It had been eight months since Yusuke's return from Demon World. Shizuru had called everyone for a meeting at Genkai's. They hadn't been there collectively in a while. Normally, they saved big news for big occasions. Last was Keiko, Kuwabara and Kurama's college entrance exam scores. But, no one was really sure why Shizuru wanted them all there. If only they knew...
Round the kotatsu: Kuwabara and Yukina; Yusuke and Keiko; Genkai; and Kurama next to her. They only needed Botan to arrive. Everyone was laughing, making threats, groaning at the idiocy. It was just how Shizuru liked it: normal. At peace. Now, if only she were at peace. She took a giant swig from her tea. Goddamnit. A cig would be really great right about now.
"Sorry I'm late everyone! With flu season, everyone keeps dropping like flies!" Good. Botan finally arrived. The reaper seated herself next to Genkai. Before they could get too rowdy, Shizuru gave a demanding cough.
"Actually, everyone. There was a reason I asked you all out here."
Silence. Lots of it.
"Well?" Yusuke and Kuwabara demanded.
She took a giant swig from her tea, as if it were alcohol, slamming her cup on the kotatsu in the process. She took in a deep breath.
SHOCK. GASP. AWE. Everyone remained perfectly quiet for about three seconds. The next thing she knew, everyone was coming at her with all sorts of compliments.
"Heh. Congrats." Genkai grinned.
"OHMYGOSH! Shizuru, that's so exciting!" Keiko squealed.
"Wow! That kid's lucky to have you as a mother." Botan complimented.
"Congratulations." Yukina gave a polite bow and smiled.
"OH MAN. I'm gonna have a little brother! I'll teach him how to play in the dirt and I'll play with him and I'll bathe with him. And, oh! I'll teach him how to throw a punch! WHAM!" Kuwabara rambled on and on.
Yusuke had this slightly angry look on his face. He had remained silent and focused entirely on Shizuru, who still hadn't changed from her nerve-wracked and tense expression.
"Who's the father?"
Everyone got quite again.
"Y-yeah..." Keiko commented.
Suddenly, Kuwabara changed from "loving big brother" mode to "someone knocked up my sister, where's my spirit sword" mode. "YEAH! Where is the bastard?! Not here, huh? He should at least be a MAN and take responsibility! I'll show him! I'll pound his face into the sidewalk!"
Kurama mumbled something.
"Speak up, Kurama!" Genkai demanded.
"I am the father... To answer Yusuke's question."
"Well, well. Kurama, you sly fox. Do forgive the pun." Botan giggled.
"Hey, uh... I didn't mean that face pounding stuff, Kurama. I'm actually glad it's you. Welcome to the Kuwabara family! Heehee!"
Yusuke, Keiko and Yukina looked as if they were greatly relieved.
Kurama reached out and squeezed her hand. "How far along are you?"
"Six weeks." She looked away from him. This was so unreal.
"Wait. You didn't know?!" Yusuke yelled.
"Still. I hope you plan on taking responsibility, Kurama! You had better be prepared to support Big Sis and your kid!"
"LIKE HELL HE IS!" Shizuru burst.
"It's true, Kuwabara. If I get a degree, the possibilities of our child having a better future are greatly increased. Shizuru and I have been through much worse. Taking care of a family, working and going to school will be the least complicated thing done."
"Besides. I've supported myself this far. I can definitely wait for him to finish."