It took them two days to finally find that the mix of Ben's shampoo with the detergent and his cologne was what made Mal ill. Ben got rid of all of that and even order that everything was to be washed by hand with soap while Mal was pregnant. He felt horrible about the last thing because it was going to make the washing harder but everyone was happy to pitch in so that Mal felt better.
From that moment on Mal usually woke up to Ben talking to her stomach about various subjects from how the couple met to the places he wanted to show her or him. On the weird occasion, the girl managed to sneak out of bed before Ben started talking to their child he would make a point to spent a least an hour making up for lost time.
When the next appointment came, Ben was the most excited of all the family. He woke up extra early, got ready and also checked what they should expect out of that appointment. The smiled that appeared on his face when he read that their baby could hear him could have brightened any place in the earth for eternity. Mal woke up several hours later and was surprised not to see Ben; however, when she stood from the bed, she noticed the boy reading a book in one of the sofas of their room.
"Hey there. What are you doing?" Ben was startled by Mal's voice but smiled showing her the book and telling her that he was just doing a little research.
"You should get ready Mal we are supposed to be at the doctor in an hour. Sure, we are the King and Queen, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't respect our appointments. " Mal smiled, she was in love with that boy a little more every day.
Adam and Belle were waiting for the couple to accompany them to the doctor but then Ben asked his parents to let them go alone. "This is my first visit there, and I want to go with Mal alone so I can ask all the questions I have."
Even though his parents were disappointed, they agreed to let the couple go alone. Before making their way to the doctor, Mal asked Ben to please let his parents go at least for the sonogram. "We've been together to all my appointments Ben. I understand that you want to share this with me but I don't think is fair to leave them out of it completely. So please can they come?"
Ben wanted to put his foot down and say no, they were the parents, they were the ones that needed to go, but he understood where Mal was coming from when she asked him that. "Ok they can come to the sonogram, but that's it Mal."
The girl smiled brightly at him and went on her way to tell her in-laws that they were welcome to join them. When the doctor put the baby on the screen, everyone teared up a little Ben kissed Mal and told her that their baby was perfect. The doctor asked them if they wanted to know the sex of the baby and the couple looked at each other not sure if they wanted to.
Belle took the lead and asked the doctor to write the information on a piece of paper, and if they decided that they wanted to know, they could read it. Ben looked at her mother and smile; he was sure that his parents were going to try and took a look at the paper the second the doctor gave it to them.
The sonogram ended, and Ben asked the doctor if he could answer a couple of questions for them and he laughed. "Mal told me that you were coming and asked me to give you some extra time before my next patient."
Ben smiled at Mal; the girl looked so proud of herself, and he just wanted to kiss her, in fact, he was planning to do more than that when they were finally back at the castle. His parents excused themselves and told the couple that they were going back to their house. Belle tried to take the envelope with the sex of the baby in it, but Ben stop it making her mom give him the evil eye and his dad laugh. It took the doctor over an hour to answer all of Ben's question, and at some point, Mal started to play with her phone which the boy didn't take offense too because he was aware of the amount of questions he had on his list.
When they finally made it out of the doctor's office, Ben had asked for the man's email so they could stay in contact about some answers that he still felt like he needed to know more. "Do you think he found me annoying? I know I'm the King and people are not going to tell if I'm overstepping?"
Mal turned towards Ben that was looking at her with the same innocent smile he had when she first met him all those years ago, and she had no idea what to tell him. Yes, the boy was a little over the top with his question and Mal could see that the doctor was getting exasperated with him, but she didn't want him to feel bad. "Well, I guess he was taken aback but the number of questions. Also, when he explained some of them, you asked him if he had visual aids so you could understand better."
Ben looked sad now saying how he only wanted to understand what she was feeling and how he could be of help to her and their baby. Mal smiled at him and began to give him little kisses while saying how much she appreciated everything he was doing making the boy feel a lot better.
The months continue to go by, and with each one, a new thing would come. There was one month where the boy started to change one of the libraries, not Belle's because she threatened the boy, so it would only have books about babies and other stages in the kid's life. Soon, Jay, Carlos, and Ben started weekly meetings where they talk about the baby books they were reading. Azis would join in via Skype; he also had a book assigned to him, and all of them had developed a good rhythm they were cross-examining theories and practices. Every end of the month though they would do a type of summary that Ben shared with Mal explaining why he thought some methods would work better for them in the future.
The day Mal celebrate her six months of pregnancy, Ben insisting in commemorating every single month because he wanted the girl to know how much he loved her and how happy he was that they were finally starting a family together, the girl woke up to a lot of noise. Making her way slowly out of the room Mal notice a lot of movement in the palace and wonder what Ben's goal for this month was going to be. The boy usually told her in the celebration what he was planning as a way to soften the blow on his love-driven preparation for the baby; she was still tired of the five-month goal of finding the best baby clothes in all the kingdoms so they would have enough for the baby's first year.
Deciding that it was best for her to wait until the boy told her what the goal for the month was she made her way to the bathroom. However, when she saw the toilet, a groan escaped her, it was baby proof. Mal tried to open the cover without any luck and wonder if that meant she should consider herself a baby too. Annoyed she walked out of the bathroom and got ready for her day, then she went on her way to find her husband so they could talk about him leaving their bathroom alone until the baby was born.
Jay's voice could be heard on the floor below her, and when he finally came into view, Mal saw a quarter of his guards baby prooving the main hall. If things continue at this pace, the castle will look like the inside of a bouncy house by the end of the day. Taking a deep breath, she was getting very good with breathing techniques; Mal made her way to her friend who as usual smiled and hugged her asking her if she was feeling ok. "I'm fine my back hurts a little. Have you seen Ben?"
Jay looked concerned about her back and told her that she should be using the pillow they got her so she could sleep better. Mal nodded forcing a smile on her face and pushed for an answer to her question about her husband's locations in the mess that was now the castle. "Ben went out for an emergency meeting, but I'm here for anything you need."
"Ok, then please could you un-baby proof our bathroom? I want to use it and I can't." Jay blushed and told her that he was going to do that right away and ran up the stairs making some of the guards that were around them looked at him funny. Mal shooked her head and went on her way to the kitchen where Misses Potts was reading a piece of paper smiling. The girl said hello to the older woman who greeted her asking Mal what did she wanted to eat.
Taking advantage of Ben's absence, Mal asked for sweets making Misses Potts laughed. "I have them ready in the oven. I heard Ben leaving and thought you could finally have a treat. I love that boy very much, but he is being a little controlling with this pregnancy, you should be enjoying yourself being able to eat whatever you want."
Mal clapped her hands at the sight of the freshly baked sweets and thanked the woman for being so kind to her. Misses Potts started telling Mal that she had received a letter from her sister saying that they were planning to take a trip to visit Auradon as soon as the baby was born so they could meet the new Princess. A month ago the couple had decided to share the sex of the baby with their closes friends and family, making everyone gushed at the possibility of a little girl with purple hair running around the castle in the future.
"I'm glad they are going to be able to come, I know is really early to think about it but I want the babies first trip to be to their home. That place is always going to be very important for Ben and me, and I want my baby to love it as much as we do." Misses Potts smiled at the girl telling her that she knew the baby was going to love it too. She was about to offer the girl a cupcake when the voice of Jay and Ben could be heard coming toward the kitchen making Mal pout as she gave the rest of the sweets to Misses Potts for her to hide of Ben.
The woman gave Mal a big glass of milk, so the girl had something to mask the flavor of sweets in case Ben kissed her. Ben came into the kitchen saying hello to both of them and asking Mal how was her back doing. The girl told him that it was fine giving Jay a looked that tried to convey that she thought he had a big mouth but the boy just shrugged. "So I had to go to a meeting with the council, there are some problems in one of the provinces near the north. They want me to go there for a couple of days to talk to the people and see what can be done about the problems they are having with their harvest."
Mal nodded, she knew that there were a couple of storms hitting the northern part of Auradon last week but Ben hadn't told her what the consequences for the people were until now. "Ok, well you should go right now. Those poor people I hope you can do something to help them."
"Babe I'm not going. I was just talking to Jay, and we agree that he can go on my behalf so I can stay here with you in case the baby comes early." The boys looked at each other nodding and then at Mal giving her a looked that made it clear that she was crazy for thinking Ben was leaving her side. The girl asked Ben if they could have a private conversation and walked out of the kitchen and into Belle's library, the only place the boy hadn't change in all the castle and the one place Mal used as her safe haven.
Mal started telling Ben that he needed to take care of the problems himself on not send Jay, the boy was about to argue, but she raised her hand stopping him. "We've had this conversation before Ben. I know you love me, and you want to be here taking care of me yourself, but there are a lot of people, including your parents, that can stay with me and help in case something happens. However, there is only one King, and the people of Auradon deserved that you go help them in their time of need."
Ben shook her head telling Mal that he didn't want to leave her side, he knew that the chances of the baby coming early were pretty much non-existent, but he would still worry being away for so many days. The couple continued to talk for more than an hour until Ben finally agreed to visit the province himself as long as Mal would call him the second she felt like the baby could be born early.
The next day they kissed goodbye with Ben looking apprehensive about going away and Mal assuring him that everything was going to be okay. In the amount of time, it took the boy to finally made it to his destination he called Mal three times, by the third one the girl asked him to please stop. "You need to be there for them Ben, open your eyes to their pain and stop making scenarios in your head where you are the only one that can take care of me because that is not true."
Even though it was hard for him to hear Mal talking like that he knew that the girl was right and he told her so. He promised to call her that night and put his phone away taking in her words and telling himself that he should be more aware of the needs of the people of Auradon. By the time he made it to the affected zone his heart had broken, those poor people had lost so much due to the storms. Soon his instinct kicked in, and he started helping them with some chores as he asked some of the council members to take notes about the type of support the people needed with more urgency.
That night the boy felt asleep tired but happy with what was accomplished that day forgetting entirely that he had promised Mal to called her. The fairy started getting worried until she saw on the news all the work that Ben had done in the province and assumed that her beasty boy was just tired from his hectic day. The next day Ben called her early in the morning apologizing, but Mal was quick to tell him that it was fine and soon the conversation turned into the boy telling her about what was going on there. "You were right Mal I've not been acting the way a King should do with his people. I wanted to ask you if you think is ok for me to stay a little longer."
Ben had decided to visit another province on his way back to Mal, and the girl couldn't be happier. Mal had heard a couple of servants talking about how many people in Auradon were commenting on how the King seemed to be missing in action. The girl was sad to hear that as memories of how she felt about the King and Queen when she was living back at the Island came back. She would hate if people thought of Ben that way, he was such a fantastic person who was born to help others and love doing so that he would be destroyed to hear people felt let down by his actions or the lack of them.
In the end, her six months came and went without any issues, and Ben came back for her seven-month celebration. The King love for his people seemed to reenergize, and soon he was asking the girl if she would be ok with him making a couple of trips in the next couple of weeks. "I'll stop a week before the baby is due, I promised, but I think I should take care of some other places before she is here."
The King started taking weekly trips always coming back on the weekends to see his Queen telling her about how the people of Auradon was doing. After Mal's eight-month celebration the boy was glad to hear that Evie had decided to join the fairy so he wouldn't feel the need to cut his trips every week to be with Mal. On the day of Ben's last departure, Evie arrived at the castle ready to help her friend during her last month of the pregnancy. "Can you believe how much our lives have changed? You are about to give birth to the future Queen of Auradon; Azis and I got married last year, Jay is marrying Lonnie in a couple of months, and Carlos and Jane are back together again."
Mal hugged her friend; they didn't get to see each other much, but just like Mal, Evie had found love, and that made everything worth the time they spent apart. Ben called Mal every night asking her how she was feeling and recounting stories about his days and the way he was making an impact in all the places he went and the people he met. Two days before Ben was supposed to be back in Auradon Mal asked her friends if they wanted to join her in a day at the enchanted lake. Together the friends walked towards the lake talking about their plans for the near future, Jay's wedding and how that would be the next time the four of them would be together again.
They stayed there having a great time; Mal took advantage of the lake to swim a little trying to relieve the pain she was having since she had woke up that morning. However, as night came, the girl started to feel her stomach get hard and suddenly a contraction came scaring all of them. Jay picked the girl up cursing the fact that they didn't have a car or bike to bring her back to the castle. Evie helped Mal with her breathing assuring the girl that everything was going to be ok and soon they would be back at the castle.
Carlos started calling Jane asking the girl to please met them so she could drive them to the hospital. When Jane found them the four friends had managed to calm down and were trying to distract Mal with a couple of songs they used to sing with their friends band. On the way to the hospital, Mal asked Jay to call Ben so the boy would know what was happening with her and the baby. Sadly it didn't matter how many times Jay tried Ben's phone it seemed to be turned off, the boy then tried calling other people that went on the trip with the King with the same result.
As soon as they arrived at the hospital, the doctor told the group to wait while he examined the girl. "Ben is going to kill us all if we don't manage to tell him that the baby is coming. Jane do you know what can be happening?"
"I know that there was a huge storm moving into the land, maybe that is what is going on now? I'm not sure. Honestly, I'm freaking out because Evie is right, Ben is going to be so mad at us." Just as the girl finished saying that the doctor came out and told them that Mal was not going into labor, but instead she had a case of Braxton hicks contractions.
"I've already told her what to do if it happens again and how she can differentiate between actual contractions and this one. For now, she is just resting you can take her home in a while." Everyone relaxed and went into the room to see how Mal was doing, the girl asked them if they managed to get a hold of Ben, but they said no.
That night she laid in bed with Evie in silence, wondering what would have happened if her baby had decided that it was time to join the world. When Evie asked her if she was ok, Mal couldn't stop the tears that came while telling her friend that she didn't want to be alone when her baby was born. "You were never going to be alone Mal. We were all going to be there, and that kid is never going to be alone either. Aside from having two parents that love her as much as someone can love another person she has aunts and uncles that are waiting to spoiled her non-stop."
"Please don't spoil her, I can already see Ben is going to do everything this baby tells him to do. I don't want to be the only person that is going to say no to her." Evie laughed and nodded but also told Mal that she promised not to spoil the baby too much, but she was going to be her godmother so she would be lying if she said that there was not going to be any spoiling on her part making the fairy laughed. Mal's phone rang breaking the moment, and Ben's name flashed on the screen. Evie excused herself telling Mal that she was going to the kitchen to get something to drink giving the couple a chance to speak privately. Soon the fairy was talking to Ben who was freaking out about the amount of missed calls and was wondering if he had missed the birth of the baby.
Mal assured him that everything was fine and went on to tell him about everything that happened making the boy feel horrible for not being able to answer his phone without intending too. Just as Jane had suspected the storm had managed to bring all communications on its path while it move into land. Luckily it wasn't permanent, and Ben was now making sure that there was a contingency plan so that this wouldn't happen again. Ben told Mal about all the things he had managed to do even with the storm ruining his original plans "Should I go home now?"
"No, you only have one more place to go, and then you'll be here with us. I think Elle can wait for her daddy to be home before arriving". Ben smiled at Mal using the name they had picked for their daughter. Even though they had decided in one, they promised each other to keep it a secret until she was born.
"Well I hope so, I really want to be there with you Mal." Elle started kicking the fairy, and she was sure that her daughter was as excited as she was to hear Ben's voice.
Ben made it home a couple of days later, and he was happy to see that Mal was doing great and having a good time with Evie, Carlos, and Jay. Taking advantage of the presence of the Islanders the King decided to take one last meeting before officially going off the grid until the birth of his daughter, so saying goodbye to everyone he went on to meet the council.
However, when he was in the middle of his presentation, he noticed his cellphone vibrating over the table. Ben tried to ignore it, but he couldn't help feeling anxious about the way that it kept going off, one of the council members noticed that and asked the boy to please answer his phone. All of them were aware of how close Mal's due date was, and even though at first their relationship with the Queen wasn't ideal they had all come to care for the girl.
The King answer and the voice of a very freak out Jay came in full force telling the boy that Mal was in labor. They were out and about on the town when her contractions started, so they made their way to the hospital, and the doctor told them that her water had broke and she was going to give birth at any moment now. Ben managed to explain to the council what was happening before running out of the room on his way to the hospital.
When he got there he found the Islanders in the waiting room not sure of what to do; Jay urged the boy to go inside before he missed the birth of his daughter. A nurse helped Ben get ready and clean as quickly as possible before he made his way to the room where Mal was. It took only a couple of minutes after he arrived for the baby to be born, and the boy could feel his heart growing at the sight of Elle. Years ago when he dreamed of Mal, he would have never imagined that they would end up falling in love and starting a family, but today he couldn't imagine his life any other way.
It took the nurse a couple of minutes to bring baby Elle back, and he spent them laying next to Mal giving her little kisses on her head telling her how much he loved her and how thankful he was to her for giving life to Elle. Mal fell asleep after a couple of minutes, and Ben took that chance to go out and announced the birth of their daughter to the Islanders and his parents that had made their way to the hospital by now. The King also told everyone that Mal was asleep so they should probably go grabbed something to eat while the girl sleep, Carlos asked him if he was joining them but Ben declined he wanted to be there when Mal wake up.
Mal woke up a couple of hours after that, and the nurse brought Elle so Ben and Mal could hold her. The couple couldn't help but cried when they hold their beautiful baby. "I never thought it was possible to love someone as much as I love you Mal but today I was once again proved wrong because I love both of you more today that I could ever have thought before. I promised you right now that I would never let anything or anyone hurt neither of you."
"I love you too Ben, and I know that nothing bad is going to happen as long as we are together." They shared a kissed after that as a way of proving to each other how serious they were about their future together. Mal asked the nurse to please tell their visitors to please excused them, but they were not going to see anyone that day because she was too tired and asked them to please come back tomorrow. When the woman left the room, Ben asked her if she wanted to go to sleep but the girl said no, she just wanted to enjoy those first moments of them being a family alone.
The next day though everyone came to visit them and the couple was happy to see all the people that they call family joined the celebration. Azis, Ryder, and Alexandra arrived later on that day straight from their kingdoms. Also, Cora and Zohu who had come back from visiting her parents just an hour ago joined their friends bringing gifts for Elle and for the first time in years all the friends were together again making Mal cried a little out of pure excitement. Taking advantage of the visit of one of the nurses Azis asked the woman to please take a photo of the group with the baby, and soon the first family portrait was taken, that photo would hang on the babies room from the moment she arrived home and for years to come.
Elle is finally here giving Mal and Ben the family they always wanted to have.