Title: Handle With Care
Author:
MistressKiko
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.


Shizuo's POV

There had to be some unwritten rule. A rule that stated when one thing goes bad, a million other treacherous things must immediately follow.

And Sosuke wasn't even here today.

"This side of the room is mine, lispy!"

"Then this side is mine! And you bettew not cwoss into it, cwabby!"

I would have never expected Kyo and Saru to talk so vulgarly at each other, but hey, I guess lovers' spats start at an early age?

Conflicted, I watched the two huff, cross their arms, and walk to distinct opposite sides of the room. To meddle with childrens' woes or not..?

"Daddy!"

Ah, and then there was scenario number two, pulling at my pant leg while I was trying to write on the attendance sheet.

"Ye-"

"!"

Well, damn it. That sounded like Miyo again.

"One second Kayumi," I muttered, patting her head before rushing between the two quarreling lovers and heading straight for the door. Sure enough, the long-haired girl was holding her elbow and looking up at me with wobbly eyes. I sighed and bent down to pick her up, "What'd you do this time?"

"I didn't do anything! Bug bit me!" Miyo exclaimed, glaring at her elbow.

"Well let me see," I prompted, attempting to pry the hand from her elbow.

"INCOMING!"

I looked up just in time to see a stuffed seahorse flying at my face. I was merely able to flinch before a hand jutted out in front of me and caught the toy.

"Takeshi, let's not throw things, hm?" Izaya said, waving the toy in the air.

"Sorry," Takeshi mumbled, then ran around Izaya and I to meet back up with Hideki.

"Thanks for the save," I said to Izaya.

"Daddy!" Kayumi exclaimed, once again at my heels. Can I not get a single moment's rest?

"Here, I'll take her," Izaya suddenly said, stepping forward and holding his arms out to take Miyo. I flashed him a grateful smile and knelt down to focus attention on my daughter.

"Now, what do you want?"

"Draw! You said I could draw you a picture and you'd hang it up, right?" Kayumi asked with wide eyes.

"Haha, yeah sure. I'll get some paper and.. do you want colored pencils or markers?" I asked, making my way to the shelves.

"Colored pencils!" She exclaimed behind me. Grabbing said pencils off the shelf, I looked over at Sayu, who was huddled in a corner reading a book. Glancing the opposite way, Kyo looked quite alone building a block tower by himself. I sighed as I set the stuff on the table for Kayumi.

"Make it something awesome, kay?" I teased, ruffling Kayumi's blonde tresses. She gave me a wide smile and went to work. I nonchalantly made my way over to Sayu, "Sayu-chan. What are you reading?"

"The Ruby Red Princess," she muttered, not even looking up at me. In fact, she looked pretty crestfallen.

"I'm surprised to see you not with Kyo-kun."

"Cause he's being a meanie," Sayu finally looked up, puffing her cheeks.

"That so? Can you tell me what happened?" I asked, dropping to my knees and taking a seat beside her. Sayu shifted, closing the book and running a hand over the cover.

"... he won't read it to me," Sayu mumbled. I inwardly chuckled. If only adult's love spats were that simple.

"Did he say why?"

She shook her head. Hm. Well. I may have to go investigate the other side of the story then.

"Can I get everyone over at the tables?" Izaya suddenly called. I raised a brow. We had nothing but a game of musical chairs planned, and that wasn't until later. Never-the-less, I took Sayu's hand and walked over to the tables with her. Kyo and Sayu met each others eyes before looking away a dozen times.

"What's this about?" I asked as I watched him grab hold of several sheets of paper and spread them out on the tables. Kayumi had to pause in her progress.

"I've decided it would be really nice for us to make get well posters and stop by Sosuke's house today, don't you think?" Izaya asked the group. Takeshi and Hideaki immediately perked up at the idea, Miyo was focusing attention on the bandaid on her elbow, Kayumi looked a little bewildered at changing projects, and Kyo and Sayu were much too focused on trying to ignore each other to have a say. But with a little more pushing, all the kids were hard at work making 'the greatest posters ever', as Izaya put it.

"You know, if the kid's not really sick, I'm going to be mad we did this," I whispered to Izaya when we were far enough away from the kids.

"Don't worry about it. If anything, we're teaching a good thing here, aren't we?" Izaya asked, lightly jabbing me with his elbow, "And despite what I said yesterday, I really don't think he's faking it."

"Such faith."

"You have to put some faith into our children, Shizu-chan!"

"... you purposefully said it that way, didn't you?"

"... actually, no, I wasn't thinking that way. But that means you weeere! Already thinking about our future, Shizu-chan!"

I would not blush, I would not blush, I would not blush...

"Shut up."

"Heh heh~!"

I found myself staring at that little smirk of his. Damn it, when'd he get so cute?

When the children were done with their piece of art, they held it up proudly. It was a little messy, and the coloring definitely didn't stay in the lines of their drawn stick figures and balloon animals, but it was endearing and had GET WELL SOON SOSUKE written across it in bold letters.

After having a quick snack as a reward for their hard work, we all set off for Sosuke's house. I shook my head upon seeing Sayu and Kyo walking as far as they could possibly be from each other while still staying in the group, but then smiled upon seeing Hideki enthusiastically speaking about something or another to Kayumi. I heard something about whales, and an idea popped into my head. Izaya and I hadn't taken the kids on any trips in a while...

"Izaya." He looked over his shoulder before slowing down until he was walking right beside me, "How about we take the kids to the aquarium tomorrow?"

I whispered the last part so no one else would hear. Izaya's eyebrows shot up.

"Hmm, doesn't sound like a bad idea to me," he replied, shrugging his shoulders. He suddenly frowned, "But why the aquarium?"

"You don't think they'd enjoy it?"

"Yeah, they probably would. I just got a rather unpleasant flashback of going to an aquarium as a child," he replied, looking up at the sky.

"I have to hear this one," I goaded him on. He lolled his head my way and smiled.

"Well," he began, shuffling closer. I tensed when he folded his hand into mine and weaved our fingers together. I looked up at the children to make sure all their backs were turned, "I was around six, I think. Innocently looking through the glass at all the fish in the water. And then I happened to look down, and there was a dead one lying at the bottom of the tank and... well, it was just really really creepy. Those eyes.. it's like they were staring at me even though it was dead."

I chuckled heartily. His facial expression, something torn between awe and disgust, was making this story way more humorous than it should be.

"In other words, you're scared of fish," I taunted, and he glared at me.

"Look, it was creepy when I was that young!" He defended, his hand giving my own a warning squeeze. I smiled, glanced at the childrens' turned back again, and raised our joined hands to my lips, where I left a peck on his pale skin, "...!"

"Make sure you stop at the crosswalk! See the red hand?" I asked the kids, letting go of Izaya's hand. I jogged in front just to make sure none of them had thoughts of running out into the street and waited patiently for the white stickman to flash before crossing.

"You're really unfair," Izaya mumbled to me moments later, when I had once again fallen behind the group with him and we were a couple yards away from Sosuke's household.

"Unfair?" I echoed. A pout was on those pink lips.

"Pulling all these surprise kisses on me when I can't do anything about them," he replied with narrowed eyes and leaned into me as he continued, "Just wait 'till I get you alone."

I swallowed, feeling heat stream to my neck. Well, that sounded promising.

Fuck, must concentrate on Sosuke, not Izaya, not that sexy grin of his, that sexy everything of his, not the thought of us alone... oh, hey, look, Sosuke's house, great! Hormones, down, there are kids present.

"Everyone ready to hold up your posters?" Izaya asked the group, skipping ahead to open the door to the apartment complex, "I'll go in and have him look out the window, alright? Can't have any of you catching what he has!"

Miyo's eyes grew wide and she looked up at me.

"What does he have? Is it serious?" Miyo asked cautiously.

"Haha, it's nothing bad, I'm sure," I answered. Hell, it was probably nothing at all, but I wasn't going to tell the children they spent a lot of time making posters for nothing.

"Should one of us read the poster out loud in case he can't read everything from up there?" Hideki suggested, pointing out the smaller stuff on the poster and the third story where they knew Sosuke's house to be.

"Kyo definitely won't do it," Sayu hmphed.

"Shut up, Sayu!" Kyo immediately raged. I scratched my chin a little uncertainly, but didn't have time to come up with a remedy before the window on the third floor was opening and Sosuke peeked his little head out.

"Hi guys!" Sosuke called out, voice rather raspy. Huh, what do you know, the kid may actually be sick.

Having not formulated a plan on who to say what, all the children began shouting at once, some in greeting and some reading straight from the poster, and I grinned and shook my head. Sosuke looked happy enough, waving frantically down at us.

"Get better soon!" Takeshi yelled.

"I'll fight it off by tomorrow so I can go to the aquarium!" Sosuke shouted back, putting a hand to his throat.

"Aquarium?"

All eyes turned to me. Well thanks, Izaya, guess it's not a surprise anymore.

"I wanna see the seahorses!"

"Dolphins are better!"

"Blowfish are cool!" Takeshi yelled loudly, walking backwards so everyone could see his impression of one. Shouts about the aquarium were all I heard as we walked back to the daycare, leaving Sosuke to get his rest.

"Daddy, daddy!" Kayumi exclaimed to get my attention, "You gotta give me a piggyback ride at the aquarium 'cause I can't see over people!"

"A piggyback ride? I'm going to get too old for that soon enough, you know. Or rather you're getting too big," I laughed.

"You aren't old," Kayumi protested, wrinkling her nose.

"I want a piggyback ride too, Shizu-chan," Izaya piped in, and I heard Kayumi giggled again at the nickname.

"You are definitely tall enough to see over people."

"I just want one for fun! Please Shizu-chan?"

Another giggle.

"A start to getting what you want would be to stop calling me that."

"But if I don't call you that, then I have to call you that other name. Remember, bab-"

"Shut up."

Izaya snorted and shrugged, dropping the topic. I listened to more excited chatter about aquatic creatures until we were back in the daycare center.


It's a tad shorter than previous chapters, but when I saw IcybluePenguin's birthday chapter request, I felt obligated to do something XD So, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU, IcybluePenguin!

In a hurry, so hardly any time to comment on reviews, BUT, Aihara-Yuki, Sorenari ni Shinken nan desu by Asou Kai is my FAVORITE MANGA IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD and yes, it inspired this story :D!