Part 4 continues DSHND

Cullen carefully guided the man to the hospital chamber. The baby was squalling and Cullen wondered briefly….

He had heard the rumors and even though Vincent seldom left his chamber or Catherine’s side, he did catch Vincent at a moment when he had picked up food for sharing with Catherine in his chamber.
“Vincent. May I have a word with you?” Cullen remembered Vincent’s shocked and worried look that turned to sorrow. Cullen had immediately wanted to set everyone right.

“I heard…umm, that is…”

“Yes, Cullen?” Vincent, impatient to return to Catherine yet not wanting to be rude, waited.

“If you need help finding… There’s a rumor that Catherine was with child and that the baby is missing. If I can help any way possible…I…” Cullen had stopped at Vincent’s look and shame filled Cullen. Shame over their friends who had taken to spreading rumors. What if the baby wasn’t alive? What if the baby wasn’t Vincent’s? What if it was?

Vincent’s face was enough expression for Cullen to have a meeting about the rumors being spread. What was it that Vincent had said…. “Catherine’s child is alive. We will find him, Cullen.” He had clapped him on the shoulder and squeezed gently and then walked away.

The squalling was louder if it was possible.
“He doesn’t have anything contagious, does he?” Cullen began to worry that perhaps the baby could have something seriously wrong with him and he thought about the epidemic that had made so many sick and young Ellie…

“No.” The doctor, more scared now than ever, did not want to talk. He could not see through the blindfold, he could not soothe the baby and worst of all…what if this man knew …THAT man?
He thought he had used enough drug to kill him but what if he hadn’t? What if THAT man owned this man beside him? His death for sure would be swift.

They had stopped walking and he heard the sound of a match being lit and the smell of sulfur and… beeswax?

Then his blindfold was removed and he could see all around him.
“Where are we?”
He turned around and an older gentlemen with a walking cane entered. Behind him came two women, one old and one perhaps in her late thirties and behind them came …him.
The one that Mr.Pope had caught on video. The one that Mr.Pope said that the child really belonged to him. Him.
Many things happened at once.

Father had made it to the corridor of the hospital chamber just as Mary and Olivia had. Vincent and Catherine were several steps behind him.

“We heard and wanted to help, Father.” Olivia stood proud and Father knew… Knew that she would help because she had forgiven Catherine and still had not been able to tell Catherine.*

He nodded silently and proceeded on. The last thing he had expected was Vincent to enter the chamber. The man before them was already in shock, scared and the baby in his arms was in a hysterical fit.

The man’s face drained of color and Cullen caught him and the baby as the man passed out.
Catherine had rushed in behind Vincent, hearing the baby’s screams and was almost hysterical herself. She stood, shocked, that the doctor was really there and fear swept through her.

Father reached the man as his arms went slack and gently cradled the infant in his arms.
“To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.” *

Father’s quiet words seemed to calm the baby as he walked him to the exam table and began to remove his blanket and clothes.
He spoke in quiet tones. “Mary, your assistance, please. Olivia if you would bring another outfit, some cloths and a blanket, thank you.”
Father glanced at Vincent and he nodded towards Catherine.
Then all was motion again.
Vincent hadn’t even gave thought to the possibility that Cullen would remove the man’s blindfold. He had only given thought to his son and Catherine’s needs to see the baby. He certainly hadn’t expected the man to faint.

As his world began to move again, he felt Catherine’s shock and fear once more. Would it truly ever leave her? It held her blind and deaf to her child and Father’s expectant glance to him then to her made Vincent move.

“Catherine.” He gripped her icy hands in his and she moved her head up towards his face. He brought her hands to his lips and kissed them. He felt her hold on him faltering and he held strong. “Catherine.” Stronger now, his voice pulled her up and she blinked and looked at him. Her anchor hooked in.
“Your son needs you.” He gently pulled her forward and helped her sit on a cot.

Olivia handed the tunnel baby clothing to him, hugged him and retreated. Her heart was joyous for them!

“Vincent,” Mary murmured. “Make Catherine comfortable, I’ll bring your meal here.” She hugged him as well. “Your son is beautiful, Vincent.” She smiled at him as she pulled away. “He is.”

She waited for Father to hand their son to them. She had tears in her eyes and her heart swelled with joy. Their son was home!

*Olivia has forgiven Catherine’s involvement in having Kanin turn himself in for drunk driving and killing a young boy years before.
*William Blake – Auguries of Innocence first four lines

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