The Miracle of Birth

by Saber ShadowKitten
Holidays Series, Story 9

The loud squeal of tires was followed by the shattering of glass. Buffy, Spike and their friends froze for an instant, then began running towards the sound.

"Oh goddess," Willow breathed when they came upon the car accident.

The small, blue Honda was wrapped around a lamp-post, its front-end curled around the green metal pole. The windshield was smashed and hanging precariously, threatening to collapse and shower down on the people inside of the car.

Buffy ran to the passenger door and ripped it open, almost pulling it right off. A woman sat in the seat, breathing heavily, her arms cradled over her large stomach. Behind the wheel sat an unconscious man, the driver's side airbag inflated. "Spike, help the driver," she instructed quickly. "Faith, go call for help."

"Got it, B," Faith said, then sprinted away.

"We're going to help you, ok?" Buffy told the woman. She continued to breathe rapidly, which worried the Slayer, until it dawned on her what was happening. "Oh my god, are you in labor?"

The woman nodded, her brown eyes wide, with sweat running down her brow. Buffy leaned across the woman and undid her seat-belt. "Ok, we need to get you out of the car. Do you think you can move?" she asked. The woman nodded again.

"Xander, open the back door as soon as I get Mrs.-"

"He-he-he-he-lde-de-de," the woman panted.

"Mrs. Helde out," Buffy finished.

"Oz, mate, can I get your help over here?" Spike called.

"Sure," Oz replied, rounding the crashed car.

"Ok, Mrs. Helde, ready?" Buffy asked, having helped the woman's legs out of the car. "Up on three. One, two, three."

As soon as Mrs. Helde was out of the way, Xander opened the back door of the car. Buffy assisted the pregnant woman to sit back down in the back seat. Willow had run to the opposite side and was in the back seat, as well. Between the two girls, they got the woman to lay down and Willow used the edge of her shirt to blot Mrs. Helde's brow.

"Buffy, you should look," Cordelia said. Buffy frowned at her. "If the baby is already crowning and doesn't come out...well, that's not good." Xander gave his girlfriend a puzzled look. "I paid attention in class!"

"Right," Xander said.

"Um, Mrs. Helde," Buffy said to the woman. "I need to see if your baby is coming right now or not, is that ok?"

Mrs. Helde nodded and raised her feet up onto the seat. Buffy glanced over into the front seat and saw that Oz and Spike had managed to deflate the airbag. They were currently checking on the man, who had to be Mr. Helde. Biting her lower lip, she looked at Willow, who gave her a reassuring nod. Then she raised Mrs. Helde's skirt and removed the woman's underwear.

"Cordy?" Buffy called.

Cordelia looked over Buffy's shoulder. "Baby's coming right now. That's the top of its head."

"Oh boy," Buffy said to herself. "Ok, no panicking. You're the Slayer. You can do this." She took a fortifying breath, composing herself. "Xander, I need your shirt."

"Am I going to get it back?" Xander asked from the other side of the car door, where he was studiously not looking.

"I don't think you're going to want it," Buffy said dryly. She accepted from him the button-down shirt he'd been wearing over a tank top and put it between Mrs. Helde's legs. "Alright, Mrs. Helde, looks like your baby is going to be born right here."

Mrs. Helde's eyes widened even further in fright. Willow stroked the woman's hair reassuringly. "It's ok, Mrs. Helde. Everything will be fine," she comforted.

"Well, I guess the first thing you do is push," Buffy said to the woman. "So, on the count of three, push. One, two, three, push!"

Mrs. Helde pushed and Willow yelped as her hand was squashed by the woman. Buffy continued to bite her lip until she drew blood as the baby started coming out further. "That's right, he's coming. Push!"

Buffy suddenly remembered the birthing video she saw in Health the year before and she knew enough of what to do to bring the baby into the world. Carefully, she cupped the baby's head and turned the baby slightly to help the shoulders through. "One more push," she instructed. "Push!"

The baby slid out quickly and she set him down on Xander's shirt and used her finger to clear out his mouth. The baby let out a loud wail and tears sprang to her eyes, as she used the edge of her own shirt to wipe the baby's face.

"Here," Oz said from behind her, passing her his over-shirt.

"Thanks," Buffy said softly. She put Oz's shirt near Mrs. Helde's body, then wrapped the edges of Xander's shirt around the baby and carefully put him in the woman's arms. "Congratulations, Mrs. Helde. You have a girl."

"My husband?" Mrs. Helde asked in a shaky voice.

"He's fine," Spike said from the open door of the front seat. "He's a bit on the unconscious side, but that's all."

Buffy raised her eyes from the baby and met Spike's soft gaze. Tears streamed down her cheeks and she felt as though her heart was going to burst from the feelings that the miracle of birth provoked. He gave her a tender smile.

Sirens could be heard coming closer and Faith jogged back to the car. "They're coming, if you didn't hear," she announced.

The police and ambulance arrived the same time Mr. Helde regained consciousness. The seven friends stepped away from the car and watched as the couple was loaded into the ambulance. Buffy leaned her head against Spike's chest, the vampire's arms around her waist, as they watched the emergency vehicle drive away.

"It's nice to see life once in awhile, rather than only death," Buffy said quietly.

"I hear ya, B," Faith agreed.

"I wonder what they're going to name her," Willow said.

"We can always stop by the hospital and find out," Oz suggested.

"Oh, can we?" Willow asked. Oz smiled at her and took her hand. They began walking towards the hospital.

"Do you want to go, luv?" Spike asked Buffy.

"Yeah," Buffy replied. She smiled up at him. "I'd like that."

They fell into step behind Willow and Oz, and Xander, Cordelia and Faith followed them.

"Hey guys, I got a question for you," Xander said. "Is this why they call it Labor Day?"

He winced when Cordelia and Faith hit him. "Ow! What was that for?"

End 1