Chapter Three

And this is why my eyes are closed
It’s just as well for all I’ve seen
And so it goes, and so it goes
And you’re the only one who knows

June 22, 2006

Robin’s Apartment: Living Room

“We’re going to get married and we’re going to raise the baby together.”

“I’m sorry,” Robin said scathingly, “did I suddenly wake up in the 1950s?”

“Don’t be difficult about this, Robin,” Patrick retorted. “You know it’s the best solution.”

“Solution, responsibility, right thing…” Robin threw her hands up in the air. “It’s amazing that I can keep myself from launching into your arms!”

“I could throttle you, I really could!” Patrick gave a grunt of frustration and whirled away from her. “You’re deliberately making this worse than it has to be. You’re pregnant, the baby is mine, I don’t understand why this has to be such a drawn out argument!”

“Maybe because we drive each other crazy,” Robin spat. She closed her eyes and shook her head. “C’mon, Patrick. Be reasonable. We can’t go more than five minutes without jumping down each other’s throats. How could we raise a child together, much less get married?”

“We haven’t really argued since we broke up,” Patrick pointed out. “And before…” he shrugged. “It always seemed like, you know, foreplay.”

Robin’s eyes bulged. “Are you kidding me? That–” she waved her arms, clearly on the edge of hysterics. “That was your idea of foreplay?”

“Well, nothing else was working!” Patrick exploded. “You drive me up the wall, Scorpio. What else was I supposed to do except argue with you?”

“Oh my God,” Robin moaned. She pressed the heel of her hand against her eyes. “I can’t believe we’re even having this conversation. This is so bizarre.” She started to laugh. “I can’t believe that Dr. Patrick Drake is actually standing in my living room and demanding we get married.”

Patrick glared at her. “I’m glad this is so amusing for you,” he said contemptuously.

“Oh, come on. You can’t be serious,” Robin scoffed. “If I were to agree to marry you, you’d back pedal so fast, my head would spin. Well, excuse me if I’m just going to skip that portion of the program.”

“If you’re so sure that’ll happen, why don’t you just agree?” Patrick demanded. “Go ahead, I dare you.”

“I’m also not an idiot. Do you think for one second that I would seriously consider marrying you?” Robin replied. “That I would promise to love and honor and cherish a man I barely like and don’t even trust because he has some strange idea that we should do the right thing? Do you honestly believe that I would agree to that?”

“I cannot believe you still think that I slept with that nurse,” Patrick countered. “I have explained a thousand times that I didn’t. I have left messages, I sent you flowers, for Christ’s sake and even the nurse swears it didn’t happen.”

“I know what I saw,” Robin said firmly. “And it just proves that I’m an idiot for even briefly thinking we had a future together. Not that you ever wanted one, you were always so quick to assure me that it was just for fun.” She planted her hands on her hips and glared at him. “Well, let me put this as succinctly as possible–I would rather marry Manny Ruiz than you!”

“Do you think I woke up yesterday morning and decided that hey, I’d like to be insulted and degraded every single day for the rest of my life?” Patrick said hotly. “That it was my dream to marry a woman who thinks the dirt beneath her feet is better than me? That I really want to spend my life with someone who doesn’t trust me and thinks that everything her brain damaged ex-boyfriend did to her is going to happen again with me? Well, I’m sorry to inform you, but it really wasn’t my fantasy for the perfect life either, Robin, but none of that can matter anymore!”

“Oh, so a baby is supposed to magically make all our problems disappear?” Robin demanded.

“No, but a baby is supposed to matter more than our own egos and problems!” Patrick shouted. “You can’t possibly be this stupid!”

“Well, excuse me for not automatically buying that you’re all ready to be Father of the Year considering that you’ve told me that you’d rather have your eyes gouged out than be a dad!” Robin shrieked.

A timid knock broke the heavy tension between the pair and Robin pushed past him, swiping at her eyes as she pulled the door open. A concerned Elizabeth stood in the hallway. “I–uh–heard you arguing from the elevator.”

“We’re in the middle of something right now,” Patrick said rudely. “Can you come back later?”

Elizabeth took a look at Robin’s tear ravaged face and then at Patrick’s angry expression before slowly shaking her head. “No, I don’t think I will.”

“What?” Patrick frowned.

“Come here for a second,” Elizabeth crooked a finger at him. “We need to talk.”

“Liz, this really isn’t the time–” Patrick began.

“Now,” Elizabeth said firmly. “I may be little but I’m stronger than I look and I will drag you into this hallway if I have to.”

Patrick exhaled slowly and followed Elizabeth into the hallway, closing the door behind them. “Look, this really isn’t any of your business–”

“No, but guess what? Robin’s one of my friends and I like to think after the epidemic and everything we’ve been through, that we are too,” Elizabeth said. “Now I don’t pretend that I know the whole story but I have to tell you that whatever it is you’re trying to accomplish here tonight is not going to happen if you keep at it right now.”

“How do you know?” Patrick demanded.

“Because she’s upset and she’s crying and she’s pregnant. She really doesn’t need any extra stress, Patrick, and from what I heard from the elevator, you are both about to say some things that you’re not going to be able to take back. Is that really what you want?”

Patrick looked away or a long moment. “No,” he said. “I’ll go.” He hesitated. “I didn’t…I don’t want to hurt her, Elizabeth. I just want to do what’s best.”

“I understand that and I’m sure Robin will too. Good bye,” Elizabeth said, nodding towards the elevator.

Patrick waited for a moment but finally stormed down the hallway and jabbed the button for the elevator. “I’m going but I want you to tell her that I’m not backing off. I have rights here, too, and just because she thinks I did something that I didn’t, it doesn’t take that away.”

When the elevator doors slid closed, Elizabeth sighed and went back into Robin’s apartment where she found her friend sitting tensely in an arm chair. “Hey, sweetie.”

“Is he gone?” Robin demanded. She tapped her fingers against her thigh. “I can’t believe he came over here demanding we get married.”

Elizabeth closed the door and frowned. “Dr. Patrick Drake proposed marriage? I somehow can’t picture that.”

“Oh, it wasn’t a proposal,” Robin said scathingly. “It was an order and it was mixed in the middle of words like right thing and responsibility. Can you believe he was insulted that I turned him down?”

“Absolutely,” Elizabeth said. She perched on the edge of the coffee table in front of Robin. “So, I want to say congratulations but I’m not sure if you want to hear it.”

“Of course I do.” Robin sighed. “I just–I’ve been on emotional overload for the last two days. I haven’t even really sat down to think about what happens later–after Patrick and I deal with this initial shock.”

“Well, you should.” Elizabeth squeezed her hands. “Because the thought of all the wonderful things that are going to come from this–that’s what’s going to get you through this initial crap. Cameron is the best thing in my life and you’re going to hold your child one day and feel the same way–that everything in your life–the good, the bad and the absolutely horrible–it was all worth it if it brought you to that moment.”

“But what if the baby tests positive for HIV…” Robin sighed. “I know the risks are low, I’m not even sure what the exact percentages are but I know the odds are on our side but…I don’t…I don’t know…”

“You’re not afraid of how you’ll feel, but how Patrick will feel,” Elizabeth said quietly. “If he’ll resent you.”

“How could he not?” Robin asked. “A small child with HIV…he’ll be so limited. Having to take medications every single day, having to spend his whole life being careful of who he’s with, what he does…” She closed her eyes. “I remember how Patrick used to look at Noah, remembering the way that Noah trashed his life after his wife died…” she swallowed. “I don’t want him to look at me like that. Ever.”

“I know,” Elizabeth sighed. “And there’s no way to assure that it won’t happen. I personally think that Patrick is a better person than that and I don’t think it will but people always like to think the best of everyone.”

“Exactly.” Robin sniffled. “I thought…I could go to Paris and have the baby and wait to find out.. So maybe if he tests positive, Patrick can have the option of not…” Her voice broke. “And maybe if he doesn’t see the baby grow and develop…”

“I’m sorry, Robin. I understand what you’re saying and part of me totally understands but it’s wrong,” Elizabeth said firmly. “You can’t take this away from him. Whatever he did or said or whatever happened between the two of you, he deserves the chance to be this baby’s father. You can’t punish him now for something he might never do. It’s not fair.”

“I’m such a hypocrite,” Robin sniffled. “I made such a huge deal about Michael’s paternity and how AJ should know and be a part of Michael’s life and here I am, wanting to do the same thing Carly–”

“No, no–see Carly slept with someone, didn’t know who the father was and then when she found out, she drugged the poor guy to make him think he’d fallen off the wagon and then she lied to him about the paternity and destroyed a lot of people in the process. You are nothing like Carly, Robin,” Elizabeth assured her. “You want to protect everyone but yourself. Going to Paris protects Patrick, or so you think and it protects the baby from the possible rejection by his father. But you’d be the one who’d have to deal without Patrick’s support and I think you might need it.”

“I’d have my mother and I’d have Brenda,” Robin shrugged.

“And they’re wonderful,” Elizabeth nodded. “But Patrick is the father of your child. Lucky is wonderful to Cameron and I know I’m blessed that he loves him so much but there are moments when I remember Zander and I’m sorry that he never met his child. Zander had a lot of trouble and his life ended horribly, but he was a good friend to me and he could have been so much more. I know he would have been a wonderful father and if things had been different, he would have supported me through my pregnancy, even if we were never more than friends. Don’t take that chance away from Patrick and don’t cheat yourself of that either.”

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