Baby Mine
By Sakata Ri Houjun
*chapter 4

AN: This story has garnered the most amount of reviews in ratio to number of chapters. So I think it's safe to say that this has to be the most popular fic in my collection so far.
Special thanks to Jamie for beta-ing this. After all, it's her 'baby' too.

Warning: Angst and Sap seems to go well with ice cream and pickles, ne?

~***~

Chichiri walked into the room she shared with her lover, idly running her fingers over her belly. How much bigger am I going to get, she wondered. For the past couple of months she had watched her waistline grow steadily grow. To the monk, she was huge, and the round belly felt like a big ball. It was bad enough she had to get bigger sized clothing to fit her, but to see the prominent stomach continue to grow larger disrupted her spirits a bit.

Oblivious, Tasuki sat at his desk, trying to compose a letter to deliver home. He fiddled with the brush, trying to think of a way to ask for the location of a reliable midwife without having to go into details as to why. The redhead really didn't want to have to resort to asking his ma or worse, Aidou, to come up. He knew if that happened, they'd kill him once they found out he got a girl he wasn't married to pregnant. Not to mention he didn't want to contemplate what identifiable parts would be left of him should they find out that Chichiri was actually a male.

"Who are you writing to, no da?" The monk asked quietly, wandering closer to her lover.

Startled, the bandit looked over his shoulder at her, a tired frown on his face despite the fact that he was happy to see her. "My ma."

Chichiri sweat dropped slightly, understanding. "I see no da... I wish I could be of more help in this area, no da. But I really don't know any women, no da."

Tasuki spun back around in his seat, returning his attention to the unfinished letter. "Hell, I know too many fucking women, but I understand diddly shit about them."

The cerulean-haired seishi chuckled and shook her head, placing a comforting hand on his shoulder. "Even being in a woman's form I still can't understand them, no da. Don't feel too bad, no da."

Tasuki returned the laugh before setting his brush down and standing up to guide Chichiri to the bed. "Speaking of which, how do you feel?" He asked, taking a seat next to her.

"Very big, no da." She answered flatly, making a face.

The bandit gently ran a hand over her prominent belly, his eyes never leaving her face. "Really? I haven't noticed."

"Liar no da." She whispered before leaning over and kissing him. "I hope I don't get too huge, no da. But with two of them in there I just might, no da."

Tasuki smirked and kissed his lover back. "I'm not lying... I still think you're just the same..."

Chichiri stretched her arms above her head a little. "I think sometimes I can feel them moving, no da."

The bandit's golden eyes lit up at that statement, a nervous smile crossing his lip. "Hontou? You can...actually feel them moving around in there?"

Solemnly, she nodded. "Hontou ni."

The red-haired seishi began stroking her stomach more, blinking in wonder as he looked down. "What does it feel like?"

"Mmm... It's hard to describe, no da. Like, your tummy rumbling, no da."

Tasuki couldn't help but raise an eyebrow as he met Chichiri's gaze again. "You mean like Miaka's?"

The monk blinked before shaking her head. "Not exactly, no da."

The younger seishi grinned as he leaned down and placed an ear against the swell of her belly, his hand still rubbing gently. This simple action caused Chichiri to blush. It was sort of embarrassing, but she let Tasuki do it knowing that his curiosity would not be sated. And who knew, he might receive a slight kick for intruding. Surprisingly, the bandit found his lover's soft warmth comforting, relaxing even, as he rested against her. He began to rub his cheek slowly along Chichiri's stomach, his eyes sliding closed.

The monk felt a soft smile spread across her face at the sight of the man she loved bathing her in such attention. "You're going to be a great father Tasuki..." she murmured quietly, combing fingers through his unruly hair.

Tasuki angled his head to look up at her, his golden orbs shimmering with so many emotions. "As are you, Chiri..."

It was right about then that Tasuki received a light kick, causing Chichiri to blink in shock. The bandit lifted his head from Chichiri's stomach with a start, blinking down at the offending area in astonishment before looking up to meet her gaze. "What the fuck was that?"

"I'm not exactly sure, no da." She said, blinking again. "Maybe...a kick or something, no da?"

Tasuki looked down at her stomach again, still in shock. "A-a kick...?"

"Well they are alive in there, no da. That's the only way I could describe it as, no da. A kick."

The taller seishi reached out with a shaking hand, feeling gently the very spot that had moved earlier. "They kicked me...?"

Chichiri nodded slowly. "It seems so, no da."

"They fucking kicked me..." he repeated his voice laced with a hint of annoyance.

"Tasuki." The monk interjected the urge to protect her unborn offspring kicking in. "That's normal, no da!" It was just then that Tasuki's hand received another kick for good measure.

The bandit jerked his hand away, scowling. "The moment they're born, I'm going to punish the little bastards."

"Tasuki-kun, no daaaaa." Chichiri pleaded, placing one hand over her stomach as though to defend them from her lover's wrath.

The redhead lifted his eyes and smirked then, causing the poor monk some confusion. "I had you going there for a while, didn't I?"

"Nani?"She questioned, her heart pounding.

Instead of answering, he leaned over and kissed her softly. "I know they don't mean it... I'm actually overjoyed to feel them moving around in there."

Chichiri smiled in relief and returned the kiss. "Baka bandit, no da. I thought you meant it, na no da."

"I would never hurt our children, Chiri..." he stated firmly before sinking his fangs gently into her lower lip, giving her a playful bite.

"You looked pretty mad to me, no da." She whispered, drawing away slowly.

"Oi, I can be a good actor when I need to be..."

Chichiri shook her head, smiling. "My baka bandit no da. Whatever shall I do with you?"

"I don't care what, as long I'm yours..." he murmured back, kissing her again, deeper this time.

The older seishi melted into the kiss, her eye sliding shut, enjoying their closeness. Slowly she settled back against the blankets of their shared bed, pulling Tasuki with her. Over their years together, she finally accepted that Tasuki was hers and she was Tasuki's, and that nothing would ever separate them.

"I love you, Chiri..." he whispered into her lips as he slipped one hand underneath her shirt, smoothing his calloused fingers across her rounded stomach lovingly.

Chichiri chuckled lightly at the tickling sensation, her pale face flushed prettily at his declaration. "Don't get kicked again, no da."

"I think you are the single most beautiful creature." He continued, unheeding of her warning. "The world has been honored to have been graced by your presence." Slowly he closed the distance between their lips before adding, "As have I..."

"Tasuki.... I... You know I don't... I don't think that way..." she protested, turning her flushed face away from his.

The bandit merely smiled as he nuzzled her cheek. "I know, but that doesn't mean that I do..." Chichiri smiled just a tiny bit and met his loving gaze. Tasuki helped himself to another stolen kiss. "I love you, only you. And with you carrying my offspring, our children, you have succeeded in surpassing any high ideals I had of you before, becoming the most perfect creation in existence."

The monk's smile deepened as she shook her head. "Baka bandit... We haven't even thought of names have we?"

Tasuki resumed his earlier action of rubbing at her stomach as he lay beside her on the bed. "Do we even know the gender?"

Slowly, she shook her head. "No. It's too early to tell yet."

Absently he traced around her bellybutton, his touch light, as he thought. "Then what do you suggest we do? I mean, do you have any ideas?"

"None at all, no da." She laughed before sighing. "This is a bit harder than I thought, no da..."

Tasuki kissed her cheek, hoping to encourage his distraught lover. "Don't worry. We'll think of something... In the meantime..."

"Hai no da?"

"What do you think we should do?" He finished while nuzzling her cheek.

"We really should get some baby things no da..."

Tasuki moved to kiss at her neck. "Like...?"

"Clothing, no da. And toys, na no da." After a moment's thought, she quickly added, "And no stealing them, no da!"

The bandit jerked back from his lover's warmth, his eyes wide. "Excuse me?"

Chichiri giggled. "I'm teasing, no da. I know you wouldn't steal things from children, no da."

"Thank you." He huffed before returning to his position, his posture rigid.

The monk smiled and leaned over the bandit to rub noses with him. "Gomen nasai, no da. It was just a joke."

Tasuki grinned up at her sheepishly. "Aw, damnit... I can't be pissed at you, ever."

"Because I'm so kawaii ne, no da?" She teased, stealing a quick kiss.

"That and..." He paused to lick at his lips, eyes lowering to gaze at his lover with an almost feral look. "You're so damn sexy..."

Chichiri pulled away, her face aflame with embarrassment. "If you say so, no da. But you're sexier, na no da!" She protested, not meeting that hungry gaze.

Tasuki's grin widened at her submissive posture and he moved in closer, sliding one hand seductively up her arm. "You bet your irresistible little ass I am sexy, but nowhere as beautiful as you."

"Tasukiiiiii-kuuuuuun, no daaaaaa." She whimpered, trembling under his silky caress. Half of her wanted to take him up on the promise that was laced in that sultry voice, but another warred against that decision, uncertain if such actions would harm her children.

"Chiri..." Tasuki whispered reverently into her ear, causing her to shiver, her body to tighten impulsively.

"H-hai, no da?"

"You don't have anything to worry about." He continued, drawing away slowly and taking her hand gently. "I know better than to mess around while you're like this. I just wanted to show you that you ain't any less desirable than when we first went into this whole thing."

Chichiri looked up at her lover, blinking in confusion, her body still crawling a touch of want from Tasuki's earlier ministrations. Yet she felt relieved and let out a sigh to signify so. Laughing, the bandit wrapped her up in a strong embrace, kissing the top of her head as his arms rubbed at her back comfortingly. "Not mad at me, are you?"

The monk buried her face against his chest, inhaling his wonderful scent and shaking her head. "Never, no da. Just like you can't stay mad at me for very long, na no da."

"It has to be more than that..." he murmured into her silky hair as he let out a small sigh. "I love you...so much."

"I love you too, no da." Came her muffled reply.

"And I love our children too..." he continued, running his hand across her swollen belly again. It was as if he couldn't get enough of that soft warmth, or rather it was more a disbelief that this was still happening to them and he needed reassurance that all this was very real.

"There's so much I don't know about this, no da... It's sort of frightening, no da." Chichiri admitted in a tiny voice laced with fear.

Tasuki moved to peer down into her pale face, hands brushing aside loose strands of her hair. "Are you having second thoughts?"

The monk blushed and averted her gaze. "Hai... It's just... So many new things, no da. It's so much to take all at once really."

The redhead blinked at her, his heart racing in fear. "Are you...wishing that we never...?" He left the question hanging in the air, afraid to ask, to find out the truth.

Chichiri looked up at him in shock. "Iie! Not at all... I just wish I knew more."

"Then how come you haven't like, asked someone? Like the old bag or gone down to the village to ask around?" He asked after sighing in relief.

The monk blushed even more at the question. "Normally a woman would have been taught these things by their mother, Tasuki... If I do that, other women might think it's odd..."

"Then why not the old bag?"

"I... I'm not sure how she'd view this... Me using my powers to do.. this..."

Tasuki raised an eyebrow. "And you don't think she doesn't know already?"

"Good point, no da..."

"So...?" He prompted, cupping her delicate face in his hands. "I don't like involving Baba in this any more than you do, but if you're really that worried..."

"She might send a Nyan-Nyan to be midwife, no da."

The bandit made a face, causing Chichiri to giggle lightly. "Hopefully not in child form."

"It's hard to tell with her, no da. They normally don't like to be in their true forms, no da." She replied, lightly touching his lips.

"Still, it might save me the trouble writing that damn letter to my Ma about finding a proper midwife." He reasoned aloud, glancing back at the desk and his unfinished letter.

"True, no da. I hope you don't mind a Nyan-Nyan running around then, no da."

Tasuki moved his gaze back on his lover, smiling warmly. "If it would make you feel better and more certain about all this, then I'll endure even Baba's presence here if I have to."

Chichiri leaned forward, her voice going ominous. "Want me to test that theory, no da, and bring her here instead?"

A look of pure terror flashed across the bandit's face. "I'd...rather not, but if I had to..."

The monk smiled beautifully and shook her head. "She wouldn't have the time, no da. Don't worry, no da." This statement brought an utter look of relief on the bandit's face. Chichiri chuckled and leaned up to kiss him briefly. "Silly, no da"

"So." He began rather sheepishly. "You'll want to go soon, correct?"

"Hai, no da" she murmured, snuggling against him for warmth, loving the way her smaller body fit against his strong frame, how protected she felt in his arms.

"How soon is soon?"

"Probably later today, no da."

"Oh..."he muttered, a touch of disappointment in his voice.

Slowly, Chichiri wrapped her arms around the bandit's waist, pulling him closer. "I won't be gone long, no da." She protested.

Tasuki nodded against her hair, inhaling her sweet scent deeply as though trying to memorize it. "I know, but I wish I could go, be there with you, you know?"

"I can't teleport the both of us, no da. It'll be too much of a strain on me, no da."

Tenderly, he reached down, taking one slender hand in his own, squeezing it slightly. "I feel so torn right now, I want to be there with you every step of the pregnancy, but I don't want to hurt you either."

Chichiri smiled up at him, tears forming in her eye. "I understand, no da. Really, I do. But I promise that I'll be back as soon as I can, no da."

Blinking back tears of his own, Tasuki brought her hand to his lips, kissing it. "I don't want anything to happen to you or the babies..."

"It won't, I promise no da." She leaned up, kissing her lover back and smiled softly as she felt Tasuki's tears land on her cheek. "Worry wart, no da." She teased with a sniffle, a tear escaping her own eye.

"With you, how can I not be?" Tasuki returned with a smile, his voice breaking as he pulled her close and bestowed his soul mate a kiss with every ounce of his love behind it.

~***~

Coming up: Boys' Night Out!