stardustproxy: Clap. Clap. Slap. (Lupin/Tonks)
Title: Welcome
Characters: Garnet/Zidane, Eiko, original-fandom children
Fandom: Final Fantasy IX
Rating: PG
Summary: Zidane is surrounded by women in his life.
Notes: BABY-FIC. Loosely related to Forever and Announcement, still dealing with epic amounts of fluff n' stuff. For my spring break extravaganza/fluff fic week~

“Babies!” cooed Eiko excitedly as she leaned over the dual bassinets in the nursery of Alexandria castle. Ten years old, she’d been eagerly anticipating the birth of the new newest residents of Alexandria Castle for quite some time. To be totally honest, she’d been waiting for their arrival since she was six, and had given up Zidane in an overly dramatic fashion once she’d realized that Dagger and Zidane were made for each other.

Every member of the old gang had come out for the birth, and the babies had obliged by coming exactly on the date of their annual reunion that year.

“Two, can you believe it? Twins!” cried Eiko as she leaned over the bassinets.

“No, I couldn’t quite, actually,” admitted Zidane from his seat in the corner of the nursery.

“You hardly count,” replied Eiko. “You were such a space case during the birth. Dagger pulled through really well, despite of your hand-wringing.”

“She was screaming and swearing at me, Ei. You try being on the receiving end of all that violence directed at you and then tell me about it,” grumbled Zidane.

“She made it look really graceful, though,” said Eiko. “I didn’t realize it’d take such a long time though. What, fourteen hours?”

“Fourteen hours, twenty-seven minutes, and thirty two seconds altogether,” said Zidane. “It felt a lot longer.”

“Well, I don’t ever think I wanna give birth for a long time, though, but the babies are cute.” Eiko held a hand out over one of the bassinets and toyed with the white ribbon tied along the top. “I’m glad I wasn’t Mikoto, though!”

“I owe her. Big time.” Zidane winced and crossed the room to stand next to Eiko. “I can’t believe Freya took her into the birthing room with her.”

“Well, Freya needed help and she knew you’d be useless,” said Eiko, a playful grin marking her features. “Freya was all kinds of cool, though. I guess being a Dragon Knight means you learn all sorts of things.”

“Looking for a future career as a Dragon Knight of Burmecia, Eiko?” asked Zidane as he leaned over to ruffle Eiko’s hair.

“Nah. But Father says I can help him work on the Hilda Guard IX this summer if I get good marks on my report card, though,” Eiko said, removing Zidane’s hand from the top of her head. “Stop ruffling my hair.”

“Growing up on me, Eiko?” Zidane leaned down and grinned at Eiko. “Don’t worry, you’re still my favorite cousin-in-law.”

“Doofus, I’m your only cousin-in-law,” Eiko said, but she couldn’t help but smile back.
“Does that mean we can still set off the fireworks together tonight?”

“Ei, that is our special tradition at this festival, and you bet we’re gonna set off the fireworks,” Zidane smiled. “I’m not gonna forget about you just because I’ve got two more girls in my life now.”

“You’re surrounded by us, aren’t you?” Eiko smirked. “Outnumbered by two more.”

“I wouldn’t have it any other way,” replied Zidane seriously. “You know how I love the ladies.”

“Don’t let Dagger hear you say that!” said Eiko. She quickly looked over her shoulder, trying to make sure the Queen wasn’t anywhere within earshot. Dagger had a very peculiar habit of walking into conversations at the exact wrong time.

“She’s still sleeping, Eiko.” But Zidane looked cautiously behind his shoulder as well. “Giving birth to two kids over the better part of a night and day wears a person out, even one as totally amazing as Dagger.”

“Nice save, Zid,” replied Eiko. “Do you think the twins mind that we’re staring at them like this?”

“Hey, Eiko, are you sure you’re okay?” Zidane looked her straight in the eyes. “I don’t need you to worry about not getting to spend time here anymore. The twins need an aunt to cause chaos with, you know. Somebody to teach them all the stuff Dagger won’t let me teach ‘em. Besides, you’re part of our family, too.”

Eiko leaned over and wrapped Zidane in the tightest hug she could manage.

“I guess that’s a yes?” he asked Eiko after a few minutes.

“Sure thing,” agreed Eiko. “So, Blank said that he and Marcus were going to try and get Steiner drunk tonight. Wanna watch and provide a running commentary?”

“As long as I don’t have to cross-dress again,” said Zidane, who reached to grab Eiko’s hand. He paused mid-reach. “Although I should probably worry about what kind of influence we are on you, shouldn’t I?”

Eiko leaned over and grabbed Zidane’s hand, leading the two of them away from the nursery and back to the party downstairs. “Too late.”
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July 2010


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