"Good Morning Misaki!" Takumi kissed her cheek before reaching over her shoulder grabbing his toothbrush from the bathroom counter.
"Morning Pervert." She replied, the sound fuzzed out from the mass of foamy toothpaste in her mouth.
"Are the girls still asleep?" Takumi asked, squeezing the toothpaste out of its tube.
Misaki only nodded tiredly. Things had been quite hectic lately. Their apartment hadn't been enough space for the four of them, so two months ago, just before Suzuna left to attend University in Okinawa (which she managed to get in on scholarship to the delight of her mother), they all moved back in to Misaki's house. There was just enough space for all of them. Misaki's old furniture was thrown out, as it was falling apart. Then all the furniture from their bedroom at the apartment was moved in. The guest room was turned into a room for the girls the walls painted over and their stuff was hauled in later that same week. Stuff was still in boxes around the house. They rented out the apartment to Sakura and Kuuga for whenever they were in town.
Misaki hastily spat out the bubbly paste and rinsed her mouth before returning Takumi's kiss to the cheek with one of her own before heading back to their room to do more unpacking. She had just finished the third box when the door creaked open. Turning to face the intrusion, Misaki looked straight into the green eyes of her three-year-old daughter, Koemi. She stood in her teddy bear pyjamas, sleeves rolled up. In her arms she clutched her favourite brown teddy bear and her shoulder length black hair stuck up in different directions.
"Kaa-san?" she yawned. "Kiyo won't wake up."
"Well then," she lifted the girl into her arms. "Well just have to wake her up ourselves then, won't we?" Misaki smiled and carried Koemi down the hall to the room she shared with her sister.
Akiyo was sleeping soundly, her bed covers having been kicked off the bed. Her pyjama shirt exposed her stomach and her pants had risen to her knees from all the tossing and turning she'd been doing. Akiyo's arms were splayed in any which way, the left one hanging off the bed, the right crossing over her stomach. Misaki put Koemi down and approached her elder daughter, kneeling by the bed. She ruffled Akiyo's short hair gently. She had thought that both her girls would like long hair, but as soon as Akiyo's started growing out, she would cry in the mornings that she didn't like the tangles, so Takumi took her to get it cut. Incidentally, her hair took after Takumi's quite a bit, sticking up in spikes every time she got out of the bath. Unfortunately, it didn't quite suite her and Misaki spent a good 15-20 minutes brushing if back own.
"A-ki-yo! Time to wake up." Misaki chirped softly.
The little girl groaned and tried to roll over, but Misaki simply lifted her up off the bed and into her arms.
"I wanna sleep more, Kaa-san." she whined sleepily, rubbing her eyes.
"Nope, you can't. We gotta brush your teeth and then you can go eat breakfast, okay? Tou-san's making pancakes today." Misaki set the Akiyo down and the girl scurried off to the bathroom to brush her teeth.
"Emi, aren't you going to go too?" She asked her as Koemi shuffled through her box of clips.
"No. I already brushed my teeth, see?" Koemi grinned, baring all of her tiny teeth and gums for Misaki to see. "Tou-san helped me!"
"Okay then, lets go downstairs, Tou-san is making breakfast."
Together, Misaki and Koemi trudged own the stairs to where they found Takumi and Minako finishing breakfast. Minako hung her apron and grabbed her purse and was about to reach for her coat. Koemi was happy and ran and grabbed Takumi's pant leg as a hug.
"Good morning Tou-san." she giggled.
"Good morning, Emi." Takumi turned off the stove and bent down to hug his daughter silly.
Minako slipped on her jacket and turned to leave the house just as Akiyo came bounding down the stairs.
"PANCAKES!" she cried happily.
"Emi, Kiyo? Oba-san is leaving for her trip, come say good-bye." Misaki called to them.
The two girls climbed into their grandmother's embrace, giving a big "Bye Oba-san!"
Akiyo pulled Minako's pant leg before she could leave.
"Don't come home late or I won't let you sleep tonight!" she grinned innocently.
"Kiyo, that doesn't make sense, I won't be home until Sunday." Minako blinked at the girl.
"But that's what Tou-san tells Kaa-san when she leaves everyday, so I wanted to tell you too!"
"Kiyo!" Misaki cried embarrassed as she picked up the rambunctious little girl into her arms.
"Bye, Mom. See you Sunday." she said sheepishly.
"Bye Misa." then Minako leaned down to Koemi. "You and Kiyo be nice to Tou-san and Kaa-san while I'm gone, okay?"
"okie-dokie!" Koemi stuck her fists out with her thumbs out excitedly.
With Minako gone, the girls gulped down their pancakes, smearing maple syrup all down faces and pyjama shirts. Then Takumi and Misaki switched roles. Misaki cleaned up the dishes while Takumi took the girls upstairs to get dressed. Misaki joined them to get dressed herself.
"Kiyo, Emi?" she called to the half dressed children. "Today, you're going to stay at Zu-san's house, okay?"
"I don't wanna go to Zu-san's house!" Koemi wailed.
"Yeah! She's scary!" Akiyo added.
Takumi chuckled silently and leaned towards Misaki to whisper in her ear. "Does Shizuko really scare them that much?"
"Lets just say she sets some strict rules. They hate that...and the fact she looks a little scary too." Misaki chuckled.
"Tou-san, do we really have to go to Zu-san's house?" Akiyo tugged at his pant leg.
"Yes, Kiyo." He bent down to ruffle her hair. "You have to go to Zu-san's house."
He continued to mess with Akiyo's hair until she squealed through her laughing fit. "Tou-san! Stop it!"
Getting ready took more time than they thought. Koemi insisted on wearing only one sock and two different shoes and Akiyo didn't want to wear the dress Misaki picked out for her, instead she grabbed a pink flower print skirt and a green long sleeved shirt. It only made matters worse shen Shizuko showed up to pick up the girls and they cowered behind their parents. Once the girls were dressed, Shizuko and the girls said "bye" at the door.
"Oh. Misaki-san." Shizuko remembered before leaving. "I picked up your mail and left it on the kitchen table, okay? See you later."
Once the door was shut solidly, both Misaki and Takumi sighed out of exhaustion. and it was only the beginning of the day. Misaki slid to the floor in front of the door and Takumi sat tiredly on the stairs. Takumi stared at Misaki and started chuckling.
"What's so funny, you perverted outer-space human?" she glared
"Hey don't forget, you married this perverted outer-space human." he grinned.
"I know." Misaki sighed.
Takumi stood to help Misaki to her feet, planting a light kiss to her lips once she was up.
"I haven't done that in a long time." Takumi sighed happily, leaning his forehead to her shoulder. He wrapped his arms around her waist loosely.
It was just the two of them in the house, but the peace wasn't going to last for very long. Misaki noticed her husband's ragged attire.
"Oi. Its getting late, you should get dressed." she pushed him slightly by the shoulders to warn him.
Reluctantly, Takumi let her go and kissed her cheek mischievously before trudging up the stairs to get ready for the day ahead. Remembering the mail, Misaki smoothed out her clothing, simple dress pants, and loose fitting formal shirt and of course, her wedding ring, before heading over to the kitchen to check it. She sifted through the usual stuff, the newspaper, the phone bills, a letter from Suzuna, until she found something new in the pile. It was a plain white envelope with no return address. It had a formal red wax seal on the back and it was addressed to 'Mr and Mrs Usui.' Curious, Misaki lifted the wax carefully and removed the letter from inside. She skimmed the contents of the long letter, just wanting to know who sent it. But some words caught her eyes and Misaki returned to the beginning to read it fully.
Misaki re-read the letter several times and started panicking. Just as Takumi was coming out of their room, Misaki called for him frantically.
"Takumi!" she cried. "Takumi! Come read this!"
Takumi came rushing from her call.
"Read what?" He asked, noting the panic emanating from her.
"This!" Misaki shoved the piece of paper in his face.
She watched as Takumi's face took the same look of panic hers had.
"This is not good." she gulped, eyes conveying to him her worry. "Not. Good. At. All."