Merlin listened in dismay. He really didn’t want Arthur present for this, didn’t think he could stand to have Arthur pressed up against him under such humiliating circumstances. He’d witnessed enough births to know exactly what was likely to happen to him. He certainly didn’t want Arthur, of all people, to witness to his tears, to hear his cries, to watch the other indignities that were likely to be inflicted on him.

It felt like he was watching a movie as he saw the doctor cleaning out his son’s mouth and nose. Jason beamed as their little boy, Jackson was almost certainly going to be his name, was nestled into his arms by a grinning nurse. Distantly, he wanted to hold him too but the mere seconds of relief following his exit had disappeared and the pain was back with a frightening intensity.
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