Genre: Romance, m-preg, au
Disclaimer: I do not own Arashi, only these words.
Summary: Jun is given in an arranged marriage to Lord Sakurai Sho. Against the odds, love blossoms.
A/N: I never meant for this to happen but this has now turned into my first chaptered fic. I have no idea where this is going or where it will end but you are welcome to come along for the ride.
Previously: Ch 1, Ch 2, Ch 3, Ch 4, Ch 5, Ch 6, Ch 7, Ch 8, Ch 9, Ch 10, Ch 11, Ch 12, Ch 13, Ch 14,Ch 15,Ch 16
Sho could not believe the sight before him. Jun was in the garden once again, despite the unexpectedly icy wind that blew with some force, whipping his hair wildly around his face which looked pinched with cold. As he made his way outdoors to retrieve his husband Sho caught the attention of a passing servant and asked for a pot of herbal tea to be brought to the drawing room.
A chill ran through Sho and the wind seemed to pierce his body as with a disapproving click of his tongue he strode over to his husband, concern perhaps making his voice sound sterner than he intended. "Jun, the weather is most inhospitable, it is best if you accompany me indoors immediately."
Jun jumped slightly in shock at the unexpected presence of his husband behind him. He had not spoken to anyone and especially not Sho regarding his residual fears after Toma’s unspeakable attack upon his person. Sometimes even his own beloved husband’s touch made him cringe inside. "Spring has arrived I must ensure that my plans for the gardens are being carried out as I desire."
"My love you are under Masaki's orders to gain as much rest as possible. He has surely informed you that the birth of our child is nigh?"
"I have been feeling restless of late and the urge to ensure that our surroundings are perfect for our sweetling’s arrival compels me to forgo my rest," Jun replied blithely. “And Masaki said nothing about remaining indoors."
"I cannot condone such reckless behaviour," Sho scolded.
Jun turned to face him with further words of protest upon his lips which Sho forestalled by sweeping him into his arms and carrying him into the house ignoring Jun's feeble wriggles of complaint.
Sho plopped Jun down upon the settee closest to the fire which had been lit earlier to remove the chill from the room. Much to Sho's horror, Jun's skin felt like ice and he was shivering. Taking up a blanket from the sofa Sho wrapped it none too gently around Jun's shoulders before kneeling to remove Jun's shoes, rubbing his feet to restore the circulation.
"Jun, how can you be so foolish? Your feet must be quite numb," Sho chided gently as the servant arrived bearing the requested hot tea.
Sho placed another blanket over Jun’s legs, carefully tucking it tightly around his knees, before he retrieved the tray of tea and placed it upon the low table within easy reach of Jun’s position. He poured a cup and held it out saying, “Here, drink this. Hopefully it shall soon restore the warmth to your body.”
To his horror instead of taking the cup, Jun burst into a flood of noisy tears, throwing himself facedown upon the settee.
“Jun, my love, what is wrong?”
“You are angry with me!” Jun's voice was muffled but his sobbing grew even louder.
Sho felt completely out of his depth at Jun's violent reaction to remarks that had in his eyes been nothing but him showing concern for his husband's health. With the baby due at any time he was terrified of Jun falling ill with a fever through becoming too chilled.
Alerted by the volume of Jun's weeping Nino burst into the room a minute later, dragging Masaki behind him.
"What have you done?" Nino asked angrily, glaring at Sho.
Masaki was ineffectually attempting to remove Nino from the room, not wishing to intrude upon a private moment. "Nino, you cannot speak to Sho in that manner."
"I will speak as I see fit when Jun's welfare is at stake," Nino responded defiantly. He knew that he was overreacting, but since in his own eyes he had failed to protect Jun from Toma his guilt had led him to be even stronger in his resolve to give his all to prevent Jun from ever being hurt again.
Whilst Masaki and Nino bickered Sho attempted to console Jun but when he attempted to touch him Jun's distressed weeping only increased in volume, prompting Nino to push past and pull Jun into his own arms.
With a fierce glare Nino gestured with his head for the other two to leave the room.
For one brief moment Sho looked as if he wished to refuse, before Masaki forcibly pushed him out through the open door.
Once they had reached the sanctuary of Sho's study Masaki began to laugh at his friend's bewildered expression. "You have the look about you of a man in dire need of a strong drink."
"I must confess that I do not fully fathom what just occurred. I merely brought Jun in from the cold. I certainly did not expect to cause this reaction by my actions."
"My friend, do you not recall our talk? I warned you that his emotions might careen out of control due to the changes taking place within his body. All I can suggest is that you prepare for a storm," Masaki said with a smile.
"Do not look so smugly at me," Sho replied. "Might I remind you that in three months your own husband is due to give birth, not to just one child, but twins?"
Masaki's face blanched at the thought as he replied. "I think it best if I join you in partaking of that drink."
"Tell me what he said to upset you. If you like I can go and strike him on your behalf. I am sure that since he is a gentleman he would not dare to retaliate whilst I am in my present condition," Nino said with a gesture towards his swollen belly. "And if I am near enough, I am convinced that the twins will do their best to kick him."
Nino's words had the desired effect as Jun's sobs were replaced by giggles. But a frown soon spread across Jun's face once more as he recalled his grievances against his husband. "He forced me indoors from the garden," he pouted.
"He insisted upon wrapping me in blankets and bringing me hot tea…” Jun’s voice trailed off as it came to his attention that perhaps Sho had not been angry with him at all.
Nino looked out the window where heavy steel grey clouds had blotted out the sun and the wind was bending the trees over at an impossible angle as their tender new shoots were snapped off by the violent motion of the branches.
“You were out of doors in this weather?” Nino asked incredulously. He sat up straight and pulled away from Jun slightly, “Have you taken leave of your senses? I think that your husband was more restrained in his actions that I would have been. You have behaved most foolishly.”
Jun looked at him with tear-filled eyes and an expression of utter betrayal writ upon his face. “I thought that you at least would be on my side rather than chastise me also. Perhaps you are not the friend that I believed you to be,” Jun cried as he pushed Nino away from him before fleeing the room, slamming the door loudly behind him.
He did not make it far before Sho, who had been alerted by the slamming of the door, caught up with him as he made his way past the study, catching hold of his arms and steering him into the room.
Nino, who was panting and clutching his sides as he lumbered angrily in pursuit of his more graceful quarry, was captured by a very concerned Masaki who picked him up and carried him back to the drawing room resisting all of his very vocal protests along the way.
Jun struggled to free himself from Sho’s embrace. Sho had pulled him onto his lap and they were both now squashed into his well-used leather armchair before the fireplace.
Tears flowed down Jun’s cheeks and he gasped for breath as he struggled to free himself, but Sho was holding him far too tightly to allow the possibility of that occurring. Gradually Jun was coming to realize that he had sorely wronged those whom he loved.
“Shh, my kitten, please do not distress yourself. There is no need for such upset,” Sho said quietly.
“I do not know why I acted so badly towards you when you were only trying to make me see sense, and now Nino and I have quarrelled…” Jun managed to say between sobs.
“My love, I only wished to ensure that you and our child are safe,” Sho replied. “I was not angry with you, only worried about you catching cold. I am sorry if I frightened you.”
Jun buried his face into Sho’s shoulder as his husband gently petted his hair, feeling his breathing calm as he relaxed against Sho’s familiar warmth.
“I am sorry for my outburst. I did not mean to behave like a spoilt child,” Jun said in a very small and very contrite voice.
“You need not apologise to me, sweetheart,” Sho replied. “I am the one who must offer my apologies. I was too abrupt with you when I brought you inside. My concern for you made me speak more roughly to you than I intended.”
“I love you so,” Jun said as he lifted his head from Sho’s shoulder and peppered his face with light kisses. “And I am eternally grateful for you enduring my unpredictable moods.”
“My dearest kitten I love you also, and please believe that it is not your fault. I fear that it is our precious sweetling’s influence upon your emotions that is causing such a disruption to your equilibrium,” Sho said as he stroked Jun’s belly lovingly.
“I am pleased that our differences are reconciled,” Jun said as he burrowed deeper into Sho’s arms. “But what am I to do with regards to Nino?”
“He is your dear friend who loves you well. He will not hold a grudge if you go to him with sincerity and make amends.”
Masaki was sitting opposite Nino in the drawing room patiently listening to his complaining rant with regards to Jun's unreasonable and unfeeling behaviour when he noticed a hesitant movement in the doorway.
Jun was hovering nervously, a small covered plate clutched tightly in his hands.
Upon seeing this Masaki gestured for Jun to enter, before standing up and preparing to take his leave.
"Masa, why must you abandon me like this?" Nino pouted. "Why does no one care about me?"
"I care," Jun replied as he approached Nino from behind.
"You need not pretend to care. As you so clearly pointed out I am not your friend and as such I shall leave immediately," Nino huffed as he struggled to rise from his seat.
"You shall go nowhere, my tiger. Sheath your claws and allow Jun the courtesy of allowing him to speak," Masaki said in a voice that brooked no argument.
Jun nodded to Masaki as he walked from the room leaving him alone with Nino.
"I stole this from the kitchens for you," Jun said as he lifted the lid from the plate and proffered it to Nino. "It is honey toffee."
"Perhaps you should find a friend to gift it to," Nino replied coldly, refusing to even look in Jun's direction.
Jun replaced the cover and dropped the plate onto the nearby side table before speaking in quiet voice choked by tears, "I have only ever been blessed with one true friend in my lifetime and through my own anger and foolishness I have lost him and we appear to be friends no more."
Nino's heart clenched at Jun's words but he found it impossible to speak; his wounded pride would not allow it.
Despite Nino's lack of response Jun continued to speak as he paced the floor. "Recently it has become near to impossible to master my emotions. I constantly waver between anger and the desire to weep. Masaki has told me that it is because my body is producing hormones in preparation for giving birth. I am afraid of what the future holds for me at that time and I am constantly plagued by a sense of foreboding and the fear that I shall not live to see my child."
"Jun...I," Nino felt a chill run through his body as Jun spoke.
Jun continued to speak as if he did not hear Nino's words. "I am certain that I cannot endure what is ahead of me if you are not by my side. Your steadfast support and determined nature lend me a strength that I alone do not possess. Please accept my heartfelt apologies and do not withdraw your friendship from me...I could not bear it." As he finished speaking all of the strength seemed to leave Jun's body as he sank down onto the floor at Nino's feet weeping as if his heart was irrevocably broken.
Nino immediately called for assistance as he knelt upon the floor next to Jun, trying to soothe him, "Please calm yourself. Of course I am your friend still. Did we not vow eternal friendship to one another? I behaved badly also and should not have rejected your apologies. You know that I would never abandon you."
When Masaki and Sho rushed into the room they found both Jun and Nino tangled together upon the floor, both of them weeping copiously as Nino cradled Jun in his arms.
Upon seeing their distress Sho and Masaki scooped their respective husbands into their arms and attempted to calm them both.
When they were both somewhat calmer and had been dosed with one of Masaki's herbal remedies, the pair was carried upstairs to bed, since they were both exhausted by their emotional outpourings. They refused to be separated though, so they were both firmly tucked into Sho's enormous bed, where they almost instantly fell into a deep sleep.
The two older men collapsed into chairs in Jun's bedchamber and sat watching over them whilst they slept.
"I fear that I lack the endurance to cope with many more of these upheavals before the completion of Jun's pregnancy," Sho sighed as he finally relaxed.
"Consider yourself lucky, my friend; as you pointed out to me earlier Nino still has three months until he reaches the time for his confinement," Masaki replied, closing his eyes and massaging his temples as he contemplated what still lay ahead.
Two days later they awoke to a world wreathed in unseasonable white. Obviously the icy wind had brought the snow with it. Sho was pleased for the excuse to spend additional time in bed with Jun, who had been in a most peculiar mood since his emotional outburst.
Jun was not yet fully awake, sleepily pulling a pillow over his head to block out the bright light streaming in through the window after Sho had pulled back the curtains to gaze at the snow.
Sho slipped back into bed and attempted to snuggle up against Jun's back, but Jun whined and wiggled slightly away from him, pulling his pillows with him. Heaving a deep sigh at Jun's latest rejection of his attempt at physical contact, Sho made a move to leave Jun alone in the bed.
They had not made love since their reconciliation after Toma's attack when Sho had taken Jun twice in the same day. Sho had been fearful of causing Jun physical pain after leaving him sore afterwards, and had allowed his husband time to recover. To his dismay after that time Jun had showed no interest in any further intimate contact between them.
"I am sorry my love," Sho said as he moved away from Jun, carefully distancing himself.
"No, I am the one who should be sorry."
Jun's words were spoken so softly and with such sorrow that Sho barely heard them.
"I have not been fulfilling my duties as your husband these past weeks."
"My love you are heavily pregnant. I do not expect you be desirous of lovemaking in such a condition."
"It is not my condition that makes me so." Jun replied tremulously. "In my mind I can still feel that man's touch upon my most intimate parts. I do not wish for you to touch someone who is unclean."
Sho rose from the bed and walked around to Jun's side so that he might look at him whilst he spoke. His heart was heavy with the knowledge that he had not even considered that Jun could possibly still feel this way. During their lovemaking after the incident Jun had offered no clues that he harboured such feelings. His heart began to race guiltily as he realized that once again he had been unable to read the signs of distress issuing from his young husband.
"Jun, please look at me," Sho said in serious tones.
Jun looked up immediately. Sho rarely spoke to him without using the affectionate nickname that he had christened him with on their wedding night. His gaze was met by Sho's round and expressive eyes, brimming with unshed tears. Jun reached out and hesitantly brushed his fingertips across his husband's cheek.
Sho gripped Jun's hand and kissed his palm fervently. "My love, why did you not speak of this before? I am sorry to be so unaware of your feelings. I have had little practice at sensing the hidden emotions of others. Masaki was my only other long-term relationship and I think you will agree that his emotions are more than visible to all. I am sorry that you have such an insensitive oaf as a husband."
Jun tried to respond, but all that issued from his mouth was a repressed sob.
"My kitten, you have not been tarnished in any way. You did not offer yourself to him willingly and you remain as pure as you have ever been. I adore and worship you with every fibre of my being and nothing will ever diminish my feelings of love towards you."
"But he touched me where only you have the right to touch me and I could not prevent him from doing so."
"He touched your body without your consent, but he did not reach your heart, it still remains within my stewardship. Do you think that my love for you is so weak that it will be lessened by such a thing as this?"
"But I have been sullied by his touch," Jun repeated stubbornly.
"Since you are so insistent let me cleanse you once and for all," Sho said as he pulled down the bed linens and removed Jun's loose sleeping garments. "I shall kiss each and every part of your body until you are convinced that his touch lingers no more."
At first Jun lay stiffly upon the mattress as Sho carefully and gently ran his lips over his skin, kissing and nuzzling, nibbling and sucking, but soon he could not help but to sigh at the enticingly pleasurable sensations Sho’s movements engendered.
Sho was careful to take as much time as was required to ensure that he did not miss even the smallest patch of skin on Jun’s body. The skin across his belly was stretched taut but still soft and smooth due to Jun’s faithful application of the lotion concocted by Masaki to prevent marks. Sho nuzzled it with extra care kissing the spot where a tiny foot made the skin ripple as if their unborn child found his attentions most enjoyable also.
Before long Jun's breathing quickened as Sho's tongue explored his most intimate places; something that he had never experienced before. His cheeks blushed a delicate pink as he realized that his husband had indeed kissed and adored every single part of his body without shame or hesitation.
The only place that had not yet received Sho's loving attention was Jun's, by now stiffly erect, cock. After placing a light kiss to the tip, Sho pulled away to look his husband in the eye.
"My kitten, now do you believe that my love and adoration of you is limitless? Please believe me when I tell you that nothing in this world could ever lessen my love for you."
Jun blinked at him, his eyes appearing larger than ever as he considered his words. "You can overlook the fact that another laid his hands upon me?"
"My beloved kitten I do not know how to further convince you. Look into your heart. Can you still feel his touch or has my love washed it away? I do not wish to cause you distress when I say this but even if the unthinkable had happened and he had successfully forced himself upon you I would not feel any differently towards you. You would still be my brave and pure-of-heart most beloved husband to whom my future happiness is inextricably bound."
When Jun looked into Sho's earnestly pleading eyes all he could detect was loving concern. There was no hint of the disgust or repulsion that he had feared to see and at that moment Jun realized that Sho had never stopped desiring him. it was he who had shied away from lovemaking because of his own fears.
Tears welled in Jun's eyes as he looked towards his husband. "I should never have dwelled upon the past. Not when we have such a happy future to look forward to. I can no longer feel the shadow of fear hovering over my shoulder."
"In that case my kitten may I continue my exploration of your delectable body?" Sho asked as he stroked his hand across Jun's cheek, fascinated by the way the blush deepened at his words.
Jun nodded shyly, emitting a gasp when Sho finally turned his loving attention to his erect member.
Sho caressed the sensitive skin of Jun's inner thighs as he drew his husband's cock into the warm cavern of his mouth. Even throughout this act of lovemaking Sho was careful to take the time to thoroughly savour even the tiniest portion of his love's most intimate place, hoping by his actions to finally ensure that Jun would never again shy away from his touch or continue to live with the residual fear from Toma's cruel attack.
With an unrestrained cry, Jun released his seed into his husband's mouth. Sho swallowed it down with a grunt of satisfaction and licked Jun's softening cock clean before pressing a kiss to its tip.
Jun sighed contentedly and nestled sleepily back into his pile of pillows as Sho pulled the covers over his naked form and tucked them tightly under his chin.
"My kitten, please never shy away from telling me of your fears or concerns. I will always be here to offer you my unconditional love and support, come what may."
"I love you so very much," Jun murmured. "I promise..."
Sho smiled to himself as Jun's words trailed off into a calming sleep. He kissed Jun's nape as he lay down behind him, pressing himself protectively against his back as he lovingly ran his hand over Jun's swollen belly. Sho's stomach churned with nervous anticipation at the thought that soon he would be responsible for another precious life as well as that of his most beloved husband.
It was just barely after the first rays of dawn light had breached the horizon when Jun silently climbed out of bed, being most careful to not disturb his husband's slumber. No matter which way he folded himself upon the mattress the backache which had begun to plague him in the early hours was worsening, rather than improving.
Jun shuffled over to the window, sighing at the sight of unseasonable snow crushing the spring flowers beneath its weight. He winced as he stretched and rubbed his back as he felt another twinge of pain.
It was only when he felt the tightening of the muscles in his belly that he realized that he was experiencing the first pangs of labour.