Author's note: Kind of sad, kind of happy. Short story again :)
Almost like it was fate, everything fell into place that afternoon. JJ sitting in the passenger seat, rubbing her pregnant belly again for the five-hundredth time. Reid kept his eyes peeled on the road since he was driving, which was a hazard enough, and he noticed (again) that she's rubbing it. He ignored it though, figuring if there was a problem, she'd speak up. He looked down, spotting the fact that her rubbing became harder. Firmer. She was also grasping onto the seat, digging her fingernails in the leather, uncomfortably fidgeting.
He paused, eyes darting from the road to her. "You okay?" he finally asks.
She paused, keeping her hand firm on her belly, unbuckling her seat belt. Her breath sounds rapid. "Reid, stop the car." she pants.
He flinches his eyes from the road then back to her, clutching the steering wheel harder. "What, why?" he knows why.
She puts both hands on her belly now, her blue eyes looking terrified. Horrified, mortified, all the "fied's" basically. She kept her eyes facing in front of her. "Reid, stop the car, now."
Reid gently pulls it over to the side of the road, eyeing her belly like it was transparent and he could see the baby. She noticed the stares and looked offended.
"You know I've been pregnant, right?"
He shot a look. "Yes, JJ," he responds blandly. "But what's the problem?" he already knows.
"I think," she pauses, rubbed her belly again, then flickers her eyes from the road to him. "I think I'm in labor."
Something flushes over his face. Complete horror. His mouth gaps open and his skin turns pale, then red.
"Don't freak out!" she immediately insists, sitting up straighter. "If you just hurry to the nearest hospital. I know we don't have our phones on us, but if we-"
He just stared, horrified. He looked more horrified than her.
"Oh no, what's wrong?" her face flushes a paler color, too. "Reid, talk to me."
"Well, I could be wrong," he started stammering uncontrollably, his nerves winning him over. "I probably am wrong but if I had taken a left instead of a right-"
"When?" she demanded.
"When were you supposed to take a left?" her lips tightened, she looks almost angry.
"About twenty miles back?" he says helplessly, as if it's a question.
She throws her head back on the headrest angrily, but then shoots her head back up when a shooting pain soars through her stomach. "Oh, God," she groans, grasping Reid's hand with all her force. He squeezes hers back, hoping to have what little strength he has in him to soar through her veins and make her feel more at ease. Though he himself was petrified. "I should've listened to my damn doctor."
"What?" he asks frantically, sounding very nervous.
"My doctor said that sometimes-" she pauses between each word, her breath sounding heavier and her pain apparent in her tone. "Babies come out early, and I should always be prepared for the signs."
"This isn't your fault-" he began, but she cut him off with a frantic nod.
"No, no, Spence, it is," she breathes out, clutching his hand harder. "I had these pains this morning, but I ignored them. God, I should've listened."
He didn't know what to say. She should've listened is right, then they wouldn't have been here. This should be Will, not him.
Her breathing had gotten heavier. "Reid, you know I'm going to have this baby, right?" she asked, after a couple of minutes had passed in silence.
"Okay, are you comfortable?" Reid asked, readjusting her legs in the backseat. The rain had started pouring down by now, heavy and thick to the point they actually stung when they hit you. JJ nodded, putting her legs up on the seat, then slowly letting her head rest down on the door. Not as comfortable of a position then the one the doctor would've put her in at the hospital, but she'd take it.
"I feel like I'm at the gynecologist," she chuckled, stretching her legs out flat. She was silently praying a car would drive by, they'd know exactly where the nearest hospital is and she'd give birth there. Not here. Anywhere but here. Reid looked like he was going to faint. His breathing was heavier than hers.
"Spence." she said quietly, rubbing her sweaty forehead. Reid darted over nervously.
"Yes?" he yelled out, almost as a squeak.
"I'm sorry that you have to be here with me."
Reid's face softened. "JJ, it's not like this is your fault," okay, it kind of is. "And it's nothing against you and your-" he pointed to her belly, she smiled and rubbed it proudly. "Son, there. But, I can't do this."
JJ smiled again, attempting to sit up, but couldn't. Reid slid in through the door and brought her legs on his lap, reaching for her hand. She squeezed it. "Spence," her eyes looked so pretty, Reid thought. The sky was ugly and dull and the weather sucked, but her eyes looked prettier than he ever remembered seeing them. "You may not have a choice." she laughed slightly, almost like it was a threat or blackmail.
Reid gave a nervous laugh, his eyes twitching at the road. He was praying for a car too.
She shot up when another strong pain happened, and she clutched her stomach. "There it goes again." she announced.
He turned paler, as if it that were possible, and reached for her hand. She winced again, then again, in intervals, until her eyes were squeezed shut and she was gripping onto his hand like she were dangling from a ledge and he was the only stable thing keeping her hanging. In some sense, that were true.
"God, Reid," she groaned, squeezing his hand harder. "I think this is it."
"No, no, no, JJ, hold on," he frantically said, shoving his hair back. He was sweating, too. He had no idea. "Someone will come here, just wait."
"Reid, I can't!" she shouted, trying to sit up. "My son is ready!"
"Can't he wait?" he shouted back nervously.
JJ's eyes widened in shock and frustration, and she drove her leg into his hip. "Reid!" she pleaded.
"Alright, alright," Reid stood out of the car and eyed the situation. He felt so helpless. He wasn't a real doctor. He didn't deliver babies. God, he couldn't do this. He was going to screw up, he kept telling himself. He was going to screw up and drop the baby. Or he wouldn't be a good enough coach. Oh, God. So many ways this situation could go horribly. He wanted the BAU to find him, now! Hotch has a kid, he'd know what to do.
"Uhm, just, sit up." Reid directed, and JJ tried her hardest to do so, until her back was pressed against the door handle. "Good, good." Reid coached. He just kept staring, rubbing his chin every few seconds.
"Now what?" she asked after seconds in silence.
"Uhm, you know," he motioned with his hands. "Could you- well, you know..."
"Spread my legs?" she asked blandly.
Reid nodded, nibbling on his bottom lip. "Yeah, uh, could you?"
JJ sat up in her seat and put her hand up her skirt. "Normally this would be humiliating..." she said, as she pulled her underwear down until they fell onto the floor. She winced again. "But right now, I don't care one bit." She laid back down and lifted her legs without an ounce of hesitation.
At first, Reid looked away, like he was looking at something he shouldn't be looking at. But then he remembered, he had to. So he looked. Then stared.
"Uh, Reid?" JJ asked. "You okay over there?"
"Uh huh." He said dully, like his mind was elsewhere.
She winced again, reaching for his hand. "So, we're gonna do this?"
Reid grabbed her hand and sat at the very edge of the car seat. "Uh huh." was all he could fathom speaking.
About twenty minutes later, JJ was sitting up as much as she could, squeezing his hand with all her might, certain he'd have a black and blue hand all week long. Sweat was pouring down her face and her eyes were squeezed shut, her face screaming how much pain she was in. Reid was sweaty too. The day wasn't extremely humid or anything, but this was hard work, even on his part. He held her hand through every second.
"Push again!" He coached.
"I'm trying!" she shouted back. She breathed in and pushed, her teeth clenched together. She made a groaning noise, then flipped her head backward, breathing in and out heavily.
"Your doing great, hang in there," he continued, both of their hands clammy, squished together. "Just keep pushing. One more, one more."
"You said one more fifteen pushes ago!" she shouted back, frustrated.
"Well, let's see how number sixteen goes," he insisted.
She inhaled sharply and with all her might, pushed. Then pushed. Then pushed, until she squealed and cried in pain.
"I think it's coming." He announced.
"It?" she shot back, breathlessly.
Reid shot her a look. "Don't argue with me about wording right now."
"Yeah, yeah, come on, one more push!" He shouted, excitement roaring in his tone; you'd think it were his son.
She shot him a dirty look, frustrated and sweaty, but pushed again. She squeezed harder.
"Oh my God, JJ, your doing great," Reid said, sounding extremely out of breath and proud of her. He was smiling now. "Will would be so proud."
She inhaled and screwed up her face to push again. "You think?" she mumbled through a closed mouth.
He nodded, his eyes glowing in awe. "Oh yeah."
"God, Reid!" she called out, frustrated and hot, and he squeezed her hand harder.
"Your almost there, come on, one more," she shot him a look again and he straightened up. "Or, you know, whatever."
Soon the screaming of a car driving past brought him to reality, and he looked over his shoulder to see a simiair SUV to this one parked on the other side of the road. Reid shot up.
"It's them! It's our team!" he called happily. JJ kept pushing.
"Great, Reid," she said, reaching for his hand like a baby for a bottle. "Hand, please!"
"Oh, sorry." he mumbled, grasping her hand again.
Morgan shot out of the car, racing over.
"Hey guys, I-" Morgan caught a glimpse immdietaely, then backed up. "Oh my God, what the-"
Hotch ran over next. "Whoa, I'm uh- wait, what?"
Rossi stood by next. "Oh my God, is she?"
"Giving birth, yes!" Reid shouted.
"Ohh...then you guys aren't doing what I thought you were." Rossi said honestly, and Morgan slapped his arm with the back of his hand.
"Wait, giving birth? How did this happen?" Hotch said frantically. He sounded like Reid earlier. Reid figured Hotch must've been like Reid when Hayley went into labor for their son. Paranoid, nervous and scared to death.
"It's here! He's here!" JJ called. And one last push and there it is. Little Henry made an appearance. Well, his head, that is.
Without thinking, the men raced over.
"Oh dear God." Morgan gagged, stalking off.
Rossi eyed the head and looked horrified. "That's...wow. I don't think I'll ever see a vagina the same way."
Hotch looked horrified too, and followed Morgan and Rossi. "One last push! For real this time!" Reid yelled. He felt like yelling, "Hallelujah!"
She did just that. One final push and Henry fell into Reid's palms gently, a stream of painfully sharp cries following directly after. Then JJ burst into tears. Partly relief, partly pure happiness. Reid eyed him with such wonder and amazement, a lump forming somewhere in his throat. He wasn't the father, sure, but nothing felt quite like this.
"We did it." JJ panted, tears streaming down her cheeks, along with the sweat.
Hotch came from behind Reid, but kept his back turned. "We've gotta get her to a hospital now, Reid." Hotch instructed boss-like, hopping into the SUV and driving them to the hospital.
Thankfully, Henry was okay. And so was JJ. But for hours after Henry's birth, Reid stood by JJ's side and just stared at him, at least until Will flew in. Reid stared at him with such amazement just like JJ. Reid had a horribly inappropriate thought, of how much better this would've been had it of been his baby. And he wondered if JJ was thinking it too.
"Thank you so much, Spence," JJ whispered almost inaudibly, cradling Henry, looking dead exhausted. Hell, he was dead exhausted too, and he didn't have to give birth. "I couldn't have done it without you."
Reid shrugged, a smile big as the moon peering in through the open window. "You did all the work, and he helped," he brought his index finger to Henry's little button nose, tapping it twice. Reid's finger looked huge compared to Henry's little face.
"At first I thought you'd vomit-"
"-But you didn't. I was really proud of you."
Reid's eyes glistened. "Proud of me? JJ, you were incredibly strong back there."
JJ's eyes glistened too. And he saw something flicker in them. Compassion? Sincerity? Love, maybe? "Thanks, Reid."
Will came storming in the room, instantly spotting Henry, racing over to him.
"Oh God, JJ, I'm so sorry I missed it." Will said with his accent, reaching his arms out to grab his son. JJ handed him over as carefully as she could. She looked over at Reid, who was standing up to exit.
"I'll get out of your way." Reid smiled, tickling Henry's tiny cheeks before heading toward the door.
"Thanks, Dr. Reid, for everything." Will said honestly. Reid nodded.
JJ looked at him longingly, locking her eyes with Reid. The flickering thing happened again and Reid smiled, a sharp pain forming in his chest. He was seeing exactly what he had missed with JJ. He could've had that life. And he knew for certain she was seeing it too. He knew for a fact somewhere, she wished it was Reid.
"Yeah, thanks, Spence." She said sincerely, her voice cracking.
Reid nodded, swallowing the bitter taste of losing something he never got to have.