“Is he here yet?!” an eagre voice chirped.
Malon groaned. She opened her eyes but the bright morning light stung them, and they instinctively held shut. She could feel something weighing heavily on her sore chest, and a slighter pressure on the upper curve of her belly. She could hear the giggling breath of the creature above her, and its shadow played over her eyelids as it moved from side to side.
“Is who here yet...” she yawned in response.
“My brother!” the high pitched voice squealed gleefully.
“Your brother?” she sighed, “Ah...”
Opening her eyes she looked at the scrawny being that sat astride over her chest. Dressed in her pajamas Malon found her amusingly similar in appearance to her father when he was a boy. Same bony arms and legs poking out (not that she wasn't well-fed. It just seemed that no matter how much food they shoveled onto her plate the little girl managed to turn it all into the frantic energy she was saturated with), a mop of messy straw-coloured blond hair (clumsily tied back into something vaguely resembling a ponytail) with strands poking out at all angles, and the same fiery blue eyes. Her giddy expression, though, she had inherited from her mother.
Her pajamas- a gift from the Kokiri- consisted of a pair of green shorts, a short-sleeved green vest, and a cap that was now slowly slipping off the young girl's head. Dangling from a thread attached to the back of the cap was a small soft bauble with tings sticking out- a toy fairy.
“Is he here yet?!” the girl repeated impatiently.
“No, Lee, he isn't.” Malon said with another sigh, reaching up and clutching her daughter under her arms and lifting her up off her. Lilon (Although her name was usually shortened to “Li”, and pronounced “Lee”) pouted. “What makes you think you're getting a brother, anyway? The baby might be a girl... then you'd have a sister.” Malon suggested as she slowly rose to a sitting position, letting her gravid bulge slide down to its seat, resting on her delicate thighs.
“I want a brother.” The girl stated stubbornly.
Malon chuckled, “I want a light baby...” she groaned as she stood, uncertainly. “ but we don't always get what we want.” 'I certainly didn't' she grumbled mentally, rubbing the underside of her weighty unborn child.
“I think it's a boy anyway.” Lilon stated defiantly, folding her arms over her chest. “When will he be ready?” she asked, with some renewed zeal.
“Soon.” Malon sighed, “Very soon.” she patted her belly, “And when he- or she- does come, I won't have this anymore.” Malon pointed to her prodigious waist.
“Why not?” the girl demanded, hopping off the bed and walking quickly over to her mother's side.
“Because the baby's in here. When he- or she” ('She's got me doing it now...', Malon thought.) “Is born he- they- will come out and I won't have this bump.” she explained. This was not the first time she had lectured her daughter on the nature of her grand bump. She found it curious that she had forgotten so quickly.
Lilon sniggered in response.
“What's so funny?” Malon asked, tilting her head to one side.
“Don't be silly mommy, everyone knows babies grow on trees.” Lilon said, chuckling.
Malon's eyes boggled in confusion. “A... and who told you th-this?” she stuttered, finally.
“Everyone knows it.” Lilon nodded triumphantly.
“Who?” Malon glared.
“I can't remember.” the girl shrugged.
“Who?” Malon growled.
Lilon immediately lost her grand airs and shrunk into a cowering pose. “Milo.” she whispered.
Malon's hands balled into fists. Her azure eyes twitched. “Why that Kokiri sonofa-” she mumbled. Amidst an incomprehensible slur of profanities she paused and asked, “Then how does he explain this?” she pointed once more to her tummy.
“He said you were just getting fat.” Lilon said, innocently enough.
Malon's fist cracked down on the wooden table beside her. A deep fissure spread across the wood. Her teeth ground furiously together and her eyes burned with fury. “Oh... he did... did he...” she said in a low growl.
“Eeeek!” Lilon yelled as she scampered off as fast as her scrawny legs could carry her.
“I'll kill 'im!” Malon's yell resounded through the small farm house.
Ingo (who had rose diligently several hours beforehand, (as Malon would were she not so heavily encumbered)) lent back on the pasture fence and sighed as he heard the clamour coming from the farm-house. He twirled his greying mustache and said (apparently to the grazing horses) with a slight wry laugh; “Sounds like we're in for a rough morning.”
'I really need to get a hold of my temper...' Malon thought mournfully as she looked over the wreckage of her room. 'I guess that's another symptom. I was pretty emotional when I had Lee. At least that means it'll be over soon.'
Her last thought brought a smile to her face. She rubbed her swollen middle again, picturing in a few days when it would disappear. Of course, then her overgrown womb would be replaced with a baby that would no doubt be a pink mass of crying and screaming and mess-making for the first six months, but she did adore children, and could deal with their troublesome habits, as long as she had her svelte and capable body to do it with.
She loathed being weighed down like this. It wasn't so much the sight of her (although she was wont to call it “fat” when in reality she was not a pound over a healthy weight) that she hated, so much as the impairment. Feeling her legs slide apart to make way for her dipping belly was something she hated, waddling around at a snail's pace... she couldn't get anything done. 'Not to mention the back-ache' she sighed, rubbing the weak small of her back.
Malon loved physical activity- running, dancing, riding... She would gladly have followed Link on his quests if she could, but with the Ranch to run, and a daughter to mind, she was quite solidly stuck at home, even when she wasn't “permanently indisposed”. It wasn't as if Link didn't try to accommodate her- he would (literally) move oceans and mountains for her, but there was only so much he could do- he was practically her hand-servant when he was home, catering to her every physical and carnal desire. 'I suppose that's the one benefit of this condition...' she giggled, thinking of how he would so selflessly devote himself to her in bed. She did feel a bit guilty about that, but guilt was drowned out by remorse, for whatever Link could do to help her, he could not grant her the mobility she craved. Things only felt worse when he was away- which was fairly often. It wasn't like he didn't try to be a good husband- he was a good husband, and father, but if he could devote himself like he wanted to he'd have been an amazing husband and father. Sadly, though, when you're the greatest hero in all the land, you got a lot of people begging you to save their cat, their cousin or their country. At this moment he was in fact, retrieving an indebted doctor to act as midwife for Malon, which was something she could hardly resent.
'I just hope he gets back in time... I feel like I could go into Labour any hour now...' Malon thought, running her hands under the distant curve of her almost spherical belly. It looked like her husband's over-filled Dodongo-skin bomb sack, and judging by the morning sickness she had been suffering until recently the contents were almost as volatile.
Malon, though she didn't realise it herself, had very little knowledge of pregnancy. Having no mother to teach her about the birds and the bees, and few peers but the equally uneducated Link to discuss things with (it was not the done thing to discus one's sex life with friends in Hyrule. Besides, her friends were virgins and fish-women, so they could hardly be called reliable sources of information), she had not learned much before her first pregnancy, and based her new experience on that. As such she based her progress on size, not duration. Her belly was indeed impressive, gaining a few inches in circumference on its size when she had been full-term with Lee, but Lee had been a week early, and a light baby (not that Malon realised this.)
She prodded her protruding belly button. “I look forward to seeing you stick back in.” she said to the rubbery outcropping. It was something of a thorn in her side- as she slid on her loose and expansive white dress she felt it glide over her naval, and she began to grind her teeth. No matter how subtle a fabric she wore or how lightly it lay on her outer curves, it would seem to chafe on her distended naval. And- perhaps of a consequence of that she found herself eternally rubbing her belly button, and the area around it. She didn't like her wandering hands. She liked to be in control of what her body was doing.
Slipping on her light but durable shoes she waddled out of her room to set out on the difficult task of recapturing Lilon. Though prompted by her mother's outburst of fury, Lilon had gone on to be inspired by one thing or another, and just ended up running aimlessly and violently through the house, her presence marked by the 'pitter-patter' of her unshod feet, and the crashes and bangs from when she knocked things over.
Fifteen minutes later Lilon fidgeted in her mother's iron grip. Malon smiled maternally as she reeled the girl in as far along her lap as she could (so much of it permanently consumed by her other child) and kept one arm firmly wrapped around her torso while her other raked a hair-brush through the girl's straw-like hair. When woven correctly she knew it could look like spun-gold, but at the moment it was much closer to a haystack.
“Ow!” Lilon protested, trying to pull her head free of the brush. “That hurts!”
“It wouldn't hurt so much if you didn't flinch...” Malon said with a slight growl in her voice. “Or if you were a little cleaner...”
“Clean's no fun.” Lilon declared, with her usual cheery impetuousness.
Malon sighed as the brush caught on another knot and evoked another squeal of pain. “I swear, you didn't inherit this hair from me. I have nice hair. Always did. Not like this mess...”
“I'll get dad for this...” Lilon said, gritting her teeth and holding back a few tears as her mother yanked the comb through another series of knots.
Malon laughed. “I'll be sure to warn him you're on the war-path when he gets home... All done!” she declared, dropping the hairbrush to her side and twirling her daughter round on her lap so that the girl's legs splayed out beyond each side of Malon's belly. “Beautiful!” she said warmly, looking at her daughter's youthful face framed now by the golden curtains of tamed hair.
Lilon stuck her tongue out and pulled her eyelid down. Malon sighed and rolled her eyes.
“Time for breakfast?” she asked.
Lilon's eyes lit up and a smile tore across her jubilant face. “Yeah-yeah-yeah.” she nodded vigorously.
As Malon strolled back towards the kitchen Lilon scurried around her like an over-excited comet loosely orbiting a hulking sun. Malon twisted her head from side to side as she considered the possible choices for breakfast. 'Porridge. Pros: Easy to Cook. Cons: Tastes Rubbish.' Lilon flashed her a grin with all her ravenous teeth, 'Cons: Lilon'll get it all over her face/hair/clothes. Biscuit: Pros: Doesn't need to be Cooked! Cons: Tastes really bad. Might have been eaten by vermin. Bacon and Eggs. Pros: Taste reeeally good. Reeeeeeally good.' she rubbed her swollen stomach lustfully, 'Cons: Cooking. Horrible complicated Cooking.'
Cooking- one of her skills and fortes- had become a serious chore as her abdomen grew outwards. First there was the problem of reaching the stove or the work-surface without bumping her belly into it before she was “in range”, then there was the fact that even when she avoided this by standing parallel to the stove and using one hand (which made the cooking operations more difficult), that she'd accidentally turn or move in the wrong direction and end up touching her belly to the stove and burning herself. And then of course was the endless standing on her feet, something she did not relish with so much weight literally hanging upon her shoulders. Not to mention bending over to fill the stove and then...
Malon bit her lip then took stock of what was in the larder. She let out a sigh, of relief and at the same time anxiety as she grabbed a jar and half a dozen rashers of withered bacon wrapped in deku leaves. Setting them down by the stove she fetched a large frying pan and set it down on the hob. She looked nervously at the jar. 'Only enough for one meal left... I'll have to get Link to get some more soon...' a brief “should I, shouldn't I?” argument took place inside her head as her apathy gradually broke down the genuine arguments her conscience put forth. 'I'll need boiling water when I give birth.. and this is the quickest way. I should save it in case but... Oh what the hell.' she finally thought with a shrug, before opening the jar and emptying its contents onto the hob.
The blue flame spilled out from inside like a thick treacle, falling out in gobs and drops that splashed down and spread out into a wide cobalt fire. She could feel the heat exuded by the magical substance immediately as it rolled off into the air and teased sweat from her brow. Underneath her Lilon was tugging at her dress and chirping her breakfast demands in her usual tone, not that Malon listened. She patiently positioned the frying pan over the flame and dropped the various components of breakfast onto it and listening to them sizzle and crackle tantalisingly.
“Lilon, get two plates.” she said dreamily, as she gazed vacantly at the pan, her mind wandering briefly. “-and don't break them.” she said, coming back to reality.
Lee re-appeared beside her eagrely-but-gingerly holding up a pair of plates each wider than her head. Malon smiled at her daughter as she took them, finding her tiny magnitude cute. Lilon smiled back, but for different reasons- made obvious when she followed her smile up by licking her lips.
One breakfast later Malon sat contentedly rubbing the replete sides of her belly, a contented smile creeping across her face as she lent back heavily on the creaking wooden chair and let her eyes shut softly. The meal itself had become something of a dead-heat as both mother and daughter were ravenous and ate ferociously. Filled with the energy of her meal Lilon had taken the opportunity to thank her provider by clearing up while Malon took a brief respite.
“Oof!” came Lee's sharp cry as she went careering floor-wards for the second time in her cleaning routine.
Malon peered at her through one half-open eye as the contents of her arms went clattering over the floor. She scanned the dropped items. 'Just cutlery. Good, she's getting better at this, she's managed only to drop the non-breakable stuff...' Malon thought proudly. Lilon's efforts to help often ended in disaster, due to her abundance of energy and shortage of control.
Without complaint the girl rose and snatched up the various utensils she had dropped before setting back about her task. Due to her rather adventurous nature she was no stranger to scrapes and bruises, and no longer needed coddled whenever she took a tumble.
“Ooh!” Malon declared abruptly as Lilon dropped her bundle into the sink (in so doing splashing herself and a good deal of the floor with water.) “I just felt a kick!” Malon said in explanation.
“I wanna feel too!” Lilon said gleefully as she sprinted to her mother's side and flung herself onto her mother's rotund waist, pushing her ear hard against the fabric of her dress.
Despite her other complaints, Malon couldn't help being filled with a maternal warmth for a moment- as her first child clung to her gravid body, waiting for some sign of life from her unborn sibling. She was rewarded with another kick aimed directly at her ear. It was a strange sensation for Malon- like indigestion as something wriggled around inside her and then bumped against her sides.
“Ooh, I felt a kick, I felt a kick!” Lilon cheered, “I can feel him kicking!”
Malon took a moment to wrap an arm around Lee and draw her close as her other child made its presence known with a series of kicks in all directions.
“Eech, he's not a boy, he's an Octorok” Lee decided, “He keeps kickin' an' kickin', he must have eight legs..”
Malon ignored this comment as something more pressing has suddenly come to light.
“Alright, alright, getup, getup, mommy needs to go to the bathroom!” she declared urgently waving her arms as her bladder felt the squeeze of her progeny.
“I think I need to pee again...” Malon said to herself, pessimistically, as she finally set about the day's work.
“Day” of course, was something of an exaggeration, as it was already half past twelve in the afternoon, and she would doubtlessly achieve a bare minimum of chores before going to prepare dinner at five, then eat dinner, look mournfully at the horses as a last passing attempt at “work” and then crawl back into her bed. Or at least, that was the routine she had unwittingly built up in Link's absence. Ingo took note but made no objection, he knew Malon loved the ranch and would kill to be tending the horses all day long, but bloated as she was, she wasn't much good with horses, and Link had forbade her to get too close to them in his absence (he had heard many horror stories in his travels of people being kicked or trampled by horses, and furthermore didn't trust Malon not to give in and try to ride one, which he knew would end in tears- if not injury) and forbade Ingo to let her.
And so Malon found herself plodding into the dairy, Lilon in tow. Link had similarly ordered Lilon to help her mother out, and if she failed in that, to at least not leave the ranch. Since she essentially knew the ranch inside out and couldn't find much new “adventure” in it, not to mention the fact she found Ingo scary, so she elected to 'help' her mother.
“Milk time!” Lilon cheered, zooming in with a hefty bucket held above her head. She deposited the bucket underneath the first cow and looked pleadingly up at her mother. “Can I milk one? I want to help.” The cow gave a distressed 'moo'.
“Not yet, I'm afraid...” Malon said, looking sympathetically at the young girl, “Your hands are too small, maybe in a little while.” she finished, walking over and patting the cow on the back. It made a contented sound, glad to hear it would not be groped by the 'grabby' child who had once before incompetently tried her hand at milking (without permission of course) and resulted in several very sour cows. “Why not fill up all the feed boxes while mommy milks the cow?” she asked, attempting to compromise.
“Aww...” Lee pouted.
“If you fill up all the feed boxes before I'm done I'll let you milk a cow.” Malon said, smiling falsely.
“Alright!” Lee yelled, running off towards the haystack, and immediately slipping and falling.
Malon sighed in relief. Encumbered as she was, she was still a master at milking, and her daughter was a klutz. She'd spend hours tripping and slipping and falling and sneezing the hay, dropping it and trying to snatch it all up again, by which time her mother would have comfortably moved from cow to cow and gotten a full day's worth of milk. 'The more haste the less speed' Malon thought wryly.
As her daughter continued to career around in the background Malon eased herself down onto the milking stool and positioned the bucket under the heavy udders of the creature. She lent forward (with many protests from her back) and began about her work almost instinctively, having been milking cows since she was a little older than Lilon. She felt a fair weight dangling from her as she lent over, and was reminded of her own milk filled glands. 'Man, at this rate we'll be able to start selling human milk too...' she thought as she cupped one of her enlarged mammaries. It was tender to the touch, but her delicate hands knew how to handle it to avoid inciting pain or pleasure. It filled her hand and she could feel the liquid within. They were bigger than last time, she noted, and was a little worried. With Lilon she had had milk to spare, even thought she was a hungry baby, and she found herself 'leaking' on occasion, before and after birth. Judging by the fluid she could feel swirling inside her now, she foresaw a lot of leaking.
Otherwise this was something of a neutral area of her condition, something she didn't quite feel spiteful or glad of. On the one hand, the fat endowments bobbed about like crazy when she was on the move, and ached a lot as a consequence. In general they were more susceptible to pain, but in contrast to this they could also be more pleasurable, if stimulated correctly- as she knew from experience. She wasn't really concerned much with breast size normally, but she was aware that men liked big breasts, and so she thought that at their enlarged size they would be more appealing to Link, and she did endeavour to please him. The nipples were something she was completely unsure of- now wider at the base, the areola, and thicker along the actual nipper, not to mention longer, and a much darker shade, more like brown tanned flesh than her usual rosy complexion. She wasn't sure how Link liked them, and in general they were even more sensitive than the rest of her chest, which could mean pain, but in the right hands...
The cow mooed angrily, and Malon realised she had been grasping at dry teats for a few minutes now, in her dreamy thoughts. She immediately stopped and stroked the animal's broad side to appease it before she gave a grown and stood up, rubbing her aching back and moving onto the next cow. In a few moments she was slowly declining onto the stool again, and felt her plump cheeks meet the dry wood as she sat. She rubbed her rear, briefly. It had puffed up considerably due to her lack of exercise and increased appetite over the past few months, but she wasn't particularly worried- she'd experienced similar changes with Lilon, and within a few months her posterior was back to its firm, round self again. Right not it provided vital extra cushioning to stop her heavy frame from grinding away on her bones (although it didn't completely eliminate the pain, it did do worlds to reduce it.)
'Once I've given birth this'll be a lot less painful...' she thought, making a promise to her back and backside. 'Then again...' she corrected herself, as a new thought occurred to her. 'How long until I'm pregnant again...?' she sighed. Contraception was an alien concept to the people of Hyrule. Generally speaking, though, after a woman had a few pregnancies, the spark went out of her marriage or she lost or figure, or her husband lost his figure- or something, and the whole process came to a slow halt. However, for young lovers as fit and healthy, and not to mention as passionate, as Link and Malon they could practically expect a baby every year, at least going by the rest of Hyrule's example (although in recent years there had been a 'bad run of men' to say the least.) She could easily see a dozen more pregnancies stretching out before her into the future. The prospect brought mixed feelings. She loved children, and the idea of having fourteen or fifteen offspring was something she didn't mind, but to spend so much of her life with a stomach the size of a small Goron was something that almost frightened her. Still, there was little she could do- not even understanding the process of conception, she couldn't stop loving Link, nor did she want to, and as far as she could tell, as long as they loved each other she'd be finding herself pregnant on a regular basis.
The reason for the gap between Lilon's birth and her current pregnancy was something she thought about often. She had barely been seventeen when she accidentally conceived Lilon, and afterwards she and Link realised that they were perhaps moving a little too fast. She regretted getting married with a full-term belly under her dress, but learned to ignore that and focus more on her sparkling daughter and happy marriage. Some well timed questing and a general slow-down to their relationship had kept the cap on the 'baby boom' for a few years, but as Hyrule managed to stabilise itself and they both agreed that they were adults now, the proverbial “Pandora's Box” had been opened.
'And now this.' Malon patted her pregnant bump as she sat down next to the fourth cow. She realised she had been running 'on auto-pilot' and glanced about, unsure if she'd even milked the other cows or just thought she did. However, she did indeed have a full bucket of milk beside her, and a fresh one left by Lilon to carry on. Lilon had just slipped (on some hay she had dropped earlier) over carrying a pile of hay, which she then scattered around the floor with a great sneeze. “You better come out soon.” Malon whispered to her bulge, “If I leave feeding the cows to your sister much longer we'll run out of hay.”
She giggled to herself and went back to milking.
As Malon poured the last of the Milk into the larger container in the ice cabinet (a device the Zora had crafted for Link as a small piece of gratitude for the various ways and times he'd saved them from one thing or another) she heard a knock on the wooden doorway to the dairy. Turning round she saw Ingo's wizened head popping through the door with a broad smile on his face.
“Link has returned.” he said in his somewhat refined voice. “Or rather is returning- he's coming up the path now...”
“Daddy!” Lilon declared at once and rocketed out the door. Malon slammed the ice cabinet closed and waddled as fast as she could to follow Lilon as Ingo went off himself to greet Link.
Link had changed little in his adult life, so far, still lithe and agile, wiry (although he had strength enough, especially when augmented by his various magical trinkets), pale and completely devoid of facial hair. His long ears still sprung out proudly from his head, miraculously surviving his adventures without scar (which is more than most Hylian knights can say), his golden hair was still kept snug under his green cap, and he was still clad in his adult-sized Kokiri garb. He wore it a lot, for various reasons. One was that it was very useful when he was out questing, being light and maneuverable, and “lucky” in his mind, and when he wasn't questing he would have discarded it in favour of something more fashionable, were it not for Malon's request. She found the outfit cute and loved to tease him by calling him fairy-boy if he annoyed her, so he ended up wearing it often for her sake.
It was several minutes before Malon noticed the man standing behind Link (her attention was focused so much on him she blotted out just about everything else at first.) And old man leaning on a cain and peering at everything with the most colossal bug-eyes that looked ready to drip out of his skull. His head floated about from side to side, looking all around, fluttering for a moment to focus on something or someone, before continuing its oscillation.
“Daddy!” Lilon declared again as she neared her father.
“Lee!” he shouted in response, bending to his knees and stretching his arms out to her. He caught her up and embraced her in a tight hug as she giggled happily. “Ow!” he suddenly complained. Lilon had wrapped her little hand around one of his ears and given it hard yank, “What was that for.”
“Mommy says its your fault I get knots in my hair.” she said with another giggle.
Link sighed and ruffled his daughter's hair before putting her down, as Malon was drawing close.
He took in a figure in a second- even grander than when he had last seen her. Immediately he let out a sigh of relief- he had spend all his time away petrified with the fear that she had given birth in his absence, or some other danger had befallen her, but here she was now, safe and whole. He loved every inch of her body, and pregnancy was no obstacle to that. He liked her fuller figure, but really, as long as she was healthy, he would love her in any shape or form.
He strode forwards and wrapped his arms around her, enveloping his hands in her auburn hair. Leaning over her bump they exchanged a brief kiss (preferring not to put on a show for Ingo, Lilon, or the mysterious old man Link had fetched) and rested their heads on each other's shoulders. Link took in a deep breath, drinking in the aroma of her fiery locks. “I missed you”, they whispered simultaneously. For a few moments they enjoyed each other's embrace but then Malon felt something cold spread across her chest.
“Oh!” she sighed, stepping back and looking down at her damp dress. The sky was clear but they both knew where the moisture had come from. Malon folded her arms embarrassedly over her leaky chest as her face turned crimson. “I knew this would happen sooner or later.” she mumbled.
“Is this the young lady...?” said the old man, stumbling forward, still looking around aimlessly, leaving all to assume he referred to Malon. He spoke in a strange voice, his tone jumping up and down like his head.
“Oh- yes!” Link nodded, “This is my wife, Malon.” he said, stepping beside Malon and putting an arm over her shoulder, “Malon, this is Doctor Jyliah, the best doctor in all of Hyrule.” he said, and added in a whisper, “Or so he assures me.”
Malon nodded. Glancing down at her chest she determined that she was safe again and hung an arm around Link's shoulder. Lilon hovered about their knees, trying to grab the attention of either.
“You're not a moment too soon.” Malon said, “I think I could give birth any day- any hour now.”
“Oh, yes?” the old man said, stumbling closer. “Hmm, hmm, you think so...?” he asked, focusing on her belly.
“Umm ... yes ... well ...” she struggled to find an argument that wasn't obvious, “I'm huge, if I'm pregnant much longer I'd be giving birth to a Dodongo!”she laughed.
“Hmm... always possible...” the Doctor mumbled. Malon ignored him. “May I?” he pointed to her belly.
“Oh, of course...” Malon said, pulling her skirt up, revealing the leather shorts she wore underneath, and more importantly the great pink swathes of flesh sticking out in the round orb of her stomach. Link suppressed a snigger, as the thought 'That's the woman I married' sprung into his head, as he was reminded of his heavily pregnant bride. Malon looked at him momentarily for explanation, a glare ready to creep across her face, but he quickly kissed her before she had a chance to really get angry.
“Hmm... Young lady, would you be so good as to hold my cain?” the old man asked, presenting his walking-stick to Lilon. She immediately grasped it, although she struggled with it for a moment, and then the doctor reached out with his withered bony fingers and touched the firm flesh of the bulge. Malon was relieved to find he didn't have cold hands, although still slightly uncomfortable with being prodded so. He ran his fingers round the sides and underside of her and then put his palms to her skin. Suddenly Malon felt a strange tingling sensation inside her, and jumped with surprised- “Ooh! ... what was that?” she panted after calming down.
“Oh, sorry, just a little magic, should have mentioned the feeling... it'll let me see inside, no harm whatsoever, though...” the doctor said, looking up for approval before he resumed.
Malon nodded, “Sorry, just a little shocking is all...”
The doctor resumed his literal “hands on approach”, and this time Malon felt the tingling sensation poke about her belly traveling one way then another. She couldn't help but giggle- the whole thing felt like being tickled from the inside. After the sensation had traveled all around her belly and back to the surface the old man stepped back. “Ah.” he said, with resolution. He took back his cane from Lilon and stood for a moment cracking the cartilage in his neck.
“... well?” Malon asked.
“Well?” the old man said, vacantly.
“Well, um, how long until I give birth?” she asked. Link flushed slightly, embarrassed by the odd “doctor” he had managed to retrieve.
“Oh, at least three months.” the doctor said, nonchalantly.
Malon's jaw dropped. Her eyes widened in shock. “Th-th-three... months?!” she whispered.
“But Jylia- she's- err-” Link struggled to phrase his next sentence so as to avoid insulting his wife, “as big as she was when she had Lilon. You can't tell me that's fat!” he said, rubbing the firm sides of Malon's waist.
“Thanks for your support.” she said, in an unimpressed voice.
“Oh, no, no, of course not.” the old man shook his head, but didn't provide any solution very quickly.
“Then what? This'd have to be one huge baby...” Malon said, biting her lip.
“No, no, not at all. Not one at all. Three.” the old man said, nodding.
Malon blanched as did Link.
“It's not every day you see triplets...” the old man went on, “Identical twins and another fraternal child, if you know what that means... which I suppose you don't...” he said, stroking his beard. While the two parents stood in absolute shock, Lilon's grin grew wider and wider, “Two boys and a girl. That'll make quite a nice round family, don't you think? Two boys, two girls...” he went on.
“Malon... you're squeezing my neck...” Link said, as he noticed the arm that had been lying on his shoulder was now coiled around his neck.
Malon turned to Link, a manic expression on her face. Her other arm latched onto his neck and she began to throttle him. “Three... more... months... triplets...” she snarled.
“Not... my... fault...” Link croaked weakly.
Lilon sniggered. “Two brothers!” she cheered, “And a sister! This is the bestest baby ever.” she said, smiling, and latching onto Malon's leg.
“Oh dear...” Ingo sighed, watching from a distance as Malon went onto flog her poor husband, “Looks like we're in for a rough season.”