"It's your turn," the blonde mumbled into the soft pillow, only to receive a half-hearted grunt from the man beside her. "Go on. I did it last time."
Wait, what? What am I even saying?
Lucy shot up in the bed, the room spinning slightly from the sudden movement. What the hell is going on here? The crying from the hall was getting louder – the same crying that had woken her up – and she could feel the beginnings of a headache. Why is there even a baby crying?
She turned in the bed, the duvet becoming slightly twisted as she did so. The room was dark, but she knew it was not her bed, and nothing in the room belonged to her, nor did she recognise any of it. She looked down at the sleeping form beside her; he was facing away from her, his own face pushed into his pillow. What the hell is going on here? Where am I?
The crying was getting louder again, and the other person on the bed started to move, sliding slowly towards the edge of the bed. Lucy only sat staring at the man, wondering who it was and how they came to be sharing a bed. She didn't remember going out the night before. In fact, she couldn't even remember leaving the guild that afternoon, yet here she was in a stranger's bed.
"Fine, I'm going," he mumbled as he pushed himself up slowly into a sitting position, his eyes half lidded as he placed his feet on the ground and feeling the cold of the wood.
He stood up slowly, still feeling like he was asleep (because let's face it, he was). And then it occurred to him: he had no idea what he was even getting up for. He suddenly felt very awake, and the loud cry of what he could only assume was a baby was coming from down the hall. Why the hell is there a kid crying? He turned his head to look down at the tangled sheets. Whose bed is this?
The man turned his head more, looking over his shoulder. His eyes went wide when he realised what – or rather, who, he was staring at, and he jumped up from the bed suddenly but instead went crashing to the floor, realising he was still slightly tangled up in the sheets.
"Cosplayer?!" he shouted as he placed his hands back on the mattress, pushing himself up slightly so that he wasn't lying on the floor amongst the sheets that were being pulled from the bed. What the hell is she doing here? What the hell is going on here?!
Cosplayer? No. No, no, no. There's only one person who calls me that. Oh, no. God no. She reached an arm out to the lamp that sat on the bedside table and quickly switched it on as he did the same on the other side of the bed. "B-Bickslow?! What the hell are you doing here?" She only sat there, bewildered. How the hell had she found herself in a bed with Bickslow?
"What am I doing here? What are you doing here?!" He pushed himself up more, standing up straight as he stared down at the blonde that sat on the far side of the bed. Yep, definitely her.
"I don't know what I'm doing here! Isn't this… Is this your house?"
"What? No! I thought it was yours!" Bickslow turned to face the door that sat at the foot of the bed. The crying had gotten louder once again and had brought him back to what he had been woken up by. "Is that a baby?"
"I hope so." Lucy got up from the bed and walked towards the hall slowly.
"You hope so? There's other things you could be hoping for right now," he mumbled as he followed her.
"Well, I mean, this is a pretty weird situation, so it wouldn't be all that surprising if this is a trap or something."
Lucy crept down the dark hall in the direction the sound was coming from. Bickslow's footsteps behind her could barely be heard over the crying, and she could feel her heart racing as she walked. She was nervous, and she was scared as hell. If it was an actual human baby, then she'd be even more confused because she'd have to figure out who its parents were, but if it wasn't and it ended up being a trap… Well, she didn't know what to expect, really.
Lucy pushed open the door that the crying seemed to be coming from, revealing the dimly lit room that seemed to be a nursery. She looked for a light switch on the wall, finding it right next to the door and flicked the lights on. Lucy looked around the room as she walked in slowly, Bickslow still standing in the doorframe. The walls were a bright yellow, and all of the furniture white. In one corner sat a large white chair with a grey pillow, and next to it sat a small white chest of drawers. The opposite wall had the large crib, and below the window sat a changing table.
She made her way over to the crib tentatively, and Bickslow did the same slowly. Lucy peered over the railing and into the crib, leaning her elbows on the railing when she was confident that it was just a baby, and not some horrible monster that just looked like a baby.
"Shouldn't you like… do something?" Bickslow mumbled as he came to rest his elbows on the railing next to the blonde and vaguely gestured to the near screaming infant in front of them.
"Why me?" She turned to look up at him. She could see how confused he was – it was clear on his face. But she was realising something was missing, too. Lucy had only seen him a few times without his visor, but she knew that something wasn't right. The mark. The mark is gone. "Wait… Your mark is gone?"
He turned to look at the blonde. "What?"
"That mark or… Or tattoo you have." She pointed to the bridge of her nose. "It's not there."
Bickslow turned around to walk over to the set of drawers behind them, looking into the mirror that sat above it. "What the fuck? What the hell is going on?" He frantically tried rubbing his hands over his nose, trying to make the mark that he'd had his entire life appear, hoping that it was just covered up by something.
"Language!" Lucy yelled from behind him. "There's a baby here!"
"It's not even my kid! Why do I care?"
"It doesn't matter!"
"Whatever, just please, make it stop crying!"
Shaking her head, Lucy turned to look down at the tiny human in the crib below her, and reached in to pick it up, the light pink blanket falling away. She cradled it in her arms as she pulled it against her chest, rocking slightly, "Hey, hey," she whispered. "It's okay. Shh." Lucy had absolutely no idea what she was supposed to be doing, but she hoped just doing that would work to some extent.
The crying seemed to get quieter after a few minutes, too, thankfully. His nose red and slightly sore, Bickslow came to stand next to the blonde again, curiously watching the two. "Does it have a name?"
"Can you stop calling it an it?"
"You just called it an it," Bickslow pointed out. He took a step forward then, towering over the two of them. He looked down at the now quiet baby, and Bickslow only noticed the light blonde hair that covered their entire head. And just out of curiosity, he glanced back to Lucy. Blonde. Same blonde. This is weird. He lifted an arm slowly, raising his hand to prod at the baby's chest as lightly and gentle as possible. "Hey, what's your name?"
"Don't do that!" Lucy stepped away quickly and glared up at the man. "I doubt she knows how to talk."
He raised an eyebrow to that. "So it's a she now?"
"Well, I mean, there's a lot of pink stuff in here too."
"Whatever. So it's a she now." He folded his arms across his chest, "Doesn't change the fact we don't know who her parents are, or what her name is, or why we're even here in the first place."
Lucy looked back down at the blonde child in her arms – she barely looked to be six months old. Lucy knew that Bickslow was right: they knew nothing about why they were there, and they knew nothing about the baby. Maybe it's all just a dream? No – scratch that. More like nightmare.
Confident that she had gotten the baby back to sleep (somehow) after a few more minutes, she walked back over to the crib slowly, and lowered her down into it.
"Maybe it's all just a dream and none of this even matters?" she sighed as she went back to just leaning on the railing, continuing to look down at the baby.
Bickslow stood up straight, pinching his forearm a few times until it left a red mark. "Here, try punching me," he said, holding his arm out to the blonde.
"You want me to punch you?" She raised an eyebrow as she turned to look at Bickslow, only seeing that he was completely serious when he shrugged.
"Not like, super ha—hey! That hurt!" He took a few steps back, his free hand clutching his arm just below his shoulder. He knew her kicks hurt, but her punches too? That was new.
She turned back to look down at the sleeping baby, only to realise that she wasn't sleeping anymore, and was instead smiling up at her as Lucy looked down. A small giggle came from the child when Bickslow came to peer over the edge again, both of their eyes going wide when the small child opened her own eyes.
"Red?" he mumbled. Blonde with red eyes? Who the hell has red eyes? Oh… no. No way. No fucking way.
"You have red eyes… She has red eyes… You're here… No one else seems to be here…" Lucy mumbled as she tried to put the pieces together, realising the same as Bickslow obviously as they kept staring down at the child.
Bickslow only glared at her. "No. Don't go there. Don't even think about going there."
"But it kind of makes sense if you think about it like that!"
"Nothing about this makes any sense at all." He continued to glare at Lucy before adding, "But if you're set on saying that, then think about this: the kid is blonde. Who else is blonde and is here right now?" He watched her eyes go wide as her face went a bright red, and he couldn't help but smirk. Obviously she hadn't thought of that.
"Oh… God no. No way." She took a step back from the crib as his words set in. There was no way. No possible way. No possible way that she had a kid with Bickslow. No way. Impossible.
"Well, I'm going back to bed." Bickslow turned away from the crib and headed back towards the hallway with a yawn. He had no idea what time it was, but he felt like he should be sleeping, and so he was going to go do just that.
She lifted her head as she was brought back from her thoughts, just to watch him walk out of the room. "W-What? Now? Are you insane?" she hissed down the hall. "What about her?" she asked, gesturing to the crib behind her as she stuck her head out the door.
"She's asleep again, if you haven't noticed," came the shout from the other end of the hall, "And besides, maybe when I wake up it will all be over and I'll be back in the guild, drinking myself into oblivion."
Lucy looked down into the crib once again, and sure enough she was back to sleeping peacefully. With a sigh, she switched the light off in the room and closed the door behind her before heading back to the room she had woken up in, where Bickslow was moving around the bed, fixing up the tangled sheets and duvet. She realised how odd it looked, seeing him doing simple things like that. She knew he would have to do them normally – in his own home, of course – but she had never really seen him outside of the guild, so it was weird seeing him in that kind of setting.
"You should probably try and go back to sleep, too," Bickslow said as he finished with the covers, moving over to the side he had woken up on and switching off the lamp and leaving the room slightly darker than before.
"Maybe… But not in here," she mumbled. Maybe he was right, though. Sleep would be good, especially if they had to try and figure out the mess they were in and how they had gotten in it in the first place, and that would probably prove to be difficult if she was lacking sleep… But she still had no intentions of getting back into a bed with Bickslow.
"Think about it this way." He climbed back into the bed, pulling the duvet over him as he slid down. "That kid seems to somehow be ours, which would mean that I somehow managed to get you knocked up. Not to mention that we woke up like this, so in whatever fucked up world we've ended up in, we were sharing a bed to begin with. So really, is it that bad?"
"We don't know that for sure…" she mumbled again as she looked down at her feet. But again he seemed to be right. There didn't seem to be anyone else in the house – wherever that house may be – and the child seemed to have calmed down when she had held her, and laughed when Bickslow had stuck his stupid head over the edge of the railing. Not to mention the fact that she seemed to have pieces of both of them…
Then again, babies all looked the same anyway.
But she really did want to sleep, and surely it couldn't be that bad, especially if it was only going to be for a few hours – or so she hoped. The bed was pretty big, too, so it could have been worse. Only with a sigh of defeat, she quickly made her way over to the free side of the bed, all too aware that Bickslow was watching her. "Just… Stay on that side, okay?" she muttered as she made herself comfortable under the blankets, switching off the lamp on her side and leaving the room in darkness once again.
"Gladly," came the mumbled response from Bickslow.
She could hear him shuffling around, and she could feel the mattress moving as he did so, as well as recognise the war for the blanket they both seemed to be in already. The room soon fell into a silence once again, though. There was no crying, no sound of sheets sliding over another, and no arguing. Lucy could only hope that Bickslow was right about it all being a dream of some sort. As dangerous, loud, and crazy the guild got sometimes, she spent almost all of her free time there, so she had gotten used to it, and she found herself missing it already.
She didn't even understand what was going on, but she knew she didn't like it. She wanted to be back at that hysterical place she called home, and she didn't want to be in this crazy universe where she most likely – but not yet confirmed, she reminded herself – had a kid with Bickslow.
But instead of worrying herself with it anymore, she closed her eyes with a quiet sigh into her pillow and willed herself to sleep, even if it was only going to be for a little while.
A/Ns: I'm removing most of the irrelevant author's notes as I update these chapters (I posted an announcement on my profile but I since deleted it). The ones that are relevant to the story, or are in the later chapters, I'll leave. This shouldn't be too much of a problem, but for old readers and new, I hope you like this version of the chapter better. Old readers won't notice the changes though, but I know they're there so it's okay. ;)