A/N: Holy crap, it's been forever since I've updated this! I apologize profusely! It's just...without seeing Eclare onscreen, it was hard to get motivation to write. But now that they look like they may be back, my motivation has come back! :)
And I can't take all the credit for this oneshot. The Cliffhanger Girl wrote Clare's part, so I suppose you could call it a collab.
Anyway, I hope you guys enjoy this. And thank you for still sticking by me!
Gabriel Adam Goldsworthy
"If you would like to Mrs. Goldsworthy, you can watch some of these birth videos on our website. Many women were courageous enough to let us film them. This way, soon to be mothers, such as you, can get a glimpse into what child birth will be like," Dr. Edmond suggested, handing me a card with the website written down on it.
I smiled nervously, and said, "Thank you for this, I'm just really nervous...with the baby due in less than three months, I want to be prepared."
"Perhaps you can ask your husband to help keep the nerves down? Many pregnant woman who stress themselves out are likely to have a stress induced labor, so please, try not to think too much of it," he smiled encouragingly, as I shook his hand, "Tell Mr. Goldsworthy he's been dearly missed in the gynecologist office."
The blood rushed to my cheeks, "I'll tell him, with work and all, he's really busy, but I'll send him your regards."
"Thank you darling, now stay off those swollen ankles, they'll kill you if you keep at it like that," I smiled, wobbling slowly out the door with the card gripped in my hands. I made my next appointment, holding back tears, knowing that if Eli can't even make it to see the ultra sounds and watch our daughter's growth, how will he be able to make it for the birth?
"Ah! Oh my god! Ah! Ah! I can't take it! Someone shoot me! Please!" I was wide eyed at the video I was watching, my jaw hanging open as I stuffed frosting in my mouth with my fingers.
"This looks more painful than I thought," I mumbled, licking my lips of any frosting, as the video continued with the screaming mother, whom was also all by herself in the delivery room.
"I want my husband! Where's my husband? I want my husband!" She screamed loudly, as a person beside her-I presume a family member-petted her head, and said, "He's not going to make it...he's at work, but he wishes he was. You've got me, I'm right here."
"I want my husband," she kept sobbing through heavy pants.
Tears streamed down my face, and I imagined myself being this woman, in this particular hunched over position, screaming bloody murder for Eli. But, she knew, as well as I know that her husband wouldn't be there for the birth because of work.
"We see the head! Keep pushing!" The doctors and nurses kept encouraging her, but I could tell by her stained cheeks and rising chest through her hospital gown, that the chanting was not enough.
She needed her husband there, to hold her hand, to kiss her and tell her it'll be alright. I didn't even know this woman, and I didn't have to, to feel exactly how she felt at this very moment; abandoned, vulnerable, and alone.
"It's a boy! It's a boy!" Someone cheered who was holding the camera, as the woman forced a smile, her hair sticking to her forehead due to sweat, "Come here baby boy...mamas got you...yeah...mommy has you."
I took in a deep breath, slamming my laptop shut and waddling down the steps, leaning on the walls to balance myself. My ankles were throbbing in pain, as I watched the front door open, a frazzled Eli storming through, "Clare! Oh Clare-hey, I'm home! See, right on time, like you told me yesterday!"
My lips forced a smile, as his happy mood faded when he realized I wasn't responding to him, "What's wrong? Is it the baby? Is everything alright?"
"Yes Eli...the baby is fine, thanks for asking. I found out today when I went to yet another doctor's appointment alone," I shoved him in the chest with my shoulder on my way to the kitchen to put the frosting back in the fridge. His scoff echoed the room, and I asked, "What's so funny Eli?"
His eyebrows cocked up, and I retrieved watermelon chunks from the fridge, with a new carton of frosting, "Is it funny to you...that I have to walk to the gynecologist office every month on my own that's eight avenues away while my ankles are throbbing in pain? Is it funny that I'm hungry all the time? Is it funny that I'm under so much stress and you don't even notice? Newsflash Eli, it's not funny! So wipe that goddamn stupid smirk off your face!"
"Oh I get it...this is just the pregnancy hormones acting up," he nodded, as if he knew the last of it.
Tears streamed down my face, and I ignored him, facing the watermelon and frosting, comforting myself to them. My fingers shook slightly, as Eli asked in a soft tone, "What's wrong Clare? That stuff never bothered you before, what happened at the doctors today? You always come back in a good mood from there, you love seeing our baby girl...so why so glum?"
I felt him inch into the kitchen, and I licked the frosting, "I told the doctor about how I'm constantly nervous. Assuming I was nervous about the birth, he gave me this website to watch home videos...and I watched one."
"Was it as bad as the miracle of life from Biology in freshman year?" Eli joked, and I glared at him, "It was worse, okay? One hundred percent, completely and utterly...worse."
"Let me see it then," he egged on, and I shook my head, "You wouldn't get it, you're not me and you're not a pregnant woman, so you couldn't relate."
"Tell me why it hurt you to watch it Clare. You were excited to give birth, a little nervous in the tense face yes, I could see that," he stroked my cheek, and I gasped, moving away from him, "Don't touch me, I'm trying to eat."
"Please Clare," he kissed my earlobe, and then whispered, "Tell me what's bothering you love."
I took a giant piece of watermelon, scooped it up in the chocolate frosting, and smeared it onto Eli's face. His mouth went agape, and I said, "You're the problem Eli, you're what's bothering me...love."
"Oh come on Clare, just tell me what the video was about that it upset you so much!" I watched as he licked off the frosting in disgust, "Do you really want to know what it was about? Do you really want to know what I witnessed?"
"Yes, please," his tone was dripping with want.
I hobbled up the steps, on our way to our bedroom, when Eli followed quickly behind me, before cutting in front of me and blocking my leeway to the door. I glared up at him, and said, "Don't make a pregnant woman angry, that's the last thing you want."
"Then just tell me, fully, what was in the video?" I sighed, "I watched a video, that contained a woman, giving birth...all on her own. When she was ten centimeters dilated, she was screaming out for her husband...and you know where her husband was Eli? He was at work...just like you'll probably be."
"No Eli, I watched that woman screaming out in pain and agony...all she wanted was for her husband to be there for her! That's all that I want you to do Eli, is be there for me, with this baby. I love her already, and I love you, but I can't stand the fact that I have to worry about you not being there when she's ready to come out," tears flowed down my cheeks, and Eli whispered, "I didn't know you were that... conscious about the working situations."
"Eli, all I do is sit here, knit baby sweaters and worry about your safety. You're a goddamn cop for crying out loud! There isn't a moment that goes by where I'm not worried to death," my heart raced, as I felt his hand over my tummy. He stroked my belly soothingly, and looked up at me with tear filled, emerald eyes, "I made an oath as a cop to serve and protect...but as a husband, I'm making an oath to you Clare, to be by your side the rest of the way. I'll go on leave for the next two and a half months, I don't care, whatever it takes."
He gripped my hands, the warmth from his skin radiating onto my chilled skin, "This means so much to me Eli...really-I just-I don't want to be that lonely woman, wailing for her husband and he's not there."
"I'll be there Clare, I promise," he pulled me into a tight hug, and I rested my head against his chest.
Eli rubbed his tired eyes and propped his feet up on his desk. The station was buzzing with voices and it was making his headache worse.
"You look like shit." Another voice overwhelmed him, and his friend and partner David Weston plopped down at the desk next to Eli's. He rested his chin in his hands and looked at Eli, a slight smirk on his face. "Clare hasn't had the baby yet, right?" Eli let out an annoyed sigh.
"No. But she's due any day now and I can't seem to sleep knowing that our baby boy is going to pop out at any moment. She's been so worried about me not being there for the birth and I don't want to let her down."
"You won't," David responded immediately. "You're a great friend and an amazing husband. There's no way you're going to let that happen."
"I hope you're right. I need some sleep." David laughed and ran a hand through his dirty blonde locks.
"In case you didn't know, when babies are born, parents usually get less sleep, not more."
"Shut the hell up, you're annoying me." David laughed again and pulled his gun off of his belt, placing it inside of his desk. Eli yawned and his eyes fluttered shut—he only intended to sleep for a little bit…
His ringtone suddenly blasted him awake and he jumped, nearly falling from his rolling chair. David burst into laughter and Eli tossed him the finger as he answered it.
"Hello?" His voice was groggy and slightly annoyed.
"ELI!" Eli scoffed and held the phone a little ways away from his ear. It was Alli.
"Jesus woman, I'm deaf in this ear now. What do you want?"
"Eli, you've got to get to the hospital right now!" Eli's eyes widened and he leapt from his chair, his heart racing.
"Clare's having the baby?"
"What do you think?" Eli shouted an obscenity.
"I'm on my way." David looked up at Eli, who currently looked like a deer in the headlights.
"She's in labor?" Eli snatched his keys off of his desk and grabbed his coat with the other hand.
"I've got to go! Tell the captain my wife's in labor!" He sprinted out of the station, leaving his partner staring after him.
"Congrats Eli," he murmured. "You'll be a great dad."
"Eli, you're here." Clare breathed, squeezing his hand. She was already in a hospital gown, the garment a little snug over her rounded stomach, and a doctor and a few nurses stood in the room, talking and keeping an eye on Clare and her vitals.
"Of course blue eyes. I wouldn't miss it for the world." He kissed her forehead and she managed a weak smile before groaning softly.
"They weren't kidding when they said childbirth was painful…" She groaned again, her eyes squeezed shut.
"Who's they?" Eli asked, wincing a bit as Clare gripped his hand harder.
"All the women of the world." She gasped. "A-ah! He's coming!" The nurses placed Clare's feet in the stirrups and the doctor moved between her legs.
"Okay Clare, I'm going to need you to give me a big push." The doctor told her. Suddenly tears sprang to Clare's eyes.
"I can't do this," she cried, her face twisted up in pain. Eli's heart just about broke in half.
"You can do this Clare." He whispered into her ear. "Think about how beautiful baby Gabe will be. He'll have your gorgeous blue eyes…you can do this."
"Come on now Clare, nice big push." Clare took a deep breath and pushed, screaming. "Good, very good."
"You're doing great blue eyes." Eli murmured, kissing her cheek.
"Alright Clare, another big push." Clare took a deep breath and pushed again, breathing hard. "And there's Gabe's head! Good job Clare, you're almost there."
Eli moved her damp hair from her forehead. "Baby Gabe's almost here Clare."
"Give me another good push Clare." Tears rolled down her cheeks as Clare pushed again, and suddenly, a loud cry could be heard.
Gabriel Adam Goldsworthy had entered the world.
Clare slumped back against the pillows, breathing hard as the doctor cut the umbilical cord and wrapped Gabe in a blanket.
"You did great Clare. You did amazing." She opened her eyes and smiled at her husband, happy but exhausted. The doctor came over, a smile on his face too, and carefully placed Gabe in Clare's arms.
"He's beautiful," she whispered, kissing him gently. "He has your hair." She smoothed it down, smiling and crying tears of joy.
"And when he opens his eyes and looks at his beautiful mother, he'll see that his eyes match yours." Clare looked up at Eli, her eyes shining. "I'm so glad you're my wife."
And then he kissed her.