This could not be happening. No way in goddamn hell could this be happening.
"—And they get really cranky if they don't get their nap, so don't forget. Oh, and also, Mana gets the red blanket, Anita the blue one. They'll complain for hours if you get that wrong," lectured that annoying voice that hardly changed in the past eleven years. The source of the voice was fixing his red tie at the moment, standing in front of a tall Japanese man who was not happy. To be truthful, not many things made him happy, but today was a special day where the man was just about ready to tear anybody in near vicinity to shreds.
The likely victim of this said violence frowned down at the Asian man, who was sitting on a lumpy gray sofa. "Did you get all that, Kanda?"
"I never remember agreeing to this, you damn beansprout," Yu Kanda retorted, giving an acidic glare up to the white-haired man. Even though Kanda always saw the man as 'beansprout,' anyone else would beg to differ. The sprout had developed into a handsome young man almost as tall as Kanda, looking much more mature and polished than he did back in his teenage years.
"It's Allen," the man replied, more out of instinct than anything. He scrutinized himself in the mirror on the wall, checking if the tailored suit had any blemishes. Allen gave himself a smile when everything passed inspection. "Alright, I think it's time for me to go. Just remember everything I told you and you'll be fine. Oh, and don't kill them. Lenalee wouldn't be happy if she came home to find that you slaughtered our children."
Damn, Yu thought, so that was out of the question.
"Where is she, anyways? I can't grasp why it takes so long just to do hair and make-up…"
"What was that, Allen?" a feminine voice called from the nearby staircase, sounding closer as it descended the steps. "I make myself pretty for you, and that's all you have to say about it?" A woman in her twenties made her entrance into the living room, with her pretty face holding an expression of mock disbelief. Lenalee held a graceful but strong air, with dark eyes and equally dark hair. Her hair was actually quite similar to Kanda's in the sense that it was black, long, and well kept. However, the young lady currently had her hair in a complex bun while the grumpy man had put his in a simple ponytail at the nape of his neck.
"Hello, Mrs. Walker," Allen said, smiling kindly. "You look very beautiful today." Though he sounded earnest, it also probably an attempt to escape the woman's wrath. They all knew how hard the slender girl could kick when she felt it was needed. Lenalee was quite the looker tonight, though – a slim sleeveless dress of a dark sapphire graced her figure, accompanied by a white shawl and a pair of white gloves.
A bashful but pleased smile was given in return, showing that she'd give her husband pardon for now. "Why thank you, dear," she said, giving Allen a kiss on the lips. "You've told Kanda everything he needs to know, right? We're probably running late."
"Yes, he made sure to give me all the useless bullshit that I could really care less about." Kanda looked pointedly annoyed. God, now the couple from some fruity fairy tale was kissing in front of him. Sure, they had a right to, now that they were married, but Kanda could really care less about their mushy romantic shit.
He felt as if he had suffered enough, after all. The man had bear Allen and Lenalee's honeysweet romance story from the time they started going out after the war against the Earl ended. And God (oh God), then there was the wedding, which he was unfortunately forced to attend. He attended, but he was only stuck in a mess of sentimentality and tears and kisses and dancing.
Yes, he had definitely suffered more than what should've been asked of him. And yet he found himself sitting on the couch of the Walker residence, about to play babysitter to those damn twins of the happy couple. Mana and Anita Walker, the most intolerable brats alive. Well, that may have been an exaggeration in comparison to other kids. But Kanda never had to deal with children, so for now, they were the most intolerable brats he knew of. Especially since they were the devilspawn of that goddamn beansprout.
"I can't believe you don't want to come, Kanda," Lenalee said regretfully. "After all, we're meeting up with Lavi! None of us have seen him since the wedding… Five years ago, was it?"
"Isn't it Bookman now?" Kanda spat, looking not in the least interested. "And I don't need to see him to know that he's still the annoying rabbit that I don't want to see."
"Your loss," Allen said simply. "I'll tell him that you send your greetings. And your love. Lavi would get a kick out of that."
"You wouldn't dare."
"Bye, Kanda! Have fun with the kids!" Allen called cheerfully, as he grasped Lenalee's hand and headed for the front door of the stone cottage, the woman in tow giving Kanda one last regret-tinged expression. "Bye Mana! Bye Annie!" said a final call as the front door shut.
They were gone. Leaving Kanda alone with those brats. Where were they, anyways?
And speak of the devil(s)… Two small figures practically stumbled into the living room, noticing the man on the couch with wide eyes. They were both four years old, baby fat just starting to recede as clumsy walking burned it off.
The girl, apparently the younger twin of the two, had light brown hair, which confused Kanda to say the least. Neither Allen nor Lenalee had brown hair, not that he knew of. Maybe that sprout had brown hair before he became the spitting image of a half-dead old man, because now that Kanda thought about it, that freaky white hair just couldn't be natural.
Anita looked quiet and reserved, with short hair in messy pigtails and petite body in a blue hoodie and beige shorts. A drawing pad in her arms, she gazed at Kanda with lazy dark grey eyes. The child had taken a liking for art after being influenced by that geezer Tiedoll, when Allen and Lenalee took their children to the Black Order for a visit. The idiot old man (who, in Kanda's opinion, should've been long dead by now) had taken an instant love to the two toddlers and spent way too much time playing with them. Anita had probably been introduced to the world of crayons and colors in this way, which pissed off Kanda to no ends. Yet another reminder of the most annoying 'father' in the damn universe.
Holding Anita's hand was a boy, slightly taller than the girl and wearing a slighty-too-big brown turtleneck and jeans. Tousled and fine hair almost covered his eyes, with black strands that were obviously inherited from his mother. However, even with mommy's hair, most people agreed on the fact that little Mana took after his father. To Kanda's dismay, they were right. The brat had his father's features down to a tee, the same face shape and nose and eyes and everything. Even as the boy simply stared with those wide and innocent grey eyes, Kanda was reminded of a certain beansprout and had the uncontrollable urge to punch through a wall.
Even now, both twins continued to stare with their father's grey eyes. After glaring back for what felt like eternity, Kanda gave an annoyed sigh. "What do you want, beansprout juniors?"
"UNCLE YU!" Mana suddenly cried, nearly giving Kanda a cardiac arrest. And the little pest pounced, tackling the man.
Indeed, this was not the first time that the Japanese man had met the twins. He, too, had met them when they paid visit to the Black Order. For some inexplicable reason, Mana had taken an instant liking to him. Even with all the glares, curses, and silence he gave the boy, the toddler only continued to adore him. While calling him 'Uncle Yu,' of all things.
Almost falling off the couch from the aftershock of the monster's little attack, Kanda picked up the toddler by the turtleneck of his sweater. "What do you fuckin' want, brat?" He glared at the little girl nearby, the one who had not pounced. In fact, she had only continued to stare, head tilted. Was she daft or something? "You too, second brat. If you two don't need anything, then leave me alone."
Mana, who had been hanging by his turtleneck while frantically waving his arms in an attempt at freedom, blinked at the man's words. He seemed to ponder for a second, as if trying to remember something. Then a smile spread across the toddler's face as he said, "Food."
Damn brat apparently got his dad's appetite, too.
Kanda gave a groan. The very last thing he wanted to do was fix a meal. However, the couple would lecture him if he didn't at least feed their children. With reluctance, he got up from the couch, dropping Mana onto it. "Fine. I'll make you some damn food. Happy?"
And the boy, unable to understand sarcasm, nodded in a very happy manner. Kanda glanced at Anita, who was now twiddling with the corner of her drawing pad. Sometimes, Kanda wondered if she was always out of it like this. Well, he preferred it to the bouncing ball of energy sitting on the couch. He headed for the simple kitchen, taking out the ingredients and utensils for the only thing he knew how to make.
A little bit of time later, the twins sat at the wooden table, blinking at the bowls of soba in front of them.
"Thank you for the meal," Anita said, picking up the fork by her bowl and starting to eat without question. Kanda almost did a double-take from where he was sitting across the table. So she actually knew how to talk, did she? She had surprising manners too. Must've been Allen, knowing the idiot and his gentleman mumbo-jumbo.
However, Mana poked at the noodles with his fork. "What is this? Spaghetti? Why isn't there any sauce? It looks kind of boring. Can I have something else?"
"No, you cannot have something else," Kanda said, eating his own bowl of soba while giving the boy a glare. "You're going to eat it, and you will like it. And I'm not making anything else, so you better eat it. Or your parents will sue me."
"It doesn't look good," Mana said simply, poking his meal more. "Can I have some mitarashi dango?"
Kanda's eyebrow gave a very noticeable twitch of annoyance. "Goddammit, NO, you cannot have mitarashi dango. You'll get fat if you eat too much of that shit."
"But I want something else!!" Mana said irritably. Didn't this boy get any of those etiquette lessons, or did the girl get them all?
To make the whole day perfect, Kanda's black golem flew into the room, emitting the voice of a certain redhead.
"Yu? Hello?" said the voice from the golem. "You there? I thought they upgraded these golems…"
Considering whether to answer or not, Kanda predicted that he wouldn't hear the end of it if Lavi learned that his call was ignored. "What, rabbit?"
"Yu!! Long time no see, buddy. What's going on? How's your day?"
"Oh, just absolutely lovely," Kanda spat sarcastically. "Why the hell are you talking to me?"
"Don't be like that," Lavi said. The bookman's frown could practically be heard through the phone. "We haven't seen each other since the wedding! Why didn't you come with Allen and Lenalee?"
"That's not my problem. You're the one going around the globe with your damn bookman business," Kanda replied, as Mana gave a cry of annoyance. Apparently, the boy didn't like being ignored while he wanted to make a point.
A short silence. "What was that? Sounded like a kid. Wait, don't tell me you have a kid now?!"
"No. It's the brat of beansprout. He won't eat his soba." Though he'd never say it, Lavi's tone of utter shock at the possible idea of Kanda with a kid made him feel a little insulted.
"Oh! Lenalee was just telling me all about the dear twins," Lavi said, sounding as if he knew the kids since they were born. In reality, with Lavi's status, he traveled too much to pay a visit to the Walker residence. "Why didn't you bring them, Allen? I would've loved to meet them."
"We're at a fancy restaurant. They wouldn't appreciate toddlers, Lavi," another voice said with a sigh. "And Mana, I know it's scary to eat something made by a mean man like Kanda. But if you don't, you don't get any of my mitarashi dango for a week. Okay?"
Little Mana looked perplexed at the voice coming from the object that was obviously not his father. However, he recognized the voice and bit his lip. "But dad—…"
"Don't complain, just eat it," Allen said. "Lavi, turn off Lenalee's golem, the waiter's coming. Mana, behave!" He gave no such direction to Anita. It was probably given that the girl was already behaving.
"Fine, fine," Lavi said. "I'll call you later once I get my hands on another golem, Yu!"
"Just go already," Kanda replied tartly.
A cheerful chuckle sounded through the golem as the redhead said, "Good luck with the kids!" There was a click, and the golem fell silent.
Kanda rubbed his temple. Wasn't the rabbit supposed to be a bit more serious now that he was a bookman? The previous bookman was all business, but Lavi… He didn't even want to start. He glanced at Mana and Anita, grateful that both twins were now eating. Actually, they were both done eating. Didn't they even want to savor their food?
Now they were both staring. Again. Was that all they ever did? This time, they had an expectant look in their eyes.
"What?" Kanda said with an annoyed tone.
"Play with us, Uncle Yu!" Mana requested with an excited grin. Even Anita looked pleased at the idea, a subdued smile decorating her small face.
Kanda's eyes widened. "No. Hell no." He had already fed them. What more did they want?
Thirty seconds later, he found himself sitting on the living room floor with Mana and a pile of blocks. Anita was in his lap, drawing pad and crayons in her hands.
Mana started piling the blocks, creating walls with the wood. "We're gonna make a city, Uncle Yu," he explained. "You make buildings, 'kay?"
'Uncle Yu' raised an eyebrow. "How the hell am I supposed to make buildings with these?"
The toddler gave a frown. "It's easy! You don't even know how to make buildings? Boy, Daddy was right! Uncle Yu is stupid!"
"What did Daddy say?!" Kanda practically snarled. "Look, brat, your dad doesn't know anything."
From the man's lap, Anita gave a small giggle. Kanda looked down at her, prepared to question the source of her laughter, when he saw the drawing pad that she was coloring on. "What's that?" he asked moodily, jabbing his finger at the incomprehensible scribbles of colors on the page.
Anita reached up with her little hand, starting to play with the man's hair. She answered simply, "Uncle Yu."
"… That's me?" He looked at the page again. And again, all he saw was a mess of assorted crayon marks.
Mana looked quite bored with the blocks now, especially since Kanda wasn't playing with him. Grabbing a something from a bookshelf from the other end of the room, he said, "Uncle Yu, Uncle Yu! Read!" He practically shoved a children's book in the man's face. Instinctively diving backwards to avoid getting his nose broken, with Anita rolling off in surprise, he grabbed the book and gave a glare at the cover. On it was a picture of a happy bunny, which happened to uncannily remind him of a certain rabbit he talked to not so long ago.
"Read, read!" Mana said again, sitting next to him. Anita placed herself on the floor on the other side of Kanda, smiling up to him with Allen's eyes. The Asian man gritted his teeth, wondering how much more of this living hell he would have to take.
After an hour of pure torture (also known as reading happy-go-lucky children books), Kanda collapsed on couch, exhausted. He had set up the futons for the twins' naptime, as the damn beansprout had instructed. The children were now getting their own blankets and pillows, something Kanda refused to do, and they arrived back into the living room in their matching flannel pajamas. They tucked themselves in with satisfaction, snuggling in the sheets.
Kanda leaned his head back, incredibly relieved at the coming break, when he heard that infernal boy say, "Uncle Yu?"
With a weary but murderous glare, the man muttered, "What do you want now, twerp?"
"… Can you sleep here?" Mana's eyes peeked out from behind a fluffy red blanket. "Annie gets nightmares."
With a feeling that Mana was talking about himself rather than his sister, Kanda inwardly groaned. However, pleading eyes continued to gaze at him, and he finally gave in. He already spent most of his pride on reading aloud fairy tales and ridiculous books for an hour straight.
Kanda stood up as the twins made room between them on the large futon, and he reluctantly lied onto the thick material. He had to admit, it was much comfier than that lumpy sofa. He gave a tired sigh, pulling his hands behind his head.
Right when he thought that the twins had fallen asleep (and before he himself had dozed off), he heard one of the twins mutter, "Thank you, Uncle." He wasn't even sure which one it was, as he was too worn out to decipher the voices.
He glanced over at Anita's drawing on the floor. The one that was supposedly of him. He simply looked at it for a while, then he sighed again, deciding to get some well-deserved sleep.
Maybe he could stand visiting these brats again sometime in the future.