This is the final chapter. I hope everyone has enjoyed this story and would be kind enough to let me know how they felt about it. Thanks so much for sticking with it.
4 Months Later:
David practically felt all the colour drain from his face as Regina's vice-like grip crushed his hand into the mattress. She pressed down into the bed, crunching his hand under the ball of her wrist as her whole body arched up away from him. She screamed through clenched teeth and David pressed his eyes closed at the sound and the fear of never getting his hand back. For a brief moment he compared Regina's labour with Snow's, wondering why the pain wasn't shared like this, back when she'd given birth to Emma; but then he remembered the woman breathing heavily in the bed beside him, with her hair stuck to the side of her face and her plump lips sucked in between her teeth as she fell back against the mattress; and he thought better of the comparison.
Regina wasn't Snow White; and he decided his attention was better utilized trying to help her breathe and preventing her from killing any of the nurses. The one nurse that seemed to be able to avoid her wrath checked her over again; the woman had, early on, decided that she wasn't going to take any of Regina's crap and he could see that she was more experienced in the job. Clearly Regina respected her no-nonsense demeanour and – due to the knowledge that she knew someone had to help her – Regina allowed her, and only her, to stay.
"Alright, Regina," She grinned as she pulled the sheet back down over Regina's legs. "It's time to get the Doctor now,"
"No," Regina rolled her head against the pillow, crying with her cheek pressed to the fabric, squeezing her eyes shut as she rolled into David's chest, burying her face in his shirt. "Make it stop," She breathed and David shared a glance with the nurse who, whilst she'd formed a rapport with the Queen over the last several hours, did harbour a curious amusement at seeing Regina beg.
"Regina, it's almost over," He soothed, running the fingers of his free hand through her hair, brushing the thick ebony locks out of her face. "Just a little bit more work to do and you're home free."
"Don't attempt to placate me, Charming." She growled.
"Don't give up, Regina." He smirked when she opened her eyes and glared up at him. "I never picked you for a quitter."
Regina opened her mouth to retort when another contraction hit her; David lost all hope that his hand had any chance of survival and tried to ride through the pain as she crushed it again, this time scrunching up the blankets in her balled fists along with his fingers.
Doctor Whale entered the room as her back arched, meeting David's eye and offering him a sympathetic smile. David had been the only one, throughout the past several hours, who hadn't had a chance to leave Regina's side. She'd allowed him toilet breaks early on, but once the contractions reached a level at which she couldn't control the anguish on her face, David was set in his spot and wouldn't move.
He'd started to regret that decision, when she took his hand and used it to channel her pain. He knew it was nowhere near the pain she was feeling – and he was sure there was a few people outside at that very moment that thought it was far less than she deserved – but it still hurt and he was still petrified that he'd never regain full function in his fingers.
"Alright, Regina," Whale spoke gently and Regina's eyes set on him as she collapsed back to the bed again, far too exhausted to give him a full glare, instead staring at him with half-lidded, angry eyes. "The nurse informed me that you're fully dilated, so I suppose it's time."
"Not him," Regina ground out, turning her eyes up to David.
David rolled his eyes. "Come on, Regina, first the nurses now,"
She cut him off. "Not. Him. Anyone but him."
"Regina," He warned but she pulled her other hand – that she wasn't using to cripple him – and raised it from the bed. David could feel the whole room start to shake, a metal tray clattered to the floor as the earth rumbled, scattering metal utensils across the floor with an ear-piercing crash. The floor shook and magic crackled around her hand, crawling up her arm as a swirling ball of magic started to form. Regina aimed it – as best she could in her state – at the Doctor, who dived out of the way as it crashed into the wall. "REGINA!" David shouted, launching his upper body across the bed as best he could to pin her arm to the mattress.
"I said, not him!" She ground out, writhing against him. As he held her down he could feel her start to give in; she was far too tired and in far too much pain to fight him and he could see the tears roll from her eyes and roll down her flushed cheeks. "Please, David," She met his eyes and he saw a vulnerability in her eyes that halted him. She pressed her eyes closed, pushing more tears down her cheeks as she stopped fighting. "Please don't let him touch my baby."
"Okay, Regina," He breathed. "It's alright." He looked over his shoulder, pressing his eyes closed in relief as he saw the theatre door swinging, signifying the Doctor's hasty retreat.
Victor dashed through the doors, out into the hall. So many curious eyes followed him as he ran past the waiting room, stopped only by Ruby's patient hands. "What happened? Was that an earthquake?" She questioned, holding his arm firmly as he scanned the room with his eyes. He caught Henry's and sighed, seeing the look of worry on the boy's face.
"Is my Mom okay?" Henry asked, dashing over from where he'd been sitting between Emma and a distracted looking Snow White.
"She's fine, Henry," He nodded, taking a deep breath. "But she doesn't want me to deliver the baby." His eyebrows lifted as he tucked his hands in the pockets of his white coat. "She let off a bit of magic to prove her point."
"A bit?" Emma scoffed and Victor shrugged.
"Why not? You're the Doctor." Snow offered absently, addressing David's first statement and no one could really fault her detached, irritated tone of voice. She was only there because Emma had asked her to keep her company because Henry had insisted on being there throughout the whole ordeal. She'd had to remove herself several times, finding herself in the ambulance bay, hiding behind a shrub, doing her best to control her breathing; she refused to cry.
David was in the delivery room, holding the hand of the woman giving birth to his baby and she knew that David had come to see something different in Regina; even she had to admit that Regina was changing; but she couldn't get past the fact that her husband – estranged or not – was comforting the woman who had tried to kill her multiple times throughout her life.
She thought; perhaps it would have been easier to take if she couldn't clearly see he had feelings for Regina. Maybe then it wouldn't hurt so much; after all, it was one night before the curse broke; she didn't honestly blame him for the act. It was everything since that broke her heart. He'd been trying to make it up to her, to win her back; but then at the next turn he was fussing over Regina and catering to her every need. Snow didn't know what to think or feel.
"I don't really blame her," Victor stated with a shrug. "We have history." Emma eyed him warily and Victor found her scrutiny rather uncomfortable before she took a deep breath and glanced around the group.
"Has anyone else delivered a baby before?"
"You've had one," Ruby offered and Emma narrowed her eyes in amusement.
"It's not the same thing."
"What about Doc?" Snow offered. "He delivered Emma."
"I was delivered by a dwarf?" She sputtered and Henry chuckled down at her side. She playfully shoved him away with the heel of her palm against his temple and he just laughed harder.
"I don't honestly think Doc's gonna want to get anywhere near the Queen's lady-parts." Grumpy chimed in, garnering a dramatic eye-roll from every woman in the group, and a disgusted glare from the Doctor. Henry scrunched his nose up and covered his ears with a dramatic "Eww!"
"Well what then?" Emma asked again. "I know there isn't a great deal of love for Regina in this town, but someone needs to help her deliver this baby."
"She'll tear the walls down if I head in there again." Victor grumbled and Emma crossed the group, standing before him with a reassuring smile.
"Apologise to her."
She rolled her eyes. "Whatever you did, clearly she's still pissed. Apologise and let her know that she needs you to help her if she's going to ensure her baby's okay."
"I don't know how easy that's going to be." He sighed, looking worried.
"Why? What could you have possibly done that was so bad?"
Victor chewed on his bottom lip, casting his eyes across each of their faces as he pondered whether or not to tell them. They all heard a long, strangled cry coming from the delivery room and he glanced over his shoulder, starting to regret the deal he'd made all those years ago. A part of him had always hated what he'd done.
"I made a deal with Rumpelstiltskin," He shifted uncomfortably under their scrutiny. "He needed a monster and I helped him make one." They all studied him curiously and he sighed, deeply. "My part of the bargain was to trick Regina into believing her dead fiancé could be brought back to life, hence creating the monster Rumple needed to enact the curse. The monster being Regina and the fiancé being,"
"Daniel," Snow breathed and Victor nodded, casting his eyes to the floor.
"Not my finest hour."
"I'd probably hold a grudge too," Emma stated and Victor caught the disapproving set of her eyes. "So you've gotta make it right."
"How am I supposed to do that?"
"She can't hate you more than Rumple,"
"Or me," Snow added and Emma noticed Ruby grip her mother's arm in reassurance.
"So you apologise and convince her or David's going to have to deliver that kid and I'm pretty sure that's probably not the best idea."
Victor studied her for a long moment before he slowly nodded his head. "Alright," He sighed. "I'll try." He turned back towards the doors, taking a deep breath before stepping through into the hall and heading back towards Regina's room.
Snow was about to make a snide remark about leaving Regina to deal with herself when she caught sight of Henry pacing in front of the doors. His little brow was furrowed and his arms were crossed over his chest. "Do you guys think Mom's going to be okay?" He asked no one in particular and Snow's heart softened.
"Of course, Henry," Emma crouched down in front of him. "She's going to be fine and in a little while, you'll be able to show everyone what a great big brother you are."
"Yeah," He grinned. "I will be a pretty great big brother, won't I?"
"The best." Ruby chimed in, throwing Grumpy a steadying glare to ensure he kept his mouth shut and gripped Snow's hand, offering her a sympathetic smile.
"Now, Regina," Victor held his hands up in surrender as he made his way back into the room. Regina had her teeth clenched and the sweat on her brow made her look like she'd just run a marathon. Considering what was going on with her body in that moment, the exhaustion about equated to it. "Just hear me out."
The room hummed with magic and David quickly but gently squeezed Regina's hand, running his thumb over hers to soothe her so that Victor could at least get close to the bed. "What?" She spat, glaring at him, but he could hear the whimper in her voice.
"You want this over, Regina, I know that. But you need to let me help you." She looked away, chewing on her bottom lip and he knew the tears were more for the pain than the memories, but he couldn't pin-point where to draw that line. "I'm," He sighed. "Regina, I'm sorry for what I did."
"You're sorry," She scoffed, gripping David's hand tighter and remembering herself.
"Yes, Regina, I'm sorry. I'm sorry for everything and whether you like it or not, this baby is not going to wait for you to forgive me, so you need to shut up and let me help you."
Regina opened her mouth to protest but she could feel it wasn't the time, David held her hand firmly, running his other hand up and down her back in soothing circles as she pitched forward. "Let him help you, Regina," David spoke gently in her ear and she turned quickly, meeting his eyes as she breathed heavily. "Please."
All she could do was nod, meeting Victor's eye before he grabbed the stool he'd kicked aside when he fled and rolled it towards the end of the bed. David wrapped his arm around Regina's back, holding her firmly against his chest and prepared himself for the pain that was about to shoot through his hand again, tenfold as this whole ordeal came to its climax.
"Okay, Regina," Victor warned. "Don't push until I say."
She nodded shakily, pressing her eyes shut and releasing a long breath, waiting for the instruction.
"Hey, kid," Emma shook Henry's shoulder gently. He woke slowly, lifting his head off her lap with a groan as he sat up. "Someone's come out to say hello." Henry was suddenly wide awake, sitting up excitedly as David crossed the room with a small pink bundle in his arms.
"You were the first person she wanted to see," David said gently, kneeling down in front of Henry with a grin on his face.
"You mean after you and Mom," Henry grinned.
David chuckled. "Yeah, I guess you're right. She was pretty happy to see your Mom."
Henry studied the baby closely; she was snuggled tightly in David's arms, swaddled up in pink blankets and all he could really see of her was a tiny set of bright pink, pouty lips and a strong tuft of thick, black hair poking out from the blanket. Her eyes were closed; she was asleep. But Henry was excited to see her.
"What's her name?" He looked up at David and the man smiled.
David grinned wider. "Her name is Bonnie."
"Cool." He beamed down at the baby as her eyes slowly fluttered open. Large blue pools set on Henry and he grinned, reaching out to touch her pink cheek. "She's smiling at me!" He exclaimed and Emma nudged him with a chuckle.
"I'm pretty sure that's just gas, kid."
"No, she smiled!" He declared, grinning from ear to ear. "She likes me." He looked up at David. "Can I see Mom now?"
David looked to Emma who nodded her consent, smiling softly at the little bundle in David's arms that seemed to be doing her best to see everything she could. "I suppose the kid is my little sister too?" She questioned and David frowned awkwardly.
"Yeah, sorry about that; I know it's a little weird."
Emma waved him off. "So I share a sister with my son; I also live in a town full of fairytale characters off the coast of Maine, what's weird anymore?"
"Thanks, Emma." He nodded, grabbing Henry's hand and tugging him along. "Come on Henry, I'm pretty sure your Mom's gonna start throwing fireballs at Doctor Whale if we don't get Bonnie back to her soon."
"Did she really shoot fireballs at Doctor Whale earlier?" Emma listened to the two of them jabbering all the way down the hall, smiling as she grabbed her coat and pulled it on. Snow appeared through the outside doors and Emma turned, surprised.
"Hey," She smiled gently at her mother and Snow nodded.
"Hey, where's Henry?"
"David just came out with the baby; he's taken Henry back to see Regina."
"I'm kind of glad I missed that." Snow pressed her lips into a thin line, meeting her daughter's eye quickly before averting her eyes. "I suppose that's it then." Snow nodded, pulling her scarf from the chair next to Emma. Ruby had headed home a few hours before, dragging a grumpy-faced Grumpy; it was the middle of the night after all and she had to open the diner first thing.
"Sure," Snow shrugged. "Everything's alright with the baby, it's healthy and everything?"
"Yeah," Emma sighed, studying her mother carefully, trying not to let her see her pity. "She's perfectly fine."
"Good," Snow nodded, heading for the door. "Henry will be fine with them tonight; he probably won't want to leave her."
"Yeah," Emma nodded, tucking her hands in her pockets and watching sadly as Snow made her way towards the exit as quickly as she could. "Sure."She didn't blame her; Snow hadn't wanted to spend her night in the waiting room for Regina to have her baby in the first place. It was Henry that had begged Emma and Emma that had begged her mother; and in turn, Snow that had begged Ruby. The only one that had wanted to be there was Henry and he was the only one that couldn't do so alone.
"She's so cool, Mom." Henry beamed at Regina as David passed the baby to her, resting the little bundle in the crook of her arm as she lay half on her side. She barely had the strength to hold Bonnie up, but she was forcing herself to stay awake to see Henry; when he bounded up to her, clambering up onto the bed with a broad grin, matching the one she had as she looked down at the baby.
"She is indeed, Henry."
Henry rolled over so that he could lie on the bed beside Regina, sprawled out on his stomach with his feet kicking in the air behind him and his chin in his hands, watching as Regina shuffled Bonnie closer and kissed her forehead.
The baby's eyes opened; thick black lashes fluttering as she looked at Regina. "See, I was right!" He declared and Regina chuckled tiredly at his excitement. "She does smile."
"Of course she smiles, Henry. She can hear you talking," Regina shared a look with David. "She knows when her big brother is in the room."
"I'm gonna go," David smiled nervously, grabbing his coat from the chair in the corner and turning back to the small family huddled on the bed. He had to admit, bundled up in the bed with both of her children, Regina looked as though she could never harm a soul; and maybe she wouldn't anymore, there was no way to know; he couldn't help the smile that came to his lips though, as he watched her and realized he didn't care. She was Regina, good and bad, and the way she was looking at their daughter made his heart melt. "You did really good today, Regina."
Regina sighed, sinking lower into the pillows with a contented smile. "Sorry about your hand."
David chuckled, raising his battered hand in front of his face, playfully frowning at the purplish tinge to it. "I'm sure it'll come good in a week or two," He smirked. "I don't think you broke any bones."
"Night Henry," David ruffled his hair and Henry swatted his hand away with a laugh, shuffling closer to Regina on the bed so that he could peer down at the baby that was squirming and stretching in his mother's arms.
"Night David," He grinned without looking up.
"Night Regina," He said in a softer tone, meeting her eyes with a faint smile, unable to pull himself away so fast. Something passed between them, something he hadn't felt before and David hesitated before finally taking a deep breath and turning to leave. But suddenly, to his surprise, a small hand grasped his and he froze.
"Maybe you should stay," She suggested, smiling sweetly as he turned back around. "I mean, Bonnie's still awake and Henry's way too excited to go to sleep any time soon, are you Henry?" They both looked to her son who was trying to get Bonnie to follow his finger with her eyes. They both laughed. "Please," She turned her eyes back up to him. "Stay?"
"Only if I'm not intruding." He said softly and Regina squeezed his hand. They'd been trying to work out what they felt for months, but between his desperate attempts to make amends with Snow and his confused, bumbling actions towards her, headway had barely been made since the night they'd trapped Cora. They'd established they had feelings for each other but Regina was still so hesitant that those feelings would never stretch beyond the shared love they had for Bonnie.
"You're Bonnie's father," She grinned, struggling to keep her eyes open. "You're not intruding. You couldn't."
David lowered himself to the chair beside the bed, sitting on the edge so that he could peer over at Bonnie's face. She had her eyes closed again, much to Henry's disappointment, but his fascination with her hadn't seemed to wane. He looked up at Regina, seeing the way she watched Henry as he rested his head on her hip and sighed contentedly. Reaching up, David brushed a lock of hair from Regina's face and she sighed happily at the gesture, letting her tired eyes close as his finger trailed a tender line down her jaw.
"Thank you for staying with me." She smiled but kept her eyes closed.
"You asked; of course."
"No," She blinked her eyes open again for a moment, looking up at him. "I meant today, when I didn't ask; thank you."
"I couldn't let you do it alone."
Regina sighed again, resting her cheek on the pillow and David knew she'd finally fallen asleep for good. Gently, he reached over and took Bonnie from her arms, gesturing for Henry to pull the blankets up over Regina. The boy did as he was bid, pulling the covers up to her chin and laughing when she wrapped her arm around him and pulled him against her. Henry didn't fight it, he just kicked his shoes off and snuggled against her, feeling his own eyes droop.
David watched them for a while; Henry's breathing started to even out and he knew that within minutes, mother and son were fast asleep. "Just you and me now; hey sweetheart." He smirked, lifting the baby up so that he could nuzzle her nose with his own; she looked up at him through her long dark lashes and David started to wonder if Henry was right about her smiles – either that or her gas was really well timed. "I'll never let anyone hurt you, Bonnie, and your mom, well," He chuckled. "You're going to understand your mom one day, but not too soon. Just know that she loves you and she'd moved mountains for you. Be careful not to ask though, because she actually can," He kissed her cheek, smiling as her little rose-bud mouth parted in a wide yawn.
"I think you saved her, sweetheart." He sat back in the chair, resting his head back and setting his feet up on the edge of the bed. He raised the baby to rest on his chest, patting her tiny frame to soothe her as he whispered in her ear. "Thank you."