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Changing Winds

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Two lines on the stick meant positive. Joan's hands shook as she stared at the results. She was 50-years-old and even Bea blanched at the idea that she could be pregnant. Believing it more that she was going through menopause. While Joan wondered the same, she couldn't help but think that it wasn't the case. She hadn't yet had any menopause symptoms, which was not unusual but she was a little surprised by it. She regularly got her period, so when she was late she knew that this could very well be the reason why.

The last thing she wanted was to be pregnant. Pregnant and in prison at that. Even Bea wondered if she was playing a game with them, but she assured Bea that unfortunately if she were to play any games, she wouldn't choose to be pregnant as a reason for sympathy.

So here she was, pregnant and alone in prison. Not unlike Jianna during the time she came to Blackmoore. Except at least she had been there for Jianna.

Who will be here for me?

Kaz promised to protect her after what happened in the showers, and especially now that she was pregnant.

Her mind went to the time in the psychiatric hospital, and she grimaced at the painful truth that he was the father. This thought alone made her sick again, and she leaned over and heaved into the toilet.

There was a soft knock at her cell door, and she gripped the side of the toilet, hating herself and everyone for being here.

“Joan?” Kaz asked softly.

She waved her hand away, not looking at Kaz. “Not right now. Leave me alone,” she gasped. “Please...” She added in a softer tone.

A soft hand touched her back, and she hid the tears that were starting to fall from her eyes, refusing to look up and closing her eyes tightly.

“Joan, are you pregnant?”

She nodded and vomited again. She'd never been this sick before, and it was taking all of her strength right now. All she wanted to do was curl up under the covers of her bed.

“I'll protect you,” Kaz said again, holding back her hair.

Joan was trembling, moving to stand up as she let Kaz lead her back to her bed. She sank onto it, and rested her head against the wall.

“Did this happen before or after you were arrested?” Kaz asked quietly.

Joan swallowed, so tired now that she slowly blinked at Kaz. She wondered just how honest she should be.

I've never had a, um... a conventional relationship.”

But you've been intimate?”

I have no emotional bonds to speak of. I am alone. Been that way for... for a long time.”

When you arrived here, you were speaking to someone.”

Crying, Joan answered, “My father. But even he has deserted me.”

Well, uh... maybe you don't need him anymore, Joan. You've got me.”

Sometime after that is when things changed. When her trust diminished knowing that he wanted more than just a professional relationship between a doctor and patient. At the time, Joan wondered in her vulnerable and drugged state that maybe he was just being kind, but that wasn't it. That was never what it was.

“It was after,” she answered, staring into Kaz's bright blue eyes.

“I'm so sorry.”

As much as Joan benefited from the sympathy of Kaz and the rest of her crew, she didn't want this kind of sympathy. This kind of attention for what happened. She was raped in the hospital, yet she'd never told anyone of what was happening to her. She threatened to do so, if he never signed for her release, but she knew that he'd never allow himself to lose his job. So word of what happened would never get out.

The women wanted her dead, and some already tried to gang her. They didn't care about her, so why would they care about what happened to her while she was in treatment? Kaz and the rest didn't have the same history, so she could use that to her advantage.

I should have been more careful. How can I be pregnant? I don't want this.

“I don't want this,” she whispered, not quite realizing she said it outloud.

“I don't blame you.”

Joan touched her stomach, thinking of what that man did to her. More than just the countless times he took advantage of her. It was hard enough to have these memories, ones that plagued her thoughts during the day and sometimes at night when she was feeling the most vulnerable.

What would have happened if I said no?

Such thoughts were useless now, but sometimes she still wondered if she could have done more to prevent it from happening. Of course she used her horrible circumstances to her advantage to get out, but it still didn't stop her from questioning herself. It didn't stop her from questioning what other patients must have gone through... what they'd continue to go through.

A child conceived from such a sick violation, and she hated herself for it. She hated that was how her first child was brought into this world.

There's still a chance it doesn't have to be.

“Kaz, I'd like to be left alone please.”

“Anytime you need me, just let me know.”

Joan barely nodded, looking at the wall. She laid on her side and closed her eyes.

“What do I do? Tell me what to do,” she whispered. But when she needed her father the most, he wasn't there. Not unlike how it was for her when he was alive, but she still hoped. She still hoped he would show up to comfort her in her time of need.

I have no emotional bonds to speak of. I am alone.”

Even if I do keep this baby, I'd be a horrible parent. I couldn't even take care of Shayne.

She thought she might be sick again, but she breathed slowly and evenly, waiting for it to pass.

“If I keep this baby...” She wondered what it would mean if she did have it. How would her life be? She couldn't stay in this prison with her baby. There was no way she would allow this. And then another horrible thought crossed her mind.

And what if he feels he has a right to this child?

She shook her head, feeling more angry as she thought of him even being near her baby. It wasn't even born yet, and she couldn't even fathom such a thing.

It’s best not to have it. I shouldn't be punished for his crime.

But the baby... the baby is still mine.

“Tell me what to do,” she cried, not knowing who she was asking anymore.