For my dearest Beta reader and Best friend MyLadyDay, whose birthday was on the 16th! One day we were joking about this and she requested this as a story for her birthday (of course I happily obliged with this field) and she seems to have enjoyed it very much so I hope that you will too! It's been birthday girl approved and fate lies and her and your hands if it gets continued or not!

Marco's face was burning red and not in the usual burning he was used to. His heart was racing as he stared down at the mix of fabric spread about on his bed. He honestly didn't know what to think and everything he could even begin to wrap his head around he dismissed immediately on how freaking insane they sounded.

Nothing had changed in his sleeping routine, he had gone to bed per usual, opting to sleep in his phoenix form as it felt more natural and comfortable, but never before had he woken up with this waiting for him. The shirtless man, with sleep deprived bags under his eyes as there was no way in hell he could continue sleeping and had been up staring in this position for hours now, reached out experimentally, his finger lightly meeting with the cold smooth texture and causing it to slightly roll.

It was an egg. Inside his sheets, where he had just been sleeping, there was an egg. It was cool to the touch, it's shell decorated with swirls of blues, purples and if he squinted he could have sworn some red or yellow. It was insane. What was this doing in his bed?! A prank perhaps? If so it was in crude humor. He was internally freaking out.

Marco wasn't stupid, he knew he was a phoenix, which meant he was a bird. Birds laid eggs. But he was male! He was a male phoenix, this just didn't happen, it was weird. How could it even be possible for him to lay an egg? Then again how was it possible again for him to be a phoenix..

The blonde groaned, grabbing the egg cautiously and holding it in his palm, as it was very small. He sat back on his bed, bringing it in front of him and staring down at it. This had never happened before… and as much as he wanted to deny it, fuck, it even looked like it could be his egg!
Frustrated with the lack of understanding he laid it down on his lap and glanced over to the side at his window, listening to the waves. He needed to focus for a moment more. Instead of shooting down each possibility, it was time to see if it was possible to make sense of this. After a few minutes with nothing coming to mind he placed the egg back to the side and pulled himself to his feet, beginning to pace with his hand to his temple like a stressed out worried father...

Dammit, he wasn't even sure he was a parent yet! Alright, fine. So let's say he could have eggs because devil fruits are a never ending troll and he was the spirit of the phoenix. He had been feeling kind of crappy these last few weeks since... since...

"Fuck." It was the only word to escape Marco's mouth as his hand fell to his side.

His eyes were much wider now and alert as he turned his head and looked back to the egg. A few weeks ago, maybe three, something unusual happened that hadn't really happened before. Ace had won only one bet against him, his prize for winning a night inside Marco's room, where anything he said went with no complaints.

Ace had plowed that phoenix into next week not knowing of the consequences, not that Marco knew either. But now, they were beginning to appear in the light. So… since that rough night when they were both a little more intoxicated than they should be, they'd actually gone into dark territory and pushed the limits to the weird and unique power he had... To think he could actually reproduce this way. Wait, did that make him phoenix female? Fuck this, no way.

Marco swallowed nervously, approaching the egg again cautiously. It was terrifying almost to imagine that this was their offspring. What did this even mean? Was this gonna hatch? Would they have a child? If they had a child would it be human or would it be a... bird? It was odd how he didn't quite understand yet he felt connected to it somehow.

He sighed, lowering his eyes. Well damn, he was a father...or was it mother? Even so, there was some animal instinct here that was telling him this was his and to protect it. It felt cold though, which flustered Marco's cheeks slightly, because he could only wonder how exactly he was suppose to go about changing that.

The first thing that came to mind was like a chicken coop with mother hens settling and resting on their eggs. God, this was humiliating just to imagine, he was way too old for this shit, but was this what he was suppose to do? Poor Marco couldn't think of anything else. It wasn't like he was going to take it out and about on the ship letting all the other members of the crew see and ask for their advice.

Oh god, what would they even think if they knew? There would definitely be more than the usual amount of bird jokes to go around. Hell, what would Ace think? How did he even tell him? That somehow during his sleep, as he did usually find himself sleeping as a phoenix, an egg rolled out his ass and he had no idea what they were expecting but the fire fist was somehow the father?

Marco scowled darkly, a shadow spreading across his face. Either way he was not going to sit on this egg like a fucking duck. He was the first commander of the Whitebeard pirates for god's sake! This wasn't the time to be over reacting and panicking. He picked it up again, looking down critically at its markings. He would just have to keep this to himself for now, perhaps he could confide in Izo. For some reason talking to the okama seemed better than nothing. Surely, the other, having announced on occasion he was the best for relationship advice, he could tell Marco how the hell he could go about explaining this to the egg's father.

Until then he would take care of it and hide it low... But where? His blue eyes gazed about the room for a place. Nothing would be safe here, anyone could come in and find it. Dammit, this wasn't easy at all. Only moments from making the decision to protect it though, he nearly dropped it, stumbling with his hands to grab it as someone began banging on the other side of his door.

"Oi, Marco, open up." Ace grinned, continuing to knock in rhythms and patterns that made it only more amusing. "Breakfast, did you forget it?"

Marco's stomach sank. Ace argumentatively was the person he wanted and yet didn't want to see right now in the moment. Having somehow by chance caught the egg, he only did the first thing that came to mind to do, as time was running out when the door knob started jiggling. He shoved the egg into his sash, staring down in slight panic as he began to adjust it so that it blended in among the folds.

By that time Ace had gone about letting himself in, smiling wide as he tipped his orange hat in greeting before basically shoving it back off and letting it hang from the back of his next.

"Reckon you slept enough?"

Marco nervously put his fingers through his bangs, silently nodding.

"Yeah, sorry, slept in," he gave a half assed reply. "Let's get going."

His outside expression seemed as unresponsive and unamused as usual, but on the inside he was practically dying. There was an egg, that he apparently laid, resting between the skin of his abdomen and rocking comfortably rocking as he moved, safe and tucked away. It made his skin practically shiver. Sure, Marco could have tried brushing Ace off to be alone and think about this more, but he knew better. Ace wouldn't drop the subject, especially when he'd apparently gone and waited for him before going to eat. Which, if anyone knew Ace and his appetite, really meant something.

Ace narrowed his eyes though, seemingly to realize how easy that was compared to other days. He turned his head though to the side, listening to Marco's apology and slid his hand into his pocket. Well, nothing to protest there then, though he was curious. If Marco had slept in, why did he have those bags under his eyes?

Even so, he began to move, following after the first commander, an excitement growing over him, because finally now they could go and eat breakfast. It was slightly hard for the fire fist to hold off on it, but felt it special enough that he could wait at least to enjoy it with Marco... Even if he eventually ended up eating off his plate as well.

Sitting in the dining room among his fellow crew mates was mortifying. Each time Marco shifted in his seat he could feel it, the soft cool texture of the egg shift against him in its place tucked away in the sash. Just thinking about it made his face a little paler, his eyes a little wider in concern, real fear that someone would find out. He could practically hear the sheer amount of respect he'd gathered over the years here shatter inside his head.

His current situation didn't help either. He'd played off getting a plate with a lack of appetite, opting to give it to his eager and always hungry boyfriend. Which would be fine except he might get more than a little suspicious if he didn't stay and sit around while Ace ate. So he'd just found himself a glass of water, his finger nervously tracing around it's rim as he tried to act alongside his naturally uninterested and bored demeanor. This became exceedingly harder though as the table they were sitting at became much more crowded, a certain loud mouthed Thatch and a beautiful okama Izo coming to join.

It was usual to find at least those two around and Marco figured he should be lucky most of the other commanders had already gone and ate. Something about even having two others joining them had him on high edge. They couldn't find out either, they'd tell Ace, or everyone then Ace. Dammit, it was so nerve wrecking! No one could find out about the egg he'd fucking laid that was now resting in his lap and sitting there at the table.

Speaking of eggs... They were everywhere. It was like Marco had awoken anew with a parental vision that zoned in on eggs of every kind. Anywhere there was an egg shape, his eye snaked over to it. On every plate in the mess hall that silverware clanked against in odd harmony, lay a mass of cooked eggs, fried or scrambled. He took a deep breath, closing his eyes a moment as they were tired anyway. He had to keep focusing, he couldn't freak out. Not yet at least.

"Ya' all right?"

Marco opened his blue eyes again, gazing across at the shirtless man sitting across from him. It was a bitter sweet view, getting to see the one he loved and admired this happy while wearing such an unknowing face this early in the morning, but also watching as he wolfed down fork full after fork full of egg. It made his mouth dry slightly. Poor Ace, so clueless he didn't even realize what he was doing.

Even so Marco gave a stern nod. "I'm fine, yoi."

Ace lowered an eyebrow, looking across the table at the phoenix with nothing more than a skeptical gaze, popping another fork full into his mouth and chewing it at the side. He shrugged though, letting it go and glancing down at his plate which was still packed massively high, muttering something along the lines of 'if you say so'. He didn't have to pout with his food to long though, Thatch, who was sitting beside him slid closer awkwardly close with his unique hair style to start the jokes and pranking already this early.

On the other side of the table next to Marco though sat a certain okama with a knack at noticing differences about his real life OTP. He was resting his chin in his palm, having already finished his meal in a very proper manner. His eyes were narrow and locked on to their first commander. Something, he couldn't tell what just yet, was definitely off about him. Did he seem to have an unusual glow about him? Then again he was a fire bird.

But most definitely he would get to the bottom of it. The possibility of the result being entertaining was just too good to pass up. So when the commander, looking a bit of a mess, looked in his direction he grinned, capturing it with his sinful okama charm. He nearly laughed at the way Marco actually seemed intimidated for a split second, before his mask of ease came across. Yeah, this was going to be good.

Marco swallowed thickly, clenching his teeth. Izo was staring at him, he'd been for a while and he could feel it. It annoyed him, though that wasn't exactly expressed on his face, just because the man had a knack for just knowing when he had something to hide. It brought the phoenix's thought back to what he had wondered earlier. It would be safer, maybe, to share the secret. Could he confide in Izo? The okama did seem curious enough.

Marco's eyes trailed back to Ace. He was laughing and having himself a ball, or so he'd put it, with Thatch. He supposed if he took Izo over to the side, into one of the close storage rooms to have a chat, it wouldn't look to strange or cause alarm. Or need a sash search. Ugh, he was being ridiculous, but it really felt like any minute he was going to be prosecuted.

He cleared his throat, standing up from his seat and causing the okama to raise his eyebrow. Ace looked away from his conversation with Thatch, realizing for a moment he hadn't been focusing on his food but still, tilting his head to the side.

Marco pursed his lips. He had to say this as professionally as he could so that there would be no question to it. Then he put his attention to Izo.

"I have to show Izo something." He explained, drawing his attention back to the fire fist. "See you at lunch, yoi?"

Ace grinned. There was his Marco, putting his responsibilities first, but always remembering to include a little romance in the mix. Meeting for lunch, ah just thinking about the food that would be then had him going. He nodded.

"Sounds good to me!"

It made Marco relax, a smile crossing his face. Only Ace could have this effect on him, melting his concerns away. Still, he had an objective.

Izo was already getting up, clearly pleased with this developing situation. Marco was practically going to give him what he wanted to know. This was like Christmas. He followed him silently as Marco went to return his glass he'd been fingering the whole time to the kitchen staff, then was on his way to the hall.

The muscles of his back were definitely tense, his shoulder's slumping a bit as he walked, turning his body lightly inward. It wasn't that obvious though, Izo just had a talent of noticing such little details.

Back at the table, Thatch looked up from his seat at the two leaving the room, glancing back to his firefisted friend. Marco was usually a very collected man, it was definitely a rare sight to see him look so exhausted and maybe even stressed. He hadn't seen that since... well, since a certain someone would be caught trying to badly and nosily leave his room in the middle of the night.

The man with the odd but recognizable hair turned to that someone, his eyebrow slightly raised.

"What's with Marco? He looks like he hasn't slept in weeks. The hell were you two doing last night?"
Ace put down his fork, his plate finally clean and his stomach bloated. He let out a long sigh of relief then glanced over at his friend, trying to remember what the hell he had just said because he hadn't been paying much attention at the time.

"Think so?" he pondered out loud, looking at the exit where the others had already vanished. "Wasn't me, he usually sleeps like a log. Something must be bothering him…"

He scowled, pursing his lips lightly at the thought. If something was bothering him, it was irking him to find out the problem.

"I'll talk to him later and find out I suppose," he decided then to himself, looking over at Thatch who was still looking at him with a skeptical look. He responded with a shrug and innocent expression. "What? I'm just saying so we can get on the same page, damn."

Izo crossed his arms in front of his chest, his eyebrow peeked as he watched Marco standing in front of him, nervously scratching at the back of his neck and seemingly looking around. What was he looking for? Did he really think the storage room here was bugged or something?

"Marco, dear, what on earth are you doing? Dragging me off to the storage room below deck, checking to make sure there aren't any glory holes, are you finally coming on to me?"

Marco snorted, shooting him a half glare before shoving something in front of the door so there couldn't be any more interruptions, lock or no lock. Izo chuckled, fanning his face with his hand.

"I mean, no one would blame you, I'm stunning. I stop navy fleets in their track and Boa Hancock asks for my beauty secrets." He laughed a little more, watching as Marco approached. He narrowed his eyes sinisterly and dropped his voice to a mere whisper. "Dermatologists hate me."

Marco was silent as he continued to stare with a blank expression until finally just shaking his head.

"No. The hell, yoi? I just need to show you something," he grumbled, followed by a more silent question of what the hell a dermatologist was.

Izo pouted. "Tch, of course I knew that. I would have denied you anyway, ladies need more romance in a confession."
The deliciously dark chocolate eyes of the okama scanned Marco over. Whatever it was he needed to show him, which he was sure was not underneath the sash much to his disappointment, had to be something special to the blonde for him to go to so much security in a usually deserted part of the ship.

"Alright, show me. But this better be worth it, you know I have daily regimens."

Marco sighed, tightening his brows. Yeah, he knew he had his own schedule, as did everyone else on the ship. So did he! Well that was before he laid a fucking egg. How was he suppose to just come out with this to him? Especially when he was rushing him. He held his breath, glancing down at his body and at the sash. He could still feel it, its smooth texture against his skin. It was tucked away safely and here he was about to expose it to possible ridicule. Then again it was just Izo.

Izo's eyes widened though, a practiced talent of flush starting on his cheeks when he noticed the first commander slip his hand into his sash. He thought he'd said this wasn't what he thought it was! Perhaps he was just getting to the point, what a naughty boy-.

Marco hesitated though, pulling his hand out and extending it out in front of him first, straining his face as he just had to ask some things first.

"Alright listen Izo, you aren't allowed to tell anyone about this alright, yoi? Even Ace."

"Yes of course, go ahead show me."
"So this morning when I …well, you know how I'm a phoenix, right and phoenix's are birds and so…"
"Marco." Izo's tone changed to suddenly unamused, his face matching. "I know what you are, idiot, you fly around the fucking ship twice a day. Who doesn't know? Get to the point."
It was aggravating, but it confirmed that yes, nothing perverted was to be seen here after all. Marco's scowl darkened. Yes, he knew that he knew and everyone else knew, but in his own explaining to himself to calm down and believe it he had to remind himself what he was. He was only hoping in reminding Izo before he showed the product of his odd abilities the okama would better understand.

The phoenix slid his hand back under the sash, his fingers gently curving around the tiny egg that was at rest. He swallowed thickly, taking a deep breath before finally pulling it out and exposing it into the dim light of the storage room. It looked just the same as he remembered it, maybe even slightly bigger now that he got a good stare at it and it seemed to have a warm glow about it in the crappy light.

Izo's eyes perked in mild interest, seeing the egg in his hand, but it only confused him. Why the hell did his comrade have an egg? Why the hell was he carrying said egg in his sash around with him? Marco's next comment only further confused him.

"I found this, this morning."

"An egg?" The okama took a step forward, bending over slightly and tapping his chin as he took a closer look, odd expressions and all as he did. "Where the hell did you find an egg?"

Marco opened his mouth to speak, but nothing came on the realization the moment he said in his bed, things would be instantly put together. He was rather hoping he wouldn't have to directly come out and say what had happened.

"Meh, it doesn't look like any kind that I know, but why the hell were carrying it around for? I'd say first you were using it to stuff, but let's be honest you'd use a little something less fragile. Don't tell me it was motherly instincts, unless-"

His eyes widened, a sudden realization coming over him. It made sense now. He had just thought that maybe Marco had tried to remind him he was a bird and that's why he couldn't not pick up and egg and carry it around. But Marco was a sane man, he'd have enough restraint to not just pick up some random fucking egg. Cautiously, he looked back at the egg and at the colors he had almost envied, but could now compare to a certain couple aboard the ship. Was this Marco's egg?

Izo glanced up, his feelings confirmed the way Marco's expression had changed slightly, tiny hints of anxiety on his features. He was nervous as hell and waiting for a reaction. Of course, Izo, being dramatic as he was, could only give it to him. He stood up straight, his eyes still very wide.

"You laid an egg?!" He nearly shrieked.

It made Marco jump, instinctively his other hand coming to cuff over the egg to secure it safe in his grasp. He shushed at the other commander.

"Shut up will you! I told you no one else can know, yoi!"

Marco's reaction only further assured his assumption, Izo's eyes going back from his face to the egg in his hand several times, finally being silent but extremely baffled.

"How the hell did that come out?! Is it Ace's?"

"Of course it's Ace's! I don't know, yoi! It was just there when I woke up, okay?!"
Their eyes met, Marco meeting Izo with a pleading expression, it was so strong the Izo had to take a step back and avert his eyes. He wasn't sure what to do with this information. Everything about this world was weird, especially with the devil fruits, but he didn't even know about this. His bird friend was laying eggs?!
After taking a few minutes to just calm down and let his mind go sane, he looked back to the egg. His face softened, which seemed to make the first commander feel better. Izo silently gestured to the egg again and watched as Marco withdrew the second hand covering it. Did this make him some kind of aunt to a bird human egg creature?

Hesitantly he put his hand out, his fingers brushing against the tip of the egg, retreating just a second. It was warm, surprisingly so. But that was only natural, wasn't it, coming from two parents who entangled in flames.

"It's pretty," he started softly, trying to make up for his rude response, even if it took him completely by surprise. "And warm."

He glanced up, biting his tongue at the rare image he was greeted with. There was a slight tinge of flush to Marco's cheeks that wouldn't have normally been there. Like a mother hearing compliments about her child, it was endearing, but at the same time his eyes were avoided cause he himself was weirded out and sensitive about it.

Izo sighed, standing up straight, moving Marco's fingers more securely around his offspring, no his child, whatever it was. As weird as it might look on the outside, it was the representation of his love with Ace, and he could not tease it. He could only admire from afar.

"If it's his, you have to tell Ace, Marco."

Marco looked over at the sincere expression of his friend then back at the egg in his grasp. He brushed his thumb over it fondly, a warm and heavy feeling, similar to a certain embrace, falling over him. Of course he knew he had to tell Ace, it was just breaking the news to him. They were parents of a sudden egg that would hatch only god knew what. Silently he tucked it back into his sash and straightened his posture.

"He's not gonna care, you and I both know he won't be able to shut up about it. He'll be thrilled."

Marco gave a stern nod.

"I know. That's the problem, yoi. He wouldn't shut up about it. Not sure how to tell the others about this either or... Pops."

It stung his heart just thinking how he was gonna explain this one to the old man. He knew he'd probably be supportive and understanding, but still something about that just made Marco an emotional fuck that he didn't really want to be at the moment.

It felt like a large weight had been lifted from the phoenix's chest after telling Izo. He seemed to be a little more compassionate about the situation than the blond had first thought, which turned out better than he could have hoped for. He offered that if Marco needed anyone to talk to, even though he didn't specialize in eggs, he could tell him anything. Or he would help with explaining to Ace or any of the ships medics.

The egg was back into its place behind his sash now, a few hours since the scene in the storage room. He was able to avoid mostly anyone and there wasn't anything dire he needed to attend to, leaving his schedule wide open to do whatever he wanted. Right now the only thing he wanted was to get back to his room, possibly sleep since he had a rough night apparently and hadn't gotten any sleep after a certain discovery.

Unfortunately for him that meant he had to make decisions as he reached out for his door knob. He had told Ace he would meet him at lunch for sure, the guy would not be pleased if he didn't get enough Marco during the day, or sleep. He turned the knob, swinging the door inward. He was sure that Ace would understand, surely. He took naps all the time, against his will or not.

Ace watched Marco walk in from the doorway. He had this odd feeling in his gut that had told him he was hungry, hell it always was, but also that Marco might be ditching him for some rest. Of course, the fire fist wasn't just about to let that happen. He loved his Marco, truly he did, but he wasn't going to be ignored, not when he was acting so weird and Ace felt so affectionate. That's why he had lazily leaned back against the wall behind Marco's door, chilling and enjoying the silence and view of his lover's room before the blond man finally made his appearance.


Marco's heart stopped, the presence of the other man had slipped under his radar, until it was his voice caressing at his ear. But from behind him? He had just shut the door, had he not? Marco only managed a half turn before he was being pushed back and onto his mattress, where the blankets were still a mess from his 'nesting'.

His eyes widened, two warm lips meeting with his in the rush. He had to blink himself back into reality to realize what situation he now exactly in. Marco was back on his bed, looking up at his lover, so close he could connect the dots with his freckles. Ace was resting his arms on either side of the blonde, grin still wide as can be because man did he like this sort of view.

"Thought you could get away from me, huh~?" Ace teased, like a cat that had pounced on his prey. Oh wait he had.

Marco's eyes traveled down, praying that the egg was still intact from the impact and that Ace wasn't too close to it. He wasn't able to get the look he wanted though, releasing a slight hiss when one of Ace's hands moved up and lightly stroked down his chin, lifting it to look into his eyes, which he had caught looking down south.

"Hey now, eyes are up here. Don't go exploring just yet."

Marco sighed, relaxing his head back, though internally he was a worried mess.

"Not right now, yoi." He tried to play it cool, but there was a bit of change in his tone. "I'm tired."

Ace pressed his lips together in a fine line, trying his best not to pout. "The matter with you, huh? What happened to you last night?"

The older man groaned to himself. "I told you already I couldn't sleep. Come on now, Ace."

Ace glared, he hated when he used his name like that, it was like being lectured by an adult. But he could lecture too, in his own ways, in a hands on experience.

"Then let me help you stay awake..." His voice, still drenched with tease, drifted as he looked down, his hand traveling down across the others body.

His finger curled under the top of the sash and Marco flinched.

"Wait, don't!"

The alarm underlining his voice caused Ace to freeze, jerking his hand back like he'd actually hurt the other, his eyes scanning the sight for what exactly was going on. When he did, the sash followed back with him, as did an oval object, with blue and yellow swirls, with the faintest hint of red.

Marco wanted to die, seeing Ace's bewildered expression as he slowly moved and plucked the egg from off his chest where it had rolled out slightly. He could see the way his throat muscles moved as he nervously swallowed.

"What… what's this..?" he asked, sort of weakly, inspecting it. His brow furrowed like he was trying to figure something out. It was replaced quickly with another, one Marco recognized too well from awkward late nights.

His narcolepsy was kicking in. Quickly his hand found Ace's with the egg, his other moving to catch Ace's shoulder. His reflects had been right, words lost on Ace's lips as his eyes fell closed and he was softly snoozing.

This was definitely not how he wanted Ace to find out that they were oddly expecting parents. Carefully he was able to roll Ace over to the side, not disturbing his slumber, since hell, nothing could wake him up before for a while. He turned around himself, keeping his egg safe in his hand as he took the fire fist's hat off and reached over to place it to the side on the night stand.

He looked at it for a little while, thinking tiny things of at least he didn't look angry or disgusted, though then again who knew if he really knew what it was, before a certain idea passed his mind that he wasn't quite proud of, just because of how cheesy it felt. He let the egg roll in to the hat. It was much more safer than in between them. It was the better option, he decided as he yawned, because he was struggling to stay awake any longer and most likely would lose track of its position.

By the time he woke up again he knew already that it was later in the day. He stared out at his desk across from his bed, trying to remember what happened, until it hit him like a truck. Ace! The egg! He turned and sat up, halting in his movement and holding his breath. Neither were gone, luckily.

Ace was sitting on the edge of the bed, holding his hat out in front of him between his legs and folding its brim a little inward and out, watching as the egg inside of it rolled back and forth with the rhythm. His features were soft though, no longer panicked and somehow well rested.

"Mornin'" he greeted his older lover, rolling his neck slightly on his shoulder to glance over at him.

Marco's expression went back to normal and he silently moved to sit on the edge of the bed alongside him, watching the egg in the corner of his eye.

"It's night time."

"Meh, only if you let it be." Ace followed his gaze back to the egg as well. "Can we keep it?"
Marco's eyebrow rose. "What?"

Ace sighed. "It's ours right?" He gestured with a nod towards the hat. "The egg?"
The phoenix remained silent a moment, contemplating. It wasn't exactly like he could act this one off, especially if Ace already knew on a hunch that it was he who laid it.

"It is, yoi..." It wasn't in his control, but the earlier flush had returned at the admittance of laying their offspring. "Don't ask me how it happened though, I was sleeping."

Ace chuckled, moving his hand to the base of the hat and pulling the egg up from inside it. He brought it close to his face for a closer look.

"You want to keep it?" Marco restated the earlier question that was still hanging in the air.

Not that he even dare think of smashing it or throwing it away. He'd die protecting it, his animalistic instinct's having taken control of him at some point. But still, hearing Ace was interested in what they had made together was a unique new feeling of acceptance.

Ace had been shocked at first, that was for sure, when he'd saw it, but it was instant. He believed in those rumors about how connected parents get the moment they see their child, something he'd looked into on a more morbid note, having hated the expression as neither of his parents ever set eyes on him for that.

"'Course I do!" He laughed, bringing it to his lips and giving it a kiss, it made Marco glad he'd cleaned sometime in his unusual morning. "It's as cute as a bug, I'll take a dozen of em."

Then he looked over to enjoy the priceless expression on his lover's face at the mere thought of eleven more. He grinned.

"I'm kidding! Don't die on me yet, old man. We gotta see what hatches from this first, don't we?"

Marco pursed his lips, narrowing his eyes because that was a cruel, very cruel joke to even play. Like hell he was laying anymore eggs, he didn't even know how the first one came to be!

But Ace's words were true. They needed to somehow find out what exactly was going to come out of that egg. There was a pit in Marco's stomach that had him sounding more and more motherly by the second, that he didn't care what came out of it so much that it was healthy, but he just couldn't imagine what would come out of a relationship made in fire... Purple flames? No, but had anything like this even happen before?

"We will." He agreed, they could make time for it, since it wasn't close to hatching yet apparently. He looked back over at the egg then at Ace. "You're going to tell everyone about it aren't you?"

Ace's grin turned wicked and he leaned back a little, propping himself up by his arm.

"Oh, hell yes. Doting parent, here I come."

Author's Note: Thank you so much Undanewneon for suggesting the title! ~ Because this was for my usual beta reader I would like to also thank very much the magnificent Aerle who stepped in to beta this for D! I can't even begin to explain how thankful I am for you to have done that when I know there were tons of mistakes XD. For the reader I really hope you enjoyed the story and approve of this, its the first time I've written MarcoxAce, or hell a fanfiction out of Zosan so it was a bit of a challenge and I'd love to hear how I did with the other side!