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No Dignity in Childbirth

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Spy lowered himself down onto his bed, making sure not to punish his aching back too much. Having cleaned and organized his room, everything was in order and to his satisfaction.

As he sat, he felt another slight twinge in his lower back. He proceeded to rub the spot then got out a book and started reading. He had a desk chair, but it wasn't very comfy. Hardly anything was for him these days. Spy rested his arms on his protruding abdomen, feeling the fetus inside squirm slightly. He was in his final month of pregnancy. 

You as a reader may be thinking "How the fuck did that happen?" Well dear reader, there are two people to blame here, Medic and Sniper (sort of). Medic, for implanting a uterus in Spy without his knowledge (for science of course), and Sniper for accidentally impregnating him afterwards. Needless to say, both Sniper and Spy were in a state of shock when they'd found out exactly why the Frenchman had been puking his guts out and was tired all the time for the past few days previously. And of course, Spy had demanded an abortion after he'd calmed down enough to stop attempting to kill both Medic and Sniper. He didn't care if abortions were illegal or not. This would be minor compared to most of the crimes he was guilty of. Unfortunately for Spy though, the Medic had refused to do it. Not because he was pro-life or any of that crap, but because he felt it would be a waste of an interesting scientific opportunity. No matter, Spy had thought, there were always back alley doctors he could go to, many of whom were more qualified than Medic. That was until the Administrator had intervened after the Medic had begged her to do so. On her orders, he was forced to keep the pregnancy.

Spy felt another twinge in his back and felt some pressure build up inside him. This one hurt slightly more than the last. Clenching his teeth, he rubbed the spot then continued reading.

Oh how he hated being pregnant, and everything that came with it. The cramps, the morning sickness, the cravings, the back aches, the mood swings, the weight gain, the swollen ankles, the sleepless nights, the constant need to piss, not being allowed to drink or smoke, the massive strain it had put on his and Sniper's relationship, having his manhood being called into question. That especially. Scout would always find new ways to compare him to a woman, especially after Spy started developing breasts (which he was less than impressed about). As for everyone else, they mostly avoided him (except for Pyro, who was quite thrilled at the prospect of a new baby about the base), but were kind enough to donate some of their clothes when his suit no longer fit him. 

Spy put his book aside to pull his sweatshirt down. He looked longingly towards the wardrobe where his suit hung. He still hadn't made up his mind whether he wanted to keep the baby or not. On the one hand, he was a spy, and an assassin, as was Sniper. Their jobs demanded that they go anywhere at short notice. There were also his enemies to consider. He'd made many over the years. It wouldn't be beneath some of them to harm his child to get to him. There was also the issue of any possible discrimination should anyone find out. You had to be married to have children. And two men could not get married in this day and age. Also, if there was one thing both Spy and Sniper lacked knowledge or experience of, it was child care. On the other hand however, both Spy and Sniper had always had a soft spot for children. If there was anyone the mercenaries couldn't bring themselves to harm, it was children. There were plenty of spies that were able to lead family lives outside of work. It was difficult yes, but not impossible. Should his enemies come knocking, well he would definitely insist on teaching the child how to defend themselves if that happened. And either he or Sniper could pretend to be the child's uncle while out in public. And, though Spy would never admit it, he did feel he was becoming rather atta- OW!

Spy dropped the book he was reading, placing his hands on his back and stomach while gritting his teeth. He took a few deep breaths. That hurt. Not the worst pain he'd ever felt, but still bothersome.

"Merde" he cursed under his breath. 

He picked up his book, annoyed that he'd lost his page. He lay down on his bed, thinking maybe that would help. Another sharp pain a few minutes later answered that question. Spy curled up slightly from the pain. Non non non. He didn't like this, he didn't like this at all. Spy began to pant slowly. He got up and tried to walk it off. Another wave of pain shot through him. Spy leaned on the wall placing one arm above his head, panting even harder. 

"Dieu".

He heard a knock at the door.

"Yo Spy!" Scout called through the door. Great, the last person he needed right now, "You comin' out sometime today? Or are ya just gonna stay in there like some hermit or somethin'?"

"Go away!" Spy answered.

"… pff. Whatever princess".

Confident Scout was gone, the Spy straightened himself up and tried to assess the situation. By the looks of things, he'd gone into labour. He had to do everything he could to try not to panic from this revelation. His waters hadn't broken, that was a good sign. The pain wasn't constant and for now was bearable. But, if women who'd had children were to be believed, that wouldn't be the case for long. He knew he'd have to go to the infirmary soon, but would rather not unless he really had to. He was already in a humiliating enough situation as it was no thanks to that madman of a doctor. So Spy continued to pace up and down the small room, stopping to pant whenever he had a contraction. He didn't know what else to do. The whole time he felt waves of anxiety wash over him which he hadn't felt since he was a boy, and they only grew stronger as time went on. Spy had never been in this sort of situation before. Never in a million years thought he would. He had no control over what was happening to his own body. He wasn't prepared for the labour or the birth at all. He'd read some books on how it happened, but found nothing on how to cope with any of it. For the first time in a long time he felt… scared. No, terrified.

"Merde" he groaned, leaning on his desk as another contraction racked his body. They were getting stronger and closer together. Each one felt like he was constantly being stabbed in the back. The irony didn't escape Spy. He couldn't help but think how ironic all of it was. He'd dated a few men and many women over the years. He'd got some of those women pregnant by accident, but he'd had no choice but to leave them. No doubt they would've had to have given the child up for adoption. And now he was, more or less, going through what they went through. Karma could work in mysterious ways sometimes no?

There was another knock at the door.

"Spy?" came Sniper's voice from the other side, "You alright luv? You 'aven't come out of there all day". 

"I'm fine" Spy lied.

"Don't sound like it to me Spook" Sniper replied, his voice full of concern. He tried the door. "Come on Spy, let me in".

Spy hesitated, not sure if he wanted the man he loved to see him like this. But after Sniper had continued to rattle the door handle, he made the decision to let the Aussie in. Sniper walked in, and saw the state Spy was in.

"Spy?" the assassin felt his stomach drop. He saw the Frenchman, hunched over his desk, breathing quite profoundly and clearly in pain. "Spy? You alright?"

The Spy slowly turned and faced Sniper, rage evident in his expression. "Oui" he said dryly, "Just, fine…Idiot. Argh!" His face contorted as the contraction reached its peak.

'Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit' was all that was running through Sniper's head. This could not be happening. He was only vaguely aware of Spy staring at him. When the contraction ended, Spy straightened himself up with a hand to his back. He turned to the assassin.

"Are you going to just stand there and watch me suffer? Or are you going to help me through this?" he growled.

The Aussie finally snapped out of his trance and came to. He walked cautiously towards the labouring Spy, just as he'd lowered himself onto his bed. "Shall I call the Medic?" Sniper suggested.

"Later" Spy answered, he knelt down on his bed on all fours, "Just do something for me right now".

"What d'ya want me to do?" Sniper asked unsure.

"Just rub my back for me. Don't stop".

The back rubbing helped to ease the pain tremendously. Spy instantly became more relaxed and calm. The same couldn't be said for Sniper however. He was practically shitting himself. Several times he'd asked to stop to call Medic, which Spy always yelled no to and threatened to kill the Aussie very slowly and painfully several times over if he ever did.

"What the hell's with all the racket?" came a voice from outside. Demoman popped his head round the door, only for his eye widen at what he saw. Spy lowered his head in shame. Sniper however, couldn't be more relieved at this point.

"Call the Medic for us would ya?" he practically pleaded.

"… Aye" Demo replied and left as quick as he could, most probably to stop himself from gagging.

A few minutes later, Medic arrived. By this point, Spy had removed his mask as it was becoming drenched in his sweat.

"I see zat ze Spy is ready to give birth ja?" Medic asked, beaming. 

Spy glared daggers at the doctor. "I hate you" he hissed.

It was on the way to the infirmary that Spy's waters finally broke. It came out in one big gush, leaving a large puddle on the floor and making it look like the Frenchman had pissed himself. This only added to Spy's humiliation.

At the infirmary, both Sniper and Heavy helped Spy onto the operating table. Spy then proceeded to get on all fours again, rocking himself back and fourth. He then lowered his head and shoulders to the table and started moaning like an injured animal. It was then Medic showed up in his full medical attire.

"Can't we give 'im somethin' for the pain?" Sniper asked.

The Medic pulled on his rubber gloves, releasing them with a snap. "I might have somezing". He then stared to search through what looked like gas canisters that he had tucked away in the far corner. He came back with a twin set that had a dusty tube and mask hanging off them. He hadn't needed to use it for a while, not since he'd invented the medigun.

"What is dat?" Heavy asked.

"Nitrous oxide, or gas und air, or laughing gas as most people call it" Medic replied.

"What does it do?" asked a nervous Sniper.

"It is meant to relax ze patient und relieve some of ze pain. Ze patient is supposed to breath in ze gas, zat's all I know".

"Give it to me!" Spy demanded, having heard everything.

Spy pressed the mask to his face and the gas and air was turned on. He breathed in the nitrous oxide, taking quick deep breaths. But he still felt the same amount of pain, if not more so than he did before.

"Is it working?" asked Sniper.

"NON!" 

"Just keep breathing it in!" said Medic.

Spy by this point, had taken to lying on his side. He breathed into the mask. But still, the gas and air did little to alleviate the pain. If anything, it only made him feel woozy and nauseous. He felt another contraction begin. Now they were really strong and coming just minutes apart. Spy breathed in the gas and air, but when the contraction reached its peak, he let out an anguished cry. 

"PUTAIN!" he shrieked, gripping the sides of the table.

It was then he felt the baby's head move into position. He took hold of Sniper's wrist and looked up at him. Sniper couldn't help but be shocked at the expression on Spy's face. He'd never seen him like that before, ever. This was a man who'd been in countless dangerous situations and had lived to tell the tale. Who'd survived living in nazi occupied France as a child. He was always a stoic man, he never showed fear, even when things went to hell in a hand basket. Yet here he was, gazing up at Sniper like a frightened little boy.

"It's coming" he breathed.

"Oh fuck!" Sniper exclaimed. Colour drained from his face. Forget being shot, blown up, set on fire, or getting back stabbed several times, or even that one time he thought he might've caught chlamydia from a koala, this was the most terrifying thing the assassin had ever had to endure. There was a mad scramble to undo and pull down Spy's trousers (or Soldier's trousers that Spy had borrowed rather) before the next contraction.

"I go wait outside" Heavy said afterwards, clearly not wanting to stick around. Leaving Medic and Sniper to deal with Spy.

"D-don't worry luv, you'll be fine" Sniper stuttered, "Jus-"

"SHUT UP!" Spy yelled, squeezing Sniper's wrist even harder. Sniper could feel the blood being cut off from his hand.

Spy breathed heavily on the gas and air, getting back on all fours again. He spread his legs apart and braced himself for what was about to happen. He felt an unbearable amount of pressure build up along with the pain. And a new urge. One he'd have to get used to pretty soon.

Spy rocked himself back and fourth, he took a few short breaths, then he bore down hard like his life depended on it. He felt the head of the baby drop down further into his pelvis, causing even more pressure to build up. He let out a moan at the end. The Spy turned towards Medic.

"Salaud" he growled, "I hope you're satisfied you- ah!"

Spy felt another contraction start. Sniper meanwhile, had managed to prize his wrist from his lover's death grip. Ignoring his own pain, he took hold of the Frenchman's hand and proceeded to rub his back as he pushed.

"Yer doing great Spook" he said.

Spy gasped for air. He seemed to relax a little at Sniper's touch. "Keep doing that" he whispered. And so he did.

After a while, the sweatshirt Spy was wearing was removed as it had become far too hot and sweaty for him to wear. He was given water as he'd had no liquids all day, but turned down food since he wasn't hungry.

Another contraction started. Spy began to pant before bearing down hard again. Medic, who'd been looking for any signs that the baby was emerging, noticed a crown with a thin coat of dark hair start to make an appearance.

"I can see ze head" he said.

"Magnifique" Spy said dryly.

A part of Sniper was curious to see what exactly was happening. He leant over to look.

"Don't stop!" he heard Spy shout. Sniper realized he'd stopped rubbing his back. He quickly resumed what he was doing.

"Sorry mate" the Aussie apologized. 

But Spy wasn't listening. He felt pressure build up and a now familiar urge rising. He took a few deep breaths and pushed.

"Come on Spy" he heard Sniper say.

As Spy pushed, he began to feel a burning sensation. He let out an agonized cry.

"Il brûle! Il brûle!" he moaned.

"What?" Sniper couldn't understand a word he said.

"It burns!" Spy repeated, in English this time.

"Zat vould be ze head crowning" Medic informed them. He held his hands in place, ready to catch the baby's head.

Spy breathed in the gas and air. He pushed again on the next contraction. The head slipped out with a moan from Spy.

"Ze head iz out" said Medic, cupping it in his hands.

The Frenchman huffed and panted, greatful that some of the pressure had been relieved and that the hardest part was over. He lowered his head onto his lover's hand that held his own securely. The assassin hadn't stopped rubbing his back since the little incident. He was still nervous as hell, but for Spy's sake, he refused to show it.

"Yer doing great Spook" he cooed.

The Spy looked up at Sniper with a scowl on his face. "It is your fault too that I am in this situation, bushman" the Frenchman hissed.

"Hey! How the bloody hell was I s'pposed to know this would 'appen?" Sniper retorted.

"Easy for you to say" groaned Spy, "You're not the one giving birth on all fours like an animal- Argh!". He didn't get the chance to finish what he was saying. As the next contraction came, Spy rocked himself back and fourth, huffing and panting like he'd just run a marathon.

"Come on Spy, you can do this" Sniper said to encourage him, continuing to rub the Frenchman's back.

The Spy bore down on the next contraction, moaning loudly as he did. He felt shoulders trying to get free.

"Don't be such a baby and push!" Medic commanded.

He bore down harder, baring his teeth and squeezing his eyes shut.

Sniper also clenched his teeth from the pain Spy was inflicting on his poor hand. Suddenly, Spy felt the baby slip out and the pressure and pain leave almost instantly. The Spy huffed with both relief and exhaustion. It was over. Finally. That was, without a doubt, one of the most unpleasant experiences he'd ever had the misfortune to go through. He certainly never wanted to go through that again.

He suddenly felt something that was wet, slimy, wriggly and wailing being passed to him between his legs. He sat up and looked at what he was holding, only to find that it was the baby.

"Congratulations Herr Spy and Herr Sniper" Medic said cheerfully, "It is a girl".

Spy just gazed down at her. She continued to wriggle and cry as he held her. She was so small, she fit perfectly into both his hands. She had all of Sniper's features, she was practically the spitting image of him. She still had her umbilical cord attatched. Spy felt a wave of emotions overcome him all at once. His vision blurred, tears streamed down his face and he realized he was crying. Suddenly he became aware of Sniper standing next to him. He looked up, and saw that he was crying too.

"She's a beauty, ain't she" he said, wiping tears from his eyes. Then wiping away Spy's for him.

"Oui… she is" Spy agreed. His voice was but a whisper.

Medic came up to them, holding some oddly shaped scissors. "Vould you like to cut ze cord Herr Sniper?" Sniper looked at the scissors, then towards the baby.

"Would it hurt?" he asked, concerned.

"Nein" Medic reassured him, "Zer are no nerves in ze umbilical cord. She von't feel a thing".

After Sniper cut the umbilical cord, and Spy had delivered the afterbirth, the infant was cleaned and wrapped up in blankets to keep her warm. Spy was also seen to and had a blanket wrapped around him as well as a pillow placed beneath his head so he could rest. He would need some time to recover from the birth. Medic needed to keep him overnight for observation. The still nameless infant girl was asleep in a makeshift cot, which was really just an empty drawer filled with blankets. She was now dry and fed after Spy had (very reluctantly) expressed some milk for her to be fed via a bottle.

"So are we keeping 'er then?" Sniper asked hopefully. For a while Spy didn't answer. "Are we?" the Aussie repeated.

All logic told Spy no, it would not be a good idea due to their jobs and current living situations. But… looking down at her, having had her in him for nine months (even if he had hated the whole experience) then finally getting to see her… he just did not want to give her up. He couldn't. Was it selfish? Probably. Most likely. A war zone was certainly no place for children. Spy knew that from personal experience. If he really loved this child, then shouldn't he want her to be safe? There had to be a way to have it both ways. To send her away somewhere while he and Sniper fought, then bring her back when the fighting was over. Of course, Miss Pauling! She could organise babysitters to come and take care of her during working hours away from 2Fort. Forge documents so no one would know he was her father. He finally knew the answer.

"Yes" he said, smiling. Not one of his trademark sneers, but a genuine warmhearted smile, "We are keeping her".

Sniper almost choked he was so happy. "… Um a dad" he realized.

"I know" Spy replied, "It's strange, non?"

"She'll need a name y'know" the Aussie pointed out.

"We will have to choose one for her" Spy agreed drearily. Sniper saw that the Frenchman looked like he was ready to pass out at any moment.

"Get some sleep ya bloody Spook" he said.

"Filthy bushman" Spy replied in a playful tone, then nodded off right then and there.

Sniper looked at his watch. 2:15 am. Was it really that late? Time does fly he thought.

He went over to the cot to look at his daughter. He stroked the top of her head. She wriggled slightly at the touch. Sniper then proceeded to pick her up to hold her in his arms. She looked up at him with her sea blue eyes. The assassin couldn't help but grin.

"Welcome to the world luv".