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Experiments, Ego, and Expectations

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“Ane-sama.”

“Tobirama, a pleasure.” Mito shuffles backwards and waves him in. “Please, come in, I’ll get some tea.”

“Thank you.”

Tobirama takes a moment to look at Mito. She’s started showing enough that she’s taken to wearing slightly looser-fit clothing—not that it’s any less elegant. Tobirama wholeheartedly believes Mito will go into labor and simply walk herself to her birthing pool just as she’s walking now: elegant and poised.

Taking a moment to gather his thoughts, he takes a sip of the soothing chamomile tea. It’s only when Mito’s hands come up to her stomach that he realizes he’s been staring. He raises his eyes to meet her gaze.

“You’re interested.” It’s not a question, but more a surprised statement.

“What’s it like?” Tobirama starts, and suddenly finds he can’t stop. “What does it feel like, to be with child? I’ve read that as far along as you are you should be able to feel it move but how do you feel about carrying something that, for all intents and purposes, is a parasite? What’s—”

Light laughter cuts him off and he blinks, embarrassed. He . . . hadn’t really meant to blurt out his questions, but he has been stewing on them ever since he heard the news—first reading all the literature he could find, then asking questions to any midwife he was able to corner who was not busy (surprisingly difficult, and what took the majority of the past three months), and now, he thought he was prepared to actually ask a pregnant person questions, and his first thought was of Mito.

“Come here, Tobirama.”

And Tobirama comes, because he’s curious and—

Mito’s grasp on his hand is firm and unyielding as she places it on her distended stomach. He pushes slightly, able to feel that it isn’t anything like belly fat, more firm and rounded. His hand moves on its own, the other joining in quickly, pushing every so often to try and get a feel of what’s underneath. He’s heard that some midwives can channel chakra and get a better feel of the baby, an iryou-nin technique that he’s figured out. Idly he wonders if Hashirama uses that.

From what he theorizes, it would feel much different than when he uses his sensing, simply because the baby’s chakra coils have no effect on this technique.

(As it is, he knows that Mito is pregnant, but even without her dense, Uzumaki chakra, he’d have a hard time telling that she really is pregnant without visual confirmation; the baby’s chakra coils are still in development and heavily reliant on the mother.)

There’s a nudge.

Tobirama pauses, eyes going wide.

“That was—”

“Yes, it was.” Mito cuts in, placing her hand on top of his as he’s kicked again.

Tobirama can’t look away, because Mito’s eyes are closed in happiness as she’s kicked from inside. He wonders how much different it would feel, a kick coming internally rather than externally. With his knowledge, maybe he could create a seal, or a jutsu—

“Mito!”—the front door slams open and Tobirama can hear Hashirama kick it closed—“You wouldn’t believe it, but for some reason Tobi—”

Hashirama blinks at him.

Tobirama isn’t impressed.

And then Hashirama looks at him, at his hands on Mito’s stomach. Then gets such a dreamy smile on his face.

“Incredible, isn’t it?” He says in a voice much calmer than Tobirama’s ever heard before. The moment’s over before Tobirama could even blink.

“You know, you didn’t have to leave early if you wanted to see Mito!”

“Anija.” Tobirama sighs and, regretfully, pulls his hands away from Mito.

“Wait, don’t tell me that you’re interested as in, interested interested! No! Tobi, you can’t have children! That means you’re—who is it? Who is my baby brother deciding he needs to get pregnant? Why didn’t you invite me to the wedding? You’re not planning on eloping, are you?”

“Come back anytime, Tobirama. You always know where to find me.” Mito says softly, ignoring Hashirama’s wailing in the background as he himself is doing.

“I will do so.”

Mito sends a knowing look his way, and he ducks under Hashirama’s attempt at a grapple with a blush high on his cheeks because Mito is the one he’s been going to to talk about his, ah, interests. Especially when those interests come with black hair, black eyes that are sometimes red, and a several years long rivalry.

Tobirama is certain that she is running multiple bets across Konoha, and has probably conned half those people into betting against her—most definitely including Hashirama, if those bets are about his own love life. He almost feels bad about giving her insider information. Almost.