Homecoming: An Original Ballykissangel Fanfiction

by Monica Waterston

                Scene- Fitzgerald's pub. Peter and Assumpta have just arrived in Ballykissangel last night, but no-one knows of their arrival except Niamh. Even she, however, does not know of Peter and Assumpta's news. She has gone back to the Garda house, and left Fitzgerald's to Peter and Assumpta. It is almost 10 in the morning, and Fitzgerald's isn't due to open for another couple of hours, so Peter and Assumpta decide to unpack and fix up the bar a bit before anyone knows they're back. Assumpta is trying to move boxes up the stairs, and Peter is watching her like a hawk.

                "Assumpta, be careful, you could slip, let me do that." Peter said anxiously.
                She turned and gave him a withering glance.
                "Listen to me, you're pregnant, you need to rest!"
                "You can't even tell yet, Peter." Assumpta sighed, letting her hands rest on her heather colored sweater, which now had a soft mound beneath it.
                "Yes, you can, a little." he contradicted her, looking pointedly at the slight change.
                "You cannot." she said, staring into his eyes with a scowl on her face.
                "Assumpta, go sit down, I'll unpack!" he ordered, looking hard into her eyes.
                "Peter, I can still move, you know..." Assumpta's tone was joking, but her look was serious. "I'm not an invalid yet, you'll have plenty of time to watch me sit in chairs and not help you with anything." she laughed. "I can move these boxes, trust me."
                "Why am I not surprised? Always my stubborn woman, aren't you?" Peter laughed.
                "I'm not your 'woman'!" she hooted indignantly, glaring at him sharply, "I'm your WIFE, and I'm still moving these boxes whether you like it or not."
                Peter suddenly became rather businesslike. "No. I won't hear of it. Go up to our room and lie down. You could lose the baby if you stress yourself too much, you know. We don't want that happening." he insisted as he came over to her. He wrapped his hands around Assumpta's waist, giving her a kiss. "Rest for awhile, then when the bar opens I'll call you." His voice softened just a bit as Assumpta smiled at him.
                "Peter...."Assumpta sighed heavily as she broke the embrace and looked him in the eye.
                "I'm fine, really!" she was beginning to get annoyed. "When I need to lie down, I will, okay?"
                Peter looked at her, still determined to get his way. "Assumpta..." he warned her.
                "Fine, anything to get you to shut up!" she yelled as she ascended the steps.
                "Do you need my help going up the-"
                "NO!" she shouted, "I'm fine!" Assumpta cast Peter a disgusted look from the landing.
                "I'll lie down, but not 'cause you told me I should. Because I'm tired." she couldn't help adding.
                "Fine. I'll get the bar ready, and you can help serve when we open." Peter looked satisfied.
                "Sure. Call me, okay?"
                "Peter..." she said, looking down on him.
                "I love you." Assumpta smiled.
                "Love you too, now get some rest!" he looked at her sternly.
                "Oh what I wouldn't give for a tea towel." Assumpta laughed. "Or some tea for that matter..."
                "Assumpta, caffeine's bad for the baby..." Peter cautioned.
                She gave a disgusted growl and said, "Peter, if you say one more word..."
                "I'm done."
                And with that, Assumpta disappeared from Peter's view into their bedroom.




                The bar was as close to spotless as one could imagine, and Peter was satisfied with the work he had done. He decided to go check on Assumpta, and tell her that it was almost time for the pub to open. He walked up the stairs to their room, and found the door was open. He crossed the floor to the bed, where his wife was sleeping soundly with the duvet pulled over her so that only her face was showing. He sat down lightly on the edge of the bed and stroked her hair, careful not to wake her.
                "I love you more than life itself, Assumpta," he whispered, gazing at her sleeping face. "I wanted you to know that before I'm edged out by...competetitors." he added, giving her a light kiss.
                Assumpta's eyelids opened slowly as she said softly, "Well, not to worry, Peter, you'll have plenty of time before you have to worry about the competitors."
                "Yeah, you're right." he smiled at her and kissed her again.
                "I love you too." she answered, shifting position and fluffing the pillows so she could sit up. "And," she said, placing her hands on her slightly protruding stomach, "I love you too, you remember that when you're older, okay? Hopefully I'll have my first scan coming up in the near future so I can see what you look like." she smiled.
                "Assumpta?" Peter said in a hushed voice, letting his hands rest on hers.
                "Yeah?" she asked, looking into his eyes.
                "What will we tell everyone?" Peter suddenly had an serious expression.
                Assumpta made a face. "About us?"
                "Yeah, about us." he said, "They'll want an explanation, you know."
                "Yes..." Assumpta said, looking down at her belly again. "I know..."
                Downstairs the door opens, and a voice calls out. "Anyone up there?" the creak of a barstool was heard, and Assumpta grimaced.
                "Nothing like advanced warning, is there?" she said sardonically.
                Assumpta groaned as she tried to get up. "Jeez," she said, "If I need help now...."
                "Don't worry, I'll help." Peter offered, helping her up.
                "Anyone up there? Niamh! Pint please!" the voice demanded.
                "Padraig.." Assumpta hissed, making a face.
                "Well, with my luck I'd have expected Father Mac, myself."
                "Don't jinks it, Peter," Assumpta held up a warning finger, "I am in a very delicate you know."
                "I know." he said, giving her a soft kiss.
                Assumpta carefully made her way down the stairs, being sure to grip the handrail. "Stay here untill I call for you, okay, Peter?" she whispered. "Let me handle it."
                Peter nodded.
                "NIAMH!" Padraig yelled, "If you're here, bang a glass or something, because I'm heading out!"
                Assumpta sighed. "Yes, leave." she said under her breath. Assumpta watched the door close, and saw Padraig make his way down the road. "I wonder who left the door open," she wondered out loud.
                "Oh, that would be me, I'm afraid." Peter called.
                "Peter!" Assumpta sighed, "No wonder he just came traipsing in here!"
                "Assumpta, it's noon, the pub's open."
                "So it is..." she muttered, going behind the bar.
                "Peter, could you go down to the cellar to bring up some more Guinness please? The tap's nearly dry." she pleaded. "After what happened the last time I went-"
                "Don't remind me, Assumpta... just don't remind me." Peter warned, coming behind her and giving her a kiss. "If I have anything to say about it, you are not EVER going down there again in your life."
                She looked up at him. "You're not joking, are you?"
                "Assumpta, why in the world would I be joking?!" Peter looked shocked. "Do you know how close I came to losing you that night?!"
                Assumpta just gazed into his eyes, which held the glimmer of a few tears. She hugged him and kissed him soundly. "I'm sorry I caused you so much pain, Peter," she said, her voice breaking, "I never meant to.."
                "Assumpta, stress is bad for the baby." Peter cautioned, resting his hands on her belly.
                "I know, Dr. Clifford," she laughed, "I'll stop, now go down to the cellar and get that Guiness before I have to thwartle you with this tea towel!" She whipped the towel from over her shoulder and smacked him with it.
                "Ah, how I missed doing that." Assumpta smiled devilishly at Peter and twirled the towel around in the air with her hand.
                "I sure don't." Peter eyed Assumpta carefully and laughed, going down to the cellar.
                "Go on, when the regulars find out what we did they'll be needing alot more Guiness than what's up here at the moment, and we want to get them as drunk as possible so they can take the news better."
                "Assumpta!" Peter's eyes widened.
                "Joking, Peter." Assumpta cracked a smile.
                "Oh. Well, okay then." Peter said as he disapeared into the cellar. Assumpta set herself to polishing the bar just one more time out of habit before the regulars arrived. She hummed to herself as she worked, happy that she didn't have to hide anything anymore. In just a few moments when the regulars started coming, she could reveal everything without feeling guilty, because the man she loved, Peter, was right there beside her. No sooner had she sat down in the stool behind the bar to rest herself did the door open. The first faces Assumpta saw were Padraig and Brendan, followed by Siobhan, Niamh and Kieran.
                "Welcome home, Assumpta!" the lot chorused happily.
                Assumpta was genuinely shocked, and her eyes widened in surprise. She looked over at
                Niamh, who was positively beaming with delight. Niamh ran behind the bar and gave her best friend a big hug.
                "I couldn't resist telling everyone you were back!" she said excitedly.
                "Yeah, well..." Assumpta managed a feeble smile, and shooed her out of the bar.
                "Assumpta, you were up there all this time?" Padraig asked, laughing.
                "Yeah, I was." she said with a smile, "I didn't want to show any favoritism by letting you welcome me back first, you know."
                "Oh, of course not." Padraig grinned. "Welcome back, now, where's my usual?"
                "Coming right up!"
                "Assumpta!" Peter's muffled voice called from the cellar. "I've got the kegs!"
                Assumpta grimaced again, and she was grateful her face was hidden from the lot behind her. She turned and handed everyone their drinks, and saw Niamh raise an eyebrow.
                Assumpta flashed her a look of warning as to say, "Don't say a word."
                Niamh looked at her and shrugged as if to say, "You'll have to tell them sometime."
                She nodded.
                "What was that noise, Assumpta?" Siobhan inquired. "Down in the cellar?"
                "Oh, that, well.... nothing." she stammered.
                They all gave her questioning looks and returned to their drinks.
                "How've you been, Assumpta?" Niamh asked nonchalantly, taking a sip of her orange juice.
                "Oh, busy..." she trailed off, shifting awkwardly. Trying not to look down, she instead busied herself in rubbing the already spotless countertop.
                Just at that moment, Peter came up from the cellar with the kegs on his shoulder, oblivious to the crowd of regulars. "Here are the kegs, love," he said, kissing her on the cheek. "Everything okay?" he asked, wrapping his hands lovingly around her waist.
                Assumpta blushed furiously. Padraig loudly cleared his throat.
                "Oh my God..." Siobhan gasped, almost forgetting to swallow her drink and nearly choking on it in the process. "Father!"
                "Siobhan!" Peter exclaimed, looking flustered.
                "Peter, what do you think you're doing?" Brendan asked incredulously. "You're a priest!"
                "Umm, well...not exactly, Brendan.." Peter tried to explain that he resigned a ways back, but it only came out as a sheepish few words of excuse.
                "You still haven't answered me, Peter, what in God's name do you think you're doing?"
                Brendan looked fit to kill, and Peter noticed Siobhan still had her mouth gaped open in shock.
                Assumpta looked uncharacteristacally awkward and noticed Niamh had a pained expression.
                "Kissing his wife." Assumpta said, looking each of them in the eye and coming out from behind the bar with Peter behind her. She rested her hands on her belly as if she was protecting her baby and waited for the gasps.
                Nothing came, and Assumpta knew that they hadn't noticed her change in appearance.
                "I'm pregnant." she said. "I'm having a baby."
                The gasps came then.
                "Assumpta Fitzgerald!" Padraig said, raising his eyebrows.
                She shot him her patented look of contempt. "I'm Assumpta Clifford, now, Padraig," she said cooly.
                Everyone looked awkward as they shifted their gaze from the former priest, to the bar owner, and back again. The only noises in the pub were Padraig putting down his pint and Assumpta's breathing.
                "Okay, you all, here's usually the part where you tell us 'Congratulations, Assumpta, congratulations Peter, I'm delighted for the both of you..'." Assumpta said, her voice frosty. "Is it that hard to be happy for us; that difficult to shut your traps and at least PRETEND to support us in this?" Assumpta was now tearing up, and made a grab for the tissue box on the bar.
                Peter, still standing behind her squeezed her tightly and whispered in her ear, "Assumpta, they just don't know what to say, sweetheart. In their minds, I'm still a priest, and you're married to Leo. Give it time, they'll be overjoyed for us soon, I promise." He dabbed her tears from her eyes and kissed her softly.
                Assumpta noticed nobody had deferred their wary glances. "Oh would you all ever bog off?" she said bitterly, "Is it that much of a shock to you,of all people, to see Peter and I in love? I would've expected this from Father Mac, Kathleen, sure, of course, but all of you?"
                Assumpta bit her lip to keep tears out. She glared at the lot and waited for an answer.
                None came. "Fine!" she screeched, letting the tears flow freely now. "Perfect, all of you! I can't believe a one of you, I just can't. The one time in my life that I am truly happy, you can't find it in your heart to share in my happiness, can you? This is unbelievable!"
                Assumpta stormed up the stairs, crying heavily. She didn't look down, and a moment later, the door to her room slammed with a thud so hard even the walls shook.
                "Assumpta!" Niamh called, already on her way up the stairs. She turned to Peter and said, "I'm sorry, Peter, really I am."
                "Sure." Peter muttered.
                Niamh reached Assumpta's door and knocked softly.
                "Get the hell away from me, Niamh!" Assumpta's teary voice came from the other side of the door.
                "Assumpta, don't speak that way to me, I'm your best friend!"
                "Really? Oh, well, don't you think a friend would've at least congratulated me? Don't you think, Niamh?" Assumpta's tone was sarcastic and dripped with bitterness.
                "No, Assumpta, that's the problem, I don't think. I'm happy for you, I think it's so great that you and Peter are having a baby!" Niamh said cheerily.
                "No, you don't. You're just saying that so I'll let you come in and then you can tell me how wrong I am for seducing an ex-priest. I'm not letting you in!"
                Assumpta growled.
                Niamh sighed, and tried again. "Assumpta, you're my best friend!"
                "You already said that."
                "Well, so I did, but it's true, isn't it? And you didn't seduce him, he loved you anyway! It was obvious from the first moment he set foot in Ballykay, you know that." Niamh asked.
                "Maybe." Assumpta wasn't showing any signs of letting up. "Are you going to leave if I don't open this door?"
                "Well, fine. Come in, then."
                Assumpta gave a weary sigh and watched from her bed as Niamh carefully opened the door.
                Niamh crossed the floor and sat next to Assumpta on her bed. She noticed the box of tissues was beside her and Assumpta was carelessly wiping tears from her eyes. Niamh gave her friend a hug and handed her another tissue.
                "Assumpta, I'm sorry, really I am."
                Assumpta turned her head up to Niamh and looked her in the eyes. "Really?"
                Niamh's tone was sincere. "Really. How far along are you, then?"
                "I'll have to go to Doc Ryan in the future to figure that out. But the doctor in Dublin a month ago said I was about 3 and a half." Assumpta smiled and lay her hands on her lap.
                "Assumpta!" Niamh's eyes widened.
                "You were here 3 and a half months ago." Niamh answered, looking at her with a shocked expression.
                "Your point?"
                " Oh!" Niamh exclaimed.
                "Oh?" Assumpta asked her.
                "Well, did anything, you know, happen?" Niamh asked coyly, "Between you and Peter?"
                "Niamh!" Assumpta glared at her.
                "Well, you never know!"
                "Shut up, Niamh." Assumpta said darkly.
                "Okay, okay, never mind." she said, smiling at her.
                "It's great, Niamh."
                "What's great?" Niamh asked.
                "This, the whole baby thing. It's amazing." Assumpta answered. "I never thought I'd actually experience it, you know? To be honest, I always thought I'd end up still in a dead end marriage to Leo, stuck here with my life going nowhere," she sighed. "But things don't ever turn out the way one plans them."
                "Obviously!" Niamh said, glancing at Assumpta and smiling. "Speaking of Leo, aren't you still technically married to him?" her face turned serious.
                "No. I had it annulled two weeks after the accident." Assumpta paused and took a deep breath. "I realised that I couldn't stay like that, Niamh. If I'd stayed married to Leo, I would've suffered and I definitely wouldn't be having a baby, that's for sure!" she smiled as she looked down. "I realised that I needed to live my life the way I wanted. I knew I had to marry Peter whether the church liked it or not."
                "Well good for you, Assumpta!" Niamh said excitedly, "I'm so happy for you!"
                The friends hugged and Assumpta lifted herself off the bed with a sigh.
                "I hope the lot down there is as understanding as you, Niamh, or else Peter'll be stuck like a deer in headlights." Assumpta made a face as she opened the door.
                "I hope so, too."
                Assumpta took a minute to stretch before following Niamh carefully down the stairs. She was greatly relieved to hear instead of stunned silence, boistrous laughter and whoops of "Congratulatious at last, Peter, may I buy ya' a drink, perhaps?" or "Way to go, lad!"
                Assumpta smiled at that one.
                Peter was right, they just had to have some time to let the news sink in. And now they were happy for them. Assumpta smiled again, and was greatly relieved they supported them both.
                "Oh, Niamh, it's really going to be okay, isn't it? It's going to all be perfect, I know it!" she smiled in delight.
                "Assumpta, I don't think so," Niamh said softly. Assumpta noted Niamh had frozen two steps in front of her with an especially horrified look on her face.
                Assumpta didn't catch on to Niamh's meaning. "Why not, Niamh? They're all happy for us like Peter said they would be, it'll be perfect!"
                "That," Niamh said, fear struck and pointing her finger to the customer who just walked in the door, " is why not."
                Assumpta looked to where she was pointing and she, too, froze in unbelievable shock.
                "Oh God," Assumpta whispered, "...this is not happening, it's not happening.."
                Her pale face turned even whiter, and made her bright eyes stand out even more. She clutched her stomach in fear, and closed her eyes, not wanting to look the visitor directly the eye. Assumpta's head whirled in panic, and she thought that if she stood still, he wouldn't notice her. She tried to make her mouth form coherent words, but it was too parched. She stood almost rooted to the stairwell; her legs felt as if they were in a slab of cement, unwilling to budge even the slightest inch.
                Peter rushed over to Assumpta's side and he put his strong, comforting arms around her protectively. Assumpta quickly buried her head in Peter's chest, waiting for the inevitable.
                The man turned and looked her right in the eye and his speech troubled by too much to drink, said to her, "Assumpta, why, aren't you looking well, this afternoon!"
                "Leo.." was all Assumpta managed to croak out, and she cast a helpless look at Peter.
                "Leo, don't touch her, or else-" Peter threatened.
                "Or else, what, Father? You'll turn the wrath of God on me?"
                Peter didn't even try to explain that he was no longer a priest; he didn't dare tell him he left the priesthood for his ex-wife. That would upset Leo even more.
                "Leo, please!" Assumpta pleaded with him.
                "Assumpta, stay out of this, love." Peter whispered to her.
                The regulars were too fearful to speak up or much less go to Peter's assistance. They sat in the stools, still as statues, waiting for something to happen next.
                "Assumpta, I don't want to talk to you anymore, do you hear me?" Leo's drunkeness was beginning to show, and she was deeply afraid. "I can't BELIEVE you, Assumpta! Dumping me for someone 'better suited', or what did you say in the court message, eh? Come on, Assumpta, what did you say?" Leo was babbling now in anger, and everyone was scared out of their wits. Leo took two big strides toward the pair of them. "What was I to you, Assumpta, huh? A 3 month trial?"
                "Touch her, Leo, and I swear to God..." Peter growled.
                Leo took one look at Peter and laughed. "I thought we covered that already. Besides, this has nothing to do with you. It's concerning me and my wife."
                "Former.." Assumpta said under her breath.
                "Leo McGarvey, I'm not joking.."
                "Stay out of it, Peter." Leo warned.
                This was beginning to be too much for Assumpta, and she broke down in tears.
                Leo, of course, took no notice of his ex-wife's distress. "Oh shut up, Assumpta," Leo said, "I'm the one who should be bawling my eyes out, after all, I wasn't the one who decided our marriage never exisisted!"
                "Oh, yes you were!" Assumpta shouted through intense tears. "You left me for Dublin, remember?! I couldn't take it anymore, Leo, I just couldn't! You decided our marriage meant nothing to you long before I made it official, Leo!"
 Assumpta started to cry even harder, and Peter cradled her in her arms, trying to calm her. "Shhh, calm down, Assumpta, it's okay."
                "Oh, don't tell me...don't tell me.." Leo trailed off, looking frostily upon this display, "You dumped me for the priest?! Mother of Jayz..." Leo was outraged and threw the glass he held in his hands to the floor, shattering it into pieces.
                "For the love of God, someone go get Ambrose!" Assumpta pleaded frantically to the regulars, "And hurry it up, will you!"
                Niamh leapt up from her chair and ran as fast as she could out of the pub to the Garda house, grateful for something to do. Siobhan decided to take action as well and so she quickly swept up the broken glass. Assumpta flashed her a tiny smile of thanks. Then she  at Leo, and put her hands protectively around her unborn baby. "I loved him, Leo, and he loved me back. You never did." she said accusingly.
                Leo stared at her. "Get out of my way, Assumpta."
                She didn't move. "No, Leo."
                "Assumpta, I said out of my way!"
                Then suddenly Leo pushed Assumpta, sending her falling to the ground.
                "Assumpta!!" Peter cried, looking in fear to where his wife lay curled tightly in the corner.
                "I'm calling Dr. Ryan, now," Siobhan said, surveying the scene with frightened eyes. She went behind the bar and hurriedly punched in Michael's number.
                "Leo McGarvey, I told you not to touch my wife!" Peter growled fiercely. He didn't take time to think, but drew back his fist in rage and felt it connect with Leo's jaw.
                Then Peter immediately crouched down to attend to Assumpta, who was moaning softly.
                "Oh my gosh, honey, are you okay?" he asked, stroking her hair.
                "I'm fine, Peter, I think.." Assumpta managed to say, her face twisted in pain.
                "Can you stand?" Peter grabbed her hand, trying to help her up.
                "Hey, Peter," Leo said, wiping the blood off his face, "Look."
                Peter glanced up, and felt Leo's fist slam hard into his mouth. He tasted blood.
                "That's your penance for stealing my wife!" he yelled.
                "Oh my God!" Assumpta cried, "Peter!" She stood on shaky legs and tried to walk over to him.
                Leo stopped her. "You're not going over there, Assumpta," he said forcefully.
                "You broke my heart, and now I'm returning the favor."
                "PETER!" Assumpta screamed once again, trying to push Leo out of the way.
                "Assumpta if you touch me again, I'll knock you down once more, I'm not lying." Leo threatened. "It's not my baby you'll lose, so I have no problem with it."
                Assumpta instantly broke into tears of both hopelessness and fear.
                "For the love of God, Leo, get away from her!" Padraig exclaimed, trying to pull him away from a very frightened Assumpta.
                "Let me go, O'Kelley!" Leo yelled.
                All of a sudden, Ambrose came charging into Fitzgerald's like a bull, cuffs in hand. He stood there, taking in the scene for a moment, and then wasted no time in handcuffing Leo and leading him out, kicking and screaming obscenities.
                Assumpta slowly made her way over to Peter in a daze, sobbing. She gently wiped his mouth with a spare tea towel to help alliviate the bleeding. "Oh, God, Peter, I'm so sorry! I'm so sorry!" Assumpta's tears dripped onto Peter's head, but she didn't notice. Assumpta laid her head on his chest and continued sobbing.
                "It's okay, love," Peter whispered, "I'll be fine, trust me. Doc Ryan'll take good care of me, I promise." Peter managed a weak smile at his wife, who was now wiping tears from her eyes. "Are you okay?" he tenderly touched her side.
                "Yeah. I'm scared, Peter, he hurt you...promise me you'll be okay?"
                "Promise." Peter smiled.
                Niamh came up and knelt by Assumpta. "Let's go to the kitchen and I'll make us a cup o' tea, ok?" she laid a hand on her shoulder, urging her up. "Take your mind off things."
                "Okay." Assumpta agreed somewhat reluctantly. Before she followed Niamh, she gave Peter a soft kiss and whispered, "I'll be back. I love you Peter."
                "I love you, too, Assumpta. More than anything. Remember that."
                "I will."
                Niamh put her hand around Assumpta's waist to steady her as they walked into her kitchen. "Sit here, Assumpta. I'll get you a snack and the tea'll be ready in a moment."
                Niamh ordered, steering Assumpta to one of her kitchen table chairs.
                She was still gently weeping, and sniffled just a bit. "Niamh?" she asked.
                "How could I be so terrible to Peter- having Leo just barge in like that....I didn't mean..."
                Assumpta lost it then and broke into a gale of fresh crying.
                "Shhhh, Assumpta.. shh.." Niamh told her, coming to her side and giving her a hug.
                "Don't you mind Leo, now, okay? I want you to worry about two people- you and that baby." Niamh demanded, putting her hand on Assumpta's belly. "No more of this stress, okay? You've had enough. Now shush, and I'll bring you some tea." Niamh brought Assumpta her tea, along with a sandwich and some crisps. "Eat this, it'll make you feel better, trust me."
                Assumpta quieted a bit, and bit into her sandwich. "Some homecoming, we get, huh?" she said, swallowing. "It's not even 2 o clock and already my husband is wounded and my ex-husband's arrested. What next?"
                "Yeah, well, it's all over now, nothing else will go wrong, I promise you."
                Niamh assured her.
                "Yeah, I suppose you're right." Assumpta smiled.
                "I know I'm right." Niamh told her, turning back to the countertop.
                All of a sudden, Assumpta let out a bone chilling scream. Her sandwich plate and cup of tea both fell to the floor, sending the tea splashing and the plate into bits. She curled up in a ball on the cold tile of the kitchen and let out a long, slow moan. Then everything turned black.
                "Assumpta?!" Niamh cried, whirling around to face her. "Oh my God, Assumpta!"
                Niamh shuddered, her face turning a ghastly white. She knelt down beside her and shook her. "Assumpta, can you hear me?" Niamh found it extremely hard to be calm. She took her hands away, and saw that they were completely covered in blood. "Oh God.." Niamh whispered. "MICHAEL!!!" she cried, tears running down her face, "Michael, help!".
                Assumpta was dizzy, and she didn't know quite what was happening. Her  head was reeling, and her body shook with fear. Everything was blurred. She tried to talk, but no words could come out. She thought she saw Niamh huddled over her, and Dr. Ryan kneeling down beside her with a grim expression on his face. She didn't see Peter. Where was he? He should be here...Assumpta tried to cry out his name, but Niamh shushed her. What was going on?
                "Oh holy God!," Siobhan yelled, looking at the scene on the floor. "Peter!" she cried frantically.
                Assumpta was dimly aware of Michael's voice, he was talking to Niamh about something- then came the sharp prick of a needle. She could make out Peter's figure in the doorway, and she could barely hear him crying as he ran to be near her- the pounding in her ears was too great to really hear anything. She felt Peter's warm, rough hand grasp her cold one, and was aware of tears dripping down Peter's face.
                Finally, Assumpta knew why everyone was crowded around her. She wanted to cry, but the pain in her body was too much to even make a sound. Then, Assumpta knew the needle had done its job, because she was able to talk. The tears flowed freely now. Peter was still holding onto her hand and shushing her. Assumpta turned her frightened eyes up to look at him. "Peter," she said shakily, "I lost our baby, didn't I?"