Fandom/Pairing: Star Wars/Obidala (Obi-Wan Kenobi/Padmé Amidala)
Prompt: #045 Brave
Characters: Obi-Wan, Padmé
Word Count: 1,667
Summary: A pregnant Padmé goes into labour, and Obi-Wan must help her through the delivery of the couple's first child.
Author’s Notes: Yikes, just barely got this posted! I had to head out to a Christmas concert tonight with my boyfriend, but I wanted to make sure you all weren't denied the next chapter should you be waiting for it. The summary pretty much says it all - it's time for Obi-Wan and Padmé to become parents, but before they can, they have to endure a trial common to many husbands and wives: labour. XD How does it unfold? Well, see for yourself! Free internet cookies to the first person who spots the reference to Father of the Bride: Part II (the one with Steve Martin). Next (and last) chapter will be posted tomorrow.
He turned over sleepily. “I’ll get it, what flavour?”
“No, I just – I think it’s time.”
Obi-Wan sat bolt upright. “What? Time? You – Force, you really think so?”
Padmé was sitting up too, hands clasped over her round belly. She took several deep breaths, then nodded. “Yes, I’ve been timing for over an hour. They’re definitely getting more regular. Seven minutes apart at first, and now they’re five minutes.”
“Well, all right, what do you want to do?” Obi-Wan leapt out of bed and began pulling on his inner tunics. “Go to the MedCenter? Stay here? I can call a medical droid, they could probably be here in about ten minutes.”
She repositioned herself in the bed, breathing slowly and deeply. “No, no MedCenter. I want the baby to be born here. In the comfort of our apartment, with his or her family around. Not in some sterile, institutional –”
Padmé’s face seized suddenly, and she shut her eyes and tried to breathe deeply again. Obi-Wan was at her side in an instant, clutching her hand.
“Are you all right?” he asked in evident concern.
She squeezed his hand so tightly that he nearly gasped. “Contraction,” she whispered when she’d relaxed. “They – they really h-hurt.”
Obi-Wan leaned forward and held her as gently as he could. “What would you like me to do?” he repeated. “Shall I call a medical droid?”
Padmé relaxed in his arms, but he could feel how tense she was. “Yes. Just in case something goes wrong. But I’m not going to a medical centre.”
“Right. No medical centre. I promise,” Obi-Wan assured her. “I’m just going to go and comm the Emdee. I’ll be right in the next room and then I’ll return. All right?”
“Obi-Wan, I’m not going anywhere,” Padmé chuckled in spite of herself. “I promise.”
“Oh. Er – right.”
Ten minutes later, a medical droid was floating quickly past the nervous expectant father to examine Padmé in their bed. “Subject is six centimeters dilated,” the droid reported. “By my estimation, one hour will be required for the patient to reach full dilation. At that time, pushing can begin.”
Padmé slumped back against her pillows. “Another hour of this?” she moaned.
“Your labour is progressing quite quickly, Senator,” the droid replied, and Obi-Wan thought that if a droid could have sounded annoyed, this one would have. “You should therefore be thankful. I have seen other patients whose labours have –”
“Do us all a favour,” Obi-Wan interrupted, “and be quiet until you are next needed.”
What sounded suspiciously like a snort emanated from the droid’s vocoder, but it made no further comment and obeyed the request.
Obi-Wan sat gingerly down on the bed, careful not to disturb his wife unduly, and clasped her hand. “I’m sorry this had to happen now. I know how you wanted to have the baby on Naboo.”
“Forget it.” Padmé’s eyes were half-closed as she rested between contractions. “We can’t control this. I wish she could have waited until when we’d planned, but sometimes things just don’t work out.”
“She?” Obi-Wan asked curiously. “You didn’t tell me you decided to find out the sex.”
Padmé managed a wan smile. “I didn’t. I just … have this feeling, that’s all.”
“Well, there’s certainly something to be said for surprises.”
“You don’t mind?”
He shook his head vehemently. “No, of course not! I like surprises. Good surprises, anyway.”
She nodded. “Are you going to comm Qui-Gon and tell him that the mission to Ansion is off?”
Obi-Wan blinked, momentarily thrown by the change in subject. “Er – no, didn’t I tell you? It’s been postponed because of my shore leave. I was just going to stick around the Temple teaching classes until we went to Naboo in five days.”
“Then perhaps it’s all right after all that she’s coming now,” Padmé murmured.
Her grasp on his hand grew vicelike again as another contraction seized her and began to squeeze. Obi-Wan looked on sympathetically, feeling helpless and lost.
“My back,” she whispered. “Oh Force, I can’t – it hurts …”
“Here, maybe this would help.” Quickly but carefully, he climbed behind her and slid down, supporting her upper body with his own and wrapping his legs around hers. “There, is that better? This is one of the positions we learned from that book, remember?”
“Of course I remember,” Padmé snapped irritably, gritting her teeth and moaning softly. “But … but that does help, I guess.”
Inwardly Obi-Wan sighed. He had no idea what to do, no idea how to make things better. But Padmé had the solution.
“Distract me,” she panted. “Maybe then it won’t feel so bad.”
“All right.” He paused. “Remember the night we conceived her?”
To his surprise, Padmé smiled. “Yes. You were just returning from the mission to Ryloth, and I cooked a big romantic supper, I wouldn’t let any of the handmaidens help with it. And the first thing you did when you walked through that door was to announce how tired you were and fall asleep on my couch.”
“And then you hit me over the head with a pillow,” Obi-Wan remembered, “and said you’d been working all day and damned if I was going to sleep through this. And you pulled me upright and dragged me to the table.” He sighed and shook his head. “I don’t know what got into me, honestly.”
“You were tired,” Padmé said. “I shouldn’t have been so hard on you.”
“No, no, I deserved it.” He felt her tense again, and held her hand as he kept talking. “So I choked down the dinner, and by then I felt a little better. Better enough to begin advances on you, as I recall. But you said I wasn’t coming anywhere near you until I’d apologized. Perfectly understandable really.”
“Yes, you acted a little funny that night. Well, so did I.” Padmé looked pale, and sounded tired. “I’m amazed we actually managed to get to bed in the first place. But when we did … Force, it was wonderful.” She offered a light smile. “Now I’m paying the price.”
“I’m sorry,” Obi-Wan said honestly. “I wish there was something I could do to help.”
“You’re here, that’s help enough,” she insisted.
Somehow they managed to get through the hour. Obi-Wan wasn’t sure how he coped, as seeing Padmé in pain was the worst sort of torture for him. He was even less sure how she coped. Several times he was tempted to break down and ask her to take some medication to control the pain. But Padmé had always been adamant that she wanted to birth the baby without assistance from medicine, as per Nubian tradition, and he knew he must honour her wishes.
When the hour was up, the medical droid drifted over once more for another examination. “You are 10 centimetres dilated, Senator,” it announced. “You may begin to push.”
Padmé’s cheeks were streaked with mingled tears and sweat. “Please let this be over soon,” she whispered to no one in particular.
“Darling, are you sure you don’t want just a small amount of medication, to take the edge off?” Obi-Wan asked gently.
The response was quick and vehement. “NO!” Padmé shouted. “Obi-Wan, I’m fine! It’ll be over soon.” She took several deep breaths. “I hope it’s over soon.”
“It will be,” the droid said mechanically. “The child is fully engaged. This stage should be rapid.”
This seemed to give the young mother renewed strength, and she slid down in her husband’s lap to apply herself to the new task. Again Obi-Wan was forced to marvel at her endurance and determination. He resolved that if he ever thought to question her courage, he would simply think of this moment.
Not that he had ever had occasion to question it before.
The pushing stage lasted for one half hour, which was about twenty-five minutes more than Obi-Wan would have preferred. Padmé did her best, but no matter how she pushed and strained, the child seemed determined to set its own timetable. He could sense Padmé was on the point of giving up, when suddenly a flash of dark hair between her legs made him stop short.
“Padmé!” he croaked. “I – I can see her head!”
Again Padmé gathered her strength about her, and with one final shove, the child was born.
Enchanted, Obi-Wan made his way to the foot of the bed and watched as the medical droid cleaned the baby and cut the cord. He was so caught up in the moment that he did not think to make the identification of gender until the droid said, “Senator Amidala and Jedi Kenobi, you have a baby girl.”
“It’s a girl!” Padmé whispered with delight. “Obi-Wan, I was right!”
Obi-Wan did not speak. He could not speak.
His child, their child, this new being that they had made together, was being wrapped up in a yellow blanket and given to him. Her warm weight seemed impossible, and yet Obi-Wan knew, firmly and absolutely, that this little girl was his. He could see it in the way her brow curved like Padmé’s. He could see it in the small cleft in her chin, which mirrored his own. He could see it in the way she yawned, the way she waved her arm around, the way she cooed softly as he moved up the bed to present her to his wife. Somehow, the Force and nature had conspired to bring him this perfect blend of himself and his wife, created through an act of love.
“Say something, Obi-Wan!” Padmé chuckled.
“Can we name her Rose?” Obi-Wan blurted. “After the roses that grow at Varykino. And after her mother’s second name.”
“I think Rose sounds perfect,” replied Padmé, leaning over to nuzzle her baby.
The newly-christened Rose yawned once more, opened her mouth and – hic. A second later, she hiccupped again.
“Well, at least we know one thing.”
“What’s that?” Obi-Wan asked.
Padmé winked. “She truly is her father’s daughter.”