Toga sighed deeply as he saw the boys were not going to eat their vegetables. Zero and Ichiru were just pushing their food around their plates not going anywhere near the healthy patch of broccoli. He shook his head slightly. He may not have been much of a father figure to them but they were always well behaved whenever he was around.
Their mother had warned him that the boys were being stubborn but he thought he could handle it. Apparently he couldn't though because he told them to eat about five times already and they had refused. Toga sat back in his chair and waited.
Zero and Ichiru could feel their Master's solitary blue eye staring them down but Zero was tired of broccoli and Ichiru just wanted more ramen.
Zero looked up tentatively and asked, "Master could I have some fruit?"
Toga shook his head and replied, "Not until you eat at least half of what's left on your plate. Mainly speaking those tiny little green trees."
Zero frowned to himself- he didn't want to be bothersome he just wanted an apple that was all. Ichiru thought about asking if he could get more ramen but thought better of it. All three remained quiet until Toga leaned foreword and put his head in his hands. Moments like this reminded him of when he was almost thankful he had never had children.
"Alright you brats," he said slowly with his usual version of affection, "what will it take for you to eat the rest of your dinner?" he looked up and the twins sitting across the table saw how tired he seemed.
Ichiru whispered in Zero's ear telling him what they should ask of their Master. Toga had to chuckle at that. He relaxed in his seat and waited for them to turn back to him.
"Master will you take us to get a parfait and then can we watch a movie with you?" Ichiru asked. The twins looked at their role model hoping he wouldn't get mad at them.
Toga shifted his elbows on the table while saying, "You know it's a school night…your mother would have my hide if she found out."
"We promise we won't tell her," they answered in unison. Toga thought it over for a moment then nodded his head.
"Alright," he said. Zero and Ichiru rushed over to the man who was like an uncle and hugged him.
"Thank you Master!" they cried.
Toga laughed, ruffled their hair, and said, "Now if you want to be a strong hunter you have to eat really healthy." Both boys nodded and wolfed down the rest of their dinners before rushing to get their coats.
Toga cleaned up the table and then put on his duster and waited. It was a nice evening out- a bit chilly- but he should be able to get the boys in bed at a reasonable hour. Even so…their mother was going to smack Toga on the back of the head when she got home.
He heard the boys rushing up to either side of him and they put their small hands in his. Toga smiled down at them gently. He acted like he didn't care- he had become famous at the Association for it- but these boys meant more to him then just about anything. He was willing to give an eye for them which he found was a small price to pay for their lives. And Toga would have given anything he had to walk with them on a crisp spring evening listening to what they were doing at school, answering any of their questions, but most of all he would have given anything for the moments when he held on to him and called him 'Uncle Toga'. These boys were his charges and he loved them.