|Once and Always|
|Book: Once and Always, Chapter 2|
A New Beginning
A Bond of Friends
Chapter 2: A New Life Begins
Louise continued to moan in pain as the minutes rolled by and her contractions got closer together, and more intense. Finally she heard footsteps in the hall, and she assumed it was Saito.
"Finally, Saito." said Louise, but the man who entered wasn't Saito, but the very man she hoped to never see again "Omeggadon!"
"How did you-?" Cattleya started, but was thrown against the wall and knocked out cold by a spell from Omeggadon
"How far along is she?" Omeggadon asked
"She should be entering the point of delivery soon." said Dragnon as Louise moaned in pain again
"I knew there was something I didn't like about you." said Louise
"Just calm down it will be over soon." said Omeggadon, and Louise let out a noise of pain again "And push."
Meanwhile, Agnès and Henrietta were still searching the grounds for Saito, but to no avail.
"I think he and the Order left." said Agnès as they reentered the entrance hall
"I think you're right." said Henrietta as Kirche, Montmoerency, Tabitha and Tiffania entered the hall from the dining hall
"What's going on?" Kirche asked
"Louise is about to give birth, and we can't find Saito anywhere." said Henrietta
"What?" Montmorency exclaimed
"Forget Saito," said Kirche "We gotta-"
"Disturbance." said Tabitha "A familiar disturbance has entered the Academy."
"What disturbance?" Tiffa asked
"Omeggadon." Tabitha answered
"What?" said Agnès
"I thought I sensed something familiar." said Henrietta "But why's he here?" her question was answered by everyone almost immediately
"He's likely in Louise's room by now, we have to lure him out of there." said Kirche
Back in Louise's room, Louise was doing all she could to fight it, but there was no stopping Suzuka from coming.
"Her contractions are less than a minute apart now." said Dragnon
"What did you do with Eléonore?" Louise demanded
"Don't dwell on such things, childbirth is painful enough." said Omeggadon, he then heard a noise outside the room, "What was that?"
"Others." said Dragnon
"You stay here." said Omeggadon, he then left to find out what it was
"You should be proud Louise." said Dragnon as he put a wet cloth on Louise's forehead
"I swear, if you hurt my daughter, I will hunt you down and kill you. Even if it means coming back from the dead, and don't think even I won't find a way to do that."
"My dear Louise, we're not going to hurt her. We're gonna raise her. She's going to be a powerful force for evil. You should be proud." He looked away for a second, and Louise seized this chance by grabbing a vase on her bedside table and hitting Dragnon on the head with it. She then leaped out of bed and tried to run for it.
Meanwhile, Omeggadon had made his way into the entrance hall, by following the noises he was hearing. He was about to enter the dining hall, where the girls, now including Siesta since she turned up, were waiting to ambush him, when he heard a thud on the middle landing of the staircase. Louise was able to quickly make her way down there, but lost her balance and fell on the landing.
"You stupid little Void Mage, you could've killed yourself and the baby." said Omeggadon as he went up to the landing and held Louise straight, just as Dragnon arrived
"She caught me off guard." said Dragnon rubbing the back of his head as he came down
"Never mind that, check her progress!" Omeggadon ordered, and he did
"She's in the final stages of labor." said Dragnon as Louise moaned in pain again
"Get away from her!" Henrietta ordered as she and the others appeared behind them with their wands, in Agnès's case a pistol, pointing at them
"Don't move." said Omeggadon pointing his wand at Louise's head
"Kill him!" said Louise
"Even breathe, and she's dead." said Omeggadon
"Let her go Omeggadon, we're warning you." said Kirche
"Louise..." said Henrietta
"Henrietta, if you love me, you'll send this crazy bastard straight to the underworld!" said Louise
At the moment, Eléonore, though still wounded, jumped on Omeggadon out of nowhere and threw him off Louise. In the confusion, Agnès killed Omeggadon with a sword to the heart, and Tiffania put Dragnon in a deep sleep with one of her spells, and then healed Eléonore with an elf powder from a bag she had with her.
As Siesta and Henrietta went to Louise's side to see if she was OK, Saito and Giuche walked in the door.
"What did we miss?" Saito asked seeing the strange scene
"A LOT!" Louise yelled in frustration
"How do you feel?" Kirche asked
"Suzuka's tired of waiting." Louise said, with a note of pain as she spoke
Understanding that she was about to give birth at last, Saito picked Louise up in his arms and carried her to the bedroom, with everyone at his heels, just as Cattleya came around.
"Don't tell me." said Cattleya as Saito put Louise on the bed. Siesta then lifted Louise's gown so that she and Eléonore could see the progress.
"The head is emerging." said Siesta
"Is it?" said Louise
"Siesta, when the head appears fully, wrap your hands around it, and pull very gently." Eléonore instructed
"Got it." said Siesta
"Louise, when I say so, I want you to push down, hard." Eléonore instructed
"Yes you can." said Saito as he grabbed Louise's right hand "Suzuka worked so hard to give us a better future. The least you and I can do, is return the favor by giving her a life." Louise nodded
"Eléonore, I'm sorry your husband turned out to be what he is." said Louise
"Oh, don't worry about that, I wasn't that crazy about him, really." said Eléonore "Ready? 1, 2, 3, push."
With Saito holding her hand all the way, Louise did as she was told, and with support and encouragement from everyone around her. The minutes painfully rolled by, and Louise repeated the process several times, until finally....
"Beautiful Louise. Well done." said Eléonore as Siesta proceeded to gently wipe the newborn Suzuka clean, allowing Louise to lay back in her bed, tired, but no longer in pain.
"It's a girl!" said Siesta. upon seeing this wasn't funny she continued "Everyone, meet baby Suzuka Henrietta li Bala de vi Hiraga." she then wrapped Suzuka in a blanket, and cut the cord
"You did wonderful." said Kirche, as Siesta passed baby Suzuka, wrapped in a blanket, to Saito
"So this is baby Suzuka." said Guiche
"She's adorable." said Montmorency and Tiffania in sync
"She looks just like the teenage version we knew several months ago." said Henrietta
"Pretty girl." said Tabitha
"This is our baby girl." said Saito, showing Suzuka, who was beginning to cry, to Louise
"She's beautiful." said Louise, she then sat up properly, and Saito handed Suzuka to her "She really does have your eyes." said Louise, who's own eyes were filling with tears of joy
"But she looks just like you." said Cattleya
"And she's perfectly healthy. Mom and dad will be proud." said Eléonore
"Maybe I should take Colbert's advice, and find a love of my own." said Agnès. everyone laughed at this comment
"Louise." said Kirche "I didn't admit it before, but I was nervous, maybe a little scared, about becoming a mother myself. But seeing you here, you've given me new courage. I'm going to give birth to a healthy child as well."
"As am I." said Montmorency "I'll give birth, and maybe Suzuka and my child will be the best of friends."
"Maybe a love interest as well, if it's a boy." Siesta said with knowledge of what she foresaw. Everyone gave her a questioning look, but Siesta said no more.
The night ended with the disposal of Omeggadons body, and the incarceration of Dragnon. When he woke up, Eléonore ended her engagement with Dragnon, who was then sentenced to life in the palace dungeons for what he did.
The following day, Saito and Louise officially began their new life as parents. As the years went by, they watched Suzuka grow and change, developing into her own person as they taught her everything they knew, but they decided it was unnecessary to tell her of what happened before she was born. Before they knew it, Suzuka was 16 years old, and a second year at the Tristain Magic Academy.