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Title: Barren
Author: iridescentZEN
Warnings: Dark themes; suicide
Spoils: To Live and Die in Malibu
Pairing: Michael/Kimberly (kich? pronounced: kick:)

- )-( -

The wedding ring was sterling silver with a two carat diamond sitting proudly, almost arrogantly so, on its band. The engraved wording said simply, "Michael and Kimberly Forever." It felt like it was steel, a mini-handcuff that weighed Kimberly down. She lost track of how much she was drinking yesterday, and yesterday and today have blurred into one big day. All she knew was that she hurt all over, and that it was Michael's fault.


Michael causing her pain was nothing new.

When Kimberly sat down at the kitchen counter with a piece of paper and a pen, she wasn't sure what she was going to write, but then the words flowed as easily as blood from a vein.

It always came back to Michael.

Dear Michael.

I'm sorry you have to find me this way ...

She was a paragraph in before she realized she was scrawling out a suicide note. That the sole thing she cared about at this point in time was numbing that cold ache in her soul. She quite simply couldn't live without him. Michael Mancini would hurt her time and time again, and she would let him.

Unless she hurt herself first.

It didn't matter. The smile she loved so much was now erased with a twisted sneer, made ugly by the words that came out of Michael's mouth. Each word stabbing her over and over again. Grabbing a bottle of sedatives, her bottle of wine still clutched tightly by white knuckled fingers, she knew that even finding her dead on the patio really wouldn't have any meaning to him.

She didn't think he had a soul anymore.

The note was remembered before she made her way to the deck, she grabbed it as an afterthought.

He probably wouldn't even read it.

You misrepresented yourself, Kimberly. You know how much I wanted a family. You promised to give me one. And now you're barren.

It was bad enough that he wanted a divorce, but to use the fact that she couldn't give him children as the reason why? It was cruel. So very, very cruel.

In his arms, in their bed, with Michael so deep inside of her, moving his hips to please her she looked up at him and saw the man she loved. The man who asked her to have his baby, and she would have. Dear god, if only she could have. Michael was the man she became what she swore she never would be for any man ... the other woman. Now she was the wife, and her husband wanted a divorce based just on the chance to get in Amanda Woodward's pants.

Reputation was on the line since the beginning, and her name was smeared in mud; any and all earned respect from her fellow doctors was taken away, exchanged with disgusted glances or inappropriate comments as if four years of medical school was wiped away the moment she let Michael Mancini between her legs. There wasn't a single intern or resident that even liked her. No matter how hard she tried, she was never befriended by any of the new staff. And she knew better than to head toward the cafeteria when the nurses went to lunch. She remembered all too well when the name on her locker was changed to say, "Dr. Kimberly Slut."

You're disgusting! From Jane, Kimberly could take it. Deserved it even. It hurt like Hell to not know who the source of her misery was. It could have been anyone in the hospital.

Michael, of course, only got disapproving stares from Dr. Levin.

Kimberly didn't remember who she was without Michael Mancini. That innocent doctor with dreams and goals, that young girl that was on the fast track to her own practice. Where was she? Because the only woman Kimberly knew now was the one who looked like she'd been dragged through hell every time she looked in the mirror.

Filled with bitterness, and hatred, and a jealousy so overwhelming that it led to kidnapping another woman's baby.

She was nothing without Michael. Her life was meaningless, a cloudy void and the sun only came out when he was with her.

When he needed her.

When he loved her.

The patio seemed so far away, but she made it there on unsteady limbs, on feet that felt like concrete blocks.

Honey, don't get involved. That road only leads to heartache and pain, her mother warned her. Kimberly hadn't listened. Couldn't listen. She felt like the tide that ebbed and flowed to the moon, his influence was that strong. Never listened though. She never listened when she and her mother argued before she had taken off like a thief in the night just to find her misguided way back to him.

She should have listened.

Kimberly didn't want to leave a note for her mom. It seemed like the only thing she did was cause that woman pain.

Lucky for her, that would end tonight too.

Thoughts of autopsies, of a final trip to the morgue where she would be studied, examined from in the inside out were lingering. The medical examiner would take off her wig and see her as she truly was. He or She would probably be mystified about all the damage to her skull, before cutting away scalp and sawing away at bone just to dig out her brain to weigh it. Her chest would be mangled by scalpel all the way down to her pubic hair for the Y incision. All her organs would be taken out, and the only contents in her stomach would be pills and wine.

It would be okay.

It had to be okay.

It wasn't like she would be there for it.

With shaking hands, Kimberly poured out the entire bottle of sedatives, put them all in her mouth and washed them down with the last bit of alcohol left in her wine bottle.

No backing out now.

The sound of the ocean waves pounding against the surf was soothing. How many nights had she laid out on the same patio chair just listening to the ocean speak in its primal language?

Kimberly wanted to cry, but there were no more tears left for Michael. There weren't even any left for herself.

They had made love on the chair she was laying on, right out in the open on their deck blissfully unconcerned about the chance of people passing by and being watched. They made love in the ocean, the waves pounding around them as their bodies connected, as they showed what they felt for one another.

None of that meant anything to him.

Every time I kissed you all I could think about was that insurance loot coming my way. It was the only thing that kept me from gagging.

The crashing waves were lulling Kimberly to sleep while she tried to think about the good times. When Michael Mancini made her feel loved, made her feel like the most beautiful woman in the world. Made her feel like committing adultery, laying with him in sin, was a completely natural thing to do.

What you and I have? It's completely separate from what Jane and I have.

How was that? she wondered at the time. Because Jane's your wife and I'm your slut? It was perfectly clear to her what he wanted. He wanted to stay with Jane and continue having sex with Kimberly. Wanted his cake, and to eat it too.

How do you feel about sleeping with a married man who plans on staying that way?

That wouldn't be very good for me. Would it?

Waiting for death with each breath more labored than the last, Kimberly was ready for the universe to take her back. Rejected and disowned, all she wanted was some peace.

All she wanted was to die alone in Malibu.

Michael, she thought, her eyelids heavy and closing against her will. It wouldn't be long now, and he would be free. No one cared about her anyway.

Even her death would be linked with Michael, like she was not a person ... just an accessory of Michael's.

It was always all about Michael.

Damn him. Damn her for loving him. Kimberly wished time and time again that she didn't love him.

But she always had, and she always would.