* Chapter 9 – Blowing a Candle
Rei woke up with a start because of how wet she felt all around her. She sat up straight clumsily then noticed the throbbing pain she's feeling the night before had intensified. She looked down at their bed and saw the blood and water soaked sheets. She poked her husband awake hurriedly.
"Yui-chan! Hurry! My water bag broke!" she told him anxiously while clutching her stomach with a hand while the other supports her into a sitting position.
Yuichiro's eyes snapped open and he jumped into action instantly. He helped her wife up from the bed and guided her to a nearby sit so he could change her fast into more decent clothing.
"Be right back." He told her as he collected the baby bag already prepared weeks ago and brought it to their car. He heard her scream in pain as he told grandpa to take care of Ryu while they're in the hospital.
He returned to their room to find her wife breathing heavily. He didn't know where he got the strength from, but he lifted her up bridal style all by himself and put her down on the passenger seat side of the car. He walked quickly to the driver's side and then drove as fast as the speed limit would allow to the nearest hospital.
Rei was biting her lip and was stopping herself from screaming and smashing the glass windows of their car while they travel the relatively still clear street; it being still in the very early hours of the morning. She was grabbing the car seat very tightly and her breathing was much labored.
Everyone knew this hassle could have been avoided if she chose to have a cesarean delivery; but of course, that option is not open to them senshis unless they're already ready to tell the world of their identities.
And then, Yuichiro suddenly screeched to a stop because several gel-like things had dropped on their windshield and was clouding his view. He fumbled on the front compartment for a rag and was about to get out to wipe them clean when Rei reached out a strong hand to stop him. "Don't!" she choked out then the scream of pain escaped her lips. 'Now, why now?!' She thought miserably as she felt intensely both the dark energy surrounding them and her about to be born child. Her husband looked at her confused and panicky but followed her nevertheless.
Afterwards, the gel-like droplets began coagulating together and formed into a humanoid transparent figure kneeling in front of Rei. A mouth-like cavity formed at the center of its supposed face and began sucking on the air around it.
Rei screamed and screamed, she can feel a different kind of pain now aside from the pain of her labor but it was coming from the same area too. The mother began flailing her arms in front of her in a desperate attempt to push away the monster in front of her.
"Rei-chan!" Yuichiro shook the shoulders of her delirious wife.
A reddish glow escaped from the pregnant woman as she lost her consciousness; this stream of power was sucked on hungrily by the creature and it was turning more and more glowing with each inhale of Mar's power.
The attack blasted the gel-like creature away from the car before it consumed all of the power surrounding the unconscious woman.
"Rei-chan!" Yuichiro shook harder.
Someone tapped on the glass on the driver's side and Yuichiro turned.
"Go, go, go! Bring her to a hospital!" Sailor Uranus commanded authoritatively and the man pressed on hard at the gasoline pedal.
The car speeded out of sight as Neptune launched an attack at the creature that was inching its way slowly towards Uranus.
"Good luck." Pluto wished as she stared on at the vanishing car in the distance.
Yuichiro had signed consent for the emergency cesarean and had told his wife's two friends who had made it at the hospital that morning; one being the blonde who lives near the hospital and one being the doctor that works in that hospital. They both looked at each other worriedly although they both knew that it is what had saved the baby.
When Dr. Taiki had talked with the attending doctor, pretending to inquire because the patient is a close friend, her colleague instantly told her of a miracle that happened. She held her breath while the other doctor recounted how her friend almost lost her vitals during the operation but it steadied back on its own in no time. She returned to the room with a deepened worried expression on her face.
"Has it closed yet?" Ami asked Usagi who was sitting on a chair beside Rei's bed.
The blonde woman felt along the stitches on her still unconscious friend and then shook her head. "Not fully, you can still feel it."
Ami peeked at her wristwatch. "Three hours…" she mumbled then looked up at the two who was expecting her to say something. "Another two hours perhaps and her skin will look good as new."
"I'm sorry, I had no choice!" The father blurted to the pair and both of their expressions softened when they saw how depressed Yuichiro looked. He knows he had made a right decision, but he also knows that there would be repercussions.
Usagi reached out a hand to the man. "It's not your fault that Rei is Sailor Mars…" she told him softly, assuringly, informing him he had done nothing wrong.
"But…" He was about to say something when Ami cut him off.
"I can sign for the discharge permit and it will be good enough for the cashier and the front desk. You have to take her and the baby out before the 9:00 am rounds." She sounded casual but Usagi knows her friend so much and she felt that the doctor doesn't exactly want to do her own suggestion.
She looked at her straight in the eyes and as expected, the blue haired woman looked down and didn't meet her gaze. "You're putting yourself in trouble." Usagi cautioned.
Instead of answering, Ami took a deep breath then took the seat on the other side of the bed and stroked her unconscious friend's forehead. "If you can remember it, it also started previously with just the three of us…" she said softly, and a very small smile tugged at her lips.
The blonde smiled at her and then placed a hand above the patient's. "Yeah, we can do this…"
"After all, they won't be able to kick me out easily; my mother's one of the senior members of the board of directors."
Usagi was pretty sure that Ami was saying that to convince herself rather than them but didn't raise that point. "We really are a bad influence on you; we're the only ones that can make you break rules!"
"Usagi… Sailor Moon…" Rei mumbled and the three around her converged closer.
"I'm here Rei-chan!" Usagi squeezed the hand she was holding.
"Help me!" the patient shouted then opened her eyes.
Yuichiro dove at his wife and hugged her. "You're okay! Thank heavens you're okay!"
Rei blinked repeatedly after her husband let her go. "I'm at the hospital?" she asked and with a look around her, she knew she was, even without anyone telling her. Then she suddenly remembered something important and felt along her stomach.
"My baby!" she exclaimed looking at each of the three people surrounding her.
Ami lifted the edge of her sleeve and peeked at her watch. "They'll bring her in any minute now."
"She's okay?" the mother asked for reassurance.
Everyone nodded at her and she beamed a wide smile at Yuichiro. Tears of joy began seeping through her eyes. "I don't know what you did but it seemed that you have saved both of us…"
"Not me really…" he began and Rei instantly turned towards Usagi, ready to express her gratitude.
"Not us either…" Usagi informed.
Seeing Rei's confused reaction, Yuichiro told everyone the whole story.
"Setsuna's here?" the patient asked.
"According to Yuichiro's description, that must be her." Ami answered.
Just then, two nurses entered the room; one carrying the child and one pushing the traditional hospital steel but cushioned crib. "Would you like to carry her?" the one carrying the baby asked the mother who she saw was awake.
Rei nodded and Yuichiro helped her seat comfortably by adjusting the bed's angle. The nurse placed the infant very carefully on her mother's welcoming arms and the two both gave the doctor in the room an acknowledging bow before exiting.
Ami instantly acted as soon as the two hospital staffs went out and sifted through the papers on the bedside table until she found the one she was looking for. She wrote something on the official looking paper then signed it. She gave this paper to Yuichiro and gave him orders. "Pay this right now to the cashier before her attending physician arrives. His duty starts in an hour and they will notify him of his patient's release. He won't be able to do anything anymore when you're out already."
Yuichiro took the paper then went out as told.
And then, she turned her attention towards the other woman in the room. "We have to move fast. Pack all her stuff; you'll all be leaving within the next thirty minutes." She instructed and Usagi did as what she was told.
Rei looked confused. "What? Why?"
The typically calm girl gave a resigned sigh and explained. "They made an emergency cesarean operation on you to save your baby. As a senshi, you'll fully heal that wound within the next two hours; just in time for the 9:00 am morning rounds. I signed your discharge permit and that's what Yuichiro is holding."
"Ami, what will you tell my doctor when he asks?" Rei inquired, staring wide eyed at her friend.
"That you insisted to be discharged! And as a friend, I just obliged." She answered with a shrug.
Usagi stopped right in the middle of her packing, remembering something the doctors did to Chibiusa when she was born. "Wouldn't the baby need to be tested and immunized for something first?"
The statement made Ami smile genuinely. "Usagi-chan…" she called and the woman turned to her. "I am a pediatrician. I can do that at home."
"Oh… I forgot…" Usagi smiled sheepishly and scratched the back of her head before finishing her packing.
"And guys…" Rei called their attention. "Yuri is a senshi." She told them then showed them the incredibly faint and almost unnoticeable symbol of Mars that is very slightly glowing on the child's forehead.