Elizabeth goes into labor on a Friday night.
Peter's standing in front of the TV in sweatpants and an old Quantico t-shirt, fiddling with the remote. Neil's rolling up his shirt sleeves, about to open himself a bottle of Merlot. El's coming into the dining room with a bowl of popcorn when she drops it with a small surprised, "Oh."
Neal pauses, immediately concerned. The last nine months have eroded his previously impervious nerves to nothing. "Everything okay?"
"I think it's time," she says, eyes wide.
Peter ambles over and stops, staring at the mess at El’s feet. "Honey, you're leaking."
"It's time," Neal repeats, stunned, and then he's next to El, grabbing her arm, staring at the enormous curve of her belly. "Oh my god."
Peter is stock still for a second, then snaps into action. "Okay. Neal, grab the bag by the door and go get the car." Neal nods and hurries away. Peter goes to El and helps her sit on a dining room chair. "I'm gonna go get you a sweater and some shoes then we'll get you into the car and drive to the hospital. Okay?"
El nods, wincing as a small contraction makes itself known. "Oh, I can tell these are gonna be fun."
Peter drives like a maniac on a good day. Neal refuses to let him drive now, relegating both Burkes to the backseat where Peter frets over El until she smacks him.
"Do you remember the route we planned?" Peter asks Neal, because if he can't bug El he might as well bug Neal.
Neal tightens his hands on the steering wheel. "I can remember a route while blindfolded in a foreign country. I think I know how to get to the hospital from here."
"Answer the question," Peter growls. El snickers.
"Yes, Peter. I remember the route we planned."
"Good. Step on it."
Six hours, an epidural, and four coffees later, a squirming, screaming Abigail June Burke is deposited on her mother's chest. Abigail cries, which means El cries, which means both Peter and Neal are wiping away some tears. El's hand is cradling the baby's small head as Abigail wails and Peter marvels at her little fingers. And Neal, he's just taking in the whole scene - his husband and his wife and his shiny new daughter - and trying to remember how to breathe.