February 14 (11 weeks and Thursday)
Misa was sick. And it was hell, pure unadulterated hell. Why, oh why, had she ever thought pregnancy would be a good thing?
Wait, that had been when she had assumed Light would be there to take care of her. It was Valentine's Day for God's sake… and it was the first Valentine's Day that she was alone since she began attending school. She'd never been alone on Valentine's Day before. She felt the tears beginning to leak through her eyes, and her chin begin to shake. This sucked. She drew in a breath of air, letting it whistle between her teeth and indrawn lips.
"There, there," Sachiko murmured gently, holding Misa's sweaty hair away from the toilet bowel. It was growing in quite black at the roots, having been several weeks since Misa had last gotten it dyed. Like she cared about it at the moment.
Misa felt her insides twist and convulse inside out and she dry heaved again. God, it was painful. It wasn't fair that she had to start every morning this way, it really wasn't. Why had she let Light do this to her? Sure, it had been nice, unbelievable great in fact, but she really should have stayed on the pill. What she really should have done was sniff the stupid lemon or ginger as soon as she woke up like the doctor had suggested.
"Sayu? Can you get me a cold cloth please?" the older woman called gently out the door. Footsteps pattered quickly into the washroom. The tap turned on, and the sound of rushing water did nothing to soothe Misa's concerns, the pain wracking her stomach with icy hot knives.
"I hate this," Misa muttered, tears trailing down her flushed and sweaty face.
"I'm back." Sayu appeared in the doorway, the wet cloth still dripping droplets to the floor. Sachiko reached out and took the cloth from her with her free hand and used it to gently wipe Misa's face. Sayu remained in the doorway, trying to figure out if there was some way she could help.
"We'll be fine here, Sayu," Sachiko said to her unspoken question. "Have a nice day at school, okay?"
Sayu nodded, leaving the scene to her mother, a much more experienced woman. Misa retched again, wishing that she too could run off to anywhere else besides the small room. She had been running in here every morning since her sixth week of pregnancy and it was really, really starting to wear down her nerves.
Week of March 26, 2008 (18 weeks since Light's death)
"MOTHER!!!" Misa shouted, her voice echoing throughout the house, both hands firmly on her abdomen.
Sachiko's heavy footsteps trampled down the stairs in her hurry, and she nearly lost her balance as she turned the corner towards the sitting room where Misa was sitting up on the couch. Misa looked up to see the older woman wearing an expression of fear and concern, her eyes immediately going to Misa's belly.
"Misa, is everything alright? What's the matter?" Her voice was breathless.
Misa felt a twinge of guilt for making the woman worry, but it quickly disappeared as she felt something again. Looking down, she felt like her cheeks would split from smiling so hard, and she almost couldn't believe it, but it must have been the baby. It was moving. She looked up to her foster mother, and it took Misa a moment to realize she hadn't answered Sachiko's question yet.
"The baby… I can feel the baby!" Misa answered gleefully, her hands still over stomach even though it was more of an internal feeling. It felt like… bubbles. In her tummy. Misa giggled, her happiness infectious enough to make her nearly delirious.
Sachiko sighed, clearly relieved, and then caught a bit of Misa's joy, chuckling at her own worry.
"Misa…" she began wearily, but couldn't keep the seriousness of her tone in her message, "You shouldn't do that to someone of my age. I thought something was wrong."
"I'm sorry, but it's just… it's just that I'm sure it was the baby!" Nothing could bring her down from this high and she giggled again, hugging her stomach and leaning against the back of the couch. "It's mov-ing. It's mov-ing. It's mov-ing," she sang to herself.
Sachiko gave up, laughing at the pregnant woman's antics, and unwilling to keep her from her obvious delight. She sat down next to Misa on the couch, feeling like a younger girl herself.
"Let's do something fun today, mother," Misa began suddenly, sitting up again and trying to keep the giggles down. She took Sachiko's hands in her own, and looked earnestly into her brown eyes, mock doubtful as they were.
"Are you saying I don't do anything fun, Misa?" Sachiko asked with a hint of slyness.
"Noooo," Misa drawled out, drowning into a fit of giggles before taking a deep breath and straightening up again. Her voice was now calmer, but still the slightly-faster-than-normal speed gave the young woman away. "Why don't we go shopping? For baby clothes!"
"Misa… we don't even know whether it's a baby boy or a baby girl," Sachiko reminded her gently.
"I don't care. Let's go anyway. We'll just get some unisex baby things. We need to do something to celebrate. Oh, please?" Misa tried her best pout, batting her eyelashes like a poorer actress than she really was.
Sachiko laughed, shaking her head hopelessly, and Misa realized she had won.
"Yaaay!" Misa shouted brightly and hugged her Light's mother fiercely, before jumping up and hurrying to her room to get dressed.
Today, for the first time in a long time, felt like a day for celebrating.
Week of April 16, 2008 (20 weeks since Light's death)
Modeling had its unexpected benefits to being pregnant, Misa had realized. Keeping all the scheduled doctor's appointments had been a breeze compared to the summer swimsuit and yukata seasons of her later teenage years. She had even managed to slip a few photo-shoots in for a maternity magazine, despite Light's mother's fear that Misa was overdoing it. But standing on her sore feet and posing for a few photos weren't Misa's top concern in returning to the modeling world; it was what everyone would say about Misa-Misa's sudden removal from the show business and her pregnancy with an obvious lack of a significant other. Scandalous? Certainly.
To avoid the media's love of crushing popular idols, Misa had told everyone in the industry that she had married Light in secret. Light's father had been somewhat disapproving of the idea, but Sachiko became Misa's staunch supporter, even vouching for the marriage to any paparazzi reporters. Having never spoken much with Light's mother during the time she had dated Light, it had been easy to overlook Sachiko in the beginning. But as Misa began to integrate into the Yagami family household, Sachiko became her closest friend, ignoring the vast differences in their respective ages. It was Sachiko who connected her to the best doctors, helped her through her morning sickness, taught her how to cook, advised her on how to take care of herself, and accompanied her to every appointment.
Misa had lost count of the number of appointments that had already passed, but it was a Wednesday, so she counted the weeks since… Light had never come home. It was twenty weeks now without him, but Misa had learned something that could cheer her up on this Wednesday. Her baby was a little girl. Light's daughter. Misa found herself wrapping her arms around her stomach at the thought. She wanted so desperately for his daughter to be born already. Would she look like him? Perhaps have his almond-chocolate eyes, wide in innocence and beauty? Would she have his silky hair? His perfect teeth?
"She's going to be so beautiful," Sachiko whispered, sharing a smile with her almost daughter-in-law and hugging her shoulders tightly. Misa giggled in appreciation, unable to contain her bubbly giddiness.
"I love her already, Sachiko," Misa replied, hugging herself tighter.
Week of April 23, 2008 (21 weeks since Light's death)
Names… they were so important, weren't they? They represented a unique individual with a single word. Or two words, Misa thought suddenly, thinking of family names. Still, Light's daughter's given name was the only one that she had the power to choose.
It was frustrating, not knowing what Light would have wanted. It was keeping her awake again this night, like it had the night before. The importance of naming their child and it was all up to her. It was kind of frightening to have to do it by herself; she knew Light would have thought up something perfect nearly right away—he was so smart.
Potential names wound their girly ways through her mind, but the more she tried to think about them, the more problems she saw with them. Drop the last syllable and that one becomes an insult. This one was a pretty name, but Misa had known a Shizuko who had been such a bitch. She'd always found ko names to be cute, but they were so common and Light's daughter deserved something unique and special. Like her father's name had been.
"Ugggh," Misa moaned to herself in the dark, running a hand through her hair and sitting up in bed. Why was this so difficult?!
Misa had never been a binge eater, but every now and then when the stress from poor managers got to her, she relieved her anxiety through cookie dough. And even though she knew she should only eat healthy food, high in vitamins and minerals, the craving was really strong. Perhaps her daughter, whatever her name might be, craved sweets too? It was always a good idea to listen to your cravings when you're pregnant right?
She tiptoed down to the kitchen, knowing that if Sachiko caught her, she'd been in some trouble. Not that Misa was planning on eating a lot, just….
Turning on the light only in the kitchen, Misa took a spoon from the drawer and the store-bought dough from the refrigerator, careful to make as little noise as possible. Sayu slept in the room closest to the kitchen, and Misa still wasn't sure what the high-schooler thought of her dead brother's pregnant girlfriend. She didn't think Sayu would tattle on her as long as she shared the cookie dough, but Misa didn't want to press the issue. She had enough on her mind with all the names floating around.
Sitting at the table, Misa scooped up a bit of the dough onto her spoon. She eyed it thoughtfully, before putting it into her mouth, the soft dough sticking to the spoon more than her tongue. What would Light have named their daughter?
Light…. How to make something as unique and all-encompassing as Light's name?
It was really pronounced as an English name, and she knew it would be spelled in romaji as L-I-G-H-T. Still, she had always wanted to believe the first letter could be an R because she had always believed he was right. To her, he had been both righteous and the sun at the center of her world. Misa sighed. Ironic how his kanji had been simply moon, and he had been her sun. She swallowed and reached for another spoonful. It was painful trying to think of him this objectively, but she ignored the pricks of tears at the corner of her eyes. Perhaps he had been the light that shone in the darkness… without him, was it now her new moon?
New moon? In a way, that's what his daughter was, right? Another Light? A new and beautiful moon?
Mitsuki. Beautiful moon.
It sounded right, Misa decided, the stress replaced with a sleepy satisfaction. She put away the cookie dough and returned to her room. She'd ask Sachiko what she thought of it in the morning, but for now, she could go back to sleep.
Misa sat bolt upright. She knew this feeling.
She caught the light switch, bathing the room in sudden brightness, while stuffing her feet into slippers. Without pausing, she ran from the room.
Yes. She knew this feeling. She just needed to make it to….
The bathroom door was already slightly ajar, and Misa silently blessed whoever had left it that way even as she fought down the waves of nausea and bile rising in her throat. Head over the toilet, one hand on the floor, the other on her belly, she swore she'd never eat cookie dough again.
"Misa?" Sachiko's worried voice came from behind her.
"…Good morning, mother," Misa managed weakly, unable to think of anything else to say at the moment and already drained from her ordeal. She looked up at her foster mother and tried to smile.
"Has it passed now?" Sachiko pressed gently, bending to help the younger woman off the floor.
"Uh-huh," Misa replied, accepting the help gratefully, "I think so."
"I'm going to make you some tea, alright? You just sit down and keep yourself comfortable." The older woman's voice was soothing and comforting in its authority. Misa was good at taking directions, and not having to think for herself at the moment minimized the stress.
Sachiko stepped around Misa and flushed the toilet, before leading the pregnant woman out to the kitchen and helping her into a chair. Misa watched as Sachiko began preparing tea for the both of them. The air was relaxed and Misa found herself wanting to go back to sleep. She had been up rather late the night before.
Stupid cookie dough.
"I hope everything's alright, Misa," Yagami Sachiko said, drawing Misa away from her inner musings with a grave tone. "You shouldn't be throwing up this far in... is this the first time since you stopped having morning sickness?"
Amane nodded, a shot of fear accelerating through her for a moment as she realized that Sachiko was worried about a miscarriage. Misa, on the other hand, knew the real reason for her… sickness. Not that she could tell Sachiko she had been up eating cookie dough because she had felt stressed. Misa looked down, and decided on a half-truth, brushing her uncombed bangs out of her eyes. "I think I stayed up too late last night or something."
Misa looked up in time to catch Sachiko's accusing glare, putting Misa on the defense.
"I was thinking of names! I couldn't help it, mother."
Sachiko smiled, and Misa allowed her pout to transform a bit into a matching smile. She figured that Sachiko must have been the same way when she had been pregnant with Light and then Sayu. It was rather exhilarating, in a way, and sometimes the excitement was more than sleep permitted.
"Did you think of anything you liked?" Sachiko asked, checking whether the tea was fully steeped.
Misa nodded again, thinking of the night before. She had come up with something she really liked, but Sachiko's opinion meant a lot. "But… but I wanted to know your opinion before I really decided. She's your granddaughter."
Misa realized she must have caught her foster mother off guard. She paused for a moment before setting the tea on the table, frozen in place for a moment. "Thank you, Misa," she said with quiet sincerity.
Sachiko sat opposite from Misa and poured the tea, sitting straighter and smiling brightly. Misa recognized the look as the one everyone had when they were really thinking about Light. Misa knew, because she felt that it had become her permanent expression in the months directly following Light's death. And in the same fashion, Misa ignored the sadness beneath Sachiko's countenance. Instead she inspected the tea cup in great detail before taking a careful sip so she wouldn't burn her tongue. She waited a few moments and took a steadying breath.
"Mitsuki..." she said, her eyes seeking approval from Light's mother, "I wanted to spell it with 'beautiful' and 'moon.' For her father…"
Sachiko's expression was enough to make Misa trail off. There was the smile that told of Light, and yet the sadness was fully present on her face as well. Sachiko's smile shone through the tears that were now leaking out from her eyes, a heartbreaking effort because of the pain of losing Light. Misa understood, feeling Light's loss keenly again and yet… yet… it was a good name. This meant… it was a good name. Sachiko was smiling and crying and nodding, her hand suddenly reaching out and taking Misa's, reaffirming their own existences with the touch of their fingers. Misa found herself bawling, the tears flowing freely down her face, cleansing away her doubts. It had been almost a week since she had last cried, and it felt refreshing. And while normally crying in another's presence made her feel stupid, with Sachiko crying with her, she somehow felt connected and loving instead.
"I think it's perfect, Misa," Sachiko murmured, wiping the tears from her eyes. Looking into Misa's clearing eyes, she cupped a hand to the younger woman's cheek. "…My daughter."
"Thank you," Misa replied, her own tears abating with a sigh.
She put a hand to her stomach, as if she could pat the unborn daughter's head. It had always felt somehow unfair that she couldn't see Light's daughter already. To remedy that, Misa kept a copy of the first—and only—baby picture she had on her person. She took out the photo, all shades of grey. However, having so often seen the picture, Misa's eyes were trained to pick out the round little head and faint depressions of the baby's facial features. She set the picture down on the table so that Sachiko could see as well, noticing the other woman's indulging smile. She probably thought Misa was cute for keeping the copy with her at all times. Still, Misa found bubbles tickling up through her stomach as she looked at Light's daughter, one hand still over her stomach where the baby slept.
"Hi there, Mistuki," she cooed.
Ahahaha, not the first thing most people thought I would update, but still. If you haven't already, I recommend starting (or refreshing yourselves) on AfterLife because that'll post up next and I assume you love Death Note if you're reading this. Like always, please leave reviews so I know how I'm doing. Thanks for reading!