Summary: What happens after Inconceivable
Blame: paranoidangel42 because she won't let me stop til she finds out the truth.
As usual x-posted to my lj.
Chapter 1: Old Friends
Chapter 2: Girl Talk
Chapter 3: Ladies Who Lunch
Chapter 4: Back to the Beginning
Chapter 5: Retail Therapy
Chapter 6: Synchronicity
Chapter 7: Remember When
"Sarah, Josh, I can't believe you're being so irresponsible. In case you've forgotten you both have babies to worry about now."
Nat had been yelling for some time, and Sarah had tried all of the rational arguments - like 'I did ask them nicely to stop trying to kill me, but they insisted on attacking anyway', but it hadn't helped. Now she was left curled up on the sofa, hoping Nat would run out of breath, and feeling that her friend was being unreasonable.
Josh was still attempting to defend himself however ineffectually. "Nat, what was I supposed to do? They wanted to kill her. There was nothing I could do to change that."
Sarah could tell his heart wasn't in the argument, though. Impending fatherhood had made him a little more cautious. She, on the other hand....
"Do you even want this baby, Sarah? You certainly don't act like it. Most women would be bubbling over with excitement, but you've barely reacted. It's like you're pretending your baby doesn't exist. Look at this room." Nat waved her hand dramatically. "No catalogues or baby books. When I talk to you about names or baby furniture or baby anything, you zone out. Don't think I haven't noticed. Have you even thought about where the baby is going to sleep?"
"I've got a spare bedroom."
"Crammed full of boxes we moved from flat to flat, that you never bother to open," Nat snapped.
Sarah suddenly pushed herself up off the sofa in irritation. "I've actually sorted through most of them. I've got another five months to think of these things and I'm not going to go crazy over them." She paced across the room resisting the urge to add something to the effect of 'if you weren't so wrapped up in your own baby, you would have noticed'. It wasn't Nat's fault, and Sarah knew she was being irrational.
"Sarah," Nat said gently. "You're already starting to show. How long until you have trouble doing the heavy work yourself? It's not as though the father's around."
Sarah heard the implied question, "No, he hasn't shown up, and as I told you I have no way of contacting him. You think I can't manage a baby by myself," she added tightly.
"I think in a few months some of the things that you haven't done to get ready for the baby, will be a lot harder." Nat rolled her wheelchair over to Sarah's side. "And Josh and I have our own baby to think of. We're happy to help, but...."
"...timing is everything," Sarah finished, slightly sarcastically. "Okay, fine. You want me to plan, I'll plan, but I'm not going to go overboard with it. What do you think I should be thinking about? Skip stuff like the name or anything else mental."
Josh smiled at her. Sarah couldn't help feeling like she'd been a good little girl who deserved a pat on the head. But at the moment the one thing she was holding on to was the belief, however tenuous, that she had seen her little girl, and that despite the Crimson Chapter's plans, the baby would be born alive. So she had to start thinking practically and to fight off her automatic response of 'it wasn't supposed to be this way' and her general inertia.
"Let's start with the spare bedroom. You said you're almost finished going through the boxes. If we were to come over on Saturday, we could help you paint it." Josh said, then turning to Nat, he asked, "Next weekend's good, isn't it?"
"Hardly," Nat checked her palm pilot. "The weekend after would work. Okay, Sarah, first decision. We can come over on the Saturday after next to help you, or you do it yourself over the next fortnight and remember we'll be checking up on you."
Sarah bowed to the inevitable, mentally considering the contents of the remaining boxes. She was starting to settle down here, after years of flitting from flat to flat, one step ahead of the Crimson Chapter, and they did have a point. Arranging the room would be easier in a group setting. "I'll unpack the rest of the boxes over the next fortnight and then have a decorating party on Saturday. One of my friends is in from Australia next week to visit her daughter. You met Tegan, Josh. I can probably persuade her and Jo and Liz to help and I'll provide the food. What else?"
"Have you decided on a colour for the baby's room or decorations?" Nat asked quickly.
Prydonian colours, Sarah thought and then winced. No. Bad idea all around, even if they weren't a garish combination of scarlet and orange. "Not sure what colours, but I was thinking of putting some of those glow in the dark stars up on the ceiling." She'd have to think about how she'd arrange the stars. The view from Earth would be the easiest, but...she wondered if K-9's databanks contained star charts.
Nat looked at her interestedly. "You didn't tell us you knew it would be a boy."
"Girls can go into space too, you know," Sarah said pointedly, making Nat wince. "Sorry, I didn't mean that to be so sharp."
"It was a stupid thing to say," Nat said sheepishly. "So, a space theme."
"Well, night sky, perhaps. Although I wouldn't object to space." Child of two worlds. One of which she'd never have the chance to see.
"How about this?" Josh said, interrupting her train of thought, to her relief. "If you'll pick out the paint and whatever other decorations you want, we'll supply the food for you and whoever else you get to help, and help you paint the room."
They continued to talk, but the atmosphere wasn't nearly as tense as it had started. Sarah supposed it was a good idea. She'd been standing in place since she'd found out about the baby and it was time to move forward, to try to make this work.
Tegan, Liz and Jo quickly agreed to the plan, when she asked them. Jo asked if she minded another warm body or two. She seemed determined to widen their little circle of companions. Sarah had always known that Jo was the sort of woman who went about organising reunions of her primary school and Brownie pack, and she couldn't help thinking that this was at the very least, a less clichéd way of spending her time.