First Shinrei Tantei Yakumo fic! Kinda proud of that fact :) Read and review my lovelies!
Rated T: for very minor language and semi-suggestive themes
Haruka collapsed backwards onto the hospital bed with an audible gasp of relief. Her stomach and inner muscles spasmed and pulsed once more, pain blossoming for the last time, until, suddenly, her body went limp. The pain was finally dulling.
Next to her, worry evident on his usually stoic face, Yakumo let her squeeze his hand. His jaw clenched when there was silence. The only sound in the room was Haruka's panting as her chest heaved from effort, and it encouraged a sort of...unrest in the male.
And then, the sound they'd been waiting to hear for nine months finally reverberated, echoing in the small, off-white room that had seemed to be getting smaller and smaller just a few moments before. The wail of a newborn.
Yakumo sighed with relief, his eyes finally closing.
Haruka's head bobbed up, something like, "Let me see..." drawing from her lips.
But Yakumo could hardly decipher her words. Everything was moving in a blur, even the sounds. He supposed he was only in shock. After all, this was what he had been anxious over for nearly a whole year; and here it was, finally, over.
The doctor was smiling as he carefully handled a squirming, messy baby, blood and various fluids sticking to its skin; it squealed again. "A boy," he announced, leaning forward to lay the infant, unwashed, on Haruka's still-heaving chest.
She looked down in awe before sniffling and bringing up her hands to stroke her baby boy's face, not at all caring that he was dirty. "Yakumo-kun," she murmured, voice thick, "look..."
He could see, he could see his son perfectly. And he wanted so much to reach out and touch the miracle he and Haruka had created. But...his body was rooted to the chair next to the bed, his limbs were heavy like lead. The only thing he could do was stare.
His son was screaming, letting the world know he was alive, with balled fists, shut eyes and kicking feet. Haruka began cooing unintelligible things, stroking his face and letting him grip her pinky with his fisted hand.
And then the doctor was back, removing the baby. Haruka gasped from the loss of contact, her hands straining for her son, before the doctor calmly and soothingly explained he was merely going to clean, measure and take the baby's prints. Haruka only swallowed, eyeing her newborn, and then leaned back into her bed again as a sign of resignation, wiping at her face.
It was then that Yakumo realized that she was sweating and crying at the same time.
"Are you in pain?" When he finally found his voice, it was hoarse and nervous.
She shook her head, sniffling, draping her arm over her eyes. "I'm so...happy," was her blubbering response.
Yakumo could only half-chuckle and roll his eyes.
Only she would cry from being too happy. It was so...Haruka. He leaned over to her, bracing his arms on the bed's railing, and then pressed his lips firmly to her damp, hot forehead.
"You did well..." he murmured against her skin.
Then, both of her arms were around his neck, hugging his torso to her disheveled body. She breathed heavily in his ear, still out of breath. Her eyes were closed as she began threading her nimble fingers through his hair. The action was soothing, Yakumo realized, along with the startling notion that she was attempting to comfort him. Her eyes opened, searching his, when she smiled, strands of her light colored hair sticking to her face. "We did well," she corrected humorously.
He blinked, his eyes searching hers. She was beaming up at him, content as could be, but obviously exhausted beyond belief. Then, her brow furrowed, her fingers slowed in their stroking, and she brought them to ghost over the sides of his face, near his eyes. Yakumo blinked, taking note of the contact in his left eye.
"The baby..." she started, her eyes leaving his to locate the doctor in the back of the room that was busy cleaning their newborn son with a sanitary cloth.
Yakumo knew what she was trying to say at once. She wanted to check the baby's eyes. He nodded, his jaw tight again at the thought of his son having red eyes, before he rightened himself. "I'll check," he reassured her.
"Yoshikawa-san," Yakumo called, addressing the doctor.
Yoshikawa half turned, curious.
"Please check the color of my son's left eye..."
Confused, the doctor only nodded and began prodding gently at the baby's face, murmuring soft things to the infant in order to sooth him.
Seconds ticked by, the silence heavier than any weight. Yakumo clenched his hands. He didn't know if the eye color was hereditary, though, he supposed it was, considering the man who claimed to be his father had red eyes as well. But it seemed like the gene was diluted by his mother's DNA, giving him only one affected eye. Would it be the same way for his own son? Would he have a single red eye? Or would he have completely normal vision?
Yakumo silently wished it to be the latter.
He didn't want his son growing up with the same loneliness that he did. He didn't want his son to be revered, hated and distrusted like he had.
And then, the news came, "Saito-san, your son's left eye is completely normal. A beautiful dark brown."
Yakumo felt himself exhale, shoulders slumping in relief. "Thank you," he murmured, turning back to sit back in his chair.
In her bed, Haruka was pouting. Yakumo almost did a double take. She was upset?
The new mother crossed her arms, eyes lingering on the form of the doctor and her son in the back of the room. "That's too bad," she said, "I almost wanted him to have your eyes...or eye." She pursed her lip when she realized that she had actually said it out loud. Hesitantly, she peeked at Yakumo, waiting for his reaction.
"And...why is that?" he asked simply, curiously.
She blinked at him, her eyes sparkling, before simply saying, "Because your eye is so beautiful, like a ruby red. I love it."
Yakumo wondered how two short sentences from one girl could practically erase years worth of resentment towards his eye. He honestly wondered how she managed to pull of such a feat.
"Ozawa-san," Yoshikawa said, walking back over to the mother with a swaddled bundle. "Three and a half kilograms," he announced, placing the now clean and content bundled baby into Haruka's waiting arms. He smiled before urging her to set down her legs to a more comfortable position—as they had still been propped up from the birthing—and cleaned the area between her legs.
Haruka, very aware of where another man was touching, cast an apologetic look to Yakumo, who averted his gaze from the doctor sticking his face in a very private area of Haruka's personal space. Quickly enough, but still not fast enough for Yakumo's taste, the doctor was finished and snapping off his gloves.
"You should feed him soon." He motioned to the babe nestled in Haruka's arms, rubbing his clean hands together.
"I will," Haruka gushed, thumbing her son's cherub-like cheeks.
With that, the doctor finally made his exit, leaving the new family with some time to themselves.
Yakumo found himself sitting in his chair again, simply staring as Haruka interacted with their son. Their son. The thought was strange, really, to be able to label something's as 'theirs'. Sure, they had 'their' apartment that they rented together...but somehow...this was different. Being able to call another small life theirs...it was...he didn't know how to describe it.
Yakumo glanced at his son, this time, taking in every single little detail. His face was flushed pink and swollen from the strenuous birth, his eyes were shut tight, and his hair—the little tuft he had—was dark, probably black, and clinging to the crown of his head. Yakumo had never seen anything more beautiful.
"Twenty-three hours, thirteen minutes and eight seconds..." Haruka mumbled, brushing over her baby's parted lips with a slender finger. "Such a long time, but so, very worth it..."
As if to agree with his mother, the infant squirmed again, arms flailing blindly. His mouth opened to release a small squeal.
"Hungry?" Haruka asked curiously, fingering his cheek again. She giggled when he yawned, blowing out a tiny spit bubble. Then, with one awkward hand, she began unbuttoning the top of her gown. Yakumo had never her seen her look so clumsy. Her brows drew together in concentration as she balanced the baby in one arm and tugged on her hospital gown with a single hand.
Eventually, Yakumo sighed. "Here," he said, motioning for her to hand him his son. It was about time he held the baby anyway. And more than likely, this would be his only chance to, seeing as Haruka had nearly claimed sole possession of the boy. But, that was alright with him, he supposed. After all, she had been the one to carry him inside of her for nine months.
Sheepishly, as she flashed him a small smile, Haruka gingerly angled Yakumo's arms and then relinquished her son wistfully. With nervous fingers, she popped the top of her gown and lifted out a single breast—her right one, Yakumo clarified to himself. Then, she covered the body part with a hand, not that it exactly hid much, and her cheeks began flushing in embarrassment.
"Um..." she mumbled, eyeing the baby and then Yakumo.
He felt his fingers twitch, aching to hold the newborn for just a while longer. Yakumo was surprised at himself, or rather, the fierce feeling of protectiveness that had completely smothered him once he had come into contact with his son. He'd never felt anything like it. Not even for Haruka—of course he was protective of her, chased of suspicious men, sheltered her from harm, let her lean on him for support. But it was like this sort of protectiveness was an entirely new level. To be honest, it almost scared him.
"Yakumo-kun," Haruka's voice was embarrassed and strained.
He blinked. And then realized that when he had zoned out, his eyes had been locked on her exposed breast. Haruka's face was completely red. She coughed, eyes darting to the baby that had been lying still in his arms.
With a sigh, and an apologetic glance, he leaned down and handed over his son. But even when she had the babe nestled in her arms, Haruka still covered her breast, refusing to breastfeed.
Yakumo sent her a curious sort of glance, silently questioning her. She gulped, cheeks going even redder, before quietly explaining, "It's embarrassing when you stare..."
Yakumo blinked, sort of astonished. It wasn't like he hadn't seen her exposed skin before, though, he supposed that when coupling, there wasn't exactly any time to feel shame. Now, Haruka had all the time in the world to feel self-conscious. In resignation, he turned around, and walked to the opposite side of the room for good measure, making sure that she felt comfortable enough.
His eyes landed in the table at the back of the room, stocked with cheery baskets and brightly colored stuffed animals. He almost chuckled. Really, Goto and his wife had outdone themselves. There were random baskets and flowers from people he didn't even know he knew. Some were probably from Haruka's classmates and colleagues. The others he supposed were from various people of the investigative branch of the police department. He picked up a basket, the plastic wrapping on the outside crinkling like a bag of chips, and stared at the contents. Stuffed animals, children's books, pacifiers. He set it down. When he did, his fingers brushed over a piece of paper that, otherwise, probably would have gone unnoticed.
It was a drawing done in colored pencils and crayon. From the childish scribblings, Yakumo could make out three figures—himself, Haruka still bloated as if pregnant, and a small person in between them, holding their hands. Yakumo smiled. And then, on the side in chicken scratch, there was a little message:
Dear baby, come out soon. I like Onee-chan skinny because I can hug her better.
At this, Yakumo smiled fondly and even laughed quietly to himself. Nao had actually developed quite the personality, hadn't she? He propped the drawing up so he could be reminded to show it to Haruka better.
As if on cue, Haruka gasped suddenly.
Yakumo whirled, questions brimming up his throat. But she was fine, he noted, she wasn't in pain. Rather, she was staring down at their son with wide, mystified eyes.
"Red..." was the only thing that she murmured.
Shock registered first. "What?" Yakumo asked, unable to process anything else.
But Haruka only stared some more, as if transfixed.
Yakumo stalked across the room, feeling dread settling deeply in the pit of his stomach. Red? The doctor had said his son's eyes had been normal! Faster than he could blink, Yakumo found himself by Haruka's bedside, peering down at the feeding newborn.
The innocent child was latched onto his mother's breast with a hungry mouth, a fisted hand kneading into the flesh of her bosom, with a half-lidded blank gaze that stared into nothing. Yakumo found himself staring into red. A crimson red right eye.
Yakumo felt the breath escape his lungs in a dizzying whoosh.
His son had a red eye.
For a second, he felt his legs wobble, like they were about to collapse from underneath him. He should have had the doctor check both eyes. He had been stupid to assume that only the child's left eye would be the one affected by this anomaly. Yakumo let out a controlled breath, hanging his head.
Started, his head flung up. Haruka was still staring down at their son, her bright eyes locked onto the tiny wriggling infant as he suckled. She smiled suddenly and it stretched, showing her nearly perfect teeth.
"So beautiful..." she sighed.
The simple action startled the breast feeding boy, and he yanked away with an estranged cry, hands waving. The new mother giggled, tracing the side of his face, next to his eye, much like she had done to Yakumo a while ago. Then, she planted a kiss on the child's forehead. "So beautiful," she related softly, kissing the soft, soft skin of her baby again.
That sense of wonder overwhelmed Yakumo for the umpteenth time that day. Again, just one simple phrase from Haruka had erased all of his doubts, fears and anxieties about his—and now their son's—genetic mutation. He would never know how she managed to pull it off. Relived, he sat back into the chair by Haruka's bedside.
She pulled up her gown and rubbed their son's back. He'd closed his eyes again and yawned, exhausted. "Kazuma," she stated firmly.
Yakumo blinked. She was...talking about names? "Kazuma?" he repeated.
Haruka nodded. "I've never felt so...at peace." She smothered the boy in another kiss. He squeaked, wriggling.
Yakumo stood again, leaned over the rail, and placed his large hand on his son's head, feeling the soft patch of fuzz he had for hair. Haruka was right. When their skin touched—his and his son's—it was like a drug. He felt so...calm. So peaceful. So grateful. He brushed his hand over his son's head, feeling soft hair run against his palm. Haruka giggled, laying her head back on the pillow.
"Kazuma," Yakumo reaffirmed.
"Beautiful," Haruka said for the fifth time that day.
Yakumo nodded, feeling a half-smile tugging at his lips. "I know, he is."
She laughed, jostling the resting infant. "I was talking about you." She reached up and cupped his cheek with a soft.
Stunned, he could only blink in response. Him?
"Yes, you, Yakumo-kun." Again, she laughed like she had made the best joke on the planet. "You're so beautiful." She smiled, beaming again.
He scoffed this time. "I'm a man, don't call me beautiful." But he began to smile anyway, despite his admonishment.
In all honesty, sitting there, basking in the afterglow of her strenuous birth, cradling his son, no one could have looked more beautiful than her. But he wouldn't tell her that—one, she probably already knew he thought so, and two, it was just too...mushy.
"Saito-san, Ozawa-san," the doctor, Yoshikawa, peeked inside the room, after knocking softly, "I'm very sorry to interrupt your time together, but you have some rather—"
A loud voice boomed from down the hallway, "Dammit! Lemme through! I said I've got a nephew to see!"
"—insistent visitors," Yoshikawa finished, frowning in distaste.
"Goto-san," Haruka giggled.
"Send him away," Yakumo stated with a blank face, "I don't know that person."
Haruka sniffed, quickly jabbing him in the small of his back from her spot on the bed. "Yakumo-kun," she admonished with a chuckle. "You can let them in," she said to Yoshikawa.
He only nodded, looking slightly perturbed and miffed. But before he could leave, a burly man forced his way inside the room, grouchy and unshaven, stomping angrily.
"Dammit, stupid doctors," he muttered, scratching the back of his head with a glower.
Haruka frowned, pressing one of her son's ears to her chest and using a hand to cover the other. "Goto-san," she warned, glaring.
"Ah," he mumbled, eyeing the mother and child. "Right, right. Language," he sighed.
"Who're you again?" Yakumo cocked his head to the side, narrowing his eyes.
"Ah, shaddup," Goto commanded with a snap, ruffling Yakumo's hair with a single calloused hand. The younger man growled, shaking off the police officer's rough hand.
Then, the party of three—and a half if Kazuma was counted—was joined by a huffing and puffing woman. She was glaring at her husband, her sharp eyes narrowing, exclaiming, "You could have waited."
Goto's wife, Yakumo realized. Behind her, she was tugging a smiling Nao. The girl grinned wider, waving at Yakumo and her Onee-chan.
"Nao-chan!" Haruka gushed. "Do you want to see the baby?" She nodded at the small baby snuggling into her arms, pushing him out as if to display him, and Nao nodded exuberantly.
She scampered over the bed and clambered on top, all the while eyeing the now sleeping baby. After settling, the elementary student only gaped and grinned and gaped some more.
Yakumo chuckled aloud at hearing his cousin's mental comment.
"Yeah, he's beautiful, isn't he?"
Haruka laughed before reaching over and yanking on Yakumo's hand, startling him. He stumbled on unsure feet until he half leaned over the railing again; Haruka claimed his lips without warning. He blinked, stunned, before relaxing and kissing her back completely. They stayed like that, their lips together softly, before Goto coughed and yanked Yakumo away by the collar.
Nao wrinkled her nose.
Her Nii-chan and Onee-chan sure were weird sometimes...but, at least their baby was cute.
Okay, so I'm sure you noticed that the doctor referred to each of them as Saito and Ozawa, which are Yakumo and Haruka's last names respectively. I imagined this whole 'pregnancy thing' as a bit of an... 'oopsie' between the two (hence, they aren't married yet, which surprisingly happens a lot). So, yes, I realize that if they were married, Haruka would more than likely take the name Saito. :) I hope none of you severely mind that they aren't married yet (you know, in my mind, Yakumo just doesn't seem like the...settling down type. But I figured he'd be the type to change if he had a family, no?). Anyway, that's my little schpeal! Review!
Also, the meaning of the name, Kazuma: peaceful.