After arriving at the restaurant, the three of them ordered, and as they were waiting for their meals to arrive, Noriko began to explain everything to them. Thankfully, it didn't take as long as it would have, seeing as they had all read her father's book and basically knew of all her adventures.
As expected, they all pelted her with questions the moment she was done explaining, and by the time their orders had arrived, the three of them had finally run out of questions and were just staring at Noriko with wide eyes.
When the waitress left, the girls just continued to ignore their food. "…It's still really hard to believe that all this is true," said Miki.
"I know," added Haine. "To think that my favorite fantasy story of all time is actually true, and what's more, my best friend is the heroine!"
Noriko just giggled at this.
"I know, how you guys feel," she said in a knowing voice. "It took me a while to believe it myself, even though I was going through it myself."
The three of them just laughed, and finally seemed to notice their food.
As they all dug in, they continued talking, and Aya, Miki, and Haine gave a very condensed version of everything that had happened since she had disappeared.
Aya was in the middle of describing the university the three of them were attending when suddenly, Noriko felt sick to her stomach.
Staggering away from the table, she headed straight for the bathroom and as soon as she got into the closest stall, she started retching violently.
Her friends had rushed in after her, worried. Aya walked through the open stall door and held Noriko's hair for her, so it wouldn't get dirty.
After she had finished throwing up, the Noriko wobbled over to the sink to rinse the horrible taste out of her mouth.
Upon looking into the mirror, she saw that she was a wreck. Even before she could voice her question, Aya pulled a hairbrush out of her purse and started brushing her friend's hair.
Noriko shot her a grateful look, happy to see that, even after all these years, her friends knew her so well.
"I wonder why I threw up?" she suddenly asked, looking into the mirror as Aya continued combing her hair.
"Don't worry," replied Haine. "It's probably just food poisoning. You'll be fine."
"Yeah, that's probably it," said Noriko, as the four of them walked out of the restroom.
As soon as they walked out the door, though, the first thing they saw was Izark, standing impatiently beside the restroom door, looking worried.
As soon as he saw them walk out, Izark rushed to his wife, grabbing her by the shoulders and saying in his native tongue, "Noriko! Are you alright?"
Noriko replied in Japanese, saying, "It's okay, Izark. It was just a little food poisoning."
"Are you sure?"
Giggling, Noriko said, "I'm sure! Sheesh, Izark. You're such a worrywart."
Finally seeing that his wife was okay, he let out a sigh of relief.
"Anyways," said Noriko, turning to her friends, "do you guys want to sleep over tonight? Izark and I have to go home soon, so…"
"Eh?" asked Miki, sounding sad. "You're leaving so soon?
"Gomen," said Noriko apologetically.
Aya pouted and said, "Fine, we'll stay over, but you have to come visit again soon!"
Noriko laughed at this. "Of course!" she said.
And so, they parted ways; Haine and the others going to their houses to get what they needed for the night, and Noriko and Izark heading home for a little alone time before the girls got there.
"So," started Izark. "If your friends are going to sleep over, I guess I'm not allowed to sleep with you tonight?"
Noriko couldn't help but laugh at his pouting face. "Oh, come on, it's just for one night! Cheer up!"
Taking her advice to heart, he cheered up a bit, smiling. "Well, I guess it won't be too bad to stay with Natsume for a night," he said, smiling mischievously.
Noriko, catching onto his intentions, glared and said in a threatening voice, "You better not tell him any embarrassing stories. Not unless you want to be single again anytime soon."
And with that, she turned and left, leaving behind a disheartened looking Izark.
Noriko was woken up the next morning by a sick feeling deep in her stomach.
Rushing to the bathroom, she started to retch again, just like the day before. By the time her stomach had quieted down again, Izark was standing behind her, holding her hair back for her.
"Are you okay?" he asked, looking worried.
Noriko nodded, holding a hand to her aching stomach. "Maybe we should go see a doctor," she said uncertainly. "In case it's something worse than food poisoning…"
"Congratulations, ma'am!" the doctor told Noriko when he had come into the room. "You're pregnant!"
Noriko turned to look at her husband, who had been sitting beside her, holding her hand. Where seconds ago he had had a worried expression, he now looked devoid of all emotion.
"Izark?" she asked apprehensively, looking worriedly at her husband. "Are you okay?"
Suddenly, Izark's face broke into a wide grin and he grabbed his wife into his arms, spinning her around in a circle. "You're pregnant!" he exclaimed excitedly. "We're going to have a child! I'm going to be a father! I can't believe it!"
Noriko looked at him in shock, and the doctor discreetly left the two alone to get used to the idea of having a new member to their family.
When Izark put Noriko back on her feet, he said with a small smirk on his face, "So, now we have a problem."
"What do you mean?" asked Noriko, looking confused.
"I mean, where do you want her/him to be born?"
"Born?" she asked, confused.
"That's right. Do you want her to be born here or back home?"
"Hmmm," she seemed to think. Finally, she said, "I think she should be born here."
"Yeah, they have lots of doctors and stuff to make sure the deliverance is fine, and her grandparents need to be there too, right?"
"I guess, but what about Gaya, and Zena, and everyone else?"
"They can come here!" she said.
Izark thought about it for a while, then decided that Noriko's idea was probably best, so he have his okay.
The next few months were hectic for both Noriko and Izark. They were spent going back and forth between the two worlds and much of the time, Noriko was either sick, or very mood-swingy.
And before long, they found out about another surprise in store for them. When Noriko was far enough along, they had an ultrasound, and it turned out that she wasn't having just one kid, she was having twins! One would be a girl and the other a boy.
Noriko was in the hospital; sound asleep on the bed after a successful, albeit incredibly painful, delivery. When she finally woke up, she saw Izark sitting beside me, holding her hands. Smiling down at her, he said, "They're absolutely beautiful."
When Noriko heard this, she felt an incredible pride well up inside her, which was soon replaced with a longing to see her two new little bundles of joy; the two little bundles of joy that belonged to her and Izark.
Unfortunately, she wasn't allowed to see them for a few hours as they went through all the standard tests to make sure that they were healthy.
When she finally did get to see them, she found it was worth the wait because they were the most beautiful babies in the entire world. They both looked almost exactly the same. They both had their father's hair, and nose, but my eyes and lips. The different attributes joined together harmoniously, making the most adorably little newborns I had ever seen.
After the doctor had given me time to admire my new little ones, he said, "So, have you thought of names for them?"
Looking up, Noriko said without hesitation, "The younger one, the girl, will be named Yuriko."
"And the older one, the brother, will be named Haruki," continued Izark with a wide smile.
"Yuriko and Haruki," repeated the doctor, writing them down. "Beautiful names for beautiful babies."
Smiling at each other proudly, Izark and Noriko thanked the doctor then he let the young couple have some alone time with their children.
SkyGem: Well, that's the end of this fic! I just want to thank everyone who's stayed with this fic until the end, and please do leave one last review on your way out! Ciao~
P.S. Here's a cute little omake to say thanks to y'all for coming this far.
Izark Discovers Ice Cream
Izark stared down at what he was holding in his hands, incredibly perplexed. What was this? Was it food? It didn't look like any food he'd ever seen. He looked over at Noriko who was licking her 'ice cream,' as she called it. Trying to copy her, he licked the 'ice cream' and was surprised to find it was incredibly cold and delicious. Excited, he started licking his ice cream really fast until there was nothing left but the cone.
Seeing him do this, Noriko started to giggle. He was so incredibly cute! Almost like a child. Turning around at the sound of her giggling, Izark noticed that Noriko had some ice cream on her cheek. Suddenly, he had an awesome idea. He put down the cone that only seconds before had held ice cream but was now empty, and approached Noriko.
"I-Izark?" stuttered Noriko, a bit confused.
Izark took no notice of this but continued approaching her. When he was close enough to her, he kissed her on the cheek, right where the ice cream was, in the process licking it all off.
When Noriko felt this, she started to laugh. "I-Izark!" She laughed. "G-get off of me! Stop! It-it tickles!" she shouted, but by now Izark had completely forgotten about the ice cream. Now, he was just doing it to make her laugh, and by the end of it, the were both on the floor, Noriko in Izark's arms, both laughing hysterically.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how Izark discovered ice cream.