Okay, so some of my family came over for dinner and one of them was my cousin, Marie. She’s from Ireland and works in film as a costume designer. We struck up a conversation about her work on a new TV show in town.
Me: Hey, have you heard of Eddie Redmayne?
Marie: I know Eddie quite well actually.
Me: *chokes on egg salad* Are– are you serious?
Marie: Oh, yes! I’ve been to dinner with him many times. He’s a lovely, lovely man.
Me: You’re kidding me.
The conversation continued on about how they actually know each other (through a makeup artist that’s one of Eddie’s good pals) and the whole time I sit there like
There’s a reason why National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is one of the greatest Christmas movies in the history of ever, and it’s not just because it’s funny as shit. Strip away the endless amount of quotable lines and comedy and there’s a highly relatable, yet slightly depressing, story of a middle-class family being fucked over by a rich CEO. That’s a pretty fair description of life in general, so it’s not surprising that a number of Christmas movies work around this general premise. Unfortunately, almost none of us have a Cousin Eddie to abduct said CEO in the name of setting things right, and, if we did, no way would it end as amicably as it does in the movie.
“I’m placing the blame for this entirely on you Barry Allen,” a very uncomfortable Caitlin growls as she attempts to tug herself closer to her desk, failing spectacularly. Her stomach, heavily distended from pregnancy, doesn’t allow her to hover over her keyboard quite the way she likes to and she’s beyond frustrated. (All she wants to do is distract herself with work, and she can’t even do that properly).
For his part, Barry only smiles at the sight of her, uncommonly proud of the visible evidence of their (hopefully) soon to be born child beneath her sweater. Feeling the effects of his wife’s steely scowl, however, he does offer a reply, albeit not a well thought out one: “It did take both of us to make her Cait.” He knows it’s the wrong reply the second it runs out of his mouth (too quick to take back, like most things he does).
“I’m not talking about her existence Barry,” she huffs, more than aware of that simple, biological fact (besides which, it would be pretty hard to forget her conception, the evening of their first anniversary). “I mean the fact that our daughter hasn’t even been born yet and she’s already inherited your habit for being late for everything.” He has the decency to look guilty, which gives Caitlin at least a small feeling of satisfaction.
Barry knows that the last few weeks have been rough on Caitlin. She’s grown increasingly uncomfortable, and thus unable to sleep through the night, as the end of her pregnancy has approached. They’re as ready as they can be for the arrival of Baby Allen, (when they’d learned they were expecting, Caitlin had created a preparation timeline that even he’d been able to follow mostly to the letter) but it appears that Baby Allen is not completely ready to arrive. Caitlin’s due date passed five days ago and with each passing day, she’s become more agitated. He knows that while it is partially due to the discomfort of late pregnancy (swollen ankles, abnormal hormones, sore back, and so much more), mostly it’s worry that has been making her so irritable.
“What if something’s wrong?” She asks a moment later, the annoyance she’s been channeling draining immediately away to reveal the root cause.
He’s at her side immediately, pulling her out of the desk chair and into his arms. The embrace would be awkward, curled over her expanded form as he is, except they’ve been slowly adjusting to these changes throughout her pregnancy, just as Caitlin’s body has. Adjusting with changes, making a better today and tomorrow from the unexpected, it’s what they do, it’s how they found each other and fell in love. It’s why he knows, even when she snips out her frustrations, that they’re going to be just fine, as always. It’s also why he knows that their baby is going to be just fine too.
“Cait,” he soothes into her hair, pressing a kiss against her crown, “nothing is wrong. The doctor has checked everything out and we have a c-section scheduled if she waits too much longer.” Still keeping his wife wrapped in his embrace, he pulls back a bit to smile down at her, his grin teasing. “Besides, what would you expect from our little girl? She’s already always late like me and wonderfully stubborn like you—she’s just choosing her own pace.”
It draws out the small but warm laugh he’d been hoping for. Caitlin tips her head up to meet his gaze and then presses forward to place a brief kiss to his lips. “I know you’re right, but I also know all the things that could go wrong and sometimes I can’t help thinking about them.” He gets that too, knows that with all the chaos that’s gotten them here (plenty of it bad, even if he knows the good overwhelmingly outweighs it), it’s sometimes easy to get caught up in the idea that something surely will go wrong (it always seems to in other aspects of their lives). His mouth is just parting to reply when she beats him to it, her mood still lightened by his earlier comment. “Let’s just hope this baby inherits some of our better qualities too.”
A much better topic of conversation, one they’ve spent many quiet, contented nights wondering about over the past nine months. Barry navigates them away from the desk they’re standing next to and over to the couch, carefully helping to ease her down. They cuddle up together as he pretends to contemplate his answer. “Like my incredible board game skills?”
An eye roll accompanies her laughter, and the warmth that pulls out of his chest has him amending his comment immediately in favor of something more serious. “Your laugh,” he decides with a firm nod. “I hope she has your laugh Caitlin. And I hope she’s brilliant like you, and passionate about the future. I hope she’s just as fiercely independent and unflinchingly strong.”
Nine months ago, the tears collecting quietly in the corners of her dark eyes would have alarmed him, now he knows it’s just part of the pregnancy package. Still, he hates inspiring them, even when he knows they’re tears of happiness and love. Snuggling in closer, he lays one warm hand across her stomach while the other rubs gentle trails down each cheek. Caitlin catches that hand in one of her and kisses it. “All I want is for her to be healthy and happy and to love the way you do: with her whole heart.”
“That’s a trait she’ll get from both of us Cait.” It’s a trait she rarely sees in herself, but certainly one of those that he fell in love with himself. It’s the reason why, just over eight months ago, when they had first discovered Caitlin was pregnant (not planned but certainly not unwelcome, after some initial shock and panic), he had been able to reassure her fears, without any doubt, that she would be an amazing mother. He knows Caitlin loves with a protective ferocity that has saved his life more times than he can count and that she has, and will, love their little one the same way. It’s evident in all her interactions with their respective godchildren (his godson Joe Thawne and her goddaughter Abby Queen).
“If she ever decides to meet us,” Caitlin grouses a few comfortable moments of quiet thought later, eyes skittering down to Barry’s hand where, she knows, he has just felt his recalcitrant daughter kick.
“She just already knows what I try to tell you every Sunday morning when you claim we have to get out of bed: you’re too comfortable.” To emphasize his point, Barry nuzzles his head against her neck and shoulder.
“Mmm,” she mumbles, letting herself become distracted. “Well, there’s no Sunday lunch at Joe’s to get to today…and since baby here doesn’t want to go anywhere either, I’m more then happy with a nap.”
It might, after all, be the last quiet one they have for a long time (if they’re lucky).
It still sometimes amazes Barry how little things with Caitlin—like cheering her up or distracting her fears or lazy afternoon couch naps—can feel as much like saving the world as stopping evil meta humans. If he weren’t feeling so suddenly sleepy, it might occur to him that it has something to do with her being his world, but he’s warm and pressed close to his wife, their little girl kicking occasionally at his hand and the nap overtakes him before any such thoughts can.
Their nap is somewhat harshly, but very welcomely, ended three hours later by the beginning of Baby Allen’s introduction into the world (and what Barry, surprisingly squeamish despite all his many injuries over the years, will refer to as the death of the Cozy Green Couch for a long time to come).
Despite his many protests to the contrary (“I won’t go too fast Caitlin, I’m not stupid. Just quicker then the car!”), they arrive at the hospital valet parking in fairly good time, even though the contractions are coming pretty quickly. (“Leave it to your daughter,” Caitlin groans between ripples of pain, “to be five days late and then try to flash herself into the world at lightning speed.”) But they make it inside, get checked in and settled into a room with relatively little issue.
Caitlin is barely in labor for four hours when, in a delivery room surrounded by doctors, her parents, her Auntie Iris and Grandpa Joe (and with Uncle Cisco, Uncle Eddie and cousin Joey in the waiting room), Mikaela Grace Allen is born.
After she’s checked over, deemed perfectly healthy and cleaned up, Iris and Joe leave to join the rest of their little family in the waiting room (Iris with a camera full of pictures to show off to her husband, son and Cisco before sending off to Starling City) and give the new parents a few minutes alone while little Kella eats.
When she latches on immediately, clearly hungry, Caitlin smiles up at Barry with tired but wonderfully soft eyes and can’t help but laugh. “Hungry already—she really does take after you.”
Snowbarry family fic & the introduction of Kella Allen. Figured we needed some cute, happy stuff and yesterday the idea of their child being late and Caitlin blaming Barry came to mind and wouldn’t quit :)
Dedicated partially to ttinycourageous because your tags in my last story made me laugh and smile and because you are wonderfully. Also dedicated to all the positive, great snowbarry shippers out there.
Thoughts, comments and suggestions are always appreciated!