I stood outside. I had barely slept in weeks and somehow was managing to enjoy every minute of my deprivation. Perhaps I wasn't physically happy, or mentally sound. My daily interactions were becoming much different. But I could stand outside during calmer moments when I dared not lay down for fear of falling asleep, and reflect on my time with the child I now held.

It was almost a month now. Gakupo had decided he would name the baby, and christened him Daisuke. I found no problem, and it stuck. We cared for him together, though in his "off time" he seemed to have far fewer issues with falling asleep than I did. He had really stepped up, like he said he would. He even talked about when we'd retire from the public eye and he'd finally marry me (I laughed at him mercilessly) and we'd move far from here. We'd finish raising Daisuke, and his brothers and sisters when they arrived. He had it all planned out. I still couldn't see it.

I was standing next to the lake, the edge of our world here, holding my baby while he enjoyed his supper as our false sun set. A figure came up beside me.

"He seems to have really taken to your breast."

"Yes. I've wondered how I'll ever get him off."

"Yeah." I looked sideways to see Meiko, Haku at her side. "Listen: why don't you leave Junior with Daddy for the evening and we'll go out for a few. Sound good?"

I barely left the apartments in the last month. I was still on "maternity leave," as the Master called it, and I could ask the girls, always eager to help, to lend a hand when an errand had to be run. Without thinking, I let an uncharacteristic grin crack my face and decided to go for it. I wonder now what would've happened if I had made the other choice.

The three of us came home that night, a buzzed me and a drunk Meiko dragging a wasted Haku in, one arm over each shoulder. I was far from Haku, but drunk enough to not realize how the energy in the house had changed since I'd left. No one was around. We dumped Haku on the bench as usual and went up to our respective rooms. I peeked in the baby's crib to check on him. He wasn't there. I assumed he was still with his daddy and crawled into bed.

I woke up the next morning with a massive headache made worse by my deciding to move to feed the baby. He still wasn't in his crib. Perhaps Gakupo had him again? Or still? Or one of the other ladies had him? Since I'd last left him with Gakupo, I checked his room first. He wasn't in there. On to the living area.

The mood in there was ice cold and dark, to say the least. The one closest to the hall, Sonika, looked up at me as I walked down the hall.

"Oh, Miss Megurine," she said, bringing a sleeve to her eyes. "You…you're awake. That's good, I suppose."

"Yes, I'm awake: have you seen Kamui-san?"

She tensed even more at the question.

"Sonika-chan, I just want to know where my son got to."

"Miss Megurine, how attached would you say you were to that baby?" she asked after a second's painful silence. How could she ask that? I'm his mother of course I was at – wait. Was? Was?

"Sonika," I said, now in a panic. "Where. Is. My. Child?"