This day, and never again after that.
“–SIO!!” Fuck, this couldn’t be happening, it just wasn’t real–
–how could she have been so careless–
Groaning, the sniper tried to sit up, to somehow drag herself out of the rampaging Objects’ path–but the moment she stirred, there was a stabbing sensation in her stomach and instinctively she knew the baby was in danger. “D-damn it…no, please, don’t…ugh–”
"Sio! Sio!” She heard a grunt and then someone was carrying her off to the side, she herself in too much pain to even open her eyes until a wet droplet landed on her cheek–
“–A-Adam? You’re injured!” That was the understatement of the century; blood coated the shredded remains of his armor, and a jagged cut was bleeding profusely under his bangs. He was beyond exhaustion at this point, and yet somehow he still had the strength to move.
“I told you not t'come down! Why did you…” Setting her down out of the way behind Gandhi who, despite his own wounds, was still managing to put up a defense. “Nevermind that–I’ve got to go back up Newton; Gandhi, you keep an’ eye on her!” Without another word he forced the blade out, though she could see that its edges were no longer razor-sharp; his lack of energy meaning that its jagged gaps would remain.
“N-no, Adam…you’ll get killed out there…unh!” The defender cast a worried glance in her direction at her cries, though she tried her best not to.
“Sio-chan! Are you okay? I’m calling for a med team right now, you need to be evacuated back to the base!” Hunter had radioed back saying he was headed down immediately, ETA less than a minute, but that was still a minute.
“Ooh…no, please, not now…” Her head was swimming as she felt a wave of pain overtake her, and a trickle of fluid seeping out… ‘Oh no…this baby…isn’t going to wait…please, please just hang in there a little more…’
As if being pregnant and injured wasn’t bad enough, it seemed the baby had decided to chose now to come out, despite being a full three months early; yet with the shock her body had taken at this point, it was miracle they would both make it, if at all. “G-Gandhi! Where, where’s–agh!” Damn, there was no mistaking this familiar pain; her contractions were starting, whether or not she was ready.
“Sio-chan! Shit, where’s Hunter when you need him…” Moving back slightly, he managed to help her into a more comfortable position, but there was little he could do aside from forming a protective circle around them; though with the rate the Objects were ramming into it, multiple cracks were already appearing. “Damn…at this rate, I won’t be able to…”
“Hang on, th’ calvary’s arriving!” The anatomist finally arrived in a spectacular fashion, spearing whatever creatures were still clinging to the outer edges of the shield. Gone were the days where he could remain comfortably in his lab–with the odds so overwhelmingly against them, even support holders had to learn combat skills. “Gandhi, Nobunagun, wha’s the situation?” One look at the woman on her back however, breathless with pain and blood seeping between her legs, and his stomach dropped. “Oh shite, you’ve got to be bloody joking–”
“Hunter? Where th’ fuck you’ve been?!” Jack’s voice cut back into the radio, the squeals from multiple EIOs still in the background. “Sio! What’s goin’ on?!”
“Oy, tha’s what you say to th’ man who’s gonna deliver yur bairn,” a muttered curse, before turning his attention back to her.
“Deliver?!” The sniper blinked hard, surely Hunter couldn’t have been serious about her actually giving birth right here, right now–“oh crap, a-are we, but how–”
The Scotsman’s expression was serious, but there was a determined glint in his eyes. “T’be honest, I’ve got no bloody clue; but we cannae just leave you like this–your contractions, they’ve started, haven’t they?” Already his AU weapon was materialized, the tubes and syringes formulating whatever painkillers and boosters he was going to need if both the mother and child were to survive.
“Hunter! You can’t be serious! She can’t–evacuate her back!”
“We dinnae have time for that ya bampot, else what, you think I haven’t already considered that option?!” They were in the middle of a battlefield, barriers already crumbling at certain points, and still the Ripper had the gall to direct him in what he thought was the best course of action? “Either we deliver the child right now, or I cannae guarantee either ones’ survival.”
“…You fuck this up, and I will personally kill you…”
“Duly noted…” the anatomist muttered back dryly, though in all seriousness, there was about a million things that could go wrong. “Oy, Gandhi, can ye move a wee bit closer? I’m gonna need your help with this…” Popping out a syringe, he emptied the painkiller into her bloodstream–though without the proper equipment, he could only pray that it would be enough. “Pardon me, Miss Nobunagun…” He deftly cut away the suit, her rounded belly exposed through the silicon and metal.
“Uh, Hunter, you’re not actually going to…cut her open, are you?” Gandhi paled slightly at the thought. Despite being more inured to blood and gore than he had been in their earlier years, the thought of having to be a surgeon’s assistant and maintaining his AU weapon at the same time… He choked down a nervous whine.
“Believe me, ’f we dinnea hafta, I wouldna; but what wit’ the damage her body’s taken, I’m afraid the strain would be too much…’specially without any hospital equipment…” He was already sterilizing the surrounding area, those scalpels and scissors that sprouted from his arms looking more menacing than they really were. “Hang tight Nobunagun, I promise we’ll get ye two through this.” Praying fervently to a god he usually didn’t acknowledge, Hunter steeled himself and made the initial incisions.
“Hnnn–!” Although he’d emptied nearly twice the usual dosage of painkillers into her, it still hurt. Like ice did the razor-sharp edge cut through her, the blood being wiped up by an unusually sallow-looking Gandhi. “Oh god, Hunter–!”
“–Hang on, jus’ hang on ’right? Ye can do it, c’mon!” A blast from a landmine-class Object nearly knocked his hand in the wrong direction, but he merely grit his teeth and continued focusing on the task at hand. “Bloody hell, they jus’ keep comin’, those bastarts!” But they were close, almost there, just a little more–
“–Uuhnnn! No, it hurts, it hurts–!!” If she weren’t so exhausted already she’d be screaming, but even still she was sobbing, the pain was excruciating. “Adam!”
“Jack! Don’t get careless!” Newton’s desperate plea, but it was useless; already falling on deaf ears as the Ripper, more dead than alive at this point, turned heel and started plowing back towards the direction of the pod. Her screams…he had already been driven to the edge by her impulsive charge down the mountainside, and now this–her desperate cries completely driving what logic that remained out, replaced by nothing but base instinct. To protect what was his–
“GET OUT OF MY FUCKIN’ WAY–!” No matter how injured he was, or how much Galileo’s warnings squeaked through the mic…none of that mattered anymore. Blood seeped into his eyes, causing his vision to be filtered with a crimson haze, but strangely he didn’t need to see–each swing connected with the hard shell or soft underbelly of those wretched creatures as he carved a swath through their army.
“You’re doing great Sio-chan, just a little more, I promise!” Gandhi, letting her crush his hand while wiping her brow with a wet towel as she cried pitifully, trying to remain calm although even he knew that her status was not good. No matter how advanced Hunter’s AU weapon was, it didn’t replace the fact that she’d been heavily injured and already in a vulnerable state, before even going into labor. “Hunter, how much longer–”
“–Aaahh, and we’ve got ourselves a bairn! She’s a wee lassie she is, but dinnae ye worry Nobunagun, she’ll be jus’ fine. After all, she’s jus’ as stubborn and strong as her parents.” A triumphant shout from the make-shift surgeon, before a tiny little wail pierced the air.
“Oh, oh…” Suddenly it didn’t matter that she was entirely drained of her energy, or was covered in blood and still bleeding, because this little girl, even all messy and bloody, “she’s beautiful…” With shaking arms, Sio managed to hold her tiny newborn, who immediately stopped crying and squinted her eyes open for the first time.
“Wow, looks like she got your eyes, Sio-chan.” Even Gandhi had to crack a smile, for a successful delivery out here, in the middle of a raging battle…it was nothing short of a miracle.
“Shite, I cannae believe I jus’ did that. Ye did great, Sio, ye both did.” Still, there was no time for celebrating now–he was already closing her up as fast as he could, but as he tightened the bandages, the amount of blood that seeped through caused him to furrow his brows. “C’mon, the medic team’s on its way, we’ve got to get outta here–oy!”
“Fuck, I knew it–she’s lost too much blood–OY! Where the bloody hell are you?!” Cursing at the helicopter, which could be heard and seen whirring in the distance, he immediately emptied another hypo into her. “Oh no, no no no, we are not losing you, not after all this–!”
Why were they all shouting…after all, her baby was safe, and hey, the pain was fading away…actually, everything was kind of fading away, so why were they so… A few more shouts, before a new voice, rougher than the two before, sliced through the air–
“–Sio! Sio!! Don’t you dare die on us! You can’t–I won’t let it happen!”
Huh? That voice…it was the voice of someone who knew her very well…someone who knew her the best… Mmm…she’d figure it out, just, she was so tired now, she wanted to close her eyes for just a little bit–
“–oh no you don’t, c’mon Sio, please, don’t–don’t go–!” That voice, it was pleading, begging… Summoning everything she had left, the only thing she could make out in her vision was a blur of red and blood-stained white, but oh–
‘Oh. My. God. I just realized, you have some very green eyes!’
‘Yeh? They’re green…what of it?’
‘I think your eyes are very pretty…like a jewel, or something…’
“Y-your eyes…they’re so…green…like, jewels…” Like an emerald, they glittered very brightly, beautiful against the blood-red backdrop. Something wet landed on her cheek, but she was too tired to notice. If only she could reach up and touch them…
The last thing Sio saw were those beautiful emeralds.