Characters: Serenus, Tybalt, Etienne, Serafino Summary: In which there is a bump and the naming of names
The last few weeks had been pleasantly busy as Serenus focused on working with Gaius and Regulus to arrange the garden exactly the way they wanted it for the wedding. It had involved a lot of manual labor outside, but that had been fine withSerenus ; the hard work had left him pleasantly exhausted at the end of the day, and it had given him something to focus on so that he didn't brood about Severus. Specifically, the wall he felt between them.
It wasn't that Severus was being cold or that he seemed angry; he didn't avoid or shun Serenus, but there was a difference, and despite the fact that Serenus knew it was just Severus doing his hedgehog imitation, he missed their former closeness, and he wanted it back. The problem was, he didn't know what would help Severus move past his hurt other than time, which was frustrating.
Fortunately, he had two things to focus on: the wedding and the baby. He'd been so caught up in helping prepare for the wedding that he hadn't done much shopping for the new baby yet, and he hadn't even been checking his waistline. But when he put on a pair of faded old jeans and had trouble fastening them, he was abruptly reminded that he was going to start showing any time.
He hurried to stand in front of the full-length mirror in their bedroom and examined his profile, delighted to see a tell-tale bulge, and he immediately shouted for Tybalt, knowing Tybalt would want to share the good news.
Tybalt was in the sunroom, playing with the twins. He had a small, black-haired boy under one arm and another on his back kicking his sides and trying to get him to move. When he heardSerenus calling, though, he lowered Serafino to the floor and released Etienne, who pouted at the game ending. "All right, sports, your Papa is calling me," Tybalt said, ruffling Etienne's hair and givingSerafino a quick tickle to the belly. "You two pick up your toys and I'll be right back."
The boys turned to the task obediently, and Tybalt smiled as he headed for the stairs. Serenus hadn't sounded upset or urgent, so he hurried but he didn't feel panicked as he headed up and stepped into the open door of the master suite. He spottedSerenus in front of the mirror, and he lifted a brow, seeing the partially unfastened jeans. "Emergency fashion consultation?" he asked, grinning as he crossed the room and gropedSerenus' arse. "And no, those jeans don't make your butt look big. Your butt looks absolutely perfect to me."
Laughing, Serenus shook his head. "No, I don't need a consultation," he said, beaming up at Tybalt. "I have good news." He lifted the hem of his shirt and turned sideways so Tybalt could see his profile, and he pushed the waistband of his jeans down enough to reveal the slight swell of his abdomen. "I've popped!"
"So you have!" Tybalt chuckled, delighted to see that Serenus was starting to show. He wrapped one arm around Serenus' waist, and with the other reached out to caress the tiny swell. "Hello, baby girl. Welcome to the family!"
Serenus rested his hand atop Tybalt's and leaned against him, smiling affectionately. "I'm so pleased she's finally making an appearance," he said.
"I am, too," Tybalt replied, turning his head to nuzzle Serenus' cheek. "We've waited a long time for her. I think this calls for a celebration. What would you like to do? Go out to dinner? Buy some new maternity clothing? Both?"
"Dinner would be lovely," Serenus replied, shifting so he could wind his arms around Tybalt's neck and press close. "We should talk about names, too," he added. "Although I do hopeCelestra is right! We're acting as if the baby is definitely a girl. We'll be in for a shock if 'she' turns out to be a 'he'."
"She's a she," Tybalt said firmly, holding Serenus close. He bent his head to kiss the corner of Serenus' mouth. "The day Celestra is wrong about something like that is the day I'll dance around naked in the middle of Hogsmeade with bunny ears on my head."
"That's something I'd pay to see," Serenus said, chuckling at the image. "All right, then - we'll have to think of a name over dinner and maybe buy a pretty dress with frills afterward. How does that sound?"
"Wonderful!" Tybalt tightened his embrace, then kissed Serenus again, this time fully and with slow deliberation, taking his time to explore and savor the taste of Serenus and the feel of his lips. When he pulled back, he smiled at Serenus lovingly. "You're wonderful. My husband - the only man I want."
Serenus mirrored his smile and caressed his cheek tenderly. "You're the only one I want too," he said, licking his lips to savor the taste of Tybalt on them. "I'm happy to be giving you a daughter - and not just for the endless years of amusement it will provide the rest of us!"
"Oh, ha ha. It's only funny because it's true." Tybalt couldn't help but laugh, because he was well aware that he was already anticipating the arrival of their daughter with absolute glee. He gropedSerenus ' arse again. "All right, you knocked up tart, why don't you put on some fancy clothes, and I'll go find Nanny Deb and let her know we're going out. Then I'll whisk you away to be dined and maybe even a tiny bit of wined, then ravished until you can't see straight."
Serenus wriggled happily against Tybalt's hand and grinned up at him. "All right, I will, although I can tell you right now that you needn't wine me in order to ravish me." He caressed Tybalt's chest, his smile turning coy. "I'm quite willing to be ravished whenever you like without the aid of alcohol lowering my inhibitions."
"Are you, now?" Tybalt asked, his voice soft and deep. He walked Serenus backward to the wall, pressing up against him. "And exactly how do you like to be ravished? Before or after dinner?"
Tightening his arms around Tybalt, Serenus rocked his hips and gazed up at Tybalt with half-lidded eyes. "What about before and after?" he suggested, his voice deepening with arousal.
"My, my, pregnancy is making someone insatiable." Tybalt didn't mind, not in the least, and he rocked his hips forward to show Serenus that he was eager as well. "I think I can accommodate you. Well, then... would you like to lie down, or shall I simply have my way with you right here against the wall?"
Heat detonated in the pit of Serenus stomach at the thought of being taken up against the wall, and he shivered pleasurably, his dark eyes gleaming with banked desire. "Right here," he said huskily. "I want you to take me right here, right now. Don't worry about being gentle. I want you."
"You'll have me. All of me," Tybalt promised huskily. He kissed Serenus again, his mouth demanding, sliding his hands around Serenus to pull him firmly against his body. Then he released Serenus, turning him by his shoulders and pushing him against the wall again, leaning close to murmur in Serenus' ear. "Is that what you want?"
"Yes," Serenus groaned, thrusting his hips back in blatant invitation as he flattened his palms against the wall. "This is exactly what I want. Take me, Tybalt - please!"
Tybalt couldn't resist Serenus begging that way, and he growled as he pulled Serenus' jeans down off his hips, then his underpants. He removed his wand from his back pocket before unfastening his own jeans and pushing them and his boxers out of the way. Then he tappedSerenus ' hip, murmuring the preparatory charms before tossing his wand aside. He couldn't resist moving forward to rub teasingly againstSerenus, wanting to drive him mad. "Mmmm... this feels good, doesn't it?" he asked, hipping at the side of Serenus' neck.
Tilting his head to one side, Serenus moaned at the teasing and wriggled provocatively against Tybalt, his body already taut and aching with need. "Yes... feels so good, caro. You feel so good."
"So do you." Tybalt was so aroused he couldn't bear to play around any longer, and he grasped Serenus' hip with one hand, while guiding himself with the other. Then he surged forward, filling Serenus with a slow, smooth thrust, relishing the way Serenus' body welcomed him.
Serenus cried out and rocked back to accept Tybalt and send him deeper, his body pliant and yielding as he accepted Tybalt's claim. "Yes, caro, yes! Feels so good - so perfect. You complete me..."
"And you complete me," Tybalt moaned, the sensation of Serenus taking him deeper inflaming him even more. He drew in a deep breath, then moved his hand from Serenus' hip to wrap it around Serenus' arousal. Then he bit down lightly on the side of Serenus' neck and began to move, thrusting slowly at first, then faster as desire spiraled higher and hotter. He stroked Serenus in counterpoint, wanting to drive him out of his mind, giving Serenus the roughness he'd demanded.
Serenus let his self-control slip away, giving himself over to the rough claiming eagerly, loving the feel of Tybalt taking him hard and fast, like Tybalt was too desperate to hold back; he loved the feeling of being needed and desired so much, and he was rapidly growing overwhelmed by his own need, thrusting back wildly to match Tybalt's rhythm, his breathing growing erratic as he neared the edge.
"Yes, yes, love it, love you..." he moaned, the litany of love and praise devolving into incoherent groans as his arousal spiraled higher.
"Love you," Tybalt managed to mumbled against Serenus' skin. He moved his mouth to Serenus' ear. "Let go for me. Let me feel you shatter."
Serenus could no more resist Tybalt's urging than he could resist the urge to breathe, and he surrendered to pleasure with a cry, shouting Tybalt's name as he came undone, his body shuddering with the force of his release.
The sight and sound and feel of Serenus losing control was too much for Tybalt, and he shouted Serenus' name as he surged deeply and shattered, totally lost in the pleasure of their lovemaking. He was breathing hard, and he leaned againstSerenus as he slowly wound down, helping to prop Serenus up while they recovered. "Love you," he repeated, pressing open mouthed kisses to Serenus' neck. "Love you so very much."
Relaxing in Tybalt's embrace, Serenus hummed quietly with pleasure and tilted his head to accomodate the kisses, utterly sated. "Love you too," he murmured, capturing one of Tybalt's hands, lacing their fingers, and resting their joined hands on his abdomen. "That was exactly what I wanted."
"Excellent," Tybalt replied, his voice full of lazy contentment. He stroked his hand over Serenus' abdomen gently, almost reverently. "Thank you, love... for loving me, for giving me a family... for just being you."
"No need to thank me." Serenus let his head fall back on Tybalt's shoulder, and he smiled lazily up at Tybalt. "I should thank you, too, if we're going to be grateful. If it wasn't for you, I wouldn't have a family or such satisfying love either."
"Then we're good for each other," Tybalt said, chuckling softly and continuing to stroke Serenus' abdomen. "I never could have imagined such a wonderful life, and it's everything I've ever wanted. You are everything I've ever wanted."
The stroking felt good, and Serenus arched and purred languidly in response, feeling like a pampered cat. "I feel the same way," he replied. "I've been so happy with you and our boys. I feel like my life is perfect." He paused, thinking of Severus. "Well, almost," he added softly.
It didn't take a genius to be able to figure out the exception to Serenus' perfection, and Tybalt sighed. "I know, love... but he'll come around," he said reassuringly. "He loves you, he's just hurt, I think. We'll continue to be patient with him and he'll get better. You'll see."
"I know," Serenus replied, sighing quietly as he leaned against Tybalt. "I know he isn't angry and that he isn't going to reject me again. I know he still cares. It's just that I miss him. It feels like there's a huge wall looming between us, and it's lonely being stuck on this side of it."
"I'll try to help make up for the loneliness," Tybalt promised. "I know it's different - Severus couldn't substitute for me any more than I could substitute for him - but I'll make sure you're kept busy and happy so that it doesn't hurt quite so much, all right?"
"Not to worry." Serenus squeezed Tybalt's hand and gave him a reassuring smile. "Helping with the wedding preparations has helped a lot, and I've got several months of planning for a new baby ahead as well. I'll be all right. I suppose it's just difficult if I let myself stop and think about it, because we were close, and having this distance now really makes it clear how far we'd come. I'm ready for things to be closer to normal, but I don't want to push him. I know better than to do that, plus it's my own fault he's withdrawn. If I hadn't done anything to cause it, that would be one thing, but I did, so I'll just have to be patient and wait him out."
"Really it's my fault, because I'm the one who surprised you with the Gypsy wedding - I wish he'd just blame me and not you," Tybalt said with a sigh. He pulled back, ducking down to pick up his wand so that he could clean them both up with a quick charm, then pulled his boxers and jeans back into place, then knelt to pullSerenus' up as well. "Severus probably misses you as much as you miss him, you know."
"I'd like to think so," Serenus said, smiling wistfully as he performed a simple expansion spell on the waistline of his jeans before fastening them. "Anyway, I didn't mean to bring down the mood." He slid his arms around Tybalt's waist and craned up to kiss him lightly. "Where are you taking me for dinner?" he asked. "We still have names to discuss and frilly dresses to buy."
"I'll take you anywhere you'd like to go," Tybalt said, wrapping his arms around Serenus in return. "I'm looking forward to showing you off, and buying you things. And things for the new wee one as well. Is there anything you are particularly craving?"
"Something on the spicy side," Serenus replied promptly. "Actually, what about that restaurant we saw in London recently, the one that specializes in Bengali food? I think that might suit my cravings perfectly."
"Then that's what you shall have!" Tybalt smiled and kissed Serenus soundly, then released him with a little pat to the arse. "Dress up nicely, perhaps we'll go dancing afterward if you're up for it," he said. "If you're starting to show, we won't have many more opportunities to party, since you'll be tiring more easily. I want to show you off while I have the chance."
"That sounds wonderful," Serenus replied, smiling, and he immediately hurried to the wardrobe to choose an outfit. After a few minutes of dithering and resisting the urge to call onGaius for help, he picked out a pair of black trousers, a white button-down shirt, and a dinner jacket. He dressed quickly and checked himself in the mirror before presenting himself to Tybalt for inspection. "Will I do?" he asked.
"Fantastic!" Tybalt approved, admiring the sight of Serenus in his finery. He'd used the time while Serenus was picking out his clothing to run downstairs and inform Nanny Deb of their plans, and so he turned to pick out a similar outfit for himself. "We're all set to go, let me just throw on my own glad rags and we can depart."
Serenus sat down on the edge of the bed to watch Tybalt change, enjoying the view while he waited. "Take your time," he teased. "I'm enjoying the show."
"Insatiable," Tybalt commented, wriggling his arse as he slipped on his trousers. "Not that I'm complaining, mind you. Far from it." He selected a silk shirt the same color as his eyes and slipped it on, crossing toSerenus as he buttoned it up. "There, will I do?"
"You'll do very well indeed," Serenus replied as he stood up and went to take Tybalt's arm. "I'll be quite proud to be seen with you tonight."
Tybalt placed a hand on top of Serenus' arm and grinned, pleased with the compliment. He was happy about everything - their life, their new child, going out with Serenus for an evening celebration. He led Serenus down to the parlor to use the Floo, and within minutes they were leaving the Leaky Cauldron and exiting into Muggle London. It was a beautiful spring night, surprisingly warm for the season, and he sighed as they strolled along in the deepening twilight.
"This is wonderful," he murmured, leaning down to brush his lips against Serenus' hair. "I can't wait until we get to walk this way with a stroller and all three of our children." He chuckled. "Although 'PurplePuddin' just isn't going to wash as a name! We'll have to come up with something better."
"For all the good it will do," Serenus replied, amusement lacing his voice. "I suspect Etienne will insist on calling her Puddin' anyway, no matter what we decide to name her."
"Yes, well, we can't put that on the birth certificate!" Tybalt chuckled and shook his head. "So... what suggestions do you have? Just so we aren't caught flat footed."
"Well..." Serenus glanced sidelong at him, feeling a little embarrassed as he considered making a confession. "It may sound silly, but ever since I read Remus' first book - long before I knew him or Severus - I thought if I ever had a daughter, I wanted to name her Serena," he admitted sheepishly.
"Oh?" Tybalt's lips twitched, but he didn't laugh outright as he wished to do, not when Serenus was being so adorable. "Well, I think I could live with that. It's a pretty name."
Serenus caught the lip twitch and elbowed Tybalt sharply. "We don't have to use Serena, although I do think it's a better alternative to PurplePuddin'. What about you? Do you have any ideas or suggestions?"
"I was just thinking that Remus doesn't have a namesake," Tybalt replied, giving a playful wince at Serenus' jab. "Everyone else, well, except Regulus, has a nod to their family in one of the next generation. What do you think about doing something in his honor this time?"
"I think that's an excellent idea," Serenus replied, nodding his approval. "His full name is Remus John. How do you think we should try to feminize one of those? Joanne or Joanna are the obvious choices, I suppose."
Tybalt made a bit of a face. "But we don't call him John," he said, shaking his head. "I think a modification of Remus would be better, if we can come up with something. What do you think ofRemia? Remena? Remsy?"
"Foolish man!" Serenus chuckled and elbowed Tybalt gently in response to his teasing. "Why don't we just call her Remsy Puddin, then?"
That did make Tybalt laugh; he couldn't help it, and he wrapped an arm around Serenus' shoulders, squeezing him gently. "Okay, okay, we'll get serious," he replied. "Hmmm... Remy? I've heard that as a nickname before."
"It's also of French origin, which is appropriate since we both have connections to France," Serenus mused, leaning against Tybalt's side. "I like it."
"Excellent! So, Remy Serena, or Serena Remy?" Tybalt asked, pleased with the relative ease with which they'd managed to come up with a name.
"I suppose it depends on what we want to call her." Serenus glanced up at him questioningly, sliding one arm around Tybalt's waist. "Do you have a preference for Serena or Remy? Do you think it'll get too confusing if we call her Serena since we have a Severus, aSerenus, and a Serafino already?"
"I don't have a preference, really... Remy would be just as confusing with a Remus, right?" Tybalt smiled down at Serenus. "What about you? Since you said Serena first, I would imagine that's what you want to call her."
"I do..." Serenus smiled sheepishly, feeling a rush of heat in his cheeks. "As long as it doesn't make me look like too much of a fanboy, naming an innocent child after a favorite fictional character." He paused, and his smile widened. "Then again, I suppose it could be worse or more obvious, likeEowyn or Galadriel."
"It's a beautiful name," Tybalt replied reassuringly, nuzzling Serenus' warm cheek. "I think Remus and Severus both will be flattered. And if you can't fanboy your own brother-in-law, who can you fanboy?"
Serenus nuzzled Tybalt affectionately in return, grateful that Tybalt was willing to indulge his little quirks. "True enough," he replied. "So it's decided? Serena Remy, probably also to be known as PurplePuddin'."
"I think it's perfect!" Tybalt stopped there on the sidewalk, pulling Serenus into his arms and kissing him deeply, not caring who might be watching. When he raised his head, his eyes were sparkling. "Congratulations, Papa... we've got a Serena Remy to welcome in a few months!"
Winding his arms around Tybalt's neck, Serenus returned the kiss with equal lack of inhibition. "Congratulations, Daddy," he replied, grinning up at Tybalt. "You're going to be a little girl's devoted slave in a few months!"
"Am I so transparent?" Tybalt asked, then laughed. "Don't answer that, I know I am. You're right, she's probably going to own me from the moment she's born. Although I trust you to keep me from spoiling her too badly. Not to mention the twins!"
"Indeed!" Serenus laughed and shook his head. "Between the three of you, she's going to be ready to go off to school before she ever has to lift a finger or touch foot on the ground. At least, though, it doesn't appear we'll have to worry about sibling rivalry."
"No, we're lucky in that regard," Tybalt replied. Then he stopped in his tracks, pointing to the store in front of them. "How is that for fortuitous?" The window was painted in pink and blue letters, proclaiming the shop as 'Little Miracles', and from the frilly, lacy, and soft looking things in the display, it was definitely just what the future Serena Remy needed.
"And so it begins!" Serenus laughed again, but he let Tybalt lead him into the shop. In truth, he was just as eager to shop for a few pretty things; now that Serena Remy was making her presence known,Serenus was ready to start preparing for her arrival, and he was happy to indulge Tybalt in the process.
Tybalt felt as though he fallen into a doll house, but he couldn't help feeling excited at the sight of all the wee clothing. He picked up a snow white dress trimmed with about a mile of frothy lace at the hem. "What about this?" he asked, holding it up forSerenus' inspection. "Too girly?"
"I don't think so," Serenus replied, feeling a little mushy himself at the thought of dressing up their daughter in something so cute and frilly. It was a far cry from durable overalls like the twins wore, and while he knew their daughter would probably enjoy playing outside as much as they did, her wardrobe could be vastly different. "Severus might say it's toogirly, but I like it."
"Then we'll have it," Tybalt said, smiling soppily as he stroked the lace, a dreamy expression on his face. "I wonder who she'll favor? The twins are handsome, I wonder if she'll have their coloration."
"Maybe she'll be a redhead," Serenus replied, smiling as he watched Tybalt melt. "She'd be gorgeous if she looked like you."
"Or like you," Tybalt said, turning the soppy smile on Serenus. "I love you so much. She can't help but be gorgeous just because of that."
"I love you too," Serenus replied, framing Tybalt's face between his hands and craning up to kiss him with tender affection. "Then we're agree: she'll be gorgeous either way. So let's go crazy buying her the prettiest dresses we can find and get ready to welcome our little girl into the world."
"I'm all for that!" Tybalt laughed. He wrapped an arm around Serenus, and steered him toward a rack of pink footed sleepers, intent on doing exactly as Serenus suggested. All little girls deserved to be spoiled, and at the rate they were going before she was even born, he had no doubt she'd makeCymbeline look positively neglected in comparison.