And here you are.
This is officially the last chapter. Thank you all for sharing this story with me~
Well, please enjoy the very last chapter of Nurturing Purple, Soothing Green, Innocent Black!
September 9, 2052
Location: MOTHER SHIP
"Why do you keep starring at my belly like it's a ticking time bomb?"
Shizu's voice snapped Rothcol out of his trance. "I was starring?"
Without looking up from her book, she smiled and nodded.
"Sorry." He muttered sheepishly. "But…it'll be soon, right? You're a week past your due date-"
"Rothcol…" This time she did look up, still smiling. "I'm two days past my due date." She touched his cheek. "It's not that serious. The baby will come when he wants to." She kissed him.
Rothcol tried to smile, although she could see he was still anxious. Before he could voice his concerns, however, there was a knock at the door, and little Io poked her head inside. "Auntie? Uncle?"
"What is it, honey?" Shizu asked her, opening up her arms to the little girl, who climbed up onto the bed with them.
"She had a nightmare." Ret answered for her, pushing his way into the room. "Sorry, I tried to calm her down. I'll get her back to bed."
"No, that's alright." Rothcol told him, grateful for the distraction. "We were awake anyway."
Io looked up at Shizu. "Auntie, can I feel the baby again?"
Shizu smiled. "Well, he's not moving right now…" Though she pulled up her shirt anyway, took Io's hand, and pressed it to her stomach. "There."
The little girl starred in wonder at her aunt's stomach. "When can he come out? I wanna see him."
"Soon, honey." She assured her. "Very soon."
"I don't want soon." Io pouted. "I want now."
Shizu and Rothcol both laughed, and Ret smiled and shook his head before turning to Rothcol and whispering "How are you doing, Uncle?"
"Who, me?" He smiled at his nephew. "I'm fine."
"You're not freaking out?"
"Of course not."
"Right." Shizu smirked at him. "Of course you're not~"
Rothcol blushed as Io giggled at him, and slowly Shizu sat up and made her way off the bed, taking Io by the hand.
"Alright now, why don't I tuck you back in bed?" She said gently, and led Io from the room.
It was a few hours later, when the rest of the ship had finally settled down into a deep slumber, when Rothcol felt someone shaking him awake. Groggily he sat up. "Hm?"
"Rothcol?!" Through his blurry vision he could see Shizu sitting up. "You remember how I told you that the baby will come out when he's ready-"
Rothcol jumped out of bed and ran to get Mii.
September 10, 2052
Location: MOTHER SHIP
Stella was groggily risen from her sleep to the sound of several people running down the hall.
She sat up, reaching for Black Blade in case they were being attacked, and threw the door open, her sword poised to strike.
However, she saw no invaders. The only thing she saw was Shizu and Rothcol's bedroom light on, spreading its glow down the hall.
Naturally, she went inside, and found her mother preparing a bucket of warm water, along with several towels. Shizu was kneeling beside the bed, looking surprisingly calm despite the fact that she was clutching the footboard so hard her knuckles were white.
Stella looked around. "Qué está pasando?"
Mii looked up in surprise. "Mija! I didn't know you were awake." She smiled. "It's nothing, Mija, go back to slee-"
Suddenly Shizu cried out in pain and moaned, leaning forward quite a bit and gasping. Rothcol knelt beside her and gripped her hand as she shuddered, taking deep, painful breaths. After a minute, she relaxed again.
"Every two minutes." Lirio said to Mii. "It's getting closer."
Mii nodded. "We should get her to the medical bay."
"Mommy?" Stella asked. "Is Auntie Shizu…?"
"She's fine, Mija." Mii replied with a tired smile. "She's just…well…her baby is almost ready to be born, is all." She looked back at Lirio. "Let's get her down to the medical bay, then. Cuanto más esperamos, menos tiempo tenemos tener."
Lirio looked back at Shizu. "Can you stand?"
Shizu nodded and pulled herself up. "I…I can do that much." She replied, although Stella could see she was clearly out of breath.
Rothcol put his hand on Shizu's back and began leading her out the door.
As they were walking, Stella grasped her mother's arm. "Mother? Can I stay and help?"
Mii looked uncertain. "Oh…um…Mija, there…will probably be a lot of blood…"
"I don't get squeamish. Please?"
Mii bit her lip.
"I won't freak out because it's Auntie Shizu." Stella assured her. "Promise."
Mii sighed with a smile. "I guess I could use an assistant." She muttered. "Alright, Mija, you can stay and help-"
"Aaah!" Suddenly Shizu cried out in pain. Her knees buckled and she fell, but both Rothcol and Lirio caught her before she hit the floor.
Mii's eyes widened. "We don't have much time…"
Shizu groaned and threw her head back, clutching her stomach as Lirio tried to hook her up to an IV. He held her arm still and inserted the needle, but she seemed not to feel it over the strength of her contractions.
Rothcol didn't take his eyes off her as he said to Mii "They're getting closer. It's almost time, isn't it?"
Mii nodded, gathering up a few extra towels. "She's ten centimeters dilated now. She should be ready to start pushing after the next contraction."
Shizu groaned again. "Mii…remember when you were having Alejandra, and I told you not to scream because it wouldn't help…?"
Mii smirked. "Si?"
"You can go ahead and call me a hypocrite." She cried out in pain again, and Rothcol squeezed her hand.
Mii's smirk widened and she nodded, sitting down in front of Shizu. "Alright Stella," She said to her daughter, who was standing a few feet away. "When the baby comes out, hand me one of those towels and those scissors, okay?"
Mii smiled at her, and then turned back to her "patient". "Alright Shizu, when I say go, push, but not too hard or too fast…"
The hours after that were very long and very painful. Occasionally Stella would try to peak over Mii's shoulder to get a better look at what was going on, and always regretted it (although it didn't stop her curiosity). Shizu was mostly a silent sufferer, although every so often she would let out a cry of pain. Rothcol was still holding her hand and now so was Lirio, who was watching his cousin surprisingly calmly. Rothcol shot him a look of confusion, which he answered with "I've done this before." He looked over at Mii and she smiled.
"Shizu, it's just one more now, ready-"
Before she even could finish her sentence, Shizu cried out in pain again, and a sudden, high-pitched cry filled the air.
"Stella! Towel!" Mii ordered. Stella grabbed the towel and handed it to her mother, who wrapped it around the baby. "Scissors…"
Stella handed her the scissors, and watched as she cut the umbilical cord. She then wrapped the towel all the way around the baby, swaddling him tightly.
Shizu had collapsed on the pillows, but now she had propped herself up on her elbows, looking at them anxiously. "Where is he? Can I see him?"
Stella looked over at her. Her long blonde hair was messy and hanging limply around her shoulders. Her face was pale and her glasses were crooked, but her eyes were still wide and alert.
Without a word, Mii stood up, walked over, and gently laid the baby in his mother's arms.
Immediately, her face lit up, and she relaxed against the pillow as she snuggled the newborn child. Now that he was closer, Stella could see his golden eyes peeking through the blanket, and a few wisps of blonde hair on his head.
Rothcol smiled and kissed Shizu's forehead, then his son's. He gently ran a finger over the baby's head and whispered something to him, although Stella couldn't make it out.
Mii sighed and Lirio came over and rubbed her back. "Tired?" He asked her.
She nodded. "It's just as exhausting on this end."
"At least it's over now." He assured her.
"Casi." She groaned. "She still has to deliver the placenta."
Around 8:30 that morning, Stella had been instructed to go tell Ret and Io of the news. However she couldn't actually get either of them awake until 9:00 at best.
Finally, Stella led a very sleepy Ret, holding a very sleepy Io, into the medical bay to go see their newborn cousin.
Shizu looked up from her baby and smiled at them. "Good morning you two."
"Morning, Auntie." Ret replied, mustering up a smile. He nudged Io gently, and she murmured a good morning as well.
Rothcol smiled at them. "Io, look who we've got~"
Ret placed Io on the hospital bed, and she crawled up beside Shizu. "Is that him?"
"Yes, honey." Shizu replied, her voice quiet. "This is your new little cousin. His name's Raydon."
"Hi, Raydon." Io said, slightly perkier now.
Ret and Rothcol smiled.
"I'll go wake up the others." Lirio said. "They'll want to see this, too." He left the room. Stella looked back at the happy new family, then followed him, but then just sat down outside in the hall.
She heard the door swing open, and her mother came and sat next to her. "Hola~"
"Are they okay in there alone?" Stella asked.
"They should be fine." Mii replied. "I'm worried about you. Was that too traumatic for you?"
Stella shook her head. "No, it didn't bother me that much…" She looked up at her mother. "Was that what it was like…when Alejandra was born?"
Mii nodded. "Si…"
Stella nodded as well and looked down at her shoes. "Then…I wasn't born like that."
Mii's eyes widened in realization. "Stella…" She wrapped both arms around her daughter and pulled her close. "How you were born has never mattered to me. That's only a small snippet of your life…What matters is you're here now. And we're so happy you are."
Stella sniffled. "Tell me the story again."
"The one you always told me when I asked you how I was born." She replied. "Even if it's fake-"
Mii smiled. "It's not fake to us, Mija." She whispered. She leaned her head back and closed her eyes, as if remembering. "Let's see…ah, I remember." She opened her eyes. "Well, when you were born, it was the middle of the night, just like this, except there were no clouds, and you could see the stars perfectly."
Stella smiled and nodded.
"I woke up that night," Mii continued "And I knew it was time for you to be born, so your father woke up Shizu…" She smiled and ruffled her hair. "And a few hours later, I got to hold you in my arms. The window was open, and I looked out and saw all these stars in the sky, so I knew we just had to name you Stella."
Stella smiled again. "Now…tell me about how you found me."
Mii's smile widened. "Well, it was also a really clear night, and your father and I were out on a mission to investigate a car wreck that had been burning for two days." She said. "I put the fire out, and we dug around in the truck for a bit, we didn't really find anything useful. Then as we were about to leave, I noticed something underneath a pile of rocks." She stroked Stella's hair. "It was you. We took you back, and we had to fight Zaha to keep you…we had Shizu's help with that, too."
"Shizu was helpful in both stories."
"She was. Well, after that…" Mii smiled again. "You just bonded with us right away."
"And you've been ours ever since."
They both looked up to see Lirio leaning against the wall, smirking.
Mii chuckled. "Cuánto tiempo estuvo ahí parado?"
"I just got here." He knelt beside the two. "Your mother's right, Stella." He whispered reassuringly. "We don't care how you were created. We had so many wonderful moments with you…nothing could compare."
Stella sniffled and wiped a tear that had rolled down her cheek. "Gracias…"
They stood then, and Mii turned to Stella. "Why don't you go back inside, formally meet your little cousin?"
Stella nodded and hugged them both, tightly, before returning to the hospital room.
Mii sighed. "She's grown up so much."
Lirio nodded. "She's so much like you, now."
"Really? I'd say she's more like you~" Mii smirked at him. "Let's have another."
"Maybe." He smirked and kissed her neck. "Careful what you wish for, mi dulce."
"Hey, you two, save it for the bedroom."
They looked up to see a Nafhe, Zaha, Kali, and a very groggy Mazuma (complete with bed head.)
Kali grunted and Zaha sighed, and Nafhe piped up. "Can we see the baby now?"
"They're right in there." Lirio said. "But be quiet when you're in there." Everyone looked at Mazuma and Nafhe.
"I'm too tired to fight." Mazuma muttered, and the four Apostles pushed their way inside.
Mii smiled back at Lirio. "Just another day, huh?"
And there we are! Baby Raydon has finally made his debut!
I can't believe this story is finally over. It's sad to see it go, but I need more time do do homework and stuff like that. However, I may perhaps make a sequel...or prequel...next summer when I have more time. It'll be my next summer project!
Once again, thank you to everyone who both read this and helped me with this! Thank you to Omega for being my editor, and thank you to Mio-san for helping me brainstorm and for writing a cute one-shot based on this story! (It's called Tears of a Broken World! Go read it!)
And back on the topic of se/prequels, I'll be posting a two-shot soon about Nafhe and Zaha's past, co-written with The Omega Mega 1! Keep your eyes peeled for it!
Okay then...This is really goodby now. *Sniff* I love you all, an I'll see you soon!
-Your still telepathically-impaired author, The Black Maiden.