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20 February 2011 @ 11:58 pm
Numb3rs Fic: When the Opposite of Addition Isn't Subtraction  
Written for numb3rs100 Challenge #303 – Subtract

Title: When the Opposite of Addition Isn't Subtraction
Pairing/Characters: Alan/Margaret, Don, OCs
Rating: PG13
Word Count: 300
Spoilers: UP
Summary: Some might say it's not really taking away if you never really had it
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ

Donnie's in his terrible twos, clinging to Alan's leg, crying about not wanting to stay with Mrs. Tyne the babysitter. For a split second Alan recalls the look Margaret gave him when he asked if she was sure she wanted to try to have another child so soon; it was about as petulant as stubborn Donnie's only without the melodramatic tears for added emphasis.

Toddler son's tears dried, Alan drives to the hospital. Margaret's been on bedrest for weeks, but the doctor wanted her checked in when her blood pressure started to rise.

When he gets there he finds out they've just rushed her into an operating room. Despite his panicked protestations, they won't let him be in the room for the birth.


Baby in distress.

Emergency C-section.

His heart feels tight, strangled by worry in his chest. Alan's pacing feet resound in the vacant sanitized white halls as midnight comes and goes. She'll have a new birthday, he thinks, the 4th instead of the 3rd.

Still, she's early, too early. They haven't even gotten new pink sheets for Donnie's old white crib.

The door opens as a nurse exits and Alan sees a glimpse of the doctor inside shedding bloody scrubs.

Anxious, he shifts his weight from foot to foot, wringing paternal hands that long to hold his baby girl.

When the doctor catches sight of him, a split second glance before the door slowly shuts automatically, Alan sees.

He sinks into a nearby chair, shock filling his ears with ringing, his hands numb and useless in his lap.

"Mr. Eppes?" The voice is hollow, a distant echo in his head as grief swells up, obliterating his senses. "We did all we could. In the end we were only able to save your wife. I'm so very sorry."

Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on February 21st, 2011 08:11 am (UTC)
This fic isn't a prequel to Missing Third because I had no business writing that fic in the first place, but I must confess it was inspired by it at the very least and, of course, by its predecessor.

Yes, the summary sucks, but it's midnight and I'm stuck publishing what I've got even if I'm not fond of how callous it feels to argue the semantics of addition with such a grief filled topic.

And yes, women close to me have lost babies and a father I know was told his daughter died in childbirth. I can't even begin to voice what their grief is like, thus this fic having to be Alan's POV. Trust me, you don't want Margaret's.


Emma DeMarais
lilacs_roseslilacs_roses on February 21st, 2011 01:07 pm (UTC)
Re: Confession
/huggs /comfort /support.

... It was done well though, despite the complete heartwrenchingness of the topic.
Candi: Eppes - Familymustangcandi on February 21st, 2011 07:32 pm (UTC)

Poor Eppes family. Masterfully written hon.
ladygray99ladygray99 on February 22nd, 2011 04:13 am (UTC)
This just hurts.
Good work though.