Just a little one shot I thought up while I couldn't sleep last night. I hope you enjoy!
As soon as I walked through my front door, I knew something was wrong. For one thing it was almost midnight and both my children were up, crying animatedly from what sounded like my bedroom while my very pregnant wife tried to console them. I groaned and flopped my head back against the hard door, shutting my eyes and wishing that this wasn't happening. I was exhausted, beyond exhausted and I just wanted to come home, grab something to eat then crawl into bed next to my beautiful, very emotional wife and hold her while she had a few moments of being, well, not emotional while she slept.
I was way too tired to deal with whatever was happening upstairs.
"When is daddy going to be here?" Lucy, my little angel's voice, carried downstairs to me and I sighed opening my eyes.
"I don't know baby. I tried calling him but his phone is off." Bella soothed. "Daddy will be home soon okay? Everything is going to be fine." She continued. I yanked off my tie and started towards the stairs silently, listening all along to try to understand what was happening.
"N-no it's n-not!" My son Henry sobbed. The sound of his cries pierced my heart and I paused taking a deep breath. "M-m-mommy it's n-not o-okay!" Henry continued. I made it up to the landing and walked to the door of our room. Upon peering inside I could see Bella in our large bed, one child wrapped under each arm. Henry had a box in his lap and tears running down his face and poor Lucy looked terrified. Bella noticed me standing there and her big brown eyes filled with relief.
"What's going on?" I asked tiredly. I was really hoping there was a quick solution to whatever it was because I wanted to put my kids to bed. I needed sleep.
"Daddy!" Both my kids screamed. Lucy flew off the bed and into my arms, and in my tired, sleep deprived state, I barely caught her in time. She clung to me, wrapping her arms around my neck and burrowing her little face against my chest. Henry was up too, bringing his box around and holding it out to me.
"What's wrong kiddo?" I asked reaching out to draw him to me. He held up the box to me, his lower lip trembling as tears welled in his eyes.
"Something's wrong with Shadow." He sobbed. Bella struggled up from the bed and came over to run a comforting hand through our seven-year-old's messy brown hair.
"Your mouse?" I asked, looking up at Bella for confirmation. She nodded tiredly and I looked back down at my son.
"He's not eating and he's not moving so much! Daddy what's wrong with him?" Henry asked, shoving the box into my hand. I set Lucy down despite her protests and gazed down at the tiny black speck of fur in the box. There was food strew around it and a towel padded underneath it. If I were being honest, I'd say the mouse looked dead, all apart from the occasional twitch of it's nose. I looked back up at Bella.
"How long has this been going on?" I asked her. She sighed and rubbed her full stomach.
"Since this afternoon. Henry got home to find Shadow like that. He's been worried ever since." She said softly.
One look at my son told me that I was not going to be sleeping until this damn mouse was on the mend. I looked back at Bella.
"What am I supposed to do?" I asked quietly. She shrugged.
"Diagnose it?" She offered. I sighed and ran a hand through my hair.
"Bella I'm a doctor, not a veterinarian. I know nothing of mice." I groaned tiredly. Bella nodded sympathetically while Henry continued to whimper.
"Daddy please make him better." Henry pleaded. I looked back down at the damn mouse.
"Let me call Emmett." I said finally. "I'll see if he can see us."
Bella nodded and took both of the kids against her while I pulled out my phone. "Daddy's going to call uncle Emmett." Bella told them. "Remember what he does?" She asked them. I tuned her out as I dialed my best friend's cell.
"Ed man, what the hell are you calling this late?" Despite the hour, Emmett's voice was cheery and bright. I sighed and looked back down at the mouse in disdain.
"We're having a pet emergency." I said shaking my head. "Please tell me you can see us."
Emmett, who had been boisterous one minute, became serious now. "Of course Ed. You know I can always squeeze you guys in. Come by and I'll see what's going on." He said sincerely.
"Thanks Em, I seriously owe you one."
Emmett chuckled. "See you in a few."
I hung up and turned back to my family. Bella's six-month belly was making consoling our children difficult as they tried and failed to climb onto her lap.
"I'm going to take it to Uncle Emmett." I said gesturing to the box with the mouse.
"Can I come?" Henry asked jumping up. I began to protest but the look on his face was desperate.
"Go get dressed." I said shaking my head. He and Lucy jumped off the bed and ran out of our room. Bella stood and waddled over to me, giving me an apologetic smile.
"I'm so sorry you had to come home to this." She said bringing her small hand up to meet my face. "I tried to talk him down, but he's been a mess all day." She yawned and shook her head. "I hope to god there is nothing wrong with the mouse. I don't think any of us will get any sleep if it dies." She said looking at the little black, unmoving speck. I groaned.
"It's a damn mouse." I growled.
"It's his pet." Bella said shrugging. "You remember how destroyed I was when my dog died when we were still dating." She said gently.
"Yeah but Bella, that was a dog." I complained. Bella shook her head.
"It was a beloved animal. There is no difference here Edward. Our son loves that mouse." She gave me a small smile before turning to our closet and pulling on a sweater.
"What are you doing?" I asked.
"I'm not going to make you take our seven and four year old to the vet in the middle of the night alone." She said looking at me over her shoulder. "Because let's face it, Lucy is going to demand to come as well and you'll cave."
I nodded my head in defeat. I would cave. My little angel was my damn kryptonite, just like her mom.
"I'm so fucking tired." I said looking at the bed longingly. Bella came back to my side and reached up to kiss me. Instinctually my arm without the stupid mouse went around her.
"I know baby." She whispered. "But you have the next three days off and the kids have school. I'll arrange for them to stay with Rose or Alice for a while so you can sleep peacefully." She said softly. I smiled at her. The offer was generous, but it didn't help me now. After a nearly 48-hour shift, I just wanted sleep, sex and food, in that order.
I opened my mouth to respond to her when our door burst open and my kids came running in.
"Ready!" They both shouted. I nodded and dug out my car keys from my pocket.
"Right, let's go."
After fighting with Bella on who would be driving (she tried to insist on driving since I was so tired, but I argued she couldn't get behind the wheel while pregnant), I finally got us to Emmett's twenty-four hour emergency pet clinic. There was a woman in the waiting room with an old cat on her lap and a man lounging across from her, carrying a turtle. They both looked up at us as we came in and gave us easy smiles. Bella, who was much more gracious than I was, smiled back and stepped up to the receptionist's desk.
"Hi Kate." Bella said warmly. The blond woman looked up and grinned at Bella.
"Bella! Hi what are you doing here?" Kate looked beyond her to where I was standing with the box in my hands. Henry had his little hands up on the desk and was trying to pull himself up to see over the counter while Lucy did the same. "Henry and Lucy!" Kate squealed, running around the desk to embrace my kids. Kate as Emmett's sister-in-law and was only about nineteen. I'd known her since she was a baby. Her older sister Rosalie had been best friends with Bella since they were six.
"Auntie Kate!" The kids both squealed. "Auntie Kate something is wrong with Shadow!" Henry said, dragging her over to me. Kate looked at the box a moment before giving me a curious look. I shrugged my shoulders and she nodded, turning back to my kids.
"Well I'll go see if your Uncle Emmett is free to take a look at him now." She said gently. Both the kids nodded and she disappeared back behind the counter. A few moments later Emmett was bursting through the door. He scooped up the kids and gave them both hugs before setting them down and tugging Bella into an embrace. I started to warn him to be careful, but the warning was needless. He was gentler with her than I'd ever seen him with anyone.
"How's my nephew cooking?" Emmett asked patting her stomach. Bella rolled her eyes.
"Just fine Em. He want's to get to sleep though so hurry up and diagnose Shadow will you?" She asked quietly. Emmett's playful smile turned serious.
"Of course, can I see him?" He asked. I held out the box to him and he peered inside.
"He won't eat and he doesn't move." Henry supplied. "He didn't even want cheese!"
Emmett nodded and scooped up my son.
"Let's go back into my office and take a look shall we?" He asked gently. Henry nodded and clung to him as he started back behind the counter. I picked up Lucy who was yawning and starting to fall apart from exhaustion. I knew it had only been a matter of time. No matter how dire the situation may have been, she was still only four years old.
Bella and I followed Emmett back to his office and sat down as he brought the mouse onto an examination table. He started to ask Henry a few questions, to which my son had long lengthy answers.
After a few minutes Emmett looked up at us.
"Well, it seems that Shadow is a girl." Emmett said finally. I frowned and looked at Bella who looked just as surprised. "And not only that, but this little lady is pregnant. Very pregnant. She's about to give birth." He said gesturing to the box. I felt my jaw drop.
"What?" I asked. Emmett nodded. "How is that even possible? She's the only mouse we have!" If Emmett suggested Immaculate Conception I'd walk out of there and leave the damn mouse with him.
"Oh no." Bella whispered. I looked at her to see her eyes were wide. "Last month Henry had a play date with Joshua, his friend from school. He brought over his mouse Danny and they played together." She looked back at the box and I groaned. Lucy looked confused and Henry looked anxious.
"So you are telling me were about to be burdened with a bunch of baby mice?" I asked Emmett. Both Lucy and Henry gasped, finally understanding what was going on.
"Babies?" Lucy squealed. "Like the one mommy's going to have?"
"Yes Luce, but you know, little mice instead of a little human." He said smiling at her. Henry was staring at his mouse in shock. He almost looked, betrayed. I couldn't blame him for the feeling.
"But Shadow is supposed to be a boy." He protested.
"Well, it seems no one ever gave Shadow a close look, well not until Danny." He chuckled at his own joke and I couldn't help my snort of laughter. This was insane. Utterly insane.
"What do we do?" Bella asked, placing a delicate hand on my thigh.
"Well, just leave her alone." Emmett said shrugging. "She's going to want to be alone for the birth and then after the birth as well. Make sure to keep her in a clean and comfortable environment, but really, she knows how to birth her litter." He said shrugging. "Once they are born, wait to handle them for about four days. After that you should figure out how many males and how many females there are. You'll be able to tell because the females have nipples." He explained. "Keep them together with her until about four weeks old. Then separate the males and females. They are able to start breeding around that age and you don't want some weird incestuous mouse infestation." He said chuckling. I shuddered at the thought.
"How many will she have?" Bella asked looking down at the little black mouse. Emmett shrugged.
"Hard to say. She could have two, she could have twenty. Though judging on how tiny she is and how difficult it is to tell she's actually pregnant, I'd say you're probably not going to be saddled with more than five." He said reassuringly. I felt my head spinning. Twenty potential mice? This was too much, all of it was.
"Thank you Em." Bella said standing up. Lucy, who had been hyper moments ago, had completely passed out now in my arms. I shifted her weight to one side as I stood.
"It was no problem, I'm glad I could help." He said smiling. He turned to Henry and crouched down to look at him. "If you have any questions, just call me, okay buddy?" He asked seriously. Henry nodded and hugged him tight.
"Thanks Uncle Em." He whispered. Emmett chuckled and hugged my son.
"It was my pleasure kid." He pulled away and ruffled Henry's brown hair. "Now go take your mama mouse home. She needs rest and so do your parents." He said glancing up at Bella and me. Henry nodded and took the box carefully in his hands.
By the time we left the office, it was well past midnight, nearly one in the morning. Henry was yawning and barely able to hold himself up as we walked out to the car. Bella helped him in his booster seat while I strapped Lucy into her car seat, before we climbed in.
"Can you believe this?" Bella asked quietly, looking down at the box in her hands. I shook my head. No, I fucking couldn't. "We have two pregnant mommies in the house now." She cooed down at the box. I glanced at her as I drove. She was smiling radiantly, her hand brushing over her stomach lovingly.
"What are we going to do with baby mice?" I asked her, glancing in the rear view mirror to make sure the kids were asleep. They were both passed out.
"I don't know." Bella said gently. "Give them away I guess." She looked put out by the thought, though I didn't dare suggest keeping them. Instead I drove us home in silence.
When I pulled up to the house I could feel my eyelids drooping and I yawned before forcing myself to get up and get out of the car. Bella took the mouse in her hands while I pulled out Lucy from her car seat. I held her in one arm while reaching in to grab Henry in the other. The weight of my two kids was impossibly heavy in my exhausted arms, but Bella moved ahead of me, opening doors and getting their beds ready, and somehow I managed to get them both into bed. As I was tucking in Henry, he sighed and looked up at me through blurry eyes.
"Thank you daddy." He whispered. The relief in his voice caught me off guard and I faltered a moment. My son had been truly worried about his little mouse, and though I'd been past the point of exhaustion, it suddenly all became worth it. I reached down to kiss his forehead and he smiled before curling up to sleep. I smiled at him softly and left his room, making my way to my room at the end of the hall.
In our bed, Bella was curled up on her side, her sweatshirt abandoned on the back of a chair and her shoes tossed hazardously across the room. She looked up at me when I came in and gave me a tired smile, opening up her arms in an invitation. Needing no further prompting, I whipped my shirt over my head and dropped my jeans to the floor, kicking them in the general direction of the closet. I crawled into bed beside my wife and sighed when I finally had her in my arms. She snuggled into me and placed a soft kiss against my chest and I let my eyes shut. I was so ridiculously tired.
Bella's soft kiss traveled across my chest and suddenly her hands were everywhere. My eyes flew open when I felt her tugging at my boxers.
"Baby, I love you. I really, really do. But I can barely keep my eyes open." I said gently. I had once turned down sex when she had been pregnant with Henry and I had paid dearly for that. She had become an emotional mess and had sobbed for hours, completely inconsolable. Since then I was weary about her every reaction while she was pregnant.
To my great relief she giggled and placed one last kiss in the center of my chest.
"I know baby." She whispered. "I'm sorry, but there is something so sexy about seeing my amazing husband put his family's needs before his own." She whispered gazing up at me. I smiled tiredly at her. "You are an incredible man Edward Cullen." She said gently. I hugged her tight and kissed her forehead.
"It's because I married an incredible woman. She's made me the man I am." I told her honestly. Tears bloomed in her eyes as she reached up to kiss me.
"I love you." She whispered pulling away. I smiled and tried to respond, but a yawn ate up my words. She giggled again and the sound was heaven to my ears. "Sleep baby." She urged.
I was passed out before I could even nod.