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The Moon Palace

"KIYAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH"

Who knew? How ironic. So painful.

Pregnancy.

Yep, that's right folks! Mahiru got herself pregnant. Period. (Well… not for the past year anyway…) She did have help in the matter, however, Mitsuru was currently scared stiff of the soon-to-be-mother.

Why?

"Ok, Mahiru just breathe. That's it, just like that." Doted Mitsuru.

"UHH-AHH, WHAT DO YOU THINK I'M DOING MITSURU!" Screamed a very plump looking Mahiru.

"M-Mahiru, calm down." Said Katsura. The gender-switching demon watched as Mitsuru wiped the sweat from his wife's brow.

Mitsuru said nothing further, concerned for his wife's safety. After all, who knew that they would be in this position so soon? Mahiru wasn't due for another month, so they had to go for an old-fashioned birth. (Dun-dun-duuuuuun!) No morphine. A pair of sharp blue eyes landed on the poor Tengu. The glare was enough to kill a man. Good thing Mitsuru was a demon.

Katsura in the mean while had her hands full; after all it wasn't easy to deliver a half-human/half-demon baby. Mitsuru being a Tengu seemed only to up the risks. Wings always complicated births, hopefully the child would be born with them in, and for Mahiru's sake the child will be born un-transformed.

"AHHHHH! MITSURU I'M NEVER LETTING YOU TOUCH ME AGAIN!" Mahiru screamed as she arched from another contraction to spasm through her. Mitsuru winced, after all it was a very discouraging thought, but he didn't take it to heart and kept hold of her hand. He was told of the pain she would be in, and the possible things one might say in such a state.

"If that's what you wish, love." At this he squeezed her hand to reassure her that he meant it. Mahiru looked up at him looking down at her and let out a huff of air. What could you say to an answer like that?

"I d-didn't mean it Mitsuru, i-it just t-that this hurts so m-muuuccCCCHHHH." Mahiru's eyes closed in pain as small tears fell from her eyes. The tears rolled off the pillow in the form of pearls. Mitsuru's hand tightened on hers.

Mahiru's was like all pregnancies; both demon and human; morning sickness, cravings, and mood swings that kept every one close to Mahiru on their toes. However, no one expected that when one night Mahiru discovered there was no more pickle-curry ice-cream left, that she could cry 'Teardrops of the Moon'. Other side effects included: telepathy, sudden bursts of demon-like strength, and once or twice (When she was really mad) strikes of lightning.

Mitsuru shuttered, the memory of looking like an overly burnt cookie seared into his mind. Throughout the whole eight months, Mitsuru had made sure to take the best care of Mahiru. Naturally, she accused him of being overprotective. It wasn't his fault Mahiru seemed so fragile in her 'condition'. Being a demon only made it worse for him to control his instincts to protect her. But he supposed making the suggestion of carrying her everywhere might have crossed the line…

How could he not be overprotective? Humans were physically weak to begin with. She was pregnant with his child. His halfling. He heard stories of demon women having halflings and suffering, drawing his thoughts from what he knew of Misoka's mother. He had heard from Oboro that his own mother had had trouble giving birth to him. So many things could happen.

Mahiru could die. The baby could die. Then as a result, he would die.

So he held on to her hand.

The pressure helped. It let her know he was there. Mitsuru was in deep thought, his eyes were unfocused, and there was a frown on his lips. Mahiru smiled and then hissed at the pain of another contraction. They were coming sooner now. How ironic that something as pleasurable as sex could lead to something as painful as pregnancy.

Mahiru looked down at her watermelon-sized belly and wondered what the child that kicked and played so ruff with her insides was going to look like. She was hoping for a mini-Mitsuru. Thinking of the Tengu, she couldn't help but remember the past eight months' events. Akira and Keiko's baby girl was born. Okashi was going to grow up to be quite the beauty with Keiko's hair and Akira's eyes. Okashi name meant candy; after all it was a piece of candy that helped them fall in love.

Nozomu and Misoka came out of the closet with their relationship, but have delayed their own wedding till after Mahiru "pops" as Nozomu so eloquently put it. And it seemed it would be a crescent pop, as Mahiru looked out the window to see a crescent shaped moon. As far as she knew, everyone was outside in the waiting room awaiting the arrival of the next descendant of the moon.

"AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" 'Wow… that hurt.' thought Mahiru. She felt Mitsuru tighten his grip and she looked down at a worried Katsura.

"Alright, Mahiru get ready to push. Mitsuru make sure she breathes." She instructed.

Birthing was a tricky business. Normally it there was a lot to worry about when you're delivering a normal baby, but add the complication of that child being half-human & half-demon. Stress ebbed off of Katsura. A bright future for the human & demon race sat on her shoulders. She knew the parents personally, knew that the mother is a Descendant of a Princess & the father a powerful Tengu demon. Their child, the embodied bridge between two races! To say there was a little pressure on Katsura to do this right was the biggest understatement of the year.

"Push!" Katsura commanded.

'It hurts. Can I do this? Of course, I just need to push…' Thought Mahiru. "AAAHHHHH!" She felt her breath ripped from her lungs. 'Why am I splitting in two? Ohhh, the pain…'

"Breath Mahiru. Don't worry I'm here, love." Said Mitsuru in her ear.

'Yes, breathe. Listen to the man that got you into this mess…'

"Okay, keep pushing Mahiru. It's coming." Said Katsura.

'Good. Finally. Maybe then the pain will go away…' Mahiru squeezed her eyes shut. "I-I, Oh M-Mitsuru it h-hurts!" The pain was building… 'But I feel it, it's coming out!'

"Just keep breathing, love." Mitsuru gripped her hand hard letting her know he was there.

'Hold on to his hand, just a bit more…'

"Push, Mahiru!" Katsura commanded.

'Got to get it out, the pressure, the pain…'

"Breathe Mahiru!" Katsura yelled.

'I am… almost there…'

"Push!" Katsura yelled one last time.

'I AM, I AM, I am, just one more…'

Mahiru screamed.

...

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!"

...

Over ten sets of eyes went toward the Delivery room where Mahiru, Mitsuru, and Katsura were delivering the baby. Everyone was worried. Oboro, Akira, Nozomu, Keiko, Shirogane, Hokuto, Mahiru's Aunt, Mutsura, Masumi, and even little Okashi looked expectantly at the large bamboo door. It wasn't until later that an exhausted Katsura walked out to tell everyone the expected good news.

Both of the babies were fine.

The two twin haflings were currently suckling milk from their mother who came close to passing out. Mitsuru was beside himself, and couldn't keep his mouth away from his wife's. Careful of the babies the new father examined each, and as with demons, smelling and touching were the first forms of introduction.

They were both slightly transformed, just that of their fathers markings showing on their small cheeks. Both were small. Their little girl, Watatsumi's name meant sea, and their son, Kaiyou meant ocean. Each child had their father's hair color, only it was lighter and shown yellowish in the light. Watatsumi had Mitsuru's eye color, like a miniature female version of him. Kaiyou took on his mother's blue eyes.

Afterwards, the babies were swathed in cozy miniature kimonos and blankets as Mitsuru & Mahiru were both seated, ready to greet everyone who came into congratulate the new parents. Many broke down into tears... It soon became too hectic, since everyone wanted to look, and with the help of Oboro, Katsura had shooed everyone out so the couple could have some time to relax.

"So was it worth the pain, love?" Mitsuru asked as he stroked Kaiyou's small hand with his finger. He heard Mahiru let out a heavy sigh.

"Definitely." She smiled down at her two babies. Joy radiating off of her in waves.

"So want to do it again?" he asked with a small smirk.

"Yeah."

Really?" Mitsuru raised his eyebrows at this. Sure, he wanted children, and now he had them. Two was plenty in his mind. He watched as Mahiru took hold of his hand and gave him a saccharine grin.

"Yes, but next time, you'll be the one pregnant."

Ingredients for Moon Brownies. - $32.00

One Demon and Human Wedding. - $10,000

Pickle Curry Ice-Cream. - $24.00

The face on your husband after a pregnancy joke. -Priceless