A/N: Written for the Unlamplike Feelings Week meme on tumblr - Tuesday's theme being "babies." Comes with minimum beta/proofreading - and written in less than a 24 hour period.
Danny thought he was alone in the office - it's two in the morning after all - but something's shuffling around in the supply room. "Mindy? What are you doing here?"
She twirls around to face him, her hands shoved behind her back, a few things falling off the shelf behind her. "Nothing - what are you doing here?"
"I just got done with a delivery and remembered I left something here - why are you here? Or a better question - why are you in here?"
She glares at him for a few seconds before he raises his eyebrow at her, stepping forward, and she sighs, looking at his shoes. "You can't get mad, and you can't yell - and you're not allowed to say 'I told you so.'"
He just shrugs tiredly at her defiant glare, and he has to blink a few times at the handful of individually wrapped brand name pregnancy tests before his brain can even understand what she's holding. "Why do you - "
"We're gonna have to talk about that night, Danny."
"I know we agreed not to, but - "
"You know we're in a doctor's office with working ultrasounds and forceps, right?"
"I can't give myself an ultrasound, Danny!"
Mindy discovers that being pregnant is an easy way to get her patients to trust her – and for her to empathize with them. At the same time - work is kind of hell.
"Morgan! I can have coffee if I want to! And give me back my Kit-Kats now."
Morgan dances around the desk away from her so only her glare can follow him. "But Doctor C said - "
"And the rule sheet you signed says –" He gestures wildly toward the break room where a slightly tattered 'Dr Lahiri's Pregnancy Rule Chart' hangs, and it makes her want to attack someone. Preferably Danny.
"Well I am officially un-signing it - I am starting my third trimester in a week and if I want a goddamn Kit Kat I'll have one!"
Morgan is trying to avoid her eyes, which means he's going to keep fighting, but Danny walks in from an exam room, cutting the tension. "Let her have whatever she wants - she's the one who's pregnant. She's smart enough to know a stupid decision from a chocolate craving." He grins and steals a kiss from Mindy before heading back into another exam room.
Morgan sets the candy bar down and backs away slowly, but Mindy has to roll her eyes and walk the other way. "I hate all of you."
"Why are there so many people in here?" Mindy half-yells, half grunts out. Danny's supposed to be there - her death grip on his hands is making sure he doesn't leave - but there are like five other people here that she doesn't remember inviting.
"Dr L, we just wanna be here for you, and - "
"Okay, Mindy, you're crowning, are you ready?"
"No! All of you need to leave - I just want Danny." She grits her teeth as she feels another contraction and knows she doesn't really have a choice. "I mean I want you, Dr. Hendricks, and you ladies at the warmer, but –" She can't finish her sentence, clinging onto Danny's hands desperately.
"Everyone else out. Now." Danny's voice is steel and for a second she doesn't hate him for doing this to her.
"Mindy give me a big push now, okay?" She grits her teeth and bears down, tears squeezing from her eyes.
Her voice is high and squeaky, "Oh god, that's not even all of her head, is it?"
Danny's voice is in her ear, soft and strong. "Mindy, you're doing great; you can do this, okay? You're strong and smart and you have never looked more beautiful to me."
"That's a line!"
"I always thought it was but no, it's not. You are gorgeous right now, Mindy, and I love you. You can do this." He kisses her forcefully on the side of her head, and her OB nods at her.
She keeps pushing, Danny chanting encouraging nonsense into her ear, gripping her hands equally hard, and she gets past the head, and everything else, until: "One last push, Mindy, okay? Just one more." And it really is one more until she's out, and a minute later she's on top of Mindy, not inside her, all gooey and gross. But her eyes are streaming real tears, and Danny keeps sniffling in her ear as she leans back into him, both of their hands entwining to hold their newborn.
"I told you you could do it."
"Shut up." And to be sure he does, she kisses him.
It's normal to see strollers and newborns at the office - it's just weird to be the one with the newborn pushing the stroller inside at midday. The waiting room is packed and everyone's bustling around. For a minute, she feels extremely out of place and she wants to bustle with everyone else, but she can still feel uncomfortable stitches from her episiotomy, and then both Betsy and Morgan beam a smile at her - so she happily sits in the waiting room, waiting for a lull.
Betsy comes over four times to coo over Cassandra, Morgan bouncing over six times, and after two other women get taken back to exam rooms, Mindy strolls over to the desks, newborn in arms. She's sleeping, but all of her staff come over and tell her how gorgeous she is and ask the same questions over and over, a few stroking the soft down of her head, or examining her teeny fingers. Morgan is the first to hold her, and her eyelids flutter open to see Morgan, Betsy, and Jeremy cooing over her.
"Hey, I didn't know you were coming in." Danny slides an arm around Mindy, planting a kiss on her cheek.
"Well, I couldn't stay inside anymore - and Cassie misses her Daddy."
"Oh, Dr. Castellano, she's gorgeous." Betsy coos for the fifth time.
Danny smiles and shrugs. "Well she takes after her Mom, so what do you expect?"
Mindy shakes her head at him, but he doesn't notice, inching forward, hands out toward Morgan to grab Cassandra, kiss her, and cuddle her close to his chest.
"Okay, back to work," Danny announces at large, and everyone disperses. He holds Cassandra tight to his chest, making a round or two around the room, greeting people and checking charts. Mindy packs up all of their stuff back into the stroller before Danny hands their daughter back over. He fidgets to fix her blanket and kisses her on the forehead multiple times before straightening. "Thanks for coming in."
On her first day back Mindy doesn't feel like she can concentrate on anything. Just to be safe she's reading all of her charts five times over so she doesn't make any terrible mistakes. Everyone in the office politely ignores her distracted mind, and thank goodness, she doesn't have any OB patients today, just GYN.
She makes it until 10:20 before she bursts into Danny's office. "I can't stand it - I miss her."
"Mindy." Danny looks up at her tiredly, and slowly pushes back from his desk.
"She's probably bawling her eyes out right now, missing me."
"Actually she's probably sleeping - it's her naptime." Danny gets up and stretches, a chart in his hand.
"No," Mindy shakes her head. "Cassie's very particular about how she falls asleep. Very few people can master that."
"She's with my Mom."
Danny wraps his free arm around her and squeezes affectionately. "Cassie's fine - if she wasn't Ma would've called. You were bored to death at home all day and dying to get back to work. Now you're here - enjoy it."
Mindy slumps down more into Danny's shoulder. "I just miss her. Don't you miss her?"
He kisses her on the side of the head. "Yeah, but you should see how happy she'll be when she sees you once you get home." He leans his head down on top of hers. "In the meantime you can just think about how you're helping other people be as happy as we are."
She moves to look at him. "You mean the sleepless nights and the constant worry and the ache of missing her right now?"
"That's what I said." He grins wide and steals a quick kiss before heading out to the lobby.
Mindy smiles, feeling better, but she still takes out her phone to text Mrs. Castellano and check in.
For a night spent in delivery at the hospital, getting home at two a.m. really isn't that bad for Mindy. Except she's exhausted and in desperate need of a shower, stumbling into the apartment. She walks past the chair a few times looking for her phone she accidentally left at home, and then she notices Danny's asleep on it, Cassie asleep on top of his chest. Phone now in hand, she tries to take a few pictures, but the low light won't have it, and she hesitantly turns on a lamp. She makes the picture her screensaver in a few swipes and turns the light back off, trying to figure out if she should move Cassie or wake up Danny so he can do it.
He's in his pajamas, a faded old gray t-shirt and his boxers, hair mussed, with one arm around Cassie while all of his other limbs stretch out. Mindy smiles, seeing Cassie's in Danny's favorite pajama onesie pick - it's pink and grey with teddy bears all over it with a zipper instead of snaps. Standing there wondering what to do, Mindy's exhaustion catches up to her, and she decides to snuggle into Danny's side.
He wakes up as she does, wrapping his arm around her and asking, "Oh hey, hi - how was the delivery?"
"Complicated, awful, long - but everyone's okay now, so I just want to go to sleep."
Danny kisses the top of her head in response. "We should probably get to bed."
"In a few minutes." Mindy brings her hand up gently to join Danny's around their daughter. "Did she eat good?"
"Yeah, she ate like a champ. And we even made it through bath-time okay. She just didn't wanna go to sleep."
"Well, she just missed Mommy."
"Well, Daddy missed Mommy too."
She looks up at him. "Yeah?"
"Yeah." They kiss a few times before snuggling into each other, watching their baby girl sleep.
A/N: I may have skated over some pregnancy details and been uber specific on others. I'm sorry, it's just how I operate.
Dr. Hendricks is actually a real lady, and a real OB/GYN doctor (she's mine) - and I can only hope Mindy does/did get a gyno as awesome as her.
Cassandra is the name I chose mostly because I love that full name (And yet I still shortened it to Cassie, I don't even know) and also it's my cousin's name, and she was/is a gorgeous multi-race baby/person and I'm not sure why that part's important but whatever. Now you know.
Oh, and OB is obstetrics, the delivering of babies and making sure the fetus and mom is healthy, and GYN is gynecology, which is just the doctoring of things like boobs, uterus, cervix, ovaries, etc. The Mindy Project practice is both - but I just wanted to specify because I like specificity, but I also wrote just assuming people knew this.