PROMPT: Waiting Room
WORD COUNT 1260
SUMMARY: Births are supposed to go well, aren't they?
DISCLAIMER: You recognize them? I don’t own them.
"Do you know what you're having?" The old woman's words managed to shake Spike out of his thoughts. "This is my tenth grandchild...but the first girl!" She smiled, giving him a toothless grin. "You don't know how thrilled we are. We never thought this day would come." Reaching out, she patted the back of Spike's hand. "It is a little nippy in here. Blasted air conditioning!" She laughed, still grinning. "So, what are you having?"
"It's a girl." Spike smirked. "Hoping she gets her mum's red hair." His gaze drifted towards the swinging doors. "It's been a while though." Just as he stood, Xander walked out, staring forlornly at the ground. "Pet?" His voice held strong, refusing to break. "What's wrong?"
"She's in distress," Xander choked. "For some reason, her little heart isn't handling Wil's contractions the way it should." He sighed. "They're taking her in for an emergency c-section." He sat down in a hard plastic chair. "I'm worried."
Spike jerked his head up. If Xander was worried, it had to be serious. Years of training in the Watcher's Council had given him a head for when things should be worried about. What was going on with Willow? And more importantly...their baby?
Vampires and babies usually didn't mix or so Spike had been led to believe. And yet...all the years of travel had grown old. All both men wanted was to settle down and try their hand at being domestic. Who cared if one of them was a vampire with a soul? Angel had proven that that meant absolutely nothing.
"Well, how bad was the distress?" Spike gently rested his hand on Xander's knee. "You can tell me, Xand. I'm strong enough."
"Bad enough that they had to get her out now. Normally, they keep the mother awake but this time, they're knocking Wil completely out and just doing the c-section." He dug through his pocket. "How do we feel about naming her?"
"Should we wait until we know...?" Spike's voice trailed off, refusing to finish the sentence. He wasn't superstitious and yet the idea of even mentioning the chance of a grim outcome stopped him. He wasn't about to play games with their baby's life.
"I think we should name her." Xander's head slowly rose. "If we name her, then, we can call her by name. I know you wanted to name her after your mother but Anne doesn't sit well with me. It's so...I don't know. Boring?"
"Anne was a dignified name but you're right. Not this feisty little bird." Spike watched as Xander pulled out a small, folded sheet of paper. "Well, we were going back and forth on Palmer."
"Palmer Harris." The name hung heavy in the air. "It doesn't feel right. "
Spike was forced to agree.
"Katherine. Kate. Kat. Katie." The nicknames rolled off the edge of his tongue. "Kitty. Kit." Spike's eyes brightened. "Katherine Harris, clean your room!" He nibbled on his lower lip. "How about Katherine Anne Harris? We can call her Kit."
"Kit..." Xander's eyes widened. "Sounds like the name of a fighter. Do we know what it means?"
"Pure." Spike smirked. "Might want a stronger middle name though. Kit Anne doesn't sound great." He reached out, squeezing Xander's hand. His gaze drifted to the old lady sitting across from them. "What's her name?"
The old woman slowly glanced up. "My name or my granddaughter?"
"Both." Spike ignored the look Xander gave him.
"I am Estelle. My son and his daughter are using the name...Stella."
"Katherine Estelle Harris." Xander smiled. "I like it. It's strong and unique. Kit. I just hope she's alright."
"Why wouldn't she be?" Spike somehow managed to find a new outlook. "She's half the witch, half the best watcher in the council and her da? One of the most legendary vampires ever." He quickly glanced up, surprised the old lady didn't move.
In all the years he had been alive, Spike had never known time to go so slowly. Was it true that time moved slower in the waiting room? He had always heard that but had never tested it out. Now that he was waiting, he swore time moved at a pace even he could not recognize.
"Xander Harris?" a nurse, dressed in mint green scrubs called out. "Xander Harris?"
Spike lightly shoved Xander forward. "That's him."
He watched the nurse set her hand on Xander's shoulder. Even Spike's sensitive hearing could not detect the words she spoke. Finally, Xander nodded, moving back towards him. Spike slowly edged to the end of the seat, waiting.
"She's a fighter. We almost lost her. First Apgar was a 2. Five minute apgar went to an 8. She's on oxygen and will be in NICU for a little while but she's going to make it." He sighed. “We can go see her.”
Spike stood up, silently reaching out for Xander's hand. He lightly squeezed as they followed the nurse to a glass fronted room. He winced, noticing how small and sickly some of the babies looked. Was one of the sickly babies their Kit?
Silently, he washed his hands, paying extra attention to his nails. As he gowned up in the yellow paper gown, his gaze caught Xander who mouthed something.
She'll pull through. She has to.
The nurse guided them to a bassinet.
The baby was wrinkly, red and most of all, small. Spike hadn't expected her to be so tiny. A tiny nasal cannula was taped into her nostrils. A tiny pink knitted cap rested on her head. Xander glanced to the nurse.
“Could you possibly take the cap off? We want to see the color of her hair.” The request sounded foreign to Spike. Shouldn't they have had the chance to marvel over their baby alone and together?
“For a few seconds. We don't want her body temperature to drop.” The nurse reached into the bassinet and lightly slipped the cap off.
Only one thing struck Spike.
She had a head full of red fuzz. She had Willow's hair.
One simple thing and Spike was in love.
“You can touch her,” The nurse said, putting the cap back on. “Just be gentle. Also, does she have a name?”
Spike reached out, lightly stroking her leg. “She does.” He cleared his throat. “Her name is-”
“Katherine Estelle and we're calling her Kit.”
“Katherine Estelle-it's pretty.”
“Hello, Kit. I'm your Da.”
Kit's eyes slowly opened. Spike pulled back to realize they were the exact shade of Xander's eyes.
“No blue eyed girl for us.” Xander smirked. “She's purely us.” He grinned, as she flexed and began to cry. “Even got your loudness.” He turned to the nurse. “When can we hold her?”
“Not for a little bit. She was having a hard time keeping her oxygen levels up so we're supplementing and monitoring. She's in good hands though.” She gently dropped a crib card in front of the bassinet. “Welcome to this world, Kit.”
Spike glanced between Xander and Kit. Other than the color of her eyes, he also noted she shared Xander's delicate facial structure.
“We'll be back, Little Girl,” Xander cooed. “We're just going to tell Auntie Willow how beautiful you are.” He grinned happily. “I can't believe she's here.”
“Or that she's ours. We're never going to give her up, Pet.”
As they walked out of the NICU, Spike threw a final glance over his shoulder at the tiny baby. As she wriggled around, he smirked and silently mouthed something.
Give 'em hell.
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