What Magic Is Made Of
AN: Hope you enjoy!
Disclaimer: I do not own D. Gray-man. The series belongs to Katsura Hoshino.
Lenalee Walker dug her toes into the curly fur of the cocker spaniel at her feet. The caramel-colored dog gave a small snort and rolled over in his sleep, his paws in the air and his warm back pressed against her feet.
"I feel so useless," she muttered under her breath, loud enough for the white-haired man to hear. "Lolling around all day doesn't suit me, Allen – you know that."
Allen Walker smiled affectionately at his wife. "I know, I know," he replied pleasantly, "but you shouldn't stress yourself overmuch, Lenalee – being eight months pregnant means you can't afford to take risks." He set aside the documents he'd been examining and got up from the armchair, moving to sit next to Lenalee on the floor. Their shoulders rubbed against each other comfortably, and their backs pressed against the sofa behind them.
"I know," she sighed, shifting so that her head rested on his shoulder, "but I feel so fat and awkward all the time. I don't even want to go out anymore."
Allen laughed softly. "I never thought you were that vain," he remarked lightly, offering her a teasing grin when she lifted her head from his shoulder and glared at him. Lenalee relaxed slightly at the sight of his smile and lifted the corners of her lips in reply.
"I didn't, either, but I don't know…" she remarked, leaning her head back and resting it on the sofa seat. "I'm so nervous."
Allen reached out and placed a reassuring arm around her shoulders. "It's okay. We're all here for you, Lenalee."
"I know," she repeated, her smile a little wider. "And I appreciate that. But it doesn't stop me from being scared…"
Allen frowned, worried at her tone of voice. Lenalee had always struck him as a bold, outgoing person – she wasn't easily frightened. With all the training she'd received from the Black Order, it certainly took something monumental to scare her. Was she really that concerned about the child growing inside her?
"Tell me about it," he prodded gently. Lenalee lifted her head from the sofa seat and turned, fixing him with her gaze. There was a painful uncertainty about her, and a sort of expectation that puzzled him.
"I…" she began, faltering slightly. "I mean… I…"
"You don't have to if you don't want to," Allen hastened to assure her. Lenalee shook her head, her shoulder-length hair cutting a neat arc through the air.
"It's not like that," she said weakly. "I'm just not sure how to tell you."
"Just tell me what's bothering you so much," he responded. "I don't like seeing you so upset."
Lenalee smiled quietly. "I'm sorry."
"Don't be." Allen gently smoothed a few wayward strands of hair away from her face. "I want to be your support, but you have to let me help you."
Lenalee's eyes flickered uneasily. "It just feels so unreal… even now, when I'm close to giving birth… I feel so… what if I mess up, or something? I mean, I don't know how to… how to control certain parts of my body… what do I do if they don't listen to me when I need them to?"
Allen furrowed his brow, trying to understand his wife's concerns. He was equally worried about Lenalee's state and the baby's health – but he didn't doubt her, not for one minute. He supposed it was natural for a mother-to-be to be anxious about her child, and the delivery, but he didn't see how he could make her feel better.
"Hey," he began tentatively, "I know it's scary." Lenalee shot him a pointed look and he relented, bowing his head so she couldn't see his grin. "Okay, so I have no idea what it's like, but I'm guessing it's scary. You'll be fine, though. Everything will be fine. Don't worry so much, silly."
Lenalee laughed. "When we were Exorcists together, you never would have dreamed of calling me 'silly'," she teased.
Allen chuckled with her, even as his stomach knotted momentarily. They didn't often speak of their time as Exorcists – for some reason, the topic never really came up. But whenever it did, they remembered the beautiful memories, the playful words they'd shared and the arguments they'd participated in. The sadness was still there – buried deep, but never truly forgotten.
"I have something that might make you feel better," he suddenly announced. Lenalee lifted her eyebrows in confusion as her husband got to his feet and exited the living room. Stretching out towards the sleeping canine on her feet, Lenalee ignored the feeling of her rotund belly rubbing against her thighs and absentmindedly stroked the dog. He growled contentedly in his sleep and rolled over once more, his warm, furry body breaking contact with her skin.
"Okay." Allen returned with a strange-looking tome in his hands – it was a pale, powder blue with a gilded spine. Lenalee wondered what subjects such a dainty looking book would hold, and soon found out when Allen sat down beside her once more and displayed the cover to her.
"'Baby Names'?" she read aloud, laughing in spite of herself. "Honestly, Allen?"
"Come on!" her husband insisted, flipping open the book. "The little guy's almost here – and we haven't even though of a name for him!"
Deciding to play along, Lenalee smirked. "What makes you think it's even a boy?" she retorted, gently shoving his shoulder with her own. "You men, always wanting sons. For all you know, it could be a girl!"
"Something tells me I'm right," Allen replied, smiling affectionately at her. "After all, he kicks like a horse!"
Lenalee giggled and leaned further to her left so that she could read the hundreds of names on the pages. "What sort of a name are we looking for, anyway?" she mused. "I mean, do you want her name to mean something?"
Allen grinned at her use of a feminine pronoun and shrugged in reply to her question. "I dunno. What about you?"
"Hmm…" Lenalee shook her head thoughtfully. "This book only has Western names, Allen. What if I want to name my girl according to my own country's culture?"
"That's fine with me," Allen began, pausing when he saw the wicked glint in his wife's eyes. He groaned silently – she'd only been teasing.
"Relax, Allen," she laughed. "I'm fine with Western names. It's best, seeing as we've settled here, although brother certainly won't be happy. I think he had his heart set on calling her 'Lei', but that's too bad…"
"Hey now," Allen warned, pointing an accusing finger at his wife, "you're being hypocritical now. How can you just automatically assume it's a girl? For all you know, it could be a boy," quoting her words back at her.
"Do you have a baby growing inside you?" Lenalee shot back, fighting her urge to smile – arguments with Allen had always fascinated her from the very beginning, because she'd rarely seen him so animated. When they'd married, he'd become a lot more outspoken, but there were still some things he kept hidden from her – and she respected that, to an extent. After all, there were some things she kept hidden from him, too.
"No, but you can't possibly tell me that allows you to know what gender it is from just that," he argued. Lenalee chuckled.
"Fair enough, but can we look at girl names, first?"
Allen looked as if he was about to protest, but shut his mouth before the words could escape. He turned the pages until they reached the female section of the book – even baby name books were sexist, putting male names first! – and ran his finger down the page, pausing every once in a while.
Lenalee made a face. "Too common," she decided. "I want my baby to be unique."
"If you give her a unique name, Lenalee, everyone will laugh at her at school," Allen commented dryly.
"But Anna is just too common," she insisted. Allen shrugged and moved onto other names, not having the heart to start another argument with his heavily pregnant wife.
"No, too wimpy."
Allen shot her an incredulous look, and Lenalee scowled. "Just trust me," she assured him. He bit back the question on the tip of his tongue and moved on.
"No, too weird."
"I thought you wanted her to have an uncommon name."
"It isn't uncommon, just weird."
"No! It makes me think of cinnamon, and I can't stand cinnamon."
Two hundred girl names later, Allen felt like throwing the book away in frustration. His wife was just too hard to please.
"I don't like any of those," Lenalee commented with a frown. "Let's try the boys' names."
Exhaling loudly, Allen turned to the beginning of the book. "Tristan?"
"Weird. Very weird."
"But then people will call him Joe and everyone makes fun of the name Joe."
Frustrated glance. "Lachlan?"
"We're not Scottish, Allen!"
"Ahh!" Allen threw his arms up in the air in exasperation. "That's it, I give up! You just can't be satisfied! Why don't you just make up a name, if you don't like any of the ones in the book?"
Lenalee frowned, and a pained expression crossed her face. "I… I just want her to have the perfect name…" Her eyes filled with tears. "It's my first baby! I want her to be special!" she wailed, and Allen winced inwardly. He'd forgotten about Lenalee's tendency to be far weepier during her pregnancy.
"I know," he weakly tried to reassure. "I was just…"
"I know," Lenalee echoed, sighing heavily. "I was being quite tiresome, wasn't I?" Allen blinked at the abrupt change in her tone. "Anyway, I should go to bed… I'm feeling so sleepy…"
Allen scrambled to his feet and helped her up. She leaned against him as they made their way up the stairs – the cocker spaniel had also awoken and followed them dutifully, stubby tail wagging in delight. Allen set his wife down on the bed and sat next to her as she fell backwards and stretched out, her eyes fluttering closed. When Allen thought she was asleep, he made to move off the bed and out of the room, but was stopped by the sound of her voice.
"What color do you think his hair will be?"
Allen smiled to himself and settled down on the mattress again. "Probably black, like yours," he told her. Lenalee let out a sleepy sigh.
"I almost want him to have white hair like yours… it makes you look so innocent," she murmured. "But I think he'll look good with black hair, too. What about his eyes?"
Allen stretched out beside her and gently rested his head on her swollen stomach, taking care not to apply pressure. "He'll have beautiful dark eyes," he told her softly. "They'll match his hair. But maybe he'll have silver eyes, which will shine all the time and bring happiness to those around him."
"Mmm…" Lenalee was growing more and more incoherent. "An' he'll be small, and pink… he'll cry a lot…"
"Maybe," Allen admitted, lifting his head from her stomach, "but we won't mind, not all that much. Because he'll be a part of us."
Lenalee let out a sleepy, content sound. "An' we'll love him so much," she mumbled, slipping away into slumber.
Allen looked down into her open face, at her dark hair spread across the snow-white pillow, and smiled tenderly. "Very much so."
Lenalee was short of breath and tired beyond belief, but she'd never done anything else that had brought her so much joy.
As the snugly wrapped bundle was placed in her arms, she transferred her dark gaze from her new daughter to the father of the child. Allen looked a little shell-shocked, but his bright eyes were warm and loving, and he was looking down at her and the baby with an almost painful expression of adoration.
"Here," Lenalee lifted her arms, offering their child to him. "I told you it would be a girl."
Allen laughed breathlessly as he gently cradled the child. Her head was heavy with dark curling locks, her eyes screwed shut and her fat hands clenched into tiny fists. He swallowed, unable to dislodge the lump in his throat.
"Ssh," Lenalee advised quietly. Allen lowered himself so that he was sitting next to her on the bed. The nurse, a young woman, had bustled out of the room to wash the stained blankets, so the surroundings were still and peaceful.
"What…" Allen placed the infant back in his wife's arms. "What will we name her?"
Lenalee smiled secretively. "I thought of the perfect name."
Looking surprised – picky Lenalee had finally decided on a name? – Allen tilted his head to one side. "Let's hear it, then."
Allen's chest felt unusually tight as he stared at Lenalee. She stared back calmly, clutching the baby to her chest. Although she was pale and sweaty and weary, she was lit by some sort of inner glow, and he couldn't help but marvel at her appearance – and her thoughtfulness.
"Lenalee… are you… are you sure?"
"Never surer," she responded, bending her head to brush a kiss on the top of the baby's head. "He meant a lot to you, Allen – he helped you become who you are, and I have a lot to thank him for. Not to mention, I went to the local library and researched a little on the name."
Allen looked puzzled. "Researched on the name…?"
"Did you know," Lenalee continued, her eyes misting over slightly, "that 'mana' means another reality, or is also referred to as the stuff of which people's souls are made? It's even called 'what magic is made of'."
"Lenalee…" The intense gratitude in his eyes and voice made her flush all over. "Lenalee, I can't thank you enough…"
She clasped their child to her breast with one hand and reached out with the other, gently laying it on his cheek. "You don't need to," she murmured in reply.
He lifted his left hand to place it on hers, and they stayed like that for a while, reveling in the creation of something truly magical.
AN: Sap, sap, sap… they're probably both quite out of character, ahaha. I was just reading an English lesson at school and the word 'mana' was mentioned – I immediately thought of Mana Walker!
Okay, I know Mana was a man, obviously, but I'm pretty sure Mana as a name is fit for both genders.
Note: if your name is one of the ones Lenalee disliked, please don't feel bad. I have nothing against any of those names.
I do not think an ideal couple do not keep secrets from one another. If there is something that will only worry your partner, why tell them? It's unnecessary. This is my opinion, and you, of course, are welcome to your own!
I did say I'd like to write more motherly Lenalee someday! Please bear in mind that I have not experienced a pregnancy or birth first-hand, nor have I observed one at all. I have simply taken my knowledge from the countless pregnancies I've read about.
If my facts are incorrect, please let me know! Thanks!