May 28th, 1934
May 28th, 1934. It's been a year since the last May 28th, obviously, but a lot of things had changed since then. To most people, it would have seemed like any other summer day in New York, with the rain starting to drum lightly on the rooftops of houses, but for a certain Gandor brother, it isn't.
Luck paces the floor in the living room of his apartment for the thousandth time. Claire is probably sleeping upstairs without a care; he's finally come into town to visit, and he's the only brother Luck has at home. Keith and Berga have gone away on business since they knew that Luck wouldn't want to come with him. Not with the condition that his current fiance is in.
Not too long ago, back in November when Dallas randomly got sick, Luck dragged him off to see Maiza who knew practically everything there was to know about immortals, their immortality, and was quite well versed in medical knowledge. At first, they assumed that it was simply a stomach bug that had fought past Dallas's rock-solid immune system, so he simply told them to make sure that he had fluids and got sleep. Simply because they were immortal didn't mean that they didn't get sick, so they believed him at first.
After it continued on for two more weeks, however, they returned, and Maiza retracted his original diagnosis to provide a new one. After much running around to retrieve ancient medical logs that Maiza had buried in his attic, doing a whole lot of tests and reading-up, and many (of mostly Dallas's) tears, he finally came to the conclusion that Dallas was indeed pregnant. Luck vaguely remembered Maiza warning him about it not long after he became immortal, but by the time that he'd started a relationship with Dallas he'd long forgotten Maiza's advice. Now, however, he wishes that he'd listened more carefully.
Dallas is now only two days away from his due date, and Luck's been restless since last month. He's lying stretched out on the couch now, his head resting on one end of the small couch and his feet, swollen and aching, resting on the other. His pregnancy hasn't treated him kindly, and his body isn't built for this and it's very obvious. With the temporary loss of his immortality due to this, he was able to feel every ache and pain without it fading away. Another side effect to this loss of immortality (and this pregnancy in a whole) is the fact that Luck just won't leave him for more than five seconds after his seventh month of pregnancy. Half the time Dallas is pissed because of it, and the other half of the time it makes him feel warm and happy, knowing that he's one of the only people that Luck cares for so much that he canceled practically every business endeavor he had for the last two weeks so he could spend time with him. It doesn't help that Maiza suddenly had to leave on business yesterday, and that he wouldn't return until next week, which only deep-fried Luck's already cooked nerves.
So this brings us back to the current situation, with Luck and his endless pacing. Besides his soft footsteps, the only sound in the room is the grandfather clock ticking. The bells start to go off, announcing ten o' clock, and Dallas shifts slightly in his place, his hand moving from his side to rest on his stomach. Luck notices immediately, and within seconds he's at Dallas's side.
"Are you alright?" He asks worriedly, and Dallas looks at him through narrowed eyes. "Maiza said that if you felt anything to call him, so—"
"I'm fine," Dallas cuts him off, moving so that he can rest his head more comfortably on the couch. "Just a kick." He moves his hand a bit, and Luck rests his hand on top of it, their fingers lacing together. He knows that Luck isn't trying to be a bother, and honestly, Dallas is just as worried as him, just as scared, but even though he's the one who's more...emotionally compromised, he manages to keep it less noticeable than Luck does. Dallas sighs heavily, not so much in pain just as with pure exhaustion since it's been getting hard to sleep lately. Luck notices that too, looks at him with that worried expression again, but this time Dallas smiles a little and squeezes his hand. "Bed?"
"Sure, if you want." Dallas knows that Luck can't—won't, rather—let Dallas go upstairs and go to bed all on his own, and he's a little grateful to have Luck there to lean against as he makes his way up the stairs to their bedroom. It makes things a lot easier.
It's almost eleven thirty when Dallas wakes up to the sound of thunder outside. The rain has increased to a steady drumming on the roof, and surprisingly it doesn't scare him as much as it used to. So long as he has Luck, his breathing even and steady in sleep, lying next to him he knows that he'll be okay. However, panic hums down Dallas's spine, not from the rain but from something else completely different. His body aches, and Dallas's grip on the sheets tightens before he gently shakes Luck's shoulder to wake him. At first, Luck doesn't wake (he's a heavy sleeper, almost nothing short of a hailstorm of bullets could wake him when he was sleeping), and Dallas nearly cries out in frustration, but his eyes finally open and he looks over at Dallas sleepily.
"You okay?" Dallas shakes his head, his grip tightening again as pain rushes through his body. Luck's eyes widen, and Dallas can tell that there's fear there, but he's getting scared now too with the way that everything is hurting. Luck puts one hand on Dallas's arm, feels him shaking under his hand. "It's time, isn't it?" Dallas nods, afraid to open his mouth with the fear that he'll start screaming, and a few tears spring up in the corners of his eyes. Luck runs a hand through his hair, his heart drumming hard in his ribcage. He can't remember any time that he's felt like this, and he jumps out of bed. "I'll go call Maiza, you just..." Luck hesitates, wondering what would be the best thing to say to him in a moment like this. "Just try to relax, okay? I'll be right back." He reaches out and gives Dallas's hand a squeeze, and he nods, swallowing hard.
Luck finally leaves the room and runs downstairs to find Claire lounging at the table downstairs, fingering through a deck of cards that he left out earlier.
"What's up with you?" He asks, and Luck ignores him as he runs to the phone, dialing the number that Maiza gave him before he left. His fingers shake and he almost dials the wrong number, but soon he hears the tone of the ringing phone and he prays that Maiza is there and that he picks up. He does, and barely a moment after he hears his voice, Luck sighs in relief.
"Maiza? It's Luck," he says, and he can almost see the look of knowing on Maiza's face.
"Luck. It's Dallas, isn't it?" He asks, and Luck is almost glad that he doesn't have to explain. "I thought this might happen. Has his water broken yet?" Maiza asks again, and Luck is about to say no before he hears Dallas cry out from upstairs. Both his and Claire's heads turn at the same time, and they look at each other, Luck with almost pure terror and Claire with question.
"I think it just did," Luck says, and he wants to tear upstairs back to his fiance, but Luck knows that he has to stay put for Maiza to talk to him. "What do I do?" He sounds desperate, and he feels desperate, and he wishes that Maiza was there in the flesh to help them.
"Just try to keep him calm and relaxed for right now, you might want to get some water for him, some towels. You'll need it for now, and for when it gets worse. He won't be able to do anything until he's ten centimeters dilated, so I'm afraid for now it's mostly just a waiting game. Just call me if anything changes or gets worse, alright?" Luck knows in the back of his mind that there's really nothing more Maiza can do for them right now, and although he knows that it's true, he can't help but wish that there was something more that could be done.
"Is there anything that we...that I can do to help him with the pain?"
"I'm afraid not." Luck gives a heavy sigh, and he thanks Maiza before hanging up and turning to Claire, who's been sitting there staring at him for the past five minutes.
"What's going on?" Claire asks in his usual aloof way, like he really has no idea what's going on, and Luck rubs his forehead.
"I need you to fill up a bowl, one of the big ones with cold water. And I need towels." He doesn't wait to hear Claire's response before he bounds up the stairs and into the bedroom. Dallas is sitting up now, one hand resting on his stomach, leaning heavily against the wall. His breathing is fast and shallow, and Luck runs over and takes his hand. Dallas grips his hand tightly, and Luck can tell that he's already in a lot of pain.
"Luck, I..." He trails off as the words get stuck in his throat, and Luck rubs the back of his hand with his fingers. "It hurts." Dallas's voice is strained, and Luck chews on the inside of his cheek, mustering up the courage to look Dallas in the eyes. He can see it, all the pain and terror in his eyes, and Luck uses his free hand to brush away the tears that are present on his cheeks.
"I know. It'll be over soon, though, alright?" He smiles at Dallas, and Dallas manages to smile back for a moment, before pain overtakes him. "How far between?"
"Three minutes," Dallas barely whispers, his grip on Luck's hand tightening. "It feels awful, Luck. I can't do this."
"Just hold on, alright?" Luck tells him, sliding into bed behind him so that Dallas can lean against him, lets him rest his head on his chest. "It'll be alright."
He hopes for both of their sakes that everything will be alright.
Twelve hours pass, and now it's almost noon. It still feels like the dead of night, and the rain is still drumming endlessly on the roof. There's supposed to be a thunderstorm tonight, a big one, but that isn't Luck's main concern as he sits with Dallas's head in his lap, gently stroking his hair. He's still not quite ready to deliver, and they've been lying there while he cries and winces with the pain. There's really nothing Luck can do at this point besides adjust the cold washrag on Dallas's forehead and tell him that it's all going to be alright, that it'll be over soon, but he knows that won't last for much longer. Dallas finally managed to fall asleep a few minutes ago, and Luck knows that he's going to need it.
He sits in silence for a few more minutes, before Claire pokes his head in through the door. "There's a call for you," he says, and Luck gently eases himself out from behind Dallas, trying not to wake him. He somehow manages to stay asleep, and Luck goes off downstairs, reluctant to leave Dallas for long but knowing that he probably needs to take this call.
"Luck! Why didn't you call me?" An annoyed Eve yells in his ear as soon as he takes the phone. "I guess I can't count on you for anything, can I? My own brother is in labor and nobody tells me!"
"I'm sorry, Eve," Luck sighs, now finally remembering what he'd forgotten to do. "I've been kind of busy." There's annoyance in his voice too, and Eve sighs, the rustle of a jacket sounding from the other line. "You planning on coming down here?"
"Of course I am!" She answers as though Luck should've expected her to say that. "I'm not going to miss it. Besides, you need someone who knows how to deliver a baby, since I'm sure that neither you nor Claire knows how."
"You know how?" Luck says in disbelief, and he thinks that if there is a God then he's certainly merciful.
"Yes. Try not to cause too much trouble before I get there, alright?" The connection ends, and Luck hangs up the phone before he runs back upstairs to Dallas. He's still asleep, thankfully, and Luck eases back into bed to sit behind him again. Luck is feeling quite exhausted himself, and he closes his eyes as he leans his head back against the wall. It doesn't take long before he, too falls into a deep sleep.
Not five hours later, Luck finally wakes when he feels Dallas stir, and he looks down to see his cobalt blue eyes looking back up at him. It's now the later side of five o' clock, nearing six, and Dallas winces as another contraction races through him. The rain is pounding much heavier now, but Dallas doesn't shiver so much from the rain as he does from the sheer pain that he's going through.
"What time is it?" He manages to ask, and Luck sighs.
"It's been, what, almost eighteen hours now?" Dallas asks, rubbing his stomach wearily. "And still nothing. Dammit, Luck, I can't do this." He's frustrated, and Luck can tell that he is, but there's really nothing they can do to speed anything along at this point. It's looking like it's going to be a while before anything happens, and Luck can only squeeze Dallas's hand gently in reassurance.
"Hey, it'll be alright. Not much longer now, and your sister should be here any minute now." At the mention of Eve, Dallas's eyes suddenly brighten and he shifts a bit.
"Eve's coming?" Dallas almost manages to smile for a moment, before the pain of another contraction overtakes him and his grip on Luck's hand tightens. Luck gently rubs the back of his hand with his fingers, taking the damp rag from Dallas's forehead and wetting it with the water from the bedside table before putting it back.
"Yeah. She called around twelve, said she was coming." Luck's head turns suddenly as he hears the door open, and Eve is standing in the doorway, her jacket and hair completely soaked.
"Eve," Dallas sighs happily, and Eve runs over to his side, hugging him the best she can from their awkward position. "You're here."
"Of course I'm here, I wouldn't let you do this on your own," she murmurs, before she pulls back. "How long have you been in labor?"
"Too long," Dallas groans, and he winces again, gripping Luck's hand tight. His hand is getting sore from the constant pressure, but Luck doesn't say anything. Dallas is in a lot more pain then he is at the moment. "Sixteen hours, and I'm still not ready yet."
"You sure?" Eve asks again, settling at the end of the bed.
"Yeah, pretty sure," Dallas replies through gritted teeth, and Eve can tell that he's not willing to continue this conversation for much longer.
The worst is yet to come, however.
It's nearing thirty hours since this whole ordeal started, and the storm is raging wildly outside. The lightning is flashing erratically, the thunder booming every few seconds, and it's almost as loud as Dallas's screams. He was finally able to start pushing five hours ago, and he's had little time to rest since then. The pain is nearly unbearable, but Eve says that it won't be long now, that the baby's finally crowning, and Luck is relieved. Dallas doesn't look like he can take it for much longer though, and when he can finally breathe again, he lets his head fall back on Luck's chest.
"Goddammit," he rasps, his voice strained from all the screaming and yelling that he's been doing, and Luck gently rubs his arm with his free hand. Dallas's fingers lace together with Luck's again as he looks up into his golden eyes. "He's stubborn."
"Yeah? Like you," Luck says, and he smiles down at Dallas, who frowns back at him.
"Funny, real funny Gandor," Dallas growls, and he manages to sit up again as he feels another contraction and knows that he has to push, despite how little he wants to. His grip tightens around Luck's hand, and Luck has to keep himself from wincing. He reminds himself that now is not the time, that this is only a tiny fraction of the pain that Dallas is feeling right now. Luck just rubs Dallas's shoulder with his free hand as he bears down hard on the other one, hoping that it will all be over soon.
This goes on for another thirty minutes. The clock reads 4:50 AM, and Eve warns Dallas that it'll probably hurt more now that he's got to get the shoulders out, and Dallas looks at Luck desperately again.
"I can't," he says in a rapid whisper to Luck. "I can't do this."
"It's almost over," Luck murmurs, gently squeezing his hand. "Just a few more minutes and it'll all be over." Dallas swallows heavily and squeezes Luck's hand back, before he forces himself up again, not easing his grip on Luck's hand at all while he pushes.
By the time he's finally gotten the head and shoulders through, Dallas is almost completely worn out, shaking in Luck's arms. The thunder is louder than ever now, and Dallas's hand shakes in Luck's grip.
"You're doing fine, just a few more times should do it," Eve says from where she sits, and Luck looks down at Dallas who's lying with his head on Luck's chest, closing his eyes for a few moments as he takes short, shallow breaths.
"Just a little bit longer, Dallas, you can do it," he says, rubbing his exhausted fiance's shoulder again. Dallas looks back up at Luck again, his wide eyes filled with tears, and it's almost too much for Luck to handle. Dallas doesn't say anything, the look on his face says it all, and Luck figures that even if he wanted to he wouldn't be able to.
The clock reads 5:01 AM now, and Dallas is trying his best not to scream as the next contraction passes, and he falls back against Luck's chest, his whole body shaking as he heaves in breaths. Luck's hand feels like it's going to break at any moment now, but that is the least of his worries. Right now, all he cares about is Dallas.
"One more time, Dallas," Eve says, and Dallas looks over at Luck again.
"I can't, Luck, I can't do this," he whispers again, and Luck squeezes his hand gently.
"Just one more time," Luck tells him. "Just one more and it'll all be over." Dallas manages to nod, and he pulls himself up again, leans against Luck as he bears down hard one last time. The pain is excruciating, and Dallas screams again, so loud that it leaves his own ears ringing, and the sound of the bones in Luck's hand snapping in half echo through the room as the final flash of lightning illuminates it for a split second. Dallas falls back against Luck's chest as thunder booms from far off, breathing and shaking heavily as tears roll down his cheeks.
The clock reads 5:09 AM, and the two of them finally relax when they hear the high wail of a newborn. It's finally over, and Dallas opens his eyes and looks back up at Luck. He smiles down at Dallas and runs a hand through the other's messy reddish-brown hair, his eyes saying everything that he doesn't say.
"It's a boy," Eve announces after a few seconds, and when Luck can finally feel his hand again, he gently squeezes Dallas's.
"It's a boy, Dallas, it's a boy," he echoes, like he can't believe it, and Dallas doesn't blame him. He almost can't believe it himself. "You did it, you did great Dallas."
When he's finally all cleaned off, Eve hands the newborn to Dallas, and immediately his focus is on the bundle of blue blankets in his arms, looking at the precious thing that he spent thirty hours in pain for.
He's never seen anything so perfect as his newborn son, nothing so pure. Dallas is almost amazed that he's really his son, that something like him could have come from him. He looks a lot like Luck, that's for sure, even though he has dark reddish-brown hair like his mother. A few unruly wisps of hair fall across his forehead, like Luck's, and he knows that when he opens his eyes, they'll be deep gold, the mark of the Gandor family. Dallas looks back up at Luck, seeing the tears start to form in his fiance's eyes as he looks at the newborn with nothing but love and joy.
"He's perfect," Luck finally murmurs, and Dallas nods. "What's his name, Dallas?" Luck isn't good with these things, and he figures that it's only fair that Dallas names him, considering that he's the one who had to have him. He's quiet for a moment, letting the newborn grip his mother's finger tightly.
"Scout," Dallas finally says. "Scout Luck Genoard-Gandor."
Luck does nothing but smile as a few tears fall from his eyes.
"Yeah, it's a boy...Scout Luck Genoard-Gandor...five o' nine...yeah...I don't know, they're not open yet, they might not be for a while...he's got Dallas's hair though...yeah, I'll call you back later. Bye." Luck hangs up and yawns loudly, stretching as he leans against the wall. He called his brothers once everything was said and done, and he finally goes back upstairs to check on the others. Claire is holding Scout now, commenting on how cute he is. He doesn't have much time left here before Chane finally comes to get him, and Eve left a while ago when Dallas fell asleep. Luck has to remind Claire to keep quiet, not wanting to wake Dallas. He deserved a good long rest.
Luck takes him when Claire finally leaves, happy to have a few moments with his son. He held him for the first time not long after Dallas did, and even though his arms shook almost the whole time, he was glad that he could. Now, Luck does his best to get Scout to sleep so that he can sleep too; neither he nor Dallas have had a lot of it the past few days, and he's utterly exhausted.
When he finally drifts off to sleep, Luck sets him down in the cradle beside his mother's bed and pulls a chair up close to make sure that if he wakes up again that he won't wake Dallas, rests his head gently against the wall and sighs.
Luck finally falls asleep just as the first rays of sunlight stream in through the raindrop-covered windows, casting a soft glow over them in the wake of the Maelstrom.