I do not own Bleach.
See...I told you readers that the next update wouldn't take as long. Special thanks: clobojojo for favoriting and following, sword slasher for reviewing, WhiteEnsigma for reviewing, blood87 for reviewing, hija del mar for favoriting, kyuumihaira for reviewing, ChocoChibi456 for reviewing, snowflowersister of toshiro241 for reviewing, Ironrose2018 for reviewing, xazur3x for following, XLightningX for favoriting, Blue for reviewing and shenigmatic for reviewing.
Also, I want to thank shenigmatic for the very inspiring review. I don't have any children and work very hard to try and have all the developmental stages correct and look up facts and such. I only have my nephew as a reference at this point. The fact that you feel I've hit the mark with Emiko makes me feel very accomplished. If anyone notices anything that babies shouldn't do or anything you think I should make her do then please feel free to give me pointers.
Emiko is about 10 months old in this chapter.
After Renji deposits the baby and the bag on the floor, he and Byakuya sit down on the floor beside her. Sitting down on the floor was a monumental task for Byakuya in and of itself and Renji just knew he was going to have to help his lover off the floor when everything was said and done. The red head shakes himself from his thoughts of the sixth captain and pulls the bag closer to him to retrieve a few toys that he knew Captain Kyoraku had placed inside the bag. He pulls out a pink stuffed rabbit that looked like it had seen better days, but the little rabbit was obviously well loved and Emiko reached for it the minute her eyes made contact with the grungy looking bunny.
Renji hands the stuffed animal to Emiko and she immediately takes the toy in her little hand before hugging it to her chest protectively. She finally looks up at Byakuya and recognizes him as one of her favorite people and discards the bunny in favor of climbing into the noble's lap. Byakuya shifts a bit to make room for her and gives her a smile, "This is the first time you have ever been to my house is it not?"
The little girl smiles back and giggles a bit, "Mama?"
The sixth captain frowns at her simple question, "I am afraid your mama is not here, but I am sure he misses you just as much as you miss him."
Renji can't help but smile at the interaction between his lover and Emiko. He had never seen Byakuya with a baby before and the sight was very endearing. It was quite obvious that Byakuya was quite fond of children and this was something the tattooed lieutenant would never have picked up on in a million years, "She really likes ya, Byakuya. Maybe, she'll be so happy to see ya that she won't ask about Captain Ukitake too much."
The nobleman bounces the young girl up and down as he addresses Renji, "Perhaps for a moment, but nothing can replace one's mother."
"Yeah, I know that, but at least she's havin' fun with ya." His smile widens when he hears the high pitched laughter coming from Emiko, "All she was doin' was throwin' a tantrum in Squad Eight."
When the bouncing becomes too tiring for Byakuya, he places Emiko in his lap once more and the girl becomes extremely interested in the slight bump under the raven haired captain's robes. She tries to grab the bump with her tiny fingers, but discovers that she can't bring it with her and lays her head on Byakuya's stomach making her soft, black curls fall over the baby bump. That exact moment is when the baby decides he should make his presence known and kicks quite forcefully. Instead of crying or pulling away from the impact, Emiko giggles again and presses her ear more closely to her friend's stomach. She giggles a little more each time the baby makes a move inside the nobleman. Finally, she lifts her head back up to look at Byakuya with a smile as she once again places her hands on the swelled abdomen.
Suddenly, Renji notices an awed expression play across his lover's features and he moves closer to the two, "What's goin' on? Why do ya look like that?"
Byakuya places his hands over Emiko's small hands before answering Renji's question, "She…she has connected her reiatsu to the baby's reiatsu. I…I did not think someone as young as her could manage such a thing." Byakuya soon guides in own reiatsu to mingle with Emiko's and the baby's reiatsu to help guide the little girl's inexperienced spirit through his womb, "Our son really seems to like it. He is so at peace and I have never felt him this way before." He looks into the brown eyes of his younger lover, "You should feel it for yourself, Renji."
The sixth captain slowly pulls his hands and reiatsu away from Emiko and the baby and allows Renji to place his hands over Emiko's, "Wow, that's just…so weird." He looks at Emiko and then back to Byakuya, "Do ya think Emiko learned to do this all by herself?"
Byakuya shakes his head with uncertainness, "It would be a hard thing to teach someone so young, but perhaps the fact that her parents are both so spiritually powerful she has learned to pick up on their reiatsu without even realizing it. She probably senses it in you and I as well."
Emiko eventually removes her reiatsu as well as her hands from Byakuya and crawls out of his lap and back onto the floor. She's silent for a moment, but soon her eyes fill with tears and she begins wailing, "Mama! Maaaamaaaa! Dada, dada,dada!" Her screams for her parents are soon silenced by her loud sobbing, "Waaaaahhhh!"
The redhead quickly makes his way to her side and picks her up before gently rocking her against his chest, "Why do ya think she just started crying? She was havin' such a good time."
Byakuya lets out a sigh, "It all makes sense now, Renji. She misses Captain Ukitake's presence, but she misses the feeling of his reiatsu surrounding her even more. She is too young to understand death and illness, but she knows it is not right to be without her mother's reiatsu for this long. She has felt his reiatsu from the time she was first created until now and she cannot feel comforted without it."
The lieutenant frowns at his lover's words as the baby continues to wail in his arms, "That's really sad. I never thought of that before."
"Mama…mama…mama!" She fists Renji's clothing in her small hands and her tears soak through the fabric and onto his skin, "Maaaamaaa!"
Renji grabs the little pink rabbit from the floor and gives it to Emiko. She takes the bunny and squeezes it to her as she continues crying, "What should we do?"
"Give her to me and see what she has to eat in that bag." Byakuya holds his arms out and Renji complies with the request by handing the sobbing girl over to him. Once Byakuya has her in his arms he makes her more comfortable as he gently rocks her the way Renji had done, "Perhaps, if she eats and gets some sleep then she will feel better when she wakes."
The tattooed shinigami digs in the bag and pulls out a container labeled 'peaches', "Here are some peaches. Do ya think she'll want that?"
Byakuya continues to rock the child as best as he can and has gotten her wailing down to soft whimpers, "Well, unless there is anything else in that bag then I suppose she will have to eat that."
Renji digs through the bag again, but comes up empty handed, "Nah, that's it." He opens the peaches and pulls out small spoon, "Just turn her around and hold her while I feed her."
The nobleman nods and shifts the baby to face Renji. The redhead almost cries himself when he sees how red and puffy her eyes are and the remains of tears on her chubby cheeks. He dips the spoon into the peaches and holds them out to her, but she only looks at the spoon in disinterest, "NO!"
A smirk of amusement appears on Byakuya's face at the little girl's refusal, "Perhaps, you should make it seem more appealing by telling her what it is?"
Renji nods, "Oh, good idea." He holds the spoon out to her again and gives her a smile, "I've got some nice, tasty peaches for ya. Mmmm, don't you wanna taste?"
He pushes the spoon against her lips, but she refuses to open her mouth and turns her head away with a frown on her face, "NO! NO! NO!"
"It's not workin'." He gives his lover a defeated look, "What should I do?"
"I am not sure." He returns the defeated look with one of his own, "Maybe, she is not hungry."
The crimson haired man lets out a sigh, "She has to be hungry. Captain Kyoraku said that she always eats at this time."
He attempts to push the spoon into her mouth again and this time she slaps the spoon out of Renji's hand causing the spoon to hit the wall smearing peaches down its white surface. The slap also causes Renji to fall backwards onto the floor and spill the remaining peaches down his front, "NO! Mama, mama, mama!"
Despite his trying to be helpful, Byakuya lets a soft chuckle escape his lips at the sight of Renji on the floor with pureed peaches spilled down his chest, "You are not very good at this, Renji."
The lieutenant frowns again, "She's just bein' stubborn is all." He tries to wipe up as much of the mess as he can before sitting up, "Why don't you try it then?"
Byakuya's smile never waivers as he shakes his head, "I do not think I would have much luck either. Look and see if she has any formula in that bag. Maybe, she will drink that instead."
The younger shinigami digs in the bag once more and reveals a bottle and a container of formula, "Here it is…I guess I didn't see it before."
Renji stands up making more peaches fall to the floor and then heads to the kitchen to prepare the bottle. When he returns, he notices Byakuya and the baby are nowhere to be seen in the living room. The redhead makes his way down the hall until he reaches the room designated as their baby's room, but the only thing in the room so far was an old rocking chair. The two of them had discussed fixing the room up before the baby arrived, but the chair was as far as they had gotten. Renji wasn't quite sure how his lover had managed to get off the floor holding Emiko, but he doesn't question it as he hands the bottle to Byakuya.
"Thank you, Renji." The noble makes Emiko more comfortable in his arms and gives the bottle to her. She wraps her small hands around it and gladly takes it as the raven haired captain continues to rock her, "It seems that she was not in the mood for peaches."
Renji laughs softly, "Yeah, tell me somethin' I don't know." He laughs softly and leans down to kiss Byakuya on the forehead, "I'm gonna go clean myself and the living room up. If ya need anything just let me know."
The sixth captain nods as he continues rocking Emiko and watches his red haired lover exit the room. He found that after today he could hardly wait until the baby's room was fixed up and he could rock his and Renji's baby like this. He didn't realize when he had become so maternal, but he realized it wasn't a bad thing. Soon, Emiko finishes the bottle and falls asleep.
When Renji finishes with the clean up, he returns to the baby room to see Byakuya asleep in the rocking chair with a sleeping Emiko in his arms still holding the empty bottle and the pink rabbit. He smiles at the scene in front of him and imagines the same scene, but with Byakuya holding their baby instead. The redhead can't figure out why he was so hesitant about them having a child before because Byakuya seemed so happy the farther along the pregnancy progressed.
Just as the lieutenant is about to walk over to the two of them, he hears a knock on the door. He knew the servants were gone on break and he makes his way to the door. When he opens the door he sees Captain Kyoraku standing on the other side of the threshold, "Oh, I wasn't expecting you so soon, Captain Kyoraku."
The pink clad man's eyebrows come together in puzzlement, "It's been almost four hours since you left the eighth division."
Renji's eyes widen, "Really?! I didn't realize it had been that long." The redhead suddenly remembers his manners and steps back to allow the elder shinigami into the manor, "Come in and I'll get Emiko for you."
"Uh, actually…would it be a big inconvenience if Emiko stayed for a bit longer…maybe, over night." When Renji doesn't say anything, the eighth captain continues speaking, "If she's been too much trouble then I'll just take her, but Retsu says that I can stay with Jushiro for a few nights. She thinks that it will raise his spirits a bit and he would be able to come home sooner."
Renji gives the older man a smile, "It's fine. We can keep her."
"Are you sure?" Shunsui takes his hat off and runs his hand through his hair as a huge sigh of relief passes his lips, "I don't want to burden you two with her. I know she can be a handful."
"Don't worry about it. She was a little fussy at first, but she really seems to like Byakuya." He frowns a bit, "But, she wasn't too crazy about those peaches."
The brunet captain laughs, "Yeah, I tried to tell Ju that she hated them and he wouldn't listen." He holds out another small bag to the sixth lieutenant, "Here are some foods that she actually likes, some extra clothes, some more formula, and diapers. If she gives you any trouble then feel free to send for me. Thanks again."
"I'm sure everything will be fine and it's really no problem." Renji takes the bag and puts it under his arm to hold, "She's actually asleep with Byakuya right now."
Shunsui nods and puts his hat back on, "Well, I better head back to Squad Four before it gets dark. Jushiro has been really lonely lately." The eighth captain begins walking away, but turns around to say one more thing to Renji, "Hey, Ju and I will owe you guys one when you have your kid."
"I'll keep that in mind." The two shinigami wave their goodbyes and Renji makes his way back into the manor. He returns to the baby room to see that Byakuya and Emiko are still fast asleep. Maybe, having a baby wouldn't be as difficult as he had first imagined.
Extra Scene: Shunsui and Jushiro's Visit
As soon as Shunsui had dropped Emiko off with Renji and given Nanao the rest of the day off, he headed straight for Squad Four. It had been at least a few days since he'd last seen his lover and even though he loved Emiko, he really needed an adult to talk to before he lost his sanity. Nanao was nice to talk to, but she could never compare to the talks he and his lover would have. He just hoped that Jushiro would be coming home soon. He just didn't know how many more chants of 'mama' he could take before he snapped.
The brunet captain finally makes it to the Squad Four building and walks in. He knew exactly where Jushiro's room was and no one bothered him on his way to his sick lover's room. When he walks into the room, he sees the white haired shinigami sitting up in bed drinking a medicinal tea. His green eyes light up the moment he sees Shunsui, "Shunsui, you made it! I thought you would have Emiko all day since she refused to go to the sitter anymore."
Shunsui leans down and captures his lover's lips in a chaste kiss tasting the tea that remains there before sitting down beside him, "Well, I didn't think I would be able to make it either, but Renji came by to chat and he said that he and Byakuya could watch her for bit."
The thirteenth captain immediately begins coughing and spluttering on the tea he'd been drinking when he comprehends Shunsui's words, "What?! You let them keep our daughter?!"
The bearded man flinches a bit at Jushiro's harsh tone, "Um, yeah…should I not have?"
"They don't know anything about taking care of a baby. What if she gets sick or confused?" The white haired man places a hand over his heart and lets out a shaky breath, "I cannot believe you left Emiko with them. You know she's been extra irritable since I've been sick and she can be a real handful on a good day."
"Hey, calm down, babe." He begins stroking the thirteenth captain's hair with his large hand, "They need the practice if they're gonna have a kid of their own."
Jushiro leans back against the bed with a groan, "But, they don't have to practice with our child. Shunsui, are you sure this was a good idea?"
"It's fine. Stop worrying so much or you'll get yourself too worked up." He grabs his lover's pale hand in his, "She likes Byakuya and she seemed really happy when she left with Renji. I think she needs a change of pace." He lets out a loud breath, "And, I needed a break from her constant calling for 'mama'."
This causes the pale captain to smile, "Does she really say it that much?"
"It's all she says aside from 'no'. She really misses you and I do too." He kisses his lover's lips once again and this time he lingers a bit longer until the thirteenth captain kisses him back, "Hey, Unohana says that I can stay the night with you and help get your spirits up a bit. Maybe, you'll be able to come home soon." He gives Jushiro a pleading look, "But, I can only stay if you consider letting Byakuya and Renji keep Emiko over night."
Jushiro lets out a sigh, "I suppose it will be okay, but be sure that you give them everything that they could possibly need…did you give them her bunny? You know how much she loves that bunny and she can't even sleep without it."
"Yes, I gave them the bunny." He smiles and chuckles at his lover's maternal worrying, "She's going to be fine and besides, we didn't know what we were doing either and she turned out perfectly fine."
The white haired shinigami nods, "Okay, but make sure Nanao knows about this and have her go and check every so often."
"I will…now stop worrying so much." He kisses Jushiro once more and stands up, "I'll go get some more of her stuff and ask them if it's okay." He heads toward the door, but turns around with a smile on his face, "Oh, by the way, they're having a boy. They wanted me to tell you."
"That's wonderful news! I'm so happy for them." He smiles as he thinks about how happy the couple must be to know they would be having a little boy in their lives soon.
"I'm gonna go and get Emiko set up with them. I love you."
Jushiro nods again, "I love you too." He watches as Shunsui leaves the room and then lets out a worried sigh, "I'm more worried about Byakuya and Renji than I am about Emiko. I sure hope Shunsui knows what he's doing." The white haired captain shakes his head and lets a smile grace his lips as he thinks about what it would be like to have a son. Maybe, he could convince Shunsui to let them have another baby one of these days.
Thanks for reading and perhaps the next update will be quick like this one.