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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She sits there with the phone in her hand for several moments before hanging up and standing, knowing she has a group meeting soon, though she'd have rather just stayed on the phone with him.

As he promised, several weeks after that first phone call from Abby, he and Lily are on their way to see her at the rehab facility. This is certainly not how he'd imagined spending this Christmas, then again nothing about this year has been anything he's envisioned for them. Once more, he's grateful that Lily's still so young as he watches her in the rear view mirror of his car. She's a bundle of joy in her overly insulated winter coat and mittens, happily babbling to no one in particular as they sit in freeway traffic.

For her part, Abby is tense, nervous, on the morning of Lee and Lily's visit. She has an early group meeting, then an appointment with her counselor, and she's distracted and fidgety through both. When she's finally free of her requirements, she goes back to her room, gathers her things so she can take a shower.

Once she's showered and dressed again, Abby sits in one of the common rooms of the facility, waiting for her family. Various other families are there, too, and she anxiously watches the door. She regrets that she has nothing to give her daughter and husband for the holidays, and she's glad Lily won't remember this when she gets older.

By the time they get to their destination and Lee manages to find a parking space, he regrets promising Neela to deliver a gift to Abby. Juggling the baby and the package while trying to navigate through snow and ice with a sore leg is not something he enjoys doing. It does give him a feeling of relief once they are inside the building however.

Stopping at the desk in the lobby, he asks where they are supposed to be if they have a planned visit with a patient. Nodding his thanks at the directions he's given, Lee sets Lily down just outside the common room and watches at the little girl makes a beeline for Abby.
Mama Mama Mama!

As soon as she sees Lee and Lily in the doorway, Abby stands up. Her nervousness vanishes, at least momentarily, as she hears her little girl's exclamations, and she scoops Lily up in her arms, kissing her as she tries not to get too emotional. Lily Lily Lily! There's my beautiful girl!

Lee hangs back as he watches Lily pat her mother's face then rest her head on Abby's shoulder. The toddler's not had an easy time with Abby's continued absence and hasn't understood where her mother has been. Mama mine.

Abby closes her eyes and rests her head against her daughter's, holding her tightly. She's missed Lily more than she's let herself admit, and she feels the relief at holding her now almost physically. Yes, baby...and Lily's mine. She struggles against tears as she feels the little girl's breath against her neck.

Lee has a hard time keeping his emotions in check as well, always touched when he sees his wife and child together but this strikes him as particularly poignant. Letting out a quiet sigh, he moves closer, setting Neela's gift on a chair before wrapping his arms around Abby and Lily. Hi...

Abby leans into him automatically, still holding onto Lily. She lifts her head to look at him, her eyes finally filling slightly. Hey...

You look good. He means it. Despite the tears making her eyes shine, she looks better than she has in a while. He hadn't realized until now how much the drinking had started to affect her appearance. The changes too subtle when to notice when he saw her every day.

Thanks. She gives him a small smile, grateful that he's noticed. I've been...feeling a lot better. It's true; without the constant self-medicating she'd been doing, she's sleeping better, has more energy, and her appetite has returned.

He kisses her cheek lightly before moving away slightly. He wants Lily to have all the time she can with her, and just being in the same room with Abby has always been enough to lift his spirits. I'm glad. Really, really glad. He gestures at the wrapped present they brought with them. This is from Neela. She said she wanted you to have this now. I figured we'd do Christmas together once you're home. Lily won't know the difference.

She shifts Lily to her hip so she can look at her, brushing her hand over the little girl's curls and kissing her forehead. She nods at Lee's words, glancing at the present, surprised Neela's sent something. Yeah, that sounds good...Oh, Lily, I think you got bigger! Did you get bigger?

Big! The little girl agrees, mimicking Abby and patting her mother's hair.

Lee smiles at the two.
She has, Molly's gone through her clothes and pulled out everything that doesn't fit.

My big girl...She murmurs to Lily, then looks at Lee, giving him a strained smile. She's missed too much, she's missing too much. Yeah? How's Molly?

He sits down before answering her. Settling in. Lily's not sure what to make of her just yet.

She sits down beside him, Lily settled on her lap. No? She usually warms up to new people pretty quickly...She can't help but worry.

He shrugs. New routine, yet another caregiver. It's been a revolving door since Lily's fall. He's obviously not worried about Lily needing to adjust to the new change.

Yeah, I guess so. On top of worried, she feels guilty as well, even though she knows they'd be needing a nanny even if she was home now. She presses a kiss to Lily's head before looking at Lee again. Do you want anything? There's coffee... In her years of being in and out of the program, some things never change, where there's alcoholics, there's coffee. We could walk...or stay here, too, that's fine. She's nervous, and it shows, though she tries to hide it.

He shakes his head, he doesn't want or need anything beyond spending time with her. I'm fine but yeah, if you want to walk...He can tell she's nervous and doesn't want to make this any more nerve-wracking for her than it all ready is. He'll worry about her reasons for being antsy later, when he's alone. I only want to know how you are, if you need anything...

She shakes her head, figuring they can stay here if he's fine with it. I'm okay...I'm working on it, you know? She tells herself to relax, the fact that he's here should prove that he doesn't hate her, still wants to be with her. Maybe that there's a chance he'll trust her again.

He nods, any other time he'd push her for more, ask for a real answer. Now? He's all too aware of how fragile things are and he's afraid to push, to give her any reason to think maybe she's better off without him, that she'll find sobriety easier on her own. Victoria was asking about you...He tries to change the subject to something safe.

Yeah? How's she? She rubs Lily's back as the little girl cuddles into her.

Same as always. He plays with the edge of Neela's wrapped package as he talks. Happy enough with life, wants us to visit more. Thinks I'm lying about the camel.

She can't help but snicker softly at his comment about the camel. If only, huh?

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