Tohru laughed, shielding her eyes with both of her hands as another round of the never ending water fight she was having with her daughter began. She grinned as she blindly reached forward with the light pink wash cloth, trying, but failing, to give Emi her bath. Tohru shook her head when the towel was snatched out of her hand and tossed onto her lap. As much as she loved seeing her daughter this happy, Tohru had to stop the splashing before there was more water on the floor than in the tub. Tohru firmly grasped her daughter's chubby wrists in one hand and washed the suds out of Emi's short, brown locks with the other.
Emi fidgeted as the water was poured over her head, and Tohru almost stopped when a frown broke out on Emi's tiny face, but there was no time to spare. Hearing the front door shut, Tohru realized that she had even less time than she had thought. Yuki was home already. They'd have to leave in an hour if they wanted to get to school on time, and she hadn't even changed her clothes or brushed her hair yet. Tohru grimaced as tears began to sprout from Emi's eyes as she cleared the last of the soap off her daughter. Bath time was officially over, but before Tohru could pick Emi up and wrap her in a warm towel, the ajar door was shoved open.
Tohru shook her head with a faint smile when she noticed the camcorder glued to Yuki's face. He had grown too fond of the device this past year, filming every little thing their daughter did. Not a moment of Emi's life went un-filmed, and each recording was saved, cherished in the form of shiny DVD's stacked in a perfect pile in the corner of Emi's room. Those discs were the treasures of Tohru's two favorite people. They were Yuki's memories and Emi's precious, glimmering frisbees. Emi giggled as Yuki waved to her. In response, she flailed her arms around, attempting to mimic Yuki's one handed gesture with both of hers.
"You're not ready?" Yuki asked in an amused voice.
"Ah! No! Sorry! I'll get ready after I dress Emi," Tohru promised.
Hearing her name, Emi squeaked happily and hit her hands against the water again, sending a spray of water over the already drenched bathroom. Her laugh rang out, echoing in the small room as she shifted away when Tohru made a move to remove her from the tub. Emi climbed to her feet unsteadily but soon slipped back down onto her bottom, sending Tohru into a panic as she sat there blankly. The unfazed grin that quickly spread across Emi's face dispersed most of Tohru's fret. Her jubilant song continued as she clasped Tohru's hands in hers.
"Mama!" Emi chirped.
Disgruntled, Yuki sighed, "She really won't say daddy, papa, or dada, will she?"
"That's not true!" Tohru exclaimed, "She was asking for you all day today!"
Yuki eyed Tohru skeptically, lowering the eyepiece of the video recorder from his face. His gaze shifted over to Emi, who was staring at him innocently. Almost shyly, Emi turned away after a minute, embarrassedly pressing Tohru's hand to her face in attempt to hide herself from his penetrating eyes. Releasing her hold on Tohru's hand, Emi let it drop and peeked up at Yuki. After a mere second, she was masking herself with Tohru's fingers again, playing a backwards game of peek-a-boo, completely oblivious of Yuki and Tohru's conversation.
"Really!" Tohru insisted, "Emi, what did you say today?"
"Ma-ma?" Emi repeated, pausing her game and tilting her head to the side quizzically.
"No, no! Who's this?" Tohru asked, gesturing towards Yuki.
"Da-da!" Emi squealed as she whacked her hands against the soapy water for the third time.
Yuki's eyes lit up, and the camcorder was raised again.
"She really said it… Emi, say it again for daddy, please," Yuki pled, grinning when she obeyed.
"Film later, Yuki-kun. We're going to be late! Emi needs to get dressed, and so do we. Your clothes are on the bed," Tohru told him.
Yuki nodded half heartedly, not taking his eyes off of their giggling daughter until Tohru had lifted her out of the tub and wrapped her in the towel she had set out. Tohru stood with the little infant, who was struggling to get back into the water, and walked out of the bathroom, leaving the mess for later. Yuki followed Tohru into the nursery where Emi's clothes had been laid out neatly on the floor. The bath was soon forgotten as Emi was placed on her feet and the towel she was once wrapped in was now running across every inch of her wet flesh and damp, brown locks.
"Yuki-kun, you have to delete that later," Tohru commented as she struggled to keep Emi from fleeing.
"Why? She finally said dada."
"Yes, but she's going to be furious when she's older and finds out you have a video of her taking a bath," Tohru laughed.
"And she'll find out on her eighteenth birthday when I decide to show a bunch of random videos I have," Yuki smirked mischievously.
"Go get changed, please," Tohru pled, fighting back a smile.
Tohru took the video recorder from him and set it on the dresser after laying Emi down on the floor. Yuki knelt down in front Emi momentarily and touched her tiny fist before obeying Tohru and leaving to find his clothes. Tohru sat down, quickly slipping a clean diaper on Emi before pulling on her lilac dress that matched Emi's eyes. Tohru smiled at the sight, smoothening the bodice as she pulled white stockings over tiny legs and black shoes onto tiny feet. Afterwards, Tohru quickly combed the damp tresses and stuck a white bow on top of her head.
"Come, Emi. Let's go help mommy change," Tohru smiled, taking her daughter's hand.
Emi wobbled after her mother as Tohru led them into her and Yuki's bedroom, where Yuki currently stood before a mirror, fighting to get his tie on as neatly as he could. Frustrated at the lopsided accessory, Yuki rashly undid it, leaving it hanging on his arm just as they entered.
"How about you go help Daddy with his tie?" Tohru suggested to Emi after releasing her fingers.
Although only understanding a handful of the words, Emi obediently stumbled over to Yuki and clung to his pants, distracting him more than helping as she tugged the blue, silky accessory from him and rushed away, giggling madly as he chased after her and swept her up into the air. Tohru couldn't help pausing as Yuki hugged Emi, kissed her chubby cheek, and stole the tie back when Emi wasn't looking. Emi's fingers tightened around the soft fabric before the end slid through her fingers. Her grin vanished, and she stuck her bottom lip out in a pout as she yanked back on the tie, but as soon as Yuki surrendered the tie and released his end, Emi dropped it with a mischievous laugh, making Yuki sigh as he bent over to pick it up.
With a smile, Tohru hurriedly grabbed the pink and white dress Yuki had given to her over a year ago and trotted off to the bathroom to change. She slipped out of her t-shirt and sweatpants. Holding her breath, she yanked on the gown as quickly as she could and let out a sigh of relief when it slid on smoothly. Tohru had anxiously been waiting this past year in hopes that she'd lose all the weight she had put on during her pregnancy so she'd be able to wear Yuki's gift. Glancing at her reflection, she noticed her disastrous hair. Tohru rapidly combed through her tangled locks and braided her dark hair neatly. Finally, she tied matching ribbons to her hair before exciting hastily.
"Mama!" Emi cried as soon as Tohru came out and rushed over to her.
Emi stopped at Tohru's feet and extended her tiny fist toward Tohru.
"What is it, sweetie?" Tohru asked gently.
Instead of replying with the couple of words she knew, Emi uncurled her tiny fingers and revealed a sparkling ring in the palm of her hand. Emi peered at Tohru for a moment, watching Tohru's jaw drop, before her gray eyes drifted back to the adornment in her palm. Tohru gasped, hesitantly taking the ring from Emi. It was a silver band with an array of diamonds on the top. There was a large diamond in the center, and at least ten smaller ones that surrounded it in a floral design. Her eyes hopefully shot towards Yuki, her boyfriend of a year and a half, but he was currently focusing diligently on redoing his tie.
"Where did you get this?" Tohru inquired curiously.
Emi didn't respond, taking the ring back from Tohru and sticking it in her mouth instead. Her thin eyebrows furrowed at the metallic taste, not quite sure whether it was a good taste or a bad one. Tohru dropped to her knees in a panic. Eyeing her daughter cautiously, she tried to keep Emi from swallowing the ring.
"Don't eat it, Emi-chan! We have to find who this belongs to! This is someone's ring! And she's probably looking for it!" Tohru squealed.
Hurriedly, Tohru cupped her hand under Emi's mouth, but Emi turned her face away. When Tohru caught Emi's face with her free hand, Emi pursed her lips together, but obediently spit the jewelry out. Tohru held the drooled on gem in her hand frantically. Partly relieved that Emi hadn't choked on it, Tohru hugged her momentarily before focusing back on the ring with a gamut of emotions. Even in her frenzy, Tohru had to take note that the ring was unbelievably gorgeous, and it looked like it would fit her slender finger perfectly. She buried her hopes immediately, though, since her boyfriend still hadn't seemed to realize what was going on.
"Oh no! How are we supposed to find out whose this is?" Tohru squabbled.
Too distraught, Tohru didn't notice when Yuki groaned and smacked his head against the wall. She didn't even see that he had given up on his tie and had tossed it aside until he had clasped his hands around hers. Tohru jumped, blinking at him in confusion. She flinched before glancing down at her palm, relieved she hadn't tossed the ring across the room in shock. Noting his irked expression, Tohru peered up at him in confusion, not understanding why he was so annoyed -unless the ring was for her. Unintentionally, she let her hopes rise again.
"It's yours," Yuki firmly told her.
"No, no it's not! I-I've never seen this before!" Tohru squeaked, misunderstanding his words.
"That's because you just got it," Yuki explained uneasily.
He gazed at her expectantly, waiting for some emotion to cross her face, but all he received were waves of shock. Yuki was positive that her eyes couldn't get much wider than they were right now. After staring at him in bewilderment, Tohru glanced down at the ring and then resumed gazing at his face. Her jaw dropped as she unsuccessfully tried to speak. After a minute of pointlessly gaping and shutting her mouth, she nervously took a shallow breath. Worriedly, Yuki touched her shoulder, only to have her almost fall over.
"W-What?" she gasped finally.
"Tohru, I've been in love with you for a couple of years now, and each day that passes, the more I can't imagine spending my life apart from you. I want us to be together for the rest of our lives. I love you, Tohru Honda. Will you marry me, Honda-san?" Yuki breathed delicately.
Tohru gawked at him blankly, too stupefied to respond. Her heart fluttered, tossing itself against her ribcage as her eyebrows struggled to reach her hairline. With her heart beating loudly enough for their nearest neighbor, Shigure, who lived at least a mile away, to hear, Tohru kept her eyes on everything in the room but Yuki and the ring he had taken from her palm. That proved impossible, however, when he tipped her chin upward with his forefinger, forcing her to meet his eyes and still demanding some response other than the surprise she was displaying.
"W-Was that why you were gone earlier? You w-were getting a r-ring?" Tohru stammered, blatantly avoiding his question.
"Y-You want to marry me?" Tohru questioned feebly.
Again, he nodded, still waiting for a response, but Tohru was silent.
"And…?" he pressed.
"And?" she repeated, confused.
"Are you going to accept my proposal and slobbered on ring?" Yuki asked uncertainly now.
"Y-Yes!" Tohru nodded incredulously.
She couldn't even blink before the widest grin she had ever seen rippled across his face, and the ring was slid onto her left ring finger. She was only able to gaze at it for a mere second before she was swept off her feet and ensnared in a tight embrace. He swung her around jubilantly before he pressed his lips to hers. She gasped as his fingers wove themselves into her long tresses, and she was held lovingly against him. Her blush deepened as the kiss did, and even more so when Emi reminded them of her presence with a couple of loud squeaks. Tohru flushed bright red as she was set back on the ground. Yuki chuckled when he glanced at Emi and noticed her arms were extended upwards, indicating her desire to be carried as well. He grinned and gently laid her on his shoulder.
"Come, Emi, let's let mommy finish getting ready," Yuki murmured as he walked over to the edge of the bed and sat down with her.
Tohru peered up at him shyly, only daring to look at him for a brief moment before she focused her eyes on her jewelry. She didn't notice, but Yuki's smile just broadened as she stared at the ring now adorning her slender extremity. She looked away before Yuki could notice her gawking and slipped on the silver necklace Yuki had given her on White Day. She fingered the heart shaped charm for a moment before walking towards Yuki, averting her eyes the entire journey. She couldn't meet his gaze, could hardly even speak in fear that she'd disturb this perfect moment and awake from what she was convinced was a dream.
"We're going to be late," she mumbled meekly.
"Don't worry. You know nothing can start until all the teachers and everyone else for that matter fuss over Emi for a good ten minutes," Yuki pointed out.
Tohru nodded with a faint smile as Yuki stood. He hesitantly brushed the back of his hand against her palm before grasping it and giving it a comforting squeeze. Tohru dared to meet his glistening, gray eyes for a brief moment before hurrying out of the room, dragging him behind her. Emi looked at both of her parents curiously, not quite getting what was going on. She thrust her tiny finger forward, poking Tohru's flushed cheek with a grin. Emi laughed as the shade of pink darkened. Tohru's varying skin color and the sparkling gem held her attention until they neared the end of the hallway.
"Mou!" Emi exclaimed frantically as they passed her bedroom.
Emi's arms were extended as far as they could be towards her room, and she refused to stop squeaking until they turned around. Yuki laughed, but entered her room to retrieve her mouse plush she had recently named three weeks prior. Emi hugged the stuffed animal tightly and immediately began chewing on the fraying ears.
"Poor mouse," Yuki chuckled.
"She's teething," Tohru murmured.
She held out Emi's teething ring to her, but Emi promptly turned her head away and continued chewing on the stuffed ear. Tohru sighed and dropped the ring into the baby bag, watching her daughter diligently tug at the mouse's ear with her newly forming teeth. Clearly amused by this, Yuki shook his head, supporting Emi with one arm as he took Tohru's hand with his free one. Tohru let him lead her downstairs, staring at the most jubilant expression she had ever seen across his face. Her face soon mirrored his, but hers was tainted with a touch of doubt.
"You really want to marry me?" Tohru asked uneasily.
"Of course… I love you. Don't you want to marry me?" Yuki inquired almost uneasily.
Tohru nodded, tears welling up in her large brown eyes, "I love you too… So much."
Emi squirmed and cried, "Lub oooh, mama!"
Tohru froze on the stairs and stared at her beaming daughter. Emi giggled, burying her face against Yuki's shirt shyly. The widest smile crawled across Tohru's face as she gazed upon her daughter joyfully. Yuki glanced back at Tohru with a happy yet almost envious look. Pausing on the step, he stroked Emi's back, getting the small child to lift her head and peer back at Tohru timidly. Tohru hopped down the two steps to Yuki and tossed her arms around her daughter and new fiancé. The tears spilled, unable to be restrained as Emi cheerfully repeated her newly learned phrase.
"I love you too, Emi-chan," Tohru crooned.
Emi giggled, wrapping her hands around Tohru's hair. Tohru laughed, offering Emi her hand instead. Emi willingly clutched Tohru's hand as they continued their journey to the school. By the door, Yuki grabbed Emi's thin jacket just in case before he tossed two dark blue graduation gowns over his shoulder. Tohru gently placed the two matching caps into her bag before locking her free hand with Yuki's. He led her outside as they began the ten minute journey to the school with all their hands interlocked.
All attention immediately flew towards Yuki and Tohru as they walked into the crowded school. Emi was dutifully chewing on Yuki's shoulder, giving her stuffed toy a break, and clinging to him tightly. All the girls lingering about the lobby of the school stared at the one year old in Yuki's arms. They couldn't help admiring the beautiful child as she glanced at them, but they had to envy her indifferent attitude with her father. She was not only hugging the most gorgeous and coveted guy at school, but she was biting him, and he didn't even seem to mind. Emi rested her head by Yuki's neck and wrapped her fingers around Yuki's tie, beginning to fidget as everyone began to approach her and lay their hands all over her.
She squirmed and whimpered, reaching for Tohru uncomfortably as the crowd behind her began to thicken. Her situation in Tohru's arms wasn't much better, for Uo, Hana, and all the Sohmas were just as bad as the rest of the school combined. Finally, Emi got Tohru to put her on the ground, and Emi immediately ducked under the graduation gown Tohru had just put on. Trying in vain to coax her daughter into coming out, Tohru laid her hand on the back of Emi's head as Emi locked her arms around Tohru's legs.
"Emi-chan, look! Momiji-kun and Akira-kun are here to play with you!" Tohru exclaimed, watching Akira run ahead of Shigure and Akito towards them.
They seemed to be racing over. Momiji easily won as he skidded to a stop and embraced Tohru, crying out, "Tohruuuuu! Yukiru-chan!"
Emi, however, only lifted Tohru's gown to peek out for a moment, vaguely recognizing Momiji's nickname for her, before hiding again. Akira just laughed as he continued over and joined Emi under Tohru's graduation gown, clinging to Tohru's other leg. Tohru looked down in humiliation, staring at the hidden heads of two toddlers latched to her. Afraid to move and hurt them, she peered over at Yuki desperately. Yuki chuckled as he bent over, wrapped an arm around both of the leg huggers, and yanked them out. Yuki took one look at Momiji before he too was pried off of Tohru. Emi wriggled around, struggling to return for a minute before she gave up and climbed back into Yuki's arms while Akira stood there with his arms folded across his chest and a scowl on his face.
Patting Akira on the head, Yuki chuckled, "You take after your father too much."
"You say that as if it were a bad thing," Shigure commented, running his fingers across his chin.
"It is," Yuki muttered as he stood.
He ignored Shigure's crying as he swiftly stepped two paces to the left before Ayame could run by and snatch Emi from him. Yuki had let Ayame babysit once and refused to do so ever again. He hadn't let Ayame hold Emi or come in much contact with her since that incident five months ago when Emi had spent a couple of hours at Ayame's shop and was returned in a mini maid's outfit. Glancing over at the rest of the members of his family, Yuki shook his head at them and placed Emi into Hatori's waiting arms, only trusting the doctor with his daughter. Emi refused to let go of Yuki though, leaning towards him from Hatori's grip and holding onto his shirt tightly. Tohru stroked Emi's hair, fixing a clip before kissing her head.
"Emi-chan, be good for Hatori-san, okay? Mama will see you in two hours," Tohru murmured.
Emi's face twisted with sadness as Yuki began to lead Tohru towards the auditorium where the rest of the students were heading. Tohru followed along reluctantly, trying her best not to pay attention to the soft whimpering she could hear behind her. Worriedly, she took her rightful seat in the middle of the reserved seats for the graduates, watching Yuki head off to his seat three rows behind her with forlorn eyes. Once he was seated, she located Emi standing on Hatori's lap five rows behind her. Her daughter seemed to be crying.
Trying to keep her face clear of the tears staining Emi's, Tohru fought to focus on the ceremony that had just begun. She stared at her principal, trying to listen to what he was saying, but all she could hear were Emi's muffled cries. Glancing back at Yuki, she found a similar frown across his face, but when he noticed her gazing at him, he pointed back towards the stage. Tohru uneasily turned around and watched as a procession of students wearing similar gowns started for the stage for their diplomas. She couldn't really notice much until she finally heard Emi's cries die down.
By then, however, it was practically time for her to go up. Tohru stood up with her row and made her way towards the steps, carefully eyeing her path to make sure she didn't trip in her new high heels. She let out a sigh of relief when she made it past the stairs and was walking across the stage to get her diploma. Tohru's cheeks instantly flushed at the applause she received, even if it was mainly from the Sohmas. She could hear booing from a few of the Yuki Fan Club members, but that didn't compare to the cheering of her loved ones.
After she had taken the rolled up piece of paper and had shaken the principal's hand, she made her way down the steps.
As soon as the commotion had died down, Emi shouted, "Mama!"
Embarrassedly, Tohru gasped and nearly tripped down the stairs. If Emi's burst out hadn't made the crowd erupt in laughter, her near trip surely did. With scarlet cheeks, she hurriedly shuffled back to her seat and hid behind her hands. Tohru only lowered her makeshift mask when Uo, Hana, Yuki, and Kyo went up to fetch their diplomas. By the time Yuki had returned to his seat, the ceremony was practically over, and Tohru was already sitting on the edge of her seat . She could barely listen to the speeches, peeking back at Emi, who seemed to be frowning.
As soon as they were dismissed and the graduation caps had been tossed, Tohru was out of her seat, racing for the exit, followed closely by Yuki.
Yuki and Tohru squeezed out of the crowded doors, hands linked as they searched for their family members. The first thing they noticed was little Emi dashing over to every person wearing the graduation gown she had seen on Tohru, tugging on their gowns, and darting off when she realized they weren't Tohru. Emi trudged on with her thin eyebrows furrowed as she searched for her mother amongst the sea of dark blue.
"Mama?" she sniffled, starting to cry.
As soon as Emi spotted Tohru, her eyes lit up, and Emi excitedly bolted over to Tohru, rushing into her open arms. Squeaking ecstatically, Emi locked her fists around the top of Tohru's dress, tugging on the elastic and unintentionally yanking down the top half of Tohru's dress. Tohru gasped, pulling her dress back up, but the deed had been done, and everyone in the hallway was now frozen and staring at her chest, still envisioning the lacy, pink undergarment Emi had just revealed. Flushing furiously, Tohru averted all eyes that were focused on her, even Emi's until Emi began squealing and grasping Tohru's dress again.
Tohru lifted her daughter up timidly, hiding behind her tiny body.
Meanwhile, Yuki counted to three in his head, giving his classmates –and teachers- a few seconds to look away before he gouged out their eyes for gawking at Tohru's body. Returning his gaze to everyone, he nearly growled when he noticed nothing had changed. He helped Tohru up and stood in front of her protectively, cutting between the victim and the gawkers. Fighting to restrain every urge to slit various throats with the diploma he was now viciously clenching in his fist, Yuki didn't even notice when Shigure came into sight until he made an announcement that focused all of Yuki's rage on him.
"Oh no! I missed Tohru-kun's peep show!" Shigure cried as he raced over.
"Keep your eyes off my fiancée," Yuki seethed.
Tohru's already scarlet cheeks darkened further as all eyes drifted over to the gem adorning her left ring finger. She swallowed nervously as several of the female gazes filled with malice and envy. Tohru slid her other hand over the band, trying to conceal it, but the jewelry was already branded into the mind of her classmates. She didn't even need to take her eyes off of Emi, the only one in the room who wasn't gaping at her, to know that she had once again unwillingly become the center of attention. Tohru could already hear the gossip wash through the crowd, and she had to grimace.
"Fiancée?" Shigure echoed slyly, "I'm glad I brought your graduation gifts here then!"
"The glory of the day! The princess is finally betrothed to my younger brother! Dearest brother, for what reason have you not joyfully run into my arms with such news-" Ayame seemed to have more to say, but when Yuki's fist connected with the top of his head, Ayame dropped to the ground and silence filled the room.
Tohru bent over worriedly, but she had to stop fussing and step aside when Emi began to yank on Ayame's long hair.
Shigure held a large box crudely wrapped with what seemed like reused decorative paper out to Yuki. Yuki eyed it suspiciously for a moment before hesitantly reaching over and taking it from Shigure. He shook it a couple of times, baffled by the muffled crinkling sound, before he dared to begin to tear off the wrapping. He took a deep breath and held the box as far from himself and Tohru as he could before he dared to lift the lid off. For a minute, all he could do was stare at the silver strips lying in the box. He lifted one up for inspection and was appalled by the word printed in bold black letters across each little package. Tohru looked over curiously, and a similar bewildered expression crossed her face as well before a faint blush flitted across her features.
"Condoms," Yuki muttered, "You got me a box full of condoms for graduation."
"No, no, no, Yuki! For Tohru-kun too!" Shigure exclaimed wryly.
"Go rot in hell, Shigure."
He was about to throw the box at Shigure, beat him repeatedly with the gift, and possibly try to strangle him with the chain of condoms, but Emi's hand grabbed the strip he was still holding. She beamed brightly, clutching the silvery ribbon tightly in her fists while she waved them around. Emi resumed singing her song as she played with her new shiny toy in delight, making Shigure grin and pat her head proudly. The smile slid off of Tohru's face. Unlike everyone crowded around, neither Tohru nor Yuki found this to be humorous at all. If he weren't so shocked, Yuki might have broken the hand Shigure kept on Emi's brown locks.
"Ca- Con-dem!" Emi squealed.
Yuki gaped at his daughter before glowering at Shigure. He slid the strip of condoms out of her chubby fingers before she could blink. Emi whimpered, but Tohru set Emi down, keeping her as far away from them as possible. Tohru's actions were in vain, for as soon as her shoes touched the tiled floor, Emi raced over to Yuki and jumped up, struggling to get her plaything back, but Yuki didn't seem to notice, not even when Emi was hopping on his shoes. Tohru did notice, however, and swept Emi back into her arms, only to set her back down when she started kicking and whining.
"Do you have any idea how hard it was to teach her how to say daddy, and yet you managed to teach her such a foul word so quickly?" Yuki demanded.
"Not quickly! This took a long time, Yuki!" Shigure protested.
"How long have you been showing her condoms?!" Yuki questioned irritably.
"Oh you know… Funny story. A couple of months ago, when she was crawling about, she found a condom…" Shigure trailed off.
"Dear god. It better not have been used," Yuki choked out.
Yuki's hand flew to mouth in disgust as various images of Emi with condoms slithered into his head. As more scenes floated into his head, he was left wondering why he had even trusted Shigure to watch over Emi, even if Hatori was usually with him. This was definitely worse than the maid's outfit. It was times like these that made Yuki question his own sanity. If he weren't going crazy, he didn't deserve to be a father since he had considered Shigure a capable babysitter. Fuming, his fingers curled, aching to form a deadly snare around Shigure's neck. Shifting his gaze to Emi, he repeated her name in his head, a mantra to convince him that murdering Shigure was not worth losing his family and going to jail.
"Hah. No. Of course not. So I, being the intelligent adult, told her it was a balloon, and now she wants to play with them every time she comes over," Shigure chuckled, continuing nonchalantly.
"Alas! A brilliant conclusion wrought by the most genius of men-" Ayame began to prattle but was soon interrupted by Yuki.
"Shigure! I'm going to murder you later! You're the worst babysitter ever! You let her play with condoms? She could choke! And what kind of morals are you teaching her?!" Yuki snapped, only to be cut off by Emi.
"Con-duuum!! Boon!" Emi wailed, stretching her arms out towards the shiny ribbons.
"No, honey. You don't play with con-condoms," Tohru squeaked feebly.
Tohru waved her favorite stuffed mouse in front of Emi in attempt to distract her, but Emi slapped it away, knocking it to the floor ruthlessly. With her head hanging, Tohru hopelessly went to retrieve the mouse plush. Desperately, Tohru searched for something in the room to distract her daughter, but Emi refused to be consoled and rejected everything Tohru tried to give her. Even Tohru was losing her patience at this point, but she had already been annoyed by the adults in the room commenting about her parenting abilities. Her ire was soon replaced by fret when Emi's tiny face scrunched up and turned red, ready to spill tears.
"Boon!" Emi cried, stamping her feet and reaching up impatiently.
"Emi, you like mama's ring, don't you? Want to play with it?" Yuki offered, waving Tohru's hand around.
Mesmerized by the sparkling gem, Emi's attention wavered back to Tohru. The creases instantly smoothed away from her face, erasing all signs of crying. She wobbled over happily and took Tohru's hand into her tiny ones. A wide smile returned to grace her face as she fiddled with Tohru's ring, laughing when the gem reflected the light and bounced glimmering rainbows off its smooth surface. Relieved that Emi was no longer paying any attention to the pack of condoms he had just thrown back at Shigure, Yuki smiled and patted Emi's head.
"Good girl. No more condoms, and daddy will buy you a ring, okay?" Yuki bargained.
Emi whined impatiently, tugging on Tohru's ring herself. The ring, however, was snatched away from Emi, to her dismay, when Uo grabbed Tohru's hand to examine the adornment herself. Emi's smile faded instantly, morphing into a pout as her attempts to get the ring back failed. Huffing irritably, she yanked on the bottoms of Tohru and Uo's dresses, but her cry for attention went unnoticed. As a last resort, she bounced over to her father, but he was too busy glaring at Shigure and eavesdropping on what Uo and Tohru were talking about to do much other than hold her hand.
"Damn, Tohru. That's nice! No wonder you agreed," Uo snickered.
"That's not why I agreed!" Tohru disagreed.
"Of course not. You agreed because he's a hunk of eye candy," Uo teased.
"That's not it either!" Tohru exclaimed embarrassedly.
Uo nodded, feigning dubiety as she eyed Tohru. Noticing that Yuki's eyes had uneasily slid over to her, Tohru waved her hands around in denial. To Uo's amusement, Tohru panicked further, spouting out gibberish and flailing about as she tried to correct Uo's thinking. Not noticing the glint of humor deep behind Yuki's solemn eyes, Tohru struggled to keep him from second-guessing her love for him. Earnestly, she tried to convey her utter need for him, regardless of her humiliation and incoherency.
Eyeing the hand wrapped around her mother's, Emi reached up and slapped the unwelcomed hand. Startled, Uo dropped Tohru's fingers and stared at Emi's almost ferocious expression, nearly proud of Emi. Tohru, however, was appalled by Emi's actions, but she couldn't even find words to express her feelings or to even question Emi about her violence. Emi almost sounded as if she were growling at Uo. In vain, Emi shoved Uo's legs, trying to move Uo away from her mother. When Uo didn't budge, Emi threw a fit and placed her hands on her hips, mimicking a gesture she had seen Tohru do before.
"Uo-chan! I'm so sorry! Emi has never hit anyone before! Are you okay?" Tohru gasped frantically.
Before Tohru could even lift Uo's hands to check for an injury, Emi's tiny palm came crashing down on Uo's thigh. She frowned at Uo before returning to Tohru and wrapping her arms around Tohru's legs. Her eyebrows knitted together, making her seem ready to cry if anyone dared to take another step towards Tohru. Tohru gaped at Emi, too speechless to reprimand Emi or even to utter another apology to Uo. Emi's trembling bottom lip kept Tohru from being able to lecture her daughter. She pressed Emi's face against her soothingly, but fire continued to burn in Emi's tired eyes.
"My mama!" Emi screeched.
"Emi, no. You don't hit people," Yuki told her firmly.
Emi peered up at him for a moment before beginning to sob. Everyone froze as Emi let out a shriek and wailed at the top of her lungs. Burrowing her face in Tohru's legs, Emi drenched the edge of Tohru's outfit with tears before Tohru could even pick her daughter up. Emi trashed about vehemently in Tohru's arms, kicking her legs and swinging her arms around crankily, ignoring the numerous people she struck. Her face flushed scarlet as her tears landed on Tohru's shoulders, dampening her gown.
"Oh no! Oh no!" Tohru squeaked, "Sorry!"
She bowed apologetically a couple of times before darting out with her sobbing daughter with Yuki trailing close behind her. Outside in the busy parking lot, where nobody seemed to be paying attention to them, Tohru and Yuki comforted Emi, alternating back rubs with pacifying sounds and gentle caresses. After five straight minutes of consoling her daughter, they managed to get the cries to quiet down, but Emi was still whimpering, despite how worn out she appeared to be. Emi nibbled on her knuckles, still shaking as cries raked through her body.
"She's tired," Yuki commented.
Hearing her father's voice, Emi turned towards him and stuck her arms out to him. Yuki smiled and took the child into his arms willingly, and before two whole minutes could pass, Emi was passed out with her head pressed against Yuki's shoulder and her fist in her mouth. Tohru stroked her daughter's head before pulling out her jacket and draping it over Emi's shoulders. Tohru was dismayed to find Emi's eyes surrounded with red rims and a frown etched into her face. Worriedly, Tohru kissed Emi's cheek, managing to squeeze a faint smile from Emi.
"Ready to go?" Yuki asked softly.
Tohru glanced back at the building and the entrance where her family and friends stood, bidding them farewell before she nodded. Wearily, she trod behind him, eager to get home. Her eyes were already drooping by the time they stumbled through the door, but once they arrived in Emi's room, she was wide awake. Tohru leaned over the cradle as Yuki gently laid a slumbering Emi down to sleep. He gingerly tucked the pink blanket around her small frame. Tohru had to gush over his care and admire Emi's peaceful form, her wingless angel.
When Tohru wasn't looking, Yuki approached her from behind and slid his arms around her waist, making her jump a little. Tipping her head backward to meet his eyes, Tohru was startled to find a grave expression across his face.
"Tohru, do you regret anything? Have you regretted this?" Yuki murmured into her ear, gesturing to Emi.
"Of course not! I love Emi-chan! And I love you too," Tohru added shyly before continuing, "I mean… In the beginning, maybe a little. It was difficult, but I'm glad. Emi-chan gave me you."
"I was yours before all of this."
"You never did anything about that before," Tohru pointed out.
"Okay, okay. Emi did give me the courage to confess, and for that, I'm forever grateful," Yuki replied before planting a kiss on her cheek.
Tohru kept her eyes glued to the gentle rise and fall of Emi's chest, struggling in vain to keep a blush from blossoming across her cheeks or at least, keep Yuki from noticing it. Her wish was pointless, for as soon as it popped into her mind, Yuki's finger brushed against her warm cheek, and she could have sworn she heard him laugh before Yuki sighed, plopping his chin down on her shoulder. He watched her flushed skin darkened further. Tohru tried to break out of his hold timidly, but his arms kept her locked there.
"You still blush as if we had just begun dating," Yuki chuckled.
Tohru simpered timidly, still refusing to meet his eyes.
"Who would have guessed? The first girl to have a child as a student in Kaibara High would also be the shiest and most modest girl there too?"
"I-Is that b-bad?" Tohru stuttered nervously.
He simply smiled and shook his head, whether in denial or in disbelief she never found out, for before she could blink, his arms had slithered around her waist and he had pulled her up onto the tips of her toes. The next part she could have guessed, but when his lips crashed into hers, her eyes still widened and there was still her audible gasp. For a moment, her arms hovered awkwardly in the air before they found their resting place around his shoulders as Yuki continued to caress her face with the gentlest kisses. She didn't even realize that she wasn't breathing until he pulled away, and she was left choking for air.
His eyes alarmed her of his panic and concern as she sucked in deep breaths, but that look was soon replaced by amusement when she covered her cheeks in humiliation.
Just as he bent forward to kiss her a second time, Tohru jerked away at the sound of the rattling crib. They both blinked, glancing at each other in confusion before turning to the crib. Emi was standing up, wide awake, and shaking the wooden bars. When she noticed that they were finally looking at her, she stuck her arms up with a delighted squeal. Immediately, Tohru smiled and picked her up, cradling her lovingly, but Yuki turned away and groaned, muttering something about how they wouldn't have any privacy for another seventeen years.
Awake once again, Emi clung to Tohru, locking her legs around Tohru's waist as she settled on Tohru's hip. She stared at Tohru for a moment before peering around the room and furrowing her brow at Yuki, whom she deemed too close to her mother. After swinging her feet and kicking Yuki lightly in the abdomen, Emi buried her face in Tohru's side, possessively gripping Tohru. Yuki's eyes widened at this, taken aback by Emi's actions. Almost guiltily, but not quite, Emi turned away from him, ducking her head under Tohru's arm.
"My mama!" Emi cried.
Noting the hurt frown across Yuki's face, Tohru scolded Emi, "Emi, no hitting, and especially not your daddy. He loves you so much, as much as mommy does, and mommy loves him very much as well, so don't hurt your daddy. Please."
"Don't worry about it, Tohru," Yuki commented as he bent over so that he was at eye level with Emi.
"Emi, don't you love me, your daddy?" he inquired gently.
Emi only responded with a soft, defiant huff.
"Oh well… And I was just considering sharing mommy with you. Now I get to keep mommy all to myself," Yuki teased as he wrapped his arms around Tohru.
Emi scowled her best scowl and flailed her arms, whacking Yuki's nose as she began to cry.
"Yuki!" Tohru halfheartedly scolded him as she tried to console her daughter.
Yuki simply smiled, patting Emi's head. At first she swatted at his hand, but after a minute, she peered up at him through the glistening tears. Noticing her shift, Yuki leaned over and kissed her chubby cheek, chuckling when her small hand flew there in attempt to wipe the kiss away. She stopped protesting when Yuki's arms encircled both her and Tohru in a tight group hug. Soon enough, a grin was blooming across Emi's flushed cheeks. Giggling with her high pitched voice, her hands formed bonds between Yuki and Tohru, locking their shirts together in her fists.
She, however, was unaware that that was completely unnecessary.
Their love nearly formed a palpable link among the three of them, and Emi was just the physical manifestation of their union, forever intermingling Yuki with Tohru, forever the tangible form of Yuki and Tohru's love, and also, their precious treasure for eternity.
The next morning, the three of them were awoken by a call from Tohru's grandfather, who immediately questioned them for the whereabouts of his wedding invitation.
Theeee End :] But not quite. I might post extra scenes and stuff for this story in a collection of oneshots I will make someday. xDD Thank you all for reading this story!
Happy Holidays, everyone! And all I want for Christmas is for you to review and correct my silly errors. Please and thank you.
I hoped everyone enjoyed this.