This has nothing to do with my other Wizard and Molly fic, despite the similarities in the titles, haha. These last few weeks have been super stressful so I just felt like writing something nice and short to blow off steam.
A Sky Filled with Stars
Wizard still remembered the day his wife told him she was pregnant with their first. It was a perfectly rainy Sunday, and he was brewing his first coffee of the morning. Molly came home from the doctor's around that time, still holding her stomach - she'd been feeling under the weather for a week or so by then - but with a more contented expression than before.
"How did it go...?" he asked, taking a placid sip of his coffee. It burned his tongue, but after so many years of it, he barely felt the pain.
Her smile increased tenfold, if it was possible. Molly crossed the room in a few quick strides, her hands still crossed over her belly. The Wizard could only watch her with amusement.
"Well. I'm pregnant, Gale. With a baby. Ours."
His first reaction was one of fear. I'm not human, he thought. Will the child survive the pregnancy? Will Molly? The what-ifs began to pile up faster than he could address them, and he felt himself sink back against the counter.
Molly's smile dissolved into a frown. "What's wrong? Are you okay?"
He gripped the tile with a white-knuckled fist. He couldn't hear her over the roar in his brain.
"Gale, you're scaring me. Gale?" She put a hand on his shoulder, and that snapped him out of his thoughts.
"Molly?" he said, alarmed at first, but relaxing when he saw her standing before him.
"What's wrong?" she asked again. "I thought...I thought for sure you'd be excited..."
"Worried about what? I thought we discussed this."
"I thought it would be impossible for us..."
Molly gave him a nervous smile and placed her hands around her still-small belly. "Well, it's pretty possible. Doctor Jin confirmed that much this morning."
Wizard stared tentatively at his wife's stomach, then her face. Her coloring was normal; flushed even, most likely from the excitement. She seemed healthy enough for now, but...
He reached out to wrap his arms around her thin shoulders. She settled comfortably against him with a light sigh.
"I'll take good care of you," he promised.
"And our little one," she added.
The fear trickled back, slowly but surely.
The months passed, and bit by bit, Molly's stomach began to grow. She was appropriately excited - as was the rest of Castanet - but Wizard found himself watching her like a hawk. Every instance of morning sickness or the usual aches and pains sent him a fresh wave of panic. He even tried his hand at the seasonal harvest to keep Molly off her feet, at least for a few days (it didn't work, and she yelled at him when he pulled the tomatoes before they were properly ripe).
Everything seemed to be progressing normally. Jin gave Molly a clean bill of health, and at Wizard's insistence, assured them that the baby seemed to be developing just fine. He was relieved, but still. He felt little joy at the prospect of the birth. There was still no telling if either of them - Molly or the infant - would survive. And if something bad happened to his wife... No. He didn't want to think about it.
He tried his best to hide his misgivings, but Molly knew her husband too well. So she cornered him one day while he was brewing his coffee and dropped a heavy box in his hands.
The Wizard stared at it. Turned it over in his hands. And finally looked up at his wife, who was watching him with one eyebrow raised.
"I had them ordered from the mainland earlier this week. I was thinking - well, hoping, really - that maybe you could use them to decorate the baby's room?"
"Put them up on the ceiling, so she - or he - can see them at night while they're falling asleep." Molly sort of shrugged, looking unsure now. "I don't know. I thought it might be fun."
Wizard glanced back down at the box. Well, it couldn't hurt.
The baby's room was a small addition they'd opted to make to Molly's home shortly before they were married. Wizard once had plans to convert it to an office of sorts, though he'd never had the time or energy.
Now the room was painted cheerful shades of yellow, blue, and green, and Molly had already taken the liberty of adding a few touches of her own; she'd hung a few paintings of ducklings, and added some stuffed farm animals to the dresser in the corner. Wizard felt more worried than comforted here, but he pushed the feelings away, grabbed a stepladder his wife had set aside for him, and got to work.
It was tedious. And painful. His neck started to hurt, and his back was stiff. But Wizard took another star from the box, applied the sticky tape to the back, and pressed it to the ceiling. One by one.
At first he tried to recreate the sky from memory; he'd certainly studied it enough. The Big Dipper was here, the Little Dipper there, and don't forget the Harvest Goddess's Eyes. He started this way, and the work felt monotonous - until he looked down at the remaining stars and realized.
I can make a night sky of my own.
He hesitated for a moment. Where to begin? A good quarter of the room was already dedicated to the real night sky, but that left a nice chunk all for himself.
Wizard looked down at where the crib would probably be - at the back of the room, closest to the window, so the baby could see the sunshine and hear the birds. The ceiling over that was still bare, so he moved his stepladder closer.
What would his child grow up seeing? Wizard himself had always been fascinated by the vast, sparkling map of the Milky Way, so he recreated parts of that over where he imagined his baby's head would be. It was fatter than the real Milky Way, and longer - it stretched to the middle of the room before it petered out to a thin speckle of stars.
Oh! He should add a constellation where the baby could see it. But of what? There were farm animals, of course - Molly would certainly love that - but he'd always been fond of the owls that sat out in the moonlight. They were nocturnal, like he was. And smart, of course. So he dotted one out, slowly and carefully.
What else? Maybe a little harvest sprite, for Finn. He hadn't known the sprite nearly as well as his wife, but he owed the little guy a lot, nonetheless.
Maybe he could add a frog, just to spite the Witch Princess. He allowed himself a devious smile as he added that one. She'd probably never get the chance to see it, but it amused him just the same.
He found himself working well into the afternoon, so engrossed in his sky that he barely noticed the pain in his neck. Molly came back just as he was putting the finishing touches on a spotted cow (he'd acquiesce to that, at least).
"It looks wonderful," she said, craning back to see them all.
"They'll look even better tonight..."
"I can't wait," she said, then paused, her grin fading. "Hey, um, I was wondering... Do you need your crystal ball to read hearts?"
"No, not always... Direct touch works just as well, so long as I concentrate hard enough..."
"...Do you think you could read the baby if you touch my stomach?"
"I...think so... I could try."
Wizard put two tentative hands on his wife's round belly. It was the first time he'd done so since they found that she was pregnant. Molly pressed her hands over his, holding them tight. He could feel her shaking.
The images unfolded in his mind, far more easily than they had in any of his other readings. For a moment he was overwhelmed with strangely fragmented shapes and colors - and then he found himself speaking.
"Shh," he urged. "Shh."
They instantly calmed and smoothed out. Wizard felt his hands - and his mind, his concerns, his fears - gradually relax.
"Is something wrong?" Molly asked, her voice low.
"Everything is...just fine," he said. And he found himself smiling. "I think...everything will be all right."
"Really? You can read them? What do you see?"
"Her thoughts are...strange, but...content. Beautiful."
"Are you sure?"
Wizard opened his eyes and found that Molly was crying, gently.
"Have I ever been wrong before...?" he asked, and pressed his lips to her cheek.