**A/N: This is just a bonus for my lovely readers. It’s not exactly “plot-i-full”, but it’s a slice-o-life you guys might enjoy. Ok, I totally admit it – I’m having a blast distorting Sookie’s pregnancy symptoms and issues beyond all reasonable insanity…but – this might help explain some of the underlying (or not) reasoning. Enjoy!**
“Dr. Ludwig, I’m so glad to see you,” Sookie announced gratefully when Edna led the visiting doctor into the den for the scheduled appointment.
A glance at the clock on the fireplace mantel proved she’d arrived a little earlier than usual and Sookie hoped that meant she’d have time to ask some non-emergency questions. Now that all the former… unpleasantness was over, Sookie felt more comfortable around her and, as she burped, wanted to take the onions by the horns as it were and get some freakin’ answers.
Also, she was just glad she could see that doctor in the comfort and convenience of her own home. Her interactions with gruff, snarky, and vaguely rude Dr. Ludwig were by far preferable to what she’d endured before…
Within several days of moving so suddenly into the newly-purchased home, somehow either Eric or Sevrin’s contacts (she was never sure which) had or found a source familiar enough with the area to recommend a local supe doctor with OB/GYN experience. At this point no one quite trusted Dr. Ludwig but gestating fairy hybrids of as-yet-unborn dae-babies needed medical supervision regardless.
So, after being vetted by both vampires – there were no complaints or investigations throughout his 10 years in apparently successful practice – an appointment with “the new doctor” had soon been made.
Things…had not gone well.
First strike: the not-so-subtly anti-vampire doctor hadn’t wanted to schedule her appointment for after dark.
That had been understandably non-negotiable from her end and while the doctor had eventually acquiesced, it had been with ill grace.
She, along with Eric, Willa, Sevrin, and several Weres whose mental signatures had seemed vaguely familiar, had arrived in good time for the appointment. Sevrin and a reluctant Willa were to stand guard outside the examination room door but it was understood that Eric would be in the room with her, right?
Not in that idiot doctor’s soon-collapsing world.
Second strike: the doctor, lacking in large doses of common sense, had wanted to bar “that deader” from the exam room.
Needless to say, that hadn’t worked either.
Her Eric wasn’t a “three strike” type of guy. Two strikes indicated enough of a trend, thank-you-very-much.
Word had it that the doctor was the rare first-born Shifter who couldn’t shift and so had gone to med school so he could be helpful to his Pack in other ways.
Word also had it that the doctor was no longer in business, that he had, in fact, decided to close up shop and, erm, go on an extended vacation.
Sookie didn’t listen to discover if there were any other…words.
Whatever. It’s what he deserved for, among other things, talking to boobs (hers and Willa’s) rather than faces (anyone’s).
Sookie had a forgiveness streak a mile long. Sadly, it wasn’t nearly as “wide” as it might have been once upon a time. After dealing with the likes of Bill, Sophie-Anne, Hadley, Steve, most of the denizens of Bon freakin’ Temps…she’d learned the hard way that actions truly did speak louder than words
Forgiveness was nice but nice didn’t always suffice. It didn’t pay the bills, set the broken bones, and it sure as hell didn’t give the wronged their life back.
Little asshole two-bit bigoted doctors could go eff themselves repeatedly.
Thankfully it hadn’t been too long afterward that her guys had been able to prove Dr. Ludwig’s innocence.
Speaking of, her preferred doctor could have easily popped into the house and landed in whichever room her patient happened to be in (the “hows” of it all being a totally mystery), and she would do so in the event of an emergency, but had transported herself to the house’s front door. Sookie took it as the sign of courtesy it was intended to be and responded in kind.
“Marlene, child, you know that,” the doctor gruffly reminded her patient as she hefted her heavy medical bag onto the couch near the pregnant hybrid and placed a large bag of the nourishing dry mix on the floor. Sookie was up to three and sometimes four containers a day now and it was simpler to just show her…and all her handy little helpers…how to mix it up at home. Saved the hell out of jars…
“No, thankfully none, but I do have some questions if you can spare a few minutes this time around.”
Marlene glanced at the overly large face of her wristwatch and shrugged. “I can make time. Let’s get on with the check-up then we’ll see how much.”
Under the rapt eye of two demons, a Were, and a vampire – Marlene wondered how long it’d be before pandas, Britlingens, and elves found their way into Sookie’s sphere – she checked her patient’s vitals, licked her palm, glared at her ankles, listened to her extended belly with and without a stethoscope…poked, prodded, counted, and sniffed…
Then, after all the physical tests and minus one vampire after displaying the necessary equipment, the doctor took her usual three small vials of blood. She tested their contents in the scaled-down temporary “lab” she’d set up on the den coffee table by adding a drop from each of three different colorful containers to its own vial of Sookie’s blood.
Sookie had asked about the tests the first time Marlene had performed them but had promptly forgotten what the resulting blood colors would indicate. She blamed her bladder…seemed only right…
Once the blood tests were complete, as usual the doctor gave the now-contaminated blood vials to Gladiola for dae-incineration.
Apparently whatever she added to the vials during the testing now rendered the contents vile to vampires. Since no one wanted even corrupt blood from a gestating fairy-hybrid wandering around, incineration was deemed (by Eric, mainly, and he had been stoically grateful to Gladiola for offering to permanently dispose of them “her” way – she’d gotten the “official head nod” and everything) the best way to dispose of the contents.
Marlene, again as usual, declared Sookie and her baby-to-be in disgustingly perfect health.
“Now, you said you have questions.” The doctor stated after having hopped up onto the couch near her patient and accepted a steaming cup of green tea. She gave the air of determined patience.
Her grumpiness was not an act but once in a blue moon she’d try to give it a rest. After the ado concerning her sisters, her bedside manner had improved…if only minutely.
She’d been floored by the news about her sisters. Carlene she could understand, well, after a bit of thought at least. She’d always been ardently focused on helping further the ease of creating new life. It was a given that, when she was in the middle of research, an eagle could take up residence in her nest of hair, lay half a dozen eggs, raise the resulting chicks to adulthood, and she’d never notice. It had made pranking her gloomy ass a breeze when they were small.
After eagerly grumbling whatever information she could, Carlene had said her truly and deeply meant sorries and gotten promptly back to work…at a different facility…in a different country.
Darlene…that was not a name Marlene ever wanted to hear again. That one was now dead to her.
“I was wondering… Now, I’ve read a lot of books and a lot of things on-line and everything says pregnant women may crave strange foods, but honestly, my cravings are out of control! They make no sense, I mean, I know I’m supposed to be wanting some weird food combinations, but this…this is insane!”
The nauseated expressions on the dae, vampire, and Were faces sitting around the den indicated strong agreement. And if a food combination could make the Flowers look like that…
“What the hell have you been eating, girlie?”
Between the hybrid, the Were, the two demons, and the vampire, she heard the most outrageous, the most vile… list of food combinations she’d ever heard in her life.
No fucking wonder the hybrid was concerned. And rightly so!
Her poor gut…would explain why she smelled vaguely like a mutated grocery store Dumpster.
“Well…,” she hedged for a moment as her mind raced. “Ok, I can tell you that the cravings for onions, parsnips, turnips, hot sauces of all kinds, smoked meats, and BBQ are because of the baby-dae. That kind of thing is normal for gestating dae just like wanting hot spices is, so don’t worry about that. Just don’t start licking burnt charcoal bricks and you’ll be fine.”
Marlene shook her head. Poor thing…of course she’s miserable…
“Now, the weird combinations could easily be from both your human side and the compound genetics in your body. It’s normal for human women to want to pair opposing flavors, especially bitter and sour with sweet. And, anything sweet you crave could be from your fairy side. Fairies have a notorious sweet tooth. I’ve seen hybrids in the past stick a straw down in a box of corn starch to “sip on” during the day just for the carbs.” She shook her head at the memory. Honey would have made far better sense but never expect common sense from a fucking fairy. “Anyway, when you’re wanting sweet and sour or sweet and savory, that’s because the sum total of you is human, fairy, and dae. No worries. Eat what you want, your tastes won’t steer you too wrong. Just keep the heartburn tablets handy and keep with the mix. Next question?”
Sookie appeared to be greatly relieved by the doctor’s answer. Her friends…not so much.
At least her weird food combos were normal-ish, though, right?
“How am I not gaining a ton of weight? I eat all the freakin’ time but other than this,” she patted her baby-belly, “I’m not really gaining much anywhere else.”
“That baby is sucking up all the energy she can, so between the baby and your fairy side which always uses more energy than your human side would, you won’t gain. Enjoy it while it lasts. Anything else?”
After exchanging surprised glances with her friends, Sookie nodded.
“Well, yeah…there is something else.”
She closed her eyes and a look of pure frustration crossed her face for a long, long moment. It was almost as if she were contemplating her ankles.
Her hands reacted accordingly.
When she opened her eyes and looked at the doctor, she wondered why the doctor didn’t seem concerned.
Apparently that caused more frustration and her hands grew even brighter as she waved them in a “see, look” gesture.
Marlene got the point.
“Oh. Increased purposeful and accidental magics. Very common in fairy pregnancies, I’m told. Can’t think how it would be a problem for those closest to you since it wouldn’t affect them much if at all…would suck to be your enemy just now, though. Good defense.”
Because Diantha and Gladiola were in the room, their horns had sprouted during the light show.
Sookie calmly gestured to their change in appearance.
“Oh…my. Well…ok,” Marlene verbally stumbled. “Nice horns, ladies. Well developed, good sharp points…maybe a little herndon aggregate oil in the mornings for strength and luster… Ok, so…yeah, that must be… Yes, an ingrained automatic defense, probably of you and the baby…makes sense.”
She exhaled heavily. Couldn’t nothing be normal around this poor girl? Dae defenders…eh, knowing her she’ll need’em.
“Ok, the horns are natural for demons. Their innate magic knows to keep them hidden in this realm and it’s not a problem. But I’m guessing…when you make with the light hands, it triggers their protective instincts which would override their magic’s habit of masking…so the horns make their howdy-dos. Not a problem here in the house or around their own kind, but…hmm…”
She rumbled around in her bag for a minute then cursed softly.
“I have a potion of sorts…not with me since I treat so few demons. I’ll pop it by later for the girls to drink. Should help buffer them from the side effects. I’ll bring the oil, too, if I have any since it’s not available in this realm. Next problem?”
“A…a potion? It’s as easy to fix as that?”
“Humans have medicines, demons have potions, and yes, it is.”
“But what if I hurt someone with…” she waved her still-glowing hands around.
“Then they deserve to be hurt. That, little girl, is just Fairy Self Defense 101. Fairies aren’t the nicest tools in the species box but one thing they know is how to defend themselves. You have the spark but it’s not obnoxiously strong because of the hybrid status.” She punctuated her statement with a strong nod then finished her tea.
“If I had to guess, I’d say that little girl’s genetics are helping to align that spark with her own demon magic so you might have more powers pop up. They’ll most likely be self-defensive in nature, but they won’t hurt anything that’s not trying to hurt you. Have you had anything else show up?”
Sookie nodded. “I popped to Eric once but that’s it other than my hands. I didn’t want to try to do it again in case I hurt her,” she rubbed her belly.
“You can’t hurt your unborn child with naturally occurring magic no matter its origin, but since you had doubts you were smart not to try. But as your doctor I can officially tell you to stuff those doubts. Embrace your fancy light hands, practice with them and with anything else that pops up,” she ordered with a snicker at her own word play. “You will likely keep that sweet little gift and any others you develop before and after you whelp.”
Sookie contemplated her hands for a moment then smiled rather smugly.
“Huh…cool! Ok, then, what about my ankles?”
“What about them?”
“They’re huge! They go down after I’ve stretched out in bed for hours, but the next thing I know they’re all puffed up again.”
“You’re pregnant. It happens.”
Sookie looked doubtful…and a little heartbroken.
Marlene relented with a roll of her eyes.
“Your heart and lungs and various other body parts are all in fine working condition so there’s nothing to worry about. Now for some good news,” Marlene continued, obviously considering the Problem of the Ankles from Hell solved, “I know how long fairies, demons, and even humans gestate, but the actual amount of time for you since you’re not only a hybrid but a hybrid carrying a dae-baby, is a guess at best. Given how far along you and your baby are at this point, I would guess you have around a month left, but again, keep in mind that this is a guess. You could pop tonight or it might be another month and a half, but given her size and magical signature, I’m guessing you only have another month to bake.”
The doctor snickered, albeit rather cruelly to Sookie’s tender ears.
“You’re unique so there aren’t any real guidelines. Let me know when your water breaks and then we’ll know you’re done. Don’t worry; I’ll pop in for the party.”
Marlene glanced around at the listeners and tried not to roll her eyes at their shock.
What, did they think Sookie was an elephant?
Sookie shook her head a bit dazedly but didn’t have any other questions…just then.
“The potion will appear on that table tonight. I’m outies.”
The doctor grabbed her bag and popped away.
Stunned silence descended upon the room until Sookie said somewhat fretfully, “A month? Maybe less? But…but I’m not ready…” then promptly started crying.
Willa, Edna, Diantha, and Gladiola all exchanged a patiently understanding if exasperated look.
It was going to be a long night.
**A/N: So…what’d ja think?**