Post-movie AU. Names are more than titles, they are a way to remember the people we love.
"Calm down Victor, she'll be just fine."
"She doesn't SOUND fine."
"Sit DOWN, young man. Honestly. The impropriety of such a suggestion!"
"Lady Everglott, really! She's calling for me! Why can't I go and see her?"
"Oh come now my boy," Victor's father took him by the arm and attempted to lead him back to the sofa. "It's just the way of things, isn't it? I mean you'd only get underfoot. Best let the nurse and the doctor see to her, she's in good hands."
Victor yanked his arm out of his father's grasp.
"I don't see why I can't go in if she wants me," he stated crossly.
"Oh Victor sit down and be still," his mother insisted as Lady Everglott sniffed with disdain. It struck him distantly that for once his mother and the imperious Lady Everglott were united in this opinion at least. But this was HIS house dash it all, and HIS wife, and HIS baby about to be born! Confound it, it WAS his house and here at least HE was master.
"I will NOT be still," he insisted stubbornly. "If Victoria wants me, then I'm going in to see her."
Lady Everglott's generous jaw dropped, Lord Everglott sputtered over his teacup.
"Victor!" chirped his mother.
"Now son," his father put in. But Victor had already elbowed past them and seized the handle to Victoria's door. They jumped up and hurried after him but it was too late, his narrow body had already slipped through the half-opened door. He hastened to lock it after him with a satisfying click.
"Victor?" Victoria's voice, weak and shaky, addressed his still turned back.
"What are YOU doing here?" the nurse demanded, her enormous bow adding extra inches to her height so that she was almost as tall as Victor himself.
"I...I came to help," he stammered, suddenly unsure if he'd made a wise decision.
"My dear boy, this is no place for an expectant father," the doctor stated gravely.
"But...but I heard her calling me and I thought...well...I...er..." He swallowed hard and began twisting his tie uneasily. Both the doctor and nurse stared at him, their eyes boring into his until Victor began to feel quite nervous. It was then that he caught a glimpse of Victoria's pale face in the distance, peeking between their sallow frowns. She did not speak, but the sudden part of her lips, lift of her eyes and blush to her cheeks restored his will. He had not made a poor decision.
"I heard her call for me, and I came," he stated, his voice less firm than he would have liked, but at least it had been said. "So...here I am."
Drawing himself up to his full, lanky height he tucked his tie back in and stepped nimbly between the frowning physicians.
They scowled after him but Victor ignored them, determined not to care. Victoria wanted him here, that was all that mattered.
"Victor!" she exclaimed, voice soft. He knelt by the bed and took her hands.
"Are you all right darling?"
"Oh yes, only, well, it does hurt rather, and I thought perhaps if you were here it might not be so bad, but they said you couldn't come in..." she trailed off and gazed at their clasped hands. "But I'm glad you did anyway."
Her quiet smile was reward enough for his brazen behavior and the scolding that was sure to follow. He didn't mind. It was, he had discovered, sometimes easier to beg forgiveness than vainly ask permission.
"This is highly irregular," the doctor frowned.
"Oh please sir," Victor implored, "I promise I'll not get in your way. Please, I'd like to stay with her."
The doctor raised an eyebrow at the nurse who only put her nose in the air and shrugged as if to say "children these days!". Victor smiled and Victoria did her best to smother a giggle. The nurse shoved a chair over.
"Here, sit. And don't you DARE get up unless either the doctor or I tell you otherwise."
"Yes Ma'am," Victor replied and obediently sat. Victoria's hand in his, he remained where he was and watched the doctor and nurse alternately fuss over and prod Victoria by turns. She bore it all with magnificent patience, he thought. He smoothed a stray strand of chestnut hair back into her plait and smiled for her. She returned it weakly.
"Oh!" she cried out suddenly, her grip tightening around his hand.
"Dearest, what is it?!" Victor exclaimed, half-rising from his seat and remembering only just in time to sit down again. The nurse looked as if she had been robbed of an especial treat but went about her business.
"Keep your eyes on her face, young man." the doctor ordered sharply.
"Er...yes sir." Victor blinked, but did as he was told. Things grew increasingly flustered from that point. Victoria did her best not to shout but did a little bit anyway. The doctor was not much help, no more the nurse. Victor alone was left with the task of soothing her and dodging the doctor and nurse as they hurried about. In his attempt to stay clear of the sudden rush, he accidentally glanced down towards the foot of the bed.
"Good heavens..." he remarked blankly.
Abruptly, the lights went out.
"Victor? Victor darling are you all right?" Victoria's small voice floated down through the blackness.
"Hrmph. Fool. THIS is why we do not allow the husbands to be present." Unmistakably the doctor.
"He'll have a nasty lump on his head, he will." The nurse sounded rather pleased about that.
Victor blinked blearily at the sound of their voices and opened his eyes, mildly surprised to find himself lying on the floor. Lifting a hand he put it to his head and winced under his own touch. He DID have a nice lump. Shaking himself, he got to his feet and leaned to take Victoria's hands.
"Darling are you..."
Only to find her hands were already full. A tiny lump wrapped in a pale pink blanket lay snuggled in her arms.
"...all right..." he trailed off, kneeling to inspect the tiny pink being. Victoria smiled and lifted the little bundle toward him.
"Yes I'm fine, we both are. Isn't she beautiful?"
"She..." Victor echoed in wonder. "Yes...yes she is."
Victoria smiled. The door opened then and the moment shattered as their respective in-laws burst in.
"A little girl!" Mrs. Van Dort squealed.
"Dee-lightful," Mr. Van Dort chuckled.
"Hmph," Lady Everglott sniffed. "Let us hope she takes after her mother."
"Not as good as a son," Lord Everglott grumbled. His wife cuffed him upside the head.
"That's quite enough, Finnie."
"Of course me love," He groused, rubbing his head.
Mr. Van Dort shuffled over and pointed his long nose at his new granddaughter.
"Aw...sweet little mite, isn't she? I say, what shall we call her?"
"Well..." Victoria began, but got no farther.
"Oh! Wouldn't it be just LOVELY to name her after one of her grandmothers?" Mrs. Van Dort exclaimed, fanning herself with the excitement of the possibility. Victor had no intention of naming his daughter "Nell". "Eleanor", perhaps, but never "Nell". One "Nell Van Dort" was enough for any family. And no one deserved to be called "Maudelaine".
"I have a better idea," Lady Everglott intoned. "Let us name her after her great-great-grandmother, Lady Mildred Everglott."
Victor did his best not to visibly cringe at the idea.
"Well I..." Victoria tried again but was cut off a second time.
"What about Wilhelmina?" Mr. Van Dort suggested.
"Felicity," nodded Lord Everglott. It was probably the best suggestion so far, but Victor and Victoria had spoken about this beforehand.
"If you please," Victor said, elbowing past both sets of parents to sit down on the bed next to his wife and daughter. "Now what was it you were saying, darling?"
Victoria smiled, grateful for the opening he had made for her.
"I think," she began, "I would like to call her...Emily."
Victor smiled. "That's a beautiful name."
"Emily?" Lady Everglott snorted. "How common."
"Well it's not exactly what you'd call aristocratic, is it?" Mrs. Van Dort said, attempting to sound optimistic.
"Harrumph," was Lord Everglott's only comment.
"I like it," Victor's father commented. Victor smiled, glad of at least one vote of approval.
"Emily it is then," he smiled down at his daughter.