Summary: The A-Team welcomes a new member to the team.
Warnings: T for some slightly graphic scenes involving childbirth, just to keep it safe.
Disclaimer: I don't own the A-Team.
A/N: I have never had children, nor have I ever been involved in the process of childbirth in any way, so the information here comes from what I've read about, seen in movies, or heard about from others. Any factual error is my fault. Feel free to let me know.
"Amy, honey, I think you should just stay in the van," suggested Face as he grasped her hand, helping her with the step down from the van.
"No," Amy said flatly, stepping heavily on the cement. Face didn't argue after that again; she had that look on her face that said she wasn't taking orders from anyone. Murdock stepped out next, a sly grin creeping up the side of his face. He walked over, placed a hand on Amy's elbow, and helped her towards the convenience store at the gas station.
Face sighed as he watched the hobbling woman place a hand on her swelled stomach. He turned to Hannibal, who had just gotten out of the passenger's seat, with a devilish twinkle in his eye.
"Hannibal," he complained, "tell me again why we let Amy tag along on this?" He watched the mother-to-be walk down the isles, collecting a variety of different foods for the rest of the journey.
"Face," Hannibal said, "Amy hasn't seen Steve in almost two years, same as us. They were good friends, and when she heard we were going for a visit, she wanted to see him too."
"Yeah, yeah, Hannibal, I know that. But tell me, why did we let her come? For god's sake, she's due next week!"
"Face, you know as well as I do that when Amy has her mind set on something, you can't deter her. Besides, Dave's out of town and we promised to look after her for him." Face just grumbled about hormones and food, and the frequent bathroom stops.
BA lumbered over from the gas station. "All filled up. We just gotta wait on that crazy foo'." They all looked through the window to see Murdock spinning a display of key chains. BA growled dangerously. He was eager to be on his way, and didn't particularly like the delay. The frequent stops were starting to get on his nerves, though he hadn't said anything.
"I'll get him," Face offered quickly, and headed inside the store. Murdock was still ogling the key chains. "C'mon, BA's getting antsy." He glanced around. "Where's Amy?"
Murdock looked up. "Oh, uh, she went to the washroom." He took a look at the items in his hands. "I'll go pay for these, since the ugly mudsucka wants to get goin'."
Face grabbed a bag out of Murdock's hands. "'Space Dust'?" he read, giving his friend a bewildered glance. Some of the other packages were also sugary snacks.
Murdock shrugged. "Amy wanted them." And he left to pay for his purchase.
Shaking his head at the antics of pregnant women, Face meandered over to the woman's washroom. Just as he was about to call out to Amy, the woman herself appeared at the door. She was pale and stooped, and clutched the doorframe with such intensity that her knuckles turned white. Her hair, which had for the entirety of the trip sat in a simple bun at the nape of her neck, now fell out in sections which wisped around her face, making her appearance that much more manic.
Before he could react, she exclaimed, "My water broke!"
"What do you mean?" Face panicked.
"I mean my damn water broke!" She cried hysterically, grabbing the lapels of his jacket and shaking them, as if to shake sense into the man himself. "We need to get to a hospital!"
Face could only stare at her in shock. This couldn't be happening. This could not possibly be happening. Of all the things…but surely, this would happen to the A-Team.
"Oh, shit." Both turned to see Murdock bounding towards them. He had dropped his food at the counter, abandoning the clerk who still had his hand halfway outstretched to receive the money. He looked incredulously at Amy. "Are you sure?" he asked, something in his voice that hinted he desperately hoped she was joking.
Her definitive "YES!" was his answer.
Face ran up to the clerk. "Where's the nearest hospital?" he demanded.
The man pointed out the window, west of where they were standing. "It's about 20 miles down that road."
That wouldn't do. "Is there a doctor around here?" Murdock asked. There had to be someone. But, unfortunately, it was a very small, rural town.
The man shrugged. "We have old Dr. Barns. He lives 'bout ten minutes from here. Been practicin' since 1912. 'Cept he's so old, he don't really know day from night no more, ya know?"
Murdock and Face shared a furtive glance. The hospital was just so far…
The decision was made for them when Amy let out a moan, and grabbed Face's shoulder, digging her fingers through the material of his jacket into his skin.
Hospital it was.
"I'll get BA to start the van. He's driving, so I think we can get there in time," Murdock said as she dashed out the door in a full sprint to warn the other two members of the A-Team of their new mission: Get the pregnant woman in labour to a hospital – STAT.
"Face!" Amy began to cry desperately.
"Okay," Face tried reassuring her, putting a steadying arm around her shoulders and helping her towards the door. "It's going to be fine, we're going to get you to a hospital." As quick as he could move her, they lumbered towards the van, which BA had already started up. Murdock was inside, and Hannibal stood outside the passenger door, smoking his cigar and watching the two approaching with an impassive expression. Face figured he was probably worried, at least a little, but the man was unshakable. It probably took a lot more than a woman in labour in the middle of nowhere to faze him. Hell, the POW camp they'd been in had barely moved him.
Murdock and Face helped Amy back into the backseat. Face barely had time to close the door before BA screamed out of the gas station and down the road. Almost the opposite of Hannibal, BA kept shooting furtive glances at the rear-view mirror, looking at the back. His face was taut and strained, and his eyes were wide with fear. BA rarely showed fear, but then Face realized that they might all be army veterans who had been to hell and back – but they were all terrified at this situation. This was a woman's thing. What the heck could they do?
Amy sat between Face and Murdock, clutching their arms as if her life depended on it. She was breathing heavily, her eyes wide and her face pale. They were trying to talk her down, and to keep her calm, but it wasn't really helping. Amy was terrified.
Twenty minutes later, Amy's usual laboured breathing turned into a shriek. "Hannibal, ohmigod, it's coming!"
There was a chorus of "what!"' in the van.
"THE BABY'S COMING!"
For a minute, none of the men could move; they could only stare in complete and mind-numbing shock at the woman. Her ear-splitting cry brought them back to reality.
Hannibal jumped straight into command. He was going to treat this like any other mission, and he was in charge. "Lieutenant, Captain, get Amy to the back, now!" he ordered, while he himself made his way to the back of the van, grabbing blankets and laying them out on the floor. As he did, he heard Face ask pleadingly, in a piteously small voice, "Amy, we're almost to the hospital. Can't you wait?" Her reply was a sharp, stinging, smack.
When Hannibal turned to look, Murdock held up a wobbling, shaking, incredibly pale Amy, followed by Face who was rubbing his arm.
Hannibal directed Murdock to lay Amy on the blankets, while Face stared incredulously at the set-up, and his commander furiously pulling out the first-aid kit. It dawned on him what Hannibal wanted to do. "We're going to deliver the baby? Here?" he squeaked. His mouth gaped open in utter surprise.
Hannibal spared him a look. "The baby's not waiting. We can't get to the hospital in time. And close your mouth, Lieutenant, you'll catch flies." To Murdock, he said, "Make Amy comfortable, and try to get her to calm down." The young mother-to-be was understandably freaking out. She had Murdock's arm in a death-grip, and was half-screaming at him, half at her husband, who was fortunate enough to be far, far away.
Face tried for reason again. "Hannibal, do you even know how to deliver a baby?" he asked uncertainly. The Colonel knew a lot of things, and usually held a few tricks up his sleeve, but never in a million years would Face have guessed that being a midwife was one of his talents.
The Army Colonel stopped what he was doing for a moment. He said, very calmly, "I helped my father to deliver my brothers. All eight of them." And, that was it.
BA's head was spinning. He kept glancing in the rear-view mirror at the back of the van, but soon stopped, needing to keep his eyes on the road. He wished he could help, but he knew the best he could do was to get to the hospital as fast as he could. And he was grateful for the task too; he did not want to be back there. The screaming was loud enough up front.
Amy was lying on some blankets, leaning her back against Face for support. Hannibal had given him the job to support Amy: literally, and figuratively. Her face was scrunched in pain, and she alternated between moaning in pain, and yelling at the top of her lungs. Hannibal's arm came into her line of vision, and she grabbed it.
"I can't do it, Hannibal," she choked. "Oh, I can't I can't I can't, Hanibaaaaalll…"
But Hannibal gripped her arm back. "It's alright, Amy honey. We're going to help you. You can do it. I know you can." With a significant amount of effort, he retrieved his hand, and told a slightly green Face to talk to Amy, to keep her calm. "Use all the charm you got, Face," as he put it.
Though he wanted no part in this, Face knew he would rather calm Amy than be on the…other side.
Murdock seemed to be the opposite. He knelt down next to Hannibal, and threw himself in headlong to help deliver the baby. He barely blinked.
Face sat behind Amy, still holding her in an upright position, and snatched one of her flailing hands. He stroked it, trying to think of what to say, something to calm her down. She turned her head towards him, her eyes wide with fear, but slightly less so when he started talking to her. She clutched his hand with an iron grip, and did not let go.
He began to murmur words of comfort to her, and began rubbing her back too, for good measure. He didn't know what he was saying; he trusted his silver tongue and his natural talent for finding the right words to get him through this. It seemed to work, too. Amy was screaming less, her hand's grip was loosening, but her eyes were shut tight.
Then suddenly her eyes snapped open and she yelled, "Hannibal! It's coming, the baby's coming, ohmigod he's coming right now, ohmigod ohmigod ohmigod…" The death grip on Face's hand returned, and he felt his fingers loose feeling. He put his hand on her shoulder to keep her from flailing too much, and tried to regain that calm that she had had a few moments ago, while Hannibal confirmed her statement.
Hannibal's expression relayed nothing. He had a placid look on his face, but the orders he gave next were terse and demanded to be followed. "Amy honey, you have to push on your next contraction. Face, you coach her. Get her to push, and coach her on her breathing. This baby is coming."
Those last four words nearly sent Amy into a blind panic. Face barely kept her from losing it. "All right, this is it, Amy. Now, you have to keep with me, just listen to me, ok? Now, breath in…and out…and in…and out…" Face continued with the breathing exercises for a couple minutes, successfully managing to keep Amy calm – until her next contraction came.
"AGH!" she screamed, and clawed at Face's arm.
Panicking himself, he vaguely remembered Hannibal's instruction. "Push!" he cried, at the same time Hannibal called, from the other side of Amy. He and Murdock were watching the process intently.
Murdock said, "I think that's a head, Colonel."
Amy let loose another scream, and the three men all chorused another "Push!" while Face told her that she was doing a great job, that she was doing fine.
Another few minutes past in much the same way, as the baby slowly made its way out into the world. Hannibal told Murdock to grab a blanket, as he hurried to grab the arriving child.
"Almost there, Amy," Face told her, and with one last scream and push, the baby was free. Immediately, Hannibal grabbed the baby and gathered it in the blanket. A wail broke through the tense air in the van, and Hannibal sighed, the only visible sign of stress or exhaustion he had shown the whole time.
The baby continued to cry as Hannibal wiped it down. He smiled down at it – her. Murdock looked over his shoulder at the little miracle, almost unbelievingly.
Amy had nearly lost consciousness, and was slumped against Face, still gripping his hand. But now she sat up a bit, aided by Face, and held out her hands. Hannibal smiled at her and gave her the small bundle. "It's a girl," he told Amy. "Congratulations, sweetheart."
Amy's face was streaked with tears and sweat, and her hair was plastered to her forehead and stuck out in all directions. But her expression was one of true amazement, joy, and love, as she looked down at her baby girl, cradled gently in her arms. "Hello, gorgeous," she whispered.
Hannibal, Murdock, and Face, all glanced at each other, seeing the look of relief and total exhaustion in each other's faces, but also, a sort of reverent awe. The kind of expression one has when there is new life in the world, and everything is right. They had helped deliver a child into this world. It was truly a miracle.
And just as suddenly, the spell was broken. The van slammed to a halt, and the men realized that they had arrived at the hospital. A little late, ironically, but Amy and her daughter would still need to be checked out.
Hannibal took Amy and the baby inside, and BA got his first look at the small child. He too, felt honoured to be apart of such a miracle. He was also relieved that both girls were okay and healthy. They couldn't ask for more.
In fact, BA never grumbled about the damage his van received the day they welcomed a new member to the A-Team.