It wasn’t uncommon for pregnant people to have some discomfort and subtle contractions at intervals as they approached their due date. The doctor had said so himself. Still, it made Zhou Zishu extremely nervous every time.
The first couple of times it happened he had made Wen Kexing put on clothes and rushed to them the hospital. Only to be sent back home after a quick checkup by the attending nurse in the maternity ward. Wen Kexing soon grew tired of his husband’s panic and of being moved about while in pain, deciding to simply not tell him unless he really thought he was going into labor. This is not to say Zhou Zishu couldn’t tell by his own accord.
That morning Wen Kexing had groaned as soon as he’d woken up, doing a valiant attempt to bury his face in the pillow when his prominent stomach allowed nothing but laying on his side. Zhou Zishu was by his side in a second. “Are you alright? We don’t have to do anything if you’re feeling tired. We can just cancel or tell them to come at a different time.” He spoke softly brushing hair away from the omega’s face.
Wen Kexing groaned again and spoke from behind the pillow “No, no. If we move the date again that old toad will never let us hear the end of it. Besides… we are running out of time.”
Excitement and anxiety rushed in equal amounts in Zhou Zishu’s veins. At the end of the 38th week, their pup could pick any moment they wanted to come into the world. And Wen Kexing was right. With the clock ticking on them postponing the baby shower yet again was insensible, never mind what Ye Baiyi may or may not have to say about it.
They had already pushed the party three times. They hadn’t wanted to tell anyone until the first trimester and its high risks were over with. After everyone had found out, one way or the other, Gu Xiang had insisted on arranging the perfect baby shower with an overly excited Cao Weining jumping right after her and they had set the date somewhere during the sixth month.
However, Cao Weining’s old master had fallen sick a week before the set date and the young couple had to fly to the other side of the country to take care of him. Wen Kexing was absolute in his refusing to have the party without his A-Xiang there.
Once the master got better and they were back in town a new date was picked. But it turned out to coincide with Jing Beiyuan’s heat cycle and they had changed it again out of consideration for Zhou Zishu’s lifelong friends. Not to mention, Wu Xi was their chosen doctor. The Nanjiang alpha had a private practice perfect for highly personalized care, plus many years of friendship with Zhou Zishu.
The third date they had set, Chengling ate something bad at the school’s cafeteria and was violently sick all weekend, so they had to postpone again.
“You didn’t answer my question, Lao Wen.”
Wen Kexing considered, then deemed it probably wasn’t anything serious “Just some mild cramping, I’ll be fine A-Xu.”
Wen Kexing wasn’t fine.
The ‘mild cramping’ had been coming stronger and stronger the whole day, and closer apart too.
He was currently sitting in the armchair, frantically fanning himself to try and breathe through the pain. He had paid only half-a-mind to the games and activities Gu Xiang had so painstakingly arranged for them. He was so consumed by the pain he didn’t even comment that harshly when Ye Baiyi gifted them a small muzzle along with his other ridiculously expensive early stimulation baby toys.
“Just in case the little terror comes out as blabbering as his mommy.” He said, giving Wen Kexing’s gapping face a couple soft pats.
Jin Beiyuan had intercepted that train wreck by pulling Wu Xi along and saying they had an announcement.
“We’re having a little one too- I’m expecting!” He exclaimed happily and extended a hand to his husband. The alpha took an echography photo out of his shirt’s pocket and displayed it with a proud grin.
The congratulations wave rained on them with everyone coming in close to take a look. It was at this moment that a particularly vicious cramp made Wen Kexing yelp and double over, clinging to his husband’s arm for support.
The pain left as sudden as it came, and he righted himself with some difficulty “I’m fine, I’m fine.”
“Like shit you are, how bad is the pain?” Zhou Zishu shot back.
“You’ve been distracted the whole day” picked Chengling from next to the pile of presents.
“And you look like crap” stepped in Gu Xiang, helpfully.
“You’re having contractions?”
“How bad is the pain?”
“Do you want to sit down? Ice? Some painkillers?”
“How close apart are the contractions and how long do they last?”
“Is the baby coming, oh god is too early. Isn’t it too early?”
“It’s probably nothing, don’t make such a big fuss A-Xu.”
“Oh no, what if there’s something wrong? What if something happened to the baby?”
“Hey, fuck you Cao Weining, my child is perfectly fine!”
“Hey, kid” Ye Baiyi called to Chengling around a spoonful of cake, “Would this be a bad time to tell them that his water just broke?”
Everyone moved as one to look at Wen Kexing’s feet where he was now standing in a small puddle.
Zhou Zishu “…”
Wen Kexing “…Ah”
It took all of three seconds for hell to break loose.
“Shifu, what do I do? What do I do?!”
Zhou Zishu gingerly helped Wen Kexing to seat back down. His hands were shaking. “Everything will be alright, baobei. Just stay calm.” He reassured when he noticed the omega’s breath was growing a little shallow. Then promptly turned to face the crowd “Everyone, stay. The. FUCK. Calm!” and proceeded to do the exact opposite of that.
He yanked at Cao Weining and Gu Xiang’s sleeves pushing them towards the dorm of the nursery “Get the diaper bag. I don’t remember what’s in there so check before you bring it back! I’ll go get Lao Wen’s hospital luggage.”
Chengling was right behind him, practically dragging him while babbling an uninterrupted chain of ‘what do I do’s.
“Fine, fine! Get off me and put all the food back in the fridge. Be quick or we are leaving you behind!” The kid nodded and set off.
Ye Baiyi made a semi-offended noise and stood up, inhaling a couple more snacks before grabbing Zhou Zishu’s keys from the rack on the wall. “I’ll start the car” he said.
“You’ve been drinking. You’re not driving!” Zhou Zishu called after him.
“I’m not driving, I’m starting the car.”
Zhou Zishu turned and ran headfirst into their room.
At the beginning of the ruckus Wu Xi had grabbed Jing Beiyuan’s elbow and pulled them both a few steps back and away from all the people running here and there. However, seeing Wen Kexing struggling to get up the other omega went out to help him.
“I’m disgusting and not going anywhere before I change my clothes” Wen Kexing said behind clenched teeth, one hand supporting the underside of his stomach and the other holding on for dear life.
Jing Beiyuan nodded and helped him to his bathroom, picking up a pair of clean sweatpants from the bed as they passed a crazed Zhou Zishu huffing and struggling to close the luggage.
They had spoken on what needed to be brought to the hospital but haven’t yet gotten to actually pack it all. He made sure to grab everything but didn’t bother on order, throwing everything inside the bag. He struggled but finally got the damn thing closed. He hauled it to his shoulder as he ran out of the room and shouted “Ok, we got everything we need. Everyone get in the car now!”, definitely NOT panicking.
Chengling went out first, followed by the beta couple with the diaper bag looking suspiciously fuller. Zhou Zishu decided he didn’t care. They threw everything in the truck and climbed in.
“Should you be driving?” Asked Ye Baiyi from the passenger seat.
Zhou Zishu paid him no mind and stepped on the gas as soon as all the doors were closed.
“Ay, sick dude, are you trying to kill us all?!”
“Oh, boy I’m so excited, I’m not going to be the youngest anymore!”
“Ah-Xiang, put on your seatbelt please.”
“Shut up I’m trying to drive!”
“You’re doing a lousy job at it!”
“Are you really taking this route? It’s peak hour, you’ll get stuck in traffic silly child.”
“That’s it! You’re going to make us crash, stop the car I’m driving!”
They were half-way to the hospital when the shouting and bickering in the car was finally interrupted by Zhou Zishu’s phone ringing.
Wo hao xihuan ni wu hu. Ai un wu hu~
Zhou Zishu cut his husband’s toneless singing by quickly answering his phone in driver mode “WHAT? I can’t speak right now! My mate is having our baby!”
“You don’t say” came Wen Kexing’s deadpan voice from the speaker.
Silence fell as suddenly as Zhou Zishu hit the brakes, bringing the car to a screeching halt.
On the other side of the phone “…I hate all of you”
As if his husband’s calling wasn’t evidence enough Zhou Zishu whipped his head around to look at the other four people in the car, all of their faces showing different levels of dumbstruck. No Lao Wen among them.
“Zhou Zishu, are you not even going to try to defend yourself?” Wen Kexing sounded angry.
“… I’m turning the car around.”
The omega buffed “Don’t bother. Wu Xi Ge is driving me.”
Wu Xi’s voice came from a little further away “Don’t worry Zishu, we’ll meet you at the clinic.”
“Make yourselves useful and have a room ready” Wen Kexing called, sounding pained and out of breath and then hung up.
To Zhou Zishu’s dismay they did get stuck in traffic.
Just as Zhou Zishu was pondering to get off and simply run the rest of the way, Ye Baiyi swept out his phone “Don’t let that omega brat say I’ve never done anything for you” and turned on a siren. The old alpha got half his body out of the window, shouting at the top of his lungs “City Police, move!”
Zhou Zishu watched as miraculously the sea of cars parted for them. And wasted no more time.
By the time they got to Wu Xi’s private practice clinic, the other three had long been there and gotten settled in a birthing room.
Jing Beiyuan was waiting for them in the reception and got to see the five of them bursting through the doors like a hurricane. He merely shook his head in reproach, but there was obvious amusement in the omega’s eyes as he led Zhou Zishu to Wen Kexing’s room. The others were not allowed in during the birth and were left to entertain themselves in the waiting room.
By 10 pm the phone batteries had ran out, Chengling was passed out spread over three chairs and Ye Baiyi had all but emptied the dispending machine when Jin Beiyuan decided to take them out of their misery.
He knocked softly on the door and waited. Wu Xi, wearing black scrubs, came out of the room. A heated string of profanities along with Nurse Nuahar’s attempts to comfort the birthing patient could be heard when he opened the door and stopped when it was closed again.
“Was that bone sticking out of Zishu’s hand?”
Wu Xi waved his hand dismissively. Right, he kinda deserved it.
After getting confirmation that that baby was going to take its sweet time -and a goodnight kiss from his favorite doctor- Jin Beiyuan took everyone to Burger Yi and then to spend the night at the hotel across the street from the clinic.
After 17 hours of laboring, giving his husband an earful -and a minor open fracture-, and cursing Zhou Zishu’s little A-Xu until his throat was so raw he coughed up blood, Wen Kexing finally had his baby placed in his arms.
He stared at the little writhing ball of plush red flesh, it stared right back at him.
“…Goddammit, she looks just like her dad” Wen Kexing said, tears flowing unnoticed from the corners of his eyes as he picked the babe closer to kiss her head adoringly.
Wu Xi coughed and turned his head to the side, whether to hide his teary eyes or his laughter was uncertain. He didn’t succeed either way.
Zhou Zishu was crying as well, and maybe it was the tiredness, blood loss or the painkillers but Wen Kexing would be dammed if it weren’t the more beautiful the alpha had looked in his life. It almost made him want to forgive him from leaving him behind on his own birth. Almost.
After a quick visit to the OR for his fractured hand to be put back together, the new family was left alone while Wu Xi went to fetch the rest of their pack (and get high on caffeine).
Wen Kexing has breastfeeding the baby when Zhou Zishu woke up from the anesthetics. The omega was pale with dark circles under his eyes, hair sticking to his forehead and neck at places and sticking out at odd angles at other, and his voice was horse and creaky when he spoke to Zhou Zishu “good morning.”
He was more beautiful than a mirage in the dessert and Zhou Zishu wasn’t going to let his chance slip by “Are you single?” He asked, tongue still heavy from the drugs.
Wen Kexing paused, then smiled. “No. I’m afraid I’m married to an insufferable man.”
Tears swelled on Zhou Zishu’s eyes. “Leave him, I promise I can treat you better.”
The omega shook his head, “Can’t do. We now have two children to raise together.”
The others arrived to find Zhou Zishu sobbing while clinging to Wen Kexing’s bed while the other held their daughter with one hand and patted his husband gently in the back with the other.
Chengling wasted no time in hurrying to join his dad in crying and clinging to his baba. Gu Xiang got her phone out to record the whole thing. And Ye Baiyi took one look at the dozing infant’s face and smirked “Heh, looks just like her dad”.
On the side, Jin Beiyuan sighed watching the chaos unfold. Wu Xi hugged him from behind, placing his hands over the tiny bump on his mate’s stomach. “Having second thoughts?”
“Not a chance” Beiyuan answered confidently, joining their hands.
“Mhm. We can always elope again.”