(A/N): Sorry for such a long wait... and I'm gonna apologize in advance for this ridiculously short chapter. I do hope that you guys enjoy it though. I've had this idea for a while now, and it's just kind of a cute, fluffy chapter. And since I kind of got ahead of myself with the seasons, I wanted to write at least one other chapter before my New Years chapter. That'll be next. And hopefully, it will be longer.
I received so many encouraging reviews ^.^ Thank you to Lightkit, Sakura-Suzumura, MargaSey, Lilac Rose6, Lady Silver-kun, AngelofDarkness21, Shiki-chan, and Dairi-Luvs-Rain for taking the time to review! I know I say this every time, but it really does mean a lot to me. So, I'm gonna stop myself before I start ranting and let you all read. OH YEAH! The first part of this chapter is a MEMORY and written in the THIRD PERSON. Okay. Now you can read :)
"It's time to get up Koko," said Shishou, as he peeked his head into Kyoko's room. She tossed and turned in her bed.
"Noooo! I don't wanna go!"
"Come on now... there was one rule when your parents said you could spend the night here, and it was that I would make sure you got up for your first day of school."
"But I don't wanna go..." Kyoko whined. Kazuma smiled to himself and walked over to his sulking granddaughter.
"But you're starting school! You should be excited! What's the matter?" he asked, trying to soothe her. Still, she wouldn't budge. Just as stubborn as Kyo, he thought.
"I'm scared..." she said after a short while, catching Kazuma off guard. But then he chuckled at the small child.
"Scared? Sweetheart, there's nothing to be afraid of," he said, stroking her orange hair.
"Yes there is!" she cried.
"What is it? What are you afraid of?" he asked.
"I don't know anybody! What if they don't like me?!" she cried, turning to him with tears in her eyes. It stunned Kazuma how she could switch between Kyo and Tohru's personality traits without a second's notice.
"That's ridiculous. Of course they'll like you. And what do you mean you won't know anybody? Haku and Akeno are in your class. You know that…" he told her, trying to stop her tears.
"B-but what about everyone else?! I don't want anyone to hate me!" she cried. Kazuma couldn't help but be amused at how distraught she was. He picked up the small girl and sat her in his lap. She continued to sniffle and wipe her eyes.
"It's hard to be friends with everybody... but you just have to be yourself. People look up to someone that they can trust, and someone who will listen when they have something to say. And people who don't want to be your friend? Well... sometimes all you can do is wait. And just be there for when they're ready to come to you, because sometimes they're just not ready," he said with a smile. Kyoko only stared off at the wall.
"Okay," she replied with a sniffle, and then looked up at her grandfather, smiling. "I'll do my best!" she exclaimed.
"I know you will, sweetheart. Now, what do you want for breakfast?" he asked. Kyoko's eyes widened in shock.
"Shishou, you're gonna cook?!" she questioned.
"Of course not."
Kyoko turned in the direction of the door and saw her father, leaning against the door frame. "Shishou would burn the house down."
"Daddy, you're here!"
"You didn't think I'd miss your first day of school, did you? Mom's in the kitchen making breakfast now. It should be done by the time you get ready."
"Okay!" she replied, hopping off of Shishou's lap and to her dresser. She pulled out some clothes and turned around to see that Kyo and Kazuma were still in her room.
"Daddy, Shishou! Get out!"
"Of course. How rude of me," said Shishou, getting up and walking to the door.
"Wait a minute, young lady, I'm your father!"
"Come now, father, we mustn't intrude on the young lady," said Shishou, pushing Kyo out of the room and shutting the door behind him. Kyoko smiled to herself. Little did she know, that day began a whole new chapter in her life.
"Of course not, she'd love to!" I heard my mother exclaim. "Tomorrow night at six? Of course, it's no problem! Yes, I'll see you tomorrow. Bye!" she said, hanging up the phone as I walked into the kitchen.
"Who was that?" I asked, grabbing some water out of the refrigerator.
"Oh, that was Kisa. I hope you don't mind, but you're gonna babysit Kira and Hatsure tomorrow night." I nearly choked on the water I had been drinking.
"They usually have Mimi babysit for them, but Mimi has a cold and can't be around the baby."
"But mom, I don't know anything about taking care of a baby!"
"You don't have to! Kisa said they'll put the baby to bed before they leave. You'll only be there to watch Hatsure and make sure nothing goes wrong. It's only for a couples hours."
"Hatsure is a brat."
"Kyoko, be nice! You'll be fine and it's easy money."
"How could you just say yes without asking me?"
"If you're that nervous about it, Kisa said you could bring Haku with you if you wanted," mom said.
"I'm not gonna pull her down with me..." I muttered.
"You'll be fine..." my mom replied, squeezing my shoulder.
"Hello Kyoko. I haven't seen you in a while... please, come in," said Kisa, opening the door and ushering me into their house.
"I just put Kira to sleep. She should stay that way until we get back, but in case she doesn't, you can get a bottle out of the refrigerator, microwave it for a few seconds and give it to her, and she should go right back to sleep," she said. I nodded.
"I told you, I don't need a babysitter!" Hatsure yelled, coming into the room.
"What? You think that just because you're not a baby anymore that you don't need to be watched?"
"Just because you're my dad you think I have to do whatever you say... I'm a person too, you know. I have feelings. You could take them into consideration every once in a while."
"I'm putting your welfare into consideration," Hiro answered. Hatsure looked at me and then sulked.
"Why are you leaving me here with the stupid cat?"
"Hatsure!" Kisa scolded.
"I'm used to it..." I muttered.
"Honestly... I thought that Akira has been having us send you to her to break you of those rumors. Kyoko is the same," said Kisa. Hatsure looked down at his feet. They were sending him to Akira for what now?
"We left our cell numbers on the counter. If something happens, be sure to call," said Hiro.
"Yes sir," I replied, as they made their way to the door.
"And Hatsure, don't cause any trouble," he added.
"Like I ever cause anyone trouble. That's so like an adult, to assume that just because I'm a child that I'm prone to cause trouble. I can be mature too, you know."
"We love you, sweetie. We'll be back around ten or eleven. Please be nice to Kyoko," said Kisa, who gave her son a kiss on the cheek.
"Mom!" Kisa chuckled, and then she and Hiro left, shutting the door behind him.
"Look, I wanna be here just about as much as you want me to be. So, let's just be nice and this can be quick and painless."
"Whatever. Just leave me alone, you stupid cat."
"Did Akira tell you to call me that?"
"Shut up. Like you know anything..." Hatsure mumbled, stalking off to his room. I sighed. There was no use trying. I know Akira told him not to associate with me. But what I don't get is that Hiro and Kisa actually believe she's helping him. They were cursed once. Don't they understand the "God's" line of thinking? Maybe I should talk to them... but really, it's not any of my business. I had freaked out over nothing. This was easy. My entire evening consisted of falling asleep while watching television. Hatsure hadn't come out of his room. If I was a good babysitter, I'd probably go in and check on him, but I'd just end up fighting with him if I did.
I was jolted from my peace. Crap. I had been so close! I hadn't had a problem all night!
"Oh geez... okay. Oh my god, what do I do?!" I panicked. I hurried over to Kira's room. I lingered for a while at the door. I don't wanna go in there. I don't know the first thing about babies...
"What are you waiting for? My parents paid you to watch us, didn't they? Go in there and comfort my sister, you stupid cat," said Hatsure, who had poked his head out of his room. I glared at him, which to my surprise actually cause him to retreat. I sighed. Nothing is gonna get solved by scaring the kid... I opened the door slowly. There was a small lamp in the room, and against the right wall, was a crib. And inside it, a squealing baby. My stomach tied up in knots as I slowly walked towards it.
"Ah... um... it's okay..." I cooed. I felt like a moron. I jingled one of its toys in its face, but it only continued to cry. I tried the pacifier... nothing. Talking to it... yeah. It wouldn't stop. "Crap, crap, crap! What in the hell am I supposed to do?!" I said to myself. I wasn't getting anywhere! Then I remembered... a bottle. I have to feed it a bottle. I ran out of the room and into the kitchen.
"What do you think you're doing? My sister is still crying. You're such a negligent babysitter," said Hatsure, who had come to watch the spectacle.
"Could you stop talking, Hatsure? I'm trying to fix a bottle here," I said, pulling one out of the refrigerator. Kisa said I had to microwave it. I walked over to the microwave and put it inside, then shut the door. Okay, so...
"Are you trying to kill my sister?! Don't put it in there for that long! It'll burn her mouth!"
"Yes sir!" I yelled, panicked. I was bit on edge. I lowered the time and pressed start.
"You're really hopeless. I mean, really... you're freaking out this much? What if I weren't here? You would've burned my sister's insides!"
"You're not helping me relax, Hatsure! I'm sorry. I'm grateful for your help, but stop being such a brat about it! Geez... you know, I'd bet money that Mimi doesn't even have a cold! She was probably sick of having to look after you!" I yelled at him. I took the warm bottle out of the microwave and walked back to the baby's room. "Uh... okay." I sat the bottle down on an end table, next to a chair. I picked up the baby, and then took a seat. Grabbing the bottle, Kira started drinking immediately. "Okay, good..." I sighed to myself.
I looked up and saw Hatsure standing in the door frame. "S-sometimes because my room is next to Kira's, I'll hear my father in here. And sometimes he cries. Did you know that he's never held Kira?" he asked. I didn't know how to respond. I had never seen Hatsure act like this.
"So I went to Akira for help. I told her that I didn't want my dad to cry anymore, and I wanted him to be able to hold my sister. She said that if I shunned you, and hated you with everything I had, then my dad would be able to hold Kira. But... I don't want to be this kind of kid! I don't wanna be a brat! I wanna be the kind of big brother that Kira can look up to, but instead I'm just a smart-mouthed kid! I don't want her to look up to me… not when I act like this," said Hatsure. His voice was lined so much sadness. So much that I thought he might be crying. In the meantime, Kira had already finished her bottle and was drifting back to sleep in my arms.
"When I was afraid of how others would like me, someone very close to me told me to just be myself. And that people look up to someone that they can trust, and someone who will listen when they have something to say. I never forgot those words. I can already tell that you're a great brother, Hatsure. And regardless of who you are, Kira will look up to you no matter what. And I hate to tell you this, but whatever Akira told you is a lie. Hating me... it's not going to break the curse. You're only helping her with her own selfish goal of secluding me from the Sohma family."
I watched Hatsure as he hastily rubbed his eyes with his sleeves. The poor kid...
"You got her to stop crying... that perky rabbit can't even get her to settle down that fast," he said, walking over to me to see his sister.
"She should be okay to go back into the crib now," I said, standing and walking over to the crib, placing her inside. She didn't even stir.
"Not bad for a panicked cat," said Hatsure, walking towards the door. That little... I followed him out of Kira's room, shutting the door behind me.
"Hatsure, this curse won't last forever. I promise that you'll get to see your dad hold Kira. And you'll get to hug your mom again."
"You can't promise something like that..."
"I can. Because I'll be damned if I never get to hug my father again..." I replied. Hatsure was silent for a moment, holding onto the doorknob of his room.
"Do... do you wanna watch the new Mogeta movie with me?" he asked. I was stunned. They're still producing Mogeta?! But instead, I smiled at him.
"I'd love to! I've been meaning to watch the new one," I lied, but I couldn't tell him no. This was a pretty big deal for him.
"Really?" he asked, skeptically.
"Yeah, I've loved Mogeta since I was a kid," I replied.
"Okay. I'll go get the movie," he said, trying to hide his excitement as he ran off into his room. I chuckled to myself. Hatsure isn't such a bad kid... he's just going through what we all are, and coping as best he can. That's all that any of us can do.
The next day, my mom came into my bedroom, smiling. "Uh... yes?" I asked, when she didn't say anything.
"Is there something you'd like to tell me about babysitting last night?" she asked.
"Because I just got off the phone with Kisa, and she was wondering if you'd be willing to watch Hatsure and Kira more often."
"I'm so proud of you. She said that Hatsure really enjoyed spending time with you last night. And all this time, you said that you never get along with him," mom said.
"We watched Mogeta and he fell asleep. It's really nothing to praise me for..." I replied.
"Well, I'm still happy you did it. You overcame your fear! I told Kisa I'd ask you first. So, what do you say? You think you could babysit for her more often?"
"Whatever... but I can't be at her beck and call! I have a student council to run and I don't have a lot of free time!" I replied. Mom wrapped me in her arms, catching me by surprise.
"I'll tell her that you said you'd love to," my mom said, letting me go and then getting up to leave.
"Yeah, yeah. Tell her whatever you want. But the moment Hatsure bad mouths me, I'm done!" I yelled. Mom chuckled to herself, and left my room. Okay, sure. I was really happy that Hatsure wanted me to watch him and his sister again. But there's no way in hell I'm gonna let anyone know that...
(A/N): Again, sorry for the shortness. The next chapter should be longer. Hmm... surprisingly, I don't have much to say in this update. College still sucks. I just got back from Orlando. And that most definitely did NOT suck. Oh! And I got a kitty! He's not orange, so I couldn't name him Kyo... but he's still adorable ^.^
And I would be most honored if you lovely people would be so kind as to review my story. Till next time...