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Chaos fic: A Mother's Work 1/1

August 3rd, 2011 (02:54 pm)
Tags: ,

Title:  A Mother's Work

Disclaimer:  Not mine.

A/N:  eviinsanemonkey  asked for Rick and his mom.  Currently unbeta'ed, though I may get one for it later :)

She thinks of her Rick, making the world a better place, and those three men by his side, making sure he has everything he needs to get it done.


Rick’s mother comes right away when she receives word that her son has been in an accident.  She doesn’t take time to check her makeup or clean up the house.  She grabs her purse and is on the road, just like that.  She believes in patience and moderation, but not in situations like this.

Not when her son has been hurt.

They don’t tell her much over the phone--just the name of the hospital--and she drives through tears.  It terrifies her to think of her baby boy cooped up in some hospital, hurting and alone.  It’s been so hard to have him leave home, so hard to have him out on his own, and as she drives to the hospital, she wonders if she was right all along, that he should have stayed closer to home, closer to her.

But Rick’s never been one to do things the easy way.  Yes, he’s her good son, the one who still calls on her birthday and sends her a bouquet of daisies on Mother’s Day.  But he’s blindly determined to make better of himself, to do his family proud.  She doesn’t want his money, but hardly knows how to say no when he sends a little cash every month.

And to think, the last time they talked, she’d said, “Take care of yourself, hijo.”

Now, here she is, at some hospital, looking for her son.

The people at the front desk are worthless to her and when she finally finds a nurse that knows something, the woman is so full of infuriating platitudes that it’s all Rick’s mother can do not to ream her out in Spanish.  But she won’t give into that cliche.  Not here, not with Rick’s life still in question.

When she’s finally settled in a waiting room, her anger simmers and is replaced with fear.  If anything should happen...if Rick isn’t okay...

The what if’s are a paralyzing weight.

These are a mother’s fears, the ones she’s harbored since before Rick was born, since she first felt him moving in her womb.  The ones she kept close to her as he learned to walk, run, and play.  The ones that kept her up when he went to school, played sports, and grew up.  The ones she still can’t shake, no matter how old or capable her boy is.

She pulls out her rosary and fingers the beads, running through prayers in her head.  She thinks of what her husband would say if he were still alive.  She thinks about calling Rick’s brothers, maybe his sister.  Thinks they might come, be there for her.  Be there for Rick.

But she can’t bring herself to move.  She can’t bring herself to do anything.  Instead, she sits and prays for the son she loves, the one who’s always loved her, the one who is always too good to fail.

He pushed his way through school.  Earned a scholarship, excelled in his extra curriculars.  He got all the best internships, was offered several top notch positions right out of school.  He’s working for an international bank now.  Not just anyone can do that.  Only people who are special.  Her Rick is special.  He’s too hard working to die.

She’s so preoccupied that she hardly notices the men when they sit next to her.  She wouldn’t notice them at all until one of them says, “Mrs. Martinez?”

Surprised, she looks up.  The man to her right is younger than her, but not by much.  He has lines around his eyes and his suit is rumpled.  He’s no doctor, but he still seems to demand her respect.  

“Yes?” she asks.  “Do I know you?”

The man presses his lips together.  “No, ma’am,” he says.  “But we work with your son.”

She can’t help it if her face lights up.  She straightens, reaching out a hand and grabbing his arm like the lifeline she needs to keep from sinking.  “You work with Rick?”

The man nods, motioning his head to the other two men seated around her.  One man is older, thinning hair just on the top and a plain face.  The other is younger, with spiky hair and empathetic blue eyes.

“Yes,” the man says.

“So you know what happened?” she asks eagerly.  “Over the phone, they said an accident--”

“Yes, ma’am,” the man reports.  “It was a car accident.  Entirely work related.”

He’s speaking plainly and her English is good, but it still doesn’t make sense.  “He’s a banker,” she says, as if that somehow proves an inherent contradiction.  She's always taken comfort in the thought of Rick in an air conditioned office, with a desk and a chair and a computer. 

The taller man with spiky hair leans closer.  “We were on our way to a conference,” he explains and she’s surprised by his accent.  Almost thicker than hers, something British.  “We were carpooling when a semi jackknifed and the car in front of us veered hard.”

“There was no time to do anything,” the first man explains.

She looks at them, mouth still somewhat open.  She can see the evidence of their story now, not just the rumpled suits but the scratches and bruises on their faces.  The oldest man has an arm in a sling, and the tall one has a bandage over his forehead, blood speckling his shirt front.

Feeling desperate, she blinks rapidly.  It still doesn’t make sense to her--banking is a safe, stable profession--but they are so convincing that she doesn’t know how to disagree.  “So is he okay?” she asks instead.

The men all exchange a look, something knowing, something telling.  She can’t quite read it and before she has a chance to question, the first one speaks again.  “Your son’s a fighter,” he says.

“Most tried and true among us,” the tall one agrees.

“We have every confidence in his recovery,” the last one says.

It’s still vague, hardly more reassuring than the nurse and her platitudes, but there’s something in these men she trusts inherently.  Something in the way they look at her, something in the way they talk about Rick.  They know her son--almost as well as she does--and that counts for a lot in her eyes.

Wetting her lips, she nods, settling back into her seat.  “Will you be waiting here with me?” she asks, almost hesitantly.

They smile and the first one says, “There’s no place we’d rather be, ma’am.”

The men are still there hours later.  They come and go with coffee and candy bars, giving her magazines to read and making small talk.  When the doctor comes out, they stay seated while she gets up, but she can feel their eyes on her back as she’s taken to see her son.

They’re still there as Rick sleeps after his surgery.  They’re there when he wakes up.  They’re there with food from the cafeteria, a key to a motel room, anything she needs before she’s even thought to need it.

When Rick is talking, she lets herself fuss over him, and he endures it with gentle rolls of his eyes and quiet protests.

When he’s almost recovered, she tuts and says she should be leaving soon.

Rick is surprised.  “You’re going already?”

She lifts her eyebrows.  “You want me to stay?”

Rick stutters.  “No, I’m good,” he says.  “I just thought--”

She takes a breath and finds herself smiling.  “You thought I’d want to stay and make sure you recover.”

Rick blushes.

She shakes her head.  “You don’t need to be babied by me anymore,” she says.

Rick’s frown is one of surprise.  “Since when?”

“Since now,” she says definitively.  “You are smart and strong, but you are still so young.  Everyone needs and deserves someone to look after them.  You cannot blame me for that.”

Rick is confused.  “So why are you going?”

She leans forward, pressing her lips to his cheek.  “Because you already found that here,” she says.  As she pulls away, she pins him with an unrelenting look.  “But I do expect you to call.  Once a day, understood?  Twice if you have a doctor’s checkup.”

Rick nods his agreement and tells her he loves her as she gathers her things to go.  On her way out, she sees the men, lounging in the waiting room.  She pauses, eyeing them all one last time.  “I’m trusting you with him,” she tells them, and her voice is serious.

“We know,” the first man says.

Her eyes narrow.  “That’s a responsibility I do not take lightly,” she says, her voice carrying an implicit threat.

The man inclines his head. “Neither do we.”

Normally, she’s not prone to trusting strangers at their word.  Her life has been hard, worn and won by hard work and determination alone.  She has nothing she hasn’t earned, nothing she hasn’t sacrificed for, but she believes that God answers her prayers as readily as anyone's, and she’s not one to turn her nose up at the gifts from the divine, no matter what form they may take.

There’s something about these men she never would have expected.  Something about them she doesn’t quite understand.  They say they are bankers, but she thinks somehow they’re more than that.  

Walking away, contentment settling in her stomach, she thinks of her Rick, making the world a better place, and those three men by his side, making sure he has everything he needs to get it done.  She would never have believed a mother’s work to ever be done, but that’s a position she might be willing to reevaluate on her long drive home.


Posted by: Evil Insane Monkey (eviinsanemonkey)
Posted at: August 3rd, 2011 08:06 pm (UTC)

aw, this is really, really sweet! I love it! Thank you!!

(You're up!)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 3rd, 2011 08:45 pm (UTC)

LOL, hopefully not too sweet. It was hard because my big bang fic actually has some Rick and his mom and I was struggling to find a new way to spin something here.

(I'm having one of those kind of days in which I need some serious self gratification. So I'm going to offer Billy: Trial by fire. If there's whump, I'd be very, very happy.)

Posted by: Evil Insane Monkey (eviinsanemonkey)
Posted at: August 5th, 2011 12:37 am (UTC)

here you are It's probably not at all anything like you wanted, but it's all I could come up with. Hope you like it!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 5th, 2011 01:19 am (UTC)
billy guitar

That's half the fun of prompting--you never know how it's going to turn out :)

Posted by: lukadreaming (lukadreaming)
Posted at: August 3rd, 2011 08:09 pm (UTC)

Lovely. Absolutely gorgeous. That tightly-focussed point of view works so beautifully.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 5th, 2011 12:00 am (UTC)
billy considers

I'm not overly inclined to outsider POVs, but sometimes they can be fun to write. And I sort of like speculating about Rick's family :)


Posted by: fara (farad)
Posted at: August 4th, 2011 12:39 am (UTC)
Vin profile - sharp

OH - so excellent. I love Rick's mom and that is exactly how I see her - and how I see the guys responding to her. Nicely done. Thank you!!!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 5th, 2011 12:01 am (UTC)
chaos team 2

I can totally see Rick as a mama's boy, given his over achieving ways. I imagine if Rick's mom could know more about what Rick does, she might take to adopting the entire team if she had her way :)


Posted by: blackdog_lz (blackdog_lz)
Posted at: August 4th, 2011 09:16 am (UTC)

Your portrayal of a mother's fear for here child is really great. It's the fine line between caring for your child and still letting it go into the big world and Rick's mom is doing a faboulus job :)
Altough I'd be scared of her wrath, if something really bad should happen to Rick :)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 5th, 2011 12:03 am (UTC)
chaos team moves

My son is only three, so I can't say what it's like to see a kid grow up completely, but I can say that it's hard even now learning how to loosen up a bit. Sometimes I think of everything that can go wrong and just want to hover around him all the time, but that's just not the way it works :)

And LOL, I imagine the team would never want to incur the wrath of Mrs. Martinez either.


Posted by: nietie (nietie)
Posted at: August 4th, 2011 03:06 pm (UTC)

I'm so proud of Rick's mom!

This is gorgeous.

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 5th, 2011 12:03 am (UTC)
billy earnest

Thank you!

Posted by: altpointofview (altpointofview)
Posted at: August 7th, 2011 07:15 am (UTC)

Lunchtime!!!! And I get to read fics. Yay!!!!! 3 am & I'm reading fics ..... It's a good, good life!

So I freaking *adore* this fic (just like you said I would)! I usually don't like fics from the point of view of an outsider but I gotta say I love Rick's mom! I loved it so much I read it twice. In fact, I have got to beg for a SEQUEL. Please, please will you please write me a sequel where Rick gets hurt again & Mrs M has to come back!!!!!! What would she do to Michael & Billy & Casey if they let her boy land in a hospital again. :D

Edited at 2011-08-07 07:17 am (UTC)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 8th, 2011 01:20 am (UTC)
billy likes

Reading at 3 AM sounds like a feat to me :) I don't know how you do it.

And LOL! Too much hurt!Rick! It is such a struggle for me to write! Maybe if I can hurt them both....



Posted by: Starrylizard (starrylizard)
Posted at: August 20th, 2011 10:10 am (UTC)
NT - Primeval Stephen

I really like this. Such a sweet outside POV. It really works. :)

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 20th, 2011 12:22 pm (UTC)
stephen cutter

I don't do outside POVs often, but they can definitely be fun.

(And I love your Stephen icon!)


Posted by: Starrylizard (starrylizard)
Posted at: August 20th, 2011 12:53 pm (UTC)
NT - Primeval Stephen

Is there somewhere where you can find prompts for Chaos... like a meme or a prompt post? Tempted to give it a go, but I haven't got any inspiration for the muse at present. I'm not good with new fandoms, but I'm loving Chaos (and Primeval for that matter... just watched all 5 seasons in 2 weeks!).

Thanks! I found the icon @ studfarm and I love it!

Posted by: do i dare or do i dare? (faye_dartmouth)
Posted at: August 20th, 2011 01:14 pm (UTC)
billy approves

There hasn't been much in the way of prompting/memes that I've seen but I'm sure if you ask at one of the comms, someone will be happy to accommodate you :) With a fandom this small, fic tends to be a much loved commodity.

In other words, I hope you write fic :)

(Gah, Primeval kills me. I still haven't managed to watch beyond the end of S2 because for me the show was entirely about Stephen and Nick and the idea of it going on without them is just something I can't fathom. I keep trying to write fic to make peace with it but haven't managed to just yet.)

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