Chapter Sixty Three: Labor Pains

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You sit on your bed making a grocery list for the next week. Tom walks out of the study and sits cross legged on the bed next to you, not saying a word. He nervously traces a pattern on the bed. You continue what you're doing, waiting for him to speak.

"Darling," he says after a moment.

"Hm?" you hum, not bothering to look up.

"Did being in labor hurt?"

"Tom, you were there for the birth of both of our children. I really don't think I need to answer that question."

He sighs and runs his hand through his hair. "I was hoping you were being over dramatic."

You slowly look up from the grocery list and raise your eyebrows. "Because I love you," you start slowly, "and because I want our children to grow up with both parents, I'm going to pretend I didn't hear that."

He looks at you, his eyes wide as he slowly scoots a few inches away from you. "Right."

"Why are you asking anyway?"

 "Charity," he mutters.

"Um, care to elaborate?"

Tom drops his head into his hands. "The male cast of The Avengers has just signed up to get hooked up to labor pain simulators for charity," he groans.

You laugh. Hard. You fall backwards onto the bed and clutch your stomach as you roll around, unable to control yourself. Tom seems offended by your actions and crosses his arms in front his chest.

"I'm sorry, Tom," you breathe after a long minute of laughter. "I just," you start to giggle again, "would love to see," you nearly can't get the last word out, "that!"

"I'm so happy for your support, darling."

You sit up on the bed and take his face into your hands. "I'm sorry, dear. I think it's great that you're doing this for charity."

He gives you a small smile before leaning in and kissing you. "Thanks, darling."

---

The event is occurring in New York City, and you are more than excited to visit the Big Apple. Of course, being in America, you made sure to take a trip to Iowa to visit your parents. While planning the details of your trip, your parents had offered to let the kids stay with them while you and Tom are in the city. Of course you said yes. You and Tom hadn't had much time to yourselves since Eleanor was born and this would be the perfect opportunity.

You and Tom rent a car to drive from the city to the farm. After a few hours in the car, you finally pull into the driveway and park. You watch as the front door bursts open and your mom rushes out to greet you. Except, she doesn't greet you. Not like you were hoping, anyway. Before you can even say hello, your mother has the back door open and is unbuckling William from his car seat.

"Hello, William!" she says excitedly.

"Hi, Gamma!" your son sings.

Your mom cuddles him close to her as you and Tom get out of the vehicle.

"Hi, Mom," you say, almost rolling your eyes at her.

"Oh, hello, dear!" She wraps her free arm around you. "Hi, Thomas!"

"Hello!" Tom grins, taking Eleanor's seat out of the back.

"Where's my little girl?" your dad says, barrelling out the door and down the steps toward you. He envelopes you in a tight embrace.

"Hey, Dad."

"How've you been, kiddo?"

"We've been good. Really good."

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