title. the baby factor
characters. david sinclair/claudia gomez, charlie eppes/amita ramanujan
warnings. het, language, baby!fic, marital discourse, OOC!amita
word count. 1469
feedback. is the fuel for the fire
disclaimer. recognizable characters and canon contained herein are the property of cheryl heuton and nicolas falacci, as well as any other associated writers, producers, networks, and parent companies. the following was written by neur0 vanity. no copyright infringement is intended, and no profit is being made.
author's notes. thanks to my beta hellphyre and the help received from irena_adler.
He’d forget to call. Or he would call and say he’d be late, and Zoila would say in her thick accent, “Damn it, Mr. Sinclair, I had a date tonight.” Claudia would call Zoila, and Zoila would say, “Mrs. Sinclair, I would really like more notice,” and Claudia would say, “Well, I’m lucky to get fifteen minutes notice before I’ve got a body coming in, so I’m giving you as much of a heads-up as I can.” After the umpteenth time she’s received a call like this, or hasn’t received a call and sat for an hour by the front door of the Sinclair home with her handbag in her lap, Zoila calls it quits. She says she can’t work like this; she can’t work on-call. She can’t be told it’ll be ten hours and have it turn into fifteen. Or sixteen. Or twenty. She can’t live like this. So Zoila, the faithful Sinclair nanny, Jermaine Donald’s nanny, JD’s nanny, she tells a tired and weary David that she’s quitting – she’ll give them another day to find a replacement – and she’s got her head hung low, and JD is crying from his room, and Zoila moves instinctively to go check him, but David stills her and says, “I’ve got it. You can go.”
David understands. It wasn’t fair to Zoila. And what did this say about him and his wife? When did parents stop being the ones to raise their children?
David enters the nursery and turns on the light, and JD is bawling and squirming in his crib. He picks up his son and holds him tight.
“Hey, big guy. Hey. What’s going on?” David looks at his baby. “You need food? Need a new diaper? What’s the deal?” JD just keeps crying. He lays his son back down and goes to prepare a bottle. After it’s at the right temperature, he brings it into the nursery and offers it to JD, but JD refuses. “Okay, not that.” He peels off the edge of JD’s diaper and checks it. Nothing there. “Not that, either.” David sighs in frustration as JD continues to wail. “I don’t know what you need.” JD cries harder. “Man, interrogating suspects is easier than this shit.”
David turns at the sound of his wife’s voice and sees Claudia standing in the darkened hallway.
“I didn’t hear you come in,” he says.
“You wouldn’t.” She steps further into the room. “Not with the ruckus going on in here.” She dips her arms into the crib and pulls JD back out, cradling him. “Get the ointment from the cupboard. That’ll help.”
David fetches the jar, and Claudia spreads a generous amount over JD’s gums. “There, that’s better.”
“How did you know?” David asks as she lays the quieter baby back down in bed.
Claudia looks over at David. “Zoila told me.” David nods his head. “She also told me that she just quit.”
“In the driveway. Did you do something?”
David rolls his eyes and huffs. “How come whenever shit goes down, it’s gotta be my fault?”
“Hey, I’m just asking. And you shouldn’t swear in front of the baby.”
“It was the both of us. She quit ‘cause of both of us. The long hours. The unpredictable schedule. It’s the FBI.”
“Maybe we should do something about this.”
“Maybe we should continue this conversation elsewhere.”
David nods his head and follows her out of the room, shutting off the light and closing JD’s door as he exits.
They sit down at the kitchen table.
“I think you should quit,” David says.
“I said I think you should quit.”
“I heard you; I want an explanation.” She puts her elbow on the table and cocks her head in that belligerent, street-girl way that always pisses off David.
“It’s our baby!”
“I know it’s our baby, but you have yet to give me a reason why I’m
the one who should quit.” Claudia cocks an eyebrow. David’s fucked. He’s caught, and he can feel it, feel that rock and hard place on either side of him, and he knows he’s screwed. Claudia huffs. “This is some chauvinistic shit.”
“It’s not chauvinism; it’s traditionalism.”
“I went to med school, ni– ”
“I know you did, baby, but I went through a hell of a lot to get where I am, too. Like bullets.”
“Yeah, ‘cause you got shot at a few times, that means you went through more torture than I did,” she shoots back, sarcasm thick in her voice.
“We’re talking about my life
“David Jefferson Sinclair, if you ‘baby’ me one more time, I will slap the black off you.”
David puts up his hands in surrender. “Okay, okay.” He licks his lips. “Maybe you could get a nice 9-to-5 job as a mortician – ”
“I didn’t work my ass off at Stanford to put makeup on dead bodies, fool. Now, maybe you’re
the one that can think about a career change.”
His eyes widen. “Aww, hell no.” He stands up from his chair at the table. “Hell to the no, Claudia. This team is a rock. It’s a fucking rock
, Claudia, and if you remove a piece, there’s gonna be a landslide.”
“What do you want us to do then?”
He starts pacing the room. “I don’t know.” He scrubs a hand over his face. “I don’t know what the answer is.” He pauses. “Maybe you could be an administrator at a hospital. With the FBI under your belt, that’s a great credential to have, and you’re clearly an expert.”
“David, medicine is my life. I want to be in the field. I want to be doing the procedures. I want to get my hands dirty. I want to make a difference.”
“And you can still make a difference as an administrator.”
“Yeah, fighting with HMOs and negotiating with malpractice lawyers. I’ll be an administrator when I’m ready to retire. Until then, I’m in the field. I’m one of the foremost medical examiners in LA, and I work for the Federal Bureau of Investigations. I went through years of training at one of the most prestigious universities in the world. Now, I love my baby, but I’m not giving up my career, and no woman should be expected to do that just because she’s the lesser sex
. I’m sorry, David, but you didn’t marry Mary Poppins. You didn’t marry June Cleaver. You married me.”
“I can’t leave my team.”
“And I can’t leave my passion.” Claudia lowers her head and slowly looks back up at him. “So what else is there?”
David contemplates for a moment and looks at her with knowing. “Charlie.”
Charlie smiles. “It doesn’t take mathematical analysis or a genius,” he says with laughter in his voice. “You just get two nannies. Have Zoila take the day shift, and find someone else for nights. It’s LA; there’s a plethora of… well, forgive me if I seem tactless or blunt or rude or – ”
“The point, Charlie?” David lifts his eyebrows.
“There are plenty of immigrants like Zoila who would jump at the opportunity.” Charlie steps closer. “And, uh, well, Amita and I can watch the baby in the evenings if there aren’t any suitable candidates.”
Amita perks up from her book in the living room. “Definitely!”
Charlie steps until he’s inches from David and lowers his voice. “Amita’s, uh, biological clock is ticking, and you’d really be doing me a solid if you let her take care of the baby.”
“Well, maybe once she sees what it’s really like…”
“Ah, I gotcha.”
“Not ready to be a daddy?”
Charlie nods quickly. “Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.”
“That settles it,” David says, voice returning to normal volume. “Zoila will watch JD during the day; Amita, you’ve got him at night.”
“That’s awesome, David,” Amita gushes. “You won’t regret this. We’ll watch quality children’s programming and play educational games, and he’ll get plenty of exercise and nap time – ”
“See what I mean?” Charlie whispers.
“Ooh, and don’t forget Mozart for Babies
,” she continues. “I already have the album. They say it increases brain activity. You know, with me and Charlie, JD will be a shoe-in for Harvard.”
“And she would know; she almost went to teach there,” Charlie wryly adds.
“Charlie, would you stop holding that over my head?”
“I’m not – ” Charlie huffs a fake laugh. “I’m not…” He turns to David and whispers, “God, I’m in that corner, aren’t I?”
“Women have a way of doing that to us,” David whispers back.
“I swear, David, this is the best decision you’ll ever make!” Amita guarantees with a bright, exuberant smile.
Charlie turns away and looks at David. “Is your kid a brat?”
“Oh, thank God.”.end.like it? watch whereismytalent for more!