Chapter 1: New Family Members
As the pack was landing their quinjet after having rescued Bucky from the Hydra base in Russia, Stiles sounded so defeated as she explained to her Дед about her father, who had just turned up their driveway that Derek had a difficult time keeping his red eyes to himself ( grandfather ). In the time that he’d been with Stiles and Eliot, Derek had grown very close to them both, but especially to Stiles. She fit in his life in a way that no one had since he’d lost his younger siblings in the fire.
Derek did his best to keep his anger at the man to himself. Stiles always smelled enough of stress whenever the man was mentioned, that he didn’t want to add to it. Especially since it seemed as if a confrontation may be inevitable. He knew that Stiles hadn’t see the man in person since she moved out just before she turned twelve.
The pack, without a word, put Stiles as far to the back as they could, so there were as many pack members as possible between her and her father. Derek was glad that she was placed between her Papa and her Дед. He didn’t have a single doubt that they would keep her safe if it ever came to that.
Derek was positioned in the second row with Eliot, just a step to the outside of Natasha.
“Sheriff,” Natasha greeted coldly. “Is there something you need?” The man actually flinched back slightly at her tone. He obviously wasn’t used to that kind of reaction from people. ‘Well, he ought to get used to it, because no one here is going to be nice to him,’ Derek angrily thought.
“I, uh,” he cleared his throat. “I wanted to know if that plane of yours coming and going was something that will be happening much in the future.” He crossed his arms to try to look intimidating. It might’ve worked if the woman hadn’t taken one look at his posture and softly snorted.
“Unless you’re the FAA, our jet is none of your business,” Clint quipped. He also crossed his arms across his chest, but John could see even through his uniform that his biceps were nearly twice the size of his own.
“If the military is going to house a base of some sort in my county, which could endanger the lives of the civilians under my protection, then it very much is my business,” John stated, nodding his head once as if you say, “So there.”
“We’re not military,” Natasha tried to refrain from rolling her eyes, but decided it wasn’t worth it. Derek could’ve sworn that he could actually hear them roll. “Do we look like military?” She spread her arms wide indicating the others.
The Sheriff took a moment to really look at the assembled group. Derek knew that they looked intimidating and scary. They were armed to the teeth and more than one of them had blood on them. The Sheriff’s small intake of breath caught Derek’s attention, and realized that the man was staring directly at him.
‘What the fuck?’ That was the only thought that would form in Derek’s head. And every time he’d try to think through what he’d just heard, his brain would circle back around to, ‘What the fuck?’
Luckily Natasha was always one to regain her mental equilibrium quickly. “Do you mean ‘son’ in the sense of a young man or as in your biological child?” Considering that she wasn’t a wolf, Natasha certainly knew how to growl out her words. Her question seemed to wake the others out of their frozen stupor.
The Sheriff took a small step toward Derek and spoke in a whisper, as if speaking too loudly would make the image of the young man disappear. “My biological son.”
On instinct Derek stepped away from the approaching man, which drew low growls from the other wolves on his behalf. But the Sheriff didn’t seem to notice, he was to focused on his newly-announced son.
Derek felt like he’d been run over by a cement truck then picked up and stabbed through the gut. He had no doubt that he looked the same. The Sheriff was his biological father? The only thing that Talia had ever told anyone about Derek’s biological father was that the man was human.
“How?” Derek gasped. He had a tough time trying to catch his breath.
“I was on leave from the Army in San Francisco,” John told him. “I met your mother. She said that she wanted a child from me, but nothing else. Not money, not my name, not my involvement. Sometime during our two weeks together she mentioned that lived in Beacon Hills. So, when it came time to settle down with Claudia, my wife, I had to choose here.
“I spoke with your mother and she made me promise that I would stay out of your life; with that promise she let me stay and watch you grow up. And look at you now. You’re a man, son.” He sounded so proud and genuine at that. Derek was lost and confused. The Sheriff was his father? Derek didn’t want him as a father, he was a terrible father. Just as Stiles. Stiles. If the Sheriff was his father and he was also Stiles’ father, that meant that Stiles was Derek’s little sister.
He turned and looked over his shoulder and his wide, panicked eyes met Stiles’; hers were just as wide and though not as panicked. Then her eyes narrowed and he knew that she was pissed. Derek could only be relieved that her anger was not directed toward him.
“How the fuck dare you?!” Stiles near-yelled as she made her way through the pack to stand next to Derek, close to Natasha. John looked like he’d seen a ghost.
“Claudia?” He breathed out.
“Try again asshole,” Stiles snapped back. He really looked her over for just a moment before understanding registered in his face.
“Stiles.” The man sounded so resigned and disappointed that it was all Derek could do not to rip the man’s throat out right then and there. His wolf wholeheartedly agreed with that plan. The man had not only insulted his packmate, but his baby sister as well.
But Stiles lifted her chin in defiance, adjusted her stance to that of the fighter that she was, and allowed rage to glow bright in her eyes. Derek couldn’t have been prouder of her. He mimicked her stance; he noticed out of the corner of both eyes that the rest of the pack did the same.
“You’re on private property and you need to leave,” Stiles ground out. “This is your only warning. After this you will trespassing and you will be arrested.”
John turned his full glare toward her. “Listen here, young lady. You have no right to speak to me that way.”
“I will speak to you however I damn well please, John,” she spat out his name as if it was a curse word.
“Go sit in the back of the cruiser,” the Sheriff demanded. “I will take you home, where you will remain, once I’m finished here.”
Stiles barked out a harsh laugh. “Fuck. You.” Almost before anyone could blink, John was swinging his left arm to backhand her across the face. His wrist was caught by a wolfed-out, red-eyed Derek.
“Don’t touch her,” he growled through his fangs. The utter fear on John’s face as he rushed back several steps was entertaining for the pack. Derek heard movement from the back before he heard the words.
“When I asked you to take care of and protect my daughter, I rather thought you’d take that to mean not just her but her daughters as well.” The sheer terror on John’s face as Bucky slowly stalked forward toward the Sheriff was priceless. Derek took a deep breath and reveled scent of pure fear.
Stiles was livid. “Not only have you ignored and abandoned me most of my life, but you abandoned Derek when he needed you most. Now, granted, neither one of us have ever needed you , but we certainly could’ve used each other. And since I didn’t know I had an older brother, I didn’t know that he had an uncle that I could’ve been visiting for the past six years.” She turned and looked at Peter. “I’m sorry, Peter. If I’d have known I would’ve been there for you, I swear.”
“I know, my dear,” Peter answered as he stepped up next to Derek. John did a double-take at seeing the formerly comatose patient.
“Peter Hale?” The darker side of Derek’s personality enjoyed how lost and confused John seemed by everything that had happened since he stepped out of his cruiser and onto the lawn. “You went missing from the hospital. Where have you been?”
“Why, dear Sheriff,” Peter drawled in an overly-sweet tone. “I’ve been living here, in your daughter’s house.”
“She lives with me.” The Sheriff sounded truly confused.
“You’re an idiot,” Stiles mumbled, though not at all quietly. “I haven’t lived in your house for almost five years. Not that you noticed me even when I did live there.”
“I hate to interrupt this douchebag getting his ass handed to him,” Darcy spoke before anyone else could comment. “But I’m pretty sure that the currently drunk Sheriff knows way too much for the safety of the rest of us.”
“You make a very good point, Darcy,” Natasha brought the conversation back around to her. “Does anyone have any suggestions?”
Derek tuned the rest of the conversation out; he had only one thought. He had a little sister. Stiles was his little sister. He couldn’t believe it. He knew that they’d gotten close, and he knew that he thought of her in a sisterly way. But now . . . she was really his.
Derek was conflicted. On the one hand he was ecstatic that Stiles was his biological little sister. But on the other hand, he was furious that the Sheriff had abandoned him, left him alone with his killer of a sister. He’d been alone his guilt for years because John was too busy being drunk to be bothered to even tell Derek that he had a father and a sister, let alone actually act like a real father.
Peter had been more of a real father than John could ever be. Peter had always been a good father for him, before the fire and after. Peter was all the father Derek needed, he decided. John could disappear into a deep, dark hole for all Derek cared, and it wouldn’t bother him in the slightest. It might even make Stiles feel better to have him gone for good.
Stiles. His little sister. Derek couldn’t quite get past that one thought. No matter how angry he was a the Sheriff, the one fact remained. The Sheriff has just given Derek a sister again. And for that sole fact, Derek would thank him. However, for the pain and hurt he’d put his younger sister through, Derek would forever want to tear the man to pieces.
Derek tuned back into the conversation just as he heard Nick Fury ask via speakerphone, “You want to take him to Jötunheim?”
“It makes the most sense,” Loki answered. “They already know about werewolves, and they know that Derek is my great-grandson, many times over. My brothers would also not care about Super Soldiers as they are part of our pack, our family. I am certain that they would help us.”
So it was decided that the pack would take his and Stiles’ biological father to Jötunheim to be imprisoned. And yet, somehow, Derek couldn’t find it in himself to feel bad about it.
As the pack made their way back to their house from the cold of Jötunheim Derek thought about what all of this was going to mean for his future. He now had a younger sister; a biological little sister. He’d been conflicted for so long about wishing for more family. For so many years he thought the fire had been his fault, so he felt so guilty about longing for more family. But then he found out a few months ago that not only was the fire not his fault, but that his older sister was actually responsible for it. He finally allowed himself to want more biological family than only his uncle.
But now? Now Derek had a second chance. He had another chance to be a good big brother, another chance to protect his family. Getting rid of their biological father was only the first step in protecting his newly discovered baby sister. He was both excited and nervous to get back to the house to have a chance to speak with her alone.
The trek back to the house from the Nemeton ended sooner than Derek had hoped, and before he was ready for the conversation, Stiles had ushered him into the front parlor and closed the doors behind them. She led him to the couch next to the wall and urged him to sit, then sat a few feet away from him.
“So . . .” Stiles began, obviously as confused and unsure as Derek himself was.
“So . . .” he replied. The two sat there in awkward silence for a few minutes. Unsurprisingly it was Stiles that broke the silence.
“Are you okay? I mean with everything that just happened. You just found out who your biological father was, that you have a younger sister, then you and said sister just carted your shared father off to an off-world ice prison to die. That’s a lot for anyone to deal with all at once.” She rushed through her words so quickly that it took him a moment to sort through what she’d said.
“Yes, I’m okay,” he replied. And as he said it he realized that it was the truth.
“That’s it? That’s all you have to say? ‘Yes, I’m okay’.” Stiles mocked. “You’re not riddled with emotions and confusion? Come on now, give me something.”
Derek leaned and pulled her into a huge embrace. “Yes, baby sister, I’m okay,” he said into her neck. She clung tightly to him, as if she was afraid he would suddenly disappear or change his mind.
“Are you okay?” He was fine, but he wanted to make certain that she was. “I’ve only ever had negative feelings about the man, but he was your dad.”
Stiles snuggled into his arms. “He stopped being my dad a long time ago,” she confessed. “I took care of him until my emancipation in honor of my mom. She would’ve wanted me to, so I did. But once he stopped acknowledging that I existed, I stopped thinking of him as my dad.
“You know, I was used to his treatment; it wasn’t any big deal. But finding out that he had hurt and abandoned you was the last straw. Any chance of him redeeming himself in my eyes was gone,” she admitted.
“That’s kind of funny,” Derek told her. “Because I was thinking the same thing. Him abandoning me sucked, but I could deal. But him hurting and abandoning you was unacceptable and pissed me and my wolf off. You deserve so much better.
“You’ve been everyone’s rock, especially mine,” he continued. “If it wasn’t for you Peter might still be in a coma, I would still be wracked with guilt over something that was never my fault to begin with, Steve might still be in the ice, Bucky would still be in Hydra’s custody, and the rest of us wouldn’t have the family that we have now. You are the most amazing and selfless person I have ever met. And I swear to you that I will do everything in my power to be the big brother that you deserve.”
Stiles looked up with tears streaming down her face. Derek gently wiped them away with his thumbs, then leaned forward and placed a soft kiss on her forehead.
“You’ve always been a wonderful brother to me,” Stiles told him when she could finally speak again. “The only difference now is that we know that you are my biological brother and not just the brother of my heart. Because you are. I chose you as my brother long before our father said anything to us. All his confession did, as far as I’m concerned, is that it added another layer to the reasons why I did, and still do, choose you to be my big brother.”
Derek pulled her into another tight hug. He then whispered in her ear, “I love you, little sister.”
Stiles returned the strong embrace. “I love you too, big brother.”
Jane had forced herself to work while the pack was called to aid the Avengers. She stayed continuously in her lab, even resulting to eating and sleeping there. She couldn’t bring herself to sleep in her bed. It still smelled like the last time Derek had been there. They had argued, even now she couldn’t remember about what, something stupid of course. They had made up before he left, and made up well, but she still couldn’t believe she had let herself pick a fight with Derek.
“Jane, come eat with me please,” Darcy begged. “I can’t stand to eat alone again.” She whined.
“Fine, but quickly.” Jane replied, “I think I found something that could stabilize the bridge, if only we could get….” She trailed off seeing Darcy roll her eyes yet again. “Okay let’s eat.”
Jane and Darcy ate in mere silence, but just having her friend by her side did seem to help.
“So,” Jane said attempting to make conversation, “how’s studying going?” And with that question Darcy finally opened up. It really had felt like it had been forever since they had sat and talked. They were both so busy, Jane with Einstein-Rosen Bridge, Darcy with her law degree. When they weren’t working, they were either with the pack as a whole or with their respective mates. If Jane was completely honest it took some time to wrap her head around the idea of her best friend mated to a god. And not any god, but Loki. The God of Mischief. All of the mythology, of course she had talked with Stiles about it all, didn’t paint a good picture of him. But in all actuality he was rather kind and gentle, and it was obvious that Darcy was completely smitten with him.
The friends continued to talk through their meal, and while they cleaned up. To Jane’s amazement they even ended up in the front living room chatting away.
“How long have they been gone?” Jane finally asked.
“Thirty two hours and twenty seven minutes,” Darcy sighed.
“Have you heard anything?” Feeling even more guilty that she hadn’t paid more attention to their mission.
“COBI has informed me that they are all doing well, but hasn’t said when they are expected to return,” Darcy replied almost sound distressed. “I’m sure we’ll hear something soon.”
“I hope so,” Jane added.
“Jane you need some sleep, and not in your lab. You have been in your lab since Derek left. Sleep in your room tonight,” Darcy pleaded. “You will feel so much better if you get a good night’s rest.”
It took some convincing but a few hours, and several glasses of wine, later; Jane found herself slipping on a tank and shorts and sliding into bed alone. She pulled Derek’s pillow close to her to she could smell him and hopefully she could get some rest.
Derek walked into their darkened room, and he could hear her sleeping. Her scent was everywhere in the room. Damn he had missed her. He missed her everyday. He loved working next to her, with her, for her. He wanted everything to be near her. And now he was again.
Derek silently made his way to their bed and lifted the blankets, she was cuddled up to his pillow like she often cuddled into him while she slept. He couldn’t wait to return there. He removed all his clothing except his boxers and slid into bed. Jane’s breathing quickened as the weight in the bed changed, and her eyes began to flutter. He reached out to her to soothe, but as soon as he touched her she jolted and opened her eyes, and as the realization hit, she smiled.
Derek couldn’t resist her smile, and he leaned down to kiss her. He was soft, but she was not. She pulled him close and kissed him hard. He could still taste the wine on her lips. Suddenly the scent in the room changed and the Alpha liked the new desire that poured from his mate. Derek tore the duvet from the bed and saw her laying there, and he wanted her. He covered her body with his, and in this position he could feel her heart quicken through her shirt. He became hard and pressed his length into her thigh, and her eyes widened.
“It so easy to turn you on,” Jane whispered into his ear, as she pulled his hair roughly.
A growl escaped his throat, and he bit her shoulder, but not hard enough to pierce her skin. She moaned and arched her neck and back into him.
“Oh, how I missed you,” he said following her arch with his hand. Her breathing got more erratic the more he touched her. So he continued to move down her stomach and passed her hips, and then back up her stomach. This time he went under the tank she had on, and lifted it up over her head. She lay there topless. Derek was straddling her hips, and she gazed up at him, and then let her gaze drift downward to his chest and lower to his stomach. Jane continued to drift downward to his boxers, and wasn’t the least bit surprised that his erection had poked through. She sat up to kiss him and began to rub his penis through his boxers. Another growl. She sighed, not only because she had Derek’s cock in her hand, but because having Derek’s cock in her hand meant he was home.
Derek quickly, almost too quickly, jumped out of bed and dropped his boxers on the floor. It took Jane a moment to catch up to his movements and realize he was now naked in front of her. And he was a fantastic specimen to behold. She loved his naked form, his shoulders and collarbone. His chest, and down to abs. The way his external obliques created that spot just above his hips, the line that made her stupid. The trail of hair that thickened as it went from belly button downward. She only had a moment to take all of this in, because just as quickly as he had left the bed he was back over her kissing her.
Their kisses grew desperate, she could feel his longing for her. His hands were all over her, her hands were all over him. He sat up saying, “You don’t need these anymore.” And removed her shorts flinging them off the bed.
His lips returned to her, they were soft and warm against her neck, shoulder, and breasts. His tongue was wet and firm down her belly and pelvis. She gasped as he spread her legs, and nipped each of her sensitive lips with his teeth. Then his tongue began to swirl around her, changing from hard to ultra soft as he licked lavishly between her legs. She couldn’t help it, her breathing quickened, her heart pounded in her chest, and moaned as the orgasm threatened to overtake her. Without hesitation Derek entered her. She felt each inch of him fill her, then retreat. Each time he pressed into her a little deeper, a little harder. Another growl. It was her this time. She opened her eyes to see him staring into her eyes, with a knowing look in his eye. He might be easy to turn on, but it was just as easy for him to take her over the edge.
He thrust into her again and again. She reached up to him, and pulled him down onto her. She needed to feel him, to feel all of him against her. Still looking into each other’s eyes, chests pressed together, her legs wrapped around his hips. She returned each of his thrusts with a thrust of her own. Her desire was palpable, and he didn’t stop. He thrust again and she gasped. He thrust again and she gripped his shoulders tighter, digging her fingertips into his flesh. He thrust again and she raked down his biceps. He thrust again and she cried out in ecstasy. He thrust again and came into her.
It took several minutes for Jane to recover her breathing, and slow her heart. When she did, Derek was casually laying on her, but no longer in her. She opened her eyes to see his face smiling. A wicked grin spread across his face.
Jane rolled out from underneath Derek and went to shower. Derek joined her silently awaiting her reply, but got nothing from her. Jane put her tank and shorts back on and crawled back into bed, Derek followed her, but he remained naked. Jane lay curled up facing the wall, Derek spooned into her and wrapped his arms around her.
“Derek,” Jane whispered to check if he was still awake.
“Jane,” he responded.
“You know I love you.” She made this a rhetorical questioned. “But I also can’t marry you.”
“Mmmhmmm,” Derek said yawning. He had been awake for over 48 hours and was ready to sleep now. “You can’t marry me until you complete,” another yawn, “your work. We brought home the . . .” and fell asleep.
“Derek, you brought home the what?” Jane asked. “Derek. Derek. DEREK,” she turned and shook Derek awake.
“Oh, the iridium. We brought it home.”
Jane jumped out of bed. “You found some iridium? You found a stabilizer, and you're just telling me this now? Derek get up we have work to do.” She was pulling her pants on.
Derek sat up, “Jane come back to bed. We aren’t going to work tonight. Loki has it stored safely, where we can’t get to it until he wakes up. So, tonight we sleep my dear,” he yawned again.
Jane stood there uncertain of what to do. Everything started to fall into place. The pack had found and procured the iridium, iridium is what she needed to complete the Einstein-Rosen Bridge, everything she had been working on for years would soon be complete, and Derek proposed to her. He had asked her marry him because he knew that all of her conditions had been or would very soon be met and she said she would marry him when she was done. Jane quickly removed her clothes, and climbed back into bed. She climbed on top of Derek, and kissed him.
“Yes,” she finally answered. She felt him grow hard under her.
The following day Derek and Jane worked tirelessly together in her lab, they prepared everything they could without having the element. They prepped the furnace in order to melt the iridium. It would take about 18 hours to get the unit up to the temperature needed to melt iridium. While it was solid they didn’t need any special precautions besides the special gloves to work with the heat. However, after the iridium was melted several precautions would need to be taken. Jane had a checklist to complete prior to getting the element from Loki and these steps would take a few days to prep before they would be ready. So the time required for Loki to recover was of very little consequence to Jane in the long run.
The first evening Derek and Jane emerged from their lab after the rest of the pack had eaten and went straight to bed. The second evening no one saw them leave, it must have been very early the next morning. Perhaps they even worked in the lab the whole night.
They woke Loki as early as they had dared on the third day. Loki was still pretty groggy, but it was evident that Jane just really wanted to get back to work and finish up. It appeared as if Loki pulled the iridium out of thin air as he reopened the interdimensional pocket. Darcy was very impressed with this. Jane, however, didn’t bat an eye, just merely wanted the container. She motioned for Derek to take the container from Loki, it was more than obvious to herself that there was no way she would be able to lift the container. Derek took it easily and followed Jane to the lab. The couple didn’t speak in full sentences as they worked, but worked flawlessly together. It was more like they were reading each other’s minds.
The day after they obtained the iridium Jane and Derek called the pack into her lab. Against the farthest wall was a very simple and unobtrusive archway. Stiles had helped build some of the tech needed for the arch itself, but sitting there now you could almost look right passed it and not notice it at all.
Jane gave a short speech about what it was the pack was gathered around, “We all know about wormholes since we have used the Way, and witnessed the Bifröst Frigga used to visit, but this,” she pointed to the arch, “is something completely different. Once activated this portal can be directed to travel to another portal within the universe. What’s special about this however is that it has transportation capabilities. So unlike the Way, I can move to a different location and still be able to access the wormhole.” Once she completed her speech Derek typed a few commands in the computer, and the base of the arch started to light up. The lights circled their way up the arch and met at the top. A shimmering began to appear in the doorway of the arch. The shimmering intensified over the next minute until it was a solid.
“You can direct it anywhere?” Loki questioned.
“Currently it would have to be a destination already open through a Bifröst Bridge or a Way, but eventually the technology could be recreated, either to be built on another realm, or taken and assembled where it was needed.”
“This could open many new possibilities for travelling to and from realms,” Loki continued.
The pack discussed for several minutes about the possible uses of this new technology. It was Bucky who brought up the fact that is something that could never fall into the wrong hands, his years with HYDRA had proven to him that even good technology could be used inappropriately. They decided that for the time being they would keep this discovery a secret until additional safeguards could be put into place.
The pack was still discussing amongst themselves, Loki in particular seemed very impressed by Jane’s work. He always hated that he was limited to the one location to travel. Everyone was getting ready to leave the lab when Derek cleared his throat. Everyone stopped where they were and turned to looked at him.
“As you all know, Jane has been single-minded in her work on the arch, and the bridge. But since her work is now complete, I wanted everyone to know that I have asked Jane to be my wife.” Derek’s announcement didn’t come as a shock to the pack, they all knew he wanted to marry her, but she had always told him that it wasn’t the right time. All eyes were on Jane now.
“And I said yes.” She said trying to be nonchalant about it, but the smile that crossed her face showed she was very excited.
Applause and cheers erupted from the group. Everyone was way more excited for this news than the presentation on the portal. The portal was going to be a vital invention, but the happiness of the Alpha and his mate was way more important than anything else currently. Derek kissed his fiancee, his excitement was spreading to the whole pack.
Stiles and Darcy immediately dragged Jane off to talk wedding plans, and dresses, and colors. Though her mind was still on the portal, Jane allowed herself to ride the wave of happiness of the announcement she and Derek had made.
She wondered how the receptive the pack would be at the announcement of her pregnancy.
Chapter 4: What Happened?
Jane slowly opened her eyes. The room was fairly dark. She blinked to refocus her eyes, and when she opened them again Derek was beside her. He squeezed her hand and kissed it. She realized he must have been holding her hand all along. She was definitely in some sort of hospital.
“What’s going on? Where am I?” she questioned.
“Sshh,” he quieted her. “There will plenty of time to talk later, just rest for a bit. The healers wanted to see you in the morning.”
“Please Derek,” Jane pleaded.
“Mi tesoro,” Derek began ( my treasure ). He took a deep breath before he continued. “Are you sure you’re ready?”
Jane nodded slightly. “Please,” she begged again turning slightly in the bed to see him better.
Derek whispered the next part, “Did you know you were pregnant?”
Jane sighed, “Yes.” Derek’s eyes went wide. “Derek, I’m so sorry.” Her voice sounded strained, but she continued, “I wanted it to be a surprise. I found out just before you got home when you brought the iridium. And then you proposed and I thought it would be wonderful to tell you on our wedding day.” Tears began to well in her eyes.
Derek was looking down, she was sure he was disappointed in her. Then something wet hit her hand and she realized he was crying too. “I was so scared of losing you,” he whispered as he lifted to kiss her hand. “We were in the meeting, and then you doubled over in pain. Jane, there was so much blood. Frigga got the healers. Then everyone was rushing, and moving around you.” His explanation had become frantic. She squeezed his hand and he calmed a little. “I honestly don’t even know everything; the healers said they would explain when you were awake.”
“Did I lose the baby?” She asked with so much sorrow in her voice.
“Kind of.” Derek stated. The confusion on Jane’s face was evident. “There were two. You only lost one.”
“There were two!” Jane was in shock from this revelation.
“Good morning Jane,” the woman said. She was dressed in the traditional green tunic of the healer, “I am Healer Praeteik.”
Derek stood to shake her hand. “Good morning Derek,” the woman said. She was very dark complected, with dark hair. However her eyes were the lightest blue Jane had ever seen.
The healer walked around the bed. Once on the opposite side of the bed she waved her hand across the table and a virtual display appeared eye level with the healer and Derek. It looked like an extremely advanced ultrasound picture. The healer pressed into the display and the images began moving.
“As you can you see, this fetus appears to be strong. The heartbeat is exactly what we would hope to be seeing at the halfway point in the pregnancy.”
“Doctor,” Jane looked at the woman, “I’m sorry Healer, but I am just barely 5, maybe 6, weeks pregnant. I am not half way. I mean that can’t be my baby. I just barely found out myself.”
“In a normal Midgardian pregnancy you would be correct, but this is not a normal Midgardian pregnancy.” Jane looked incredibly confused.
“You are carrying a werewolf child in your womb.”
Jane started to feel like a look of confusion would be her new look. Derek held Jane’s hand while she was trying to work out exactly what the healer had just said. “I thought we couldn’t, I thought I couldn’t.” She stammered.
“I believe what she's trying to say is; she didn't know she could conceive a werewolf. But I should have been the one to tell her. It's rare, Jane. This is probably a conversation we should have had long ago. But in short, yes, you can.”
Jane tried to interrupt, “bu. . .”
“Even when I'm in complete human form, and even at the furthest from the full moon,” Derek finished.
“Based on the information ascertained from Derek, and research we have been able to gather, we have come to a few conclusions regarding your condition. It is incredibly rare for a human woman to successfully carry even one werewolf pup to full gestation,” the healer continued, “Which is why we are not surprised you lost one. Many werewolf pregnancies, much like wolves, are a litter or multiples.”
Jane felt the bottom drop out. She had been pregnant with twins, would she consider it a litter? That felt so weird using that term. Maybe fraternal twins. The whole idea was mind boggling. The healer was still talking.
“As you can see if we enhance an image of scan taken moments after you arrived to us, the second fetus had detached from the uterine lining. In your realm you would call it a placental abruption.” The healer showed the actual tear on the image. “Here is a current image,” the image that had just moments ago shown a very active fetus was now frozen. “You can see remnants of the placenta, but everything else is passed. “ Jane actually really liked how matter-of-fact the healer was. It was refreshing to deal with this is scientific way.
“We are unconcerned with the remnants, in fact is very likely that the remaining placenta will just be absorb them. It will only add nutrients and make the placenta even stronger.” The healer had circled the remnants on the image.
“Healer Praeteik, so as terrible as the situation was, are we good now? Is everything going to be okay now?” Derek asked.
“Unfortunately no. As good as the baby looks, Jane and the fetus are still not out of the woods.” The healer touched the image again, and a new chart displayed. “These are Jane’s vitals over the last twelve hours. Your blood pressure is above acceptable limits for a human in late pregnancy, but more of concern is that your heart is showing evidence of a chronic heart condition. Assuming there was no heart condition previously,” the healer worded this like a question and looked at Jane.
“No previous heart condition,” Jane responded.
“We are assuming the pregnancy is causing the condition. In addition to these conditions, your cervix has been weakened due to the miscarriage of the second fetus. There is always a fear you could experience another premature rupture of the membranes causing another abruption and miscarriage.”
“Uh,” Derek was in shock. He believed that they were out the woods now, but it appeared that things were only getting worse. “What does all this mean?”
“We recommend that Jane stay here on Asgard the remainder of her gestation.”
“I’m sorry,” Jane’s eye were wide. “I can’t stay here, I need to go home.”
“That is not recommended, you need a healer with you at all times.”
“We have Loki,” Jane was very certain that Loki could take care of her.
“Loki is only a fair substitute for an Healer.” There was nothing rude about what Praeteik had said. Her assessment that Loki had only basic knowledge of healing compared to herself was accurate. “Loki’s knowledge could suffice during bedrest, but during the delivery however you would need more experience. If you are insisting you return home, I would also insist on returning with you.”
The water was barely lukewarm, Jane sat on a stool and let the water pour over her. The blood washed from her lower body. The water ran red brown in color, but it felt good to be clean. She scrubbed her body with the soap provided. She smelled and felt clean. The water rinsed the remaining soap from her body. Jane closed her eyes and replayed all the healer had said in her mind. Jane rested her hand on her stomach.
“Hello little one,” she said speaking to her baby. “I need you to be okay in there. I can’t lose you too.” Jane began to cry thinking about the baby she had lost. “I should have known, I shouldn’t have kept it a secret. I’m so sorry,” she cried into the æther. She sat in the shower until the water ran cold on her skin and she began to shiver.
Derek came into the bathroom to comfort his love. He turned off the water and wrapped Jane in a warm robe. She leaned into him and continued to cry into his chest. Derek just let her cry, and when she stopped she looked up at him. Her eyes shined so brightly.
“Take me home.” Her voice so filled with so much sorrow
“Jane, I would love to take you home, but the healers want you to rest now.”
“Please, I won’t be able to rest here.”
“Let’s talk about it after you have slept,” Derek declared. He didn’t mean for his Alpha be present but it was, and Jane relented. He was unsure if it was his Alpha or if she was just so tired. Maybe both. He carried her into the bed and helped her into a new gown. Jane fell to sleep quickly. Derek sat in the chair beside the bed and leaned it back as far as it would go. He listened to Jane’s deep breathing and soon he fell asleep.
When he opened his eyes, Jane was awake and eating. Derek sat up and noticed there was an extra tray by him.
“The Palace cook had these sent down to us. I am sure Loki and Frigga are responsible for this amazing food.” Jane said taking another bite.
Derek smelled the food and realized how hungry he was. He pulled the tray closer to him and took a bite. “Wow, this is really good.”
Jane turned in the bed to look at him. “I slept, now we talk.”
“Wow,” he said swallowing, “let’s get down to business shall we?”
“Derek,” Jane started.
“Jane,” Healer Praeteik had entered the room. “I see you received the entree.”
“Healer, I need to go home. Derek and I were just talking about how I won’t be able to rest here.” Jane was very matter of fact.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” the werewolf was startled by her brashness. “We have discussed nothing.” Derek emphasized the ‘we’.
Jane rolled her eyes at her mate, and looked back at the healer. “I think it would be better for me to go home.”
“I think she should do whatever you suggest,” Derek retorted.
“Jane, I highly recommend you rest. I also understand that you are a long way from home. Tell me why you don’t think you will be able to rest here.” It was evident the healer wanted all the facts.
“I am an astrophysicist on Earth, and I am working on some things that still need additional tests. I know I won’t be able to relax if I cannot keep an eye on them.” Jane stayed as factual as possible in her explanation.
“Understandable, but I cannot have you working. I don’t think your work is worth your life or the life of your child,” the healer stated.
“Agreed,” Derek said.
Jane sighed before she continued, “At home, I have several people, including Derek, that can keep an eye on the things and relay information. We can also have a video feed set up so I can see without having to leave my bed. Loki has established quite a state of the art medical facility in the main house. I am certain with all his knowledge he could handle my care.”
“Loki, are you referring to the God of Mischief? I am aware that things are quite different with him, but he is not one I would consider a replacement for your care.” Healer Praeteik questioned the soundness of mind of her patient.
“Then come with us!” Jane exclaimed exasperated. Derek was shocked at her boldness, he continued looking back and forth between the two women.
“Agreed.” The healer didn’t hesitate in her response.
The couple just stared at the healer. Neither knew exactly what to say.
“It is the only way I can guarantee that someone qualified will be available to you.” She finished.
“Ok, well then, what do we need to do to get me home?” Jane sat up more, she was ready to go now.
“I do have conditions,” the healer added, “You will need to stay here for two days. That way I can monitor you and ensure the travel will not disrupt you. It will also allow me to prepare for an extended stay on Midgard.”
“I can agree to that, anything that will get me home.”
After the decision was made to allow Jane to go home, Darcy and Loki were allowed to visit.
“Oh Jane!” Darcy squeezed her friend. So many emotions were coursing through her: sadness and worry for her friend and her lost baby, and elation that there was going to be a baby in the pack.
Jane wrapped Darcy into a warm embrace. “Darcy, I’m so glad you’re here.”
The two friends talked and caught up on all the details of the last day and a half; Jane’s description all of her medical issues, and convincing the healer to allow her to go home. Darcy relayed that the pack had left to prepare for her to come home; either now or later.
Healer Praeteik entered the room. Darcy rose to leave. “Please stay, both of you,” Jane said nodding to Loki as well. “I’m sure the healer would like to ask Loki some questions as well.”
The next few hours was mostly discussion of ways of travel and what equipment would be needed. Jane zoned in and out of the conversation, there wasn’t much she could do to help or any advice she could give. It was decided that the Bifröst would be the best means of travel, since the Way would result in a fair bit of walking for Jane. The Bifröst was tricky however, no one was sure the effect on a fetus traveling via Bifröst. But it was determined the walking would be much worse even if there was someone waiting on the other with a wheelchair.
Once home Jane would be taken to Loki’s facility on the ground floor of main house, and the healer would occupy the make shift bedroom set up in the den next to Jane. Loki insisted that he had all the supplies that the healer had said she needed, but she still planned on taking most of the items in case Loki’s were insufficient.
All that was left now was to wait.
Chapter 5: The Trouble With Traveling
I'm so sorry this is a day late. I was hoping to have the next chapter of Warriors finished for the Wednesday update, but that didn't end up happening. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Please take the time to comment. It really does make us, as authors, write faster.
~Laurel & CE
Everything was set for Jane to return home. Healer Praeteik had performed several tests on Jane’s heart. These tests were comparable to an electrocardiogram (EKG), and an echocardiogram (ECG). All things considered, the healer was very pleased with the results. Jane was also able to relax enough to keep her blood pressure within the healthy range.
The ultrasound was by far the most interesting. Each day the baby grew stronger and larger. She had even started to feel him move quite often.
“Him,” she thought to herself, “a baby boy.”
Derek was thrilled that he was going to have a son. He catered to Jane’s every desire. Jane had grown a bit needy, and really tried to not be mean to everyone, but there were just sometimes she didn’t know how to handle all of the hormones.
Stiles, Eliot, and Danny returned the day prior to Jane’s departure date from Asgard and they brought Clint and Quinn with them. Clint and Quinn had come to Asgard to help move all of Healer Praeteik’s items to the house. The rest were there for emotional support and political support. Everything was set for the healer to stay in Midgard for the duration of Jane’s confinement and delivery. There was much discussion on traveling via Bifröst. In some cases, traveling could be difficult, but most of the time it was as easy as stepping through a doorway. The more precise that the coordinates were, the easier to pass through.
“Would having an actual doorway assist in directing the Bifröst?” Jane had asked.
So now in addition to going home, there would be a real life test on her portal. She was incredibly happy with the way everything was turning out. Her heart was fluttering with enthusiasm. She couldn’t tell the difference between the butterflies of excitement and the baby kicking in her stomach.
“Jane, as we discussed previously, if you feel any pain at all you need to let me know immediately.” The healer had reminded Jane of this multiple times since the decision to move her to Midgard had been made.
“Yes, I will.” Jane promised.
An Asgardian version of a wheelchair was brought to Jane’s room. Derek took her hand and squeezed gently, before he swiftly scooped under her body and carried her to the chair, and as gently as he could set her back down.
“Was that okay, Tesoro?” He asked ( Treasure ).
“I’m just fine, love,” Jane responded.
The group walked together with Jane being wheeled down toward the Dome and the Bifröst via a colorful bridge to where Heimdall stood guard. The dome housing the Bifröst was incredible. Nothing could prepare Jane for the splendor as they approached the building. It appeared to be solid gold, and had symbols from all nine realms around it in every direction.
Heimdall was tall, taller than anyone in the pack. And his eyes. There were no words to describe the gold color of his eyes. He was the most startlingly beautiful man Jane had ever seen. As they neared, Loki stepped forward to announce themselves.
“Heimdall, I have come seeking permission to use the Bifröst.” It was tradition to do this, even though Heimdall had already Seen them coming.
“I understand traveling to Midgard, however the portal you are attempting to make contact with is foreign to me.” Heimdall’s voice was loud and full of bass. “This is new in all the realms.” Heimdall seemed confused, the connection to Jane’s doorway was something even he couldn’t See .
“But will it work?” Jane couldn’t help herself from asking. This was her life’s work after all.
“There is no doubt.” Heimdall only gazed out into space, he never turned to look at the wheelchair bound woman.
Loki approached Jane, and extended his hand to her. Slowly, and with added help from Derek, she stood. She walked with Loki to spot on the opposite end of the dome. Heimdall pressed his sword into the altar and there was a clang as the mechanics turned on and began to spin the dome above them. Jane continued to look forward as the dome spun faster and faster, but also shift. As it shifted an opening appeared directly in front of the group. The opening was dark, but gradually a light began emanating from the doorway. As it grew brighter and brighter, objects could be seen.
Soon enough Jane’s lab appeared in front of them. Elation, pure unadulterated elation, coursed through Jane’s veins. It was working! Her heart was pounding as she stepped toward the door behind Loki and in front of Praeteik. She kept reminding herself to go slowly, when all she wanted to do was run. Derek grabbed her hand as she took her place in front of the door. There was a bit of tug as she took one more step forward. It was like being pushed from behind, and pulled from the front simultaneously. Like an airport walking escalator, but a quicker and sharper tug. She took two more steps and was standing in her lab.
Clint, Quinn, Peter, Nat, Steve, Bucky, Cora, Remy, and Billy all stood in front of her. She couldn’t help it, tears poured from her eyes. Two more steps and she fully in the lab and the others could come in behind her. As Eliot stepped through there was snap in the air, and a breeze that blew passed. That was it, the portal was closed. The pack was all together again, in Jane’s lab. She was standing almost exactly where she was when she gave the demo the first time. Jane was so excited she couldn’t breathe.
“Jane,” Derek squeezed her hand. He sounded far away. Was he was yelling her name? Why was he yelling? Wait, she really couldn’t breathe.
“Jane!” Derek yelled and caught her as fell, barely quick enough to stop her head from hitting the floor.
Without missing a beat the healer was at Derek’s side feeling for Jane’s pulse.
“Get her to the healing center.” Loki took Praeteik by the arm and briskly lead her from the lab across the sparring field to the main house. Thankfully they had a direct access to the room that had been converted into Loki’s healing room. It made it easy to take an injured pack member straight into Loki on those occasions when sparring had gotten out of hand. This time however seemed a little more life threatening.
Derek, with Jane in his arms, was immediately behind Loki and the healer, and gently laid her onto the exam bed. Praeteik glanced around, and made a mental note to applaud Loki on what he had created here. Derek stepped back as the two healers began work on the mother of his child. Loki began a series of chest compressions as Praeteik applied a breathing apparatus across her mouth. She pressed a few buttons and the machine began to breathe for Jane. Loki continue chest compressions. Tears welled in Derek’s eyes as Praeteik pulled out the paddles in order to shock Jane.
“Is that safe?” Derek heard someone say over his shoulder. He hadn’t even realized that Stiles had come. She wrapped her arms around Derek’s waist. Another arm suddenly enveloped around his shoulders, Eliot was on his side.
“Clear!” Was the only response.
Jane’s entire body jerked and jolted upon receiving the shock. The healers stood for a moment and watched the monitor. Jane’s heart began to beat on it’s own. Derek sighed in relief thinking that everything was okay. But Loki hadn’t stopped, he turned and pulled out another machine. Praeteik was prepping the unconscious woman’s belly. The machine was not nearly as advanced as the one on Asgard, but it definitely showed a clear picture of the baby. Loki moved the paddle around her stomach slowly, and stopped several times to wait. Tension began to emanate inside the room. There was no sign of a heartbeat. Loki moved the wand again, and again. Finally a distinct whooshing sound came clear; 140 beats per minute. It was such a beautiful sound.
Both healers relaxed slightly. Derek cried openly now.
Jane slowly opened her eyes. The room was fairly dark. She blinked to refocus her eyes, and when she opened them again Derek was beside her. He squeezed her hand and kissed it. She realized he must have been holding her hand all along. She was definitely in some sort of hospital.
“What’s going on? Where am I?” she questioned. She hoped this wasn’t becoming a pattern for her.
“Mi tesoro,” Derek began ( my treasure ). He took a deep breath. “Cobi, please inform the others that Jane is awake.”
Jane was slightly confused at whom Derek was speaking. Suddenly it was all clear, she had just walked into her lab from Asgard, and then she woke up here.
“The baby!” She was startled. Derek could feel her worry.
“Is fine,” he finished her sentence.
Jane relaxed slightly, but was still rather confused at her present situation. There were monitors and wires all around her. She couldn’t sit up because there were things all over her belly.
“If the baby is fine, then what’s going on?” She questioned.
“Praeteik and Loki will be,” he had started to say when the pair walked into the room, “right here,” he mumbled under his breath.
“Praeteik, what is going on?” Jane was so tired of being confused, she needed all the answers now.
“How are you feeling Jane?” The healer asked.
“Fine, I’m fine. What happened?” she responded growing impatient.
“Jane, your body was in cardiac arrest. We had to shock your heart to regain the proper human rhythm.” Loki, knowing Jane as well as he did, held nothing back and blurted out all the vital information. Derek wasn’t particularly fond of this method of delivery, but his nerves were completely shot at this point.
Jane took a moment to compose herself, “Thank you for the information Loki, I appreciate you candor.” She paused and took a deep breath, “Is there more? Or do I know all I need to know?”
“We believe the shock started contractions, and you were in actively in stage 1 of labor for several hours.” Healer Praeteik continued with the information. “We kept you sedated in order to keep your mind relaxed so we could stop the contractions. However you did dilate to a 4 and therefore your confinement will be much more strict for the next 4 weeks. We do not want you to deliver until at at least week 11, 12 would be more preferable.”
The information was rather overwhelming, “But the baby is okay?” she queried. Derek unintentionally squeezed her hand at the question.
“The ultrasound shows a very healthy fetus.” Loki continued being direct. “I do however feel we need to keep running tests on you and the fetus to ensure everything remain within acceptable parameters. I have studied everything I can find on a human carrying a werewolf fetus.”
“Say fetus one more time!” Derek’s was at his wit’s end by this point, and lost control for just a moment and yelled at Loki. Loki merely rolled his eyes at the Alpha.
“A werewolf infant.” Loki sarcastically corrected.
“Thank you,” Derek said through clenched teeth.
“My concern remains with your heart Jane,” Praeteik cut into the bickering men. “All the tests I have run show continued progression of heart disease, and arrhythmia. This last arrhythmia seems to be triggered simply by the traveling here, which should have been as simple as passing through a doorway. So now I worry that even you proceeding to the restroom could cause another episode.”
“I was very excited to pass through a doorway, as you put it, and my heart fluttering the whole day.” Jane replied to the healer.
“Jane,” Praeteik showed much concern over this statement. “Are you telling me that you had heart palpitations before the trip?”
“I didn’t think of them as palpitations, it was more like getting excited to say test a portal connecting the Einstein-Rosen Bridge from Asgard to Earth is all. Yes, Praeteik, I was excited.” Jane’s retort contained so much sass Darcy would be proud. And hearing the snicker from the hall meant that Darcy was indeed out there and had heard the comment.
There was a sudden beeping from the monitor. Praeteik walked over and hit the silence button. “Jane,” she continued.
“Tesoro,” Derek interrupted, “Take a deep. The whole day has been very exciting, now I think you should rest some more.” Jane looked at Derek and saw the concern and worry in eyes. “I need you to be okay.” The tears started to well in the corners of his eyes.
“Derek, I’m so sorry. I will do better. I will rest and I won’t argue with the healers anymore.” Jane looked sincerely at Derek. “You helped me come home. You helped me test my portal. Now I will do as you say.”
“Good, get better so you can marry me.”
Seeing her heart rate return to normal and that Derek was helping her relax, Loki and Praeteik backed out of the room and closed the door allowing the couple some privacy.
Chapter 6: Fruit of our Labors
Derek sat with his mate as much as he could, but began to find himself in the lab frequently. Between her boredom at laying in the bed and mood swings from general pregnancy hormones, Derek was literally going crazy. He remembered asking Cobi directions to the restroom one night when Jane couldn’t sleep. He regularly drank four shots of espresso, straight. Eliot was so kind to brew it for him multiple times everyday. He no longer cared if they were even warm anymore. Caffeine had little effect on him, but it helped for that moment. Usually long enough to get his current task completed.
“Derek,” Jane called out.
“On my way,” Derek called back. He was sitting in a lounge chair in the living room. Stiles sat across from him reading some sort of leather bound book. His eyes kept closing no matter how hard he tried to open them and get up. “Am I moving yet?” He asked his sister.
“Would you like me to see what she needs?” Stiles asked generously.
“No, I am okay really.” Derek stood, rubbed his eyes and headed toward Jane.
“Derek,” Jane called again.
“Right here babe,” as he entered the room he noticed that Jane seemed very uncomfortable. “What’s wrong?” He asked.
“I’m just getting very lonely,” she started to cry.
“Oh, mi tesoro , I’m here, what can I do? (my treasure)” He laid his hand on hers and could immediately feel her pain. “Jane, are you in pain?”
The tears began to flow freely Jane’s face. Every part of her body ached. She felt like her stomach was going to rip open. The baby was growing so rapidly that she had no idea how her body was keeping up with all the changes. She wanted to enjoy being pregnant with Derek’s baby, but she just hurt so bad.
“Can I help?” He asked.
“No Loki and Praeteik would prefer if I didn’t have any pain killers,” she explained.
“No medical pain killers? What about,” he held up his hands to finish his sentence. Jane had never before asked for anything like this from him. Even when she got her ass handed to her in training, not once had she asked for him to take her pain. It wasn’t that she didn’t believe he could, but more that he would then be in pain. “I can take enough to help you rest tonight.”
“No, I couldn’t ask that of you,” Jane’s strength was amazing to the young Alpha.
“You don’t need to ask, let me do this for you,” he pleaded.
Jane sighed in consent, and then almost immediately winced in pain again as her stomach rolled. Derek could see the baby stretching. “Easy in there Caius,” he glanced at Jane. This had become a game between them. Since they still hadn’t decided on a name every time they addressed the baby they called him by a new name.
“Bartholomew is very active today,” she winced again.
“Otto is going to be a strong Hale,” Derek said purposefully rubbing the empty spot on Jane’s left ring finger.
“Oomph,” escaped her lips and she tried to rub her belly, “Coleman. And I know we will have to talk about that soon,” referring to him rubbing her finger.
“But not now,” Derek conceded. He sighed and allowed his Alpha powers to come forth, and Jane saw his vivid red eyes replace his green. He placed one hand on her bicep and the other hand on her shoulder. Focusing on his task, he breathed very deeply. Almost immediately he felt pain explode in down his spine, he took a lot of effort to not let Jane see that the pain was excruciating for even him. He knew if he showed how much pain he felt that she would not allow him to do this again. The look of relief on Jane’s face was enough for Derek to know he had done the right thing. Jane’s stomach continued to roll.
“Hello Markus,” she rubbed the spot that the baby was pushing against. Her eyes were closed so she could not see that Derek perked at the name.
Derek rested his hand on Jane’s hand still on her belly. Jane pulled her hand out from under Derek’s. She put her hand on his then moved their hands just a bit lower. Within a couple seconds the baby kicked directly in Derek’s palm. He jumped a little. “Well, hello Markus,” he replied using the same name as his mate.
Jane opened her eyes and squeezed Derek’s hand, “Markus.” She closed her eyes again. Enjoying the relief from the pain as long as it lasted.
The couple fell into a new rhythm. Derek would take just enough of Jane’s pain to allow her to rest, sit up, and even feel a little better. Loki and Praeteik continued to prepare for any complications that may occur during the delivery. Loki taught Praeteik what he had learned about human birth; not much different from birth on Asgard. Praeteik taught Loki some new things about the human heart as well. They ran the daily tests, EKG, blood pressure, and ultrasound. They even began to check Jane for further dilation, and the thinning of the cervical lining.
It was one day after her tests were completed for the day that Jane startled Derek by saying, “You know I love you right?”
“Yes,” he drew out the syllables confused at her abruptness. “I love you too,” the words got quieter toward the end. It was apparent that she wasn’t really expecting a response, because she started talking over him.
“We need to talk about the wedding. I haven’t felt up to talking much, and I can only imagine what the next few days, weeks, and months will bring.” Jane was so matter of fact the Derek knew she had been thinking about this for a while. She was so matter of fact, however, that Derek was worried she had changed her mind about marrying him.
“Nothing is going to change my desire to marry you, Jane. I love you more and more everyday. Nothing would bring me more honor than to be your husband. I love that you are the mother of my child,” Derek had begun to ramble with his pleading for her to reconsider his proposal.
“Derek, Derek stop,” Jane insisted. “Whatever you are about to say just stop.” Tears welled in the man’s eyes.
“No, Jane,” he continued as a tear fell. “You don’t understand. You are my mate. It’s not just me, but my wolf.”
“Derek, we’re still getting married.” Jane’s interruption stopped him mid sentence. He looked directly into her eyes and tried to smile. “We’re still getting married,” she repeated.
“Oh,” he breathed out.
Jane lovingly rolled her eyes at her soon to be husband and muttered “dumb ass” under her breath. “We do however really need to talk about the wedding. This baby will be here sooner than we think, and if we don’t get some planning done who knows how long it will take. And Derek I don’t want to wait. I want to be your wife.”
The tears returned to Derek’s eyes hearing that she was just as excited as he was. “Let’s just do it now. Let’s get married. Loki can marry us.”
“Derek, stop. I am in a hospital bed. I am not marrying you like this.” Jane used her hand to draw a circle around her face. She hadn’t worn makeup in days, and she had barely been able to brush her hair.
“Sorry, I just got caught up in the moment. You are right my love, we cannot get married right now. When would you like?” His excitement quelled for the moment.
“I was thinking early fall,” Jane announced. “But I’ll leave the details up to Darcy, Nat and Stiles. They are much better at that stuff.”
Since the conversation had started Derek was absently rubbing a circle on Jane’s left finger. Jane now looked at her hand, then at Derek. “I guess we can talk about that now.”
Derek jerked his hand back realizing that Jane knew what he was absentmindedly hinting. “I’m sorry. I just keep thinking about why you aren’t wearing the ring. I thought at first it was you questioning that you wanted to marry me, but now that I know you want to marry me I really don’t understand.”
Jane sighed exasperated. She hadn’t wanted to have this conversation. “Derek, I have never understood why it’s so big. Have you seen me? Do you know me? I have tiny fingers, and I’m clutsy. I swear I lose everything, if it doesn’t have something to do with my work. I am terrified I’ll lose it, or break it, or something worse.”
“Mi tesoro, let me explain ( my treasure ). A few years when the old Hale house was torn down, Peter and I decided to take one last look around. One of the workers was digging through the rubble and came across a safe that was probably built into a wall. It had been badly damaged by the different machinery that had been through there. Peter and I opened it and we were amazed at what we found inside. We had believed that all the valuables had been stolen or lost forever.
“When we were young our grandmother would tell us about the Hale Ruby that gets passed from Alpha to Alpha. It has been passed for more generations than she could even count. Legend says it gives the Alpha more strength and focus to be better and wiser. As long as the Alpha is near the ruby, they will feel its power; wearing it only intensifies the connection. When my mother became the Hale Alpha, her mother wrote her a note, that was still in the safe. In the note, my grandmother described the pendant that had been passed to her and that she was likewise passing on to my mother, along with the Alpha spark itself. The ruby was still in the safe as well; though it had been badly damaged, broken into two pieces.”
Jane was enthralled with Derek’s narrative, “Is my ring part of that ruby?” She asked.
“It is. I had one piece set into our rings. The other piece I had set into another pendant so we can pass it along to the next Alpha, our young one here.” He finished by placing his hand on Jane’s belly, “If he wants it, of course.”
“Derek, I had no idea that it was not only a family heirloom, but also that vital to the Hale Alpha,” Jane smiled. “I will gladly wear your ring.”
“I knew once you understood you would feel differently.” Derek pulled a box from pocket of the jacket he had on. He opened the box and showed the rings to Jane.
“You had them on you?” She asked. “How did you know we would be having this conversation?”
“It was only a matter of time, so I have kept them on me.” Derek shrugged like it was no big deal to carry a box with approximately 10 carats of precious stones around with him everywhere. He removed Jane’s ring from the box and attempted to put it on her finger. It got stuck on her second knuckle, her fingers were just swollen enough that the ring would not fit. Jane winced in pain as he pulled it off her knuckle. “Sorry, didn't think I pulled that hard,” Derek apologized.
“Not you,” she continued wincing. “Con-trac-tion.” Each syllable was said like a word. By the time she finished speaking Loki was in the room.
“Let’s begin tracking your contractions,” he stated as he placed the monitors on her belly. “Once we are sure you are in active labor and are progressing we will have Cobi inform the others.”
Derek knew they had been in virtual silence for a half hour. Jane’s contractions were exactly two minutes apart, and he had counted 15 contractions, or time that Jane winced and squeezed his hand.
“Hey Doc, what’s going on?” Derek asked calling Loki a name he knew the god would hate. Before he had finished Praeteik was in the room as well. She began messing the computer that was reporting on Jane’s heart.
“I am adding one more heart monitor now that you are active labor so we know exactly the state of your heart,” the healer added. She spoke more softly now than she had back on Asgard. Derek was sure there was something in her voice that helped Jane remain calm, because even he felt more at ease when she spoke.
“Where is everyone?” Jane asked wearily. The contractions were already wearing her down physically.
“There is a video feed in the theatre room for those that are home. The others may watch from that vantage point.” Praeteik motioned to the the small camera mounted behind the head of the bed. That way the pack could still be with them, and have her back. “Loki and I made the decision that only Derek should be allowed in the room. We need you to remain as still and tranquil as possible.”
“Do they have audio?” Derek asked.
“Yes, however Cobi is aware that the audio or visual feed may be cut by me at any time,” Loki answered. “Like now, Cobi off please. Jane I am going to check your cervix now. Derek please move up closer to Jane’s head.” Derek did as he was told.
After Loki had completed his examination, he cleaned up, and sat on a stool next to the pregnant woman. “You are still dilated to a 4. Though your contractions are strong and steady you are not progressing much. I would like to see how you do for a little while before attempting any medicine or intervention. Having previously spoken with you Jane, I know that is what you would prefer as well.”
“As long as nothing negative shows on your heart. Because then we may be forced to take the baby through surgery. As much as we want a healthy baby, we want a healthy mother as well,” Praeteik added. “For the time, we are content to allow you to progress on your own.”
Loki turned to the monitors and joked, “As hard as this one tried to escape early, he certainly wants to stay put now.”
Jane tried to laugh, but was simply too exhausted by this point. She did mumble back to him, “sounds exactly like his father, indecisive and moody.” Derek just rolled his eyes at his mate and squeezed her hand.
Jane’s contractions continued to strengthen in intensity over the next hour, she was trying her hardest to breathe. Derek was a great help just being by her side, helping her breathe through the contractions. Eventually Jane did have Loki give her an epidural, the pain just got to be too much to handle. After she was able to close her eyes and rest for a few minutes.
At the end of a rather intense contraction, Jane’s head lulled to the side to look at Derek and very sleepily she said, “I think I just peed.”
Derek laughed a little to himself as he smelled the fluid too. “It’s just your water breaking,” he sniffed again, “and blood,” he finished so quietly she couldn’t hear him. “Loki,” Derek said loudly but as calmly as he could.
“I’m here,” Loki said putting on new gloves, and removing the blood soaked sheet. Just as he removed the covering both the alarms for the heart monitor and the fetal monitor started beeping.
Praeteik also came running from the other room, put on new gloves, quickly checking the heart monitors, and silenced both machines. “Her blood pressure has dropped from the loss of blood, and her heart is trying to compensate.” Praeteik place an oxygen mask over Jane, and looked into her eyes. “Jane take deep breaths. You need the oxygen.”
“Is the baby….” She began.
“We’ll get him out as fast as we can,” Loki answered.
Derek moved as close to the head of her bed as he could, as he did he noticed the camera. “Loki, camera”
“Cobi off,” Loki yelled as he prepared his tray for an emergency c-section. “We need to get this baby out.”
Praeteik grabbed the screen to block the scene from an already frantic Jane and Derek.
Loki spread iodine across her belly before grabbing the scalpel. “Derek, you watch her blood pressure. When I begin I will need Praeteik’s hands to help me,” Loki said calmly, he really was prepared for this.
Jane felt flush, and even with the oxygen it was like she couldn’t breathe right. “Her blood pressure is even lower,” Derek called. As Derek spoke Jane’s vision was beginning to tunnel. The tunnel got smaller and smaller until everything went black.
“Loki, um. . . she’s. . . um. . . not awake,” Derek panicked.
Praeteik looked at the Jane’s heart monitors concerned, but more concerned with her task helping Loki and said, “Derek I am going to need to keep talking to her. She will be opening her eyes again in a moment. If she realizes she lost consciousness then you will need to help keep her calm.”
Loki went to work carefully cutting through each layer of skin, and moving the fascia and the abdominal muscles aside. He was extra careful cutting the peritoneum, avoiding knicking both the bowel and the bladder.
“Retractor,” Loki said. Praeteik had the instrument in her hand anticipating his need. Loki used the retractor to hold the bladder and bowel out of the way. “Scalpel,” Praeteik handed the scalpel to him. With one final cut into the uterus the fetus was visible. Praeteik had blankets in hand to receive the infant. She quickly suctioned his nose and mouth. Once the umbilical cord was clamped, Derek was allowed to cut the cord. Praeteik then took the baby to the warmer to be weighed and checked. Although he hadn’t cried yet, his eyes were opening.
Jane who had reawakened during the procedure was now squeezing Derek’s hand. “Is he…”
“His eyes are open. He is breathing. His heart is beating, and he smells remarkable.” Derek wasn’t sure that smell was a way that normal people would use to describe the health of a newborn, but there wasn’t anything normal about the situation.
Loki finished stitching up Jane, and helped her into a sitting position by inclining the bed a little. He turned to bring Markus to Jane. “Cobi on,” he said.
He approached Jane with a bundle of blankets and gently placed the bundle into her arms. Jane took the bundle and held it in a face to face hold. Loki moved the blanket slightly, and the baby was on screen. He was trying desperately to open his eyes, adjusting to the lights. Next Derek stepped into the shot. He touched the baby and kissed Jane, then turned to the camera.
“Hey everyone, sorry for the delay, but here is Markus. Weighing in at 5lbs 8 oz and 17 inches. Markus gave us quite a scare, but everything is fine now. Jane is going to need some extra time to recover, and needs to rest. So we are going to cut the feed again, but we will be bringing the baby out soon for everyone to “coo” over.”
After Derek was done speaking, Loki said, “Cobi, off please.”
Jane brought Markus close to her chest and he was immediately ready to suckle. “May I please have a moment with my son,” she said to the healers. Loki and Praeteik stepped from the room.
“We will return momentarily to finish any clean up.” Loki commented to the family.
“Derek,” Jane breathed. “He’s here.”
“I know, and you are as well. I couldn’t be happier than I am now. I can’t wait to make you my wife,” he whispered into her ear.