Standard disclaimer applies.

Note: It just dawned upon me the idea of dumping here most of the YohXAnna one-shots I've previously posted on FFnet. It means losing my precious reviews, which are special as each pushed me further to write, write, write and to improve. Still, it would give me chance to revisit things I wrote over six years ago and make them better (a bit?). This move might take some time, as I'm planning to go piece by piece to rewrite (heavily in some instances, little in others), proofread, and edit. I might even post and go back to edit, who knows. If it works, I'll do it with other collections for different series.

Whether you stumble with these stories for the first time, or you read them before, I hope you enjoy these little ones!

Life as it is

Anna awakened with the light of the sun filling her room, hitting her face as she opened tired, hazel eyes. Vision slightly blurry from sleep, she turned on her side and blindly patted the place next to her only to find the spot empty and cold. The soft smile that had started to form on her face dissipated as instead worry replaced her train of thought and washed over her. The petite-woman rose from bed to sit against the headboard, with senses finally accustomed to her surroundings once again. Turning to her left, she let a sigh escape her lips along with the fear that had swelled in the pit of her stomach.

Her husband was standing by the window, with his back to her and apparently unaware of her awakening. For some reason, Anna felt utter relieve to find him still there in the room.

"Yoh," she called, but the man did not respond to the low whisper. She knew he wouldn't answer, in any case, preoccupied as he was with the bundle of white blankets in his arms.

She fixed the sleeping yukata and stood from bed, quiet steps guiding her closer to her husband as she tried to listen to the words he gently murmured to his sleeping charge. She couldn't stop her eyes from softening at the sight of him carefully rocking the child… their child. It was a thing to be marveled at each and every time.

"Ah, I love you so much, Hana-chan," he was saying softly, his fingers playing with the honey blonde curls of the boy. He paused, fingers now caressing the soft, pink cheeks. "And I really, really love your mother for giving me such a precious gift."

The baby opened curious dark grey eyes then, eyes much like his father's, as if waking at the sound of his voice. The child's face glowed with happiness when he recognized the person holding him. He raised his little hands towards his father's face, smiling widely and cooing with delight.

"Yeah," he answered with a tone of amusement coloring his voice, "it's your daddy, Hana-chan." The man grinned as he continued the rocking motions.

"You know, baby, when your mother first told me we were going to have you, I was so happy… Figure that, I was having my own kid! A little boy or girl I would take fishing or swimming; or maybe we'd go all together and have a picnic," he began narrating excitedly. "Someone I would protect and love with all my heart. Someone I would be accountable for, someone that could rely on me."

Yoh paused, thinking for a moment and sighing sadly. His daze was broken when the child's hands reached for the chestnut strands of hair that fell over his father's face. His eyes were intent on his son as he went on.

"But I was afraid too. I was a kid myself… I am a kid, still," the young boy looked at him oddly, the seriousness on his daddy's voice unusual even to him. "Would I be a good father? Would you grow up to be a good man? Would I give you the life you wanted? Would you be able to have the childhood your mother and I never had? I had so many questions and I was so unsure… Maybe your mother would have been better with someone else than with me, a lazy, laid-back bum. Maybe I wasn't worthy, worthy of her, worthy of the family I had."

He shook his head, laughing quietly at himself. "No, better not let her know I said that again or she'll slap me senseless." His smiled grew at the memory and the blond child, mimicking his father's gesture, happily began waggling his legs.

Anna smiled to herself, remembering the day clearly as well. She had wondered whether the man could be any more stupid… Asking whether she wanted him or not the day before the wedding, really…

Was she happy? Was he enough? Did she… love him?

She had wanted to smash him against the wall that day. Then again, she had not wanted to be a widow before the actual wedding ceremony either so she had resorted to use her left hand for some well deserved punishment.

Of course she was happy! Of course she loved him! If she didn't, she wouldn't have been marrying him in the first place! The big idiot!

She was snapped out of her recollection as her husband resumed speaking to the most attentive child. There was a change in his tone of voice though, slightly more confident and determined.

"But, I think that maybe I am worthy. And everything I've gone through is worth having you in my arms. It just feels so right," he smiled, glancing looking at the gift crib sent by their grandparents, "Sometimes it makes me think that my grandmother actually knew what she was doing when she engaged your mommy and me."

The babe smiled strangely at him, paying so much heed to him that his father almost thought he understood his words.

"I have always fought to have an easy life," he said sincerely, "the kind of life that Anna and I wished for when we were young."

Those were the old days when fighting, training, struggling, and sweating blood, all revolved on building their dream. They had worked so hard for this…

"I wished for it, Hana-chan. I did, but now…" he hesitated as the baby leaned his head on his chest, contented with hearing his father's calm heart beat. He couldn't help but beam at his child. "Now I want to make you and your mother happy," he decided firmly, hugging his son a little tighter, "that's my dream."

Her eyes moistened when she heard him, but she wiped away the tears as she paced the final steps that would take her to stand beside her husband.

"You make us happy," she whispered as she placed a hand on his shoulder gently.

"A-anna?" he turned frantically towards her, their son giggling at the quick movement.

The tall brunette looked from the baby to his wife and vice versa. His cheeks flushed red beat, a pretty color against his tanned skin. "I just… I just… I was…"

"It doesn't matter," she said, motioning him to hand her their child. He carefully passed him onto her, never dropping his firm hold of little one's head until he was safe in her arms. Anna brought Hana closer to her chest, where the baby sighed in contentment.

"Hello, sweetie," she said as the golden-haired baby raised his hands to her face in greeting, just as he had done before with his daddy. "Yes, it's me."

The man watched them with kind eyes; she only spoke so gently to their son and if others watched their encounters, they would stop, stupefied at the wondrous sight. She was a great mother, despite her temper, despite her nature, despite it all.

"You are hungry, right?" she asked him. As if answering her question, Hana's tummy grumbled. "Yes, you are," she said when she heard the sound coming from her son's belly. Smiling widely, the woman tucked one of her own blonde strands of hair behind her ear.

She walked over to their bed and sat on one its corners. She began to feed the baby as the blonde gladly accepted his mother's milk. The young man walked over to his wife and kid and sat beside them. He slipped an arm around her waist, intent on the child at her bosom and the satisfied look on her face.

"Do you want breakfast too?" he asked her after a while. Her eyes were still on the baby as she nodded and mumbled a quiet thank you. He bent over and kissed the tip of her nose affectionately before standing up. He walked to the door and then, as he reached it, her voice stopped him.

"Yoh?" she asked for his attention, the baby still feeding blissfully. He turned his head over his shoulder, his hand already gripping the doorknob, to listen. "It's worth it. You, me, and everything that has happened, life as it is… it's definitely worth it."

She smiled at him openly, a wide and beautiful smile; and he could only smile back with the same intensity. They mouthed together three words to each other, almost synchronically. It was a phrase that, though old and overused and cliché, meant much to them. Saying those words for the first time had been an awkward, yet precious event. And every time they repeated them, the meaning behind their words was stronger and more passionate, more forceful and growing in conviction and devotion.

With a last smile, Yoh left the room.

Anna's gaze then fell on the baby, who was apparently done already and had begun yawning lazily.

"Life as it is…" she muttered as she kissed Hana's forehead and the baby fell into slumber.