Sequel: In Unexpected Places

Against the Odds

Chapter Ninety Three

A/N: I’m so sorry for the long wait! Here it is! BABIES! Enjoy :)


She could see the exact moment it hit him, the exact moment he understood that their children were officially on their way. His entire face lit up and his lips pulled into a huge grin. She couldn’t help but grin back through the tears that were clouding her vision, that had begun to slip down her cheeks.

“Oh my God…” He took a deep breath, moved his hands from her belly to her shoulders, and then turned her, startling her when he began to push her from the room.

“Harry!” she cried out, stunned. “What are you doing?”

“We have to go!”

Alex couldn’t help the slight laugh that slipped through her lips as she halted in her tracks, not allowing him to get her any farther from the room. “I know. But…” she looked down at herself, grimacing at the mess. “I need to rinse off first.”

“What? No. We have to go,” Harry said, looking nervous and excited and bit like he wanted to throw up all at one time.

“Okay, listen…” Alex said, her voice bright as she pressed her hands together and took a small step closer to him, trying to ease some of his nerves. “I’ve done this once before, remember? So will you trust me here?”


“Before we leave we have things to do right?” She interrupted, her lips twitching at the corners.“There are steps that need to happen...”

Harry couldn’t help the smirk that tugged at his lips. “Okay, I get it,” he eased a bit. “Should I wake Emma up and tell her?”

“No, she’ll never sleep tonight if she knows,” Alex shook her head. Her smile pulled even wider as she thought about it -- the excitement that would come over her daughter when she found out that she had become a big sister. “Just call Will and Kate and have them come stay with her tonight, like we talked about. Then call my parents and your dad…”

“Right,” Harry smiled softly. “And call the doctor…”

“Yes, I’m sure he’d appreciate the heads up.” Alex nodded with a grin. “So you get dressed, go do those things, and by the time you’re done I’ll be rinsed off and re-dressed and we can go. Ten or fifteen minutes, tops. Then we go to St. Mary’s and we can work on getting our babies out, okay?”

Harry’s eyes immediately softened at her words and he moved to her, his hands moving to cup her face. He leaned down close and Alex bit her lip when she saw the tears shining in his deep blue eyes. “Our babies, Alexandra. Our children. I love you so much.”

“I love you too, Harry,” she whispered. And then his lips were on hers; soft and sweet and full of emotion. Their babies, what Harry had been waiting for his entire life, what she was giving to him in such an amazing way, were on the way.


As Alex had promised, they were out of the door in under fifteen minutes. Alex had stepped into the shower and rinsed herself off as Harry had made the necessary calls, unable to keep still as he delivered the good news to the important people in their lives. As expected, everyone was over the moon and didn’t mind a single bit that the call had come so late at night. William whooped into the phone -- and right into Harry’s ear -- and said that he was on his way with Kate to stay with Emma for the night. Charles had congratulated his son in his soft, deep voice and asked him to keep him updated, no matter what time of the night. Donna had answered the phone at the Emerson’s, knowing before Harry even spoke what the reason for the late night call was for.

“We’re on our way,” she’d said, the sound of her rustling Mike into action in the background making Harry laugh -- and sending the tears welling into his eyes once more.

“Don’t rush. You can come in the morning,” Harry insisted. “Will and Kate are going to watch Emma tonight.”

“You, my darling boy,” Donna said, the Emerson stubbornness inflecting her tone. “Are out of your mind if you really think I can wait here and not in London. I’ve had my bag packed for a month.”

“Fair enough,” Harry had chuckled. “I promise we’ll call once...once our babies are born.” He could hear Donna sniff through the phone.

“You had better, Harry.”

He laughed, agreed, and then said goodbye, needing to move on to the next call on the list. Alex’s doctor answered on the second ring and, in a stroke of luck, was already at St. Mary’s, having just finished up another delivery. He would prepare the team for the Duke and Duchess’s arrival and they should be take her in very quickly.

He ended the call just as Alex stepped from the bathroom, clean and re-dressed in the soft, dark blue maternity dress with a pair of black maternity leggings pulled on underneath. Her hair was pulled back into a messy bun and the very happiness he felt was reflected back at him in her bright blue eyes.

“Alright. Calls made,” Harry announced, clapping his hands together and then moved to grab their packed bags from by the bedroom door and hoist them over his shoulder. “Let’s go, love.”

Alex could do nothing but laugh lightly as Harry steered her from the room, down the hall, and then maneuvered her quickly but carefully down the stairs.

“The cars are out front. We should be able to make it to the hospital in less than ten minutes and…” He trailed off as the front door opened and Will stepped in. His brother was clad in jeans, a light blue sweater, his hair was slightly messy, and his face broke into a wide smile when he laid eyes on his brother and sister-in-law as they came to the bottom of the steps, his eyes crinkling up behind his glasses.

“I rushed over as fast as I could,” Will said, his voice slightly breathless.

“Perfect timing,” Alex smiled as Harry moved to grab her coat and then slid it on for her.

“Yes, perfect timing and all that,” Harry rushed out as he put on his own coat and then slung their bags back over his shoulder. “We’ve got to go.”

“He’s in a rush,” Alex explained with a giggle and a shrug when Will pulled a face at his brother.

“And I cannot figure out why you’re not,” Harry shook his head and resisted the urge to groan. “Can we please go? Please?”

“You had better get out the door before his blood pressure skyrockets,” Will joked. “Keep us updated. And...good luck.”

“Thank you, William,” Alex smiled sweetly and leaned up to kiss her brother-in-law on the cheek.

“Yes, thank you William,” Harry mimicked with a groan as he steered Alex towards the door, leaving his brother chuckling in amusement behind him. “Now, if you’ll excuse us, we have to go have some babies.”


Though the late evening assured that the traffic was minimal and that the journey was smooth, Harry’s knee bounced nervously and he tugged his fingers through his hair more times than Alex couldn’t count during the less than ten minute drive to the hospital. By the time they arrived that red hair of his was sticking up in all directions and Alex was having a hard time resisting the urge to giggle. She wasn’t sure he would make it to the actual birth of their children without succumbing to his nerves.

But thankfully, once they stepped from the car and were ushered quickly into the obscure back entrance into the hospital, things began to move much more quickly than either of them expected. Alex was admitted and taken straight up to their private room, was changed into a hospital gown, had her vitals checked, and was hooked up to an IV in less time than it had taken them to get out of the house. Rather than make Harry more nervous, the quick progress, the simple act of getting down to business, seemed to calm him. His hands were steady as they held Alex’s, his smile wide as he sat with her, watching as the nurses in the room preparing her for the quick journey they would soon take down to the surgical suite.

“Good evening, Mummy and Daddy,” Dr. Setchell’s greeting as he stepped into the room right as the nurses finished up. “How are we feeling?”

“I thought I was going to have to slip Harry a Xanax, but he’s managed to get a handle on it,” Alex teased, making Harry chuckle and roll his eyes.

“Good to know,” Dr. Setchell laughed. “And you, Alexandra? How are you doing?”

“Honestly, a bit ready to burst,” she replied, a slightly nervous laugh slipping out.

“I’ll bet,” Dr. Setchell said with a wide smile and kind eyes. “And as it so happens, we’re ready to take you down to the surgical suite and let you meet your two little boys.”

“Oh wow,” Alex took a deep breath. “That was fast.”

Her eyes turned to Harry and the tears rose so fast she didn’t even have time to blink before one escaped out of the corner of her eyes. He reached out and swiped it away with his thumb and in that moment, she couldn’t believe just how lucky she was. To have this man as her husband, as the father to her children. Her breath caught in her chest and she pressed her hand over her heart, unable to find any words at all for just how she felt right then.

“Oh love,” Harry murmured as she leaned into his hand and closed her eyes. “Are you okay?”

“Yes,” she whispered, nodding her head slowly and savoring the feel of his skin on hers. “I’m so much more than okay.”

“Yeah?” He smiled back at her, her own feelings reflected right there in his eyes. “I hope so, because I don’t think you can back out now.”

She laughed softly and sniffed as Harry brushed away the few remaining tears that had fallen. Then, following the instructions of one of the nurses, he rose from his chair beside her, quickly pulled on the surgical gown he was required to wear in the surgical room over his clothes. He put the thin paper slippers they provided over his shoes and then he was back with her, pulling her hand into his and kissing the back of it as a nurse flipped the bars up on Alex’s bed and began to wheel her from the room.

The surgical room was awaiting them at the end of the hall, the starkness created by the smell of disinfectant and the abundance of metal surfaces was no match for the abundance of love and warmth that radiated from Harry and Alex as they were settled into place, as the medical team around them began to their own places.

“Alright, Alexandra,” Dr. Setchell said, standing to the side of the bed, his gloves and mask firmly in place. “We’re going to do numb you first. Harry, if you’ll help her sit up so that Dr. Traynor here can administer the spinal block.”

Harry’s breath pulled heavy in his chest as followed instructions and helped Alex into a sitting position. He held tight to her hand while a nurse helped hold her steady on the other side.

“You’ll feel just a small pinch and then everything will go numb really quickly,” Dr. Traynor warned as he leaned in behind her. He swabbed a small area on Alex’s lower back and then quickly inserted the needle. Alex sucked in a quick breath as she felt the pinch and before she could let the breath out, everything below her waist all but disappeared.

“Oh, I forgot how weird this was,” she said, letting out a soft laugh as she was quickly laid back down on the table and once again, the action began to build around her.

“Okay, Alexandra. Are you feeling anything below the waist? Anything at all?” Dr. Setchell asked.

“No, completely numb,” Alex replied, her voice a lot less shaky than she felt at the moment.

“Great. We’re going to put up a barrier here so you can’t see the procedure. And then, we’ll be starting.”

Finding the nerves building higher inside of her as they came closer and closer to finally meeting their children, she turned and met Harry’s eyes, finding the comfort and calm that she needed in that moment in them. “I’m so glad you’re here, Harry.”

“Oh my darling, where else would I be?” he murmured, reaching up to smooth back the few wisps of hair that had escaped from the thin paper cap they’d placed over her hair. “Just a few more minutes, love,” he whispered, making assurances to her and even a bit to himself. “And we’ll get to meet our boys. You’re doing so amazing. You’re so calm and…” he couldn’t help as the tears came, choking him up, filling his eyes even as he smiled through them at her. “I love you so much, Alexandra Sussex.”

“Be careful, Harry…” she teased, even as her own lips trembled at the emotions and the anxiousness running through her. “You’re not going to have any compliments left by the time they get the babies out.”

“You’re crazy,” he murmured with a smile. “I’ll never run out of them.”

“Alright,” the doctor interrupted gently, moving to stand by Alex’s head so he could speak to them both. They both turned to him, wide eyed and waiting. “We’re ready to begin. Sir, ma’am, are you ready to meet your babies?”

Harry squeezed Alex’s hand tight in his and they shared a brief, emotional glance. “Yes,” they both answered in unison, bringing a wide smile from Dr. Setchell.

“Excellent,” he nodded and gave them one more reassuring smile before he moved away, behind the barrier that was erected over Alex’s belly, blocking the procedure from her line of sight. The anesthesiologist stood above her head and slightly to the side, ready in case she felt any discomfort or weirdness.

“Okay Alexandra, we’re starting,” Dr. Setchell called out and Alex took a deep breath, her eyes flashing to Harry.

“Do you want to watch?” She asked her husband quietly, her eyes shining with excitement and love and tears as she looked up at him, his gaze firmly held on hers.

“I…I don’t think I can,” he chuckled with a slight shake of his head. He really didn’t know if he could handle seeing them cutting into her, even if it was to bring his children into the world. “I’ll stay with you, love.”

“Okay,” Alex smiled softly and as he pulled her hand up to his lips and pressed a warm kiss to it. A small tear slipped from the corner of one of her eye and he was instantly there, swiping it away with his thumb, moving even closer to her, more than ready to be there for her and share this with her.

“Are you sure you’re ready to be a father of three?” she whispered. Her hand shook a bit in Harry’s and he smiled, wrapping his fingers more tightly around hers.

“You know the answer to that,” he replied with a smirk of a smile. “I’m kind of actually hoping there is one or two more in there they didn’t know about.”

Alex bit her lip against the laughter, although her eyes remained bright with his humor. “Don’t make me laugh,” she breathed, although a wide smile was on her lips. “You’ll mess them up.”

All of the sudden there was a rise in activity on the other side of the barrier and Alex felt a slight tug inside of her. She recognized the sensation, she had felt it with Emma, and she knew. Her eyes went wide and she squeezed Harry’s fingers with hers and then the tugging feeling was gone.

“It’s a boy!” Dr. Setchell announced out into the room, bringing both of them to immediate tears and as if on cue the loudest, sweetest wail that Harry had ever heard burst forth into the room.

“Charlie,” Harry choked out, leaning into kiss his wife, his lips pressing against hers, wishing he could express everything he felt in that moment, although he knew he never could. “That’s Charlie.”

“Oh my God,” Alex breathed as Harry pulled back and looked at her with eyes full of amazement and then instinctively turned towards the source of the wailing. And suddenly a nurse was holding a squirming, slimy, incredibly beautiful baby up in front of them. Harry’s eyes flew wide at the first look at his brand new son, but before he could even decide what to do or where to go, Alex she felt another tug. She squeezed his hand tightly and then it was gone and she couldn’t help it, she started to cry.

“And we have another boy!” Dr. Setchell announced and after a brief moment, a second wail joined the first -- just as loud, and just as sweet as his brother’s had been.

“And that’s Spencer,” Harry said, his voice hoarse with emotion as his heart grew at least a hundred times larger.

“Okay Daddy,” a nurse called out and Alex grinned through her tears.

“She’s talking to you,” she laughed as Harry brushed the tears from her cheeks.

Harry looked up towards the voice and he was so torn. He wanted to go to them. He wanted to see his children; their children. But he didn’t want to leave Alex there where she couldn’t meet them at the same time as he did.

“Go,” she said, catching struggle and bringing his eyes swinging around to hers.


“Go, Harry,” she laughed and nodded her head. She couldn’t make him wait any longer and she really didn’t want to. “Go see our boys…make sure they don’t drop them.”

He laughed, leaned in to press his lips to hers once more, and then with a deep breath he stood. On legs that were steadier than he thought they would be, he made his way across the room to where the nurses were cleaning up the boys and swaddling them into blankets. The nurse that called his name turned to him, a wide smile on her face as she held his son in her arms.

“Here you go, Daddy,” she said softly, lifting the bundle in her arms to him. He held his arms out and she passed the tiny, wailing baby to him carefully, making sure the head was supported.

And then Harry was holding his son in his arms, tucking him up against his chest, his eyes wide and wet as he looked him over. “This is Charlie?” he asked in a hoarse voice.

“Yes,” another nurse nodded as she stepped close to him, holding the other baby in her arms. “And this is Spencer.”

Harry’s eyes flew to the bundle in the other nurses arms and he stepped a bit closer, a wide smile coming over his face and his heart beating fast as his eyes loved over Spencer. He kept Charlie held close with one arm as they placed Spencer in his other arm and his entire world changed in an instant as he connected physically with his children.

“Wow…” he breathed. “This is…wow. Look at you two.” He took a deep breath and glanced back to his wife, her face one big, bright smile as she watched him and he had to get back to her; he needed to be with her and the boys. “Come on, boys. Let’s go meet your mummy.”

“Hi there, little guys,” Alex murmured, tears falling freely now as Harry, assisted by a nurse, laid first Charlie and then Spencer onto her chest. Her arms moved around her sons as Harry’s arm wrapped around all of them. “Look, Harry…” she whispered, her eyes never leaving the little bundles that were quieting down in her arms. “I believe we’ve got two little gingers on our hands.”

“Poor little guys,” Harry joked, his fingers reaching out to stroke the soft red fuzz covering Charlie’s head as Alex leaned down to kiss Spencer’s head. “They’re perfect, Alex. Absolutely perfect. I just...thank you, love.” He turned his lips to the side of her head, pressing them there and savoring this moment, this moment that was a million times better than anything he could have ever imagined it to be. “Thank you so much.”

“You’re welcome,” Alex sighed happily, bringing a chuckle from her husband.

“Okay, Mummy and Daddy,” Dr. Setchell’s voice was warm and gentle as he interrupted the moment. “We’re going to do a few quick check on the babies while we put your sutures in. And then we’ll take you back and let you get settled in and spend time getting to know your babies, okay?”

“Okay,” Alex sniffed, already sad to let her babies go, even if it was just for a few moments. But even as the nurses took Charlie and Spencer, Harry stayed with her, too in love and amazed by his wife to think of leaving her side at that moment.

“Do we have full names for them?” A nurse asked, a pen in her hand as she recorded information in the babies charts.

“We do,” Harry confirmed. “Though we’d like to keep that to ourselves for just a bit longer. If that’s okay?”

“Of course,” the nurse nodded and smiled.

“Everything looks really amazing and healthy,” Dr. Setchell said, watching the nurses and then turned a smile back to Harry and Alex. “Charlie weighed in at five pounds, two ounces and Spencer was slightly bigger at five pounds, five ounces. That’s a great birth weight for twins. Very healthy babies.”

“Thank God,” Alex sighed as Harry let out a whoop of pride, his excitement at breaking point and unable to be contained.

“I’m so proud of you,” he grinned, leaning in to kiss her full on the lips. “So fucking proud.”

“Yeah?” She laughed against his lips.

“Oh yes,” he grinned and pulled back to look at her, love and happiness radiating from every inch of him. “More than I could ever put into words.”


“Are you tired?”

“Exhausted,” Alex sighed as she cradled one of her sons in her arms. Harry was sitting on the hospital bed with her, his legs stretched out beside her as he held the other baby in his arms. Spencer stirred in his mother’s arms a bit when Alex had spoken, letting out a small cry before he settled back in, while Charlie remained asleep and content in his father’s warm embrace. “But I couldn’t sleep. Not without getting to know them a little bit,” Alex continued softly, her fingers stroking softly over the red hair that covered Spencer’s head.

For the first time since their babies had been born a little over an hour before, the air around them was quiet and calm. The nurses had gotten them settled back in their private room and had left the babies in the care of their parents for the time being. Harry had made the phone calls they needed to make -- letting their families know that the babies were there and were happy and healthy. And then he’d climbed right into the bed with her, intent on not wasting a minute of their time together before they had to let everyone else -- the world -- in on the news.

“I can’t believe they’re actually ours,” Harry whispered, the reverence still thick in his voice. “That we’ve actually met these little people we’ve made.”

“Mhmmm…” Alex turned warm eyes to her husband and then down to the tiny baby wrapped up in his arms. “It’s strange, isn’t it? But wonderful.”

“Amazing,” Harry agreed. “Isn’t it amazing, Charlie?”

“Charles Matthew Philip,” Alex said, her voice catching as she said her little boy’s full name for the first time out loud since he’d come into the world.

“And Spencer William Michael,” Harry returned, his eyes moving to the baby in Alex’s arms.

Alex sighed, “I love them so much. And oh God, Emma. Emma’s going to be so in love.”

“She’s going to be such an amazing big sister,” Harry murmured. “I can’t wait for her to meet them in the morning.”

“She has to be the first one,” Alex said. “She has to meet them before anyone else.”

“Of course she does,” Harry replied in absolute agreement as he leaned in to kiss his baby son’s soft head. “First thing in the morning. I’ll go get her and bring her up to meet her brothers.”