The Birth of Little Faithful

a birthday story for


from the Mating Imperative AU

Her heart stopped, right in the middle.

I was right there, right in the room with her, holding her hand while she was pushing out our Hantaywee, our Faithful daughter. Our baby.

With the twins, the labor had started early, but we had expected it and there was a plan. With this baby, only one, we just figured she would come when she came. She decided to come three weeks early.

And she decided to come at full speed.

Bella went into labor with her first contractions only a few minutes apart and we rushed her to the hospital. "Call Charlie," she ground out while she could speak. "Get the kids to Kim's."

"On it," I assured her, whipping my cell phone out and punching the proper numbers. When I'd done as she had said, I carried her to the car. I promised to stop phasing after the birth of this baby, but right now, I needed the strength my wolf-side gave to me. "C'mon, sweetheart. We got this."


We had it until transition – that time of childbirth, the classes said, when the body goes from getting the way ready for the baby and getting the baby out. When that happened with H'antay, Bella's heart accelerated, her muscles cramped all over her body and –

– And with a surprised gasp, her lips turned blue and she fell back against the pillow on the hospital's delivery bed.

My brain started to spin almost immediately. Bella! Bella! Bella! Bella! If they'd had a monitor on my chest, they would have sworn I was having a heart attack.

As it was, the doc tried to push me out of the way, a crash cart blew through the doors and I was frozen – yeah, with my body temperature – willing Bella's heart to start again.

"Move!" the doctors – a few of them, now – insisted. I couldn't. I couldn't breathe, couldn't think, couldn't do anything but stand there, stuck, thinking that my imprint's heart wasn't beating.

Terror clutched at me, mindless and strong. My skin prickled, itched, my scalp tingling and a familiar heat burned down my spine. I was going to phase. Go wolf. Right here in front of all these people.

I couldn't bring myself to care.

A shrill tone sounded, hurting my ears and then a thumping sound and then – just as I felt heat overwhelm me – her heart started.

She gasped. My name.

"Move!" I shouted to the doctors, pushing them out of my way as I got to my wife, my imprint, my love. "Bella. Isabella. Isabella..." I whispered as she turned sunken eyes my way. "Sweetheart, you're back." My voice cracked. I didn't care. Tears dripped on her hand. She didn't care, either.

Her smile touched me with a physical force. Tender and loving and full. "I'd never leave you. I love you."

A flurry of conferencing went on and it was decided to get my daughter out by c-section. It was messy, but I didn't leave. Couldn't leave. Not until little Hantaywee was in my arms and her mother's kiss lingered on my lips.