Shuttle Geralt And Baby makes Three

Posted Oct. 13, 2019, 12:42 a.m. by Lieutenant Natasha Knight (Acting Chief Medical Officer) (Kate O'Neill)

Posted by Lieutenant Natasha Knight (Doctor) in Shuttle Geralt And Baby makes Three

Original Post

Natasha pushed herself up from the bed she had been napping on as the shuttle traveled back from Outpost 42. It had been a perfect two weeks. The wedding and the semi-honeymoon on the shores of Gamma Tiltium lived up to every expectation she had plus some. Natasha had never lived by the ocean yet the years on the Outpost spending long weekends and lazy summer days at Duncan’s cabin made her want a place to call home more like Dante’s beloved Mediterranean Sea than her Baltic Sea. Picking up the PaDD that was next to her she opened the page she was looking at before drifting off to sleep.

The image was of home. It wasn’t ultra-modern but clean with hints of the past etched into the stone driveway that meandered under cypress trees to the doorway of the home. The landscape was pure Mediterranean style with lacy ferns and wispy flowers that swayed gently under the subtlest breeze. The front of the house looked out onto the turquoise waters of the Italian Sea. Natasha flipped through each picture a million times and paused on each one imagining her furniture and pictures gracing the walls. Thick, plush carpets would cover the glistening white marble floors where the baby would play and then grow calling the fresh air home and not stainless steel walls of a Pendragon Class starship.

Natasha gently caressed her tummy feeling the baby stir Neonato had gotten very still lately and the kicks that had kept not only her but Dante awake for the past few weeks were almost absent. Nat knew this was normal as she approached her due date. Still, she couldn’t resist the urge to pat her stomach to comfort the baby. Soon it would be in her arms with a name instead of the Italian word for baby. Adjusting the PaDD so that it faced her tummy, Natasha began to speak softly.

Dante came to the door quietly, in one hand a cup of coffee for Natasha but he paused as he arrived. Nat had begun to speak to little neonato, and he never got tired of listening to the change in her voice when she spoke to their baby. Most times Natasha was the kind of person that drew people to her with her friendly and boisterous way of being. She was feisty, intelligent and fun to be with and people simply wanted to be around her, to know her and call her their friend. For Dante that meant that she made him feel like the centre of her universe, and for him she was very much the centre of his. It also meant that Dante saw the sensual and romantic side that few others saw, the side of her that revealed a woman with a deep well of passions and desires that she shared only with him in their most intimate moments.

Like this one, the intimacy wasn’t physical in nature but it was there in the sound of her voice. He could close his eyes and just listen to her, the way her voice changed and grew softer. Motherly, loving and caring in a way that only the most vulnerable children who came into her sickbay heard. It was a tone of voice Nat spoke in that Dante knew meant that little neonato was going to feel like the centre of her universe as well, wrapped in love like a warm and snug blanket. Listening to her, he smiled gently and watched her. He was in no rush to interrupt the moment.

“This will be your room,” she pulled up a picture. “It overlooks the water. Every night you can hear the waves and let them put you to sleep. Every morning we can take a walk on the beach and look for shells or,” she stopped talking and let her eyes drift to the doorway. “Hello Mr. Knight,” she smiled setting the PaDD down. “I woke up and you were gone. Technically it is still our honeymoon. Maybe we should have stayed on Gamma and had the baby instead of the Saracen,” she said playfully but her tone had a hint of questioning to it.

Lt. Natasha Knight Medical

“Hello Mrs Knight,” he replied quietly but stood up from where he leant against the door frame. “I thought you might be awake soon, so I went to get coffee for you.” He handed her the cup of liquid gold and then sat down on the bed next to her.

“God you are a prince among men. Did I ever tell you that,” she said taking the cup from him and blowing softly over the top to cool it some. “I love being pregnant and having my roommate but once you evicted,” she patted her stomach, “I am not going to miss having to check my medical stats before I order a cup of coffee.” Taking a deep sip she looked up at Dante. “So Mr. Knight,” her face showing a huge smile using his name, “are we almost back to the Saracen?” Natasha rubbed her back feeling a small stab of pain. This wasn’t too uncommon of an action. Backaches, when you were pregnant, were as common as gaining weight and eating like you never had seen food before. “You know maybe we should have stayed on Gamma. Dr. Stone could have delivered the baby and most of the crew we knew like family. Plus my family was there and,” she took another sip of her coffee. She was putting the cart before the horse right now. There was a way to get Dante to agree to the insane and blurting it out wasn’t the way. Dante was smart To get him to do something you have to flip flop and counter move n conversations until he was thoroughly lost and agreed to whatever you wanted simply to end the conversation.

“I thought about staying and having the baby there,” he nodded as his fingers slowly made light patterns on Nat’s tummy, “but I wanted you to be able to rest in your own bed and quarters instead of having to take a shuttle ride home with a newborn. I don’t care about the wonders of modern medicine or that you think you know better than me,” he grinned at her, knowing full well she did in fact know better than him and he leant down and kissed her lips gently to show her that he knew she did. “But after neonato arrives, I am still going to be on leave and we can spend it together with our bubba and you can rest. I loved how you were describing a house to the little one, it sounded beautiful.”

Captain Knight, CO

“It is,” she leaned back into his body holding up the PaDD. “Let me show you.” Natasha brought up the images of the Italian villa showing the grounds first. “So I found this place. It is on the water with tons of Southern exposure and a magnificent view of the Mediterranean Sea. All of our days on the Gamma Tiltmum Ocean showed me I want to wake up in the morning to the sounds of surf and seagulls,” she wiggled some trying to find a good spot to curl up on Dante. No matter what position she was laying in recently she was never comfortable.

“Oh that looks nice,” Dante agreed as he took the PaDD from her so that she could find a spot she could lie next to him in, and he could see the picture clearly without it waving in front of him. “This area looks familiar, I think my family used to visit this province when I was a child on holiday.” Dante looked at the picture for a few moments, then looked back at Nat and kissed her forehead softly. “I was going to buy us a cottage in Russia when we retired from Starfleet remember? Apple orchards and such? It was part of the package deal I had to think of to get you to attempt marrying me a third time.” Dante grinned and relaxed back against the wall, putting his free arm around her to help her snuggle into him and so she could reach the PaDD when she was ready.

“I love the mountains and trees back home but not the cold weather. Sure it looks stunning,” she smiled “but,” Natasha sat up grabbing a pillow and stuffing it behind her, “we can just beam to the Baltic when we want.” Laying back on the pillow she arched her back like she was in a bizarre yoga position rather than relaxing. Bound and determined to push through Natasha brought up the pictures of the landscape before she showed him the house.

He looked at her a moment as she seemed to contort into ever weirder positions as they talked, smiling as he compared her in his mind to a two year old that couldn’t sit still for 30 seconds. “Tell me about this place pumpkin, it looks nice.”

“So the house comes on 5 acres. This a vineyard where we can make our own wine. We could open up a vodka distillery and vineyard. We can call it the best of Daye Drinking and Knightly Romance.” The name was so lame she couldn’t help but laugh. It was off the cuff but she needed to get him on board and silly at times was the best way to do it.

“No. Quite simply No.” Dante said and the tone in his voice meant it was clear he wasn’t backing down from his decision. “We are not calling it that. That is a terrible name, how did you even come up with that?” He shook his head in mock disbelief. “Okay so there is a vineyard, that’s a bonus. I’m guessing that it has enough land to have a potato field for your vodka then? How about olives? We have to grow olives so that we can pair them with the cheese we will make from the goats and sheep as well.”

“Easy there killer. I am not doing the goat route but maybe a couple of ducks.” It was then she broke out in laughter that shook her entire body. “God remember that assignment I have on Rho Puppis when I started my clinical rotations and those chickens?” Natasha could not stop laughing. “The connection sucked unless I sat in that one spot but you always seemed to hear that damn rooster even when you couldn’t hear me. I swear we sounded like that horizon holo. Can you hear me now,” she let out a happy sigh. “God the memories but,” she held up a finger, “we are not owning chickens. Ducks possibly but no chickens.”

“You know I love that rooster,” Dante said springing to the poultry defense. “Whenever I called to speak to you in the morning that thing was always there, in the background like that drill sergeant at the Academy. Sounded a lot like the guy too.” Dante joined Nat in her laugh, and then stroked a loose hair from her face. “Baby you are talking about Italy, right? You know we are having a goat whether we want one or not. Goat’s come with the territory, we might as well milk it for all it’s worth. Goat’s cheese goes amazingly with wine and after a few vodka’s, you won’t know the difference.

Dante seemed to be getting right into the conversation, he was seemingly highly attentive but he had learned during Natasha’s pregnancy that this kind of thing was normal. Like her odd food cravings, she would get fixated on an idea for a day or two, maybe a week, and then find something else to take her attention and the original topic of conversation and planning was all but forgotten. He still had about a dozen folders full of information he had researched for her about other things she had taken a fixation to, and he had gotten on board with before her topic changed. Classes on natural cooking to avoid the latest popular belief by the space hippies that replicator food wasn’t actually healthy, traditional Andorian yoga classes to improve metabolism, even Klingon massage techniques to emphasize muscle tone while pregnant. That one had given him finger cramps for three days.

“How about Knight and Daye Estate? We can put the label on our wine and cheese, and Vodka.

Captain Knight, CO

“How about this Kih,” she felt a stabbing pain in her back which she rubbed hard with the heel of her hand. Making an O shape with her mouth she blew out a long breath.

He tilted his head slightly and looked at her as she made that face. “You doing okay there wildcat? That one looked like it stung.”

Even though she was uncomfortable Natasha couldn’t help but feel better. Dante could make her feel better with a look or a single sentence. This was because he knew her unlike anyone else in the world knew her. Dante’s nickname for her was personal and private and rarely used except for two occasions. The first was not going to happen in a million years until she felt better in the morning. The second was when he had no physical intent but was genuinely concerned for her. The tone of his voice spoke volumes and while he would never admit it, Dante was far more worried about the baby coming than Natasha was. The past few weeks he had been very attentive worried about every twitch. “Your kid has a healthy kick,” she smiled softly at him.

“Of course neonato does, our baby is Italian with a healthy dose of the best part of Russia, his Mother.” Then Dante smiled again, “And going to play rugby.”

“Or a gynmast,” she held her breath. “I swear they think my ribs are the parallel bars.” Not wanting Dante to work she smiled.

“I am fine I just…can you rub this spot,” she said pointing to the small of her back. “I swear he is using my kidney for a trampoline at times. Just use the heel of your palm and push hard like Tor’Quellno taught you in that Klingon massage holovid. ” Rolling onto her side, Natasha didn’t give Dante a chance to say no but brought up the PaDD again.

“Oh so now those vids come in handy?” Dante said as he adjusted his position to let him reach her back as she asked. “I thought you only wanted to watch them because of all the studded leather, I’m surprised you even know that guys name.” He began to rub the spot she had told him like she described, but not too hard. Klingon massage wasn’t exactly something design to ease tension, more to give the body a pre-battle workout.

“So this place has ten bedrooms which are more than enough for the kids and our parents when they come to visit. It has two bathrooms so we need to add at least one more but I bet we can turn one of the rooms into a....Dante, I said rub not caress,” she held her breath as another twinge of pain coursed through her body. “Use your palm and move him okay,” she sounded both mad and frustrated at the same time.

Dante paused for a moment and looked up at her in surprise, then began to push harder with his palm like she had told him originally. “Ten bedrooms? My god how many kids are you planning on Tasia?” Adjusting his body again, he began to put his shoulder into the pressure he was applying as well.

“At least a few more,” she held her breath and produced a small grunt at the pain cycled. “We already have six of the rooms taken with the three of us, my parents, your parents, and our grandmothers.” Her sentence was strained as she pushed back into his hand. It felt so much better with Dante rubbing her back but still was not making it go away.

“What? Nope, we’re going to put them up in a hotel when they visit. You have any idea what kind of trouble those people in a horde like that would cause? Especially Babushka.”

“How is this? Is it hard enough for you? We could always pretend you’re giving birth and you can practice calling me names, you know like we do on Mondays and Fridays?” He grinned as he pressed into her back with his palm, hopefully he would have gotten a grin out of her despite the pain.

Captain Knight, CO

Or maybe we don’t have to pretend, she sad to herself. She avoided saying this out loud. The baby wasn’t due for another week. Aside from the constant Braxton Hicks she felt fine and Dr. Stone said everything was on track. “Perfect just don’t stop okay?” Shifting her position so that Dante could still rub her lower back but she could show him the house, Natasha continued her virtual tour. “So the front of the house has a pool and it overlooks the water. We can have pool parties and neonato can have his first birthday there along with his second and third,” Natasha started to explain how it was going to happen. Slowly but she was laying the groundwork. “You can barbecue. You love to barbecue. Heck living on actual land we can cook out every night if you want to.” The excitement in her voice was becoming evident.

Lt. Natasha Knight. Medical

“Hold on there cow girl,” Dante said and looked up, but he didn’t stop working in Nats back with his palm. “You had me at pool, and especially barbeque, but what do you mean his first and second birthdays?” He paused a but here as he looked at her. “It’s going to be a little hard to Captain the Saracen from Italy, my love.”

Captain Knight, CO

“It might,” she held her breath but this time it wasn’t due to any pain. It was more to decide which path to take Dante down. There were a lot of paths right now and some he might need an invading army of Borg to get him traveling down a specific road. The key to Dante was bringing up things gently and with finesse. Her husband rarely fought her on any decision. This was because Natasha knew how to handle Dante. She knew the language to use. “We can focus on that later. Right now let me show you your ah fice,” she said in a sing-song tone. Natasha flipped to a single image of a large desk in a room with a fireplace. The desk was a dark walnut color which made it stand out in stark contrast to the white marble floors and fireplace. The large single window on the room looked out over the olive trees and grapevines lining the hills of the back yard. “You know the bonus with this win…oh,” she arched her back some trying to work out a kink. “The view changes with the seasons. Remember last month when I was in your office and you were groaning that the celestial sky was pretty but always the same?”

“Yes? What does that have to do with Italy? Hang on, I think we can focus on this now…” something suddenly wasn’t making any sense to Dante, sure the pictures looked great and a house like that would be fantastic, but Dante suddenly realised the details were much more specific than just talking about dreams for the future.

“Then remember you said how you missed the rain,” Natasha rapidly added.

“Yeeeesss,” he said, drawing out the word more than it needed.

“Well, now you can see night and day, rain or shine, summer or winter. Huh huh, what do you think,” she said in an upbeat tone. “And it will increase your productivity by 207%. I read that in the last Parenting holozine. It was all about how to get more work done at home than in the office.” Now was when she would start the gradual arc. Now she slipped in things where Dante could only agree. It was not like he hasn’t said he missed the seasons a few weeks ago.

Lt. Natasha Knight medical

“A Starfleet Captain never gets not enough work done, Natasha.” Dante said in his best Gandalf voice, “He does exactly the work he means to.” Sitting upright and moving his shoulders, he looked at Nat. “Hows the rubbing? Has it helped? Did you want me to keep going? I can get Rico to speed up and get us to the Saracen faster, are you sure you’re good?”

Captain Knight, CO

“I am right as rain,” she swore with a smile. “We should be fine. Neonato isn’t due for like another week or so. It’s just those Braxton Hicks things. They are only coming every five minutes or so. It will pass.” Natasha grunted and rolled and then stuck out her arm for Dante to help her sit up. She could have just rolled around like a fish out of water but that seemed like too much effort.

Helping her up, Dante settled back onto the bed beside her. “Are they supposed to go on this long?” He asked her, “We’ll be back on the Saracen in less than 24 hours. I’m going to make sure you get enough rest and time to relax, and we’ll get Maiji to give you another check.” Dante had now moved from confident Captain to overprotective dad to be.

“Dante have you ever thought about settling down,” she pushed a stray lock of hair from her eyes. “Not on a starship but on good old terra firma. We have been away from home for so long. Ludmilla and I were talking on Gamma and she saaaaaaaid. Rubbing. Keep rubbing,” Natasha leaned forward and held her breath as the contraction rippled through her body. Glancing at the clock she noticed the contractions were far more rhythmic than they should be for false labor. Any other time she would have suggested going to sickbay yet she was not on a ship with a sickbay and her and Dante were in the middle of an important discussion.

“Right, rubbing,” he replied, getting back to work with his palm on that spot of her back she said helped with the pain, then looked up at her as he worked. “I have thought about settling down, but not for a while. I worked for years to get a Command, I never intended on settling down on Earth now.”

As the moment passed, Natasha picked up the pace of the conversation all the while starting to take her pulse. “Dante there is a position opening up at the Academy. It is for the Dean of the Security School and I think you should apply,” she blurted out. “You would be amazing. We could buy the house. The commute would be longer for you but only like 45 minutes if you took a shuttle. If you use public transporters it is only about 30 minutes from San Fran to Italy. I didn’t mind the area around the Academy but there are so many better places to live and raise our family.” Natasha sat up and looked Dante in the eyes. “I love you,” she said softly. “I have never spent a moment of my life wanting to be somewhere else or doing something else with anyone else but you. you are my soul mate. The day I met you in the academy changed everything about me. My world focused on you. We have had ups and downs. I scheduled my life to be there for you just like you have for me. Crack of dawn comm calls by you for years. Messages in the middle of the night only love-struck teens send when they should be asleep by me. All of it was worth it. Every moment we stole made me feel closer to you it’s just,” she felt another twinge of pain course through her body. Natasha gripped Dante’s knee and dug her nails into his thigh not caring if it left a mark. At this second she had zero concern for Dante’s comfort level.

“Hey! Ow, watch it Nat.” He said as she dug in her nails. At the moment that was a more pressing issue than any talk of Academy.

“It’s just,” she grunted and closed her eyes hard so that the barest hint of wrinkles appeared where one day they would show her age. “Dante....I,” she held her breath until she felt like she was going to suffocate. Gasping out a single sentence she turned to face him. “I think I am in labor.” Flexing her fingers slightly she raking his leg before clamping down on it like a vice grip. “And my water just broke.”

“What?” Was all Dante could say, as he just sat there while seconds ticked by and the news sank in. “That’s not supposed to happen with Braxton Hicks, right?” The pressure of her hand on his leg was completely forgotten.

“Braxton Hicks,” Natasha began to define what she already knew was not the answer to his question. “They start as early as the second trimester but only the lucky ones start in the thirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrd,” she moved her grip to Dante’s hand and began crushing it with the strength of an Orion jacked up on some local steroid which increased his strength exponentially. “They are caused when the uterus tightens for anywhere from 30 to 60 seconds however I am not in Braxton Hicks and you are about to meet your son by yourself if you don’t do something now,” she growled at Dante and then screwed up her face into a grimace.

Neonato is coming, now?” Dante looked uncertain.

“No, next week,” she yelled at him with a fervor that had only surfaced about as many times as she had fingers on her right hand over the past fifteen years. Pulling her hand from Dante’s, Natasha moved across the small enclosure to the door where she held the frame and slightly bent over. She had a thousand other snippy comments right now but the contractions were coming on so fast she had to make a choice: Yell at her husband or breath through the contractions.

“Ally!” He yelled out for the other Doctor that was on the ship with them, completely forgetting the steel walls and comm badges in his momentary panic.

Captain Knight, CO

“Yes Cah,” a perky blonde came around the corner and instantly stopped talking. “How far apart are the contractions,” Allison said very calmly starting to rub Natasha’s back gently in circles and instantly slowing her breathing when she wasn’t talking. This was a simple trick she was taught by Dr. Shan years back. Patients instinctively fed off the mood of a doctor. Not always but a lot of the time and it was always worth trying.

Lt. Natasha Knight medical.

“Far enough that she can get a fair few curse words in,” Dante told Ally, “then breathe a few times before cursing more. I haven’t been timing them, her water just broke.”

“Timing them,” Natasha brought up her head from her slightly hunched position and turned to look at Dante. “Are you sure because I don’t see a watch? How about I waddle over to the desk and get your watch and then you can tell her they are coming every,” she hunched over some and tried to breathe through the contraction.

Dante moved up beside Natasha, “What do you want me to do?” His voice was all at once concerned about Nat, seeing her in pain was heartbreaking but under all of that the excitement of knowing their son was about to arrive.

Captain Knight, CO

“Help me get her to the bed,” Ally said moving to the other side of Natasha helping Dante get her to the bed. “Once we get her to the bed I am going to get the emergency medical kit, tell Rico he needs to put the ship on autopilot, and be right back,” Ally’s voice was calm as she laid Natasha back and helped arranged some pillows on the bed.

One on each side of Nat, Dante and Ally helped Moby Daye back to the bed in the small cabin to the sound of her breathing and a few curse words in between. “Are they always this nasty?” Dante whispered to Ally, but as he said it he took over rubbing Nat’s back for her.

“Also ignore her,” Allison said in a low tone almost mouthing the words to Dante over Natasha’s head. “They always get like this. She loves you.” Giving him a reassuring smile, Allison walked out of the small room. “Help her get dressed in something I can deliver a baby in like a nightgown. If you don’t have something then maybe an old shirt of yours?” The whole reason Allison was on the shuttle was that she attended the wedding of her two friends. Nat and Dante had just come off their honeymoon so Ally doubted Natasha had packed anything that possibly resembled a hospital gown.

“Did you, happen to bring anything?” He asked Nat. Most of their honeymoon had been spent on the warm sands of Gamma Tiltium and much of what he had seen Nat in and out of hadn’t been things Dante thought could be suitable for delivering a baby in.

“I have it,” he said, and started rummaging in one of his bags, eventually pulling out an old oversized blue shirt with the faded image of a snarling cat on the front. On Dante it was too big but on Natasha, even in her heavily pregnant state it flowed. “Let me get you changed love,” he told her, you just keep breathing.

Ten minutes later

Ally re-entered the small sleeping cabin and immediately got to work. “Dante get me that blanket from over there,” she pointed to a pile. As she gave out instructions, she slowly moved Natasha into position with her legs bent. “Okay Natasha I know you don’t feel good but I am going to give you something to take the edge off okay,” Scott pulled the medical kit closer to her. Retrieving a hypo she pressed it to Nat’s thigh. The soft psssst sound indicated the medication had been delivered.

“You know in some places they still use that gas, you know the stuff that makes you feel funny?” Rico said following Ally in after making sure everything was secure up front. “Wow, okay, um, hi how are we?” The large and muscular Security Chief said, standing to one side and looking helplessly idle with his hands on his hips, and looked at Dante with both eyebrows raised and a light smile.

“Do you smoke, Lieutenant?” Dante asked the man, sitting on the other side of Natasha. “No Sir, I never found the habit appealing.” Rico answered as he looked around for some way to make himself useful until Ally told him she needed something. “You’re about to learn Lieutenant, and it’s going to be an order.” Dante spoke quietly, but he was grinning with the excitement of what was happening.

“Take the edge off,” Natasha propped herself up and gave Ally a murderous look. “You take the edge off. I want an epidural. What kind of doctor are you? One of those breathe through it and it’s gonna be okay because women have done this for years. Well, the rumors are wrong. I am not that tough and I want a completely artificial delivery. Screw the breathing. The breathing doesn’t work. Trust me I can tell you the breathing doesn’t work. Dante, tell her the breathing is just something a doctor says to make you think its gonna work and I am a doctor so I know it is a lie.” Natasha’s rant was cut short by a contraction.

“Um,” Dante said, looking between Allison and Natasha. Both we’re qualified doctors and both knew more than he did about what was happening right now. “Apparently the whole breathing thing is a lie,” Dante told Ally, but he did it with a shrug that Natasha couldn’t see.

“We could always use the transporter?” Rico added helpfully in the way that helpful Men always did when there was an obvious and easy solution to a problem. “Target lock, press a button and whoosh!”

“I don’t think the transporter is actually an option,” Dante said, although the idea had real merit and would solve a whole lot of issues that he could see. “It’s not an option, is it baby?” He gave Nat’s hand a gentle squeeze as he asked her.

“Okay but you need to work on your breathing while I check how far you are dilated,” Ally calmly replied. Her skills as a doctor often came up in situations like this but who could blame the mother. Childbirth was an amazing experience but it was also the benchmark pain levels were later based on as a reference. A few seconds later Ally had an answer Natasha was probably not going to love.

“Nat I gave you 5mg of Morphology. You are not dilated enough for delivery and if we give you the epidural now it could wear off,” Ally explained.

“What does that mean?” Dante asked.

“I’ll take my chances,” Natasha said quickly.

“What chances?” He asked looking up at Rico, the big man just shrugged.

“As you also know whatever I give you I give the fetus so I would rather give you an opiate to take some“edge” off of the pain. It is also going to let the labor progress and let you focus on delivering this baby instead of slowing it down, okay,” Ally said. Opiates can help reduce anxiety and improve the mother’s ability to cope with painful contractions.

“Opiates?” Rico asked, raising his own eyebrows. “Ally you didn’t bring any of that stuff back from Orion, did you? They weren’t exactly free samples.” He looked at Dante and quickly added, “Nothing like that of course, we were there on holiday and helped with a local medical emergency situation.”

One hour later

“Okay Natasha I know you are tired but I am gonna need you to push,” Ally said. This was the most exciting time. In a matter of minutes a new life was going to enter the world and two people would have their entire lives to love it, teach it, and experience something only the luckiest people ever got to experience.

Ally loved this moment. Stealing a glance at Rico she tried to hide her smile. For all the time she had spent with Rico Vanhall, Ally could not tell if his expression was wonder or horror. This was common for men who were not associated with the couple giving birth. She knew though that one day he would be as excited at the Captian at the head of the bed holding his wife’s hand.

“Baby, I’m right here, let’s do this. You can do this Tasia, neonato is nearly here,” Dante said to her, changing the hand he was holding hers with and flexing the other one behind his back. Natasha wasn’t physically strong in most cases, not compared to the likes of Rico but she had seemingly achieved some kind of superhuman strength in her hands especially since going into labour. It was like she had eaten some kind superfood with the pressure she had been able to apply to his fingers.

You get a baby in the end. You get a baby in the end, she said over and over to herself as she concentrated on the end of her labor. She had said this a million times because some book told her it helped. It didn’t in reality but she had to focus her mind on something. Then as if by magic everything changed. The room seemed to swallow all sounds except for one. It was the sound of a baby crying. Slumping back Natasha took a deep breath. She was exhausted both mentally and physically. Hearing her baby cry told her that so far everything was perfect. Taking a moment to catch her breath, she looked at her husband. “What is it,” she asked him. WIth him standing by her the entire time it would be hard for him to know the answer.

“Would you like to cut the cord,” Ally asked the rather nervous but beaming father. Some men waited for this. Others cared less but Ally always offered.

“Mr. and Mrs. Knight I would like to present to you a healthy baby boy,” Ally said with a smile.

“It’s a boy,” Natasha said excitedly and bit her lip. For the past nine months, she and Dante had struggled not to e told what the sex of the baby was. They wanted this moment to be a surprise. In a world of medical tech that could seal a cut with a swipe of a device, Natasha and Dante wanted to have the moment they waited years for to be a once in a lifetime event. Finding out at two months in a medical lab was not memorable. Being handed your first child and being told the sex was an adrenaline rush like she had never felt before. Natasha would have been thrilled no matter the sex as long as it was healthy but every parent had a secret wish for it to be one sex or the other. It had taken them far too many years to have their first child. Now, even if this was their first and last child, they would always get to live out the one thing that was missing in their life. Natasha had always dreamt of giving Dante a son. Now she had and felt a wave of happy course through her body.

Reaching out she took the small bundle in her arms searching for words, yet nothing came to mind. Instead of speaking she took a long minute to stare at the perfect version of her and Dante. “Hello. I’m your mommy,” she said finally finding the words. Looking up at Dante she could not help but smile. “He is so perfect,” she looked back at her son and slowly stroked his cheek with the side of her finger. “I have been waiting so long to meet you.” Natasha ignored everything in this moment except for the baby. Placing a soft kiss on his head she enjoyed the soft baby scent that her son was covered in. For fifteen years she had delivered babies to other families. Today she finally had a family of her own. Breaking off the kiss she looked at Dante. “I think he needs a better name now that neonato,” she smiled at her husband.

Lt. Natasha Knight medical.

Captain Dante Knight, CO


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