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Childless: Philip's POV

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13 July 2018, London, Downing Street

            Philip sighed as he walked through the flat above 10 Downing Street. The day had been forever long to him. He had traded in a day every week to handle the more personal matters for his and Theresa’s affairs, but this week he had traded in two with countless days before being preoccupied with planning details and meetings once he left the office. He had almost wished that his wife wasn’t PM. Almost. He knew how hard she had worked to achieve what she had, and he was so proud of her. Sometimes, he liked to just sit and watch her work on her red box, admire the concentration she wore as her brain chased after solutions to the problems she was reading about. But with all the responsibility came the exhaustion of it all.

            Pausing, he poked his head around the corner leading to their living room. Theresa was sat in the floor, a departure from her normal position on the couch. She was sitting with her legs tucked underneath her, papers spread across the floor in front of her. She seemed to be chewing her bottom lip, and he slipped into the room quietly. Coming to sit behind her, he rested his hands on her shoulders with a gentleness he reserved for the privacy of their own home. “Everything okay, love?” He all but whispered.

            “I’m just working through this before I come to bed. You should go ahead. I know you must be tired,” she told him. He smiled when he heard her voice. It was the normal, soft, and slightly higher pitched voice that was all Theresa. He teased her about it, calling it her ‘normal’ voice. It wasn’t the fluctuating one she used during speeches, PMQ’s, or when she was on the job. It wasn’t the one that demanded respect; it was the one that she used when she felt safe and comfortable.

            “I am tired, but I want to wait on you.” His hands started rubbing her neck and shoulders as he sat and watched her flip through papers. He heard her groan and leaned down to kiss her head. “Today was eventful,” he remarked.

            “Yes. How was it showing Mrs. Trump around?” She asked, grabbing a pile of papers, and crawling up to sit beside him. “Did your new suit get the job done?”

            Chuckling, he wrapped an arm around her shoulders. “It did indeed. She was very nice, and she was very sweet with all the children. I think she enjoyed herself.”

            “I’m happy that your venture was so successful, even if you didn’t leave the suit on for me,” she teased, glancing down to his pajamas.

            “You should have changed when you got in. You would be much more comfortable.”

            She read in silence for a few more minutes before putting everything aside. His warmth was distracting, and it made her want to crawl into bed. “None of this is super important, and it’s all things I’ve read before. I don’t think turning in early once is going to hurt anyone.”

            “Are you sure? Don’t stop on my account,” he told her gently.

            “I’m positive.” Her hand came to rest on the side of his face before she leaned in and kissed him soundly. Standing, she held her hand out for him to take before they made their way to their bedroom. She made her way to the bathroom to take the makeup and jewelry off.

            Philip climbed into bed, waiting for her to come and tuck her body against his for the rest they both desperately needed. He couldn’t get the interactions he’d had that day out of his head, and he thought that if he could just hold her tightly for a while, things would right themselves as they did normally. He smiled as she walked out almost completely naked, nothing but knickers and her arm across her chest preserving her modesty. “I have seen it all before, darling.”

            “I am more than aware,” she said. “You seem to forget that I’m still sporting the love bite you gave me last week.” Her free hand pointed to the fading bruise on her ribcage, just below her right breast.

            He was going to come up with a sarcastic remark about how she banned them on her neck, but instead, he shook his head and watched as she pulled on an old t-shirt and a pair of pajama pants. She would more than likely end up kicking them off in the night when she got too hot, and he would be the one to pull them from the bottom of the bed so she could slip them back on for breakfast. He sighed when she finally climbed in beside him and rolled into his side.

            Looking up, she cupped his face. “Is something wrong, love?”

            He hated when she asked that question. Theresa had always been exceptionally good at picking up his mood. She could usually tell if something was bothering him by the way he sat or the way his sipped his tea. It was laughable to him that some people thought she was cold. If they saw the side he saw, those words would never be in the press again. Yes, she had called him her rock on multiple occasions, but she had been his…well, everything. She had been his strength and his softness. His sun and his rain, giving him whatever it was he needed. She was simply, his Theresa. Sighing, he looked down. “I just keep thinking about today.”

            “Why? It seemed like everything went perfectly.”

            “It did. I…I just keep thinking about all those children,” he told her quietly. He felt her nod against his chest, knowing she knew exactly what he was thinking. “That’s all.”

            “I understand. Do you want to talk about it? It might help to get it off your chest.”

            Pulling her closer, he thought back over it. He and Melania Trump had helped the children make poppies, and he had connected with two children in particular, a girl and boy. He remembered thinking that the girl resembled Theresa a bit with bright green eyes, and the boy had her personality, shy and quiet and reserved. They had both been extremely kind, taking the time to show him how to do it properly, and he had talked to them about how the leaves made them better. For a brief moment then, he had imagined that that was what it would have been like to have children. Grandchildren at this point in their lives. He couldn’t stop the images of all the school events they would have to attend, picnics, plays, and concerts. It had all seemed so…perfect for a moment. “It’s hard to put into words. I…I just wished some of them were…ours,” he mumbled quietly.

            Theresa looked up at him, eyes going soft as she recognized what had happened. It was a feeling she had often, and she knew how hard it was to let go of the image of their own children, albeit even if they were imaginary. “What were they like?” She asked gently. “The ones you felt like were ours.”

            He gave a small smile. “The girl had dirty blonde hair that was braided, and she had these bright green eyes, like yours. Her name was Anna. The boy, Jamie, had darker hair, like yours when we were at Oxford, and he had the sweetest personality. He was shy and kind, and we talked about history. He was quite fascinated with the Romans.”

            “They sound quite sweet.” She wasn’t going to push him for me details; she could already perfectly imagine what they were like, and she knew exactly why he said they felt their own. Her hand began to rub his side before she tugged him to lay on the pillow so they could face each other. “I love you, Philip.”

            His hand came to caress the side of her face. “I love you too, Tess.” He knew this was her way of saying sorry without saying it. He had refused to let her apologize for what had happened to them. It was a decision they had made together. He watched her roll over before scooting back to him. Wrapping an arm around her middle, he could feel her begin to drift off, but he couldn’t. He couldn’t stop thinking about the kids or their past.

            He could remember the conversation they had, had when they wanted to try to have a baby so clearly. They had just moved into their first house, and she had told him they needed to talk over dinner. “I want to have a baby,” she had told him. “I think we should start trying.”

            He had nearly choked on his own food listening to her. “A baby? You want to have a baby? We haven’t even been married for a year.”

            “I know, but I think we’re ready for one. And by the time he or she is born, it will be a year and a half.”

            Philip had stared at her for a moment, recognizing the glint in her eye. “You know I would love a baby with you,” he told her calmly, taking her hand, “but what about your condition? What about what you told me about it?” The threat of a miscarriage was so prevalent, and he didn’t know how they would handle it if it happened.

            Theresa looked down and took a deep breath. “I think it would be better to start trying now. All of the specialists always said it would be easier if I got pregnant when I was younger. They even mentioned that it could help with my issues…put it into a kind of remission.”

            “Have you talked to your doctor about it?”

            “Yes,” she nearly whispered. “She gave me a few pamphlets about pregnancy with my condition. She even gave me one about something called in vitro fertilization. It’s meant to help with…with infertility.”

            He nodded as he listened to her, mind racing as he thought about the possibility of a child with her. He had always thought he would be a father at some point. Having grown up being the oldest, it had made sense to him to want a big family, but that had changed when he met his Theresa. After she told him about everything, he had readily accepted the possibility of no children in exchange for her. He would always choose her.

            They had discussed just waiting to see if it would happen, but they had never talked about actively trying to conceive. “If this is something you really want, and you promise me that we will be careful, so you don’t get hurt,” he smiled slowly, “I think that’s a wonderful idea.” He had never seen her smile so brightly. He had been so excited at the possibility of having a child with her. His happiness blinded him, lulled him into a false sense of security. He had managed to convince himself that if Theresa did get pregnant, it would all work out. They would get that baby they both so wanted. In fact, he had forgotten how much he longed to be a father.

            But life wouldn’t be that kind to them. Pregnancy for them ended in heartbreak and tears, and Philip had never felt such an emptiness. He had, had to be strong for Theresa. The whole ordeal had left her very weak and even more emotionally scarred than she already was, and Philip had feared she would fall back into the place she was at when her parents died. Their marriage had suffered, and he had eventually begged her to go to therapy with him. He had confessed in one of their sessions that he had suffered nightmares and panic attacks, symptoms from stress and grief that Theresa was very familiar with.

            They had come to the conclusion that they wouldn’t let the lack of children destroy their marriage, but it had taken its toll for the first decade of their marriage. It made him all the more grateful that she had been the one to suggest birth control for them. It wasn’t really even a suggestion. She had simply gone out and gotten the prescription, and he had immediately recognized the small, round compact that the pills resided in.

Life had seemed so settled for them, and Theresa had even gotten her seat in Maidenhead. Life was finally good. No heartbreak or tears or fighting. But with the publicity of being an MP, the question of children came up frequently, and Philip had always noticed the slight flinch she had when someone asked her about it. He had asked her what would happen if she became leader, and she had shrugged and said they would figure it out.  The questions eventually died down after the snap election, but he could always tell when she seemed upset or sad about the lack of little ones in their home. He would find her in one of the many spare bedrooms they had just sitting and looking out of the windows, and he knew she was imagining what the room would look like as a nursery or a bedroom for grandchildren. He would sometimes sit with her, holding her hand and gently squeezing it from time to time.

He tightened his arm around her middle, pulling her even closer to him. Kissing the back of his head, he closed his eyes. He was content with dreaming of the little ones, and he knew that in the morning he would be greeted with a kiss and smile from her. How could he complain about that?