Disclaimer: Private Practice and its characters belongs to Shonda Rhimes. I am merely borrowing them to make light in the current darkness.
AN: I just want to point out right away that while it was beyond evil I liked episodes 2x22 and 3x01, but I don't like what is going on right now. I don't like what she's doing to Violet, so I created an alternative. Enjoy (and R&R).
AN2: Not only is this my very first Violet/Pete, not to mention PrP fic in general, it is also the very first fic I've written in first person.
"You so often make me happy..."
I almost regret saying it as the words leave my lips, and not because I don't mean them. The thing is, I do, and as I say it that last piece of the puzzle falls into place. He's not just someone who makes me happy, he's the man I love, which is... scary doesn't even begin to cover it.
I'm close to hyperventilating and I can feel myself working my way towards a panic attack, not too dissimilar to the one I had when I finally realized there was an actual human being growing inside my body, that my pregnancy wasn't just this abstract idea. Now Pete has this intense look on his face, and he is moving towards me. The ramble is unavoidable.
"So... so, I know that I said no, but if you were still willing to fight, then I am willing to be fought for, only it wouldn't be much of a fight, because you'd win. I..."
I lose track of whatever else it was I wanted to say. All I can do is look at him in anticipation. This is the moment where either he tells me I'm too late, that I've said 'no' one too many times, or... he kisses me. He leans forward and presses his lips to mine, and I can't help it, I melt...
My shoulders sink and I feel myself beginning to relax. I never thought Pete would have such a calming effect on me, but he does. Last time I chalked it all up to the sex. It had been a while since I... It just made sense.
I feel his arms around me pulling me closer and as much as I just want to give in, I need to get everything off my chest, so reluctantly I pull away from the kiss.
"I have to give Sheldon an answer, I don't want to have any secrets anymore..." Pete is cupping my face; his fingers brush a few stray hairs behind my ears. Allowing myself to relax I finally realize exactly how tired I am. Between the almost-labor and my daytime television worthy romantic life, I am absolutely exhausted. "And then I think I'm just gonna go home and sleep, because I've not been sleeping..."
Pete interrupts my ramble.
"What did I say about being quiet?"
Our lips brush lightly against one another and as the kiss starts to deepen I just have to make one final interruption.
"I forgot to tell you that I love you."
I lose myself in the next kiss. The next I know my head is on his shoulder and I'm struggling to keep my eyes open. Who was I kidding thinking I could go home to sleep; the thought of even leaving this office is too exhausting. Pete seems to pick up on that and gestures to his acupuncture table.
"You wanna lie down?"
As sweet as I find the offer, that table just isn't my idea of comfy, especially not in my current predicament. I shake my head.
"I think I'm just gonna lay down in my office, rest my eyes a bit, see about going home eventually."
"Or, if you wanna wait until I'm all done, we could go together?"
Yesterday that suggestion would have had me back away, now it just puts a smile on my face.
"I'd like that."
It is dark when I wake up. I turn around and see Pete sitting on the couch opposite mine, watching me.
"How long have you been sitting there?" I ask.
Pete shrugs. "A while," he says.
I sit up and groan. My back hurts and my neck is all stiff. Clearly I should not have accepted that last pillow from Pete when he helped settle me in.
Pete is instantly at my side.
"Are you okay?"
"My body did not agree with my sleeping position."
"Tell me where it hurts."
Before I can say anything his hands are at my shoulders, his thumbs rubbing the tense muscle at the back of my neck. I sigh. Pete has magic hands.
Now I wish he could do something about my back. My neck is starting to ease up, but my back just seems to be getting worse and I can't fathom why.
For a moment I believe I've just peed myself, but then I realize what is happening.
"Pete," I croak. "It's started."
The massage stops abruptly and for a moment I wonder if he is going to ask me if I'm sure. He doesn't. He sits with me for a couple of seconds and then he gets up.
"Okay," he finally says. "I better go call Dell... and Addison just to be sure... and I know you want Cooper to be there..."
"And Sheldon," I remind him.
Pete bites down hard on his lip and looks as though he's about to object. I can hardly blame him, but at the same time I can't cater to his feelings only. I may have chosen Pete, but until parentage of my son can be established both men are equally entitled to be there for the 'big event'.
I think Pete understands that, because he stops himself from voicing his objection, instead he says,
"Once this is over, we are getting a paternity test."
A pair of worn out jogging pants that I can't even remember having brought with me to the office becomes my dry salvation. Pete has helped me over to the delivering suite, and I am currently sitting on the side of the bed, dangling my legs back and forth. I refuse to put my feet in the stirrups until it's actually time. Unless this turns out to be one of those rapid one hour births, which considering my being a week overdue I highly doubt, I am not even changing into the appropriate attire until my midwife arrives and gives the orders.
Sheldon is the first to arrive, which makes for an awkward moment. I'm sure he's wondering why Pete and I currently are the only two people left at Oceanside. But this is probably the worst moment possible to tell him I've finally made my choice, so I try not to say anything at all, other than groan whenever a contraction hits.
Addison arrives next and I can't begin to describe my relief of finally having a neutral party present.
"Your baby has impeccable timing," she mock-scolds. "I was just about ready to go to bed."
She grins and squeezes my hand.
"How are you feeling?"
"Like I'm about to push a cantaloupe through a hole the size of a lemon?" I retort.
"Then I'd say we're getting along nicely. Dell on his way, yet?"
"Spoke to him twenty minutes ago," Pete replies. "He was looking into getting a sitter for Betsy, if that fails he's gonna bring her."
Cooper is the next one through the doors.
"It's grasshopper time!" he announces excitedly.
He leans over and kisses me on the head.
"It is, right?" he asks. "'Cause I'm telling you right now, if this turns out to be another false alarm, I'm gonna be facing the dog house for a decade or so... I know, it's not fair to blame you... or the bug, I'm just telling it like it is."
"Her water broke about an hour ago," Pete tells him, which causes Sheldon to give both Pete and I a suspicious look. "One way or another this baby's coming out today."
Cooper crouches down by my side.
"Grasshopper," he whispers with a grin.
His excitement is infectious and I can't help but grin in return.
"Grasshopper," I say.
It's only then that Cooper looks around the room and remarks, "We seem to be missing the midwife."
"Dell's on his way," Addison assures him. "And if necessary I can step in on his behalf. Speaking of which, Violet, you should probably get changed, now."
Addison throws the men out of the room while I change, for which I am grateful.
"You sure you want both Pete, Sheldon and Cooper around for this?" she inquires. "That's an awfully big crowd for such a small room."
"Cooper's been doing Lamaze with me since forever," I shrug, "We made this big deal about him being my coach. And I can't exactly kick Pete or Sheldon out for obvious reasons."
Addison looks at me sternly.
"Remember, your job here is to bring this baby safely into the world. If they are to be here when this happens they have to be here for you, not the other way around. You getting distracted or stressed is not good for your baby. You have to be sure this is what you want."
Addison helps me settle into the contraption appropriately called a birthing bed, feet in stirrups this time.
"You want to wait for Dell to do the examination?" she asks, "Or do you want me to take point until he arrives?"
I give Addison the go-ahead.
"Congratulations, Violet," Addison says after a couple of moments, "We are well on our way, here, you are currently measuring at four centimeters."
"Four?" I groan.
"Which considering the amount of time you've been experiencing contractions is good progress," Addison says pointedly.
"I'm sorry I'm late," Dell says as he enters the room. "I called pretty much everyone I know and... nothing. Betsy's coloring in my office. I'd really appreciate it if someone would look after her while I do this."
Aside from my groaning as an excruciating contraction hits, the room is quiet. Addison looks around at my three eager birth coaches before saying, "I guess that's my cue to leave."
She places her hand on top of mine and squeezes it. "Remember what I said," she tells me, tilting her head in direction of the three men in my life.
"Seven centimeters," Dell announces and more than anything I want to chuck my pillow at him.
I am slowly turning into a crazy person, because I am actually blaming Dell for the slow progression. It's been hours since Addison examined me, hours, and I've only gained three lousy centimeters. I can't go through several more hours of this, I can't.
Either I said that last thing out loud or Cooper is sensing my distress and he demands eye contact.
"Hey, hey," he says soothingly, "You are doing great, here. I know it seems like it's taking forever, but I promise you that in the end it'll all be worth it."
My instincts tell me to rip him a new one, but I. Am. So. Tired.
Oh for the love of God!
I am crying now. A pipe has burst or the faucets are leaking, because the waterworks simply will not stop! When I am not crying out in pain, I am chanting. Over and over again I hear myself say, "I can't do this, anymore. I can't do this..."
Cooper is saying something to me, but I can't for the life of me make out what it is. I hear sounds, but not words, I see his lips move, but I can't make out what they say.
I have to be close because my every instinct is telling me to push.
It's not until I hear my son exercising his vocal chords that I realize it's finally over. I'm not paying much attention to what else is going on. I see a pair of scissors changing hands, but my mind does not register whose. I see Dell carry the bundle that is my baby over to the counter to clean him up. I feel lips pressing against my forehead, but I don't look up to see who they belong to. My eyes are on that bundle.
I only fully calm down when Dell place that bundle in my arms and I can fully look at my son for the first time.
"His Apgar is good," Dell assures me, and then adds, "He's beautiful."
I never pictured myself as one of those mothers who would use the word 'perfect' to describe their child. Frankly I never pictured myself as a mother, period. But somehow I am one of those mothers, because he is perfect. His tiny fist is gripping my index finger and his tiny mouth is opening and closing.
"You want to try nursing?" Dell suggests.
It's only now I remember I have an audience. My eyes wander from Cooper to Pete, to Sheldon, and back to Dell. I feel crowded. Uneasy. Which makes little sense when I think about it. After all both Pete and Sheldon have already seen me naked on several occasions, Cooper is my best friend in the whole world and Dell, well he just spent the last few hours looking up my crotch. I should be able to do this in front of them, but for some reason I can't.
Cooper picks up on it.
"Hey, so maybe we should go give Addison the good news? Maybe put in a call to Sam and Naomi?"
Pete looks from Cooper to me, and he seems to get it. He places his hand on my upper arm and plant a soft kiss to my forehead. He lets his hand gently graze the soft down on the baby's head.
"I'll be back in a little while," he tells me.
Sheldon looks as though he will do the same, but then settles with just stroking the baby's head before joining Pete and Cooper at the door. All three men look expectantly at Dell, who shrugs in return.
"I sorta need to stay here for the, um... afterbirth."
When I wake up daylight is streaming through the shades. I'm sore and exhausted, but oddly enough I'm also rested. I turn my head and I see Pete and Sheldon sitting in the corner. It looks as though they are taking turns holding the baby. Right now Pete is the one holding him.
My bed creaks as I turn to get a better view and both men look up right away.
"Hey, you're awake," Sheldon points out, awkwardly, once again glancing between me and Pete.
I'm pretty sure he's figured it out by now; after all he's a fairly smart man. But I think he's still looking for a sure sign.
Pete on the other hand elegantly ignores Sheldon as he approaches me with the baby. Of course he has the advantage. He already knows the outcome.
"You want him?" Pete looks from me to the baby and back again. I nod.
There's something calming about holding a newborn in your arms, even more so when it is your own. The baby yawns, and other than stretching his little limbs he remains still in my arms.
"Thought about a name yet?" Sheldon asks me.
"I was thinking maybe 'Lucas'," Pete says.
"Actually I was asking Violet," Sheldon points out, then turns his attention back to me, "Though if you're interested in suggestions, I've always favored the name 'Jeremiah', what do you think?"
"I, um..," I mutter, unable to smile as I look at Pete, "I think I actually like the name 'Lucas', as well."
"Oh," Sheldon mutters. He finally has his confirmation.
There's a knock on the door and I see Cooper's head pop in.
"Is the coast clear?" he asks.
"Sheldon had to work," I explain, "And I sent Pete to go get some clothes."
Cooper moves towards the bassinet where Lucas is lying, waving his tiny arms around.
"Hey, little bug, come to uncle Coop," Cooper coos as he picks the baby up.
When Cooper refrains from speaking the next couple of minutes, I laughingly have to ask, "Cooper, what are you doing?"
"Trying to decide whether I see a Pete or Sheldon in here. So far it's inconclusive."
"And here I thought I was just seeing a Lucas," I joke.
"You gonna find out?" Cooper asks.
"We've already asked Addison to do the test. Not that it matters that much anymore."
Cooper cocks his brows at this.
"Does this mean you've actually made a choice?"
I can't help but grin as I tell him, "Pete is moving in."