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 feels tears pricking at her closed eyelids at his words, but she's brought out of the moment by Lily's little hands patting her face. She opens her eyes and smiles down at their daughter. And we love you too, Lilybug. Yes, we do.

Aww, Mama. The little girl continues to pat her face, mimicking the way her father coos at her when she's upset.

Lee can't help but smile at Lily's actions.
I don't know where she picked that up.

She turns her head to kiss Lily's little palms. Oh, no idea. She responds to Lee's remark, clearly not serious.

As he watches them, were it not for the setting, he'd feel perfectly normal, comfortable. This is the family he wants back, the woman he fell in love with.

She leans forward to nuzzle her nose against Lily's. So, baby girl, tell Mama what you've been doing with Daddy.

Lee smiles again as he lets the baby babble happily. Besides trying to give me a heart attack in the shower this morning? He shakes his head. Molly was still sleeping so I brought with me and this little monkey thought it'd be fun to stand up in the slippery shower and almost knock us both over. He bites his lip, tempted to leave out the next bit. She reached up and goosed me.

She can't help but both wince and laugh at the story. Ohh, Lily...

He shrugs, runs a hand over his much shorter hair. Um, she's been sleeping in her crib. Through the night, even.

Her eyes widen in surprise at that. Really? Wow...She shakes her head, wistfully. She's growing up.

Molly took her and put her down the first night she was here and she's been doing it every night since. He can't help but be awed at the old woman's touch with the little girl

She curls her toes in her shoes, not sure how she's supposed to feel about this tidbit of information. Huh. That's really...something. She can't help but feel slightly threatened by the old woman, though she thinks she probably shouldn't. Still... You like Molly, Lily?

Mommy! The word comes out of the little girl's mouth as she looks around expectantly.

Lee looks down, wincing at the way the child mispronounces her grandmother's name.

She's stunned by the word that comes out of her daughter's mouth, but thinks she must have misheard; there's no way she said Mommy, no way Lee would let her use that word for anyone else. She speaks carefully, evenly. What did she say?

Molly. He repeats. Moll Lee.

Lily grins and echoes him happily. Mommy.

She does not call her *Mommy*. She's still speaking in the even tone, but it's obvious she's none too pleased.

She's not calling her *mommy*, He assures Abby. She doesn't enunciate, that's all. She calls her sister Soapy, she's just trying to say Molly, really.

Lily, where's Mommy? She asks the little girl, almost desperately. This is what she'd been afraid of the most when Molly came. Being replaced.

Lily chews on her fingers as she looks at Abby before reaching up with slobbery fingers to pat at her face. Mama.

Lee looks at his wife as if to say I told you so.

She embraces the little girl, kissing her face, deeply relieved. Yes...that's right, baby, I'm your Mommy...

She knows who her parents are, Abby. He pats her knee. And we talk about you every day. Look at pictures. I tell her how much you love her.

I don't want her calling anyone else Mommy. She looks at him, needing for him to understand.

She isn't. He insists. She's trying to say Molly. No one wants her calling anyone but you Mommy. Or Mama...*you* are her mother, no one else.

Kind of hard to feel like it sometimes. He's not getting the point.

He furrows his brow as he thinks about what she's saying, not understanding what she expects with all the time she's spent away from Lily in recent months. He's tempted to tell her that's her fault for not letting them come with her to Texas, for not staying sober and needing to be in rehab but he doesn't. It won't make anything better.

She sighs; frustrated and hurt is not what she'd hoped for with this visit. Finally she stands up, Lily settled on her hip. Let's take a walk...You wanna take a walk with Mama, Lilybug?

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