#FanficThursday – “In times of peace” (Seven Deadly Sins) – Chapter 17

Chapter 17 – The awaited moment

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That night, Elaine could not sleep. It did not matter how she stood that Lancelot was not willing to give her any rest. On the umpteenth turn, the fairy grunted, jaded and stood a few inches up, looking at her belly with an accusatory air. Ban, for his part, slept scattered on the grass, oblivious to any discomfort. Elaine sighed. Being pregnant with his child was one of the greatest blessings she could have hoped to have. Nevertheless, the fairy had begun already to wish that this ‘sweet waiting’ would be over once and for all.

However, as she lay down again, Elaine contained a gasp of pain, mainly when something similar to an electric shock seemed to rise through her back, from the base to her nape. The fairy was paralyzed for a moment, fearful that it would come back. When she saw that the discomfort subsided, she resumed the movement of lying down. Before a new pain, this time under the bulging belly, almost took her breath away. 

What–

A new whiplash in the same area came almost after the previous one, now causing a low moan in the fairy; before one new shiver, less annoying and more excited, went up to her spine. Was it possible that–? 

Indeed, when the pain in her belly became more acute and repeated at least twice over, Elaine was sure that the desired moment had arrived and that she had contained the occasional gasp of pain.

“Ban–” she whispered.

To her surprise, her husband jumped up and down when he heard her. He was not as fast asleep as he appeared.

“Elaine, are you okay?” He asked before taking her by the waist. “What’s wrong? Is the baby okay?”

The fairy, somewhat dazed, only managed to nod slightly before a new spasm made her contract on herself, wincing in pain. Ban held her against his body as he called out to her again in anguish.

“Ban. The baby–Coming–“

The man understood then, without the need for more words, while his eyes opened excessively.

“I’m gonna warn Gerharde,” he declared seriously. “You stay put, okay?”

Elaine almost laughed at the irony as she lay back among the flowers and grimaced again – was a human birth that painful?

“Ban?” She whispered before he disappeared through the branches of the Sacred Tree.

“Yes?”

Elaine took a deep breath.

“Let’s warn Jericho too. Please.”

Ban didn’t think twice before nodding.

“Sure. I’ll be right back, I promise.” He swallowed. “You hang in there, okay? It will be over soon.”

Elaine nodded, confident and comforted by his words. After a final, somewhat anguished glance in her direction, Ban disappeared for several minutes as his wife struggled to keep the pain at bay as much as possible. Slowly breathing in and out seemed to help a little, but the fairy woman only felt as if her body was going to break in half from one moment to the next.

“Elaine! We’re here,” announced Jericho as soon as her busty silhouette appeared at the entrance to the bedroom. “Is it coming?”

She nodded, struggling to get up on her elbows.

“This is horrible,” she declared bluntly, as Jericho knelt in front of her and lifted her skirt. 

“Do you know how to do this, Jericho?” Asked Ban, sitting beside Elaine and running a loving hand over her back.

The human, to his surprise, made a confident grimace before declaring:

“I’ve seen some deliveries, surely more than Gerharde. No offence.”

A strange gesture seemed to contour the fairy’s face in a millisecond before she replied:

“None taken. Just tell me what you need.”

Jericho took a deep breath.

“Light, water and soft things to clean as soon as you can have them.”

“Right away,” Gerharde accepted, disappearing from view in an instant.

“Ban, hold Elaine’s back,” Jericho ordered.

“Yes,” he obeyed immediately. 

“Ban–” groaned Elaine, clutching his hand. “It hurts–“

I know, he replied in her mind, kissing her little blonde head. But–This is normal, Elaine, okay? Just a moment, and then we’ll have our child in our arms. You’ll see.

The fairy sighed and smiled halfheartedly, although her face twitched a few minutes later due to another contraction.

“Okay, you’re stalling pretty good, Elaine,” said Jericho. “Now I need you to concentrate on me, okay?”

Somewhat dazed, Elaine then managed to focus the spontaneous midwife before nodding slowly. 

“Good,” Jericho imitated her, just as Gerharde was returning with all the materials she had to gather. The Forest fireflies followed in her wake. They lit up the room as Jericho spoke again. “Elaine, I need you to push out with all your strength every time you have a contraction, okay?”

The fairy moved her head in the affirmative again, firmly held by Ban on her back.

We can do it, my love, alright? You can do it.

Ban, she replied in her mind. I’m scared.

Hey. Don’t be, okay? I am with you, and I will be, always. Don’t ever doubt it.

Elaine sketched a new smile.

I love you.

I know.

I–

A new contraction cut the fairy’s train of thought while the voice of Jericho raised again.

“Elaine! Now! Push!” 

The fairy, clenching her teeth, obeyed without complaint. Noticing how all her muscles tightened as Jericho kept her legs open and manipulated between them. For the first time, Elaine didn’t even care that it was another creature other than Ban who was there. And the situation was the opposite of erotic. 

When the contraction passed, Elaine relaxed and breathed heavily, collapsing against Ban’s chest.

“Alright, Elaine. You’re doing well,” Jericho congratulated her. Even with her eyes blurred, Elaine saw her encouraging smile. “Something tells me that the head is already on its way, so I think the little guy will be here in no time, okay?”

Elaine, dizzy, could only nod again. Suddenly, even her throat seemed to have closed up to speak. But there was no need. She had Ban sending her thoughts of encouragement constantly, all while holding her body with one hand and her fingers free with the other. When the new contraction came, Elaine pushed again as if by instinct, unable to stop a long, deep scream from coming from her chest. Jericho congratulated her again, then continued to urge her to push, and the fairy obeyed. 

At the fourth contraction, however, she began to feel her strength failing her, and she thought she was unable to continue. But in that instant, Jericho’s voice was heard above her screams and panting like a shout of triumph:

“That’s it! The head’s coming out! Oh, goddesses! Gerharde, help me!”

As if in a dream, Elaine then noticed something slipping out of her body, picked up by four inexperienced but helpful hands, before a shrill scream broke the sudden stillness of the fairy woods. Elaine heard Ban gasp as she almost saw his heart light up to the point of blindness in her mind. The fairy slowly tried to lift her head to more or less focus her clouded attention on what was beyond her. And she thought that she would also faint with joy when she managed to do so.

Cut out against the night sky, Jericho and Gerharde were busy cleaning and tucking in between the leaves and soft flowers to a lump that kept on wailing and whimpering. Elaine, on the other hand, took a second to assimilate what it was. Nevertheless, just after that, almost as a reflex, she threw her arms forward. She didn’t quite understand why, but she needed to embrace it immediately – to feel it.

Jericho and Gerharde, for their part, seeing her, only exchanged a mute complicit gesture before obeying and coming closer to place the little one in Elaine’s lap. It had a bush of light hair and dark candy-coloured eyes while his tiny hands waved in the air as if looking for something to hold on to. Only when the first tear fell on the leaf was Elaine aware that she was crying with happiness.

“Lancelot–” she whispered, excited.

Then a big hand passed under her arms to cradle the little one as well. Waking up from her son’s dream, Elaine looked up only to fall into another beautiful new dream as it were Ban’s scarlet, glowing eyes. The two lovers looked at each other for several seconds that seemed like hours; before, like two idiots, they giggled excitedly at once and kissed tenderly.

“We did it,” she whispered.

“Yeah,” he said before focusing on the baby and wrapping a long finger in his tiny hand. “Hey. Hello, champ. Welcome to the world.”

Suddenly, even in their cloud of happiness, they were both aware that someone else was still around. Jericho and Gerharde barely held back their tears while other prying fairies peeked through the branches, looking to see that unprecedented phenomenon.

“Thank you, Jericho. Thank you, Gerharde,” whispered Elaine.

“Yeah, thanks to both of you,” said Ban, touched as he had rarely been in his life.

Jericho, on the other hand, just blushed with pride.

“It was nothing,” she admitted, red as a tomato. “Anything for you two, you know that.”

Elaine smiled again in appreciation.

“I think we’ll leave you alone for a moment to enjoy the little one,” said Gerharde. “Shall we go, Jericho?”

The human got up with some effort. She would never have imagined that playing the midwife would be so hard.

“Sure. See you later,” she told the two new parents. “I’ll drop by to see how you are doing.”

“Thank you very much, Jericho,” Ban repeated. “See ya later.”

The young woman made a gesture of acceptance before leaving the corner that served as a bedroom for the human and the fairy, leaving them alone. They, in turn, thought that they would never be able to take their eyes off the little bundle that was moving in Elaine’s arms.

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