Baby On The Way
Summary: I've never expected to find myself here, in the Maternity Wing of Division Four barracks like this. Captain Ukitake reaches out and takes my hand in a comforting grip. Ok, just breath and everything will be fine...Gah! The baby's coming!?
Disclaimer: Don't own any of the characters associated with the Anime of Bleach.
Warnings: Juushiro Ukitake is conveyed as a female in gender in this story. There is also mentioning of pregnancy and a very vague description of child birth; nothing too dramatic, however, so you won't be squirming in your seats.
AN: Hello again, everyone. Just a random oneshot with a bit of Fem!Ukitake from me. As soon as I saw an article of this in a magazine, I had to write it. I just had to; it was mandatory for me to do so. It's in first person's POV, something I've never done before, so it was a bit of a challenge, and it's also in Rukia's POV. Not to mention in present tense; a whole new world to me.
Thanks to everyone who has reviewed "A Woman Behind These Clothes" and "An Unexpected Christmas Gift". I hope you'll like this one as well, so please let me know what you think.
It's the smell that gets to me first; those yucky hospital smells of disinfectant and polish that makes me want to be sick, well, sicker than I already am. I try to breathe deeply through my mouth discreetly and look at the wallpaper of this relatively large hospital room.
"Okay there?" Isane asks me as she touches my arm gently, delicately. I nod and continue to stare at the wallpaper, only mildly aware as she begins to fuss about in the room with me. The wallpaper has rabbits (not Mr. Chappy, though, which is greatly disappointing) and daisies dancing all around the room until they reach the door.
Where did they get this wallpaper from, anyway?
I wish I could leave but there's no way out now. I'm committed. There is no way I could leave, anyway. It just isn't possible. Besides, Kiyone and Sentaro won't let me just get up and leave even if I wanted to. It's nice to know I'm not alone, though, even their fighting and bickering is comforting.
Captain Ukitake must see how scared I am because she reaches out and takes my hand in her gentle, tender grip, disregarding the fact that she looks tired and exhausted herself. I feel like crying and I make myself smile to let her know I'm ok. She's always been so upbeat and understanding; I'm so fortunate to have such a beautiful and wonderful captain.
Yes, I must admit, I am scared. But I'm more scared for my Captain. Is she going to be ok with this? This won't affect her in anyway, right?
The hands of the clock on the wall move on slowly, you'd think they've stopped. 11.15 am. I wonder what Ichigo and the others are doing now, in the World of the Living. They'd be in third period, I think. If they're even at school, that is.
"Rukia, what's the answer to question two?" the teacher would ask me and I'll study my page, pretending that I'm thinking when in reality, I have no idea what's she's talking about. I'm not there to learn the schooling lessons of humans, anyway. But right now, I think I'd rather have a pop quiz instead of sitting here in the Maternity Unit of Division Four. This place is so unnerving.
Thinking of Ichigo and the others, I bet you anything they're pacing around in the waiting room with the others for any breaking news. Ichigo's probably already gotten into a fight with Renji, that'll explain why Captain Unohana isn't here in the room with us.
No can keep a waiting room crowded with anxious Soul Reapers in line like she can.
I suppose I should've realized what was happening, but you don't think about that, do you? The signs were all there – rushing to the toilet every morning, the tummy bulge when things wouldn't fit anymore, and the strange food cravings. I tried to keep it quiet but news travel fast around the Seireitei and so it wasn't long before everyone knew.
They all offered their congratulations immediately upon confirmation, Byakuya the most startled out of all the Captains when the news was announced during a weekly captain meeting.
I don't know where he is now, though, probably out in the waiting room with everyone else. Unohana is only allowing a few visitors in at a time, which I am grateful for.
Isane bustles pass again, looking frantic and edgy, she too getting excited that the possible time could be approaching soon. "How are things going?" she asks quickly. "Would you like a drink?"
Captain Ukitake and I both say yes. I'm suddenly very thirsty and a bit of fruit juice would go down nicely right about now, but I don't suppose that's what they have. I'm right. Isane returns with two cups of water. It's nice and cold, though, and I sip mine slowly. Captain, however, knocks it back as if it was something stronger, brushing the wayward strands from her eyes after doing so.
It makes me realize that I'm not the only one nervous and edgy here. Everyone in the room is buzzing with anxiety and excitement.
Then the door opens cautiously and a head, topped with the ever familiar straw hat pokes round the door and I immediately smile. It's Captain Kyouraku. I knew he'd be here.
I'm pleased to see him; he's almost like a father to me as he's often seen at the Division Thirteen and in my captain's presence. He and my Captain have been together for over two thousand years, it has been recently discovered, not that it was much of a surprise to anyone.
Captain Kyouraku's been great about this whole thing and is very supportive. He's understood a lot about how I've been feeling and takes the time to talk to me and help me through it all. But now he looks a bit unsure of himself.
However, Captain Ukitake puts him right. "Come on in, Shunsui, and shut the door," she requests softly as she holds up her hand for him to enter and to take.
Trust my captain to lighten the atmosphere. I laugh a little too loudly when Captain Kyouraku practically throws his arms around my captain and kisses her on the cheek, immediately cooing about his beloved Juu-Chan.
They're so cute together. It's so nice to see that even after being side by side for over two thousand years, they're still madly in love with each other. Ah, love is eternal, isn't it?
Captain Kyouraku then comes and sits beside me. He too can see how nervous I am feeling. "All right, kiddo?" he asks me softly.
Suddenly, I feel like screaming in frustration. All this waiting around; it's becoming too much for me. I feel like crying, wanting to throw myself into my captain's arm in a hug, but there's no room for that, so I lean against Captain Kyouraku's arm and pretend to yawn. We've been here since dawn, constantly on edge, so I'm entitled to feel tired.
Actually, the truth is that I'm so amped up I couldn't sleep even if I was in bed.
I really wish my brother, Byakuya, was here, though. I feel so lost and, well, impatient right now. He'd know what to do if he was here.
Suddenly, a tremor courses through my veins and things seem to be happening all at once. Kyouraku leaps to his feet as Captain Ukitake reaches out her hand to me to take again, Kiyone and Sentaro all but running around like a pair of chickens with their heads cut off. I find myself clutching the gas and air mask thiny in one hand as the other grasps onto my Captain's hand for dear life. I have no idea what's going on or whether there is something I can do. I can hear Kiyone and Sentaro being ushered outside, much to their protests, but I tune them out. All I can think about is holding my Captain's hand and never letting go.
Is this it? Is it finally time?
Captain Unohana suddenly comes in with a pair of plastic gloves on, her face set in determination as Isane dutifully follows with a crib for the baby, several currently unknown Division Members following behind her with a variety of other hospital equipment.
Oh my god...the baby is coming. Now? Ok, shut my eyes and think of Mr. Chappy; it'll all be over soon. Ignore the pain; it'll be worth it in the end, for sure.
"Look!" Isane suddenly exclaims. "The baby is coming!"
I snap open my eyes as a scream echoes through the room, pants and groans soon following. I glance over to captain Kyouraku, only to find him clutching his straw hat in a vice like grip in one of his hands while the other grasps desperately onto my captain's other hand. He looks so torn, unsure of what to do himself. He looks ready to start panicking.
Well, he's not the only one!
Another scream reaches the surface, then a push, before a foreign cry quickly follows. A baby's cry.
The baby's here. It's actually here!
I feel like passing out as I watch Captain Unohana wrapped the tiny, but messy bundle in a soft blanket, checking it over with a medically trained eye before a gentle expression appears on her face. She turns to me, lifting up her arms to show me the squirming bundle with a mop of black hair on top of its head.
"Can you see what it is?" she asks me.
Still clutching my captain's hand in mine, I peer forward to take a look at the newly born life, my eyes widening with a sense of excitement. I couldn't help myself; it's a boy and he's beautiful!
"It's a boy!" I yell, turning to my captain as tears gather in my eyes. "Captain, it's a boy!"
Captain Ukitake suddenly collapses back onto the hospital bed, her hand falling slack in mine. Her hair clings to her forehead, the long silky strands cascading over the mound of pillows behind her as she takes in deep, long breathes. She is looking pale and sweaty, utterly drained off energy, but blissfully happy none the less.
"Captain?" I ask.
"I'm alright, Rukia." My Captain quickly reassures me as she places a hand on her forehead. "I'm just tired. Giving birth is a very draining experience."
She manages to give me a shaky, tired smile as I nod my head before turning her attention to Captain Unohana, holding up her arms to hold the precious baby.
Her precious son.
Her and Captain Kyouraku's precious child.
Captain Ukitake is crying and so am I. Even Captain Kyouraku is wiping at his eyes. I could feel the tears as they pour down my cheeks, my throat constricting just a little as I watch my captain cuddle the child she has longed for, for so many centuries. Though she has raised many a child over the years, she has always longed to have one of her own.
Her dream has finally come true, thanks to the wonders of modern medicine. She has a beautiful son, a doting lover and is free from her debilitating illness. And it couldn't have happened to a more deserving woman, I can tell you.
Captain Kyouraku is by her side, as he usually is, one hand settling down on the blanket that is wrapped around his newborn son and he leans forward to kiss Captain Ukitake on the forehead softly, lovingly.
"Are you alright, Juu?" he asks her as he tenderly wipes away her tears and Captain Ukitake nods her head slowly, lifting her gaze so she can stare into his eyes, smiling that beautiful, loving smile of hers.
What a beautiful sight and I can't help by sigh dreamily. Captain Ukitake will make a wonderful mother, I just know it. And Shunsui will make an outstanding father as well. If anyone deserves to have a family together, it's these two.
"Isn't he beautiful, Shunsui?" Captain Ukitake asks as Captain Kyouraku moves to encircle her with his arms, moving closer to both her and their son.
"Of course; you're his mother after all, Juu-Chan," he replies to her question and kisses her on the cheek.
A timid knock at the door pulls me out this trance like state I was in. The door opens slowly and a twin pair of heads popped around the threshold, wondering if it's ok for them to come in. Looking up from her son, Captain Ukitake smiles warmly at them, ushering them inside.
"Come in, Kiyone, Sentaro," she urges.
Silently, with no argument whatsoever, Kiyone and Sentaro scurry to Captain Ukitake's bedside, moving to stand next to me as they take in the wonderful sight of two blissfully happy parents and one adorable baby boy.
I really wish I brought my camera with me. They are such a beautiful family.
Oh, we're going to have a new arrival within the Division. We can dress him up in all these cute clothes; I can even make him a fan of Mr. Chappy as well. It's going to be so exciting!
"Captain Ukitake is ok, right?" Kiyone asks her sister, looking up at her with big, wide eyes.
Isane nods her head once, a warm smile on her lips. "Captain Ukitake will be fine, but she is very tired so we can't cause her any stress, alright?"
Kiyone nods, happy with her sister's reassuring words before turning back to our captain, leaning forward just a little bit to peer at the tiny infant.
"What's his name?" Kiyone asks as she lifts her hand to allow her fingers to oh-so tenderly brush against the baby's cheek. The little child quickly grasps onto her finger as he yawns, making Kiyone practically melt into a puddle of goo.
She's so smitten. I have to giggle.
"Hikaru," Ukitake replies to the question, placing a gentle kiss to the little one's brow.
"Hikaru?" Sentaro repeats. "I thought for sure you'd name him Shiro."
Ukitake laughs lightly, despite how tired she appears. "I think two Shiro's are enough, don't you?" she quips back, to which I and everyone else share a laugh.
"Speaking of which," Kyouraku said. "I do believe we have a crowd of anxious Soul Reapers waiting out in the waiting room, correct?"
I take a moment to concentrate and sure enough, the Spiritual Pressures of many, many fellow reapers are all clogging the waiting room, some of them pacing back and forth on the verge of pulling their hair out. Ah, and there's my brother. Captain Hitsugaya is here as well. Ichigo, Renji, even Orihime and the others.
Oh, even Captain-Commander Yamamoto himself! I bet he's feeling like an anxious grandfather right now.
"You should inform them of the news, Captain Kyouraku," Captain Unohana suggests as she moves towards the bed, Kiyone, Sentaro and I respectfully taking a step back to allow her to pass. Captain Unohana then smiles softly at my captain, placing her hand on her forehead, brushing away her tresses from her brow. "Captain Ukitake needs rest; she's had a big day."
I take a closer look at my captain and I can clearly see she's about to fall asleep, but I've never seen her so content before. She really is beautiful right now. She kisses her son's brow gently before handing him over to Kyouraku, who carefully cradles the tiny infant in his much larger arms, dwarfing the tiny thing.
D'aww, he's smitten as well!
Cautiously, Captain Kyouraku places the little child in the crib beside's my Captain's bed. He then leans down, kissing her softly on the lips, whispering something I can't hear to her, which prompts Captain Ukitake to gently trail a finger along the stubble of his chin and smile up at him.
Must not coo at them...
Wishing my captain a goodnight and some sweet dreams, I, along with everyone else other than Captain Unohana, began to back out of the room quietly, hoping not to disturb Captain Ukitake as well as little Hikaru.
As soon as Captain Kyouraku steps out into the hall, he disappears from sight quickly, turning up instantly in the waiting room. I can't see what's going, but I can sense him getting swamped by concerned and curious reapers.
I giggle quietly to myself as Kiyone and Sentaro race happily up and down the hallway, alerting to all those who will listen that our captain has given birth to her first child.
No doubt about it; Hikaru-kun is going to have the whole of the Soul Society wrapped around his little finger.
I turn to leave as well, but before I do, I want to ask my captain one last question.
"Um, Captain?" I ask softly, wondering if she has already fallen asleep, but she opens her eyes sleepily at me, still smiling softly. "Do you think little Hikaru-kun will call me Aunty Rukia when he gets older?"
A light, airy laugh from my captain brings a warm feeling to my heart and she reaches out her hand for me to take again, which I promptly do and gives my hand a light squeeze.
"Yes, Rukia, I think he will. He's very lucky to have so many aunties and uncles caring for him, isn't he?"
Personally, I think he's very lucky to have you as a mother, Captain.
Very lucky indeed.