WARNING: If you can't handle mpreg, then don't read this. Also, have a box of tissues ready just in case...
Kiku made sure that Alfred was no where to be seen before entering the dark room. He closed the door and turned the light on. The room's walls were painted a light blue color, while the ceiling remained a plain white. Children's toys were strewn all over the floor, but they had never been touched by a child's hands. There was a dresser near the door as well, filled with blankets and baby clothes, but they too had never been used. A lone rocking chair stood in the farthest corner of the room, gathering dust. Finally, just below the window was a cradle.
Kiku walked across the room so he could look into it. No baby... nothing. He began to run his fingers over the smooth, beautifully carved wood. Berwald had made it himself and had given it to Alfred and Kiku as a gift.
"Y' be need'n 't s'n." he had said to them.
But as it turned out, he was wrong. They never needed it after all. No baby was ever put into that cradle.
Kiku stopped running his fingers over the wood, but he kept his hand on the cradle, gripping one of the bars tightly. He could feel tears welling up in his eyes as he put his other hand to his clothed stomach. The stitches were gone, but the painful memories weren't. It just wasn't fair... A baby dying before it was even born. Kiku stopped gripping the cradle's bar and leaned down to pick up one of the toys that was nearby. He stood straight again once he had it in his free hand, since the other one was still resting on his stomach. The toy he had picked up was a stuffed toy, a pikachu to be exact. Kiku held it close to him and finally let the tears fall from his brown eyes. He could feel his body tremble lightly as he tried to control his sobs.
Suddenly, he felt Alfred's presence and quickly turned around, still holding the stuffed pikachu close to him. Sure enough, there was Alfred, standing before him. The blonde's blue eyes were clearly shining with anger.
"Al-Alfred... I... I..." began Kiku, failing to keep the quiver out of his voice.
"What are you doing in here?" Alfred cut in with a cold tone.
Kiku hastily wiped the tears away from his eyes with the sleeve of his kimono before answering, "I just wanted to look, Alfred... I just wanted to look."
Alfred's eyes went downcast. "Get out... Now!"
Kiku flinched and quickly walked past the taller male and out of the room, still holding the pikachu in his arms. Alfred's eyes remained downcast, not even bothering to make sure Kiku had exited the room.
Kiku made his way to the bedroom that he and Alfred shared. He leaned against the wall for a moment before letting himself slide down to the floor on his knees. He hugged the pikachu with both his arms and felt new tears stain his face.
Ever since the baby died, Alfred had been distancing himself from Kiku. It was as though his happiness had died with the baby. Kiku no longer saw the brightness in those blue eyes, only the shell of what was once there. Alfred now spent most of his time being shut up in his office, only coming out at mealtimes. But even then, Alfred would silently eat his food, paying no attention to Kiku whatsoever. When he did speak it was with an icy cold tone. Although Alfred never hit Kiku, or verbally abuse him, the brunette felt hurt by the blonde's cold shoulder and silence. Sometimes he'd wonder if this change in Alfred's behavior was hatred being directed towards him. Was Alfred blaming him for what happened to the baby? Was he implying that it was HIS fault?
Kiku continued to weep in silence. He missed Alfred's cheerfulness, his happy-go-lucky attitude, and last but not least... his smile.
The baby's death was the arrow that had struck down the proud eagle...
Alfred continued to stand in the center of the nursery. He, too, took a long look at the empty cradle before him. He walked over to it so he could look into it. However, he immediately wished that he hadn't, for the memories he had buried deep within his heart were beginning to resurface. He clenched his fists at his sides and gritted his teeth.
These kind of things weren't supposed to happen to a hero like him! If there was a God, then Alfred resented him. He had prayed everyday during Kiku's pregnancy that their child would be born safely and that it would be healthy, but that didn't happen.
Alfred remembered how excited he was when Kiku told him the news. He had picked up the shorter male into his arms and started spinning them around, even though Kiku pleaded for him not to do that.
"Hell no! I'm gonna be a dad!" Alfred had said in return.
At world meetings, Alfred couldn't stop bragging to the others how his child would be a strong hero just like him. Some nations were annoyed by this, while others would just smile and congratulate him. Kiku, on the other hand, would wish that he could fade through the wall to escape the access attention Alfred was giving to him.
When they found out that their child would be a boy, the couple wondered endlessly about what their son would look like and which parent he would take after the most. They knew for sure that their son would be strong like his father, because Kiku could feel it whenever the baby kicked...
"He's going to be like you." said Kiku as he stroked Alfred's blond locks.
"We don't know that for sure. We just know he has my strength." Alfred corrected as he nuzzled his cheek against Kiku's round stomach.
Kiku was sitting down on the floor, while Alfred was resting his head against his large belly. The shorter of the two flinched as the baby gave another strong kick, but the taller of the two smiled and kissed the clothed stomach.
"Your papa's right here, son." Alfred said to the bulge. "Your mother and I are waiting for you. We can't wait to see you. Your Uncle Mattie, Uncle Yao, Uncle Arthur, Uncle Francis, and your other aunts and uncles helped me make a room just for you. We even have toys and clothes all ready for you."
A calm smile appeared on Kiku's lips...
During the seventh month, Kiku came to Alfred saying that their son hadn't been kicking in the past few days.
"Maybe he's just a 'heavy' sleeper." the blond had said light-heartedly, pun intended.
Kiku responded by hitting him on the head with a paper fan and requesting that they go to the doctor just to make sure everything was okay. And that was when they were told the devastating news.
"I'm sorry, but the fetus is no longer alive."
To Alfred and Kiku, time froze. The son that they had anxiously been waiting for was dead...
The doctors didn't want Kiku to be carrying a dead body for another two months, so they put him to sleep for awhile as they cut open his stomach and removed their dead child. Alfred was there when Kiku came back to his senses in the hospital room and they grieved together.
They demanded that a grave should be made for their son, but the doctors told them that it was an unborn fetus. In other words, they didn't consider their dead baby as a person. But Alfred and Kiku would have none of that, so they payed a large amount of money just to have a grave made for their son. Kiku did cry at the burial, but he did so silently. No tears fell from Alfred's eyes, but if you looked at him you could see the sorrow and pain in his eyes. Matthew, Yao, Arthur, Francis, and other friends attended the burial. They knew that no matter what they told the two, it would not bring the baby back.
After the burial, Alfred made the nursery off limits. Not even he went in there, but Kiku would often sneak in and sit in the rocking chair, trying to imagine the sound of his son's laughter. He had never been caught until now.
Finally, Alfred could no longer fight back the tears. He took off his glasses and put a hand over his face.
Suddenly he felt a hand on his shoulder. He took his hand off his face so he could look at Kiku, who was still holding the stuffed pikachu in his arms. The Japanese man said nothing as he walked over to the rocking chair and sat down. He slowly rocked in the chair, hugging the pikachu close to him. His brown eyes were directed at the ceiling.
"Alfred, I know that you told me to leave this room, but I wanted to see what was taking you so long." said Kiku as he continued to rock in the chair.
Alfred said nothing as he wiped his tears away and put his glasses back on.
"Also, Alfred, we need to talk." added Kiku.
The blond nodded to show that he was listening.
"I know that you blame me for what happened to our son..."
What?! Alfred's eyes widened and he stared at Kiku. He had never blamed Kiku for any of this.
"but please, let me try again. I want to give you a child, Alfred. And if you want, I will leave so that the child will only be with you. You probably don't want a jinx like me around the child..." Kiku stopped rocking the chair as Alfred ran to him and embraced him just like he used to do. He could feel Alfred's tears as the blond buried his face in his shoulder.
"No! I don't want you to leave, Kiku. I never did. And I've never blamed you for what happened to our son. Why would you think that?!" Alfred didn't care how childish he sounded now, he wanted to know where his partner had gotten such morbid thoughts.
"I thought that because... You were always so quiet and you don't smile like you used to..." Kiku stopped when he felt Alfred tighten his embrace and then pull away so they could give each other eye contact. Kiku was startled to see so many tears on Alfred's handsome face.
"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to make you feel unwanted, Kiku. I was pushing myself away from you because I didn't want to hurt you... Truth is, I've been blaming myself for what happened." said Alfred.
Kiku put a hand on Alfred's face. "You, Alfred? You've done nothing wrong."
Alfred put his own hand over Kiku's. "And neither have you, so stop blaming yourself okay."
"Only if you do the same." said Kiku.
A small, sad smile appeared on Alfred's lips. "Deal."
The two waited a few moments before talking again so they could calm themselves down. Kiku was the first one to speak again.
"Alfred, I really do want to try again, though."
The blond remained silent. As much as he wanted too, he wasn't sure if his heart could handle loosing another child. He looked at Kiku.
"Are you sure? Aren't you afraid that the same thing will happen?" he asked.
"Yes, I am. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't try again." Kiku got off the rocking chair so he could sit down beside Alfred on the floor. "I want to have a family with you, Alfred."
When Alfred looked into Kiku's eyes he saw that the last sentence was his final answer: Yes, I want to try again.
Alfred nodded his head. "I want to have a family with you too, Kiku. And if anything bad happens, we'll get through it together, right?"
Kiku nodded in return. "Of course."
Once again, Alfred found himself resting his head against Kiku's round stomach. This baby was also to be a boy and he too seemed to possess his father's strength. Kiku was actually quite happy because it looked as though Alfred was returning to his former self. He was talking again, he was spending time with Kiku and the baby, and he was smiling again.
"I have a feeling that this child will survive." Kiku said out of the blue.
"I hope so, Kiku. I hope so." Alfred said in return. He kissed the bulge.
Alfred was constantly nervous now, because the ninth month had come, meaning Kiku was due any minute now. The blond was now keeping the car keys under his pillow so that if Kiku went into labor during the night, he could just grab them and go. He also kept another key with him in his pocket for during the day. Since it was Kiku's ninth month, Alfred spent most of his time at home. Matthew and sometimes Yao would come to bring them extra food, and Alfred would thank them in return.
"Any day now." said Kiku as he rubbed his stomach.
"Yep." said Alfred.
The good news was that their son was still kicking and the doctor said he was doing just fine. Alfred and Kiku had never felt this happy their entire lives. Their son was alive and they would finally get to see him soon. However, along with their happiness they felt nervous. After all, this was a BABY that they were dealing with here and they would be starting a family of their own at last. There were also times when Alfred worried about Kiku. He wasn't sure how this would turn out since Kiku was a man, not a woman. But his anxiety would be washed away whenever Kiku smiled at him or told him that he couldn't wait to see the baby.
Then, right in the middle of the ninth month, the time to become parents came. It was during the morning. Kiku had gotten up before Alfred and prepared to make himself some tea, but then he felt his stomach contract painfully and something wet trickle down his leg. He yelled for Alfred, who practically jumped out of bed when he heard him shout. He grabbed the car keys from under his pillow, put on his glasses, threw his bomber jacket over his night shirt, put on some sandles, and guided Kiku to the car. His hands were trembling as he put the key into the slot and started driving full-speed to the nearest hospital. Normally, Kiku hated it when people drove fast (which was why he longer rode in a car with Feliciano), but his stomach cramps kept him from noticing.
"Don't worry, Kiku, we're almost there. I just need to take this exit." said Alfred calmly.
Though his tone was calm, he was actually sweating bullets.
Kiku turned his head so he could look at him and said, "Alfred, if anything happens to me, don't blame the child. Love him, since he's our son that we've waited so long for."
Alfred smiled, but kept his eyes on the road. "What are you saying, Kiku? You're gonna be just fine. Besides, of course I'll love our son. Why wouldn't I?"
Kiku could only smile through the pain.
Alfred found himself pacing the hallway. Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth... He was starting to get tired of all this pacing. The last time he had been in a hospital was when they cut open Kiku's stomach to remove their deceased first son, but now it was different. Now he was outside the delivery room, waiting for news of Kiku and their son. To Alfred it felt as though hours had gone by, when in reality it had only been one hour.
He froze when he saw the door open. A nurse appeared and looked at him. He immediately walked over to her and bombarded her with questions.
"How did it go? Is Kiku okay? Is the baby okay? Can I see them? Why aren't you answering me?"
"Mr. Jones, please, give me a moment!" the nurse cried.
"Sorry." said Alfred.
The nurse took a deep breath to steady her nerves.
"So, how's Kiku. And the baby? How's the baby?" pressed Alfred.
The nurse avoided eye contact with him, which worried the nation.
'No... God, please no... Not again.' thought Alfred.
"Mr. Jones... I'm afraid that... Mr. Honda did not survive..."
And time froze for Alfred.
"I love you so much, Kiku." said Alfred as he stroked the raven-colored hair.
The small child, a spitting image of his mother (except he had Alfred's ahoge) looked up at his father with his brown eyes and smiled. He wrapped his arms around his father's neck so he could hug him, and Alfred returned the hug.
"I love you too, Papa."