Hi everyone. Sorry for the short MIA. This was actually supposed to be up for my anniversary on fanfiction (and my birthday too) but my parents and friends decided to surprise me on two different weekends, and with that and the workload, I only finished yesterday to find the server down. So that's the delay.
There's a whole bunch of OCs mentioned, the list is at the bottom, but still, the story mainly focuses on Kousei playing grandfather. One of those supposed to be warm and fuzzy fics coming out of an angst/tragedy loving person.
Anywho, don't let me bore you with all that, so enjoy everyone, and tell me what you think.
By the way, Guiltless is the next update for anyone who's curious. Hopefully before next week, unless I'm in for another surprise.
A twin set of triplets
And he thought the twins were hard to deal with. Till he found himself babysitting their children.
Satomi was visiting a friend, so it was one of those times where the he had the house to himself. Kouji had moved out years ago, now living in Ota with his wife and children and just across the Tama River from Kouichi's family who had chosen to attain a residence in close proximity to his mother's apartment, though both occasionally visited, so the double story house in Kakinokizaka now had a habit of being rather empty.
Though the roughly thirty year ago absence of mischievous and occasionally difficult twins had made it empty for a time before, until the twins reunited with each other. At age twelve however, they were far more mature than their three year old counterparts, and both quiet in their own way.
He used to work during that time, mostly paperwork which he didn't care to do in company because of the boredom that it invited and the much more interesting prospect of conversation. But he had retired recently, thinking 65 years too old to continue a job, even if the difficulties had eased some twenty years before to make the promoted desk job less tedious for the entire family.
So he was simply enjoying a cup of warm tea and the eleven o'clock news, thinking that he would be able to sneak in a few hours of sleep before lunch.
Unfortunately, the phone rang just as the thought crossed his mind.
'Moshi moshi, Minamoto residence,' he said into the receiver.
/Otou-san?'/ came a voice from the other end.
'Ah, Kouji. How are you?'
/Doing good,/ his younger son replied. /Has Amaya talked to you yet?/
/Having the kids stay over for a few days while we have a small vacation./
He thought about that. 'No,' he replied eventually. 'She hasn't.'
'When are the two of you leaving?'
'Today?' Well, there went his hopes for a nap. 'Well, I'm not exactly doing anything.'
There was a sigh of relief on the other line. /You don't mind watching them?/
'Not at all.' It would certainly liven up the house.
/Great. Arigato 'tou-san. We'll drop them off in about an hour./
He hung up without saying goodbye, but his father didn't think too much of it. After all, they would be seeing each other in person soon, and knew well his son saw it imprudent to say goodbye when another meeting was to take place.
Sighing, he returned to his coffee, hoping to enjoy the moment of solitude.
Unfortunately, five minutes in, the phone rang again.
'Kouji! You just rang five minutes ago!'
/'tou-san, it's Kouichi./ He sounded a little rushed too, and he could hear someone wailing in the background.
'Is something wrong?' he asked, switching into parental concern mode, even if his son had his own family and was by far old enough to look after himself.
/Kaori collapsed,/ he said in a rush. /I'm taking her to the hospital, but I can't leave the kids alone, and-/
'And you were hoping I could look after them?' Of course, more chaos.
/Well...yeah. 'kaa-san's sick again, otherwise I would have asked her. And Kouji and Ayame-/
'Are going on vacation and leaving their own kids behind,' he sighed. 'No problem, Kouji's already bringing his kids along anyway. Only, they'll have to get here somehow.'
/I'll ask him to drop them off then,/ the elder twin replied. /Arigato 'tou-san./
'You're welcome,' Kousei replied, thinking if he had been seriously wondering about the house's quietness a moment ago. It seemed loud just thinking about his six grandchildren.
Especially since he had never babysat them all at the same time without at least one parent on scene.
It was going to be one long day.
The doorbell rang in an hour and a half, and Kousei expected the delay was mostly caused by coordinating both sets of kids to behave themselves, as well as calming Kouichi's three as to the state of their mother, though their father had done a pretty good job to begin with and his eldest daughter, twelve year old Kimura Haruyami and a female version of her father to the last raven strand of hair falling two inches below his own cut, was doing an amiable job of following through, even if four year old Suijun was having trouble accepting that a visit to the Doctors did not entail a life or death situation.
And it wasn't helping matters that the five year old twin boys, Shinichi and Shinji (named as such due to a lack of creativity on the part of their father, according to their uncle) took that opportunity to tease their younger cousin, conveniently forgetting that they, being simply two years older, would have reacted in exactly the same way had their mother collapsed in front of them, doubly certain if she had a chronic illness that would eventually, like her father before her, claim her life.
Sui was too young to understand death, or sickness. All she saw was her mother never waking up again, and try as Ha'ri did to patiently explain to her youngest sibling, it was simply too difficult a concept for her four year old mind to grasp.
Which was why she tearfully clung to the grey skirt of her sister's school uniform, and before that, according to a weary Ayame, to her father. And while the tears no longer resembled a flooding dam, they still trickled down her cheeks, carefully listening to and watching the raven, coincidently the only one out of the six to inherit their paternal grandmother's hair, as she comforted her.
Katsuki was a little better off than his younger sibling, not only because he was a year her elder and thus possessing a little more maturity, but because, being the youngest out of his cousins, and the only male from his siblings, his manly pride got in the way. But even that didn't stop the sniffles that emerged from time to time, or the puffiness of his eyes.
Haruyami was taking it the best, but that was because she both knew and understood the cause and its consequences. And Kouji's children, the twins and their three years older brother Yasurou, apparently hadn't been told anything, as the elder at least showed confusion while the younger two were caught up in their little game...until their father scolded them, and they shut up. For a time. But from the exasperated look on Kouji's face, Kousei figured that the twins had already been scolded to silence at least once before.
Kousei stepped back, letting the group into the house and temporarily the sitting room, and after a list of last minute instruction that he would lose his head over if forgotten, the couple left.
He reassured them, waved them off, closed the door, and waited for chaos to ensure.
Surprisingly, it didn't take nearly as much time as he had expected. Apparently, a father's stern hand wasn't as effective when far away.
It took quite a bit of orientating, but eventually, he got the six split up into mutually beneficial activities...sort of. Ha'ri, having been interrupted in the middle of an assignment in progress, was continuing it in the study upstairs while Sui coloured on the floor, messy blonde curls falling about her.
The boys had posed more of a problem, as the twins wanted to bug their little cousin a little more (their odd way of showing affection) and nothing to do with the so-called "baby-boy" of the family, and Yasurou wanted nothing to do with either the former or the latter, simply itching bury himself back into a book. Katsuki though wanted to play, though he had no-one to play with, and it took a lot of wheedling and convincing to convince the four to enjoy a game of Darumasan ga koronda outside while he chaperoned them, knowing it to be unwise to leave four boys, all four of whom took martial arts, unattended.
So Kousei buried himself back into the morning newspaper and mentally steeled himself for the cleanup job that was bound to follow while keeping one eye on the twins continuously cutting each other loose from the Oni (Katusuki, conveniently) while Yasurou varied between getting caught and being freed by one of the twins without actually doing any freeing himself. It took a while, but the line was eventually completed, and Yasurou, once again being the first tagged, was dubbed the new Oni.
And it only took a few rounds for him to get bored and long for a book again. And so Kousei let him go.
And then he had to dismantle the game because the other three were getting a little too rough with the pacifist no longer in action, Katsuki's dirty blonde hair no longer differentiable from the other's chestnut, all three caked with mud from the early morning rain.
While the three dirtier boys took a shower in each of the bathrooms, Yasurou, true to his name, waiting patiently for a vacancy, he checked on the girls to find Haruyami lying on the floor, jotting down notes from various photocopies and pamphlets, and Suijun curled up beside her and fast asleep.
Now why was that reminding him of himself and Kouji? It's not like he was doing a humanities assignment over a four year old boy.
But then he saw a pale hand absentmindedly tuck a loose curl behind the younger girl's ear before running the hand down her back, causing the other to subconsciously cuddle closer, before the hand returned to her pen and she jotted down a few more notes before sweeping the photocopies into a single pile and pushing them out of reach. She then made to get up, but stopped when realising she couldn't disrupt her little sister.
'Did you need something?' Kousei asked, not too surprised when she didn't react to his presence. Presumably, she had also inherited her father's strange way of knowing when there were other presences in close proximity.
'The poster paper,' she replied softly, pointing at a rolled bundle stuck in her bag.
The greying man nodded and retrieved the said item, slipping off the elastic band and handing it to her. She thanked him and rolled it out, using various items from her pencil case to hold the paper, down, and proceeded to sketch an outline in light lead.
'Do you need any help?' he questioned, watching the twelve year old work and easily predicting the outcome. After all, both his sons had become rather independent at that age. And smart.
'No thank you,' she replied.
He nodded to himself. Yep, score one. 'I'll be downstairs making lunch if you need me. Anything in particular?'
Blue eyes left the paper. 'Give me a few minutes and I'll be down,' she said. 'Otou-san says your cooking could make the rubbish bin sick.'
'We could just order something,' he pointed out, looking a little sheepish after having forgotten his lack of culinary skills. And the leftovers in the fridge that Satomi had left were only enough for one.
'I can cook,' the girl insisted. 'You don't need to inconvenience yourself for us.'
Yep...just like her father.
'Ha'ri,' he sighed, coming around and crouching down so the two were relatively eye level. 'I never really got the chance to look after your father till he was too old to need me anymore. Please don't deny me the chance to look after his children once in a while.'
She gazed thoughtfully at him.
'Besides,' he continued. 'You can't move without waking up Sui.'
'That's true,' she mused, before pausing hesitantly. 'Katsu curry?'
Figures. She even likes the same food.
Haruyami gave a sheepish smile at that. 'If you asked her, she'd say cake. But anything without leek is fine.'
Her grandfather nodded thoughtfully. 'I'll get some for her too then. And me,' he added as an afterthought, thinking he might as well eat with the others.
A soft silence filled the room as the man stood, massaging his back to release the uncomfortable tingling, before he realised that the showers were no longer running. 'I had better go check on the boys.
'Okay,' the raven nodded, before returning to her poster. Before he could leave however, she spoke again.
'You weren't too late.'
He just shook his head and left. She really was like her father.
Lunch was, surprisingly, a rather peaceful affair. Apparently, the boys were worn out after their morning tussle and were now getting along reasonably well (similar to his younger son and best friend), and Suijun seemed back to her usual self.
After lunch though, things got hectic again. Haruyami returned to the study to complete her assignment and took Katsuki and the twins with her for their afternoon nap...which Kousei doubted was a good idea but allowed in any case seeing as if anyone who wasn't an adult could exercise any control over them when they got rowdy, it was either her or her best friend, Kanbara Kiyomi, who was a rather powerful mix of the warriors of wind and flame. Shibiyama Kin Mi perhaps would have had some luck, but the fifteen year old had inherited her father's softness, although her thirteen year old sister Kei Ran had gotten the majority in that aspect. All three of them were still at school in any case, so that was about the best company the twelve year old was going to get at the present moment.
Yasurou absorbed himself with a science fiction novel, and Kousei read the book for fairytales to Suijun that Tomoko used to the twins as they settled down for a nap at three. For a few minutes, things were quiet, until he realised by the tell-tale voices upstairs that the boys weren't really asleep, and the female voice mixing with them told that she wasn't too thrilled with the fact.
He made it to the top stair in time to hear the eldest snap in a low tone: 'Don't you boys have anything better to do with your time together than fight over stupid things?'
Damn...she even had her father's way of showing emotion. Voice raising meant fear, but lowering meant anger.
'Shinichi, go downstairs.'
'Why me?' the addressed whined.
'Because I said so.' Her tone left no room for arguments, and the brunette trudged out of the room, defeated. There was a noise of some movement behind the once again closed door, but Ha'ri simply told the younger twin to stay put and go to sleep and the noise stilled.
It was only the old man who understood the logic behind that decision. Because at times, he had done it himself. Together, twins were strong. Divided, they were not even at half strength.
Though he wondered as he huffed his way down the stairs again if it was wise to leave Katsuki upstairs with the younger twin.
'Why do I have to sleep?' Shinichi grumbled again, once again interrupting his grandfather mid-sentence. 'Why doesn't she?'
'She will in a little while,' Kousei explained as patiently as possible. 'She's slept for more than an hour already, so she doesn't have to go to sleep again till four.'
He yawned to himself, before continuing the story, only for the book to be snatched out of his hands. 'I'll read to her,' he grumbled. 'Go to sleep.'
Despite being ordered around by his grandson, he compiled with a smile, trudging off to his own bedroom (upstairs again-they really had to do something about that). He was just getting too old to be trampling all over the house, especially when there were six children in different corners.
Through the open door, he could hear Shinichi's voice telling a new tale to Suijun, who he got along with quite well when the two were alone, similarly to the younger twin (it had something to do with appearing manly in the other's eyes), and he let his eyes close, falling into a light sleep.
He woke up around six to the sound of running water, rubbing the sleep from his eyes before wandering off in search for some tea. He found a cup waiting at the table and drank it thankfully, before dropping it off in the kitchen and finding the eldest Kimura doing the dishes.
'I take it you all had a snack?' he asked, handing the cup to her before grabbing the wet towel, only to have it tugged away by Suijun who was carefully drying the dishes handed to her by her elder sister.
Haruyami nodded, rinsing out the last of the soap buds before turning the tap off and drying her hands, then taking the pile of saucers Kousei had grabbed off the floor and putting them away, followed slowly by the rest of the dishes.
'What's this world coming to?' he wondered aloud. 'I'm not allowed to work in my own house.'
Suijun giggled. 'We were the ones who dirtied them. The boys too, but they just make things more messy.'
'That's not strictly true,' Ha'ri pointed out. 'Yasarou doesn't.'
'Ni-san does though Nee-chan. And Shinichi-ni, and Shinji-ni.'
'Where are the boys anyway?' Kousei asked, noting their absence.
'Outside,' the blonde replied. 'I think,' she paused, putting a hand under her chin. 'Probably fighting.'
'They're being too quiet,' the elder observed. 'It's not often they're fighting and not yelling insults or throwing punches.'
'Let's go check on them.' The little girl skipped off, and the elderly man followed (Ha'ri being stopped by the phone), to find a grumpy Yasarou glaring between the twins and Katsuki, for once, staring confusedly between them.
'Anyone know what happened?'
The twins stayed stonily silent, and the others all shook their heads as the orange glow began to seep through the trees.
Sui looked up, blonde curls shining in the light of the setting sun. ''kaa-san always watches the sunset,' she murmured. 'When's she coming home?'
'I don't know,' Katsuki replied, coming over to his sister and hugging her tight. 'But you know 'tou-san will bring her home.'
'Speaking of,' Kousei muttered, staring at the painted sky. 'Your father is a little late, isn't he?'
''tou-san's the disorganised one,' Shinji grumbled from his corner. 'Not Oji-san.'
'No he's not,' the other twin responded automatically. ''kaa-san is.'
'I'm not talking about 'kaa-san, baka,' the younger rolled his eyes. 'I was comparing 'tou-san and his brother.'
'Like that makes much of a comparison when it comes to neat freaks,' Shinichi grumbled.
'What's being clean got to do with anything?' Katsuki wondered as Suijun stared wide eyed.
'Don't even get them started,' the eldest of the boys sighed, watching them snap at each other, before rolling his own eyes. 'Aren't they supposed to be on the same side?'
'Even twins fight,' Kousei sighed. 'Over the stupidest things too.'
'Even 'tou-san and Oji-san?' the curly blonde asked.
He thought for a moment. 'Did your fathers ever tell you about the Digital World?'
That quietened everyone. 'A bit,' Shinichi confessed, his earlier snit with his brother forgotten. 'But they didn't go into too much detail. My favourite's the one with the Saggitarimon though.'
Shinji laughed at that. 'Hand over your obsessions,' he chortled. 'That line always sticks.'
'Want to hear the story again?' he asked.
'Yeah!' they all cheered.
'All right then. Let me just find Ha'ri.'
Haruyami was back in the study, which Kousei found surprising as he was under the impression that her poster was complete. 'What are you doing? And who was on the phone?'
'Kei Ran,' she replied in reverse order. 'She says we have a science test tomorrow.'
'Just found out?'
'Uh huh,' she answered distractedly, focused on her reading.
Knowing the entire family took their studies seriously...well, apart from Suijun who hadn't started, he left her to her books and went back downstairs to the surprisingly quiet living room, the occupants of which were eagerly awaiting a story.
And so, settling onto the rocking chair he used to rock his own sons on and allowing the once again happy Suijun to bounce into his lap, he began.
'Well, that story all began when your fathers and their friends were passing around steel town...'
That story led to another, and another, and it was dinner time once they finally stopped, Kousei carefully skidding around the edges of the Duskmon saga and the main cause of Lucemon's demise with a little help from Yasarou.
Satomi was back by then, which to the elderly man was a relief for two reasons, and had rice and curry prepared for them all. Even if they were one person short.
'Anyone want to call Ha'ri?'
The kids all shook their head. 'Nee-chan doesn't like being interrupted when studying,' Katsuki explained. 'She skips her meals sometimes, unless 'kaa-san catches her.'
'Another habit she picked up from her father,' Kousei groaned. 'Except it was Kouji who caught him.'
Satomi laughed at the memory it dug up. 'Didn't he drag Kouichi-kun home after skipping school and force-feed him one time?'
'And got them both in trouble,' her husband added as the children listened intently. Until he reminded them about fetching their sister (or cousin).
Four more intense shake of heads. 'We don't want to get her mad,' the boys replied together, causing the four year old to collapse into a fit of giggles.
'I'll go,' she volunteered after the laughter was under control. 'She won't be too mad at me.'
And with that, she bounced up the stairs.
Kousei dug tiredly into his curry. 'How do kids have this much energy? It wasn't quite this tiring with the twins. Even when they ran all over the house playing hide and seek.'
The rest of the family ate for another few minutes, before the sound of wailing floated down the stairs. Katsuki shot up after his siblings, before coming downstairs again with a grin on his face. 'Imouto-chan's crocodile tears,' he smirked. 'Nee-chan won't be able to resist them for long.'
And true enough, she wasn't, even though she was fair annoyed.
'Why aren't 'kaa-san and 'tou-san back yet?' Suijun wailed again as it neared nine pm.
'They'll be back any time now,' Ha'ri, who had abandoned her books for the night, soothed the crying girl on her lap, rocking her gently and reminding her grandfather very much of his first wife.
'But I want them now!' she cried, refusing to be consoled.
'Don't be such a crybaby,' Shinji snapped from the floor as his piece was knocked aside by his twin. 'No-one can concentrate with that racket.'
That of course, made her cry harder.
Actually, the others were all worried by now. Kousei had tried ringing Kouichi's cell, but it appeared the phone lines in the Kanagawa prefecture were still out of order after the tremor which had flashed through (which he had wisely chosen not to inform the others about, seeing as they were all rather high-strung as one thing led to another). As a result however, there had been no news since the rushed phone-call that morning, and even the nearing teen was starting to show her worry.
'How about we all go to bed?' Satomi suggested, after attempting to take the crying girl and failing to do so.
The blonde sniffed. 'I want 'kaa-san to read me a story.'
'How about 'baa-chan reads you one instead,' she coaxed.
Tired and worn, she eventually gave in, the twins following after she sent a stern glare in their direction.
'Aren't you two going to bed?' Kousei asked, turning to the two eldest, neither of whom had moved.
They both shook their heads. 'My bed time is at ten,' Yasarou said.
'Mine's at eleven,' Ha'ri added. 'Unless I've got a test. Then it's ten-thirty.'
There was one difference at least. Both twins used to be asleep by ten at the same age, sometimes earlier. Of course, they'd both be up by the crack of dawn as compensation.
'Hmm...' he thought a moment, thinking about how he should phrase his next question. 'How much more do you two know about the Digital World?'
The two exchanged a glance, before Yasarou answered. 'About Duskmon you mean?'
The greying man nodded.
''tou-san told us both,' Haruyami said softly. 'He wanted to wait till we were a little older, but at the same time, he didn't want us finding out somehow else.'
The brunette shrugged. 'I didn't believe it at first,' he explained. 'But it sorta made sense. But that was in the past, and he's over it. If anything, that proves he's human.'
Haruyami shook her head. 'He'll never be over it. Some wounds never heal.'
Yasarou shrugged. 'You would know better. You're his daughter after all.'
'Are you implying something?'
'Not at all. Well...apart from everyone saying you're his doppelganger.'
'I'm not the cousin with the twin.'
'True enough. But the rest?'
'Well...I like yogurt.'
Kousei laughed. 'Kouichi never liked it much. He always said it smelt weird.'
'He doesn't like horror movies either. Neither does 'kaa-san, so I always have to watch them with Kin Mi, Kei Ran and Kiyomi.'
Yasarou grimaced. 'A gossip group.'
'Better than us fighting over stupid things,' the girl pointed out calmly. 'And we don't gossip.'
'That's true,' Kousei agreed. 'How many fights popped out today?'
The two laughed and Satomi came back down the stairs. 'Just be glad Tomoki Oji-san's kids weren't here.'
He found himself grimacing at the very thought (seven boys around the same age were more than an handful), however wasn't given too long to dwell as the phone rang.
'Moshi moshi, Minamoto residence,' he said into the receiver.
'Oh, Kaori. How are you?'
/I'm fine now,/ her soft voice floated over the sound of an engine. /Just tired./
'That's good to hear.' There was a pause, before he spoke again. 'What was the problem?'
/Weak immune system,/ the woman sighed. /I've been ordered to stay in bed for a week./
He heard Kouichi's voice on the other line saying something, but it was muffled, though his daughter-in-law's voice came back loud in clear /I know, I'll stay in bed./ Then to Kousei she said: /We'll be there in half an hour. Sorry we took so long, but the power outage caused a lot of delays, both at the hospital and with traffic./
'Okay, I'll see you then.'
She hung up and he followed suit, before walking back into the living room and the three waiting.
'That was your mother,' he informed Haruyami, whose eyes promptly lit up. 'They'll be here in half an hour.'
There was a soft knock on the door at precisely 9:45, and expecting it, Satomi was there to open and usher her stepson and his wife inside, Kaori promptly being coaxed onto the couch while a concerned father and daughter pair hovered a safe distance away.
Kousei couldn't help but laugh at the sight. His son was acting just as he had when Tomoko had been pregnant with the twins.
'What's funny?' Kouichi asked curiously.
'Just thinking how much harder it is to manage my grandchildren than my children,' his father replied. 'Remind me not to have them all over without a chaperone again.'
'That's another thing,' Ha'ri remembered. 'I've got 'kaa-san's memory.'
'That you do,' the blonde woman laughed, her husband laughing with her, before covering up a yawn.
'I guess we'd better go,' Kouichi sighed, picking up his keys. 'At the rate the traffic was moving across the river, we'll be lucky to get home by midnight.'
'Just stay here,' Kousei urged. 'There's no point waking the kids up anyway.'
He glanced upstairs, before agreeing. 'That's true.'
'By the way, do you know what's with those twins?'
'They're Kouji's kids. Ask him.'
Haruyami "Ha'ri"(from haru=sun/sunlight/far off/distant and yami=darkness) 12 F
NOTE: There is another translation for the name Haruyami, where the "ya" and "mi" are taken as two separate terms rather than the one, but that wasn't the intended one,
Katsuki (from ka=fire/fragrance and tsuki=moonlight) 5 M
Suijun "Sui" (from sui=water and jun=genuine/pure) 4 F
Yasurou (from yasu=peaceful/level and rou=son) 9 M
Shinichi (from shin=real/true and ichi=one) 6 M
Shinji (from shin=real/true and ji=two) 6 M
Izumi's and Takuya's kids
Kiyomi (from kiyo=pure and mi=beauty) 13 F
Kin Mi (Kin=gold Mi=beauty) 15 F
Kei Ran (Kei=blessed/lucky/happy Ran=lily/orchid) 13 F
Takeshi (fierce/violent=warrior) 10 M
Yuudai (big/great/large hero) 9 M
Akihiro (large glory) 7 M
Parents are in their middle/late thirties. Kouji and Tomoki got married later than the others, that's why their eldest kids are younger than the eldest for the others. There's a large gap between Kouichi and Kaori's first and second child because Kaori had a bout of illness where her leukemia worsened before she (relatively) overcame it. Both Kaori and her father (both OCs) have/had leukemia. Kaori's mother's not mentioned here, because she's not in Japan. Kaori's actually not Japanese, but she went for study/work purposes and eventually wound up getting married.
As for why the older girls were the only ones at school, the dates for middle school differ slightly than that of elementary, so their term starts a little earlier than the others who go to the same elementary school. Haruyami is nearing 13, so she and Kei Ran are in the same classes.