A/N: Final installment. Merry Christmas everybody!
iii. the dawn
Nine months later:
Ben told himself to try to remain calm. Right after the thought left his mind he realized it would never happen. His wife was in the beginning stages of labor, so fat chance, really.
He was excited. And terrified.
The pregnancy had gone smoothly. She was ok. Their child was ok.
(Ben was still convinced it was a girl, but they wouldn't find out until the birth. They'd wanted a surprise, and so that particular bit of knowledge was yet to come.)
Maybe third time really was the charm. There were still hints of ghosts from their previous experiences, Ben knew, but right now he was insanely happy.
"We are never having sex again," Leslie moaned loudly, drawing him back to the present.
"Never?" he quirked an eyebrow teasingly, unable to help himself.
"Damn it, Wyatt," she closed her eyes in pain.
"I'm sorry," he said, his voice softer. She squeezed his hand.
"I'll get you waffles when it's finished," he promised.
The offer brought a smile to her face, just as he suspected it would.
Twenty-six hours. Twenty-six hours later, and he was watching Leslie hold their daughter.
They had named her Amelia Hope. During their many name brainstorming sessions, they'd had several contenders, including Ann (Leslie's idea) and Hilary (Leslie's idea again). They both felt that they had chosen the perfect name. They loved Amelia. Leslie had happily pointed out that it was the name of the great female aviator. Ben planned on calling her Amy for short. His Amy – he liked that.
Hope was equally fitting. They both felt that this baby had given them hope again after their previous experiences – hope that their loss would be filled, hope that they would find a bright stream of daylight.
And it obviously didn't hurt, Leslie had added, that hope had been one of Obama's campaign slogans.
His wife was still absorbed in Amelia, talking to her softly. Ben smiled.
"You do know you're gonna have to share her eventually," he pointed out.
"That labor gave me dibs," Leslie quipped quietly as she smiled at Amelia, "Though I might be persuaded to share."
There was a knock on the door.
"Special delivery," the nurse said, carrying a plate of waffles.
Leslie looked at Ben incredulously, "JJ's doesn't deliver!"
Ben smiled, "I pulled a few strings."
"Have I told you lately that you're amazing?" Leslie asked.
"Have I told you lately that you're amazing?" he replied, still smiling at her. Still smiling at their daughter.
Leslie turned her attention again to the small newborn in her arms, "Hey, sweetie. Wanna see your dad again?"
He took the tiny bundle in his arms, making no effort to wipe the smile off his face.
The three of them were definitely meant to be.