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Holding Out

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Takeru sauntered into the living room, a scowl on his face. He didn't understand why the midget had been so upset; it wasn't as though he'd been completely nude.

Seeing Fuu looking intently at a piece of paper, his head tilted to the side, Takeru was instantly curious. He stood there for a moment, contemplating his 'older' brother and only true son of Ohkura Shinzo, his adopted father, before nonchalantly plucking the paper from his unsuspecting hands.

Dancing out of Fuu's reach, he hastily read the paper. Whoa! So, the old man had been holding out on them yet again.


"Give it back!" Fuu demanded, holding his hand out to Takeru for the important slip of paper.

"What are you two fighting about now?" Chisato asked.

Her irritation with the two men was evident in her tone of voice. Her cheeks were still rosy from her earlier encounter with a partially nude Takeru in the sauna where she'd gone to do some thinking. She'd left the room at a run, not stopping until she'd reached her room.

"Fuu's got a secret," Takeru sang smugly.

"I do not," Fuu ground out. He grabbed for the paper once more, but Takeru jumped up on the table and held it up over his head.

"You want it so badly, come up here and get it," he challenged his angry step-brother.

"Both of you cut it out!" Chisato's shout echoed in the spacious dining room.

Fuu paused, one foot on a dining table chair, hands positioned to propel himself upward, and looked at his sister. Takeru stumbled and cringed, lowering his hands.

"Give it to me," Chisato said firmly. One hand was on her hip and the other held out for the paper which had caused all of the ruckus.

"Don't…" Fuu whispered, his voice pleading, as he looked anxiously at Takeru.

Takeru wavered a moment before lowering his head. He mimed handing the paper to Chisato, at the last minute diverting her with a hearty handshake and cheesy grin as he returned the now slightly crinkled paper to Fuu.

As much fun as he'd had playing 'keep away' with his indignant step-brother, he knew that, until they'd all, with the exclusion of Chisato and Satoru, discussed the ramifications of what that paper contained, it would be best to keep them in the dark about it. He wondered how long Fuu had been keeping it from all of them, but wouldn't question the older man until they could speak in private.

Fuu glowered at his younger brother before hastily smoothing out the wrinkled paper and folding it. Pocketing it, he spared Chisato a smile and nodded at Takeru before heading out of the dining room. He needed time and space to think about what he'd read. The anonymous letter, addressed to him, had arrived two days earlier, and while it contained all of the crazy hallmarks of one his father's outlandish schemes, he wanted to make sure that the information it contained was accurate before involving anyone else.

It would change the course of all of their lives if what he'd read was real, but it would turn both Chisato and Satoru's worlds upside down yet again, and he wouldn't do that to them if he could help it. Maybe it was all some sick joke or a hoax; he had to make sure that it wasn't before he let anyone else in on the potentially catastrophic contents the short, yet powerful note contained.

Now that Takeru was also aware of the life altering revelations, they were going to have to have a little chat about it, but not at the house. He'd have to caution the impetuous, younger man to keep the portentous information to himself for a while yet. It wouldn't be good to involve the others yet, though, eventually, they'd have to. As much as he'd like to be able to handle this on his own, he had to admit that he couldn't. Chisato and Satoru were both going to need the support of all of them if everything panned out.