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.

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.


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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