I'm technically proficient

...despite certain attitude issues

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phoning home [RP for Lee]
standing in the elevator
lockhart_md
After three hellish days in detox, Abby is finally feeling well enough, relatively speaking, to settle into a routine of sorts at the inpatient rehab center she's checked herself into. Throughout the detox process, throughout the tremors, nausea, debilitating headaches, and insomnia, all she's thought of (other than having a drink) is Lee and Lily. She's cried more than she'd ever admit, missing her husband and daughter and home almost to the point that she feels it physically. She almost regrets saying she needs to do this alone, but knows she'd never be able to do it if this wasn't her decision and hers alone.

But she still needs them. More than she's ever admitted to herself before. She takes a shower, subconsciously wanting to be fresh and clean for her first allowed phonecall after a successful completion of the detox process. She makes her way from her room to the main floor where she waits, impatiently, for her allotted time slot to begin.

When she finally gets on the phone, she freezes for a moment, her fingers forgetting what to do, what numbers to dial. When she shakes herself and dials the familiar numbers of Lee's phone, she can feel her heart banging around in her chest. What can he think of her now? Maybe he won't even want to talk to her. Maybe he's relieved to be rid of her and the mess she's made of her life. She wouldn't blame him, and she can feel her palms sweating as she listens to the phone ring.

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He smiles at the little girl, too busy playing to care that he's on the phone. She's good. Has a bit of a cold, but right now she's trying to stack those squishy blocks of hers into a tower.

She has a cold? She asks it with more alarm than she'd usually have; being away is automatically worse with Lily not feeling well.

He nods, sorry he's said anything about it now. She's congested but it's not that bad. We sleep with the vaporizer on and she's been propped up against me. Actually she seems to like that. Not being in her crib.

She nods, relieved at the information. She's always preferred to sleep with us...

I know, but I thought we were going to stop that...Talking about Lily is easier, safer than the questions he wants to ask.

I know...She shrugs, fidgety, still nervous about this phone call. Is she there? Can I talk to her?

Yeah...she's playing on the floor, hold on. He nods as he moves from the couch to the floor beside Lily. Hey baby, want to talk to Mama? Say hi...He holds the phone up to Lily's ear and the little girl babbles, mimicking what she sees adults do with the phone.

Her eyes fill again and she feels close to breaking down when she hears her daughter's voice. Hey, Lilybug...How are you, my little girl? She clears her throat, her voice strained and teary. Mama misses you, Mama loves you...

Lily laughs when she hears Abby's voice. Mama!

Lee has to pinch the bridge of his nose to keep from tearing up himself as he listens to Lily laugh and call for her mother happily. He knows she doesn't understand Abby's absence and it hurts him to know that it will be a while longer before she's home.

Abby does start crying when Lily recognizes her voice. Yes, it's Mama, that's right, my baby. I miss you so much...are you being good for Daddy?

Git! She announces happily, liking the new word Neela's taught her. Mama...mine?

Lee snorts with laughter through his held back tears. Lily's love of foul words something he has no idea how to curb.

What did you say? She forgets about Lily's new word when the little girl speaks again. Yeah, baby, I'm yours, your mama, and you're my Lily.

Mine. She confirms before losing interest in the phone and reaching for her blocks again. Lee puts the phone back to his ear. Hey, honey...

She sniffs and clears her throat when she hears Lee get back on the phone. Hey...

"Aunt" La La has been teaching our little girl new words. He smiles softly as Lily offers him a block.

Is that what she said? Git? I heard that right? She shakes her head.

Yes. He chuckles softly. Thankfully Molly will be here soon, La La is out of a babysitting job.

No more blaming me solely for Lily's foul mouth, then. She warns. When's Molly coming?

Just her favorite word. He sobers then, clearing his throat. Ah, she'll be here later tonight.

Oh. She feels like crying again, jealousy, inadequacy, guilt all settling on her again. That's...good. Does she...know?

He nods though Abby can't see him. Yeah...I, I'm sorry but I needed someone to talk to and I need the help with Lily. She needs some stability and bouncing her around between babysitters isn't helping. He hesitates, Are you mad at me?

No, I'm...I mean, we talked about her coming anyway...She's not mad, she's hurt, though she knows she shouldn't be. She should be glad someone they trust will be helping take care of Lily, but instead she finds herself resenting the older woman, who has herself together enough to care for a child, who will be there for her daughter's Christmas like Abby won't be.

He hears the strain in her voice, can tell there's something she's not saying. I know we did...you need to tell me if this isn't okay any more.

No, it's...fine. She insists, trying to sound like she means it. Molly will take good care of her.

She's not you. He continues to watch Lily, his voice softer as he tries to sincerely connect with Abby, let her know that he's not trying to hurt her. You're Lily's mother.

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