(A/N) For my cuddle prompts series on Tumblr, "in lieu of a kiss"


When Caitlin climbed back into bed, looking paler than usual and holding her stomach, Cisco put his arms around her and leaned in.

She twisted away. "Ugh, honey, I've been throwing up for the past half hour. You really want to kiss me?"

"You also brushed your teeth," he pointed out. "Twice."

"Yes, because the taste of the toothpaste made me throw up again."

"Due entirely to the zygote I implanted in your uterus, I know." He pulled her close anyway, and she sagged against him. He rubbed his cheek on her hair, feeling guilty.

"It was only a zygote for a few hours," she mumbled into his shoulder. "I'm at nine weeks. It's very definitely a fetus now." She tipped her face up to his. "And I want it there. Very much."

He smiled at her. "Me too."

He was continually surprised at how excited Caitlin was for this. She'd never seemed much like a kid person, but he'd caught her the other day singing "You Are My Sunshine" very off-key, with her hand on her abdomen. (He'd filmed it for the baby, of course, but he knew better than to tease Caitlin about it for, like, six years.)

She sighed, rubbing her stomach some more, screwing up her face.

He cast around for something that would distract her from her uneasy belly. "You know, Zygote always sounded like a supervillain to me," he said thoughtfully. "Zygote the Destroyer."

"I prefer Zygote the Invincible," she said, snuggling into him. "We've still got another month before we're out of the woods." Her mom had had four miscarriages before carrying Caitlin to term, and there was so little data on meta pregnancies - and none where both parents were metas - that Caitlin worried day and night.

"We'll be fine." He leaned over and grabbed the bottle of Gatorade next to the bed, offering it to her. "All three of us. Zygote the Invincible will be here terrorizing us in thirty-one weeks' time exactly. She's your kid so she'll be punctual."

Although they hadn't done any testing yet, Caitlin didn't question his choice of pronouns, just smiled at him and sipped the sports drink. She never used to touch it - too much sugar - but she said she needed to rehydrate and replace her electrolytes with all the barfing she was doing.

He was pretty sure she just liked the blue flavor.

When she'd swallowed, she said, "She's your kid, so she'll keep coming up with new ways to surprise us."

"Sounds legit." He rubbed her back. "Settling down there a little?"

She frowned, went green, and bolted from the bed. Apparently the Gatorade had been too much, too soon.

Cisco winced and pushed the tangled covers aside to climb out of bed and follow her into the bathroom. He held her hair and kissed her shoulder, murmuring, "Hey, Zygote the Invincible, take it easy on your mama there, will you? I love her a lot."

FINIS