Niso held the baby's head lightly, looking up at Francis. "Keep pushing now!" Francis nodded and bore down hard. When the pain peaked, he struggled to keep his knees from buckling as the widest point of the baby's shoulders rammed into his hole. The taste of copper was heavy on his tongue. Bearing down again, Francis gasped as the shoulders rotated with the next contraction. Feeling the baby twisting itself free, he gritted his teeth and swung his fists blindly, striking the bed several times. He continued pushing and straining. "Gyaahhh..!" Francis exhaled and suddenly the pressure disappeared, the baby having slipped into Niso's waiting hands. His world was spinning and he swayed on his hands and knees. "N-Niso?"
The sunlight shone into a deep green bedroom, from the floor to the bedspread and the walls around them.  Amidst them rose a high hill, shifting around slightly. But the sheets slid down, revealing the hill to be a very pregnant womb, stretched to the limits by four babies, healthy and ready to be born any day now according to the last appointment. In fact, the doctor was impressed Clare had been able to carry them so long, considering she was at the equivalent of a little over 9 months for quadruplets and she was warned to take it easy, and not do anything especially strenuous, which she reluctantly agreed to, usually a very active person. But this morning, she was filled with more energy than usual, hefting herself out of bed with a grunt and waddling as quickly as she could to pee, the babies pressing hard on her bladder as expected, taking up so much space in her as they did. Afterwards, she checked the clock, seeing that she still had a few hours before dinner and decide
“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.”
When he woke, he was back in Arthur’s bed. He opened his eyes and glanced around. He wanted his son, the urge to hold him, to see him, was overwhelming. Before he could begin to panic though, his eyes fell on the cradle beside the bed, and he leaned over the side in order to get his first glimpse. All he could see was a tuft of golden hair and a wrinkled little face. He nearly fell off the bed trying to scramble out of it.
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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