“_______” Alfred called. You walked out of the kitchen rubbing you small baby bump affectionately.
“Yea hun!” You looked up and saw Al looking at a piece of paper that was in one hand and holding an envelope in the other. “Is… everything okay?” you asked hesitantly. He looked up at you and grinned that goofy grin you loved so much.
“Yea, definitely. I just wanted to know if you wanted to go on a walk with me,” he said sweetly. You smiled brightly and ran towards him. His eyes widened slightly behind his glasses and he caught you. “Careful babe, the baby.” You kissed his cheek giggling.
“I blame the hormones,” you whispered seductively in his ear. He shook his head and set you down. “Do you wanna go now?” you asked. He nodded and grabbed your hand.
“Only if you’re up for it.” He pressed a large hand to your stomach. You rolled your eyes and walked towards your room to get your shoes.
“I’m hardly three months pregnant. Of course I’m up for it!” Alfred chuckled and grabbed his coat and cap. “Ready,” you announced, now wearing your favorite pair of sandals. Al pulled his jacket on sat his cap on his head.
“Then let us go,” he said and slipped an arm through yours and walked out the door.
“Alfie,” you said softly as the two of you strolled down one of the many piers in Savannah. He looked over at you and saw you shivering. He quickly slipped his jacket off and wrapped it around your shoulders.
“Yea _______,” he replied. You fiddled idly with the hem of your shirt. You stopped walking and leaned against the railing of the pier. Al followed suit and jumped precariously up and sat on the thin bars.
“What… what were you looking at earlier?” you asked, worried about what he might say. You looked up at him and saw his bright blue eyes watching you closely. The setting sun brought out the highlights in his sandy hair and made his eyes pop. He braced his feet against the railings to balance himself and grabbed one of your hands in both of his.
“Babe…” he trailed off. You looked at him, knowing bad news was coming. “I got drafted.” You stopped breathing as your heart shattered into a million pieces. No… no, no, no, no!!!
“Al.” Your bottom lip quivered as tears started to blur your vision. “No, Al… y-you can’t,” you said desperately. “You can’t g-go. You j-just can’t.” He hopped off the railing and grabbed your arms.
“_______, sweetheart,” he said quickly. He reached a hand up and wiped at the tears pouring from your eyes. Barely even a year into your marriage and Alfred was already being drafted for the military.
“W-what if something h-happens to y-you?” you asked him. “W-we n-need you. Y-your brothers, your family, t-the baby. M-me… I need you,” you sobbed, choking on your tears. Alfred immediately pulled you close and enveloped you in a tight hug.
“Shh, babe,” he murmured, trying to sooth you. “Everything’ll be alright.” You cried into his chest while he gently petted your hair. He kept whispering soothing nonsense into your hair until you eventually calmed down a bit. You pulled away and Alfred couldn’t help but smile. Your eyes were red and teary and you, unfortunately, had some snot running from your nose. He pulled out a hand kerchief out of his pocket and held it to your nose.
“Blow.” You giggled despite your tears and blew your nose.
“Thanks,” you muttered as he gently wiped away the rest of your tears.
“Everything will okay, I prom-!” You cut him off, leaping up and kissing him on the lips. You hiccupped and backed away.
“Just come home in one piece, kay’?” you demanded, staring fiercely into his eyes. He put his hand up in a fake salute.
“Yes ma’am,” he said grinning like the complete goof he was. You wrapped your arms around his waist and sighed unhappily.
“You'd better, I don’t know what I’d do if I lost you.”
“P-p-please. Just d-don’t get yours-s-self killed.” You tried to stem the flow of tears but to no avail. Alfred pulled you into a hug and kissed the top of your head.
“I’ll be back before you know _______ (nickname), I swear it,” he told you. “And when I do, we’re gonna start over right and raise that youngin’ together, understood?” You sniffed slightly and saluted your husband.
“Y-yes sir,” you said through a constricted throat. He scooped you up again into another big hug and spun you around, burying his face into your neck. His older brother Arthur walked up as he set you down.
“You take care of her, ya hear Artie?” he told his brother. Arthur nodded and the two hugged.
“Just keep yourself out of trouble,” he told Al. Alfred nodded and listened as they called for all the men. Your eyes welled with tears again as you watched him walk towards his plane.
“Al…” you choked as the tears spilled from your eyes. You took off running to him. “Alfred!” you cried loudly. He looked over his shoulder and turned. You leapt into his arms and cried softly into his shoulder.
“It’s gonna be okay,” he whispered softly. He pulled you away to look at you. “I have to go. I am the hero after all.” You smiled weakly and kissed him.
“You’re my hero,” you told him. “I love you Al.” He kissed your forehead and wiped the rest of your tears. He started to walked away, never letting his eyes leave yours.
“I love you _______! More than anything!” he called. He blew you a kiss and turned, running to meet his fellow soldiers. You jumped as a light hand touched your shoulder.
“He’ll be back soon.” Arthur said. You sighed shakily and leaned into the Brit.
“I sure hope so Arthur. I really, really hope so,” you prayed into his chest, trying to keep from blubbering all over you brother-in-law.
“Arthur! Could you get the mail?” you yelled to your brother-in-law from the kitchen.
“Yes love!” he called. You rolled your eyes. Ever since Artie had moved in with you to help with the pregnancy, he’d started calling you love. You figured it was just because you two were related now. As you listened to the front door slam closed you waddled your way into the living room. It had been 5½ months since Alfred had left for the war and you and the baby had both grown in his absence.
“To bad your daddy won’t be here to see you,” you said, looking down and rubbing your very pregnant belly.
“There’s a letter!” Arthur chimed from the door. You tried to walked to Arthur but he saw you and gently guided you back to the sofa. “You need to be resting,” he told you, handing you the letter from Al. You stuck your tongue out at him and tore the letter open.
I’m comin’ home! I know it’s early but we were out scoutin’ for landmines and I was near one that went off. I didn’t lose anything’, but my leg’s broke. They can’t do anything with a soldier with only one good leg so they’re sending me home! I can’t wait see you and the baby. I’ll be home within the next forty-eight hours.
You couldn’t contain your excitement. Alfred was coming home early!!
“Arthur!” you cried, standing up quickly. “Arthur! He’s coming home!” Arthur smiled and grabbed the letter. Your face went slack as he read the letter, feeling something running down your legs. Alfred’s brother looked up grinning but noticed your worried expression.
“_______. What’s wrong?” he asked quickly.
“My… my water just broke,” you told him, stunned. The Brit’s eyes widened and suddenly he was gently, but hurriedly shoving you towards the door.
“We need to get to the hospital! Now!” he said. You looked at him, your breath accelerating.
“B-but… but what about Al? He could be home any minute!” Arthur helped you into his car and ran to the other side.
“We’ll call him when we get there, but right now we need to get you to the hospital.” He cranked the car and headed as fast as he could to the hospital.
Alfred leaned back and sighed as the wind whipped his sandy hair around. Finally coming home. He thought that he’d be fighting for at least another year or so, but one of his fellow soldiers had been throwing stones in the minefield and accidently set one off The idiot, he thought as he shifted his casted leg into a more comfortable position.
“Happy to be home?” his friend asked. His buddy had picked him up at the airport and was driving him home. He was so ready to see you.
“Yea. I feel kinda bad for leavin’ behind my men, but I’m glad to be home. My wife’s just had our kid and I’m dyin’ to see em’ both,” he said excitedly. His phone started ringing, shouting the Mission Impossible theme song to the world. He pulled it out of his pocket and flipped it open. “Hello.”
“Alfred! Where are you?” his brother yelled at him through the phone.
“I’m on my way home of course,” he laughed.
“Well you need to make your way to the hospital,” Arthur panted. Alfred’s eyes widened and the grin fell from him face.
“Why? What’s wrong? Is _______ alright?” he asked quickly, trying not to imagine the worst.
“She’s fine, but she is giving birth to your child! Hurry and get to the hospital!” he replied. He hung up the phone, leaving a very stunned Alfred on the other end.
“Everything okay?” his friend asked.
“W-would you mind driving me to the hospital instead of my house?” he asked, closing his phone.
“Sure. Somethin’ happen to your girl?” he asked as he changed lanes and headed in the direction of the hospital.
“Artie said _______’s only just now havin’ the baby.” He looked at his friend. “I thought she’d already had it. It seems about the right time,” he muttered. His buddy’s eyes also widened before he grinned and pressed his foot hard to the gas pedal.
“Then I guess we’d better hurry up then.”
“Arthur!” you yelled, trying to ignore the growing pain in you lower abdomen. “Arthur hurry up!” Arthur rushed back into the hospital room.
“I’m right here _______,” he said and grabbed your hand. You squeezed it until he winced as tears poured down your face.
“Where… where is he?!” you gasped. “Artie… I’m not havin’ this baby… until Al gets here,” you cried loudly as another contraction hit.
“Uh, _______ love. I don’t think that’s the way this works,” Arthur tried to tell you. You shook your head and groaned in pain.
“He has to be here,” you told him stubbornly. He sighed and looked at you.
“He’s on his-” He was cut off as the doors to your room opened and both yours and your brother-in-law’s head turned.
“Al!” you yelled happily.
“Hey babe,” he grinned at you. You looked him over, momentarily forgetting your current situation in your happiness. He had a few scrapes and bruises on his face and arms, but his leg! Your jaw dropped at the sight of his left leg. It was encased in a long white cast and he was walking with the aid of a pair of crutches.
“Alfred F. Jones! I thought we told you to stay out of- ahh!!” You cut off in the middle of your reprimand to cry out.
“_______, honey,” Alfred said and hobbled over to you quickly. More tears squeezed their way out from under your eyes and Al sat down next to you and grabbed your hand. “It’s okay _______, you can do this,” he told you and pushed your hair away from your face. “I know you can.” The doctors came rushing in and surrounded you.
“Alright Mrs. Jones. I need you to push,” the doctor instructed. You pushed, trying your hardest not to shout. You squeezed your husband’s and his brother’s hand until your knuckles were white. You saw Alfred trying not wince. Good. That’s not even an ounce of the pain I’m going through.
“You’re so close _______,” Alfred whispered, kissing your sweaty forehead. After what seemed like forever, the cry of a new born baby broke the air and you sighed with relief.
“It’s a boy,” the doctor said, handing the baby to one on the nurses. Al looked you, his bright blue eyes shining with happiness.
“You hear that _______(nickname). It’s a boy,” he said and leaned down and kissed you softly. Your heart fluttered at the warm contact. He pulled away when someone tapped him on the shoulder.
“Here you are sir. He’s absolutely precious,” the nurse said, handing him the bundle of blue blankets. Al smiled and took the baby. He set him in the crook of his arm and pulled the cloth away from the infant’s face.
“You’re beautiful,” he whispered to the child. You tried to sit up and see your baby in your husband’s arms.
“Alfred!” Arthur said, noticing your strain to see the baby,” let the woman see her baby!” Al chuckled and gently handed you the swaddled infant. More tears rolled down your cheeks as you looked at your baby.
“You’re gonna look just like you daddy,” you cooed gently, leaning forward and kissing his small nose. Arthur looked tentatively over your shoulder to look at his nephew. You smiled and turned your head. “Do you want to hold him Artie?” you asked quietly. He pulled back to look at you with his bright, green eyes wide.
“I-I… I… well… if you d-don’t…” he stuttered nervously. You laughed softly and held the baby out to him. He took his nephew in his arms and held him close. It reminded him of when Alfred had been nothing but an infant himself.
“Hi there,” he said softly, rubbing one of the child’s cheeks. You giggled and Alfred wrapped his arms around your shoulders.
“So, did you miss me Artie?” he asked, grinning at his older brother. You and Al watched as Arthur ran his finger under his eyes.
“Yes… I missed you, you git,” he said, not taking his eyes away from his nephew. “And _______’s right you prat. We told you to stay out of trouble.” Al laughed and kissed your cheek.
“You know that’s impossible,” he told the both of you. You shook your head and leaned back into him. “Is this the happy ending you’ve always wanted?” he asked you softly, still watching Arthur and his son. You turned to look at him. He looked back at you and you smiled gently. You kissed him softly.
“It’s more,” you whispered. “More than I ever could’ve asked for.”