On the first night they tucked Hana together in her futon. Seeing how her usual blank expression smooth out to something similar like a purring cat as she slept, Sakura found himself smiling and nudged Tachibana out of the room, sliding the paper screen closed. He gestured to his partner to walk ahead to the next room.
"I think it's best to start with our roles." Sakura began, once they were both seated on the floor. Tachibana nodded to show he was listening. "First off, if anyone asks why suddenly two guys are living together with a young girl under one roof, just say we're gays and Hana is our adoptive daughter."
Tachibana raised his eyebrows, his expression strangely blank. "Why can't we just say we're siblings?"
"I've thought about it before, but it won't work," Sakura shook his head, sighing, "Sure, it's convincing to say you and Hana are siblings. But how do you explain me? I'm either your foreign-born older bro you've never met until last spring, or your lover with whom you've eloped since last spring. They're both ridiculous, I know, but still one of them is workable."
"I don't get why you insist on explaining us as gay lovers with a child. Roommates or friends would be convincing too. And no one will question."
"... uh-huh and the neighbours will sic the police at us because we're holding a minor captive. We'll be branded as pedophiles before you know it and the Hanamichi will easily slip into our territory during the chaos. The only way we can keep up this facade is to say that we're a family. That we're her adoptive parents."
"No. Please no." Tachibana sighed. "Fine. So what else should we fabricate in our gay lives tale?"
"You're the daddy, I'll be the mommy."
Tachibana gave him one hard look. "I was so sure you would make me don the mother role."
Sakura grinned. "I'm sorry? I just thought that if you're the mother, you'd poison us all on our first meal together. So it's best if you play our breadwinner while I take care of dinner."
"How rude. I can cook just fine. And you sound much too happy with that kind of role, Sakura. Anymore details I should know about?"
Sakura shook his head. "Nah. I just wanted to get that off my chest. So, good night. I'll see you tomorrow."
It's only when the next day came did Tachibana understand why Sakura wanted the mother role. While still wearing the apron over his t-shirt and jeans, Sakura saw him off at the hallway with Hana trailing behind his every step. What a sight this must be to all those curious people outside the compound.
"See you!" Hana said warmly and almost purred when Tachibana ruffled her head. She was starting to like the rubbing gestures.
"Yeah. Stay out of trouble, you two." Tachibana slid on his shoes at the genkan and was ready to head out.
"Hm?" Tachibana didn't get time to react when Sakura suddenly tugged him over for a peck on his lips.
"Be careful." Sakura said and then released him, a teasing grin on his face.
Too shocked to say anything, Tachibana backed away, darting his eyes around to check if anyone had witnessed the kiss. "... what's that for?"
"I've put a spell on you so that you'll always come back safely."
Tachibana snorted, turned on his heels and shoved a careless hand over his hair. "What are you saying? There's no need for that charm spell. I'll come back anyway. One way or another."
Omake: (after Hana kissed Chikahito)
"What kind of father are you?" Sakura nudged his partner's shoulder. "You should be flailing, screaming and going after that boy with an axe. And kill him in a dark back alley."
"The kid had just kissed our daughter and you don't feel threatened?"
Tachibana let out a sigh. "Sometimes I wonder why you're Yin when you have so many Yang thoughts. And for the record, Hana was the one who sucked his lips. I wonder where she had learned that spell from...,"