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For the love of Rose

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After their honeymoon in Paris, Rose comparing the view from the tower as far more romantic than being in Blackpool, except for his proposal, they tried to settle down as a married couple, going home each night and being on their own.

Johnnie was of course always on call should an emergency occur but things had been running smoothly and the extra money he got from the health service for treating out-patients had meant he could employ the extra staff and another part-time general doctor, who was willing to be called out at any time as she lived close by.

Rose got on well with Doctor Elizabeth 'Liz' Bates, who was a bit older than Johnnie but well respected and had done a course on psychiatry, which had got her the job.

Rose and Johnnie had been married just six months, it was September 1967 and a lot was going on. Rose was forever playing the latest Beatles LP when they got home, Johnnie saying if his methods of treatment seemed odd, the band members had tried it themselves, making Rose laugh.

"Oh come on Johnnie," Rose teased him one night late in September after they had eaten. "I love this new album, it's their best ever," she insisted, trying to get him to dance as he sat down with the evening paper.

"You dance for me love," he insisted, finally admitting he need his specs for the finer print.

Rose had a big smile on her face.

"I was talking to Liz today," she began telling him, sitting beside him.

"For pleasure or medical reasons?" Johnnie asked, raising his eyebrows.

He knew Rose never stopped to gossip with the latest member of the medical team, she did enough of that with Donna and Valerie. Donna had moved out of the clinic after Valerie split with her man and had moved in with her, which had encouraged Madge to insist Liz took the room but she preferred to be in her own place but Madge didn't like the room being empty all the time, now Jackie no longer stayed that often.

The only time Jackie stayed was if Rose and Johnnie stayed over for any reason though they'd moved most of their things into their new home and only the bed and large armchair remained.

Rose put her arm in his and he took his specs off, initiating a kiss.

"Well, I went to see her 'cos, well I'm a couple of days late," Rose smiled. "Hadn't ya noticed Johnnie?"

"Sorry love, I did wonder why you were not a little 'off'", he smiled back. "So, what did she say?"

"To wait a few more days then she'll do a test. Whatcha think about it then?" Rose grinned, Johnnie putting his arm around her.

"Well you had a false alarm a few months ago love, you did say sometimes it shifted a few days, not that I specialise in women's problems," he replied, moving her hair to kiss her cheek.

"That's why she said to wait but I have a feeling I'm right this time. I've not mentioned it to anyone else yet, I wanted to make sure."

"I know you want to make sure love," Johnnie replied.

They'd discussed it many times, hoping Rose would get lucky just after they got married but it hadn't been for the lack of trying every chance they got. Now though, the mortgage rate had gone up and he didn't want to worry his wife about it and the clinic was over-stretched as it was and he couldn't afford another psychologist on the medical team, part-time or otherwise.

They were comfortable enough, if Rose was pregnant, he'd have to employ someone else to do her job and as it stood, Rose didn't take much in the way of a salary, he just gave her an allowance and paid for the food and bills. Maybe Donna would be able to juggle two jobs or she could take over and he could get someone part-time to do Donna's job.

Maybe he'd have to give in and sell Owen another share or hurry his next book along. His old friend Simon hadn't called recently, after he'd refused the man a few months ago and if Rose found out, well he wouldn't have to worry about still paying for the house. She would surely leave him and go back to her mother's and he'd move back to the clinic so that wasn't an option.

Rose waited over the weekend and went to see Liz between the out-patients appointments, just before lunch.

"Hi Liz, can I come in?" Rose asked from the doorway of the office she shared with Owen, who was hardly in it these days.

"Sure Rose, come back for the same thing?" Liz smiled at Rose.

Rose nodded and went to sit opposite.

"Yeah, nothing's happened yet Liz, I've never been this late before but I feel fine, well so far."

"Get on the bed then and I'll examine you but after your last false alarm, maybe it's just you getting excited of the prospect?" Liz told her, going for her medical bag.

After gently prodding Rose and listening for any signs, Liz let her up.

"Go do me a sample Rose, I thought I heard something faint but just to make sure," she told Rose.

Rose came back and handed the small container back, a grin on her face.

"Should I come back after lunch?" Rose asked.

"Yes, you do that," Liz replied, mainly so Rose wouldn't be pacing up and down or looking over her shoulder.

Rose thanked her and went to find Johnnie, who was just coming out of his short session with the residents.

"Hi Johnnie," she greeted him, grabbing his arm. "Can we go to your office for a minute?"

"You have something to tell me?" he asked as he closed his office door.

"Maybe after lunch?" Rose smiled. "Liz is doing a test, I think she was glad I left her to do it on her own."

"I just bet she was love. If the test is positive, we have some things to work out."

"Hey, I can still work ya know," Rose told him. "I just sit at a desk Johnnie, it'll be a while before I have to give up then when I've had the baby, I can come back to work."

"Rose, you know I don't want you to do that love," Johnnie replied. "I want you to be a full-time mother until our son or daughter is old enough to attend school. Then you can come back and work the hours to suit."

"Yeah, I know Johnnie, I just thought maybe I could bring the baby with me, I mean use our old room as a nursery and get one of those new baby monitors."

"We will discuss it later love, it depends how you feel about it once the baby comes along. First though, you have to get the results," he smiled, going for a kiss.

Everyone noticed Rose was on edge as they ate their lunch.

"Something wrong Rose?" Laura had to ask her.

"No, why should there be?" Rose replied, looking to see why everyone was staring at her.

"Well Liz is missing," Laura teased her. "I saw you coming out of her office a while ago."

"Well stop jumping to conclusions Laura," Rose replied, trying to avoid looking at the empty chair.

"Leave it Rose," Johnnie warned her, knowing the two of them still liked to goad each other. "If Rose has anything to say, she will do so when the time is right Laura."

Just then, Liz walked in, going to take her seat and trying not to look at Rose. Rose however was dying to know the results.

"You are nervous about something," Celia noticed.

"It's nothing," Rose still insisted, Johnnie putting his hand on her knee.

"Leave it love, don't let your lunch go cold eh?" he asked, thinking if she was pregnant, she needed to eat.

Before the next outpatient was due, Rose just had time to catch Liz going back to work and followed her.

"Yes Rose, it's positive, about five weeks," Liz informed her. "Congratulations, I could see you were anxious but I didn't want to tell you in front of everyone."

"Thanks, Johnnie might tell everyone at teatime or maybe tomorrow, I think we'll be leaving early again, it's nice going home and eating on our own."

"I can imagine," Liz agreed. "I'll arrange for you to attend the clinic, there's one not far away."

"I can't go there Liz, for a few reasons," Rose replied.

"Whyever not?" Liz wanted to know. "You can go to the hospital but it may be some time before they want to see you. I'd prefer you went to the clinic before then, to see the midwife."

"Yeah, I get that. Liz, has anyone told you about the sister that used to work here?" Rose asked her.

"I've heard her mentioned but not that much," Liz admitted. "Who was she Rose?"

"Her name was Martha and she almost split me and Johnnie up. She had a thing for him, he let her go but when she found out about me, things got ugly. She finally went off with my ex, I don't know what happened after that but she got a job at the clinic and I can't face her Liz."

"Rose, she's probably forgotten all about it," Liz tried to assure her.

Rose wasn't so sure but if Johnnie could find time to go with her, it would prove a few things to Martha Jones. She'd asked her mother if she'd seen anything of Mickey and had been told he'd at least got his old job back and hadn't been seen hanging around the courtyard with Jimmy.

"Well okay but I'll have to get late appointments though, I'm not going on my own," Rose relented, wanting to make sure everything was okay.

"Good, you need to take care of yourself Rose but if your visit upsets you, I'll have to see if the maternity hospital will see you earlier. They may insist though that you go through the clinic. Just try to avoid her," Liz told her.

"That's easier said than done," Rose admitted.

She went back to work and didn't get time to tell Johnnie until they were ready to go home.

"So, was the result positive?" Johnnie asked as they got in the car.

"Yeah, five weeks but she wants to send me to the clinic where Martha works," Rose replied.

"Never mind that love, Martha must know by now we are married, she may have changed," he tried to assure her.

"Well I hope so, maybe I'll get someone else, if I'm lucky," Rose tried to smile.

Now Johnnie had some decisions to make. Did he take on extra patients or cut back on staff? The one he didn't want to have to settle on was give in to his ex patient so maybe it was time to talk to Owen again? Owen had the advantage of no wife and no girlfriend, well not that he'd admitted recently but he didn't want to give up being the majority shareholder. There was still a way to go yet but that would put Owen in a better position to be consulted at the slightest alteration to the way the clinic was run.

As they drove home, he didn't want to worry Rose just yet that he was doing a fine balancing act. Once home, they celebrated the news and Rose called her mother.

"You've not had another false alarm have you?" her mother asked Rose.

"No Mum, it's true this time. You're gonna be a granny," Rose laughed.

"Well can I tell everyone this time?" Jackie wanted to know.

"You mean the knitting club?" Rose smiled at Johnnie, who was listening.

"Well, would ya rather pay for baby clothes?" her mother asked. "I'll ask around, see if anyone's got a cot and a pram they don't need. You might get them for nothing or next to nothing, it'll save ya some money."

"Yeah, I know Mum, ask around then but not just yet," Rose relented.

"Well when are ya gonna find out what you're having?" Jackie continued.

"Not yet Mum, I have to go to the clinic to get booked in, I just hope Martha ain't there."

Rose said goodbye and went to sit next to Johnnie.

"Don't worry about Martha love, just tell them you would rather see someone else eh?" he suggested. "Now, from today I am going to take extra care of you. Don't think though because you are pregnant I won't want you to still dance for me," he smiled, going to lift her pink top.

Rose finally got her appointment at the baby clinic, after arguing on the phone she could only get there for four-thirty and not at two when they'd first wanted her to attend. So when the day came, Rose was waiting for Johnnie to finish his last appointment at four, since the clinic wasn't that far away. She was standing by the door as Madge came along.

"Nervous?" Madge asked her.

"A bit, more about it being Martha I have to see," Rose had to admit.

"Well don't you let her go upsetting you," Madge told her.

Johnnie noticed she was quiet on the way there and they arrived with five minutes to spare. They walked up the new walkway to where the midwives were based and went up to the desk. Rose could have sworn it was the same girl she'd seen on her first visit downstairs.

"Name?" the girl asked, not looking up.

"Rose Smith, I have an appointment at four thirty," Rose replied, putting the card on the desk.

Johnnie had looked around to make sure there was no sign of Martha but assumed she may be elsewhere. It seemed to him the clinic had a dual purpose since there were no babies around and only two women who appeared to be further along than Rose was.

"Take a seat, the clinic's running late, there was an emergency earlier," the girl told her.

She followed Johnnie to the front row of the waiting area and put her arm in his.

"Why are you so worried love?" he asked quietly.

"Why do ya think?" Rose smiled.

"As far as I recall, Martha was not a midwife love," he smiled back.

"I wouldn't put it past her she didn't become one, after we got married," Rose replied.

That made him smile. Rose was eventually called in to see the midwife, who was a bit surprised Johnnie had gone in with her.

"We don't get many husbands coming here," the midwife told him.

"Well I am a Doctor myself though I don't practise in general medicine, though I will be taking great care of her," Johnnie replied, taking Rose's hand.

"I know who you are, Doctor Smith, I'm sure you will be taking care of your wife. Now Rose, how are you feeling? Are you being sick yet?" the midwife asked her.

Rose had been warned it was only a matter of time before that would happen. Before she left, she was asked if she wanted to be booked in at the local hospital or go elsewhere.

"Yeah, that one's fine," Rose agreed. "I heard that ya can have a scan of the baby, is it available at that one?"

"Yes, they'll send for you but some hospitals charge you for it, well if you want a photo. Just ask when you get an appointment."

Johnnie knew Rose would want to go for one, that meant more expense and he'd already mentioned to Owen about selling another share and they were going to discuss it with the accountant. The next morning though, Johnnie was just taking a break when his ex patient rang.

"I've told you before Simon," Johnnie answered when he found out who it was and wished the telephone company would invent a phone where you could see the number before you answered.

"Come on Johnnie, think about it," Simon replied.

"No Simon, I only just managed to cover it the last time," Johnnie replied.

When he thought about it, he did have a few new patients whom had been admitted and may be suitable for his unusual method and some were already on it with their family's consent and though Rose didn't like it, she'd not interfered.

"I need someone I can rely on Johnnie and you being in the medical profession, you won't get caught," Simon told him.

"You think it is easy, covering the fact the substance should go to the patients?" Johnnie asked him.

"Well some of them must be on it, just say you increased what you gave them, no extra charge," Simon laughed.

"My wife would go crazy if she found out," Johnnie reminded him. "She barely tolerates the fact I restrict using it."

"Well, I need an answer Johnnie, I thought I would give you the option before I found someone else. Call me when you decide, since you've got a wife now. Any family on the way?" Simon chuckled.

"None of your business Simon," Johnnie replied. "I'll give you my answer tomorrow."

Johnnie hung up and went to meet Owen and the accountant.

"Well Doctor Smith," Graham told him, as he'd come in specially at Johnnie's request, since he'd thought it had best not be left. "You know if this goes ahead, your majority will be cut significantly?"

"Yes, I'm aware of that but, well, this goes no further yet, Rose is expecting," Johnnie admitted.

"Well congratulations Doctor Smith," Graham told him, since he was the last to know. "This will mean more expense."

"I'm aware of that though her mother has enlisted the help of the women of the estate in knitting baby clothes and gathering baby goods no longer required," Johnnie smiled. "We can manage but Rose has no idea how much things cost and the mortgage rate has recently risen."

"Don't have that problem Johnnie," Owen grinned. "You should have invested in a house when they were cheaper, like I did."

"I thought being on the premises had its advantages," Johnnie replied. "So, what amount do you recommend Mr Hayes?"

After they had agreed the minimum to cover Johnnie's expenses that would keep him and Rose going for another year, Owen agreeing to pay by instalments in case Johnnie changed his mind and wanted to buy some of them back, he'd gone over a few more figures with Graham after Owen had gone to take a session with the residents.

"So Doctor Smith," Graham addressed him, looking up from the ledger. "How does it feel to know your wife is expecting?"

"It's good, yes, we are both very excited and my mother-in-law is pleased, like I said. I never knew people on estates stuck together like that. It will save us a lot of money, she said most of the women are gathering what they don't use though Rose insists we don't collect the goods just yet," Johnnie smiled, at the thought of using the spare room to keep it all and Jackie trying to find space for everything in the smaller area.

That was yet another thing, he thought. Jackie would have to share a room with the baby if she were to continue her visits, which he'd cut down to every other week but maybe for now, he'd keep that but once the baby came, the bed would have to go into the other room, which was still undecorated, since Rose would want a proper nursery for their first child.

"Well I can recommend where you can make a few savings, without you having to raise more capital and maybe I have a way of getting more money out of the health service? How would you feel about them paying you slightly more for each patient they refer to you?" Graham asked him.

"How can you do that?" Johnnie asked, wishing the man had told him earlier before he'd agreed a sum for the shares Owen was going to take from him.

"Leave it with me, Doctor Smith, I've successfully done so with other medical establishments, it just takes some careful negotiations," Graham replied with a smile. "I can apply the same methods as my other clients, I've been quite successful so far but it may take a while. Meanwhile, if you give me permission, I can reduce some of your outgoings? I'm sure you will be pleased with the results."

"Then please do so," Johnnie replied. "Just give me the details."

"I will have them for you on Monday," Graham replied confidently. "I'm sure you will be pleased. Until I can negotiate with them, I will go ahead with the transfer of the shares, unless you care to wait?"

"I'm not sure," Johnnie admitted. "That was just an informal agreement just now over them?"

"Yes, nothing is binding until you both sign. Do you wish to wait?"

Johnnie was thinking about it. It was very tempting to put it off, take the money Simon was offering for a small amount of the drugs but would the man keep pestering him every time someone let him down?

"I will let you know on Monday but be ready to transfer them," Johnnie replied.

Should he think about it over the weekend or tell Simon he'd do him a favour one more time? Would that one time turn into more? He had Rose and the baby to think about, if Simon got caught for possession, he may give up the name of his suppliers then he himself could be in serious trouble.