"Mana? Can you sit down please?" Hearing his brother enter the room, he ceased his attempt at playing the instrument in front of him. He was just too engulfed in his thoughts to run his fingers over the keys, which was odd since that was usually what it took to escape his thoughts. He knew why he was like this, he had known for a few days now actually, but that didn't stop his mind from hindering his ability to act normally. Hearing that one spot of the floor creak as his brother moved to the couch, he let out the sigh that had been trapped in his throat, moving to turn on the piano stool to face Mana as the elder sat.
"Nea? What's this about? Are you alright?" Hearing the softer voice, he glanced over the rest of the room, trying to focus on anything other than the impending conversation he was about to have. Noticing Mana let out what had to have been an annoyed groan, he blinked a few times as the other covered his face with both hands. "Did Tiki and Cross force you into doing something again? Are the police going to be showing up because they got you to do something illegal again?" The questions had him pausing for a moment, wanting to laugh at his older twin's thoughts. But he couldn't, he wasn't able to get a laugh out even if he wanted to so bad.
"No Mana, this has nothing to do with Tiki and Cross and I'm not a fugitive this time." Letting out a breath, he couldn't relax no matter how much he wanted to, his joints stiff as his elbows sat against his upper thighs, his posture the worst it's probably been in a month or two. Feeling his stomach churn, he bit his tongue, trying to keep from losing the bit of his lunch he had managed to get down from nerves of all things. Glancing up as Mana moved to get up from the couch, he could see the confusion and worry in the amber colored eyes.
"What's going on Nea? Are you still feeling sick? I know you told me that you were feeling better, but you're not acting like yourself." Moving to sit up again, he took a few deep breaths. He really needed to explain what was happening before he chickened out again. Letting out the first breath as he closed his eyes, he opened them again as he took in the next breath, watching Mana move to be able to get up within a moment.
"I don't know fully how it happened, nor the events leading up to this occurrence, but it's a reality now. It's not an actual illness, but I would have rather it been one. Feels like an illness either way, but oh well." Taking another breath, he knew he was rambling. He couldn't stop himself from doing it though, it seemed like his brain lost its hold on his mouth and in response his mouth decided to go wild. Catching the look Mana was giving him, something along the lines of confusion, annoyance, and worry, he bit his lower lip to get his mouth to stop moving.
"What exactly are you trying to tell me? You're sick but also not sick? That doesn't make any sense Nea." Frowning at the exasperated words his brother threw out into the air, he did his best to hold his hands away from his torso, trying not to fall into the odd instinct of curling his arms around himself for comfort. He could barely understand the words that his brother spoke, his head trying to mute the world around him. Mentally kicking himself, he stood from the piano stool all too quickly, the nausea coming at him full force but he ignored it flat out. Letting both of his hands dig into and grip his thick brown hair, he had to keep himself from just yelling at Mana.
"I'm pregnant! That's what took me so damn long to try explaining. You happy now Mana? That's the reason behind everything the past few weeks." His voice had raised a few octaves when he spoke, his volume higher than he had wanted it to get to. The room was absolutely silent after he had spoken, himself only able to hear his heart in his ears. Taking breaths as he tried to calm himself down from his blow-up, he could feel as what had to be tears started overflowing from his eyes. Feeling as both of his wrists were grabbed, he felt himself being pulled over toward the couch and on top of his brother, one soft hand moving to his back and the other combing into his hair as he felt the sobs wrack through him. The two of them stayed there for a good bit, himself crying till the tears ceased their flow as Mana held him. He didn't know why his brother was still there, why his twin let him cry like this and coat his shirt and vest with tears and snot. Catching his breath as his heart started slowing from its speeding beats, he rested his forehead on the elder's shoulder, able to feel the set of arms draped over his lower back.
"Mana, why?" His throat hurt as he tried to speak, an ache in his head from crying. Feeling the shoulder under his head bounce, he had to hold back from groaning in pain as it felt like his brain hit his skull.
"Shush, we'll talk when you calm down Nea. You're alright." Hearing the light tone, he could tell that the other was still working over what he had said. Closing his eyes, he felt himself being shifted, his ear being pressed against his brother's chest, the even pace of the heart lulling his exhausted mind to sleep.
"Nea! We need to go, come on!" Hearing the voice from the other side of the door, he huffed under his breath. First he was woken at an objectively early hour, and now his brother was trying to get him to leave the house to go have lunch with the rest of the 'family'. What a joke, some family they are.
Turning back to what was currently in his hands, he hissed a bit under his breath. Of course it had to be the time he needed to wear more than just casual clothing. Leaning back against the door to his bedroom, he tried again to fasten his pants and the lower buttons on both his shirt and vest. They fit just fine two weeks ago, if not a little bit tight.
"I'm taking a rain check Mana, I'm not going." Speaking up to hopefully get his brother to stop banging on the door at his back, he still tried to fasten the pieces of clothing. Growling in frustration, he had to keep himself from just ripping the buttons. Hearing something hit against his back, he barely heard the next words the other spoke before near literally jumping from in front of the door.
"Move away from the door before you hit your head on the floor Nea, I'm coming in." Watching the door open, he saw his twin come into view, arms crossed over his chest as he took in the sight before him.
"If you told me that you couldn't get your clothes on I could have helped you. Come on, my clothes should work till we can get you some new ones. I'll be right back, get out of those. We're going to be late already as it is, but they'll wait hours for the two of us to show up and you know it." Groaning internally, he listened to what he was told to do, knowing that Mana was right on all fronts. Getting first the vest and button up off easily, he had a little more difficulty with getting his pants off his hips but managed to shove them off just before Mana returned holding the other set of clothing. It wasn't the first time he'd be wearing his twin's clothes, and their outfits were nearly identical besides the ribbons that went around their collars. Slipping the larger pants up over his hips, he easily got them fastened before getting the white button up on his arms, freezing up in stunned shock as Mana started buttoning it up.
"Don't look at me like that, we're leaving as soon as you're dressed." Slipping the vest on as Mana got the last button on the shirt, it still felt odd for him to be in this position, being dressed like a child who couldn't do it himself. He managed to get his shoes on without the fussing from Mana, being told to follow as he tied his ribbon.
"You didn't have to dress me like I was a child, I could have gotten myself buttoned up." He huffed softly as the two of them left their residence and started walking towards their destination. Mana was quiet for a few minutes, probably trying to let him calm down before he responded in any way. He didn't know why, he wasn't really angry, just frustrated by how he couldn't wear his own clothes.
"I know I didn't have to, but that doesn't mean that I didn't want to. You used to help me get dressed like that when we were younger. I'm sorry about your clothes, but it was bound to happen at some point since you're-" Going wide eyed, he all but smacked his twin in the face, trying to keep the next word from entering the air. To say he was trying to hide his condition was an understatement, especially from their family. He knew it was bound to happen, that he'd stop fitting in his own clothes eventually, but he didn't realize it would happen so soon. He's only about halfway through this condition and the only parts that have been even the slightest bit of good were when he stopped getting constantly sick, which he's thanked Mana for helping with, and how he wasn't allowed to do 'too much' work. According to Mana, any amount of work would be too much for him.
"Don't say it Mana, I can still pass as the opposite. Just don't think I should be this big so soon." Feeling his wrist being grabbed and himself being pulled to a stop, he watched as Mana shot him a look, amber meeting amber across the air.
"Nea, sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but you're supposed to be bigger by this point. You're underweight and I'm worried that something is going to happen if that doesn't change." Freezing up, he could only blink. He didn't feel or look like he was underweight, but then again he's never done this all before. Feeling the hand around his wrist loosen up, he tried to be comforted by the small smile Mana put up, able to tell that there were emotions hidden behind it. How did he get such a wonderful brother? Taking Mana's hand in his before the elder could pull it away, he stepped forward a bit more, his mouth forming a smile without him needing to consciously do so.
"Let's pick this conversation back up when we get home Mana, you're the one who was worried about us being late to lunch. I may not enjoy our siblings but I'll sit through a meal with them every other week if it makes you happy." Watching Mana smile back at him, the two of them continued on their way, himself trying to keep his mind focused on what the two of them were about to walk into. Hearing the two of them being announced by one of the maids, he let out a breath before trying to force the smile off his face. Why was he smiling? Didn't he hate everyone here?
The dining room was hectic as it always was during these lunches, and from just glancing into the room as he walked past he could tell that. Feeling his shoulder being tugged before he could submit to entering the room, he could see the faint glow in his brother's eyes, skin looking a bit more dusty than it usually did. Right, he forgot about that.
"I know it hurt when you last tried to, but can you please try again?" He knew what Mana was asking, and he dreaded what he was about to submit himself to. Closing his eyes, he tried to tug for the memory to come forward, his chest forcing out his breath as it tried to collapse in on itself it seemed. Shaking his head, he rubbed at his eye as he tried to reclaim air his lungs had evicted without warning or precaution. Hearing a sigh from in front of him, he let Mana pull him into a hug. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have asked you to try when it's proven itself to put you through pain. Sit in my seat when we get in there, someone has most certainly done something to your usual spot."
"Like normal. And don't blame yourself Mana, it's probably something to do with my condition. I just hope nobody puts up a fuss this time." It had been like this for months, usually some part of his food or drink mildly inedible, whether poisoned or filled with glass. He's been more careful to check for such the past few lunches, but it still felt like Mana was being a little over protective of him. But maybe it was for good reason, so he just nodded in response before following Mana into the dining room, sitting where the other usually sat at the end of the table. A few looked at him oddly during the movement, because of his tone or him sitting out of place he couldn't tell. It could've been his expression for all he knew, still unable to keep the smile off his face for whatever reason. Nobody had said anything though, everyone digging into the food on the table. There were small conversations that went around, but they had nothing compared to what was started halfway through the meal.
"So Nea, why are you wearing Mana's clothes?" Glancing to the side where said person sat, he watched Mana blink. Oh he didn't like where this was going, not at all. Sighing a little, he shifted in his seat, one arm accidentally curling around his middle. He really hoped nobody on their side of the table noticed it, but it was just his luck that not just one, but two of their siblings noticed. This is going to be great for everyone but him.
"Well-" Hearing Mana try giving an answer for him, he grabbed the man's arm to silence his brother. From the looks he was getting from Road and Wisely they already figured it out at least a little bit. Note to brain peepers, stop it, get some help, especially you three eyes.
"My clothes wouldn't fit, but I don't see how that was any of your business Tiki." Doing his best to sound unbothered and disinterested in the topic of conversation, internally he wanted to know what everyone was thinking. As far as everyone other than himself and Mana were concerned he was just getting meat on his bones, he had to admit in retrospect that he was underweight prior to this entire turn of events, he just hadn't actually realized it himself till that moment. So that explains why Mana was worried about him.
Hearing soft laughter from down the table, he couldn't stop himself from glaring at the duo. He didn't understand why he got so angry at the other set of twins laughing over something so stupid. Sitting back in his seat, he closed his eyes trying to ignore the part of himself that just wanted to yell at the two. Holding his left wrist with his right hand, he took a breath, a second following, only to figure out that it wasn't any help for him.
"If I didn't know any better I'd think you were knocked up with how you're acting." His mind blanked, eyes opening in shock as he glanced down the side of the table. How could some idiot like Tiki get so close to the truth. He barely realized Wisely's eyes widened from across from himself, mentally cursing at the situation and grabbing Mana's wrist to stop his twin from getting up from the table and giving Tiki a well deserved beating.
"With what brain Tiki? Also please refrain from being so crass, there are children present." Sheril speaking up gave him enough mental clarity to allow himself to physically turn to Mana and grab both of his twin's hands, sending a look to his brother to calm down, to stop trying to fight his battles for him. He truly hated how his situation forced the two of them to impracticality switch places. Anyway, wasn't he supposed to be the one with the temper? He could hear Tiki going after Sheril from across the table for the insult, Wisely speaking up that he wasn't a child and instantly getting ignored. Serves the brat right for peeking into people's minds.
Glancing up, he could see Road's golden eyes trained on him, a silent question spilling from her expression alone. She wanted to know what was really going on, what he was hiding and he didn't know how to respond to her questions. So he did the only thing he could think of, and that was nod. He wasn't expecting the reaction he got, watching his half sister bounce in her seat, he had a sinking feeling that it was from misinterpreted information. Taking a breath, he looked to Mana and squeezed both his hands, already knowing it was long since the time he should've explained what was going on. He never wanted the news to get out amongst the family, whether it being dangerous or being used against everyone. His original plan was to just say he took the kid in or that he had fathered the child, but now that was out of the question, he'd probably keep those appearances in public, but amongst the rest of the Noah the truth would be in the air.
Standing from his seat, he took a breath and held it, letting it back out after a few moments. The room had gone nearly silent after he stood, and he could feel the eyes on him. He could feel his stomach churn as he stood, his mind wandering back to when he had told Mana. "I need to explain-" His mouth had opened to say the words, only managing to get four out before snapping shut within moments of him feeling like he was about to be sick. He could see the odd looks he got from Road and Mana, but that didn't stop him from practically sealing his mouth shut and running from the room, hand finding purchase over his lips once out of the dining room.
He was overly glad that the bathroom he had stumbled into had a lock, or else he'd have had quite a few of his siblings fall in through the door while he was still on the floor. Rinsing the taste from his mouth, he stuck his tongue out at his reflection. He did not miss this part from the past few months, but it probably had a reason this time. Stepping closer to the door, he pinched the bridge of his nose as he could practically tell that there were at least six of his siblings on the other side of the door.
Stepping to be behind where the door would open, he made sure he was distanced from the impact of three grown men and Wisely falling on top of each other on the bathroom floor, Tiki making up the bottom of the pile, Mana Wisely and Sheril all on top of him. It was sick of him to be satisfied that Tiki was being trapped against the floor, but he didn't care. Feeling his wrist being grabbed by Road, he nearly tripped over his feet as she practically dragged him into a sitting room, being shoved onto a couch with a knitted blanket, most obviously something Adam knitted himself if the pattern was any indication, across his lap.
"Alright, care to finish what you were going to say in the dining room before you ran?" Glancing around at everyone, perched on other couches and chairs or even the floor, he started running the fingers of one hand through his hair. Feeling a hand on his shoulder, he watched Mana from the corner of his eye, the heel of his shoe hitting a bucket that had been put on the floor next to him. He honestly wanted to do anything but explain, exhausted as anything, but he wasn't getting out of it no matter what he tried.
"I don't believe there's much to actually explain anymore, especially since Tiki of all people managed to get it right without realizing it." Taking a deep breath, he used a finger to trace along the pattern of the blanket, flowers and bats in neat little rows. "I'm five months pregnant and it's sadly obvious that I am heavily underweight. I wasn't going to say anything for a long while, but I obviously couldn't hide it and there's no way for me to go into hiding." The room went silent for the most part as he finished speaking, his eyes darting around. At least Road and Wisely looked moderately unfazed, but the same couldn't be said about everyone else.
"Why wouldn't you have just told us, why was your first thought to run and hide?" Blinking at the questions from Wisely, he looked to the childish teen.
"You do realize how weird this is correct? Just this entire situation." Trying to figure out how to explain his thoughts better, he stared at his hands. Hearing laughter from the floor around where Tiki had been sitting, he blinked as he watched the Noah of pleasure speak up finally.
"Don't be so dramatic Nea, did you really think we'd drop you over this?" Hearing the words, he huffed, feeling his arm being grabbed so he wouldn't get up from the couch.
"Who are you calling dramatic?! Are you saying that it wouldn't have possibly happened?" Feeling a hand being placed over his mouth, he tried to glare at the taller brunette that was keeping him from moving.
"Nea calm down, you're being a little dramatic. Oh that's disgusting, don't lick my hand!" Having his mouth freed, he stuck his tongue out at Mana. Hearing the conversation continue, he moved to rest his head on Mana's shoulder, exhaustion overwhelming him after all that had happened so far. Suddenly, he was startled by Road squealing less than a foot away, eyes opening in a flash as he sat forward. He really needed to stay awake while at family gatherings.
"I call being auntie!" Blinking a few times as the Noah of dreams bouncing on her heels and clapping her hands together, he could only shrug, not really having anything against Road going by the term. But from the momentary silence in the room he could tell that something was about to start.
"Wait, no!" Rolling his eyes at Sheril's outburst, he pressed his forehead against Mana's shoulder. He should've realized this would happen, but he really didn't care at the moment. Hearing a bark of a laugh come from Tiki, he felt Mana brush his hair from his face.
"So what would that make you Sheril? Grandpa?" He'd have laughed if he had any energy, but instead he just sighed, sitting up again blearily to stare at the room. All he wanted to do was go home and crawl in his bed he was that tired.
"Honestly I don't care what you all want to be called, even if you're all uncles or whatever. The only two I know about are Mana and Road, who are definitely getting called Uncle and Auntie. If you ignored your game of house for three seconds and used your brain this wouldn't have happened most likely. Now shush up I'm exhausted." Hearing a bit of laughter at how his last few words had slurred a little, he felt Mana get up before pulling him off the couch, saying something about going home.
He must've fallen asleep standing because the next thing he could understand was that he was in a carriage covered in the same blanket, which at this point he guessed he was allowed to take since Adam didn't look to be thinking of a way to retrieve it from his previously sleeping figure. He had been laying against Mana's shoulder again, which he felt a little apologetic about. He wondered why he had woken up at all, vaguely thinking it was them going over a hole in the road before he realized that it was an internal factor. He'd felt the fluttering like movements before but hadn't really mentally placed things together till this moment, the feeling stronger than it had been previously. Closing his eyes to slits, he glanced to Road, his half-sister poking fun at an objecting Lero. That pumpkin headed umbrella got on his nerves most of the time, but he couldn't really understand why.
Shifting a little so his arm fell forward, he really tried to keep the attention off of himself. Holding his arm against his front, he could still feel the fluttering, and he couldn't stop himself from gasping as he felt his forearm being nudged against very briefly. And that's when his cover was blown, because the second he gasped Mana had him sitting up and all three were asking him questions, even Lero looked worried about him.
"What happened Nea? Is something wrong?" Fully opening his eyes, he went to remove Mana's hands from where they were squishing his cheeks.
"Nothing's wrong Mana, I'm alright. The baby just kicked and startled me a little." Smiling to his brother, he wasn't too surprised by the silence that followed. But what did make him jump was how he felt himself being tugged into a hug.
"I was so scared for a moment there Nea. I thought something bad happened." Hugging Mana back, he sighed a little at not being bombarded with more questions.
"Nea? Is the baby still kicking?" It was a few minutes of silence before he heard Road ask her question. He smiled again, nodding his head as his answer, watching her golden eyes shine from across the carriage.
"Did you want to feel? I'm not sure how much it would be since I don't need the outward sense to tell, but you can try." Road bounced on her seat, nodding as she sat forward with her arm outstretched. Her hand was warm, it felt nice even though layers of clothes. He could feel the little one start squirming at the temperature change and the mild attention, Road's grin spreading across her face.
"I felt it! The baby moved!" After a bit longer of a carriage ride back home, Adam and Mana both taking turns to feel the baby move, he and Mana both stepped off the carriage to go inside. The moment he changed out of Mana's clothes and climbed into bed he was out like a light, exhaustion sweeping over him.
The house smelled of sweets, it's smelled of sweets for the past week and a half. He didn't know why Mana had such an urge to bake so much, at least till he was told that the rest of the family would be coming over to their house for the holiday. It lightly bugged him, but he wouldn't complain, at least he wasn't being told to walk in the snow he'd never make it to Adam's place.
Fixing his position on the couch, he tried to sit up, only managing to hit the back of his head on the arm of the couch as he was beaten back down. He loved his little one, but sometimes he just wished they would calm down and let him be comfortable for half an hour. Placing his hand at the top of his stomach to see if that would help, he felt what had to be little feet press up against his skin. At least they knew what was happening around them a bit. Hearing someone at the door, he watched near helplessly as Mana ran from the kitchen to let some of their siblings in before going back just as quickly.
"How are you feeling Nea?" Glancing to where Road had spoken from behind the couch, he tried to give a half smile to the girl. He'd been asked the same question when Mana woke up at nine, himself already having been up for three hours for no reason. For those three hours all he managed to do was clean the floors and fix how things were positioned, he really disliked the moment he realized he wouldn't be able to play his piano until after the baby was born.
"Sleepy, achy, about as well as someone two weeks from having a kid would be. They're just as active as they always are though, won't let me sit up let alone get up off the couch." Letting his minor complaint be heard, Road laughed a little behind her hand before she helped him sit up, taking the seat beside him. The two of them watched as Sheril, Wisely and Tiki brought in their gifts and placed them by the tree, Road hugging his arm. As more people arrived, Sheril and Road answering the door each time, he could feel himself getting more agitated with the group. They were all loud, talking over each other despite being indoors and his headache wasn't going to help with that. Then there was how a few of them had tracked mud into the house, himself being forced to sit as someone else cleaned it up. All he wanted was to go to his room and relax, or at least try to, but Mana wasn't having any of it.
Huffing under his breath, he glanced around the room before closing his eyes for a moment, both hands resting on his stomach. It seemed like the moment his eyes shut that someone decided to bother him, able to feel a sharper finger prod against the underside of his middle. He was quick to shoo the hand away, but they'd already spurred on the baby, who was now kicking fervently. So that's how he retaliated, doing his best attempt at kicking Jasdero in the back of the head. Feeling a hand hit the back of his head, he glanced back to find Mana, the other's amber eyes narrowed in his direction.
"Feet to yourself, Nea. You know that." Fully glaring at his identical twin, he wasn't having it. He didn't care that it was a holiday, he wasn't going to be scolded for childish reasons. Positioning his hands against the couch to try pushing himself up and onto his feet, he stood shakily.
"Find me whenever everyone is ready for whatever, I'm leaving the room." Doing his best to walk down the hall steadily, he pressed his hand against the wall as he walked, sitting in one of the chairs in the library. He could hear the footsteps behind him even in the living area, so he wasn't surprised to watch Mana walk into the library a few steps behind him.
"What was that all about? You don't need to get worked up over nothing." Letting both his hands form fists, he struggled to not yell as he spoke, not trying to get the attention of the people in the other room.
"Over nothing? I'm sorry but I doubt you've actually been paying attention. First off, I've been stuck on the couch for most of the day, and each time before now that I tried to get up I've been told to stay and whatever I needed could be grabbed. I normally wouldn't mind that, but I haven't been allowed to stand and walk around most of the day. Secondly, my head is pounding, and being in that room was making it worse. I had my reasons for asking to go to my room, the only reason I'm not there now because I can't get up the stairs myself. Thirdly, I'm carrying a baby, an almost full term one at that. This kid squirms and kicks my organs black and blue upon being bothered or waking up. So tell me again that I'm getting worked up over nothing. I'm stressed, tired, and it's taking everything for me not to yell at you or start crying, I just want to be left alone to calm down for a bit, Mana. Please, just leave me alone for a few minutes, I'll come back to open gifts whenever that happens, but I need some quiet for a bit." Watching Mana for a moment, he relaxed as his twin brother nodded in response, resting his back against the seat. He watched Mana leave the room, spending his few minutes of silence to try calming his squirming baby as he calmed himself. It worked for the most part, himself pacing around the room a few times working better than anything involving sitting. He had to guess this kid would love moving around as they grew up.
Upon getting back to the living room where everyone was sitting and waiting for him, he noticed how much quieter it was, able to feel his cheeks heating up in embarrassment. Mana must have relayed what he had said. Getting back to the couch between Mana and Road, he relaxed as the gifts were being handed out, a separate pile being left by the tree. He was confused by that for a bit until he was handed one and saw who it was meant for. He hadn't even realized that he started crying until he had both Mana and Road hugging him.
"I do hope that you aren't upset by any of this, but we all had decided to wait till now to give things for the little one. You don't need to open any of them now if you don't want to, but if you need anything just give a call." He couldn't stop himself from smiling, tears still running down his cheeks as he held the small box he was handed. It took a little while for all the presents to be opened, himself just telling everyone that they could help him open the gifts for the baby. While dinner was being finished up, he was up in the baby's room with Road and Adam putting the gifts away at the same time as he explained where everything was. Toys were placed in the box they belonged to as the clothes went in the dresser, blankets and miscellaneous soft objects being put in the closet.
"You have a rocking chair? Oh! Does it actually help calm the baby or is that something you can't tell?" Laughing a little at the excited questions, he placed a hand to his back, a small knot of pain running against his spine that he brushed off. His body has been aching all week, so it didn't seem odd to him in the slightest.
"It helps a little bit, but I've found that walking around helps more." Letting Road help him into the chair, he laughed a little as she hung off the back, it being something he's seen her do to get Mana or Adam to play with her. Speaking of, Adam had left the room a few minutes earlier only to come back with a camera. He hadn't even realized that his picture had been taken, probably because Road was distracting him, but despite any other time this had happened he wasn't upset, in fact he was overly glad that the moment had been captured.
"Road, Adam, Nea, dinner is ready. Come on down to eat." Hearing Mana call them from the foot of the stairs, he was helped up from the chair, managing to get down the stairs and into the dining room without much of an issue. It wasn't until after the meal that he realized something wasn't right, himself losing his appetite midway through. He felt different, not too much but enough to put him on edge. This was how Jasdero and Devit found him, pacing in the hallway with his eyes closed.
"Nea, want to try something new with us?" Blinking his eyes as he realized the two were there, he rose an eyebrow at their question. He had a sinking feeling that he was going to be dragged into something stupid or dangerous and he didn't like the thought of either.
"What is it?" Holding his breath for a moment, he really tried to relax, already having a feeling that he knew what was happening to himself.
"Yoga and breathing exercises, hee!" Oh definitely not. Grabbing the both of them by their wrists, he pulled them into the empty kitchen and shoved them out the back door and into the snow before he fit a chair under the door handle. That's when he felt the worst of the pain, being quick to pull his pocket watch out and follow the time. Oh that hurt badly, and he let out a breath as it ended. Alright, he understands now, he just wished this had started two weeks later when it was supposed to. Glad that he still had a bit of time between the contractions, he paced out into the other room where everyone else besides himself, Jasdero and Devit were sitting with drinks. He had to take a deep breath so he wouldn't look breathless, he didn't need everyone panicking over him.
"Why don't you sit and join us Nea, I'm sure you would have some interesting input to give." Blinking at Tiki's suggestion, he shook his head. He didn't trust himself sitting down just yet, at least not without speaking up first.
"No thank you, I actually came in here to say something important." Taking another deep breath, he felt a few kicks as another pain ran up his spine.
"You're not going to puke again are you." He was very happy that Sheril slapped Tiki in the back of the head. Watching as all eyes moved to him he placed one hand against the side of his stomach, the other moving to be against his spine.
"I have no way of telling that, but there's a high chance that I'm going into labor and have been for a few hours." He waited a moment for the panic to start, only to get laughter instead. Did they not believe him?
"Nice try Nea, you almost had us." Blinking at the words, he looked around to see if anyone moderately believed him, mentally panicking because nobody seemed to pay him any mind. He tried to blink back his tears as he left the room, mind muddled by him trying to sort out what he needed to do and how to calm himself down. He felt like he was going to be sick, but he tried to ignore it as he moved to the bathroom that was on the floor.
'Nea, you're actually in labor aren't you. Calm down and I'll drag Mana over there. I know you don't like it when I look into your head and I've been trying to hold back.' Letting the tears fall as Wisely stopped talking to him, he pulled his watch out again to see if he was able to predict when the next contraction would come. Leaning his weight on the bathroom counter, he regretted locking the other set of twins outside, especially since he could probably use the breathing exercises right about now.
"Nea! Oh dear, are you really- is the baby actually-" Nodding quickly, he grit his teeth as the contraction hit right on time, able to understand what Mana was trying to ask. A soft whimper left his throat as the pain ended, a surge of energy trying to get him to walk around.
"I'm getting contractions and I have them timed for the most part, the next should come in about eighteen minutes. That means my body is getting ready, but physically speaking the baby isn't about to just pop out of me yet. That's still a bit away." Taking a breath, he spoke once more before looking his brother in the eyes, tears still forming tracks down his cheeks. "Please stay with me Mana, I don't think I'll survive if I'm alone like this." Being pulled into a tight hug, he let himself sob. Wisely had been trying to think of anything he's heard of happening during this sort of thing, but noticed that Nea had locked Jasdevi outside and instead went to let them in again.
"I'm right here and I'm not going anywhere unless you want me to. Just breathe for a few moments and tell me what you want to do." Nodding, he gripped the back of Mana's vest, taking deep breaths to calm down. Closing his eyes, he tried to relax himself, finally able to pull a smile to his face before pulling away from his brother, rubbing at the tear tracks.
"I want to be in my room and be ready for when everything happens at once. I'll probably try walking around while up there, it keeps the baby calm and it doesn't hurt as much." Feeling as Mana grabbed him around the torso, he watched as his pocket watch was grabbed from the bathroom counter and let his brother walk him to the stairs. He was glad that he wasn't being taken through the living room, not wanting to deal with all the teasing and questions. He had to stop Mana as they hit the top of the staircase, trying to ride out the contraction.
"I will be right back, I'm just going down the hall to grab towels and the aid kit. Try getting comfortable." Nodding as he moved to the side of his bed, he watched Mana walk away from his door before he moved to grab a loose pair of pants. He didn't mind not wearing a shirt, especially around his twin, and it would probably cool him down a little. Stripping off his day clothes and getting the lounge pants on, he started pacing again, picking up what he could to put away. He'd need some help from Mana to get some things off the floor.
"Sorry I kept dropping a few of the towels on the way back." Nodding in understanding, he started folding some of his dirty laundry, needing something to do with his hands in the meantime. Mana stayed with him for a good while before he shooed said brother back to the living room, telling him to ask Wisely to keep a mental eye on him in case he was needed. He got the confirmation only a few moments after Mana had left, being left alone to work on preparing himself for having a child. While he still felt safe enough to leave his room alone, he paced slowly to the nursery to grab supplies that he could only guess he needed.
He wasn't doing much better from when the pains were fifteen minutes apart to when they were eight minutes between. And when you hurt bad enough you tend to think of extremely unpleasant and idiotic ways to send the pain away. One such way was him trying to call for the Noah memory again. Sitting on the side of his bed just as a contraction ended he gripped the sheets under him and focused on the overly warm feeling. His chest ached and his lungs felt like they had deflated, he felt like half his bones had broken all at once, but it didn't hurt any worse than the contractions. Peeking open his eyes as he felt the burning sensation last much longer than it should, his mind blanked as he saw his reflection in the full length mirror across from himself, mentally cursing. And that's how Mana found him a few moments later, Road and Wisely having followed the man up the stairs.
"Nea…" Looking over to Mana, he knew his glowing golden eyes were wide in shock. His skin looked like he had rubbed it with charcoal, well at least most of it. His stomach was pale, a bit lighter than his skin tone while human. Finally losing his grip on the memory, his skin went back to its normal color, his stomach churning as the lash back. He was handed a bucket moments before his partially digested food came up again, himself being held from behind.
"Sorry for scaring you three, I was just trying to see if that would help with the pain. Half of my bones breaking has nothing on the pain of contractions is all I learned from that." Groaning, he leaned back against Mana. His entire body ached from that, but he would rather the dull throb than the minute long pains that were now seven minutes apart.
"As long as you're alright, that was a bit weird though." Sending a weak smile over his shoulder, he let a soft sigh leave his mouth. And that was when the three of them heard Road begin giggling, sending the girl confused looks.
"Sorry, it's just- you looked like a penguin for a moment there Nea!" He couldn't respond for a moment, but started laughing along when he finally processed what she said. His laughter was short lived though, another contraction cutting him off all too quickly.
"Can you help me walk around Mana? I had to stop because I almost lost my footing earlier and I didn't want to bother you about it." Glancing to Wisely for a moment, he watched the elder teen grab his adoptive sister and leave the room, letting Mana pull him to his feet. He allowed Mana to lead him in circuits around the room, giving soft warnings whenever another bolt of pain hit him. Finally he felt the building pressure dissipate after one of the stronger contractions, sighing softly before he felt fluid run over his ankles. Suddenly the scene crashed down on him, his mind finally taking into account that his water broke and that it was going to hurt worse very soon.
"Mana, I think they're about ready. Oh no I can't, I can't do this." Catching himself before he screamed in pain, he buried his teeth into the side of his hand to muffle his noises. He let himself be pulled to his bed, the sheets exchanged for an older set, Mana removing his soaked pants and underclothes.
"Nea, look at me and calm down, breathe. You can do this, I know you can. You're strong and brave, let alone my twin brother. If anyone can get through this it's you, the dummy who survived and walked off getting hit by a train with only a few minor breaks. The pain will be over soon, you're no longer just waiting." Being hugged around the shoulders he felt the tears begin pooling again, dribbling down the sides of his face like an over-poured cup of tea. Mana was right, the pain was almost over. Feeling his hand being wrapped up from where his teeth broke the skin, he felt his muscles stiffen up, a scream ripping itself from his throat.
"Nea do you want anyone else in here with us? I don't believe I can both comfort you and deliver the baby at the same time properly. Wisely says that everyone's worried downstairs." Nodding, he squeezed Mana's hand hard, mouth dry from dehydration.
"Get Adam please." Gasping as he felt sharp kicks in the direction of his ribs, he did his best to hold back his cry in pain without injuring his other hand. "I feel them moving, it hurts." Watching Mana run to the door for only a moment, he rested both of his hands on his stomach, trying to get his child to calm down enough to be born safely.
"Adam hurry up and leave your coat and hat. Watch out for the puddle on the floor, I'll clean that up later. Breathe Nea, take a few breaths and a sip of water. Your body knows what it's doing, you just need to listen as best as you can." He watched as his twin rolled up his sleeves and tossed his vest elsewhere in the room as he took his even breaths, his heart trying to calm down before he took a small sip of the water he was handed, the glass being set on the bedside table again as he grabbed Adam's hand.
And apparently his body did know what it was doing, because as his heart and breathing calmed down he felt something just before the pain started, forcing his muscles to press down with the odd feeling. Doing that he could already feel the baby move down, and he was exceptionally glad that the pain felt muted. It still felt like hours before he made much progress, his muscles burning as he pushed.
"Wait a moment Nea, you need to be lighter with what you've been doing. Once the head is out the body should come quicker." He was grateful to know that the head was coming, but he didn't enjoy how he wouldn't be able to fully listen to his body until it was out of him. His throat was raw by the time the head was free, and he would probably lose his voice by the end of this. He only barely heard Mana's worried tone in the lull between contractions, watching with blurry eyes as his brother grabbed a roll of gauze from the aid kit that was sitting beside him. He couldn't place his words together to ask what was happening before he found the urge to push again. He could feel with too much detail as every button his baby left his body.
"It's a boy!" Mana was right about the body coming fast after the head, and he was overwhelmingly happy that his twin was right. The moment he had heard the three words leave his brother's mouth he had called back against the pillow, exhausted and breathing heavily as if he had run in a race. He barely noticed when Adam left his side, his attention focused on the loud sobbing cries of his newborn son and his own breathing.
"Well that is interesting to say the least. Hello there little one." Lifting his head a little in confusion, he watched as Mana stood from the bed at his feet and moved up along his side holding his flailing child.
"Is he alright? What is so interesting?" His words wanted to slur together as he felt the bundle of limbs being set on his chest, smiling softly as the fussing and crying already started calming down. Adam had already started helping Mana with cleaning up and he could feel his cheeks heating up in embarrassment as his lower half was still visible.
"He's perfectly healthy for being two weeks early, maybe a little underweight but that's it. What's interesting is related to your memories, specifically what happened when you tried to call them forward. He has innocence embedded in his left arm, which is probably the reason why it looks disfigured. I also believe that you forcing your Noah memories forward earlier cursed him slightly, if it's just from the backlash of the two matters coming into contact. That's why I had to wrap his left eye up by the way." Blinking, he traced his fingers over the bandaging and the ruby red arm that belonged to his son. He had a feeling that if anyone else had borne the small child they would have thrown him away, and that made his chest ache just to think of. He could tell his baby boy showed signs of albinism already, especially with the paler complexion under the warm tint of red. He was let be for a few moments to hold his son before Mana and Adam helped him into a new set of underclothes and sleep pants, himself dressing the calm little boy while the two remade the bed. His body ached, but he didn't care as long as the both of them were alright in the end.
"Oh he's so cute! What's his name?" He had let the rest of the family into the room after he had been settled back into bed. Said newborn was currently eating quickly from him as quite a few of the other Noah fawned over the tiny boy. He gave a smile at the question, watching as the large silver eye open from his arms.
"His name is Allen. Allen D. Campbell." Smiling, he stayed in his spot, watching Allen fall asleep before he would allow himself to give into his own exhaustion.