Ivan and Yao returned home after the night's events. Yao had been so surprised by Ivan's proposal that he had nearly forgotten that Arthur and Alfred were watching over the baby. He had to wonder just what kind of mess their house would be in with those two running their place. As soon as Ivan parked the car Yao practically ran to the door. Before the Chinese man even opened it he could hear voices yelling at each other.
"You idiot you put the diaper on backwards!" A British voice yelled
"At least I put the diaper on, what'd you do?" the other voice yelled back. This couldn't be good. Yao hastily opened the door to find baby clothes all over and the two men with a lot of explaining to do. Arthur was holding a diaper clad Lin Mei at arm's distance while Alfred was incorrectly putting an outfit on the baby girl. Yao froze unable to make out the situation. Alfred and Arthur awkwardly stared back while Ivan walked up behind Yao. The Russian stopped just as Yao had when he walked in the door.
"This probably looks strange, right?" Arthur started uneasily.
"You could say that, da." Ivan answered with an unsettling smile.
"Would you mind telling me what you two were doing to our baby?" Yao asked quickly.
"Well you see, up until the last hour things were going smoothly until-" Arthur was interrupted
"Your baby's a slob." Alfred interjected loudly with a joking laugh
"What?" Yao and Ivan asked angrily
"Shut up, wanker!" Arthur ordered, "You see gentlemen, everything was going smoothly until the last hour, but when we decided to feed her…well this happened…" Arthur gestured to the mess before them. "Every time we tried to feed her she'd spit it out or spit up or some other form of mess. We had to change her about five times and because this twit can't put a diaper on correctly, we had to change her even more."
"Well, it's not my fault these diapers can't catch cra-" Alfred was stopped
"You put the diaper on backwards!" Arthur exclaimed once more. The two men continued to argue and continued to ignore Yao and Ivan.
"Aiya! Both of you stop this instant aru!" Yao ordered. The two men stopped arguing immediately. "Just give Lin Mei to me and take your arguing somewhere else." Yao said collecting himself. He was used to breaking up fights because of his siblings. Arthur sheepishly hand Lin Mei to Yao and the baby settled in his familiar arms. Arthur and Alfred muttered apologies as they left. Ivan shut the door behind them and the two started walking to their car.
"Do you think we should have told them about the flood in the kitchen?" Alfred asked
Back in the House Yao carefully handed Lin Mei to Ivan and started cleaning the mess that the two 'babysitters' made. Luckily the mess was mostly just picking up dirty clothes and putting them in the laundry. Ivan carried the drowsy Lin Mei to Yao,
"Yao-Yao why don't you and Lin Mei go to sleep, I'll take care of this." Ivan offered. He didn't want his Yao-Yao to be working right after such a wonderful night.
"No, no it's not that bad; besides Lin Mei likes it when you put her to sleep." Yao said trying not to let Ivan worry, "It's just some dirty clothes I can wash in the morning."
"Are you sure?" Ivan asked carefully, he could tell Yao was not in the best of moods.
"I'm sure aru, just make sure Lin Mei gets to sleep." Yao said as he continued to carry the laundry to a basket. Ivan nodded and took Lin Mei to their room. Luckily she was already half asleep. Ivan only had to sit and watch Lin Mei fall asleep quietly. It seemed the comfort of Ivan's arms was all that the baby needed to fall sleep comfortably. It was true; Lin Mei enjoyed falling asleep in Ivan's arms. It was probably because of that night when she couldn't sleep and Ivan had comforted her until she was okay. While she enjoyed the Russian's comfort for the night she seemed to enjoy Yao's company during playtime. Lin Mei's eyes shut as she drifted off to sleep. Ivan carefully placed her in the crib they had bought for her and left the room.
Ivan found Yao drying off the floors. Puddles of water covered the tiled area. Yao was grumbling to himself as he violently dried the floor on his hands and knees.
"Curse Alfred and Arthur for making a mess of my kitchen aru! I'll give them a what for when I see them again! Some babysitters they are!" Yao muttered angrily. Ivan chuckled to himself. Yao was so cute when he was angry. Ivan got on his knees and stopped Yao from his drying.
"Go on to bed, I'll take care of this da." Ivan said with his childish smile.
"No, I'll do it!" Yao stated, determined to get each job done.
"You are tired. It was a long day. Go on, I won't be long." Ivan said as he kissed Yao right on the nose. Yao blushed at this, but got up from the floor,
"Goodnight." Yao said as he carefully made his way out of their kitchen.
"Dosvidan'ya…be careful, don't slip!" Ivan added as he watched Yao closely so he could catch him if he fell over from the water. Yao waved Ivan's worried off as he made it to the carpet and turned to go into their room. Ivan continued to dry off the floors.
Ivan retreated to his and Yao's bedroom as soon as he finished drying the kitchen. He changed into his sleepwear and scooted into bed next to Yao. Ivan studied Yao's features like he did almost every night. Yao's beautiful honey eyes were shut in a peaceful, deep sleep. His soft hands were clasped beside his cheek as if in a prayer. Ivan scooted closer and wrapped one of his huge arms around Yao's slim waist. At this moment everything seemed perfect to Ivan. The man he loved was beside him and now engaged to him and he had a beautiful baby girl to look after. He had a family like he had always dreamed of. He lived in a home where no one was hurting inside or out. Just thinking about his life almost made him want to cry because he never thought that it would be this way: perfect. Ivan immediately began to think of how to celebrate this occasion. He knew exactly what to do. He would surprise Yao once again. He was going to invite Yao's friends to their home so that they could celebrate together. True enough, Ivan disliked the prospect of celebration with other people, but Yao liked celebrations and spending time with his friends and he could deny his Yao nothing. Luckily there would not be too many people to crowd their home. Ivan didn't have many he considered friends so only Yao's close friends would be invited. Ivan let his eyes close, satisfied with his new plan.
The next morning Ivan departed for work once more with a goodbye kiss to Lin Mei and to Yao. Yao sighed and began to start his daily chores. As he made his way to the kitchen he noticed the red light blinking on the phone. There must have been a voice mail. Yao went over to the phone and entered the code to listen to the message.
'Hello nii-san.' The painfully familiar voice rang in Yao's ears as he nearly dropped the phone. 'It's been a while, hasn't it?'
"Seven years, you idiot." Yao said bitterly.
'I am calling to tell you…that I wish to see you again.' Kiku's monotonous voice hesitated to say. Yao's heart froze upon hearing these words. 'It's been seven years, nii-san. I think it is time that we act our age and talk.'
"Act our age? Who was it who ran away like a child when he didn't get what he wanted aru?" Yao argued against the recording.
'Call me when you want to talk.' Kiku finished. Yao was ready to throw the phone and smash it against the wall. Instead he deleted the message and placed the phone back on its stand. He paced about angrily.
"Who does he think he is? If he thinks I'll be the one to go crawling to him and call he's wrong aru!" Yao ranted, "I'm not about to forget seven years of hate! And who is he to tell me to act my age! I raised him! If anyone needs to grow up it's him! He ran away so obviously I'm not his big brother anymore!" Yao spat poisonously. Yao's self ranting was interrupted by Lin Mei cooing in the other room. Yao sighed and pushed his anger away for now. There was a little girl who needed him now. Yao went to his and Ivan's room and picked Lin Mei up from her crib, "Good morning, Lin Mei!" Yao greeted sweetly, "You still need me, right?" Lin Mei merely looked up and giggled at Yao, "I thought so." He said with a smile. Thus, his day began.
At his office, Ivan began making phone calls. He thought of all the people Yao would like to have over to their home. He made a list: Alfred, Arthur, Francis, Matthew, Ludwig, and Feliciano. That wasn't such a bad list. He didn't particularly like any of those people, but they were the ones who had done enough to disserve an invitation to their home. Ivan picked up his cell phone and dialed the first number.
"Sup dude?" Alfred's loud voice answered on the other side.
"Privet, this is Ivan." Ivan replied
"Oh, what do you want?" Alfred asked uninterested
"I am only calling to invite you to a party I am throwing for Yao-Yao." Ivan started, "I think that our engagement disserves some celebration of sorts."
"So the big bad Russian finally asked the delicate Asian." Alfred commented with a loud laugh
"I also wish to celebrate our plan to adopt Lin Mei." Ivan added
"Wait- whoa! Hold the phone, dude!" Alfred said, "You're going to adopt the small fry? Dude, that's awesome!"
"Hush, stupid American." Ivan ordered, "Yao-Yao is not aware of this, so don't tell him. if you need to contact me, just call this number, da."
"Okay, okay don't get your undies in a bunch." Alfred replied
"Also tell Arthur that he is invited too." Ivan said
"Sure. So; where and when?" Alfred asked
"Our house, tonight at seven." Ivan answered, "Don't let on that you're there. I also order you to apologize for the flood in our kitchen."
"I got it!" Alfred said, "See you then, commie." Alfred promptly hung up. Ivan hated listening to that obnoxious voice of his, but Alfred did help when it came to involving the police in any of their situations. Ivan then dialed the next number.
"Bonjour mon ami," The French voice answered
"Privet, Francis." Ivan replied
"What can I help you with?" Francis asked curiously
"I want you to come to a party tonight at my house at seven." Ivan answered
"Ohonhonhon, and what may I ask is the occasion?" Francis continued
"To celebrate our engagement," Ivan said happily
"Congratulations!" Francis said excitedly
"But we also intend to adopt Lin Mei as well." Ivan added
"Tres bien! I will be there with bells on." Francis said
"Since I won't be there to coordinate things, I will trust that you can handle it?" Ivan asked
"Oui, I'd love to, I'll get there a bit early so I can greet the guests and set everything up." Francis said.
"Great. Goodbye." Ivan said as he hung up. Ivan the dialed on,
"H-hello." A soft voice answered
"Hello, this is Matthew Williams, da?" Ivan asked
"Oui," Matthew's quiet voice replied, "Who is this?"
"My name is Ivan Braginski, perhaps you remember me?" Ivan said
"Oh…yeah, I do." Matthew replied, "What do you need?"
"Hey, Mattie who's on the phone? Tell the awesome me!" an obnoxious voice called from the background.
"Shh, Gil, I'm trying to talk to Ivan." Matthew called back to the interruption.
"Ivan? Do you mean that weird Russian guy from school? What are you talking to that freak for?" Gilbert called once more
"Shh, Gilbert! I'm sorry, what were you saying." Matthew continued
"I just wanted to ask if you could make it to a party for Yao?" Ivan asked, "I recall that you were friends."
"Oh…gee I don't know…tonight?" Matthew asked, "We're a few hours away- Hey wait Gilbert give that back!"
"Hey, you Russian freak, why are you calling mein vogel?" Gilbert asked
"I was inviting him to a party to celebrate mine and Yao's engagement." Ivan told him calmly. He never liked that 'Prussian' idiot.
"Why the hell should we?" Gilbert asked
"I wasn't asking you, I was asking Matthew." Ivan interjected
"Why should I let mein vogel go?" Gilbert said
"Francis and Ludwig will be there." Ivan smudged the truth a bit. He may not have called Ludwig yet, but he would be there. Ivan would make sure of it.
"W-what? Really?" Gilbert asked excitedly. He was best friends with Francis and he really wanted to see his little brother, "We'll be there, but not because you asked!"
"It will be at seven tonight and it is a surprise, so don't tell Yao. If you must call anyone, call this number."
"Ja, ja I get it." Gilbert said as he rudely hung up the phone. Ivan merely shrugged and assumed that they'd be there. Ivan continued to dial what was hopefully the last number; he was tired of making calls already.
"Hallo?" a strong, German voice answered
"Privet, Ludwig, this is Ivan." Ivan started
"Oh, hallo, Ivan. What do you need?" Ludwig asked
"I was hoping you would come to a party to celebrate mine and Yao's engagement." Ivan said
"An engagement party?" Ludwig asked, "I guess so, but when is it?"
"It is tonight at seven at our house." Ivan answered
"Ja, I suppose I could make it." Ludwig said, "Feliciano, I told you to keep running, how do you plan to be fit for combat if you wish to set foot downtown?"
"But Ludwig, I don't want to fight I just want to shop downtown ve!" A familiar Italian voice cried from the background
"Dummkopf, you can never be sure in a city like that!" Ludwig shouted back
"Hey, don't pick on my fratello!" an angrier Italian accent ordered
"Aw Lovi, you're so cute when you're mad. You turn red like a baby tomato!" a Spanish accented voice called lovingly
"Shut up bastardo!" Lovino called
"Ve…pasta…" Feliciano's voice whined. Ludwig sighed,
"I'll be there." Ludwig said
"Good, it is a surprise so say nothing to Yao. If you need to call me call me here." Ivan ordered, "Tell Feliciano he is invited as well."
"Sehr gut, but Lovino and Antonio might be there. They won't leave me alone." Ludwig added
"I suppose that is alright." Ivan said.
"Alright, I'll see you then." Ludwig replied and hung up.
Ivan returned home around four so he could take Yao out. He walked into their home to find him sitting on the couch reading a book. Ivan crept up behind Yao and put his hands over the Asian's eyes.
"Aiyah, Ivan aru, I was reading!" Yao complained with a pout. Ivan removed his hands and smiled down at Yao, "You're home early."
"Da, I decided that my work was done." Ivan said, "I want to take you and Lin Mei out for a little shopping."
"Shopping…why?" Yao asked curiously
"I thought she might need a little bit more stuff for her stay." Ivan said
"Oh, okay aru." Yao agreed as he got up to get ready. Ian chuckled at how gullible Yao could be sometimes. Yao returned with Lin Mein in his arms. "Ready to go, aru?"
"Da, let's go." Ivan said as they left the house. Ivan smiled to himself. He just hoped Francis could take care of everything like he promised.
Francis arrived at Ivan and Yao's home early. He parked a few houses down so as not to look suspicious and walked to the front door. He made a cake and brought t along. He noticed that Ivan had left the door unlocked for him. He went inside and found the house in a mostly clean condition. He decided to clean up some of the dishes left in the sink and started to get out bowls and dishes for snacks. A bell stopped him in his tracks as he turned to answer the door. Francis opened the door with a smile, but it soon fell,
"What are you doing here you bloody wanker?" Arthur asked
"Why do you think? To help Yao and Ivan celebrate." Francis bit back
"Good to see you bro!" Alfred said with an affectionate punch to Francis's shoulder. Francis rubbed his shoulder. He remembered the days when Alfred would hug him instead of punch him.
"Come inside and help me get ready." Francis said as he turned back into the house. Alfred followed long with Arthur. "Arthur you can get the bowls and fill them with snacks and Alfred you can get out drinks."
"Who died and made you queen, frog?" Arthur asked
"Ivan, do you want to complain to me or deal with him?" Francis asked with a cross of his arms. Arthur grumbled to himself and did as Francis said. Francis got out his cake and set it up on a decorative plate. He had also brought along a tube of frosting to write a message so that it wouldn't smudge in the car. The bell rung once more and Francis answered. His heart froze as he saw both his best friend and his other little brother.
"Bonjour, Francis." Matthew said shyly. He still used the French that he had taught him.
"Bonjour." Francis replied. Gilbert came up from behind Matthew and slapped Francis on the back,
"Francis, it's been a while!" Gilbert said loudly, "We have a lot of catching up to do! I think I've gotten even more awesome since we last talked!" Francis chuckled at this,
"You were hardly awesome before." Francis teased
"You're just jealous of mein awesomeness." Gilbert declared. Francis ushered them in and gave them jobs. Gilbert was gathering chairs for everyone to be able to sit together and Matthew was helping with the food. As Francis decorated the cake, Matthew approached him.
"It's been a while, frère." Matthew said nervously
"Don't look so shy, Mathieu, you haven't done anything wrong." Francis said gently
"Didn't me moving away make you upset?" Matthew asked
"Non, Mathieu. It made me sad…but I wasn't upset." Francis assured his younger brother. "Come give your frère a hug." Matthew hugged his elder brother and Francis felt his heart flutter with happiness at having his little brother around for once.
"Merci," Matthew said, "I do appreciate everything." Francis smiled to himself and could practically feel tears welling in his eyes.
"You're welcome." Francis replied.
"Alfred, appreciates it too…he's just too…you know." Matthew joked a bit. Francis chuckled,
"Oui, I know." Francis said. The bell rang one more and Francis could hear the arguing .
"Shut up Feliciano!"
"Don't tell mio fratello what to do potato bastard!"
"Aw, Lovi there's your tomato face again!"
Francis opened the door to see Ludwig holding Feliciano at arm's length, Lovino trying to attack Ludwig, and Antonio embracing him in a tight hug.
"Hello…" Francis greeted
"Hallo, sorry for the noise." Ludwig replied
"BRUDER!" Gilbert yelled as he ran through the house and tackled Ludwig into a hug and a noogie, "I've missed ya, Luddy!"
"Shut up, bruder! Let me go!" Ludwig ordered. Gilbert released his brother and caught a glance at Antonio, "Toni, long time no see! Look at us, the Trio back together again!" Gilbert said as he wrapped an arm around Francis and Antonio
"Hola, mi amigo, it has been a while."Antonio agreed happily
"Quickly, we should get back inside and finish up before Ivan and Yao return." Francis said as they piled inside. Francis observed the scene of everyone helping each other to make this party work. He smiled as he finished the message on the cake.
Ivan took Yao and Lin Mei to a bunch of baby stores and bought countless items. Everything and anything that Lin Mei would ever need in her baby years to come. Yao was starting to wonder why Ivan insisted on buying so much just for a few more days. The thought made Yao's heart ache. He didn't want to let Lin Mei go, but she wasn't hers to keep. As Ivan loaded the car with one final bag Yao stood by him curiously.
"Ivan, why are you buying so much stuff? Isn't this a bit too much aru?" Yao asked
"No, not at all." Ivan answered," We will be needing it if Lin Mei will be staying with us."
"I know but…wait what?" Yao asked suddenly
"I know I didn't tell you Yao Yao…but I really want Lin Mei to stay with us…as our daughter." Ivan said as he wrapped an arm around Yao's shoulders and placed a loving hand on Lin Mei's head, "I want us to adopt her as soon as possible so that we can be a family." Yao felt tears in his honey brown eyes once more.
"I-Ivan, you really want to?" Yao asked, "You really mean it? We can keep her?"
"Da, if that is okay with you." Ivan said with a smile.
"Thank you Ivan! Thank you so much!" Yao said with tears falling down his cheeks, this time out of happiness. Lin Mei looked up at the two of them out of curiosity. Yao smiled down at the baby, "Do you hear that? You're going to be ours now." The baby cooed with a smile and dug her face into Yao's shirt. "I love you, Ivan."
"I love you too, Yao-Yao." Ivan replied as he leaned down to kiss his fiancé. He bent lower to gently kiss Lin Mei's head. She smiled back at him. Every time she smiled at him it made his heart flutter. "Come, let's go home."
The three arrived home and Ivan immediately pulled Yao and Lin Mei along, leaving the bags in the car. Yao wondered why Ivan was in such a rush to get into the house, but shrugged it off. Maybe he just had to go to the bathroom really bad. Ivan opened up the door and the lights were completely off. Yao went to flip them on, but was surprised with a large group of people standing in front of him.
"Surprise!" they all cried. Yao stood by the door shocked.
"What is all of this aru?" Yao asked alarmed
"We're helping you celebrate your engagement." Alfred answered
"We're also here to celebrate Lin Mei's future adoption by you." Arthur added.
"Ivan, did you plan this?" Yao asked
"Da, do you like it?" Ivan asked
"I love it." Yao said with a warm smile, "Thank you for putting so much thought into this." Ivan smiled back at Yao and kissed his forehead.
"Come, let's eat cake and start the merry making." Francis said with a clap of his hands.
The night continued on. Yao and Ivan had tons of help carrying the bags inside and Lin Mei had a huge group of new 'friends.' She was passed around like a hot potato from person to person. Each grown man melted at how cute Lin Mei was. It was interesting to see how they interacted with children. Alfred was a natural as he played all sorts of make believe games with her. Arthur was hesitant, but warmed up to Lin Mei again and introduced her to Flying Mint Bunny. Ludwig was stiff and merely stared blankly at the child until Feliciano took her. Feliciano bounced Lin Mei around and hugged her like she was a doll. Lovino held her at a distance, but held her closer when she looked like she was about to cry. Antonio cuddled her close played with her cheeks until Lovino took Lin Mei back and handed her to someone else. Francis was also easygoing with her. He knew just how to care for babies and he let her play with his golden locks. Gilbert played airplane with her and tried to tech her to say 'awesome' to no avail. Matthew just kept her on his lap, safe and sound. The night went on without any trouble and it was turned out to be a wonderful party. Everyone went home around nine since Feliciano and Lin Mei started to fall asleep. Francis stuck around to help clean up the mess and bid the family goodnight. Ivan closed the door behind him and sat back down on the couch next to Yao. He had put Lin Mei to sleep in her crib and it was just the two of them.
"Did you enjoy the party?" Ivan asked
"I did. Thank you for doing all of that just for m, Ivan." Yao said as he kissed Ivan's cheek.
"I'd do anything for my sunflower." Ivan said happily.
"I really am happy to have a family again." Yao said as he leaned over on Ivan's shoulder to rest his head.
"Da, me too." Ivan said, "I know that we will be very happy together."
"You'll be a great father to her." Yao said
"I hope." Ivan said
"Well I know." Yao responded. The two were interrupted by a knock on the door. "Who would be knocking at this hour?"
"Perhaps that idiot American forgot something." Ivan proposed. Yao got up from the couch as Ivan followed behind. Yao opened the door and instant his eye narrowed as his pulse stopped.
"What are you doing here?"
Okay, so I know it has been an unreasonably long time since I've updated. I'm so so so so so so so sorry! I hope you can forgive me! I was reading it over and I realized that it's been almost a year so I felt really bad and I updated. I hope this chapter makes up for the wait. Here have a Russia: (^J^)