Disclaimer: Psh. Yeah right.
Author's Note: Wow…you guys are so great. Thanks for the kind words. I'm so sad that this is the last chapter of this story. When I first started writing this story over a year ago, I wrote out what each chapter would contain and how many there would be-16. Somehow that number grew to 40. But I'm glad it did, because it's made many of you not only influence me, but help me grow as a writer. So, for that you have my deepest gratitude.
Also, there will be a sequel. I just don't know when I will put it up. I'll try to write at least the first chapter soon and get it posted just so you all will know and can add it to your alert list or whatever. But…no promises. I still am only half way done with a fan fiction I started a long time ago, and have a lot of other chapter ones to worry about. So I will probably try to get more into those before I post the sequel. But there will be one. It'll be about Yumi and Ulrich and dealing with parenthood, as Odd and Sam will as well. And Jeremie and Aelita as newly-weds. I really hope you all will enjoy it. I'm pretty sure I can say it'll be shorter than this story. I think every chapter will be a new year in the children's lives…but I haven't decided that much yet.
Okay, so I promise this insanely long author's note is almost done. About the names-I loved the names you each picked out. But…I chose names close to my heart. I hope you like them regardless. If I remember, I may post at the end of this chapter where they came from or what they mean. Not sure.
So, once again,
thank you each for all the support you've shown me over the last
year as I wrote this story. It would be nothing without you guys!
On The Verge of Letting Go
Chapter 40: The Verge of Holding On
Ulrich knew his heart had stopped beating. He was certain this time. It was pounding, ricocheting in his chest just a moment before, but now it was still. Yumi's words echoed and flooded through his head, like a tape recorder. He couldn't stop his mouth from falling open.
"W-wha…wh…" he couldn't form coherent sentences. He just stared at her, flabbergasted. Her hand tightened around his, turning it red, then purple. Only then did he come to his senses.
"Oh God!" He yelled, jumping up and holding her gently as he stood. Immediately all eyes were on him. He didn't notice, even as their gaze burned into him. "Yumi's going into labor!"
Aelita's eyes widened. Sam hurried from the front of the room, dropping her bouquet of flowers as she ran. "Yumi?" she asked. "Okay Yumi…just breathe. We'll get you to the hospital." Her gaze flew to Odd. "Dial 9-1-1!"
His hands were shaking so profusely he wasn't sure if he could hold his phone. He managed to dial the number and quickly told the operator of their situation.
"Ul…rich…" Yumi whispered, laying her head in the crook between his neck and shoulder. It wasn't so much pain-even though there was enough to get her to notice. It was off and on, a surge one moment, then calmness the next-as the fear that made her react as such. She'd had nine months to prepare for this. After everything she and Ulrich had had to get through to be here, she thought the actually birth would be easy. She'd been wrong. Her brain was screaming how wrong she was. She wasn't even near ready to give birth, yet the realization that now was the time, that there was no turning back, that this was all imminent, struck her too hard for her to focus on anything else.
Aelita and Jeremie joined their companions the next second, hands laced together. Aelita looked as though she wanted to cry. Jeremie couldn't decide if it was sadness, fear, or happiness that fueled her emotions at the moment. "Yumi…do you think you can make it until the ambulance gets here?"
She managed to nod, and Ulrich's grip on her tightened unknowingly. Another surge of pain pulsed through her, and she screamed, her body almost collapsing. Odd and Ulrich managed to help her stay on her feet and direct her back into a chair.
"Where are Mr. and Mrs. Ishiyama?" Ulrich asked. He scanned the crowd for them, but wasn't surprised not to see them. He couldn't remember seeing them come in before, while he and Odd were ushering.
Sam groaned. "They're out of town, remember. Do you have the number?"
Ulrich nodded, handing whoever was closest to him his cell phone. "I…I don't think I could…t-talk right now…" he explained. Jeremie nodded, found the number, and calmly explained everything to her parents. The rest of the gang could hear Mr. Ishiyama's frantic replies, yet Jeremie continued to stay calm.
Her father asked to speak to her. Yumi reached for the phone before screaming again. Her stomach felt as though it was tightening. She bit her lip until she tasted iron in her mouth.
As this went on, the wedding guests stared on in shock. The priest stood before the congregation, and Odd saw him swiftly and silently muttering something. A prayer? He hoped so.
Blue and red flashing lights bounded off the walls and reflected through the windows. Ulrich left out the breath he had been holding in and watched as three men came in, pushing a stretcher. Yumi screamed again. It was the last sound in the church besides the murmuring crowd…
"You're going to wear a hole in the floor."
Aelita and Sam looked up simultaneously as Odd spoke to them. Each was pacing, in perfect step to one another, though by accident, around the waiting room, hands clasped behind their backs. Jeremie had sweat forming on his brow that made his glasses slip down his nose. He pushed them back up and let out a long sigh. His stomach was queasy.
"Come sit down?" Odd suggested. The girls looked at each other, as if they were contemplating with their eyes, then nodded and sat down. Jeremie stood almost immediately after.
"I need coffee. Anyone else want some?"
Each said they'd love a cup, and Aelita went to help him carry it. Though all but Odd were not big coffee drinkers, they all needed it right now.
Sam settled against Odd, resting her head on his shoulder. He draped his arm around her, smoothing her long, dark tresses. "Odd…is that what it's going to be like for me…?"
He wished he could answer. He couldn't. Maybe because he was positive the answer was yes. Either way, he just pulled her closer and laid his chin on the top of her head. "Don't worry Sam. You and Yumi are both strong. It'll be alright."
She nodded, though she wasn't sure if she agreed. Odd brought comfort. She could get through anything as long as he was there. Still, it was nerve-racking, thinking about such things. She stifled a yawn and tried to distract herself with anything else.
Mr. and Mrs. Ishiyama, followed by Hiroki, ran into the waiting room next, finding Odd and Sam almost instantly. "How is she?"
Odd looked up. He realized Sam had fallen asleep. Sleep sounded good right about then. "She's been in there for six hours already…we haven't heard anything yet."
"Where's the boy?" Yumi's father's voice was deep, gruff…perhaps angry. The blonde was too tired to tell.
"He's with Yumi, of course," Odd replied, as if it should be the most obvious thing in the world. "Hopefully we'll hear from them soon."
Jeremie paused as he saw Yumi's parents. "Hello Mr. and Mrs. Ishiyama. We just got coffee…I can go get you some if you'd like."
"That's alright," Mrs. Ishiyama replied. She started pacing, even as she tried not to. It was late-maybe close to eleven. Hiroki curled up on a chair and fell asleep. Mr. Ishiyama stood next to his wife, but soon they were both pacing.
It was almost 11:30 when a doctor came into the waiting area. "You are here for…Yumi Stern, correct?" he said, using the name Yumi had provided at the doctor's office months before. Everyone, even those that had been asleep and just woken up, jumped up and nodded, firing a thousand questions at him.
"Yes, Yumi is fine. She had the first baby about…2 minutes ago. He is a healthy boy. Five and a half pounds." When Mrs. Ishiyama asked if that was healthy for a twin, the doctor replied, "Yes. Twins are usually a little smaller than single babies. I'll let you know as soon as anything else happens."
Almost twenty minutes later he kept his promise, emerging from the delivery room, sweat beaded on his fact, wiping his hands on a rag. He received the same reaction as before. "This time…" he said, choosing to look at the wall behind them. "She has a baby girl. Three pounds, twelve ounces. She's a little small and has an irregular heartbeat, so we're keeping her monitored right now. We think she's going to be just fine though."
"Can we go see Yumi?" Aelita asked. The doctor nodded, asking them to go in groups of two or three. Her family went first, of course, having driven a hundred and forty miles to get there, in the pouring rain.
Yumi was crying as she held her son close to her. He was so small-so helpless. His dark brown eyes stared widely at her, almost as if he understood who she was already. She gently rocked him. Ulrich was sitting on the bed beside her, arm wrapped around her and his attention fixed solely on the child in her arms. His child-his son. He wasn't aware he was crying until he realized his cheeks were wet.
"Do you think she'll be okay?" Yumi asked. She'd sobbed when the doctors had to take away the younger, smaller child.
Ulrich nodded. "Yes. They said her heartbeat was already settling. She just needs to gain some weight."
Yumi smiled and leaned against him. "So…what should we name him?"
They decided then that it'd be a good idea to name their children after their heritage. Seemingly, the boy was bestowed a German name, after only a few moments of thinking: Alecsander David Stern.
The new mother looked up as her parents walked in. Her mother smiled warmly at her, arms extended and face tear stained. They embraced as delicately as they could. Yumi smiled. Suddenly she felt almost complete-whole. Now, her family was all together…except for their daughter…she bit her lip and fought back another wave of tears.
"You should hold him," Yumi said to Ulrich as he stared lovingly at his son. Ulrich grinned and softly took the child from Yumi, beaming through tears as he looked down upon the newborn. "He's so little…"
Yumi nodded, shifting in the hospital bed for a better position. Her body protested, still weak and sore from the C-section. The nurse, a young, pretty woman with red, bobbed hair, walked in with a smile and a pink bundle in her arms.
"We've run some more tests. Her heart rate is fine. We'd just like you to stay perhaps a few extra days so we can continue to monitor her heart and weight.
The warm bundle was handed to the eager mother, who gazed upon her child's face. The girl looked more Japanese, though her German side was evident. She was as beautiful as her brother. "Naname…" the name her parents had almost given Yumi. "Naname Setsuna," Yumi decided, and Ulrich agreed that it was a perfect name.
"Ulrich?" Mr. Ishiyama asked, walking over to him. He laid a hand on his shoulder. "Take good care of her."
"Of course," Ulrich replied, smiling. Perhaps Yumi's father was slowly beginning to accept him. Slowly…but some pace was better than none. It was probably the biggest apology he'd ever receive from her dad. He was glad. He'd just have to continue to prove to Yumi's father and mother of how well he would care for her and their kids.
Despite the rules, the remainder of the Lyoko gang joined-more like crowded-into the room, and together they celebrated the new lives before them. Alex and Nani.
That's the end. I hope you all liked it. Please review and let me know what you think! Thanks for your support!
-Alecsander David-the name of a friend of mine (it's actually Russian, but I'm pretending it's German for this story XD). The correct spelling is Alecsandr, but I prefer the other.
Naname Setsuna-Naname is the name of the host daughter of the family I stayed with while in Japan. And I just liked the name Setsuna.
Thank you so much!
I'll start the sequel as soon as I can!