Pain hit him like a fist in the chest at Gaius’s words. It was so unexpected he gasped from it and Gaius looked at him sharply knowing it should be too soon for another contraction. Merlin shook his head and rolled over onto his side giving the old man his back until he could compose himself. Only there was no composure to be found. He couldn’t stop the tears that welled up in his eyes and spilled out onto his cheeks.
Suddenly, Francis felt the ring of fire return as his anus slowly bulged and stretched around the baby's head. His chest burned and he paused to draw breath but too late, the head had slipped back inside. Get back out here!" Niso felt helpless. He could only stay by the pregnant male and offer just the smallest relief. His hands kneaded the knots in Francis’ heaving flank and lower back, easing some of the pressure. “You're doing it, just keep pushing. It's already crowned Francis." He kissed the laboring male’s shoulder and temple as encouragement then shuffled back to check Francis' entrance.  Niso was able to make out a tuft of dark hair poking out as the baby started to crown, and knew it would come out quickly if Francis gave a hard push.

Francis eyes widened. He could die? He shook his head fervently and blinked back tears as he tried to centre himself for the next contraction. He focused on the intense burning sensation in between his legs and willed the baby to move downwards. When the next contraction came, Francis scrunched his face in pain and shuddered violently. His toes curled and he flung his head back, crying out as both shoulders crashed through his anus. He panted hard then pushed again, gasping the moment his baby slipped free.
Niso shook his head quickly. "You have to push it out, the head's out Francis!" He said, reaching into the water and holding the baby's head still with one hand, his other holding Francis' swollen stomach. "Push!” "Tch..!" Francis gritted his teeth. He quickly drew breath, biting back a cry as his anal muscles contracted, sealing itself around the baby's neck. The next time he pushed, a fresh peal of pain bloomed in his anus from when both the baby's shoulders were battering against his opening. The grip on his knees weakened as shooting pains radiated up and down his spine, his teeth baring as he pushed, hard. “Just one more..” Francis muttered darkly then heaved, feeling the baby's shoulder slide all the way out before it was followed by the rest of its body. Dazed, he fell back and panted in exhaustion. Niso quickly caught the baby and pulled it out of the water, surprised to see it didn't have an umbilical cord. He held it close to himself and looked at Francis, shock on his face that Francis had just given birth.
He screamed bloody murder, unaware of any coherent words coming out of his mouth or the work his body was unconsciously doing, until he felt a sharp pop. He heard Jason telling him the head was out but didn’t have time to react before the shoulders were forcing their way into the world as well and it took all of his strength not to pass out on the spot.
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