Artificial Sweetener

by Ebony

Interesting Fact: Apparently, when some women want a child badly, their bodies can begin acting as if they're pregnant.

Rights disclaimed, and all that cal.


Misa's eyes are open, but still, only darkness fills her vision. There's the possibility that she's dreaming, of course, and she can never really bring herself valid proof that it's not. Besides, this doesn't feel like any dream she's ever had, and she likes to think that though dreams can be so very strawberry sweet, the bittersweet aftertaste of life in her mouth is somehow much more filling.

After all, sugar only does so much before the regular dosage of sweetness seems bland in your mouth, and dreams only make you sick sick sick afterwards if you indulge too far. Too much of a good thing and it starts affecting you: your body and your head, like an infection. You need more and more and more to maintain the same level of bliss and relief it gives you, you keep building and building and building your illusion until it consumes you fully. Until you can't let yourself out.

But Misa won't let that happen. Misa knows better then that.

She doesn't have to reach one of her arms over to the other side of the bed – to ask his name quietly as if there's a chance he's still sleeping there beside her – to know he's not there. He never is. In fact, Misa can't remember a time when she's woken up before Raito. No, their silken sheets are always cold by mid-morning, and his side of the bed is made, as if he hadn't even slept there the night before.

But she knows he did, because he was there last night with her. In drowsy movements, Misa slips one delicate hand up beneath the red-lace hem of her nightgown and traces out the paths his fingers took, recalling the saccharine burn, the deep sense of satisfaction it aroused from her. Oh no, she thinks, there's no way that could've been a dream.

What if, perhaps, a little voice in her head mumbles, perhaps it was a dream after all; a fantasy played out in your head like a little girl with an overactive imagination. Perhaps you waited for him until he finally closed his laptop and turned off the light, and then he just got into bed beside you without a word and didn't touch you at all.

Perhaps he never got into bed beside you at all.

Misa's fingertips run over her skin, slowly, savouring, and she finds herself smiling to herself in a girlish, naïve, blissful sort of way as her palm rests flat on her stomach. Her nightgown is bunched up around her breasts now and her rose-dust nipples become hard as cool air grazes them, eliciting a gentle sort of smouldering in her nether regions.

"It wasn't a dream," she says aloud to herself. "Misa has her proof."

Oh yes, she has her proof. It had come in the form of two positive pregnancy tests she'd snuck out to purchase from the drugstore down the street, the queasiness she's started to get in the mornings, and the lack of blood showing up in her panties for three months. She isn't showing yet, or if she is, she hasn't noticed, but she likes to think that she can feel it. Misa can feel the little alive thing inside of her – the alive thing that is her and Raito, and Raito and her – growing and developing, swaddled in her flesh. It's a piece of her that will always be with a piece of him, and no one else. He's all hers and she's all his, the way it should be, and they are quite good at putting things to the way they should be, now aren't they?

The only thing she's dreading is what it will do to her body, stretching out her belly and making her sick, and not pretty. But she can stand any kind of pain for her Raito, and she's willing to sacrifice her body for nine months to give him this: an heir to his throne. To the throne of their blossoming utopia.

Eyes half-open and fluttering beneath butterfly wings, just heavy lids and long lashes, she pictures herself the Virgin Mary. Ah yes… She's carrying the child of God; a saviour. And oh, he will be pleased with her, she knows he will. Boy or girl, she doesn't care. She's already imagining herself making breakfast for three, and teaching her child to walk, and how they will act like a family, a real one. It will be just wonderful, having a real family again, and she'll be so happy knowing her child will grow up in a world purging itself of crime. A safe world. A world she helped to create.

Again, Misa closes her eyes – though really, it doesn't make a difference – and exhales. Ah yes, it will be wonderful, she thinks, letting the indescribable taste of it settle into her mouth, slowly, so she can savour the thick, syrupy taste erupting in her mouth from just the idea. Sweet sweet sweetness, yes.

She's already begun to dream about it…