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30 October 2013 @ 10:26 pm
Fic Post: Mom and Dad Save the World  
Title: Mom and Dad Save the World
Author: Montiese
Category: Drama/Family/Humor
Pairing: Erin Strauss/Mark Cramer
Rating: TEEN
Summary: Girls rule, and they swing too. Love, Mom.
Author’s Note: This is #19 in The Story of Us series.


MAY, 1996

She walked through the sliding glass doors coming toward him. He immediately knew from the look on her face and the way that she walked what was coming. Mark held up one hand to protect himself from her and the other to ward off the security guard in the corner not to take her down.

“You son of a bitch.” Erin came in swinging. “As soon as the meeting is over? Are you kidding me? That’s my daughter in there and when something is happening with my children you let me know immediately!”

“She's going to be fine.” Now Mark held up both hands in defense. “I handled the situation.”

“And you're conspiring with my assistant now? What the hell is that? I could’ve walked out of the meeting…it wasn’t life or death. How could you keep this from me?”

“Nora is fine, Erin.” Her husband remained calm. “If you would’ve walked out of that meeting every man in there would’ve known your Achilles heel. Ahh, she's a mother and whenever we want to make light of her battle we’ll bring up her children.”

“There was another woman in the room.” Erin hit him once more for good measure.

“I know you wanted to be here but we’re both parents. I was able to take control of the situation and give you the time you needed to get work done before going into full mom mode.”

“I told Tim that I didn’t give a damn. He was always to come and get me where my children were concerned. I tried to fire him; Kirk wouldn’t let me.”

“That would’ve been a bad idea, sweetheart. You're here now and everything is fine.”

“What happened?”

“She broke her arm.” Mark replied.

“Oh my God, is she alright?”

Erin cried and Mark held her in his arms. He told her that Nora was fine. She was in with the nurse getting the finishing touches on her cast. He was going to fill out the paperwork and wait for Erin since he knew she would be less than thrilled when she got to the Children’s National Medical Center.

Their kids went to school in DC, being close to one parent was important to the couple. But Erin hated being 45 minutes away, longer with Corridor traffic. If her kids were hurt or sick she wanted to be able to run to them. Sometimes it wasn’t good enough that their father could. It wasn’t that Erin didn’t trust Mark to be an efficient parent and make things right, but she trusted herself more. It was a mom thing.

“She's being typical Nora; been gabbing up a storm since I got here. She even asked for a lollipop since she made it through the stitches without crying.”

“Stitches.” Erin covered her mouth. “Why did she need stitches for a broken arm? I don’t like this.”

“I know,” Mark caressed her face. “This is childhood, Erin, and you know it. Just go and see that’s she OK. They're in the third bed down the hall. Emotions are OK but Nora always senses when Mommy is under too much stress.”

“I know.” Erin took a deep breath and wiped her tears. “I'm fine; she's going to be fine.”

“Absolutely.” He kissed her. “Go.”

Erin nodded and walked down the hall. There were kids all over the place. Some were crying, clinging to the adults around them who all looked frightened. The nurses and doctors moved around in a hurried but efficient pace.

Erin turned away just in time no tot see a boy who looked to be about 12 puke into a bucket. She saw a pretty mangled leg of a kid in a football uniform. How scared Nora must’ve been having to come to a place like this without the two people she trusted most in the world. And there was her mother, sitting in some nonsense meeting about travel expenses in the 1997 Bureau budget. That fight was over by a long shot.

“Hi sweetie.” Erin pulled back the curtain and put on her biggest smile.

“Mommy!” Nora beamed when she saw her mother. Then she held up her arm. “Look it, its purple. That’s my favorite color.”

“I know that; it’s really lovely. What happened at school today?”

“Monkey bars.” Nora’s tone was solemn. “Tommy McCafferty said girls can't hang off the monkey bars cuz they're afraid their panties will show. I’m wearing overalls. I know you said I shouldn’t but I had to show him. Girls can do anything boys can do better, right Mommy.”

“They certainly can.” She looked at the nurse. “How bad is it?”

“It’s a standard break, just in one place thankfully. We set it and the cast should stay on for about 8 weeks. When Nora fell she must have cut her head on something so she had to have six stitches in her forehead. The laceration was deep but there was no damage to her skull. We’ve questioned her extensively and don’t believe she has a concussion. There was no lightheadedness, vomiting, or aphasia. You’ve got a trooper on your hands.”

“I know it.” Erin smiled again.

“Since today is Thursday you should probably keep her home from school tomorrow just to keep an eye on her. By Monday she should be ready to return.”

“And then people can sign my cast, right?” Nora asked.

“They sure can.” The nurse smiled. “Be careful though, we don’t want any more damage to that arm, Nora. I was telling your husband, Mrs. Cramer, that she should see her doctor in about a week. We’ll fax all the paperwork there and they’ll take over the case.”

“I'm gonna let Tommy sign too, even if he is a dummy head sometimes.”

“It’s not nice to call people names, Nora.” Her mother gently admonished.

“Can you sign it first, Mommy?” Nora held up her arm.

“I will.”

“I can get you a Sharpie if you’d like, Mrs. Cramer.” The nurse said.

“She's an agent, not a Mrs.” Nora said in a matter of fact tone. “My mommy is a super-agent and all day long she saves people and makes the world a better place. She’s super-agent Strauss.”

“I go by my maiden name at work.” Erin said as the nurse gave her a strange look.

It was then that she saw the FBI ID tag and nodded. She walked away to get the Sharpie, saying they would be ready to go in a few minutes. Erin sat down on the bed with her six year old. She would be seven in four months.

The time moved too fast. If she closed her eyes, Erin could remember the first time she held her daughter in her arms. When people said it felt like yesterday it was often dismissed as cliché. She knew it was also the truth.

“Super-agent huh?” she asked.

“That’s what Daddy said. He told me you're a super-agent who works for the FBI. It’s the Federal Bureau of something. I don’t know what a Bureau is but it’s important. When you go to work you spend your whole day making sure kids stay safe and that’s why sometimes you come home late and you're really tired. That’s why Nan stays with us sometimes. You're a hero and the whole world depends on you.”

“Daddy said that?” now Erin was holding back her tears for a different reason.

“Mmm hmm,” Nora nodded. “He said I'm allowed to be upset sometimes when you both have to work late. But I know how much you love me cuz you make the world a better place for me and MK and Teddy. Do you get to wear a uniform like Wonder Woman or do you have to be undercover, Mommy?”

“I'm undercover.” Erin lowered her voice. “I just wear suits so people don’t even know I'm a super-agent when they approach me.”

“But I can tell my friends, right?”

“Only your close friends, and they have to be able to keep a secret.” Erin replied.

“OK. I'm not telling Tommy…he never keeps anything.”

“Does your arm hurt, sweetie?” she pulled Nora into a hug.

“A little bit. After I fell off the monkey bars hurt more. When I came in they gave me something to chew, it was cherry flavored and made me feel better.”

“I'm hoping that you can keep the monkey bars promise now. It’s gonna be quite difficult to swing with one arm anyway.”

“I promise I won't swing upside down anymore, Mommy. Can I go to tumbling though? Kimmie goes to tumbling and she said it’s fun.”

“I think that might be a good idea.”

“Here’s your Sharpie.” The nurse walked back behind the curtain with Mark in tow.

He saw Erin smiling and that made him smile as well. Mother and daughter sat on the hospital bed together, Erin’s arms around Nora. The little girl looked happy despite the conditions. She seemed to be beaming with pride about her first broken bone.

Mark just hoped it wasn’t one of many to come. Nora had always been a quiet kid while her little sister was utterly fearless. But in recent years, starting school and coming out of her shell, it turned out she was just as unbridled as Mary Kate. Mark felt his hair growing grayer by the moment.

“What do you want me to write on your cast, Nora?” Erin asked.

“Write girls rule!” she exclaimed.

Erin laughed and opened the marker. She wrote on the purple cast just as her daughter said but added her own thoughts as well. Girls rule, and they swing too. Love, Mom.

“Can I have another lollipop?” Nora asked as her father picked her up in his arms.

“I think I can arrange that?” the nurse pulled a red lollipop out of her pocket. Nora smiled as she took it.

“You can eat it when you get home.” Mark kissed her forehead. “You deserve it for being so brave today.”

“Hey Daddy, the nurse lady said I don’t have to go to school tomorrow.” Nora said as they walked toward the exit. Erin had her arm around Mark, a calm coming over her since she knew everything was going to be OK. “I'm gonna miss science, which sucks, but I get breakfast in bed.”

“You get breakfast in bed, huh?” Mark smiled.

“Yeah. Mommy always makes me breakfast in bed when I have to stay home from school. Right Mommy?”

“I usually do, yeah.” Erin nodded.

When they got outside, both her black Suburban, issued by the FBI, and Mark’s BMW were parked in the emergency area. That was one of the perks of being powerful in that town. He walked with them over to Erin’s car.

“You want to take her home?” he asked as Erin opened the back door. “I’ll pick up MK from school and come home early.”

“Are you sure?”

“I'm sure. Your mom is home with Ted so we’ll all just call it an early night.”

“Maybe we can all have a three day weekend.” Erin said. “Mum’s going home to visit Daddy so it’ll just be the five of us. Is it possible for you to get away?”

“I’ll make it so.” Mark put Nora in the car, pulling her seatbelt across her chest. He kissed her. “I’ll see you in a few hours, pumpkin pie.”

“Can we have pizza tonight, Daddy?”

“We’ll have pizza tomorrow.” Erin replied. “We’ll have it for movie night.”

“OK.”

“Are you alright?” Mark asked his wife.

“I am now. Thanks for not going crazy when I was going crazy.”

“I know you well, and I love you more than that.” He pulled her into a hug and kissed her. “I’ll call you.”

“OK. I love you too.”

Erin nodded and went around to the driver’s seat of the SUV. Mark stood up on the curb, watching them drive away. He waved but wasn’t sure that they saw him because the car had tinted windows. It was very federal law enforcement. Smiling some, he went back to his car.

There was still a few hours until he had to pick up MK at pre-K. Work was as busy as always but today and tomorrow was about putting his family first. He knew Erin would deal with the guilt of the meeting over her daughter, even if she didn’t know it was happening. Mark dealt with guilt too. All in all, with busy careers and a growing family, he still felt they were better parents than his ever were.

They were heroes to their kids, not because that’s how it should be but because that’s how it was. They couldn’t always be first on the schedule even if they were first in Erin and Mark’s hearts and minds. Today that was going to be different. The most important thing to do was to make sure that it wasn’t just the times with broken arms when they remembered the importance of being Mom and Dad.

***

 
 
Where am I?: the lair
Feelings: mellowmellow
Background Noise: silence
 
 
 
mnxparis on October 31st, 2013 02:45 am (UTC)
I find this family so adorable, so real and so wonderful. I love the glimpses of their life over 30 years and love that you skip around so each story brings new insight.
SSA McGeek: Erin....smilemcgarrygirl78 on October 31st, 2013 10:53 am (UTC)
Thank you so much. I find that every time I write a story, it gives me another glimpse into their past or future, hence the skipping around. But actually I think its a cool way to write, especially since so many people know who Erin was for about 7 years but not really before. Its been fun building a whole back story and establishing relationships that arent about the BAU but shape who she is.

I'm glad you enjoyed it : )