An update! Someone call the Pentagon! This chapter takes place about seven and a half months after the last one, so Carolyn's ready to pop. This was definitely one of my favorite chapters to write. Very angsty, with a touch of fluff and smut. You have been warned.
Disclaimer: Not ours!
Alex grinned as she held her hand over Carolyn's round belly. "Wow... She's really active," she murmured, and Carolyn nodded.
"Yeah, she is." Her head fell back against the back of the couch. Seven and a half months had passed since she had told Mike and Bobby, and at times, she couldn't believe how fast time had flown. She was due any day, and a small part of her was dreading the next part: childbirth.
Alex continued to run her hand over the active baby, surprised when the other woman suddenly tensed. "What's wrong? Do you need something?" she asked, lifting her head and looking at Carolyn.
Carolyn swallowed, her mouth suddenly dry. "I think... I just had a contraction..." she whispered.
Alex stood up, a mixture of anxiety and some excitement written on her face. "Are you sure? Are you sure it's not another false alarm?" God help us if it is... She remembered the last time they had thought Carolyn had gone into labor, and how Mike had nearly been in a wreck trying to get to her.
Carolyn nodded shakily. "I think this is it... You'd better call them..."
Alex nodded as she grabbed her keys and cell phone. "Let's get you down to the car, and I'll call them then," she said, trying not to worry as she helped her pregnant friend to her feet.
Carolyn nodded and rubbed her belly, then followed Alex out of the apartment. Her heart was racing. Somehow, she was certain that this wasn't a false alarm.
Both of the women were quiet as Alex led Carolyn out of the building and over to her SUV, then helped her into the passenger's seat. As she hurried to the other side of the vehicle, she pulled her phone out and hit the speed dial for Mike's cell phone. She knew that they were both together, so it wouldn't matter who she called. "Pick up," she muttered, yanking the door open.
Bobby and Mike were at a midtown bar, playing pool. Laughing and joking they didn't hear the phone at first. When it began ringing the second time, Mike pulled it out of his pocket and, with a laugh, he tossed it to Bobby. "It's for you."
Bobby caught the phone and looked at the caller ID. Why wouldn't she call him on his phone? He flipped it open. "Hey."
"Bobby? What are you doing answering Mike's phone?"
"Wondering why you're calling it. He tossed it to me when he saw it was you."
She shook her head. "Forget it. Look, we need you two to meet us at St. Matthew's, now. Carolyn's in labor."
He frowned. "Are you sure this time?"
She groaned and passed the phone into her other hand so that she could start the SUV. "Yeah, we're sure."
Carolyn gasped. "My water just broke!"
"Is she going to deliver in the next hour?"
She frowned. "I don't know. But she just said her water broke."
"All right. We'll be there in a little while."
"Great." She looked at Carolyn. "The guys are going to meet us there."
"Tell Mike not to get in a damn wreck."
Alex returned the phone to her ear. "Don't let Mike drive."
"Don't you think I learned anything last time?"
"Fair enough." She said goodbye, then closed the phone and carefully guided the car out of the parking lot.
"Are you okay?" Alex asked as Carolyn shifted uncomfortably in the bed.
Fighting not to snap, she answered, "I'm fine, Alex. Just like when you asked five minutes ago..."
Alex nodded. "You're right. Sorry. I hated when my family did that."
Carolyn settled back against the pillows, her hand rubbing her stomach nervously. "Where are they? Shouldn't they have gotten here by now?"
She shrugged. "I don't know." But when they get here, I'm going to kill them...
Mike looked at Bobby for the tenth time since they'd left the bar and asked, again, "Are you sure it's not another false alarm? I haven't had enough to drink if it is, you know."
"Mike, if we show up drunk, they'll both kill us. You're not having anything more until after we have a baby."
"How odd is it not knowing if this kid's yours or mine?"
"Do you care?"
"Not really. I think she does, though."
"I know she does. And she won't relax until paternity testing proves she's yours."
"And if not?"
"I prefer not to dwell on that. I hate disappointing either one of them."
Mike shook his head. "You still think she'd be upset to have your kid?"
Bobby nodded as they turned the corner, still unable to find a cab. How ironic was it to be unable to find a cab in New York? "She would."
"You're an idiot."
"That's why I hang out with you. It makes me seem like less of one."
He frowned as Bobby finally succeeded in hailing a cab. He gave him a dirty look as they got into the cab and Bobby told the driver, "St. Matthew's Hospital." He looked at Mike. "Alex is going to be pissed. She called us two hours ago."
"She'll get over it. Just give her one of those charming smiles."
"That doesn't always work."
"So then you resort to one of those kisses you give her that makes her forget her name."
That made Bobby smile. "That might work..."
Mike laughed. "I know it will, buddy."
Alex looked at her watch, frowning deeply. Two hours had passed since she had called her partner, and if they hadn't had some kind of emergency, she was going to make sure they were both admitted.
Carolyn groaned softly. "Here comes another contraction..."
Alex returned to the bed and held her friend's hand. "Breathe, Carolyn. Just breathe."
She gripped Alex's hand as tightly as she could, terrified as she tried to breathe through the pain.
Another half hour passed before the door opened and Bobby and Mike came into the room. "We're here," Mike announced. "Did you start without us?"
Carolyn pushed her damp hair out of her eyes, glaring at the two men.
Crossing her arms over her chest, Alex tapped her foot against the floor. "Where the hell have you two idiots been?"
The men looked at each other. Mike shrugged, then told her. "We couldn't find a cab."
"For almost three hours?"
Bobby looked contrite. "We were kind of off the beaten path."
Alex held her hand up and walked back over to the bed.
Bobby looked at Mike and said, "I told you she'd be pissed."
"You're damn right we're pissed!" Carolyn snapped from the bed.
Mike said, "We told you...there weren't any cabs in the neighborhood."
Carolyn opened her mouth to retort, but another contraction made her gasp and lean forward in the bed. "Oh, God..."
Alex glared at the two men again, then took Carolyn's hand and coached, "It's okay, Carolyn. Just breathe..."
Mike moved to the foot of the bed. "Uh, you want me to take over there?"
Alex frowned, but quietly stepped away and allowed Mike to take over.
Mike looked at Bobby and nodded his head toward Alex. Then he lowered himself into the chair she'd just left. "Are you sure about this?" he asked as he took her hand.
"It's a little too late to be asking that, isn't it?" Carolyn answered irritably, gripping his hand.
"That's not what I meant. Are you sure this kid's coming tonight?"
"I sure as hell hope so!"
He leaned back a little. "So do I. I don't think I can handle too many more false alarms."
Alex reached over and hit his shoulder, while Carolyn looked pleadingly at Bobby and Alex.
"What?" he said.
"Dumbass," Alex hissed.
"Bobby, please...?" Carolyn turned her head slightly and held out her other hand.
He stepped up and wrapped his fingers around her hand. Gently rubbing her arm, he let her squeeze his hand. "It's going to pass. Just concentrate on the end result." He shot a glance at Alex.
Alex nodded reassuringly at Bobby, glad for a small respite from playing coach.
Carolyn gripped Bobby's hand, relieved when the contraction finally ended. She slumped back against the pillows, breathing heavily.
Bobby grabbed a face cloth from the bedside table and handed it to Mike, nodding toward the water pitcher. Mike looked at him blankly for a moment before it dawned on him what Bobby wanted. He dumped water from the pitcher onto the facecloth and offered it back to him. Bobby rolled his eyes and jerked his head toward Carolyn. Taking the hint, Mike ran the wet cloth over her face.
She jumped slightly, then allowed her head to sink back into the pillow. "I am so tired," she whispered, closing her eyes.
"Try to rest between contractions if you can," Bobby encouraged.
She nodded and tried to relax, but it didn't come easily.
Six more hours passed, and Alex was standing beside the bed and murmuring encouragingly to Carolyn when the doctor walked in.
She opened her eyes. "Please tell me it's good news."
He examined her and then nodded. "You're about ready, dear. Within the hour, you'll have a little one in your arms."
She groaned softly. Another hour... She felt Mike's hand tighten around hers, and her head fell back against the pillows again.
Alex reached out and gently smoothed back a lock of damp hair. "It's almost over, Carolyn," she said reassuringly.
"I know..." She tensed and sat upright, cursing under her breath. "Here comes another one..."
"Push, Carolyn," the doctor urged.
Her entire body locked as she pushed as hard as she could.
She took a ragged breath and pushed again, her hand tightening around Mike's.
Bobby stood behind the doctor, leaning close to his shoulder as he watched the baby's head crown. The doctor encouraged Carolyn to keep pushing.
Alex gently slid her arm around Carolyn's shoulders and urged her to continue pushing.
Carolyn knew when her baby crowned, and she took a deep breath and pushed one final time before slumping back against the pillows.
Bobby leaned back away from the doctor as he watched the baby slide into the world. When he was able to take his eyes from the baby, he looked at Alex.
Alex met Bobby's eyes, and she blinked back tears and mouthed, Love you.
His eyes glowed and his face softened as he mouthed the same back to her. Stepping around to where she sat at Carolyn's side, he rested his hands on her shoulders, squeezing as he said, "It's a girl, Carolyn."
She forced her eyes open and looked around. "Where is she...?"
"They're checking her over in the warming bed over there. They'll bring her to you in a minute."
She nodded, her eyes sliding shut again.
Mike wandered over to the little bed and watched them work on the little girl. Bobby leaned down and kissed Alex's neck. It was almost eleven o'clock and it had been a very long day.
Several minutes later, one of the smiling nurses carried the little pink bundle over to the bed. As she settled her in Carolyn's waiting arms, she said, "Do we have a name for this little girl?"
Carolyn looked at Bobby and Mike, then answered, "Her name is Kiska Aleshanee."
The nurse nodded and wrote it down on a clipboard. "That's a very pretty name."
Carolyn smiled and touched her little girl's cheek, exhaling softly.
Mike leaned over and looked at the little face. "Big name for such a little thing."
She sighed, settling back against the pillows. It was all over, and her daughter was here, safe and sound. She could finally relax. Yawning, she gently pressed her finger to her daughter's palm, then smiled when Kiska's eyes opened.
Mike studied the little face, then looked at Bobby and back at the baby. He shook his head. "I can't tell who she looks like."
Carolyn gave him a strange look. "She's too young to look like anybody but herself."
"So there's no way to avoid a blood test?"
She shook her head slightly. "I... don't think so."
He frowned. "Why does it matter anyway? We're both gonna be around."
Bobby answered him. "It matters," he said, his tone odd.
"You both may be around, but what is she going to do? Call you both Daddy?" she pointed out.
Bobby bit his lip. "That's a non-issue. She can call Mike Daddy; I don't care about that. That's not why you need to know."
She sighed heavily. "Do we have to talk about this right now? I just gave birth to her, and I'm going to sleep."
Bobby waved a hand in the air. "Fine." He crossed the room and looked out the window into the city beyond the building.
Tears slipped down her cheeks, and she looked at the baby cradled in her arms, who had closed her own eyes. "I know," she whispered. "It's been a long day for both of us."
Alex followed Bobby and silently rested a hand on the small of his back.
He lowered his head, chin to his chest and drew in a deep breath, slowly shaking his head.
Her arms slid around his waist, and she rested her head against his back, sighing wearily.
Settling back against the pillows, Carolyn continued to study her daughter as she felt sleep looming over her.
Mike got up and gently took the baby from her arms. "Go to sleep, Carolyn. You can worry about whatever later."
She wanted to protest, but her weary body had other plans. Her head rested against the pillows and she finally gave into an exhausted sleep.
Mike held the baby in his arms and looked at her. Then he looked at the couple across the room. He pressed a kiss to her head and walked over to the window. "Hey, Bobby..." When Bobby turned, he stepped forward and laid the newborn in his arms. "The way I see it, this kid's a quarter yours, until we find out different. I know I'll be raising her because I live with her mother, but I fully expect you to be around."
He returned to the bed and dropped into a chair, watching.
Bobby looked at him, then at the baby in his arms. Even just a few minutes old, she was a cuddly little thing. He looked at Alex, seeking her response to the day's events.
She met his gaze and gave a small smile. As exciting as the day was, and as happy as she was for her friend and her baby, she couldn't help but feel a small twinge of envy. One that had been there for nine months.
He wasn't reassured by the small smile because he saw the sorrow in her eyes. Hoping he wouldn't make matters worse, he leaned closer and placed the little girl, who might be his daughter, in her arms.
She was shocked by his actions, but she couldn't stop the warmth that spread through her at the new life now sleeping innocently in her arms. Dark hair peeked out from beneath the tiny pink hat, and her arms tightened protectively around the newborn. Unable to raise the volume of her voice for fear of it breaking, she whispered, "Hi there, sweetheart. Looks like you finally made your big debut..."
Bobby relaxed a little. He had done the right thing. He looked at Mike, who nodded with a smile. Bobby nodded back, but he wasn't able to summon any semblance of a smile. He turned back to the window.
After holding her for several minutes, Alex finally went to Mike and laid Kiska in his arms, then pressed her hand to her mouth. Clearing her throat, she said, "I'm going to... go get something to eat. I'll be back in a little while."
Mike watched her leave, waiting for Bobby to go after her. When he didn't move, Mike said, "Don't be stupid. Go talk to her."
Bobby turned from the window and looked at his friend. "I don't think..."
"Good. Don't think. Do. Go talk to her."
He hesitated for another moment before he stepped away from the window and left the room. Mike looked at the baby in his arms. "Your Uncle Bobby is a brilliant man, but he can be an idiot from time to time."
The baby stirred at his voice. Her eyelids fluttered, and she snuggled closer into him as she yawned.
Bobby found her in the cafeteria, sitting off by herself with a cup of coffee. With a sigh, he crossed the room to her and sat across from her. Folding his hands on the table, he looked at them, uncertain. He didn't want to say anything until he knew why she was upset.
She looked up, her eyes shining. "Hey."
She sighed, wiping at her eyes. "It's just... been a long day..."
"And what else?"
She stared down into her coffee cup. "I took another test this morning," she answered quietly.
His eyes diverted to the tabletop again. "No?"
Her shoulders shuddered. "No."
"Oh, baby...I-I'm sorry. You should have said something."
She leaned forward and buried her face in her hands, breathing heavily. "You and Mike were gone, and I didn't want... to bother you. Then Carolyn went into labor..."
He frowned, reaching forward to fondle her hair. "B-Bother me? Don't you know by now that you are my first priority, always? I can play pool and drink with Mike anytime. When you need me...I have to be there. I would have come right home."
She stood up and walked around the table, burying herself in his arms. "Why...? What's wrong with me?" She hid her face in his shoulder and fought back the torrent of tears.
He wrapped his arms around her and held her close. Kissing her head, he said softly, "Maybe the problem's not with you."
She clung tightly to him, shaking slightly. "I just... want this to happen so much..."
His mouth was set in a grim line. "You had no trouble carrying your nephew. I...don't think you are the problem, baby."
Snuggling closer to him, she whispered, "It's been nearly seven months... Maybe we should..." She had a hard time bringing herself to finish the sentence. "See someone, for help."
"Can we...give it a little more time? I mean...I...I really enjoy...trying..." He sighed. "I don't know if I'm ready to, uh, remove the physical part of it...just yet."
She nodded, unable to contain a small smile. "I do, too."
"Maybe we can...try harder...er, uh, more...or...well, you know what I mean..."
Her smile widened fractionally. "Yeah... I know..."
"Do you want to..." He caught his breath when her hand stroked his side. "Uh...let's go home..."
She nodded slowly. "I do..."
He kissed her, soft and reassuring. "I'll do whatever you want..."
She returned his kiss eagerly. "I want to go home," she repeated. "But..." She groaned softly. "Let's get Mike some food first. I doubt he's going to leave Carolyn right now..."
"You don't know him very well. We should get him some food so he doesn't leave..."
She rolled her eyes as she kissed him softly, then stood up again. "Pick something out, and we'll take it to him on our way out."
He grabbed two sandwiches, an apple and a large coffee. After paying for the food, they headed back up to the maternity ward.
She let Bobby go in first, then followed him into the room. She smiled a little when she saw that Mike was near the window, the baby still carefully cradled in his arms.
Bobby set the food on the tray table near the bed and stepped up to his friend's side. "We got you something to eat. Uh, congratulations on the baby. We're gonna cut out now."
"Are you sure I'm the one who should be congratulated?"
Bobby looked at Alex, then he nodded. "Yeah, I am. She's your baby, and I think the tests Carolyn wants will bear that out. I'm pretty sure about it." He squeezed Mike's shoulder, then leaned over to kiss the baby's head. "Good night, Mike."
Alex leaned against the wall and nodded at Mike. "Have fun. We'll be back tomorrow."
Mike didn't miss the look Bobby cast at Alex. "I think you're gonna be the one having fun," he answered with a grin, laughing at the flush that crept into Alex's face.
She growled and glared daggers at him. "Logan..."
He snickered. "I couldn't resist." He nodded at his friend. "I know that look," he laughed.
"If you weren't holding that baby..."
"If I wasn't holding this baby, do you think I would have said it?"
Alex motioned to the door. "Come on, Bobby, before I make you take the baby and I toss Mike out the window."
Bobby winked at Mike and gave him a brief smile. Mike's grin widened. "Have fun, buddy."
She started to advance on him.
Bobby snaked his arm around her waist and kissed her neck. "Come on," he whispered into her ear.
She glared at Mike, then settled against Bobby. "Okay. Let's go."
With a smile at his friend, Bobby guided her out of the hospital room. Once they were out of the room, he nuzzled her neck again, gently nipping soft skin. He was determined to make her forget the grief of the negative pregnancy test.
She groaned softly. "Bobby... wait until we get home..."
Ignoring her request, he teased her ear with his tongue.
"Baby..." She slid her hand under his shirt, teasing the warm skin she found there.
By the time they got to the car, he was more than ready, and he really didn't care where they were. He pinned her to the car with his hips, kissing her deeply and teasing the soft skin beneath her shirt with his fingers.
She groaned softly and managed to open the door to the backseat, laughing quietly as they tumbled into the backseat.
He followed her into the backseat, face buried in her neck, one hand supporting her and the other seeking out a firm, round breast. His thumb toyed with a firm nipple and he sought out her mouth again.
Her back arched as she groaned and closed her eyes.
He caught his breath and swallowed hard. "We, uh...we probably should take this home..." He teased her lips with his tongue.
She slid her hand past the waist of his pants. "We could... we probably should..."
He gasped and closed his eyes. "W-we...should..."
She snickered and moved one hand over his back, while the other cupped him firmly. "But we probably won't..."
"Not...if you keep that up..."
She kissed him gently and smiled when he tugged at her shirt. She raised her hips and let him fight with the zipper while she pulled off his shirt and tossed it aside.
He got the zipper down and pushed her pants over her hips, then went to work on her shirt, seeking out her breasts with a single-minded intensity.
Her hand cupped the back of his head, and she gently pulled his lips down to hers, kissing him intensely.
He pressed into her and groaned. "Oh, baby..."
Her arms went around his neck as she arched her back and pressed into him. "Now," she whispered, pressing her forehead to his.
Her hips bucked involuntarily as she found his lips with hers again and kissed him hungrily.
He gave what she needed, what they both needed, and when she panted and gasped, bucking against him, he let himself go as well.
Her mind spun, and she gently cradled him against her, absently stroking the back of his neck. "That was amazing," she whispered, once she was able to form a coherent sentence.
"L-Let's go home..." he huffed softly into her ear.
She groaned. "I... don't think I can move..."
A half hour later, he parked and turned to look over the seat into the back. "How are you doing back there?"
She returned his look. "Sore," she joked, absently rubbing her stomach.
"Up for another round?"
Her eyelids grew heavy. "Bring it on."
"How about coming upstairs with me, so I can do it properly?"
She pushed herself upright, then leaned forward and kissed his shoulder. "That I could be talked into..."
He leaned over the seat and caught her mouth, kissing her gently, then teasing her with his tongue.
She broke the kiss reluctantly. "Okay, you win."
He kissed her again, deeper this time. Then he slid out of the car, opening the door for her once she was dressed.
She climbed out of the car, growling softly once she was on her feet. She turned and reached into the backseat, picking up her bra and balling it up in her hands.
He laughed softly, gently teasing her with experienced fingers.
She grinned and chased him into the apartment building, her hands playfully grabbing at his sides.
When they got to the apartment, he was out of breath, turning to pull her against him. He drew her into a mind-numbing kiss, losing track of everything but her once again.
She eagerly pressed herself into him and lost herself in the kiss, her foot kicking the door shut.
He fully intended to guide her back into the bedroom, but he again lost track of everything as his mouth claimed hers and his hands caressed and tickled her skin, seeking the heated response that drove him nuts.
Her hands came up against his chest, and she gently pushed him back against the couch and straddled him, her hands pulling at his shirt.
Offering no resistance, he let her remove his shirt. She had only just gotten her shirt back on, but it soon joined his on the floor. He smiled at the absence of her bra and set to playing with her bare breasts.
She groaned and gripped his shoulders tightly with her hands. She could feel his excitement already, and she reached down and pressed her hand between them, grinning.
He gave her a wicked grin, leaning forward to tease her with his tongue while his hands did more teasing of their own below her waist. Fair is fair...
She struggled to control herself as she fumbled with his pants, growling when she couldn't move them over his hips. "Oh, hell..."
He laughed and continued his teasing.
Another low growl escaped her throat, and she slid away and forced his pants down, then began moving over him.
With a soft gasp, he let her take control, knowing how they both loved it when she took charge.
Her chest heaved as she found his neck with her mouth and bit down gently.
With a groan, he grasped her hips and pulled her down, arching toward her at the same time.
She wiggled her hips against his hands, then moved down again, a soft groan passing her lips.
He always struggled to maintain control of every aspect of his life, but with her, he was learning to let go more often. And that was what he did now. He let go.
Her release quickly followed his, and she settled against his chest, breathing deeply.
He groaned softly, holding her against him. "I need you," he whispered.
She snuggled into his arms, sated and content. "I need you, too..."
"No, I really mean that, Alex. I need you...like I need air to breathe."
Her hand reached up and ran slowly through his thick hair. "I'm not going anywhere." She kissed his neck softly.
He lightly caressed her back. "I am...sorry...about everything..."
"I know." Her mind drifted back to seven months ago, when she had come so close to losing him that she thought she'd never be okay again. She exhaled slowly. "Do you...want to go back to the bedroom?"
His remorse slid away as quickly as it had come. "I'm all for it," he murmured.
She smiled and slowly slid away, completely confident in her own body as she crossed the floor and headed in the direction of their bedroom.
He wasted no time following her.
A/N: Okay, so they're having a bit of trouble getting pregnant. Not that Bobby minds trying too much... The next chapter, Mike gets used to being a Daddy, and Bobby and Alex get a surprise... Hope ya'll enjoyed, and please remember to review!