A Topsy-Turvy World Ch. 09bylostangelkira©
Another two months have passed and Tanya was huge, needing help to do pretty much everything. Malcolm didn't mind in the least, even when it took him away from his work. But in spite of all the precautions they were taking, he still worried about her a lot. There were nights he had trouble sleeping and it didn't have to do with moving into one of the guest rooms because she was so big. He's had to wait until she's fast asleep, then go back to their room and hang upside down from the bar in the ceiling just to get to sleep for a few hours. Then he'd get up and make breakfast, get her up and once they were done, head off to the shop. Both were clearly anxious for the children to be born, especially since they had one month to go.
"Have a good day," Malcolm told his customer as he handed them the receipt. "Your furniture will be delivered this afternoon."
"You too," the customer replied, leaving the store.
Just as he was about to head back into the workshop, the phone rang.
"Donniko Custom Furniture," he said. "This is Malcolm. How may I help you?"
"Hi, sweetie," Tanya replied. "Are we still on for lunch today?"
"Absolutely," he told her, a smile on his face. "I just need to get an order ready for delivery and Dana to watch the front and we'll go."
"See you in a few minutes then," she said. "Love you."
"Love you too," he told her, hanging up.
He went into the very back of the building, to storage. When he got to where the pieces he needed were stored to find them gone, he sighed heavily. Going back the way he came, he went into the workshop to find one of his apprentices, Dana, getting the cribs he'd made ready to send to his place.
"Where are Nick and Alex?" Malcolm asked.
"They're boxing the order that last customer just ordered," she answered. "While you were ringing them up, Nick copied the receipt and they got everything from storage so you didn't have to. And they'll take these and drop them off before they deliver the other order."
"Wow," Malcolm said, a little surprised. "Thanks."
"Don't mention it, sir," Dana said. "Have a good lunch and give Tanya my best, ok?"
"Sure thing," he told her. "Just watch the front of the shop."
Heading out the front, he went around the side to the stairs. He took the steps two at a time and went through the door.
"How's my beautiful wife?" he asked, stepping into the living room. His stomach tightened into knots when he saw the living room was trashed.
"Malcolm!" he heard Tanya scream. "Help! Someone's trying to kill me!"
"Shut up, whore!" a male voice shouted, followed by a thump. Malcolm rushed into the hall.
A man dressed in black was trying to tear the bedroom door down. Malcolm jumped the man and tore him away from the door, putting himself in between the intruder and the door. The man got up, pulling out a knife.
"You won't get past me," Malcolm growled, the hair on the back of his neck on end, ears flat, arms out and wings stretched. "I'll die before I allow you to lay a hand on my wife."
"Fine by me!" the man shouted, lunging at him.
Malcolm jumped as the man dove for him, grabbing his shoulders with his clawed feet. He flapped once, gaining a little height, then dropped, bringing him down to the floor. The intruder bit him on the leg, making him let go. The guy managed to get to his feet, but Malcolm bear hugged him from behind, dragging him to the front door. The guy kept thrashing, throwing his weight into Malcolm, making him slam into the walls, trying to make him let go.
Malcolm's grip stayed tight. They stumbled out the front door and fell down the stairs, both of them getting clonked pretty good, but nothing serious. Malcolm tossed him out in front of the store and sat on his chest, holding him down. Dana looked out at him, a look of shock on his face.
"Call the cops!" he yelled to her, punching the guy in the face and bearing down on him.
Nick and Alex ran out a minute later, helping him to hold him down. Dana came out as well.
"I called the police," she told him. "They'll be here any minute."
"Check on Tanya," he grunted, tightening his thighs around the man's sides.
A couple minutes later, the police showed up and took over, handcuffing the man.
"There'll be others, you freak!" the man shouted as they loaded him into the back. "The child that whore is carrying is an abomination! It's against nature and must be destroyed!"
Malcolm managed to answer the police officer's questions and report what had happened, but he was shaking all over, worried sick about Tanya. When he was done and the charges were filed, he ran upstairs and to the bedroom. Dana was just coming out as he came down the hall.
"Is she ok?" he asked.
"She's just fine," Dana told him, putting a hand on his bicep. "She's got a black eye from where that guy hit her and a scratch on her arm, but she's fine. They're ok."
"I need you and the guys to run the shop for me for a while, ok?" he asked her. "I'm taking Tanya to the morph hospital. She'll be safe there."
"We've got you covered, boss," she told him, hugging him before leaving.
He went into the bedroom. Tanya was sitting on the edge of the bed, shaken up, but fine. She looked up at him and broke down crying. He went to her side and held her, crying a little himself.
"What are we going to do?" she asked him. "How did he even find out about us?"
"We'll worry about the how later," he told her, getting her on her feet and walking her out. "What we're going to do is get you out to the morph hospital. It's got air-tight security. We'll be safe there."
Once they got down the stairs, he sat her down inside the shop with Nick and Dana and called his brother.
"Benetti, DeSoto and Yates Law Offices, Nathan Donniko speaking," his brother said in a monotone voice.
"Hi, it's Malcolm," he answered.
"Hey, Mac. Listen, I've got a lot of paperwork to file and I'm due in court in a few hours so you need to make this quick. What's up?"
"I need your help," Malcolm said, his voice a little shaky. "Tanya just got attacked. It was an attempted murder."
"Is she ok?" his brother asked, his tone serious and focused.
"Yes and the children are fine," he told him. "It isn't safe here or at home right now. I need to get her to the morph hospital and I need you to help me protect her until we get there."
"Give me twenty minutes and I'll meet you at your place," he said, hanging up.
Once the phone was back on its cradle, Nathan closed up the files he was working on and ran out of his office to his boss's.
"Hi, Nathan," Andrew said, getting up from his desk. When he got a good look at him, his smile faded. "What's wrong?"
"You remember my brother, Malcolm, and his wife?"
"Yes. Wonderful people."
"Tanya just got attacked. They were trying to kill her and their unborn children," Nathan said. "I need to leave to help escort them out to St. Josephine's immediately."
"Go," Andrew said. "And have Jason, Sam and Anthony go with you. I'll make a few calls to some friends and see what I can do to help."
"Thanks, sir," Nathan said, turning around and rushing out of the office.
Right after Nathan hung up, Malcolm called Max, Bruce, Troy and Donald, asking them the same thing. None of them hesitated in saying yes. Once he finished making calls, Nick helped him get Tanya to the car and inside it, then out of the car when they got to their building. When they got into the apartment, Malcolm shut the elevator down. He helped Tanya sit on the couch and made her a cup of tea. Five minutes later, someone buzzed him. Malcolm went over to the front door and pressed the intercom button.
"Who is it?" he asked.
"Bruce," a deep voice replied.
"One second," he said, opening the front door and restarting the elevator.
A minute later, the elevator came back up with Bruce and Jeff inside. Over the next fifteen minutes, the others showed up, the last being Nathan and three other big morphs. He introduced them as Jason, Sam and Anthony. Jason was a burly grizzly bear morph, Sam was a wolf and Anthony was a lion. All of them looked like they could tear a car apart, easy. Once they were all there, Jeff stood at the center of the room, looking at Malcolm.
"So, what's the plan?" he asked. "How are we going to get to this hospital?"
"It wouldn't be a good idea to caravan out there," Donald said. "Judging by what Tanya's attacker said when they carted him off, it's a safe bet there are more people who know about her and want her dead. A caravan of cars would draw attention to us."
A cell phone rang, Nathan answered it.
"Call 452-7905," he said, hanging up. A second later, the phone rang. Nathan answered it, put it on speaker phone and replaced the receiver. "Go ahead Mr. Benetti."
"The fastest way to get to St. Josephine's is to take the subway. One of the trains goes directly to New Maddox and the station is right beside the hospital. Should take a half-hour, forty-five minutes to get there and the crowd should make it harder for anyone to find you. Tell me how many people are with you and I'll call ahead for the tickets."
"Eleven," Nathan answered after counting heads.
"Got it," his boss replied. "It'll be the E train, Platform 5."
"Thanks for the help, Mr. Benetti," Nathan said, hanging up.
"Let's get going," Malcolm said, helping Tanya up. "There's a subway platform at the end of the block."
When they exited the building, there was a wheelchair waiting.
"Tanya needs to stay off her feet," Troy said, helping her in it. "I brought it."
"Thank you," she sighed. "I'm glad to be off my feet."
The group walked down the sidewalk, doing everything they could to be inconspicuous. When they reached the stairs going down to the platform, Jason and Sam picked up Tanya and carried her down, Malcolm grabbing the chair. At the bottom, they got her back into the wheelchair.
"Talk about lucky," Max said. "We're on Platform 5. The E train is at the end."
At the ticket booth, Malcolm gave his name and they were let through, tickets handed to them as they went by. As they approached the train, shouting and screaming could be heard behind and beside them.
"Shit!" Jeff cried, "We got trouble coming our way!"
"Run!" Max said, tackling a man as he drew a gun. "We'll hold them off!"
Malcolm, Troy, Donald and Nathan ran for the train. Letting Troy take Tanya, Malcolm looked behind them as an earsplitting roar echoed from behind them. The males Nathan had brought with him and Bruce were in a vicious fight with nearly a dozen men and women.
"Die, hellspawn!" a woman screeched, coming at Tanya from the front, holding a knife over her head.
Malcolm screeched in rage, jumping up and taking flight to tackle the woman. Her knife skidded across the tile floor, now harmless. He wrestled her, finally bodily picking her up and stuffing her into a phone booth, jamming the door shut. Malcolm turned to see Troy had gotten Tanya onto the train, Donald and Nathan right behind him. As he started for the train, it started moving. He sprinted for it. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw another guy heading for him, looking ready to kill. Malcolm dived for the train, sliding in just as the door closed and they shot off down the tunnel.
"That was way too close," he panted, getting to his feet and standing next to Tanya.
"Are you ok, dear?" he asked, concerned.
"Just fine despite the circumstances," she told him, her hands holding her belly. "Guess they're getting worked up from all the excitement. They haven't stopped kicking since we left the shop."
Malcolm kneeled beside her, placing a hand over one of hers and kissing her tenderly. People stared at them, the train quiet. Thankfully, none of them tried to attack them. Tanya's stomach growled loudly, making her blush with embarrassment. Feeling someone poke him in the side, Malcolm turned around to see a guy, holding out a shrink-wrapped sandwich. Ham.
"Thank you," he said to the man. "It's been a rough day."
"I could see that," the guy said. "Why were those people after you guys anyway?"
"They...they were trying to kill my wife and unborn children," Malcolm finally said after giving Tanya the sandwich, his hand moving across her belly, feeling a kick or two. "She's got a month left. Our children will be the first morphs born instead of changing like the rest of us did. And there are people that want to keep us morphs from having children, hoping to wipe us out."
"That's terrible," a woman a little ways down the car remarked, looking shocked. "You're different, so what? People need to pull their heads out of their asses and stop being speciesist."
Ten minutes had passed when all of a sudden, Tanya gasped loudly, leaning forward a little. "Damn, they won't stop kicking."
She cried out, holding her stomach tightly. A steady trickle could be heard and made Malcolm's heart race. Looking down, he saw water flow from between Tanya's legs, leaving a puddle under her wheelchair.
"Looks like they're ready now," she laughed shakily.
"Just stay calm," Troy told her, kneeling between her legs. "You guys mind helping me give her a little privacy?"
Malcolm turned his back, standing beside her. Nathan and Donald did the same while Troy propped her legs up on his shoulders.
"Yep," he said, putting her legs back down a minute later. "You're definitely in labor and are already dilated a centimeter. Everything will be ok."
A couple people got up and went into a different car. But then they came back with pillows and sleeping bags.
"We got these from a group heading to New Maddox to go camping and asked to borrow some of their stuff for you," one of them said, laying it out for Tanya.
"Thank you," Tanya gasped, screaming at the top of her lungs when a contraction tore through her, her belly quivering.
She grabbed Malcolm's hand, squeezing it hard enough to make his bones creak. When it was over, Troy helped him get her out of the chair and onto the sleeping bag, propped up against several soft pillows.
"Don't worry, sweetheart," he told her, "It won't be long and we'll be at the hospital. You're doing great."
Tanya screamed again, close to breaking his hand.
"Dear god," she groaned as she got through the contraction. "I don't know if I can do this, Malcolm."
"Yes," he whispered to her, kissing her cheek and brushing her hair out of her eyes. "Yes you can. You're so strong, Tanya. You can do this, I know it."
"Looks like this could be a quick one," Troy said, examining her again. "You're already five centimeters dilated." Another contraction had her legs snapping shut around him hard. "Make that seven," Troy said, after glancing down again, rubbing his arms.
"Does anybody have any blankets?" Donald asked. "Maybe some ice?"
"Here!" a lady called, tossing a small bag of ice at him. He caught it easily.
"And here's some blankets and towels," another woman said, laying them beside Troy, "Courtesy of the hikers again."
"Make sure to tell them we really appreciate this," Malcolm told her. "And that we'll replace anything that gets ruined."
Donald knelt down beside Troy, using a towel to lay out some tools from the doctor bag he'd brought, snapping on a pair of gloves. Troy did the same. Malcolm grabbed the ice and fished out a small chip and gave it to Tanya to suck on. By the time she'd finished it, the last contraction tore through her body, causing her back to arch slightly. Troy turned to the group of people around them.
"Somebody hold her legs still," Troy told them, turning back around. Two women got on their knees and held her legs down and open.
"Ok, Tanya," Troy said, looking right at her. "It's time to start pushing."
Taking a deep breath, Tanya renewed her death grip on his hand and pushed.
"That's great, hon," Troy said, "Keep it up for five more seconds. Four...three...two...relax."
Tanya relaxed, her breathing getting harder.
"Ok, sweetie, time to push again," Troy told her, a minute later. "As hard as you can. Now!"
She screamed, tears streaming down her face, going a little longer. When she relaxed again, her sobs got a little harder.
"I can see the head!" Troy said excitedly. "Just one more big push, Tanya."
"I...don't think...I can do this," she sobbed.
"Tanya, babe, look at me," Troy said, his voice a little stern. She looked over to him, Malcolm doing the same. "C'mon now, you're so close. One more big push should do it. One, two, three, push!"
She screamed at the top of her lungs, pushing so hard her face started turning purple.
"That a girl!" Troy exclaimed.
Malcolm scooted down a bit, still holding her hand. He looked down to see the baby's head emerge.
"That's it, sweetheart," he told her, encouraging her. "The head's out...now the shoulders. Keep it up, honey. There's the stomach...and it's a boy! Definitely a boy! Now the legs and feet...he's out."
Troy turned the infant over and smacked his butt. The little boy screamed bloody murder, his arms and legs moving a little, his thin and tiny wings stretching out a bit. Malcolm's chest swelled with pride as he watched Troy swiftly cut the cord and hand him off to Donald to wrap. Tanya looked worn out, but she wasn't done yet.
"Alright Tanya," Troy said. "We got one more. You did this once, you can do it again. Push!"
Malcolm looked into her eyes as she pushed, squeezing her hand back. It took just one push and their second son entered the world, crying and shaking his tiny fists. Tanya slumped, her breathing deep and even as she relaxed. Her maternity dress was soaked through with sweat and she was totally exhausted. Yet she was able to look up at him and smile. He moved back up her body while Troy and Donald did their thing. She leaned into him. Malcolm held her lightly.
"You did it, sweetheart. You were so amazing, so strong," he whispered to her.
Feeling a tap on his shoulder, Malcolm turned to see Troy and Donald with their sons swaddled. Taking one, he handed him off to Tanya, then taking the second. Tayna started tearing up.
"They're beautiful," she said, leaning her head on his shoulder to look at their other son.
The rest of the train ride went smoothly, everyone on the train coming over to fawn over their children. When the train started to slow, Nathan and Donald took the boys while Malcolm helped Troy get Tanya back in the chair. As they disembarked the train, there were news reporters waiting, crowding the door. Malcolm quickly put his sunglasses on before the reporters' cameras started flashing.
"Out of the way!" he heard Bruce shout, pushing past the paparazzi.
Everyone that had gotten left behind before was there, pushing through the crowd, to circle them. The reporters backed off and they exited the platform. They made a sprint for the gates to the hospital, security allowing them through. Once they were inside, they were given a room, their sons taken to be cleaned and measured. Everyone else went off to the cafeteria, Troy and Donald going with the nurses to fill out the birth certificates. Malcolm took off his glasses, breathing a sigh of relief.
"Malcolm, what are we going to do now?" Tanya asked. "There's no way we can go back home now. People will come to try and take our sons from us again, not to mention the reporters trying to get an interview. We aren't safe anywhere."
"Just rest, sweetheart," he told her. "We'll think of something. We always do."
They sat in silence for fifteen minutes before the nurses came in with their newborn sons in their arms, both of them crying.
"Sounds like someone's hungry," Malcolm said with a smile as Tanya undid the front of her hospital gown.
Taking one of the babies, Tanya settled him into her arm, against her full breast. The little boy found her nipple and latched on, suckling vigorously. The second nurse helped her settle their other son, who also took to breastfeeding as easily as his brother. The four of them were then left alone, the rest of the world forgotten for the moment.