SYNOPSIS: Chris Pine and Lucy ("BBC Robin Hood") Griffiths star as Conrad and Ada, an improbably attractive, not-yet-twosome who both happen to be suppliers to Toronto's most upscale fertility clinic.
When the mother in a successful pregnancy & birth (Ada's eggs, Conrad's sperm) dies a week postpartum, a bizarre circumstance in executing her will causes both to be summoned to be deposed and testify, and they find themselves thrown together throughout the dragging on ever-more-high-profile court case.
Frankly, it's getting in the way of both Conrad's academic career (he's just making the circuit with his third book)–and his far-flung love life (he has a girl at every library). And the last thing Ada needed was a distraction from her booming organic heritage farm (they just started shipping orders made online). Not to mention a dousing of cold water to her unsuspecting almost-fiancee and parents.
What will happen to the child of the without-relatives deceased? Even distant family connections have turned away the baby as 'no true relation'. What to her sizeable inheritance?
Neither of these two have had babies on the brain before, yet now that's all they can think about–except when they can't stop thinking about how infuriated they are with the other. At least until each starts to worry the other might be about to file for custody.
This original story began as a series of posts on Tumblr.
"Ms. Covington—" began the lawyer, looking efficient and, in fact, preoccupied (though he was trying his best to hide it).
Perhaps that was how all high-end lawyers looked, she thought. As though they were at present desperately needed elsewhere. "Please, call me Ada. It makes me feel like less of a criminal."
"Oh, certainly. Certainly! There is no question about your part in this, Ms.—Ada. Your actions have been perfectly legal and above-board. Our client, the Clinic, in no way would wish you to think—"
She interrupted. "You must excuse me, you said we needed to meet, so I have driven into the city to learn whatever it is that could not be dealt with over the telephone. If you could cut to the chase, we are at shearing the alpacas today, and it's really something of an event at the farm–?"
"We needed to meet to discuss a new, unexpected development," he said. "Your parking, of course, will be validated. And we would be delighted to provide you with lunch." There was a pause, during which she did not thank him. "Someone, we believe at the clinic, has leaked Donor #879's confidential profile."
"What, his medical records? His test results?"
"His everything," said the legal clerk that generally occupied the same room as the lawyer, but like a servant on some British costume drama, never spoke, save in hushed tones to the lawyer, and that very seldom.
"Why, that's horrible, that's…invasion of privacy. Certainly, that must be illegal!" The clerk slid Ada the document. "What is—why, should I even be looking at this?" She looked at it.
"It's a matter of public record, now," the lawyer, as always, sounded eminently reasonable. "And yes, it was an illegal action that will be prosecuted once the source of the leak is discovered."
She continued to look at it, though not deliberately. "Why, it's everything but his picture!"
"And that will join it soon enough once TMZ hunts him down."
Ada's was distracted, reading through the profile. "Good heavens," she said under her breath, finding the test scores, the volunteer history, the CV hard to believe. "What, does he also drive a Bugati?"
The legal clerk answered, her tones half-hushed, "actually, he drives a Volkswagen he converted to run off used cooking oil…" The lawyer gave the clerk a stern look.
"Crew, of course!" said Ada, coming to the Athletic section of the profile. "Of course he rowed at university. Di-Did you read this?" she asked the lawyer, "this reads like—like—"
"Every ovulating woman's fantasy football team rolled into the body of one man?" The legal clerk finished it for her, earning another hard look from the lawyer.
The lawyer cleared his throat. "He is the top requested donor among the clinic's clientele seven years and running."
"I can't even read the title listed here for his last book."
"It's in Dutch," the law clerk interjected helpfully, her voice half a whisper.
"Presumably, the explanation for that is a long story, it's something about eighteenth century agrarian practices as depicted in the literature of the time–?" the lawyer replied, trying to brush off the detour the meeting had taken. "Nevertheless, we have called you here—"
"To show me," Ada consulted the paper, finding the name, "Conrad Bierkut's dossier?"
"No, not at all Ms.—Ada. But to warn you that if #879's confidential profile has been leaked, it is to be expected that yours will no doubt shortly follow."
Color rose up on her cheeks. "But what of Garrett—what of my parents?"
A bar, around happy hour. Nearby a university, but an establishment that caters more to faculty than students.
"Well if it isn't old #879," said a forty-ish man seated at a table, glass in front of him.
Conrad rolled his eyes, "buy a fella a drink before you call him names like that."
He took a seat at the table with his friend Mick.
Mick consulted a screen on his phone. "You do look more than a little impressive on paper, Dr. Bierkut," he says, snarkily. "I'll give that to you. Do you reckon getting 'outed' like this is gonna make women more or less likely to date you? Knowing they could get your 'high quality' stuff for free?"
Conrad rolled his eyes. "You always were a sweet talker, Mick." He took a drink on the beer that has arrived. He didn't look too worn out, but he's a little less talkative than usual.
"I'm not usually glad Mom's gone on," he says, "But in this case, probably for the best." He raised his glass to the air in front of him.
"You don't think she'd handle the news too well?"
He gave Mick the side-eye. "She always wanted grandchildren. It was all she could talk about from the day Julie and I got married—well past the day Julie served me with papers. That, and with what her priest would have to say about it? No. Susan Bierkut would not have handled this news at all well."
"Internet's having a field day with it."
"Always glad to help out." Conrad toasted with his pilsner.
"You shouldn't feel too lonely, Connie. Looks like they've leaked Female #B34's as well." Mick flashed his screen at Conrad before turning it back to further peruse it.
"I wonder whose documents they paid more for?" Conrad asked the air in front of him, without sounding truly interested.
"They haven't got a photo to go with it yet, but here she is in black and white—" Mick told him. "You've never met her, not even with all this legal wrangling?"
"The lawyers were trying to preserve our privacy."
"So much for that. Suppose you two can meet, now. But don't take her out for steak."
"Vegan, going on fifteen years. Eats nothing but organic. Little high on the cholesterol count, even so."
"Great. Great news, Mick. Good to know."
"Says here she's currently pursuing locating her birth parents in order to provide more accuracy in her family medical history."
"So she's adopted."
"Looks like. Owns and operates her own business. Phi Beta Kappa. Plays bass viol at competition level. Archery team captain at uni."
"Larger-sized stringed instrument." Mick shrugs. "Just tryin' to acquaint you with your baby mama."
"She is not my baby mama," it was starting to get to Conrad now. He was paying less attention to his drink.
"Well, she's that baby's mama. And you're it's Poppa. So that has to make her your something."
Conrad moved to try and sift through the stack of books, manuscripts, and student papers he brought into the bar along with his satchel. It was a frustrating task, as the pile was constantly trying to get away from him and flutter thud to the floor. "It makes her another person named in this outlandish legal—whatever. It puts a target on her back, same as mine."
"Yeah, nevermind," Mick commiserated. "She's probably some dried-up, flax-seed loving, 'no don't eat that, no don't wear that, no don't buy that thing you want from that corporation, what's the internet' buzz kill who took the money that clinic paid her to raise six thousand vegetarian cats."
Trying to right the pile on the table before him one final time, Conrad dissented, "Er, I don't have anything against flax seed—"
"Or not," Mick looked more closely at his screen. "They've just posted her photo." He flashed it to Conrad, who grabbed it away from him, with intent to power it down.
"Cut it ou—" his eyes inadvertently went to the on-screen image. "Aw, man," he shook his head, as too late he had seen the image.
Mick whistles. "That's gotta be one pretty little baby."