I Know I Was for a While

21: She Wants You

“Hi, this is Lucille. I can’t get to the phone right now...”

Lionel, who had his phone pressed against his ear, let out a quiet sigh at the sound of Lucille’s voicemail reached his ears again, his hand pushing back through his dark hair in frustration. It had been a long day, after Camila had admitted to feeling the first of her contractions that morning, they’d spent the day together, waiting for things to get moving, and with her waters having broken a few hours ago, they’d been quick to make the trip to the hospital, something which had encouraged Lionel to try and get in touch with Lucille, knowing that Camila would more than likely want her mother at her side as she pushed her baby into the world.

Letting the message run through, he caught the sound of the beep at the end of it before he let out a soft sigh, moving to rest his weight against the wall which stood behind him. “Hey, Lucille” he mumbled “It’s Leo again. I know I’ve left quite a few messages, but I just thought I’d try and get through to you again. I’m at the hospital with Mila, and I think she probably needs you here. I think we’re getting close now. Call me when you get this” he added before he hung up the phone, moving to stow it in his pocket.

Closing his eyes, he gently rested his head back against the wall for a couple of seconds before the sound of a light cough reached him, causing him to startle slightly before he blinked his eyes open, settling them on Tessa who’d stopped a couple of paces away from him, a sheepish smile on her lips. “I didn’t mean to scare you” she mused.

Lionel shook his head gently. “It’s fine” he noted “How’s Mila?” he asked.

“She’s doing brilliantly” Tessa enthused “The contractions are really close together now, so I don’t think we’ve got too much longer to wait” she added.

Lionel’s expression brightened a little, but he didn’t say anything, encouraging Tessa to keep talking. “She’s asking for you” she mused.

Lionel blinked a couple of times. “She is?” he asked.

“You are Leo, no?” Tessa quipped with a warm smile.

She could see that he was nervous, since she’d arrived to check on Camila for the first time a little while previous, he’d looked a little unsure of himself, and she wanted to try and offer him a little encouragement. Things were clearly complicated, when Lionel had attended Camila’s twenty week scan with her, the brunette had been quick to point out that the argentine wasn’t the baby’s father, but still Tessa wanted to encourage him to head back into the room, even if it was complicated. Camila needed someone, and the amount of times that she had asked after Lionel since he’d stepped out of the room a little over ten minutes previous told the midwife that she wanted it to be him.

Lionel breathed out a nervous laugh. “I am” he confirmed.

“Then you’re the one she’s been asking for” Tessa quipped “I am going back in there now. Are you coming?” she asked.

Lionel offered her a hesitant smile, something which caused Tessa to step towards him, her hand gently patting his shoulder. “She wants you there” she mused “And right now, that’s the only thing that matters. Everything else...you can figure it out later, but right now, she’s asking for you and you should be there. She needs someone, and given that she’s asked for you about twenty times in the ten minutes you’ve been out here, I think she wants it to be you, so why don’t you come with me?” she added, gently moving to take a hold of his wrist.

Lionel spared her hand a look, briefly contemplating taking his wrist out of her grasp, before he nodded his head, something which caused Tessa to flash him another soft smile before she led him a little way up the corridor. Offering his arm an encouraging squeeze, she gently pushed the door to Camila’s room open before she nudged him inside, something which caused Camila, who’d been tiredly resting against her pillow, to sit up, her face lighting up at the sight of the argentine. “Leo” she breathed “You’re still here” she added tearfully, her hand reaching out towards him.

Lionel, who’d stopped a couple of steps away from the foot of the bed, hesitated for a split second before he walked towards the bed, gently capturing her hand in his. “Of course I am” he mused “I just went to call your mama again. I still can’t get a hold of her” he added, his spare hand gently brushing some of her sweaty hair off of her face.

Camila leant into his hand slightly, sniffling a little, before she tightened her grip on his hand, letting out a groan as another contraction hit. Lionel flinched, surprised by the strength of her grip on his hand, before he turned slightly, sparing a look towards Tessa who’d stood up from her spot at the end of the bed. “Tessa?” he asked.

“You’re ready to start pushing, Camila” Tessa fussed with a warm smile.

Camila blinked tearfully. “Huh?” she spluttered.

“You’re ready to have this baby, Camila” Tessa replied “I’m just going to go and get a few things, but when I come back, you’re going to start pushing and you’re going to have this baby” she added before she ducked out of the room.

Camila stared after her for a second before she turned towards Lionel, her dark eyes staring up at him tearfully. “I don’t know if I can do this” she sniffled “I mean, it hurts, Leo, so much more than I thought it would. I don’t know if I can...”

“I know you can” Lionel interrupted, offering her a small smile.

Camila looked up at him, doubt in her eyes, but she didn’t say anything, something which caused Lionel to dip his head, pressing a soft kiss against the back of the hand which clung to his. “You’re brave” he mused “You’re strong. You can do this, Mila, I know it, and I am going to be here with you, OK?” he added encouragingly.

Camila blinked a couple of times, preparing herself to ask if he was sure, before she felt another contraction, something which caused her to squeeze Lionel’s hand tightly. Again he flinched, still surprised by the strength with which she grabbed his hand, but he didn’t hesitate in squeezing her hand back, trying his hardest to offer her what encouragement he could as Tessa stepped back into the room. Catching the midwife’s eye, he spotted the encouraging smile that she’d offered to him before he ducked his head once more, pressing another tender kiss against the back of Camila’s hand as he mumbled quiet words of reassurance into her ear.

Pushing a hand back through his dark hair, Lionel shifted in his seat at the foot of Camila’s bed, his dark eyes not moving away from the brunette who was sat up against her pillow, her arms cradling a small bundle which was wrapped in a soft woolen blanket. It hadn’t taken long, after Tessa had announced that Camila was ready to deliver, it’d only been half an hour longer before the sound of tiny cries had filled the room, but still Lionel hadn’t quite been able to wrap his head around the idea that Camila was a mother, even if it had been a couple of hours since the baby had arrived. It still seemed a little surreal to him that he’d been at her side when she’d pushed the baby into the world.

Ruffling his hair slightly, he tried to stifle the yawn which itched to fall out of his mouth before the sound of a soft laugh reached his ears, causing him to grin gently as he looked towards Camila. “What?” he teased “It’s been a long day” he added impishly.

Camila scoffed. “Did I miss the part where you pushed a baby out of you?” she played along.

Lionel laughed gently before a moment of silence passed between the two of them, something which was disturbed when the baby let out a soft sigh. Camila, who’d been looking at Lionel, smiled a little at the sound before she shook her head, her fingers gingerly adjusting the blanket.

Lionel watched her face light up before he shook his head, shuffling up the bed a little more before he tilted his head, a soft smile appearing on his features as he admired the baby. Grinning softly, he watched the tiny movements that the baby made before he lifted his eyes, meeting Camila’s which looked down at him. “I was right” he quipped.

Camila tilted her head. “About what?” she asked.

“About him” Lionel quipped, gesturing to the baby with a small nod “He’s completely worth the wait, isn’t he?” he added.

Camila rolled her eyes, something which made Lionel let out a laugh before she shook her head, gently moving her arms forwards. “Would you...?” she trailed off, holding the little boy out towards him.

Lionel’s eyes widened a fraction, but he was quick to nod, gently moving to pick the little boy up. Moving hesitantly, he moved to settle the little boy in his arms before he offered Camila a nervous smile, something she was quick to return, smiling up at him reassuringly. It was going to take some getting used to, the idea that the little boy had arrived was going to take some time to settle in, as was the ways in which the relationship between Camila and Lionel had changed, but for a moment, Lionel couldn’t help but be hopeful, even if he was sure that there’d be bumps. he couldn’t help but feel a little optimistic about them.
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Thanks to Twisted;;Symphony, FootieJo, mslou1 and Jayme112234 for the comments :)