by Sailor Doc

Note: I've always heard that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. If that is indeed true, then please take this as I mean it; a sincere compliment to you, Crawlspace, as well as a 'thank you' for the way your work as fired my imagination as well.
Warmest regards!
Bets: AKA Sailor Doc


Slowly closing the book resting in her lap, Ami removed her glasses and rubbed her eyes wearily. In the dim light of the lamp on her bedside table she glanced down at her partner and smiled sadly. For the last month and a half she had been as a woman possessed, driven by the need to get so far ahead in all her studies that she could afford to spend the first two or three weeks after Miki's birth giving her undivided attention to him and his mother. Gazing down at Makoto's hand resting gently on her stomach, she started to wonder if maybe she hadn't over-done it just a bit.

As soon as school was over, she would walk Makoto home, then leave immediately for the library, where she would do research until time for cram school to start. By the time that was over and she got home, Makoto, who was due most any time now, would more than likely already be in bed, asleep. Thinking back over the last two weeks, she realized with a shock that it was difficult to remember spending any real quality time with her moody and emotional lover. Understandably, love-making had pretty much come to a screeching halt for the time being, but it seemed the only times they were alone together were in the mornings before school, and when they were asleep. Ami had taken to studying in bed, despite the bad lighting, just so she could at least be near Makoto.

Tonight, as she had prepared for bed, she had noticed that Makoto seemed restless, tossing and turning a bit as if she couldn't get comfortable, her face clearly unhappy. Easing gently into their bed, Ami had whispered quiet reassurances, and as she had settled into her accustomed place, pillow at her back, Makoto's had had landed on her stomach. With a smile on her face, Makoto had curled up on her side next to Ami, and finally drifted off to dreamland, her fingers gently caressing Ami's tummy.

Reaching up, Ami placed her hand protectively over Mako's, which was still resting, if quietly, against her and felt the slightly unusual warmth of it. Most of the time, Makoto complained of being too hot, and her physical appearance would support her words. Tonight was no exception. Her face, now in repose, was slightly red, and she had kicked off most of the covers, with just a small bit of her belly showing from under the edge of her sleep shirt. As her eye's focused on that spot in the dim light, she realized that she wasn't the only one still up.

"Hey, little guy," she said gently as she watched the tiny thumps against her partnerís belly. "Did my light wake you up?"

As if in answer, the tiny thumps returned with vigor, causing a delighted smile to cross her features.

'I wonder if Makoto's right and he really does recognize my voice,' she mused as Mako released her hand and shifted onto her back, covering the previously exposed area, but revealing another, slightly larger one.

Just as Ami started to miss seeing the tiny bumps from her playful son, she saw them again. this time from under the newly exposed area.

'Hm-m-m,' her tired, yet still agile mind thought. 'I wonder if he can see the light, and that's what's got him going?'

Turning off the lamp, Ami reached into the bedside drawer and removed a small penlight, then scooted down in the bed next to Makoto's belly. With a quick glance upward, Ami confirmed that her lover was still asleep and seemed comfortable. Taking a deep breath, Ami raised the penlight and flashed it over the exposed skin on Mako's tummy. As she watched intently in the dim light from the window, a gentle tap hit exactly where she had shown the light! With a grin of delight, Ami unconsciously held her breath and tried again. Once again, a tiny tap hit the area she had flashed! Deciding to challenge her new discovery, Ami carefully exposed more of Makoto's stomach, and flashed a different area. Sure enough, a small 'thump' appeared at the same stop she had lighted! Enchanted, Ami continued her game, trying different areas, always with the same result. One flash here, Another here. Two more over there.

'Whoa! Okay, he had to have used his foot for that one,' Ami concluded after one particularly difficult test.

Losing all track of time, she added flashes, as many as three, and always the thumps hit right where she had shown her light. After several minutes of this delightful game she began to get the feeling she was being watched. Looking up, she found her eyes captured by the knowing, gentle gaze of her partner.

"Are you two having fun yet?" Makoto asked sleepily. Smiling, she reaching forward to run her fingers softly through Ami's hair.

"I'm sorry love," Ami said, her guilty conscious kicking itself into high gear. "Did I wake you up?" she asked, though the answer was pretty obvious. "I really didn't mean to."

"It's okay," Makoto said as she watched the way Ami's blue locks sifted through her fingers. Ami's eyes closed in pleasure as she let herself get lost in the wonderfully relaxing aura she felt surrounding her as Makoto continued to caress her hair. "Just what did you call yourself doing anyway," Makoto asked as she let her fingers drift over Ami's right cheek.

After taking a moment to think about it, Ami opened her eyes and smiling at her lover, answered rather simply:

"I was playing with my son."

Unbidden, tear sprang to Makoto's eyes as she felt the depth of the love within her almost as if it were a physical presence lodged within the center of her chest, as surely as her heart was.

Swallowing the lump in her throat, she whispered, "He's missed you, you know."

"Yeah, I've missed him, too," Ami said, stroking the rounded tummy of her love, "but not quite as much as I've been missing you. Are you okay?" she asked, gently leaning her cheek against Makoto's swollen side.

"I'm fine," Makoto said, regaining her composure. "Really," she reassured her lover. "I'm just, I don't know... tired of being tired all the time, I guess. Tired of feeling bloated and fat and clumsy, and..."

"Sh-h-h-h. Enough of that," Ami said as she hastily scooted up to the head of the bed to wrap her frustrated partner in her arms. "I guess I've really been negligent in my duties if you've started feeling this way."

"The facts are the facts," Makoto said, even as she cuddled against her smaller partner. "I'm as big as a house, I eat all the time I'm not sleeping, which isn't very often, and I'm as graceful as an elephant trying to perform 'Swan Lake'. You make the call."

"Okay," Ami said, tightening her hold on Makoto. "Let's look at this calmly and logically. You're as 'big as a house' as you say, because you're going to deliver a normal, healthy baby boy any day now. You're eating and sleeping more are responsible for that. As far as gracefulness is concerned, the additional weight of our son is throwing off your normal center of gravity, so a bit of unsteadiness is to be expected. Sweetheart, I promise, you'll be your old self again in no time after Miki gets here!" Ami reassured her love.

"You don't think I'm ugly?" Makoto said, the words barely audible against Ami's chest.


"It's just...I mean I know you've been studying awfully hard, and I know it's so you can spend more time with us when Miki's born, but..."

"But Nothing!" Ami insisted, fighting down her natural urge to vehemently deny her lovers suspicions. "Silly Mako-chan! Love, now you know that's just not true. Ugly? Kami-sama, Makoto!" With a sigh, she pulled Makoto even closer to herself, burying her face in the reddish-brown mane. Taking a moment, she steadied herself by breathing in deeply of the rich and wonderful scent that was her Makoto's alone.

"Don't you know, my love, that you are the very definition of beauty to me?" Nuzzling Makoto's ear, she whispered, "You always have been. At all times and in all places. The way you walk. The way you move. Your voice. The way you smile. The way you think. The way your hair curls up at the end of your ponytail." She felt Makoto chuckle and snuggle closer. "I love everything about you," Ami continued. "I love your eyes. Did I ever tell you how much I love your eyes?"

"No," Makoto said against Ami's neck.

"Well then, just let me say this," Ami said, kissing Makoto's forehead. "I love your eyes! The way they sparkle when you're happy. The way they flash when you're not." Again, she felt Makoto chuckle. Lowering her voice, she whispered, "and I really love the special way they glow, just for me, when we make love." Ami rejoiced in the shiver she felt from Makoto at her words, as it echoed her own.

"Ugly?" she questioned, taking Makoto's chin in her hand and raising her face to see her eyes. "You, my heart, are beauty itself," and she sealed her words with a gentle, reaffirming kiss.