"AME-CHAN? AME-CHAN WHERE ARE YOU?" Loud yelling could be heard from inside the Aoiya. The voice of the mother yelling for her daughter was being ignored.
Outside in the front yard of the Aoiya, a young girl aged eight years old sat on a tree branch, leaning her back against the trunk and quietly reading a very old book. Autumn leaves provided her with cover, as she was too engrossed in her book to answer her mothers cry. The young girl had short jet-black hair brushing across her shoulders and her long bangs falling over her blue-green eyes as she bent her head reading the book. The sun shone brightly in the afternoon sky, making the young girls hair shine much like her fathers did.
"You'll end up giving your mother a heart attack if you keep disappearing like you do without telling her." A soft deep voice spoke from below the branch. The young girl stopped reading, her finger moving between the pages as she closed the book making her finger the bookmark. A man in his 30's moved closer to the tree, one hand resting lightly on the branch as he turned his head up, older and wiser blue-green eyes staring up at innocent and large blue-green ones.
"Tochan, I was getting to a really good part." The young girl complained, but her eyes sparkled happily as her father turned around waiting for her to get on his back to give her a piggyback ride like he always did when he found her in one of her hiding places. The young girl wrapped her arms around her father's neck, still clutching the book and his hands went around her tiny butt to hold her up as he walked off heading for the Aoiya.
"Everytime I find you, your reading a different book of mine and you always say you are getting to an interesting part. Your mother has a surprise for you so lets go find her." The elder man spoke to the young girl.
"Better not be another brother or sister…two brats is enough." The man chuckled lightly while his eldest child giggled softly into his ear. To him she had grown up too quickly, her features and personality just like him, silent and a little reserved. He knew she would come out of her shell one day, but right now she was comfortable with the way she was and didn't need to change for anybody. Ame-chan loved reading and absolutely loved it when her father read to her. They'd sit in their favourite place in the garden, where no one bothered them for a couple of hours and they would read to each other. Her appearance was exactly like her fathers with longer hair, bigger eyes and more feminine. Ame-chan didn't mind having time alone either, but she loved spending time with her family. They'd have picnics in the forest near the Aoiya, Ame-chan silently watching her mother play with her younger siblings a smile much like her fathers crossing her lips as she sat cradled in his embrace, he too watching them silently.
"Are we going to sneak around the back to pick kachan some flowers so she doesn't get angry?" Ame-chan spoke softly to her father.
"Hai…" He replied softly back with a small smile on his lips. He always recalled his wife vowing she would get angry at Ame-chan for disappearing like she did and making her worry but everytime she received flowers and small gifts, his wife would crumble never doing what she first intended.
"Tochan?" Ame-chan whispered softly to her father.
"Hn?" He had replied back, his head turning slightly to look at his daughter. Her small pink lips pecked his cheek and she spoke into his ear, her chin dropping to rest on his shoulder.
"I love you." Ame-chan's father closed his eyes, stopping in his walking for a brief moment. How he loved hearing his wife and children say that to him. It was extremely rare coming from his eldest, she not being one to express her feelings so openly but when she did the elder man cherished it and would forever remember every moment she spoke it to him.
"I love you too…" Ame-chan's father spoke back to her. The moment was interrupted by loud laughter as a five-year-old girl came running around the corner and headed straight for Aoshi. She had paint over her hands and some smudged on her shorts and shirt as she raced to hide behind her father's legs.
"AOSHI!" Aoshi stared down at his five-year-old daughter then to Ame-chan his eyebrow raised as were hers at hearing his name being yelled so loudly. Something was definitely wrong with Okina. The three Shinomori's out the front couldn't help but laugh when Okina walked around the side of the Aoiya, his hands on hips and a very displeased face expression. Aoshi remembered him taking an afternoon nap but his second child had obviously interrupted him as he had various paints covering his face making him look like a very bad and very ugly geisha. What had made three of the Shinomori's laugh were the words "Old Man" scribbled on Okina's forehead.
"HAHAHAHAHA…" Aoshi bent down his hand resting on his daughter's head as her blue eyes opened widely and innocently looking up at her father as she finally stopped laughing.
"Sayaka, did you do this to Okina?" Aoshi watched as her bottom lip trembled lightly and her ocean blue eyes filled with tears as she knew she was going to be in trouble. Aoshi blinked a couple of times observing as the trembling lip disappeared, being replaced with a bright and very innocent smile and sparkling blue eyes as Sayaka spoke loudly rolling on the balls of her feet, her hands behind her back.
"IIE!" Aoshi knew she had done it, the paint evident for one thing but he stood up brushing his hand through her blue-black hair and spoke.
"Let's find kachan, she wants to tell us something."
"NANI? You're going to let that little brat get away with it? Why when I were a child things were different." Okina spoke loudly and mumbled more as he turned away walking towards the bathhouse.
"We don't have dinosaurs anymore Jiya!" Sayaka yelled across the yard, more shouting coming from Okina but not even Aoshi could understand what he was blabbering about. He turned his head looking at his eldest and she shrugged her shoulders just like he did not having a clue.
"What's all the noise about?" A soft feminine voice spoke from the entrance of the Aoiya. Aoshi turned to watched his wife move down the steps and walk towards himself. She had matured respectfully and grew more beautiful as she got older. She still had her sweet smile, her loving and caring nature that bloomed out towards Aoshi and their three children. She wore a deep blue kimono with black trimming. In her arms was Hannya, their two-year-old baby boy whom was sleeping peacefully his little hand clutching the end of Misao's braid.
"What do you wish to tell Sayaka and Ame-chan Misao?" Aoshi spoke softly and kissed his wife on the cheek, his hand coming down to brush his fingers over his son's forehead. He watched with a smile on his face as he squirmed in Misao's arms and then his eyes opened to stare up at his father. They flashed an ocean-blue colour like his mothers but somewhere in the blue there was a bit of green like his fathers. He had streaks of jet-black hair and blue-black like his mother too. Ame-chan was like Aoshi, Sayaka like Misao and Hannya…well he hadn't decided yet, but Aoshi and Misao hoped there would be both of them in the little boy. A gurgle escaped his lips his hands dropping his mother's braid as he thrust them up wanting to be held by his father. Aoshi picked up his son, cradling the baby against his broad chest, his eyes closing for a brief moment as his loving family surrounded him. Aoshi began walking towards the porch and sat down watching as Misao sat beside him her eyes never leaving her son's. Misao finally lifted her eyes away, facing her other two children and spoke, a smile breaking onto her lips.
"I thought we might visit Aunt Midori, what do you two think?" Aoshi and Misao watched as Sayaka's face scrunch up and then she spoke.
"Will we get to see Uncle Kenny mama?" Misao nodded her head watching Sayaka giggle happily as she raced off yelling where she was headed.
"I'm going to tell Ojiichan!" She had completely forgotten about Okina being angry with her. A soft chuckle left Aoshi's lips and a smile spread wide over Misao's lips hearing Aoshi sound so happy. Aoshi looked up observing Ame's facial features as she silently stared at her parents and her baby brother.
"Nan desu ka?" Aoshi spoke softly to her and watched her eyes blink a few times as she spoke to him.
"Aunt Kaoru won't be cooking will she?" Laughter escaped Misao's lips hearing Ame say that.
"I'm sure Kenshin will be cooking, but just in case Kaoru is, we'll go out okay?" Aoshi reasoned with his daughter and she nodded her head once sitting on the grass. Hannya was sitting in Aoshi's lap looking over at his big sister and Misao and Aoshi observed when she clapped her hands, spreading them out seeing whether he would come. To both Aoshi's and Misao's amazement, he wriggled out of his father's lap and slowly moved down the three steps to stand wobbly on his little feet facing Ame-chan. A bright smile was on Ame's lips, something she very rarely showed and spurts of giggles escaped baby Hannya's lips as he raced over as fast as his little legs could take him. Aoshi held onto Misao's arm when Hannya fell over, his head lifting up to look at his big sister once more.
"Come on Hannya…its okay." She spoke softly and he got up once more racing over to jump into her embrace, his chubby arms wrapping around her neck as Ame-chan got up walking away and taking her brother with her, his laughter echoing through the front yard.
"Ame-chan where are yo-" Misao was cut off as Aoshi placed his lips to hers stopping her from calling their eldest daughter back. Misao moaned into the kiss, closing her eyes and cupping her husband's cheeks. She pulled away, her lips brushing over Aoshi's cheek and trailing over to his ear as she hugged him tightly while whispering softly into his ear.
"Aishiteru anata…" Aoshi clutched Misao to him, whispering back to her so only she could hear it. The sweet moment was interrupted by Ame-chan racing over with a giggling Hannya on her back as she was giving him a piggyback ride. Aoshi and Misao let go of each other and waited for Ame-chan to speak.
"Tochan, you are going to take me to that store aren't you?" Her blue-green eyes pouted cutely over at him and he nodded his head affirmatively. She gave him a bright smile and raced off once more and yelling…
"I'm taking Hannya to my secret hideout!" Aoshi's arm was wrapped over Misao's shoulder holding her to him and she whispered against his chest watching her daughter race of with their son.
"That's a father and daughter secret." Aoshi replied back earning a jab in the side from his wife but still he did not tell her where they went in Tokyo.
"Wait…how do we know where her hideout is?" Aoshi pressed a kiss to Misao's head and whispered softly into her ear, his arms snaking around her petite form so she was unable to escape his embrace.
"She's too sneaky for you to find out, but I know. Father's know everything."
"Do they just? Well do you know what I'm thinking right now?" Misao replied sarcastically and turned around in Aoshi's embrace her ocean blue eyes staring into his eyes.
"I do actually." Aoshi replied smugly his arms snaking around his wife even tighter, one moving down to brush across her butt for a split second making her eyes grow wide.
"I know you couldn't be more happier then you are right now. I know how much you love your children and how glad you are that you waited for me even though it was hard, but most of all I know how much you are still in love with yours truly." Aoshi watched Misao blush in embarrassment and astonishment, as everything he said was right.
"Mou…your too smart anata. A-Are you happy Aoshi?" Misao's eyes pleaded with Aoshi to be truthful with her like he was when they were in there bedroom and alone together. Her eyes teared up when a full-fledged smile broke onto his lips, his own eyes sparkling with joy as he pressed his lips to Misao's kissing them once and speaking softly against them.
"With you by my side…always…" Aoshi received one of Misao's over excited hugs making him fall onto his back, with Misao lying half on him and half off as she stared down and into his eyes.
"I hate it when you do that." Misao pouted and placed her head against his chest, Aoshi's arms wrapping around his wife deciding to lie here for a few moments without anyone watching or interrupting them.
"No you don't…you love it all the time. You are the only one who gets my attention besides the kids so you love it." Misao mumbled into his chest Aoshi unable to make sense of it and he sat up once more, a whining noise escaping Misao's lips but Aoshi stood up cradling his wife against his chest and heading into the Aoiya and upstairs towards their room.
"What about the ki-" Misao broke off as Aoshi placed his lips against hers telling her silently not to worry about them. They had enough care in the Aoiya for more then ten children and they all have experience so there wasn't any need to worry.
"Shall I show you how happy you make me Misao-mine?" Aoshi whispered huskily into his wife's ear earning a shudder from the petite woman as he began to softly caress her body. Misao clutched her body to her husband's, her breathing turning shallow as she gasped softly into his ear replying to what he said.
"As long as…I can return it…" There was a mumble coming from Aoshi and the only thing Misao could make out of everything that she was experiencing was a soft audible mumble into her ear of…
"We'll see…" And so the afternoon went on, Aoshi and Misao's children playing and being looked after by their fellow Oniwabanshuu members while Misao and Aoshi enjoyed the rest of the day to themselves.
"Thank you father…" Misao mumbled softly to herself but Aoshi heard it all as she rested above him, Misao's bright eyes staring down at him. Misao's delicate hand was caressing Aoshi's forehead and then down to his cheek as she whispered once more, her lips brushing against her husband of 8 years.
"Arigatoo for giving me my Aoshi…" Aoshi's eyes darkened hearing Misao say that to him and to her father but Aoshi silently thanked the best person in the world for giving him Misao…her mother…and herself… He was truly a blessed man to have her with him…for all eternity, because he knew she wasn't leaving him for one single moment…not anymore…