The Beginning

Moonlight seeped through the blinds and cast a silver outline across the room. The only sounds were the soft, slow breathing of its occupants and the faint bustle of nurses outside. Hikaru smiled, eyes drooping sleepily as he looked across the room and his new family, painted in the greys, blacks, and silvers of night.

Haruhi mumbled softly as she shifted in the main bed, surrounded by plush, fat pillows she had managed to kick off at some point or another. She was frustrated at staying here, he knew, but soon they would be able to return to the mansion and began the strangest page of their lives so far. Next to Haruhi's bed were two tiny cots, made of a silver skeleton and plastic walls so could see the bundle of woollen blankets shift about inside. His heart swelled at the sight.

Restless and awake as he already was, Hikaru decided to sneak over, drawn in by the unexplainable pull his babies held over him. He grinned as he bent over the cots and the identical pink faces, peaceful and innocent with sleep. He still couldn't wrap his head around them. To think he was now a father. He would have thought the months of waiting would have prepared him, but the concept still blew his mind. He didn't think it was all that long ago when he and Kaoru would play pranks on the cooking staff and run cackling from the kitchens, covered in flour and whatever else they had gotten their tiny hands on.

But now he was a parent. He would have to be responsible.

"Scary thought," he mused quietly, beaming affectionately as he stroked Hani's soft, pillow like cheek with a finger. The sight of them had him feel light headed with delight. He dreamt of taking them out to shows and day trips, showing them all the things that amazed him as a child, hearing them talk and tell him all the stories of their imaginary adventures. All weird fatherly things that he didn't realise he was capable of. "I love you two, you know? I'll try my best. Don't go being as much of a terror as I was to my parents, okay?"

Kyoto chose that moment to shift and wrinkle her nose, as if she caught a particularly bad smell.

Hikaru snorted. "Well, just be worse to Tamaki then, deal?"

As if in answer, Kyoto took that moment to open her bleary, baby blue eyes and blink sleepily up at him. Feeling a little thrill at seeing her gaze at him, so bright eyed and aware, he bent over and grinned.

"Hey, sweetheart, what are you doing up? I thought all nighters were for the teenager phase?" Kyoto frowned and waved a few tiny fingers at him, which he instinctively caught, beaming lovingly as he felt how soft and light they were in his; it was like brushing his finger tips with cotton wool. "Don't go waking Haruhi up now, or she'll think I woke you and murder me. Rather brutally, I might add."

Kyoto wrinkled her nose again, as if considering his request. Food or being nice, that face seemed to consider. Hikaru knew which he would choose.

She opened her mouth and screamed.

Hikaru sighed and lent to awkwardly pick her up as Hana's yell instantly joined in and Haruhi jolted from her sleep so suddenly she almost fell out of bed.

"I suppose Mom would call that karma," he muttered.

"Do you have everything?" Haruhi asked worriedly.

"Course I do, darlin'."

"Bags, nappies, clothes? Babies?"

Hikaru snorted loudly and shifted the backpack he had slung over his shoulder. "It's all in here, minus the kids. I've checked it, you've checked it, everyone to the nurse has checked it. I could give it to that loud woman next door if you like, just so she can check it over too. I never feel quite complete unless a totally stranger has been through my stuff."

"Oh shut up," Haruhi retorted. "I was just... making sure."

"I know."

He smiled, kissed for furrowed forehead, and leant over to grab the handle of the baby carrier. Hana peered up at him from inside, with the big beautiful blue eyes all babies have, and waved a chubby arm at him. She looked just so cute in her padded green suit from his Mother, that he beamed and would have grabbed her out of there to start a long snuggle session had they not already wasted so much time.

Haruhi picked up Kyoto's carrier in both arms, after doing a last check to make sure she was buckled in. Kyoto's wide eyes followed her with such innocent interest that she relented and lent over to kiss her nose.

"Okay," she said, looking over to her husband with a small smile on her face. "I'm all done. Let's go."

With the slightly early birth and the earlier trauma, the doctors had wanted to keep them in a few days longer than was normal, but after just shy of a week they were all set to go home. Kaoru, Ranka and everyone else was waiting at the Hitachiin mansion for a 'surprise' welcome home party, but these first few steps they wanted to take on their own. Their lives had changed forever and it felt wonderful. Terrifying, but wonderful. Hikaru felt he had grown up more in the last week than he had in the last five years;being depended on so completely tended to do that to you.

With the backpack secured and Hana firmly in hand, Hikaru draped his free arm over his wife's shoulder and swapped a warm, tired smile.

"Is there really going to be press outside?" Haruhi sighed, musing how glad she was that they had hoods on the babies' carriers to pull down.

"Well, they can't come inside." Hikaru caught her eye and smirked. "Well, come on, Haruhi, the next big stars in fashion abandon their own debut show because of some adorable additions to the fashion empire? The big papers won't care too much, but the fashion papers are eating it up. Don't look so worried, the car's rights outside, we'll literally only have to walk five steps before we're hidden away. Okay?"

In reply, Haruhi just sighed again. When she was young, she never thought the birth of her own children would be followed by a surge of press. It was just absurd. After a long pause she felt Hikaru fidget awkwardly beside her.

"Look if you really don't want them there... I might be able to get free of them? I could call the car round to the back door, but they'll probably follow..."

"It's alright." Haruhi paused for a few seconds before smiling up him. "I guess I got used to the absurd a long time ago. I almost think it'd be odd if something moronic didn't happen. As long as Hana and Kyoto are out of shot."

She quickly ducked to make sure. The hoods were pulled down and all you could see of them were two pairs of shuffling, bootie clad feet.

"They're fine," Hikaru observed as they reached the small throng of people waiting for the lift. He leant over to kiss her forehead again. "I love you, Haru-darlin'. I really do."

"There are people around," Haruhi immediately scolded, but she looked happy and almost shy as she added, "But I love you too."

He grinned.

"You know, I was thinking Spain might be cool for our first holiday..."

"Don't rush it, Hikaru."

Before they knew it, they were facing the outside door. Haruhi triple-checked the babies, ran another mental checklist of everything that was in the bag, and kicked Hikaru in the shin when he asked how his hair was. They waited long enough to thank the doctors and nurses who had come over to say good bye and to let Hikaru grab two pairs of sunglasses from his pockets for them both and awkwardly slide them on – 'because those cameras can be bloody bright' – before Hikaru finally grabbed a handle.


"As I'll ever be."

And with that, Hikaru, Haruhi, Hana, and Kyoto went out to face the bright, bustling outside world.

- Hikaru -

I don't believe in love at first sight.

I used to hold this belief very strongly but now I think, in light of certain events, I'll have to tag a 'most of the time' to the end.

See, if it comes to finding The One, the love of your life, the single person you want to cherish and hold until you're so old and wrinkly that it sure isn't looks holding you two together, then I still don't believe in it. It's a superficial and stupidly romantic notion that truly exists only to people on Tamaki's wavelength. That isn't love you feel for that beautiful girl across the room, but delusion yourself if you like. In my never-to-be-humbled opinion, that slow and surprising fall into adoration, that growth of warm and fuzzy love and understanding, is one of the most wonderful things about finding a partner. I don't understand why some people think it's romantic to compress that exciting, sparkling development into a single fleeting second that disappears so fast.

In some ways, I'm happy that Haruhi, my Haruhi, came into music room three that day dressed as such a nerd - because, let's face it, she looked so bad that mother probably would have fainted on the spot. But now I know my love for her wasn't born of anything merely skin-deep. To me her beauty came later, after I was already captivated by her amazing self. Slowly, slowly, I fell so deep and so completely for her that I've never been able to get out, nor do I want to. Could I have felt anything so pure and wonderful after something as fleeting as a look? Ha. I laugh in the face of Romeo and Juliet, the star-crossed nitwits.

But then there's another side of the coin, a shiny newly-minted side that I took a while to discover, but treasured when I did.

This other side revealed itself to me the day I sat next to Haruhi and let her crush my hand, her half-scream drowning out my loud swear as she rode the last push, dripping with sweat. Then there was a raw, vulnerable cry and I looked up and suddenly all those prior months, filled with emotions I'd pegged as painfully intense, seemed like a pale preamble, a watery imitation.

I looked at that newborn - bloody, weak and so god-damn gorgeous - and was immediately suffocated with an immense, heart-stopping love. In my first few seconds as a father, I forgot to breathe and forgot that I was trying to prove my manliness to Haruhi and manly men didn't cry. Kyoko blew me away.

And it only took one look.

Approximately nineteen minutes and twelve seconds later it happened again with Hana, just as devastating and mind-blowing as the first time, and then again almost five years later when our son, Kaito, was born. I felt a shadow of it when I first saw my sweet little niece, Yuuki, and I only had to look at Kaoru's face to see her effect on him; he just couldn't take his eyes away.

So no, to answer that squealing fan girl from high school again. No, I still don't believe in love at first sight.

Unless there's an adorable baby involved who has already spent nine months positioning themselves to pounce and lay claim to your heart the moment you caught sight of them.

Then it's a different matter entirely.

I honestly can't believe this turned out to be so darn long. It actually started life as a drabble. A tiny, 500-word, 'My-God-I-hate-love-at-first-sight-it's-so-shallow -I-know-let's-make-Hikaru-agree-with-me' type drabble. You know the sort. Then, 'well, I do have this idea for a proposal…'. Then, 'I want to write about Kaoru too…'. Then, 'well, I can't not write about the wedding now, can I?' Then, 'heh… pregnancy…'

-Insert face palm here-

X words and three years later, I am finished! Thank you for sticking with me...;;

I had an idea to do a sequel consisting of a number of one shots about the Hitachiin family, but I'm not sure if I will now. Just in case, here's the profile I had in mind for the kids if anyone is interested!

Kyoto: The older and brasher twin. Inherited both Hikaru's blazing red hair, love of pranks and plain old obnoxiousness. She discovered her great passion during the trips Hikaru and Kaoru took her and her sister on when they young, when they took them to different places around the world to see different world famous galleries and great pieces of art. She announced at the age of 15 that she didn't want to carry on the family business; instead she became a freelance artist, spending as much out of Japan as in it. Though she would rather punch you than admit it, the first time she spent a week abroad away from her twin, she cried every night and could only sleep once she phoned her up.

Hana: The younger and softer spoken twin. She is as passionate about being in the family business as Kyoto is about being out of it; she particularly loves designing theatrical costumes and so expands the business into this new field. When she young, she would make costumes and force her unwilling family members into them, and started a tradition of an annual Hitachiin Halloween party. Like Kyoto, she'd very protective of her family and loves nothing more than to join her twin on one of her many trips around the world.

Keito: A rather scary combination of Haruhi's smarts and seriousness and Hikaru's creativity and love of science. He spends his time inventing a huge range of contraptions that litter the whole house, and when Hikaru lost him at the park, simply got a taxi home. He's fast friends with Kyouya, which scares Hikaru to death, and eventually gets a job researching and inventing medical equipments, the piece of which he's most proud of helped to save his father's life in his later years. Despite all his lone wolf tendencies, he cares deeply about his family and has never missed one of his sisters' or father's shows.

Yuuki: Though it never came up, I had the idea that Mari couldn't actually have children. Yuuki was a baby when they adopted her, say six-ish years after the twins, and grew up to have long black hair (that Kaoru likes playing with) and bright blue eyes. She is very shy and battles a long time with anxiety; all those problems however, seem to disappear when she goes on stage, stepping into someone else's life with bright lights blocking the world out. It takes a lot of nudging and support from her extended family to get her going, but eventually she has a career in musical theatre (though she never has an interview; too scary!). She idolises her twin cousins and is actually very close; she used to follow them around when she was little and they would hunt out anyone they were suspecting were daring to bully her.

Thank you for reading!

The end!