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

-- Chuck Palahniuk

Monday, January 21, 2013

26- Breathe: Part Two


Aria opened her eyes groggily, stretching and reaching over to turn her alarm clock off. Carter was asleep like a rock next to her. She leaned over, tracing her lips over his ear. He always looked so cute when he was sleeping, she didn't want to wake him. She sighed, laying her head on his chest. She could hear his heartbeat and it was almost like music. She couldn't believe that they had been married 7 years tomorrow. Time really did fly. 

She felt him stir underneath her and looked up at his face, smiling. 

"Hi sleepyhead." 

He smirked, playfully pushing her hair into her eyes. 

"I can't believe you are watching me sleep, you creep." 

She giggled and kissed him. 

"It's my job to creep on you. I earned that right a long time ago." 

Carter groaned and threw his pillow at her. 

"You've been a creep since I met you. Don't lie." 

She grinned and laid next to him, her face next to his.

He played with her hair, kissing her forehead. 

"I love you Aria. I always have." 

She smiled, burying her face in his shoulder. 

"I love you too Carter." 

A soft cry resounded from down the hall. Danielle must be awake. She had just turned two the week before. She was still pretty much a daddy's girl. She laid there a second, wondering if Jack would get her out of the crib and get her a toy. Her cries grew fussier and Aria sighed, parting from the warmth of the bed. 

Carter sat up and chuckled. 

"Don't worry, Ar. I'll be right downstairs. It's like you're scared I'll just disappear or something."

 Aria smiled weakly. For some reason, she was terrified of just that. Which was un-explainable. There was no reason to be afraid of that. They were married. They had two kids. Their life was perfect. No reason to be afraid, and yet she was. 

She shook her head, clearing it, and quickly got dressed, heading off down the hall to get Danielle out of her bed. She rocked her softly, bouncing her on her hip on the way to the kitchen. Jack was already in there, reading a book and eating cereal.

 "Hey there sunshine. You could have gotten your sister you know." 

He shrugged, not responding. That kid would rather read than do anything. She sat Danielle in her high chair and gave her some baby goop, hearing Carter's footsteps as he came down the stairs.

"Hello, beautiful." 

He said to the toddler, ruffling her hair. 

She squealed and smiled as wide as she could at him. He bent down to Jack's level and looked at the book he was holding. 

"What are you reading, J?" 

Jack looked at him, raising an eyebrow. 

"A. Book." 

He held it in his face, moving it a little. Carter laughed, 

"Yeah, yeah." 

He crossed the kitchen, wrapping his arms around Aria's waist. His breath tickled her ear and she laughed, extracting herself.

He pulled her back to him, kissing her.

"Guys, seriously, that's so gross." 

Jack covered his eyes with his hands and groaned. 

They laughed, pulling apart. 

"Aren't you late for your bus?" 

Carter pointed at the clock and Jack's eyes widened. He threw down his book and grabbed his backpack, racing for the door. 

"Bye guys! You can be gross now." 

They chuckled, embracing again. Jack was 7. And he was amazing, but he had his fathers attitude to a tee.

Carter rest his chin on Aria's head, sighing. 

"Did you take that test this morning?" 

Aria was suddenly nervous. She had totally forgotten. After the last three she didn't even WANT to. She couldn't handle another heartbreak.

 They had been trying for a year to have a baby, and every time she took a test it was negative. Each time, her heart broke a little more. 

Aria stared off into the distance. 

"I don't even want to. I'm more than likely NOT pregnant Carter. My body is broken." 

He sighed, turning her to face him. 

"Your body is NOT broken. It will happen baby. And if it doesn't..." 

He kissed her forehead softly. 

"It obviously wasn't meant to be." 

Aria bit her lip and looked off in the direction of the bathroom. Carter followed her gaze and laughed. 

"Do I need to hold your hand?" 

She grimaced at him and stuck her tongue out. 

"No, I think I have it handled." 

She pulled away from him pretty unwillingly and made her way into the bathroom, casting a final glance at Carter's shadowed form. 

"Here goes nothing.." 

She said, shutting the door. 

She waited three minutes, biting off every single one of her nails. With a sigh she finally decided to get up off the floor and look at the test. When she saw the result window her stomach dropped. She composed herself, tossing it in the trash. She opened the door and made her way into the kitchen, where Carter was busy attacking Danielle with his 'claw' hand. 

He looked up at her, his face instantly going colorless with worry. 


He put Danielle on the floor, crossing over to her. 

"Baby, I'm so sorry." 

He hugged her close, to comfort her but Aria started laughing. He looked at her, confused. 

"I really don't think this is funn-" 

He started, but that only made her laugh harder. 

"I think you've lost your mind Aria Eden."

 Aria grabbed his hand and put it on her stomach. 

"Carter, I'm pregnant."

His entire face lit up. 


She nodded, a giant grin spreading across her face. Carter kissed her, hugging her close. 

"I love you. You know that. You gotta stop scaring me." 

Aria smiled, his hand touching her face. 

"I love you too. I'm sorry." 

He shook his head. 

"No, It's fine. You just scared me half to death, I couldn't stand to see you go through another no." 

For some reason, Aria's vision started to grow fuzzy. She shook her head to clear it, staring at Carter, but the fuzziness just grew worse. He didn't seem to even notice, still talking. But the more he talked, the darker everything grew. 
And then everything went black.


Beep ........ Beep....... Beep......... Beep..

"You found her like this?"

"Do you know how many she took?"

Beep..... Beeep.... Beeep... Beep...

"Jesus, she came to your house right before this happened, why the fuck didn't you stop her?"

"What was I supposed to DO? Tie her down? i didn't know she was going to try and commit SUICIDE!"

Beep ........ Beep....... Beep......... Beep..

The two whispering voices blurred into each other and a third voice rang out, clear as a bell . 

"You guys aren't helping anything by acting like teenagers." 

"Would you shut up Carter. You haven't been around for a while. She doesn't even LIKE you. Why are you here?"

"You talk to me like that again and I'll knock your fucking teeth in."

"I DARE you."

Aria's mouth was dry, but she managed to get "Shut up, you two." out of it.

 All three of them snapped their heads in her direction, rushing over to the hospital bed. Danielle's face was colored with worry and Levi looked equally upset. Carter kind of just stood there. His expression unreadable. For some reason, he was the one Aria was the most concerned about upsetting. What the heck was that dream all about? 

Carter crossed his arms over his chest and looked away, out the window. His expression showed nothing, but Aria could feel the resentment seeping off of him. He really didn't like Levi and being in this close proximity was really pissing him off. Levi bent down, brushing Aria's hair aside and kissing her forehead. She was shocked by his kind gestures. Last time she checked, he had 'given up on her for good'. 

She cleared her throat, it was raw from something. Having her stomach pumped she presumed. Awesome. 

"Nothing like attempted suicide to bring everyone together huh?"

 She said, trying to lighten the mood. All it did was earn her three different very dirty looks. 

"Is she okay? Where is she?!" 

Aria groaned, hearing Mila's panicked voice from the hallway. Great, she had flown in all the way from Starlight Shores. Good job Aria.

 Mila stormed into the room, Ariana trailing behind and a redhead she hadn't seen in months. Willow. Seriously? I didn't even die. She and Ariana stalled at the edge of the room, they didn't seem to want to get near her. Maybe they thought suicidal was contagious.

Mila pushed Carter and Levi aside, coming up to Aria with a mixed expression on her face. It seemed lke sadness... and anger. 

"What the fluff were you thinking?!" 

She demanded. Yep, that would be anger. Aria shook her head. Not quite knowing how to answer. What was she supposed to say? It was obvious what she was thinking. Carter murmured something under his breath and Levi turned to him, his tone livid. 

"Would you just shut the fuck up?" 

Mila smacked his arm. 

"Leave him alone. He's been around her for a hell of a lot longer than YOU have." 

Levi narrowed his eyes at her. He said nothing, but his feelings were written all over his face. 

"Don't look at me like that. All you've ever done is abandon her. This is partially your fault." 

His face colored with anger, but right before he said anything, it crumpled with grief. He looked at Aria, and then at the floor. 

"I know."

He muttered the words before exiting into the hall.

 Danielle glared at Mila. 

"You didn't have to say that. He feels guilty enough." 

Mila laughed bitterly. 

"He should." 

Carter just stood there solemnly, staring at Aria. She caught his gaze and looked away. Those eyes ate through her soul. Mila's cell phone vibrated and she cast a concerned look at Aria, holding a finger up and exiting into the hallway.

Ariana and Willow didn't really say anything. They were in the corner, lost in conversation with each other. Carter just sighed, coming closer to her and sitting in the chair next to the bed. 

"You gonna try that stupid shit again when they let you out of here?"

 Aria shook her head vigorously. 

"No. I'm not touching anything ever again." 

Carter smiled at her. 

"I sincerely hope so. Cause I'll kick your ass if you do. And I am pretty sure the rest of the people here will too."

Danielle nodded. 

"Especially me. I can't lose my best friend Aria." 

She walked over to her and squeezed her hand. She looked up at Danielle and noticed there were tears in her eyes. 

"When I found you like that, I thought you were dead." 

Aria's eyes widened. Danielle had found her. She felt sick. 

"I'm so sorry." 

She said, her voice cracking.

"That was the stupidest thing you've ever done. I can't believe you would put all of us through that!"

 Carter glared at Danielle. 

"Would you NOT do that. I think she knows what she did was wrong." 

Danielle looked at him icily. 

"What I say to her is none of your business." 

She sneered.

 "I'm pretty sure Levi was right. She doesn't even LIKE you, so there is no reason for you to even be here."

 He stood up, clenching his fists. 

"I seriously have had enough of you AND your sons bullshit." 

He looked back at Aria.

 "I'll wait in the hallway for you after you're discharged." 

He looked towards the door.

 "Which should be anytime. The doctor said after you woke up you would be."

He walked out the door and Danielle crossed her arms over her chest. 

"About time he left. He's been here since the ambulance brought you in. I didn't even call him. And somehow he showed up."

 She sighed.

 "That's because I called him."

 Mila said, entering and bringing a bottle of water over to Aria. 

"He has just as much of a right to be here as your son does. Seeing as we grew up with him." 

Danielle huffed, looking away. She really didn't like Carter. Aria couldn't figure out why. He had never done anything to her.

The doctor came in a few minutes later, checking Aria over and letting her know she was released. Then he gave her a list of numbers for therapy. She groaned, folding the paper and putting it on the bed while she got dressed. She put it in her pocket, thinking to herself that maybe it wouldnt be such a bad idea...

She exited into the hallway, Mila and Ariana had just left to go back to Starlight Shores and Willow went with them to catch her plane to Hidden Springs. Levi and Carter had stayed behind. Or at least she thought both  of them had, but she couldn't see Carter anywhere. Levi had been leaning against the wall outside her room, waiting for her.

 He took her hand when she exited. She looked down at their intertwined fingers, confused. 

She let it go, squeezing his hand tightly. They had just made it to the reception desk when Levi pulled her to the side. Aria's brow crinkled, puzzled. Levi shifted his weight, looking her dead in the eye.

"Every time you look at me , my heart shatters. I can't stand that you would do this to yourself because of me. I feel like this entire thing is my fault." 

Aria shook her head, making her world spin. 

"It's not, Levi. Don't say that. I'm stupid. I made a mistake." 

Her voice cracked.

"You tried to kill yourself. How is that a mistake?" 

Levi had not let go of Aria's hand since he had grabbed it. He finally took one hand off, reaching into his pocket. Aria's eyes widened as he dropped onto one knee. 

"Aria. You have no idea what i went through thinking that I had lost you forever. I can't imagine spending one more moment away from you. I dont care what you've done, the mistakes you've made. I love you."

 He popped the all too familiar box open, and Aria's eyes fell on the beautiful ring. 

"Will you marry me?" 

Aria stood speechless. She had NOT been expecting this. They were still in the middle of the hospital for Gods sake. She though of the dream she had just had.. Shouldn't that have been Levi? 

Why the hell was it Carter of all people?

She swallowed, a grin surfacing. 

"Of course Levi. Yes!" 

As Levi slid the ring on her finger, Aria noticed a figure off to the side down the hall. All she saw was a flash of green eyes as they exited into the stairwell. In the back of her mind she thought of the dream she had awoken from back into this nightmare. 

Which one was truly better?

She started walking away with Levi, but looked over her shoulder. She came to a stop, and Levi looked at her, confused. She smiled weakly, detaching her had from his. 

"Hold on, there's something I have to do."

She turned and rushed to the stairway, opening the door and taking the stairs two at a time.

 "Carter! Stop!" 

He stopped descending, looking up at her. As she approached him, he let out a heavy sigh.

 "What is it Aria?"

She thought for a second. She actually wasn't sure WHAT it was. The dream she had had was still clear in her mind. Maybe it just made her want to talk to him. 

"I just couldn't let you leave without saying goodbye."

 She stated quickly, touching his shoulder. She wanted to hug him but he didn't look like he was in a very huggy mood. He smirked. 

"Okay.. So. Goodbye?" 

He turned to leave again, but she put a hand on his arm. 

"Wait. Are you mad at me?" 

He looked at her, dumbfounded. 


Aria looked at the floor.

 "I'm furious Aria. Levi isn't the only one who doesn't want to lose you." 

She smiled a little, looking back up at him. She was constantly doubting the fact that he cared.

 "So you're going to marry him?" 

Carter asked, his eyes on the ring attached to her finger. Aria nodded, smiling. 

"Are you going to be the best man? Cause you know, he has no choice in the matter." 

Carter scoffed. 

"Is that supposed to be a joke? I fucking hate that guy." 

Aria groaned.

 "Can't you just suck it up for me?" 

Carter shook his head slightly. 


Aria couldn't believe he was acting like this. 

"Carter we've been friends for 20 years, doesn't that trump a petty dislike of someone?"

 He crossed his arms over his chest. 

"Not this guy. You almost killed yourself because of him." 

Aria looked away. 

"It's not his fault." 

He raised an eyebrow. 

"Yes, it was. Part of it was him. You just don't want to admit it because you supposedly 'love' him." 

Aria grimaced. 

"I DO love him." 

Carter nodded. 

"I know you think you do. But I don't believe that's the case anymore." 

She sighed. 

"You are blind then." 

He smiled. 

"Nah, I'm not. But you are." 

There was something in his smile that she couldn't quite put her finger on. It made her feel like she was missing something. 

"What is that supposed to mean?" 

His phone rang, pulling his attention away from her. He looked at it, rolling his eyes and pushing ignore. Aria was curious but she didn't ask, it was none of her business. They stood there for a second, quiet. Aria stared at the peeling paint on the stairway walls. 

"I think you should probably get back to your fiance." 

He said the last word with a finality that Aria didn't understand. 

"Don't forget about me, okay, Carter. I still want to be your friend. I still want to see you." 
He nodded, pulling her into a hug. 

"I'll always be here. I couldn't go anywhere if I wanted to. 20 years later and I still can't seem to stay away from you." 

Aria smirked.

 "You know you love me." 

She punched him playfully in the shoulder, turning and heading back up the stairs. He said something before the door closed, but she didn't quite catch what it was.

Aria felt more confused than she ever had in her life..

Anastaisia Rapture

Lawson Rapture

Chyler, child

Kingston, child.

Kennedie Rapture, Baby 50.

Levi and Aria brought 2 babies, a girl, Reece and a boy, Zephyr,  into the world soon after her stint in the hospital. After the birth, Levi demanded that Aria go to a therapist. Reluctantly, after weeks of fighting, she agreed...