Disclaimer: I do not own The Secret Circle. (But how I wish I did)
A/N¹: Prequel for 'First Night Apart'. So you can read this one first, if you prefer. =)
A/N²: I think some of you might need to keep the tissue box close. I cried while writing this, so it's only fair for you to cry while readying as well, HA! =P
A/N³: OH, and just so you know, in case you haven't read the other fic, I killed someone from the circle. And no, it was not in despite. It was just a bold move only to have this person's name on someone else, as a sort of tribute. I just wanna let you all aware about this. Now I will shut up. LOL Just read it, plz. I'm sure you'll like it! ^^
You've never felt this anxious in your entire life. Not at your first day at college, nor at your first day at work. Not even when you and the love of your life came out to your friends and families or when you two were about to get married. Much less when you and your circle of witch friends were facing demons and witch hunters, have you ever freaked out like you are right now.
You were pacing back and forth the long white corridor, your heart beating hard against your ribcage, your sweaty hands clenched onto your own arms, with the red polished fingernails digging the skin. You're freaked out and all alone there, since your friends and family were late. No one was expecting it to happen so soon anyway.
It was a couple of weeks earlier, but they said that that could happen sometimes and it didn't mean that something was wrong. To your surprise, your wife seemed to be calmer than you were about that at first. But as soon as her pain got more and more intense, you could see the fright look in her eyes as the time had come and the nurse had to ask you to leave so they could prepare her.
You kissed her gently on the lips and smiled down at her. "Everything will be okay. I'll be back here with you in a while", you voiced in a sweet and calm tone, trying to reassure her of that. But truth be told, you said those words more to calm and encourage yourself rather than her.
You two have never lived through such an event before, and that was terrifying to say the least. In a matter of few moments, everything about your lives will change, forever. It won't be just the two of you anymore. No. Soon you will be three.
So there you were just outside her delivery room, eagerly waiting to get back to her side, as her doctor and a couple of more nurses rushed in. You were getting more desperate to be left there at the corridor all by yourself, when you spot three familiar faces coming at your way.
As the blonde petit Cassie Blake finally came closer to you —with Adam Conant in tow, and Jake Armstrong following her right at her heels — she reached out to you for a hug, and was the first one to speak. "Faye! Sorry we didn't get to come any faster. Are we too late?"
Someone is missing, you first thought as you gaze to your three friends. You just replied Cassie by shaking your head 'no', not being able to find your own voice since there's a lump at your throat that kept you from speaking at all. And just like it had happened over and over for the last eight months and a couple of weeks, you realized that there'll always be someone missing in your circle from now on. The knot in your throat grew tighter as you felt your eyes stinking with hot tears with that realization.
She was your best friend and was always by your side on the good and the bad times. She was there when you first discovered that you were a witch, and when you first admitted to yourself that you were in love with Diana Meade. She was there when you came out to your mom, friends, and the rest of the town. She helped you choosing the engagement ring and how to propose to Diana. She threw your bachelorette party and was at your wedding as your maid of honor. She was there with you every time you and your circle had to deal with evil forces, dark magic, witch hunters. And at one of the last times that your lives were in danger, she sacrificed herself to save you and your wife.
You still at this very day can't decide whether you're mad at her for giving her life up to spare yours, or you're thankful, because if she didn't had died in your place, neither of you and your wife wouldn't be alive to live through on possibly the happiest day of your lives.
"I know you wanted her to be here…" Cassie's gentle voice got you back into reality while she reached for your hand and caressed the back of your hand with her thumb. She weren't always the best of your friends, but she deeply cared about you, despite the years of bickering between the two of you, but with the years, she had learned to deal with you and be your friend somehow. And at that very moment, she could read right through your sad eyes.
"I'm sure she and Nick are joyfully watching over now..." Adam added for his fiancé, fluttering his ridiculous and oversized eyelashes your way and giving you his best sincere smile. You wished you were in your normal self to tease him, but you were too overwhelmed to think of a snarky comment right now.
Your friends were only trying to help you, but they're making even hard to hold back the tears from falling. But before the moods got any sadder, who knew it would be Jake the one to lighten up the room.
He reached for the inside pocket of his black leather jacket, took a cigar from it, and handed it to you. "Here. Congrats." He simply said.
He was a cheeseball even at a time like this. But the joke somehow made you relax for a minute as you let a short laugh escape your throat. "Did you steal this from your grandpa?"
"I'm sure he wouldn't mind it", he answered with a shrug.
"Of course not... Well, I'm not a smoker, and it isn't even born yet…", Cassie and Adam chuckled and you added "It was a thoughtful gesture, though. You got me impressed, Armstrong. Thanks."
"No problem", he replied with his characteristic smirk across his face.
"Faye, honey!", you heard your mother's voice from behind you, as she approached with Diana's father at her side. They both hugged you tight, their happy and proud faces of soon-to-be-grandparents could probably be seen from space.
"Where is she?", Mr. Meade asked you.
"Right here", you answered pointing to the door by your left. "I'm waiting to get inside."
And as if right on cue, the nurse opened the door and stepped outside the room, gazing at you and the people gather at the corridor. "Are you all the rest of her family?", she asked smiling.
"Yes", everyone else replied in unison.
"You can come in now", the nurse said to you, and you suddenly felt as if your feet were stuck at the ground. "She's willingly calling you", the nurse added, and that was all it took to make you find the strength to rush inside. Your wife needed you to be strong, and that was exactly what you'll do for her.
You were just about to cross the door when you remembered the cigar you're still holding. "Oh, Charles, here", you stretched your shaky hand to your father-in-law, giving him Jake's cigar, "I'm sure you'll make a better use of it than I would."
"Thank you", he said to both you and Jake, his silly proud smile permanent stamped on his face.
You smiled back, nervously looking at everyone else with their beaming faces, all just as excited as you were with what was about to happen.
"Make sure she knows we're all here!", Cassie half shouted with a large smile across her face before you disappear behind the door.
As soon as you walked inside the room, your eyes locked with your wife's, and her frightened features softened immediately. She had told you more than once that you were all her strength. There was no way she could do this without you by her side.
You sighed in relief as you stepped closer to her, and kissed her sweaty forehead. "You're here…!", she breathed out between her controlled pant, in a heavily emotional tone, with her special dimpled smile flashing your way.
Your heart grew two sizes with that smile, and you couldn't help but kiss those perfect lips. "We all are", you replied letting her know that everyone was there for them.
With everything all ready, it was time. Your heart was beating louder than ever, and you swore you could hear your wife's heart beating just as loud as yours. You settled one hand on her back as she held your other hand in hers. When she was finally told to start pushing, you helped her urge forward.
Pain was written all over her flawless face. You held her hand through the waves of painful contractions that never quite seem to end, and whispered words of encouragement while she tried to control her labored breathing, her whimpers and grunts were ripping your soul apart while she pushed each time harder. You hate to see her in pain, and right now you hated yourself more than ever for being a total coward and let her do this in your place.
You could feel Diana getting weaker and weaker after every push she gave, however nothing happened, and that made you feel like a complete failure. As you desperately wished you could do something to help her somehow, it hit you… There was one thing that you could do, that would pass unnoticed by everyone else in the room, except Diana.
Your circle was broken now, and all of you could do solo magic again, but since that tragic night that took the life of your best friend, you've swore to yourself to never use magic in vain again, you'd only use it when it was really necessary. And in that moment, you couldn't think of any better way to help you wife than with a little push of magic.
As you focused on your energy, you could feel it racing through you, going into Diana's body through your joined hands, searching for her own energy to connect. She turned her head to the left, and looked up at you at the feeling of your energy inside her, her puzzled eyes wondering what's going on. In that moment, you swore you could hear her voice inside your head asking 'What are you doing?'.You focused your eyes on those chestnut orbs that you adored, giving her a reassured gaze. 'Just focus on our energies combined', you replied her in the back of your head, not sure if she would hear that at all, but the look in her eyes changed instantly proving to you that she actually did. You could feel the tangling sensation of magic being made, and as the doctor was encouraging your wife to push a couple of times harder, you could feel her gathering hers and yours strength to do so.
She breathed deeply and urged forward as the doctor asked, a vein in her forehead popping up at the force she was making, her deafening scream tearing your heart in two. Suddenly she was done pushing, collapsing back down in the bed completely exhausted. And while you stroked her hair off her damp face, you could hear two cries in the room, and it felt like time had slowed down.
You fixed your gaze back at your wife, she looked so tired and beaten, although nothing could take her flawless beauty away. Her sobbing now carried a relief and joyful tone, and you leaned down, slightly cupped her face in your hands and pulled it towards yours, kissing one of the tears on her cheek, not being able to speak as you were completely dazed by the moment as well.
The kiss lingered for a few seconds before you pulled back at hearing the doctor's voice saying "Congratulations, mommies". And then you looked at the source of the other cry, and for once in your life, you found yourself truly speechless. On that moment when you first laid eyes upon your child, you realized that every worry and regret were now nothing, and every tough decision and sacrifice were all very worthy. "She is a healthy baby girl" the doctor added, holding the tiny human being in both hands high enough so you and your wife could see the beautiful little human being she had just gave birth to.
She was so small, but she had strong lungs and a mighty cry. The sound echoed through you as you both gazed upon your new born baby daughter. "You did it, honey", you whispered in an over emotional voice with teary eyes to your wife who sobbed nonstop, and you kissed tenderly her quivery lips afterwards in an attempt of soothing her.
As Diana kept crying too overwhelmed to have another kind of reaction, a nurse beside the doctor held a scissor in your way. You were in full awe, but you took the hint, grabbed the umbilical scissor and cut the cord. Diana cried even harder after the two sharped blades cut through the soft flesh, and with that simple act, you two have officially welcomed you baby girl into the world.
You were always the kind of person who hides your true feelings begin sarcasm, never allowing people you don't know to see your true emotions. But right in that moment you didn't care about that crap of yours. You let all your tears gathered since you were parted from Diana stream down your cheeks like waterfalls as you watch that tiny human being — fruit of you and your wife's love — cry as the nurse brought her wrapped in a pinkish baby blanket. "Here she is", she said while nestling her in your wife's arm, then stepping away so you can approach the two women of your life.
She was the most beautiful thing that both of you have ever seen. So fragile, and yet strong with little lungs screaming out loud. But the moment she was embraced by her mother, your baby girl stopped her crying, opening her tiny eyes for the first time to stare up at you both, and between baby gurgles, her little fists reached out towards you.
Grabbing her little fist with one hand, you threw your other arm over Diana's neck, slightly squeezing her shoulder as she was mesmerized looking down at your daughter, sobbing uncontrollably now that she could finally hold her baby in her arm. "Hi", she whispered weakly, her fingertips ever so lightly stroking your baby's chubby cheek as she leaned down and lightly kissed her daughter's forehead. Your heart swelled up inside your chest as you gazed at that most beautiful scene your eyes have ever seen.
"Do you two have a name for her?", asked the doctor taking you out of your newborn baby trance.
You opened your mouth to reply that you both were between two names when Diana spoke for you; a name that couldn't possibly mean more to you, tenderly leaving her trembling lips… "Melissa."
You froze for an instance, and then you were stroked by an overflow of feelings, the tears that once were falling down your face, now poured like a torrent. "Diana- " you choked as you tried to speak, but words couldn't find their way out your mouth between the sharp sobs.
"I own so much to Melissa…" your wife softly started saying between her own sobs, lightly stroking the baby's angelical little face with her thumb "If she hadn't convinced you that you had feelings for me… if she hadn't helped and supported us all along, we would've never been together, and this moment would've never happen either. This is my way of thank her for saving your life and for helping us get this far-"
In that moment, it felt like you could finally breathe again, like you hadn't been living much for these pass months. 'When a baby is born, life is reborn', as you once heard someone say. That had never made much sense to you before, but now you knew that that was one of the world's must pure truth. You'd lost one of the most important people in your life, but you got a brand new one now. Your best friend Melissa will never be replaced in your heart, but you will remember her fondly as you gaze upon you daughter from now on.
You barely let your wife finish her sentence as you leaned down to press your lips fondly against hers. The tender kiss was your silent way of saying 'thank you', and after you pulled back, you looked down at the new object of both of yours affection, her tiny little fists opening and closing in the air.
You reached your hand to softly caress the downy wisps of light brown hair in her head, and leaned down to give her crest a kiss. "Hey, baby Mel" you murmured, trying the words out of your mouth, and as if she had listened to you, your baby daughter opened her beautiful greenish eyes to gaze up at you.
Ever since you figured that you loved Diana Meade, you thought that you would never meet someone as sweet and pure as her, much less fall in love with this person. But as soon as you gaze back into those eyes, you were stroked by the realization that you couldn't have been more wrong your entire life.
Later that night, your wife was deep in her sleep while you were sitting in an armchair by her side. Even though it had been an exhausting day for both of you, you couldn't bring yourself to sleep at all. You felt tired, but to sleep it required you to close your eyes, and you couldn't bring yourself to do so, not when you had the most precious baby resting inside that private room.
Although the nurse came to check on your baby girl hourly, you kept yourself wide awake all night long to make sure she was watched every second. And at every soft whine of her, you would rush to her crib to make sure everything was all right. Your overprotection stunned you at first. Your wife was right when she kept saying that you would surprise yourself in that matter. And you really thought Diana was going to be the overzealous one… you faintly laughed at your own silliness. You would protect that little child like a wolf protects her cub.
When little Melissa began to softly whimper at one moment, indicating she was going to start crying, you promptly rushed to the small and scooped into your arms. Carefully nestling her in your arms, you started gently rocking her from side to side, making her shush within seconds. You grinned to yourself, proud of already having the power to calm your child down and sat back at the chair with your baby still in your arms, her little self staring up at you. You would do anything in your power to make sure Melissa has the best life, you thought.
As you looked down at your daughter, the realization dawns on you, leaving you slightly terrified at first. You knew that when Melissa got older she would get anything she wanted out of you. You could even picture her fluttering her long eyelashes your way, and you wouldn't even wait longer than a minute to make her happy. Hopefully Diana would be the tough and responsible parent, you thought, bringing yourself to laugh at how pathetic you will be around your daughter.
As you kept looking down at your baby girl, you start to really take her in. she was so little and warm, so soft and pink. You and your wife both had dreamt about her for so long, wondering how she would look like, and even after trying really hard to picture the most beautiful baby girl in the world, she was beyond any expectations, and it still amazes you that she was in fact real.
You stroke her brown wisps of hair and kiss the tiny hands, your hands falling to rest above her little heart, feeling her strong heartbeats fluttering and her breathing making her chest softly rise and fell. Feeling slumber claw its ways back at her, you slightly laughed after seeing that little perfect creature's pinkish lips part in a cute little yawn.
Your wife had said before she dozed off, that baby Mel was the spitting image of you, and you kind of saw some similarities then, but now looking more deeply into her soft features, you had to disagree with her. Melissa could have your greenish eyes, cheekbones and perky pink lips like yours, but her chestnut wisps of hair, her little cute nose, her dimpled cheeks, her eyes slightly slanted on the inside corners and long eyelashes, were totally Diana's.
"Your mommy over there said you looked like me, but I can only see her in you…", you found yourself softly saying to your baby girl and funnily enough, she gave a little gurgle in response that made you chuckle.
You knew that she was way too young to understand a word you were saying, but you couldn't stop all those feelings inside of you to come out of your mouth in form of words... "I thought I was the luckiest person in the world to have a woman like your mommy in my life… Now I know that there was always something missing… Now I have not only the most amazing wife, but the most precious baby girl as well", you added gazing down at Melissa, she yawned once again, her big eyes lightly shutting, and her tiny little fingers clutching your index. "I think God must really love me, huh?", you whispered beaming down at your little chubby angel. "I promise I'll make you the luckiest baby in the world. Although, I think that you already kind of are… What baby can brag about saying that it's lucky enough to have not one, but two totally hot and badass witch mommies, huh?!"
As you kept quietly rambling with your half sleeping baby, you didn't notice the soft rustling in the sheets on the bed beside you, and you slightly startled at hearing a raspy voice that you used to love hearing every morning. "Why are you still up?", your wife softly spoken sitting up in her bed while rubbing her sleepy eyes.
You smiled upon seeing you beloved awake, and even with her worn-out look and disheveled hair, she still looked like the most beautiful woman you have ever seen. "I can't sleep, sorry if I woke you", you apologized, although you were glad she had finally woken from her rest. You were really starting to miss those chestnut eyes that you adored.
"You didn't", she replied softly smiling at you, her endearing dimples making an appearance. "I had so many dreams about this scene, but I feel like I'm gonna cry now seeing it coming true", she added with a fading voice, referring at you holding your baby in the arms, her smile growing two sizes and her eyes shined with the hint of fresh tears.
Hormones… you thought and chuckled. Before Diana started crying again — like it happened six times when your friends and family went visit her and the newborn Melissa hours ago, you decided to change the subject. "So… How much did you hear?", you inquired quirking one eyebrow up, suspecting that Diana had heard more than she should have.
"Hmm," your wife considers her answer for a moment, and shoots you an apologetic look while replying "Pretty much all of it".
You sighed and faintly blushed, suddenly feeling embarrassed for being caught on such a vulnerable moment like that one before. "You weren't supposed to hear any of that, you do know that, right?", you stated, dropping your gaze down at your hands while you gently toyed with your daughter's tiny fingers.
"I do… Now get in here, I miss my two precious angels", Diana said as she made room for you to sit beside her in the bed. You didn't have to think twice before moving and sitting down beside your wife.
Silence fell upon the room as you two reveled in the presence of one another as her head resting at your shoulder and you kissed the top of it. After a few moments of quietly admiring your baby girl, Diana broke the silence. "You're wrong, by the way. It's actually the other way around", she vaguely uttered as she caressed her baby girl's chubby cheeks.
"What do you mean?", you frowned and mumbled with lips still pressed against Diana's hair.
"I mean that I'm the one who's lucky to have you two", Diana answered and you felt her slightly shifting to look up at you, so you pulled your face away so you both can lock gazes. "You both are the most amazing gifts that God could ever give me", she stated with teary eyes.
"We are both very lucky then", you said grinning and couldn't help but lean in to kiss her tenderly as she mimicked your smile.
You both pulled back after a short moment, the feeling of her sweet and soft lips on yours lingering as your foreheads rested on one another, and as you gazed into those beautiful brown eyes of your wife you recalled something …"Speaking of gifts…" you said while moving slightly to get something from the bedside table. "The in-law gave me this", you added giving Diana a white square jewelry box.
You watched as your wife's gentle fingers anxiously opened the box only to find a fine golden necklace with a delicate diamond inside a round flower pendant, and you couldn't help but chuckle as her eyes widen with the surprise. "Oh my God, Faye, it's beautiful…!" she said picking the necklace out of the box to look more closely.
"It was your father's gift to your mom the day you were born. I said he should give it to you, but he insisted on me, so…" you shrugged, but thanked Charles in the back of your mind for giving you another chance of making Diana smile broadly like that.
"Can you…?", your wife said motioning for you to lace it around her neck.
"Sure. Here, hold her", you replied, taking the necklace in your hand, and after your wife put the nursing pillow on her lap, you gently nestled the half sleepy Melissa in her arms. You brushed Diana's brown messy locks to the side, and gracefully fastened the necklace around her slender neck, and you couldn't help but fondly kissing the exposed flesh. "There. Perfect", you said pulling back to take in the true beauty before your eyes.
"Thank you", Diana whispered as she looked down to see how the necklace looked on her.
"It's not like it's my gift, Di. It was really your dad who-", you were trying to say but was cut by a rambling Diana.
"No, I'm not thanking you for the necklace. Well, I am, but it's not just for this…", she vaguely stated, looking down once again at her necklace.
You frowned wondering what she was talking about and softly asked "For what then?".
"For everything", she quietly replied looking up at you, her chocolate orbs brimming with upcoming tears. "For daring me to take my shirt off on that silly truth or dare game, for kissing me after that first witch hunter attack, for fighting to get me to love you back during that whole time. Thank you for never giving up on us…", Diana paused her speech as she sobbed, brushing few tears from her face, and continued, "Thank you for loving me and being my strength through all these years… Thank you for giving me God's greatest gift a woman could ever ask for… I love you… More than you can even imagine".
You heard her whole speech feeling you own eyes burn with tears. You thought that you had cried enough, and since Diana was still crying for the both of you that day, you held back your tears by sniffing them away, and helped your wife get rid of hers by brushing them off her cheeks with your thumbs. And as you looked deeply in her eyes and her every word echoed in your head, that knowledge made your already-full-and-about-to-burst heart swell further still.
You leaned in to kiss her one more time, this time more passionate, pulling back slightly to whisper "I love you more than that" against her lips before settling back to your previous position, letting your wife nuzzle your neck and plant a soft kiss on your collarbone. Before silence took place again, your daughter began to softly whimper in Diana's arms. "Time for the breastfeeding, don't you think?", you smirked gently caressing baby Mel's head.
With that, Diana soft giggled saying "You are really going to use this as an excuse to have me flashing my boobs to you all the time, aren't you?"
"I'm just concerned about our daughter's health, that's all", you sincerely replied, but couldn't brush the smirk off your face while doing so.
"Mhm", Diana teased giving you a suspicious look back, but opened the front of her blouse guiding your daughter's frowny face to her breast afterwards, and as soon as she felt your wife's nipple against her tiny lips, she gladly took it in, shushing in no time.
You enjoyed looking at that scene more than you thought you would and your smirk grew two sizes with that. You felt kind of turned on, but then you sighed when realization hit you... You are now gonna have to share that job with someone else, and then you humphed and frowned over your own silliness. It was the third time that day which you thought about those things, probably you won't get used to this at all...
"You're staring", your wife teased making you snap your eyes up to her face.
You blushed even though you have already seen, touched and kissed those same breasts countless times before, but perhaps you were embarrassed of your own thoughts on that moment. "Can you blame me, though? Just look at them, they are ginormous!", you quietly shouted trying to make your point valid.
"That is not a word", she giggled shaking her head over your silliness.
"Oh believe me, honey, it is, and your boobs look deliciously ginormous to me", you teased back, reaching your hand to her free boob, only to have said hand softly batted away by giggling Diana.
"Shut up", your wife faintly mumbled with a chuckle, exhaustion taking over her once again.
You softly laughed and you wrapped an arm over your wife shoulder, scooping her even closer on the surprisily comfortable hospital bed as the room fell in silence once more. While Diana breastfed Baby Mel — both their eyes closing since they were still very tired from that day — your wife rested her head under your chin as she fell asleep once again, and you lightly kissed her hair breathing in the hint of her sweet shampoo and something else all her. Suddenly, as if her smell lulled you in, you closed finally closed for the first time in almost twenty four hours.
And while sleep was lastly coming to you at this first night together as a family, you couldn't help but thank the skies above for their blessings and save a silent pray for them to keep always blessing the reason you have been breathing for all these years, and the reason your heart now beats for two.