Disclaimer - I don't own MARS. It is the sole property of Fuyumi Soryo and TokyoPop.
A/N - Hi all. First I want assure all of you who are wondering about Forever Mine chap. 18 that I'm still working on it. I'm about half way done. It's been slow going but the perfectionist in me demands, well... perfection. I promise it hasn't been forgotten nor has the muse deserted... yet. It'll be out soon.
Ok with that said, onto this little piece. This one shot has been sitting half done on my computer ever since I read and fell in love with the MARS manga a few months ago. And last week, much to my surprise, the muse finally decided it was time to finish it off, so here it is. I will warn you that this is the first time I've written outside of the Rurouni Kenshin fandom but I do hope I've managed to keep Rei and Kira true to the manga.
Also since this is the first time out of my usual fandom I would love feedback whether it be good, bad or indifferent.
Always and Forever
Rei paced the waiting room, the click of his heels resounding hollowly through the empty hallway. Running his fingers through his hair in frustration, he made another round, his nerves of steel fraying a little bit more with each step.
"Rei, would you stop that. You're going to wear yourself out."
Pausing for a moment, Rei glanced over his shoulder, "Is this how she feels every time I go out on the track?"
When Tatsuya nodded Rei sighed and dropped to the bench beside his best friend. Dropping his head into his hands, he stared blindly at the floor. "How does she stand it? I feel... I feel so helpless."
Tatsuya shrugged and smiled, "Kira is a lot stronger than anyone gives her credit for. She'll be fine. Besides, hundreds of babies are born every day."
Rei shook his head and pushed off the bench. Wandering over to the doors leading to the maternity ward he stared down the pristine hall. "But she's so small and her belly's so big. How can she be alright?"
"That's why she's in there with the best doctors I could find." A voice spoke up from behind him.
Rei turned around and gave his father a weak smile. "I know, but it still scares me. What if I lose her? I don't think I'll be able to keep going if I lose her. She and racing are my world. If I lose her I..." he trailed off and shook his head. It made him sick to his stomach to even think of the possibility of living the rest of his life without her.
"You would live on just as she would if anything happened to you on the track." His father said, guiding him away from the double doors. "Why don't you go take a walk. It could be quite a while before the baby is born."
Rei shook his head vehemently, "No. I want to be here if anything goes wrong."
Tatsuya rose and grabbed Rei's arm, "Come on. Harumi's in there with her. She'll be fine."
"But -" Rei started, trying to break Tatsuya's grip.
"Harumi will come get us if anything happens." Tatsuya tugged at him again, "Come on, before we have to commit you again."
Rei shot a glare at his best friend, but followed behind him anyway. He was right, Kira was a strong woman, she had to be to stay by his side and yet he hated this feeling of complete helplessness. He wanted to be in there with her, but he knew he wouldn't be able to stand her in pain. It had been bad enough when he'd forced himself on her to find out her secret. He would forever be haunted by those heart-wrenching screams; they would echo through his soul for the rest of his life. He didn't think he could stand to see her in pain like that again. Ever.
Heaving a sigh, he followed behind Tatsuya and stepped out into the bright afternoon sun. Shielding his eyes against the bright glare, he wandered out into the small garden nestled in the center of the ward. The scent of spring hit him full in the nose as he made his way to the benches forming a circle in the center of the blooming trees. Taking a deep breath he settled down onto one of the benches and flung his legs out in front of him. Spring. Soon the tracks would be coming back to life and he'd be gone more than he would be home and now Kira wouldn't be able to come with him. The very thought left a huge empty hole in his chest.
Smiling ruefully, he tilted his head back and stared into the bright blue sky. It was sad that after five years of marriage he couldn't stand the thought of racing without her there to cheer him on. She was his biggest fan and confidant. With her there he could overcome any obstacle. What would it be like now? Oh he knew she would still watch him on TV but it wouldn't be the same. She wouldn't be there to hug him nearly to death when he came off the track.
Smiling at his selfishness he shook his head and closed his eyes, but it didn't matter, not really, because it wasn't just them anymore. There would soon be a new member to their small family.
"Rei, you alright?"
Lazily rolling his head to the side he gave Tatsuya a toothy grin, "Yeah, just trying to figure out how I got to this place."
Tatsuya gave him a questioning look, "Are you telling me you don't know how Kira got pregnant?"
Rei swung his arm out and mock slapped his best friend upside the head, "No, idiot. How I went from being a total screw up to a champion Grand Prix racer and soon to be father."
Tatsuya grinned, "Oh. That's easy. Kira." Turning his attention to the few patients wandering beneath the trees he added, "I think if you and she hadn't found each other all those years ago you would be dead by now..." glancing back to Rei he sighed, "...I don't think Kira would have survived either. You two were made for each other."
Rei smiled and gave his attention back to the fluffy clouds moving lazily on the warm spring breeze, "You're right. We're made for each other. That's why if one of us dies the other will soon follow, we can't be apart."
Tatsuya backhanded him on the arm, "Would you stop that. She's going to be fine. You know, if you keep talking like that you might jinx her, so shut up!"
Rei chuckled, "Alright, alright, I'll stop."
A comfortable silence fell between them and Rei soaked up the peacefulness of the scene. A father. He still couldn't believe he and Kira were going to have a baby. It was scary. Would he be good father? That one question had been nagging him for so long now that he was almost afraid to know the answer.
Sighing, he shoved the thought from his mind and glanced at Tatsuya out of the corner of his eye. Slowly a cheshire grin grew on his lips and he asked, "So when are you and Harumi gonna get around to having a kid?"
Tatsuya's eyes grew wide and he sputtered, "We aren't... I mean, we're not... "
"Come on, spit it out. What? You shooting blanks or something?" Rei laughed at the horrified look that passed over Tatsuya's face.
"No! We're not marr -" All of a sudden Tatsuya stopped as his eyes drifted over Rei's shoulder. "Harumi?"
Startled, Rei shot to his feet and spun around. He stopped dead as Harumi slowly walked towards them with a stunned look, the wetness dampening her cheeks glistening in the sunshine. Suddenly sick, Rei vaulted over the bench and shot towards her, grabbing her shoulders he gave her a small shake, "What happened!"
When all she did was look at him he let her go and shot around her, running headlong for the doors. No... this couldn't be happening. He couldn't lose her! Not now... not ever!
As Rei vanished into the hospital, Tatsuya came up to Harumi and gripped her arms, "What happened Harumi? Is Kira ok?"
A smile slowly lit up her face and she nodded, "She's just fine and so are the babies."
Confused, Tatsuya quirked an eyebrow and then it slowly dawned on him, "You mean...?"
Harumi's smile grew even wider as more tears spilled from her eyes, "Yes, she had twins. Two adorable baby girls."
Tatsuya stared at her wide-eyed for few seconds before he grabbed her and gave her a bear hug. His happiness only slightly less than the soon to be father.
Rei raced through the empty halls, the clicking sound of his boot heels hitting the tile echoing hollowly behind him as he ran for all he was worth to the one and only thing that mattered in his life. Rounding the corner to the maternity ward he didn't even slow as his father stood, busting through the doors he started searching each room.
"Excuse me sir! What are you doing?"
Rei stopped as the nurse came running up to him, "Kira Kashino? Where is Kira Kashino!"
The nurse flinched and pointed to the last room in the hallway. Without another word Rei raced towards to open door, praying to every god that he could think of that she was ok. He'd die if he lost her. It would be the end for him because there was nothing more important than Kira.
Coming to the door he raced in, only to stop dead in his tracks and simply stare in stunned silence at the sight before him. Blinking his eyes several times to see if the image would change, he slowly made his way to the bed. It couldn't be... how could...?
As he neared a beautiful smile grew on Kira's lips and she glanced at the two bundles nestled securely in her arms. "Wake up little ones. It's time to meet daddy."
Rei simply stared at her for a moment before he let his eyes drift first to one pink face then to the other, his heart swelling as his eyes traced the tiny noses and pink lips and then both of them opened their brilliant blue eyes and Rei collapsed into the chair beside the bed. Glancing to Kira he was struck speechless by the serene happiness swimming in her eyes. Hesitantly reaching out he lightly brushed an errant lock of hair from her face. He had never, in all the years they'd been together seen her look as beautiful as she did at this very moment.
Kira smiled even wider and lifted the baby closest to Rei. "Here daddy, time to meet your daughter."
Rei just stared at the tiny bundle raised towards him. Glancing to his big hands he looked back up into Kira's expectant gaze, "I.. I can't..."
Kira tucked their other daughter tighter against her chest as she slowly sat forward and leaned towards Rei, "Yes, you can. She won't break."
Still unsure, Rei silently eyed his wife then finally let his eyes drift to the brilliant blue eyes watching him. Hesitantly reaching out, he gently lifted his daughter from her mother's arms and carefully tucked her against his chest. Tracing his finger down her baby soft cheek, he smiled as his eyes misted over. "So beautiful..."
The baby continued to stare at him with wide innocent eyes and Rei felt something stir deep within him, something that made his heart hurt with sheer happiness.
An overwhelming sense of completeness.
These little girls were the missing link in his life, the last piece that made him whole. Smiling at the thought he leaned down and gently kissed her forehead, and they would never have to go through what he had gone through. Ever. These little girls would never suffer like he and Sei had. All they would know is happiness, and that was a promise he would keep until his dying day.
With a contented sigh, he settled back with his daughter in his arms and glanced to the tiny girl sleeping in Kira's arms with a quirked eyebrow. "How...?"
Kira smiled and glanced down into the sleeping face of the baby in her arms, "The doctor said that this little one was hiding behind her bigger sister and the second heartbeat they had heard during my pregnancy hadn't been an echo in the equipment but hers."
"Oh... so we have a sneaky one in the family..." Giving her a big smile he added, "...must be she takes after you."
Kira's eyes widened and she exclaimed with a smile, "Hey, I wasn't the one who made two of them!"
"You helped!" Rei shot back. Kira blushed and gave him a shy smile that quickly vanished under a jaw cracking yawn. Seeing the exhaustion swimming in her eyes he watched her settle deeply into the pillows behind her. A small grin teased his lips and reached out to take her hand, "Go to sleep mama."
Kira yawned again and fought to keep her eyes open, "But we need to name them. We didn't even pick one girl's name, now have to pick two."
Giving her hand a squeeze, he leaned forward and kissed her gently on the lips, "It's ok, we'll name them when you wake up."
"But - "
"Don't worry, we'll still be here when you wake up." Offering her his other arm he waited while she placed their tiniest daughter in his makeshift cradle. Carefully tucking her securely against his chest, he dropped a light kiss on Kira's forehead, "Go to sleep."
Kira simply nodded as her eyes slowly slid closed, her breathing immediately leveling out. With a smile Rei glanced to the two sleeping bundles in his arms and silently made his way to the double bassinet on the other side of the bed. Relinquishing his hold on one precious bundle, he nestled her deep into the blankets and then did the same for her sister. Leaning down, he dropped a light kiss on each of their foreheads then smiled. He had never in his life thought this would ever happen, and yet somehow it had.
A heady feeling suddenly flooded his veins, nearly stealing his breath away. This was it. This was what they had both been missing for so long. Glancing over his shoulder he quietly made his way to the chair beside Kira's bed again and settled down to wait for her to wake. Together they had overcome so much in their lives and now they had made two precious baby girls. Taking Kira's limp hand in his, he kissed it and watched as a faint smile touched her lips.
And together they would raise them in a home filled with love and happiness. These girls would live in the sunshine, for always and forever.
So how did I do? I know Rei may have seemed a bit OoC but I'd like to think he'd be like this when faced with the birth of his babies.