Sometimes I wonder how many people know the details of gay relationships before they hit double digits. Apart from me, I could probably count them on one hand with quite a few fingers left over.
When I was six, they told me I was adopted. They told me I had another tou-san and ka-san somewhere. I didn't care. I told them that they were my tou-sans and ka-sans already.
Plural of 'tou-san' and 'ka-san' because unlike most people I had six of them altogether, not counting my birth parents. Three tou-sans and three ka-sans. Or so I thought.
When I was seven, they told me they were all tou-sans, and none of them were ka-sans. I wasn't surprised, because I'd walked in on Ryo-ka-san in the bath once. But I still called him ka-san because I couldn't think of him as a tou-san. Tou-san was reserved for Kuni-tou-san, Kei-tou-san and Geni-tou-san. Even though I now confirmed that Ryo-ka-san, Syuu-ka-san and Sei-ka-san were all tou-sans, they were still ka-sans to me.
I knew I wasn't normal. Kids at school kept away from me; their parents and our teachers all watched me with wary eyes. I was an anomalous girl; I related better to the boys than to the girls in my class. How could I not, having been brought up in an all-male family – that is, excluding me?
Most people didn't even know that my ka-sans were actually tou-sans. After all, many ka-sans liked to wear pants like tou-sans. But the moment they heard my ka-sans names, they knew that they weren't real ka-sans. Ryoma. Syuusuke. Seiichi. Everyone knew the moment they heard those names. Their warm eyes would cool, their relaxed postures stiffen – and then they would pull their kids to their sides and walk away. I'd still be able to see them; the parent – usually the ka-san – bending down to talk to my friend, and my friend nodding. After that, they wouldn't be my friend anymore because their ka-san told them not to.
I wondered why it mattered so much. Maybe their ka-sans were jealous that my ka-sans were prettier than them. All my ka-sans were beautiful; even I could see that. They didn't go to special efforts to make themselves beautiful – they just were. Whether they were ka-sans or tou-sans, they were gorgeous. That's why my tou-sans loved them even though they were also tou-sans.
My ka-sans and tou-sans had normal partners; they paired up tou-san with ka-san, so that there were three pairs. Kuni-tou-san always walked with Syuu-ka-san; Geni-tou-san always smiled for Sei-ka-san; Kei-tou-san always argued with Ryo-ka-san. But they switched around when they felt like it too. The ka-sans of my classmates were often shocked to discover one of my tou-sans coming to events with different ka-sans every time, or one of my ka-sans coming with different tou-sans.
I once asked all my tou-sans and ka-sans why the other ka-sans didn't let their kids be friends with me. All of them had different answers.
Kuni-tou-san: "They're scared of us."
Syuu-ka-san: "They think we're wrong; we're bad – just because we're different from them."
Geni-tou-san: "They don't know you."
Sei-ka-san: "They think they know you, but they don't."
Kei-tou-san: "They do not know how to appreciate you yet."
Ryo-ka-san: "They're idiots."
I didn't know who was correct, but they seemed to be saying generally the same thing – they weren't used to us. I barely had a concept of male or female at all, or of having a family identity. My tou-sans and ka-sans decided that it wasn't fair if I had to take one of their names – because they were all different – so they kept my original surname, Nishi, which was the kanji for 'west', and gave me a new name, Haruya, using the kanji for 'spring' and 'night'. So, literally translated, my name was 'spring night of the west'.
Teachers were always surprised when my tou-sans introduced themselves – individually, of course. Geni-tou-san came when my grades slipped; Kuni-tou-san came when I was in trouble; Kei-tou-san came when they needed sponsors. It was always like that, and I knew to ignore the puzzled glances that probed me to answer their unspoken questions.
Other ka-sans were always shocked when my ka-sans came to parents' events. Syuu-ka-san and Sei-ka-san always set up shop for the annual school funfair and flirted shamelessly with their customers, regardless of whether they were male or female. Ryo-ka-san was always there to rein them in, though, and make ruthless comments about dressing or style – especially to those who regarded them with skeptical eyes.
They'd adopted me when I was barely a year old, still unable to talk. I'd spent almost a decade with them now. They were my family; my birth parents meant nothing to me. I never thought about my real tou-san and ka-san, because I had three pairs of tou-sans and ka-sans, and I loved them all.
Tezuka Kunimitsu. Fuji Syuusuke. Sanada Genichirou. Yukimura Seiichi. Atobe Keigo. Echizen Ryoma. And me, Nishi Haruya.
We were a family, even though people thought we were bad, that a family like ours shouldn't exist in their society. It was a fact that I had accepted – that I wouldn't ever really be normal, no matter what I did. But I wouldn't give up what I had – the opportunity to see Kuni-tou-san and Geni-tou-san get pranked and yet laugh it off, to have an inside view of Syuu-ka-san and Sei-ka-san's practical jokes (on the others), to tease Kei-tou-san and to see Ryo-ka-san's real smile – I wouldn't give all that up, just to be normal.
After all, normal is boring. And for me, life was anything but boring. All that mattered was whether I was able to ride the wave and not get swept away by it.
A/N: First shot at some kind of shounenai. I hope it's good. If you still haven't realized, it's OT6.
If anyone wants to use this and extend, review or PM to tell me, ne?