Yes, terrible things happen, but sometimes those terrible things-- They save you.

-- Chuck Palahniuk

Sunday, December 30, 2012

24- Setting Fires

Some birthdaaaysss first ;)
Tripp, teen.

Rory, teen.

Demetria Rapture, baby 48

Leilani Rapture, baby 49.

Echo, child.

Phoebe, child.

Aria blinked blurrily at the doctor who was checking her pulse. 

The last thing she remembered was walking to her car for her OB appointment. She was pregnant, finally, with baby number 50. She was halfway there. 

"Where am I?" She muttered, rubbing her eyes and automatically moving her hands to her barely there belly. Only, something felt wrong.

Her stomach felt significantly flatter than it had been that morning. 

"What's going on?" She asked, starting to panic. The doctor looked at her sympathetically. "i'm so sorry, Ms. Rapture, but you slipped and fell on the ice outside your house the day before yesterday. You lost the baby."

Aria stared at him. Now that her vision was clearing, his face came into focus. And he looked extremely familiar. 

"I.. Don't even remember falling?" The doctor shrugged. "You hit your head pretty hard, you have a concussion. I know this seems like a lot to take in, but you were only a few weeks along. I am so, so sorry for your loss." Aria sighed, leaning her head back against the pillow. She had only been to the hospital less than six weeks ago to have another fertilization. Her luck sucked. And her head really hurt.

The doctor turned to leave, but Aria called out to him. 

"Hey, do I know you?" The guy turned around, smiling at her. "My name is Dylan. Danielle is my mom." Aria's mouth dropped open. Holy crap. "Thanks for bringing me in." She said, issuing a tiny wave. He shook his head. "I didn't bring you in. Levi did." Aria's eyebrows knitted together. That was impossible. He hadn't been around when she was heading out to her appointment. She was completely alone. Dylan smiled and left the room, leaving Aria alone with her thoughts. 

She was kind of over this whole situation, and ready to go home.


Aria snapped the hospital bracelet off and set it quietly on the table in the room, heading out to the reception desk. She was signing the papers for her own discharge, when she felt a tap on her shoulder. She turned around, surprised to see her cute doctor, well, Dylan Smores.

 "H-hey." She managed. Stunned by her sudden lack of words. He chuckled. "Hey. I was actually wondering, you might think this is kind of weird, but I am off of my shift and I was thinking of going to get a tattoo. Do you want to go with me?" 

Aria's eyes widened. "That is kind of weird." She laughed. "But, I was thinking of getting one myself sometime soon. I'll go." He smiled, lighting up his eyes. "Awesome, I'll grab my car and meet you in front." Aria nodded, watching him walk away. He was so fluffing cute. Figures. 

Danielle needed to stop making such hot sons. It wasn't good for her. She sighed. She hoped that Levi wouldn't care that she was hanging out with his brother. It wasn't like she planned for anything to happen. 

She shivered in the cold air, drawing her jacket tighter around her. Riverview looked so beautiful in the snow, but it was way too cold for her liking. Dylan pulled up in a SUV, gesturing for Aria to get in. She hurriedly did, nervous. 

"Are you okay?" He asked, pulling out onto the street. Aria looked out the window, the trees flashing by. She didn't respond, Not really knowing the answer. Dylan glanced over at her, deciding maybe he should change the subject. "So you and my brother? You guys used to be together right?"

Aria sighed.

 "Yeah, we did. A long time ago." He chuckled. "I heard him talk about you before. That's why I recognized your name from your chart." Aria looked over at him, amused. 


He laughed. “I never did understand why you guys broke up.” Aria didn’t answer, unsure of what to say.  Dylan pulled into the parking lot of the shop, and stopped the car. He looked over at her, curious. "Are you ready to go in?" Aria hopped down out of the car, smiling. "Let's go."


"I can't believe you backed out." Aria laughed, admiring her new art work on her arm. It had hurt, and taken hours, but it wasn't too bad. 

Apparently Dylan was afraid of needles. 

"Yes, well, you may have the balls to put giant angel wings on your back, but I think I like the idea of getting a tattoo more than actually wanting to get one." Dylan shuddered, making Aria giggle. She reapplied the bandage, pulling her jacket on. 

"I'm coming back next week to get another one." She looked at Dylan. "So where next?" He seemed surprised. "You still want to hang out with me?" Aria grinned. "It's been a blast so far, why not?" She winked. 

She hopped off the counter, walking over to him. 

"So where next?" She repeated. Aria hadn't had fun in a while. Especially after what had happened recently. Dylan made me her feel warm inside. Kind of like Levi used to.. But not quite. No one made her feel the way he did. 

He held the door open for her and she exited, walking over to his car. "Do you want to go to the park? I know it's freezing, but I won't let you fall again." He smirked. Aria's clumsiness had been a running joke all night.

Aria thought a second. "Why not ice skating tomorrow instead?" Dylan raised an eyebrow, his doubt etched across his face. "You fell walking to your CAR and you want me to take you ice skating?" Aria stuck her tongue out. "I used to do it as a kid. I'm actually pretty good." He hesitated, finally sighing and climbing in. "Fine. But if you fall down and I have to take you to the hospital, don't expect me not to say 'I told you so'" 

Aria grinned, shutting the door behind her, excited. She hadn't been ice skating since she was a kid. Mila was phenomenal at it and had taught her everything she knew.

Tripp and Rory, YA.

Echo, teen.

Phoebe, teen

The air bit at Aria's face and she shivered. Dylan was lacing up his skates, and Aria stretched, watching him. He had been kind of quiet since he had picked her up. He had the day off, but he was on call. She stared as he made his way out onto the rink. He seemed a bit wobbly, but steady enough. When he made it a few feet, she skated over to him with ease. He looked shocked. "You aren't even a LITTLE bad at this are you?" Aria grinned. "Nope." She took his hand, and he skated easily. It didn't seem like he had to use much effort either.

They skated for a while, laughing and Aria showing off what she could do. Dylan didn't talk much, his mind somewhere else. Finally, she asked him what had been in her thoughts all night.

"So, tell me Dylan, why are you so quiet?" He sighed. "I'm not normally." Aria smiled. "Well, you are tonight. You were quite the talker yesterday." He ran a hand through his hair. "Yeah, I know."

 He seemed about to say something else when his cell phone went off. He looked at the screen, concern on  his face. He put the phone back in his pocket and looked at Aria with disappointment. "I'm sorry, but I have to go. There was a huge wreck in Bridgeport and some of the people were transferred to our hospital." Aria nodded, understanding. 

She skated with him to the side of the rink and watched him pull his skates off, and put his regular shoes on. He stood and waved and headed to his car, but before he got there, he turned around to look at her. "Can I see you again?" Aria smiled, but hesitated. She didn't know if that was such a good idea. She already felt like she was pushing her luck hanging out with him twice. What could it hurt though?

 "Of course, Dylan. Call me anytime."


Over the next few weeks Aria was almost always with Dylan. She found herself seeking comfort in him. Although, inside, she was aching with loneliness, when he was around it was lessened significantly. He was so full of light and he was always laughing. Aria felt.. alive. She even had put her baby challenge on hold, healing from the pain of losing what would have been her 50th baby. 

"I don't understand why you feel the need to drink at 2 in the afternoon. You're such a lush." Dylan said, putting his feet up on the coffee table. "Because I can. It's not hurting anyone. None of the kids are home."

 Aria continued to drink, winking at Dylan. He smirked, turning on the TV. "Whatever. Your liver hates you. Just so you know." Aria giggled, spilling a little of the drink on her dress. "Ugh, figures." She muttered, standing up.

"Hey, I am going upstairs to change. I'll be right back." Dylan glanced over his shoulder at her, nodding. Aria took the stairs two at a time, slightly dizzy. Dylan had a point. She more than likely SHOULDNT be drinking in the middle of the day. Oh well, it's not like it mattered. She pulled her dress over her head, giggling. 

She turned to go into her closet and almost had a heart attack. Dylan was standing in the doorway of her bedroom, looking at her with an odd expression on his face.

"Hey, dude. I am almost naked here." She laughed, holding her dress up to shield herself. Dylan shook his head. "God, I'm so sorry. I'm such a freak." He put his hands over his eyes and stepped out the door. 

Aria walked across the room and peeked her head out the door. "Hey," She poked his shoulder. He looked at her, guilty. "You're not a freak. Come here." She took his hand and pulled him to her, kissing him. 

"What are you doing Aria?" He mumbled, her lips on his neck. She looked up at him. "You don't want to?" He kissed her again, turning them into the bedroom. "Of course I do, but-" She silenced him with a kiss, pulling him closer.

 "But nothing. I like you, you like me. There is no problem here." Dylan kissed her, his mind completely full of thoughts he felt he shouldn't have. He kicked the door shut, pushing them towards the bed. And as they fell on it, He sincerely hoped his brother didn't kill him. 


Aria sighed, laying in her bed. She seriously was the queen of making people hate her. She had spent the entire night with Dylan. She felt like crap. An internal war raging. She couldn't believe she had done it. She felt like this was the worst thing she could have executed. She felt like a slut. And she fucking missed Levi so much. She looked at her phone, scrolling down to his number and almost pushing send. But then she tossed it on the floor. 

What was she thinking? He would hate her for the rest of her life.

She rolled onto her stomach, staring towards the bathroom where Dylan was showering.

 She quickly got dressed and slipped in the door. The steam filled the bathroom and she cleared her throat. She saw him jump. And then he stuck his head out the door. "Hey yo. You scared me." Aria smiled weakly. "Sorry, hon. Hey, I, uh, really don't know what you think this means-" Dylan went back to showering with a chuckle. "Calm down, Aria. We're just friends. I know where your heart lies." 


Aria found out she was having Dylan's baby 6 short weeks later. 

She felt defeated. There was no hiding a baby. The truth would come out and when it did, she would lose what little of Levi she may have had left. 'What are you even thinking Aria? He is with Reign now. He doesn't want to be with you.' She tossed the pregnancy test in the trash with a finality. 'I guess my baby challenge continues now.'


Baby Number 50 made its appearance. Aria's halfway baby was here. And it was the love of her life's brother's baby. Talk about Drama.
Kennedie Rapture. Baby Number Fifty.

Aria took her baby home, and went out to grab a few things from the store. 

While she was in town she ran into Levi. Literally.

 He helped her up, pushing her hair out of her eyes. 

"I'm sorry. I used to be better at watching where I was going." 

Levi chuckled. 

"It's fine Aria. I'm used to it. You've always been clumsy. You can find 7 things to trip on walking across the room." Aria's cheeks went pink. "Gee, thanks L." 

He hugged her, stepping away and pausing awkwardly.

Levi smiled, his eyes full of the light that Aria missed so much. He shifted his weight, looking nervous for a second. 

"Look, Aria, there's something I wanted to talk to you about." 

Aria nodded, curious. 

"Well, the other night, when you were at my apartment, I actually came to your house the morning you slipped because of this, I was thinking-" 

"Aria! Hey!"

 Levi turned around, and Aria glanced at who had called her name.

 Dylan Smores was making his way over to them. 

Perfect timing, Dyl. Jesus.

"Hey, Levi." He brushed him aside, positioning himself on the other side of Aria.

 "How's the baby?" 

Levi looked at Aria curiously. Aria wasn't sure if he knew or not, that she and Dylan had had a baby. She sighed. 

"The baby is great. She is perfectly healthy." 

Dylan smiled. 

"Did she get my hair? I still haven't been able to make it over there, I know I should have, but the hospital has been so busy." 

Levi stared at his brother. 

"You donated for Aria to have a baby?" 

He asked, no emotion in his voice. Dylan looked at him. 


He fumbled for words, giving Levi the exact confirmation he needed.

Levi's face darkened. 

"No way. You... and my brother?" 

Aria looked away, crossing her arms over her chest. Dylan sighed.

 "Levi, it's not like that. We're not together. It only happened once. We're just friends."

 Levi glared at Aria, the betrayal he felt plainly etched all over his expression. 

"I expected more from you, Dylan. You knew how I felt about her!"

 His words cut the air like a knife. Aria stood, speechless, between the two guys in front of her. Her heart was heavy with the guilt she carried. She destroyed families now. What was she becoming?

"Levi, I know. I'm sorry. I made a mistake." 

Dylan tried to get closer to Levi, but he shoved him backwards.

 "Don't fucking touch me. You're supposed to be my family. And you crossed a line that should never be crossed." 

Dylan snorted. 

"You have a girlfriend. Or did you forget about Reign?" 

Levi's eyes darted towards Aria. 

"I.. She.." 

Dylan laughed. 

"See, you don't even love her do you? You're so stuck on someone who doesn't WANT you that you can't love her."

"Don't you DARE go there. You don't know how I feel about either one of them." 

Levi's voice rose angrily, his eyes furious. Aria just stood there. She felt like a buoy in the middle of the ocean. Completely useless. 

"You know, Aria. This is all you're good for, isn't it? Causing trouble? Breaking people's hearts. I'm so sick of trying to figure you out when it has been obvious all along that you're nothing but a whore." 

Levi took something out of his pocket and tossed it at her feet. 

"You can have this. We were never anything but a lie."

 With that, he turned and walked away, getting into his car and speeding off. 
Aria just stared at the object on  the ground, ignoring Dylan's attempts to talk to her. She picked up the small box, her hands shaking. It had popped open on its fall. She looked at what was inside and felt her heart break. 

Nestled inside was a diamond ring the exact color of her eyes.


I can't believe I am halfway there. I am absolutely thrilled and kind of shocked at the same time. All of you have been so supportive and amazing. I have the best fans in the world, hands down. I love each and every one of you and I am extremely thankful you all have stuck around.

It's definitely bittersweet.

It only gets better from here. <3 

I LOVE YOU GUYS. --- Stacy <3


    Loved your use of the metaphor buoy in the ocean btw, really an example of your great writing.

    Logan XOXO
    PS Our kids are the cutest in your entire challenge, js.