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.
“I know and I’m sorry for that. I’d never have hurt you, Merlin. I was…well, I was in shock. And yes, I was angry. You told me you hadn’t ever planned to tell me about the baby. You weren’t ever going to tell me I had a son. I mean, I was mad about the lies and the magic but it really hurt that you were planning to never tell me that you were having my baby.”
"Lay one of the towels...on the floor..." was the next instruction from John, his breathing deepening as the next urges started to build. Sherlock had just managed to spread the towel out when John could no longer fight and gave into the urge to push, his body on autopilot now as it directed his actions. Instinctively, his hands reached for Sherlock's arms and sensing that this was what John needed now more than anything, he allowed John's fingers to squeeze painfully tight into his shoulders. John's green eyes then match up with his own gray ones and lock, showing unrelenting focus for nearly a full minute as he forced the baby further down.
“Yes. I wasn’t pining for Gwen. That morning when I woke up with you wrapped around me…I realized it was really you I’d wanted all along. And I felt horrible because I knew you’d only been with me because you felt sorry for me, because you are the best friend I could ever ask for. You wouldn’t turn me away when I was hurting and it was so damn selfish but I wanted to keep you and I knew…I thought that I couldn’t.”
As soon as the scalpel finished its mutilation, he registered the sensation of the vacuum being placed on his daughters head, the movements tearing his already brutalized opening. The doctor started pulling without even waiting for a contraction and the hands were back on his belly, crushing his insides without care. Each compression sent another flash of agony through his anatomy but he couldn’t do anything other than scream for mercy.
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