When you are a creature that lives for centuries, there are very few resources for many things. Especially when only a few of your vital systems from when you were human worked fully. When anything went wrong, it was difficult to find a solution.
So when I found myself doubled over in waves of pain from my abdomen, I did the only thing I could think of.
“Here, hold this to your gut”
I took the warm pack from Clara as she came back to my living room. “You’re sure that’s what it is?”
“If Manny promises something, he does not go back on his word.”
The wave of pain subsided and I unclenched my jaw. “I don’t remember it hurting so much.”
She plopped onto my couch and unpaused our show. “It’s also been, what, how many centuries now?”
“Over four. Yeah, I guess that would have something to do with it.” I pulled my throw over the heated pack.
“I’d imagine reproductive organs starting up again would be pretty painful in itself. So how are you going to tell Pitch?”
I groaned, a mix of pain and realization. “Does he have to know right now?”
“Uh, yes? I mean, he is your boyfriend again, isn’t he?”
“Yeah but…” I sighed and tilted my head back. “Clara, I’ve been sterile the whole time I’ve known him. And when we actually were trying and had to give up…”
“You’re scared to give him false hope.”
“I didn’t realize someone like him wanted children of his own.”
She held up her hands and leaned for her drink on the coffee table. “I won’t pry.”
A knock sounded from my door just as another wave of crippling pain made me groan. “Can you get that? It’s Cupid.”
I closed my eyes and felt her get up. He did deserve to know. I just wasn’t sure if I was ready to tell him he had the potential to be a father again. We were still figuring out when to start packing my things to go back to Italy. A thought jolted my nerves as Cupid said his hellos, making me curse and groan.
“Well fine, excuse me for being nice,” he chided.
“No, sorry. Hi Cupid, you beautiful land mermaid.”
“That’s better.” I saw him hold up a pillow. “Psyche uses this when the pain is really bad. She said you could borrow it.”
“Tell her she is an angel,” I said and took it, immediately hugging it to my aching gut. They both took places on the couch, and I felt a little better physically. Mentally I was sorting through a lot more. “This means I can get pregnant…”
“That’s usually what menstruation means.” Clara picked up her glass. “And isn’t this why he should know? I thought we covered this.”
“As a guy, knowing you can potentially get your woman pregnant is usually something good to know,” Cupid interjected and then retreated to the kitchen, something I kept stocked up just for them.
“That means no more random sex marathons.” I sighed and felt the pain receding for the time being.
“Not without protection.” Clara started laughing at her own statement, unable to breathe for a moment.
“What the fuck is so funny about that?”
“Imagining him fumbling with a condom is all. I mean, he’s lifetimes out of practice, at least.”
Despite myself I snorted as well. “Laugh it up, bitchface.”
“Honestly Hana, it’d be good news,” Cupid said as he came back in. “At least then he can be careful and know why you want to be cautious as well.” He shrugged and sat down. “Or immediately get knocked up. Whichever works for you.”
I put a hand to my head. “Guys, we just got back together a few months ago. After a hundred years. I don’t think a baby would be a good idea right now.”
Clara spoke up again. “You started dating again in October, didn’t you?”
“Yes, and your point is?”
“Three months is enough time to figure this out, especially after you were together three hundred years.”
I got up to stretch my muscles, to alleviate some of the lingering discomfort. “Remember what I said earlier. About being barren all the years I lived with him?”
“He’ll have to know eventually, Hana. It’s better to know, right?”
I sighed and found myself standing in front of my workdesk.
“For now, just watch TV with us. Tell him when you see him next.”
Just then, my front door opened, allowing said Boogeyman in to my living room. I don’t think he was expecting Clara and Cupid, just as much as I wasn’t expecting him that night.
“What are you doing here?”
“I didn’t know I needed an excuse to see you.” Pitch nodded to the couch. “Though I suppose I should have sent notice ahead. I wasn’t aware you were entertaining tonight.”
“We were actually just leaving,” Clara said and got up, tugging Cupid by his arm as he let out confused sputters into his cup still at his lips. “Wouldn’t want to get in the way of any ‘marathons’, now would we, Cupid?”
If looks could kill, I would have set Clara on fire from where I was standing. Before I could say more I had to grip the back of my chair at my desk. It felt like my gut was tearing itself to pieces.
“Hana, are you alright?” There was no mistaking his concern. I heard the door close, and I knew we were alone.
I let out a heavy breath through my nose. He had to know. I nodded to the stairs, leading to my bedroom. “We need to talk.”
“So we could have children now.”
I nodded in his lap while he stroked my hair, soothing what he could of my discomfort. The lull of the television hanging on my wall blended in to the background. “I didn’t want to tell you, in case it was a fluke. I didn’t want to give you false hope.”
“It’s a bit to process after all this time.” He took it in stride as I gripped his hand tightly at another wave of shredding pain. “If it works, it works. If it doesn’t, at least we tried. Whenever you’re ready, that is.”
I let a heavy breath sift through my nose. I laughed to try to keep myself from crying at the pain. “Feels like I’m going through childbirth right now. I think I’ve got it covered.”
He chuckled at least and I looked up at him. “Not what I meant.”
“I know.” I hugged Psyche’s pillow to my stomach, curling around it. “If you don’t mind acting like a mortal man for awhile, I think it’d be best if we waited a bit. At least until I’m back in Italy.”
“Like a mortal man?” He frowned, genuinely confused, making me laugh again. Clara’s mental image from before entered my mind.
“I mean we need protection, at least for now.”
“Ah, that.” He shrugged. “Whatever makes you more comfortable.”
“Do you even know how to use one?”
“Hana, I’m immortal, not dead. My people were just as advanced as civilization is now. That goes for protection for sex. Amongst other things.”
I hissed and gripped hard on the pillow. “I really hate Manny right now.”
“It will pass.”
“Yeah, but I can still hate him a bit. I didn’t realize accepting this would make my uterus tear itself to little pieces.”
He hummed in amusement. “I’d offer to finish what I started so long ago with him, but alas it is not in my power.”
I gave a sharp breath and the pain receded again. “It’s alright.” I kept my gaze forward, not really focusing on the TV. I shifted in his lap. “I’m just glad you’re here.”
“I initially wanted to take you out tonight, but this is just as satisfying.”
We went quiet for a bit. I only partially took in what was playing on the flat screen. It seemed my organs had settled, if only for the moment. My mind was settled for good, at least. There was just one more thing I needed to know. “What about you?”
“What about me?”
“I know you were ready over four hundred years ago but… I mean, so much has changed with both of us.” I chanced sitting up, flinching a little. “If this is real, if it isn’t just a fluke, are you okay with it?”
“Of course. That hasn’t changed.” He put his hand to my cheek and I leaned into it. “For now, we take it a day at a time. Just relax.” I nodded. “And, after the pain is gone entirely, let’s get you back to where you belong.”
I laughed and nodded again. “Sounds like a plan.” I groaned against a sudden claw-like grip around my insides and leaned back to his lap. “Until then, I’ll be here, hoping everything is still in place.”
He chuckled. “That’s fine.” I felt his strong fingers on my neck, slipping under the collar. “Take your time. We’ve waited this long.”
I nodded, the pillow against my gut in a vice grip. There was no way Psyche was getting it back for quite a while. At least I knew for sure it would all work out, no matter what happened. And, as much as I cursed his name, I did owe Manny so much for what he had given me. Given us. I just wished it wasn’t so painful for reproductive organs to come back to life.
I wasn’t sure when I had fallen asleep. When I woke again, the TV had shut itself off, sending the room into utter darkness aided by my heavy curtains. Light, even breaths let me know he had fallen asleep as well, still sitting up against my small pile of pillows. I uncurled from the tight ball I had subconsciously made around the pillow, hissing softly as the muscles slowly stretched out.
“Hey yourself,” I answered, shifting to the right side of the mattress. “Come under here with me.”
“Too tired for innuendos.”
I laughed as I heard clothes rustling and sheets moving. I still kept Psyche’s pillow close-by, just in case. His body encased mine, his arm resting over my side, stroking my stomach.
“Are you feeling better?”
I nodded. “It’s subsided for now. No way to tell if it’s done for good though.” I glanced at my clock, seeing it read 6AM. “How long were we out for?”
“Not sure. Doesn’t matter.” He shifted a bit, getting more comfortable. “If you’re feeling up to it, we can go out at nightfall. I’m sure after all that pain, you have some frustration to let out.”
I closed my eyes, feeling exhaustion tug at my body again. “I may have a few ideas to use.” His random appearance that night was something I didn’t realize I needed. My friends were able to produce distractions, yes, but they couldn’t provide what he could. I rested my hand to his, feeling his fingers entwine around mine. “Kozmotis?”
“Thank you for showing up tonight. And for taking this so well.”
He laughed a bit. “What sort of man would I be to take this badly? I’m a vile, despicable, soulless creature, but that doesn’t mean I hate everything. Knowing it’s now possible, I can finally rest easy.” He went quiet for a moment before adding, “What I’ve been searching for all this time, it can be put to rest. So in that, I should be thanking you, Serah.”
I frowned to the darkness. “How so?”
“We can both send more evil into the world, for one.” He chuckled as I elbowed his ribs. “That, and our family can now grow. I wouldn’t trade that for anything.”
I could only hum a response. I realized I had worried over nothing. Despite the lingering fears I had, I felt more prepared of what could come. And I knew he would be right there with me, no matter the outcome.