. . .
They had bred a demon. N felt himself sweat uncontrollably as he walked the store aisle with caution. He knew he was mostly to blame, he spoiled the bratty monster and obeyed its drastic whims. How could he not? This creature held remarkable power over his being ever since it could talk. He was close to quaking with fear now, hoping he would not be found—
"Daddy!" A high pitched voice squealed, followed by sandals clapping on the cold tiled floor.
N breathed harshly and slowly turned around, looking at said demon with fearful eyes.
"I want dis one!" The little child held up the stuffy doll, which truthfully looked like a rather hideous Pokemon chimera.
'She gets her weird tastes from you, I swear,' his wife's teasing words rang through his head, as it usually does when his daughter wants something weird.
The little girl continued to stare up at him, chocolate brown eyes wide with innocence and glistening with pure happiness. Her mouth was stretched into a wide smile and auburn curls bounced on her shoulder when she started waving the doll up and down wildly "Daaaaaaaaddy," she whined. "Dis one!"
N felt his shoulders sag, a goofy smile made it's way onto his face and his eyes drooped. He was a puddle of goo. 'She's soooooooo cute!' And it did not help that she was a spitting image of her mother. "Alrighty, daddy will get this one."
"Yay!" The girl cheered and hugged her new doll to her chest.
"Is there anything else—" N was going to continue to shower her with gifts, just to see her laugh and smile more, until he felt a menacing aura coming by.
"Honestly, N, do you want her to grow up spoiled and demanding?" Touko chided softly when she stood by him, hand on her bloated stomach.
N instantly turned his attention to his wife, wrapping an arm around her waist and another around her stomach. Fatherly pride swelled in him and he probably glowed brighter than the pregnant one. "But she is such a little darling."
"She has you wrapped around her little finger," Touko mused. She was the much more strict parent, trying to teach her daughter the important values of life while N spoiled and gave whatever her little heart desired. "Daddy's little girl."
"Just look at her Touko! She's a vision of an angel, holding a rather ugly thing, but just look!" And did Touko look. And she saw a mischievous glint in her little girl's eyes.
"Yes, I'm looking." Touko allowed herself a small smirk, turning her head so her husband wouldn't see. "I can only hope this one will be a boy." She rubbed her stomach lovingly.
"I still wish we could find out," he said, staring down at the bulge with intensity, hoping it would give out the secret.
"It's more fun to keep it a surprise."
"Well if the baby does turn out to be a boy, I hope he looks exactly like me and you'll see how much trouble it is resisting whatever he desires."
Touko made the mistake of thinking about her baby looking like a miniature N, chubby flushed cheeks, wide green eyes, a toothless smile and drool dribbling down his face while pointing out the toys he wished to have.
"G—good point," Touko muttered and frowned. This was going to be troublesome. "But! No matter who the baby looks like, we will treat them equally. So if he looks like mini you, you spoil him as much as you spoil the little princess here." Touko slapped a hand over her mouth, eyes wide upon realizing exactly what she said. She just gave him permission to bow down to their kids every whim.
His grin told her that he heard it all. "Alright, little princess, is there any other toy you wish for?"
"Yes!" She cheered and ran down another isle to pick out another ugly toy.
"Momoko Hoshina Hikara Harmonia, don't you dare pick anything expensive!" Touko began to waddle to the isle her daughter went to. "I swear, N, if she picks the most expensive thing in the store I'll crush the bones in your hands when I give birth."
N laughed whole heartily and walked at a steady pace by his wife's side. "I think you should be less worried about me because Auntie 'ConCon' and Auntie 'Thea' will be visiting this weekend and they plan on bringing plenty of gifts."
The color drained from Touko's face, her head slowly twitching to the side until she faced N. "Are you serious?"
"Oh no, she is going to become more rotten than ever before! Everyone is bending to her will!" She may have sounded hysterical to others, and perhaps she was, but she more than hoped her husband didn't notice. Concordia and Anthea usually came only when N decided to leave for a couple days, so their 'little princess won't feel lonely'.
During the last legs of recovery he had only had to see a psychiatrist on weekends due to the... episodes he had.
After Touko suggested that they start a family together, N was all for it. But after their little girl had been born, he began to withdraw from them both very slowly, almost going to the point of avoiding whatever room Momoko was in. She thought perhaps he was regretting it all now.
After a month of this ongoing behavior she confronted him, eyes rimmed red and angry tears running down her face. She had never thought of herself to be a single mother, especially considering who is her other half, and it honestly scared the living daylights out of her.
N had been ashamed. He would clenched his eyes shut many times, as if to stop himself from crying. After listening to her rant, he held her tightly, refusing to let go when she struggled in his grasp. He bent down to her ear and confessed he was afraid of turning into the person his father was.
Touko then took a step back to stare up at him, taking notice of the worry lines between his brows, eyes downcast and a frown tugging the corner of his lips. Depression, fear, weariness, exhaustion. All the painful emotions were evident on his face, he just wasn't sticking around her long enough for her to read them.
That night she forced him to bond with their daughter to prove to them and Momoko that he would never dare turn into his father.
"Look at her face! Is this the face you can turn your back on?" Touko had whispered harshly, trying not to wake their sleeping daughter. She was crazy for even attempting to hold and pass her over to N. "If you truly want to walk away because of your fear of becoming a monster, then keep in mind that there is no turning back. You won't see me or Momo again."
At the sudden snap of N's rim rod spine, it was apparent he had never thought of it at that angle. That if he did not change the way his dark thoughts swirled in him like a festering infection, then he could lose the two most important people in his life.
That night N had offered to stay in their daughter's room to watch over her and give Touko a rest. It was the beginning of a beautiful bond between father and daughter.
Of course it wasn't easy at first. N had his freak outs and sometimes ended up smashing plates or glasses. He sought help because he didn't want to turn back on his family. He did not want to lose them to this 'disease', as Touko called it.
Now she noticed he had not been sleeping well after the announcement of her second pregnancy and felt defeated that she could not help as much as she wanted to in this department. But she was still thankful they made it this far. In the beginning of their parenthood they barely saw each other due to the numerous appointments he had to help him recover mentally.
He had improved much since then and she could not be any more proud. She also accepted the fact that he may never heal from the demons that haunted him frequently, she promised him and herself that she would stick by his side and do anything she could do to make it better, as long as he promised her that he would never give up.
Sadly, N had caught onto the hysteria and grasped onto her hand, bringing her palm to his lips. "It'll be okay," he whispered before planting a soft kiss on smooth skin.
"I know," she gave him a watery smile and tugged him down to give her a proper kiss.
"Daddy, I want dis one too!"
. . .
A/N: Truth be told I wrote this just as I finished chapter 30... I only kept it for my own enjoyment LOL. Buuuuut many people have asked for this and one of my Beta readers told me that this piece is good closure for Eden, so here it is! Big thanks to both my Beta's Blackrose105 and SaitoKeita, both from dA!