Story Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight or make a profit from this work. Fanfiction is free to both you and me, but please don't steal my words anyway, okay?

Prologue

*(*

The night was more turbulent than most with howling winds and ominous crashes of thunder, lightning flashing hotly in the dark sky. Rain pelted the sides of the old building, windows drenched in waterfalls of liquid as the storm raged outside.

In the small Community Hospital of Forks, little attention was paid to the force of nature demanding attention outside as this particular type of weather, while not common, was still more common to the city's residents than most. Instead, the hospital staff hustled and rushed about from room to room in a flurry of unforeseen activity.

The normally sleepy town had very few incidents which led people to need the services of the nurses and physicians at the hospital, but tonight was in total opposition to the normal humdrum life usually enjoyed by the staff.

It was as if everyone decided to injure themselves or come down with a severe illness and seek medical attention. And it was enough to make the poor doctors' heads spin with the flurry of activity.

Nurses and doctors were stretched thin in every direction as more and more people trickled into the emergency doors in need of immediate attention. Bella Swan, nine months pregnant and already in labor, was one of those people.

Dr. Gerandy, her doctor for as long as she had been alive, met her at the ER doors as she arrived in the red, beat-up Volkswagen Rabbit, and was guided out of the bucket seats by her over-eager boyfriend, Jake Black.

"She's already having contractions, Doc!" Jake shouted at the older man, half-excited and half-scared to death. He shifted Bella into the waiting wheelchair, tucking her feet up onto the rests and patting her head in an attempt to comfort her.

"I'm in labor, not a dog. Don't pet me," Bella barked, belying her claim.

Bella wasn't normally an angry person, but the intervals of pinching, piercing, squeezing, clenching pain that attacked her abdomen every five minutes was pushing her limits for niceties and decorum. Bella was doing her best to keep it all to herself as well, not wanting to trouble anyone else with her pain.

Even if Jake was entirely responsible for her being in this mess to begin with, she silently fumed.

"Sorry, Bells," Jake apologized, brushing a kiss across Bella's cheek before handing her over to the doctor as he went to park his car.

"Well, my dear, you've picked a fine night to have this baby," Dr. Gerandy joked, as he pushed Bella into the hospital and towards the labor and delivery wing.

As Bella settled into her room, she changed into a gown before having her legs propped up in the stirrups to determine how far along in active labor she was, while another frazzled man with a much more vocal woman was careening into the hospital's parking lot.

"Jesus, Edward, can you slow the fuck down?!" Tanya cried, as she clutched at her large belly, feeling the seat belt push against her sharply, increasing the pain. "I don't want to die before I get this thing out of me!" she yelled, as the shiny black sports car came to a stop in front of the ER doors.

"Edward, I don't want to have this baby in the middle of bum-fuck nowhere," Tanya whined, as she looked towards the hospital, old and frightening as the lightning flashed around it.

"I'm sorry, Tan, but I don't think you're going to make it back to Seattle," Edward explained, as he unsnapped his own seat belt before leaping from the car and running to help his very pregnant fiancée out of her own. Edward ignored her protests of annoyance and displeasure of where they had stopped as he carefully walked with her through the emergency entrance to a busy waiting room, and attempted to get someone's attention.

"Excuse me," Edward tried to flag down a nurse, failing for the fifth time to be heard. Tanya's frustration with Edward's politeness increased with each contraction she had until she finally couldn't handle it anymore.

"Someone needs to find me a fucking doctor or I'm about to pop this kid out right here on the floor!" Tanya shouted, catching the attention of a petite nurse with red hair who was hurrying down the packed halls. One look at the screaming woman and the nurse changed her course, figuring Walter Brown could wait a few more minutes for his stitches since the bleeding had stopped.

"Are you in labor ma'am?" the nurse asked, as she approached the couple.

"What does it fucking look like?" Tanya asked in exasperation, her hand clutching her stomach tightly.

The woman was nonplussed, her years as a nurse building up a thick skin to the over-dramatics patients often displayed. "All right, who is your doctor? Do you know if he's here tonight?"

"I doubt it since he lives in Seattle with the rest of civilization!" Tanya exclaimed.

"I'm sorry, we aren't from this area," Edward jumped into the conversation. "We were coming back from visiting my fiancée's family when she started complaining of stomach cramps. Once I realized what they were, I pulled off the interstate at the first town with a hospital."

The nurse smiled at the helpful man, glad at least someone was being rational in the moment. "It's not a problem Mister.…"

"Edward. Edward Cullen, and this is Tanya Richards."

"Nice to meet you Edward, I'm Nurse Morris. You did the right thing by stopping from the looks of it," Nurse Morris smiled at Edward and looked over to Tanya who was rolling her eyes at the exchange.

"Yes, now we're all good friends. Meanwhile, I need pain pills, stat. Can you find someone to help with that?" Tanya demanded.

"I'll be happy to find Dr. Gerandy for you," Nurse Morris said in a falsely sweet voice. "He's the OB on call and he'll be the one to deliver your baby tonight."

"Whatever, I just want the pain to stop."

Nurse Morris found a wheelchair and offered it to Tanya before she directed Edward to the nurses' station to fill out some forms, telling him she would send someone to retrieve him once his fiancée was situated.

*(*

The storm raged on as the two women struggled to bring new life into the world, the cries of one much louder than the other as they gritted against the pain. Dr. Gerandy was forced to go between the two women's rooms frequently as they both seemed to be progressing in their deliveries at an accelerated rate. He was sweating and huffing almost as much as the mothers.

It was only a few short hours later when Dr. Gerandy held up a wriggling mess to a smiling, sweaty, exhausted yet proud Bella and declared her baby a healthy boy.

"It's a boy?" Bella whispered in awe, her eyes fighting to stay open as she rested against damp pillows. "Can I hold him?"

"As soon as we get him cleaned up, dear," Dr. Gerandy told her with a smile as he cut the umbilical cord.

Bella caught a fleeting look as they moved him over to another table. He was reddish pink and a little gooey but seemed to have some dark hair on his little head. Bella smiled softly to herself, completely in love with her son already.

"Jake will be happy," Bella said softly, exhaustion thickly coating her voice. "He should have been here."

Dr. Gerandy laughed, unsurprised that her boyfriend had excused himself early on. He didn't seem the type to handle blood very well. "Yes, well, he'll see what he missed soon enough."

"Wwh-hh- noott-cryinn-" Bella slurred but quickly faded out, her eyes rolling closed into unconsciousness as the machines around the room began to ring and blare their warnings. Dr. Gerandy looked down, and quickly noted Bella was bleeding heavily, an unforeseen complication to her otherwise normal delivery. He jumped into action to fix the problem, handing the little bundle of writhing pink-goo to a nurse to take over.

It didn't take long to stop the bleeding and get everything under control, though Bella didn't rouse from her rest. Dr. Gerandy wasn't worried about it too much, knowing how hard Bella worked to bring her son into the world and he decided to let her be, though he would keep an eye on her throughout the night. He walked over to the waiting area to deliver the good news to Bella's family before catching a break for himself. No sooner had he finished with the Swan clan than Dr. Gerandy was being called into the room of the other pregnant woman in his care, Tanya Richards.

"Oh my God, it hurts! I need more pain meds," Tanya screamed, as Dr. Gerandy checked to see how close she was to being fully dilated.

"Sorry, dear, but it looks like you're ready to push," Dr. Gerandy said with a smile. Not thirty minutes later, a shrill cry could be heard in the room as Edward stood beside Tanya, holding her hand as their own baby was born.

"Congratulations," Dr. Gerandy said to the couple, "You have a son."

"A son?" Edward questioned in awe, completely mesmerized by the sort of slimy, yet somehow still beautiful, baby being cleaned up by the nurses in the room. "I have a son?"

"Looks like it, Dad," Dr. Gerandy beamed at Edward. He could tell already that this man was in love with his child, and would be a wonderful father. "And he's got some lungs on him, too."

The comment couldn't have been truer; the baby was loud, screaming shrilly as soon as he took his first breath with no signs of stopping. Dr. Gerandy chalked that up to his mother, as his limited experience with the parents showed him the trait belonged to her.

"Did you see him, Tanya?" Edward turned from his son to speak with his fiancée. "Do you want to hold him?"

"No. He's gross right now," Tanya said. "I'll wait till they have him cleaned up."

Edward didn't even register the slight against his child from his mother, he was too in awe of the little being he helped to create.

Minutes old and already wrapped around his baby's fingers, Edward mused contentedly to himself as he watched the nurses take his son out of the room.

"Hey, where are they taking him?" Edward asked with trepidation. He was nervous about losing track of his son, so little and vulnerable. Edward wanted to hold him close, and finally get a good look at the baby he'd watched grow in Tanya's womb.

"Don't worry, son, they'll be back soon. The balance for his weight and measurements is acting up so they're taking him down to the nursery to use the one there. You can go see him in few minutes." Dr. Gerandy patted Edward on the shoulder in reassurance.

Tanya moaned lowly from the bed, breaking Edward's thoughts from his son momentarily. "Is everything okay?" he asked with concern.

Dr. Gerandy examined Tanya quickly before answering. "She's fine, just feeling a few after effects from the delivery. I need to finish up a few things with her, so why don't you go see your son?" Dr. Gerandy suggested.

"Is that okay, Tan?" Edward wondered. Tanya sighed heavily but nodded, too tired and in pain to argue over anything with him. "You did beautifully," he whispered to her, pressing a soft kiss to her forehead. "Thank you."

*(*

The nursery was completely empty except for the two precious boys born on the wet, fall night. It was always such a miracle and joy for Nurse Shelly Cope to work with the little bundles and help ease their transition into the light of day.

She had both boys nestled close to her in their individual cribs as she worked on their paperwork, attempting to get everything in order before they had to be returned to their parents. It was an easy enough job, watching the newborns and making sure they were wrapped tightly in their blankets and caps, but it did involve a bit of paperwork for her.

Shelly worked steadily on their information sheets side by side, humming a happy little tune as she went until the lights went out unexpectedly. Thunder crashed loudly, the building seeming to tremble with its force as blackness enveloped the nursery. The abrupt change startled Shelly as well as the babies, making her jump and jumble her paper work as both boys began to wail.

"Shhh, shhh, shhh," Shelly cooed after she gathered her bearings and moved over to the cribs, placing a hand on each little tummy to offer them comfort. "It's alright, my angels. It's just the storm," she whispered. "The lights will be back on in just a minute," she promised.

Shelly was right. Although the power had been lost due to the violent storm, the backup generators kicked on within minutes, and light came flooding back into the room. "See? I told you, nothing to worry about."

The boys didn't seem to care and continued to fuss and cry. Shelly did her best to calm the babies, which seemed to work after a few minutes. Once they were settled again, she turned back to her counter work and exhaled deeply at the sight. Papers and pens scattered all over the floor in a wild pile.

"Oh dear, look at this mess," she tutted. "Everything in such a jumble," Shelly muttered, as she picked up the papers to straighten things up.

Shelly paused after a moment, confused. She couldn't remember which baby weighed what at the moment. She had each sheet set out on the table in accordance with their placement in the room, Baby Boy Swan on the right and Baby Boy Cullen on the left, she thought.

But when she jumped from the power outage, the papers had fallen on the floor and now were a tangled mess.

Shelly examined the papers, looking closely at each to determine which baby belonged to which paper. She thought she remembered Baby Boy Swan weighed in at 6 lbs. and 4 oz. but maybe he was the 7 lb. 3 oz. baby. That information sheet was on the left so… maybe Baby Cullen was in the right crib and Baby Swan on the left…

"Excuse me?" a voice broke into Shelly's concentration and she spun toward the door.

"Yes?"

"I'm Edward Cullen, I just came to check on my son," the handsome man said, as he stepped into the room.

Shelly smiled at Edward and waved him in. "Of course, Mr. Cullen. He is right here," she gestured to the little boy on the right. "Doing fine, now that the lights are back on," she laughed. "He seemed quite nervous for a minute there."

"Yeah, I was on my way here when it happened. It was rather jarring," Edward said distractedly as he peered into the glass crib holding his little boy. A slight frown creased his brow for a moment. "He already looks so different..."

"Well, he is cleaned up and presentable now," Shelly joked. "It's amazing what a good scrub can do for them, isn't it?"

"Mhmm," Edward mumbled, as he examined his son. He already seemed to have more hair, darker than what he thought it was back in the delivery room as it peeked out from beneath his little blue-and-white striped cap. His eyes were closed tight but his lips pursed, almost as if he was going to cry but made no sound. He was such a calm baby, so unlike the shouting wails he came into the world displaying.

Or unlike the little boy next to him, who continued to squirm and fuss, softly crying out every few minutes.

Nurse Cope picked up the fussy boy and cuddled him to her chest before turning back to Edward.

"Another lucky boy born tonight," she explained as she rocked the baby in her arms. Edward gazed at his own son, desperately wanting to pick him up as well.

"Would you like to hold your son?"

"Yes, please."

Shelly moved the Swan baby back into his crib before reaching into the other to retrieve Edward's son. She eased the blanket-swaddled baby gently into his father's arm and stepped back, watching with delight as father and son bonded right before her aged eyes.

"Hi, baby," Edward whispered reverently, his eyes pricking a touch with tears. "I'm your Daddy, little one. And I already love you so much," he whispered, leaning down to kiss the little boy on the cheek. Edward smiled when his son turned into the warmth of his lips, warmth rushing his heart at the small gesture.

While Edward marveled at the wonder of his child, Shelly discreetly slipped the paper work for Baby Swan into the card placard in front of his crib so she wouldn't get confused again.

As Edward stood and rocked his son gently in his arms, another nurse came in to retrieve the Swan baby.

"Nurse Cope, Bella is awake now. She's asking for her little man," the nurse said kindly.

"Of course Jena, I'll bring him right down," Shelly smiled, as the nurse left to go back to her busy patient rotation.

"Well, it looks like this little guy is going to see his momma," Shelly said, catching Edward's attention as she motioned to the Swan baby.

"Do I have to leave?" Edward asked, not wanting to be separated from his son, especially if he was going to be alone. Shelly chuckled at the mildly distressed man. He was so lovely, she thought.

"No, sweetheart. Why don't you take him back to your wife's room and I'll come collect him later," she offered.

Edward nodded and smiled, grateful to have more time with his son. He wasn't ready to let him go yet.

In fact, he didn't think he would ever be able to.


a/n: Hello there!

This is a little something I've had niggling at the back of my mind for quite some time now. I finally put 'pen to paper' and wrote out a few chapters. I have waffled on starting a new story but in the end, decided what the heck, so here we are.

That said, this story is not my priority at the moment. I fully intended to spend most of my limited writing time dedicated to writing AtPM, so that means this story will have no update schedule for the foreseeable future. Chapters will post when/ if they are ready, I just don't know how long between each that will be. This story is being beta'd by the amazing mauigirl60, so many thanks for helping me out doll!

Be advised, review replies will be spotty, though I will attempt to reply to everyone as best I can (which isn't all that great, tbh). I promise I will read and cherish each one you leave, however. :)

Therefore, read at your leisure, as I will be writing at mine. If you want to wait until I can make more frequent updates or this story completes to read, I get it and no hard feelings.

Thanks for checking this out and I hope to hear from you!