So, here it is. My David Story.

A little background...

I participated in an interactive fan fiction on a friend's site, and my character ended up with David. I spent so much time immersing myself in his music and stories about him (which are hard to find, by the way) that he took over my thoughts for quite some time. I couldn't get him out of my head. He's still in there, rattling doors and opening drawers and such, but he's behaving himself. Mostly.

This story came out as an outlet for me to try to get through my little obsession. I told some of the girls from the other fan fic exercise, and they thought it was hysterical that I got so wrapped up, that I couldn't think of anything but him.

They convinced me to "go public" with the story, so here it is.

I hope you enjoy it. It starts here.

~ Hath

Chapter 123: Hello LJ

Friday, July 31, 2009

Hath groaned. “I don’t know if I can wait a few more minutes. I’m so uncomfortable.”

Dr. Donovan looked at her, frowning. “Uncomfortable how?”

“God, they feel like they want to just burst out like on Alien,” she chuckled. “That would make even more of a mess, right David?”

“You mean it’s forward pressure?” Darcy asked. She put her hands on Hath’s abdomen and pressed. She studied the readouts on the fetal monitors for long minutes. “Hath, I won’t lie to you, I’m worried.”

“Worried?” David echoed, his face going white.

“Yes, that’s the wrong kind of pressure,” she said to him, before turning to Hath. “Everything’s progressing, but I want you to be prepared. If something starts to go wrong, I won’t hesitate to take you into surgery.”

“Anything to save my family,” David said, his hand crushed by Hath’s.

“What kind of wrong?” Hath asked, terrified now.

Darcy just shook her head. “Nothing we can’t handle,” she said. “Let’s check you again.” She smiled. “Someone’s crowning! It’s baby birthing time! Do you want the mirror?”

There was a mirror mounted to the ceiling, opposite the bed. It was on a swivel and currently turned so it would face the wall. But if they wanted, the nurse would turn it so David and Hath could watch their children being born.

“David, it’s up to you,” Hath said. “I’m not going to be watching anything but the inside of my eyelids.”

He shook his head at her. “No, I’ll be too distracted.” He looked down at the foot of the bed. “I want to focus on Hath, doc, you focus on our babies.”

The end of the bed came away, and Darcy positioned her stool at the foot. Janelle stood on one side, David on the other, bracing her feet with their hands. Hath’s knees were bent up close to her shoulders, and she grabbed on to her shins with all her strength.

“I love you,” David said. “No matter what vile names you call me, I still love you.”

“I love you tooooooooo,” Hath said, ending on a moan.

“Okay, Hath,” Darcy said. “With the next contraction, I want to you to push. Nice and easy, but hard, can you do that?”

“A little late to be asking me that, isn’t it?” she snapped. “Yeah, I can do it.”

David saw the contraction coming on the monitors a split second before Hath’s chin buried into her chest. She blew out through pursed lips, moaning with the strain of the push.

“Good!” Darcy said. “Very good. Now relax,” she added, when the contraction passed. “There’s quite a bit of hair here, this little one is definitely not bald.”

David peeked around Hath’s leg to see for himself. “Oh Hath, she’s got your hair.”

She breathed heavily. “How do you know that it’s Laura?”

“Because if she’s anything like her mother, she doesn’t want to miss a second, and wants to be first.”

“Ok, Hath,” Darcy said. “Next contraction big push. Hold it as long as you can, okay?”

Hath nodded. She panted and took a deep breath when her abdomen rippled, and pushed for all she was worth. She squeaked a moan through pursed lips.

“Hath, we’ve got the head honey, but stop pushing,” Darcy said. “Now.”

Hath immediately backed off. Something in Darcy’s tone made her scared. “What’s wrong?” Darcy didn’t answer for a minute, she was busy doing something that Hath couldn’t see. “David,” she said, “please, tell me what she’s doing.”

Darcy gave David a look that said, “Don’t you dare tell her anything” when he peered down to see what was going on. Darcy had her pinky finger between the umbilical cord and the baby’s neck. He paled and swallowed hard. As he watched, she expertly and swiftly maneuvered the cord up and over the baby’s head and exhaled sharply.

“D?” Hath’s voice was shaking with terror. “What’s wrong?”

David kissed her cheek. “Not a damned thing,” he answered. “Everything’s fine.”

“He’s right,” Darcy agreed. “Now we work on the shoulders. Next contraction, give me a big push.”

Twenty minutes later, at 11:17, they were rewarded with an indignant scream as Laura Jean slid into the world. “Laura has made her appearance,” Darcy said, holding up the squirming, red wrinkly bundle.

“She looks just like you, David,” Hath said, reaching for her daughter. “Except for my hair.”

Darcy rested the baby on Hath’s abdomen while she cleaned up and waited for the cord to stop pulsing. When it did, she placed clamps about a quarter inch apart on the cord, and handed David a pair of scissors. With tears in his eyes, he cut the cord, cupping his daughter’s head with his big hand. He looked at his wife. “I love you so much,” he said, his voice cracking.

“I love you too,” Hath answered, and turned her face up for a kiss. They gazed down on their daughter until the nurse came to take her for her APGAR and to weigh and wrap her. Neither of her parents could keep their eyes off their baby girl.

Only when Laura was safely in her bassinet by the bed did they turn their attention back to Darcy, who had a big grin on her face. “One down, one to go.” She consulted the monitors, and noted that everything looked good.

“Why don’t I feel like I’m still in labor?” Hath asked. “Nothing hurts anymore.”

“It could be euphoria or it could be that John doesn’t want to arrive on your schedule,” the doctor answered.

David laughed, looking at Hath. Though their son wasn’t named for his friend, the child already seemed to have his temperament. “Why does that not surprise me,” he said.

“I’d take the time to relax; get to know your daughter,” Darcy said. “You’ll know when John is ready to make his arrival.”

David gently lifted the warm little bundle out of the bassinet and handed their daughter to Hath. “Here you go, Mom,” he said, smiling.

Hath took the baby, settling her in the crook of her arm so David could see her face. He traced the baby’s forehead with a gentle fingertip. “Happy birthday, Laura,” he said softly.

Laura’s deep navy eyes blinked at the lights in the room. Hath pressed her face in close to her daughter’s. “Hi, Laura,” she said. “I’m your mama and I love you very much.” She kissed a tiny cheek and was rewarded with a big, gaping yawn.

“Guess she’s not as enthralled with you as you are with her,” David joked. He leaned in close too, pressing his cheek against his wife’s. “Hey baby girl,” he said softly. “I’m your daddy and am going to spoil you rotten.” Hath chuckled at that. Laura’s eyes blinked slowly, and drifted closed, her teeny little eyelashes resting on her cheeks.

David retrieved their camera from Hath’s bag, and framed his girls in the lens. He snapped off a couple of pictures before handing the camera to Janelle. “Would you mind?” he asked before returning to his wife’s bedside.

“Oh, D, she’s perfect,” Hath said sleepily. “Absolutely perfect.”

David looked at Hath. Exhausted from giving birth, her eyes were drifting closed. David whispered, “let me take her, you rest.”

He scooped the little girl from her mother’s embrace. The jostling woke Laura, and she let out a little squeak of protest. David settled into the rocking chair in the corner of the room and rocked his daughter, singing to her softly.

You're the end of the rainbow, my pot of gold,
You're daddy's little girl to have and hold.
A precious gem is what you are,
You're mommy's bright and shining star.

Janelle took several photos of David with Laura, and returned the camera to the bag. Darcy came over to stand by his shoulder. “How’s our baby doing?” she asked.

“She’s just perfect. Thank you,” he said, his eyes telling her exactly what he meant. “You saved her,” he whispered, tears springing to his eyes.

Darcy smiled and patted his shoulder. “All in a day’s work,” she quipped. “If she was in real danger, I would have taken Hath to the O.R.”

David covered Darcy’s hand with his. “Thank you,” he said again, and this time Darcy simply nodded. “How long do we let her rest?” David asked, nodding at Hath.

Darcy chuckled. “Believe me; she will not sleep through labor. When your son is ready to make his appearance he will wake her up. I’ve got another patient to check on; I’ll be back soon.”

After the doctor left, David sat and rocked a while longer; content to just hold his daughter. Soon after, Hath started to stir.

“David?” she said, her eyes not quite open.

“Over here, my love.”

Hath turned her head, and the sight of David rocking their daughter brought tears to her eyes. “What a beautiful picture you make. Oh! Picture! The camera…”

“Already taken care of,” Janelle said. “How are you doing?”

“Fine,” Hath answered. “Just sleepy and sore.” She rubbed her abdomen and chuckled. “Now that John has the place all to himself, he won’t be in such a hurry to come out.”

Janelle laughed. “That may be true, but he doesn’t have much choice in the matter.”

David came to join Hath on the bed, sitting on the edge. He handed their daughter to his wife, and kissed them both. “Do you want me to call our moms? Let them know Laura has arrived? Or just wait until John arrives?”

“You can call, I’m sure they’re dying for news.”

That was the understatement of the day. Both his mother and his mother-in-law picked up halfway through the first ring and both were overjoyed to hear that Laura arrived safely. David promised to call back when John arrived, and his moms promised to take care of calling everyone else.

About an hour later, Hath felt a searing cramp low in her abdomen. She let out a loud moan, and the monitor showed a big contraction. “God, here we go again,” she said.

“You’re doing so great,” David said, putting Laura back into her bassinette. He stood by his wife’s side, and smoothed her hair back. “I’m so proud of you,” he murmured against her forehead.

Darcy came bustling into the room and went to the sink to wash her hands. “Ready for round two?”

“As ready as I can be,” Hath answered.

“He’s crowning already,” Darcy said, “and he’s bald as a cue-ball.” She chuckled. “It looks like he’s anxious to come out so Laura doesn’t get all the attention. Give us a big push!’

John Edward Rashbaum slid into the world without any fuss. David commented that this would probably be the last time their son didn’t give them any trouble. After getting cleaned and weighed, John was handed gently to his mother. “David, he looks just like me,” she said. “Except for the no hair thing.”

David came over to look. “He is gorgeous,” he answered. “Hey there, little man.” David straightened and started to laugh softly.

“What’s so funny?” Hath asked, looking at her husband like he had lost his mind.

“He’s an LJ too,” David said. “’Little John’. God, that’s priceless.”

“Oh no,” Hath said, smiling. “No way are you calling him Little John. That’s almost as bad as ‘John Boy’. Uh-uh. I love you, and would never hurt you, but if you call our son that, I will have to kill you.”

“Oh, you’re no fun. We could get him a staff and teach him to parry…”

“Tell you what,” Hath said. “If you can get Richie or Jon to name their next child ‘Robin’, you can call him ‘Little John’. Sound like a deal?”

David laughed. “I can live with that.” He kissed his son’s forehead like he did his daughter’s, then placed a longer kiss on his wife’s lips. “I love you, Hath,” he said, punctuating each word with kisses.

“I love you too,” Hath answered. David picked up his daughter and put her in Hath’s other arm. They sat there together while Janelle took pictures, and couldn’t get enough of their little faces.

A short while later, when Janelle led Hath into the shower to get cleaned up, an orderly came to change the bed. David sat in the rocking chair, holding his son, and made another round of phone calls. Laura lay sleeping in the bassinet next to his chair. He smiled down on the newest member of his family, and started to sing for him.

From the first time the doctor placed you in my arms
I knew I'd meet death before I'd let you meet harm
Although questions arose in my mind, would I be man enough
Against wrong, choose right and be standing up

Touched your head gently, felt my heart melt
Cause I knew I loved you more than life itself
Then to my knees, and I begged the Lord please
Let me be a good daddy, all he needs

Love, knowledge, discipline too
I pledge my life to you

Hath had tears in her eyes as she heard his words. “You know, you do not have a voice for rap,” she said. “Will Smith you are not.”

David chuckled. “It’s the thought that counts. I’ll write something for them later; I couldn’t do it until I met them. Now, the music is swirling through my head.”

“Did you call the moms again?”

David nodded. “Yep, and the guys too. I told Jon his namesake was bald.” He laughed.

“When are they descending?”

“Sam and Lucia are coming today, the moms and Stephanie will come tomorrow. The others will wait until we’re home.”

Hath nodded. Now that the equipment and all the people were gone, and it was just the four of them, Hath was nervous. “What do we do now?” The babies were asleep in the same bassinette next to the bed.

“We watch our children sleep, and maybe get a little rest ourselves. They won’t always be this quiet you know,” David answered.

Hath scooted over on the bed a little, to make room. “Come lay with me,” she said.

And he did.

When the nurses came in to check on them, they smiled at David laying behind Hath, one arm wrapped around her waist. Hath’s hand was in the crib, splayed across her children’s legs. All four Rashbaums were asleep. Janelle quietly took Hath’s blood pressure, and ushered the other nurses out, shutting the door behind her.

Chapter 122: Not Yet!

Friday, July 17, 2009

“Christ, Hath!” David yelled, swerving the car. “Hold on! Don’t have the babies in the car! We’ll be there in fifteen minutes.”

David sped up a little, splitting his attention between the road, which was blessedly empty, and the passenger seat that was anything but.

“What the fuck choice do I have BUT to hold on?” she shouted. “You’re driving like a damned old woman! Put some oomph into it, man. Like you mean it!” She cried out as another contraction wracked her body.

“Shit,” David said, and pressed harder on the accelerator.

He was doing eighty as he approached the hospital. He tore into the parking lot and screeched to a halt in front of the Emergency Room, blocking an ambulance. An EMT was coming out of the hospital, and frowned at him.

“You can’t park there, man,” he said.

“Yes, I can,” David said. “If this isn’t an emergency, I don’t know what is!” He indicated the passenger seat where the EMT saw a very pregnant woman panting and muttering to herself. The EMT ran back into the hospital and got a nurse, an orderly, and a wheelchair while David ran around to the passenger door and helped Hath out.

“Jesus, baby, were gonna need a new car. There’s no way that smell is EVER coming out.”

“Shut up, you idiot,” Hath groused.

“Ma’am, what’s your name?” the nurse, Janelle, asked as she stopped in front of Hath and took her arm. Gently, she helped Hath lower into the chair.

“Hath Rashbaum. I’m pretty sure I’m becoming a mother today.”

“Let’s get you inside then,” Janelle beamed. She adjusted the footrests, and steered the chair slowly through the doors. She stopped the chair at the nurse’s station and set the brake. Picking up a packet of paperwork, she said, “Your husband can fill this out while we wait,” she said cheerfully handing David the sheaf of paper before typing something on her computer.

“I sure as hell hope we’re not waiting too long,” Hath mumbled.

Janelle laughed. “This must be your first child.”

“Children,” David corrected. He put his hand on Hath’s abdomen. “We’re having twins.”

“No, no,” Hath said. “I’m having twins. You’re just standing there.”

“Now, children,” Janelle scolded. “Play nice.” She finished whatever she was doing on the computer, and took two long wristbands from her drawer. She wrote something on one of them and fastened it around Hath’s wrist. “Now one for Dad,” she said, writing on the second done and putting it on David. “The babies will get them too. That’s one way we make sure there are no mix-ups,” she said seriously.

“We have to worry about THAT?” Hath said, struggling to get out of the chair,

“No” Janelle said placatingly. “I promise, you and your babies are perfectly safe. Now; let’s get you settled in your room.”


“David, I’m tired of laying in this bed,” Hath said four hours later. “I need to move around.”

She’d been put on a pair of fetal monitors, which were attached to a box that was beeping softly and happily by her side. A blood pressure cuff took a measurement every half hour, just to make sure that everything was alright. An IV dripped fluids and nutrients into her bloodstream, as she wouldn’t be allowed to eat or drink anything, just in case an emergency C-Section became necessary.

The IV insertion was a chore. The first nurse couldn’t find a vein, and stuck Hath three times before giving up. A second nurse tried just once before Hath demanded the anesthesiologist. When the short, wiry man came into the room, he smiled. “I see you called in the big guns,” he said, in a voice that was too big for his small frame.

“I’m done with amateur hour,” she said. “Hook me up.” And he did.

Now, she was getting restless, and her legs were cramping. She needed to stretch.

“Are you sure getting up is a good idea?” David asked. Hath just leveled a stare at him that made him chuckle. “Yes, dear,” he said. He helped her sit, and carefully draped the monitor’s wires over her shoulder. Taking her arm, he helped her stand and pulled her IV bag behind her as she made a slow circuit of the room.

“Oh, that’s SO much better,” Hath said. She breathed deeply as she circled the room again. “Oh!” she cried as another contraction hit. She stopped to rub the side of her belly. “Damn, that was a hard one.”

“Are you sure you don’t want the epidural?”

“David, we went through this already,” she said, exasperated. “I don’t want to be stuck in bed. I want to be able to get up and walk around, or go pee or something.” “She pointed at him and narrowed her eyes. “Stop asking. It’s not that bad yet.”

“Yes, dear.”

“Ah, that’s what I like to hear,” Dr. Donovan said, as she breezed into the room. “Trying to keep Mom happy, I see. How are you feeling, Hath?”

Hath laughed tonelessly. “Like I’m about to burst,” she said. “Surely it’s time to deliver these children?”

The doctor laughed. “We won’t know until we check, and please don’t call me Shirley.”

David laughed, but Hath just groaned. “Oh God; not another Zucker fan. God help me.”

Dr. Donovan had Hath get back onto the bed and lie back, which took all three of them to accomplish. Darcy checked Hath, who moaned at the discomfort. The doctor straightened and smiled, stripping off her glove. “Three centimeters,” she said cheerfully. “You’re progressing quite nicely.”

“Three? That’s IT?” Hath exclaimed. “I’ve been in labor WAY longer than that! Isn’t it supposed to be one an hour?”

“You poor deluded woman,” Darcy said shaking her head. “Babies come on their own schedule and whenever the hell they feel like it. Would you feel better if I checked again?” the doctor asked, reaching for a fresh pair of gloves.

“No,” Hath said. “Sorry. I know it’s not your fault.”

“That’s alright. If that’s as mean as you get, this’ll be a breeze.”

Dr. Donovan told the couple she’d be back in a little while and went to go check on her other patients. Hath spent the time either walking in circles around the room or rocking in the oversized rocking chair in the corner. When she’d sit, David would sit next to her, holding her hand and rubbing her abdomen. He kept one eye on the monitor, and would let her know when a contraction was coming. Hath chuckled and told David she knew before the monitor did, and to save his breath. After a particularly strong one, Hath slumped in the chair.

Alarmed, David shook her shoulder. She let out a little snore and opened her eyes. “What’s wrong, David?”

He chuckled. “Nothing, sorry, you rest.”

“I was trying to,” Hath said. “This may be the last sleep I get for the next eighteen years.” Her eyes fluttered closed again. She’d wake up just before contractions hit, but was able to breathe and moan through them, and dozed in between. David marveled at how she could do that. This woman could apparently sleep anywhere during anything. He chuckled to himself, guessing that he’d be the one getting up with the kids in the middle of the night when they cried.

A couple hours later, Dr. Donovan was back. “So, how are we feeling?”

David answered this time. “I’m fine. She’s snoozing between contractions. She’s really wiped out, but they can’t be too bad if she’s sleeping, right?”

“Right,” she answered. Darcy checked all the various monitors, then checked Hath’s vital signs. “Everything looks good.” She looked down at Hath, who was looking up through slumberous eyes. “Ready for me to check you again?”

“Only if you promise that it’s time to push,” Hath answered testily. “These babies are squooshing my insides all to hell.”

“I’ll see what I can do,” the doctor said dryly.

Once again, and with help, Hath got up on the bed while the doctor examined her. “Great, you’re at about eight now. It won’t be too much longer. How are you holding up? Need any meds? I can give you a shot of Nubaine to take the edge off the contractions.”

“No, no, I’m okay,” Hath said, wincing as a new contraction hit. As she breathed through this one, focusing on a point on the wall, David held her hand, trying to be supportive.

He winced as Hath ground the bones together. “Easy, my love, I have to use that to make a living.”

Hath smiled. “You should have thought about that before you got me pregnant.”

David laughed. “As I recall, you were a willing participant that night.”

“Yes, but I didn’t know that we’d get preg— OH!” She bent her legs and cried out. “Darcy, I have to push.”

Darcy checked her again. “Not yet, Hath.” She nodded to the nurses, who started moving some of the extra equipment and chairs back against the walls. “Soon, I promise. Very soon. You’re at nine. Just a few minutes more.”

Chapter 121: Labor Pains

Monday, July 6, 2009

When Hath woke on her birthday, a Sunday late in September, it was with a scream of pain. David was awake in an instant, scrambling to hold her close. “What’s wrong, my love?” he asked.

“Christ, that hurt,” she said, moaning. She cradled her abdomen and marveled at how hard it was. “David, feel this,” she said, pulling his hand over to her belly. It was hard as a rock, and after a few moments, they both felt the muscles under her skin slacken a little.

“Baby,” David said, kissing her gently. “I think you’re about to get the best birthday present ever!”

Hath paled. “You mean someone else is going to push these creatures out of her body for me?”

David chuckled. “No,” he said, that’s gonna be all you, sweetheart.”

“Oh my God,” Hath moaned.

“You’ll be fine,” David said. “You can always go for the drugs if the pain gets to be too much – they’re completely safe, you know.”

“I know,” Hath answered. “I don’t know why, but I feel like I need to do this without the meds. I just think if I can do this, I can do anything.”

“Baby, you already can do anything, but whatever you want. There’s no shame in changing your mind later.” He held Hath in his arms for a little while and stroked their children. “Uh, baby, I think you’re about to have another –”

“OH MY GOD!” Hath screamed as another contraction ripped through her. “Our children are coming.” She tried to concentrate on her breathing, and started panting through the pain. In a couple minutes, the cramping had backed off, and she could breathe normally.

David checked the clock. “That was about a half hour from the last one.” He slid a look at her. “And unless you’re being melodramatic, I’d say that was a pretty powerful surge there.”

Hath laughed, though it tightened her abdominal muscles more than what was comfortable. “Stop, don’t make me laugh; it hurts. No, you ass, I wasn’t playing Drama Queen. That hurt like hell.”

“We should probably call the doctor, or do you want to go to the hospital?”

“On my birthday? No way do I want to spend the day there unless I absolutely have to.” She pouted. “Don’t first babies have a long labor anyway?”

David laughed. “Not always. April’s labors went on forever, but Alejandra’s was only a couple of hours. It depends on the woman.”

Hath snorted. “Listen to you: ‘It depends on the woman.’ Uh, okay there, doctor.”

“Shut up, I’m trying to be helpful here.”

Hath kissed him gently. “And I love you for it.” They lay together, rubbing the twins, feeling them shift and move. Finally, she sighed. “I guess you’d better call the doctor.”

“Yes, dear,” David said, making Hath stick her tongue out at him.

When David reached over to snag the phone from the nightstand, Hath pinched his ass.

“Ow!” he complained. “What the hell was that for?”

“For making fun of the pregnant woman.”

“Sheesh, no sense of humor whatsoever,” he groused with a fake pout, and pressed the speed-dial number for Hath’s doctor. He got the answering service and asked the operator to page the doctor while he waited. Long minutes later, the doctor came on the phone.

“This is Dr. Donovan,” an imperious and serious voice intoned.

“Darcy? It’s David Rashbaum. We think Hath may be in labor, and she wanted to check with you before we went to the hospital.” He smiled at his wife. “It’s her birthday, and she doesn’t want to spend it trussed up in stirrups if she doesn’t have to.” He covered the mouth piece. “Maybe you wouldn’t mind being trussed up in stirrups if we were alone?” he wagged his eyebrows up and down.

Hath swore at David and punched his arm, making him laugh.

“Let’s hold off on the congratulations just yet,” the doctor was saying, “it’s still early. Can she talk?”

“Sure, just a minute.” David put a hand over the mouthpiece as he handed the phone over to Hath. “She wants to talk to you.”

“Of course she does,” Hath answered, taking the phone and replacing David’s covering hand with hers. “I’m the one having the damned babies.”

She rolled her eyes at her husband and spoke to her doctor. “Darcy, the first pain woke me up it was so bad. My belly got hard as a rock, completely immobile, then it gave a giant heave! I’ve never felt anything like it in my life.”

Darcy chuckled. “Take a breath, Hath,” Darcy answered. “Has there been just the one? Any cramping in your back? Any fluid discharge?”

Hath took a deep, steadying breath. “No, there were two, about half an hour apart. My back is sore, but it’s been sore for the last month, so I can’t tell if it’s something new. My water hasn’t broken yet, but the babies are extremely agitated, and Oh!” She broke off as another wave of pain crashed over her. “D, time,” she panted, after the pain had passed.

David looked at the clock. “The same, about half an hour.”

“I just had another contraction,” Hath said, needlessly.

“I gathered,” Darcy said dryly. “I’d feel better getting you on a monitor, so birthday or not, it’s time to get yourself to the hospital. I’ll meet you there in about an hour.” With that, she clicked off.

Hath looked at David, eyes wide with fear. “She said to go to the hospital.”

David nodded, seeing the terror in Hath’s face. “Do you think you can stand?” David asked calmly.

Hath nodded and David helped her up. “Wow,” she said. “That really took me by surprise.”

“The contraction itself? Or that you’re having more than one?” David chuckled as Hath tried to punch his arm.

He walked Hath to the bathroom, then helped her get dressed, and between the shorts and the t-shirt, held her through another contraction. “They’re about 25 minutes apart now,” David said, checking his watch. “If they stop the Darcy will send you home, but I think this is the real deal, sweetheart; they’re getting closer together.”

“David, I’m scared,” Hath said, reaching for him.

“Shh, baby, it’s alright,” David answered, gathering her to him and rubbing her back. “What are you scared of?”

“What if I’m not a good mother?”

“Oh, honey, you’re so good at taking care of us, babies will be a cinch. C’mon, nobody’s bigger babies than we are when we’re on tour, right?”

Hath smiled. “You may just be right about that.” She kissed David deeply, and they started for the door. David got Hath settled into the car, and she pulled out her blackberry to start making calls. She called her parents first, and her father answered.

“Daddy, you ready to be a grandpa?” Hath asked her father.

“Oh, Jen, it’s today?” She heard him call for her mother to pick up the extension.

“We’re on the way to the hospital now, the contractions, ooooh!” She had to stop as another wracked her body. “Are coming hard, but not too fast, but the doctor wants us at the hospital. Today may be the day! Can you call everyone?”

“Of course, dear,” her mother answered. “Have David call us when he can, and I’m so proud of you, sweetheart. I love you. Happy Birthday.”

“Love you too Mom, Daddy, and thanks. OK, I have to call David’s mom now. We’ll talk to you at some point...”

“OK sweetie,” her father said. “Good luck.”

“John!” Hath’s mother scolded as Hath chuckled and hung up.

“Daddy says good luck,” she said, smiling. “One down, one to go.” She dialed her mother-in-law.

“Hello?” Flo answered.

“Mom? It’s Hath. Dave and I are on the way to the hospital; we think your newest grandchildren want to share their birthday with me. Hang on, let me put you on speaker.”

“Hi, Ma,” David said.

“David, where are you?”

“We’re about ten minutes from the hospital. Hath’s contractions are coming strong, but not fast, but her doctor wants her at the hospital, just in case.”

“Yes, they can always send you home if...” Flo was interrupted by a long, low moan.

“David, hurry,” Hath said. “They’re getting stronger.”

“Oh God,” David answered. “That’s only ten minutes since the last one. Ma, we gotta go. Call you as soon as we can, alright?”

“Go, GO! Take care of your wife. Don’t you dare let her deliver my grandbabies in the car!”

“D, drive faster!” Hath yelled as Flo hung up. “My water just broke.”