Alaya returns to her office after the first five and starts transposing the notes onto the typewriter. She goes back and forth between Vastra and her own notes.
Alaya stops as her mouth vibrates and soon a huge awkward grin appears. She makes a mark on the paper, to return at this particular spot and makes her way to her Fiona.
She passes her Mother Jenny who is eating a sandwich, "Where youf going?"
Alaya teases, "Imf going to see Fiona." She points to her mouth, "She rang." Alaya's smile quickly disappears as her mouth vibrates again and again. "I must go." Alaya runs down the stairs, "Have mother on alert, if she isn't already."
Alaya runs down the hall and doesn't bother to knock and attempts to use the spare key. She stops as Fiona is communicating, 'I am in here.'
Alaya spins around, 'Where is here?'
Alaya knocks and opens the door to see her wife in a panic face with the scent of blood. 'I smell blood, more than from your cut finger.'
'Should I call Louisa?'
'No, spotting is normal for pregnancy. I need your mothers to let me know if Mother Jenny spotted this much. If not, you must take me to the hospital. Help me back to the room.'
Alaya picks Fiona up, carries her wife back to the small living space and places her on the blood soaked bed. "Are you able to stand?"
Fiona nods yes.
Alaya stands her wife up, "You can lean on me."
Fiona does just that and leans on her wife's back.
Alaya quickly removed the soiled blankets and replaced it with fresh bedding. She puts her wife back in bed and covers her with a blanket. "Where is the bell?"
Fiona open her tightly wound hand and releases the bell to her wife.
Alaya rings it three short rings pauses three long rings pauses and three short rings. "Mother Vastra should be here shortly."
"You don't seem phased by the pregnancy."
"I was going to send you a message, but the cylinder was already occupied."
"What do you think of the names?"
The bell rings, "I will let her in."
Moments later Alaya and Vastra walk into the room. "How can I help Little One?"
"Did Mother Jenny have spotting when she was pregnant?"
"May I look?"
Fiona covers her face with the pillow, "Yes."
Mother Vastra looks under Fiona's clothes and evaluates if this is similar to her wife's liquid measurement. "It seems about the same. It is supposed to stop after a bit. How long?"
"I woke up like this. It is too much."
Vastra, "I believe we need assistance, even if it just to calm our nerves."
Alaya begins to leave, "I will go home and call Louisa."
Vastra pulls up a chair next to the bed, sits down and grabs Fiona's hand. "I believe everything will be fine. We had a scare like this when Jenny was incubating Alaya."
"I know it is normal, I just can't see my own body." Fiona looks directly into Vastra's eyes, "It is also too soon."
"I have been reading the books you gave me to read. We need a second opinion."
Vastra smiles, "This is going to be a challenge for Alaya and myself. Two pregnant women in the same home ... "
Fiona squints as she is prepared to scrutinize Vastra's next sentence.
Vastra pauses, "It will be wonderful to have tiny ones around the home again. We shall have three ..."
Vastra smiles, "Four little warriors to train."
"With cricket bats."
"Did you see the videos?"
Fiona nods her head yes.
"My Alaya was brave. Six years without so much as a hello, a letter or even a hug. She is remarkable."
"I know. It was hard to watch."
"We enjoyed seeing our Alaya grow up. She started out just a little taller than Jenny when she left for University. A few months later we see a tall slender woman. Our hearts broke. When we returned to 'Our London' Jenny and I were lost. We were angry ... all those years we missed. Then less than nine months later she is home. Our daughter was a stranger."
"We can't allow our children to be alone."
Vastra nods and then asks, "But you seek solace away from us and hide here."
"I am not hiding."
"You wouldn't allow us to explain or offer compromise. You threw daggers and walked away."
"I am exhausted."
"All adults get exhausted. Your mother was exhausted and alone. There is always a different kind of loneliness that affect us that are married and we find ourselves without our mates. Your mother was alone for almost eighteen years. That is three times our Alaya. She is a remarkable woman. She was one of us, the family of lost souls."
"She has father now."
"She doesn't have you. She will have to find contentment with your journals, yearly reports and photographs."
Fiona gets quiet.
"We had an empty house for a year while Alaya was at University. She returns. But we don't have her back home two weeks and you come into our lives. You aren't in our lives for very long and then you were gone for a year with your medical obligations. Do not mistake you were missed by not just your wife. My Jenny and I felt a loss. Now you are here away from us, it is unacceptable. We aren't a family."
"I am sorry."
"You now have Silurian blood mix in your body. You shall outlive your peers and friends. My Jenny has faced it, she watched from afar, as each family is buried one by one until there was no one left except Alaya and myself. You will face similar obstacles as Louisa, Flora, Mary and Lou all will be six feet under while you keep your youth. We will make new friends, but we will also bury them. You will will either walk your life alone or with your family."
'Family connexions were always worth preserving, good company always worth seeking.' Fiona quotes Jane Austen in her head.
"A family is a place where minds come in contact with one another. If these minds love one another the home will be as beautiful as a flower garden. But if these minds get out of harmony with one another it is like a storm that plays havoc with the garden." Vastra offers a quote herself, out loud.
"Who said that?" Fiona gets red faced, "Please, stop reading my mind."
"I can't turn it off when we are the only ones in this bitty room." Vastra looks around. "Two people live here?"
"They are saving money to travel."
Vastra nods. "Buddha, was a sage who lived and taught mostly in India between the sixth and fourth centuries. He was a calm man, calmer than you and I will ever hope."
"Sorry my dear but you unveiled yourself. We both need to learn or as you have said to Alaya, we must make tweaks."
Fiona smiles, "Yes. I am not sorry I said those things. Just in manner in which they came out."
"I am glad you said those things. In all seriousness," Vastra cups Fiona face, "Little one you must stop this notion that you want to run and hide. You can't run and hide from us and it isn't healthy. Do you want your children to run from you when you are frustrated?"
Vastra sits back.
"No, I want to help them work through ..." Fiona smiles and sits up a bit more, "Do you want to help me?"
"Of course. You are my daughter. I might not have hatched you, but you are one of us."
A knock on the door. "Come in."
Alaya enters and smiles as she closes the door. "Louisa is on her way. She told me to tell you that this happened with mother Jenny. That is why she gave you the two weeks off. Apparently your body will go through tough changes this week."
Vastra picks up Fiona's hands by her thumb nail, "This for example."
Fiona's eyes pop open, "So soon?"
Alaya and Vastra nod yes.
"Where is my medical bag?" Fiona starts to look around.
Alaya grabs it from the shelf by the door and hands it to Fiona. "Mother Jenny demands that Fiona comes home. She said if she has to come pull you by your red headed hair she will bring you home." Alaya pauses, "Not exactly. Mother said nuff nuff Fiona numf numf hair. She was eating anther sandwich."
Vastra shakes her head, "Those twin are going come out round."
Fiona takes out her stethoscope and attempts to warm the drum. She then places it on her chest. Her eyes pop open. "That's new. I don't feel like I am doing anything for it to beat like this." She looks to Vastra and hands her the stethoscope, "Listen. Is this similar to Mother Jenny's heart with Alaya?"
Vastra leans over using the stethoscope, "Oh yes. That is a healthy Silurian heartbeat."
Alaya gets down and listens to her wife's heartbeat, "It sounds different. It is pounding but not the same when you …" Alaya blushes while looking up to her wife's eyes. " … when you are not bitten on the arse."
Fiona smiles as the brown eyes have such power over her. She then tenderly moves the drum down to her stomach. She moves the drum around until Alaya puts up a hand to stop. Alaya smiles and then takes the drum looking for the second heartbeat. She taps around trying to listen, she goes back to the first heartbeat to catch the sound in her memory. She moves the drum again looking for the second it sounds so far away.
The door bell rings. Alaya jumps up, exits the room. Moments later Alaya comes in holding Louisa in her arms.
"I have successfully arrived." Louisa smiles as she pats Alaya on the back, "You may put me down Alaya dear."
"I just needed you here fast." Alaya smiles as she gently surefoots Louisa.
Louisa goes to the kitchen and washes her hands. With her back to the family she asks, "What seems to be the problem?"
"I am bleeding, I just don't know if this is more or less than Mother Jenny. I am concerned." Fiona blushes as she attempts to not sound like a typical panicked expecting mother.
Louisa turns around while putting on medical gloves, "You have every reason to be concerned. That is why I insisted you take the time off. The first few weeks for Jenny were a physically erratic. Your body, at least we hope, will become more stable. Let me take a look."
"May I?" Vastra asks Fiona.
Fiona nods yes as she looks to the ceiling. "I need you to learn, please."
Alaya focuses on her wife, "Tell me what are the children's middle name?"
Fiona smiles as she feels a pinch and her face reacts, "I assumed Vastra. Do you mind?"
Alaya looks to see her mother's head pops up for a moment with a smile.
"April Vastra Flint-Saint Clair and Jennifer Vastra Flint-Saint Clair. Those are good names."
"Tell me when did you first hear voices?"
"Oh, I don't remember a particular time, but I remember hearing voices. I knew my mother Jenny's because it was the loudest. I knew that mother Vastra's voice was important. I believe the earliest voice I remember was Mother Jenny's asking us to go to sleep and I remember mother Vastra tapping and telling us to mind mother because she needed to sleep."
"So it was about movement." Fiona trying to think at what stage, "Human fetuses kicks can take place as early as first trimester. Vastra when did Alaya start movement?"
"That was within the first month."
"How long are you Fiona?"
"I estimate that I am just a few weeks."
Louisa takes off her bloody gloves and tosses them in a bag before speaking to Fiona. She shares a look with Vastra of concern. "I am done Fiona dear. Why not just relax."
Fiona sits up with Alaya's help. "I see your face. Is there too much blood?"
"Lets have a listen. Shall we?" Louisa takes out her stethoscope and listens to Fiona's small stomach. "For someone just a few weeks pregnant you do show a bit. That is a good sign, for a Silurian not a human. If this was a full human child I wold be concerned with the weight of the fetus."
She listens as no one in the room dares to breath.
"This one has a strong heartbeat, very strong." Louisa works her way to the other side, "This little tyke is trying her best to match her sister."
"Please do not mind my feelings," Fiona looks to her friend.
"It is a very weak heartbeat." Louisa says softly.
Fiona grabs her own stethoscope and places the drum next Louisa's. "Come on little one, we want you born. Please join our little family."
"That is your mother Fiona and I am your mother Alaya. Take care of each other."
Fiona arches her back and screams.
"Hold her still." Louisa visually instructs Vastra and Alaya to push Fiona back horizontal with the mattress. "Fiona you must stifle your voice. I need to hear."
Fiona grabs her wife's hands and moans into the pillow. Tears are flowing and her lips are losing their pink shade.
Louisa, "I am sorry ... I must hear. Not a sound."
Alaya comes to hold her wife and Fiona squeezes her hands around her wife's arms burying her head into the Silurian's chest.
"I believe it will be alright." Louisa looks up to Fiona.
"You can let it out now Fiona.
Fiona cries screams into her wife's chest. It takes a few minutes for her to regain her breath and composure.
"What happened?" Alaya asks as she rubs her wife's back.
"The stronger sister just pulled the weaker one close inside the womb. It is not normal fetus activity. It seems she is going to take care of her sister."
Louisa listens to the heartbeats again and they beat together. "One is still softer but it is beating regularly."
The pair of stethoscopes are passed back and forth until it is just Fiona listening to her daughters. "I have never heard of this."
"Flora and I have re-wrote the medical books when it came to Jenny. We believe that nature has a way of taking care of itself. This is not mother nature, this is without a doubt Silurian strength and compassion in the womb."
Vastra and Alaya both suck in air and puff out their chests.
"Let me just check for more bleeding. That was quite traumatic for a womb." Louisa and Vastra look under between the sheets. Fiona and Alaya listen to their daughters heartbeats as the hold hands. "The bleeding has stopped for now."
Fiona looks up, "That is good." She grabs her wife hand tighter.
"You will not be left alone. Not even for a moment."
"Oh." Fiona eyes become sad. "I … " She turns to Alaya, "I was hoping for peace and quiet. A bit of solitude."
Alaya turns to Louisa, "I have this bell. If she rings it I can come running and be here in minutes."
"What if she passes our from blood loss? What if she is too much pain to obtain the bell? No, I am sorry. My best advice is to move back home and be somewhere central where you will monitored properly."
Fiona becomes quiet.
"It is either home or the hospital. The hospital will not be safe for your Silurian family."
Alaya comes close to her, "I am sorry love, but it is for the best."
"I need to clean this bedding and take care of this place before I leave." Fiona looks at the piled of soiled mess.
"I will see to it." Alaya looks at her mother. "I will bring Fiona home. Where do you suggest we put her? Fiona where do you want to sleep?"
"Didn't you say you had a makeshift bedroom in your office?"
Alaya nods and smiles.
"I would like that very much. When I am out working you and Mother Jenny can keep an eye on each other."
"Then it is settled." Louisa stands up, "Fiona I shall see you in a week. I want to make sure you are able to come back into rotation. You only have a few months before your pathology rotation. You will need to summon all your energy."
Once Louisa has left the tiny loft. Fiona attempts to get up but flops back down. "I do not think I am able to stand on my own.
Alaya turns to her mother. "I am gong to take care of things here. Please do me a favor and prepare Fiona a place to lay in the drawing-room and update Mother. Also explain to Tori and Allie that in a few days they may return to their living space."
Vastra takes her leave, "It will be good to have you home."
Fiona offers a muted smile in response.
Alaya looks at the blood soaked bedding and mattress. "I will have to call the rubbish collector to incinerate this mess. Also, I will have to buy new bedding and mattress."
Fiona gets shy and blushes at the mess she has created.
"This is not your doing." Alaya senses her wife embarrassment, "You just worry about Jennifer and April." Alaya leans in and can feel her daughters to one side of the womb. "You might walk a little crooked for a bit they are both leaning on one side."
Fiona takes her stethoscope and listens again. She smiles and whispers, "Two wonderful heartbeats."
THE END OF BOOK TWO