stuck with the stories. And instead of my muse letting me push her, she decided – as usual – to try something new. In this case, another fandom.
Anyway, I haven’t forgotten about any of the other stories. I promise, I’ll push my muse as often and as much as she lets me. :)
Penelope’s heart beat faster as they entered the doctor’s office. Suddenly, she wasn’t so sure anymore if it had really been a good idea to take Derek with her to the ultrasound. This was very intimate, after all. Very private. She wasn’t sure she felt entirely comfortable undressing in front of him – even if it was just her growing belly.
But he seemed so overly excited about the ultrasound that she didn’t have the heart to tell him he’d better wait outside.
So she lay down on the examination table and reluctantly pushed up her blouse.
“Okay, let’s see how the little one’s doing,” Dr. Ramirez said with a smile, pouring some liquid onto Penelope’s abdomen. She gently moved the device over Penelope’s stomach. “Oh, it’s doing very well, apparently.”
Penelope sighed with relief at hearing those words and automatically reached over her shoulder to hold Derek’s hand. It had been a good idea to bring him with her.
“See, Baby Girl, I told you everything was fine,” he whispered, and gently kissed her temple.
“So… does that mean there won’t be any… problems because of the CCHF?” Penelope asked hesitantly.
“The first twelve weeks of the pregnancy are the most difficult,” the doctor replied. “Most of the miscarriages occur during this time of the pregnancy. Of course, after what you’ve gone through, there is still a slight chance that the baby will be disabled.
“But like I said, the baby is developing really well. There is no sign of a delayed development whatsoever. So the chances are just as high that the baby will be perfectly healthy. There are some tests to show potential diseases, like the amniocentesis. But it’s also very risky for the fetus, and you can’t test for every possible problem the baby could have, so I really think the risk is higher than the reward.”
“So the only thing we can do is wait,” Penelope mumbled, discouraged.
“You can also enjoy your pregnancy,” Dr. Ramirez told her. “Believe me, the risk that your baby is not healthy is minimal. From my point of view, everything is perfectly fine. You’re past the first three months of pregnancy. That means no more morning sickness, no more extensive mood swings, and a minimal risk of a miscarriage. You should be looking forward to having the baby now.”
Penelope took a deep breath. “Okay,” she whispered. “I’ll try not to worry too much.”
“Trust me, girl,” Derek told her. “The baby will be perfectly fine. It’s strong. At least as strong as its mother.”
“I guess it’s too early to tell the sex of the baby, right?” Penelope asked, trying to take her mind off of the possibility that the baby was not perfectly healthy.
“I’m afraid so,” the doctor affirmed with a smile. “We’ll have to wait a few more weeks for that. Do you have a feeling?”
“I don’t know,” Penelope replied. “I… don’t think so.”
“It’s a girl,” Derek said confidently.
Penelope turned to give him a questioning look.
“Well, that’s just… my feeling, you know,” he mumbled.
Before anyone could say anything to that, the door swung open and House limped inside.
“Hey, what do you think you’re doing in here?” Derek snarled at him.
“You know, technically, I could ask you the same question,” House responded, grinning at Derek.
“Unlike you, I was invited to be here,” Derek grumbled.
“Maybe you don’t mind telling me what you’re doing here,” Dr. Ramirez said, frowning at House.
“I’m checking on my patients,” House replied with a shrug. “That includes the baby.”
“No, that sure doesn’t include the baby,” Dr. Ramirez told him sternly. “The baby and its mother are my patients – and I’m asking you to leave.”
House opened his mouth to object.
“Now!” Dr. Ramirez added.
Mumbling something that surely was an indignity, House limped out of the room again, sitting down in one of the chairs.
“I thought you were off to L.A,” Fran mumbled, frowning at the man waiting outside the door to the gynecologist’s office.
“Why is everyone so eager to get rid of me?” House asked with a dramatic sigh, rolling his eyes at Derek’s mother.
“I have no idea, since you’re such pleasant company,” Fran mumbled.
Smirking at that, House told her, “I canceled the presentation there, and they don’t expect me to be back at work for a week or so.”
Frowning, Fran crossed her arms in front of her chest. “You canceled the presentation on your work as the most famous and most successful diagnostician in the world? Why would you do that and miss out on the standing ovations?”
“I got enough of that here and in
Sighing, Fran took a seat in the waiting room as well. “I really wonder how many people leave the room during your presentation because they can’t stand your self-adulation.”
“That is where Thirteen comes in,” he told Fran with a grin. “She’s responsible for appeasing the people I piss off and for the bootlicking. That’s why I sent her to
“Oh, I’m sure people will be devastated that you aren’t giving the presentation yourself,” Fran said with a sweet smile.
House smirked. “I inserted your daughter-in-law’s story to the presentation, you know.”
“Yeah, that sounds like you,” she answered with a sigh. “And you’re staying here to watch how the story will end so you get more proof that true love doesn’t exist? Let me warn you… If you’re waiting for them to give up on one another and go separate ways, you’ll have a long wait ahead of you.”
“Actually, I was hoping for a cheesy love story to come their way, after Penelope insisted on taking your son with her to the ultrasound.” House grinned at her.
Raising an eyebrow at him, Fran replied, “You think that surprises me? I could tell you incidents that are more interesting for their relationship than this one.”
Grinning, House moved to the seat next to her. “I’m listening.”
“But I won’t be speaking,” she told him, giving him a syrupy smile.
“What are you doing here, anyway?” House asked, changing the topic. “Don’t you think Penelope will wonder why you’re here? Wait, let me guess. There’s something you have to discuss with your son that she isn’t supposed to hear, and you thought he would be out here.”
“I’m pretty good at coming up with excuses,” Fran told him with a shrug. “So I don’t think Penelope will wonder why I’m here.”
“Why are you?” he repeated the question.
“Why do you think this is your business?” Fran asked him in return. “Why do you think any of this is your business? You’re not a gynecologist, so technically, your work is done. You don’t need to be out here waiting for the results of any ultrasound test.”
“The baby is my patient, too,” House responded. “I’m just trying to find out whether he or she is healthy.”
“Yeah, I’m sure you are,” Fran mumbled.
“The CCHF and the three months Penelope spent in a coma could have been harmful to the baby,” House insisted. “I’m just here to do my job.”
“The last four ultrasound tests all showed that the baby is completely fine,” Fran reminded him, raising an eyebrow at him. “What could have changed since then?”
“You never know,” House told her with a shrug.
“No, you’re just curious,” Fran replied. “You can’t stand not knowing whether Penelope and Derek will eventually sort things out.”
“You’re interested in my feelings,” he stated, grinning at Fran. “That certainly means you just rejected my invitation because your son doesn’t like me.”
“Dr. House…” Fran tried her best to keep her voice calm, despite the fact that this man was driving her insane. “I am very capable of choosing the people I want to go out with by myself. I don’t need my son’s, or anyone else’s, permission. So when I blew you off, it came from the bottom of my heart.”
“Why don’t we just grab a coffee, without calling it a date, while we’re waiting here?” he suggested.
“Isn’t there a girlfriend waiting for you somewhere?” Fran asked with a sigh. But before House could answer, she said, “Forget it. I withdraw the question.”
“Actually, there is someone,” House assured her.
Fran raised an eyebrow at him. “But you wouldn’t call her a girlfriend, because she’s inflatable.”
“Now you’re insulting me,” he said with mock offense. “I can afford a hooker.”
Rolling her eyes, Fran mumbled, “Ask me again why I don’t want to go out with you.”
“She’s not a hooker,” House added with a grin. “As a matter of fact, she’s my boss.”
Fran turned to him and frowned.
“What? >Yu don’t think I’m telling you the truth?” He raised an eyebrow.
“I was just wondering if she knows that you’re trying to hit on every girl that passes your way when she’s out of sight,” she replied.
“Not every girl,” House objected. “Only the ones I happen to like.”
Fran snorted. “You know, I really wonder what your ‘girlfriend’ would say to that.”
“You don’t think she exists,” House stated, and then asked, again with mock insult, “Do you really think no one could love me?”
“No, I don’t doubt that there are people who love you,” Fran replied honestly. “I just doubt that you can love someone.”
House frowned at that. “Yeah, sometimes I doubt that myself.”
Fran turned to look at him in disbelief.
Leaning over, he added in a low voice, “But since the sex is so amazing, I don’t think it matters much.”
Rolling her eyes, Fran remarked, “And there I thought you were capable of behaving like a human being.”
At that moment, the door opened and a smiling couple exited the room, not really looking at the two people in the waiting room.
“Thank you, Doctor,” Derek said, shaking Dr. Ramirez hand. “For everything.”
“Well, the fact that the baby is perfectly healthy isn’t to my credit,” she said with a smile.
“I believe it’s mine,” House whispered to Fran.
“Listen,” she said in an unusually harsh tone. “I’m not going to ask you twice. Leave my son and his fiancée alone!”
House opened his mouth to answer, but was interrupted by Fran. “Before you say something, yes, Penelope still is Derek’s fiancée, whether she remembers or not. And as far as Derek and I are concerned, that isn’t going to change, whether that fits your beliefs or not.”
“Actually, I just wanted to tell you that I won’t go before I know what excuse you came up with as to why you’re here,” he told her with a large grin. “Maybe I can learn something.”
“You have exactly three seconds to disappear, before I tell Derek that we’ll all witness that you didn’t leave him another choice, other than to beat you,” Fran hissed, as she got up to greet her son and a smiling Penelope.
“Hey, Mom,” Derek greeted, hugging his mother. “To what do we owe the honor?”
“I wanted to ask if the two of you have time for lunch,” she replied, smiling at him and putting her arm around Penelope. “And I want to hear everything about the ultrasound.”
“Well, there’s really not much to tell,” Penelope answered, smiling back at Fran. She was glad that Derek’s mother cared so much about her and her unborn child. It almost felt as if she had a real family to share all the details with.
They went to a small restaurant close to the hospital to order some lunch.
“What is the real reason you’re here?” Derek wanted to know when Penelope had gone to the rest room.
“I need a signature,” Fran explained. “For the insurance for your house. Apparently, you left out one space where you were supposed to sign.”
“Yeah, I can imagine that,” Derek said, rolling his eyes while he skimmed through the papers his mother had handed him. “I had to sign almost every page twice.”
“So,” Fran started, smiling at Derek as she put the papers back into her bag, “she asked you to go with her to the ultrasound?”
“Yeah, well, Penelope had a nightmare last night,” Derek explained. “It was more a memory, though. She remembered being shot. And I… Well, the only way I could calm her down was holding her. Then we talked, and… eventually, she asked me to go with her.”
Gently putting her hand on Derek’s arm, Fran said, “I told you things will resolve eventually. The fact that she remembered the shooting surely is a sign that her memory’s coming back.”
“I don’t know,” Derek sighed. “She keeps asking me about the father of her baby, and… I’m slowly running out of ideas on what to tell her.”
“What you always tell her,” Fran replied with a warm smile. “The truth.”
“Did I miss anything?” Penelope asked as she returned to the table.
“No,” Fran quickly replied, saving Derek from having to come up with anything. “We were just talking about how well you were doing.”
“I don’t know,” Penelope answered with a sigh. “It’s almost been a month already, and I… I can’t stop thinking that I’ll give birth to a child whose father I don’t even remember.”
“Don’t worry,” Fran said, giving her a reassuring smile. “You’ll remember. Even if your memory only comes back in pieces. You need to give it time.”
“Well, I’ve never been the most patient person,” Penelope replied.
“Really?” Derek called out. “I never noticed.”
Grinning, Penelope slapped Derek’s arm. “Funny man,” she mumbled.
Derek grinned back at her, a charming, flirtatious grin he saved only for Penelope. A grin that always caused her to blush ever so slightly.Fran smiled at the two of them. They would eventually work things out, even if Penelope didn’t remember. She was sure of that.