Title: Handle With Care
Rating: T (for now. May go up)
Pairing: Shizuo x Izaya
Disclaimer: I own none of these characters!
THIS STORY CONTAINS MALExMALE RELATIONSHIPS. You have been warned.
Hearing the shrill cry that could only belong to a highly displeased child, I winced and quickly turned to survey the area.
Kyo and Sayu were safely swinging their legs back and forth to get momentum on the swings.
Takeshi, Hideki, and Sosuke were... what were those trouble makers doing over ther-
Finally seeing a little girl sitting on the ground holding her knee, I fled to the scene.
"Hey, hey, Miyo-chan, what's wrong?" I asked softly, immediately scooping the small girl into my arms when I got close enough. A few more sobs escaped her throat before she pointed to her bleeding knee and gave me the biggest puppy eyes known to mankind.
Kids were too fucking cute.
"I fell," Miyo whined, and as if the memory had brought the pain back full-force, let out another loud sob. I winced and turned on my heel to walk back to the daycare center.
"Shh, sweetie, we'll get that cleaned and bandaged right away. You want a Hello Kitty band-aid?" I said, trying to take her mind off the little scratch. She sniffled and nodded, her hands clinging to my shirt.
After a quick cleaning and a brand new pink band-aid on her knee, Miyo was running out of the room laughing like nothing happened.
Oh the carefree attitude of youth.
How I envy it.
Every single muscle in my body tensed at the voice, and even more so at the hand that was lackadaisically groping my ass.
"Izaya," I replied in a controlled anger, grabbing hold of the offending arm and yanking it away from my body. Glaring down at my fellow employee, I briefly wondered if I could get a restraining order on this guy.
Probably not, considering I worked with him and definitely didn't want to quit.
Maybe a sexual harassment charge, then.
"Look what I found our little tykes doing!" Izaya exclaimed like he hadn't just grabbed my ass, holding up a clear container.
Inside said container was a dead frog, lying upside down with some of its guts grossly hanging out.
I knew those three were doing something over there...!
Sighing, I snatched the container, frowning as I stared at the poor, innocent victim.
"What'd you do to them?" I asked, walking forward. Izaya followed close behind.
I realized I shouldn't let him walk behind me. Granted, we would be in the childrens' view soon, so he wouldn't dare try one of his little tricks, but he still had his eyes.
Yes, sadly, this sexual harassment was a regular occurrence.
I should have never let him find out I was gay.
Biggest mistake of my life.
"I separated them. Told them not to pick on things weaker than themselves," Izaya answered me, and we both sidestepped Sayu as she came running into the house, "The frog's life may have been saved if Shizu-chan was out here~!"
"Miyo-chan fell. I had to attend to the wound. That's why there are two of us," I explained, knocking him in the head with the container. He just gave me a stupid grin.
"Is Shizu-chan saying he needs me?" Izaya practically purred.
I snorted and didn't bother with an answer, stepping off the porch and walking around the side of the building to dispose of the frog.
Working at a childrens' daycare, I got to deal with a wide variety of personalities and temperaments. Takeshi and Hideki were pretty damn good kids alone.
Throw in Sosuke and the evilness was born.
Hence the gutted frog.
And Sosuke adored Izaya.
Somehow it made perfect sense.
Making my way back to the front of the house, I lifted a hand to wipe the sweat forming at the nape of my neck. The sun was shining brightly in a cloudless sky, and I wondered if it was getting too hot for the kids. We should probably move them inside, though they had snack time thirty minutes prior and I hated the thought of rowdy children inside.
Izaya was standing on the front porch, a bottle of water tilted up against his lips. He had rolled up his sleeves and clipped the front of his pair back with a clip. Walking closer, I realized it was Sayu's purple flower clip, and had to smile.
Izaya had only been working here for four months, whereas I'd worked here for over a year already. It wasn't amazing money, but it got me by. I've never been very book-smart, anyway, so college was never really an option.
And I adore kids.
Let's face it, the real world sucks. It's full of liars and cheaters and all-around evil things. A child's innocence is like a breath of fresh air. Izaya once told me he shared that sentiment, though I have to wonder what else is in that mind of his. He often had no sense of personal space, or shame, but I couldn't rightly accuse him of ever being neglectful with the kids. And for that, I was grateful.
"We should round the kids up inside," I said, halting by his side. A quick glance was the only indication he heard me, and with a dramatic tip back of his body, he downed the water bottle before ripping it away from his lips with a satisfied sigh.
"I was hoping you'd say that," Izaya said, fanning himself with the water bottle for show. I'm sure it wasn't supplying adequate air to cool him, "Hey guys! We're going in!"
The children perked up and started grabbing toys and drinks and whatever else they had brought outside with them.
"Nice clip," I jest, gesturing to his hair. He grinned and lifted a hand up to touch it.
"Sayu-chan was nice enough to let me borrow it!"
Said little girl was the first to walk up to them, holding onto Kyo's hand. The three little devils followed, snickering at the hand-holding.
"Kyo and Sayu, sitting in a tree~!" Sosuke started singing as the other two laughed. Sayu blushed and uncertainly looked down as Kyo sent them a glare and pulled Sayu closer.
"At least I have a girlfwiend!" Kyo exclaimed, a small speech impediment disabling him from pronouncing his 'r's correctly.
The trio suddenly looked offended, turning to each other before all three heads turned toward Miyo, the only other girl in their group. Miyo looked caught between horror and disgust.
I bit my lip to contain my laughter. Izaya wasn't so secretive, and busted out laughing.
"Now now, children, hand-holding is perfectly acceptable!" He insisted, and in the next second, I felt his hand slide into mine and lace our fingers together. He held our joined hands up proudly, "See?"
I ripped my hand away, sending him a quick glare, but the damage had already been done. Sayu, sweet little Sayu, was looking up at us with wide, curious eyes.
"Is Iza-sensei Shizuo-sensei's girlfriend?"
I gaped, feeling a trickle of embarrassment spread across my cheeks. Well this was awkward. Damn you, Izaya, and your sly little tricks! What would be the best way to answer something like that...? I sure as hell knew Izaya wouldn't. He looked rather cheerful watching me squirm.
Takeshi spoke up before I could.
"Iza-sensei is a guy, he can't be Shizuo-sensei's girlfriend!"
Sayu immediately dropped her head, looking uncomfortable. No doubt the comment made her feel stupid.
"Hey now," I spoke softly, bending down in front of Sayu and placing a hand on her black waves, "No, Iza-sensei isn't my.. girlfriend, but he's a friend. You hold hands with your friends sometimes too, right?"
Sayu nodded, recognition lighting up her face. I smiled and ruffled her hair before standing back up and gesturing the kids inside.
"Did I just get rejected?" Izaya whispered to me as we followed the kids inside. I grabbed a stack of coloring books and shoved them into his chest.
"Pass these out, hm?"
Izaya clicked his tongue at me, but did as he was told.
"Shizuo-sensei!" Hideki shouted, raising his hand for good measure, "Since it's so hot, can we get ice cream?"
The other children cheered at the suggestion, and I inwardly sighed.
"We came from outside to get out of the heat. And you just had snack time a bit ago."
A collection of disappointed 'aaaaaaaaaaawwwwww's resounded in the room.
"Shizuo-sensei is just being a meanie~" Izaya said, placing the last coloring book in front of Kyo, "If all of you behave for the rest of the day, I'll get you ice-cream tomorrow."
"Don't make the kids hate me," I grumbled to Izaya when he walked back to me.
"Hate is a strong word. They'll just think you're mean," Izaya responded with a grin.
"That ice-cream is coming out of your paycheck. And if any of the parents say we're feeding them too much sugar, that's on you too."
"Don't worry so much, Shizu-chan," Izaya replied, patting me on the back, "Now we'll have well-behaved kids throughout the rest of the day!"
"And we'll have kids loaded up on sugar tomorrow," I muttered, watching Sosuke give curious glances between Kyo and Sayu, and Miyo. I wasn't sure how I felt about the little trouble maker possibly liking Miyo, but Miyo seemed oblivious anyway. Good girl.
The situation reminded me of a certain someone.
"... your glare is so scary, Shizu-chan."
The telephone suddenly rang, and I jogged around colorful tables to reach it.
"KinderCare Center, Heiwajima Shizuo speaking," I answered, leaning my elbows on the table.
I paused, and then turned away from Izaya and the kids.
"This is a surprise," I say, a frown tugging at my lips. It wasn't a pleasant surprise; never was. It pained me sometimes to think of how utterly awkward it was between us.
"I am going on a business trip. I will need you to take care of Kayumi."
At the thought of spending extra time with my little girl, my heart swelled. I had made a lot of mistakes in my life. Being gay, yet getting drunk and sleeping with one of my girl friends and then feeling obligated to marry her being the absolute worst. It was nearly two years ago that I went through a suffocating divorce, and lost nearly all rights to see my child. In the end, maybe that's why I took this job. If only to ease my own mind, I wanted to prove I was good with kids, even if I wasn't as successful or as intelligent as my ex-wife.
"Of course I will," I say, gripping the phone but trying to keep the excitement out of my voice, "When and for how long?"
After scribbling down all the details and saying a quick good-bye, I hung up the phone and took a deep breath.
She'd be here tomorrow, and she'd be staying for approximately a week. It's not like I never got to see Kayumi, but the days were few and far between. She was a little jewel, though I guess any good parent would say that about their only daughter. But I'm serious; she's well-mannered, intelligent, and cute as a button!
I turned around to see Sayu's honey brown eyes staring at me above the piece of paper she held in front of her face. The coloring sheet showcased her newly-colored puppy, with a surprisingly purple nose. I smiled and knelt down to her eye level.
"Did you color this?" I asked in awe. Even though most of her face was hidden behind the piece of paper, I could tell she smiled by the crinkles that appeared on the ends of her eyes.
"Yeah," she answered, nodding.
"Well it's amazing, but why the purple nose?"
"Purple is my favorite color!" She exclaimed, extending the artwork out to me, "I want you to have it!"
"Well thank you," I replied, taking the coloring page and sneaking a look up at the rest of the kids. Kyo was looking our way curiously, and my grin grew, "Now you better go color something for Kyo-kun or he'll get jealous."
Sayu gasped as if she had done a great wrong and turned to run back over to him. I stood, wincing as my knee popped. Damn, I wasn't that old yet!
Izaya looked to have the kids under control, so I used the time to step into my office and hang the coloring page up on my bulletin board. Kayumi usually visited me on the weekends, so she had yet to meet all the children here. Someone like Sayu would make a good friend for her.
… I'd try to keep her away from Sosuke for sure. Possibly away from that entire trio. But I guess, in the end, as long as she was accepted, I'd be content.
The rest of the day dragged on without any more incidents. The sun was already setting by the time Hideki's mother came to pick him up, and with him gone, the daycare center was empty and ready to be picked up. Izaya was already doing so, wiping down the tables with disinfectant wipes.
"So Shizu-chan," he began, looking up from the colorful tables, "Wanna go get a drink before heading home?"
I rolled my eyes and stacked the coloring books on the shelf.
"Want to get me drunk?" I asked, giving him a pointed look and grabbing the keys. I heard him whistle as if he were innocent, and heard him fall into step behind me. I really should have been expecting the hand on my ass, but I still shamefully jumped and whirled around to glare at him, "You really need to get yourself a boyfriend."
I waited until he passed me, walking out on the front porch, to lock up the building. When I turned around, he was standing in the yard looking up at me. Those scarlet eyes of his really stood out with the sunset behind him.
"I'm trying to," he said with a small smile. Without the normal teasing tone, it caught me off-guard, and I stared at him until his smile widened and he twirled around, raising a hand in the air to wave at me.
"Dream of me tonight, Shizu-chan!"
I sighed and pocketed the keys.
Such a weird guy.
So, started another one XD I looove kids ^_^
To 'Elle', who left me an anonymous review on All The Wrong Reasons (I can't reply to anon reviews D:!) I appreciated the review very much and along with this one, more fanfics from me are soon to come ^_^