"Stolen Youth"

January 2003 Debs-dragon

Chapter 22

"Slow down Trunks!" Pan managed to say in-between contractions. "I would like this baby to be born and have both parents alive to take care of it."

"Sorry." Trunks eased back on the accelerator a little. He was worried. He didn't like seeing Pan in this much pain, it scared him, but he knew he was being reckless with his driving. All he wanted to do was get her to the hospital as quickly as possible and into the care of people that knew what they were doing. When it came to babies and birth he hadn't a clue and he really didn't want a first hand lesson in the car either.

Soon enough they were pulling into the emergency section of the hospital and before the motor had stopped running Trunks was out of the car and around to the passenger side.

"Go inside and get some help first, Trunks," Pan gritted out as another wave of pain coursed through her.

"Okay." Trunks was off again, this time through the doors to the hospital. He ran up to the reception desk and stared at the startled nurse. "Quick! I need some help outside, my wife's in labor."

The nurse looked up at the panicked face of the young man in front of her and smiled. "Calm down a moment, Mr?"

"Briefs... Trunks Briefs. My wife Pan... she's outside..." Trunks huffed out.

"Okay Mr Briefs. Nurse! Get a wheelchair and got with Mr Briefs, his wife is in labor," the woman said as she addressed a nurse behind her. Turning her attention back to Trunks she spoke kindly. "Nurse Jones will help you bring your wife in. Is she booked in here?"

Trunks nodded as he hopped from one foot to the other while waiting for the other nurse to reappear.

Nurse Jones had to stifle the chuckle as she watched the young father to be. In all her experiences in working in the obstetrics department, the sight of a new father always made her smile. Their sheer nervousness in itself was enough to make her giggle as she watched them go from nervous to scared to awed when the little one finally made its entry into the world.

"Where is she?" Nurse Jones asked as she made her way to the man, wheelchair in front of her.

"Umm... Oh, out here," Trunks replied as he paced towards the front doors and his car.

The nurse followed behind and around to the passenger side of the car where a young, dark haired woman sat, obviously in pain as another contraction was passing through her body. "Just relax ma'am. Let me know when the pain has stopped and I'll help you into the chair and get you inside."

Pan nodded as she tried to let the pain flow. It wasn't easy but soon enough the contraction faded and she was able to give the nurse a shaky nod. Trunks and the nurse assisted her to the wheelchair and Pan sank gratefully into it. Immediately the nurse whisked her away towards the hospital. As she went she turned to Trunks who was trotting along behind. "Sir you will need to move your car. Go park it and bring your wife's bag inside. Nurse Holling at the front desk will confirm all your details and then bring you through to your wife."

Trunks stopped and stared. "I don't want to leave Pan," he said.

"You need to move your car, sir. Your wife will be fine."

Pan interjected then. "Trunks, go shift the car and do as the nurse has asked or I swear once I'm able to I'll thump you," she growled and then moaned as another contraction announced its presence.

Trunks hesitated for a brief moment but catching the look in his wife's eye he thought better of trying to argue. "I won't be long, honey," he said quietly and placed a kiss to Pan's cheek before disappearing to do as requested.

"Men!" Pan muttered under her breath as she was once again wheeled along.

"I agree," replied the kindly nurse. They both laughed.

Trunks went and re parked the car, he remembered to grab Pan's bag and charged back into the hospital and up to the reception desk where he was met with a pair of kindly gray eyes.

"Ahh Mr Briefs," the nurse said. "Your wife is being admitted and prepared in the delivery room now. I need you to sign a couple of forms and then I will take you to her."

Trunks fidgeted. "Okay, just tell me what and where to sign, I want to be with my wife."

The nurse passed him over some forms and indicated where he was to sign. He took the pen and scrawled his signature, eager to get back to Pan. Just as he had finished so the hospital doors opened again and he turned around to see Gohan and Videl entering the building.

"Trunks!" Gohan called. "How is she? Where is she? What's happening?" The questions were fired off in rapid succession.

"I don't know, she was in a lot of pain but they have taken her through, I'm about to go and find her now," Trunks replied.

Videl remained calm and approached the nurse who was looking slightly amused by the state of both males. "I'm Pan's mother," she said as she spoke to the nurse. "Can you tell me how she is and if we can see her please?"

The nurse smiled back. "She's fine, I was just about to take Mr Briefs through to his wife, you may join us if you wish, I think we are going to need at least one calm person besides the staff in the delivery room."

Videl nodded in agreement.

"I see Mrs. Briefs has got you down as one of her support persons," the nurse went on as she studied the forms.

"Yes, she has," Videl replied.

The nurse came around to the other side of the desk. "If you would all please follow me." She turned and began to walk off down a long corridor, Videl, Gohan and Trunks followed.

They stopped outside a large door marked 'Delivery Room Two' "Just wait here one moment please." The nurse slipped inside. She returned moments later. "You may go in now."

Trunks entered the sterile smelling room and immediately went to Pan's side. Pan smiled weakly at him from her position on the small bed. Her smile widened when she saw her mother and father behind him. "Mom," she whispered.

Videl brushed past Gohan and stood on the opposite side to Trunks and took her daughter's hand. "Hey there, pumpkin, guess it's time then?"

Pan smiled. "Yeah, it is." Her face screwed into a grimace as another contraction gripped her. She squeezed her mother's hand until the pain faded.

"It will be all right Pan. It won't last forever. I'm here with you and I'll help you through it."

Pan gave her mother a warm smile. "Thanks."

Trunks was sweating. He didn't like to see Pan in this much pain. He turned to face the nurse who was filling out things on Pan's chart. "Can't you give her something for the pain?" he asked.

"Not until the doctor arrives and checks her out."

"Where the hell is the doctor then? He should be here by now, I did call him before we left home." Trunks' voice began to rise with his concern.

"The doctor will be here soon enough," the nurse replied curtly.

Gohan came up to Trunks' side and placed an arm on the young man's shoulder. "Calm down, Trunks. Pan will be fine. Come on, let's go get a coffee or something, leave these women alone for a bit, there's not much we can do about it anyway."

Trunks looked at his father-in-law and sighed. "I guess you're right." He turned back to Pan. "Will you be okay for a while?"

"Trunks... please go. I'll be fine, mom is here with me and I'm sure the doctor won't be far away." As much as Pan loved Trunks and as scared as she was at this moment, he was not doing anything to allay her fears. She decided she would be much better off if he wasn't in the delivery room at the moment.

"Okay then." Trunks pressed a kiss to her sweating forehead. "I'll go get a coffee with Gohan then, but I'll be back real soon."

The two men left the room, much to the relief of Pan, Videl and the nurse. Pan was about to apologize to the nurse when the nurse stopped her. "Don't worry about it, honey. This thing happens in here all the time. They mean well enough but there isn't a great deal they can do and they feel so helpless. Your husband isn't the first and most certainly won't be the last either."

Pan sighed in relief.

#

It had been three hours since they had arrived at the hospital. Trunks had calmed down and sat in the small waiting room with Gohan. With the pain Pan had been in earlier he was sure the baby had been about to pop out there and then and so he was surprised that they were still waiting. He went back inside from time to time and sat with Pan until she either had enough of him there or he couldn't stand the wait any longer.

Videl stayed with her daughter all the time, soothing and encouraging her, wiping her sweating brow and squeezing her hand. She knew what it was like and therefore understood what it was that Pan needed; and while she needed her husband with her, she didn't need his overprotectiveness. Videl leaned forth and whispered more words as Pan was wracked by yet another contraction.

Pan felt as if she was locked inside a blender with no way out, her insides being churned and shredded. The contractions were much stronger now, they lasted longer as well and Pan wasn't sure how much more she could take. Her pain filled eyes opened and she saw her mother's concerned ones hovering above. "Remind me to get him castrated," she muttered then another contraction hit and words were lost once more.

Videl chuckled. At least Pan still had her sense of humor.

The nurse checked her again and in a pleased voice announced that it shouldn't be too much longer.

Pan rolled her eyes. She had been hearing that for the past hour and her faith in those words was fast disappearing. She grimaced again and let go a moan. Suddenly she felt the contractions change. "Something's happening." she said softly.

Videl looked sharply at her. "What, honey?"

"The contractions... they're changing."

Videl notified the nurse who immediately checked. "Oh my lord." the nurse said softly. "I'll get the doctor. This baby's head is crowning."

"Huh?" Pan asked.

"It means that the baby is ready to be born, its head is right in position to come out." Videl said as she smiled. "It won't be much longer and you will hold your child, Pan."

The doctor returned just as Pan was seized with another strong contraction, Trunks followed him in and stood at Pan's side while the doctor made his assessment. The three of them looked up as he spoke.

"Pan, you will start to feel like pushing in a moment, when you do just remember your breathing and push, okay."

Pan nodded. "Okay."

Trunks gazed at his wife's form, never had she looked more beautiful to him and he felt his heart constrict.

"I... I need to push," Pan said as the wave hit again.

"Good. Okay, Pan, push."

Pan did as she was told, gritted her teeth and pushed. Over the next fifteen minutes she continued to alternate between pushes, groans, pants and moans as she worked with the doctor and her body to deliver her child. The doctor was busy working away easing the shoulders of the baby through the tight canal. "That's it, Pan," he encouraged. "Nearly there now."

Trunks squeezed her hand. "You're doing great honey, not long to go now."

Pan gave him a glare. "Trunks Briefs I swear if you ever come near me with that thing again and cause me to go through all this pain I will personally castrate you without anesthetic," she growled.

Trunks looked shocked and then grinned sheepishly at the doctor and Videl who were both trying to hide amused smiles. "She doesn't mean it... I hope she doesn't mean it. You don't, do you, honey?"

"Try me!"

Trunks flinched back. It might be a good idea to give Pan a few days to calm down, he thought but then he was once again focussed on the events unfolding before him as Pan again began to push.

The tiny child suddenly shot forwards as its shoulders were freed, allowing the rest of its body to pass through the canal with little trouble. The doctor was anticipating this and so was ready to catch the little person as it made its entry into the wide world. Gathering the tiny bundle to him he quickly spread the legs and grinned. He turned to the parents as the child gave its first cries and gently placed the pink bundle on Pan's stomach. "Congratulations, you have a son."

Pan let go of the tears she had felt welling as soon as she had heard the tiny cries. Her hand drifted down to touch the wrinkled skin of her son... "My son," she whispered as she caressed the newborn, her eyes never straying.

A son... I have a son. Trunks thought to himself. His eyes teared as he gazed at the small form on Pan's stomach.

Videl couldn't stop her own tears of joy as she watched her daughter caress her grandson. The miracle of birth overwhelming her.

The doctor quickly finished off, cutting the cord and then cleaning Pan up while she was preoccupied with her baby, checking he had correct numbers of fingers and toes. The nurse removed him for a moment to clean him off and weigh him before wrapping him in a soft blue blanket and returning him to Pan who cradled him lovingly in her arms.

Videl leaned forwards and placed a kiss to her daughter's head. "Congratulations, sweetheart."

Pan looked up at her mother and smiled. "Thanks, mom. Would you go and get dad please?"

Videl nodded and left to fetch Gohan to see his new grandson.

The four of them stayed together for a while in the delivery room, Gohan was overwhelmed by the sight of the baby, it brought back memories of when Pan had been born. Trunks was merely stunned for want of a better word. Videl and Gohan left when the nurse came in to take Pan up to a private room in the maternity section of the hospital. Gohan promised to take care of the phone calls for Trunks and let everyone know about the baby's arrival. With one last hug to Pan her parents left and the nurse took them up to Pan's room.

#

Pan awoke from her light doze, her mind was fuzzy for a moment and then it cleared as the reality struck home. She had given birth, to a healthy son. She turned her head to look into the crib at the side of her bed and panicked for a moment when she saw it empty. She moved slightly and stared around the room, her eyes fell on Trunks and her heart melted.

The baby had started to whimper and not wanting to wake Pan from her sleep Trunks had gone to the crib and gently picked his son up. He cradled him in his arms as he sat in the chair and rocked him softly. He took the moment of solitude to study his son. A fine dusting of lavender hair crowned his head, sleepy eyes blinked open for a moment to study the face of the man that held him before shutting once more. The tiny mouth opened in a yawn and the little nose scrunched up before relaxing and with a soft sigh the child slipped into sleep once more, lulled by the strong heartbeat he could hear through the warm chest he was cuddled against.

Trunks was overwhelmed by the protective feelings that surged through his body. This was his son, his child, his heir. He vowed then to take care of his son and his wife, to protect them from anything that life tried to throw in their way. The love that flowed warmly through him cemented his feelings further and he knew his life was complete, that he had done the right thing when asking Pan to marry him. He knew she loved him with all her heart, the proof of that love was cradled in his arms.

Pan continued to watch silently as her husband cradled their son and smiled warmly. Trunks looked up when he felt the weight of her eyes on him. He smiled and stood, walking carefully over to the bed he sat on the edge and shifted the child so as he could wrap one arm around Pan. He reached for her lips and kissed her deeply.

"Thank you."

Pan smiled, her eyes shining. "He's beautiful."

"Yes, he is. I am the luckiest man in the universe, Pan. I want you to know that I love you with all my heart and soul."

Pan thought back over the past months, from her infatuation with Trunks to the party that had started it all. The 'rape' and ensuing heartache. She had come a long way since then. She had grown and matured mentally and was a much stronger person for it. She could now look forward to the future, a future that stretched before her like the blank pages of a book waiting for her to write upon it what she would. She felt safe, secure and content. But most of all she felt love.

With a contented smile on her lips she cuddled closer to her husband and her son, happy in the knowledge that they were together and a long happy future lay ahead.

~ Fin ~

AN: I'd like to say a quick thank you to all those people out there that have reviewd/commented/e mailed me in regards to this fic. Your comments, thoughts and support are valued and appreciated, I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did writing it. Arigato. ^_^