Even If the Skies Get Rough
Warning: read at your own risk. I've never done a fic like this before and I'm a little scared of it myself.
AU - In which Snow is carrying their second child in Storybrooke. Everything is going blissfully, until she goes into labor early, and Emma and Henry are the only ones home.
Dedicated to Carol. Payback time.
Snow knew something wasn't right the minute she was awoken in the middle of the night with shooting pains in her lower back. She tried clear her head of any spot of worry; the baby wasn't due for another ten weeks. She also remembered something Dr. Whale had mentioned not to long ago: false labors. Her stubborn mind decided that must be it and she should try to go back to sleep.
She had dosed off at one point, the point where Charming must have gotten up and left to help the dwarves with another batch of beans. She sighed when her hand slid to the empty spot next to her. This was going to be a long day without him.
She grumbled to herself as she slipped out of their bedroom and thud thud thuddedinto the kitchen, very odd from her normal nearly graceful self.
Henry glanced up from his cereal and jumped when he spotted her. Blunt as always, the boy exclaimed, "Wow, Grandma, you look terrible!"
The woman darted her eyebrows and pulled the orange juice out of the fridge while Emma elbowed her son in the ribs. "Not the thing to say someone when they're knocked up, kid," she said before looking up from her own bowl. She dropped her spoon mid-bite when she saw her.
"Okay no offense, but you kinda do."
"Good morning to you too," she growled, pouring herself a second glass and chugging it down like the first one.
"Did you get any sleep at all last night?" her voice was starting to sound worried.
She shook her head. "but It's normal. I lost a lot of sleep with you too." Not this badly, she almost said, but decided to keep to herself.
"I hear you. My whole sleeping schedule was completely backwards with this one," Emma said, ruffling his hair. Her face softened into a smile, "so how is my baby brother today?"
Snow rolled her eyes to the back of her head. "You and your father. Why are you both so insistent that it's a boy?" On a lighter note, she was still so relieved that Emma was over the moon happy about the pregnancy.
"Just a hunch."
"Oh yeah? Your father had the same hunch about you. And you see where that got us." She winked.
It was nearly three hours later that Emma was pounding on the bathroom door, heart racing twice as fast as usual. "You've been in there for thirty minutes and haven't said a word. what's going on?"
She was having one of her bad feelings again, and Snow not answering her cries was scaring her to death with the scenarios zooming around her head.
"I am legally obliged to break down this door! I'll do it!"
Tears started welling up in her eyes. "Mom, please, please talk to me. are you okay? is the the baby okay?" She had her right foot in position to kick down the door when it swung open with a force too strong to have been done by hand. Emma's magic was always at it's strongest when in distress.
Snow was sitting on the edge of the bathtub, hands cradling her middle and puffy green eyes locked on the floor.
"Mom-" Emma dashed to her side, when she slipped and nearly busted her backside on the tile floor had it not been for the towel rack she thankfully grabbed.
"What happened? Are you o-" Then she realized what made her slip. The whole floor was covered in a slimy liquid. "..no."
She nodded and forced out: "My water broke."
Emma took a step back and clutched the towel rack once again for support. "No, no no this can't be happening! It-it's too early!" she sputtered, "Why didn't you call me? We need to go to the hospital!"
Snow fell silent again. Emma slammed her head against the wall in frustration. Why wasn't she saying anything? What was wrong with her?
She regained her strength and threw a towel over the floor, not wanting Snow to fall and make the situation twice as bad. She slung her mother's arm over her shoulder and helped her out of the room.
"Henry, call Dr. Whale, tell him Snow is in labor." she ordered, laying out another towel and helping her sit on the bed.
"No time for questions! Just do it! now!" She snapped. He dove for her phone as Emma tended to her mother.
"So those were contractions I was feeling last night," she whispered.
"What? You had them last night? And you didn't think to tell anyone?"
Her hands flew to her face in distress. "It's ten weeks before time and I thought it could be a false one. Excuse me for not going through labor for thirty years and a curse!"
Emma rubbed her temples. "Okay, arguing isn't going to get us anywhere. Henry! Do you have him?!"
"It went to voicemail, I think he's busy."
"Well call him again!"
"Alright! Alright!" He dialed the number again and waited a beat. "Dr. Whale? It's Henry. Mom told me to tell you that Grandma's in labor." He paused, then handed the phone to Emma. "He wants to talk to you."
"How long has she been having contractions?" He asked calmly.
"Since last night apparently. She didn't tell anyone." She watched as her son took a seat beside where Snow was laying and started brushing her hair out of her face with his fingers. She could physically see her relaxing. He just had a way with people.
"When did her water break?"
"Uh, at some point in the last half hour. She was in the bathroom by herself."
"Check and see how far she's dilated. And have Henry clean it up, it'll start giving off a foul odor soon."
Her eyes narrowed. "I am not making my son clean up my mother's birth fluid." She walked back to the bedroom, "So how do I know if she's dilated or not?"
"Can you see the baby's head?"
She awkwardly lifted the end of her nightgown. The sight nearly made her legs give out from beneath her.
"Y-yeah, I see the head."
He took a deep breath. "Then it's too late to move her."
Her heart dropped to her stomach just as Snow let out a soul-ripping scream. Her voice shook. "How soon can you get here?!"
"I'm about to perform a surgery, I won't be able to get there. I'm sorry."
"Are you kidding me? This is my mom's life in jeopardy here!" she exclaimed as the woman let out another wail.
"Besides, by the time I gather the supplies and drive over there it'll be too late. Is your father home?"
Her heart sank to her feet. "No."
His following sentence nearly made her drop the phone in horror.
"Emma, you're going to have to deliver this baby."
She put the call on mute and set it on the desk beside her as she staggered to her side. "Uh, Mom?" she swallowed hard. "How do you feel about a home birth?"
She tried her best to grin. "Wouldn't be the first time. Just call Charming, he has to be here. He has to."
She nodded and dialed his number on Snow's phone.
He could tell by that one word something was wrong. "What happened?"
She tried her best to explain it as quickly as she could while he dropped his tools and sprinted to the truck. She put the phone on speaker and picked up her own phone, setting it to speaker as well.
"Okay, can you both hear me?"
"Loud and clear," Charming said. "I'm on my way."
"I can hear you too. Tell Henry to fetch some more towels and a shoestring to tie off the cord. It's going to get messy."
"I'm on it." He nodded and hopped off the bed, returning with the items seconds later.
She layered the towels on the surrounding area of Snow's lower half while Henry pulled in a barstool from the kitchen. "What do you think you're doing?"
"I didn't want to sit on the bed," he explained, making himself comfortable in the seat.
"Oh no, kid. I don't think so." she dragged her son and the seat to the bedside table. "Park it right here. You do not need to see this."
David was not a fan of hearing his wife's cries of pain and not being able to do anything about it. It was even worse knowing that their poor daughter was caught in the middle of all this, probably scared to death. He was their protector, well supposed to be anyway. It was kind of hard to be protecting them when he was fifteen minutes away in stopped dead traffic.
"Alright, Emma. When the entire head is out and you can see the face, be ready to pull," he heard Dr. Whale's voice say from the other phone. "You're going to pull the baby out gently by its head. Catch the rest of it in your arms and and wrap it in a towel."
"Okay, I think it's time to do that! Mom you're going to have to push one more time and you're done!"
A single tear fell down his face. "You're so close! How are you feeling, Snow?"
"I'VE BEEN BETTER," she howled.
"You're doing great, honey. You can do this. And Emma, you're doing great too."
"Thanks. When are you getting here?!"
He sighed angrily. "I'm working on it, but the traffic is barely moving. Damnit, why today? We never have traffic here!"
"I see the eyes and nose! Here it comes! I-" her voice fell. "Oh no. No no no no-"
"What's wrong?!" Snow, Whale, and David exclaimed at the same time. He could hear her sniffling. His heart pounded in his chest.
"Dr. Whale? The cord. It's..it's wrapped around its neck."
"No!" David shouted. He honked his horn and slammed his fist on the dashboard. He had to be there. He had to. To hell with it, he thought. He turned if off and ran on foot.
"Emma, Emma listen to me. Tell Snow to stop pushing. Pushing could force the baby out too fast and choke him. I want you to carefully try to lift the cord over his head. Can you do that?"
"I think so. I think I can do it."
David weaved through the blaring car horns like he had been practicing his whole life. "Emma, you can do this. I believe in you."
Silence fell over the phones. Tears streamed down his face and clouded his vision, wishing he could be there right then. Seconds that seemed like years later, she spoke up. "I did it! The cord is off!"
The group sighed in relief.
"I'm sending over an ambulance now. Snow, one more push!" Whale spoke. "You can do it!"
After one final scream of pain that made his ears ring, Emma was the first to cry out: "It's out! He's out!"
The room waited, waited, and waited for the sound, but it didn't come. The baby in Emma's arms, the teeny tiny baby with his mother's nose and his father's wrinkled forehead and the black as night tuffs of his sister's curls, was silent.
"Why isn't he crying?!" Snow cried, her voice raspy and broken from exhaustion.
"I-I don't know, he's not moving either." Tears spilled down her cheeks as she held him closer. Don't do this, she thought. Not to them. They don't deserve this. They already missed my whole life, they can't miss his too. "Whale? What do I do?"
"Lay him on the bed and start rubbing him with the towels. Or clear his airways, they may be too clogged."
She did as she was told, nearly blinded by her tears. after ten minutes of profuse rubbing, she stopped. He still wasn't moving. He wasn't going to move. She didn't get the cord off in time.
Her brother was gone.
And it was all her fault.
She sank to her knees and leaned her back against the bedframe, burying her face in her lap and fillng her sleeves with tears. Her mother was crying too as she lifted the silent infant and cradled him in her arms. Henry threw his arms around her and cried into her shoulder. Whale was crying, David was crying, the only dry eye in the room belonged to the baby that didn't make a sound.
Henry wiped his nose and peered over his grandma's shoulders at his tiny uncle. He noticed something.
"Hmm?" her reply muffled from the floor.
"His lips are moving."
Snow's eyes snapped open. Sure enough, he was right. His tiny pink lips were pushing together, his forehead folded and creased in what looked like frustration, and his tiny pink fingers were shifting around as well.
And then they heard it.
The most beautiful sound in all the land.
The house itself seemed to let out a sigh of relief. Emma dove onto the bed and crawled next to her mother to see for herself. His powerful little lungs filled the room with such a beautiful sound.
"Charming, Charming he's beautiful. He's so beautiful." Snow whispered when Henry brought the phones over to her.
"I know he is, honey. I love you so much."
"I love you too," she grinned from ear to ear. "And Lance loves you too."
"Lance?" Henry asked, "Why Lance?"
"After Lancelot, of course." Emma smiled, wiping her nose on her sleeve, "He's the reason both of us are here. And you too, kid."
"I like that." He smiled, then added, "Do I have to call him Uncle Lance?"
Whale's laugh was the loudest. "What a strange family you have there. Hang tight, guys. The ambulance should be there any second now."
"And I'll be there before you can say-"
The sound of brakes squealing and metal smashing filled their ears. They jumped.
"Charming? Charming what was that?!" they waited anxiously as the phone only picked up more brakes and horns blaring.
"Charming, what was that?" Archie heard a voice calling from the cracked cell phone that had landed by his feet. He glanced back at the scene he had just witnessed and picked up the phone, shock still setting in around his body.
"Dad?" he could hear Emma's cry, "Daddy?!"
"Emma? Snow?" he spoke, his voice cracked and shaking as he stepped closer to the scene.
"Archie? Why do you have David's phone?"
He wasn't sure how he could explain this, but they deserved to hear it from him before finding out themselves. "He was running in the street, in quite the hurry, when a car, I guess the driver didn't see him, he-"
He took a deep breath. "I'm so sorry, he hit him. And the car just took off."
Everyone near the phone seemed to gasp at the same time.
"Is he..." Emma forced out, "...Is he gone?" Her voice sounded so small and weak, almost childlike.
He moved closer to the man laying in the street. He saw the blood pooling around him, his clothes were ripped, he had cuts and scrapes everywhere. He almost said yes, when he saw his chest begin to rise.
He began to blink rapidly as his frightened eyes scanned the area.
"He- he's alive! He's alive!"
"He is?! Oh my god, p-put him on the phone! Mom say something to him!"
He lay the phone by his ear and dialed 911 with his own phone.
"Charming, Charming, can you hear me?"
His facial expression shifted from fear to puzzled. He swallowed and moved the phone closer to him.
"Yeah, I can hear you, but, who is this? Who's Charming?"