Spoilers: For the entire series! Rating may change as the story progresses.
My Gift to You
A Tale of What Comes After
By Amanda Lever
Everything was in place; dinner was made, the small table they shared their meals at set. Maple-leaf treats were warming in the oven, for after their meal. It was as perfect as Momiji could manage to make it.
But even so, her preparations for the evening did not dispel the fluttering of her belly, or the nervousness that gripped her. Still, it was a good distraction, even if her hands shook slightly when she placed the dinnerware—a gift from the Kunikida family, on their first anniversary—just so.
A glance to the clock told her that it was 5:15. Within the next five minutes, her husband would stride through that door, put his portfolio on the table, and likely kiss his waiting wife hello.
The minutes ticked by. She counted them.
The key clicked in the lock.
5:19. He was just a minute early.
Kusanagi Mamoru's appearance never ceased to thrill her; no matter how unique he looked, there was no other man for Momiji. From his messy green hair to the bronzed hue of his skin, he was as no other being on earth. Born of Aragami souls and a human host fused at infancy, he had been created to protect the legendary Princess Kushinada, Kusanagi's infant body has been implanted with the blue mitama, souls of the eight headed dragon Yamata-no-Orochi. It was his duty, as a slave, to keep the Kushinada alive. First Momiji's sister, Kaede, and then Momiji herself had filled the role of Kushinada, if in different ways.
Now, the Aragami slept, soothed by the Rite of Matsuri that Momiji herself had enacted over five years ago. Now, she was not a Kushinada anymore. She was Kusanagi Momiji, wife of Kusanagi Mamoru, her one time guardian, now living a mundane life as a freelance photographer. No war. No monsters. Just peace.
It was so precious, that peace.
Her thoughts were interrupted by the smack of his portfolio was on the table nearest the door. His long, red coat was removed and hung up, and he took off his shoes and slid into his house slipper, muttering all the while. She hoped he hadn't been gypped out of a commission again.
Once the ritual of coming home and he had wriggled his feet into his slippers, he lifted his head to grin at his waiting wife. He was trying not be grouchy, but it was obvious he was preoccupied; the furrow between the two sets of brows gave away his irritation everytime.
"What are you looking so good for?" he asked with a slightly forced grin. "I know it's not our anniversary."
She smiled. His memory was always good.
"No," she said. "Not that."
His slippered feet whispered over the floor, as he approached her. A gloved hand reached up to cup her cheek affectionately, and he leaned in to give her a sweet if somewhat rushed kiss in greeting.
"So what is it?" he asked.
"I have something important to tell you," Momiji said, feeling her stomach clench again. His day had already been poor, she could tell. Should she make it worse? It could wait until later, couldn't it?
He arched one of his double-brows, both curving in a curious expression. "Do you, now?" He eyed the table. "Over dinner?"
"I thought it best to have it warm and ready!" She said a little too quickly, betraying her anxiety. "But – would you like to eat first or have the news first?" Her nervousness was palpable.
He finally noticed.
Grin fading away, Kusanagi's hands came up to grip her shoulders, steadying her physically as her heart's strength wavered.
"What is it, Momiji?" He asked, his dark eyes searching her face. "Is something wrong?"
"No. Not wrong." Her anxiety remained, but she tried to smile her brightest as her next three words shattered Kusanagi's world.
"Mamoru, I'm pregnant."