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“I just peed on the thing!” The brunette exclaimed happily as she rushed out of the downstairs bathroom. “What’s the time Kousuke?!” She asked excitedly. The male who was occupying the couch gave a glance at his Vacheron Constantin watch before answering. “The time is currently 11:13am.”

 

“Okay, the instructions say that we have to wait three minutes for the results.”

 

Thin legs carried the female to the kitchen. Opening the fridge her eyes scoured the space in search of something to eat. With a shrug of her shoulders, she grabbed some cheese and butter before closing the door. She then retrieved bread from the microwave, making herself a sandwich. Once she was done she walked back to the living room. “What’s the time?” She queried after swallowing a bite.

 

“11:14..”

 

“What? But I spent hours in the kitchen! Your watch must be broken.”

 

“Perhaps in your fit of excitement you rushed your meal preparation.” Kousuke pointed to her sandwich. “Isn’t the buttered part of the bread supposed to be on the other side?” He tilted his head in amusement.

 

“I’m just enthusiastic okay?” She chuckled before fixing her food and taking another bite. Kousuke glanced at his watch once more. “The time is now 11:16, would you like to go check the results?”

 

The male observed as his wife took a sharp intake of breath just as she began pacing the floor. “Oh crap. Now I’m nervous. My palms are sweating.” She informed as she finished off the rest of her sandwich.

 

“There’s nothing to be nervous about.” He soothed as she walked up to him.“Come with me. Let’s read it together.” He was yanked rather roughly up from the couch and hauled to the bathroom by the brunette.

 

She picked up the stick from the countertop near the sink and brought it into their field of vision. “One line..” She said in a small voice. “It’s negative.” Her shoulders slumped in disappointment as she threw the test into the trash can before exiting the bathroom and entering the living room.

 

Kousuke followed closely behind the brunette, placing himself next to where she found herself on the couch. He wrapped an arm around her shoulder, tugging her closer to his person.

 

“It’s not fair.”

 

“It’s just one negative, Meg. We have plenty more tries to conceive.” Kousuke pacified. “Yea but we’ve been doing it like rabbits! I thought I’d be pregnant by now.” She pouted.

 

“If you keep stressing about it, it would prove to be more difficult in getting pregnant.” He looked down at her. “We’ll take it in stride, all right?”

 

Meg looked up at him with a half smile before nodding. “All right.”

 

 

Meg stared at the test that was held tightly in her hold. That single straight line felt like it was mocking her. Negative. Again. How many did that make now?

 

She’d lost count. She threw the test into the trash can upon exiting the bathroom.

 

“Don’t lose hope.” The brunette ran a hand through her locks. “It’s only a matter of time.”Upon walking into the bedroom Kousuke’s quizzical gaze landed on her person. She allowed a small smile to grace her face. “Not yet.” She shook her head as she slid into her side of the bed.

 

“You shouldn’t be stressing yourself out too much over this Megan. It isn’t healthy. Remember that the doctor said that balance and calm is a crucial part of trying to conceive.”

 

Meg took a deep breath and sighed through her nose before closing her honey eyes. “Yea, I know but I’m not getting any younger Kousuke. I can almost feel the sands of my biological clock running out.”

 

“Stop being so dramatic, you’re barely twenty-nine years old.” Kousuke shook his head as she playfully stuck out her tongue at him in response. Honestly, what is he going to do with her?

 

 

 

“So..what does it say Kousuke?” The female asked as she paced the room, rubbing her palms together in uncontained nervousness.

 

Kousuke’s azure gaze read the results that were presented on the stick but couldn’t bring himself to look up at the female, not being able to bear witness to the disappointment that would surely cloud her vision. “It reads negative.” He announced.

 

“What..?” Her shoulders deflated before walking up to the tall male, retrieving the test from his hand. The brunette looked at the plastic she had between her trembling fingers before lightly tapping it against her palm. “Negative..another negative.” She whispered softly before throwing it into the trash can next to her.

 

“How many more of these am I going to get?” She worried her bottom lip.

 

Kousuke knew that it was getting hard for Meg to stay optimistic and he knew that no amount of comforting words would soothe her sadness. Never in his life did he feel so useless. Meg shook her head of any negative thoughts before slapping her cheeks. “This isn’t like me. Next time for sure!” She exclaimed.

 

Kousuke walked up to Meg and embraced her in a tight hug. “You’re very strong Meg. Not that I didn’t know that before, but your resilience never ceases to amaze me.”

 

“If I wasn’t resilient I wouldn’t have gotten this ring on my finger.” She teased as she flaunted the metal that hugged her flesh.

 

Kousuke couldn’t help but laugh.

 

★。☆。★ 。☆ 。

☆★

★★   。

☆。。☆   ☆。★。 ☆  ★

 

“One.. two...t-three.” Megan held her breath and slowly- hesitantly opened her warm honey eyes to see what fate lies before her on the test.

 

Meg’s eyes bulged as the wind was knocked out of her, the pregnancy test was dropped from her hand in favor of cupping her mouth, a squelched sob escaped her throat.

A thud from the bathroom alerted the male.

 

“Meg? What’s wrong, love?” Kousuke asked as he rushed to the entrance of their bathroom. His heart broke at the scene before him as his legs carried him towards his significant other. He stooped down and pulled the sobbing female’s kneeling form into his arms, kissing the crown of her head.

 

“Kousuke, the test..” She sniffled as she wiped her eyes. “It’s okay honey.” He murmured into her hair. “We’ll schedule a doctor’s appointment tomorrow..” He started as he spotted the test on the floor. “..and see what he has to say, alright?” He reached for it to dispose of in the trash bin when Meg looked up and stopped him.

 

“No! No, look at it closer.” Her voice chirped. The male’s baby blue optics flashed from his wife’s smiling face to the test that had a plus sign on it.

 

Kousuke blinked once, twice, three times while trying to register this new information. A rush of air escaped his lungs. “Wha...this..it’s..” He shook his head at the futile attempts he made to construct coherent sentences before looking at Meg.

 

“It’s positive!” She breathed, rubbing at her eyes some more. Kousuke’s grip on the plastic got tighter as he embraced the brunette in a tight hug. “We’re going to be parents..!” His voice, full of awe as he brought their mouths together into a loving kiss. “I love you so much.” He moved on to press a gentle kiss to her forehead.

 

Meg allowed Kousuke to help her stand up on the tiled floor. “Looks like we’ll still have to schedule an appointment to the doctor’s though.” Kousuke gently intoned as they both exited the bathroom.

 

“Of course!” The female chirped. “I’ll phone the doctor first thing in the morning. Oh, Kousuke where’s the pregnancy test?” She questioned.

 

The raven haired man uncurled his digits that held the test in the palm of his hand and presented it to her.

 

A face splitting smile adorned her soft features as she retrieved the stick from his outstretched hand, amber orbs zeroed in on the plus sign, evidence of their success of conception. She eagerly placed a quick kiss to the plastic before bringing it to her chest.

 

“Meg, not minutes ago you urinated on that test. It is far from hygienic.” Kousuke groused.

 

“I’m just happy okay? You know how long we’ve been waiting for this.” She sighed contentedly as her feet carried her to her bedside table. She pulled open the drawer and gently placed the plastic inside.

 

Meg slid under the sheets, running gentle fingertips across the expanse of her stomach “You know, I kind of had an inkling that I was pregnant before I took the test but I didn’t want to get my hopes too high just in case my suspicions were wrong.”

 

“How so?” Kousuke quizzed.

 

“Well my period has been missing for about a week now and usually on the day of your missed period that’s when you’re around two weeks along, but then again it could have been wishful thinking on my part… I even began noticing changes in my body as well. They were by no means significant but..I could just tell..” She closed her eyes and took a deep breath.

 

Kousuke turned off the lights before climbing into the bed next to his spouse. Meg scooted closer to him, basking in the heat that his body emitted. “We’re going to be parents, haha!” She whispered giddily as she stared up at the ceiling.

 

“Yes, it feels unreal.” Kousuke exulted as he slipped his fingers through hers and brought her hand up for a chaste kiss.  “A new chapter of our lives is unfolding.”

 

“I am absolutely ready!!”

 

 

 

 

“Damn Alyssa. Every time I come here the view always leaves me awe. Perks of being a superstar I guess.” Meg articulated as she basked in rays of the evening sun that shone through the apartment’s floor to ceiling windows.

 

“You’re one to talk about having amazing views Mrs. Penthouse suite- but only on the weekends.” Alyssa cheekily shot back from her spot on the tuxedo sofa, taking a sip of Pinot Gris from her wine glass.

 

“Just shush and let me admire the scenery.” She outstretched her arms. “Where’s the little munchkin anyway? I’ve been here for ten minutes and I haven’t heard a peep from her.”

 

“Probably still sleeping.” The faux blonde hummed.

 

'“No! You can’t go! You can’t!” They heard a frustrated whine come from one of the rooms.

 

“Speak of the devil..”

 

“Stay home!” They heard a sniffle.

 

“I’ll be back later tonight Ayla. I’m just going out with my friends.” Her father responded as he walked outside.

 

“Momma! Tell daddy to stay home with us!” Small footfalls were heard running from inside, soon revealing the small child. Her shoulder length cherry blonde hair was slightly mussed, evident of her recent rouse from slumber. She tightly hugged the tall male’s calves and buried her face on the back of his knees. “S’not fair!” She whined.

 

“Shin-Ae is coming over with Won-Hyun. Don’t you want to play with him?” Alyssa enticed. Ayla only responded with hugging her father’s calves tighter causing the redhead to chuckle. She won’t be swayed.

 

“Ayla, don’t you want to have fun with your aunty?” Nol spoke up which caused the three year old to quickly turn her head in her aunt’s direction. Finally taking notice of the woman. Her frustration evaded her features in favor of excitement, emerald eyes lighting up.

 

Quickly extracting herself from her father, her short legs carried her over to Meg. Her father forgotten.

 

“Aunty Meg!” She squealed as the brunette lifted her up from the floor.

 

“Well hello, Lala. I’m honored that my favourite niece in the world finally decided to grace me with her presence. Did you sleep well?” She queried as she tried to neaten Ayla’s tousled hair.

 

“Mhmmm.” She hummed as she animatedly nodded her head.

 

“She’s had her power nap so get ready for erratic bursts of energy from this little monster.” Nol warned just as he ran up to tickled the child’s sides.

 

“Ah! Daddy stop!” Her body shook with giggles, her arms tightly hugged Meg’s neck in reflex.

 

“You say that as if I haven’t dealt with her before. I think I can take her.” Meg replied.

 

“Whatever you say...nutmeg.” Nol shrugged.

 

“What did I tell you about calling me that?” She scrunched her nose at him before they both broke out into laughter.

 

Knock knock.

 

Alyssa raised herself from the sofa and went to answer the door. “Hey!” She greeted her guests with a smile. “It’s about time you showed up. What took you guys so long?” She questioned as she moved out of the way to let them in.

 

“Sorry, we couldn’t find Won-Hyun’s pacifier so that delayed us a bit.” Dieter explained as he placed the fifteen-month-old onto the floor and transferred the bag he was holding onto Shin-Ae.

 

“At least we’re here now.” Shin-Ae spoke up as she navigated through the living room and flopped onto the sofa. “Ah, finally I get to rest my feet.”

 

“All right we’re all here, safe and sound, you boys can go now.” Alyssa waved them off.

 

“Alright, we can take a hint.” Dieter chuckled. “Ready to go Yeong-Gi?”

 

“Yea. I bet Soushi’s having a fit because of our tardiness.” The redhead replied.

 

“Bye, son. I’ll be back later. Be good for your mother okay?” The elder blond voiced as he patted his son’s pale locks.

 

“Bye Daddy!” Ayla waved as Alyssa ushered the two males out of the doorway.

 

“Have fun!” Shin-Ae shouted behind them.

 

“But not too much fun!” Meg input which caused the other two females to laugh.

 

“All right ladies! We’re free from our men for about..” Alyssa glanced at her wristwatch. “..six or seven hours?”

 

“Let’s order some Chinese food later, I’ve been craving for some of that lately.” Shin-Ae announced as she placed some of Won-Hyun’s toys onto the carpeted floor.

 

“Ayla go get some of your toys from your room so you can play with Won-Hyun okay?” The toddler nodded in understanding as she rushed to retrieve her toys.

 

Meg got comfortable on the loveseat and crossed her legs. “Let’s watch that new movie that just came out on Wetlix. Isolated Butterflies is the title.”

 

“Oooh! I’ve heard about that one. The movie is based on the book, written by the author who goes by the pen name ‘miinu’. It’s gotten a whopping ninety-three percent on rotten tomatoes.” Alyssa chimed in.

 

“Search it up then, I’ll go make some popcorn in the interim.” Shin-Ae announced as she walked to the kitchen.

 

“Aunty Meg, look at the new dolls my daddy got for me.” Ayla beamed as she proudly displayed her new toys to the short haired brunette.

 

“Wow, these are really pretty Lala! I like this one especially.” She pointed out to a red-haired one.

 

“I like her too! She has hair like my dad and her eyes are green just like mine is!” She babbled while she bounced on the balls of her feet.

 

Won-Hyun silently observed Meg and Ayla talking buoyantly to one another. Feeling slightly left out, he picked up some of his blocks and went to the loveseat where the aunt and niece duo resided. One by one he threw the blocks onto the cushion and he patted her pant leg to get her to look at him.

 

Meg turned to the young child, giving him her attention.

 

“Bwocks.” He mouthed around the pacifier that resided in his mouth while he pointed at the scattered cubes on the cushion.

 

“Oh my goodness! These blocks are really colourful Won-Hyun.” Meg complimented.

 

“Cor’ful?” He repeated as he tilted his head.

 

“Yes.” She cooed.

 

Won-Hyun ran back to get his teddy bear that he had previously forgotten on the carpet and placed it onto Meg’s lap. “Mista bear.” He introduced.

 

“He’s so fluffy and soft!” Meg hugged the stuffed animal. “He’s warm too.”

 

The fifteen-month-old gave an eye-crinkling smile before trying to climb onto the couch, after two failed attempts he eventually received assistance from Meg.

 

“You’re so precious!” The brunette gushed as she peppered the child’s face with kisses.

 

“Aunty Meg! You are not paying attention to me! I was showing you my toys first.” Ayla objected hotly, a displeased crease forming on her brow.

 

“Lala, if you keep frowning like that you’ll get wrinkles.” She murmured as she placed her thumb on the child’s forehead, rubbing soothing circles on the surface.

 

The three year old let out a groan. “Pay attention to me!”

 

“Me.” Won-Hyun interjected.

 

“She is my aunty! Not yours. Mine.” Ayla pointed to herself.

 

“Mine.” Won-Hyun pointed to himself.

 

“Tell him to stop!” Ayla’s emerald eyes welled with tears.

 

Sensing a tantrum about to ensue, Meg fished to disarm the situation.

 

“He’s just copying what you’re saying, Lala. No need to get upset.” Ayla pouted before letting out a sigh. “Fine.” She grumbled as she climbed onto the loveseat and leaned heavily into Meg’s side, sticking her thumb into her mouth.

 

“I have no idea how you do it, Meg. If it were me she would have dropped herself onto the floor and thrown a tantrum.” Alyssa flipped her hair over her shoulder.

 

“Don’t ask me. She just listens.” Meg replied as she affectionately rubbed the child’s head.

 

Shin-Ae shuffled back into the living room with a large bow of popcorn and a small container with chips for the kids to share along with their drinks.

 

“Here you go, baby.” Shin-Ae presented her son with a sippy cup filled with milk. Won-Hyun removed his pacifier from his mouth and handed it over to his mother in exchange for the cup.

 

“And here you go Miss Ayla, some apple juice for you.” The cherry blonde took the box from the woman with a ‘thank you’ just before taking a long sip.

 

Meg took the container with the chips from Shin-Ae before she went back to her seat next to Alyssa.

 

“Okay, I found it.” The faux blonde announced, placing the remote on the coffee table. Everyone’s eyes were glued to the television as the opening scene commenced.

 

 

 

“I wasn’t prepared for that..” Alyssa murmured as she dabbed a tissue under her eye.

 

“You’re telling me.” Shin-Ae input. “I’ve never felt so much for a movie before. I’ve got to give the director props. Even though I have read the book...the raw emotions the characters exhibited was on a whole other level.  They really owned their roles.”

 

The ringing of the doorbell got the women’s attention.

 

“That must be the food.” Alyssa uprooted herself from the sofa, mindful of the two children playing on the floor and ran to answer the door.

 

After paying for their meal and getting their respective dishes the females made light conversation amongst themselves.

 

“So while we were practicing our choreography, the backside of my pants tore straight down the middle and I didn’t even realize until after we were finished and my coworkers pointed it out.” Alyssa covered her face in embarrassment as she finished recounting the story.

 

“Bruh. Just be happy that it wasn’t a live performance.” Shin-Ae snorted as she took a sip of her beer.

 

“Anything new with you Meg?” Shin-Ae glanced at the elder woman who was taking a sip of her bottled water.

 

“We’re planning on dismantling a section of the bridge that’s by the bay, since it’s in dire need of repair.”

 

“Finally. That thing’s a death trap.” Shin-Ae muttered as she put a mouthful of noodles into her mouth.

 

Meg spectated as the two children rolled a purple ball to one another on the floor.

 

“And...Kousuke and I are expecting.” She took another sip of her water.

 

“Shut! Up!” Alyssa squealed as the words rolled off of her sister’s tongue. “When did you find out? She queried.

 

“Two weeks ago.” She smiled.

 

“Sis!!” Alyssa hopped off of her sofa and enveloped her sister in a bone crushing hug as she swayed side to side. “I’m so happy for you.”

 

“Move over I want to hug her too!” Shin-Ae butted in as she pulled Meg in for a hug as well. “Congratulations!”

 

“How far along are you?” Alyssa asked as she rubbed her sister’s stomach.

 

“I don't know the exact length but I'm about five weeks.” Meg voiced. “My first doctor’s appointment is in two weeks. I’m super excited.”

 

“I bet you are!” Alyssa hugged her again.

 

“I found it strange that you didn’t have one drop of alcohol tonight but I didn’t think anything of it.” Shin-Ae stated.

 

“Yea, no alcohol for me in the oncoming months.”

 

“Momma, Shin-Ae, Aunty Meg! Me and Won-Hyun want to watch the Berenstain Bears please.” Ayla interrupted them from her place on the floor.

 

“It’s one thing to be around that for a few hours, but get ready to be at it full time.” Alyssa gestured at the children.

 

“Momma, you're not listening!” The child whined, solidifying her mother’s point which caused Meg to snicker

 

“The joys of motherhood.” Meg sighed wistfully.

 

 

 

 

 

“We haven’t eaten together in ages, son.” Yui flashed her pearly whites at him from her place at the head of the table. “What brought about this meeting?”

 

“Can I not pay my dear mother a visit in my old home?” Kousuke answered.

 

Silence fell between the pair. Moments later, one of the house servants emerged from the kitchen with both of their meals resting on a waiter.

 

“Island Duck with Mulberry Mustard for you, sir.” The female placed the plate in front of Kousuke, moving on to Yui. “Peppercorn crusted filet mignon with Balsamic red wine sauce, as per requested ma’am.” The servant articulated. “Would the both of you like anything else?” She asked, brown eyes flashing between the both of them.

 

“No, thank you. You are dismissed.” Kousuke addressed. The female nodded her head, bowed and exited the dining room.

 

Cutlery clinking against the porcelain plates interrupted the contemplative silence.

 

Kousuke brought a fork that was harbouring a piece of broccoli into his mouth, chewing on it slowly. He regarded his mother who was taking a bite of her own meal. His pale hands brought up a perfectly folded napkin to wipe his mouth.

 

He cleared his throat.

 

“I was blessed with some thrilling news a few weeks prior and I figured that now would be the opportune time to share it with you.” He took a sip of his iced water.

 

“Now you’ve gotten me excited. Please, enlighten me.” She interlocked her fingers together and rested her chin onto them.

 

Kousuke sliced a piece of his duck. “Megan is pregnant with child.” He placed the meat into his mouth and observed his mother’s reaction with muted interest.

 

A delighted gasp escaped Yui’s throat, her fingertips covered her glossy lips. “Oh my goodness, son!” She sat up straight in her seat and clapped her hands together. “That’s marvelous news. I’m finally going to get grandchildren of my own.”

 

“Indeed. Anyway, I’d like your advice on something.”

 

“You can ask me anything, son. What is it?” She smiled.

 

He cleared his throat. “Well, ever since I received the news that I fathered a child, I’ve been taking notice of baby items..” He drifted off as a blank spot on the white tablecloth suddenly looked interesting.

 

“Okay.” Yui slowly nodded her head, urging him to continue.

 

“And well, I’ve had the sudden urge to purchase said items. The thing is, Megan is only five weeks along, do you think that it’s too early to start getting things for the baby or am I getting a bit too excited?”

 

“Of course it isn’t, Kousuke. It’s your first child so naturally you’ll be enthusiastic to put things in place for them. You should have seen me when I found out I was having you. I started buying furniture, clothes, anything I laid my eyes on the very next day. Ah, now I’m feeling nostalgic.” She took a sip of red wine from her glass.

 

“You know, I was a bit envious of your father, you see, with him having a grandchild before me and all. I’m still surprised that Alyssa decided to keep it when she found out. She didn’t express any desire to have children in the past, my, she straight up rebuked the thought of it.” Yui gently swished the chilled red liquid within its crystal confinement. “This is great news nonetheless, better late than never. I must be honest with you though, I was beginning to entertain the thought that one of you were perhaps infertile.” The words fell out of her mouth with a wry smile.

 

“I’ll consult with Megan to see if she’ll be open to go shopping for our child’s necessities, but somehow I have a feeling she’ll most likely agree.” The raven-haired male mouthed, ignoring his mother’s last comment.

 

“Give her my congratulations, won’t you?” The dark-haired woman resumed with her meal.

 

 

“Yes, I’m sure she’ll appreciate it.”

 

 

 

 

“Kousuke, look at this!” Meg held up a white onesie that read ’Daddy’s financial advisor’.

 

“It’s cute.” Her husband agreed as his eyes perused the rack of baby clothes. A particular onesie caught his gaze which caused a miniscule twitch of his lips. “But I must say that this one tickles my fancy a bit more.” He held up a pink onesie for the female to read.

 

“I’m proof that my daddy doesn’t shoot blanks.” Meg’s eyes bulged before she slapped her palm over her mouth to hide an ugly snort.

 

“What the heck Kousuke?” She snickered behind her hand while giving him a light punch on his arm with the other.

 

“It reminded me of a tasteless remark my mother made earlier this week.” He opined.

 

“Did it hurt your ego?” She poked his side as they continued venturing the store.

 

“It ruffled my feathers a bit, but I brushed it off. It isn’t the first time that has happened and it most certainly won’t be the last.”

 

“What type of crib do you think we should get?” The brunette queried as they observed the different models on display.

 

The male crossed his arms and placed a finger on his chin in contemplation. “The mini crib doesn’t have a bulky design and they’re more fit for smaller rooms.” He blinked his icy blues. “However, the baby will outgrow it much faster than the standard size crib, hence we’ll have to purchase a larger one to accommodate his or her size or find another alternative.”

 

“Do you want to have a separate changing station for the baby? If not, we could opt for one with a changing table. There’s also convertible cribs, known for their versatility and they’re built to last. It could be the only bed for the majority of our child’s life. This crib in particular though is rather costly and takes up quite a bit of space, but that is of no issue to us. So, which would you prefer?” He turned to his wife.

 

“How do you know so much about cribs?” She blinked dumbly as she soaked in all the information she had just received.

 

“I equipped myself with knowledge in the best interest of our child. I’d hate to be cack-handed in that regard.”

 

“Oh, I see. Then I think we should just get the classic non-convertible one. We could use it up until the baby reaches eighteen to twenty-four months. We could always add a changing table in the spare room we’ll be using as the nursery, since it’s so big.” She concluded.

 

“All right, I can agree with that.” They purchased the crib as well as the changing table before exiting the store.

 

Kousuke glanced at his watch. “The furniture should be delivered by three this afternoon. We have time to grab some lunch.” He opened the passenger door for Meg to get safely inside before he circled the car and seated himself on the driver’s side. “What would you like to eat?” He queried as put the key in the ignition.

 

“I’m in the mood for some pasta.” Meg replied as she fastened her seat belt.

“Italian it is then.” He pulled out of the parking lot.

.

.

.

 

“This tastes so good.” Meg moaned to herself as she brought another forkful of Gnocchi to her mouth.

 

Kousuke bit into his lasagna, eyeballing the female on the other side of the table.

 

Meg took notice of Kousuke’s gaze on her person. “What? Is there something on my face?”

 

“No, just admiring your beauty is all.” He replied smoothly.

 

Meg’s cheeks flushed in response and she scooped a lock of hair behind her ear, feeling a bit warm at his compliment. Her honey eyes glued themselves to her plate. “How’s work?” She glanced back up at him.

 

“Mundane. Draining. Pedestrian. Need I go on?”

 

“Nope. I get it. It’s boring. You’re cooped up in an office all day staring at papers.” She shrugged.

 

“You say that as though you aren’t in one as well.” He shot back.

 

“Yes, but at least I actually leave it from time to time. Speaking of which, aside from supervising the reparation of the bridge, we’re designing the layout of a new Health Unit the government wants to construct.” Meg excitedly informed as she took a sip of her orange juice.

 

“That’s great news.”  He smiled, reaching a hand across the table to hold hers.

 

“Are you excited about the upcoming doctor’s appointment?” Kousuke lightly caressed her knuckles with his thumb.

 

“Excited and nervous..super nervous.” She exhaled. “What about you? Are you nervous?”

 

“No, why would I? We’re going to see our child for the first time. I’m ecstatic.” He gently squeezed her hand. “Everything’s going to be alright.”

 

Meg gave a lopsided smile and nodded. “You’re right. I shouldn’t let my nerves get the best of me.” She picked up her fork with some of her gnocchi. “Here, try some.” She offered, guiding the utensil into the male’s mouth.

 

“Mm. It’s quite toothsome.”  The dark haired male complimented.

 

 

 

Finely manicured hands moved her King two squares towards her a1 rook before placing the rook on the other side of the King right next to it, perfectly executing the queenside castling move.

 

Baby blues glanced up from the board to regard the female sitting across from him. Meg was haughtily rubbing her chin in triumph.

 

“You’re cheating, Megan.” He said flatly.

 

“Ohhh no, Kousuke.” She waved her finger in front of his face. “That was a legal move! There weren’t any pieces between my King and my Rook over here, plus it was their first move! How is that cheating? I met the basic conditions. You’re just being childish.” She tsked with a shake of her head.

 

“Yes, the conditions have been met, but need I remind you my rook had your King in check?” He pointed at the chessman’s position on the e5 square. “When you’re in check there is no way you can castle out of check. The same rule applies with castling through check. It cannot be done.” He folded his arms.

 

Megan sighed through her nose and began playing with a tendril of her hair. “Who made up all these ridiculous rules anyway?”

 

“Would you like to continue?” Kousuke asked.

 

“Nope. You’ll win anyway. I’ll just cut my losses.” She got up from the floor and drifted to the couch.

 

Kousuke removed the pieces from the board and put them back in their drawstring bag before putting the board in its rightful place.

 

“Tomorrow’s the big day.” Kousuke murmured as he took his place by Megan’s side.

 

“Yes!! Oh my gosh it feels unreal. I just want the day to hurry up and end already. My heart is racing just thinking about it.” She placed a palm to her thundering chest.

 

“I’m a bit restless myself.” Kousuke admitted.

 

Meg stifled a yawn with the back of her hand and rubbed at her eyes.

 

“Are you feeling tired?” Her counterpart queried, taking notice of the crescents forming under her eyes.

 

“Exhausted better describes how I’m feeling, coupled with expelling the contents of my stomach on the daily.”  She stifled another yawn.

 

“I think I’m going to turn in early, Kousuke. Don’t stay up too late, ‘kay?” She placed a kiss to his cheek before retiring for the night.

 

The following day rolled in, leading to the alarm clock waking up the slumbering couple. Meg squinted open her eyes, propped herself up onto her elbows and looked over to the stirring male. “Kousuke, what time is it?”

 

“About six o’clock.” He replied, rubbing the sleep from his eyes.

 

“Why did you set the alarm so early? The appointment is set for 8:30 and the doctor’s office isn’t even that far.” She rolled onto her back with an exasperated groan.

 

“Yes, but you need a full bladder during the ultrasound and I doubt you’ll be able to hold your bladder from last night what with all the pressing and prodding the OB is going to be doing to your stomach later in the morning.”

 

“Did you forget that I’m basically running to the bathroom every few minutes. I’m pretty sure I’m going to have enough fluids in me by the time we get there.” She furrowed her brow in discomfort. “Speaking of which, I have to go right now.” She announced, sliding out of the bed and scampered off to the bathroom.

 

“I’m going to prepare some breakfast. What would you like?” Kousuke questioned as he slipped on his black bedroom slippers.

 

“Scrambled eggs.” Meg replied from the toilet. “Oooh and some of the greek yogurt from the fridge, please.” She input.

 

Nodding to himself at her request he made his way downstairs to whip up their meal.

 

Fifteen minutes later, Meg entered the kitchen dressed in a black turtleneck which was tucked into a pair of light blue jeans.

 

“I’m so hungry.” The brunette grunted as she stretched out her arms, loosening up her stiff muscles while making her way to the island.

 

Kousuke pulled out a stool for the female to take a seat while simultaneously placing a plate filled with scrambled eggs and toast on the side onto the counter top.

 

“Eat up.” He encouraged, walking back to the fridge to retrieve the yogurt and scooped some out into a bowl. He then walked back to the island and took a bite of his own toast, sliding the white ceramic to Meg.

 

Meg’s phone vibrated in the back pocket of her jeans. Pulling out the device she read the text that came from her sister. She brought a spoonful of yogurt up to her mouth as her eyes scanned the contents of the message.

 

“Our niece wants to spend this weekend with us.” She looked at him, bringing the last piece of her toast to her mouth.

 

“I don’t see why not.” He agreed as she texted back a reply before placing her phone at the side of her plate.

 

Meg finished up her yogurt and went to the sink to wash up her dishes. She then filled a glass with water and chugged it down before refilling it two more times.

 

Kousuke made his way over to the sink to clean his own dishes once he was finished.

 

“I’m going to get myself ready. I’ll be back momentarily.” He disappeared up the stairs.

 

Meg opened up the camera of her phone to give her appearance a once over. “Hm..should I wear my hair up or leave it down?” She took a handful of her hair to the back of her head and held it up before releasing it once more. “It’ll stay down. I look better this way.” She told herself with a nod.

 

An hour and a half later the couple left their home and arrived at their appointment with five minutes to spare.

 

“My gosh, Kousuke. Why does it always take you so long to get ready?” She questioned as the walked through the building doors.

 

“I take expert care in my skin routine. It takes time to get my skin looking as flawless as this you know.” He replied with an offended huff.

 

“Ah, Mr. and Mrs. Hirahara, right on time.” A brunet male smiled as he greeted them. “If you’ll follow me we can get started.”

 

The couple silently followed the man into an office where a full physical exam on Meg was performed. Her pelvic and breast exam, pap smear and blood work were taken.

 

“All right, I’d like for you to lie back on this table and raise up your shirt for me.” The sonographer requested.

 

The brunette silently did as was told. The technician then spread a clear gel on her abdomen which cause a shiver to run up the female’s spine. “Woah, that’s cold.”

 

The technician then took the transducer and moved it over the gel. A black and white image filled the monitor. The technician moved the wand across her abdomen to get a better visual.

“Surprise, surprise.” The male announced.

 

“What? Is something the matter?” Kousuke questioned from his seat.

 

“It looks like the both of you are expecting twins.” The sonographer announced happily.

 

“Wait, there’s two of them inside of me at the same time right now?” Meg’s jaw hung open as she turned her head to her husband. Kousuke’s expression mirrored hers.

 

“Yes ma’am.” He confirmed. “This is Baby A and that one is Baby B.” He pointed at each gestational sac on the monitor. “Looks like they’re no bigger than the size of a blueberry.”

“Can you confirm the date of your last period?” The doctor quizzed.

 

“January 2nd.” She rattled off.

 

“Alrighty.” The doctor then focused his attention to the screen, measuring both fetuses. “Congratulations, you’re seven weeks, three days along in your pregnancy. Both babies are measuring 1.2cm. You have an estimated two hundred and twenty-eight days to go which means your due date will be sometime around October 9th. Bear in mind I stress on the word estimate, your babies may not arrive on this exact date.”

 

Both individuals nodded in understanding.

 

“Here’s the heartbeat of the first baby here.” The doctor identified with the mouse.”Aaand here’s the heartbeat of the second baby here. Would you both like to hear them?”

 

The doctor got a nod of excitement from Meg.

 

The room got deathly quiet as the doctor turned the sound on for them to hear the children’s heartbeat.

 

The drumming of Baby A’s heart filled the room and Meg’s face lit up at the sound. “Do you hear that Kousuke?” She whispered out.

 

“Yes.” He murmured in awe.

 

The doctor then played the heartbeat of the second baby.

 

“Wow, that’s loud.” Meg commented.

 

“That heartbeat sounds louder since it’s closer to the ultrasound but they’re about the same rate.” The doctor clarified.

 

“Can I know the range of their heartbeats?” Kousuke queried.

 

“Sure.” The doctor opened up a field on the screen labeled ‘HR’. “The first heartbeat measures one-twenty-nine and the second one measures one-fifty-two. So both their heart-rates are normal.”

 

“You know, there’s an old wives tale that says boys have faster heartbeats and girls have slower heartbeats, so there’s a chance you’re having a boy and a girl.” He smiled.

 

“That’s awesome! I mean it doesn’t matter either way. I’m just so happy.” She folded her hands across her chest.

 

Once the ultrasound was complete the sonographer wiped her stomach clean of the gel. Meg finished up her check-up with her weight and blood pressure being taken as well as having a urine test done.

 

“Is there anything you’d like to have clarified before you leave?” Her OB asked.

 

“Yes. Is it okay to have sex since I’m pregnant with two babies instead of one? I’d hate to hurt them during intercourse.” Meg crossed her legs as she got comfortable in her seat.

 

“Sex is fine as long as whatever activities you partake in doesn’t cause pain or discomfort.” Her OB ensured.

 

“Do I have to completely cut out coffee from my diet? Although it makes me feel a bit nauseous right now, I won’t feel that way for the entirety of my pregnancy.”

 

“You can consume coffee but limit it to no more than two-hundred milligrams a day. I’ll also provide you a list of foods you should avoid while you’re pregnant.”

 

“Can I exercise?”

 

“Yes, it is encouraged that pregnant women keep active, but I will advise that you should avoid overheating during your pregnancy and not go over a pulse of one hundred and forty.”

 

“What if I accidentally bump my stomach into surfaces like the kitchen counter or..or a door frame? Would it hurt the babies?”

 

“Worry not, the babies float around in an amniotic fluid in the amniotic sac, which in turn is protected by the muscles of both the uterus and the abdomen. A stranger’s elbow here or a kitchen counter there isn’t going to hurt your children. Do notify me if you get a spill directly onto your belly though, or if you’ve gotten a blow to your stomach by another adult.”

 

Meg soaked up all of the information her Ob-gyn was giving her like a sponge.

 

“Okay, that’s all I have to ask.” She gave a content smile.

 

“All right. If you have any problems feel free to contact me at any time..” The OB returned her smile.

 

“Thank you.” The brunette got up from her seat and exited the office with Kousuke in tow.

 

Meg hugged one of Kousuke’s arms as they exited the building. “Can you believe it Kousuke? Twins! I still can’t wrap my head around it.”

 

“Neither can I.” He admitted as he ran a hand through his dark locks.

 

“Maybe after trying for so long we were gifted with them for our troubles.” She giggled.

 

 

 

 

“What colour do you think we should paint the nursery?” Kousuke asked as he dexterously massaged the foot he had in his hands.

 

“It’s between orange and green.” Meg wiggled her toes to which Kousuke lightly tapped her foot.

 

“I’m trying to concentrate, don’t wiggle them like that.” He chided.

 

“Orange is a very comfortable color. It promotes a welcoming feeling and inspires interpersonal conversation. Orange is friendly and puts reservations at ease. Use a darker orange for a super-cozy atmosphere or bright orange for a punch of modern!” She read off of the website her phone was on.

 

“I could envision the nursery being in orange but to be honest I’m leaning more towards the colour green. Green is calming, refreshing and nurturing, plus it’s the best colour to use in a learning environment.”

 

Kousuke switched feet as he mulled over his thoughts.

 

“All right, I like the colour green as well. That seems to be the best choice.” The living room fell into a ruminative silence.

 

“Meg, do you think we should purchase another crib since we’re expecting two babies instead of one?”

 

“Nah. We’ll have them sleep in the same crib, I’d hate to separate them since they’ll already be spending most of their time together in here.” She lovingly rubbed her stomach.

 

“That does makes sense..”

 

Meg’s phone rang out loudly in her hands and she slid her finger across the screen to accept the call.

 

“Hey sis! How’d your appointment go?”

 

“Hey Alyssa. It went great but you’ll never guess what we found out today.”

 

“Spill the beans, girl!”

 

“We’re having twins!” Meg squealed excitedly. In her fit of enthusiasm, Meg narrowly missed Kousuke’s face with her foot . She heard her sister gasp over the receiver.

 

“Shut the front door! How’d you guys accomplish that? That must have been one hell of a night.” Alyssa intoned saucily.

 

Kousuke rolled his eyes at the snippet of conversation he had just overheard.

 

“I’m so happy for you! It’s finally my turn to be an Aunt too.” Alyssa sighed wistfully.

 

“Pretty soon I’m gonna trade in my flat stomach for a swollen one. I’m not gonna lie, I’ll miss it.” She pulled up her t-shirt to observe the expanse of flesh.

 

“Please, after you birth those kids your body’s gonna go back to normal. Thank you Mom and Dad for these genes.” Alyssa praised.

 

Meg heard rustling over the line and a child-like voice muttered something before her sister talked again.

 

“Ayla wants to talk to you.” Alyssa barely finished her sentence when her niece’s voice shouted into the receiver.

 

“Aunty Meg! Don’t forget you and Uncle Kou promised to let me come over next weekend.” Ayla reminded excitedly.

 

“Don’t worry we didn’t forget, Lala.” She smiled at the child’s enthusiasm.

 

“Okay, jus’ making sure ‘cause you’re old.”

 

“Oh my gosh Meg sorry about that.” Alyssa came back on the line trying to contain her laughter.

 

“It’s okay Alyssa. Kids say the darndest things.” She wheezed as she wiped the corners of her eyes.

 

“Look, I have to go now but we’ll chat more later, bye!”

 

“Bye.” Meg bade farewell.

 

“I think mint green would be the best shade to paint the nursery.” Kousuke voiced.

 

“Oooh I like that.” Meg agreed.

 

“I can get the paint and supplies by tomorrow morning and we should be able to finish the room later in the day.” Kousuke suggested.

 

“Sounds like a plan.”

 

 


 

 

 

Meg tied a blue bandana tightly around her head to cover her hair and dressed in an old  white shirt and shorts. She then made her way to the would-be nursery with an armful of sheets.

 

Kousuke already had two buckets of paint opened and began to pour some of it into each tray.

“I found some old sheets. Wouldn’t want the paint to fly and mess up the floors.” The brunette announced.

 

“Perfect.” Kousuke stood up from his haunches.

 

After the both on them protected the floors with the pieces of cloth they set to work, coating the rollers with the mint green paint and each taking a wall for themselves, working diligently with light conversation as time slowly ticked away.

 

Kousuke wiped the sweat that had accumulated on his brow. Admiring his and his wife’s handiwork from the center of the room.

 

“Not too shabby if I do say so myself.” He nodded his head in approval at the final result.

Meg spun to the center of the room and enveloped Kousuke in a hug. “It looks amazing!” Her honey eyes sparkled with mirth as she gazed up at him.

 

“You have a bit of paint on your cheek.” He informed as he licked his thumb and wiped the speck of green from her features. Kousuke then placed a lingering kiss to the brunette’s forehead.

 

“Here too.” Meg pointed to her mouth with a smile.

 

Kousuke happily obliged, placing a chaste kiss to her lips as well.

 

After the paint dried, the couple removed the sheets from off of the floor and began furnishing the space.

 

“We could put the armchair next to the window.” Meg spoke up while she was running the white and grey patterned curtain through it’s rod. Kousuke had just finished placing the changing station adjacent the crib by the wall.

 

Meg used the footrest to get some extra height to properly hang the curtains.

“You could have asked me for help, you know.” The male informed.

 

“It wasn’t something I couldn’t have done for myself.” Megan replied easily with a shrug, stepping off of the footrest.

 

Kousuke shifted the the white armchair near the window and Meg placed it’s footrest a few inches away from it.

 

The brunette pulled the bandana from off of her head and wiped her face, taking in the final product of their work, the afternoon rays filtered through the open window, giving the nursery’s mint green walls a warm glow.

 

Meg sat herself onto the floor and rested her head on the fluffy white rug they had laid down earlier. “I feel so freaking accomplished.” She grinned.

 

 


 

 

“How do you think they’ll look?” Kousuke asked looking up at Megan from his resting place on her lap.

 

“Well, I think they’ll most likely have dark hair.” She started, running her hand through Kousuke’s dark strands. “And they’ll probably have..your forehead.” She brushed back his bangs back and placed a kiss to his exposed skin. “Maybe they’ll have my nose and my eye colour as well.”

 

“Hm. Do you have any names in mind?”

 

“I was thinking that if one of them were a girl we could name her Matilda.”

 

Everything got silent then.

 

Meg glanced down at Kousuke who had an expression as though he had swallowed something bitter.

 

“What?”

 

“Matilda? Are you joking?”

 

“What’s wrong with that name?”

 

“Not so sound rude or anything but that’s an old woman’s name.” He blinked.

 

“No it’s not.” Meg defended. “I got it from the movie with the little girl who loved to read and had powers.”

 

“If we name our child that they’d be bullied for the better part of their childhood. I can see it now. She’ll be running home in tears to us because her classmates made fun of the name her mother bestowed upon her. I’m sorry. I won’t put our child through that torture.”

 

“Pfft. Well mister, I don’t see you making any suggestions.”

 

“I haven’t thought of any yet, hence me asking you for any ideas you had but that was a mistake.”

 

“We’ll come up with something.”

 

The doorbell rang, indicating they had guests.

 

Meg and Kousuke went to answer the front door and were greeted by their siblings and one little girl who was clothed in purple pajamas zoomed through the threshold.

 

“Hey guys!” Meg smiled.

 

“I waited so long to come I nearly cried.” Ayla revealed to her aunt.

 

“Bring it in big bro.” Nol announced as he opened up his arms and crushed his brother into a tight hug and ruffled his hair a bit. “Sorry I didn’t reply to any of your messages these past few days. My phone was down. I have something for you though.” The redhead handed the elder male a gift bag.

 

“I even got it with long sleeves since you like them so much. Do you like it?” He asked with a bright smile as Kousuke pulled out the shirt.

 

“Real men make twins.” He read the text on the black fabric before looking at his brother once more. “I appreciate the sentiment. Thank you.”

 

“I see the both of you are ready for a night on the town.” Meg observed as she saw their fancy attire. “Alyssa do a little spin for me. That red dress is gorgeous, is it Bucci?”

 

“Yup! You know me and fashion.” She smiled and leaned closer to her sister. “And hopefully after our night out we could finally get laid.” She whispered. “Lord knows it’s been a while.”

 

“Ohh, I got ya.” Meg responded with a wink.

 

Nol removed the pink backpack he had slung over his shoulder and handed it took Kousuke. “She’s in your care now.”

 

Nol picked up his daughter and gave her tan cheeks a kiss. “Behave yourself okay? Be good for Aunty Meg and Uncle Kou.”

 

“I’m always good.” She innocently batted her eyelashes at her father.

 

“Bye Alya.” Alyssa planted a kiss to the child’s temple. “Have fun.”

 

“Buh-bye.” She waved off behind her parents.

 

“So Lala, what do you want to do?” Meg queried.

 

“Watch Sofia the First!” She shouted, launching herself onto the living room sofa and turning on the television to Disney Jr.

 

The couple and their niece wound up binge watching four episodes of Sofia the First, two episodes of Team Umizoomi on Nick Jr. and three episodes of The Little Einsteins on Playhouse Disney.

 

“What a wholesome way to spend a Friday evening.” Kousuke murmured as the theme song to Dora started playing.

 

“Uncle Kou, I don’t want to watch Dora the Explorer.” Ayla spoke up. “She asks too many questions. Can we watch Frozen instead?”

 

“It’s 9:15, aren’t you sleepy Lala?” Meg questioned.

 

“No, I took a nap before I came.”

 

“But still..”

 

“It’s fine, Meg. It’s the weekend and she’ll fall asleep when she’s ready. It doesn’t make sense trying to force her. She won’t stay down.”

 

Ayla smiled at Kousuke’s response. She could always count on him to back her up.

 

“Oh. Before I forget.” The cherry blonde stood up from her perch between the couple and looked  at both of them. “Do you notice anything diff’rent about me?” She questioned.

 

“Did you get taller?” Meg took a guess.

 

“Mm. I dunno?” The child shrugged.

 

“Did you lose any teeth?” Kousuke took a chance.

 

“Nope.” She shook her head.

 

“I give up, Lala. Tell me.” Meg prodded.

 

The child gave out an exasperated huff and shook her head wildy, causing her wavy tendrils to bounce about. “I cut my hair.”

 

“How did I not notice?” Meg gave an exaggerated gasp.

 

“Beats me. Anyway, it was getting too long. I try to keep up the main..te..main..” She was struggling with the word.

 

“Maintenance.” Kousuke assisted.

 

“Yes! The maintenance. Aunty Meg never lets her hair get too long so I’m trying to not get it long either. I make Momma cut it for me.” She beamed proudly.

 

“You don’t want it long like your Mom’s?”

 

“No. Yours is cooler.” She plopped herself back onto the sofa and leaned into Meg’s side.

 

Kousuke pulled up Frozen on the television and the trio fell silent once more.

 

Halfway through the movie, the sound of light snores drifted to the brunette’s ears. She pried her eyes from the movie and observed Kousuke slouched in his seat, out like a light. Her eyes then took in the sight of her niece who had succumbed to the same fate as well.

 

“Bedtime.” She mumbled, shutting off the television. Meg double-checked to make sure the front door was locked as well as all the windows before finally turning off the living room lights.

The brunette gathered the slumbering girl in her arms and walked up to Kousuke, lightly ruffling his hair which caused him to stir. “Babe, come to bed.”

 

Meg carefully made her way upstairs to the master bedroom and gently placed Ayla under the darksheets before getting in the bed herself.

Kousuke entered the room a few moments later and rolled onto the bed. “Goodnight, love.”

 

“Night.”

.

.

.

 

Meg groggily peeked open her her eyes when she felt a weight drop itself onto her stomach. “What the hell?” She gazed around the darkness confusedly until she found the culprit.

 

Ayla had shifted in her sleep, her body now positioned sideways with her head resting on Kousuke’s chest and her left foot lay on Meg’s abdomen.

 

“Yup, you’ve got the Cho family’s sleeping habits.” She rasped before drifting off once more.

 

 


 

 

The feeling of extra heat pulled the mother-to-be from her slumber which in turn made her conscious of the added weight that was present on her person.

 

Megan was met with a face full of cherry blonde hair. Some way or the other, Ayla had managed to climb on top of her during the night, using her breasts as makeshift pillows.

 

“Thank god my boobs aren’t as sore as they used to be.” Her pale hands gently stroked the child’s hair.

 

“You’re starting to look like a mother already.” Kousuke voiced.

 

Ah. So he’s awake.

 

Meg tilted her head to look at her husband. “Ya think so?”

 

He replied with a silent nod.

 

“Aunty Meg you’re very loud.” Ayla looked up at her, having being awoken from her slumber.

 

“Haha sorry Ayla. We should get up though, we can’t sleep the day away. We won’t be able to have loads of fun if we do that.”

 

“Okay..” She lazily rolled off of the brunette and into the empty space between the couple.

 

.

.

.

 

“One, two,three..” Meg stood in the corner of the living room with her hand covering her face, fully immersed in the game of hide and seek Ayla convinced her to play.

 

“..eighteen, nineteen, twenty. Ready or not here I come!!”

 

Long legs took the brunette to the kitchen to search in the cupboards to see if the child had fit herself inside, then she checked under the dining table followed by the bedrooms.

 

Walking back down the stairs, loud giggles filled the female’s ears from the back porch.

 

Megan walked outside onto the deck just as the giggling stopped. “Oh where, oh where could Lala be?” She tapped her chin, honey optics catching sight of the child behind a potted plant that barely concealed her person.

 

Ayla had her hand covering her mouth to suppress her snickering.

 

“I found you!” Meg shouted, circling around the plant, assaulting the child with tickles.

 

Ayla rolled around trying to get away from Meg’s fingers. “Aunty nooo! Haha!”

 

“Aunty yes!!” Meg insisted.

 

“I’m terribly sorry for interrupting you ladies, but lunch is ready.” Kousuke announced from his position in the doorway.

 

“Mac and cheese!!” The child shot up from the floor and rushed inside with Meg chasing behind her. “We have to wash our hands first, Ayla!”

 

The trio sat at the kitchen table enjoying their meal.

 

“Uncle Kou, Aunty, you guys are having a baby, right?” The three year old asked, taking a bite of her macaroni.

 

“That’s right. Two actually.” Kousuke confirmed.

 

“And two of them are inside your belly, right?” The child pointed and Meg’s stomach.

 

“Correct, Lala.” The child nodded her head in thought. “How did they end up inside there? Did you eat the babies?”

 

“Ah, no. I didn’t eat the babies.” She scratched her head in discomfort, knowing where this was going.

 

“Then how did they get there?” Her niece’s bright emerald orbs held an inquisitive gaze.

 

“Ask your Uncle Kou. He knows.” Meg diverted the child’s attention to Kousuke. The female noticed the annoyed twitch of her spouse’s eyebrows and she sent him an apologetic look but was eager to hear what he had to say.

 

“Uncle Kou, tell me how.” Ayla twisted in her chair to face the male fully sucking on her juice box.

 

“A special seed was planted into your Aunty and that’s how she got the babies.” He explained smoothly.

 

“Who planted it there?”

 

“I did.”

 

“Where did you get the seed?”

 

“Finish your food Lala. It’s going to get cold and yucky if you don’t.” Meg butted in, folding her lips together to silence a laugh. Kousuke squinted his eyes at her in muted disapproval.

 

“Okay.” The child relented and continued with her meal.

 

.

.

.

 

 

“Sir Hirahara, would you like some tea?” Ayla asked holding up a water bottle.

 

“Why yes madam, I would love to have some tea.” Kousuke held out the toy tea cup for the girl to pour the liquid into it.

 

“Lady Cho, would you like some tea as well?”

 

“I would be honored, your majesty.” Meg held out her own cup to be filled.

 

“All right, we may now drink. Pinkies out, everyone.” Ayla instructed and both adults followed suit, taking a sip of the water.

 

“Mm, the taste is impeccable. Is this Earl Grey, your majesty?”

 

“How did you know?” Ayla smiled.

 

“I can always recognize the taste of the bergamot oil that gives the tea its unique taste.” Kousuke explained, completely immersed in the roleplaying.

 

“You have a fine man, Lady Cho.” Ayla praised.

 

“Yes your majesty, I must say that I am blessed to have him.” She smiled.

 

Sunday evening rolled in and Kousuke had his chess board out trying to teach Ayla how to play, per her request.

 

“The knight goes in this direction.” Kousuke tutored.

 

“Why does it move so far?”

 

“Those are the rules of the game.”

 

“Oh okay.” The white rook caught her attention. “Where does this castle go?”

 

“That is called a rook Ayla, and it goes up, down, left or right.” He explained moving the chessman on the board.

 

“How come it gets to move in so many ways? But this one..” She pointed to the pawn. “..can only move on space at a time after the first move? That’s cheating.”

 

“That’s just how the game is structured.” He shrugged.

 

Ding dong.

 

Meg pried herself from the loveseat and walked up to answer the front door.

 

“Hey Alyssa, Nol!” The elder female invited the couple inside.

 

“How was Ayla? Did she behave?” Alyssa asked.

 

“Always.” Meg hummed. “Ayla, look who came to pick you up.”

 

The three year old’s concentration on the board was broken, she turned her head finally taking notice of her parents.

 

“Momma! Daddy!” She got up from her place on the ground and rushed to her mother who lifted her up.

 

“Did you miss us?” Alyssa asked as she gave her daughter an eskimo kiss in greeting.

 

“Of course I did!” She squeezed her arms tightly around her mother’s neck.

 

“Aww, we missed you too, Tiger!” Nol gushed, giving his daughter’s cheek an affectionate kiss.

 

Kousuke looked at the family interacting with each other and a ghost of a smile touched his lips.

 

“Thanks for looking after her Meg and Kousuke.” Nol expressed gratefully.

 

“It wasn’t any trouble. We enjoy her presence.” The raven-haired male replied.

 

“Okay, we’re gonna get going now, don’t want to interrupt you two anymore than we have already.” Alyssa voiced. “Thanks again guys.” The family of three waved their goodbyes before exiting the house.

 

“Aww Kousuke, that’s going to be us in the future!” Meg sighed wistfully at the closed door.

 

“Yes and I can’t wait. In just a few month our lives are going to change” He wrapped an arm around her waist and kissed the column of her neck.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Kousuke come quick!” Meg urgently called.

 

“What’s wrong?” Kousuke rushed out of the bathroom towel around his neck from drying his hair.

 

“It’s the twins!! They’re moving. Come and feel them.” Meg coaxed, while she rolled up her shirt to expose her swollen stomach.

 

Not needing to be told twice, Kousuke sat on the bed and placed a hand on his wife’s nineteen week belly. They waited with baited breath for any signs of life until..

 

“Did you feel it?!”

 

“Yes! I’m speechless.” Kousuke voiced, completely in awe. His blue eyes swimming with warmth. The dark-haired male leaned forward and kissed her stomach. “It’s a shame that we have to wait nine months to see the both of you.”

 

He gently caressed the flesh that separated him from his children. Kousuke felt movement beneath the palm of his hand once more.

 

“What do their movements feel like?” Kousuke asked.

 

“Well, at first their movement felt like little butterflies rolling around my tummy but now they feel like little fishes swimming around.” Meg gave her best explanation possible.

 

“Fascinating.”

 

Meg smiled at the childlike wonderment that had possessed the usually uptight male.

 

“I’m a bit thirsty. I’m going for some water. Be right back.” The brunette eased herself out of the bed, exited the room and carefully made her way down the stairs watching her step.

 

Finally reaching her destination, Meg grabbed a glass from the cabinet and opened the fridge to fetch a jug filled with water and poured it into the glass.

 

Right before Meg brought the beverage up to her lips it slipped out of her fingers, falling to the ground. The glass with the water broke as a result.

 

“Megan? What was that?” Kousuke called the bedroom.

 

“My glass of water broke due to me being clumsy! It’s nothing.” She shouted back.

 

Kousuke ran down the stairs nonetheless. “Go back to the bedroom, I’ll clean up the mess and bring you your water.”

 

Meg followed his instructions and returned to the bedroom and climbed into bed. Five minutes later Kousuke came back to the room with Meg’s water in hand.

 

“Here you go, love.” Kousuke handed the glass to his wife to which she gratefully accepted it.

 

“Are you satisfied?” The male questioned when she finished off the glass.

 

“Actually..” She tugged on the hem of his shirt, playing with the seams. “I’m in the mood for some love making.” She pulled him closer to her with a twinkle in her eye.

 

“You’re so insatiable.” He teased, ridding himself of his shirt.

 

“I’ll blame it on the hormones.” Meg twittered, melding their lips together.

 

 

 

 

“Thanks for coming over to cook me lunch Mrs. Hirahara but you really didn’t have to, I could have prepared something for myself.” Meg smiled.

 

“Don’t be silly, dear!” Yui’s azure eyes crinkled with a tug of her lips as she witnessed the brunette bringing a forkful of meat to her lips. “I wanted to treat you today. How’s my cooking? I’ll admit that it has been a while since I’ve touched a pot. Is it to your liking?”

 

Meg made an almost inaudible sound of discomfort to the back of her throat but shook it off.

 

“Oh yes Mrs. Hirahara, it’s delicious.” Meg placed a tendril of hair behind her ear.

 

“Drop the formalities Meg, we’re family, remember? Call me Yui.” Her mother-in-law took a sip of her wine and noted the glass of water beside the mother-to-be’s plate. “Is that all you ever drink? Why don’t you partake of some wine?”

 

Meg’s eyes widened at her words. “No, I can’t drink alcohol. I’m pregnant, remember?”

 

“Oh, silly me. This old lady brain of mine isn’t like it once was.” She took another sip. “Do you know their genders?”

 

“Yes, we found out three weeks ago.”

 

“What are you having?”

 

“A boy and a girl.” Meg furrowed her brows and tried to get more comfortable in her chair.

 

“That’s wonderful news! You killed two birds with one stone” Yui took a bite out of her salad. “Have you both thought of any names?”

 

“No, not yet. We’re still thinking.” She took a sip of her water.

 

“Maybe you can name the girl after her dear grandmother.” She lifted a veiny hand to flip her hair over her shoulder.

 

“I’ll think about it, Mrs. Hirahara .” Meg chuckled, but it was cut short by a wince.

 

“Is there something the matter?” Yui tilted her head at the pained expression the brunette made.

 

Meg doubled over with a loud grunt. Her abdomen, lower back and pelvis felt like they were on fire. She had the table cloth in a vice like grip while her other arm cradled her stomach. Air escaped her lungs as fast as it had entered.

 

“Meg, honey? Are you all right?” The woman barely registered the words the other female uttered.

 

Meg felt something warm pool around her crotch area, spreading to the inside of her thighs.

 

The brunette weakly looked down, observing the bloody mess that was her pants.

 

“Megan?” She heard the chair screech against the tile.

 

 

 

 

Ring ring.

 

Kousuke was concentrating on reviewing his reports, ensuring that nothing was amiss.

 

Ring ring.

 

He released a huff of air. Why didn’t he ever turn that thing off? His eyes scanned over the caller ID. He clucked his tongue in mild annoyance. “What would she want now?” He mumbled, contemplating if he should answer the phone or not.

 

Ring ring.

 

To hell with it.

 

“Hello? Mother, you know not to disturb me while I’m working. It disrupts my concentration.” He snapped.

 

“No need to be so hostile, son. I’m calling to inform you that I’m in the hospital right now.” His mother revealed.

 

“Are you unwell?” He twisted in his swivel chair.

 

“I’m just fine son. It’s Megan who was admitted. We were having lunch together and she suddenly began to bleed. Heavily so.”

 

“What?! Is she okay?” He shot up from his seat.

 

“I honestly have no idea. They took her away a few moments ago.”

 

Kousuke quickly collected his things and bolted out of his office.

 

“I’m on my way.” He hung up the phone.

 

Twenty minutes later, Kousuke stalked through entrance of the Hirahara Memorial Hospital and made his way to the Operational Theatre Department.

 

“Are you Mr.Hirahara?” A doctor dressed in scrubs queried behind his surgical mask.

 

“Yes, that’s me. What’s wrong with my wife? I heard she was bleeding severely. Will she be okay?” He tried to walk around the doctor but he obstructed his path.

 

“You can’t go inside yet, sir. We’re prepping her for surgery right now. You’ll be able to go inside in a few minutes. In the meantime you’ll need to attire yourself in your own set of scrubs.” The doctor informed, leading the male to a room to change in.

 

“Surgery? What’s wrong with her?”

 

“She’s suffering from an overly distended uterus from carrying the twins which in turn caused a uterine rupture. We’re delivery the babies via emergency cesarean section.” The male explained as Kousuke stripped himself in favor of the scrubs.

 

Kousuke’s blood ran cold. “How did my wife take the news?”

 

“Well..” The doctor started.

 

“Are you out of your mind?" Meg held a protective arm over her stomach." My babies are perfectly healthy and they’re not due for another 18 weeks or so, and you’re telling me that the pregnancy has to be terminated?!” Meg doubled over in pain, gripping her hospital gown. “Shit.”

 

“Mrs. Hirahara, you’re suffering from uterine rupture, what that means is that your uterus has teared and it may result in both fetuses to float around in your abdomen. Denying treatment is unacceptable.” One of the doctor’s tending to her calmly explained.

 

“What about my children? Will they be able to survive outside of the womb?”

 

The room fell silent.

 

“Answer. The. Question.” Meg’s eyes watered in frustration.

 

“We’ll do all we can to keep them alive.”

 

“She took the news like any mother would.” He finished. “Come, they should be finished administering the regional anesthetic.”

 

The pair entered the operational theatre and Kousuke immediately went to Meg’s side.

 

“How do you feel, Megan? Kousuke queried from behind his surgical mask.

 

“Numb from the waist down, nauseous, like my heart is about to leap out of my throat.” She sniffled. “Can you hold my hand?” She pleaded.

 

“Of course.” Kousuke gave her hand a firm grip without complaint.

 

Meg owlishly blinked at the white ceiling of the room. Meg’s body began to shake as the frigidity of the space set into her pores. She should have asked for blankets.

 

A slight pressure was felt on her abdomen with the first incision. Meg took a deep breath to calm herself. It felt like an elephant was standing on her chest.

 

The squishing and sloshing behind the curtain invaded her ears and the sickening stench of the sterile environment caused bile to make its way up her throat.

 

“I want to vomit.” Meg informed and the circulating nurse rushed to her side with a kidney shaped pan. “Just tilt your head to the side and let it out.” The blonde woman gently instructed.

 

After expelling the contents of her stomach the female felt a bit better.

 

What felt like hours later, Meg heard weak cries of the first baby that was born, causing her heart to flutter and sink at the same time. “It’s a boy.” The doctor announced as the nursery nurse took him to clean him off and weigh him. A few more minutes and she heard another cry which got fainter as the nursery nurse took away the baby. That was her little girl. Meg squeezed Kousuke’s hand tighter.

 

“We have a problem.” The surgeon announced. “The damage to the uterus is extensive and the bleeding can’t be controlled. Gloria.” He turned to the perioperative nurse. “Get the instruments that are needed for a hysterectomy.”

 

Did it get more cold in there? It felt like she was in the antarctic.

 

Meg licked her chapped lips as she heard the staff rushing around the room.

 

A hysterectomy?

 

She needed a fucking hysterectomy.

 

This… this had to be a joke.

 

 

 

 

The premature boy whimpered in his mother’s sickly pale embrace, squinting open his amber eyes.

 

“Shh. It’s okay. Mommy’s here." She soothed, gently stroking the back of the infant’s hand. The baby managed to get a grip of his mother’s pinky, refusing to let go.

 

“Meg, are you sure that you don’t want to rest?” Kousuke asked worriedly in the quiet of the recovery room, their little girl in his arms. “You’re weak from the blood loss.”

 

Meg shook her head in disagreement. “I want to spend as much time with them as I possibly can. We won’t know when they might p-p..pass.” Her lip quivered a bit but she willed herself not to cry.

 

Meg scooted over in the hospital bed, mindful of the needle which was supplying her blood through her veins. “Hop in. I want to spend as much time as a family as we can.”

 

Kousuke slipped off his shoes and carefully climbed into the bed with his wife and son.

 

“I was right though.” She smiled as she leaned into the male’s side and peeked at her daughter. “They have my eyes and nose. Everything else is yours.”

 

Meg’s eyes became blurry with tears.

 

"You know, ever since I was a little girl, I've always dreamed of..getting married to a man who loves me and I him. Growing old together, enjoying each other's company." She sniffled. Her throat felt raw, but she continued. Voice thick with emotion. "But the one thing..The ONLY thing that trumped all of that was being able to..have a child to call my own. Loving them. Nurturing them, watching them grow up." She bowed her head, short brunette tresses hiding her features from the male as she fisted her gown in a trembling white knuckled grip. “And we were blessed with that reality a few months ago, after trying for so long. We have two little miracles right here.” She kissed the crown of her son’s head and passed a padded thumb over her daughter’s bare foot.

 

“They each have ten fingers and ten toes. All their limbs..” Her voice gave out. Hot tears splashed her sickly pale knuckles.

 

“I’m sorry, Kousuke.”

 

“Why are you apologizing? There’s nothing to apologize about.”

 

“I couldn’t bring them to term.” She dried her eyes on the shoulder of her hospital gown. “This isn’t fair. Why can’t they live longer?”

 

“That couldn’t be helped and although I hate to say it,life isn’t fair.” He reached an arm around her shoulder to console her.

 

“I know, but I still can’t help but think about what could have been, you know? I’m hesitant to give them names for fear of getting too attached.” The infant squirmed in her hold. “God, they’re so cute. I love them so much.” She stroked the child's cheek.

 

Kousuke placed a kiss to Meg’s temple. “Let’s just treasure what little time we have left with them. Focus on the now. Okay?”

 

Meg smiled. “All right. Let’s switch now, you’ve been hogging our daughter all to yourself. Let me give her a hold.”