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[from here]

[He looked over at her, then at the bulge of her belly]

Are they establishing a fortress in there?

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[He doesn't even get a coherent answer in reply. Jackie groans, trying to readjust her hips and back to find some sort of comfortable spot. Which was near impossible when you felt like you might explode at any moment.]

Stop saying THEY. [Like she needed a reminder there was more than one. It was embarrassing enough being like this.]

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Well, pardon me for being grammatically correct in the situation.

[He crossed his arms]

I'm just the unhired help keeping an eye on you.

[Much more quietly, so much she might miss it]

Not that it's hard to miss.

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[Jackie gives up on laying down and struggles to sit up around her huge stomach.] Ohh, someone just....shoot me and end it. [Every inch of her ached, from her back up and out. She puts a hand on her stomach with a wince.] And now they're kicking again, cut it out.

[None of this wouldn't have happened if she hadn't picked up that alien fertilization pod. Jackie is never touching anything glowing ever again.]

-------------------

[Really, she was like a magpie. Except instead of just finding glittering objects, she found abnormal and extraterrestrial life. She was like a lightning rod for weirdness.]

Look, it'll all be over soon. Should've been over three days ago, but hey, these things aren't an exact science.

[But, well, being a testy Tesla won't exactly help things, so...]

Here, hold still. [He reached under her, suppressing a grunt as he did so, and placed his hand along the base of her spine, and thanks to his handy electromagnetic powers, gave her just the tiniest of sparks, just enough to cause that sensation of warmth and relaxation that sometimes shoots up and down your spine]

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[Shiny things were so pretty though. And what if it had been some kind of advanced communication device like she thought initially? What she wouldn't give to give those aliens a piece of her mind right now...

Jackie groans quietly to herself, three days overdue. This was awful.

Wait, what was he up to?] What are you do-... [And she doesn't get farther than that. Her whole back finally relaxes, despite what she's growing in front and Jackie sighs with relief.] Ohhhh, thank you so much.

....how'd you do that? [She leans back on the couch, looking up at him]

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Nikola Tesla, remember? Master of electricity. One of a few tricks I've picked up in the last century and a half.

[He smiled, holding up a hand and bending the fingers in a wavy line a few times]

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[Jackie actually manages a genuine laugh] Magic fingers...you should have become a masseuse.

[Another kick and Jackie grimaces, rubbing her hand along her stomach. Trying not to look worried. She wants them out but really, there's no telling WHAT they're going to look like.]

...do we have any icecream left?

-------------------

Yes, my gifts are wasted on improving humanity.

[But he, too, smiles]

As for ice cream...[He got up, investigating the freezer] Well, wonders never cease. Vanilla, strawberry and chocolate chunk.

[And when she chooses one, well, he'll wind up just giving her the entire thing. And a spoon. Makes more sense, really.]

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Doesn't matter. I'll take anything. [Icecream was the craving, not the flavor. She scoops out a liberal spoonful, popping it into her mouth with a happy sound.

Bad feelings gone, now life is good once again.] These mood swings are horrid. [pausing, spoon in her mouth thoughtfully before pulling it out] And you're sure this isn't going to end up badly? [Aliens eating her from the inside out isn't exactly the way to go if she had to pick a way to die]

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Pretty sure. [He said, just to annoy her a little. It wouldn't be them if they didn't]

Honestly? They should be harmless. These aren't spider babies. Pretty sure they don't even have teeth.

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[Jackie grimaces, trying not to think about EITHER of those in baby form]

You are so not helping.

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I was supposed to be helping? I thought I was just in charge of fetching the ice cream.

[He smiled, with a deliberate excess of innocence.]

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[Jackie manages a smile at that] ....you did pretty good with that at least. [another spoonful for her mouth] Mmmmm....

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I'm a bit more disturbed, really, that we keep running into each other.

In the midst of my experiments? Find you frolicking with dolphins. On the trail of a super-bug abnormal? There you are, infected. Though I will say your legs looked rather nice without pants, afterwards. [Because he's Tesla and can't resist] First chance at an alien pod? You've already picked it up and been impregnated by it.

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[She rolls her eyes at the leg comment.] They probably look like elephant man's legs now.

[Though there is a small smirk creeping up on her as he mentions her "exploits"] ....what can I say? I'm just that lucky.

Ow. OW! [Jackie drops the icecream, grabbing at her belly at a sudden sharp pain, her breath catching for a moment or two.] ....oh that hurt. [But it was going away. Slowly.]

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Oh, no, they still look excellent. As for your luck, you're either the luckiest person I know or the unluckiest. I really don't know which.

[He had no idea what to do when she experienced the pain, and just sort of faltered, hands moving vaguely for want of something to do.]

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[Jackie waves his hands away] No, I'm fine...it's gone now. [She takes a few breaths carefully]

That was some kick. [It wasn't a kick, it was a contraction]

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[He looks at her, skeptically.]

Yeah, this isn't really my thing, but that looked like a lot more than a kick.

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Well I sure don't know, I've never had alien babies before. [Irritated? A little.]

[And here comes another contraction] Ahhh, not again... [She winces, leaning back on the couch to try and catch her breath with a whine] Oh, that hurts!

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[Right. Time for decisive action.]

Nobody has - I'll tell Guinness afterwards. Now come on.

[He reaches behind her, pushing her up to get a good grip to move her to the nearby wheelchair - thankfully they're at least near the medical ward. And his hands meet around her - not in the *best* of places to try to maneuver a woman, but he's in a hurry]

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[Moving?? They had to move now? Jackie tries to help as much as possible with a whine of protest.] W-where are we going?

[She's got a dreaded feeling along with the pain that's slowly fading again. Even after wanting these things out of her, she really didn't want to see them.]

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Somewhere more comfortable. Where there's morphine. So see? Gold at the end of the rainbow.

[He finally gets her in the wheelchair - trying very much not to grope her chest on the way, given his clumsy grip, and then it's off to the races. Literally.]

-------------------

[She's never had morphine. Hopefully it was worth all of this pain to get it. Jackie tries to hang on as he drives the wheelchair towards the room set aside for this....."procedure".]

I don't want to be a mom... [Great, now she's crying again.] I don't wanna be an alien mom!

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Hey, hey, don't you get like that on me, Jacqueline!

[He's not good at reassurance, damnit. He's a scientist, not a counselor.]

You're going to get the nice, happy painkillers, and then we'll get these things out of you, ok?

[He kicks open the door to the room then pulls her in backwards. And the Sanctuary staff are already swarming to help her.]

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[He used her full name too. Usually that would snap her out of anything, but she's flooded with hormones at the moment. Her cries reaching a high pitch as another contraction starts up and they're moving her to the table...and she out and out screams when her stomach moves.]

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Morphine, now! [he yelled, taking her hand as she was put on the table. He put his face in front of hers, so she couldn't see what was happening]

Hey, you. Pain in my ass. [He manages a friendly smile] Pay attention. It's going to be over soon. Just stay with me.

[And right about then she gets the morphine injection]

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[That finally gets her attention, a few hiccups left a the end of her crying spell. She grips his hand like she's afraid he might let go but the smile he's giving her is so out of place, it distracts her from the fact they're loading her up with drugs.

Which kick in a second or two later and her grip slackens, the whole world dissolving into some less panicky good feelings, the pain gone for the moment. Jackie finally breathes, sinking back into the pillow someone had shoved under her head.] ....s-sorry. [It's just she was really, really scared. Please don't move, Tesla, she didn't want to see what was going on.]

-------------------

[Good thing, too, because even with vampire strength and durability, that grip was doing a number on his hand. But he kept the grip anyways]

Don't apologize, kiddo. [And he gets that, he truly does, don't you worry. He'll be staying right there.]

After this, how about you take a nice little vacation? Somewhere hot and sunny where the locals serve you those ridiculous drinks with about thirty-six ingredients? Just sit in the sun and relax.

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[Jackie tries to laugh at that, but it comes out more of a sad whimper than anything.] I'd miss you too much. [That might be the morphine talking.] I'd get abducted...by talking seals. [She manages a real laugh after that, feeling fuzzy and warm all over.]

-------------------

[Hopefully it is. It's weird enough when they keep coming together by accident - if she started to want to see him it might be a disaster. Or not, really, but still.]

Don't be silly, seals don't talk. [A slight pause] Walrus-men do, but they're not anywhere tropical.

[And he doesn't dare look back, because he scarcely wants to see what's happening, either.]

-------------------

Sure they do~... [Yup, definitely the morphine.] You ever ask one?

[It's probably going to be messy, nobody should have to see what's going to happen next. The other staff members aren't going to take the chance that these things might decide to eat their way out of Jackie so they're working on putting her out entirely and doing a Cesarean section. Her eyes drift closed as she mumbles something else about seals and walruses before passing out entirely.]

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[He waited with her, hand still held, through the entire process. It was not nearly as bad as it could have been, considering. There was some tissue damage, but nothing life-threatening. Especially since he lent a hand by encasing the little terrors in an electromagnetic shield the moment they tried anything.]

[Soon, the creatures were safely stowed away - humanely treated, but warily so - and she was wheeled into another room to recover. And he waited with her, for reasons he scarcely understood himself.]

-------------------

[At least she was spared the worst part. Jackie sleeps it off for a bit before coming around, her head lolling to the side as she sighs. Trying to get her eyes open. They feel like they weigh ten pounds each.]

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[He's waiting when she does. And he's even changed his suit.]

Hey, welcome back, kiddo.

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[His voice raises a sleepy smile] ...did...did we win?

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Well, you're fine and alive - I'd call that a win.

[He checked her pulse against his pocket watch.]

The...babies, for lack of a better word, are also fine. Now, there was some minor scarring, but I've got a healing serum in you, so don't you worry, you'll be ready for bikini weather in no time.

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[She would shudder at the word babies if she didn't feel so doped up. She watches him taking her pulse quietly]

...are they um... [hideous? green? lots of teeth?] ...how many?

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Just two.

[He nodded, satisfied at her pulse]

Not all that hideous, but a bit toothy. And hungry from birth, so good thing we moved quickly.

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[She shuts her eyes with a groan.] Great, they would have pulled an alien on me.

...as in the movie Alien? [Vampires watch movies, right? She was certain he'd get this reference at least.]

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I know what you mean.

[He gives her a bit of a look, so she knows he isn't totally unaware]

No, not quite. Bit in between a primate and a lizard. We'll know more after a while. Point is? They're out. And you're fine.

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[When he said it like that, it didn't sound too bad.]

Fine is relative but I'll take that over whatever it would have been. [She doesn't want to see them....except that she does. In some strange motherly way. But she's trying not to say that aloud.]

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We've no idea what it would have been...but it wasn't.

[He smiled at her, and offered her - bless his heart - a small container of pudding. Chocolate.]

Eat up, get your strength back.

-------------------

[Oh Tesla, you are the best. Jackie smiles fondly at the chocolate, a girl's best friend really, as she takes it, trying to sit up a bit.]

This makes up for the fact you're a terrible breathing coach. [She says cheekily, opening up the pudding and sticking a finger in to eat it. Who needs a spoon?]

-------------------

Hey, I'm a scientist, not a midwife. I got you through it, didn't I?

[He'll quietly place a second pudding cup next to the first. Call it a hunch]

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[She closes one eye, removing her finger from her mouth to point at him with it] Trying to fatten me up. It won't work.

[....snatching the second pudding cup]

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[He chuckled, shaking his head]

I don't think we need to worry about that. Besides...[He holds up a hand in a theatrical aside]

You're quite a lot lighter, suddenly.

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[She makes a happy noise, looking down at her feet. Oh feet, how she missed you.] That is fantastic, almost as good as the pudding. [Almost.]

-------------------

With accelerated healing. I figured since this kind of wasn't anything planned, wanted or even natural - I'd give you a bit of an edge. No stretch marks, no loose skin - you'll be fine.

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Yes. [She has to agree] This feels more like "fine".

Ok so, to recap... [another mouthful of pudding] ...no swimming with suspicious creatures and no picking up glowing things.

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[He sighed, nodding with a smile]

It's a good start. Though I'm...rather willing to believe we're going to cross paths again.

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[She groans and shakes her head, finally starting to feel better] Sad thing is you're probably right. [She almost didn't mind though.] At least it's never boring.

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[He chuckled, shaking his head]

Oh, I know I'm right. I usually am. But you do have a point.

[He sighed, sitting down next to her, crossing his long legs]

Until then, I'm keeping you in pudding cups.

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[Her nose wrinkles up at that] OK, but that sounds messy too.

[But it was nice he was looking out for her, in his own brand of caring. She was definitely getting something like protective signals from him as of late. And she wasn't sure what to make of it.]

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[That made two of them. He wasn't at all sure why he was looking out for her. Or cared, for that matter. Perhaps it was the cliche 'getting accustomed to your face' part]

Well, I'm flexible. Point is I can't exactly leave you in the hands of unfriendly medics. Besides, they're so deferential to me. It's a nice change of pace.

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I really didn't notice them. [Her first pudding cup finished, Jackie can't keep back a yawn]

So yeah, think I am done with today... [She pulls up the covers sleepily] Any more crisises show up, you think you could tell them to wait for a week or so?

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[He chuckled quietly.]

Well, it's excusable - you were a bit preoccupied. [He mock salutes her with two fingers to the temple] And you got it, I'll tell them you're busy. Or out to lunch. Whatever occurs to me, really.

-------------------

[She mumbles, eyes closed as she's burrowed into the covers]

…just don't tell them I'm pregnant.

[And with that, she checks out for a few hours of sleep.]

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Jacqueline Ann Spencer

2017

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