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.


She struggled to stand. The chains worked against her, keeping her from reaching out. She could hear the cries of other women and sadly took comfort from it. At least she wasn't alone. One woman, her name was Tina, had been taken around the same time she had. She remember being with her, trapped in the kidnappers vehicle when it first happened. Why they had been kidnapped she didn't know. She assumed it was some kind of cult, being as she only saw men. Her thought were interrupted by another cry from her fellow captive. She could only guess that she had gone into labor. She tried to block out the screams, to remain in denial of her situation. She gazed with dewy eyes upon her trembling belly. She dread birth and she knew her time was coming. She had been having contractions for a few days now and this day wasn't any different.
"Her name." John explains. "Sarah and I decided that we were going to name her Nora." And he held his breath in wait of Sherlock's response. He remembered the grief that Sherlock had given him when he and Sarah were deciding on names for their son, Rory; how they couldn't have come up with something more unique. This coming from a man named Sherlock who has a brother named Mycroft... Sometimes it was nice to be normal. And darn it if he was going to let Sherlock change...
Merlin drifted in and out of consciousness, catching snippets of conversation as he did. None of it made much sense and nothing could hold his attention for long. There was another contraction, more sleep and then yet another contraction. He would wake up while the pain gripped him and then fall back to sleep in between. He was vaguely aware of a hand in his when the pain was on him. He held onto that hand as to a lifeline as he thrashed in agony but was strangely oblivious to the person attached to the hand. It wasn’t until his pains began to come too close together for him to sleep in between that he realized the hand he’d been holding was Arthur’s. He dropped it like a hot coal when he became aware.
It was the stench that woke her. The smell of musk and decay taking her from pleasant dreams. She looked unhappily about. The cell she was trapped in was cold and damp and the short chains bound to her wrist bit deep, letting scars heal from past self-inflicted injuries.  She could only guess at how long she had been kept a prisoner and it wasn't wasn't by etching each hopeless day upon her cell walls. She looked over her naked body with disgust, her eyes stuck upon her now swollen belly. She was in her third trimester her captives claimed. Thus she estimated she had been here a little over nine months. She bit back tears as memories flooded with renewed vigor. Though the days had long passed when the men would enter her cell and take her, ravaging her until their seed had planted, she dreaded this time the most.

He knew he was screaming, knew he wasn’t making sense, and certainly knew he wasn’t being a man about this but he didn’t care. All he could think about was the pain in his uterus, his back, and most alarmingly, in his penis and balls. He couldn’t see them over his gravid belly but he knew they must be swollen to the point of absurdity by the way everything down there felt like it was going to explode and not in a good way.

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