Uncle Jasper Whitlock
Chapter 5: Mystical Sonogram
Summary & Disclaimer in first chapter.
Several hours later, Bella was slurping down the last of a bloodshake when the all of the Vampires in the room stopped moving and cocked their heads to the side curiously. I looked at Bella from my perch on the arm of the couch where I was reading through a promising source and she shrugged. Then, she frowned, scrunching her nose when she sucked up air instead of the blood/protein shake combination that Carlisle had concocted for her. It smelled kind of bad to me, but I had eaten far worse things in my life, so who was I to judge? Bella seemed to be doing well on it, at least. This was her second shake and the third time she had drank blood since that morning.
After I managed to shock three Vampires into a catatonic state, Carlisle had come running into the dining room, intrigued by my assumption that the baby wanted blood. Bella had just begun showing signs of rejecting human food altogether and he was worried that he wouldn't be able to keep her alive. This offered him some hope and he jumped at the idea. That seemed to spur Edward back into animation and he started acting like it was a vile and repugnant thing she was about to do. As far as I was concerned, it was just something that needed to be done to feed both Bella and the baby, so I told him to shut the hell up when Rosalie brought over an oversized coffee mug of blood with a straw.
Uncle Jasper had excused himself before the blood came out, but I knew he was lurking nearby to see what would happen—and possibly to protect me if any of the others lost control at the smell of the blood. I couldn't help but love him for that.
We had all watched in anticipation to see what Bella's reaction to the blood would be. Edward had mentioned that Bella usually had a problem with the smell of blood, but apparently pregnancy trumped that issue because Bella sucked up that blood like it was a Slurpee. Since then, Carlisle had been trying to figure out a way to get human food into her as well, but she hadn't really been able to tolerate solid foods yet, so he was trying the protein shake. It had come back up when he made it with milk, but Andrew suggested making it with blood instead and apparently, that was the key. Bella already looked better and the Vampires assured me that her pulse was much stronger.
Andrew's curiosity immediately got the better of him and he ventured into in the kitchen with Esme to try to figure out some recipes that they could incorporate blood into that might allow Bella to eat some solid foods as well. I decided that I wasn't going to eat anything red that didn't come out of the ketchup bottle in the refrigerator. Edward's glance in my direction told me he had heard my thoughts on the subject and agreed with me, but he was too focused on his wife to comment otherwise.
Now, with the Vampires all statue-like, I looked around the room to see if anything was out of place. Nothing that I could tell, but something was obviously awry. A moment later, the doorbell rang. Carlisle went to answer the door and I heard a voice I would recognize anywhere.Oh, thank God,
I thought in relief. With any luck, he would have some answers.
I dropped my research onto the coffee table as I sprinted past everyone and ran down the stairs. Carlisle was stammering in shock when I rounded the corner and flung myself at the green demon standing in the doorway.
"Lorne," I cried. "I am so glad to see you! Thank you, thank you, thank you for coming!"
Lorne wrapped comforting arms around me and patted me on the back in a familiar gesture. "You too, Buttercup. Although, I was hiding out in Reno for a reason. Of course, that reason is now under a pile of rubble, courtesy of Faith, so here I am. Now, what is the dire situation that only I could help you with?"
I let go of Lorne and pulled him inside, closing the door behind us. Carlisle followed us up the stairs and the entire room of Vampires hissed as they took in Lorne's appearance.
Lorne turned to me with a wry smile and stage-whispered, "Buttercup, I don't know how to break this to you, but they aren't human."
I couldn't help it, I snorted. Rolling my eyes, I pulled Lorne over to Bella and told him, "This is the emergency."
Lorne was quiet for a moment and then his eyes grew wide and he looked down at Bella's stomach, which was showing a lot more than it should be for someone only a few weeks pregnant. He went to reach a hand toward her belly and Edward caught his wrist with a low growl.
"What is it with brooding pretty boys and damsels in distress?" Lorne asked aloud. To Edward, he said, "You either want my expertise or not. It's your lamb chop she's carrying."
Edward studied him for a long moment and must have decided that Lorne wouldn't hurt her because he let go of his arm. Lorne reached out and made contact with Bella's stomach. Something in his thoughts made Edward's face crumble, but only for a moment before he put on a brave face for Bella's sake. Carlisle finally seemed to regain his wits—but really, he opened the door to a six foot tall green demon with horns—and made his way over to the couch as well.
"We've tried everything," Carlisle told him. "Needles won't penetrate the embryonic sac and we can't get a sonogram picture either."
"Well, what I do is far from scientific, but it might be the only way to get a clear picture of this little critter here," Lorne replied. Then, he looked up to Bella's face and gave her a gentle smile. "Hum for me, cupcake."
"What?" Bella sputtered, looking confused.
I rolled my eyes and stepped forward. "Lorne needs you to sing something," I told her. "Something about baring your soul when you sing. It tells him things."
Bella hesitated and I pressed her, "Really? That freaks you out? The green skin and horns are peachy keen, but add in an ability to see your future when you sing and that's where you draw the line?"
My little tirade forced Bella to look at the situation with a little more perspective and she acknowledged the absurdity of the situation. "Okay, let's give this a go," she said.
She took a deep breath and began to hum something that made Edward smile just a little. It sounded like a lullaby. When she ran out of air, she started to draw in another large breath to continue, but Lorne held up his hand and turned toward Edward.
"Now you, handsome," Lorne instructed.
I didn't know what it was that Edward had seen in Lorne's thoughts as he read Bella, but he didn't waste a second. He picked up humming the lullaby where Bella had left off. Whatever he saw brought unshed tears to his eyes and he leaned forward to press a kiss to Bella's forehead.
We all looked at Lorne expectedly, but it was Edward that spoke quietly, "There's a chance. It's not a sure thing, but it's a lot better than what we thought...what I thought."
"See? I told you," Bella grinned at Edward and pulled him up on the couch to sit next to her.
"There's still a lot of work to be done, Sugar Pie," Lorne warned her before swinging around to look at me. "Buttercup, you are going to have to get to researching and you don't have a lot of time. You're on the right track with the blood, keep it up. Bella will need her strength if she is going to carry to term. I can't give you a timeline, but sooner rather than later and you'll need to get really creative to deliver this baby without killing Bella."
I hadn't heard Jasper come up behind me, but when he spoke, his voice was still tight, "What about the baby? Could you see what it is?"
"A girl," Lorne and Edward replied at the same time.
Lorne gestured for Edward to continue and Edward met each of his family's eyes carefully before looking back to Bella and telling her, "We're going to have a daughter and she's going to be beautiful and wonderful and decidedly not a monster."
Bella started to cry then and I let out a breath I hadn't realized I had been holding. I sagged back against Jasper before turning to wrap my arms around his neck. He held me as I absorbed all that Lorne had to tell us. I didn't want to think about possibly having to kill a child and I was immensely relieved that we wouldn't have to do that.
"Of course she's not a monster," Rosalie piped up, clearly exasperated. "She's going to be a perfect little baby!"
With that declaration, the rest of the family seemed to decide that it was okay to celebrate a bit. I finally released Jasper into Alice's embrace and I met Lorne's eyes. He motioned for me to follow him to the door.
"Thanks, Lorne," I told him. "I appreciate you coming out to help even though you don't want any part of this world anymore."
Lorne put his hat back on and pulled me in for a hug, "I have a soft spot for you, Buttercup. You know that. But, seriously, research is the key. Think more science fiction than actual science. Oh, and I could hear Andrew humming in the kitchen. Don't eat the pasta tonight. It's not tomato sauce."
I paled at that for a moment then smiled at Lorne. "Thanks, I'll order Chinese or something. Have a safe trip back to Reno. I promise I'll get Faith to fix whatever she broke."
"No, please. My heart can't take it," Lorne gasped, palming his left butt cheek and I grinned at him.
"Okay, okay," I told him. "I'll make Faith stay far, far away from you."
"Bye, kiddo," he said, tapping my chin before he left.
I smiled as he left and realized that I already had the perfect research partner if we were going to have to use science fiction as a viable resource for delivering the baby safely. I had no idea what we were going to do yet, but I knew one person who would happily sacrifice sleep to help me look.
I ran up the stairs, yelling, "Andrew, what sci-fi do you have on your laptop?"
Andrew stepped out of the kitchen as I rounded the corner. He was wearing an apron that seemed to be covered in something I'd rather not think about. He looked confused, but answered my question, "I have all of Babylon 5 and Farscape on my laptop now, but if I access the server back in Cleveland, I can get the rest, why?"
"I thought you weren't supposed to use the server for your sci-fi porn collection," I chided him. He looked ready to defend himself but I waved it off, "Nevermind. Just get out your laptop and start watching. After we come up with a possible solution, we'll have to use magic and real life science to make it work."
"Aye, aye, mi capitan," Andrew replied, saluting me with a spatula that splashed something red against the wall.
I wasn't even going to get into the mish-mash of languages he had used. Honestly, I didn't care and I didn't have time. I ran to the living room and slid to a stop in front of Emmett, the master of entertainment in the family.
"Tell me you have a sci-fi collection here," I demanded.
Everyone turned to look at me with confused looks on their faces. Finally, Emmett answered, "Yeah, we have some."
"Good," I told him. "You, you and you," I declared, pointing at Jasper and Alice, "are going to go watch every episode and movie you can get your hands on until your eyes bleed or you find a way to deliver this baby safely. We're looking for creative solutions here, people."
No one moved so I tapped my foot. "Well, go!"
TBCP.S. Thank you to amusewithaview, cupquake, dragondawn & Lottii for their recommendations!