The final installment of this fanfic. :D Prepare to be a little thrown off. ;)
He's Having My Baby
Eventually the alternating sounds of labor pain-induced cries and pleasured moans coming from the backseat became a bit too awkward for the other three passengers, so Dum flipped through the radio frequencies before settling on an adult contemporary station. The Peaches & Herb classic "Reunited" filled the car and the irony was not lost on anyone. Despite the easy-going tempo of the music, the tension grew as Hatter's vocalized agony increased.
"Can't you get there any faster?" Alice asked.
"Not if you want to get pulled over!"
"But you were driving recklessly before!" Alice pointed out.
"Yeah, but this is the city, Alice," Dum responded as if that explained everything. Alice rolled her eyes and sat back in a huff.
Dee took a moment to look in his rear view mirror. "Shit," he muttered. "You have got to be fucking kidding me." Alice turned around and saw a strange looking car with "Wonderland Police" emblazoned on the side.
Seeing as they were already on the street, Dee continued a ways before pulling into the Wonderland Hospital Emergency parking lot and parking in front of the entrance. The group sat with the interior light on, darting their eyes between each other (although Hatter was leaning into Hare still moaning), until a police woman approached the driver's window and Dee rolled it down. "...Is there a problem, officer?" She shined a flashlight around before landing it right into Alice's eyes and frowning.
"I would say there is. Yes."
"Are you aware that you made three illegal turns and were going... 55mph in a 40mph zone?"
Dee thought about it a moment. "Yes, but my friend is kinda sorta in labor, here." Dum nodded a little. Alice and Hare tried to look convincing too.
"W-who exactly is in labor here?"
"I-It's Mr. Hatter, ma'am," Alice piped up.
"Y-yeah... He went to the doctor and everything. He's pregnant and about to have a baby, and we need to-"
"Okay, so you're pulled over for reckless driving and your only tack is to pretend one of you is pregnant and make an innocent child lie to a police officer. Is that it?"
"But. But-" Hare sputtered.
She opens the back door. Her eyes widen when she takes in a better view of Hatter's growth. "C-Could the "pregnant man" please step out of the car?" Before Hatter could attempt to move, a livid Hare blocks the door.
"What's the point of this?!"
"Sir, I'm going to have to ask you to move aside."
"N-no, I don't think I will. This 'pregnant man', as you so disdainfully refer to him as, needs to get inside that hospital immediately! He's about to give birth to our child!"
"Sir, I'm only going to ask you one more time to move aside."
"No," Hare retorts, petulant and squinty-eyed.
Dee sighs and places his hand against his forehead. "Hare, just do what she says."
"Nooooo," Hare intones even more petulantly. "Just because she's an officer of the law doesn't give her the right to discriminate!"
"Look, Hare, it's real noble of you to want to stand up for your rights and shit, but parking pays by the hour here and the car isn't a fucking set piece for an episode of 'E.R.'" Hare looks ready to snark back when Hatter places a trembling gloved hand on his shoulder; the other clutching his stomach in apparent agony.
"You're being really sweet right now, Hare, and under normal circumstances I might break into song about the magic of friendship or whatever, but right now there is this," he grits his teeth as another wave of pain comes over him, "this cantaloupe-sized thing that wants out and I want to be doped-up to the gills when that happens."
Everyone looks over to the police woman, hoping that this scene of sentimentality has softened her steely bureaucratic heart. No dice. She just taps her foot expectantly. Hare glares at her as he grudgingly sits back for Hatter to get out of the car. "What is she going to do with him anyway?" Alice wonders aloud.
"I don't know how they do things where you're at, Alice, but in Wonderland, cops don't need a reason to pull people over," Dum explained.
"No, that's pretty much what it's like where I live, too."
Hare exhales angrily over the ordeal as the woman looks Hatter up and down. She points to his belly. "Could you lift up your shirt, please?" Hare clenches one of his fists.
"Sure thing, ma'am," Hatter spits. He holds up the end of his button-down and reveals the baby-bump. The police officer is completely stunned.
"Well I know you're not pregnant, but obviously something is seriously wrong with you. It's a good thing you pulled into the hospital."
Hare cranks his head out the car door. "OHHH for God's sake-!" is all he gets out before Alice's hand covers his mouth.
"Yes. We were all just lying about me about to have a baby. I'm really just getting this tumor removed. Now can I please go inside the building?"
"Yes, can you at least let the poor man get his tumor removed and just deal with us?" Dee asks, drained. Her eyes are glued to Hatter's belly at this point.
"...Okay. You can go." Hatter drops his shirt back down.
"Not without me, he's not!" Hare utters, rising out of the car.
"Okay fine. Jesus. Just go! Both of you!"
"And I want Alice to come with us!" Hare added angrily.
"Don't push it."
"I'm not pushing anything! She's the godmother and she ought to come!"
The police woman's brow falls over her eyes.
"Okay, now you guys are just trying to confuse me." Alice gives her a pleading look with her hands clasped together. "Son of a bitch. You three, go into the hospital. You two are staying with me. And don't think you're evading a fine with any of these shenanigans."
Alice and Hare, with Hatter using them for support, bustle towards the automated doors. They head straight for the front desk where a blue-haired bespectacled receptionist sits, talking on the phone. Hare frantically slams his hand on the bell to get her attention. The receptionist places her hand on top of the bell without so much as looking at him. "I know, Mabel, but you know how Winston gets when...Of course, I'll be sure to tell him. By the way, we really appreciate the honeyed ham you sent over last Tuesday. All right, I'll talk to you later, Mabel. Buh-bye." After what seems like an eternity, she hangs up and looks at the mismatched trio for the first time. "May I help you?" She asks uncaringly.
Hare places his hands on the desk's surface. "My lover here is in labor with our baby! It's coming any minute now!"
Unmoved, the receptionist slides a clipboard with enough red tape to wallpaper the Sistine Chapel. "I'll need you to fill these out while you wait over there," she indicates the empty waiting room. Hare stares down at the clipboard and back up at the receptionist.
"I-I don't think you heard me. My lover," he gestures frantically, "is about to give birth. To our baby." Hatter rolls his eyes in between grimaces of pain.
"What else would I be giving birth to?! A fucking antelope?! UGH."
"Please, ma'am. No one else is waiting. Can't we just get Mr. Hatter to a room and fill out the forms there?" Alice asked desperately.
"No," the receptionist shrugs before going back to typing. Realizing God probably just hated them, they sat in a corner near some strategically-placed ficus trees. Hare starts thumbing through the forms, filling it out with a fuzzy purple pen.
"Quick! Hatter: What laundry detergent do you use?" Hare asks seriously after about five minutes. Alice scrunches up her nose.
"Why would they need to know that?"
Hatter manages to grunt out, "You don't know? You're the one that does my laundry."
"I-I-I can't remember if I bought the one with Super-Duper-Stain-Termination-Power or not," Hare starts to hyperventilate.
Alice sighs raggedly and runs her hands over her forehead. "Just leave it blank."
Hare remains silent a moment, but then faces a new problem. "Neither of us know your mother's social security number!" Alice leans over Hare's lap.
"This whole page is a bunch of bullshit," she bluntly states. "Skip it." Hare hurriedly works through the rest of the pages when Alice looks over to Hatter and notices he's just sprawled there on the chair, with a hand over his belly and a surprisingly calm face observing the waiting room. "...Hatter?"
"Have the contractions subsided?"
"Yeah, I guess so." Hare flips over the last page and pauses when he overhears Hatter.
"I thought the contractions were supposed to get worse."
"Yeah I did too, but.. you know... there's not much around to research about male pregnancy, is there."
"Still. That is a little weird..." Alice trails on.
When Hare's about to reach the front desk, the two important doors swing wide open. It's not Dr. Busby. Hare runsn to him immediately. "Oh thank God you're here." As the unexpected bunny-man nears the anonymous doctor, he clears his path and heads for the vending machine.
"I'm just here to get a Snapple."
Hare begins to flush air out his nostrils again. "WHAT." Another doctor emerges.
"Hello." Hare swishes around to him. "How can I help you three tonight?"
"Yes," he replies nonsensically. "The love of my life is in labor with our first baby."
"Okay. Where is she?"
"He's right there." He points to Hatter.
"Yeah, can I get a wheelchair or something?"
The doctor frowns. "Is this some kind of joke?"
Hare looks about ready to choke a bitch. "Would I be acting like my ass is on fire if it was?!" The doctor stares at Hatter and back at Hare.
"Are you sure you're in the right department? 'Parasites' is on the seventh floor. This is 'Obstetrics'."
"Are you implying that our baby is some sort of parasite?!" Hare seethes. Hatter rolls his eyes.
"Not now, Hare." Hare is about to protest when Hatter gives him a look that says "let me talk to the nice man." Hatter glares at the doctor and pokes at him in the chest. "Listen up, your patronizing schmuck! While you and your colleagues have been roaming around the hospital w-with your fucking Snapple and your thumbs up your ass, I've been in labor. And let me tell you: It sucks. You may be knee deep in placenta day-in and day-out. You may be able to administer an epidural in your sleep. You may have seen more vaginas than a Georgia O'Keeffe museum curator. But you will never appreciate how much being pregnant sucks because of your penis-possession...NESS!"
"But...you have a penis, too," the doctor points out after an incredibly awkward pause.
"Exactly," Hatter replies darkly. The doctor's eyes dart around a bit before returning to Hatter.
"I don't know why, but I believe you. Follow me."
Silently they follow the doctor into a sterile-looking room. The doctor unlocks a cabinet to retrieve a gown for Hatter. "Anything else?" he asks as Hatter makes himself comfortable on the bed. Alice and Hare sit themselves on a couple nearby chairs.
"Yeah. Drugs. Lots and lots of drugs."
The doctor raises an eyebrow. "Um, we don't just give out drugs willy-nilly."
Hatter frowns. "What are you talking about? You're a hospital! You're supposed to be handing out drugs like candy!"
"Sir, it's not about quantity. You see, it's a liability issue, and—"
"No. No. I don't think you get it. I'm a man. And I'm pregnant. Do you have any idea where this baby's going to come out? And how?"
There's a brief pause as the doctor ponders this.
"Demerol or morphine?"
"Whichever's strongest. Actually, do you have any that will just... knock me out, stone-cold? I'm figuring however I give birth to this thing, it's going to trouble me for the rest of my life. I might as well not know."
"Uhhh... Sorry, but we need you to be awake for this so you can follow our directions."
"Damnit-" he curses under his breath. "Can I still get the epidural?"
"Of course." He called a nurse into the room. "Can you administer an epidural for this man?" She peaked in to find Hatter with his legs separated on the bars and covered her eyes.
"Are you sure that's what he needs?"
"No. But do it anyway."
Hare wrung his hands a little. "Hatter, are you sure about this? I've heard about epidurals, and..."
"What's an epidural?" Alice queried.
"Basically they're going to numb the lower half of my body," Hatter explained.
"By using a giant needle and poking it through your spine..." Hare added.
"Wait a minute, I didn't know about that part." Hatter suddenly looked panicky.
"Well how did you think they did it?"
"... Magic wand?" Hare frowned. "Oh God, I don't think I can do this now. I'm terrified of needles! I can't even draw blood without fainting!"
"They're probably going to draw your blood, too, Mr. Hatter..." Alice added. "They need it in case something goes wrong."
He clutched both of Hare's hands and started panting.
"There there, it's okayyyy... We're going to be here the whole way through."
"No no NOOO!!! I should've had it at home! We should've bought a blow-up pool and set it up by the tea table!"
"Hatter, that would've hurt even worse."
Just then the nurse entered, ready to perform. The Doctor turned to Alice with uncertainty.
"Maybe you want to leave the room for this."
Alice nodded with no hesitance and scampered out the door.
"Okay, Mr. Hatter. We need you to lean forward. You can hold on to your... lover... if you want." Hatter and Hare met eyes and Hatter crept forward from the cushioness of the bed. Both were still a moment before Hatter grabbed his partner like he was about to get a leg amputated. He breathed harshly into Hare's shoulder as the back of his gown was cleared.
"OoghGodDd~" He squeaked.
The gel was applied. Before the nurse could do the job, she swiped a slow-motion bead of sweat running down her forehead. Carefully, she lifted the needle. The room was now spinning for Hatter as he clung to his dear friend and already believed he could feel the pain plunging into his back. But quite unexpectedly, he slumped over as a weight between them seemed to plop out of existence. Everybody looked down. His belly was fucking gone.
The ensuing silence rivaled that of a Carrot Top Vegas show. No one knew what to make of Hatter's lack of baby belly, now as flat as a breathed-upon souffle. "Is it out yet?" a drugged-up Hatter managed to slur out. Everyone looked at each other, groping for something to say when Alice walked in.
"Why is it so quiet...in here," Alice trailed off. Perplexed, Hare looked around the hospital bed and under it.
"Where the hell did it go?!" he demanded. He glowered at the doctor.
"It...seems to have disappeared," the doctor stated, as if this wasn't readily apparent.
"Look, this shit isn't covered in medical school!" the doctor replies defensively. "Perhaps you should have consulted a veternarian! Or a witch doctor!"
"Fuck your medical school and fuck you!" Alice ignores them as she continues to stare at Hatter's deflated belly. Hatter still looked to be out of it. Hare shifted Hatter to lay on the hospital bed and crouched to the floor. "I don't see it!"
"You lost your own child the second it was born?!" Alice exclaimed. "Gosh, maybe Rabbit was right -- maybe you guys weren't supposed to have a child together."
Hare glared at her. "Excuse me? We did not lose our child. We never even saw it come out of Hatter's body!"
"I never even felt it come out of my bodyyy~ And I'm pretty sure I would~~" Hatter pointed out, swaying a finger.
"Holy shit. I never thought I'd see this sort of stuff outside of House," the doctor muttered to himself.
Just as Hare looked about ready to strangle the doctor for answers, there was a knock on the door.
Tweedle Dum poked his head in, wearing a very grave expression. He opened the door fully and Dee was standing there dangling the Cheshire Cat by his paws. The cat was crossing its arms, even upside down, looking bored. He was also covered in slime.
Alice covered her mouth with her hands.
"Oh no! What happened?"
"We found this familiar face popping in front of our car, out of breath."
"I don't get it." Hare said.
Hatter just looked at it.
"Oh. T-this is just great. As if today couldn't be more of a message that God wants to play a cruel game of Sims with us. Piece-of-shit cat... Can't you see we're busy?!" The cat continued to spin in a slow circle as the group watched on.
"We don't know how to say this, Hatter, but..."
"More bad news, hm? Perfect timing, fellas. I think the morphine-demerol cocktail is starting to wear off," Hatter says in a detached tone.
"Right, well, it looks like a certain little someone has some explaining to do," Dum says bitingly, dropping the goopy feline onto the ground. Hare grits his teeth and grabs his ears in desperation/annoyance.
"We don't have time for that shit! We have a baby to locate!"
"Oh, believe us, Hare: You'll want to be hearing this," Dee assures him. Hare lowers his arms and gawks at the Cheshire Cat. He was reclining on the ground looking bored about the whole situation.
Alice steps forward a bit and gets down to ground level. "Well?" Cheshire Cat finally looks up as if he's just noticed everyone's presence.
"Welllllll, it's nothing really. It's just there is no baby." Hatter suddenly sobers up and sits up like the waking dead.
"I-I think it might be the drugs, but I believe I just heard 'no' and 'baby' in the same sentence. And not in the context that would have been appreciated early on in the shitstorm that has become my life."
Hare gibbers. Alice gasps. The doctor looks on as if he were a member of a trashy talk show audience. Dee and Dum just look perturbed.
"It's a really funny storrrrry, act-u-a-lly. You'll serrriously laugh when I'm finished," the Cheshire Cat continues.
"Please," Hare grounds out. "Do go on. I'd love to learn how our lack of baby is so gosh-darn hilarious. I'm sure it's a fucking laugh riot!"
Realizing one life away from using up all nine, the cat sputters out "Therewasnobabyinyourstomachitwasmeallthetime."
"WAS NOT!" Hare shrieked.
"Oh, nice try! We went to the fucking doctor, a-hole. He said I was pregnant."
"Well who's your doctor?" The doctor asked, as if it matterered which one.
"...B-Busby I think his name was?" Hare pondered.
"Oh, well... That guy's a dumb-ass. I don't know when you came in to see him, but he was let go of just this past Friday for malpractice, and insubordination, and all sorts of other things doctors are never supposed to do."
"Looook, can you guys go over the details later? I'm trying to get this over with," the Cheshire cat interrupted.
"Listen, cat, I put up with a lot of your shit without so much as wincing. But this is where I put my foot down. You were not inside of Hatter's body!" Hare flailed his arms to help make his point.
"No, I really kind of was."
"Okay, let's say for just a split second that you were." Alice said. "...Why?"
"Well, heheh, heheheh..." The cat giggled to himself. Nobody else was even slightly amused. "It all started a few days ago... I was... expecting a friend for lunch and never saw him. After I visited Hatter and learned the 'special' news, I ran into the friend later that night, and what do you know... he had a little... traveling miscalculation."
Everyone's jaw dropped simultaneously.
"After that, it was just all fun and games. Oh, and if you're interested, he was supposed to have taken photos of the baby shower."
Hatter fell back in bed. "This is all the drugs. Allllll drugs. I'm gonna wake up and have my baby in my arms and that demon-feline is going to be gone! GONE!!!" He screeched, swishing around under the sheets. Hare tried to contain him. The Cat made popping sounds with its tongue to the group until his eyes landed in Alice, who was petrified, save for her trembling lips.
"H-H-H-How could you ever do something like that?"
"Curiosity killed the-"
"OH SHUT UP." Alice exclaimed. "That's not a funny joke! I mean okay, none of your jokes really turn out that funny, but this one was just plain cruel. You put Hatter through complete hell, and for nothing."
"I know, it was great."
Hatter was now tilted inwards on his bed, nearly suffocating himself with the pillow. Hare let go of him and came around the bed, swishing his arms about.
"Out with you, you little bastard! You've caused him enough trouble!" The cat looked almost confused by the bad reception. He shrugs before disappearing once more. "I guess we'll be taking care of that flea bag later," Hare huffs as he sits next to Hatter and puts a comforting arm around him. "Oh, Hatter. I haven't seen you this distraught since they cancelled 'Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman."
Hatter sighs deepy, indeed looking rather dejected. "It's just...I was kind of getting into the whole idea. The pitter-patter of little feet, lying through our teeth about sex, and all that other Kodak-flavored bullshit." Hare rubs his arm sympathetically.
"I know, I know. And I was looking forward to teaching the little tyke about the wonders of fondue."
Hatter smiles fondly. "Its first tea party. Its first unbirthday."Out of seemingly nowhere, bittersweet synth music fills the room. The doctor looks up and around for its source, unable to find one. "How to ride a bike," Hatter sings solemnly.
"How to fly a kite," Hare chimes in.
Alice, usually accommodating when it comes to impromptu song and dance, decides to nip this pity party in the bud. "I know you guys are sad, but...think of it this way! When my brother was born my parents were happy, sure, but they were also miserable beyond belief!" Alice says matter-of-factly. Everyone stares at her blankly. "Yeah! Um..." she trails off before hopping up to some decidedly more cheerful synth music.
"Babies may be bundles of joy~
Whether it's a girl or boy~
But there is much to not enjoy~
Your social life they do destroy!"
"Kiss your good night's sleep goodbye~," Dum chimes in. "Prepare yourself, you'll want to die!~"
Pretty soon the hospital staffs joins in.
"Sex life a distant memory!~
As you descend in Pur-ga-tory!~"
Hatter waves his hands. "Okay, okay. So it might be a good thing that this ended up being a scam. Can't you let us wallow a little? Jesus."
"I wanted a girlll..." Hare whined a little. By then, the whole hospital staff deflated mid-jazzhand and were walking out of the room.
"Well, um... since you're not having a baby, I-I really need to get going. Oh and by the way, you can pick up your bill at the front desk." The doctor gave them all uncomfortable looks and exited as well.
The group stood around.
"...Bill? He didn't even do anything."
"And I got a $500 speeding and violations ticket," Dee added.
"Well, now Hatter, he did give you the drugs..." Hare mentioned.
"I would gladly buy these. I wonder if I can get a prescription of morphine...?"
"You don't need it." Hare snapped.
"Hey, you know what, Hare? In a week, I've lost all of my self-respect and just found out a cat has been inside my body. I can need whatever I want."
"Oh pshhh. Don't you dare go prick-mode on me again. I've done everything for you but wipe your ass. And actually, I did that on Saturday when you were too sore to turn around. I had less self-respect to start with. I'm in the negatives for crying out loud! Now put your pants on!" Hare snarled.
"At least they're kind of back to normal..." Alice tried.
The Tweedles both rose their hands and opened the door, and the three left the bickering couple to find their own way out of the hospital.
Thank you for taking the time to read this story. If you'd like to read more AIW fanfictions written by me and/or the cowriter of this fic, Kate, come to my profile.
- Lady Bow