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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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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.

He rubs her back as he nods. I know it is. I know, but I'm so proud of you for sticking it out, for committing to this. I'm here for you even though we have to be apart. I'm here and I'll always be here.

I know you will be. I know. She presses her forehead against his chest, grateful, more than she'll ever be able to tell him. I know. Thank you.

He nods and starts to brush a kiss against her brow when he catches sight of a staff member at the other end of the hall watching them. Instead, he steps back a bit and squeezes her shoulder. I don't want to get you in trouble.

She sighs as her gaze follows his. Relax, he's my husband. She says, though not quite loud enough for the staff member to hear.

Lee smiles softly at her words. That didn't really work for the state trooper either, baby.

She grimaces at the embarrassing memory, but then can't help but chuckle a little. So you want me to stop announcing we're married?

He shakes his head slowly as he grins at her. Nooooooo. No, not at all.

Oh no? She arches an eyebrow. Come on.

No. He stops playing around and looks at her, completely serious. You are my wife. I love that. Why wouldn't I want people to know we're married?

She sobers when he does, shaking her head. I was just kidding around.

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