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A Flower Grows in zaShunina

Chapter Text

They were tangled together, basking in the afterglow of their earlier activities, when zaShunina felt a curious spark inside of him. He tilted his head as his hand traveled to his midsection. He rubbed it in wonder.

“Is something wrong?” Shindo asked. “Are you hungry?”

“No. Everything is as it should be. I believe we created a life.”

Shindo froze. “What?”

zaShunina rolled over to face Shindo. He took his lover’s hand and pressed it to his flat stomach. “In here. There is a spark of life that wasn’t there before. I believe we created a child.”

“Is that possible?” Shindo asked in awe. He gazed down at zaShunina’s stomach, then looked up at his lover’s face.

“It appears that it is possible. Since I am an anisotropic being, my body is not structured as rigidly as yours.” zaShunina studied Shindo’s face. “Are you happy?”

“Yes!” He replied, clearly excited, but he paused. “Are you?” He asked, stroking zaShunina’s stomach gently.

zaShunina considered the question. He thought back to his distant nightmare. The warmth of Shido’s body beside him fought off the chill of the memory. That fate had not come to pass and he was glad of it. He couldn’t bear to lose zaShunina. But the child, Yukika, he would very much like to meet her again. He rubbed his stomach. “Yes. I am very happy.”

Shindo smiled. “I’m glad.” He leaned in to kiss him. “You continue to surprise me.”

“As you surprise me,” zaShunina replied fondly.

“I think this is a bigger surprise than any I could give you,” Shindo insisted.

“But you are the one who gave it to me,” zaShunina pointed out.

Shindo blushed. “I suppose I am,” he muttered.

zaShunina smiled. “You have already planted your seed within me, but I would like to recreate the act in celebration.”

Shindo was still blushing when zaShunina climbed onto him, but he still took a hold of zaShunina’s hips and let him have his way.

Chapter Text

“I know it’s probably too early to tell, but I’m going to start looking for an obstetrician to guide us through your pregnancy. It might not proceed like a regular human pregnancy, but I’d like to be prepared,” Shindo said a few days after the big revelation.

zaShunina nodded. “This is a good idea. I’d like to learn how to care for this little one.” He touched his stomach where the spark glowed within him.

They ended up consulting with an obstetrician that specialized in difficult pregnancies. If anything was to be out of the ordinary and possibly difficult, it was a non-human body carrying a half human child. Dr. Yasuno ran a barrage of tests on zaShunina and afterwards, sat down to advise them on how to proceed.

“Your physiology is so unique, that this is a new frontier. I think it best that we approach this with all due caution. I understand that you are from another plane of existence, but please try to keep yourself limited to this one for your pregnancy. This is such a delicate balance, we don’t want to upset it and lose the baby.”

zaShunina took a sharp breath and glanced at Shindo in horror. Losing their spark had never even occurred to him. The seed had been planted and germinated within him. It only stood to reason that it would grow and bloom. It seemed so simple. But the reality of the situation suddenly pressed down on him.

Shindo was quick to take his hand, holding it tightly. “It’s ok,” he murmured.

“My apologies,” Dr. Yasuno said gently. “I don’t mean to upset you. But sometimes even healthy human women with everything going for them have trouble carrying a child to term. I will do everything in my power to help you both have your child. We’ll start you on neonatal vitamins. We’ll go over recommended diet plans. Every little thing that we can do, we will do.”

zaShunina nodded quickly as he blinked back tears. He moved his and Shindo’s clasped hands to his stomach, pressing over the steady spark within him and silently urging it to grow up big and strong. It pulsed gently under his touch and he let out a slow breath. Panicking now wouldn’t benefit any of them. He needed to listen to give their spark its best fighting chance. He took another slow breath and looked at the doctor. “I will follow every rule that you set. I want to meet my child.”

She smiled. “Excellent. I have some information packets to start and a list of books that you might like to read.”

Chapter Text

zaShunina looked up from his book and announced, “I would like to visit the stationary store today.”

Shindo nodded. “What do you need?” he asked.

“More origami paper,” zaShunina said.

“I have quite a bit. You are welcome to use it,” Shindo offered.

ZaShunina tilted his head in acknowledgement. “Thank you. I am aware. However, I would like to purchase paper for a special project.”

“I’d be more than happy to accompany you to the store,” Shindo informed him with a smile.

“As if you need an excuse,” zaShunina said fondly. His hand appeared in front of Shindo’s face and gently cupped his cheek.

Shindo grinned and leaned into the touch. “What’s your special project?” He asked as he stood up and walked to the couch that zaShunina was settled on.

“I would like to fold one thousand paper cranes to wish for our child’s good health,” zaShunina explained. “But I want to pick out the paper myself.”

“That sounds lovely,” Shindo said. He held out his hand to zaShunina.

zaShunina let his hand emerge from his sleeve to take Shindo’s hand. Shindo pulled him to his feet and up into an embrace. zaShunina pressed his face against Shindo’s shoulder and nuzzled him.

“I’m curious as to what type of paper you’ll choose for this special project,” Shindo said.

zaShunina smiled secretively. “You’ll just have to wait and see.”

If Shindo thought the paper might hold a hint about their child, the combination of flowers and stars offered him no insight. But they did get a lot of nice paper, so he was content.

Chapter Text

“I know that you’re trying to eat healthy, but some of these things don’t go together,” Shindo said, poking at a bowl of avocado greek yogurt, acai berries, and seaweed sprinkled with chia seeds and nutritional yeast.

“It’s very healthy,” zaShunina said defensively. “Smoothie bowls are a popular source of nutrition on the internet.”

“Yes, but does it taste good?” Shindo asked.

zaShunina shoveled a bit of into his mouth and grimaced as he chewed. “Very nutritional,” he said.

Shindo snorted and covered his mouth, fighting back a laugh.

zaShunina pouted at him. “It is.”

“It tastes awful doesn’t it,” Shindo prompted.

zaShunina sighed and dropped the spoon back into his bowl. “Yes.”

“There’s nothing wrong with making something nutritional, but it should taste good as well.”

zaShunina glared at the dish he’d prepared like it betrayed him.

Shindo smiled as he got up and took both of their bowls to the sink and set them down. “How about we go out for a nice brunch and then we go to the bookstore to find some cookbooks to try out.”

zaShunina perked up a little. He did love books, as evidenced by the library in their home. He had access to all of human knowledge, but he still loved sitting down with a physical book and running his finger down the words, using Shindo’s bookmark to mark where he left off, even if he could remember it perfectly. Still, he tried to resist. “I have the internet,” he said.

“Yes and it is a wealth of knowledge, but cookbooks are tested to be tasty and easy to replicate. They’re also carefully curated. We can find books specifically dedicated to our needs. I’m sure we can find plenty of pregnancy cookbooks.”

zaShunina considered it. Books, especially ones that suited his needs were quite irresistible. “I would like some of these special cookbooks,” zaShunina said slowly.

“We can learn together,” Shindo said. “I’ll want to cook for you as well.”

zaShunina nodded decisively, then stood and headed for the door. “Let’s go. I believe you promised me brunch and books.”

Shindo chuckled at zaShunina’s sudden need for haste. “So eager to leave your smoothie bowls behind?”

“They taste like fish food bowls,” zaShunina admitted. “I would like something better prepared. At least until I grasp cooking.”

Shindo nodded. “We should visit my mother. She can help you learn.” Shindo moved towards the bedroom to fetch his wallet and keys, but Shindo’s hands were hovering in the doorway holding both. Shindo smiled as he accepted them from zaShunina and changed course to meet him at the door.

“She is an ideal role model. I would be honored to learn from her,” zaShunina said.

“She’ll be thrilled to teach you. Maybe we should invite her over so we can break the news.” They were only a few weeks into the pregnancy. Shindo was still wondering how to break the news to his mother. Though she had been wonderful when he first introduced zaShunina as his lover. He was sure that she would be thrilled to learn of a grandchild.

“You may cook, at least until I have improved my skills,” zaShunina said.

“Thank you for allowing me the honor,” Shindo said as he stopped to put his shoes on. He stood up and slid an arm around zaShunina’s waist. “Shall we go then? Brunch and books await us.”

“We shall, but no fish for breakfast, please. I think I would like some pancakes, with berries. Berries are often known as superfruits and contain a multitude of vitamins and nutrients.”

“I will find you the fluffiest, fruitiest pancakes in Tokyo,” Shindo promised as he ushered him out of the apartment.