The Gundam Beauty Pageant|
by Charon the Sabercat
Let's just say stuff happens. I don't wanna say what stuff, because it'll ruin the chapter, just read.
It's the kiddy Gundams' chapter, and yes, I do mean it in plural…
Chapter 27 - Chapter 28 - Chapter 29
The Gundam Beauty Pageant|
28. I really don't have a clue how to title this...
Kibaomaru was out in the rain, letting the water wash over his upturned face. He was just able to tune out the sound of Shute, Melady, Rele, and Charon playing in the mud. Not that he really wanted to, actually. Their laughter was a refreshing change from the inside murmurs and constant TV.
“Hmm?” Kibaomaru was snapped out of his trance by his son's voice. He looked down and saw Genkimaru taking the space beside him on the bench, swinging his feet and looking at the puddles forming on the cobblestone.
“Why are you sitting our here in the rain?”
The large Gundam sighed in relief; he had feared Genkimaru would ask something more serious. He turned to the sky again, “closing” his eyes. “I used to meditate under waterfalls.”
He heard Genkimaru gasped unbelievingly, and that made him smile. “Really?”
“Didn't it hurt?” Genkimaru looked up into the rain himself. Just as he suspected, a drop landed right in the middle of his eye, sending bolts of pain through his entire head. “ITAI!” Genkimaru groaned and rubbed his eyes while Kibaomaru laughed.
“I didn't start out under waterfalls, you know,” Kibaomaru explained. “My master started by dropping water into my eyes with a ladle when I was very young. After that stopped hurting, we moved up to light rains, heavy rains, and finally, waterfalls.
“It takes a long time to get used to something uncomfortable. You cannot just rush into it, Genkimaru. You have to take it little by little and work your way up.”
Genkimaru nodded, taking the words in past their face value. Kibaomaru took a little time to realize what he had said, but soon he gasped to himself and looked down at the ground with Genkimaru.
“How come sometimes I talk and I hear what I say back in my ears and my nose jiggles?”
There was a long pause.
“You know, I get that too,” Kibaomaru admitted. “But I have no idea what it is.”
Charon screamed from the mud pit, “IT'S A BACKUP IN YOUR SINUSES!”
“Uh…” Genkimaru cupped his hand. “THANK YOU!”
“Hmm.” Kibaomaru rested his elbows on his knees. “Who knew?”
And there was quiet for a while, except for the kids playing in the rain. Hanako stepped outside with an umbrella after a few minutes; Genkimaru sat on Kibaomaru's lap and let her have the bench. She claimed her chest hurt. The Gundams thought it better to leave her alone.
Kibaomaru, now that Genkimaru was sitting on him, could feel what he was about to ask. His insides ran cold. “Yes, Genkimaru?”
“Why did you leave Okaa-san?”
Kibaomaru sighed. “Genkimaru, when I met your mother, I could have sworn she was the perfect woman for me. We got along so well… it…” He sighed again, rubbing his temple. “It's hard to explain. I knew her for about a week-”
“Okaa-san said it was a month.”
“It was a week,” Kibaomaru growled. “And after that week, she began acting…”
“Like her?” Genki said with a smirk.
“You mean possessive and demanding? Yes.” Kibaomaru chuckled. “Genkimaru, I want you to know that no matter what, you should never act like you own another person, because you don't.”
The concept seemed to confuse the boy, who rubbed his temple exactly like Kibaomaru. “Not even if she's your wife?”
The Gundams eyes shined with a threatening glare. “Especially if she's your wife.” He rubbed his forehead. “Anyway, I couldn't stand the constant accusations and demands, so… I left.”
Genkimaru kicked his feet again. “Was it because of me?”
“I didn't know about you at the time, Genkimaru.” Kibaomaru stroked Genkimaru's head, making the boy smile happily. “If I had known, I would have stayed.”
Hanako sniffed. Kibaomaru patted her shoulder and went back to staring into the rain.
“Do you love me?”
There was a second's hesitation, but Kibaomaru folded his hands around Genkimaru and pulled him closer. “Of course I do.”
In the forest in the distance, something ran through the trees. The birds flew out into the rain, and the Gundams watched in silence… mostly (“Achoo!” “Bless you, Hanako-san.”).
“Can I call you Otou-san?”
Genkimaru could feel his father stiffening up. He looked up and saw Kibaomaru's eyes filled with water. “I think you stared up at the rain too long, Kibao-san.”
Genki felt himself being lifted, and soon he was snuggled under his father's chin. “Of course, musuko…”
The moment was broken by a sensitive sob from Hanako, who followed that up with a moan. “Itai, it hurts!”
“Oo…” Genki flinched. “Daijoubu desu ka?”
“Iie!” Hanako rubbed her chest again. “And it only hurts every couple of hours, too!”
Kibaomaru perked to attention. “It what?”
Hanako either ignored him or didn't hear him. “It's getting worse, too.”
“Move, Genkimaru.” Kibaomaru twisted around on the bench and sat on his knees next to Hanako. “Hanako, let me see something.”
“What?” Hanako noticed Kibaomaru's hand was stretched towards her. She inched away slowly. “G-get away from me, I'm married!”
“My master taught me how to do this, now stand still,” commanded Kibaomaru.
Genkimaru was jumping up and down next to Hanako, trying to see her face. “How to do what?”
“Taught me how to tell when a baby will be born, now stand still.”
Offered this new information, Hanako was suddenly stiff as a board. Kibaomaru cupped his hand just beneath her soul stone and waited.
“Ooo, Kibaomaru!” Melady screamed in the distance. “You're gonna get in trouble for that!”
“When is she gonna have it, Otou-san?” Genkimaru asked. Hanako flinched in pain and doubled over again.
“When?” Kibaomaru scoffed. “She is having it. Get the door.”
“NANI?!” Hanako screamed. “But- but I can't!”
“You are, Hanako-san. Please stay still.”
“Ooo!” Genkimaru squealed. “CHA-RON! HANAKO'S HAVING THE BABY NOW!”
“SHE'S WHAT?!” Charon ran out from the mud pit as Kibaomaru lifted Hanako into his arms. “Crap, crap, crap- bring her to the Lacroa bedroom! It's the only room with a good bed! Melady, you follow Kibaomaru and guard the door! Shute, Rele, I need you to go inside and warn the other Gundams.” She glanced at her mud-soaked hands. “Oh, man, I gotta wash up!”
Melady had just managed to sneak out of the birthing room (formerly known as the Lacroa bedroom) when she was suddenly swamped by mechas. Bakunetsumaru was at the front of the flock, followed by a panicking Aneko. “WHERE IS SHE?!”
“Don't shout!” Melady snapped, blocking the door with her arms. “She's in labor!”
“Is she really having a baby in there?” Grappler asked, peeking out from above the crowd.
Dom wrung his hands. “Dom want watch! Dom want watch!”
The men rushed the door! Melady pulled an assortment of machine guns out of her pockets and pushed the men away from the door. “Nobody gets in without Hanako's permission.”
Baku growled, his fists clenched and shoulders hunched. “Except for Kibaomaru…”
Melady shrugged, her grip still tight on the triggers. “I can't help it he knows how to do this crap.”
“Dom want watch!”
CLANG! Sazabi stood over Dom's thick head. “Shut up, Dom!”
Talgeese hovered to Melady, his hands folded in worry. “How far along is she?”
“How the hell am I supposed to know?!” she screamed, more out of worry than anger. “She's all… split up the middle of her chest, and she's pushing, but nothing's coming out! It's painful to watch!” She shuddered, trying to shake the image out of her head. “Eeeeeeuuuuugh!”
Talgeese nodded, turning to Bakunetsumaru. “She's just started. She'll be in labor until tomorrow.”
Baku and Aneko roared in agony, Aneko swooning dangerously and threatening to faint. Zero caught her before she hit the ground, pushing her back onto her feet.
Melady cocked her eyebrow. “Why does Charon pick these guys to know this crap?”
In the back of the crowd, Hoshiko was clinging to Cobramaru with every bit of her strength, quivering like a leaf. Cobramaru rubbed her back comfortingly, occasionally patting her shoulders. “It's all right. Women have been doing this for years. She'll survive.”
Hanako then let loose one of those gut-wrenching, only-in-labor screams that made the entire room feel like they were going to explode. Bakunetsumaru and Aneko wailed like they were about to break into tears.
“NOOOO! My sister's gonna die!” Aneko bawled, throwing herself into Baku's arms.
“I have had enough! Let me through!”
Koko scrambled through the legs of the males, skittering to the front of the crowd. “You! That's my daughter you have in there! I demand to see her!”
“Um…” Melady put the guns away and cracked the door. “Um, Hanako, your mom… uh huh. Okay, but she's not gonna like that.”
Melady shut the door again. “She doesn't want you in there.”
“WHAT?!” Koko's already thick accent seemed to get even thicker as she yelled, and her grammar suffered for it. “That impossible! I! Her! Mother! You let me in now!”
Rocket launcher to the forehead. “No yelling…”
A sound like a crying coyote wailed somewhere past the Lacroa bedroom. It stopped for a second or two, then started up again, crying off into the distance…
Charon came out of the room first, still soaking wet from washing the mud off of her body with the hose. Next was Kibaomaru, who was visibly shaken, and finally Genkimaru, whose eyes were wide with shock.
But there was no Hanako. Baku's face went white. “Where's my sister?”
Charon wiped her forehead. “I… wrote in a hospital just a ways from here. I'm gonna let professionals take care of her. Until then…” She leaned against the wall, quickly wilting under the stress. Mel offered her a tall naginata to steady herself with, but Charon declined. “Until then, we just leave Hanako's condition alone… let the doctors handle it… and go to sleep…”
The men murmured amongst themselves and decided it would be best to head back to their rooms. Baku and Aneko stood still, however, holding themselves for comfort. Koko moaned about how her own daughter wouldn't let her help deliver her grandchild. Hoshiko dragged Cobramaru to her sibling huddle and made him wait until the Mushas had made themselves calm, then left for her room.
Charon and Melady stood and watched. Melady rubbed her head. “What have I gotten myself into?”
“A soap opera, basically.” Charon noted. “Underhanded plots, weird happenstance, fluffy make-up scenes, all disguised as a beauty pageant.”
Melady moaned. “I'm going to bed.”
“Sleep well. We've got to start the Most Eloquent round tomorrow.”