|savage_storm (savage_storm) wrote in snark_n_bark,|
@ 2009-02-28 18:27:00
|Entry tags:||complete, etienne, serafino, serenus, severus, tybalt|
Good News Travels Fast
Characters: Serenus, Tybalt, Severus, Etienne, Serafino
Summary: Serenus makes a discovery and shares it with his family; celebrations ensue
Serenus put away his toothbrush and his razor and peered into the mirror, inspecting his cheeks and chin to make sure he hadn't missed any patches of stubble. He hitched up the towel around his waist and picked up his wand to dry his hair with a charm. Yawning, he ran his fingers through his hair rather than brush it; he wasn't going in to work, so he didn't feel the need to spruce up as much as he would. Turning away, he intended to return to the bedroom to get dressed, but then he stopped abruptly and turned back to the sink as a thought occurred to him. He hadn't done a pregnancy test in over two weeks, having gotten out of the habit because he didn't want to keep disappointing himself and Tybalt; he'd considered not testing at all until he began experiencing symptoms, but he couldn't quite give up hope entirely.
With a flick of his wand, he cast the charm and stared down at his abdomen, expecting to see the red glow as he had every time he'd tested himself for months - only to gape in shock when he saw a bright green glow instead.
"Tybalt!" he shouted even as he dispelled the charm and cast it again just to make sure he'd gotten the right results. "Tybalt, come in here!"
Tybalt had showered earlier, so Serenus could sleep in, and he took the breakfast shift with the twins. Once the boys had been fed and turned over to Nanny Deb for playtime outside, Tybalt returned to the bedroom to say goodbye to Serenus before leaving for the Ministry. He had barely stepped inside the room, however, when he heard Serenus calling, and he ran for the bathroom, afraid Serenus had injured himself. Eyes wide, he burst into the room, staring at Serenus anxiously.
"What is it? Are you all right?"
"Look!" Serenus gestured to the green glow around his abdomen and looked at Tybalt with excitement shining in his eyes.
For a moment, the significance didn't register, but then it did, and an enormous smile curved Tybalt's lips as he stepped forward and picked Serenus up by the waist, spinning him around with a laugh that sounded almost giddy. "We did it! We're going to be fathers again!"
Clutching Tybalt's shoulders, Serenus laughed and nodded happily. "Yes, we are! I'll make an appointment with Healer Abramowitz to confirm it, of course, but this charm is supposedly accurate. I think it's safe to start celebrating!"
"I'm all for that!" Tybalt replied. He stopped spinning, then lowered Serenus to his feet, letting Serenus slide down his body as he gave a wicked grin. "And just how would you like to celebrate, you gorgeous, knocked-up man? You can have anything you want, anything in the world. If we don't have it here, I'll find it."
Winding his arms around Tybalt's neck, Serenus pressed close and smiled up at him. "I want to talk about possible names for our girl," he said. "I want..." He trailed off and shook his head, laughing. "I don't even know! I'm too excited to think. I'm so happy it finally happened, and as much as it shocks me to say it, I'm actually looking forward to when I start showing."
"I look forward to it too," Tybalt said, putting his hands on Serenus' hips. He leaned down to kiss Serenus lingeringly, then pulled back, one hand moving to Serenus' flat abdomen. "I look forward to seeing your body grow with our little girl, to seeing the evidence of our love and our bond. To everyone looking at you and knowing you are mine, my love, my husband, and you are carrying our child, conceived out of the love we share."
Serenus rested his hand on top of Tybalt's and gazed up at him tenderly. "This time, I'm not dreading it," he said. "I'm still not going to dress up in drag like Severus, but I'm not going to be as self-conscious as I was the first time. It's going to be a better, less stressful experience for both of us this time around." He grinned, his dark eyes alight with mischief. "Although that doesn't mean you get out of massaging my swollen ankles!"
"A task I will happily undertake, anytime, anywhere," Tybalt said. "I'm glad you're more relaxed this time, since you'll enjoy it more. And I bet the boys will be excited - won't it be wonderful to share this with them? I bet that you'll have three of us slaving over you and making certain you don't lift a finger!"
"I'll be as bad as Severus," Serenus replied, grinning. "Should we tell the boys? I'd like them to be part of this from the beginning. We could even discuss names with them and let them have some input."
"We should definitely tell the boys!" Tybalt chuckled ruefully. "I can just imagine the names they might come up with. As, er, interesting as it was naming Wooster, a baby sister ought to practically incite a riot!"
"At least we have veto power," Serenus said, hugging Tybalt tightly for a moment before releasing him and stepping back. "Can you call in and be a little late for work? Or better yet, take the day off. I might come up with other means of celebrating," he added, glancing up at Tybalt coyly and letting his towel slip a little.
Tybalt's breath caught at Serenus' teasing gesture, and his eyes darkened. "I can definitely take the day off, especially give such an irresistible enticement," he said huskily. His hands moved to unfasten the buttons at his neck. "Is it getting hot in here, or is that just you?"
Laughing, Serenus sashayed out of the bathroom and whipped the towel off as he went to get dressed, teasing Tybalt with a glimpse of his bare arse. "All right, then. You call in, and I'll get dressed. Then we can fetch the boys and give them the news. After..." He glanced playfully over his shoulder. "After, we'll see about turning up the heat."
Tybalt gave a little growl, aroused but fighting it down since Serenus had other things on his mind. He followed after Serenus, reaching out one long arm to swat Serenus' arse before veering off toward the Floo. "I'll tell them it's a family matter," he said, giving Serenus a wink. "If I told Moody that something 'came up', I know what kind of chewing out I'd get!"
It only took a few moments for Tybalt to call in, and then he rose from in front of the Floo, dusting off his hands and knees. "I don't care what anyone says, Muggle telephones are much easier," he said, then raised a brow. "Well then, are you ready?"
Serenus dressed quickly, pulling on a green jumper and a pair of jeans without bothering with underpants; he had a feeling he'd only be stripping them off - or having them stripped off - later, and he decided it would be a convenient time saver if he didn't put them on to begin with.
"Ready," he said, moving to Tybalt's side and sliding one arm around his waist. "Let's get the terrible twosome and see how they feel about having a new addition to the family."
Tybalt wrapped one arm around Serenus' shoulders, leading him from the room. "They're outside with Nanny Deb - it's warm enough to go out without a jacket, so they're taking advantage of the nice weather. And before those eyes of yours light up, yes, I'll start tilling your garden now that the snow is melting. I know you'll want plenty of flowers for Gaius and Regulus' wedding!"
"Brilliant!" Serenus smiled widely and gave Tybalt an affectionate squeeze. "Thank you, caro. I'm looking forward to warmer weather so I can spend time outside again without freezing my bits off. You're right, too. I want to make the garden especially beautiful this year for their wedding."
"Yes, you must take care of your bits - they're very special to me!" Tybalt laughed, returning the squeeze as they walked down the stairs and headed toward the kitchen. "We'll have to tell your brothers about the baby, and Regulus too, of course." Tybalt's eyes flashed with humor. "I can't wait to see what he thinks when Mum and Celestra are proven correct after all. Perhaps I'll suggest that he and Gaius get their fortunes done, just to see if there is any possibility of Gaius having kittens. Since, of course, you know who would end up pregnant in that relationship!"
"Oh, definitely!" Serenus chuckled and shook his head. "I think it's a safe bet that out of all of us, Regulus is the only one who isn't in any danger whatsoever." He fell silent for a moment, and his expression grew somber. "I'd like to tell Severus first," he said, glancing up at Tybalt as they walked along. "Before we tell anyone else, I mean. Last time, he was the first to find out by accident, but this time, I want it to be deliberate. Maybe it will help..." He trailed off, knowing he didn't need to explain to Tybalt what he meant. Severus hadn't been cold-shouldering them - for which Serenus was grateful - but he still wasn't over his disappointment yet either, and Serenus could feel the difference.
Tybalt stopped, turning to face Serenus and putting his hands on Serenus' shoulders. "You're right. In fact, let's tell him now, even before the boys." He smiled encouragingly. "They won't know the difference of when they were told, but Severus would. If he knows you went to him before everyone else except me, I think it would help."
"It might at that," Serenus replied, nodding. "Let's go over to the manor, then, if you don't mind. I think he was planning to take today off as well."
"That works!" Tybalt smiled, turning Serenus in the direction of the door to the Manor and heading toward it with a purposeful stride. When they reached it, he opened the door and ushered Serenus through with a small bow. "After you! Although if you want to hide behind me, I'll protect you."
"My hero," Serenus drawled, sounding almost as sardonic as Severus, and he swatted Tybalt's arse as he walked through the door.
"I aim to please!" Tybalt winked at Serenus as he walked through, then took Serenus' hand and peered around the parlor. "So, where do you think he'd be? Down in the cellar at the moment, or lounging in bed still?"
Serenus laced his fingers with Tybalt's and tugged him toward the door. "He's probably up by now, although he might not be in his workroom yet. Let's try the bedroom," he said as he led Tybalt to the stairs.
Tybalt followed along willingly, giving Serenus a speculative sidelong glance. "So, I know you can sometimes sort of feel Severus' feelings... is it enough so that we don't interrupt he and Remus if they're shagging?"
Serenus chuckled and glanced slyly at Tybalt. "Under different circumstances, it might not be an interruption. But yes, I can tell. At close range, I'll definitely be able to pick up on strong emotions, like sexual pleasure."
"Oh...." Tybalt raised a brow, bringing up one hand to stroke his chin. "Remind me later to ask you salacious questions about that." They reached the top of the stairs, and Tybalt stopped. "For the moment, though, I'll settle for just not getting a hex tossed at us for daring to knock."
"Ditto," Serenus said wryly. He drew in a deep breath as they approached the closed door of the master bedroom, and he silently braced himself as he knocked and stepped back to await an answer.
A moment later, the door was flung open, and Severus stepped into view, frowning as he glanced back and forth between them; he was fully dressed - casually, for him, in black jeans and a charcoal grey jumper - and didn't appear to have been interrupted mid-shag, but he didn't look warm and welcoming either.
"What do you want?" he asked tersely. "I assume you aren't here for breakfast."
Tybalt's eyes widened at the brusque, almost rude response. Certainly he knew Severus had been upset, but he'd not expected such a relatively hostile reaction.
Stepping closer to Serenus, he wrapped an arm around Serenus' shoulders protectively. "Serenus had something he wanted to share with you," he said softly.
"It's all right." Serenus patted Tybalt's chest gently, recognizing that Tybalt was shifting into protective mode, but he wasn't picking up any hostility from Severus, which was a relief. "He isn't going to be bite."
Severus rolled his eyes, but he stepped back from the door to allow them into the room. "Early morning visits are hardly the norm," he pointed out, folding his arms across his chest. He wasn't angry, but he wasn't feeling particularly warm and gracious either.
Tybalt ushered Serenus inside, dropping his arm in favor of holding Serenus' hand. "Neither is what Serenus has to say." He looked at Serenus and smiled encouragingly.
Breathing in deeply, Serenus offered a smile as he gazed at Severus hopefully. "We wanted you to be the first to know," he said, taking a hesitant step forward. "I'm pregnant. I tested this morning, and it was positive. I haven't seen Abramowitz yet, but the charm is supposed to be reliable, so..." He realized he was on the verge of babbling, and he cut himself off abruptly and awaited Severus' response.
Severus was surprised, not only by the news, but also that they had come to tell him the news so quickly without even an official confirmation. It didn't take a genius to figure out it was likely an attempt to make amends - letting him be the first to know to make up for the disappointment of not being invited to either wedding. He recognized the gesture for what it was, and while it didn't make up for the disappointment - nothing could, really - he appreciated it in his own way.
"Congratulations," he said at last in a less brusque tone. "It seems all the fertility magic took effect at last."
"Thanks," Tybalt said, squeezing Serenus' hand. "We're excited about it, and we wanted you to be the first to know."
"So you've said," Severus replied dryly, and Serenus chuckled softly and released Tybalt's hand so he could approach Severus.
"Yes, yes - we're repetitive," Serenus said. "It's difficult to be original while quaking in the presence of a gruff and prickly Snape," he added, and Severus rolled his eyes again and snorted. Reaching out, Serenus rested his hands on Severus' shoulders, deciding it was time to take a risk; Severus didn't shrug him off, which he took as a good sign. "We didn't share our weddings with you, and I really am sorry about that. I'll carry that regret with me, not only because my family didn't get the chance to share my happiness, but also because I hurt you in the process. But I want to share this with you, and a pregnancy lasts a lot longer than a wedding anyway," he added in a lighter voice.
Tybalt watched the twins anxiously, hoping that Severus wouldn't shrug Serenus off and hurt him. It was a tough position to be in, because while he regretting the pain they'd caused Severus, he didn't think he could just stand there and watch Severus hurting Serenus in turn. He hoped they could find a happy medium, and, if necessary, he'd accept Severus being mad at him so long as Severus didn't shut Serenus out. It wasn't Serenus' fault, anyway.
"I suppose," Severus said at last. He still felt disappointed, more inclined to be quiet and withdrawn, but he didn't particularly want to lash out, hold a grudge, or punish either of them as he once might have done; it was an odd position for him to be in, and he wondered if it meant he'd grown up a little more or had changed in some fundamental way. If he had, it was probably Remus' fault. "I appreciate you telling me first," he added, acknowledging their gesture.
Smiling, Serenus took another risk and stepped closer, sliding his arms around Severus' shoulders. "Of course we did," he said. "You matter to us. To me. Despite my stupid oversight, I do want to share the important events of my life with you."
Things seemed to be easing, but Tybalt still held his breath, knowing that the prickly Severus could change his mind and his mood at any time. "We both do," he said softly. "We're family."
"So now you remember that," Severus replied with a haughty tilt of his head and a raised eyebrow. He did relent enough to rest one hand at Serenus' waist, not quite ready to commit to a real embrace yet.
"I'm strong, but I'm not necessarily smart," Tybalt said with an exaggerated sigh, although his eyes held wry amusement. "But I do acknowledge when I screw up, and try to make amends. Trust me, I can be taught. I won't forget again."
"Not forgetting again will be quite useful if the two of you decide to get married a third time," Severus retorted. "At any rate, I would appreciate it if you didn't forget again."
"We won't," Serenus replied firmly. He tightened his arms around Severus and dared to nuzzle his cheek affectionately. "I promise. You know how much I value my family, especially you. You're my brother, my twin. I don't want to hurt you, and I'm sorry I did."
"Duly noted," Severus said, allowing the nuzzling and sliding his hand to the small of Serenus' back.
Tybalt smiled, relaxing as he saw Severus' gesture. Perhaps things would be all right after all, or at least they would eventually. "I think this calls for a celebration," he said, chuckling - there were several things worth celebrating, including the reconciliation of the twins, but he decided to only mention the obvious. "Are you and Remus free for dinner tonight, Severus? I'll make reservations at the fanciest restaurant in London, so that we can celebrate the newest Snape in style." He grinned. "You could even wear a Vera Wang, if you'd like."
"I suppose we are," Severus replied. "I will check with Remus." Although he thought he could predict Remus' reaction would be one of pleasure at the thought of mending the recent rift. Severus didn't feel inclined to reach out; he wasn't quite ready to emerge from his protective shell with either of them yet, but he wasn't inclined to be churlish and refuse a well-meaning gesture either. He would not, however, be indulging in Vera Wang for the occasion.
"You do that and let us know." Serenus gave him a little squeeze and then released him, sensing they had made about as much progress as they were going to for the time being - and it was more than he had expected. "I think it would be nice to have a night out; it's been a while since we've done that, and I'd love to celebrate our good fortune with my brothers and their partners," he added as he returned to Tybalt's side and reached for Tybalt's hand again.
Wrapping his fingers around Serenus', Tybalt gave him a reassuring smile. "Well, then, I guess we'll be on our way," Tybalt said. "Have a good day, Severus, and please let us know if you can make it to dinner."
"Right, I will." Severus waved them off and turned, heading back into the bathroom to finish his morning ablutions, and Serenus led Tybalt to the door.
When it was closed behind them, he sighed with relief and glanced up at Tybalt, clutching Tybalt's hand tightly; he didn't like being at odds with Severus, and deep down, he'd harbored the fear that Severus might push him away again. "Well, that went better than I expected," he said. "No hexes, no shouting. He even agreed to go to dinner with us. All in all, I'd say we made definite progress."
"It's definitely better than having our bits handed to us on a platter," Tybalt agreed, feeling relieved as well. "I hope he does come around sooner as opposed to later, though. It's like walking on eggshells, only the eggs are filled with high explosives." He led Serenus back toward the parlor, smiling at the thought of telling their sons about their new sister. "And this next bit will be much easier."
"Thank goodness," Serenus replied, following along by Tybalt's side. "I think if Severus' eggshells were going to explode, they would have done it already, so the danger has passed. He really is a hedgehog, you know. Right now, he's curled up in a tight little ball with all his prickles showing, but he'll uncurl again. Eventually," he added with a wry smile. "But the hard part is over. I think we're in for the fun part now."
"Definitely!" Tybalt tugged Serenus' hand, his eyes sparkling with anticipation. They stepped through the door back to Azoth House, and Tybalt turned them toward the kitchen, where he could hear the twins laughing and talking to Nanny Deb. "Sounds like playtime ended, and it's snack time now," he said. "Let's go give them an extra special treat, shall we?"
"Yes, let's." Serenus found that Tybalt's excitement was infectious, and he quickened his own pace as he followed along into the kitchen, where the twins awaited them.
Nanny Deb glanced up from cutting the crust off of jam sandwiches as they entered. "Hullo! Would you like to join us?"
"Papa!" Etienne called out, holding out his arms to Serenus. "Papa, more milk pwease?"
"Certainly!" Serenus smiled as he went to pick up Etienne, and he settled Etienne on his hip and drew his wand, flicking his wrist to fetch the milk and refill Etienne's glass while Etienne watched raptly, fascinated by the use of magic as he always was. "How is that?"
"Good!" Etienne nodded, while Serafino laughed and clapped his hands, also enchanted with Serenus' magic.
Tybalt picked up Serafino, holding him high over his head so that he squealed. "Guess what, boys? Papa has a surprise for you... a very special surprise!"
"You bring us cake?" Etienne asked, his expression hopeful, but Serenus shook his head.
"No, but it's better than cake," he said, amused by Etienne's dubious expression at that, and he supposed it was difficult for the boys to imagine anything could possibly be better than cake. There were times when he felt that way himself. He took a seat at the table and settled Etienne in his lap, wrapping his arms securely around Etienne and cuddling him despite Etienne's grumbling. "You're going to have a little sister soon."
"Sister?" Serafino asked, looking down at Serenus with wide eyes. "We have baby sister like Cymbleen?"
"Yes, indeed. Probably just before Christmas time, right, Serenus?" Tybalt replied, raising a brow at Serenus. "Would you boys like that? A baby sister of your very own?"
"I like Cymbleen," Etienne said with a decisive nod. "I like a sister, too."
Relieved, Serenus smiled at Tybalt and mimed a "whew" gesture with his free hand.
"Good!" Tybalt laughed, tossing Serafino up and catching him, before lowering the laughing child back to his chair. "So, Nanny Deb, are you up to yet another Savage-Snape in your flock?"
"Of course, sir... the children are a delight," Nanny Deb replied with a smile. She carried two plates with the cut-up sandwiches to the table, setting them down before summoning napkins for the boys, who would invariably end up sticky after their snack. "And I suspect these two will be excellent big brothers. A girl needs big brothers to help guide her and protect her, you know. We'll talk all about babies and how to take care of them over the next few months. How does that sound, gentlemen?"
"Okay!" Serafino said, reaching for a piece of his sandwich and cramming it into his mouth hungrily.
"We take good care of a baby," Etienne said loftily, reaching for his sandwich and eating it with more finesse than his twin.
"I'm sure you will," Serenus said, pressing a kiss to the top of Etienne's head, heedless of little hands that were already growing sticky with jam. It was a small price to pay for some cuddle-time. "We'll even let you help us think of possible names. Would you like that?"
"We name her Purple!" Serafino said excitedly. "I like Purple!"
"Well, yes, but purple is a color, not really a name," Tybalt said, giving Serenus a look of amusement. "Do you like any girls names?"
"I like Gaia!" Serafino responded.
"Er... we have one of those already, so it might be confusing." Tybalt chuckled and shook his head. "This might be harder than we thought!"
"We call her Puddin'," Etienne suggested, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand and smearing jam across his cheek.
"I like pudding too, but that doesn't really work as a girl's name," Serenus said, giving him a little squeeze.
"Perhaps we should get a book of baby names to read?" Nanny Deb suggested gently. "The boys and I could talk about what the names mean and perhaps find examples of girls with the names they like to study."
"Nanny Deb, you are brilliant," Tybalt said with relief. He picked up a napkin and moved closer to Serenus so that he could wipe Etienne's cheek. "We can talk about it, since we have quite a time before Papa has the baby, okay? And you boys will need to help me take care of Papa. He'll need to be pampered and spoiled because making a baby is a lot of work!"
Etienne twisted around so he could gaze up at Serenus quizzically. "How you make a baby?"
Serenus paused, considering how best to answer the question without going into a lot of detail. "She'll grow inside a special place right here," he said at last, pointing to his stomach. "She has to stay in there until she's big and strong enough to come out and meet her big brothers."
"In your tummy?" Etienne peered at Serenus' midsection.
"No, tummies are for food. She'll be safe and sound somewhere else," Serenus replied. "But you'll be able to watch her grow."
Serafino jumped down from his chair and ran around the table to stand in front of Serenus, patting his sticky hand on Serenus' jumper. "Let me see, Papa! Let me see the baby in your tummy!"
Tybalt laughed and picked Serafino up. "You can't see her, but you'll be able to see Papa getting bigger as the baby grows inside of him. Then when it's time for her to be born, we'll go to the Healers and they will help her come out so she can be with us. That's just what happened with with two of you, and with your cousins, too, when Uncle Severus and Uncle Remus had them. But then you'll have your baby sister, and we'll make sure she knows we love her."
"'Kay." Etienne nodded and turned his attention back to his sandwich, apparently satisfied for the moment, but he did cast a sidelong look at his parents before muttering, "Gonna call her Puddin'."
"Of course you are." Tybalt sighed, knowing that they were beat. "Ah, well, at least it's better than troll, right?"
"Definitely," Serenus replied fervently. "They don't seem to mind having a sister, and I'm willing to deal with them calling her Puddin' over dealing with sibling rivalry. It'll be much easier."
Tybalt looked at his little family, which was about to get bigger, and he felt his heart swelling with love and pride. "Yes, it will," he said somewhat huskily, moving so that he could slide an arm around Serenus, the four of them close together. "We have a wonderful family, and I think our little girl will feel very lucky to be part of it."
"No doubt she will," Serenus replied, leaning against Tybalt and smiling affectionately at him. "I certainly am. I'm proud of all of you, even when some of you cover me with jam," he added, glancing down at his jumper with amusement.
"A little stickiness never hurt anyone," Tybalt replied, his eyes glinted wickedly, leaving Serenus in no doubt that it wasn't jam he was talking about. "All right, young masters, finish your snack and then Nanny Deb can start your lessons. Study hard, because you'll have to help teach your sister!"
"Okay!" Serafino gave Tybalt a sticky, smacking kiss to his cheek, then wriggled. "Down, pwease!"
Laughing, Tybalt sat the boy on his feet, and Serafino ran back to his chair and hopped up into it to continue attacking his sandwich.
Serenus stood and settled Etienne in the chair he'd vacated so Etienne could concentrate on his sandwich as well, and then he went to stand by Tybalt's side, sliding one arm around his waist. "Well, we've broken the news to the most important people," he said, tilting his head back so he could look up at Tybalt. "How about a private celebration while we're waiting to hear about the dinner plans?"
"Why, Mr. Snape, is that a proposition?" Tybalt asked, his eyes gleaming with amusement and anticipation. "I do hope so, because I can't think of anything I'd like more than to celebrate with you in any way you'd like."
Steering Tybalt away from the table and toward the door, Serenus glanced up at him with a heated gaze. "It is indeed a proposition," he purred quietly. "I propose that we go upstairs, lock the bedroom door, and have a celebration of the naked variety."
"Now how could I resist the thought of naked Serenus?" Tybalt asked, the heat in Serenus' eyes igniting his own desire. He began to move more quickly, hurrying them up the stairs and into their bedroom, closing the door behind them and locking it with a decisive click. "Now, then, we're alone... Where is the naked?"
Laughing, Serenus made short work of stripping off his jumper and toeing off his shoes, and then he cocked his hip and struck a pose. "How is half naked for a start?" he asked coyly, gazing at Tybalt with faux-modesty from beneath his lashes. He surprised himself at that moment by realizing he understood how Severus felt during his pregnancies, because he wished he was already showing just to see the effect it would have on Tybalt.
"Gorgeous." Tybalt grinned, his eyes darkening with desire as he licked his lips. "Edible, even. I could devour you where you stand."
Moving closer, Tybalt unbuttoned his shirt, shrugging it off his shoulders as he stopped in front of Serenus. Lifting a hand, he caressed Serenus' cheek, then trailed his fingers down Serenus' neck, to his chest, stopping at his flat stomach and splaying his fingers, his palm caressing over Serenus' warm, smooth skin. "You are always gorgeous to me, and I can't thank you enough for the gift you are giving me... giving the whole family. You're beautiful inside as well as outside, love, and I am so lucky to be married to you."
Bending his head, Tybalt kissed Serenus gently, holding his desire in check for the moment because he wanted Serenus to know just how much he was loved.
Serenus rested on hand atop Tybalt's on his stomach and curved his free arm around Tybalt's shoulders, returning the kiss with equal tenderness and affection and feeling as if he were melting inside at Tybalt's words. "I feel lucky too," he murmured against Tybalt's lips. "You're my gift, so patient and loving. I'm happy to be carrying your child again and to give you this gift in return."
"I can't wait to see her... she's going to be the most beautiful girl in the world - as beautiful as our love," Tybalt replied, then he deepened the kiss, sliding his hand even lower to tease Serenus, groping him shamelessly.
With what sounded suspiciously like a giggle, Serenus squirmed at the teasing and groping even as he parted his lips, moaning happily into the kiss; he wound both arms around Tybalt and pressed closer, burying his fingers in Tybalt's hair as he gave himself over whole-heartedly to the kiss.
The giggle and the squirming delighted Tybalt, as did the feeling of Serenus' fingers in his hair. He proceeded to plunder Serenus' mouth, putting all he had into the kiss, love and desire in equal measure. When the need to breathe forced him to draw back, he looked down into Serenus' beloved face with a sultry smile. "So, my knocked-up beauty, how can I please you? I'll go to my knees for you, if you'd like. Anything to make you feel as fantastic as you make me feel."
Serenus looked flushed, and his lips were wet and rosy after the thorough snogging, and his dark eyes sparkled as he gazed up at Tybalt. "I'd love to see you on your knees," he said, sounding breathless at the thought.
"Your wish is my command." Tybalt grinned, shivering in anticipation as he kicked off his shoes. He kissed Serenus' lips again, then trailed his mouth down the side of Serenus' neck, nibbling and licking teasingly. He continued down Serenus' body, pausing for a few moments to lap at Serenus' nipples, then again to kiss his abdomen with reverence. Then he dropped to his knees, rubbing his cheek against Serenus' hip before looking up at him with a wicked smile. "So, does the sight meet with your approval?" he asked, his fair skin flushed and his eyes dark with desire.
Reaching down, Serenus combed Tybalt's hair back from his face gently and gazed at Tybalt with unabashed affection. "Yes, I approve," he murmured, continuing to stroke Tybalt's cheek and hair simply because he didn't want to stop. "You look gorgeous like this. Very sexy."
Tybalt bared his teeth in a wide smile. "You look gorgeous too," he replied. Reaching up, he trailed both hands down Serenus' stomach to his waist, then moved them to the fastening of Serenus' jeans, slipping the button from the hole before sliding the zipper down with slow deliberation. "And you taste as good as you look. My favorite flavor."
He pushed Serenus' jeans down his hips just enough to free his arousal, then he licked his lips. "Beautiful," he said, then looked up again, holding Serenus' eyes as he moved forward and took Serenus between his lips, giving a small moan of pleasure at the taste and feel of Serenus in his mouth.
Hissing with pleasure, Serenus tightened his fingers in Tybalt's hair and watched avidly, the sight of Tybalt pleasuring him almost as arousing as the feel of it, and he echoed Tybalt's moan, his body already growing taut with growing need. "Perfect," he murmured, his dark eyes ablaze with desire. "Feels so perfect, caro."
Unable to reply with words, Tybalt instead offered up a wink, his eyes never leaving Serenus' face. It was incredibly arousing to do this for Serenus, to see the pleasure on Serenus' face, the flush on his skin and hear the way his breathing sped up in response. Holding Serenus' hips, Tybalt continued, moving his head slowly, taking Serenus in deeply before drawing back almost all the way. He wanted to give Serenus as much pleasure as he possibly could, to drive him wild with need.
The maddeningly slow pace was making Serenus squirm, and his skin grew even more flushed and beaded with sweat; he slid his hands down and clutched Tybalt's shoulders to keep himself upright, panting raggedly. "You're driving me mad!" he gasped, his fingers digging in as he fought the urge to writhe and thrust.
Good. The thought was there in Tybalt's eyes, which glittered wickedly as he continued. He did relent enough to quicken the pace, and he removed his hands from Serenus' hips, giving him tacit permission to thrust if he wanted to. There was nothing he would deny Serenus, no pleasure he would withhold if Serenus wished it.
Groaning, Serenus accepted the invitation, rocking just enough to give him the friction - and relief! - he needed without hurting Tybalt in the process, and he clung to Tybalt like a lifeline as pleasure and need spiraled out of control within him, crying out when he shattered at last and nearly sagging in the aftermath of his release, utterly sated.
Tybalt didn't move back immediately, too busy savoring the sight of Serenus totally abandoned in pleasure, wanting to draw it out as long as possible. Then he released Serenus with a little lick, grinning in smug satisfaction at the way Serenus looked. He began to kiss his way back up Serenus' body, wrapping his arms around Serenus and pulling him close. "As I said, my favorite flavor," he murmured, stroking Serenus' damp back and helping to hold him upright.
Serenus didn't hesitate to wind his arms around Tybalt and lean against him, trusting Tybalt's solid strength to keep him on his feet, and he nuzzled his cheek against Tybalt's shoulder. "I'm happy to indulge you any time you want a taste test," he said, his voice a languid purr. "That was perfect, caro. Thank you."
"You're more than welcome," Tybalt replied, chuckling at the satisfaction in Serenus' voice. "What do you say we get those jeans the rest of the way off and get you back into bed?"
"As long as you come with me, certainly," Serenus replied as he began shimmying out of his jeans. He stripped them off and tossed them aside, and then he quickly climbed into bed and held out his arms. "I don't want to be left alone in this big, cold bed," he added, giving Tybalt an archly teasing look. "Besides, it's time for you to celebrate in any way you please."
"I like the way you think," Tybalt replied, watching avidly as Serenus stripped and climbed into their huge bed. He unfastened his trousers, stripping them away along with his underpants before prowling toward the bed, stalking Serenus like a hungry predator. "I definitely feel like celebrating, as you can see."
He pounced into the bed, bracing himself over Serenus and looking down at him with a wicked gleam in his eyes. He was careful not to rest all his weight on Serenus, just enough so that Serenus could feel how hard and aroused he was. "Now, then... I think I'd like to be buried deeply inside you. How does that sound?"
"Perfect," Serenus replied breathlessly. He was sated, but that didn't keep him from feeling anticipation and desire at the thought of being joined with Tybalt, and he wrapped his arms around Tybalt and arched against him eagerly. "Whatever you want, it's yours."
Smiling, Tybalt leaned down to kiss Serenus, murmuring the words of the preparatory spells against his lips. Then he moved forward, bringing them together slowly and steadily, moaning into the kiss as Serenus' body welcomed him with tight heat. It was an effort holding back the desire to quicken the pace, but he wanted to savor their joining, to be able to feel every bit of Serenus as they became one.
At last he was buried deeply, sweat breaking out over his body and his breathing rapid and shallow. "You feel fantastic," he murmured, smiling down at Serenus lovingly. "Perfect."
Serenus groaned and rocked his hips up, and he wrapped his legs around Tybalt, trapping Tybalt against him. "Yes, oh, yes," he murmured, savoring the feel of Tybalt buried deep, the two of them joined completely. "Love me, caro. I want to feel your pleasure."
"You will, believe me, you will," Tybalt gasped, trembling from the force of his need. Finally he began to move, thrusting into Serenus' willing body, moaning words of praise in English and Italian as he claimed Serenus deeply and fully. He was so aroused by everything they had done that it didn't take long before he was crying out Serenus' name, shattering as ecstasy overwhelmed him.
Not wanting to crush Serenus, he moved to the side before collapsing, pulling Serenus into his arms and holding him close and tight. "I definitely feel pleased," he murmured, pressing his lips to Serenus' temple. "Do you feel adequately celebrated, my love?"
Winding his arms around Tybalt, Serenus snuggled close and hummed with contentment. "I do indeed," he replied, nuzzling kisses along Tybalt's jaw. "I can't think of a better way to celebrate our new arrival."
Tybalt stroked Serenus' back slowly, enjoying the warmth and closeness of Serenus in his arms. "Neither can I," he said, then chuckled. softly. "At least this time we'll have Nanny Deb here afterward, and there will be only one instead of two, so perhaps we'll get a little more sleep than we did with the boys."
"We certainly can't get less," Serenus said, wriggling happily against Tybalt's hand. "I do think it'll be easier this time around. We know what to expect because we've done it before, and we do have Nanny Deb as back-up, which will make a big difference." He smiled and let one hand stray down to his abdomen, resting it there even though he couldn't feel anything yet. "I'm very happy - happy the fertility magic worked, happy we're having a girl this time, happy to be carrying your child again. I intend to enjoy the next few months to the fullest extent, and I can't wait until our new addition arrives."
"I want you to enjoy it," Tybalt said, resting his hand over Serenus'. He gave Serenus a wry smile. "I know your first pregnancy wasn't all that it could have been, since there was a lot going on emotionally, but this time will be better. I want to pamper and spoil you until you are every bit as bad as Severus. You deserve it - you are a very special man, and I want everyone to know it, even our family. And when our girl arrives, she'll know it too, and she'll think she's the luckiest girl in the world to have a Papa like you!"
Chuckling, Serenus leaned in to kiss Tybalt affectionately. "You already spoil me, caro, and I feel like I'm the lucky one. You're right: this pregnancy will be better. Much better. I'm in a far different and better place emotionally than I was then, and I don't feel insecure or self-conscious about having a baby belly. You're going to have a far easier time of it than you did then, I promise!"
"I'm glad for your sake." Tybalt returned the kiss, feeling peaceful and content. "You should be able to enjoy being pregnant, and you have nothing at all to feel self-conscious about. I'm glad you're in a better place; we both are, really. I want you to know how loved you are, and how important you are to me."
"I do know," Serenus assured him, giving him a tight squeeze before settling in with a contented sigh. "I don't have any doubts about how much you love me, how devoted you are, and how high the boys and I are on your priority list. Although our position may be a little wobbly once you have a princess of your very own to fuss over and spoil," he teased as he pillowed his head on Tybalt's shoulder.
"Never fear; one of the good things about me being as big as I am is that I have more than enough love to go around, princess or not." Tybalt chuckled. "Although I have to say that the thought of a baby girl is very appealing. It doesn't mean I don't adore our boys, but a tiny girl with your eyes and smile would be very hard to resist."
"And so it begins!" Serenus laughed and patted Tybalt's chest. "Well, we have plenty of time for you to plan your spoiling strategies and reinforce the house to ward off potential suitors."
"We'll have to see who's worse - Severus over Cymbeline, or me over our own princess," Tybalt said. He sighed, closing his eyes, his lips curved into a smile that held both pride and anticipation. "I'm glad our boys are excited about their sister and we won't have to go through what Severus and Remus have. Of course the twins have had to share from day one, so they have a different perspective."
"Oh, yes." Serenus couldn't help but sigh with relief that things had gone so smoothly. "If the worst thing we have to deal with is trying to convince them not to call her Purple or Puddin', I'll count us lucky indeed."
"If that is the most complex problem we face, I'll definitely be happy!" Tybalt chuckled again, then pulled Serenus even closer, burying his nose in Serenus' hair. "So how about a rest before we find Gaius and Regulus to tell them the news? Then dinner... I hope that Severus continues to thaw, or I might want to bring a parka."
"Mmm... a nap sounds like a good idea," Serenus murmured, relaxing in Tybalt's embrace. "Don't worry. If Severus give you the cold shoulder, I'll warm you up when we get home."
"You make me more than warm - you make me decidedly hot," Tybalt said. Then he yawned widely. "Ah, yes... a rest. Sleep well, love - you're sleeping for two now!"
"And loving for two as well," Serenus replied, his voice drowsy and languid, and he yawned as well and closed his eyes, giving in to sleep with ease.