BY : Rina76
Category: Final Fantasy Anime > Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children
Dragon prints: 1486
Disclaimer: I do not own Final Fantasy VII Advent Children or any of the characters from the film. I am not making money from the writing of this story.

A/N: Contains pregnancy sex.

Chapter 35. Armstrong

Now that we have all our supplies, Yazoo and I get busy decorating. Loz helps, of course, but he just does all the heavy lifting and labour and leaves the fancy stuff to us. We clean and sand the walls of the supply room, making them smooth, and then paint them all in a luscious green colour, not too dark but not too pastel, somewhere between aqua, teal and jade. It contains crushed pearls to give a pretty shimmer on the surface. It reminds me exactly of Loz's eyes (and Yazoo's of course, since they're the same) and makes me happy every time I glance around, like I'm relaxing in a warm tropical sea. The ceiling is painted white. We change the light fixture to a glass chandelier with hanging gems that cast glittery patterns throughout the space.

Using his artistic abilities, Yazoo paints a mural on one wall: a large and beautiful white tree-trunk, and on its spreading branches are names in scrolling black script. It's our family tree and it starts with my parents, Maria Armstrong and Samuel Armstrong. They died when I was young but I have black and white photos of them along with many memories of what wonderful people they were, memories that I will pass along to my child so they know who their grandparents were. Regrettably, we have to leave out the names of dear old Granny and Grandpa Psycho on Loz's side, for obvious reasons. We will tell our child the truth of their alien ancestry when they are old enough to understand. We will teach our child that they are better than their cold-hearted predecessors and they, in turn, will teach their own children that. Over time, the green-blooded portion of our legacy will be diluted but never forgotten as people cannot simply erase their roots, no matter how undesirable the origins of their existence are. If our direct descendants still have slitted pupils and superhuman powers, they will know that they do not have to follow in the footsteps of evil ancestors and that they can choose the path of good, instead. All they'll have to do is look at this tree and see how many kind and loving people are on it.

Loz and I are painted on a branch below my parents, then a blank space is left for the baby's name (which depends on what gender they turn out to be) and off to the side are Yazoo's and Kadaj's names. There is plenty of space on that tree to add more names, if Loz and I have further children, or if Yazoo ever finds someone else to love again. There's room on that tree for my grandchildren and even my grandchildren's children. That tree is a symbol of hope and strength, showing that even though we've lost some of our loved ones, our family still lives on and will continue to live on throughout the ages - safe, strong and sheltered by all its branches.

Once the mural is finished and all the paint is dry, soft stone-coloured carpet is laid down on the concrete floor of the nursery (that part by Loz and Yazoo since it's on a very heavy roll), the thick fibres feeling wonderful underfoot. I can just imagine the baby crawling on that comfy carpet, and I can picture me and Loz lying down there to play with our child. We bring in the white timber furniture that we purchased and set it into place, rearranging each piece until we're satisfied with the layout. The crib goes against one wall, the change table and the chest of drawers against another wall, and the rocking chair sits in one corner, leaving the centre of the room open for playing. As the baby's nursery takes shape, I get more and more excited, realising that soon a real little person will be living in here and sleeping in the crib.

Glow-in-the-dark stars are applied to the ceiling to give the baby something to look at; it's like a starry night sky when the light is turned off. Using my florist skills, I make something interesting to hang above the baby's crib – it mainly consists of white twigs gathered from the forest outside strung onto clear fishing line. On the twigs, I glue little decorative birds and flowers and when hung up, the mobile spins slowly in the ducted air conditioning, capturing the eye. Cute hand-drawn pictures of animals - like frogs, fish and turtles - get hung on the walls, along with large round mirrors to reflect light and make the area appear bigger and more spacious. Baby clothes are put into drawers and toys are put on shelves.

Finally, the decorating is complete and the three of us stand back with pride (and paint on our clothes) to admire the glorious green and white nursery that we created from what was once a dusty supply room. Although the baby can't see it yet, he or she seems to give a kick of approval and I laugh, rubbing my belly. Us adults all congratulate each other on a job well done, the guys cracking open a bottle of celebratory champagne. I'm not left out as I have carbonated non-alcoholic white grape juice to drink (in a champagne flute to make it look more special) and we all clink our glasses together, toasting to the health and happiness of the new baby. Hugging the guys, I thank Yazoo for all his hard work, and I thank Loz too, and then I promptly go to our bedroom to take a shower and a well-earned nap.

Later on, I wake up in the afternoon to discover a huge bunch of flowers next to the bed, arranged in a crystal vase. Surprised and delighted, I open the little envelope stuck on the side of the vase and find a note that says, "Follow the petals." It's in Loz's handwriting. When I peer over the edge of the bed, I realise that there are rose petals strewn across the floor in a line. Greatly intrigued, I hop out of bed, pull on some stretchy yoga pants and follow the petals down the corridor to the kitchen, finding a small box sitting on the counter. It looks like a jewellery box but instead of a necklace or ring inside, there's another note saying to go outside. I slip on some sneakers and grab a jacket to put over my T-shirt just in case it's cool out. Making the long trek up the hallway to the garage, I open the automatic door by pushing a button and instantly see fluorescent pink neon sticks arranged in arrows on the ground, pointing down to the lake. It's dusk now. Stars are beginning to twinkle in the indigo-coloured sky, along with a crescent half-moon, and the neon sticks glow brightly amongst fallen leaves and rocks, promising that I will find something else at the end of them. Smiling at how exciting and fun this treasure hunt is, I walk along the track of pink arrows, past endless rows of frozen white trees, the occasional ball of mysterious light floating across my path or trailing beside me like curious fireflies.

When I reach the lake, I find the water's surface decorated with bobbing purple flowers and small round floating candles, their centres lit with tiny yellow flames. There are more candles set up on the rocks surrounding the lake, taller cylinder-type ones, and the lights of all the burning wicks reflect upon on the water like stars fallen from the sky. I stand there entranced, just staring at all this unexpected beauty before me. The lake was already a stunning spot but now with the flowers and candles it's stealing my breath away. I feel like I've stumbled across a secret realm of fairies and magical creatures and it honestly wouldn't surprise me to see nymphs come gliding out of the water or Elves stepping out from behind the glowing trees. It takes me a while to spot Loz leaning his tall frame against a tree-trunk, arms crossed over his wide chest, watching my reaction with a smile on his handsomely-bearded face.

"This is…wow. Just wow," I gush with amazement as he walks across to where I'm standing.

He slips an arm around my shoulders and gazes out over the lake with me. "You like it?"

"It's beautiful. It looks like an oil painting." I glance up at him. "You did all this?"

He shrugs modestly. "Well, Yaz helped a bit but it was mainly me."

"Did you do that part?" I gesture to the floating blooms – a mix of violets, purple daises and orchids. "And the rose petals back at the lair?"

He nods beside me.

"But you hate flowers," I remark in bewilderment.

"Yeah, but you don't and I wanted to do something that you like."

Still finding it hard to fathom how he got over his loathing of all things perfumed and petaled, I ask, "Did you actually touch them?"


"With your hands?"

Loz grins and wiggles his fingers in the air. "With my hands. See, Cate, I really WILL do anything for you."

Turning around, I hug him tight. "Oh, Loz. It's incredible. You're the best boyfriend ever."

"Hey, that ain't all, girly. Look," he comments, grasping my shoulders and steering me in the direction of a picnic rug on the ground nearby, another thing I failed to notice straight away. But this isn't any old picnic rug – it's a colourful woven tapestry with fringing that resembles a flying carpet. Luxurious round pillows and cushions are scattered about for comfort. There's a cane basket full of all my favourite foods - nuts, cheese, crackers, chocolates, berries and fruit. There is a metal bucket filled with ice and chilled bottles of pear and raspberry cider. Small china plates with linen napkins sit on the rug, along with wine glasses and little silver forks. More flowers are piled in a pretty silver vase, every item artfully arranged. It looks heavenly.

Gasping in delight, I let Loz take off my jacket and sneakers and he helps me down into a sitting position on the rug, making sure I have pillows underneath me and at my back for support. Kneeling, he opens a bottle of cider, filling two glasses with the pale pink sparkling liquid and handing me one of them. I have a sip, making a pleased sound at how delicious the drink is, despite not having any alcohol. Removing his boots, Loz sits down opposite me, his face unusually serious.

"So, what's the occasion? It's not my birthday," I comment lightly but Loz's expression doesn't change.

"Catey," he begins in a solemn tone, taking my free hand and holding it in his. "With everything we've been through lately, I realised how much you mean to me and I don't wanna lose you."

I'm about to say that it won't happen, silly, and that I'm not going anywhere, but he keeps speaking. "You're my girl, my lady, my lover and best friend. You're the mother of my child."

Loz's green eyes stare intently into my brown ones. "You're everything to me," he says sincerely. "Well, almost everything. How'd you like to be my wife too?"

At that, I gape at him in stunned astonishment, unable to form a reply just yet.

"I know I don't have much to offer you," he acknowledges nervously. "Hell, I can't even give you a last name but what I CAN give you is all of my heart and all of my love. For all of my life. So, what do you say? Will you marry me, Catalina?"

Tears are welling up in my eyes and I swallow hard. "Armstrong," I manage to say through a thick throat.

Loz looks confused by my answer. "What?"

"That's my last name," I explain, wiping a stray tear away. "Armstrong. I know it's not traditional but if you want, Loz, you can take my name instead."

His brows lift up hopefully. "Is…is that a yes?"

Grinning widely, I reply, "That's a fuckin' hell yes, big guy. I will totally marry you!"

He grins too, appearing highly relieved, and digs in his pocket. "Awesome! I didn't wanna give you this until I knew for sure that you'd say yes."

Out comes an engagement ring made of white gold with a glittering lavender stone set in the centre. It's an amethyst and the fact that he didn't get me a boring old colourless diamond just proves how well Loz has gotten to know me.

"It's gorgeous," I gasp as he slips it on my finger. He must have borrowed one of my other dress rings for sizing because it fits perfectly. I admire the ring gleaming in the candlelight for a few bedazzled moments and then lean across to kiss him on the cheek, still trying not to cry.

"Thank you," I whisper emotionally. "For the ring. For all of this. You're absolutely wonderful."

"You're welcome. Here's to us and our future together," he jovially toasts, raising his glass of cider and clinking it with mine. We sip our drinks and set them aside on a decorative tray so we can start picking at the food, both of us nibbling pieces of fruit and chocolates. I'm a little too excited to eat much and keep looking at my ring and smiling at Loz, giddily and happily, loving him more than I ever thought possible.

He smiles back. "Did you know I was gonna ask you to marry me?"

Shaking my head, I reply, "Not a clue. I mean, I hoped you would one day but I definitely didn't expect it to be tonight."

"I know this'll be your second marriage," he mentions uncertainly, "so I understand if it's not that big a deal to you."

"Are you fucking kidding? This is the biggest deal of my life!" I berate him. "My first marriage didn't last because he wasn't the right guy for me. But you are, Loz. I love you and I know we'll be married for the rest of our lives, until I'm as silver-haired as you are. Only it'll be due to old age, not alien genetics like you."

"So, it's really okay if I take your surname?" Loz questions, wrinkling his forehead. "Sephiroth never had an official last name, and as far as I know, Jenova didn't either. Even if they did have one, I wouldn't use it because I don't want to be associated with them anymore. But your surname is cool."

"It is pretty cool," I agree, "and it goes well with your buff biceps." I teasingly poke his muscular arm.

"Loz Armstrong," he says slowly, testing it out. "Sounds like a superhero name or something."

"You ARE a superhero. And soon you're going be my super husband." I glance down at myself and my less-than-attractive outfit of yoga pants and T-shirt. "Man, if I'd known you were gonna propose I would have dressed up more. And maybe shaved my legs."

He reaches over to cup my cheek. "You look perfect," he says softly. "Beautiful, like you are every day."

That romantic statement has me melting like the wax of the candles surrounding us and I lift my chin up as he moves down and kisses me. His mouth is soft yet firm at the same time. The kiss deepens and his tongue slips past my lips, meeting mine. He tastes like raspberry cider but under that is his familiar masculine taste – the taste I remember from the club all those months ago – and I moan, feeling desire starting to unfurl in my lower abdomen just like it did back then. A similar noise rumbles in Loz's throat and he pulls me closer, the scent of his Allure strengthening. We haven't had sex since Kadaj died, preferring to cuddle in bed, that simple act enough to maintain our closeness. For weeks we haven't wanted more but now we do. Now we want more than cuddling.

With an impatient sound, Loz sweeps away plates, forks, glasses and flowers with one swoop of his arm, clearing the rug and laying me back down upon it, one of the pillows beneath my head. In between kissing, he undresses me, removing my T-shirt and bra, my yoga bottoms and underwear, until I am finally naked. Loz peels off his shirt and pants, staring at me as he does so. I'm carrying more weight on my thighs and hips than usual and I have a lot of purple marks on my breasts and stomach where my skin has been stretched but that's to be expected at this late stage of my condition. Besides, I'm in awe of my body and what it is doing, nourishing and nurturing this baby inside me. It may be burdensome at times but this pregnancy is also capable of giving me wondrous feelings of joy.

Creating a child is a gift and a miracle, given to me by Gaia herself, and my body deserves to be treated with respect. Never again am I going to criticize myself for having a few scars or saggy bits. I know that after the birth the stretch marks will fade and the weight will come off in time but for the moment I'm proud to be living in this skin, imperfections and all, and when Loz gazes upon my swollen, nude form I do not flinch or try to cover myself. I feel lush, womanly and beautiful and I see that beauty reflected in my lover's gorgeous green eyes. He wants me. He wants to make love to me. And I want it too.

He removes his underwear and lays back down on the rug with me, his elevated body temperature keeping me warm. It's a mild night with a slight breeze trailing through the forest but I do not feel cold, despite what my pointed nipples might indicate. The sensation of his skin against mine makes me shiver. He is like an immense white statue, hard but living and alive, with breath in his lungs and heated blood pulsing through his veins. I touch Loz's broad chest and corded shoulders. I trace around the black outline of the triple-pronged tattoo on his upper arm, kissing it because I know how much it means to him, especially with one of his brothers missing. I caress his muscled back and anywhere else I can reach, his smooth pale flesh addictive to the touch. He touches me too, his large hands gentle and caressing, all the while kissing my earlobe, my neck, my shoulder, the inside of my arm, the whiskers of his beard brushing across my skin in a deliciously sensual way. He touches and kisses me in all kinds of places until I'm squirming with need.

Because my belly is now so big, he rolls me onto my side, cradling me against his body so he can take me from behind. His arm is under my neck, his hand on my shoulder. Loz's other hand is on my knee, lifting my leg over his and opening my thighs for him. I tense, expecting it to hurt because Loz and I haven't done it for so long but when he enters me there's no pain, just a welcome feeling of fullness, of having an empty ache in me soothed and filled.

"Ahh... You feel so good, little girl," he breathes into my hair, his hardened maleness enclosed with my slick inner walls. "So damn good."

I moan as he slides out and then in again, filling me once more. Being so heavily pregnant, I had expected some tightness or discomfort but there isn't any. Only pleasure - wonderfully sweet and pure. Knowing how close I came to losing Loz on the day that the Turks attacked has made me appreciate him even more and relish every moment I spend with him.

"Oh, Loz. I've missed this," I whisper as he loves me, his flesh joining intimately with mine in a slow, repeating pattern. "I missed this so much, honey…"

"Me too," he admits, groaning as I clench internally around his thick length, wanting to feel every inch of it.

Digging my nails into his arm, I moan again, marvelling at how incredibly exhilarating it is to have him inside me. Every time he withdraws, there's a strange but pleasant pulling sensation I've never experienced before, as if parts of my body are trying to follow him, to draw him back to me. There are tingles rushing through my veins like little sparks of fire under my skin and suddenly I realise what it is.

It's my blood, reacting to his blood. I've had Loz's alien cells inside my body, ever since he made me pregnant, but normally it's only the baby that responds to him. Some of those cells are floating around in my system right now and this is the first time those individual cells have reacted to Loz's nearness. I'm not sure why this is happening on this particular night and not before, but it's a miraculous and astonishing thing. Not only am I drawn to Loz like metal fragments drawn to a magnet, but I can feel Loz's heat, his strength, his very life, as it it's my own life, my own strength, my own heat.

"I can feel all of you," I gasp, wishing he could sink completely into my body, melting through my skin and into my bones, merging us into one person, one creature, one being of total and blissful fulfilment. "Oh Gods, deeper…"

"I feel you too, Catey," he groans into my neck, driving into me with as much depth and care as he can. "And I will love you forever. And ever. And ever…"

The forest echoes with my pleasured cries. I'm overwhelmed with such strong sensation I almost can't take it. Intensely delicious shivers are running over every centimetre of my flesh and through my blood vessels and arteries, making me unsure how much more of this thrilling torture I can withstand, wanting it to stop yet needing more of it at the same time. It's not so much an orgasm as a silver glow that begins in my stomach, swelling and bursting ecstatically out of my skin like a star-shower, shimmering from every pore and surrounding us both in a radiant sphere of rapture. Plunging in deep one final time, Loz shudders and bursts with me, his light mingling with mine. His love with my love. Our hearts and breaths stop, our minds blanking out with inexpressible bliss. The world turns white. Time itself halts for one infinite moment as our souls join and we are one, the shared cells in our bodies communicating in perfect harmony for a few blinding heartbeats.

For that moment I glimpse what true Reunion must be like and it's utterly out of this world.

Then reality rushes back in a blur of colour and we are left panting and shaken by the intensity of our lovemaking, both of us still lying on our sides. Loz's heart thumps against my bare back. Tears are spilling down my face and onto his skin as I sob into the cradle of his arm, overcome by the experience, our bond the strongest it's ever been. This is the closest I have felt to Loz in the entire time we've been together and I know he feels the same way. He's crying too, holding me tightly against his large frame as if he's never going to let me go. And I don't want him to.

He's going to be my husband. I'm going to be his wife.

No matter what obstacles are thrown at us from this day forth, nothing will be able to stop us from being together except death.

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