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Rated: 18+ · Chapter · Fanfiction · #2148871
A Beetlejuice Fanfiction - Betelgeuse/Lydia - Safety for her and Freedom for him.
Disclaimer: I don't own the Beetlejuice franchise, nor do I make any money from this story. I just like to borrow the characters for my own twisted amusement.

Chapter 10

'What the?' The sleeping mother thought at the same time as she woke with a jolt when a small foot connected with her back sharply. 'Ouch!' Lydia silently contemplated as she sat up in the bed and rubbed the tender spot where her daughter had just hit. 'That shit hurt!' Damn, for being such a little thing, that tiny girl was all arms and legs and took up most of the bed. How was that even possible?

Her brown eyes slid to the clock and spied that she had only slept for about an hour. You would think it wouldn't be enough time to recharge, but it did seem to take the edge off the fatigue that was weighing down on her. It does appear that a little bit does go a long way, especially for someone who's pregnant. Plus, the young mother was going to need all the sleep that she can get now; because with two little ones in the works, sleep will be the last thing on their minds.

Lydia pushed back the covers and swung her legs over the edge of the bed. Her petite hand came up and rubbed the sleep crust from her vision, while her other pushed her body up to sit squarely on the mattress. Her dark eyes scanned her old room and realized that her ghostly husband was nowhere to be seen. 'Hm..Wonder where he is?' The young mother scratched her head and quietly mused, then shrugged her shoulders. Her poltergeist wouldn't have gone far and would show up eventually like always.

A light knock sounded on the door and drew her attention away from the thoughts of her husband. Lydia watched as it slowly opened some and Barbara's voice softly called out her name while her curly head moved into view. "Lydia?"

The deceased woman's eyes widened when she spotted the sleepy mother and gave her a nervous smile. "Sweetie, I didn't wake you, did I?"

A few dark strands fell in front Lydia's face, as she shook her head and waved the ghost in. "No, you didn't wake me. I just woke up a little bit ago. Please come on in."

Barbara carefully surveyed the room, before she took a few steps in and quietly shut the door behind her. She gave Lydia another nervous smile and spoke with absolute care. "I was wondering if I could speak with you?"

Lydia's hand went out and gestured for the other woman to take a sit in the chair across from the bed. "What is it that you want to talk about?" She asked as she eyed her surrogate mother in question.

The specter sat down and fretfully smoothed out her dress, then got to the point. "It's about you and HIM?" Barbara emphasized the word him and began to once again smooth out more imaginary wrinkles.

Lydia felt her irritation rising at Barbara's tone, but resisted the urge to snap at her. She ground her teeth together as her own tone sharpened slightly. "What about me and my husband?" Her brown eyes watched as the dead woman flinched when she said the word husband and her irritation seemed to grow. Oh, for fuck's sake. Couldn't her family just be glad that she was happy? It could have been worse, so much worse. Christ, it could have been Luke instead of Betelgeuse.

The exasperation must have been written on her face, because Barbara began to stumble over her words. "Well. You see…Are you…You know…Happy…With him?" The specter bit her bottom lip and cautiously caught her foster daughter's eye. A bubble of laughter spilled from Lydia, which caught the anxious dead woman by surprise.

Her raven mane bobbed, while she smiled at her ghostly mother reassuringly. "I'm more than happy, Barbara. I know it's hard to believe, but Betelgeuse really is a good guy. It just takes some time and patience to get to know the real him." She sent Barbara another reassuring smile and continued to talk. "He has been nothing but good to us, and I've never had a guy treat me the way he does. Betelgeuse is a wonderful husband and father." Lydia stood up and made her way over to the vanity where her purse sat. She dug through it and pulled out her keys, then hurried back to the waiting specter.

A smile played at the young mom's lips, while she handed the deceased a small picture frame with the very first photo of Betelgeuse and Lucy. "That was the morning after we had married. I came out to find him sprawled out in a big chair with a tiny Lucy laying across his chest. Both were snoring away, and I couldn't resist catching the moment."

To be honest, it had been the first in long time that the urge to use her camera had struck her. Apparently being with Luke had sucked out all motivation to capture anything. It was like her muse had abandoned her once she had gotten involved with that horrible man and wouldn't come back no matter how hard she had tried.

The curly haired ghost stared at the picture for a few moments, then turned her shocked eyes to the woman in front of her. "Why would he do that?"

Lydia gave her shoulders a small shrug and answered quietly. "I think he wanted to give me a break by letting me get some sleep. As for Lucy, well, I think he wanted to get to know his new daughter. Lucy's very special to him." Her hand slid to her stomach and that smile of hers grew wider. "And so is this little one. It may not be born yet, but it is already an important piece to our little family."

Tears shimmered in her dark eyes, as she took the tiny photograph back and brought it to her chest. "Barbara, I never thought I'd find someone that would treat us right. I didn't think such a man was out there, but he is, and I am so grateful that our paths crossed once again."

Barbara began to chew on her lower lip and reluctantly asked her question. "Do you…love him?"

Did she love Betelgeuse? She wasn't sure if she did or not? They had only been together for 3 months and even though their relationship progress to more sexual in nature; it still wasn't enough time to say that what they were feeling was love. All Lydia knew was that they like one another very deeply and that seemed to be good enough for the here and now. "I'm not sure if what I feel for him is love, since we haven't been together that long. I really do care for him and he cares for me as well."

Barbara's cool hands reached out for her own and clutched her hand tightly. "Lydia honey, how do you know that he's not leading you on?"

A frustrated sigh escaped her form and the urge to yank away from the dead female's hold and snap at her reared. Slowly, she took in some calming breaths and somehow held her tongue from lashing out. If Lydia was to be honest with herself; she couldn't fault the ghost for thinking that. It would have been something that the bio-exorcist would have done if he had still been that selfish and self-centered man that they had first met. "I don't think so. Betelgeuse already got what he wanted when we married and could have left at any time. So why would he lie and for what purpose?"

Barbara blew out a discouraged breath of her own as the dead woman reached for a reason. "I don't know for revenge maybe?"

This time Lydia tore her hand away from the other woman's grasp and drug it roughly through her hair. She stepped back and sent the frustrated ghost a raised brow with an 'you got to be kidding me' expression. Was Barbara serious? Lydia doubted that she would have been high on Betelgeuse's hit list. Not after what her surrogate parents had done to him. They had interfered with the whole sham of a wedding and had gotten him eaten by a sandworm. Revenge against his almost bride would have been the last thing on his mind.

"Revenge? Really? Yeah, I broke my word to him, but it's not like I sent a sandworm after him." Shit, she knew that what she had just said was a low blow, nevertheless the dead woman was starting to piss her the fuck off. Hell, everything was pissing her off as of late. Blasted hormones!

Lydia's heated glare bore into the ghost, while her words cooled considerably. "To be honest, you and Adam are more likely to be on his list for revenge. Not that Betelgeuse would do anything now; he doesn't want to cause trouble for our family. I wish you all would take my word that we are completely safe with him and that he would never hurt us. Betelgeuse is a changed man, damnit!"

Barbara shot up from her seat and hurried towards her adopted daughter. The specter reached out and drew the shaking woman into an embrace. "Oh, Lydia sweetheart, I'm not trying to upset you. I just wanted to make sure that this is what you truly wanted. I only want you to be happy and safe." Her cool hand gently stroked the back of Lydia's head just like Barbara had done a billion times when she was a dramatic and woeful teenager. "Honey, this is just going to take some time for us all to digest."

Lydia buried her face within the folds of her dress and took in the comforting scent that was distinctly Barbara. You'd think that either she wouldn't smell or that it would be that of decay, but neither were true. The odor that clung to the ghost was sugary and sweet just like walking into a bakery and was nothing like her husband, who smelled earthy; like taking a hike in a damp forest. Both were extremely comforting for the pregnant woman though.

She lifted her face away from the soothing fabric to stare up at her ghostly mother with remorseful eyes and to apologize profusely for her snappy behavior. "Barbara, I'm so sorry for getting snippy. I know that this is a huge adjustment for you all and it's going to take some time."

Barbara returned her regretful gaze with a gentle smile and a cool hand to her cheek. "Lydia, I know this can't be easy for you either. It must have been very scary for you to come here and tell us the truth. I'm glad that you did and so are your parents. Everything will work out in the end, sweetheart."

"I sure hope so. I don't think I can take any more stress. This pregnancy is kicking my butt and nothing like when I was pregnant with LuLu." Lydia said as she pulled away from the dead woman's calming touch and sighed deeply.

"Yes, you did have a huge amount of energy, even in your first trimester."

A snort left Lydia and a hand passed over her face, then peered up at the specter. "Well this time around its low energy up the wazoo."

Barbara frowned and sent her a concerned glance, while her tone softened. "Sweetie, would you like to lie down some more?"

Lydia shook her head and gave the woman a dismissive wave of her hand. "No. Couldn't if I tried. Miss Lulu hogs the bed." She thumbed in the direction where the small child was currently sprawled out even more on her side.

The ghostly female eyed the mattress and the child, then chuckled loudly. "Oh boy, she does, doesn't she?"

"Big time." The young mother let out a laugh of her own as she continued to watch her child, who began to wiggle around.

The child in question let out a small whimper and her little hand rubbed her sleep filled eyes. Lucy slowly moved to sit up and started to pull at her ear as she called out for her daddy. "Daaadaaa…..Daaaadaaa."

Lydia rushed to her crying daughter side and scooped her up in her arms. Gently she began to rock the upset child back and forth, while cooing soothingly to her. "Ssh…Lulu love, it's okay."

Barbara approached the pair and reached out to lightly stroke the back of her little granddaughter's head. "Oh honey, Is she okay?"

A flustered breath released from the petite woman, while a hand shoved roughly through her long dark hair as she continued to try to sooth her daughter. "I don't know. Lulu hasn't been herself lately, and I think she may be coming down with something." In spite of all of the bouncing and patting, Lucy's cries repeated to reverberate throughout the room and left both women deeply unsettled.

The concern was strong in the specter expression and tone as she spoke. "Lydia, you know I try not to tell you how to parent, but maybe you should take her to the doctor…"

Lydia blew some loose strains of hair from her eyes and wondered if her surrogate mother was right. Lucy still hadn't become any better since rising this morning and seemed to have gotten worse the later the day dragged on. Shit. Maybe they should take Lulu in. Clearly there was something going on.

More air slipped passed her lips, while she glanced over to her distraught child, then to the waiting ghost. "Yeah, I'm thinking maybe we should." Now the only problem was that she had no clue where her husband was. Wasn't he supposed to be taking a nap with them? Where the hell had he gone to?

Lydia stepped towards the doorway and asked the specter if she had spotted her missing husband. "You haven't seen Betelgeuse, have you?" Hopefully, Barbara had seen him. It would help greatly in her search to find the poltergeist.

Barbara's curls bounced as she bopped her head and followed Lydia to the entrance. "I smelled smoke down one of the hallways, so I'm guessing he is trolling there somewhere."

Lydia went to open the door and motioned for Barbara to go out first, before joining her in the hall. She bounced Lulu on her hip and turned to face the ghost. "Okay, I'll check there first. I'll see you in a little bit."

The specter reached out and stroked the soft blonde curls of her upset grandbaby, then bid them goodbye. "Yes. Let us know when you come back, okay?"

"I will." Waving goodbye to Barbara, she quickly made her way down the hallway to find the ghost with the most.

The farther Lydia walked down the hall, the stronger the odor of cigarettes became. Geesh! Barbara had been right! The smell of smoke was incredibly strong in this direction, and she was positive that her husband was most likely down at the end.

Lydia couldn't help but wonder why Betelgeuse was in the hallway anyway. It wasn't like there was anything interesting up here. Hell, it didn't even have a damn window to look out of! She thought that not having a window was asinine and couldn't possibly be safe. What if there were a fire? How the hell would they get out? Bet the obese man had never thought about that when he was spewing nonsense in her stepmother's ear. It had been rather disgusting when Otho had said jump and her stepmother had remarked how high. Well, that had ended rather quickly, especially after the night of the sham wedding. Otho was so spooked that he refused to take Delia's phone calls and had ended their tedious friendship. Lydia was glad the chunky bastard was out of the picture. Kudos to her husband for scaring the living daylights out of him.

A smile graced her features for a second, before being replaced with a frown as the pregnant woman slightly bounced her offspring on her hip and hurried down the hall. Gently she cooed and patted Lucy's back, in hopes that the small child would calm some. "Ssh, baby. It's okay."

Damn it, nothing seemed to help to soothe the crying child. Her wails increased in volume and called out for her father. "Daaadaaa…Daaadaaa!"

Frustration rolled off of Lydia when nothing seemed to stop Lulu's pain filled cries. She knew that the only way her upset child would calm was to find Betelgeuse. That thought caused her to quicken her steps and call out to her husband. "Betelgeuse?"

A large sigh left her as she spotted her husband and rushed towards him. Halleluiah, there was a light at the end. Ummm…Actually, there was light. Why was there a window? Not that she was complaining. Now if there were ever to be a fire, they wouldn't burn to death. Yay for escape routes!

Her brown eyes moved from the window to the silent case worker who stood off to the side of her husband. Lydia wondered what she was still doing at the house. It hadn't been that long since the confrontation and the pregnant mother was still none too happy with the old dead woman. The urge to shove her foot up the old bitty's ass had not gone away during her time napping. She bit her tongue and her lips twisted together tightly as she turned her gaze from the deceased worker to her poltergeist.

A frown quickly marred his rugged face and his voice dripped with concern. "Babes? Hey what's going on?" His arms stretched out toward his wife and daughter and motioned with his hands. "Come here, Bug." Betelgeuse reached out for the little girl and drew her securely to his form. "Ssh…it's okay, baby girl." Lucy's cries began to simmer down, but they did not cease entirely as the little girl continued to pull on her lobe.

The old woman watched the tiny family in silence, then cleared her throat and attracted the attention of the couple. Her smoky voice questioned the poltergeist. "Geuse, how long has she been pulling on her ear like that?"

"It's just been about a day, I think." Betelgeuse said as he turned to Lydia for confirmation, then back to Juno. "Yeah, it's been about that. Why do you ask, Junie?"

Juno ignored the nickname that her ex assistant had bestowed upon her and continued with what she was getting at. "When my kid was little, he used to pull on his ear just like that when he was suffering from an ear infection." Her light eyes burrowed into poltergeist's, before moving on. "You might want to take her in. You know what happens when you let an infection go, don't you Geuse?"

Betelgeuse stiffened and tightened his hold on his child, while he turned from the old case worker and to his wife. "Come on Babe. We're gonna take Bug to the hospital." The anxious man didn't wait for her response, as he grabbed a hold of her arm and pulled her in the direction of the exit. Betelgeuse glanced over his shoulder and shot the old ghost a heated glare, but didn't say a lick to her before they disappeared out of sight.

Once in the car, Lydia turned to her husband with a look of concern. Betelgeuse hadn't place Lucy in her car seat and it didn't seem like he was going to any time soon. "Don't you think you should put her in her seat?"

The usually cocky ghost shook his head, while he pointed to the ignition. "Naw, she's fine right here. No amount of force will drag her from my hold. Now let's just get a move on, okay Sweets?"

She wanted to argue that it wasn't safe, but she knew that her husband would never do something to harm their child. If he said she was safe, hell she was. Still she couldn't help but be worried about the unusual behavior of the poltergeist. "Okay…"

It took a mere 10 minutes to get to the small hospital that Winter River had. Lydia thought it was more like a clinic than a hospital, but she wasn't going to argue with the folks that live in Winter River. To each his own and all that jazz.

As soon as the vehicle was in park, they were out of the car and hurried to the entrance to see someone.

The couple scurried to the front desk, where a middle-aged woman sat typing something on the computer. Lydia made a sound in her throat to draw the woman's attention and softly spoke. "Excuse me?"

The older lady's head shot up from her work and smiled brightly at her. "Yes, my dear, how may I help you?"

The young mother pointed at her husband and child as she rushed her words. "Our daughter hasn't been feeling good and we think that she may have an ear infection."

The receptionist's smile dropped to a frown and eyed the little girl. "Oh no, poor darling. Dr. Rogers has a couple of patients ahead of you, but that should give you enough time to fill out the paperwork. What is your daughter's name?"

"It's Lucinda Geist."

The smiled returned to the receptionist's face and beamed at the young mother. "That's such a pretty name!" Then she went about getting the papers and a clipboard together, before handing Lydia the bundle. "Here's the paperwork, my dear. You just bring it back to me when you are done."

Lydia sent her a small smile and bobbed her raven head, while she grabbed a pen from the container. "Okay, I will. Thank you."

The older lady flashed another smile and pointed in the direction of what seemed to be the waiting room. "You're most welcome. The waiting room is just over there." They gave the receptionist a nod, then made their way to the waiting area.

Once the couple found a seat to sit and wait, Lydia began to fill out the paperwork to the best of her ability. Several more minutes flew by when she finally put down the pen and sighed. Man, they had a lot of freaking questions and most had her digging deep in the recesses of her already occupied mind. Why is it every time you need to remember important information your mind goes blank? Lydia wasn't sure, but she did get it filled out, so they can either take it or leave it.

Standing up, she quickly made her way back to the front desk to return the forms. She smiled at the woman behind the desk and handed her the clipboard. "Here you go."

The receptionist sent her a smile in return, while she took the paperwork and placed them in a basket. "Thank you my dear." Lydia gave her a nod and a quick you're welcome, then hurried back to the waiting room.

Stepping back in the room and sitting down, she eyed her obviously anxious and worried husband. The tick in his jaw was going a mile a minute and Lydia knew that this whole situation was freaking him out. Hell, she was freaked herself. Nobody liked their baby being sick.

Her dark eyes watched the poltergeist stare up at the clock on the wall then glance at his watch, before he let out an impatient huff. Her gut began to ache and the feeling of something being off struck her. Her husband seemed stranger than usual. It was like it was more than just Lulu being sick. She couldn't put her finger on it, but Betelgeuse wasn't acting like himself at all. Shaking her head, Lydia pushed it to the side to worry about it after they took care of Lucy.

Time seemed to tick by slowly as they waited to be called. Her husband huffed loudly, then whispered to her. "What the fuck is takin' so long?"

Oh yeah, Lydia was missing something. When it came to them, Betelgeuse was normally pretty level headed and right now he was the opposite. She couldn't fathom what it could be to have her husband's feathers so ruffled. A sigh left her, and she whispered back to him. "I know it's been a while, but the lady did say that there was a couple of people ahead of us. We will probably be called soon."

A sneer ripped from him and his hold on Lucy tightened. "Yeah, Yeah. These other fuckers are sick, but Bug is a little kid and in fuckin' pain! That shit should take presence over a bunch of adults. They can suck it the fuck up."

Another sigh came from her and she forced herself not to roll her eyes. "B, it doesn't work like that. We just have to wait our turn."

Betelgeuse went to open his mouth, but was stopped when Lucy's name was called out from the other side of the room. "Lucinda Geist?"

Lydia nudged the poltergeist with her elbow and spoke softly under her breath. "See I told you." Then she grabbed his sleeve and pulled them up and to the waiting nurse.

She gave the woman a smile and confirmation. "Hi. That's us."

The young nurse smiled in return and greeted the couple. "Hello. I'm Dr Roger's nurse, Mindy." They began to move down the hall and ended up in a small alcove. "Okay I just need to get a height and weight for Lucinda."

Mindy took Lucy's weight and height and wrote the information down on her sheet, then had them walk once again down the hall. "Okay. Now this way and we will be in the room on the left."

As soon as they were in the room, she motioned for them to sit in the vacant chairs, before going to retrieve the thermometer. "Dad, why don't you sit here, so I can get her temperature." Nurse Mindy took Lucy's temperature and hummed to herself, as she jotted it down on her papers, then turned to them. "Okay folks, That's all from me. The doctor will be right in to see you." The couple gave the nurse a nod and a wave goodbye, as they waited for the Doctor.

Once the nurse left, Betelgeuse grumbled under his breath once again. "More fuckin' waiting. Seriously, what the fuck is up with this shit?"

This time Lydia did roll her eyes and patted his shoulder. "It will only be for a few minutes and you know the doctor will be right in. It shouldn't be that long." Just as she finished, a knock resounded on the door and an elderly man stepped in.

The older man smiled at them and reached out to shake their hands. "Hello. I'm Dr. Rogers. Can you tell me what brought you in today?"

Lydia returned both the smile and the handshake, as she began to introduce them and their concerns. "Hi Dr. Rogers. I'm Lydia, and this is my husband Benjamin. Our daughter Lucy hasn't been herself for a while now, but it has seemed to have gotten worse as of late. She just started to pull on her ear and an acquaintance of ours thought that she may have an ear infection. We thought that we should bring her in just in case."

The doctor reached out and grabbed a white notepad and began to jot down some notes. Quietly, he listened to her and waited for her to finish before he asked her a question. "Has she had an ear infection before?"

Lydia shook her head in response, as she glanced over at Lucy then back to the doctor. "No. She has never had one."

Dr. Rogers continued to write some more notes, while he carried on with his questions. "Which ear was she pulling at?

Betelgeuse's gravelly voice rang out, before Lydia could answer. "It's the left ear that she's been tuggin' on."

The doctor scribbled down some more, before motioning to the examination table. "Okay. Why don't we have dad sit on the table with her, so I can look in her ears."

Betelgeuse stood up and made his way to the table to sit, while Doctor Rogers washed his hands. After the doctor was done, he grabbed the otoscope with a child sized speculum from the wall and approached them.

Doctor Rogers looked in the right ear then the left as he talked to the couple. "Well…the ear drum does look red and seems to be bulging. She does have quite a high fever, so it looks like it is what you both thought. Little Lucinda here has an ear infection." He pulled back to put the medical instrument on the wall and spoke to Betelgeuse. "Benjamin, you may go back to sit next to your wife."

The Doctor reached over and grabbed what looked like a prescription pad and began to fill it out. "I'm going to prescribe an oral antibiotic and recommend that you get a pain reliever for the discomfort and the fever. We have an inhouse Pharmacy, so I'll have my nurse Mindy walk you over there."

Relief washed over Lydia at the news that her daughter was indeed sick with an ear infection and that was why she had been so cranky. The poor baby, Lulu had been in pain. No wonder she had been crying her little butt off. Well, now that they knew what was the cause, they'd get some medication in Lulu's system and she would begin to feel a little better. Lydia reached out and stroked Lucy's head, then turned her attention back to the doctor. "Thank you, Dr. Rogers."

"You're welcome. If she doesn't get better in the next couple of days, then I suggest that you see your regular physician." The older gentleman smiled at the young mother as he stood up to shake both of their hands again before leaving. "It was nice to meet you both and I hope your little one feels better. Goodbye."

They waved goodbye to the doctor and waited for his nurse to arrive. Shortly after the doc left the room, Mindy the nurse popped her head in the door and opened it. "Hi. You can follow me." She motioned for the little family to follow her out of the room and down another hallway.

They eventually came upon a small onsite pharmacy, where Mindy flashed a grin at the young man behind the counter and handed him a prescription slip. "Hey George, I have a prescription here for you."

The man named George returned her grin with a smirk and snagged the paper prescription. "Thanks Mindy."

"No problem." Mindy turned from the pharmacist and to the couple standing next to her. "Well it was nice to meet you and I do hope that Lucinda feels better soon."

Lydia reached out to shake the nurse's hand. "Thank you and have a nice night."

Nurse Mindy shook her hand back and beamed. "You too. Bye." She stepped away from the couple and waved to them, then made her way out of the room.

As soon as the nurse was out of sight, they turned their attention to the waiting pharmacist.

George grinned at them as he spoke. "Hi folks, this will just take a couple of minutes, so you can wait over there, and I'll call you when it's ready."

"Okay. Thank you."

He tipped his head and continued to grin at her. "No problem ma'am."

They moved to sit in the empty chairs and wait for the prescription to be filled. Betelgeuse let out another huge huff and lowly sneered in his wife's ear. "More fuckin' waiting."

Not this again. Seriously this man's thin patience was getting ridiculous. What was going on with him? She wanted to question him, but felt like this wasn't the place to do it. Instead She whispered softly back. "Betelgeuse, I want to get Lulu's medication just as much as you do, but they need to do it right. It's just going to be a couple more minutes and then we can get the medication in her system."

The dead man scoffed and glared at the empty counter. "Still fuckin' taking forever."

One of many sighs left her once again as Lydia shook her black mane, but didn't comment to her anxious husband.

Sometime later, the pharmacist called them to the pickup window. Lydia grabbed some infants pain reliever on the way, then listen to what the pharmacist said about the oral medication, before paying for both medications.

As soon as the medicine bag was in her hands, her husband had quickly ushered them out of the hospital and into their vehicle.

His green eyes turned on her and cocked his head in the direction of the bag. "How about we get some of that medication in her before we leave, Sweets?"

Lydia bobbed her head in agreement, while she opened the bag and drew out both medications. She unsealed the pain reliever first and measured out the correct amount then passed it to her husband. It would be better to try and knock out the pain as well as the fever first.

Lucy fussed in her husband's arms and tried to turn away from the dropper, but Betelgeuse had somehow coaxed the young child to take the bitter medicine. Her tiny face scrunched up and blew out a raspberry to try to remove the unpleasant aftertaste.

The young mother handed the poltergeist the other dropper and watched as he tried again to convince their daughter to take it. He brought the other medication to the little girl's mouth, but she shook her head some more than shoved it way with her small hands. "No."

Lydia heard her husband sigh, while he talked to the small child. "Sorry Bug, but you gotta take this."

Her blonde head shook again and cried as she pushed his hand away. "No."

"Come on, baby girl. Just one more time. Now open for daddy."

Lucy shook her head several more times and her ghostly father continued to persuade her. Finally, she opened her mouth and allowed him to squirt in the medication. Her face twisted into a grimace and blew out another raspberry. Betelgeuse juiced a bottle and gave it to the child, who drank it quickly.

Lydia couldn't help but wonder how the poltergeist did it. How was he able to persuade their daughter to do things that she didn't even want to do? Hell, the pregnant mother couldn't even get the tiny child to cave on good days then her husband waltzes in and bam, little Lulu listens. It must have to do with the psychology of the father/daughter bond or it was simply the strong connection between Lulu and Betelgeuse period.

Her dark eyes moved from her family to the colored sky. By now the sun was beginning to dip closer towards the horizon, which indicated that they had been at the doctor's office for quite some time. It would probably be best to get back to her parents, so that they could put Lulu to bed and figure out what they were going to do next. Taking her eyes off the skyline, Lydia cleared her throat and drew Betelgeuse's attention. "Honey, it's getting late. Maybe you should put Lulu in her car seat, so we can go back to my parent's house."

Betelgeuse's green eyes went back to their daughter and released a deep sigh. "Sure Sweets." The poltergeist placed Lulu in her seat and adjusted the straps, before righting himself in his own. As soon as he was done, Lydia started the car and shifted it into gear, then pulled out of the parking lot.

When they finally pulled into her parent's drive and parked, Lydia noticed that the poltergeist still looked agitated. Betelgeuse's jaw had been twitching, and his long fingers kept drumming against the arm rest as his gaze moved to the mirror that he had tweaked to keep an eye on a less cranky Lucy. It was like he was afraid that something was going to happen to Lulu at any second. This worried his wife even more. The urge to call him on it was strong, but still she bit her tongue as they got out of the vehicle and made their way into the house.

Betelgeuse held the drowsy child to his side, while he hurried up the stair and to their room. 'Christ, he was freaking fast!' The young mother thought as she quickened her own steps to try to keep up with her husband's long strides.

Once in the room, Lydia quickly shut the door behind them and eyed the anxious poltergeist, who was now gently placing their daughter into their temporary bed.

Carefully, she approached him and tried to soothe some of his anxiety. "Honey, Lucy is going to be fine." Betelgeuse sat on the edge of the mattress and stared over at his wife, while he ran his hand through his blonde hair. He scoffed lightly to her but stayed relatively silent.

His reaction caused her brows to furrow and the words she'd tried to hold to come flooding out. "Betelgeuse, will you tell me why you're so agitated?"

"Who says I'm agitated, Babe?"

The skeptical woman sent her husband a dubious expression and tried to keep her voice low so not to disturb their dozing child. "I'm saying you are. It's like you're afraid that something's going to happen to Lucy. Why are you acting like that? Will you tell me what's wrong?"

Once again, his hand ran roughly through his mane and a growl sprang from him. "Lydia just back the fuck off, okay?!" The sharpness of his tone caused his worried wife to jump back and her mouth to drop open in surprise.

Betelgeuse had never used that tone or her name before. No, it had always been babe, babes, sweets, and sweetheart. Lydia watched as her husband rubbed his face and release a massive breath then he just sat in silence on the bed. What the hell had just happened? Why did he snap at her? Was it because she had pushed? Shit, she hadn't meant to upset him. It was just that his odd behavior was disconcerting. Her chest and throat tightened as she tried to take in a gasp of air and blinked her eyes to try and fight the tears that wanted to spill. Goddamn hormones! Normally she wouldn't have taken this so close to heart. Yes, she would have been hurt, but she wouldn't have been fighting the waterworks that she was now battling with.

The room began to feel like it was closing around her, and the young mother knew that she needed to get out of the stifling area. Not waiting to see if her husband was willing to speak or not, she made a beeline for the door and hurried out of the room. Her vision became blurry from the unshed tears as Lydia hastily made her way to the kitchen.

A hand went up to wipe her watery eyes, while she quickly crossed the threshold and proceeded to the cupboard. All she wanted to do right now was to try and sooth her raging emotions with a huge cup of hot chocolate.

The warm and sweet goodness that was hot cocoa was a stable in the Deetz household during her childhood. Whenever there was an upheaval in their lives, Lydia and her father would sit in the kitchen and drink hot chocolate. Most of the time they would just sit in silence. Words had not been needed. It had been comforting enough to just have her father by her side. Lydia remembered drinking a lot of hot coca during the time that her father had started dating Delia. It had been a drastic shift in their family dynamic and one that Lydia had a hard time dealing with. The warm drink had been a great comfort during that stressful and confusing time.

Shaking off her thoughts, Lydia pulled open the cabinet that held the Coffee cups and condiments. She scanned the shelves and finally spotted what she was looking for; her favorite mug and a container of cocoa that Delia had been raving about one time when they had spoken. It was some fancy brand that Lydia had never heard of, but her stepmother swore that it was the best and that she would enjoy it. Well, now she would put Delia's words to the test.

Lydia carried her mug and the container to the microwave and set it on the counter, while she went to the fridge to get some almond milk. Once again, Delia was on another kick and this time it was no dairy in the house. Apparently, her stepmother had a dairy sensitivity, yet ate loads of Nutella, which had milk in it. Not that Lydia would point that out to her. If Delia wanted to believe that she had a dairy sensitivity, then so be it. It wouldn't last long, and she'd be on a new kick soon enough. When was her stepmother not on some type of fad? Betelgeuse would have made some comment about Delia being a faddist and following along with every fad because she can't think for herself.

A frown marred her features when the thought of her husband crossed her mind. Thinking of the poltergeist made Lydia's chest tighten and reminded her of the reason that she was making hot cocoa in the first place. More tears slid down her cheeks as her empty hand reached up to wipe them away, while the other poured the powdered cocoa and the milk into the mug.

Christ, she was a blubbering mess. Her damn hormones were going a mile per minute and to have her husband snap at her really didn't help. For the first time in their relationship, Betelgeuse had yelled at her. Not even when they were arguing about something did he raise his voice. Usually her husband kept his cool while they bickered with one another. Shit, they weren't even arguing at the time. That's how she knew that something was wrong.

Placing the mug in the microwave and closing the door, the crying woman pressed the buttons that would allow her drink to warm. She waited for it to beep, then she took it out and mixed everything together. Before she could try it though, she heard the familiar footfalls of her husband's chunky boots, as they slapped against the floor and made their way to her.

Her body stiffened when his arms wrapped around her waist and drew her back flush to his chest. She felt him bury his face in the mounts of black hair, and his chest expanded as he took in a whiff of her warm scent. For several minutes they just stood in the kitchen, both listening to the sound of each other's shallow breaths.

Lydia felt Betelgeuse's face pull away from the back of her head and clear his throat before he spoke. "I'm sorry, Baby. Shit, this had nothing to do with you. Remember I told ya that I have hang ups. Well, this was one of them, okay?"

He buried his face once again in her hair, then rested his cheek on the back of her head. "That old bat is the only who knows how I died and that's the way I like it. As you know, I got my rep to protect."

Betelgeuse let out a snort, as his hand began to rub her abdomen and continued. "Fuck Babe. I survived the black motherfuckin' plague, only to die from a simple cut on my goddamn foot. No antibiotics when I lived, Sweets. So once infection set in, well, I was fuckin' toast."

His face went back in her hair, then drew back with his tone rougher than usual. "When Junie told us to take Bug in, cuz it sounded like she was dealing with an ear infection. Hell, all I heard was the word infection and for the first time since I fuckin' died I felt an inkling of fear. All I could think about was getting Bug checked out and some medicine in her as fast as we could. Baby, I didn't mean to snap at ya."

The sincerity in her husband's voice caused a sigh of relief from her at the same time as she carefully turned around in his arms and stared up at him. "I didn't mean to push you Betelgeuse." She sniffed, and a few tears fell from the corner of her eyes. "I was just worried that's all."

His cool fingers wiped away the trails of tears and let out a relieved breath of his own. "I know ya were, Babes. I told ya before that I have hang ups. I've been around a helluva long time and ya keep the issues ya die with, but also add some along the fuckin' way. Rest in peace my ass." The poltergeist snored then gave his wife a toothy grin and he wiggled his brows.

A giggle bubble from her, while she shook her black head and placed a hand on his chest. "Are you resting in peace now?" Lydia bit her lower lip and fluttered her wet lashes as her dark eyes peered up into his own.

Betelgeuse's grin widened and dragged her tiny body even closer so that her hand was now trapped between them. His cold breath tickled her lobe, and it caused a shiver to go down her spine. "Sweetheart, this is the most peaceful I've ever been alive or dead."


"Damn straight, Babe. Not that I do a lot of resting though." He wiggled his eyebrows, which caused the small woman to softly laugh and shake her head at him.

The poltergeist's eyes danced with mischief and wiggled his brows some more before he swooped in to kiss his wife soundly on the lips. She let out a small moan and her free hand slid up to wrap around his neck as she kissed him back with the same fever.

When her lungs felt like they were going to burst, Lydia drew back and caught the green eyes of her husbands. The corner of her lips twitched upwards, while another delighted laugh spilled forth and followed by her husband's smoky one.

Once they settled down, Betelgeuse brushed her cheek softly and cocked his head in the direction of the entrance. "Baby, it's been one helluva day. How about we go upstairs, and I'll juice us something to eat that won't get us sick?"

He snorted as Lydia glanced at the refrigerator, then back her husband with a nod. "Yeah, that sounds good. Can we have pizza with pineapple and Canadian bacon?" Her mouth began to water at the thought and her stomach seemed to rumble in agreement. Lydia quickly realized that she had not eaten since that morning and that she was super hungry. Her stomach rumbled loudly again, and her face flushed brightly from embarrassment.

Betelgeuse released his hold on her and chuckled, while he smirked down at her. "You are reading my mind, sweetheart. Maybe I'll even juice us a tv and couch. We can have dinner and a movie. How does that sound?"

Lydia took a step back placing her hand on her stomach and beamed up at him. "It sounds perfect. That's exactly what me and this little one needs right now." It sounded wonderful and relatively normal. Plus, she really was hungry. Incubating life wasn't easy, and it took a helluva lot out of a person.

Betelgeuse stepped closer and wove his arm around her waist, then drew her to his side once again. "Good and hopefully we'll be able to get something in Bug when she wakes up." His chest heaved a sigh and his free hand ran over his face, before looking down at his wife.

Lydia rested her head against his shoulder during which she bopped her dark head and padded his upper body lightly with her hand. "Yeah, she really hasn't had an appetite. I'm sure we will be able to get something in her tummy now that she has had some medicine in her."

The poltergeist kissed her crown and slowly lead her out of the room. "We'll see, Sweets. Now, let's go feed you and lil bean."

Lydia paused in her tracks and pulled her husband back with her. "Betelgeuse, wait! I just made some hot cocoa. I can't leave it!" Her gaze went back to the counter where her mug sat, then back the specter. He gave her a wink and a grin, before snapping his fingers. The mug appeared in his hand and held it out to her. "Here Babes."

Lydia smiled brightly as she took her hot cocoa and thanked him. "Thank you, B." He gave her another wink and a laugh bubbled forth. She lightly shook her head at him, then carefully took a sip of the hot cocoa. Her brown eyes widened in surprise and her lips smacked together. "Mmm…Delia was right. It is good." She held it up and put the mug to her husband's lips. "Here try it."

Betelgeuse took a sip and shook his head in agreement. "Hm…Not bad babe. Kudos to Big Red. Who knew her faddist ways would actually turn out to be good?"

Lydia couldn't believe that her husband had said the same thing that she had been thinking about moments ago. See, she was right about him thinking Delia was faddist. A giggle slipped passed her lips, though she did try to hide it by putting the mug to her mouth. It didn't work, but Betelgeuse didn't comment. He just raised a pale brow, then shook his shaggy head at her. "Now that you have your hot chocolate, Sweets. Let's get something in that belly of yours to feed you and our bean." He ran his hand over her stomach, then began to lead her out of the room once again.

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