Yuzu had chosen to receive a c-section to birth the babies for two reasons. One, she would be able to choose their birthday to some degree, the last thing she could do for them as a surrogate mother. And two, she wanted to preserve her virginity and the best way to do that, in her mind, was not to have three babies pass through her vagina. When she had explained that to Grimmjow and her brother, Ichigo had groaned and blushed, asking her never to say "vagina" ever again and Grimmjow had laughed at his reaction. The date had been set for May first which, to everyone's surprise, was a mere two weeks away. And nothing was prepared.
The first thing that needed to be done was to set up the nursery in the guest bedroom. Unfortunately that meant that Yuzu was out of a room. Ichigo had suggested giving her the master bedroom but she had refused to do so and so Grimmjow had made her a makeshift sleeping area on the far side of the overlarge living room. Ichigo hated it but Yuzu had smiled and said it reminded her of the forts they used to make in the living room at home when they were kids.
"I'm gonna need to buy a bigger house." Grimmjow said one night, five days before the due date.
Ichigo looked up from the instructions for the crib he was assembling and frowned. "Now?"
"No not now idiot. But eventually. What, ya wanna shove three kids in this tiny bedroom? Two boys and a girl?" His voice trailed off a bit at the end. As the days got closer the realization that he was going to suddenly be a father of three was hitting that much harder.
Ichigo threw down the metal bar in his hand and rubbed the back of his neck. "These instructions are shit. Why didn't we get these preassembled?"
Grimmjow smirked and looked down at his own project. "You wanna do this then?"
Ichigo's eyes widened hopefully. "Yes! Oh please yes. I'm gonna end up breaking this shit and then where are they going to sleep?"
Grimmjow chuckled and leaned over to kiss Ichigo's cheek. He had been moving large pieces of furniture around the house all day so they had decided that Ichigo would fix up the cribs while Grimmjow put everything away where it was supposed to belong. It was nearly finished save for the cribs and some organization. Ichigo grinned childishly and jumped up to stretch his stiff muscles while Grimmjow looked up at him with a smile. All he had been thinking of lately was how much he loved this man and at times he wanted to hit himself for it. It wasn't the fact that he loved him that got to him at those times, it was more the fact that he was going soft, something he told himself he would never do. And now with the babies coming…. He frowned suddenly and looked at the thick carpet.
Ichigo cocked his head and crouched down beside him. He had noticed Grimmjow's mood swings lately, well for quite a while actually, but it was only recently that instead of getting angry and snapping he would just get quiet and glare death at whatever inanimate object was unfortunate enough to get in his line of sight. It was an interesting change but it still worried him a little.
"You okay?" He asked quietly.
"I'm fine. Just… you know. A lot to take in sometimes." He admitted, barely comfortable doing so.
Ichigo nodded. "Yeah. I really don't think it's sunk in for me yet." He snorted. "I mean I know we're like days away from being parents but it doesn't really seem real, ya know?"
Grimmjow nodded and sighed, reminded that they needed to get this room finished. Instead of getting up he started to crawl over to the pile of wood and screws Ichigo had been so eager to abandon. Ichigo grinned and tackled him before he got there, pinning him to the floor and straddling his hips. Grimmjow cocked an eyebrow at him before sighing.
"What are you doing?"
Ichigo shrugged and leaned forward to kiss his forehead. "Kissing you. What's it look like?"
"We can do that when we're done." He said even as his arms rose to pull Ichigo closer.
"Mhmm." Ichigo hummed, raining soft, gentle kisses over Grimmjow's lips, jaw and neck.
"You're a bad influence, you know that." Grimmjow teased as his hands skimmed down Ichigo's sides before hooking a finger in each side of his pants.
"I'm horrible. What kind of father will I be?" He chuckled and nipped the side of Grimmjow's neck.
Grimmjow grunted and sat up, holding Ichigo in his lap as he curled his legs under him.
"Too lenient. Our kids will be running around with no discipline or sense of rules if it weren't for me." He ran his tongue up Ichigo's neck and nipped his chin. Ichigo moaned quietly and sat back.
"Yeah, like the cats are so well behaved under your rule." Ichigo scoffed.
Grimmjow snorted and pinched his ass. "The cats do just fine."
"Oh yeah? That's why they still walk all over the kitchen counters then?" Ichigo pressed his lips firmly against Grimmjow's before pulling back to fix him with a smirk.
"So we get a nanny and give the maid more hours." Grimmjow grinned.
Ichigo laughed and kissed him again. "I love you."
"That's good, because I'd have to keep you locked in my closet if you didn't."
"Yeah, but you love me."
Lips met once more and parted slightly as the tips of their tongues teased out. Ichigo was the first to deepen the kiss, tongue skimming over Grimmjow's upper lip before pushing inside and sliding over its partner. Grimmjow tightened his grip on Ichigo's hips and pulled him closer, pressing their chests together. He grinned into the kiss when Ichigo arched his back and his fingers began to tangle in the hair at the nape of his neck.
"Uhm, guys?" A tentative voice called form the doorway and Ichigo tried to pull back.
"Five more minutes." Grimmjow said, pulling him back into the kiss he had abandoned.
"Uhm… this is kind of important."
They pulled apart to look over at Yuzu and both of them frowned at her worried expression.
"What is it? What's wrong?" Ichigo asked, getting awkwardly to his feet.
"I'm pretty sure my water broke."
Neither of them said anything; just stared at her small frame with a mixture of confusion, shock and fear on their faces.
"What does that mean?" Grimmjow asked stupidly, unable to push himself off the floor.
"It means the babies are coming early." Yuzu said quietly before her face scrunched up and she clutched her large belly. "It hurts Onii-chan."
"Oh fuck. Shit, Grimmjow get her hospital bag. Yuzu, when did the pains start?"
"Yesterday. But the doctor said that it was Braxton Hicks contractions."
"Why didn't you tell me?" Ichigo looked over his shoulder at the still stunned Grimmjow on the floor. "Grimm. Go get the bag; we need to get her to the hospital if her water has already broken." He turned back to Yuzu. "Braxton Hicks don't hurt Yuzu. I'm sure he told you that."
"Onii-chan, I'm scared." She whispered and Ichigo gave her a small smile.
"There's nothing to be scared of Yuzu. Everything is going to be just fine."
Grimmjow was finally pushing himself off the floor, still looking a bit dazed as he walked out of the room in search of the hospital bag they had prepared for Yuzu a week before. Just in case of a situation like now. He grabbed the bag and looked around the living room as if he knew he should be doing something but couldn't figure out what that something was. This was too soon. He couldn't think straight so he shut down; it was easier that way.
Ichigo led Yuzu out of the nursery and grabbed his wallet and keys off the small table near the front door. He smiled a little weakly at Grimmjow and raised his hand, beckoning him out of his self imposed trance. Grimmjow shook his head and threw the bag over his shoulder, sending a grin to Yuzu for assurance. They left the condo and made their way to the hospital, Grimmjow taking three wrong turns even though he knew the route by heart. Ichigo had one hand wrapped around Yuzu's little one and his other gently massaging Grimmjow shoulder as he drove. He didn't understand why he was so calm about this, perhaps his medical training, but he was doing his best to keep the others calm as well.
When they finally arrived at the hospital Yuzu was still in tears but she was able to give her brother a watery smile. Once they were checked into a room, the friendly nurse handing Yuzu a gown and asking her to change, the tears were completely gone.
"Does she really need that? I mean what if they really are these Braxton Hicks things"
The nurse smiled at Grimmjow, noting his wide and slightly frightened eyes. "They doctor will determine that once he has checked her over." She left the room and Ichigo pulled the curtain around Yuzu's bed.
"If you need help Yuzu I'll call the nurse back in, okay."
"I'll be fine." A small voice said and there was a rustle of fabric as she took off her clothing.
"Okay, I'll call dad and Karin. Grimmjow just go sit down over there, I'll be right back."
Grimmjow nodded and sat heavily in the chair near the door. It was quiet for a while, Grimmjow still sifting through the muddled thoughts he hadn't quiet been able to shut off. He rubbed his hand over his face and took a deep breath, trying to calm the nerves that were so foreign to him. He was startled when Yuzu pulled back the curtain and frowned at him.
"Are you okay?" She asked as she tried her best to get up on the bed.
Grimmjow stood and lifted her before sighing. "Yeah. And shouldn't I be asking you that?"
Yuzu smiled. "I'm fine. Just a little scared. I guess you can never really fully prepare for something like this." Grimmjow nodded in agreement and placed an awkward hand on her shoulder. "Do… you need anything?"
"No. Thank you."
The doctor came in the room before Ichigo returned and began to do a physical examination of Yuzu. Embarrassed, Grimmjow left the room to stand in the hallway. It really wasn't something he should have been there for. Ichigo came down the hallway and gave him a half smile.
"Doctor in there?" Grimmjow nodded. "So, I called everyone so soon the hospital is going to be filled with anxious people." He snorted. "Dad and Karin told me to shut up when I told them to wait until I called them with the official news to see if anything was even happening."
"Do you really think this is a false alarm?" Grimmjow asked hopefully and Ichigo leaned his head on his shoulder, the most he would do in public.
"You two can come back in now." The doctor called out and they returned back inside the room. As soon as they sat he smiled at them. "Well it looks like Mother Nature has decided to push things a little forward. Now as I was explaining to Miss Kurosaki here she's already dilated to six centimeters and is progressing at a rather quick rate. Usually vaginal delivery would commence once the woman is dilated to seven centimeters."
"But is that going to affect her birthing plan?" Ichigo asked, receiving slightly shocked looks from both his sister and Grimmjow.
"I don't see why it would, but we do need to get her prepped for surgery immediately." He turned to Yuzu and smiled once more. "I know you're scared right now but everything will be just fine. I'll send the nurses in to start an IV drip while I call the anesthesiologist. Congratulations you three."
"Thank you." Ichigo said automatically as he stood and shook hands with the doctor before he left the room. "I'm gonna go call dad and let him know what's going on." He kissed Yuzu's cheek and smiled. "Be right back."
"Fuck." Grimmjow mumbled and Yuzu nodded.
Grimmjow turned to her with wide eyes before chuckling softly. "God, don't let your brother hear you say that either. He might have a heart attack."
Yuzu grinned through a grimace as a contraction hit her. "Well we are at the hospital."
Grimmjow laughed and felt the tension drain from his muscles. Yuzu may not look it but she was a lot stronger than she seemed.
Etta was holding Isshin's hand tightly as the man openly cried, sniffing into a handkerchief and wailing that his little girl was now a woman. Karin rolled her eyes and tried to ignore him. Shinji was pacing and sending Grimmjow and Ichigo strange looks. Grimmjow looked like he had been up for a week and Ichigo seemed to be relatively calm about the whole situation.
"Shouldn't… I don't know. Should we be in there when they're born?" Grimmjow asked as he ran his hands back through his hair for the hundredth time.
"We can't. It's a sterile environment, but they'll let us know the minute they arrive." Ichigo replied, grabbing Grimmjow's hand and linking his fingers. Grimmjow squeezed and took a deep breath.
"This waiting is killing me." He whispered.
"It's only been ten minutes since they went in." Ichigo gave him a small smile and leaned his forehead against his, whispering words of love.
Isshin frowned at them and tried not to watch. He still wasn't exactly happy about this whole thing but he had agreed so he couldn't go back on it now. Karin sighed and opened her mouth, trying to break the tension.
"Did you two ever come up with a name for the other boy or is he just gonna be 'hey you'?"
Grimmjow smirked. "Ichigo and I decided on Sorin. The first born boy will be Taichi and the girl will be Tomoe."
"Oh those are such cute names!" Etta exclaimed and Shinji rolled his eyes without her seeing.
"Have you decided what last name they will have?" Karin asked and Isshin stiffened. He was hoping they had chosen Kurosaki of course.
Ichigo licked his lips and spared his father a glance. "Well, it wasn't very hard to decide once we thought about it. So…."
"You better not give them his last name!" Isshin said suddenly and Grimmjow cocked an eyebrow at him.
"Well too fuckin' bad we did."
"Grimm, shut up. Don't antagonize him."
"Why the fuck shouldn't my kids have my last name, huh? Bullshit."
"Dad we went with Kurosaki-Jaegerjaques so calm down. I realize it's a mouthful but we thought it was the best option." Actually Ichigo hadn't cared whose surname the children were given. It was Grimmjow's idea to do things that way to honor the gift Yuzu had given them. That comment had led to a round of some of the hottest love making they had had in months.
"Oh." Isshin said lamely before sitting once more.
The room went silent once more before Grimmjow groaned and dropped his head into his hands.
"We didn't finish the nursery."
"Ya didn't finish?" Shinji asked with an incredulous look on his face. "What ya got left?"
"Cribs. Well we got one done yesterday but the last two…." Ichigo shook his head in exasperation.
"I can do it for ya." Shinji said confidently. "Ya know I'm good with stuff like that."
Ichigo's face brightened. "Okay. After things get settled here we can go back and finish that up real quick."
"Ya know Ichi, I thought ya'd be more freaked out right about now. Looks like Grimmjow's the only one losin' it."
"Fuck you." Grimmjow sneered. He was not losing anything.
"Stop it." Ichigo said, though no one was sure which of the two he was speaking to.
It was an hour after the beginning of surgery that the doctor came into the waiting room with a smile on his face. He still had his surgical cap on but he looked refreshed and like always genuinely happy. He looked at Grimmjow and Ichigo as they stood.
"Would you two like to see your children?"
They had been lucky to find a doctor with an open mind about what they were doing and it made things easier that they didn't have to hide the fact that they were the parents and Yuzu was the surrogate. Grimmjow and Ichigo both took deep shaky breaths and stood, following the doctor out of the room in a daze, the family behind them completely forgotten. They were led to a room where they were asked to wait as the nurse brought the babies in. Grimmjow tightened his grip on Ichigo's hand and the moment three tiny carts were wheeled into the room their hearts seemed to stop. They were all small and sleeping soundly, the boys dressed in blue and green so that they could be told apart and the little girl dressed in pink.
"We need you two to verify the names so we can print the birth certificates so that you can sign them." The nurse said with a quiet smile.
Neither one of them were listening though as they looked down at their children for the first time.
"Can… can I hold them?" Ichigo asked and the nurse giggled.
"Of course you can daddy." She leaned forward and picked up Tomoe gently before depositing her into Ichigo's arms.
He seemed stunned as he looked down at her, her tiny body wiggling in his arms. He looked up at Grimmjow and smiled. "It's a baby." He said stupidly but Grimmjow was barely able to smile back.
He was staring down at the boys with wide eyes, his hands twitching every few seconds. He realized belatedly that he had never held a baby before and faced with two of them he didn't know what to do.
"Which one was born first?" He asked quietly and the nurse picked up the boy in green handing him to him.
Grimmjow reached out reluctantly and held him awkwardly, trying to copy how Ichigo was holding Tomoe. He was sure he looked like an ass but when tiny eyes opened and looked up at him he felt his heart melt and it didn't matter that he had never done this before. The tiny creature in his arms was his son.
"So yer Taichi." He whispered as he gazed down into the milky bluish eyes.
Ichigo leaned over the boy in blue and smiled down at him, easily holding Tomoe as he did so. "And you must be Sorin." He smiled at the sleeping form.
"We need to get them printed and take a few blood samples and then the rest of the family can see them. Of course they will have to stay overnight at least for observation because of the anesthesia but tomorrow you should be able to take them home."
"What about Yuzu?" Grimmjow asked, doing his best to set Taichi back in the plastic bassinet.
"She has requested not to see them until she recovers completely. It will also help with the separation. It will be easier for her if the mother-child bond is never achieved. This way they will bond directly with you two as parents."
Grimmjow frowned and Ichigo set Tomoe back down, reaching for Sorin after he made sure she was settled. He lifted him up to peer in his face and looked over at Grimmjow with a smile. He didn't think he had ever been this happy in his life. Grimmjow looked over and was infected by Ichigo's smile and nearly leaned over to kiss him he was so happy. Instead he rested a hand on Sorin's head and bit his lip. They were officially fathers.
It was chaos when the family was allowed to see the babies, each of them cooing and giggling at how cute and small they were. Isshin insisted that Tomoe looked just like Misaki and upon inspection was found to have a full head of thick, dark orange hair. The boys however were practically bald, a light dusting and blue down covering their heads. Karin pointed out that they all had blue eyes but Etta had smiled and informed her that all babies were born with blue eyes to varying degrees and that with how dark the boy's eyes were they would most likely have eyes more like Ichigo's or Shinji's color.
Neither Grimmjow nor Ichigo wanted to leave them alone and Karin had decided that she and Shinji would go back to the condo to finish fixing everything up. Isshin checked on Yuzu who had woken up about two hours after the surgery. She was doing fine, a little groggy and in some pain, but she immediately asked what Ichigo and Grimmjow's reactions had been. She had been pleased at what she was told and drifted back to sleep. Grimmjow and Ichigo had gone in to see her the second time she woke up, hugging her gently and thanking her once again for all she had done for them. Yuzu had blushed and asked them only to take care of them.
"Do you want to see them soon?" Ichigo asked and Yuzu shook her head.
"I mean I do, but I think it's best if I don't. I think it would be a good idea if we waited on that."
Grimmjow frowned. "Are you sure?" He asked and again she nodded, this time smiling widely.
"You two go enjoy your family."
One Week Later
Sorin was crying again, they could tell from the screeching wails that were unique to him. Ichigo pushed himself out of bed and rubbed his face tiredly. He had to go back to work the next night after taking a week off and he was sure that he was going to fall asleep half way through his shift. Grimmjow groaned and sat up as well, pulling off the covers and padding out of the room ahead of Ichigo. They had actually been adjusting quite well all things considered. Of course they were still adjusting, the diapers and feedings were still very new to Grimmjow, but it was much easier than it had been the first couple nights. The first time Grimmjow had changed a diaper he had gagged and turned away quickly. Ichigo had chuckled and told him there was no way he was getting out of it. Grimmjow had flipped him off and pulled his shirt up over his nose. It hadn't helped much but it made him feel a little better.
Grimmjow picked Sorin up out of the crib and cradled him against his shoulder, patting his butt and shushing him. He was surprised the other two were still sleeping. He felt the back of Sorin's diaper and found it empty, sighing a bit in relief as he made his way out of the room. Ichigo was already in the kitchen fixing a bottle.
"I swear this kid eats more than his brother and sister combined." Grimmjow grumbled, still patting Sorin's butt and bouncing him gently.
Ichigo smiled sleepily. "Growing boy."
Grimmjow snorted and absently kissed the top of Sorin's head. "I'll do this. Go get some more sleep."
Ichigo yawned and scratched his ass. "You sure you can do this while holding him?"
Grimmjow shrugged. "Can't hurt to try."
"It'll hurt if you drop him."
Grimmjow smacked his shoulder with his free hand and then leaned over to kiss it. "Asshole, I'm not gonna drop him."
Ichigo chuckled again and left the kitchen to go back to their room while Grimmjow finished up making the bottle. After he mixed the formula he walked out to the living room and turned on the television, muting it as he took a place at the couch. Sorin accepted the bottle eagerly and sucked as if he hadn't had one in days. Grimmjow rolled his eyes but couldn't help but smile. Both he and Ichigo had taken the first week of their lives off in order to adjust but with the idea of going back to work looming before him Grimmjow began to try and think of way he could get out of it. He didn't know how he was going to feel about having someone else come into his home and take care of his children, though he had a feeling he wasn't going to like it.
He realized belatedly that he hadn't grabbed a burp rag and hoped that Sorin wouldn't spit up on the couch. Again. He pulled the bottle away and rested him once more against his shoulder, this time patting his back until he heard a loud satisfying belch. He grinned at that and brought Sorin so that he could look at his face.
"That's my boy." He said and kissed his soft little cheek.
Yes, it was going to be hard to leave these three alone.
A/N Okay so that's it for this one. I realize this may seem like an abrupt ending but... *shrug* They will be in the SBB sequel Solid Gold so it's not like we'll never see them again. So I hop you enjoyed this short little side story because it was fun to write. And now we will venture on to Solid Gold which hopefully I will start posting on sometime next week. I want to take a few days off to just relax my brain and fingers and to be honest I think I deserve that, lol. Also if anyone is interested I drew an icon for Solid Gold that I will be using on my y!gallery account and it's posted on my deviantART site. You don't have to check it out if you don't want to but I thought you'd all want to know. Anywho the story goes on! Just fyi Solid Gold takes place about four months after SBB:EP ends and yes, just about everyone and even some new characters will be in this one. I love you all and I will see you all when Solid Gold comes out! Thanks so much for reading and reviewing!!!