Envy

Zen sat at his desk reading the same line of text over and over again. He knew if he didn't finish this report, Izana would hold it over him for days but his mind was occupied on other things. Namely, Shirayuki and his new daughter Hikari. Ever since she was born a month ago, Zen never gets to spend time with his beloved wife. She was always tending to the baby and he was convinced that Hikari was messing with him.

Just when he was finally able to pull his wife away from the nursery, Hikari would cry out and Shirayuki would rush back to her side to calm the baby down. It just wasn't fair! When he pouted or tried to get Shirayuki's attention, she would either ignore him, or give him a look and move on. Even when he did have her attention, the only thing she would talk about was how adorable their daughter was and what new things she was learning to do.

A quiet knock at the door interrupted his train of thought. "Enter."

The very object of his desire slipped though the door carrying the object of his annoyance. Hikari was asleep in her mother's arms. Zen stood from his desk and quickly joined his wife who had made her way to the couch in his office. "Is everything alright?" Zen asked, momentarily feeling a spike of worry that something was wrong with Hikari.

"We are both fine Zen. ...I just wanted to see you. I hope I'm not disturbing you too much. You can go back to work if you need to." Shirayuki looked a bit lonely in that instance and Zen couldn't help but to feel hope. Was he finally going to get some time with his wife?

Zen looked up intending to tell his attendants to take a break only to find that they had already left the couple alone. Deciding not to be annoyed at how well the three of them could read him, Zen refocused his attention on Shirayuki. "You aren't disturbing me. I was actually just thinking about how much I wanted to see you."

Shirayuki flushed at his words. Even now, she still blushed when Zen was even the least bit romantic towards her. The pair were silent for a few minutes, content just to be together. Finally, Shirayuki said, "She's taking longer naps. I think I'll be able to go back to work soon. I'm really anxious to be back in the pharmacy."

"If you missed it that much I could have had a wet nurse brought in to care for Hikari." Zen said, feeling a bit bad that she had missed her job. She had been forced to stop working when she started to show and with Hikari being so dependent on her mother, Shirayuki had not been able to do much work for quite a while.

"Oh no! I love taking care of her. After all, she's our daughter. I feel horrible every time I think about how much I want to go back to work. It's not that I don't adore her... I just need some time for myself. Is that horrible of me?"

Shirayuki looked very worried about what Zen would think of her confession. "I don't think it's horrible. I'm no better. I love our baby girl but sometimes I wish she wouldn't take all of your attention. I miss my wife. I swear sometimes she starts crying just so I can't have any time with you!"

Shirayuki looks up at Zen in surprise. Then she began to giggle, "Zen are you saying you're jealous of a baby?"

Zen pouted,"It's not funny!" He whined. This only made her laugh harder. Her laughter woke Hikari who blinked her crystalline blue eyes up at her parents. Seeing her mother laughing, she let out a gurgle of her own and smiled. "And then she goes and does something like that and I have to forgive her."

Shirayuki watches as her husband reaches over and smooths the platinum hair away from their daughter's face. "She has your smile," he comments softly. The love in his eyes as he looks at his daughter almost brings tears to Shirayuki's eyes.

Hikari reaches for her father who lifts her into his arms. She gurgles happily and plays with the tassels on his coat. Watching father and daughter interact, Shirayuki lets out a happy sigh. "She's worth all of it."

"Yeah, she is."

This is dedicated to Solarsnowfox who showed me that there is at least one person who is reading and enjoying these little stories. Thank you so much for your review. I haven't forgotten this fic, I just thought nobody was interested anymore. I'll keep going so thank you for reading!

CC22