Disclaimer: I do not own these characters. No copyright infringement is intended and I make no money from this story. Kripke owns John Winchester and Whedon owns Illyria (and the Firefly 'verse this is quietly taking place in following a.k.a., Destiny Can Bite My Pee-Goo). The Tentacle Question Answered
“You are getting stout, John,” Illyria noted candidly from across the room. “I cannot see the muscles of your abdomen anymore and there is spillage over your belt.”
John glared at Illyria standing near the window, the sunlight filtering through the worn canvas drapes detailing the odd starkness of the near due Demon-God. Illyria had somehow retained her fighting trim – or something very close to it – displaying her pregnancy in angles and bumps rather than the heavily padded curves he’d been expecting.
John, on the other hand, was getting more than curved enough for the both of them.
“It’s sympathy weight,” he pointed out defensively. “I’m eating for three since you hardly eat anything at all.”
“Stuffing your face with a dozen raspberry crème bao
each morning has nothing to do with it, I am sure.” Illyria sniffed dismissively. “I am willing to go running and to spar with you so that you do not get uselessly soft.”
Illyria turned to face him, resting a hand on the shifting lump of her belly. At the latter part of her pregnancy, her carapace had refused to spread over her stomach, leaving an amusing low-rider midriff version that brought a gleam to John’s eyes whenever he saw it. John had suggested that all Illyria needed was a cape and an invisible jet and she was all set to be a superhero with that outfit. She retorted that would make him her sidekick and sidekicks always wore spandex and tights.
John wisely decided not to bring it up again.
John shook his head definitively. “No. We’re not takin’ any chances. Most women don’t go askin’ to get hit when they are about to give birth. I don’t want the baby hurt.”
Illyria sighed with obvious annoyance and turned to stare out the window again. “It should tear its way out soon. Then things will return to normal. These nine weeks have felt infinite
John came up behind her, blinking in slight confusion. “Tear its way out? That’s what you think happens?” He barked a laugh, muffling it by biting down hard on his lower lip as Illyria had begun to find most expressions of amusement irritating as the estimated due date grew closer.
“How else will it separate from my form?” she asked.
John coughed, trying to word this in a way that wouldn’t make her go off on one of her lower-beings-are-animals-and-only-they-would-come-up-with-such-an-impractical-way-to-propagate speeches that had become more likely the past couple of weeks. “You know…uh…how we…ummm….” John blanked and attempted description through interpretative hand signals until the deepening wrinkles appearing on Illyria’s forehead indicated her level of confusion.
Shoving a pamphlet at her, he directed, “Read this.” This was the same reaction he’d had when it came time to explain the birds and bees to his sons. It was an outright miracle he hadn’t had grandkids before Dean was out of high school, though Dean did learn a few new gestures from the conversation that kept his boys amused for the miles between hunts weeks after the fact.
Illyria scanned the pages quickly and snorted, tossing the offending paper on the floor. “Inefficient,” she told him, and he nodded encouragingly, glad that she hadn’t had a stronger reaction that involved throwing furniture or punching holes in walls. They’d lost the security deposits on their last seven motel rooms.
John fidgeted, looking slightly uncomfortable as he asked, “Illyria? Have you actually thought about what’s going to happen?” She turned her head slowly in his direction, blinking stoically as she waited for him to come to the point.
“Your body isn’t designed to…change. As it is, you look like a boa that swallowed a tricycle - all angles and no curves.” Illyria’s eyes narrowed dangerously and John backpedaled like the best of them.
“Not that you’re not beautiful! Talk about a goddess reborn – people should bow at your feet….”
Illyria snorted, cutting him off with a subtle wave of her hand. “That is a given. Continue.”
“Well…you seem to have pretty human limitations – you conceived like a human so I’m thinking you’ll give birth like one, too.” John saw her brow furrow and he continued hastily, “And since I’m guessin’ natural childbirth is out of the question, I think we’re going to have to cut it out.”
Illyria’s face lightened. “Why did you not say so earlier? We could have been done with this weeks ago.”
She started towards the weapons duffel, John catching on only a second later. “Illyria!” John yelped, lunging forward and tripping over the chair at the foot of the bed. He landed with a subdued thud at her feet, struggling to catch his breath as he latched one hand onto her ankle.
,” he ground out as he tried to pull himself up her leg before she got a blade in her hand. “We don’t know if it’s time! No cutting until the baby says so.”
Illyria frowned, a hint of a Fred pout sculpting her usually stoic features. “As you wish.”
It had been like something from a spy novel, two people on the run cocooned in traveling cloaks and sneaking into hotels under the cover of darkness. But what else could be done with a pregnant former Demon-God painted in shades of bright blue? Illyria’s ability to maintain Fred’s form dissipated the closer she came to delivery and it had finally gotten to the point they had to find somewhere to hole up until the baby was born.
Fortunately, Will had agreed to take them in until it came time to deliver, and since he’d been a medic in the War, he was even more useful now. OK, so he hadn’t been a medic – he’d piloted a medic transport, but it was as close to a medic as they could get at the moment. He still had some equipment that he’d ‘liberated’ at the end of the War that could come in handy.
Will knocked, sticking his head into their room cautiously, having learned the hard way that unexpected surprises could lead to Illyria practicing her aim using any heavy object at hand. “I’m cookin’ up some grub. You two comin’?”
Will did his usual entering-the-Winchester-bedroom evasive measure, focusing his gaze somewhere on the ceiling – the things he had unwittingly walked in on might possibly be burned into his retinas forever – as he awaited their answer. He heard the thunk of what sounded like a knife hitting the floor and a huffing gasp of relief from somewhere at knee level.
Yep, he really didn’t want to know.
Illyria strode majestically towards the door, pausing to focus her bold gaze on Will who met her eyes reluctantly, shrinking a little under the scrutiny. “John only gets half-rations. I would appreciate, Will Singer, if you would not overfeed my consort. He will be of no use to anyone if he develops a waddle.”
Her eyes flicked to the tell-tale bao
crumbs dotting Will’s graying beard. “Bad influences will have to be dealt with.”
Will waited until Illyria disappeared around the corner before puffing out a breath, a strangled mix of laughter and a groan. “Wuo duh ma
, John. Your woman scares the shit outta me.” He pulled off his cap and scratched at his thinning hair. “Grandpa Bob thought she was a hoot, but I think you should be made a saint or somethin’.”
John laughed, slapping a hand on the man’s back. “Don’t let her hear you call her ‘my woman’. I’m ‘her consort’ and she wouldn’t let you forget it.”
John awoke when his face became intimately familiar with the floor. Blinking blearily, he managed to focus on the moon shining through the gauzy curtains before his body was dragged several inches across the rug. Dammit
- Illyria had gone on one of her middle of the night scavengings and forgotten that the drop from the bed was at least three feet and tended to leave bruises when she didn’t wake him up first. John got to his feet as quickly as possible, edging his way around the doorframe where the invisible perimeter’s edge was tightest.Double damn
. Illyria was right about his stomach, he admitted to himself as it flattened against the barrier, making the squeeze by even more snug - and headed for the kitchen.
“I thought I’d find you here.” John said, watching Illyria unfold herself from the icebox with her odd predator’s grace.
Illyria tore another hunk off the raw meat in her hand, chewing it steadily as she gazed at him in the dim glow of the icebox. The faint light highlighted the smooth lines of her naked form and the jagged, baby-sized lump pressing against the taut skin of her belly. “I hungered.”
John plopped into one of the mismatched kitchen chairs, pulling her down onto his lap as she continued to strip chunks of meat from the bone, smears of watery blood streaking her chin.
“Your cravings can be rather…disturbing, m’dear. I hope you think of me and brush your teeth before returning to bed.” He ran his hand over her belly and added with a chuckle, “And I hope you think of Will and at least throw on a robe next time you go wandering.” John smirked slyly up at her, “Don’t want him gettin’ any ideas about my beautiful wife.”
Illyria tossed the remnants of her snack into the sink, adjusting herself to straddle his lap. John tugged up the edge of his t-shirt to wipe at the worst of the stains on her chin as she growled softly, “I hunger for something else.”
“As long as it’s not human flesh, I’m good.” John grinned as her hand worked its way between them, tugging his swollen cock roughly out of the flap of his boxers. “Hey! Be gentle!” he hissed as she pulled a little too hard. “It won’t work if it becomes detached.”
Illyria slid onto him with a slight grunt, her eyes gleaming brightly in the shadows of the kitchen. She rocked against him, her distended belly pressing against his as she dug her nails deeply into his ribcage, tearing through his t-shirt and drawing seeping red lines over his skin. Pregnancy hormones had eradicated most of Illyria’s restraint when it came to sex, leaving John with more cuts and bruises – and far fewer shirts - over the past couple months than he’d gotten in battle in the past few years
. If he weren’t immortal, he might not have survived coupling with his wife recently.
John responded in kind, tangling his hand in her hair and yanking her head back as he leaned down to dig his teeth into the soft swell of her breast. His free arm slid around her hips as he yanked her more tightly against him, grinding up into her writhing form as he felt that familiar tightening in his belly.
“Gwai-gwai long duh dong
!” came Will’s cry from the door. “I told you two to do this in your room
! I eat
in here!” Will stood there, one hand on his hip as the other covered his eyes. “I’m an old man! There are some things I just don’t
want to see and I think this is somewhere in the Top 5.” He grumbled something about opening a sex shop and selling tickets cause he might a well make some money off them if they were gonna christen every room in his gorram house.
Illyria’s eyes swung to the intruder with the focus of a raptor on a quivering rabbit. John groaned, burying his face in the curve of Illyria’s throat, the mood thoroughly quashed even though his body was still willing and able. “Your timing sucks
,” he told Will with an almost snarl. Interrupted sex made John cranky.
John felt Illyria’s muscles tighten warningly under his hands as she readied to rend and tear, eliciting a soft groan from him considering their position, and he stood up awkwardly, holding her against him with a hurried, “Um…I’m gonna get her out of here before she kills you. Sound good, Will?”
Will nodded curtly, snorting a laugh. “I need a beer before I burn my kitchen chair.” As John made his awkward way out the door, Will’s voice followed, asking worriedly, “Neither of your naked asses touched anywhere else in here, right?”
John shuffled clumsily to their room with Illyria still wrapped around him like some kind of strangling vine, stroking her back in a soothing motion as she growled threateningly towards the kitchen under her breath.
John kicked the bedroom door closed with his foot and carried Illyria towards their bed, murmuring huskily, “Is it wrong that I find you even more attractive when you go primal on me?”
Together, they fell onto the tangled sheets to continue what they had started.
John rubbed his unshaven cheek over llyria’s belly, feeling the uneven ridges and hollows indicating that something was growing in there. “This,” he said assuredly, planting a kiss on one such bump, “is most definitely a foot.”
Illyria ran her fingers lazily through his hair, her eyes only half open, the paleness of her lids making the blue of her iris stand out in startling contrast. John smiled up at her over the lumpy expanse of her stomach, his heart warm at the image laid out before him. “This is an elbow,” he continued, running his tongue along a prominent point.
John cupped his hand around her hip, holding Illyria in place as he nuzzled at the bare skin of her belly, feeling the bumps shifting under his cheek. “Ow,” he complained teasingly. “Was that a horn? I think that was a horn!”
Illyria growled threateningly, tugging sharply on his hair. “Our spawn does not
“No,” John disagreed, his eyes bright with mirth. “That was most definitely a horn. I swear!” He lifted his head away with a sharp jerk. “And it’s a matching set! There’s another one!”
Illyria, displaying an agility unusual in someone so near giving birth, rolled upright and pinned John beneath her, trapping his hands over his head as she straddled him.
“Take it back,” she demanded. “Our spawn will have soft and ineffectual flesh like you – no horns, no tails – marred only by the faded markings you have…here.” Illyria released his wrists to brush a finger over the faintest smattering of freckles under John’s eyes.
John slid his freed hands onto her waist, tracing from the swell of her hips to the delicate arch of her ribcage. “Can the freckles be blue?” he asked, rubbing his thumbs along the underside of her swollen breasts, his gaze growing more heated. “I’m kind of partial to blue.”
John rolled over and buried his face in his pillow, grumbling something about pastries.
.” The voice came more insistently, cutting through his sleep haze.
Then John felt a sharp pain as someone grabbed him by the ear and pulled, startling him awake as the voice came more loudly. “John! It is time. You said you wished to be awake for this.”
Illyria was sitting upright in the bed, looking rather peeved at John’s inability to spring into action. John unsteadily got to his feet, blinking the sleep from his eyes as he asked, “The pains have started? How many minutes? Breathe. *whoo-hoo-hoo*
Illyria looked at him like he was an idiot. “I am already breathing and the pain started nearly two days ago. It has gotten to the point where it should be over soon.”
“And you didn’t tell me?!” John cried out, pausing to frown at his wife.
“You said to tell you when it started to hurt. Up until this point it was merely the pain of a branding iron cutting through skin – reminded me of my youth when I first rose to god-hood.” Illyria blinked at him steadily. “Call Will.”
John furrowed his brow at the abrupt shift in conversation and then ran to the door, yelling down the hall, “Will! Wake up, damn you! We need the med-kit!”
Will ran in a couple of minutes later, panting roughly from his jog to the room. “Ai ye
! Give me some warnin’ next time! Not as young as I used to be.” He laughed gruffly, sneaking a look at John. “Then again, neither are you.”
Illyria frowned at their dawdling. “Get to it. I am useless until this is finished.” She focused and, with obvious effort, shifted to Fred, baring her weakened belly to John as she lay back in the bed.
John selected one of the prep-readied tools from the kit and carefully examined Fred’s belly. He had studied the pamphlets and had borrowed a couple of texts from the library, but Fred’s oddly shaped bump looked nothing like the plump curves in the diagrams.
“Why’d she change?” Will asked curiously, pressing close against John’s shoulder.
John carefully ran his eyes over Fred’s skin, looking for a good spot. “Illyria’s skin is nearly impregnable. Nothing could cut through it. As Fred, we can do enough damage to get the baby out.”
John nodded his head to the end of the bed where Will was supposed to stand in case he was needed, and Will moved with a surprising quickness. “Do I need a splatter guard or anythin’?” Will asked with a nervous gesture around his face.
“No, Will,” John explained patiently, turning his head for only a second. “She’s not going to explode…I hope.”
“What is takin’ so long?” Fred demanded curtly. With a frustrated snort, she grabbed another scalpel off the tray and cut open her belly with the finesse accorded to shearing open a package.
Will uttered a strangled complaint, eyes wide with a combination of disgust and awe. John just frowned at Fred as blood spilled over her abdomen, soaking into the sheets around her. Will did as he had been instructed, inserting the clamps to keep the skin open – she tended to heal so quickly they erred on the side of caution - as John began arguing with Fred over her birthing room coup.
“What in the hell do you think you’re doing?” John demanded, his cheeks pinkening with ire and a subdued concern. “You’re supposed to just lie there and…I don’t know, breathe heavily and sweat.” He shook his scalpel at her as he said, “You do not
perform complicated medical procedures and carve yourself up like some kind of roast beast. I warned you, hands off
the medical equipment or I’m pulling out the restraints.”
Fred merely smiled at him soothingly, looking rather pleased with herself. “Maybe after I am done birthing. It is not the best time, right now.”
“I don’t need to be hearin’ this,” Will muttered from his place by the foot of the bed.
With a perturbed grimace, John turned to see Will tugging something out of the mess that had been Fred’s belly. “Is that a tentacle?” John asked, paling.
“Sure looks like it,” Will agreed. John went an even grayer color and collapsed to the floor, toppling like a felled tree.
Will snickered, glancing up at Fred as he asked, “He’s had kids before and don’t recognize an umbilical cord? I wish Grandpa was still around. He’d get a kick outta this.”
John furrowed his brow, feeling a sudden sense of de ja vu
sweep over him.
John’s instincts kicked in and he rolled before Illyria’s hand found his ear, clumsily rising to his knees. “What’d I miss?”
“Meeting our female spawn,” Illyria said, squatting beside him on the floor. She was still unclothed, only a faint gray scar that would be gone in a few hours showing the trauma of birth on her figure.
John’s face softened as he took the tiny wriggling body from Illyria, holding the baby against his chest as he hastily unwrapped her to check the number of fingers, toes and possible tentacles.
He was relieved to find ten fingers, ten toes and absolutely no tentacles anywhere on the petite figure. “You do good work, Illyria,” John admitted breathlessly, tilting his face up to meet his wife’s eyes.
Illyria paused, considering the child in his arms. “She is not growing very quickly. She may be defective.”
John laughed, an open, joyful sound that made the baby stir against his chest. “She’ll be this size for a while, Illyria. She’s perfect
“How can she fight? She does not even have teeth
,” Illyria informed him with disappointment.
“Nope,” John said happily, lightly brushing the palm of his hand over the downy blue-black hair dusting the baby’s scalp. “We’ll have to protect her until she can.”
John ran a finger along the pale blue shading of the baby’s temples, the star shaped spatter around her belly button – just like her mother’s – and the faint trail of blue speckles following the line of her spine. The baby blinked at the tickling sensation of his touch, opening brilliant blue eyes to study him with unguarded assessment.
,” John breathed with awed wonderment, leaning forward to kiss his wife solidly before resting his forehead against hers. “We did good.”
Illyria blinked in something like astonishment as she pulled away. “We always do good. Why should this be anything different?” She cast an eye down at their child in his arms, reaching out to poke a finger at the baby’s cheek. “Do you think she will be any bigger by tomorrow?” Author's Note: Thanks to hakirby for beta-ing so quickly! She's a mom so it was extremely helpful to have her viewpoint.