“Of course you can. As long as it feels good for you and it isn’t uncomfortable or painful, you can have sex as long as you like while you’re pregnant. You’ll know when you’ve reached your limit, you just don’t want to anymore. Why?”
Masa looked at Kei expectantly over the table in the library, the two omegas the only ones there at the moment.
“No reason, just curious.” Kei did his very best to look nonchalant and uncaring, but to no avail as his deep red cheeks gave him away. Masa’s eyes narrowed and he wore an amused smirk on his lips as he peered at his friend.
“Kei, is something going on between you and Yukihiro?”
Kei’s blush impossibly deepened, and he squirmed on his chair and pretended to focus on the book about childbirth that he was reading.
“Ke-ei.” Masa’s voice had a little bit of an edge to it, enough to tell the omega this was no time for nonsense. He sighed and nodded slightly, but didn’t have time to elaborate before his friend continued.
“Finally! About time you two stopped beating around the bush and just got on with it.”
Kei blinked, stunned to silence by his friend’s little outburst. Masa laughed at him, and reached out over the table to gently pat his hand before he continued.
“Come on, you guys have been flirting for ages, and you’re gonna have a kid together. You like him and he likes you, so none of us have been able to figure out why you’re not together already.”
Kei took a moment to process this, before he looked up at the other. “Who’s 'us'?”
“Everyone who’s not you or Yukihiro, I think,” Masa quipped, grinning.
“Well, yeah, maybe we weren’t ready for it. Maybe we were scared to screw it up when we have a kid on the way,” Kei muttered, greatly embarrassed. Masa patted his hand again, smiling apologetically.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to tease you too much. I’m glad you two have finally dared to take the plunge, I really am, and so will everyone else be. So, will you tell me about it?”
Kei blushed again but couldn’t help the happy grin on his lips when he answered. “I woke up and felt cold a few days ago, and I was too lazy to build a fire. It’s usually Yuki who does that in the mornings, but he was still asleep. So I thought about it for a while and then I kind of decided to just do it, and I got up and crawled down in his bed instead. Naked.”
Masa laughed delightedly, nodding. “Good boy, that’s the way to do it. So what did he say?”
“Nothing at first, he hardly woke up, but he pulled me in and held me when he went back to sleep. I fell asleep again as well, it was warm and cozy and he smelled so good… And then I woke up because he moved, and I looked up and his face was all ‘Oh shit, what do I do now?’ and I almost laughed because he looked so nervous. But then he started caressing my belly, and then his fingers sort of wandered… And then he leaned down to kiss me…” Kei’s story trailed off, his countenance soft and dreamy at the memory. Masa smiled widely.
“So, did you do the do or did you chicken out, and that’s why you’re asking me?”
“Masa!” Kei frowned at him, before he continued. “And for your information, we… sort of… had sex. You know. Hands and… stuff.”
“Hands and ‘stuff’? What’s ‘stuff’?” Masa asked, enjoying Kei’s squirming. “Did you give him a blow job or what?”
This time Kei’s cheeks took on an unprecedented tinge of red, but he shook his head quickly. “He did, on me. I… kind of jerked him off instead, I was scared I’d feel sick and puke from morning sickness or something if I tried sucking him.”
Masa nodded in understanding. “So, did it feel good? What happened after that?”
Kei’s smile was bright as the sun. “It was amazing! He really knows just how to make me feel good. Like when we were together for my heat, he was incredible. After, we just held each other for a while, and then it was time for breakfast, and… Well, we’ve done some more kissing after that, but nothing more… physical. It still feels a bit awkward to start the fire, you know? But once we got started we were both really into it.”
Masa smiled at his friend. “I’m happy for you guys. I like how you smile when you talk about him.”
“Thanks,” Kei smiled. “But Masa? Could you please not tell the others yet? It’s so new, and I’m still scared I’ll screw it up somehow. I just want to keep it for myself for a while.”
Masa raised an eyebrow but shrugged. “Yeah, sure, I guess. But can I at least tell Miya? I’m gonna burst if I don’t get to tell someone.”
His friend chuckled. “Yeah, ok, fine, if you swear him to secrecy. But don’t you dare tell Subaru!”
The answering grin was not very reassuring.
. . . . .
“Are you sure?” Koichi looked nervously at Tatsurou, eyes wide. Next to him, Hazuki sighed and wrapped his arm around his mate.
“Stop worrying so much, babe,” he said.
Tatsurou smiled at the couple and nodded. “Your mate’s right. You should stop worrying and relax. I promise there is nothing that indicates that just because you had a miscarriage last time, there will be something wrong with your baby.”
Koichi sighed in relief and slumped back onto his mate’s shoulder. Hazuki gave him a quick kiss to the hair and then turned to the nurse.
“So, everything’s fine? And we’re sure he’s pregnant?”
“Yes and yes.” Tatsurou smiled at them. “I’m happy for you. I know you’ve longed for this.”
“Thanks. We have.” Hazuki pulled Koichi even closer, his mate looking up at him with loving eyes. For a moment they just stayed like that, gazing into each other’s eyes, the nurse forgotten. And then Hazuki leaned over to kiss the tip of Koichi’s nose, before he turned back to Tatsurou.
“So how often do you want to do checkups and stuff?”
“We can have a quick talk every two or three weeks for the first few months, just to see that everything’s going well. And then we’ll see later on what we need when you get bigger. Counting up from your last heat, he should be a November boy.” The nurse grinned. “With so many babies on the way, he will have lots of playmates at least.”
Hazuki laughed. “He will, won’t he?” He looked down at Koichi who was still leaning on him, smiling blissfully. “I’d better take this little darling and get some breakfast into him, I’m afraid he’s gone into some kind of happy daze and will forget to eat otherwise.”
The omega huffed and punched his mate lightly on the arm, before he grinned. “Ok, big guy. Feed me. And get a haircut.” He teasingly pulled at Hazuki’s long bangs, before he was forced to let go with a yelp, as fingers snaked their way into his armpits and tickled him mercilessly.
Tatsurou shook his head, an amused expression on his face. “Go on, you two. Get your asses out of here and have some breakfast.”
Hazuki grinned as the two disentangled, and nodded his thanks to the nurse before he made to follow his mate out the door. He couldn’t help pinching the omega’s ass from behind though, Koichi yelping and laughing as he got chased into the dining room by a very happy alpha.
. . . . .
Shinya watched in delight as the construction team assembled his two new beautiful greenhouses in the back of the kitchen garden. They had prepared the ground, making sure it was level, and now they were tightening the last few bolts of the construction. The greenhouses weren’t huge, but enough to house some of the more heat-loving plants and to prolong the season. The omega could barely contain his joy where he stood, envisioning all the plants he would be able to grow in there.
“Are you happy, baby?” Toshiya’s voice in his ear startled him. He had been so engrossed in the construction that he hadn’t even felt the alpha nearing him. Koichi was right, you actually do get used to feeling your mate’s presence. He smiled, and turned to his tall alpha, getting up on tiptoe to give him a peck on the lips.
“I am,” he smiled. “We will be able to have tomatoes now, and bell peppers, and chili, and maybe even melons if we can find some seeds to plant.”
Toshiya smiled back. “That sounds great. I hope we will find some then.” He enjoyed the sparkle in Shinya’s eyes, and since the omega seemed to be finally getting rid of his morning sickness, he was in a terrific mood. Toshiya listened with half an ear as his normally quiet mate went on and on about which vegetables would go where, and which he had already planted and would move out here as soon as it was warm enough. It wasn’t until Shinya stopped and frowned at him that he started paying more attention.
“You’re not listening to me.” Shinya pouted slightly, glaring at his mate.
“I’m sorry baby, I was so busy watching you be happy. You’re so beautiful, you have no idea,” Toshiya apologized.
Shinya blushed slightly at that, but still huffed and pouted. “Well, this is important stuff. We need the food you know.”
Toshiya felt a little guilty. “I know, sweetie. I’m sorry. What were you saying?”
And the omega told him again, and he did his very best to listen, he really did. But those beautiful eyes, and the hands that danced in the air as the omega explained, and the beautiful roundness of the belly, was all too much of a distraction. Finally, Shinya gave up and ordered him to help or leave, and the alpha gave in and went to check if the boat was in the water yet.
. . . . .
Tomo came down to the beach, where Shuse, Jun-ji and Kaoru were looking over the docks to make sure they had made it through the winter in one piece. The omega carried a bag with some bandages and scissors, walking up to Shuse as he was inspecting the ladder by the boat. The nurse in training stopped in front of the alpha, eyeing his arms.
“Where are you hurt?”
The alpha looked at him in confusion. “Hurt? I’m not hurt.”
Tomo blinked. “But… Uruha said you had told Ryoga that you were hurt when he came down with your lunch, and that he told Kai, and Kai told Uruha to send me down to see what I could do.”
Shuse shook his head. “Sorry you had to walk down here for nothing, but I’m fine.” He turned his head towards the other two who were inspecting the pulley system further down the dock. “Any of you guys hurt?” Jun-ji and Kaoru looked up, their surprised look a clear ‘no’ without any words uttered.
“It was probably just some sort of misunderstanding,” the alpha said, smiling. “Sorry.”
Tomo frowned but shook his head. “No, don’t apologize, it’s not your fault. It’s good you’re ok. I needed the walk anyway. Too much sitting indoors all winter.” He grinned and waved a quick goodbye, and then turned on his heel and walked back up towards the house, Shuse going back to his inspection.
. . . . .
It was warmer now, and the general mood was significantly better. The news of even more babies made everyone happy, especially since it was Koichi and Hazuki who delivered the good news. To his delight, Koichi noticed a small roundness to his belly after only two more weeks, something he hadn’t expected so soon. At first, it made everything feel more real, and he made Hazuki feel his belly every night to see if it had grown bigger. But soon, he realized that he really did get bigger. Much bigger. Quickly. The others had not been so round so early on, and he started worrying again. What if that meant something was wrong? Tatsurou assured him that it was different for everyone, and that he couldn’t compare himself with the others. For example, Shinya was slimmer than Masa, right? And Kei was further along but Masa was still wider than him. Grumbling, and with a churning worry still in the pit of his stomach, he accepted the nurse’s explanations and tried to just be happy.
Masa, on the other hand, was over halfway now, and he was feeling it. He was stiffer than Kei and Shinya, moved slower, his hips protesting and his back keeping him awake. He put it down to it being his second child, that his body remembered the aches and pains of last time, but it still worried him a little. Tatsurou scheduled his appointments a bit closer apart than the others, just to be safe, and Masa was ordered to not lift or carry the kids around. In effect, he had to sit down most of the day and help Daichi with mending socks and clothes instead, the other three babysitters taking care of the kids. Soon, Kouki asked if he could help, since he had been a teacher and loved kids. And so, their first kindergarten started. Reo made learning toys from Kouki’s specifications, and the kids loved both the new toys and their new teacher.
Toshiya watched from the sidelines, smiling at how things were falling into place. When the kids were older, Kouki could teach them to read and write, and Minase could teach them maths.
Yes. Their community was doing well.
. . . . .
As the weeks passed, things seemed to be coming along fine. They planted some early seeds, the construction of more cottages had started and they could finally take the boat out again. For the first time since he came to the island, Uta felt ready to go visit the graves of his friends who died at the beach. Hikaru wanted to come as well, and that meant that Yo-Ka came along. Atsushi brought Aki, Asanao and Shuse with him as backup and to help rowing. The group went down to the beach and filed into the boat, Atsushi staying until last to help the omegas on board. Uta looked very nervous about leaving the island, clutching a small bouquet of spring flowers in his hand. As he tentatively accepted the major’s hand and climbed into the boat, Atsushi squeezed it just a tad before he let go.
“It’ll be fine,” he breathed so quietly that only the pretty omega could hear him. “I’ll protect you.”
Uta blinked and quickly withdrew his hand, but met Atsushi’s eyes for a second before he hastily climbed into the back of the boat and sat down next to Hikaru, leaning into him a bit. Atsushi took his place by the oars, allowing him to sit turned towards the omega, able to watch him while they rowed. Uta looked out over the lake the entire time, biting his lower lip nervously and nearly squishing the flowers before he caught himself. When they reached the other shore, he hesitated when the rest had already climbed out, his breaths shallow and quick.
“Are you ok?” Hikaru asked, concerned. Uta nodded quickly but didn’t move a muscle.
“You don’t have to,” Atsushi said softly. “We can go back if you want to. You can come here some other day instead.”
The omega shook his head and took a deep breath, before he reached for the alpha’s hand and climbed out of the boat. His eyes flicked to the major, but he quickly looked down and let go of his hand as soon as he could.
“Ok,” Atsushi said, “this way then. It’s not far.”
They left Asanao and Aki to guard the boat and started walking. The sound and scents of the forest surrounded them, and for a while, no one spoke as they made their way up the road and then veered off into the trees towards the clearing where the two omegas were buried. Once there, the two militaries hung back and let the omegas mourn in peace. Hikaru was crying openly, Yo-Ka hugging him and caressing his hair. Uta stood silent in front of the graves once he had placed the flowers between the crosses, and from the back, all Atsushi could see were his slumped shoulders and a tiny shiver. His heart broke for the omega, and he wished he could go up and pull him into his arms, wished he could comfort him with a gentle kiss. But he held back, his eyes fixed on Uta’s slim back. Shuse threw him a glance but didn’t say anything. Atsushi was grateful. He didn’t want to talk about this. It was stupid, falling for an omega he could never have. It would only bring him heartache, but it was what it was.
Suddenly, Uta shuddered, and made a sound as if he was being strangled. As the omega turned around, the alphas could see the tears streaming down his face, a hand lifted to touch his throat where the ropes had cut into him that day on the beach. His eyes met Atsushi’s for a moment, and the major cringed at the pain and despair he saw in those black pools, before the omega suddenly ran past him, back towards the road. Atsushi looked after him in surprise, and shared a look with Shuse who waved him off.
“Go, I’ll stay with these two,” he said, and Atsushi nodded quickly and turned to follow Uta, branches whisking him in the face as he ran. He didn’t catch up with him until the road. When he came out of the trees, the omega stood frozen in place on the road, staring at something away from the lake. The major turned to see what he was looking at, and a second later he was at Uta’s side, pulling the omega behind him so that he stood as a shield between him and the three alphas that stood watching them.