The silence of the Liyue bookstore lounge was broken by the groan of a soft female voice. Lumine had been taking a break for the day since she was feeling under the weather. From feeling weak in the morning to feeling nauseous into the afternoon, Lumine suspected the worst was a cold. But she didn’t feel bad enough to consult a doctor. Perhaps a walk around the city would do, or some food at Xiangling’s place. She was feeling excessively hungry today as well.
“Paimon.” The blonde called out softly as she trudged toward the southern side of Liyue. Paimon followed beside her worriedly, “You okay? Wanna take a nap in the teapot?” She offered, hoping her friend would agree. But alas, she did not and continued to trudge onwards toward Xiangling’s place.
“Xiangling! A large bowl of whatever you have today!” Lumine ordered loudly as she sat on the stool, teetering it slightly. The fun-loving chef peeked out from behind her father and gave a happy but curious smile. “Ah? Sure, today’s special is our best boiled fish and jade parcels.”
Lumine waved with a nod and licked her lips, “Good good, all good.” Paimon gave Lumine a concerned look, she knew Paimon herself had a big appetite, but Lumine? This was… out of character.
Xiangling merely nodded, motioning to her father who was already mid-preparation of the food.
“Paimon thinks you’re being weird.” She grumbled, floating around her friend. “Don’t look a gifted horse in the mouth,” Lumine muttered, placing her head into the palm of her hand as she leaned casually on the counter. Paimon frowned but agreed to her notion.
On the other side of the city, Childe was making his way toward the bank after a successful meeting. A bright and mischievous smile was plastered on his face but was quickly replaced with a formal and friendly one once he saw who was walking towards him.
“Ahaha! Mr. Zhongli and the head lady of the Wangsheng Funeral Parlor! Nice to meet you all today.” The ginger bowed politely. The other two bowed back and Hutao skipped around delighted.
“Hello, mister Fatui, coming back from business as usual?” She grinned, obviously looking for a chance to bring up more business inquiries between them.
Childe merely shrugged, letting out a tired sigh. “Perhaps. It’s odd to see you two out together.” He questioned.
“Director and I were on our way to speak to an elderly client. It’s a special case so the both of us needed to attend.” Zhongli informed. “Hehe~ it’s a pretty fun event.” Hutao grinned and then proceeded to explain their work, expressing her concerns for the costs.
Tartaglia later just gave a soft chuckle, amused at her enthusiastic cheers for a funeral. Even he had a better conscience for things like this.
“Well, I shall leave you two to that and—“
“Wahhh! Childe! Childe you Devil!”
A squeaky and panicked voice squawked from the distance as a little white ball of sparkles came barreling down the street.
“Oh? It’s the Shorty.”
“Childe you cunning jerk!” She hollered once more and flew straight into his face, plummeting them both to the ground.
“Ack?! What the hell was that for?!” He struggled to push her off and rolled on the ground for quite a bit. Hutao simply laughed at the ridiculous sight and Zhongli watched curiously. “What an odd predicament.” He commented.
“What have you done to Lumine?! You pile of poo! She’s acting weird!” Paimon’s little hands punching the poor man as she hollered out other inaudible remarks. This caused quite a stir, the passerby eyes all stared questioningly at them.
But of course, Hutao and the flying fairy girl were there, it only took but a single glance before they went back on their merry way.
“Lu—Lumine? What about—stop please—what about her?” He questioned beneath her aggressiveness. Paimon finally flew back up and away from him, an obvious look of disapproval and anger on her face. “Lumine is acting weird! She looks sick and has been eating so much! What did you do to her?!”
“Wa—wait?” Childe groveled back up from the ground and patted himself off, concern was suddenly painted across his face. “Sick? Lumine is sick?”
“Oho? You two were together last night?” Hutao mischievously asked, leaning in closer to them. “I suppose you didn’t infect her with some evil Fatui poison… did you?!” She exaggerated.
Childe shook his head and gave an unsure look at the floating friend. “Why would I try to hurt her?”
All three of them gave him a cold stare.
“Why would I try to hurt her now?”
They continued to stare.
“I wouldn’t attempt such low methods!”
“That makes more sense.” Zhongli nodded.
“That's true you would just fight her upfront.” Paimon added.
Hutao simply laughed and turned to the little one curiously. “So? What are her symptoms? Shouldn’t she go see Baizhu?” The young director asked. “Perhaps her time has come~” she joked.
Paimon let out a small huff. “She’s been looking pale and nauseous lately. But, she’s been craving so much food and keeps bursting out in various moods.” Paimon explained. Zhongli gave a low hum in reply, thinking to himself before speaking.
“Where is she now?” He asked. Paimon grimaced and pointed to the direction of the Wanmin restaurant. “Devouring Wanmin as we speak.”
“To think it wouldn’t be you munching away at everything Xiangling makes.” Hutao jabbed as she crossed her arms behind her. Then a sudden thought popped into her head. A mischievous and amusing thought.
“Hey? The two of you wouldn’t by any chance have been intimately close lately, have you?” She asked Childe with a cheeky grin. Zhongli gave her a questionable look.
“Intimate?” Childe pondered.
Ah, if she meant by love making, perhaps they have. But it was something Lumine had asked him to keep quiet about, so he had no intentions of breaking their promise. Tartaglia knew better than to expose his precious comrade’s secrets, especially when they kept it from Paimon even.
“Yes. Intimate. Like kissing, hugging, and anything in between or over?” She hinted with a playful shoulder shrug. Zhongli sighed and immediately started to drag his boss away. “We are going to be late.” He informed her strictly.
“Those are obvious signs of pregnancy, dear sir! I suspect you check on her and make sure she’s okay! Right, Mr. Zhongli?”
“Please don’t yell, Director.”
“But it’s true!” Hutao yelled out cheerily and waved back as she was dragged, leaving a crooked dust path behind.
“Pregnant?!” Paimon questioned and stared straight at the Fatui Harbinger.
“It’s—it’s not what seems!” He defended. Although, was it? Was it not as it seemed? There’s no way she would be pregnant, right? Right?!
“But we did do it…” he stopped himself before saying anymore and began to awkwardly walk toward the restaurant. “I just need to make sure.” He mumbled.
“Hey! Wait for Paimon!”
Loud clattering of dishes sounded out from the restaurant as Xiangling desperately tried to clean things up.
“Uh… Lumine?” Xiangling worriedly watched as the petite girl gobbled down another bowl of noodles.
Lumine groaned, a throbbing headache now forming and she leaned forward onto the counter. “Bah… I’m—I’m fine.” She grumbled and pulled out her wallet. Maybe it was time to stop, the piles of food she devoured was starting to fill her up. But that also meant her tolerance in holding it was decreasing. A sudden urge to puke built up in her throat.
“Ojou-Chan!” Childe called out happily as he ran up to her and patted her on the back. “Haha, how’ve you been?” He asked, unaware of her ticking time bomb inside her stomach.
“Tar-Tartaglia.” She groaned, only letting her eyes look up to him. He smiled brightly and laughed. “Looking pristine as ever.”
Lumine punched him roughly and let out another groan. “Paimon thinks she’s not in the mood to jest.” Paimon advised as she flew over to pat Lumine’s head. Childe sighed as he rubbed his hip, watching as she pitifully slobbered all over the counter and whined to herself. “I’ll pay the tab.” He offered, handing his hand out to the young chef for the receipt. Xiangling nodded, giving it to him. His face shriveled.
“Are you okay?” He asked once more as they slowly walked toward the harbor. Lumine was trudging awkwardly, hands at her stomach and a foul scowl on her face. Childe was growing quite concerned, seeing her sour expression and mood made him think more into the question, was she pregnant?
But he didn’t want to pop the question, not yet anyway. It would be too awkward and what if she wasn’t? That would just be utterly embarrassing. He had to make absolutely 100% sure she was pregnant. Paimon also understood the assignment, thankfully.
He kinda hoped she wasn’t, not because he was one of those scummy assholes who abandoned girls when they are pregnant, if anything he would do anything and everything in his power to stay by her side. But her being pregnant would coerce multitudes of issues and further enhance their current issues. One being that they were still technically “enemies.”
“I want to get some fresh air. The sea may help me.” She muttered. “Will the sea really help you?” Paimon asked, crossing her arms curiously. Lumine nodded and pushed on.
“I don’t think—“
“Hush!” She pressed her finger to the ginger’s lips and stared at him crossly. Her golden jewel eyes staring up at him with her soft chubby cheeks painted a pretty pink and her soft thin lips pursed in a pout. Tartaglia could feel his heart squeeze tightly as he held in the urge to gobble her whole.
“Don’t interfere.” She growled and continued on. He watched silently as the petite princess wobbled off, a stupid smile plastered in his face.
“Paimon sees you. Stop oogling at her.” The tiny girl scolded before flying off to her friend.
“Sheesh, is it a crime to admire someone?” He pouted.
Tartaglia quickly tried to followed behind, keeping his eye on his girl, hoping she wouldn’t cause any troubles. For now, she didn’t seem any more irregular than earlier. Perhaps he was wrong, maybe she wasn’t pregnant, just ill?
But his thoughts were emptied when he heard an awful gagging sound. Looking up, he could see Lumine vomiting over the edge of the pier, Paimon watching in disgust.
“Ahhhh!” Tartaglia rushed to her side and immediately started to pat her back, the smell was revolting and the mixture of her earlier lunch and the sea made things worse.
“Lumine.” He called to her softly, wrapping his face with his scarf to ward the stench. “I told you this was a bad idea.” He scolded, reaching to her face and letting his long fingers comb through her hair to pull it back. Lumine coughed up the remaining of her innards and leaned forward slightly. “Guh… it’s nothing. I was puking yesterday too so it’s not as bad.” She said, wiping her chin and taking a deep breath out.
“Wait. You were puking yesterday?” Tartaglia asked, a little fear crept up his spine.
“She was puking yesterday and the day before that. We checked if she had a fever and nothing.” Paimon explained. “But she also doesn’t want to go see doctor Baizhu.” The fae frowned. Tartaglia took a moment to think, his brain rattling in other reasons as to why she was like this. “You said she’s been moody too?” He asked. Paimon nodded.
“Has she been having weird cravings lately? Aside from today?” He asked some more, pinning everything down to the T. Paimon nodded again. The Fatui then looked over to Lumine who was now regaining energy and starting to stand up. Looking closer she noticed a little bit of bags under her eyes, hinting at fatigue. There was one more question he wanted to ask, it was a bit personal and he was scared she would yell at him. Well, not like she doesn’t already, but you know.
He needed to know. When his mother was pregnant with Teucer, he noticed these signs in her and asked his father out of curiosity. At later ages he did encounter other pregnant women. So, he knew a few things.
“Um, let’s get you to the teapot.” He suggested, taking her hand in his and removing his scarf from his face. Lumine stepped back and shook her head. “I’m—“
“You’re not.” He interrupted and opened his hand. “Come on now, let’s go inside and I’ll put you to bed.” He offered. Lumine stared at his hand, the palm in which she placed the marker on him. Tartaglia was usually an aggressively stubborn person, so he would push her to do many things such as fighting. But right now he was gentle and caring. The look on his face, that soft and gentle expression so full of patience. She couldn’t help but turn pink and take his hand.
“Fine.” She shyly agreed and pulled them inside.
Once in, the young man had no trouble finding his way around and made sure to walk her all the way to her room. The young girl still had a disapproving pout on her face, but he ignored it. “Why don’t you go take a warm bath while I prepare some warm drinks. Also, Paimon, can you do me a favor.” He asked, removing his clasp and scarf around him.
Lumine sighed and nodded, trudging to the bathroom. Paimon frowned but agreed anyway. “Take this note and give it to Baizhu. He’ll know what to do.” He scribbled things onto a piece of paper and smiled. It was a note explaining to them to fetch some nausea medication and herbal tea.
Paimon agreed, holding onto the note tightly and flying out of the teapot. Meanwhile, Tartaglia took his way to the kitchen and began to boil some water.
“She must be… she can’t… right?” He began to mutter to himself as the questions began to stir in his head again. Her symptoms seem accurate to a pregnancy. There was only one vital piece of information he needed and it was the most personal one. Has. She. Missed. Her. Cycle?
Five simple words that could result in life or death, for him.
“A man cannot simply ask a woman that.” He scolded himself, pacing back and forth in the kitchen. But he had to know. It would be the key to solving this mystery. And then it came upon him.
“He looked back at the doorway and nervously took a breath. If he could just… check around her room. Maybe there were clues around there. It’s okay, He’s been there a million times and it’s nothing new. Just look around and find some answers. That’s all.
So, the young man took his steps toward the room, opening it carefully and stepping in. It was clean, well-organized and quiet. As expected of his comrade who in hindsight was probably rarely inside anyway.
Now, he just needed to find something. Anything that’ll lead him to his answers.
Tartaglia skimmed through the tall shelves of books and scrolls, letting his fingers run across the binds. It was just filled with adventure stories, novels, tomes, and some scattered recipe books. He then scurried around her bed, her bedside table, and her closet for anything. But there was nothing. Although, he did find his shirt he left here the last time he was around. It was freshly cleaned and neatly folded. A small smile plastered onto his face.
Even with all the adventures and jobs she had outside of here, Lumine still troubled herself to clean his stuff and put it neatly away. Even a little earring he gave her was neatly inside its case on her desk. His eyes scanned the table in hopes to find anything else until he suddenly spotted a colorful book at the edge of it.
On top it had a small note and a little baggie that looked like a gift. Tartaglia wasn’t really the nosy type, but at this current moment he needed some answers for a very important issue. Carefully, after looking back at the door and listening out for Lumine, the young man took the note, the bag, and the book off the table. It was, as stated, very colorful and decorated in all kinds of floral designs. Whatever the book was about, it was definitely aimed for children or feminine audiences.
From Me To You: A Guide to Childcare
Tartaglia’s breath stopped. A what now?
His eyes fluttered in confusion and he read the title again. It was still as it is, a guide to childcare. He immediately opened it up and skimmed through the pages, it was indeed a guide to childcare. What caught him most was a bookmark on the chapter named:
Methods to Easing Childbirth
On cue, the little note and baggie in his hands slipped out, revealing a small rattle toy and the words, Congratulations for your first child! were scribbled on the note.
He felt his heart sink and the world spin. Tartaglia quickly placed them all back and sat on the bed to calm himself.
No. It can’t be. She can’t be. They were careful, well as careful as they could be. This wasn’t right, he can’t just conclude that she is pregnant from all this. No no no. This must be something else. There’s no name on the note so it may not be hers. But why would she have it? For a friend? What friend of hers would be pregnant? He didn’t remember anyone she knew who would be married or anything. Tartaglia was so lost in thought that he didn’t hear Lumine calling out to him the first few times.
“Childe!” She hollered louder and he broke out of his thoughts. “Ye-yes?” He answered back, a bit of a stutter on his lips. Lumine was still in the bath, suds filling almost up to the edge and her body submerged inside it. “I forgot a towel, could you get some for me?” She asked. Tartaglia’s heart was still racing and he still felt a bit dizzy from the shock, but he answered yes anyway and carefully went to grab her towels.
“Calm down, Ajax. You’re overthinking.” He mumbled to himself as he walked over to the bathroom and knocked. “Um, I have them.” He informed her. “Leave them on the counter in here.” She instructed. Tartaglia slowly stepped in, he wasn’t really embarrassed about it. He’d seen her bare multiple times, either intentionally or unintentionally.
Lumine had also grown accustomed to it, oddly enough. Like they were already a normal, long-term couple, these things were natural. But they weren’t. The label, “lover” wasn’t what they went by, at least not publicly. And that was what concerned Tartaglia in this situation.
They weren’t “lovers” in the official sense. They weren’t a couple. They weren’t married. But they did have feelings for each other. They did like each other. It was obvious at the amount of times they’ve hugged, kissed, and pleasured together in secrecy. It was a complicated relationship, a stringy, messy, and untied relationship that wanted to tie up loose ends so badly. But not right now.
Yet, here he was, standing beside her in the bath and wondering to himself if he was gonna be a father. Just like his own father. He would have a child of his own, a little mini him. A child he made with her, his beloved comrade. A soft and mushy feeling formed inside of him, like a gentle flame melting his chocolate heart. He looked at her, his pretty girl drenched in water and relaxing quietly in the tub.
A soft smile formed at his face, one that only a man truly in love would have. A subtle, serene kind of smile. Maybe being a dad wouldn’t be too bad. It will greatly hinder her more than him, he knew well. She might even have to delay finding her brother with all of this. Or maybe leave the child behind for the sake of their safety. Being pregnant wasn’t easy, his mother was a great example. But he would be willing to drop and do anything to keep her safe, their kid safe.
Tartaglia kneeled down, sitting beside Lumine as she was in the bath and looked at her fondly. “Sorry, for causing you so much trouble.” He spoke softly. Lumine gave a curious look and tilted her head. “What is that all of a sudden?” She asked. Tartaglia just smiled and placed his chin into his palms. “Lumine.” He called out gently. The blonde narrowed her eyes at him and stared silently before replying.
“What do think about us?” He asked.
Lumine was silent for a while, her eyes wandering away from him and she sank slightly into the water. “Us…” she repeated, taking a deep breath and closing her eyes. “I don’t know. It’s hard… to say.” Her voice was soft and almost inaudible. Tartaglia sighed softly, nodding at her answer and lowering his head. He expected as much. But who was he to blame? They both chose this route and they had to live with it. Even if they weren’t official, their feelings for each other were. And no matter what the situation, he would never leave her to fend for herself alone.
That’s how much he loved her.
“I would define us as unique.” He said, removing his gloves and placing a hand on her head. It stayed there for a while, soaking in the wetness before sliding forwards to her face and cupping it gently.
“Unique?” She questioned, unconsciously leaning into his hand.
“Yeah, unique. We have no specific place, no specific label. But we share mutual feelings and emotions. Maybe it’s a bit silly to think but…” Tartaglia paused, taking in the raw glistening beauty of his darling Lumine. “I want to believe that we can be together for a long time. So long, that we lose track of it and fall endlessly. You promised me, didn’t you?”
Lumine blinked a couple of times before giving him a curious stare.
“You said you would be by my side when I take over the world.” His other hand soon came up to cup the other side of her face, both thumbs gently rubbing her wet cheeks. “I hope you continue to keep that promise. Cuz I want to stay by your side for as long as it takes. You are indeed my beloved comrade.” Tartaglia carefully leaned in, his nose gently touching hers and his breath tickling her lips. He could feel their hearts race and the sounds of their breathing became synced.
His ocean blue eyes locked onto her’s, staring deeply into an abyss of gold. He could see it, a future with her. A future where his and her adventures would be filled with excitement and thrilling battles. A future where they would eventually find solace in this world, and where they could finally label themselves lovers. A future with a family of their own. He never thought these silly hopes for the future would return to him. Since the incident, he lost all will to dream. But when he met her, he dreamt of nothing else but to have her by his side.
Even if she didn’t tell him about all of this right away, he believed she would eventually.
“I only need you.” He whispered softly before pressing his lips onto hers. Such a wet and sloppy kiss that felt so soft and gentle.
“Tart—Tartaglia…” Lumine breathlessly spoke between the passionate kisses. Sloshing of water and soap splashed around the tub and onto the floor as she moved to a better position, keeping her lips glued to his. Tartaglia didn’t hesitate to sit up and lean over the bath, pulling her into a tighter embrace and pushing his lips deeper into hers.
“A…Ajax.” Lumine muttered. Tartaglia felt his heart tighten at her voice. He knew what that meant, whenever she called him by his real name. She wanted him. She wanted to feel him. But…
“Hah, I left the water still boiling. I—I need to go check on it.” The young man stuttered out between kisses and tried to pull away. But Lumine wrapped her arms around his neck and tried to lock him in. He wasn’t getting away after riling her up like this. And besides, she’s been feeling quite needy as of late. Only he could suffice her.
But Tartaglia pulled back, his lips lingering at hers before turning away with a red face. He can’t. As much as he wanted her, he couldn't.
“Lumine… please.” He begged and slowly slipped out of her arms. “I might… might burn the house down.” He excused himself as he ran out the bathroom as quickly as he could. A huge pout sat on Lumine’s face. “Poopy head.” She groaned.
Tartaglia gripped the edge of the kitchen table tightly, his knuckles turning a pale white in opposition to his bright red face. Something else was out of place on him as well, but we won’t speak upon that beast.
He stood there silently for a while, taking deep breaths and keeping his head low. His face was a little wet while the front of his shirt was soaked. There were also splatters of wet spots on his pants, but he didn’t care for any of that. His heart raced like a million horses on the run, he took more deeper breaths before calming down.
“Come on Ajax, you know you can’t be doing that when she’s pregnant.” He mumbled to himself.
“Paimon?!” Tartaglia gasped, turning to the little fairy floating there with a bag of herbs and medicines.
“You’re… you’re back?” He said, trying to cool his head. Paimon nodded but narrowed her eyes onto him. “Why are you all wet?” She asked, fearful of his answer. He simply shook his head and took the bag from her. “Nothing, just accidentally splashed myself when using the sink.” He lied, checking the bag and sighing.
“Okay…” she hesitantly agreed and floated away back to Lumine who was just getting out of the bath.
“Oh, you feeling better now?” She asked. A small pout was still on her face and she shrugged. “Less nauseous, but a bit frustrated.” She answered, tightening the towel around her chest. “Frustrated?” Paimon questioned. Lumine ignored her and walked into her room to change.
“Hey! You and Childe are acting weird!” Paimon grumbled as she followed. Lumine shut the door roughly and sat on her bed. She tried to reason everything out in her mind, perhaps it was best not since Paimon was back now. But still, a quick one would’ve been better than nothing.
Actually, no. No dirty thoughts, she thought to herself and slapped her face gently.
“I met Mei Li today.” Paimon spoke, floating over and sitting on Lumine’s desk.
“Oh? You did?”
Paimon nodded. “She told me the baby was doing fine and she is expected to be due sometime next month!” Paimon excitedly clapped. Lumine’s frown turned into a smile and she gasped happily. “Really?! That’s great! I can’t wait to see the baby! Ah—“ Lumine then looked over to the colorful book and baggie next to Paimon.
“I still have to give that to her. Hm, maybe tomorrow.” She thought and took the book into her hand. She had bought it not too long ago as a gift for Mei Li. It was her first child after all. Lumine smiled softly at the book and let her delicate fingers graze across the cover. “I hope she likes it and the little toy. Plus, I made her a bookmark!” Lumine grinned, pulling it out and admiring it.
“Make sure to put it back inside so you don’t lose it like the other one you made.” Paimon chuckled. Lumine grimaced at the thought of losing it again and quickly placed it back into a random page as she did before.
“So, not puking anymore?” Paimon asked. Lumine looked at her little friend, placing a hand to her stomach and nodded. “I think I was having indigestion from eating too much.” Lumine said as she walked over to the closet to fetch some clothes. “That and me being on my cycle suddenly is making me irrational.” She sighed, oh how annoying being a female was. Lumine grabbed a thin silk dress and white panties, turning to Paimon and motioning her to pass her the pads.
Meanwhile, Tartaglia had finished the tea and was heating up some soft pastries Lumine had left over. Perhaps this will help her out and maybe have her forgive him for his actions. As much as he wanted to treat her with intimate love-making, he didn’t want to risk hurting her. So this will have to do.
“I wonder if she is ready?” He wondered aloud and began to head toward her room. Just as he was about to open her door, it slammed open and there stood a lightly dressed Lumine. Her soft and curvy figure was outlined gently by the silk white dress and he could tell she had put on a light scent of floral on. Tartaglia raised his head and cleared his throat.
“Ahem, tea is done.” He informed. Lumine huffed and walked toward the kitchen without saying a word. Paimon followed with a suspecting expression. “Hah…” he sighed out and rubbed the back of his head awkwardly.
Per his promise, Tartaglia was intent on keeping Lumine safe.
When she went to work on commissions, requests, or simple doing some weekly grocery shopping, he was there to help her. Contrary to his belief and knowledge, his actions often confused Lumine more than it did please her.
“You feeling okay?” Tartaglia asked as he leaned casually onto the side of the wagon wall. They were heading back to Liyue after a mission outside and hitched a ride with a passing merchant. Lumine sighed as she sat back on the sack of flour and nodded. “For the millionth time, yes.”
Tartaglia huffed, crossing his arms over his chest and staring at her curiously. “Really?” He questioned. “You don’t need to hide it if you are.” He added. Lumine groaned and turned to him. “I’m fine, Childe.”
The young man frowned and leaned in to touch his forehead to hers. Lumine suddenly caught her breath and tried to back away, but the young man took her arms and pulled her closer.
Tartaglia’s face was inches from hers, warm breath grazing her lips and his hair tickling her eyelids. He stared at her curiously, trying to feel if she was okay before suddenly placing a hand on her belly.
“Wha-what the heck?!” She gasped and grabbed his hand, but he didn’t budge.
“Shh.” He hushed and sat there with her quietly.
He took a moment, feeling her temperature and if anything felt odd about her belly. It seemed alright and nothing felt out of place. Her face was red though and she seemed on edge. Perhaps it was the pregnancy mood swings.
Lumine grumbled and immediately shoved him away, pouting and crossing her arms. “Weirdo.”
Once at Liyue, Lumine quickly walked toward the market alley for some food and perhaps lose Tartaglia in the crowds. But alas, he was a smart man with a keen eye, he followed her through and through without issue. Tartaglia was not letting her be by herself in a busy city.
“Lumine—“ he tried to call out but was interrupted with a sudden hello from a lady nearby. It was Mei Li, Lumine’s new companion. The blonde gave a bright smile to the lady and walked up to her. “Mei Li!” She grinned and pointed to her bulging belly. “How’s the baby?” She asked. Tartaglia gave a curious brow raise.
“Fine fine~ she’s kicking and excited to come out soon.” The lady laughed. “Ah, who is this?” The woman asked, looking at Tartaglia.
He immediately perked up and bowed politely. “I’m Childe, owner of the Northland Bank.” He informed. Although, he wasn’t fond of introducing himself as such anymore since the incident. Many of the Liyue people resented him for the attack.
“Ah, you’re the young Fatui man people have been rumoring about. It’s odd to see you with the young Traveler.”
“He's not a really bad guy. Don’t worry I got him handled.” Lumine assured as she patted the young man’s back. Childe smiled innocently, happy to hear her say something so positive about him.
“Ah, I see.” Mei Li nodded and then proceeded to focus on Lumine again. “Ah, I love the gifts you gave me! It’s so helpful for the upcoming childbirth.”
So she was pregnant too? Childe thought. They must have gotten close with how much they have in common. That was nice and reassuring, he thought with a silly smile. But his smile soon turned wrinkled when he heard the next things they said.
“The book about child care is so informative. Even my husband reads it. Oh! And the rattle is absolutely adorable! I’m sure my baby will love it.” She smiled. Lumine clapped happily. “I’m glad! I worked so hard to get them so I’m glad it all paid off!”
“Wait.” Tartaglia suddenly spoke. “That book was for her?” He asked. Lumine gave him a confused look and then proceeded to turn to him questioningly. “You… know?” She asked.
“Ah.” He realized what he just said.
“Er, I… I saw it in your room that one time.” He explained, trying not to look suspicious. “You know the time when—“
“Yes! Okay, I know when.” She abruptly agreed and held out her hand. “Anyway, yes it was for Miss Mei Li.” She told and turned back to the latter.
So, it wasn’t a book for Lumine. But a gift for a pregnant friend? Then that means?
The gears began to grind in his brain, turning the engines and pumping the thinking juices before a ding of realization hit him.
“Lumine.” He called out. She was still in the middle of speaking to Mei Li and ignored him, not wanting to deal with him at the moment. Tartaglia felt his mind go blank and he placed a hand to his face. “No, can't be.” He muttered before turning away.
Did he perhaps jump to conclusions too early? Was he being stupid this entire time? But she was showing symptoms. She was pregnant. They fucked and raw at that!
Tartaglia sighed into his palms and turned back to her who had just finished speaking and was staring at the young man, suspicious. “Is there something wrong?” She asked.
Tartaglia suddenly took her hand in his and walked on toward the secluded part of the city, pushing her to the wall. “Lumine.” He called once again and stared at her intently. Her golden eyes stared back full of curiosity and confusion. “Ye-Yes?”
He sucked up some air, trying to calm his nerves and placed a firm hand on her shoulders. “Are you okay?” He asked. Lumine gave a deep and disappointed sigh, pushing him away before answering. “I’m not going to answer you anymore.”
However Tartaglia immediately grabbed her arms and kept her still. He needed to know now. He needed to firmly understand their situation.
So he took a breath, deep and slow, before speaking. “Are you pregnant?”
Lumine gave a deadpan stare of shock.
“Am I what?” She asked.
“Pregnant.” He repeated.
Lumine suddenly let out a deep sigh and clasped her hands together. “Tartaglia.” She spoke. He replied with a low grunt.
A foot went straight to his shin and he curled over in agonizing pain. “Lu—Lumine…?!” He gasped out. An obvious look of utter disbelief and annoyance was on her face.
“This, this is why you’ve been acting so weird?” She questioned as she looked at him from above. The young man was trying to catch his breath and nodded slowly. “I was… was just….”
“Just what?” She crossed her arms. Tartaglia gasped out and looked up at her apologetically. “Worried.” He answered.
Her face softened, staring at him for a while before sighing again and kneeling to him. “Idiot.” She murmured as she placed a hand on his head and petted his fluffy hair. The young man looked at her with rapid blinking eyes.
“If I was pregnant, I would’ve said something before. You obviously would be the first… er…. Second one I’d tell.” She informed, obviously talking about Paimon. Tartaglia pursed his lips and lowered his head. Well, that was his answer.
“I’m sorry.” He muttered and slowly curled up. Lumine let out a soft chuckle and pulled him close to her, hugging him tightly and letting his face rest on her shoulders.
“You're a big idiot, but it’s okay.” Her hand gently combed through his hair and pushed it away from his face.
“Does that mean I can do whatever I want now?” He suddenly asked. Lumine blinked and pushed him away. “What?”
Tartaglia grinned and cupped her face with his hands. “I held it all in these past few days cuz I thought you were pregnant and didn’t want to hurt you. But now that I know it is not the case…” he paused, staring at her with a cheeky and lustful grin.
Lumine felt her heart sink and a chill run through her spine.
“You don’t think I deserve some treats for trying to be a gentleman?” He hummed and carried her in his arms.
“Wait—wait, Tartaglia!” Lumine stuttered as she tried to peel away from him, but his arms were strong and tightly gripping her in.
“Let’s go play. I’m feeling more rough today.” He beamed and forced her to enter the teapot.