Jack had seen storks before. But never so close. Here it was though. One of the talked about storks that brought children to people. Truthfully, Jack expected something more nurturing looking. This stork looked like nurture was the last thing on it’s mind.
It’s stance suggested it’s thoughts dwelled more to regulations and rules. The thought was backed up when the stork placed down the basket it was carrying and drew out a clipboard. Plus the bird was a simple bowtie. Unexpected but it fit it’s image.
“I assume you are Jack Frost then. Is Aster around as well?”
“Uh, he should be. Hey kangaroo!”
“Oi! I thought you said you were going to stop with the kangaroo thing.” Bunnymund said as he bounded over.
“Sorry. Slipped out. But we have company.”
Bunnymund noticed the stork then. The look he gave was friendly enough, but at the same time perplexed.
“Not to be rude, but what brings you to the warren?” Bunnymund asked.
The stork adjusted his bowtie before speaking.
“My job. Though I must say this is the first time I’ve had of this type. This is first time I’ve delivered to a both male couple. Happens very rarely I suppose.”
Bunnymund looked confused for just a moment. Then his eyes went a little wide when understanding hit him.
“Struth, you mean-”
The stork nodded.
‘Congratulations. You’re going to be parents.”
Now it was Jack’s turn to look surprised.
“Wait... you can do that? Not that I have a problem with it. It just surprises me.”
The stork shrugged.
“It surprises me as well. But ah well, just doing my job. I don’t ask too many questions.”
“Are you sure? We didn’t exactly sign up for this.”
“Yes you did. On May fifth of this year. Many times.”
Bunnymund cleared his throat, blushing under his fur. Jack choked on his own saliva for a moment.
“Uh.. well.. yes. I suppose- look, can we just do this?” Bunnymund said.
The stork opened the basket before him with his beak. Instead of a baby waiting there, inside were many small, glowing spheres. One twinkled almost like a star, with a vibrant green and ice blue light.
“This one is yours.” the stork said before lifting it up with his beak and approaching the couple.
Both Bunnymund and Jack kept still and watched as the glow got brighter and started to shift colors. Slowly the blue started to fade and the light changed to all green. Bunnymund had a good idea of what it meant before the stork even started to give the sphere to him.
Carefully Bunnymund cupped the sphere in his hands. The look on his face was of a kind of wonder. He was smiling when spheres light started to become absorbed by Bunnymunds body. Jack found the smile infectious as he was smiling as well.
Once the last of the light was absorbed the stork took back the now empty sphere and returned it to the basket.
“Well, my job here is done. I wish you both the best.” the stork said.
The stork took to the air leaving Bunnymund and Jack alone.
“So... you’re.. pregnant now?” Jack asked.
“I guess so.”
A slow smile came to Jacks face.
“You’re going to get pretty fat. I can tell already.”
Bunnymund narrowed his eyes.
“Don’t start with that, mate.”
“I’ll get some fat jokes ready.”
“You do that and you bloody well will be sleeping outside the burrow.”
Jack only chuckled at the threat that was the equivalent of being made to sleep on the couch. Something told Bunnymund Jack was already brewing up some jokes.
It wasn’t long after that Jack and Bunnymund shared the news with everyone else. As expected they were rather excited for the couple. Also expected was that they wanted to help out anyway they could. Most of their free time was spent checking up on Bunnymund and Jack.
Bunnymund was actually annoyed by this until the weight gain started. Along with the soreness and occasional nausea. Then their help became greatly appreciated. Jack himself more helpful than anyone anticipated.
He was the picture of care and patience during this time. Often he would go off to retrieve something to make Bunnymund more comfortable. Once he even went as far to take hours to find something for Bunnymund to eat besides the normal lettuce and carrot diet.
“How you feeling Bunny?” Jack asked as he crouched down next to Bunnymund one day.
“Fat. Fat and hungry.” Bunnymund replied.
Bunnymund did not even lift up his head as Jack moved closer to his side.
“Poke me and you die.” Bunny mumbled.
“You actually think I’d do that?” Jack asked, though his grin suggested he might indeed poke Bunnymund.
“Yes.” Bunnymund replied.
Sensing he was pushing a bit far Jack sat down by Bunnymunds side but did not attempt to poke the pooka.
“So really, how are you feeling?” Jack asked in a softer tone.
Bunnymund relaxed a little. Jack was done with the joking now.
“Tired... and cranky. It’s expected though.”
“Of course. Hey Bunny? Can I feel again?”
“Aw crikey, again? This is the fifth time today. Last time I swear you almost gave me frostbite.”
Jack responded by scratching Bunnymund behind the ears.
“How about now?”
“That’s bloody cheating.” Bunnymund grumbled, his eyes half lidded in bliss. “But fine. Don’t wait until I’m numb though.”
Though the cold from Jack’s touch on his belly made Bunnymund cringe, the smile on Jack’s face was worth it.
One day North visited.
“There is proud mother!”
“Oi! Don’t start going around calling me that now.” Bunnymund snapped.
North laughed at Bunnymunds scowling.
“Did not mean anything by it. Am only poking a bit of fun. Though now there is much to poke.”
Bunnymund rolled his eyes.
“If you’re done being a comedian...”
North looked like he may have been holding back at least one more joke but decided against it.
“I am done. But tell me Aster, how are you feeling about all this?”
The Pooka looked thoughtful before he answered.
“I feel... excited. That of course goes without saying. Not just because it’s going to be me and Jack’s kid, but it’ll be a Pooka. I know technically it’s not going to be pure Pooka. I don’t even know what it’s going to look like. But in my heart... it’ll be a Pooka. It almost feels like I’m not alone anymore.”
North nodded in understanding.
“You have not been alone for long time. It’s just now with Jack and child, you realise it.”
It was Tooth’s turn to check on the couple one day. And instantly it hit her just how quiet the warren was. Far too silent.
“Jack? Bunny? Where are you?”
No answer. Tooth was considering sending out the three fairies she had accompanied her to the warren to look around when she finally saw Jack.
“Tooth, this way. And not so loud. Bunny’s kind of tired.”
Understanding was quick and Tooth and her fairies followed Jack to the innermost part of the warren. Laying in a makeshift bed of soft grass was Bunnymund. As Jack had said he was clearly exhausted, his eyes half closed even as Jack and Tooth approached. The reason why was easy to see.
Huddled close to Bunnymunds side was a small, pure white Pooka. Her eyes were closed so it was a guess at what color her eyes were. Even with closed eyes she seemed to know there was another presence as her pink nose twitched furiously.
“Oh my.. she’s so adorable.” Tooth said in a hushed tone.
“Her name is Iris.” Jack said. “We thought that be nice. It’s a flower name and we figured that since she takes after me in coloring we at least give her a Spring name.”
Iris yawned. Bunnymund chuckled at this.
“Looks like I’m not the only exhausted one.” he said, lowering his nose down to Iris’s and nuzzling it.
“Is it normal for baby Pooka’s to be this small?” Tooth asked.
A moment of worry did flash in Bunnymund’s eyes. Jack noticed it and frowned.
“She is... a bit small for a Pooka newborn. But she’ll be fine. She’s our shelia after all.”
As if to prove it Iris nudged one of the curious fairies flitting around her. The fairies scattered when she sneezed.
“Yeah... I think she’ll be fine.” Jack said.