Alex worried about Mary.
(Alex always worried about Mary, it was practically encoded into his DNA for all that they had never met until they were both well into adulthood.)
Ever since the separation between Warren and Mary, Alex had been worried. There shouldn’t be any reason that he could think of for them to be having marital problems at. All. Much less ones that would require them to have a period of separation. So yes, Alex was very Worried, with a capitol W.
He knew that they’d had problems before.
(Somehow being unable to conceive a child had been something that they hadn’t wanted to broadcast and he had respected that. He’d never let them know that he knew…though sometimes he was certain they were just humoring him about his little attempts to know what was going on with them, but trying really hard not to at the same time.)
He’d known that Warren was having some kind of problems with work.
(Alex hadn’t known just what, exactly, those problems were, just that there was something not sitting right. He hadn’t been able to find out much more than that without letting anyone else know that he was looking. He didn’t want people to know that he was connected to Mary or Warren. It wasn’t safe to let that knowledge get out. Ever.)
“What is going on, Mary?” Alex murmured to himself.
He frowned as he thumbed through what little information he had been able to find out concerning his ‘little sister’ and her husband. The surprise pregnancy between them had been surprising to Alex as well as Mary and Warren. The fact that they’d actually found some way to visit him and talk about it.
He could still remember how that had gone…
“Mary! Warren! What a surprise!”
Alex had been both pleased and displeased to see them at the time. He’d had delicate operations going on and so wasn’t entirely certain when he’d need to go ‘off the grid’ so to speak. Then again, he was always happy to see his sister as she always reminded him that there was good in the world.
(She also randomly inspired him to donate more to charity and to foundations that looked into the cure of this or that illness.)
Mary was very pale and Warren had a pinched look to his face.
“I’m pregnant.” Mary whispered, her eyes almost as pale as her skin.
Warren did not look away, but stress lines appeared even deeper around her eyes.
Alex frowned at the couple, “Why is this bad news?”
Mary looked at the ground as Warren answered. “I’m sterile, Alex. It’s physically impossible for me to be the father of this child and yet, it is also physically impossible for Mary to even desire another now that she is with me.”
“I see…” And he did.
Someone, somewhere, had done something to either Mary or Warren that had caused this pregnancy and though it was obvious that the child had to have come about because of these two, it was impossible for the child to be of Warren’s own issue.
“I’ll try my hardest to look into this, but I’m not sure how long it could take.”
Alex wondered, now, if whatever it was that had caused the pregnancy and then the second one eight years later had been the cause of the dissolution of their marriage.
He had never been able to find out everything about how the pregnancy had come to be and a part of him blamed himself for the ruin that had come to his dear sister’s life as a result.
Ah, I see. So that’s why they broke up. A truly puzzling situation.
There is more to it than just that. It’s a shadow-y business, this writing lark.