Disclaimer: SM owns Twilight, as evident by her enormous bank account, but Ninadoll has created an amazing universe and I'm lucky enough to get to write around in it!

Thank you very much to my brilliant beta and friend, Ninadoll for keeping me motivated and encouraged, and for creating this awesome universe! If you haven't yet, you need to check out her stories: Rest of Forever, How Wonderful Life Is, Now You're in the World, How the Mighty Fall,The Colors of My LifeandEternity is a Long Time.I'm very excited to see what she has in store for us next!

Thank you as well to my awesome friend Shojioxlow who always tells me to keep my head up and encourages me!

Please check out my blog atliljenrocksfanfiction{dot}blogspot{dot}com/and webs for pictures! Please comment and let me know what you think! ALSO, I am pleased to announce that Nina has created a database to help everyone keep track of the wolves and their families, as well as give you a little insight into who we would pick to portray the characters: the Wolf Territory-Pedia! You can check it out atninaandjen{dot}tumblr{dot}com/. Thank you


"And I rationed my breaths as I said to myself that I'd already taken too much today;

As each descending peak on the LCD took you a little farther away from me…

Away from me…

-"What Sarah Said" by Death Cab for Cutie


It's amazing how much you can miss someone you love so much, especially when that person is in the room with you. I watch the heart monitor beep and the ventilator move up and down, and even though Claire is in the bed, it's like she's a thousand miles away.

"Quil, honey, can I get you anything?" Mom asks me. I hear her, but it's not like I actually hear her. "You need to eat something, sweetheart. It's been three days."

"I'm fine, Mom," I answer. I'm not fine, I'm about as far from fine as I can get. The love of my life, my reason for existence, my Claire lies motionless. How can I be fine when I know there's a very real possibility of..?

Mom sits down next to me. "You're not doing her any good like this, Quil."

I feel her put a hand on my back and I want to shake it off but I don't. I know I need my Mom right now, and honestly, I know she needs me too. "I'll be okay," I say softly, though I seriously doubt I'll be okay.

"She's going to be okay, son. I know she is," Mom pats my back as we both look at Claire.

"She has to be, Mom, she has to be," I whisper as Mom puts her arms around me to hug me.

It started with that phone call, from Laura. "

"Whoa, whoa, slow down! What's going on?" I asked like an idiot, completely confused.

"Claire…" She sounded short of breath. "She started bleeding, like a huge puddle of blood under her feet."

I slammed my foot on the brake, Embry and I both jerked back by the seat belts. "Quil, breathe," Embry said as I looked down at my fingers on my free hand gripping the steering wheel and shaking, the kind of shaking that happens before I phase. And boy did I want to phase. More than I've ever wanted to phase before. Embry took the phone from me. "Laura, where is Claire?"

"They took her into surgery, they're doing a c-section right now," I heard her say.

That's all it takes to make the shaking stop. I reel the wolf in and quickly move my foot to the accelerator, punching the gas. "Tell her we'll be there in less than five minutes," I say to Embry.

He repeats the words to her and then hangs up the phone. How the hell could this be happening? She had been doing so well and we were going to be able to do this naturally, together. How the hell did this happen?

"Do you need me to drive, Quil?" Embry asked. I shake my head and feel a small growl escape my throat. I need to get to my wife, I need to get to my imprint. I need to protect her. Why had it been so hard for me to do that? Why did it always seem like things were going against me? "Okay, okay," Embry said.

It didn't even take me the five minutes I told Laura it would to get back to the hospital. I pull in the ambulance bay of the emergency room and barely put the Jeep in park. "Go, I'll take care of the car," Embry said as I almost jump out and sprint through the automatic doors.

Luka rounded the corner the minute my feet hit the tile floor, Laura at his side. "Uncle Quil!" he yelled.

"Where is she? Where's Claire?" I asked.

"She's in surgery, Kim took her in about fifteen minutes ago," Laura interjects.

"Which way?" I asked. Only silence from Luka and Laura, and the sounds of hospital around us. "Which way do I need to go?" Still nothing.

"Uncle Quil, you can't go in," Luka says and puts a hand on my shoulder.

I shrug it off. "She's having a c-section, I know I can go in. I've read about in the books and I've seen it in movies, I know I can go in."

"This is more severe than that," Luka said.

My eyes narrowed. "What do you mean it's more severe than that? What happened, Luka? She needs me, where is she?" I asked through gritted teeth, trying to push forward.

"Stop, Uncle Quil," Luka put his arms around me in a hug to stop me.

A sensation runs up my spine, it occurs to me that I can't feel her, I can't feel my imprint. "It's bad, isn't it?" I choked out. "What happened? What happened to her?" I barely managed to breathe out.

Luka swallows hard and takes a deep breath. "Claire got upset and the placenta detached and—"

"Don't sugarcoat it, Luka. Tell him what happened," Laura says.

My nephew shook his head and ran his hands over his face. "It's…Well, you see…"

"Spit it out, Luka!" I snapped at him. I didn't have time for this nonsense. I needed to know what was going on, why when I left Claire was perfectly fine and we were on our way to parenthood the way it was supposed to be, and now she was so far away from me.

"Mom was here," he stops. He really didn't need to say anything else. I knew whatever came next wasn't good and I felt the shaking start in my fingertips. That was all I needed to know, Joan had been here and now I couldn't feel my imprint. Joan was more dangerous than any vampire had been.

"Where is she?!" I say through gritted teeth.

"She went home," Luka said.

"Not her! Claire! I meant Claire!" The pain in my chest so intense I feel myself gasping for breath. "Where's my wife?"

Luka doesn't respond, I don't really give him a choice though. I let the shaking that I knew would inevitably result in the wolf being released turn into strength and I shove my nephew out of the way. The only thing I want and need right now is to see Claire, to know she was okay. Why couldn't this kid get that? "Uncle Quil, stop!" I heard him yell as I start down the hall only to be met by a strong arm pulling me from behind.

"Bro, you can't do that," a voice I recognize as Embry says. The shaking just gets worse.

"I need to find Claire, Em," I growl. Embry turns me around and pushes me up against the wall to face him.

"You can't do that, Quil," he says. It's not a friendly reminder this time though and I know why, I'm about half a second from being a huge chocolate brown puff ball in the lobby of the Forks Hospital.

"I have to," I try to say back. It becomes less words though and more growling. Luckily for all of us though, Embry and Luka managed to grab me and they start leading me out. I see a few eyes on them, and see Claire's parents, my Mom, and the straw that breaks the wolf's back, Joan, sitting in the waiting room. "You said she was gone," I snap at Luka. He and Embry push me as far out the doors as they could, into the closest woods. "I need Claire!" I growl but only about half the growl is human.

Embry pushed Luka away and then holds onto me tighter. "Fight it, Quil. For Claire, fight it," he says. "Fight it." My breaths are ragged and my mind is switching back and forth between staying human and being wolf.

"I did this to her," I say. "I did this. She always put me first, and I didn't listen."

"It's going to be okay," Embry said, his hand making a tighter fist in my shirt. "She needs you, Quil. You can't do anything for her if you wolf out and stay in the woods."

I can't stop the feeling of helplessness, the feeling of knowing how different this all should be. "Why didn't I see what I was doing? Why didn't I see how bad things were?" I ask. It all comes to a head as the tears start. "She's my everything, Em. I've loved her longer than I've ever loved anything in my life and I wasn't there when she needed me the most."

"Then make it up to her," Embry said. He keeps his hold on me.

"Why did I listen to Joan? Why didn't I see?" I ask him through tears. I take a deep breath and felt my control slowly coming back. The feelings of rage and anger were being replaced with the guilt…and helplessness. "I have to fix it." I take another deep breath. Then another and another. I just knew I have to fix this, and being wolf wouldn't make this better. I have to stay human, I have to be there for Claire. "I have to fix it."

I don't know how long we stood there but I was grateful for Embry keeping me calm. He loosens his grip on me. "Are you good? Are you ready to go back in?"

I take one more breath. It's not ragged anymore and my hands aren't shaking, things are starting to feel normal. And I know I need to see Claire. I need to. "I think so," I say, though I'm not sure I believe it. Embry releases me completely and we turned to walk back towards the hospital. I needed to know what was going on at least, to know how things were going, where Claire was. "Wh—" I start but I don't finish the sentence. Instead, everything goes black and the most excruciating pain settles in chest. "Fuck!" My knees buckle and Embry grabs hold of me again.

"What's wrong?" Embry asked. My heart feels like it's about to explode in my chest and I wonder for a minute if I was having a heart attack. I can't breathe and when I try, I was sure that my lungs were going to explode. "Get Seth!" I heard him yell to Luka.

I wanted to say something, to say anything but the only thing that came out was a yell, straight from my gut. I was dying. This was what death felt like. This was it. "Help me pick him up," I heard Seth say.

The pain doesn't stop though and I feel my eyes roll back. Yep, this was dying. I wasn't going to see Claire again or see my little boys. "Fuck!" I scream again as the pain jolts through my chest again.

"Breathe and try to calm down," Seth said. He and Embry both have me by the arm and pull me into the hospital. I mean literally pull me. I have no control over my body and my feet are dragging along the floor. "Put him on the bed and I'll check him over."

By the time they manage to pull me onto the bed, I can finally open my eyes. Everything seems too bright though. The lights don't help the situation and I can't really focus but I know that Seth is working on poking and prodding.

"What's wrong with him?" I heard Embry ask.

"Where does it hurt, Quil?" Seth asked.

I growl, but not like a wolf growl. It's as human as a growl can get. "Everywhere!" I groaned.

"That doesn't exactly help," Seth said. "Tell me a body part, something, give me something."

I throw my hand to my chest. "Here."

I try to get my eyes to focus on Seth while he puts his stethoscope to my chest. He listens and then moves to my back and asks me to take deep breaths which make the crushing feeling in my chest worse. He continues to look over things and the pain is subsiding a bit. As good a doctor as Seth is, he looks completely stumped. Until it seems like a light has gone off in his head. "I'll be right back," he said.

He's only gone for a few minutes but the pain does start subsiding a bit more. It's a little bit easier to breathe and my heart might just be going back to normal. Eventually after a few minutes, Seth comes back into the room. The thing about Seth is that he is almost always smiling or at least even when he's not, you can just tell he has a positive attitude. But he doesn't look like that as he walks in. Right away I know something's not right. The look on his face, the emptiness I feel, something's definitely not right.

"What's wrong?" I asked. Seth didn't say anything…and that was bad. "What is it, Seth? You're scaring me."

I saw him swallow hard and then he looked at me. "What you feel is not something I've ever heard anyone but wolves describe," he said. His cryptic message made my head hurt more than it already did.

"What's that mean?" I asked. I was starting to panic even more than I already was.

He looked at Embry and Luka. Seth wasn't usually this evasive and he never looked as gravely serious as he did now. "It's Claire, isn't it?" Luka asked. My nephew seemed more concerned than he'd ever been before. Luka started walking closer to me, almost like he knew something I hadn't quite figured out yet. He stood next to me and looked down. "Paul almost killed Lil' G and Leon when he felt like that."

That didn't help the nerves in my body. "Would you just tell me what's going on?" I begged.

Now Embry had moved closer to me too as Seth looked at him. "Kim performed the c-section," Seth said. He stopped though and didn't continue.

"I knew that, Luka said things were severe and I couldn't go in," I said with panic.

"Yes," Seth nodded. "Claire was losing a large amount of blood and her blood pressure dropped again."


"Quil, I'm going to tell you but you can't phase," he said. Right away I know it's not good, it's bad. And I take the deepest breath I've ever taken in my life, trying to make sure I could channel everything, trying not to phase again. "Claire's heart stopped." And the shaking begins.

"Control, Quil," Embry put his hand on my shoulder. How can I be in control when my heart stopped?

"Kim was able to start it up again," Seth rubs his chin.

"Is she…o-okay?" I manage to stutter out. Please let her be okay, please! I can't do this, I can't be without her!

"She's unconscious now, but she's alive, Quil. That's the important thing," Seth said.

"Will she wake up?" I asked.

Seth swallowed again. "That's up to Claire," he said.

"But she will wake up, right?"

Embry tightens his grip on me, Luka still standing close to me. "I'm not going to bullshit you, okay? I'm going to tell you what I know, not just like a doctor but a friend too, okay?" I nod but feel the shaking in my hands intensify. "All we know right now is that Claire is in a coma."

"What about the bleeding?" Luka asked. "Was Kim able to stop it?"

"Yes," he answered. "Kim said she was about a minute away from a hysterectomy but was able to stop it just before her heart stopped." Seth looked at me seriously. "I think the pain you felt, I think that was Claire going into cardiac arrest and then them shocking her heart."

The problem was, Seth still hadn't answered me, he hadn't told me if she would ever wake up. I move from the exam table I was sitting on to walk over to where Seth was standing. "Is she going to wake up?"

"That's up to her. I think she will, but I can't say for sure," Seth said solemnly.

I felt my body sway a little again. How was I supposed to take that? How was I supposed to be able to be able to handle that? Both Luka and Embry rushed over to me and with Seth, they caught me just before I hit the floor. I was going to lose her, after all we'd been through, after everything I needed to do to make it up to her. I was going to lose her.

"Don't give up on her, Quil. You know Claire, she's not going to let go," Embry said.

But he didn't understand how different Claire was. Old Claire wouldn't give up, Old Claire wouldn't let this happen, she'd be awake as soon as possible, telling me to sneak in an Arby's roast beef sandwich and curly fries, and then fighting with the nurses when they caught me. But this wasn't that Claire. This Claire, the one that my ignorance had created, I didn't know how much fight she had left in her.

I take a breath and stutter out. "I-I can't live if she d-doesn't."

"You can't think like that," Seth said. Embry and Luka helped to pick me up a little more. "She and your boys need you to believe that this is going to be okay." Seth went to the sink in the corner of the room and pulled a tiny plastic cup from dispenser, then turned the faucet on. He filled the cup and then handed it to me. My hands shook as I took it. Not the type of shaking that happened when the wolf was near, this was the type of shaking that happened when I was terrified, something I hadn't been a long time. "Take a drink of this and I'm going to see if I can find out anything else."

Embry and Luka loosened their grip as I took one huge gulp and swallowed all the water in the cup. I knew Seth was right. I knew I had to get my head in the game, I had to make this better. Embry took the cup from me while I ran my sleeve over my mouth. They walked me over to a chair and helped me sit. My head suddenly felt a little too heavy and I leaned forward, putting my head in hands. I closed my eyes tight and just breathed. There was nothing I could do. There was nothing I could do.

I felt defeat settle on my shoulders when the door opened again and Seth walked in. He looked just as serious as he did before he left. "They're moving her to a room in ICU. They're going to finish getting her settled and then I'll take you up." He paused and then his face softened. "Would you like to meet your sons while we wait?"

"No," I whispered as I rose slowly from my seat. I may not know what to do but I know this isn't something I'm doing alone. "I won't see them without her."

"It might be good for you and for—"

"No," I said sternly. "I'm not seeing them without Claire."

Seth glanced at Embry and Luka before sighing and putting his hands in his pocket. "Okay, we'll wait."

I sat back down. I don't know how much longer I sat there. There were so many different scenarios running through my head, so many different ways this could play out. But there was only one way that I wanted, I wanted my family. I wanted what I thought I was going to have a few days ago.

"Dr. Clearwater," a nurse said as she popped her head in. "You wanted to know when Mrs. Ateara was ready?"

Seth nodded and then looked to me. "Are you ready?"

I nod back and Seth holds the door open for us. We all file out, with Seth taking the lead and follow him down the hall through open double doors. A large desk area greets us but Seth keeps walking. The open area behind the desk is made up of glass rooms, each with large curtains. The place is filled with different beeping noises and the occasional moan and groan.

I keep my head down and try not to look at any of the other rooms. I'm following Seth but I don't need to. I can feel the pull, it's faint but I feel my heart pull towards her. That gives me a little hope, as long as I feel the pull, I know she's alive. Even if it's just a tiny bit of what it usually is, I'll take it. The pull gets stronger and starts to feel like rubber band stretching and when I feel a snap inside, I knew we're there.

I finally lift my head to look in the room and feel my breath catch at the sight in front of me. My sweet Claire, tubes in her mouth. I can't see her face very well from this angle and it's killing me. I push Seth out of the way and march in to stand next to her.

"Claire?" I whispered softly as I stare down at her. Her skin was paler than I'd ever seen it at all. I really couldn't even see her lips and I watched her chest rise and fall slowly. "Baby?" I can hear the beeps and I see the monitors but I can't believe what I'm seeing. I reach out for her hand but stop when I see the IVs on the hand next to me. "Can I hold her hand?" I asked Seth.

"Yes," he says.

Her hand's limp as I pick it up. It's cold, not like Claire at all. I squeeze it before I entwine our fingers. "You have to wake up, baby. You have to wake up," I whispered. I lean down closer to her ear. "Our babies need you," I choke out. "I need you, Claire."

I hadn't left her side since then. I didn't sleep, I didn't eat, I didn't really do anything but be here with Claire. I held her hand. I whispered in her ear but I wouldn't leave her. Even when Seth and Kim kept insisting I see the babies. But how could I do that? How did I have a right to do that? After all the Hell she'd been through, it was Claire who had the right to see them first, to hold them first, and to talk to them first. Not me.

"Quil?" Mom says again. I can't take my eyes off Claire but I nod and I know Mom knows I heard her. She walks towards me and pulls a chair next to me. I still don't take my eyes off Claire but Mom sits down anyway and I hear her sigh loudly. "You need to see them, son."

"No," I say back quickly.

"You need to see them," she repeats.

"No," I answer back again.

She sighs loudly again. "I know you think you need to be here because you think Claire needs you to be here."

"She does."

"Your sons need you too, Quil," Mom retorts. "They need to be held by a parent. They need to know they're loved."

"They're fine," I say.

"They're not fine. They need their dad, think about that, Quil. They need their dad. You know what that's like," Mom voice cracks.

I scoff. "They need their Mom too."

"And they'll have her. She's going to wake up, son. This is Claire we're talking about. She couldn't leave you if she wanted to, and she doesn't want to, sweetheart."

"After everything I did, why should we want to come back to me?" I finally say out loud what I'd been thinking. What reason would she have to come back to me? I'd pushed her as far as any one person could take, I'd been an awful husband, a shitty imprint, and I had no right to beg her to come back to me.

"Because she loves you and that's what you do when you love someone," Mom's voice cracks again. "Your dad, he would've come a thousand miles, lived a dozen lives, to get to me, if he could. Because we loved each other that much. But that wasn't what was supposed to happen. But Claire, she's still here, son. She's not going to leave you, and those little boys…those precious babies, they need their dad to hold them and tell them this is going to be okay," I look up to see Mom wipe her eyes and shake her head. "They know something's not right, too."

"But how do I look at them without her? I don't deserve that privilege."

"Son, you're the only one that thinks that. You can guilt trip yourself to kingdom come but I'm telling you, the only thing you need to do is see those babies, and you're going to feel so much better," she says.

I look back at Claire and see how peaceful she looks. She would've done anything for these babies. Maybe I owed it to her to make sure they were okay. "Have you seen them?" I ask.

Mom nods. "And they're the cutest babies I've ever seen, present company included," she smiles and I can't help but chuckle. "I mean it. I love you, but you weren't exactly the cutest baby in the world. My grandsons though, those boys are precious."

I breathe deeply and brace myself to stand up. "Will you take me to see them?"

"Of course," Mom says.

She takes my hand to help me and I can almost feel myself getting strength from her. I take a moment to brush a kiss carefully over Claire's forehead and I whisper into her ear that I was going to see her peanuts. We walk through the door and see Meredith and Calista. "We're going to see the babies," I say. "Will you stay with Claire, until I get back?"

They both smile. "Yes," Calista says. "Go see those little ones."

"Thanks," I smile back.

Mom and I keep walking and I start to feel a different type of pull. It's not exactly like the pull I feel towards Claire but it's very similar. It's just as strong. It's not even that far of a walk to get to the nursery door. Mom stops and tells me to stay while she goes in. She comes back out with a flimsy yellow gown thingy and I put it on over my clothes.

"Are you ready to meet your sons?" she asks.

"Yes," I say.

She opens the door wide for me and I walk into a room with a few other babies. There are two nurses standing in the back turned away from me and each footstep I take closer makes breathing a little easier. One of the nurses turns around with her head down looking at the baby in her arms. She looks up with a smile on her face. "Mr. Ateara?" she asks.

"Yes," I nod.

She walks towards me. "This is Baby A." I hold my arms out. I'm equally excited and equally terrified.

"Adam," I say. "His name is Adam."

I can see him, I can see the black hair under his cap. His eyes are closed and he starts to fuss as she slides him into my arms. "He doesn't like to be far from his brother," the nurse says.

I can feel his warmth and when I look down as his tiny scrunched face, he looks so much like me. His mouth, his nose…his ears though, those are all Claire and even though he looks like he's about to cry, I see Claire in his face there too. The way she used to look when she was little and would get upset.

"Why don't you bring his little brother over?" the nurse says to the other nurse.

"She's using the term little lightly. Both of them were over six pounds, pretty good for twins," the nurse with the other baby in her arms. She walks closer to me too and I can see the other little one.

"Quil, his name is Quil But my wife…" I take a deep breath and look down at Adam in my arms. "She wants to call him Q."

The nurse holding him giggles. "Then Q it is," she smiles, gently putting the baby in my other waiting arm.

I look down at the other baby and notice that Adam has quieted. Q is Claire all over, there honestly isn't a single bit of me in him, and I'm perfectly okay with that. He may have gotten my name, but his face, his mouth, his nose, his ears, those belong to Claire. And even though I only have about twelve pounds in my arms, I feel like it's a ton.

"You two are two of the three most precious things I've held in these arms," I whisper to them. Both of their eyes are closed and I think they might be lulling themselves back to sleep, but I have something I need to tell them. "The only thing I've ever held that can even compare is your Mommy. She's going to be so excited to see you and hold you. We've waited so long for you to get here and we're both so happy." And then I take another deep breath. "It's going to be okay, we're all going to be okay. You two, me, and your Mommy, we're all going to be okay." And for once, with my sons in my arms, I believed it.