Hello all!

Welcome to the beginning of Beyond All Of Everything

And I DISCLAIM EVERYTHING! Except any new characters I invent, but nobody cares

This is a Carby – as usual.

And it's a PG-13 just to be sure as it contains some bad language. Tut tut.

Are 12 year olds allowed to hear the f-word (gasp)?

I don't see why not. No doubt they already know it.

Oh well. Enjoy! Love LJ xXx

Beyond All Of Everything. Chapter One. One Last Chance.

Let me set the scene...








Richard Lockhart stands on the sidewalk by Chicago City Hall. He squints down the street and glances at his watch. It is five past one in the afternoon, just like it was last time he looked, and the time before that, and the time before that. Clicking his tongue impatiently, he wonders what could be taking her so long. He is, of course, waiting for Abby. He is waiting for his wife.

His face briefly creases with a smile rather than his usual frown as he lets this sentence run through his head. He is waiting for his wife. Ha! Not anymore. Soon, soon this'll all be over. They have talked it through as civilly as is possible – which isn't very civil when you're married to that bitch. But this is the best way forwards. Today they are doing something together for the first time since they got married: they are filing for divorce. Ok, so they won't be divorced instantly – it doesn't work like that, he knows. She'll probably make some outrageous claims – his Rolex, his car, his bank account. Hell, she can have it – he'd give his whole fucking house to be free of her. Soon, soon. It'd be even sooner if she'd turn up on time for once. That is so like her, messing up his whole day – she just can't get anything right. Selfish bitch. What could be taking her so long?

Richard cranes his neck and looks over the heads of the people roaming the streets. Where the hell is she?

Abigail Lockhart paces backwards and forwards in their bathroom. She bites her lip and checks the time. He'll be waiting. He'll be pissed off that she's so late. Well, screw him – he's always pissed off. Anyway, there are more important things on her mind. Like this, for example. She looks at the home pregnancy test in her hand. It is blue, just like it was the last time she checked, and the time before that, and the time before that.

Yes, that's right – she's pregnant. She groans and runs her fingers through her hair in exasperation. Why? Why did this happen? It was all going so well. Well, as well as can be expected with Richard. God, how the hell did she end up with such a top-of-the-range bastard? Just her luck, probably. Lucky, lucky her. And now they were about to finally end it. It was all going to have been over at long last. But now what? Now she's pregnant. Oh God and when she tells him, he'll think she's just trying to hang onto him. What could be further from the truth? This sucks. She thought it sucked pretty badly before but now it just sucks a million times worse. Wait a minute – when she tells him? She doesn't have to tell him, does she? He probably wouldn't care either way, let's face it.

Abby throws away the pregnancy test, grabs her coat and bag and leaves their house.

There she is, walking down the street. Richard rolls his eyes and grits his teeth, getting his 'I don't care' look ready for her.

"Sorry I'm late," she says, not sounding sorry at all.

"That's okay," Richard retorts, when it's obviously not. "What took you so long?" Abby looks at him for a long time with a strange expression on her face. God, if she's gonna take this long in answering then she can just forget it – it's not like he really cared.

"Forget it; it doesn't matter," he snaps and turns away. Abby scowls at his back but a part of her feels guilty. She should tell him. She really should tell him – he has a right to know. Even assholes deserve some rights.

"Richard, wait," she relents. He turns around having perfected his indifferent expression. "I'm pregnant." And suddenly the expression is wiped off his face.

"What? Is it mine?" he asks, in disbelief. She glares at his audacity.

"Right, well I really shouldn't have told you at all."

"No, no wait." He grabs her arm. "Abby – in that case, maybe we could work this out." Abby arches a cynical eyebrow.

"What?" she asks, sceptically. "Richard, just cos I'm pregnant doesn't mean I like you any more."

"But Abby – it could work out," he insists.

"Are you crazy?"

"No. I think this would be the right thing to do. A kid needs a Dad."

"You are crazy."

"I just would like to be there for my kid – and for you."

"I don't need you to 'be there' for me."

"Come on, Abby. Has it really been so bad? We're both adults; we can work this out."

"Richard – " Abby begins.

"What? Why not? Go on, Abby – give this another chance. Please?" He forces the last word out. God, he can't believe he's pleading with Abby.

"Fine," she sighs. She can't believe he actually said 'please'. He must be desperate. "Fine, we'll give it a go."

That was stupid.

The stupidest thing she had ever done, by far. If she had had that chance again – the chance at divorce – she would've taken it without a second thought. But she walked away from that golden chance of freedom and went to lunch with Richard instead. She stayed with him, despite all hell he'd put her through. And, as it happened, she had so much more to come. Why she didn't leave then is anybody's guess. But she stayed with him, then and she is still with him now. After seven long years.