This is one of my first (proper) fics. Inevitably whenever you're shipping two characters of the same gender together, someone suggests they have babies. Biological ones. Somehow. Normally that doesn't interest me, but it did get me thinking about how it might happen. So, here's a story about Michiru and Haruka having a baby.
It was originally intending for this to only be a brief explanation of how it worked, and wanted to write more about their reactions to it and how they dealt with the pregnancy, but it kind of got away from me. I may still return and write more chapters yet.
The whole damn planet smelled of fragrant olives. The obnoxious plant had taken over, bursting out of every conceivable space. Shops were built around them. Branches were allowed to grow freely through windows, like nosey neighbours. One tree had almost entirely consumed a street sign so that only the tip peeked out. The scent of apricot was so thick, if you had a good imagination, Starlight City was practically cloaked in a putrid, pink cloud.
"Doesn't this place smell wonderful?" Michiru sighed, wafting her hands towards her face. "Oh, I could stay here forever."
"Lovely." Haruka coughed into a handkerchief. "There is no place I would rather be." Michiru rolled her eyes, stretching her arms out above her head with an accidental squeak. Haruka watched her, slowly, over the top of the hankie. Ten hours in a cramped shuttle just became slightly more bearable.
Movies and novels had been promising for years what the future would hold for them; what to look forward to in the twilight years of Haruka's triple-digit lifetime. But it was all a bust. Over-enthusiasm meant she'd been disappointed, time and time again, as she waited for inventors to get busy delivering. Flying cars had only been introduced domestically as early as twenty years ago, holograms still couldn't touch you, and instantaneous teleportation remained a distant dream for those who weren't the holders of Star Seeds. Which, actually, wouldn't have bothered Haruka; were it not for the Civilian Fairness Act of 2063 decreeing that all magical abilities were to be used only for the benefit of justice and law and not for personal gain, including (but not limited to) saving money on shuttle tickets. Hence why she, and several other representatives from Earth, had been forced to sit in a cramped commercial space craft for a ten-hour flight to the planet Kinmoku.
It wasn't all bad, though. Michiru loved the place. The laid-back bohemian lifestyle, the tropical climate, the entirely female population; she saw it as a vacation, and vacations were always romantic. In fact, Haruka would almost say it was worth it, if it weren't for that inescapable saccharine stench. Oh, and...
"Hey, Seiya, check it out." The short one noted with glee. "Who's your favourite person in the whole wide universe?"
"They're here already?" Seiya blurted, practically falling out of her hammock, the magazine on her chest slithering to the ground with a clatter. "What the hell, I swear it takes at least twelve hours to get here from Earth!"
"No, it takes twelve hours to get to Earth from here. It only takes ten the other way 'round." Yaten picked at something in her nails as she lazed on the bay window. "Something to do with atmospheres and... gravitational pull? I don't know the details, ask Taiki."
"I don't give a shit about gravitational pull!" Seiya hopped furiously as she wrestled with an uncooperative sock. "If you knew when they'd be here, why didn't you tell me!" Yaten merely grinned, then ducked, laughing, as a throw pillow went sailing angrily out the window. As one door slammed so that Seiya could get dressed, another opened, and Taiki popped her head in.
"Uranus and Neptune are here."
"I already know!" Came the muffled (and slightly hysterical) reply. Taiki frowned and glanced over at Yaten, who was daintily rearranging the cuffs of her designer suit.
"Why is she so upset?" Taiki asked, straightening her tie. "I thought I told you to remind her about their estimated arrival an hour ago." She paused, her eyes narrowing dangerously as she watched the other try to stifle a laugh. "You didn't tell her, did you?"
"It is your fault for thinking I would." Yaten laughed as she skipped over for a quick kiss on the cheek.
"They haven't seen me yet. I could still leave, right now, and they'd never know."
"Haruka." Michiru's smile was digging holes in the back of the taxi driver's head. She spoke slowly, and clearly, through clenched teeth. "We are just stopping in for a few minutes to say hello. You are a big girl now. You know how to play nice." Smile still in place, she fluffed her hair whilst eyeing herself in the rear-view mirror. "How do I look?"
"You know she doesn't like me!" Haruka groaned and hunted for patterns in the cab's ceiling. "Why torture us both?" Michiru snapped shut her purse and swiveled in her seat, her satin dress making an angry noise as she pointed a finger in her lover's face.
"This is not something I am going to argue about." Michiru was absurdly beautiful when she was angry. "We are diplomats. Sailor Soldiers. And they, they are the same. There are only so many people in this universe who understand us as they do; you can't go through your entire life hating one of them for no reason. Now, how do I look?"
"But you know how this is going to end!" Haruka pleaded. "We're just going to get into an argument, which will be her fault, and we'll leave feeling rotten anyway. Wouldn't it be better if I didn't go at all? It's a win-win situation."
"There will be no wins at all during this trip if you do not come in with me, if you understand what I am implying. Now stop arguing, play nice, and tell me how I look!"
"GOOD GOD WOMAN, TELL HER SHE LOOKS FINE." The poor taxi driver gripped the steering wheel as she thought about how her miserable salary was not nearly enough to cover this. Sheknew just how much damage the Ocean Soldier could do – but the other one seemed to have forgotten. Haruka stared at her for a moment, then at Michiru, the silence as thick as the smell of peaches.
"You look fine." She muttered into the palm of her hand. Wordlessly, Michiru nodded, opened the door, and handed the driver a wad of crisp pink notes.
"How do I look? Good? Successful, right?" Seiya peered at herself in a mirror as she tried to remember how to do a Windsor Knot. Shoved behind the bathroom door was a mess of rejected outfits, and she stood nervously in front of the other two in a crisp grey suit.
"You look fine." Taiki raised an eyebrow and sighed, pushing up her glasses and checking the time. "You don't have to worry so. I'm sure Haruka will hate you just as much regardless of what you wear."
"I'm not trying to appeal to her, I'm trying to impress her." Seiya leered at the two of them with conviction not uncommon in her. "I want to stun her with my overpowering... power.I want her to leave here in tears, crying about how she's wasted her life while I've been here, accomplishing everything I've ever wanted to do."
"But you've done nothing since she was here last."
"Yeah, you don't even finish your magazines."
"But she doesn't know that!"
"Know what?" A sweet voice called out from the door. Seiya froze. Turning to look over her shoulder, she winced as she saw Michiru, as beautiful as ever, accompanying Haruka – who looked more smug than she was comfortable tolerating.
"Well, now, we wouldn't want to spoil the surprise, would we, Michiru?" Seiya charmed the young lady as she waltzed over, scooping a rose from the vase on the table and handing it to her with a flourish. Yaten and Taiki exchanged familiar looks. Michiru smiled as Seiya gracefully took a hand in hers and planted a delicate kiss on it, making sure to glance over at Haruka to measure her levels of jealousy. Hmm. Fairly high."If you must know, I was ordering some flowers to be delivered to your hotel suite, but now that you've caught me out I'll have to think of something else."
"Oh, Seiya, you don't have to do that all just for us." Michiru replied with the necessary level of humility.
"I know." She glanced over at Haruka, who stared right back. Seiya nodded curtly. "Uranus. Nice of you to stop by."
"Is it?" Haruka replied casually, not breaking eye contact. "I hadn't noticed." A silence settled as the two sized each other up, stared each other down. Yaten and Taiki were playing a quiet game of naughts and crosses. Michiru gazed at a crawling vine and thought of a restaurant she had seen on the way over; it seemed nice for dinner. Somewhere a clock was ticking. Suddenly, to her annoyance, Haruka sneezed, and the silence broke. Michiru blinked as though waking and glanced over – perhaps now the two proud little terriers had stopped sniffing each other, they could get on with the show. And people say that I'm a bitch,she thought to herself, allowing a prim grin.
"Not feeling so flash, Haruka?" Seiya asked as the other started coughing into the back of her sleeve, clearly embarrassed by her loss of control.
"It's these ridiculous trees all over the place. Even with the aircon on full blast, you can't escape it. So damn sweet it burns the back of your throat." Seiya smiled and wandered towards the table to sift lazily through some documents. She'd had Taiki bring them in specially from her office so it would look like they were in the middle of something important - some merger, or proposal, or... well, she didn't know, but they had lots of very big paragraphs in a very small font.
"Well, perhaps they are a little overpowering... to a tourist. But I'd take them any day over the fog and pollution of Earth. How doyou stand it?"
"You get used to it." Haruka glared over the top of her cuff.
"Really?" Seiya raised an eyebrow. "How sad."
Haruka glanced out the window angrily, as she couldn't think of a retort, but did a double-take and paused for a moment.
"Did you know you've got a throw pillow stuck in one of those smelly trees outside your house?" She asked, genuinely confused. Seiya could hear Yaten trying to stifle a giggle as she felt a heat rise up her cheeks. God dammit.
"Yes." She shuffled through some of the papers. "I like it there."
"May I offer you two a cup of coffee?" Taiki interrupted, Yaten rubbing the back of her head where the other had silently yanked on her pony tail.
"Thankyou, Taiki. That would be wonderful." Michiru strode briskly across the room to collect Haruka by the arm and move out onto the patio. Shown-down postponed.
"So have you two ever thought about having children of your own?" Yaten asked over a bowl-sized mug of mocha latte. The topic of Neo Queen Serenity had inevitably come up, along with Small Lady and the increasing number of children the other Soldiers had popped out; though to be fair, the two visitors hadn't been expecting that particular question. Haruka coughed a little into her espresso while Michiru smiled sweetly, placing her cup on the table and straightening her skirt.
"Well," More straightening. "We have considered adopting, but for one reason or another it... never seems to work out. Some agencies," She glanced up at the salmon-tinted sky of Kinmoku as though she had practiced the speech with impersonal professionalism, "seem to think that because we are both Sailor Soldiers, we don't have the sort of household that can support the needs of a child, and..." She glanced back down and placed her hands together. She added softly, "There are a variety of contributing factors."
"Well, if you can't adopt, why not have one naturally? Don't need a license to get pregnant." Seiya quipped as she popped a gingersnap into her mouth.
"Well, with our political position it would be almost impossible to pick a donor without causing some-"
"I said naturally.No donors, no adoption, just the two of you and your-" Seiya shuddered as she glanced at Haruka. "... Well, just the two of you." There was a quiet pause while the three Starlights looked expectantly at their guests, Yaten's pinkie sticking out as she held her mug. Haruka and Michiru exchanged glances before, finally, Haruka let out an awkward laugh.
"You do know that I'm a woman, don't you?" Seiya frowned as she tried a piece of shortbread.
"Yeah, no kidding. I hate to think how you'd look in a miniskirt otherwise."
"Then- then you do know that I'ma woman, don't you?" Michiru blurted over the top of her cup. Seiya and the others looked genuinely perplexed.
"Of course, Michiru."
Haruka turned in her chair to face Seiya. She was going to have to use two hands to explain this one.
"Has nobody ever explained to you how babies are made?" Seiya rolled her eyes. "You see, Seiya, when a mommy loves a daddy very much..."
"Seiya." Taiki leaned over slightly, watching the other two apprehensively. "Seiya, that's something you can only do on Kinmoku." Seiya blinked a couple of times before smacking herself on the forehead, dragging her hand down her face and making a gutteral noise of coarse revelation.
"Of course! I'd forgotten! Well naturally they don't need it, since they've got- well, they've got sperm." Haruka opened her mouth to ask a question but Seiya had already turned back to face her and was mid-way through a sentence. "Alright! Now we're on the same page! Listen; everyone on Kinmoku is a woman, yeah? We don't know if it's magic, or genes, or divine intervention, but that's the way it is. So how do you think we reproduce?"
"Tentacles?" Haruka offered flatly.
"I had assumed," Michiru picked at the hem of her skirt while trying to think of the most delicate wording, "that you would travel to other planets to find suitable life forms to... meet, and would then return home to Kinmoku to give birth." Seiya nodded and kept going.
"Yeah, that's the way we used to do it, about three thousand-and-something years ago. But then, one day, the Sailor Kinmoku of the time decided that she couldn't be bothered going sperm-fishing any more, and wanted to have a baby with her girlfriend. So, she put a lot of time and energy into perfecting a mutation of her Star Seed, until she'd finally developed a technique that would allow her to magically plant her DNA within her girlfriend, resulting in a baby that was biologically theirs.
Olde Sailor Kinmoku was kinda butch, you understand," She explained momentarily to a stunned Haruka before turning back to Michiru.
"A few years later and she figured out how to make it so that anyone within range of her Star Seed could recreate it. Kinda like how anyone within range of Serenity's Silver Crystal gets an extended lifespan, y'know? Anyway, over time the powers of her Star Seed fused with the planet Kinmoku itself, and now, even though she's long gone, that technique can still be used to produce babies between two willing participants, even if they are of the same gender." She nodded finally, leaning back in her chair and sipping on her lemonade. Haruka made a small noise before banging her fist on the table, shaking her head, and wincing.
"That's not funny." She whispered hoarsely. "Just- That's not funny! You- Seiya, we may not get along, but for you to mock us about this-" Seiya held her hands up and started to defend herself, but suddenly the door leading to the patio slid open and a little girl, no older than six, ran out across the tiles. Her cheery cherry flip-flops made a slip-slap sound on the ground. Her long pigtails caught the light of the giant red sun.
"Mama!" She squealed and jumped onto Seiya, who laughed and cuddled the child. "Mama, look! I drew a picture of you in school today! See?" As Seiya cooed over the piece of paper with the girl on her knee, Haruka and Michiru exchanged hesitant glances. Taiki, meanwhile, was glancing at her watch.
"Oh! I apologise, I didn't realise the time. School finishes at this time, though Usa usually goes straight to her room when we have guests." Seiya vaulted out of the chair, scooping up her giggling daughter in the process.
"Well, that is just the very best picture I have ever seen! I like myself with blue hair, I might try it some time." The girl pouted as she hung off of her mother's neck.
"Teacher says it's artistic license." She mumbled into her shoulder, and Seiya laughed as she carried her off to the other room where an assistant stood nervously.
"Oh, I see now. Hey, Usa, mama's kind of busy right now with some guests, so why don't you go have a cup of hot chocolate downstairs? I'll be with you in just a minute, OK?" The little girl chorused her approval of hot chocolate before skipping back to the hall, Seiya watching as she went. As she returned to the patio, Haruka was aware her mouth was open slightly, but didn't bother closing it.
"Wow." She ran a hand nervously through her blonde locks. "That was a lot of red hair." She blinked and stared after the little girl, making Seiya laugh again.
"I guess it's hard not to notice." Michiru was also gazing off after the child, one hand absent-mindedly playing with a teal ringlet. Haruka, fidgety, stood up to excuse herself.
"I'm... I'm sorry. We didn't mean to interrupt your schedule. We weren't going to stay very long, and we should probably get back to our hotel; right, Michiru? Michiru?" Michiru started slightly as though pulled from a daze, before getting up and shaking hands with the three lights in turn.
"It's been a pleasure," She murmured gently, and they swept gracefully off the patio.
"Haruka." Michiru was sitting on the luxurious hotel bed, her knees tucked up by her chin, her hair tumbling over her shoulder. She had started painting her nails, and though her little toe was tipped with 'Coral', she hadn't moved since. Haruka paused, her jacket half off, staring at Michiru in the gilded mirror. An expensive bouquet of flowers partially blocked her view. The little tag that had been on it was now a small ball in the bin. 'I ran out of ideas', it had said.
Michiru stared fixedly at her little coral toe. Her eyes, as blue as the ocean, held thoughts twice as deep; she knew what she was going to say. It wasn't hard to predict.
"Haruka, let's have a baby. Here, now, while we're on Kinmoku. While we have the chance." She looked up, suddenly, catching her lover's gaze in the mirror. They were quite still as they shared the look for a few seconds. Then, Haruka sighed, shrugging her jacket back on and reaching into the inside pocket.
"Alright." Her voice cracked a little. Turning slowly she dropped a piece of paper onto the bed, sitting by Michiru's side to watch her reaction.
"What's this?" Michiru whispered, scooping it up and unfolding it delicately, but not breaking their gaze.
"Well, if I'm not mistaken... it's the rite." Haruka laughed quietly under her breath, tipping her head forward to rest on the other's shoulder. "It was in the flowers." Numbly Michiru glanced down at the paper, flipping it open, dancing over the words that were scrawled over the top of the envelope; "But you don't have to be."
She smiled, softly, and turned to slowly breathe in the smell of her lover's hair.
"Then, shall I start...?"
"Well?" Haruka had never been so nervous in her entire life. Only one time had ever been close, and it had been remarkably similar; the same racing heart, the same biting of her bottom lip. The same rocking on the balls of her feet. She'd been waiting for an answer then, too; she'd said yes, and now she was on the other side of the bathroom door with the next answer.
"Will you be more patient?" Michiru hissed from the other side, followed by the clatter of cosmetics on tile. "We waited nine whole days for this, would it kill you to wait for a few more minutes?"
"Sorry." Haruka breathed, running a hand through her hair. At this rate, though, she thought it just might. She felt as though she was going to throw up a little. Was that normal? She had no clue. Maybe it was just nerves. Or am I having second thoughts? She remembered Kinmoku; Seiya's grin as her fiery little daughter hung off her neck, and leaned back against the wall, smiling. Just nerves. She glanced back down at her watch. "How long did the box say to wait for?"
"I- I don't know. It says five minutes at the least."
"It's been six now..."
"I know that!"
"Sorry!" Haruka brought her hands back up to grasp at her hair. She didn't think you could be put through this much stress just by doing nothing. Resolving not to say another thing until Michiru did, she held her breath, bit her tongue, squeezed her eyes shut. She thought she'd die. Eventually, the lock on the bathroom door clicked, and the handle turned slowly – painfully – and Michiru peeked out. Biting her bottom lip. Clutching the stick in her hand. Hanging her head so her hair tumbled, like a curtain, around her cheeks.
"It's not showing up, Haruka." She said quietly, softly, her voice calm and gentle but shaking terribly. "I'm not pregnant." Haruka stared at her for a moment before coming to her senses and grabbing her, wrapping her arms around her tightly, holding her close. Michiru let out a strangled, sudden sob and clutched her back, weeping into her shoulder. She went weak at the knees. "Haruka!" She cried. She had never cried so much in her life. It was as though a part of herself was melting, slowly seeping into her girlfriend's shirt. "I really thought- we were going to- I'm. I'm sorry. I really am."
"No! Don't be. Don't be." Haruka whispered, stroking her hair. She felt so useless. Michiru – the strongest woman she knew – was crumbling sweetly before her, and she couldn't do a damn thing about it.
Except, perhaps, one.
"Do you think this is funny!" Haruka roared as soon as the screen flickered into life. Seiya, clearly still half asleep, stared back blankly.
"It didn't work! The- the stupid spell thing, it didn't fucking work! Michiru, she's... Michiru's not pregnant." Seiya sobered up something fast.
"What? Are you sure? It's been... what, seven days?"
"Nine." Haruka growled. Michiru lay quietly on the bed. She wasn't crying any more, but she just stared quietly at the wall, not moving, not speaking. Haruka could tell that she was trying to calm herself, to be as resilient as she always was; trying to tell herself how unimportant it was, in the grand scheme of things. But this time she'd had too much hope. Seiya bit her bottom lip and clicked a couple of things Haruka couldn't see, her eyes darting across an invisible screen.
"It may still have worked yet." Michiru whispered suddenly, but it sounded like she was trying to convince herself, not Haruka. "Some pregnancies do take longer to show proof. For the tests to come back positive..." She sniffed again and looked thoroughly disappointed with herself. "Or perhaps it was just the tests, that they were defective. We should get more."
"Well..." Seiya seemed very hesitant to say anything, but she caught Haruka's glare and she knew she had to continue. "The Kinmoku Technique isn't like biological conception. It's not luck-or-chance, it's meant to be instantaneous. It would have been three days at the most before a test would come back positive..." Michiru made a small noise and closed her eyes again. Haruka felt, watching her, as though she was slowly freezing from the inside out; but wrenched herself out of it to glare back to the screen. Seiya had her face in her hand, staring blankly at nothing. She'd never heard of this. "But that's why I'm so confused, because it's not about luck. It's worked 100%, every time, even the most barren old lady could... It was made to impregnate people, that's- that's what it does!"
"Evidently not this time." Haruka closed her eyes and buried her face in her palms. "Does- does the stupid thing not work on humans?"
"You've got the same genetic makeup as us. Men from Earth can have babies with women from Kinmoku the 'traditional' way, so I don't see why not. Hell, nobody's ever tried, but I think a woman from kinmoku could g-" Seiya suddenly sat up like a rocket, staring into the distance like a deer caught in the headlights, before slowly turning back to the screen. "Haruka," Her voice was dry. "Haruka, have you taken a pregnancy test?"
Haruka's eyes snapped open. In her peripheral vision she saw Michiru sit straight up on the bed.
Haruka glanced up, her eyes flicking from Michiru to Seiya and back again. Weakly, she smiled, sitting up as much as she could muster.
"Ahahaha... No, Michiru, I- No. No! No."
Five minutes and one pregnancy test later;
"Ohh, you idiot!" Seiya's image dragged its hands down its face as Haruka paced around the room, her face the colour of the white sheets. "Why, why did you let Michiru read the rite!"
"You said it was a fertility ritual!" Haruka squeaked weakly, waving her hands about to try and prove her point. "We thought it would make her- I don't know, fertile!"
"You idiot, fertility isn't your problem, I said it was a replacement for sperm! That should've told you right there that whoever performs it is going to be the dad!"
"I'm a dad?" Michiru yelled from the bed, gripping the sheets. "Oh my God!" Seiya sighed, nursing her head in her hands, her eyes shut in a state of exhaustion and disbelief.
"Isn't there a way to... switch it around or something?" Haruka offered weakly, desperately waving her hands like she was juicing invisible lemons. "For mistakes like this?"
"Oh, sure, we'll just pop your baby under a giant cup, shuffle them around a bit and make sure Michiru watches real closely. Idiot! Sorry that Olde Sailor Kinmoku didn't plan anticipate this level of stupidity!" Seiya quickly held up her hands, shaking her head in apology for her outburst. She sighed resolutely and shrugged. "Well, you're stuck with it now. Hey, you shouldn't be so upset; you should be glad! Considering you're humans, this is still kind of a miracle!" Michiru, who had recovered quite well after seeing Haruka test positive, nodded and wrapped her arms around the blonde's shoulders.
"She's right!" She smiled resolutely. "Even though this is a little different to the way we had planned, we're still going to have our baby. Haruka- Haruka!" Haruka had been babbling quietly to herself with a deranged expression, and Michiru grabbed her by the face to steer her gaze assertively towards her own. "Haruka – we're going to have a baby. Our baby." Gently, Haruka's frantic breathing slowed. She wrapped her hands around the other's arms, able, for the first time, to appreciate the grand scheme of the future.
"Yeah." She finally muttered with a weak smile. "Yeah, we are."