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The Promised One

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Deirdre stretched, her pregnant belly feeling like it was stretching in the opposite direction. Micheal mumbled something in his sleep and rolled over.

She padded down the hall and put the coffee on, and called Page. "Hey, home!"

"Hi, Dee!" he said, waving manically. He was dressed male today, in a dress shirt, sweater, and tie. "How's the baby?"

"Kicking," she said. "He or she woke me up."

"Cool!" Page said.

Deirdre felt herself grin, despite being half-asleep. The baby kicked her in the ribs again. "I wish he or she would cut it out, myself."

"How's Michael?"

She considered whether or not she'd answer honestly, then said, "Sleeping too much. Preaching on street corners when he's awake. You know, the usual Messiah schtick."

Page raised an eyebrow at her but didn't say anything. She supposed he didn't have a lot of relationship experience to share.

The coffee finished brewing, and Deirdre poured herself a cup and sat down at the kitchen table. She was the first person awake at the kibbutz, unless there was some other insomniac up in their room reading or something. The thought filled her with a sudden craving for a romance novel, which she squashed before she subvocaled the thought to Page.

"Isn't the baby due today?" Page asked.

She laughed. "It doesn't work that way. It's not that predictable."

Page pouted. "I know. But I'm excited! I've never had a friend have a baby before."

Deirdre wondered how many friends Page had had before, but didn't ask. It didn't seem kind.

The kitchen door opened. She started before she realized it was Michael.

"Fear not," he said, "for I bring you tidings of great joy. For unto you shall be born this day a savior."

She raised her eyebrow at him. He knelt beside her chair and kissed her pregnant belly. "All babies are saviors. All babies are the promised one." He smiled up at her, his eyes full of radiant light, and for a moment she thought her heart might burst. "Are you going to come out and play today, little Messiah?"

"Perhaps I should be going," Page said, looking away, demure, a faint blush around his ears.

"I'll call you if the baby comes," she said, and hung up.

"You should come back to bed," Michael said.

Hopeful, she followed Michael back upstairs. Sadly, he appeared to just want to pray over her. As she dozed off, she heard him say, "The promised one will arrive today."