|Current music:||"Torn," Natalie Imbruglia|
fic: in which the baby meme is TRUFAX
That innocent little pink plus sign suddenly looks like a sign of the apocalypse. Cori wraps the pregnancy test - ugh
- in toilet paper and throws it in the wastepaper basket hidden away in the cabinet beneath the sink. She leans against the counter, peering at herself very closely in the mirror. It feels like a very out-of-body experience just then, watching those stormy blue eyes flick back and forth over the freckles on the bridge of her nose, the pale purplish shadows under her eyes, her chapped lips.
She feels very suddenly like crying.
"Cori do you want mushrooms on your pizza?" Skip calls through the bathroom door, startling her.
She looks over to the door and closes her eyes for a long moment before opening it and ducking under Skip's arm to get away. "I'm not hungry," she calls back to him over her shoulder, disappearing into the bedroom and shutting the door behind her.
Skip blinks at her retreating form and pokes his head back into the kitchen. "Ros I think the mushrooms are upsetting Cori."
Cori crawls onto the bed, buries her face in the pillows, and cries.***
"Hello? Oh. Hi, Roswel. It's-- it's Cori. Okay, well, I guess you're not home. I just wanted to let you know I'm at Regan's and I didn't get abducted by aliens, so... don't worry about me, okay? All right. I'll see you in a couple days. ...Bye."***
Regan simply stares at her with that familiar puzzled expression when Cori finally tells her why she came.
"God, Cor. Well-- well, what are you going to do?" she asks almost conspiratorially, leaning towards Cori a little bit as they sit cross-legged on Regan's bed. She's admittedly a little jealous, despite the circumstances; it always feels like Cori is stealing her thunder or getting the things she wants most. And this is the thing she wants most.
"I don't know," Cori says lamely, looking up from her ragged fingernails. Her eyes are a bit red. "I thought you might be able to help me."
Regan lifts her eyebrows. "Really?" she asks, smiling faintly. "Like... like with baby stuff? I get to start being an aunt, like... now?"
Cori sucks on her lower lip. "So you think I should keep it?"
Regan's eyes widen. "You can't get rid
of it," she says, shaking her head vehemently.
"Why not?" Cori asks a little defiantly. "It was an accident."
Regan purses her lips and folds her arms, looking displeased. "It's not the baby's fault."
Cori's eyes start to water again. She squeezes her eyes shut, embarrassed; she's never been a crier. "I just-- I don't know what to do," she says, a little brokenly.
Regan fidgets a little and reaches for one of Cori's hands, feeling a little guilty for upsetting her more. "Well... you said you wanted my help, right? I want to help." She offers Cori a genuine smile and nods her head. "Seriously, Cor. I'll look up everything, and I'll get books for you, and I'll be the best aunt in the history of the universe."
Cori sniffles a bit and gives a watery sigh, wiping her face with her free hand. She swallows and rolls her eyes up towards the ceiling to keep the tears from starting again. "I'm scared," she whispers, flicking her gaze back down to Regan's face and giving her hand a feeble squeeze.
"It's supposed to be scary," Regan says cheerfully. "Survival of the fittest, baby. And you are going to be the fittest babymama in the history of ever." She slides off the bed, plucking a few tissues from the box on her bedside table and handing them to Cori. "C'mon, let's go buy some prenatal vitamins!"
Cori laughs, her voice a little raspy from crying, and dabs at her face with the tissues, following Regan's lead. She drops the tissues in the wastepaper basket and pauses, looking up at at Regan. "Regan?"
Regan slings her purse over her shoulder and looks over at Cori. "Yeah?"
Cori moves forward, sliding her arms around Regan and holding on tight to her. She's silent for a long moment, and then whispers, "I love you."
Regan strokes Cori's hair with one hand, her arm wrapped tightly around Cori's shoulders, and presses her cheek to the top of Cori's head. "Love you, too, Cor."***
Cori slides the key into the lock and turns it, opening the door to the apartment she shares with Roswel and Skip. It's the middle of the afternoon; she's sure they're at work. For that reason, she doesn't bother staying quiet as she hangs up her raincoat in the closet next to the door. One minute she's definitely alone, the next minute Roswel is sitting on the couch, quietly watching her.
She turns around and, seeing him unexpectedly, jumps about half a foot and grabs her stomach, almost giving a little scream of shock. "Roswel!" she gasps, dropping her overnight bag. "What are you--? I thought you worked on Tuesdays."
"I took the day off," he says, shrugging a shoulder. He looks down at his feet, which are propped up on the edge of the coffee table, and then glances back up at her. "So-- so what are you doing here?"
Cori looks back at him with a guilty expression. She knew
leaving so suddenly would hurt him, but she couldn't bear to tell him why
she was leaving. She bites her lower lip and crosses the room, sitting beside him on the couch and propping her feet up against the coffee table as well. "Didn't you get my message?" she asks.
"What message?" Roswel replies, looking genuinely confused.
Cori sighs, smiling faintly. "You forgot to check the answering machine, didn't you?" It's typically one of the (many) things she does to keep things running smoothly in their strange little household.
"Ohhh," he says, nodding his head slowly. "Oops."
"I went to go see Regan for a few days," Cori says, answering his previous question. "That's all. I didn't-- I didn't leave
." She chews on the inside of her cheek. "You didn't think I would leave
, did you?"
"I don't know," Roswel says, shrugging again, picking at a hole in his jeans. "Maybe."
"Ros," Cori says, reaching to still his hand.
He looks up at her with doleful eyes. "Yeah, Cori?"
His face makes Cori want to cry a little - no surprise there - but she leans in and fits her lips to his instead, lifting her hand from his to touch his cheek. She draws back after a moment and closes her eyes, settling back against the couch cushions. She takes a deep breath, reaching for his hand again. "Ros?"
"I'm having a baby." There's a long pause. "And it's yours."
Another moment of silence, and then Ros speaks, his tone inflected with what Cori thinks might be excitement. "Seriously?"
Cori nods, her eyes still closed, heart pounding too fast in her chest. "Mmhm."
Roswel is quiet for another moment, and then he leans over and wraps his arms around Cori's shoulders and kisses her very loudly on the cheek. "Awesome
. Can we name it Skip?"
Cori covers her face with her hands and bursts into nearly hysterical laughter, more than a little thrilled at how pleased Roswel seems. She shifts to curl up against his side, one hand curled in the hem of his t-shirt. "Let's cross that bridge when we get to it."