I'm technically proficient

...despite certain attitude issues

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Daddy Dearest (rp for Lee)
hand on forehead
lockhart_md
Abby is giving Lily a bath, laughing as the little girl deliberately splashes water at her. She dips the washcloth into the warm water and brings it up, shielding the baby's eyes as she squeezes the water over her head to rinse her wispy curls. Lily babbles happily in "conversation" with her mother, enjoying the water and the one-on-one attention. Abby is reminded of her conversation with Barb about taking the baby to the beach, and she leans over the tub to kiss Lily's wet head. Would you like that, baby? Go to the beach with Mommy and Daddy? Maybe check out the water a bit?

She's still keeping up a chatter with her daughter as she finishes washing and rinsing her, letting the little girl play before the water gets too cool, when her cell phone rings. She looks behind her where it's sitting on the bathroom counter, and she keeps one hand on the baby as she leans backwards, reaching for the phone. The caller can clearly hear the baby's excited laughter as Abby answers without looking at the ID, cradling the phone between her ear and shoulder as she brings her hands back to Lily.

She doesn't recognize the female voice on the other end of the phone, but as the caller identifies herself and why she's calling, Abby's expression quickly changes to one of confusion to surprise, then anger. She has a short, stilted, but increasingly emotional conversation while Lily calls out "fup!" loudly over and over in the midst of her laughter. When Abby finishes the conversation she closes her phone and tosses it to the bathroom floor, watching as it slides across the tile.
Yeah, Lily, fup is right. She mutters, drawing in a wavering breath and letting it out slowly, trembling slightly.

Abby is on autopilot, no longer chatting happily with Lily as she gets the baby out of the bath and wraps her in a hooded towel. She pulls her face away when the baby pats at her cheeks, her mind on the phone call she'd just received. She pulls the plug out of the tub drain and stands up with Lily, holding her close as she makes her way to Lee's home office. Standing in the doorway watching her husband, she's visibly shaken, at a loss as to how to proceed. Seeing her father, Lily squeals happily.
Dada dada dada!

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Lee looks up from the slides he's been studying, smiling as he hears his daughter's happy chatter. Are we all clean now, my Lily...He trails off as his attention shifts from the baby to the look on Abby's face. Abigail?

He tosses the slide aside as he stands, walks over to the doorway and places a hand on Abby's arm out of concern. Honey?

Abby shifts Lily to her hip, biting her lip, not looking at Lee. I, uhm...need to go to Texas. She's not even aware she might not be making sense.

He furrows his brow, wondering if Abby's mentioned anything about Texas in passing that he's simply missed. That not making much sense to him, he tilts his head as he watches her. Why?

My...She shakes her head, stopping herself. David.

It takes him another few moments to put two and two together. As it dawns on him what she must be getting at, he holds out his arms in an offer to take Lily. Is that who was on the phone?

She shakes her head again, keeping Lily close to her almost as if she hadn't noticed him reaching for the baby. Someone from...the hospital there.

Since she won't give him the baby, he puts his arms around both of them. She's rattled, he can see that and he wants to soothe her as best he can. Hospital? Is he finally seeking treatment? Even as he asks, he has the sinking suspicion that he's being too optimistic.

She lets him hold her, though she's too tense to relax against him. She shakes her head at his question. He's got advanced pulmonary fibrosis; it's a little late for that now.

He closes his eyes briefly, looking pained as he knows what the diagnosis and disease entails. I'm sorry, Abigail.

She shrugs, attempting callousness. So, I can say I told him so.

Yeah, you can. He nods, running a hand over Lily's head as he thinks. But you won't.

Her brow furrows at that. Why not?

He looks at her, his expression kind as he leans in to kiss her temple. Because he's dying and you have more compassion than that.

She snorts, pulling away from him. He doesn't deserve jack shit from me.

Hey...He lets her go, though he frowns. Her anger may be justified but he doesn't like feeling as if she's going to take it out on him simply because he's here trying to help. Maybe he doesn't. I'm not going to tell you what to do. If you want to go to Texas, okay, but Abigail? If he doesn't deserve your compassion, why are you going?

Her shoulders sag and she looks at him helplessly, shaking her head. I don't know. I have to.

His heart breaks for her as he looks down at his wife. Do you want me to come with you?

She looks down again, biting her lip as she wonders if he's going to discourage her from going alone. I...no. I need to do this...let me handle this. I don't want you...or Lily...having to...deal with this.

His gut reaction is to argue with her, tell her that she's not going by herself but he doesn't want to upset her more than she all ready is. I don't mind dealing with this if you need me, Abby.

She lets out a breath, shaking her head. I don't...no. I need to do this myself. She looks up at him. Please.

He nods, putting aside his distaste for feeling useless and telling himself he'll be here for her when she gets home. I want you to call me if you change your mind.

I need to call the airlines, see if I can get a flight tonight...She continues as if he hadn't spoken. I need to call work...Fuck. She shakes her head, the word encompassing the entire situation with David. Lily, delighted with hearing a word she knows, laughs and repeats her mother gleefully.

He starts to offer to help with the phone calls then looks down at their daughter. Lily, no. We don't say that. Reaching for the baby again, he nods. Give me Princess Potty Mouth and let's go figure out your game plan while you pack. You want to leave tonight? He's not happy with that but doesn't know how to tell her. Midway or O'Hare and were exactly in Texas? Is someone going to meet you there, do you need to rent a car, know where you are going?

She hands him Lily, looking overwhelmed at his barrage of questions. Um...he's in Houston. Midway or O'Hare, I don't care, wherever I can get a flight.

He balances Lily on one hip and pulls Abby into a hug with his free arm as he notices the look on her face. Why don't you pack and um, I'll make a couple of phone calls. He really wishes she'd let him come with her but in lieu of that option, he's willing to do what he can for now.

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