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I'm technically proficient

...despite certain attitude issues

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phoning home [RP for Lee]
standing in the elevator
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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Oh, you're getting too big, baby. She nuzzles her nose against Lily's. Toooo big.

Big. Lily repeats as if agreeing with her mother. Big big big big.

She's been doing that a lot lately too. He squeezes Abby's hand. Repeating things.

She chuckles, though she's pained to hear her daughter speaking and Lee's words. She's missing too much. You're so smart, baby girl. Stop growing up so fast, okay?

Okay. She gives her mother a smile and a pat on the face. Mama.

Lee laughs at that. Okay.

Okay. She repeats it, too, laughing. I love you, my Lily.

She is something, isn't she? He's tempted to tell her the Kovac's are expecting another baby, but settles for tugging at his daughter's curls. I'm glad we have her.

They've reached the point in their walk where she can't bring them further; the women's sleeping and living quarters are behind the door they're approaching. She stops and leans against the wall, facing Lee. It's her that keeps me going here, you know? Both of you.

He notices where they've stopped and he feels uneasy thinking about the strangely regimented life she's forced to live here. He tucks his hands in his pocket as he nods at her. I always thought you had to do this for you, not someone else?

I do. She nods. I'm doing it for myself. And you, us. She's unsure how he'd respond if she were to tell him she considers him and Lily, their family, their love, to be her higher power.

He'd be surprised, touched and possibly a bit nervous if he knew what she was thinking, afraid of letting her down again and seeing her lose her sobriety once more as a result. I cannot wait until you come home. We miss you, I miss our family being together.

She looks down then, nodding, brushing Lily's curls out of her face. I miss you too. More than you know. During the day she's kept busy, meetings and lectures, counseling sessions and group therapy; it's at night when the ache is the worst, when all she wants is him beside her, their daughter between them.

He doesn't have the luxury of distraction, even in the OR when he's focused on a patient. His colleagues won't let him be completely immersed in work. Everyone at the hospital is aware of Abby's absence, there are always questions and looks, none of which he can answer truthfully so he ignores them. And when he's home, there's Lily asking for her mother, constant reminders that his wife is away as he sees her things around the house, rolls over in bed to find her pillow untouched. But you're okay here? You've been doing well? Don't need anything?

I'm okay. She turns her head as her eyes fill, though she nods. I'm doing better, I'm getting better, Lee. I promise.

I just want to make sure you're okay. He regrets his questions as she starts to tear up. Making shushing sounds he pulls her away from the wall and into his arms, even though it's awkward with the baby between them. I worry about you. I know you're getting the need to drink under control, but I worry about *you*.

I'm okay, Lee...She leans into him as best she can with Lily in between them. It's...hard. I miss you. It's so hard.

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