Christmas update that was meant to go up yesterday but didn't because people wouldn't leave our house! So were still pretending it was yesterday and that this was posted on Christmas.

Basically, that one time Misaki tried to take Hariel's head off.

Masaki woke to silence.

She blinked blearily, Isshin's sleeping face coming into view. He was completely dead to the world, snoring softly, one arm curled loosely around her. She smiled fondly at him as she sat up, rubbing the sleep from her eyes.

What had woken her?

The night was peaceful, Isshin a comforting warmth next to her. She as always tired lately, she should be enjoying sleep while she was able – wait.

She was exhausted because she kept waking up in the middle of the night.

She kept waking up in the middle of the night because Ichigo kept crying.

Ichigo, who had not cried once tonight.

Masaki was out bed before she even realized she was moving, grabbing her Cross and all but sprinting to the nursery. She threw open the door, Heilig Bogen drawn and ready to fire on the figure she saw standing over her son's crib.


She paused, blinked and finally registered the green eyes staring at her in surprise. Her fingers froze on the bow string.


Hariel huffed, amused, as Masaki scrambled to collapse her bow. "Well, you've certainly got the protective motherly instincts down," she said dryly, rocking her arms were little Ichigo had started fussing.

Masaki rubbed the back of her neck and laughed sheepishly. "Sorry, Grandma," she said, "I'm just used to him waking me up and when he didn't…" she trailed off and gave a helpless shrug.

"Oh, I'm well aware of what that's like, sweetheart," her grandmother said, "You don't have to explain anything to me."

Masaki walked further into the room, smiling as Hariel brushed a gentle fingertip across Ichigo's forehead.

"He's beautiful, Masaki," Hariel said softly, eyes bright, "You should be proud."

Masaki beamed. "You should have seen Isshin," she recalled fondly, a soft laugh escaping her, "He was in a complete panic the whole time but when he got to hold his son for the first time…"

Hariel chuckled. "Yes, there is nothing quite like that first moment," she agreed. She paused for a moment, staring at the sleeping infant in her arms before saying, "He's very bright, Masaki. So very, very bright."

Masaki pressed her lips into a tight line. She knew that – has known that since the fourth month of her pregnancy when she first felt Ichigo's reiatsu brush against hers. Even now, as tiny as he is and huddled in his many times great-grandmother's arms, her son's reiatsu leaks out in waves.

"His parents are strong," Hariel continued, "And so he will be as well. Masaki," Hariel looked up and held her eyes and this was one of those moments where she looked so unspeakably old that Masaki wondered how she hadn't collapsed under the weight of all those years, "Teach him to be kind. Teach him love and compassion. Don't let him feel lonely."

"I won't," she swore, frowning slightly at the very thought, "You don't even need to ask."

Hariel smiled. "I know," she said, rocking Ichigo gently once more and placing a light kiss on his forehead before carefully handing him over to Masaki. She ran gentle fingers through fire bright tufts of hair as the baby curled into Masaki's chest. "Let your parents get some sleep, little one. They need rest too, hm?"

Masaki huffed. "I don't think that's going to happen anytime soon, but thanks for the thought, Grandma."

Hariel chuckled and shook her head and pressed a kiss to Masaki's cheek. "It never hurts to dream," she said with a cheeky smile that gentled as she added, "If you and Isshin ever need a night, I would be more than happy to look after him."

"I'll keep that in mind," Masaki said, "You can visit any time though. I'm sure Ichi-chan would love to get to know his grandmother."

Hariel's eyes shined. "And I am very much looking forward to knowing him."

Yay! Mama Misaki! Baby Ichi! So cute! Thoughts?

Until next time,