The Now

1:00 am, January 1.

"Mer?"

Meredith wakes up from a light sleep in the guest bedroom, her husband and son sleeping soundly beside her. Cristina is leaning over her, gently shaking her shoulder.

"What's wrong?" she whispers.

"Mer, my water just broke."

"Yay!"

"Ugh!"

"Sorry. How far apart are the contractions?"

"Ten minutes. And they're starting to hurt."

"You didn't wake me before?"

"I thought they were Braxton-Hicks!" Cristina sighs. "At least I'm not one of those women who come into the hospital for every single twinge."

Meredith sits up and smiles. "You certainly aren't. I'll call Lexie and see if we can drop Robbie off. At the very least, Derek can drive you to the hospital."

"You're my person, you're coming with me. Auntie Meredith has to be there."

"Yay, I'm going to be Auntie Meredith!"

"Yay."

"Aren't you excited?"

"I'm scared."

"Need a hug?"

"You sound like whats-her-name. Sydney."

"Take that back!"

Their laughter wakes up Derek. He sleepily rubs his face and looks at Cristina. "You had better be having a baby today, waking me up in the middle of the night."

"I'm having a baby today, Uncle Derek."

"Uncle Derek is getting up."

**

"The baby decided to appear in a hurry," Dr Miranda Bailey notes. "You're dilated six centimetres already."

"That's okay, though? It's not coming too fast, is it?"

"No, Dr Yang, the baby is not in danger, and neither are you. You still have hours to go," Dr Bailey smiles. "Do you want us to page your husband now?"

"Not yet."

Dr Bailey nods. "Those people got hurt by flying glass and debris, and Dr Hunt is our best surgeon for that kind of injury. He took on the worst case himself."

"And Derek is going to help out in the ER, so he can tell Owen when he gets out of surgery," Meredith adds.

"So if I'm not going to have the baby right now, let him stay focused on the surgery. Nobody says a word to anybody!"

"Cristina, the news is already swirling around Seattle Grace. But nobody will tell Owen."

Miranda finishes making notes on Cristina's chart.

"Thanks again for doing this, Miranda," Cristina says, a bit shyly. "I know delivering babies isn't your specialty –"

"- but every department is short-staffed tonight and we're all pitching in where we're needed. Except for you two, you two stay put."

Miranda pats Cristina's hand. "It's going to be all right. And nobody gets to deliver Owen Hunt's and Cristina Yang's baby but me."

**

Dr Owen Hunt works steadily on a security guard who was behind a glass window at the wrong time. He barely notices that some of the nurses swap out as the surgery progresses; he keeps his attention on his patient. He is blissfully unaware that he is one of the few people in the room who doesn't know that his wife is in labour. Concentrating, he doesn't know that Derek Shepherd is watching and waiting for him through the window of the scrub room.

**

Dr Bailey finishes her exam. "You're at 10 centimetres and the baby is in position. It's pushing time."

"No!" Cristina protests. "Owen will be upset if he misses the baby being born!"

"Cristina!" Meredith says. "The baby isn't going to pop out with the first push. There's still time."

"How do you know that? How?"

Dr Bailey sighs and speaks to an intern. "Page Dr Shepherd and tell him that Dr Yang is starting to push. Dr James has been assisting Dr Hunt for the last two hours and she should be able to take over."

"No! Don't tell Owen!"

"Go!" Meredith tells the intern, who quickly makes his escape.

"Cristina Yang," Miranda Bailey continues. She looks her patient in the eyes, not unkindly. "The baby is not going to 'pop out' in a couple of minutes. But it is ready to be born. Owen is an excellent surgeon and it speaks well of you of that you want his patient to receive the best care and you don't want to distract him. But from what Derek has relayed to us, they've taken care of the worst injuries, and the patient is going to live, thanks to your husband. It's time for you to push and it's time for Owen to be here with you."

Cristina pouts for a second, then struggles to get into position, with Meredith's help. "Okay. Let's do this. I'm sick of being pregnant anyways."

**

Dr James is called away from the surgery table. Dr Hunt is not concerned, he is just starting to close up. Dr James reappears. "Dr Hunt, you've been working on this patient for hours. May I suggest that you let me close up?"

Owen pauses and looks up at the clock. Dr James is very capable and he suddenly realizes how tired he is. He could nap for a couple of hours and then check on Cristina. "Very well, please close up the patient. Thank you." He wonders why some of the nurses giggle and nudge each other, as if they know something he doesn't. Surgery is not funny.

He gets out of surgery to find Derek waiting for him, smiling broadly.

"Cristina wouldn't let anyone page you while you were working on the patient," Derek grins.

"She's in labour?" Owen gasps, trying to remove his gloves and his surgical gown at the same time and getting tangled.

"Is she ever. She just started pushing, Meredith is with her," Derek laughs, grasping Owen's shoulders in a brief fraternal gesture before reaching behind to help him untie the surgical gown.

Owen rushes to Cristina's room, where she's snapping at everyone and Meredith is rolling her eyes. Cristina looks up and when she sees him, she visibly relaxes, and so does everyone else. He climbs onto the birthing bed, behind her, and whispers "Hi beautiful" in her ear.

**

"Oh my god, how much longer?"

Owen rubs Cristina's shoulders. "Just a few more pushes. You're doing great."

She pushes, then leans back against him.

"What was I thinking when I got pregnant?"

"You were thinking it would be fun to do it standing up."

She bursts out laughing, as does Meredith and the nurses.

"What I am thinking," Miranda grumbles from between her legs, "is that you need to push again."

"Yes Miranda!" She pushes.

"Goooood, good, good, well done."

"Ugh!"

"One more. The head is almost here."

Cristina screws up her face and pushes again, as Owen and Meredith encourage her.

"Annnnnd, look, the head is here!"

Cristina and Owen look at the mirror. "That's our baby's head! Look!"

"PUSH!"

Cristina pushes. Her eyes screwed shut, she misses seeing the baby slide out in the mirror, but she opens them quickly and hears a frail cry. Miranda holds the baby up.

"It's a girl, Owen, look! It's our girl!"

**

Now it's just the three of them in the hospital room. Owen's holding their sleeping daughter and marvelling at her damp, black curly hair. Cristina watches him with a contented look. "She's perfect, isn't she?"

"Just like her mother." He gently kisses their baby's forehead before handing her back to Cristina. Then he tilts Cristina's face towards his and kisses her. "Thank you," he whispers.

"You've very welcome," she whispers back. "Look at those hands! Those are the hands of a surgeon. They could be the hands of something else if that is what Chloe wants, but they are definitely the hands of a surgeon."

"They're cute too, don't you think?"

"I don't do -." Cristina pauses and smiles. "Well, perhaps, I could do cute. A little bit. For her. I mean, look at her tiny fingernails. They're cute. She's cute!"

She looks up at Owen, and he's looking at her with that understanding smile, the same look he gave her after he kissed her for the first time. She smiles back. No words are necessary.

Chloe gives a little murmur and stirs in her arms. Cristina looks down at her. "Look at what we made together."