Sooooo I just realized, I have no idea what the sex of this munchkin is gonna be. Nor do I know what to name him/her. I beg that you give me some suggestions, because as you will see from this chapter, I'm not a winner when it comes to baby namin.
But I REFUSE to go anywhere NEAR Danny jr. or Vlad jr.. Barf. The only man who can pull off a junior name is our lord and savior, Robert Downy Jr.
Now excuse me, I need to continue reading TavalyaRa's The Crack.
Life didn't really change much once I was officially pregnant. Well, at least not at first. Vlad was still all smiles, constantly rubbing his hands over my flat stomach in the shower, in the bed, in the kitchen, in front of the fire, you name it. I thought it'd get annoying, but it was actually kinda sweet. It's especially nice to have Vlad home all the time too, and all to myself. For those first couple weeks, I didn't have work to worry about, badgering friends and family to balance, and Vlad was basically doing everything I asked. That part was particularly awesome.
In fact, the first month or so was utterly perfect. It was like one of those fantasy honeymoons you see in movies, only not in the caribbean and with the added addition of a pregnant male. And not to say that Vlad and I have been growing apart during the years we've lived together or anything, but something about having all the time in the world to enjoy each others company is incredibly stimulating for a relationship. And by stimulating I mean we had a lot of sex. It wasn't just that though. Vlad is always available when I need him now, whether it's to take one of those damn prenatal vitamins or if I need his reassurance that having this baby is a good idea and that we'll make good parents. The latter topic has come into conversation rather often and I'm sure it'll happen again in the future.
No one has contacted us for petty problems or work related nuisances either. Don't get me wrong, I love my sister, but I don't want to hear about her boy troubles. Ever. Just because I'm...how does Tucker put it, "gay for Vlad", that doesn't mean I'm now her sister. The only problems I want to hear about are the kinds that need to be fixed with my fist, not two hour phone calls and a tub of ice cream. Vlad isn't on the phone all the time either, and trust me, he's always on the phone. I understand that running a fortune 500 company requires a fair bit of attention, but seriously, he takes it to a whole new level sometimes. And here's a random, unrelated tip: a sure fire way to guarantee no sex for a month is by answering your phone in the middle of it.
Finally, the manor we live in is plenty big enough for us to have our own space when we need it. As much as I love Vlad, spending every minute of the day together would utterly ruin our relationship. Which, you know, is bad considering the baby growing under my abdomen. The manor provides plenty of space and comfort to take care of our individual needs, as well as anything extra. Take into account the countless maids, servants, and chiefs that my princess can't live without and you've got a type of solid safety that's indescribably calming. I came to the naïve conclusion that being pregnant was actually pretty fun.
And then the nausea started.
It didn't take long, about 6 weeks in, I believe. Vlad had been jabbering away about names, and nurseries, and more baby stuff for the billionth time while I cooked a simple pancake breakfast. It happened when I put the syrup on the stove to heat it up. I took one wiff of that maple-y smell I was so used to and felt like I was about to throw up my entire organ system. I just barely made it to the bathroom down the hall. Vlad, of course, took this as a fantastic sign that our offspring won't be liking pancakes, and any indication that our child is going to be the opposite of Jack makes him ecstatic. He may be on much better terms with my Dad, but old habits die hard.
After that fiasco I violently demanded that anything related to syrup or maple be thrown out, which Vlad had done within the hour. Instead we settled on a slightly less nauseating breakfast of egg souffle, banana bread and fruit. Unfortunately, I could barely stomach the few bites of bread and the egg souffle just wasn't gonna happen. Vlad, the wonderful man that he is, ended up making me a fruit smoothie which I sipped on for an hour.
Little did I know, that was only the beginning.
"You want me to keep a what?"
I stared at Vlad, eyes dropping down to the small journal he was holding in his hands. He couldn't be serious.
"It's called a food diary. It's to monitor what you're eating during the baby's crucial stages of development. Pregnant women keep them all the time."
"Yeah, but I'm not a pregnant woman."
"Daniel." Vlad rolled his eyes, "Your first trimester may be the most uneventful as far as physically showing goes, but the initial twelve weeks are by far the most important in the baby's development. Things like bone structure and the organ system are growing, which means you need to be very conscious of what you're eating."
"Assuming I can keep anything down to begin with, right?"
Vlad smiled wanly at my exasperation, placing the journal in my pouting hands and kissing me softly.
"Please Daniel? For me?"
I glared at him, though I wasn't actually angry as much as I was just annoyed. At what, I don't really know, but it probably had something to do with the debonair man currently giving me the puppy dog eyes. Granted, I guess it wouldn't hurt to keep track of what I eat, and as much as I don't want to admit it, Vlad does have a point. I don't want our baby deforming somehow just because I didn't wanna write in some stupid diary.
"Fine." I muttered stubbornly.
A triumphant and borderline smug smile spread across Vlad's face. He kissed me again, ignoring the stubborn scowl still planted on my visage. After that the fruitloop started yakking about creating memories and having something to look back on after our child is grown and blah blah blah. I mostly just rolled my eyes, an admittedly fond smile sneaking in. I really do like seeing Vlad get all excited over this stuff. Every time he goes into one of his baby rambles or I catch him watching me with that adoring smile on his face...well it pretty much assures that we're doing the right thing.
Even if the prospect of raising a half-ghost kid is becoming more and more terrifying with each passing day.
It seems like every time I wake up in the mornings, ten different problems I haven't thought about smack me in the face. Like, what if the baby goes intangible before it's ready to come out? That morning's panic attack was placated by Vlad, who calmly informed me that my ghost half already had protections against such an event. Apparently the baby wouldn't be able to phase out of my stomach, hence the cesarian section we had planned. I foolishly asked how full ghosts typically removed their babies-since there aren't exactly a lot of hospitals in the Ghost Zone-and Vlad told me the little monster basically clawed it's way out of the nearest orifice in it's mother's body. Since ghost's don't have bone structures, they can do that sort of thing. I got a great mental image of the Lunch Lady puking up her daughter and had to lie down for a while.
Then there was the concern of the baby randomly going intangible after it was born. What if it phased through the floor and fell to it's death? What if it cracked it's little head open in the middle of the night because it fell through it's crib? What if I accidentally dropped my baby and killed it? Vlad said all of these scenarios were incredibly unlikely, as a new born wouldn't have enough power to turn itself completely intangible. Maybe I was getting a little ridiculous with the intangible thing, but either way I still made Vlad promise to modify all the cribs and flooring to make sure they were ghost proof once the baby was born. Just to be safe.
Then, if it wasn't problems with the baby I was worrying about it was problems with our parenting. I love Vlad to death, but he really has a few moral issues that I'm just not okay with. Sure, I can put up with them if it's just us two, but raising and influencing a kid with them? For example, his hobby of manipulating people. I'll admit, I'm a little guilty of the act too, but the fruitloop legitimately enjoys leading people around like some mad puppeteer. What if our kid grows up thinking it's okay to lead people around for fun? Or worse, takes it a step farther and ends up enjoying it?
Then, if I've managed to move on from some inane baby death scenario or our possible lack of good parenting, the problem of my own parents comes up...and Vlad's. You know, to be honest I'd really like to have my mother around so I could talk to her about all the stuff running circles in my head, particularly the Vlad-might-be-a-bad-influence one. Not only that, but she's done this whole pregnancy thing before. She could tell me what to expect with the impending morning sickness and how to deal with it. But how would Mom react to the news that I'm pregnant? It was hard enough getting her to accept my relationship with Vlad, but actually having a kid with him? I was understandably terrified that it would take another two years for her to get over it.
Oh god, then there are Vlad's parents...I don't even want to think about that one.
Luckily, Vlad is taking all of my stress in stride (for now at least). He's still on the we're-having-a-baby high, which means when I complain he does awesome things like run a bath and give me a massage. Which he is really really good at.
"Daniel, don't squirm so much."
"I'm not squirming, I'm just-Ooh, ah jesus, right there. That's perfect."
"Of course it is." Vlad brought his lips to my ear, hot breath mixing with the warm, damp air of the bath. "I'm the one massaging you."
"Mmmm..." I smiled, letting his ego get away with that comment and relaxing into his touch.
Vlad's naked form shifted from behind me, hands kneading into a particularly stubborn knot. The water steamed around us, frothy bubbles whispering against our bare flesh and giving off the scent of cocoa butter. Against my colder ghost form, the hot water was like being wrapped in a warm cocoon. Then again, that might just be Vlad. Speaking of which, a pair of moist lips started playing with my earlobe, widening the smile on my face. Stalwart hands danced down my back, slipping beneath the water and grabbing my hips.
"Have I mentioned that I love you?" He murmured, rubbing circles over my waist and predictably moving to my stomach.
"Yes Vlad." I laughed. "Quite a few times."
For a long while I just relaxed into his touch, forgetting anything else existed beyond the marble tiled bathroom. Vlad seemed plenty preoccupied with massaging me into goo, his strong hands moving sensually over my skin and not leaving a single square inch untouched. We savored this little moment of peace and happiness, since in about nine months we probably wouldn't have a lot of opportunities to do this. I've heard that babies take up a lot of your free time. I knew it wouldn't be too bad though. Not with Vlad here.
"Are you feeling better, Daniel?" He asked gently, whispering the words in my ear with his usual smug undertones.
I only hummed in response, leaning into his warm chest and letting my eyes close. The nausea previously churning my stomach had died down to an ignorable tickle, replaced with the warm contentment currently surrounding me. Vlad kissed my shoulder slowly, his hands roaming over my bare skin. I listened to him breathe deeply, the arms around my shoulders tightening into a firm hug.
"Man, I hope I don't get too moody as this goes on." I yawned. "I'd feel really bad if I snapped at you over nothing."
"Well," Vlad chuckled. "I put up with that anyways, so I'm sure I'll be able to handle anything else your hormones want to throw at me."
"Oh ha ha, Vlad." I smirked, jabbing him in the side with my elbow.
The water sloshed lightly with the movement, settling down as we both returned to our content silence. Vlad, being the posh snob that he is, had classical music playing in the background. It wasn't too bad though. Coupled with the candles he had burning, it was actually kinda nice, though I'd never tell him that. Once relaxed, it was so easy to let all the stress of life just slip away, to forget that our pregnancy plans could technically be classified as an act against nature and thus horribly judged by people who had no business judging us. I didn't like to thing about that. Mostly cause it reminded me of possible ways my own friends and family were gonna react when I told them the truth. Luckily that moment wouldn't come for another seven and a half months.
"You know, we still haven't talked about names yet. Well...not seriously at least." Vlad's voice came from behind me, quiet and strong as usual.
"I dunno Vlad. I personally think Optimus Prime is a great name. Damn sight better than Vlad jr., at least."
"I thought you liked my name." He said, faking an affronted tone though it quickly switched to a deadpanned one. "And we're not naming our son Optimus Prime."
I snickered, entwining my hands with his as I replied.
"I do like your name. I'm just not going to let your ego get away with giving it to our kid."
"Hmph. I'm going to tell him you stopped me from christening him with my dignified moniker, and he's going to resent you for it."
"Uh huh, I'm so sure." I yawned again. "Not as much as he's going to resent your refusal against Optimus Prime. He'd be the coolest four year old ever with that name."
"Yes, and the laughing stock of society as an adult."
"Eh. He can change it when he's eighteen."
I could feel Vlad rolling his eyes behind me, and he was probably one hundred percent aware of my own smirk too. Man if felt so good to bicker and banter with Vlad, just like we've always done.
"But what if he is a she?" Aforementioned man asked. "We haven't even thought about names for a girl."
"Anything but Maddie." I muttered, feeling my eye twitch slightly.
Vlad laughed, but knew better than to disagree.
"Of course, Daniel." He replied carefully, falling quite for a moment and absentmindedly massaging my hand. "...I rather like the name Anastasiya, actually."
"You crazy Russians and your americanized Disney names."
"Well it was either that or Svetlana."
"Are you trying to get our kid beat up?"
"Lets hear what you suggest then." The older man pouted, sounding a little put off.
"Well...I dunno, I haven't really thought about it. I kinda like the name Emilie, I guess..."
Vlad was quiet again.
"I suppose that's not too bad." I heard a smirk in his next words. "You do realize that's still a Russian name, right?"
"I'm not against Russian names Vlad." I rolled my eyes. "As long as they're not like Svetlana. We live in America, not Moscow. ...Anastasiya's kinda growing on me though. I guess if she's gonna be a Master's, she has to have some kind of fancy, high-class name. What about using that for the middle?"
"Emilie Anastasiya Masters? Regal, yes, but it's a bit of a mouthful..."
"Not as bad as yours." I smirked. "Plus, if you're going for regal, I think they're all gonna be mouthfuls Mr. Vladimir Yakovevich Masters."
"Hm. Yes, I suppose you do have a point." a boarder line smug smile slid onto his face cause Vlad's a little egotistical about his full name. Shocker. "Though the quiet dignity of your full name wouldn't be bad to go off of either."
"What? Daniel James? Are you kidding me? That's totally boring. We gotta add some spice to our kid's name. Only not too much." I added quickly, rolling my eyes with a snort. "...Svetlana..."
Vlad was quiet. Judging by the position of his body and the way he was staring down at me, though, it was a good kind of quiet. He was just looking at me with that warm, gentle smile no one else gets to see but me. I love it when he looks at me like that.
"...What?" I asked intelligently, his smile infectious.
He stared at me for a moment longer, running his hand through my snow white hair and lowering his lips to my ear again.
"I happen to find your name absolutely tantalizing, Daniel." He whispered slowly, hot breath running shivers down my spine. I felt a warm tongue trace around the cartilage of my ear, a quiet hum starting in the back of my throat. "It seems to roll so perfectly off my tongue, and every time I get the opportunity to say it...Well, boring is the last word I would use to describe such delights."
"Mmm...are you trying to seduce me again?"
"I hardly think 'trying' is the appropriate word."
I grinned and turned around, meeting Vlad's lips and effectively silencing any further conversation. We didn't come out of that bathroom for a very long time.