A/N: Ok, first off, sorry, got a bit wordy on this chapter lol and not as many screenshots to go with the words. Still, hope you enjoy it. HUGE shoutout to Miss Ivane once again. Head to the link on the right side of the page to check out Alduin and Cali’s adventures and figure out just what’s going on with Alduin! We did a lot of collaboration with this chapter. In fact, the conversation between Cali and Luna is all her and I going back and forth. So definitely check it out and I hope you enjoy!
So, our child still refuses to appear. I was hoping I could avoid a C-section but if our little one doesn’t decide to show themselves soon, I go in next week for the cesarean. I was eating some of my Nan’s apple pancakes (she makes some of the best pancakes, really. Why yes, pancakes have been one of my cravings, can ya tell?). Pop had scored a plate of them too, while Nan had grabbed some of the leftover Goopy Carbonara. “Don’t worry, sweetie. It’ll be ok,” Nan told me. “Babies seem to have their own set schedules and never mind what those who are waiting for them want.”
Pop nodded his agreement. “Yes, your mother decided she was going to come a wee bit early… on our prom night.” He grinned at Nan, a shared memory that made Nan chuckle.
“Yes, she did. And your Pop here… he managed to panic so much that he forgot we weren’t going to prom. Had even changed into his tux. So he looked pretty handsome in the hospital room, though.”
Pop chuckled, rubbing the back of his neck. “Thought I was prepared. Turns out, not so much.”
I grinned. I’d heard the story a couple times. But I never actually tired of hearing it. “Yeah, I know. I just… want to hold them so much, ya know?”
“Oh we know, sweetie,” Nan murmured, sympathy tinging her voice. “We know. You will soon, though.” She grinned again. “We’re all looking forward to your little one’s arrival.”
“Your mother just told me of a dream she had the other night about getting to hold her first grandchild,” Pop said with a grin. “I think she’s just as anxious as you are.”
I grimaced, then laughed. “Yeah, she and Dad both. They’re trying to hide it, but I can tell.” Just the other morning, Dad and I had been chatting after a quick snack. Well, I had had the snack. Dad, I think, just wanted to talk.
“You’re taking your vitamins, still right?”
“Yes, Dad. I’m still taking them. If I don’t, Roark comes in, shaking the bottle and giving me that look of his…”
He laughed. “Good for him. He’s only looking after you.”
“Yeah, yeah,” I grumbled. “I know, I know. Just tired of feeling like a beached whale.”
I could tell Dad was fighting to keep from grinning. “Still smarting a little over the lecture he gave you the other day?”
The incident Dad was talking about happened a few days ago. I’d noticed that the bathroom attached to our bedroom was filthy. Roark’s first day at the base here had been earlier in the week, so he’d been unable to clean anything. Without really thinking anything of it, I decided it was time to fix the leak in the shower. So I took a monkey wrench and began tightening the connections.
I made a little bit of a mess on the floor, so I cleaned that up.
And since I was there, might as well clean the toilet right?
Except… well, when Roark got home and found me bending over so precariously over the toilet, he had a few choice words for me. “What under the Plumbob are you doing?” he growled at me.
I have to admit that I jumped a bit and whirled around. My cheeks heated and I glared at him. “You don’t need to scare me!”
“Luna,” he ground out, obviously trying to find patience. “You are nine months pregnant. What are you doing in here? Did you actually fix the shower too?” He smacked his forehead with the palm of his hand. “She’s trying to give me a heart attack,” he muttered, more to himself than me.
“Wait, you’re a vampire… can you even have a heart attack?” I asked him, smiling widely.
He just gave me a dark stare.
“You can’t be doing this!” he finally exploded. “Your doctor- who happens to be your father-, your mother, your grandmother and grandfather have all told you to take it easy. Is this taking it easy?”
“I’m not a child, Roark,” I told him in a low voice, my eyes narrowing. I was a grown woman, yet he made me feel like I was back in high school again, getting a lecture from one of my teachers for disrupting class or something.
He blew out a breath and stepped toward me, putting both hands around my waist as he stared into my eyes. “No, you aren’t. That’s true. You’re my wife. My very pregnant, very stubborn wife.”
I framed his face with my hands, pursing my lips a little. “I know you mean well. And I know I probably shouldn’t be doing things like that at this stage. Though… if it would induce labor, I’m all for it, really-“
“Luna…” he warned, his voice low, though I could see the smirk he tried to hide.
I grinned at him. “I honestly didn’t think anything of it, babe. Really. It wasn’t like I was defying orders… I just didn’t think anything of it. I’d been meaning to fix the leak and the bathroom needed a good scrub down. So I just did it.”
He frowned. “And what if you had fallen?” I opened my mouth to retort that I hadn’t fallen but the look on his face stopped me. “Luna, I couldn’t take it if anything happened to you, or to our baby. I know nothing did and I’m very grateful for that. But the fact is, it could have. You’re already almost three weeks over-do. And you said yourself your balance isn’t at its best, right?”
I sighed. “No, no it isn’t. I’m sorry, ok? I’ll be a good little girl.”
“Oh, c’mon. Don’t be like that, please.” He stepped back a bit and placed his hand on my very swollen stomach. “Hey little one, tell your mom that she needs to take care of herself, huh? She’s gotta be ready for when you decide you’re ready to face the world.”
The expression on his face as he spoke to the life that was growing within me, then when he looked up at my face had me swallowing back any comment as well as a few tears. I know he worries about me. Worries about our child. I also know I’m not the easiest person to deal with at times, either. So I have to give him a lot of credit. If I were him, I might have throttled me quite a while ago.
I grimaced. “No. No, I know he was right. Though if you tell him I said that, I will make you pay for it, Dad. Just so you know.”
Dad snorted. “Uh huh. Sure, baby girl. Whatever you say.” He got up and patted me on the head. “Don’t worry, you’ll get to hold your little one soon enough.” Roark and I had purposefully waited to find out the sex of the baby. We wanted to be surprised. Of course, we were hoping to have already met our little one by this time. They had other plans, apparently.
In other news, Cyn has settled in quite nicely. She really loves her own little space.
We added a desk for her at her request, so she has a place to put her laptop that she brought with her. And Mom and Dad even had an extra washer and dryer installed in the garage for her to use.
She’s been spending most of her time up there, on her own. She’s never had a place just to herself. Roark was a bit too leery of it because of being in Bridgeport. That place wasn’t easy on her. Since she’s been here, she’s only had a few episodes and most of them she’s been able to take care of herself.
Roark went up to visit with her. He says she seems quite content there.
All I can think about when I lay down to sleep is the baby.
Roark holds me as we fall asleep. Only three more days, and then it’s time for the C-section. I really shouldn’t be this worried. Dad’s told me everything is fine. I’m healthy and all the sonograms have assured us that the baby’s healthy too. I just… want to hold my baby. Patience has never been one of my virtues, if you couldn’t tell.
Knowing I’ve been having trouble sleeping, Roark suggested we do look at the night sky for a little while. This time, he made sure I wore more appropriate attire. It was still definitely cold, though it wasn’t quite as bad as it had been. Spring would be there before too long. I cuddled close to my husband’s side. Husband… I still find it a little surreal to call Roark that.
It was a pretty night, clear skies with a small crescent of a moon. I’d always loved the outdoors. And there was something about getting to share it like that with Roark that took my breath away. I giggled at something he’d whispered in my ear, when I froze.
A sob escaped my throat. Images flashed through my mind. I heard two gunshots, and saw my brother fall. There was darkness, then there was a strange red glow. The images stopped and I found myself in my husband’s arms as he carried me inside to our room. “Roark,” I whispered. “Al-alduin. Something happened to my brother!”
He looked down at me as he laid me on our bed. Worry creased his brow. “You just lay here. I’ll go talk with Jeff and Draco. We’ll make some calls. We’ll see if we can’t figure out what’s wrong. Are you ok, Luna? You’re awfully pale.”
I sat up and nodded. “I’m fine, I want to come with you-“ I stood up and I could feel something loosen within me. My eyes widened and I grabbed at my stomach. “Roark,” I drew in a pained breath. “Roark, the baby… my water just broke!”
He whirled around, his eyes as wide as saucers. “Wait, what? NOW?!”
“Yes now!” I shouted, a scream ripping from my throat.
Leave it to my child to choose NOW to decide to make their appearance. After that first initial panic, Roark got it together. He called for my Dad and Mom who came running. They knew the gameplan. Mom already had my bag ready. Roark led me out the door, acting like a bit of a drill sergeant.
He helped me into his truck; it had 4-wheel drive and would be the only thing that would get us through all the snow still on the ground. As he drove, his knuckles white on the steering wheel, he kept shooting me glances.
“Breathe, baby, breathe. That’s it, in and out,” he coached, his voice soothing. I had tears running down my face. All I could think about was my brother. I knew the vision for what it was: I’d seen something happen to him. It wasn’t a vision of the future. It had actually happened. But even as I thought about that, the pain in my abdomen and other regions ripped another scream from my throat. I had to concentrate. I couldn’t do anything for Alduin right now. Oh Watcher… Alduin, you had better be alright…
We got to the hospital in one piece and I waddled my way through the front door, Roark right there with me.
The staff came with a wheelchair and wheeled me off to the room. The contractions were getting worse. The pain made me hazy. They got me into the room. I’ll spare you the details here. I have to say, Roark was a champ. I owe that man several apologies. It’s a good thing vampires are more resilient. I’m pretty sure I would have broken his hand otherwise. And I know I told him if he told me to breath one more time, I was going to beat him with the nearest blunt object. But we survived it. After close to six excruciating hours of solid pushing, our son, Ryu Alaric Wyvern, was born.
I wanted out of there as quickly as possible. I wanted to get home. Since Dad is Chief of Surgery at the hospital, there wasn’t a lot of arguing they could do. So Roark and I took our son home. We got back and I laid him in the crib. The same crib that I had slept in when my parents brought me home.
Once I had laid my son down, I went out of the nursery. Pop, Dad, and Roark were there.
“Has anyone heard from Alduin?” I asked, trying to keep my voice steady.
“Not yet, baby,” Dad confirmed. He looked worried. “Can you sense anything else?”
I shook my head. After that first initial vision, there had been a tightness in my chest, like I couldn’t breathe. Even after I’d given birth, I’d felt it. But now… I frowned and tried to concentrate. It was hard to lower my shields. I’d spent a lot of time learning how to put them in place. Taking them down fully required effort. But as they came down, I saw my brother laying on a bed, a young woman hovering over him. I opened my eyes and blinked rapidly. “I-I think he’s ok…” I took out my phone. “I’m going to call him.”
I walked out to the kitchen, my hands trembling as I hit the speed dial again.
The phone rang four times. My heart sank with each ring. Until I heard it pick up. I almost cheered until I heard a very tentative- and very female- voice answer, “Hello?”
“My brother… This is Luna. Is my brother ok?”
There was no answer for a long moment. “Please… is he alright?”
I could hear the woman on the other end of the line- Cali. This had to be Cali, the girl Alduin had told me about. “I’m not sure exactly what happened, Luna,” she responded, “but he was shot last night.”
I had all I could do not to let out a wail. Alduin… my little brother… I was shaking, but I couldn’t make a sound. She rushed on a little bit. “I don’t know who did it… I just… saw him… and…” Her voice broke. I could tell she was on the verge of tears, maybe a total breakdown.
So I had to keep my voice steady, even a little soothing. “What condition is he in now, Cali? This is Cali, right?”
“Yes. I’m Calysta… He’s still unconscious, but he’s… recovering. The gunshots are… gone. We’re back at the dorm.”
My eyes widened and I pinched the bridge of my nose. In some way, that made sense. It seemed everything was ok. That pressure in my chest had disappeared and I didn’t feel anything from Alduin. Yet I could still feel him, where I hadn’t been able to before. I had to pull in a deep breath. “Ok, back up. Start at the beginning, ok? What happened to my brother?”
I could hear a deep gulp of breath and when she began talking, I could barely keep up with the words. “We were just hanging out at the theater. Then he just asked me to run. I was outside and I heard gunshots and I just ran in and there were these two guys screaming in frint… and then I saw Alduin-“ Here, her voice splintered, sounding shattered, “…there was blood all over the place. He was still conscious and I just held him and…” She stopped. My own heart was hammering hard enough that I thought it would crack a rib. “He died, Luna,” the girl whispered. “Alduin died.” I saw black for a moment. Darkness closed over my eyes. I knew she spoke truth.
I didn’t even recognize my own voice when I asked, “”What happened next, Calysta?” She had told me he was alive. So something had to have happened. I wasn’t sure what, other than knowing my brother’s abilities with the spirit realm.
“It’s going to sound crazy…” There was a lot of hesitation in her voice. It was like she was afraid I wouldn’t believe her. I waited. As I listened, I realized how hard all this must have been on her. The emotion in her voice… she loved my brother. I didn’t need to be telepathic to tell that. So I waited and let her get it out. “…but someone I know came to the scene… T-they helped him. They opened a way for him”
She hesitated, her voice breaking again. “…I’m waiting for him to come back. Their magic worked. He’s breathing… The gunshot wounds are gone…”
My mind whirled around. A door through the Netherworld. It would have been the only way. Cali sounded like she needed assurances as if she couldn’t really believe what she had seen with her own eyes. Though I was holding tears of fear and relief back myself, I kept my voice steady. “Alduin’s a Wyvern. He’ll be ok. He’ll come back. Just give him a little time. He’s got you to come back to.” I let out a breath. “Cali, when he wakes up, give him a message from me. H-he has a little nephew now. He’ll need to come and see him as soon as he has a chance ok?”
“Okay.” Her voice sounded like that of a child and I knew she must have been going out of her mind with worry. “I’ll let him know, Luna.”
“You do that. And Cali? Thank you. Go on, you’ll want to be there WHEN he wakes up.” I hung the phone up and just stood there, swaying.
The tears that I had hidden from Cali swept down over my cheeks as I let it all out. Alduin was alive. He’d come back to us… I remembered when he was just a little guy and I could hold him in my arms…
Someone had shot my little brother… I was going to find out who. And there would be hell to pay.
I turned around and there was Roark. He took one look at me and opened his arms. I ran into them and buried my head against his chest, the sobs wracking my body. He just picked me up and carried me to bed, holding me as I let it out. I fell asleep with him holding me close.