Labor of Love

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Labor of Love

*an Emery&Chris fan fiction*

By avenger-nerd-mom

Word Count:  2363

Summary: Chris and Emery finally welcome their new little one into the world.

April 2019

Walking back to his trailer, Chris fumbles for his phone, nearly dropping it in the bright sun. He squints at the screen, wishing he had his sunglasses with him. The sunlight is deceiving- it’s not as warm as it appears. But since the weekend is supposed to be warmer, he promised his nephews a day at the park Saturday. Watching them play soccer. He chuckles, remembering all the “hot soccer Dad” comments Emery told him about after the weekend press conference.

“Call Emery,” he speaks softly into the phone, waving at a group of fans standing across the street. His handler opens the trailer and he steps inside, flopping in the seat closest to the door. He waits to see her face, surprised when she simply answers as a call, rather than a video chat.

“Hey, Jellybean!” Emery weakly exclaims. “You about done on set today?”

Chris reaches for the call sheet on the other end of the couch. Glancing over it, he replies, “Yeah, about another hour or two. They wanna reshoot one scene, but it shouldn’t take long-”
“Was that an actual ice cream shop, or a set? You know I want ice cream.”

“Fuckin’ internet… You’ve already seen fan photos, haven’t you?” Chris chuckles. “Yes, it was a real store.” Ice cream has been one of her pregnancy cravings, along with steak and Capn’ Crunch Peanut Butter cereal.  He can’t keep track of her favorites from week to week. Hell, it’s probably changed in the few days while I was gone to LA for Endgame promo. “What do you want me to bring home?”

“Something with toffee, and pecans.” She says the word in her funny little Southern drawl, ‘pea-CANS.’ “Buttery, vanilla, not chocolate. But, babe, don’t bring it home.” She clears her throat. Stronger, she tells him, “I need you to bring it to the hospital.”

Chris sits up tall, dropping both feet to the floor, ready to jump up in action. “Hospital! Emery, are you in labor? Why didn’t you call me!”

“You’re a nervous Nelly. And I knew you were looking forward to today’s shoot. Labor’s gonna take forever. The only thing you’ve missed so far is me throwing up, more than once, and sleeping.” She yawns, making a little puffing sound. “Real exciting stuff.”

Dammit, she would keep it to herself, not to worry me… Throwing open the trailer door, he waves the closest staffer over. Holding the phone between his ear and shoulder, he grabs the man’s clipboard and scribbles, ‘Labor. Leaving. Top Secret.’ Pushing the board back to the shocked man, he lunges for his keys on the counter, exiting the trailer in two large steps and slamming the door behind him. “Tell me everything,” he growls into the phone.

There’s a pause, and he can’t hear her over the sound of the crowd yelling at him. “Chris, relax. If you rush outta there like a mad man, it’ll be all over the Internet before you can even get here. I don’t want fans or press showing up here. We talked about that. Call me back when you get to the car. I promise, you’re not gonna miss the birth of our baby.”

She sounds tired, worn out. “Em? Is everything okay?”

“Just get here.”

The phone line goes silent. Staring at the phone, he can’t believe she hung up on him. Or called him a ‘nervous Nelly.’ What even is that Southernism? He shakes his head, and makes a beeline to another staffer, trying to remember his plan of attack if this situation came about this way. Quickly explaining his predicament, he asks the man to get the ice cream, telling him to come find the unmarked sedan on the back of the lot. Chris smiles wryly at the man’s confused expression as he turns towards the car that’s been provided to get him to and from set with little recognition.

As the man jogs away, one of the executive producers walks up to Chris, pointing him in the opposite direction. “I heard. Congratulations,” he offers, clapping his hand on Chris’s shoulder. “Tabby’s gonna drive you. That’ll help you pull yourself together. I’ll send John over with the ice cream.” He speaks into his walkie talkie, relaying a new delivery point for the pint. “You can get outta here in just a few minutes. She doin’ okay?”

Chris shrugs his shoulders, his face expressing his unease. “No clue. She hung up. I’m guessing Ma is with her, but no one told me anything. That’s pretty fucked up,” he mumbles.

“Man, relax, women been havin’ babies for centuries. At least it’s early, and you’re not on another continent…” Chris bows his head, realizing how lucky he is for this small favor. “Call me with the news, and we can shift some schedules around. Take the family time you need.” He pats Chris on the back, passing him off to Tabby, the set intern.

“Family,” Chris sighs, his heart swelling with pride.

***

Settled in the back of the car, ice cream rested next to his thigh, Chris calls Emery again.

His mother in law answers the call. “She’s sleeping, Chris. The medicines make her fall asleep at the drop of a hat, mid-sentence. Want me to wake her?”

“Anita, just tell me. What’s wrong? I’m trying to get there as fast as I can.” He calculates quickly. “Traffic, this time of day, I can make it over there in about thirty minutes.”

“Believe me, son. You’ve got time. This little one is gonna be just as stubborn as it’s Daddy. Baby E doesn’t wanna say hello just yet.”

He nervously wipes his beard, watching out the front window as the driver maneuvers around traffic.

“Chris, she’s okay. Her amniotic fluid started to leak while we were on our morning walk. She wasn’t really having contractions or anything, but we decided to call Dr. Puckett. She was already at the hospital and told us to come in.” She breathes out slowly. “Emery’s having contractions, small but not enough to move the delivery along. Because of all the troubles she’s had, the medical team decided to give her Pitocin to speed things up, not put any more stress on her body.” His mother in law sighs. “She’s strong, honey. She’s gonna be okay. The medicines made her sick, but she’s walked around some-

“Why didn’t anyone call?” He swallows hard, trying to hold back his irritation.

“You know her, she wouldn’t let us. Said you were working, and Dr. Puckett said things were going to be slow. She begged your mom and I not to call you-

“Let me talk to Ma,” he barks, hitting his head back against the seat.

His mom’s soothing voice immediately calms him. “Chris, sweetheart. Everyone’s fine. She wanted you to work. The doc agreed it was gonna be several hours. You’re gonna be here. Baby E will be a week or two early, but healthy, and it’ll give you something to talk about on the the press tour besides spilling Marvel secrets.” There’s noise and a low moaning, almost a whimper. He taps the back of the driver’s seat and motions to drive faster. When his mother speaks again, she tells him. “The doc just came in here now, and it looks like they’re gonna attach a monitor around her belly. She’s waking up and you’ll be able to see her when you get here.”

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With only the sack of ice cream in his hand, he jogs down the long hallway. He tips his hat low to avoid recognition. Other new fathers carry flowers or stuffed animals, and somewhere down the hallway, a small baby cries. Normally the activity in the maternity wing would make him smile, but today he can only focus on one thing. His wife.

His love. His life. His whole world.

Nearing the room, he spies Dr. Puckett ahead, looking over a patient chart with another nurse. He stands back, leaning against the wall, clearing his throat and waiting for her attention. She lifts her head at the sound, smiling. With a small, delicate motion of her hand, she waves him over. “Chris, good to see you.” She shakes his hand, and nods to the nurse at her side. “This is Amber, she’s the best. She’s been with Emery all day, and plans to stay through, all right?” He nods. “Have you seen her yet?”

Crumpling the bag tighter in his hand, he shakes his head no.

“She looks a little pale, but she’s tough. Her body isn’t responding to the Pitocin, and she’s only dilated about four centimeters. With the amniotic fluid leaking, she does run a risk of infection-”

“Doc, is she going to be okay? I don’t wanna be an ass, but we can make another baby or adopt, but God help me, if anything happens to her-”

Placing her hand on Chris’s arm, Dr. Jamie Puckett’s exhaustion shows on her face. “Emery is fine, I promise, but the baby’s heart rate is dropping. The nurses are going to come in soon, and prep her for a C-section. I know that wasn’t really the plan, but in order to keep baby and Mom safe, I think it’s best.”

“Does she know yet?” Chris asks, trying to keep his voice steady.

The doctor shakes her head. “No, I was waiting till you arrived. Why don’t you go see her for a few minutes, and then I’ll be in and we’ll go get Baby E. You’ll be holding your baby within the next few hours.”

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Chris stirs from his chair as the nurse comes in, the morning rounds just beginning.

“Sorry to wake you,” she whispers.

Wiping the sleep from his eyes, he stands, his old bones creaking. Shit, maybe I’m too old for this Dad stuff, he thinks. “Didn’t get much rest.” The gravel in his voice is proof. He’d spent the night watching his wife and their tiny little one sleeping.

He needs coffee, in an IV, stat.

Memories of the night before flash through his mind, like a movie montage, nothing settled in place to seem real yet. The quiet afternoon, watching her sleep. Her strength and string of expletives when the epidural was administered. The rush to the operating room as both Emery’s and baby’s heart rates dropped. Suiting up in his new favorite uniform. Standing helpless, not wanting to see on the other side of the curtain. Holding their baby for the first time. Calling the mothers in for their first peek. The first attempt at breastfeeding.

The nurse checks some readings on the monitors, making notes in her charts. She quietly addresses Chris. “The pediatrician will be in soon, to check over the baby, and the lactation specialist. When your wife wakes-”

“I’m up,” says a sleepy voice. “Bring me my baby. And coffee. Can I have coffee? Like in an IV. Just inject it into my veins.”

Chris’s laughter draws her attention. He can see her struggle to turn to him. The drugs are still in her system, making all her movements sluggish.

“Hey, sexy Daddy. You thought the same thing, didn’t you?”

With tears in his eyes, he leans over and caresses his lips over her forehead. “You are mine, you know that, right?” The strong actor chuckles, weak in the knees. “You were made for me.”

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Grabbing the collar of his t-shirt, she pulls him close, tenderly kissing his plump, inviting mouth. “Yeah, and together we made something special, a baby. Ours-” She kisses him again. “I want it, and I want coffee.”

The nurse giggles, “Now, Miss Emery,” she says calmly, like talking to a petulant child. “We talked about that yesterday. No coffee yet, not if you’re going to breastfeed.” She smirks at Emery’s huffing. “But you can take a sip or two of his.” She tilts her head to Chris, as he gently climbs into the hospital bed next to his wife.

“Fine. Bring him one. A big one. Thank you,” she says as a second thought, remembering her manners. The nurse drops the chart in the holder by the door. “Oh, can you get me a cheeseburger?” Emery calls out as the nurse leaves the room.

“Babe, it’s barely eight am.” Chris teases, cautiously lifting her upper body from the bed to tuck her to his side, his arm resting gently around her shoulders.

“Don’t care.” She scratches her cheek absently. The skin is swollen and red from an allergic reaction to the mask placed over her face during her surgery. “I had a baby last night. I want what I want.”

Sitting on the bed next to her, his exhausted, amazing wife settles against his chest. He breathes deeply, inhaling her scent, and he feels his world fall into place.

“I’m gonna be hearing about that for months, years, aren’t I?”

She pokes him in the ribs. “Big enough they had to cut it out. You made a tiny monster.” She giggles, loopy from medications. She rubs low across her belly, wincing as her hands near the bandages covering the incision. “Almost seven pounds. How was that even inside me? How is that even possible? No wonder complete strangers stopped to ask if I was having twins!”

“You know,” he says, twisting her fingers into his hand and raising them to kiss the back of her fingertips, careful not to bump her IV, “it’s not an ‘it’ now.”

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“‘It’ has Daddy’s eyelashes.”

He chuckles, kissing the top of her head. “‘It’ has Mommy’s red hair.”

Before they can finish their verbal tease, she falls back to sleep peacefully. He continues to sooth his fingers through her hair, enjoying their last few minutes alone.

“Love you, forever, Em.” Squeezing her tightly, he lays back against the pillow, hoping to get some more rest of his own.

after baby cuddle

With the little bundle snuggled in his arms, wrapped tightly in a Captain America blanket, Chris steps into the lounge, full of family and friends. “Hey, everyone,” he says with enough authority to garner everyone’s attention, but not to wake the baby. “Thought you’d wanna meet Kaileigh Grace Evans.”

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Author’s Note: Remember in Surprises Ahead? Emery tells Chris, “Read it with a Southern accent. The first syllable? Rhymes with ‘thai.”

**Images found on Pinterest**

Story will update when Muse strikes. I actually wrote a baby story 3+ years ago, but in the vision I wrote from, I didn’t know the baby’s name or gender. In February 2019, the name just popped in my head one morning while I was in the shower! Until that moment, I had no idea if it was going to be a little boy or girl for the Evans’!

If you want to know more about Emery and Chris, read the novella Georgia on My Mind, and their additional stories

Copyright © 2019 avenger-nerd-mom. All rights reserved. Intellectual property of avenger-nerd-mom

 

Two Lines

two lines sept 14

Two Lines

*an Emery&Chris story*

by avenger-nerd-mom

Thanks to sisterly advice, Emery discovers a secret while Chris is gone for reshoots!

Warnings: Language, fluff, discussion of miscarriage

Word Count 1660

Get to know Emery and Chris in their novella Georgia on My Mind and their follow up collection of short stories

September 2018

Emery signals a left turn into the drive thru diner, asking her sister if she wants a snack. “I don’t know if it’s the heat, or what,” she says, making the turn, “but I’ve felt awful for two weeks and the only thing that sounds any good to me right now are root beer floats. I’ve probably gained five pounds while Chris has been away.”

Her sister Mackinzie looks up from her phone. “Did you say root beer floats?”

Emery nods, reaching into the side door pocket for some cash. “Yeah, why?”

Mackinzie waits while Emery places her order at the staticy old box, also ordering fried mozzarella sticks and a sweet iced tea. “Emery?” She asks with a restrained calm, “Are you pregnant?”

“What? No… I can’t-”

The redhead’s jaw snaps shut and she starts counting off on her fingers. Her eyes pop, her hands shaking. “Oh my God,” she whispers. A smile grows on her face, reaching her bright blue eyes. “I might be. We got stressed, keeping track of my cycles, so we stopped paying attention. I can’t remember my last period.”

Her sister nods, bouncing in her seat as Emery pulls the truck forward through the line. “You were sick and missed church a time or two and you said you’ve felt bloated from summer foods. You haven’t been exercising because you didn’t wanna put strain on your foot. I know you had at least one root beer float at the family reunion, and you’ve mentioned them a few times. You didn’t know that’s a common pregnancy craving?”

The women quiet as they pull forward to the window. Emery makes her payment, taking the food, too distracted to talk to one of her former students. Mackinzie says, “Sis, I’m pretty sure you’re pregnant.” She points across the street. “Pull over there. Go to the Piggly Wiggly and let’s get a pregnancy test.”

In a daze, Emery follows her sister’s command, crossing over carefully in the traffic, pulling a mozzarella stick from the bag. “Mackinzie, I can’t go in there, to buy that. It’s tourist season. If anyone saw me, it would be all over the internet before we’d even get home.”

“Yeah, that’s true. Didn’t think about that… What if I go in and get it for you? I’ll even pay for it if you let me stay with you while you wait for the results?” She taps her sister’s leg while she nibbles the cheese stick and pulls the truck into park. “I mean, I’m sure you’d rather Chris was here, but-”

“I can’t do it alone,” Emery says, squeezing her sister’s fingers tightly. “I mean, you can’t come in the bathroom, and I better drink all this tea fast, but no, I want you there-”

“-I’m your sis, I’m always there-”

“And no matter what, positive or not, you can’t tell anyone, not even Dan, and definitely not Mom or Chris.” Mackinzie is visibly shocked by the determination on Emery’s face. “I won’t hurt him like that again. I know everyone thought I took it hard, but you have no idea how the miscarriage killed him. He’s working and I don’t want to get his hopes up. If I’m not pregnant, he doesn’t even have to know. And if I am, I’ll wait till the right time to tell him.”

“Ok, Em. Whatever you need. You’re stronger than any superhero I know.” She reaches for her purse in the back seat. She chuckles, “Drink your tea. I’ll be back in a few minutes.”

Emery watches her sister climb down out of the truck. Finishing the fried cheese, she rests her head against the seat, inhaling deeply, gently placing her hand over her belly. She begins poking and pushing against her flesh, searching for any signs of change. Calculating in her mind, she quickly reaches for her phone, estimating she’s about six weeks along. “Siri, how big is a six week old fetus?”

“Here’s what I find when I search the question ‘how big is a six week old fetus?’” Siri replies in her computerized voice.

Emery clicks on the first link provided, smiling to think the baby, if she’s pregnant, is the size of a sweet pea. She continues reading, whispering aloud, “‘Your baby’s nose, mouth, and ears are beginning to take shape at 6 weeks pregnant. You may be having morning sickness and spotting.’ Spotting. That’s why I hadn’t figured it out.” She closes her eyes and says a silent prayer the spotting she’s experienced isn’t sign of a miscarriage. She continues reading, mumbling, “Sore boobs, exhaustion, mood swings. Fuck. How did we not figure out I was pregnant?!” She chuckles. “This is like textbook, and I’ve been such a bitch lately.”

Lost in her thoughts, she didn’t see Mackinzie approach the car. “What did you say, Sis?” Her older sister asks, climbing up into the truck.

Emery swallows her sip of tea, before holding up the cup to look at it. “Shit. That’s a lot of sugar and caffeine. Can I even drink sweet tea now, if I’m pregnant?”

Mackinzie chuckles, resting the bag at her feet. “Depends on which doctor you see. If you can get in with Puckett, like I did, she’ll let you, in moderation. But you get a Yankee doctor, if you decide to buy that house in Boston, and they’ll tell you to cut back.” She fastens her seatbelt and turns to her sister. “What were you saying as I got in the truck?”

Emery rests her cup back in the console. “I was thinking out loud. It’s a wonder we hadn’t figured it out ourselves. I was a real bitch right before Chris left. It was like everything was happening at once. Grandad had his stroke, they sent me for another scan on my foot, the Leno viewing party, then the dash to Boston for the state primary. Plus all the tech troubles I was having with the new computer systems I’ve gotta be working with this year. I was just awful to Chris.” She shakes her head thinking about it now. She backs the car out of the parking space. “Really, I think our last words to one another was a fight about laundry, and he couldn’t find things he needed to take into the city, like his razor and beard kit. I’m pretty sure ‘I’m not your damn maid’ was screeched at the top of my lungs.” She hangs her head, sighing deeply.

Mackinzie sucks in her breath. “Why does Captain America need his razor? Is he not gonna be shaggy and bearded in the next one?”

Tapping her horn at the car in front of them, Emery quickly pulls to the left, deciding not to follow that driver out of the lot. Exiting from another side of the shopping center, Emery says, “You haven’t seen the leaked photos? Holy fuck, I need to bang my husband. Like now. Is that a side effect of pregnancy this early?”

Quickly scrolling her phone, Mackinzie holds up the image of one of the leaked photos. Chris, walking across a parking lot in a faded blue shirt, hand fisted at his side. “Hell no, not this early. That’s just a side effect of being married to this sexy bastard. Come on, Em, you’re married to Captain fuckin’ America. And he’s in Steve mode now? I don’t even care he’s my brother in law, I wanna lick my phone screen.”

Emery hits her older sister in the shoulder, maneuvering the big truck into another lane. “So when is the horny phase? God, he better be around for that. But he’s working non stop till-” At the red light, Emery slams on the brakes. “Fuck. Fuckin’ hell. Shit, shit, shit. I can’t be pregnant now. If I’m pregnant now, that means I’m due in the middle of the A4 press tour.” The panic is clearly written on her face.

Mackinzie reaches over to pat her sister’s arm. “Relax. Even if he goes on the tour, and you said he still hasn’t decided about that, Downey could have him on a plane and home in five hours.”

“He’s working round the clock for the next several months.” Emery breaths hard, beads of sweat forming on her forehead as she turns into the proper lane, heading out of town towards her house. Their house. “What if the baby arrives and he’s not there?”

“Get a grip, Sis. A first pregnancy won’t deliver in less than five hours. Do you remember how long I was in labor with Dawson? Hella long. That’s how long. Like we could have a whole Marvel marathon in the birthing room before your baby arrives… But let’s not panic till you pee on that strip, and see what it says, okay?”

***

An hour later, the sisters stare at the four pregnancy tests lined up on the edge of the bathtub. Emery sucks in her breath. “I still don’t believe it. I need to hear it from a doctor.”

“Fine. Make the call. I’ll be right there with you.”

***

Near closing time, the nurse taps on the door of the office. Emery drops the paperclip she’d been fidgeting with onto he desktop as Dr. Jamie Puckett enters the room. “Em, it’s official. You’re gonna be a momma. You get to tell Chris the good news. He’s gonna be a daddy.”

The doctor walks to her desk, patting her patient’s shoulder as she passes by, before resting against the ledge of the dark stained wood. “Your math was off, Emery.” She reopens the file. “You’re actually about eight weeks along. If you want, we can do an ultrasound? A few of the nurses that know you, and know what you’ve both been through, said they’d be happy to stay late to assist with the procedure… How about it, Momma. Wanna meet Baby Evans?”

With tears in her eyes, tightly gripping her sister’s hand, the beautifully pregnant red-head nods. “Yes.”

click here for the next Emery &Chris story, Killing Time

Read more about Emery and Chris in their novella, Georgia on My Mind, and their story collections

Copyright © 2018  avenger-nerd-mom. All rights reserved. Intellectual property of avenger-nerd-mom