Title: Baby Makes Three
Author: Savvy aka Eros494
Fandom: It Started with a Kiss/They Kiss Again
Summary: This is a continuation of the series They Kiss Again.
Disclaimer: I do not own ISWAK or TKA or any of the characters involved in the telling of his wonderful story.
Author Note: I hope I can do this series justice.
Word Count: 2316
Warm sunlight crept across the pink carpet and made its way over the edge of the large full sized bed. It snaked its way across the wrinkling lines of the pale, mauve blanket and shone directly onto the eyes of the sleeping form resting soundly on the bed.
Xiang Qin's eyelids fluttered for a moment as she awakened. A goofy grin rose to her lips as she lay there clinging to her romantic dream of Zhi Shu in nothing but a towel and socks. It was finally morning and most importantly it was cuddling time. She rolled over and stretched her arms across the bed searching for Zhi Shu. Her arm hit the mattress with a smack and her eyes widened. Zhi Shu was already gone! Groaning, she stroked the sheet before burying her face in the cover. She squeezed her eyes shut while trying to envision Zhi Shu with his arms wrapped tightly around her, whispering sweet nothings in her ear as they talked about the baby...the baby? She almost forgot. She was pregnant!
Xiang Qin rolled over onto her back and stared up at the ceiling. She was pregnant...with Zhi Shu's child. She was going to be a mother. She stared at the ceiling for what seemed like forever before the realization caused her to burst into laughter. It hadn't been a dream right? She really was pregnant...
Resting her hand over her stomach, she drummed her fingertips across the fabric of her gown. In there was Zhi Shu's baby boy or girl. Their boy or girl. She still couldn't believe it, but it was true. She was going to have a baby. Her and Zhi Shu's baby! Her life really was complete now.
Blowing her hair out of her eyes, she turned and looked at the clock. It was 7:10am. Breakfast had already started. She had to eat. That's what mothers did in the morning--feed their children so that they would grow and become big and strong. She carefully climbed out of bed, sliding her feet into her slippers before making her way down stairs. The smell of eggs and bacon filled her nostrils as she took each step one at a time. She scanned the room for Zhi Shu but couldn't see him anywhere. It was then that she remembered he had to work early today.
"Ah, Xiang Qin. You're finally awake. I thought you'd sleep all day. I was going to wake you, but I knew you'd be tired." All of this was said very fast. Mama Jiang stood in the middle of the dining room with a lacy, pink apron on. She had her hair pulled up high on her head in a bun. Ah Li and Yu Shu sat at opposite ends of the table. They both looked at her when she entered. Mama Jiang walked over to Xiang Qin and took her hand. Leading her to the kitchen table, she pulled back a chair and sat her down.
"Eat. I hope I made enough."
Xiang Qin blinked to clear the haze before her eyes and stared at the food on the table. Her mouth dropped open. There were two large bowls of rice, ten fried eggs, a platter of bacon, orange juice, apple juice, and milk. On the other end of the table was a platter of waffles, pancakes and fruit. Yu Shu reached out a hand to take another slice of bacon but Mama Jiang slapped his hand away.
"Don't be greedy. You've had enough." She turned back to Xiang Qin and grinned. "You're eating for two now."
Xiang Qin glanced back at Ma and grimaced. She waved her hand in front of her. "I can't eat it all." She turned back to the table and looked at everything. Just the thought of eating it all made her sick to her stomach. Her stomach churned. "Ma!"
Ah Li glanced at his wife and frowned. "Don't you think it's a bit much?"
Mama Jiang pouted. "I ate more than this in a day when I was pregnant," she said defensively. She moved around the table and sat next to her husband. She cut her eyes at Ah Li, daring him to comment on her pregnancy weight. Ah Li ducked his head and took a sip of his orange juice. Xiang Qin laughed.
"Thank you, Ma." Xiang Qin scooping rice into her bowl.
Mama Jiang smiled. She was pleased.
"Dr. Jiang will be in surgery for two more hours. I'll let him know you're looking for him when he's done."
Xiang Qin puffed out her lips and looked at the nurse secretary. "Two hours?" she whined. "Can't I just go in and..."
"No. You're not a scrub nurse. You aren't allowed inside."
The phone rang and the secretary picked it up. She waved Xiang Qin away.
Xiang Qin huffed and turned away. She needed to talk to him. Sure, she didn't have anything remotely important to say, but she wanted to be near her husband. She stomped off down the corridor to her nurses' station and sat down, mumbling under her breath.
"Urgh. What's wrong now?" Chung Bao Yu said. Xiang Qin looked up and shook her head. Bao Yu was her new boss. The woman was two years older than her and beautiful. She was smart and every nurse on the floor knew to stay out of her way. Even now the woman was glaring at her, her perfectly trimmed eye brows furrowed with confusion.
"Nothing. I was...just, um, reading this chart." She grabbed someone's chart off the shelf and flipped it open. "Diagnosis. Hypertension, Diabe...be..."
"Diabetes," Bao Yu snapped. "Honestly. I don't know why they hired you."
Xiang Qin dropped her head and closed the chart. She knew from experience not to retort. Women like Bao Yu could make your life miserable and with nursing evaluations coming up soon she needed a good report or she'd lose her position.
Bao Yu stepped around her. "Listen up everyone. These are your room assignments. If you have any questions bother someone else with them."
Xiang Qin's eyes widened in horror. What sort of leadership was that? The other nurses hurried to her side. They looked just as frightened as she did. One girl's face was as red as a beet.
"Chun Min Lee, rooms 400 through 403. Yung Han Ni, room 403 through 406." Bao Yu looked up and stared directly at Xiang Qin. Jiang Xiang Qin, rooms 406 through 411."
"Eh?" Xiang Qin yelled.
Everyone at the nurses station giggled. Bao Yu lowered her chart. "Yes, Xiang Qin?" She asked, her voice innocent. She fluttered her eye lashes and smiled softly.
"I...I have more patients than everyone else," Xiang Qin said, meeting the woman's gaze. She could feel her hands begin to tremble, but she stood her ground.
"Yes, well we're short staffed today."
"But..." Xiang Qin exclaimed.
"Dong Mei, room 412 through 415." The woman continued, ignoring her.
Xiang Qin huffed and crossed her arms.
"Where can I find Jiang Xiang Qin."
"She's..." The secretary looked passed Zhi Shu as Xiang Qin zipped by. "Right there." The secretary raised a brow. She had never seen something so bizarre in her life.
Zhi Shu turned and watched as Xiang Qin pushed a rack of blankets and pillows down the hall. One towel was drapped over her head and a sheet was trailing on her right arm onto the floor. She looked thoroughly exhausted. As he watched she stopped and wiped sweat from her brow. Her hand made its way to her stomach and she winced. Zhi Shu's heart dropped into his stomach. She was over exerting herself. If she continued this way she could lose the baby.
"Xiang Qin." He called out to her. She turned on the spot, her eyes wide and tearful.
"Zhi Shu!" Dropping all of the linen, she rushed over to him. The secretary, feeling awkard, left the nurses station to go spy on them from the medicine room.
"What are you doing?" he asked, pulling her aside so that they wouldn't draw attention to themselves. Xiang Qin looked over her shoulder at the rack and dropped her head. She could feel his eyes on her. Looking up, she expected to see anger in his eyes but instead was faced with concern.
"No you're not. Have you told them that you're..." He gulped pass the large lump in his throat and glanced around the room. He hadn't told anyone that his wife was pregnant yet. He wasn't the type of person to share information about his personal life and his peers knew better than to ask. Xiang Qin's mouth dropped open and she shook her head.
"No, no, no. I didn't. I was going to but." Her voice drifted off. She didn't want Zhi Shu to be angry with her. That's why she hadn't told anyone. She didn't have time to tell anyone either; not with her work load. She practically groaned just thinking about how much she had left to do.
"You need to tell your charge nurse so that she will give you a lighter load."
"But...Zhi Shu..." she whined.
"There you are!"
The hair on Xiang Qin's neck stood on end as Bao Yu's voice met her ears. She clung to Zhi Shu's arm for dear life as she turned to face the livid woman.
"I've been looking all over the place for you."
Xiang Qin dropped her head. "I'm sorry." She bowed her head, preparing to be reprimanded further. Instead her ears were assaulted by words ten times worse.
"Doctor Jiang. I don't think we've met. Bao Yu. It's a pleasure to meet you." What had been a voice filled with rage before was now replaced by a flirtatious squeal. Xiang Qin looked at her boss and watched as the woman shook Zhi Shu's hand. She didn't miss the light stroke across his palm as she withdrew. Didn't she know that he was married?
"It's nice to meet you," Zhi Shu said, his voice dry and unmoved. Xiang Qin knew that tone like the back of her hand. He had used it several times with her in the past; especially when she wanted him to help with something she could do herself. Hearing it now made her smile. She snapped her head around to look at Bao Yu and smirked. Bao Yu, unphased by Zhi Shu's tone, proceeded to ask him about his latest surgery, his career plans, his plans for lunch that evening....
Xiang Qin could feel her skin begin to warm as Zhi Shu answered each question with, what she hoped was disinterest. He had the woman giggling by the end and Xiang Qin wasn't even sure the woman remembered why she had come over in the first place. That was until Zhi Shu posed his first question.
"Are you the charge nurse?"
"Yes, I am." Bao Yu said, standing just a bit taller. Her starch white uniform seemed to beam just a bit brighter as she smiled at Zhi Shu. Again, he didn't seem to notice.
"I would like to talk to you about my wife."
It took Bao Yu a moment to comprehend his words. Her smile faltered for a second before sliding back onto her face. "Yes? And who is your wife?"
Zhi Shu gripped Xiang Qin's hand and smiled. To Xiang Qin it looked like a smirk, but she wasn't altogether sure.
"We just received the news that she was pregnant and I'd really appreciate it if you'd lighten her work load." Zhi Shu smiled more widely. He wasn't accustomed to making requests on Xiang Qin's behalf, but it wasn't just Xiang Qin's health that he was concerned about.
Xiang Qin glanced back and forth between Zhi Shu and Bao Yu. Her nervous seemed to triple. What was Bao Yu thinking now. Was she angry? Would she lash out at her like a venomous snake and suck the blood out of her...no, that was a vampire. She wasn't a vampire was she? Xiang Qin watched her mouth and prayed that she wouldn't see fangs. Her grip on her husband's hand tightened and she stepped closer to his side out of embarrassment and to hide herself from Bao Yu's glare.
The fake facade of cheerfulness seemed to have slid off the woman's face. Her tiny eyes were as round as quarters as she stared at Xiang Qin in disbelief. After a long, and excruiatingly uncomfortable pause, Bao Yu cleared her throat and turned her gaze back onto Zhi Shu. She nodded.
"Certainly. I'll see what I can do."
Zhi Shu nodded, his lips thinned to an even line. "Thank you."
Bao Yu looked at Xiang Qin one final time. Xiang Qin baulked and hid further behind Zhi Shu. With one final, scorching glance, she turned on her white nursing shoes and walked away. Xiang Qin watched her retreating back. Her heart throbbed dangerously in her chest. She looked up at Zhi Shu, a frown curving her lips. She knew Bao Yu hated her. Why? She wasn't sure, but she did. Her words to Zhi Shu meant nothing. It didn't take a genius to figure that out.
Zhi Shu looked her straight in the eyes. "Take it easy. I can't fight all of your battles for you Xiang Qin. You have to stand up for yourself."
Xiang Qin whimpered and nodded her head. "I know." She hoped she had the courage to stand up for herself. Right now she felt like hiding in a linen closet and never coming out.
As if giving her a bit of his own courage, Zhi Shu kissed her lightly on the forehead, allowing his lips to linger there for a moment. Xiang Qin's eyes closed and she wrapped her arms more tightly around him.
"I won't let you down," she said, burying her face into his white lab coat. This was exactly where she wanted to be.
"Lets hope not." He said. Xiang Qin pouted and playfully whined as Zhi Shu pulled away. She saw a glimpse of a smile on his lips before he turned and walked away. Grinning and biting her bottom lip, Xiang Qin returned to work, her day suddenly brighter than it had been before.