30. The birth
Disclaimer: the characters and all recognisable situations belong to Stephenie Meyer or Charlaine Harris - this is a work of fan fiction, except for the legends and histories of the Quileute that, of course, belong to them. I pay my respects to their Gods.
Thanks to BanSidhe [ruadh sidhe] and Feebes86 for betaing and prereading.
Leah insisted that the babies be born in La Push and she couldn't get on a commercial plane that late in the pregnancy. She also didn't want to go there weeks before and live without Alcide. So the only solution was a private plane. It was that, or make a long road trip and drive all the way to La Push. Alcide voted against that one. He'd have to gain permission from a dozen wolf packs to pass through their lands and he wouldn't risk her or the babies if it went wrong. He also couldn't really take the time off work to miss an extra week travelling. He preferred to spend it with his newborns once they actually arrived.
He called in a favour with some influential businessman who had his own plane. She suggested asking the Cullens if they had one, but he refused. Said the pack could owe this guy a favour.
They spent some days together in La Push with Sue and Charlie who were so pleased to have them stay.
She went into labour without any drama and Alcide didn't panic or lose it like a lot of new fathers. The twins knew how to queue. And they did what their Nanna told them to. Sue delivered them and she was so excited, but still so professional. Leah coped very well with the labour. She had a moment in the gap between each birth where she said she was leaving and she almost tried to do so, but Alcide told her he wanted to meet his other child and she was not going anywhere. He had a son and he wanted to know what the next one was.
The second one was a girl.
They were both ecstatic.
She already looked like her mother. She had the same dark skin. Alcide fell madly in love with her on the spot. She was smaller than her brother. He had dark curly hair. Sue commented that it might all fall out later, but right now, he looked just like his father. The same unruly black hair and swarthy skin.
They had to put them in the same cot; they fussed if they were apart. Alcide could not stop touching them and looking at them. He could not get over the fact that they were his. Two little people. Two whole little people. He checked them all over, counting fingers and toes. And sniffing at them.
"Oh, I need to take a photo to send to Jannalynn."
Leah insisted that he guard them. He rolled his eyes when she wasn't looking. As if anything was going to attack them in a shifter community. He assured her that they would be fine and she needed to sleep.
He was studying them intently while Leah was napping, when he heard Embry approach.
"Hey," Embry whispered.
"Come look," Alcide waved him over. They cooed appreciatively over the cradle. The boy woke at his father's voice. His serious dark eyes locked onto them and he yawned.
"Man, that is so cute." Embry reached for him and in a startle reflex the baby's arms jerked out to the sides. He hit his sister in the face. She woke and cried and Embry picked her up instead.
"Shush," he hushed her. "Did your big, mean brother whack you in the face?" he crooned at her. He cradled her into his chest. He rubbed her face with the back of his fingers and she turned towards it as if he was going to feed her. And then she opened her eyes.
His legs collapsed under him. Luckily there was a chair nearby. He staggered to it and sat down. She quieted immediately.
Alcide was cradling the boy. "You've got a gift there, Embry. She calmed right down with you," he commented.
"What?" Leah screeched. "Give me my daughter, Embry Call."
Embry held her away from Leah.
Alcide was confused. "What is happening?"
"Oh, Alcide… I told you to guard them," Leah wailed.
"From Embry?" he was still confused.
"And any other un-imprinted wolf."
"Well you didn't say that," he blustered. He waved at Embry with one hand. "He's all right with her," he rationalised.
Leah sighed. "No, he is not. Look at him, Alcide."
He frowned. Embry didn't look any different to him. "What am I looking for?"
"A kind of a look… like they have been smacked upside the head with a fish."
Embry had the grace to look slightly ashamed. "Sorry guys," he muttered.
"Oh fuck me. NO!" Leah threw her head back on the bed.
Alcide growled. "I didn't know it could happen to babies! I've had her for less than a day and he has imprinted on her? Is that what happened?"
"Yeah. And it's your fault!"
"You didn't say… keep all wolves away from her," he blustered. "And if it was going to happen… it would have happened anyway… in the future… wouldn't it? We can't avoid the place forever." He frowned again. He was confusing himself.
Leah made some harsh noise that sounded like a grudging agreement.
"You wanted to have them here in La Push…" Alcide added. He quite liked Embry and if anyone was good enough for his daughter it might be him. "Wait a second," he said. "He'll be too old for her. You know… when she's grown up and everything."
"No, he won't be," explained Leah. "We have delayed aging. If we keep phasing we don't age."
"You are kidding me? You never told me that!" Alcide grinned suddenly. He leered at her.
"What?" she asked suspiciously; she knew that look.
"You mean you are going to look this hot for the rest of my life?"
She chortled. "Yes, I suppose I am." Typical man; everyone else got nervous about aging and leaving their partner behind and all he could think about was how hot she would still look. She chuckled again.
"All right!" He sounded ecstatic.
"Men…" Leah grizzled. But she looked pleased.
Embry had held the baby upright; tucking her in against his neck. She was hungry so she fastened onto the skin of his neck. He laughed. "Look, she's marking me," he crowed.
"Idiot. Hand her over, she's hungry," Leah told him.
He did so, but he hung around Leah and watched her feed.
"You stare at my tits and I am gonna thump you," Leah growled at him.
"I'm not looking at you," he justified.
"No," Leah agreed. He only had eyes for his girl. It was so obvious.
"Marking?" Alcide asked.
Embry answered him. "Tribal wolves can mark their partner with a bite. Usually around the neck."
Alcide remembered biting Leah on the back of the neck in the hotel room. "Really?" he asked. "She sank her teeth into me during the labour," he added waving his arm at Embry.
"I did? When? I don't remember doing that," Leah looked a little perturbed.
"See." He held his wrist out to her. On the middle of his forearm was a neat set of teeth marks. They had healed but left a scar.
"Wow. Guess that counts."
Alcide was sitting in the chair now, holding the boy. "So what are we going to call them?" he asked.
"You didn't work it out beforehand?" Embry sounded surprised.
Alcide rolled his eyes. "Miss Superstition wouldn't allow it."
"There are a few different names in our family tree; Julia, Eliza and Molly," she said, stroking her head as she fed. Embry was leaning closer and closer. "But I'd like to call her Charlotte after Mum's mother."
"I agree. And she'll love it," he said.
"What… this is my daughter, you know," Alcide blustered.
Embry looked unapologetic. "It's Leah's grandmother's name. Embry and Charlotte," he breathed.
"What was your father's name? Jackson?" Leah asked completely ignoring Embry.
"Yes. You would do that for me?"
"He's your son."
"Charlotte and Jackson Herveaux," Leah tried them out.
Seth barrelled in the door. "Is that their names?"
She glanced at Alcide. "Charlie and Jack," he said. He nodded.
"Yeah," she agreed. "That's their names."
"Cool. Can I have a nurse?" Alcide passed him Jackson carefully. "I love babies," Seth said. "And a girl," he prattled on. "You had better keep her away from the un-imprinted wolves. Gosh knows what Leah will do to anyone who gazes into her eyes and goes all stupid…"
Seth guffawed. "Are you kidding me?"
Alcide looked upset again. "It's her fault… she didn't explain very well what I was supposed to be guarding them from…"
"He let Embry pick her up…," interrupted Leah.
"…And whammo," finished Embry.
"Uh huh," said Seth. He noted that nobody seemed particularly upset about it. He thought Embry was a pretty good guy and he knew Alcide liked him. Out of all the wolves, he would have thought Embry was the best really. He and Leah exchanged a look. She kind of nodded. Seth smiled.
After that, there was an endless stream of visitors to see them all. Embry refused to leave and growled at everyone who held Charlotte; they all just completely ignored him.
Leah assured Alcide that he would get over it eventually. "Quil is much better now than he used to be…really."
Sue pitched a fit and threw all the visitors out early evening.
Leah and Alcide lay on the bed together. They were on their sides with their babies between them.
Alcide cupped her face. "I adore you Leah Clearwater. I am so glad all three of you are healthy and we all got through this." He kissed her. "I love you."
"I love you too. And I am so glad I could give you a son. After everything I thought … I never thought I would have this…" she waved a hand at them all.
"You deserve it. You know I was thinking about something Embry said," Alcide started. "About marking?"
"I bit you… in the hotel room…"
"Fuck! The wall sex."
"Yes. I bit you right across the back of your neck. Do you think I marked you?"
"I had forgotten all about that." She felt on the back of her neck with a hand. "There's no mark…"
"I've never noticed one…" He shrugged.
Leah thought about it for a minute. "Maybe it's more the doing than the actual scar that matters… That actually might explain a lot. How much we missed each other…"
"I thought I was in some kind of mating frenzy."
"I guess it might display as that…wow."
"Lucky I already loved you," he stated.
"In retrospect, yes. I wanted you to be mine from the second I smelt you in that bar."
She grinned at him. "Yeah, me too."
There was silence for a minute as they gazed at each other.
"Sam knew," Leah said quietly.
"He told Embry. He said that watching us meet was like watching a train crash. He thought it was inevitable that we were going to end up together and there was nothing he could do to stop it happening."
"Interesting. So why did he even try?"
"Emily said that they have realised the imprinting just overwrites other emotions. So he still loved me."
Alcide looked pensive. "He failed at keeping us apart though, eh?"
"Sam told Embry that he had a bad feeling about that meeting before you even arrived. That he felt that everything after that was going to change. He thought it was a watershed moment. That everything after that meeting was going to be different somehow, he could just feel it."
They looked at their babies.
"We make beautiful babies Alcide Herveaux."
"Yes, we do."
"So do you think it was the actual biting that made me pregnant, or the attempt to fuck me through the wall?" she asked him mischievously. "Oh wait…" she crowed. "The cream pie…"
He frowned. "Not in front of the children, chere." He kissed her again. "Guess we'll have to try again to find out."
She grinned at him. "Give me a year and we can try again."
He made a noise of disagreement. "Pfft," he said. "You'll be jumping me in a week."
AN: the end of another story. Imprinting rears its ugly head again. As I have said before, I have issues with it; more as time goes on and I put more thought into the actual implications of it. But Embry is a good guy and he gets on well with Alcide. If it had to happen, they'd all be happy with him, so he got the prize.
There is not a lot of detail in the Sookie books about Alcide's pack so I have cobbled together what I could and made up some more.
Thanks for all the reviews and comments. I do love reading them and sometimes they inspire me.
If anyone is a member of jacobblacknpack don't forget to vote in the upcoming Summer 2011 awards… I've written a huge pile of words since September last year and I suppose some of them might get nominated for something…
My next outing will be the extension of the Sam/Bella one shot "he's gone". I am going to make an evil Emily… people say it can't be done… mwahaha… but give me a while to finish it and then I will get posting! See you all then!
FF_2154210_ - 12/09/2011 04:20:00 AM