Art clutched the take out bag in his arm as he rode the elevator up. It had been just over a year since he had married the jinko who came into his life unexpectedly and changed it for the better. He was sleeping better (partially due to exercise but mostly do to her big muscular frame and soft fuzzy arms), eating better and most importantly feeling better, about himself and life in general. Art looked at the mirrored wall of the elevator and smiled a little at his reflection. Art got off at his floor and made his way to his apartment, humming a little tune as he unlocked the door. “Honey, I’m home! I stopped at Lin’s and got an order of orange chicken!” Vanessa had been having stomach aches up until today. Art got a call from her at work saying that she was feeling better and wondering if he could pick something up on the way home.
“Hi hun!” Came a reply from inside the apartment. “Set the food on the table, there’s something we gotta talk about.”
“Uh oh.” Art thought as he walked into his home, a little less spring in his step. He set the food on the table and looked into the living room, his wife was sitting on the couch with her paws folded. Art took a seat along side her and placed his hand over her paw.
“Is everything alright babe?” Vanessa bit her lit a little.
“Yeah, its just…” Vanessa took a deep breath “those stomach aches I’ve been having won’t be going away anytime soon…” Art gave his wife a confused look.
“What do you mean?” Vanessa wet her lips “I-I uhhh, took a pregnancy test today…” Art squeezed Vanessa’s paw a little. “Annnnd it was positive… I’m pregnant.” Art let go of Vanessa’s paw and put his hands on top of his head. He took deep breaths and sunk lower and lower into the couch. Vanessa put her paw on her husband’s knee. “A-are you ok?” Art looked over at his wife.
“Y-yeah, I’ll be fine. It’s just a lot to take in.” Art took deep breaths and closed his eyes. A smile gradually formed on his face. “…So, I’m gonna be a daddy?” Vanessa nodded her head. “We’re gonna have a little cub of our own?” Art asked with with a little more excitement. Vanessa nodded her head again. “We’re gonna be parents!!” Vanessa nodded yet again, happy tears starting to form in her eyes. Art sat up and hugged Vanessa tighter then he had ever hugged her before. He planted a huge kiss on her lips, a few happy tears of his own sliding down his face. “We’re having a baby!! Oh my god we’re having a baby!!!” Art laughed and planted another kiss on his wife’s lips. Vanessa wrapped her arms around him and held him tight, wanting this moment to last as long as possible. Vanessa gradually leaned back onto the couch, taking Art with her. They broke the kiss and Art looked down into his wife’s glittering eyes. He smiled and rested his head in her mane, enjoying her presence and the familiar fluff surrounding him. He eventually slid down and placed his head on her stomach. Art sighed happily and closed his eyes. “I’m the luckiest man alive.” Vanessa pat his head.
“And I’m the luckiest woman. I still can’t believe that I’m married to such an amazing man.”
“And I still can’t believe that I’m married to such a beautiful tiger.” Art sighed again. “I’m having a baby with a jinko… What will my parents think? I don’t think they expected their granddaughter to have paws and a tail.” Art frowned a little. “We’re gonna need more room… And I’m gonna need a better paying job…” Vanessa rubbed his head reassuringly.
“Don’t worry about that right now, we’ll figure it out… Together.” Vanessa’s stomach let out a growl.
“You wanna go eat?” Asked Art.
“Five more minutes.” Vanessa replied. “I want to remember every detail of this.” Art smiled and started to rub her stomach, Vanessa continued to rub his head and started to chuff, louder than ever before.
Art yawned and reached out towards his wife, extending his hand farther and farther until he was lying on his stomach and touching the edge of the bed. Art opened his eyes. “Vanessa?” Art sat up and looked around the room, she was nowhere to be found. Art got up and walked down the hall, passing the many photos they kept on the wall. Their wedding day with him wearing that tacky tiger striped bow tie, them standing in front of the new house when she had a little baby bump, them sitting under a shady tree while he rested his head against her tummy, the picture he took of her when she was sleeping, the picture she took of him when he was cooking, them making snow angels and her wearing that sundress, the one that she hated but Art loved. The door to the nursery was slightly ajar. Art peaked inside and smiled. Vanessa had her back turned and was gently rocking something in her arms. Art gently knocked on the door. Vanessa turned her head and smiled at him before looking back down to the object she was holding. Art carefully walked up to her and saw the bundle in her arms. Inside the bundle, swaddled tightly was their pride and joy, Eva. She had a peaceful look on her face as her mother gently rocked her back and forth. “Was she crying?” Art asked.
“No.” Said Vanessa as she sighed happily. “I just wanted to hold her. Our little cub…” Vanessa planted a small kiss on Eva’s forehead. The baby giggled and looked up at her mother with her soft amber eyes. “Ohhh, I’m gonna spoil her so bad.” Vanessa said as she slid the blanket off Eva’s head, revealing her two little fuzzy ears.
“You’re not the only one.” Said Art as he held out his arms. Vanessa gently placed Eva in Art’s arms and he looked down at his daughter and smiled. “Hi honey, did you sleep well?” He asked in a voice just above a whisper. Eva giggled again and reached for her dad’s nose with her little paw. Art laughed a little and brought his face down, allowing his daughter to bat and grab his nose to her heart’s content. Underneath her beautiful eyes were her adorable little facial markings. Art gently rubbed her cheek with his thumb, tracing them back and forth. He looked at the hair on her head, the little streak in her hair was starting to show, it was the same shade of brown as his. Tears welled up in Arts eyes as he held his daughter closer. “She’s perfect, perfect in every way. Just like her mother.” Vanessa gave Art a little pat on the back and sighed.
“Honey… How tired are you right now?”
“Extremely tired, I got home pretty late last night…”
“That’s what I thought.” Vanessa took Eva and gave Art a little kiss on the top of his head. “How about I go get this little rugrat some breakfast. You just go get some shut eye, we’ll come join you after she eats.” Art blinked slowly and smiled tiredly.
“That sounds lovely.” Art planted a kiss on his wife’s cheek and his daughter’s forehead then headed off to his bed. “See you girls soon.” Art walked back into his room and flopped down on the bed face first. While he wanted nothing more than to fall asleep, the thought of spending time with his daughter kept him awake. 15 minutes later Vanessa entered the room she laid down on the other side of the bed and set Eva in between them. Art opened his eye and saw that she was clad in her tiger striped onesie. Art smiled and started to tickle his daughters stomach. The little cub laughed and squirmed before grabbing her father’s hand with both her paws and bringing it up to her mouth. She gently gnawed on his finger. “Easy tiger, I like having a pointer finger.” Art removed his hand from his daughters clutches and rested it on her stomach. Vanessa placed her paw over his hand and laid her head down. The two looked at each other lovingly over their daughter.
“I’ve been thinking.” Said Vanessa.
“What about?” Asked Art.
“About giving Eva a little sister…” Vanessa shifted a little and blushed. Art breathed out.
“Two jinko cubs… we’d need to buy a lot of drain cleaner.” Vanessa giggled a little.
“Would you be up for it?”
“I don’t know.” Art pat Eva’s stomach. “I’m already pretty happy with this one, but if it’s really what you want then we could definitely talk about it. Maybe when I’m not so tired.” Art yawned and closed his eyes halfway.
“Sounds like a plan, sleep well my love.” Vanessa lifted her head and planted a kiss on Art’s lips. He shut his eyes and tired to get in a little bit of thinking before sleep inevitably took him.
“Two cubs… I think we could pull that off. As long as it’s just two.”