Ever After Part 15
Past and Future
6th of October, AC212
The sky was clear this morning, Heero noted as he sat by the kitchen table, waiting for Duo to finish cooking his omelet. Heero licked his lips. It had been four days since he'd last had an omelet thanks to his worrying husband. The older man had been against him eating so many eggs everyday. Not even the threat of sleeping on the couch could make him relent in rationing Heero's omelet consumption. Heero had given up giving Duo death glares for it had no effect on his thick skulled husband. However, Heero now had a more effective way in getting his way. He had found out that Duo was more amiable after good sex.
Like this morning. Heero asked for his beloved omelet right after Duo found his completion. It was quickly granted by the half conscious Duo. While Dr. J had forbid Duo from penetrating Heero due to the baby, he hadn't said anything about giving a hand job or a blow job. Heero licked his lips again. He could still vaguely taste Duo.
The sound of footsteps distracted Heero from his thoughts. He glanced at the door and saw his son enter.
"Ohayohmmm..." Solo yawned.
Heero smiled slightly as Solo joined him at the table. Watching his son learning Japanese made his heart warm somehow.
"Morning, brat," Duo greeted his son as he put down a plate full of omelet in front of Heero. The smell made Heero's mouth water at once. He forgot everything else as he devoured his breakfast.
"I thought Mum wasn't allowed to have an omelet for another two days?" Solo inquired.
Duo scowled as he watched his husband lost in consuming the omelet. "He asked for it during my weak moment."
Solo looked tempted to ask what weak moment and decided against it. He poured chocolate cereal into his bowl and grimaced slightly as he grabbed the milk. "I'm really fed up with cereals."
"I can cook you an omelet if you want," Duo said nonchalantly as he took the cereal box from his son and poured it into his own bowl.
"No thanks," said Solo hastily. He glanced at Heero and was relieved to see Heero still intently devouring the omelet. "I still value my life."
Duo smirked, knowing how possessive Heero was of omelets. "You just have to be patient for two more weeks."
Solo perked up. "Helen is going to come out soon?"
"Yeah," Duo smiled as he poured the milk into his bowl. "Helen Yuy-Maxwell is going to rock the world."
"Say, I have been meaning to ask you about something..."
"I'm named for your childhood friend."
"That's right. I also named myself based on his name." Duo scooped a spoonful of the brown ring cereal.
"Helen is the name of the sister in the church you lived in?"
"Yeah, she was a very kind woman." Duo said fondly, obviously remembering his time with Sister Helen.
"We both are namesakes of someone from your past." Solo munched on his cereal and swallowed. "How about mum's past ones? Won't he want to name my sister with his loved one's name instead?"
Duo looked uncomfortable at his son's question. "I never thought to ask him about names...."
Solo gave his father a look.
Duo squirmed. "I know I know. I'm at fault." He tapped his husband's shoulder gently. "Heero...?"
"Hmmm?" Heero replied, never taking his eyes from his plate.
"Did you hear what we were talking about just now?"
"About the names?"
"I don't have any names I want my children to have," Heero paused slightly, "unless you want to name our daughter Odin."
"Certainly not." Duo looked affronted.
"Then stop disturbing my breakfast."
Heero returned to devouring his breakfast. A small smile tugged on his lips as he listened to Duo and Solo exchanging light talk. He had his omelet, his son, his soon to be born daughter, and his thick skulled husband. He needed nothing else.
"Ooops, time for me to go," Solo announced as he quickly finished the last of his cereal. "Don't want to be late or Mill will rant endlessly."
Duo's eyebrow ticked slightly at the mention of the blond boy. "Where are you going?"
"To watch movie at Trinity Garden." Solo stood up and put his bowl in the sink.
"With Mill only? What about the other M-five?"
"Well, that's the crutch. We actually planned to go to the movie together. But the girls wanted to watch a chick flick while Mill and I wanted to watch the fully packed action one. So we decided to go our separate ways."
Duo pointed his spoon at his son. "You won't be able to be a good boyfriend if you can't stand a chick flick."
Solo snorted as he grabbed his cap. "Dad, I haven't got any interest in securing a girlfriend yet. I'm still enjoying my freedom."
"He is as selfish as you," commented Heero who had finished with his omelet.
"As long as he has no interest in securing a boyfriend as well," muttered Duo.
"Huh?" Solo glanced at his father. "What did you say?"
"Never mind," Duo said hastily. "Don't forget to wear your coat and gloves! It's cold outside."
"Yeah, yeah." Solo waved dismissively. "Sayonara, Mum, Dad."
"Oy, 'sayonara' is used when you are having long separation," Duo corrected his son. "If you just go outside and come back later in the same day, it's suitable to use 'jya ne' or 'mata ne'."
"Or you can simply say 'itekimasu'," Heero said. "It means 'I'm going', used by anyone in the family when they leave their house."
"Itekimasuuuuuuuu!!" Solo shouted as he went out hurriedly.
Duo shook his head fondly and turned to wash the dishes. He spotted his husband making a beeline toward the back door. "Where do you think you are going?"
"To the garden," Heero answered as he kept going.
Duo quickly planted himself between the back door and his husband. "No."
"Duo, I'm fine."
"No, you're not. I know your back aches almost constantly. No more gardening for you."
"I just want to walk around then read under the tree."
"It's cold outside."
Heero lifted a thick shawl without any words.
"That's not en..."
Heero glared and crossed his arms over his chest. "I will not be a prisoner inside our house."
"Fine, fine, take this with you." Duo snatched the 'this' from the nearest couch.
"You aren't planning to sit down on the hard ground without a cushion, are you?"
"I'm not fragile. I've always sat without a cushion before."
"You're not fragile; you're pregnant. Heavily pregnant. Take the pillow with you or you're staying in the bed."
The pregnant boy glared at his stubborn husband, but the older man held his fort. Faced with determined violet eyes, Heero knew he would have to relent or they would keep this up forever. "Fine," he growled and took the pillow his husband offered. His good mood deteriorated faster as his back started to ache. His stomach had swelled so big that he couldn't see his feet anymore. If the baka didn't stop fussing over him, Duo would be sleeping on the couch tonight.
Duo seemed to sense his younger husband's mood. He didn't say anything else after Heero snatched the pillow from him.
After calling Wing to come with him, Heero walked around the garden until his anger evaporated. It was replaced with the usual sense of peace he got from watching his garden blooming and flourishing. He sat down under the big oak tree and started reading his book. Wing, the dog that was his birthday present, settled down next to him. The cool wind caressed his face while Wing's body was warming his side. Soon, Heero felt his eyes become heavy. He fought to stay awake a few times but sleep sounded better and better.
Just before Heero let himself fall into a deep sleep, he felt Duo settled next to him. A warm arm wrapped around his shoulders and tugged him so his head rested on Duo's shoulder.
"Go to sleep, Heero." Duo murmured lovingly, right into his ear.
Smiling slightly, Heero slept.
The loud ring of a cell phone dragged Heero from his peaceful sleep. It was followed by a click and several curses as Duo answered the call. He was just about to scold Duo for using those dirty words when his sharp ears caught the words said by the caller.
Hilde had escaped the institution.
NO! Heero jerked violently and let out a loud cry. The images of young Hilde, his bloodied stomach, and the hands that took his Solo from him splashed before his eyes.
"No, not again!" Heero cried out.
Wing was barking, obviously knowing his owner was in distress.
"Heero!" Duo hugged his trembling spouse and continued his conversation. Heero heard him saying something about contacting others to search for Hilde, but he couldn't care less. He had to find Solo. Hilde had taken Solo from him.
"Solo... I won't let her take Solo," Heero said shakily.
"Heero, calm down." Arms wrapped tighter around him, trying to soothe his anxiety.
"No, she has taken Solo!" Heero struggled out of the arms. "I have to chase her!"
"Solo is watching a movie with Mill remember." Duo said calmly, "Here, I'll call him and let him talk to you."
"Yes, yes, call him." Heero waited as Duo made the call.
It didn't connect.
"No... not Solo...." Heero said distraughtly.
"Looking for this?"
Heero looked up.
Hilde was standing a few feet in front of him.
In her hands was a bloody carcass of a baby.
Solo's cell phone rang when he was about to enter the movie theater. He cursed in Japanese as he delegated his big bucket of popcorn to Mill and fished the phone out of his trouser pocket. Next to him, Mill accepted the bucket of popcorn and watched his friend in amusement.
Solo noticed his father's number as he answered the call. "What is it, Dad? Didn't I tell you that I'm going out to watch......"
"Helen is about to be born." was all his father said before the connection was cut.
Solo blinked in confusion for a few seconds before comprehension dawned on him.
"But she isn't due for two weeks!" Solo shouted into his cell phone, unnecessarily since the connection was dead.
"What is it?" Mill asked as he munched some popcorn from the big bucket.
"I'm going back home," Solo said as he turned around.
"What? But the movie is about to start!" Mill protested as he followed Solo out of the theater. "Do you know how long we have to queue to s--"
"It's Helen!" Solo grabbed Mill's arm to get his friend to walk faster.
"What? Who?" asked Mill as he struggled to balance the popcorn bucket.
"Helen! My soon to be born sister, baka!" Solo said exasperatedly as he hailed a cab.
"Born? Now?" Mill squeaked.
"No, next year." Solo said sarcastically. "Of course now. Get in, baka."
"Why do I have to follow you?" Mill asked as he followed Solo into the cab. "I can get home by myself."
"Because you are holding my popcorn."
"And because my best friend will want to be there for me."
Though grumbling, Mill settled down. "I think it's a girlfriend who should be there for you, not a best friend."
Solo ignored his best friend's muttering and told the taxi driver his home address. As the taxi sped off toward Solo's home, both boys worked on finishing the popcorn. They figured out it was better than having to munch popcorn while waiting for Helen to be born.
The light was too bright. Pain. Oh so much pain. But Hilde would be here soon. He had to fight. He had to protect Solo.
"Heero, Heero. Calm down."
Duo's voice! Was Duo going to help him or take Solo away from him?
"Heero! Please stop fighting me."
Arms seized his body and held him down. Heero tried to wriggle but the arms' owner was stronger than him. He couldn't escape.
"Heero, it's me, Duo. I'm not going to hurt you."
He didn't care about himself. How about his baby? Heero whimpered.
"What did you say? Look Dr. J has arrived to help you."
Doctor? Doctor? No no no, the doctor was going to cut him open and take Solo from him! Heero struggled with all his might.
"Damn it, what set him off now?"
"Talk to him, not to me, kid. I need to prepare the tools."
Tools? Nonono! Solo would not be taken from him! He had to get away.
"Heero, stop fighting me. You have to relax."
Heero whimpered. Why were the arms so strong? He needed to get away, didn't Duo understand that? He needed to keep their son safe from Hilde.
"Heero, listen to me. You had a nightmare and it somehow led you to your current condition, geared to deliver our baby."
He was so weak. But Duo, he was strong. And somehow he knew about Solo being their child. Maybe he could ask Duo for help? Heero opened his eyes. The light was still blinding but slowly he could see Duo's face amidst the light. Duo's concerned eyes were looking back at his. "Duo...."
Duo smiled. "Heero, I'm here."
Heero flailed his arm and felt his hand caught by Duo's warm hand. He gripped it with all the strength he had at the moment. "...don't let her ....take Solo away."
Solo arrived home and went into his parents' bedroom just in time to hear his dad managing curses and soothing words at the same time. He heard his mum's last sentence enough to understand why his dad started cursing. It also drove him into action. He approached the bed from the opposite side of Duo and took Heero's other hand in both hands. "I'm here, Mum. No one is going to take me away."
Heero's blue eyes searched at him. Those blue eyes were wide in disbelief. "...Solo?"
Solo smiled. "Yeah, it's me."
"But I'm carrying .........." Heero didn't continue. He had switched his gaze to his bulging stomach. Solo felt his heart clenched at the confusion his Mum showed.
"That's Helen about to be born, love." Duo said softly. "Our daughter and Solo's sister."
"Our daughter...." Heero murmured. He looked at Solo. "It felt like yesterday that I was carrying you...."
Solo fervently hoped that he had managed to hide the flinch caused by his mum's words. While it had been fifteen years for dad and him, it WAS less than a year since his mum carried him. Solo opened his mouth to say something, anything, but he didn't know what he could say to ease his mum's feeling. He looked at his dad helplessly, but Duo was at a loss for words too.
Thankfully, Dr. J used the silence to appear at the foot of the bed. "Now that you have calmed down, I think it's better to start the surgery. You have been having contractions quite frequently, Heero."
At Dr. J's words, the apprehension returned to Heero's face.
Duo was swift this time. He gathered Heero into his arms and spoke firmly. "I'm not going to let anyone take Solo and Helen away from you."
"Yeah, I will not going anywhere!" The words somehow felt a bit bitter for Solo since he knew that he had once been taken away from his mum.
Heero's eyes were still apprehensive but they were clear. His words were firm as he addressed the doctor. "I don't want to be sedated."
"Yes, of course. I'll just put the anesthetic locally around the surgical area." Dr. J responded. "Now if both idiots on your sides can assist me, we can do this faster."
Solo refrained from protesting at being called idiot. It was a good move since his dad got a slap to the head by the doctor for protesting. He and his dad followed Dr. J's orders and soon he was watching the doctor making an incision on his mum's stomach.
Not liking the way the blood oozed out of his mum, Solo switched his gaze and watched his mum's face instead. Heero was trying to be strong, to not show any emotion, but his blue eyes betrayed him. Solo could see the doctor's progress by just watching his mum's eyes. They were widening in trepidation then narrowing with hope and then tightening in fear, just as Dr. J announced he had got Helen out.
Solo had thought his mum would feel relieved, but the fear he saw in Heero's eyes was real. He looked at Dr. J and saw him lifting the baby up. The hand on Solo's grip suddenly tightened to the point of being painful. Solo looked back at Heero and saw him tracking Dr. J's movements with dread. Solo had seen those eyes before. They were burnt into his mind from when he'd seen the video Dr. J had shown them.
"Dad!" Solo called just as his dad moved. It seemed his dad had seen the terror in mum's eyes as well. Duo took the baby from Dr. J's hands and placed her on Heero's chest.
"Say hello to mama, Helen." Duo smiled comfortingly as Heero extended a trembling hand to caress Helen. Solo would never forget that moment. Helen was a red skinned baby with scrunched up face. She deafened him with her wails. However, Heero was looking at her and touching her as if she was the most precious thing in the world.
Duo was also looking at the wailing Helen, enraptured. "She is beautiful," Duo said, still smiling at Heero. He gently kissed Heero's forehead and then kissed Helen's forehead. "Welcome to the world, Helen Yuy-Maxwell."
A lone tear was trailing down on Heero's face and stopped at his wide, smiling mouth.
Yes, Solo decided, it was a very beautiful moment. He was glad he could be a part of it.
"Okay, it's done." Dr. J announced. He had been working on cleaning Heero up while the family was having their private moment. "You're on bed rest for a couple of days, Heero. There are some medicines that you have to take. I'll give them to you later."
"Thank you, Dr. J," said Heero.
"Thanks Doc!" followed Duo.
"You don't have to thank me, Heero," said Dr. J. He was silent for a few seconds. Then, he seemed to have come to a decision. "Did you know that I regretted telling you about this pregnancy concept?"
"Doc -" Duo protested.
Dr. J cut Duo off, "But looking at you now, I feel better with my decision." He then gave Duo a sharp look. "You better treat him right for the rest of your life."
"You don't have to tell me that, Doc," Duo grunted. "You know I'll do anything to make him happy."
"We'll see. I shouldn't need to say this but it's better safe than sorry when I'm dealing with you," Dr. J said to Duo. "No sexual intercourse for a month. After the month is up, I will check on Heero first and THEN we'll see about it."
"Dr. J! Not in front of the children!" Duo said in scandalous tone.
The doctor snorted, "Better in front of them. At least Solo could help reining in your libido."
"I'm serious, Duo," Dr. J said sharply, "Two children is the limit for Heero. His body won't stand a third pregnancy."
Duo seemed alarmed. "Third pregnancy..."
"You had forgotten about it, hadn't you?" Dr. J snorted, "All you think of is your need. The one month prohibition is for Heero's safety, remember that. His body needs to return to normal. So if I find you sniffing around him before the one month is up, castration is the least of all the things I will do to you."
Solo involuntarily found himself keeping his legs closed.
"Dr. J, you don't nee-" Heero started to say.
"Heero, it's okay." Duo cut him off. "I deserved that."
"Ah, ah, no arguing in front of children, especially our newborn daughter." Duo pointed at Helen.
"Talking about your daughter, I need to check on her for a while," said Dr. J.
"Oh, okay," Duo said reluctantly as he took his daughter from Heero and gave her to Dr. J.
"Duo -" Heero tried again.
"Heero, let it be." Duo caressed Heero's cheek. "I'm okay with what Dr. J has said."
"Yeah, Mum," Solo piped up. "Dad deserves the threat."
A shuffling near the door caught Solo's ears and he realized what he had forgotten once he'd entered the room. He turned towards the door. "Mill, come on in!"
The blonde boy stood awkwardly outside the door. "Uhm, I hope I'm not intruding...."
"You aren't, baka. Come in!" said Solo exasperatedly.
"This is a family moment, Solo," Mill said back in the same exasperated tone, "YOUR family."
Solo frowned. "But you are my family already." He turned to his Dad, "Right, Dad? Mill and I've been together since we were babies that we are practically brothers."
"Brothers indeed." His Dad said mockingly, but then winced. Solo saw his mum's hand surreptitiously doing some thing at his Dad's side. Whatever it was doing, it must be quite painful since his Dad quickly changed his tune. "Mill, get your butt in here already."
Still, Mill hesitated. "Uhm, but..."
"For God's sake, enter or I'll kick your butt."
Solo was happy that his Dad's threat got the blond boy to move. Mill shuffled next to Solo and at the same time, Dr. J returned, giving Helen to Heero.
"All five fingers and toes." Dr. J announced. "Lungs are good. She is a healthy baby, albeit a little small, but that's quite common with an earlier born baby."
Heero didn't seem to listen. His eyes were fixed on Helen, filled with wonder and joy.
Mill looked at the youngest of the family. He then looked at Solo and smiled, "Congratulations, you're an older brother now."
Solo beamed happily.
His family was finally complete.
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