A/N: Once "Strategy" and "An Angel's Pride" are complete, "Kitten" Leon will be retired. I'll miss him. This is the end for this story. Sorry, but I really got nothing left for this one. Originally updated 2/15/09. 2nd Revision 5/1/09.
Fandom: Kingdom Hearts
Summary: Cradles, Birth, and Babies. Oh my!
Pairings: Cloud/Leon (Squall), Cid/Vin
Warnings: Yaoi, Panicked Crazy! Dominating Chocobo, Panicked Submissive Insecure Angsty Lion, CID! And Cid-Inspired Cursing, MPREG (Blame the Mako!), Non-Graphic Birth, Breastfeeding
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters in this fan fiction.
Chapter 6 - Hello Cubs!
"Where the fuck where ya plannin' on puttin' mah grandbabies? A fuckin' wooden crate in the corner?"
Cloud scratched the back of his head, with a sheepish grin. He attempted to dodge the fiery glance of a certain Cid Highwind, adoptive father of Leon, and proud Grandpa of three unborn cubs, who still didn't have cribs. "Don't blame me, Cid. For the first few months, Squall's adamant the cubs sleep with us. I told him, all of us together would be a tight fit, but he's made up his mind."
Cid cast an exasperated gaze over to Leon.
Humming to himself, an oblivious Leon petted his eight-month pregnant belly.
Cid directed a pleading look to his better half, Vincent Valentine.
Vincent shook Leon's shoulder to get his attention. "Leon? Please allow us to set up the cribs for the babies. I'm afraid Cloud will roll over on them in his sleep."
Before he could protest, Cid clapped a firm hand on Cloud's shoulder.
The Captain knew better than to interrupt the Missus at work.
With the thought of any of the cubs being harmed, Leon's serene gaze changed from day to night. If Vincent had placed him into the equation, he would have been quick to put up a fight.
Cloud, on the other hand, an unknown quantity always.
Leon met Vincent's pleading gaze with a troubled one. "Okay, but I want them close by me. How soon can the cradles be set up?"
Dragging a confused Chocobo by the arm, Grampa Cid walked towards the waiting boxes in the other room. "Don't ya worry 'bout nothin,' Son. Me and Chocobo will have these suckers up before ya can sneeze."
Leon's worried eyes followed their exit. "Place them right next to each other, so the cubs can see each other! Vincent? I don't know…"
Vincent embraced his doubting adopted son, while Cid's ranting echoed throughout the house. "Concentrate your energy on the cubs inside. Except for the cribs, the nursery sits ready."
Leon relaxed further into the rocking chair Cloud had placed him in earlier. "I believed my insecurities would get better, once we returned from the Coliseum. With the cubs' births arriving so soon, my fears just seem to get worse with each passing day."
Releasing Leon, Vincent sat back to resume drinking his tea. With Cid's escalating rants, informing all of Radiant Garden of Cloud's ineptitude, a rare smile appeared on his face. "Take advice from someone who lives with insecurity every second of every day. With a strong and trustworthy mate by your side, your fears will always be eradicated by his patient understanding and love. I have also found that taking care of many loved ones can make a person forget petty fears."
Leon propped swollen ankles on a low foot-stool. "I never did thank you and Cid, for taking me in, when I almost landed on Yuffie in Traverse Town."
Vincent spluttered at the memory. "No need. I'm just relieved you landed on the Moogle instead. Yuffie still declares she would have caught you."
"Great Auntie Yuffie." Leon interlocked his fingers over his belly in thought. "I never would've figured that ambushing Skanks in the night would grant her a solo spot in the Arena. Just lucky, my little sister."
With the mention of his other adopted daughter, Vincent looked down with sad eyes. "Cid and I are so proud of her. We keep e-mailing her to keep her winnings, but she sends all the munny to us, once Phil gives her the purse. Cid's set up a savings account for her. She always wanted to go to the Land of Dragons. After you're settled, with the cubs, Cid and I plan to fly her there for a surprise."
Musing on Yuffie's future happiness, Leon began to smile. Instead, with a moan, he clutched his belly, when the cubs decided to mimic their Auntie Yuffie with kicks and punches. Groaning, he massaged his belly, attempting to calm them down. For some reason, the babies had become much more active in the past two weeks.
Concerned, Vincent leaned forward. He straightened back up, when Leon flopped back. "You do know Yuffie wants you to cross your legs, and hold the cubs in, if you go into labor before she comes home."
Feeling the cubs restart their inner sparring match, Leon groaned. "I love her, but Auntie Yuffie can kiss my eight-month pregnant fat ass."
Vincent's husky chuckles filled the room, overlapping with Cid's rants, and the sounds of a bewildered Chocobo getting his head smacked with cradle-building instructions.
Cloud woke up bleary-eyed and befuddled. A hand, reaching for his Kitten, grasped empty air instead. Sitting up, he heard crying coming from the bathroom. "Squall?"
Opening the bathroom door, a frightened Cloud found Leon sitting in the bathtub, still wearing his nightshirt. The soaked bottom telling him Leon's water had broken. Stooping down, he gathered a scared, weeping Kitten in strong arms. "Squall. Why didn't you wake me up? I have to get Merlin and Aerith. You can't have the cubs by yourself."
Holding on tight, Leon shook his head, even though the labor pains increased, with each passing moment. "No, Cloud. It's too soon! What if something happens?"
Cloud kissed Leon's forehead, while helping him take off the drenched nightshirt. Rising up, he wrapped some towels around Leon, to keep him warm. "Kitten, I know you're scared. But whether you're ready or not, our cubs are coming. The talisman's in the other room. Let me activate the thing. I'll be right back. I promise."
Counting through his breathing exercises, Leon gripped the sides of the bathtub. The pain canceling out his fears.
Cloud spoke the truth.
The cubs were coming, and nothing would stop them; not even Mommy's latent insecurities.
Nodding his consent, Leon closed his eyes, concentrating on the contractions rippling throughout his body.
Running to the bedside table, Cloud slammed his palm on the talisman Merlin had made. When activated, the magical object would pull Merlin and Aerith to its present location. Much to his relief, the thing actually worked.
Merlin and Aerith, in their night shifts, appeared in front of Cloud's grateful eyes.
Having practiced the drill, Aerith moved first. Darting into the bathroom, comforting coos intermingled with Leon's relieved sobbing.
Sitting a nervous Cloud down, Merlin snapped his fingers to send a magical messenger, in the form of a bat, to the Highwind's residence. "Be strong, My Lad. I know you would like nothing more than to be with Leon right now. However, Aerith and I need the room to bring your precious babes into the world. Have faith in your Lion's strength. He will ensure your cubs will make it through."
Shaken with the gravity of his cubs being born, a nodding Cloud pushed Merlin towards the bathroom.
The green light cascading from the open doorway signified Aerith's magic had been put to work.
Cloud fell forward, when a strong hand clapped him on the shoulder. A confused gaze met Cid's wry smile. His eyes lowered to take in Cid's boxers printed with playful rockets.
Five minutes later, with a graceful air, Vincent walked in, fully clothed, holding his impatient husband's clothing in his hands. "Cid Highwind, go in the other room, and put these clothes on!"
With a hop-up, and jaunty salute, Cid followed orders. He returned, just in the nick of time, to help Vincent tackle a berserk Lone Wolf.
Kitten's plaintive mewls had escalated into bone-chilling screams.
Ten hours later, after his cruel sister denied repeated requests for death, Squall Strife gave birth to two girls and a boy.
Merlin took care of the afterbirth and Leon's stitches.
Aerith methodically cleared the cubs' air passages, and cleansed their squalling tiny bodies. Clothing the babes in the tiniest sleepers, she placed little warming caps on their heads, that she had knitted herself with a loving hand. She silently patted herself on the back for getting the colors right. Tifa and Yuffie both owed her munny.
Leon laid in the bathtub, exhausted, but ecstatic. He had birthed three healthy cubs.
The babies weighed in about five pounds each.
However, both Merlin and Aerith reassured the anxious Lion that his cubs turned out just fine.
When Aerith handed the babies over, Leon cried tears of joy. He counted fingers and toes. Lifting the caps, he smiled to find he and Cloud had been blessed with a blonde, a brunette, and, oddly, their little boy had black hair.
Speaking of Cloud, Leon raised a tired gaze, from his sleeping babes, to look for his Chocobo. "Aerith, where's Cloud?"
"Oh my gosh! I forgot!" Jumping up, Aerith flung open the bathroom door Merlin had left slightly ajar. "Everything's okay now! You guys can unchain him."
Chuckling to himself, Leon lowered his head, and took in the sweet smell of his babies. Of course, his Lone Wolf went berserk. By the time their second cub came out, his screams shattered the window in the bathroom.
Raising his head, Leon spied a scared Cloud filling the doorway. "Come here, silly. Meet our babies."
Stumbling forward, Cloud dropped to his knees. The babies grasped for spiky hair, when he lowered his head to snuffle their small bodies. He imprinted their scents on his brain, just like he did with their mother. "My cubs. My babies. Thank you, Kitten. Thank you."
With Cloud hugging him close, Leon rested a weary head on his strong shoulder. "Now, I know why our baby girls have blonde and brown hair. How the heck did our little boy get pitch black hair?"
Gazing down at the sleeping babies, Cloud grinned. "Oh, that's easy, Squall. He's Zack. Aerith warned me he'd be showing up some way or another. She told me he thought my life needed some excitement."
Frowning, Leon peered down at his little boy, who already seemed to have a mischievous air about him. "This Zack, the Zack Fair, you told me all the horror stories about?"
Hearing the Lion rising, in his Kitten's voice, a cringing Cloud stared down at his new son. "Sorry to say, but yes."
Meeting the news, with a sigh, Leon bent down to kiss his son. "Don't sweat it, Cloud. I'll be the mean Mommy, when time-out's called."
Cloud exhaled a sigh of relief. His eyes roamed over to the other cubs. The girls seemed to already be holding hands. "I don't have a clue about girls' names. What do you think, Squall?"
Smiling, Leon kissed both of his girls in turn. "Our blonde baby's name is Raine and her sister's name is Ellone."
Feeling a light touch on the shoulder, Cloud turned.
"The bed's ready for them, Cloud. Leon needs to give them their first feedings." Aerith gestured towards the open doorway.
Gathering the precious cargo, in strong arms, Cloud picked up his family. Walking to the bed, he placed Leon down gently.
Since Zack woke up first, Leon snuggled his cub up to his breast.
Cloud took Raine and Ellone. Rocking the slumbering girls, he sang softly to them.
Cid, Vincent, and Aerith left, promising to come by later, after picking up Yuffie from the Gummi Hangar.
Leon smiled down to his little boy. With a finger caressing a soft cheek, he encouraged his son to suckle, and grow strong. "Thank you, Husband."
Glancing up, Cloud continued to rock the small cubs. "What for?"
Flicking his head, Leon gestured Cloud to sit next to him.
Quickly complying, Cloud nestled close, so the babies touched.
Giving Cloud a soft kiss, Leon licked his lips. He smiled. "I wanted a mate and a family to love. You gave me that. Thank you."
Hanging his head, Cloud blushed red. "Didn't give you much of a choice."
When a soft Kitten's tongue licked his ear, Cloud shuddered.
While he licked, Leon purred. "Aerith told me, if we had any common sense, we should wait a year or two, before getting pregnant again. Merlin informed me, I could get pregnant again, within a month. I wonder how long the Wolf can wait?"
Turning his head, the Lone Wolf growled low, while feasting on Kitten's sweet lips. "Phil's going to build a whole tournament around me. Cid and Vincent already asked for more grandbabies to baby-sit. We can afford not to have common sense."
The Kitten in Leon purred louder at the news. "That's good. I always wanted a big family."