I’d had a bad feeling about things since the orphanage told me Lily’s brother, Danny, had anger issues. It was him that’d broken Lily’s arm, albeit unintentionally. She’d annoyed him and he’d pushed her when she just so happened to be stood at the top of a small set of steps in the orphanage garden. She’d been lucky to escape with just a broken arm, really.
Don’t get me wrong, I hadn’t had second thoughts about adopting them. I just had a bad feeling it might make Maxxie not want to adopt them. I told Maxxie and Lily that I’d be away for a couple minutes and I went and begged the doctor in charge of the ward for some time off to go meet Danny.
We said goodbye and Lily was all smiles again, going back to reading her book. The two of us headed off to the car and I could barely wait to ask Maxxie what he thought. I mean, the fact that he was willing to meet them was a good enough sign, but I wanted to know if he was really up for it.
“What did you think of Lily?” I asked after a little while.
“She’s like a blonde version of Beau” he chuckled a little.
“I take it you like her, then” I smiled and he nodded.
“So far?” I chuckled.
"She could be a horrible little shit when she's not stuck in bed all day"
I laughed and he flashed me a smile. I smiled back and soon enough we were at the orphanage. It was kind of small and there couldn’t have been many kids there, but it looked friendly enough. We headed in hand in hand and I smiled at woman in the reception type thing.
“Hi, it’s Hadley and Maxxie. We’re here to see Danny” I said, still smiling and she nodded, returning the smile.
The two of us followed her to a room where a boy the same age as Lily sat drawing. He was the only kid in the room and he didn’t have Lily’s blonde hair. His hair was dark brown and straight, unlike his sister’s.
"Danny, someone's here to see you" the reception lady said but he didn’t look up from his drawing as Maxxie sat opposite him. “Aren’t you going to say hello?”
“No” he said, still drawing.
"What're you drawing?" Maxxie asked but Danny stayed silent.
The reception lady shot us an apologetic smile. “Some time’s it’s hard to get him to speak”
I sat with Maxxie, flashing him a small smile. “We met your sister earlier. She’s very nice” I said and Danny glanced up at us.
"I'll leave you to it" the lady said before disappearing.
I sort of smiled at Danny and I got the feeling Maxxie was waiting to see if he’d say anything to me. Danny was quiet for a while and I started worrying he wouldn’t say anything at all.
"Is she okay?" he asked eventually and I smiled.
"She's fine. I'm her doctor, y'know?" I said and he looked at me. "And this is Maxxie"
He looked at Maxxie, who flashed him a smile. He kept looking at him and I nudged Maxxie a little.
"Um... We're thinking of adopting you and your sister" Maxxie said and Danny kept looking at him.
"Are you two husband and wife?" Danny asked after a while, all but staring at Maxxie.
"Well, we're married, but we're not husband and wife... we're husband and husband"
"Are you gonna be okay with that if we adopt you and your sister?"
Danny sort of nodded, going back to drawing. Maxxie looked at me, squeezing my hand a little when I took his hand in mine.
"What're you drawing, Danny?" I asked and he pushed his drawing towards me and Maxxie. It was a dinosaur. A big scary one. Maxxie looked at it, glancing at me a little unsurely. “What else do you like to draw?” I asked.
He got out of his seat, running out of the room all of a sudden.
"D'you think he's coming back?" I asked Maxxie.
"Dunno. I think we should ask the carers about what he's like" he said and I nodded.
Just as I was about to speak, Danny came back, holding loads of sheets of paper, all with colourful drawings on them. He sort of shoved them at us once he was sat down at the table again and we looked through them. Danny watched us the entire time. They were all typical boy drawings; dinosaurs, cowboys, cars, things like that.
"What else d'you like doing?" Maxxie asked.
Danny looked at him for a bit. "Xbox"
Maxxie glanced at me. "We don't have one of those"
"I'm sure we can get one. What else?" I asked with a smile.
"Painting" he said, not taking as long to answer me.
Maxxie let me talk to Danny mostly, given that he seemed more comfortable talking to me. I guess maybe because I was younger. Danny would look over at Maxxie every now and then and I wondered if he did actually want to speak to him but was too shy.
"Don't you want to talk to Maxxie?" I asked and Danny shook his head a little. "Why not?"
"Dun wanna" Danny said, sounding a tiny bit annoyed.
Maxxie squeezed my hand gently. "It's okay. He doesn't have to talk to me if he doesn't want to"
Danny went back to watching him, staring at him as Maxxie flashed him a smile.
“You okay, Danny?” Maxxie asked and Danny nodded, still staring. “What’re you staring at me for?”
Danny just kept staring and I got the feeling Maxxie didn’t really know what to say.
“You’re not from here, are you?” Danny asked, still staring.
“No. I’m from England”
“How far away is that?”
“I’m not sure. A few thousand miles”
“How far is that?”
“An eight or nine hour flight”
“I’ve never been on a plane”
“Maybe we can take you on a trip somewhere sometime. Would you like that?”
Danny nodded a little, hesitating before moving to sit in between us. Maxxie smiled.
“You can go anywhere you like”
Danny smiled faintly, grabbing a blank sheet of paper and shoving some crayons at me and Maxxie before starting to draw something. Maxxie watched him for a minute and we both started drawing with him. Danny drew another dinosaur and I drew a bunny, similar to the one I’d drawn on Lily’s cast. Danny looked at Maxxie and I glanced at what he’d drawn. It was a really bad drawing but it made me smile. He’d drawn me and him with Lily and Danny.
“Is that Lily?” Danny asked, pointing.
Maxxie nodded. “And that’s you” he said, pointing to the drawing of Danny. “And that’s me and Hadley”
Danny looked at it again. “Can I keep it?”
“Sure” Maxxie smiled.
Danny folded the paper up, stuffing it in his pocket just as the reception lady came back.
“How’re you three getting on?” she asked.
"We're good, thanks" Maxxie said and she smiled.
"You okay, Danny?" she asked.
"Yes" was all he said. Well, Maxxie did say he liked quiet kids.
"D'you two want to spend the rest of the afternoon with him?"
"If Danny wants to" Maxxie said.
"Dun mind" Danny said, scribbling on a piece of paper.
"I've got to head back to work soon, but you can stay if you want" I smiled.
"Can't we take him out somewhere?" Maxxie asked the woman.
"Not without letting us know in advance, sorry"
"I was gonna take him to visit Lily" Maxxie shrugged. "Rules are rules I guess"
"I suppose we can let you do that, as long as someone goes with you"
"Sure. Hadley's her doctor anyway" he said and I smiled.
"I'll just go and get the forms we need you to sign" the woman said, flashing us a smile which Maxxie returned.
She went and got the forms we needed to sign to take Danny out, getting us to sign page after page of legal requirements and whatnot.
"Danny, go get your shoes" she said once we were done and Danny ran off.
"Do you like him?" I asked, hugging Maxxie’s arm.
"He's okay" Maxxie shrugged. "I guess he's just the kinda kid you have to build a relationship slowly with"
"Like me, then" I chuckled.
"You were nowhere near as intimidating"
"He's not intimidating. I don't think he is, anyway"
"Yeah, but you love kids" Maxxie said with a slight laugh and I hummed.
"D'you think you could cope with adopting them?"
"As long as you have shorter working hours, I think so"
"I'll speak to my boss" I said, making him smile. I leant my head on his shoulder happily. "Maxxie, they're amazing"
Danny came back with his shoes, sitting on the floor and staring at Maxxie. "Can you help me with my shoes?"
Maxxie kissed the top of my head, going and helping Danny tie his laces. I couldn’t help but smile as I watched the two of them.
"All set?" the woman asked and Danny nodded. "Good. Now, we're gonna trust these two to look after you while you go see Lily, okay?" Danny nodded again and the woman turned to me and Maxxie. "I think we can let him out with just the pair of you if it's just to visit his sister" she smiled.
Maxxie smiled back, slipping her a little ‘donation’ on our way out.
“Do you have a nice car?" Danny asked as we walked to Maxxie’s Mercedes.
"I s'pose it's okay" Maxxie said.
“I like cars"
"We'll have to get you a nice one when you're old enough to drive then, won't we?" I smiled.
"I guess I'm not retiring early then" Maxxie said with a slight laugh.
"Not with two college funds to save for" I said, laughing as well.
"That and I was gonna suggest sending them to private school"
Maxxie shrugged. "Nothing wrong with wanting the best for them"
I fought back a smile, kissing my amazing husband and he kissed back.
"Eww" we heard Danny say and Maxxie chuckled a little.
"Kissing is icky"
Maxxie smiled and Danny looked up at him innocently.
"We don't have a car seat" I said thoughtfully.
"He can use you as a car seat for today" Maxxie said and I laughed.
I got in the car and Maxxie helped Danny onto my lap before getting in the driver’s side and heading for the hospital. Danny stared out of the windscreen like he’d never been let out of the orphanage. I kissed Maxxie again once we got to the hospital.
"I need to get changed"
"I'll wait for you with Lily, 'kay?"
I nodded, smiling.
"We're gonna see Lily now, right?"Danny asked.
"Yep" Maxxie smiled. "See you in a bit, Doctor Bunny" Maxxie said, grinning slightly before heading off for Lily’s bed.
I got changed into my scrubs quickly, going back to work and checking on Maxxie and the kids whenever I had a spare moment. Maxxie had pushed the chair closer to the bed for Danny standing so the kid could sit down.
"Having fun?" I asked, standing next to Maxxie.
"As much fun as a person can have in a hospital, I guess" he chuckled, sneaking in a kiss.
I kissed back just as sneakily. "How's it been looking after these two?"
"Not too bad, really" he said, smiling when I let out a hum. "We'll probably have to get stuff sorted out for them, but I'm gonna guess you want to take them home as soon as possible?"
I nodded. "That's if you want them, I mean"
"If it makes you happy, Bunny"
I hummed. "I want you to want them too, though"
"I do" he said and I smiled. "I'll take Danny back when he's done here, and get started with as much of the paper work as I can, then"
I snuggled up to him, making him smile.
"I love you"
"I love you too"
I let out a hum as I kissed him and he kissed back.
"I'll go speak to boss man then" I said and he nodded. I kissed him once more for good measure, saying bye to him and the kids as I went off to see about getting shorter work hours, even if it meant getting less experience.