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09 September 2006 @ 12:34 am
 
Title: A Bump On The Road
Author: Carolina
Rating: G
Challenge #10 - Novice
Word Count: 1,000+. I lose :(
Spoilers: None
Author's notes: Read part one first.



Eric watched dully as a tangle of linguini swam around a puddle of Alfredo sauce. Looking at the meal, he knew it would be his last, just like he knew it would probably be his last night on Earth, because as soon as Calleigh came home she was going to shoot him dead.

In the living room, Eva entertained herself by hitting the toys dangling from her walker. She looked fine, he thought, acted normal despite the big, red, pulsating bump on her head. The doctor said it wasn't a big deal and there was no cranial damage, but what the fuck do doctors know? He'd spent the rest of his day testing her reflexes, flashing random objects in front of her, making wild noises in an attempt to figure out if she was normal, but he quickly came to the conclusion there was no way to tell if there was brain damage. Not yet, anyway, not until the special yellow bus showed up in front of the house 5 years from now for her first day of kindergarten at Lil' 'Special' Haven Elementary.

When he heard Calleigh's car pull into the garage his balls dropped to sub zero temperatures. His heart began to beat wildly and he tried to concentrate on dinner, but the task seemed menial. He realized quickly he should've called his parents to say goodbye and updated his will, but there was no time now. As soon as Calleigh appeared in front of the door that connected the kitchen to the garage, and thus blocking his safety exit, he knew he was going to die in the hands of the woman he loved.

Calleigh smiled warmly and suddenly he felt a tang of hope, but it was sure to be short lived. She approached the pot on the stove, picked up a string of linguini and dropped it in her mouth, savoring it with an enticing, "mm," before she gave Eric a kiss. He watched her intently as she began to take her jacket off.

"How was work?"

"Oh."

Oh. Oh was good. Oh meant work had been boring an uneventful and she was in a mellow mood. Oh was good. Maybe there was hope after all.

"What did you guys to today?" she asked, ignorantly smiling.

"Oh," his voice quivered nervously. She looked at him strangely and he quickly turned around to inspect the pasta. He heard Calleigh walk into the living room, greeting their daughter with a handful of sweet words.

Shit, he thought, beginning the final countdown in his head. Please, God, make it quick and painless.

"Eric?"

Shit.

"Yeah?"

"Why is Eva wearing a hat?"

He turned around, trying to act casual. A pool of cool sweat cascaded down his spinal chord. "You don't like it?"

Calleigh frowned at the infant in her arms. "Where did you get it?"

"We went shopping?"

The frown intensified. "You went shopping."

A gulp. A nod. A fake smile.

"You hate shopping."

True, that. He hated shopping with the fire of a thousand supernovas. "Well, we were at the mall and I thought, Eva doesn't really have enough hats."

"She has no hats."

"Exactly." He tried to tone down the incriminating grin, but his face soon began to tremble. He turned around to try and conceal it.

"Well, take it off, it's hot."

And then it happened. In an instant, Calleigh duplicated a sound he'd only heard in Discovery Channel specials. Eric closed his eyes and bit his lower lip and braced onto the counter for dear life.

"Oh my God."

"Calleigh—"

"Oh my God!"

"Don't be mad."

Bad choice of words. As soon as he turned around to face her, he could've sworn he saw smoke coming out of her ears.

"What did you do, Eric. What the hell did you do?" she exclaimed furiously.

He put his hands in front of him as if to stop a charging bull. "Don't panic. The doctor said she's fine."

"Doctor? There's a doctor involved?"

"Well—"

"How did this happen? How did--Oh, God, Eric, look at her head!"

"I know."

"Oh, God," Calleigh exclaimed once more, hugging Eva tightly and at the screaming pandemonium, the baby began to cry.

Eric suddenly felt suicidal. It was one thing to have Calleigh screaming at him, but to see his baby crying because he'd hurt her... he felt like shit. He wanted nothing but to reach for Calleigh's gun and end his life right there. He didn't deserve any of them.

"I can explain, Calleigh."

"Oh, you are going to explain," she said while attempting to hush the baby.

Eric sighed, admitting defeat. "Ryan and I were sitting around—"

Calleigh moaned. "Oh, God, Ryan and I were sitting around. Haven't you learned that nothing good ever comes out of you and Ryan sitting around?"

Eric scratched his head. He wanted to get closer to them and touch his daughter but that probably wasn't a good option. "Well, I guess, he's been doing this thing with Pete where he can balance him on the palm of his hand... it was very impressive, Calleigh. You should've seen him."

"Oh, I bet," Calleigh said cynically. "And does Valera know about this amazing display of child endangerment her husband has created?"

"I'm guessing no?" Eric said. "Anyway, he just... I thought it would be fun to try it. And Eva's really good, Calleigh. You know, she could be a gymnast."

Judging from the look on her face, Calleigh cared very little for her daughter's impressive balance.

"Anyway. I guess, things just got a little... out of hand, and we were bored, so we figured it would be fun to try other tricks, and, I guess I... I thought, I mean, I didn't think... Ryan started bragging about how far up he could throw Pete and we made a bet and... if it makes you feel any better, we won 5 bucks."

Calleigh's face suddenly resembled that of a dog's riddled with rabies. Her skin was red and her eyes were narrowed. "Did you... even stop to consider the fact that you were both indoors at the time?"

Eric stopped to consider this. "You know, you'd think we would've."

Calleigh looked down and sighed, and Eric tried to figure out what was going through her head, but flashes of blood and gore and murder made him recoil. She shook her head and began to walk out of the kitchen. He foolishly followed.

"Cal—"

"Don't Cal me."

"It was an accident, okay? I... it was stupid, I'm sorry." She didn't reply and he followed her into the nursery. "Look, I feel like shit. I am shit. I'm the worst dad in the world. There."

Calleigh stopped in the middle of the room while the baby continued to cry. "Do you really think that's gonna make it all better?"

"No," Eric said. "It was an accident, Cal. You know I'd never hurt Eva on purpose. I'd—I'd kill myself before that happened."

Calleigh stopped and sighed, slightly bouncing the baby. She briefly looked at Eric and he looked like he was about to burst into tears. She knew he was being honest, Eric was crazy about his daughter, but God, sometimes he could be so stupid. She was gonna kill Ryan.

The phone began to ring. Eric ignored it, but judging by the expression on Calleigh's face, he wasn't making much headway here. He went back into the living room and picked it up with a crabby, "what," and when he made it back into the nursery he found Calleigh had managed to quiet Eva into soft little whimpers.

Only then did he manage to pay attention to the woman on the line. He frowned into the phone, nodding, confused, and after a couple of seconds he finally understood what she was saying. Eric put the phone down with a, "thank you," and couldn't help smiling at it faintly.

"Who was it?" Calleigh asked, inspecting Eva's bump carefully.

"It was the nurse," Eric said, looking up.

"Oh my God, what's wrong?" she cried, bouncing the baby in her arms. "Why are you smiling?"

Eric's smile widened. "Oh, nothing. She just wanted to let us know we can give Eva some baby Tylenol for the pain, you know, apparently we have some left over from that one time she fell on her head? Yeah."

Calleigh looked at him, her eyes widened, and she quickly turned around.

Eric gaped. "You dropped her!"

Calleigh moaned. "Oh, God, Eric."

"You dropped her?" he exclaimed. "When did you drop her?"

"I don't know!" she said irrationally.

"I can't believe you, Calleigh. Here am I feeling like shit, buying ridiculous hats, feeling like a bad father, and all this time you're hiding this from me."

"I wasn't hiding it," Calleigh said. "I just... I just didn't want you to think I was a bad mother."

Eric sighed, trying to take the news in. "When did this happen?"

"About a month ago," Calleigh said. "I was doing the laundry and she wanted me to pick her up and she just slipped. It was horrible, I thought she was really hurt. I just couldn't tell you, I thought you'd be mad."

Eric nodded. "And yet you have no problem being mad at me?"

"It's not the same," Calleigh said. "I didn't—it's just not the same, okay?"

Eric sighed, dropping his head back. He felt the weight of the world being lifted off his shoulders.

"Oh my God, Eric," Calleigh moaned at a sudden realization, sinking down on a rocking chair with the baby clutched to her chest. "We're the worst parents in the world."

Eric sighed, forgetting his anger. He walked over and knelt next to her. "We're not the worst parents in the world. Beauty pageant parents, I'm pretty sure those are worse."

"No they're not," Calleigh exclaimed. "We're constantly dropping her, or catapulting her into the ceiling. She's not safe with us. I mean, what's next? Are we gonna drop her in a pull of sharks?"

"Calleigh, we're not bad parents, okay? We're just... we're just new at this. Trust me, all parents make mistakes with their first child."

"Eric, I was a first child, and I don't ever remember my father heaving me towards a concrete ceiling to win a 5 dollar bet!"

Eric sighed and sat on the carpet. Eva extended her arms out to him and suddenly all the guilt was gone. He picked her up and she cuddled against him. He inspected the bump. It was beginning to go down.

"From the time I was born, until I learned how to walk, my mother used to carry me while she cooked. Cooking for my mother, as you know, involves a lot of scalding oil. Let's just say third degree burns became an every day event in our house."

Calleigh looked down at him. "Really?"

"Really," Eric said. "And when I was five, dad bought us lawn darts. My sister still has a 5 inch scar on her left leg."

"Still—"

"Every Christmas, he would drag me to the slippery roof to staple Christmas lights to the house. Broken leg at 8, sprained ankle at 10, another sprain a year later—that was the year he suggested I walk it off."

Calleigh smiled, rocking herself slightly. "When I was seven, we really wanted a slip and slide, and so for my birthday, dad went out and got me one, and he thought it would be a great idea to lay it out on concrete. Michael lost a tooth that day. For three days the entire sidewalk was bright red with blood."

Eric chuckled. "See? Some day we'll look back on this and laugh... as our 30 year old daughter rocks herself back and forth in a corner, drooling slightly."

"Well, still, maybe we should stop having Ryan over."

"Oh, I'm all for that," Eric said, standing up.

Calleigh followed suit. "I'm sorry I yelled at you."

"Well, I'm sorry I threw our daughter to the ceiling."

Calleigh put her hands on his chest, slid them down to his belt. "And I'm sorry I didn't tell you I dropped her."

"Hmm," Eric swayed as she pressed her lips to his, the kiss slow and wet and if he wasn't careful, there was a good chance Eva would end up with another bump. "Pasta's getting cold."

Calleigh got the hint and stopped, the look on her face a little dangerous and Eric never imagined the day he almost killed his daughter would end up with him getting laid. Miracles trully existed.

"What did the doctor say?"

"She's fine, Calleigh."

"Do you think she'll make it to her first birthday?"

Eric smiled. "I'm sure she'll outlive us all."

Calleigh smiled, feeling much better, and as they both attempted to walk out of the room at the same time, Eva was accidentally smashed face first into the door frame. She began to wail loudly.

"Shit."

The End

 
 
 
CSI_Aliliberatedspirit on September 9th, 2006 07:35 pm (UTC)
Geez, somebody get that baby a helmet or something! She'll be fine; I was dropped on my head multiple times as a baby and look how I turned out! ;)

Good job hun, glad to see the Drabbles community active again. Now it's up to me to get my but in gear...

Ali xx
Jessica: mischacarolinacutie87 on September 9th, 2006 09:40 pm (UTC)
Oh my God, poor Eva!! LOL! Heh, Eric throwing her at the cieling to win five dollars... :P


Awesome...as always, of course. :D
Dulce et decorumabbs34 on September 10th, 2006 12:42 pm (UTC)
i couldn't stop laughing at that last bit. this rocks!
marija_magda on February 11th, 2008 08:50 am (UTC)
I love this. I was dropped on my head 3 times and the only thing that happened is that now i love math...