Title: Of Wishes and Dreams ( and All Attainable Things)
Characters: Adam Braverman/Kristina Braverman
Rating: PG 13
Prompt: Hold on, to me as we go as we roll down this unfamiliar road
Timeline: Season 4
Word Count: 933
Summary: In the midst of this chaos, Adam wishes for silence. He wishes for stillness and Kristina wishes for life.
Author's Note: Written for lapiccolina. I can't find the link from where she requested it, but I know it exists. This is my first time writing Parenthood, so be gentle!
The days roll into one another, each as chaotic as the last. Adam thought that having one less kid in the house would mellow life out; but life, the one he built with Kristina (the one he dreamed he'd build forever with Kristina) was changing and it was changing fast.
Doctor appointments, school interviews, puppies and kids fall into succession like rapid firework. They come at him, one after another, a new crisis like a burst of light and flame. There's barely a moment to breathe, let alone think, and the drumming beat of everyday life starts to grate on his nerves. In the midst of this chaos, Adam wishes for silence.
He wishes for stillness and Kristina wishes for life.
Every morning Kristina stands at the kitchen counter and soaks in the movement around her. She watches Max leave for school and it takes everything in her not to call him back to play hooky for the day. She reads Haddie's morning text and busies herself around the kitchen to keep from jumping in a car and driving out to Cornell. She moves Nora from one hip to the other and bites her tongue from whispering, "I'm going to miss you the most."
When she wakes up to an "on" day, she lets Adam's family visit. Camille, Sarah, Julia and Jasmine cram into her living room with nothing but smiles and laughter. She doesn't know how they managed to be free from work and responsibility for a day, but she is joyful in their presence.
"And so I end up in the middle of the dance floor with this fool and I'm absolutely mortified… turned me off school dances for the rest of the year."
"Better a dance floor than a bar."
"A bar at least has provisions: tequila, gin, three dollar shots special--"
"-- a bull-riding competition?"
The sounds of their voices warm her like a summer day. They exchange stories back and forth like girls at a slumber party, friends destined to live out the rest of their lives together. But soon her time is up and she feels her eyes getting heavy with sleep. The chatter simmers and the next thing she knows, she wakes up with an afghan on her shoulder and a steaming cup of tea on the coffee table.
She lifts her head from the couch to look out the window. The sun shines bright in the Californian afternoon as Kristina views the scene before her: Camille, walking arm in arm with Sarah, and Julia hugging Jasmine before they get into their cars. She can't hear them but knows from experience, that the promises of phone calls and texts are shared before they finally part ways.
Kristina watches the last Braverman leave her driveway and she wishes for one more day.
"Hi Mom, I'm just calling to let you know that I'm five weeks into chemo. Things are going just as planned, well, the doctors are very positive. Adam's family has been very kind, I mean, crazy at times, but really good to me. And Adam… Adam's been a constant surprise. Anyway, Max is enjoying school; he's doing this really great thing with his presidential candidacy. Nora's been fussy but I remember Haddie being the same way at that age. Speaking of Haddie… I spent hours arguing with her the other night. She wanted to move back home to be closer… I guess she takes after me, wanting to be close to her mom."
Kristina takes a pause and closes her eyes. She waits for a response but all she hears is the beeping of the answering machine telling her that once again, her time is up.
At night time, Adam stretches his arm over her body and whispers new promises in her ear. She smiles at the sweet adventures he'd conjure into existence even if they exist only in their minds.
"The secluded beaches of Vietnam sound exotic, don't they? Or maybe one of the many remote islands in Thailand," Adam says, "we could have our own little boat, travel from port to port..."
"I can practically hear the waves," she replies.
But the dreams only last for so long before reality settles in and they think about what they are facing. Dreams can't measure up to fear and the chance that their future, the one Kristina spent all her life dreaming about, could go in a direction she's not ready for.
"Nora's first ballet recital," Kristina whispers quietly. She shuts her eyes but the tears come pouring out, "her first day of school, graduation, Haddie's wedding, her kids, Max… Max…" she doesn't finish her thought.
There are far too many moments to count and knowing she could miss each one burns her heart.
The first week of remission is a whirlwind of a different kind. The days roll into one another, each as enthusiastic as the last. Adam revels in the energetic tumble of their night to day-day to night kind of life; and life, the one he built with Kristina (the one he knows he'll build forever and ever with Kristina) will continue to change the way he sees fit.
Adoption ceremonies, baby announcements, puppies and kids fall into succession. Adam takes them as they come. There are infinite moments to smile and laugh, and the renewal of everyday life kick starts his heart. In the midst of celebration, Adam whisks Kristina away on the adventure he's spent nights carving into their imaginations.
It's everything she wished it would be and her heart flutters in a new way, in the best way.
- fic: of wishes and dreams (and all attainable things)