Quints – Chapter One – The Biggest Surprise
Horokeu Usui woke from his deep slumber unwillingly, and having found it impossible to get back to sleep, opened his deep azure eyes, staring lazily up into adoring golden ones. Ren smiled down at his waking koi and kissed him tenderly on the lips.
"'Hello' to you, too." Horo grinned. Ren kissed him again.
"I love you..." he whispered against his boyfriend's lips.
"I love you, too." the Ainu replied. Ren leaned his forehead against Horo Horo's, looking him straight in the eyes.
"Last night was amazing." Horo smiled and they both got up to get ready to go.
"I can't wait! You finally get to meet my parents! After all this time! I mean, we've been having sex for almost three months!" Horo exclaimed. Ren blushed slightly.
"Are you feeling well today?" he asked, and was quickly answered with the sudden sound of Horo galumphing down the hall to the bathroom to heave up his insides. Ren blanched.
"Sorry, love." Horo shook his head slightly and emptied his stomach more before replying.
"It's not your fault. I'm just not feeling well. What a weird illness. I eat like a pig all day, WAY more than usual, which is saying something in itself, and then I just heave it all up every morning." Ren nodded knowingly and they headed off to the airport.
After a short plane flight, they soon found themselves in front of Horo's parents' front door. Horo Horo knocked happily. A tall, gruff-looking black-haired man opened the door and suddenly smiled in joy.
"Horokeu!" he exclaimed, and held out his arms to him. Horo bounced into them and they hugged tightly as Ren just stared at the odd new concept of non-lovers hugging. Immediately after escaping his father's arms, Horo was pulled into another pair as a shorter woman with light blue hair hugged him closely.
"Oh, Horokeu! I've missed you so much! Come in, darling, come in!" she said warmly.
"Wait a minute, mom." Horo pulled out of her everlasting hold and grabbed Ren's hand, pulling him closer. "I want you to meet Tao Ren. He's my boyfriend." Horo's mother nodded.
"Honey, that's wonderful!" she said. The older man nodded in agreement and stuck out a hand.
"I am Akio Usui. This is my wife, Kaede." he stated. Ren took his hand to shake it but was surprised when Akio moved his other arm around him into a sort of half-hug. Ren stiffened and stayed that way as Kaede took her turn to hug him. Horo grinned and wrapped an arm around the Tao's shoulders.
"C'mon, Ren. Let's go inside." they all entered the house and Ren, being very tired, was allowed to go into Horo's old room to rest. In the meantime, Horo and his parents were having a talk.
"So, honey, how is it with you two? You get along well?" his mother questioned. Horo nodded.
"Yup. We're definitely heading in a good direction with our relationship." he answered.
"Son, what your mother is trying to ask is...are you having sex with him?" his father said. Horo coughed slightly.
"Erm...not that it's anyone's business in this house, but yeah. About three months ago we did some stuff." he replied suspiciously. Kaede nodded.
"That's fine, dear, no need to be so defensive." Horo relaxed slightly.
"We just want you to be making good decisions...sex is not something to be taken lightly, whether you're homosexual or not." Akio stated. Horo tensed up again in anger.
"I don't take this lightly! We've been together plenty long enough for me to be sure about this. It wasn't messing around, and neither of us was drunk. It was perfectly serious! We had a romantic evening planned by me, and then Ren told me he...he's in love with me. A-And I feel the same. He was a perfect boyfriend about it. He kept asking to be sure I was okay about the whole thing, that I was sure. He said he didn't want to if I wasn't absolutely ready for something like that and that he would wait forever for me. And then we did, and...and he took everything slow and gentle...so don't you dare say I'm taking anything about my relationship lightly!" he was now crying and very visibly aggravated. Both parents looked somewhat shocked at his outburst.
"Darling..." Kaede began, but Horo interrupted.
"I don't care what you think! Leave me alone!" he brushed away his mother's arm when she reached to take his hand and stood up angrily. Ren came in at that moment and immediately moved to his lover's side, putting his arms around him and running one hand through his messy hair.
"What's wrong? You alright, Horo?" he asked worriedly as Horo began to cry into his shoulder. Ren made a few connections on his own by the looks on the older couple's faces and glared at them as he pulled his boyfriend closer.
"Shhhh, Horokeu, its okay..." he moved Horo towards the kitchen, away from the two he had deemed the enemy. In the kitchen, which was connected to the living room, he peeled Horo away from him and wiped his tears away gently with his thumbs as he cupped Horo's face in his hands. He slowly sealed their lips together in a loving kiss and smiled when he pulled away.
"Now where's that smile you know I adore?" he asked, causing Horo to let out a light laugh.
"Thanks, Ren." he hugged him quickly and the Chinese took the opportunity to nuzzle into his blueberry-smelling hair.
While that was going on, Horo's parents were frowning in the living room.
"He really loves him..." Kaede murmured.
"Ah. It's too risky to let them stay together, though." Akio answered. Kaede nodded.
"Do you think it's too late? Horo does look much bigger than normal…" she asked, biting her lower lip.
"Let's hope not." he replied. Horo and Ren came back in and sat on a sofa together, with Horo sprawled out and leaning back into Ren's warmth as Ren absently played around with Horo's hair whilst giving the older pair a warning look. Silence reigned for a moment before a look came across Horo's face and he once again rushed down the hall to empty the contents of his stomach, startling his parents. Ren moved to follow him, but Kaede stopped him.
"Ren, was it? Sit, talk." Ren sighed but obeyed.
"Do you love my son?" she asked.
"Ah. I do." he answered.
"How long are you planning to be with him?" Ren gave her a look and fingered something in his pocket.
"As long as he allows me to." he said.
"Why are you having sex with him when you aren't even married?"
"Look... I love him. I would do anything for him. I would give my life to ensure his happiness. That is all that you should be concerned about. To be frank, the rest is none of your business. I'm sorry if you feel like you've lost your son or some other nonsense of the sort. We are together whether you like it or not, so deal with it. If you'll excuse me, my boyfriend is in the other room puking up his insides." he stated coldly and left the room quickly. Horo's parents looked at each other.
"I think it's too late, Akio." Kaede whispered. Akio nodded and put an arm around her in a comforting gesture. They stood together and went to the bathroom.
"Honey…you alright?" Horo's mom asked. Horo nodded in a sickly way.
"I'm good…I'm…Oh, god!" Horo turned around and revisited more of his breakfast.
"Ren…I think I'm ready to go ahead and see a doctor." He wheezed when he recovered. Kaede nodded.
"That's a good idea. Let me go with you." She said. Ren stepped closer to Horo in an almost threatening way.
"Ren, will you give me a hand with something out back?" Akio interjected. Ren glanced at Horo, who smiled and nodded encouragingly. The Chinese blew out some air and gave a curt bob of his head, then followed his boyfriend's father. Horo and Kaede walked slowly down the street.
"You seem to have gotten fattened up in Tokyo, ne?" she asked.
"Not really. This sickness I got made me bloat up." He replied.
"So…you and Ren-san must go to the same college, huh?"
"Nope. He's a straight-A, Ivy League college kind of guy. I'm an average, let-me-out-of-this-dump college kind of guy. We met because his old flat-mate moved out and he didn't want to pay the whole rent. At the same time, I was looking for a flat, and we moved in and just…clicked." Horo smiled.
"Have you thought of starting a family?" He halted suddenly.
"Mom, please don't start trying to make me feel guilty that you can't have grand-children from me. Maybe one day I'll adopt, but that's far into the future if anything. Ren and I are happy together. We're in love. I think he might even be 'The One'" he said.
"Really? Oh, Honey, I'm so happy for you!" she exclaimed and hugged him gently. They continued on their way to the local clinic.
OVER TO REN/AKIO
"Here we are. Help me carry this into the shed." Akio said, gesturing to a large box. Ren grunted as he lifted the bulk of the weight.
"So, Ren...what kind of grades do you get?" Akio questioned.
"What college do you go to?"
"Tokyo University for Gifted Students." (A/N - lol! TUGS!)
"What are you going to do after?"
"Eventually take over the family business."
"What kind of business?"
"Stocks. Shares. Investing."
"Ever think of starting a family?"
"You're a man of few words, huh?"
"Look, you're beginning to piss me off. I'm trying to get along with you for Horokeu, but you aren't making it easy on me. Stop asking me questions and trying to find all the flaws in me so you can point them out to Horo and break us apart. I love him more than you'll ever know." Ren snapped. Akio got quiet and nodded.
"Put the box here." He said softly.
BACK TO HORO/KAEDE
"Hi, Honey." Kaede said with tears in her eyes.
"Mom? Why are you crying? What's wrong? Am…Am I going to die?" Horo asked in a rush, panic and fear shooting through him.
"Oh, no, darling. It's just…Oh, you'll hear it in a minute." She replied, smiling through her tears. A few seconds later the doctor poked his head in.
"Ah. Here the proud little Ainu man is." He smiled and closed the door behind him. Horo grinned at the fond memory of his snowboarding accident and how he had proudly acted as though he needed no medical aid, despite his broken arm.
"Not so little anymore." He poked his stomach.
"But still proud enough to wait so long before coming to me."
"It's good to see you again, Dr. Kodomi. What's the diagnosis?" The older man sat in a chair.
"Well, according to all tests taken…you are going to be a father." Horo blinked.
"You're pregnant, Horokeu." Horo stared and blinked some more before chuckling.
"Nice one, Kodomi-san! Seriously, what's wrong with me?" Dr. Kodomi kept his calm and serious expression.
"You are pregnant, Horo. You had a rare genetic defect at birth. Don't ask about the specifics, believe me, you don't want to know." Horo swallowed the lump in his throat, but it rose up again. He looked down at his growing stomach, imagining the little fetus in there leeching off him.
"Horokeu, honey, you okay?" Kaede asked fearfully.
"I…I got to go." Horo shot up and ran out of the clinic and through the town, ignoring the calls for him to come back.
BACK TO REN
Ren's head shot up when Kaede rushed in.
"Did Horokeu come here?" she asked breathlessly. Ren grabbed his coat and went out the door.
"Where are you going?" she asked.
"To find my Horo Horo." He muttered and left.
BACK TO HORO
"So my parents have lied to me for 19 years, my lover is going to leave me, and I am a mutant freak with a baby inside of me." Horo murmured. He wasn't sure what he planned to do after running from the clinic, he just had to get out of there.
He had raced the streets wildly for a while, but now he was sitting in the huge tree fort he had made as a boy with his father. He and his twin friends, Koku and Roku, had used it as a secret clubhouse all those many years ago and it had long been a home base to their adventures, as well as a safe haven when they were upset.
He looked down at his stomach again and ran a hand over it gently. He frowned. He'd seen plenty of pregnant women and none of them were this big at only three months.
"Probably too late for abortion." He mumbled.
"What are you, a teenage father?"
"You dog! When did you get a girl?"
"She must have fattened you up, whoever she is, huh?" Two voices called out as Horo's two childhood friends climbed up.
"Hey guys." Horo smiled.
"We heard you were coming and figured you'd be here." The first laughed.
"So we brought some sake with us!" The second grinned, holding up a few bottles. Horo laughed.
"You two never change." The identical twins laughed.
"Yes, we did." The first said.
"We didn't steal it this time." The second finished.
"I hope not." Horo said humorously, remembering their scheme to get a hold of the alcohol.
They had sent Horo in as a decoy, yelling and screaming at the shopkeeper that he was dying as the other two snuck around back and nicked three bottles of the stuff. As soon as they were safely away, Horo yelled that he was saved and ran out and to the fort, where they proceeded to get drunk and sorely regretted it all the next morning, when they had hangovers, got in trouble, and had to pay the shopkeeper double the price of what they stole. The two now shoved a bottle into Horo's hands.
"To old friends reunited!" the first shouted, raising his bottle.
"KAMPAI!" they shouted together, but Horo's smile faded and he frowned at the liquid.
"Drink up, Horokeu! Tonight we celebrate your return!" the second said enthusiastically, taking a few gulps of his own drink.
"Guys…I…I really appreciate it, but I can't drink." He said apologetically. They looked disappointed.
"Koku, Roku, thank you. You made me realize something. I've got to go home. I have someone waiting." He grinned and went to the ladder.
"Alright, Horo, but you forgot one thing." Koku said evilly.
"The first to leave gets pushed!" Roku finished and before Horo could protest, he was on his way to the ground at break-neck speed. Horo hit the dirt hard and cried out in pain as he had landed on a root sticking out of the ground. The root dug into his back painfully. When he opened his eyes next, Ren and Koku were leaning over him worriedly.
"Ugh." He groaned as he tried to focus.
"Don't move, Horo." Ren commanded.
"What happened?" he mumbled.
"Those two buffoons you call friends pushed you out of the tree and you landed on a root." Ren glared at Koku.
"Sorry, dude." Koku bit his lip, looking guilty.
"Roku went to get the doctor." Ren finished. Horo's eyes filled with tears.
"Ren, I'm pregnant. What if the fall hurt the baby?" he asked fearfully. Ren stared at him oddly.
"You idiots damaged his brain! You numbskull!" he shouted and socked Koku in the gut.
"No, Ren! Honestly! I didn't believe it at first, either. I'm pregnant, Ren. We're going to be fathers." Horo clutched Ren's hand tightly.
"That's great, Horo." Ren smiled and turned to Koku, his expression turning to one of anger.
"Get that god damn doctor!" he hissed.
"What if the baby got hurt? What if our baby died! Ren, I couldn't bear it!" Horo began to cry.
"I'm sure the baby's fine, Horo-koi." Ren smiled again and then glared at Koku. Koku nodded and ran off. A moment later, Dr. Kodomi and the twins rushed back onto the scene and to Horo's aid.
"What happened?" the doctor asked as he immediately began to probe his patient's stomach with his tools.
"Roku and I pushed Horo out of the tree fort…We didn't think something bad would happen. I…It was all in good fun…Sorry…" Koku mumbled and bit his lower lip again. Roku crossed his arms and leaned against the tree, but still had a glimmer of remorse in his green eyes. Ren hovered worriedly around Horo and Dr. Kodomi, pacing every now and then. Finally, Kodomi put his tools away.
"Well, there's no obvious permanent damage, but I'd like to do a few tests back at the clinic and a sonogram wouldn't hurt, either." Ren's attention was caught by that last comment.
"Why would he need that?"
"I told you, Ren. I'm pregnant." Horo said. Dr. Kodomi nodded.
"It's true. He had a genetic defect at birth that enabled him to become pregnant. Congratulations. You're a lucky boy to get someone like Horokeu." Kodomi patted Ren on the back. Ren blinked a few times and looked at Horo's belly, making connections to the morning sickness and recent mood swings before his eyes rolled back in his head and he slumped backwards into Koku's arms. Horo Horo sat up slowly and with Roku's help managed to stand. Koku and Roku carried Ren, whilst Dr. Kodomi assisted Horo in walking back to the clinic. Ren woke up just as the sonogram was about to be taken.
"Wha…" Ren mumbled and put a hand to his head.
"Hey, Ren. Feeling better?" Horo asked.
"I think so…I had the strangest dream that your morning sickness and mood swings were because of a genetic defect that gave you the ability to have children and that I had got you pregnant."
"You didn't dream that, Ren. It's true. We're going to have a baby." Horo smiled nervously. Ren stared a moment then stood up with a jerk.
"Ren…" Horo reached out a hand and lightly touched his arm. Ren froze and tensed up.
"Just…give me some time to think about this." Horo grew angry.
"Time to think? What do YOU need time to think about? I'M the one with the little leech in me! I'M the one who can't get out of this! You know whose fault it is? YOURS!"
"Yeah, it's all MY fault! How the hell was I supposed to know I could knock up my BOYfriend?" Ren snapped.
"Ren…I need your support right now. It's not easy going through this. I need you to be there for me…" Horo whispered with tears stinging his eyes.
"That's another thing! Why didn't you TELL me about this? Why couldn't you have given me a little WARNING that you're a freak?" Horo's eyes widened slightly.
"That's what I am, now? A freak? I didn't even know about this…" Horo sank into a chair.
"Horo…It's just…I…I gotta go." Ren got quiet and left the building.
"Good riddance. If he can't see how great you are, he's not worth your trouble, Horo." Koku said, patting Horo's shoulder comfortingly.
"Hn." Roku left his spot leaning against the wall and left.
Roku saw Ren and sat on the swing next to him, waiting.
"How can you accept it so easily?" Ren asked.
"How can you not?" Roku retorted.
"It…It's just not normal."
"Neither is being a shaman. I've seen plenty of abnormal things in my life, and most of them have no real explanation. All you can really do is sit back and accept it. This time there's an actual reason. Besides, Horokeu is my friend, and a good one at that. He hasn't changed, and neither will I. In fact, I'm kind of excited. I'm going to be 'Uncle Roku' to the little midget." Roku smiled.
"You…You're right. Horo didn't change. I didn't change. We're going to have a baby… I'm going to be a father!" Ren got up and dashed off, yelling back. "Thanks Roku-kun!"
Roku grinned and stood, wiping the dirt off his bum. "Damn, I'm good." He followed the direction Ren ran off in. When Ren reached the clinic, he found Horo crying quietly, pretending he wasn't. He knelt down in front of him and placed a hand on his shoulder.
"Don't cry, Horo." He said softly. Horo turned slightly, wiping his face.
"I-I'm not crying." He sniffled unconvincingly.
"I'm so sorry. Forgive me?" Horo glanced at Ren's face, his sincere golden eyes, then turned away, crossing his arms and pouting.
"Apology NOT accepted." He stated firmly, sticking his nose up into the air.
"C'mon, love…" Horo interrupted Ren by suddenly slapping him hard on the face.
"How DARE you call me that! HOW DARE YOU!" he yelled angrily, standing up. Ren looked shocked, slowly bringing a hand to touch the burning red mark on his cheek. "You have NO RIGHT to call me that, Tao Ren!" Horo continued, stalking across the room.
"You hit me…" Ren said slowly, stupefied.
"Well, you LEFT me!" the Ainu retorted angrily.
"Horo, please…I was being stupid. I love you. Please…koi?" Ren tried gently, but that just seemed to anger the other even more. Horo whipped around and his fist connected with Ren's nose.
"I said don't call me that!" he shouted, his eyes full of rage as he was about to turn away again, when he caught sight of the look on Ren's face as he held his nose tenderly. The Ainu's eyes widened and he turned back, dropping to his knees and bringing Ren into his arms. "Oh my god, Ren, I'm so sorry. I can't believe I did that. Oh, god." He continued a stream of apologies as he kissed Ren's face and tried to bring his hands away from his nose. Ren's eyes were full of hurt.
"You promised…" he whispered, his eyes filling with tears he refused to let fall. Horo stopped and looked at him sorrowfully.
"I am so sorry, Ren. Please…let me see it…" he murmured, but Ren crawled away into a corner of the room, curling up with his knees to his chest. "Ren…" he said sadly, but was ignored.
"Y-You promised, Horo." Ren bit his lower lip. "You promised that you wouldn't ever hurt me like that." The Chinese shaman let out a shaky breath. Horo crawled over.
"I know. I wasn't thinking when I did that. I was just so angry. I swear, I never meant to. Please, believe me, Ren. I will never ever let what happened to you before happen again." Ren stared at him with fearful eyes as he began to tremble. Suddenly he threw himself into Horo's arms, burying his face in his chest and letting out his sobs. It was times like these the Ainu was especially aware of how fragile the Chinese could be. He cursed himself again for reminding Ren of his abusive past. After a while, Horo drew up his breath.
"Ren…did you really think I'm a freak?" he asked quietly. Ren drew back slightly and let a small smile grace his face.
"Never. Not even for the smallest billionth of a second." He replied. Horo brought their lips together in a small, gentle kiss, then began to inspect Ren's nose.
"It's fine, already." Ren said for the millionth time as Horo continued to fuss over the small bandage Dr. Kodomi had put on his nose. Horo frowned and prodded a little at his nose.
"I feel so bad, though. Are you sure there's nothing I can do to help it?" he asked with concern. Ren looked thoughtful.
"If you must, give me a kiss and tell me you love me." He muttered. Horo smiled and kissed him briefly.
"I love you." He whispered.
"Right. Now let's do this thing." The Tao said, turning his attention to the screen before him as the doctor began the sonogram. Soon the image on the screen showed what they were all waiting for.
"Is that it?" Horo asked in excitement, pointing. Dr. Kodomi nodded, looking lost in thought. A frown appeared on his face. Ren's expression went worried.
"What's wrong?" he asked.
"It's strange…" the doctor began to point at different areas of the screen, moving the device around on Horo's stomach as he did so, counting under his breath.
"What is it?" Ren demanded in a sterner tone, tapping the older man's arm. He turned.
"It appears…you are having more than one." He smiled weakly. Horo smiled broadly.
"Twins, then! Oh, Ren, that's wonderful!" he exclaimed. Ren's frown deepened.
"How many, doc?" he asked quietly. Horo turned to Dr. Kodomi questioningly, seeing the look on his face.
"Triplets?" he asked in a whisper. The old man sighed and shook his head.
"There are five." He informed.
"…Five…" the pregnant man breathed out. "What's the word for it?" he asked, glancing at Kodomi.
"Quintuplets, Horokeu." He answered.
"Quints, then. We're having quints." The Ainu breathed in and out largely a few times, holding his boyfriend's hand tightly. Ren looked plain shocked.
"Say something, Ren." The bluenette pleaded.
"H-How…? How the HELL did I manage to get so many of the little fuckers in there?!" he asked, nearly hysterical.
"Ren, it's not THAT bad, is it?" Horo asked.
"Not that bad? Not that bad?! Horo, how can you be so calm? Have you even THOUGHT about this? We're not even married, yet! We aren't READY to have kids, yet, Horo! I'm not ready to be a father! You're not even supposed to be pregnant! Have you thought of that, Horo? You have to give birth to FIVE! We haven't even told my parents about US, yet! How will they react to quints?! How are we going to raise quints? How are we going to care for them? We haven't even finished college! Dammit, Horo, we can't do this now!" Ren began to rant.
"Ren!" Horo raised his voice, silencing the Chinese.
"I haven't had time for thought. It's been just shock and you yelling the whole time." He said, giving them a few seconds for thought on that. He sighed.
"Look, I think the best thing we can do for now is to go home and get some rest. We'll talk it over and come up with a plan in the morning. Let's take this one thing at a time. For now, this stays in the room. We're just going home, sleeping and relaxing." He said sternly, leaving no room for argument. The others nodded and Ren and Horo walked home. After a brief talk with the Usui parents, they all resigned to their rooms. Ren snuggled up to Horo, cradling him protectively. The Ainu peered into his golden eyes, seeing fear shining in them.
"Don't worry. It'll be okay." Ren said quietly, though it sounded more like he was convincing himself. Horo nodded and pecked a quick kiss on his boyfriend's lips.
"I'm sorry." He whispered.
"For what? You couldn't have known." He said lovingly.
"For scaring you... I love you." The Ainu said.
"I love you, too." With that, they both settled down to sleep.
The next morning, HoroHoro sat down at the table with a pen and paper. "Alright, then. First, we come up with a few main points of concern. Next, we'll brainstorm solutions for each one, and then we prioritize them." He said calmly, glancing around the circle. Presently, he, Ren, his parents, Koku, Roku, and Dr. Kodomi were sat around at the table, all frowning.
"Points of concern…Let's see…How we care for them? How do we pay for all this? How do we explain to my parents? Where are we moving? How do we finish college? What if something goes wrong? How are we going to manage to plan a wedding in all this?" Ren counted on his fingers, bordering panic with all the problems he was foreseeing.
"Woah, hold on, what wedding?" Horo asked, holding up a hand for silence.
"Well…I just thought…" Ren trailed off, looking down.
"I'm not going to marry you just because you impregnated me. I don't need a mercy marriage!" the Ainu yelled, getting up and running to his room. Ren followed him.
"HoroHoro, stop running away!" he shouted, storming into his lover's room. The Tao frowned at the older boy crying on the bed. He shut the door and sat beside him.
"I don't want to force you into marriage just because of them." The bluenette said, voice muffled by his pillow. Ren's face softened.
"HoroHoro…look at me." He demanded, going down on one knee beside the bed with one of the ice shaman's hands in his own. Horo obeyed reluctantly. "Horokeu Usui, I love you more than anything else on this earth. I want to be with you the rest of my life and raise our children together. You would make me the happiest man in the world if you would just say you'll marry me. I'm saying this from my heart, not because of the quints." Ren whispered, pulling out a small box from his pocket and opening it to reveal a beautiful and elegant ring.
"Ren…? You mean…?" Horo stared in wonder. The Tao nodded.
"I was planning to ask this weekend. When I visited home last month, I was picking this up from the Tao treasury…It's been passed on for generations." He told his boyfriend.
"Tao Ren, I would be honored to marry you!" Horo exclaimed and lunged forward into a passionate kiss.