It wasn’t long, barely 8 minutes since the last one, before another contraction forced a strangled moan from Jensen, his head falling towards his chest, face scrunched up in pain. “Breathe, honey, don’t hold your breath,” Jared coached him through it. He fell back against the pillows, a slight hitch in his breathing. Jared comfortingly ran his free hand through Jensen’s hair.
Jared would have laughed at the irony, except the situation wasn’t funny at all. Throughout the whole pregnancy, Jared had been the calm one, the one to provide reassurances when things were going bad, the one who always knew what to say. Now when it really mattered, when the moment of truth stormed in on them, and their baby was demanding to be introduced to the world, Jared was the one freaking out and relying on Jensen for reassurance.

Arthur growled wordlessly and Gaius subsided. Merlin lay still, wasted in the wake of his latest pain and wondered for the first time if he really had the strength to do this. He’d been undernourished for months, at first unable to hold onto anything he ate and later unable to force much of anything down his throat. He’d always been skinny but he didn’t think he’d ever been this thin before. He’d observed plump, healthy women, glowing with vitality killed off by the process of childbirth. He was about as far from healthy he could get. This was only his third contraction and he could already feel himself succumbing to exhaustion. He didn’t try to fight it; it was just so much easier to give in to the tug of sleep. Merlin was barely aware of the bed dipping beside him and a rough hand grasping his own in a gentle grip before he was lost to the darkness of sleep.


Then he hurried over to the bathroom, picking up both swaddled babies from the floor and returning to the bedroom, laying them on the large bed next to their bearer. Francis moaned and wriggled weakly on the bed. His strength was spent. Francis threw an arm over his forehead and inhaled sharply as another contraction rolled over him. He was so tired. All he wanted was to sleep, and erase the last four hours. He turned his head and gasped loudly when his muscles tensed again, biting into the duvet to muffle his cries. Niso sat on the bed and watched him, gripping at his hand lightly now. There wasn't anything he could do but sit there with him. Sighing, he shook his head, wondering when Francis would next give birth and how many more he'd be having. Francis buried his face in the pillow. His soft cries became more urgent as he curled in on himself, clutching his heaving abdomen. His insides felt like they were being ripped open. "Nnnggh..!"With the next contraction he squeezed Niso's hand, hard enough to bruise. His back arched off the bed as the baby suddenly shifted and the horrible pressure in his pelvis returned. Francis groaned and rubbed his stomach furiously, feeling his muscles seize and contract against his will. This was not his body anymore; he had no control. Niso gritted his teeth but didn't say anything, allowing Francis to squeeze his hand. "Is it coming yet?" He asked, frowning as he watched Francis continue to writhe on the bed. Using his free hand, Niso tried to keep the other’s legs spread wide, hoping the nightmare would be over soon with the final birth or births. Francis whined, struggling to loose himself from the covers. He wanted to be on all fours but his legs were tangled and plastered to the bedsheets by sweat and birth fluids. He rolled over to his side and looked at Niso. "N-Need to get up.." Francis managed to gasp out before he concentrated on his breath. This time the pain was so strong it felt like knives were being twisted inside his gut. He latched onto Niso's arm and tried to haul himself upwards, wheezing, when suddenly his stomach clenched and a gush of fluids splashed down his legs. Francis shuddered. "AHHHHHHHHHHH...!"
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.
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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