Fandom: NBC's Revolution
Rating: G or teen
Characters: Rachel, Danny, Charlie, Miles, Bass and Julia. Cameos by Ben, Neville and Jason
Pairing: en, canon background Rachel/Ben and Julia/Tom
Prompt:Fro nbc_revolutionCommunity Prompt Table 059. Breathe
Summary: 5 times someone couldn't breathe and 1 time someone could finally breath again
A/N: First time I'm writing 5+1. The breathing exercise Rachel uses is called "The Buteyko Breathing Method" and my knowledge of it stems entirely from Google.
'There's something wrong with my baby,' Rachel thinks, as Ben rushes her to the hospital. There's a
small irrational part in her that keeps insisting that there can't be anything wrong; everything was so easy, so perfect with Charlie, how can something be wrong this time? Ben keeps telling her to hold on and that everything's going to be ok- but it's not. The pain is overwhelming and all she can think is "dear God, please don't let me lose my baby!' As she's wheeled in on a gurney all her thoughts just boil down to one word 'please-please-please-please-please-'
The Doctor tells her that her baby is missing a blood vessel near the heart; that there's not enough circulation to the lungs and other organs. How could they only be discovering this now? How long has her baby suffered, struggled to breathe silently without them being aware?
She asks the Doctor: "What does that mean?" While Ben is more practical: "What do we do?"
In the end the Doctor gives them two options and no hope at all. If they induce and operate, he'll probably be too weak to survive the procedure. If she carries the baby to term, the condition will get worse and the baby probably won't survive the stress of labor. No, not the baby- he .
"Ben… He said 'he'. There's a boy." Suddenly she's not just losing a baby, a fetus- she's losing a son and she can't stay strong anymore, can't think straight while her whole world is crashing down, her chest constricting. "I can't breathe!"
"Relax, it's ok, you're ok," Danny's mom tells him several years after the blackout, as he suffers through another one of his Asthma attacks. She's squeezing his hands and he wants to tell her it hurts, but he can't talk, can't breathe and he's trying not to cry.
"Remember what we practiced? Take a small breath through your nose and let it out- that's it. Now take one more, good, now let it out and hold you breath for just a few seconds, I know you can do it," she smiles at him encouragingly.
He's scared and his can feel his heart beating in his ears, but he tries to do as mommy says. He manages to hold his breath for two seconds, before he starts coughing.
"You're doing great, honey," his mom wipes at her eyes and he doesn't understand- if he's doing great, then why is she crying? "OK, now two more small breaths and then hold it for a bit longer," she instructs him. They keep doing the breathing exercise until he manages to hold his breath for half a minute and his attack subsides.
His mom hugs him tightly (too tightly), before stroking his hair and telling him he's such a brave boy. She makes him Chamomile tea and his throat feels a bit better. Later, when Charlie comes home with dad and they're sitting to have dinner, Danny tells her proudly that he held his breath for 30 whole seconds. She sticks her tongue out at him and tells him she can hold it for a whole minute. He says she's a liar and they end up chasing each other in the house, jumping on the furniture and calling each other names.
Rachel watches them and tallies in her head another victory. Every time they beat the asthma, every day that Danny is still breathing is a blessing. She holds Ben's handover the table and thanks God for meeting Grace Beaumont; Grace Beaumont, who during the long days and night working side by side told her of her struggles with her son's asthma and about a technique she's been using with him.
'Mom's never coming back,' Charlie thinks to herself that night, as she's watching Danny sleep. Her mom said she'd be back in a few months- but soon it will be a year. Danny keeps asking dad when mom's coming home; dad just gets a funny look in his eyes and says "I dunno Sport; I hope she'll be home soon. I know she misses you." He doesn't say what Charlie knows he must be thinking: Mom's gone. Maybe she's injured or maybe she's-
Charlie shakes the thought away. 'She can't be, she just can't. We need her I need her.' Charlie's eyes sting as she watches her brother take another shallow breath. Her mom told her to be strong, to protect Danny and that's what she's going to do. Then when her mom gets back, she won't have to do it alone.
She tried to do those breathing exercises with him, but she's not that good at it (not as good as mom is) and Danny's asthma is getting worse. He's been getting more and more attacks lately and Charlie's scared. She's scared he won't be able to breathe again, that he'll die and it'll be her fault- it was her job to look out for him, her one job. If anything happens to him… No, she won't let anything happen to him.
One time she went scavenging alone and left Danny with dad. The whole time, all she kept imagining was Danny, lying on the floor; his lips turning blue and trying to call out for her. She ran back home in a panic, afraid of what she'll find. But Danny was fine and dad was worried about her, so now whenever she leaves the house, she makes sure to always take Danny along. She never lets him out of her sight.
She dozes off for maybe an hour, before her eyes fly open in alarm, her heart beating wildly in her chest. It takes a few moments for her eyes to readjust to the dark and she can't tell if Danny is breathing or not; her breath hitches in her throat-
She sees his small chest rise and fall. She deflates and sucks in a huge gulp of air. 'He's ok, he's still breathing, still alive,' she reassures herself. She goes through the whole ordeal about ten times that night.
"Just open your eyes. Charlie, open your eyes. Charlie- hey, wake up! Open your eyes…" Miles orders Charlie as if she were one of his men, as if he could command her to be ok.
"I don't understand," he says helplessly. "The bullet just grazed her head." But she banged her head when she fell and Miles wants to curse this girl for being such a trouble magnet. She just can't seem tonotget in trouble or hurt. He wants to yell at her that she needs to be more careful, that she can't just rush in to things- but he needs her to wake up first.
Every second seems like an hour and his eyes are fixed on her eyelids, fervently searching for movement, for a twitch, for some recognition that she can hear him. His heart clenches painfully and it feels like he's got a tank parked on his chest, weighing him down and it's getting hard to breathe.
"Charlie- come on! I am going to get Danny back, I promise. You can count on me, ok? But I need you to open your- just open your eyes, ok? Damnit Charlie! Just open your eyes. Come on, open them!"
His voice is cracking; he's pleading and yelling; making promises he's not sure if he can keep, but he'd bargain with the Devil himself if it means she'll be ok. It dawns on him suddenly that he doesn't know what he'd do if she dies down here. He's not sure when or how, but she's weaseled her way into his heart, when the last thing he wanted was to care about anything or anyone ever again. But God help him, he cares about her, more than cares and it hurts and he'd give anything to have her open her big blue eyes and nag him about doing the right thing and about giving a crap.
After what feels like an eternity her eyes finally flutter open. "Charlie," he exhales her name like a prayer. "Hey kid- you ok?" He releases a relieved sigh and tries to teach his body how to breathe again.
They're at a bar getting wasted, which is par the course for them. Bass in flirting with two co-eds, who seem to be up for a good time. Miles isn't really in the mood, but Bass insists he needs a wingman and he'll even give Miles first dibs- as long as it's not the blond, Bass thinks she's feisty. While Miles goes to get them another round, he pretends to listen as the two girls talk about their majors and how hard college is; he gives them his big sympathetic doe eyes and they're eating it right up. At the rate he's going, he may end up banging them both.
Miles returns just as Bass' phone rings. Bass fishes it out of his pocket, frowning at the screen, before answering. He listens with a half smile on his face for a few seconds, before his face falls. His eyes catch Miles for half a second, before he rushes out back, talking urgently on the phone, trying to understand, to make sense of what he's hearing, because it can't be true- there's got to be some kind of mistake. Miles finds Bass a few minutes later outside; Bass' left hand is still clutching his cell-phone and his face is haunted.
"Bass-?" Miles asks tentatively, approaching slowly. "What is it?"
"They're dead," Bass says, his voice flat. "That was the hospital, they were brought in, but they didn't make it. My family, mywholefamily is dead, Miles," tears well up in his eyes and his starts shaking. "They were going to the movies, but they were in a car accident, some car rammed into them. I need to-"
"Hey," Miles catches him as his legs buckle and they both end up on the cold dirty pavement. "Oh God, Bass, I'm so sorry."
"I don't… I need to talk to the cops and I need to-to make arrangements or something," Bass can't seem to string two sentences together and he can't think, doesn't know what to do or say and it feels like he's drowning and he can't breathe. Miles just grabs him in a fierce hug, telling him to breathe and whispering over and over until it becomes a litany "I'm here-Bass, I'm here- I'm so sorry- I'm here."
Julia keeps a calendar in a desk drawer, counting the days her boys have been away. It's been about a year now and the feeling of longing and loneliness hasn't dissipated; she still misses them immensely. She and Tom write letters to each other, nothing important- just about banal everyday life like her Azaleas being in bloom, or harmless idle gossip.
The things she doesn't tell him are far more important. She's been keeping an eye on things at Monroe's camp, gathering intel to be used for when (not if) her husband gets back home. She's been keeping track of the officers who have seemed to gain favor with Monroe (like Colonel John Faber) and those who lost favor (she hasn't seen Captain Jeremy Baker around recently). She listens to gossiping insipid Officers' wives, has her housekeeper keep a sharp ear to any information that can be important. When Tom gets back, they'll make sure he gets the promotion he deserves and becomes one of Monroe's most trusted officers.
It's not that she's fond of Monroe, especially now when it's clear he's got a few screws loose. General Matheson really did a number on him when he left, but that just means there's a number 2 spot vacant with her husband's name on it. With Tom having Monroe's ear, things will change and for the better. And if they don't, the number two spot can easily enough become the number one.
But first she needs her boys home. The house has been too empty without them, her bed too cold and wide. She hopes that Jason is keeping out of trouble and not disobeying his father. The two can be so stubborn sometimes and without her to get in the middle and calm things down… She hopes Tom finds that bastard Matheson soon and gets back, so she doesn't have to worry so much.
Monroe doesn't even bother telling her the news; she hears it through her housekeeper, who heard Colonel Faber tell his wife. Tom finished his assignment; he's getting on a train in Noblesville and coming home. She doesn't allow herself any outward sign of emotion, just thanks Rose politely and goes to her bedroom. She sits down heavily on the bed and swallows, her eyes stinging. She quickly composes herself and starts making plans and lists in her head of everything she'll need to welcome them back. Maybe she can make them those Venison Steaks Tom loves so much? She starts getting the house ready, feeling lighter than she has all year.
She goes to the station to welcome them and rushes over the minute she spots them. She holds Tom's hands in hers and he feels solid and warm and real. She hugs him and vows to make sure he ends up in a position that keeps him here, where he belongs. She touches Jason's cheek and it feels like she can breathe again for the first time in a year. She smiles at them both, drinking in the sight of them, noting what's different and what's still the same. She leads them away from the station and she finally brings them back home.