I could not tell him while Will was home. I begged Will before dinner that night not to say anything to him, either. This was news I had to tell him myself. I went to talk to him in his workshop after my husband had left for work the next morning. He was standing behind a table, leaning down over something large and metal. I stepped, halfway between the door and the table, when I realized the thing was his leg. I still preferred to pretend he had two wholly human legs, and it had been some time since I'd last been reminded.

"Um..." Suddenly I was terrified, that this would be just too much, and he would leave, and never return once he knew about my secret. "Never mind. I'll let you be." I turned, stepping back towards the door.

"What is it, Hikari."

I stood, one hand on the doorjamb, swallowing tears that made no sense. "I'm pregnant."

He was silent longer than I wanted to think about. "You are."



I wanted to run. I wanted to go upstairs and lock myself in the closet and pull my old pink coat over my head and lose myself in the memories of the days when I had not cared what he thought. The days before we had been friends. The days when I did not love him. I forced myself to turn around and face him. I was not that little girl anymore. He was not that man. "It isn't that I expect you to be happy. It's just that I want.../some/ answer..."

He was watching me curiously. He did not understand my fear. "It is interesting. Do you know how long?"

I had to focus on his question, and not the confusing string of thoughts now running through my head. "Four weeks, I think. That is what it has to be, anyways."

He tilted his head and said again, "Hm."

I fought back the tears, though now at least they made more sense. "Say something," I pleaded. "Please say something. This is too new. I don't have any point of reference to read you from, so please, speak my language for once, Cyrus."

"I have already said it," he answered. "This is interesting. Do you feel any different physically."

And then it hit me. He was not disengaging at all. He was investigating me. I was a curiosity. My pregnancy was something new, something fascinating, something to study and learn about. This was not only interesting to him, but he was genuinely interested /in it/. It was a way to be involved.

I picked my way across the room and sat down in a chair nearby. I took his hand, and he shifted so I could hold it. "I'm tired," I began. "I think I've napped every day this week, and it's still not enough."

"Just fatigue?"

"I've eaten more, too." I squirmed in the chair. "And the aching."


I felt my cheeks color as I mumbled about the particular area that was aching - I preferred to pretend my breasts did not exist, as well.

"The weight is different already, too," I said louder.

"Balance-wise, or distribution?"

"Balance. That was the first thing I noticed, actually." I did not add 'when I fell in the middle of a challenge because I stepped wrong'. "That, and the sudden craving for coffee ice cream. And the chocolate bar the day before. I have always despised chocolate."

"Will you keep me informed if you develop any other cravings?"

I nodded. We were silent a moment, and then I could not help it. "I...I won't make you deal with it, you know. The baby. Not like with Anso."

We just watched each other for a moment. "Alright."

"But...don't shut down."

"I will not."

I wanted to grab him and sob and make him swear, but instead, I just nodded again. "Thank you." And then I thought of something else I needed to say. "You know that I wouldn't be here without you, right?"

He might have smiled, in his own Cyrus way. "I am fairly certain that some things I did led to these circumstances, yes."

I sighed. "I'm being serious! I'm trying to say, my life would be really different without you. But I'm glad it is the way it is."

He looked at me, and I watched him study every centimetre of my face, and I thought of him deconstructing me, skin cells, fat tissue, muscles, bones, but I knew, he could not explain what part of me was really /me/. What part of that made these moments precious. He had taken my hand, and he had not said anything, but I knew that after so long of trying to teach him, he had learned, and that was an incredible thing.

"I think that I am glad," he said haltingly. "That you are glad. I do not know how being glad is, but I think this is it."

And I had to laugh, even through the tears suddenly rolling down my face. He had taught me so many things. He had taught me how the world worked, and how his world worked. He had taught me how to speak while being silent, and how to stay calm. He had taught me about my body, and about my mind.

All I had taught him was how to love.