A delighted high-pitched squeal were heard all the way from the living room and Mitsu was just about to ask his son what he was squealing about but didn’t have to as he heard a car door shut close just outside their house. They had guests. And he could imagine just who were stirring up such excited feelings from the child. He heard his child run for the door as soon as the doorbell rang. Mitsu had to put down the whisk and make sure Hiro wouldn’t scare the visitors away. He heard the door being opened and appeared in the hallway just as three familiar faces were revealed in the doorway. The little child squealed even more.
"Huh, who’s this who opened the door?" A big smile was shining brightly down at Hiro as the unexpected guest leant down and ruffled the child’s hair. "You’ve grown so much! Last time we met you couldn’t even reach the handle, you little tinker tot!" The playful brunette sat down at one knee in a way to measure the child up and down. "You’re almost as tall as I am!" Hiro squealed as a response. "Come here!" The male lifted up the child and gained a series of delighted screams from him. "Where are your parents?" The man suddenly looked around and spotted Mitsu who waved from where he was standing.
"Hello Kirito, you seem to be as healthy as ever." Mitsu didn’t really want to step in the middle of this chaos to greet the man in his current condition.
"So do you." The man carried Hiro with him as he stepped inside and hugged Mitsu without taking his shoes off. "We even brought a little gift for our all knocked up mother to enjoy today." Kirito turned to his partner who reached him a box which he then handed to Mitsu. "Cake!"
"Ah!" Mitsu covered up his mouth as he accepted the gift and laughed. "I was just in the middle of making something really chocolaty."
"I knew it was a great day to visit you!" Kirito smiled as Mitsu just laughed. The brunette suddenly looked around. "Is the lazy father hiding or something?"
"He’s probably asleep." Mitsu laughed again as the other gasped.
"Still?! How dare he sleep while his fiancé is slaving in the kitchen?!" Kirito had finally got both his shoes and coat off of him.
"I kind of forced him to stay awake all night." Mitsu snickered. "This little one always manages to wake up when I’m almost asleep and he stirs and stirs around until I go up and move around again." His hands touched around his swollen belly. "So, I did what I had to do to keep him up with me and now he’s really tired."
"How about you? Aren’t you tired?" Kirito walked inside and let his partner gain more place to move around in the small hallway.
"I’m lucky if I can get even three hours of sleep." Mitsu laughed. "But, at least this one will keep me company during the day." He ruffled Hiro’s hair as Kirito stood besides him. "Why don’t you go and see if you can wake him up? He might not have pants on, but I’m pretty sure he’ll be happy to see you."
"Alright, I will handle this for you. Just watch and learn." Kirito handed back Hiro to Mitsu who let the male slid past him before he put him down on the floor again. "Oi, Jui! Wake up or I’ll open the window and throw you out!"
"He’s really in a good mood today." A new voice was mixed into the chaos and Mitsu smiled.
"Karyu, we haven’t greeted yet." He hugged a chilled to the bone male as he made his way into the apartment with a child attached to his hip. "How are you?"
"It kind of feels like everything in my body is beginning to give up on me." There was some kind of gloomy sadness behind that tone and Mitsu couldn’t help but frown at that statement. It was clear to him that Karyu was talking about their attempts to conceive again.
"Is everything alright?" He followed Karyu into the kitchen and Hiro shadowed them like a small ghost around their legs.
"Yes." Karyu sat down at one of the already pulled out chairs. "And no." He rearranged the child who seemed to be sound asleep against his shoulder. "At least it can’t be worse." He watched as Mitsu slid past the two of them and started to clean up the little mess he had made on the counter and suddenly he noticed they way Hiro looked at him and the child resting in his arms. "You have to excuse Iru, he’s really tired from the trip."
"If you want to I’m pretty sure that Hiro will let him borrow his bed." Mitsu watched as Karyu soothed his child as he started to wake up from all the movements. Hiro hugged tightly around his mother’s legs as he seemed to want to watch what was happening from a distance.
"No, it’s fine. He’s been asleep for a couple of hours now. It’s just a matter of waking him gently. He can be rather grumpy when he wakes up." Karyu just watched as his child started to stir around. The sound of a door being closed softly was heard and suddenly both Jui and Kirito joined them in the kitchen.
"Why didn’t you tell me it was past noon?" Jui groaned as he stretched his back, yawned and slowly made his way up to Mitsu to wrap his arms around his waist.
"I was just about to stuff this into the oven when they knocked on the door." Mitsu pointed at the chocolate batter and shooed away the blonde’s hands as he leant up to pick down a baking dish made of glass. "I was going to let the smell of the cake wake you up."
"And I thought that Kirito was mean." Jui muttered as Mitsu just laughed and shook his head, but then he found Hiro still hugging around his mother’s legs. "Aren’t you helping your mother, you little rascal?" He picked up the child who squealed and laughed as his father tickled him.
"Why are you still here? I thought that you’d choke the life out of Iru the moment he stepped inside." He turned to Karyu and a newly awaken Iru who grumpily sat in his mother’s lap and blinked slowly at him. "Is he sick?"
"No, just tired." Karyu drew his fingers through Iru’s dark hair and kissed his head. "Why don’t you go and play with Hiro, love?" The child looked like he was thinking about it for a while, but then decided that he didn’t want to sit in his mother’s lap anymore and started to climb down. "Careful." As soon as the child started to move Hiro started to wriggle his way out of his father’s arms as well and Jui had to quickly bend down so that the child wouldn’t fall down in his eagerness to play with Iru. Hiro pulled Iru along with him and they were gone within seconds.
"I don’t understand it." Karyu straightened out his clothes and ran his fingers through his hair. "At home he’s always grumpy and does nothing but whine as soon as I ask him to do things, but here I just need to mention Hiro and he shines up as if there wasn’t a thing that could make him happier."
"They’re just children, Karyu." Mitsu said as he put the chocolate batter into the oven. "And I’ll tell you that Hiro is exactly the same, so there’s nothing to be worried about."
"I’m not worried. I just wish that he’d behave that way at home as well, that’s all." Karyu shrugged as he was joined by Jui and Kirito at the table.
"You’re not?" Mitsu raised an eyebrow. "I’m pretty sure Hiro has some kind of crush on Iru and even though it’s pretty innocent I can’t help but worry a little. He can be a bit blunt about the things he does to express his feelings." He gained a chuckle from Jui who suddenly stole all the attention.
"Yeah, you should’ve been here when he straight out told his kindergarten teacher that he didn’t like him." Jui was laughing at the mere thought of it all. "His face was priceless! It was like he hadn’t heard anything as insulting as that before."
"Oh, you think that was funny? I had to apologize to him like ten times before he could even look in my direction." Mitsu folded his arms and fired a glare at Jui. "And he’s probably thinking that either you or me are talking about him like that behind his back."
"So, what?" Jui rolled his eyes. "I can’t be the only one who thinks he’s a bit odd."
"Perhaps not, but you don’t have to insult him because of that." Mitsu raised an eyebrow.
"I never did that, Hiro did." Jui stuck out his tongue as it was Mitsu’s turn to roll his eyes. "And I’ve never taught him to talk like that and you know it. All I ever express is how much I love you, dear."
"Right. Why don’t you set up the table and get something to cut the cake with?" Mitsu ignored Jui and gained an unsatisfied huff from the other.
"So, Karyu, how is Iru doing? Does he walk around insulting his teachers as well?"
"No, he doesn’t." Karyu answered somewhat absent minded. "But, sometimes I think they wish he would do that. It seems as if they can’t get a word out of him."
"He’s probably just shy." Mitsu turned his head away as Jui tried to steal a kiss from him.
"Nah, I don’t think that’s it." The dark eyes finally looked at Mitsu. "He can talk if he wants to and he’s very good at expressing his thoughts, but it seems as he’d rather spend the time all by himself than with children of his own age." His gaze went through the door as if he could see Iru all the way from where he sat. "Well, with an exception for Hiro that is. But, I haven’t figured out what Hiro’s got that the other children don’t yet, but I’m happy he’s got at least one friend to play with."
"See? Iru is odd, but Hiro treats him as gold anyway." Jui brushed past Mitsu as close as he could without touching him in an attempt to tease the slightly shorter blonde. "That kindergarten teacher might have just handed him the wrong lunch and he’s pissed because of that."
"That would explain a lot." Mitsu folded his arms as he thought about it. Their child was particular fussy when it came to food. But, not in a way that he was picky or wouldn’t eat. It was more in the way that he’d throw a fit if anyone else touched what he considered being his food. "Karyu, do you know if Iru is willing to share his food with other kids or not?"
"I don’t know if he would share food just like that." Karyu looked like he thought about it. "But, I know that he’s not particular fond of really sweet things and I’m pretty sure that he’d rather pass it on than throw it away."
"Are you kidding me? He eats sweets all the time." Kirito interrupted them with a frown.
"No, he sometimes eats sweets. Those sweets you see are sweets he’s been saving for a while. He’ll eat one or two and then save the rest. And if you’ve ever bought a bag of candy for him you’ll know that he’d rather let you have it than taking it for himself."
"Is that why I see him eat the same candy all the time?" Kirito looked mildy shocked. "I was so certain that you were spoiling him and bought him candy all the time, but since his dentist has never said anything about holes or anything I thought I’d just let it pass."
"I don’t buy him candy." Karyu raised an eyebrow. "His grandma bought for his birthday last year and that stash hasn’t gone yet."
"But-" Mitsu interrupted them both. "The important question here is if you’ve ever seen Iru share sweets, candy or whatever with Hiro before?"
"Yes, I saw him do it once." Kirito scratched the back of his head.
"That’s it." Mitsu almost laughed.
"That’s definitely it." Jui was done with setting up the table and sat down just as the timer for the chocolate cake went off.
"What? Does Hiro likes sweets or…?" Kirito was more or less interrupted by the harsh sound of Mitsu opening the oven and taking out the cake.
"No, he doesn’t like sweets." Jui suddenly looked really serious as Mitsu began to snicker. "He freaking loves sweets!" Somehow the kitchen table wasn’t big enough to express the sudden movements the blonde dramatically pulled off to describe their child. "Or literally anything you could put in his mouth for the matter. I’ll tell you that if you give him something edible he’ll love you for life! And that’s a fact. And I’m so certain of this that I’ll bet my own ass on him showing up within-" He interrupted himself to take a look at his watch. "Ten seconds." He looked down at his watch and it didn’t even take two steps before they all heard a door being opened and small feet making their way towards the kitchen. Hiro was practically screaming as he showed up in the doorway.
"Hiro, darling, we’ve talked about this." Mitsu used a soft tone as the child silenced, ran into the kitchen and wrapped his small arms around his mother’s legs again. "It won’t go faster if you do that, dear. Sit down at the table and let your father help you."
"Come here, Hiro." Jui called as Hiro first wouldn’t let go. "If you don’t let go of your mother he won’t be able to cut up the cake." The child suddenly let out a shrill noise and headed into his father’s direction instead.
"I can’t believe you have to use that as a threat." Mitsu muttered as he found the box with the cake inside. And suddenly it felt like a ghost had just went past him and when he looked down he only saw Iru climbing onto the chair next to Hiro and he wondered briefly why Hiro couldn’t be as quiet as that child was sometimes. "Let’s begin with this one and we’ll let the chocolate one cool down first." Mitsu carefully put the cake on a large plate and put it on the table.
"That sounds great." Kirito smiled and Hiro was basically jumping in his chair.
"Jui, for god’s sake, make sure he doesn’t fall down." Mitsu frowned at his overly energetic child.
"Hiro, sit down. I’ll cut the cake for you." Jui let the child sit down and then pushed it closer to the table so it would be harder for Hiro to stand up again. He took the knife from Mitsu’s hands and cut up a small piece big enough to satisfy the child. Then he looked at Iru. "Do you want a piece as well?" The child nodded shyly. "Do you want it as big as Hiro’s?" Jui let the knife measure it for him and Iru shook his head. "No? Smaller?" And the child nodded. "How about this big then?" And the child nodded again. "Would you give me your plate, please?" The plate went from Iru to Hiro to Jui who put the piece of cake onto the plate and handed it back the same way it came.
"Please, dig in." Mitsu put a plate with buns and cookies on top of the table and Hiro was the first to take from that as well. "I didn’t expect to see you three until christmas." He smiled softly. "I mean, it’s only two days left, but it’s lovely to have you here. "He sat down by he table as well and noticed the hesitating look shared between Karyu and Kirito.
"We just wanted to step by and say hello." Kirito smiled.
"Have you guys decided a date for your wedding yet?" Karyu butted in which made Mitsu and Jui share a look between each other.
"Not yet, but we were thinking of a late spring wedding." Jui smiled as he stuffed his mouth full of cake. "I think that would suit us the best."
"That sounds wonderful." Karyu suddenly had a very dreamy expression on his face. "I think the flowers are the most beautiful at late spring."
"That was exactly what we were thinking." Mitsu snickered. "And I could wear something white with flowers sown into it and-" He was interrupted by the sound of a plate hitting the floor and suddenly he noticed how Hiro was practically lying half across the table in what seemed like a hunt for a bun that had slipped from his tiny hands. It went quiet as all their gazes were focused on the two children. Mostly because it wasn’t Hiro’s plate that had dropped to the ground. It was Iru’s. And the cake was spread all over the floor. "Oh, darling, why didn’t you just ask for it?" Mitsu stood up and went to pick up the plate. Hiro looked shocked, but Iru seemed to be calm.
"Do you need help?" Karyu was almost half way up already.
"No, this happens all the time." Mitsu swept up the cake as Karyu sat down again. "Hiro tends to get a little eager sometimes." He handed Iru a new plate, but the child looked like he’d had enough and just shook his head as he rested his chin in his palm. "No?" The child shook his head again. Hiro looked stressed and pouted as he frowned deeply.
"He’s just shy. Leave it." Karyu stated quietly. It went a moment of silence as Mitsu left the plate in front of the child as the brunette had suggested and then went to sit down. Hiro suddenly tapped lightly on Iru’s shoulder. The child who’s plate had ended up on the floor gave him a rather harsh glare and the little blonde child suddenly looked as if he was about to cry. But, then he seemed to get an idea. He picked up one of his cookies from his own plate and held it up for his frowning friend. Iru eyed the peace offering tiredly and seemed to measure both the blonde and the gift for a while before he carefully accepted it.
"Oh my god." Mitsu squealed almost inaudible and elbowed Jui in the side.
"Ah." Jui didn’t even dare to whisper something back to him, he didn’t want to ruin this moment. He saw how Iru broke into a small smile which immediately pulled Hiro into an even bigger one. They both seemed to be satisfied with how this turn of events had ended.
“He never shares his food.” Mitsu was suddenly talking very low and fast.
"I know." Jui answered in the same tone as his fiancé. He couldn’t believe it either. He had just as Mitsu experienced the raging fits their child could throw when they touched his food in the wrong way. For the child to voluntarily give his food away had always been unthinkable, until now. Karyu and Kirito just watched the exchange of words with slighlty raised eyebrows.
"Do you mind if I adopt Iru?" Mitsu chuckled as he suddenly spoke up again.
"Take him." Kirito chuckled as well, and continued even after Karyu slapped him across his arm.
"No thanks, we already have one nutcase." Jui folded his arms as he eyed Mitsu. "And then we have Hiro of course." He gained a laugh from Kirito and a death glare from his partner.
"All you ever express for me is love my ass." Mitsu muttered loud enough for Jui to hear.
"Well, you’re not one to talk, Jui." Kirito smiled widely. "I think you’re the nutcase here since you still haven’t married this fine young male even after all these years together."
"Aw, aren’t you sweet." Mitsu shone up in a smile again.
"Well, we can’t all just abandon our past and marry with the first guy we happen to meet." Jui shrugged as Karyu and Kirito exchanged gazed.
"But, it worked out pretty well I think." Kirito lightly touched Karyu’s hands and then looked at his child who seemed to be exchanging some kind of secret language with his friend. "But, you two…" He eyed Mitsu’s swollen belly. "I don’t understand why you two have waited so long to make this happen."
"Honestly?" Jui seemed to think hard about what he was about to say.
"For a long time I thought that he was just teasing me and that this was just supposed to be a fun flirt." His eyes locked on Mitsu. "I guess I couldn’t dare to believe he was serious about this until a half a year ago."
"Talk about thick." Kirito laughed. "Can you believe that?" He turned to Karyu who raised his eyebrow and shook his head. Their children suddenly climbed down from their chairs and headed towards Hiro’s room again. "I mean you’ve already got a child and another on the way. How could you be so thick that you thought he wasn’t serious about your relationship?"
"Have you looked at him? He’s way too pretty for me." Jui suddenly muttered something incoherent. "And he’s younger, I honestly just thought he was after my money."
"What money?" Kirito suddenly laughed and gained Mitsu with him. "The only reason you have money now is because of him."
"Exactly, but I honestly thought that he’d spend three times as much as I did once he got a hold of it." Jui glanced at Mitsu. "And I thought that I’d end up in debt at the end of this all. But, it seems as if I was the one spending three times as much as he did."
"You’re lucky to have him." Kirito nodded. "Especially since you’re expecting another child."
"Have you decided a name for him yet?" Karyu suddenly interrupted the couple.
"No, we haven’t." Mitsu lifted his spoon to his mouth. "I don’t think we’ve even come close to an agreement on what his name will be."
"No, we’ve just talked about the wedding and Hiro lately." Jui looked like he was thinking about it.
"Well, there are still some time left. We’ll come up with one eventually." Both blondes nodded thoughtfully at that statement.
"No, I was just wondering." Karyu seemed to be far deeper in his thoughts. "We were at the fertility clinic yesterday." It went silent around the table.
"Are you…?" Mitsu began a bit hesitating as they had been through this before.
"No." Karyu suddenly looked a bit uncomfortable. "Not yet. But, this time we’ve received some help." He took a deep breath and turned to Mitsu and Jui. "That’s kind of why we decided to visit you today." His eyes averted to Kirito while he spoke. "And I hope this doesn’t sound too weird and I know we just joked about this, but could you please take care of Iru until christmas? We kind of want to…"
"Have some privacy." Kirito filled in where Karyu left off and received a punch in his side.
"Shut up." Karyu gave his partner a glare. "But, yes, exactly."
"Of course we’ll take him!" Mitsu suddenly looked very excited. "I could really need someone to distract Hiro these last couple of days. I’ve got so much left to do and I can’t keep him entertained all the time, so it would be wonderful to have Iru here."
"Are you sure?" Karyu bit his lip as he eyed Mitsu. "I mean, there will be two of them and it’s right before christmas and all."
"I think we’ve dealt with worse." Mitsu touched Jui’s arm as if to encourage him to say something.
"Yeah." Jui nodded. "We have that christmas when Hiro was just about two months old. It was chaos. I can’t imagine Iru being half the work Hiro was back then."
"Exactly." Mitsu smiled widely. "Iru is in safe hands around here."
"Thank you very much." Karyu suddenly looked a lot calmer and the gloominess seemed to slowly fade away. "By the way, I saw Hiro smuggle that chocolate cake out of the kitchen and-"
"Hiro!" Mitsu suddenly stood up and stormed out of the kitchen. "I swear to god if you’ve destroyed that cake I’ll put you up for adoption!"
"Yeah." Jui just chuckled. "We can definitely handle this."
"I was just about to say that Iru helped him out." Karyu put his chin in his palm and rested his elbow on the table.
"If you want him back this is your chance. I don’t think Mitsu will let him go now that he’s realized he doesn’t have to put up with Hiro running around his feet all day long now, but if you mention that Iru could be greatly influenced by our child he might have second thoughts about it." Jui was really amused by this turn of events.
"Nah, I think I’ll rather let it slip by then."
"That’s what I thought."
"If there are any problems though just text us and we’ll come pick him up." Karyu heard the child squeal and laugh from inside his room. "No questions asked."
"I’ll remember that." Jui nodded. A moment of muffled talking was heard and then a door opened and closed. Mitsu appeared in the doorway with the cake again. "What did you bribe him with?"
"I said that if I could have the cake back I’d allow Iru to stay the night." Mitsu looked really proud of himself as he placed the cake on top of the table.
"He’s gonna stay here for two nights." Jui raised an eyebrow as Mitsu picked up the knife again.
"Yeah, but Hiro doesn’t know that." The blonde chuckled.
"Only if I have to claim back what’s mine." Mitsu’s eyes suddenly lit up in a worryingly fearsome fire as he began to cut up the cake.
"So, don’t even think about cheating on me."
"That thought has never hit me." Jui was so confident in that statement it had Mitsu raise his eyebrow a bit.
"Cake?" The blonde suddenly smiled wide and handed a piece to each of the males around the table. They carried on the conversation as normal, and at the end of the all it seemed as if Karyu and Kirito was in a bit of a hurry to get home. Of course, they took their time to kiss and hug their child good bye, but when that was done they were gone within a couple of seconds. Everything had went fast, but at least Hiro would be delighted to have Iru around to play with these last couple of days before christmas. And Jui was happy to see Mitsu at peace. Well, at least until he noticed that food were systematically disappearing from the fridge.