"Are you sure you'll be okay?"
"For the last time, yes!" CC exclaimed, exasperated. Niles's concern for her was cute, but sometimes it could be suffocating.
"Relax old man, CC isn't due for two more weeks. We'll just be sitting here calmly and quietly working. Don't worry, I'll keep an eye on her." Maxwell said coaxingly.
"Yeah Max is right and besides, I need your help with the twins! Disneyland is a big place, they could get lost!" Fran added.
"Darling, they can't walk yet," Maxwell reminded her.
"Oh I know" Fran quietly said to her husband "but who's gonna watch them while I go on Splash Mountain?"
Meanwhile, Niles took his wife's hands and looked at her closely. Ever since she had entered her third trimester, he hadn't liked to let her out of his sight. CC smiled at him.
"I'm going to be just fine, I promise. We haven't spent more than a few hours apart, and this will be a nice break okay? Just go have fun with Fran and relax."
"If you say so, Love, but I'll be calling to check in." Niles said.
"You ready, Niles?" Fran asked, pushing the double stroller out the door. Niles gave his wife one last meaningful look before kissing her quickly on the lips. He then bent down and put his hand on her stomach and said,
"Be good for mommy, little one. I'll be home tonight"
CC rolled her eyes at his display of affection,
"Get out of here, Butler Boy, go have some fun."
He threw her a lopsided grin, the one he knew she loved, as he went out the door. Maxwell shut the door behind him and turned to look at his very pregnant partner.
"Alright, let's get down to work." She said, already heading towards the office.
A few hours later, CC was sitting at her desk in the large office of the new Sheffield mansion. She had been feeling sharp pains in her back and lower abdomen for a while now, but she had merely attributed them to the uncomfortable desk chair. Meanwhile, Maxwell had been watching his partner shift uncomfortably for the past hour.
"Is everything alright, CC?" he asked, concerned.
"Yes, I'm fine" she answered with a grimace "I'm just going to head to the restroom, I'll be right back".
Maxwell nodded and looked back down at his papers. Ten minutes passed, and when he heard CC enter, he looked up to see her standing in the doorway, white as a sheet.
"I… I think my water just broke," she stammered. It took Maxwell a few moments to process this information before he sprang up and hurried over to her.
"Oh my God, okay are you feeling any sharp pains yet? Anything abnormal?" he asked, trying not to panic.
"I've been feeling some pain for the past couple hours, but nothing intense. I chose to ignore it because I thought, ARRHHHH" CC screamed as an intense pain ripped through her. This was definitely not like anything she had experienced before. She doubled over in pain, clutching her stomach. Maxwell, having been through this several times before, took this as a sign and began to usher her towards the door.
"Alright CC, we're going to get you to the hospital. Don't panic" he tried to reassure her as he helped her outside and into his Porsche waiting in the driveway.
"Don't panic? Don't PANIC? I'm going in to labor two weeks early, I didn't finish going through the contracts that are due, and my husband is off gallivanting with Mickey Mouse, don't you tell me not to panic, Maxwell Sheffield!"
Maxwell held in a groan as he shut the door on the passenger side and walked around to the drivers seat. He had helped two different wives through labor, but he knew that CC was going to be a whole different story.
Niles was sitting on a bench, watching the twins sleep in their carriage as Fran waited in line for ice cream. He felt a buzzing in his pocket and reached for his phone.
"Hello-" he was instantly cut off by a lot of screaming on the other end.
"Niles, it's Max, I'm afraid we have a bit of a situation here"
"A bit of a situation? That's an understatement! Give me the phone"
"CC you're in no condition to talk right now, Niles, are you there?"
"Yes" Niles answered, confused and alarmed by all the noise.
"Well old man, it seems that CC went in to labor early, we're on our way to the hospital now, so don't panic."
"Oh Maxwell, give me the damn phone!"
"No! Focus on your breathing."
"Tell him he better get his sorry ass here before I-"
"CC says she wishes you were here, and hurry back. Meet us at the hospital!"
And then the phone call ended. Niles sat there in shock, unable to process what just happened. Fran came back over holding two ice cream cones.
"Oh Niles, are you okay, you don't look so good! Still feeling sick from Space Mountain?" Fran's voice brought him back to reality. He jumped up and looked at Fran with panic written all over his face.
"CC is in labor!" he shouted. Fran's mouth dropped open and she quickly grabbed the stroller and began to walk at a brisk pace towards the exit.
"Well come on!" she yelled, "We have a baby to meet!" Niles hurried after her, both excited and scared for what was to come.
Maxwell helped CC out of the car, and wrapped one arm around her waist as he guided her into the hospital. The two walked through the door and up to the desk in the emergency room.
"Excuse me," Maxwell exclaimed to the nurse behind the desk, "this woman is in labor!" while gesturing towards CC, who was gripping the desk so hard that her knuckles had turned white.
"Okay, stay calm sir, I'm calling in a wheel chair now and we'll get you set up in a room" said the nurse calmly.
Two other nurses came through the double doors, and helped CC into the chair. Maxwell looked on as she groaned in pain as she sat down, clutching her swollen stomach. They began to wheel her away through the doors as Maxwell followed, but before he entered, one of the nurses put a hand up to stop him.
"I'm sorry sir, but only family is allowed back here. Who are you?"
Maxwell sent a panicked look at CC, whose eyes were closed and whose face was contorted with pain. For once in his life, Maxwell made a quick and hasty decision. Before he could stop himself, he heard his voice reply,
"I'm the father"
CC's eyes shot up to Maxwell and she began to open her mouth but Maxwell discreetly shook his head.
"Alright then, you're clear. Come this way," said the nurse.
"I'll kill that sorry-ass, excuse for a butler!" CC shouted as she leaned forward in pain.
"That was another contraction CC, just a couple more centimeters and you'll be fully dilated!" said a nurse, much too cheerily for CC's taste. Maxwell patted her hand comfortingly.
"There was no way for him to know this was going to happen today. Don't worry CC, he'll be here soon."
"Oh it's not that. I'm going to kill him for doing this to me in the first place!" CC said as she lay back against the pillows. She had never been in so much pain before, and it was beginning to scare her. She looked down at the hand that was holding hers, and she realized just how much she wished it were a different hand.
"Maxwell," she said quietly "why did you tell the nurses that you were the father?"
"Well, I couldn't leave you alone! I saw your face and the pain you were in, and I couldn't bear to think that you would have to go through this alone. I wish Niles was here just as much as you do, but I've been through my fair share of births before, so I'd like to think I make a good second choice" he said soothingly, giving her a quick wink.
CC nodded. If this were happening only a few years ago, he would have been her first choice. In fact, she would have given anything to be in labor with his child. But life is strange like that, how quickly feelings could change. As he squeezed her hand, she realized just how much she longed for another. She wanted Niles, her dustmop, her butler boy, her lover… her husband. An unwanted tear trickled down her cheek. She reached up and wiped it away with her hand before another contraction hit.
"ARRHHHHHH! When Niles gets here, tell him he's a dead man!"
Maxwell hid a smile as he let her squeeze his hand, cutting off his circulation.
When Niles and Fran pulled up to the hospital, Niles quickly hopped out as Fran offered to park the car.
"Good luck, sweetie" she said before driving off. Niles quickly hurried inside and made his way to the maternity ward.
"Excuse me, what room is CC Babcock in?" he asked the nurse at the desk, out of breath.
"May I get your name-" she asked before being cut off.
"My name is Niles, I'm her husband." He told her quickly.
He turned around at the shout of his name and saw Maxwell rushing towards him. When he reached him, he put a hand on the elder's shoulder and led him towards the double doors.
"She's been asking for you, Niles." Maxwell said with a smirk. As they reached the door, Niles could hear his wife swearing like a sailor inside. He turned to Maxwell with a panicked look.
"Don't worry, old man, everything is going smoothly," he said reassuringly, he then lowered his voice "And no matter what she may say, I know she wanted you here and she was worried about you. She loves you very much, you know".
Niles gave his old friend a smile and replied,
"I know, thank you for everything."
As soon as he entered the room, his wife's eyes locked on him.
"Well look who decided to show up. You know, I've been in pain for nearly five hours, trying to give birth to your demon spawn, and what thanks do I get? You're off having a grand old time, while I'm here suffering. Well, I'll tell you something Mr. I–can't-keep-it-in-my-pants, you are never, ever, touching me again, is that clear?" she said, fire in her eyes. Niles had slowly walked towards the bed as she was ranting, and now he was by her side. He lifted a hand to stroke her cheek, and she suddenly grabbed him and pulled him in for a kiss. When they pulled apart, she looked at him with tears in her eyes.
"Niles, I'm tired, and it hurts. And… I thought you weren't going to make it. I was so scared-"
"Shhh, it's alright Love, I'm here now."
"I know. I love you, you sex-craved old servant"
He smiled. He never got tired of hearing her say that. He looked at her lying on the hospital bed, her hair a mess, her makeup running from tears, and sweat covering her forehead, and he never thought she looked more beautiful.
"I love you too, brunette."
The doctor suddenly entered, and after a quick examination, he informed the expectant parents that it was time.
"You can do this, CC. I'm right here." Niles told her as he took her hand and braced himself. CC looked up at him and nodded before focusing her attention on the doctor.
"Okay CC, push!"
"I'm telling ya, honey, they've been in there for a while now, I hope everything is okay." Fran said to her husband, concerned.
"I'm sure that everything's alright Fran-" Maxwell reassured her before being cut off by a man bursting through the double doors. A beaming Niles strode towards the waiting couple and put his arms around both of their shoulders. He looked from one to the other and proudly announced,
"It's a girl!"
Both Sheffields shouted with happiness. Fran gave Niles a huge hug as Maxwell shook his hand in congratulations. He led them back to the hospital room and when they entered, they saw CC holding a small pink blanket. Niles walked over and placed a kiss on his wife's head.
"Maxwell, Nan- I mean, Fran, I want you to meet our daughter Emily Claire." CC said with a proud smile.
"Oh she's adorable!" Fran exclaimed in her signature whine. The Sheffield couple looked at the blue-eyed baby in CC's arms and could already see the resemblance to her parents. Fran couldn't help but shake her head; yes she would be a looker like her parents, but with Niles and CC as her mother and father, she hoped that she wouldn't inherit their personalities as well.
"We are so happy for you two" Maxwell said, smiling at his two oldest friends "She's beautiful." He then ushered his wife out of the room to give the new family some privacy.
Once alone, Niles knelt down next to the bed and looked at CC.
"Well my witch, you did it."
"Ah, but I couldn't have done it without you, lover" CC replied with a suggestive wink. He shook his head,
"Now now, no dirty talk in front of the baby" he reprimanded, then added quietly "save that for when we're completely alone". CC laughed, and the little girl in her arms started to squirm, making her presence known.
"Do you think I have what it takes to make a good mother?" she asked, looking down at her daughter.
"No" Niles answered, with a lopsided grin. However he quickly retracted that as he saw the crestfallen look on CC's face "I mean no… I think you'll be a fantastic mother."
He leaned over to kiss her deeply, being mindful not to crush the little bundle in her arms. They pulled apart slowly, remaining close together.
"How is it possible that everything that I never wanted, is now everything I don't think I can live without?" CC asked, gazing into her husband's eyes.
"I'm not sure. All I know is that you and Emily are all I'm ever going to want or need" he answered.
"I love you, Niles"
He smiled, quietly picking up on the fact that she used his actual name instead of one of her pet insults.
"I love you too, CC"