Birthday Roses - Part 3Tia awoke to a flurry of activity within her womb; opening her eyes slowly, she gave her belly a greeting pat.  “I guess I better get used to you waking me up early, huh, baby?” she smiled, stretching languidly.  Rolling over onto her other side, she was startled to find her husband nowhere in sight.  The pillow beside hers was cold and empty.  “Nate?” she called out.  There was no response.
“Thanks,” he gratefully sighed as Jared helped him wiggle his way out of his sopping wet sweatpants and underwear. He’d barely been in the rain, but it was enough to have left him soaked. Jensen raised his arms, and Jared pulled his shirt over his head, helping him struggle into the dry one, once he was completely naked. “Can you grab the pillows off the couch, and the blanket?”
“Ok Jensen, you really are nearly done. She’s right down now. I can see that she’s going to be a blondie like me, so how about you give me a really good one with the next contraction and we’ll see if we can get this done, yeah? What do you say?” the doctor coached as she used her hands to support the skin around their daughter’s tiny blood smeared head.
He couldn’t remember any more words after that. Just the pain and the struggle and the warm, strong bulk at his back. It held him up, rocking with him as he fought to push his baby out. The voice was there, he could remember hearing it but there were no more words, just the soothing tone of it. Merlin fought with all he had to stay awake, to strain, to push. Finally one last push and a scream of effort and it was done. He could hear his son crying and he sagged back against the warm, firm cradle of the body behind him and knew no more.
The storm raged outside. The wind howled as it snuck in through the cracks in the wood, and whipped around the house. Thunder rippled through the air and lightning streaked across the sky. The rain beat against the window. He could hear water pouring out of the gutters. He held Jensen’s hand with both of his, knuckles close to his lips as he rocked slowly back and forth.
“Thanks,” he gratefully sighed as Jared helped him wiggle his way out of his sopping wet sweatpants and underwear. He’d barely been in the rain, but it was enough to have left him soaked. Jensen raised his arms, and Jared pulled his shirt over his head, helping him struggle into the dry one, once he was completely naked. “Can you grab the pillows off the couch, and the blanket?”
"F-Francis..." Niso mumbled softly, shifting so the tired male could see the baby. He looked down at it too when it began to cry. "N-Niso.." Francis moaned weakly, leaning his weight against the older male, his body still shaking from the strain of delivery. Slowly, he turned to look at the squalling baby cradled in Niso's arms. Francis couldn't believe the baby had come out of him. Before he could dwell too long on the insanity of the birth, his body convulsed and he arched his back, groaning anew when another contraction hit and a torrent of fluids expelled from his anus. "No..no..n-not again," Francis cried, face flushed and shiny with sweat. It was too soon! Niso bit his lip and got up from the tub, finding a towel and wrapping the baby in it. After laying the baby on the floor where it was safe he got back into the tub, gripping Francis' hand now. "It's happening again?" Niso asked, swallowing hard as he looked down to Francis' still swollen stomach with a shake of his head. Francis nodded jerkily. His chest burned with each quick and shallow breath, his lungs desperate for more air. But before he could gasp again, he surrendered himself to another painful contraction and bore down with a vengeance. The pressure in his anus was escalating. He bellowed loudly and squeezed Niso's hand for support. His head was spinning from lack of oxygen and he wanted the pain to disappear but it was only worsening. He paused for a brief moment to collect himself then jerked back with a cry when an involuntary spasm seized his body. The next baby was on the edge of crowning. "I can't," Francis begged and looked imploringly at Niso. He was defeated. "I can't do this..It hurts too much.."Niso just shook his head and kept a tight grip on Francis' hand. "Push Francis!" He ordered him harshly, glaring a little. "I gave birth to your six kids! Now push!" He growled. Deep down, he felt mildly angry at Francis' for giving up so early. He pressed his hand to Francis' stomach and narrowed his eyes at him. "Push.” "S-Stop it! Get offa me." Francis bucked and jerked, trying to wrench himself free from Niso's grips. He felt as though he was tearing in half, his sore anus bulging and straining to release the baby trapped inside his canal. It did not come out with his last push and he gasped for breath then fell forward, groaning as its head edged closer and closer to his anus, stretching him past the point of pain. Grunting, Francis threw his head back and pushed again, face and neck reddening from the extreme effort. Despite the pain wracking his body, he yanked his knees to his chest and bore down, cursing and screaming, when suddenly something slippery and wet emerged between his thighs, gushing fluids. "Haa..haa..h-head's out," he called weakly.
“Ok Jensen, you really are nearly done. She’s right down now. I can see that she’s going to be a blondie like me, so how about you give me a really good one with the next contraction and we’ll see if we can get this done, yeah? What do you say?” the doctor coached as she used her hands to support the skin around their daughter’s tiny blood smeared head.
Niso put his hands between Francis' legs, holding the baby's head now. "Keep pushing Francis." He urged him, looking into the murky water where the baby's head was. The water had gotten more pink from the birth fluids coming out."Push, Francis." He said, looking up at him now with a frown. "You're doing it." He said, reaching up and rubbing at Francis' contracting stomach, feeling the muscles stain under his touch.

Sherlock's heart lept into his throat. This wasn't supposed to happen. John's due due was still three weeks away and he had already from day one made perfectly clear that he didn't want to be anywhere near when 'it' decided to make its appearance. "I...I'll drive you to St. Bart's..." he stammered, unsuccessfully hiding the trace of fear in his voice.
This is brilliant! I really enjoyed this and how original it was- I've read fics where Merlin leaves out of fear before, but none where when he comes back Arthur is so goddamn terrifying. You captured his fear and confusion so well, and even though I know Arthur to be good, his unpredictable reactions around magic made me worried for Merlin. The ending was perfect, though I was hoping for some mention of Arthur sending out a patrol to bring Gwaine back, and maybe offering him the honourable position of godfather/mentor to their son, as a reward for taking such good care of Merlin and being such a dutiful Knight? But it was enough to know that they lived happily ever after, so I can assume something along those lines happened. Beautiful story ♥
My most recent fantasy involves twilight sleep, a horrible practice from the 1950’s and 60’s where women were given a mix of drugs during labor and delivery that made them forget the whole experience. It was said to relieve pain but, in fact, the women were suffering natural labor and delivery, just too drugged out of their minds up to make any sense out of the whole thing. 
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