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One Step Forward Then Jump

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One lazy Saturday evening, a man with raven-colored hair, clad in a black hoodie despite the humid weather, was settled on a couch in a small farmhouse and was busy typing on his laptop. He hadn't gotten the time to work this morning since he had promised his wife to feed the animals and help water the crops because she was feeling tired recently.

 

Sebastian had barely started making sense of the lines of numbers and letters on the screen when his beloved farmer plopped down on the spot next to him. She pecked his cheek with a kiss and nestled against his side. He let out a silent chuckle, her display of affection filled him with gentle fondness. Yobba knew how much he loved her and somehow made her understand too.

 

"Can I lie on your lap?" Emilia asked. Sebastian resisted the urge to raise an eyebrow and gave her a short nod as he laid his laptop on the low table placed in front of the couch. He leaned back while Emilia made herself comfortable on his lap.

 

"You haven't worked too hard today, right?" Sebastian worried.

 

"Of course not. Your lap just makes a good pillow."

 

"Ah." Sometimes Emilia had these moods in which she was very affectionate (in her own way) and would cling to him, surprising him at random times. And sometimes Emilia had moods in which she just jabbered utter nonsense.

 

"Sebby?" Sebastian’s right eye twitched slightly.

 

"Yeah?"

 

"I still think you're hot."

 

"Hot?" She nodded. He checked his forehead. He didn't have any fever.

 

"Yes, hot. Like, hot-hot." Hot barely made sense, let alone hot-hot. Even cold made more sense right now.

 

"Usually I am told to be quite the opposite." A light feeling of victory rose to his head as he watched her purse her lips, caught in deep thought.

 

"I mean the other kind of hot."

 

"That still doesn't make any sense," Sebastian responded. Abruptly, the collar of his hoodie was grabbed by her small hands as he was pulled in for a rough kiss. Soon he was kissing back in the same manner. After several minutes, when the grip on his collar was released, he pulled away. Face flushed red and slightly out of breath, he looked down at the woman lying on his lap, who was also trying to catch her breath, a satisfied grin plastered on her face.

 

"I meant to say you're sexy," she panted. Ah, sexy. That, he understood. He grinned back.

 

He picked her up suddenly, bridal-style, and swayed her around. He beamed while his wife let out cries of laughter, as she threw her arms around his neck.

 

"Put me down! I'm getting dizzy!" she laughed.

 

"What did you say?" he grinned, getting slightly dizzy himself as well.

 

"Mommy's getting dizzy!" Sebastian stopped dead on his tracks.

 

"Wait – what?" His eyes slowly grew comically wide, while the farmer couldn't stop giggling.

 

"I'm pregnant, silly!"

 

Sebastian remembered the mood in which Emilia would eat lots of chocolate and be grumpy all day. And remembered that she had missed that time of month.

 

Oh, dear.

Chapter Text

She had never thought about children much. She had always assumed that one day they might just spring up from her crops or something like that. Until the first symptoms of pregnancy appeared during summer and she had consulted with the doctor. Although Sebastian had originally found it weird that a tiny human grew inside his wife's body, he had soon started talking to it, much to the farmer's glee.

 

"I think you're going to be a girl, just as pretty as your mom," Sebastian positioned his ear against Emilia's belly in hopes of receiving an answer.

 

"It's going to be a boy, I tell you,"

 

"What makes you think so?" he questioned, patting her stomach as if it was a cat.

 

"Mother's intuition,"

 

"Well, my father's intuition tells me it's gonna be a girl," he answered stubbornly.

 

"I didn't know something like that even existed," she laughed.

 

After the first risky eight weeks had passed, they decided to announce the news. Robin had squashed Sebastian in a deadly hug, enthusiastically claiming she would become grandma, whereas Maru squealed and congratulated the couple. Demetrius just stood there shaking his head, slightly amused by his family’s antics.

 

Lewis had been very proud of Emilia for making a successor for the farm. Sebastian had wanted to object and say he had been responsible for the creation of the successor too, but wisely kept his mouth shut.

 

Soon the news spread and both of them were approached by other elated villagers. Although some encounters were slightly more embarrassing…

 

"Hey, man! Wait up!" Sebastian looked around to see Sam storming towards him.

 

"I just wanted to congratulate you!" Sebastian nodded with an acknowledging smile.

 

"I mean, good job, man," Sam added in a lowered voice. Sebastian decided not to respond to that and quickly changed the subject.

 

…it was obvious that everyone was happy for them.

 

Instead of asking Robin to make the child's bed, Sebastian decided to build the bed himself. He had spent the entire day working on it, hit his thumb with the hammer twice, got wood splinters caught in his hands and vowed to ask for Robin’s help next time. But the result was worth it. Grinning, Emilia had called it a true piece of art, showering her husband with kisses for a job well done. Now all they have to do is decorate the rest of the nursery.

 

The fifth month, Emilia's tummy had swollen to the size of a small football. Sebastian had forbidden her to work more than two hours on the farm a day, leaving the rest of the farm work to him. Soon she had grown bored. When Penny had stopped by to teach her how to knit and exile boredom, she gratefully took the needles and the yarn Penny had bought her. Later in the evening, she showed her husband the blue yarn she had received, grinning. Although he had grumbled it was the wrong color, he went to Pierre's to buy her more yarn when she ran out. Pierre sensed Sebastian's mood and slipped some extra white yarn in the bag.

 

Before long, Emilia had knitted a complete wardrobe for her child. When she presented it, Sebastian just shook his head in defeat, but praised her dedication with a smile.

 

"I still think it's going to be a girl," Sebastian insisted. Emilia smiled at first, but then winced and clutched her stomach, because the baby had kicked her.

 

"The baby disagrees with you," she managed to bring out. He quietly decided not to say his supposition on this matter out loud anymore.

 

"Bad baby," Emilia scolded the little life inside her. Sebastian grinned, amused, but felt relieved at the same time as his wife was okay.

 

"What do you think he'll be like?" she asked him.

 

"Who?"

 

"The baby."

 

"Just as adorable as his mom," he answered, resisting the urge to comment 'it's a she'.

 

"I think he'll be just like you." He looked at her.

 

"Why?"

 

"He's just as restless as you at night," she laughed.

 

"There’s a child in the room, you know?" he dryly answered.

 

She only smiled when his eyes grew wide as the size of saucers while he felt the little miracle move around in his wife's stomach. And she giggled when he suspiciously asked if she wasn't just flexing her abdominal muscles.

 

Soon, it was winter. Which meant it was just a matter of weeks before it was time for the delivery. Harvey checked up on Emilia every two weeks, to make sure the baby was doing fine and there wouldn't be any complications during the delivery. Sebastian grew more and more restless as the weeks passed. Not because he didn't like it when the doctor touched his wife's stomach, but because he was terrified something would go wrong. But he found the reassurance he needed at the saloon, from Abigail no less.

 

"Emilia's a strong woman. If anyone can handle it, it would be her," she had told him. "And I bet the baby is just as strong as the two of you are."

 

It was the ninth of spring when they were having breakfast. Sebastian was just telling Emilia how their pregnant cow was doing when she let out a pained gasp.

 

"What is it?" he asked, panicked.

 

"I think my water just broke."

 

For an instant, he didn't have a clue about what to do. Then he called Maru, who then immediately called Harvey. Sebastian had just carried his wife to the bed when the two came in. Harvey took charge and told him to warm up some water, while Maru searched the cabinets for some old towels and blankets. By two o'clock the labor pains started. Sebastian didn't want to watch his wife be in pain, but stayed by her side and held her hand, while Maru coached Emilia through the delivery.

 

It had been a heavy delivery, but in the middle of the night, ten past twelve o'clock, the child had been born. Maru took charge of cleaning the baby for them, while Sebastian whispered encouraging words in his exhausted wife's ear. Her face was covered in sweat, her hair was a mess and she was completely out of breath. She looked so terrible, it worried Sebastian. But when Harvey announced the child's health and laid it in Emilia's arms, the grin on her face made all his worries melt away.

 

"I told you so," she whispered hoarsely while cradling their son.

Chapter Text

"Daddy, where do babies come from?"

 

Sebastian scratched the back of his head as the raven-haired toddler crawled on his lap.

 

"Why do you ask?" he stalled, trying to avoid the inevitable.

 

"Because I wanna know!" The child dramatically threw his arms up in the air and a snicker was heard from the kitchen, where his wife was 'busy' fixing the cupboard doors while eavesdropping on the interesting father-son conversation.

 

"Well, you see…" He looked at the determined bright green eyes of his son and cleared his throat.

 

"Long ago, when only the guardian deity Yobba lived on these lands," Sebastian frowned. He wasn’t fond of reading stories, let alone making them up as he went. "The guardian was bored out of his mind and was growing lonely." The toddler pouted.

 

"Poor Yobba," he sniffled.

 

"No, no! He's gonna solve that! Don't worry." The sniffling stopped and Sebastian exhaled slowly, patted his son on his head and continued.

 

"So, the guardian decided to..." he looked out of the window on his left, "grow some crops," he added.

 

"Why?" questioned the toddler, resolved to know the story inside-out. Sebastian, however, was turning his mind inside-out to find a logical answer to this.

 

"That's easy, that's because well… the guardian loved gardening!"

 

"Oh! Okay," the toddler mumbled to himself. Sebastian folded his arms, satisfied with his own improvisation skills.

 

"Then, the guardian planted some crops," he continued. "Magical crops. Very rare magical crops." Another snicker was heard from the kitchen. Sebastian ignored it and went on, "And he watered them every day until the first leaves sprouted and continued to do so until they have fully grown into big, beautiful crops." He paused, letting the information slowly be processed by the tiny frowning human on his lap.

 

"What did he do with them?"

 

Sebastian smiled, finally getting the hang of it. "He loved his crops so much, that he didn't want to eat or ship them. So, he left them where they were and continued to take care of them as good as he did before. But one night, a bright idea occurred to him and the next morning, he watered the crops with his tears." His son gasped. “But, they were tears of happiness,” Sebastian quickly added before his son could utter a word.

 

"And then?" he eagerly demanded. Sebastian tried to concentrate. After several seconds, his lips curled up in a smile.

 

"After nine months, the crops tore their roots loose from the earth and started to look like babies. They turned pink and started to feel nice and soft. They slowly grew and became more and more like humans. They learned how to walk, how to speak, how to garden and, uh – " Sebastian scratched the back of his head again. His son stared at him with open mouth and full of anticipation.

 

"That's how babies are made." He finished proudly. But the toddler didn't react. He helplessly turned to Emilia who had curiously walked into the living room with a painfully broad smile while pointing at her impossible grin. Then it hit him.

 

"And they lived happily ever after," he added and an applause was heard. Sebastian leaned back, content that his efforts were being appreciated.

 

"You should stand up and bow, you know," the tiny human on his lap commented.

 

"Oh, you're right. I should." He lifted the toddler off his lap, stood up and made a bow with grand exaggerated gestures.