Disclaimer: I do not own TMM or any of its characters
Claimer: I, chop4tess, own this story, its plot, and any and all original characters
Welcome to chapter nineteen of the 2014 rewrite! This is half new and half old material so I hope you enjoy.
Chapter nineteen: Baby mine
Midwife Fujiyama reacted the moment the new born didn't start to cry. She had been in this situation many times in her long career and knew exactly what to do. "Nurse Miyoko page Doctor Kitano at once please." Fujiyama instructed as she gently rolled the baby onto his stomach so he was lying on her arm with his head below his pelvis.
"What's going on?" Ichigo panicked trying to sit up. She fell back with a sharp gasp as pain stabbed her like hot needles. "Why isn't he making any noise?" Kishu turned pale as he realized something had gone wrong. Sakura and Shintaro exchanged worried glances.
"Your baby isn't breathing. But please remain calm." Fujiyama instructed her voice even as she gently slapped the new born on the back.
"Doctor Kitano is on his way," Miyoko appeared next to Fujiyama.
"Excellent," Fujiyama continued to slap the baby on the back.
"What do you mean by not breathing?" Ichigo squeaked trying to sit up again. Sakura caught her daughter's shoulders and gently pushed her back onto the bed.
"Sit back sweetheart and let the midwife do her job." Sakura squeezed her daughter's shoulders to comfort herself as much as her daughter. What if her grandson didn't make it? Ichigo started to cry and buried her face in her hands.
"My baby…" Ichigo hiccupped.
"Ichigo," Kishu reached out and pulled his fiancée into his arms and hugged her tight. His chest felt tight and tears gathered in his eyes as he thought of his tiny son. This child was supposed to be the hope of his people, proof that humans and aliens could live together. The thought that he might die before he took his first breath, before Kishu could even hold him for the first time, it was too much to bear. Kishu wanted to scream but he held himself in check. Ichigo was shaking in his arms and Kishu wanted to be strong for her.
Suddenly the most wonderful sound filled the room. Ichigo stopped crying and almost shoved Kishu out of the way in her hurry to see what was going on. Her heart thumping hard in her chest, Ichigo silently begged every God that might be listening that the sound she could hear was what she thought it was.
"Miss Momomiya, I would like to introduce you to your son." Fujiyama turned around to face Ichigo holding a screaming bundle in her arms. Ichigo gasped in relief as her tiny son filled the room with the sound of his cries. To Ichigo it was the sweetest music. Fujiyama gently placed the baby in Ichigo's arms and Ichigo cradled him like she had been taught in her pre-natal classes. As Ichigo rocked the new-born his cries softened and he settled into his mother's arms. Ichigo freed a hand to run a finger down her son's cheek gently. Ichigo turned to smile at Kishu and was shocked to see tears running down his face.
"It's ok," Kishu wiped his eyes, "I'm just relived he's ok." Kishu bent down and pulling off his face mask, he placed a kiss on his son's forehead. "Welcome to the world, my son." Ichigo laughed as the tension of a few minutes ago left her in a rush. Shintaro and Sakura hugged each other tight in relief that their grandson had pulled through his rough start. None of the family noticed a tall dark haired man in his late forties enter the room. Fujiyama went over to the guest to hold a quiet conversation while the parents and grandparents looked over the new arrival.
"He's perfect," Ichigo said in wonder as she stared down at her baby. Sakura smiled as she gently placed her finger in Kiseki's palm and the baby grabbed it in reflex. Shintaro shook his head but he was smiling broadly. He had never been happy about his daughter having a baby at sixteen but he wouldn't have swapped his grandson for anything in the world.
"Excuse me, Miss Momomiya," a male voice interrupted the family gathering gently. Ichigo looked up to see a handsome male doctor in his forties smiling gently at her. "My name is Kitano and I specialize in the care of new-born babies. Due to the complications of the birth of your son I need to perform a few tests to make sure he is alright. May I take him?" Doctor Kitano's voice was gentle and calm but Ichigo couldn't help but tighten her grip on her son slightly.
"Will the tests hurt him?" Ichigo asked cautiously. It didn't seem fair that her son should have to go through all this before he was even an hour old.
"Not at all, I promise." Doctor Kitano answered looking Ichigo directly in the eye. "As your son wasn't breathing there is the chance his brain was starved of oxygen which can cause brain damage." Ichigo breathed in sharply. "But Midwife Fujiyama tells me your son started breathing within a minute of being born so the chances of any damage being done are greatly reduced. I just need to borrow him for a few minutes to run a couple of quick tests. I will also need to organize some follow up appointments with you to check his progress."
"Ok," Ichigo bit her lip as she gazed at her son in concern. Doctor Kitano stepped up next to Ichigo and bent down to gently take Ichigo's son from her. Ichigo sat back her arms feeling suddenly very empty.
"Don't worry Ichigo; everything is going to be ok." Kishu kissed Ichigo's temple and she managed to dredge up an exhausted smile for him. Doctor Kitano smiled and nodded at Ichigo before leaving the room taking the baby with him.
"Your boyfriend is correct Miss Momomiya," Midwife Fujiyama spoke up moving next to Ichigo. Ichigo was too tried and worried about her son to bother correcting the midwife on her mistake regarding her and Kishu's relationship. "Doctor Kitano is one of our best doctors and he will take excellent care of your son. But for now I want you to tell me how you are feeling."
"I feel tired, weak and rather sore." Ichigo sat back against the pillows with a distracted sigh. She glanced at the doors where Doctor Kitano had taken her son.
"I'm not surprised," Fujiyama smiled giving Ichigo's shoulder a gentle squeeze. "I just need to check you out and make sure everything is going back to normal then you can take a bath or shower if you wish. I would also suggest you get something to eat then go to sleep."
"What about Kiseki?" Ichigo asked and Fujiyama gave her a confused look. "Oh, that's what we are going to name our son." Ichigo reached out and took Kishu's hand in hers.
"What a lovely name. Kiseki will be brought back to you after Doctor Kitano is finished as he will need feeding. After that he'll be taken to the nursery so you can get some rest."
"No," Ichigo shook her head fiercely, "Kiseki is going to stay in here with me."
"Are you certain? You might not get any rest if he's here with you." Fujiyama warned.
"I don't care; I don't want to be separated from my baby." Ichigo held her head high as she tightened her grip on Kishu's hand. Kishu squeezed her hand back and Ichigo knew he was just as determined as her not to be separated from Kiseki.
"Very well," Fujiyama's lips twitched upwards in a smile. "Miyoko, inform the nurses that Miss Momomiya's son shall be staying here for tonight at least. After that please make sure the incubator is all set up and ready to go."
"Yes ma'am," Miyoko nodded and left the room.
"Why do we need an incubator?" Kishu asked in confusion as the door shut behind Miyoko.
"It will keep Kiseki warm." Fujiyama explained. "New-borns can't regulate their internal body temperature the same way we can. Also as Kiseki is premature we need to keep his core body temperature up." Ichigo bit her lip. With everything that had happened in the past five minutes she had forgotten that Kiseki was born early. Ichigo released a shaky breath. Giving birth was both a mentally and physically exhausting experience. "Ok Miss Momomiya I need to check you over now." Ichigo nodded as Fujiyama gently looked her over to make sure there was no bleeding and everything was going back to normal.
"Fujiyama, why wasn't my son breathing when he was born?" Ichigo asked shifting as Fujiyama stepped back.
"Ah that is one of the most common problems after birth. Since babies live inside a sack of fluid they can often get fluid inside their lungs preventing them from breathing. By lying your son down at an angle gravity helped to drain the fluid out of his lungs and slapping his back encouraged him to breathe." Fujiyama answered.
"So he could have suffocated?" Ichigo asked quietly. Kishu moved closer to her and wrapped both of his hands around Ichigo's.
"Your son had a strong heartbeat which worked in his favour and he was only non-responsive for a minute. But yes, it could have been a lot more serious."
"I'm sure he'll be fine. I can tell he has his mother's fire." Sakura kissed her daughter's sweaty forehead and Ichigo smiled.
"Ok I'm all done here and everything looks good to me." Fujiyama peeled off her gloves and threw them away. "Feel free to take a bath, order something to eat or take a nap if you want. I will be back in an hour to check on you."
"Thank you Fujiyama," Ichigo smiled and Fujiyama nodded back. She knew exactly what Ichigo was thanking her for.
"It was my pleasure Miss Momomiya."
Two hours later Ichigo was feeling much better. Kishu had helped her to the bathroom and had even helped wash her as she bathed for which Ichigo was very grateful. Her stomach and back had hurt like hell and Ichigo had found it difficult to walk without help. The hot water had washed away the sweat and fluid from the birth as well as sooth the various aches in Ichigo's body. Ichigo had broken down into tears for a moment as the stress of the birth hit her and Kishu had simply held her gently not caring if she got him wet in the process.
Sakura had been waiting for them back in Ichigo's room with a fresh change of clothes which she helped Ichigo change into. Kishu didn't mention Ichigo's tears and Ichigo was grateful for his silence. She didn't want her mother fussing over her right now, not when she was feeling so wrung out. Shintaro returned shortly after Ichigo was back in bed with a tray of food which Ichigo devoured in short time. She hadn't realized just how hungry she was until she started eating.
A nurse arrived with Kiseki just as Ichigo was starting to become worried. The nurse gave Ichigo her son, who was starting to fuss, and helped Ichigo feed him for the first time. Shintaro left the room to give his daughter some privacy but both Sakura and Kishu stayed to help. Once Kiseki started to suckle Ichigo relaxed and smiled. Sakura sat down on the bed next to her daughter and squeezed her shoulder. Ichigo had been shocked to see tears in her mother's eyes but Sakura had smiled warmly at her. Ichigo guessed her mother was thinking back to the time when she was a new-born. Soon Kiseki had had his fill so the nurse showed Ichigo and Kishu how to place him in the incubator. Despite being exhausted Ichigo took the peaceful lull to call her friends to pass on the news. Knowing that Ichigo was tired Zakuro made plans for the mews to visit the new-born tomorrow to give Ichigo a chance to rest. Although she wouldn't say so, Ichigo was very grateful for Zakuro's sharp mind at that moment. She didn't think she could handle all her friends coming round right now.
Now Ichigo stood alone in her room gazing down at her sleeping son. Ichigo knew she should sleep while Kiseki was asleep but she couldn't bring herself to step away from her son right now. Her parents had gone to get something to eat while Kishu went to the bathroom. Ichigo ran her fingers along the top of the incubator and watched the rapid rise and fall of her son's chest. As first Ichigo had been alarmed at how fast Kiseki was breathing but the nurse had informed her that this was perfectly normal. Ichigo turned and picked up a sheet of paper and smiled. The nurse would be around soon to pick up Kiseki's birth certificate. Ichigo traced over the information on the paper; Kiseki Momomiya, born 17th August to Ichigo Momomiya and Kishu. The lack of a surname for Kishu might raise a few eyebrows but apparently Kishu's race didn't have surnames. Since they planned to marry Kishu had told her to give their son her name which he would take on their wedding day.
A soft sound made Ichigo put the certificate down and glance back at her son. Kiseki wriggled a bit then smacked his lips and fell silent. Ichigo smiled and reached into the incubator to touch her son's cheek. "Is he alright?" A voice asked and Ichigo turned to smile at her fiancé as Kishu walked up behind her.
"Yes he's fine," Ichigo sighed softly leaning back as Kishu wrapped his arms around her middle and hugged her from behind. A thin plastic tube snaked across Kiseki's cheek and into his nose feeding him oxygen, a stark reminder of his rough start in life. "I just hope the rest of his life isn't going to be as exciting as today."
"You and me both," Kishu kissed Ichigo's cheek. "I think today aged me by about ten years. Let's have an easier birth with the next one."
"You're already thinking about the next one?" Ichigo laughed as Kishu's cheeks went pink.
"Well, I think it would be nice to give Kiseki a brother or sister at some point."
"Let's not have another one until we're ready." Ichigo said seriously. "I want us to be better prepared before we have any more babies. Besides, we have this little one to keep us busy in the meantime." Ichigo smiled as Kiseki kicked in his sleep before settling down.
"This child signifies so much," Kishu said in wonder, "he's proof that humans and my kind can have healthy children together. And more than that, he's proof that we can live together in peace." Kishu closed his eyes and rested his head on Ichigo's shoulder. "It's a little overwhelming at times."
"He doesn't look much like your kind though." Ichigo took in her son's healthy pink skin and soft round ears.
"That's true, he looks like his mother." Kishu smiled and opened his eyes to gaze at the fine strands of red hair decorating his son's head.
"I can see some of his father in him," Ichigo teased with a grin. As if he heard them, Kiseki shifted and opened his eyes. "There see, he has your eyes." Kiseki yawned and closed his beautiful golden eyes as he fell back asleep.
"Ok you win," Kishu smiled as his eyes glowed with fatherly pride. "I wonder if he'll inherit any of my powers."
"What?" Ichigo asked in panic turning to look at Kishu who stepped back.
"Don't worry kitten, our powers generally don't develop until we're six or seven years old. Pai thinks that if Kiseki does have any powers, and that's a big if, they won't develop until he's in his teens." Kishu kissed Ichigo on the nose.
"Well that's a relief." Ichigo blew out her cheeks and turned back to gaze at her son. Kishu shifted and stepped close again. "What are we going to tell him once he gets older?"
"What about?" Kishu asked although he knew exactly what Ichigo was talking about.
"About us, how we met, that I used to be a mew and the small fact that you're not from this planet." Ichigo arched an eyebrow at Kishu letting him know that she knew he was stalling for time.
"Ah," Kishu answered. He gazed at his son in silence for a few moments. "I know keeping secrets is never a good thing but in this case I can't help but feel that he's better off not knowing." Ichigo remained silent for a long moment, gently rubbing circles over Kishu's hand.
"I agree," Ichigo finally spoke. "How could we make him understand that he's half alien? And like you said, he may never develop any of your gifts and he'll never know he's anything but a normal boy. Being different is hard when you're a child. All you want is to be like everyone else and to fit in." Ichigo's words came from hard earned experience of her time as a mew. It had been hard for her to hide her secret identity from Masaya, her parents and her other friends. She didn't want to put Kiseki through that. If he didn't know he was anything other than human then he didn't have to lie and pretend to those around him.
"What if he does develop powers?" Kishu asked gently.
"Then we'll tell him and explain to him that we were only trying to protect him."
"You think he'll believe that?" Kishu's words carried no bite or accusation, just concern.
"Hopefully we'll never have to find out." Ichigo turned in Kishu's arms and kissed him deep. Kishu kissed her back and held her tight. All Kishu wanted was for his son to be happy and carefree and he knew Ichigo wanted that as well. If keeping his heritage a secret from Kiseki would protect him and keep him safe then Kishu was willing to do whatever it took.
Nikki walked into the room that housed her Lord and Master with a smile on her lips and a spring in her step. She had been watching the hospital ever since she saw Ichigo getting into an ambulance through her viewing globe. It had taken longer than she expected but the child had finally been born. It had taken even longer for things to settle down but finally Nikki's patience worked in her favour. Ichigo had fallen asleep with Kishu sleeping in the chair next to her. Ichigo's parents, Nikki didn't know their names, had left saying they would be back in the morning.
Nikki smirked as she recalled slipping into Ichigo's hospital room and standing over the incubator looking down at the sleeping baby boy. Nikki had leaned forward, her dark hair slipping over her shoulder in a silken wave as her golden eyes took in the tiny form before her. "Sleep well little one," Nikki had whispered, "Soon you'll be big and strong and you will be the key to bringing this pathetic little world to its knees. Oh how glorious it's going to be. I shall rule this planet with you at my side as my soldier. We shall wipe humanity off this world and take it for ourselves." Nikki had clenched her hand into a fist as she imagined a world without the stain of humanity poisoning it. A whimper from the sleeping child had brought her out of her thoughts. Kiseki was starting to squirm. Nikki scowled and straightened up as she heard Kishu shift in his sleep. It was time for her to go.
No sooner had Nikki slipped out the way she had come, Kiseki had started to cry and Kishu had woken up with a yawn. Nikki watched, hidden in shadow, as Kishu padded over to his son to check on him. Nikki had watched as Kishu frowned and shot a suspicious glance in her direction. Before he could come investigating however, Nikki had slipped away and vanished.
"Someone is in a good mood." Deep Blue's voice interrupted Nikki's memories. Nikki paused to compose herself before speaking.
"I bring good news my Lord." Nikki bowed low. Deep Blue waved a hand to motion her to continue. "Kishu's child was born this evening and he is a healthy boy."
"Is that all?" Deep Blue sounded bored. A flash of irritation ran through Nikki but years of practice kept it from showing on her face.
"Master, the baby being healthy is crucial to our plan." Nikki pointed out as calmly as possible.
"Your plan requires me to wait another fifteen years before I can exact my revenge on the traitorous scum I used to call my soldiers. Forgive me if I do not share your elation at this early venture." Deep Blue said with a note of finality. Nikki drew in a deep breath and counted to ten before answering.
"I understand your frustration Master but have no fear, this way we are guaranteed success. We would still have to wait many years before using the child to our advantage even if we were to steal him now. And then Kishu, Pai and Taruto would be aware of our collaboration and would seek us out. We couldn't hide from them forever if they were actively seeking us out. We shall undermine all they are trying to achieve little by little, from the shadows and under their very noses. By the time they realize what is happening it will be too late to stop us." Nikki couldn't stop the smirk from spreading across her face. She would show those three idiots how to conquer a planet.
"We shall see," Deep Blue answered loftily. Nikki scowled before smoothing her features back into a blank mask. Deep Blue was losing faith in her. Nikki had expected this to happen for some time. Deep Blue was not the most patient person and he had already been betrayed once. It would seem she needed to get his attention and keep it. Fortunately, Nikki knew exactly how to do that.
"In the meantime Master we can move forward on one aspect of my plan." Deep Blue glanced at her but didn't speak. "I have found a way to give you a body of your own." Deep Blue sat in silence for a long time staring at her before a smirk spread across his face.
"Tell me everything."
"Oh my God he's so cute!" Lettuce gushed for the countless time that afternoon. Ichigo laughed as Lettuce bent over Kiseki's basket and waggled her fingers at the half awake baby. Kiseki was now a week old and Ichigo had been able to bring him home two days ago. Doctor Kitano hadn't been able to find anything wrong with him but Ichigo would be bringing Kiseki back to the hospital for a check-up when he was a year old. Walking into her house with her son fast asleep in his car seat had been one of the best moments in Ichigo's life. Her mew friends had arranged a small welcome home party for her but Ichigo had noticed that Kiseki commanded their attention for the whole time they were over. Not that Ichigo minded at all, her son was adorable and all the praise her friends gave him made her feel proud on his behalf.
"You've already said that Lettuce," Mint pointed out with an arched eyebrow.
"That doesn't make it any less true." Lettuce protested grinning as Kiseki gurgled. "I have to say Ichigo; your son is going to be a heartbreaker when he grows up. Look at those gold eyes, how could any girl resist?" Lettuce cooed.
"Then I guess I'll have my work cut out to teach him to be gentle with girl's hearts." Ichigo joked from her position on the sofa. Her parents were out and Kishu was deep in conversation with Pai and Taruto who had come over with the mews. Ichigo knew that Pai was getting ready to leave for their home world soon and she wondered if Lettuce's fussing over Kiseki was simply an attempt to keep her mind occupied with thoughts other than Pai leaving. The two of them were becoming very close and the way Lettuce's eyes glowed when she looked at Pai told Ichigo that this was far from a teenage fling. In fact, Ichigo looked around her friends and noted how all of them had that same soft glow. It made Ichigo's heart soar to know all her friends were finding love.
"He doesn't stay awake for very long though does he?" Pudding commented as Kiseki fell asleep.
"He's only a week old Pudding," Zakuro chuckled, "Give him some time."
"Zakuro is correct; Kiseki should be staying awake for longer once he's around six months old. We should start seeing more of his personality as well." Ichigo sat forward to check on her son before sitting back against the cushions. He had been fed before her friends came round and she had changed his nappy a little while ago so they had a period of peace before Kiseki started crying. Ichigo yawned and Mint gave her a long look.
"You look terrible," Mint said bluntly.
"Come talk to me after you've been up all hours of the day and night feeding and changing nappies." Ichigo sighed rubbing her eyes. "I'm so glad I'm not going back to school yet. I don't think I could stay awake for even one lesson. And I would hate being separated from Kiseki."
"I'm sure none of us could imagine what it takes looking after a new-born baby." Zakuro gave Mint a hard look. "But Kiseki looks great. He's already grown so much."
"I know," Ichigo smiled at her son. "I know people talk about their children growing up too fast but I've never really understood it until now."
"And I understand now what people mean when they say that the only thing parents talk about is their children." Mint grinned cheekily.
"Hey he's all you talk about as well." Ichigo reminded her friend with a grin.
"For me it's rather like having a baby brother." Mint smiled down at Kiseki and Ichigo grinned. Mint may have taken the longest to come round but now she was just as smitten by Kiseki as the others. Although when Ichigo changed Kiseki's nappy earlier, Mint had been the first to leave the room when Ichigo asked if anyone wanted to give her a hand. That had made everyone laugh.
"Seriously though Ichigo, how are you holding up?" Zakuro asked sitting down next to Ichigo.
"I'm doing well," Ichigo answered honestly. "It is difficult looking after a baby and I'm tired all the time but it helps when you have someone standing beside you." Ichigo glanced past her friends to smile at Kishu. Kishu must have sensed her gaze on him as he glanced over his shoulder and grinned at her. Kishu also had dark circles under his eyes and his skin was a little paler than normal from lack of sleep. "But both of us would have crashed and burned by now if my parents didn't help out. My mum has been such a great help with Kiseki and setting up a routine." Ichigo turned her attention back to her friends.
"I'm glad you're doing well. I think Kiseki is lucky indeed to have people who love him so much." Zakuro looked relived and Ichigo nodded with a smile. She knew that Zakuro had been worried about her and Kishu being unable to cope and leaving it all to her parents. While her parents did help out, Ichigo wanted to be able to handle looking after her son herself. Kiseki was her and Kishu's responsibility and her parents were there to provide back-up only. But no matter how many times she had to get up in the night and no matter how horrible the smell coming from Kiseki's nappy, seeing her son grow made it all worthwhile in Ichigo's eyes.
"I'm sorry guys but I've got to go." Mint glanced at her watch and stepped back from Kiseki. "I'm meeting Daisuke this afternoon in the park."
"Are we ever going to get to meet this elusive Daisuke?" Ichigo teased as Mint's cheeks went pink.
"Most of you did meet him when he came to the café to see me." Mint pointed out as she pulled on her summer coat.
"That's hardly what we had in mind." Zakuro grinned.
"You met him at the disco," Mint argued. Zakuro rolled her eyes. "And he's coming to the party in a couple of months so you can all meet him there."
"Oh yes Ichigo's seventeenth birthday party. I'm really looking forward to it." Lettuce smiled.
"You do know that I can't stay long right?" Ichigo narrowed her eyes playfully at her friends. "My parents have been great in agreeing to babysit for the evening but I can't stay out late. Besides, I'll be falling asleep by ten." Ichigo joked. She was grateful for her friends making the effort to throw her a party and she was well aware she needed to unwind once in a while.
"You can leave whenever you like, we're more than happy to party on without you." Mint stated making Ichigo snort.
"I managed to talk Pai into staying for the party." Lettuce suddenly spoke up her gaze on her boyfriend. "But he's leaving the day after." There was a brief silence before Ichigo reached out and took Lettuce's hand in hers.
"Then you better make sure that every day you two have left together counts." Ichigo said softly.
"I wonder sometimes, if…you know, if we'll make it. He's going to be gone a long time." Lettuce admitted quietly.
"If you think that way then you won't make it." Mint stated but she kept her voice low so Pai wouldn't hear. "If you don't believe that he'll wait for you then you better tell him now and save yourselves the heartache." It was harsh but Ichigo couldn't help but think that Mint was right. She and Masaya hadn't survived the test of distance and lack of contact. Kiseki was living proof of that. Ichigo had tried to contact Masaya but he was refusing to take her calls. After the hurtful things he'd said about Kiseki the last time they saw each other, Ichigo was secretly glad he hadn't come over since Kiseki was born. She doubted she'd been able to stop herself from physically hurting Masaya if he said those poison words in Kiseki's presence. Kiseki might not understand the words but Ichigo would.
"Mint has a point Lettuce," Zakuro said far gentler than Mint had done. "You both need to believe in each other and have some faith." Lettuce nodded and took a deep breath.
"I know and I do believe in him. I just don't want to lose him." Lettuce bit her lip.
"Let me tell you something that I've learned in life; no one can be stolen from anyone unless they want to be." Zakuro touched Lettuce's shoulder. "And if the way Pai looks at you is any indication, then he's not going anywhere." Zakuro winked while Lettuce blushed.
"Before we all start hugging I need to go." Mint turned to Pudding. "Are you coming?"
"Yep, I need to pick up my brothers from day care." Pudding ran over to give Ichigo a hug. "I'll come by again next weekend to visit."
"You are welcome anytime Pudding." Ichigo hugged the younger girl back hard. "Say hi to your family for me."
"I will," Pudding promised before skipping up to Kiseki. "Bye Kiseki," she whispered before kissing him gently on the forehead. Mint nodded goodbye at Ichigo before leaving the room with Pudding in tow. Taruto said a quick goodbye and waved to Ichigo as he followed Pudding and Mint out.
"I should get going as well." Zakuro stood up smoothing down her skirt. "I have a meeting with my modelling agent later today."
"Nothing serious I hope." Ichigo also stood up and noticed Pai and Kishu walk into the living room.
"He just wants to set up some photo shoots nothing major." Zakuro smiled and hugged Ichigo. "Keep well and keep smiling."
"I will," Ichigo chuckled.
"We should leave as well," Pai spoke as Zakuro grabbed her bag. "I still have a few things I need to buy before I leave."
"I'll give you a hand." Lettuce said at once.
"That would be great, thank you." Pai gave Lettuce a smile making the girl blush and smile shyly back.
"Will we see you next weekend?" Kishu asked moving to stand next to Ichigo with an arm around her shoulders.
"It depends if I am waiting for parcels to be delivered." Pai answered honestly. "But Lettuce will pass on any news if I can't make it." Ichigo looked down and noticed that Pai and Lettuce were holding hands. The sight made her smile.
"Well if we don't see you then have a great week." Ichigo hugged Lettuce and smiled at Pai. The oldest alien still wasn't overly fond of hugging or body contact. Pai nodded back and clasped hands with Kishu before following Zakuro out of the front door. Ichigo and Kishu stood at the entrance and waved to their friends as they went their separate ways.
"I don't know about you but I think I need to take a nap." Kishu yawned and stretched as he shut the front door with a click.
"Who knew babies were so much hard work?" Ichigo smiled at her fiancé.
"I certainly didn't otherwise I might have thought twice about having one." The twinkle in Kishu's eyes belied his words and Ichigo laughed and wrapped her arms around Kishu's neck.
"He may be hard work but we sure had fun making him." Ichigo waggled her eyebrows. Kishu hummed and wrapped his arms around Ichigo's waist.
"We could have fun making another one." Kishu suggested his eyes darkening. Ichigo grinned and kissed Kishu. He moaned softly as he kissed her back. Just as one of his hands tangled in Ichigo's hair the sound of a baby crying interrupted them.
"Kishu, your son is crying." Ichigo pointed out needlessly.
"Funny how whenever he's crying he becomes my son," Kishu said thoughtfully with a smile trying to break out over his lips.
"We'll have to continue this at a later date." Ichigo grinned as she untangled herself from Kishu's embrace and walked to the living to see to their son.
"You don't think he knows what we're up to, do you?" Kishu frowned at his week old son who was fussing in his basket. Ichigo raised her eyebrows. "Well he does keep interrupting us with an uncanny precision." Ichigo burst out laughing and picked up her son. Ichigo cradled Kiseki in her arms and wrapped him in his blanket before raising her gaze to meet Kishu's.
"Kishu, have I told you recently that I love you?"
"Yes but it never hurts to hear it again." Kishu stepped up close to his fiancée and their baby boy. Now he had his mother's attention, Kiseki had stopped fussing and gone quiet. Ichigo looked into the golden eyes her son had inherited and smiled.
"I love you Kishu."
"And I love you Ichigo, now and forever."
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