As soon as Garnet came into the master bedroom, she power-walked her way to the queen-sized bed and laid Pearl down gently. Chancellor Lapis was already there finishing up on thank-you notes for the wedding gifts when she noticed all this.
"Your Majesty, are you alright?" the blue Gem asked out of concern. "I couldn't help but see Garnet carry you in."
"No, Lapis..." Pearl was cringing in pain. "I'm about to give birth. Get the midwife over here... and hurry!" She was clearly in distress right now, and the clear slime (Gem egg yolk) squelching out of her orifice just now wasn't really helping matters. She tried to zone out, but she found it to be impossible with the contractions getting worse and all. She moaned as they followed one another every several minutes and then every few minutes. "I hope Garnet will be there for me... I'd hate to go through this alone."
"Mistress?" a mezzo voice suddenly spoke up. It came from the light-green physician Gem Prehnite, who had just been outside the door when she stopped and noticed the white Gem Queen lying on the bed.
"Prehnite, is that you?" Pearl tried to smile at the sight of her most trusted ancilla, but the pain was simply too much for her to bear. "Thank the Pantheon you're here..."
"Yes, indeed, we should thank the Pantheon. Just entered labor, I see?" Prehnite just sat herself down silently on the bed next to her slavemistress.
"Mm-hmm. I never would've thought it'd hurt so badly... I knew this was painful, but still..."
"Oh, I know, mistress." The Gem physician stroked her mistress's damp and sweaty peach-colored hair. "Seems like the last time I dealt with this was when I helped deliver that Ametrine child about two hundred Earth years ago. You remember that, don't you?" Pearl nodded her head as slowly as she could. "Now here you are, this close to bringing your children into the world and feeling like someone's pouring vinegar, battery acid and magma all at once throughout your body along the way. But all of this pain will've been worth it in the end. Honestly, mistress..."
"You're not just saying that to console me, are you?"
"Of course not! I guarantee you that you will be holding your babies in your arms, and the time you spend with your children will be priceless. I don't think even the highest price to be bid for a single slave would hold up." Prehnite then pulled out a miniscule syringe filled with vicodin. "Now try to stay calm while I inject this into your side, okay? This should hopefully subdue the intensity of the uterine contractions a bit."
"I hope there's a good reason you and the Queen called me back here..." grumbled the midwife, yet another Gem ancilla who happened to be a Rhyolite. "So much for herding the other slaves around as if they were sheep..."
"Oh, trust us, ancilla." Garnet said. "We will not have recalled you in vain. Now come on."
Garnet and her Chancellor walked briskly into the master bedroom, with Rhyolite following closely behind, and came to Pearl's aid.
"I wonder what's going on in there..." the blue-green Gem ancilla Aventurine, who had been watching all this unfold before her, thought aloud.
"You think Mistress Pearl's having the baby?" Mimetite asked, suddenly excited about it. "What'd they need Rhino for?"
"I don't know, child, but it probably had something to do with..." Aventurine trailed off and her eyes widened. "Wow... wow!"
A few seconds later, Garnet and Lapis came out of the master bedroom and walked over to the triclinium, where they reclined in their lecti. Aventurine and Mimetite, being ancillae of course, were only allowed to sit down on the floor and so did so.
"Mistress Garnet, what's going on?" Mimetite looked up at her other slavemistress with curiosity.
The hot pink Gem Queen sighed. "Pearl's in labor."
"And Prehnite and Rhyolite told us that we're supposed to sit out here for a while." Lapis added.
"Why?" Mimetite pressed on.
"Because they say we can't do anything to help right now." Garnet answered, a bit frustrated by all that was happening at this very moment.
"Hmph." Aventurine grunted. "So then I guess we'll just have to wait, huh, mistress?"
Meanwhile in the master bedroom, Prehnite had already injected the vicodin into Pearl's side, but unfortunately it wasn't being effective at all. In fact, the contractions seemed to only grow worse and more frequent.
"Damn, I can't believe I underestimated the power of the vicodin..." Prehnite muttered, trying her best not to scream out in pain herself as Pearl was squeezing her hand with every contraction.
"Don't worry, Prehnite, there's not much it could've done anyway." Rhyolite assured the Gem physician. "After all, these aren't just ordinary pains we're dealing with here. They're-"
However, Pearl's caterwauling cut the Gem midwife off before she could finish her sentence.
"C'mon, Your Majesty." Prehnite told her slavemistress. "Everything's going to be okay. Just keep breathing for us."
Pearl just started crying from the pain. "Garnet!" she screeched at the top of her lungs while sobbing simultaneously. "I want you here! I can't handle this without you!"
"Go on, Prehnite." Rhyolite demanded. "Get Mistress Garnet in here!" She proceeded to shoo the Gem physician out the door.
Prehnite walked down the corridor to the triclinium, and spotted Garnet (who happened to be fast asleep from boredom) reclining on her lectus right away. She walked up right behind the bronze piece of furniture and proceeded to shake at the hot pink Gem Queen until she was awake. Aventurine and Mimetite, as well as some other slaves who had joined the wait, were confused by this at first until Prehnite had assured them everything was fine.
"Good to see you're awake now." the Gem physician said as she smiled down at Garnet.
Garnet started panicking a bit. "Prehnite? What are you doing out here so soon? What happened?! I heard screaming!"
"Nothing, Mistress Pearl's fine." Prehnite laughed a bit nervously. "But she told me to get you because she wants you to be there for her. I can't blame her. I'd want my wife or husband there, too. Now come on."
Garnet breathed a sigh of relief before following Prehnite back into the master bedroom.
Mimetite turned to look at Tiger Iron. "Is Mistress Pearl going to be okay?" she asked the black Gem ancilla.
"Oh, I hope so..." Tiger Iron replied desperately. "She's probably the best slavemistress we've had. I couldn't imagine my life without her, would you?"
More caterwauling could be heard throughout the palace. Pearl was finding the pain to be incredibly excruciating and ungodly, especially since she had to squeeze Garnet and Prehnite's hands with every contraction that came and went. These contractions had now reached thirty-second intervals, which still felt like an exasperatingly long time, and were only going to become more and more frequent as time went on.
"C'mon, Pearl. breathe!" Garnet demanded. "You can do it!"
The white Gem Queen made at least one attempt to subdue her ragged and labored breathing before another twinge overtaking her forced her to scream out.
"Oh my Goddess..." Prehnite muttered while shaking her head. She craned her neck to look at the side of Rhyolite's face. "How far apart would you say she is now?"
"I believe she is ready..." Rhyolite muttered back. "Ten centimeters ready, to be exact."
"What now?" Pearl asked the Gem physician while seeming rather frightened.
Prehnite turned to her slavemistress and yelled, "Push, m'lady!"
The white Gem Queen let out more yowling as she pushed with all her might. Seeing how much pain her wife was in, Garnet decided to climb onto the bed and settle herself behind her and wrap her arms beneath her swollen, milk-filled breasts.
The hot pink Gem Queen called out, "Pearl?"
Pearl looked up at Garnet with tears continuously streaming down her face.
"Everything's going to be okay." Garnet assured her. "Just try thinking about me."
The white Gem Queen just nodded her head in spite of the unrelenting pain that went on.
"Now breathe like we've been telling you to." Garnet demanded.
Raggedly, Pearl inhaled and exhaled. Inhaled and exhaled. Inhaled and exhaled. Inhaled and exhaled.
"You feel a bit better?" Garnet asked as she felt her wife draw in and out these painful and uneven breaths.
Pearl let out a weak smile and nodded again, only to force herself to suppress yet another yelp of pain seconds later. "Oh, I don't know why I let you do this to me..." she whined while she continued to push.
"Don't worry, everything will be fine." Prehnite assured the white Gem Queen. "Trust us."
Just as the light green Gem had said this, Pearl shouted out when she felt something like a cannonball leave her body.
"The baby's crowning!" Pearl moaned as she was squeezing more of the child out of her body.
Rhyolite hadn't really been paying much attention to this, but then she stopped to catch sight of a round blob that made itself more and more visible through Pearl's expanded cervix.
"I see it!" the Gem midwife declared. "Yes!" Hopefully, this would be over soon. Admittedly, she couldn't have been happier for them, but this experience had a lot more exhausting than when even Xenotime the Younger (Pearl's aunt and the tyrant Chancellor Xenotime's daughter) was born.
A couple more pushes and a pulling of the shoulders later, it was finally over. Rhyolite cleaned the residue off of the baby before wrapping it with nearby sheets and handing it to Pearl. This nearly drove the white Gem Queen to tears as she looked down at the infant. She could hardly believe this was her baby she was holding. Correction, their baby. She looked up at Garnet, who seemed to be overcome with joy as well.
"Hold on a second..." Prehnite suddenly said.
"What?" Rhyolite asked out of confusion.
"Aren't you going to tell them if it's a boy or a girl?"
"Well, I think I'll let them find out for themselves."
Pearl started to unsheath the child before another twinge stopped her in her tracks and forced her to shriek again, while Prehnite proceeded to snatch up the new child herself. Rhyolite started getting back into position and was completely surprised to find that there was another round blob making its way out. Apparently, nobody had told her that she would be delivering twins!
"Another's one's coming!" Rhyolite gasped. "C'mon, Your Majesty! Push!"
Pearl pushed this child out with the best of her ability, but it wasn't without difficulty. She was already tired from having to push out the first child, so she was getting worn out. This time around, though, it didn't seem as painful as before. After a few minutes, the second and final child was completely exposed to the outside world.
Rhyolite sighed, "Thank the Venerable Goddess this is really over now."
Just as the Gem midwife had said this, though, Prehnite had already started to finish what Pearl had begun and unwrapped the first child. Pearl, on the other hand, was rather pleased to find a pearl upon the second child's forehead but she unwrapped it anyway so as to solve the mystery of its sex.
It's a girl... the white Gem Queen thought immediately when she looked further down. A small, pleasant smile etched itself on her face. Of course...
This Pearl had rather white skin like her mother, but that would change in a few weeks when her skin turned dark like her "father" Garnet. The pearl itself had a pink tinge to it, but that was pretty much it. As for the eyes and hair, the eyes were red like Garnet's right eye and the hair looked to be dark brown in color and wavy in texture.
Meanwhile, Prehnite had just unwrapped the first child, who turned out to be a Eudialyte to everyone's surprise. There was a pink heart-shaped gem on its chest for starters!
"Good Granite!" the Gem physician exclaimed. "This child has a heart-shaped gem..." She proceeded to look further down. "...and it's a boy!"
Pearl caught a glimpse at her firstborn. "Oh my goodness!" the white Gem Queen exclaimed as well. "Look at him, Garnet. Isn't he beautiful?"
Garnet smiled down at the child. "Certainly." she spoke.
The Eudialyte child also had dark skin like his "father," but not as much so. His eyes were also red like his sister's, but his hair was lighter brown with a peach tinge and much more curled in texture.
"Oh, wait until Steven hears about this..." Pearl muttered in an awestruck manner. "He'd be so happy..."
Prehnite wrapped the Eudialyte child back up and handed him back to Pearl. "So what are their names?" the Gem physician asked.
"Their names, their praenomen."
"Oh, yes, I remember now. Garnet and I had agreed that our daughter would bear the praenomen Titania after Shakespeare's Queen of the Fairies."
"As for this rarity, our Eudialyte, his praenomen shall be Oberon, following the theme I set up in my head."
"Very good! Oberon Eudialyte Amatorius and Titania Pearl Maris, they shall be then!"
Prehnite then excused herself and left the bedroom for a moment. When she came back, Larimar and Mimetite and Aventurine were trailing right behind her.
Mimetite was the first to speak up. "They're cute!" she squealed. The little orange Gem ancilla was totally convinced that they were the cutest things in existence. "Can I hold one of them?"
Pearl looked up at Garnet with uncertainty plastered on her face, but Garnet told her to go ahead and let Mimetite hold one of them.
"Okay..." Pearl acquiesced. "...but which one?"
Mimetite picked Titania to hold; however, Aventurine had to supervise this for safety's sake. The blue-green Gem ancilla sat down and snatched up the small infant before handing her to the young ancilla.
"What about me?" Larimar asked out loud. "I want to hold one, too, but only for a little bit."
"Why?" Pearl asked in confusion.
"I'm supposed to be meeting with Poppy over at the Grossular Forums later."
"What for?" Pearl still found herself questioning Larimar's credibility due to the last, supposedly-innocuous question the Caribbean blue Gem had asked much earlier.
"He said it's supposed to be a surprise."
"If you say so..." Pearl acquiesced once again.
Soon after all the visitors had left, Pearl and Garnet found themselves alone again with the twins. The hot pink Gem Queen now laid beside her wife, who had decided that she was going to rest up despite not needing to sleep.
"If you don't want to stay after this..." Pearl began. "...you don't have to. But just remember that we'll miss you if you ever make that decision."
"Believe me, you won't." Garnet rejoined. "I'm not going to leave you anytime soon."