A/N: Tag to 4.12. CW: Angst and stress. I tried to take a stab at what Maddie's choice will be next week, so let's see if this works :) ~Meowser
"It has been a crazy week," Chimney said. "Searching for treasure is exhausting."
"I can't believe you let yourself get caught up in that," Maddie said, holding the baby monitor in her hand. Jee had finally dropped off to sleep. "I know what's been going on. We've been fielding calls from treasure hunters for days now."
"Right," Chimney said. "So this can't be a surprise."
"I thought you'd have seen the dumb things people are doing and, I don't know, not get involved?" She asked, trying to not get mad, but honestly, she was very frustrated right now. Being at work the past few days had been stressful enough, and she hadn't even gone in on the office pool of where the treasure would be discovered. She was, quite simply, staying out of it on all fronts. Besides, she was too busy thinking about other things to be thinking about some damn buried treasure. "Not to mention going out with the 118 until all hours of the night, completely ignoring me at home."
"Whoa, that is not what was going on," he said. "I did it for us, you know that, right?"
"How was it for us?" She asked. "I have been spending so much time freaking out about how I'm not home enough and I think about Jee even when I'm at work, and these past few days have been miserable, but not for you."
Chimney was silent for a long moment. "You should have told me," he began, but she shook her head.
"With something like this, I shouldn't have had to," she replied. "I feel like I shouldn't have to ask you to not stay out til midnight chasing after buried treasure."
"I'm sorry," he said. "I didn't know you felt like that."
She wanted to reply with something biting, like how would you know since you haven't been here, but instead she held back. She knew it wasn't Chimney she was mad at, and she knew she was taking out emotions from all areas on him for this one issue.
She shouldn't be mad right now.
She tried to push the feelings down, but somehow that was worse. It felt like going back to being with Doug, when she couldn't let herself feel anything, yet she didn't want to be angry with Chimney either.
She gave up, collapsing onto the couch behind her, burying her face in her hands barely before the tears came.
Chimney rushed to her, folded his arms around her. "No, no, no, Maddie," he said. "I'm sorry, I really am."
"You don't have to be sorry," she said. "I don't know why I care so much, I don't even think I'm mad about this, I'm just so emotional, and I don't know. I don't know."
"You just had a baby, you have the right to some emotions," he said. "And you're right too, I shouldn't have been leaving you alone with Jee so much."
"No, you deserve your own free time," she said, shaking her head. "I was just taking out some stuff on you, and I shouldn't have done that."
"Maddie," he said, seriously, pulling back so that she had to look at him. "I want this too, you know? I want your lows, and I want your tears, I just want to be here for you. I never want you to feel like you have to hide the bad parts from me."
She had no words, just shook her head again.
"You know, I thought I was doing it for us, but thinking about it now, I wasn't," Chimney said slowly. "I wanted that money, because I wanted to have something real, something concrete. I wanted to be able to provide for Jee-Yun, for you, for Albert. I want a house someday, Maddie, and LA real estate prices are not lowering. But really, it was selfish of me to think that what you need from me is money, and it was a pride thing."
Maddie looked at him, reached for his hand. "I get it," she said simply. "I do. But you don't need to do any of those things for me to love you, or for Jee to think that you're the best dad ever. You're the best dad and partner because of the love you give, not the money."
"I think I just let myself get caught up in the dream," Chimney said.
She threaded her fingers through his, working at her lip. She didn't know what to say, she didn't know how to share this next part. "I'm going through something," she said slowly. "I don't know how to put it into words, and it's not resentment, or anything like that, but I just feel guilty, all the time. And I'm tired, and just like now, I'm having these mood swings, and when I'm at work, I'm just miserable. But when Sue was out, and Josh was dealing with the call center, I felt so awful that I couldn't be there to help, and it's like all I do is make the wrong choice."
"You aren't making the wrong choices," Chimney said, rubbing her hands. "You've literally been doing an amazing job, and I am in awe of you, and the way you make everything work."
"I'm not making it work," she said. "I need a change, but I don't know what. And maybe I'll feel differently in a week, but I just wanted to communicate some of it, let it out."
"I'm glad you did," he said. "I want to hear it, all of it. Good, bad, ugly."
She moved forward, sliding off the couch into his arms. Chimney wrapped his arms around her, holding her there tightly. She inhaled, breathing in, trying to regulate herself. Things would be okay. She didn't know when, but she knew she'd figure it out. She had to. For Jee-Yun's sake, for Chimney's...and for her own.
One thing was for sure. She needed to make a change. This wasn't working.