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the glint of light on broken glass

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Life on the ground was nothing like they’d ever expected.

Clarke had been privileged to sit through the intensive Earth Skills classes on Alpha station, but she was never meant to actually use that knowledge, just to pass it down to those who would.

Although she is passing it down, just not in the way originally intended, Clarke supposed. She had had that very serious discussion that morning with her overly curious four-year-old about not eating any and all wild berries he came across. Like most children, as they’d found out, Augustus had absolutely no self preservation instincts and this turned out to be far more nerve-wracking on the ground than in an enclosed space station.

Definitely worth it, though, Clarke decided as she watched Gus race around the meadow behind their house with a group of squealing children. They’d roped Bellamy into their game - again - and she watched fondly as he chased them. He was brandishing a large stick that he was having more trouble not hitting anyone with as the kids erratically changed directions. She snorted in laughter as Bellamy tripped himself trying to avoid one of the smaller kids, and heard an echo behind her.

“He’s never going to learn, is he?” Raven commented dryly as she came to a stop next to her, and Clarke shrugged.

“I’m just going to be happy if I don’t have to patch him up later,” Clarke responded with a smirk, and then leaned over and dropped a quick kiss on Raven’s lips. “Hello to you too, baby,” she added when the two year old on Raven’s hip shrieked indignantly at being ignored. The toddler threw herself at Clarke and Raven readily handed her over. Clarke took her and with a grunt, awkwardly settled her atop the swell of her midsection.

“I’ll hold you for a minute, Sol, but then it’s dad’s turn,” Clarke told her with a grimace.

“Hear, hear,” Raven seconded exhaustedly.

“Dad!” Solana cheered and wriggled in Clarke’s grasp and Clarke laughed, pressing a kiss to the chubby cheek before lowering her down. They watched as she ran to Bellamy, who immediately halted the game to scoop Sol up and blow raspberries on her face as she howled with laughter.

Clarke looked over at Raven then, and wrinkled her nose.

“I’m mad at you,” she announced. Raven simply laughed and bumped her shoulder against Clarke’s.

“Oh yeah? And why is that?” she grinned.

“I had five people come in with injuries after working on the upgrade to the electrical grid you assigned! I’m completely out of burn cream!”

“Oh, yeah,” Raven grimaced. “That didn’t really go as planned.” Clarke couldn’t help but laugh at her and Raven smirked back. “Still got it done, though. Now we can start the next phase with the dam. How was the rest of the day? The sprog giving you any trouble?” she questioned, and Clarke absently rubbed her belly as she made a face at Raven.

“Still dealing with the aftermath of that stomach virus. It’s almost gone through everybody at this point but it seems like all of the hold-outs showed up today. It’s just been a long day.”

“Well I hate to break it to you, but it’s bath night. Prepare for another battle, soldier,” Raven teased, and then called out to Bellamy to get everyone inside.

She did not, Clarke noted thankfully, notice the question Clarke had dodged. There wasn’t really anything going on, just a few sporadic pains. It was not labor - Clarke vividly remembered the build up and hours of pain she’d had with Gus, despite the five years that had passed since then. She just needed to drink some water and lay down for a little while and everything would be back to normal. This was far from unusual in late pregnancy, especially after a long day on her feet, and as a medical professional Clarke honestly didn’t think twice about it.

But Bellamy and Raven would, and then the kids would tear the house apart while they focused their attention on hovering around Clarke instead and driving her mad. So until she absolutely had to admit otherwise, she was fine.

The next pain didn't hit until they'd finished dinner and Bellamy was trying to coerce a reluctant Augustus into working on washing his own hair. Clarke sucked in a deep breath, pausing in putting Sol’s pajamas on for just a moment before tugging her shirt on. They continued to take her by surprise, but the twinges were hardly what Clarke would even consider painful.

“She's all yours, Rae,” Clarke said, holding the toddler out. Raven thanked her and took Sol back to the bedroom to nurse her down to sleep, leaving Bellamy and Clarke to wrangle Gus into bed as usual. Clarke was exhausted by the time they were finished, and she immediately collapsed into their bed with a groan.

“Why did we think it would be a good idea to have another one?” she asked into her pillow. Bellamy answered anyway.

“I think it was less a ‘decision’ and more of a thing that just happened, babe. New world, new traditions, right? You were the one who gave that talk about population expansion…”

“Shush. I don't need to hear that negativity,” Clarke grouched, and Bellamy laughed but didn't push it any further. She felt a hand rub along her sore back and immediately relaxed into it.

“You need anything, Clarke?”

“A giant cup of water, please?” Clarke requested a bit sheepishly, rolling her head to the side to look at him. The twinges were still making an appearance here and there, and she knew she definitely needed to rehydrate. Of course, she left it late enough that now there is was no way she wasn't going to be up absolutely all night going pee every ten minutes.

Pregnancy is just so fun.

But Clarke drained the cup Bellamy brought her, and then a second and part of a third for good measure, before the three of them collapsed into bed together like they do every night. Between raising two… energetic children, and all holding vitally important positions in the day-to-day operations of the village, the trio is basically always running on fumes nowadays.

Bellamy and Raven dropped into sleep immediately, but Clarke’s predication came true. She was up basically all night with the irregular pains. They hadn't gotten any stronger, or closer together, or more regular at all, which signalled that they were at most Braxton Hicks contractions, Clarke knew. She had hoped that laying down and rehydrating would get them to go away so she could sleep, but of course she wasn't that lucky. By the time the kids woke with the sunrise as usual, it felt like she’d only managed to steal a few minutes of shut-eye.

It was just her luck that it was her day off, too. Before Gus and Sol, days off were times to relax, lounge about in bed and do nothing for a few hours. But now, being two weeks from her due date (at least - Gus had been rather overdue) and the mother of two young children, Clarke honestly couldn’t say whether a repeat of yesterday’s tough day at the clinic or a full day with the kids was more tiring.

Regardless, that’s what was in store. Gus and Sol came pounding into their room as the sun first peeked over the hill, and as usual Sol climbed over Clarke - one sharp elbow digging painfully into her thigh - to tug at Raven’s shirt and whine for a morning snack. Gus, meanwhile, stuck his face about an inch in front of Clarke’s and noisily breathed on her face until her eyes popped open to glower at him.

“Why don’t you ever bother daddy in the morning?” she groaned, and Gus thought seriously about it for a moment.

“You make better pancakes.”

“Lie,” Raven immediately intoned from behind Clarke, and despite herself Clarke laughed.

“Rude. Somebody else go make breakfast then.”

“I've got it, Princess,” Bellamy said in that same sleepy voice that Gus inherited. “I heard you tossing and turning all night, why don’t you try to sleep for a few more minutes.”

“I think I got maybe an hour of sleep. I didn't keep you up, did I?” Bellamy had been in charge of trying to put together a new trade agreement with Floukru and Trishanakru in the last couple of weeks, and it had involved a lot of long hours and a lack of sleep Clarke couldn't help but fret over.

“No, don't worry. Are you going to be okay with the kids all day?”

“Give me a few minutes and I'll be fine,” Clarke yawned.

Bellamy led Gus out, the boy already chattering away rapidly, and Raven curled into Clarke’s back, the pair dozing while Sol nursed. It was the last bit of peace they’d have for the rest of the day, Clarke knew. Gus had officially given up any and all naps a couple of months before, and it was killing her.

By the time Bellamy had finished making breakfast for everyone, Clarke had mentally prepared herself for the day. They scarfed down breakfast as a family, and then Raven and Bellamy had to take off right away to meetings for their projects.

Clarke was exhausted by the time she’d gotten Gus and Sol dressed for the day, and it didn't get any better from there. Children don’t actually go any easier on a caregiver just because they happen to be exhausted, and that makes a normal day seem ten times harder.

Her contractions continued to pop up randomly, anywhere from ten to forty minutes apart, and every once in awhile Clarke actually had to stop to concentrate through them for a few seconds, but beyond that she was fine. Monty showed up after lunchtime, frantic, with he and Miller’s six and four year olds in tow, and Clarke gladly told him she'd fill in for the afternoon while he fixed whatever Jasper had just accidentally blown up. Adding more children to an exhausting situation sounds counterintuitive, but they'd learned that extra children meant way less entertaining on the adults’ shoulders and a chance for a little break. While Sol napped, the older three played happily together and Clarke finally had a few minutes to put her feet up and drink some more water to try to get the contractions to chill out again.

Bellamy surprised her by coming home early, and it was hilarious when Raven followed a few minutes later, both sheepishly citing their worry about leaving an exhausted Clarke alone with the kids all day. With the chaos caused by that excitement, it took Clarke awhile to realize that her break hadn't helped at all. In fact, the contractions seemed to be coming a little closer together and increasing a bit in strength. It wasn’t really slowing her down, aside from a few seconds pause here and there as they played with the kids, and she didn’t think anyone had noticed what was going on, but Raven and Bell told to her “go relax” anyway, and she gratefully settled onto the couch.

She bit her lip as she sat quietly through a few contractions, which actually seemed harder to hide when she was no longer moving around. When the third one ended, Clarke excused herself with a kiss for both of her rescuers before heading into their room to ostensibly take a nap.

Clarke was exhausted, but restless, and instead of her body calming down while she tried to rest, the contractions seemed to get worse. Which was - unexpected. Practice contractions get better, not worse. Which means…

These may not be practice contractions.

Well, if they're not, there's still ages before she’d need to worry about it. For now, Bellamy and Raven are wrangling four children and Clarke gets to lay in a quiet - sort of, the house is far from soundproof - bedroom and rest.

But she rolled around the bed, unable to get comfortable as the contractions get more painful and harder to deal with. They're still ten to twenty minutes apart, and as Clarke learned in her training since their Trikru midwife had come to their village many years ago - and confirmed in the dozens of births she’d attended with her since then - it wasn't active labor until the contractions were regular and much closer together. There was no way she was going to alert Bellamy and Raven to her potential early labor when they were supposed to be tending to four children. Monty or Miller would be there to pick up their two before dinner, and Clarke would let them know if it hadn’t petered out by then.

And then Clarke got up to pee, and her water broke.

For a second, she thought she peed herself - that had happened late in her pregnancy with Gus - and then the little gush of fluid was immediately followed by a contraction so much stronger than the earlier ones that she sank awkwardly to the floor next to the bed. She panted when the contraction finally loosened it’s grip, and tried to stand up to go fetch Raven or Bellamy, because it was definitely time to let them know. But another contraction started, almost right on the heels of the previous one, and then another and another and Clarke couldn’t do anything but try to breathe. She was in shock -- she’d somehow rocketed straight into active labor. She heard Miller and Monty at the door and the increased noise of excited children, but she doesn't focus on it - couldn’t focus on anything except breathing and then moaning through each surge of pain. They're coming practically on top of each other, and if she loses hold of her control she won't be able to get it back.

Clarke wanted to call for help, but she couldn’t produce a sound loud enough to alert someone in the same room, let alone on the other side of the wall. Her body was calling the shots, and she couldn’t move. She had no awareness of space or time left, just what felt like an unending wave of pain radiating from her midsection, but Clarke is Clarke. She gritted her teeth and muscled through it - she just had to make it through the other side, she thought hazily, although she's not sure what “the other side” was.

Oh, she thought when with another contraction a new urge takes hold.

Her head was clearer now, clear enough for her trained mind to flip through the medical catalog it contains.

I can think again because I just made it through transition. Oh god, I need to push. Fuck. I am having a baby right now. Oh my god. Her body and mind felt like two separate things - mentally, she was freaking out, while her body was just getting on with the business at hand. She couldn’t control the grunt she let out as she started to push, and it felt good, like she was redirecting the pain. With the next contraction she let out a low moan, and it felt like she was breathing the baby out as she felt it descend a lot more than she expected with a single push.

And then, what Clarke will later call a “fucking miracle”, in the pause between pushes that felt like the world is holding its breath, she heard the door click open.

It's Bellamy, hair wild and hanging in his eyes from where Sol had clearly been pulling on it again.

“Hey babe, I was going to start dinner. Do you feel like anything in particular?” he asked as he tried to push his hair back with his fingers.

Clarke only had a second to ponder an answer - the best she could come up with in that moment is “holy shit, Bellamy!” - before another contraction hit and she curled inward as she pushed a little, trying to resist what her body was demanding.. She moaned again with the swell, and Bellamy’s head jerked up, startled, and then his eyes went wide.

“What the fuck?” he asked, bewildered, and then his brain caught up with the situation. “Holy shit!” he echoed her thought and internally she smiled a little, because yeah.

The contraction eased and Clarke panted as she relaxed enough to look up at him. “Baby,” she mustered up enough strength to say weakly, and that finally spurred Bellamy into action.

He turned and took just a step out of the room before he called out.

“Raven, come here now!”

“What? Why? What’s going on?” Raven questioned.

“Clarke’s in labor!”

“No,” she croaked out, and she wanted to say more, wanted to explain that she hadn’t just started laboring but this baby was coming right now, but another contraction hit and without her input her body was bearing down again.

Bellamy only stood frozen in shock for a second before he recognized what was happening, and Clarke registered him muttering a curse before shouting over his shoulder as he ran to Clarke’s side.

“Shit, are you pushing, Clarke?!” He hovered awkwardly next to her for a minute, unsure what to do until the contraction tapered off, and then he swallowed hard and Clarke could see him steeling himself, turning into that excellent crisis manager she knows he is.

“What do you mean she's pushing?” Raven asked from the doorway. Her eyes were wide, and from behind her Clarke could see Gus, looking confused and a little frightened.

“Okay,” Bellamy swallowed hard. “Can one of you run to go get Ysolt? Miller? Run. And uh - maybe take all the kids outside, too.” They left immediately, Miller sprinting off while Monty herded the kids out the door.

“Okay, Clarke, these need to come off,” Raven said as she helped ease Clarke’s clothing off between contractions. Bellamy ran out for a moment and came back in with a pile of linens he dumped on the bed.

“Baby, can you lean over a little further because I just want to see if -- okay. So that's a head, right there,” Bellamy said calmly, but Raven’s reply was anything but.

“What?” she barked out. “What do you mean there's a head?”

“The baby is coming right now. We don’t have time to wait for anyone. Do you think you can move?” Bellamy asked softly, and Clarke found herself growling at him as another contraction built. She was kneeling next to the bed, holding onto it for dear life while it supported her upper body, and there was no way in hell she was going to be moving from that spot.

“Okay Rae. It looks like we’re having a baby right here. Help me spread the towels between her legs here -- fuck, it's all wet, give me that towel real quick.” They seamlessly turn into a team to take charge of the situation and Clarke was unimaginably relieved. She could have done this herself, was preparing herself to, but fuck was she glad to have both her partners here for it.

She let out a strangled cry at a new, fiery pain. The baby was crowning and it hurt, but it also meant this whole ordeal was about to be over and so Clarke welcomed it gladly. She focused inward again and put all her strength behind her efforts and screamed as the baby’s head emerged.

“Holy shit,” Raven said at the same time Clarke muttered “fuck”, and Bellamy simply spread open a towel.

There were a few seconds of rest, and then with another contraction Clarke held her breath and pushed and for interminable seconds there was an unimaginable stretching and agony and pressure and then, suddenly, it was gone. Bellamy caught the baby neatly in his waiting hands and it felt like their whole world was silent and shocked for a moment before the newborn drew in a breath and let out a shrill scream, turning pink before their eyes.

“It's a girl,” Raven breathed as she and Bellamy toweled the baby off, and Clarke sobbed in a mix of relief and joy and frankly, terror.

They helped her up onto the bed and propped her up with a few pillows before Raven gingerly passed her their tiny daughter, laying her on Clarke’s chest. Clarke was shaking, and Raven kept one supportive hand along the baby’s back as Clarke tried to check her over.

“Holy shit,” Clarke finally breathed, and then suddenly they’re all laughing. Clarke can’t help joining in, even though it’s hurting her abused muscles. The baby was still crying on Clarke’s chest, little kitten-like cries, and it took her a minute to realize that she was crying too.

“Yeah, holy shit Clarke, you just had a baby,” Raven laughed at her.

“You just couldn’t wait, hmmm?” came another teasing voice from the doorway, and they all looked over to see Ysolt standing there with her bag. “You think you’re just such an expert now, don’t you?”

“Why don’t you let my results stand for themselves,” Clarke teased back, and Ysolt laughed and shook her head as she entered the room.

“I will do that, thanks,” Ysolt said as she started looking the pair over.

“Seriously Clarke, what the hell?” Raven asked as Ysolt examined the newborn. “We sent you to take a nap and then -- what, two hours later, suddenly you’re pushing a baby out?”

“Um,” Clarke started sheepishly, “I think I may have been in labor since yesterday?”

“Clarke!” Bellamy scolded.

“I know! But the contractions were super irregular and didn’t even really hurt. I was sure they were just Braxton Hicks, so I didn’t say anything. And then my water broke and uh, tada! Baby.”

They cut the cord eventually and got Clarke and the baby cleaned up and dressed, both with a perfect bill of health from the midwife. When Ysolt went into the kitchen to start making them the dinner that Bellamy never got around to, the three new parents snuggled together in bed, gazing wonderingly at the tiny baby on Clarke’s breast.

“She looks like you,” Bellamy murmured to Clarke, and it was true. Gus and Sol took after Raven and Bellamy, all tan skin and dark curls. They’d expected the same of this one. But the thin layer of hair on the baby’s head was basically dry now and it’s light, her skin a shade lighter than Clarke’s summer tan. Pretty much all newborn eyes are blue, so that part wasn’t shocking, but the brightness of the hue was a perfect match for Clarke’s.

“Well, we were bound to have one genetic freak,” Raven said cheerfully, and Clarke swatted her arm.

“Recessive genes aren’t a mutation, Raven!” Clarke protested, and Raven laughed.

“Hey, I didn’t call her a mutant.”

Clarke opened her mouth to reply again when Bellamy cut into their bickering.

“We do need to call her something, though.”

“What?!” Clarke yelped, indignant, and Bellamy brushed a hand through her hair soothingly.

“No, babe. She needs a name,” he explained, and Clarke couldn’t help but laugh at her misunderstanding.

“I do believe it’s your turn,” Raven said, and Clarke lifted her brows in question. “Bellamy named Augustus, I named Solana…”

“I think I have an idea...”

 

Ysolt brought the kids home a little while later, after everybody had been fed, and they were uncharacteristically quiet as they crept into the bedroom.

“Hey, guys. Did you have fun?” Bellamy asked, reaching his arms out as Sol threw herself at him.

“Mmhmm. What’s that?” Gus questioned, pointing at the swaddled baby in Raven’s arms.

“That,” Bellamy hauled Gus up into his lap alongside Sol, “is your new baby sister. You ready to see her?”

“Yes!” Gus cheered, and Sol - as always - copied him. They cautioned the kids to be calm, and then Raven carefully lowered the baby so she was practically in Gus’ lap.

“Here, guys,” Raven said softly, “meet Luna.”

 

Clarke was exhausted - she’d hardly slept the night before, and then she’d had a baby, so yeah, she was basically more exhausted than she’d ever been. She and Luna both fell asleep in bed as Luna nursed, and Bellamy and Raven quietly got Gus and Sol down for the night. As they readied themselves for bed, Luna started to fuss and Bellamy quickly scooped her up, cradling her in his big hands. He and Raven changed her diaper and then laid her back down on the bed, staring at her in awe.

“She’s perfect,” Raven whispered, running a finger through the peach fuzz on her head. Bellamy nodded wordlessly as he stroked one plump little cheek.

“Hopefully she won’t keep things quite so exciting, though.”

 

Luna slept easily for a couple of hours, eventually rousing for another feed. Normally Raven wouldn’t be opposed to helping out - it had basically been a free-for-all until Gus had weaned last year and Clarke’s supply had dried up when she’d gotten pregnant - but Clarke needed to take all the feedings for now to encourage her milk to come back in.

“Hey, baby.” She shook Clarke a bit, rousing her, and Clarke blinked one sleepy eye open. “You have a hungry moonface here.”

“Oh god, Rae, that is not going to be her nickname,” Clarke groaned as she sat up to take the baby.

“What? You named her after the moon, and she’s the same color…” Raven teased with a wink.

“Shut up, babe,” Clarke says fondly as she leans over the baby to give Raven a kiss before stripping her shirt off. “Is Bellamy putting Gus down?”

“Oh yeah. That’s one hundred percent Bellamy duty now.”

“Sounds good to me,” Clarke yawned as she reclined back with Luna in her arms, sleepily helping the newborn latch on. “I’m putting you on Luna duty for tonight then. Make sure I don’t drop her?” Clarke’s eyes closed with another yawn. Raven laughed fondly and laid down, snuggling into Clarke’s side with one hand gently rubbing Luna’s little back.

“Go to sleep. I’ve got you, babe.”