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Each Tucked String Tells (The Family Family Remix)

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The last thing Ageha was expecting was for Makoto to bring home the cousin he didn't know he had. Actually, he wasn't expecting Makoto to bring home anybody, but Makoto just attracted people sometimes.

So, when Masakazu came up to his room, telling him that Makoto had brought home a visitor, something about a relative of his, Ageha had to blink. It made no sense to him - wouldn't Kiyoi have mentioned a relative if he knew about one? After all, while Kiyoi had his secrets, he wouldn't keep something like this from Ageha.

He hadn't expected Asumu to be nearly identical to him - a little younger, yes, but not an almost-twin. It caused him to stumble a little, and the others to look at him concerned, but he couldn't help but focus on his newly-found cousin.

Yes, he'd had to tell Asumu that he couldn't go home quite yet, but that was only a small thing. He had a cousin! He had family! He had people... well, he'd had people for quite a while, but this was the first time he'd run across his actual, biological family. Plus, Asumu was really nice and he had the most adorable smile.

And he took the fact that Ageha and the others were vampires quite well. He was definitely someone to keep. And Ageha firmly intended to.

0000

Kiyoi watched Ageha talk to his younger cousin. Asumu knew he was welcome pretty much any time at Eternal Moon Manor, mostly because he was a nice young man and he got along well with everyone there.

He had to admit that he should have done more research on Ageha's family, though it hadn't been the world's biggest priority at the time. He had been too busy taking care of Ageha, making sure his charge was happy and developing well. Besides, Ageha's parents had been awful human beings and he had doubted his other relatives were any better.

From what he was hearing now, the rest of Ageha's relatives were all right, and maybe Ageha would have been better off with them. But the past was the past; Ageha had turned out well, and it was of course a delight to have Asumu around.

It was strange, but Asumu was slowly becoming part of the family. His life was on a different path than Ageha's, of course, but Kiyoi felt some urge to protect him. Asumu himself was a protector, and even without vampire advantages - or even those of the fighters in his group - he contributed to the fight against those who would hurt the innocent. He just did it in a different way than most.

0000

Asumu felt like he'd gotten a second - or maybe third - family. He had his own mother and her family, the people at Takeshi, and now his cousin Ageha's found family. Found family of vampires, which Asumu sometimes had trouble getting his mind around, but still a family.

His cousin was happy, and Asumu doubted he'd be happier living a normal life. He had a feeling Kiyoi still felt guilty about not looking harder for them, and wished he could assure the old vampire that it was okay. That Kiyoi had taken Ageha in and raised him well, and that was all Asumu and the others could ask.

Besides, he had a feeling that Ageha's family had kind of adopted him as well. He didn't mind, because it gave him a bunch of people to talk to that weren't Takeshi and yet dealt with the supernatural. Were the supernatural, in many ways, and understood what it was like to fight monsters.

And, for all that they were monsters, they were still normal people who just happened to drink blood and were super-strong. They still had their arguments, goofed off, and didn't keep their rooms clean.

It was almost for their sake that he was working hard to convince Hibiki-san to train him as an Oni. Because they were not trained to fight Makamou, not like the people of Takeshi were.

0000

Makoto had been more than a little leery about Asumu at first. His parents had been awful in their own different ways, and he had no reason to believe that Ageha's would be any different.

But Asumu wasn't interested in taking Ageha home, at least not permanently. Maybe to meet their family, yes, but Ageha had reassured him that Asumu wouldn't let him come to any harm. Makoto would have scoffed at that if he hadn't met Ageha's cousin and come to know what the other boy did when he wasn't in school. In some ways, Asumu got along with the others just because his experiences were so similar.

However, that didn't mean that the rest of Ageha's relatives were similarly trustworthy. He knew something of how Ageha had come to live with Kiyoi, just like he had. Except Ageha was completely human at the time that Kiyoi took him in, and Makoto had never been.

Asumu had understood, which was why the first real meeting between Ageha and his biological family was at the sweet shop owned by Takeshi. That way, Ageha would remain safe from his family if needed be, but he would also be able to connect with them for the first time in many, many years.

The sweet shop was neutral ground, watched over by Asumu's friends. It was safer than Ageha just visiting his family, and Kiyoi, Makoto knew, was not quite ready to invite them into his own home. Asumu could easily mask the whole purpose by the fact that he technically worked there. It sounded like he actually did, along with fighting monsters.

Makoto was still getting his head around the fact that Ageha's cousin helped fight monsters and might do it full time one day. Sometimes he wondered if the universe really did need two Agehas fighting crime.

He watched Ageha as he got to know his aunts and uncles and cousins, all eager to meet him. Kiyoi watched thoughtfully as Ageha was clearly having the time of his life, and if he started to get overwhelmed, Asumu was instantly there, offering drinks and small snacks.

Some part of him wished his own family would have been there for him, instead of what had happened. He knew that he would forever envy Ageha for having this family of his- the one that Makoto didn't share. But he was careful to hide it, knowing that he could talk to Ageha and Kiyoi and even Masukazu later, and they would understand as much as any person could.

As Asumu swept in with drinks once more, Makoto was grateful that one of them, at least, truly had more family than they thought.