Author's Note: Because I keep getting requests for it, and the ideas now keep popping into my head... This will be a series of one-shots that follow a general timeline after the events in both Veneer and Share the Morning. I hope this satisfies the desires of those who asked for them. I haven't attempted a style like this before, so bear with me. May you enjoy each new update. :) And as always, Constructive Criticism is always welcomed.

Disclaimer: I do not own Kobayashi-san's characters or her story ideas, I simply borrow them for my own amusement.


Blessings

First

Mako stood in front of the mirror, her expression one of disbelief. Her reflection stared back at her; the only company she had in the quiet of her home.

She shook her head.

No. That was wrong. There was someone else here now.

Slowly, Mako lifted her shirt, staring at her stomach.

It was flat.

It didn't look like anything had changed. She didn't feel any different.

Not yet, a little voice inside her head reminded her. She felt a little embarrassed that she hadn't recognized the signs earlier.

Sure, she had been tired lately, but with her current schedule, who wouldn't be? Takeru was tired too. But that hadn't necessarily meant…

She poked at her exposed skin gently, still unable to quite believe it. Oh, she knew how it had happened. And if she thought hard enough, she could probably even remember exactly when it happened, but…

It didn't make it any easier to believe. They hadn't even been trying.

But the doctor she had seen that morning had assured her that yes, the test she had taken was correct.

The little "positive" sign hadn't been wrong.

She was pregnant.

Mako looked at her belly in the mirror once more; staring at it, as if she could stare hard enough she would see the baby growing inside her.

Her baby.

Takeru's baby.

Mako's head snapped up, dark eyes clashing with their identical reflections in the mirror. Takeru.

She hadn't told him yet.

When she had first missed her period, she had gone out and bought a pregnancy test for curiosity's sake, half-convinced that her cycle was just late in coming from all the stress she had been under lately. She hadn't told Takeru, hadn't told anyone for that matter, because she was sure it would be a "negative" reading. But when the little plus sign had proven otherwise…

Well, again, she hadn't been convinced it wasn't a false negative, so unbeknownst to everyone once more, she had scheduled an appointment with the doctor. Just to assure herself that there was no point in getting herself all riled up for nothing. Besides, what would have been the point to tell anyone she might be pregnant and then find out that she wasn't?

Only…

Now she was running out of excuses.

Excuses?

Mako turned that thought over in her head. Was she making excuses? She bit her lip. But why? Was she nervous about being pregnant?

Honestly, now that she knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that she really did have a baby on the way, yes. But who wouldn't be? She was suddenly shouldering a massive responsibility for another life that was completely dependent on her and her alone. It was enough to make anyone's heart beat faster for at least a moment or two…or three.

Mako heard the key turn in the lock and she jumped, startled out of her thoughts, her shirt sliding back down around her waist. She moved from the mirror, peeking around the corner. Sure enough, her husband was wearily walking through the door.

"Hey," she greeted gently as she approached him in the front hallway. "Welcome home."

Takeru's dark eyes met her with a tired smile. "Thanks."

"All done for the day?"

He nodded, stepping into the house after removing his shoes and catching her around the waist, kissing her softly.

Mako felt herself melt into the kiss. A surge of warmth thrummed through her. "Good," she sighed against his lips.

Takeru grinned, all trace of exhaustion gone. "Only good?"

Mako laughed, hitting his arm playfully. "You know what I meant."

Takeru's grin grew wider and he pulled her even closer, enveloping her in another kiss, deepening it within moments.

"You know," Mako started in between kisses. "If we keep this up," she gasped in delight when he kissed the sensitive spot on her neck. "We'll never get dinner," she cut herself off again as she shivered in a warm wave of desire when his hands brushed up her sides. "On the table," she finished a little breathily.

Takeru pulled away slightly, just enough to smile at her glare.

"Cheater," she admonished, but her tone was lessened from the mischievous smile tugging at her own lips.

He kissed her forehead. "Alright," he relented with a sigh.

"Greedy," Mako called to his retreating back as he disappeared down the hall to change. She shook her head, all smiles. Then she caught the sight of her reflection off the glass from a hanging portrait and her eyes were drawn once more to her belly. She placed a tentative hand over it, almost out of reflex, and bit her lip.

"Mako?" She heard her husband call from the kitchen.

"Hmm?" She answered absentmindedly as her fingers lay splayed across her abdomen, lost in thought.

Takeru rounded the corner and poked his head in with a curious frown. "Are you alright?"

Mako nodded, her hand sliding to the side and hanging loosely at her hip. She shook her head to clear her thoughts. "I'm fine," she smiled. "Sorry, I just spaced out for a minute there."

Takeru studied her for a moment, opening his mouth to ask a question, then thinking better of it and turning back towards the kitchen. "I'll cook tonight," he called back over his shoulder.

"What –? But Takeru – It's my turn tonight; you worked hard enough as it is. I promise Genta said it tasted fine." She rushed after him into the warm room.

Takeru laughed lightly and waved her concerns away. "You just seem preoccupied tonight. Let me."

Mako bit her lip but nodded, watching her husband's back as he rustled around in their kitchen, pulling out pots and pans. A wave of affection rushed over her and the words were out before she could second guess herself. "I'm pregnant."

Takeru froze mid-motion as he was reaching into a cupboard for a measuring cup.

Mako felt herself still in response, hardly daring to breathe. Her thoughts began to swirl as she felt a sense of anxiety well up inside her when he didn't respond. Maybe he doesn't want a child right now. I mean, it makes sense with how busy we are. We have such little time with each other as it is, throwing a child into the mix could be disastrous.

She felt tears begin to well up in her eyes. But I really want a child, she realized. It hit her with a sudden pang and her heart skipped a beat in response. She had only found out for sure that morning, but perhaps she had instinctually known for longer, had already grown fond of her baby for the short time period of time they had been aware of the other. She wanted a child with Takeru. One that would have his strength and grace, her smile, his eyes…

With watery eyes of her own she realized that Takeru was standing directly in front of her and she started slightly. She felt his hands brace themselves on her shoulders as he looked into her eyes, repeating the question she had missed twice already.

"Say it again," he asked, his tone calm and hinting at nothing. "Please."

Mako summoned her courage, bracing herself for possible rejection, and already developing an argument to convince him to see her side before they made any rash decisions. "I'm pregnant Takeru. With your child."

She felt the wind from her lungs leave in a rush as Takeru's arms were suddenly squeezing the life from them. She gasped in pain from his tight hold and the discovery that her chest was tenderer than it had been a couple of weeks ago.

"I'm sorry," Takeru rushed to apologize, letting go of her as if he had been struck by lightning, but still remained in physical contact, as if he couldn't let her go. "Are you okay? Did I hurt you? The baby?"

Mako felt her shock run through her, a little off-balance. "It's okay than…to have a baby right now?"

Takeru looked at her in bewilderment. "Why wouldn't…?"

She felt tears spill over. "We're just so busy! We don't have much time right now and all, but," she tried to wipe away her tears with the back of her sleeve. "I really, really want to keep her."

"Her?"

Mako felt a little laugh burst from her. "I just…it sounds right, and until we know otherwise, but," she looked back up at her husband. "It's really okay? You're not mad?"

Takeru sighed and rested his forehead against his wife's, encircling her gently with his arms. "Of course I'm not mad," he assured her, kissing the top of her head. "Actually," he hesitated, suddenly nervous and excited at the same time. "I couldn't be happier."

Mako felt relief flush through her like a flood and she leaned against Takeru as she felt her knees almost give out on her from the remnants of panic leaving her body. "Thank you," she whispered against his collarbone.

He laughed lightly in her hair, kissing her temple. He extricated himself from her hold enough to look down at her flat belly before letting a slightly unsteady hand lay itself flat against her stomach.

The warmth of his hand was nothing compared to the warmth of affection suddenly radiating from her very being. "I love you Takeru," she smiled up at him.

Takeru looked into her iridescent eyes and kissed her soundly. "I love you too," he whispered against her lips.